Kreemon was silent as the group made their way from the Temple to the ruins. He believed this to be a waste of time, but knew that the others had to prove that to themselves before they would entertain any other, more reasonable avenues.
In the evening's cloudy twilight, the ruins were much less dramatic than they had been that afternoon. Rather than appearing sharp and imposing, the rocks seemed to lift softly from the ground, leaning over it gently, docile and dead. A flock of noisy birds passed overhead, flying south in formation.
Kreemon cocked his head to one side for a second and then swiftly turned to his left and drew his sword in one fluid movement. Looking out at the rocks, Kreemon held his sword at the ready and said, “There, do you see that?” He squinted his eyes for a second and then slowly resheathed his sword. He took a step away from the ruins, and, not taking his eyes off of the point he was watching, said to Johannes, “Okay, we are here.”
Johannes frowned. “I wish one of us had thought to suggest that the temple send along two people. It would help a great deal in what we're trying to demonstrate.” Suddenly his mood brightened, and he turned to the acolyte. “I assume you are literate, yes?” He dragged a thick book out of his pack, and hurriedly turned to the rear inside leaf, attempting to keep anybody from seeing the contents of the book. While holding it open, Johannes dug awkwardly with his other hand inside his pack, eventually coming up with a fine bronze-tipped red oak pen, and a small vial of ink with a decoratively-turned glass stopper. “If you would be so kind as to note in your own hand that you now intend to personally look inside the ruins of this temple, and then proceed to take a look…? Trust me when I say this is necessary to demonstrate what we need to demonstrate here.”
Dolonar laughed in a way that would have looked unnatural coming from anyone else. “And such a note is to absolve you from guilt if I am hurt, I suppose? I really can't say I see the purpose of all this. Everyone knows the old temple is quite safe… and thoroughly uninteresting, but the Healer knows what he's doing.”
“The purpose of the note would be difficult to explain at this point. I ask you simply to trust that it is necessary.”
The priest sighed and glanced up at the sky. “The Healer sent me, so I will do as you ask.” He took the notebook from Johannes' hand, and flipped it slowly from side to side, looking absently at its plain leather covers. He took the pen, which Johannes had dipped in ink, and wrote his intentions in a clear script. After a pause of some seconds, he preceded his text with “By request of the scholar from Duerstadt” and handed the book and pen back to Johannes.
“So now I merely walk in and look about me? What should I be looking for?”
Johannes thought for a moment. “I would suggest that you search for anything unusual or out of place you can see from in there.”
“As you would have it,” said Dolonar, and approached the ruins.
“That's _definitely_ enough for me.”
Kreemon stood up loudly from the table, and the latest round of ale sloshed about in its mugs. Johannes' water almost toppled. “Here, boy,” Kreemon called. Bork practically leapt to his master, and licked Kreemon's face excitedly. Kreemon turned his back to the others, and headed for the stairs, rubbing Bork's head playfully.
“Sleep well,” said Ardith.
“For as long as you're able,” added Kay, looking out the window at the clear, starry night.
'Because we have to leave town tomorrow,' she almost added, but wasn't sure why.
The next turn starts in the morning, or much later in the night, if you prefer.
Karl and Chris: If you want to add any of your characters' thoughts before the dashed line, you're welcome to, and I'll amend the turn and give small experience awards.
Shortly after, I sent this in an email:
Okay, I've had my fun. Now it's time to explain what happened.
As far as our buddies in Ranes' inn are concerned, nothing particularly interesting happened that evening. It never really occurred to them to look at the ruins. In fact, the last thing they remember from real life is Rosteral's death. Everything after that, although blurry in players' minds, will be clear enough (or, at least, unsuspiciously blurry, until some reason intervenes) to the characters. It's similar to the last time at the ruins; with a natural resistance to any meddling with their minds, the characters will make up any reasonable explanations necesarry, to fill in the gaps. In addition, all the characters have a vague notion that it might be a good idea to leave town, but the notion isn't strong enough to _force_ any of them to leave. In other words, that part of it (well, most of it, really) depends entirely on role-playing.
Whatever you want to do about this, none of you have any control over your characters until very late at night, or, assuming they get a good night's sleep, until the morning.
If you have any specific questions, go ahead and ask.