Session November 20th, 2012 Chat Log
You and Elia meet in the hallway after gathering your things and prepare to head out to see what you can learn about this man calling himself the Dragon Reborn.
You walk down the hallway and into the main entrance where Master Covena, the innkeeper, sits at his desk, filling out paperwork. To the right, you can hear quiet chatter coming from the somber common room, and a female minstrel sits on the stage and plays a dulcimer. She sings a sad tune you’ve never heard before.
Most of the common room is empty, but there are perhaps ten to fifteen people in here, enjoying a meal or the company of friends while they listen to the woman on the stage perform. You see a man that must be a merchant of some sort, judging by his dress, sitting with a pair of guardsmen. He stares into his cup and taps a finger on the side of it, in time with the music. At another table, another traveling merchant, this one a woman, sits with a couple of what look to be locals, judging by their dress. She speaks quietly with one of the men, while the other sits with his eyes closed, smiling slightly, enjoying the music.
The rest of the common room is fairly quiet. You see a couple of the elders that came and visited earlier are still here. The blacksmith and the other man, though the woman seems to have left the premises. Both men are joined by several other well-to-do locals and they enjoy a quiet dinner and speak softly with each other over their meals.
Elia taps you on your elbow, and you turn to follow her out. Master Covena looks up from his desk to nod to you and Elia as you leave.
The evening is cool, and quiet outside. Clouds cover what should be a full moon tonight, adding extra shadows to what otherwise might have been a difficult night to attempt something like what you’re about to attempt.
You head out into the streets. After walking them for a few minutes, both you and Elia check around you to see if anyone is looking and when you’re both satisfied no one is around to see you do it, you both blend into the shadows of one of the nearby alleys and disappear into the night.
As you stroll down the alley, you catch the attention of a wondering mongrel, who barks at your presence but is quickly silenced when Elia quickly tosses the pooch some scraps leftover from your dinner earlier. You realize you could learn a lot from this girl, no matter how inexperienced or immature she may seem at times, at other times you’re surprised to see how much she seems to know about her craft. In this case, she was smart enough to know that if she were out skulking through alleys that she might draw the attention of a dog or two, and came prepared with a way to silence them without killing them.
You pass out of the alleys and look up at the tallest hill. Up there is the House Estera manor house. It isn’t as large a manor house as some of those you saw in Al’Cair’Rahienallen, but it’s still far larger than anything any ordinary citizen could ever hope to live in. Most of the windows on the lower floor are lit up, but the upper floor windows are dark as often as not, which you make a mental note of for when the two of you break in.
You head up the main road and pass onto the estate of House Estera. You avoid the main gates, knowing full well that guards will be present there, and instead follow the stone fence dividing the estate from the rest of Maredi until you reach a point where you both feel it would be safe to climb over. The fence is seven to eight feet tall and made of rough stones cemented together and covered in moss. It’s easy enough to scale without a rope.
You both hop the fence and head further up to the manor grounds. For most of it, you travel through a field of freshly mowed grass, before entering a cement sidewalk lined with a balustrade to prevent people from walking on the lawn. Elia hops the balustrade and you follow, both of you keeping low to the ground to help prevent you from being seen.
Elia Savari surveys the area before speaking in a whisper
Elia Savari points toward the terraced gardens in front of you.
Elia Savari: There are lots of places to hid in a garden, if we need it. Yes?
Elia Savari looks to Sandulf for approval
Conall Anon nods
Elia Savari nods and looks back at the estate, then heads further in
Up to this point there were no guardsmen patroling this far out, but as you get closer and closer to the manor house, you begin to see scattered torches wandering the area here and there.
The area you are in now is a terraced portion of the front gardens. Some sections are lower than others and require the use of stairs to make it up to the upper levels. There is a gazebo above you and to the left and you can hear a woman suddenly begin laughing up there, joined by others almost immediately. Here in the lower portion of the gardens you can see several soldiers sitting around a long table, chatting quietly. None of those men are dressed in House Estera livery, so you must assume they are dragonsworn guards. On the terraced portions of the gardens above, you can see men carrying torches making their way through the front gardens as they go about their patrols.
Elia Savari: We don’t even know what this…Dragon…looks like.
Elia Savari whispers as she crouches in the shadows
Elia Savari thinks as she stares at the gazebo, then at the small group of dragonsworn sitting at the table
Conall Anon: we will know which one his him
Elia Savari: How so?
Conall Anon: body language, and attitude
Elia Savari nods slowly
Conall Anon: he will be the one making sure he is in charge … more or less
Elia Savari: Yes, I suppose so. He could be out here right now. Maybe up in that gazebo. Or with those soldiers. Should we at least try to get close and listen in? Maybe we can learn his whereabouts that way?
Conall Anon: That should work for now,
Conall Anon: we can work our way in with the information
Elia Savari: Which one first? We’ll have to scale that wall to get to the gazebo. Unless we want to circle back to it later.
Conall Anon: let us leave the scaling for now and like you said work back to it.
Elia Savari looks at the wandering torches further up in the manor house
Elia Savari: Okay, but I think it might be easier to do it here and now. I can see a good place to climb.
Conall Anon: well if you insist we can try it here. I just do not like the thought of getting caught climbing.
Elia Savari smiles
Elia Savari: Me neither. But it makes it more fun, yes?
Elia Savari: Climb [1d20+11 = 13]
Elia Savari: Climb 13
Conall Anon: Climb [1d20+5 = 25]
Ellie scales up to the second tier of this support pillar and uses the opportunity to snuff out the torch that is burning there. When the torch is out, she scales up to the third level of the pillar, then heaves herself over the balustrade. You follow her quickly behind, deftly moving from level to level on the pier and are behind her on the walkway above in only moments.
Make a Move Silently check DC 25 and a Hide check DC 25.
Elia Savari: Move silently [1d20+20 = 30]
Elia Savari: Move silently 30
Conall Anon: Hide 19 = 24]
Elia Savari: Hide 19 = 36]
Elia Savari: Hide [1d20+20 = 22]
Elia Savari: Hide 22
Elia Savari: Spot [1d20+8 = 16]
Elia Savari: Spot 16
You both head into the brush of the garden, creeping from tree to tree. Two guards stand outside of the gazebo talking quietly with one another, and for a moment you thought one of them might have spotted you, but he quickly returns his attention to the guard he’s speaking with.
You both move in closer to the gazebo.
The gazebo is filled with a group of nobles. There are several women here, ranging in age from early teens to middle aged, as well as a small group of males, though the males are all either very young or very old. Any man of fighting age must have left with Lord Estera when he was summoned to Tear.
The group is seated on cushioned couches which are centered around a small outdoor firepit. A hearty fire burns in it now. Several servants wearing the swooping hawk of House Estera on their livery patiently wait in attendance at the far ends of the gazebo.
The small group of nobles sits and talks around their fireplace for some time. You remain hidden in the brush of the gardens and listen. You’re fairly certain this “Dragon Reborn” can’t be among this party, as the men here are either far too young or far too old, but you want to be sure, so you sit tight, listening to the nobles talk. Finally, after sitting there for a few minutes, you get the confirmation you need.
“…I think when Lord Estera returns, he won’t be happy about our…visitor…” One of the older women says.
Up to this point the conversation has been light and filled with a somber mirth. Lady Magdalia, a plump, somewhat pretty woman dressed far finer than any of the other nobles in attendance, grows serious at mention of this visitor though. “My brother will accept it. Yurian Stonebow must be the Dragon Reborn, for what’s happening now must surely be the Last Battle. I believe Havren will support him when he returns. I think he will be honored when he learns that the Dragon Reborn stayed in his home. One day his grandchildren can tell their grandchildren of this event.”
Some of the nobles nod at this, but others don’t seem convinced. Regardless, you are sure that if this Yurian Stonebow were out here, he would have spoken up. Either that, or the noble that brought the subject up would never have done so in his presence. Either way, you feel confident that he isn’t out here at the gazebo. Elia nods to you and you both sneak away.
HIDE & MOVE SILENTLY DC 25.
Elia Savari: Move silently [1d20+20 = 34]
Elia Savari: Move silently 34
Elia Savari: Hide [1d20+20 = 24]
Elia Savari: Hide 24
Conall Anon: Hide 19 = 20]
Conall Anon: Move silently [1d20+19 = 38]
Elia Savari: Spot [1d20+8 = 19]
Elia Savari: Spot 19
Elia Savari: Spot [1d20+8 = 25]
Elia Savari: Spot 25
You move out of the trees, moving silently, but for whatever reason not using the shadows to their fullest and you hear the one guards quiet the other one. He steps away from his post and both of you freeze in your tracks, ducking down behind brush and hoping he doesn’t see you. Make another Hide check, DC 25.
For a moment the guard stands there, looking in your general direction. The other guard walks up to his side and asks “What is it?”
The guard stares in your direction a moment longer, then shakes his head. “I don’t know. Probably nothing. I thought I saw something move a moment ago. Anyway, like I was saying…”
Both men turn and return to their posts. With their backs turned, Elia uses that opportunity to skirt away and hop the balustrade. Move Silently DC 20.
Both of you make it back to the balustrade without so much as cracking a dead limb underfoot. You hop over the balustrade and climb back down.
You scale back down the wall and Elia retrieves her rope. There are several soldiers not wearing uniforms sitting on the patio. In order to get close enough to listen in you’ll have to Hide and Move Silently again. DC 25 for both.
You crouch down and begin moving through the patio area, using the elevation of the balustrade on the upper patio to keep you hidden. For whatever reason, Elia trips and scuffs her boots. When she does, you hear the men speaking at the table go silent….but they don’t move.
Elia Savari: Listen [1d20+8 = 24]
Elia Savari: Listen 24
Conall Anon signals Elia to stay down
The soldier stands up and raises a fist and his friends fall silent. One of them starts to stand himself, scraping his chair back as he does so. The third man remains seated. "Jumping at shadows again, Detren?
Conall Anon: Spot [1d20+23 = 31]
Elia Savari: Spot 31
You see a small rock right within arms reach.
Elia Savari: Listen [1d20+13 = 17]
Elia Savari: Listen 17
The man that got up out of his chair and walked toward Elia turns his head to his friend. “Not shadows you fool. I heard something.” Just as he says it, you throw your rock.
Conall Anon: Ranged attack [1d20+12 = 16]
Elia Savari: Ranged attack 16
You throw the rock. While it doesn’t quite go where you wanted it too, you were trying to remain hidden and it was difficult to balance from a crouched position. Still though, the rock just manages to brush enough leaves to get the attention of all three men. The lone seated man stands as soon as he hears it, and all three begin walking toward the far end of the garden. Elia uses the opportunity to attempt to move forward and hide again.
She manages to move very quietly and uses the shadows just well enough to remain hidden. She gives you an apologetic shrug when she reaches you.
Conall Anon gives a look that says “it happens to everyone”
The three men head toward the sound. The last man to stand up reaches it first and he turns around and laughs. “Probably just a small animal, but better to be safe than sorry. Yarl, you head up the stairs and check it out up there. Detren, head down there and check out the patio. I’ll stay here.”
Elia Savari rolls her eyes.
Elia Savari points in front of you.
Elia Savari gesturing as if to say “Move…they’re coming”
The one man salutes and turns. The other moves up, toward the stairwell.
You head forward, with Elia following you. Make another Move Silently DC 25, and Hide DC 20.
Conall Anon: Move silently [1d20+19 = 30]
Elia Savari: Move silently [1d20+20 = 39]
Elia Savari: Move silently 39
Elia Savari: Hide [1d20+20 = 35]
Conall Anon: Hide 19 = 22]
Elia Savari: Hide +29, -10 22
Elia Savari: Hide 35
The two of you make it around the balustrade and into the cover of the garden to hide. The three men tail off, with one, the first guy to move earlier, moving down to where you were only moments ago, and one heading up the stairs back the other direction. The third man stares around at the garden, but then mumbles something only you can hear due to your enhanced hearing. “Probably just a squirrel.”
He turns around and goes back to take a seat at the table.
Elia Savari whispers very, VERY quietly, almost without breath
Elia Savari: Do we wait?
You can hear the nobles back up at the gazebo break out in raucous laughter.
Conall Anon: just a little lets wait for them to start talking again
Elia Savari nods and turns to watch.
You sit and wait. The first man heads down to the area he heard Ellie’s boot scrape and he stops, looking around. The other man disappears up the steps.
You wait a little more and the first man turns and walks further down, coming toward you. He has a torch and he waves it around, checking the brush as he moves.
Finally he makes it into your area. Make a Hide check, DC 25 to stay hidden in the brush and not draw his attention.
The man continues to poke around with his torch, but the two of you are well enough hidden in the garden’s leaves and rails that he somehow misses either of you. He walks up to the steps, stops, stares around, then says “Bah! I think it was just an animal.” From back at the table, you hear the other man say “I told you.”
He turns and walks away, still speaking to his friend about how if that was an animal, it was an angry animal because he’s never heard an animal of any kind make that kind of a scraping noise. “Maybe shadowspawn?”
He laughs a little at his joke though. Both you and Elia visibly relax when he’s gone.
Conall Anon: Hide 19 = 34]
Conall Anon: Move silently [1d20+19 = 36]
The first man rejoins his friend at the table, and after a minute or two, the third fellow returns. “Nothing. Anyway…” He takes his seat too.
These soldiers…any one of them could be the Dragon Reborn, but you feel confident as you sneak back and listen that none of them are Yurian Stonebow. They sit too casually with one another for one of them to be HIM. Given the zealous look that you’ve seen in the eyes of these men that serve this Dragon, you feel confident that if he were here, they would all be standing at attention or something. Not lazily relaxing in chairs around a long table like these men.
The section of the porch the soldiers are on is raised a few feet above the lower portion of this patio where you are now. You and Elia keep your heads down and use the balustrade to the patio to keep you hidden. You listen to them as they resume their conversation.
“…All I know is, I can’t sit around and train much longer. The Shadow has wrought too much destruction already. We need to act soon if we want to end the wars. Enough of this sitting around. Why does he stall?” One man asks grumpily.
“It’s not stalling. He needs to get the men equipped properly. And uniformed. And we’ve still got to find enough supplies to care for the men we have, AND have enough to care for those that will come once his call for arms reaches the other cities. We will have a much larger army once word spreads that the Dragon has been reborn and his banner has been raised. We have to think ahead, and be prepared.” Another man says. He’s relaxing with his hands behind his head and his feet outstretched.
A third man agrees. “We must be prepared. There are always men willing to serve any man that claims to be the Dragon Reborn. Imagine what will happen when the Lord Dragon begins fulfilling prophecy and shows he isn’t just another False Dragon. Our army will be bursting at the seams with new recruits. And for that, we must be prepared. Besides, we still need to find a good quartermaster and someone that knows how to cook and can organize a proper mess…”
You stop listening after awhile. They discuss logistics of running an army and whether or not any nations will rally to his banner, but you hear nothing about the whereabouts of where this supposed Dragon might be. Elia nods her head toward the wall back near where you hid and begins sneaking toward it.
Do you follow?
Conall Anon follows
You reach another retaining wall, this one extending upwards of twenty feet or so. Elia eyes it, then turns to you, still ducking down even though there isn’t anyone around to see you here.
Elia Savari: This should do. I didn’t see anyone up there a moment ago and the shadows are strong enough to hide us if we climb up. I’ll go first, then tie off and drop you a rope.
With that, Elia leaps up on the smooth support against the wall and begins scaling it. In seconds she’s up. You can just make out her silhouette, blacker than the shadows of the evening, as she stops and looks around. Then she turns back and drops a rope, securing her end to one of the supports on the balustrade.
CLIMB CHECK DC 15
Conall Anon: Climb [1d20+5 = 20]
You scale the rope and make it to the top. As you whip your legs over the edge of the balustrade, to the north of you, you see light from a torch making its way down the narrow steps that lead up toward the manor house.
Elia Savari whispers harshly
Elia Savari: Hide!
Elia rushes toward a black, wrought iron fence and railing and ducks down behind it. Flowers and flora of all different kinds grow from inside a small retainer that stands about a foot and a half above the ground. It’s just tall enough that you can both duck underneath the retainer and hide from the approaching guardsman. You have to lay down on your belly to stay completely hidden, but Elia is able to crouch low on hands and knees and poke just enough of her head up to watch as the guard finally reaches the bottom of the steps and heads in your direction. He raises a fist to his mouth to stifle a yawn as he walks, obviously completely unaware of your presence.
HIDE CHECK DC 25
Elia Savari: Hide [1d20+20 = 22]
Conall Anon: Hide 19 = 33]
The guard passes the garden retainer, but instead of continuing on about his rounds, he stops instead, and leans his arms against the railing, looking over the patio from where you and Elia just came. He sits there, staring out over the patio with his back to you for a good two to three minutes, then rises and resumes his patrol. Finally, he turns a corner and all that you can see now are the remainders of his torchlight as he grows further and further away.
Elia Savari: That was close. Come on.
You head up the stairs that the guard who just passed you came from. These stairs lead up to the ground level of the estate. On either side of the stairway, you see tall hedges lining the walkway, with tall trees to the insides of them, extending their branches overhead.
You come to a tee intersection. To the left, you see a convergence of guardsmen wearing House Estera’s sigil on their tunics. The men seem to be gathered at a wider intersection not too far from where you are, perhaps one hundred and fifty feet away. You can’t quite make out what they are saying to each other, but you sense no urgency in their body language. To you, it looks like several friends stopping to talk before continuing on their rounds.
Elia watches them for a moment to see what they are going to do, then, without a word, sprints across the ten foot wide walkway and leaps up onto the black wrought iron fence and scales it. She drops over to the other side and then you see her climb up the eight foot tall hedges and disappear on the other side. All of it took her no longer than seven or eight seconds. You look back to the left and it appears the guards never noticed her going. To the right, you can see a guardsman walking down the walkway carrying a torch, perhaps another hundred or so feet away. He is coming right toward you.
What do you want to do?
Conall Anon: Hide 19 = 35]
Conall Anon: Move silently [1d20+19 = 23]
Elia Savari: Move silently 23
You follow Elia’s lead and hop the wrought iron fence, making just enough noise that if anyone were near, they would have heard it, but miraculously…no one saw you. Or was near enough to hear you. You scale the hedge wall and hop over to the other side, where Elia waits.
Elia Savari: What took ya?
Elia Savari smiles
Conall Anon: had to cover your tracks as I went!
Elia Savari chuckles silently
You stand inside a large row of hedges now. The only guards that could spot you would be ones on the second floor of the manor house in front of you at this point. Elia looks at the upper floors of the balcony, silently pointing out windows that are dark and nodding to you as if to say that any one of those will do if you have to use one to break into the manor house.
She moves quietly across the yard and reaches the opposite side hedges. You follow, also moving quietly. Elia finds the exit to the hedges and crouches down to peer from side to side. When she is satisfied that there are no guardsmen patrolling the porch, she leaps over the balustrade and climbs up onto the covered porch of the manor house, hiding behind a white stone column to prevent herself from being seen by anyone on the inside. It appears that every window on this lower floor is lit up this evening.
You follow Elia, hiding behind a column yourself. Elia calmly looks around her, from side to side, then up and down, sizing up the situation. Finally she nods and gestures for you to wait where you are. She turns from her column and looks into the nearest window, making sure the coast is clear. Then she quickly moves to the side, grabbing hold of a piece of crosshatched wooden railing that is covered in ivy and extends all the way up to the second floor. It doesn’t look strong enough to support you, but Elia is much lighter and she deftly climbs the railing up to the second floor balcony. When she reaches the top, she disappears.
As you look around you, checking to make sure there are no guards nearby, something scratches at your brain. Not the type of scratching you get when wolves want to talk, but the scratching that says you’re missing something. That something that should have grabbed your attention didn’t.
SPOT CHECK DC 30
Conall Anon: Spot [1d20+23 = 35]
Elia Savari: Spot 35
Even though it is very dark outside, with the enhanced vision that came with your golden eyes, you realize what you’ve been missing. A small detail that many may never have found. As soon as it registers though, you realize what it was that was tickling the back of your head. There are paw prints embedded in the stone of the porch. That doesn’t seem right. And very faintly, you can smell sulphur.
The paw prints are very large…larger than a wolf’s, but anatomically the same other than the size. They appear to have been…burned?…into the stone itself, though that’s not possible. The tracks move one way down the porch, heading away from you and towards the double doors that lead inside the manor house. With your vision you can see that they continue on as far as the porch extends, to the other side of the manor.
A rope drops down from the balcony above, and you move away from the paw prints to look up and see Elia. She gestures for you to wait. You can see her staring back out into the gardens, no doubt watching the guards as they patrol, and when she finally gives the okay sign, you quickly scale the rope.
CLIMB DC 15
Conall Anon: Climb [1d20+5 = 25]
Conall Anon: Intelligence bonus [1d20+3 = 7]
You reach the top and find Elia crouching next to a darkened window some fifteen feet away from you. You crouch and head toward her. She watches until you arrive, then brandishes some sort of long, thin piece of metal, and pushes it under the windowsill to gently pry the window up. Once its up enough for her to get her fingers under, she puts the piece of metal away and pulls the window up enough to give both of you enough room to get inside.
Conall Anon describes what he noticed
Elia Savari listens as she works
Elia Savari: Knowledge [1d20+4 = 7]
Elia Savari: Knowledge 7
Elia Savari shakes her head as she works.
Elia Savari: I have no idea. But that sounds…weird.
Conall Anon: it doesn’t seem right
Elia Savari: Yeah.
Conall Anon: It is worrisome, also it doesn’t seem a natural animal, though it was canine seeming
Conall Anon: which means we might have to worry about some creature or such with a keen nose.
Elia Savari: A dog? Oh Light…not a darkhound? Surely not. Those haven’t been seen since the beginning of the Trolloc Wars. At least, that’s what I was told.
Elia Savari: What would it be doing here? Do you think…do you think these people in this House Estera are darkfriends? Could they have one as a pet?
Conall Anon: it would make since to have a darkfriend claim to be the dragon reborn, pull away followers and such
Conall Anon: also it means that there could be channelers here
Elia Savari: Yeah. That would make a lot of sense.
Elia Savari shivers
Elia Savari: Lets not talk about either. We’ll deal with that if we have too. For now, let’s see if we can find this Dragon and dig up some dirt on him. We could expose him for what he is, if we do this right.
Conall Anon: we shall see
Elia Savari nods, then looks at the partially open window
Elia Savari: Shall we?
Conall Anon: we shall
Elia Savari nods again, then climbs through the window as quietly as she can.
You follow her through.
The room is empty and looks as if it is unused at the moment. It is very dark in here, but there’s just enough light coming from under the door to illuminate a path for Elia. You, of course, have no trouble seeing in here.
You both wind up at the door and Elia listens at it.
LISTEN CHECK DC 25
You hear nothing outside and open the door. As you open the door slightly, Elia peers around the corner of it just enough to see, looking both ways down the hallway. She nods, then gestures for you to follow.
The hallways is elaborately decorated with fine Essenia and Aelgarian rugs. Chandaliers provide illumination from the ceiling, though only a few of the candles on each chandelier are lit, so the illumination is dim. Fine Sea Folk porcelain sits in alcoves on the wall, along with small statuettes made of gold and silver, and tapestries adorn the walls.
Elia Savari whispers
Elia Savari: I guess we’ll have to look around a bit. Maybe listen at a few doors and the like, like we did with the gazebo and the patio. It’s the only way we’ll find the…
As Elia whispers to you, you hear the clinking of dishes coming down one of the hallways that intersects this one. Elia stops speaking and quickly bolts into a darkened doorway. She waits for you to follow behind her.
MOVE SILENTLY DC 30 DUE TO WOODEN FLOORS THAT CREAK IN THIS HOUSE.
Elia Savari: Move silently [1d20+20 = 25]
Elia Savari: Move silently 25
Conall Anon: Move silently [1d20+19 = 36]
Elia heads inside the room and a board creaks as she does so. You see the area that creaked and quickly snatch Elia up, also avoiding the creaking board.
From outside, you hear no change in the clinking of the dishes.
You move quietly inside the room and put Elia down. She closes the door, not quite letting the door latch. Instead, she peers out the crack back into the hallway, watching for this unseen visitor to reveal him or herself. Despite being behind the door, you can hear two women speaking as they round the corner and enter the hallway you just came from.
“…have to find some way to get word to the Highest. Please, Iselle. We are prisoners in all but name. And you’ve seen how those…men…stare at us. Those that don’t want to spit us for attempting to capture their beloved “Lord Dragon” eye you and myself with far too much…desire. It’s only a matter of time before one of them attempts to do one or the other. And we’d be powerless to stop them if they did either! Light, I haven’t felt Saidar in nine days, Iselle. Nine days! I feel like…I feel like I’m going to die if we don’t do something soon."
The non-speaking woman stops right in front of your door. You can’t see her, but you heard her stop. Shadows under the door suggest she stopped the other woman as well. She speaks, quietly, almost a whisper, but with a sense of urgency. “You are shielded, Avana, not stilled. He didn’t take away your ability to channel, so stop that nonsense right now. You are Aes Sedai. Act like it! We can endure this. And until I say otherwise, you WILL endure it, do you understand me? I am working on a plan. You just need to give me time. Until then, do as you are told and continue to serve this Yurian Stonebow as you promised to do. It’s the only way we’ll have what little freedom we do to perhaps escape or find aid.”
The other woman sniffs, as if she’s been crying. “I am sorry, Iselle. I will try. It’s just so hard. So bloody hard. He makes me nervous, and those men loyal to him do too. If I could only channel, I could deal with this better, I know I could. But…”
Judging by the shadows under the door and they way they move, you think you see Iselle give Avana a consoling pat. “I know, sister. I know. But you must trust me…I will find a way to get word to Kedra, or maybe the Amyrlin, if I can find her eyes and ears…but it’s going to take time. I am in the process of feeling out these nobles of House Estera and once I have a good idea of who is truly loyal to Yurian and who is simply playing nice because Lady Magdalia believes in him, then I can make my move. The servants of this place are utterly useless.”
Avana sniffs again. “I know you are doing your best. I am sorry I’m such a mess.”
Iselle rubs her friend’s back. “Be strong, Avana. Now go. If one of the servants sees us talking and it gets back to Yurian…”
The other woman nods, judging by the shadows under the door. “No, you’re right. I will go. The Light be with you, Iselle.”
“And you.” Iselle returns. Avana scurries off, and Iselle stands in the hallway watching her for a long moment, before she too walks off. Judging by the clinking when she walks, you have to guess she’s carrying a tray of dishes.
Elia whispers after the clinking is so far off that you can barely hear it.
Elia Savari: Um…judging by what we just heard, I’d say that those two are the Aes Sedai that man in town spoke of earlier. He said this Dragon Reborn fellow captured three Aes Sedai and killed another three. Part of the prophecies, he said.
Elia Savari looks back out in the hallway
Elia Savari: I’m not sure I believe he is the Dragon, but the prophecies did say Aes Sedai would serve him. And these two…they sounded like they were serving him…if a bit unwillingly.
Elia Savari frowns
Elia Savari: I don’t like seeing Aes Sedai held against their will.
Conall Anon: the prophecies indicate a willingness in followers …
Conall Anon: we must see what else we can find out.
Elia Savari: Yeah.
Elia Savari nods
Elia Savari: Well, if those two are serving him in some capacity…perhaps they just came from wherever he is. Why don’t we head down that hallway they came from and see what we can see?
Conall Anon: works for me
Elia Savari: Alright.
Elia Savari looks back in the hallway to make sure the coast is clear. When she’s satisfied, she heads out of the darkened room.
You head down the hallways Iselle and Avana just came from. You pass several closed doors and Elia and you stop to listen at each one, before Elia points and you realize that at the end of the hall two wide double doors are open. The room beyond, from this vantage point back in the hallway, looks to be two levels. You can see a wooden balustrade just inside the double doors that extends to either side, and light from a fireplace flickering from somewhere down below. And even at this distance, you can hear two men speaking quietly, though you can’t make out what they are saying.
You head for the double doors and sneak inside. HIDE DC 25 and MOVE SILENTLY DC 30
Elia Savari: Move silently [1d20+20 = 30]
Elia Savari: Move silently 30
Elia Savari: Hide [1d20+20 = 32]
Conall Anon: Move silently [1d20+19 = 35]
Elia Savari: Move silently 35
Elia Savari: Hide 32
Conall Anon: Hide 19 = 29]
Elia Savari: Hide +29, -10 29
You enter a large, rectangular library. It is on two levels, with the first floor holding seating arrangements, a fireplace, decorations and bookshelves on the walls, and the second floor being strictly a walking area made to reach more bookshelves that line the upper walls. Still though, this upper area isn’t illuminated at all and provides excellent cover to hide in.
Down below two men speak. One is seated on a couch, while the other stands to the side in a deferential stance. He is not a servant, you don’t think, but he is certainly showing the seated man respect.
“…will see to it personally, my Lord Dragon.” The standing man says. He bows as he speaks.
The seated man…the Dragon, given the title just used by the standing man…stares into the fireplace where a roaring hearth fills the room with heat. It is hard to tell with him seated, but he looks to be above average in height. He has brown hair that hangs to his shoulders, and his eyes are blue. He is young…perhaps in his very early twenties. He’s wearing a very fine dark blue coat with silver trimming the edges. The buttons look to be made of silver as well. His breeches are black wool, and he wears knee high boots that have been polished to a high sheen. The tops of his boots are trimmed in silver as well.
After staring into the fireplace for a good long moment, Yurian nods. “Then go. Let me know what you learn.” He says. The standing man bows again, then turns and marches out of the room.
You and Elia stay in your hiding spots. You’re just here to observe…to see if this man is mad or not…before Sochaia has to meet with him in the morning. So you stay where you are, and don’t move. You simply watch.
Yurian picks up a letter from the table in front of him and reads it. When he finishes, he puts it down on the table and sits back in the couch, bringing his hand up to his chin. He stares into the fire some more. Then he picks up the letter and reads it again. Then drops it again.
He leans forward, putting his elbows on his knees while he stares into the fire again. He seems totally lost in thought. Nothing about him seems to show madness. He doesn’t appear agitated or angry. He doesn’t talk to himself, as you’ve heard some of these poor fools that can channel sometimes do. He doesn’t fidget with things.
Elia looks at you and shakes her head, the shrugs slightly. As she does so, Yurian suddenly stands up and walks out of the room, using the same door the other man had used.
Elia Savari: Well? What do you think? He seems sane to me.
Conall Anon: yes he seems mostly sane
Conall Anon: i would love to know what that letter says but I don’t think we can risk going for it.
Elia Savari eyes the letter on the table.
Elia Savari: Then lets leave it. Probably none of our business anyway. And besides, we came here to see if he’s sane, and he seems to be.
Conall Anon: we came to get information, but you are correct the letter is too risky.
Elia Savari looks back down in the lower part of the library
Conall Anon: we should probably head back
Elia Savari: I could go get it, I suppose. But yeah…I think we’ve had enough excitement for the night.
Conall Anon: I don’t like not knowing where he went, he could have noticed us somehow and is circling around
Elia Savari: Okay. Let’s leave then.
You turn to head back out through the double doors you came in through. As you reach the doors, you see Yurian standing in the hall with his fists on his hips, looking straight at you.
Elia stops dead in her tracks. You pause too. Yurian just looks at the two of you, then you feel the air around you harden. Make a Reflex Save.
The air in front of you hardens and you hear him speak.
Yurian Stonebow: I wouldn’t run if I were you. Stay right where you are, and no harm will come to you. At least, not until I determine whether or not you should be harmed….
Elia Savari looks at you with fear in her eyes.
Yurian begins walking down the hall toward you. He looks angry.
Elia Savari drops to her knees
Conall Anon drops to his knees also … groveling ..
Elia prostrates herself in front of the Dragon Reborn. You drop to your knees as well, pretending to grovel. Yurian walks into the room, staring at both of you now with a look of amusement on his face.
Elia Savari: Please, my Lord Dragon….we only wanted to get a look at you. To see if you might really be him. We came hoping to see if you are still sane. If you were…we would follow you….
Yurian Stonebow: Please don’t insult my intelligence.
Conall Anon: I told you he would catch us
Yurian Stonebow stops well short of any danger near you.
Conall Anon elbows elia lightly
Elia Savari stares at Sandulf accusingly
Elia Savari: YOU SAID IT WAS A GOOD IDEA!
Elia Savari: Bluff [1d20+7 = 25]
Elia Savari: Bluff 25
Conall Anon: just had to see him
Conall Anon: just had to stay … we could be having fun with our night off
Yurian stands there, staring at both of you. He shakes his head, then sighs.
Elia Savari crosses her arms beneath her breasts.
Elia Savari: It wasn’t my…
Yurian Stonebow: Enough!
Yurian Stonebow roars
Yurian Stonebow: I don’t know what you two are up too, but I won’t hear any more of this. Who sent you?
Conall Anon: she did
Yurian Stonebow speaks more calmly by the end of that question.
Conall Anon: Bluff [1d20+2 = 7]
Yurian Stonebow: Sense Motive [1d20+6 = 13]
Yurian Stonebow: Sense Motive 13
Yurian Stonebow stares at Sandulf hard, then steps forward.
Yurian Stonebow: Remove the bandages. I want to see your eyes.
Elia Savari: My Lord Dragon, he took…
Yurian Stonebow silences Elia with a look
Conall Anon: Disguise [1d20+2 = 8]
Yurian Stonebow: Disguise [1d20+4 = 7]
Yurian Stonebow: Disguise 7
Conall Anon: why my lord?
Yurian Stonebow: Because I want to look into your eyes. If I see truth in them, I’ll let you go. I think I believe the girl. Maybe.
Conall Anon pulls off the bandages
Yurian Stonebow takes a step back when he sees your golden eyes.
Yurian Stonebow: Light man! What are you? Shadowspawn?
Reflex Save again.
Conall Anon: Reflex save [1d20+15 = 26]
Yurian Stonebow: Reflex save 26
Conall Anon: Do not insult me like that again!
Yurian weaves his hands and you just feel the air harden around you, but you manage to move before it solidifies.
Yurian Stonebow: If you serve one of those darkfriends, I’ll kill you here. Speak quickly. Save your own skin. Tell me the truth, or the guards come at the snap of my fingers. Who sent you? WHO?
Elia Savari looks at Sandulf, then back at Yurian
Elia Savari: We…I…
Conall Anon: we decided to come to see if you were sane!
Conall Anon: and to be honest I was trying to impress her and well treat her with some respect
Yurian Stonebow smells annoyed
Conall Anon: some others have not been treating her well lately and well she diserved to know that she is cared about.
Yurian gives the two of you one final look, then turns and walks down the stairs.
Yurian Stonebow: Come.
Elia Savari rises and looks as if she wants to bolt out the door.
Yurian Stonebow: And I wouldn’t bother going out those doors. I’ve walled them with air.
Conall Anon follows grabing hold of Elia as he does
You head down the stairs and follow Yurian to the couch. He turns when he reaches it, and points.
Yurian Stonebow: Sit.
Conall Anon sits
Elia Savari takes a seat at the couch.
Yurian Stonebow scratches his chin
Yurian Stonebow: I could have you both arrested. Most likely, since this is a noble’s house, you would be imprisoned for years. Perhaps the rest of your lives. But she’s pretty, and I would hate to have something so young and beautiful thrown in jail. You, on the other hand, are ugly. Prison might do well for you.
Yurian Stonebow: And do you two really think I would believe you were lovers?
Elia Savari looks shocked
Elia Savari: We could be!
Conall Anon: what do you mean
Conall Anon: do you think I could not get her, some people look past things such as eye color.
Yurian Stonebow: What do you think I mean, yellow eyes? She’s too pretty to be with the likes of you. For that matter, she’s too pretty to be with the likes of me.
Yurian Stonebow shakes his head
Yurian Stonebow: I suppose, but I don’t buy it.
Yurian Stonebow speaks softly.
Yurian Stonebow: I came to this place wanting only a little solitude before the Last Battle begins. A little time for peace. Time to train my men. Then I would begin my quest…
Yurian Stonebow gets a glazed look in his eyes as he becomes lost in thought.
Yurian Stonebow: All I wanted was peace. Time to regroup. And yet here I am, darkfriends torturing me by day, Aes Sedai attempting to gentle me by night, and two….I still haven’t made up my mind yet what you two are, but for now, let’s just call you assassins….breaking to kill me in the meantime.
Yurian Stonebow: I suppose I should just call the guards. Have the magistrate figure out what you two are up too.
Conall Anon: sir if I were here to kill you I would not have dropped to my knees!
Yurian Stonebow: True….I suppose. Then again, I think I surprised you when I caught you. Perhaps you’ve just been stalling.
Elia Savari: My Lord…Dragon…we are not assassins, I promise. We are not.
Yurian Stonebow watches the two of you from where he stands
SPOT CHECK DC 30
Conall Anon: Spot [1d20+23 = 38]
Yurian Stonebow: Spot 38
You glance over Yurian’s shoulders and…see glowing eyes staring in through the window back at you. Silvery, glowing eyes. At that moment, a horrendous howl breaks the silence and a huge, black, four legged creature launches itself through the window, shattering the glass to land in the hallway outside the library in a dangerous, low stance as it snarls at you, Elia, and Yurian. Silvery slobber falls from the beast’s lips as it snarls in anger.
Yurian spins at the breaking glass and a look of horror paints itself on his face as he realizes what he’s seeing. Shock wearing off, Yurian begins weaving his hands. And the darkhound in front of you howls again, then charges. As he does so, you see other darkhounds lunging through the broken window. And all around you, you can hear panicked cries and screams as servants and soldiers both see the darkhounds breaking into the manor house.