Session #2: The Goddess of Barrowmound.   Posted by DM.Group: 0
Cinderclaw
 player, 75 posts
 Fierce Fire, Fiuid Flame
 All Is Mine To Claim
Sun 29 Oct 2017
at 17:03
Re: Session #2
Cinder looked back at Itsvan with the calm of a man who either has a plan, or has no notion of what it is that perplexes one in this manner.  He had not seen Istavn this impassioned on anything as yet (except from what had happened earlier today, and that was understandable), but Cinder could think of no reason, regardless of the effect of the flowers, that could or would warrant such emotion.

"Look about you, Istavn.  This town is filled with these flowers, and the Preistess's followers would do her bidding at all costs, it would appear.  Being in the town itself is a disadvantage.  However, if we knew something about the Priestess that she would have to act upon, mayhap we could lure her from her sanctum and have her meet us ... elsewhere," he speculated.
Istvan Vanoson
 player, 129 posts
 HP: 23/23
Sun 29 Oct 2017
at 17:04
Re: Session #2
In reply to Cinderclaw (msg # 68):

"That's a great idea... but what?"
DM
 GM, 146 posts
Sun 29 Oct 2017
at 17:20
Re: Session #2
In reply to Cinderclaw (msg # 66):

Cinderclaw, from your time in the Village that Was and the Temple of the Forbidden Flame you have gained some knowledge of rituals and sects. You peice that information with the evidence you found in the town hall and the barmaid's words. She does seem to be performing nightly rituals with some of the top officials.

In similar rituals blood is offered to the priest or priestess who represents his/her god/goddess. The details vary on how much blood and to what the religious figure does after, but gist is that the blood represents giving away power to make the diety stronger. In exchange it becomes a part of you and you it.

The townspeople are really happy and the merchants especially prospering. You'd say maybe a couple dozen people have no hint of 'mind control' or religious fervor, the rest have atleast something influencing their thinking. The guards and government especially are controlled.

As for the delayed festival the stories you've heard vary. Sometimes it's a simple statue burning, sometimes a live burning of a sacrfice, sometimes the start of a religois orgy. Pagan beliefs like these can vary depending on the particular religon. At this time you aren't sure of what it could be, but you get the hint that the priestess needs it to happen to continue with her worship.
Dame Helena Fletcher
 player, 148 posts
Sun 29 Oct 2017
at 17:30
Re: Session #2
In reply to Istvan Vanoson (msg # 69):

"We can find somethin' to draw her out, by either spyin', sendin' me in or both. I've got ample reason to be granted an audience, an' if must needs I can bring a deal more to bear. So, Istvan's idea first, followed by Cinderclaw's. On loosens t'other."
Istvan Vanoson
 player, 132 posts
 HP: 23/23
Sun 29 Oct 2017
at 18:53
Re: Session #2
In reply to Dame Helena Fletcher (msg # 71):

"No, no, you're too valuable to risk, sending you in alone. For that matter, what if they turn your mind against the rest of us? Let's go see what kind of windows the rectory has, and if we can maybe crack one open and eavesdrop on anything."

"Everybody ready to go? I think we should go immediately, now that it's dark out..."

Dame Helena Fletcher
 player, 151 posts
Sun 29 Oct 2017
at 19:23
Re: Session #2
Istvan Vanoson:
"No, no, you're too valuable to risk, sending you in alone. For that matter, what if they turn your mind against the rest of us?"

"Heh. There ain't two words in there that make a lick o'sense, but I appreciate the sentiment. Let's go."
DM
 GM, 148 posts
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 12:17
Re: Session #2
Late night rolls around. The bars patrons have all either gone home, retired to their rooms or passed out on the table. Through watching outside over the course of the evening you've been able to ascertain the basic guard posting schedule:

-There are always atleast four guards posted at the gate, two up on the wall and two by the doors themselves.
-There are at most two guards for each section (for ease we will refer to them as the North, South, East, and West). One of these pairs circles the center where the town hall is about once every hour to hour and a half (if trouble is afoot in one of the sections).
-The guardhouse is located in the south section near the gates. About once every eight hours one of the guard duos leaves their section and heads to the guard house to be replaced with two new guards.

The tavern is located about six blocks down from the town hall in the eastern section, this area is a mix of middle class residences toward the center and taverns, butchers, bakers along the wall. Two guards have just passed by. Their names you've learned through eavesdropping are Andy Wainwright and Andy Cartwright, though they are typically referred to by their last names for obvious reasons.

What are you all doing and who is doing what?
Dame Helena Fletcher
 player, 157 posts
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 15:09
Re: Session #2
In reply to DM (msg # 74):

A minute or two after the Andys walk past, I trot up to them. I've doffed my helmet, holding it in my hands so they can see my brow furrowed with concern. Finally gonna put these worry lines to good use.

I try not to think about how I'm abusin' the truth as I tell these boys that I've got concerns about a paladin contingent that should have been here. There surely are regiments dispatched 'round the region, but I don't rightly know of any nearby, nor expected here anytime soon. Part of why I was sent out in the first place.

So, I focus on my general concern over how dangerous it is beyond the walls, and how anything capable of delayin' a troop o'holy rollers ain't to be trifled with and could show up under their noses without the least warnin'. Which, for what it's worth, it's prolly true.

So, I guide the Andys to their post, gatherin' round any guards who'll listen to an old woman ramble on in her raspy voice about the twin dangers of the wild world and of inattentiveness t'one's duty. The irony 'bout crushes me.
DM
 GM, 149 posts
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 16:43
Re: Session #2
You are able get the attention of the Andys who are at first unsure about the truth of your story. After seeing your realistic concern they decide it would be best to atleast check it out with the capitan. You head south and are able to draw the two southern section guards into your ruse as well. If you timed this right you feel you've bought the others atleast a couple hours before either the western or northern guards make their rounds.

 You and the distracted guards find yourself at the guardhouse. The late middle-aged guard capitan stands before you as you all tell him about the paladins. He has on a sturdy set of armor and an insignia designated him as leader of the guard.  He raises a bandaged hand to his chin as he rubs a scruffy goatee. "Well this town does need protecting, but we can't exactly have every guard posted along the wall or out at night in the hills looking for those old sword shiners, no offense. Can't this wait until morning?" He seems a bit unsure of what is the best way to proceed. Part of this is due to a slightly dazed look in his eyes. At last you notice a flower peeking out from the padding under his armor.

He is just as likely to send the guards out with you as he is to send him back outside depending on what you do to influence him. You can also just keep him talking for a bit longer. What do you want to do and how are you going about it?
Dame Helena Fletcher
 player, 158 posts
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 17:23
Re: Session #2
I am at a time in my life when I will never not be out of patience with bewildered men pretendin' to be in charge. I try to remember what having it was like, and I take a motherly yet commandin' tone with this fella.

"Young man, I'm sure you have the very best intentions. I see that in your face. I think what you're leaving outta yer reckonin' is that my friends are down in your fair city and, as friends o'mine, will not put up with any more nonsense than you and your fine guards would. Your folks down there are as safe as ever, if not moreso.

"Now, I'm sure you see that what we need is not to go wanderin' out into the dark our own selves. That's patent nonsense that'd just make things worse. No, my boy, we need to call out to whomever's out there and listen for their replies, so we know where they're at before we go to their aid."


This is also purest bunkum, o'course, which I'm plannin' to make worse by havin' the calls and and the listenin' overlap.

"I'll go around the wall issuin' instructions. Meanwhile," and I take him off to the side a bit, "I think you had better see to your appearance. I hate t'say it, but you look like Jack after he tumbled down and broke his crown, flowers pokin' out here and there. Wake yerself up and straighted out yer rig, son! Cain't expect to be a leader o'men looking like that!"
DM
 GM, 151 posts
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 17:41
Re: Session #2
The guard captain listens like a child to his mother. Your voice even cuts momentarily through the flower's intoxication and his eyes clear a bit. Straightening his clothes he says "Ahem, yes of course. That makes perfect sense. We haven't had much crime in town since the priestess.. well for a while now. Let's go men!" A couple guards look at each other but they quickly get in line to follow their leader and you out.

They all work on setting your ruse of a plan in motion. Meanwhile, the rest of you are...?
OOC: Let's wait and see how everyone else proceeds before swinging back to Dame Helena.
Istvan Vanoson
 player, 137 posts
 HP: 23/23
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 22:19
Re: Session #2
In reply to DM (msg # 78):

Istvan senses that with Dame Helena already doing her part (and doing it well), the rest of the plan needs some extra leadership to move forward.

"Okay, I'm taking Viserion, and we'll go and try to scout the rectory windows, and try to deal with the eavesdropping part of things. But that's going to be harder if we have a bear with us, so Fledge, you say you're giving Grumble his nightly walk, to use up his nervous energy. Cinderclaw, you stay with them-- Bad enough that Dame Helena's on her own, I'm not having us all do things individually. That'll mean that anyone not dealing with Dame Helena should be busy watching y'all and the bear. All right? Then let's go."
Viserion of the Wood
 player, 51 posts
 Elf of the forest islands
 HP-21/21, Armor=1
Tue 31 Oct 2017
at 02:36
Re: Session #2
In reply to Istvan Vanoson (msg # 79):

"I shall watch over you from above, and see what I can see-and hear what I can hear." He said to Istvan. Once they where out of view of the townsfolk, he would assume the form of an owl. Using the birds amazing hearing, night vision, and its silent flight to aid the warrior's efforts.

OOC-
22:33, Today: Viserion of the Wood rolled 12 using 2d6+2.  Change shape.

DM
 GM, 154 posts
Tue 31 Oct 2017
at 15:53
Re: Session #2
Viserion, you have 3 hold and these moves (in addition to the other owl abilities you mentioned)
-Cause unease with a foreboding cry
-Rip apart in a flyby attack
-Blend in with the night

Like I mentioned before you can still rip at things with your talons via hack and slash and sneak around dangerous areas with defy danger, etc. Your animal moves just let you autosucceed at the cost of a hold.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:22, Tue 31 Oct 2017.

Istvan Vanoson
 player, 138 posts
 HP: 23/23
Tue 31 Oct 2017
at 16:10
Re: Session #2
In reply to DM (msg # 81):

"Excellent, Viseriowl, let's go."
Cinderclaw
 player, 80 posts
 Fierce Fire, Fiuid Flame
 All Is Mine To Claim
Tue 31 Oct 2017
at 19:25
Re: Session #2
Cinder had remained in silent contemplation as the situation moved from a few words to plans of action ... and he did not like it.  Not one bit.  It seemed no one wanted to heed his words of caution.  Excitement, sentiment, or some other emotion clouding their judgement, he surmised.  They had no time to hear what he would have said about the figurine the Priestess had given out, and the possible consequences of what it actually meant.  With everyone so filled with an urge to discover and discern what was happening in this town, Cinder decided he would continue to keep his own counsel.  Should misfortune befall any of the party, he was here, but only time would reveal what was in store for them.

And so, his inner thoughts broken by the elegant way in which Viserion turned into his animal form(s), Cinder pulled up the hood of his cloak, and walked a little behind Fledge and his bear.  It should have been him who sought out the Priestess, ask her about the figurine and possibly confirm some of his suspicions.  Instead, he continued to follow, his thoughts again going back to the figurine, and how it was the Priestess either made them, or came by them.
Fledge
 player, 71 posts
 Veteran Goblin-Hunter
 HP 20/20
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 01:56
Re: Session #2
Fledge goes to check on Grumble while the others were about their business. He makes a show of it, not parading about but making sure the guards know he's checking in on the bear, making sure they have the bear's presence in mind. He gets Grumble to stretch his legs a bit, but he doesn't want to make the guards nervous. Nervous means rash decisions, and unpredictability, and that wouldn't be good for Grumble or for the plan. And so he keeps Grumble to their designated space.

"I keep expecting to hear a general alarm or something," he says quietly to Cinderclaw. Not a whisper, that's too suspicious, just low enough that they won't be overheard. "Arrest Istvan or Dame Helena, or both. Hard not knowing what they're up to. This cult seems strange, but I dunno, it's getting under Istvan's skin pretty bad I think." He muses while it exercises Grumble, long pauses inviting Cinderclaw to share his own thoughts, even while he keeps one eye on the guards and one ear open to the night.
Cinderclaw
 player, 88 posts
 Fierce Fire, Fiuid Flame
 All Is Mine To Claim
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 09:01
Re: Session #2
Cinder wondered about the quietness of the town and the twonspeople ever since they stepped out into the night.  It was different, but then, from his own observations, these flowers, whatever they were, had the power to make one's mind muddled, an effect akin to that he had witnessed from those who partook of certain types of mushrooms.

"I cannot say for true, but the people of the town seem ... happy, to have their minds addled, whether they know of it or not.  That they now prosper as well has an added effect, I should imagine.  A controlled town, and its people, is a quiet town.  Mayhap they have no need for guards themselves,, save to deter bandits, goblins, and the occasional outsider who may question their ways.  Strange equates to secrecy, and secrecy equates to nervousness, especially when one is not privy to said secrets," he replied, his voice also low.
DM
 GM, 155 posts
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 14:49
Re: Session #2
The large group passes close by the center of town within eyesight of the town hall. You don't see any guards nearby as you make your nonchalant circuit around "walking your bear". You give the rectory a once over. It appears to be relatively new construction that's about the size of a small one person hut. Two small slit-like windows are on the side walls and seem perfectly positioned to cast the moon or sun's light down inside. No candlelight or movement can be detected in there.

The town hall proper is much like you remember it. Now that the rain has stopped and the occasional moonbeam peirces through cloud cover, the ivy and other decorations shimmer and the flowers glow. About four circular windows sit high on each side of the town hall but even from your lower position you can see light casted from inside and the shadows of moving figures within.

Fledge, Grumble begins pulling you toward the flowers by the entrance doors and seems to be trying to get at them. What do you do?

Where is Viserion going to check out in his owl form?

What are Istvan Vanoson and Cinderclaw doing while Fledge deals with Grumble?


Dame Helena, you and the guards perform your almost slapstick performance of calling out for whatever is out in the darkness. Your calls overlap in a way that makes it impossible to listen for any answer any way. From up in the wall a guard shouts to you that he sees something and out of a interest you decide to believe him.

Once you get up on the wall where he is you look out by the forest and see a large shape or perhaps many shapes huddled together. You recognize this as a local creature (or creatures) that Fledge has warned you about. It is definitely predatory and though it usually isn't particularly drawn by human sounds here it is watching and listening to the hub bub. What is this creature?

 (OOC: You can either say "oh it's an owlbear, it's a forest basilisk", etc or just describe it/name it and I will make something based on that.)
Viserion of the Wood
 player, 53 posts
 Elf of the forest islands
 HP-21/21, Armor=1
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 14:52
Re: Session #2
The Owl will stay in the air, checking over the dark spots and out of the way allies in the town. More importantly, he will move to the highest spot in town and perch. Using the Owl's amazing hearing to focus in on various spots outside of town, and then the buildings within the walls. Listening in on any conversations that might be of interest.

OOC: Nope, don't hear anything remotely useful...
14:06, Today: Viserion of the Wood rolled 5 using 2d6+2.  Discern Realities.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:07, Wed 01 Nov 2017.

Dame Helena Fletcher
 player, 172 posts
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 15:53
Re: Session #2
DM:
Once you get up on the wall where he is you look out by the forest and see a large shape or perhaps many shapes huddled together. You recognize this as a local creature (or creatures) that Fledge has warned you about. It is definitely predatory and though it usually isn't particularly drawn by human sounds here it is watching and listening to the hub bub. What is this creature?

I ain't normally given to curse, for a number o'reasons, so I manage not to say what I think when I see what this kid had spotted. I manage to keep it to mutterin': "Well, doesn't that just figure?"

With all the plant-related oddness, even before reachin' this place, I had been asking Fledge and Viserion 'bout other weedy threats. When Fledge mentioned these, I figured he was pullin' my leg, to try to get me to lay off the questions. But, here they are, unless my eyes have finally decided to turn on me.

Topiary creatures: y'know, like the ones rich loons have got in their yards. Only someone once got really loony and thought they'd bring 'em to life, maybe as guards or pets or just because they was plump crazy. Who knows? But some of 'em got out (prolly after turnin' on their creator, which I hear is often the way of these things) and went feral, escaping into the wild and takin' to killin' animals for fertilizer for their seeds. That's about when I laughed at what I thought was Fledge tellin' a joke and dropped the subject.

I turn to the lad, who I'm not sure is ready for the whole story. "Say," I say, "Y'all got the fixin's for fire arrows handy?"
Fledge
 player, 72 posts
 Veteran Goblin-Hunter
 HP 20/20
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 19:14
Re: Session #2
"No, no no no," Fledge tuts at Grumble. "Poison. There's poison." He waves to indicate the flowers and the hall in general, and puts a hand on the bear's shoulder to guide it away.

"Come on, this way." He leads Grumble away some distance, enough to be away from the flowers.

"Hey Cinder, I was thinkin' I might stroll a little closer to the hall--did you see those lights on? Wanna keep an eye out? If any guards come you can tell them you're watching Grumble here."
Cinderclaw
 player, 89 posts
 Fierce Fire, Fiuid Flame
 All Is Mine To Claim
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 20:32
Re: Session #2
Cinder, who was still trailing slightly behind Fledge and Grumble, casually turned his head back to where the hall was situated and glanced at it for but a moment before turning back to face Fledge.  "I can discern both light emanating from it, and movement depicted by shadow," he said.  "Perhaps there is another ritual taking place.  If you desire to take a closer look, I shall be here, but be sure to take heed of the flowers.  Either shallow breaths, or a piece of cloth around the face might suffice," he finished, and stepped closer to the bear.
Fledge
 player, 73 posts
 Veteran Goblin-Hunter
 HP 20/20
Wed 1 Nov 2017
at 22:24
Re: Session #2
Fledge nods at Cinderclaw's advice. "Yeah, that's not a bad idea. If I start looking loopy, I'd take it as a personal favour if you dragged me away." It's only half a joke.

Fledge pulls his hood up and holds the side over his nose and mouth as he approaches the town hall--trying to look casual, just out for a stroll and holding off the cold night air. He slows near the windows, lingering and stalling, taking a look a the flowers (but not too closely of course!), anything to get a chance to hear, or better see something going on inside.
Istvan Vanoson
 player, 140 posts
 HP: 23/23
Thu 2 Nov 2017
at 01:34
Re: Session #2
In reply to Fledge (msg # 91):

Istvan was disappointed by the high windows of the rectory and the town hall. He hoped Viseriowl would hear something...

...He'd have to turn back to a human to tell them, though...

Since sticking an ear to the bottom of a window was out, he rejoined Fledge and Cinderclaw.

He started to say he'd try to get closer, instead... but realized any townspeople who might be watching them would be less likely to notice a halfling than a full-sized man like himself.

He idly petted Grumble, waiting to see what would happen to Fledge... ready to grab him away from the plants at any point if need be...