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Thread: Chapter 14.5: Houses of the (un)holy

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    "Stop!" Vort says in a commanding voice at the fleeing halflings, then looks back to the King and takes one more step forward. "Let us put the pretense of deception away and speak like men, your Kingship." Motioning toward his guards, "You can dismiss them, no harm will come to you, I swear upon Reorx. If they stay, then they may hear what you may wish to keep private. What say you?"

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    Brandon watches the situation deteriorate. He prepared to cast defensive magic if the need arises, but otherwise allows Vort to dominate the conversation.
    "What I am saying then is just because you donít know how you manage to be conscious, how you manage to grow and shape your body, doesnít mean that youíre not doing it. Equally, if you donít know how the universe shines the stars, constellates the constellations, or galactifies the galaxies Ė you donít know but that doesnít mean that you arenít doing it just the same way as you are breathing without knowing how you breathe." -Alan Watts, Death, Part 2.

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    The situation had deteriorated quickly. The paladin studied the king and any close to him to see if he could detect the presence of fiends of any kind in the room.

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    H - trying to get a sense of the room - seems to trigger a new depth to such perception that he has not had before... whether it yields anything.... who knows.


    (H's Divine Sense is on)
    Corn canít expect justice from a court composed of chickens.





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    Both Hrothgar and Rian scan the room with their divine sense, trying to find celestial, undead, or fiends here. Neither of them find any of them among the King or his guards though.

    King Horton rises from his chair. Gone is the jovial, self-absorbed image. The Sentinels are taken aback by how quickly his demeanor has changed. What stands before them is a very confident, powerful aging halfling who commands authority. While he would clearly be no match for the Sentinels in combat, it is clear that he knows the consequences of such actions and is not cowering in fear.

    His voice is calm but very calculated as he speaks, "I have overlooked many small sleights given who you are and what you have done for the Burrows and it's people, my loyal subjects. But I am King Horton!" He pauses briefly at that. "I will not tolerate you coming in and demanding fees to see what is mine under some false pretense of going to the vault that you failed to break into the first time! I will not dismiss my men. Evil knows many forms and has many faces, and while I have always trusted and respected you up until now, I will not be left alone in the presence of anyone."

    The two halflings that paused briefly for fetching help continue moving to their respective doors.

    He finishes, "Someone speak quickly before I have you all exiled."
    Last edited by zebsen; 11-27-2020 at 11:51 AM.

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    Rian replies, "We meant no disrespect your majesty. We fear that the power of the Queen of Scales has been felt over time. We request to inspect the statues in your vault looking for magical effects that might escape normal eyes."


    • Persuasion: Authentic Forum Dice-roll(1d20+7) (6) [13]



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    "So be it," says Vortigern. "Amongst one of the halfling statues is a Prince. You know we have to question him to further our divine quest to save the world from evil gods, but you fear he may try to usurp you and have hidden him away in your vault. Why would someone from such a long time ago have any standing to usurp you, your Kingship? As you say, you are king here, not him, his time has come and gone and if you continue to support us to save the world from the evil gods, then we shall support you. But, if you stand against us, then you stand on the side of the evil gods. Do you think your people want to align themselves with the evil gods because of your fear?" Vort stood there, hands on hips, defiant. "Let us examine the statue, do the right thing."

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    King Horton listens to several people speak. He thinks for a few moments and says, "So, you came here to inspect and certainly revive the statues, not rob the Kingdom's vault. I assumed when you returned the statues, you understood their nature and significance. Clearly, I was wrong."

    He thinks aloud and says, "So, what are the choices here? First, I deny your request. It sounds as though that places me on the sides of the evil Gods. Given your determination, that likely ends in my death and that of plenty of my loyal guards as you force your way to do what is the right thing in your eyes. Oh, I have no doubt of your capabilities or the outcome if this is what path you chose."

    He continues, "Or I grant your request and allow you to 'inspect' the statues. And when you restore them, what happens in your mind? We invite them to late brunch and tea? You use the word usurp, and seem to think the statues are ancient. They are not. Some will still flock to my father's banner. At best I exile myself to prevent civil war that will kill many subjects. At worst... well, let's not think about the worst."

    He scans the Sentinels and says, "From your perspective, which option exactly has a happy outcome here? And how am I to see anything other than an attempt to kill me, depose me, or exile me through this?"
    Last edited by zebsen; 11-27-2020 at 09:01 PM.

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    Vort points at the King as an exclamation of his statement, "YOU are King here, any that tries to usurp that, they face me and the Sentinels--and you know us, we kick ass. As for the vault, what happened before, we were searching for any method to help undo the curse. We have no interest in your wealth, I think it goes without saying, we are some pretty good guys, righting wrongs and protecting the innocent. We need to talk to this prince, I'm not sure about the rest, I don't care, their time has passed. If they try any shit, then we send them back to the Deadlands."

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    King Horton doesn't flinch as he says, "If you revive the statues, and both him and I walk out of there, the only option to avoid civil war is my exile or death. And I will not have you killing my subjects despite your good intentions gone astray. Now, why exactly do you think these 'statues' know something of critical importance?"

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    Kalthanar rubs his temples, “So you knew the whole time.” He looks back up, “I never envisioned the return of Prince Varium would lead to civil war.

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    Default Chapter 14.5: Houses of the (un)holy

    ďI donít understand,Ē Vort said. ďYou are King, not him. Why would they follow him?Ē

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    He looks at Kalthanar and says, "Yes. There is a reason that I placed these three specific statues inside a magical holding area inside of a vault. I assumed when you offered to return them, you understood their significance."

    He sits down on the throne and looks at Vortigern. He says, "My fathers death triggered the last Great War. At the time he died, he was a prince. Via lineage, when my grandmother, the Queen, died, I became King since my father was dead. If he were alive, my father would lay claim to be the rightful heir to the throne that I sit on, not me. And he would have a very valid argument."

    More movement can be heard from the foyer area. In the throne room itself several of the halflings begin murmuring to each other at this news as if to underscore King Horton's point.

    He asks again, "So, let me ask again, why do you think these statues know something of critical importance?"

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    Kalthanar replies, "Perhaps not other than the manner of their passing. History tells us that Prince Varium was poisoned by dark elves and instead we find three petrified statues. So what exactly happened?"

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollHistory - (1d20+7) (19) [26]

    OOC: Trying to learn anything else about Prince Varium here to help me out.

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    King Horton seems to be getting annoyed at this point. He doesn't answer the question, but leans forward in his chair. He again reiterates, "I will ask for the third time: why do you think these statues know something of critical importance?"

    Kalthanar's mind races as he thinks through things. He is very familiar with the general history. As the tale goes, an elven diplomatic envoy was in the Burrows when one of them poisoned Prince Varium. He remembers that the 3 diplomats each represented one of the greater Houses in Etoile, which is what triggered the Third Great War. All three Houses denied sending a diplomatic envoy, but it's hard to say if that is true or if each House simply disowned and wrote off each member involved. The elven envoys escaped after the assassination. Some time later, the poison traced to the killings was linked to a particularly potent poison that was known to be associated with dark elves deep underground. This evidence was key in making the halflings realize that they were being deceived. Kalthanar is highly confused on how Prince Varium could be a statue when the elves spent considerable resources obtaining and analyzing a poison sample. Something isn't adding up, but he can't figure out what it is.
    Last edited by zebsen; 11-28-2020 at 09:41 AM.

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    Kalthanar mirrors the King and does not answer the monarch's question, "Something is not right. Prince Varium was poisoned by dark elves masquerading as the three great Houses of Etoile. The unique poison was traced specifically to dark elves deep underground and provided the evidence to exonerate the elves of Etoile. How did Prince Varium and several other halflings for that matter become statues?"

    OOC: Adding this post so that everyone is aware of my history check.

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    “Perhaps the diplomatic envoy deception was created by forgery,” Brandon suggests without revealing the existence of the magic quill. The sorcerer then steps back and let’s the historians do battle.
    "What I am saying then is just because you donít know how you manage to be conscious, how you manage to grow and shape your body, doesnít mean that youíre not doing it. Equally, if you donít know how the universe shines the stars, constellates the constellations, or galactifies the galaxies Ė you donít know but that doesnít mean that you arenít doing it just the same way as you are breathing without knowing how you breathe." -Alan Watts, Death, Part 2.

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    Kalthanar turns to Brandon, “And the petrification?”

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    “Sounds like the result of a unique poison... or a last ditch effort to save the prince. Victims of petrification are conveniently immune to poisons.”
    Last edited by Hideous; 11-28-2020 at 12:15 PM.
    "What I am saying then is just because you donít know how you manage to be conscious, how you manage to grow and shape your body, doesnít mean that youíre not doing it. Equally, if you donít know how the universe shines the stars, constellates the constellations, or galactifies the galaxies Ė you donít know but that doesnít mean that you arenít doing it just the same way as you are breathing without knowing how you breathe." -Alan Watts, Death, Part 2.

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    “Except history says otherwise,” states Kalthanar.

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