Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 112 posts
 Chicanery?
 Count me in
Wed 22 May 2019
at 00:36
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"Let us subdue the man, but touch not the razor it is perhaps one of the objects or cursed origins."

SCG looks around attempting to see through the mist and perhaps identify the others who had cast the magics.....
Keanala Stonesmarque
 player, 33 posts
Wed 22 May 2019
at 01:35
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Keanala was breathing and as she lessened the tension in her shortbow.  "Erastils Teeth, what was with that guy?  'Know your place, Woman'?  I suppose that I should be flattered that he saw me as a woman, but still.  I've never met a sexist razor blade before but there is an easy way to find out if the thing is cursed or not."

The Oread knelt down near the razor and held out her hand.  Palm pointed towards the blade, she uttered a soft prayer to Erastil.

OOC:
Casting Detect magic on the razor.

GM
 GM, 271 posts
Wed 22 May 2019
at 18:43
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
At Constantine's suggestion our heroes wasted little time rolling the unconscious Gibs onto his stomach and tying his wrists and ankles into a neat little package in the small of his back. They double checked the ropes, he wasn't going anywhere.

Keanala's spell of detection played over the area and revealed no magic on the razor itself. After a brief conference with Darcon she was able to confirm all of the auras that he had detected. The party's magic faded quickly, and the more powerful spells infusing the area began to fade as well. Indeed, even the fog began to thin, allowing the pale moon to shine down on the scene. After several rounds of concentration all traces of magic had faded away, leaving only a knot of adventurers surrounding an unconscious and bound malcontent.
Keanala Stonesmarque
 player, 35 posts
Thu 23 May 2019
at 02:20
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Keanala frowned down at the razor blade.  She had been expecting the thing to be cursed but it didn't look like that was the case.  "Way I see it, we've got two situations here." she started, crossing her arms.  "Either this guy is some sort of insane razor killer, or someone else is pulling his strings.  And I'm really curious as to why he seemed to be focussing on me?  Can't say that I've had many suitors try to romance me with cuts from a razor.  And his whole 'Know your place woman' bit.  Did that sound odd to any of you?"
Garland Van Burke
 player, 92 posts
Thu 23 May 2019
at 03:53
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland doesnt waste anytime before he reaches down and ties the man's hands behind his back before throwing him up on one shoulder, though with great difficulty. "My suspicions were correct and we have no time to waste. Pharasma's temple waits, and its clerics wait to perform an excorsism. When we are safe I will see to everyones wounds and we can discuss what we saw."

He doesnt waste anytime before carrying the subdued vandal to the temple over one shoulder, every step being a struggle as Garland was a scholar, not a porter. When he arrived at the temple he banged his hand on the doors three times as hard as he could and shouted. "It's Garland, we have the killer! Open your doors!"

This message was last edited by the player at 03:58, Thu 23 May.

Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 114 posts
 Chicanery?
 Count me in
Thu 23 May 2019
at 11:44
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
SCG has experience in law enforcement and suggests several things...“First is to secure this area and find where the spellcaster hid, second is the prisoner for questioning; if enspelled he can say who, so his life must be preserved and lastly we should likewise go to this man’s house perhaps a few of us, if evidence is there and he had an accomplice anything incriminating will be gone shortly.”
GM
 GM, 272 posts
Thu 23 May 2019
at 19:00
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland's pounding roused immediate action from within the temple, the sounds of rustling robes and sliding furniture emanating through the door before it swung open to reveal the robed figure of Father Grimburrow. Rather than his simple robes he wore an ornate cassock worked at breast and shoulder with silver inlaid filigree depicting the spiraling comet of Pharasma.

Behind him the acolytes were quickly moving the pews out of the center of the church, leaving a large, open space.

"Quickly, set him down there." Father Grimburrow said as two acolytes dragged a heavy wooden table to the center of the floor. It didn't match the rest of the furniture in the temple, the Father had probably borrowed it from a nearby farm when Garland asked him to make ready.

As he leaned over the unconscious Gibs a look of surprise washed over his face.

"Gibs Hephenus? He may not have been the most upstanding citizen, but he lived quiet life on his farm alone, since his wife left. In my heart I hoped that the vandal wasn't among the townsfolk. What happened?"



Meanwhile in the town square Constantine made a quick circuit of the monument, peering into the shadows in an attempt to catch Gibs' confederate.

There were no other figures lurking in the mist, no sound of falling feet, no fleeing figures. Apart from his compatriots departing on their way to the temple the square seemed deserted. Indeed, with the townfolk too terrified to venture out at night the entire town was as empty and quiet as an open grave.

He had little luck tracking Gibs' steps or tracking his passage, but with a passing familiarity of the town's layout garnered over the previous few weeks he was easily able to find the old farmer's shack.

Exit to Chapter 1.4 - link to a message in this game

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:05, Thu 23 May.

Garland Van Burke
 player, 93 posts
Thu 23 May 2019
at 20:12
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland sets him down on the tables, breathing heavily and wiping the sweat from his brow with a gloved hand. It was clear that such physical labor was not something he was used to. Between his heavy panting for air he explained "This was not the man I saw in the graveyard. He was a completely different man tonight, one that had a grudge against our female counterpart, Keanala for only being a woman. He was the vandal of the monument and the killer of the sherrif...or as I suspect the instrument of those crimes. Recently I came across documents detailing one of the notorious prisoners of Harrowstone. I believe Professor Hean Feramin is our true culprit. A man known for killing women, spelling out their names one letter at a time in delivered notes and messages before killing them in some gruesome manner. Why he is spelling out the name of the Harrowstone warden's widow is a piece of the puzzle I have not uncovered yet."
GM
 GM, 276 posts
Fri 24 May 2019
at 18:56
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"The warden's widow? What interest would an evil spirit have with the warden's wife? No matter. Stand back." Father Gimburrow commanded his acolytes.

They shuffled to the edges of the room, eyes wide, clutching their holy symbols as they watched with horrified curiosity. The father gave Garland a censer full of pungent herbs, dried and smoldering and exuding a heavy smoke. It billowed out and settled near the floor, swirling around their ankles.

As Garland paced around the unconscious figure on the table Father Grimburrow took up his place at the head, reading in a resounding voice that seemed at odds with his regular diffident mien. He read out from Pharasma's holy book, his other hand held an aspergillum filled with holy water that he flicked towards Gibs with each booming paragraph.

Garland recognized the spells that he cast, including protection from evil, bless and consecrate.

The torches in the room began to flicker wildly as if tossed by invisible wind. The light dimmed. Shadows lengthened and lept. With a sudden shriek Gibs sat bolt upright on the table, his face as slack and expressionless as it had been during the battle.

"Hold him!" Father Grimburrow boomed out, thrusting forward his holy symbol. Two of the acolytes, Enos and another, dashed forward to seize Gibs by the shoulders and thrust him down on the table. A third fainted dead away.

Grimburrow's chant rose to a fever pitch, Gibs' body pitched and bucked on the table, moaning and gibbering, his face blank.

Then, with a final mighty chant, Father Gimburrow snapped his book shut and threw it behind him. He raised his holy symbol high and shouted a command for the evil spirit to depart. Gibs flopped back onto the table, senseless.

Shadows fled as light and life returned to the room.
Garland Van Burke
 player, 94 posts
Sat 25 May 2019
at 22:46
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland walked forward reaching his hand out and set it on Gibs cheek, patting it a few times as he spoke. "Pharasma's faithful have aided you, now wake." he said aloud, waiting a moment to see if he would indeed wake before repeating the pattern.
GM
 GM, 278 posts
Tue 28 May 2019
at 18:01
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
It took many long minutes of shaking to rouse the senseless Gibs, and the acolytes clustered around warily. One had a dagger that he held in unfamiliar hands, another had armed himself with a heavy brass candlestick poised to brain Gibs if he showed signs of hostility.

At length the old farmer groaned and rubbed his head. The acolytes started at the motion and backed away cautiously as he sat up.

He blinked and looked around, puzzled. As he came to his senses a surly, resentful look settled over his features. He was clearly not happy to awaken somewhere other than his bed.

"Oi, what'm I doin' in the temple?" He asked.

His eyes fixed on the acolyte brandishing the dagger and waved him off in angry dismissal.

"Put it away afore you hurt yourself, boy." He said, sounding more grumpy than hostile.
Garland Van Burke
 player, 95 posts
Wed 29 May 2019
at 03:21
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland raises a single hand to halt everyone. "Cool heads prevail." he said more to the priests then the acolytes that were gathered in the chamber. "Your priests have done an excellent job Father. For now, I suggest they rest for the evening while you and I conduct an interview with our guest." he said aloud in an even tone, wanting as few ears in the room as possible.

Garland looked back at Gibs, not knowing if the man would recognize him from the funeral the other day but this was more about gathering information. "We will answer all your question but first please tell us the last thing you remember. Please be as detailed as you can be."
GM
 GM, 279 posts
Wed 29 May 2019
at 18:24
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Father Grimburrow shooed out the acolytes as Garland set to questioning Gibs.

"Last thing I remember? What do yer mean by that?" Gibs said suspiciously.

He pushed himself off of the table. The light of recognition did indeed shine in his features, colored with suspicion and resentment.

"You damn outsiders, in league with that necromancer an' his daughter. Wakin' honest folks up in the middle of the night and dragging them out of bed."

He didn't seem at all inclined to cooperate with Garland. In fact he pushed himself up off the table and brushed past the two clerics on his way to the door.



12:17, Today: GM, on behalf of Garland Van Burke, rolled 2 using 1d20.  Diplomacy.
Garland Van Burke
 player, 96 posts
Thu 30 May 2019
at 01:17
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland looked darkly at the man. "If you go out that door you will eventually be charged with the vandalization of the monument and the murder of the sherrif. Last I heard they still hang killers in this county. Father Grimburrow and myself know these events were not your doing. For the last week every night you have been possessed and compeled to commit those acts. We are your only alibi and the only way to avoid the hangman's noose. Pharasma's followers will protect you if you work with us but if you go out that door we wont be able to help you. Without our help the spirit will keep taking over your body to commit these acts. At best, you'll be driven mad and eventually be imprisoned in an asylum...at worst, there wont be anything left of yourself. You will be a literal puppet for this spirit and there will be nothing left of Gibs the man. His dreams, his aspirations, his goals, his very concept of self will be swallowed up and discarded. A fate that is worse then death. Help us and we can help you avoid this fate."

He looked over at Father Grimburrow hoping his senior would step in. The man had the years of experience and greater resources then Garland and he hoped that he had the right words to make Gibs reconsider his situation.

18:16, Today: Garland Van Burke rolled 7 using 1d20+1.  diplomacy check.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:19, Thu 30 May.

GM
 GM, 281 posts
Thu 30 May 2019
at 18:08
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"He's right, my son." Father Grimburrow added, putting a restraining hand on Gibs' shoulder.

"You have not been yourself. You have been under a dark influence."

Gibs hesitated, and for a moment doubt wavered on his features. But in the end his dislike for Garland, his disdain of ecclesiastical authority, and horrified denial of his own actions won out.

He shook the old priest's hand off angrily and pushed past Garland.

"You're mad, I ain't done no such thing. I'll bet you bin paintin' up the monument at night, you and your little friends. And now you're trying to blame it on an honest citizen. Your head is full of ghost stories and nonsense. Yer a coward, and I'll have nothin' more to do with ye."

He shoulder checked Garland as he pushed past him, stalked to the temple doors, and pushed them open.

"If you or any of your outlander friends harass me again I'll thump you so hard yore old mam will feel it." He said, leveling a pointed finger at Garland.

He whirled and stalked out into the night.



Even with an assist from Father Grimburrow Garland doesn't have any success convincing Gibs of the truth of his claims. He's currently headed towards his home on the outskirts of town. He's moving slowly, still weak from the fight.

Garland Van Burke
 player, 97 posts
Sun 2 Jun 2019
at 03:11
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Garland leaned back against the altar and sighed, closing his eyes as he tried to find some peace in the moment. He looked up at his senoir and smiled, speaking softly "I hoped that would go better then it did but I suppose it could have been far, far worse. Perhaps I need to change my approach...thank you for your help tonight. Ill at least make sure he gets home safe."

Garland followed behind him, quickly catching up to the wounded man. "Slow down! You may hate me but I will not abandon someone to the night. I will escort you home. All manner of creatures lurk in the night, I doubt you wish to face any one of them with just a razor."
GM
 GM, 283 posts
Mon 3 Jun 2019
at 18:02
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"You stay away from me, priest." Gibs spat, pointing an accusative finger as he marched off towards his home.

As Garland kept pace with him he continued to fume silently, although he didn't take any overtly hostile actions. He made it clear through his body language and the various harrumphs and snorts that Garland's company was most unwelcome.



It wasn't long before a pair of figures began to resolve themselves through the darkness hustling towards Gibs' shack at a brisk clip. The first was the man himself, Gibs was fuming along and studiously ignoring the figure at his elbow.

The second was Garland, keeping pace a couple of steps behind the irate elderly farmer.

Entry from Chapter 1.4 - link to a message in this game



When Gibs came upon the scene outside his shack his face was transformed with rage in a way quite unlike his calm demeanor during the fight in the square.

"You four!" He shouted, pointing to Constantine, Darcon, and Keanala, with Kendra sticking to the background of their activities looking very pale and trying not to be ill.

"And you!" He swung his finger back around to Garland.

"You have been harassing me ever since ye came to town! Outsiders, pokin' yer noses where they don't belong. Get off my property at once!"
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 123 posts
 Chicanery?
 Count me in
Mon 3 Jun 2019
at 18:28
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
“Is there a reason that your cellar is awashed in blood and your clothes likewise drenched and dead animals litter your land?”
Garland Van Burke
 player, 98 posts
Tue 4 Jun 2019
at 03:57
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"We are trying to help you Gibs. How many sleepless nights have you had? How many times have you woken up covered in blood? How many times did you wake from nightmares that seemed a little to real? That is the proof that you've been controlled. I can accept if you dont want to trust me, but trust Father Grimburrow. The man you've known for years told you the truth when he said you've been under the control of a dark influence. He has the power and resources to help you and you know you can trust him."
GM
 GM, 286 posts
Tue 4 Jun 2019
at 18:17
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Perhaps it was some malign influence hardening his mind, perhaps it was his own curmudgeonly nature, perhaps it was hatred and mistrust of outsiders. But whatever doubt flickered over Gibs' face was quickly replaced with a mask of fury and hopeless denial.

"Dead..." He looked confused, clearly this was the first that he had seen of any dead animals on his property.

"M-maybe you put them there! You're harassing me...you're...you're all harassing me!" His words sounded more and more desperate.

"It's a conspiracy! You're outsiders! Necromancers! Sorcerers!" He ranted, stomping back and forth.

He blustered up to Constantine and gave him a shove.

"Get off of my property, now. This instant. Leave! Begone!"

He backed away, towards the safety of his hut, pointing an accusing finger at our heroes.
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 124 posts
 Chicanery?
 Count me in
Tue 4 Jun 2019
at 19:48
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
“I am a Paladin and you sir are in most desperate need of a door to redemption.  I beg you to not try and face down the demons it is too much for one man to bear alone.  The fear is clear upon you and it is obviously not us you fear at all, let us be of help to you.”


Sir Constantine Godalming rolled 14 using 1d20+8.  Diplomacy

This message was last edited by the player at 19:50, Tue 04 June.

Darcon
 player, 60 posts
Tue 4 Jun 2019
at 20:31
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Surreptitiously gesturing towards his companions to maintain a distance from the disturbed man, Darcon cautiously approached him, keeping a safe distance away and holding out a hand as if to show he was unarmed, save for the simple staff in his other hand.

"Please remain calm, we mean you no harm, and will leave this place if that is truly your desire," the mage said in a soft yet clear voice, while trying to keep the recent  and all too vivid flashbacks of Gibs as the crazed slasher in the back of his mind.

As he spoke Darcon murmured mystic words in an even softer voice, letting the wind carry his words towards the man. "Singula leporem," he chanted quietly, over and over while staring into Gibs's eyes and smiling pleasantly.
GM
 GM, 288 posts
Wed 5 Jun 2019
at 18:28
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
"You keep your foul...ma...gic..." Gibs began to rant when Darcon cast his spell, but his fury calmed as the magics took effect on him. It remained to be seen how he would deal with being ensorcelled when the spell wore off, but for now his mind was Darcon's plaything.

Horror and shock suffused his features as his anger was suppressed.

"By the gods, what have I done?"

He dropped to his knees, horrified eyes sweeping over the bodies and the bloody clothing.

"You have to help me, I didn't do this. I don't remember doing this! It wasn't me!"
Darcon
 player, 61 posts
Wed 5 Jun 2019
at 20:05
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
Moving over to stand besides the beleaguered Gibs, Darcon listened to what he said but did not reply immediately, allowing Gibs a few moments to absorb and process what he had done.

Then the mage said, "We are trying to help you, but in order for us to do so you have to tell us the last thing you remember before waking up in the temple today. Where do you remember being before that, and who was the last person you spoke with?"
Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 126 posts
 Chicanery?
 Count me in
Wed 5 Jun 2019
at 23:52
Re: Chapter 1 - Ashes to Ashes
“Yes any detail is not too small to help right this wrong.”