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[DnD 4E] May We Die in the Forest (Game Thread)

DenadaDenada Registered User regular
edited October 2011 in Critical Failures
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May We Die in the Forest
A Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition adventure for five 0th Level Characters

We are few here, and the forest is many. We are young, and the forest is old. There is a way to the Eyrewood. A way that everyone must learn. Learn it well, that you may call this place home.



Our Lookouts:
Jay "Scarlett", Martial Lookout, Played by soxbox
Inialos Xiloscient IV, Arcane Lookout, Played by Anialos
Jason Jellick, Divine Lookout, Played by Illianthar
Taath, Primal Lookout, Played by mattakaslash
Bixby Brushwood, Shadow Lookout, Played by moleface



Have you learned what all men must know? Your training is finished, and the time has come to find out. This is your final test as Lookouts. This is a day of hope and fear. Of excitement and dread. This is the time to ascend into adulthood.

Your task is this: Make your way to the King’s Grove, find the Winter King, and return to the village of Armond with one of his feathers.

«134567

Posts

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    The Village of Armond
    The Day Before Your Trial

    The scents and sounds of the village center fill the air around you. Freshly baked bread. Oiled leather. The rhythmic clank of a blacksmith’s hammer. The idle chatter of a few dozen adults, going about their daily business with the vendors and craftsmen that keep the village alive. Standing before you amidst the bustle of the village is Duran, your Guide. Tall, tanned, with shoulder-length hair the color of wood ash, Duran has been your mentor and instructor since the day you joined the Lookouts.

    "'Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your lives'…" Duran says, arms crossed, his good eye looking the five of you up and down, "…is exactly the kind of tripe I might feed you if I was your mother. You know damn well that I am not.

    "But I will tell you this: Tomorrow is important. Tomorrow you set out on your final test, your chance to prove that you’re no longer the sniveling children that came to me all those seasons ago. Winter is coming soon, which means the Winter King will soon wake from his slumber. You will find him, each take a feather, and return to the village with your prize. Do that without getting killed, and you’ll have succeeded in your task.

    "I want each of you to know that I’m proud of what you’ve accomplished so far. But don’t think for a second that this will be easy. The Eyrewood is a dangerous place, and we are all but guests beneath its great boughs."

    Duran pauses, looking up into the sky, then returns his attention to you. "Listen and learn, that you may live," he begins, reciting one of the many ancient poems that he uses in your instruction, "For the ways of the wood are old. Remember the sun, and the life it gives."

    He turns his gaze to you, Jay, and waits for you to finish the stanza.

  • IlliantharIllianthar Registered User regular
    Standing in a line with the other boys before Duran, Jason brims with excitement. He vibrates noticeably, shifting his weight back and forth from one foot to the other. A gigantic grin spreads across his face, and an almost inaudible squeal emits from his mouth.

    The somber tone of the instructor's words pulls Jason back into the present and signifies to him that this is not the time for celebration. This helps him to gain some manner of control over his expression. Still, the strain against a jubilant outburst is evident in his face and in his body, with the ends of his mouth curling up against all opposition and his hands clenching and unclenching slightly.

    When Duran begins the chant, Jason stiffens to attention, ready for his turn to recite the creed that they had been taught.

  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    Jay is completely consumed by the honor as he stands lined with the others. Casting his eyes about the square, he tries to catch the eyes of passing townfolk so that he may bask in the pride that he is sure must fill them too. His mind drifts to thoughts of the adulation that will greet him when he returns victorious from his quest.

    He barely notices as the Duran's gaze falls upon him, and his mind races back over the last few seconds to see if he can figure out why attention has suddenly fallen upon him.

    "... for the ways of the wood are cold."

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Duran's eye lingers on you for a moment, then turns to Inialos. "Cold and dark, a spiders home. Do not linger, nor should you run. Keep your feet, mind the gloam..."

  • AnialosAnialos RPG MPD patient #1 Registered User regular
    Looking back at the man he's been required to follow the orders of for so long Inialos drolly continues the poem, no joy or pride in his voice, he simply wants this done with, "...for you may be the lucky one."

    Dichotomy wrote: »
    I play a lot of video games but I wouldn't call myself a "gamer" because "gamer" has become a pretty fucking disgusting label

    like "skinhead" or "republican"
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Turning next to Jason, Duran continues. "Luck is last on a wise man's list, but never leave it at home. For what men may plan, fate may twist..."

  • IlliantharIllianthar Registered User regular
    The sound of his name freezes Jason in place. Duran's eyes seem to bore into him. He can feel the eyes of the rest of the Lookouts on him also, and his mind goes completely blank. A long silence ensues, punctuated only by the shaky breathing of the rotund youth. Eyes darting in all directions, Jason suddenly seizes upon something, lets out a long breath, then says in a quivering voice, "…the blood of deeds penned in their tome."

    His verse complete, the boy sags visibly as if he is suddenly quite tired, and he looks more subdued.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    "Take heed, where blood is spilled. The wood knows where lie its own. The killer may himself be killed..." Duran waits on Taath to finish the stanza.

  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User
    Taath grins; this particular stanza is his favorite, and he had deliberately positioned himself to get a good chance of being given it. He continues pointedly, "One reaps what one has sown."

    A resident of the wood himself, the elf looks around to make sure everybody got the message. He pulls a piece of candy out of his pocket--part of the most recent care package from his parents--and pops it into his mouth, looking proud of himself as he chews.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    The next stanza goes to Bixby. "Sow what must be reaped for all. Pay the Eyrewood what is due. Honor in spring, respect in fall..."

  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    A cheeky grin forms on Bixby’s face as the groups attention is directed his way. “Lest you be covered in the Winter King’s poo!” The large smirk Bixby wears upon completing his verse dissipates just as quickly as it appeared as he sees that his attempt to be funny draws mostly unimpressed or disinterested reactions from the group. A rosy blush marks his cheeks from embarrassment. Eyes to the ground, shoulders slumped and with far less enthusiasm, Bixby recites his stanza the way he wishes he did in the first place. “Trust in summer, and in winter too.”

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Grudgingly satisfied with your final answer, Duran returns his attention to the group as a whole, and begins the last stanza. "May winter freeze, may summer burn. Know the land, and know this. What men must know, a boy must learn..." and in unison, as you have done many times before, you say the last line together:

    "May we die in the forest."

  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User
    As the group breaks up to prepare for tomorrow, Taath meanders over to Bixby. He stops very close to him and pauses for a moment, letting the halfling get a clear reminder of the size difference between the two of them. He leans down and comments, "Uninspired." The elf gives Bixby a smack upside the head, just hard enough for him to feel it, before chuckling and walking off.

  • AnialosAnialos RPG MPD patient #1 Registered User regular
    Walking over to Jason, Inialos places his hand on the portly lads shoulder, "Here, try this. I used to take it to memorize books in my family's library. Once this is over with I plan to have a nice long study session myself!" Inialos hands Jason a pouch of herbal mix. Most of townsfolk would lose their marbles if they knew what was in it, which is precisely why they don't.

    Dichotomy wrote: »
    I play a lot of video games but I wouldn't call myself a "gamer" because "gamer" has become a pretty fucking disgusting label

    like "skinhead" or "republican"
  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Bixby rolls his eyes and sighs to himself as Taath walks away. It wasn't uncommon for Taath to pick on Bixby like that. It's been happening ever since they both became Lookouts. Bixby knows that Taath is little more than a bully and that he shouldn't let his comments bother him, but for some reason they do. Each snide comment, each clip 'round the back of the head is a scratch to his ego. I bet he wouldn't pick on me so much if I were his size.

    "I can't wait for this final test to be over" Bixby says, looking over to Jay. "Do you think maybe we could lose him in the forest?"

    moleface on
  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    Duran quietly walks away as the five of you return to your usual banter. Your test would begin at dawn tomorrow, a fact that everyone in the village knows. Tonight is your last chance to make preparations and get some rest before you leave.

    You may talk to people in the village, talk amongst yourselves, etc. Once you're ready to set out on your adventure, give me a ready.

  • IlliantharIllianthar Registered User regular
    The look of anxiety on Jason's face turns quickly back to his trademark gigantic grin as he gleefully accepts the pouch, then locks Inalios in a giant bear hug, lifting him off the ground slightly. "Thank you SO much!!" he says, still crushing the life out of the much taller boy. Finally letting Inalios go, Jason turns and starts to skip back towards his house, calling over his shoulder "I'm going to go study right now, so I'm ready for tomorrow!!"

    Jason is going to be occupied at his house for the night, so ready!

  • AnialosAnialos RPG MPD patient #1 Registered User regular
    Inialos chuckles to himself a bit, wondering if Jason will get any sleep tonight. "Could always claim he went feral," he offers and he moves past Bixby and Jay. "More likely he'll run home to mommy and daddy once he realizes the forest can't be bullied." With that Inialos turns down the path in town with only one set of footprints that are at all fresh...his from this morning.

    ready!

    Dichotomy wrote: »
    I play a lot of video games but I wouldn't call myself a "gamer" because "gamer" has become a pretty fucking disgusting label

    like "skinhead" or "republican"
  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User
    Taath returns to the home of the humans who have been hosting him on behalf of his parents this whole time. The elf doesn't bother to acknowledge any of them as he goes to his room, and they return the sentiment. Each looks forward to tomorrow, when they may part company for good at last.

    ready!

  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    The words of Inialos brought a smile to Bixby's face. Seeing the group disperse he looks at Jay and says "see ya tomorrow, Scarlett". He then turns to make his way home.

    A bountiful feast awaited Bixby as he returned for the evening. Roast meat and vegetables for dinner and for dessert, Bixby's favourite, strawberrys and cream on freshly baked bread. His parents prepared a farewell dinner worthy of any adventurer for their boy. He deserved it, for when he returned he was a boy no more, he would be a man. For the Brushwood's tonight was a night to forget about the trouble and stress Bixby caused for his family growing up, and instead a night to rejoice in Bixby's coming of age. They ate till their bellies filled and laughed till they could laugh no longer. The following morning, with many hugs and tears, Bixby's parents fared him well on his journey. May Avandra guide and protect him and his friends.

    !ready

    moleface on
  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    Jay hovers around uncomfortably as the others say their goodbyes. He is somewhat disturbed by the amount of teasing and bullying that persists in his classmates, and tries not to get too involved. He's sure that once the head out into the forest, they'll band together a little more heroically.

    Jay hangs back as the others depart, waiting for his father to conclude his trading in town and then waiting a few minutes after that before heading off homeward himself. Catching his father just before home, his excitement for the coming adventure is tempered somewhat by the stern look of concern that greets him. "So, you still persisting with this fool group? I don't suppose there's anything more I can do to dissuade you?". Leading Jay inside, he rummages under the bed and pulls out a shortsword and tosses it at Jay's feet. "Take that then, but you best be bringing it back." His voice breaks slightly, but he grunts and turns away. "I'd best get some sleep, and you too. You needs be up early tomorrow."

    ready!

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    The Village of Armond
    The First Day of Your Trial

    The stillness of the pre-dawn hour surrounds you as you prepare yourselves for your journey. It's an enveloping silence, the kind that you feel as much as hear. There's an anticipation in it, as though the Eyrewood knows of your coming and is waiting in quiet expectation, at once afraid of and hungry for you.

    The first trill of birdsong breaks the silence as you make your way through the village. You're not the only ones awake to see the sun rise, as many of the villagers start their days well before dawn. But the morning folk, as they're often called, relish in the quiet of those early morning hours. The "Inner Hours", as they call them, are a time for reflection. A time for self-awareness. A time to be still inside yourself, to go about your work with a clear mind and a still heart, and to know of your place in the world.

    Of course, not all are so philosophical about their morning duties. It is well known that Bridge, the smith's apprentice, hates waking up early. He wants nothing more than to have his own smithy and his own apprentice for no other reason than to be able to sleep in, a fact that he makes well known to anyone who will listen. This morning, as he watches you with bleary eyes, he offers you a solemn nod, bereft of his usual muttering and cursing at his chores. Others offer you similar gestures. A pained smile. A raised hand. A salute from Panner, a former Lookout himself, now a mushroom farmer. Everyone knows where you're going. Everyone knows you may not come back.

    The villagers and their quiet gestures fade away as you reach the northern edge of the village, where a lone figure waits for you. For Duran, this would be the last time he meets you here as Guide, and the first time that he doesn't go with you as you depart. He stands with arms crossed, a typical stance for him, and inspects you with his good eye. He doesn't say anything, and you know that he won't. Today you are on your own. There will be no words of encouragement, no poems, no admonishments.

    The first rays of light break through the treeline as the sun begins to crest over the horizon. Duran turns from you and looks north, toward your destination. You can't see it from here, but you know it's there, the King's Grove, just beyond Breaker's Ridge. That turn is all you'll see from Duran today, and it means your test has begun.

    Your trial has started. You have a few choices of how you want to begin your journey. You can follow the road, which heads northeast. It's somewhat safer than traveling through the wood, but it will take longer to reach Breaker's Ridge, as the road doesn't lead directly there. You can also cut through the wilderness, making a more-or-less straight line for Breaker's Ridge. It's more dangerous, but can be faster.

  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User
    edited November 2011
    "Come on, then," says Taath to the rest. "I want a feather." He steps directly into the wilderness, ignoring the road, and stops a few feet in to turn back to the rest. "You comin'?" he says, sounding tough. In reality, of course, he's just checking to see which way the others think they want to go; the elf's certainly not going to go through the wilderness alone while the rest follow the road.

    mattakaslash on
  • AnialosAnialos RPG MPD patient #1 Registered User regular
    Looking from the shortness of Bixby, to the girth of Jason, and reflecting upon his own desire to use the new "walking" staff he carved off the grand oak in the yard behind his home last night, Inialos quickly pipes up, "Oh, certainly! If you intend to be zigging or zagging back onto the road! So nice of you to volunteer to scout for us though. Your sharp eyes and quick wit will surely keep us well gaurded." He smiles a bit as the last words leave his lips, only the faintest hint of sarcasm in them. "Perhaps the brave and true Jay would be so kind as to guard our rear?" Altering his pace to fall in behind Jason, but ahead of the quick short strides of Bixby, Inialos walks down the center of the road, getting a feel for his staff.

    Dichotomy wrote: »
    I play a lot of video games but I wouldn't call myself a "gamer" because "gamer" has become a pretty fucking disgusting label

    like "skinhead" or "republican"
  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    Feeling much more comfortable in his current position between Inialos and Jay than following Taath into the wilderness, Bixby keeps to the road. After all, what was the rush? There was no need to die before we get to the Winter King, was there?

  • IlliantharIllianthar Registered User regular
    Looking on at the indecision shown in his fellow Lookouts Jason shrugs his shoulders, wavering in his choice with a thoughtful look on his face. His eyes are slightly bloodshot and he looks weary and beleaguered, seeming to lack the energy and bounce to his step that he normally has. He rubs at his eyes while letting out a yawn, then weighs in on the topic at hand.

    "Seems like we're taking the road, Taath."

    Shouldering his pack, Jason falls into step next to Inialos, shaking his head every now and again to break up the cobwebs in his mind. His face scrunches up with a look of confusion as he talks to the older boy. "You'll have to show me more about your herbal mix when we get back…I don't think I was using it right. I studied all night, but all I can remember is how great Momma's liver and onions tasted! I must have eaten an entire plate, and I hate liver and onions!"

  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User
    "Erm...well, of course! You lot couldn't scout your way out of a cloth sack!" responds Taath unconvincingly. Unwilling to back down, however, the elf does exactly as Inialos suggested: traveling ahead of the group and somewhat off of the road, switching sides periodically. He keeps his eyes and ears open for anything alarming. It's not long before he settles into a comfortable rhythm, quarterstaff serving dual purposes as weapon and walking stick for the hike.

    We'll throw this out there, just in case:

    Perception: 1d20+4 15

  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    "Right! Rearguard it is." Jay hangs back slightly from the others, his movements mirroring those of Taath as he patrols the woods behind the group as they pass. Brave and True. I like the sound of that. It's good to see Inialos has stopped being so mean and started getting into the swing of this hero business.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    You proceed down the road, a mixture of caution and bravado keeping you from moving either too quickly or too slowly. The village soon disappears from view, and you find yourselves alone in the forest.

    This is an old road, long unused by anyone in the village. You only make it a few miles out before the quality of the road begins to deteriorate. Tree roots and other foliage break out from their imaginary boundaries, until your path becomes more of a trail than anything else. Perception (Taath): Thankfully, your training keeps you on target, and you stick to the trail in spite of several necessary detours.

    As noon approaches, you find yourselves at a fork in the trail. An old signpost is there, though time and weather have rendered it illegible.

  • AnialosAnialos RPG MPD patient #1 Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Standing at the crossroads, Inialos thinks about a particular book on the Eyrewood, and a message on a signpost it mentions, now...what was it? While trying to pull the memory up, he reaches out with what little arcane sense he had developed around the house, it had saved him from his elder's pranks more than once.
    Spoiler:

    Anialos on
    Dichotomy wrote: »
    I play a lot of video games but I wouldn't call myself a "gamer" because "gamer" has become a pretty fucking disgusting label

    like "skinhead" or "republican"
  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User
    Taath looks around the area, trying to place it within his own memory of the wood in order to try to guess what may lie in each direction. At the same time, he makes sure his bearings are true and makes a mental note of the direction of King's Grove from where they are now. He's also observing the local wildlife to see if they are giving any clues about what's going on nearby. It's the kind of outdoors-y multitasking possible only due to his natural talents as an elf, plus--though he'd only admit this grudgingly--his training as a Lookout.

    Nature: 1d20+9 27

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    History (Inialos): You don't detect any particular arcane energy in the area. Everything around you is natural. Fortunately, this particular area is familiar to you as well, thanks to your studies. The fork on your left leads to a small watering hole from which the villagers used to collect mud for bricks. The fork on your right at one time led to another village, though that village hasn't existed for about 50 years. You're certain that the fork on your right leads farther north.

    Nature (Taath): Inialos is right. Though the twisting trail and various detours would make it heard to keep your bearings, your training and keen elf senses serve you well. Breaker's Ridge is northeast of you. The fork on the left appears to head west, while the fork on the right appears to head north.

  • AnialosAnialos RPG MPD patient #1 Registered User regular
    "Taath, be so kind as to correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe we should head down the path to the right. The left is a watering a hole, and the right an abandoned village?" Inialos smiles as the memory comes to him. He is oddly thankful to be the only arcane presence in these woods. "C'mon, lets go see the old village!" Inialos knew the village wasn't that old, at least not according to Inialos the first, he said it was a thriving hamlet when he met great grandmother there.

    Dichotomy wrote: »
    I play a lot of video games but I wouldn't call myself a "gamer" because "gamer" has become a pretty fucking disgusting label

    like "skinhead" or "republican"
  • IlliantharIllianthar Registered User regular
    The brisk walk through the forest had cleared Jason's head considerably, and now he was back to being his chipper self. He stops periodically to check out an interesting looking plant of some sort as they hike the trail, quickly running back to the rest of the group to chatter about the shape of the leaves and the distinct color patterns. He seems genuinely interested in everything that has to do with the Eyrewood, and his eyes are the size of milk saucers for most of the trip.

    As the other boys start to discuss the merits of each path ahead of them, Jason opens his pack and takes out a bit of beef jerky, happily chomping it down before taking a sip from his waterskin. He looks up as Inialos mentions where the two paths lead. Replacing his things and shouldering his pack, he sidles over to Bixby.

    "Hey Bixby," he says, his mouth still full enough of jerky that it impedes his speech, "mind if I borrow that dagger?"

    Accepting the weapon from the halfling, Jason wanders up to the signpost and carefully starts to whittle into the dilapidated wood. His strokes are actually quite competent, moreso than you would expect from someone so young. After a few moments, he steps back, admiring his handiwork. On the signpost it now shows a crude arrow pointing to the left with the word "WATER" next to it. Beneath that is an arrow pointing to the right with the word "VILLAGE".

    Nodding to himself, he hands the dagger back to Bixby, a broad grin covering his face. "So, off to the village? I bet there's tons of interesting stuff there!"

  • mattakaslashmattakaslash Registered User
    Taath nods. "Yeah, north is that way," he says, indicating the right fork. He snorts at Jason. "Nothing interesting about human villages, no matter how old." He moves past the young human and the halfling, deliberately bumping into them with his staff as he does, and inspects the signpost. "Common script is so lame," he mutters before turning down the right fork and resuming his scouting position.

  • soxboxsoxbox Registered User regular
    His ability to stay silent being superior to his ability to pay any attention to what's going on, Jay steps out of the forest, almost tripping over Bixby as he does so. After a brief moment of confusion passes and he regains his stoic composure, he looks up at the freshly carved sign.

    "Huh. I didn't know there were any villages on the way. Are we going to stop in for lunch?" After Inialos explains the likely state of the village, Jay experiences a moment of disappoint before quickly becoming excited again. "Abandoned? Adventures and Mystery! Let's check it out on the way through."

  • molefacemoleface Registered User regular
    "Yeah!" exclaimed Bixby as he wiped his dagger on his pants, cleaning it of moss and woodchips left on it from the sign. "Watering hole sounds boring. Who knows what kind of neat stuff they left behind in the village. Let's head there!"

  • AnialosAnialos RPG MPD patient #1 Registered User regular
    Seeing that Taath has already gone ahead scouting, Inialos follows behind. "So, Jason, did my herbs work out okay for you? Inialos smiles nicely, knowing the answer already, but wanting to hear the description.

    Dichotomy wrote: »
    I play a lot of video games but I wouldn't call myself a "gamer" because "gamer" has become a pretty fucking disgusting label

    like "skinhead" or "republican"
  • IlliantharIllianthar Registered User regular
    "hhrrmm?" Jason says, barely noticing Inialos's question as he hums excitedly for their trek to the old village. "Oh yeah, the stuff....well, I don't think I was doing it right, since it really just made me tired and hungry...I'll have to try it again once we get back!"

    The last bit was kind of half-yelled over his shoulder as Jason started to move quickly down the right-hand path towards the village.

  • DenadaDenada Registered User regular
    The trail becomes much more difficult as you proceed beyond the fork. After about a mile, you find yourselves having to check and re-check to make sure you're still following it. As a result your pace slows considerably, and you still haven't reached the village by the time evening approaches. You have just over an hour of usable daylight left.

«134567
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