Vita est ludus
The thin line between fantasy and reality...













Tarrastra Adventure 47

Caelesti's notes




The party decided to have a Commune cast to get divine answers to some serious questions. After coming up with a list of questions, they headed to the temple of Núadu. The questions were:

1.) Are any of us in our current party of five - Carric, Caelesti, Talon, Yoshi, Mavis - Imposters?

2.) Have there been any imposters of any of us elsewhere - Carric, Yoshi, Talon, Caelesti, Mavis?

3.) Is the real Nessey currently in Barbarian Territory?

4.) Did a Nessey imposter sell 'the evil book' to Conner
? Yes.

5.) Is there a bigger plot, specifically involving the impersonation of Nessey?

6.) Was Sir Phineas involved in the plot to have Nessey impersonated?

7.) Does the bane moon egg have anything to do with the impersonation of Nessey?

8.) Have other people of importance in Rowansmeade been replaced by imposters?

9.) Was the Nessey imposter a humanoid?

Talon told the party of some of the shape-changing creatures she was aware of. She listed aranea, barghest, doppelgänger, lycanthropes, mimics, and phasms.

Talon knew that:
-Aranea can only assume one form, so one could not have turned into Nessey.
-Doppelgänger shape-changing is very versatile.
-Lycanthrope alternate forms are animal-like.
-Phasms can pretty much turn into whatever they like.
-Mimics can only become objects.
She knew little about barghest.

The party went to the sage, Futhark, to get additional information about barghest, doppelganger, and phasms. Futhark said that barghest can only turn into goblins and wolves. Phasms could turn into specific people, but they cannot read minds, so would not be able to impersonate them well. Doppleganger can both turn into specific people and read minds, so would better be able to impersonate them. He added that it is very difficult to tell a doppelganger from an ordinary person, though True Seeing would work perfectly.

The party returned to the inn to talk more. At the inn, the party received a note from the temple of Núadu. They headed off to the temple to find that The Weapons of Good were requested to investigate torn up clothes on a northern road. The party would be paid 500 gp each for the service.

The party purchased various magical items to aid their travels, magical bedrolls, magical traveling cloaks, and items to produce food or water.

The party headed north. On the second night, they stayed at the Wagon Wheel Inn. The inn keeper, Duncan, gave free rooms to the Weapons of Good for their previous aid in saving his inn from critters. Talon performed to get her free room.

The party headed north and then east towards Oakrille. The wererat, Kieran, was hiding behind some bushes. Carric cast Entangle on Kieran, who moved out of the area. Mavis pulled out a silver dagger.

Talon called out, "Greetings, fellow traveler". Caelesti said irritably, "Oh, it's you. I'd like my fancy outfit back, if you will." Mavis said, "You are out of you depth. I suggest you move off." Yoshi simply prepared for battle. Kieran turned and ran away through the entangled area.

The party continued on and arrived in Oakrille. They seemed to have missed the area they were to investigate. Since it was getting late, they sought out a place to stay. The tanner put the party up in a storehouse. Talon performed for him and his family; Caelesti danced along, mostly for herself.

The next morning, the party headed back west. Kieran was again waiting in ambush, but fled as soon as he recognized the party. A few hours west, Carric found the tracks that were missed the first time. They seemed to be large canine tracks.

Carric led the party north, following the tracks. At night, the party set up camp. Since they had heard in Oakrille that the attacks happened at night, they set up two long watches. Mavis and Carric were on watch first, while Caelesti, Yoshi, and Talon slept. Two creatures crept closer to the campsite; Mavis spotted them.

Talon's notes

We look at the various question people have proposed, which can be found under another post, and narrow it down.

We go to the Temple of Nuadu, looking for a cheap commune spell.
950 gp, they tell us.

Talon says she will cover Yoshi if he doesn't have enough cash and opinions that Mavis should not have to pay as she is not formally a member of our party yet. Mavis is pleased at this. The others agree.

Priest's name (9th level) is Father Ryan
See post above for questions and answers.
The answers open up more questions.
Carric wants to pay a Sage for advice, assuming he or she has not been impersonated.

Caelesti asks Talon what kind of non-humanoid creatures can impersonate people?

Talon rolls a bunch of knowledge checks makes good use of her Tome. But it is her Bardic knowledge (for which the tome does not work) that wins out, in the end.

Talon says that the following creatures are general possibilities:
Aranea, barghest, doppelgänger, lycanthropes, mimics, phasms
But Talon says probably not a Mimic, Aranea, Lycanthrope for various reasons.

Talon says she knows very little about Barghest - heard the name and only that it is a planar creature and looks like a wolf.

Talon says Aranea - can adopt only 1 special form - we met the Ranger Elf who had acid touch, on the Plane of Farie, and that was an Aranea.

Talon says she has heard tales that Doppleganger are pretty versatile in who they can change into, as are Phasms. In fact, she has heard that Phasms are even more versatile than Dopplegangers in terms of altering size and shapes.

Talon doesn't know much about Mimic except mimics change into things - objects - not people.

We go to see the sage named Futhark:
Fuşark, actually, to be precise.
He says barghests change into goblins and wolves.
he says Dopplegangers can read minds.
He says one needs True Seeing Spell to detect a Doppleganger, that is the only way.
Talon ask if we could buy such a scroll?
Futhark gives us some advice on that.
Yoshi - too expensive

Carric - what do we owe you for your sagely wisdom today, Futhark?
Futh = 50 gp
Talon, 10 from each of us? Including Mavis? Mavis, I still don't think you should have to pay for party things.
Mavis, I am happy to pay my share on this as I am also very keen to learn more about possible imposters.

We go back to the Silver Harp for a drink.
A message arrives for us from the Temple of Nuadu, calling us there on business.

At the temple we are told:
We have a report that - up in a territory that you have visited in the past - there have been a series of attacks along the roads at night. Travelers don't reach their destination. Only bloody clothes are found. The attacks happen on the path between Old North Road and Oakrill. Since you are familiar with the area....

Carric, Yes, I recall we once found a dead elf along there. Shadar-kai were responsible.

Talon, Didn't you also say you encountered a wererat cross-dresser? Who bargained for some of your clothes?

Carric, Yes, but if it were him, then the clothes would be missing and the bodies would be found.

Temple representative (Nuadu, Lawful Neutral Temple) offers 500gp each if we solve the mystery and put a stop to the attacks. We don't want to pull Duke's guards off the North Road for this, they day. So they are hiring us - since we are a chartered group, a legal group (despite having been arrested so many times).

Carric asks more questions about what is found after the attacks?

Temple Rep, Torn up clothes, blood. No bodies. Evidence of claws. Signs of fights. Bodies obviously not left where they fell, but were taken off.

We accept the commission.
We make some purchases before we set out.
Yoshi shows us some special items that give the rest of us ideas.

Caelesti and Talon look over all the special gear available at market and each choose a magical cloak (1200gp each) that will protect them from the elements and provide trail rations and hot spiced tea and also convert into a single person tent at night.

Talon purchases a special bedroll as well, for additional protection, comfort, and improved healing. Talon is concerned that her usual "superior bedroll" will absorb moisture on the wet ground. And she knows, from experience, that she will not always find a place to hang a hammock. Comfort is very important to Talon!

Talon spends 1200 (cloak), 500 (bedroll) and 250 (her share of commune questions) = 1950
Caelesti buys the cloak only for now.
Plus Talon loans Caelesti 25 gp. And loans Yoshi (??) for his share of commune spell.

Talon leans that it would cost her 1500gp to have a custom resistance +1 added to the cloak of protection against elements. She does not have enough left to do so. Perhaps after this next adventure.

Caelesti is interested in bargaining for Talon's Wasp Amulet, but is currently broke, and Talon wants to do more research into special Harps before we head into Barbarian Territory. So they decide to wait a while before making a deal.

Talon's new cloak is silver grey in color. Caelesti's is pure black.

Talon takes stock of her funds: Let's see... I got 25gp from Phineas and 10gp from other performs after expenses = 35gp + 2853 = 2888 less 1950 (for cloak, bedroll, and commune share) = 938 less 25 gp loaned to Caelesti = 913gp left before making a loan to Yoshi - of how much??? Yoshi??

We don our special cloaks and head out.
We find the traffic is down on the North Road.
We meet only an occassional traveler.
We talk about stopping at the "Slithering Tracker Inn."
Okay - the Wagon Wheel Inn - where the Weapons of Good defeated the fluid-draining creature some time ago.

Duncan, the Innkeeper, remembers us well.
Duncan invites us to stay tonight for free.

Carric introduces Mavis
Duncan remembers her. He also remembers Gareth

Duncan to Mavis, "You couldn't have fallen in with a better bunch! Have dinner on me. Girls' room and Boys' room again, right?"

Caelesti, to Talon, "Don't you want to share room with Carric again?"

Talon blushes, then glares at Carric. Carric was about to ask Talon someting, but says "never-mind."

Carric introduces Talon to Duncan.

Duncan is surprised and pleased to learn that Talon is a Bard. Duncan offers to give Talon her own room - gratis - if she will plays tonight and entertains the guests at his Inn.

Talon rolls Perform Strings {Masterwork} (d20 + 11 + 2): [5 + 11 + 2] = 18

Talon rolls Perform Story/Song (d20 + 13): [19 + 13] = 32

Talon rolls Perform Dance (d20 + 11): [15 + 11] = 26

Caelesti rolls Skill (Perform - Dance) (d20 + 9): [18 + 9] = 27

Talon earns her own room. She spends all her tips at the bar buying drinks for others. Duncan is delighted and finds Talon very memorable.

(Much to Carric's dismay, no creature comes in and drains him of his fluids that night. So he can not impose upon the ladies to minister to him the next day, but must walk and track as usual.)

Yoshi has, perhaps, cramped Carric's style

We go out and head East on the old familiar path
Ye Olde Familar Pathe

We pass the location of ye olde elven corpse
We head to ye old Oakrill Village

Carric rolls Track (d20 + 15): [1 + 15] = 16
at the spot where he had found ye old elfin corpse in past.
Carric sees the trail is scuffed up, but can make no sense of the messy marks.

We continue East on ye olde pathe
Mavis and Carric see Kieran the rat-faced man, attempting to hide in the bushes up ahead, unaware of us.

Carric casts entangle.
The bushes start moving around, branches reaching out, thrashing about.
Kieran makes his save, but is now alerted to our presence
He recognizes those of us he has met before - which does not include Talon and he is uncertain about Mavis

Mavis pulls out her silver dagger and looks at him guardedly.
Yoshi has not noticed Kieran, so he wanders further on the path, also un-a-were, then stops and looks back at the rest of us to see why we have stopped..

Talon does not recognize Kieran for what he is. She sees only a pathetic weasely-ratty sort of man.
Talon says, "Greetings fellow traveler."

Caelesti addresses Kieran with indignation. "Hey! I'd like my fancy outfit back biw, if you would?"

Kieran - "I sort of thought I could get some more fancy outfits."

Caelesti - "You didn't deserve the first one."

Talon - "Caelesti, why are you treating a fellow traveler so badly?"

Carric - "He is not a fellow traveler, he is a thief and wererat/"

Mavis - "Kieran, you are out of your depth. I suggest you retreat."

Yoshi readies his fists, strikes up a boxer pose.

Talon - "Now, now, now, shouldn't we ask if he is a member of the thieves's guild, based on our previous experience?"

Yoshi - "You don't know him, Talon. He has waylaid us before. He deserves to be brought to justice."

Kieran - "Well, if that is your attitude, then I'm out of here!"
He runs through the tangled bushes and escapes successfully.

Talon to Mavis, "Are you sure he is not a member-in-good-standing of the thieves' guild?"

Mavis - "No, he is just a free-lance thug."

Yoshi - "Should we pursue him and bring him to justice?"

Talon - "Yes, but let us do that on the way back. I don't want to drag him along on the rest of this adventure."

Yoshi agrees.

We get to village of Oakrill.
Somehow, along the way, we seem to have missed the site of the attacks we were hopig to investigate.

It is evening.
We want to stay in Oakrill, but there appears to be no Inn there.

Talon - "Oh, would your good friend Old Nell offer us lodging, do you think?"

Carric - "Probably not. Perhaps the Smith will."

Caelesti suggests we camp in a clearing on a hill up ahead. It is a Cerridwen ritual site, but Caelesti refers to it as "Druidical Circle for Sacrifices."

Carric says Druids do not do sacrifices there!

Yoshi asks wher Druids do perform their sacrifice, then?

Carric, "Very funny." (obviously not finding it funny)

Caelesti and Talon are all for camping out somewhere else. Carric, who did not spend any gp on tents or magic bedrolls or weather resistant capes, complains and complains.

Talon tells Carric is cheap for not buying a tent at least.

Talon then says (with a twinkle in her eye) "I could talk to Old Nell for you. She doesn't know me."

Yoshi says, "We have embarrassed ourselves with Old Nell enough in the past. So let's not go there."

So we go and talk to Fergus, the Blacksmith.
Carric lingers long in Fergus's shop, because it is warm. Keeps making small talk and asking questions.

Fergus recalls making silver daggers for most of our party in the past.
He speaks of missing Nessey - "the short one" - and wonders if the Wererat ate her?

Caelesti (being careful how much informatio she gives for a change) - "No, Nessey is traveling up north."

Carric introduces Mavis - whom Fergus recognizes as usually traveling with Gareth.

Carric introduces the dragonly Talon - who is much admired for her exotic and curvaceous appearance.

Carric asks about attacks on the road.
Fergus has heard of the attack and says they seem to happen always and only at night.

Yoshi flashes his Nuadu credentials and asks "what is the most likely attack spot?"

Fergus says, "Go a few hours back West past Kieran" and describes the same area where ye olde elfin corpse was once found long ago by Carric and Co.

Carric asks for a place to stay tonight.
Fergus suggests we ask "various villagers" or use his an outbuilding on his land he usually uses for storage.
Talon thanks Fergus and offers him and his family a free Bardly performance tonight. Fergus is pleased.

The building Fergus offers us is dry and sheltered, but has pieces of iron lying around, as is usually used for storage.

After we settle in, Fergus and his wife and son come in and watch Talon for a while. Caelesti joins in, dancing, while Talon plays.

Caelesti rolls Skill (Perform - Dance) (d20 + 9): [19 + 9] = 28
Talon rolls Perform Story/Song (d20 + 13): [15 + 13] = 28
Talon rolls Perform Strings {Masterwork} (d20 + 11 + 2): [17 + 11 + 2] = 30
Talon rolls Perform Wind Instruments (d20 + 11): [12 + 11] = 23
Talon rolls Perform Dance (d20 + 11): [13 + 11] = 24

Fergus and his family applaud enthusiastically!! Then they excuse themselves, as they are country folk - early to bed, early to rise.

Carric wants to set watches. Talon doesn't think we need to set up watches. Nor does Yoshi. Carric is therefore willing to forego watches.
No one attacks that night

We get up and head back West. Along ye olde pathe:
Yoshi is more alert this time.
Yoshi rolls Skill:Spot (d20 + 9 + 3): [14 + 9 + 3] = 26

Carric rolls Spot (d20 + 11): [2 + 11] = 13
Carric rolls Tan-kurun Spot (d20 + 16): [1 + 16] = 17
Talon rolls Spot Talon (d20 + 1): [12 + 1] = 13
Caelesti rolls Skill (Spot) (d20 - 1 + 2): [20 - 1 + 2] = 21

Mavis rolls Mavis Spot (d20 + 16): [17 + 16] = 33
Mavis sees Kieran again and tells us.
Talon says, "Let's pass him until later."
Eventually Kieran sees us and runs off.

We return to the spot of ye olde elfin corpse of days gone by.
Carric rolls Track (d20 + 15): [15 + 15] = 30
Carric can follow tracks this time and sees bits of cloth tangled in a bush. It has some blood on it. Carric investigates further and sees very, very large canine tracks.

Caelesti rolls skill (Know - Nature) (d20 + 2): [5 + 2] = 7
Carric rolls Kno Nature (d20 + 11): [14 + 11] = 25

Caelesti's opinon is that the tracks are from "a doggie or kitty."
Carric says maybe as big as dire wolf tracks, but not quite that type of creature because the tracks are not deep enough.

Talon rolls K - Nature - T (d20 + 9): [9 + 9] = 18
Talon also thinks these are not Dire Wolf tracks, but doesn't now what.

Carric rolls Track (d20 + 15): [15 + 15] = 30
Carric thinks there are more than one - perhaps two in total.

Tracks lead north - we follow.
Carric rolls Track (d20 + 15): [5 + 15] = 20
Carric rolls Track (d20 + 15): [1 + 15] = 16
Carric rolls Track (d20 + 15): [11 + 15] = 26

We hike north, following Carric on a narrow path through the woods.
Finally, as it is growing dark, we stop and camp.
Talon suggests Mavis and Carric watch together and "we women" can watch with Yoshi. Ooops! The normally diplomatic Talon is clearly losing her touch.

Mavis and Carric take first watch and spread out to watch more area.
No campfire, so Carric paces to keep warm.

Caelesti comfortable wrapped in her tent (does the cloak turn into the tent, and if so, does it retain it's warming properties?)

Talon is also comfy in her tent. (We need to work out tent properties to see if Talon really also needs the special bedroll or not to resist the elements and stay warm and dry)

(If the magic cloaks do turn into tents that resist elements and keep person warm, the perhaps they should cost 1500gp, since we don't need magic bedrolls then.) -???

Mavis rolls Mavis Listen (d20 + 16): [14 + 16] = 30
Carric rolls Listen (d20 + 5): [1 + 5] = 6
Listen checks Mavis rolls 1d20 (d20): [17] = 17
Mavis rolls 1d20 (d20): [16] = 16

Mavis is aware that there are creatures sneaking up on us. There appears, to her, to be two of them. And they appear - see pogs - to be coming at us from the East. Two creatures, each with body of large dog with smooth block coat and big mouth of sharp teeth. They are not as big as dire wolves. They are 2ft tall at shoulder and weighs 200 pounds and very, very doglike.

They spot us now.
Carric is busy pacing to keep warm and doesn't notice this.
Mavis, however, is prepared.

Mavis rolls Mavis Initiative (d20 + 9): [2 + 9] = 11 Yoshi rolls Init (d20 + 4 + 2): [10 + 4 + 2] = 16
Talon rolls Initiative - T (d20 + 2): [1 + 2] = 3
Mavis rolls 1d20 (d20): [12] = 12
Carric rolls Initiative (d20 + 2): [12 + 2] = 14
Mavis rolls 1d20 (d20): [18] = 18
Caelesti rolls Initiative (d20 + 4): [18 + 4] = 22

We stop here - right before Carric gets lucky
Note: Yoshi wants to do dream reading next, assuming we survive this encounter.

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