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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:15 pm 
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The sun hangs low in the late spring afternoon when Teaeyrn, Stig, and Rak are seated comfortably in chairs at the Temple vicarage. Father Hannes is positioned at the head of the table in an armchair. Lucas and Raymond emerge from the side room, serving a simple meal of hot vegetable soup and fresh bread served with cups of wine for Teaeyrn, Stig, and Rak.

Tessa enters from the kitchen after removing her smock and seats herself at a stool. Lucas and Raymond follow suit and pull up stools at the dining room table. The rising steam fills the small dining room with mouth watering aromas. All of the acolytes patiently wait for Father Hannes to begin eating before they partake. Lucas silently signals to the party to begin eating.

Father Hannes finishes his first few mouthfuls of soaked bread and begins: "It is a great comfort to me that so many servants have faithfully come to protect our temple. My heart and home are open to you while you are in my service. Two of your meals are included with each day of work and you shall be paid 20sp for each week. You may sleep upstairs in the bedrooms during the day, while Lucas, Raymond and Tessa perform their duties. You begin your duties tonight, but I will certainly walk you through the grounds to familiarize you with them."

"Our temple and cemetery has been a long standing place of worship and burial for many of the area citizens, both wealthy and otherwise poor. There are several sections to the cemetery, which must be guarded from any intruders. You already know of the sacrilege in the nearby towns from where you came and heard of grave robbers desecrating the sanctity of those who sleep in the earth. But there is one more reason I fear I need you as a security detail. I must relate an unsettling incident that occurred just two days ago with Lucas."

Lucas's looks up from his meal, and his voice breaks out in anxiety, dropping his spoon back into his soup bowl. He pleads in a whimper, "Father Hannes, not now, please don't discuss this at the dinner table. It's still so upsetting."

Father Hannes motions calmly to the teenage boy with his hand and continues, "Two days ago, Lucas found a woman in the cemetery wandering near the edge of the cemetery, near the graves of the poor. When he approached her politely, offering his help to find a particular family plot or memorial, she..."

Lucas interrupts Father Hannes words explaining: "She looked filthy, like a vagabond. I felt badly her at first - but then I saw she had long nails and an angry face, not of sadness. Then, she revealed how truly mad she was when she began shouting at me, 'My friends, my friends! I'm here to see my friends!' and then she raced off with incredible speed to the fence. She leaped over it in a single pounce and disappeared into the trees of the forest."

Tessa and Raymond are also clearly concerned by the tale, as Father Hannes tries to comfort Lucas: "Be at peace, Lucas. The fence is not difficult to climb and it was only built as a property marker, not to prevent intruders. I know this was unsettling for you but I believe it is only a coincidence with the recent grave robbers and this mad woman has no relation to them. Nevertheless, once I heard of the grave robberies, I immediately sent out word to hire a security detail. and here they have arrived to dine with us tonight, Lucas. Be at peace." He looks to Teaeyrn, Stig, and Rakious with a for support in soothing Lucas's anxiety.

Father Hannes to Teaeyrn, Stig, and Rakious: "After dinner, we will have some time before sunset to walk through the grounds and familiarize you with the premises. You may then determine your plan of action. Lucas, come enjoy your soup and be at peace that our friends will relieve you of the security duties."


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:43 am 
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Stig

"I have heard of folk robbing graves in the nearby villages. Pillaging the dead is a poor deed. Do these robbers target specific mausoleums or just debase the chapels for their own perverse ends? Are any of the village famed buried within the gorunds?"


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:17 am 
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Rak

What becomes of the bodies that are dug up? Are they taken? removed form the grave and left behind? or left in the grave? Are they newer graves or ancient ones being desicrated?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:52 am 
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Teaeyrn

"Father Hannes, it is going to be difficult for just the 3 of us to cover the entire Cemetery. I wonder if we should use a sort of moving watch and expose ourselves or just concentrate on one area?"


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:29 pm 
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Bluetongue wrote:
Stig

"Do these robbers target specific mausoleums or just debase the chapels for their own perverse ends? Are any of the village famed buried within the grounds?"


Father Hannes places his soup spoon on the table and turns first to Stig to reply: "When I learned of these incidents through correspondence with the Temple Brotherhood, there did not seem to be any pattern. But now that you ask, Master Stig, one common thread of note comes to mind. Not one family mausoleum was disturbed. In fact, all of the disturbed remains were missing from pit graves of humans of the poorer classes. His eyebrows sink in thought and mutters to himself, "I doubt any of them would have the financial resources for a priest to have cast an Eternal Rest spell on their remains."

Father Hannes snaps his attention back to the point: "Nevertheless, the chapels and temples took the brunt of destruction. Most of them were completely looted and some of the bones were discovered miles away. None of the possessions remained in the graves, albeit of little value or use. The graves vandalized were more than a hundred years old, so that no family connection could be established. He rubs his forehead in anxiety. "This embarrassment falls solely upon the Temple Brotherhood, including me, as the stewards of the cemeteries and duty bound to uphold the dignity of the dead."


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:51 pm 
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wolfpack wrote:
Rak

What becomes of the bodies that are dug up? Are they taken? removed form the grave and left behind? or left in the grave? Are they newer graves or ancient ones being desecrated?


Father Hannes to Rakious: "Besides the bones that were discovered near the vandalized temples, other sets of bones were found miles away from their cemetery. Most were graves of more than one hundred years and no families raised a single complaint about the disturbed remains. The protests from the communities arose mainly came as a security concern one the cemeteries themselves and, of course the outrage at the desecration to our holy places of worship."

Father Hannes leans forward towards Rakious and weaves his fingers together in front of his chest. "It was this fact that confirmed my growing suspicion that a pattern was emerging and I tell you this now in confidence, Master Rakious, and to you my fellow servants. I reveal this now to you all but it is not to be spoken outside this vicarage. I believe I received a divine sign that a necromancer is responsible, raising the dead in a silent mob of vengeance. I believe our uninvited visitor is more than she seems.

By now, Father Hannes's knuckles are white with intensity. He releases his hands and reclines for a moment. "The village militia does not concern themselves of these matters and I lack the energy to convince them of it. I am an old man and I wish to retain their respect by hiring and confiding in you, not reducing myself to their mockery and contempt. If we can capture this suspected necromancer, or defend our temple from her destruction, then I and the Temple Brotherhood will reward you all in accordance with your efforts. Furthermore, I will bestow my personal blessing(OOG: Each player character accepting his offer and successfully completing the objectives will have a Bless spell permanently cast) upon you."


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:06 pm 
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Rex wrote:
Teaeyrn

"Father Hannes, it is going to be difficult for just the 3 of us to cover the entire Cemetery. I wonder if we should use a sort of moving watch and expose ourselves or just concentrate on one area?"


Father Hannes looks more relaxed responding to Teaeyrn, "You comfort me with your forethought and planning, Sister Teaeyrn.
There is still daylight left to finish our dinner and tour the grounds of the cemetery. Come, let's eat and go outside. I am awaiting the arrival of one more faithful servant to join our graveyard vigil. But sunset waits for no mortal, and we must make a sensible plan by then to deal with our visitor.


Father Hannes resumes eating. Lucas looks to his bowl and proceeds without an appetite.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:19 am 
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Stig

"Grave robbing the poor? Not a lot of wisdom in that if the thief was looking for coins and rings. Did the bodies get used for anything? I might have though some grisly organ retrieval but after so many years everything is decomposed or in decay."


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:55 am 
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Rak nods

My people have a paticular revulsion to the dark arts of necromancy and to the unliving. In my 100 years on this world I have crossed in but a couple of times, but we elves consider it the greatest blasphomy to the gift of life.

The leaving of any items worth coin behind, and taking of bones would lead me to believe their are powerful magics being on the remains that are missing.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:08 am 
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Teaeyrn

"Necromancy is certainly a serious issue that must be dealt with, many dangers lurk here." Teaeyrn finishes her meal and patiently waits for the others, meditating on the possibility of a Necromancer and what she will have to do in the coming darkness.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:12 pm 
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Bluetongue wrote:
Stig

"Grave robbing the poor? Not a lot of wisdom in that if the thief was looking for coins and rings. Did the bodies get used for anything? I might have though some grisly organ retrieval but after so many years everything is decomposed or in decay."


Father Hannes points a bony finger in excitement at Stig: "Exactly the right kind of thinking, my son! That is what led me to begin thinking of necromancy. The bodies were unlikely to have Eternal Rest spell cast upon them, since they lacked the financial resources. No treasure would be found of appreciable value. And the graves were all quite old, too old to use for any nefarious purpose. These are exactly the patterns that became clear to me in my correspondence with the Temple Brotherhood."

He relaxes his hand and uses his spoon to finish his bowl of soup. Hannes rises from his seat.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:38 pm 
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wolfpack wrote:
Rak nods

My people have a paticular revulsion to the dark arts of necromancy and to the unliving. In my 100 years on this world I have crossed in but a couple of times, but we elves consider it the greatest blasphomy to the gift of life.

The leaving of any items worth coin behind, and taking of bones would lead me to believe their are powerful magics being on the remains that are missing.


Father Hannes tidies his garment and continues, "Yes, Master Rakious, it is both fortunate and providential that you have come. I know the hatred your kin have of the undead." He walks to the window overlooking the large graveyard, "I fear a necromancer is at work, building an army of undead with the missing remains and we are in its marching path."

He turns back to face the party from his scanning the dense tree line at the edge of the graveyard, "If my fears are true, then we must be prepared and prevent any sacrilege. If it is nothing more than my misinterpreting coincidence, then I am satisfied to pay you handsomely for a rather boring graveyard vigil. Come join me outside before sunset."


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Rex wrote:
Teaeyrn

"Necromancy is certainly a serious issue that must be dealt with, many dangers lurk here." Teaeyrn finishes her meal and patiently waits for the others, meditating on the possibility of a Necromancer and what she will have to do in the coming darkness.


Lucas hastily finishes his meal. Father Hannes to Teaeyrn from the wall at the window: "Although we do not have a large inventory of supplies, we are not completely empty handed or defenseless, Sister. I will provision you all with what we have available."

Father Hannes walks to the door leading to the sanctuary. Raymond rises from his seat and collects the bowls with Tessa.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:16 pm 
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Teaeyrn

Tearyrn rises with Father Hannes "Just a moment Father and I will grab my armor and weapons from my room, then we could tour the cemetery. The only thing I can think of we might need would be ready access to healing." She then heads for her room and back towards the door to the cemetery.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:34 pm 
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The old priest waits and then paces near the door awaiting Tearyrn's return. Although out of line of sight, he raises his voice towards the kitchen towards the open wooden arch, "Raymond, come please."

As Raymond appears cautiously through the door, Father Hannes inquires, "Did you tell me that we expected four guards in total? We have three and are missing one."

Raymond becomes anxious and struggles to complete his response without stuttering, "We did, Father. We did indeed expect four guards. I invited the missing one to dine with us before sunset as you suggested, and he gratefully accepted. I expected him. Well, we expected him, that is. What should I do, Father, wait for him here?"

Father Hannes nods in acknowledgment and gently replies: "Yes, my son, remain here for him and join us as soon as he arrives. Tessa and Lucas will join us to tour the grounds. Resume your duties." Hannes turns to Stig and Rak once Raymond returns to the kitchen, quietly adding, "Poor boy is afraid of his own shadow after his mother died in a farm house fire that nearly took him as well."

Father Hannes commands the other two acolytes: "Tessa, bring us the sacred items. Lucas, three of the carry cases will suffice for now."

Tessa appears holding a flat wooden box, elongated and ornate with fine craftsmanship. Lucas follows holding three waist belts, made from straps of wide leather and closed by a clasp. The carry cases are painted entirely black and have several narrow cylindrical pockets on the exterior surface.

Tessa approaches and lifts the lid of the box revealing it to be an elegant case. Inside, four silver holy symbols glimmer in the late afternoon daylight against the inner case's dark blue dyed wool. The symbol is an image of an open book with the pages spread equidistantly, forming a semicircle with radiating pages from the spine of the book. The holy symbols are tied on black leather straps through a silver eye at the top and are apparently long enough to be worn around the neck. Also in the case are several clear flasks of clear liquid stoppered with cork. Lucas hands a carry case to each and demonstrates how to insert the flasks into the pockets of the carry case.

Hannes removes one holy symbol from among the blue wool with his two hands, as if it was as delicate as crystal. "Who will be first? Step forward."


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:50 am 
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Stig

"Well Father Hannes, I am not rally the religious type, more of a festive nominee if you like. If you don't mind, may I ask what are these, deputising badges or wards against the evils that might arise? And these look like concocted potions, blessed healing from the divine or something else?" the half-elf enquires.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 4:14 pm 
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Father Hannes smiles and replies: "I see you are more elf in attitude than your mixed features reveal, Master Stig. I am neither surprised nor offended at your reluctance to take on any religious obligations. Consider the silver pendants part of your mundane uniform in your service to the Temple. For Sister Teaeyrn, however, they are a powerful tool to ward off evil.

The flasks are different items altogether. They contain water drawn from our well and sanctified as devotions are constantly recited over them. When my Master, of beloved memory, mentioned the scourge of the undead in his teachings, he noted the purifying power that holy water has to cleanse the contamination from their physical form.

I offer them to you as aids in your task. You are free to refuse them.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:57 pm 
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Teaeyrn

Just as Teaeyrn comes around the corner, pulling her last bit of armor in place she hears Father Hannes mention the undead. "I am sorry for the delay" she blurts out hurriedly. "Is that Holy Water I see? That could come in handy indeed if we are dealing with a Necromancer." She comes to a stop next to Stig. "I am ready when you are Father."


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 7:32 pm 
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rak will move forward

your gift is most welcome sir.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:07 pm 
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Lucas assists Rak and Teaeyrn in donning the belt and takes time to clasp it behind each of their backs. Lucas removes six flasks of holy water and inserts them into the black leather openings. (Reminder: Add the six flasks to your character sheet.)

Lucas gives Rak and Teaeyrn directions with a heavy lisp that makes him initially difficult to understand. What they understand from Lucas is that when removed from their belt, the flasks are quite fragile and are designed to be thrown as missile weapons that shatter upon impact. (OOG: For combat, holy water uses the same range as throwing daggers with their respective penalties on longer distance.) The belt is essentially a holster that keeps them easily accessible at the wearer's side while protecting the flasks from inadvertently becoming damaged.

While Tessa and Lucas return the spare items to their cabinet, Father Hannes leads the party outside the vicarage and into the weakening daylight.


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