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Uncle Mart
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PostSubject: Setting the stage...   Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:38 am

In the interest of keeping this fresh in everyone's minds, and to open the door for some roleplaying, I'm going to re-introduce the current situation to you all...


The party makes it's way deeper underground after defeating the shadow-spawned guardians of this cursed place. Flames dancing along an enchanted weapon cast flickering shapes along the walls of the tunnel you travel through. You all get the feeling that something down here is terribly wrong. Eventually this narrow passage opens up into a huge natural cavern... a space so large you cannot see the other side. You immediately sense that you are not alone. Perhaps 100 feet ahead of you a large platform of worked stone rises 40 feet up from the cavern floor, with a wide staircase leading up to it. A coffin rests in the center, and standing at the four corners of the platform are 20 foot tall obelisks of jet black onyx covered with glowing arcane runes that seem to shift and change shape as you watch them. These runes cast a sickly green glow to the scene that seems to ripple as if reflected from a pool of water. The sound of very faint whispers draws your eyes to the ceiling, where you see humanoid shapes crawling like ants over a kicked hill barely visible in the dim light. It's hard to get an exact count on them, but you estimate more than 100 of the creatures. A movement at the edge of your vision draws your gaze back down to the platform ahead of you, and a man steps out from behind one of the obelisks on the platform. No, not a man... a creature. His skin is pale white and drawn over his face. Deep purple rings outline his sunken black eyes. His hair is ashen gray and flows down over his shoulders. Dark robes hide the rest of his body, but you can tell from his size that he does not wear the bulky armor of a warrior. A wide grin crosses his face as he takes in the sight of you, revealing a set of elongated and razor sharp canines. His voice is barely more than a whisper, but it echoes through the cavern as he asks "Which of you speaks for the whole?"

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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Tue Jul 28, 2009 1:14 am

Uncle Mart wrote:
"Which of you speaks for the whole?"

Ah, I see we're changing the vamp lord's "join or die" ultimatum. Fair enough.

I'll step forward, if no one else objects....

I speak in a firm tone, but not threatening: "What is the symbol that marks this mausoleum above the main door?"
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:25 am

His eyes briefly take in the whole party before coming to rest on you. He replies, "It is the symbol of the Dragon Cult, but you already knew that. You must be Andreas?"

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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:12 am

No objection from me, go right ahead Andreas.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:31 pm

Oh good, vamps knows me. Grrrreeaaaat.

I try to hide my surprise. "And who are you?" I say this in a manner that expects an answer.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:48 am

*listens in carefully*
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:03 am

"My name is Malaghost, though that is of little import. What is important however, is that I'm afraid your recent activities have caused a bit of a problem for me. Until now, I have been content to leave the fair citizens of Waterdeep in relative peace. I have limited my little family to feeding only on the slave scum brought to us by the cultists, but now I fear that other arrangements will have to be made. I was going to seek you out soon, so this is a pleasant surprise. Tell me, Andreas, are you a sensible man?"

The whole time he's speaking there is a friendly and pleased expression on his face. You get the distinct feeling, though, that a wolf spotting a rabbit entering its den might wear a similar look.

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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:46 am

"I pride myself on my sensibilities," I say as I pat the pommel of my sword. "Tell me, are you a member of the cult or do you simply use them to keep your 'family' fed?"
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:53 am

"I have no interest in them apart from the services they have provided me... services that are at an end thanks to you. Perhaps you and I can reach some sort of agreement. I have need of eyes and ears during the daylight hours, as well as a new source of food. I believe you may be able to provide me with both."

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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 8:56 am

"Why would a powerful, secretive cult provide you with food? What's in it for them? Or were you simply stealing from thieves?"

Is he advancing at all? I'm not moving a foot if he's not.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:04 am

He hasn't advanced at all. He's still standing at the top of the stairs, right where he was when he first spoke. There is still motion on the walls and ceiling, but they aren't advancing either. It's more like restlessness, perhaps anticipation.


"Simple, yes... stealing, no. I paid them, in a manner of speaking. You don't really believe that fool Bairwhin discovered the means to create a dracolich on his own, do you? I offered him what he wanted most. He was quick to agree, and would have promised much more if I had asked. What is it that you desire, Andreas?"

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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:10 am

"I simply want information. Why, if you had only made a deal with the cult, was their symbol on your mausoleum?"
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:13 am

"A signpost to allow their agents to find me. The use of their symbol was mere flattery. Can you think of a better way to appeal to the nature of the arrogant and power hungry?"

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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:15 am

"You truly are brilliant. If their agents found you, then you don't know where they are stationed?"
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:23 am

"I know where they WERE stationed. I suspect you do as well. Dwarves have been hauling tools and lumber into that basement for days. You do not understand, do you? Very well. As a show of good faith I will offer you this piece of information. The Cult of the Dragon has been eradicated from the City of Splendors. There was only one group of them, so far as I can tell, and you have done quite an efficient job of ending their activities. Oh, they'll come back some day. They always do. But that will not be in the immediate future."

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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am

Mart, I'm making a bluff check on the "they've been eradicated" bit. I want to see if I can discern whether he's lying...ok, I got an 8. Nevermind.

Does anyone else want to see if they can roll a Bluff check? See if he has a facial tick, or a smirk that I didn't catch?

Everyone else's check will occur before I say the next few words.

"If you truly believe that the cult is eradicated from the city then you no longer serve a purpose." I draw my sword and the party enters the back-to-back formation (that is, if I'm allowed to speak for the party).
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:49 am

It's actually an Insight check to see if he's lying. He appears to be telling the truth (or at least he believes what he's saying.)


He raises a hand when you draw weapons and says "Let's not be hasty. Look around you, Andreas. I doubt this is a fight you can win. Even if you should win, how many friends will you lose? You are not fools. We can still help each other."

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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:15 am

Right right, an Insight check. Well then, that gives me a 6.

"You seem to understand that we are capable of obliterating your family, although you doubt it. What could you possibly offer me?"
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:23 am

"Obliterate my family?!" He laughs. "I simply do not wish to needlessly throw away a possible resource such as yourself. But in answer to your question, there are many things I can offer. Wealth, power, immortality... though you don't seem like a man tempted by such things. Perhaps then... the favor of a God?"

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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:27 am

"You are as corrupt in nature as you are in deed. Oh how I loathe corruption!"

When do we roll initiative? Cool
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:50 am

Looks like initiative will be first on the order of business Friday night lol!

Quarter will not be asked for, nor given.

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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:31 pm

I think it would be best to not start a fight right away, and see if we can figure a little bit about this vampire. My main goal is to figure out what those arcane rules on the poles are.


I step out next to Andreas, and i say, "Let us act too quickly, Andreas. If need be, fighting can come later, but let us here what Malaghost vampire has to say." Speaking to the vampire calmly so as to not appear threatening, I say, "Why have you been content to leave the citizens of this city alone. How has you kept your thirst for blood under control, and why do you need us to help you get your food. This troubles me, and i cannot make a decision without knowing all of the facts"
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 4:31 pm

Sorry i didn't reply earlier, i didnt realize so much had gone on since i last checked.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:12 pm

Peter wrote:
I think it would be best to not start a fight right away, and see if we can figure a little bit about this vampire. My main goal is to figure out what those arcane rules on the poles are.


I step out next to Andreas, and i say, "Let us act too quickly, Andreas. If need be, fighting can come later, but let us here what Malaghost vampire has to say." Speaking to the vampire calmly so as to not appear threatening, I say, "Why have you been content to leave the citizens of this city alone. How has you kept your thirst for blood under control, and why do you need us to help you get your food. This troubles me, and i cannot make a decision without knowing all of the facts"

I stay my weapon and say quietly to Jerroth, "I'm just making a good impression," and end it with a good ol'-fashioned wink.
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PostSubject: Re: Setting the stage...   Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:31 am

Stitch is a gambling man, and loves when the odds are stacked against him...but he's also got a strong nose for sniffing out opportunities, and it seems that this Malaghost character is looking more to make a deal than make a war. He's apparently a fairly powerful caster, so he likely has intriguing bargaining options that may be worth entertaining...even if only briefly...and THEN deciding to hack him into bits.

Either way, Stitch is happy with any course of action...because having a Vampire associate, or a Vampire kill are equally impressive accomplishments in his book.

[Out of the corner of his mouth to the party]
"Lets see what this bloodsucker has to offer, besides an eternity as his slave"
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