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Upon closer inspection, you can tell that they too are dead, though there are no marks on them. Most likely they died from suffocation during the fire. Perhaps the priest of the temple thought this would be a safe place to hide them from the attack. The youngest of the three, a little boy, can be no older than five. Based on their looks, they appear to have been related to the woman. Most likely, she was their mother.
In the Temple:
Li and Han move out of sight... not much else to report.
Li curses under his breath, as he realizes the sad truth of their situation. Turning to Han, he makes a grim face that says it all...they are dead. His somber moment is interrupted by the yells of the others.
We are fine. The floor gave, and we have found even more death. Those these were not touched by blade. This room remained hidden.
"Do you want me to come down to you?!" Vir-Sashi yells in response. He is shocked to hear that even more innocents have been slaughtered by whatever monster did this. He is sitll haunted by the image of nightmare they have found inside the hall, image that makes him feel like every drop of blodd in his body had been turned into ice.
After careful examination, Vir-Sashi realizes that many of the support beams in the room are very fragile right now. However, the pews have heavy iron bases that didn't melt away in the fire. After tying the rope to one of them and giving it a tug, you believe that it could support your weight.
Coanacoch returns a friendly smile, but still sizes him up.
Sense Motive (1d20+4) - See Complete Adventurer, Skill Usages, for sizing people up.
Also, if it matters:
Listen/ Spot (1d20+5)
"Hello, peddler. I regret to tell you that if you seek to sell at this next town, you will be met by a baleful sight. The town was attacked - we have brothers there now - and we go to the monastery now to report this horror. Not a single rustic lives."
While Han checks out the storage, he sees that a lot of this stuff is for donations. Clothing, food, money, tools. Some of them even have shipping labels on them as if they were about to be sent out to various settlements throughout the region. One chest is full of religious literature and holy accouterments of Pelor. It's all clearly labelled and neatly packed. One thick, locked chest with iron straps and a heavy lock reads:
"Volatile: Handle with Extreme Care!"
Li finds no sign of struggle or conflict, nor does he find any survivors. You notice a tiny door at the furthest end of the room, roughly half the height of a normal door, that has been barred by a heavy post.
In the Temple:
Not much is happening since you aren't moving, so I'll describe the setting.
The charred remains of the walls crumble at the slightest touch. The sky above is easily visible through the massive gaping hole in the roof, and as a bird perches on one of the ceiling's support beams, small pieces of rubble break loose and fall to the ground, exploding into ash on impact. What few tapestries still cling to the walls of the temple are reduced to a black, paper thin sheet of coal that disintegrates at your touch. You can once again see the shriveled, severely burnt severed arm on the ground near the altar holding a melted holy symbol of Pelor. The only things that seemed to have survived the fire was an offering bowl, the bases of the pews, and the holy symbol. A third of the stairs that lead up to a second floor are missing.
On the Road:
The old man's smile fades and his lip trembles for just a moment. "Wha-... what do you mean?" He shakes his head in denial and waves a slender-wrist hand at you, "This can't be true. Surely you are mistaken. My son is there now, and he is stronger than any ox. It would take more than a goblin raid to sack the village while he's there running the militia."
Li headed over and looked at the warning on the crate. He then looked at the lock and sighed in exasperation.
I think this means we have to explore a bit more, and hope to find the key on one of the bodies. Normally, I would suggest breaking it open, but...in this case...the key is best.
Li then heads back towards the hole and shouts up,
Vir...see if you can find a dead priest! Check his pockets for keys if you do! We need them down here!
"Right, gimme a moment!" Vir-Sashi yells in response and runs to the altar, where he starts to look for anything resembling keys or rest of the preist's body. He even checks out severed hand, through he doubts he'll find anything there.
Coanoch says, "Right now, there seems to be some concern that it actually wasn't a goblin attack. But goblins were there when we finished. My brothers are in town conducting the on-site investigation. I and my sister here are returning to the monastery to interrogate the goblins. Even if they are stupid and worthy of being despatched by dint of their race alone, they may well have useful information about the leader if it was the goblins that attacked."
Coanoch says, "I hope a man with your years behind you can understand the need to keep these things alive. The danger seen is never nearly as bad as the danger unseen."
The old man's eyes narrow as he listens to your words. "This... this can't be true..." he whispers himself. "I left him there. He wanted to come with me as a guard and I left my boy there. I told him to stay and man the shop... I..." The man's eyes water up and his lips quiver again.
In the Temple:
Most everything in the sanctuary is burnt to cinders. There isn't anything useful here on the ground floor. You still haven't searched upstairs yet, though.
Tilmek speaks up for the first time in what seems like days, saying "I didn't see anything, im gonna go upstairs and look. Do you want to stay here in case they need you?" He says this as he looks at the broken stairs trying to find a way up.
"Sir," Coanacoch interrupts emphatically. "My sister, bless her, is dedicated to duty. I would like to think I am more dedicated to compassion. She speaks aright, we must return to the monastery to tell them the news. Would it please you come with us, or will you yet travel alone to see the carnage for yourself? It would be a baleful sight to wound an old man's eyes."
Tilmek can see that the higher up the stairs you look, the less fire damage there is. Jumping up would be a superhuman feat and unwise, considering the condition of the rest of the building's stability. However, the hallway in which the stairs reside provide a serviceable brace to wall climb up, and there do appear to be places to lasso a rope.
Roll Know: Arch/Eng to pick the safest path up to the stairs
On the Road:
"My... boy..." The old man's eyes are bloodshot in the strain against barely contained grief. A sheen of teary fluid gives a slick sparkle to the tiny red ribbons of his capillaries, yet still they refuse to dribble down his cheek in tears. He looks from Coanacoch to Necahual. His words come out as barely more than a whisper as they scrape past the lump in his throat, "You're from that monastery? Are they... are they gonna find who did this? Find them and kill them? That's your job, right? That's what your supposed to do... You're going to make them pay." He nods his head as if convinced of his own theory. "I'll go with you, if you do. I may be old, but I know a thing or two. There is room on the cart for two more passengers."