Post by scottenkainen on Jan 25, 2016 13:32:52 GMT -6
Day 15, turn 18, rd. 5 for Caltaran, Ramon, Clybe:
Caltaran didn't know if it would work, so he decided to try something bold and audacious. He stepped forward and asked the gods to make his light healing prayer come true -- on the phantom. And it worked! Just as Ramon had stepped back to gauge how much of an effect his attack had so far, Caltaran's spell released a loud HHHSSSSSSS and the phantom seemed to deflate in front of their eyes. Then it just...melted away.
Clybe recovered at once, and Hector and Danilo released him.
"Well done, Caltaran, Ramon..." Prefect Alamilla said. He looked at Clybe with...sympathy? Disappointment? It was hard to say. "I think the phantom's threat is ended. We can all get a good night's sleep. Clybe...if you find you are unable to sleep tonight, I would recommend having a nice long sit in the gardens outside."
((I decided to give Darren's scheme a 1 in 4 chance of working -- and he got lucky!))
Caltaran walks over and says "don't worry clybe everything is going to be ok. A good night sleep is indeed in order. Also i would like to suggest posting a temple guard here in case for some reason it or something similar comes back. Not doubting our success but with all of these cult attacks and weird occurrences, I believe heightening security is in order. "
"I would go one step further, Caltaran. This area should be re-sanctified. This may be an area of spiritual turmoil that could give rise to more such trouble," Ramon said.
He then took the torch from Danilo and began looking around the area from which he had first spotted the phantom when they came down into the crypt. He was got very close to the stones, even kneeling down to investigate if it would help.
Post by scottenkainen on Jan 27, 2016 20:52:54 GMT -6
Day 15, the rest of turn 18 for Caltaran, Ramon, Clybe:
"It would not complete his training, but it will become part of his training," Gaizka said. "A very good idea, Ramon. But that task can wait until morning. I recommend everyone get a good night's rest."
Caltaran wasn in the process of helping Ramon when he heard the prefect order. Personally he wondered why all of us need to leave and not resanctify this area, however orders are orders. Caltaran says " very well prefect alamilla a good night sleep it is. Hopefully there is space in the curate quarters. Gentlemen this was fun. Clybe good luck with your training if you need me again let me know, good night gentlemen."
Ramon wondered at Caltaran's ability to consider such a harrowing encounter, "fun." Perhaps devoting oneself to Heironeous brought with it a mild form of madness? Ramon recalled that he had read of something called "lightning-struck" in reference to some heroes of the Archpaladin. But it was never really explained in the religious texts. Perhaps it was an actual joy in righteous battle? All Ramon had ever felt was terror mixed with confidence in the virtues of the gods. That was probably it, Caltaran was One of the Lightning-Touched. If he had the time Ramon would consult with one of the more learned theologians on this matter but the notion seemed like a Delleb granting him a momentary window into his limitless knowledge.
"Perhaps we could all join in a brief prayer of thanks for this victory before retiring?" If the others were willing Ramon led the prayer. Afterwards he checked with Clybe, "Are you going to be alright, Clybe? It was powerful the way you faced that phantom. You did well."
Post by scottenkainen on Jan 29, 2016 18:12:36 GMT -6
Day 16, turn 1 for Caltaran:
There was indeed room in the curates' quarters for Caltaran that night, since one bed here would always be reserved for him from now on. Indeed, Caltaran was in that same bed when he woke up in the night, before dawn, from a nightmare.
In the nightmare, Caltaran was alone in an oddly-lit, cellar-like room. It was full of black slime and cobwebs and Caltaran heard spiders moving all around him, though he could seldom see them except out of the corners of his eyes. Caltaran knew they were massing for an attack...sneaking up behind him...when he woke.
Ramon, Clybe, and Hector were all sleeping in the room with him.
(Assuming Clybe is back in full control of his faculties...)
Clybe continued to shiver a bit from the ordeal, but he managed to issue a thanks to Caltaran and Ramon. It had been a long day for him - two separate encounters with the phantom had truly drained Clybe's faculties in a way he hadn't experienced in... well, ever. He shuffled off with the hopes of a very long night of sleep.
Post by dtspurrier on Jan 29, 2016 22:57:10 GMT -6
Caltaran shakes off the dream and tells himself that this is just a dream. He wonders about his success against the cult and against the priest of loth. Could the forces of evil be messing with his mind? Perhaps a meeting with a higher status cleric in the morning is in order. He goes back to bed to get some more sleep.
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 1, 2016 10:01:24 GMT -6
Day 16, turn 2 for Caltaran, Clybe:
The next time Caltaran woke up, it was to the morning bell, the same as everyone else. The four curates prayed together, then went downstairs and prayed again with other clergymen, and then ended their fast in the chapterhouse.
Ramon had to excuse himself to run an errand; Caltaran overheard that a messenger from the Harvester's Heroes had come for him. That left Caltaran and Clybe to meet up with Prefect Gaizka Alamilla. First, Caltaran told Gaizka about his dream.
"More dark portents, no doubt. You will need to look into this matter. Ask around with our soldiers today and see if any rumors of giant spiders have been heard."
But first, they joined the elderly Archdeacon Adria Ferrero. "Prefect Alamilla has told me all that transpired. Curate Sando," he said, addressing Clybe directly, "while you were not able to face all your fears and win against them, you still succeeded in building the right coalition of allies to deal with this crisis with you. There is a reason we clerics have our temples and our hierarchies -- because alone, we could not do what we need to do for the Good of all.
"Now, come. We four must go below and re-consecrate the spot where evil was able to fester in our catacombs. It shall not happen again."
In the catacombs, in the dark dead end tunnel where "the phantom had taken root" (Adria's words for it), Caltaran and Clybe were taught a ceremonial prayer to recite with their superiors. Then, while Gaizka and Adria chanted, Caltaran and Clybe were each to sprinkle more holy water on the site, while saying something personal about how they felt. They were given no further direction on what they should say.
Caltaran picks up the holy water and starts to sprinkle says, "phantom go back to your body and may your spirit flow to the heavens so you can have a nice, peaceful, eternal rest. Do not come back here to haunt this place again. May our faith release you from the necromantic bonds and vile magic that brought you here. " As Caltaran takes a breath and says, "also wash my own sins and recent failures, Ryemond dungeon , away. Give me a fresh start and my sins to also rest in peace. "
Post by Ronny Serio on Feb 2, 2016 10:29:57 GMT -6
Saskia often wondered why the lowlanders had not yet been conquered by a more formidable people. The many comforts they surrounded themselves with made them soft. By and large they led peaceful lives, which left them weak. What fighting they did see was mostly minor squabbling amongst themselves. They were ill prepared for a true onslaught.
Then she entered one of their massive cities and it all became clear. There were just too many of them. They were everywhere; throngs of filthy peasants filling the streets. None of the mountain tribes could possibly hope to do battle with this place. Even if they killed thirty lowlanders for every one warrior they lost, it would still be a slaughter. Numbers such as these simply could not be overcome.
As they made their way into the city, Saskia was forced to demand directions from passers-by. Most of the quailing lowlanders just scurried away from her, but eventually one pointed to a hill off in the distance. Saskia did her best to lead Alfbern through the sprawling labyrinthine streets, but it was slow going. The crowd moved at a plodding pace and was too thick to simply push through. Even worse, her brother kept getting distracted, poking his head in shops or browsing through street merchant's wares. Alfbern had never been a man of great focus and Saskia did not possess an abundance of patience. It was a combination that proved to be an endless source of frustration for her. Possibly for Alfbern as well, but if so, he would never let Saskia know it. This frustrated her further.
Hours had passed by the time they arrived at the gate they sought. Behind it they could see a castle, along with the temple, dominating the hill. This fortification was clearly the seat of power in this city. If the dragon was real, it had struck at the lowlanders right where they were strongest. A bold choice. Saskia approved.
One of the guards at the gate held out a hand to stop them. "You'll have to leave your weapons with us," he said, eyeing Alfbern suspiciously.
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 2, 2016 21:14:38 GMT -6
Day 16, turn 2a for Caltaran, Clybe:
Archdeacon Ferrero was tearing up a little at Clybe's prayer. "Well said! Both of you, well said," he added quickly. "You are acquitting yourself well in my eyes," he said to Clybe, "but your training must continue. Gaizka, I think he should head to the Library of Delleb and do research on rare forms of undead. We may wind up with more things like a phantom to deal with in the days to come."
"That does sound like a wise course," Gaizka said. "However, I was going to give him the test of conversion -- convert someone new to our faith, and bring him or her to pray at our temple."
"Then let us let Sando choose," the Archdeacon said. "We will see what wisdom guides him to."
"As for you, Caltaran," Gaizka said, "you should probably head out now and look into this spider matter. See if there is anything to your dream."
Alfbern had been looking around at the stonework and turned to look at the guard who had spoken. He was eyeing him in a way that Alfbern did not like. He stared back at the man for a moment. The guard repeated himself, slower and louder this time.
He spoke to his sister in Flan, "What does he want?"
"You understood him just as well as I did," she answered irritably.
"Sure. But what do you think he wants from life?" Alfbern asked playfully.
Saskia rolled her eyes but he could tell she was a little amused. Or he thought she might be.
Alfbern turned back to the guard, "Weee-puns?" He shook his bow gently, "No wee-pun. Tool. Make hunt."
Again the guard spoke, "NO BRING IN CASTLE."
Alfbern shrugged and began handing over his visible weapons. When they left to go inside he said in much clearly common, "If those aren't here when I get back, you will have trouble."
Saskia was standing just inside the gate. And she was actually tapping her foot in impatience. Alfbern smiled a big smile for her as he fell into step beside her, "Where to now?"
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 3, 2016 12:06:52 GMT -6
Day 16, turn 5 for Joaquim, Marcel:
It was afternoon when the pair reached the Inner Bailey. Marcel had resisted the urge to fly there, but had stopped off for a snack along the way.
At the main gate, Marcel had to make a hard decision about turning his new magic blade over to the sentries.
Foreigners were not uncommon in Verbobonc, but rarely had they seen a couple as exotic-looking as the young man and woman they saw inside the bailey, gawking like tourists. They looked like they could have been barbarians from the far north.
Marcel couldn't help but be intrigued by the barbarian woman. She was beautiful, in an exotic way, short and slight. Dark curly hair hung down over her shoulders, obscuring much of her face. She looked a little rough-around-the-edges, but Marcel liked that. Even from this distance, he could sense a presence about her.
Marcel didn't realize he'd been staring until she turned her head and looked him directly in the eye. The big man audibly yelped, recoiling before her withering gaze. He quickly averted his eyes and brought his attention back to Joaquim, who had been saying something to him.
"What was that," Marcel said, running a hand over his face. "My mind went a wandering there."
"I don't think it was your mind that was doing the wandering," Joaquim said, shaking his head. "You wouldn't survive the night with that one."
"Aye, but what a way to go."
Joaquim cleared his throat. "What I was suggesting was that you wait here while I go in and convince one of the priests to let you in with your new sword."
"I ain't too keen on leaving it here neither," Marcel said. "These boys seems like reasonable enough fellas, though. Maybe I can just bribe 'em to let me in. Ask 'em if I can just pay some extra toll to keep the sword on me."
Marcel would try the bribe first, and if that didn't work then Joaquim would head inside to see if someone would vouch for Marcel, perhaps Ramon or Caltaran were on hand. Once inside, they'd find someone to tell about the new expedition to Ryemend happening the next day. Archdeacon Ferrero had been the man to first task Joaquim and Marcel with the initial raid on Ryemend, though Subdeacon Gutxi Azarola had been more actively involved with the preparations. Either would do for their purposes.
Post by Ronny Serio on Feb 4, 2016 12:26:45 GMT -6
"That man is staring at you," Alfbern said, smirking.
Saskia turned her head and looked at the man that her brother had indicated. He was a not unimpressive figure. Tall and broad. Handsome, for a lowlander. He wore a sword and had the look of man who knew how to use it. Interesting. The man broke his gaze away, talking to the smaller man beside him instead. Perhaps Saskia would find her admirer later, but for now, there were more important matters to attend to.
As she led the way up the hill, Saskia had to admit that the castle and cathedral, sitting side by side at its top, made an impression. It must have taken the lowlander's slaves a long time to build the structures. The castle looked like it would provide a formidable defense against assault, but it was the temple that held her interest. Intricate designs and carvings adorned its outside. She recognized depictions of Rao from among them, but the others were unknown to her. The god of Peace being celebrated next to a military stronghold. A confusing message.
In front of the temple there was a low wooden fence surrounding a group of statues. The statues were all of people, clustered together, but not evenly spaced. It was an unusual arrangement, almost as if they were placed at random. Each was intricately carved, heads turned to the sky, terror plain upon their faces. The serving woman had mentioned knights being turned to stone by the dragon. Perhaps these were more of the creature's victims.
The fence was only a couple feet high, so Saskia stepped over it and approached the statues, taking care to not trod on the flowers which had been laid out all around the enclosed area. She moved close to the nearest statue, inspecting it. The detail was exquisite, she'd never seen anything like it.
Saskia turned to speak to Alfbern. "The statues were either carved by the finest stoneworker on Oerth, or these people were petrified by the dragon's magic." She looked back to the statue, intent on its face. It was an old man, the wrinkles of time clearly visible on his visage. "The dragon is real, brother."
"While both options sound compelling..." said Clybe slowly, "I feel that my natural abilities may be better served by learning more about the art of recruiting more followers." Clybe knew that he could surely enter a tavern or other gathering place and convince at least a person or two to learn more.
Post by Ronny Serio on Feb 4, 2016 14:56:27 GMT -6
"They look like reasonable fellas, eh," Joaquim taunted Marcel.
"What's the world coming to when a guy can't get a little favorable treatment just by greasing a few palms," Marcel lamented. "Well, what are we gonna do now?"
"You're going to idle away your ban time," Joaquim said. He turned on his heel and started to walk off, calling back over his shoulder. "I'm going to go learn some more magic."
Marcel stared, dumbfounded as Joaquim walked off. Letting out a dramatic sigh, he decided to remain in the vicinity of the Bailey, hoping that someone he knew would come through and be able to get him inside.
For his part, Joaquim returned to the Consortium. He'd read about a spell that instilled strength in a man. If they were going back into that blasted dungeon the next day, that seemed like useful magic to know.
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 9, 2016 15:09:36 GMT -6
Day 16, turn 4 for Ramon:
When Curate Ramon Orfino walked into the Temple of the Heavenly Virtues, acolytes stopped what they were doing and took notice. Paladins greeted him more courteously than ever. When Ciro came up to Ramon and started asking what he could do for Ramon like a sycophant, it became clearer that word had spread of the important mission Ramon was now in charge of. When Ramon asked to see high priests, clerics went running to announce his need for a meeting.
Soon, Ramon was in the presence of Lama Gaspar Cloutier and High Priest Marion Lefurgy in a conference room on the second floor.
"Can you be done preparing for the assault so soon?" Lefurgy asked. "We gave you carte blanche to prepare and recruit as necessary, so what can you need from us now?"
"Fathers," Ramon began. "As I told you before, the Cult must not know when we will strike. The plans are moving forward for a strike. The Cult will know something is coming but I do not want to alert them too soon. I have some requests to make of the Temple and I hope you will be willing to extend the authority and trust you have given me to these as well."
"We will be striking at the Cult shortly," Ramon said carefully. "But I do not wish to say exactly when. The assault may take many sorties and require support from the Temple in terms of soldiers and healers. To preserve secrecy I would rather not say exactly when we would need this, but could you provide me or simply prepare yourselves to give orders to a score or more of The Church Army with their officers to make themselves available to help cordon off and defend the Manor once our assault begins? And in the same way, are their clerics who can perform healing miracles that could be sent with those soldiers? This would allow the assault force I am organizing to keep the pressure on the Cult and renew themselves regularly."
Ramon was willing to discuss that point further before he then came to his second request.
"I'm glad you have been so understanding. My second request is if you might join with me in keeping this attack secret. And please forgive and excuse my boldness for saying so. For too long the Cult's power has been in their ability to strike from secrecy. We, the forces of Law, have been at their mercy and only able to react. I wish to steal away the element of surprise. But so many in the Temple already know that I have been given this task. As we speak the Cult may be readying themselves. But perhaps we can keep them off balance. I hope you judge my words wise on this matter."
Ramon again was willing to discuss this and even feared he might have to absorb the reproaches of his elders. He then came to his final request.
"Since I have started fighting the Cult they have been more and more able to mobilize abominations immune to the attacks of ordinary weapons. Would the Church have magical weapons and silver weapons, armor and other relics in its armories and treasuries that could be loaned to the attack force?"
Post by scottenkainen on Feb 10, 2016 14:43:57 GMT -6
Day 16, turn 6 for Marcel:
The long wait was miserable for Marcel, having to pace around outside the Inner Bailey gates as if he didn't belong there! An hour passed before a group of soldiers and clerics moved through the gate, and Marcel was recognized by Curro Crespo. Marcel got his attention and explained the situation.
"Oh, that's terrible. Hey! This man works closely with the Church's Army and must accompany us inside, with weapons!" Curro called out.
There was a bit of a stand-off after that, but Curro had a half-dozen soldiers of the Church's Army with him and the fighting men of the Viscount's Army at the gate backed down.
Finally, Marcel was in the bailey, with his new magic sword still in his possession. "What's the matter?" Curro asked him. It was an open-ended question, so Marcel could answer about why he was kept out, or about what he needed from the temple.