The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

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Tribe of One
Posts: 1119
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:28 am

The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Tribe of One »

Phil waves off offers of food, insisting he's got a "pouch full of spiders and honeycomb" for a midnight snack should he need one.

As the bearded korred disappears into the winter fields, you head back to your own homes to make what preparations are needed and leave directions to be followed in your absence.

The night is cold and the excitement and fear of the journey to come keeps you up for a time, though eventually you sleep. Dreams come, filled with low, grasping branches that seem to whisper with the voices of ancient things from within the Weald.

Dawn breaks bright and clear, the reflected sunlight nearly blinding as you gather again at the gate with your provisions.

Waiting for the others, @Gamil takes out the cold iron dagger recovered from the shepherd's cave and notices something strange: it's not cold. Even after he plunges the blade into the snow, it remains at a neutral temperature. Rather than generating heat, it simply seems unaffected by the unnatural chill. There's no maker's mark on the blade, and the simple bronze hilt doesn't seem to be original to the weapon. Curious ...

You set off toward the dark line of trees north of the village at a brisk pace, better prepared for the snow than you were the day before. You reach the Weald's edge, and the giant oak where the ravens roost, a few hours before noon, your breath freezing into ice crystals in the wind.

[Go ahead and make a Vigor check against the Cold. The roll is -2 if you don't have a heavy winter cloak/clothing. Failure gives you a level of Fatigue.]

As you approach the oak, Phil slips out of a hole in the tree you had mistaken for a shadow, picking bits of honeycomb from his beard.

"Made good time, I see. Well, we'll see how fast we can move in the Weald ... snow isn't so deep, but it pays to plant each foot cautiously."

He squints at you, slowly breaking into a grin. "Come along now. I won't say there's nothing to fear, but what kind of guide would I be if I left you lost or eaten by a gripplebraun on your first visit?"

willi-hammes-store-forestwinterextension-screenshot-04.jpg

Staff in hand, he leads the way into the Weald, the dark branches overhead seeming to shrink away from your approach, before drawing in claustrophobically as the snow-covered fields disappear behind you. Here the snow is lighter, coating the stones and twisted roots beneath your feet in a layer less than an inch thick.

Moving quickly for one so weathered-looking, your fae guide slips in between the trees along what seems to be a meandering route, but which you see in hindsight allows you to cover ground quickly.

"We're not going far -- only to the first toran," he says, before noting the looks of confusion at the strange word. "A gate, of sorts. A means of traveling from one place to the next, without consideration of distance ... This one will take us to my master's realm, without the need of delving deeper into the Weald than is good for such as you."

Time passes, though in a sluggish way that leaves you wondering just how high the sun might be if you could see it through the creaking limbs overhead. Unbothered, Phil trudge on, before stopping abruptly in front of a tree bent over a fork in the trail.

magic-forest-fairytale-forest-path-snowy.jpg

"Here we are. This way -- don't tarry now, or you might be left behind."

Past the gateway, the trees press in even closer. Soon, you find yourselves squeezing through a narrow path that slopes gradually downward, with carved wooden steps interspersed among the knobby tree roots. Gradually, the air grows warmer, the snow lighter, until you find yourselves on a staircase shaded by ruby leaves, the glow of autumn all around you.

tumblr_ps1262xtsL1xmwcw2o1_640.jpg

"Ah, you're in the 'Tumnal King's Court, now. Have a care not to step off the path, or you'll really be lost," Phil says. "Don't gape, or a pixie'll fly down your gob and choke you."

The air smells of mead and oranges and you feel slightly intoxicated when you reach the bottom of the stairs. Ahead, you can see a clearing in the crimson forest, the flickering glow of bonfires escaping through the trees. Phil stops between two oaks hung with ribbons, which serve as a sort of gateway within. To one side stands a font of water, seemingly formed from pale living wood; to the other a tall, twisting vase of ebony, it's neck carved with tiny holes.

The korred looks at you expectantly, one brow cocked as if he's waiting to see what you will do.

Dramatic Task time!

The fae are notoriously obsessed with strange and fickle customs, which they usually refuse to explain. It's not unusual for mortals to be tested before any sort of audience, and you've heard many tall tales in the village of adventurers who were refused aid for seemingly minor transgressions, or extravagantly rewarded for stumbling upon just the right response.

Each character can contribute by making an appropriate Skill check: the number of successes (a Raise counts for two) you generate will help determine how favorably you are received by the fae lord.

Appropriate skills include: Notice (to pick up on cues Phil might give), Occult (for knowledge of faery lore), Performance or Persuasion (selling it).

Alternatively, you can use Common Knowledge at a -1 penalty, or go nuts with any other skill you'd like at -2. Want to try to impress the king with a gymnastic routine? Go for it with Athletics -2. Don't forget your Fatigue penalty if you have one from the morning's journey.

Once you've made your roll, include the results in your narration. Feel free to make up whatever customs you'd like, but some ideas are in this spoiler (once you've snagged a success):


Possible faery customs
  • Weapons of iron or steel should never be shown within a faery court: Either leave them outside or keep them hidden from sight
  • The font of water is meant as an offering to the forest -- after dipping a handful, you should drip a single drop into your mouth before scattering the rest on the ground
  • The black vase holds secrets -- before an audience, you are expected to whisper a secret into the vase, to show that you will keep none in conversation with the king. When you leave, you can listen to the vase to get your secret back (although you might get someone else's by accident ...)
  • It's considered ill-mannered to have someone else introduce you. Guests are expected to announce themselves, the more elaborate and outlandish, the better.





GM Bennies: 8/8

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Lelya Spriggins
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Lelya Spriggins »

Vigor vs cold at -2 she has the impulsive hindrance so left without preparing. 1d8! 1d6!: [3]+[3] = 6 Fatigued!

Perform for King: at -1due to fatigue, 1d8! 1d6!: [5]+[5] = 10 success!

I’ll prepared for the biting cold, the ever impulsive Lelya spends most of her time quietly shivering on the journey. Once in front of the king she instinctively walks to the font of water, dipping her hand in, then spilling a single drop into her mouth before enacting a slow and deliberate dance in front of the king whose end result was that the water left in her hand was scattered on the ground.

She let out a shivering sigh having finished her movements, only then realizing the old woman that she had spent much of her youth tending too, especially her floors, daily did the same dance every time Lelya came over to do chores.

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Vespernys du Lac
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Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:03 am

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Vespernys du Lac »

Vigor vs cold 4
Vigor 1d8!!: [2] = 2
Wild 1d6!!: [4] = 4
Persuasion 19
Persuasion 1d10!!: [19!!] = 19
Wild 1d6!!: [2] = 2
Autumnal King’s Court
Autumn/Afternoon
Round 0

Vespernys was glad she had remembered her winter gear this time. She watched Lelya shivering as they traveled and felt for the girl. When she could, she tried to share her cloak, but the way the path and the forest ran, it wasn’t often enough.

She wasn’t sure how long they traveled, but eventually they reached whatever this gateway was Phil had mentioned, a tree bent over the trail. Passing through, Vesper found herself surrounded not by snow and winter, but the brightly colored leaves and only moderate chill of autumn. She inhaled the sweet scent of mead and oranges, listened to the crackle of leaves underfoot, and threw back the hood of her cloak to bask in the dappled, filtered sunlight through the colored leaves.

“This is amazing,” she breathed to Phil as they reached the clearing with the fountain and the vase.

Vesper wasn’t sure what to do exactly. Lelya did some sort of dance. Vesper dug into her pack and pulled out a smaller parcel.

“I am Vespernys DuLac!” Vesper called out in a loud voice to announce herself, remembering her childhood tales. “Daughter of Duke Henri and heir presumptive to his seat of power. I come to treat with the Autumnal King, Lord of the Changing Season, Protector of the Harvest. May the Lord and Lady we pray to bless you and your court. I bring you gifts.” She placed the parcel on the edge of the fountain and unwrapped it, revealing fresh bread, a honey pot, a jug of cold milk, and a jug of sweet wine, food the stories said faeries enjoyed. “I ask permission for me and my retinue to enter your presence.”

Vesper unhooked her weapon belt, setting her sword, dagger, bow, and arrows against the fountain. Her mail shirt seemed to shine even more in the dappled autumn sun, revealing the fine, silver links that no human could forge so tightly, light as silk on her frame. Though Vesper didn’t know it, it was no steel or human-made thing, but fine elven mithral chain with slightly more blue-steel runes seeming to shimmer in the pattern, reflecting its enchantments.
Party Loot
Cold iron dirk - Gamil
Broken compass
***

[OOC=Vespernys Tracker
Vespernys Character Sheet
Parry: 7; Toughness: 9 (3)
Bennies: 4/4
Discoveries/Conviction: 0
Armor: Deflection; 5/5 PP
Arrows: 36
First aid kit: 3 uses
Money: 5c ($5)
Weapon Specialization (Bow): +2 damage with bows
Heavy Draw: If you don't move in a round, you can do Str+d6 damage with a bow instead of 2d6.[/OOC]

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Kaya
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Kaya »

Vigor vs Cold 4
Vigor 1d6!!: [3] = 3
Wild 1d6!!: [4] = 4
Persuasion 5
Persuasion 1d8!!+1: [4]+1 = 5
Wild 1d6!!+1: [1]+1 = 2
Based upon the experiences of their earlier expedition into the snowbound forest, Kaya made sure to acquire some proper winter clothing before they set off once again. Trudging through the deep snow, it proved to be a wise investment and allowed Kaya to remain free of chilblains. After some time, the creature called Phil finally lead them to the Court of the Autumn King.

The old tales of her tribe had said about the fae being fickle beings, particularly when it came to social customs. They would have to be careful what they did and said whilst in the fae's court.

"I bid thee greetings." Kaya called out, curtsying as she did so. "I am Kaya, of the Vistani tribe Vatraska."

"I am a healer of no small skill and have journeyed with the others to act in this role." She continued. "My family line has included many with the Sight and the Vistani have treated your people with respect in the past."

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Halt
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Halt »

Notice 1d8!: [5] = 5
Wild 1d6!: [4] = 4

Just another day in the woods
Vigor 1d8!: [2] = 2
Wild 1d6!: [4] = 4
Halt, for once, is speechless as he watches the land fade slowly from winter to fall the farther they from the gate they travel. The vibrant reds and golden yellows put even the finest nobleman's drapery to shame, and halt finds himself nearly tripping over every exposed root as he gapes in awe of what is the perfect autumn afternoon.

When they eventually arrive at the court, Halt is completely at a loss for what to do. Fae courts and customs are things of legends, and legends are for bards and children who refuse to go to sleep, not woodsman. So waits and watches, seeing how the knarrled korred reacts to each of the others actions. He notices the look of anticipation as Vesper behinds her heraldry, and equally notes his disappoints when it suddenly ends. His approval and the laying down of weapons is also clear.

Halt decides the safe bet is to follow in turn. He approaches the growing pile of weapons, and pulls his dagger from it's sheath, adding it to the stack. He starts to reach up for his bow, but notices a smirk on the fae's face, and scratches a spot between his should blades instead.

not that one ...just the metal then? he unties his quiver and lays it down beside his daggers.

Standing up he shouts into the gateway.

"Your honorable majesty, Master of the Harvest, Lord of the golden leaf, my name is Halt O'carrick, wanderer of the woods, naysayer of nobleman, the belligerent belittler of the bombastic. I see entry to thy court." Halt gives a flamboyant bow, hoping that whatever watches him can't seem him rolling his eyes as he faces the ground.

His presence announced, Halt takes a few steps back and slouches against a tree.
Last edited by Halt on Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:32 am, edited 5 times in total.
Halt O'Carrick
Details
Bennies: 3 / 3

Discovery Points: 1


Wounds: 0/4
Fatigue: 0/3
Parry: 5
Pace: 6
Toughness: 8(2)

Active Effects:

Notable Edges:
Woodsman: +2 to Survival and STealth in the wilds
Elan: +2 when spending a benny to reroll
Menacing: +2 to intimidation

Notable Hindrances:
Mean: -1 to persuasion
All thumbs: -2 to mechanical/electrical device rolls

Update Signature

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Jaenelle
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:18 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Jaenelle »

OOC Comments
Too Cold 1d8!!: [3] = 3
Wild Vigor 1d6!!: [4] = 4
No Fatigue

Faerie Lore 1d8!!: [2] = 2
Wild Occult 1d6!!: [3] = 3
Benny to reroll
Reroll Occult 1d8!!: [3] = 3
Wild Reroll Occult 1d6!!: [7!!] = 7
Jaenelle is grateful to Alice for her winter garb, which keeps the winter chill sufficiently at bay to leave her relatively fresh when they get to the Gate. Part of her mind can't help but note that, at the right angle, it looks like part of an Ouroborus, with half the serpent below ground.

Once through the Gate, Jaenelle is genuinely entranced; Tenders are taught about the Courts, of course, but even among the ones who live closest to the Weald, seeing one in person is typically something that will happen once in living memory. She abides by the rules the Korred speaks--particularly, of course, to stay on the path--and just tries to soak it all in, to better make a journal entry for her eventual successor.

As they reach the bottom of the steps, she considers the tableau for a moment, then calmly steps over to the vase, and, steeling herself with a blush, whispers a name into the jar. I assume the name of a secret crush will suffice. I just hope no one else gets to hear it.
Jaenelle
Human Student of the Dark Arts
OOC Comments
Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Pace: 6/d6; Parry: 5/6; Toughness: Torso/Arms 8(2); Legs 7(1); Head 6
Skills: Athletics d4, Common Knowledge d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Occult d8, Research d4, Survival d6, Spellcasting d10, Fighting d6 (+1 w/ Runesword)
Edges: AB: Magic; Trademark Weapon: Runesword
Powers: banish, darksight, protection, boost Fighting/Shooting/Athletics; light
Gear
Runesword: Str + d6, may have other properties
Ritual Dagger: Str + d4
Reward amulet: Properties unknown

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Layna
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Layna »

Vigor vs Cold Vigor 1d6!, Wild 1d6!: [3]+[2] = 5
Benny Vigor 1d6!, Wild 1d6!: [5]+[4] = 9
in the chill of the forest.

She manages to keep on the path and follow her friends, but her eyes rarely leave the trees and the wood that surround them. Never seen something like this back home, she thinks, eager to take in every sight, sound, and smell.

When they reach the odd vase and fount of water, she raises an eyebrow and tries to remember anything she's heard growing up that would make sense here.

Common Knowledge 1d8!, Wild 1d6!: [2]+[1] = 3 and subract 1
and hopes the rest of her friends' antics are enough to get them in.

Belatedly, she realizes this would have been a good time to use her idol, but the moment seems to have passed.
Layna
Untested Thief
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Notes/Edges:Curious; Fortune's Favor (+1 Benny/session); Thief
Character Sheet

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Tribe of One
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Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:28 am

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Tribe of One »

hero-1578250513812-5072.jpg
Your efforts fulfilling sylvan custom appear to be successful -- a smile spreads across Phil's bearded face, which he unsuccessfully tries to conceal with a scowl.

"Well, mayhap you're not the bunch of green saplings I took you for. Careful, though, lest you face the reaping before your time. My lord is not light-hearted on the best of days, and this is anything but that."

Having announced yourselves, you follow the korred into the autumnal glade, which seems first to expand far beyond what should be possible before contracting into something approximating the space you glimpsed outside. Fionnbharr, the Autumnal King, stands a bowshot away, his back to you, but the distance closes almost instantly as he starts to turn.

For a moment, you catch a glimpse of a face ancient and inhuman, thorns and sharp angles and eyes that glitter like stars at a new moon. As soon as you blink, the king has assumed a less intimating form, that of an elf lord with crimson hair and an old scar across one golden eye. You wonder which is his natural form, or if either of them is.
Autumn King.jpg
"Welcome, travelers from beyond the wall. It has been an age since so many mortal men stood in this court -- though not so long since last we hosted a visitor of the younger blood."

The fae lord gestures in a way that is both off-hand and commanding and you feel an overpowering urge to sit; glancing around, you see several delicate chairs, seemingly grown from living wood, that you hadn't noticed before.

"It has been but a breath, the passing of a few seasons, since the man Cormac du Lac -- your uncle, I understand -- appeared here. He called on old promises as he sought the fate of ancestors lost in the Weald. He brought gifts and honored the old ways, so we provided passage, expecting he would meet his end as all others of your kind who sought to master the Elder Green."

The king frowns and boughs crack in the surrounding trees.

"Death found his companions, but not him. It would have been better for all if he had fallen. Instead, he stumbled upon the secret of another, falling into a hole best left forgotten ... a village of ghosts and unwanted things. When he wandered in, another wandered out."

Fionnbharr studies you, clearly weighing how much to reveal.

"The one who escaped has been known by many names. The Cold Woman will suffice. She is immortal, cursed to wander in search of the man who one day might father her children. She is harmless, herself, but holds great power; the icy chill of the forlorn heart fills her form. She could turn rivers to ice if she chose, or desired more than a babe to hold to her breast. But though she chooses not to wield it, if bound, her power can be tapped by another -- as is happening now."

The fae lord pauses again, his gaze drawn to the east (if such things as directions still apply here).

"She is being held now in a crystal cage, in a ruin built by a mortal like yourselves who sought to learn the Weald's secrets. Her captor's aims are unimportant," he says, as you catch a flash of anger cross his face, while noting he does not name the captor. "Of greater concern is how the jailer's actions benefit another."

The Autumn King points to the ground, already scattered with drifts of fallen leaves.

"Since the first dawn I have been charged with stewardship of the seasons. Ever in conflict, ever at war in pursuit of balance. As the long days pass, I take up Summer's spear, reforge it in the bonfires of Saimhann, fill my horn with the harvest's bounty and armor myself with leaves of flame. Against the Winter King, I am fated to lose, but victory comes in withstanding the seige, delaying the waxing of his power so Spring may come and cast him low."

"This unnatural cold threatens to upend that balance. My own power wanes, far too soon, as the Winter King gathers strength. Should the frost wax unabated, he will emerge, unchallenged, and his icy grip will be unassailable."

Again, Fionnbharr looks uncomfortable, a sense of doom hanging over his otherworldly countenance. "I cannot act directly in this, lest my transgressions kindle a fire that cannot be contained. And so I call on you, to mend the breach your kinsman has created. You must free the Cold Woman and put an end to this winter before we are all -- mortal and immortal alike -- cut down by the icy wind."

As he finishes his speech and looks to you, you feel as if a spell is broken. Although some of the faery king's fear lingers, the power that held you in place as he spoke has lifted.
GM Bennies: 8/8

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Gamil
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:09 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Gamil »

Gamil looks at Fionnbahrr, not necessarily shocked but yes he is shocked.

"Fionnbahrr, King of Autumn, it has been many generations since the immortals have asked any favors of the mortals."

"What aid could you give in this endeavor without jeopordazing your obligations and duties?"

"Maybe a guide? Maybe an object? Maybe a glimpse into the future?"

"I have access to records of the past but counting them for the entire story or the whole truth is folly. Maybe you could fill in some details from the Fae's perspective."

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Vespernys du Lac
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:03 am

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Vespernys du Lac »

Autumnal King’s Court
Autumn/Afternoon
Round 0

Coming into the presence of the Autumnal King, Vespernys went into a deep, formal bow, as she had been trained when she visited the King in the South, her father’s ostensible liege lord. On straightening, she found a chair to sit in and listen to the fae king’s story.

There were many moving parts. Her uncle, and whatever mission led him into the Weald; this...Cold Woman; the being who had captured her; and apparently her jailer; and the Winter King, another fae lord?

“Who is it who has captured her, my lord?” Vesper asked. “And you know where this ruin of his is? Why do you say his aims are unimportant? And what of my uncle? Can he be freed of this ghostly village? Do we simply return the Cold Woman? We will need the location of this village, also.” She didn’t want to leave her Uncle Cormac behind if she could help free him. With her father gone, he would be the natural man to sit on the throne until his return, not Vesper, and not her mother.

“What are we facing? And will we need anything special to face it?”
Party Loot
Broken compass
***

[OOC=Vespernys Tracker
Vespernys Character Sheet
Parry: 7; Toughness: 9 (3)
Bennies: 4/4
Discoveries/Conviction: 0
Armor: Deflection; 5/5 PP
Arrows: 36
First aid kit: 3 uses
Money: 5c ($5)
Weapon Specialization (Bow): +2 damage with bows
Heavy Draw: If you don't move in a round, you can do Str+d6 damage with a bow instead of 2d6.[/OOC]

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Kaya
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:27 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Kaya »

Kaya listened as the Autumn King spoke, least they'd gotten an audience with him which was a promising sign. Though she frowned as she heard him talk of another, much larger threat. This sounded like it bode ill for the Weald and beyond, certainly an absolute disaster for their little village.

She began to wonder whether this was the 'grave threat' that the seer in her tribe had mentioned and tasked her with watching over Hirstwall. It seemed like it fitted the bill, but there was no way to be sure for certain until it was defeated.

Right now it seemed that their task had grown.

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Lelya Spriggins
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 05, 2020 10:05 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Lelya Spriggins »

Lelya utterly fails in her excitement over a quest with impossible odds and the world hanging in the balance. Her the hero she aand offers her pledge, ”I Lelya, daughter of Jack the Beanstalk climber, weilder of Wolf’s Bane, and keeper of my grandmother’s hearth herby pledge upon my life to free the Cold Woman.” Having picked up on a handful of customs she tried to make her introduction as grand as possible, while at the same time keeping her weapon out of sight. As her words ended she finished her jig at the black vase whispering into it, “But I know not the way.”

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Jaenelle
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:18 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Jaenelle »

Jaenelle sits in silence with the others as the King of Autumn explains the situation, her mind calling up another Tender saying: The error of a commoner will bring ruin to his family, but the folly of a noble can bring doom to all. She listens to the rest of the tale, and then to the questions asked, though she winces a bit when Vespernys queries about the motives of the 'jailer'--it's clear to Jaenelle that this is a topic not to be broached lightly, if at all.

Only at the end of that does she add her own query. "Have you any idea of how we might open this crystal cage, Lord of Autumn?"
Jaenelle
Human Student of the Dark Arts
OOC Comments
Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Pace: 6/d6; Parry: 5/6; Toughness: Torso/Arms 8(2); Legs 7(1); Head 6
Skills: Athletics d4, Common Knowledge d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Occult d8, Research d4, Survival d6, Spellcasting d10, Fighting d6 (+1 w/ Runesword)
Edges: AB: Magic; Trademark Weapon: Runesword
Powers: banish, darksight, protection, boost Fighting/Shooting/Athletics; light
Gear
Runesword: Str + d6, may have other properties
Ritual Dagger: Str + d4
Reward amulet: Properties unknown

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Halt
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:08 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Halt »

Tribe of One wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:18 pm
Again, Fionnbharr looks uncomfortable, a sense of doom hanging over his otherworldly countenance. "I cannot act directly in this, lest my transgressions kindle a fire that cannot be contained. And so I call on you, to mend the breach your kinsman has created. You must free the Cold Woman and put an end to this winter before we are all -- mortal and immortal alike -- cut down by the icy wind."
Halt is released from whatever it was that held him transfixed and unable to respond - likely a good thing, considering some of the less than respectful retorts to some of the 'Tumnal King's comments. He hesitates a moment, unsure if it is wise for him to speak. Halt doesn't normally fear speaking his mind, but this thing seems old and powerful.

In the end Halt gives way to his curiosity, but speaks slightly more politely than he normally would.

"What do you mean you can't act directly in this? It sounds like you are talking about an endless winter if this isnt fixed, and that sounds way to serious to trust to a bunch of reckless youths from a nearby village."

After hearing Lelya and Vesper's responses Halt sighs.

"Well I guess we are doing this... I hope you have a back up plan though...
Halt O'Carrick
Details
Bennies: 3 / 3

Discovery Points: 1


Wounds: 0/4
Fatigue: 0/3
Parry: 5
Pace: 6
Toughness: 8(2)

Active Effects:

Notable Edges:
Woodsman: +2 to Survival and STealth in the wilds
Elan: +2 when spending a benny to reroll
Menacing: +2 to intimidation

Notable Hindrances:
Mean: -1 to persuasion
All thumbs: -2 to mechanical/electrical device rolls

Update Signature

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Layna
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 2:46 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Layna »

In a reply to the king, barely louder than a whisper, Layna asks the question that is burning in her mind. "Who else have you sent to do this already? As @Halt says, in a matter of this import, we surely are not the first. Who were they, and what befell them?"
Layna
Untested Thief
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Notes/Edges:Curious; Fortune's Favor (+1 Benny/session); Thief
Character Sheet

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Tribe of One
Posts: 1119
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:28 am

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Tribe of One »

Fionnbharr listens passively as the group reacts to the task he has set. As the questions pile on, a fire seems to kindle in his eyes, his brow lowering as a silent rage builds. For a moment, he appears ready to lash out, his fury manifesting like a buzzing in the air the moment before lightning strikes. But the fire abates almost as suddenly, as if blown out by a chill wind.

"I ... do not wish to speak more of this," he says, seeming to shrink as he is overcome with weariness. "Phillabaritonhasselbrackentosh, my most loyal servant, will provide the answers you seek, such as they are. Succeed, and upon your return I will lend my aid in locating your uncle. Fail ... well. Should that happen, I don't expect we will meet again."

He turns without another word and moves off, each gliding step following more slowly than the last, as dried leaves swirl in his wake. In the blink of an eye he is gone, as crows cry unseen from the trees overhead.

The korred, Phil, steps forward as his master disappears, wringing his hands around his gnarled walking staff.
Phil.png
Phil.png (175.29 KiB) Viewed 347 times
"Sorry about that. I feared for a moment he might ... don't take it personally. His power weakens already, and his patience with it. This ... betrayal ... has wounded him deeply."

The wooly fae motions for you to take a seat again, but this time without the compulsion you felt when the Autumn King did the same. He leans in, speaking softly, as if sharing a secret.

"The one who's got the Cold Woman is a former champion of the king, you see. A turncoat, whose loyalty'd never been in doubt, though perchance it should've been."

Phil begins to scratch idly in the dirt with his staff as he speaks, stirring up dust devils in the cold wind that blows through the empty grove. The dust soon begins to twist and bend, forming simple figures that act out the tale he weaves.

"When word reached the king that the Cold Woman was loose, he thought to capture her and gain advantage over his rival in the Winter Court. See, the ice king's got some connection to the Cold Woman, though none claim to know what it is -- even my lord, I think, only guesses at the shadow of it. So once your uncle'd loosed her, he sent his champion, a boggart named Thurnbarch, to find her and bring her here."

The korred grimaces when he mentions the champion's name.

"A real redcap, that one. Not the sort to dance in the glades when there was blood to spill. They say Thurnbarch cut up one of the first bearsark raiders that ever wandered into the wood, carved scrying sticks from his bones and kenned the fury in his blood, learning to puff up big as an ogre," Phil says. "I can attest to the last, having seen him do it once when a beast from the dark of the Weald went on a rampage back when the dwarves still delved beneath the forest loam."

"A fae of simple pleasures, if you could call them that, and one who'd always served the king without complaint. But turns out his black heart'd held desires Fionnbharr ignored or had never seen ...

"Whatever his reasons, Thurnbarch decided to keep the Cold Woman for his own, killed the rest of the Autumn King's servants that were with him and high-tailed it to an old ruin to the east. Place is full of rat-folk that worship Thurnbarch like a god, according to a pixie that scouted the place and lived to tell of it. Not all did ..."


Phil waves his staff through the dust devils, scattering them.

"The ruins are leagues and leagues to the east, near the forest's edge and the Tumulheights where the Gomen roam," he says. "You could walk a fortnight and still not make it, though the Weald'd swallow you up long before ... but fear not. I can get you close using the torans, though I can't go all the way. Thurnbarch serves the Winter King now, whether he knows it or not, and my lord can't risk his wrath in his current state. Top of that, ancient custom prevents a fae lord from acting against his own champion -- and pride plays a part, as well. Thurnbarch has shown his colors, but the Autumn King isn't ready to show his shame to the other courts if he can help it."

The korred rises, leaning on his staff.

"It's a dire quest before you and I wish I knew more to tell," he says. "The pixie overheard the rat-folk talk of a crystal cage in the ruins that Thurnbarch had used to hold the ice maid. The red cap had little talent for making or magic, so it must have been something he found in the ruins -- mayhap the secret of its creation, and destruction, can be found there, as well."

Phil begins to usher the group toward the entrance to the grove, stopping to retrieve a bundle wrapped in soft fur, which he affixes to his staff.

"If you've more questions, I'll share what answers I have on the way. Few as they are, I fear we're lacking even more in time. The chill spreads, and the Winter King's strength deepens with the snow."
GM Bennies: 8/8

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Layna
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Layna »

Layna has but one question, and she asks it again. ”How many others, Phil? How many others have already gone on this ‘quest’ and not come back?”
Layna
Untested Thief
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Notes/Edges:Curious; Fortune's Favor (+1 Benny/session); Thief
Character Sheet

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Kaya
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Kaya »

Kaya frowned, the distance they had to cover and the early snows meant that she would be running thin on her collection of herbs. She could only hope that she would be able to find some that hadn't been put into slumber by the onset of winter....That's it!

"Phil, this Thurnbarch..." Kaya began to say. "Is there food or beverage that he is fond of?"

"I'm thinking that maybe, well, we could slip some herbs into something that would send him off into a deep slumber whilst we free the Maiden from his grasp."

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Tribe of One
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Tribe of One »

Layna wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:03 pm
Layna has but one question, and she asks it again. ”How many others, Phil? How many others have already gone on this ‘quest’ and not come back?”
Phil shakes his head sadly. "None have gone with the task he sets you now. He sent one group of fae to parlay, and another group to seek the fate of those who did not return ... Only the pixie survived to tell the tale."
Kaya wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 4:32 pm
"Phil, this Thurnbarch..." Kaya began to say. "Is there food or beverage that he is fond of?"

"I'm thinking that maybe, well, we could slip some herbs into something that would send him off into a deep slumber whilst we free the Maiden from his grasp."
The korred thinks for a moment. "He's partial to strong spirits, though only after a battle. And he long ago swore to eat nothing but flesh he himself had harvested. Tended to keep a haunch or two from the great beasts he'd killed hanging for months sometimes, though he preferred it fresh and no more than kissed by fire."
GM Bennies: 8/8

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Halt
Posts: 23
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Halt »

" Ah... So we are up against a blood thirsty rat man's God, who can morph into a monster 3 times our size?" Halt sighs a resigned sigh, the plasters on a fake smile.

"what are we waiting for?"

"Please tell me you can at least clue us in on some kind of weakness he has?"
Halt O'Carrick
Details
Bennies: 3 / 3

Discovery Points: 1


Wounds: 0/4
Fatigue: 0/3
Parry: 5
Pace: 6
Toughness: 8(2)

Active Effects:

Notable Edges:
Woodsman: +2 to Survival and STealth in the wilds
Elan: +2 when spending a benny to reroll
Menacing: +2 to intimidation

Notable Hindrances:
Mean: -1 to persuasion
All thumbs: -2 to mechanical/electrical device rolls

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Gamil
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Gamil »

"Rat-men. We would need to draw them out and away. One on one they are no problem. As a swarm, we best call it a day and head home."

"Also making sure of which beasts are nearby would prove useful to draw his attention away. Maybe if he has starved and hungered for both battle and meat, he might be at his weakest."

"We need to determine if the cage is made of ice or just crystal. A weakness or flaw in the design," Gamil hefts his ax and splinters and old log, "and the cage would no longer be an issue."

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Vespernys du Lac
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Vespernys du Lac »

Autumnal King’s Court
Autumn/Afternoon
Round 0

Vespernys frowned as the Autumn King summarily dismissed them, holding the fate of her uncle over her. “Did we do something to offend him?” she asked Phil.

Vesper listened as Phil told the tale. Then she followed him out of the grove and collected her weapons at the fountain and urn. “Is it possible to talk to the pixie that scouted out the ruins?” she asked. “Get a layout of the area. We are grateful for what help you can give.”

Vesper put a hand on the grumbling Hart’s shoulder. “We dealt with those wolves and that bear pretty handily, and he was bigger than we were,” she reassured him. “And we carry iron,” she reminded, slinging her weapon belt around her waist and her bow on her back.
Party Loot
Broken compass
***

[OOC=Vespernys Tracker
Vespernys Character Sheet
Parry: 7; Toughness: 9 (3)
Bennies: 4/4
Discoveries/Conviction: 0
Armor: Deflection; 5/5 PP
Arrows: 36
First aid kit: 3 uses
Money: 5c ($5)
Weapon Specialization (Bow): +2 damage with bows
Heavy Draw: If you don't move in a round, you can do Str+d6 damage with a bow instead of 2d6.[/OOC]
NPCs and clues
Thurnbarch - boggart champion of the Autumn King who has the Cold Woman; can grow large
Phil - korred guide and advisor of the Autumn King.
Cold Woman - fey released by Cormac du Lac.

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Jaenelle
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Jaenelle »

Jaenelle considers, long and hard, about an idea that's been niggling at the back of her brain this entire time; finally, she speaks.

"I think I might be able to find the means to open the cage, or at least a hint to it, though it should likely be best done once we find the thing. A ritual, of sorts, to gain information from sources other than mundane experimentation or examination. My concern is that it will not be swiftly done, nor easily."
Explanation for Tribe
Jaenelle has her spellbook from the creation process that has two spells not yet learned--Summon Ally and Divination. We discussed the possiblity of using the book to allow her to cast those spells as Dramatic Tasks, rather than simply rolling spellcasting once.

Since the spell entails picking a specific type of spirit, I'm thinking Jaenelle talks to the dead with it; thus, she can't really cast it for this purpose outside the ruin, and preferably in the room with the cage itself. As for the task, since she'd be casting a Heroic spell as a Novice (currently), I'd say a Complex Task at -2 (5 rounds, 8 Tokens) is fair. If we level up to Seasoned before getting to that point, make it a Difficult Task, instead (4 rounds, 6 Tokens).
Jaenelle
Human Student of the Dark Arts
OOC Comments
Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Pace: 6/d6; Parry: 5/6; Toughness: Torso/Arms 8(2); Legs 7(1); Head 6
Skills: Athletics d4, Common Knowledge d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Occult d8, Research d4, Survival d6, Spellcasting d10, Fighting d6 (+1 w/ Runesword)
Edges: AB: Magic; Trademark Weapon: Runesword
Powers: banish, darksight, protection, boost Fighting/Shooting/Athletics; light
Gear
Runesword: Str + d6, may have other properties
Ritual Dagger: Str + d4
Reward amulet: Properties unknown

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Lelya Spriggins
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Lelya Spriggins »

Lelya walked silently behind the group. The way the king at longed to look to the east reminded her of how sometimes she would cast an errant gaze toward’s @Halt. As the king left, she almost leaped up pronouncing they would free the Cold Woman no matter what but she bit her tongue as the king seemed ready to as much cry as kill.

Instead as they walked she slid near @Halt placing something into his hand. She whispered knowing if anynoe would survive it would be he, “If something happens to me... Please, you must give this to my younger brother...” As she drew back after the hand off she quickly smiled with a sense of false bravado, “If we make it out, of course I expect it back, hehe.”
Halt
A single Platinum Piece

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Tribe of One
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Tribe of One »

Halt wrote:
Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:02 pm
" Ah... So we are up against a blood thirsty rat man's God, who can morph into a monster 3 times our size?" Halt sighs a resigned sigh, the plasters on a fake smile.
...
"Please tell me you can at least clue us in on some kind of weakness he has?"
Phil waves off Halt's pessimism with his walking stick.

"He's no god, Thurnbarch, just a boggart grown too big for his britches. Iron and steel'll put an end to him, same as others, though he's more than skilled at ending others 'fore they get a chance to do the deed. But there's no great trick to it ..."

He thinks for a moment. "If he has a weakness, it'd be his anger and thirst for blood. Dims his thinking. And whatever slight or unfulfilled desire caused him to turn on the king and imprison the Cold Woman ... well, figure that out and perhaps you'll have found a way to bait him."

He nods along as Gamil and Jaenelle discuss the crystal cage, then pats Vesper reassuringly when she asks about offending the king.

"Don't worry yourself, lady. As I said, the king's one of quicksilver passions, and his champion's betrayal has cut deep. If he's of a mind to end a conversation, he ends it, and leaves it to others to complete the tasks he's set. He'll keep his word, though, and help you find your uncle when this other business is settled."
Vespernys du Lac wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 5:00 am
“Is it possible to talk to the pixie that scouted out the ruins?” she asked. “Get a layout of the area. We are grateful for what help you can give.”
The korred hesitates for a moment, then nods.

"I suppose we can spare a moment. The pixie lass who escaped is recovering in a glade not far from here. Though I warn you, she's still in a state from what happened to her ..."

Shouldering his bundle, he leads you from the Autumn King's grove and out beneath the crimson leaves of the fae forest. You cross a chill, burbling stream and descend into a leaf-strewn gully before emerging into a small glade lit by the fading sun. Atop a giant mushroom cap, a lone pixie sits silently, one crumpled wing and an arm wrapped in spider-silk gauze.
fcb78608108dfe8fa68939ff7bb2fdf0.jpg
"Willowfrond," Phil says softly, "I've a few mortals here, from the village beyond the wall, who wish to speak with you.They intend to journey to the ruin where ... where the Cold Woman is, to try to release her. Can you tell them what you saw?"

The pixie turns to you and you see one eye is scabbed shut, claw marks clearly visible. She seems to gaze past you, before her eyes clear and focus on your group.

"It was a dark place. All tumbled stones and snow above, with the storm raging so you could barely keep your wings straight," she says, her butterfly-like pinions twitching at the memory. "It looked like there might have been a tower, once, but the forest cast it down long ago ... there was a hole, where the stones had been cleared, leading to the door inside ... we looked for another way in but didn't find one, so Gingerbrand, he ...

Tears well from the pixie's one good eye. She sniffles and continues.

"Gingerbrand led the way inside. I was the last. It was quiet at first. Hollytoes summoned a sprite-light, to see by ... we passed through a little library, with books and old scrolls, then into a larger room with a great pile of junk in the middle, sticks and scraps and old rugs stacked almost to the ceiling. Smelled like rats, all over, but we didn't see any, so kept on. You could feel a cold wind coming from the west, cold to freeze your wings up, almost, so Gingerbrand led us that way ..."

The maimed pixie shivers, as if recalling the chill.

"The place was a ruin, refuse and discarded man-things piled to the ceiling," she says. "But soon enough we came to a place Thurnbarch had cleared ... there were tools all around, and bloodstained tables and ... I think there was meat hanging in a closet nearby. Stone steps led down and the winter wind was even strong from below. Gingerbrand and the others went down, left me and Butterbur to keep watch at the stairs. They weren't gone but a minute when we heard a screech, and Thurnbarch roaring.

"Gingerbrand and the rest, except maybe Holly, came flying up the stairs, waving us on. Back through the dark we went, to the big room with all the wood and garbage. That's when the rats attacked. They came from every direction, but mostly from the east. Gingerbrand told us to retreat, get word back that Thurnbarch had the Cold Woman in a cage of crystals, but he and Butters were cut off ... the rats were everywhere. I flew back but they were blocking the door, so I went down a side passage, then another ... it was so dark, but I was afraid they could see me. I hid in an old iron box that smelled like a firepit. I waited, then made a run for it, but they almost caught me, anyway, clawing and cutting ..."

Her eye closes and she takes a deep, shuddering breath.

"I flew till my wing gave out, then ran and ran and ran ... still hear them screeching, I do."

The pixie gazes off, her eyes losing focus once again.

"Still hear them screeching."
GM Bennies: 8/8

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Gamil
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Gamil »

Gamil stands horrified at the site of the marred and maimed pixie. Such a thing of beauty, still alive.

Stepping over to Phil @Tribe of One, he quietly asks,

"Phil, what happens to those of the court that lose their physical form?"

"Anychance that their spirits remain in the place that they die?"

Gamil looks back at Willowfrond, "Anything we can do to help her heal and recover?"

Dropping deep into thought, he rolls the Rod in his hands.

"Old texts and tomes. So much knowledge and history."

The Rod stops moving and the end lights in flame.

"We will likely need to do this in stages. A raging fire will cleanse the ruins and rats don't care much for fire either."

"When the rats flee the tower, we take them down. We swarm them. Like they would do us if we entered the ruins."

"Deny the Betrayer his food. Allow his anger to drive him from the tower. We redirect any source of meat that would even come close to the tower, elsewhere."

Drawing a circle on the forest floor, he scribes a path to a second circle.

"We draw him to an ambush we setup and where all our advantages outweigh his size and ferocity."

Gamil points from the large circle to the smaller circle, and stabs the branch into the middle of it.

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Vespernys du Lac
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Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Vespernys du Lac »

Autumnal King’s Court
Autumn/Afternoon
Round 0

Vespernys knelt in front of the pixie on the toadstool so she wouldn’t loom so much over the small creature, but she was still much bigger than the fairy. She listened intently to the description of the ruins, and what had occurred.

“Thank you, Willowfrond,” Vesper said. “It sounds like you were very brave.” She tore a chunk of bread off from what she carried, dabbed a bit of honey on it, and set it gently on the toadstool in reach of the wounded pixie. “Rest and heal. We will find this Thurbach and his Cold Woman.”

Gamil made some suggestions that Vesper didn’t think were too bad. “What of the books, though?” she asked. “It would be a shame to burn them. But the other room, with the junk, of course could be fired.”

Vesper stood and looked to the others. “Ask what questions you need,” she said. “We have this afternoon to march.”
Ruins layout
Single entrance
Small library
Larger room with junk piled - rats
Cold wind coming from the west.
Possibly more junk piled rooms?
Thurnbach’s lair - tools and bloodstained tables, meat closet
Steps leading down to winter wind.
Party Loot
Broken compass
***

[OOC=Vespernys Tracker
Vespernys Character Sheet
Parry: 7; Toughness: 9 (3)
Bennies: 4/4
Discoveries/Conviction: 0
Armor: Deflection; 5/5 PP
Arrows: 36
First aid kit: 3 uses
Money: 5c ($5)
Weapon Specialization (Bow): +2 damage with bows
Heavy Draw: If you don't move in a round, you can do Str+d6 damage with a bow instead of 2d6.[/OOC]
NPCs and clues
Thurnbarch - boggart champion of the Autumn King who has the Cold Woman; can grow large
Phil - korred guide and advisor of the Autumn King.
Cold Woman - fey released by Cormac du Lac.

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Kaya
Posts: 24
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:27 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Kaya »

Gamil wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:41 pm
Gamil looks back at Willowfrond, "Anything we can do to help her heal and recover?"
"I am a healer," Kaya says. "Though I've never tended to one of the Fair Folk."

"I might have a herb or two that'll help."

She turns to the others as they discussed how to deal with the rat men. "Perhaps the rat men could be lured out somehow?"

"I mean it'll be less noticeable than starting a fire."

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Jaenelle
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:18 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Jaenelle »

Jaenelle frowns at the small fairy's tale. The sheer viciousness of the rats is enough to give her pause. Lacking any tactical expertise, she simply hopes her magical arts will be of use once they are in the ruins, or her blade.... There's a thought....Like as not the swarming beasts will all have the same weakness, if they have any at all. She stays silent, however, not wanting to put forward too confidently the idea that she could face down a pack of the fiends so easily.
Jaenelle
Human Student of the Dark Arts
OOC Comments
Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Pace: 6/d6; Parry: 5/6; Toughness: Torso/Arms 8(2); Legs 7(1); Head 6
Skills: Athletics d4, Common Knowledge d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Occult d8, Research d4, Survival d6, Spellcasting d10, Fighting d6 (+1 w/ Runesword)
Edges: AB: Magic; Trademark Weapon: Runesword
Powers: banish, darksight, protection, boost Fighting/Shooting/Athletics; light
Gear
Runesword: Str + d6, may have other properties
Ritual Dagger: Str + d4
Reward amulet: Properties unknown

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Layna
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 2:46 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Layna »

Layna likewise keeps her thoughts private.

Rats? Really? That’s what he has guarding the place? A bunch of vermin?
Layna
Untested Thief
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Notes/Edges:Curious; Fortune's Favor (+1 Benny/session); Thief
Character Sheet

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Lelya Spriggins
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue May 05, 2020 10:05 pm

Re: The Crimson Court of the Autumn King

Post by Lelya Spriggins »

Even though the chill ran deep in these parts, Lelya could not help but be moved by the tale. She had no real questions but instead gently took off her coat and handed it to the Pixie Willowfrond who was shivering. “This was my mother’s and always carries the fire of my family’s hearth. May it warm you.” The coat was by no means nice, and was something a goat herder might wear, but she had little else to comfort the torments that the pixie had seen.

A bit colder than she aught to be Lelya’s gaze was blue and true ready to see her go do some saving.

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