Friday, March 27, 2009

Campaign: A Propituous Discovery

As Anshelm and Tiberius independently make their way back to the Pig tavern, our companions Kazimir and Delfig make their way through the apple orchard, seeking the company of cotters who live just beyond. Almost as they reach the edge of the orchard and come in sight of the shanties, they hear a blood curdling scream--a scream that is distinctly not human.

Pausing or rushing forward, they do not find any evidence for the source of the scream until they move into the clearing surrounding the cotter settlement. It is there that they hear the scream repeated--and are able to locate it as coming from within one of the shanty houses.

32 comments:

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - the silence is because we/I'm picking our/my jaws up off the floor and figuring out WTH to do. I'm waiting to hear back from Kazimir and we/I will put something up here within an hour - giving Kazimir time to respond)

Are there any cotters about in the fields/orchards that would have heard that scream and mistake us for the source?

I'm assuming we have our weapons from our previous day with Herr Meyer.

(BTW, you and I never resolved the issue of coins from Triskoon, he never answered my question because it was about that time you got hit with the creeping crud. How should/can we resolve it?)

Alexis said...

Delfig,

I'm not sure what issue you refer to. I offered you a hundred gold coin, did I not? The post might have been eaten. I presumed you now had that on your person.

You see no one else in the apple orchard or indeed anywhere around.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I found that in the "Update" post, thanks for the reminder. I now have 100gp. Blood money, as it were.

OK, no word from Kazimir yet, so I may have to do this alone. *laugh* I'll give him another 30 minutes, then post my actions.

Kazimir said...

Kazimir looks to Delfig and hefts his club and shield. "These friends of yours... you want to risk your neck for them?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I pull my crossbow off my back and load a bolt.

"Do I want to die for them? No. Do I want to possibly help? If we can. Do I think we're in the mess here now, and better to face ones opponent rather than flee and be chased? Most definitely."

Delfig will shrug off his pack and lyre as quietly/quickly as he can and sneak/move quietly/hide as best he can to the shack and listen. He'll motion to Kazimir to wait.

Alexis said...

Inside the shack, you can hear voices talking. Then someone intones a question--a deep, booming voice you haven't heard before. There's silence. Then suddenly another scream. Let me emphasize again: definitely not a human scream.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Any chance that this shack is shabby enough I can peek through a crack and see inside?

Where is the door/opening to the shack in relationship to where I'm at? Can I make out what is being said, if I'm right next to the shack?

I'll wave Kazimir over close to me, put my fingers to my lips to indicate "quiet". (OOC - he said he'd back me up if needed.)

Kazimir said...

Kazimir will move as quietly as he can toward Delfig. He will keep an eye out for anyone that might be approaching from the sides or rear, etc.

Alexis said...

Delfig,

No. The weather is too poor in southern Germany to allow open holes in the walls in the winter time. Holes would be filled with plaster, mud, bits of whatever could be found.

The nearest you can tell regarding what is being said is that apparently someone is being interrogated.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Two last questions: aside from the deep voice and the screaming, you mentioned voices. Do I have a clue as to how many different voices? (I'm trying to determine odds.)

And where are we in relationship to the door? Can we assume we're opposite the door, or that we're adjacent to the wall with the door?

Alexis said...

(OCC: Shit, people...do I really scare you this much?)

Delfig,

There are maybe three people you can hear. As regards to your position relating to the door, you tell me.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - Simulationist, I'm going into wargame/SWAT mode. And yes, as a first level character who barely has his wee-wee wet, I'm figuring I'm easy toast, even at 6' tall)

We are on the wall opposite the door. I'm going to hold up 3 fingers to Kazimir to indicate how many inside. I'm going to quietly lay my crossbow down after removing the bolt and draw my long sword. I'll indicate to him, using hands, no voice, that we're going to go around opposite sides of the shack to the door.

We'll pick it up when you tell me if the door is closed and if we've made it that far without raising any noise.

(And I've been assuming I'm going to die since we burst out on those cotters. It's a healthy way to look at a first level character, living in a world I'm not used to as a player.)

Alexis said...

Door is closed. You raise no alarm.

(OCC: Some referential material, for your benefit. Consider that as a shanty, the full size of the interior can't be more than 15' by 15'; so that for combat purposes there's only space for about 9 hexes. Assuming you both burst in the front door, normal reaction time would allow both of you to get into the interior. There would only be space for a maximum of four attackers against you. Presuming that the voices you hear talking all sound human, and the screaming is non-human, it is reasonable to assume that anyone you would have to fight would be human. The cotters are certain to be unarmored and their club-like weapons would do 1-6 at best. While conceivably they might have a weapon or two, they would be unlikely to have a str/dex bonus. Finally, they know Delfig...and they like him.

So while I appreciate the SWAT argument, it kind of assumes that someone other that the cotters would be inside and waiting for you. I can't think of what I've said that would suggest that is the case)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - True, very good points and thanks for the reference. My thoughts were that these are the Baron's lands, he could be mixed up in whatever is going on, and there's nothing to indicate that the cotters are the humans inside.

As I was just saying offline to Kazimir, I'm assuming that the non-human voice might also be Triskoon or one of his compatriots, which I'm in for blood money with. You're right, I have no basis for assumption, aside from wild speculation - which is probably fairly close to what Delfig would be thinking.

I'm also figuring that we're going to use the door as a choke point if we have to, let them come to us, if needs be. It's not a perfect plan, but it's the best I have at the moment.)

Delfig takes a deep breath and glances at Kazimir, who has been following him and is now on the other side of the door. He thinks "What a strange place to be in right now..." and glances down at his wound. He listens one more time, to see if he can recognize the voices, and then kicks the door open to see the scene inside.

Alexis said...

Everyone inside is surprised.

Three of the men you recognize: Emmanuel and two others, previously unnamed (we'll call them Igen and Heinke). The last man is a rotund, Spartanly dressed friar, his robe tied with a belt and a large rosary of 168 greenstone beads. He is clean-shaven, with workman's hands, a slightly balding pate and bright blue eyes.

They are surrounding a table, one about the size that you dined on three days ago. The table has rope wrapped round and round itself and the body of--something--that seems to be tied to it. The body is difficult to see. I don't mean that it is hard to look at, or ugly, I mean that it is virtually invisible. It is something of a man's shape, but you find that somehow a trick of the light makes it appear as though the rope is wrapped around nothing at all. You have to keep adjusting the position of your head a bit to catch a glimpse of the human form, and then it is lost again, now appearing as part of the table, now appearing as part of the ropes binding it in place.

None of them are holding weapons, but Igen's hands are wrapped where the creature's throat ought to be...he's not putting pressure on his forearms, but seems ready to do so.

Emmanuel will speak first: "Delfig?" he asks in great surprise.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I'll fill the door with my bulk, keeping my eyes on the friar as I speak, sword held at the ready.

"What in God's name is that noise and what are you doing?! Who is dying in here?! We heard the most awful sound and feared the Devil himself was in this place!!"

Kazimir said...

Kazimir will lower his club and shield and stare in confusion at the semi-invisible form on the table.

Alexis said...

The friar will answer, "It might well be the devil."

Emmanuel: "We've caught something, that's for sure. We've been learning things, friend, that would turn your heart to ice. Lower your sword--we're not your enemy."

Kazimir said...

Kazimir says "What in the blazes is going on?"

Alexis said...

To Kazimir, the friar will intone with a great deal of hushed fear: "Dweomercraft."

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I lower my sword away from the Friar, but keeping my eyes on him. (At the first sign that he's going to toss a spell at us and not the thing on the table, I'll attack to do subdual/nonlethal damage to disrupt the spell.)

"What is that thing? Does it have something to do with the city being closed? And who are you, Friar?"

Alexis said...

Emmanuel will jump in: "This is Father Jan. He is a close friend. We called him to help us--we caught this thing last night, and have held it fast since that time. It had been stealing food...we only chanced to trap it in the granary, and then only because we could see the impression its feet left."

"It is a skulk," explains the friar. "Sometimes they act alone, but not always. I suspected something when I was asked to come--and now I see that all our troubles begin with this loathsome thing."

Kazimir said...

To the Friar: "It's a devil, then? Some kind of spirit?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - would Delfig know any particularly relevant myths/legends about these creatures?)

I listen to the friar and nod gravely. "What troubles, friar? Are you referring to the horse murders in Dachau? Do these things have a lair or some sort of place that they inhabit?"

Alexis said...

Jan to Kazimir: "No, a humanoid...but an odd one. Alone, they are thieves. We have discovered that this one is not alone, but that it serves another master."

To Delfig: "You ask about the town. We have learned that something is being called upon, something which will be gated into the town tonight. We don't know if the gate will remain open or not--but if it is..."

Emmanuel will bless himself: "FATHER...you raise the very hackles on my neck. You don't believe that this thing can happen!"

"You have heard the creature speak, my son."

Alexis said...

In answer to Delfig's question about the horse murders, Jan will gesture at Igen: "Hear it for yourself."

Igen will close his hands upon the creature's throat, and the creature will let out an unnatural scream. Then it will say, like a wind whispering through a hollow:

"The mounts have been found for Reekhova... The blood has been willingly given..."

Jan will shrug. "That is all it will say about it."

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - and thus, we now turn the screws on Delfig...)

"What does it mean, Reekhova? What do you mean by a gate?"

Alexis said...

(OCC: D&D. Gate: a means of bringing in a creature from another plane of existence. In a world where this is possible, and is known by that name, you can assume that an educated bard would know what it is)

Jan: "Reekhova must be the name of the creature to be gated."

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - yea, thought the Friar might know more specific details about how the gating was going to happen...)

"Friar, do you know if this thing has a lair or home? Have you learned anything of that? And has it spoke about any particular person..." ... and I look intently at the creature ... " ... perhaps named Triskoon?"

Alexis said...

"I have not heard of the thing before this day. Nor do I know of any Triskoon that has been mentioned. Who is this person? Why do you think he might be mentioned?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I sigh a deep sigh. I drop my sword to the ground and push back the sleeve on my arm.

"Forgive me Father, I think I have sinned and have been tricked by the Master of this creature here. I was assailed by a group of invisible creatures last night. I feared for my life. Their power seemed too great and they tempted me with gold and freedom. Fearing that they would kill me, I gave them my blood. They threaten to upend the merchants. They are particularly interested in protecting a Herr Meyer - the silversmith a few hours travel from Dachau."

"The person who spoke to me, who could change his very shape and seemed unnatural in nature was named Triskoon. This very creature here might be one of those who were with him last night. He/they seem to be able to take up many different shapes."

"Their plot seems centered around causing trouble to the merchants, and they seem intent on Herr Mizer, as my blood is to be used in a plot to cause Herr Mizer to be implicated in a murder he did not commit."

"I fear that I am a fool and my blood is to be used to summon this creature. What shall I do to make this right, Father?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I fall to my knees upon finishing that explanation.

(OOC - time for the commute and I will be going out on princesswife enforced Date Night - not that I'm complaining. So I might have a bit of time between 5.30pm CDT and 6.30pm CDT, otherwise I'll be online a bit on Saturday morning, then not till Monday morning.)