Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Romantic Horror, London, circa 1800

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Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:40 pm

Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage; Or, A Four Days' Journey

There being no apparent need for haste, and some reason for caution, the party makes plans for a leisurely excursion to Canterbury, such as might have happened in the time of Chaucer.

Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes;
And specially from every shires ende
Of engelond to caunterbury they wende,
The hooly blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen whan that they were seeke.


To wit: From London to Dartford; then to Rochester, with its memories of strange events; then to Ospringe; finally to Canterbury and its renowned cathedral, this last leg of the journey being by far the shortest, allowing sufficient time for whatever activities may prove necessary.

Your Presenter will draw a veil upon the tearful farewells which pass between Doctor North and Miss Carrow, as they whisper promises never again to be parted once this hazardous business is completed.

The first day's journey is made without incident. Lodging is secured at the Royal Oak, a small inn in Dartford, said to have housed Henry VIII at one time; but whether this be truth or fancy, the accommodations are simple ones, the gentlemen in one room and the ladies in the other.

Spoiler:
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d2:
1


In the middle of the night a loud crashing sound wakes all. As Doctor North and Ivan quickly light candles to investigate, they are astonished to see a figure, resembling a human being of small size and gnarly features, bursting through the wooden floor from the earth below. The creature, albeit of diminutive stature, appears to be mighty of limb and in a state of excessive choler. The gentleman have a moment to react before the ladies arrive, if indeed they choose to do so.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:45 am

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Ines shall certainly rise to investigate the sound, though she will call through the door rather than open it at once. "Dr North? Ivan? Is all well?"
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby Rooter » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:15 am

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Lila has dagger in hand, listening for further sounds of disturbance.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:32 am

Image

Henry springs to the door to open it for the ladies while Ivan draws his sword and takes up a position to protect them. "I believe this angry dwarf is the guardian of Earth," he says, brandishing his cane. "Perhaps we can use the elements against each other. Earth may turn to mud when exposed to Water, or Fire could burn it away." He looks around for a bucket of water or the like.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby Rooter » Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:24 am

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Following Doctor North's line of reasoning, Lila dashes back to her room to retrieve the basin of washing water.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby SunlessNick » Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:56 pm

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Lacking an immediate means to produce fire, Ines throws open the window to let in the late winter air.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:18 am

The dwarfish creature, now thoroughly soaked by the water from the basin, appears unharmed, but even more furious than before. Its face turns bright red and it shouts, in a voice louder and deeper than one would expect from its size, words in no familiar tongue.

The bold attempt by Ines to make use of the night air also appears to have been of no value.

From the pocket of its waistcoat -- the creature being arrayed in human-like clothing of surprisingly fine quality -- it takes out a small pebble and tosses it at the adventurers.

Spoiler:
DEX = 18
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
3


Spoiler:
1 = Ivan 2 = Doctor North 3 = Ines 4 = Miss Davenport 5,6 = Other
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
2


Its aim is true. The weapon would seem a harmless one, but it produces an unexpected effect on Doctor North as it strikes that gentleman on the chest.

Spoiler:
The effect is of multiple kinds, depending on the dice.
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d3:
2
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
6


Although apparently uninjured, Doctor North suddenly feels very weak.

Spoiler:
CON temporarily reduced by six points for the rest of this encounter.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby Rooter » Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:09 am

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Lila backs away, studying the preternatural figure in an attempt to discern what manner of creature it may be.

Spoiler:
Intelligence 11 + 1 Demonology + 1 Danger Bonus (if applicable)
Rooter rolled 1d20:
14
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:37 am

There does not seem to be anything in the bold Demon Hunter's experience to compare with this strange being.

Meanwhile, having apparently deduced that the human beings amongst which it finds itself speak English, the creature has left off its own language (which seems to resemble some archaic Celtic tongue) for that manner of speech, albeit heavily accented.

"Ye stole me treasure, and I wants it back!"

It withdraws another pebble from its waistcoat.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:33 am

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"Light a torch," says Henry, and Ivan complies. Henry has always been a resilient man, but the tiny stone has weakened him so that he is no tougher than an average man, or slightly less. He addresses the dwarf. "Your treasure? Do you mean the lump of tin?"
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:17 am

"So it be, as ye well know, ye blackguard," the creature shouts, shaking a tiny fist.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby SunlessNick » Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:25 am

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"Many people take tin from the ground, sir," says Ines trying to sound polite. "Why does this piece mean more to you?"
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:03 am

"Them as takes knows sufficient to leave fair payment," comes the churlish reply. Then, as if it has grown tired of conversation, the creature hurls another pebble at the party.

Spoiler:
DEX = 18
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d20:
13


Spoiler:
1 = Ivan 2 = Doctor North 3 = Ines 4 = Miss Davenport 5,6 = other
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
2


Whether it be a matter of fate, or whether the being bears a particular grudge against Doctor North, that unfortunate gentleman once again bears the brunt of this preternatural attack.

Spoiler:
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d3:
3


Spoiler:
VictoriaSilverwolf rolled 1d6:
4


Spoiler:
Another four points lost from CON during this encounter.


After this second attack, Doctor North is visibly pale and shaken; although, thanks to the blessing of sound wind and limb, not yet incapacitated.

It would appear that diplomacy is of little value in this situation. The creature reverts to its own strange language, as if it no longer wishes to communicate with the adventurers. Whether it can be destroyed, driven off, subdued, or appeased in some manner, is a matter of great concern at this juncture.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby Rooter » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:36 am

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"The tin represents earth," Lila exclaims. "If this is truly one of the four guardians then perhaps the only way to appease it is with one of the four elemental objects we collected to break Tom's curse."
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:31 am

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"We still have need of those," says Henry, noticably weaker, "but I have an idea of what might appease the guardian." He turns to face the dwarf again. "You have made your point, sir. I apologize. I did not realize that you required payment, but I would be glad to pay you now. What would you consider fair payment?"
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:21 am

The creature stands up as tall as it can, and assumes the posture of one about to recite.

"I must have me gold! But not just any gold, mind ye. Riddle me this, if ye be so wise.

"What gold is it that is born as white as snow, flowing like water? That grows hard, yet more desirable, as it ages? That graces the tables of kings and peasants, yet may be stolen by rats or tossed to cats?"
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:07 am

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"You speak of cheese," says Henry. "When born as milk, it is white as snow, flowing like water. Later it hardens into golden cheese, which kings, peasants, rats, and cats all eat. As do I, from time to time. Very well, you shall have your cheese."
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:34 am

The creature bows low, apparently satisfied and of eager appetite.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:17 pm

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Henry hands Ivan some money. "Go downstairs and purchase some cheese for our guest," he instructs. The burly servant nods and sets out to do so.
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Re: Chapter the Thirteenth: A Modern Pilgrimage

Postby VictoriaSilverwolf » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:55 am

These arrangements being made, the strange visitor consumes, with evident relish, far more cheese than an ordinary mortal would be able to devour. Following this unusual meal, it disappears from whence it came, leaving no trace of damage to the floor of the inn, apparently as a sign of good will.

Our adventurers having been distracted, to say the least, by this encounter, they only now become aware that Tom has remained in a state of deep slumber throughout. It seems likely that the nature of the curse placed upon him renders him so whenever one of the so-called guardians is about, rendering him incapable of offering any form of aid.

After a time of well-earned rest, the party continues to Rochester, a city with which they are quite familiar. All seems well, and the day passes pleasantly. Much discussion ensues as to whether the three remaining guardians, if Fate decrees that such be met, will prove as amenable to simple bribery as the first.

The coach is about to cross the river Medway and enter the city when the driver suddenly pulls on the reins, turning the horses aside, and avoiding the bridge to Rochester. The Medway being quite wide, there is no obvious other way to cross it. Despite the dismayed cries of the passengers, he drives the coach to the very edge of the water, at a place where it runs particularly swift and deep. As if under some compulsion, he leaps down from the coach, heedless of his steeds, and runs into the river until he is waist-deep in the water.

As if all this were not startling enough, a woman, as innocent of clothing as Eve before the Fall, rises from the river. She would be considered of extraordinary beauty by most observers, were it not for the fact that her skin is of a very pale blue color, much as the belly of certain fishes, and her wild and tangled hair, long enough to provide as much modesty as any would require, is of a shade of green so dark as to be nearly black. She embraces the driver and kisses him, in as passionate a manner as if there were none to witness. After releasing the fellow, he collapses into the water and is seen no more.

The woman leaves the river and approaches the adventurers with remarkable speed. For a moment she glances at the ladies, her sapphire-colored eyes blazing with disdain. She then turns her attention to the gentlemen, nearing them with a smile.

If one had time to notice, one would realize that Tom has fallen into a deep sleep, and cannot be roused.
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