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Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Noroco 'Roc' Olvir posted:

Noroco raises his eyebrows almost imperceptibly ...

Lordorim Shambastik posted:

Lordorim ... made subtle signals ...
The hesitation in the tone and body language of his companions wasn't lost on him. He didn't begrudge that -- in fairness, he'd sprung this on them without any warning. That could be traced back to Noroco, though. Mokrul had intended to spend the evening performing reconnaissance on the town to better understand its morale and general state of security, and come to the group during their debriefing with a fully-vetted plan on what their negotiating position should be with whoever had inherited the authority of the burgomaster. More to the point, he had intended to discuss the plan and come to a mutual agreement before proceeding. He hadn't expected the group to run off half-staffed, half-cocked and full of confidence towards the negotiating table, but here they were, so he'd been forced to play the hand that had been dealt. He made a very pointed mental note, however, that both Lordorim and Noroco had backed his play despite their apparent doubts. Whatever differences they had in their respective approaches to problem solving, in a single moment they had both proven that he could count on them in the clutch, and he was unlikely to ever forget that.

Ismark posted:

"You want to set up a base in that house? You heard the part where no one who goes in comes out right?"
In contrast, the hesitation and confusion in the tone of the conversation with Ismark was music to his ears. Mokrul had thrown the man off balance by putting an unexpected request on the table, which was entirely the point of the maneuver.

Ismark posted:

"If you are so confident in your abilities that you think you can make that house safe, the Golden Lions are welcome to it ... in regards to future work, you are correct, our town has many problems ... take care of the Death House and we'll see if you can help us with that."

Ismark posted:

Ismark can only shrug in response to Roc's question.
Once it becomes clear that Ismark has exhausted his stores of useful intelligence with which to inform their mission planning, Mokrul shrugs and accepts the deal. "Fair enough. We'll introduce you to the rest of our company if we survive the endeavor, then. No sense putting more names to faces you might have to bury if things go off the rails, hm?" He pauses briefly, deciding to refine that statement, "Though I suppose if nobody ever comes back from the house, you're at least spared the financial and emotional costs of the burial."

Raising one hand in the air and spinning two fingers in a circulation motion to indicate the mercenary company's signal for 'wrap it up', Mokrul pivots on his heel and adjusts their course towards the gates. "If you'll excuse us, I suspect we've got a bit of work to do." He pauses once more, and decides to stop being a dealmaker for a moment, instead trying to forge a real bond with the man, "Oh, and, my condolences about your father. You should take the time to properly mourn his loss. A word of advice -- the responsibilities of the role of burgomaster appear to have been thrust upon you, but that doesn't mean your people don't know that you're suffering. In my experience, people don't ask more of their leaders than is reasonable. It's leaders that ask more of themselves than they can deliver, and that's where they run into trouble. We're here to help, and I imagine there are others you can count on as well. You would be well served to keep that in mind in the coming days."

By his measure, he'd just secured a deal that got them everything that they wanted, so there wasn't much left to be gained by a protracted second round of social interaction when the other half of the mercenary company eventually made its way to the burgomaster's mansion. Better to meet them on their way up the hill and get things started while they still had some daylight to work with.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Passive: Perception (16) / Investigation (16) / Insight (14) / Darkvision (60')
Effects: Inspiration / Concentration (observing) / Stealth
Resources:: Hit Dice (1/1d8) / Arrow (20)
Livestock: Chickens (12) / Chicken Feed (100 pounds)
Map / Journal
__________________________________________________________________________________________

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Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

REMIND ME AGAIN HOW THE LITTLE HORSE-SHAPED ONES MOVE?

Sergeant deWytte

The Sergeant leads the wagon and her half of the mercenary company up the road towards where Mokrul, Roc, and Lordorim waited outside the burgomaster's house. "What, you're already done with negotiations?" she calls up as soon as the distance is close enough. "I can only assume that means either the situation is desperate enough that not much negotiation is needed, or else there isn't money to hire us. From the mood in the streets, I'll guess the first."

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Sergeant deWytte posted:

"What, you're already done with negotiations?" she calls up as soon as the distance is close enough. "I can only assume that means either the situation is desperate enough that not much negotiation is needed, or else there isn't money to hire us. From the mood in the streets, I'll guess the first."
Mokrul raises a hand and waves a friendly hello, calling back to the sergeant, "You know, it's always been my policy to trust the mood in the streets. Better than tea leaves for divining more often than not." Picking up his pace to rejoin his companions, Mokrul motions for Skinny to turn the cart around and begin heading back down the road. Once they're out of earshot of the burgomaster's manor, he lowers his voice to a more conspiratorial volume and explains to the sergeant and the others, "As our new friends in the tavern explained, the former burgomaster, Kolyan, appears to have departed. His son, Ismark, has inherited his father's responsibilities, though he seems ill prepared for it. He's still working through the shock of his father's death, unless I miss my guess, and there's almost certainly going to be a big hit to his morale once the mourning period really sets in for him." With a shrug, Mokrul explains the facts of the situation, continuing, "Anyway, he's agreed to honor the terms of his father's letter. If we can investigate the mansion and 'take care of' the problem -- his words -- five hundred pieces of gold for each member of our band will be waiting for us."

He lets that hang in the air for a few moments, to lift the sergeant's spirits, before adding as if it is almost an afterthought, "Oh, he also agreed to let us claim the house and its estate, if we're so inclined." He lets that hang in the air for a few moments as well, priming the sergeant's spirits for launch before adding, "There will also be another contract waiting for us, if we're able to resolve this mansion matter to his satisfaction. All in all, I think the negotiations went reasonably well."

Never one to sugarcoat things, Mokrul points towards the presumably extremely dangerous location as it comes into view when they turn a corner in the road towards its general direction, adding, "Whether or not we've struck a fair bargain is yet to be determined, though. My money is on a deranged druid being behind all of this, though the possibility of the culprit being a werewolf isn't zero, either." He suspected that latter possibility might be a touchy subject with the sergeant, given the note in her personnel file, but he figured it was important to put the possibility out there rather than have the team surprised by it in the worst possible way. He cheerfully adds, "I guess we'll see, though."
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Passive: Perception (16) / Investigation (16) / Insight (14) / Darkvision (60')
Effects: Inspiration / Concentration (observing) / Stealth
Resources:: Hit Dice (1/1d8) / Arrow (20)
Livestock: Chickens (12) / Chicken Feed (100 pounds)
Map / Journal
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Waador fucked around with this message at Jun 18, 2018 around 01:48

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

He gives a wave to the sergeant and the others, moving toward them. When he is close enough to talk he gives a salute before reporting in, "Specifically, Ismark says the locals have stories about this mansion - they call it the "Death House," to the north-east of the town. Apparently it had a family of strange folks living in it a long time ago, but one night they all just 'poof'- disappeared. Ever since anyone that has gone into the house has never returned."

Noroco raises his hands up in a motion of 'I don't know what that means,' but then looks back toward Ismark's home. When he turns back he is frowning, "I'm not an expert on the fell or the undead, but it seems like this place has a bad case of something. The family that used to own the house was rumored to be everything from devil worshipers to werewolves. No idea what is true there, but the outcome is clear. Noises, screams from inside the house. Then there were "people" coming to homes and begging for help, and anyone that went with them disappeared. Now it sounds like there are shadows stalking the streets at night to snatch whoever might be alone and vulnerable. Personally I'm excited to see what is actually in there. I'm sure Sorin can make the house safe and not a vessel for whatever unholy abomination is... living? There."

professor_curly fucked around with this message at Jun 18, 2018 around 01:50

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage



Brother Sorin of the Ruby Rose

Sorin listens carefully to Roc's tale, arms crossed and brow furrowed. He isn't exactly an expert on the undead and associated horrors, but his faith is strong and Sune's light is with him. What could possibly stand against that? He says, "I'm sure it's nothing we can't handle. I've not met an unholy force that can stand up to the Lady's radiance. And, if I may be so bold, I think it may behoove us to visit the Vistani encampment once we've made our expedition into this so-called Death House. The sisters seem remarkably well-informed, particularly compared to the townsfolk, and one of them did seem quite well disposed towards me. I'd say it would prove most helpful for whatever steps we take after."

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Having re-united the group and exchanged all the information gathered, the party moves north-west, to the mansion they were brought here to deal with and that is so feared. The streets in Barovia are usually fairly barren from what you have seen thus far, but the north-west region of town makes the rest looked like Waterdeep. Almost everyhouse is abandoned or boarded up. The only signs of life you see are the glimmers of candles in windows, half hidden behind wooden boards.

Finaly reaching the house, you look upon it's worn edifice and observe....nothing. No sounds screams or bangs echo out from it, and no beasts prowl nearby.



The four floors of the house loom upwards. On the ground floor a wrought-iron gate swings, creaking quietly, infront of a half open doorway. Oil lamps hang from the portico ceiling by chains, flanking a set of oaken doors that are half-open, showing a glimps of a foyer. Though hard to see from here, the foyer looks empty. The windows of the house are all dark, and no motion stirs behind them from what you can see.

-----------

Roll 20 map has been updated to the house!

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage



Brother Sorin of the Ruby Rose

Sorin looks at the house skeptically. It hardly seems the refuge of evil they'd been led to believe. He says, "I'll light the way forward, comrades, follow me!"

A pair of prayers see his dagger flare with light and fill him with confidence that Sune's favor is with him. Pushing the door open with his shield, he moves forward into the foyer. His eyes scan the apparently empty room for any hint of the supposed demons that lurk within.

Perception: 1d20+5+1d4 12

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Perception: The room is lined with potraits of stony faced individuals all staring at you grimly. Hanging on the south wall of the foyer is a shield emblazoned with a coat-of-arms, a stylized golden windmill on a red field. Aside from that, the foyer is unremarkable.A set of double doors lead to another room; inlaid stain glass windows show little of what is beyond in the darkened room.

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

If he was being honest, he had actually been hoping for the flashier, less subtle deathtrap that had been painted by the burgomaster's letter, as well as the words of his son. Screams and banging coming from inside the house, shrouded figures luring people to their demise, that sort of thing. While certainly dangerous, that sort of approach translated to limited intelligence and the sort of tactics he could easily outmaneuver on a game board. In stark contrast, an unlocked gate, a half-opened door, and nothing but the silence of the grave from within certainly seemed more sinister to him, as if an invitation for only the most foolhardy of investigators. They were already committed, though, so there was nothing for it.

Brother Sorin of the Ruby Rose posted:

"I'll light the way forward, comrades, follow me!"
Mokrul follows aside Sorin, content to back the man up. Against humanoid opponents he would have normally advised a scouting expedition to map their numbers and come up with a plan of attack, but given the possibilities within this mansion seemed to range from a pack of wolves to evil druids to werewolves to fiendish creatures, or possibly dealer's choice of some or all of the above, sticking together did seem like the smarter approach in this case.

Sorin had lit the place up with the radiance of one of his blessed daggers, which he suspected might be a ...well, mixed blessing. The play on words in his head made him laugh aloud, which he imagined was entirely out of place given the seriousness of the situation. Still, all pretenses of stealth had been dropped with the light source, so he didn't feel too bad. Spelling out his movements as he goes, he comments to the others, "Let Sorin and I take point on this one. Given the stories we've been told, I don't think mundane traps will be a common occurrence on this particular road trip, but there's no sense abandoning protocol."

He raises a hand to request his companions to hold while he retrieves something of importance from the wagon. A minute later, he returns with three chickens tied to a rope as if on a leash for a walk, and a bag full of feed tied to his belt. He explains, "So, fun fact, this is actually a three-for-one. Or with three chickens a nine-for-one, I guess? Anyway, animals, whether wild or domesticated, absolutely lose their loving minds when they're close to the unnatural presence of a variety of undead creatures. You know, wraiths, revenants, that sort of thing. I've also found the pecking force of three chickens to be more than enough to set off most pressure plates, so there's that. Finally, if there's a pack of wolves hiding in here, well, decoys, I guess?" With a shrug, Mokrul starts sprinkling feed in the general direction he wants the chickens to go, using them as a mechanism to aid in his search for traps and other dangers.

>> Investigate 14 >> Trapfinding duty.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Passive: Perception (16) / Investigation (16) / Insight (14) / Darkvision (60')
Effects: Inspiration / Concentration (trapfinding and chicken wrangling) / Stealth
Resources:: Hit Dice (1/1d8) / Arrow (20)
Livestock: Chickens (12) / Chicken Feed (100 pounds)
Map / Journal
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Waador fucked around with this message at Jun 18, 2018 around 04:13

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

Noroco follows in after Sorin, shield at the ready and magic hand free, but resting on a dagger, "Strange, I was expecting to be... confronted. Unfortunately I don't think I've ever heard of a creature like this."

Arcana (What is this spooky poo poo?): 1d20+2 6

"Do we think whatever this is would leave... magical traps, or some other devious trickery?"

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Investigation: The foyer seems to be devoid of any traps. The double doors leading onwards likewise appear to be untampered with, and in fact, are unlocked.

Arcana: From the information gathered you are not able to make any guesses to the types of things awaiting you. All of the items in the Foyer appear to be totally mundane.

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

With no traps apparent to his well-trained eye, and nothing having yet eviscerated or vaporized his animal companions, Mokrul calmly pushes on one of the unlocked double doors and begins inching the group further into the home.

>> Interaction >> Open or close a door.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Passive: Perception (16) / Investigation (16) / Insight (14) / Darkvision (60')
Effects: Inspiration / Concentration (trapfinding and chicken wrangling) / Stealth
Resources:: Hit Dice (1/1d8) / Arrow (20)
Livestock: Chickens (12) / Chicken Feed (100 pounds)
Map / Journal
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

REMIND ME AGAIN HOW THE LITTLE HORSE-SHAPED ONES MOVE?

Sergeant deWytte

Elayne follows the rest of the squad, bringing up the rear and keeping a wary eye behind her as she enters the house. Entering potentially hostile dwellings always put her in an odd mood, both tense and calm at the same time; anything could happen, but this was what she'd trained for, all those years ago. Her trusty halberd remained strapped to her back in favor of her riot-staff and shield in the tight confines of the house. "I'm more inclined to suspect ambush than magical traps, myself, but better to cover all the angles," she answers Roc.

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


The door opens to reveal the main hall of the manor. On the south side of the hall a large red marble staircase curves upwards. The north side of the hall has a large, unlit black marble fireplace. Mounted on the wall above the fireplace is a longsword. The wood-paneled walls are ornately sculpted with images of vines, flowers, nymphs, and satyrs.

On the West side of the hall a solitary door exits, while on the East four doors exit, two of which are tucked into a small alcove.

------------

Roll 20 map updated.

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Carefully edging the door open, Mokrul peers through the crack into what appears to be the main hall of the manor. When a dozen wolves fail to leap at him with snarls and snapping jaws, he pushes the set of double doors open fully, and makes his way inside to take a better look around. His primary focus is on the search for concealed mechanisms or other hidden dangers, as he wouldn't be able to bring himself to more thoroughly toss the place for clues until he has satisfied himself that the area is safe to traverse. He starts with the floor, as one might expect, and then moves to clear the doors and the fireplace, before finally moving on to the lower half of the staircase.
>> Investigate 26 >> Trapfinding duty vs. main hall.

Cognizant of the risk of getting separated, particularly by a hidden portcullis or similar mechanism, he motions for the others to join him in the hall. Belatedly, he takes a look at the ceilings of the room, curious to see if there's enough space to accommodate Skinny, while also commencing the task of searching for clues or other points of interest.
>> Perception 23 >> Searching for clues vs. main hall, but also appreciating the architecture, and checking ceiling height to see if Skinny will even fit.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Passive: Perception (16) / Investigation (16) / Insight (14) / Darkvision (60')
Effects: Inspiration / Concentration (trapfinding and chicken wrangling) / Stealth
Resources:: Hit Dice (1/1d8) / Arrow (20)
Livestock: Chickens (12) / Chicken Feed (100 pounds)
Map / Journal
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Waador fucked around with this message at Jun 18, 2018 around 19:11

TheNabster
Apr 26, 2014

Death, but with a gun



Lordorim Shambastik

Lordorim looked up at the bulk of the house, and said aloud "I was almost expecting black or even a sort of darker shade of red but, a slightly off colour white was not on my list" He shrugged, he wasn't here to critique the fixings, even if there was a chance he was going to move into this house later, he was here to stab a ghost. Or a Ghoul. After the story about strange spectres luring the people of the village out of their homes and making them disappear he was likely to believe it was a ghost.

Looking around at the foyer he continued to put his trained eye for finery to things. Outside of the flaking paint off the front door there were no outward signs of decrepitude, the carpet maybe needed a good sweep, and perhaps the walls needed a touch of paint but this is almost standard for a lot of the older but less fortunate financially families he had occasionally seen the manses of in Cormyr. That thought directed his attention to look for something that he found after a brief period of looking, the family Coat of Arms and gave it a scrutinizing glance as he flicked through the annals of nobility inside his own head.

Lordorim attempts to apply his Knowledge: History to attempt to put a family name to a crest. Unfortunately he only rolls a 10 and doesn't learn anything important

He gave up after a minute or so, then again a family that held just this one house and then vanished without a trace would probably not be of much importance in the grand scheme of things. He shrugged to himself and joined Sorin in the main hall.

"So, in light of the possibility of a supernatural threat capable of coercion by magical means, are we staying together in one group for the moment? I vote we keep exploring this floor until we find a basement, it's always a good bet that the source of any eldritch happenings is either in the loft, or in the basement, and the basement is closer on the ground floor.

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Lordorim Shambastik posted:

"... are we staying together in one group for the moment?"
Caught up as he is in the search for traps and clues, Mokrul doesn't join the conversation, though anyone with functioning eyes would see him scowl at even the slightest suggestion of splitting up.

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

REMIND ME AGAIN HOW THE LITTLE HORSE-SHAPED ONES MOVE?


Sergeant deWytte
AC: 18 | HP: 12/12

"We should definitely stay together," the Sergeant declares emphatically from her position at the rearguard. "Strategically we're under no time constraints, and working in confined spaces like this it's best to be methodical and thorough. As for basements and attics, I agree, up or down. Though I didn't see any sign of a basement on our way in." She grunts in discontent. "I always forget how hard it is to sense supernatural bugaboos through walls. Makes life much harder. But if we get into range of anything, I should be able to feel it."

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Investigation: The room, staircase and doorways all appear to be trap-free and devoid any any other such hidden tricks.

Perception: The sword above the mantle has a windmill cameo inlaid into the hilt, matching the shield in the foyer. The carvings on the walls are ornate and clearly were done by a true craftsman. While inpecting the carvings you notice that serpents and skulls are inconspicuously woven into the wall designs.

TheNabster
Apr 26, 2014

Death, but with a gun



Lordorim Shambastik

Quorum posted:

"Strategically we're under no time constraints, and working in confined spaces like this it's best to be methodical and thorough. As for basements and attics, I agree, up or down. Though I didn't see any sign of a basement on our way in."

"No noble worth his title would have not used this opportunity to dig himself out an extensive wine cellar." He said, looking closely at the sword on the mantelpiece. "Besides, we didn't go around the entire perimeter of the house, we went in through the front door."

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


"Skinny" Erevan

The Firbolg had been quiet throughout the first few moments in the house, content to walk with bow and arrow at the ready, just in case. Though there was no sense of a threat, magical, mechanical or biological so far, he nevertheless stayed alert, just in case. Things weren't always as they seemed...and the whole atmosphere around the case stunk of deception to him. "I feel the chance of bodies is greater if we go down. But so is the chance of us getting trapped." The statement came calmly, without emotion...but there was a certain tenseness to the scout's voice.

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

After a minute or two of thoroughly scouring the room, Mokrul comments, "This room seems to be clear." He shrugs, offering, "Generally speaking, there are two schools of thought in the home and lair security business -- we don't really have time for a proper seminar right now, but those two schools can be categorized as mutually exclusive strategies of 'gently caress off' and 'gently caress you'." The air quotes really help to sell the explanation.

"Basically, an artisan trained in the ancient school of 'gently caress off' defensive construction pours all of their resources into a flashy deterrent or two near every easily accessible entrance, to act as a deterrent to unwanted guests, and to give the residents ample warning to get ready if and when things really pop off. In contrast, the 'gently caress you' school of artisans will lull intruders into a false sense of security by making the initial breach a cakewalk." He motions around the room, as well as their path of entry that had been met with zero resistance, "Given that the doors were literally unlocked, and the apparent lack of any defense to speak of so far, I'd say we're firmly in that second camp." With a brief pause for dramatic effect, he continues, "Which isn't great. Those 'gently caress off' style projects tend to at least be less-lethal in nature, because you want people to spread the word about never trying to break in. The latter category are decidedly less friendly. Odds are there's at least one big-budget deathtrap in here somewhere, which if I'm being honest probably helps explain why nobody ever comes out." Leaning against the staircase and shrugging casually, he offers, "Moral of the story, I guess, is don't let your guard down."

As Lordorim, Mama Bear, and the sergeant move onto the topic of whether they should head up or down, Mokrul offers, "As for our path through the building, I'd suggest a standard breach and clear. We can't go downstairs without clearing the upper floors, or we risk being pincered in a stairwell if we end up having to retreat. The best play is to clear the first floor, and work our way up to the top. Once we're satisfied that there's nothing above grade that will be a problem, we can find a way underground." With a nod to Lordorim, he agrees, "Though I do think Lordorim is probably right, you don't build a house with three or four stories without also digging out a basement. That isn't even evil mastermind stuff, it's just basic masonry."

With no immediate danger jumping out at him in the main hall, Mokrul decides to pick a new fight, selecting a door at random and opening it up.

>> Interaction >> Open or close a door.

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage



Brother Sorin of the Ruby Rose

Sorin is lost in his own thoughts for a time, but he says, "Mokrul's plan seems as good as any." He looks at the empty fireplace a bit longer, then says, "A pity there's nothing within. I could use a bit of a fire."

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Opening the door closest to him Mokrul steps into a large, extravagant dining room. The centerpiece of this wood-paneled dining room is a carved mahogany table surrounded by eight high-backed chairs with sculpted armrests and cushioned seats. A crystal chandelier hangs above the table, which is covered with resplendent silverware and crystalware polished to a dazzling shine. Mounted above the marble fireplace is a mahogany-framed painting of an alpine vale.

Red silk drapes cover the windows, and a tapestry depicting hunting dogs and horse-mounted aristocrats chasing after a wolf hangs from an iron rod bolted to the south wall.

The wall paneling is carved with elegant images of deer among the trees. The grim subtle nature of the carvings continues, and on closer inspection twisted faces are carved into the tree trunks and wolves lurk amid the carved foliage.

------------

A moment after Sorin turns his back on the fireplace, the sound of crackling wood and warm light fills the Hall. In the firepit, a pile of lit logs has appeared. At the same time that happens, the chandelier in the dining room likewise lights up.

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

His hand whips around, fire hovering in the palm of his hand at the sudden sound from the fireplace. He gives a grim smile, moving to be back-to-back with Sorin and the others, covering the angles as best he could.

"Oh ho, this haunting thinks it is cute," he turns his head slightly, speaking to the cleric over his shoulder, "It seems to like you Sorin. Why don't you ask for a feast next?

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

With the spontaneous combustion of the fireplace, and the chandelier in the dining room likewise awakening, Mokrul's reaction is merely to narrow his eyes. He always enjoyed a good puzzle, and his talent for pattern recognition was reasonably sharpened. He pauses in the dining room for a few moments, leaning against the edge of the mahogany table he's happened upon. The effect was obviously supernatural in nature, but the real question was a simpler one: was it active in nature, or reactive? In essence, had something been listening in on them, and had it decided to attempt to shock them with the light show -- an active threat? Or had Sorin simply happened upon the command word for an enchanted fireplace -- a reactive response?

A simple test would answer at least one question. Calling back to the others in the great hall, he inquires, "Is that the sound of a yule log crackling on an open fire I hear? Can one of you kindly stick a torch in there and see if it lights up?"

Lordorim Shambastik posted:

"No noble worth his title would have not used this opportunity to dig himself out an extensive wine cellar."
When the solution to a mystery or an answer to a problem wasn't immediately apparent to Mokrul, he rarely assumed the answer was permanently out of reach. His first step tended to be to mentally review the recent words and views of those around him, in an effort to ensure that he hasn't missed an angle, whether of view or perspective. In this case, Lordorim had previously assumed the former residents were nobility of some sort. The crest on the wall certainly lent some credence to that. Either way, a large manor and estate tended to be the domain of the wealthy, so whether they were merchants or nobility, for his purposes the end result was the same. If the question was, 'could the former residents have been able to afford an enchanted fireplace', the answer was, decidedly, 'yes'.

That meant either the active or reactive answer was a possibility. If reactive, the command word was likely some portion of the statement, 'I could use a bit of fire'. The dining room doors had been open at the time, and Sorin's words would have echoed through both rooms, explaining the synchronized combustion. It was an interesting possibility, he had to admit. What other command words might be lying in wait for them to discover, if that were indeed the answer to the question? He decided to shelve the matter, recognizing that he didn't have enough information to determine the truth one way or the other. If he had the benefit of time, he would have normally spent the next few hours trying to work out the command word to shut the fireplace off to test his theory, but he suspected his companions would find that to be a less than endearing group activity.

Mokrul circles around the table that takes up the bulk of the room, taking the opportunity to give the dining area a thorough review for hidden dangers and concealed secrets, inclusive of any indications of hidden compartments or doorways. Circling around the room one-and-a-half times, Mokrul charts a course to eventually make his way out of the room from the door opposite the one he entered, in order to repeat the process on the next door.

>> Investigate and Perception >> Scouring the dining area. If nothing interesting is found, moving to another door at random in the main hall and opening it up to continue the process.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Passive: Perception (16) / Investigation (16) / Insight (14) / Darkvision (60')
Effects: Inspiration / Concentration (trapfinding and chicken wrangling) / Stealth
Resources:: Hit Dice (1/1d8) / Arrow (20)
Livestock: Chickens (12) / Chicken Feed (100 pounds)
Map / Journal
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Waador fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2018 around 01:29

Tricky
Jun 12, 2007

after a great meal i like to lie on the ground and feel like garbage



Brother Sorin of the Ruby Rose

Sorin laughs, a little nervously, at Roc's suggestion. Though... it does seem quite reasonable, really. There was warmth, what was a little food and entertainment to add to the mix? He says, "A fine idea, Roc. I could go for some fine dwarven ale and a roast." His eyes almost sparkle with amusement as he adds, "And some company for our feast, perhaps? I'm sure our hosts can provide a few beauties to converse with."

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


After scouting the dining room and finding nothing but polished silver, Mokrul moves on to the closest room. He walks into a kitchen area, the room is tidy, with dishware, cookware, and utensils neatly placed on shelves. A worktable has a cutting board and rolling pin atop it. A stone, dome-shaped oven stands near the east wall, its bent iron stovepipe connecting to a hole in the ceiling. Behind the stove and to the left is a thin door leading to a well-stocked pantry with food visible on the shelves.

The candles in the room are all lit, and a fire is quietly burning in the stove.

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Plot posted:

... kitchen area ... tidy ... well-stocked pantry with food visible on the shelves ... candles in the room are all lit, and a fire is quietly burning in the stove.
Part of Mokrul wanted to ignore the kitchen entirely. A very small part. The remainder was physically incapable of leaving even a single stone unturned, particularly when there was no apparent danger or time pressure. As he steps into the kitchen, he sighs, shakes his head, and begins the task of scouring every square inch of the room for concealed pressure plates, toxic gases, hidden passageways, or something resembling a clue or out of place object in the slightest.
>> Investigate and Perception >> Scouring the kitchen and pantry for the usual suspects.

He wasn't a trained mage by any means, but he was reasonably well-read on a wide variety of subjects. He had to admit, it was a struggle to keep up to date on everything, but he made time to review the latest periodicals and market updates when they crossed his desk. More often than not, the news out of Waterdeep was focused on matters arcane and those of historical or cultural significance, but the vast amount of agricultural commerce in the surrounding region kept him abreast of information concerning the natural world as well. For better or worse, he also kept an eye on the value of various religious artifacts. He certainly would never condone the sale of something that belongs in a museum, but for the most part he reserved that treatment for unique, one-of-a-kind or last-of-its-kind relics. Duplicates were obviously fair game for markup and resale. There wasn't any other way around it: if you wanted to succeed as a quartermaster for a mercenary organization, or even entertain the idea of treading water as a registered agent of free trade, you needed to be willing to do some research.

It also happened to be a primary tenet of his faith, in any event: 'know the value of what you seek.' That was followed by a few other driving principles involving agreeing to prices, driving hard bargains, never giving or expecting anything for free, and so on. For the most part he found it to be a rather sensible religion, if he was being honest.

All of that was to say, he knew enough about enchantments available to the homes of the rich and famous to find one particular element of the current situation slightly out of place. Specifically, the pantry was full of food. Why? He pauses for a moment, revisiting the words of the acting burgomaster in his mind.

Ismark posted:

"Years ago, when my father would have been a child, a family lived in the manor ... one day the whole family just up and vanished ... ever since people that go into that house do not come out."
Ismark had been quite clear on the subject. Nobody had lived in the house for decades, at least. His father had been described as an 'old man' by the woman in the tavern. It was within the realm of possibility that the pantry was simply enchanted to prevent food from rotting, he supposed, but that really only helped to explain why any food would remain. He found it hard to believe that, over decades, not a single rat or badger or other industrious vermin hadn't made its way into an abandoned house. Even if something was eviscerating anything that set foot into the building, his mere presence in the pantry suggested that other creatures would also have been afforded the opportunity to get at least this far. So why hadn't anyone retrieved a midnight snack?

>> Knowledge (arcana) 16 >> What sorcery is this?
If his suspicion regarding the fireplace was correct, and the house was laden with a variety of enchantments befitting a wealthy family, he had to concede it was possible that the pantry was simply able to restock itself, generating new bags of grain and other foodstuffs on a regular basis. If there was also some sort of enchantment or invisible butler that cleaned up corpses and other refuse, that would explain why the room wasn't literally caked with rat droppings and the other extremely predictable results of what would happen when even a single rat encountered an abandoned house that perpetually conjured its own food. There was only one problem with that theory, though: the complexity of the enchantment was not trivial. If this was what the previous residents spent their money on for their own whims of comfort, the thought of what sort of death trap they might have been able to afford was well and truly concerning.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Passive: Perception (16) / Investigation (16) / Insight (14) / Darkvision (60')
Effects: Inspiration / Concentration (trapfinding and chicken wrangling) / Stealth
Resources:: Hit Dice (1/1d8) / Arrow (20)
Livestock: Chickens (12) / Chicken Feed (100 pounds)
Map / Journal
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


"Skinny" Erevan

The sudden appearance of a fire and a feast had the archer draw his bow; but failing to find any targets to shoot, the arrow is lowered again with a low rumble of discontent. "It seems our mysterious host has taken a liking to the Brother. Let us see if we cannot get them to reveal themselves." As he speaks, his eyes glaze over a cloudy white, and the Firbolg slowly does a full turn, letting his senses sweep out over the house, to see if he can find any magical presences - whether they are invisible pranksters or otherwise.

Using my Innate Spellcasting to cast Detect Magic and see what I can see.

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Investigation/Perception: Nothing out of the ordinary for a kitchen is found.

Arcana: Enchantments to keep food fresh certainly exist, but the cost to have one cast to last for decades on a room would be both wildly difficult and expensive to cast. Given the owners of the house appear quite wealthy, it could be possible it was done here. If it was done, there are no signs in the kitchen of how the possible enchantment was done.

Detect Magic: The room you are standing in exudes an aura of illusion magic. The source of it is no specific object or area, but rather a sense from the whole room. The logs in the fire and lit candles have the fading aura of conjuration magic.

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Returning to the great hall from his latest expedition, Mokrul informs the others, "There's a well-equipped kitchen and a fully-stocked pantry over there, in case anyone's hungry." Eyeing his companions up and down to see if he has any takers, and noting pointedly that nobody has bothered to stick a torch into the fireplace as he had requested, he rolls his eyes and silently retrieves an arrow from his quiver, twirling it in his left hand like an umbrella while slowly and deliberately making his way to the edge of the hearth. Once the fireplace is within reach, he sticks the business end of the arrow into the flames. Mokrul waits a few moments before withdrawing the point of the arrow, holding the shaft with his left hand while using the back of his right hand to test the temperature of the arrowhead. The presence or absence of scalding heat would reveal whether the fire was a mere illusion or a true conjuration, and the answer to that question would inform his opinion significantly.

>> Interaction >> Placing an arrowhead in the fireplace, briefly, to test whether its heat is real or illusory.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Passive: Perception (16) / Investigation (16) / Insight (14) / Darkvision (60')
Effects: Inspiration / Concentration (trapfinding and chicken wrangling) / Stealth
Resources:: Hit Dice (1/1d8) / Arrow (20)
Livestock: Chickens (12) / Chicken Feed (100 pounds)
Map / Journal
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Waador fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2018 around 18:45

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


"Skinny" Erevan

"The whole room is..." starts the Firbolg, though his words trail off as he looks around, "like a source? I don't see an entity, per se; but the entire room is providing the magic. How odd." He takes a look outside the door, the magic still extending his senses, to see if the same cloud of magic hangs around more than just this room. "Roc, have you heard of things such as these? Magical...buildings, for lack of a better term?"

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

Sorin's banter seems to reassure Noroco a bit, "Now you're thinking. Let's make this a proper party."

He looks over to Skinny at the question, furrowing his brow and glancing around again, "Magical rooms? I have no idea. I'm sure they exist, couldn't tell you anything about this though."

Arcana (Enchanted Room?): 1d20+2 6

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


After a few moments of holding the arrowhead in the fireplace Mokrul removes it and gently checks it. The arrowhead is hot to the touch; the fire does indeed appear to be real.

Arcana: You are not able to recall any information on large scale enchanted houses such as this may be.

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Plot posted:

After a few moments of holding the arrowhead in the fireplace Mokrul removes it and gently checks it. The arrowhead is hot to the touch; the fire does indeed appear to be real.
Well, that was interesting. Nodding in affirmation to himself, Mokrul gently leans the arrow against the wall to let it cool down, taking a few moments to gather his thoughts.

Skinny posted:

"The whole room is ... like a source? I don't see an entity, per se; but the entire room is providing the magic. How odd."
Collecting his flock of chickens by their makeshift leash, Mokrul makes his way over to the staircase, advancing about a quarter way up the path. Once there, he turns around and takes a seat, reclining as best he can while putting himself more or less at eye level with his companions. Except for Skinny, obviously, who he noted was at an optimal eye-to-nipple level. It had been entirely unintentional, though he couldn't help but laugh aloud when the thought occurred to him, which as usual seemed entirely out of place given the seriousness of the situation. He tries to regain his composure, though finds he is entirely unable to look directly at Skinny for the remainder of the conversation. He hoped it wasn't taken as a sign of disrespect, though he supposed that would be better than the awkward outcome that would no doubt occur if he was forced to explain himself.

Catching the sergeant's gaze, and then Noroco's, he jumps into the conversation. "We've come to the same conclusion, it would seem." He obviously meant Skinny's assessment of the magic that was apparently radiating throughout the room. "This is a rather interesting place, if I'm being honest. I appreciate that you all haven't wandered through the dining room or the kitchen just yet -- which, incidentally, I am profoundly impressed by your restraint -- but there are a series of interesting forces at work here."

Plot (entryway) posted:

... room is lined with portraits of stony faced individuals all staring at you grimly ... inlaid stain glass windows show little of what is beyond in the darkened room.

Plot (main hall) posted:

... large red marble staircase curves upwards ... unlit black marble fireplace ... wood-paneled walls are ornately sculpted with images of vines, flowers, nymphs, and satyrs.
Motioning towards the entryway with a wave of his hand, and then indicating the whole of the great hall with a spin of that hand, he explains, "By all accounts, this house has been abandoned for decades, but take a look around you. If I were to abandon a home for months, let alone years, anywhere along the Sword Coast, it wouldn't take long for vermin to move in. There's no sign of any wear and tear, though. No scratches on the wood paneling of the walls, no stains marring the marble of the fireplace or the staircase. Marble doesn't exactly age well if it isn't properly cared for, you know? Black marble on a fireplace might hide some aging, but a red marble staircase? Unless it's literally stained with blood ...which, now that I say it, might be a possibility..."

Having not been assailed by the staircase so far, Mokrul decides to avoid the social awkwardness of excusing himself from his seat, and continues, "... anyway. None of the exterior windows are broken, either. Nor is there a mountain of dust and cobwebs, or the signs of mildew and mold that should accompany an abandoned house. I could forgive a few of those things in isolation, but altogether it tells a different story. There's no way a house goes decades without suffering a bit of flooding during a storm, or a bird crashing through a window, or something that would require exterior repair. But nobody is fixing the place up, because the villagers give it a wide berth. It follows that nobody is purchasing and delivering supplies to repair it, either."

Plot (dining room) posted:

... wood-paneled dining room ... carved mahogany table ... cushioned seats ... resplendent silverware ... crystalware polished to a dazzling shine ... red silk drapes ... tapestry.

Plot (kitchen) posted:

... kitchen area ... tidy ... well-stocked pantry.
Nodding his head in the opposite direction, towards the set of doors leading through the dining room and into the kitchen, he continues, "It's the same story further in. Wood paneling that isn't scratched or aged. Seat cushions that haven't rotted with age. Silverware that hasn't tarnished, or, you know, been stolen. Polished crystalware. Silk drapes and tapestries that haven't rotted with time. The pantry is even fully-stocked with food."

Plot (fireplace) posted:

... a pile of lit logs has appeared.
Adjusting his gaze away from Noroco and the sergeant, now staring directly into the fire, he adds, "And then there's the fireplace. Which is real fire, incidentally." He nods to his arrow still leaning against the wall, explaining, "It's not hard to make an illusory fire, and theoretically a talented illusionist might even be able to convince you that you feel heat coming from the smoke and mirrors, but it's a much taller order to fake heat transfer into an unrelated object."

Chancing a glance at Skinny, and managing to hold himself together, Mokrul adds, "Anyway, like I said, it's an interesting place. There isn't one enchantment at work here, but several, and I'd wager a few more yet to be encountered. It's hard to say whether the former residents of the estate were nobility or merchants, but one way or another they had enough money to enjoy the finer things in life. A fireplace that lights itself when you indicate a desire for fire, an oven that keeps itself stoked, a pantry that either keeps itself fully stocked, or magically preserves the food stored within. Even, it would seem, a magically durable construction that doesn't require very many repairs. If I had to guess, there's probably an invisible butler that does the sweeping and dusting, too. A house like this is a true magnificent mansion, if I've ever seen one."

Giving the others a few moments to consider his explanation so far, he continues, "Enchantments don't kill people, though. Well, okay, yes, obviously they do kill people all the time, explosions and what have you. What I mean, is, though, the house is clearly equipped with a nontrivial amount of benign enchantments. Things that a wealthy individual would implement to improve their quality of life. It does stand to reason that a security system would also probably be part of the deluxe package, which is probably where our missing villagers start to fit into the puzzle, but every security system has a command word or sequence of actions that can be used to disarm the system."

Mokrul shrugs at this point, "Admittedly this is where I start to delve from facts to assumptions, so take this for what it is worth. A magical construction like this, you would expect it to last more than the purchaser's lifetime. I suppose obviously, given that it has, you know endured. Anyway, that means you need a way to transfer control of the system from builder to purchaser, and from purchaser down the line as new generations are born. The closest analogue I'm aware of are bodyguard golems whose control is bound to a specially keyed magical amulet. He who controls the amulet controls the bodyguard, as it were. It's rather likely that an expensive house would work under a similar system, so we just need to figure out what that system is, and where the keys are stored if we want to shut it off." Cheerfully, he adds, "If I had to hazard a guess, I'd assume we currently have the access privileges befitting a houseguest. Likely triggered by the fact that the door was unlocked, such that we weren't immediately treated as intruders. Presumably the keys to the kingdom are in a restricted area, though, which means at some point we're going to overstep our bounds and that security system is going to come into play. Which is something to look forward to, I suppose."

Shrugging again, he stands up from his perch on the staircase. Maneuvering back to the fireplace to retrieve his arrow, he asks, "The only part I can't figure out just yet is the whole story about people being lured inside, though. Figures appearing outside begging for aid, or whatever it was Ismark said? You don't build a security system that invites people inside to get loving murdered, so there's obviously something I'm missing here. I guess we can look forward to that surprise, too." Yawning, and slipping his arrow back into its quiver, he makes his way over to the next door on his poo poo list, and comments, "Anyway, that's my assessment so far. Onwa~ard and all that."

>> Interaction >> Open or close a door.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Passive: Perception (16) / Investigation (16) / Insight (14) / Darkvision (60')
Effects: Inspiration / Concentration (trapfinding and chicken wrangling) / Stealth
Resources:: Hit Dice (1/1d8) / Arrow (20)
Livestock: Chickens (12) / Chicken Feed (100 pounds)
Map / Journal
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Mokrul opens to small door between the dining room and kitchen to reveal a cloakroom. Aside from a few black cloaks and a top hat, the room is empty. Moving on to the last door, Mokrul steps into an oak-paneled room that looks like a hunterís den. Mounted above the fireplace is a stagís head, and positioned around the outskirts of the room are three stuffed wolves.

Two padded chairs draped in animal furs face the hearth, with an oak table between them supporting a wooden cask, two carved wooden goblets, and a pipe rack. A chandelier hangs above a cloth-covered table surrounded by four chairs.

Two cabinets stand against the east and north walls.

Detect Magic Continued: Peering through the doorways of the side rooms, the aura of illusion magic maintains throughout the house it seems, though you are still unable to pinpoint a specific origin of this enchantment. The rooms themselves seem to both be the focus of the spell, and the source.

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


"Skinny" Erevan

The Firbolg hums pensively as most of Mokrul's speech passes by him. "It seems the whole house is cloaked in magic. Every room, both...a source and a focus. Very odd." He throws a small rock he picked up along the road into one of the other rooms. "Mostly illusions. Some faint conjuration." His head cranes a little to the left, like a bird of prey studying something in the distance. "Perhaps the illusions are also responsible for luring people in? It is not unheard of for magic to create sounds and images, after all." A low rumble emanates from him as he lapses further into thought. "It seems harmless, but I don't have a good feeling about it."

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

Noroco listens to Mokrul nodding slowly, then turns when Skinny gives more details about the magic he is seeing. That makes him furrow his brow and ponder. The rooms themselves were the focus and the source?

He stomps the floor, frowning.

IC Chat posted:

%Noroco Investigation Chat Starts%
Upon hearing that the majority of the spells surrounding them were illusions, along with a few conjuration spells mixed in, Noroco decides to step forward as the 'wizard' of the group and put his 'training' to the test. From what he has seen the fire itself seems to be real, and likely the candles too - that was faint, so it is likely that the sudden burst of light was what was conjured. That left everything else.

First Noroco will kneel down to the floor and pull out a dagger. He finds what looks like a smooth board and drags the tip of his dagger across of it, seeing if it catches on unseen cracks or pits in the wood

Dragging the dagger along the floorboard the dagger strangely skips and jumps as it scrapes across the polished wood floor. His suspicions confirmed, Noroco finds one of those jumps and sticks the blade inside, using it to wedge up part of the floorboard. The blade sinks in suprisingly quickly. Twisting and pulling it out he tears up a chunk of the floorboard, revealing spongy and rotted wood beneath. From below the ground he hears a faint scratching noise after prying the wood chunk up, leaving a hole in the illusion where pristine floor once was.

Noroco grimaces, moving to the rest of the room. As he goes he tests the floor in front of him with his shield, holding it by the top and hitting it into the floor. He also tests the walls he walks along, hitting them with the hilt of his dagger and listening for the sounds of hollows or doors where it looks like there are none.

"Seems my suspicion was right." he picks up the crumbled, rotting wood and holds it up, motioning for everyone else to look at the hole in the illusion where the floorboard used to be, "This house is crumbling and decrepit, but... it? It doesn't want to appear to be. Either the previous owners took great pains to make sure there was always a presentable front, or something else has been using this to lure people in. I'm leaning toward the latter. I think something is using the illusion to cover the true dangers of the house, and conjuring up fire and light which would be the first thing you would notice. I think this whole drat place is the trap. Watch your footing, test the steps with a staff or weapon before you take them. I will also check the walls. Unless I miss my guess, the answer to this won't be in anything this place wants us to see. Don't trust your eyes and be careful of your ears. I don't think we're alone either - I could hear scratching when I pried the wood up."

So ya this place is literally a deathtrap that hopefully won't collapse at any second. I'm gonna search around for hollow sounding things when I tap against them.

Investigation (Hidden Door/Hollow Wall): 1d20 11

professor_curly fucked around with this message at Jun 21, 2018 around 00:17

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Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Investigation: Making your way through the room checking the walls does not reveal any spots that sound hollow.

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