Rise of the Runelords (RPHaven)

Ionor's Trip to Madame Mvasthi

Ionor approaches the old manor house where Madame Mvashti lives.
The old house is as he left it the last time he visited, old, but retaining a sort of beauty to it.

Ionor calmly raps his staff against the manor door

Ionor: “Madame Mvashti? It is I, Ionor.”

The door opens, and her daughter stands before you. She smiles and lets you in. “I was beginning to wonder if you would actually show up.” She ushers you inside.

Ionor: “You have my apologies, I got a little wrapped up in some foolish business. Is the madame well?”

Ionor makes his way into the manor, letting down his hood.

Madame Mvashti’s voice rises up from an adjoining room. “You can ask me yourself, you know.” She asks with a little laugh in her voice.

Ionor: Ah, but then who would talk to your lovely daughter?

Ionor heads to the room where the voice is coming from

Madame Mvashti sits at her large chair. Her table covered in cards. “Better be careful where your wandering eye leads you, young one. It may lead you into danger.”

Ionor: “Come now, you know My eyes wander almost as much as my legs do, and I’m still more or less in one piece.”

Ionor lets out a laugh and sits opposite of Madame Mvashti.

Madame Mvashti: “So, are you going to tell me why you’ve come to visit after spending so much time with your new friends?”

Ionor: “Ah, my ‘new friends’. I seem to have gotten myself wrapped up into some foolishness in this trip, haven’t I? Regardless, to get to the point, I bring grim tidings and questions.”

Ionor’s face takes a somber expression.

Madame Mvasthi: “Then please, give them.” She says, shuffling her cards a bit.

Ionor: “There seems to be more to this goblin attack than meets the eye. The little ones appear to have someone larger in their ranks most likely leading them, and what’s more, the corpse of Ezakien Tobyn has been taken.”

Madame Mvasthi: “Ah, Tobyn, I see. That is grim, indeed.”

Madame Mvasthi: you wish to know who is responsible?

Madame Mvasthi: Ask your question yourself, so we may seek what is hidden."

Ionor: “Mhmm, I fear there may be a necromancer in our midst. I ask you for insight in this matter. Do you know who could possibly be behind this?”

Madame Mvasthi: “Oh, you are asking me and my knowledge?” She casually plays with her cards, leaning back and looking up. “Hm… this land is old, and there are many things people don’t understand.”

Madame Mvasthi: “Though I can’t say for certain who would be behind this act. There are many who could have done it, for many reasons.”

Madame Mvasthi: “The only way we can peer into the unseen is through the cards…” she says, holding up her deck. “Shall you pose your question again, but to them?”

Ionor: “I suppose I have no choice then. Who is responsible for these actions?”

Madame Mvasthi: “First we will use strength, for our question focuses on the battle and its true motives…”

She spreads out nine cards before Ionor

Ionor picks up the fourth card

Madame Mvasthi: “You are the Forge.”

Madame Mvasthi: “you evoke strength through great diversity, Ionor. You have the ability to withstand great trials, but your heat may burn those around you.”

Ionor: “Hmm…I see.”

Madame Mvasthi: “Now then…” She takes the card and the other 8 and shuffle them

She shuffles and spreads them out in a 9×9 grid

Madame Mvasthi: “They are as follows:”

Madame Mvasthi: “The Brass Dwarf, The Liar, The Mountain Man.”

Madame Mvasthi: “The Demon’s Lantern, The Carnival, The Juggler.”

Madame Mvasthi: “The Survivor, The Owl, The Dance.”

She looks over those cards, determining what each mean

Madame Mvasthi: “I see in the past someone who was invulnerable to troubles that were around him, though it was only through hiding what was actually there…”

Madame Mvasthi: “Someone was led astray by this lie… like the man in the demon’s lantern.”

Madame Mvasthi: “And from that dark time, someone survived, though for good or ill, I cannot tell.”

Madame Mvasthi: “I see today that there will be a liar, a love, a temptation, perhaps for the one who stole the bones?”

Madame Mvasthi: “The carnival shows an illusion, usually arcane, but perhaps the wool is covering over your eyes?”

Ionor starts unconsciously stroking his beard as he tries to make sense of the divination

Madame Mvasthi: “Great wisdom comes to you” she chuckles “Maybe my reading will lead you the right way? or allow you to think of the answer?”

Madame Mvasthi: “And now, the future.”

Ionor: “Always the most troubling part.”

Madame Mvasthi: “You will face something outside your control, an army, an authority?”

Madame Mvasthi: “You will be juggled by fate, intertwined in the machinations of the gods.”

Madame Mvasthi: “And finally..” She taps the dance

Madame Mvasthi: “The dance is of order and of good, its movements governing the world, but…”

Madame Mvasthi: "I’m afraid what dance is happening is not for the good of all, but for their ruin.

Madame Mvasthi: “That is what the cards tell me.”

Ionor: “Cryptic as always, but I thank you none the less. I shall ponder what the cards have shown later, but for now, shall we begin our walk?”

Madame Mvasthi: “Why certainly.” she said, holding her hand out for him.

Arken & Taru Roleplay [#01]
In which Arken and Taru attempt to hold a conversation

Taru is sitting next to the fireplace at the Rusty Dragon Inn, hunched over nose-deep in a book.
Arken is at a table, finishing a small plate of food as a snack when she spies Taru reading something. She gets up from her seat and looks over Taru’s shoulder.
Arken: “Hmm, what book is that?”
Taru jumps, then quickly turns her head, “Oh! Uh, just a novel,” tucking the book into her cloak.
Arken: “Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to startle you. I was just curious is all.”
Taru relaxes back from the edge of her seat, “Ah, I was just doing a bit of light reading.”
Arken: “Oh? Hmm. I don’t read a lot myself, I’ve been busy helping out around town, doing odd jobs.”
Taru: “Such as?”
Arken: “Well…” she started, before dragging her chair over and sitting down next to Taru, “I used to work at the glassworks, but that didn’t go so well.”
Taru: “What, if you don’t mind my prying, went wrong?”
Arken: “Well uh, I’d hate to speak ill of anyone in Ameiko’s family…” she says nervously. “When Ameiko went to go adventure, I sort of fell out of favor at the glassworks.”
Taru nods, “I understand.” She glances about the room with apprehension before turning back to Arken.
Taru: “One more thing, however, if you don’t mind…”
Arken: “It’s alright. What was it?”
Taru: “As you can see, neither of us are exactly… normal. How have you fared in life?”
Arken tilted her head for a moment, contemplating what she had meant. “Oh! It’s been alright I suppose. When I was younger, I was worried people would be upset by me, but I guess I haven’t really had to worry. They do ask for some weird things, though.”
Taru nods, “I’m glad you don’t seem to mind my company.”
Arken: “Hmm, why would I mind?”
Taru: “Many people, such as the Scarnetti’s, seem to mind about others quite a bit.”
Arken: “Oh, them? Don’t worry about them. They shouldn’t bother you any.”
Taru: “They’ve left me alone, for the most part. I keep to myself.”
Arken smiles and looks around awkwardly, trying to think of another topic while Taru sinks back into the chair, reaching inside her cloak for her waterskin. As Taru finishes drinking, Arken breaks the silence.
Arken: “Hmm, so what do you do for fun?”
Taru: “…fun? Er, I find my work fun. I enjoy researching.”
Arken: “Hmm, so you just research all day?”
Taru: “I talk to Chask sometimes, and I compare notes with Brodert on Thassilon. I don’t do much outside of that.”
Arken: “What about friends?”
Taru: “Are you trying to imply something?”
Arken: “Oh! I didn’t mean anything by that. I was just curious!”
Silence came again, with Taru giving Arken a cold stare. Arken sheepishly looks away, as she tries not to make things worse. Taru, realizing her words, looks at the fireplace with a sour face. The quiet persisted as she looked back to Arken, visibly struggling to find another subject.
Taru: “Mmm… what about you? Do you find festivals fun?”
Arken: “Hmm? Of course! It’s nice to see everyone having a chance to enjoy themselves.”
Taru: “And what about the attention we’ve received from our… ‘heroics’?”
Arken: “I suppose it’s only natural. Why do you ask?”
Taru: “Ionor doesn’t enjoy it, and I feel the same. You seem to take it in stride, though.”
Arken: “Well, we did something good, and people are recognizing it. Are you worried about it?”
Taru: “I can’t say I’m happy to be put in the spotlight.”
Arken: “Why’s that?”
Taru: “I’ve never enjoyed attention brought to me. I prefer being out of sight.”
Arken: “Hmm? That’s odd.”
Taru: “How so?”
Arken: “Oh, I guess I’m just used to people’s attention by now. You get used to the odd requests.”
Taru: “Odd requests?”
Arken: “Hmm? You know, people ask for, like, a lock of your hair, or want to touch you, thinking it will bring them luck.”
Taru: “No one’s thought of luck when asking that of me.”
Arken: “Hmm? Oh! I’m sorry. You meant those people?”
Taru: “…who?”
Arken: “Those guys that act nice, and say things like ’I’ve never been with a girl like you before.’ You know, dirty old men!”
Taru lets out a small laugh, “It appears we’ve more in common than I had previously thought.”
Arken: “Oh? I guess I understand what you mean about unwanted attention.”
Taru: “You? An Aasimar? I’m sure you know all about attention.”
Arken: “It just seems like they don’t actually think of me as a person.”
Taru: “What do you mean when you say they don’t think of you ‘as a person?’”
Arken: “I mean, I appreciate their help sometimes, but I wonder if they are doing it just because they think it will look good for them. Honestly, it’s like they don’t care sometimes.” Arken paused for a moment, realizing what she had said. “I’m sorry, I hate to think unkindly of people.”
Taru: “Well, it’s clear that you are better off than me, if all you have to complain about is people treating you too nicely.”
Arken: “Hmm, what do you mean?”
Taru: “What do I mean? Is it not self-evident that I am looked upon with pity and fear as Hellspawn, not with jealousy and admiration as one of divine blood?”
Taru: “Or do you simply not stop to think before you speak?”
Arken looks down, “I’m sorry. I had not considered this.”
Taru: “No, you wouldn’t have.Those born into such social castes as high as yours rarely consider the lowest members of society. Your naiveté to have gone this long without even considering it is astounding, however.”
Arken: “I’m sorry, I assumed that everyone born like this was treated the same.”
Taru: “Like this? You mean the product of extraplanar beings? You would only need to think for a moment to realize why that’s asinine.”
Arken: “I’ve always been able to rely on others to give me a chance. I haven’t met anyone else like us though.”
Taru: “Then allow me to sum up my life. Imagine having no one to trust, forced into solitude because you’re the product of misbegotten love… or worse. Imagine that.”
Arken: “I see, so it really is like that? I thought people would actually help others. Why wouldn’t anyone help you?”
Taru sighs, “How should I know? Maybe it’s my horns, or maybe the tail. The cloak does little to hide the smell of brimstone, no matter how much I bathe. Even then, people avoided me when I walked down the docks of Magnimar, where the fisheries and sea would surely mask it. I’ve learned to enjoy being alone, although our recent heroics will put that on hold.”
Arken: “Hmm…” she pauses for a moment before smiling, “Well then, we’re going to start here! I won’t let that happen from now on!”
Taru: “We’re what? What are you going to do? Force people to like me?”
Arken: “Maybe I can’t do that. I suppose there are a lot of people, but I won’t be like them. From now on you can always count on me,” she said with a sense of satisfaction.
Taru: “I have academia, where the fearful and shallow minds are weeded out. They respect my knowledge, and I theirs. I doubt you’ll make a difference amongst the uneducated.”
Arken: “Hmm? Maybe not yet, but I’ll show you that not everyone is so bad. Besides, it sounds like you could use a friend.”
Taru: “We can be acquaintances. I don’t see us being friends.”
Arken: “Well, we’ll see about that. After all I don’t suppose you’ve met many others like us?”
Taru: “None of our sort, but I’ve met many. I’ll keep my optimism in check.”
Arken: “Well, I suppose I can’t change your mind right now,” she said, pausing only a moment before jumping to a new topic.
Arken: “So what do you make of this raid?”
Taru: “I don’t know what to make of it. I was reading some books to see where I went wrong with my investigation…”
Arken: “I’m not sure what to think of it. Goblins are normal here, and they can be aggressive, but the timing and planning seems conveinant.”
Taru: “Everything points to it being about necromancy and revenge, but some parts just don’t add up. I guess I’m not cut out for detective work…”
Arken: “Wait, what doesn’t add up?”
Taru: “If the mastermind behind all of this is a necromancer, then why would they use goblins to do their job? We already know they have power over skeletons.”
Arken: “Oh… what if it’s not necromancy?”
Taru: “How else would one get skeletons?”
Arken: “Hmm, I’ve heard about stuff like this before. What if they did it another way?”
Taru: “Like?”
Arken: “Hmm, well, I have some experience with magical items. Is it possible something like that was used?”
Taru: “If that’s true, then there are even more suspects than before. It would also explain the skeletons within the tomb. It doesn’t explain why they need Father Tobyn’s body, though.”
Arken: "Yes, I do not know what they have planned, but it is troublesome.
Arken: “Father Tobyn was a good man. He cared for everyone here.”
Taru: “I cannot say I knew him personally. Whatever they do have planned, however, is sinister. They’re using a holy man who died tragically as the crucible for their magic.”
Arken: “Why him? It doesn’t make sense. Couldn’t they get any body?”
Taru: “Spite was my first thought, or a cruel sense of humor. It is possible that they needed a specific type of body, though. One that died prematurely and painfully.”
Arken: “Hmm, I suppose we’ll have to investigate more.”
Taru: “I’ve exhausted everyone, though. I’ve talked to Gandethus, Father Zantus, Ameiko… unless I want folk magic from Mvashti, but I doubt it’ll be of any help. The only leads I have are a few names who don’t fit what I know.”
Arken: “Wow, it sounds like you’ve investigated everyone who wasn’t sick that day.”
Taru: “…come again?”
Arken: “Well I mean, it wouldn’t make sense to investigate people that weren’t there or were sick that day.”
Taru: “Everyone was at the festival. Anyone who wasn’t there wouldn’t have had to be in harm’s way with the goblins…”
Taru: “Are you saying someone wasn’t there?”
Arken: “Don’t you remeber? At the festival they said Lonjiko couldn’t make it because he was sick. It was so nice of you to not bother him while he’s not feeling well.”
Taru stares at Arken, “And you didn’t think to mention this during my investigation?”
Arken raised an eyebrow “Huh, didn’t you hear them say that at the festival?”
Taru taps the arm of her chair, muttering to herself, “Stupid. Of course it’s him. Always the ones without an alibi…”
Arken: “Well, I suppose we could, I’d rather not bother him though, at least not until we have everyone together. I suppose that means we can stop worrying for the mean time.”
Arken: “Say, what was that mystery novel you were reading about?”
Taru blushes, “Oh, uh, it’s about an elven lord who solves crimes in high society…”
Arken: “Oh? That sounds pretty interesting. So what is the mystery?”
Taru looks around, then speaks quietly, “W-well, it’s about the heir to High Queen Elanna’s throne. She’s widowed, but has recently given birth to a new child, so Lord Aelwyn needs to find the… ah, father.”
Arken pauses for a moment and blinks “Hmm, I’ve got it! What if it was someone from another plane?”
Taru narrows her eyes, “You mean a Celestial, right?”
Arken: “Oh! No, I didn’t mean it like that. I uh, I’m just guessing but you and I don’t grow up as fast as everyone else.”
Taru: “Er, well, it wasn’t like she was secretly pregnant for years. The child was a half-elf, so it understandably caused a lot of problems…”
Arken: “Oh, that sounds a lot like the Kaijitsu family’s problem.”
Taru: “Hm? Ameiko isn’t a half-elf.”
Arken: “No, I suppose you wouldn’t know actually. It’s not exactly a proud moment for Ameiko’s family. Some time ago, her mother gave birth to a half-elf.”
Taru: “Could you tell me more about this? The half-elf and Ameiko’s family, that is.”
Arken: “Well, it’s embarrassing, but obviously Lonjiko was not the father. Anyway, her mother decided to keep him, and named him Tsuto. His fa-er, Lonjiko didn’t ever really accept him.”
Taru: “The Chronicles of Lord Aelwyn are truer to life than I had previously thought…”
Arken: “Hmm, maybe Tsuto wrote it. After his mother’s death he left home. It, wasn’t on the best of terms.”
Taru: “Well, these stories have been around since I was a little girl in the streets of Magnimar, so I doubt he’d be the one who wrote it.”
Taru: “They’re also a bit less… wholesome for a noble to be writing.”
Arken: "Well Tsuto leaving wasn’t really what I would call ‘wholesome family fun’. "
Taru blushes profusely, “I would be very concerned if Tsuto was writing about his mother in such a way…”
Arken: “Hmm? What do you mean?”
Taru: “I-I-I, w-well, uhm, it’s, ah…”
Taru looks to the floor and pulls her hood low, “It’s a r-ro-romance novel.”
Arken: “Oh? Hmm…” she pauses, thinking about it “I’ve heard of those!”
Taru: “Uh…”
Arken: “Those are the books with the awkward, but cute couples who strive to be together against all odds right?”
Taru: “Yes, yes. Exactly that.”
Arken: “Oh! Well you don’t need to be embarrassed. I’m a fan of those myself! You’ll have to lend me one of those sometime.”
Taru: “I’ll… get around to it.”
Arken: “Haha, see? I knew we’d have some things in common. I can get some of the others before we do some of that detective work.”
Taru: “I guess… I’ll return to my novel, then.”

Ionor's Itinerary
First entry

I seem to have picked a rather troublesome time to visit Sandpoint, and I am regretting coming here the longer I stay. I admit I had some fun at the festival I wandered into, and that chowder they served was impeccable, but the events following the festivities have done nothing but try my patience and temper. It would seem that the people here marvel and idolize anyone who doesn’t flee at the first sign of danger. If they seek to take these lands from nature, they must be willing to defend it! Where were the townsfolk throwing rocks and nicknacks from the windows? Where were the able joining us in battle against the little ones? If these old bones were willing to help restore peace, then most of these townsfolk have no excuse. But now me and those from the festival who weren’t cowards are heralded as “Heroes”, and the sheriff now seems to think of us as his personal investigators!

But I am ranting again, and I shouldn’t dwell on the past. Regardless, I seem to have fallen in with an odd group for the time being. Four of them bare features not of this world, and the last has the blood of an orc. Somehow, whether it be fate or chance, we have come together and gotten involved in some sort of goblin conspiracy. Oh by Gozreh, I long for the peace and quiet of the wilds. The sooner this all passes by, the better.

Speaking of the conspiracy, the hell-touched one seems to have taken an interest in this whole thing, going forth and questioning the townsfolk with fervor. While It does not please me that there may be a necromancer somewhere in or nearby Sandpoint, I am beginning to wonder if she has ulterior motives. Still, the thought of someone leading bands of goblins, and a necromancer at that, bodes ill for not only Sandpoint, but for the wilds as well. I should speak with Madam Mvashti for insight on this matter.

Also, I need to make sure to pry the secrets of Hagfish’s lobster chowder before I leave Sandpoint. It has been one of the few things that have made this trip worthwhile.

Journal Entry - Taru [#01]

Rova 23, Monday, 4707

I should not have gone to that festival. I would not be called a hero, which is the last thing I need. I could have returned peacefully to my life after the havoc ended and allowed the others their share in the spotlight as heroes. Chask could never have foreseen a goblin attack, but only at his insistence did I go. “You shouldn’t stay inside reading every day,” he said, “Maybe you’ll meet some new people.” Well, that’ll be unavoidable now. It is not an entire loss, however; I have met a most interesting individual whose presence has slipped by me these past years I have spent studying the ruins. Arken, an adept fighter companied by a silent knight, is undoubtedly like me, although she’s been dealt a fairer hand than me by her ancestry. I wonder how many more of us there are? For that matter, I wonder as well about Rivkah, although she seems to be tight-lipped about herself, which I understand. It’ll be easier to talk with a Sandpoint native.

We’ll talk at a later date. Right now I have been roped into an investigation by Hemlock, and I believe there’s something I can learn from it. During the goblin raid, a small pack of the filthy mongrels and a person stole into the church’s graveyard to rob Father Tobyn’s remains, leaving animated skeletons in wait for anyone to next open the tomb. If this is the work of another scholar of magic, I must compare notes with them. I shy from the practice of necromantic arts, for it would only damn me more, but knowledge deserves preservation. All I need to do is figure out who is both in need of a goblin diversion to rob a tomb and also has access to such knowledge.

While I am on the topic of knowledge, that balding man, Ionor, is contemptible. Anxious to tell anyone about him that he is not a hero, only further drawing attention and ire from the locals. He’ll earn me a bad name if he continues his little battle and should just accept it, then allow it to die down as the young races always do, forgetting past events within years of then happening. Not only does he draw attention to us, but he only studies as a hobby! He does not even know that these ruins are Thassilonian in origin, despite the script on them being clear as day. How could you dabble in scholarship in the first place, then decide it’s only a leisurely way to pass the time? Some people have no respect for academic pursuits.

Sunday, Rova 22, 4707
The Day Sandpoint Burned

The Swallowtail Festival is supposed to be today. I have little doubt that the goblins will do their part of the job with ease. Throw them into a chaotic mass of fire and they’ll dance perfectly. No, it is the other pieces that I’m concerned about. Sandpoint need not burn, not yet. I’ve waited this long, I can wait long enough for it to crumble until it is nothing but ash.

Welcome to your campaign!
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