Sound of Silence

Ding Dong, Ding Dong, Wedding Bells are Ringing!

The morning of Rose Oppenheimer’s wedding to Rothchilde dawns, and with it, an early wakeup call from General Oppenheimer. He has decided to ensure that the group doesn’t embarrass him by sending a servant to collect them and bring them to his home to get ready. While some party members are quite reluctant to be herded along, everyone eventually gathers, and they head to the Oppenheimer estate…again.

Upon arriving at the estate, the girls and guys are separated to get ready. Those who have weapons

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Ghostly Encounters, and...Nightingales??

With the party finally all back together, it was decided that they would all go to the groom’s house and see about gaining entry. Asari suggested that Kire use his influence as the bard performing at the wedding. The group would all go, posing as servants sent from Rose to her groom. The pretense would be to help the groom prepare for the big day, as Rose is very particular and wanted everything to be perfect. Kire would be overseeing these servants as Rose’s personal envoy.

Kire agreed. Asari acted as bodyguard, Ceridwen posed as a foreign seamstress, Kalas and Haruna acted as regular servants. (Somehow we picked up David’s dr00d, but I can’t remember that part). The group arrived at the house, and attempted to gain entry. The ruse did not work, but Kire was able to get the butler to agree to let the group into the house. Kire explained that the General knew the fiance was missing, and had tasked our group to find him, no matter what. Upon entering the house, the butler mentioned that some servants had gone missing in the upstairs part of the house, and that the master of the house had also gone missing in the upstairs. The butler mentioned that things got ‘weird’ in the house around midnight. As it was currently around 11pm, the group decided to explore the upstairs to see if they could solve the riddle of the mystery house. When they arrived upstairs, there was a definite unsettling feeling, and the butler ‘disappeared’. However, when someone went partway back down the stairs, he appeared again. Kalas set up a light-spell that had to be refreshed every so often. The group decided to stay together, and went to the left at the top of the stairs.

Ceridwen and some of the others started having strange things happen to them. Ceridwen would see things, and the others might hear things that the others did not. The group took it slowly, and at the first turn in the hallway, decided to not split up very far. Upon arriving at the first door on the right, the group checked for traps, and with someone watching up the hallway, and someone staying at the corner, the door was opened. This room that was revealed looked like it had gone through a horrendous fire. It looked like a child’s room, yet everything was burned. They verified that nothing of interest was in the room, closed the door, and headed to the next. The second door was…very strange to Asari’s eyes. The door looked like flesh. It was poked with a sword and even started to bleed. All in all, it was very unusual. When the door was opened, it acted like flesh sliding across flesh, there was much resistance. When the door fully opened, the room was exactly the same as the previous room, just made out of flesh. A quick scan revealed nothing, and the group shut the door quickly.

After a quick conference, the group decided to return to the top of the stairs and go down the other hallway. They tied a rope to a banister railing about halfway down the stairs. The butler ‘reappeared’ and asked why they were taking so long. The butler stated that it was only 20 minutes until midnight, though the group did not feel time pass the same way. Due to Kalas’ spells, the group had a good idea of the time left to them. They proceeded down the hallway, Asari holding onto the main part of the rope, and everyone else keeping it in their hand as they walked. Ceridwen used her sword to cut a line in the carpet, following their trail. Upon reaching the first door, things started to get really weird. The first door opened into a hallway. When they closed and reopened the door, the other side had changed, and it now looked into a room. That room was the same room as on the other side of the house. One of the party had an idea to draw a shape on the other side of the door each time the room changed. During all of this, Asari, who was holding the rope, felt it move. She mentioned this to the group, and Asari followed the rope back to its end. Instead of being tied to the banister, it was now tied to a doorknob of a door that had not been in their path before.

After playing with the door some more, somehow, the group managed to find a hallway that led to a door that was obviously to the master’s chambers. The door itself was more detailed, and the decorations in the hallway showed that this is where the master of the house would sleep. The group carefully checked for traps, then opened the door. On the other side of the room was a very strange scene indeed. The master of the house, his voice raw from screaming, was seen inside what appeared to be a large birdcage. He had obviously been in there for some time, as his clothes were hanging on him, and his face was wild with fear. In front of the cage was a female ghost, she was ranting and raving and generally acting crazy. Around the room were perched Nightingales. They were all along the bed frame, on every shelf around the room, and they were just watching the ghost and the man. The ghost saw the group, and zoomed to the door. She continued to rant and rave about not being able to find something. She kept saying, “Where is she? Do you know where she is? I can’t find her!” Each repetition made her more and more angry. Somehow, without communicating with each other, the group realized that this was the ghost of the woman who had committed suicide after her baby disappeared. She was looking for her baby, even in death. Ceridwen remembered the image of the baby from the locket. She got the ghost’s attention, and offered her the picture. After a moment of shock, the ghost faded out, keeping the image. The nightingales disappeared, and the man was freed from the cage.

The group explained what had happened to the man and bundled him downstairs. The overjoyed butler sent a message to General Oppenheimer. The General sent a carriage to collect the party and the groom, so he could hear the story for himself and reassure himself that the fiance was okay. Upon arriving back at General Oppenheimer’s, the party was thanked, and Ceridwen secured the carriage for a ride back to the inn. The reunion of Rose and her fiance was heartwarming, yet terrifying, as Rose’s face is…well, yeah. The party returned to the inn with an invitation from the General himself to return the next day for the wedding.

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Return to Gregminster

As we returned to our party, they were hanging out in Granny’s inn waiting on Granny to come out of the back room where she mourned the loss of her friend. Kire played some music as a tribute to the loss of… As Granny did not come out, Asari and Ceridwen stepped into the room. There, they found Granny cooking, yet there was something ‘off’ about Granny. The ‘oatmeal’ Granny was making was more like cement, and Granny was trying to lure a kitty into her clutches to add to the pot. Asari and Ceri talked Granny around, and helped bring her a bit more towards ‘normal’, for Granny. They mentioned the rune on the dead friend, but were unable to secure Granny’s permission to acquire it. They did not push too hard, and the party left the village shortly thereafter.

After an uneventful trip back to Gregminster, the party split up to run various errands.

Asari and Ceridwen headed towards the Archaeologist’s Guild to see about getting the Bounty that had been placed on Kalas. As they approached the door, they noticed that Gayfer McGayferson had some company, and was discussing something with them rather animatedly. They eavesdropped as best they could, and found that Gregminster’s Archmage had been supplying money to the Archaeologist’s guild and was wondering why that money hadn’t been producing results that the Archmage was looking for. After a curt conversation, the party realized that the Archmage was leaving and moved away from the door as to not appear that they had been listening in. As the Archmage left, he patted Asari’s shoulder, as if acknowledging that he knew they had overheard. The two women returned to the Guild House and entered. Asari let Ceridwen take the lead on the conversation, but they were unable to get anywhere with Gayfer McGayferson, and soon, they left in frustration. At this point, Asari and Ceridwen decided to head to a dressmaker’s shop to get their finery ready for the wedding taking place the next day. On the way, they stopped at a stables and negotiated a deal for replacing the horse(s) that had been lost on the initial trip to the village. The trip to the dressmaker was uneventful, and both Asari and Ceridwen were able to obtain the finery that they needed. As they were heading back to the inn, they came across an urchin who had been sent out to locate them.

During this same time, Kalas and Haruna had gone into the shadier part of town in an effort to earn some gold for purposes of helping the party aquire some wands of healing, and other useful items.

Kire went to the General Oppenheimer’s house and learned that his daughter’s fiance had disappeared. Kire was recruited by the General to locate and recover the groom, if at all possible. Kire visited the groom’s mansion and spoke with the butler who was not very helpful, and gave Kire reason to believe that all was not right here. Kire returned to the inn to discuss this complication with the party. Kire sent out the urchin to locate the girls and bring them back to the inn.

Upon meeting back at the inn, it was discussed that Ceridwen and Kire would head back to Milich’s home to speak with his daughter to see what she could tell them about her fiance. Kalas, Asari, and Haruna decided to head back to the Archaeologist’s Guild to see if they could get the bounty out of Gayfer McGayferson.

Before entering the Guild House, Kalas covered his face with an illusion so that Gayfer McGayferson would not recognize him. Haruna changed her looks so as to become more appealing to Gayfer McGayferson. Haruna also, at some point, took the book and made it look like it still had all the Sindari writing on the pages. This was done in an effort to help the party get what they wanted out of the revolting man. As they entered, Asari opened the dialog by apologizing for Ceridwen’s earlier behavior and mentioned that they had succeeded in finding the book that the man was looking for. This got his attention, and they were invited into a back room for further discussion. Haruna’s disguise definitely attracted Gayfer McGayferson’s attention, and distracted him from fully paying attention to the rest of the group. Asari explained how the group went about locating the book. She deflected questions about Kalas, stating that the bounty only mentioned that the book was requested. Asari showed the book to Gayfer, and he started asking about magic and magical protections that should have been on the book. Asari told him that she was going on what Ceridwen had told her about it, and that there may be ‘some’ kind of magic on the book. She had Gayfer look it over and then requested the bounty. Gayfer said that he would only give half, as the book was not in the condition he wanted it to be in. Asari argued, and stated that the bounty did not mention anything about magic on the book, it just mentioned that he wanted this particular book, and the party, in good faith, found it and brought it back to them. Gayfer said that he would think about it and provided the half-bounty. Asari, despite Kalus’ request, was unable to probe Gayfer for information regarding his father. The group left the Guild House and headed back to the inn.

Kire and Ceridwen went to Milich Oppenheimer’s mansion to see if they could meet with Rose to learn more about her fiance and his habits. Rose agreed to meet with them, and they were brought to a sitting room. When Rose entered, they truly began to understand why the General was so interested in seeing her married off. Her face…well, let’s just say she’s lucky she even has a groom. As they talked to Rose, they discovered how sheltered and child-like she truly was. The information that Rose gave them painted a picture of a man who would not just up and leave Rose at the altar. The man liked to hunt, and has a thing for foxes, but according to Rose’s version of him, was madly in love with her. Rose then showed the pair a locket that her fiance had given her just a few nights ago. Ceridwen asked to see it, and Rose agreed. Upon opening the locket, Ceridwen discovered a picture of an infant girl. This picture reminded Kire of the story that he had heard regarding a mother who had lost her infant daughter and gone on to commit suicide. Rose then mentioned that her fiance was scared of ghosts, and that something might be going on inside his house. The pair returned the locket to Rose, but asked to keep the picture. Rose agreed, and Ceridwen put it in safe-keeping. They then left and went back to the inn to discuss further plans.

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Orcs and Goblins and Demons! Oh My!!

Upon leaving the ruins, the party stopped and rested with Griff. They discussed what they had seen with him, and left him the things they had uncovered in the ruins. They did not discuss the Rune of Punishment that they had recovered from the ruins, however. (at least, I don’t think we did…)

The party set back out to the village, wanting to get everything wrapped up to go back to Gregminster and get the bounty settled. Kalas wanted to get information about his father from Gayfer McGayferson. As they were riding up the road, the party was ambushed by a group of orcs. Asari was brought to near death in short order, as was Kalas. Kire was captured, and Ceridwen’s horse ran off with her, as she was asleep at the reins. The orcs proceeded to take Asari, Kalas, and Kire to their campsite where they could then decide what to do with these three tasty morsels. The orcs fell asleep, determined to deal with their captives come morning. Kalas awoke and managed to cut his bonds despite his injuries. He revived Kire, and Kire healed Asari. Asari looked at the sleeping orcs and very deliberately coup de graced each and every one of them. Once Ceridwen awoke, she realized the party was missing, and came looking for them. She tracked the horses to a cave, and came across an orc who was watching the group recover and planned to ambush them. Ceridwen killed the orc instead, and the party managed to escape the cave. They rested a bit to get their HP back up, and then continued back on their way, short at least one horse.

As the party rides towards the village, on the horizon, they see a glow, as if the village is on fire. They start to hurry, knowing that there is trouble ahead. Suddenly, the party is waylaid by a group of goblins. Kalas, unbeknownst to the group, can understand them, and hears mention of a Master. Kalas translated for those who couldn’t understand, “Pay homage to our Master, Jub Jub the Conquerer, or become our tasty snacks!” The goblins then attack the group. Ceridwen and Asari manage to run down a pair of goblins on horseback, slashing and laughing gleefully. They start chasing the others into the village, and find that they are in deep trouble. Goblins are terrorizing the town, burning things and killing villagers. Just as they are about to bite off more than they can chew, a phalanx of Gregminster cavalry seems to appear. Asari sees them for the illusion they are, but Kalas and the goblins do not. Asari spots a young girl hiding under some stairs, and the group meets Haruna Kitsune, a young troublemaker/illusionist that agrees to join with them.

The party makes their way to the building where the sheriff and his deputy are holed up. They manage to break free, and they all run for Granny’s inn, as they realize that this is where the center of the trouble appears to be. When they arrive at the inn, Haruna again takes cover near a porch, under some stairs. The group looks ahead of them in awe. The plants around Granny’s inn have seemingly sprung to life. They are killing goblins left and right. The sheriff and his deputy sprint to assist in the defense of the inn. The party looks, and sees one goblin who is larger than the others and glowing. He appears to be directing the fight. He sees the group and grins evilly. Asari and Kalas rush to attack him, only to find that they cannot make contact. Haruna is able to strike him with magic, but overall does not do much in the way of damage. The goblin, on the other hand, does not have any difficulty hitting them. He makes short work of Asari and Kalas, yet leaves Asari standing. Suddenly, he breaks away from the group and disappears. From within the inn comes a terrible scream. The goblin reappears, yells something (I think), and then disappears. The goblins all run away, and the town is quiet.

The party hurries into the inn to determine the source of the scream, and stumbles upon a horrifying scene. In the middle of the room is a corpse. What makes it horrifying, is that the corpse is not whole. All that remains of the body is part of her torso, her left arm, and her head. Upon looking at the body, it appears as if the woman was bitten in two. Granny is kneeling by the body, grief-stricken.

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Grave Robbing...or is it Archaeology?!

The group heads out that morning to the dig site and meets the foreman, Griff. He is a tough dwarf who has obvious, to Asari, fighting experience. She immediately respects him, both as the head of the dig, and as a swordsman of note. He agrees to allow the group down into the dig, and accompanies them to the first area excavated.

They start moving rocks aside, and locate a door. The key to this door had also been found, and was used to open it so that the party could enter. They found they were in a large hallway, with a few cross-hallways. They turned down one of these hallways, and found another door that needed a key similar to the first door. They used that key to open the door, and found what appeared to be a tomb of sorts. Ceridwen and Asari were very uncomfortable about opening the sarcophagi that were laid within the room, and were investigating the room itself. The sarcophagi were ‘decorated’ with what was recognized as the Rune of Punishment. Kalas and Kire decided to open one of the tombs. This action awoke a skeleton that the girls refused to fight, mostly because they felt it was disrespectful of the dead. The eyes on the skeleton glowed a strange blue, and it took some effort for the boys to kill it off.

The next couple of rooms were similar, and appeared to be full of now awakened living skeletons. The skeletons in the second room were even creepier, as their heads would separate from their bodies and keep on fighting. After closing up the second room, the girls managed to convince the rest of the group to avoid these rooms, and kept going. This was mostly because Asari and Ceridwen did not feel comfortable committing such a seeming act of sacrilege. They then discovered the embalming room. they found a few valuables in here: scrolls and crumbling books detailing the embalming process and the ritualistic severing of heads, an ornate dagger, and the ceremonial axe used to remove the heads from the bodies. It was during this time that Asari went back up to the main dig to see if Griff would supply her with a handy haversack to bring artifacts back in, he did. The group salvaged as much as they could, storing it in the sack to preserve it for future research and study.

The final room in this tomb again had a strange door. The keyhole for this door was roughly the size of Ceridwen. As with all the other doors that we did not have keys for, Ceridwen managed to pick the lock. Once the group got the door opened, they saw a very different sight from the other rooms. This room appeared almost like an audience chamber. The floor was recessed, and, upon stepping into it, you could see 7 seated figures. The middle figure seemed to be more important, and in better condition than the others. At a certain distance, members of the party heard a voice in their heads. This voice explained who the man in the chair was, and the story of the Runes of the world. It told of how the magic people know of springs from the Runes, and …(get more from Derek)

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Day the First: Adventures Galore!

We all started in Gregminster looking for work. Ceridwen and Asari both saw some posters for a bounty offered by the Archaeology Guild. They both headed in that direction. Ceridwen arrived first, and started speaking with Tywin, head of the guild. Tywin, with much asshattery, provided Ceridwen with the information that was needed to go after the bounty. Ceridwen and Asari both left the guild house, and ended up in a tavern. They started drinking, then bought each other drinks, and decided to ride after the bounty together. They got a bit tipsy, and interrupted the bard, Kire, in the middle of a flirting session with another patron. They asked him if he wanted to go on and adventure to sing about, and after assuring him that he would be back in Gregminster in seven days so that he could attend a prior engagement. Apparently, he is supposed to play/sing at the wedding of a wealthy patron back in town. Ceridwen and Asari rented 3 horses from the stables in Gregminster, and set off to the village of … During this ride, it was discovered that Kire does not care for horses.

After an uneventful ride, they arrive in the village, Ceridwen and Asari note that the village board does not have a bounty poster on it, and find this strange. They proceed to go to the local sheriff’s office, while Kire heads to the village’s tavern. The girls interview the sheriff, Mitch, and his deputy, Clem, informing them of the missing bounty posters. Mitch thought this was strange, because the guy had just come through to post them. Mitch was a huge pervert, who did not seem to be taking the situation as seriously a the girls thought he should. Clem, however seemed to be aware of the situation, and had a good head on his shoulders. From there, the girls headed to the tavern to inquire about stabling the horses and staying the night.

Upon arriving at the inn/tavern, the girls meet Granny. She seems a bit…odd, but rents the girls a bed and a place to stable the three horses. They go to eat dinner, and find that the enitre town seems to have decided to eat dinner in the inn. The place is packed, and heavenly smells are coming from a large pot on the fire. The girls learn that this is ‘Stroganoff Night’ and, apparently, nobody skips attending this dinner. The girls scan the bar, looking for anyone that matches the description on their bounty poster. The problem is, most of the male patrons are wearing hats/hoods. The girls manage to convince all but one man to remove their hats. This man is sitting at the bar, with his back to everyone. Ceridwen and Asari moved to the bar and stood just behind and to each side of the hooded man. They manage to get his hood off, revealing the man to the entire bar. One of the patrons recognizes the man as the wanted man in the bounty. He convinces two of his friends to help him capture Kalas, as their only competition is a couple of women. They felt they could easily take on the girls and the guy with the ‘weird skin problem.’ The group approaches the bar, two of the men wielding clubs, the third…a radish. Their plans are thwarted, however, when the group at the bar manages to intimidate them into backing down, with one of the men getting knocked unconscious by the pommel of Asari’s wakisashi. There was a very tense moment, where it seemed that the mob would turn dangerous. A few words of reconciliation, an offer from the girls for drinks for everyone, and some assistance from Kire was all it took to restore good will. Afterwards, we restored their hospitality with us, and were able to take Kalas into the common sleeping room. We tied him to a bed, and took turns watching him for any attempt to escape. He tried to cut the rope holding him. but we were able to prevent him from escaping.

The next day, we were able to get Kalas’ story from him. According to him, the book belongs to his father, who happens to be missing. He opened the book to see what it contained, and somehow, the contents of the book ended up inscribed on his skin. The script glows a faint blue, and covers him from head to toe. The book itself is now blank. Upon hearing his story, the girls weighed his motives and found him trustworthy. They have decided to drop the bounty and take up with him to determine how to remove the text from his skin and see if it can be put back in the book

The text just happens to match a very ancient script that no one living today can read. Interestingly, it also is found in several ruins around the world. Kalas has been going to the dig site near this village to see if he can learn it.

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