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Vapourware [Play-by-post] Lamentations in Averoigne

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by nikolokolus, May 28, 2021.

  1. AdamReith Magister Patron

    AdamReith
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    "Rare spices, expensive silk. Whoever they buried here was of some significance surely."

    Grima eyes the door to the north with great curiosity.

    "Yet, they needed so secure this door. Perhaps his body didn't take too well to the stillness of death; as we saw with Cadieux. Foolish really, walking or rotting in the ground, dead still."
     
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  2. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
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    It's a mummy innit? But what is tutankhamen doing here?
     
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  3. AdamReith Magister Patron

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    There's nothing in the rules about it, but any possibility of getting some flaming arrows next time we are in town?

    i.e. arrows with their heads covered in pitch or some similarly combustible substance.
     
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  4. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    Flaming Arrows (open)
    Sure. It's nothing too fancy, just pitch or tar soaked linen wrapped around an arrow head. As long as you have a ready flame (lantern, torch, whatever) it should work. I'd impose a -2 penalty to hit because they don't fly that well (firing en masse as an army is different than on-target archery)

    Note: I added an addendum to the Reference & House Rules document under "Oil & Fire" at the bottom of page 8 (which can be downloaded from the Campaing DropBox folder I shared with everyone in the first post of this thread).
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
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  5. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    The company spends a bit of time debating the merits of opening one door, both doors or just saying to hell with it and moving on. Eventually after some debate, they decide to opt for the unadorned door down the eastern stairwell. Guillemin carefully searches and probes the door jamb and listens intently for noise as others, like Grima, crowd around him and listen for themselves. After careful consideration, Grima thrusts the door open as Guillemin instinctively jumps backward a pace with his heart up in his throat.

    The chamber beyond is square space with a low ceiling about 10 paces along each wall. Along the northern and western walls are clay jars, receptacles, and an array of ancient copper scalpels, knives, and spoon-like implements tinged heavily with a patina of green oxidation. Along the western wall, Grima finds a shelf full of ancient scrolls still stacked neatly, where someone left them ages gone by. Most disintegrate into moldy pulp when he tries to pull them down, but there are two bone scroll cases, with their ends sealed with wax that he's able to retrieve to examine later. In the center of the room is a very enticing stone coffer about 3 feet long and 2 feet wide, with a stone lid. Suspicious, Guillemin carefully searches the lid for nasty surprises and finds a tiny barb of a needle in the recessed handle along its edge. He opts for a prybar and puts all of his strength into the thing, which appears to be stuck. With a jolt the lid pops off and luckily Vandal and Madeline are close at hand to catch it before it can crash into the ankle-deep water that floods the entirety of the chamber.

    Inside are some curious things: a small plate-size bundle wrapped in linen and two ornate glazed, urns with golden lids sealed with wax. Guillemin works his knife into the seal and breaks it on the first jar. He peers inside the vase and sees what can only be described as a perfectly preserved human heart. He opens the other jar and inside is a perfectly preserved brain. The little linen bundle reveals a mask of pure, untarnished silver, with a stylized dog's face. It looks to be a very similar make and style to the one that Horatio purchased in that market in Arles which lead them all here in the first place. If that bit of ancient ceramic went for a hundred or more deniers , it boggles the mind to think what this might fetch. Not satisfied that this is all that is here, Grima, Madeline and Guillemin continue searching the room, including the coffer. Madeline finally taps on the bottom of the box and notices a distinct hollow sound. Nearly at the same time, Guillemin finds a small button on the side of the coffer where it rests on its plinth. He pushes the button and the false bottom of the box pops up, it is carefully lifted with the aid of the prybar and inside is a scabbarded bronze shortsword. The scabbard is chased and gilt in silver, and the broad leaf-shaped blade is pulled forth. It is bright and lustrous and catches the torchlight in a remarkable manner. Why these things were put here and by whom must remain a mystery.

    While the troupe collects their new-found wealth, Vandal begins to notice a very foul taint upon the air, like rotting flesh. He sniffs about and is unable to divine its origin. Meanwhile, as Madeline inspects a stone door set on the diagonal in the southeast corner, there is a scrabbling sound from beyond the portal. The noise continues to grow louder over several seconds and while Madeline is listening intently with her ear against the door, something scratches the other side and a moment later starts pushing with terrible force. In a panic, or perhaps thinking her companions are more prepared, she lets the door go free and tries to hide behind it as it swings toward her. Suddenly the actress is overcome with the most stomach turning stench she's ever smelled as two hideously deformed man-like creatures with extremely gaunt features, elongated skulls and over-long arms that terminate in black talons lunge through and throw themselves heedless at the companions.

    [​IMG]

    Grima runs up the stairs as Ganelon runs down just in time to launch a sling bullet. Unfortunately, the missile flies wide and splashes harmlessly in the water flooding the floor. Guillemin braces himself with his spear at the ready for one of the abominations bearing down on him and Vandal in a fit of heroic pique dashes across the room to scoop up the helpless Madeline, to try and bring her to safety. Unfortunately the floor, slick with several inches of standing water causes the hulking mountainman to lose his balance and he nearly falls into the water himself just as one of the terrifying things bears down on him, raking him across the shoulder and causing him to instantly seize up and unable to move a muscle. Across the room Guillemin's spear thrust fails and the creature leaps upon Ganelon inflicting a great gash across his neck. The crusader suffers a similar fate to Vandal's and also topples backward, completely paralyzed. The quick thinking Guillemin feints at the creature to drive it off for a split second and Grima grabs Ganelon by the tunic, dragging him backward through the door. Guillemin seizes the door handle and holds it back while the abomination tries to pull, just in time for Grima to weave a spell, holding the portal fast. Horrific scratching noises against the door go on for a few seconds and then faint rending and tearing can be heard for a minute or more, before the survivors can regroup and drag Ganelon up the stairs and the waiting daylight.

    As Ganelon is dragged up the stairs, Felix and Jacques's eyes go wide and they tentatively ask where Vandal and Madeline are, the vancant stares and curt answers cut them off and the party hastily loads the inert form of Ganelon onto the back of the mule and the beat a hasty retreat off of the plateau in the warm summer afternoon. Bedraggled and harried, the companions arrive in Les Hiboux without further incident several hours before sunset and proceed with haste to their rooms or to Prior Guillaume to tend to their hurts and shocked psyches.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  6. AdamReith Magister Patron

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    Just one correction, Grima is the one that pulled Ganelon to safety.

    Though of course Guillemin helped, if he's going around telling people he pulled Ganelon to safety in town he's a flippin' liar.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2021
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  7. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    The next morning the survivors congregate in the common room of the Cock & Strumpet in a bit of a haze, mourning their lost companions and wondering at the viccisitudes of fate and fortune. With nothing else for it, they push their feelings down deep and take stock of their current situation. A fine red, silk tapestry, a gold mask, 2 fine urns with a preserved heart and brain and two sealed scrolls liberated from the mortuary.

    The company takes their goods to Jakob the jeweler/money lender and all-around appraiser to assess the value of their goods. He says that you should all come back in a fortnight, while he asks around and finds buyers who might want the the things. When you come back after the two weeks have elapsed he has very good news for you. For the mask alone he will pay you the princely sum of 1,750 deniers. The gold-topped porcelain jars are actually made from solid stone, and are of an expert level of craftsmanship. He will pay you 700 deniers for each of them, and the grand silk tapestry he says he will take for 2,100 deniers for a grand total of 5,250 deniers!!! (apparently he has buyers with money to burn). Meanwhile spends time examining the bronze shortsword liberated from the tomb and determines that there is indeed some sort of enchantment upon it. The nature of the enchantment and what power the blade actually posseses are beyond his ken. Grima also breaks the seals on the two scrollcases and unfurls their contents, scanmomg the ancient Etruscan script and the weird diagrams scribed upon them. To his amazement he realizes that these are in fact scrolls of magical spells; arcane magic from antiquity.
    Bookkeeping (open)
    We'll handle XP, carousing, magical research, etc. through the group chat to keep this thread from getting super cluttered.
     
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  8. SoupNazi rial billionaire Patron

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    Well, it's a good thing I hadn't splurged on a custom avatar for Maddie, that would have been a waste of dollar :lol: guess I'll be sticking to no alts in the future, waste of approval process :lol:


    As the troupe carries out a paralyzed Ganelon and minus two, the stable boy steps forward in shock, and hastily asks about what happened while simultaneously aiding with Ganelon's limp body. Once the story is shared, and the young man hears of the creatures of chaos walking under their feet, there's a heavy sigh. Lifting up his traveler's cloak, Felix withdraws a a brass cross hanging on a necklace which was until then hidden under his clothes. Taking the necklace off, he ties it around his wrist so that the cross hangs from it instead, and grips it in his left hand.

    "I swore to a fair girl from Vyones I would not pursue this life and in turn, she promised to marry me when we are both of age. Alas, I suppose some things are fated, and some are not. If you plan to continue your quest and you allow me, I will join you all in cleansing this evil, and avenge my last employer, as well as your friend. As a civillian, they called me Felix de Quiders. On the hunt, I give that name up and am simply Finn."

    He seems to have quite the flair for the dramatic all of a sudden, compared to the quiet mule-handler he was before.

    Once the troupe accepts him and they travel to Vyones, he does go to his bride-to-be and explains what happened, and that he feels compelled to embrace his destiny of hunting down monsters that bring chaos onto the land. To his surprise, she ends up supporting his quest, as she saw how depressed he was to work as an ordinary citizen instead of adventuring. She kisses him on the cheek and promises that should he come back alive, then famous monster hunter or a failed one, she will still marry him.
     
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  9. Grimgravy Cipher Patron

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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Eventually Ganelon regains his mobility. Having heard everything in the interim he looks at Grima (I belong only to God, odd fellow. Who do you belong to? Ganelon thinks to himself) with some distaste and then Finn with a great deal of respect."There is evil afoot, young man. For a creature to rob a man of his mobility... it is an abomination. I welcome you, if you mean to help us fight. If you need a weapon or equipment, I may be able to help. Another follower of Christ is most welcome, indeed."
     
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  10. AdamReith Magister Patron

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    Grima waves to the new addition to the crew, Finn. Happy to save the arrow.

    "Welcome!"
     
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  11. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    Over the next 18 days or so, the company recovers from their recent setbacks and some settle down and make good use of their time, while other pursue more worldly entertainments:

    Daphne takes a day or two to drown her sorrows in Vyones, loses quite a sum of silver in a mad flight from three ruffians, after making an enemy of the most powerful crime-lord in the province. During her flight she also finds a new friend in a hulking street thug calling himself Requin, who brains two of her attackers. Once back in Les Hiboux, she sequesters herself into her chambers day after day, burning many candles down to the nub each night to unlock the mysteries of the spell that was recovered from the barrow tomb. Finally after nearly three weeks of careful transcription and dozens of broken quills and much specially prepared ink, she finishes the arcane formula and rests.

    Guillemin, spends a fair bit of time in Vyones, fully relaxing. Unfortunately he runs afoul of some disreputable folk in a tavern and breaks more than a few noses, chairs and half a dozen bottles of fine Burgundian Red. Before the watch arrives, he settles up the damages with the tavern keeper, who grudgingly accepts the silver as recompense for his losses and even goes so far as to testify on his behalf with the watch captain before he is arrested. A bit poorer, but feeling marginally better he returns to Les Hiboux and rests.

    Ganelon takes up semi-permanent lodgings within the priory, in a common bunkhouse shared with the two other acolytes who live here. While resting up from his brush with death at the hands of the devilish horrors that attacked him, he keeps himself busy, advertising three month long term for a porter who can carry his load on further expeditions into the barrows. About a week after searching, he starts to notice a strange phenomenon; many new faces of a hard-set, disreputable sort begin to crop up around the inn (almost as bad as Gypsies or Actors!). These rough looking newcomers seem well-armed, and there are two distinct groups of five and six that keep to themselves, seem to be no strangers to hardship, conflict, and arrogant as hell. However, there is also a man separate from them that appears in the village shortly thereafter armed with a spear and crossbow. This aged man claims to have lost an eye in a crusade many years ago, and despite his weathered face, and tattered rags for clothes, seems to bear himself as a veteran. After a short interview and some discussion of a wage, he agrees to work for the Hospitaller.

    About two weeks after the death of Madeline and Vandal, Prior Guillaume informs Ganelon that, he's received a message from the Bishop. The Pope himself has dispatched the Holy Inquisition to investigate the rumors of Deviltry around Les Hiboux. The Prior seems a bit excited and just as nervous at the prospect. They will supposedly arrive from Avignon within a fortnight. No one else in the village is apparently aware of their impending arrival.

    Grima goes into Vyones' pleasure houses, taverns, and baths and drowns himself in wine, women and song. Two weeks later he wakes up well outside of Vyones, in the crotch of an oak tree about 20 feet off the ground. He rubs his pounding head, shakes his very light coin purse and sighs before nimbly dropping out of the tree into some bushes below. Easy come, easy go he thinks to himself as he dusts himself off and walks off down the road to Les Hiboux, whistling a tune he picked up from a troubadour.

    Finn, the mule-handler (also known as Felix, but God, he hated that name!) saw more treasure pulled out of the ground in a single afternoon, than he'd ever seen throughout his entire life. The fact that these weird actors and performers asked him to join in as an equal partner proves too tempting an opportunity to pass up and the pull of his faith to set matters right equally fires his passion to join them. He quits his job at the stable the next day, collects his life's savings, kisses his sweetheart goodbye and runs off to Vyones to buy the best sword and armor he can afford. He comes back to Les Hiboux a week later, looking like a proper soldier ready for campaign. His family seems a bit sad, a bit disappointed, and fearful, but also proud to see him take up the cross.

    Rested, resupplied and a bit wiser perhaps? The reformed company begins speaking of their plans to return to the barrows and finally investigate the barrow indicated on the map nearly a month after first arriving in the village. Requin, informs them that he knows the swamp quite well, but that he's more familiar with its southern extent, near the road to Avignon. but with Ganelon leading the way he feels setting the path into his mind should prove no great challenge.

    The morning of the 28th of June, while you hoist packs on to your back, strap swords to your belts and and adjust the fit of your boots, Jacques informs you that he guided one of the groups of newcomers out to the barrow mounds yesterday morning and he says they intended to camp there -- which he tried to assure them was an insane idea, but to no avail. "Keep your eyes open, there's something a bit 'off' about the chap that was giving orders. I think he might be mad?"
     
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  12. AdamReith Magister Patron

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    Grima wonders whether he will get a chance to use his new sword sooner than he thought.

    Show Spoiler

    Perhaps we could sneak up on this camp and listen in a bit? Try to suss out what their intentions are?

    Assuming it's on our way to the map location of course.
     
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  13. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    The troupe sets out in the pre-dawn light, traverses the increasingly familiar path to the tombs and reaches the basalt plateau late morning without incident. There is the unmistakable din of metal striking stone echoing across the swamp.
     
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  14. SoupNazi rial billionaire Patron

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    Finn - having spent a night or three, or five drinking with a member of the party - notes that "sounding mad" reminds him of what he was told about Horatio's restless pursuit once he had that mask.

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    I'd also like to put him up for leader again... would be happy to get that 10 percent to catch up a bit faster.
     
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  15. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    The company spends a few moments trying to decide what to do, before it is agreed that someone should approach and offer a friendly greeting. The newest addition to the group, Finn asks if anybody feels good about greeting these strangers and if they might have the gift of gab. There is a long uncomfortable silence as they all turn and look at him. Merde! Finn thinks to himself.

    Finn strides across the spongy ground where the din is coming from and espies 3 figures standing on top of a barrow mound about 30 paces away -- All three are armed with either spear, sword or axe. He approaches with his hands upright in a non-threatening gesture and says loudly Bonjour! Suddenly he is startled when a, heretofore unseen, sentry with sallow skin, several missing teeth and highly suspect hygiene stands up from a clump of bushes about 10 paces to the left. He holds a loaded crossbow, thankfully pointed at the ground. "That's far enough friend." Finn asuages him with several platitudes, but the youth only flashes a crooked grin before telling Finn to move on. Not wanting to stir up trouble for no good reason Finn hastily returns to his companions and relays his findings. The group decides that it's best to leave well enough alone and they bustle quickly past the dig site, where several well-armed onlookers track them with their eyes. One at least has the decency to give a sort of perfunctory, half-hearted little wave.

    The party plunges on through the thick mist and quickly retraces their steps back to the last barrow they explored where lady Fortuna dealt such a harsh blow to Madeline and Vandal. The portal with the three skulls is firmly shut to their relief and they press on, quickly noting two other barrows along their path: One, has a stone lintel adorned with a carved stone skull and a ten-feet deep staircase, the other is unadorned in all respects. Making a couple of scribbles on the old parchment, they proceed to their prize 100 paces farther on.

    When they arrive a minute later, they are somewhat underwhelmed by the small 10 paces-wide mound and are slightly frustrated to discover that there is no visible entrance. The only hint, is a shallow depression on the south face of the barrow mound, where it has been filled with earth and is grown over with sedge, rushes and grass. Curious, several people take wooden poles and drive them into the ground where they estimate a door might be. About a foot below the surface they strike a hard rock and just in front of that the pole dives into the soft, clay two armspans. They clear away some of the dirt, digging with their hands and find the lintel stone capping the stone slab sealing the ancient tomb. It's going to take some time to dig this out. If only we'd brought some poor bastards with shovels to dig this out, it'd be open in no time, they muse to themselves silently.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2021
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  16. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Before setting out on expedition Requin asks around in the village, in the tavern, at the market for what the newcomers have done and what they bothered to purchase.
     
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  17. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Requin eyes his crowbar and pick and wonders if they would be any good in getting the door to open.
     
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  18. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    Before setting out, Requin makes a few inquiries about this rival company and learns a fair bit.

    Their leader, a weird, middle-aged, raw-boned man claims he is a surgeon who has travelled to Averoigne from Geneva. His face and arms are scrawled in ancient blue tattoos that have mostly bled together into an incomprehensible mess. He and his travelling companions speak with a strange accent that no one in the village can place. -- All that is save for Otto, a fixture at the Cock & Strumpet; an elderly Switzer and retired soldier who has lived in the village for decades. He claims to have heard Albanians talk in a similar manner of speech when he was on campaign against the Turks years back. He also tells you Armand the merchant in town, says they bought up several prybars, half-a-dozen shovels, four pick-axes, all of the mules left in the village for purchase (three), and one or two were making a nuisance of themselves at the Cock & Strumpet, mostly restricted to harassing barmaids -- pinching bottoms, grabbing a handful of breast, etc. That is until the old-tattooed, leather-face, that one of them called "Dirjan," gave them such a tongue lashing and the most murderous stare that all such amusements ceased immediately. Several apologies were offered to the offended, along with 20 deniers for causing upset.

    It's probably about a half-an-hour before midday; you estimate that you have about 10 more hours of daylight.
     
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  19. Grimgravy Cipher Patron

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    "Rolf, the shovel if you will. We can take turns at excavating, and hopefully one of my compatriots will have thought to bring another."
     
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  20. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Oughta buy Herr Otto a few drinks when we get back.
     
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  21. nikolokolus Arcane

    nikolokolus
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    working for a living is for chumps! (open)
    Who else brought a pick or a shovel? Also, who digs and what are you doing if you're not digging?
     
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  22. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Rolf and Requin dig, you dig?
     
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  23. Grimgravy Cipher Patron

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    Ganelon will keep watch when he isn't spelling Rolf.
     
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  24. nikolokolus Arcane

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    Requin and Ganelon's hireling Rolf get to the back-breaking work of removing the sod, and heavy clay that blocks the entrance to the covered barrow. Fortunately, the ground is relatively soft, but it is heavy and messy -- sticking to shovels and picks and very tough to work in -- However, despite the setbacks, about three hours after they start, the work seems like it will be complete in less than hour. However, all is not well. Your hard labor appears to have caught something or someone's attention!

    Despite the company's best efforts to keep a watch, you are all startled out of your reverie while taking a few minutes to pass a waterskin around and nibble on some hard bread. Suddenly, Requin feels the hairs stand up on the back of his neck and he looks up from his four-foot deep hole to the west, just as they emerge from the heavy mist: a pack of lean, wolves -- seven total -- are loping silently across the ground, with their ears pricked up, and their noses to the ground. The lead wolf, significantly larger and more bold than the others, pulls up and locks eyes with Requin then lowers his head in a menacing stance and lets out a vicious low growl. The beast is perhaps a mere 50 paces away from you. They aren't attacking, but they also aren't backing down.
     
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  25. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Requin, locking eyes with the wolf, sets a torch aflame and grabs his cudgel in the other arm.
    "No beast will claim to love fire much! Some more flame might scare them off! Everyone best have a torch at hand!"
     
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