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Thread: RotR Chapter Two: The Skinsaw Murders

  1. #21
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    Victaria wondered at the strange item she held in her hands completely unsure of what it meant. Was it a warning? A medal? She quickly set about shuffling her papers into some semblance of order before she set off. She didn't take too much time as the monks had seemed to get used to the mess Victaria left in her wake when she was in the throes of research. Grabbing her new intricately carved walking stick/weapon that the monks had shown her how to use she set off to try and find out what was going on.
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    Characters:
    -Loren Soth (LG Male Human Fighter 7/Paladin 3; Dragons on the River of Time)
    -Kadrien Soth (Zabrak Soldier 5/Jedi 2; Star Wars-Dawn of Defiance)
    -Victaria Grey (NG Female Cleric of Irori 5; Rise of the Runelords)


  2. #22
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    Default Approaching The Lumber Mill

    The Heroes of Sandpoint were led through the streets of their patron city by their designated guard-escorts. Rova had passed and slipped into Lamashan. All the trees proclaimed the movement of months with their leaves, once green, now in various shades of wildfire, loose in the wind and fast collecting on the sides of the hard-packed dirt roads. Sandpoint was in the throes of preparing for the annual Reap Festival, culminating with the lasts of the harvests being brought to barn. Red and gold dressing hung in every window, and countless fancifully carved gourds sat out on display. Paper lanterns in Reaptide colors were strung overhead awaiting the lamplighters, and children ran about underfoot. The chased each other, roaring comically, and wearing handmade goblin masks. Everywhere they looked, outside of businesses, and more than a few homes, seemingly on every street corner there were straw men. This was a favored tradition of Sandpoint's citizens this time of year. Dressed in garb of varying station, and stuffed with straw, they stood with arms outstretched and capped in a pair of red gloves, affectionately referred to by the populace as 'Stuffy Guys'.

    The Heroes eventually met in the streets, moving as they were toward the same location. They saw the outskirts of a gathering crowd long before their destination. Sifting through the ramble, they couldn't help but catch snatches of excited, fast-flying gossip:

    "...the ghost of old Stoot come..."

    "...rutting like wild..."

    "...just like five years ago..."

    "...naw, how could he..."

    "...blood everywhere, I..."

    "...Ibor saw the whole..."

    "...new Chopper roaming about, mind..."

    The Heroes pushed politely through the crush of curious onlookers, dodging around shifting folk like fish through seagrass, until they came to the end. A heavy rope perimeter was being tied off and manned at intervals by members of the Watch. Noting the badges affixed to their clothing, the guards let the Heroes slip under the rope, and onto the grounds of the Sandpoint Lumber Mill.

    OOC: Stand by for one more, and then I'll leave you to it. Almost time, Dormlin!
    Last edited by SuperBall; 05-14-2014 at 06:23 PM.
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  3. #23
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    Default Outside the Lumber Mill

    Out of the press of people, and on the other side of the rope, they got their first good look at the building. The Sandpoint Lumber Mill was a sturdy wooden building with thick walls and a wood shingle roof, two stories tall. A massive water wheel jutted halfway up out of the river. It was still, even though the water rushed past it at a good clip. A long timber pier stuck out most of the way across the river. Across from it, a large patch of marshy land shot with clumps of rushes and reeds jutted up from the bank of the Turandarok. The doors to the building stood open. A guard was posted by them, a look of relief splashed across his drawn face.

    OOC: Players Up! Feel free to explore the grounds, or head inside. The location is yours.
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  4. #24
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    Gus was almost disappointed when he saw his companions arrive at the mill sporting badges identical to his own. Hopefully whatever this was didn't turn out to be a waste of everyone's time.

    “Hello everyone, I see we've all been inducted into the same exclusive club,” the young man quipped sourly. “Has anyone actually spoken to the sheriff yet? What the Hell is going on? This had better not be goblins again.”
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  5. #25
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    Post There Will Be Blood

    It was peculiar, in a pleasant way, watching others react to her new badge and the status it conferred (instead of reacting to her air of nobility or odd hairless-ness). Mostly folks just got out of the way and looked more at the insignia of the authority they did at her face. It was chilling to think how such power and relative anonymity could be abused.

    The townsfolk's dire whispers made Lalia's stomach clench. Old Stoot, alias the Chopper, was the ritualistic mass murderer she'd read about in the House of Blue Stones. She recalled speaking of the Chopper to Gus and Victaria. It had been over breakfast, actually, she realized with a pang of guilt. (Goraxis, Kzvzk, and Erik had been there too, but she didn't see any of them now.) Jack would have to be caught up on the grisly murders in Sandpoint six years ago, when a good moment presented itself.

    GUS: “Has anyone actually spoken to the sheriff yet? What the Hell is going on? This had better not be goblins again.”
    Taken as a whole, the snatches of rumor around them suggested a copycat was at work. "I fear it's not so simple as goblin attacks this time, Gus. If I'm overhearing correctly, some blackguard may be following in the Chopper's bloody footsteps. That is, mutilating innocent townsfolk in the service of some devilish deity," Lalia said hoarsely. "I think that's why we've been deputized and summoned with such rummy haste."

    The phrase 'bloody footsteps' put her in mind of footprints. She'd read a few stories, fiction and biography, about talented investigators employed by a City Watch who took plaster casts of prints and so forth. Presuming she and her friends had been summoned to the scene of a murder, it was tempting to hunt for clues right away, lest the curious crowd spoil the evidence.

    On the other hand, she wouldn't know what to look for, or whether anything she found was out of the ordinary, until she'd heard from the witnesses and from the first officers to reach the crime scene.

    The druid turned to her erstwhile adventuring companions at the threshold of the entrance to the mill. "I'm pleased to see you all again, though I wish it weren't under such sinister circumstances. Shall we nip inside and interview the witnesses and constabulary? Or should some of us comb the area for clues or suspicious lurkers, or have a chinwag with this crowd to see if anyone has useful information?"


    OOC:

    Lalia is open to suggestion if you folks want to divvy up tasks. Or we can stick together and go in.

    Victaria and Gus were present at the Rusty Dragon when Lalia talked about her research in "Chapter 1: Burnt Offerings" in Post #242. Here is another cut and paste of the Chopper story:

    Chopper

    Sandpoint was no stranger to crime, or even to murder. Once or twice a year, passions flared, robberies went bad, jealousy grew too much to bear, or one too many drinks were drunk, and someone would end up dead. But when the body count suddenly began to mount, the town had no idea how to react. Sandpoint's sheriff at the time was a no-nonsense man named Casp Avertin, a retired city watch officer from Magnimar, yet even he was ill-prepared for the murderer who came to be known as Chopper. Over the course of one long winter month, every few days brought a new victim to light. Each was found in the same terrible state, bodies bearing deep cutting wounds to the neck and torso, with both hands and feet severed and stacked nearby and the eyes and tongue missing entirely, plucked crudely from the head.
    Over the course of that terrible month, Chopper claimed 25 victims. His uncanny knack at eluding traps and pursuit quickly wore on the town guard, taking particular toll on Sheriff Avertin, who increasingly took to drinking. Many believe that he even took to beating his wife and daughter, and that, in its own way, may have been the genesis of the Sandpoint Fire. In any event, Sheriff Avertin himself became Chopper's last victim, slain when he finally caught the killer mutilating his latest victim in the side street that would come to be known as Chopper's Alley. Yet in the battle that followed, Avertin managed a telling blow against the murderer. When the town guard found the sheriff dead with another victim several minutes later, they were able to follow the bloody trail left by the killer.

    A trail that led straight to the stairs of Stoot's Rock, the prominent stone outcropping just north of the Old Light.

    At first, the town guard refused to believe the implications, and feared that Chopper had come to claim poor Jervis Stoot as his 26th victim. Yet what the guards found in the modest home atop the isle, and in the larger complex of rooms that had been carved into the bedrock below, left no room for doubt. Jervis Stoot and Chopper were the same, and the eyes and tongues of all 25 victims were found in a horrific altar to a birdlike demon whose name none dared speak aloud. Stoot himself was found dead at the base of the altar, having plucked his own eyes and tongue loose for a final offering. The guards collapsed the entrance to the chambers, burned Stoot's house, tore down the stairs, and tried to forget. Stoot himself was burned on the beach in a pyre, his ashes then blessed and then scattered in an attempt to stave off an unholy return of his evil spirit from beyond the grave. In the months to follow, Sandpoint did its best to forget the terror, although even today, children who remember the dark times only six years ago sometimes wake with nightmare visions of Chopper hiding under their beds.[1]
    Last edited by UngainlyDodge; 05-15-2014 at 12:03 AM. Reason: added Cut & Paste
    "Fall into my pit trap, shame on you. Fill my pit trap with bloodthirsty sharp-toothed goblins with abyssal templates, shame on me." ---SuperBall

  6. #26
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    Gus vaguely remembered Lalia nattering on about some infamous Sandpoint murderer once. He didn't remember the exact details, but it had been an entertaining yarn.

    "Uhhh...how 'bout I stand out here and keep idiots from trooping about inside while you lot use your big brains and magics to figure out what exactly happened. I'm guessing whoever is dead is dead inside the mill?"

    OOC -
    William, have our escorts departed? Shalelu might be helpful being a hunter and a local and all.
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  7. #27
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    Jack swung his legs over the horse, and jumped dexterously out the saddle. “Jimmy, watch the horses,” he said, casting off.

    The elder gentleman shook hands with a few of the onlookers, nodding and saying hello as he came to the corded off area. Cocking an eyebrow at the others, Jack shrugged, and turned to enter the building wordlessly. Though he flashed the badge, it still did not grace the creases of his leathers. The bravo continued to flip it between his fingers, looking occasionally at it in disdain.

    A paid job was one thing, but being a part of constabulary? By no means was Jack ever under the chains of law and order, usually above such heavy concepts unless forced.
    Last edited by rogue; 05-15-2014 at 02:46 PM.
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  8. #28
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    Default Jack, Inside the Sawmill

    Jack sauntered in, nodding at the guard standing at the door. The scene inside the sawmill stopped him cold. Blood spatter covered the walls and floor like thrown red paint, long dried. The corpse nailed to the wall with heavy iron spikes commanded the most attention. It wore no clothing. The familiar shape of the Sihedron rune was carved deep in its chest. The lower jaw had been torn off. A thousand other cuts, including a long, deep smile across its throat had very nearly flayed the flesh from its bones. To one side of the mill room, the body of a blonde woman had not yet been removed from the teeth of the log splitting wheel. Near her, a bloodstained hand axe lay discarded on the floor.

    A man stood wih a guard near the woman's body. His once-white shirt was stained with blood. He wore a sour expression. Nearby, an older, rotund man was raving mad. A pair of guards tried to restrain him, as he leapt for the bloodstained shirt. "You knew! You should have told me! You knew!"

    "SILENCE THAT FOOL!" Jack's eyes shot to the sound. On the other side of the mill, Sheriff Hemlock was deep in conversation with a Dwarf.

    OOC: Pause for a minute. Tyler, go ahead and introduce Dormlin. Describe him, and jump into the scene!
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  9. #29
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    From the back, it was hard to tell there was a man behind the shield. He was tall for a dwarf, too, with a well-kempt brown beard and clean skin. He, in plain clothing untouched by the gruesome scene around him, was in intense but civil conversation with the sheriff.

    "Sir, I implore you - I encountered an incident similar to this one but a few days out of town. The killer has traveled here, and I doubt the second kill will have sated his twisted desires. I am ready and willing to lend my aid in the capture of this fiend, but you must allow me the authority!"

    He was more reservedly spoken than most dwarves would be in such a dire situation, no doubt.

  10. #30
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    Default Dormlin, Inside the Lumber Mill

    Sheriff Hemlock looked town at the Dwarf before him. Since the discovery had been made, he'd been a thorn in his side. "Sir Dormlin," he began, attempting as much civility as a man can stressed to his limits, in the middle of a murder scene. "I'd love to assist you, but look around here. I can't spare the men to go with you until after this mess is cleared up! I apologize, but you'll have to wait."
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