Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 273 posts
Thu 23 May 2019
at 19:05
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
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.

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

Sir Constantine Godalming
 player, 116 posts
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Thu 23 May 2019
at 23:52
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
SCG eyes the ramshackle dwelling of the farmer, he wonders what if anything is actually here, he also knows how long it might take to search a farmstead including the fields.

Any other buildings?

Today: Sir Constantine Godalming rolled 16 using 1d20.  Perception

“We should cover the back as well so no one escapes.”

This message was last edited by the player at 23:55, Thu 23 May.

GM
 GM, 275 posts
Fri 24 May 2019
at 18:41
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
Constantine made a quick circuit of Gibs' property, taking stock before delving into a deeper investigation.

His home was a shack on the outskirts of town, half a mile beyond that lay his modest fields. He worked an acre of barley and an acre of turnips, plus a small animal pen that was empty at the moment. There was alfalfa in the feed trough and water in the drinking trough though, all indications were that there had been livestock penned there until very recently.

The house was a small one story structure, built sturdily like most Ravengro homes without ornament or ostentation. The door was ajar and swung ominously in the wind as Constantine approached.

It was a two room structure; a front sitting room with a hearth, shelves, and scrubbed dining table; and a bedroom with simple furnishings, a bed and washstand. The shaving kit was open and conspicuously missing the straight razor.

An examination of the house showed little more than the modest possessions and tools of an elderly farmer living on his own.

When Constantine circled the house he found the door to a root cellar set against the back wall. It swung open with a creak and as he descended the musty smell of decay met his nostrils. The cellar was small, he had to stoop to enter, but there was ample evidence of Gibs' nighttime forays. There were no bodies, but splashes of blood stained the walls crimson and the earth floor black-brown. There were no bodies, human or otherwise, but a pile of bloody rags--discarded clothing--had been tossed haphazardly into one corner.
Keanala Stonesmarque
 player, 36 posts
Sat 25 May 2019
at 04:13
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
Keanala had seen enough exorcisms that she was not interested in viewing another.  Besides, she felt that whatever might she possess Gibs, might have done so at his home.  It seemed like the logical choice.

Bow in hand and an arrow ready to nock into it, Keanala followed behind Constantine.  She grimaced at the sight of the bloody rags.  "I don't think that barley bleeds like that.  I think we've found where he was collecting his ink."

Holding her free hand up, Keanala gave a soft prayer as she cast.

OOC:
Casting Detect Evil

Sir Constantine Godalming
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Sat 25 May 2019
at 13:46
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
SCG stays in front..
Recalling the vermin he eyes the pile of rags suspiciously
“Carefully now as sometimes evil lurks and lies in wait.”

SCG considers the value of retaining the rags versus burning them as soon as prudent

“What do you see?”
Darcon
 player, 57 posts
Sun 26 May 2019
at 15:16
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
Darcon had followed Contantine and Keanala to the slasher's cottage, knowing Garland would find help enough at the temple. When they arrived at the killer's cottage, Darcon peered over the furnishings and rooms, trying to find anything of interest or amiss, such as a hollow sound as they crossed the floorboards, a discolored wall hiding a secret room and so on.

When Constantine descended into the cellar followed by Keanala, Darcon remained behind the duo, standing in the doorway and peering over their shoulders cautiously as they investigated; the mage took the occasionally glance behind him in case someone or something decided to sneak up on them.
Perception: 15
GM
 GM, 277 posts
Tue 28 May 2019
at 17:52
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
Keanala's magical scan of the cellar revealed nothing. Not unusual considering the limits of the spell. While evil clearly steeped the area, while evil intents had been behind the mess of bloody rags and splattered gore, there were no evil creatures with a powerful enough aura to trigger the spell present currently.

A more thorough investigation of the house and cellar revealed the grotesque and unsettling, but nothing of imminent danger. The house showed no signs of Gibs' madness, no secret writings, no dark tomes of eldritch lore. There was simple trappings and furniture, a dust covered chair on which sat a needlepoint frame long abandoned. The rest of the house was not noteworthy.

The root cellar was splashed with blood, not with the deliberate and decorative sprays that had graced the monument, but with the minor puddles and smears of a man who had hastily cleaned himself and discarded bloodstained clothing. Beneath the pile of clothes Darcon found an empty waterskin, its neck coated with dried blood.

A hasty search revealed no more.
Sir Constantine Godalming
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Tue 28 May 2019
at 18:02
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
SCG shakes his head and knows that perhaps some scrap of parchment or token of evil could be among the clothes or buried beneath.

“Let us go through this pile a single garment at a time and clear this cellar of this vileness, and burn the rags, though be careful to note clothing that may not be the farmers as more than the sheriff may have been murdered.”
Darcon
 player, 58 posts
Tue 28 May 2019
at 20:34
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
"Do we really need to do that?" Darcon asked Constantine, his grimacing in distaste at the thought of going through the bloodied garments. "If Gibs really was ensorcelled as it appears, I doubt he would have left anything of note that might help us understand his motives. Likely someone, or something controlled him from a distance; if there was something important here we would have found it by now" said the mage matter of factly.

Gesturing with his staff back the way they came he added, "We will have better luck at the temple with Garland; once the priests are done with him we could try interrogation, using any number of methods to figure out what happened."

Darcon's tone turned sinister as he mentioned 'any number of methods' though he did not elaborate further.
Sir Constantine Godalming
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Tue 28 May 2019
at 23:10
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
“I agree the task is distasteful perhaps you could build a small fire outside  and I can clear this assortment of bloody garments at the least it will tell us if this farmer was the only one enspelled thus far, here should lie the rags all the way back to the first V.”

SCG considers the old hermit and the isolation that perhaps was the reason he was targeted or perhaps it was the anger the man carried in his heart, many men carried such dark burdens.

This message was last edited by the player at 00:27, Wed 29 May.

Keanala Stonesmarque
 player, 37 posts
Wed 29 May 2019
at 03:57
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
"Ah, Constantine.  You sure know how to show a girl a good time."  Keanala said as she knelt down near the bloody rags.  She frowned at the mess.  As distasteful as the task may be, it had to be done.  And it wasn't as if she hadn't been elbows deep in bloody messes before.  "Why my heart is all a-flutter."

Using an arrow instead of her hands, Keanala starts to sort through the rags looking for any more information.  "If Gibs was ensorcelled, then there may be a clue to the method and identity somewhere here.  It's not my first choice for how to spend a day but we can't pass up on the chance that there may be something here."
Sir Constantine Godalming
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Wed 29 May 2019
at 11:39
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
SCG also pitches in to help using an arrow as well

“We will lay the pieces out by the fire and see if some clue emerges from the garments.

Not a glamorous task but if there is something to be found ... ....

“I hope the others are able to free the man and ask him for information.”
GM
 GM, 280 posts
Wed 29 May 2019
at 18:43
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
After their cursory search our heroes began a much more thorough examination. They went gingerly over every scrap of evidence that they could find, taking the time to be nearly 20 times as thorough as their original search.

They discovered everything and the most marked clue was how...sloppy it all was.

This was not a murderer who had taken special care with his macabre tools. It looked like he had simply stripped off and discarded his bloody clothing in the basement without any particular care for hiding or concealing them. There weren't five full sets of clothing, he had perhaps worn the same outfit two or thee time before it was too bloodied to escape notice, but the bloodstained shirts and pants discarded in the root cellar hadn't been cleaned or hidden.

While moving the clothing out to the pyre Keanala spotted a low shape out in the barley field. A closer examination found two dead dogs, a dead goat, and after some more searching a slashed up rat carcass that had been dumped in the tall wheat. They hadn't been particularly hidden either, simply carried deep enough to be out of sight and then dumped.

There was even splattered evidence that suggested he had splashed himself clean in the water trough before heading back to the hut.

The overall impression was a vandal, and then murderer, who had done the absolute minimum to avoid being caught immediately.
Sir Constantine Godalming
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Wed 29 May 2019
at 21:40
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
SCG shakes his head looking back and forth to the fire and the clothes...
“Perhaps we should bring the man here and the deputies and surely he can tell us how it came to be.  Also it appears we have found the man we are meant to find.”

“If the exsorism is ended by now.”
Keanala Stonesmarque
 player, 38 posts
Thu 30 May 2019
at 04:14
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
Keanala stared at the dead animal corpses and sucked her teeth.  "The man didn't care.  Look at all of this, all of this mess.  He didn't even try to hide his actions.  Anyone who came out here would have to have been blind not to see this."

She turned away from the corpses and walked back to where Constantine was standing.  She put a hand on the mans shoulder.  "I don't know if we should bring anyone else out here besides priests.  This is not a place for the weak of stomach."
Darcon
 player, 59 posts
Thu 30 May 2019
at 14:40
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
"We can tell the others about this; at the very least, the man cannot deny what he has done, not with all this evidence. If he was forced to do so against his will by an enchantment, this might jog his memory and help us determine who, or what, ensorcelled him," Darcon remarked, staring at the bloodied corpses of the animals.
GM
 GM, 282 posts
Thu 30 May 2019
at 18:16
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
With the bloody clothing burned and the bodies dragged out into the open the scene seemed a little less grim. The root cellar was still a bloody mess and the dead were no less dead, but it was good to at least have a handle on the scene of the crime.



Let me know what course of action you decide on.
Sir Constantine Godalming
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Sun 2 Jun 2019
at 12:02
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
“Aye we shall bring the man here and let him behold days and days of blood soaked clothes and dead animals in his own place.  Perhaps he will know the truth perhaps he will not.  But the murderer no doubt came here after each and every gruesome act.”

SCG is content to wait for the others to come here and see the evidence firsthand
GM
 GM, 284 posts
Mon 3 Jun 2019
at 18:02
Chapter 1.4 - In the Dark of the Night
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.

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