Our forth session started a bit shaky, one of the players was going to be late and another at the last minute said he would also have to be late, but be started anyways.
We started off the session continuing from last one, with them going to the baths at in the River Rock inn in Horsh. We did the scene as a quick series of questions regarding what they asked the 2 locals they met in there, doing no in depth rp.
They learned about how the town is lead, a woman called Mother Bradiche, a 300 year old woman who has lead since she was a child, though nowadays her adviser Lord Traount tends to be the real face of command.
They also found out small things about the village in general, that it tends to ignore most things outside the village, they are friendly to travelers, and view the issue with children being kidnapped on the roads as something that will pass eventually.
Another thing that poped up over the conversation was the existence of 2 different “breeds” of people in Horsh, those descended from the original inhabitants and those who are not. Both benefit from the magical spring, living longer and being more healthy, but those who are descendants of the original people of the village can live hundreds of years supposedly.
The conversation then turned to Trogdorina, as they asked what the 2 people knew about her. All they really mentioned was that the whole village views her as their daughter and dotes on her, treating her as something of a prodigy or princess. This was the last bit of conversation they had before they moved on to the inn commons area.
Inside they talked to Innkeeper Danibus once again, asking him how/where they could find Trogdorina, he suggested Mothers Den, the political seat of the village, so they headed off in that direction.
On their walk to the den they travel through the city, still amazed at how well kept it is, as well as how old some of the architecture is. Many people are all over their yards, lounging in the sun, basking in warm pools of water and the like. Many have oddly tinged skin, but they look distinctively human besides that and their occasional larger then average physique.
Mothers Den was a large dome created out a solid piece of rock, roughly 3 stories high in the center and spreads out covering over 50 yeards in all directions. On the outside “shell” there were lots of intricate carvings and pictographs that were all nondescript but much fresher then the rest of the “ruins”, being at most a few hundred years old. The Den had no windows and only a single entrance, a large 10 foot tall 10 foot wide door, with 2 7 foot tall men standing outside as guards, wearing nothing but a loincloth and each armed with a halberd even longer then they were tall. The guards demeanor was sullen and dark, seemingly sleepy in their attitude, but their eyes shifted back and forth quickly as they watched the group approach.
Den Utne introduced the group and stated that they were looking for information. The guards simply stared at them for several minutes in silence before a smaller more normal looking man came out, ushering the group inside. He realized they were here to see the mother and lead them through the dim oddly cool interior of the large building, Kartos was curious about the odd change in temperature but no one had any clues as to why it was that way. They passed more rooms with villagers laying around inside, almost as if hibernating. The last room they passed through was a large library that looked extremely old. It rose 3 stories tall and had hundreds, perhaps a thousand books, and felt bone dry and bordered on cold, it seemed quite out of place, but they didn’t have any time to focus on anything inside as they were quickly ushered through and into the council chamber.
The council chamber was a large dim, nearly dark, room with only a few torches on the far walls. Dozens of chairs were lined up on the walls but only 8 were on the floor, each sat in by a villager, all of them semicircle around and towards the Mother, with her adviser standing besides her.
Here things got… awkward. Saber activated Mastery of Small Manners, but for some reason 2 or 3 of the people, including the mother seemed to realize saber had done something, despite it not being obvious to anyone else (including her comrades). At this point there was a brief reprimand by the Mother, who asked if the group felt threatened, saber really didn’t want to say anything but realized it would be rude not to so quietly said no. The mother continued to ask if she didn’t trust them, the people she sought and audience with. Saber said no once again. The mother finally asked her why she used magic. By this time everyone in the room was staring at saber, including her comrades, Saber just told everyone to handle this and she would go outside…so she turned to leave.
At this Lord Traount, Mothers adviser, stepped forward and demanded that Saber stay in the room or else get out of their village. he walked over to the group, close to them and listened as Ghost tried to get saber under control. Lord Traount explained that they are here to talk among each other and the party was welcome to join, but they would be respectful and friendly and trusting, not using magic in their presence. He also pointed out here that many of them can see the magical world, explaining why they knew what she did. There was a bit more small talk, apologies by people and then the conversation continued on.
The party introduced themselves and they explained what they were here for. Traount was happy to have them visting, explaining how much everyone in the town enjoys new people, and listened as the group began to talk about the kidnappers. Traount had a bit of information to give, though he could tell that they were not simply here to ask about general information, it was quite obvious they came to the Mothers Den for a specific reason, otherwise they would have just asked around town.
The group admitted they were here to talk about the corpse the people of Horsh acquired during one of the attacks.
They learned quite a bit in the following conversation. The body was no longer there, the corpse made useless by the investigation techniques used on it. The corpse was spirit marked, the sign of someone who submits to a ruling spirit. It was talked a bit about the possibility of a spirit controlling the people but it was adamantly dismissed by 2 of the villagers as well as one of the party members.
Trogdorina was called forth at this time and gave some more in depth information about the corpse and what they found out. She told them all she could tell about the spirit these people worship from the corpse, that the people and their god are filled with negative emotions and are desperate. They are wracked with fear and guilt, and a deep sense of dread, a horrible sense of conviction. They know what they are doing is wrong, but they feel they have to do it for some reason, not just out of fear of their spirit, but out of a true need.
Here she also revealed that it is unlikely anyone who was taken is alive…the sense of dread and remorse around this corpses essence was terrible.
The group asked about spirits being corrupted by demons, but Trogdorina and Den both agreed that it is far more likely that the spirit isn’t corrupt, it’s just being a spirit. Spirits are not mortals and not normal, they don’t have the same moral compass as humans and are more bound by their nature then concepts such as good and evil.
The last bit of information they got before we quit (due to 2 players having to leave) was the Mother saying that she was positive that the villagers were not within 5 miles of the village, that they “hideout” was not there, nor were they there in person.
Hopefully next session we will get to play a full 3 hour game.