Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle.   Posted by DM.Group: 0
DM
 GM, 79 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 00:43
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Alaric discovers nothing of interest, nor is there anything else in the shit pile that one of you might want.  Although there are weapons and armor, the items you have are of better quality.

Bildrath listens to Tobias' shopping list and mentally runs through his store inventory.

"Yeah,  I got what you want.  20 gold for the whip, 10 for the hat.  Also 10 for each vial and each stake."


Meanwhile in the back of the store, Parpol enjoys a game of "find the broken items" and obligingly makes a small mound of odds and ends.  Joaquin spends ten minutes praying to the Great God Boo before making a circuit of the store.  The only magic the cleric is able to detect is an aura of divination coming from the wolf's head pendant Alaric wears about his neck.
Tobias Greysen
 player, 35 posts
 I'm dexy and I know it.
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 00:51
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
With a soft laugh to himself Tobias responds to the overly proud shopkeep.

My good sir that is simply an unreasonable requested amount.  Even when allowing for some mark-up cause you are the only shop in town, I think we must find a much more reasonable price.  I will gladly offer 23 gold for the whip, hat, 2 stakes and 5 glass bottles.
[Persuasion: 14]

This message was last edited by the player at 01:02, Wed 15 Mar 2017.

DM
 GM, 80 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 01:09
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Bildrath gives Tobias a look that would curdle milk.

"Fine, fine, bleed me dry why don't you. Yeah alright, I'll agree to that.

If he still wishes to do so, Tobias may pay 23 gp for:

1 x whip
1 x wide-brimmed hat
6 x glass bottles
2 x wooden stakes

[Anyone else want to buy things?]
Tobias Greysen
 player, 36 posts
 I'm dexy and I know it.
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 01:24
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Tobias hands over the coin, dons the hat, and secures the whip and glass bottles to his belt.  He offers his most sincere thanks to the shopkeep and then goes to wait for his compatriots outside.
Joaquin
 player, 40 posts
 Once a soldier
 Now a cleric
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 01:38
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
In reply to DM (msg # 259):

Joaquín brings his haul of broken bits and pieces up to the front of the shop and says:

So my goodman, I'll mend the sickle, the dagger, and these two broken flasks and leave them for you in exchange for these books, the broken waterskin, and this torn leather armor, what say you?

[OOC anybody see any busted stuff they want me to fix for them, I'm sure we can add it to my list]
Alaric von Innsbruck
 player, 64 posts
 Silver for monsters
 Steel for men
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 02:06
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Alaric leaves the store without acknowledging the shopkeep. Waste of time.

Outside, he finds himself now awkwardly waiting next to Ismark and Ireena.

So. This Mad Mary. You said she lost a child? he says.

Perhaps this was how witchers made small talk.
DM
 GM, 81 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 02:11
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Bildrath wants to see proof of your mending abilities before he's willing to make the trade. Once he does, he'll take you up on your offer.

[Rolled 18 persuasion on your behalf.]

"The books?  Lot of garbage if you ask me.  For two new weapons, I consider myself coming out ahead."

If everyone is satisfied with their purchases or lack thereof, Parpol waves you an enthusiastic goodbye as you leave Bildrath's Mercantile, shouting farewell to "Miss 'Reena" and "Mister Ismark" and "my new friends."  Bildrath screams obscenities at his young helper, cutting off his well-wishing.

Ismark and Ireena take their leave of you to return home and prepare their father's body for transportation and burial, and also to pack for the journey ahead. But before they do, they will answer Alaric's question about Mad/Sad Mary.

"Yes, her daughter: Gertruda. Sweet kid, but willful.  She ran away from home about a week ago.  Very sad."

 It is agreed that you will all meet at the village church at sundown. (E5 on your map of the village of Barovia.)

It is now about mid-afternoon; sundown is in three hours or so.

[How to occupy your time until then?  Back to the manse?  Talk to the Vistani?  Track down Mad Mary?  Kick in random doors to try and find more zombies?]

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:14, Wed 15 Mar 2017.

Oswald Weiss
 player, 94 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 02:45
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
In reply to DM (msg # 263):

"Is it possible this Gertrude ran away with the Vistani when last they came? Of her own free will, of course."

He frowns.

"How old was she? Are we talking about a toddler, a youth, or a teenager?"

He glances at the sun's place in the dreary sky and shrugs at his companions.

"I have nothing else pressing to attend to before the ceremony. Perhaps we can help that poor woman."
Joaquin
 player, 41 posts
 Once a soldier
 Now a cleric
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 03:15
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
[OOC: I assume I mended all the stuff at once]

I would like to help this woman as well, if we can.  There seems to be no harm in at least offering her our help.
Astrid Gunnarsdottir
 player, 49 posts
 A little bit Viking
 A little bit rock'n'roll
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 03:20
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Astrid frowns for a moment, considering possible courses of action.  She might have ended up with the Vistani, like Oz suggests.  That would likely be the most fortunate circumstance.  I should hate to think what she might encounter in the woods.  We'll want some kind of lead before we just go traipsing off, but we should try to find her.
DM
 GM, 82 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 12:12
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
"She's a teenager.  Fifteen years old, maybe sixteen? Old enough to know her own mind, but still sad."

It's clear that Ismark and Ireena, while sympathetic to the plight of Mary and Gertruda, have more immediate worries on their minds.
Tobias Greysen
 player, 37 posts
 I'm dexy and I know it.
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 12:26
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Tobias casually turns and lowers his voice to shield his words from the ears of their new hosts.

I as well think we should help this young girl.  My only immediate concern is that we make sure we are back here for tonight's ceremony as many of us said we would be. The girl will be no more missing in the morning. 
Alaric von Innsbruck
 player, 65 posts
 Silver for monsters
 Steel for men
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 15:19
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Alaric seems to immediately lose interest in the subject upon hearing that the girl simply ran away. Probably one of the local Vistano boys caught her eye. Not our business.
Oswald Weiss
 player, 95 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 15:28
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
In reply to Alaric von Innsbruck (msg # 269):

"Then stay behind, if charity bores you. Maybe you can swap tales of brooding silences with Arik while waiting for the funeral," Oz shrugs with a grin. "We have nothing to do until sundown, and this village is filled with people who have, with a few notable exceptions, been rude, scared, or superstitious toward strangers. And toward their own, given the utter indifference absolutely everyone seems to have toward a woman wailing in the street."

Flames flicker across his fingertips as he speaks, and he waves them out distractedly when he glances down and notices them.

"She didn't earn the name Mad Mary overnight, and the child is newly missing. Likely there's something seriously wrong with her. If we can provide some comfort to her -- and through that, some respite for the villagers -- I'm going to try. Anyone who's coming, let's get going while we still have some time."

With that, he'll take his leave of whoever's not coming and begin following the sound of the hysterics.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:29, Wed 15 Mar 2017.

DM
 GM, 83 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 16:19
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
The good, kind-hearted members of the party decide to go and speak with Mad Mary regarding her daughter's recent disappearance.  She is easy enough to find: her weeping leads you unerringly to the door of a modestly-appointed townhouse that, like just about everything in the village, has seen better days.

The door is unlocked.  Inside, the house is in a state of disarray: dust piling up, plates with remnants of old food on them sitting on a little table.  A large grey rat on the table is taking advantage of the decline in housekeeping.

A middle-aged woman with unkempt greying hair sits in the middle of the room, on the floor.  Greasy strands of hair hang down in her face, which is streaked with dirt and tears.  Her eyes are sunken and her lips are parched; she appears to have not eaten in a week and barely had anything to drink.

In her arms she cradles a malformed doll wearing a sackcloth dress and with creepy button eyes.  Stitched into the hem of the dress is a small tab with only the word "Blinksy" upon it.

The woman sobs heartbrokenly and scarcely acknowledges your entrance.
Oswald Weiss
 player, 96 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 16:24
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
In reply to DM (msg # 271):

Oz takes in the home's disheveled appearance and its owner's matching ensemble for a moment, then clears his throat.

"Er...Mary, I presume?"

He waits for acknowledgement, but will proceed with or without it after a moment.

"My name is Oz. I'm a friend. Ismark told us that something happened to Gertruda; that she was missing? We're...travelers, and we'd like to keep an eye out for her when we move on to the next village. Anything you can tell us about her -- appearance, mannerisms, and the like -- would be helpful."
DM
 GM, 84 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 18:03
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
In reply to Oswald Weiss (msg # 272):

Mary raises one bleary eye to Oz as he speaks.

"A. . . . . .friend?" she croaks in a voice rough with a combination of disuse, weeping, and dehydration. "Friend" seems as though it is a foreign concept to her.

"Gertruda. . . . . .why should you care about her?  Nobody else does."
Astrid Gunnarsdottir
 player, 50 posts
 A little bit Viking
 A little bit rock'n'roll
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 19:02
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
I have some experience being a young woman stranded in an unfamiliar place.  I wouldn't want anyone else to have to go through that.  Astrid smiles, wearing a sympathetic expression.  While we go about our travels, we would like to keep our eyes open in case we see any sign of Gertruda, but to do that we need to know a little about her.

[Persuasion 12]
DM
 GM, 85 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 20:42
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Mary reaches out a dirty hand while still clutching the doll with her other arm and gently strokes Astrid's red-gold hair.

"So bright. . ." she says. "Gertruda's hair isn't bright though.  It's dark, dark like a night sky, like a raven's wing. . . ."

Mary continues in this vein for a bit, crooning nonsense words and stroking Astrid's hair.

"I told her not to leave," the mad woman says after a time, speaking almost as if to herself. "She wanted to.  She wanted to see other places.  Magic forests and castles from her fairy stories. But I kept her inside.  Too dangerous to leave the village, too dangerous even to go outside.  But she wouldn't listen.  She wouldn't listen. . . . .oooh. . . . ."

After this bit of coherency, the weeping begins again.
Oswald Weiss
 player, 97 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 20:54
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
In reply to DM (msg # 275):

"Did she take things with her? Food, supplies, coin, a horse? We need to get a handle on how far she could have gotten on her own."

Though if this home was a prison, perhaps she was right to flee it...

He frowns slightly.

"What is your trade, Mary? Did you pass it on to your daughter? That, too, may help us discover where she's gone off to."

This message was last edited by the player at 20:55, Wed 15 Mar 2017.

Alaric von Innsbruck
 player, 67 posts
 Silver for monsters
 Steel for men
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 21:09
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Alaric listens from his place leaning against the threshold, present more out of boredom and idle curiosity.

Can't blame the girl for wanting to leave this place. With any luck, she got away and is far from here.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:10, Wed 15 Mar 2017.

DM
 GM, 86 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 21:29
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
Mary by and large ignores Oz's line of inquiry.  However, if the questions are relayed to her via Astrid, you slowly and painstakingly learn the following:

--Mary doesn't really have a "trade" per se; she does do some sewing and laundry for the village.

--Gertruda didn't take anything with her when she left.

--Her mother, paranoid of any danger befalling her daughter, essentially kept the girl under house arrest for almost all of her life.

--the pale man leaning against the threshold is gross and creepy and make him go away, please.

--Astrid has pretty, pretty hair.
Oswald Weiss
 player, 98 posts
 Unbent. Unbroken.
 Inflammable.
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 21:42
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
In reply to DM (msg # 278):

"If she didn't take anything, she can't have gone far. Or she didn't leave of her own accord. How did she get out? Were there broken doors or windows?"

He sighs as his inquiries are ignored and waits to see if Astrid will translate.
Nico Viszco
 player, 36 posts
 Ace of Swords
 The Silent Blade
Wed 15 Mar 2017
at 22:08
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
[OOC: Here are a few things that Nico said/did at various points. Sorry to ret-con, but none of this should change things much, if at all.]

(#219) Greeting to Ireena: Nico pauses, taking in Ireena’s beauty. I am Nico Viszco. Pleased to make your acquaintance, even in these dark times. I hope we can help you.

(#222) Noting Ireena’s lingering gaze (and Ismark’s attention to it), Nico smiles in what he hopes is a neutral way. It is not the first time a young lady has been drawn to him, and he loves the attention, even in such dire times. Well, now I definitely hope there is a cure to her affliction.

Nico remains mostly quiet during the questioning, mulling his own thoughts on the matter. He is somehow able to keep a blank face when Ireena speaks of Ismark inviting the group into her bedchamber (#232).

With talk of the funeral (#240), Nico agrees with Oz: Of course, I will be with you when you lay your father to rest. With this, Nico briefly touches Ireena on the hand in sympathy (not in a creepy way), and pats Ismark on the side of his arm (also not in a creepy way).

(#242) In reply to Alaric’s blunt, dire pronouncements about Ireena’s fate (and the siblings’ response to them), Now that we are here and have heard your plight, I cannot turn away. I will help you.

(#249) In Bildrath’s shop, Nico purchases a sling (1 sp) and bullets (4 cp for 20). Assuming he can get these items for 2 sp (they actually cost 1.4 sp per PHB, so he’s overpaying a bit), he doesn’t bother to haggle or otherwise engage with the surly Bildrath.

(#267) After the shopping trip, Nico decides to hang out with Ismark and Ireena until the funeral (if they'll have him) rather than visit Mad Mary. Having given his word, he doesn’t want to miss the ceremony. Plus, he doesn’t exactly mind being around Ireena. To Ismark and Ireena, Is there anything I can do to help you prepare for the funeral?

He also agrees with Alaric that the teenage Gertruda probably ran off with a young man- (possibly a handsome Vistano not unlike Nico himself). Perhaps he will ask the Vistani about Gertruda when the group visits their camp later on.
DM
 GM, 89 posts
 Goddess of Destruction
 Love Me & Despair
Thu 16 Mar 2017
at 00:01
Chapter 1: There Wolf, There Castle
With Astrid once again serving as "interpreter," you are able to figure out that Gertruda didn't stage a daring escape in the dead of night.  She simply walked out of the house in the middle of the day while her mother was delivering a load of laundry.  Probably a wise move, given the wolf/undead abomination problem.

Mary dissolves into sobs and you are unable to get any further information from her.

Ismark and Ireena graciously allow Nico to accompany them back to the manse, although Ismark finagles it such that his sister is never alone in the room with the Vistano rogue.

Soon enough, as a bloody red sun begins to sink below the horizon and the mists of Barovia creep in, the time for the funeral arrives. . . .


~END CHAPTER 1~
~Alaric, Astrid, Joaquin, Nico, Oz, & Tobias have all reached level 2. Please update your character sheets accordingly~

[My original intent was to have you all level up once you departed Barovia. It would have been more dramatically appropriate. However, I have decided to go ahead and have you all do so now.  For reasons.]