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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 opens up an as-yet unopened door and pokes his head inside.

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Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Moving upstairs Sorin steps into an elegant hall. Hanging above the marble fireplace's mantelpiece is a wood-framed portrait of a family: A well dressed man and woman stand flanked by two small children. Cradled in the father’s arms is a swaddled baby.

Standing suits of armor flank wooden doors in the east and west walls. Each suit of armor clutches a spear and has a visored helm shaped like a wolf’s head. The doors are carved with dancing youths, although close inspection check reveals that the youths aren’t really dancing but fighting off swarms of bats. Tucked into a nook by the stairs another undecorated door leads to the east as well.

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


[quote="professor_curly" post="485276213"]
Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

As Sorin moves up the stairs, Noroco quickly follows, testing the steps in front of him as quickly as he can, "This is not a place to be wandering off alone in friend, who knows what game this place is playing."

Following Sorin

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Skinny posted:

"... the whole house is cloaked in magic ... illusions ... faint conjuration... seems harmless, but..."

Noroco 'Roc' Olvir posted:

... 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.
Mokrul takes in the additional information provided by Skinny, and considers it for a bit. When Noroco validates the matter a bit further by prying up what appears to be rotten, disintegrating wood from beneath the surface of the floor, he factors that into his analysis as well. After a few moments of quiet contemplation, he responds, "...interesting. That certainly does make the situation a bit more unpredictable. I wonder..." He trails off, clearly continuing the analysis in his head, but apparently willing to spare his comrades the monologue. At least for the moment.

Plot posted:

... cloakroom ... a few black cloaks and a top hat ... hunter’s den ... stag’s head ... three stuffed wolves ... wooden cask ... two cabinets.
One way or another, there was nothing for it. They didn't have enough information to draw any real conclusions, and the only answer to that was more exploration. He goes about the task of more thoroughly tossing the cloakroom, investigating the pockets of the cloaks, underneath and inside the rim of the top hat, and along the walls and floors as well. The process is repeated for the hunter's den, checking in, around, and behind the stag's head, pulling on each of its antlers to see if they might reveal some secret mechanism. The three stuffed wolves get much the same treatment, though he also gives a check to see who the artisan might have been that stuffed them. He recalled the wolf's head at the tavern had been rendered by someone ...the initials 'GB', he believed? He was looking for patterns as much as he was looking for clues. Flinging open the cabinets was a given, as was an inspection of the contents of the wooden cask.

>> Investigate and Perception >> Scouring the cloakroom. If nothing interesting is found, scouring the hunter's den.

While he does so, Mokrul makes an ask of Mama Bear. "Skinny, would you mind stepping outside for a moment, before your magic eyes wear out? I'd be curious to know how far the effect you're seeing extends beyond the interior. Are the exterior walls also an illusory fabrication? What about the grounds? A simple circuit around the building might prove illuminating."
__________________________________________________________________________________________
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
__________________________________________________________________________________________

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 says, "Well, I must admit, Roc, this is hardly the house of horrors we were led to expect. There are some suspect design decisions, to be sure, but... well, if it's a house of spirits, where are the spirits?" He does keep a careful eye out as he examines the hall in greater detail, attempting to detect any hint of the dangers that might well lurk under the surface. Sune's light would surely illuminate any hidden threats, after all, and what did he have to fear with the Lady Firehair on his side? He gestures at the painting, "I wonder what their names were."

Perception (Upstairs): 1d20+5+1d4 27

Tricky fucked around with this message at Jun 21, 2018 around 04:43

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


"Skinny" Erevan

"Hrm." He nods at the request to do a lap of perimeter. "As you wish. Sergeant, would you join me? I feel it is unwise to go places alone, while we are here." He waits for Elaine - or another, if they volunteer, and starts walking. With a quiet focus, he sweeps his magical gaze along the lengths of the house, making sure to look from roof to floor. If he encounters anything in particular that is different to what he has seen before with the illusory magics, he will alert the sergeant with a quick signal, but no words yet.

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

"I... don't know if this is a house of spirits. I think... The magic is coming from the rooms themselves. Everything is just slightly off. I think whoever these people were they tampered in things beyond their understanding... These faces, the depictions of horrors. I think the house is the danger here, or else the house has become the tool of something more powerful."

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

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


Sergeant deWytte
AC: 18 | HP: 12/12

Wahad posted:

"As you wish. Sergeant, would you join me? I feel it is unwise to go places alone, while we are here."

Elayne nods firmly. "I have your back." She accompanies Skinny, her weapon at the ready and her gaze sweeping into corners and blind angles with cool practice.

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Erevan & deWytte

Making your way around the house does not reveal any side entrances or access to a basement. The illusion magic's aura hangs on the exterior walls of the manor, but does not extend farther than that, the grounds are surrouding area are untouched. While outside it is noticable that lights on all of the first 3 floors have been lit, however, the fourth floor windows are still dark.

Mokrul

Investigation/Perception: The cloakroom turns up nothing interesting aside fom a few rather luxurious cloaks and a top hat. In the hunter's den the cabinet on the north wall contains a few decks of cards, wineglass's and a silver platter. The cabinet on the east wall is locked. Inspecting the stuffed wolves you find a tag on their undersides reading "AB".

Sorin

Perception: On the west wall you can see the first signs of wear on the house. Coming from the ceiling black mold clings to the wall, and there are signs of water damage from above as well.

Lordorim

Inspecting the suits of armor you deduce that these are purely ornamental. The wolf head helmets, while imposing, have such restrictive sightlines that no one would ever use them. The weapons are also ornamental. The edges of the blades have been purposly worn down to be as dull as they can be while still looking good.

Ovo fucked around with this message at Jun 21, 2018 around 18:32

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

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


Sergeant deWytte
AC: 18 | HP: 12/12

The Sergeant levels her gaze upward as the pair completes their circuit of the house, her eyes narrowing as she scans the upper windows for signs of movement. "Notch another point in the "attic" column," she mutters. "Must not be on the same enchantment as the lower floors. If Mokrul's guess is accurate, that'd make it a private area, and where we need to go."

Failing anything else to see outside, she heads inside to meet back up with the squad.

TheNabster
Apr 26, 2014

Death, but with a gun



Lordorim Shambastik

Lordorim took in his ornate surroundings as his allies do most of the investigative work. It was a lot of very nice decor and floorboards, that even if they turned out to be absolutely fake and most likely the result of illusion magic but it might have looked like that back in it's heyday. He followed Sorin up the stairs whilst everyone else searched the downstairs landing, and when he set sight on the armour he frowned deeply and drew his sword and shield.

"Let me just prod this a bit first I already don't trust a lot of this house." The nearest statue he eyed suspiciously as he very gently prodded at the arm, looking for any sign of movable joints that would suggest a trap. "See this is the exact thing I talked with Noroco about, it's all flash and no substance with a lot of these things. This armour is likely to get you blindsided since you can only peer out a thin slit in the front for example, you might as well be wearing blinkers. I know it's supposed to be just an ornamental set-piece but you can have something that looks nice and is still useful surely?" He said to no one in particular as he continued to prod at the armour sets.

Lordorim attempts to investigate these statues for any sign of traps. He rolls a 1

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

"Mm, I suppose. It seems a bit far-fetched, but this is a magical world we inhabit, friend." As he gazes around, Sorin points to the mold, saying, "Aha! A sign. Perhaps we'll get to the root of the matter by climbing to its peak."

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


"Skinny" Erevan

"Indeed...though I must urge caution; I'm sure the lights are out for a reason." The Firbolg follows Elaine back in, meeting up with the group and explaining the situation regarding the house. "It seems only the house is enchanted; the grounds are not affected. The attic has no light whatsoever visible from the outside, however - if there is an entity here, it is likely there."

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

"Hmmm, well spotted. Shall we wait for the others to make their way up?"

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Plot posted:

The cloakroom turns up nothing interesting aside from a few rather luxurious cloaks and a top hat.
Mokrul wasn't much of a 'hat person', so the contents of the cloakroom held little interest for him. He debated putting on one of the cloaks, but held off for the moment -- better to find a way to shut off whatever was generating illusions first, so that he could be sure he wasn't wearing a garment actually woven from human skin or something similarly unfashionable.

Plot posted:

In the hunter's den the cabinet on the north wall contains a few decks of cards, wineglass's and a silver platter. Inspecting the stuffed wolves you find a tag on their undersides reading "AB".
He wasn't here for petty theft ... per se ... so the deck of cards, wineglasses, and silver platter in the hunter's den didn't really catch his eye. He'd taken much the same approach in the dining room when it came to the silverware and crystalware. The stuffed wolves were interesting, at least. Given that the home had been abandoned for decades, he certain'y hadn't expected to find an artisan's signature that matched the one he had seen at the tavern. There did appear to be a generational correlation, though, with 'AB' having passed the trade down on to 'GB'. Or perhaps it was just a coincidence? He preferred his version of the emerging narrative, he supposed. Time would tell.

Plot posted:

The cabinet on the east wall is locked.
He was here to solve a mystery, though. A locked cabinet simply demanded a deeper look. After all, it stood to reason that the answers they were seeking were more likely to be behind locked doors than they were to be sitting out in the open.
>> Lockpick (thieves' tools) 8 >> Cabinet.

Retrieving one of his favorite lock picks from his belt, it doesn't take him very long to give up on the process. His eyes were showing him a cabinet door that should be pickable, but he supposed it might be another idyllic and illusory version of reality, similar to what Noroco had uncovered beneath the floor. If that were the case, no amount of effort would pick a lock that had rusted over in the past few decades. He exchanges his standard pick for his 'emergency lockpick', reaching behind his back to unbuckle his trusty crowbar.
>> Crowbar 11 >> Cabinet.

Sergeant deWytte posted:

Failing anything else to see outside, she heads inside to meet back up with the squad.
The sergeant returns just in time to observe him wailing on a cabinet with a crowbar. "Sergeant, welcome back! This locked cabinet is resisting inspection. That halberd must require big, strong arms, right? Would you care to give it a pry?" Mokrul offers her the crowbar.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
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 21, 2018 around 21:21

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

"That's... probably wise, I'll admit. We should." Sorin calls down to the group on the ground floor, "Come on up! I think there's something to be found in the attic."

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

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


Sergeant deWytte
AC: 18 | HP: 12/12

Waador posted:

"Sergeant, welcome back! This locked cabinet is resisting inspection. That halberd must require big, strong arms, right? Would you care to give it a pry?"

The Sergeant can't resist twitching the corner of her mouth upward slightly; yes, more or less what she'd expected to come back to. Still, the house was by all accounts abandoned, and since whatever lay inside the cabinet could yield useful information...

"It takes more than just strength to smash a lock properly; most of them are made to resist blunt impacts, so it's harder than it looks." She accepts the crowbar, stashing her riotstaff on her back momentarily, then sizes up first the cabinet, then Mokrul. "Or so I've been told. You might want to stand back, just in case." With a sudden fierceness of motion, she brings the crowbar around, trying to bring to bear as much force as possible despite the slightly awkward angle.

Smashing the Lock: 1d20+3 11, or 13 if Athletics proficiency applies.

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Lordorim

Edging closer to one of the suits of armour Lordorim pokes and prods at it, seeing if it reacts in any way. The suit of armour tilts to the right, then all in one motion swings back to the left and falls over. The clattering of metal echoes throughout the house, and lasts for some time as the wolf-headed helmet rolls and bounces down the marble staircase.

deWytte & Mokrul

After a moment the lock cracks and breaks and the door of the cabinet swings open. Inside the cabinet 3 crossbows of various sizes are strapped to the side. On the door bolts of all sizes sit tied together in bundles.

Cabinet contains 1 Heavy crossbow, 1 light crossbow, and one hand crossbow plus 20 bolts for each.

Ovo fucked around with this message at Jun 21, 2018 around 23:55

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


"Skinny" Erevan

He waits patiently while Mokrul and Elaine bust their way into the cabinet...only to swivel around with arrow drawn back on his bow when the clattering of armor makes an awful din and the wolf-head bounces down the staircase. His muscles tense for a long moment, but when nothing happens, he exhales and relaxes the bow. "Everything alright up there?" he calls, a faint hint of concern in his voice.

TheNabster
Apr 26, 2014

Death, but with a gun



Lordorim Shambastik

As Lordorim leaned a little too hard against armour and it started to tip over, his head tendrils stood up on end as he tried to grab for it a little too late. As the sound of the armour clattering down the stairs made a deafening racket in the silent house, Lordorim was stood frozen arms reaching out in his attempt to catch the armour and failing, and stewing in mute embarrassment.

Wahad posted:

"Everything alright up there?" he calls, a faint hint of concern in his voice.

"Err, yes! I was merely carefully examining the armour, and it must have fallen over on it's own due to poorly maintained joints. Yes. This is what happened, very, very sloppy maintenance here."

Lordorim attempts to save face by lying about this even though two people watched him do it. He rolls a 6

He turns away from Noroco and Sorin to hide his face but they knew him long enough to know that he wraps his tail around himself when he's feeling especially embarrassed.

TheNabster fucked around with this message at Jun 22, 2018 around 17:33

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

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


Sergeant deWytte
AC: 18 | HP: 12/12

Peering into the confines of the cabinet, Elayne utters a slightly disappointed grunt before stepping back. "Hunting equipment. Makes sense, given the decor. Suppose we can requisition it for the Company as long as there's no supernatural strings attached, but I don't care for crossbows myself. Too unwieldy." She hands the crowbar back to Mokrul before returning the staff to her hand and pacing back out into the hallway and calling up the stairs, "Other than self-collapsing armor, anything of interest up there? We've found a cache of hunting crossbows, if anyone feels like requisitioning."

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Sergeant deWytte posted:

"It takes more than just strength to smash a lock properly;" ... accepts the crowbar ... brings the crowbar around, trying to bring to bear as much force as possible...
Mokrul is barely able to resist commenting on the fact that the sergeant's guidance about 'needing more than strength' is immediately followed by the application of raw power. As it is, he simply smiles and accepts his crowbar back when the sergeant's grim work is done.

Plot posted:

... the lock cracks and breaks ... the door of the cabinet swings open ... crossbows of various sizes are strapped to the side ... bolts of all sizes sit tied together in bundles.
The cabinet swings open to reveal that it is, in fact, an interesting cross between an armory and a piñata. Mokrul's smile widens a bit, and he comments, "Not exactly the cache of information I had been expecting, but I'll take it, I suppose." With a carefree shrug, he offers, "Might as well take these lemons and use them to make lemonade, hm?" As he unstraps the crossbows from their position in the armory and begins strapping them to his belt, he explains, "Which is to say, I think it's about time we started separating fact from fiction."

Plot posted:

... the clattering of metal echoes throughout the house, and lasts for some time as the wolf-headed helmet rolls and bounces down the marble staircase.
Mokrul spares a knowing -- and sympathetic -- glance to the sergeant when the clattering of metal begins to roll down the stairs. And he begins to laugh when it continues well beyond the point of embarrassment, as heads literally begin to roll. Poking his head out the doorway of the hunter's den, he calls up to the others, "I see we've reached the limits of someone's restraint, up there? I'm still proud of you, though, just so you know." Wandering over to the wolf-headed helmet, he bends over and picks it up, adding it to his growing pile of memorabilia. With a sigh, he looks to Skinny and inquires, "Skinny, can you lend me a hand here? I'd like to test the limits of this deception." Returning to the cloakroom, he retrieves the cloaks, which he proceeds to neatly fold, seasoning the pile with a top hat like a cherry on a sundae. Handing the pile off to Skinny, he then returns to the pantry, retrieving a bag of grain.

With several crossbows hanging from his belt, a bag of grain secured under one arm, and a wolf-shaped helmet dangling on the edge of two fingers of the other hand, Mokrul heads towards the door, intent on depositing his recent acquisitions on or near their cart. He was curious to learn if the illusory veneer of the household extended to its contents. If so, was it a continuous thing, in the vein of an enchantment of permanent image, or would the potency be lost once beyond the confines of the structure?

>> Movement >> Returning to our cart parked outside the manor grounds, in order to deposit the crossbows, the top hat, the cloaks, and a bag of grain from the pantry, and observe how they react.

It was also a ploy to test the strength of the illusion. Would the bag of grain merely disappear with a 'poof', having never really existed? Or was the bag of grain something else in disguise? Were the cloaks truly luxurious, or matted with dead moths and chewed through beyond repair? Had the crossbows withstood the test of time, or were they, too, merely bait for the trap? If he couldn't trust his eyes, he took some comfort in knowing that he could trust his paranoia.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
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 22, 2018 around 17:16

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

There is a moment of instinct when Noroco reacts to the sudden clattering by raising his hand, heating simmering between his fingers as he searches for the source. The source that continued to clang as the armor collapsed in new an innovative ways, as the helmet clank, clank, clanked its way down the stairs.

Then there is silence as Noroco fights down a snicker at the whole awkward situation.
Wisdom Saving Throw (Snicker): 1d20+2 16

He manages to keep a surprisingly straight face when he nods slowly to Sorin, speaking with a tone that does not match his somewhat conspiratorial look, moving his eyes in the direction of Lordorim.

"You see Sorin? This house really does like you. You ask for spirits and one of them knocks over a suit of armor. You need to use this power with more caution my friend."

Deception (It must've been a ghoooost): 1d20+5 22

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Outside the house

As Mokrul deposits the items in the cart the change in them is already occuring. Having just been removed from the house the hat and cloaks fade and begin to fall apart, the grain rots and the helmet tarnishes. The crossbows likewise age, but likely would still function if some care was put into fixing them.

Inside the House


On the second floor a strange scratching noise echoes from the floor above. Quickly making it's way down the stairs is a broomstick that is levitating on it's own and is sweeping the stairs clean as it goes down. Reaching the landing it makes its way towards the pile of armour knocked over by Lordorim and pauses for a moment, before it moves on and continues sweeping the landing.

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

His eyes go wide as the broom sails past in the air, just turning to watch it as it flies by, moving to the landing of the stairs as it begins the business of sweeping.

"Are... are you both seeing that?"

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 back at the clamor, noting Lordorim's... decidedly less than subtle reaction, but Roc's comment distracts him. He says, "Hm... I suppose." He laughs and calls back to Lordorim, even as the broom appears behind him, "There's no shame in being afraid of ghosts, friend. I promise I'll not tell your next beau."

Roc's second comment draws his eye to the broom and, indeed, it's all he can do not to summon the cleansing fires of Sune right then and there. He looks up, then back at the broom, saying, "That's... that's curious indeed."

TheNabster
Apr 26, 2014

Death, but with a gun



Lordorim Shambastik

"Hmmm, yes, yes that is quite the thing there." He paused, the moment of awkward embarrassment passed by the encounter with this strange floating broom. "Still if they can enchant a broom perhaps they can enchant a toolbox to repair this house a little? Should we start exploring some of the rooms up here?"

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

"Um, Sergeant? We have floating brooms now. It came from upstairs and there is some strange scratching above us here. Recommend we group up before spears start flying next."

He takes a position knelt down on the floor, holding a spell ready to fire at anything coming down the stairs to them.

"drat it, this house is insidious. Everything is so drat benign. Can you beseech your lady and tell us if this house is evil or something?"

Ready Action: Fire at any hostiles coming down the stairs.

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Plot posted:

... the hat and cloaks fade and begin to fall apart ... the grain rots ... the helmet tarnishes. The crossbows likely would still function if some care was put into fixing them.
Mokrul carefully observes the samples taken from the manor as they undergo their respective transformations. It seemed as if the crossbows had fared better than everything else, though he supposed that made sense given that they were made of treated wood and locked in a cabinet that likely had less exposure to the elements over the years. Although it didn't seem particularly functional in the sense of being battle-ready, he suspected a bit of polish might get the helmet back to its former glory, if one were so inclined. The cloaks, hat, and grain were wholly ruined, though. Shaking his head, Mokrul comments mostly to himself, "How tragic."

Given their condition, the crossbows were of no use to him or any of his companions at the moment. He supposed he would repair them if he found the time, though for now they would have to rest among the other eccentricities of his growing hoard in the wagon. Returning his gaze to the doorway of the manor, he comments to Mama Bear, "What is your take on this situation, Skinny? This manor ... do you see an evil force at work here? I know what I see, though I suppose that might not matter, given how little it seems we can trust our eyes." With a sigh, he begins to trace his own circuit around the estate, counting out each step. "One ... two ... three ..."
>> Movement >> Tracing my own circuit around the manor, presumably with Skinny as company.

Noroco 'Roc' Olvir posted:

"I think the house is the danger here, or else the house has become the tool of something more powerful."
Unlike Noroco, who had pried loose the floorboards and ran a dagger along the walls to test for hidden dangers, Mokrul removes the glove on his right hand and simply draws two fingers along the edges of the building. He wasn't a fool, there was certainly danger, here. Villagers had gone missing, after all. There was a difference between a danger and a threat, though, and he hadn't yet seen anything that reminded him of the latter. Perhaps it was as Noroco said, and the house was the danger, some sort of cleverly laid facade to lure people to their doom. What gnawed at him, though, was that didn't tend to be how enchantments worked -- they were static things, not adaptive ones. The manor was clearly and heavily ensorcelled, but he found it hard to believe that the house had been built with the purpose of luring people to their death to begin with. People had lived here, after all. This wasn't a matter of good or evil, it was a matter of understanding.

The fact pattern was clear to him, at least in that part. Frankly, it also resonated with essentially everything he knew about magical objects. When used with adequate training and care, most enchanted equipment was only dangerous when you wanted it to be. A fully-loaded magical home was certainly larger than the average piece of enchanted kit, but the principles should have been the same. He couldn't discount the possibility that someone was controlling the manor, and using it for ill intent -- the 'something more powerful' that Noroco had alluded to -- but there was another possibility. Rather obviously, the manor's enchantments were all left in the 'on' position when the former residents had departed, assuming they could ever be turned off to begin with. That was the other surefire way to run into trouble with magical objects: if you leave them running perpetually, and nobody within a ten mile radius has any idea how they work, you are virtually guaranteed to run into trouble eventually. In this case, the manor had been running its protocols for decades. He wouldn't find it surprising at all if an arcane circuit had simply gone haywire after running continuously for the better part of a human lifespan.

With a shrug, he comments more to himself than to Skinny, "What happened here, I wonder? What were Ismark's words again? 'One day, the whole family just up and vanished.'" If he could find the answer to that question, he would be well on his way to understanding the situation, he suspected. What had happened to them? Having finally made his way around the manor and back to the wagon, Mokrul retrieves his seventy-pound duffel bag of workman's tools. He wouldn't need it immediately, but before this was over he suspected he would have need of one particular object stored within. Slinging the sack over his shoulder, he steps back inside the manor and regroups with his comrades in and around the marble staircase. He spends a few moments eyeing the area around the fireplace suspiciously, before commenting to seemingly nobody in particular, "I'll give it a pass for now, I suppose." Looking to the sergeant, he shrugs and inquires, "We might as well begin investigating the second floor, don't you think?" His flock of chickens clucked in confusion in a semicircle around him.
>> Movement >> Onward to the second floor, finding a new room to liberate.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
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


After a few tense moments of observing the stairs, nothing more comes down. The animated broom continues its patrol across the landing ignoring the party of you.

Mokrul moves upstairs and opens the door on the east wall. Beyond lies a finely furnished library. Red velvet drapes cover the windows of this room. An exquisite mahogany desk and a matching high-back chair face the entrance and the fireplace, above which hangs a framed picture of a windmill perched atop a rocky crag. Situated in corners of the room are two overstuffed chairs. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves line the south wall. A rolling wooden ladder allows one to more easily reach the high shelves.

As the Mokrul opens that door the animated broom bangs against the west door and opens it, shuffling its self inside to continue cleaning. Gossamer drapes cover the windows of this elegantly appointed hall, which has a brass-plated chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Upholstered chairs line the walls, and stained-glass wall hangings depict beautiful men, women, and children singing and playing instruments. A harpsichord with a bench rests in the northwest corner. Near the fireplace is a large standing harp.

Ovo fucked around with this message at Jun 23, 2018 around 04:22

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 Roc with the pious look of someone about to coach why he can't do that with a pithy phrase and delivers, "Sune's love is strongest with those that help themselves, Roc! Her delicate touch is ever with me, but I must say this is one mystery that we will have to figure out on our own." He makes towards the stairs upward, adding, "I'm still convinced that we'll find what there is to find in the attic. You all are welcome to come with, if you choose."

Headed upstairs again!

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


"Skinny" Erevan

"Hrm." Mokrul's questions led the Firbolg to lapse into a thoughtful silence as the two of them made another lap. "I...do not see or feel the presence of evil, so to speak, but with everything we've seen, I cannot help but be worried. I have little experience with magic as extensive as this, but consider the facts. A house, once family owned, now rotten to the core yet kept up in appearances by extremely complicated layers of magical illusion. And not just that, but something here has been luring people inside and disposing of them. Even without the magic or said mysterious threat, this house would be a death-trap, given the condition it is. Were I a more paranoid sort, I'd say we set the entirety of it on fire and be done with it. Whatever lurks inside should perish in the flames." Listen to him. His elders would be ashamed; but then, in his time out on his quest, and with the Golden Lions, he had grown to be less inclined to his race's natural pacifism. The world was a dangerous place, and evil lurked in many corners. "But I suppose that wouldn't be in accordance with the task we were given, now would it?"

He joins the rest as Mokrul and himself go up to the floors above. "I imagine the family fell prey to whatever entity also disappeared the other villagers. The simplest solution to the question, yes? Which, of course, begs the other question of what said entity actually is." Sorin starts moving up further stairs, and the scout grumbles. "Be careful, Brother. The higher we go, the likelier 'tis we'll meet the source of the danger here."

professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

"Alright, that is fair enough. Lead the way then, but don't forget to test the stairs before you step on them. That broom floated down, the wood may be too rotted to support us."

Noroco follows Sorin up the stairs, giving a wave back to Skinny, "Do not worry friend, I'll make sure the lover boy doesn't get in over his head."

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Skinny posted:

"I...do not see or feel the presence of evil, so to speak, but with everything we've seen, I cannot help but be worried. I have little experience with magic as extensive as this, but consider the facts. A house, once family owned, now rotten to the core yet kept up in appearances by extremely complicated layers of magical illusion. And not just that, but something here has been luring people inside and disposing of them. Even without the magic or said mysterious threat, this house would be a death-trap, given the condition it is. Were I a more paranoid sort, I'd say we set the entirety of it on fire and be done with it. Whatever lurks inside should perish in the flames."
Mokrul nods to Skinny in thanks, having found the conversation helpful to validate and reinforce his own views. "The lure remains a mystery to me, I'll admit. If villagers had simply gotten curious and wandered inside, I could write all of this off as a misunderstanding, the expected result when people intersect with enchantments they don't understand." He sighs, not wanting to annoy Skinny with the full weight of his analysis, or delay their reunion with the others. He does attempt to summarize his dissenting view, though, "I think we see a different history, though. Perhaps merely a different present. In any case, what I see is an expected series of events. The enchantments on this house have been running at full blast for the better part of a century. I don't think the illusion was meant to disguise this much damage, it was likely only ever implemented as a stopgap to prevent having to dust the corners more than once a month. If the structure is designed to maintain the veneer of however it appeared when it was last ... 'locked in' to a state of display, I suppose? ... the arcane energy required to maintain the illusion has been growing steadily for years."

He frowns, having been led to the beginnings of a conclusion by the conversation. "When you're dealing with magical objects, that's where the danger always lies -- demanding more of something than it was designed to handle. It's like riding a wagon down a mountainside, you're obviously going to snap a wheel off, and you should know better than to even attempt it. In this case, the people who knew better disappeared for ... whatever reason ... and all we were left with were villagers who had no training in the maintenance or care of an enchanted home, which has continued to pick up speed down that mountainside as the power required to maintain its illusions grows with every day as the floorboards rot and the contents disintegrate with age."

Ismark posted:

"As for the disappearances, they happened at first with phantoms so people say. Figures would appear outside the house begging for aid, people would go to them and never return. Now that the house is avoided people say that shadows stalk the streets near it, grabbing anyone who is alone after dark and bringing them into the house."
His mind wanders back to the precise wording of Ismark's description of the home, as well as that of the burgomaster's original letter. He realizes his mistake: he had taken them at face value, rather than discarding their views as that of uninformed villagers. He tried not to frame it as a judgmental comment in his mind, merely a factual one, as he didn't get the sense that they had any education in matters arcane. He proposes a theory to Skinny, "Let me ask you a question, Skinny. If you were building an enchanted home, which clearly has a fairly powerful energy source, given that it can maintain a series of illusions for decades ... do you think that you, as an architect, might anticipate that something might plausibly go wrong with that energy source -- that 'arcane core', as it were -- at some point in the building's lifespan?" The answer to that question was obvious, so he continues, "Wouldn't you, as that builder of a home able to generate extremely complex illusions, create a contingency plan? Maybe allow the home to use those illusions to ask nearby villagers for help, or warn them, before the arcane core overloads itself?"

That was the piece he had been missing. It explained the 'lure' better than any of the other possibilities. An enchanted home on the brink of collapse, with an arcane core drawing more and more power with each passing day in order to maintain the illusions and other enchantments carelessly left 'on' by the former residents. More likely than not, this building was headed towards a catastrophic core breach, and some reasonably intelligent designer had predicted that possibility and encoded a fail-safe designed to warn nearby residents if a situation arose where the residents were not in town to maintain the estate. The villagers, unequipped to deal with or even comprehend the danger, had likely suffered some sort of unpleasant fate when they approached the source of the problem. It made sense.

Mokrul laughs in response to Skinny's suggestion, offering, "Skinny, I rather suspect that if we were to set fire to this building and walk away, the resulting explosion would devastate half the town. Best case scenario, adding fuel to the ongoing breach of an arcane core wouldn't help matters at all."

Plot posted:

After a few tense moments of observing the stairs, nothing more comes down. The animated broom continues its patrol across the landing ignoring the party of you.
Having reunited with their companions, Mokrul casually observes the animated broom, who is now sweeping and doing its best to keep the house clean. He nods towards it, commenting to the others, "Animated objects takin' our jerbs, am I right?"

Plot posted:

... a finely furnished library ... exquisite mahogany desk ... floor-to-ceiling bookshelves ...
Resuming his search pattern, Mokrul hits the jackpot on the second floor. If an instruction manual for the enchanted home was likely to be anywhere, it was the library. Moreover, the writing desk in the library might contain a journal or something maintained by one of the former residents that could offer some clues as to what had happened to them. He comments to the others, "It ... might take me a little while to properly search a library for clues. If you guys want to go on ahead and investigate the attic that's fine. If I hear the sounds of valorous combat I'll come running, I suppose. Likewise, please come running if you hear the high-pitched scream of a little girl that I am no doubt trying to bravely rescue." He was mostly speaking to the sergeant and Skinny, given that a few of the others had already headed up the stairs.

>> Investigate and Perception >> Scouring the library.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
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 23, 2018 around 13:20

Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


"Skinny" Erevan

"I'm not entirely sure your theory is correct," he muses, staying behind in the library while Mokrul goes about searching the books. "If such an arcane core were present within the house, the magical energies it would have emitted would have likely been picked up by my senses as I gave it a once-over; indeed, such a power would be hard to miss even to the non-magically inclined." He casually perused the books as he talked, though nothing of interest really stood out. "Let me expound upon my former suggestion; say there is an entity here, or at least a power that requires some sort of...nourishment; be it a fiend or another monster, or something less physical. The house is benign, yes, giving off an appearance of hospitality and pleasantry, the same way a carnivorous plant might give off a sickly sweet scent to lure in vermin for it to eat."

The Firbolg sighs as his eyes glide over his half-elf companion going through his own routine of inspecting the bookshelves. "But I cannot shake the feeling that there is a darker turn of events waiting for us here, as soon as we discover the entity, or it decides it has tired waiting for us to stumble about; just as the villagers have all disappeared. The plant remains stationary until the vermin crawls in far enough; and then the jaws close shut, and it simply waits for its meal to dissolve." He shrugs. "La, it is what it is. I expect our upbringings have indeed colored these views in their own ways. We shall see who is correct sooner rather than later, I suspect."

Quorum
Sep 24, 2014

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


Sergeant deWytte
AC: 18 | HP: 12/12 | PP: 14

The Sergeant nods in agreement with Skinny. "Perhaps it's just my own background, but I'm inclined to agree-- better to assume there is some presence here in addition to the enchantments on the house. If this were a matter of pressing time, a hostage situation or some such, it might be different, but we have little to lose from caution." She raises her voice, projecting so Sorin and Roc can hear as they climb: "Even if we haven't encountered anything hostile yet, as far as I'm concerned, we should still be using breach-and-clear tactics: stay in groups of at least two, make sure each floor is clear as you climb, and remain in earshot of each other. If you two clear the third floor, we'll take this, and meet back up before clearing the attic."

Turning back to Mokrul, Elayne smiles crookedly. "This will go more swiftly with more pairs of eyes. Let's hope whoever left this house behind also left behind a manual, or a journal cataloging their inexorable descent into madness, or an evil plan, hm?"

Searching the library, but leaving the desk to Mokrul:
Perception: 1d20+4 NATURAL 20 (24)
Investigation: 1d20-1 4

Ovo
Dec 20, 2008

Life Rules


Mokrul, Erevan & deWytte

Mokrul inspects the desk, finding a large variety of fine writing supplies as well as a wooden seal with the design of a windmill on it. In the drawer of the desk he finds a large iron key and nothing else.

Scouring the bookcase for anything noticable deWytte find books on almost every topic. Tomes about theoretical applications of magic and tactics in war sit next to novels and poetry. Towards the end of the row a large red book with no title on the spine. Curious, deWytte pulls on it; it only comes out halfway, before a loud clicking noise comes from behind it. In an instant that section of the bookcase swings inward, revealing a dust chocked hidden room behind the wall.

Bookshelves line the walls of this hidden area, and a large wooden chest with clawed iron feet stands against the south wall, its lid half-closed. Collapsed onto the chest is a skeleton draped in the moldy remains of its owners clothing.

Roc, Sorin & Lordorim

Moving up the stairs the group finds themselves at the top of the marble staircase; it ends here on another grand landing. Oil lamps are mounted on the oak-paneled walls, which are carved with woodland scenes of trees, falling leaves, and tiny critters. Closer inspection reveals tiny corpses hanging from the trees and worms bursting up from the ground. Against the North wall sits another suit of armour, identical to the ones below.

Ovo fucked around with this message at Jun 23, 2018 around 20:06

Waador
Sep 11, 2001

Smashin' down the light.

Pillbug

Mokrul Verdant Allweather > 8 / 8 HP / 13 AC

Plot posted:

... variety of fine writing supplies ... wooden seal with the design of a windmill on it ... large iron key.
Mokrul finds that the effort of thoroughly tossing the desk is made somewhat easy on him, given that there isn't much of interest on or within it. With a satisfied shrug of his shoulders to Skinny, he retrieves the iron key and attaches it to one of his belt loops, reasonably confident it would come in handy sooner or later. He assumed that the writing supplies and wooden seal were papered over with an illusory veneer, much like the garments from the cloakroom had been. He wondered how well any of the books might have truly fared, once their own intangible shrink-wrap was removed. He found that to be a rather curious aspect of the enchantment, if he was being honest -- using illusions to store information, essentially encoding knowledge in a beam of light rather than physical space. Theoretically, the contents of an entire library could be stored on a single page, given the right application of that particular idea. "That's actually a really, really good idea.", he comments to nobody in particular.

Plot posted:

... a loud clicking noise comes from behind ... section of the bookcase swings inward.
Mokrul instinctively positions himself behind the desk for cover when he hears the telltale loud clicking noise of what he assumes is someone else carelessly activating a trap. When no volley of arrows comes, and no grinding walls begin to close in on them, he makes his way around the corner toward the source of the sound. Admittedly to his surprise, it seemed the sergeant had uncovered a doorway hidden behind a bookcase. "Nice find!" he offers in earnest, while at the same time checking her work by investigating the books along the shelves that she had already cleared.
>> Investigate and Perception >> Giving the books on the shelves a second look.

Not particularly keen on stealing the sergeant's thunder by rushing ahead of her into the room she had found, Mokrul opts to pull books off of the shelf and flip through them, curious to see if there are any hidden surprises to be found. A letter hidden in the pages of a book was a distinct possibility, as was one of those admittedly campy but effective storage lockers hidden within a book that had endured its pages being cut out to fit an object. The sort of thing one would miss just by looking at the covers, in any event.
__________________________________________________________________________________________
Passive: Perception (16) / Investigation (16) / Insight (14) / Darkvision (60')
Effects: Inspiration / Concentration (trapfinding and chicken wrangling) / Stealth
Resources:: Hit Dice (1/1d8) / Arrow (20) / Iron key (library)
Livestock: Chickens (12) / Chicken Feed (100 pounds)
Map / Journal
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Waador fucked around with this message at Jun 23, 2018 around 20:14

TheNabster
Apr 26, 2014

Death, but with a gun



Lordorim Shambastik

Lordorim looked along the reliefs on the wall as he and his companions did their initial search of the third floor. "I wonder if the macabre designs on the carvings are a product of the enchantment on this house, or if they were carved to look like that in the first place. It seems a little on the nose to me." He looked at the new suit of armour suspiciously and drew his sword back to poke at it, but then thought the better of it after the last moment of embarrassment. Instead, he joined Noroco near the two unexplored doors on this floor. He saw Noroco inspecting the top door and shuffled himself in carefully.

"Our venture into this house have thus far been trap-less, but just to be on the safe side perhaps I should open the doors first?" He wait for Noroco to step a little way from the door, and then shield at the ready threw the door open and stepped inside sword and shield at the ready.

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professor_curly
Mar 4, 2016

There he is!


Noroco "Roc" Olvir
The Shadow-Sorcerer

"Alright, cover me. I'm going to see what is in this room."

Noroco walks over to the door, casting a wary gaze at the suit of armor as he passes before trying to open it. When Lordorim volunteers to go in first though, Roc steps back and allows the fighter to go in first. As soon as the door opens (assuming it isn't locked), Noroco comes in just behind Lordorim, the final motions of a ray of fire ready in his hands.

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