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Deadly

Citadel of the Demon Prince

At long last, after weeks of tedious investigation and wearisome travel through empty fields and burnt down villages, you have reached the small hamlet of Woodroe. Little more than eight or so small buildings surrounded by the wild trees of Rawlinswood to the south, open hills to the west and north, and the peaks of the Giantspire mountains rising to the east, this tiny settlement has seen much better days.

Like all other villages in the surrounding region, this one has been burnt down, only a few walls and some charred rubble left under a thin covering of gray snow is visible. A bleak wind from the north howls relentlessly over the desolate and broken remains of the hamlet, but otherwise the place is eerily silent and devoid of life.

To the south, surrounded by a few trees on the edge of the forest, the remains of what appears to be a small shrine stands, razed and burnt to the ground like the rest of the place.

Barely visible on a low hill in the distance to the north-east, looms the outer walls of the abbey where the demon cult is rumored to live. Even from this distance it seems dark and foreboding.

You know almost nothing of the cult who claims this forsaken place as their own and razed the surrounding lands, but that matters little. You know that they worship the beasts of the Abyss, you know that they have claimed this place as their own, and you know that they have stolen away the men, women and children of every nearby village. You know these things, and that is enough.

((You all arrive individually from the west, except for Chilli who comes from the south.

You're the only ones here, it seems, so it's up to you to find together and decide what to do based on your individual backgrounds and knowledge.))
Artemis

A black haired Elf rides slowly in from the west, atop a chestnut colored horse. His grey eyes scan the horizon, taking in the scene. How many had lived here? How many were now dead at the hands of these demon-worshippers. When the abbey on the hill comes into view he brings his horse to a halt and scowls. When he had left Heliogabalus, his mind has been on profit, but after passing so many ruined villages, his thoughts were on revenge.
The Chilli God

Walking into the area from the south comes a stern-faced man with hair the color of autumn leaves, braided into two tails that fall over his chest. He wears armor mostly made from the feathers of owls, making him seem almost like one of the birds himself, and sitting on his shoulder with its eyes shut is an actual owl.

The man, moving swiftly through the forests as though he were part of them, pauses at the remains of the shrine. He studies the shrine with an expression on his face that would remind someone of a member of the town guard out on patrol, though for a moment the eyes betray his sadness, his anger. He looks around briefly, surveying the damage that the environment around the shrine has taken, before uttering a quick prayer and continuing on his way. The man doesn't even bother to scan the area for clues as to who did this - he already has a strong feeling as to the answer.

Upon spotting a figure on a horse, the man quickly and quietly hides himself in the foliage just on the outskirts of the southern forests, not wanting to be himself seen until he can judge if this other person is friend or foe.
Vael

Acantha strides openly and boldly into the area, her breastplate, sword, and holy symbol of Tyr gleaming in the light, each of them polished to a mirror shine. Her golden hair is kept trimmed and slightly in the range between medium and short length, so as not to get in her way, while her light, sky blue eyes are somehow harder than their nature would imply. In fact, that seems to be a good, overall description of her- innately beautiful and soft, but trimmed and disciplined, hardened by whatever life she had lived. Her rigid stance and neat, efficient pace speak of military training.
However, that doesn't seem to be all there is to her. Indeed, that seems to be only one aspect that points to an overall purpose. The holy symbol of Tyr helps tell the story, a life of devotion to a god of war would instill such discipline as she has, her skill with the sword. Beyond that, there is almost an aura about her, a hint of a higher purpose, a divine influence and will. Something that drives her besides just herself.
Her eyes narrow at the sight of the village, and particularly the shrine. She tenses and seems to be fueled by a contained, directed rage as she picks up her pace- but almost immediately slows again as she sees the horse. What else would someone be doing here? There were only two answers that immediately sprung to mind...
She looks at the elf, moving into his line of sight, and towards his path.
Hail, traveler. What brings you to this place?
Artemis

The Elf looks down at Acantha. "I heard news of cultists causing trouble in this region. This is far worse than I first imagined."
Terumitsu

A half-elf was not far behind. Though, he was moving at a faster pace what with the rather odd appering steed that he was riding on. "I still don't know why I let you cast the mount. You always do something like this." A voice said, though his lips didn't seem to move. "Cresilt, Cresilt, Cresilt... You will never get any recognition if you don't reach for it."
"Still... Plaid? Boccob's boots, you can be a strange one!"

And riding in on a distinctly plaid Phantom Steed, the Ultimate Magus (Magi?) made his apperance. Of course, the fact that he was not only riding side saddle but also reading his spell book and arguing with himself as the contryside passed by at a very speedy rate. He wasn't making it any better for himself as he began to argue magical theory as he reviewed Web.
You know... If you would just accept that the inter-planar interactions on the nights of the waxing equinox result in a higher concentrations of Silphic and Salaman wave-forms than those of the-"
"I will not! That is a direct violation of Etereskia's 43rd law of elemental balence. 'Each pure souce of power stays pure in it's natural state unless forced to mix by an outside will.' You know that!"
"And I say that is just a fragment of what it should be! There are exceptions! You know that! What about those mesurments that we took? Those prove my theory!"
"That was an erroneous reading. The embers of the fire were stoked by the wind. If you so need it we can stay up all night again next year. I bet that the readings shall be in accordance to the laws. "
"It was not erroneous! The fire was-"
"Hold up you two, there are people gathered there... Don't seem to be demon worshippers..."

And the strange steed with it's strange rider who had a perfectly normal looking calico kitten peeking out of his front vest pocket came to a stop. He looked at the two others with his mismached blue and green eyes as he pushed his windswept and lightly unkempt brown hair out of his eyes. He also had to do something about that scraggly beard. Sure it looked nice when he trimmed it but he didn't like how it hid his chin like that. Oh well.. He supposed that he could deal with it later. He had been traveling for a while and all.

Munching on a bit of granola and a few raisins from his travel rations, He approached the little group at a slowing pace and scratched at his chin. "Halloo there!" He called out as wasn't quite near enough to them for regular speech yet.
Vael

Sense Motive: 1d20+9=23
Because trusting people just isn't what Acantha does!
She also blatantly casts Detect Evil, concentrating on the elf.

And what business do you have here? What do you know of the cultists?
She stares up at him, her voice hard and quite unyielding, then quickly sweeps her head to scan the half elf as well.
Kyrian

Karil crested the hill and looked at the hamlet before him. He heard the elf and Acantha, but payed them no mind. All he prayed was that this place would put him back on the right track.
Artemis

Spellcheck:1d20+14=30 And he is decidedly Not Evil.

Recognizing what Arcantha has cast, the Elf scowls. How dare she even consider him being one of these foul cultists! "No more than that, and my business is my own." He then turns a cold glare at the approaching half-elf.
Vael

Are you hunting down these cultists?
Acantha pursues the question, still watching the elf with narrowed eyes.
Artemis

"Yes." He replies tersely.
Terumitsu

The half-elf also shows up as Not Evil.

The cold glare was quite enough to stop him though. "Seems like someone isn't the friendly type." The kitten mewed before retreating back into the vest pocket. Anorin and Cresilt had to agree. Then, rather suddenly, the spell duration for the plaid steed gave out and the magus fell rather solidly on his rump.
"Ow!"
"Ow!"
The sound was simultainous so it would be hard to tell if it had been one voice or two. Not that anyone would be checking.. hopefully....
Artemis

The Elf shakes his head at the mage.
Vael

Acantha looks them both over a bit more, then decides to check out the shrine, so she heads over to it.
Terumitsu

Picking himself up and acting like he had ment to do that, the magus strode over and took a glance at the snow and rubble before letting his eyes glance about to the Elf. It wasn't staring but nor was it just a glance. Perhaps it was just one of those "Observation" looks that really don't mean much other than the fact that someone looked a little interesting. The kitten popped her head out of the pocket again and was rewarded with a little absent minded petting. She, of course, purred in that light tone and closed her eyes. Looking back at the elf, the mage decided to try a venue. "Might you also be in search of these 'Demon Acolytes'? I am quite certain it was them. This barren waste seems to be their signature..." The elf personality decided to give it a go as the human side would just screw things up.
Artemis

The Elf's disgruntled expression softens as Acantha walks away, at least this Half-elf had some sense of manners. "Yes. It is rumored they are based out of that abbey, there." He points towards the building in the distance.
Kyrian

Karil watched the others as he made his way closer to the hamlet.
Deadly

Acantha and Chaer, who are both close to the shrine, can see that it appears to have been desecrated more than once. Now, all that remains of the small shrine is a burnt-out shell standing over a small, crude table of pitted wood. A few small offerings have been heaped upon the table, mostly overripe fruit, a few green pinecones, and handfuls of grass seed, all placed there recently.

You both notice a few small footprints in the snow around the shrine as well.
Destro Yersul

Deckard saw the village as soon as he came over the last western hill. Nothing new there.. he muttered, and kept walking. He was still fairly young, not yet 30, but he looked older. Perhaps it was the scars, perhaps it was the nose that looked as though it had been broken at least once, or perhaps it was the eyepatch covering his right eye. Whatever the reason, the years he did have had certainly allowed him to acquire some interesting apparel. His cloak, bracers and boots had been made from the skin of a red dragon, and the bow across his back looked as though it had been carved from a large bone.

As he neared the village, he was also able to see the small gathering of people. That, on the other hand... He shrugged. There was a cult up here, and judging from the burnt villages and general desolation, they weren't interested in making friends.
Kyrian

Karil joined the two over at the shrine, looking it over in detail.
Vael

Acantha makes a brief sweep of the room (Take ten on a search check for 10 total) and looks for any signs of who the shrine was dedicated to.
Knowledge Religion: 1d20+15=30
Deadly

Karil sees the same as the other two.

After a bit of searching and going through her knowledge of other gods, Acantha concludes that the shrine is dedicated to Baervan Wildwanderer, gnomish god of nature and travels. It's the only thing in the area that's seen any restoration, however little, so it's tender must be quite dedicated, or mad.
The Chilli God

Says a voice from behind Acantha, deep and without much emotion, "This is only more evidence that leads to the same conclusion. There are no just gods that would accept this sacrilege among their followers, no natural force that deserves influence in Faerūn that would see its subjects do this."

Chaer has come out from hiding with no weapon drawn (with a sling and a small totem the only items on him that could be considered weapons) and with arms held out in a non-threatening gesture. A crude wooden holy symbol of an oak leaf hangs from his neck along with a chained pearl and a sprig of mistletoe, and a headband lines his forehead with that same oak leaf engraving on it. "But it happens. It has happened before. We had driven them out then. And, if need be, we'll drive them out again." Chaer's words lack conviction, however.

Prepared Spells:
Spoiler:


0 lvl: Create Water (PH215), Dawn (SC59), Detect Magic x2 (PH 219), Detect Poison (PH 219), Purify Food and Drink (PH267)
1st lvl: Charm Animal (PH208), Faerie Fire (PH229), Longstrider (PH249), Magic Stone x2 (PH251), Obscuring Mist (PH258), Wood Wose (SC242) + Entangle (PH227)
2nd lvl: Gust of Wind (PH238), Heat Metal (PH239), Splinterbolt (SC203), Tree Shape (PH296), Warp Wood (PH 300), Wood Shape (PH303) + Barkskin (PH203)
3rd lvl: Cure Moderate Wounds (PH216), Daylight (PH216), Greater Magic Fang (PH250), Spike Growth (PH283), Vine Mine (SC230), Wind Wall (PH302) + Plant Growth (PH262)
4th lvl: Cure Serious Wounds (PH216), Freedom of Movement (PH233), Moon Bolt (SC143), Rusting Grasp (PH273) + Command Plants (PH211)
5th lvl: Animal Growth (PH198), Baleful Polymorph (PHErrata2), Call Lightning Storm (PH207), Phantom Stag (SC157) + Wall of Thorns (PH 300)
6th lvl: Cometfall (SC50) Wall of Stone x2 (PH299), + Repel Wood (PH271)

I took one spell per spell level from Spell Compendium, just tell me if you have anything against this.

Destro Yersul

Not a bad idea. Deckard ambles over. Get rid of the weird cult, save the world.. sounds like my kind of party.
Kyrian

Karil looks up at Deckard's words, nodding. Agreed. Let's rid this land of this cult.
Artemis

Seeing that most of the group is over by the shrine, the elf, whom I'll call by his proper name now, Irruvian dismounts and walks his horse towards the group. "It seems the others have found something." He remarks to the Magus.
Vael

Acantha looks at Chaer.
Are you the one who keeps this shrine? What happened to the village? What do you know of the cultists?
The Chilli God

Chaer's hands fall down by his sides, and he says rather calmly and honestly to Acantha, probably reckoning that keeping the truth wouldn't do much good, "I am not the person who tends this shrine - that duty belongs to a gnome called Holst, but I have not seen anything of him yet. The village is likely to have been ransacked, but I did not witness the event. I know rumors that link the cultists to ancient Nar practices, and that even the strongest oaks of the forest shudder in fear of the doom they represent.
"I was sent by the Lethyr Circle to investigate this cult. On who's authority are you here?"
Vael

I come with the authority of the Church of Tyr. I have come searching for two of my fellow worshipers, who came this way recently to investigate the cult reported to be in Damara.
Acantha crosses her arms.
Terumitsu

"I was about to suggest that we find out what it is that they seem so interested in." Cresilt said. With a waving 'after you' motion, he would take up space near the shrine right after the elf and let his eyes wander to the more particularly interesting aspects of it.
Destro Yersul

If we're going to go, can we go now? I'm kind of in a hurry. Deckard crosses his arms. I've heard some weird things. I'm looking for someone as well, and if you had heard the things I have I'd bet good money that you'd be in a hurry too.
Deadly

*A frozen tumbleweed rolls by...*

And somewhere amongts the trees and bushes nearby there's a rustling
Kyrian

Karil looks up at the rustling, and with his hand on the hilt of his sword, he starts over.
Destro Yersul

Hand on sword? Not even close. Deckard simply walks over. Careless, maybe. Or perhaps just confident.
Vael

Acantha whirls towards the sound, her sword out in an instant.
Who's there?
Her voice rings loud and clear...
The Chilli God

Chaer glares over at the rustling but otherwise makes no moves, using his sharp eyesight to try and penetrate the foliage and see what's causing the disturbance for himself.
[Spot check 25 (27 in forest)]
Deadly

Chaer spots a small furry figure, raccoon perhaps, crawling down from a tree and into the bushes below. A moment later a gnome, old even by gnomish standards, emerges. He looks around in bewilderment while holding up his empty hands By Chiktikka's whiskers, do I look like a demon? Lower yer weapons already.

To be honest, he might very well look a bit like a demon, or atleast like someone who've seen too many of them, with his long wild hair and shifting eyes.
Vael

We are in a dangerous place. We cannot be too careful.
Suspicious to the last, Acantha doesn't even lower her sword.
Are you the one who tends to this shrine?

Sense Motive Check for his answer... 1d20+9=26
The Chilli God

"Furthermore, will you tell us your name, master gnome?" Chaer asks with a tone of respect that is due to the elderly, as well as a quick glance at Acantha.
Deadly

Yup. What's left of it. The gnome lowers his hands, looking at the sad excuse for a shrine with a sigh, then straightens up and returns his gaze to Chaer and the others Name's Holst. Not much to come here for, anymore, but friendly faces are always welcome.

No sign that he's lying or under any strange influences, as far as Acantha can see. He does seem to avoid looking in the direction of the abbey, and perhaps he's also trying to steer the conversation away from that subject. But perhaps that's to be expected, after all it's not a very nice and cheerful topic
Vael

Acantha slowly lets her sword lower, putting a bit more trust in him. A bit.
She's still got her detect evil spell up, so she concentrates on him.
Can you tell us exactly what happened to the village?
Deadly

Burned down like everything else in the area. I've restored the shrine here three times, after it's been burned down Holst pauses a bit, looking nervous Never... saw what happened. I spend a lot of time in the woods you see, or I might have been dead or worse.

Holst does not detect as evil.
Terumitsu

Sighing to himself, the human side began to mumble to his kitten about keeping a watch on things around him as he focused a little more on the little gnome. Personally, he thought the little man had been through quite a bit to act like that.. But then again... It had been a demon worshipping cult.. Who knew what they had done here?
Artemis

Irruvian stands near his horse and listens to the Gnome. "Do you know of any other survivors of these attacks?"
The Chilli God

Chaer bows his head formally before the gnome as he approaches, getting up to about where Acantha is, even though he is ignoring her for the most part. "I am Chaer, master Holst. The Lethyr Circle has sent me to investigate whatever has caused this destruction, I was told that you might hold information as to who, exactly, we are dealing with. You say that there isn't much to come here for, but on the contrary, the threat is the reason that we are here."
Deadly

Holst shakes his head nervously, looking a bit out of it I don't know. I just try to stay out of sight and keep this shrine up. If you find any survivors I'll be happy to take care of them, but I wouldn't go near that place he says to Irruvian and Chaer both
Vael

Do you know if any priests of Tyr have passed through recently?
Acantha asks, finally dropping her sword into a fully non-threatening position.
Deadly

Holst shakes his head a bit Can't say I have. You're... he hesitates again, it seems like he's holding back something the first people I've seen in a long while. Not many dare to come here anymore.
Terumitsu

Cresilt frowned a little as he listened in to the little conversation. "Perhaps... Hmm..." He thought aloud to himself for just a moment more before looking at Deckard. So... I assume we all are chasing these demon worshippers...? More or less just out of curiosity was the reason but it was doubtful that it was loud enough for more than just a few people to hear. But then he turned back to the gnome and let his thougts slide around just a bit before offering another question to the pack. "I hate to trouble you on this as you seem to be highly disturbed by it.. If you would excuse my asking.. Have you had any contact of any sort with the-" The elf wasn't doing a proper job to him so Anorin decided to take the reigns. He coughed and then continued on from where the elf had left off. "I suppose we should call them the demon worshppers as that seems to be the common name for them... Or so I hear."
Vael

Acantha narrows her eyes, moving a bit closer to Holst.
What were you going to say? I don't advise holding anything back. I must find my brethren, and I have to end this cultist threat- it is my duty as a soldier of Tyr! I need every piece of information I can get in this pursuit, and if need be I will call Tyr's judging eye down on you to draw out the truth.
The woman really doesn't react well when lied to...
Kyrian

Karil watches the woman, scowling.
Deadly

Holst steps back from Acantha, looking even more disturbed and miserable than he already did Alright, easy now. I just don't want them demons coming after me. I've seen them, once, and that's twice more than I care to see such a thing.

The gnome glances around warily, as if expecting demons to jump out at him any moment The last time they came here was almost two months ago. Burned down the shrine again, then left. I arrived late, luckily. I hid in the bushes and watched, and I... I saw a dark demon from the bowels of Hell, half man and half horse, big as a giant and wrapped in a cloak made of the midnight sky. His hooves were red and fiery as coals, and he pissed fire as a man might shed water. The gnome says this with obvious conviction, showing no sign of lying. I swear that's all I ever saw, and the gods know that's more than enough. I think they call themselves the Cult of the Broken Word, but I don't know what goes on up in that abbey and I wouldn't go near it, not even if I were armed like you all.
Destro Yersul

Yes, the Cult of the Broken Word sounds correct. Heard that name more than once on the way here... Deckard seems like he's talking to himself more than anyone around him.
The Chilli God

"Broken Word... So, we now have a name for our enemy," Chaer remarks, obviously uncomfortable with Acantha's treatment of Holst, especially for one as old (If not necessarily wise) as him.
Chaer takes a step back, waiting for everyone else to finish with their demands and going through, in his mind, what he would do if Acantha (Or anyone else, for that matter) decided to silence the gnome.
Vael

Acantha nods.
They are the cult I am hunting- that was the name they go by.
What can you tell me about the abbey?

She sounds like she has every intention of storming the place.

((And Acantha wouldn't silence Holst unless he started blaspheming against Tyr and telling her that he sacrificed babies.
On the other hand, she would cast Zone of Truth on him the instant she thought he was lying.))
Deadly

Holst shrugs Used to be dedicated to the morninglord, Lathander, I believe. Full of monks, it was. But that was long ago, before I came here even. It's been abandoned as far back as I can remember.
Terumitsu

"Hmm.. Monks.. Interesting." Anorin mumbled as he stroked his chin. He hadn't been expecting that... But nobody expected the monks.... Clearing his throat, the magus decided to hazard a question as he pushed his hair out of his eyes. "Hrm... I have reason to believe that a certain group of mages may have a hand in this... Do you know much about the Red Wizards, good sir? I have heard a few disturbing rumors about them as of late..."
Destro Yersul

I've done more than hear rumours. I saw one. He was acting all suspicious-like.
Deadly

The gnome shakes his head tiredly Can't say I've heard anything about them.
Vael

Acantha listens to the others, her own questions subsiding... for now.
Kyrian

Karil watches the gnome, and glances around. He still had a feeling that demons had been around. And they could possibly be the ones he was looking for.
Deadly

Holst looks between them all, then sits down on the rubble of his shrine From the looks of it you all know more about this cult than me. You're better off talking to each other than to me, I think. Or if you're set on going there, I'll bet you'll find plenty of answers in the abbey. He shakes his head I wish I could do something. All I can offer is to take care of survivors if you come across any around here. The chance is small that you will, though, and the longer you wait the smaller it gets. Not that I would be in a hurry to get up there, so I won't blame you.
The Chilli God

Chaer looks up at the abbey, staring at it for long moments, before turning back to the gnome.
"Very well, then, Master Holst. I thank you for your time and understanding," he says respectfully, before offering a slight bow and backing off to walk up to that abbey place.

Chaer expects that the others will follow him.
Vael

Acantha certainly follows Chaer, actually walking a bit faster as if she were eager to prove she was not following him, but merely had the same destination. Which is mostly correct.
Terumitsu

The magus made a humming sound that is often aquainted with some turning of the gears in his head. There was the complementary chin scratching as well. Reaching into a side pocket, he pulled out five gold coins and placed them on the shrine. It wasn't much but it was the least he could do to help.

But not sparing a moment longer than what it took to bow politely, he walked on after Chaer. "So, you say you saw one acting suspiciously?" he said to Deckard once they were all nicely in step
Kyrian

Karil heads over to the abbey.
Destro Yersul

Aye. You know how it is. Skulking about, and all. Hey, you any good with odd languages? Deckard is walking fairly quickly, but not any faster than he has to to keep up. Yes, he wants to get there quickly, but he sees no reason to rush in by himself when he could take some backup with him. Too many unknowns.
Vael

What would the red wizards have to do with this cult?
Acantha is quite interested in learning that.
Surely they aren't a part of it?
Terumitsu

The magus looked at the inquisitor with a lightly wary eye. She was a bit... Well, potent from what it seemed. "I had my suspicions. Of what I guess, these cultists are backed by the red wizards. Their recent actvity in conjunction to the strange behavior of a select few planar bounderies is.. Well, it's much too much to be coincidence." Cresilt said. He wished he could have phrased that better but at least it was useful information shared with potential allies.

The mage then turned back to Deckard. "I know a few languages at least. Anorin said. As for odd ones? Well.. I can speak 'Cat' if that amounts to anything. But I might have one or two rattling around that might be of help. What were you thinking of exactly?"
Artemis

Irruvian gives a polite bow to Master Holst and turns to follow after the others, leading his horse. He listens to the conversations around him, trying to make connections. It seems they were all here for different reasons, but everything tied to these cultists.
Destro Yersul

Dunno. I can't read it, now can I? Deckard produces a piece of paper from a belt pouch and unfolds it. Been trying to find someone who could, but I haven't had much luck.
Deadly

Holst smiles and bows politely at the donation, then waves as the group leaves.

The note is written on fine quality paper, and the writing is done with a quick but confident hand in dark red ink. The writing appears to be some obscure language or magical writing, or both, none of it making any sense.

In the distance the dark, ruined walls and broken gate of the abbey rise, getting closer.
Kyrian

Karil quickens his pace, getting eager.
The Chilli God

Chaer maintains his pace, showing neither enthusaism nor reluctance as he approaches the place.

Chaer doesn't contribute anything to the conversation, however, because he has nothing to say. Far better to listen to what the others have to say.
Deadly

((*Looks around before poking at Teru a bit*))
Kyrian

((Didn't see him online at all last night, so I hope all is ok))
Terumitsu

((Busy weekend.))

Ah, document. Yes.. Well, if the magus was permitted, much (attempted) reading of the document would ensue.He would have to check what sort of language it was in first... Knowing that would definitely help with the reading bit.
Deadly

The letter is written in no language he is familiar with, but it uses the draconic alphabet.
Vael

Acantha nosily peers over his shoulder and looks at the note...
Her player being the crazy metagamer that she is, realizes that the only listed languages using the draconic alphabet besides Draconic are Ignan and Auran. Now Acantha has knowledge of the planes and its inhabitants... so she might know that, or have seen this type of writing before.
Knowledge (The Planes): 1d20+8=21
Deadly

Being the hairsplitter that he is, Deadly feels compelled to point out that yuan-ti have their own language, which he's sure would use the draconic alphabet too Razz

But that aside, Acantha feels certain that she's seen something like this before, and that the language would be Ignan. Actually deciphering it is another matter.
Vael

((Hence, "listed languages" as in under the Speak Language skill list.))

Acantha nods to herself.
If I recall correctly, the language is Ignan, though I never learned to speak or read it.
Terumitsu

(Ignan and not Infernal.. Drat... Ah well. Sheer luck saves the day.)

The magus studied it for a moment longer before Closing his eyes and mumbling something under his breath. Eyes flashing open, a strange glimmer was in them now, the black of his eyes becoming a glowing blue. And with that casting of Comprehend Languages done, he began to read.
Deadly

((If you expected demonic writing the language would be Abyssal, not Infernal which is the language of devils. Did you confuse the two?))

With his newly divined understanding of languages, the magus is able to determine that the dialect is that of the salamanders, and the letter seems to be a simple request for rare metals of extraordinary purity, not enough for weapons but perhaps for magical study. Seems innocent enough.

After reading the note the magus will feel mildly disoriented, but perhaps that is merely the effects of concentrating on an unfamiliar script, one clearly meant for more "fiery" readers.
Terumitsu

((Quite likely. Not like he could have read it anyway.))

The magus blinked some and rubbed his temple for a short time as he tried to will the disorientation away. "It seems," Cresilt began, "that what we have here is a claim check for very pure materials. The amount isn't anything massive but I do wonder what it is for."

((Any particular materials or does it not matter too much?))
Destro Yersul

Dang. I was hoping for something more.. well, sinister. Still... Deckard shrugs. Well, least I know what it is now. Still, why would they right a claim check in some weird language no one knows?
Deadly

((Eh.... not important unless you insist on knowing

Also, just to make sure it was clear, the letter was supposedly from the Red Wizards to the salamanders, not the other way around))

The dizzyness fades after a moment, but it sure was odd. Letters don't usually make you dizzy. Books might, if you read a lot of them for a long time without pause, but there's a difference.
Vael

Possibly because the recipient of the letter knows no other language...
Acantha says reasonably, but it's clear she's a bit distrustful as well, not that that is entirely unexpected from her.
Are you alright?
It's clear she has something more on her mind than his health.

Spellcraft 1d20+10=20
((To see if she can recognize his disorientation as the effects of a spell))
Terumitsu

"I'm.. I'm fine." Anorin blinked and shook his head at the end of the dizzy spell. The sort where 'spell' was a length of time rather than a magical effect. "Whoa... That was interesting.. I'm getting flashbacks from the time I was studying for my Transmutation exams."
Artemis

Irruvian watches the mage with a bit of concern, then turn to Deckard. "Wherever did you get that paper?"
Destro Yersul

From a guy who looked like a red wizard. I thought he was up to something.
Deadly

((I believe you forgot the +2 synergy bonus, so you get a 22 on that check))

Acantha notes a few common signs of some compulsion at work, but she can't identify any exact spell. Looks like the magus managed to shake it off, though.
Vael

I think there's a spell on that paper...
Acantha frowns and holds out her hand for it.
Terumitsu

Anorin blinked and then passed the paper over.
"Sure, take it. We know what's on it now... Unless you see anything else there that I missed."
The Chilli God

Surely that abbey must be getting closer by now.
...
No, Chaer is not interested in the letter or whatever spell it hides.
Deadly

The letter is passed on to Acantha without any incidents. No exploding or mind tricks or anything.

And of course... the abbey.

At long last, after walking through the snowy hills, you stand before the gates of a dark abbey, which looms in the distance like a shadow passing before the sun. The grounds of the abbey are still and silent, the trees twisted and heavy with frost, the grass grown lush, wild and black where it sticks out from under the snow. The chill air is permeated with the stench of terror, burnt flesh and spilled blood - the scent of demons.

You stand before what appears to be the main entrance to the abbey, an arched stone gateway tall enough for a giant to pass under without stooping. At one time, the gate must have been an imposing sight, but now it lies in ruins; its doors torn from their hinges and shattered upon the ground, its stones scorched by fire and stained with dried blood and gore. Beyond the gate is a cobblestone path flanked by a poorly tended hedge, winding towards a long, wide staircase climbing a three-tiered hill covered by trees. The spires of the abbey loom in the far distance.

Chaer's owl seems disturbed by the unnatural aura of the place, clearly not happy about entering these grounds, and keeping it under control in this place could prove more difficult than normal.

((...And I'm blatantly stealing from Chilli... because I think his maps are great Smile))

Spoiler:



A - Acantha
C - Chaer
D - Deckard
I - Irruvian
K - Karil
M - the Magus

Deadly

((*pokes a little*))
The Chilli God

[OOC]Whoops, I didn't notice the post. >.< Sorry.
Also: it's not stealing, it's inspiration![/OOC]

Chaer looks around the area, roughly as on edge as his owl. He whispers a few words of reassurance to his pet, and allows the bird to fly off his shoulder to a nearby tree outside the gates or something, confident that if anything would happen to it, Chaer would know instantly.

Chaer then looks to the others before slowly walking forward, resting one foot upon the destroyed gates (Move -> DCool.
"Do you smell that?" Chaer asks, though it sounded more like a statement than a question. "This is blighted land."
Destro Yersul

You think? Deckard looks around for any sign of movement that isn't them. He doesn't like surprises.
Vael

Acantha looks over it all with narrowed eyes, then looks back down at the paper in her hands, curious as to what it might be and how it might have attempted to affect them.
(Note that she's immune to charms)
Deadly

The ruined gates creak a bit under the weight of Chaer's foot, but otherwise the place is eerily silent and still.

Acantha looks over the paper again, but sees nothing other than the flowing script of the salamanders, which she can't read, although she now knows what is supposedly written. Apparently just looking at the letter does nothing.

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