Book 2, Chapter #4: Magnimar.   Posted by The Raconteur.Group: 0
The Raconteur
 GM, 3006 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Wed 2 May 2018
at 16:44
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar



“Brotherhood of the Seven, you mean?”  The city guardsman chuckled.  “That’s just an old wives’ tale used to frighten children.  Did one of the urchins put you on to that?  They blame everything on the Brotherhood.”  The guardsman tugged at his collar uncomfortably.  “Although truth be told there have been some strange murders lately.  Merchants, moneylenders, politicians, even guards—all ending up mutilated, with their faces missing and chests carved with a,” he paused, “seven-pointed star.”

The party climbed the stairs—some with more ease than others—and began a search of the townhouse, with the guardsman keeping an eye on them to ensure nothing too important was disturbed.  The dwelling was luxuriously appointed but somewhat dusty; it seemed as if it had been quite awhile since it has seen any sort of maid service.  The townhouse’s second floor contained nothing more than two guest bedrooms and a sitting room.  On the third floor they found a master bedroom, a bathroom, a study, and a large living room containing a marble fireplace with two carved, roaring lion heads at either end.

Pisca looked down at the keys she’d found at Foxglove Manor and saw that the lion’s head on the mysterious bronze key was strikingly similar to those adorning the fireplace.  Moving closer to inspect, she discovered a tiny keyhole deep in the back of the left lion’s throat.  She inserted the bronze key and turned it.

With an audible click a portion of the mantlepiece swung open to reveal a small cache.  Inside the group found a small bag containing 200 platinum pieces, a shallow wooden case containing a number of legal papers, the deed to Foxglove Manor, and a thin ledger.  The deed indicated that the Foxglove family only financed two-thirds of the Manor’s construction 80 years ago; the rest of the money was provided by a now-familiar group:  The Brotherhood of the Seven.  The deed also contained an unusual clause that after 100 years ownership of the Manor and the lands within a mile “around and below” the estate would revert to the Brotherhood.

The majority of the entries in the ledger were mundane, but towards the end it seemed that Foxglove was paying someone 200 gold pieces a week for “Iesha’s security.”  There are nearly a dozen entries of this nature; they stop three weeks before the incident at the Sandpoint Mill.  Foxglove was apparently making these payments to “B-7” and dropped off the payment every Oathday at a place called “The Seven’s Sawmill.”




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3500 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 2 May 2018
at 23:54
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
"Your Brotherhood of Seven does some amazing real estate deals," Pisca commented without looking up.  Her small finger followed an invisible spoor hunting through the ledger.  "For a tale of old wives," she added, the irony blunted by her concentration on the various entries.

Then, of a sudden, the gnome sat bolt upright, and her face turned up to the guard.  "You know, it occurs to me that you may not want to tell anyone about what you found here today.  For your own safety that is.  I mean, if this Brotherhood of the Starry Number Seven is as secretive as they seem, they may not want these secrets revealed.  Lets see ... what did you say?" asked the gnome rhetorically, and she began counting off the items on her fingers.  "Merchants, moneylenders, politicians, right?  And even guards," she exclaimed, holding up her thumb to represent the local law enforcement group.

"Ssshhhh. Best not to say anything," she added, holding up the index fingers of the Politicians to her lips.  "To anyone."

"Say, anyone know what day it is today?"

Knowledge Local check, please.  Sawmills in Magnimar for 1000.
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1444 posts
 Miniboss
Thu 3 May 2018
at 02:15
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
Kellan almost seemed embarrassed by the sheer wealth that Pisca pulled out from the fireplace cache. The platinum coins were one thing...but those were somehow insubstantial in their wealth, it was a ton of money, but abstract.

But the deed to Foxglove Manor made the young man puff out his cheeks in a long breath as he read it.

The Storvals were humble people of modest means, Kellan had not even had a room of his own growing up, nor would he have any reason to expect one. A whole room to ones self was the kind of things that came with  getting married...and building or perhaps even buying a home to settle down in.

So to hold the deed to an entire Manor and it's lands in his hand made him realize just how much his life had changed. These people had so much...so so much, even the townhome they now stood in would have been a dream come true for anybody from Sandpoint, but even with such wealth and comfort at their fingertips...they had wanted more.

What were they going to do with all of this?

Piscas words brought him back to the present. "She's right." Kellan said simply. "I know your going to want to report this, I sure would...but you've also got to think about your own safety."

He took another deep breath. "There's been too many good people murdered already, it's why were here. But I'd ask that you at least consider it."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1522 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Thu 3 May 2018
at 03:16
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
Cato paused to consider the ledger as Pisca talked.  "It does make sense that the sawmill be in Magnimar, but with the Seven being so interested in real estate, is it possible that it's another name for the sawmill back in Sandpoint?  Though it would seem strange to have those transactions recorded in ledger here rather than back in Foxglove's manor in Sandpoint.

Cato considered what he knew of Magnimar, the excitement of following clues overshadowning the wealth they had found hidden as well.

Knowledge: Local check here too.

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:55, Thu 03 May.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2980 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 42/42
Fri 4 May 2018
at 19:27
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
"Ieshas's security?"  Liseth browsed the ledger over Pisca's shoulder.  "Were they blackmailing Aldern by threatening Iesha too?  It isn't as though they even needed the money..." her face scrunched up, "not with everything else they had to do with the Foxglove family."  The acolyte thought, "B-7 must be one of the cultists; unless he was paying someone else to protect her?  Not that it worked..."

"What about these papers?"  She pulled the stack of legal papers from their case and began browsing the sheets, "Maybe there's something here, some kind of contract or arrangement, we can link back to someone in the cult.  It isn't as though they could use a pseudonym for official legal paperwork."
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2981 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 42/42
Wed 9 May 2018
at 18:40
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
A frown, "All I can find here are some references to 'The Brothers of the Seven.'  We already knew that Aldern had dealings with them."  Liseth pondered the paperwork, "Maybe they wouldn't use the city's legal system; they are an evil, secret cult after all.  Why would they draw up their own legal papers?"

"I wish I knew more about legal paperwork."  Liseth set the papers down.  She went to the city guard, "You said that the Brothers of the Seven were just stories made to scare children.  So that must be what they want prople to think they are; just stories."  The short blonde thought, "Do you think that they might have people hidden in Magnimar's government? This kind of legal paperwork might be because someone in their group is tied to the city legal system, so he wants the cult's dealings to feel official."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:41, Wed 09 May.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1524 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Thu 10 May 2018
at 00:55
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
Cato paused, remembering Pisca's whisper magic.  "Wait, I've heard of the Seven's Sawmill.  It's along Kyver's Inlet.  I didn't want to mention it in front of that guardsman, but we should definitely search that!"
The Raconteur
 GM, 3007 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 10 May 2018
at 04:19
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar



"You're saying . . . you're saying that the Brotherhood is real?"  The guardsman's tone was equal notes incredulity and fear.  "I suppose . . . I suppose if they're real they could be in the government."  He glanced around at the five gathered heroes.  "Maybe I shouldn't report this after all.  Or maybe I should.  Wouldn't it look strange if something happened here and it didn't get reported?"




Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1525 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Thu 10 May 2018
at 10:12
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
In reply to The Raconteur (msg # 102):

Cato thought about the guardsman’s dilemma, then tentatively started speaking. “How would you report this if you didn’t know about the Seven?  Obviously something strange happened here?  Maybe you heard a disturbance at the Foxglove Townhouse, but by the time you arrived, all you found was the two dead faceless stalkers. What would you assume?  Maybe the creatures had replaced the Foxgloves but squabbled amongst themselves?  Or you arrived too late to catch the perpetrators?”
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3503 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 10 May 2018
at 13:32
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
The gnome's face rises from the ledger, her large violet eyes blinking in shock and surprise.  "But, Cato," she said, with that little bit of drama that she was not able to resist, "that would be a lie!"

"Better to tell the truth," she then suggested to the guard, patting his arm and then hopping off her chair with the folded ledger under one arm.  "Best to tell the truth," she continued, her shock of but a moment ago having vanished completely.  "You know they'll sense a lie.  They're good at that.  That's what they do."

"Whether you report this or not is up to you.  Er, excuse me, could you kneel down here for a moment so we can talk face to face?  Thank you," Pisca continued after tugging the guard down to her level with a handful of his tabard.  "I'm sorry, it was my mistake to bring you up here.  I've put you in more danger.  But, at least you know how far this goes now.  How deep the corruption.  How high it could possibly go into government circles."

"Follow your conscience.  But, if you do decide to report this, I suggest that you be very very sure first that your family is in a safe place.  Make sure that the person that you are going to report to is someone that you trust.  Also make sure that the person that you report to can defend him or herself and his or her family, because, by reporting this, - if they are trustworthy - you'll very likely be placing them in danger as well as yourself."

"Do you understand?"  And Pisca ended with a pat of her small pink hand upon the guard's armored shoulder.  "Now you should go.  The more you learn here the worse off for you."

Then the gnome whispered a few short words into her magic, "That might give us some time, at least."

BTW, can I have a sense motive check to make sure that the guard is himself trustworthy.
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1445 posts
 Miniboss
Fri 11 May 2018
at 00:30
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
Kellan could not help but empathize with the poor fellow guardsman. For simply going his job he had been caught up in the whole terrible mess, with Kellan already doing all he could to bring those behind it to justice. He could spare little time to protect this man, or his family or brothers in arms, not when they still needed to get to the root of the problem in the first place.

"Sorry...I wish there was more we could do. Keep your head down out there yeah?" Kellan patted the mans shoulder and exhaled slowly. Even now they had things that needed tending to.
The Raconteur
 GM, 3009 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Mon 14 May 2018
at 00:39
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar



The guard turned a whiter shade of pale as Pisca talked to him, especially when she mentioned his family.  "I'll figure out what to do," he assured her, looking at the floor before he raised his head to meet her eyes.  "I think you're right, this goes further than we can know right now.  I think you five," he glanced around at the group, "are the right people to be looking into this."

"I'll try and keep you out of my report, if I make one."  He shrugged.  "Honestly I don't think I will make one.  I'll let someone else find this; then when they make their report they won't be lying at all.  All they'll find is those two . . . things."

The man stood from the kneeling position into which Pisca had pulled him.  "I'll be off, then.  Make sure you clear out of here pretty quickly; I'm pretty sure another patrol will be by soon.  I don't know whether to wish you good luck in finding the Brotherhood.  They will be powerful."  He paused to make his words felt.  "Very powerful."

His talk done, the guard saluted Kellan and left the room.  The party heard his boots clattering down the stairs and the sound of the door as he departed.  They were now by themselves.




Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3506 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 14 May 2018
at 13:08
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
Pisca sat in an attentive stillness, listening to the footsteps of the Magnimar city guard fade down the street, or maybe lost in gnomish thought, or, possibly, just waiting for the narration in her head to come to its conclusion.

"Uh ... Lysa, Kerr Mollin, could you watch the street from the window," the gnome finally asked as she snapped into motion, heading for the stairs to the lower floor.  "All the windows on the ground floor have been boarded up, and I want to know whether the coast is clear or not when we leave."

"Stomper, Cato, come with me please."  Pisca disappeared into the stairwell, but turned her head to listen as she descended to the lower floor.  At the bottom the gnome waited for her other two friends, greeting them with a serious face that said that she had matters to discuss.
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1526 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Mon 14 May 2018
at 19:26
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
Cato watched the departing guardsman, wondering if their actions were correct.  For all the wizard knew, the guardsman could himself be tied up with the Seven, and feigning ignorance in order to better lay a trap.  Yet, if that was the case, why wouldn't he(it?) have stepped in in the fight with the Foxgloves, unless it was part of a longer con in order to prove his trustworthiness to the Sandpointers.  What end goal could the Seven have in mind that would be more valuable than simply killing the five of them?  Given that Cato didn't actually know what the Seven wanted, beyond an undead Foxglove and a manor house in Sandpoint, he didn't even know where to start on that line of inquiry.

Shaking his head, Cato followed Pisca down the stairs.  "What are you thinking, Pisca?  At least we've bought ourselves a little bit of time and have the clue about the sawmill to follow up on."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3507 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 14 May 2018
at 20:25
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
"Well, I wasn't really thinking *that* far ahead, Cato," the gnome replied.  "That is to say, not as far as the Seven's Sawmill was concerned."  She peered back up the stairs to see whether their voices were carrying - as if that were something she could actually see.  "I was thinking more along the lines of what to do with ... " and Pisca jerked her head in the direction of the bodies of the two fallen Stalkers in the other room.  " ... with them."

"I think we're going to have to kill them," she said.  "And, well, you know, Lysa has such a kind heart.  I didn't want to get her involved in anything like that."
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1447 posts
 Miniboss
Tue 15 May 2018
at 19:01
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
Kellan returned the guards salute in an earnest, appreciative way before be glanced to Pisca with a slightly cocked eyebrow.

He followed her down, then pursed his lips and nodded at her sentiments.

"Yeah...I see your point." Kellan nodded slightly. "But we have to tell her...I mean, before we do anything like that. We can't just go around her. She's one of us" he replied as he gestured with his free hand. "She may not agree with it, but at least we should be upfront about our reasons"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3508 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Tue 15 May 2018
at 19:50
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
The gnome sighed deeply - perhaps more deeply than necessary.  "I guess that's what I thought too," she admitted.  "Poor Lysa," she added commiserating with the human girl upstairs for something she wasn't even aware she needed commiseration for.  Yet.

"Um ... Lysa, could you come down here, please?" Pisca called up the stairwell.  "And you too, Kerr Mollin."

"I suppose we should all make this decision together, huh?" she said, looking up into the faces of the two of her human friends who'd already come down the stairs.
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2982 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 42/42
Fri 18 May 2018
at 00:00
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
"Do you think they do have people in the city government and the guard?"  Liseth asked Kerr once they were keeping watch out the upstairs window.  "I suppose an evil cult like them would have to.  Just look at how they had wrapped up poor Aldern, the Brothers of the Seven could have any number of nobles and other people in power doing their bidding; willing or not.  Even more of their...shapechangers could be out there."

The girl sighed, "I thought that once we got to the city we'd be able to share what happened at Sandpoint and Foxglove Manor and get all the help we needed to stop this cult.  But now it looks like we can't trust anyone in the city's authority."  That statement punctuated by the fact they were even now keeping watch for a patrol of city guards.

"Coming Pisca!"  Liseth called back to Pisca downstairs.  She steadily made her down the stairs back to the main floor, "Is something wrong?  We didn't see anything from the window yet."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3509 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 18 May 2018
at 18:15
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
"Well ... " the gnome fidgeted.  Her eyes shifted from left to right, then back again to left, wandering and wandering, and failing, by design, to meet her friends gaze.  "Not so wrong as to have to run away screaming back to our beds," Pisca added, the hem to her previous haw - avoidance only delaying what was inevitable.

"I ... I guess what's wrong is that I lied to you," she confessed, at last, tearing off the bandage of confession with one quick and hopefully-not-so-painful jerk.  "I ... I didn't need anyone watching the street.  I ... we ... we have to kill the Faux Foxgloves.  And ... and I didn't want you to have to see it.  To have to be responsible for ... for their lives.  I saw ... I saw how you saved them.  And I ... I ... I ... "

"I'm sorry.  I'm sorry, Lys."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1527 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Thu 24 May 2018
at 20:17
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
Cato watched as Pisca revealed her intentions to Liseth.  In a way, it reminded him of the moral dilemmas he had faced with the Hellknights so long ago.

He cleared his throat.  "I think I'm with Pisca on this one.  It might seem like a bad thing to kill fallen foes, but these things were made to hurt people.  They can only subsist on blood, like an undead scourge.  Even if you could barter with them, that's just a fact of their existence.  They need to take from others in order to live.  And we don't know who out there is in league with them, if they're in league with the Seven, or anything else.  I think we need to play things safe here in Magnimar, not know who else we can trust."

Cato brandished his crossbow, loading a bolt and holding it to the back of one of the creature's heads.  "I take no pleasure in this task, but I think it must be done.  Any objections?"
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2984 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 42/42
Thu 24 May 2018
at 22:51
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
"Oh..."  Liseth's face fell steadily during Pisca's explanation, and she was crestfallen as she realized the necessity with which her friends saw this task.  Was it murder?  She imagined the hideous form of the monster that had masqueraded as Aldern Foxglove, the way Kerr had exclaimed the sheer evil they emanated.  Was it murder to kill a hideous, blood-drinking monster?

"I..."  The acolyte grasped Sarenrae's holy symbol for strength, "Sarenrae says..." a deep breath, "Sarenrae says that if a criminal or a monster can be redeemed to live a better life, then they should be given every chance to.  But if such redemption is impossible, for whatever reason, then the monster should be dealt 'swift justice by the sword's edge.'"

"I don't think these monsters are interested in redemption..." a sigh, "Not after being connected to this 'Brotherhood of the Seven.'"  She looked up towards Cato arming his crossbow, "I'll just go into the other room.  I...feel like I need to pray."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3510 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 25 May 2018
at 14:12
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
"THANK YOU, LYSA!  Thank you!"  The gnome's relief was as palpable as it was effusive.  She rushed to the departing human girl, nearly bowling her over with a fiercely enthusiastic hug before whirling back to address the pending execution of the two defeated monstrosities.

"I think that a shot to the head would be fine, Cato," Pisca conceded, while simultaneously raising the Dreaded-Finger-Of-But.  "But, wouldn't it be so much better if these two mysteriously disappeared without leaving any trace of what had happened?" she added with a sly grin.  "Leaving whomever sent them to meet us wondering just what might have happened here."  And she hehe'd then in a decidedly trickster-like manner.

"And that would start with not leaving a large bloodstain on the floor, I'd think.  Maybe strangulation.  Maybe.  Yes, maybe.  And then we'll have to clean up any traces of the fight.  And get rid of the bodies themselves.  Maybe feed them to huge ravenous pigs.  Or, or, or ... or maybe cut up the bodies and flush the pieces down the drain after dissolving them with alchemical solvents!"  Pisca's head nodded in time with the workings of some fantastical inner imaginarium, and, for a moment, she seemed entirely captive to her own ideas.
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1449 posts
 Miniboss
Fri 1 Jun 2018
at 16:57
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
Kellan had be silent for the most part, but after Liseth had gone to pray he cleared his throat.

"Sheriff Hemlock had to hang some bandits a long time back, when I was just a kid." He began as he glanced to the floor and back up. "I've heard of some towns making a big show of it and all that, but from what I gather he just walked them out into the outskirts and made it as quick as he could manage, then buried them. It's unfortunate...that the world can force a mans hand like that, but I think he made the right choice."

He shrugged. "We've got rope, and a second story...and I would wager that we could at least lay them to rest in the basement if we've got no other choice. But whatever we do we should probably get on with it...don't like the thought of them shifting their skins and all that."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1531 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Fri 1 Jun 2018
at 17:17
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
Cato let out a sigh of relief at Liseth's acceptance of their actions.  "Thanks, Lysa.  I know this isn't the easiest thing to handle.  It's one thing to kill someone in the heat of combat when you've got no choice, but harder to do it with a rational mind even if it makes sense to do so."

As Pisca started to talk, however, Cato's face paled.  Suddenly, he was uncomfortable reminded of exactly why he had left the Hellknights.  He shook his head forcefully, and after Kellan had his say, Cato added to it: "We're not going to torture them or dismember the bodies.  That's just too much.  I agree with Kellan, a hanging is a good way to off them, good enough for criminals at any case.  Then we can hide or bury the bodies here.  With any luck, it'll be quite some time before anyone finds them.  But let's do it quickly, before they wake up and give us more trouble."  Cato moved to the legs of one of the creatures, nodding to Kellan to grab the arms.
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 3513 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 1 Jun 2018
at 18:38
Book 2, Chapter #4:  Magnimar
"Huh?  Well, alright."  The gnome returned from her world of spotlessly clean assassinations to acknowledge the plans already in motion.  "Hanging sounds less messy," she agreed.  "They probably won't even wake from it till it's done."

"I'll ... I'll look for a basement.  Or, maybe some other place to hide the bodies," she began, and then looked back.  "Say, Cato, couldn't you ...  Maybe?  Couldn't you possibly summon a pack of ravenous pigs to eat the dead bodies?"