Elemental Evil

07-24-15 - "The one where we took the spire and Roan beat Leo on a charisma check""

battle of Feathergale spire & charisma crit

  • ambushed by our “hosts” in Feathergale spire
  • stole mounts and fled to <that>
  • attacked there by head of spire, defeated him with aid of <dudes>
  • return to spire and defeated remaining inhabitants…basically some robed cultists
  • allow remaining servants to stay or go, they opted to stay. (7 of them)

Comments

=Leo=

Leo likes living as a lord. He’s happy to yield the best room to Roan and to chuckle at his successes with the girl. But, he launches a search with the servants to gather the best clothes and furniture available to himself at one of the finer available sitting rooms. The fallen lady’s room would be sacked for any baubles he could send to his lass at Red Larch as well.

At least a couple of the servants would be fully occupied tending to his needs, assisted by “William” his invisible servant. All supervised by the owl.

Honestly, he’s a bit of a dandy about the whole thing. Also, every written word in the tower would need to be brought to him for review, regardless of language.

After the first night (barring a counterattack by other forces) he would bring up the question on how to style themselves over breakfast.

“Well the Feathergale Society is no more. We sit upon their chairs, dine upon their food and, Roan at least, lays with their woman.”

“That is what you were up to, right lad?” He’s say with a grin.

“We have a tower, if not the lands to support it. I think we should consider how we are to be addressed. How about ‘the Lords of the Spire’? With each of us being ‘his Lordship’ and ‘the Right Honorable Lord’.”

“Seems only just, really. No king here to proclaim us, we could just do it ourselves. I think it would ease the fears of the people too. Not to mention set us up proper in Red Larch.”

=Roan=

Roan would be resistant to taking on the title of lord but recognize the need to establish authority. For now he suggests we take the tower in the name of the gauntlet—which would be the most legitimate source of authority. And perhaps the gauntlet might take on the burden of upkeep.

Also, perhaps we can put those soldiers on retainer for a period of time if we need to go out and do some dungeon diving. Deputies perhaps.

I would like to start establishing a bond with my mount too. Not sure how to do that.

Ms Renee is a wonderful girl but Roan wonders if she is more attracted to his new position than to him… In any case he’s enjoying himself while remaining cautious. He wishes he had Leo’s knack for emotional detachment.

Hippogriff named: Nightwitch

=Doran:=

Doran is in no way interested in being a lord. In fact, he’s rather uncomfortable/stir-crazy at the spire. He spends most of his time either in contemplation on the pinnacle, or flying around the spire on his hippogryf, who he has named Sunclaw.

“Aye. I agree, boy,” he says to Roan. “We should offer the tower to the Gauntlet. Maybe they can use it as an outpost. We should also tell them of the rising threat of tension between these damnable elemental cults. Truth be told, lads…there’s a darkness surrounding this valley that unsettles me. I fear our blindness is greater than we recognize, and the only way to learn more may come at a bloody price.”

He’ll then turn to Leo. “Don’t worry, my fancy friend. If the Gauntlet doesn’t want the spire, you can have it. Or if not this one, then maybe the NEXT time we pummel a fortress full of ninnies it can be all yours. BWAHAHAHAHA!” His hearty laugh at the expense of the Feathergale knights echos up and down the stone walls of the once-bustling spire.

=Leo=

Leo is… reluctant…about the idea of yielding the tower to the Gauntlet. He seems ready to settle there himself, quite oblivious to the fact that there is no visible means of support for such. You suspect this will change once the novelty wears off.

Yeah, he’s not going to thrill the staff. He does, however, insist on paying them. So that’s something.

After the first rush of looting of clothes and such (he really wants a nice fancy hat) he digs into the papers. In particular the magic scrolls. The beast bond one just seems to anger him. He casts spells over it. Fusses and displayed a hitherto fore unplumbed depth of profanity. But nothing seems to come of it.

The other one, sky writing, produces immediate results. Billowing clouds of magical vapor fill his room and at one point threaten to choke out an entire level.

“It’s ok, it’s ok” he calls through the clouds. “I’ve got it figured out now.”

There is a loud crash. “Oh. Wow. That was… Anybody have a bucket of water… The stones seem to be on fire!”

==GM==

Receiving extra payment certainly makes Leo’s behavior more tolerable to the staff. They just shrug and carry out his fanciful orders. You find a truly unique hat in the Lord Commander’s quarters. It resembles a musketeer hat, but the feather in it is definitely from a griffin. This and some other old papers confirm that the Lord Commander was once a prominent member of Waterdeep’s Griffin Cavalry, an elite segment of the Town Guard.

Speaking of old papers, you find more letters and paperwork in the Lord Commander’s quarters that give you a little bit more insight into his motivations. It seems he was exiled from the Griffin Cavalry for some unspecified offense. Queen Aerisi had promised him that in return for his devotion to the Cult of the Howling Hatred, she would help him regain his status among the Waterdeep elite.

In regard to your Hippogriff mounts, simply spending time riding with them goes a long way to form a bond. Also, just one quick clarification in case it matters: The Knights of Samular at Summit Hall are allies of the Order of the Gauntlet, but not actually part of the order. The Order of the Gauntlet would like to see the Knights of Samular officially join their order, however. That would go a long way to strengthen their influence in the Dessarin Valley.

=Roan=

Cool. Roan spends a lot of time riding Nightwitch. He takes Renee for a ride. It’s pretty awesome.
 

GM:

It’s been two days since you “took over” Feathergale Spire. You expect the Knights of Samular to arrive sometime today. Doran and Roan are out on a late morning ride through the Sighing Valley (see attached map for reference). As they reach the southern end of the canyon, their mounts become suddenly restless. A piercing cry echoes through the canyon as you see another winged creature dive toward you from above. It has the head and talons of an eagle, and the hindquarters of a lion: a griffon. The hippogriffs panic at the griffon’s approach, and scatter in two directions. Roan and Doran struggle to control their steeds as the griffon draws nearer. Only 30 feet away from Nightwitch, the griffon utters another cry, it’s prey almost within reach. Just then, two javelins bloom in the griffon’s chest, and it stops short, fluttering in confusion. Five creatures fly up from the direction of the canyon floor straight at the griffon. They appear to be humanoid birds armed with javelins.

They swarm the griffon, hitting it with two more javelins. The great beast relents, unwilling or unable to cope with these new foes. It retreats toward the cliffs on the west side of the canyon.

The birdmen offer their own piercing cries, but do not pursue the griffon. Instead they turn toward Doran and Roan, who have managed to regain control of the hippogriffs. They stop 50 feet from the heroes and hover. One of the birdmen calls out in an odd screechy voice. “Peaceful greetings, earthwalkers. My name is <<unintelligible>>. You ride through the griffon’s territory astride its favorite prey. This is unwise. Are you not the ones who have purged the Spire of elemental evil? May we follow you back to roost? We have much to discuss.”

 

=Roan=

“Thank you for your aid and your kind words. Come follow us back to the spire and meet our companions… if my dwarven friend has no objection?” (But why would he object? If they meant us ill will they would not have asked to roost in the spire.)

=Seeker=

Since we’re here a couple of days, and potentially longer in his mind – he really likes the idea of a fortified place where we could offer sanctuary to those in need – Seeker would most likely take up residence in the stables, or perhaps in one of the now vacant portions of the servants quarters. In addition to whatever planning the party does for their expeditions, he would have spent a good deal of time with each of the remaining servants, finding out their duties and what they are good at and what issues they have. He would try and learn from the ones willing to teach him – looking for all the quirks and ins and outs of their new abode. Is the 4th room on the second floor the drafty one? Boards squeak on the 15th stair? He’d notice, and try and fix the things within his capability, or offer help to the servants responsible. He’d know all the servants by name rather quickly and, given his background and to the extent that they tolerate a tiefling befriend them. He’d like to get some ranged weapons mounted on the roof, and he’d also make sure to stash a couple extra master keys in locations only accessible to familiars. He’d point out most of them to Leo.

He fully agrees with Leo’s decision to pay them – he would have suggested it as well and he’s a little surprised by Leo here. He’s still not quite sure what to make of Leo. On one hand, whenever Leo starts acting foppish…it grates on his nerves in the way that nobles tend to grate on peasants, but when he stumbles into moments of generosity and kindness well, Seeker is thankful. He hasn’t forgotten Leo’s desire to spare the other mounts as well. While he may have thought that terminating them might have made the party’s survival more likely and he has no problem butchering animals for food/etc., he still appreciates the fact that Leo gave them a second thought.

He’d spend a lot of time with his hippogriff, obviously kind of enthralled and still a bit stunned by the whole process. He’s always had an affinity for equines (and poultry!….), so he seems to take immediately to it. The equine portion of it is mostly black, with large spots of contiguous white (kind like this: ), while the eagle portion is that of a harpy eagle.

It’s male, and he names it Izzat (might change this later, but I’m trying to finish this email tonight!), which Leo probably will recognize as roughly Infernal for Inquiry and/or Inquisition, possibly both, definitely a noun that can also be a verb and with an intentional mode that’s difficult to translate.

He’d watch Roan’s budding relationship with a faint, friendly smirk, and make a gentle knocking gesture on the air when Roan’s mouth got the best of him, but the fact that the woman seems such a goofy match cheers him a little.

He would try and enlist Doran and Roan’s help in repairing bits of the keep – making sure the battering ram thing works, checking the drawbridge – maybe putting in a few more traps. As high as his charisma is, it’s more of a force of personality thing than charm I’m thinking. Perhaps he comes across as very intense and just sucks people in via personal magnetism? Whatever the case, he would attempt to engage them in conversation by way of work, or perhaps while racing the hippogriffs around. If needed, he’d instruction (all 3 of the others) in the proper way to care for the avian portions of their steeds. I figure everyone knows how to deal with horses, but Seeker may have more experience with birds (??).

He’d test the waters with Leo and see how comfortable he feels speaking about magic. He’s quite impressed with Leo’s rituals and says as much. "Quite a talent to have. Never can be too prepared… "

His new familiar, which initially appeared in the form of a sprite (semi-retcon, didn’t realize the sprite could be invisible and I’d prefer that to the evil one) that rendered itself invisible and scouted out the premise during the “assault” as well as aided the party in determining the alignments of the remaining servants (hopefully we didn’t find anyone sketchy!). More recently, it has presented itself as a tiny draconic creature who, when not resting on Seeker’s shoulders or coiling up on Izzat’s back, cruises the tower killing mice and presenting them to the kitchen staff. The cook may be slipping it some seasoning for the mice. After an early spat with Leo’s owl, it may have presented a particularly well seasoned morsel as a peace offering.

=Leo=

Leo would, while going over the scrolls with him, give him a bit of advice.

“It border on foolish to be too familiar with the people here. They either hate us for butchering their lord or simply serve whoever holds a knife to their throat. If the former, then we can’t trust them anymore than if it is the latter.”

“We can only pay them and treat them as well as circumstances allow. Hopefully there will be a chance for those unhappy with their lot to move on peaceably. We should give them something extra if we can afford it upon leaving, so they can get set up someplace.”

“In any case, being friendly just isn’t genuine. You know you will just have to kill them if they rise against us.”

A pause

“Or if that thing that opened a door in your head tells you to…. If it’s not too late you should try to close it again. You have a good heart. Evil likes that.”

“I had one once too. Before all this.”

He turns back to the papers at that point and shows you how he modified the sky writing spell to “fit” his book.

=Seeker=

Seeker shrugs, he’s not exactly sure what you are talking about. It’s like when a noble asks a peasant why they are doing their own laundry. Why wouldn’t they? He gets the gist, but it sounds foreign to him. From his perspective, he’s not doing anything out of the ordinary – this is just perhaps the longest the others have seen him interact in an environment where he’s comfortable.

“They weren’t particularly enamored of the previous occupants [UNLESS PENN CORRECTS ME I’M JUST GOING TO MAKE SOME SHIT UP]. For all their false chivalry, evil is evil and it manifested in their interactions in ways that should not with us. Good hearts bind together instinctively while evil cleaves itself. While I would not hesitate to defend myself from violence, I don’t sense it coming from them. Besides, that would be suicidal on their part.

“I take your meaning, but not everything powerful is evil. I see your heart, sometimes. I suspect it was a complicated thing even before you …found yourself bound. Just one more complication – surely one that one as confident as yourself can surpass? You don’t seem the type to curl up and yield to me.

“I feel I should also add that power, even from a dark source, is only as evil as its bearer. You seem to be aware of this, but it can’t hurt to be reminded that you choose your own steps, can it? If a thing seeks to use you, and you cannot escape, you might as well use it right back. If the price you pay is your own life well, there’s no surprise in that, is there? Those in our line of work tend to live abbreviated lives anyway. You could turn away from that, I suppose, turn away from everything and turn inward like a monk, or a hanged man – but I, I would do my best to make sure the product was worth the price. I feel that you have that at your core as well. And you know where I stand on how we should use our power…”

If he notices Leo getting edgy, he changes topics, his eyes leaping to the ritual book.

“Fascinating. Flexible…expandable. I am a little jealous…I do so love books. But one can’t have everything! We are lucky to have you with us. I wonder if there are ways for us to use our…gifts in a more concerted manner. My diminutive companion, for instance – I suspect it is similar in origin (but not nature) to your book. Think on it, if you are willing.”

=Leo=
“But was the lord ‘evil’? He certainly thought we were, as does the young man we’re starving to death down in the dungeon. I would differ, but only as a matter of form I suppose.”

“Do as you will with the servants. I just think you’ll feel badly if you end up having to kill them. It’s like naming a stray cat – sure to end in sorrow. But what isn’t?”

“Before. Before the monster took me I was mostly just hungry. Too hungry to care much about larger issues.”

penn onefinemess

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