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You are Billy Bones, a skeleton sorcerer pretending to be a skeleton bard. You have killed your creator, the amateur necromancer Gyrnax, and taken his cave for your own designs. You have two goblin minions and a mindless skeleton servitor. You have also summoned a semi-skeletal raven familiar named Poe. After returning the daughter's of the local village's mayor to his custody, you were granted the ability to visit town once a week as long as you didn't spook people out excessively. You have begun performing acts of heroism to ingratiate yourself with the townspeople. Last week, you killed a bunch of rats and stopped some grave robbers from using a grave to rob the town's temple. This leaves you with a week of free time before you are again able to visit the nearby town.
>Please vote twice. Top two options will be performed
>Stat dump to follow
>READ Gyrnax's books to try and learn more about the local area and surrounding townships.
>Work on expanding the cave's DEFENSES
>Work on increasing the cave's SPOOKINESS
>Spend some time on the roads looking for travelers to SPOOK
>EXPLORE the area surrounding the necromancer's cave
Billy Bones, Awakened Skeleton Sorcerer 1
Armor Class: 13 (+1 Dex, +2 Natural)
Damage Reduction 5/Bludgeoning
Cha 13 (Cloak of Charisma +2)
Full Attack: Two claws at +3/+3 - 1d4+2/x2, or longsword +3 - 1d8+2/19-20x2
Current Spooky Level: 1 (Phone Rings, But No One Is There)
Current Local Favorability: Small-Scale Folk Hero, All-Around Nice Guy
Spells Known: 0 - Light, Daze, Read Magic, Detect Magic
1 - Sleep, Charm Person
Craft (Boneworking) 4
Knowledge (arcana) 3
Sense Motive 1
>READ Gyrnax's books to try and learn more about the local area and surrounding townships.
>Use Bonecrafting to modify yourself and your musical friend to be just a bit deadlier, AND FAR SPOOKIER. Maybe make a RIBCAGE BREASTPLATE or other BONE EQUIPMENT with the corpses laying around.
>Locked, roll d20 for Bonecrafting
>Any particular ideas on what you're attempting to construct here? Reminder that bone armor will restrict your ability to easily cast spells, and that bones you attach to yourself will be bones you are wearing, not fully operational limbs (at least...at this level of Bonecrafting)
Rolled 18 (1d20)
I say the first order of business be to fashion ourselves a bone flute, or perhaps bone lute, though I have no idea how it would function.
How could we possibly pretend to be a bard if we don't even have an instrument to play poorly?
You spend several of the following days poring through Gyrnax's unfortunately-limited library. The village of Belford is located on the river Bel, a tributary to the much mightier Fenric river that flows to the sea. At the mouth of this great river is the Imperial seat of power, Goldfast, from which the arms of the house of Iver stretch to cross the seas. The current widower king, Sol Iver, rules even as his years grow long, his sole heir the Princess Yverline. The river Bel flows downward from the Skyteeth, where it is said men live in the perpetual snow, untouched by Imperial law. There are a handful of other towns along the Bel river, most notably Belwood, a large logging settlement situated in a slowly-shrinking forest.
Searching for something that might explain your own magic powers, you find that Goldfast hosts a prestigious academy of wizards. However, these men practice wizardly like Gyrnax, whose confounding tomes of study you have already given up trying to understand. There are references to intuitive hedge magic and potionry among the common classes, but nothing whose study has been reproduced in the books that are available to you. The tower of Sarnax the Magnificent is mentioned in even the oldest books you can find on the area, and by all accounts the wizard is confusing and dangerous, but harmless to the local population when left to his own devices.
Using the bones from the skeleton that would have contained your spirit if Gyrnax's plains had gone unspoiled by your previous meatsuit, you are able to put your intuitive understanding of all things skeletal and cartilaginous into play. You are able to construct the following items
You are able to construct a flute of bone, upon which you tootle contentedly. However fine the flute's construction, you are currently just awful at tootling.
You are able to weave various ribs, phalanges, and metatarsils into the fabric of your robes, leaving your magical Cloak unmolested. When you finish, you have substantially increased the spookiness of your general attire (+1 SPOOK related checks, -1 MOVE SILENTLY)
You craft half of the skeleton's extra-large jawbone into a pretty WICKED KNYFE.
"Take a break," Poe says to you eventually. "You're working yourself to the bone."
Near the end of the week, an extremely nervous-looking page hesitantly hand-delivers a wax-sealed letter to a spot on the ground twenty feet from your cave entrance, after which he flees as fast as he is able. The letter is from Edward Hagan, by all accounts one of the town's more successful farmers. It invites you to his residence on the outskirts of Belford on your next visit to town, and promises an interesting business opportunity. You know nothing of this Hagan but for what he boasts of himself in the letter.
Where to in town this time?
>Visit the MAYOR and/or his DAUGHTERS
>Hit up THE CARP'S DEN, the local watering hole
>Respond to HAGAN'S LETTER
>Visit the TEMPLE and see the head Cleric, per her invitation
>Visit the DOCKS
>Visit the MAYOR and/or his DAUGHTERS
Our lovely larynxless lad hasn't chatted up a mayor's daughter in quite some time, and that's just not acceptable for someone disguised as a bard.
You have your first visit into town where no one screams and runs from you, which actually leaves you feeling somewhat hollow. Dane Voight is on guard duty at the gates, and waves you in.
"Take care of yourself in there, Bones," he says, not unkindly.
The Temple of Bel is busy with a handful of worshipers, who cease their whispered prayers to begin whispered gossip when you ascend the steps into the temple's main room. The head cleric sees you enter and hurries over, waving aside the concerned intercession of a few of the underclerics.
"I am here upon your invitation," you tell her as she approaches.
"Yes, of course," she says. "Please, come with me."
You follow her into the cleric's quarters, a set of rooms sequestered away from the public areas of the temple. Half a dozen beds are contained in one room, and the head cleric appears to share her living space with all of the underclerics. Currently the room contains only the two of you, the beds, and a somewhat large common table, at which the cleric seats herself and motions for you to do the same.
"Forgive me for not introducing myself when we met," she says, although the apology seems courteous rather than emotional. "My name is Clover."
"Billy Bones," you reply. "Bones is fine."
>When you spoke with her last, she told you that involving yourself with the Temple could be beneficial to you in the long run, and seemed to think you were powered by dark forces even if you were not currently committing evil acts, which, I mean, duh, skeleton. You could ask her more about this, or other things.
>>When you spoke with her last, she told you that involving yourself with the Temple could be beneficial to you in the long run, and seemed to think you were powered by dark forces even if you were not currently committing evil acts, which, I mean, duh, skeleton. You could ask her more about this, or other things.
Ask her if its really so bad if we're powered by dark forces if we do good things. Pulm out the Faust- "Im part of the power that wills evil but forever works good"
or what ever the actual quite is
Also ask about the large skelly ritual our creator was doing in case it herals something more ominous- we stopped it but it might have left a door slightly ajar instead of fully open like he'd hoped.
"When I saw you last, you seemed like you had a bone to pick," you say. "Said you could save my soul, or something?"
She brushes her bangs out of her face and gets a jug of water. She pours herself a cup, and you can visibly see her half-turn towards you, consciously stop herself from asking you if you want a cup of water, and turn back. She returns to the table, taking a slow drink.
"As you may know," she says, "clerics can detect the presence of evil in sentient creatures. And while I sense no evil in you, you are connected to some greater evil. It's obumbration falls on you like a cloud."
"Is it really so bad to be animated by the blood of the innocent, or whatever" you say. "It's not like I'm going to drop dead if I don't commit atrocities, am I?"
"No. That is, I don't think so..." She thinks for a moment. "Have you felt any weaker lately? Do you notice your strength waning?"
"Nope." You say. ("If anything, I'm growing stronger," you think to yourself)
"Well, I invite you to try praying to Bel," she states plainly. "He may be able to guide your path, and shield your heart from any evil influences."
"You're being surprisingly cool about all this," you say. "I assume your followers aren't going to get all witch-hunt-y on me?"
"If you give us no reason to wish you harm, we wish no harm unto you," she says, and it sounds like she's quoting something. "But there are others, in Goldfast, and on the Verdant Flats. Clerics of Altmest would destroy you, if they knew you for what you are, and were in a position to do you harm."
"The one who created me, he was working on something, trying to bring something into this plane. Is there any way, if his spell went wrong, he could have...left a door ajar?"
"Hmmm," she says. "I don't really know. If you can bring me whatever notes he was using next time you come to town, I can take a look."
You take your leave of the temple, feeling at least a little relieved that the local clergy wasn't out for your marrow.
It's still fairly early in the afternoon, so you have time to muck about in Belford if you wish. You could...
>Visit the MAYOR and/or his DAUGHTERS
>Hit up THE CARP'S DEN, the local watering hole
>Respond to HAGAN'S LETTER
>Visit the DOCKS
>TOOTLE YOUR FLOOTLE for the amusement of the general public
You make your way to the farm that your letter instructed you to locate. It is indeed significantly larger than the other farmhouses that you have seen and sits upon a great plot of land dedicated to raising wheat. You are greeted at the door by holy shit, is that a butler? These farmers are fancy enough to have a butler. Your arrival is expected, and the butler, a terse man who does not give his name, leads you into a small study and waiting area. After a few minutes of waiting, and then a few more minutes of what you're pretty sure is just power-play, Edward Hagan opens the door and introduces himself.
"I'm Edward Hagan," he says. "And you must be this Bones character everyone's talking about. Your reputation proceeds you. I understand you've been quite helpful to the people of Belford, and I have something I wish for you to do, something that might suit your...unique situation."
"My son, you see, is to be wed to the daughter of Fargus Valbeam, the river boat captain, the so-called 'King of the River' (and here he waggles his fingers). It's no secret that this marriage would cement our two families and the business relationship it would ensure means that my grain keeps flowing, and his boats keep full holds, and everything is smooth sailing, eeeasy peeeasy. But then I get this!"
He tosses a handful of ashes at your feet.
"Well, it was a letter before I burnt it!" he says, then, quieter, "a letter from my idiot poet of a son who refuses to understand the difference between love and business. While he didn't say as much outright, I have a strong suspicion that he intends to disappoint both myself and the river-king, which could end up ruining our business relationship if that short-tempered inkbeard decides to take enough offense."
"I want you to scare him. I want you to spook him, I want you to TERRIFY him until the prospect of not marrying this girl is worse than death. I don't care what you tell him but get him married and 200 gold is yours."
"I'll scare him to the point where every time he closes his eyes, he sees my terrifying visage. But make no mistake, fleshbag! Fear affects people in unpredictable ways, so even if he's more frightened than you were when you were twelve and the boogeyman rapped on your window and asked to be let in, he may very well end up not marrying her anyways. Spooking people into specific actions is VERY tricky business indeed!"
>Fuck your shit, Richy McFuck
"You have wounded me gravely," you say, rising to your feet. "Cut me to the bone!"
"I intended no offe-"
"You call upon me to spook, that highest and noblest of all arts..."
"And you impugn me with an offer of MONEY? As if spooking were some common PROFESSION?"
Hagan shrinks away from you somewhat, stammering. He clearly did not foresee this as a possibility.
You stomp over to him, grabbing his clothes by your phalanges and shoving your face into his. The tiny red points of light that betray your sentience seethe from your sockets into his watering eyes. You feel a lush surging of righteous purposefulness.
"Listen to me, you swine," you say. "If you call upon me again, and offer me whore's wages for my art," you draw the jawbone dagger with one hand, as you scrape your naked teeth against Hagan's unshaven cheek, "then there will be a day, in the not-too-distant future, when people will say to themselves 'hey, whatever happened to that Hagan the farmer? Old Hagan, where's he at with his shipping contracts and his terrible jokes?' And they'll say 'oh, old Hagan? He killllllled himself. He ate glass chased it with vinegar, he struck his name from all the history books, cause he'd rather never have been than have to live in a world where Billy Bones would always have done that thing to him.' THAT THING," you repeat, clacking your jaws. "That....thiiiiing." You moonwalk away from Daniel Hagan, leaving him in a puddle of his own yellow.
"Gonna want to clean them hardwood floorsssssss," you hiss on your way out the door.
>You SPOOKED HIM BUT GOOD +100 SPOOKERINOS
>Wowie Zow you feel a surge of power! That's some Level 2 action!
You continue moonwalking through the entrance hall, past the butler. You twist your neck to face him even as you approach him backwards.
"Boo," you say softly as your spine cracks and creaks, your head turning to watch him as you whisk out the door.
>Level 2 Goodies
>New spell learned: Ghost Sound. Create ghostly noises in your vicinity that may or may not sound like ghosts.
>You get a skill point, but we'll handle that whenever I remember to give you your first level feat, someone remind me next OP that we get to dish out a skill point and a feat.
You trounced Hagan so efficiently that there's still plenty of time in the day to get something done.
>Go back to TOWN (Write-In Specifics)
>Go back to CAVE (Write-In Specifics)
>Take a WANDER (random encounters in the wilderness)
He and Poe can be buddies! We'll get up to all sorts of shenanigans.
(most shenanigans involve poe and us burying someone alive somewhere while the poet watches on in fear and disgust but let's not concern ourselves with that)
http://www.d20srd.org/ - roughly
I like the idea of getting a point in Sleight of Hand to perform small magic tricks, to convince people that we are a fakey fake not a real sorcerer don't worry about what feels like magic haha.
Though I worry about how spooky acts of legerdemain can really be.
The first person who brought up feats suggested Combat Casting, which makes it easier to cast while you are distracted. There's also spell focus, like one anon mentioned, which makes spells of a particular school harder to resist. Or you could take something like Dodge, which makes you harder to hit in combat, or one of the feats that gives you a small boost at certain skill checks (there are a bunch of them, and I can't remember them all)
You jauntily stroll back to town, feeling fresher than you have in a week. There was something about putting the fear in that farmer that made you feel...right, somehow. You tip your imaginary fedora to Dane Voight, still standing guard duty as you return, and make your way to the mayor's residence, adjoining the Smithy. Ignus raises his eyebrows as you enter, and rises from where he was idly chipping away at what seems to have aspirations of being a belt buckle someday.
"Bones!" he says, waving you in. "Wondering when you'd be around again. Been hearing a lot of talk about you, Bones, and you're fortunate that it's mostly good. Clover from the Temple came by a few days back, told me about that business with the robbery. The town appreciates you, Bones, having a guy around who doesn't need to eat or sleep has its perks."
"But," Ignus says, wagging a sausage of a finger at you. "I don't want to hear from any more people about all this spooking that's going on. Old ladies and couples taking a walk, you're givin' people the jeepers creepers. Try and be a nicer sort of fleshless abomination, eh? Turn up the hugability."
"What do you know about this Edward Hagan?" you ask. "I had the opportunity to meet him today."
Ignus scowls. "Hagan...a good farmer, and a shrewd rival. I've heard more than one person I trust tell me that Hagan is planning on being mayor himself one day. Plus, that idiot son of his broke my Juniper's heart, said he was in love with the river-king's daughter. She's here now, in fact, on her father's ship. They're planning on travelling upriver to Belwood, and marrying in some ostentatious circus of a wedding."
"Edward has accumulated a lot of power," you muse. "Certainly he didn't get that way without breaking any...bones"
Ignus shakes his head. "I've heard the talk, about the elder Hagan. But you can't expect me to believe that Edward was able to pull off a "hunting accident" like that. Did he train that pack of eagles to tear his own father apart? Where would he get all the eagles? What did he do to them afterwards?" He lowers his voice, "if you want my opinion, Hagan the Elder got on the bad side of a certain mad wizard, and the less said about that the better."
"Well, Ignus, at this rate I'm going to work myself right down to the bone. I've only got so many of these, can I bill you if one breaks?"
"Nope!" Ignus says.
You hold your arms out, inviting the mayor to hug you. He stops short for a moment, but eventually smiles wryly.
"Aye, I guess I walked into this," he says, and grabs your scrawny body in a tight hug. You can feel your ribs creaking.
It seems you're being drawn into some bullshit political scheming. But Hagan's insult still stings. Perhaps the Hagan clan should be spooked further.
>Talk to the MAYOR'S DAUGHTERS about Hagan's son.
>Go to the DOCKS, with the possibility of following the river-king to meddle in his daughter's wedding.
>FUCK THIS, go to the tavern
The mayor's lovely daughters are fixing dinner. Lavendar seems particularly glad to see you, and greets you loudly while the other sisters smile and wave.
"Mr. Bones!" she says, "I'm particularly glad to see you!"
"Likewise," you reply, shooting her a finger gun.
"So, Juniper, mayor tells me you've got a case of the heartbreaks."
"Ugh! DADDY!" Juniper shouts.
"Bother Bones about it, I'm busy," Ignus's voice comes muffled from the other room.
"Well, since apparently it's just news we're telling people now," she says curtly, "that greasy eel Daniel broke off our engagement. He said he had found another woman, someone he loved more, but surprise surprise, it's his father's business partner's daughter, Bel's Bells, why did you even have to mention him, my whole nights going to be UGH now!"
The other girls look at you, shrugging with their eyes. Juniper waves her own bad mood away.
"No, no, I'm not mad at you Mr. Bones, I'm sorry. But at least I know what a cowardly little worm Daniel is now, I don't have to waste my time with his horrible poems."
"Got any of those poems left?" You ask her. She fishes a crumpled parchment out of her dress and tosses it to you.
"This is the last of it, thanks for the push."
>The poem is an extended allegory for the poet's struggle. Daniel, or his narrator, has to climb inside a giant bird to escape from a skeleton made of smaller skeletons that is pursuing him. The skeleton is a metaphor for Metaphors, and then the narrator escapes him but the bird catches on fire and he dies and it's supposed to be beautiful or something. You suspect that Daniel Hagan is deathly afraid of LACK OF CREATIVE FULFILLMENT and MAYBE SKELETONS?
>Grab some hugs from the mayor's daughters?
>See about booking passage to Belwood to fuck up some shmuck's wedding?
>All of the above?
There is, we spook him to death then use him as a meat suit to spook the river daughter as him right at the "I do's"
Imagine her face when she closes her eyes for the kiss and then she feels our cold teeth.
Spook the wedding
First we spook off the wedding entertainers, and then when the aisle walk (or whatever culture thing) happens we have xylobones start doing his thing.
Then we have poe fly around the daniels head, while quoting the more skeletal lines of his poetry, while we creep up behind him. Then Poe brings his attention to us.
Then creepy laugh, and we officially take daniel as our husband.
>Til DEATH do us part!
Though I don't know if 2 ranks in disguise will be able to hide our cackling evil genius/bard/sorcerer voice and barbarian bone structure.
I mean obviously we've got to call Daniel out for breaking ou- I mean, lovely Juniper's heart. But that might be difficult when we're clearly a 7 foot tall berserker male skeleton.
At least the dress will prevent anybody from looking too closely at our hips.
We have to spook him into NEVER marrying, for his transgressions! Convince him that getting hitched will kill his spirit, destroy his creativity, tire him out with the everday and the mundane! First, the wife will want all of his time. Then, before you know it, he has a kid! Two kids! Who knows, maybe even seven! AND THAT'S WHEN YOU REALIZE ALL OF YOUR HOPES, DREAMS, AND ASPIRATIONS ARE COMPLETELY LOST TO YOU. NO TIME FOR YOURSELF, BECAUSE NOW YOU HAVE TO SPEND EVERY WAKING MOMENT TENDING TO THE POOL OF LEECHES THAT THE COMMON MAN CALLS A FAMILY. And when he realizes that, it's not too long before he dies physically too, by his very own hand.
That should work for his insecurities, I think.
"Say, Juniper," you say, "I don't suppose you've got an old dress I could borrow? I've got a devious plot to spoil a wedding, and when I've got a devious plot, I'm like a dog with a bone."
Juniper seems confused at first, but slowly starts nodding her head.
"I'm got just the thing. Something slimming," she winks at you.
"You ladies are more than welcome to join, take a little vacation,"
"Yes!" Juniper shouts, and then the other girls join in until they're hopping around in a circle shrieking at one another. You try for a hug.
"Bring it in, girls, I've got a good feeling about this."
The girls circle around you and basically just group hug one another with your bony form in the middle. Your skull squishes pleasantly between them.
"We can get a boat tonight," you say, "The river-king's boat is-"
"Ugh, no, no, why? No!" Juniper says. "We'll get a ticket on the next boat, tomorrow morning. Daddy will come with us, won't YOU? DADDY?!" she runs out of the room.
"She'll take care of it," Lavendar says.
You send Poe back to the cave, with instructions to meet you with Xylobones at the docks by morning, and to tell the goblins that their skin will melt off and they'll be forced to eat each other forever if they fail to watch the cave appropriately.
>That's some evil shit, 2spoopy
The morning sun finds you idly practicing your flute while Xylobones tries to follow your skilless meandering. Poe has found a worm to eat, which he has declared to be a worthy representation of the tragedy of Man and much of Madness, Horror, and Sin.
Before long the mayor's daughters approach giddily, while Ignus follows, looking as though he is typically not conscious at such hours.
>Board the boat IN SECRET to conceal your skeleton nature
>SUNBATHE ON THE FUCKING DECK
The boat is, like many others, shipping grain and other foodstuffs from Belford upriver to the logging town of Belwood, where they will no doubt stock up on lumber to take to the Imperial capital at the mouth of the river. Ignus somewhat grudgingly pays for a cabin for himself and one for his daughters, informing you sternly that you will be bunking with him. You soften him on the entire prospect by painting him a picture of his mayorship in peace, uncontested, while the Hagan family lies in ruin and disgrace. He can't help but smile at that, but admonishes you that under no circumstances is his family to be directly involved in any "pants-shitting shenanigans."
With instructions to "just tell them it's a mourning ritual or something," you lay out on the deck, Xylobones next to you, and catch some rays. It will take almost three days to make the journey by boat, and you proceed to remain perfectly motionless for that entire time, not the motionlessness of a corpse, but the absolutely controlled stillness of the predator before striking. You steep in the spookiness, and the crew seems to grow uneasy when they have to step around you or if they happen to look directly into your sockets. Poe caws and cackles pointedly at people from railings and riggings at various opportune moments.
>Going to call it for the evening. When we return, probably not until next Wednesday or Thursday, we'll continue this devious plot.
>Comments, criticisms, and suggestions are always welcome. I hope everyone is enjoying themselves as much as I am. If this quest gets too silly at times, I apologize.
"In Ocean's wide domains,
Half buried in the sands,
Lie skeletons in chains,
With shackled feet and hands.
Beyond the fall of dews,
Deeper than plummet lies,
Float ships, with all their crews,
No more to sink nor rise."
-from "The Witnesses," Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Don't get too content, Mr. Bones.
Recess is almost over.