View Full Version : Dead of the Night: Game Thread - Chapter One

Pages : [1] 2

08-08-2009, 12:16 AM


~Dante Alighieri, The Inferno

In a world full of contrasts, of beauty and horror, of truth and deceit, of virtue and sin, of light and of dark, there often lies little gray in between opposing extremes, though the boundaries that divide them may, nevertheless, be difficult to distinguish. It therefore becomes of paramount importance to keep a constant vigil on one's position in such a world least ye may discover one day, that thou hast crossed over into the realm of opposition unawares.

And when one has striven to combat the evils of the world, one must not fail to recognize the evils that lurk from within. For, more often than not, this has been the true downfall of many a man. Let it be known that one's own reflection pales in comparison to that which others' eyes can see with perfect clarity. And let it not be forgotten that in this Realm of Dread, many are the things that go bump...

...in the Dead of the Night.


It has been nearly a year since the Grand Conjunction took place and the autumn leaves have taken on the vivid colors of yellow and red, while a cool crisp breeze heralds the coming of winter. For now, however, the air is a tad chilly but not overly brisk. It is Thursday, the third day of October in the year 741 of the Barovian Calendar. And on this day, a lone traveler makes his way along a trail that skirts alongside the northern edge of the Vuchar River.

As he travels along, his mind is preoccupied with the thoughts of events both very recent and very distant. Unable to shake the images from his mind, and the strange and enigmatic clues that only hint at the meanings of the mysteries which haunt his every step, the traveler ponders the nature of the realm he now traverses, in the hopes that therein he will find answers to his dilemma.

Darkon, he thinks to himself, has always had the appearance of a peaceful land, but not a calm one. The crux of Darkonian society, from what he has seen and heard, is the unyielding control of its king, Azalin. Azalin's rule in this land is unseen yet unavoidable. This a kingdom of whispers and intrigue, where much is implied but little is seen; creeping nightmares exist but, for the most part, keep to the shadows where they belong. Life is placid for those who know their place, but it seems that for those folk who insist on kicking over stones they will invariably find the worms.

Darkon's wizard-king is rarely seen, but his sigil - an ornate eye surrounded by golden flames - appears everywhere: engraved above gates, hanging from the chains of office, and fluttering on blue-and-black banners. Many Darkonians ascribe supernatural properties to the fiery eye. Some see it as a lucky charm, placing their possessions under Darkon's protection. Many sailor's claim that ships whose prows are marked with the fiery eye will always find their way home, even without a crew. Other folk ascribe more malicious properties to the marks, claiming they are windows through which Azalin spies on his subjects.

The traveler pulls his cloak tighter about him as a sudden chill sends an involuntary shiver through his spine. Peering at the afternoon sky, he sees that dark clouds are rapidly advancing from the north. The thought of finding shelter from the coming storm, leads him to quicken his pace through the gently sloping river valley.

The Vuchar River, which flows though this valley,originates in the region known as the Regiones Caliginsae ("Mistlands"). And as the traveler is aware, Darkon's Misty Border continually shifts and curls, its fluctuations far more extreme than those seen in other lands. The fog may drift miles inland, giving the northern region its name. The Mistlands consist of gently rolling hills and forest glades, and due to inconsistent sunlight, mosses and lichens predominate. What little grass grows here is faded a sickly yellow and seems to whisper secrets in the cool breezes. Banks of fog continually drift through the low lying areas, supposedly concealing goblin borrows and the entrances to ancient mausoleums.

These Mistlands are home to Darkon's elven society, including the nearby settlement of Nevuchar Springs. Some folk claim ruined towers of vaguely elven design can be seen when the Misty Border recedes to its fullest, but explorers who venture into the swallowing fog to investigate those ruins never returned. Darkon's elves seldom leave their homes when the fog grows thick. They believe that the borders of reality fade as the Mists swell and lost travelers may wander out of existence entirely.

Once again the traveler is roused from his troubling thoughts as the cold patter of raindrops hits his face, quickly followed by the low grumble of a distant thunderclap. And just when the traveler feels sure that he is about to spend a night cold, wet and miserable, he spies off in the distance the welcome lights of what appears to be lamplight issuing from the windows of a fairly large building, perhaps even an inn.

Yet again the traveler quickens his pace realizing that with a little luck he might be able to make it to the building before the sky opens up with a torrential downpour, and thereby avoid a thorough soaking. "A fortunate thing," the traveler thinks to himself, for he doubts that there is another building within 5 miles of this secluded place. When the traveler gets close to the building, which is a sturdy stone structure, he sees a sign out front that reads Ardmor's Inn and Trading Post. It seems to the traveler that a rare bit of luck is with him this day and he manages to reach the door of the establishment just as the rain comes pouring down behind him.

Quickly stepping through the door and out of the rain, the traveler pauses a moment to take in his surroundings. Directly before him appears to be a small lobby of sorts with a counter and an open staircase with a banister that winds up to the second floor. A potted plant sits at the bottom of the stairs and a cabinet hangs on the wall behind the counter. On the counter rests a small copper bell, a quill, ink pot and register. To the left of the lobby the traveler takes note of a barroom and a number of patrons who are seated at tables there.

As the traveler looks into the barroom, he sees a heavy-set man headed in his direction with a look of acknowledgement. The man is balding slightly on the top but otherwise has dark hair, beard and mustache. He appears to be a good-natured man and wears the simple attire typical of an innkeeper. The man steps up to the traveler and says, "Welcome to my establishment. My name is Ardmor. What can I do for you? A room perhaps? A nice warm meal?"

08-08-2009, 07:44 PM
I am a tall human man who stands about six feet tall and around average weight. I have short brown hair and dark brown eyes. I am very young but a warrior nonetheless. I am wearing scale mail and carry a sheathed bastard sword on my left side and a steel shield across my back. As I walk into the inn that says Ardmor's Inn and Trading Post, I say a quick, quiet prayer to the Morning Lord for my great luck. "Hello my name is Alden and yes, a room would be quite nice and something to eat. How much for both?"

08-08-2009, 11:45 PM
"Well, that'll be one gold piece for the room," Ardmor tells him, "and a silver piece for the meal. All we have is stew, but it's hot and my wife, Gisele, makes as fine a stew as you ever had."

Alden thinks the price seems a bit high, but considering the remote location of the inn he realizes it is probably reasonable. Ardmor also seems to be a nice sort of fellow, and not at all the greedy sort. So he nods and pays the man without a fuss.

"Don't forget to sign the register," Ardmor tells him as he points towards the counter. "You'll be in room number four, " he says, handing a key to Alden.

Alden signs the register then heads upstairs. There he quickly locates his room and steps inside. The room is simply furnished with a bed and a chest of drawers. Under the bed, Alden finds a footlocker with a key in it, obviously left there so that guests can lock their valuables inside. Alden locks his backpack and gear away in the footlocker and sets his shield by the chest of drawers. But being cautious, he decides to keep his armor on and his sword strapped to his back.

While he is in his room, there is a knock at his door. When Alden opens it he is surprised to find an attractive girl, appearing to be about eighteen years of age, standing there with a pottery pitcher full of water and a pottery basin. The girl smiles and says in a somewhat timid voice, "Hi, I'm Imogen. I have some water for you so you can clean up."

Alden, never having much experience with creatures of the fairer sex, and being somewhat taken aback, doesn't say a word but steps to the side and lets the girl enter. She then places the pitcher of water and the basin on the chest of drawers, gives Alden another big smile and leaves.

A few moments later, Alden, after washing up a bit, heads down stairs himself and enters the barroom to get some dinner. In the barroom are seven tables, a small bar to the east, and a coat stand in the southwest corner and to Alden's left. A fireplace on the far west wall warmly lights the room and next to it in the northwest corner is a second set of stairs with a wooden railing that leads to the second floor. As Alden enters the barroom he sees a number of patrons there already:

Seated at the bar near the entryway is a fairly stout and tough looking man in his mid-twenties, with dark hair and a scraggly beard, nursing a mug of ale. He gives Alden a quick cold stare as he enters, then returns to staring at his drink. Next to him are three empty bar stools.

Sitting at the nearest table is a bearded dwarf who is likewise sipping on a mug of ale, though he appears to be lost in thought and pays no attention to Alden. There are two empty chairs at his table.

Along the south wall and to Alden's left are two tables each with two chairs. The nearest table is occupied by a young man about the same age as Alden eating some stew. He glances up at Alden, gives a pleasant smile and a nod and returns to his meal.

At the table beyond him sits a halfling who is also stuffing his face with food. He too gives Alden a glance and a smile but seems to have more of an expression of mischievousness as though some private joke had just been shared between the two.

The four tables further into the room each have four chairs around them and each table is occupied by one person.

At the nearest one sits a woman in her mid-twenties and dressed in the sort of robes one might expect a mage to wear. She is busy reading a book while picking at some bread and barely gives Alden a glance.

To the west of that table, sits an elf who stares out the window at the pouring rain while sipping on a glass of wine. He gives Alden a quick glance with his eyes only and returns to his view of the weather outside.

At the northeastern table sits a man who appears to be in his forties and is dressed in the clothes of a traveling merchant. He is busy eating a bowl of stew and does not appear to notice Alden as he enters.

And finally, in the far corner, sits a young man dressed in dark clothing. He is kicked back in his chair as he sips on a mug of ale and has a grin on his face as though he seems to be enjoying the stormy weather outside.

Just as Alden steps into the barroom the flash and boom of a nearby bolt of lightning momentarily startles everyone and serves to announce to all the occupants of the inn that the storm is now upon them.

08-09-2009, 12:43 PM
When I walk down from my room I see alot of people, a few that I would rather not want to talk to but I know I want to start a party of adventurers soon. There are a few people I would like to speak to, that halfling who I think just made a joke about me, and the woman in robes who may be a mage of some sort. I think I'll head over and see if I can speak to the woman first. As the thunder roars I give a quick prayer to the Morning Lord for sunny days. I walk over to the woman in robes and say nervously "Hello there miss, I was wondering if I could speak to you a moment, may I sit down".

08-09-2009, 01:19 PM
The woman looks up at Alden with a bit of hesitation, gives him a brief look as though she were trying to figure him out and slowly says, "Sure...have a seat. What can I do for you?"

08-09-2009, 02:28 PM
I sit down and look at the woman nervously and say "Hello my name is Alden, and I was wondering if you would like to join me in my group of adventurers. I want to go and see things that no other person has seen before, set out to new lands, explore dungeons, you know, all the great things adventurers do. Right now my group consists of only me. My master said that if I was to ever go out adventuring I was going to need someone who casts magic, a person who can heal you, a person who knows dungeons, and a warrior. I myself am a warrior. So I fit that role just fine."

08-09-2009, 02:45 PM
The woman smiles as though she just heard a joke and says, "Well... Alden...I don't know. My name is Lyons by the way. Just who is this master of yours, if you don't mind my asking, and what exactly did you have in mind? Do you have anything in particular that you want this group of yours to do?"

08-09-2009, 03:23 PM
I am puzzled. Does she think that my dream is a joke? I say, "His name was Wat, he was a friend, and a great father figure. He died just a little while ago by some type of creature. I think it was a damn vampire who did it, and like I said before, to go to places where no one has gone before, to raid dungeons, and all the other things adventurers do, but mostly to make a name for myself and the others who join me. If you wish to join me then so be it, but if not I'd rather you not waste my time."

08-09-2009, 03:48 PM
"Well," she says with a bit of a surprised look. "I tell you what...if you can come up with anything specific that you're after...something that will be worth my time and effort...and you still need a mage...and provided, of course that you can convince anyone else to join up with you, then I may be interested. Otherwise I do not wish to waste your time." She then opens her book again and starts to read.
At that point, Alden overhears the halfling at the table by the window snickering.

08-09-2009, 04:21 PM
I hear the halfling laugh again, and I know that that one was definitely towards me. I don't mind though. I walk over to his table and in a polite way say, "Hello my name is Alden, and I overheard you laughing at me. Don't worry I don't mind. I was actually going to come over here and ask if you wanted to join a group of adventurers who seek riches, and to make a name for themselves. Well what do you say? Would you like to join?"

08-09-2009, 05:19 PM
The halfling looks up at him, "Adventure huh. Why 'adventure' is my middle name! The first name is Goddle by the way, and I'm very pleased to meet you! Here, have a seat."

After Alden takes a seat, Goddle continues,"But let me ask you something first Alden. Is it really adventure you seek, or is it revenge? Yeah, I heard what you said over there. Your master was killed by some kind of creature? A vampire you think? Well don't worry. I'm not about to run away. No sir, not me!" Goddle lowers his voice to a whisper then and says, "Just don't say that word too loudly around here. It tends to spook most people if you know what I mean." He then leans back in his chair with a look of confidence and continues in a normal tone, "But not me. Nope. I ain't afraid. Why, let me tell you Alden, today must be your lucky day. 'Cause today you have met Goddle the Fearless, the greatest warrior to ever come from the wee city of Rivalis."

At about that time, Ardmor the innkeeper comes out of the door by the bar, looks over towards Alden and says, "Ah, there you are. I'm sure you're ready for your dinner by now." And without waiting for an answer, he turns and looks back through the door from which he came and calls out, "Imogen! Fetch this man some dinner and be quick about it."

From inside the door, Alden hears the faint sound of Imogen's voice, "Yes father. I'll be right there." A few moments later, Imogen arrives with a bowl of stew, a loaf of bread, silverware and napkin. After placing the food before Alden she says with a smile, "Here you go. What can I get you to drink with that?"

08-09-2009, 06:40 PM
After my talk with Goddle, Ardmor tells his daughter to fetch my food. When she comes out my hands start to sweat. Then she asks me what I want to drink. After about a minute of uhh's... I finally bring the courage to tell her just water. She smiles and giggles. After she leaves I go back to talking to Goddle "Uhh... Where was I... Oh yes, well if you want to join it's free and we split anything we find evenly".

08-09-2009, 07:20 PM
"Sounds fair enough... you smooth-talker you." Goddle grins as he glances at the retreating Imogen. "And we don't any greedy, uppity mages coming along either," he says as he shifts his glance over to Lyons. "We can do just fine without one."

Imogen returns a moment later with a glass of water and says, "Here you are," as she smiles at Alden again, sets the water on the table, then turns and leaves.

After, Imogen disappears behind the kitchen door, the young man seated at the other table by the south wall, taps Alden on the shoulder and says, "Pardon me, but I couldn't help overhearing...Did I hear you say something about a vampire?"

08-09-2009, 07:36 PM
When Goddle says that to me I want to get up and leave, " I agree, she really didn't care, but we are going to need someone who can cast magic soon."

"Oh, okay," Goddle whispers. "If you say so. But I'll be watching her."

When Imogen comes back, I almost spill the water just trying to thank her. After the man taps me on the shoulder and starts to question me about what I said about vampires, I say "Why would you like to know?" in a stern voice.

08-09-2009, 08:14 PM
The young man behind Alden, looks a little startled and says, "Oh...I'm sorry. It's just that...Well I'm concerned about such things myself, and I thought you might be in need of a cleric. I didn't mean to intrude on your conversation." The young man then goes to turn back around away from Alden.

08-09-2009, 08:58 PM
I feel stupid when the man hates vampires just as much as I do and wants to help me and I am rude to him. I say to him "Hey, I'm sorry for acting rude. It's just... my mother and father died by the hands of a vampire, and I think my master did as well. It's a touchy subject to me. I am sorry if I offended you. Let's start over. Hello my name is Alden Valdamire and yes I do need a cleric in my group. Would you like to join my group of adventurers?"

08-09-2009, 09:29 PM
The young man turns back to Alden and says, "Oh, that's alright. I understand. I suppose it would be a touchy subject for me too if I were in your situation. I too lost my father and mother when I was very young, though it had more to do with war than it did with vampires. My name is Varian Elderin, and I am a follower of Ezra, our Lady of the Mists. I saw you were approaching the inn from the east. I too am traveling in that direction. I am on a pilgrimage of sorts to the land of Mordent, though I'm in no hurry to get there if there is something more important I could be doing along the way. May I ask why you are headed that way? Perhaps, at the very least, we could travel together. I think I would enjoy your company."

08-09-2009, 10:08 PM
"Well, I'm not actually going anywhere I just walk. I walk for as long as I can, and as far as I can. I have no problem going to Mordent. If I may ask... why are you going to Mordent? I mean, I know you said you are on a pilgramige. But what do you plan to accomplish there?"

08-10-2009, 10:11 PM
"Well, in Mordent, there in the town of Mordentshire, there is a church of Ezra called the Church of Pure Hearts, and I have heard that the anchorites there do wonderful things for the sick and injured." Varian leans closer and says in a lower voice, "From what I understand, their way of thinking happens to agree with me. And I would like to learn from them and maybe see what I can do to aid their cause. But I wouldn't talk too loudly about it. You never know if there are followers or agents of the Eternal Order around, and they don't care much for talk about religions outside of the official state religion."

08-10-2009, 10:41 PM
I start to whisper, "Oh ok, well it's nice to have someone with us. My friend Goddle here will be coming with us, if that is alright with you. I think we should leave tomorrow, as long as it is nice out."

08-11-2009, 10:46 AM
"That sounds good to me," Varian says. At this point, Varian is finished with his dinner. So he grabs his chair and says, "Here, let me pull my chair over to your table," which he then does. When he sits down, he looks at Goddle and says, "Hello Goddle, pleased to meet you."

"Likewise," says Goddle. Goddle then turns to Alden and says in a low voice, "So Alden, you never really answered my question. Are you interested in seeking revenge on vampires and other monsters or is it more about seeking adventure and making a name for yourself?"

08-11-2009, 01:37 PM
I say "A little bit of both. My uncle was infected with vampirism, and he came to my father's house. After a week or so, his hunger drove him to near insanity. He fed on my mother and father, and killed them both. He let me live for some reason, and to this day I would like to find him and destroy him, not because I hate him, but because I hate what he has become. The one who killed my master, well he is going to die no matter if he is even a normal man or a vampire."

08-12-2009, 11:31 AM
At this point I walk into the barroom. I am a young woman about medium height and have brown hair and hazel eyes.

I look around the room quickly and take a seat at an empty table by the wall. As I wait for the serving girl to come over, I listen in on the conversations going on around me.

08-12-2009, 12:13 PM
Goddle looks up as the young women walks into the barroom and sits down at the table just vacated by Varian. She looks to be about sixteen years old or so and like Imogen is very attractive, though her clothes would indicate she has lived a simple and meager life thus far. Goddle, nevertheless can't seem to take his eyes off of her and he suddenly goes quiet. This in turn causes Varian to turn and look, though, unlike Goddle, he simply smiles at her but does not stare.

The other patrons in the barroom glance over at her. But only the large man at the bar turns his head around and watches her closely as she takes her seat at the nearby table. He then goes back to sipping on his mug, though it is clear that he too is somewhat fascinated by the girl, as he continues to glance over at her from time to time.

08-12-2009, 02:09 PM
I look up to see what Goddle and Varian are looking at. I see a woman who is very attractive walk into the tavern and sit down. I wonder if she would want to join my group, but I'm not going to ask her just yet. But before the day is over I will ask, or I might ask Varian if he can do it. I start to see that Goddle is staring. I start to laugh a bit and say "Goddle wipe off that drool on your mouth. I didn't even know that halflings were attracted to humans," in a whispering voice.

08-12-2009, 05:46 PM
Goddle shakes his head a bit and says in a low voice, "Huh? What? I wasn't staring. Oh, okay. Maybe a little bit. But what do you expect? I mean she may be a bit on the tall side, but still...Did you get a good look at her?"

At about that same time, Imogen comes out of the kitchen, leaving the door behind her open a slight ways, and takes a look around to see if anyone needs anything. She sees the girl sitting by the windows and walks over to her. "Hello," she says. Then she asks her,"Is there anything I can get for you?"

But before the girl has a chance to answer, there is a loud commotion from within the kitchen. First there is the sound of another door opening accompanied by footsteps and some scuffling noise. This is immediately followed by the sound of a barking dog and a woman screaming out in apparent frustration. The woman can be heard saying in a loud voice, "What in the world has gotten into that dog!"

A moment later, a large dog pokes its head out through the kitchen door and continues barking, though it is unclear what the dog is barking at. This is immediately followed by the innkeeper Ardmor, who now emerges from the door next to the front door in the lobby. He quickly heads over close to where the dog is and yells out, "Kellog! Come and get this dog!"

A young man who appears to be in his mid-twenties immediately emerges through the kitchen door, with a rather subservient look about him, and says, "Yes father, I've got him." The young man leans over the dog and grabs him by the collar, "Come on Bone Breaker," he says. "Bad dog, bad dog!" The young man then pulls the dog back into the kitchen, as Ardmor tells him, "Keep him in the barn until tonight." "Yes father," the young man is heard saying. When Kellog and the dog are gone, Ardmor mutters to himself, "Crazy dog."

Then, right when it appears the commotion has come to an end, another young man who looks to be about seventeen years of age, pops his head out of the kitchen. "Father, father!" he says rather excitedly. "The animals in the barn are all spooked by the thunderstorm outside." "Well go and calm them down and make sure their stalls are secure," Ardmor tells him with obvious frustration. At that point, the young man catches a glimpse of the young woman seated by the window and begins to stare. "Well go on!" his father tells him, "What are you waiting for?" The young man, then has a momentary look of embarrassment, and pops back into the kitchen. "And Kelsey!" the innkeeper calls out. "When you're done with that, you and your brother get cleaned up for supper!"

Finally, when the commotion comes to an end, Ardmor looks to his guests in the barroom and says, "Sorry about that folks." He then heads behind the bar asks the man there if he can get him another ale.

Meanwhile, Imogen looks at the girl by the window, rolls her eyes a bit and says "Boys!" with obvious humor. "Anyway...as I was saying...Is there anything I can get you? Something to drink? Something to eat maybe? All we have is stew by the way."

At the same time, Varian looks at Alden and says, "So Alden, are you from around here? Somehow you don't look like a typical Darkonian."

08-12-2009, 07:55 PM
I look and see all the commotion has died down and I hear Varian start to speak to me. When he is finished with his question I say to him, "No I'm from Barovia. Where are you guys from."

08-12-2009, 08:31 PM
"Well," Goddle says, he of course being the more talkative of the two. "Like I said before, I'm from the city of Rivalis, which is in the far western portion of Darkon. If we go to Mordent, with Varian, chances are we'll be passing through Rivalis. I could show you guys around if you'd like. They love me! I'm a regular hero there!"

Varian looks at him with some skepticism. "Yeah, I think you mentioned something about that. Well, I for one would like to see that for myself."

"Oh, you doubt me, do you?" says Goddle. "You'll see. I'll show you."

"Very well," replies Varian. "Should be interesting."

Meanwhile, as Goddle and Varian are talking, Lyons gets up from the nearby table, heads off for the stairs in the northwest corner and she is gone before anyone has a chance to say anything to her.

"Hey," says Goddle. "There goes our mage." He then looks at Alden and says, "Ah, don't worry. I'm sure she's just going to her room. We'll catch her in the morning if we still want her in our group. Hey, look. That table is empty now. Let's sit over there where we have more room."

The others agree, so they move to the next table over. When they do, Varian moves his chair back over to the table where the pretty girl is sitting now. Varian, who is not a bad looking fellow himself, gives the girl a smile as he does so.

Then, when the three of them are seated again, Varian says, "Anyway, to answer your question, Alden, I'm from Nevuchar Springs myself. But I learned all about Ezra from my mentor Matthew who is from Mordent."

08-12-2009, 11:09 PM
As Goddle says that he is a hero I make a quick smirk, I highly doubt that he is but I have seen crazier things. As we move to the new table all I think is that we should ask that woman sitting close to us soon if she would like to join us, before it gets too late. I say to Varian and Goddle "Hey have any of you seen a vampire?" I look more toward Varian when I speak because he is a cleric after all.

08-13-2009, 05:48 AM
As I get ready to answer Imogen, I hear the comotion from the dog and look. After the commotion dies down I turn to Imogen and kind of shakenly smile at her comment about boys and say "I'll have an ale and some stew please." After she walks away I stand up and walk over to the table where Goddie, Varian and Alden are at and ask in a quiet voice "Did I hear you say that you were going to Mordent? If you are may I travel with you?"

08-13-2009, 06:45 AM
Varian looks up and says, "Why yes, we are going to Mordent. And certainly, I believe you would be quite welcome to join us. Here, have a seat. My name is Varian, and this is Goddle and Alden. If you don't mind my asking, what interest do you have in Mordent, miss.....?",Varian asks as though fishing for a name.

08-13-2009, 08:03 AM
"Oh. Um-mm. Thank you." I say as I sit down. "My name is Amber. I'm going to Mordent for guidance." I look down at the table, then look up. "My village has a problem and I'm going there for guidance." I look around at each of them. "I would appreciate it if I could travel with you. There is safety in numbers." I say smiling shyly.

08-13-2009, 11:47 AM
I see the beautiful girl walk up to us and ask if she could go to Mordent with us. What luck! I say "Oh yes of course you can come. I was going to ask you if you wanted to join our group. We are just a group of adventurers really. Also I am wondering, I am a warrior, and Varian is a cleric, and I think Goddle here is a warrior as well, but I really never got an answer from him. I was wondering - you can still come with us - but what type of skills do you have?" in a nervous voice.

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-13-2009, 02:03 PM
At this point I enter the barroom from the lobby stairs. I grimace and turn to the right to find where the tables are. Slowly I make my way over the floor in an attempt to find some place to sit and possibly just rest for a time.

I'm a young woman of average height with fiery red hair that flows down, framing my face and reaches the center of my back. I've got deceptively human features to anyone who's not looking quite hard enough. My skin is pale to the point its almost powder white and I've got a piercing green stare as I eye a vacant seat across the room. My clothes are made of white furs that seem almost too clean and too well kept, they conceal most of the usual skin only leaving the midriff, arms and legs mostly exposed.

By my dress its obvious that I am shapely underneath the clothes and there's a confidence in my gait, but at the same time there's something inherently hidden in my expression, like a deep contemplation that might come off as anger. There's a composite long bow on my back with a quiver of arrows next to it.

As I reach the center of the room I come to a stop, as if to think of where to sit now.

08-13-2009, 02:24 PM
I look to see a woman with a longbow and a quiver of arrows strapped to her back, she seems very pale, almost reminds me of a vampire. But I highly doubt that she is. I don't really want to talk to her for she seems... different in some way. I will have to watch this woman, and see what she is up to.

08-13-2009, 09:05 PM
As the girl with the bow makes her way to the center of the barroom, a number of the inn's patrons watch her pass by including the elf sipping on his wine and the young man dressed in dark clothing in the corner of the room. The young man sets his mug of ale on the table, leans forward and says to her with a big smile on his face, "Pardon me miss, but there is plenty of room here at this table. Please, have a seat. You look like you could use a drink perhaps."

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-14-2009, 01:41 AM
I turn my eyes down, glancing at the gentlemen over the top of my nose. There's a thought in my head about his true intentions. Slowly I slide the chair back with my foot and bring my weight down in to sit in it. Running a hand through my hair, I crack a smile and sigh,"Guess I could." I offer my hand to him, "Name's Cissinei, charmed."

08-14-2009, 02:53 AM
I shyly look up at Alden, give him a smile and reply " I know a little history about some places and I'm kinda good with a mace."

I see the women with the bow come in. I watch her interact with the guy in the corner and shrink down into my chair a bit, trying not to be noticed. I also try to get closer to the person sitting next to me.

08-14-2009, 04:35 AM
Varian, sees Amber move closer to him and there is an uncomfortable look on his face as if he is unsure whether or not she moved closer to him because she's trying to be more friendly or because she wants to keep an eye on the other girl from across the table.

Varian, clears his throat, "So...anyway, Alden was just asking us if any of us had ever seen a vampire. Hope that's not a subject that bothers you Amber. I would have to say no to that. What about you Goddle?....Goddle?"

Goddle, who can't take his eyes off of Amber, stammers and says, "Huh? Oh sure, vampires, seen 'em all the time. Oh, I probably killed half a dozen or so."

Varian rolls his eyes and says, "Figures you'd say that. Guess I should have known."

Meanwhile, over at the next table, the young man takes the girl's offered hand, and perhaps encouraged by the ale he's been drinking, leans over and plants a light kiss on her hand. "Charmed indeed," he says. "The name is Mirapesh. So Cissinei, what brings you into this old inn so far away from civilization?" Mirapesh is fairly charming, in a roguish sort of way. "Say, that's a nice bow you've got there."

08-14-2009, 08:56 AM
"We may need your skills sooner than later. I am glad you joined our group. Well I think that I am going to ask the mage, Lyons tomorrow if she might join us now. I mean we are all going to Mordent, and we are all protecting each other. So I see that as a job in itself." I still look over at the pale lady a few times to see that she is sitting with another man and I vaguely remember hearing that her name was Cissinei. I am not worried about her too much, but I still will keep an eye on her for now. Don't think I will get any sleep like last night, even though I am in a very nice inn.

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-14-2009, 01:15 PM
I seem a little taken aback by the kiss on my hand at first but I still barely react. Quickly I glance around the room and then look back to Mirapesh, "I don't actually know, I've got a bit of a...memory issue."
"What about you?" I ask, "what brings you here?"

08-14-2009, 02:53 PM
"Well," says Mirapesh. "I'm just passing through. Had some business to attend to in Nevuchar Springs and now I'm on may way back to Il Aluk. I'm in the sales and acquisitions business. Would you happen to be headed that way?"

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-14-2009, 03:04 PM
I glance down and away slightly and then look back up at him, "I actually wouldn't happen to know where I am headed." My hand goes up into my curls and I stroke them back away from my cheek. Then I lean down on the back of my hand, resting my arm against the table, "All I can tell you is that I'm thirsty, lost and not very much sure of anything when you get right down to it. Like, I know I fancy this bow, but I haven't the slightest idea why..."

08-14-2009, 03:30 PM
"Well here, I think I can help you with at least one of you problems...then we'll work on the others." Mirapesh waves his hand over at Ardmor behind the bar, who, in turn calls out, "Imogen, we have another customer!"

Imogen then appears from behind the kitchen door as she says, "Yes father, I'm coming." She then looks about the room, sees Cissinei and heads over to her. "Hello, can I get you anything to eat? I'm afraid all we have is stew and bread. Or something to drink perhaps?" She turns to Mirapesh and says, "And how about you? Can I get you another ale?"

"Sure," says Mirapesh. "And I think she would like something to drink. What would you like sweetie?" he asks as he turns to Cissinei.

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-14-2009, 03:44 PM
I glance up at the girl who's come to take our order and make a bit of an uncomfortable expression as I raise my chin from my hand. With a slight variation from my last tone, I speak, "A stew of some kind and wine will be sufficient." I touch Imogen on the back of the hand lightly, then look back to Mirapesh.

When she has left the table to go and get the things, I will ask, "This Imogen, she's your daughter?" There's a curious look on my face, one Mirapesh might have trouble reading.

08-14-2009, 04:31 PM
"My daughter?!" Mirapesh says with some surprise. "Oh no. I think you misunderstood her. She's the innkeeper's daughter. Do I really look that old?" Mirapesh looks a bit deflated at this point, and leans back in his chair with a bit of a resigned expression. "Oh well, don't worry about it. Perhaps your memory isn't the only thing you're having difficulty with."

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-14-2009, 04:46 PM
"Aye, I apologize, as I said there is a little bit o' fogginess with my brain and all, its not just the memory. Its details about myself and other things in the world around me, tis all very confusing."

I sigh and glance around the room, "Maybe I tend to come off as insensitive or something." After that I stifle a giggle.

08-14-2009, 04:59 PM
Moments later, Imogen comes out with Cissinei's food and wine, then goes around the rest of the barroom checking on the other guests of the inn to see if they would like anything more.

Suddenly another flash and the loud boom of thunder from nearby reminds the inn's occupants that the constant hissing sound in the background is that of the rain as it pours down on the roof and walls of the inn. Many of those in the barroom are inclined to pause in their conversations as it occurs to them how fortunate they are to be seated comfortably inside a sturdy, warm and dry structure such as this - perhaps the only such structure for many miles in any direction - as opposed to being exposed to the harsh elements of a thunderstorm that rages on just outside these stone walls.

The barroom goes eerily quite at this point as those gathered there lose focus on the thoughts they had mere moments before. And the storm outside seems to create a great source of distraction - a mesmerizing effect, if you will, causing the room's occupants to pause in reflection as a kind of lethargy slowly creeps over them.

This same sombre mood pervades the atmosphere of the barroom late into the evening, and though the lightning and the thunder gradually move on until they are no more than occasional grumbles in the distance, the rain, which is the source of the constant thrumming sound that drives and sustains this feeling of dullness, continues on unabated.

And as the evening wears on with barely another word spoken, the inn's patrons eventually, one by one, take their leave from the others and return to their rooms upstairs. Cissinei is among the first to depart soon after she finishes her dinner, as she seems less than thrilled by the only guest of the inn who appears to have any interest in her company. But the remainder of the guests are not far behind. Alden, Goddle, Varian and Amber all agree to meet up again in the morning before they too return to their rooms upstairs, now feeling somewhat fatigued not only from their travels but from the listless conclusion of their evening in the barroom tonight as well.

As each of the inn's guests retire for the night, they each can at least take some small comfort in knowing that the constant pitter-patter of the falling rain and their tired and aching bones will help them to settle into a deep and restful sleep, while feeling safe and secure in their rooms.

08-15-2009, 01:50 AM
I am getting drowsy and I take my leave. I tell everyone to meet up here as soon as they wake up and get ready. All my equipment is stowed away but my shield and sword, both right next to me. As I fall asleep I dream of my parents like I have every night since their untimely death. I also see my master's face. He is covered in blood from a wound on his neck. My master tells me that I must find someone, someone who's name starts with Ka... After that I see my uncle's face appear trying to grab me and rip my throat out. I awake in a horrible sweat and then gradually fall back asleep, with my sword in hand.

08-15-2009, 07:04 PM
After slipping into their beds, and dousing the candles that light their rooms, the inn's occupants are immersed in a pool of darkness that is made even more so by the complete lack of moonlight on this cloud-covered, rainy night. A mild tenseness wells up within them as they are suddenly robbed of any visual acuity around them. But it soon fades away as the constant thrumming of the rain overhead once again works its magic and causes those in their beds to fall into a gradual sleep. Though it is not entirely without a disturbing dream or two, all of the inn's guests eventually succumb to a deep and restful slumber...or do they?

In the middle of the night, all occupants of the inn are suddenly awakened by a horrific din of barking, growling, and screaming issuing from somewhere downstairs. Almost within seconds, the sound of running feet is heard, quickly followed by the sound of someone banging on the doors and the frantic voice of the innkeeper as he calls all the inn's occupants to arms: "Everyone up! Everyone up! Gear for battle! The inn is under attack!" The noise however subsides quickly though it is clear that there is still some kind of disturbance going on downstairs. Each of the inn's guests is now aroused from a brief period of sleep in rooms that are every bit as dark as they were just a short while before, even for those with low-light vision, as there is no light at all. And the faint sound of these guests can be heard as they stumble around in the darkness trying to prepare themselves for whatever might await them outside their doors.

08-15-2009, 07:17 PM
I jump quickly out of bed, quickly throw on my clothes and boots. I grab my mace and sling and throw open the door. "Where." I shout at the innkeeper and run towards where he indicates.

08-15-2009, 07:24 PM
Amber is among the first guests to open a door. The hallway is dark and empty. But the glow of light and the murmur of voices can be discerned coming from the west stairwell which leads directly into the barroom below.

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-15-2009, 07:26 PM
The sudden sound rouses me from slumber and I jolt from the bed grabbing for my bow and quiver. As the innkeeper's words fade from the air I move from the bed to throw on my armor and retrieve my sword. I go to the door slowly, notching an arrow to my bow and holding it there as I move to nudge the door open a hair and peek out.

08-15-2009, 07:49 PM
As Cissinei opens her door she sees a number of the inn's guests headed down the stairwell next to her room. As she is close by she is not far behind. She heads down the stairs and clearly sees some of the patrons from the bar before, however, she sticks to the wall, bow clutched in one hand, sword hilt ready to be tugged in the other. She proceeds slowly ready to put one weapon away quickly if she needs the other.

Amber, meanwhile, runs down the stairs next to her room. At the bottom of the stairs she slides to the left with her mace at the ready and looks around.

At the bottom of the west stairwell, in the barroom which is more dimly lit than just a few hours before, making the room appear dark and foreboding, all five members of the innkeeper's family, as well as a number of the other guests, have gathered around a puddle of blood on the barroom floor. Ardmor addresses the circle of worried faces by the light of his lantern.

"It looks like we have an intruder, folks. I can't find my guard dog, Bone Breaker, and this looks like his fur in the blood. We'd better split up and search the place. My family will search your rooms upstairs. You guests search the first floor and the barn. All the outside doors should be locked by my key, and the window shutters should be closed and bolted from the inside. Let me know if you find the intruder or where he broke in....And be careful. Bone Breaker was the toughest dog I ever had."

At this point you can ask Ardmor any questions you have before he goes upstairs or just start looking around for any clues.

08-15-2009, 09:03 PM
I wake to hear barking and screaming. I grab my clothes and armor, and put them on, then I grab my shield and strap my sheath to my belt, and then grab my sword. When I finally arrive I see a pool of blood with what seems to be dog hair. I bend down and say a quick prayer to the Morning Lord, "May you watch over this animal and guide it to it's new life." I try and see where everyone is.

08-15-2009, 09:35 PM
I look around to see who is nearest to me. "We should pair up and start in the kitchen."

08-15-2009, 09:49 PM
Alden and Varian are among the last to make it downstairs, as it takes longer for them to put their armor on, and everyone is geared up for battle including Ardmor's family:

Ardmor and his entire family are wearing leather armor, and carrying shields, clubs and crossbows.

Goddle sees this and says, "Wow, look at you guys. Well, as they say, 'A family that fights together stays together'."

The dwarf that was in the barroom, is there dressed in plate mail and carrying a battle axe and six torches ready to be lit.

The big man that was at the bar is dressed in plate mail and has a shield, longsword, and dagger and is holding a lit lantern.

Varian has on his scale mail and is carrying a wooden shield, longsword, and a crossbow.

Goddle has on a suit of chain mail and carries a shield, a war hammer and a sling.

Mirapesh is wearing leather armor and carries a long sword in addition to numerous daggers.

Lyons has on a backpack and carries a dagger in one hand and a lit lantern in the other hand.

The elf that was in the barroom is wearing chainmail and carries a shield two hand axes, a shortbow and six torches ready to be lit.

The only one who is missing that was here earlier, is the older man who appeared to be a merchant.

Varian is nearest to Amber btw.

08-15-2009, 10:05 PM
"Varian, I think we should start in the kitchen. Should we grab Alden and Goddle too?" I say with a sweet voice.

08-15-2009, 10:13 PM
"Ah..sure, sounds good to me," stammers Varian.

Goddle's ears perk up. "Kitchen?...You must be reading my mind."

08-15-2009, 10:18 PM
I see Amber, Goddle, and Varian, I walk over and say, "Ok guys, ready for a real adventure.", As they tell me that we should start in the kitchen, "Alright, lets go.", I still have my sword in hand, clenched harder than ever.

08-15-2009, 10:59 PM
At that point, the dwarf walks over to Alden, Amber, Varian and Goddle and says, "Hold up there a minute folks. If you're going off into the kitchen, you're going to need some light." He looks at Lyons while pulling out a torch and says, "May I?" She nods without saying a word. The dwarf puts his shield on his back then lights his torch using her lantern. "Alright then. Lead on...Oh, by the way, the name is Krac."

Meanwhile, Lyons holds her lantern out in front of her and looks around the barroom. "Hmph," she exclaims. "Ardmor said there was an intruder and it looks like his dog may be dead. But I don't see a dead dog anywhere. And if there were an intruder, wouldn't there be rain water on the floor. I say we take a closer look around here before we go running off."

The big man in the plate mail then says, "Well you can stay here with the other cowards. Me, I'm itchin' to clock somebody's skull for gettin' me up in the middle of the night. I'm gonna take a look behind that door over there in the lobby next to the front door. Who's with me?"

08-15-2009, 11:47 PM
I lean towards Varian and whisper "What if the intuder is staying here at the inn?"

08-15-2009, 11:58 PM
"Could be", Varian whispers back.

Krac apparently overhears and says, "Perhaps the intruder is not hostile and only killed in self-defense."

"I'm thinking the intruder has already fled the inn," whispers Varian.

08-16-2009, 12:25 AM
"Then we should see if the doors and windows are latched or not." I whisper back.

08-16-2009, 01:00 AM
Goddle says, "What? We're not going into the kitchen now?" He looks back at Krac and says, "Come on guy, you're with me."

By this point, they are standing just outside the kitchen door. So Goddle opens it and peers into the dark room before him. Krac looks at the others, shrugs his shoulders and follows Goddle into the kitchen holding the torch out in front of him.

Varian then turns and starts examining the windows to see if they're locked, starting with the one nearest to the bar. He finds that one has the shutters closed and bolted just as Ardmor said they would be. So he begins to work his way west along the barroom wall checking the other windows.

Meanwhile, the big man in the plate armor reaches the front door of the inn and finds that it is locked. So he goes to the interior door next to it. It too is locked. At that point, Mirapesh steps up behind him and says, "Allow me, if you will. I believe I can get that door open." He then produces a set of thieves' tools and heads for the door. The man in plate armor looks at him suspiciously but steps aside without saying a word and lets Mirapesh begin picking the lock.

At that same time, the elf, who is standing near Lyons says, "Perhaps there are more clues to be found around this puddle of blood." He begins to take a closer look at it. "Maybe by examining it and the area around it we can determine what happened to the body of the dog."

Lyons however, does not look so convinced. "For all we know, Ardmor plays this hoax on all his guests. He's probably upstairs looting our rooms right now."

08-16-2009, 01:31 AM
"I need to go check the Barn.", he says in a very nervous voice, "Anyone who is coming with me, come with me now.", I start to walk through the kitchen to the barn, I have a hunch that if I did something like this, I would hide there.

08-16-2009, 10:15 AM
Alden steps past Krac and Goddle as he heads towards the door in the far corner of the kitchen.

The flickering light of Krac's torch reveals a large wooden table, a fireplace to the southeast, a sink to the north, and a counter to the east. Empty iron pots and grills hang in the fireplace. Over the counter hang pans and large utensils such as knives and meat cleavers. Under the counter are large cabinets. Dirty dishes and utensils soak in the sudsy water of the sink. There is a cabinet under the sink.

Krac sees Alden heading for the far door and says, "You're going to need some light if you're headed that way. I'm right behind you."

08-16-2009, 10:37 AM
"I will go with you Alden." I follow closely on alden's heels as he heads out the door. "You shouldn't go alone and we can check locks on our way."

08-16-2009, 09:05 PM
"Thanks for the support. Ok, lets go."

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-17-2009, 12:16 AM
At this point I am unsure of what's actually going on, it seems the threat of immediate danger has passed but there's been some violence reaped here and we can't be sure if the attacker is still among us.

I hold my bow down and rub the sleep from my eyes, as I brush back my hair a slightly pointed ear pokes its way out. I walk nearer to the center of the room, "Would anyone like to pair up?" I say loudly.

08-17-2009, 07:53 AM
The elf standing nearby looks around, then looks at Cissinei and says, "Well, it appears some of us have already split up into smaller groups. Why don't you stick with the mage and I. My name is Lif by the way."

The mage holding the lantern looks up from the puddle of blood before her with a frustrated look on her face. "The name is Lyons. And now that introductions are done, can we get on with this. I'd like to get some sleep sometime tonight." Looking back down she says, "It looks to me like this patch of blood leads over towards the fireplace."

"Well," says Lif. "So far there doesn't appear to be any sign of a forced entry. Maybe we're dealing with a winged creature that flew down the chimney."

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Alden reaches the door in the northeast corner and opens it. With Krac standing right behind him, his flickering torch reveals a hallway about five feet wide that runs east roughly forty feet and ends at another door, presumably beyond which lies the barn. To the right, along the south wall, are three more doors, which probably lead to the bedrooms of Ardmor's family, each spaced about five to ten feet apart. To the left, along the north wall, are two more shuttered windows. Aside from the looming dancing shadow of Alden, caused by the torchlight behind him, which momentarily startles the group, there is no movement in the hallway.

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-17-2009, 01:04 PM
I introduce myself, "My name is Cissinei, I'm a little new around here," I tell the elf and Lyons. I search around the room from where I stand for a second before thinking of something, "Could it be that this is an inside job, perhaps there's a passage somewhere about."

08-17-2009, 02:13 PM
"We should check the rooms just in case." I say in a low voice. "Something could have gone into them after the alarm was raised."

08-17-2009, 02:21 PM
From where Cissinei stands when she looks around, she notices some of the details of the fireplace. A small pile of logs sits on the one foot high granite hearth along with a set of brass chimney tools (poker, bellows, etc.). Above on the slate mantle is a tender box. The stuffed head of a wild boar is mounted over the mantle. Gazing inside the fireplace, Cissinie notices that the pile of ashes there has a few unusual looking holes where it appears some dark fluid has dripped down from above inside the chimney.

Lif, not noticing what Cissinei sees, answers her question, "I suppose it could be. But if there is a secret passageway anywhere, it could not be along one of the outer walls in the barroom. The walls are too narrow and there are far too many windows. We would need to look along the inside walls." Lif then notices where Cissinei is looking and says, "What is it? Do you see something?"

08-17-2009, 06:03 PM
I say to Amber, "Ok lets check them out."

08-18-2009, 02:37 AM
I look at the doors and move to the first door to the right. As quietly as I can, I check to see if the door is locked and it is not.

I give a look to Alden and push open the door quickly and jump to the side.

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-18-2009, 04:51 AM
I point to the pooling dark liquid, "There's something that's dripped down in the fireplace, bring the lantern...do you think you can find a mirror?" she asks.

If they can get a mirror I'll attempt to use it to see up into the hole with them close by, I won't do this alone and I won't reach up into the area where the liquid has dripped from.

08-18-2009, 07:50 AM
With Alden standing at the ready and Krac behind him holding the torch, Amber opens the door to reveal a bedroom containing a double bed in the southeast corner. There is also a chest of drawers beside the fireplace, a closet in the northwest corner, and a chair at the foot of the bed. The torchlight creates several dark areas of shadow, but initially there is no sign of an occupant.

Meanwhile, Lif and Lyons both pause for a moment to think if either of them has a mirror or knows where to find one. They shake their heads no. Varian by now has made his way along the southern wall. He has checked all of the windows and all the shutters are closed and bolted from the inside. The door in the southwest corner is locked as well. He overhears the discussion going on between the three by the fireplace and walks over. "I haven't got a mirror either", he says. "My name is Varian by the way."

Lyons and Lif look at each other, then back to Varian. After an awkward silence, Lyons sighs in frustration. "I am Lyons and this is Lif and Cisserei. Now, since none of us has a mirror, one of us is going to have to stick their head inside the fireplace and look up." She says this as if she is not about to be the one. Lif meanwhile lights up one of his torches and places it in the fireplace to get a better view inside the chimney, then lights up one for himself. It is obvious now that it is blood dripping from the chimney. Lyons looks at those around her and says, "Well, who's it going to be?"

08-18-2009, 09:55 PM
I look inside, and see if I can see anything out of the ordinary.

08-18-2009, 10:09 PM
Alden steps into the room and looks about as Krac shines his torchlight around. A tinder box and a lit lantern sit on the chest of drawers, but Alden sees nothing more, though he has yet to look under the bed or in the closet.

Krac says, "We might want to grab that lantern. This torch will only burn for so long."

08-19-2009, 12:43 AM
While they are checking out the room, I am watching the hallway to make sure no one comes up from behind.

08-19-2009, 07:59 PM
"I agree but let me look under the bed, watch my back."

08-20-2009, 12:29 AM
While Krac holds the torch low, Alden looks under the bed...

...There's nothing there.

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-21-2009, 01:07 PM
I glance to one of them and then the other, "Well its not going to be me," I protest, "Honest this is no way to treat a lady."

After a moment I will turn to the door, "I could go get someone else to help us out if its to come to that, but I'm not poking my nose in straight places."

08-21-2009, 06:25 PM
"Alright then," says Varian with a resigned look on his face. "I'll do it. The three of you just be ready in case....well, just in case. Alright?" Varian looks at the others to make sure his meaning is understood, and pauses a moment to prepare himself for whatever he might see. He then gets down on his hands and knees in front of the fireplace, leans forward and looks up.

As soon as he gets a glimpse inside the chimney his eyes grow wide with fear, he lets out a yelp and quickly ducks back out of the chimney, obviously quite startled by what he sees. But the very next moment he seems to realize that he is in no danger and appears to be slightly embarrassed about his initial reaction. Upon regaining his composure he leans forward and slowly peers up the chimney again, this time with a look of disgust on his face.

"What is it?" says Lyons. "What do you see?"

Varian is slow to answer, making the suspense that much more unbearable. But finally he says,"Well, I know where Ardmor's guard dog is now. It's been shoved up into the chimney backwards. Its bloody head and forepaws are dangling straight down. Makes it look like its diving down through the chimney with a ferocious snarl on its face." Varian's face, as he continues to stare at the gruesome spectacle before him, changes from an expression of disgust to that of wonder. "My gods," he says. "It must have taken enormous strength to shove what must be a 150 pound mastiff up a chimney with such force."

He then turns to look at at the three around him, who in turn, look at each other. And the look of fear becomes discernible in each of their eyes as it slowly dawns on them just how much danger this intruder might present to all those inside the inn.

08-22-2009, 11:13 AM
I get up off the floor, and I see nothing, I look into the closet.

08-22-2009, 03:52 PM
As Alden opens the closet door, he is startled to find someone standing there...

...or does he? No, he realizes. It is just clothes hanging on a rack, a hat on a shelf and an old pair of shoes down below. The movement of the flickering torchlight only made it appear to be a person. Looking more closely, Alden sees that there is nobody there...only the clothes of the innkeeper and his wife.

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-22-2009, 09:56 PM
I stoop down to get near the opening but I don't put my head in quite yet. With a sigh I look to Varian, "Do you think we should try and remove the poor creature or..."

I'm much too shaken to take a look myself although curiosity beckons to me. I come close to the hole, but pull away finally to stand back up.

08-22-2009, 10:12 PM
"Here Alden hand me the lantern and I'll carry it." I pause as he hands it to me. I turn to the dwarf and have him help me light it. "We should move on to the next room."

08-22-2009, 10:21 PM
Varian looks at Cissinei and says, "Well, it could provide some clues as to what killed it and what shoved it up inside the chimney. And I suppose it will have to be removed at some point. But it won't be an easy task. It's wedged up in there pretty good. It looks to me like it will need someone fairly dexterous and thin and not wearing any armor or equipment to crawl up inside a bit and work the dog loose somehow." He looks over at Lif.

"Oh no," says Lif. "You're not getting me inside a chimney with a dead dog." He looks at Cissinei and says, "What about your friend, the one you were talking to earlier tonight. I think his name was Mirapesh? He could probably do it. But then he probably wouldn't do it for free. Perhaps you could ask him...if you think it would be worth the effort."

08-22-2009, 10:47 PM
"Ok, let's head to the next room." I still want to get to the barn. I just have a feeling that something might be there, but I'll wait.

08-22-2009, 11:19 PM
Now with more light from the lantern which is being carried by Amber, Alden leads the others on to the next door in the hallway. There he pauses to make sure everyone is ready, then opens the door. Beyond the door he sees another bedroom with a smaller bed along the east wall, with its head facing south. There is also a chest of drawers and a chair along the west wall. All of the furniture and bed coverings here have a feminine quality to them indicating that this must be Imogen's bedroom. On the chest of drawers is another unlit lantern and a tinder box. Lying on the bed is a book with a bookmark in it, apparently something that Imogen was reading.

Krac holds his torch low and crouches down to look under the bed. "Nothing there," he says. It is appears that the room is unoccupied.

08-23-2009, 12:22 AM
I look at everybody and say, "Okay, lets go, there is nothing in here, unless Amber would like to check the room, I dare not look around a lady's room, and I wouldn't want any other man in there too, you got it.", I look at Amber and see if she is going to do it.

08-23-2009, 12:20 PM
"No let's move on" I say.

08-24-2009, 08:53 AM
Somewhere inside the inn, another pool of blood is forming.

Somebody has died...

08-24-2009, 10:41 AM
I head over to the last room, and I see...

08-24-2009, 11:00 AM
Alden steps over to the last door on the right as Amber and Krac follow close behind. Alden then opens the door and looks inside. The lantern carried by Amber and the torch carried by Krac illuminate the room to reveal another bedroom. There is a bed to the left and a bed to the right. Just inside the door in the northeast corner of the room is a closet door. This appears to be the bedroom of the innkeeper's two sons, Kellogg and Kelsey. There is nothing else noteworthy visible in the room.

Here, Krac takes the initiative, and steps into the room. Holding the torch out in front of him he crouches down and looks under the beds. "Nothing there," he says. Then he walks over to the closet and nods at Alden to make sure he is ready. Cautiously he opens the closet door and looks inside for a brief moment. He then turns back to Alden and says, "Nothing in here but clothes."

As the three are staring into the bed room, a dark figure slowly creeps up behind Amber.

08-24-2009, 04:05 PM
I try to see if there is anything around us, just to make sure.

Azar rolls some dice

08-25-2009, 03:34 AM
Amber however, is busy staring into the room before her.


08-25-2009, 07:31 AM
While Amber is holding the lantern and peering into the bedroom, she is startled by something tapping her backside. With a gasp she whirls around, nearly dropping the lantern in the process, only to find that it is just Goddle standing there with a frustrated look on his face.

"Can you believe it? The...", he starts to say. Then he notices Amber's startled response and says instead, "What? What's gotten into you? Why are you so jumpy?" But without waiting for a response, he continues. "Anyway, can you believe it? There's no food in the kitchen. I looked through all of the cabinets and there's no food anywhere in there. They must have all the food somewhere else."

08-25-2009, 11:33 AM
I start to laugh a little, "You were gone, hahaha. I didn't even know. Good job you sneak."

08-26-2009, 02:50 AM
"Oh Goddle! I'm so glad it's just you! You scared me half to death!" I reach over and give him a little hug. "Wait. What do you mean there's no food in the kitchen? No spices, no butter, no flour or no left overs?"

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-26-2009, 02:56 AM
Not wanting to waste the time to go and get him, I volunteer, "Sure I might regret this later," I say as I remove a bit of my armor. My body should be thin enough to get into the small space if I've removed the armor. I tie my hair back carefully and lay my bow down near the opening to the hole and get ready to crawl in. If there's trouble, I should be able to reach my bow or sword and use it.

08-26-2009, 03:43 AM
Varian, Lyons and Lif all appear to be a bit surprised that Cissinei volunteers to crawl up inside the chimney. But after getting over their initial reactions they each help her with her things and as she is crawling into the fireplace. When Cissinei first sees the dog dangling inside the chimney she realizes why Varian was so startled by it. But because she knew what to expect her reaction is a good deal more subdued. After a moment of squirming inside the chimney, Cissinei reaches the dog and starts to work on freeing it. This will take a little time she realizes.

Meanwhile, Goddle looks at Amber and says, "Well there's some spices and stuff. But that's not food. I can't eat just spices. As for leftovers, they probably fed 'em to that dog of theirs, where ever it's at. So, what have you guys found so far? Anything?"

08-26-2009, 04:04 AM
"No, we haven't found anything yet. Maybe we should move on to the barn," I say.

08-26-2009, 06:48 AM
"Sounds good to me," says Goddle. "I think I better go check on Varian and the others to see if they found anything. Let me know if you find any food."

08-26-2009, 10:44 AM
"Yeah, lets see if anyone else wants to go and help us, if that is alright with you guys, and girls.", I look at Amber and smile. "I don't know what we are going to find in there, maybe nothing, or maybe the culprit of all this."

08-26-2009, 11:58 AM
"Okay. Let's check in with the others then head to the barn."

08-26-2009, 11:58 AM
Krac says, "You mean go back to the barroom? Now? We just got here. Why don't we take a look first. We might not find anything in the barn."

08-26-2009, 01:37 PM
"Okay, here is the thing. They may have found some clues to what has happened here. Let's put it to a vote. Who wants to go back and see what everyone has discovered?"

08-26-2009, 02:14 PM
"Oh don't bother. I'm with you guys," says Krac. "Where ever you want to go I'll be right behind you." Krac starts to head back to the barroom. "So...what are you waiting for? Let's go." Krac begins to grumble to himself, "First you want to go to the kitchen, then you want to check the windows instead. Then you want to go to the barn, but we check the bedrooms instead. Now, that we're finally at the barn door, we're not going in, but instead we're going back to where we started from. Hmmph, wishy-washy humans."

08-26-2009, 04:22 PM
I just look confused, and say "Okay I will go back with Krac. Amber and Goddle can you guys stay here and watch the door and listen if anything is in there? Krac and I will be right back."

08-26-2009, 07:38 PM
"What!?", exclaims Krac. "You're changing your mind again!? You're sure this time? No wait. Don't answer. You'll just change your mind again. " The dwarf holds his arms out in frustration. "Alright, stand aside." Krac then steps up to the barn door and opens it.

He then holds his torch out in front of him to partially illuminate a large stone barn sprinkled with straw though much of the barn is already lit up. Along the east wall are about a dozen stalls though much of them is cast in dark dancing shadows created by Krac's flickering torchlight. Just to the left of him is a horse-drawn cart, ahead of him is a ladder that leads to the nearly pitch-black loft overhead, and to his right is a coop containing some two dozen chickens. In the far southeast corner are two stacks of sacks and several kegs, while above them two unlit lanterns and several wooden buckets hang from the support beams. Tools also hang on the southeast wall. And in the southwest corner is a large pen of some kind.

Much of the southern half of the barn is lit by a lantern that is being held out in front of the large man in plate armor who was in the barroom earlier. His shield is slung across his back while his other hand holds his long sword out before him. He whirls around and faces Krac as he steps into the barn, obviously startled by the dwarf's entrance.

"Wha? Who is that," he says as he strains to see through the glare of his lantern's light. "Oh, it's just you." The warrior visibly relaxes a bit and continues. "Where did you just come from?"

But Krac is slow to answer, apparently unsure of what to say.

At this point, the familiar smell of farm animals suddenly becomes noticeable though the stables appear to be fairly clean. The sound of animals shuffling nervously can be heard coming from the stalls, while the pitter-patter of the falling rain still continues from just beyond the barn's two sets of double doors.

Meanwhile, back in the barroom, Lyons looks at Lif and says, "Well, while she's crawling around in that chimney, why don't we continue looking around the barroom for any clues? Varian has already checked all the doors and windows on the south side. So let's start checking things on the north side. You start with the privy over there," as she points to the door near the stairwell. "And I'll start with the windows."

Lif looks at her with a bit of a scowl on his face, as he clearly does not like being told what to do, particularly if it involves a privy. But rather than get into an argument with the mage, he gives in and heads over to the door.

Varian sees the two of them walking off and says, "I'll stay here with Cissinei in case she needs some help." But the other two don't seem to pay him any attention.

08-26-2009, 09:37 PM
I step through the door to stand beside Krac and say,"Who are you, and what are you doing in here."

08-26-2009, 10:20 PM
"The name is Boyce," says the man in armor. "And obviously I'm in here for the same reason as you...to find the intruder that killed the innkeeper's dog. I take it the two of you haven't seen anything then."

08-26-2009, 10:53 PM
"The names Alden, and no. You see anything suspicious?"

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-27-2009, 01:03 AM
I'm still working on trying to free the dog but it's starting to come. If I can't do it by hand I will have to use my sword and try and pry it out. While in there I will remark to my left over companion, "It's incredible, I don't think any normal man could have done this in such a short time," I say.

"It's in here like it was pressed and pulled firmly for some time yet it only took us moments to reach this spot."

08-27-2009, 01:56 AM
After Alden and Krac leave. "Goddle, What do you think is going on here?" I ask in a worried tone.

08-27-2009, 06:51 AM
Goddle looks at Amber and says, "I don't know. What do you think is going on?"

Krac at that point, turns slightly and out of the corner of his eyes, sees Amber and Goddle still standing there in the hallway. He discretely waves a few of the fingers of his hand which holds his battleaxe as if he wants them to move closer but doesn't want anyone else in the barn to notice.

Meanwhile, back in the barroom, Varian says to Cissinei, "I think you're right. I just hope we're still asleep and this is just a terrible nightmare."

08-27-2009, 07:32 AM
I notice Krac wave and as quietly as I can move towards the barn door.

08-27-2009, 08:21 AM
Boyce says to Alden, "No, I just got here myself. But if you ask me, I think one of us killed that mangy mutt and there is no intruder. We need to look around in here first though. There's all kinds of places here for someone to hide in. So why don't you two check out the hayloft? I'll start looking in the stalls'"

Meanwhile, back in the barroom, Lif, while looking inside the privy which appears to have no current occupant, overhears Varian and says, "Perhaps one of us is a lycanthrope, such as a werewolf."

Lyons, as she makes her way east along the northern wall looking at the shuttered windows, says to Lif, "This place is too big. We need to split up into smaller search parties."

08-27-2009, 10:54 AM
I whisper to Krac, "Watch out, he may be the culprit. Don't get too close to him just yet."

08-27-2009, 12:24 PM
Krac whispers back to Alden, "No problem. So do we do what he says or what?"

Boyce speaks up again, "So what's it gonna be? You two just gonna stand there with your thumbs up your arsses are you gonna help me find this dog killer?"

08-27-2009, 04:50 PM
"Oh, yeah, we'll just look at the haylofts," I say with a smile on my face.

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-27-2009, 08:25 PM
I continue to work at getting the body of the dog out, and look for any distinguishing marks to see what could have done this.

08-27-2009, 09:29 PM
Using her sword, Cissinei is finally able to pry the dog free as it's weight suddenly descends on her. Sensing that she is now in need of assistance, Varian gives Cissinei a hand and helps to pull her out of the fireplace. The two of them drag the dog's corpse out of the fireplace behind her. Then Varian grabs the torch and begins a cursory look at the dog...and then at Cissinei who is now covered in soot, ash and even some of the dog's blood.

"Oh my," says Varian. "Are you alright? I'm afraid you and your clothes could use a good cleaning after all this is over at the very least."

Cissinei, meanwhile has noticed that the dog does not appear to have any cuts or puncture wounds anywhere on its body. It looks, in fact, like the dog was clubbed to death...and a couple of indentations appear to indicate what kind of blunt instrument, or two, was used - something about the size of a man's fist or slightly bigger.

Meanwhile, in the barn, Krac looks at Alden and says, "Okay, we'll have to climb the ladder one at a time though. And we'll only be able to carry a torch or a weapon but not both, since we'll have to have at least one hand free to hold on to the ladder. Even then it won't be easy. I'll go first if you want me to..." But Krac swallows hard as he looks at the ladder and appears to be hesitant as though he realizes it will be even tougher for him to climb it since he is so much shorter. "Whatever you say. It's up to you."

08-27-2009, 11:04 PM
"No, I'll go. You just watch my back.", I say with a smile, knowing that Krac looks hesitant about climbing the ladder. "Once I get up, I will help you okay." I am carrying my torch as I go up.

08-28-2009, 01:41 AM
I try to hide on the outside of the doorway to the barn and listen in.

08-28-2009, 11:01 AM
"Okay," says Krac as he intently watches both Alden climbing the ladder and Boyce as he starts his search over by the pin in the southwest corner. Once Boyce reaches the pin however, he is startled by a loud snort and something big crashing against the side of the pin. Boyce jumps back and yells out, "What the hell...!?"

This in turn makes Alden lose his hold on the ladder nearly causing him to fall. But somehow he manages to grab hold with his torch bearing hand, causing a slight scrape and a burn on his hand from an ember that falls from the tip of the torch. Alden winces from the pain but it soon passes.

Krac meanwhile just stares towards the pin with his eyes and mouth wide open, while Boyce holds his lantern out in front of him and slowly edges his way towards the pin again. There is another snort and some stomping sounds. "Oh, it's just a bull. Damn thing scared the hell out of me! Guess I better leave it alone," he says as he turns and makes his way over to the southeast corner of the barn.

Alden resumes climbing and although it's a struggle while holding the torch, after a minute or two, he reaches the point where he can see into the hayloft. Hoping that nothing jumps out at him from the darkness there, he holds the torch up to see as much of the hayloft as he can.

From his position still on the ladder, the torch lights up about two thirds of the hayloft but also creates many dancing shadows and dark corners where anything could hide. There is no railing along the edge of the hayloft and it's a ten foot drop to the floor below. Alden can see stacks of hay, sacks of grain, some barrels and other sorts of animal food.

Alden has suffered 1 hit point of damage.

08-28-2009, 06:52 PM
I climb all the way up and draw my sword. I see...

08-28-2009, 07:20 PM
Alden peers into the darkness before him. From his position just in front of the ladder he is only able to see slightly more than he did before. A distant bolt of lightning momentarily reveals a crack in the southern wall where the two doors of the hayloft come together. Then it's dark again.

Krac down below, calls up to him, "Do you see anything? Do you want me to come up? I think I can make it if I use both hands."

08-28-2009, 11:00 PM
"Yeah, let me help you up." I help Krac get up.

08-28-2009, 11:26 PM
Krac puts his axe on his back, and slowly climbs the ladder. When he gets to the top he let's Alden give him a hand. Once he's off the ladder he grabs his axe and picks up the torch again. "Okay," he says. "Ready when you are."

Meanwhile, back in the barroom, Lyons and Lif are done checking all the windows. Lyons then says to Lif, "Hey, I have an idea. Come with me. I want to take a look at something." The two of them walk over to the lobby area.

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-29-2009, 01:14 AM
After looking the dog over I sigh, "It doesn't look like an animal did this, even though I don't think that anyone ever thought that was the case..." I sheath my short sword and glance around, "Perhaps we should tell someone what's happened?"

08-29-2009, 08:34 AM
Varian looks at Cissinei. "Tell who?" he asks. "You mean the innkeeper?" He pauses for a moment to think and says, "Perhaps we should go tell the innkeeper. It's been almost half an hour since we last saw him or any of his family. Maybe we should go upstairs and check on them."

Meanwhile, Amber watches from the hallway just outside the door to the barn, as Boyce continues to check the stalls inside the barn. But he notices the light coming from Amber's lantern and slowly moves in her direction. "Who's over there?" he asks suspiciously as he creeps over. Amber then notices that she is alone there in the hallway. Goddle is gone.

Somewhere inside the inn, another person has fallen victim to the intruder.

08-29-2009, 11:36 AM
"Hey you found anything Krac?"

08-29-2009, 01:05 PM
"Uh...no'" Krac says to Alden. "I just got here. But I get where you're going. I'll take the lead now." And with that, Krac begins slowly moving towards the other side of the hayloft making sure to keep his torch out in front of him and his battle axe at the ready. As there are quite a few things in the hayloft, and consequently many places for something to hide behind, his progress is slow. And the closer he gets to the south end of the hayloft, the more prominent the sound of falling rain becomes, making it more difficult to distinguish the faint sound of movement in the hayloft.

Once or twice in fact, the movement of the flickering torch makes it look as though there is movement in the shadows. But as Krac's eyes grow suddenly wide and alert and he shines the light in the direction of the movement, he sees there is nothing there. Making sure Alden is moving along with him, he finally makes his way to the southern hayloft doors. There he stops and shines the light of his torch all around. At that point he spies something in the southwest corner that appears to be a dark humanoid shape crouched down behind something.

Alden make a perception check.

08-29-2009, 11:54 PM
"Hello?" I say stepping into the barn. "Are you a guest here in the Inn?"

08-30-2009, 12:17 AM
Boyce stops and looks at Amber with a bit of a surprised expression. "Oh," he says. "It's you. You don't remember me? The name is Boyce. I was sitting at the bar when you came into the barroom earlier tonight." He pauses a moment to get a better look at Amber. "So what were you doing there in the hallway?"

08-30-2009, 12:24 AM
"I..I..I was coming to check out the barn." I say shyly. "Did you find anything?" I say looking up at him with a look that says 'you are my hero'.

08-30-2009, 12:35 AM
A big stupid grin appears on Boyce's face. "Ah no, not yet," he says. "Ah here, why don't you stick with me? You can hold that lantern while I finish checking out the stalls. But don't get too close. 'Cuzz when I find who ever's responsible for getting me up in the middle of the night, they're gonna get it." Boyce waves his sword to emphasize his point and turns back to the stalls. But he takes one more quick look at Amber before doing so.

08-30-2009, 12:42 AM
"Well okay" I say. I move towards him, but I make sure he has plenty of room to wave his sword. Once his back is turned, I roll my eyes.

08-30-2009, 12:57 AM
As Boyce is checking the stalls, it can be easily noted that the three southern most stalls are empty. The next two have one goat each, then three sheep each, then two pigs. The last two stalls in the northeast corner of the barn have one draft horse each in them.

After checking the last stall, Boyce turns with a frustrated look on his face. "There's nothing in this barn," he says. "And no one has seen anything. Somebody here is lying. And I'm going to find out who it is if I have to beat it out of them."

08-30-2009, 01:06 AM
"Well maybe someone else has found something. Maybe we should go back to the barroom and see what anyone else has found."

08-30-2009, 10:25 AM
I try to see if anything is around me...

Azar rolls some dice

08-30-2009, 11:07 AM
Alden notices that Krac is staring intently at a dark shape behind a stack of hay. For a moment it appears to be a person. But as Krac moves closer with the torch, it becomes evident that it's only a burlap sack leaning up against the hay - another false alarm.

Krac continues to check the corners of the hayloft and behind the bails of hay. But it soon becomes clear that there is no one else in the hayloft.

At about that time, the door below them, the southern-most on the west wall of the barn opens up and out steps Mirapesh carrying a lit lantern. He looks over and sees Amber and Boyce but apparently does not realize Alden and Krac are above him in the hayloft. He calls over to Amber and Boyce, "Hey, I don't suppose you two have found any sign of our intruder."

Boyce looks over at him and says, "Nothing. How about you?"

"Well," he says. "I've searched this entire shop for any clues and found nothing." Mirapesh gives a frustrated sigh. "This search is futile. I say we set a trap to catch this intruder."

Boyce says back to him, "Amber and I are thinking about going back to the barroom to see if the others have found anything."

At about that time, the bull in the pen starts to snort and bang against the side of the pen, while the chickens in the chicken coop become very agitated. Then the animals in the stalls also become restless and begin kicking at the sides of their stalls.

Boyce begins to look around obviously trying figure out what the matter with the animals is. Mirapesh meanwhile heads back through the door from which he came. Moments later the animals in the barn begin to calm down.

08-30-2009, 11:53 AM
I yell down to everybody below and say, "Hey, you think it's invisible? Maybe that's why we can't see it."

08-30-2009, 12:08 PM
Boyce and Krac both begin to look about frantically waving their light sources around them as they do so. Boyce says, "Well, if that's the case how are we gonna find it?" He begins swinging his sword in quick intermittent swipes hoping to hit something invisible.

08-30-2009, 12:45 PM
"I think we should set a trap for Him." I say very thoughtfully.

08-30-2009, 02:25 PM
Boyce stops swinging his sword and says in obvious frustration, "Okay, any ideas on how he set this trap?"

Cardboard Tube Knight
08-31-2009, 02:30 PM
I venture back out of the room and up stairs to tell the Inn Keeper of his dog and its fate and to ask if there have been any new developments.

08-31-2009, 06:36 PM
"Hey, where did Goddle go." I say that to everyone.

08-31-2009, 07:01 PM
Boyce looks up at Alden and asks, "What the hell is a Goddle? And is anyone going to answer my question? Does anyone have any ideas on how to set a trap for this intruder, if there really is one? I mean, other than a missing pooch and a puddle of blood on the floor, we still haven't seen any evidence that there is an intruder."

08-31-2009, 10:49 PM
"Look, I have no clue but he is my halfling friend, and I haven't seen him." I climb down the ladder with both my hands. After I get down I say, "He is more important right now."

08-31-2009, 11:19 PM
Boyce says, "Oh, the halfling. Why are you so worried about him all of a sudden?"

Krac calls down to Alden, "Hey, I'm going to toss the torch down to you, then I'm coming down too, okay?" Krac then tosses the torch down and starts heading down the ladder.

Meanwhile, somewhere in the inn, a third person dies.

09-01-2009, 03:39 AM
"I won't worry about Goddie. I think we need to check in with the others."

09-01-2009, 06:42 AM
Boyce says, "I agree with her. Maybe the others have come up with something by now."

Krac then responds with, "Sounds good to me. You coming with us Alden?"

09-01-2009, 07:17 AM
I head back to the taproom the way I came.

09-01-2009, 10:31 AM
I say to Krac after I help him down, "Hey I'm going back into the kitchen and see if he went back in there to see if there was some more food. You can come if you want." I walk out the same way I came and head toward the kitchen.

09-01-2009, 12:42 PM
Amber, Alden, Krac and Boyce all head back through the hallway and into the kitchen. Goddle is not there however. So the group continues on into the barroom. When they get there they see Varian and Lif over by the fireplace. Right about that same time Goddle comes walking out of the lobby area carrying a lit lantern.

"Oh," he says. "There you guys are. I guess I just missed you."

Meanwhile, upstairs, as Cissinei turns the corner from the stairwell into the hallway, she is greeted by Ardmor and his whole family. They are headed down the hallway towards her. "Ah young lady," Ardmor says. "Have you folks discovered anything yet? We've searched everyone of these rooms up here and have found no sign of an intruder."

09-01-2009, 04:11 PM
"Goddle, where were you? I was getting worried."

09-01-2009, 05:54 PM
"Well," says Goddle. "I went to go check on everybody back here like I said I was going to. But on my way I thought I saw something going up the lobby stairs - a dark figure of some kind. So I snuck up the stairs after it to get a better look. But when I got up there and looked around, I couldn't find anyone. So did you guys find anything in the barn?"

09-01-2009, 10:57 PM
"No, I guess my suspicions where wrong. Well...," I say aloud, "Has anyone found anything?"

09-03-2009, 03:44 AM
"Did you find anything Varian?' I ask.

Cardboard Tube Knight
09-04-2009, 12:37 AM
I glance down to the floor nervous, "Well yes sir, we found something. It's the body of the pet you told us was missing. He was jammed...stuffed into a small space in one of the rooms below. I'm greatly sorry...not sure what to say. I was able to get the creature free if you'd like to look."

Doom Crow
09-04-2009, 04:23 AM
Varian nods grimly as he informs everyone about poor Bone Breaker. "Aye, we found the dog all right, dead and stuffed inside the chimney. It seems whomever killed the poor dog used a blunt object of some kind, like a hammer or a club, or even a fist. And they were strong enough to shove the 150 pound mastiff up into the chimney rear first. Not to mention the kind of speed required between the time we were all roused by the ruccus and the time it took for the first person to arrive on the scene. By the way, who was the first person to get here?"

Varian looks around to see exactly who is standing in the room at this time.

09-04-2009, 02:27 PM
"Ouch, what type of person would do such a thing to an animal.", I say with anger.

09-04-2009, 03:07 PM
As he listens to Cissinei's explanation of what she found, Ardmor's expression becomes a mixture of anguish, anger and concern for his family and the guests of the inn. Ardmor's family however is clearly distraught over the bad news while some of them, particularly Imogen, are also quite afraid. "Yes, please," Ardmor says to Cissinei. "Show me what you have found." Cissinei then leads them downstairs to the barroom where Varian is showing and telling the others what has become of Bone Breaker.

As he overhears the later part of Varian's description, Ardmor steps over to get a look at the dog's bloody corpse. "By the Gray Realms," he says. "Who, or what, could have done such a thing?" He then looks around at those gathered there in the barroom and says, "Well I see everyone is gathered here...everyone except, I believe their names are Lyons and Mirapesh, and the old merchant whose name I don't recall. Lyons and Mirapesh we saw just a little bit ago. But has anyone seen the old merchant since...since Bone Breaker was killed?" Seeing everyone shaking their heads no he continues. "Well he wasn't in his room either."

Lif speaks up at that point. "I believe his name is Rudvarien, according to the inn's register anyway. It is curious that he hasn't been seen since the dog's demise because, if I am correct," and he looks at everyone to confirm what he suspects, "all of the inn's doors and windows are still locked from the inside. This can only mean one of two things; either somebody here is lying...or the killer is still inside the inn."

"Why would anyone here lie?" Ardmor asks, "...unless one of us is the killer?"

As if on cue, a bolt of lightining sends a flash of light and a crashing boom through the room making everyone jump with a start and reminding them that a terrible storm continues to rage on outside.

"Well," Ardmor says trying to shake off the sudden chills and looking at Varian, "To answer your question, me and my boys were the first ones in here, followed by the rest of my family. After that, if I recall correctly, I think the three ladies were the first guests to arrive downstairs."

Doom Crow
09-04-2009, 07:28 PM
Giving a nod after listening, Varian addresses Ardmor. "Did any of you see or hear anything before you arrived on the scene, or once you arrived?"

He turns his head towards Lif. "I overheard you and Lyons talking about going into the lobby, and saw the two of you go off that way. Where is she?"

After a few moments of pursing his lips in thought, he surveys the group. "So this Rudvarien is still missing. When was he last seen? Perhaps we should start a search for him next. If he's not in his room then perhaps he has been avoiding us. If he is indeed the culprit then we need to find him before he finds one of us alone."

09-04-2009, 11:01 PM
"Then I suggest we group up in three, so if one of us is the killer, there will be two agianst one. At least I hope there is just one killer." I say with a little hesitation. "I'll go with Varian and Amber. I have gotten to know them better, but that may be a bad thing in this case. I can go with the the half elf woman. I think your name is Cissinei. Am I right? My name is Alden though." I go to shake her hand with a smile on my face.

09-05-2009, 11:18 AM
Ardmor turns to answer Varian. "Well, I heard Bone Breaker barking and growling...and there was some kind of scuffling noise. Then I heard Bone Breaker yelp once or twice and I wasted no time. I jumped out of bed, ran to the boys' room, banged on their door and came running into the barroom. But when I got here, all I saw was that puddle of blood. I must have just missed whatever done this. The boys came in right after me, and then the Mrs. and Imogen. I ran upstairs then and woke everyone else up."

Lif then answers Varian's next question. "Lyons and I went into the lobby to look at the register. She seemed to have an idea about something. We saw that Rudvarien was the name of the merchant. We took note of that because he was the only one that we had not seen since earlier in the evening when everyone was here in the barroom. As you all know, he kept to himself the whole evening and he was still here when I went to my room."

"Yes," says Ardmor. "He and Boyce were the last two to go their rooms, if I recall."'

Lif knods at him. "Hmm," he says. "Well, anyway, we also saw that of all the guests who are here, Goddle is the only one who is a regular visitor, which would seem to remove any suspicion from him for being the dog's killer - not to mention that he's just too physically small to have shoved the dog into the chimney."

Goddle interupts, "Hey! Watch it there! What are you tryin' to say?"

"I'm trying to say that it is unlikely you had anything to do with killing the dog."

"Oh..right." Goddle looks around at everyone sheepishly. "Uh yeah, like he said, couldn't have been me."

"Yes, I can confirm that Goddle is a regular visitor here. The rest of you I don't believe I've ever seen before," Ardmor says with just a hint of distrust.

"As for where Lyons is now," Lif continues, "she went in search of those of you who went to the barn to check on you and see if you found anything."

Boyce speaks up at this point. "Well we didn't find anything. But us just standing here talking is stupid. We need to go find this Rudvarien guy and beat some answers out of him!" Boyce gradually begins to look as though he might be ready to explode with violence, whether or not he has the answers.

So Ardmor cuts him off, "I believe Varian and Alden are right. We need to split up into groups of three or four and do another search." He looks at his sons. "Kellog, you go with Varian and Amber. Kelsey, go with Alden and Cissinei. Lif and Goddle, if you will, go with Boyce. Krac, you stick with me, the Mrs. and Imogen. I'll leave it up to each group to decide where you want to go. Does this sound good?"

09-05-2009, 07:51 PM
"Sounds good to me." I look at Varian. " Where do you think we would start?"

09-06-2009, 06:52 PM
I say to Cissinei, "Okay, any suggetsions? Myself... I think we should go find Lyons. She could be a great asset to the search."

Doom Crow
09-07-2009, 07:21 PM
"Ardmor before we go I have a question. Did any of us arrive at the inn together?" This would be something of note, in case there were more than one culprit. Turning to Amber Varian thinks about it for a moment then speaks. "Well I have been busy here and thus haven't been anywhere else yet." He turns to Kellog. "What areas are there in this place that we all must check? Is there a basement?"

09-08-2009, 11:05 AM
Ardmor says to Varian, "No, I believe all of the guests arrived during the afternoon yesterday, one at a time. Alden was the last to check in just before the storm arrived."

Kellogg turns to Varian to answer his next question. "No, there is no basement. And if someone went to the barn, then the only room that might not have been searched so far is the shop, which is kept locked. But I have a key for it. Otherwise, we'll be going back through rooms that somebody's already been in."

Doom Crow
09-09-2009, 10:16 AM
"then I suggest we head to the shop."

09-09-2009, 05:32 PM
Kellogg says to Varian, "Alright, Follow me." He then leads Varian and Amber to the door next to the front door in the lobby where he immediately notices that the door is unlocked. "That's odd," he says. "The door is unlocked." Varian, of course, realizes at this point that this was the door that Mirapesh was picking with his thieves' tools when they began searching, and Amber, no doubt, puts two and two together and realizes that Mirapesh and Boyce passed through the shop on their way to the barn earlier. "I wonder who could have unlocked it," Kellogg continues, totally unaware of Mirapesh's and Boyce's ealier activities.

Cissinei, meanwhile shakes Alden's hand and says, "Pleased to meet you, Alden. I agree. We should go in search of Lyons. Perhaps she has found something. Why else would she not return to the barroom? We should also probably go there by way of the kitchen as your friends are going through the shop."

As Cissinei, Alden and Kelsey then head off towards the kitchen, Kelsey, the younger of Ardmor's two sons, looks at Alden with an energetic expression and says, "So, isn't this exciting? I mean it's too bad about Bone Breaker and all. But golly, we have a real mystery to solve here! But I bet you're used to it though. I mean, you are a professional adventurer right? Someday I'm gonna be an adventurer too. You just wait and see. I'll be the greatest adventurer ever! So...can you give me any advice?"

09-09-2009, 11:16 PM
"Well, actually I am trying to become a great adventurer too, but if I have any advice for you, I would say, always watch your back. You never know what can happen." I say with a smile. I look at Cissinei and say, "Okay lets go, I'll lead the way." I head through the kitchen.

09-10-2009, 03:02 AM
I put on a winning smile and look a Kellogg. " I'm sure You will figure it out".

09-10-2009, 07:49 AM
Kellog gives Amber a confused expression, now apparently more bewildered than ever. Her smile seems rather disarming yet her comment appears to make him suspicious of her. Nevertheless, he pushes the door open, and keeping a close eye on Amber, he steps back to let Amber and Varian go in before him. The light of Amber's lantern reveals a counter to the west a large table in the center, and shelves along the north and south walls. The shelves and table contain a mix of items from everyday household impliments to farming tools to adventuring gear. This is obviously the Trading Post part of the inn, where Ardmor buys and sells various items.

Cardboard Tube Knight
09-10-2009, 04:54 PM
I agree and follow after Alden to find Lyons. All the while I will keep my eyes peeled for anything that gets out of place.

09-10-2009, 06:40 PM
Alden, Cissinei and Kelsey reach the kitchen which was dark until lit up by the lantern carried by Kelsey. He looks about quickly, turns to Alden and Cissinei, and says, "Well, she's obviously not here. Should we continue on to the barn?"

Meanwhile, in the shop, as the three there glance around the room, Varian notices something peculiar by the light of his torch and the lantern carried by Amber - sitting atop the table is an unlit lantern which looks identical to the one that Lyons was carrying earlier.

09-10-2009, 11:41 PM
"Yes I think we should, but I don't think we need to stay in there long, just a quick look." I start to walk to the barn.

09-11-2009, 01:45 AM
"Varian do you see something?" I ask him quietly.

Doom Crow
09-11-2009, 03:07 AM
"Aye, I see the lantern Lyons was carrying earlier, but I don't see her. I think she's been through here, how strange." Varian looks back to Amber, and then exchanges a glance with Kellog. "Be alert." The young cleric moves around the table and slowly crouches down to look under it.

09-11-2009, 07:59 AM
As Alden quickly makes his way to the barn, Kelsey, who holds the group's only source of light, tries to keep up, immediately followed by Cissinei.

Meanwhile, in the shop, Varian holds his torch out before him as he crouches down and looks under the table. To his horror he finds lying under the table the crumpled body of Lyons, her neck bent at an awkward angle, her eyes frozen wide in shock and a trickle of fresh blood falling from her open mouth.

Here, Varian needs to make a horror check (Will save) or act horrified in some manner as per the newest rules I have posted. This will be a mild horror check (but I will keep the modifiers to myself). But because there does not appear to be an immediate threat, this is one place where I would recommend acting horrified rather than take a chance on failing a horror check.

Doom Crow
09-12-2009, 04:10 AM
Varian lurches backwards and emits a hoarse yell, almost dropping his torch as his back hits the wall, causing a loud thudding noise to reverberate throughout the walls.

Horror Check

09-12-2009, 07:57 AM
As Varian quickly backs away into the wall he bumps into a shelf causing a few items on that shelf to fall to the floor. The sudden movement of Varian and his torch creates a whirlwind of dancing shadows about the room only slightly diminished by the light of Amber's lantern. On the shelf behind Varian a hand drops down as if to reach out for Varian's neck, but instead it falls limp beside Varian. A small trickle of blood runs down the backside of the hand and deposits a drop of crimson on the floor below it. The light of Amber's lantern illuminates the upper portion of the body attached to that hand, now revealed to have been hidden by the objects that fell to the floor. It is that of Mirapesh, his face also locked in a palid expression of horror and surprise with eyes and mouth wide open.

The combination of Varian's yell and the sudden appearance of the moving arm and its attached corpse causes Kellog to suddenly freeze in sheer terror. He stands there petrified as he stammers and stares at the shocking scene before him.

Alden, Cissinei and Kelsey, meanwhile, are in the hall at this point and are on their way to the barn. So they do not hear anything coming from shop just yet.

Here now, Amber either needs to act horrified, similar to Kellog, or make a horror check. Again this is a mild horror check, but again I would recommend acting horrified rather than risk failing the check. Varian's reaction above, for example, would have sufficed and the horror check would not have been necessary. Fortunately, the horror check easliy passed.

09-12-2009, 05:59 PM
I witness Varian's reaction and see the body of Mirapesh and scream at the top of my lungs. My arms hang limply at my side and my mace falls from my hand. Afterwards I run towards Varian and bury my face in his chest sobbing.

09-13-2009, 12:51 AM
I hear someone scream and rush to where I hear it.

Doom Crow
09-13-2009, 04:37 AM
"Amber! It's all right! We're ok." For now, he thinks to himself. Varian turns around and, knowing that there is no danger from dead bodies, he lifts his torch to get a better look at Mirapesh's corpse. "Kellog, I need you to get a hold of yourself and get the others."

Cardboard Tube Knight
09-13-2009, 04:57 AM
I look to Alden, "You don't think something else could be the matter here, do you?"

09-13-2009, 09:56 AM
After hearing Amber's scream, Alden opens the door leading to the barn. Unlike his first visit here, it is completely dark, but again it is soon lit up by Kelsey's lantern as he follows right behind with wide open terrified eyes and Cissinei close on his heels. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary in the barn, the three of them quickly move on to the shop where the sound of Amber's scream seems to have come from. Alden then opens the door to find Varian, Amber and Kellogg standing there amid the table and shelves full of items.

As the eastern door to the shop is thrown open, Kellogg is startled out of his frozen trance and he jumps and screams nearly dropping his lantern in the process. Standing there in the doorway, with a wildly swinging lantern coming up behind him, is an indistinguishably dark silhouette wielding a bastard sword that shimmers in the light. But the next instant the light of Varian's torch and Amber's lantern reveals the figure to be that of Alden, with Kelsey and Cissinei right behind him. Upon seeing this, Kellogg lets out a very loud sigh and slouches over in great relief as though he suddenly feels very faint.

At this point, Alden, Cissinei and Kelsey have not yet taken note of Mirapesh's body on the shelf and only Varian realizes that Lyon's body lies under the table.

Meanwhile, somewhere else in the inn, the body of a fourth victim of the intruder now grows cold.

Doom Crow
09-14-2009, 02:03 AM
Varian looks to those just entering and musters up enough composure to speak. "Our intruder has taken to murdering not just dogs. Mirapesh and Lyons have both fallen by the hand of this person, may the gods have mercy upon their souls." He lifts his torch to shed light upon Mirapesh's corpse. "Lyons is underneath this table, and Mirapesh is right here. Their necks.. It's like their heads were tiwsted around like the effort was nothing. We must gather everyone, and now. Alden! Would you do this please?"

09-14-2009, 01:05 PM
I cling fiercely to Varian while trying to calm down.

09-14-2009, 05:49 PM
"Yes of course." I start to yell a bit, "Everyone, come quickly." I walk out to the main room, and see if everyone is there."

09-15-2009, 07:50 AM
As Alden walks into the barroom, he sees Ardmor, his wife, Imogen and Krac. The four of them quickly walk over to Alden with worried expressions as Ardmor says to him, "What is the matter? Did you find something?"

Doom Crow
09-15-2009, 09:26 AM
Varian puts his arm around Amber's shoulder in an attempt to comfort her in this time of darkness. He says a prayer for the souls of the dead, and looks to those gathered in the room. "We're not safe to be in this place alone any longer."

09-15-2009, 11:53 AM
I say, "We found Lyons' and Mirapesh's bodies. Follow me!" I let everyone go in first and then I walk from behind.

09-16-2009, 03:47 AM
I compose myself and pull away from Varian. "Thank you." I say to Varian weakly. "I'll be okay now." I move closer to the body of Lyons and take a good hard look at it.

09-16-2009, 10:56 AM
As Amber takes a closer look at the body of Lyons she notices, besides the fact that her neck is bent at an awkward angle, there a few bruises in the patterns of fingers and what look like the faint scraps of fingernails around the neck as it appears that her head was twisted with a violent jerk - so violent that it caused internal bleeding, and thus the trickle of blood from her mouth. From the placement of the hand mark on her neck it appears that her killer attacked from behind and it is unlikely that she ever saw it. It also appears that her killer was at least as tall as she was almost 6 feet in height.

Ardmor and his family, as they step into the shop, let out a few gasps of astonishment and issue a few oaths as well. Ardmore then asks, "How did they get into my shop? Was there any sign of forced entry?" He then steps over behind the counter and examines a strongbox there. "It looks as though I may have been robed as well. The lock here has somehow been unlocked and there are a few coins on the floor."

At this time, the sound of heavy footsteps is heard coming down the nearby stairs and Boyce soon after appears at the doorway into the shop. "What's going on?" he asks. "I heard some kind of comotion down here."

Goddle then pops his head through the doorway. "Yeah, what's all the ruckus about?" he asks.

Varian says, "Lyons and Mirapesh have been murdered quite violently. Their heads were twisted around and their necks broken. Whomever did this was very strong, and they also seemed to have robbed Ardmor's shop. Everyone, empty out your pockets onto this table please. We must be sure none among us is the culprit." Varian is the first to do so.

Krac is the next to step forward and empty his pockets, followed by Goddle and Boyce, who grumbles about it, but does so nonetheless. Clearly none of them has any of Ardmor's stolen money. Ardmor, despite the fact that he obviously doesn't need to, empties his pockets, then has each member of their family do so - again, there is no money found.

At this point, Goddle says, "Hey, wait a minute. I have a hunch. Check the pockets of Mirapesh". Ardmor steps forward then and moves the arm of Mirapesh that still rests at his side. When he does so, a coin falls from his cold hand and hits the floor. A quick search in his pockets reveals quite a few coins there as well. "Well, it appears we have found our thief."

Varian then asks, "Is everyone here? Who is missing?"

Boyce then says, "Lif." He looks at Goddle. "Where is Lif?"

Goddle looks back at him and says, "Don't look at me. I thought he was with you?"

Doom Crow
09-16-2009, 08:11 PM
"We all need to move as one group then to avoid anyone being singled out and murdered. Where did you last see Lif? We should head there first. And we still have not found this old merchant who disappeared last night and hasn't been seen since. Everyone needs to pair up with someone while we're in this large group so that way there aren't any stragglers."

09-16-2009, 08:54 PM
Boyce looks at Varian and is obviously upset, "Yeah? So just who made you the boss around here? I'm gettin tired a takin' orders from you. So where were you when these people died, huh? You know what? I think you're the killer!" Boyce is clearly frustrated and ready to take it out on anyone at this point. He stares at Varian very threateningly and grips his sword as though he's ready for a fight - but at the same it appears that he wants somebody else to start it.

Any others nearby him gasp and back away from him, but no one apparently wants to stand in his way.

Doom Crow
09-16-2009, 09:15 PM
"I don't have the strength to break bones with my bare hands.. That's something you're probably capable of. And as far as where I was I have been in plain sight of several people here, I've never gone anywhere alone. Can you say the same, Boyce? How do we know that you're not the killer?" Varian stares right back, defiant even though this hulk is obviously bigger and stronger than he.

09-17-2009, 04:43 AM
*Using all my charms minus the spell (Chr 16)*

I walk over to Boyce and lightly rest my hand on his arm. "Varian isn't ordering you around, he's just giving good advice." I lower my voice slightly and look into his eyes. "I know you just want to protect us women, So I understand your fustration, but that is what the enemy is trying to do to you. The enemy, I'm sure, fears you the most and so is trying to get you to lose focus. And Varian is the perfect tool for the enemy to use in such a manner."


09-17-2009, 08:08 AM
Boyce, still obviously frustrated, definitely calms down at Amber's touch and soothing words. "Alright then...I'll do what you ask. But I'm warning all of you. None of you are above suspicion in my eyes."

At this point, Goddle starts to panic a bit. "We have only one chance! We should all barricade ourselves into one room and wait until more people arrive in the morning."

Krac seems to second the idea. "No matter what happens, we must all stay together."

Ardmor appears to be very uncomfortable about all of this. "I don't know. I don't like the idea of just staying in one spot and letting the intruder have the free run of the place. No telling what he might do. He could rob all of us blind."

Boyce then says, "I agree, I don't like the idea of sitting still either. We need to find this intruder. Besides, we still don't know where Lif is or the old merchant. The last time we saw Lif, we were all upstairs going back through the rooms."

Imogen then speaks up. "Perhaps the intruder is after one of us in particular. Are any of you being followed by an old enemy with a grudge?"

Doom Crow
09-17-2009, 09:14 AM
"We can't just hold up in one room. We must look for this murderer, and I say we start upstairs. Everyone, let's go, and stay together."
Varian says a prayer to Ezra for everyone's protection, then gathers his things and is set to move.

09-17-2009, 12:25 PM
Boyce says, "Alright then. But I'm guarding the rear so I can keep an eye on everyone."

Krac then says, "Very well, I volunteer to take lead. Alden, you with me?"

"That sounds good," says Ardmor. "Then perhaps we should have Varian and Cissinei. Then Amber, me and my family. Boyce and Goddle can bring up the rear. Does this sound good to everyone?"

Doom Crow
09-17-2009, 02:05 PM
"I would feel more comfortable towards the back of the group. I'll be able to see everyone and respond quickly should anyone get injured. I'll be protected since I'll be with two great warriors."

09-17-2009, 05:13 PM
"Fair enough," says Ardmor. "Amber, would you and Cissinei care to follow in behind Alden and Krac? Kellogg and I will be right behind you."

09-17-2009, 10:18 PM
"I have something to tell everyone. I have a few people that may be following me, most of wich I think are vampires, at least I think so. They killed my master and I saw them do it. They may be after me, and mabye that's why they attacked at night. But there could be any number of reasons why they attacked at night. I have been running away from these creatures for way too long. If this is my fault, I am truly sorry." I say with an emotionless voice. I stare into the crowd to see what they have to say.

09-18-2009, 02:11 AM
I look at Alden and say softly " All of us have secrets...some are deadlier that others." I look at Ardmor "That sounds good to me."

09-18-2009, 08:36 AM
"A vampire! Here?" Goddle says with astonishment. "We're all doomed! This creature is going to kill us one at a time, and there's nothing we can do! NOTHING! WE'RE ALL DOO..." Goddle starts to go hysterical until Boyce backhands him across the face.

"Knock it off you little runt! You're not helping!" Boyce yells at him. Fortunately, Goddle calms down at this point as he rubs his reddened check and glares at Boyce. "Alright then," Boyce continues. "Vampire or not, I mean to kill whoever is responsible. So let's quit standing around here. Lead on Alden and Krac."

09-20-2009, 03:20 PM
"Okay, where are we going to head first? Varian, you have any ideas?"

09-20-2009, 05:20 PM
Krac answers for him. "Weren't you listening? We're going upstairs to look for Lif and the old merchant. C'mon, let's go." Krac then takes the lead along with Alden, followed by the others walking two abreast and in this order:

Alden and Krac
Amber and Cissinei
Ardmor and Kellogg
Imogen and Gisele
Kelsey and Varian
Boyce and Goddle

The group makes their way up the stairs from the barroom and into the second floor hallway, where all the doors are closed. Room #1 is the first door in front of them as they come up the stairs.

Ardmor says, "That first room is vacant and should be unoccupied. The second room on the right side of the hallway is Varian's and the first one on the left is Cissinei's"

09-20-2009, 06:24 PM
"We should check every room....just in case."

09-20-2009, 10:52 PM
"I agree with Amber, Krac, you and me see if there is anyone in there."

09-20-2009, 11:02 PM
The door to the first room is not locked. So Krac opens it and sees that it is identical to the other guest rooms with a bed, a chest of drawers, a pottery pitcher and basin for water and a footlocker under the bed with a key in it. With his torch Krac looks under the bed and sees nothing unusual here.

From here the group continues their search in the other guest rooms using Ardmor's set of keys where needed. Varian's and Cissinei's rooms are next and nothing unusual is found in either one. At this point though, those who are carrying torches have to light up new torches as the other ones are all but burned out. Water taken from the pitcher in Varian's room is used to make sure the old torches are out.

The room next to Cissinei's is Goddle's and nothing is found there. The one next to Varian's is vacant and contains nothing of interest. The room next to that is Alden's room. And the room across the hall from his is vacant. Again nothing of importance is found in either of these. To the east of Alden's room is another vacant room and the one across the hall from it is Boyce's room. Again nother is found in either.

Room #6, on the south side of the hall, is Lif's room. As Krac goes to open this door, he is somewhat surprised to find that it is not locked. He soon discovers why. As he opens the door, he is horror stricken see to blood splattered across the floor in this room and Lif's crumpled body lying in a heap on the floor with an expression of shock frozen on his lifeless face. Krac turns in disgust at the grizzly scene before him as his face becomes pale and he grabs at his belly as though he has suddenly become ill.

Here, Alden, Amber and Cissinei must make another mild horror check (Will save) or act horrified in some manner to avoid having to make this check.

09-22-2009, 01:14 AM
I get a look at the blood and quickly turn away, towards the wall, trying disparately not to vomit. Concentrating on taking quick short breaths to calm my stomach.

09-22-2009, 10:45 PM
I shut my eyes as quickly as possible, "By the dawn, who could do this." I fall down to the ground, "If this is my fault, I will kill this damn beast."

09-23-2009, 09:57 PM
Cissinei gasps in astonishment and turns away, suddenly feeling very faint and rather queasy herself.

The rest of the group, who has not seen the horrific scene in the guest room, all start asking what it is they see with worried expressions, some of them visibly shaking with fear. Krac answers them as he pulls the door cloosed, "It's Lif. He looks to be quite dead and apparently suffered a more violent death than the others. He must have been cut or stabbed with a bladed weapon of some kind. There's a lot of blood in there."

Ardmor then says, "Perhaps the killer was in a hurry this time. He didn't make much of an effort to hide the body."

Kelsey then says, "Wouldn't it be awful if one of us were really some sort of shapeshifter?

Kellogg responds with, "Perhaps one of us is a vampire."

Boyce then shouts out to the walls around him, "Where are you cowardly monster?! I challenge you to face me!"

Imogen says in a hopeful but timid voice, "If we surrender now, maybe the killer will be merciful"

Ardmor answers her by saying, "I have my doubts about that."

"Well," says Krac. "We still haven't found the merchant, Rudvarien. I say we keep searching."

Ardmor then says, "I keep wondering why the intruder attacked Bone Breaker first."

"What was that?!" Boyce says as though he just heard an unusual noise. Suddenly he turns and runs down the hall, then heads down the stairs leading into the barroom. As Varian turns to see this he also realizes that Goddle has disappeared.

Doom Crow
09-24-2009, 09:35 PM
"Goddle is gone! Boyce, come back!! Everyone, into the bar room!!" He turns and begins rushing down the stairs after Boyce.

09-24-2009, 10:46 PM
I start to herd people into the barroom. Once everyone is in there, I walk into the room.

09-25-2009, 10:21 AM
I run after Varian to the barroom.

09-25-2009, 12:34 PM
When Varian reaches the bottom of the stairs he sees Boyce about half way across the room. Boyce glances back at Varian and says, "In the kitchen!" He then turns and continues into the kitchen.

Meanwhile, Varian is closely followed by Kelsey, then Amber, Cissinei, and Kellogg.

Moving a bit slower, but following in behind are Ardmor, Gisele, Krac and Alden.

Doom Crow
09-25-2009, 07:48 PM
Varian starts off in a dash towards the kitchen, motioning for all to follow him. He begins to think to himself about Goddle, praying that the little halfling hasn't become the next victim of this ruthless killer.

09-26-2009, 10:33 PM
Varian, using his torch to light his way, enters the kitchen just as Boyce, who carries a lit lantern, steps into the hallway at the other side of the kitchen. He pauses there long enough to look back at Varian and say, "Someone - or something- just passed through here, probably headed for the barn. I only caught a glimpse of a dark figure."

Doom Crow
09-27-2009, 01:47 AM
"Where is Goddle? Wasn't he with you? Wait for everyone else!!" Varian pauses for a moment so the rest can catch up with them. He readies his weapon in his other hand in preparation for what could lie in wait in the barn.

09-27-2009, 11:48 AM
Boyce holds where he is at while keeping an eye on the doors leading from the hallway. "Goddle was right beside me upstairs...or so I thought. But when we found Lif's body I was distracted. When I turned to look at Goddle, he was gone. That's when I heard something moving downstairs in the barroom. What I saw moving through here wasn't Goddle though - too tall. But I couldn't tell much else. It has to be the intruder. Why else would it run from me?"

As Boyce is talking, the other guests of the inn as well as Ardmor and his family, all make it to the kitchen where everyone moves into to listen to Boyce.

Ardmor asks him, "So you saw someone or something going into the kitchen, right?"

"Yes," Boyce answers with some frustration.

Kelsey then says, "That means that unless the intruder goes out into the rain, we have him - or it - cornered in that section of the house."

Krac says, "That also means that the intruder is not invisible like we thought it might be. So why did the animals in the barn start acting so weird when we were in there earlier?"

"Perhaps for the same reason that Bone Breaker was barking earlier on in the evening and we couldn't figure out what he was barking at," Ardmor says. "Maybe that's why the intruder attacked Bone Breaker first."

Cissinei than asks, "Boyce, you saw this figure moving into the kitchen. But did you actually see it moving out of the kitchen and into the hallway there?"

Boyce responds with a puzzled expression, "Uh, well no. I didn't. I just assumed..."

Imogen interrupts him with a frightened gesture, "That means, the intruder could still be hiding somewhere in here! These cabinets are big enough to hide in."

There is a brief pause in the conversation as all eyes in the room drift over towards the three cabinets under the kitchen counter. Suddenly a boom of thunder outside startles everyone as Imogen and Gisele let out screams. Moments later, now with hearts a pounding in their chests, the eyes of all those gathered in the kitchen begin to look about...searching for the one brave enough to look inside those cabinets.

09-27-2009, 03:18 PM
Quietly I say, "I'll open them." I raise my mace up and walk over to the cabinets. I stand to one side and quickly open the first door.

(I am ready to bash anything I see coming out of the door.)

09-27-2009, 05:29 PM
With a room full of people so tense it can almost be tasted, Amber flings open the first cabinet door to find...a cabinet full of wooden plates and utensils.

Letting out a bit of a sigh, she then moves on to the second cabinet and flings it open. This time...a cabinet full of spices.

Once again, showing some relief, Amber steps over to the third of the three cabinets and, now perhaps thinking it too will contain nothing of importance, flings it open to reveal...horror!

Inside the cabinet is the pale and twisted body of Goddle. His eyes bulge out disturbingly as the tip of his purple tongue sticks out of his partially open mouth. A drop of dried blood stains the edge of his lips as a small puddle of that same blood lies below, now already beginning to turn brown.

Imogen and Gisele let out ear piercing screams as several of the men gasp in astonishment. Some of the people gathered there turn away in revulsion while others stare at the gruesome scene in disbelief.

Amber, Alden and Varian time again for another horror check. Same as before but this one is not as mild due to the number of people in such a small space and the closeness of the victim.

09-28-2009, 01:04 AM
I scream and pass out.

09-28-2009, 11:45 AM
I fall to my knees and start to sob, "Why... why Goddle? You where starting to become a great friend, DAMN IT!!"

Doom Crow
09-29-2009, 12:44 AM
Varian's eyes widen and he lets out a terrible rasping noise, like a gasp and a yell mixed into one.

Horror Check

He suddenly shouts out at the top of his lungs "Show yourself, you cowardly dog!! End this sick game and reveal your true self you horrible thing!!"

09-29-2009, 08:32 AM
Unlike most of those in the room, Varian is not overcome by the horror of what he sees before him and somehow he manages to keep his wits about him - though just barely. But Varian's issued challenge is answered only by the sounds of gasping and sobbing from those nearby.

As for the others however; most remain frozen with inaction or turn to leave the room and go back into the barroom (Ardmor, Gisele, Imogen, Kellogg and Boyce) unable to remain in the same room where the poor halfling apparently met his end. Cissinei and Krac though, are soon able to tend to Amber who has passed out on the floor, making sure she was not injured in her fall. After a minute or two, Amber comes to and slowly begins to recall what has just happened.

Varian meanwhile, takes notice of something unusual - the condition of Goddle's body. While it has certainly been no more than a few minutes since Goddle was last seen upstairs with the rest of them, it is now obvious that Goddle has been dead for quite some time - perhaps an hour or more.

Doom Crow
09-29-2009, 09:38 PM
Varian keeps this knowledge to himself and moves toward the body to have a closer inspection of Goddle.

Looking up, he says solemnly "We should all move into the barroom and set up a barricade."

09-29-2009, 10:18 PM
Krac looks at Varian with a puzzled expression. "We're not going after the intruder when it appears we have him cornered?"

09-30-2009, 01:13 AM
I slowly get up and head to the barroom.

Doom Crow
09-30-2009, 11:40 PM
"It looks like he has us on the run, instead." Varian thinks a moment and then says a prayer over the corpse of poor Goddle. In the midst of his prayer, however, he whispers to himself the words needed to cast the spell of detect magic.

One of us is the killer, and he's been in our midst the entire time! He thinks to himself, shaking his head in frustration.

He rises, and then heads for the barroom slowly, making sure to take a good long look at everyone in the barroom while making it a point to be very observant of his surroundings.

10-01-2009, 03:18 AM
I watch Varian. I wonder if he has figured out who it is? I look around the room at everyone. I wonder if it's one of us. Who could it be?

10-01-2009, 07:55 AM
After casting his detect magic spell, Varian notes that several people in the kitchen and barroom have, what appear to be minor magic items on them, including the body of Goddle. But that is all.

Those still in the kitchen put up no argument. But instead look around with puzzled or suspicious looks at one another. They all follow Varian out of the kitchen and into the barroom.

Here, Cissinei finally speaks up and looking at Varian, she says, "I'm not sure I understand. Do you mind explaining why we're not going after the intruder?"

Note: I will tell you this much because I don't want you guys to waste time on this possibility - the 'intruder' is not using a magic item in anyway to disguise himself.

10-01-2009, 03:06 PM
I whisper to Varian, "It is Goddle. Don't you understand? His body has been here for far too long. It has disguised himself as Goddle. We have been walking with the killer the whole time."

Doom Crow
10-02-2009, 09:32 PM
After thinking for a moment, Varian speaks. "Because the killer is among us now most likely." He pauses for a moment, then continues. "I noticed that after inspecting Goddle's body, he had been dead for over an hour by the time we found him, yet we remember just seeing him, correct? I believe the killer is here, posing as one of us right now. My guess would be the killer replaced Boyce and killed the real Boyce during the commotion downstairs. He is very quick, after all."

10-02-2009, 09:59 PM
Boyce looks at Varian with astonishment. "What!? You think I'm the killer!? Oh, so that's how it's gonna be huh? You're tryin' to turn the table on me now. Well, I still think you're the killer. And now you feel threatened, so you accuse me! Well I'm warning you." He looks around at everyone as he holds his sword out menacingly. "I'll cut down anyone who tries to lay a hand on me!"

10-03-2009, 12:48 AM
"Put your damn sword down now Boyce, or I'll cut you down!" I have my sword and shield out. "And Varian, I can't believe you. Once you make accusations, you'll start a riot. So, now I tell everyone. Don't point any damn fingers or you will answer to me. You got it!" I say very loudly and angrily.

10-03-2009, 11:17 AM
There is a brief pause in the room, as Boyce looks very unsure if he wants to test Alden's resolve.

"Whoaaa," Kelsey then says while looking at Alden with somewhat misplaced awe. "That was awesome! I knew you were a great adventurer!"

Cissinei rolls her eyes and shakes her head at Ardmor's naive younger son, then speaks up. "Alright gentlemen, hold up a minute. Let's think this thing through. Either Boyce is telling the truth or he isn't. On the off chance that he isn't telling the truth we should keep a close eye on him. On the other hand, if he is telling the truth, then the intruder has fled through the kitchen and is now cornered in the east half of the first floor. Now we need to either come up with a way to identify the killer, if the killer is indeed among us, or make a very thorough search in the eastern half of the inn."

Here's a clue: There is a way to identify the intruder and it was almost hit upon on the previous page.

10-03-2009, 12:27 PM
"Well, who has died so far, that we know of?"

10-03-2009, 01:32 PM
I quietly think for the moment. "The animals." I look up at everyone. "It's the animals. That's why the dog died first. Animals can tell who the killer is."

10-03-2009, 01:36 PM
Cissinei answers Alden. "That we know of? Lyons, Mirapesh, Lif and Goddle. We still haven't found the merchant Rudvarien, alive or dead.

And Amber is right! The animals must be able to smell this intruder!"

Doom Crow
10-03-2009, 04:36 PM
"Then we must all head for the barn, and test this theory out."