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Dallan Invictus
Oct 11, 2007

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes, look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

Landra

"Define 'civilized'", answers Landra with a harsh laugh. "The Everleaf has been boiling since the Eclipse took Deepwreathe away: as the High Mage has said. Bandits of all kinds, and rumours of worse. The elves try to keep a lid on it, and these paths of theirs might avoid the worst of it, but we should definitely expect to be opposed."

She leans in for a closer look at the High Mage's crude map, trying to associate it with her memories.

I don't know if she'd be able to mark out the sites she remembers on a map like this one, but at the very least she'll bring them to mind.

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Aschlafly
Jan 5, 2004

I identify as smart.
(But that doesn't make it so...)


Petra M'orderial

Petra swallows nervously. The anxiety he exudes with each breath is now almost palpable. "Well," he says, "that's doubly unfortunate."

"I'd be inclined to favor the trails if it means we can minimize conflict, but I'll leave the final decision with the more-informed among you."

"Ought we to retire soon?"

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000

Wait, something is wrong.


Roland

"Civilized? If you mean the banditry of men, no. The paths are well hidden from prying eyes and patrolled by the elves. Better to stick to the merchants that trade on the high roads. As for orcs and the like? Unlikely. The elves of the Everleaf patrol it well enough; the worst I hope to encounter is some odd creature that strayed too close."

The Transhumanist
Jan 2, 2008
I should put something funny here.

Annetta

Annetta shrugs a bit and smiles faintly. "That is, of course, assuming that things in Everleaf have not deteriorated as the rest of the lands have. I have this suspicion that things there are no better then anywhere else, and to that point, while I do agree that the trails are the better bet, I would also say that more then anything, we need to be alert and on our toes. While it might be safe, I am personally pessimistic of this likelihood."

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000

Wait, something is wrong.


Roland

"Aye, but they were not well known to begin with and hold little lucre for bandits. The elves who travel them are skilled at woodcraft and difficult to track or rob. Even in these times your bandits and hobgoblins are a lazy, cowardly lot."

Clanpot Shake
Aug 10, 2006
shake shake!

Taldrel Darlhunt

Taldrel looks at the group with growing incredulity. It was like they were arguing with each other but agreeing at the same time... they (the ranger and the warlock, that is) were like siblings. These were details they could work out en route. Taldrel thought it best to get some rest - Petra wasn't the only one ready for sleep.

Taldrel was sure the group would find allies in those trying to keep order in the wood, and that the group could handle any hostile forces the forest threw their way. Annetta's warning to stay wary was all well and good (giving credence to her rationality, in Taldrel's view), but Taldrel was always wary of his surroundings. It occurred to him that pessimism and sanity might be closely tied, but he put those thoughts aside for now. More pressing matters were at hand. He wanted very much to be on the road - days traveling and waiting had left him restless.

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000

Wait, something is wrong.


Roland

"As far as supplies, the Everleaf is pretty verdant. A good hunter can keep you going for awhile, foraging for fruit and roots and the like as well. Good eating if you can stand it," he chuckles. He was quite looking forward to the hike.

Aschlafly
Jan 5, 2004

I identify as smart.
(But that doesn't make it so...)


Petra M'orderial

Petra smiles at Roland's description. "It's good to hear some things haven't changed about the place.

"Lord Carthaune, unless there is anything else you think we should know, I'll be retiring, and I suggest everyone else do likewise. Deepest gratitude for your help and hospitality, and we will not disappoint you on our quest." Petra makes a motion to leave the chamber and head to the bed quarters.

Nimlach
Jul 22, 2008


Alagand

Alagand smiles slightly at Petra's pleasantries. "Well, we can't exactly promise that you won't be disappointed - if Tolarius is gone, well, then he's gone. But if he's to be found we'll find him. It looks like this about wraps up the briefing, hmm? If all you folks are retiring, then I guess I'll do the same."

Alagand (who is already standing) bows slightly from the waist to Carthaune and then makes for the door. If it were up to him, they'd leave now, not wait till morning - what's a little darkness, especially since they were all elves. Ah well, not everyone was more comfortable at night, as he was. He would have to make do.

The Transhumanist
Jan 2, 2008
I should put something funny here.

Annetta

"Sleep does sound like an excellent proposition. Rise early tomorrow, hit the roads as soon as possible. I don't suppose you could a horse readied for my use tomorrow at least?" she asked of Ravic, smiling faintly. "Get out and gone as soon as we can, eat up as many miles between us and what not?" With that, she got up, bowing to Ravic before heading on to her own lodgings.

Dallan Invictus
Oct 11, 2007

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes, look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

Landra

Landra joins the others in their farewell. "We know what's riding on this, High Mage. We will do what we can." For herself, she was happy to spend at least the one night here before getting out on the road: it would be a long time, she suspected, before they came back to civilisation. Rising gracefully from her seat, she sweeps a bow to Carthaune and makes for the door.

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000

Wait, something is wrong.


Roland

If there was peril to be had, Roland was going to have a good time before he left. "Fair enough. I have pressing business in town to attend to," he says. Pressing against his trousers, more like. It was a mark of good luck to debauch before such an undertaking. It might be weeks before such pleasures could be had again.

Stormtrooper
Oct 18, 2003

Imperial Servant

Coreladdabar IV of Lockhaven

Coreladdabar bids goodnight to Carthaune and his soon-to-be companions, and retires for the night. He has a lot to think about.

MMAgCh
Aug 15, 2001
I am the poet,
The prophet of the pit
Like a hollow-point bullet
Straight to the head
I never missed...you

The High Mage nods. "Apart from the elves, what 'civilization' remains in the Everleaf is cruel and preys on all that do not belong to its own people, and even these, I fear, are not always exempt. You should never expect to be perfectly safe."

Landra, meanwhiles, focuses on the map, and is able to come up with what she believes are three reasonably accurate locations for the tower. There is bound to be a margin of error, of course, but it does narrow down the areas the group will need to search considerably.



(The three circles around the lower end of the Green Mere being said locations.)

Ravic Carthaune rises as well. "I am confident you will not disappoint me. Remember that you do not embark on this quest for glory or fortune though I will not deny that these might well come from it ; it is for the sake of our very world that you do this. As long as you remain true to this purpose, you shall prevail." He spreads his arms in a gesture of blessing. "May Corellon watch over you, and may Ioun illuminate the paths that lie dark before you." Folding his arms in his sleeves, he waits until you have all filed out of the White Room; if the last one to leave were to gaze back, he or she could see Carthaune sitting down very slowly, haltingly, as though greatly exhausted.

The meeting with the High Mage over, everybody heads to his or her quarters everybody except Roland, who has an urge or two that require satiating. On a whim, he heads over to the Academy's refectory; it turns out to be a timely whim, too, because the place is fairly busy, mostly with students. The Academy being a place of arcane studies and learning, its refectory hardly is a debaucher's heaven, but half an hour and a number of drinks later, the archer has made several new friends, who appear quite drawn to him. Perhaps it is because the Academy is rarely graced by the presence of a hero like him ("we've heard of you!" one slightly bubbly eladrin apprentice exclaims), perhaps it is because of his rugged, battle-scarred looks so sharply and alluringly contrasting the appearances of the Academy's usual denizens; whatever the cause, Roland learns that a completely informal get-together is to take place later that evening in one of the student dormitories. It is hinted at that he would not at all be unwelcome.
Not one to let such an opportunity go untaken, the fiery-blooded feyborn passes the time wandering around the Academy grounds, taking in the architecture some more and enjoying the quiet. At the appointed hour, he sneaks into the dormitory and finds the better part of the top floor engaged in a great deal of carousing and merrymaking, much to his surprise outside, and even on the floor below, nary a sound could be heard. It turns out that this is due to clever application of the Silence ritual, but Roland's mind does not get to dwell on this for long; the beverages available here are manifold and strong, the food hearty and the females especially quite interested in him. As such, the elf does what he arguably does best, namely enjoying himself without much regard for anything else. At some point during all this, things become rather blurry for Roland Ca'Nathas; the last distinct memory he has is half being dragged by and half dragging someone else down a hallway, which appears to be twisting and turning slightly of its own accord, towards a room that looms dark and empty and has a bed in it

That night, sleep comes easily to those who seek it.

The sun rises late the next morning, and even then it provides little illumination, merely suffusing the grey-clouded autumn sky with an indifferent light that holds little allure and less warmth. It's hardly the ideal weather for setting out on a journey of multiple days, but those involved know well enough that before long, some precipitation might well be the least of their problem. You have all done this before, embarking on journeys of uncertain end; it is not a thing of worry, not yet.
Roland wakes somewhat later than the rest, but to a rather enchanting sight. Stretched out beside him is one of the most beautiful elves he has ever seen, her skin soft and creamy, her hair streaming down her shoulders and onto the pillow like a waterfall of sunlight, and her eyes, when they finally open, a brilliant blue that invites him to stay, figuratively, even before the elf literally does so. Unfortunately for the ambitious archer, a quick look out the window shows him that his companions have already gathered by the southern gate. No time for love, as it were.

At the gate, Annetta finds a horse waiting for her, a skewbald gelding that, as the stable-boy tending to it assures her, is the most docile animal this side of the Long River. As far as first glances count for anything in this regard, he appears to be right. The guard at the gate meanwhile informs you that the ferry is waiting, and wishes you safe travels before assuming his post up in the watchtower again.
It is a ride of maybe ten minutes to the docks, and the ferry takes another twenty to reach the other shore from there. As on the Isle, the docks here are like a tiny port, with two low warehouses and a number of smaller buildings scattered about; it looks like a fair amount of goods pass, or used to pass, through here. As you disembark, you hear two nearby dock workers, who were watching the ferry arrive, grumble loudly and colourfully about a shipment being late, paying little attention to the group of adventurers.

To the west and south, the northern hill lands (a rather Mitback-centric name) stretch off into the distance, their soft slopes and rises like a great, uneven sheet spread across the earth. Owing to the inexorable advance of autumn, there is a pale colour to the land, and the relatively few trees that dot the hills often show more yellow and orange leaves than they do green ones, some beginning to shed their crowns of leaves altogether. The air is cold and quite still, carrying neither so much as a light breeze nor any kind of scent. Now that the dock workers have filed into one of the warehouses, nary a sound is to be heard, either; the world as a whole seems profoundly quiet.

Little else catches the eye, much of the surrounding lands being hidden from sight by the rough terrain. A road, unpaved but looking well-maintained, leaves the docks in a roughly western direction and winds off into the hills; it is a ride of about two days from here to Farling.


The dice have decreed that Roland is a PLAYA.

MMAgCh fucked around with this message at Sep 18, 2008 around 18:37

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000

Wait, something is wrong.


Roland

Roland was feelin' fine. He shows up, fresh as a daisy. "Hope your evenings were all well," he says stretching. Man, it was a nice morning.

Clanpot Shake
Aug 10, 2006
shake shake!

Taldrel Darlhunt

Taldrel woke with the sun and was one of the first ready to depart. They had several days of riding ahead of them and Taldrel wanted to get an early start.

"Not is good as yours," Taldrel replies to Roland, "judging by the giant grin on your face all morning." Taldrel chuckled lightly and set his horse at a walk, "Come on, we've got a long road ahead."

No sense in keeping their quarry waiting.

Dallan Invictus
Oct 11, 2007

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes, look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

Landra

She leads her horse off of the ferry with a glare up into the brooding sky. She enjoyed autumn, to be sure, with its cool breezes and blowing leaves, but today would have been a depressing day in any season. "Wherever it was you went last night, Roland, we could probably all have used it." Her room had been well-appointed and comfortable: if anything less than the world had been at stake she might still have been there.

With a languid shrug, she dismisses the topic from both her speech and her mind. "Off to Farling, then?"

Let's get this show on the road...

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000

Wait, something is wrong.


Roland

"I have learned in my time to take your pleasures where you can, because the next chance may not be coming for awhile. My rear end is going to be chapped as hell after an all day ride, there's a reason I'd rather walk. Still, soonest begun, soonest done. Let's go burn some daylight," he says as he vaults into the saddle.

MMAgCh
Aug 15, 2001
I am the poet,
The prophet of the pit
Like a hollow-point bullet
Straight to the head
I never missed...you

You set off westwards. Twenty-eight hooves pounding dully against the ground, the road takes you into the hills, and before long the Academy of the Lake is lost from view entirely; only rarely, when gaining a crest, can the white dome of the Sanctum be spied in the distance, out on the lake.

For much of the day, the journey remains rather uneventful. The road, while turning and twisting rather precariously and, out in the wilderness, barely deserving the name at times, generally allows for smooth travel, and you cover a decent distance. Hardly any wildlife crosses your path, the only thing of real note being a large bird that circles far overhead for a few minutes in the late morning hours before swooping away to the south. As you travel further westwards, the land becomes less plain, with trees and shrubs growing more abundantly; the season of year is thinning out the ranks of their foliage, however, and the sight is not a great deal more cheerful than the plain countryside was.

Just past noon, after the grey expanse has loomed above you all morning, the floodgates of the clouds finally open up. While not overly voluminous, the rain is amazingly persistent, not to mention cold, and continues to plague you for the rest of the day; even with the light fading and evening approaching, it continues to fall with no change in intensity, turning the road into an unpleasant, muddy affair. It is a facet of autumn best observed through a window from inside a warm, cosy room, but such a privilege is not yours right now.

Somewhere beyond the clouds, the sun has all but set as the road leaves a particular craggy area and descends into a valley of sorts; it's really more a long, sloping depression in the land, the hills surrounding it like a child's imitations of proper mountain peaks. Towards its northern end lies a small wood, several hundred feet away from the road, nestled between and partially growing beyond the slopes of the valley, which are gently beginning to converge along the edges of the wood. Long shadows have claimed almost the entirety of the valley by now, though it's still light enough to see for now. The wind, too, has picked up a little, driving the still-present rain eastwards at a slight angle, into the travellers' faces who are by now starting to feel the exhaustion of a long day spent riding.

As you cross the valley, the arcane senses of both Annetta and Coreladdabar suddenly register something emanating from the wood, even at this distance. It is a faint sensation, like a moth in the dark that lightly brushes against one's skin; whether this is simply due to the distance or the lacking strength of the source is hard to tell. Off the top of their heads, the two learned arcanists are unable to tell exactly what said source might be, in any case.

Aschlafly
Jan 5, 2004

I identify as smart.
(But that doesn't make it so...)


Petra M'orderial

Petra grins stupidly upon hearing of Roland's debaucherous ventures. He takes a moment to reflect on his own conquests, though he doesn't say anything. There's nothing wrong with having fun once in a while.

He takes the opportunity to enjoy the ride, bidding a sad farewell to his short stay at the Academy. He doesn't wince at the biting wind, the cold rain, or the barrenness of the plains. It's been some time since he had the chance to enjoy nature. A few years in Westpoint does a lot for a person's naturelust.

Petra also watches the riding habits of his traveling companions. Landra and Roland look like skilled riders; Taldrel is at least competent, as well. At the least, none of us are particularly bad on a horse.

After the long hours of riding, Petra breaks the relative silence of the trip. "Lovely day, isn't it?"

Nature +12 to see if Petra notices anything unusual.

The Transhumanist
Jan 2, 2008
I should put something funny here.

Annetta

Annetta had noticed the obvious look on Roland's face, rolling her eyes once before shaking her head. She just hoped he had worked it out of his system, she had little interest in dragging his rear end out of the beds of women across the breadth of the land. At least he didn't appear to be a drunkard like that Kellin fellow she'd once made the misfortune of hiring to find books for her. Thank the gods for small mercies.

As the approached the valley, Annetta could feel the presence of something, some sort of arcane field. Slowing her horse down to a bare plodding pace, Annetta wrinkles her nose, as if smelling something faint. It was just how she reacted to odd, unexpected magical fields, as if she could almost but not quite smell them even. "Something... odd. A faint arcane field ahead of us. No idea what might be causing it, but I would advise caution at the very least. It might be nothing, but I find it always pays to be cautious with unknown magics." A shrug then as she once more picked up the pace, trying to catch the feeling more sharply, to find out perhaps where it originated, and whether it was weak from lack of power or distance.

Stormtrooper
Oct 18, 2003

Imperial Servant

Coreladdabar IV of Lockhaven

Coreladdabar grimaces and pulls his cloak tighter about him as the rain continues to fall. This weather was damned inconvenient. Not only was everything getting wet, but he couldn't see anything either. It didn't bode well.

He listens to Annetta's comment about the arcane aura, and is glad to have some confirmation of his own sense. He searches his mind for a possible meaning ...

He speaks up, "It grows dark. Should we not find somewhere to camp and seek refuge from the weather? Toiling on in this condition does no good to any of us." Coreladdabar glances about, checking for suitable places to camp - preferably out of the rain.

Perception +9 to check for a camp
Arcana +14 to think about that arcane aura

Spells prepared: Phantom Chasm, Web, Ice storm, Jump, Invisibility, Illusory Wall

Stormtrooper fucked around with this message at Sep 20, 2008 around 21:12

MMAgCh
Aug 15, 2001
I am the poet,
The prophet of the pit
Like a hollow-point bullet
Straight to the head
I never missed...you

Even as Petra examines his surroundings, he notices a tiny flock of birds taking flight from the edge of the wood and swiftly heading south at a low altitude. Their route intersects the road, and the paladin gets a fairly good look at the small animals as they fly overhead. The bright blue markings on their chest and wings, unusually bright compared to the rest of their dark plumage, leave little doubt in the half-elf's mind: these are magebirds, a very rare species whose origins scholars have been unable to definitely determine to this day. Some say they originated in the Feywild, having crossed over into the mortal world at some point like many other fey creatures; others claim the first magebirds were the results of a wizard's attempts to create living, intelligent familiars to aid him in his magical experiments. At any rate, this is the first time he has seen them in the wild, things out of legend, almost; what the legends and stories he heard of them consistently mentioned, however, was that these birds have an affinity for magic. In terms of intelligence, they are about on par with crows; what sets them apart is that they can not only sense magic, but actually prefer to be in its presence whenever possible. If they weren't incredibly rare and, as legend has it, very shy, magebirds would doubtlessly make interesting pets for the magically inclined, to say the least.
The flock, meanwhile, continues to fly south, and soon disappears in the rain beyond the southern end of the valley.

Annetta attunes her senses to the strange magical emissions, but try as she might, their precise nature eludes her. It is infuriating; somehow, she feels she should recognise the effect, but the knowledge, teasingly, will not come to her. All she can tell is that it comes from the direction of the copse in the valley.

Coreladdabar has little luck spotting any suitable campsites that could accommodate the entire party; the "out of the rain" criterion makes these an incredibly rare find to hope for in this kind of terrain. The most obvious choice, other factors nonwithstanding, seems to be the nearby wood; it's not going to be perfectly dry, but certainly a good deal more so than camping out in the open would be. You have passed one or two other similar copses on your way here, though backtracking to these would mean approximately another two hours of riding.
However, when it comes to identifying the arcane aura he and Annetta can sense, the wizard has significantly more luck. He recalls something he read about years ago in a dusty tome, courtesy of the Academy's great library, on the subject of translocational magic, which specifically concerned the creation of portals between the Feywild and other planes. While such gateways sometimes occur naturally, as was the case with Deepwreathe, it is essentially impossible to create them artificially, from what he read, to say nothing of sustaining them for any length of time. It reportedly took the author of the volume a great deal of energy to bring such a portal into existence, and even then it was not large or long-lived enough to interact with the other side in any way. He remembers the description of the arcane patterns these tiny portals emitted, a brief magical sample having been embedded in one of the pages; it was similar to what he is experiencing right now. However, the current phenomenon also is fundamentally different in a way he simply cannot grasp Coreladdabar has no explanation for why or what this is, only that it's not quite the same as the effect he read about.

Alagand and Landra begin to hear, in the loosest sense of the word, a low humming noise of sorts; while it seems to slightly grow in intensity when they turn towards the northern end of the valley, it's not actually something they hear at least, placing their hands over their ears does not muffle the 'sound' in any way, nor does it seem to be tied to the physical world, strangely reverberating inside their heads as it does. It is a mildly disconcerting experience.
Annetta and Coreladdabar meanwhile notice that the arcane emanation is growing stronger. As they have not moved noticeably closer to the wood, distance perhaps isn't a factor after all.


Some mighty fine rolling on these knowledge checks there.

Nimlach
Jul 22, 2008


Alagand

Alagand appreciates the rain. It is somewhat unpleasant to be wet, but it makes the day feel darker and closer, so for Alagand, who has left his comfort zone far, far behind, its almost cozy. He agrees with Petra, but without the irony - it is a nice day.

As the humming sensation intensifies, he spurs his mount up to the front of the group and turns sideways, forcing everyone to stop.

"Does anyone else hear, ah, feel that? We're riding into something."

Aschlafly
Jan 5, 2004

I identify as smart.
(But that doesn't make it so...)


Petra M'orderial

Petra's riding slows noticeable as he watches the birds pass. "Those are some very rare birds," he says somewhat stupidly, and he continues to watch them, somewhat distracted. "Take a good look. We are very lucky to have seen them at all." Hey, wait... what, exactly, are they doing here?

Petra notices the tension in the group growing as the two arcanists in the group seem somewhat unnerved by... something or other. He can't tell what, but wonders if their worries are connected to the mysterious birds. The pieces begin to fall into place in his head, and he's stopped by Alagand just before he gets a chance to ask.

He whips out of his absentminded mode and regards Alagand with a powerful stare. "Is it something sorcerous? We had all best be on our guard." His hand rests on the pommel of his sword, and he clasps his holy symbol tightly as he scans the surroundings.

Perception +9 to see if anything else unusual is going on.

MMAgCh
Aug 15, 2001
I am the poet,
The prophet of the pit
Like a hollow-point bullet
Straight to the head
I never missed...you

Petra notices nothing out of the ordinary.

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000

Wait, something is wrong.


Roland

Bringing his mount up short, "Into something? Like a storm? I can sense nothing, but then again my senses are tuned for the natural world, not the feytrack." Still, he pays a bit more attention to the world around him.

Nature +16, Dungeoneering +14. Perception +16 if it matters

Dallan Invictus
Oct 11, 2007

The thing about words is that meanings can twist just like a snake, and if you want to find snakes, look for them behind words that have changed their meaning.

Landra

Cool weather and wind, she liked. Even rain, in an abstract sense, she enjoyed. Riding through it, mud and all, on the other hand, has left her in a somewhat peevish mood. She reins in her horse just short of Alagund, already looking around warily as she answers him with an almost-smile. "And here I thought I was just going mad. Is it like a bone-deep humming, coming from there?" And she gestures to the north, toward the trees that had looked so promising as shelter.

Aschlafly
Jan 5, 2004

I identify as smart.
(But that doesn't make it so...)


Petra M'orderial

"I ought to have been clearer. The birds I pointed out a few minutes ago, flying out of those trees? Magebirds. They are drawn to magic and prefer to be in its presence. And to think, I almost thought they were entirely mythical."

Petra scratches his head. The gears in his head are turning, though they never turn very fast. He asks the two magic-users in the group, "Are you hearing this humming, as well?"

Clanpot Shake
Aug 10, 2006
shake shake!

Taldrel Darlhunt

Taldrel had come to realize something since leaving the Academy, and that was that he very much did not like traveling. A day's ride through the cold rain had put him in a sour mood and he did not look forward to camping in the woods being rained on. Then again, there was a good chance camping on the road would be worse, but that did nothing to improve his mood.

He had stayed quiet for most of the journey, but the conversation that brought him to attention was Alagand and Landra's sensing something in the woods. A hum? Taldrel didn't hear or feel anything - it was probably something magical in nature, and a magic hum coming from ancient woods was enough to put him on guard. He looks to Landra and Alagand and asks, "What are we riding into? It's late and we should take shelter, but I don't want to camp near something dangerous."

History +13 if there were any noteworthy historical events near the area. A battle, maybe.

The Transhumanist
Jan 2, 2008
I should put something funny here.

Annetta

Unlike her companions, Annetta enjoyed travel. She had an almost insatiable wanderlust, a desire to see what was over the horizon, or around the bend in the river. And, as she had never had much cause to leave the Niemund area, this whole area was new to her experiences. Still, riding in the rain was not the best way to go exploring, but neither was it enough to really sour her mood.

Snapping from her little reverie, she turned to Petra and then shook her head. "Can't hear any hum, no, but the emanations are growing stronger... whatever that portends. I think we should perhaps go investigate it, might be important. Or, if the cause is friendly, maybe they might know where we might find some shelter for the night at least. Either way, I think this warrants investigation."

MMAgCh
Aug 15, 2001
I am the poet,
The prophet of the pit
Like a hollow-point bullet
Straight to the head
I never missed...you

As far as Roland can tell, the current weather is of entirely natural origin, and unrelated to whatever the others might be experiencing. After scanning the far skies and examining the clouds and their movement, as well as paying close attention to the intensity and direction of wind and rain for some time, he forms an educated opinion: these weather conditions are here to stay until the coming morning, if not longer, but on the other hand, they're unlikely to get any worse. Glancing towards the wood, however, Roland notices something. Unless his keen eyes are deceiving him, the archer spies a very faint light among the treetops. Whatever is causing it can't be near the edge of the copse, as it lies still and perfectly dark otherwise, but deeper within, it would appear that there is a pale, almost colourless light just barely radiating beyond the tops of the trees there. This light being as hard to see as it is, even in the growing darkness, Roland can't entirely rule out the possibility that he is mistaken, though.

To the best of Taldrel's knowledge, no events of significance ever took place here in recent and not-so-recent history, much of the northern hill lands never having been particularly alluring or fertile. During the Great War, a number of bloody, but ultimately inconsequential skirmishes were fought farther to the south, in the same general area where the small village Maltstead lies today, but these locations are miles away.

Both arcanists sense the magic aura continuing to gain in strength, the sensation coming in waves now, pulsing rhythmically. It's slowly turning into a nuisance, affecting the mind as a minor headache might, though without any actual pain involved. Simultaneously, the humming experienced by Alagand and Landra intensifies and rises in pitch; it becomes a kind of incessant buzzing that is not terribly pleasant. Taldrel and Roland are subjected to it now as well.

Nimlach
Jul 22, 2008


Alagand

Alagand winces and brings one hand to his temple, leaving the other on the reins of his horse. He looks at Petra and Anetta in surprise.

"You really can't hear that? It hurts! You think its some kind of magical effect?"

Arcana +10 to observe the emanation. Can I tell how its related to the "humming?"

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000

Wait, something is wrong.


Roland

A worried frown crosses the hunter's face. "I can feel nothing except for the wind, and there is little out of the ordinary for this time of year in that. The trees," he says with a gesture towards the treeline, "have a glow to them, not anything natural. You arcanists, this is your line. What is going on?"

Clanpot Shake
Aug 10, 2006
shake shake!

Taldrel Darlhunt

"Oh," Taldrel says, "that humming..." A strange sensation. Taldrel looks expectantly at the mages, "Lights in the woods and a mysterious light in the forest - thoughts? Could this have anything to do with the man we're looking for?"

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000

Wait, something is wrong.


Roland

Roland keeps looking at the lights on the treeline, and says without a glance back, "Well, it ain't what you might call normal for the area."

Nimlach
Jul 22, 2008


Alagand

"I think this means we hafta go in there, but if this...noise...emanation? keeps up like this, I don't know..."

Aschlafly
Jan 5, 2004

I identify as smart.
(But that doesn't make it so...)


Petra M'orderial

Petra shakes his head at Alagand. "I do not hear anything."

"We ought to have a look. But let's all be on our guard while we do so. Anything..." he hisses slightly, "unnatural is a potential boon to our quest--or a potential threat."

Winson_Paine
Oct 27, 2000

Wait, something is wrong.


Roland

"We have to no matter what," Roland says with an elf's practicality. "Is the ache in your bones debilitating? Will it slow you?"

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Stormtrooper
Oct 18, 2003

Imperial Servant

Coreladdabar IV of Lockhaven

Coreladdabar had dismissed the strange magical aura as a mere residual effect of the Eclipse, but now, as the intensity of the field began to physically affect him, he second guesses himself. Perhaps there was more to this feeling.

"Listen," says Coreladdabar, "Obviously we are near a quite strong source of arcane power. Carthaune mentioned nothing of this, and the map did not indicate any magical sites in this region. Given the overall decrease in magic, I find it strange that we might find such a power source as this, here in the middle of nowhere."

He glances about, making sure he has everyone's attention.

"Furthermore, as I recall from my studies, this type of aura may be associated with portals to other planes. While I'm sure everyone here is aware of Deepwreathe and the like, the sense I am getting from this source is not that it is naturally created ... but something else, something new ... forced into existence. We can feel it pulsating about us, as a chained prisoner struggles against his bonds, unwilling but forced to serve."

"I recommend we proceed with extreme caution."

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