CLOSED SIGNUPS The Restoration of Phandalin

Raven

Raven A. Roth "Rachel" (Teen Titan)
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Saria noticed it seemed she wasn't the only one who decided to stand for now. Better not risk one of the chairs to break like the floorboard or even the sign from outside. A lot of work needed to be done in this place and her guess the town too. Those thoughts soon became answered as talk began once more. This time focusing on why everyone was here in the first place.

Once hearing all the different tasks Saria immediately felt dealing with possible bodies would be a wise start. She really rather not wake up to a smell of the dead or well not again anyway. However, Saria's thought paused at a comment that gave her an open opportunity. She winked at the tiefling when the comment about cuddling up was made. "I don't mind helping keep others warm now. I just don't want to be kept awake from snoring haha."

She paused to allow others to continue to speak. More than her own focus seemed to be dealing with the bodies. "Now we could deal with how to bury the bodies once we have secured them out. No telling how many will be fully intact. Aye, perhaps instead of burning them, we can consider burning them to ash? Would that do for a more respectful burial? I don't believe I can offer to bury them by sea." Looking around she wasn't sure who all heard it seemed now the others began to move off on their own ideas of what task should be accomplished first. *Sigh* "Aye that answers that I suppose." She then moves to follow those willing to deal with the bodies, rats, and debris.
 
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Applo

Beautiful like a Forest Fire
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“The elf has a good idea there.”

Standing by her lain down gear, Gudren had listened to the discussion flying around the room with increasing despair until Saria had spoken up. One of the party had suggested burying the dead in the crop fields for lord's sake. At least she had a companion who was able to join the dots.

“The wood from the collapsed roof will not be good for much now, and we will need to get rid of it. We also need to get rid of these bodies. Why not erm… cook two geese with one oven?”

As the awkward phrase dropped from her lips, the genasi’s face was bathed in flickering orange light. The flame, smaller and more controlled than the one that had been summoned to save Krisynore’s life, danced in the palm of an upturned hand.

“This way, we do not need to waste time digging. Besides, rotting in the dirt is not something I wish to condemn on anyone if I have the choice. Bandits or not.”

Clenching her hand into a fist, Gudren dismissed the flame. She had never understood outsiders' practice of leaving their dead in the ground. Trapping a soul in darkness for eternity. It seemed a horrible fate to bestow on someone.

The more these uncomfortable thoughts swirled around the artificer’s head, the more she longed for the sun’s kiss on her skin. Wordlessly, and leaving all of her gear save her armour and the few pouches on her belt, the genasi made for the door; falling in behind the two of her companions who had already done like so as she tried to clear her head.​

 
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Mundane Monster

The most uninspiring of monsters
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Tobia clapped her hands together joyfully when half of the adventurers announced that they would take care of the creepy crawlies in the cellar. She hoped they wouldn’t get eaten or anything, but they knew the risks. And when they were finished--if they finished, she would have a hearty bowl of gruel waiting for them! She didn’t share that information of course, because she didn’t want them dying hungry and regretful if the rats and bugs ended up defeating them.

“Well, there’s th’ door! Watch’ya step, the stairs leadin’ down can get a little slick what with the leaks an’ all. I’ll be up here, if ya need me jus’ give me a holler! I obviously won’t come down there, but I’ll do my best t’assist ya, from up here.”

The door to the cellar opened with surprising ease considering the slightly damp rotting wood. Unfortunately, as soon as the door swung open, an awful smell of mold and mildew struck the party’s noses ruthlessly. As Tobia warned, the stairs were a little slick with stagnant water. The party descended the winding stone stairs, and droplets of murky water dripped onto their heads. The entirety of the cellar was stone, and large dusty crates were stacked in no particular order around the room. The room was about 45 feet long and 40 feet wide, give or take a little. There were large bookcases on either side of the room and each shelf had assorted dust-covered food items. Vials of murky brown liquid, jars of pickles and eggs, even some containers of peanuts covered in fuzzy black mold. Sitting next to one of the bookcases was a large burlap sack with the words “cornmeal” written on the side. The sack was leaning toward the bookcase but suddenly, it seemed to jolt and shimmy until it fell over, revealing the surprising contents: a shockingly large brown, well-fed rat. The rat sniffed in the direction of the party and cocked it’s head to the side as if it couldn’t quite piece together what these intruders were doing in its home. Then, as if suddenly the pieces clicked, the rat cracked open its mouth and a high pitched screeeeeeeech burst forth. Suddenly, the water dripping on stone was not the only sound in the room. Skittering noises, squeaks, and a bit of squishing melded to form a cacophony of chaos.

What shall our party do?


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Meanwhile, three adventurers had decided to investigate Tresendar--soon to be Bilthine--manor with a reluctant Krisynore. As they walked through the town toward their destination, the butler was making an impassioned case about why they should not in fact go to the manor right then.

“My lady informed me that the manor is in a sorry state. Even as adventurers, I’m sure you’d feel more comfortable staying at the inn with your peers. Right? Right. Let’s turn around and join your friends in vanquishing vermin, eh? Well, I won’t be joining, because I’m not a fighter really--and we’re here. Curses.” For a brief second the butler’s ramrod posture eased, allowing a slight curve in her spine indicating her defeat, but that disappeared just as quickly.

From the front, the manor looked alright actually. The front doors were intact, the lawn needed a bit of taming, but for the most part it was fine. But as the group approached the door, they noticed something wrapped around--neigh, gripping the handle. It was a hand. A heavily decayed, skin literally hanging from the bone, hand.

Krisynore felt her stomach roil, do a front flip, a backflip, then a somersault out of her mouth in the form of a stream of watery vomit. “That’s a hand! A hand!” She croaked. She was not sleeping here. She was going back to that inn, dead body stench be damned! She spat out the remaining dredges of vomit, then pointed an accusatory finger at the door.

“Another reason why we should return to the inn, and deal with the manor at a later date!”

But of course, her protests fell on deaf ears. The three adventurers approached the door and tried to pull it open.
 

Mundane Monster

The most uninspiring of monsters
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Using her mace, Vanvyre yanked the severed hand from the door handle and Gudren took the opportunity to yank on the door handle, but to no avail. The door wouldn’t budge even as she tugged it with all her might. Vanvyre grabbed the handle next and slowly the door creaked open while chafing against the other door and emitting a horrible dry screeching noise. Ishte yanked the door open the rest of the way with surprising ease. Maybe it was their tiefling strength, maybe it was misophonia. Regardless, the door to the manor was now open.

In its prime, Tresendar manor was probably spectacular--breathtaking even. Now, however, the manor was a godsawful mess. A powerful nauseating stench emanated from pretty much every nook and cranny of the room. Bodies and skeletons littered the once impeccably polished stone floor, and a thick layer of dust had collected everywhere. A carpet runner which probably used to be red, but was currently a washed-out pink led from the foyer and extended to the back of the manor. Two curving staircases led to the second floor which split into two halls. On the wall between the hallways was a massive family portrait with the faces of each member cut out. Bright red paint formed an obnoxious X over the entirety of the painting, marring it horribly. A massive three-tiered chandelier with 35 candles hung from the high vaulted ceiling above the foyer. A decapitated orc head was stuck onto one of the candle holders. A female halfling’s body lay to the left of the carpet runner. Her right eye was gone, and a long black centipede skittered out of the socket and into the folds of her tattered red cloak. A little ways away from her were two orcs lying atop each other skewered by a javelin. On the right side of the carpet runner, further back was a headless body, covered in squirming cockroaches that were making a meal of the decaying flesh.

For the most part, despite the shocking number of dead mutilated bodies and the stench, the manor was in good condition structurally. Ah, the superiority of noble dwellings.


What will the party do?
 
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SilverPaw

Edgebabby
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“No worries, if it’s too bad we don’t have to settle in right away,” Vanvyre reassured Krisynore. The butler was probably embarrassed at its state, which wasn’t a good sign, but for all Van knew, the elf may very well be exaggerating.

Turned out…she really wasn’t. “Huh,” Vanvyre stared at the rotting arm clinging to the handle. “That’s something,” she mused. “Mm, it is a hand,” she murmured absent-mindedly as she approached the manor’s door. Taking ahold of the mace which had been hanging from her belt, Van casually lifted the weapon into the air, then swung down at the hand, promptly removing it from the door. If the handle was dented as a result, that was a mere unfortunate side-effect.

After Gudren had her attempt at the door, and Van’s mace was back on her belt, the warlock cracked her knuckles – mostly for show – and tried to open it as well. It was quite hefty, possibly rusted or bolted from the inside. Still, it was budging, if slowly, and gratingly. Vanvyre gritted her teeth and grimaced, taking a brief reprieve to wipe the sweat from her brow. The one who provided full respite from that terrible noise was the tiefling, however, who managed to yank the gate aside easily. “Nice work,” Van whistled admiringly.

Unfortunately, the insides were truly uninhabitable. Sure, it was large, but the stench threatened to make her vomit – and after the elf had already done so, Vanvyre didn’t want to add to it and embarrass herself as well. To ward the scent of death off, she clasped a hand over her mouth and nose. “That is a lot of bodies,” she muttered dryly, voice slightly muffled. “Doesn’t solve our overcrowded problem, huh?” She sighed, the breath warming her palm, and making the air she was breathing in muggy as well as horrifically unpleasant.

“So…shall we head elsewhere? Because I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t think the few of us can clear all these bodies and clear off the blood by evening,” she said, turning to her companions, gaze searching and mildly pleading. Vanvyre didn’t particularly care to prove the elf true – that it had been a mistake to come here – but she wasn’t a fan of futile endeavors really. Perhaps it would be best to return to the rest of their companions, so that they’d at least get a roof over their head for helping get the inn in order. Or the tavern, some alcohol would do wonders. Though if she were overruled by all the others, Van supposed she might suck it up and stay here to do some grunt work.
 

Fyrra

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I'm open to a lot of things, but my comfort zone usually involves medieval and modern settings, with varying degrees of realism and fantasy. I like to explore mature themes, not for the sake of sex, but just because I like it when a character has to actually stop and weigh their options.
Ishte, surprised to be joined by not just one, but three others in their scouting errand, took the time to listen. Someone had suggested burning instead of a burial for the bisected brigands, and the tiefling admittedly found the notion preferable, but they didn't want to be the one to suggest such a thing. Still, they could only smirk in response to the manor sounding promising. That Krisynore should argue that the manor be left alone was curious, but not unexpected: everyone else present had been hired to clean up the hamlet, not the manor itself, and since the manor would have been the primary target in a proper raid, it stood to reason that it would be in the worst shape.

Yet the mention of slaying vermin made the horned person wince, visibly. "Of course I would prefer the inn over a manor. I should find more comfort in a stable, or even a tree, but that is not why we are here." Or, at the very least, it was not why the tiefling chose this destination, but calling attention to Vanvyre's comment in front of the butler supervising them would do neither of them any favors. In any case, wandering up to the manor's front door to find a severed hand gripping the handle should have been less surprising than it was. Unsure of what to think of it, Ishte spaced out a moment, pondering their options.

The sound of the door opening brought Ishte back to reality, its unpleasant screech one to be met with an annoyed grunt. The moment Vanvyre's hands left the handle, Ishte reached for it and planted a foot into the ground, using it as leverage to put their weight and strength into a sudden yank, forcing the door wide open. The reward of a positively delightful stench emanating from within churned their stomach, but not enough to stop the tiefling from walking inside to at least have a look around.

"Ewwwww," came the complaint from seeing all the bodies. However long they were here, Ishte still couldn't fathom why nobody had at least bothered to bring the bodies outside, here or at the inn, or elsewhere in Phandalin. A quick glance at the portraits brought up another observation, but nothing seemingly important at the moment. "Looks like the local family wasn't very popular."

Rejoining Gudren, Vanvyre, and Krisynore, Ishte wiped their face with their glove.

"Right. We need the wagon for these.... poor souls. I was going to have a look around for any spare tools, in case we could avoid bothering the villagers for their own shovels and such, but this is alarming. And unpleasant." And on top of it all, something just didn't feel right. "We should let the others know of our need for a bigger funeral pyre, but if none of you want to start here...." They trailed off, looking back toward the stairs. "...You don't believe anyone might have been trapped in here, do you?"

They faced into the building proper, calling out into the halls. "Hello! Is anyone here among the living?!"

Ishte might not be satisfied without at least a visual on the rooms before leaving.
 

Applo

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“Anyone trapped in there, I think they won’t be answering you.”

Gudren stared through the doorway into the stinking interior beyond. No sane creature would have stayed in the building by choice and anything that had been trapped in this hall of death for any time would not be sane. For her part, with what she now knew awaited her inside, Gudren had no particular desire to explore the manor. Cramped and decrepit as the inn was, it was by far the better place to lodge for the time being. This oversized mausoleum could be investigated properly another day.

“Parlay with the dead if you want,”

A hand landed lightly on Ishte’s shoulder and squeezed it for a heartbeat.

“I will deal with the living though. Miss Pook mentioned a tavern; said it was the only hot spot in town, whatever that means. They might have a wagon or other supplies it would be useful for us to use. I will see if they are agreeable to lending them to us.

Releasing her grip on the tiefling’s shoulder, Gudren spun on her heel and started heading back towards town. The genasi was almost certain she knew which building to head for. There had only been one building they had passed on their journey up to the manor that had looked like it could be a functional tavern. It had stood out just by dint of not looking like it should have fallen down six months ago.

She hadn't gone more than a few steps before she stopped and once more electricity flew from snapping fingers.

“Girl, you ought to come with me. I do not require your help, but your mistress may prefer it if the first time her subjects meet with us, you are there; might she not.”​

 
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