Book 2, Chapter #2: To the Manor Borne.   Posted by The Raconteur.Group: 0
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1365 posts
 Miniboss
Tue 4 Apr 2017
at 17:31
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Kellan stood there, leaning heavily upon his polearm and tried to catch his breath. The young man looked exhausted, and older by far than that day they had first come together, not so long ago at the Swallowtail Festival. Older, yes and far more careworn, but he also looked dangerous and capable from the way he gripped the blood spattered weapon to the way he looked down upon the fallen Lord.

The look did not suit him well, truth be told. A man his age should have been doing a lot of things...getting his own plot of land set up, courting girls, hunting out fishing with friends...getting dinner ready with his family. A man his age should have been doing a lot of things, but...but he had chosen to become a guardsman, like his Mentor Alergast, and that meant being out here, while the other young men enjoyed what he could not.

After that first goblin attack, he had wondered if it was all over...if he could go back to his sleepy little life breaking up bickering spouses or escorting drunks home. Then after they had assaulted Thistletop...he wondered if that would be it, if that would be another chapter in the towns history, the highlight of his career. But after this, he knew...this was far from over...this was probably just getting started, and the thought weighed heavily upon him.

"If we can...we should finish this" Kellan chimed in, obviously tired, but wanting to see the job done, and done right.
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2911 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 33/36
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 07:18
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
As he fell, Liseth reached her own hand out to Aldern Foxglove.  Then she knelt next to him.  The young acolyte's heart was torn by the tragedy of Foxglove's fate forced upon him by those evil men with the masks, and even his own wicked grandfather.  "We'll take him to Father Zantus; they were friends.  I know that Father Zantus will be able to give him and Iesha a proper burial."

"Desna, liberate him from the pain he endured all his life."  Liseth prayed over the slain man, almost certain that he had favored Desna even if not a devoted follower.  "Grant him rest and reunion with those he loves.  Sarenrea, grant him in death the redemption he struggled for in life."

Done, Liseth stood and said another prayer; tending to her own wounds.  It was the last bit of divine power she had left, but after she was done she sighed in relief.  A final glow washed over her body and her wounds closed and softened the terrible stinging.

"I wouldn't know where to even start for a consecration ritual.  I've seen Father Zantus perform it but he used Holy water and offers prayers to the gods.  We don't have any holy water here, and I don't know the proper prayers."  Liseth carefully moved around the fallen Foxglove and entered the chamber, her gaze finding the vroken pieces Cato was speaking of.  "Could we gather up those shards and take them with us?  Maybe we could destroy them at the Cathedral?  Would that fix things here?"

Suddenly remembering, Liseth went to the desk and rescued the Heily figure Kerr had gotten her what felt like a lifetime ago.  Then she shivered and glanced once more at the tragic man upon the ground, remembering Aldern's murderous alter-ego.  "He had to have stolen this from my room at the Cathedral.  Right there while I was asleep."  The girl shivered again, clearly uncomfortable with the image.  "He could have done anything...like he did to Katrine.  Aldern must have stopped him..."

23:58, Today: Liseth Thoradin rolled 18 using 2d8+7.  CMW on self.
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3355 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 5 Apr 2017
at 13:21
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
"You sure you couldn't do a little something now, Lys," asked the gnome as she paused in her search to scratch her head.  "I mean ... FWOOSH!" she added and threw her arms into the air in her best imitation of a burst of light.  "Poking around in this room isn't very pleasant with this goopy mold all around."

"Then again, fwoosh hasn't seemed to do much to it so far," Pisca admitted with something of a disappointed sigh.  "So, I guess the answer is no."  And she returned then to her search.

Pisca Neep Freemish rolled 26.  Perception to search the room.

Position: ??
DL Position: A7

Active Effects: Message on all 50m, Cat's Grace 5m, Dancing Lights 1m, Haste 2/5

Expended
L1 - 0/5
L2 - 1/3

HP: 24/33

AL: 4/9

The Raconteur
 GM, 2895 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 03:55
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne



The search of the room commenced, and it was none too pleasant.  The room itself was disgusting, its retch-worthy nature only emphasized by the group's sudden lack of adrenaline.

The portrait of Iesha leaning against the table is quite good, and could possibly be valuable if properly and carefully cleaned.  A small silver keyring with two keys sits on the table amidst the rotten meat.  The larger is of tarnished iron set with a round opal; the smaller is made of bronze and has a head that resembles a roaring lion.  It also has an unusally long tang ending in a set of three notched blades.

In the fungus south of the black patch you find a mold encrusted chime.

The inspection of Aldern's body found his war razor, a suit of leather armor, several rings, a mask, a very dirty but extravagant noble's outfit, a cameo containing a tiny portrait of Liseth, and a nondescript key.  An interior pocket also contains a blood-spattered letter:

Aldern,

You have served us quite well.  The delivery you harvested from the caverns far exceeds what I had hoped for.  Since this was so helpful, and your attempt to infiltrate us so amusing, you may consider your family's debt to the Brothers paid in full.  Yet I still have need of you, and when you awaken from your death you should find your mind clear and able to understand this task more than in the sate you lie in as I write this.

When you awake, you shall know the workings of the Sihedron ritual.  Well, maybe not YOU.  But the one who needs to know will know.  I will provide a list of proper victims for the ritual in two day's time; I will leave it in your townhouse in Magnimar.  Commit that list to memory and then destroy it before you begin your work.  I realize this is distasteful to you but I think now you recognize how deep your mistake was, and your inability to resist my commands.

The ones I have selected MUST be marked BEFORE they die otherwise they do my master no good and the greed in their souls will go to waste.  If others get in your way, though, you may do with them as you please.  Eat them, savage them, turn them into pawns--set them free, if you can.  It matters not to me.

--Xanesha, Mistress of the Seven




OOC:

PARTY STATUS - Kellan has taken 6 points of damage.  Kerr has taken 18 points of damage.  Cato has taken 9 points of damage.  Pisca has taken 9 points of damage.  Liseth has taken 10 points of damage.</b>






Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3356 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 14:26
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Before she passed it on, Pisca tipped the letter to one side and then the other.  Then she held it by one corner and bounced it a few times, for all the world, as though she were trying to drain every last bit of meaning from the poor blood-splattered thing.

"Well, looks like we need a vacation in Magnimar," she said as she took one last look about the room.  "And we still have to go back for Iesha.  And there's a well back in the Batcave that bears further investigation too," the gnome adds.  "Wonder what these keys are for?  Keys are such funny things."

"But before we move on to other things, consider this with regard to this Sihedron Ritual."  The gnome, as she spoke, wandered purposefully - if such a thing is possible - to the only lock that was currently available - that in the door to this very chamber where she tried all three keys.  "I count three sets of victims of this Sihedron Ritual.  First was Tarch Mortwell, Lener Hask and Gedwin Tabe the criminals that Your Lordship lured to the Scarnetti warehouse.  Next was Banny Harker at the mill.  He was Katrine Vinder's secret boyfriend.  And last, we found Farmer Hambley.  The question is: What do they have in common?  Mistress Xansha mentioned Greed in that letter, and that does seem to apply to Farmer Hambley as you described him before Kerr Mollin.  I wonder about Banny Harker, though."  Pisca's lengthy pontification continued on, interrupted only briefly as she performed a flourish with the keys in one hand.

"And who did Brodert say was the Thassilonian Runelord associated with Greed?  Karzoug," Pisca said, answering her own question.  "Addressing the question of who the mysterious Master of Mistress Xansha probably is, don't you think?  Which makes sense when you consider that a key part of the ritual is the Sihedron, a symbol of the Thassilonian Empire."  And to concluded her exposition the gnome executed a short curtsy.

Active Effects: Message on all 50m, Cat's Grace 5m

Expended
L1 - 0/5
L2 - 1/3

HP: 24/33

AL: 4/9

This message was last edited by the player at 14:30, Fri 07 Apr 2017.

Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1366 posts
 Miniboss
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 14:53
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Kellan thought over the contents of the letter silently, ironically spending some of that time looking down at the very boots Aldern had gifted him not so long ago.

A cult then? People in Sandpoint joked about cults, only distantly aware that some places, like Cato's Homeland, actually dealt with these things on a fairly regular basis. Now they did not seem so funny...or so distant...

He was very glad that they had Pisca was so on top of this, could summarize it so neatly. They were lucky to have her...

"But why Sandpoint?" Kellan asked in somewhat rhetorical fashion. "Magnimar is a huge city from what I've heard...You would think it'd be easier to pick off people in a place like that...Rather than out here where everybody knows everybody."

He sighed, and felt the crushing weight of their task return so soon after their narrow success.

"We need to let them know, Magnimar that is...Their guard might be dealing with the same thing"
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1440 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 01:06
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Trying to take his mind off the disgusting surroundings and troublesome thought of actually traveling to Magnimar to investigate Aldern's property there, Cato casts Detect Magic and examines the items found, keys, chimes, picture, and the late Aldern's equipment.

His mind continues working through the writing in Aldern's note.  "But devoted to Karzoug?  It doesn't make any sense.  The Thassilonian Empire fell long ago.  Thousands of years ago.  I mean, perhaps some supernatural entities, like whatever was egging on the goblins in Thistletop might have survived.  That quasit we defeated, for instance.  But a mortal human?  I mean, there's ways to avoid that.  Becoming a lich, for instance."  Cato gestured at the ruined state of the room.  "But why now?  Why, after all this town, do you think they're making sacrifices in Karzoug's name?"

Cato pondered.  "It could be just a front.  They're merely playing up some mystic angle, something they read about in a book or something that makes their cause seem more grand that it actually is.  Or these cult leaders might be being played themselves.  Some other entity might be using Karzoug's name to demand sacrifices.  I could something like that out of a demon, perhaps."

Cato went silent again, thinking.  "Or maybe it is a ritual in Karzoug's name.  Which is even more worrisome.  The things Thassilon did during its reign.  Well, you can see evidence of it.  The Old Light in Sandpoint.  How many buildings would still stand after thousands of years?  Imagine what someone like Karzoug could do in the modern world."

Cato shivered.  "If there's any possibility of that being correct, we have to investigate.  Regardless of what's in Magnimar.  Just..." the mage smiled weakly.  "Let's try to avoid the Hellknights while we're there."

Detect Magic on items to see if anything is magical
Know: Arcana for possible uses of Sihedron Ritual killings?

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3358 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 10 Apr 2017
at 20:35
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
"Piffle," was the gnome's answer to the question of Hellknights.  She waved a dismissive hand that, already holding keys, jingled almost merrily with the movement.

"As to the question of why Sandpoint ... " Pisca continued, pausing only momentarily for dramatic effect.  "Have you considered that it might be because of the many old Thassilonian sites in the area?  There do seem to be quite a lot of them.  We have the Old Light right on the edge of town, you know?  And those catacombs down beneath."

"I bet Brodert might have something to say on this subject," she added with a sage nod.

Active Effects: Message on all 50m, Cat's Grace 5m

Expended
L1 - 0/5
L2 - 1/3

HP: 24/33

AL: 4/9

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2912 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 33/36
Tue 11 Apr 2017
at 03:37
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Liseth went silent after the letter was passed to her; grimly reading the message and the casual horrors it detailed.  The Heilly figure vanished into the safety of her pouch.

"He murdered Katrine just because she was there..."  She said finally, "Because her...secret boyfriend had greed in his soul?  So much greed that they murdered him with an evil ritual to take it..."

"How can we tell her family something like that?"  The acolyte looked to each of her friends, remembering the gruesome scene they had investigated at the sawmill.  "Is that what made him greedy?  That Katrine had to keep him a secret from everyone?"  She didn't want to continue thinking about it.

"How did he even get this?"  Liseth changed the subject, picking up the cameo to scrutinize the tiny portrait of herself.  "Is that me?"  She chilled again; Aldern did mention that the...other Aldern was infatuated with her.  "Maybe it's supposed to be Iesha?"  She looked at the larger portrait to compare the two.

Her head shook, "We need to leave this place.  That's the most important thing right now.  Everything has to be taken back to Sandpoint, we have to tell what we learned to Father Zantus and Mayor Deverin and everybody."  She sighed, "Then we can decide what we...have to do in Magnimar."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1443 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 15:43
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Cato looked up from examining the items in the room.  "There's a lot of magic here.  This leather armor and war razor are both fairly basic items.  (+1 each.)  This ring would likewise complement armor (+1 Ring of Protection) and the other ring helps to augment jumping.  The mask..." Cato had to repress a visible shudder at the imposing item.  "That's also magic, as is the set of chimes, but I haven't figured out what they do yet."

He nods to Pisca and Liseth.  "We should go back to town.  Maybe Brodert and Father Zantus can help spread some light on what we've found here.  I know that one of the schools of magic practiced in Thassilon was related to greed, so that certainly fits the mold, but I don't have any idea how such a ritual would work or even what it would do."
The Raconteur
 GM, 2904 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Wed 19 Apr 2017
at 20:56
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne



Grim, tired, but victorious, the party packed up Foxglove's possessions and took their leave of his final, hideous lair.  Maneuvering the noble's body back up the slick staircase was a tricky business, but the judicious use of rope and a careful, cautions approach got them all to the top.

Kellan carried Foxglove's corpse as they trudged back to the well, inspecting it only to find that it was just that . . . a well.  Pisca could see the starlight seeping in from above, and from the scratch marks on the side of the cistern's concrete walls it looked as if the bat had used it as a means to access the surface for hunting . . . at least before its fall into undeath.

They made their way up the staircase to the first floor, leaving Foxglove's body near the entrance in as dignified a matter as they could as they went upstairs to retrieve Iesha's remains.  None of the haunts seemed active now, but whether that was due to exhaustion on the part of the malevolent spirit behind their animation or for some other reason, none of them knew.

Finally the group reassembled in front of the (thankfully quiescent) manticore, ready to head out for the journey home.  But as they opened the door, they found that the exterior of the house was far from unoccupied.

"Look," Kerr said, somewhat unnecessarily.  "Ravens."  And so there were.  It seemed like hundreds upon thousands of dark black birds perched on or around the ruined servants' quarters in front of the Foxglove estate.  They simply sat there, black eyes gleaming in the moonlight, watching the manor.

But none of them made a single sound.

   A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z
  +--+--xxxxxxxxxxW-+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
1 |  |  xxxxxxxx | W|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--xxxxxxx--+--xx-+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
2 |  |  xxxxxxD|  |  | x|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--xxxxD-+--+--+--x--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
3 |  |  xxxx  |  |  |  |x |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--xxx+--+--+--+--+-xx--+--+--+--xxxxWWxxxx--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
4 |  |  xx |  |  |  |  |  |W |  |  |  s  |  |  x  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--x--+--+--+--+--+--+-xxxxxxxxxxx--+--+--x--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
5 |  |  xW |  |  |  |  |  |  D  |tt|  x  |  |fpx  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--xxxx--+--+--+--ppppppx--+--+--x--+--+--x--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
6 |  |  xxxxW |  |  |  pppp  x  |  |  x  |  |  W  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--xxxxxxxDDxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxDDxxxx--+--+--x--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
7 |  |  xxxxxx|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  D  |  |  x  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--xxxxWWxxxxDDxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxDDxxxxx-+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
8 |  x P|  |  |  |  |  |  x  |  |  xfp|  |  |  |  | xxW |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--x--+--+--+--+--+--+--xxxxxxxDDx--+--+--+--+--+--+xxW--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
9 |  D K|C mmmmmmmmmm  |  |  |  sP |K |  |  |  |  |  |  |xxW  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--D--+--MMMMMMMMMM--+--+--+-sss-+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+x-+--+--+--+--+--+--+
10|  D R|L mmmmmmmmmm  |  |  |  sL |R |C |  |  |  |  |  |xxW  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--x--+--+--+--+--+--+--xxxxxxxDDx--+--+--+--+--+--+xxW--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
11|  x  |  |  |  |  |  |  x  |  |  xfp|  |  |  |  | xxW |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--xxxxwwxxxx--xxxxxxxDDx--xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxDDxxxxx-+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
12|  |  |  |  |x | x|  |  |  x  |  |  |  |  |  x  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--+--+--+-xx--+--+--+--x--+--+--+--+--+--x--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
13|  |  |  |  |  |x |  |  |  D  |  |  |  |Ch|  W  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--x--+--+--+--+--+--x--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
14|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |x |  |  |  |  |fpx  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+-x+--+--+--+--+--x--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
15|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  x  |  |  |Ch|  W  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+xxxWWxxxxWWxxxx--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
16|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
17|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
18|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+
19|  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |  |
  +--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+


W = Window   D = Door  p = piano  t = washtub fp = fireplace
M/m = Manticore  s = Stain  Ch = Chair

OOC:

PARTY STATUS - Kellan has taken 6 points of damage.  Kerr has taken 18 points of damage.  Cato has taken 9 points of damage.  Pisca has taken 9 points of damage.  Liseth has taken 10 points of damage.






Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3367 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 19 Apr 2017
at 23:12
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
"The birds," frowned the gnome.  "Too bad we can't burn them."  She crossed her arms and began tapping her foot in a fair approximation of impatient thought.  "If we can make it to the ponies, we may be able to outrun them.  But I don't think we'll be able to do that with both Aldern and Iesha," she added.  "And I'm not inclined to leave them behind."
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1370 posts
 Miniboss
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 02:24
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
"Well...I figure I'll just go out there...and see what happens." Kellan suggested as he stared out at the avian hoard. "Things go bad, I can just try to get back in here...not like we can just wait them out"
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1447 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Sat 22 Apr 2017
at 03:07
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Cato examined the birds with a wary eye.  "It certainly doesn't look like a natural formation.  At least it's not a group of crows!  Then it'd be a murder."  Cato gave a nervous chuckle.  "And they're currently just a congress, I suppose, though they have every possibility of becoming a conspiracy, or perhaps even an unkindness."  Cato stops, realizing he's coming very close to babbling.  "Sorry, with everything we've seen in this place, those birds are getting to me.  Fire, though...we do have fire.  I could cast a Fireball right in the center of that congress.  It might at least shake them up, allow us enough time to get past.  I could also try Stinking Cloud.  Problem is...if those are undead ravens, it might not work against them.  Do you suppose they could be?  If they've been feeding on corpses...or undead corpses, would that turn them?"
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2916 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 33/36
Tue 25 Apr 2017
at 05:33
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
"There was a couple of ravens outside when we got here..."  After all that had happened within the manor, these birds were certainly acting in a spooky manner.  "But not this many.  Where did they come from?"  Liseth was certain everyone was thinking the same thing; this must be one last trick of the haunted place.

"They aren't doing anything, except...looking ominous."  She had never seen so many ravens in her life!  "We can't just burn them!  If they are like that bat, it might just make the others angry.  There's so many!"

"I think if they wanted to attack us, they would have already."  That made the situation no less intimidating.  "Let's go...just...don't antagonize them."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1449 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Tue 25 Apr 2017
at 15:02
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Cato looked at the group of birds, then back at Liseth.  "Well, you're right.  I wouldn't want to harm a bunch of innocent birds.  Can you see if they're undead?  Or evil?  That way we at least know what to expect."
Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 189 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Wed 26 Apr 2017
at 19:09
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne



Kerr stared out the door at the silent birds.  They were unnerving.

"Are they evil?"  He nodded curtly at Kellan.  "I think I can help there."  He still wasn't fully used to his newfound abilities as a paladin, but the sensing of evil came pretty easily to him now.  "I'll head out there," he pointed to the raven-infested servants quarters, "and see."  He gave the rest of them a quick grin.  "Be ready to close the door behind me if I come running back chased by a huge flock of angry birds."

With that, Kerr stepped out of the house and walked slowly down the path towards the servant's quarters.

The ravens watched him.  The complete lack of noise from so many birds indicated that this was no normal group.

He drew closer.  Still they watched.

He stopped about 50 feet away from them.  Hundreds of pairs of avian eyes observed him, but still they made no sound and made no move towards him.  They just sat there, waiting.  And watching.

Kerr reached out with his senses, and was almost immediately rewarded with a strong sense of the birds' alignment.

EVIL!!!!

The young paladin stumbled back a bit, then turned around and made his way back to the manor's front door in the same slow, measured manner that he'd left it.  Still the ravens watched.

"Those are not normal birds," he informed the party when he returned to the front door.  "They're evil.  Very evil."




Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1452 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Fri 28 Apr 2017
at 14:09
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Cato took in the new information.  "Well, we know they're evil...the question is, are they trying to stop us?  I can still fling a fireball at them,, but I'm virtually out of arcane energy for the day, so it would be that and just a couple other spells I can still use."
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1373 posts
 Miniboss
Sat 29 Apr 2017
at 04:35
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Kellan sighed softly and began to move in the direction of the estates periphery. As he did so, he glanced over his shoulder and shrugged slightly to Cato.

"No way around it I guess, and I don't know about you, but I'm not looking for a fight"

He rolled his neck and looked out at the huge flock. "Wish me luck" and with that he set off.
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1453 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Mon 1 May 2017
at 17:50
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Cato reached into his spell component pouch, pulling out a bit of bat guano and sulfur, ready to cast his spell if Kellan needed the assistance.

Preparing to cast Fireball if Ravens move to attack Kellan
The Raconteur
 GM, 2908 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Tue 2 May 2017
at 07:50
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
"I'll back you up," Kerr piped in as Kellan moved to leave the manor.  "At least that way, if they attack they'll have two targets instead of just one."  The erstwhile acolyte gave the avian legion a skeptical look.  "They don't look friendly to me."

With that, Kellan and Kerr moved out of the manor house and down the path that ran next to the bird-infested servant's quarters.  The night was still as hundreds of pairs of emotionless eyes watched their progress.  The only noise was the dim crashing of waves far below and the occasional ocean gust that made its way around the manor.

They moved closer, and closer to the servant's quarters, until they were almost even with it on the path.

And then the birds attacked.  Boiling out of the servant's quarters came a huge flock of undead ravens, the buffeting of their wings the only sound they made.  As they approached, Kellan and Kerr could see bits of feather and flesh clinging to the rotten raven carcasses.

Back at the manor, Cato uttered the last arcane word of power completing his spell, and a bright, sparkling mote of light sped towards the servant's quarters.

The building exploded into fire with a concussive boom, the fire reaching outward hungrily to consume the undead ravens.  Cato's expert placement of the spell allowed Kerr and Kellan to experience only an uncomfortable wave of heat, and gave them a front-row view to the destruction of the building's guardian swarms.

After a second or two, the only evidence of the swarms were the smoking remains of those few creatures that had not been completely incinerated by Cato's magical evocation.


OOC:


00:41, Today: The Raconteur, for the NPC Undead Raven Swarm 4, rolled 10 using 1d20.  Reflex Save v. Cato Fireball.
00:41, Today: The Raconteur, for the NPC Undead Raven Swarm 3, rolled 8 using 1d20.  Reflex Save v. Cato Fireball.
00:40, Today: The Raconteur, for the NPC Undead Raven Swarm 2, rolled 18 using 1d20.  Reflex Save v. Cato Fireball.
00:40, Today: The Raconteur, for the NPC Undead Raven Swarm 1, rolled 14 using 1d20.  Reflex Save v. Cato Fireball.
00:39, Today: The Raconteur, on behalf of Cato Crispin, rolled 19 using 5d6.  Fireball Damage.


Result:  Since the swarms takes +50% additional damage from area-effect spells, all four swarms are destroyed.
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1374 posts
 Miniboss
Tue 2 May 2017
at 18:20
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Kellan threw up an arm to shield himself from the blast, and was rocked back on his feet as the concussive wave of heat and fire washed over him. He stumbled for a moment, coughing hoarsely as he menaced this way and that with his pole axe, waiting for some bird to swoop down on him...but it never came.

The guardsman stood there, looking slightly dazed and certainly impressed before he smiled back at Cato ear to ear. "Wow!" he coughed and ran his fingers over his eyebrows to make sure they were intact. "Somebodies been practicing!" he coughed again and wandered back over to the others, looking around at the destruction.

He laughed and shoved Cato playfully on the shoulder. "Glad you're on our side...I guess we can hustle back home...let the others know. Talk about a long day eh?"
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2918 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 33/36
Sat 6 May 2017
at 08:59
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
"Evil birds?" The situation continued to escalate as unasked questions raced through Liseth's head.  Where did they all come from?  What makes birds evil?  Why are there so many?

Just as quickly as it had arisen, the situation was resolved.  "Good job Cato!"  AN eruption of fire and charred undead avians were all that was left of that ominous swarm of rabid ravens.  She held up her crossbow, "I don't think this would have been much help against so many beaks and talons."

"Do you think that just being near here made them undead like that?"  Liseth cautiously left the dubious safety of inside the manor and examined one of the dead birds.  "Or were they set against us by the house?  Or maybe that Cult of Seven...made them to spy and attack people?"

"The horses!" she gasped.  "What if those birds attacked the horses when we were inside?"  The girl hurried along now; she remembered what happened to poor Hakon the last time the horses were left all alone.
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1455 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Sat 6 May 2017
at 18:33
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
Even though he had cast the spell, Cato was still unprepared for the extent of the damage.  "Huh.  I was expecting to make a distraction, but I suppose that works!  I'll have to remember that trick for the future!"

He smiled in response to Kellan and Liseth's accolades.  "Thanks.  But really, thanks to you Kellan.  My job was easy.  You're the one who had to draw out the birds, along with Kerr, and risk their attacks had that not worked!"

He nodded at Liseth's suggestion and followed her to the horses.  "We need to get back to Sandpoint and then pursue this further...back to Magnimar, I suppose."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3370 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sun 7 May 2017
at 04:22
Book 2, Chapter #2:  To the Manor Borne
The gnome just stared up at the human mage with her arching strawberry-blonde eyebrows arching even more for being impressed.  She pointed in silent awe at the spot where the ginormous ball of flame had only moments ago consumed a near-handful of flocks of Evil Starlings.  She pointed to Cato.  Then she pointed back to the Point of Spectacular Conflagration.

"I LIKE IT!" is all she said.  But that was enough.

"Alright.  Now ponies," said with the first smile in what seemed quite a long time, and she trotted off after her human girl friend.