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Rise of the Runelords

soulnova

Hello Kyuubi
The ghoul goes up in flames screaming and soon falls back to the ground with a thud. The rest of the farm is now in silence...

But slowly, the sound of crickets starts again.

As Rose arrives with the boy and Zerren in tow, the necromancer looks at the bodies with interest. He looks at Mirenia and Rose. "May I get close?"

The boy frowns in worry when he gets a better look at the bodies. "Those are the Hambley's... Berin, Hilde and their uncles..." He glances at the fields behind them. "They would turn my ma and pa like this?? Can it be cured?"

"Mister, Misses, please... can we look for them?"


Other than the corpses of some horses and cows, the barn is empty. You haven't explored the rest of the house either.
 

Hidden Nin

sorry bitch i don't say sorry
Addo can see real and immediate panic in Mirenia's expression as she wards off the attack from the ghoul as best she can. The blow to her throat nearly causes her to stop in her tracks or perhaps worse...but she powers through, settles, and cuts off her song. The deep breath does a lot.

Mirenia looks to Zerren and glances at Rose, pursing her lips. "If he makes any sudden movements..." she tells the elf, then nods towards the bodies. "Whatever you can tell us," she tells the necromancer, moving over towards the teen. "Is everyone alright?" she asks, though she's looking him over curiously. "And what is your name?"
 

WorkingMoogle

Well-Known Member
Addo lays a hand on Mirenia's shoulder once it's clear things are settled for the moment and channels the last of his fervor into her, asking Iomedae to heal her wounds (+9hp).

"Rose, will you lend me your sharp eyes to make sure the house is clear? Then we should send a group to check the scarecrows for survivors. Leave a group here to tend to any we might find."

Assuming Rose consents, he'll check the rest of the house while the others study the barn.
 

soulnova

Hello Kyuubi
"My name is Thorme, miss. Thank you. We are ok. Miss Rose shoot through the window you should have seen it."


Zerren gets closer to the bodies and analyzes them with eager curiosity. "No signs of burrowing or scavenger behavior. Ghoul packs usually stick to cemeteries and boneyards. While they prefer their food rotten, it is not unheard of they will eat live prey when the hunger is great... but this... Mmmh..." he looks at the several animal corpses. "The hunger exhibited here is certainly greater than normal. Perhaps a new strain of ghoul altogether...? Interesting."


If the party explores the farmhouse you find a mutilated rotten body lies in the kitchen. The rest of the house is trashed. There's dried blood on the beds on the second floor. It looks like the family was initially attacked in their sleep... there are several bloody ropes here as well.

The markings on the corpse in the Kitchen are familiar to you. A sihedron rune... but to be fair, these are a bit sloppy compared to the ones on the con-men and Benny. From what you can see this might have been the first kill from "His Lordship"...

K.Local DC15 to identify the marked victim... or let the boy see the corpse.
 

Hidden Nin

sorry bitch i don't say sorry
Mirenia winces slightly but stays still to receive Addo's healing spell, opening her eyes afterwards and nodding to the paladin. "Thank you," she says quietly, before turning to listen to Zerren. She keeps Thorme far away from the bodies, going to inspect the house herself to see if she recognizes any of the locals herself.

(Taking 10 with Loremaster, so 20 on Knowledge: Local)
 

soulnova

Hello Kyuubi
Mirenia recognizes this man, Rogor Hambley, the patriarch of the family and owner of these lands.

Rogor was part of an artisan family but fell out of their favor and moved out of town. Some say it was money problems. He settled here some 30 years ago getting this farm at very low cost. He turned it around on his own, regaining some of his standing with his extended family and now they would sent problematic members of the family to work on his farm to straighten up. He would happily offer his house to stay and feed them... but it was known he would not pay them for their work in the field.
 

WorkingMoogle

Well-Known Member
Once they finished checking the farmhouse Addo will lay out the options as he sees them.

"If there are still living people on those frames we need to get to them as quickly as possible. And we can't leave the patients alone forever at sanatorium."

"We could split up in two groups, check the remaining frames, and make our way back; probably arriving after dark."

"Or we could send one group back now, and have one group check all the frames, but it will be that much layer they arrive back."

"Or we could send one group to the sanatorium to secure things there for the night, and one group check the frames and hole up in the farmhouse for the night, meeting back up in the morning."

"I would vote the first option, and caution against the last as if ghouls come back at night we likely don't want to be trapped here at half strength."
 

soulnova

Hello Kyuubi
Zerren enters the kitchen closely watched by the others and, at first, he's a bit more interested in the headless ghast in the living room... but then he looks at the rune carved man... with no jaw left.

"Huh," he slowly raises an eyebrow. "Mmm... the Thassilonian rune for power. Interesting. I have read a few notes about the late Empire but not much more..." he crouches slowly to make sure he doesn't unceremoniously fall over while still tied. "I would say this is the work of an amateur. Cutting this deep would make the rest of the carving difficult. A beginner's mistake," he says with an amused tone... but then he quiets down. "The man was alive when he was being subjected to the carving of this symbol. This is... not a necromantic ritual... not per se," he frowns. "He didn't want anyone trying to speak with this soul but..." and looks around quickly. "If these were his first steps... the jaw might still be close by, discarded around here. Maybe even given to the ghouls to eat. If you get it back, it might be possible to speak with this man's soul."

Zerren seems to be taken away by this new mystery.


While looking around the house for any other clues, Addo notices a curiously loose floorboard just under the bed of the largest bedroom upstairs (likely Rogor's room). He finds a box with 2500gp neatly stacked in it.

Rose can tell the corpse was of a human male in his 60s. She also follows the smell of rotten flesh just outside the kitchen. Among some dismembered and half-eaten body parts brought by the ghouls, she finds what appears to be the missing jaw.
 

Cardboard Tube Knight

Well-Known Member
Rose shrugs at Zerren. "Does it matter who's bottom mouth we put on this body for it to speak?" She then waves a hand back toward the door.

"There are plenty of dead around who I am sure won't miss theirs."
 

soulnova

Hello Kyuubi
Zerren clears his throat. "No. Definitely. It must be from the original body. Although, one could say that's behind the principal to create a flesh golem."
 

Cardboard Tube Knight

Well-Known Member
Rose seems confused for a moment and then says plainly. "The golem would be unable to tell on anything it saw if the enemy used strange magic to make it talk." She considers this and nods to herself.

She makes her way into the kitchen where she found the dismembered parts earlier. "I found the part we were looking for before," she says as she walks. "I didn't pick it up because why would I, but it's over here."

Standing over the spot, Rose points out the jaw.
 

Yami Munesanzun

I am now having ALL teh segzy.
Electing to remain just outside the house, Sura'ak stood just at the doorway, keeping watch for anything that might decide to start creeping up while the group was investigating inside.

Perception: 1d20 + 9 = 22
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 = 15
 

soulnova

Hello Kyuubi
Sura'ak doesn't feel like the necromancer is hiding anything. His interest in the runes appears genuine.

Rose feels Zerren won't try anything to upset her. He's behaving his best.

((I'll need confirmation on how are the teams are splitting up.))
 

soulnova

Hello Kyuubi
The party leaves the jaw prepared for a speak with death when they finish up checking up the scarecrows.


After the teams are decided, the group splits in two and they quickly take their designated routes.

Green Team (Addo, Mirenia, Vale and Thorme+Zerren)

The group go through the back of the farmhouse. The first scarecrow is a regular one... but all the other four in their route are recently turned ghouls up in the frames. A few of them strain and struggle in their bindings and are quickly dispatched before they can get free. But one of them is strong enough to break the ropes and jumps at Addo, biting his hand. (-7 + Fort Save DC13 vs disease + Fort Save DC 13 vs Paralyze )

He still manages to hack down with his longsword and slices the creature's shoulder. Mirenia and Vale manage to finish it off... Other than that you haven't seen any other frame with people alive.

Do you return to the farmhouse or do you continue to the sanatorium?




Cyan Team (Sura'ak, Rose and Gorrendux)

The team goes the opposite way as Green Team.

As they approach the first frame... Rose and Sura'ak immediately notice the scarecrow IS moving, but they also hear faint sobbing. A survivor!

They bring him down and take the sack covering their heads. The man is having a high fever and has several bites on his shoulder. "Help... help..." he begs weakly between shivers. He's barely conscious. The ghouls must have left him just barely alive (1HP) so when the sickness ran its course (affecting CON), he would die. That would be much quicker than waiting for a full-health adult to succumb to the disease. He can move at half speed if requested but he's struggling to stay up.

What do you want to do? Proceed with him or return to the house?
 

Ronnam

Gorrendux / Red Royb
Without hesitation, Gorrendux moves to help the dying man. With fear and concern on his face, Gorrendux says to him, "Stay with us. Your wounds are serious, but by Pharasma's will, we can help you." He casts Lesser Restoration on the man, restoring 4 Constitution damage. Silently, Gorrendux prays he can keep this man from undeath... and avoid the need to destroy him later if he turns. He casts Cure Light Wounds, restoring 10 Hit Points to the man.
 
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soulnova

Hello Kyuubi
The man's bites heal, although his fever remains. He's in good enough condition to move at normal speed now. "Thank you," he looks around warily. "My wife... and my son... they should be around here..." he says trying to see where the next frame is.
 

Ronnam

Gorrendux / Red Royb
"Try to stay calm, you need to recuperate," Gorrendux tries to reassure the man. "There are few survivors, but we're in the midst of trying to find them now. I suggest you stand back while we search the area." Gorrendux moves toward the next frame...
 

soulnova

Hello Kyuubi
The group continues forward and comes across a pair of scarecrows that quickly react to your proximity. They jump at you but their strikes are clumsy and you avoid all their attacks. They are destroyed without much trouble.


Next is a lone scarecrow where you can hear some sobbing. You approach carefully and when you are close enough...

"Thania? Thania!" the man's eyes grow big recognizing the voice of his wife.

The woman is also in a similar state as you had found him. Assuming Gorrendux does a CLW as well, she will be in condition to walk.


Proceeding to the next cluster you do find another couple of scarecrow that get lucky on Sura'ak and manage to strike him once before succumbing to Rose's arrows. (-7 Sura'ak)


The next lone scare crow manages to reach Gorrendux and bites him. It dies after a second set of attacks... (-11 Gorrendux)

As you advance to the last cluster, and with the experience you have with the previous scarecrows, you realize from afar that all four are likely ghouls.



Sura'ak is at 30/46
Gorrendux is at 27/38
Rose is at full health 46/46
The couple has been staying behind Rose during the last encounters.
You are about 50ft from the closest one.

There are no more scarecrows other than these.

What do you wish to do? Stay and fight? Or return to the sanatorium with the survivors?
@Ronnam @Yami Munesanzun @Cardboard Tube Knight
 
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Ronnam

Gorrendux / Red Royb
Gorrendux pulls out the Wand of Cure Light Wounds and taps it thrice upon the shoulders of the Tiefling Monk, restoring 18 Hit Points to Sura'ak. He uses the wand once on himself, restoring 7 Hit Points. Then Gorrendux calls upon the power of Pharasma to protect his Tiefling friend from evil forces. (Prot. from Evil on Sura'ak)

"Let us finish this task. No Ghoul shall remain this day. Tis dirty business, but it must be done."

He puts away the wand.... and pulls out another wand. He uses the second wand to cast Bless on himself and his allies (+1 morale bonus on attack rolls and saves vs. fear)
 
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