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SoE: Some Oathlandish Ruins

The Society of Explorers are investigating some ruins in the Oathlands, but something doesn't quite fit. Who doesn't love a good mystery though?

OOC: This is open to the Society of Explorers. <3


May 22, 2023, 8 p.m.

Hosted By


GM'd By



Kastelon(RIP) Eirene Ian Jan Cassiopeia Titania



Outside Arx - Oathlands near The Telmarch - Ruins In The Oathlands

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

The time is flying by and before too long there will be a whole new year in front of us, but not before the Society of Explorers and a few of their friends, allies and others were just doing some routine exploring into parts of holdings or wildernesses that they'd not been to before.

This day leads them into the area's around the Telmarch, one of the mountain ranges near the Duchy's holdings hasn't been explored in a good while, or at least there's nothing documented on it. The red-tinged moon is still high above while clouds float across a tranquil sky. The group is greeted by an copse of trees that are in their Autumnal colors, crimson reds, burning oranges and the still fading greens. There seems to be a path that's overgrown to the north of the circle.

Kastelon looks wary - when does he not look so? - when he contemplates that moon with that single eye of his, his gaze next turning to the path. Clad for the journey out into the wilderness as he is, his bow at the ready as a precaution while he looks to the others for a moment. The wilderness must be explored. "I can take the point, if anyone wants," says he simply, waiting a beat. "Anything to know before we re-forge the trail?"

Needing some time off from her pre-teen children, Eirene has volunteered to come along as a medic, explorer, and general all-around useful person. She wears her explorer's backpack along with her medical supplies and alchemy bottles hanging from her belt. She's game for anything. She admires the color of the trees for a moment before glancing at the moon. "That thing still creeps me out," she confides. "I mean, the blood moon on the feast of the blood moon is -fine- but for years now? Ugh." She trecks onward, glancing north to see what the remants of the trail look like. Her hand gestures to Kastelon and the northern path. "Be my guest."

Ian has never displayed a passion for exploring, so much as a passion for making sure his friends live through exploring things. There's no obvious source of danger (or even inobvious source of danger) here, which makes it likely that his presence can be best explained by the fact that spending time in the woods of the Telmarch means that he's not in Arx. But old habits are hard to break, and dangerous or not, he can't help but watch the trees as though something might be there.

Jan dismounts and ties her horse loosely to a sturdy brandy. Enough the so the horse would have to really test the knot to get loose if it were sincerely spooked. She looks up at the Moon "Ruddy eye of Doom. More ominous than the brown eye of disrespect." She drawls and ambles ahead "I figure it's easier if we split up but anyone who gets lost owes the rest of the party a drink or three."

Having arrived with everyone, Cassiopeia is on horseback which is something she very much likes to be doing. Riding. It's obvious from the moment she gets on her horse, the care she has, the comfort, it is her element. As is exploring, she's excited to be here, "I've always wanted to take a trip to the Oathlands during the autumn. I've been told how incredible the leaves are when they change colours, that here is where you can see them the best. It's truly a sight," she says, because leaves do not change colour like this where she is from. "I am curious what we will see!," she says every excited, while seeming overly calm and chill.

Titania rides in with the group, her blue eyes taking in the tree's and such as they move through them. Being out in the wilderness is not something she has done much of, she is almost at awe with the beauty of it all. Sliding off her horse and securing the animal, she pulls her cloak about her. Her steps move her closer to where the others are, looking around. "Maybe we will see a sea of colors on the tree's Marquessa Cassiopeia." she says in a soft sing song voice. She looks over giving Kastelon a smile, "IT is good to see you again Lord Kastelon."

A sound from the Keaton huntsman at Jan's suggestion - indistinct but a sound - , even as he's glancing to Eirene, the faint nod that hints he's not of much different a mind about the moon. "Can't much hurt us from up there," says he, as he moves slowly onto the remnants of the overgrown path, that dark-tressed head turning slowly side to side, keeping his eye out for motion as he advances on foot. A nod, though, to Titania at her words. "And likewise, my lady," he offers lowly, as if trying to ensure his voice carries not too far into the wood.

Jan checks perception and survival at normal. Jan is successful.

Ian checks perception and survival at normal. Ian is successful.

Cassiopeia checks intellect and investigation at normal. Cassiopeia marginally fails.

Titania checks intellect and investigation at normal. Titania marginally fails.

Eirene checks perception and survival at normal. Eirene is successful.

Kastelon checks perception and survival at normal. Kastelon is successful.

Ian has never been much of (or any of) a horseman, in the true tradition of lifelong sailors everywhere, and is grateful when the changing terrain necessitates leaving the horses behind. He gives Jan a dubious look when she suggests splitting up, but doesn't argue. This is supposed to be a relatively safe trip, after all.

Eirene gives Jan a 'are you serious' look at the suggestion of splitting up. "Yeah, sure," when says, sarcastic as usual. She follows Kasteleon cautiously, hand on the hilt of her blade. "Better we stay as a party, we don't know the terrain or these woods well enough for a split."

Cassiopeia bobs her head in agreement with Eirene about sticking together. "We don't want someone to get mugged by a gang of squirrels," she says with a serious nod. "But truly, it might be good to stick together, even if it doesn't seem too dangerous out here, it's all unfamiliar."

Jan notes the look from Ian and then Eirene "What? There something I don't know about this place? Fine, we do the group tour." She ambles onward, scanning the surrounding corpse and underbrush. She pauses and kicks leaf litter away and scoots away some dirt with the side of her boot then carefully peers downwards where the treeline gives a sudden steep drop "Does this look like a walkway or just natural erosion? "

"We're pretty far from civilization," Ian comments to Jan. "There's not a lot of help if someone wanders off alone and gets in trouble, and we might not be able to find them again."

"Or if something wants us not to be found again." Kastelon's voice lends itself to sounding foreboding as he gives a scuff of his boot against the ground, a faint hmmm slipping from him at the scraping sound it makes. "We're not the first ones to have found this place."

Eirene grunts to herself. "I'd agree. This looks like stone work. It's too even to be natural pebbling, like a riverbed."

Titania is quiet as she walks along with the group, she is not going alone any place or with out anyone. Her hand slips under her cloak and down comes her bow just incase, her eyes looking around as they talk about the stone work and such.

"That is true, last time I went exploring some ruins, someone...," probably Cassiopeia, "led us directly into a shardhaven...," she chews on her lip. Best not to go into the details on that one. Looking around, her gaze goes down to the ground but she isn't quite sure. "It's all fascinating though. Good stories. That's really what it's all about," there's an easy smile.

Ian angles his head as his cane touches the forest floor, and looks down at it. He scuffs one foot, and then brushes at the leaf litter with his cane. "Huh," he says. "I think there might be stone under all of this." Then he eyes Cassiopeia. "But it blasted well better not be a shardhaven."

Jan follows the stone walkway as far as she can. That is until she looses sense of where the cobblestones are or until it ends, if it's crumbled since it was last in use "Fair enough." She turns briefly to look over her shoulder with one foot testing the sturdiness of the ground as she cautiously forges ahead "What's a shardhaven?"

There is indeed old stone slates underneath the feet of those that tread here. Maybe at one point this was an outdoor place? Maybe it was just a little shrine that was never mapped? Or maybe it was to gods or deitys that are best left undisturbed.

The path goes serpentine at a point and it easier to pick up where the stones have lost their own battles with the trees growing up and through them. Nature tends to be the more powerful.

Eirene checks perception and survival at normal. Eirene is successful.

Kastelon checks perception and survival at normal. Kastelon is successful.

Cassiopeia checks intellect and investigation at normal. Cassiopeia is successful.

Jan checks perception and survival at normal. Jan fails.

Ian checks perception and survival at normal. Ian is successful.

Titania checks intellect and investigation at normal. Critical Success! Titania is spectacularly successful.

"Y'all had to bring that up and tempt Destiny, eh?" Eirene drawls in her southern way before looking at the moon again. "Shardhavens are..." And there she goes into a sigh. "I feel like explaining it might just make it happen. They're bad places full of corrupt things."

"Invoking Destiny might well be a dangerous thing now too." Once more, that single eye of Kastelon's leaves the trail to look skywards, and then to the path before them and... is that a frown? It -is- a distinct frown on the Keaton lord's features as he nocks an arrow on his bow, his steps slowing as he's looking more fully about at the stones and how they're arrayed.

"They're dangerous enough that I'd rather beat someone up and drag their bloodied body away than risk going into one unprepared," Ian says dryly in what totally isn't a threat except actually it is one.

Cassiopeia glances over at Ian and nods her head, "I hope so too, not the best place to end up ill-prepared, or even prepared.," she says breathing out slowly. To Jan, she pauses and tries her best to explain things in a clear and concise manner. "It's complicated and I couldn't give you a perfect text book answer, but they are basically places, underground, lost to time, that are full of corrupted abyssal things.," she nods to Eirene, "exactly that. There are...thousands believed to be in the Saffron Chain, if not more. All over, most accessible than one might hope. Ancient ruins, towns even, full of the most horrible things. And it's not just seeing them that is awful, or being attacked either, but the way you feel after," she chews on her lip now regretful to what she's brought up conversationally. "I'm happy to chat about what we discovered sometime though, snake people and all that, but it's not pleasant." Cassiopeia looks apologetic for her conversation topics.

Jan is now more distracted by what the others are telling her "The actual fuck? So how the fuck would we know we're not just wandering into the abyss' parlor? " no longer paying as much attention where she's stepping and wholly distracted by this alarming news.

"They're not all underground," Ian comments. "But the ones I went to did seem like they were... I don't know, separate from reality somehow. There's a feeling of something changing that's hard to describe. Huh. This looks like blood." There's no change in his tone or cadence that marks the latter observation as in any way separate from the former remark.

"You never know," Cassiopeia is very helpful this way, "it is the risk of exploring, I suppose though that said, it wasn't like there were no warning signs... That said, in the Saffron everything is trying to eat you, so really it doesn't matter if it's an abyssal crocodile or just a regular one, you could end up lunch." Cassiopeia looks at a stone and lips press together, "oh look blood. That's encouraging."

"No, they're not." That one hazel eye of Kastelon's turns briefly to Ian, the brief nod of his head as if he's all too aware of the truth of the Kennex lord's words. And the mention of blood has him on his guard, the bow coming up into more of a ready posture. A few more steps forward, ensuring he's a fair distance before the rest of the party, as if in case a trap is in the offing.

Titania is not paying attention to what people are saying something as her attention, her steps are one in front of the other slowly as they move along. She kneels down wlwooking at some kind of stain. "Something happened here..A battle perhaps." she looks to the others as they go on further, then her eyes wonder to a area off to the side of the path. Her sword is slipped out as she starts to remove roots from something, "Here." he says to the group.

"There will be signs," Eirene says. "Usually you can 'feel' it in the air. The trees become twisted and warped, the --" She cuts off as she spies something on the stones. The doctor drops to a knee and runs a gloved finger over a stain. "This looks like dried blood, yeah you're right." She glances further down the trail. "A considerable amount, leading towards the mountain."

Tesha drops A Macabre Statue.

Jan's attention is shifted behind her instead of in front of her. A foot catches on roots and there's a sharp inhale followed by "Turdblossom!" her arms wheeling a bit to try to catch her balance as she pitches forward. It's no use and she takes a bit of a tumble over some foots before springing up and announcing "I'm fine!"

Ian gives the statue a long look after Titania uncovers it, and then swears under his breath and scans the area.

Kastelon is not one that's prone to panic, but the look on his features is distinct concern. Slowly, he takes a few more steps towards the edge of the space, that bow lifted, arrow pointed into the shadows as he scans.

Cassiopeia blinks and is about to lunge forward towards toppling Jan when she calls out she's fine. A breath of relief and she is looking around and considering everything. "Ya. It's a fair bit. I mean... it looks pretty old? Which is...good, unless those are the last people who came here." Cassiopeia chews on her lip and looks to see if others have a better idea of what it means.

Jan brushes herself off and peers over at the statue "...what the fuck is THAT?"

Eirene eyes the bones around the statue suspiciously. She take another knee and studies them, cautious not to touch them or disturb the layout. "About a decade, judging by the aging of the sun and the splintering," says the physician.

Titania clears the roots that have grown over and around it with her sword, "Some sort of statue it looks like." she steps back from it looking it over.

"At least whoever was making sacrifices to the gods only know what is long gone," Ian sighs.

Cassiopeia's attention diverts from the bloody stones to the strange bone statue and blonde brows lift. "A decade isn't that long. Could that be the same time as the blood or would it have washed away by then?," she has no idea, maybe someone does.

Kastelon is not making a sound from where he's still prowling the perimeter. But that face of his speaks to his not being -as- certain that whomever is long gone, given the way things are.

Jan says, "Ok, So we take the creepy statue as a sign we don't want to keep poking or do we look for the keep or castle that's presumably around here somewhere?"

Ian gives a slight shake of his head. "After blood gets sticky and starts to dry, it doesn't wash away as easy as people think it does," he comments. "But I'm surprised no animals came sniffing around before it set."

Eirene says, "I'm all for pressing onward. And we should sketch that statue and bone pattern. It may have significance to whomever put it there." She grunts to herself and slings aronud her backpack to grab a sketchbook and do just that. "I'm a shit artist though."

Cassiopeia looks relieved that Eirene is taking on the task of sketching, she shakes her head, "you are better than I am," she says and needs no example to know this. Then she nods, "I am good to continue. Now is when things start getting interesting," she says of the weird and creepy stuff about.

Eirene checks perception and occult at normal. Eirene is successful.

Kastelon checks perception and survival at normal. Kastelon fails.

Jan checks perception and survival at normal. Jan fails.

Cassiopeia checks intellect and investigation at normal. Cassiopeia is successful.

Titania checks intellect and occult at normal. Titania marginally fails.

Titania stands there letting people talk in the background as she seems to be trying to determine if she knows what the statue is or not.

Jan continues to poke around and try to push through undergrowth seeking for any sort of structure or hidey hole. Mostly she makes noise and gets turned around in brush.

Eirene comments quietly, "My husband charts star movements and constellations. This sort of looks like a star pattern, but I'd have to see it at night and compare to be hunnerd percent certain. I wonder if it has anything to do with the First Children. But this? It's not any kind of summoning magic, I think it's more a burial ritual."

A gruff sound, before Kastelon's taking another step into the brush... and a glance back to the others. A narrowing of his eyes. "It sounds as if we need to wait for nightfall." A beat. "I'll collect some wood."

Cassiopeia chews on her lip and starts to take a few steps in a particular direction, trailing the blood, but not straying from the group. Just a few wandering steps out and then she's back with some news to share with the group. "I think I've the direction where the blood came from, or went... there's a path through those trees over there and that's where the stones sort of...well stop." Though there is something that Eirene says that makes her shoulders tighten ever so slightly.

Ian rubs his forehead. "Alright. Are we camping with the, uh. The statue?" It's not a ringing endorsement of the idea from him, but he's game.

Jan frowns "Fucking creepy shit. IF the thing moves you all are on your your own. I did not come here armed for that nonsense."

There is wood aplenty and despite the Autumn season there is a warmth that lingers in the circle of trees and up towards the base of the mountains. No one else has been near this place in awhile and no one looks to be coming to look after the group either. It's like it's been sitting for the past ten years.

And who knows if any new blood will be shed once the night falls. For now, the explorers can make camp and wait for the stars to come out and twinkle.

Eirene gets A Macabre Statue.

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