Homoventures Chapter 4, Part 10

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Summary

Finally, Justen and Xan arrive at the site! Xan gets caught up with Sleyght, relaying a shortened version of their adventures and what he has learned about the Tomb of Orelius. Sleyght introduces Xan to professor Gyrus from the University of Nys, and then relays that some of the workers have come down with a mysterious. Justen goes to retrieve Karala in the hopes that she might be able to treat them, and knowing he can get her there faster than waiting for a priest to travel on foot. When one of them dies, and Xan suspects that he may turn into a ghoul, and volunteers himself and Justen to stand guard that night, and suggests that Sleyght establish a patrol.

Session

Session date: June 29, 2014
Diablotin date: Spring 2275


<DiablotinNarrator> All right - you are continuing towards the site at last!
<Xandhil> yaaay!
<DiablotinNarrator> it's only been what, 10 sessions ;)
<DiablotinNarrator> The terrain you're passing through is rocky and increasingly steep hills, with narrow, winding valleys in between.
<DiablotinNarrator> It would be very easy to get lost here, but fortunately you have wings ;)
<DiablotinNarrator> and/or Justen to climb a hill and see where you are
* Xandhil is probably a little more cautious about being spotted and mosytly flies invis
<DiablotinNarrator> By mid-afternoon or so, you and Justen are able to spot the site of the excavation
<DiablotinNarrator> A series of tents set up near a large cliff-face with considerable rubble around, the (at least temporarily) abandoned remains of the railroad tracks, some people milling around.
<Xandhil> well
<DiablotinNarrator> As you draw closer, you get your first glimpse of the site you've come so far to see - as described, two massive stone statues of horses (one minus its head, which lies nearby) with a large gate between them, open.
<Xandhil> it doens't look like hey've all been eaten by zmbies
<Xandhil> or evil Djinn
<Justen> not yet anyway.
<Xandhil> right, but they've already been poking around some
<Xandhil> I sorta doubt they were waiting for us :p
<Justen> true...
<Xandhil> I;'m not saying things can't still go wrong
<Xandhil> I'm jsut glad they haven't so far
* Justen still seems a bit wary/concerned about this whole 'meeting your family' thing
<Justen> yeah
* Justen gives your hand a squeeze before you get actually into the site
* Xandhil squeezes back and somewhat reluctantly disengages
<Justen> I guess we'll have to be on good behaviour >.>
* Xandhil sighs
<Xandhil> we'll see how it goes >.>
* Justen nods
<Xandhil> well, lets go see if we can find Sleyght
<Justen> okay
<Justen> (you can look on roll20 if you want to see the magnificent site I built ;)
<DiablotinNarrator> (oh you're already there!)
<Xandhil> (thi is totally encoraging clearly nothing at all is wrong >.>)
<DiablotinNarrator> (hee)
<DiablotinNarrator> really the tents should probably be further away from the door but I ran out of room >.>
<DiablotinNarrator> I liked my stone horses though ;)
<Xandhil> (yes :)
* Xandhil will go up to one of the people milling about if he doesn't see Sleygt right away, and ask where he might be found
<DiablotinNarrator> The worker looks surprised to see you, and a bit nervous. He points over to the biggest tent.
<Xandhil> thanks
<Xandhil> how have things been going?
* NPC is now known as Worker
<Worker> Not good.
<Worker> Some people are sick.
<Xandhil> sick?
<Xandhil> sick how?
<Worker> Fever...
<Xandhil> :/
<Worker> They weaken, and grow hungry, but can't eat anything.
<Xandhil> are they being send home?
<Worker> Master Sleyght sent for a priest, but they haven't come yet.
<Xandhil> :/
<Xandhil> hopefully someone will come soon...
* Worker nods grimly
<Worker> I should get back to work - we still have to eat, after all.
<Xandhil> right
<Worker> Those of us who can.
<Xandhil> ell - look after yourself, I guess
<Worker> Thank you - you too.
* Justen glances at you as you head over to Sleyght's tent.
<Justen>
Do you think we should go back and get Karala?
<Xandhil> :/
<Xandhil> lets talk to Sleyght and see what he says...
<Justen> I could even teleport back and bring her - it would be faster than waiting for whoever's supposed to be coming from who knows where.
<Xandhil> ...
<Xandhil> yeha, go, and see what she says at least.
<Xandhil> like i don't know what her relationship is with most people form the town
<Xandhil> but even if she won't come she might have some ideas?
<Justen> okay. You talk to Sleyght, I'll be back as soon as I can. Hopefully with help.
* Justen nods
<Xandhil> okay
<Justen> maybe she knows what it is, or can give us some herbs or something at least.
<Xandhil> yeah
<Xandhil> maybe talk to someone else before you go and see if you can gtet more details?
<Justen> Okay.
* Justen heads to talk to one of the other workers, then
* Xandhil heads over to talk to Sleyght!
* Worker is now known as Sleyght
* Sleyght is sitting at a small portable desk, his photographic equipment and other supplies neatly arranged in the tent. He jumps to his feet when he sees you.
<Sleyght> M. Orecalo, how good to see you - I had wondered if you encountered any troubles in your journey.
<Xandhil> hi!
<Xandhil> we finally made it :)
<Sleyght> Your friend as well?
<Xandhil> ahh, yes
<Xandhil> We heard that there's some kind of sickness going around?
<Justen> Yes, unfortunately so :/
<Justen> (ww)
<Sleyght> Yes, unfortunately so :/
<Sleyght> So far five of the workers have fallen ill with it.
<Xandhil> one of the people we talked to along the way is a healer of sorts, and Justen went to go see if maybe she could help
<Sleyght> Oh?
* Xandhil nods
<Sleyght> That would be wonderful if she could - we did send for help from the priestess in Imbros, but she hasn't arrived yet.
<Xandhil> hopefully she'll at least have some advice
<Xandhil> other than that, how has the work been going?
* Xandhil glances over excitedly at the big stone horses :D
<Sleyght> Other than that, well so far.
<Sleyght> We spent the better part of a week examining the exterior, taking photographs, clearing away the rubble, and so forth.
* Xandhil noda
<Xandhil> (nods)
<Sleyght> We opened the gate about five days ago, and so far have made some very interesting discoveries within.
* Xandhil listens intently
<Sleyght> Although as yet we have been occupied with the entryway and the first chambers, I believe it is quite an extensive complex.
* Xandhil nods
<Sleyght> It appears to have been largely constructed with stoneshape or some similar power, not carved by hand.
<Xandhil> that would make sense
<Xandhil> any better idea what it is?
<Sleyght> it extends both back into the hillside and further downwards.
<Sleyght> In the first chamber, we found the remains of a dozen I would say guards or warriors.
<Sleyght> So the presumption that it is a burial complex seems correct.
* Sleyght can show you some of the artifacts that have been uncovered - warriors' armor and weapons and the like
<Xandhil> (I forget if Athos showed us the sword he found - but is the armour like what we saw under the lake at least?)
<Sleyght> All of them feature certain insignia or symbols - a horse.
<Sleyght> (similar, you think - bronze, similar in style, not as wrecked by being underwater ;)
* Xandhil noda
<Xandhil> That would make sense
<Xandhil> there's a lot of evidence pointing at it being the tomb of Orelius
<Sleyght> It seems like it must be the crest or insignia of whatever important person is buried here - perhaps Orelius, yes.
<Xandhil> it fits the stories
* Sleyght nods excitedly
<Xandhil> and he was the Horse Lord
* Xandhil is too easily caught up in the excitement
<Xandhil> also - we did some exploring on the way here, under the lake at Imbros
<Sleyght> oh?
<Xandhil> One of the locals told us about people finding old bits of armour and such along the shore
<Xandhil> and that there was a story that the army was buried down there, or that it was the site of the last battle...
<Xandhil> we found a monument to Orelius - it was enchanted, so it was quite well preserved
<Sleyght> really? how remarkable!
<Xandhil> there was some armour down there as well - it was pretty corroded, but the style seems similar to what you're finding here
<Sleyght> that's very interesting!
<Xandhil> there might be some other people down at the town who would have collections wirth looking at, too
<Sleyght> I shall have to investigate that further on the return
<Sleyght> My colleague Professor Gyrus was in a hurry to get here - as of course I was as well - so we spent barely any time there.
* Xandhil nods
<Sleyght> Only as long as it took to recruit some workers to join us...
<Sleyght> for all the good it's done them :/
<Xandhil> :/
<Xandhil> We did speak a little nore to profesor Soritis before we came out
<Sleyght> Yes?
<Sleyght> And what did he have to say? I regret that he couldn't join us, although with this sickness, I suppose it's best he didn't, as his health isn't strong.
<Xandhil> we talked some about the Orelius theory
<Xandhil> he's concerned, and I think legitimately so, about the political implications, if that's what this is
<Xandhil> especially ifall the materials are taken away back to Diablotin
* Sleyght nods, listening
<Sleyght> well, of course some of the materials ought to be taken to Diablotin for better preservation and study.
<Sleyght> some of them I doubt we'll be able to move.
* Sleyght says with a gesture to the big fuck-off stone horses ;)
* Xandhil nods
<Sleyght> And Professor Gyrus also wishes to take some items for study in Nys, which is of course more than fair.
<Xandhil> it will need preservation and study, definitely, but I think it is definitely worth considering making use of the university in Lys, oesiecially if it can prevent any majopr political backlash
* Xandhil nods
<Sleyght> the precise division will have to wait until we see what we find, obviously.
* Xandhil nods
<Xandhil> yeah
<Xandhil> I'd rather find the stuff, then worry about it, really :)
* Sleyght nods
<Sleyght> Would you like to see the entryway, then?
<Xandhil> but it is worth keeping in mind
<Xandhil> I'd love to!
* Sleyght will escort you to the large doors in the hillside, then.
<Sleyght> Simply opening them or closing them is quite a challenge, as you can see...
<DiablotinNarrator> Inside the entryway, there are lights, as it rapidly becomes shadowy once you get out of the doorway. A few workers are carting away bits of rubble and debris, while a woman perhaps about 35 or so is seated on a low stool, peering closely at the carvings on the wall with spectacles, and taking notes.
<Sleyght> Professor Gyrus, may I introduce M. Xandhil Orecalo, whom I mentioned would be joining us?
* Justen is now known as Gyrus
* Gyrus briefly glances up from her work and nods curtly before turning back to it.
<Xandhil> hello, very nice to meet you, Professor
<Xandhil> ...
* Xandhil shrugs
<Sleyght>
<w> she is quite absorbed, of course... hopefully you'll have a chance to speak with her later, after dinner perhaps
* Xandhil nods
<Xandhil> I'm sure I will eventually
* Xandhil whispers back
* Sleyght shows you around the rest of the entry chamber, which has niches in the walls where he tells you the bodies were found, as if they were meant as guardians
<Xandhil> how many?
<Sleyght> Twelve.
<Xandhil> huh
<Sleyght> By my study of the remains, I would say they were young men, strong, who perished violently - soldiers, perhaps.
* Xandhil nods
<Sleyght> Several had broken limbs or cuts and scrapes on the bones as if from swords or other weapons.
<Xandhil> that all fits too...
* Sleyght then brings you to the exit from the room, which leads further back into the complex
<Sleyght> We haven't gone too much further than this, except for some preliminary looking around. There are several more chambers off this corridor, and then it continues to slope downwards...
<Sleyght> at this rate, we could be hear another year and still not discover all there is to find.
* Sleyght doesn't seem displeased at this prospect
<Xandhil> sounds like a great year to me!
* Xandhil peers down the darkend corridors @_@
<Sleyght> Indeed... if we can get the illness under control, and perhaps bring in more workers, it would be splendid.
<Xandhil> it must be hard to not just.... go through it all, just once >.>
<Sleyght> Yes, but I don't want to ruin anything by being hasty - or run into anything nasty, if there are traps or other unpleasantness further inside.
* Xandhil nods
<Xandhil> there could well be
<Xandhil> there were some rumours, in the village, about what happened to the first people out here
<Sleyght> oh?
* Xandhil relates the story he was told >.>
<Sleyght> Odd, there was nothing about that in the report I received. Perhaps they felt those details were better left out.
<Xandhil> or maybe someone along the line thought it was just someone being paranoid or superstitious
* Sleyght nods, considering the matter, tapping his finger on his chin in thought
<DiablotinNarrator> A voice rings out in the stone chamber, echoing off the walls - one of the workers calling 'Master Sleyght! Come quickly, Keos is dead!'
<Sleyght> Oh no :(
* Sleyght hurries off to follow the worker's frantic call
* Gyrus looks up as if mildly annoyed to be disturbed from her work *again*
* Xandhil hurries after him
* Sleyght heads to one of the tents, where several of the workers are standing around unhappily, and also a bit wary you think.
<Sleyght> In here?
* Sleyght ducks inside to examine the deceased worker.
<DiablotinNarrator> The body lies still in the heat of the tent. He looks to have been an older man, perhaps 50 or so, quite thin and wasted away from his illness.
<Xandhil> :|
<Sleyght> Void
* Sleyght says a brief prayer for the repose of his soul
* DiablotinNarrator sings 'do you wanna make a spot check' ;)
<Xandhil> ...
<Xandhil> !r 1d20+8
<Xandhil> (12)
<DiablotinNarrator> You notice some scratches on his arms and neck, healed up as if they are a few days old, but you have no idea what they might indicate
<Xandhil> what are these from?
* Sleyght looks at them
<Xandhil> was he the first to get sick?
<Sleyght> I'm not sure - perhaps some injuries from moving debris?
<Sleyght> He fell sick four days ago, I believe. There was one other man who became ill around the same time, his tent-mate, but he seems to be recovering somewhat - he's the one who came to find me.
<Sleyght> the others became sick the day after, or the day after that.
* Xandhil nodsd
<Xandhil> was he working alone?
* Sleyght thinks back
<Sleyght> I don't think so - he was working with the team who were moving the larger stones from around the entryway.
<Sleyght> He seemed fine when he went to bed the night before, and then ill in the morning.
<Xandhil> who else was on the team?
* Sleyght can name you the rest of the workers who were on the same team.
<Xandhil> have aqny of them fallen nill?
* Sleyght thinks
<Sleyght> Just one - Narthis, the man who shared his tent and who was just here. But as I said, he seems to be recovering, although I haven't let him return to any heavy work yet.
* Xandhil nods
* Xandhil eyes the scratched up corpse uneasily
* Gyrus is now known as Justen
<Justen> Xan?
* Justen 's voice calls from outside
<Xandhil> In here!
* Xandhil calls out and then steps out
* Justen is there with Karala, and some of the workers are eyeing them and have backed away - presumably they just teleported into the middle of camp together.
* Sleyght is now known as Karala
<Xandhil> One of the workers just died....
<Justen> Oh, shit :/
<Xandhil> yeah
<Xandhil> :/
<Xandhil> he was the first to get ill, a fewe days ago
<Xandhil> Can you have a look maybe?
* Xandhil asks Karala
<Justen> Maybe we can still help the others...
* Xandhil nods
<Xandhil> hopefully
<Karala> I would be glad to. But you know I don't have healing magics... I can tend to them with herbs and skill, but it won't be a magical cure.
<Karala> That's assuming they'll let me ...
<Xandhil> yeah
* Xandhil nods
* Karala has a satchel with some jars and herbs and bottles that clink about inside as she moves
<Karala> Take me to the ones who are ill?
* DiablotinNarrator is now known as Sleyght
* Sleyght emerges from the tent, brushing off his hands, and delegates some of the workers to burial detail.
<Xandhil> (It is unreasonable for Xan to be paranoid about undead? >.>)
<Sleyght> (you could make an Arcana check, or Heal if you have any of that?)
<Sleyght> (but honestly, he already was kind of paranoid about them, so it's not a huge leap ;)
<Xandhil> !r 1d20+17
<Xandhil> (cat is broken :p)
<Xandhil> (natural 20 - 37 :p)
<Sleyght> (Xan would be perfectly within reason to be worried about undead at this point)
<Xandhil> . o O (I wish I knew alarm >.>)
<Xandhil> (Do I have any idea how long it takes for ghoul fever to turn someone after they die?)
<Xandhil> (I forget what it is - if it is 24 h or the next night or what)
<Sleyght> (well, with a 20... they are supposed to rise the next midnight after they die)
<Xandhil> (Okay)
<Xandhil> Professor?
<Xandhil> (and what time of day is it now?)
<Sleyght> Yes?
<Sleyght> (dinner time, early evening)
* Xandhil beckons Sleyght opver
<Xandhil> I think it might be better to wait until tomorrow to bury him, and keep a vigil tonight
* Xandhil says quietly
<Xandhil> I'll even volunteer Justen and I for it
<Sleyght> ... very well, yes. I don't want to cause any additional upset among the workers, but I don't think one night would be unreasonable.
* Xandhil nods
<Xandhil> That's really all it will need >.>
<Sleyght> We ought to still move him away from camp.
<Xandhil> yes
* Sleyght gets the burial team to wrap in in a blanket and carry him some distance away from the camp.
<Sleyght> And who is this?
* Sleyght asks of Karala
<Justen> sorry - we were a bit distracted for introductions.
<Justen> This is Karala, she's a healer.
<Justen> She's willing to tend to the sick, and see if she can help them recover.
<Xandhil> oh - this is Karala, she lives outside Imbros
* Karala nods politely
<Xandhil> (sorry, was scrolled up looking for the name of the town ;)
<Karala> Could you take me to the ones who are ill, sir?
<Sleyght> Of course, certainly.
* Sleyght takes her off to see to the others who are sick.
<Justen>
<w> What do you think is going on?
* Justen asks you quietly
<Xandhil>
<w> I think it might be goul fever - maybe there really are undead in there
* Justen makes an 'ew' face
<Xandhil>
<w> the dead man had has these scratches on his neck....
<Xandhil>
<w> I said we'd keep watch on the body, just in case >.>
<Justen>
<w> Okay, good idea.
<Justen>
<w> We should know before too long if it's had any further effect on him, right?
* Xandhil nods
<Xandhil>
<w> around midnight
<Justen> okay
* Sleyght is now known as DiablotinNarrator
<Xandhil> we should get our camp set up though
<DiablotinNarrator> There is some commotion from one of the tents where Sleyght and Karala went - 'Witch! I won't have her poisons, get her away from me!'
<Justen> :/
<Justen>
<w> She said that might happen :/
<Xandhil> I worried about that
<Xandhil> yeah :|
<Justen> Hopefully people will see sense - it's better than dying, surely.
<Xandhil> maybe
<Xandhil> now they might bl;ame her if they don't live anyway
<Justen> maybe Sleyght can talk them into it...
<Xandhil> people can be such dicks...
* Justen nods
<Xandhil> they all see kind of afraid of him
<Justen> of Sleyght?
<Xandhil> yeah
<Justen> he seems like a pretty harmless old guy, I thought.
<Justen> but maybe he's working them too hard?
<Xandhil> not that kind of afraid
<Xandhil> like.... afraid that his decisions are going to have bad repercussions
<Xandhil> they just seem nervous
<Justen> well, if people are sick, and there are already bad stories about this place, I guess that makes sense. Didn't Athos say that one of the stories was about this place being unhealthy, so shepherds didn't come here with their flocks, or they'd get sick?
<Xandhil> yeah
<Justen> maybe that's what's happening - or at least, what they think is happening.
* Xandhil nods
<Xandhil> ... if none of them want karala to treat them, can you take her back?
<Xandhil> just in case
<Justen> yeah, I can - but then I'd have to stay until tomorrow before I could come back myself.
<Justen> and if you're sitting up with a dead man all night, I might rather be with you.
<Xandhil> awww
<Xandhil> how sweet ^-^
<Xandhil> okay
<DiablotinNarrator> Fortunately (?) it seems like at least a couple of the patients have agreed to Karala treating them.
* Xandhil will try to fins a time to tell her what he thinks it is, so she can help accordingly >.>
<Karala> that would make sense
* Karala agrees
<Karala> All of them seem to have some sort of wounds or scratches, even puncture marks, on them.
<Xandhil> I know you probably can't cure it, but anything that helps them fight it, I huess
<Xandhil> all of them? Hmm
<Karala> I wonder how they could have been attacked without noticing...
<Xandhil> Maybe we need some kind of patrol
<Xandhil> do any of them know how they got them?
<Xandhil> do they remember being attacked or anything/
<Karala> as much as they're able to recall, they think it happened in their sleep.
<Karala> it would not be a bad idea to set a watch tonight, if they aren't doing that already.
<Justen> <m> see this is why you need adventurers...
<Xandhil> I was just thinking that :|
<Xandhil> I was also thiking - how has no one else put this together? :p
<Xandhil> oh well
<Xandhil> I'll talk to Sleyght -_-
* Justen nods
<Justen> Want me to get our tent set up, then?
<Xandhil> please ^-^
* Justen will go and do that
* Xandhil will go tell Sleyght what's up >.>
* Karala is now known as Sleyght
* Sleyght is sitting down to have some food, finally
<Xandhil> sorry to disturb your dinner...
<Sleyght> Please, help yourself - you've had a long day too, I'm sure.
<Xandhil> thanks
* Sleyght invites you to join him
<Xandhil> karala looked at the sick men - she tsaid they all have strange injuries as well, like the first man
<Xandhil> that some of the think they mightv have been attacked in their sleep
<Sleyght> Minor injuries are fairly common on an excavation like this, but it is odd if all of them have similar ones...
<Sleyght> Attacked by what?
<Xandhil> I think it might be some kind of undead
<Xandhil> I think it woudl probably be a good idea to set up a watch, just in case
* Sleyght looks concerned
<Xandhil> even if it is nothing, it moght make people feel better
<Sleyght> I woudl have thought undead would simply kill their victims, not give them minor injuries and leave them to sicken. It's strange...
<Sleyght> but I agree, a watch would be a very good idea, for everyone's peace of mind.
<Xandhil> well... some kinds of undead.... that's how they turn people
<Xandhil> it's why I wanted a vigil on the man who died.
* Sleyght nods
<Sleyght> I'll set up a watch - do you want to be included in it, or will you be busy enough with poor Keos?
<Xandhil> I think tonight we'll be busy enough, but in generalk, it's something we're used to, so please putus in the rotation
<Sleyght> Certainly.
* Justen has your tent set up by the time you find him, and has also managed to acquire some food from somewhere.
<Xandhil> thanks
<Xandhil> we might want to consier napping a bit this evening
<Justen> yeah... before midnight ;p
<Xandhil> since I volunteered us to keep a vigil on ...Keo
<Xandhil> yeah
<Xandhil> him, and whatever is attacking people...
* Xandhil sighs
<Justen> :/
<Justen> something smarter than some mindless undead, it sounds like
<Xandhil> yeah
<Xandhil> well, I still have that cure rod at least?
<Xandhil> and that paste
<Justen> I wish we had a real cleric. Not that Karala isn't helpful, but ... you know. No turning.
<Xandhil> yeah
<Xandhil> (I don't remember how many uswes of that ointment I have - is it just 1?)
<Xandhil> that paste stuff might actually help the sick people, now that I'm thinking about it - but I don
<Xandhil> 't really have enough to go around
<DiablotinNarrator> (I have a feeling it's 5, but lemme check)
<Xandhil> I got it when we went to andusk, because evenyone there is so poison happy
<Xandhil> but I think it works on disease too
<Xandhil> but...
<DiablotinNarrator> (yeah, 5 doses)
<Xandhil> maybe I'll save it incase we need it after tonight >.>
<Justen> That seems like a good idea.
* Xandhil nods
<Justen> if anyone is much sicker tomorrow, you can use it then.
<Justen> Maybe Karala will be able to help some of them, at least.
<Xandhil> yeah
<Xandhil> (Sorry, suddenly needed bio :p)
* Justen gives your shoulder a reassuring squeeze
<Justen> time to try and get some rest, then?
<Xandhil> yes
<Xandhil> thanks for setting up camp and finding dinner
<Justen> you're welcome
* Justen smiles
* Xandhil smiles back, then drags you into the tent for naptime snuggles