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Random_person
2012-10-08, 03:57 AM
It's not a big town. Not a small town, mind, but not a big one either. Cirictor nestles in a bend of the river Afin, surrounded by rich farmland and within easy reach of a forest that seems to overflow with game. It has earned a reputation as a peaceful place to live, and the great temple-keep that gives the town its name has not closed its doors in a great many years. Once, Cirictor stood at the boundaries of civilization, a border fort from which valiant knights would ride forth to do battle with orcish hordes and dragon nests. But civilization spread outward, and the orcs were pushed back to the desert and the dragons to the mountains, and now those who would seek their fortune pass through it on their way to greater things if they ever see its walls at all.

Taking your rest here, perhaps with an eye to the temple shrine or the well-stocked library in the keep (or the valuables in the reliquary), you had seen little to challenge that view in the past few days. Last night, though, a storm to wake the dead blew up from a cloudless sky, and in the wailing of the wind you heard a voice. 'Come to us', it seemed to say, 'join us in our vigil', and when you finally awoke from a haunted sleep there was an inch of dust on your floor, an ancient, rusted key and a statue of a watchful soldier by your bed, and an unshakeable echo of the night wind in your mind. There is only one structure in the town old enough to hold a lock to match that key...

What Do You Do?

I often use spoilers for short, pertinent OOC remarks and game mechanics. And also for links to the OOC thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=257870).

Mordae
2012-10-09, 10:04 AM
Allanath wakes early, as is his custom, though the lack of proper sleep aids--as does the momentary fit of coughing from the presence of so much dust. The thick blanket was even greater than he had experienced at home when the great winds ravaged the parched fields of his family and so many of the other starving farmers.

Rising, he spends some time in prayer to rededicate himself to the true divine spirit whose vision had called him forth years ago. Then the young warrior clutches the two strange gifts of the fitful night and heads down to the common room. A bit of breakfast and a trip to the temple would bring the truth to light.

thirdkingdom
2012-10-09, 11:50 AM
Do we each get a statue and a key or is it one of each for the entire party?

Random_person
2012-10-09, 02:18 PM
Each of you gets one of each.

thirdkingdom
2012-10-09, 05:24 PM
Mardin the Wise, Magic-User

Scratching his head, Mardin pockets the key and statuette and heads downstairs for breakfast and ale.

SCARY WIZARD
2012-10-09, 07:21 PM
Silenna slides out of bed, her mind reeling. She lazily scoops up the two gifts, looking them over. Her first thought as to the origin has to do with the dream she had, while the second is a more conscious thought -- My gambling debts are al settled...can't be anything from assassins. she thinks to herself. Nonetheless, she very carefully looks the statue over, as well as the key, before putting them into her bag and heading for a bite and a drink.

Once she has something in front of her, Silenna produces and flips an electrum coin minted with the grinning face of a human woman on one side, and a rabbit on the other. It is a religious device. She mentally calls "heads". It lands in her drink with a loud "plop!". Satisfied, she begins to drink.

Coin Call
On 1d2: 1 - Heads
2 - Tails
[roll0]

thirdkingdom
2012-10-11, 04:51 AM
Mardin the Wise, Fighter

After breakfasting without incident, Mardin decides to head up to the keep and their well stocked library to see if he can find any reference to mysteious keys or statuettes.

Mordae
2012-10-11, 12:16 PM
After eating in silence--another custom learned from many pre-dawn hours where voices would carry through the thin-walled halls of his home temple--Allanath rises from the common room and proceeds to the temple. "Greetings to you, brother," he ventures to the first acolyte he spots. Then, he produces the statue from under the brown robe that covers his armor. "I am seeking spiritual guidance concerning a gift I recently received. Who among your order might know of this figure and its import?"

Random_person
2012-10-12, 03:06 AM
Mardin

A cursory search of the library reveals nothing on the key. The statuette, however, is mentioned in several places, and a woodcut allows you to confirm that you now possess a copy of the Wardens' Sign, a symbol that represented the Wardens' Order for centuries before their eventual schism and dissolution. The temple was originally built by the Wardens, in fact, back when it was as much fortress as church, and a great many of their number were entombed here after quests gone awry.

Allanath

The acolyte frowns. "Why, that is the Wardens' Sign. Any of us here would recognize it in an instant, given that we owe these walls to the Wardens, but I have not heard of that Order having a presence these past thirty years and more. Where, if I may ask, did you come by it?"

Everyone
Until you meet and so forth (which I am working towards, don't you worry) I intend to do my best to keep your knowledge separate. Anything with a label that includes you is free for you to read, but please keep out of the other stuff for now.

Mordae
2012-10-12, 06:47 AM
For DM:

"First in a dream, last night--a strange waking dream of sound and fury. And on the morrow there was thirty years' worth of dust in my room, and this statue atop my night table." With his free hand, he then extracts the ancient key from the pocket where it had been kept with the statue. "Also this."

Random_person
2012-10-12, 10:12 PM
Allanath

The acolyte looks surprised. "But... that is the crypt key. I saw it in the Keymaster's hand just this morning. I think perhaps you had best speak to him - his office is in the northern tower, two flights up."

thirdkingdom
2012-10-13, 04:18 PM
Mardin the Wise, Magic-user

Mardin leaves the libarary and heads to the temple, intent on solving this mystery that he woke up to.

SCARY WIZARD
2012-10-13, 07:54 PM
Silenna finishes her meal before searching for a place to find out about her new finds. She, too, heads to the library, and inquires with the staff about it.

Random_person
2012-10-14, 03:37 AM
Mardin

The temple is hardly a long walk, given that the keep housing the library was originally built for it. Now, of course, it has expanded to include much of the town's lifeblood - the market, for example. You have no especial difficulty finding your way around.

Silenna

The staff are helpful enough, and direct you to books of iconography at your request. There you can learn that the statue is the Wardens' Sign, symbol of the order that built this very keep and temple. It is said that even in their order's passing and their members' deaths they still guard every stone that they erected, though it is not said how they go about it.

SCARY WIZARD
2012-10-14, 11:15 AM
As Silenna pores over the tomes presented to her by the Wardens, she thinks on the context of this eternal guardianship...sometimes, this can mean undeath, while at other times it can imply that traps were rigged all over. She double-checks the entries in question, looking for any clues...

I'd just like to attempt, I don't know, an Intelligence or Wisdom check, whatever is more appropriate, in order to see what else Silenna might be able to find out about this. This might not even be the right kind of roll, depending on how you do things, but I figured it's worth a shot!

[roll0]

thirdkingdom
2012-10-14, 11:22 AM
Mardin the Wise, Magic-user

Espying an acolyte, Mardin hails him. "You there! With the robes and tonsure and whatnot! Direct me to a superior, if you would be so kind, for I have questions regarding this statue and key that were thrust upon me by an unknown entity as I lay asleep last night![/spoiler]

Random_person
2012-10-14, 11:58 AM
Silenna

Well, the Wardens didn't present any tomes to you at all - the order hasn't been active since a particularly violent schism thirty years ago. In the process of Silenna's double-checking, though, she does run across a more detailed account of the schism in an appendix. For the most part it seems to have been politically motivated, but there is a mention of the order's head being accused of 'magic black and foul'.

Mardin

The acolyte pauses. "You are the second man to ask me such questions today. How can I help?"

thirdkingdom
2012-10-14, 12:29 PM
Mardin the Wise, Magic-user

"You can begin, my good man, by explaining to me exactly why I would wake up in the morning with an inch of dust over everything, as if I was some sort of uncouth barbarian unconcerned with cleanliness and hygeine, to find this statuette", he thrusts said statuette towards the acolyte, "and this key", he thrusts said key in his other hand towards the acolyte, "in my room with me! I have been told that this statuette is in the likeness of a 'Warden', whatever that is, and that said 'Wardens' are associated with your order! Now, I would like an explanation as to what a member of your order is doing, entering my bedchambers at night, without my permission, leaving dust and dirt all over the place as if my quarters were some sort of extra-planar dustbin, then positioning this statue so that when I woke it was the first thing to be seen, leering down at me! I demand an explanation, young man!" he says, shaking the key at the acolyte.

SCARY WIZARD
2012-10-14, 04:53 PM
Sorry, had a dumb. D:

Silenna calls the nearest of the staff to her, and requests a little bit of clarification on what she has discovered, particularly about the dark magic involved in this schism, as well as any correlation that there might be as far as her "gifts" go.

Random_person
2012-10-16, 02:17 AM
Mardin

The acolyte is cowed by your rant. "Please, good sir, I can give none! The Keymaster, perhaps, to whom I sent the other inquirer not five minutes hence."

Silenna

The acolyte she questions seems appalled at the notion. "There were rumours, of course, but I do not think they ever had substance behind them. As to your gifts... I honestly do not know. The key seems reminiscent of the crypt key - perhaps you might ask the Keymaster?"

thirdkingdom
2012-10-16, 04:49 PM
Mardin the Wise, Magic-user

"My apologies, my sarcodotal friend. I often allow my passions to get the better of my good sense, and wax wrothful over certain things' the sanctity of sleep I hold especially dear. If you could be so good as to lead me to the keyman I would be greatful."

SCARY WIZARD
2012-10-18, 07:16 PM
"Keymaster, eh?" Silenna's expression changes, as she thinks that she might be getting somewhere. "Where can I find this Keymaster, if I may?

Random_person
2012-10-21, 03:59 AM
Mardin and Silenna

The young man directs you to an office in the northern tower, saying that you may recognize it by the sign of a key on the door. As you make your way there, you meet one another on the stair.

OOC
I'm PMing Mordae, and if he is in fact still around then Allanath will meet you very shortly.

Mordae
2012-10-21, 02:46 PM
Allanath professes his thanks to the acolyte and moves on to the tower to meet the keymaster. Certainly one with such a lofty title could help unravel the mystery. As he ascends, he is surprised to find two others in the same musty, dusty stairwell. "Good morrow to you," he greets the odd pair with a slight inclination of his head.

SCARY WIZARD
2012-10-21, 11:09 PM
"Greetin's to you, as well." Silenna gives the young knight a friendly nod. "What brings you two here?" she asks, curious and cautious - curious because, hey, there are two strangers going to see the same person she's going to see; cautious, because, hey, there are two strangers going to see the same person she's going to see...and she has a few strange things on her that she didn't have earlier.

Mordae
2012-10-22, 12:32 PM
"A vision, of sorts. I am not the kind to ignore the portents of the gods, and I am told the one who can explicate my dream is to be found within." Allanath's eyes shift over to the third person in the tower, espying his somewhat more ostentatious garb and surmising him to be a man of some rank. "And you, good sir?"

thirdkingdom
2012-10-22, 02:43 PM
Mardin the Wise, Magic-user

"I am Mardin, called by many the Wise, a man of no small learning and some mystical ability. I, too, have been visited by some strange force bearing gifts in the middle of the night, as well as a layer of grime and dust."

Mordae
2012-10-23, 12:16 PM
"A familiar story, wise one. I myself experienced the same within my room, and awoke with newfound possessions unasked. I would hazard a guess that the young lady here has a similar tale." Allanath redirects his steady gaze to the woman in the stairwell, the unspoken question lingering in his dark eyes.

SCARY WIZARD
2012-10-23, 09:44 PM
"Yes, a very familiar story." Silenna produces her "gifts" from her bag. "Let's hope this 'Keymaster' I was told about can get to the bottom of things..."

Mordae
2012-10-24, 07:54 AM
Allanath nods, a puzzled look on his face as he takes the initiative to follow the stairs to the Keymaster's door. Once there, he raps politely on the door three times--one for the earth, one for the sun, and one for the clouds that bring rain; that was what his old mentor taught him from boyhood.

Random_person
2012-10-24, 12:37 PM
There is a moment's pause, and a voice calls from within. "Enter"

When you open the door, a neat office is revealed, with scrolls and books lining one wall and a staggering collection of keys hanging from another. Sitting by a third, a man writes at his desk, which is illuminated by the morning sun through a number of arrow slits in the wall. "Greetings. What can I do for you?"

Mordae
2012-10-25, 09:38 AM
Allanath reaches into the pocket of his somewhat threadbare robe and produces an ancient-looking key along with the small statue. "Indeed, sir. Having found this in my room this morning upon waking from a vision, I seek your counsel. These others with me bear similar tales and gifts. My name is Allanath, initiate and rainseeker."

thirdkingdom
2012-10-25, 05:41 PM
Mardin the Wise, Magic-user

Mardin nods his head in agreement.

SCARY WIZARD
2012-10-25, 08:54 PM
Silenna holds her gifts up and taps the statuette with a finger. "Exactly the same. My name is Silenna Skywall, Priestess-Adept of the Lady of Coins."

Random_person
2012-10-29, 04:22 AM
The man seems somewhat perturbed. "But that is... those are replicas of the crypt key." He gestures to a key on the wall, which does indeed appear identical. "I know of only two copies, besides this one. Certainly I can see no reason why someone would have produced more without informing me. And those statues are rather like the effigies which are maintained in the crypt. How exactly did you come by them?"

SCARY WIZARD
2012-10-29, 10:18 AM
"I wish I could tell you, but the first I can recall having had mine, was when I woke up this morning." Silenna shrugs. "Not the best sleep I've had..."

Mordae
2012-10-31, 12:22 PM
"Likewise, these appeared within my chamber sometime while I slept, along with a thick blanket of dust the likes of which would have taken years to accumulate in the ordinary way. And my sleep was filled with a vision of an intense wind and voices calling from the grave." Allanath shrugs. "I must admit it is not the sort of message I have come to expect from my own divine patron. But I feel I must respond nevertheless."

thirdkingdom
2012-10-31, 02:38 PM
Mardin nods in agreement.

Random_person
2012-11-01, 02:00 AM
"Voices, you say? Can you recall their words? What this omen might mean is perhaps beyond my ability to grasp, but it must somehow be connected to the crypt."

thirdkingdom
2012-11-01, 07:27 AM
Mardin the Wise

"I don't know about you folks, but the voices in my head told me to 'join the vigil', whatever that means."

SCARY WIZARD
2012-11-01, 11:48 AM
"Much the same," Silenna frowns. "Mine also told me to come to them."

Random_person
2012-11-01, 10:25 PM
At your words, his face turns grim. "The vigil... when a Warden died and their mortal shell was not lost, they would be interred in our crypt. For some, death is a rest, but the Wardens always believed that in death they would maintain watch, what they called the Final Vigil, over their order and its interests. I think it would be best for you to speak with the Archpriest on this."

Don't worry, I'm not gonna keep shunting you through the bureaucracy forever. Almost at the hack and slay.

Mordae
2012-11-01, 10:27 PM
"But... if their order is no longer maintained, why..." Allanath cuts himself off, realizing the question is likely beyond the skill of any present there. "Please, direct us to the archpriest. No need to further trouble yourself on our behalf, good sir."

SCARY WIZARD
2012-11-04, 01:00 PM
Silenna seems slightly disturbed at the prospect of becoming an undead guardian, from the sound of things. "So, they want us to die, so we can join them? I'd like to think that my goddess has something else in store for me, but...yes, thank you. I, too, would like to see this Arch-Priest of yours to find out a little bit more."

Mordae
2012-11-07, 12:57 PM
Allanath tilts his head to the side and regards Silenna with renewed nterest. "This is perhaps not the best moment for a discussion in comparative theology, though I would be much interested in such a conversation later. I can, however, think of no faith that would encourage martyrdom for its own sake." His piece said, he falls in line behind the Keymaster for the return trip through the temple to the apartments of the Archpriest.

Random_person
2012-11-07, 11:55 PM
The Keymaster sets aside his quill and leads you to the central cathedral, and around to a side door. He knocks, and after a moment unlocks the door to lead you through to a small office space, wherein a young man is reading a very hefty tome. At your entrance he looks up. "Ah, Linus, what can I do for you?"

"Not for me, Your Anciency. These people had a visitation last night, and from their description and the artifacts they received I suspect it is to do with the crypt. I thought it best brought to you."

The Archpriest turns his attention to you. "Well? What is your tale?"

SCARY WIZARD
2012-11-08, 01:25 AM
Silenna looks a bit thrown off by the fact that the Keymaster appears so young, but then again she has heard things about other faiths...

"I...we...were visited in our dreams last night, as your associate would say. In my dream, I was told to come to some others, and join in a 'Vigil'. When we awoke, a layer of dust had settled on the floors of the rooms we were sleeping in, and we found some 'gifts', which for my part, I can only assume came from those who wished us to join them."

As she speaks, Silenna holds these items out as if offering them to the Keymaster, even if for a glance. Her tone is one of wonder.

Mordae
2012-11-13, 03:32 PM
Allanath nods and addresses the Archpriest. "Indeed, our tales are all alike. We come seeking your counsel, for it is not the sort of vision I am accustomed to." He shows his identical pair of strange gifts, slowly turning the statue in his hand until its unyielding face is looking directly at the archpriest.

thirdkingdom
2012-11-15, 09:02 PM
[B]Mardin the Wise, Magic-User[/B

"Yup."

Random_person
2012-11-20, 01:26 PM
The young man listen, a small frown creasing his face. "I am sorry to hear that you were troubled by our honoured dead. I do recall such an incident, about thirty years hence, but we had thought that resolved..." The Keymaster seems surprised at this revelation. The Archpriest lapses into thought for a few moments, then looks up. "The last time this occurred, those thus contacted went with me into the crypt, and together we performed a ritual of rest. I think perhaps such a course of action would be our best now, if you'll agree."

Mordae
2012-11-29, 11:42 AM
"Splendid," Allanath nods in agreement. "There is no reason to tarry when the dead are wakening." The young warrior steps back, allowing the devoted of the temple to lead the way to the aforementioned crypt.