Trouble in Tref

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The wind picks up over Hayatiento Aerie. The youth who fly past today are curiously absent--sent to play and climb on further cliff faces. One might see them in the distance, if the eyes are keen. Aodhakne, daughter of Kanitte, sits perched on the local cliffs. Next to her is a rough-hewn man. An oruch.

You'd received an invitation either through the local Green, or the aerie. It would just depend on your ties, and interests.

Or in some cases, we just live here. Rak is hanging out near the Table, running a fine-toothed comb through Silverwing's fur, while Redwing tries to snatch loose feathers from the griffon's ruff.

Munch is mostly intrested in fighting, but the last week or so, and this afternoon... well, his interests have been rapidly shifting, at least for the short term. So when the metal man get word about a meeting related to the Green, he rapidly accepts... might not have technically been invited, but most folks aren't keen on telling the TerrorMaw 'no'.

Ga'Elian heard about this from the Ygdrassil Union, but observes that the detail were left somewhat vague. Still, one doesn't receive such an invitation every day. He arrives at the aerie on griffonback.

"Welcome to our aerie. We are the Thunder Children," one of the elders says. She stands, strongly built and her colors the drab brown of an eagle, though silver-streak'd across her forehead and down over the shoulders.

"Moon-touched," perhaps, if such things are counted. She sets down on her perch--a comfortable, though well-work'd set of rocks. Feathers catch, twitch in the wind of its crevaces. "Our youngfeather, Erakirak, knows me," she begins, and though egalrin faces are not ones for smiles or smirks, the tones sound warm. "But I think it is the first time some of us have met. I am Aodhakne, daughter of Kanitte. I sit the Council, among several others." she says. The eyes seem to crinkle, and the wind tickles the feathers.

"And this is Wiremu, of the Earth Wardens." The indicated oruch nods. He wears a rough set of furs, with two handaxes strapped to his side. They look well-worn.

"Just came here from the North," he says, roughly. Then nods to Ga'elian. "Heard what you did. Damn fine job." Then he...stops. Stops talking. Just like that. And looks out at the rest of you. Nods. Stares a bit at Munch but you know, nods. Erakirak gives Aodhakne a silent nod of respect, his wings pressed tightly to his sides, then relaxes, standing with a talon resting comfortably on his griffon companion's shoulder. He nods greeting to familiar arrivals, but does not speak.

Munch nods in return, well used to curious looks, and settles onto a perch himself. He's no egalrin, but between leathery bat wings and clawed toes, their perches suit him well enough. "I am Munch, called the TerrorMaw. I've long patroled the Felwoods for my own intrests, but recent days have been... hectic." He nods to Ga'Elian. Ga'Elian nods, too, in silent greeting to Erakirak, (Wings in Moonlight), and Munch, then says to the other egalrin present in Auran, "A moonbeam shines upon the hour of our meeting." To Wiremu, he says in Yrch-speak, "Well met, son of Adom."

"I'm afraid this isn't the social visit the aerie prefers." Aodhakne's shoulder feathers lift in apology, then settle. "Wiremu found something on his travels that I thought you ought to know of. Erakirak--" she says, and looks to him. "Be strong."

She chirps at the oruch, then. Who nods to Ga'elian's greeting. He makes a noise of some kind, and, then: drops a sack on the Table. The sack itself--burlap, a rough brownish gray. The bottom, however, appears soaked through with a brackish liquid. It is a color, a smell that some of you might recognize. It has the scent of water gone foul.

The most perceptive among you might notice faint tendrils that have grown through the holes in the burlap, tendrils that suggest a moss of some kind.

GAME: Munch rolls knowledge/nature: (2)+5: 7

GAME: Erakirak rolls 1d20: (13): 13

GAME: Ga'Elian rolls Know/Nat: aliased to Knowledge/Nature+1: (5)+9+1: 15

Munch blinks with a soft click, peering at the sack. He knows what -he'd- keep in a slightly soggy burlap sack, but this one isn't near bloody enough. The golem's face cracks open a little, and a thin black tounge flicks out, tasteing the air like a snake.

GAME: Verna has connected.

Ga'Elian holds his nose, but hops down off the griffon and walks over to the bag. He asks, "Where was it found?"

Silverwing, Erakirak's griffon, doesn't exactly rear up and roar as the smell pervades the Aerie, but she makes it clear that she _really_ wants to.

Rak gives her a sharp whistle in Auran and she subsides, not without complaint, and he can't help but chuckle fondly at her growling as he regards the bag of moss curiously. "Related to the Corruption, then?" he assumes. "Silverwing _really_ does not like its fruits." He doesn't add that she is in a sense one of them herself... probably best not to spread that around.

"I had...I feared for that." Aodhakne sits up straighter at the reactions. Her talons flex, momentarily. The oruch next to her has gone on alert.

"Perhaps Erakirak, you might tell us all what you know of the brackenwater? ...and its dangers? Ga'elian, we will gladly answer your question, then."

Wiremu rubs at his jaw, and frowns. Shares a knowing look towards Munch. Nods, again.

GAME: Murder has connected.

Erakirak looks a bit startled at being put on the spot, but nods. "I'm sure you all know more of it than I do, but as I understand it, it's related to the recent attack on the Mictlan... that foulness was defeated, but still pervades the wild. The ritual the sylvanori performed helped disperse it," he adds, nodding to Elian, "but only somewhat. The black, sparkling water you may have seen around, is par t of it... I first encountered it in a cave of piercers. That's where I found Silverwing, actually," he adds, a little sheepish. "She was trapped in one of the pools of it. She... has a kind of connection to it. It seems to mutate creatures who are exposed to it... at least, a lake of it she led me and Murder to a little while ago had some kind of tentacled abberation inside. It's also connected to the undead, I think, to judge from the ghoul Ga'Elian and I dispatched, that she led us to also."

GAME: Blaise has disconnected. <Timeout>

"It isn't natural," Rak adds, probably unnecessarily.

Munch nods. "A ghost. One of my old kills, came back for vengance, after a long pause. An ettercap runt I'd forgotten about. I guess it didn't have the power on it's own to do anything, but this Corruption gave it a boost. Maybe. Might just be a coinsidence, but that seems unlikely." he blinks again, considering. "An effect, that is, not the root cause of it all."

Ga'Elian listens then says, "Interesting. Black bracken water. I actually encountered acidic water a couple weeka ago myself, but as far as I could tell, it was very widespread but seemed to dissipate within a day. Now, I hadn't heard reports of a roper, though. And Munch's ettercap, well, that could have happened anytime in the Felwood. Do you mind if I look inside the mossy bag, maybe try to use magic to speak to the moss?"

"...were there ettercaps where you met your companion?" the elder asks. She looks towards all of you in question, her features still as well. An egalrin.

"Sounds like it's affecting creatures," the oruch says, under his breath. He casts a long, mistrustful look at the bag, then nods to Ga'elian. Have the moss tendrils gotten longer? Maybe.

Beaglefarts summons Murder.

Murder has arrived.

Erakirak clacks his beak in negation. "No, no ettercaps," he says.

Rak lights up, metaphorically speaking, at Murder's arrival, and waves to her to join him... then glances apologetically to Aodhakne. Of course the Councilwoman knows Murder... there aren't that many gobbers living in the Aerie, after all!... but he moves to introduce her anyway. "And, speaking of! This is Murder, my... my mate," he explains, unable to keep a note of pride out of his voice. "She helped take care of Silverwing when I rescued him, and fought the tentacled creature, and rescued me from -- well, anyway," he sums up, "she's been actively involved with the black water."

GAME: Stjepan has connected.

GAME: Edinaz has connected.

GAME: Latenat has connected.

GAME: Ga'Elian casts Speak With Plants. Caster Level: 19 DC: 15

GAME: Ga'Elian rolls Will: (7)+14: 21

GAME: Ga'Elian rolls CompanionWill: (14)+8: 22

GAME: Murder rolls knowledge/nature: Trained Use Only: 0

GAME: Margaret has connected.

Murder looks a tad shy being put into the spotlight, and she quickly moves to Erakirak's side. Dressed for war, today, the Gobbo is sporting a boar's skull as a mask/helm, though she has that up atop her head so that her face can be seen. Her stomach bears a tattoo of Angoron, in black ink, while several Goblin symbols are done on her skin in red paint. She cants her head slightly to one side and nods. "Well, I can't say that I am really knowledgeable in this substance, but I have seen some of what the creature can do, and I know that this black water stuff is all bad. You should..." Murder gestures to Ga'Elian, "Make a polite request of Ga'Elian to help perform more of the rituals he lead a few months ago. It may help purify the land."

Ga'Elian opens the bag and looks inside, then as the stench blooms suddenly more pungent, he casts a spell. Erithamiel looks bothered.

"Found it a place some northern on the peninsula," the oruch says to Ga'elian, then, as the sylvanori leans forward to examine the bag. He's referring to Alexandros itself though, it being on a peninsula, and Alexandria being at the tip.

"You're ready, I'll take ya out to see it. I was just passin through, as I said," he says. It's probably the most words he's spoken so far. Well, there was the grunting. Of course.

"It is good to see you again, Murder." There is an awkward pause, though a warm one. Aodhakne stands. "Perhaps such a ritual might help. Erithamiel alright?" she asks, suddenly.

Silverwing slinks away from where she had been sitting beside Rak and approaches her fellow griffon reassuringly.

GAME: Erakirak rolls 1d20: (18): 18

Munch blinks again, glancing from the griffons to the bag and back. The metal man tenses up a little. He's not -really- expecting trouble, but, well, things happen.

Bolide has arrived.

Erakirak tilts his head to one side. "'Northern on the penninsula' covers a lot of territory. But, yes, I'm ready," he agrees.

Rak tilts his head to one side. "'Northern on the penninsula' covers a lot of territory. But, yes, I'm ready," he agrees.

The Goblin nods to Aodhakne with a bright smile. "It is good to see you again as well. Aside from this black water stuff, I trust things are going well?" She glances at Ga'Elian, and wrinkles her nose. "What is that stuff? It smells someone took dead skunks, added sewer water, and let sit until it reached stinky perfection." The Golem gets a nod, "Rak is right, north on the peninsula is a tad vague. Doesn't narrow it down a whole bunch."

Murder looks to Erakirak, and wraps an arm around his arm. "Did you want company in this trek you are planning?"

Rak grins. "Yours? Always."

And so. It's down the mountain and through the woods, quite literally. Era has no problems identifying the landscape as you wander by. Though, it's after you exit the ferry.

After you head northbound on a well-trod road.

...and as you head towards a now, well-cut, fresh road that his feathers begin to stand on end. There atop the next hill is the Town of Tref. Or, the Town of Towns, in the arvek's own tongue. A town many of you had pitched in to help found. A town made through the hands of refugees, of Dragoneri. Or arvek. Working together.

"This is where I was headed, afore things happened," the oruch, Wiremu, is saying. "Heard it was a good place. Saw the--thing."

"...and ran into me. I thought of you and your friends, Erakirak. And you, Munch. You have done so much for Alexandros." Aodhakne is here, too.

Murder cants her head to one side. "What 'thing' are we talking about, again? So that there's no confusion?" She rubs a cheek, and pulls down the boar's skull to cover her face. "We shall offer the thing a fiery doom.", the Gobbo intones, which sounds somewhat impressive in the boar's skull.

GAME: Kaelthilas has disconnected. <Netfailure>

Munch is mostly along by the power of momentum. He didn't really have anyplace better to be just now, so... "Fire is good. More a fan of acid myself, but buring things to ash usually means they won't bother you later."

Rak is maybe still feeling kind of smug about having recently developed his wings enough to fly, plus also seeing things is good! So for much of this trip he's been flying rather than riding his griffon, and Silverwing has been padding along the road beneath him, making it VERY clear that he will pay for this later. As they approach the spot Wiremu described he circles to inspect the area before settling down with the others. "We'll do what we can, of course... these people have been through enough."

As a refugee of sorts himself, whom the Aerie took in when they didn't have to, he feels particularly concerned at any threat they might be facing.

Munch isn't really a people person, so while the town is important in it's own way, he'll just take a look around the wilds to see what's to be seen. heard. Smelt. Maybe a little tasting...

GAME: Murder rolls knowledge/arcana: (13)+7: 20

Erakirak makes a low flight over the affected area, a search spiral right above the treetops. He's not looking for anything in particular, just getting a feel for the area and where the moss has spread, and anything anomalous

Ga'Elian flies over the hilly area surrounding Tref seeking signs of particular wrongness. If he finds a certain area with greater concentration, he will Feather Fall (via Ring) to the ground while Erithamiel circles overhead, and scout around on foot.

GAME: Morgan has disconnected. <Netfailure>

The Goblin keeps to Erakirak's side, until he takes to the air. At that point, she simply makes her way towards the first spot pointed out by the Oruch. If any of the townsfolk are near enough, she will divert from her course to chat them up, and ask them if they have seen the brown stuffs infesting the lands.

GAME: Beaglefarts rolls 1d20+15: (16)+15: 31

GAME: Azog has connected.

"The moss, yeh," the oruch says to Murder. He's off then, without so much as a how-do-you-do. The elder looks after him helplessly for a moment.

"Do you know," she says conversationally, as she follows after, "It took me two hours to get so much as the time from him?" Wiremu glances back at that.


Then, "Yeh. It's this way," he adds, like each word pains him. And well, he leads you towards one of the buildings--on the north side of town. Here, a pair of correctly-made, arvek-craft buildings rest in partial shade. ...and partial moss.

It's from there you each spread out, searching. Hunting. And, as you explore, it isn't long before your keen eyes spot even more of it. As you start to put together patterns. Murder's knowledge of arcane twists and turns (no one really wants to know how she gained that information, do we?) suggests the reaching of the moss is deliberate. It has to be.

It gathers in tree branches, brushes against the edge of town in ways that--once she, Ga'elian, Munch, and Erakirak compare notes, appear like long, reaching fingers. Some of the clumps are thicker than others. Some 'growing.'

Like the ones reaching up and settling around Munch's ankles.


Munch puts up with a lot of stuff. But creepy moss stuff grabbing at him get an AXE to the... well, not 'face'... fingers? "...I don't think I like this place.

GAME: Raethon has disconnected. <Netfailure>

Murder continues to look around as Munch gets groped by the greenery... brownery... and looks to the town. "We need to warn them, somehow. And uh, we need a whole bunch of fire. Though..." She rubs at the back of her neck. "I hope that fire works."

Ga'Elian looks noticeably anxious and notices the moss on Munch's feet. He says, "Clearly Tref is under attack. It'll take me ten minutes, but a spell might help me find the epicenter more directly and maybe reveal a little more to boot. I think we need to address this evil at the source."

Rak lands and explains what he's seen, and nods agreement with Murder and Ga'Elian. "Fire is not a bad idea... but we should make sure to protect the village from it. Build a firebreak, or something." He's been spending way too much time of late setting fire to trees. At least this time they won't be yelling at him when he does so.


He starts working on digging a firebreak trench.

GAME: Ga'Elian casts Commune With Nature. Caster Level: 19 DC: 17

GAME: Erakirak rolls 1d20: (7): 7

GAME: Lorelei has disconnected. <Quit>

The Gobbo eyes Rak for a little bit. She has no shovel or entrenching tool. So she goes about moving branches and logs to the 'safe' side of Erakirak's trench in progress. Murder eyes Ga'Elian also, the spellcasting a curiousity.

Munch consders. "Never really tried to STOP fire before..." He does his best to help Rak, not fully understanding the concept, but getting the general gist. He's pretty good at ripping up trees and ottsing them aside, and not bad at chopping out parts of the sod and rolling them over to bare dirt. Thsi does, however, get a reaction from his massive adamantine axe, the eye of the dragon etched into the metal rolling. 'I am NOT a shovel!' "Oh hush. Think of it as attacking the earth itself."

As Rak begins his trenchwork on the north side of town, he notices mos on the side of one of the buildings gathering rather thickly. He tilts his head curiously and inspects it more carefully, along with Silverwing, who has been yowling and growling this whole time. Among other things, he enters the building to make sure the moss hasn't made its way inside.

Murder eyes Rak when he starts to investigate the house, and the Gobbo is soon on his heels. "Gotta be careful going off alone.", she says, tutting at him.

", hello?" the person opening the door couldn't be much older than...well, the crow lines suggest a slightly later age, or it could be stress. A hard life, like Erakirak'd said earlier. Her hair's drawn up in the typical arvek style (do they HAVE more than one style?), and her clothing's the regular, homespun type. Practical. She leans against the doorway. Which just happens to block the view from inside.

Ga'Elian finishes his spell, then awakens out of the natural communion and manifests the stunned sensation of a sudden migraine. He literally reels from the overwhelm, and his breathing gets suddenly labored. Finally he manages to say between gasps, "A massive presence... alien... from incredibly distant... alien..." He buckles over to stabilize his breathing like he'd just finished a 400 meter sprint.

Erakirak nods, not in the slightest suspecting that the poor refugee woman is a mind-controlled alien plant zombie. Because that's not really a thing, is it? No, she's just a harmless refugee woman, not suspicious in the slightest.

"Ah, hello," he replies. "I'm sorry to bother you. I -- well, I mean, we -- are doing a... well, a health inspection, I guess you could say. There's an infection in the wild nearby, and we want to clear it out before it gets too far. I'm sorry to bother you," he repeats, "but I'd just like to check out the inside of that wall to make sure the spores haven't penetrated. Have you been having any difficulty breathing?"

Erakirak nods, not in the slightest suspecting that the poor refugee woman is a mind-controlled alien plant zombie. Because that's not really a thing, is it? No, she's just a harmless refugee woman, not suspicious in the slightest.

"Ah, hello," he replies. "I'm sorry to bother you. I -- well, I mean, we -- are doing a... well, a health inspection, I guess you could say. There's an infection in the wild nearby, and we want to clear it out before it gets too far. I'm sorry to bother you," he repeats, "but I'd just like to check out the inside of that wall to make sure the spores haven't penetrated. Have you been having any difficulty breathing?"

Murder keeps quiet while Erakirak does his spiel. "I'll keep an eye on you, Erakirak.", she says, moving towards the door.

"Y'need help with what was it?" is the second thing the arvek woman at the door asks. "Mori," she adds then, with a comfortable clip of the tusk.

"...door, dear?" comes a voice from inside. Mori looks uncomfortable. "...look, this may not be th' best time. I..." and then she sucks in a breath and stares at Ga'elian. " look like my granddad," she says, rough. Voice cracking. "Look just like him before he--"

"...door, dear?" comes the voice again, sounding aged. Distant.


Rak rolls his eyes at Murder's protectiveness in this obviously perfectly harmless situation, and continues explaining. "I really am sorry," he says, "but time is of the essence here... I really do need to look." He doesn't force his way in or anything, though. That would be rude. And completely uncalled for in this entirely harmless situation that is not in any way creepy.

Ga'Elian smiles cordially, but unenthusiastically at the woman, But as soon as the aged voice is heard, his preternatural senses are laser focused.

Nope. Too many things standing out at once. Murder reaches out to take Erakirak's hand. "No. We are not going in there." Her pull is insistent, and with much of her weight put into it. Not that the wee woman can actually hold 'Rak back, but she will make a go of it.

Munch stops, and stares at his foot for a moment. There's STUFF there where the moss touched him... dust... spores? The metal man isn't taking chances, and presses his massive axe against the spot. The adamantine doesn't do much, but tha magical acid that weeps out from the metal? We'll see. ((Corrisive weapon enchantment))

Ga'Elian barges past everyone in a beeline toward the source of the aged voice. He barely notices that there are other people present.

"Think you ought to come insi--" Mori says, her words a little...drawn out. It could be the stress. She's staring at Ga'elian though, cuts off as he pushes past her. She gets out of the way.

From inside the house, there's a rough, halting sort of voice: "It's...good to see you. Are you a friend grand daughter's?"

Rak is startled by Murder's grip, but he trusts her instincts and allows himself to be pulled away. It doesn't hurt that Silverwing is giving him what he's learned to recognize as the "you're sweet but kind of an idiot" expression. Come to think of it, Murder might be, also. Then Ga'Elian charges past him and he is confused.

Murder stares at Erakirak, and then Ga'Elian, and lastly Mori. "Is Ga'Elian your grandfather, then?", the Goblin asks of Mori. Her expression is odd, to say the least. Like a building thundercloud. But she resolutely stays outside, and will not let Erakirak go.

"Funny," Rak says. "She doesn't _look_ sildanyari."

Munch is rather focused on the spores on his foot, waiting to see if the acid got rid of it.

"He...he is," Mori says as she casts a look back into the shadows of the house. The words trail off.

" handsome," the old, wavering voice is saying. "You could...marry my grand daughter and make a lot of pretty babies. I'm...not getting any younger. You know. Ho ho hee. Ho."

Mori glances back at Murder, her smile a little...stiff.

Ga'Elian stops in front of the old hobgoblin and says, "We are hitherto unacquainted. I am Stag-Touched. A Sylvanori warden of the Tree and the trees."

The Goblin looks to Mori then, and nods, before looking to Erakirak. "Stranger things have happened."

GAME: Randogorn has connected.

"Such a nice. Man," the grandfather-voice replies, the voice stiff and rusky. "And such big words...a warden. Warden, you s-said?" he asks.

"He's been like this for days," Mori says, whispering. She looks to the side, towards some of the other buildings. "M'friend's grandfather, and mother, they...things have been a bit off," she says. Sounds scared. Sounds like the understatement of the--

"That's an interesting...bow. Used to" and there's a shuffling sound. Then a soft, fleshy thump, from inside.

Munch squints at the spores clinging to his leg, despite the acid. Fine. Reaching up, the golem hunts a moment, then tears off one of his leathery 'dreadlocks', squeezing it over his ankle. A thick viscous oil pours out, over his foot some of the surounding grass. The golem murmurs something under his breath, and his tiny tiny scales shimmer, shifting from a mix of green, black, and silver, for a swirl of red. Then the flesh on his fingertips pull back, with long pointy metal bones below. a snap of his fingers, and there's a Spark. A woosh, and a small oily fire.

GAME: Munch casts Resist Energy. Caster Level: 6 DC: 14

GAME: Munch casts Spark. Caster Level: 6 DC: 12

"So, Ga'Elian," Rak calls into the house, "is there anything coming through the wall?"

Since everything is perfectly harmless, he's not at all concerned about having to fight his mind-controlled colleague now. He _is_ a little concerned about the fleshy thump, though. "Are you all--" he is interrupted in his expression of concern by one of his party members catching fire.

"Are you all right?" he asks Munch.

Murder stares at Munch for a few moments, before she reaches up to pull the boar's skull over her face. "If I don't see Ga'Elian in the next few seconds, I am burning this house down.", she states coldly. "And I shall continue on with the moss and anything else that it has touched."

Munch remains focused on his foot, which is on fire. " Got some spores or something on me. Acid doesn't seem to work. Hoping they burn."

Ga'Elian extends the hand holding his bow so that Gramps can touch it. He says, "It's name is Tar'niessa, Moonshaft."

GAME: Cesran has connected.

GAME: Edinaz has disconnected. <Netfailure>

GAME: Constantin has disconnected. <Netfailure>

"Oh! So it was supposed to do that?" Rak says, staring incredulously at Munch's foot. "OK then."

"How...nice. I had one like that, back in the war," the old voice replies. It sounds stronger, for a moment. Briefly, warmer, before fading.

...I should get him something to drink," Mori says, a trace of worry coming through. "He's rarely up this long."

In fact, there's soon another soft, thump. Then the sound of quiet snores. Snores with aged, military precision. Only the arvek.

GAME: Pelka has disconnected. <Quit>

"Okay. Burning the house now!", the Goblin says, more loudly this time, as she brings her hands up and spreads her fingers out.

Ga'Elian finally registers that someone outside the room addressed a question directly to him, by name. He glances around and calls out with elevated volume, but still fixed mostly on Gramps, "Moss... creeping in... Cracks in wall." When Gramps slumps unconscious, he bends down to try to lift him into a fireman's carry.

Rak had missed Murder's earlier threat, distracted as he was by Munch catching fire. Now that the latter has proven harmless, though, he returns his attention to her. "Ah... sorry, I think I missed something. Why are we -- oh, I see," he realizes as Ga'Elian explains about the moss. He nods. "I'm really sorry, but we may have to burn the place to avoid further infection. Though, we should make sure it won't spread the spores further, first?" he says to Murder.

Rak had missed Murder's earlier threat, distracted as he was by Munch catching fire. Now that the latter has proven harmless, though, he returns his attention to her. "Ah... sorry, I think I missed something. Why are we -- oh, I see," he realizes as Ga'Elian explains about the moss. He nods. "I'm really sorry," he tells Mori, "but we may have to burn the place to avoid further infection. Though, we should make sure it won't spread the spores further, first?" he says to Murder.

Erakirak has arrived.

Erakirak goes OOC.

Erakirak has left.

GAME: Razen has disconnected. <Quit>

GAME: Erakirak has disconnected. <Netfailure>

"Burn down my house? OUR HOUSE?" Mori asks. No, shouts. "We just moved here. We're from Blar. Do you--do you have any idea what we've already been thr--" she snarls, around her tusks, "What that--" and then Murder's doing it. BURNING.

And she's SCREAMING.

It's at that point that Ga'elian, with a face of stone, walks out holding her grandfather.

GAME: Beaglefarts rolls 1d20+6: (1)+6: 7 (EPIC FAIL)

GAME: Aftershock has disconnected. <Netfailure>

"Burn down my house? OUR HOUSE?" Mori asks. No, shouts. "We just moved here. We're from Blar. Do you--do you have any idea what we've already been thr--" she snarls, around her tusks, "What that means??"

It's at that point that Ga'elian, with a face of stone, walks out holding her grandfather.

This does not help the situation. Which well, is rapidly escalating.

Erakirak nods sympathetically. "I know. We'll help get you a new place. It's just... if the house has been infected, there may not be a choice," he explains to the arvek.

GAME: Aella has connected.

Ga'Elian stands still in the front room, the elder arvek wrapped around his neck held upon his shoulders. The elf stands stoic and still, statuesque."

Murder huffs and refrains from touching her thumbs together. "I want to know what is happening in there, but I ain't going to look. We're looking at a massive problem and we are short on time to solve it." She glances sideways at Erakirak. "I don't like this, not one bit." The Goblin looks to Mori. "The moss here will take you over. It will continue to grow and spread. Do you want to be a braindead thing in thrall to a danger that is slowly spreading across the countryside? If you do, by all means, go back inside. Just know that you are allowing other people to suffer, as you will suffer once the moss sets in."

Ga'Elian says, "Moss." Then resumes staring blankly. Not like he's unaware, more like he's utterly unfazed by ANYTHING.

GAME: Beaglefarts has partially disconnected.

GAME: Murder rolls diplomacy: (12)+3: 15

GAME: Molly has connected.

"You think yer gonna burn my house down?? Tha house I an' grandpa worked so hard on??" the woman's voice is low and dangerous. Thankfully though, she doesn't look like she's going to take a swing.

Not anymore, or not immediately, anyway. "And y'aint even gonna look inside, before--before demandin' I gotta lose everythin'?" the woman is all but in tears. Her hands in fists. Tight ones.

But, it's a TOWN.

So, there are people around, naturally. This is both good, and bad, because well--the commotion is beginning to attract a crowd, of sorts. It could be good. There could be people there, people who could make decisions. On the other hand...

CROWD. Could be good. Could be...could not be.

GAME: Erakirak rolls perception: (13)+13: 26

GAME: Murder rolls perception: (13)+11: 24

GAME: Ga'Elian rolls Percep/Ioun: aliased to Perception+4: (2)+28+4: 34

GAME: Munch rolls perception: (2)+17: 19

Ga'Elian says, "Alien... Beyond... Outside..."

Erakirak looks at Murder. Then at Ga'Elian. Then at several of the townsfolk. Then at Ga'Elian again. Then shakes his head. "You're right," he says to the woman. "We should at least check inside." To Murder he says "I'm going to check the wall out and come right back out."

If he can.

He walks in past Elian and the woman if nobody stops him.

GAME: Reyk has disconnected. <Timeout>

The boar's mask is slowly lifted up as Mori speaks, the Goblin under it staring at the Arvek. "Look lady. I'm the last surviving member of my tribe. So please believe me when I say that I understand what you are feeling right now, I'd feel the same." Murder gestures at the slow moving moss invasion, and then at Ga'Elian and a few of the townsfolk. "Do you not see what is going on around you? The distant look people have in their eye... Ga'Elian is not a refugee nor has he suffered as you have... but look at his expression. Look at the plantlife slowly... NO!" She reaches out for Erakirak again, clinging to his legs. "LOOK AT GA'ELIAN!", she screeches. "YOU WILL NOT BECOME LIKE THAT!"

Erakirak is stopped.

GAME: Erakirak rolls diplomacy: (6)+0: 6

Munch sighs, relaxes a bit, and starts to payattention again, only to tense up all over again. "Sooooo.... the killer moss stuff -does- burn for anyone who wants to know that... but the ash is real messy and greasy and clings almost as bad."

Ga'Elian starts to meander toward the town, heedless to the burden he carries and apathetic that he is now walking away from Mori carrying her grandfather.

Erakirak nods to Munch, then looks to Murder for further instructions, since she seems to understand what's going on.

"What's all this, then?" one of the arvek asks. The arvek is a few yards away and his hands are at his sides. His shoulders are a bit tense, though. There's a few others with him, who y'all have noted. "Mori?"

"...just...they think they know somethin' about grandpa. Threatenin' to burn my house down," Mori says stiffly. She glances over at Erakirak. Murder's words make her stiffen but so does Era's movements. "How do I know you ain't gonna burn down my house, once you slip on past?" she demands.

Commotion draws attention, though.

The guy from earlier is looking from...he's looking at Ga'elian, and the arvek the man is shouldering. /Something/ crosses his features. "Right, adventurers," he says, as though that explains well, everything.

Deeper breath. "I'm Joachim, Joachim never mind the last name. Doesn't matter anymore," the farmer says. "I think...I think...I think we all ought to go to th' tavern and have a drink," he says. "That sound good to alla you? Sil? You ought t' put down her grandpa, and come have a drink, I think. Think that's a real good idea."

"...Mori, somethin's wrong, here. You know it, I know it. And, these are adventurers. They're pretty bad at people, sometimes, but...maybe. Let's have a drink an' sort this all out. Could be their heart's in tha right place. ...okay, Mori?"

'Bad at people' pretty much sums up Rak's entire modus operandi, and he's entirely in over his head at this point, so he keeps looking to Murder for some sort of cue.

Ga'Elian squats using his legs to lower the old man, and deftly deposits him on the ground, then walks toward this tavern. Silently, Unblinking.

Munch squints. "Nooope. No offense, you seem okay, but as you said somethign wierd is going on. Some sort of Evil Moss. And just in case, i'm not going to eat or drink anything here until have a better idea what's going on."

Murder lets out a long, low breath and looks to Erakirak. "Please go and get Ga'Elian. Before he wanders too far away." She looks to Mori again. "I'll do the whole town if that is what it takes.", she says with a growl. Turning to Joachim, she shakes her head. "Can you not see the imminent threat?" The Gobbo gestures to the encroaching moss. "This stuff ... you are breathing it in. It is infesting in all the cracks and small spaces in your homes. It.. just look at him." Murder points to Ga'Elian. And then another person who has pinpricks for eyes. "And her. You have to get out of here. Before you are consumed. Sitting in a pub and drinking... may as well slit your own throats..."

Erakirak nods and heads out after Elian, catching up to him as he puts down the old man. "Um... I don't think we should go in there," he suggests to the ranger gently, indicating the tavern. "Murder thinks it's a bad idea, and she's got pretty good instincts about these things." Looking at him more carefully he adds "Are you OK? What were you saying before about things travelling from far away?"

GAME: Aella has disconnected. <Netfailure>

" try to burn down our town, yer gonna have problems, miss." Jaochim's voice has gone from well, friendly to decidedly not. Because, well, burning a refugee town, you know?

"...that sil is actin' awfully funny, though," one of the other arvek chimes in, sounding unsettled.

"Maybe so. ...but we worked awfully hard for this town. You ain't gonna burn it," Jaochim says. He folds his arms. "You're serious, come back with a way that don't involve destroyin everythin' we have left."

Munch says, "The source. Maybe if we find the source, kill that, then the....finger parts? Won't be so bad. Might wither and die away."

Erakirak nods to Munch. That makes sense.

Ga'Elian allows Erakirak to lead him. He says, "Very, very far away. Beyond."

The Goblin growls, her teeth bared once more. "We need to get Ga'Elian back, to snap him out of whatever thing he's in. He cast a spell to talk with nature, to see what's up. He said something about evil..." Murder waves a hand at Munch, still staring at JOachim. "That's how you will save your town. But you honestly have to evacuate everyone who's not fit to see this task out. They'll just get like him." Another indication to Ga'Elian.

"If we cannot kill it at the source... what choices are left?"

GAME: Murder rolls Survival: (3)+7: 10

GAME: Erakirak rolls survival: (9)+9: 18

Munch considers a moment, and heads towards Ga'Elian. "Here, let me try something...."

GAME: Erakirak rolls knowledge/nature: (13)+4: 17

GAME: Erakirak rolls knowledge/geography: (3)+4: 7

GAME: Ga'Elian rolls Survival/nat+FavTerrain: (6)+Survival/nat+FavTerrain: 6

GAME: Ga'Elian rolls Sur/nat+FavTerrain: (12)+Sur/nat+FavTerrain: 12

Munch calmly, almost gently, takes Ga'Elian... hoists him up by the front of his shirt, and pulls him until the two faces are almost touching. "That thing, alien, whatever? It's far away. It can wait. Me? I'm right here." His face cracks open, splitting wide, with row upon row of gleaming, quivering fangs, just inches away. "Right now. Pay attention."

GAME: Munch rolls intimadate: (12)+intimadate: 12

GAME: Munch rolls intimidate: (14)+15: 29

GAME: Ga'Elian rolls Surv/nat+FavTerr: aliased to Survival+4+4+2: (2)+30+4+4+2: 42

Erakirak nods. "Well. If we want to find the source, I guess I'd suggest finding whatever pool or spring of tainted water is feeding the moss-vein." He points toward the deeper forest. "Maybe that would turn up something?"

Ga'Elian looks at the metal man and says, "Yes. We're here. The moss is wet. The moss feed upon the tainted water; gets drive and ... purpose from the Bracken. Tainted water, ergo tainted moss."

Murder rubs at her face and looks to Erakirak. "So now Silverwing is our best hope."

Erakirak smiles. "She did OK last time, right?"

GAME: Dax has connected.

GAME: Weather has connected.

With the group of you working together--and if you bring Wiremu back into it, damn idle oruch's just sitting on his hands, yeah?--finding the source isn't too difficult. It's more what happens when you get there.

Erakirak definitely has a sense of deja vu. Silverwing doesn't want near the stuff. Ga'elian's own griffon balks.

...and, it's just like you'd predicted. Like you'd put together. There's a...there's a tangle of moss. A mountain of it, growing from a spring.

Let's just say that Murder gets her fire.

Munch hrmms, asides to the distracted Ga'Elian. "Ya know, I think you're the first I tired something like that who didn't piss himself, faint, run away, or all three. i might be loseing my touch."

Murder has disconnected.

Ga'Elian goes to the Druid Grove and alternates for the next couple days between bawling his eye out in morose sobbing and hopping and dancing in manic thrill.