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[IC] [Greyhawk] Group 3: Critwall, the Shield Lands

PonyPony Registered User regular
edited December 2007 in Critical Failures
In the Shield Lands, it is late autumn. The wind is cold and bitter, and the land dry and parched. It has been a dry fall thus far, making what little harvest the besieged farmers of the Lands can muster that much harder. Rumors point to foul magics that twist the winds against the people. Workings of the minions of the Old One, no doubt.
When you arrived in Critwall, the army was away in the north, moving to reinforce the forces of Furyondy under siege at Shenland. Devoid of a forward engaging force, with only the city's defenders left behind to keep the forces if Iuz at bay, Critwall needs adventurers like yourself.
Cryers on the street-corners speak the day's news, and one call in particular might draw your attention:

"His Honor, Lord Lyndon, Earl of Bohdan, has declared that the renegade commander Seodore Montared, tried in absentia by a jury of his peers, has been found guilty of the crimes of treason, heresy, murder, rape, kidnapping, theft, desertion, and forgery. Given the status of our nation at war, the Earl has called upon the populace of the Shield Lands to assemble a civilian group of bounty hunters willing to travel to the criminal's last known whereabouts and apprehend him, bringing him back to Critwall for sentencing. Alive, if possible. Dead, if necessary. Any man brave and patriotic enough to bring this Iuz-serving waste of life to justice should find his way to the garrison commanded by Marshal Staulk, and inquire about the request therein."

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    MolotovCockatooMolotovCockatoo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Haman Blake wiped the blood from his hands over the small washbasin, methodically wiping them dry on a once-white rag, long stained a rusty brown. With a simple nod he bade one of the nuns take the freshly bandaged soldier back the wards inside the recently (and hastily) constructed East Wing of the temple of St. Cuthbert in Critwall.

    If any of the Brothers and Sisters of the Cudgel were wary of Blake's strange devotion to Death's Guardian, those feelings were subsumed by the exigencies of the war with the Enemy. He had the healer's gift, and he respected the Law. Critwall could ill-afford to turn away a helping hand, no matter from what far off land it hailed.

    He strode past the ranks of makeshift beds, his black cloak brushing the floor at his feet as he observed the many wounded and exchanged greetings with the nuns and friars as they bustled to and fro. The cryers on the street caught his attention as he wended his way through the beds towards the outer wall (not much more than a waist high wooden fence supporting wooden beams under a half-tent, half-ceramic tile roof).

    Blake had grown restless tending to the ceaseless parade of wounded trickling in from the front lines. He told himself it was more sensible for one with his skills to be taking the fight to the source rather trying to stem the tide here, but perhaps there was an impish desire for adventure there as well. He had spent most of his young life under the rigorous yoke of the Stern Lady's Convent school, and he subconsciously yearned to experience first hand exploits the likes of which he had only before read about in his studies.

    After a brief discussion with the head Cleric of St. Cuthbert, Haman Blake gathered his meager possessions, girded his rangy frame with his onyx-colored scale armor, and strapped Terminus Est to his back. His hood pulled up over his pale features, he swept into the gray cobbled streets of the fortress town and headed directly to Marshal Staulk's forbidding garrison.

    MolotovCockatoo on
    Killjoy wrote: »
    No jeez Orik why do you assume the worst about people?

    Because he moderates an internet forum

    http://lexiconmegatherium.tumblr.com/
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    XaiberDXaiberD Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Aramin stepped out of the inn into the bright sun, and was instantly glad to be in a large town again. The news criers were a welcome addition to the background noise of the street, as keeping up to date on the happenings of the resistance against Iuz was exceedingly hard in more remote areas. Before he left the doorway, he ensured his travelling cloak was over his small crossbow, not wanting to seem openly threatening.

    Spear in hand, Aramin began walking through the people, an easy smile on his face to see so many people who were fighting Iuz in their own way, by going about their days without fear. At least without visible fear. His expression darkened when he approached one of the criers with a larger group of people near her. Listening intently, Aramin's knuckles turned white against the shaft of his spear, clenching in anger. He thanked Trithereon that he had gotten to hear the offer to bring this Montared man to justice.

    Stepping quickly, Aramin managed to find the garrison of Marshal Staulk with the help of a kind looking shop keeper. As he stepping into the military fortification, Aramin got a sense of strength from the remaining men guarding the city. He approached one that seemed to be moving casually rather than at a march. "Sir, sorry to bother you..." He said quietly, suddenly feeling very young under the hardened gaze of the gruff looking man, "Could you tell me where I am to go? I'm here to volunteer to bring in Montared." He finished more confidently, growing to dislike even hearing the name, thinking about the vile things the man had done.

    XaiberD on
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    MarshmallowMarshmallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Casually walking down the ill-kept city street, Tern Quickstep idly clicked his teeth to a tune he had heard at the inn the night before. It had been a depressingly dull day thus far. Good food was disturbingly scarce, thanks to this bloody weather. Even the taverns were quiet, although at least he was able to get good service for his coin, apparently gold was quite hard to come by here.

    Gold...

    With a muted sigh, Tern adjusted his bearing, heading towards the city square. It had been quite a while since his last caravan job, and that yet another sign that the city was in want of warriors, why else would caravans be so desperate as to hire a Halfling as a guard? Hopefully he could get a similar stroke of luck, and with luck he could get payed in something other than those bits of paper they liked to throw around over here.

    Reaching his destination, he leaned up against a stone wall, to better take advantage of the day's sun, and let his mind wander as the cryer shouted various tidbits of news. He thought he heard something about guards, but it turned out to be just about the city guards. Hmm, he had seen a few on the way into the city when they had stopped him. Just wanted to warn him about weapons in the city, to be careful with that rapier of his, didn't want to poke an eye out. Tern turned his attention back to the cryer, was that something about a renegade commander? Listening carefully, Tern found himself uncharacteristically impressed. Treason, heresy, murder, rape, and theft, he had hit every one of the big fives and then rounded it out with a bit of kidnapping, desertion and... forgery? Oh this was too good. His chuckling snort caught a glare from a stern-faced man standing beside him.

    "Something funny, little man?" the tall stranger asked, pointedly.

    "Sorry, wasn't paying attention," Tern answered congenially, moving on before the human could reply. He turned to catch the last of the cryer's announcement. Garrison, garrison, that was only a few minutes away if he remembered correctly. What the heck, he had nothing better to do at the moment, and an honest inquiry never hurt anyone.

    When he arrived at the garrison, Tern noticed a tall, out-of-place human speaking with one of the soldiers outside the building. Carefully, he sidled alongside, hoping to catch their conversation.

    As usual, Aerthe is disguised and "in character".

    Taking ten on the Disguise check
    10+7 = 17

    Should be okay unless someone really scrutinizes him. (Gulp.)

    Marshmallow on
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    LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Kresk awoke in an alley, huddled in a warm corner. The druids sent him here, to this... city. To help, they said. You've outgrown these woods, they said. He shook the damp off of his fur, and set off into the city. He preferred to travel this way, it attracted much less attention. Nobody ever looked twice at a stray dog. Even a big... feral looking one like him. When he came to Critwall originally, the commander, or whoever he talked to said they didn't need him. Said he was too "undisciplined." They laughed him out of the garrison. He'd been living on the street for a month now, and was even more ragged than he was when he first arrived.

    The crier began his announcements for the day, and Kresk sat to listen. Mundane drivel mostly, but wait, there, that sounded very interesting. Bounty hunting? That's something he could really sink his teeth into. Marshall Staulk as well. The very man who turned him away when he first arrived. Well, he wasn't about to get turned away again. He made his way out of the city and to a small stream, where he bathed himself... both of himselves, and tried to make his clothes as presentable as possible. He needed to get back to work, or he felt he would go mad. Staulk would brook no unprofessional behavior, even from civilians. Kresk would have to tread carefully this time.

    Kresk slipped back into the city and headed for the garrison. He looked, and smelled, a hell of a lot better than he had in weeks. His hair and beard were still a wild, messy tangle, and his robe was frayed near the edges, but he carried himself with purpose, arriving at the garrison at the same time as a strange looking halfling and a few other humans. He hoped the day would go well.

    Litejedi on
    3DS FC: 1907-9450-1017
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    PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Staulk rose up from his chair behind his desk, and nodded to the assembled adventurers. "A motly lot you make, but bounty hunters are not generally the most uniform sort."

    He walked around his desk, to give each of them a thorough look-over.

    He paused a moment at Tern, but said nothing else.
    Sense Motive check to discern what Staulk thought of Tern.

    He frowned as he spoke, low and steady.

    "The man, Seodore Montared, is a heinous creature. A sorcerer, he used his abilities at one time as a wand in the service of the army of the Shield Lands. He is a traitor and a monster, who serves the Old One. He has turned against his homeland and his people, and is responsible for numerous crimes which I am sure you have already heard."

    Marshal Staulk sat on his desk, and pulled a coinpurse from his hip.

    "We would like him brought in alive, if possible, to be given a lawful and public execution. However, if that isn't possible, we would like him brought in as much of one piece as you can get. I'd love to give the people of Critwall a proper execution to see this criminal brought to justice, but displaying his body should be enough to strike fear into any minions of the Enemy that still lurk amongst our populace."

    He shook the coinpurse a bit.

    "There's 20 platinum coins in this bag. A comission of sorts, to take on the job. Now, there's four of you, so that splits 4 ways to 5 platinums apiece. You can use this commission to prepare and supply yourself for the journey ahead of you. Arikson, my lieutenant there, will take your names and particulars."

    Staulk tossed the coinpurse to Lieutenant Arikson, who stood at a nearby desk with a parchment and quill in front of him.

    "Montared knows he's a wanted criminal, but I don't think he realizes we know where he is. I've made it a point with the cryers to make it seem as though the call for his bounty is so open we'll scatter hunters to the winds to find him, but the truth is we know where he fled to after he was arrested."

    The Marshal gestured to a map of the reclaimed Shield Lands hanging on the wall to his left.
    "Seodore's last known whereabouts place him in Torkeep, to the north of here. I've sent word quietly to the authorities there, but Montared is a sneaky devil and knows how to hide amongst people. He's no man of the wilds, though, so chances are he's stuck to the town to bide his time until he can either be retrieved by an agent of the Old One, or figure out some other route of escape. Lord Torkeep's men have kept the castle secure and the town under watch, so it will be hard for the sorcerer to escape without notice."

    Staulk sighed and shook his head.
    "Torkeep's fellows are good men, but they're soldiers, not nightwatchmen. They fight on battlefields and guard routes, they aren't trackers and bounty hunters. They've kept the town secure, but they can't spare the men to go house to house or try to track the sorcerer down. Moreover, even if they did, they'd do so with such blunt lack of finesse that they'd tip Seodore off, and he'd flee into the night."

    He got up from his desk, and walked around it to sit back in his chair as he spoke.
    "This is more than just a bounty to collect, adventurers. This is a chance to prove your loyalty and dedication to the Shield Lands. Do this job, and not only is there another purse of eighty platinum coins in your future, but I will deputize each of you as a Pathfinder of the Shield Lands."

    Seated, he added one final point before dismissing the group of you to speak with Arikson.
    "Just remember that Seodore is a deceiver and a mage. He wields magic and trickery as his weapons. Care and discretion must be shown, at all times, while in Torkeep."

    Pony on
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    MarshmallowMarshmallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Tern smiled nervously under the Marshal's discerning gaze, avert your eyes dammit, they always notice the eyes! Although the man's sight seemed to settle on Tern for a bit longer than comfortable, he eventually moved on to Tern's relief. He might be playing at something, best to wait and see.

    After listening to the man's speech, Tern found himself rather excited for the task ahead. The Marshal himself, entrusting such an important task in them. The prospect of getting out of Critwall at this point was near intoxicating. Bringing the Montared fellow in, and the thought of fighting a mage, a devious one at that, was worrying, but finding him? Tern was confident he could do that. His fellow bounty hunters still seemed to be thinking the deal over, so he took it upon himself to be the first to speak.

    "My master Marshal, it is an honor to serve in this matter. Truly this rogue mage is a vile individual, but I daresay that you can trust in us to succeed in this most worthy of endeavors. We will bring you Montared." Deciding to take a chance, Tern added, "and as for the fiend's decieving ways, I can assure you I'm no stranger to deception. He will not be able to hide his sorry skin for long," surreptitiously noting the Marshal's reaction. Hmm.

    Marshmallow on
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    XaiberDXaiberD Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Aramin regarded the halfling near him oddly, he and the Marshal seemed to be having an unspoken conversation, from the looks they were giving each other, or mayhaps they knew one another from before? It did not matter to him, he was happy that more people were willing to stand up to take down this swine. Aramin's posture stiffened when mention of making the lot of them Pathfinders of the Shield Lands and his determination to complete this job rose. His father would be proud to know his son was a protector of the land.

    As Tern spoke, Aramin nodded along, fiercely agreeing with the little man. "Indeed, that is right. This swine will pay for his treachery." Aramin added afterwards. The group looked like a hardy lot, and from the look of them would have no trouble taking to ground if their quarry went that way. It simply troubled him that that they were searching for a man who was such a mystery to them. Aramin approached Arikson, and gave him the information he requested before asking, "Sir, is there a sketch of Montared we can take with us? Or anyone we could seek out that would know who he knows, or what he looks like?"

    XaiberD on
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    MolotovCockatooMolotovCockatoo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Haman turned to address Lt. Arikson, but spoke as much for the benefit of the assembled group:

    "I am Haman Blake of the Jasadin. If this Montared has done as you say, and has used his Arcane gift in the service of the forces of Chaos, then you can count on my blade to see that Justice is done."

    To the party he said:

    "How shall we journey to Torkeep? I propose we travel with a trade caravan or some other form of regular traffic, so as not to arouse idle gossip as four notable strangers enter town and possibly alert Montared. He knows he is hunted, and if he is as devious as you describe he will surely have ears in the town to report such things.

    Lord Marshal, have you any suggestions or information regarding this?"

    MolotovCockatoo on
    Killjoy wrote: »
    No jeez Orik why do you assume the worst about people?

    Because he moderates an internet forum

    http://lexiconmegatherium.tumblr.com/
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    LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Kresk made his way to Arikson and gave his particulars to the lieutenant, then returned to his place in the room and leaned on his staff, waiting for the rest of the bounty hunters to be ready to leave.

    Litejedi on
    3DS FC: 1907-9450-1017
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    PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    To Tern:
    Marshal Staulk seems to notice something odd or wrong about you. Perhaps he sees through your disguise? It is likely, given his reaction, that he does. However, he did not reveal you, or see fit to comment on it, so perhaps your secret is safe for now.

    Marshal Staulk nodded to Haman "Indeed, that plan seems wise. There is such a caravan. It leaves late in the afternoon, to avoid daylight robbery as is common in these lands unfortunately. Arikson, make a note for the men to give to the caravaneers, to inform them of their passage and the duties they are performing."

    The lieutenant nodded, and also replied to Aramin as he wrote the note. "I've no such sketch about me, unfortunately, but a wand in service of the Lands, a wizard by the name of Citterbin Cork, he could conjure an illusion showing you the man's appearance. He's across the way in the garrison, at that tent there. Gnomish fellow, red hair. You'll see him."

    With that, Staulk saluted the adventurers, and said "St. Cuthbert watch over you in your efforts of justice."

    Pony on
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    MolotovCockatooMolotovCockatoo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Haman took in his fellow hunters: the great mountain of a main, ragged and feral- like a dog on the hunt, completely still and completely alert, ready for the command to be unleashed. The younger man, clean cut, but a haunted look about him, obviously to one trained as Haman was as a neophyte of the arcane arts. And the tiny halfling, bundled up in so many layers he looked more like an animated cloak, and yet puffed up by pride at his grave mission.

    His new brothers.

    "We should not tarry much longer, m'lords. To master Cork and then to attend to what possessions you all may need to acquire for the task ahead. I am ready now if there are no arguments." And with that, Haman Blake scooped up his share of the platinum and the caravaners letter and made towards the door, looking back expectantly at his party.

    MolotovCockatoo on
    Killjoy wrote: »
    No jeez Orik why do you assume the worst about people?

    Because he moderates an internet forum

    http://lexiconmegatherium.tumblr.com/
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    XaiberDXaiberD Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Aramin nodded to Staulk, a wand of illusion for identification was even better than he had hoped. "I can be back here soon, I'm packed to go." He said to the mildly depressing looking holy man. He had long since learned to keep as much packed as possible, only to unpack what is needed and then repack it when it was no longer necessary, it had been required of him to leave a few places quite hastily in his past.

    "I'll go now." He said to Tern and Kresk, "I'll be back here in under a quarter of an hour." He nodded solemnly to Haman as he left, as eager as the cleric to make it back here and be off quickly.

    On his way back to his inn, Aramin smiled and began walking faster and faster, very nearly dancing between people through the marketplace. As he stepped into the inn, he stopped at the bored looking man sitting down drawing in a little book. "I'm checking out early, Jonas, call the rest of what I've paid a gratuity." He spun towards the stairs with a smile, taking them two at a time. As he tossed his backpack onto his back he looked around the room, ensuring he wasn't missing anything, and began jogging back to meet his... friends? It had been a while since he had been in a location long enough to call anyone a real friend.

    XaiberD on
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    MarshmallowMarshmallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    "Thank you for your assistance, Marshal Staulk, and thank you for this opportunity," Tern says, before turning to the lieutenant to accept the note for the caravan, noticing the spirited human ducking out of the room. Likely as not going to bid a quick farewell to a lady.

    After stowing the note carefully in his bag, along with his share of platinum, Tern walks to the door to stand beside the waiting man. Noting the human's dour looks, and his striking, almost imposing, mode of dress, he decides this is someone he'd rather be on the good side of.

    "All ready here, and we might as well get some introductions going, seeing as we'll be working together," Tern says, offering a thin hand up to the tall figure. "Name's Tern Quickstep, specialty's stealth and negotiation, though I'm a fair shot with a crossbow."

    Marshmallow on
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    MolotovCockatooMolotovCockatoo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Blake took the offered hand, stooping low to accept it and belatedly turning the slightly awkward motion into a sketchy bow.

    "Haman Blake of the Jasadin. Acolyte of the Ruby Goddess. Executioner."

    As he looked up from his bow, Haman got a much better glimpse under the diminutive one's hood...
    Spot check = (11+3) = 14

    The halfling met his gaze hesitantly. "You have nothing to fear from me however, my small brother." Haman let a ghost of a smile touch his lips.

    MolotovCockatoo on
    Killjoy wrote: »
    No jeez Orik why do you assume the worst about people?

    Because he moderates an internet forum

    http://lexiconmegatherium.tumblr.com/
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    LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    "I am known as Kresk, the Wanderer," the tall man with the staff says. "You may call me Kresk if you would like." He extended his hand hesitantly to the two remaining bounty hunters, while clutching his staff tightly with the other hand. The staff appeared to have a number of runes and a particular symbol, a blackened spear, carved into it repeatedly.
    With a DC 15 Knowledge (Religon) check, you can find out what the blackened spear symbolizes

    Litejedi on
    3DS FC: 1907-9450-1017
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    MarshmallowMarshmallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Hesitant at first, Tern reaches out to take the gruff figures hand. There's something about him that makes Tern a little nervous, some predatory aura that makes him yearn for a safe, defensible cave...

    "Very nice to meet you, Kresk," he says, shaking the foriegn thought. He notices the strangely adorned staff, but the various decorations mean nothing to his uneducated examination. Another practitioner? Can't hurt I suppose."
    A practitioner is what Aerthe calls casters. Sorcerers get the distinction of "Master", Kobolds do love their sorcerers because of the supposed dragon-blood and all.

    Marshmallow on
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    LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    "It's nice to meet you, as well, Tern" Kresk responded, as he shook the hand of the halfling genially. Almost as an afterthought, he adds, "there is no need to fear me, little one. Fear weakens the resolve of the boldest warrior, it has no place in the business of hunting."

    Litejedi on
    3DS FC: 1907-9450-1017
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    XaiberDXaiberD Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    "I'm Aramin," He said shifting his spear to his left hand. Shaking Kresk's hand when it was offered to him, then following up with the others. "I'm a..." He paused, he never actually distinguished himself as anything, "Well, I'm a practitioner of the arcane arts." He added as an afterthought, using the term that his father had jokingly called him.

    Aramin shifted his pack to a more comfortable position, ready and slightly antsy about the journey ahead of them.

    XaiberD on
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    PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    When you made your way over to Citterbin, you found the diminutive mage in a flurry of activity. He was preparing something arcane... scrolls, apparently. The shock of bright red hair atop his small head marked him as the gnome wizard you were looking for. If you stopped to look for a wand, it might occur to you that in military terminology, a "wand" is a spellcasting soldier, one who serves an army often as a form of magical artillery.

    Stopping him from his furious scrivening, Cork looked up to the lot of you and nodded when you requested an image of Seodore Montared. A few somatic components and whispered verbal commands later, a semi-transparent image of your quarrey, life-size, appeared before you.

    Seodore stood about five feet and six inches. An Oeridian man, his skin was dark tan and his eyes were a dark brown, nearly black. His coal black hair was pulled back into a ponytail, although he may have cut it since the wizard before you saw him last. Similarly, while he sported a goatee and mustache in the picture, he may have shaved since. He wore crimson robes in the image, although surely he has changed his clothing by now and wouldn't wear apparel this distinctive.
    What was quite distinctive was the wadded bandage over his left eye. When attention was brought to this, Citterbin added a spoken note.

    "Yeah, the eye. When his treachery was uncovered, Seodore was attacked by yours truly." There was a small measure of pride in the little gnome mage's voice as he says that. "While I wasn't able to take him down before the coward fled, a missile of force I fired smote his eye from his head. So, you're looking for a one-eyed man, to be sure. Illusions might guise his face, but they won't guise his lack of accuracy or depth perception. He hasn't had nearly the time needed to get used to an injury like that."

    The illusion faded, and Cittberin began to rummage through his footlocker of supplies.
    "I have something for you, bounty hunters: dispelling dust. It's a single bag of it, which is enough for one use."
    Cork pulled out a tiny leather bag with a black drawstring. The bag was unadorned and looked unremarkable.

    "The gold dust inside is infused with antimagic. If you were to toss the contents at an individual or object, it will dispel any magical qualities about it, no different than using a spell to do the same. Use it wisely. Used well, it might blow away any cover or illusions that Seodore has about him, but be sure the illusion is an illusion before you use it, since you've only got one shot."

    He handed it out to whoever amongst you took it.

    "Godspeed, bounty hunters. I hope you find the demonic whelp, and bring him in. Dead or alive, I care not. Personally? I prefer dead."

    Whatever was between Seodore Montared and Citterbin Cork seems deeply personal, but the nature of it beyond the two having fought previously, the gnomish wizard doesn't seem to want to say.

    Pony on
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    MarshmallowMarshmallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    "We thank you for your aid, honorable mage," Tern replies, "but if I might trouble you a moment longer, is there anything else you can tell us about Montared? You have fought him in battle, so any knowledge of his sorcerous abilities or tactics would be invaluable." He pauses to think for a second, "in fact, anything you can offer could be crucial, there is no knowing what piece of information might reveal the scoundrel or, better yet, allow us to defeat him."

    Tern does not take the dispelling dust unless no one else does, preferring to allow someone with more experience with such things to take it. For now at least.

    Marshmallow on
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    MolotovCockatooMolotovCockatoo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Haman, noting the halfling's reluctance, says "You should take the dispelling dust, brother Quickstep. No matter whether we end up confronting Montared through force of arms or by guile, you will more than likely be the one in the best position to use it on him, between your small stature and archer's eyes. Unless someone has a more convincing argument, I think it best you keep it for now."

    And to Wizard Cork: "Yes, Honored Lord, I too wish to hear your thoughts and experience on Montared's powers and tactics."

    MolotovCockatoo on
    Killjoy wrote: »
    No jeez Orik why do you assume the worst about people?

    Because he moderates an internet forum

    http://lexiconmegatherium.tumblr.com/
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    MarshmallowMarshmallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Nodding his head in agreement with the priest's statement, Tern takes the small bag of magic dust, tucking it securely into a corner of his pack. He's got a good head on his shoulders, and makes an excellent point. It's not like I need to speak incantations or anything, I just have to throw the stuff.

    Marshmallow on
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    XaiberDXaiberD Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Aramin's respect for Haman grew when the man made that suggestion. It was true of course, but Aramin would probably not have connected the dots in such a way. "Missing an eye, eh..." Aramin said to himself. That would be awkward. But if he was an illusionist then it would be easy enough to cover up. Aramin noted that Tern was very careful about the dust, almost like he was wary of it for some reason. With a small shake of his head, he turned back to the gnomish mage.

    "Thank you, sir. I'm sure the dispelling dust and that image will help us more than anything else, if he is as dangerous as we've been told." Aramin said, grateful for the help, and eager to get on the trail of this traitor.

    XaiberD on
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    LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Kresk hoped he would be able to remember the mage's face.

    "Let's get a move on while we still have some daylight left. No reason to dally here" he said, as he gestured to the door with his staff. "The more time we spend here, the harder it will be to track him down."

    He walked out the door and waited for the rest of the group to leave the meeting.

    Litejedi on
    3DS FC: 1907-9450-1017
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    PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    You take a few minutes to grab supplies, possibly using the money that the Marshal had already payed you. After some preparation, you head out, travelling with the caravan by nightfall.

    It is a long road to Torkeep, it will take you at least two nights, bringing you there most likely mid-afternoon of the second day. The caravaneers, halflings mostly, do not inquire as to your purpose. When you handed them the letter from Marshal Staulk, they simply nodded and told you when they were leaving. They keep to themselves for the most part, but they seem thankful for having some adventurers accompany them on the treacherous roads of the Shield Lands. This is, after all, still a land under siege. While this road may be far from the battlefront, Iuzian skirmishers and unaffiliated bandits still plague these roads, especially during the daytime. This is why the caravan travels by dusk, and makes camp in the late evening to early morning.

    During the first evening, travel is largely uneventful. The odd trader crosses your path. Of the only real note was a squadron of soldiers headed back to Critwall. They come from Shenland, in Furyondy, and bring news of a freed city and the army of Iuz being pushed back. You hear strange tales of the daring "White Knights", some strange, seemingly supernatural group of cavaliers who came from darkness and broke the siege, routing the Iuzian forces. While their tales sound tall, especially when they speak of an Angel who fought alongside the Knights, it is nonetheless nice to hope they are true. The Shield Lands deserves a little hope here and there, after all.

    In the pre-dawn hours of the morning, the caravan makes camp. If you offer to take watch, the caravaneers thank you for the help and security. The pre-dawn morning is frigid and dry, as the weather has been for weeks, and it is thankfully quiet.

    That is until you hear a sound from the nearby forest...
    Listen Check from all of you.

    Pony on
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    MarshmallowMarshmallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Aerthe is lost in his thoughts, staring lazily at the dying embers of the night's fire. His crossbow lays ready at his side, though more out of habit than out of any expectation of danger. He suddenly perks up in interest, had he just heard something? If so, Aerthe turns to the forest, his eyes rapidly adjusting to the dull darkness of the forest.
    Listen check = 19 (20-1)
    Spot Check = 11 (12-1) If needed.

    Note: Aerthe has Darkvision 60ft.

    Marshmallow on
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    LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    My character is likely a timber wolf at the moment.
    I didn't do this correctly, so I didn't add +6, but that's my character's skill modifier.
    Kresk got an 11 on a listen check.

    Litejedi on
    3DS FC: 1907-9450-1017
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    MolotovCockatooMolotovCockatoo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Haman Blake dozes lightly by the campfire, fully-armored, Terminus Est across his lap. His devotion (and his secret excitement) grant him a vigor not easily quelled by the needs of the mind and the body. So he is easily roused by all the strange sounds emanating from the gloom...
    Listen = (19+3) 22

    Haman has endurance, so he may sleep in his armor with no penalty.

    MolotovCockatoo on
    Killjoy wrote: »
    No jeez Orik why do you assume the worst about people?

    Because he moderates an internet forum

    http://lexiconmegatherium.tumblr.com/
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    XaiberDXaiberD Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Aramin sat on the ground, staring into the fire and playing with his spear. Thinking back over his time, he was completely oblivious to everything around him, from his party members to the caravan. His eyes glazed over as he thought of his father and he fought back tears.

    [spoilers]
    1d20 -> [2] = (2)

    This just in, I'm deaf.
    [/spoiler]

    XaiberD on
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    PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    In differing states of alertness, you all perceive different things.

    To Aerthe:
    You hear movement in the bushes. Someone, or something, is out in the woods. About the size of a man, perhaps. It's coming this way.

    To Kresk:
    There's something coming to the camp, from the woods.

    To Haman:
    A man is running towards the camp. Quickly, and recklessly. You can hear him panting and grunting. You also hear the sounds of... chains rattling?

    To Aramin:
    You hear nothing but the crackling of the fire.

    Pony on
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    MarshmallowMarshmallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    "Something big is coming, get ready!" Aerthe says in a hoarse whisper just loud enough to alert his companions, he rises to a low crouch, and scampers into the darkness perpendicular to the direction the noise is coming from. Hunkering down beside a nearby tree, he aims his crossbow in the direction of the noise, eyes carefully scanning for the first sign of danger.
    Aerthe is taking a move action to get out of the light of the fire, making a hide check as a part of this movement if cover/concealment can be reached, and using his standard action (if available) to ready himself to shoot the first hostile-appearing thing to enter his range of sight.

    Hide Check = 25 (15+10)

    Marshmallow on
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    MolotovCockatooMolotovCockatoo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Haman sits and listens for the space of a few heartbeats. Then he stands and walks around the fire, drawing Terminus Est. "A man-sized creature approaches, at a dead run. Stand ready," he says, loud enough only to ensure those who are near him will hear him clearly and hear the urgency in his voice.
    Haman draws his weapon and unlimbers his shield, and moves to put himself between the runner and the main caravan (as best he can determine) while staying within 20 feet of the fire (all in that order if time is a factor).

    MolotovCockatoo on
    Killjoy wrote: »
    No jeez Orik why do you assume the worst about people?

    Because he moderates an internet forum

    http://lexiconmegatherium.tumblr.com/
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    XaiberDXaiberD Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Aramin snapped out of his trance at all the urgent whispered. "What?!" He said quietly, cursing himself for falling into thought. Everyone was already heading to cover, and he scrambled away himself as well. Clumsily he pulled his crossbow off his back, and struggled to load it, having hastily landed on the ground, close to a caravan to protect his back. He still had no idea what was going on.

    "What's going on? What did you see?" He hissed, keeping his voice low.
    Move to near caravan to protect back.
    Get his crossbow out.
    Ready crossbow.

    Depending on how much I can get done, I do those things.
    http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1385523
    1d20-1 -> [13,-1] = (12)
    Spot check, cause I'm looking around. Don't know how much of a negative I get for looking into a dark forest, but just in case I can see anything.

    XaiberD on
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    LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Kresk growls in the direction of the noise, and stands in the middle of the clearing, hackles raised and ready to fight.

    Litejedi on
    3DS FC: 1907-9450-1017
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    PonyPony Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    From the bushes, a single humanoid figure came running out. In the flickering light of the fire, you can clearly see he was an Orc, dressed in hide armor. He didn't seem to be carrying a weapon of any sort.

    Within a moment of seeing the terrified expression on his brutish face, you realized that he wasn't running towards your camp so much as he was running away from something else.

    Along the ground, a long, spike-tipped chain writhed through the dead leaves like an angry serpent. It appeared to be chasing the Orc, and just as he emerged from the treeline it got him.

    Wrapping itself around his leg, the chain jerked violently, sending the Orc crashing to the ground face first. He let out a small, pained grunt as he fell.

    Then the chain started to pull back with incredible speed and strength. All of this happened in a second or two, barely enough time to even react, as the Orc looked up at you. Wild-eyed and his face a mask of terror, the Orc could only utter a single word in his language as he was yanked swiftly through the bushes into the darkness of the forest.

    You can still hear him being dragged through the dead leaves, and it would not be a hard trail to follow... if you're brave enough to follow it.

    Pony on
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    LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Kresk sniffs the ground at the edge of the clearing where the orc was taken and looks back at the others. He will try to track the orc, because he's seen chains before. Oh yes.

    He's seen chains before.

    Litejedi on
    3DS FC: 1907-9450-1017
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    MarshmallowMarshmallow Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Even though this manner of enemy is beyond Tern's realm of knowledge, if Kresk is willing to follow the trail, Tern will follow in darkness, hoping to get the drop on whatever it was that attacked the Orc.

    Tern also tries to recall the word the humanoid had spoken before being dragged away, though Tern doesn't know the Orcish language, it seems that it may be a clue to whatever creature the Orc was attempting to flee.
    Following Kresk 5 ft. back and 10-15 ft. to the right, attempting to move quietly and stay hidden.

    Move Silently = 11 (5 + 6)
    Hide = 23 (13 +10)
    Listen = 16 (17 - 1)
    Spot = 19 (20 - 1)

    Marshmallow on
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    MolotovCockatooMolotovCockatoo Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Haman sees the wolf bolt off after the trail, nose down and hackles up. The halfing has melted into the darkness.

    The die is cast, he thinks, steeling himself. "Remain here! We will make sure there is no danger. If we do not return within the hour, press on to Torkeep without us, and we will try to catch up if we can," he says evenly to the caravaners who can hear him.

    Readying his weapons, he marches into the gloom behind his comrades, trying to keep up...
    Haman only moves 40 ft/round with double move; the wolf can go 100, and Tern goes 30 if he's moving silently. If Kresk goes as fast as he can Haman will follow as fast as he can, otherwise he will shadow him the same way Tern does but on the other side.

    haha, a perfunctory attempt at move silently: 8-7 = 1 Guess that makes me the bait if this is an ambush...

    Spot = 11
    Listen = 17

    MolotovCockatoo on
    Killjoy wrote: »
    No jeez Orik why do you assume the worst about people?

    Because he moderates an internet forum

    http://lexiconmegatherium.tumblr.com/
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    XaiberDXaiberD Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    As the rest of the party moved forwards, Aramin pulled himself off the ground and hurried along behind them. With his crossbow at the ready, he was dreading what they were going to find. Even he could see what he assumed to be spots of blood, occassionally.
    Moving directly behind Kresk, so between the two others, but a bit further back. We're making a kind of diamond shape now.

    Move Silently: 7
    Search: 5
    Listen: 3

    Apparently Aramin couldn't possibly be more un-alert, and un-obtrusive.

    Edit: http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1387483
    forgot to link that.

    XaiberD on
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    LitejediLitejedi New York CityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Kresk moves at half-speed while tracking, so he'd move 50 feet per round. It only slows him down a little to go 40, so he'll do that instead. Also, Kresk will take 10 on all survial checks to follow the trail, as it seems to be a fairly easy trail to follow. I have to go to work, so here's some listen and spot checks in advance. Kresk also does not bother slowing down to hide or move silently. That's now how he rolls.

    Listen
    1d20+6->[17,6] = (23)
    1d20+6->[9,6] = (15)


    Spot
    1d20+6->[15,6] = (21)
    1d20+6->[8,6] = (14)


    I rolled them at the same time, but use each one in order.... Hooray work.

    Litejedi on
    3DS FC: 1907-9450-1017
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