The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Adelbert

    Adelbert gaped at Elsa. How could the wizardess not see the mark everywhere?

    He moved towards the bookcase to investigate. 'Be extraordinarily careful with the paper and parchment. I'm familiar with the damage age and damp can do and a careless touch might easily destroy a tome.'

    He kept looking back nervously at Elsa, wondering just what was going through her mind.

    At Astoria's question Adelbert blinked and looked over, then at Elsa.. 'I'd rather not say, not until I'm sure.' And not aloud - not in this place if I am right!
    Last edited by RossN; 2019-02-08 at 04:08 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #122
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    Sieghard

    "Be careful? A minute ago you wanted to burn everything," Sieghard said, grabbing a book at random. The one he had chosen was already rotten beyond salvage and he let it drop without a second thought. He moved to another shelf and started picking through the books. This place reminded him of where they had found another batch of old books more than he cared to think about, but those books had fetched a nice price... Maybe Adelbert had a point about being gentle with them.

    "We already knew wizards used to use this place," he muttered in response to Astoria, dropping a second unsalvageable book to the ground next to the first. "It's the whole reason she wanted to go digging around."

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    Sieghard will thumb through the shelves to try to find anything that has escaped the worst of the damage. If he finds any, he'll pass them to Ludo to read.

    (1d100)[69] vs 46 search
    Last edited by TheSummoner; 2019-02-08 at 05:40 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Ludo was trying to get a sense of the geography of the place. "So there was the building on the surface, and now... another whole complex down here?"

    He cautiously approached the larger door, pressing his ear against it to listen for a second, before, if he heard nothing, carefully opening it a crack.
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  4. - Top - End - #124
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    The door opened onto another passage like the one they had followed from the central cavern. On the left, it stretched away into darkness, narrowing as it did. On the right, Ludo thought he caught the glitter of dark water reflecting his lantern's light. Nothing moved in either direction.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  5. - Top - End - #125
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    Elsa's eyes widened at the mirror. She stared at her own reflection for a minute, fascinated, and moved and turned around as if to try several angles.

    Elsa only
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    Could be a trick, Elsa told herself. Not a vision of a possible future, but simply a lure from the ones who brought me here.

    Still. The mere sight of herself in such splendid attire was enthralling, she could not deny it. And that crown... was that a thing that actually existed? Was it right here, or at least, did this place hold the clues to finding it? Or was it merely a way to symbolize how powerful she might become?

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    Elsa is trying several angles in an effort to see if the room in the mirror is recognizable, or at least contains some amount of detail and realism. If it lacks detail or looks like it's trying to escape her gaze, it would lend credence to her suspicions that the image is all made up by some intelligence.


    "Hmm," was all she said, pocketing the mirror.

    She continued her search of the shelves, looking for any books of magic. Most were ruined, but the really important ones might be preserved in boxes, or using special waxes or even magic.

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    I need me some grimoires if I'm ever to become Wizard Lord.

    Search 75. (d100)[92]

    Edit: Fortune Pointed to 74. I'm glad for Link of Psyche.
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2019-02-08 at 10:38 AM.
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    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  6. - Top - End - #126
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    Adelbert

    Adelbert had to cover his mouth and turn away quickly from Sieghard's casual destruction of the books. As dangerous as they were, as much as they might have to dispose of the books the sheer indifference which the mercenary was going about it turned his stomach. For a moment he genuinely felt he was going to retch.

    Much, much more carefully he examined the shelves, his delicate scribe's finger's touching the spines of books and parchment scrolls. If they were not going to reseal this room or destroy its contents - and Elsa seemed very clear they were not - he wanted to know what they had actually found.

  7. - Top - End - #127
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    Elsa Only
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    The mirror did a poor job of showing anything behind her. The image it reflected seemed to match the rough dimensions of the cavern, but it was murky and indistinct, as if viewed through cloudy water. The others appeared only as blurred figures, grey and indistinct compared to the brilliant colours of the Elsa in the mirror.


    Behind Elsa, Sieghard was ploughing through book after rotten book, covering his mouth and nose against the mildew-smelling dust that rose when he opened them. No-one was going to be paying much for these bundles of old mould. Discarding his latest find in disgust, he opened the tall wardrobe that stood beside the bookshelves to see if he might have more luck there. Hanging inside was a set of what had once been very fine robes, their gaudy blues and violets faded with age. A drift of shrivelled feathers on the wardrobe floor were what remained of a once-splendid collar, while a silver mask rested on a small shelf to the side. That at least was only slightly tarnished - though Sieghard found something about its protruding, beak-like nose disquieting. It was as if the mask-maker hadn't been able to decide whether he was making a mask of a person or a crow.

    Adelbert, having applied himself to the bookshelves with a little more care, had found something more than rotten parchment - a leather scroll-case, fairly stuffed with papers. Unrolling them with the utmost care, he began to read.

    The writing was in Reikspiel, albeit in a style that was a couple of centuries out of date. It read like an alchemist's notes, full of dry instructions and lists. A quick rifle through the other papers in the case confirmed they were all on the subject of 'the Process', which largely seemed to be a grandiose way of saying glass-making. Adelbert didn't know much about the glassblower's trade, but he was pretty sure it didn't usually involve 'powdered star stone' - whatever that was - or detailed instructions for how to extract it from water. Another loose page contained a list of tongue-twisting blessings to be uttered over the glass - words in no language that Adelbert had ever heard of.

    Elsa had found something too - a wooden box, half-buried under the detritus of the bookshelves. Undoing the intricate latch, she opened it to find a single book, resting on a sheaf of loose papers tied up with string. Both seemed to have survived far better than the other contents of the room.

    The papers were covered in close-written notes - a mixture of Reikspiel and the strange symbols that made up the circle on the floor, both in the same feminine, spidery hand. The book was bound in faded blue leather, a little cracked with age. Opening it to the first page, Elsa read the title:

    Seeking the Silver Tower
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  8. - Top - End - #128
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    Sieghard

    Sieghard eyed the ugly mask with suspicion. It reminded him of the painting they had burned the first time they had been here which had in turn reminded him far too much of another beaked figure. After a moment he picked the thing up and approached Elsa.

    "Is there anything special about this?"

  9. - Top - End - #129
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    Adelbert

    Adelbert studied the notes with interest. Not that he could hope to make much use of them personally, unless he wished to begin a career in alchemy but maybe with further study he could understand what the magicians here had been hoping to accomplish.

    As Sieghard spoke up Adelbert too glanced at Elsa. 'Find something Elsa?' He tried to keep the accusation out of his voice. He had a nasty feeling Elsa would not like it if he raised any of the serious concerns he was feeling.

  10. - Top - End - #130
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    "Is there anything special about this?" asked Sieghard, showing Elsa the bird mask.

    Elsa seemed dubious, as she suspected her senses would have picked this thing up from afar if it were magical, but she had a look at it all the same. Her gaze became distant.

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    Magical Sense 88. (d100)[64]



    Adelbert sidled up to her. "Find something Elsa?"

    Elsa stiffened, as if she had suddenly grown wary of the priest. "Hmm. Well, there's this book." She showed Adelbert its title and flipped through the pages. There was no time to read it here, but she would not be leaving this place without it.

    She wondered whether the loose papers would allow her to translate the odd symbols. They were undoubtedly worth keeping as well.


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    My parents are about to pay me a visit, so I'm unlikely to have time to post tomorrow (Saturday). I'll resume on Sunday.
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2019-02-08 at 09:33 PM.
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    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  11. - Top - End - #131
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    Elsa could sense nothing out of the ordinary about the mask. As far as she could tell, it was just a tarnished piece of silver.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  12. - Top - End - #132
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Feeling a bit out of her depth compared to the well-versed Bright Wizard and Verenan priest, Astoria continued her slow pacing around the outside edge of the study. Her mind kept wandering back to whatever that creature was back where they had come from and what else they might uncover down in this unpleasant place.

    After a while, Astoria paused to lean against the desk and allowed her gaze to fall on the circle in the center of the study. Was it meant to help with some ritual? Perhaps this was a direction of learning she should pursue. Knowledge is power, after all, and knowing what they were fighting would be invaluable.
    "Even in these chains, you can't stop me!" - In This Moment, Big Bad Wolf

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    "So what is this place?" Ludo asked. "Like a wizard's laboratory, like Beatrix had? Or a library? With a hidden exit? And the Illuminated Order didn't find it because they just didn't come down the staircase?"
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    "They didn't find it because there was a large grate in the way," Elsa pointed out. "I think their goal was only to destroy these wizards, not ransack the place. As for the purpose of this room..." Her eyes slid towards the circle. "Usually a caster would stand inside a circle of protection. But here the lectern where the caster would stand is outside the circle. I'm thinking it might have served to summon and bind something."

    There was little doubt as to what kind of thing was being summoned here.
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    Playing:
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  15. - Top - End - #135
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    Sieghard

    "I'm not sure that's right," Sieghard said. "The grate I mean." He scratched his head trying to remember. "They were driven out of here... No. He thought they were destroyed... But they weren't..." Realizing how incoherent he must be sounding, Sieghard sat down and took a moment to gather his thoughts. "Nicodemus said that. He called them the Bretheren of the Silver Tower." He gestured around the room. "The Bretheren were using all this stuff. If they had sealed the well off themselves, they wouldn't have left all it when they did. It would've been Nicodemus and the Order who did it after they attacked the place."

    Sieghard paled slightly and dropped the ugly silver mask as the realization hit him. "He also said the Bretheren had bargained with daemons. The Library was proof enough he was right... So if they were summoning something..." He gestured back towards the tunnel they had come through. "Then maybe that same something kept the Order from searching down here... And they put the grate over the well to keep that something contained..."
    Last edited by TheSummoner; 2019-02-10 at 02:30 AM.

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    While she had been listening to Sieghard's explanation, Astoria stayed staring at the strange circle on the floor. There was something unsettling about seeing dark magic up close, and if Elsa was right and this circle was used to summon Daemons, then the Estalian felt it was an entirely justified concern. It was one thing to see something like the flames her Bright Wizard companion could conjure. It was something entirely different to willingly truck with unclean spirits. First undead and death gods and, now daemons?

    The sudden clatter of the dropped silver mask was enough to pull her gaze from the circle, and to Sieghard. "That thing out there, you mean?" She jerked her thumb towards the sealed door. A moment later, the knight wore a scowl and glanced to Elsa. "My Lady, Is the circle safe?" Astoria asked with a thoughtful frown. "Will we accidentally...Myrmidia forbid...activate it?"
    "Even in these chains, you can't stop me!" - In This Moment, Big Bad Wolf

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    Adelbert

    Adelbert smiled reassuringly at Astoria. 'I admit I am not an expert but the fact that Elsa is not frantically ordering all of us away from the circle is probably a good sign. Having said that...'

    The priest turned to Elsa a frown engraving itself across his feature. 'Are you certain you want to get mixed up in anything involving the sort of magic the Brethern wielded? I admit I am no expert, but I do have some sense of that... 'witch sight' as you call it, and it is telling me this place is all very wrong.'

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    "So that... that's used for summoning the things we fought in the library?" Ludo asked. He was already some distance from the circle but felt an itch to step further away. The scar on his back was prickling again. "Why would anyone do that?"
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  19. - Top - End - #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    He gestured back towards the tunnel they had come through. "Then maybe that same something kept the Order from searching down here... And they put the grate over the well to keep that something contained..."
    "That grate was in place before the thing was unleashed, that much I'm sure of," said Elsa. "People don't just carry a grate around in case they need to contain a monster. I also think it's unlikely that the thing we heard in the tunnel is any sort of daemon, as daemons can't keep existing for centuries in the material world... unless the whole place was prepared specifically to allow them to."

    Granted, there was no evidence that this was not the case here... save for the fact that it would serve no purpose Elsa could think of.


    Quote Originally Posted by Erulasto View Post
    "My Lady, Is the circle safe?" Astoria asked with a thoughtful frown. "Will we accidentally...Myrmidia forbid...activate it?"
    Elsa hesitated. She may have read the strange daemonology book from the Lost Library, but she was still far out of her depth. "It seems doubtful to me. Still, I advise we leave this circle undisturbed."


    Quote Originally Posted by RossN View Post
    'Are you certain you want to get mixed up in anything involving the sort of magic the Brethern wielded? I admit I am no expert, but I do have some sense of that... 'witch sight' as you call it, and it is telling me this place is all very wrong.'
    "We're mixed up in this whether we like it or not, but I'm not planning to summon any daemons, if that's what you're asking."

    She would not admit it to Adelbert, but she had already crossed too many lines the Colleges had set for her, including the use of Dhar on a few rare—wholly justified—occasions.


    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    "So that... that's used for summoning the things we fought in the library?" Ludo asked. "Why would anyone do that?"
    "Maybe to seek knowledge from a daemon," said Elsa. She paused. "Maybe to strike a deal with one."
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2019-02-10 at 09:59 PM.
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    Playing:
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  20. - Top - End - #140
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    Adelbert

    Adelbert raised a brow and looked at Elsa uncertainly for a moment, as if trying to decide whether to fully trust her glib reply. 'If you're sure... well I suppose you are are our expert.' A hint of a rueful smile touched his lips. 'I've always admired your knowledge there. I sometimes wish I'd studied magic.'

  21. - Top - End - #141
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    'I've always admired your knowledge there. I sometimes wish I'd studied magic.'

    "I could lend you some of my books," said Elsa. She paused. "Which reminds me. One of my books does mention daemon-summoning. But for this, you need to know the daemon's true name."

    She pointed at the inscriptions on the ground. "This could be it."
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    Playing:
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  22. - Top - End - #142
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    Adelbert

    Adelbert's eyes widened. 'Do you think whatever is back there-' he pointed in the direction they had come, 'was summoned?'
    Last edited by RossN; 2019-02-11 at 08:09 PM.

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    Sieghard

    Sieghard's expression grew dark. "It's Cacophrax," he said.

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    'Do you think whatever is back there... was summoned?'

    "Possible, but not likely," said Elsa. "As I said, daemons shouldn't be able to exist for long in the material world. They're like fish out of water. Of course I may be wrong."

    Sieghard, for his part, voiced the suspicion that Elsa had not dared think about too hard. "Perhaps they did summon Cacophrax," she said. "Perhaps they're responsible for what happened to the Lost Library? Their final revenge, after their tower was attacked..."
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    Playing:
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    All this talk of daemons, binding them with their true names and the potential horrors that these Brethren could have unleashed were making Astoria somewhat uncomfortable. The Estalian picked her way across the room, careful to avoid the Circle and came to pause near Sieghard. Bending down cautiously, she plucked that strange silver mask up off the floor from where Sieghard had dropped it and gave it an appraising look.

    ”Is there any symbolism behind this?” asked Astoria curiously. ”Was this something these…Brethren…wore? A badge of office? Or is it merely a curio?”

    Unless Sieghard wanted the mask, Astoria made to slip it into her pack. Who knew what could come in handy.

    ”This…Cacophrax that you mentioned. He…it…was in this Lost Library? I have heard some mention of it in passing. That is where the Book was found, yes? Are there any ties or connections between Nahorek and the Daemon?”
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    Sieghard

    "The daemon taken over the Library by the time we found it - all but the room that held the book." Sieghard replied. "Cacophrax is what it called itself, but it wasn't the fiend's real name - it refused to give that. As for the mask, it looks exactly like the thing's face."

    He turned to Elsa. "Copy down the symbols. The daemon isn't dead - if its name has power over it, then better to have it in case it has any thoughts of revenge."

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    Adelbert

    'I doubt the daemon and Nahorek have any true connection other than desiring the book for their own ends. They are akin to the Border Princes - rivals at best, enemies in truth.'

    Adelbert looked at Elsa. 'I'm going to have to tell the temple about this.What are you going to tell the Tilean?'

  28. - Top - End - #148
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Elsa Only
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    The shadows on the cavern walls had not stopped dancing with more life than the flickering torchlight ought to give. When Adelbert spoke, Elsa thought she caught momentary glimpses of familiar shapes in the dark.

    "I'm going to have to tell the temple about this."

    The silhouettes of Teufelssohn and his cronies ghosted across the wall, a phantom smell of burning flesh assaulting her nostrils. I am here to deliver Sigmar's justice, drifted the words from the recesses of her memory, not to bandy terms with a witch.

    "What are you going to tell the Tilean?"

    The shadow of the witch hunter distorted and broke apart. Other shadows took the shape of Irene, her mocking laughter already tinkling in Elsa's ears.
    Spoiler: My Games
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  29. - Top - End - #149
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    "Copy down the symbols. The daemon isn't dead - if its name has power over it, then better to have it in case it has any thoughts of revenge."

    "I suppose I could, if Ludo will give me his wax," said Elsa, "though I couldn't begin to guess how to pronounce it. Perhaps I could study it in the coming months." She hoped merely carrying an inscription of the daemon's name would not bring an unintended curse upon her.


    'I'm going to have to tell the temple about this. What are you going to tell the Tilean?'

    Elsa stared into nothingness for a moment, then blinked. "Uh? Oh... I'll tell him we found arcane knowledge, but no loot to fill his coffers."

    That ought to make him lose interest.

    She paused again, though this time her mind seemed to be working fast. "What would you tell the temple? The churches here are not like the ones in the civilized realms, with soldiers or knights or witch-hunters at their beck and call. They're only a few elders tending to their flocks, not exactly the ruin-exploring type. Like it or not, we are better suited than they are at just about any important task. Besides... I know the temptation to burn down this place and salt the earth is strong, but it wouldn't serve much of a purpose. The wizards of Harmugstahl are long dead. Daemons can't come and go as they please. At best you may destroy valuable knowledge. At worst you may cause a latent spell or enchantment to lash out."
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2019-02-12 at 07:50 PM.
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    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown X

    Sieghard

    Sieghard nodded. "Anything that happened here happened long before the oldest priest at the temple was born." he said. "Tell 'em what you want, but I wouldn't expect much to come of it."

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