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Father Sogol ponders. "No, Pelor is a forgiving god. No matter what mistakes you do, he'll always be open to your atonement. It is said that he would even forgive vampires, whom he himself cursed."
He turns toward Melchia. "Yes, that heathen has always been up to no good. He refused the good teachings of Ehlonna and even those of the harsher Obad-Hai, and walked a dark path. Zadsa should avoid visiting him. Why are you so interested in him?"
"Well, according to Zadsa, he is dead. We stumbled upon his grove, or at least one of his haunts, where we found the boy. We encountered a few zombies there, one of which was apparently the animated remains of the druid."
"And that is why people should not mettle with dangerous things", the priest solemnly says. He clears his throat. "So, do you need to know anything before we part ways? I have to finish cleaning for today's mass. I pray every day that this siege ends."
The priest thinks for a bit. "I believe she was from a caravan who passed by from the north. That area is very populated, and there are a lot of tribes who happen to wander around from time to time. Not regular nomads, they just move to other areas every few years. That was one of those caravans, I believe. She was a very pretty woman, I'm sure she was burned because she used her beauty somehow."
"Look, I have no idea. You might want to track down that caravan, or maybe explore the area around that druid's house. I suspect he had some connection to somebody in town too, so maybe you'll be able to find them without going outside. I'm not sure this druid is related to the curse though. It certainly is a mystery that he turned undead."
"All right then. Unless anybody else has questions, I think we should start asking around town and see if that yields anything." And I'm still curious as to what turned the druid undead. It may not be related, but it still bears investigating.
The city is roughly divided in two parts. The richer center, small but not too much, is located around the church near the east wall. It is where Zadsa's father lives. The main city extends concentrically around a large market which lies on the west side, not too far from the gate.
In the southern part of the city the population is more dense as it hosts most of the soldiers' families and the barracks. The northern part has larger roads, more activity and more businesses. It's also where most entertainment takes place, with a small open-air theatre in the rich section. Your inn is there. The rich side's avenues feature beautiful flower hedges, while the commoner district usually has less flashy but equally nice tall trees.
There, short description of Galsaff, so you have an idea of where you are and where you want to go ask questions. I'd be waiting a bit for the others to say what they want to do, but if you want to split up and go ahead it's fine.
After you reunite in the evening, everyone of you has discovered something.
Melchia, talking to the merchants at the early afternoon mass, discovered the existence of a large Pelorite monastery at the start of the hilly areas in the West. It features a collection of stories related to the cult in a famed library, and some of the monks there are knowledgeable about religion - it sounds like a good place to start investigating the strange blue discs. The place is a bit far away, but it's a relatively quiet area. The monastery itself is near the first Orc settlements, so it's probably more dangerous there than it is on the road to reach it.
In a jewelry shop, while trying some earrings (that you didn't buy), you befriended the seller, who mentioned one of his cousins was the director of the local prison, and had a nomad of the same caravan as the "witch" jailed. Given what you did for his elf friend's son, he is willing to convince his cousin to let you interrogate this prisoner. This way you should be able to figure out more about that caravan.
Also, while asking the locals about this caravan, you've been able to collect some patched up information about where they were going. You think that you might be able to track them down with some luck. Some sources said they were coasting the Dark Wood though, so it might be a dangerous thing to do.
While asking people in the rich district, a shady guy discreetly approached you, claiming he knew more about the matter and had a book about it for sale. He told you that you could find him at the market at eleven in the evening if you wanted to know more.
Throwing plot hooks around! Let's see who bites what :D
At the inn, Melchia sits quietly at the table, his hands folded in his lap. While you can appreciate his efforts in the investigation so far, there is still something undeniably off about him that is hard to place. His calmness does not seem natural, and what little emotion he does show seems forced or false, as if he's doing a poor job acting a certain role. In a flat, matter-of-fact tone, he describes how he has heard rumors of a Pelorite monastery on the outskirts of orc-held territory.
"It might have clues related to these blue discs, or legends concerning curses or trials the Sun God places upon his followers. However, it seems like a dangerous place, and there is no guarantee we would find anything pertinent to our current situation there. I must be frank: while the priest's predicament is curious, I am honestly not sure if we can expect much profit out of further investigation. I myself am not a particularly religious man... The dreams that led me to the initial meeting to find Zadsa have come to an end, and I am not certain if they have led me anywhere. If we do not have any better leads, perhaps it is time I moved on?"
Selia seems a bit disquieted by Melchia's seeming lack of emotion, although it doesn't seem to be a sense of disturbance or fear, but rather...well, something that isn't easy to place. I arranged a...meeting, you could say, with someone from the same caravan as the supposed witch the priest mentioned. I heard some things about the caravan, and might be able to find them, but they're going along the edge of the Dark Wood. She reports, one hand toying with a strand of her hair that's fallen from its place behind her ear.
Selia's disappointed when she starts talking, but tries to hide it. Bluff, I guess, vs sense motive to see if anyone notices? I'd roll, but it's one of those I-don't-know-the-results things.
Not Person_Man, don't thank me for things he did.
Rubido seems un-phased at Melchia's lack of emotion, and at worst seems mildly uncomfortable around the man. "Well, it seems everyone has found something at least. A rather... unscrupulous looking individual has offered to sell me a book concerning our interests. If we were to take him up on his offer, we would need to meet him at eleven in the market. I'm rather loathe to do so, especially considering the leads the both of you have acquired. What do you two make of it?"
Last edited by Overlord Rion : 11-12-2011 at 11:38 PM.
"That's a difficult question to answer. I most likely should have said my interests. I would like to pursue any possible path to find the source. It is likely we won't get any reward for our efforts. But I just can't leave a mystery unsolved. So far we have treated a symptom, not the problem. Rubido seems to have much more to say, but decides he should quit. He was beginning to ramble, and that wasn't a good idea.
Melchia steeples his fingers under his chin.
"...It is hard to say what exactly my interest in these matters might be. I suppose the opportunity to practice my abilities is adequate reason enough to further investigate this mystery. This person offering to sell you a book, Rubido, is of particular interest to me. I might be able to eke some more information out of him, given the opportunity."
Selia nods slowly, seeming to listen more closely to Melchia than Rubido. Sounds fine to me. I guess you mean the source of all of the weird things happening lately, Rubido? She asks, turning slightly towards him.
Not Person_Man, don't thank me for things he did.
"Exactly. After all, the bigger a town gets, the more strange things that happen to it. So, shall we kill some time before the meeting, or would either of you prefer to continue pursuit of information?"
You meet with the shady stranger at the time and place that were agreed upon. The market is very quiet at this time: there are at most three or four people around, and the few lights leave many areas in deep darkness. Your contact is sitting on an empty stall. As he waves at you, he rummages through a sack he brought.
"Why, I see you brought a couple friends. Did you fear an ambush? I'm not that type of guy, you know. Me and my friends are very laid-back folks. We happen to be in... bad terms with a local gang that likes terrifying folks in the countryside. As if they weren't scared enough of the gobbos already. So, we don't like that, you know? So we wanted to drive them off but the sneaks keep hiding.
The man has a strong accent, and maybe he's a bit dizzy as well but you can't tell for sure.
"I know you're saying, why am I talking about gangs and such when you want to hear about blue moon disks. Thing is, you know, some of those guys go around waving these blue symbols. So we did some research and wrote it in this book. It's yours for two hundred. Or, it's yours if you help us drive them out of one hole we know they live in. Whaddya say?"
Selia raises an eyebrow at the offer, turning to the others. So, then, do we do what is supposedly a good deed for the people of the area and sate our curiosity, or do we just pay in coins? She asks. Personally, I think I'd prefer the first. I don't want to give out so much money for a book.
Not Person_Man, don't thank me for things he did.
The guy grabs his backpack and starts rummaging in it. Every now and then he pulls out a piece of parchment. At the end, he finds a candle and lights it, putting it on the stall he's sitting on. He then proceeds to put together the parchment pieces, forming a rough map. It takes him a couple minutes of mumbling and headscratching. At the end, the parchment shows the area surrounding Galsaff, with the major goblin camps around the city and some of the geography. The man points at one valley in the north.
"This is Crimsongreen Dale. There are several small caves there and I know that the filthy dogs are in there somewhere. A couple of our scouts said they saw it already. Shouldn't be hard to find, especially at night. They said that there is a fire in front of the entrance. It's just a two hour walk from here. So, we have a deal? There should be a crate with about forty maces and shields, bring me that and you can keep the rest and have the book."