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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: From Across the Multiverse to Barovia: Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (IC)

    August steps to the front and crosses his arms over each other, bowing in return, one hand holding light and the other holding a nothing beyond nothing the light cannot penetrate. Thus framed, he spreads his arms to encompass all the rest, his voice returning to the surety it held when they first arrived in this realm.

    "I am called August, and my companions are T'rissaste, Aswin, Arthros, Isaac, and Arya. We had word of this town's plight from a traveling merchant, and made haste to lend aid. Tell me, do many yet live?"
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  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Kobold

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    The wisened old man looks warily towards the mist that clouds vision of the east...but it seems that the two unusual specimens would not find their way back to this place. His cane clicks upon the cobbles as he limps his way over towards the paladin. He tilts his head to the side, and silently, he ushers up Vesper's files, doing a quick bit of searching to see if he might know about this order...and, it seems, he does...if only tangentially. Nonetheless, it is time for an experiment.

    "Sol Invictus .... bon, ce monde a besoin de chaleur. Mon plaisir de vous rencontrer."
    @Lady Ronges
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    Transalation: "Sol Invictus...good, this world needs warmth. My pleasure to meet you."


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    Knowledge (History): (1d20+8)[18]
    Vesper's Aid Another: [roll] 1d20+1[/roll]. A result of 15 or higher increases Isaac's result by two.
    Last edited by Mahrke; 2012-05-26 at 02:06 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Arya Skye, Catfolk Knight

    Arya staggered out of the whole those creatures had attempted to prematurely bury her in, anger for once her primary emotion. To die that death would have been humiliating! To bury your foe as though they are already defeated! How dare they. She wouldn't admit it to herself, but part of her anger stemmed from fear and guilt: fear of dying in the ground with no way to stop it, and guilt from being the weakest member of the group...

    She kept quiet, unable to take credit for rescuing the woman.

  4. - Top - End - #244
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    The knight inclines her head toward each of you as August makes introductions. "I am quite pleased to meet you," the knight says. "But alas, I fear thine informant didst reach you far too belatedly. I know not how many have fallen to these creatures or the pox they bring with them; it may be that some still survive outside this square, barring their doors and waiting for rescue, but I dare not allow hope to set root in my heart, lest it bloometh into bitter sorrow when I must needs destroy their bodies to bring them rest.

    "Some more than a hundred survive, here. The proprietor of the Blood of the Vine, the tavern across the square," she says, pointing to the large building at the north end of the square, "hath been kind enough to permit them to stay and to sleep in the tavern."

    Ashlyn seems shocked to hear Isaac speak in French. "Ah, quelqu'un qui parle une langue civilisée!" she says, clearly excited. "Je désespérais de jamais entendu Richemuloise avant de mourir. Je ne reconnais pas votre accent comme appartenant soit à Sainte Ronges ou Pont-à-Museau, monsieur Isaac. Puis-je demander d'où vous êtes?"

    @Mahrke
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    "Ah, someone that speaks a civilized tongue! I had despaired of ever hearing Richemuloise before I died. I don't recognize your accent as belonging to either Sainte Ronges or Pont-a-Museau, sir Isaac. May I ask where you are from?"

    You've never heard of Richemuloise (nor the Richemulot it must refer to), nor have you heard of Sainte Ronges or Pont-a-Museau. Also, it would be "Lady Sainte Ronges."
    Last edited by Jeff the Green; 2012-05-26 at 03:27 AM.
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    The professor seems a bit crestfallen at her reply...he didn't recognize those places...and only know does it -really- dawn on him. They'd all been speaking English. Even though every one of them had been from a different time and place, they'd all spoken perfect English. Of course this woman wasn't French...she merely hailed from some extraplanar Francophone.
    "Je suis originaire de l'Angleterre ... mais, je pense que vous ne connaissez pas cet endroit. Votre maison est loin d'ici?"
    @Lady Saint Ronges
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    "I come from England, but, I think that you do not know that place. Is your home far away from here?"

    As he speaks, he hobbles over toward Arya, laying a hand upon her shoulder, his voice lowering.
    "Are you alright? I am sorry for placing you in such grave danger...I...miscalculated." Aging features are grim, but, in truth, the professor is relieved to see his furred companion alive and well, instead of granted an early grave.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Arya Skye, Catfolk Knight

    "Well enough, wise one, I thank you for your concern, and I do not think I will be hindered. They are fell creatures, and unfortunately we are as of yet unfamiliar with their capabilities: neither of us shall underestimate them again though I hope."

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    "Ah, so you two hail from the same place then", Aswin said when Ashlyn and Isaac spoke the same foreign tongue, and he dismounted from Drifa to properly greet the female warrior. "No need for thanks, it is the duty of the strong to protect those in need, as well as aid fellow warriors like yourself who follow the same call, bravely defending the inhabitants of this community from these foul creatures on your very own." He gave a short bow in recognition of her valiant act.

    "But again, we must not tarry long. Elder Isaac, those two creatures you whisked away were formidable foes, and we should find them again to strike them into the dust where they belong before they do more harm. And the other citizens our dear warrior maiden mentioned need rescuing as well."
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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    "Ah, non," Ashlyn replies to Isaac, "je n'ai pas entendu parler de l'Angleterre, mais je sais que peu de domaines en dehors des Richemulot. J'imagine que c'est une semaine de voyage dans les brumes de ce village, puis une fois qu'on arrive à Richemulot, une autre semaine à partir des Brumes à Sainte Ronges."

    @Mahrke
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    "Ah, no, I have not heard of England, but I know little of the domains outside Richemulot. I imagine it's a week of travel to the Mists from this village, and then once one arrives in Richemulot, another week from the Mists to Sainte Ronges."


    She turns to Aswin. "Methinks," she says, "it is not so simple as thou thinkest, Sir Aswin. I can not see the creatures you think of, so I think it unlikely they can see us. None had, until this time, violated this square, as the barricades stood in their path. Your proposal is bold, but perhaps a more prudent plan would be to repair this barricade that the villagers here might be safe while we seek an end to this pox."
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    "That should be a simple matter." Waving his hand, August dismisses the grasping air, then raises a finger to point at one of the more damaged buildings. "This one is empty, is it not?" Upon receiving confirmation, he fires off a series of rays at the upper floor, leaving a twenty-foot section of the wall balancing precariously, then reaches up and pulls on the air.

    "Be mindful of your eyes," August says, as his hand seems to cast an impossible shadow on the upper edge of the wall. After a moment, the wood creaks and topples over, crashing to the ground in several pieces. "There we are. These shades do not appear very intelligent, so what remains of the wall should keep them from climbing over the rest, and I believe we can move these pieces if we work together."

    "Lady Ashlyn, do you know who is the cause of this curse, or where it first arose?"

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    August has 8 30-damage shots of Umbral Touch left, so that ought to be enough to detach a section of wall if he aims carefully; he'll use Umbral Hand to pull it down in the right direction. He's basically aiming to get a roughly 20 by 5ft section of wood we can use to repair the barricade, while leaving enough wall and/or rubble left on the upper floor of the building to keep the zombies out of the square.
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  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Isaac nods silently to Arya, breathing a defeat sigh as the lady paladin replies. So she too was a native resident here...more and more it seemed their situation was out of the ordinary in this place.

    "No, Aswin, I am afraid not. She and I merely speak the same tongue, but she is not from France, the place it originates in my world...it is merely a coincidence, if you believe in such things. Curious though; I took for granted that we all speak English...but it too is odd, is it not? Six travelers from widely differing worlds that know the same tongue? Hmm..." The professor paces, limping in a slow rhythm as he ponders the situation, only snapped out of it when August blasts apart the top of a nearby wall, staggering and looking at him with alarm, before he understands the boy's intent.

    "I believe this plan has merit...but I must plead for rest. I have very nearly pushed myself to my limit with these battles; if any more danger arises, I am afraid I shall be of little use."

    The professor returns to his pacing...and this time, he is on the lookout for anything of value in the immediate area.

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    Take 10 Search: 18
    Vesper Aid Another (1d20+1)[16]: Result of 15 or greater increases Search result by 2.

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Ashlyn nods, and as the side of the building tumbles to the ground, her eyes widen and her face blanches. She seems to want to back away from August, but instead says "Thou art verily a great sorcerer, Master August. Permit me to fetch young Parriwimple to assist us in rebuilding the barricade, and then we can speak of ending this plague."

    Ashlyn raps her armored fist on the door to the south and identifies herself. A young man, perhaps 17, with pimples and freckles dotting his pale face opens the door tentatively, and soon enough comes out and begins examining the rubble. Two other men, surly and with broad shoulders, come out of the building to the north and join him.

    Between the three townsmen and the six of you, the barricade is quickly rebuilt.

    "Perhaps, friends, it would seem best to speak in the tavern," Ashlyn says when you are done. "In truth, battle at such a late hour hath wearied me, and though Deus Sol Invictus doth guard my heart from fear, experiencing such a premature funeral hath shaken me."
    Last edited by Jeff the Green; 2012-05-26 at 09:37 PM.
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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    August's expression clouds over as he belatedly realizes the impact and appearance of the powers he has been wielding, and he bows his head in apology. "I am sorry; it was not my intent to impress. I am no great sorcerer, only one who walks the path in between; in truth, until I arrived here, my own abilities sufficed only to draw a few minor manifestations from the balance, making slight alterations to the appearance of the world. But this realm holds a power my own does not, an existence that should not be - and it is oddly resonant with my mentor's teachings. I am still learning what it can do, and it is not always easy to predict its effects."
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  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Arya Skye, Catfolk Knight

    This human woman, seemed to have some strength about her, and though Arya at first thought her too weak to be named a warrior, she recalled that she too had suffered the same fate as this woman: perhaps she should not judge the humans on their weak bodies, some had an inner strength of character.

    "So, do we now take guard duty, and attempt to defend a large square in the midst of an enemy army with just the six of us, some who have suggested their power is near exhaustion? We do not have the numbers for guard duty, we need to move, and I would suggest we either find more warriors or we lead these people out of danger. I would not abandon them, but staying here will mean death, and perhaps unlife for all of them and us."

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    "Nay, we have not rebuilt these walls for naught. Until one of the wiser shades can marshal its unthinking kin into some semblance of order, it is not an army we face, but a shambling mob. We have time yet to speak of the cause of this curse, and how we might end it." August nods toward the tavern.

    "Let us accept Ashlyn's offer, and learn what we can. I still bear my faerie ring; it will be fully dark in less than an hour, and then I can move unseen to gather any more information we require about the state of the town."
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    T'riss nods. Aye. I know not of the rest of you but I am weary. I have not fought such a consistent battle since my house sought to supplant House Duskryn.

    She glances around the battlefield. I would know more of this strange land we have found ourselves in. And I'd not be loth to find a weapon more effective against these creatures.

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    "Fear not, friend August. Thou hast proven thy good intentions by fighting off those creatures; I merely am not accustomed to seeing such abilities save in those touched by madness.

    "I too, have sensed a fell presence here." She reaches to her throat to hold up a bone pendant shaped like a bird. "It is for that reason that I wear this. Many villagers wear such pendants, believing they absorb the power that otherwise would afflict them. Seeing the speed with which decay sets upon the bone, methinks there is some truth to this."

    @All
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    Yes, this is a hint. These pendants absorb taint, as per Heroes of Horror, page 67. If you don't have access to HoH, it's similar to the taint rules on the SRD, except that instead of protecting you for n days, they absorb n points of taint.


    ____________________

    The common room of the tavern is mostly occupied by families of villagers, some trying to put young children and colicky infants to bed in cots, others eating supper at the tables that have been pushed to one side of the room to create something of a living space on the other. The surly looking men that helped rebuild the barricade are at one table playing at cards. A young man wearing the brooding expression sits in the corner nursing a tankard filled--if the stains on his lips are to judge--with red wine; this one stands out to some degree because of his clothes; despite the mud and dirt and tears, his clothing is obviously of far higher quality than the other burghers'.

    Ashlyn directs you to a table and bids you sit down, but not before calling over two idle teenagers to help her and Aswin to undo the various buckles and straps keeping their armor on.

    "Thou didst inquire, August, whether I knew the cause or source of this pestilence. My companions and I arrived just as the creatures appeared, but the villagers told us that the first of the creatures came from the church, to the north of the village.

    "My companions--Lady Madeleine, a knight of great renown, and Gilles de Mortigny, a priest of Deus Sol Invictus--were eager to investigate the church. Both the villagers and I counseled against it, the villagers instead suggesting a visit to Madame Eva, and I urging them to prepare, to speak to those who know the church building lest they enter the church unawares and be set upon by the creatures in an unfamiliar place. In the end, as the eldest and entrusted with command by the Reverend Mother of our order, I forbade them from leaving the square until such time as we might agree upon a course of action.

    "Naturally they disobeyed me, and though it has been three days since, I have not seen them. I fear greatly that they have fallen, or worse, but alone I had not a chance at surviving to find their bodies."

    As she removes the last pieces of her armor, she slumps down at the table. The quilted garment that protects her body is coated in rust marks, and you can see the places where her armor must rub and press. She pulls that over her head and lays it with the armor on the floor. When the tunic she wears underneath shifts, you're able to see ugly red marks and blisters on her shoulders, evidence that she's been wearing her armor for far too long.
    Last edited by Jeff the Green; 2012-05-28 at 06:32 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Kobold

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    Isaac knows his strengths, and the man is fairly sure that schmoozing with peasants from the middle ages is not one of them. He makes a mental note of the pendant's supposed properties. His first instinct is one of skepticism, believing it to be a superstition; but shamanism is alive and well in his home plane, if looked down upon by the more rational minds, and so the little trinket is not discounted entirely.

    He takes a seat at the bar, rubbing at his knee, seeming immensely fatigued.

  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Arya Skye, Catfolk Knight

    Arya nodded at her words, acceding to the counsel of the others.

    But her own peoplle did not obey her? Why not? Arya may have been far to young for own position, but yet her knights had accepted her command immediately: it seemed that either humans were more strongwilled than she had thought, or this woman lacked in some capacity.

    "Where can this church be found?" Arya enquired, "If we are to defend these people we should gather all those who are able to fight, though I agree it would be better to wait for tomorrow before moving out fully."

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    August inspects the pendant with interest, although it seems to be only a superficial examination. "I do not know if such a thing would protect me from the gaze of the void-that-is-not, but oft it has been that a seemingly-ordinary trinket turns out to hold great power to affect the self. Perhaps I shall follow this custom."

    Joining the others at the table, although he does not seek food or drink, August listens attentively to Ashlyn's words, almost subconsciously dismissing the rest of the villagers. "This church must certainly be investigated; I will go and look once it is dark, and we can make use of what I learn after we are rested. But who is this Madame Eva? A wise one from this land?"
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  20. - Top - End - #260
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    "The church is north of this square," Ashlyn replies to Arya, "some ways away from the other buildings in town. The villagers hold some superstition against burying bodies too close to their houses; though given the circumstances, perhaps such superstition is warranted.
    ___________________

    "I cannot in good conscience advise that you do go out in the dark, master August," she says, turning to August. "I do not doubt your powers, but 'tis exceedingly dangerous. Enough villagers have succumbed to this pestilence that groups of their animated bodies attack the barricades several times each day. But one blow catching you unawares could unkindly deprive us of your assistance.

    "But as for Madam Eva, I cannot say that I know much. Some of the villagers speak of her as a sibyl of old, dispensing prophesy and curses as her possessing spirits demand" she says, "but others say she is merely a wise woman, whom they seek when in need of medicine or of herbs to illicitly secure the affections of another." Her face makes it clear how she feels about such potions.

    "Perhaps some of the villagers might know more of this seeress. When I first came to this accursed village my friends and I sought information, of a sort, and the villagers said Madam Eva knoweth, if anyone doth." The weariness on Ashlyn's face suddenly magnifies. "In truth, I have not pursued it. I have spent near every waking hour protecting these poor, wretched people, and when I have had a moment to sit, as now, a great melancholy settles upon me as a stifling blanket; I fear my friends are lost, and that I must surely join them before finding what we sought."
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  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Arthros goes about the tavern offering to tend the wounds of any in need, before returning to his companions. "I am loathe to leave this infection unchecked any longer than we must, but if we need to rest than this seems a good place. If the church is the source of this calamity, then it will have to be seen to, though knowing more of the matter may be of benefit.Both roads bear risks and I cannot see clearly enough to weigh them truly. I have some strength left if we chose to press on. If not, I will expend it to ensure all here will be ready to face further challenges in the morning, if such a thing exists here."

  22. - Top - End - #262
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    "I'd much prefer to end this menace right now lest more people die while we hesitate, but if some of you have expended most of your strength for now I won't ask you to run into a fight we may not win unless fully prepared, and victorious we must be for the sake of everyone here. But since these creatures attac this place multiple times each day, as dear Ashlyn says, we need to leave a suitable guard behind, or we may find everyone slaughtered even if we succeed."
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  23. - Top - End - #263
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    "Nay, it is not so dangerous as you fear, Lady Ashlyn. My faerie ring hides me from the sight of all creatures of midnight, and as long as I carry no lights, they will not find me. In addition to the church, I would seek out this town's wisest tree and ask what it has seen. It may know where the shades congregate, at the least, which could lead us to others who yet live."

    "If Madame Eva lives nearby, I could seek her out as well, but if she is like the wise ones I know, she will not be close enough to reach in a timely manner - and if I disturb her rest, she might be less helpful. Aswin, Arthros, I will go as soon as I can, and I hope to return with enough clues to the nature of this matter that we can make a better decision. If we must rest then, we can yet do so."
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  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Ashlyn considers Aswin's proposal for a minute before responding. "Thy suggestion is prudent, Sir Aswin. But methinks that the barricade master August so kindly provided doth stand now with sufficient strength to ward off any attacks this square might suffer. There are men here," she says, gesturing to the men playing cards, the young man sipping wine, and the bartender, "who are capable of wielding weapons, and there is a goodly number of crossbow bolts in the basement. They are capable of ensuring these peoples' safety, and in truth I do not expect we shall be gone for longer than an hour, and that in the grey light that passes for day in this Domain."

    ____________________________


    "Yes," Ashlyn says to August. "I have heard the fair folk give such gifts, though rarely. But takest thou care, master August, for I would be wroth to lose another warrior to this pox."
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    Arthros gestures to the pendants about the villagers necks. "These wards, might we obtain them? I trust this place little, even before we arrived in this village I saw corruption of the flesh that resisted all healing. If they have any power, we would be prudent to make use of it."

  26. - Top - End - #266
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    @stack
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    Quote Originally Posted by stack View Post
    Arthros gestures to the pendants about the villagers necks. "These wards, might we obtain them? I trust this place little, even before we arrived in this village I saw corruption of the flesh that resisted all healing. If they have any power, we would be prudent to make use of it."
    Was that directed at Ashlyn or one of the villagers?
    Greenman by Bradakhan/Autumn Greenman by Sgt. Pepper/Winter Greenman by gurgleflep/Spring Greenman by Comissar

  27. - Top - End - #267
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: From Across the Multiverse to Barovia: Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (IC)

    T'riss, who had found a seat to rest in and was listening quietly to the conversation, perks up the mention of crossbow bolts.

    Lady Knight, before you leave, did you say there were crossbow bolts available? I have not used many so far but I would not mind restocking and perhaps purchasing a second quiver...she pauses, that is if my gold is good here?

    she looks around. Aye, and a weapon that might be more effective against the undead. My rapier seems less effective than other swords.

  28. - Top - End - #268
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Jeff the Green's Avatar

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    Default Re: From Across the Multiverse to Barovia: Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (IC)

    One of the villagers, a young woman whom Arthros treated for a painful-looking bruise and some cracked ribs, speaks up in response to his question. "Sir, the ravens are carved by my father, Nicolae. My husband and I tried to get to his house before we fled here, but the way was blocked by the dead." Tears well up in her eyes, and her husband encircles her with his arms, trying to comfort her.

    "Nicolae's house is at the south end of the village," he says. "But Bildrath might have some in a box somewhere, if you can convince him to do business with you. He closed his mercantile when we barricaded the square and refuses to do business with anyone."
    _________________

    "Is not gold good everywhere?" Ashlyn responds to T'riss's question. "I doubt that the people here would reject thy gold, so long as thou takest not so many that they have too few to protect themselves. I have some, Lady T'rissaste, that thou shouldst consider taking; for as I am one of the Luciferi, so to do the crossbow bolts I carry bring the light of the sun and destroy the undead." Ashlyn looks away sheepishly. "I must needs ask payment for any thou takest, fair T'rissaste, for though the reverend mother of the Luciferi is wise, she at times is also miserly and doth require that we purchase such expensive gear from our own allowance."

    "For a weapon, I know not with surety, but it seems likely Bildrath hath something thou mightst purchase, though he hath e'er been timorous and doth refuse to do business with any while the dead continue to walk."

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    The bolts are Alchemical Flare bolts (+1d6 fire damage to corporeal undead) and are 15 GP apiece. Ashlyn has ten total.
    Greenman by Bradakhan/Autumn Greenman by Sgt. Pepper/Winter Greenman by gurgleflep/Spring Greenman by Comissar

  29. - Top - End - #269
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    stack's Avatar

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    Default Re: From Across the Multiverse to Barovia: Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (IC)

    Arthros nods, hearing both the woman's and the lady's answers. "Perhaps we ought pay Bildrath a visit, then? Surely he is not so far lost to panic and despair that he would be unwilling to aid those who seek to save him?"

    To August, "Before you go out, let me weave a bond that will allow me to know if you become injured. Should you run too far afoul of any unexpected circumstances we can try to come to your aid."

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    status, not sure who else to cast it on since I get two targets
    Last edited by stack; 2012-06-01 at 07:09 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #270
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Sallera's Avatar

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    Default Re: From Across the Multiverse to Barovia: Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (IC)

    "Ah, that is a useful trick. I will accept your care."

    August smiles, nodding to the woman. "Perhaps I shall search for the house of Nicolae while I am out, as well, should I have time. Does it carry any particular mark I might seek?"
    Thanks to Arokh for the avatar.
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