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Thread: Chapter 3: The Hook Mountain Massacre

  1. #821
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    The Commander's quarters is a mess - the ogres seem to have made it top priority to leave nothing unsmashed. It would be a challenge to find anything in this mess - even if it wasn't hidden away. But Paulo is pretty good at finding things hidden away - even in a mess like this. Amadeus guides the rest of you towards the ruined wine cabinet soaked from the contents of the Commander's shattered wine collection, where he pinpoints the location of the detected magical aura. Clearing away some of the rubble, Paulo discovers a very well hidden compartment in the bottom of the wine cabinet. It is easily opened, and inside he finds three objects: A pair of soft green leather boots - these are the ones emanating the magical aura - a flat wooden coffer and a tiny jewelry box.

    Inside the coffer, you find dozens and dozens of parchment sheets. Jakardros confirms that the writing upon the parchment is is in Commander Lamatar's hand, but even he is surprised at the contents of the writing. They are all beautifully-written love-sonnets and poetry to someone named "Myriana", who (of the sonnets are to be believed) is so beautiful that "the moon itself was blinded when it spied her dancing on the tarn", and who is "the truest grace to know Whitewillow's soft embrace...". The mention of Whitewillow sounds like a place - a knowledge (geography or local) may jog your memory - perhaps you have heard of it?

    The tiny jewelry box contains a single silver locket on a chain - and inside the locket is a lock of silky golden hair. There are no clues to who the lock of hair is from - at the very least, you are pretty certain that it did not come from Lucrecia (the snake lady), as she is a red-head - but perhaps a knowledge (nature) might tell you more.

    Jakardros is completely baffled by this discovery - they hint of a side of the Commander, that he had no idea existed....

  2. #822
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    Katharina seems completely unsurprised by this discovery.
    "Well, 'communion' is exactly what he was doing every two weeks. The carnal kind."
    She makes a face like she smelled something awful.
    "Whoever this woman is it's obvious she has an unhealthy hold over this man. She's probably some kind of nature freak." Again the face. "A druid, a fey even, who knows. It really doesn't matter." Now she pointedly turns to every male in the group to take turns and look them square in the eyes. "I swear, the old saying that your sex's brains is located between your legs is so true, it's amazing you get anything done at all. Seriously."
    A pause.
    "Jakadros, this place... This band of misfits, this order... Did it have any rules about chastity? Or were you free to roll in the hay whenever and with whoever you felt like? Also, where is Whitewillow?"
    Characters:
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  3. #823

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    "Or, perhaps they were deeply in love with each other... Unhealthy hold...pig's bum!" Paulo scoffs at Katharina.

    "And whoever said rangers were to be chaste? I can remember hearing no such thing in all my travels." He finishes off with a Joyya-esque 'humph'.

    Paulo rolls his eyes to complete the reaction, and then searches his memory for any place called Whitewillow.

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  4. #824

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    Authentic Forum Dice-rollKnowledge Geography - (1d20+1) [13]
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    "Lemme take a look...," the old dwarf says, furrowing his brow.
    Last edited by Ra-thalun; 10-21-2019 at 03:39 PM.



  5. #825
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    Jakardros' jaw tightens and his eyes harden at Katharinas disparaging characterisation of the Black Arrow rangers - they were no angels, that's for sure, but they were his brothers in all but blood. And they had all died horribly at the hands of the foul ogres - and a traitor. But she had had no small part in the eradication of the ogre invasion, so he is willing to accept quite a bit of verbal abuse from her side. He answers slowly in a low voice, "There were no rules in this regard, but when you are stationed out here, there are few opportunities for....satisfying the 'carnal' need, as you say. I know some of the brothers frequented the local brothels down in Turtleback Ferry - it was tolerated as long as it didn't get out of hand - but Commander Lamatar was not one of them. I suppose he had other....preferences... I've heard of the Whitewillow - its a part of the Shimmerglens....wait here...".

    Jakardros moves into the map room and you can hear him shuffling through numerous maps and scrolls. Eventually he returns, bringing a map of Turtleback Ferry and the surrounding region. "Here...", he points at a large area of swamps and marshlands west of Claybottom Lake, "...this is the Shimmerglens and this point here is Whitewillow. It is a strange place and the locals don't go there - we also avoided the place..."


    Joyya has no idea what the hell Jakardros is talking about - and the lock of hair is more likely to make him sneeze than to jog his memory.


  6. #826

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    "Shimmerglens, ya say? Hells...I dunno what yer talkin' about, Jak, but get that lock o' hair away from me," Joyya grunts. "Damned thing's liable ta start me in on...on...ahhh...ahhh...ACHOO!"



  7. #827

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    Paulo jumps into action to fend off the imminent attack, quickly drawing his war razor from his scarf, and landing in a crouch...!

    He slowly gets up and pockets his razor...realizing it was just Joyya's sneeze, and not an ogre ambush. "Good gods, peg leg!"

    After letting his heartrate slow down, he ruminates, "This place Whitewillow. Some in my clan used to speak of it, and one old fella even claimed to have been to the Shimmerglens before...of course no one believed him. The stories told of a place overrun with fey creatures. It was said a traveler would be lucky to ever return from that place, and like as not they'd have gone mad. Of course, that's all nonsense."

  8. #828
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    Having looked through the Commander's quarters thoroughly, you are fairly convinced that he had no further hidden secrets. You carry on with your plan of setting up camp down in Lucrecias den in the basement. It is about late afternoon, so it is not a bad time to call it a day. You still have a few hours to spend before bedtime if you like.

    While you were looking at Commander Lamatars love letters, Shalelu went outside to look for Ironjaw - now she comes back soaking wet from the downpour, "No sign of him...", she reports sullenly, "...he may have taken a dive off the battlements and disappeared into the woods. It's quite a tumble - but I suppose for an ogre that size, he could probably make it with little more than a sprained ankle if properly motivated."

    She shakes her heavy cloak and lets it drip on the floor. "Damn weather...." she mutters to herself, and then to her step father , "...is it always this soggy around here?" Jakardros shrugs as he picks up his bow and counts the few arrows left in his quiver, "It is a bit unusual I suppose - can't remember it ever rained so many days in a row. Still, it is the wet season, so..."

    You make it back to the basement and Lucrecias den, where Kavens body is slowly getting cold. Everything is as you left it and you still see no signs of Lucrecia.

    Would any of you like to take any actions before going to rest for the night? There are still a few hours left.

  9. #829

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    "Wet season my arse," Joyya grumbled. "It's an endless damned deluge out there, Jak, and it ain't stopped since we all arrived in Turtleback. There's rain...then there's this," he says with a vague wave of his hand toward the ceiling.

    "C'mon, all, let's get some rest. Well earned, I'd say. We can deal with fey folk, missin' commanders and soakin' wet feet t'morrow mornin' surely."



  10. #830
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    The basement is surprisingly comfortable for a prison - Lucrecia had made sure of that, furnishing the former guard room with soft cusions, silk sheets and luxurious carpets. After having cleaned up the worst traces of combat (such as Kavens body), you divide the night watches between you and go to rest. The night passes uneventfully, and you arise the next day well rested and ready for whatever challenges the day will bring. ((you regain 1 hp per level and 1 point of ability damage to each ability, if needed))

    It is time to figure out what the next steps are. You recall that the reason why you came to Turtleback Ferry in the first place was because of a letter written by Lucrecia to her sister, Xanesha, in which Lucrecia taunted her sister and baited her to come and meet her in Turtleback Ferry. The letter mentioned the practise of marking people with the Sihedron rune and harvesting greedy souls as the victims expire. The Sihedron rune is definitely cropping up all over the place. Nualia, the unfortunate Aasimar from Sandpoint wore it as a necklace. The Skinsaw Man, a.k.a. the undead Aldern Foxglove, carved the Sihedron rune into his victims chest before he slaughtered them - seemingly on Xaneshas orders. And now, Amadeus noticed that Kaven wore the Sihedron rune as a tattoo! Did he accept this tattoo willingly - perhaps as a minion of Lucrecia? Did that 'mark' him and made possible the 'harvesting of his greedy soul'? Did you, by slaying Kaven, unwittingly further Lucrecias cause?

    There are many questions and few answers. You went to Turtleback Ferry to figure out what Lucrecia is up to and to stop her. You did find her, but she managed to escape before you could put an end to her. But hopefully you have spoiled her plans by taking back Fort Rannick and eliminating the imminent ogre threat. However, you have a strong feeling that this is not over. Where is Lucrecia? What is the purpose of harvesting greedy souls? Is she the mastermind behind this sinister plot? Or is there someone else behind her? Before battling her, she did mention someone named Mokmurian and you vaguely recall that Justice Ironbriar, Xaneshas minion, also mentioned that name. Who or what is he - and what is he plotting? Is he the mastermind, or is he simply the next link in the chain?

    There are a couple of immediate concerns outstanding:
    Where is Commander Lamatar? Is he somehow involved, and is he still alive somewhere?
    Is there truly something unnatural about the incessant rains - or is it simply an unusually wet rainy season?
    Where is Lucrecia? Have you foiled her plans or are you doing exactly what she wants you to do? Is she playing you like a fiddle?
    You recall having found some papers, which she left behind when she fled. You haven't studied them yet. Could they provide important clues of her plans - or did she leave them behind on purpose for you to find?

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