Part 1: The Cult.   Posted by Voice of the Void.Group: 0
Azregh
 player, 3 posts
Sat 2 Jan 2021
at 08:38
Part 1: The Cult
Azregh rode into town atop his steed, a sturdy looking beast named, if anyone had cared to ask, Areion. He rode near the front of the eclectic group as it formed, both to ward off the various beasts that plagued the path and to avoid extended conversation.

When Sienna offered food and spells, he declined curtly, knowing well enough that such were common tricks of the fae. He did not think she would try to entrap him in such a way, but better to not take the risk with someone he had just met, especially under such circumstances.

Speaking of the circumstances, his thoughts revolved around the letter he had been delivered by way of courier. At first he had suspected a simple trap of some sort, or an elaborate prank. As he encountered these perfect strangers however, all bearing precisely the same note, he began to feel hopeful for an actual lead at long last.

On arrival at Mossholm, he took in the hamlet briefly while tightening his traveling cloak and lowering the hood over his face in an attempt to at least obscure his orcish features from a casual glance. At least they wouldn't have to search too large an area to find this Tizzy.

When the young dwarf girl began to run away screaming, he cursed softly under his breath and sighed. "Typical," he said to himself before raising his voice and calling out to the girl in her own tongue. "There is no need to fetch the sheriff, we mean you no harm. We have been invited here by Tizzy Halafrous. Point us her way and we will leave you alone all the sooner."
Rabbit
 player, 5 posts
Sun 3 Jan 2021
at 04:19
Part 1: The Cult
Rabbit was a strange figure, wearing a hooded cloak trimmed with wolf fur and with a masquerade mask that she never seemed to take off. She carried a cold iron blade that hummed with magic, and her visible skin was heavily tattooed, all intricate geometric patterns and delicate floral designs. They seemed at odds with her orcish features and her heavy, muscular frame, to say nothing of the horse-sized wolf that followed her everywhere. She spoke little, and seemed to prefer her own company, regarding Sienna in particular with a clear distrust. She spoke Sylvan with the fluency of a native speaker, though, and maintained an attitude that was at least courteous towards the small fey being.

It did no good to make enemies. None at all.

When they arrived she looked over the village, hand near her blade without quite being on the hilt. "Watch for ambush. This is a baited trap if I ever saw one. Wolf, keep an eye out." Her shadow rippled and flowed in ways that shadows were not meant to do, before splitting into three distinct shadows, each of them flowing over her skin and moving of its own accord. She grinned and began whispering in old, old high Sylvan, invoking the powers of thorn and branch to guard her from harm.

Casting the following unless interrupted: endure elements at the start of the day, longstrider, resist energy (fire), acute senses, barkskin, freedom of movement.
Voice of the Void
 GM, 21 posts
 By the prickling
 of my thumbs...
Sun 3 Jan 2021
at 18:19
Part 1: The Cult
The dwarven girl did not respond to Jak, but at Azregh's call she paused just long enough to change direction. Instead of heading to the first house after the first bridge, what must have been the Sheriff's home, the girl ran for the second bridge towards a home on the other side surrounded by strange plants. "Tizzy, Tizzy! More came!" The girl called, in Common this time. She ran through the front door of Tizzy's house, without knocking.

Eyes were still on the group, however. From the sheriff's home a slim man appeared, a steaming mug in one hand while the rested on the pommel of a shortsword at his hip. He didn't block the way, but clearly assessed the newcomers.
Sienna Frost
 player, 13 posts
 Sorcerer/Oracle
 Frost Fairy
Sun 3 Jan 2021
at 21:09
Part 1: The Cult
Sienna smiled and waved in a friendly manner to the probable "Sheriff", then tucking her hands behind her back in a cute yet almost bashful manner.  She was a healer, not a diplomat; and certainly one of the others was better suited to the role of quelling any concern that the locals might have toward their presence.

As this "Tizzy" was the one who'd sent the letter, Sienna expected answers as to why they'd been requested in short order.   While the village didn't look any more or less different from the countless others that she'd worked in; it was entirely possible that some random element might lend itself to needing her specialized talents.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:14, Sun 03 Jan.

Azregh
 player, 6 posts
Mon 4 Jan 2021
at 03:55
Part 1: The Cult
As the girl announced their arrival, Azregh tensed up. Six people gathered by the same missive, and yet there were more? With that in mind he continued forwards, returning the gaze of the man who he presumed was the sheriff before stopping in front of the house the girl had vanished into.

Hitching Areion on a nearby tree, he dismounted and adjusted his gear. He removed the letter from his pack and approached the door, knocking three times with his knuckles, announcing himself as he did so. "Tizzy Halafrous, I am Azregh, I received your message. I bring five others with me, may we come in?"
Chayamaya Dasa
 player, 8 posts
Mon 4 Jan 2021
at 16:30
Part 1: The Cult
As Chayamaya drew closer to the town she coalesced into a nearly human shape, just pitch black and wet looking before a truly human form could be made out a lovely cornflower blue Elizabethan gown with embroidered pink and green flowers scrolled across it, spilled out putting itself perfectly in place. She'd look very much like a young noblewoman visiting the country save for the lack of hair, impossibly dark skin tone, and absence of a face. As was her way, Chayamaya didn't speak but everyone nearby would have heard her thoughts, which seemed very much more like hearing than anything invasive.

I bow unto the divine within you, sir Sheriff. The slime creature looked at him with a faceless smile giving a slight nod more than a bow as she continued towards Tizzy.

She paused behind Azregh. Chayamaya Matamahiduhitr Dasa of the Astomoi mystics of the Tusk Mountains, I am. You are Tizzy Halafrous, who called? I have come.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:32, Mon 04 Jan.

Voice of the Void
 GM, 22 posts
 By the prickling
 of my thumbs...
Tue 5 Jan 2021
at 01:23
Part 1: The Cult
Up close it became clear that the sheriff was an elf, as his his pointed ears stuck out from his dirty-blonde hair. He held a neutral expression and returned any greeting with no more than a nod; non-hostile, but not particularly welcoming either. Even Chayamaya's appearance and manner of communicating only earned her nod.

Azregh's knock was greeted with a trill "It's open!" from within; a high-pitched voice that conveyed a sense of frantic tension.

After Chayamaya's introduction, the door opened before anyone even reached for the handle. It was the dwarven girl, with a look of astonishment on her young face. "That was weird," the child said. She couldn't help staring at Chaya, likely the only Astomoi she had ever seen.

Behind the dwarf girl, Tizzy's home sprawled out before them. Practically a one-room building despite its size, with the far wall a kitchen area, and the rest of the room crowded with furniture of various size and designs. A stairway the far left led up to a loft that overlooked the rest of the home, room enough for an armoire and a bed. The air smelled of herbs, which hung everywhere along the walls. The kitchen shelves were packed with jars and containers, while bookshelves were more prominent elsewhere. A few decorations filled any bare spots on the walls, everything from odd weapons, masks, a wooden shield, and far less practical bric-a-brac. The tables, some chairs, and nearly every other flat surface was full of open books, scrolls, and loose pages of paper. There were at least half a dozen open inkwells strewn around.

There were flashes of movement here and there, punctuated by a few clucks and caws as though chickens were loose inside. What might have been a raven perched on the railing of the loft; though in lieu of a face and beak, the strange bird wore a plague mask. In the kitchen, there was a strained grunt as a small figure stood up on a high chair to see over the clutter.

Tizzy Halafrous was barely a hair taller than the dwarf girl, but Tizzy's fine gnomish features were weathered and weary, belying an advancing age. Her tousled hair was an odd pink, streaked with gray. There were dark circles under her eyes and ink stains on her finger-tips, while a pair of small, round-framed reading classes slid down her nose. "Kaja!" The gnome scolded. "Shoo, let them inside."

"Sorry!" The dwarf said, and hurried off to climb onto a plush sofa, only half-strewn with papers.
Jak Longstepper
 player, 11 posts
 The Guide
 Druid//Bloodrager
Tue 5 Jan 2021
at 01:34
Part 1: The Cult
"Tizzy Halafrous I presume?" Jak calls out politely.  "I am Jak Longstepper, and you summoned me, and the others. I will let them introduce themselves, but I for one am most interested in hearing whatever information you have."
Sienna Frost
 player, 17 posts
 Sorcerer/Oracle
 Frost Fairy
Tue 5 Jan 2021
at 05:03
Part 1: The Cult
Sienna floated silently into the building through the open doorway.   "I'm Sienna Frost, also known as Sienna the Merciful."   The fairy introduced herself.  "I'm a Fairy of the Healing-talent."   She clarified before drifting around the room.

Sienna examined the various herb bundles with a mix of curiosity and professional interest.  She was forever learning of new things that this world offered, and her interest in herbs was partially personal and partially professional.  She even drifted up high enough to look at then offer a wave to the raven perched up somewhere in the loft.  She gave said creature a friendly wave before returning to her explorations of the building.
Azregh
 player, 8 posts
Tue 5 Jan 2021
at 06:41
Part 1: The Cult
Azregh stepped inside, finding a chair with only a small amount of books on it and sitting down after gently setting the books to the side. "As I said, I am Azregh. I am of course interested in hearing what you have to say, else I would not have come. Before you share what you have learned though, I would like to know how you knew of us to write your letters in the first place."
Rabbit
 player, 7 posts
Wed 6 Jan 2021
at 16:36
Part 1: The Cult
Rabbit clicks her tongue, telling Wolf to wait outside as she goes in. Her eyes flicker around the place, quickly taking it in and evaluating for the possibility of ambush, before focusing on the gnome. She does not sit.

"Rabbit. Just Rabbit. You called. Why?"

Rabbit did not believe in wasting words.
Voice of the Void
 GM, 26 posts
 By the prickling
 of my thumbs...
Wed 6 Jan 2021
at 20:54
Part 1: The Cult
"The letters, yes!" Tizzy said, though seemed completely lost for several seconds as she glanced over the strewn papers. She finally hopped down from the chair and padded over to a human-sized bench, repurposed to a gnome-sized writing desk. She rifled through the papers and books while she talked. "How I knew of of you? Well, I sent at least thirty of those letters... A lot of recipients I don't really know, but have heard of some way or another. A lot of you have ties to the First World, or to the fey -- enough connection to know what's going on, and to reply to random strangers to fix it! But don't misunderstand -- I didn't pick any of you at random, you're all special. All of you."

Tizzy finally stopped searching the desk, and gave the group her undivided attention. "Rabbit, Rabbit? Anyone who Runs-Down-Prey with the Wild Hunt is an asset, not just in battle, but in finding the right enemies and flushing them out.

"And Jak! I don't exactly rub elbows with any Fey gods and goddesses -- but you! Servant of Shyka? I don't know what service you got for a price that high, but you've dealt with an Eldest one-on-one. You have her ear, whether you know it or not, and that makes you so important!"
Tizzy had to catch her breath a moment. "Also, big angry plant...that will come in handy."

The gnome looked towards Chayamaya. "And how could I not recognize you, Miss Dasa? The Empyreal Lords have occasional dalliances with mortals, but your parentage isn't why I chose you. I've heard so much about your training, your prowess... And your kindness. Anyone can fight -- but knowing when not to? That's an amazing talent."

Tizzy looked saddened for a moment as she turned to face Azregh. "It's been a long time since Leandalric sent me a letter. But he told me about you..." She gestured all around her home, and the clutter therein. "So much of this work started with his theories. He trusted you with his work, his notes, and one of the first tears..." She paused, and briefly glanced the Dwarven girl, Kaja. Tizzy seemed like she had more to say, but was less willing to say it with the child there.

Instead she looked at Sienna, and a warm smile melted away whatever grim thoughts had been on her mind. "And you... Sienna, I'm so glad that you answered. There aren't a lot of fairies -- real fairies -- travelling Golarion. Your home, it sits between the First World and this one. If it falls, Golarion is doomed..."
Rabbit
 player, 8 posts
Thu 7 Jan 2021
at 16:59
Part 1: The Cult
Rabbit goes still, looking at Tizzy directly. Her gaze is level, and there's something just a little unnerving about its intensity.

"How do you know that name? How do you...never mind. Not important right now. What do you want, mine host? You must know that I am no friend of the Hunt, no longer do I hunt beside the specter of the night, and I walk light on the earth beneath me. So what do you want?"

The orcish woman's voice is more accented now, flavored not with an orcish tone, but with the fluid syllables and nested clauses of a native Sylvan speaker. In fact, it almost sounds like First Speech.
Sienna Frost
 player, 18 posts
 Sorcerer/Oracle
 Frost Fairy
Thu 7 Jan 2021
at 22:01
Part 1: The Cult
If Tizzy's speech phased the Fairy, she showed no sign of it.   It was only after her inspection of the building, which took a minute or three; that she finally landed on one side of the bench/desk.   With her feet at the spot where the bench legs were (to prevent the bench/desk from flipping over), she finally stopped fluttering about.

While Sienna didn't say anything, she simply stood there watching and waiting.   It seemed that the gnome would reach her point in short order, and then she could figure out what she wanted to do or say next.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:05, Thu 07 Jan.

Jak Longstepper
 player, 13 posts
 The Guide
 Druid//Bloodrager
Thu 7 Jan 2021
at 22:15
Part 1: The Cult
Jak listens intently. This Tizzy is quite well informed. Its some useful information on his companions as well. He himself is not particularly bothered by her revealing information about himself. He had never particularly hidden his "relationship" with Shyka.

"Let's just say that the service I received was both acceptable and a good reminder of the perils of bargaining with the fey." Jak says, somewhat wistfully. "Now speaking of Shyka, I do not believe that this is the time ordained for the end of all things. You say that Golarion is doomed, if the world in between falls. Do you know how that can be stopped?"
Azregh
 player, 9 posts
Fri 8 Jan 2021
at 05:58
Part 1: The Cult
Azregh listened closely to Tizzy's words, his face softening at the mention of Leandalric. "He didn't have much choice in giving me his journal. He... succumbed to the Bleaching, and I took up his investigation. He still lives, but only as a shadow of what he was."

At that, he paused a moment to compose himself and wipe a sad glint from his eyes before continuing. "That is the past now though, and we can only go forward. What have you learned so far? Have you an idea of how to fix this?
Voice of the Void
 GM, 28 posts
 By the prickling
 of my thumbs...
Sat 9 Jan 2021
at 00:33
Part 1: The Cult
Tizzy nodded along with others' reactions, momentarily taken aback by Rabbit's directness, then saddened by Azregh's confirmation of Leandalric's fate. The little gnome steeled herself, and continued.

"Good questions," she said. "There's a lot going on, and so much to cover! I think we should start with the First World, and the Revel. There are plenty of creation myths out there, and maybe no one really knows how everything began -- but we know the First World came first, and we know that the first Norns began to spin the threads of destiny and fate together right from the start. There are plenty of Norns, hundreds, maybe even thousands! But at first, there were only three..." Tizzy padded over to Azregh, but looked towards Jak. "Shyka's mother was one of them. She might even know who all three where, and where to find them! And you, Azregh, you have that crystal... It's one of the first tears ever shed."

Tizzy moved a few papers around, looking for something as she continued. "Supposedly, when the Norns began to weave the tapestry, they saw how it would all end and each of them shed a tear, knowing their work would all unravel eventually. That's what happening now. And the tapestry is fraying from the start to the end, the First World will be the first to disappear. Then Golarion, all of the others planes, then finally the Shadow Plane and its negative-energy heart... If anyone can stop the unraveling, it's the norns. And the most powerful ones are the first three."

At last, she pulled a sheet of parchment from the pile. There were crude sketches of tall women with hair so long it reached the ground; and a far more detailed sketch of round crystal. It's shape was quite familiar to Azregh.

"No one knows who the first Norns are. And I mean no one, even the Norns themselves! That's why the tears are important. It should help you find the Norn who shed it, and returning the tear to her should return those memories. I think...I know the first Norns can fix this! They can fix the tapestry, stop the unraveling and mend the damage! But if the First World falls, all Fey will disappear. Then, it will be too late..."




Tizzy Halafrous had gotten worked up in the storytelling, and needed a moment to compose herself. She put on some tea and goaded Kaja out the front door, though the dwarven girl complained about not hearing the rest of the story. After a few minutes, she brought over a tray with a steaming kettle and several gnome-sized cups.

"Next... Next I guess is the Revel," she said, as she settled down on the edge of a plush chair. "They happen, from time to time. Lots of Fey get worked up when grand events happed in the First World. Some get sick and sling away, but many -- especially the more sinister fey -- get rowdy. A Revel could last for weeks, years maybe, but this one is different. The Bleaching." She hesitated. "That... It's one of the signs of the Last Revel. One last hurrah, before everything disappears. That might be why Shyka can't see what's happening. And why the first Norns need to be reminded of who they are. It's also why I wrote to you, Rabbit."

Tizzy punctuated her words with a wan smile in Rabbit's direction. "The Wild Hunt is dangerous, and you already know that. But during the Revel, they'll be more dangerous than ever! And hardly the only group of fey who'll stand between you and finding the Norns. If this whole thing is going to work, we need you and your knowledge."

The gnome drew a long sip of tea, and refilled her cup. "This all sounds crazy, doesn't it?" She said, almost under her breath. "Maybe I'm misreading the signs? But then that moon showed up..." She slipped of the chair and retrieved a book from the bench-desk; for once, she knew exactly what she was looking for and where to find it. It was a slim, dark tome bound in purple-dyed leather and fit with tarnished silver filigree. Tizzy flipped to a bookmarked page, and held it up for all to see.


"Groetus," she said. "Shown here in the Boneyard, Pharasma's realm. He's not there any more, though. He's here, in our sky... Groetus is the harbinger of the end times. I was right, Leandalric was right! This is the Last Revel."
Rabbit
 player, 9 posts
Sat 9 Jan 2021
at 14:16
Part 1: The Cult
[Language unknown:  "Leofpl, nt, areut eraonswil,"] Rabbit murmurs. Her voice is shaky. Then she composes herself, and continues in Common. "I am no hero, nor any savior - my hands are rather stained for that. But I have no desire to see the end of all things, either, nor to watch my home unravel and tear apart. No, I will serve, for this, again, and hunt for a greater cause than mine own vengeance."

She stands, paces, clicks her tongue to soothe Wolf outside. "If the fair folk stand to oppose us, if they would see us fail, I can strike them down. I can seek out our quarry, and track them down. These are the skills I have honed, over the years of my life. They are at your disposal, comrades, should they be needed." She pauses, clearly allowing an opportunity for the others to share their own thoughts.
Jak Longstepper
 player, 14 posts
 The Guide
 Druid//Bloodrager
Sat 9 Jan 2021
at 15:02
Part 1: The Cult
Jak nodded along as Tizzy explained her theory. While Jak was no scholar of end-times and prophecies, much of what she said did match his own experiences with the fey. "Rabbit, If I understand Madam Halafrous correctly, we must be careful about treating the fey as our opponents. Some will be, for the fey are always wild and capricious at best, and some will not take these events well. But we must be careful, for if the First Norns are slain and not restored, the world will be truly doomed. Some of the fey will oppose us, but some may also aid us.

Madam Halafrous, Is there any trick to making the tear work? And do you have any idea where the other two tears might be?

Sienna Frost
 player, 19 posts
 Sorcerer/Oracle
 Frost Fairy
Sun 10 Jan 2021
at 17:09
Part 1: The Cult
Sienna had waited for their host to finish her explanation, rather than interrupting with questions.   It was often the case that the answers were included somewhere in the explanation, and interruption often meant that it took longer to get to the truth.  Unfortunately for her, it seemed to have lead to a place that she'd rather not go.

"I've seen that moon before; some 50 odd years ago.  As it appeared in the sky in Pixie Hollow; it caused quite a bit of concern."   She says, waiting until after Jak's question before speaking up.  "We were able to determine from our writings that it was a portent of doom, though nothing more than that."
Azregh
 player, 10 posts
Mon 11 Jan 2021
at 01:41
Part 1: The Cult
Azregh sat and listened to Tizzy, his hands moving almost unthinkingly to his pack when she revealed the truth of the crystal. His eyes widened as her explanation continued and the full scope of the situation was made plain.

When it was over, he sat back in the chair, mouth slightly agape. [Language unknown:  "O wino ere cetha whioertra nc thaateant..."] he muttered, wrapping his mind around the enormity of the problem they faced. He sat there for maybe half a minute before he fully collected himself, at which point he leaned forward once more and spoke. "When I set out, I had no idea it would be to hold back the end of all things, but I will not flinch. I will not let this world die without a fight, any who stand in our way will be cut down."

As he made his promise, he reached into his pack and pulled out the crystal Leandalric had given him, handling it as if it were spun glass. "I am no true wizard, but I know enough that we may be able to use this to track down the other two Tears or the Norns who shed them, yes?"
Jak Longstepper
 player, 15 posts
 The Guide
 Druid//Bloodrager
Sun 17 Jan 2021
at 21:41
Part 1: The Cult
Well said Azregh. We shall rage against the dying of the light, and call our defiance against the end. Whether in victory or defeat, at least we shall know that we tried. You say you know enough to know how to use it to track the Norns? I think time is short, so let us not tarry."
Sienna Frost
 player, 20 posts
 Sorcerer/Oracle
 Frost Fairy
Mon 18 Jan 2021
at 04:32
Part 1: The Cult
"Is there something more you can tell us?"  The silver-eyed Fairy directs the question to their gnome host.   "While any clue is better than none at all; the more information we have, the quicker we may draw closer to the solution to the conundrum."

She floated over to take a closer look at the crystal that Azregh had produced, apparently examining it closely.  "If I had access to a few scrolls of Vision; I could certainly narrow the time required as well as the most probable locations for the relics in question."  A quick spell-cast, and her eyes began to glow blue as she seemed to be exaniming the crystal in close detail.  "I did, after all; find them quite useful in my quest for the Mirror of Fate."  Sienna adds the last part almost absentmindedly.

OOC: Casting Arcane Sight and taking 10 on a Spellcraft check.
Azregh
 player, 11 posts
Mon 18 Jan 2021
at 17:00
Part 1: The Cult
Azregh gave a small shake of his head, looking to Jak. "No, not I. I merely know enough of magic to know that it should be possible for a proper mage. Like her, apparently," he said gesturing with his chin towards Sienna.

Looking towards Sienna now, he nodded along with her. "Such magic is powerful, and hard to get one's hands on. Do you have an idea where we might start looking for these scrolls you need?"
Chayamaya Dasa
 player, 9 posts
Mon 18 Jan 2021
at 18:47
Part 1: The Cult
That is quite a few powers of fate, and destiny. Chayamaya mused thoughtfully. I have been a student to many masters. I have seen many absolute rules fall to the new. We have many options, but this seems worthy of exploration. I will save whoever I might be able however circumstance allows. She didn't turn to look at the crystal, but then she didn't possess any eyes so it was hard to say where she was looking. She stayed doll like and calm.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 19:09, Mon 18 Jan.