View Full Version : [IC] The Shadow of Death

2008-02-19, 12:13 AM
Your boat-caravan has been traveling hard north from Ghelvan for a week now. Contracted out as mercenaries, moneychangers, mere travelers and even stowaways you've hitched yourselves to this wagon and it's cold, remote destination; Ghant. As another mid-afternoon rolls by the ship comes to a sudden halt and a frenzy of activity begins on board the deck. Gustav Sundiaz, the man of your employ and VIP onboard with sole exception to the captain, trundles around the railing in an awkward pace and with his considerable bulk it is at best a precarious perch. While men dart back and forth frantically Gustav mutters to himself and stuffs one of his large hands inside his coat, well known as a zone of comfort ( or security blanket if you prefer ) to the portly merchant. As seconds tick by the activity aboard the whole ship grows lively and more people ascend to the deck to see what's going on.

OOC: Where are you and what are you doing? :)

2008-02-19, 04:03 AM

Binding check [roll0] for Malphas the Turnfeather (DC 15) ... black teeth and tongue if I fail.

The muffled sounds of activity awaken Gorbas so suddenly that hit hits his head on the wall of the box. Stowing away in a small box seemed like such a good idea ...

Standing up into a crouch, Gorbas attempts to stretch, but the box is too confining. Lifting the lid from the box, Gorbas peers around the hold at the cargo.

Alritey, Hide at [roll1] and Spot [roll2]. I'm looking for anyone people wandering around. If it's all clear, I'm sneaking out.

2008-02-19, 07:54 AM
More than just mildly annoyed with the conditions in what qualifies as her quarters, Xandra has taken to spending her time on the main deck (or when requiring privacy in the depths and darkness of the cargo hold).

Currently she sits near the prow of the ship with various broken pieces of artifice and burnt pages of books in front of her, trying to garner some semblence of what her former Master's work could have been leading up to.
When the ship comes to a sudden stop and the sailors froth themselves into a panic, she gathers the remnants of her Masters legacy and starts to move for the safety of belowdecks. If there is something trying to stop the ship for whatever reason- she'd rather have the sailors be the one to take the brunt of any fight before she has to get involved.

2008-02-19, 09:29 PM

A trickling stampede of people impedes your way but no one seems to be the wiser about your presence as you blend in to your surroundings and even the crowd. What guards there were on duty are all top-deck and are being shouted orders.


Before you can make it all the way down to your quarters a flood of people blocks your path, stampeding mindlessly up out of curiosity, dread or for lack of anything else to do. A few souls wise enough to stay below deck wait for the absence of guards or prying eyes and begin to quickly rummage through any rooms left open or unlocked from the suddenness of the ship's activity and a few of the more seasoned sailors have also hidden below decks and slipped themselves free bottles or glasses of a rum from the storage while no one was looking. All in all, nothing out of the ordinary other then a mild inconvenience. Perhaps mixing goods AND passage on the same ship was not the best idea after all.

2008-02-20, 04:25 AM
Kherak, bored with the passivity of his journey, and tiring of contemplations as to its ultimate purpose, overhears the commotion. His interest piqued, he quickly collects his possessions, weapons handled with special deference, and throws open the doors to his quarters with a mighty shove. Stomping heavily towards the upper deck, the warforged hopes to discover any trouble that might yet whet his blades and bloodthirsty appetite. His vast form loudly crashes and clanks across the sturdy wood, casting thunderous reverberations throughout the hall. Making his way to the stairs above, he deftly shoves aside any who dare cross his path, glaring straight ahead with singleminded purpose, incarnadine eyes narrowed and poised.

2008-02-20, 04:38 AM
Now more than just a little frustrated, Xandra simply gets out of the way. She'll head for the highest vantage point she can find and will simply observe the passangers, crew, and surroundings. Vigilant the point of paranoia. She does NOT like being on a ship (this had to have been Norvan's idea (or at least she blames him like it was)) and is just a little on edge.

Mumbling to herself, "You people are all lemmings. Scuttering to the surface like worms in a storm. Pitiful..."

2008-02-20, 06:55 AM

The fair-haired young man, dissatisfied with the amount of light below deck, has taken to reading wherever he can find some space above deck. Currently sitting against the rigging on top of one of the ship's boats, he is engrossed in a thin book, frequently turning a page back to and rereading before moving on. At first oblivious to the growing shuffle, he slowly becomes aware again of the ship around him. Already perched a few feet off of the deck, he looks around for a bit until he catches sight of Gustav, at which point he sighs and folds the book shut, keeping his place with his thumb. He watches the bustle on deck with some bemusement, and waits for its source to be revealed.
He sees Xandra bundling up her things, obviously annoyed at the influx of people, and smiles to himself. Now, Xandra, they're not going to bite you. Then, sighing to himself, though they can get pretty annoying, especially after this long in cramped quarters together.

((Sorry for the lateness - this is what I get for forgetting to subscribe to the thread! :smalleek: Also...we're on a boat?))

2008-02-20, 09:06 AM

Gi' us a hand will ya? Gorbas growls as he ducks into a doorway and rummaging in his bag. He pulls out a scrap of dry meat and holds it in his right hand, over his out-held left. A sharp beak suddenly snaps into existence, snatching up the meat. The beak is followed by a large, scruffy raven, which shuffles onto Gorbas arm. Sending the brid aloft, Gorbas says let's take a looksie as the dark shape flies out to the deck area and above the scene.

Summoned me bird, what can I see thorugh its eyes as it circles high over the boat?

2008-02-20, 10:12 PM

People quickly make room for your bulk to pass through even if it means uncomfortably squishing their fellows against the walls or railing and eventually make it up to top-side. The two guards posted at the entrance to below-decks watch you nervously, as they have every time you've made an appearance on this voyage, but otherwise leave you alone. Looming over the crowd you can see the boat has pulled in close to shore and the object of interest seems to be something fastened to a large wooden post buried into the shore side.


A gloved hand lands on your shoulder as a guard tries to get your attention. "Ma'am? Ser Gustav requested that you and your friend speak with him immediately.." He turns and points over to the front of the boat where Gustav is in conversation with the first mate, a look of disbelief at their private conversation on his face.

Gorbas and Norven

You can see the wooden post and the sign on it clearly; it's a macabre symbol formed out of the dismembered arms and legs of a man shaped to resemble an hourglass. At the center of it's axis is the man's head, nailed onto the crossed limbs with an enormous metal spike. His torso is nowhere to be found.

2008-02-20, 10:41 PM
Letting on a sigh that borders on a growl, Xandra shrugs the guards hand off of her shoulder, and nonchalantly walks away while saying, "The summons is almost expected- but if you presume to touch me again, you'll lose the hand, meathead."

She moves deftly across the ship, getting within earshot of Norven so as to inform him that "his Lordship of Girth" has requested an audience without waiting for a response.

2008-02-20, 11:04 PM

He grimaces slightly at the macabre sight, but then, you'd see worse in the gutters if you lived in the city long enough. He briefly debated getting Sul from his cabin and having her scout it out, but dismissed the thought - wouldn't want to draw attention, and the poor owl would probably rather sleep.

"My, aren't we snippy today?" he comments as Xandra walks up to him. "You know, they may not be as smart as you, but they're generally a lot more helpful if you're nice to them." He smiles, not expecting to be taken seriously - this is old banter. Chuckling at the title she gives Gustav, he hops lightly down from his perch and follows her.

2008-02-21, 03:33 AM

Can I attempt a Knowledge roll to determine anything from this grotesque piece of signage?

The scruffy raven perches near to the conversing pair at the front of the boat and begins to clean its feathers. (Raven's Listen [roll0])

Gorbas sighs and stretches out his stiff limbs, wondering what to do next. He shrugs and sneaks back to his box before everyone clams down enough to question him (Hide [roll1] Move Silently [roll2])

2008-02-21, 05:29 AM
Kherak stares hard at the distant object, sharpening his glare in an attempt to determine its nature.

Spot Check: [roll0]

Assuming he spots the object, he considers it throughly with morbid curiousity, the expression on his face betraying a twisted infatuation with the ghastly trophy.

Otherwise, he quickly turns from the wooden post in a huff, grimacing in self-anger at his inability to more precisely discern the cause of the ruckus.

He then turns from the sight, hoping to garner some additional measure of clarification from Gustav, tramping towards him like a thundering menace, treating those in the way with his usual courtesy. A terrifying grin creases his gruesome features as he wonders if he might be permitted to assist the guards in 'regaining order' upon the ship.

2008-02-22, 05:14 PM
Norven, Xandra and Kherak

Gustav mutters to himself, "The Azure Lich." Turning he visbile shutters at the sight of Kherak but forces a weak smile when he sees Norven and Xandra behind him. "Terrible, isn't it? I've asked the captain to not make stops till we reach the deltas near Ghant but they fear this part of the river may be trapped or worse, tainted."


You recognize it as a symbol of timelessness used by Herod the Blue, a powerful Lich who's claimed dominion of everything west of river completely uncontested. Perhaps what is frightening everyone is that these macabre symbols are being found along the shore opposite of his blasted lands. You have plenty of time to contemplate this as no one notices you nor your raven as they scurry about like ants on the deck.

2008-02-22, 07:03 PM
Does Xandra know anything about this Azure Lich? Knowledge (Arcana): [roll]d20+6

If Xandra knows who the Azure Lich is, then:
Xandra crosses her arms behind her back and raises her eyebrow. Tainted riverways are the least of your concerns if the Azure Lich is in control of these waters. If you feel this vessel is under-defended, then my companion and myself will gladly lend our skills. For a price.

If Xandra does not know who the Azure Lich is, then she'll stand silently with an unconcerned look on her face, even though she's rather excited about the fact that she may have the opportunity to study tainted samples of water, and what powers they could add to her alchemical skills.

2008-02-22, 07:26 PM
Knowledge check to see what I know about the Azure Lich/the symbol we saw (don't know if arcana is the right one or not): [roll0]

Corresponding to Xandra's options:
(Xandra speaks) Norven will stand and nod as Xandra delivers her bit about protection for money. He would not himself have thought to ask for payment, and congratulates Xandra in his head for such a practical notion.

(Xandra doesn't) Norven's excited to hear about such a potentially fascinating problem to study, and, not noticing Xandra's studied unconcern, asks "Tainted? What makes him think that?"

2008-02-22, 08:39 PM
Kherak's face contorts into a slight, harrowing smile as he recognizes Gustav's familiar reaction, though his enjoyment is notably soured with impatience as he hears of the delay, the perverse elation on his face turning to a grimace.


Roll for knowledge of the Azure Lich: Knowledge(Arcana)?

If Kherak is familiar with the Azure Lich, or someone else is and speaks of him, he quickly regains his former joy, fantasizing about the slaughter and conflict likely to lay ahead, and the promise of plunder, gold and bloodshed to follow in their wake. He turns to the merchant, his face aglow with horrifying delight, locked in a gleeful rictus. "And lest you repurchase my services, Gustav, it is but a certainty that you shall die in terror when Herod deigns to claim you."

Otherwise, Kherak makes an inquiry of Gustav, leaning over the man, eyes set with deadly insinuations upon his own; "And as you've piqued my curiousity, do tell me then merchant, of this 'Azure Lich' you are so keen to mumble about."

2008-02-22, 09:47 PM
Woops- roll error, [roll0]

2008-02-25, 03:35 AM

Gorbas, never having been bothered by dead things, (even if they did get up and wander around from time to time) slips back into the box to await the arrival to land. As a way of passing the time, he look through the eyes of the raven, watching the folk on deck go about their business.

2008-02-26, 11:19 PM
Norven and Kherak

Both of your rolls were sufficient enough; you know that the Azure Lich has dominion of everything west of the river and has turned it into a blasted land. Rather then risk raiders or war, Ghant has found alternative routes into the southlands and only the daring or foolhardy would try to brave this gauntlet.


Your raven spots a curiously small man pacing around the back end of the ship; given his height and stature you could roughly assume he's probably a demihuman, likely a halfling or the like.

Gustav trembles at the thought. "I-Indeed! I'll triple all of your wages if our goods escape this unscathed! Who knows what blasted things await us..." His eyes drift temporarily to the western bank; along it's shore you can see shoots of reeds and grass jutting from the blackened soil; curiously, rather then foliage or plant matter they are made of brittle looking bone.

2008-02-27, 02:55 AM
Seeing that he has succeeded in terrifying the merchant, Kherak draws slowly closer to his chittering form, eyes but narrowed slits, his countinence almost an avatar of sadistic revelry. At last he stops, towering over the frightened man, his unflinching gaze looking down upon him like the malign glare of a desert sun. The barbarian's lips part to loose a deep rumbling laugh, coarse and tainted with jovial mockery. "You insult me o merchant. Your offer is but a pittance amongst the prodigality of your great wealth. If you are wise, you will instead agree to my terms, or your stinginess shall prove most costly indeed."

He smiles broadly at Gustav, bearing horrific layers of jagged adamantine fangs.

"That said, they are quite reasonable, for a man in your position, and one in my own. I am certain you have a number of weapons, scrolls, potions and other such... 'employable' wares upon this ship. An amount of these satisfactory for the defense of your vessel, by our determination, shall be provided to us, free of charge, in addition to this meagre increment of salary. Is this acceptable Gustav, or will you chance that your feeble, incompetent fleshlings can withstand the honed wrath of the Azure Lich? Quite a gamble, especially for one so tenuously situated. You stand at the exigence of undeath and eternal slavery merchant. I assure you thus that the safety of this ship's contents will prove the least of your worries. Choose wisely, lest mad refusal be the last decision you ever make..."

2008-02-27, 03:29 AM

With but a thought, as he hunts around in his bag for a piece of cheese, Gorbas sends the raven around to the back of the boat to consider the curious person.

Spot [roll0] Do we spot anything untoward?

((OOC: goodness! I'm rolling well on this thread! Although, knowing me my luck will dry up when I need to kill something))

2008-02-27, 11:54 PM

Gustav jaw stammers for a moment at your craven attitude but fear overrides his mind and he nods pitifully. "Y-y-yes. Yes! In my bunk, right this way all of you!" He turns and quickly scurries off towards the back end of the deck, up the stairs and to the select few top-quarters designed for important members of the voyage, such as the captain.


The small little man seems idled with an empty glass object in his hand. Taking a cautionary look over his shoulder he hurls it over the side of the deck's railing before disappearing through a trap-door into the ship's hold, nearest to the kitchen.

2008-02-28, 12:28 AM

So easily frightened...it's a wonder he's lived this long. Ah well. Triple better be worth it. Norven shrugs and follows Gustav toward the cabin, looking mildly impressed as he makes room for Kherak's considerable bulk.

2008-02-28, 03:26 AM

With a sense of intrigue, Gorbas commands the raven to stay watching the dark waters in case the glass object a) floats; b) glows ominously or c) rises from broiling, black waters as a betentacled monster made of glass.

If nothing interesting happens Gorbas sighs and dismisses his bird, which disappears in a burst of black feathers.

Gorbas sits quietly for a while, then sighs again as his curiosity overcomes him and he sneaks back out of the box to search the hold to see what this halfing is up to.

Hide [roll0] Move Silently [roll1]

2008-02-28, 03:39 AM
"A superb choice Gustav. Your wisdom does not disappoint."

Kherak grins in satisfaction at the merchant's reply, and makes his way with impudent confidence towards the senior quarters. He clomps closely behind the cowed man, careful to assert his presence as though it were a ward against imminent danger. Upon reaching their destination, his grin fades into a contemptuous sneer.

As pitifully weak as he is affluent. Should the opportunity arise, I shall happily relieve him of life and wealth alike..