Ongoing Games (In-Character)Play-by-post games are going on in this forum as we speak (well, read). All threads on this board are actual games, so please, only post on a thread if you are a player of that game.
Tears of rage and hate burn in Danties eyes as a new found hatred burns inside him for this lich and all he has done. How could anything that once had life do this to not just the people who livid their but the land itself. Danties anger continued to grow until he felt the weakness in Arrallae, and her voice begin to change. In seconds he was over their holding her as Jacob had asked them to do, only to find it was exhaustion that had caused it and not her other side awakening. As she said she was fine to everyone and that she just needed rest Dantie nodded and let her lay down telling her the tale of how Pelor brought light to the world from the darkness that it was born into. Not once did Dantie talk besides to tell her the story, he was to busy trying to calm himself down. And so he followed the others, Xander in tow with his book to his nose, to the last of her pilgrimage, the rose garden.
@The Party: A restful night is followed by a sunlit day. You trek back through a familar path and reach what used to be Thorn Gate.
"When I first came to these parts of the wods, Steiner played the lute for me. I immediately felt like dancing. They tell me I caused the roses here to bloom. I doubt it, though. It is a beautiful garden. I hope Balion kept it well groom..."
Arrallae stands still looking at what used to be the Rose Garden. Now, a giant spiraling tower of roots and thorns, breaking the tree roof and bathing the place in sunlight.
"My garden... Who did this?"
Arrallae displays the most infinitesimal sign of annoyance as she walks into the grove where the roses stood.
After the night of rest Dantie had time to calm down, Xander choose to go back to swans rest to study the water knowing that they would be back before nightfall. Well Arrallae to be percise I did. It tried to kill us all. At first we thought only the guardian was trying to, but it seems the whole maze was trying to. When it could not pull us into the ground to make new guardians it did this. I am sorry if it angers you, but there was no other way, and if we had not gotten to you the lich would have through Balion being brainwashed. Dantie said not being able to lie to such a direct question.
@Dantie: "A maze? I never fashioned the garden to be a maze. This place was supposed to be a place for meditation. So the fey and the people of the village could come and relax. Why would Balion alter it?"
Arrallae produces the rose taken from the Rose Bearer and walks toward the thorn tower. She puts her hand on the roots which begin to move violently.
"No need to hide anymore."
The enormous green tower unravels itself before the goddess as the roots sink below ground, shaking the very grove as they do so. Once the roots have buried themselves, Arrallae tosses the rose into the center of the mass and waves her hand as she does so, sending a scented breeze into the grove. Upon landing, the Rose Key bursts in a rain of petals which land on the ground around all of you. Immediately the place blossoms with crimson roses covered in dew. No more a dangerous hedge maze, now an entire grove filled with roses, sparkling like rubies. Amidst the roses, large flat headed mushrooms have sprouted. Arrallae walks through the roses and takes a seat.
"What do we have here?"
She digs into the roses and produces a pup sized plant creature. resembling a hedgehog. The creature blinks twice, yawns and falls asleep on her arms.
"You were born here, weren't you? Then it is right that you stay here. What should we name him?"
@Tarith: Amid the transformation of the rose garden, you spot at the very end a purple bulb which belches forth pollen. You know that was the one bulb that was missing from your search. Not missing a beat, you walk through teh roses and stick your hand inside. A slimy feel, yet your hands reach around a heavy object, like a spear. You place both hands into the bulb and pull with all your strength. As the sun's rays fall on the garden, you see a stone scythe, identical to the one used by Balion, with a rune etched into it and covered in a fetid juice.
"I have seen that scythe before, Tarith. What do you plan to do with it?"
@Tarith: "Indeed...let us return to the Swan, unless you have something else you'd like to do?"
Arrallae puts the baby battlebriar aon the ground and this one goes running through the roses before getting lost in them.
@The Party: A few hours go by and you reach Swan's Rest. The gentle healing winds are a refreshing welcome. The villagers salute Arrallae as Gail and Owen run towards her and amost knock her off her feet with a big hug.
"We missed you, auntie A!"
"I have missed you too, children, Please forgive my behavior a few nights past. Friends?"
Arrallae looks at you and bows. "This has been an exhausting trip. Thank you for walking with me. I will now retire. Make yourselves at home."
You walk u to Steiner's place and find Cecile lounging on the couch, reading a book. Basil is aggressively devouring a blueberry pie. Several empty dishes lie scattered on the table.
"You're back, T!", Cecile jumps off the couch. "I am really grateful for what the elf did for us, but this place is boooooring! We scouted the place last night- didn't go into any house, but there is nothing of value. That guy, Jacob? He sends his wife every few hours or so to bring us food. I suspect they want to make sure we are clean. Basil isn't complaining."
Basil lifts his head up and smiles a big blue grin.
"When can we leave for the city? I really want to see Bill and Oliver. Wonder how they are! They're going to get a kick out of seeing us walk right back to the Wench. Otis is sure to have a stroke or two!"
A knock is heard o the door.
When you open it, you find Jacob looking at you, arms crossed.
"She mentioned you brought that scythe. You know that is bad news. Why did you do that?"
As Arrallae parts ways for the day Dantie follows Tarith to their house and when he hears Basil and Cecile asking about going home he looks to the two of them, then to Tarith and says I need to go to justcrown real quick to see what the lich and his minions did their anyways. If you want I can bring them with me. Dantie says Knowing he can easily carry the two of them. Just as he finishes talking a knock was heard on the door and so he went and opened the door only to see a not so happy Jacob. Jacob What are you talking about. Why was it a bad idea for Tarith to bring that Scythe back? It is a weapon with magical properties is it not? Dantie says not knowing what is going on right now.
"We will be leaving in a day or two, guys. Cecile, you dropped your ring, but I found it, so here it is."
Tarith hands her the signet ring.
When Jacob knocks on the door, Tarith gets up and opens it.
"Curiosity. I don't see any reason to not head into the vault, just to take a look around. There is no reason for her to know. I can take it with me when we leave, but if you never wanted it to open, why didn't you destroy the keys? Do you mind if I go and take a look?"
When Tarith says they will be leaving soon Dantie turns to him a bit taken aback. You may be leaving soon Tarith but I will not be leaving until I find a way to seal the gate once more. Though this power should not be kept from the world, it does need to be protected. Leaving it as is, is asking for the whole place to be destroyed and for whoever is trying to take our hostess to succeed. Do what you want, but I will not leave this place besides to bring back Angelis and check on my church until the seal is back up. Dantie says to Tarith, not caring who is around. Tarith could leave again if he wanted, but he would not let people be defenseless when they are the ones that made them so.
As Tarith replies to Jacob Dantie is even more confused. Tarith what are you two hiding, and why is Jacob seem so mad. What did you do Tarith spellbane! Dantie says looking down at the 17 year old boy. Dantie swore if he did not keep an eye on him at all times he would get into so much trouble a whole city guard would be after him. Look what he did in a matter of two years. Made his own gang called the Ravens to steal from the people of the city.
Xander takes a sample from the Eastern Coven before they leave.
On Xander's way back to Steiner's he stops and takes a sample of what seems like the main water source in town.
Once Tarith and Dantie return to Steiner's home, Xander asks what happened at the Rose Garden. After being filled in.
A shame I missed it, would have been a sight to see. I have been comparing the water samples I have with one I gathered in Swans Rest while on my way back. Unfortunately Tarith's friends do not allow as much quite study as I had hoped and have hoped.
While Tarith and Dantie are answering the door. Xander simply looks up from his work. Upon noticing it is Jacob at the door.
Ah Jacob, I was just thinking about coming to find you, are you here to have the discussion you spoke of before we left?
Xander casts detect magic while studying the 4 different samples. (font of life, swans rest, east and west covens.)
Knowledge (Arcana) (1d20+21)
Knowledge (The Planes) (1d20+15) (trying to link the special properties of the water to similar special properties of water from other planes he knows of.)
"Dantie, allow me to point a few things out to you. First, the seal was effectively impenetrable by the lich and his allies. Somehow, I doubt you can create such a seal, short of a miracle. Second, you would be giving the enemies time to prepare, and execute their plans, which is always a bad idea. Third, if I were the lich, I would be attacking soon, within a day or two of the seal's opening, and you are not going to be able to re-create the seal in that time frame. Fourth, sealing this all away is a bad idea. It means you are trying to control their lives without their permission. And fifth, they are hardly defenseless. They are all trained in combat, Jacob is likely a skilled archer, and the goddess should be able to handle magic as needed. As far as Jacob being mad, I did not do anything, yet. I am not entirely sure why he is angry."
@Tarith: "My ring! T, you're the best! Thank you!" Cecile puts her ring on. "Now let's hope Bill has one ready for me when I return. Which reminds me, Tarith. When we're in Justcrown, I'd like to talk to you about something."
Jacob comes in as sits on the couch, beside Cecile.
"I hope you two have been resting well here?"
He then lights his pipe, puffs on it, and looks at you.
"You recall a few nights ago when I showed you the vault. I assume you also recall why the vault was purposefully closed and the keys scattered. Balion was insane, and even he knew it was the right thing to do. Bringing the three keys together and opening the Vault could potentially invite disaster. Sure, there is the old smithy down there, and maybe a few weapons of old that were crafted by me centuries ago, along with armor, but then there is the Star Room. The place where Arrallae used to serve as Oracle. Who wouldn't want to know what is to happen? Where their paths may lead? The temptation is too big, and the risk- bigger still."
Regarding destruction of the keys.
"We considered it, yes. Steiner suggested we do not. He planned on understanding Arrallae and controlling her moods, so we could use the Star Room later. Of course, he left shortly after that. I had both keys and Balion was already away with his. Steiner had assured me the Seal was unbreakable, so why even bother destroying the keys if they could not be reunited?"
@Xander: Jacob finishes talking to Tarith and looks at you as he empties his pipe on the ashtray.
"Steiner wrote a long and complicated ritual in his main journal. The journal has been locked. I haven't bothered to look at it. He did tell me to not even bother trying to read it, since it was written in different languages. For protection, he said. I know the ritual is arcane and requires blood, and that it takes a long time to cast. I know this because my blood was used, Steiner was a wizardly-type and he was out there in the field for days- weeks even. All other details are unknown, but his journal is in my house. If you are willing, I would like to ask if you can perform the ritual he did centuries ago. I would rather have Swan's Rest sealed as fast as possible."
You analyze the water from the Covens, the Font of life, and the Swan's water supply. This is what you gather:
- Both the Eastern and Western Coven have the same powers.
- The Font of Life is by far the most potent.
- Water in Swan's Rest has a minor healing factor (cure moderate wounds, CL 20th)
@Dantie: You begin arguing with tarith and this one responds in kind. Jacob butts in with his reasons regarding the keys. The house has escalated to an heated din.
They should, Jacob
At the door stands Arrallae. Her gaze on the scythe.
"They have gone through a lot to get here. It is fair, don't you think?"
"Cecile, I will probably be leaving Justcrown for a while, as this lich really needs someone to rain on his parade, but I have no issues with talking to you."
"Why are you assuming that I want to know the future? It would take all the fun out of life. After I empty out the interesting stuff down there, I can re-seal the vault, and take one of the keys with me, with no temptation to you."
When Arrallae comes in
"If you are offering to try and see the future again, I don't really want you to. It would make things... boring."
@Tarith: "It is not the future all I can see, Tarith. I spoke to Myriam last night. I know where she is headed. I know you would like to follow. The details of the place are obscure for me now, but I do feel you should be prepared. Is that not what you told me earlier?"
"The question is more this: What are the risks of you gathering information in this fashion? As I recall, the risks are that you will go insane, and probably kill us all. I would say that there is no information worth that cost."
@Tarith: Jacob springs from the couch and looks at you with beady eyes.
"Show some respect, boy! That is no way to talk to her."
Arrallae looks towards the ground.
"I have heard there were complications during my last seance. That was a long time ago. Although Jacob would not be clear on the situation, I do have a way I believe we can avert this. Through Dantie, I have learned that there are many dangers out there. Through my dreams, I have confirmed some to be true. If you are willing, I will conduct this, my last seance, for you. all of you. Hopefully, my guidance will help you resolve what ails the world. and regarding my...insanity, as Tarith has so well placed it, I have already seen to that. Take your time, though. I believe these two wish to return home?"
An excited tone in Xander voice.
His journal? Yes, I would very much like to review his journal. Thank you Jacob. Would you be alright if I attempted to modify the ritual in a way that would allow you more control and hopefully give Arrallae the ability to regularly visit the sacred places, with out compromising safety of course. I feel it is inappropriate to keep her confined in here with no access to the outside world, but understand the need to keep her protected.
Xander looks down at his notes.
Jacob, do you happen to have any spare water skins I may be able to purchase? On our way out we need to stop at the Font of Life and gather some more water, all of us having some of that could be a life saver.
Arrallae, what precautions have you taken to insure you do not risk a second episode? If you are sure you will be safe I would very much appreciate any information you are able to give us, as our enemy seems to be wide spread and already well into there schemes.
@Xander: "I have a few water skins I can spare. That should be no problem. Regarding the ritual, I regret to say I am not aware of the intricacies involved in its casting. There may be aw way to allow her to leave, but in all honesty, it would be better if that wasn't the case."
Arrallae listens to your question and gives you a tender smile.
"One that will not comprise anyone I care for, Xander. I will reveal it in due time."
@Tarith: "I understand your position regarding the divination. I also understand that your quest does not end here in Swan's Rest? This is a place for those who wish to retire to a life of calm and peace. After my brief walk with you, it would seem your path is laden with anything but. You have helped me see what was wrong with the woods. Please allow me to be a beacon for you. If only briefly."
"As I have said, it is your choice, not mine. I don't have the power to stop you, but it seems to me that you are taking an insane risk for something that is not needed. Would it be helpful? Probably. Would I survive without it? Of course."
"I have no doubt you would be able to surpass the obstacles laid ahead of you, Tarith. I do believe, however, that your trials thus far are but a beginning of things to come. You were driven here. You fought your way through the cursed Fey Woods. You faced Kazym and Balion together and won. Yet, I believe there are perils ahead. Visions when I sleep that bring dire portent. As is your call to adventure. It is my call to help those who would adventure. I have been given this ability. I am aware of what it can do, but if it will help you, dan tie, and Xander continue on your path, it is a risk I am willing to take."
Dantie listens to the arguments presented and decides that if she is ok with it he may have an idea. Jacob I have a way to protect my self from the energy she radiates. But we would have to wait until tomorrow, that way if she does have an episode it should last longer then her episode...right? Dantie says looking a bit worried about the whole idea, but willing to try saying in the end he would be the safest one of them all if she did lose control. Jacob may be able to control it, but if she goes to far and kills him then there would be nothing to stop it. Arrallae if this is the course of action you wish to take then I ask that you wait until tomorrow so that we can all rest and be ready for this. I want you to think about what may happen more then us. Is this information worth the life of the villagers? Of your nieces and nephews? Is it worth there lives? Or anyone else if we can not stop you if you do lose control?
(1d20+23) diplomacy roll to try to convince her it is not worth it.
"Arrallae, I thank you for being willing to take such a risk, but I don't see how you could do it safely. Last time, I think you lost control, and Steiner was able to save you. This time, there would be no Steiner, and the information would not be critical. The issue is not the risk to you, but the risk to the rest of us. How would you feel if you accidentally killed us all? You might be able to prevent that, but there is no way to know for sure."
"I would never forgive myself if I hurt the children, or anyone here for that matter. I proposed an idea that would help you on your quest. I will retire to the temple. It has been an exhausting walk through the woods. If you are still interested in my offer, please let me know."
@Tarith: "You are right. Steiner is gone, yet I have managed to stave off these episodes throughout the years, the dangerous ones Jacob may have mentioned. I do not wish to cause harm, on the contrary. I wish you well and know you are welcome to stay as long as you want."
"You really want to open that vault, don't you? Steiner once told me - He whoincreaseth knowledge, increaseth sorrow. Let us wait until the sun sets, and I will open the vault for you. But only once. There are too many sour memories buried in there."
"Well, they say curiosity killed the cat, but if it did, the cat died happy. If you would prefer, you could just give me the keys, and I could open it without you. it would save you from re-living your memories."
Tarith sits down again, after closing the door, his feat resting on the table, and his chair leaned back.
Well, if he doesn't really want to open the vault, I might get the chance to do it without oversight.
Thank you for understanding Arrallae but as I said I can ask Pelor many questions, and though the answers may not be as smooth cut, there also is no risk. Dantie says with a smile before adding, I will be leaving tonight for just a small amount of time. I need to take care of a few things but I will be here until we can not only fix the seal, but make it so that those that live here can come and go as they please. Dantie says with a smile and says goodnight as she leaves.
Tarith if she sees the vault open she may take it as we want her to try. I rather not endanger these people here. Dantie says before looking at the three Ravens. I will be leaving soon for Justcrown if you two want a ride. Xander, Tarith do you need me to pick anything up while I am there? Dantie says stretching his wings and getting his bag of holding ready, Keeping only his money on him and leaving the paintings behind on the table where he had left them earlier.