It is nearly 11 at night, when the party trudges back up the path to the small camp by the side of the road. Kaleb greets the party with a hopeful "Hallo? How fared ye?"
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan stands there with a solemn look on his face as they stand before the Crooked Kin. "I fear we bear some most unfortunate news about poor Aleece. We tracked her quite some distance into the surrounds which took us to the edge of a marsh lands." Johan takes a deep breath with a look of sadness in his eyes, "We entered the marsh before being attacked by what we identified as a phase spider which while we seriously injured it, it was able to vanish before we could get revenge against it for Aleece who fell to it's deadly bite. I am sorry for your lose."
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan presents the sack to Kaleb, "We wanted her to have a proper burial." Johan carefully places the sack before Kaleb before standing back with his companions.
SOLAR CE’NEA: My Condolances Kaleb, we tried to get to Aleece as soon as we could but we were too late, we were lucky with four of us to be able to hold off the phase spider, poor Aleece was not so lucky. It was a strong monster so I can honestly say She would not have suffered, it would have been a quick and clean death, that does not replace one as fair as her, but it is unfortuantely all we can offer you. I am so sorry.
GRUNDIG: Grundig offers a prairie to Abadr and conveys his sympathy’s.
DUNGEON MASTER: "Oh.. Sweet Pharasma, I knew something was terribly wrong... but this!" he gasps as Johan unveils the body.
Several other faces materialize in the semi-dark around the fire--her two sisters, the other "pinheads"; two multi-limbed midgets; the beareded woman; and the four armed princess. There are tears and murmered oaths of disbelief. At last, Kaleb's voice rises above the others.
"Aleece died as she lived, seeking the wonders of the open road. We will bury her nearby, and commend her spirit to Desna in the morning. In the meantime, I bid you all rest this night, and welcome our brave guests who sought her out in the treacherous swamp."
He ends with a grand gesture. Aleece's fellow pinheads are overcome with grief and return to one of the wagons, but the others bid the party welcome and offer them their dinner of stew and roasted hare.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar walks around to the rest of the crowd and offers his condolences and and tries to offer comforting words to those most affected by the you ladies loss. Solar also takes this time to casually check out the group to be sure they are what they claim to be (he alreadys suspects they are) but also on the look out for things that strike him as unusual for this eclectic group. Percpetion 1d20+4=10
DUNGEON MASTER: Solar discovers nothing out of order.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan and Shadow quietly finish they stew meals before they prepare their bedrolls and winter blankets for the night ahead. Johan regards Kaleb after he had finishes comforting those in need. He whispers over the camp fire, "Where abouts are you heading too in the morning?"
GRUNDIG: grundig takes a small portion of the stew with a solas look on his face and offers his condolance to those that need it. grundig speeks to his companions that he will take first watch as usual.
DUNGEON MASTER: "Why, to Leipdstadt! The Greatest Center of Knowledge and Learning in all Ustalav!"
DUNGEON MASTER: "And you folk?"
SOLAR CE’NEA: SOlar nods to Grundig in aggreement, and says he wll take his usual watch, Solar walks over to Kaleb to let him know that the Phase Spider has a mimicing skill and that is what is likely to have draw Aleece away. Solar gentle suggests Kaleb let his troop know and that we will assist with the watch as the Spider can appear out of no-where.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan replies to Kaleb, "It would seem we are heading to the same destination then. I only hope the roads are free from trouble as we head further away from the town just past."
DUNGEON MASTER: [400 xp each]
DUNGEON MASTER: "As do I, my fellow travelers! As do I!"
SOLAR CE’NEA: Total party xp to date 14036
DUNGEON MASTER: "We have but a day's journey left to us, would you care for our company to this road's end?"
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "I am glad to hear it is a place of learning as two of my companions are keen researches and studies of lore that is quite beyond my understanding. I am a simple ranger more at home on the land rather then in confined libraries and studies."
DUNGEON MASTER: "I have a love of both, personally--as do many of my companions. The road and a trunkfull of books! Is there no greater pleasure in the world?"
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar hears the conversation, I agree my friend, there sights to be seen and knowledge to be learnt from different places, It makes the long road attractive to me also
GRUNDIG: books is not something that i am good with reading the land is more for me i have some understanding of magical simbols but for the most part i cannot read
SOLAR CE’NEA: [take 2 - current party xp is 144036 xp]
DUNGEON MASTER: "No shame in that my esteemed gnome! Does not nature hold as much wisdom as all the libraries ever built?"
SOLAR CE’NEA: Ahhh but an understanding of nature is knowledge itself, whether you read it in a book or experience it as the gods made it knowledge and lore is an understanding of withr the past present or possible future, Nature provides teaching of all three if you have your skills!
GRUNDIG: what nature dose not tell me is not worth knowing
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Myself and Grundig share your passion of the road however I think Kendra and Solar would share your love of knowledge. I do not see why we could not share the road, surely would would be safer in numbers." Johan turns to Mesodias and quietly asks, "Before we rest could you call apon Gorum's blessing to heal our injuries while facing the dangers of the marsh?"
Mesodias, while uninjured isn't bothered with a channel of positive healing burst. 2d6 = 7 hps healed
DUNGEON MASTER: [Watch order: grundig-johan-mesodias-solar.]
SOLAR CE’NEA: Percpetion 1d20+4=22
GRUNDIG: perception 1d20+11=31
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan Perception check: 1d20+9 = 11
Shadow Perception check: 1d20+5 = 25
Mesodias Perception check: 1d20+6 = 21
DUNGEON MASTER: This night too passes without incident. Morning dawns pink and gray against the cloudy skies.
The Crooked Kin conducts a brief ceremony for Aleece, burying her in the midst of a meadow filled with yellow flowers. Several of their number sob as Kaeleb completes the service.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Mesodias under takes his morning ritual, waking with the sun before praying for his daily spells. Breaking for morning tea before doing several exercises and a light work out. When the party is ready to continue he prepares his heavy crossbow.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar tires to identify simple little thinks that help the morners, such as carrying things, setting thinks up for their cermemony, he simply ties to lessen burdens for the people of the camp
GRUNDIG: grundig listens to the ceremony with his head bowed in respect. then has a light breakfast before preparing for the days travels
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan tries to avoid getting involved in The Crooked Kin's ceremony, knowing when to keep a healthy distance especially in times of sorrow which he isn't all that comfortable with. He helps clean up the camp site fire with dirt before finishing his morning meal. He arms himself with his longbow before they are ready to set off.
SOLAR CE’NEA: As they are ready to go Solar prepares his weapons and heads out with his Crossbow in hand
DUNGEON MASTER: Soon the ceremony is complete and the group sets out on the road. The traveling troupe travels at a pace approximately equal to what the party was making with their wagon.
The heroes' wagon takes the lead, with the others following behind. Most of the troupe rides in their own wagons, although a few--including the pinheads--choose to walk along outside.
DUNGEON MASTER: The remaining leg of their journey goes smoothly, and the land transitions from rocky hills to the soggy land of the Moutray River basin. It is about evening when the troupe reaches the outskirts of the walled burg of Lepidstadt.
*** DUNGEON MASTER sent lepdistadtplayer.png,... ***
DUNGEON MASTER: There is an air of festivities about the place--people are heaving pints on street corners, and several women are dancing a raunchy jig in in a square near the outskirts, to the tune of several fiddles.
SOLAR CE’NEA: You shpould do well here Friend Kaleb, there seems to be a celebration in town, they should wlecome a troop of fine entertainers like yourself
DUNGEON MASTER: Kaleb immediately notes the bustle of activity, and loses no time in hurrying off into the crowd to mingle.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan regards the party in general, "What a plesent change of atmosphere to the last town we stopped at on our journey here."
GRUNDIG: grundig looks in awr at the city befor him "this is going to be interesting I hope i don't get into any troble
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Why would you get into trouble my friend?"
SOLAR CE’NEA: SOlar is curious to know what is going on so asks one of the passerbys who looks ameinable to talking, "what are the celebrations in aid of friend?"
DUNGEON MASTER: "The celebrations-hic! Why, they've captured the terror of the countryside, they have! He'll burn in a fourday! Here have a toast with me, my good minstrel!"
GRUNDIG: "ho just something about me and citys its not the sarroundings im use to being in"
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar joins in the clebrations (careful to not dirnk to much but look like he is partaking as much as the others in the brief time he is talking) The terror of the Countryside, sorry my friend we are new to town, who or what is the terror?
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: While Solar gathers information regarding the towns celebrations, he queries Kendra, "My lady where did you want us to unpack your belongings before we investigate what is going on in town? It seems quite a celebration is occurring? Perhaps another opprtunity to shake off the dust from the road and geta few cold drinks under our belt?"
DUNGEON MASTER: "Ha! What is the terror! Come with me, good traveler and hear it from the voice 'o the city itself!"
He beckons Solar down the street to a public square where crier stands yelling the news to the entire burg:
"Burghers of Lepidstadt, rejoice! The Beast has been captured! Soon the abomination will be tried for crimes against the good people of Vieland. The Punishing Man now rises in the square outside the courthouse! The logs have been stacked against his flanks and the oil has seeped into his veins. The Punishing Man waits to take his passenger to the depths of Hell! And soon, he shall have his feast! ... Burghers of Lepidstadt, rejoice! The Beast has been captured!"
GRUNDIG: grundig lsitens intently to the speaker
SOLAR CE’NEA: "come my friend," Solar says to Grundig, "let us go back to the others and relay what is happening. We must decide our next move". With that Solar yells back to the person that gave him ythe inofmration, Rejoice friend we go to tell others the good news...fair the well!"
GRUNDIG: grundig asks where he can find the courthouse curious as to what this creature might be.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "What did you think about investigating this Beast once we have unpacked and perhaps make an evening of it to celebrate travelling without incident?"
DUNGEON MASTER: Kendra stares wide-eyed at the festivities. "What? Why, I have an address of one of father's friends--here.. the name of Adrissant--a Count, I think--has a house here in town that I may use for the time."
GRUNDIG: "yes thats fine with me"
SOLAR CE’NEA: Perhaps we could attend to what Kendra's needs to do first, then we could investigate the celebrations. It appears nothing is to happen for four days. plenty of time to get done what needs to be done and find out the finer details of what is happening around us.
SOLAR CE’NEA: but I am certainly ameinable to celebrating our journey with a drink tonight if Kendra is up to it
DUNGEON MASTER: Kaleb reappears from the throng to speak with the party. "You have heard the news? The beast! I--am not so fond of mobs myself, but the thing certainly seems as guilty as the dark tyrant himself... we will be off to the Inn, then, to our first appointment for the night.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Thanks you friend Kaleb, may your coffers flow over! No doubt once we have finished our business, we will come and see you all perform again
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Forgive my ignorance but which inn might that be if there is infact more than one in town? We would like to catch up with you once we have had chance to attend some urgent business if you don't mind."
DUNGEON MASTER: "We stay in our wagons, out of habit, but we'll be performing this night at the Twisted Jack, uptown from the trade district."
SOLAR CE’NEA: I hope you have a bumper crowd! break a leg!
DUNGEON MASTER: Kaleb smiles at this farewell and the troupe disappears into the throng.
SOLAR CE’NEA: "Well my Lady, we are now completely at your beck and call, lead on fair lady"
DUNGEON MASTER: After asking a passerby, Kendra directs the party to a quieter, richer part of town where a large house overlooks a clean, well-lit street. A butler and porter greet her knock, and soon her belongings are being carried inside.
"Mr... Ah, Count Adrissant is not here--he comes in only rarely..." she smiles a moment. "Have you plans for your lodging?"
SOLAR CE’NEA: Not yet my lady, we were waiting to see what you had intended to do
GRUNDIG: "we can make arrangements in due time knowing that you are safely delivered to your desternation."
DUNGEON MASTER: "Me? Well, I intend to stay here for the time--get my bearings, I suppose. We have several free guest rooms here if you would like..."
SOLAR CE’NEA: We would be honoured my lady, perhaps after we are settled we could escort you to see some of the celebrations?
DUNGEON MASTER: "Why--tonight? Yes, I suppose, why not?" she says with a slight blush. Once her belongings have been unloaded, she disappears into her room for a time, and comes out an hour later wearing an elegant white dress, with her hair let down to her waist.
DUNGEON MASTER: [It's about 10pm.]
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: While Kendra is getting prepared for the nights entertainment Johan regards his companions, "Best we clean up and leave some of our weapons here? I'm not sure if the city guard will entertain us walking around in our full adventure gear?" What do you think?":
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar, looking forward to a night out with Kendra cleans the grime of the road off of himself and gets out his finest dress clothes that he brings whilst traveling and is eager for an enjoyable night after all the undead and mosterous beings they have encounters lately
SOLAR CE’NEA: SOlar agrees with Daniel. however mentions that a long sword cleaned can look like a fine accessory for some clean clothes
GRUNDIG: grundig looks astonnished at the buety of kendra and says "my lady there are few i have seen that match the beauty of yourself standing before me for a human."
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Well that is a relief, I feel naked without being armed as I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way." Johan will leave his backpack at the homested before heading into town.
SOLAR CE’NEA: My friend you are looking at beauty that goes beyound human, Miss Kendra is a beauty in any race and with that Solar offers his hand to to the elegant beauty to escort her into the town
DUNGEON MASTER: "Why thank you, Grundig," she says with a smile.
GRUNDIG: grundig cleans himself and puts on some fresh cloths and takes his quater staff as a walking stick and heads into town with the rest of the party.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Mesodias sighs as he unstraps his heavy mace and leaves his backpack in the room before cleaning up and washing away the dust from several days journey.
DUNGEON MASTER: Kendra takes Solar's hand and follows his lead into the city.
SOLAR CE’NEA: SOlar has packed with him his two wands, and his mitheral +1 dagger, two alchemists fire and two Alchemist greases
DUNGEON MASTER: Kendra smiles politely as the intrepid heroes discuss how to spend the evening.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Let's check out the Ventriloquist's Pulpit before joining in the celebration for a few drinks at the place our Crooked Kin are at."
SOLAR CE’NEA: Sounds like a wonderful idea, My Lady are you interested in that
DUNGEON MASTER: "Why of course," she says smiling and the party climbs into the carriage which clops through the street toward the place chosen.
The Ventriloquist’s Pulpit proves to be a gothic style hall situated near the city's heart. A small sign nearby indicates that the Ventriloquist’s Pulpit once served as the central hall and north wing of Mandaleat Court, seat of administration for Vieland’s former counts. During the hall’s demolition, workers discovered strange acoustic properties beneath the dome that caused their voices to echo back in unpredictably angelic or demonic tones. Charmed, the ruling council had the remaining structure preserved as a museum of local history and offices for councilors.
The lights are on in this building--apparently it is open to visitors late into the night.
SOLAR CE’NEA: My dear ldy would you like to go in, this seems like an intersting place to explore, even at this late hour!
DUNGEON MASTER: "I would be delighted," replies Kendra with a wide smile.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Gentlemen shall we?
GRUNDIG: gundig nods his approval.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: Johan sutbly rolls his eyes so that Grundig can see, "What a perfect opportunity to delve into the cities history."
SOLAR CE’NEA: SOlar says yes you are so right...how wonderful (Solar completely misses the eye rolling in his excitment)
GRUNDIG: grundig smiels as he catches Johan rolling his eyes "lets hope they don't turn the lights out to soon"
DUNGEON MASTER: The party heads into the hall. Numerous glass-cased exhibits line the walls, cordoned off by scarlet ropes. Spiral stairs lead upward onto a pair of platforms situated under the dome.
SOLAR CE’NEA: SOlar in his (misguided) belief that everyone is interested in this building and its histroy starts sprouting out every bit if knolwedge he knows about the building and its history
SOLAR CE’NEA: Knowledge histroy 1d20+11=28
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar although happy to pass on this information does make sure that only his companions can hear him
SOLAR CE’NEA: There is a sinster side to the story of this hall's preservation: some claim it wasn’tthe haunting echoes that preserved the old court, but rather the discovery of secret basement reeking of brimstone and adorned with trappings of Garundi mysticism.
In point of fact, this building was constructed well over four hundred years ago as part of an agreement between the city fathers and the more rustic locals. The resulting building was used considered a common "meeting of cultures" between the refined urbanites and the superstitious locals
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Hmmm, a secret basement with arcane and mystical symbols that smells of evil, that sounds like an interesting place to explore."
GRUNDIG: grundig looks arround at the glass cases as he listens to Solar. "i think we could leave that for another night"
GRUNDIG: shell we go check out the crooked kin now as riverting as this is.
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Fine!" Johan acts as if he is disappointed. "But the only time to explore evil secret basements is at night time, everyone knows that."
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar tarts to realise that the rest are probably not as interested as he is in this facinating building, and says, yes my friends supporting the Crooked Kin would be good idea
DUNGEON MASTER: The party heads out of the hall and back into the carriage, which plods through the street towards the Crooked Jack.
Crowds mill around outside wielding peweter mugs filled to the brim with lager; within lies a crowded stage where the members of the Crooked Kin are performing. At the moment, the Swarm of Clowns is on the stage, juggling away with a vengance.
GRUNDIG: grundig orders a drink a round of drinks from the bar and hands them out to the rest of the party "now this is entertainment"
DUNGEON MASTER: Grundig comes out clutching a number of pint mugs nearly half his own height.
SOLAR CE’NEA: SOlar sits down with Kendra content to enjoy the sights, and look around the inn
DUNGEON MASTER: After downing their drinks the party heads back to the townhouse. Kendra smiles widely at Solar the whole way.
SOLAR CE’NEA: Solar suggests that maybe Kendra could sleep in the middle room between Johan and himself. That way the wolf could be on Johans Balcony
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Yes I think that would be for the best. Not much will slip by Shadow including us keeping watch."
JOHAN D’ALMENTA: "Did you think it worth setting up a simple alarm trap with some twine and bells for anyone opening the balcony doors without knowing of the bells?"
SOLAR CE’NEA: SOlar gives Kendra his stone of alram for the nigth and gives her the instructions on how to use it