Hidden 2 mos ago 1 mo ago Post by rush99999
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As Flicker stepped out of the tower, they would quickly notice that the elements in the world round the tower were no longer as tense as they once were. The earth had ceased its uneasy shifting and the air was in the middle of breathing a long sigh of relief. Over in Willoughby's Wood, there were already signs of nature returning to the forest. Birdsong could once more be heard in the treetops and if they squinted a little, Flicker could make out squirrels running across the branches and deer walking among the foliage.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party would soon set about searching the tower for items of value or clues regarding what had been going on here. Between the thirteen copper pieces, thirteen silver pieces, and thirteen gold pieces all the cultists carried; along with their weapons, armor, robes, foodstuffs, and arcane materials; the ground floor alone had provided a decent haul all in all.

Those searching for clues on the ground floor would find a good amount among the cultists' journals and research notes. From reading these journals and notes, the party would learn that Nanna May had spoken true when she said the cultists were evil. Many of the journals kept track of how many people the cultist who owned the journal in question had slain, sometimes even vividly describing every gory detail of a killing that a cultist took particular pride in. Also, all of the latest entries in each journal expressed some form of frustration in regards to being ordered by Nanna May to let the hunter who came knocking at their door escape. The research notes were little better. Every note was about some kind of depraved arcane experiment that one of the cultists was conducting. A few of the notes also mentioned plans to abduct women and children from Ennton for use as test subjects.

Though there wasn't much to be found on the upper level, there was still something. On the table where the black bags once lay, ten bottles of a familiar red liquid could be found. Any party member who came upon these healing potions would recognize them right away and any magic used to examine them would confirm that they were indeed what they appeared to be.

Just as Nanna May had said, the party would indeed find 'all sorts of lovely goodies' in the basement. Within the chest, they found 30 gold pieces, 300 silvers, and 3000 coppers; and the glass case contained six shining gemstones of decent value. The truly interesting finds would have to be the ceramic ball, the small painting, and the sealed jar. All three of them radiated strange divination magic and a casting of Identify on each of them would yield interesting results. The small painting was enchanted to show tomorrow's weather on its canvas. The ceramic ball was enchanted to roll towards the nearest source of water when placed on the ground. And whoever opened the sealed jar would gain three happy memories from the life of a long dead elf lord. The basement also had ten empty and completely mundane burlap sacks that the party could use to transport their loot.

Once the party had finished their searching and looting, they hefted their sacks and trekked back to Ennton. Upon reporting their success, all members of the party were rewarded in the time-honored tradition of being made kings for a day... That is to say, the elders of Ennton gave each member of the party one platinum piece, enough to allow them all to maintain an aristocratic lifestyle for one day. The party would be able to gain further wealth by selling their loot. And after doing the town a good turn, it was a trivial matter to find buyers among the tradesfolk of Ennton.

The local leatherworker could find a use for both the rough leather of the cultist robes and the boiled leather of their armor.

The town blacksmith was always willing to buy anything made mostly of metal.

And as luck would have it, a traveling arcanist was in town and willing to purchase most of the party's more magical findings, as well as food supplies for a long journey.

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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by rush99999
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Chapter Two: The Four Elements

For seven days you stayed in the town of Ennton, where you sold off your loot and basked in the gratitude of the townsfolk for seeing to the threat posed by the deranged cultists. However, the celebration was soured somewhat when a message addressed to Arkisz arrived. He needed to home as soon as he could to help tend to urgent family matters. And so at the end of the week, you left Ennton two companions fewer than when you arrived.

You traveled northwards along the King's Road to seek other quests in other towns. But as the sun begins its final descent and you begin to consider setting up camp for the night, you crest a hill and see a sprawling campsite off in the distance. Campsites such as these are common along the longer stretches of the King's Road where traveling from one settlement to the next takes longer than a single day of travel. They are run by highwaymen, a friendlier variant of bandit. They keep the King's Road safe from their more violent counterparts. In return, they are allowed to live as they please far from the sight and sensibilities of the civilized and the long arm of the law.

You are received warmly at the campsite, especially when a bardic highwayman recognised Jørmund from the songs and stories of the folk hero that were known far and wide. You soon find yourselves in a veritable carnival of questionably legal delights. Games of luck and contests of skill offer you the opportunity to stake the takings from your last adventure for the chance of winning even more treasure. Some of the larger tents about the campsite serve as bars or brothels or other providers of less than legal goods and/or services. And for those who just want to rest, there are tents of varying quality further away from the more livelier parts of the campsite, the tent you're given depending on how much you pay for lodging.

Once you have figured out where everything is, the leader of the highwaymen makes an interesting remark to the genasi among you. "Y'know, it's funny that an earth, air, and fire genasi should show up now of all times. A water genasi also happened to wander into our camp a few hours ago. It ain't often that you get to meet a half-genie. But it's even rarer to see one of each type in the same place... Well either way I'll leave you to it now. Enjoy your stay!"

What do you do?
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Guardian Angel Haruki
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???


The mentioned Water Genasi was nowhere near the entrance of the camp that the party came in. As the highwayman mentioned, she had arrived here hours before them.

At first, she had taken time to ask around and see if anyone had seen a Jørmund Hammerfist around, only to find no such response. After asking around for what seemed to be a long time to her, she decided that he must not be here, and to just take the rest of her time off. She'll have to continue her search tomorrow.

With that said...who could resist these fun looking games?!

She wanted to give these games a try, not for the promise of gold, but just for the fun of it. The games kind of reminded her of back home whenever festivities were to be had.

She decided to go ahead and try her hand...at the Poetry contest.

She doesn't consider herself a poet by any means, but she does consider herself pretty creative.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by rush99999
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The Poetry Contest was currently being run by a tabaxi woman resting in the branches of a lone tree near the west edge of the camp. When the water genasi approached the tree, the tabaxi stirred, looked down from her perch, and smiled when she saw someone had come to match rhymes with her. "A new challenger approaches! Hail and well met!" The tabaxi exclaimed in greeting as she sat up and looked down at the water genasi. "How much, might I ask, are you going to bet? The coin that you wager I shall match with the same. And it all shall then go to who triumphs in this game."
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by LostDestiny
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The time the group spent in town was relatively relaxing. Aura had spent most of her time chatting up the locals and travelers alike. Casual flirting with people when the opportunity presented itself. Nothing serious, just some blink and you will miss it passes that most people payed little to no attention to. Still it was a good distraction for her, she was used to being on the road, staying in one place for too long made her nervous and antsy. So when the group finally got on the road again she relaxed despite the group heading out without there artificer which weighed heavy at least with Aura. She couldn't say much for the rest of them.

When the sun began to set and they found the Highwayman's camp Aura bounced a little on her feet excited to see what the camp had to offer. It had been a while since she had stayed a night in one of these camps. Though when they are informed that another Genasi was present in the camp her excitement turned toward meeting this individual. It was true that the three of them that were in the party was strange enough but to find a fouth? It must have been fate.

"I am going to go find this Water Genasi." Aura told her group as soon as the highwayman left them. She didn't wait for an answer from the group before she trudged into the camp to ask a few people if they knew where the Water Genasi had found themselves. She could easily use Hawk to find the Genasi for her however that seemed less fun than talking to the people of the camp.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Guardian Angel Haruki
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Cascade


"Oh! She's already rhyming! Okay! Looks like the contest is already on!"

The Water Genasi paladin thought, somewhat caught off guard, but she does recover and decide to start rhyming as well, while greeting and answering the Tabaxi Poet,

"Aloha! If I may be so bold, I'm not pursuing gold. But if I must pay to play...How about for silver five, we jive?"

It's clear that her voice is naturally bubbly and joyful, but right now it's composed as she focuses on rhyming.

She the introduces herself,

"My name is Cascade! Let's cross our wits like blades, shall we?"

...This is tougher than Cascade thought, but she can do this!
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by XxFellsingxX
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Flicker was just as quiet on the way back to Ennton as they had been leaving it earlier, but this time their silence was tinged not with anxiety but gloom. Even with the revelations that the cultists had been far from innocent, the group's inability to protect them and the fact they had been essentially set up as executioners did not sit well with the fire genasi, and this feeling didn't dissipate much during their stay in the small village.

They cheered up slightly during a shopping trip in which they procured some new cooking utensils, replacing a set they had lost - supposedly, they had their suspicions - at some point while on the road. During said shopping trip, the group managed to sell most of the items they had found at the tower, barring some of the stranger objects which the local arcanist had referred to as 'hag-craft' and seemed particularly antsy about, only adding to Flicker's overall discomfort about the whole situation. Once they returned from shopping, Flicker had written a letter to one of their old mentors at the order, detailing their encounter with Nanna May and describing the strange objects they had found. They asked for any information they could about hags and how to deal with them, as well as advice on what they should do with the jar, ball and painting. They also considered sending a letter home, to their mother, who they hadn't written to in a couple of months... only to decide against it. They weren't really sure what they could tell that wouldn't cause her to worry, and they sure as the hells weren't going to tell her about what happened at the tower.

Flicker's mood only worsened when Arkisz was called away from the group. The Vedelkan hadn't been with the group for too long, but Flicker already felt a good deal of kinship with him, and was sad to see him go. When the group finally left Ennton, the fire genasi was at the gloomiest they had been in a while. They weren't offering their usual complaints or snarky remarks, they were just quietly sulking, only really talking to their comrades when spoken to and generally just not being that sociable.

That is, until they happened across the highwaymen's camp.

Flicker was wary about approaching the camp, a sentiment they made known very quickly. However, the rest of the group seemed at least curious and made their way towards the festivities, Flicker trudging behind. The highwaymen turned out to be fairly friendly, and some even seemed to recognise Jormund, which did cause Flicker to give a small smirk as they gave the earth genasi a teasing nudge. The leader of the camp also mentioned that they were not the only genasi they had encountered that evening, and that a water genasi had arrived at camp some time before they had.

Flicker raised an eyebrow at that. "Huh, what are the odds?" they muttered, more to themselves than anyone else. It did seem like an odd coincidence, the kind that got the more existential side of Flicker's mind whirling. However, before they could really think too much about that, Aura suddenly declared that she was going to go find this mysterious water genasi and left the group before anyone could stop her. "Oh for gods' sake!" Flicker hissed. With a sigh, they said, "I'm gonna go with her. Make sure she doesn't get lost or break anything or... whatever." They quickly hurried after Aura, mumbling a mixture of elven and primordial curses under their breath as they did so.

However, despite their show of annoyance, they themselves were also a little curious to meet this mysterious fourth genasi. Though they certainly weren't going to admit it to anyone.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Cao the Exiled
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Plasm




When the gen of the group went to find this mysterious water gen, Plasm broke away to find a bar tent to drink at. While slowly working on a pint of mead, the plasmoid retreated into their mind, examining the odd emotion of sadness they felt with Arkisz's departure. Plasm always felt odd around the others and Flicker especially seemed... weary of them. Arkisz was the only one who showed much intrigue in them and that fascinated Plasm. Now that their teammate was gone, Plasm felt this odd feeling of... sadness, a similar emotion felt when they missed mother. It was thinking of her that the etched skull tended to feel heaviest within the cranial pocket where one's head normally sat. Plasm made an odd undulating motion, simulating a sigh as they lowered their head to look into the mug in... sadness.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Lurking Krog
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Jørmund


It was a surprise that the bard knew Jørmund's story. Typically this far south of the Northlands most people thought that those that inhabited that region were uncivilized, unwashed raiders. This was true to a degree. Most were raiders, and there were tribes that were even despised by other North men. Those tribes were brutal and raided anyone that was part of their tribe. Some even ate the flesh of those they had slain in the raids.

He shook his head dismissing the highway bard and made his way towards the tent where the tavern would be. Aura and Flicker seemed intent on finding this fourth Genasi and he found little need to. Sure others like him and the other two were uncommon, even in his village there was only him and his father who were touched by the magic from the elemental plane. Being so eager to find another just did make sense to him though.

He claimed a seat close to the bar he ordered some of the dwarven fire whiskey and some of whatever food they were serving. While he waited, he noticed that Plasm was there as well sitting by themselves. Grabbing his meal and whiskey, he walked over to the table that Plasm was at. "Mind if I join you? Better to eat and drink with someone you know than by yourself. Least that is how it is back home. Less likely to end up in trouble or something like that."
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Cao the Exiled
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Plasm




Plasm looked up at their cleric friend then back at their mug and nodded. Raising the mug to the lips of its mask, in which a straw like pseudopod stretched out, acting as a straw as it lowered into the cup and began to drink its content. Telepathically, Plasm would connect to Jørmund and ask, "Do you wonder why Arkisz had to leave? Do you think our friend is okay?" Though the tone of the telepathic voice was monotoned, it wouldn't take to much to figure out that the plasmoid was both concered and, to a point, upset.
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by rush99999
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@Guardian Angel Haruki
"Nice to meet you, Cascade. I am Leaves on the Breeze." The tabaxi in the tree introduced herself with a small yet eager smile. "Five silvers are fine. You may start, if you please."

@LostDestiny @XxFellsingxX
Aura and Flicker would have an easy time finding leads on where the water genasi was in the campsite. Though actually finding her was proving to be a little harder. As they wandered from one last known location to the next, the sound of someone snoring suddenly met the duo's ears despite them being nowhere near the sleeping tents. The source of the snoring wouldn't remain a mystery for long though. An older aasimar man came up alongside them and slowed to match pace with the genasi as he drew level with them. The man's eyes were shut and his mouth hung open, allowing the sound of snoring to rumble forth from the opening. After walking next to Aura and flicker for a few moments though, the aasimar stopped snoring and started talking in his sleep. "Round I am, yet flat as a board. The altar of the Lupine Lords. I am a jewel on black velvet, a pearl in the sea. Unchanged yet e'erchanging, eternally... What am I?"
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Guardian Angel Haruki
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Cascade


Cascade nods in response to the request to start the poetry contest. She begins, not just starting with poetry, but her voice taking on a cadence that is close to singing, without actually doing so.

"Mahalo nui ia Ke Ali'i wahine,
Let only good times be had tonight, this I pray!
The sun has set, work and travel is done.
So let Pau Hana begin, and let's have fun!
The moon shines above the glistening sea,
I am craving some ale with friends. For meditations, I'd want tea!
"

A simple poem, but still she thought it was a good one to start.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by LostDestiny
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Apparently this Genasi had made their rounds about the camp. Despite people being more than willing to direct them to the last known location of the water plane touched individual they still had yet to find them. "Well damn this is starting to become more tedious than I wanted it to be." Just as she was considering giving up and using Hawk the sounds of snoring met her ears. Which was out of place but she supposed not too odd. She had witnessed many a fool fall asleep where they shouldn't have. Thought it wasn't long before the source of the snoring found them. The man appeared to be sleep walking, which again, wasn't too odd until he matched pace with them and spouted out a riddle. Aura squinted at the person mostly confused, not by the riddle, which she as pretty sure she knew that answer to, but by the actions of this individual. After a moment of staring she realized there was likely very little harm in answering this man's riddle. "Um the moon?" She answered but it was still more of a question. She wasn't totally confident in her answer even though it made the most sense to her. She just hoped the man didn't go berserk if someone answered his riddle wrong.
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Flicker kept quiet as they followed Aura about the camp, letting the air genasi do most of the talking. She was much better at the niceties than they were. However, as they continued to walk around with little success of finding their target, Flicker started to become more and more visibly agitated, and was about to suggest they give up the search and returned to the rest of the group... when they heard the snoring. They turned to face the source of the noise, putting their fists up in a defensive manner and carefully eying this stranger - an aasimar - as he approached them and suddenly offered up what sounded like a riddle.

They gave a side glance at Aura, almost as if to ask what they should do when the other genasi just answered. Flicker grimaced at this, their glance turning into a full-on glare at their comrade. "Really? We're really answering riddles from complete strangers?" they hissed at Aura. "Is that what our day has become?"
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Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Lurking Krog
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Jørmund


The telepathic link was still uncomfortable for Jørmund. It wasn't something that he was exposed to until recent travels with Plasm. Her concern for Arkisz was reasonable as his leave was rather sudden. Jørmund hadn't put much thought to it as he remembered how big of a deal family was in his homeland. He took a deep drink of the whiskey draining the mug halfway and picked up a chunk of cooked duck from his plate.

"I don't know. He did state that it was a family matter, which could be anything. Though what these southerners call urgent family issues are different. Could be a simple matter of a relative getting married. If he needs us he will call. And we will help if we can." He took a bite of the duck, chewed, and washed it down with more whiskey. "How is his leaving bothering you?" He waved at a passing server and motioned for more whiskey. It wasn't as good as the fire whiskey the dwarfs made back home. However it was better than the weak ale they had at the last town.
Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by rush99999
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@Guardian Angel Haruki
Leaves on the Breeze listened to Cascade's rhymes with a small smile playing across her lips. Once the genasi was done, the tabaxi gave her an approving nod before purring out a poem of her own.

"Nothing like a hot drink while relaxing in a tree.
Although personally I've always preferred coffee.
The starry sky also goes along with it quite well.
Much stronger than any wizard's enchantment spell.
For what more could one need on a night such as this,
Than good friends and good drink for such purest of bliss?"

A few moments after Leaves on the Breeze finished speaking, a meow further up the tree on which Leaves was perched alerted both poets to a scruffy looking tabby cat watching the poetry contest from the higher branches. "Oh! That's our judge, by the way." Leaves mentioned to Cascade while motioning up towards the cat. "Who wins this contest will be his say."

@LostDestiny @XxFellsingxX
"Darkness surrounds you from all sides, but have no fear." The somnambulant celestial murmured in response to his riddle receiving an answer. "The master of this world would rather see you triumph." The aasimar then stirred slightly in his standing slumber for a moment. One of his eyelids trembles as if it's about to open. But then the aasimar let out a small yawn and settled back down into his sleep. A few moments later, he was rattling of yet another riddle. "I'm the beginning of eternity and the end of time and space. I'm the beginning of all endings and the end of every race... What am I?"
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by XxFellsingxX
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Aura had likely travelled with Flicker enough that she was familiar to the variety of annoyed expressions the fire genasi could make. However, at the aasimar's cryptic response, Flicker's irritation shifted into something else, something a little sharper. "What the hell is that supposed to mean?!" When the aasimar rattled off another riddle, Flicker just about done with this whole situation. "Urgh, just answer him so we can get on with it. I'm no good at these," they said to Aura, before muttering, more themselves, "I knew this camp was going to be full of wierdos."
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by LostDestiny
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Aura glanced at Flicker when she complained about answering riddles from strangers but didn't get a chance to really say anything before the man started rattling off yet another riddle and her attention went back to him. The riddle took her a moment to work thorough she opened her mother briefly to reply with an answer before shutting again to rethink. After another moment she looked like she had an epiphany and she blurted out, "The answer is the letter E." Before turning back to Flicker. "Come on Flicker, you don't find this remotely amusing? What if we get some cool treasure for answering all the riddles right? Also I hate to tell you this love, but neither of us can really say anything about weirdos." She motioned between the two of them fully aware that the two of them together were likely a sight to behold. "Besides even if nothing really comes of it, I am sure this will be a fun story to tell the others." She winked at Flicker nudging them with her elbow in a playful manner before turning her attention back to the strange sleeping man.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Cao the Exiled
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Plasm




Plasm looked into its mug for a long while, thinking about what he asked. The pseudopod that rested in the cup would gently stir the drink before looking over at him, "is it odd to miss a friend or show concern in their sudden departure? I've been sitting her contemplating this emotion and if it's normal. The others seem to show no sign of this, so I do feel this is an unusual circumstance..." Plasm would pause for a bit before looking over to the earthen cleric, "I'm surprised you're here instead of searching for this new friend".
Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Birdboy
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oops
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