Shadows over Rosemont

Pervy

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Jan 21, 2016
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#81
The morning dining and dressing routine went, well, just like that, routinely. Once commanded the maids easily fell into their usual rythm of preparing Edora, from adjusting her dress to brushing her hair. The morning preperations went easy enough, Melana seeming quite happy at being bad in her old ceremonial armor, Vincent seeming proud.. if a little tired as he followed by Edora's side and station.

The people of the town gathered, curiously, some Edora had known for quite a while, others blending into the masses. The announcement had been too recent to make it crowded, but it caught some attention.
Of those invited, all but the Lunarch came, the same having excused herself with her duties. Grinning-Fox was also among the masses, somewhere, Edora was pretty sure.

When it came to the ceremony, Edora entered a small, traditional church with colored glass windows that still displayed the Archangel Avacyn, once protector of humanity, though the holy symbol of the altair had been exchanged for the Scythe-like Symbol of Sigarda, the only remaining Arch-angel that had not turned against humanity in a horrible purge at the height of the demon-wars.

The priestess consequentially wore a cloak of dusky gold with green seams, Sigarda's colors, as she nodded to Edora.. what was her name again... Bishop Maria Trisentia? Yes, Edora was quite sure of that.


The speech the priestess held was something quite generic, about Edora being a protector to the people as the angels protected humanity, how by birth-right and lineage she was chosen as their leader, enough of a generic speech for Edora to grow bored enough to look over the people with her...
A few actually decent looking guards had found themselfs for presentative and ceremonial purposes, boasting high quality, if old looking ceremonial armor bearing Edora's emblem and trying to look intimidating.
Vincent, in a ceremonial outfit bearing both his emblem which looked like a duelling blade and the Rosemont-arrow seemed uncharacteristically touched for a man of his experience and expertise, sitting in the front, together with some of the long-term servants of the house. Melana was among them too, though her expression remained calm and stoic as usual.
In the middle rows were some lesser clergy, the merchants, remaining composed but seeming disinterested, as well as a few of the wealthier townsfolk, who likely came here hoping for continued stability, as much as one could hope for in these lands at least.
The Archmage, at the back of the chapel looked positively bored, content mingling with the commoners there and striking up a whispered conversation with one of Edora's newer guard-recruits, seeming to pay little attention.

Overall, the ceremony went quite smooth, with the priestess looking at Edora, expecting her to confirm an oath of leadership and protection at the very least, as she opened a chest Vincent had brought with him. As Edora suspected, it contained a single arrow, of ebon wood and with a metallic tip as dark as midnight. Nephalia had little use for crowns and jewelry. Sure, some could be found decorating the nobility, but usually, it was reserved for vampires, who could fend for themselfs. With the frequent attacks of ghouls and other lesser undead, werewolfs, lost ghosts, devils, demons and feral vampires, a wise noble wanted not a crown but a helmet and no royal sceptre, unless that sceptre was blessed by two kinds of holy magic and robust enough to bash in some heads if necessary.

The priestess nodded encouragingly, making some odd hand-gestures that likely ment Edora should feel blessed, though, there was some actual magic in some of what the priestess did, simple and symbolic as it was.
(Edora benefits from a Ceremony spell, coming of age, adding 1d4 to all ability checks for 24 hours. It's about mid-day by the end of the ceremony, time-wise.)
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
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Aug 12, 2010
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#82
Throughout the ceremony, Edora did her best to put on a stoic appearance - one that expressed her grief over the passing of her father and yet combined that with a stronger resolution to be a bulwark for her people. Now was not the time to show emotion, but self-control and resilience in the face of her adversity. In terms of family, she was alone, a young, single noblewoman, the last of her direct line. She would be a target, but she had no intention of making herself an easy one. Both she and Malena would be eagle-eyed, and though she wore a gown, it was cut in a fashion that allowed her legs a freedom of movement in an emergency, and her mage gloves were stowed away in a fold of her cloak in case of emergency.

Edora spoke the ritualised words in response to Bishop Maria, signalling that she accepted and swore the oath of leadership and protection, and vowed to act in the interests of her people above all other concerns. She held the ebon wood arrow in both hands, palms upraised. She disliked the notion that nobles must only trust in symbols of war. A crown was a symbol of leadership and divine right to rule. She was not some chieftain's daughter in a savage society, however, tradition was necessary she supposed, and that alone was reassuring to the common folk and gentry alike. Still, if she could bring a higher degree of prosperity to Nephalia, she would prefer to improve its aesthetic along with her own.

After the Bishop's blessing, Edora stood up and addressed those assembled.

"From this moment on begins my duty to you - those high and low who call this land your home. My father's sudden end is a reminder to us, that all life is fleeting and filled with uncertain fate. What is important is what we accomplish with the time that we are given. Let this ceremony serve as a personal call to each of you, in both heart and mind, to redouble your efforts. Go to your business with increased resolve to leave something remarkable in your wake, once your own life meets its final destiny. If we all put our collective energy into serving a communal cause, that goes beyond ourselves as individuals, then we shall create of our county, a remarkable beacon of light amid the darkness, to serve as a guide for all to follow. I am your Countess. Your. Countess. Let us depend upon one another, and together, form a more perfect world."

Her speech was short, but to the point. She expected hard work, not laziness from her people. She would have to be hard but fair in her expectations from here out. After this, she allowed the cermemony and procession to come to its end, and returned with her honor guard to her estate, although if Bishop Maria desired a word, she would receive the Church's representative and grant her an audience. Edora was curious how soon the Lunarch's representative would arrive and in what form.

Other than this, she would seek out Vincent to determine if there was any immediate outstanding concerns that she had to attend to. She suspected he would find something for her to do, so she would see what it was, and determine if it was something he could handle for her or not. She would also inform him of her decision to upgrade the house guard, the highway patrols, the partnership with the Church on the matters of the demonic infestation, the denials of personal armies for the merchant princes combined with the planned festivals that would be a perfect opportunity for the Merchants to bring in their inventories for sale - which should molify them over their realisation that she was not going to let them become mercenary companies and keep their powerbase firmly set in their purse strings. It would be a shame if some thieves planned a heist of one of these merchant caravans, but that was not her concern, so long as they pulled off a clever enough heist.

There was also the matter of the Archmage and her quest, which Edora was eager to engage with, but she needed to be certain that enough things were in motion before she went out on a personal endeavor.
 

Pervy

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Jan 21, 2016
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#83
Edora's speech recieved semi-enthusiastic applause, with some being pleased by the new countess dependancy and reliability, though perhaps some thought her over-ambitious in her plans. The crowd dispersed without hindering her return much, leaving the newly crowned countess of Rosemont to discuss with whom everyone presumed would stay her Majordomus.



"Alright, I guess this is as good a time as any to talk about managing your resources Lady Rosemont.. it's still strange to call you that.. ahem.

Basically, we have a limited income which we can spent on building projects, improving our defenses, hunting down monstrous creatures, research, whatever you desire. Your name is helpful of course, but it is money that makes the world go around. If you overcommitt to one thing another might be lacking but ultimately, you will decide where and how to guide your county. Let me explain the specifics to you.."


Vincent leaned closer, presenting a map of the County and explaining the allocation of resources.
((Here is were I will implement a resource-based System I used in prior strategy games. The basic actions are:
Investigate, Defend, Research and Explore
Investigate: Send your men to investigate a specific faction, or patrol the wildernis in general. Can gain you rewards and reduce future threats, but has a moderate risk of losing men and resources.
Defend: Your men defend and maintain current structures. Mitigates risks and negates attacks on you, but has no direct benefits.
Research: Advance a specific topic or construct new things. Low risk, slow rewards.
Explore: Explore parts of your county or dabble in new topics. Moderate risk, faster rewards.))

Vincent cleared his throat: "So basially, we have a bit of resources to spent. Going by what you tell me you want to invest some money into researching ways to improve your houseguard.. those boys can use it. You also promised some highway-patrols, I can send some men to do that, no problem.
If I were to put it in simple numbers.. not to question your intelligence by any means, but sometimes it helps to simplify this, you want at least a few hands working on improving your houseguard, some resources are bound up preparing for the festival and you have yourself, and about five more capable mens worth of resources to spent, which brings me to an issue, the Black Rose Barony, they are hesitant to offer their support, although they owe fealty to us, oh and, if you need more resources, you could always increase taxes, though the populus and exspecially the merchants would not be happy about that. We also recieved some founds from an anonymous supporter, a bit shady if you ask me, but.. we can use it. here, I'll try and.."


Vincent noted on:
(( Your base resources to spent are 10. Each resource represents a dice roll of a 1d6, Whereas Edora uses twice her level as dice, 2d6 atm, for aask if not rped out(the norm.) Vincent automatically assigns himself on Defense unless ordered otherwise and also uses a dice equal to his level for that.
Currently, 2 of your resources are occupied on preparing the Festival, 2 of your resources are held by the Black Rose Barony, depending on a quest. The thieves guild money gives you 1 bonus resource, bringing you to 7 to spent.
I'll be doing the rolling behind the scenes, but basically, you will have to divinde your attention between offense, defense, and trying to advance the county. For example, if you spent 5 resources on research you are quite likely to gain at least one result and in two 'turns' marked as ingame progression, are likely to have gained two to three results from that research, but at the same time you leave your enemies open to take their actions unhindered. Then again, if you put pressure on without a reason you might also end up wasting your time and looking like a draconian ruler..))

"If I may be so bold as to offer my advice, to start things out you should invest in making sure your troups are a bit more up to standard.. some basic training for new recruits, better equipment and the like. A few patrols to make our streets safer would also help, but committ at least a few men.. too few alone might be in more danger, until they are trained better. Ghouls and some more... demonic creatures have been seen.. There is also the issue of the Barony, I could send some men to investigate whats going on there, but I think this needs a more delicate touch. I could do it, but I think I'm needed here, unless you direly need me elsewhere.
Melana also told me you wish to go with the Archmage? Don't worry, I got things handled here, but, just in case, it might be safer if you invest a few resources into defending this town, to let people feel save. Here is how I'd do things, for now, if I may be so bold to suggest M'lady..."


((Vincent Suggests that you invest 2 Resources into investigating and patroling the wildernis, 4 resources into research to improve your guard and 1 resource into defense for starters. You can override his suggestion as desired, but it is sensible, if cautious for starters.))

"I've called the Archmage, as after all, it is your county, you should be able to decide were to go and what to do. Don't worry, I can handle things until you return from your quest... I'm certain I'll have other matters to look into for you. Oh and.. Edora?
There'll be stones and roots on your path no matter how you choose to rule. I understand if this is all a little overwhelming, it certainly was for both your father and me. You'll have to make decisions and making decisions means you might make mistakes. What matters is not that, but how you deal with it."
He nodded, reassuringly, then called for a maid, who lead the self proclaimed archmage in, most of her hidden behind a newspaper.


"Countess Edora Rosemont takes throne of Drunau -promises to bring light into the darkness. Countess of the common worker or attracting danger for us all? Only time (and we) can tell you.
The Lunarch herself has been seen coming to support our countess, still one dead and four injured in ghoul attack on remote farm yesterday, where was the countess then?

These guys sure work fast. Eh. Not much of a gossiper, but had to occupy myself somehow. So, any further questions? Should we go right ahead and I fill you in on the way? Not to sound impatient but trails grow cold."
She shrugged with a slight grin.
 
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BlueSlime

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Aug 12, 2010
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#84
"I see. Simplification of the system will do for now, and your recommendation seems sufficient."

She sighed, eyeing the documents as Vincent had drawn them up and eyed the lack of tax revenue from the Black Rose Barony.

"What exactly is their problem anyway? Not content to be a barony? Or does their reticence extend from some other past misunderstanding? No, don't send men to deal with them. When I get back from my investigation with the archmage, I'll see to the Black Rose impasse personally. There's no point in strong arming them if we can win them over with diplomacy."

[Edora agrees to spend the resources as recommended by Vincent, in line with her stated desires.]

She thanked him for his advice and then waited for the Archmage herself to enter, holding her pamphlet. Edora disliked some of the gossip mongering these printers got up to, but she supposed she should be thankful that they weren't outrightly hostile. Perhaps she should investigate into her own propaganda press to raise her profile with the middle class.

"I prefer textbooks and treatises to printed pamphlets. One wonders where they get all their paper anyway, with the lack of woodlands in Dranau. As for your cooling trail, worry not. I am attending to your mission as quickly as practicality allows. You did seek a wizarding countess out, and so you must deal with both halves of my identity."

She smirked and nodded to Melana.

"Let's make ready to leave. We'll be safer from plots if we keep moving and I'm interested in seeing where this tale of wolves leads us."
 

Pervy

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Jan 21, 2016
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#85


"Personal diplomacy might be best. As for what happened. Well.." Vincent mused. "Historically, we were allies. And enemies. Like many small baronies neighbouring one another. But things grew.. tense when your father was declared a war-hero and given countyship over most of mid and south Nephalia. Most of it is mainly wildernis and marshlands but both the residence of Isselback in the south-west and The Black Rose Barony in the South-east were more used to their independence. Both your father and the late baron fought in the same war, you see, but you can hardly make a dead man a count. As for anything more.. well.. I'll not speak ill of the dead." Vincent nodded in a determined fashion that hinted to Edora that she needed to get any further answers elsewhere. Vincent had a traditional sense of honor and loyalty.


"There's enough wood to make paper, soft wood, bad to make wooden stakes from, a funny coincidence, don't you think?" Arlinn mused, off-handedly, then grinned and.. patted Edoras back. A gesture most unbecoming, but cheerful nonetheless. "Ah ah! I understand you are half busy being a wizard, waltzing all those scrolls ought to take time, I can wait, didn't mean to sound impatient." Arlinn chuckled and, at Edoras behest, it didn't take long for two horses to be readied, for Edora and her Bodyguard. Arlinn herself didn't seem to have come with one, borrowing one of Edoras, caressing the equine's muzzle for a long, thoughtful moment during which Edora was quite certain she saw a sparkling of subtle magic, before the Archmage swung up on the horse, leading the way out of Drunau, with more than a few people turning their head after their new countess, unless both Edora and Melana made use of a cloak to disguise themselfs on riding out.

"Alright, let me explain best as I can." Arlinn mused as they continued down the road, not holding the reins of her horse at all. "First, a little bit about me. I am indeed an archmage, though, a few years back that was a title awarded to anyone that sucessfully studied the teachings of Avacyn and could use a basic few spells of divine nature. Then.. the demons came. Avacyn was erased and many mighty angels grew mad.. in that chaos I decided on a new path, using more natural than divine magic, though I still know a lot about curses and how to break them I now focus on the more physical aspects of magic for the most part. I also consider myself a protector, of sorts, of those secluded tribes of people living in the farmlands and wildernis, were vampires not care to tread and lesser undead do not dare to tread."

Edora knew enough about history to remember quite a few details about this wildernis. There was a reason that the southern woodlands of Kessig were untouched by the vampires and the church.. it was werewolf territory. While even the werewolfs had fought against the demons, some renouncing their curse under Avacyns blessings, they were far from allies of humanity. Although, just like with the vampires their disposition ranged from gruff clans that didn't like outsiders to near feral hunters that hunted anything not like them. If Arlinn was indeed a protector of those creatures, that raised.. questions about her.
Though she certainly didn't seem too bestial right now, continuing with a mirthful, yet serious tone: "I thus consider the community of Isselbach my responsibility, as it is yours. South close by the wild road, near the border of the Ulvenwald.. but of course, you already knew that.
I'm not sure if they will approve of me though. Either way. As I already hinted, a few days back I came upon a trail of unnatural corruption. Demonic in nature, though not as what we've seen in the demonic wars.. something different."
She narrowed her eyes. "I'm not certain if the trail of the corrupted creature originates from these lands, but without a doubt it must have passed through. I need to find out why none would hunt down this abomination, but when I came here, tracking it down was my first priority. Was this the first time you encountered such a creature?" The archmage gave Edora a questioning look, as they rode along.
 

BlueSlime

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Aug 12, 2010
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#86
On the Wild Road

Edora set aside her thoughts about the Black Rose Barony for the time being. It seemed to be an issue of refusing to bend the knee to the divinely selected rulers of Dranau. A matter Shfor another time.

She arranged for two horses to be readied, and as she did so, she would mention in passing to Melana while the new "stablehand" was near that the upcoming plans for the festival would be a brilliant opportunity for the merchants to be making fat profits. She would just need time to consider how the security at the festival grounds would need to be arranged, now that she had denied the merchant princes the right to fund their own private forces beyond the amount already allowed by law.

Hopefully this message would be passed along to Grinning Fox, and allow the thieves guild time to plan and scout out a target, and acknowledge that their payment had been received and responded to. She arranged for herself and Melana to be wearing cloaks as they left the grounds, not wishing the common folk to be aware of her coming and going.

---

While out on the road with Arlinn, Edora felt herself concerned about the precautions that they should be making if werewolves were involved.

"It is my hope that we will meet with reasonable people in Isselbach. They may not want to recognise my authority, but perhaps mutual respect can be attained if nothing else. And the last thing my county needs is a demonic corruption plaguing those who already have... temper issues."

She rode on, nodding to the mage. "I have only experienced one creature that was corrupted by these bizarre demonic ichors. My research into its origin has only just begun."
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
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Jan 21, 2016
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#87

"They don't respect you as a ruler alltogether. Which doesn't come from a desire to disrespect your authority, they are just.. independent." Arlinn mused. "In need to be disciplined, you mean." "Well, actually, that would work. If you manage to avoid a fight. They do respect strength, though not strong words. For example, they would have been more likely to respect your father as a warrior than as a count, though as far as I know, the clans in south Nephalia mostly avoided the demonic wars. They were.. distracted." Just before the demonic conflicts Avacyn had hunted down all werewolfs unwilling to.. compromise, an inquisition that grew more and more extreme and only later on was revealed to be grounded in the archangel herself struggling against darker influences.

"So then how do you suggest we approach them?" "I can't answer that properly. Appear weak, they will ignore you. Appear boastful, they might just put your boasting to the test, that's the last thing we want. Perhaps there'll be a need of doing something to prove your strength to gain their trust. I could advice you but not speak for you, I'm from a different.. hold on.. up ahead... did you hear that?" Arlinn had tilted her head, inhaling subtly yet intently. Neither Melena nor Edora seemed to be able to hear anything.

You are currently on an open road, leading up a small hill which slightly obscures your vision. Both to the left and right of you is wildernis, though on he left side some woodcutters must have worked a while ago to clear a view of an overgrown field. To the right there is a small lake that seems to meld into another field, a fen that could become a dangerous bog away from the road. The day is calm sunny, with insects buzzing around you, though other animals are rather silent. As soon as you continue uphill, even the buzzing slowly silences, until the only thing Edora can hear clearly is her own breathing and all too loud heartbeat accompanying the now uneasy clop-clopping of the horses hooves.
 
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BlueSlime

Tentacle God
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Aug 12, 2010
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#88
Rovana nodded.

"I get it. The rugged types who respect merit over heritage. Well fortunately for me, I'm not some foppish debutante girl who relies on others to do her dirty work for her. I am a mage! And even if they might think that magic isn't as full of the bravado of a warrior, I can still put a foe in their place."

She straightened her back and looked around.

"We'll approach them with honesty. No point in hiding my intent. I'm down here for their benefit as much as mine own. A united county is a strong county and so on -- what did you hear?"

She muttered a spell, and her mage armor went up, an invisible shielding that would deflect part of the incoming blows to her person, though it was sadly not as powerful as some other defensive magics she had yet to unlock the secrets of.

 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
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Jan 21, 2016
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#89
(We tried a brief messenger exchange but got interrupted by brutal bed attack.)



As Edora forms the well practiced protection spell and Melana lies hand on the heft of her sword, the three ride on in silence.. a silence that becomes ever more oppressive, the day becoming cold and cloudy and more tellingly, with mist billowing past. "It's the scent of grave in the air, a distant wailing."
Melana seemed annoyed: "It's a bloody Geist. Give me a neck-biter or moon-howler over having to swing my sword at empty air any day.."
In the distance, a village, perhaps the outpost of Isselbach could be seen, but the horses refused to move forward at this point. Infact, particularly Edora's looked around and trotted slightly backwards on the spot.
"A mid-day haunt.. unusual." It was.. well, without recent violence or another source abound.. and then, they saw the creature..
https://scentofagamer.files.wordpres...alshepherd.jpg The Misty figure wandering across the street, passing half through a tree, a skeleton, half engulfed by whisps, followed by small, translucent skeletons.. a ghostly shepherd.

------------------------------

"I'd have to agree, Melana. The substantial are... more reasonable, due to being more vulnerable... but perhaps this haunt is benign?" she offered, not intending to start a fight just because. If it were a shepherding ghost, then let it and its flock move on. At least that was her initial thoughts.

"What's the likelihood that it'll get after us or harm the civilians here?"
--------------------------

"Well, this is the geist of a common man, they are not innately malevolent but might attack in confusion if we get too close.. particularly there could be an issue here with them... err.. being hostile to wolves, due to how shepherds view wolves in life. Now, in most places that might actually be a boon, but.." Arlinn seemed to struggle for words, with the spectral shepherd hesitating on the middle of the road, looking around, then pointing his staff.. albeit away from the three, the doglike skeleton rushing out and circling to re-gather a lost undead sheep-ghost. It would be almost cute if Edora didn't likely remember that this were not sheep and that was not a dog, just ghostly extensions of the shepherds tormented psyche. "One way or the other Geists don't go away and in rural areas like this the church rarely bothers to exorcise them."

"What bothers me more is what attracted it here in the first place. There's no shepherds around here, the marsh and forest make for bad farming lands and this is not innately cursed ground best as I know.. Necromancy, a deed foul enough to disturb other souls like violent bloodshed.. or is it merely lost?" If Edora decided to attack she knew to best do it with magic, as Melanas bemoaning revealed she lacked a magical weapon that could harm a Geist and pure physical attacks were not a wise sollution to this type of enemy. The Geist seemed lost and confused enough to pass without attacking, then again, it would propably be easy enough to deal with one lost ghost between the three of them, even if Arlinn's magic was only enough to rival Edora's own.
 
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BlueSlime

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Aug 12, 2010
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#90
"I'd wager necromancy is a likely candidate. Let's leave the geist for now and see if we can locate the source of whatever magics drew it here. No point in wasting magic on if someone or something is only going to summon it or something similar to it once we leave."

Edora chose to let the geist wander past, and instead set herself to the task of recalling some of the tell-tale signs of necrmantic blight. A flesh and blood necromancer would be something that Melana could sink her sword into, if such a person were around and causing the haunts.

Sorry for the short post. Don't want to assume that the ghost doesn't do something unexpected. Edora wants to possibly do an arcana check to see if there's anything along their path remeniscent of necromancy or supernatural blight. She rolls a natural 2... so probably a no go in that direction. She's comfortable with moving forward along their original route if the geist passes them by.
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
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Jan 21, 2016
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#91

"Another necromancer?" Melana bemoaned, not having been much in favor of the first one. While she didn't condemn necromancy as a vile practic per say, Edora recalled her disliking the disturbance of the peace of the dead.
The spectral shepherd looked off in the distance and then continued on, misty apparitions floating through stick and stone on their neverending travel, though as it was not antagonized the Geist took no further action and, a few moments later, the horses slowly relaxed and agreed moving again.. a little quicker than before actually as soon as they got away from the apparitions path.
"Quite possible. .. perhaps something I should look into later. For now, let's visit the villagers of Isselbach."

When a few minutes later they closed in onto the village, there was a shout, not an angry one, more one designed to draw attention and quickly, the three found themselfs staring down a woman bearing a composite mixture of longbow and crossbow, arrow at the ready and aimed, a wary expression in her chestnut brown eyes.


"Oy! Outsiders! Hold right 'ere and say what you be doing here. No one here wants me to shoot you if it can be 'elped." The woman cautiously demanded. Melana, hand on her sword at the almost threat looked at Edora, as did Arlinn.. though the latter seemed ready to answer if Edora did not take initiative. The woman quickly clarified her stance: "Ye don't be looking like merchants and we'd be needing few other folks on visit." A look behind her revealed a small village with simple woodhouses, two children playing in the street.. considering how closeby the Geist and, potentially other dangers of the wildernis around were passing by it seemed almost too open and harmless a little village.

That'd be more of an investigation check, but yes, a two is no good for any but the most obvious answers, so you don't know more than earlier described.

BTW! Just noticed what your mind was at earlier: :p

 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
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Aug 12, 2010
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#92
1525867070441.png

"Necromancy is a popular field of study. For those who would rather harness the power of dark forces than worry about combating them. I understood the appeal, but it was never my preference. There is a peace in death, and the souls of the dead should be allowed their rest."

Edora spoke aloud her philosophy, responding to Melana's displeasure at the thought of a necromancer being responsible for the geist.

With the apparation having moved along, they were free to journey closer to the village of Isselbach, and their diplomatic destination. Soon enough, a scout in a tricorn hat and wielding an impressive looking composite bow had announced herself and demanded identification.

"We'd appreciate not being shot, all the same," Edora responded, keeping herself calm, but still harnessing the cool, noble demeanour that she had been brought up with.

"We are here to investigate the troubles that this part of the realm is facing, on behalf of the newly appointed Countess Edora Rosemont, In short, we are concerned about the welfare of the villagers due to an outbreak of a new, possibly demonic threat, and we intend to help. And if merchants are what you are interested in, trade supply from the north is more likely if the Countess is aware of her subjects' needs. That we could also report on, if need be."

She stopped speaking there, to allow the guardian to register this information and give a response that would indicate the disposition of the villagers. Edora predicted that this woman was not alone, and that the villagers were not so defenseless as they appeared.
 

Pervy

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Jan 21, 2016
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#93
"Undead are just messy and unappealing. I prefer fighting with or against things with actual strategic value... and not be commandeered by someone that cares little if I die, as I can simply be.. reused." Melana shook her head at the idea.


Isselbach Militia. Definitly just a harmless human.
Isselbach, Village entrance


"Aye, I reckon." The militia-woman sniffed in Edora's general direction, seeming thoughtful, narrowing her eyes. "We can take care of ourselfs. Report on our needs. Har.
Anyway.. ye wanna yak with the Chief."
She decided, lowering her bow at last. "I'll show you the way. Cause no trouble." She decided, waving the three along. Arlinn and Melana descended from their horses, with Arlinn hushedly adding.: "Well, first test passed. Still, they seem on edge." With Melana staying cautiously close, the Militia-woman lead them to through the village, small and medium sized houses, somewhere between simple hut and properly built gave way to a larger, town hall like building. However, rather than enter it, they were lead to the side, a knocking, and they entered a large office-like room. A warming fire crackling in a fireplace upon which a wolfshead hung, an array of books, half-sorted in a bookshelf, a large table with a detailed map upon it all framed a stout, thoughtful looking man.


"Mayor? Some folks 'ere come to seen you on behalf of trading and countesses and whatnot." They were announced, the man looking up, standing up, and extending a strong hand, to whoever would approach to shake it first. "Welcome to Isselbach. I'm Chief Estron." He looked over to Arlinn, narrowing his eyes. "Speak up, what brings you here. I'm not a man of philosophizing." His voice had a subtle growling quality there, an edge of feral wild hiding under the guise of civility.
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
#94
Isselbach, Chief's Office

"Good day, Chief Estron. I am Countess Edora Rosemont of Nephalia. This is my bodyguard, Melana. This is Arlinn, archmage and self-styled protector of the folk who live far from the cities. We're here because Arlinn is on the trail of a creature that has been subsumed by demonic influence and has committed murders. I have seen first hand another example of demonic influence affecting my people. I'm here personally for two reasons, the first being that I would prefer to do my own investigation without the zealous nature of the church being involved."

She paused to allow time for that fact, and the idea that she truly was the countess come to visit with only two others, sink in.

"The second reason is that while I intend to be a proper ruler like my late father was, the fact of the matter is that I am what you might call a more hands-on person. No one respects someone who leads from behind gilded walls, right? The people of Southern Nephalia are independent, but technically a part of my realm. I was crowned countess yesterday. Consider this my first state visit."

Edora put her hands behind her back and let her piercing blue eyes focus on the gruff man. If he was to be the alpha dog here, then he had to know that she was the alpha from where she came from. One way or the other, she wasn't going to leave Isselbach with her tail between her legs, and she wasn't going to start her rule with deception. At least, not when it wouldn't serve her purposes.
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83
#95
Estron, The Mayor of Isselbach

"Arlinn Kord, who presumes to speak for all our kind and a young countess that presumes this land is hers now." The man stated, bruskly. "I'm merely a protector." Arlinn interjected, narrowing her eyes. "Unasked for, undemanded. We protect ourselfs." "Of dangers beyond what most can see and if they could, they would embrace me." "Hmph. We have little place for soothsayers." The man and Arlinn remained in a staring-contest for a brief while, and Edora could see why the Archmage had requested aid. For a moment, it felt as if she watched two wild beasts about to pounce each other.. though, if she was attentive enough, there was the most subtle shift.. and it was Estron who averted his eyes, despite his, seemingly, more powerful presence, he turned over to Edora.

"We.. don't need the church sniffing about. I'd rather have you do what's necessary." He conceded, a bit of the tension easing. ".. That demonic corruption, what precisely would you mean by it?" He asked.. then, he almost chuckled, standing up.. He was short, infact, slightly shorter than Edora, but stocky. If this world had Dwarfs, Edora might have thought him at least half of one.
"State visit." He seemed about to burst out laughing almost, shaking his head at the idea, staring at Edora. "Aren't you scared, travelling the wilds,.. girl?" He glanced over to Melana briefly, then added: "There are Ghouls and Geists and wild beasts on the street, it's how it's always been, even if Nephalia is the most tamed of all our provinces.. well, short of the capital cities surroundings perhaps." He approached Edora, not threateningly, but clearly seizing her up.
"What if the big bad wolf comes for you?" He said, with a subtly shifted tone.

(You feel compelled to do a sense-motive check!)
 

BlueSlime

Tentacle God
Moderator
Aug 12, 2010
7,069
63
#96
Isselbach, Mayor's Office
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"Down boy." Edora said, immediately after he dared to call her a girl.

"If there was not something different from the typical darkness that plagues Nephalia, I would see no need to investigate. Obviously what is happening goes beyond your assumptions. You would do well not to disregard Arlinn's words out of some misguided rivalry. Against the incursion of the abyssal, there can be no fractures between people. And to answer your question, if a wolf comes for me, Chief Estron, it will either learn that I am not one to be messed with, or it will die as an example to the rest of the pack, so that they might learn the same. Given that demons are about, it seems to me a waste of a perfectly able big bad wolf, no?"

She snapped her fingers, and produced a "LIGHT" cantrip upon a nearby paper weight, just to clue Estron into the fact that he was dealing with a mage in both the Countess and with Arlinn. To her mind, this was a challenge, and it would need to be met on as squarely as Arlinn had stared down Estron.

"And the form of address is Countess, regardless of your thoughts on the extent of my lands."
 

Pervy

Dances with Girl-Cocks
Moderator
Jan 21, 2016
4,280
83
#97
Estron, The Mayor of Isselbach

He narrowed his eyes threateningly as Edora commanded him to down.. something about that he certainly had not liked. He did not get to move further, as a longsword suddenly posed itself at his throat, Melana wordlessly and without command backing up Edora's command, .. causing him to take a step back.. but not like a coward would Edora had seen coward. He was a man that did not wish to deal with the bother, rather than a man that would not fight.

"It's not misguided. We rule ourselfs and have no master." He hesitated. "But something is going on, is it not?" Arlinn interjected, seeming to have seen something Edora and Melana didn't in his expression. He glanced over to the light, then shrugged and sighed.

"We can.. take care of it." He insisted suddenly. "It is contained, whatever it is." He returned to seat himself behind his table, exhaling, chuckling. "Well, at least, you're no coward, countess. But I insist. Move yourself away from this village.." Finally, he averted his eyes. "Oh, what is that?" Melana leaned closer to Edora. "Perhaps we could request this strong gentlemans help in our investigation. I mean, it's clear he doesn't need our help..." She said, with subtle emphasis.