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 Whithering Crops Across The Land

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PostSubject: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:17 pm

Days after the closing of the House of Plenty and the disappearance of the Harvestmistress, strange things begin happening to the flora of the area surrounding Shadowdale. The flowers, which so recently bloomed under the summer spring sun and opened fully as summer made its way in, have started wilting. Their petals shrivel and dry under the baking sun as their stems become brown with decay.

Beneath them, the grass itself crunches under foot as it, too, browns and dies. Even plants and flowers which were growing in pots or planters indoors are not spared from this odd occurrence. No matter how much water or tending these plants receive, they do not respond and continue to rapidly wither and die.

Worse yet, the crops the farmers planted only weeks ago at the beginning of spring are showing the same signs. They wither and rot in the fields. As with the other plants, nothing the farmers do seems to help stop the rapid deterioration of the crops. Wheat dries out and browns almost overnight. Corn goes rancid and rots on the stalk. The summer apples and other fruit trees die just as quickly. Their rotting fruit drops to the ground with a squishy thud. Not one, single crop is spared as the worried farmers band together to try and help each other. But, even when unified as they have not been in years, there seems to be nothing they can do to save the crops. Almost simultaneously, all the crops in Shadowdale and the surrounding farms are consumed by a lifeless void where nothing seems capable of growing.

The small ranches lose their livestock as the choice has to be made between feeding them and feeding the people. Some of the animals such as cattle and pigs are slaughtered too soon to try and save the meat before they die of starvation without the grass and hay to feed them. A very few cows are kept and fed the precious grains to gather milk. Luckily, the chickens are still plentiful as they feed on the seeds being strewn about by the winds as they get blown off the dying crops in some last-ditch effort to try and survive. They do not grow when planted, but at least the chickens have feed to produce eggs. At least until the seeds run out. With no more being formed by the plants, the supply is extremely limited.

With the death of the crops and other vegetation, great dust storms roll through Shadowdale in the coming weeks. The only respite from the dust comes during the random summer rain storms. But even this break is sometimes short-lived as these often turn into thunderstorms which bring lightning that sets the now-dead fields ablaze. Between starvation and fire, it becomes a difficult decision as to which death would be worse. Hope drains from the locals as fast as life drained from the fields. Many mutter about “greener pastures” and talk quietly about leaving their family farms before this “curse” kills them all. But, with no crops to pay for travel, most are simply preparing for the end at this point.

The only place nearby that seems unharmed by this curse is the Lathander Farms. In fact, they are experiencing the most bountiful time in their history when it comes to crops and food production. All crops seem to mature at an alarming rate and are allowing multiple plantings and harvests in a single season. All constant bearing crops such as fruit and nut trees as well as the variety of vegetable gardens are producing at almost three times the normal rate and the fruits and vegetables are considerably larger than normal. At this rate, the Lathander Farms will have a surplus of food stocks well into the next year.



*This part is for any worshipers of Chauntea and especially any of her clergy. No one else has knowledge of this. It is being put here to make sure I do not miss any of her worshipers or clergy that I am not aware of.*

With word spreading of the Shadowdale curse, all servants of Chauntea sleep a bit uneasy. To them, the thought of a “dead zone” for vegetation is almost impossible to believe or make sense of. You are no different and, as you fall into another fitful night’s sleep, a strangely vivid dream comes to you.

You are no longer in your bed. You are walking the lands around Shadowdale. You see them as they once were. They are full of life with plentiful crops, hard-working farmers, and smiling children. It is the epitome of a wonderful life for all farmers.

As you walk among the farms, you are suddenly lifted high into the air as if on a cloud. From this vantage point, you can see the entire area of Shadowdale and the areas surrounding it. All is green and lush and full of life. Laid out over all you can see is a barely-visible hand. It covers everything around Shadowdale and keeps all the life within its grasp. The sight fills you with peace and joy and a smile forms upon your lips.

Then, as you take in the sight you are witnessing, a single drop hits your face. As you reach up to wipe it off, your fingers sweep across your lips to taste the coolness of the rain. But it is not rain. It is much too salty. Your mind turns in on itself as you know you have tasted this before. Your eyes open in shock as you realize it is the taste of tears a moment before a torrent of the drops begins pelting you from above.

As you return your gaze to the lands before you, the hand lifts from the earth and reaches into the sky. It wipes across the setting sun as if to clear the tears from an unseen face. You cannot hold your eyes on the setting sun for long and you return your gaze to the land once more. Without the hand upon it, the land dies. All that was green rots and burns until there is nothing but ash. It is at that moment that you realize the hand was that of Chauntea. Her hand touches all that grows and, without its caress, the land itself dies. Something has made her remove her hand from this land and cast it into death.

The tears. Something has made Chauntea sad enough to remove her nurturing hands from the lands to wipe the tears away. The salty tears falling upon the land without her touch has made the area completely devoid of life.

You awaken to find your pillow and face soaked in tears. Are they your own, or those of a higher power?
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Serebane

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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:10 pm

Somber would be the word used to describe the Arch Druid.

The mere sight of dying crops, flora and fauna was enough to elicit every bit of action permissible for her around Shadowdale to care and heal what life was left, doing what druids did best. Her prayers and blessings were considerable, calling upon Silvanus and his daughter, Mielikki, for rejuvenation of this sudden blight. If there were any that could return life into the land beside the city, it would be the nature gods.
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Maskedshini

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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:23 pm

Mylanis sighs a bit as she watches from afar, not daring to get to close to Shadowdale, but feeling all to well the effect the lose of the earth mothers blessing cause. When she gets the option she'd have a few words with Lhanir.

Sister, I know you mean well in your efforts here, but I dont believe there's much we can do, the crops and the farms are the domains of the earth mother, and it would seem that the recent imprisonment of the harvest mistress has caused the earth mother to abandoned these farms. Until her blessings are returned to these farms, there's close to no hope of us being here curing anything.

The Zhentarim have caused a rapture in the natural circle of life, only they can close it. I suggest you talk to them, I believe the only way, is to have the harvest mistress returned to her church. Until then, I suggest we gather what supplies we can, and give them to the farmers, so it might be possible for them to survive.
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Serebane

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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:31 pm

"Hmm..." she hums lightly, thinking upon Mylanis' words. "That would be a likely cause. But speaking to the Zhentarim cannot be the only option. The elves are also to blame with this capturing act, and I do not know who will sway first. Though, considering the pain this land feels in comparison to other areas around the Cormanthor..."

Lhanir would rise to stand beside Mylanis, adjusting her hood. "Our supplies will go to the farmers, but in rations. I will still resume my efforts here regardless. Perhaps the gods might see this and find their pride broken enough to converse with one another, but that is only a hope and prayer."
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:35 pm

Mylanis nods

I agree, but again, it's the zhentarim that've taken the high harvest mistress, and already sent every other member away. I believe they wanted to trade away the harvest mistress as well, which'd mean the church in shadowdale would still be without anyone to care for it.

In any event, I will gather what supplies I can to be ready for the first ration.
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tjhyland

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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:09 pm

The morning after The Dream, Orren Flater will go to the Harvestmistress in Daggerdale. "My lady I wish to be relieved of my duties here. I also wish to travel to Shadowdale and work with the temple there. I will be in the temple praying while you decide."
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tjhyland

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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:30 pm

Iwean can be seen stocking up on supplies and looking for the best arrows he can find. If questioned he will simply say "I'm going out of town for a while." He looks worn and tired more from depression that exhaustion.
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Navarre_Sallavarian

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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:27 pm

*In the Farmlands Refugees Camp, close to the Shrine, the Harvestmistress reunited with the Congregation in vigil for Glamerie, late at night,  finds a sleeping bag inside a humble tent and lay to rest a bit. Who watches her sleep see that its a troubled and uneasy repose until the moment she wakes up startled and pale, she walks away shaking, and alone she starts to cry with images of the strangely vivid dream still fresh in her mind. In a choked voice she clames:*


MOTHER, what those bastards did… They didn’t even comprehend the power they were messing with, the extension of Your hands reach Great Mother. I’ve been asking You to have mercy on their souls, but seems that they pushed too far.

Now I fear for the children and the faithful citizens that still linger on those nurturing forsaken lands.

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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:36 pm

After finally hearing about what happened to the farms in Shadowdale Karovir would travel around the town as close as he can get to maybe get a glimpse or two of it himself. If he would meet any of the druids who try to bring the farms back to life he would talk to them and say something like:

"Druids, why are you trying to revive those fields? Something terrible has been done and it has upset a goddess quite badly. You are not fighting a corruption here nor any plague. This is the will of a goddess and this is her domain and only she will decide when this will stop. These are not the wilds, no forest and no wild plants so why should your gods interfere in this? Please don't try to go against Chaunteau's will."
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:51 pm

Over a week has passed since the fields of the dale have turned barren. And still no sign can be seen that the favor of the Earthmother is restored.
The people of Shadowdale, having almost exhausted the rest of their food supply, grow more restless every day. They have to slaughter their livestock to keep their families fed and those families without any livestock dont have any means to feed themselves anymore at all.
Prices for food in the dale rise so high that it is almost impossible for a normal Family to purchase any food.
The beggars, already the ones without any means, look thinner by the day, they are seen gathering around the garbage barrels of the barracks and the twisted tower begging for any left overs the Zhents may spare.
If a Soldier finds them there, they are forcibly driven away.
Even the Old Skull Inn finds its menu extremly reduced to nothing more than soup and sometimes some very high priced flesh.

One day a lone famished Farmer makes a stand near the well adressing the Soldiers with a shaky voice and tears in his eyes: "two days before the Earthmother left us, you came to our farms with your swords and spears and you took what crops and fruits we had so far. Now we have nothing and my children are dying because of what you did to this dale! Give us back what is ours! In the name of the Earthmother!"

some of the beggars around the well make a tentative step behind the farmer nodding grimly, one adding an "aye!" clenching his fist.
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:19 pm

As the days pass, Cadence begins working on importing food into the theater from other locations, anyplace willing to make a deal with her. Working with the Illmatari, Cadence allows her kitchen to be used to make meals for the poor. Anyone who can make it to the theater from Shadowdale is given a warm meal at no cost.
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:22 pm

*A scroll is left in the temple of chauntea*

I wish to open discussion among the Temple of Bane and the The temple of Chauntea in the hopes of bringing about a change to the crops to come in the future. I have been actively seeking a member out for some time but have not been fortunate to run in to anyone as of yet. I you ask that you please have a representative from the circle contact me at your earliest convince i would like to speak openly about the problem which greatly effects us both.
Signed,
Robert Black
Cleric of The Dark One

*With the letter he leaves a small pot with several small seeds and water.*
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:25 pm

Having been by the well for a period of time, Commander Raegar Anteos would observe the famished farmer with a calculated look. As he'd finish;

"two days before the Earthmother left us, you came to our farms with your swords and spears and you took what crops and fruits we had so far. Now we have nothing and my children are dying because of what you did to this dale! Give us back what is ours! In the name of the Earthmother!"

He'd walk up to him and simply say "Well, it seems quite a predicament you're in...perhaps I can assist you with this matter."

The Commander would then unsheathe his bastard sword and in one quick motion put it through the face of the farmer. As the farmer would fall and die, he'd remove it and shake the blood and other face particles off it before sheathing it once more.

He'd look at the corpse, his expression unchanged and simply say "Tell your children they'll be fine, they can have your dinner"
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:48 pm

The startled spectators step back and gasp in horror as the Farmers final scream echoes across the marketplace. His now limp body falling to the ground, his lifeblood slowly spreading in a pool beneath him.
The two beggars who stood behind the farmer clench their fists and shout at Raegar
"Filthy Banite scum!"
one picks up a rock in anger and throws it at the Zhentish Commander, hitting his helmet with a loud *thud*.

Some of the other beggars, realizing what is happening, take cover behind some bushes. Other onlookers just stand there paralysed in shock holding their breaths...
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:09 pm

Audrey walks up and surveys the scene, then looks across to Raegar, watching for his response to the rock thrower, waiting to see what he does before taking any actions, herself, though her holy symbol is in her hand and is ready to cast at the first sign of real trouble.
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:11 pm

Storyteller wrote:
The startled spectators step back and gasp in horror as the Farmers final scream echoes across the marketplace. His now limp body falling to the ground, his lifeblood slowly spreading in a pool beneath him.
The two beggars who stood behind the farmer clench their fists and shout at Raegar
"Filthy Banite scum!"
one picks up a rock in anger and throws it at the Zhentish Commander, hitting his helmet with a loud *thud*.

Some of the other beggars, realizing what is happening, take cover behind some bushes. Other onlookers just stand there paralysed in shock holding their breaths...

Meryann would take this moment to step out of a shadow sword against a beggar's throat. "You are both under arrest for assault on the commander, resistance will be punished by a slow and painful death"
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:15 pm

As Azzelas was about to approach the two farmers with his blade as he was interupted by the High inquisitor to take action. He would then stand beside the Commander.
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:17 pm

Audrey then walks up to stand on Raegar's other side, giving Meryann a satisfied nod. "We must make an example of those who would question our judgment. Publicly."
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:28 pm

"Anyone rising to violence will see his or her closest kin extended an invitation to the dungeons to be thouroughly educated!"

If the beggars resist arrest she would stab him at vital points paralyzing him as he bleeds to death, otherwise she would escort them to the dungeons.
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:29 pm

Upon hearing what became of the farmer, just to the north of Shadowdale, Trip would clench his fist so hard his nails would pierce his palm and blood would drip into the soil.

"Let our blood not be spilled in vein..."

Determined he would walk north and out of Shadowdale to shore up his swinging arm and practice hard against the beastmen.
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:20 pm

As the Commander hears the words "Filthy Banite scum!" and feels the rock ping off his helmet, he turns slowly to look at the two responsible. Before even being able to move forward, he would note Meryann putting a blade to the neck of one of them before he stops. He'd bend down and grab the rock and approach the beggar, tossing it up in the air and quickly catching it..

"That was unwise...I bet you think you'll suffer a similar fate as that one" He'd point to the man with a large gaping hole through his head. "Tell you what, I'll give you a chance to live and if the Dread Lord desires it so, he'll grant you strength" He'd hand the beggar the rock and order a Swordhand to put a blade at his back. "Here's what I want you to do, hold your hand out in front of you with the rock. I'll grant you life as long as you remain still and keep your arms extended. If however you drop the rock or your arms, the Swordhand will relieve you of life".

"Extend those arms now!"
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:51 pm

*Robert exits the church of Chauntea bearing witness to all of this*

*He stands silently observing everyone's actions and looks back to the letter on the table in side and wonders if he will even be bothered to get a response now*

*He then closes the door and awaits any orders that may come and assists where he can*
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tjhyland

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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:01 pm

Iwean will watch from afar focusing on who is there and memorizing their faces, including the beggars.
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:30 am

After a meeting with Zidanja, Jey enters Shadowdale again.
Making sure to avoid guard attention she visits several farmhouses during the next hours, choosing those families who have little childs.
She hands each of the families half a bread, 2 dried apples, a piece of hard cheese and a small piece of smoked sausage.
With lowered voice she tells the families that this comes from a shiny-armoured, young female who has recently been banned from Shadowdale and therefore can't come herself.

Jey adds that if the farmers should expose the source they deny themselves any opportunity for further deliverances, as she - Jey - endangers herself of being banned from the town for being allied to a "criminal".

"The female I talk about is Zidanja Blake-Aseph, who promised you to care for you and to help you the best she can. At the moment she is trying to gather more food for you. She hasn't forgotten you and she'll honour her word."

The food Jey carries with her is enough for at best half a dozen families this evening.

After delivering the few supplies, she enters the Old Skull Inn and orders herself a soup before going to bed in the room she has rented in the Inn for years already.
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PostSubject: Re: Whithering Crops Across The Land   Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:36 am

Oddly enough, quite a few of the beggars in Shadowdale receive some kind of a dinner this evening. A few dozen of the poor souls secretly munch on bread, cheese, sausage and even some wine.

They do their best to hide what they got from any onlookers.

If someone would ask them where they got the food from, they'd just shrug and tell that it literally fell into their laps.


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