The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Father Furtha squints at the iron feather amulet in Rosa's outstretched hand. He hums to himself, then shakes his head. "I can't say I've seen this design before. It does remind a little of the sort worn by certain denominations in the lands far to the East. Animal iconography is quite common there, as I understand it. A talisman to ward off evil, perhaps? {Insight: Rosa can't seem to get a read on the priest} As for the would-be desecrators, I didn't see any of them wearing jewelry or other ornamentation, just simple dark cloaks over dark-coloured tunics. Of course, the Hall is not evenly lit in the evening, and my eyes are not quite as youthful as they once were." The priest spreads his hands apologetically.

    Furtha turns to César as Rosa and Borgrim confer quietly between themselves. "Ah, now let's see... their garb was dark-coloured, but otherwise unassuming. Long cloaks aren't out of place at this time of year, what with the rains and all. Otherwise, the individual I had the best look at appeared to have grey, ashen skin. Not a tone I'm used to seeing; even among those of orcish or hobgoblin descent have more colour to them. I didn't get a look at any of their faces. And a dagger, I'm quite certain that same individual was holding a blade of some sort, a dagger or large knife... yes, I'm quite certain that's what put the notion of 'sacrifice' into my head when I saw it. Now, why they didn't fight back, I can't fathom, though I'm thankful for it." Furtha gives an exaggerated shrug. "Maybe they hoped to finish their plot before meeting any resistance, and hadn't prepared for a fight?"

    As Borgrim starts off in search Petra, Furtha calls out: "You'll most likely find her in the novices dormitory, cleaning, or in the courtyard. Rodrick, would you help this young gentleman find Petra? Thank you!" The young novice, Rodrick, sets down his broom and quickly leads Borgrim to a small, lacquered wooden door set in the north side of the hall. He pushes on it heavily and leads Borgrim through.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Let's try this again, thanks WalkingTheShade.
    Code:
    ------------d-------
    | s s s s s s s s s |
    | o  o  o  o  o  o  |
    |                   |
    |A                  E
    |                   |
    | o  o  o  o  o  o  |
    | s s s s s s s s s |
    --------------------
    Rolling for Rosa: Insight - (1d20+1)[3] OOPS! For some reason I thought that Rosa's roll had been messed up, my mistake.
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-08-11 at 07:57 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #182
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Borgrim will walk off with the novice, patting the man heartily on the back, and adding: Roderick, eh? Good man, pleased to meet ya - lead on.

  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Spoiler: OOC
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    Uh? What happened to my post? My bad. Anyway...

    César digest the cleric's words. "Ashen skin, you say... hmm, the might prove useful to identify them." he says "Thank you for your time. I'm sure your testimony will be precious to identify those responsible." Responsible of what, exactly, he did not know. As for the pendant, he was not happy it did not elicit recognition of any sort, but he did not voice or show that on his face.

    Stepping away, he tells Rosa "Do you think it would be worthwhile for you to take a smoke near the altar? I'm not entirely sure how that works, to be frank. in the meanwhile, I could keep an eye on our Grim companion".
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  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Watching the priest, Rosa bites her lower lip. With a flowing voice only heard to her, the Master goes on: Is this want of knowledge? Or mere prevarication? With time passing the aforementioned feather increasingly appears not as a mundane religious symbolYou mean profane religious symbol? interrupts the Joker— Silence! exclaims the master, before continuing: Thus, not a mere and mundane religious symbol nor just an enchanted bauble, but more certainly such a focus of power as true believers are wont to manipulate to invoke occult manifestations of their faith.

    An image of Nicodemus jumps to the forefront of Rosa's mind: "A cult..." she whispers to herself. Rosa comes out of her reverie to realize the conversation with Furtha seems to have reached its natural end.

    Before following Faust, she throws a last look at Furtha.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Does Furtha sport openly a holy symbol? If not does the shape of one appear under his clothes, his collar or anywhere else? This is probably a case of generic player paranoia... Perception - (1d20+5)[7].

    EDIT: this is it! There's a conspiracy, Furtha is part of it, he's covering for the goat slaying cultists, and the RNG is covering for Furtha! I KNOW IT I AM ON TO THEM


    Quote Originally Posted by iTookUrNick View Post
    Stepping away, he tells Rosa "Do you think it would be worthwhile for you to take a smoke near the altar? I'm not entirely sure how that works, to be frank. in the meanwhile, I could keep an eye on our Grim companion".
    "Oh, don't worry about the Grim Leaper. I'm just trying to get on his nerves. He's both smarter than he looks and a tad more boisterous than he actually means," she smiles faintly at this, mindlessly fingering the bauble Borgrim offered her. Yet, a deep frown chases her mirth away. "What bothers me is this: Nicodemus believes that feather identifies agents of a cult. My guts tell me it is a divine focus. A cult has appeared here, in this temple. Furtha seems somewhat too, how to say, nonchalant regarding such an event. An event that ended strangely, as Borgrim noticed: Seems to me those cultists where either such unprepared idiots to not be worth our notice, or they were acting out a diversion."

    Rosa rubs her eyes. "I'd rather first we talk to Petra before we get kicked out of here because of a ban on smoking upon hallowed ground. But yes, that's a good idea."

    Rosa points in the direction she saw Borgrim leave, inviting Faust to follow in the half-orc's steps.
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-08-20 at 03:59 AM.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    César considers Rosa last words. "Your suggestion that it might all have been a diversion rigs true, somehow. We should keep our eyes peeled and look for signs of what else it might have been, starting from the obvious place, opposite the shrine where it happened."
    That said, he follows the others. They will think about the rest later on.
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  6. - Top - End - #186
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    Spoiler: OOC
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    Furtha wears a half-Sun brooch (standard symbol of At'ar) prominently on his chest. Otherwise his grey robes are nondescript but well-made. Rosa doesn't spot any sign of concealed items of any sort on the priest's person.


    "Likewise, sir," The novice Roderick replies, leading Borgrim through the small doorway into a small courtyard dominated by two large, flowering pear trees. Roderick glances about quickly, then mumbles beneath his breath, "Sleeping in? Typical..." He adds, more loudly, "If you'll wait here just a moment, I'll go and fetch novice Petra." Without waiting for an answer, Roderick bustles off through another of the courtyard doorways.

    A few songbirds flit about the branches of the trees as Borgrim waits. Rosa and Faust join him a moment later, just in time for Roderick to return with a young woman in tow. The woman attempts to vigorously tidy her curly brown hair before she reaches the three companions, giving up with a sigh of defeat halfway across the courtyard. Roderick hangs back, just out of ear-shot, but keeps an obvious eye on Petra and the three companions.

    The young woman introduces herself with a quick curtsy as Petra, and offers up what she saw of the event: "In the evening, six days ago, that's right. I was tidying up a few of the saints on the north side of the hall when I saw the group come in. There are small groups that come in from time to time, so I went back to tidying. Maybe them all being dressed in black was a little weird, but... anyway, as I was cleaning, it was like I could feel the air starting to hum, made the hairs on my arms stand up, so I looked back and they'd formed a semi-circle near the Goddess. So I went and fetched Father Furtha. He didn't seem too bothered at first, but then I heard them starting to chant something, couldn't understand it, and the father heard it too. He went to fetch the convoyers -- them's the temple guards -- and I crept a little closer, behind one of the columns. By now my skin was all a tingle, and the hair on the back of my neck was straight up, I'm sure. I could see one of them strangers had a knife of sorts, shiny and black, with silver inlay -- looked like a leaf, or similar -- and I think hair in the other. The stranger sprinkled it on the floor, and they stopped chanting, and that's when Father Furtha and the convoyers arrived and drove them out. " Petra, having spilled out her account in what seemed like a single, massive breath, finally pauses to breath.

    "Was there any other detail you needed?"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    If Rosa wants to try using the Pipe, she'd know that as long as she was discreet there would be no problem with it, being not much different than burning incense. Certainly, it wouldn't be viewed as desecration. I mean, if you hung out in the middle of the hall and did nothing but smoke all day, they might kick you out, but that would be more for being a nuisance that anything else .
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  7. - Top - End - #187
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Hair, you say? What kind of hair.

    Also, a dagger with a leaf inscription? Some sort of forest or nature cult? Druids?

  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Petra looks sheepish as she rummages about her robe before producing a small leather pouch. She unties the drawstring and then gingerly pulls forth a lock of shiny black hair neatly bound up with string. She offers the lock in an outstretched hand.

    "I gathered this up as they lot were being driven out. Seems to be human hair as far as I can tell. Petra shoots a sidelong glance toward Roderick, then adds in a hushed tone: "Do ya think they were using it to cast a spell? Don't know about magic, but I've heard hair's used for some sorts."

    "Druids? Dunno... the knife wasn't exactly like a leaf, far as I could see, just sorta looked a bit like one, with silvery inlay for the stem and veins, you know?" Petra tilts her head and looks upward pensively, her eyes following the flight of a passing songbird. Her face lights up. "Oh! I guess it looked like a feather, too, now that I think of it."
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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    AHA! Exclaims Borgrim, ... I have no idea what that means. Human hair. Could it be like, trying to conjure some sort of hair golem? Or ... target who ever the hair came from? But then ... why do it here? Gah! I wish for problems that can be solved with violence ...

    A look passes over Borgrims face, like he's considering whether other people might consider that a reasonable thing to wish for .. but before the thought has finished, his attention leaps to something else:

    A feather sounds much more helpful. So were they sacrificing the sheep to their weird raven god? Or .. transforming the sheep into a raven? Or .. calling the Raven god to kill someone, and the target was whom so ever the hair was from?!

    What color was the hair, and how long??

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    César is not formally learned in Arcane matters (things seem to happen to and around him, rather than because of him, except that he wills them sometimes), yet even he can be troubled by the idea of such a ritual.

    "Troublesome, indeed" he comments. He coughs softly before adding apologetically: "The hair seem definitely raven-black to me; as for their original length, I doubt our kind interlocutor would know more." He takes them from Petra's hand and passes them over to Rosa. "Perhaps you can use these somehow?" he enquires.
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  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Rosa takes the hair from Faust. "It might come into use, somehow," she answers with a cryptic smile. Mortal hair, no doubt used to curse, bewitch or locate their former owner, whispers the Master into Rosa's ear, or to vainly help restore a bald person's sense of pride, adds the Joker.

    "Good call keeping that hair lass," she says to Petra, with a warmer smile. "Like a feather, you said earlier?" adds Rosa, raising an eyebrow.

    Once again, Rosa fishes inside her cloak for the feather pendant. "Would that dagger look anything like this pendant?"

    Rosa keeps an eye open for both Roderick's and Petra's reactions. The former's staying inside earshot doesn't help any with her suspicions.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I'll roll arcane for Rosa, in case the setup of the described ritual reminds her of anything more specific: Arcana - (1d20+5)[20].

    In former editions, hair from a target could be used to help Scry them.

    I'll also roll insight to gauge both clergy's reactions: Insight - (1d20+1)[3]. Does Petra look any disturbed by Roderick's watchfulness?

    Also, Petra never mentionned a goat. This seems a bit strange, but I'll keep this question for later.
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-09-02 at 03:57 AM. Reason: Typo negative
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Borgrim, who has trouble with long lines of .. well, anything, really .. beams a radiant smile at Petra, and adds out of nowhere: So, do you have any plans tonight? If not, you're welcome to join us for a drink or two.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    AHA! Exclaims Borgrim, ... I have no idea what that means. Human hair. Could it be like, trying to conjure some sort of hair golem? Or ... target who ever the hair came from? But then ... why do it here? Gah! I wish for problems that can be solved with violence ...
    "Oh! A golem made of hair sounds dreadful!" Petra exclaims.

    A feather sounds much more helpful. So were they sacrificing the sheep to their weird raven god? Or .. transforming the sheep into a raven?
    "Ah, hmm, I don't remember any sheep... or any other animals, for that matter. But the Hall was rather dark, I could have not noticed."

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    "Good call keeping that hair lass," she says to Petra, with a warmer smile. "Like a feather, you said earlier?" adds Rosa, raising an eyebrow.

    Once again, Rosa fishes inside her cloak for the feather pendant. "Would that dagger look anything like this pendant?"
    Petra smiles at the compliment, then leans forward to take a closer look at the pendant. She reaches out to trace a finger along the outline of the feather. She nods slowly. "Yes, the shape is very close, if not the same. I couldn't say about the smaller details. But it was the same shape, I'm sure."

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Borgrim, who has trouble with long lines of .. well, anything, really .. beams a radiant smile at Petra, and adds out of nowhere: So, do you have any plans tonight? If not, you're welcome to join us for a drink or two.
    Petra's cheeks blush bright red and she stammers "O-oh, um- uh, i've my duties to attend to today, sorry! Very k-kind of you to ask, though!" The young woman's hands fidget at her sides, before she clasps them firmly in front of her.

    Spoiler: Rosa
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    Arcana: The lack of an immediate target allows Rosa to rule out curses or hexes. What that leaves her with is either a divination ritual attempting to locate/spy on the hair's owner (Scrying), or attempting to message the hair's owner, possibly while in a vulnerable state (such as the Dream spell). The ritual being conducted in the temple suggests an attempt by the casters to increase the potency of the ritual by using a hallowed site (or a conjunction of ley lines, or similar).
    Insight:Rosa hasn't noticed any signs of Petra being unusually discomfited by Roderick's presence, but they've only just met so there's not much to compare it to.

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    I probably should have written it out clearer, but just a note: Roderick is specifically keeping watch OUT-side of earshot. So unless everyone's yelling, you can be reasonably sure he's not listening in.
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-09-02 at 05:51 PM.
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  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogwoggle View Post
    "Ah, hmm, I don't remember any sheep... or any other animals, for that matter. But the Hall was rather dark, I could have not noticed."
    Wait, what? No .. ok, Furtha said a goat, not a sheep .. but if there was no animal to sacrifice, then what were they doing with the knife?

  15. - Top - End - #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogwoggle View Post
    Petra's cheeks blush bright red and she stammers "O-oh, um- uh, i've my duties to attend to today, sorry! Very k-kind of you to ask, though!" The young woman's hands fidget at her sides, before she clasps them firmly in front of her.
    "Oh I'm sure you're busy, and anyway that's the right choice. Borgrim looks impressing at first sight, but a drink with him ends up being all about dice games and getting drunk and bashing heads. Not the kind of date to take a proper well-raised lady like you on, dear." Rosa delivers the line with a bright and provocative smile towards Borgrim, followed by an obnoxious wink.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Wait, what? No .. ok, Furtha said a goat, not a sheep .. but if there was no animal to sacrifice, then what were they doing with the knife?
    Back to a more serious tone, Rosa strokes scratches her head. "Not entirely certain, but I believe these leaf shaped items are foci used to channel the power of whatever divinity those cultists were calling upon. It was a spell, alright, as Petra said." Rosa nods to her own words, then quickly adds to Petra: "But nothing you should worry about, dear. I don't think that spell was harmful nor wasit directed to you or this church specifically."
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  16. - Top - End - #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Wait, what? No .. ok, Furtha said a goat, not a sheep .. but if there was no animal to sacrifice, then what were they doing with the knife?
    Petra lowers her voice and takes a step closer. "Well, the Father can be... a tad absentminded, from time to time? And once he's convinced of something, he, well, stays convinced of it. He must have taken my description of the knife and filled in the rest. Yes, that must be it. Oh! But he means well, of course!" Petra hesitates, then adds, a look of worry on her face, "You won't tell him I said that, will you? I've already got enough chores what with the festival just around the corner."

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    "Oh I'm sure you're busy, and anyway that's the right choice. Borgrim looks impressing at first sight, but a drink with him ends up being all about dice games and getting drunk and bashing heads. Not the kind of date to take a proper well-raised lady like you on, dear." Rosa delivers the line with a bright and provocative smile towards Borgrim, followed by an obnoxious wink.
    Petra gives a small, almost disappointed smile. "Oh, that does sound a like a bit too much for me, yes! And I've got plenty of work to prepare for the Festival of At'ar, too... "

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade
    Rosa nods to her own words, then quickly adds to Petra: "But nothing you should worry about, dear. I don't think that spell was harmful nor was it directed to you or this church specifically."
    "Oh, that's a relief, surely! I wonder what it was they wanted, then... Was there anything else? I hope I've been helpful, but I do have lots to get back too, if that's all you needed." Petra glances toward Roderick, who has in the meantime become visibly bored and is engrossed in attempting to cajole a sparrow to land on his finger.
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-09-05 at 01:45 PM.
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  17. - Top - End - #197
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    .. this festival of At'ar - is that something we ought to know about?

    If Borgrim is annoyed at having the previous night described as a 'date' - he doesn't show it. Instead, he adds: I may be impressive at first sight - but I don't go around displaying the most impressive feature! And he beams brightly at them all, then leaps ... into poem:

    A warm summer wind
    entwined like bands of silk
    cooling skin in shadow
    Last edited by Kaptin Keen; 2019-09-05 at 01:59 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Petra's face lights up with excitement. "Oh, you're not from the city? It's just three days away! For the Temple, it's a celebration of the spring equinox, when the day and night are equal. A very important day for At'ar, and we'll be busy with rituals and observances. For the rest of the city, it's more of a celebration of the coming of spring and summer and an end to the winter storm season, so there are many more travellers from the further great cities. It's excuse to wander about the streets taking in performances and food and song from near, and far across the seas. Oh, I hope I have time to sneak off and see some acrobats!"

    Petra smiles awkwardly at the combination of innuendo and pleasant song, seemingly unsure of how to react.
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-09-05 at 02:46 PM.
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  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Oh! .... you know, I'm actually fairly acrobatic myself. Borgrim is about to flip into a hand-stand, but suddenly remembers that he's not actually wearing anything beneath his loincloth, and that it might actually, conceivably, not be the right move at this juncture. Instead, lamely, he adds: Uh, just the other day I scaled the back of a building ... while .. everyone else took the stairs.

  20. - Top - End - #200
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    It's hard to say what's the most akward: The Grim Leaper's recognition of his acrobatic talents, or his newly revealed poetic talent, whispers the Joker inside Rosa's ear.

    Rosa coughs in her fist, trying to sound both annoyed and give a not-so-subtle signal to Borgrim. "Yeah, errr, if our esteemed colleague here," Rosa hopes it's obvious she means the guardsman in uniform, not the hairy barbarian, "has no other question, I think it's time we take our leave and let Petra to her, eerrrr, her..."

    Rosa hesitates as she gives one look at the girl's tousled hair: "Leave her to, well, whatever her activities are about."

    That was akward too, whispers the Joker, again for Rosa's sole benefit.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    I still believe my Insights roll are going to turn around and prove Furtha is the Big Bad Evil Guy. Does Petra's explanation of Furtha's imaginary goat issues seem genuine, or does it seem she's covering for him? Insight - (1d20+1)[9].
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-09-06 at 04:48 AM.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  21. - Top - End - #201
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    César snaps out of his trance-like quiet. "Uhm, no other questions, thanks. We appreciate your assistance, miss." he says, almost automatically. Truth be told, he was still trying to piece things together. He might play the part of an investigator sometimes, but he surely he is not one. "Smoking time?" he asks his colleagues.
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  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Petra curtsies and then spins about, hurrying back toward the dormitory door. "Good luck!" she calls over her shoulder, resuming her attempt to tame her hair. Rosa casts a lingering glance at the young woman's retreating figure, mulling over the previous conversation. {Insight:Rosa doesn't glean any hint of dishonesty from Petra's account}

    Roderick, seeing Petra leave the courtyard, walks over to the three visitors. "If that's all you needed me for, I'll get back to sweeping. I'm sure you can see yourselves back to the Hall?" The novice hardly waits for an answer before turning away and fetching up a broom, whistling to himself as he begins to sweep the courtyard walkway. Left to themselves, Rosa, Borgrim, and César head back through the small wooden door to the Hall.

    The Hall is empty except for another young man in novices' robes near the main entrance, and a small group of worshippers praying in front of one of the saint shrines along the south wall. The priest, Furtha, is nowhere to be seen. With little chance of interruption, the three head towards the statue of At'ar and Rosa retrieves the magic smoking pipe from a pocket. She fills the bowl, lights the contents, and takes in a lungful.


    The second time around, Rosa knows what to expect. As the colour of the Hall drains away and a smoky fog moves in about her, she sifts through the scents. She disregards the myriad of incenses and spices. She catches the briefest whiff of... were-crow? But only for a moment. Then the thread of scent passes through her proverbial fingers, and no amount of focus can bring it to the foreground. Too old. She tries next for the hair. She manages to find a faint trace of it, lingering on a bit of tile, but it too, is too old, and the scent coming from the lock in her pouch is uncooperative, as if out of place. She gets a brief flash of the conversation with Petra only minutes before, and shakes her head in confusion.

    Then, then, the now familiar smell of blood catches her attention. Rosa focuses, and the light and sound of the Hall fades even more about her, replaced a moment later with a beam of moonlight from the roof window above. Out of the darkness of the hall, a figure moves cautiously forward, coalescing out of smoke. Rosa watches as a Furtha, the priest, kneels before the statue of At'ar, facing away from her, and places a copper bowl on the dais before him. He takes a wineskin from his robes and begins to pour the contents into the bowl. It is not wine, however, and the scent of blood becomes almost overwhelming. Furtha dips his fingers into the bowl and then raises his hand first to mark his forehead, then his mouth. As he does so, he chants. Rosa can almost make out the meaning of the words, but as soon as she seems to grasp one, she's forgotten the last, and they lay in a jumbled heap in her ears.

    As Rosa watches Furtha begin to sway with his soft chanting, another form begins to condense out of the smoke, descending as it does along the moonbeam. An amorphous mass of brighter moonlight drifts downward. With a soft *click* and a *clack* of bone on tile, a skeletal form dressed only in a dark purple cloak steps between Rosa and Furtha. The priest immediately spins about on his knees. He gasps out in shock, "Goddess, p-protect me!" and retreats, crablike, up onto the dais, staring at the skeletal apparition with wide eyes. In his panic, Furtha knocks over the copper bowl, spilling blood onto the tile below.

    A dry, rattling speech emanates from the skeleton: "Blood is a dangerous thing to play with, priest." The apparition steps closer to Furtha, and Rosa can hear it take in loud snuffling breaths, as if smelling the air. "Especially when it's--" The skeletal figure stops dead, interrupting itself. It sweeps its cloak about, and with a clattering of bone, Furtha is alone in the Hall. The moonlight slowly fades and the colours of the day return as Rosa returns from her trance.


    What felt like much longer turns out to have been barely a minute of time for César and Borgrim, who simply watched as Rosa swayed gently back and forth with a glassy, unfocused look in her eyes.
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-09-08 at 10:09 PM.
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  23. - Top - End - #203
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Borgrim is torn. His eyes shift from the lone guard at the doors, facing the street, the group of faithful, praying with their eyes closed, and the enticing ruby eyes of the idol. It would be so easy. It's almost criminal not to rob people who make so little effort to protect their wealth.

    On the other hand, he's excited to hear what Rosa finds out using the magic pipe.

    And also, it seems like they might have come back to this temple in the future, and it's not inconceivable that the priests' suspicion would naturally gravitate towards hulking barbarians.

    Guard. Faithful. Rubies!

    All is quiet in the temple, except for the murmur of prayers. Borgrim edges quietly towards the statue with the ruby eyes. Still undecided, but .. just imagine the gift he could buy for Naihm with those rubies!

  24. - Top - End - #204
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    As Bogrim edges towards the statue, César edges towards Bogrim. "You know, there must be a reason why riches in a temple are not closely guarded, and yet they remain undisturbed. It usually involves very nasty curses, I believe. Possibly involving one's manhood." He leaves it at that.

    He waits for Rosa to regain her focus. "So, any world-changing revelations on the were-crow thing?" he asks, facetiously.
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  25. - Top - End - #205
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Borgrim looks at César sideways, and whispers out of the side of his mouth: That's what they want you to belive - this isn't my first rodeo!

  26. - Top - End - #206
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    At first it seems Rosa hasn't noticed Faust's question. "Traveling on moonlight," she mumbles to herself.

    She raises a finger to stop the equivocal guardsman from repeating himself. "Give me a moment, I need to think."

    With slight nudges, Rosa guides her allies towards an alcove. She looks around, checking nobody is watching or listening. Once she feels safe, she takes a deep breath in. "There's much to say, please bear with me. Borgrim! Stops looking at those statues and listen for a minute, it's important."

    "I smelled the werecrow. Pretty sure it was here with those cultists, or maybe it's one of them, but the smell was not strong enough to figure out anything more about their ritual."

    "Yet there was another ritual, it smelled, like, I don't know, fear, I think. Furtha, a few nights after the cultists, he was trying his own ritual, turned away from his god. Some sort of Blood Magic, he had a full bowl of blood sitting in front of him... I need to think some more on it. I think his ritual didn't go like he planned. I think he summoned somebody else... I think he summoned Zanbar Bone. Don't know why, but my guts tell me it was Bone. Except Bone wasn't actually here, it was more like an apparition riding on moonlight, and it disappeared with a cloud passing before the moon or something."

    Rosa massages her temples. "I hope I'm not sounding overly dramatic, am I?"

    "I think we need to confront Furtha, as soon as possible." She turns torwards Faust. "What do we do? Do we force his hand, or do we try to bluff him see where he tries to take us?"

    Spoiler: OOC
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    So, blood magic, blood rituals, blood as an occult component, does anything ring an alarm bell? Arcana - (1d20+5)[24].
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-09-12 at 04:12 AM. Reason: Changed timeline
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  27. - Top - End - #207
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Any port in a storm - Borgrim checks the current alcove for easily stolen relics or religious knick-knacks. Gold, silver, gems. However, Borgrim really has his eyes on a couple of ruby ear pendants for Naihm. Just a fluffy old romantic at heart.

    Wait, but .. he protests as Rosa ushers them all into the wrong alcove, but he still listens intently to the explanation, then replies:

    So maybe the werecrow doesn't smell the same in human form - how does that sound? Oh! I have a plan! Without any further warning, Borgrim drags out a giant knife from somewhere, and slashes his own hand: We'll ask Furtha to heal this. Just um ... say it was an accident. I mean, it literally was - we accidentally found out he's a fraud, and needed a way to check if his faith is still intact.

    Convinced this spiel is truly brilliant, Borgrim stalks off to find Furtha.

  28. - Top - End - #208
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Spoiler: OOC
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade View Post
    "Furtha, a few nights before the cultists, he was trying his own ritual,"
    Just to clarify: Furtha's ritual took place after the "cultists" (it was more recent) which was why the memory was accessible to Rosa via the pipe. The "cultists" were in the church 6 days ago, and the pipe is only effective at retrieving memories a day or two old.

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingTheShade
    So, blood magic, blood rituals, blood as an occult component, does anything ring an alarm bell? [roll0].
    {Arcana} Rosa knows that blood can be used in certain rituals to call forth (and also bind) spirits of all sorts. She also knows that calling out with blood in this way is not subtle (like shouting out into the aether), and it can also open pathways for other entities to travel (like a two-way street). Those attuned to-- or capable of-- listening for the call can take advantage of this and potentially also travel to the caller, making these sorts of rituals very risky. In Furtha's case, what sort of spirit he was calling was not clear, nor whether he completed the ritual successfully. It's likely, due to Furtha's reaction, that the skeletal apparition was not the priest's intended target, but rather an opportunistic listener.

    I hope that's clear. If you want/need any clarification, don't hesitate to ask.
    Last edited by Wogwoggle; 2019-09-10 at 01:18 PM.
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  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Rosa looks to Borgrim in unbelieving fixation. "Good clerics heal people. Good clerics turned Bad can't heal people?... There's so many layers of... of... wrong in this line of thought I don't know where to begin." Rosa puts her face inside her left palm. "And, what's precisely your excuse for wounding yourself inside an actually pretty safe temple? What about: 'Hello Father I slipped on an overly well scrubbed tile and cut my hand on my own knife?'"

    Rosa sighs. "Alright, let's go get this hand healed, I'm sure we'll figure something once we're there."

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Let's go find Furtha and ask him to heal Borgrim's hand.
    I changed a before to after in my previous post.

    The GM's OOC spoilered post is very clear to me.
    Last edited by WalkingTheShade; 2019-09-12 at 04:19 AM.
    'Jernau Gurgeh', the machine said, making a sighing noise, 'a guilty system recognises no innocents. … The very way you think places you amongst its enemies. … Prevarication will be more difficult than you might imagine; neutrality is probably impossible. You cannot choose not to have the politics you do; they are not some separate set of entities somehow detachable from the rest of your being; they are a function of your existence. I know that and they know that; you had better accept it.'

  30. - Top - End - #210
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    I'll tell him the truth - I was trying to liberate two rubies from their overlong captivity as hostages of religious madness when the knife slipped, and slightly lacerated my hand.

    Borgrim beams meaningfully at Rosa, seeming to indicate and you can't stop me.

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