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Chapter 5 Home is where the Heart is (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

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    Chapter 5 Home is where the Heart is (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

    Chapter One

    An Easy Score



    Rikke surveyed the scene before her with slight unease. The abandoned manor house had sounded like an easy score at the time but now that she was here her nerves twitched something wasn't right. The looming structure appeared abandoned from its overgrown grounds and faded paint but something seemed off. Trying to recall the details from the previous night was difficult and she cursed the inns local specialty for being extremely potent. What she could remember however was soon sliding together forming a clear picture that she may have been duped by a peasants tall tale.

    The tale as she recalled involved the lord knight of the manor and all his kin as well as the servants disappearing over night never to be heard of again. Of course every other peasant farmer and two bits bard had heard the tale and each one had their own version to tell. In one the lord knight went berserk and killed everyone before ending his own life. Yet another tale told of how the knight's wife had resisted the advances of a daemon and in a rage he cursed them all to be living shadows forever haunting their home. Still despite all the differences they all had at lest one part common that a vast fortune lay abandoned in a manor house a little over a day's walk from their village.

    Despite her doubts Rikke decided to examine the compound in better detail. The manor house had several buildings including itself that made up the entire compound. One was clearly a stable its stalls empty and roof partially collapsed. The second building was of a more robust construction. It was a single story very squat and flat with several poles sticking out of the ground in front of its entry. The next group of structures seemed to be a group of four single room house with over grown gardens probably built to house the less desirable servants. Having scouted the other buildings only the manor house was left to examine. It was an imposing structure made of stone with its highest point being a rounded tower like structure about 3 or four floors tall. The rest of the manor house with the exception of a small single ruin of room that may have once been a kitchen looked to be about two floors. All the walls had a think growth of ivy which concealed most of the windows that adorned the building.

    Having finished her scouting Rikke's trained eye had spotted three possible entrances to the manor itself. The first and most obvious would be the front door. The second was the ruined kitchen where she could squeeze threw the rubble and gain entry through the servants' entrance. The third and passable most risky was a broken window on the second floor. She would have to climb the ivy but the overgrowth looked like it could hold her weight. Of course she could always explore the outer buildings first or leave deciding that the local peasants have over active imaginations.

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    Last edited by ranger; 29th July 2012, 18:04.
    sigpicBecause.. Magic.

    #2
    Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

    Well… they weren’t kidding about the abandoned part. This place is a mess.’ Rikke thought to herself upon witnessing her goal. Abandoned buildings tend to give off an uneasy vibe, but this one really gave her the creeps.

    Still she came all this way it wasn’t like she was going to turn around now. A casual kick to a nearby rock and off she went to explore the surroundings. ‘Handbook for the Aspiring Heroine tip number 26. Scavenge some basic supplies before entering any creepy manors.’ Rikke happily nodded to herself. Sure such a book never existed, nor has she read it, but it was a great way to recall tips she learnt in the past and something fun to do to boot.

    The Manor, a stable, the pole house and a “detention” camp…” Rikke silently mouthed to herself contemplating what to do. There was no denying her curious nature on this, and taking a peek just to see couldn’t hurt. So why not check everything! Still first things first, she was set on getting some supplies, especially rope, and the best place to start would be the stable.
    A quick check on her weapon condition, cute hair fix, a smile and a deep breath it was time to start the plan.

    Time's a waisting get to it girl.
    Last edited by Ubberific; 28th June 2012, 07:40. Reason: Fluff. Minor grammar :P

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      #3
      Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

      Rolls
      Spoiler


      Rikke fixed her hair and checked her gear making sure her hidden friend was secure as it could be. Happy with the state of things Rikke took a deep breath before heading for the abandoned stable. Crossing the overgrown grounds did not prove difficult and she made good time heading for the stables and it wasn't long before she could make out details.The stable building itself was a fairly large building with a small fenced pasture. She could clearly see the damage to its roof caused by a fairly large tree that had toppled during a windstorm. Unfortunately the large tree had also obliterated the main entrance to the stable proper so Rikke had to settle for hoping a fence to gain entry or climbing the long dead tree to get in from the roof. Pausing only a moment to weigh her options a flash of movement from the manor house caught her attention. As she turned her head to catch a better view her body reacted on instinct and she dashed for cover easily clearing the fence and finding shelter in the stable. Luckily her chosen hiding place also had a usable coil of rope. Taking a moment to catch her breath the pungent smell of long dried manure and sweat filled her nose. Another cursory glace also revealed the bleached skeletal remains of a horse in the stall opposite of her its empty eye sockets staring endlessly at her.

      Status
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      Notes*
      Spoiler
      sigpicBecause.. Magic.

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        #4
        Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

        Lucky!” exclaimed Rikke as she gleefully coiled the newfound rope around her shoulder, while it was obviously well used it should hold for quite abit. ‘Still… I definitely saw something back there’ she sighs lightly to herself ‘Oh~… why can’t abandoned things be just that – abandon… and what is that smell!’. And, oh dear, the smell. Was it the fine mix of aged manure and something obviously dead in here or the smell of stale sweat with light hints of rot, nevertheless for a girl having barely anything to do with the farm life it was quite a “treat”. After an overly dramatic choke, Rikke moved her palm over her face to reduce the amount of contact with the foul air.

        Still the main concern was the flash of movement in the manor. Best not to just run out of a hiding spot, if it’s not absolutely safe. Though by now she noticed someone else watching her… the remains of a long dead horse.

        How CAN you live in here.” she silently addressed the seemingly only denizen of the stables, not really expecting any reaction from the skeletal onlooker. Finding a crack in the stables wall Rikke carefully peeked outside to the place she thought she saw the movement. Perhaps it was just a bird or a mirage, still better safe than sorry.
        Once determining if it was safe she’d make her way to the “detention camp”, as she referred to it, or in other words the 4 rooms. No need to spend more time in this stench than needed.

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          #5
          Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

          Rolls:
          Spoiler


          Rikke's well trained eyes scanned the manor house in detail attempting to pick out the slightest movement. Focusing her search on the tower where she had seen the movement Rikke failed to spot anything. Nothing moved no little birds disturbed the ivy, no ragged curtains fluttered in the breeze just the lazy clouds overhead which occasionally shaded the empty grounds as they passed. Come to think of it Rikke hadn't seen any signs of life not even bugs. The abandoned structures should have provided shelter for all kinds of wildlife but everything was empty, still, and silent. The lack of bugs and animals was not lost on her being as well traveled as she was so during her jaunt to the four houses she did her best to stay out of sight. Approaching the four buildings was easy enough the only obstacle being a large hedge of fruiting bushes blocking direct line of sight from the manor. Walking over the remains of a small wooden gate Rikke was disappointed to see that the four houses had all but collapsed their thatch roofs being no match for neglect. However outside one of the houses a fairly large mound of paper lay just outside one of the doors.



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          *Note
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          sigpicBecause.. Magic.

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            #6
            Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

            Just how old is this place...’ Rikke scanned the ruined houses. ‘I wonder who lived here’ she thought to herself trying to catch a glance of what was inside the ruins.

            The silence of the compound slowly started setting in on her. Sending a slight chill down her spine, making her shudder ever so slightly. Shaking it off she continued checking the houses, till a large mound of paper caught her eye. “Well hello there magic pile of paper, care to shed some light on this place” Rikke playfully approached the mound and crouched near it, checking for anything useful.

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              #7
              Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

              Each house Rikke passed seemed of similar construction with only slight differences in the size of each house. The mud brick walls dirt floor and what was left of the thatch roof gave the impression that these four houses most likely housed the peasants responsible for tending the grounds and stable. All the furnishings that had survived the collapse of each roof looked to be of simple but solid construction and only reinforced her theory on the former occupants. Only the large mound of paper seemed out of place and as Rikke bent down to examine the badly weathered pile she could make out ink splotches. The outer parts of the pile where unreadable the weather and sun having ruined the writing. Digging deeper however soon yielded a some what legible letter. Looking at the rest of the pile it was clear that it hadn't been attended to in a long while.


              Letter

              Spoiler





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              Spoiler
              sigpicBecause.. Magic.

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                #8
                Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

                Such a bittersweet letter. Though the recipient and quite possibly the sender passed on, the warm emotions in the letter lingered. Rikke neatly folded the letter and put it in her denarii pouch, as a memento of sorts. ‘So the Lord had a daughter, Sarah… who was magic sensitive no less’ lost in thought she slowly made her way across the courtyard, towards her last destination, the barracks.
                …and the Lady of the house had an “unfortunate incident… wonder what happened’ Rikke looked up from her thoughts, as robust structure stood before her.

                Spoiler

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                  #9
                  Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

                  The barracks was an ugly building made of cut stone blocks with no evidence of decoration. Squat and firm it was obviously a fortified structure built for the purpose of housing and train the Lord Knights personal guard. The outside area of the barracks was very flat the ground very firm and bare being nearly complete covered by gravel with only the hardiest and most determined plants taking root. Three posts as tall as the average man stood silent vigil over the training area, their sack cloth bodies and unusable armor piled on the ground at the base of each when the fittings holding them up gave out. Other than the post the only other noticeable feature of the barracks was that the reenforced wooden door had been bashed open ensuring that it would never close again. A strong gust of wind ruffled Rikke hair and caused the battered door to creak slightly revealing a large brown stain that trailed off into the darkness of the building.


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                    #10
                    Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

                    Is tha-that… blood?’ a strong chill runs down her body. Obviously it was from quite some time ago, but there was no way she’d go into the eerie dark without sufficient lighting.
                    Come to think about it…’ the thought of how she’d see in the darkened manor never crossed her mind till now. Sure a few floors might have enough light from the windows, but what will she do come nightfall or if/when she checks the basement.
                    What I need is a torch… I wonder’ Rikke stopped for a moment and considered what to do.

                    Spoiler

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                      #11
                      Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

                      Unfortunately Rikke knew that the barracks probably had a supply chest inside with torches a plenty but finding it in the dark would be difficult at best. Besides there was no telling what unseen hazards may be lurking inside. A quiet Harumph escaped her lips as she placed a hand on her hip. Puzzling out how to make a light source took a few moments but soon a slight smile spread across her lips. Tip number 12 1/2 when lacking the right materials for rule 12 improvise. Wasting as little time as possible Rikke began gathering what materials she had on hand to make a somewhat serviceable torch. Broken tool handles, some discarded twine, dried out paper wads, and some sackcloth. Assembling the junk into two torches took a little time but no where near as long as getting a good enough spark to light the first one. With her first torch lit it was time to enter the barracks.

                      As she carefully entered the barracks the first sight revealed by the flickering light was the origins of the stain. Two desiccated bodies propped against two inner walls with another doorway between them. The two bodies are both wearing mail armor that had been shredded with razor sharp claws their weapons scattered on the floor. Covering her mouth once again and moving past the long dead soldiers Rikke made it into the barracks proper. The scene revealed by her flickering torch was even more grisly. An additional eight soldiers lay about the room most with similar wounds as the first two. Dried blood splatter and pools clearly evident even with the flickering torchlight. A bright shaft of sunlight in the far corner revealed a set of stairs and what was once a very ornate desk with a heavily armored corpse clutching a book of some type. Rikke's torch light also revealed a group of small chests in the closest corner with one of the soldiers laying atop them as if simple tossed aside.

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                      sigpicBecause.. Magic.

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                        #12
                        Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

                        As the grizzly sight laid before her, fear started to take root in Rikke. ‘Oh no…no.. no no’ she continued to go through the room her legs seemingly bending ever so slightly more, her heartbeat ringing in her ears.
                        Pull yourself together Rikke! You’ve seen worse! And who knows when this happened, it’s history!’ she continues to reassure herself ‘Besides who’s the best duelist this side of Crolia…’ Rikkes eyes quickly dart to her short sword as she sighs in slight relief. For now she shunned her dread and made her way towards the nearby chests in the corner.

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                          #13
                          Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

                          Rolls:
                          Spoiler


                          Rikke belaying her fears for now navigated her way past another body subconsciously avoiding the large blood stain around it. Her somewhat shaky feet led her to the group of chests. The chests themselves seemed to be in good condition the only damage being nicks and gouges and the blood stains from the soldier resting on them. The soldier's armor with the exception of his shattered shield still strapped to his forearm looked to be in near pristine condition. From her brief inspection Rikke guessed this soldier must have died from massive blunt trauma. As sorry as she was for all these poor men this poor soldiers battered corpse posed a dilemma. Her makeshift torch was starting to sputter giving signs that its life would soon be over and she need a better replacement soon. However the corpse lay draped over all three of the chests. Not wanting to touch the remains left Rikke in slight pinch. Resolved not to be left in the dark in this place of all places Rikke handily brought out her other torch and gently pushed the remains off the chest. Everything was going well when she hit a snag. Well not her but the corpse, it seems the blood soaked cloths had slightly adhered itself to the chest when the blood dried. Giving a slightly stronger push seemed to do the trick as the sound of ripping cloth punctured the silence. "So sorry please don't haunt me" Rikke said to herself as the body began to shift more and more till if finally slid of the chest and hit floor with an audible shunk! The sudden stop of the body's decent snapped what withered flesh still head the poor man's head on as it broke free and rolled away hitting Rikke's foot before rolling in an uneven circle it stopped thankfully its empty eyes facing away from her. That last part almost broke her resolve as gasped in surprise and horror before covering her mouth. The tell tale taste of bile in her mouth. Rallying herself again she began searching the chests.

                          The first chest was a little disappointing mostly extra blankets and cloths. The second was far more satisfying. In this chest lay torches and other outside gear including oil treated cloaks, bedrolls, boots, and a strange leather pouch with a small letter tied to it. The leather pouch weighed nearly two pounds and seemed to hide numerous small objects. The rest of the chest contain extra arrows and bolts. Leaving the third chest alone for now a quick glimmer of gold caught her eye. In the far corner near the stairs a golden ring rested upon a dessicated hand. Torches in hand and a third chest to open it up to Rikke what to investigate next.

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                          sigpicBecause.. Magic.

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                            #14
                            Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

                            Finding exactly the items she needed, went a long way to relieve her of the tension and anxiety tearing away at her. So much in fact that a small shy smile formed on her face for a few brief moments 'Lucky~'. As the oppresive atmosphere surrounded her she had to make due with a gleeful nibble on her glove, instead of a cheer.

                            Scanning through the found items Rikke decided to take the pouch with her perhaps she’d check the contents outside and a sturdy pouch always comes in handy. A bedroll on the other hand could come quite useful later on, would beat sleeping on the ground.

                            However for now her eyes were locked on the glimmering prize infront. Doing her absolute best to ignore the carnage scattered around the room, she made her way to the alluring ring.

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                              #15
                              Re: An Easy Score (Ubberific) GMed by ranger

                              The shining gold beckoned her like a lover enticing her with the promise of wealth. Never mind that the rings previous owner still had a death grip on it. Whispering to the ring like one would do to a child or small animal Rikke gently liberated the ring. Her prize in possession Rikkes noticed the rings former owner had a very large book clasped in his hand with a spilled inkwell and quill lying nearby. Not to mention a dull metallic gleam seemed to rest at the top of the stairs the sunlight blinding her from seeing the source clearly.

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                              sigpicBecause.. Magic.

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