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  1. - Top - End - #331
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Arthros's eye are red as he wakes up, still thrashing and disoriented. Once aware of his surroundings, he quietly takes his breakfast as he tries to settle his mind from the horrid dream.

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    I actually didn't pick up on that. My Eberron knowledge doesn't extend very deep.

  2. - Top - End - #332
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    Arya Skye, Catfolk Knight

    Arya woke, stretched and rose, her lithe form flowing from its place and she quickly donned her arms and armour, ready for the day to come.

    As she strode in to the courtyard she looked around, then assured that none were attacking them, drew her great blade and began to move in the positions she'd learned from the masters of the Bladesworn. She started slow, readying her muscles before pushing them harder and harder. Once she was satisfied with her speed and strength, she sheathed Nehima and drew Light and Shadow, her matched short swords, and started to spin and strike, leaping above imaginary enemies.
    Once her practice was done she went inside to eat, and then, prepared for the day ahead joined her compatriots at the barricade, catching up on the night's events, and agreeing with the assessment that saving Nicolae, and now this Ireena, ought to be their priority.

  3. - Top - End - #333
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    Griffon

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    T'riss

    After resting for the evening, T'riss finds herself awoken by sounds of families cooking. After cleaning and rebinding her wounds, she manages to nibble on some of the bread. Afterwards, T'riss moves outside to watch as Arya completes her exercises.

    She watches with interest as the lithe catfolk practices. When Arya finishes, T'riss moves to the barricade to stand beside the others.

  4. - Top - End - #334
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    You're dead... You belong with us, brother...
    The voices from his dream silently echoed through Aswin's mind as he lay awake in the morning, a deep gloom weighing on him. "I'm sorry friends, I'm not allowed to join you. My path hasn't ended yet." He sat up, brushing over the unbleeding and unhealing wound on his chest that should have killed him, -did- kill him for all he knew. But what am I then? A shade, shackled to the world of the living?
    He recalled an old saying of his captain - 'If it bleeds, we can kill it.' Perhaps the reverse was also true: he can bleed, he can feel pain, so he must be alive, in one way or another.

    "Anyone help me with my armor?", he asked in a somber voice as he joined the others at breakfast. "Wise August, when we go into battle I would ask you to bring me to one of the elder trees you found. I'd like to bring an offering to the shieldshaker before we field our attack."
    Last edited by TheFallenOne; 2012-06-21 at 11:46 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #335
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    "Methinks I will remain here while you seek out elder Nicolae," Ashlyn replies to August. "I would not like to leave these villagers undefended for so long. But when thou and thy companions travel to the church I will come with you. I greatly desire to see what hath become of my companions first hand, and if need be assist in releasing them from foul undeath. And besides, if the church is in truth the source of this plague as the evidence doth suggest, methinks my sword might be necessary in the fight."
    Greenman by Bradakhan/Autumn Greenman by Sgt. Pepper/Winter Greenman by gurgleflep/Spring Greenman by Comissar

  6. - Top - End - #336
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    Arthros finishes composing himself while the others ready to depart. Just a dream. Probably this foul plane. The sooner we solve this problem, the sooner we can find a way to leave here. Just a dream.

    He stands ready to accompany the group, blessing them to fortify their resolve.

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    mass conviction, +3 morale on saves for 60 minutes

  7. - Top - End - #337
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    You leave quietly, with scant farewells. Ashlyn salutes you as you climb the barricades and promises to have ropes ready should you need a swift retreat.

    The street is deathly quiet and still, with neither wind nor bird nor beast stirring. The fog clings to you oppressively, making your clothes sodden and your skin clammy, and the eeriness is only increased by your inability to see through it.

    Some few minutes of careful progress brings you to the mansion Ismark had told you would be there. It is clearly old, though in good repair, and easily twice the size of any home you've yet seen in this place. The roof is steeply pitched, with gables over the second and third story windows. These, along with their ground floor fellows, are shuttered and, you can guess, bolted. The solid oak door has the points of huge wrought iron nails sticking out of it nearly an inch.

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    You can stop here now or come by after you've got Nicolae.
    Greenman by Bradakhan/Autumn Greenman by Sgt. Pepper/Winter Greenman by gurgleflep/Spring Greenman by Comissar

  8. - Top - End - #338
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    Arthros looks at the building. "I suggest stopping here first. May as well, never know what might be following us on our way back."

    (If no one stops him)

    Arthos goes to the door, carefully rapping between the nails. "My lady, we are here aiding the village in its plight. Would you speak with us? Your brother is concerned for you."

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    diplomacy (1d20+14)[16] ed-can't roll dip checks to save my life

    If she responds, he will ask to bring her back to the inn, taking her father's body if needed and using what magic he can to keep it from rising. He will also inquire about the artifact mentioned to be in her possession. I will be gone this weekend, so please let carry out the conversation to keep things moving in my absence.
    Last edited by stack; 2012-06-22 at 08:53 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #339
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    I'm going with the assumption that no one is stopping Arthros.


    A woman's voice issues from behind the door. Though muffled, you can sense a bit of an edge to her voice. "Forgive me if I'm skeptical. There are creatures out there enough that can pretend to be human, and I'm perfectly fine in here. If you are trying to help Barovia, come back when you've done so. I have no intention of allowing the miasma that transmits this plague to infect my father's corpse."
    Greenman by Bradakhan/Autumn Greenman by Sgt. Pepper/Winter Greenman by gurgleflep/Spring Greenman by Comissar

  10. - Top - End - #340
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    Arya Skye, Catfolk Knight

    Arya stepped up behind Arthros and adds: "my lady, fear not that we would hurt or bring you harm. Creatures may change to seem human, but I have seen none impersonating my kind."

  11. - Top - End - #341
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    "I will do so, Aswin, but it must wait; the only trees I found were those at the church," August replies, summoning his armour after they reach the other side of the barricades. "They are cold and distant, but still care somewhat about the world around them."

    ---

    "Will you speak then of the holy relic you wield?" August calls. "Is its power your surety against the curse that creates these shades? We seek its source, and such knowledge would be helpful."

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  12. - Top - End - #342
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    Isaac seems to be more on edge today, leaning heavy on his cane, standing off to the side. He hobbles over at the exchange of words though, a frowning drawing deep lines on his visage.

    "Look, you addle-brained girl. If this disease had an airborne transmission vector, your father's corpse would already be infected, and you would already be a carrier. You're not keeping anything out of this rickety old house besides your saviors. From what we've witnessed, blood is the most likely transmission, and none of us will be biting you today. The faster you let us in, the faster we can help you and everyone else in this accursed place."

    Seems as if the professor woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Perhaps it was the fact that he only got six hours of restless, dream-filled sleep...or maybe it was the lack of a good breakfast. But most likely, it was the utter lack of a good cup of tea, for more than a day now.

  13. - Top - End - #343
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    T'riss walked up beside Isaac and gently laid a hand on his arm.

    "Easy, Old Master. You will scare the girl out of her wits."

    Toward the door, she said,

    "Enough child, you are not safe alone. That which you knew as your father is gone. Tis only his body that remains. It is best if you join the others...there is safety in numbers."

  14. - Top - End - #344
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    "Indeed, you are welcome to wait here if you so prefer. We cannot compel you but by reason. However, if you have something that may help us turn the tide here, I must implore you to aid us. Indeed, not us, but all who yet live here."

  15. - Top - End - #345
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    The voice pauses for a moment. "Either you are the stupidest undead I've heard so far or you're alive. In either case I still do not intend to open this door. You may yet carry the disease even though you have not yet succumbed to it. I know nothing of 'vectors,' but the curse is certainly not spread only by being bitten, for I have seen corpses of those dead and buried years ago walking about town through the shutters. No, I will remain here with my father's body until he can be safely buried in consecrated ground. The doors and shutters are strong, and I know enough of the sword and bow to destroy more than a few should they break through.

    "As for the holy relic you say I wield, I assume you mean the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind. I have it no longer. I could not work its power, and neither could my brother, though heaven knows we tried. I kept it despite that, for it is precious to me as an heirloom of my mother's and of her mother's, but some thing of evil stole into this house and took it while I slept."
    Greenman by Bradakhan/Autumn Greenman by Sgt. Pepper/Winter Greenman by gurgleflep/Spring Greenman by Comissar

  16. - Top - End - #346
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    "A potent creature indeed, to pass through walls and bars and steal away with its plunder. I know of nothing that could do so, but should we come across a shade that matches the description, we shall watch for this crest of the ravens." August turns to leave, seeing no need to attempt to persuade the woman further. "Good fortune to you. We shall undo this curse somehow, I am sure."
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  17. - Top - End - #347
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    Arya Skye, Catfolk Knight

    Though grovelling pained her, so to did the stupidity of this human.
    "Is there no proof we could render for you, my lady Ireena? For you have already indicated that creatures have made it within your walls: how then is it safe? You must come to us, for if your skills are as you say you could do a great deal for your fellow men."

    Reluctantly, Arya reached inside her mail shirt and withdrew the bone talisman: "You may know this sign, for it is a ward against the evils of this place. Come with us, and I shall bestow it upon your father's corpse so he may not rise to join the ranks of our foes."

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  18. - Top - End - #348
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    The frown remains on the old scholar's lips...but he turns away now, casting his gaze into the fog, and away from the immediate residence of this troublesome yokel.

    So this disease originated with the dead. Perhaps a variant of some sort of cordiceps fungus...or perhaps not. Equally likely is the possibility that this -is- a curse, wholly magical in nature, and merely mimicking the spread of a disease. But that amulet...it protected the corpse upon which it lay, and it had no other powers besides the ward against disease...

    The professor begins to pace, obviously lost in thought.

    This girl's father has not reanimated either...and the living around here show no signs of latent side effects of a dormant infection. The creatures we have come upon so far have all showed signs of decay...and no intelligence. Except for those casters...perhaps it merely injures the intellect, rather than shutting down higher brain function entirely? The facts as they stand still point towards disease...a contagion. We will need to remain vigilant about this.

    The professor turns his gaze upon the door once more, and, having the sense to wait for the obviously more sociable cat-person to try and work her charms, approaches only after a reply has been given, adding a question.

    "How do you know that whatever crept into your home was evil? You say you or your brother had no success in working this weapon against evil...perhaps another villager stole into your home, and made away with it in hopes of battling this plague of reanimation, and succeeding in its use where you could not?" There is a pause, and then, inspiration. "How long ago was this theft?"

  19. - Top - End - #349
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    Arthros speaks softly to his companions. "If her mind is set, maybe we ought proceed to the Nicolae. We can check here on our way back, to see if consideration softens her position. If not, we cannot compel her, though the loss of this holy symbol troubles my mind."

  20. - Top - End - #350
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    The voice pauses again, then returns, this time more friendly. "I cannot clearly see what you are holding up for me to see, but if you mean the ravens, they will not protect my father. Half the village wears those, and yet when they fell they still rose as undead. I'm inclined to believe you, but still I will remain on my vigil over my father's body.

    "And why do I know the thing that stole it is evil?" she replies to Isaac scornfully. "Do you know many things that can enter a locked, shuttered, and barred house and snatch a necklace off someone while they sleep that isn't a creature of fell intent? For I surely do not. No. Maybe it was Strahd, maybe one of his servants. I do not know, but they certainly did not have this village's safety in mind."
    Greenman by Bradakhan/Autumn Greenman by Sgt. Pepper/Winter Greenman by gurgleflep/Spring Greenman by Comissar

  21. - Top - End - #351
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    T'riss frown and then shrugs. "If we cannot persuade her to sense, perhaps we should continue on. There are others who have asked for our help."

    She steps away from the door and waits to see what the others do.

  22. - Top - End - #352
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    "We should protect those who can't protect themselves, but neither does she seem incapable of defending her home nor can we know her assertion to be saver here to be wrong. There are people who need to be saved from their own foolishness, but if there is a big assault it will likely target the place where most people are gathered, so let her have her way. We can serve everyone best by ending this menace instead of forcing our questionable assertion of safe refuge on others. As for the Symbol of Ravenkind, we will have to stand strong without it. Our strength and conviction will stand the test on their own."
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  23. - Top - End - #353
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    "Agreed. Let us press on. I fear thee morning my be little deterrent to our foes."

  24. - Top - End - #354
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    "Before we retrieve Nicolae, we should investigate the house to the east of his," August says as they walk, pressing one of the fingers of his wooden hand inward to toughen his skin - they seem to have unfolded again during the night. "He said it was a centre of activity for the shades, and one likely to cause us trouble on our way back if we do not clear it out beforehand."
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  25. - Top - End - #355
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    You see no sign of the dead as you travel south to the house Nicolae indicated to August. It's one of the larger ones in the town, nearly as large, though nowhere near as grand, as the burgomaster's house. The windows are broken, presumably recently, but the whitewash is peeling and shingles are falling off, whether from neglect or poverty. The front door is open, though from a distance you can't see whether anything stirs within.
    Greenman by Bradakhan/Autumn Greenman by Sgt. Pepper/Winter Greenman by gurgleflep/Spring Greenman by Comissar

  26. - Top - End - #356
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    "What have we here, I wonder? There seems to be no one about at all, but it strikes me that the shades may rest here during the day; certainly, I saw many more of them about last night than we have come across today."

    August takes a few steps forward, but comes no closer, the tapping of his boots on the cobblestone all too audible in the muffled silence of the mists. "It may be wise to approach unseen, for if there are a great many shades below, it would be easier to trap them there than cut them down."
    Last edited by Sallera; 2012-06-30 at 07:34 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #357
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    Arthros eyes the house warily. "Perhaps it would be best to simply burn it down? If we believe it is rife with undead...Or just grab Nicolae and go back to the defenses. Wouldn't finding the source at the church be more effective than trying to clear each house, at least potentially?"

  28. - Top - End - #358
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    "Indeed, that would be effective, but I wish not to risk setting the whole town alight. If we can bring Nicolae back unnoticed, that would certainly be the swiftest course of action; I would but know whether aught watches from inside, that we be not attacked from behind while doing so."
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  29. - Top - End - #359
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    "The ground looks wet enough, but I am no expert in such matters. Others I have traveled with in the past where fond of that method for dealing with their problems. It was effective from time to time, though it can make additional problems if not careful. This wasn't always considered a drawback by them." He frowns at the thought of some of his past companions attitudes toward private property.

  30. - Top - End - #360
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    "Well, let us not resort to such methods without certain cause." August nods toward the house again, almost encouragingly. "If there is nothing to be found within, we shall simply retrieve Nicolae and return."
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