View Full Version : A Murder in Hawksridge

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2007-04-14, 02:32 PM
The Story So Far, Briefly

Last we left you, Dain, Talonus and Dagon had made their way to the small city of Hawksridge. This is a community of some few thousand souls in a region of temperate forest and low rocky hills. A swift river runs past the city. The cityfolk survive on a mixture of shepherding, farming, and fishing. Farmland is moderately scarce and the soil is rocky, allowing only limited crop production. A lot of produce is brought in from surrounding areas, some of which are better suited to farming endeavours. Your hometown of Falston is a few days walk or a single day's ride to the west, upriver. Hawksridge is the largest city in the region and acts as a sort of capital, collecting taxes for the governor and in turn providing a measure of security and a centre for trade. Falston, along with many other towns and villages, sends a delegation of elders to Hawksridge twice a year to discuss issues of taxation and governance.

The autumn delegation had returned earlier than expected to Falston this year, missing Dain's father, Dorn, a respected town elder and long-time attendee. Dorn had been found, dead, in an alleyway. Dain was angry and upset and resolved to avenge his father's (suspected) murder. Rather than let your long-time friend rush off to his revenge alone, you, Talonus and Dagon, resolved to accompany him and help him to whatever extent you could. The three of you set off almost immediately for Hawksridge, leaving your professions behind in Falston. Happily, none of you were particularly critical to the town's existence anyway. Dain, like his father, is a stonemason and builder, but the town will manage without him.

On the way to Hawksridge, you were accosted by some roadside thugs. You quickly taught them a lesson, killing three of the bandits and chasing the other one off into the forest. Once in Hawksridge, you began to investigate. You learned that Dorn had been murdered by a poisonous dart. Dorn was a tough old dwarf, the poison required to kill him quickly would have needed to be very potent. You found a feather from an unidentifiable bird near the body. It is black with red markings. You also discovered the house where he had presumably been murdered and in that house you found remnants of a poisoner's work. You have a small sample of a type of unidentified mushroom. It's dark brown, smells of must and glows faintly in the dark.

It's late and you are still in that house, searching for clues. Dagon and Talonus are present, Dain is elsewhere on his own reconaissance.

Character Sheet URLs
Character Sheets:

Dagon - http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=50348
Talonus - http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=50523
Dain - http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=50368
Naizan - http://www.rpgwebprofiler.net/view.php?id=53600
History and Geography Excerpts
What you know about Cirrune: it is an insular kingdom to the east and south. It is predominantly elvish, and ruled by an elven king. In historic times, Hawksridge and its surrounding areas were actually part of Cirrune, though many, many years ago the Cirruneth withdrew their influence and Hawksridge has been largely independent ever since. The people of Cirrune are rarely encountered outside of their own kingdom, which is fiercely protective of its borders. The general belief is that visitors are prohibited, upon pain of death. There is a great deal of mystery surrounding them. This is the first you've heard of their presence in Hawksridge, though now that you've been told, you seem to recall some muttering amongst the populace about 'them elves' and 'those strange people.'

Roughly 100 years ago, there was a war between Cirrune and a powerful kingdom in the south called Ulthwanda. The Ulthwandans were aided by an army of barbarian mercenaries from the Plains of Water, a wide region of temperate plains to the north divided by an almost countless number of tributaries flowing out of the mountains, which run generally from the southwest to the northeast. The barbarians were led by the legendary Rhas the Great, who is now believed to be long dead. A lesser known fact is that Rhas is reputed to have had a powerful wizard in his entourage, an elf by the name of Isul, while the Ulthwandans were commanded by a triumvirate of dark (from the perspective of the histories you've read) priests: Jushad, Martell, and Lyraea. The two armies converged upon Cirrune, one from the north, one from the south, but were held off by the elves' tenacious defense, aided by the people of their then large kingdom and led by their young king, Nirovandilus. The war was terrible and costly, but in the end the invaders were repulsed. Jushad was slain. Isul was captured but managed to escape.

Some 20 years later, war came again to Cirrune. Rhas had rebuilt his strength and more, this time bringing not only the tribes from the riverlands but also ogres and giants from the mountains. Isul returned with him. The Ulthwandans came north in great force with their priests: Martell, Lyraea and, strangely, Jushad. The histories differ as to whether this is the same Jushad, back from the dead, or a different priest having assumed the identity of Jushad. The people of Cirrune once again rallied to their kingdom's defence, but from the beginning it appeared that this time, their strength would not be sufficient. Powerful magics were worked against them, and their will to fight was sapped. But just as the war seemed lost, an army of dwarves responding to an alliance formed during the intervening years marched out of their strongholds in the Barrier Mountains southwest of Cirrune and attacked the rear of the Ulthwandan host. Lending their stout hearts and strong arms to the beleagured defenders, the dwarves, led by King Borias the Bold, managed to rout the Ulthwandans and then, together with the Cirruneth, defeated the vast army of Rhas the Great, who fled back to their homes in the north and west.

Since the second Cirrunic war (as it is generally known), the alliance with the dwarves fell apart (you don't know why) and the people of Cirrune became disatisfied with their elven rulers whom they felt were ungrateful for their sacrifices during the two wars. Tensions increased and the elves' influence waned. They became more and more insular over the decades until they had practically removed themselves from the world at large.

2007-04-15, 09:49 AM
Dark House of the Mushroom

Dagon look up from the floor boards. He had searched them carefully, or at least he thought he did. The youth had to admit that his wasn't exactly what he was use to, or good at. Talonus was nearby. Maybe his keen elven sense would reveal something.

"Find anything?" Dagon asked hopefully.

Here again is Dagon's sheet, and his background (still a work in progress).


In character, Dagon will defer to Talonus as to what to do next . He generally takes his cues from Talonus and Dain, as he sees, quite appropriately, both of them as his elders.

2007-04-15, 01:34 PM

Talonus' char sheet. Might want to put both on the first post.

Talonus was found as an orphan by the people of Falston and raised by the community. Not knowing how to deal with an elf though, Talonus spent a bewildering childhood trying to find his identity. He spent a great deal of time reading the few books he could find and talking to travelers about the world beyond the farms. Having seen many generations of humans come and go, he has bonded to a degree with his two companions, Dain and Dagon. Along with helping them, he is also eager to see more of the world.

Talonus searches the location for any further clues. Where did the dart come from? Through the window? Or was the murderer in the house when it happened? If it was in the house, how'd they get in? Or did Dorn know his killer?

"Not sure but we're running out of locations to look in this house. I think after this pass, I will head to the library and see what I can find out about this bird and this poison. You spend a lot of time outdoors, does either this bird feather or mushroom sample look familiar to you?"

Search [roll0]

2007-04-15, 07:06 PM

I probably should have rolled this before. Search:


Dagon looks the feather and mushroom over.

"The feather is not local. The mushroom is unlike anything I have seen before. That said..."

Knowledge (nature):


2007-04-15, 11:54 PM
The House is Searched

The ground floor of the house is a single room. A table and four sturdy chairs reside centrally. A stone hearth gapes coldly from the rear wall. Its ashes indicate to Talonus that it has not been used in some time, though the weather has been warm lately so this is not unusual. Long, narrow tables line the walls to either side of the hearth. Pots hang from the ceiling and various cooking utensils sit on shelves or upon the tables. A knife resting on one of the long tables still has bits of sausage stuck to it. There are four plates on another of the side tables, obviously used and not cleaned. Three mugs are in similar condition. The shelves hold a very limited selection of preserved foods: pickled eggs, smoked sausage, dried fruits. A ladder to one side of the room leads up to the loft and stone stairs descend into the cellar.

Talonus spots a few droplets of dried blood on the surface of the table in the centre of the room. Noticing these, you both examine the area more closely and discover a few more spots of blood upon the floor. Faint but fresh scuff marks are visible in the dirt on the wooden floor, creating a trail towards the door. You are certain you did not make those marks yourselves.

You have already been to the cellar, where you discovered the mushroom growing in a pot of dirt. Bits of broken glass are strewn about the tiled floor. The cellar also sports two large water barrels and a rudimentary drain. The loft contains two pallets, which Talonus guages have been slept in recently; perhaps as recently as last night. A small crate supports a few stubs of burned out candle, a crude pencil, and a deck of heavily used playing cards. On a whim, you pick up the cards and riffle through them. It is a standard fifty-two card deck of four suits: swords, bells, roses and crowns. The cards appear normal. But as you return the deck to the crate, face-down, your keen elven eyes notice small characters printed on the back of the topmost card. Riffling through the deck again, you confirm that the back of each card is similarly marked with a single letter and a single number. Spreading the cards on the floor of the loft, you quickly determine that each letter of the alphabet is represented twice. No pattern is immediately discernible in the numbers.

Meanwhile, after exploring a bit downstairs, Dagon takes a minute and considers the feather and the mushroom carefully. Neither seems recognizable.

Thanks for the backgrounds guys. Talonus, I'm going to suggest that you were found by Dorn and raised by him and his wife. They were good to you, if perhaps not quite loving parents. You can decide how close you felt to them. Dorn was a good mentor, though he would often go traveling for weeks at a stretch and though you were curious about the wider world, he would not usually discuss these excursions with you. When you were in your adolescent years, Dorn had a son, Dain. You had become relatively independent by then. It's up to you to decide how close you would have remained with the family after that point, and therefore how much of a brotherly relationship you have with Dain.

Tragically, Dorn was the last member of the Falston community still alive from the time of your youth, Dain's mother having died of an illness while Dain was still young. The other inhabitants of Falston are human and you have seen the lives of many of them come and go through the decades. Perhaps this has left you a bit phlegmatic towards matters of life and death. If you and Dagon like, it's possible that you knew Dagon's grandparents well (if they lived in Falston) as his family is longer-lived than seems normal for humans and this property may have attracted you to them.

2007-04-17, 12:30 AM

How long ago was Dorn murdered? Do we know the reason Dorn was in this house? Was it where the delegates were staying or is this some other place? We know the mushroom is toxic, right? Sorry, it's been a while.

Talonus gathers up the mushroom into a pouch and puts the deck of cards into his pocket. He takes some extra time to check to check the basement for secret doors before he leaves it.

"Perhaps this murder had nothing to do with the delegation at all and Dorn just stumbled onto something. Suffice to say, I am very confused."

If nothing else is turned up, Talonus will go to the library to do research on the bird feather, mushroom and cards.

2007-04-17, 02:29 AM
A Stranger in the Night

It's been two days since Dorn was murdered. Details follow:

The semiannual meetings usually take place over 3 days. Dain was murdered after the meetings concluded on the 2nd day. The delegation from Falston returned home the next evening as the final day of meetings was postponed for security reasons. The three of you set out from Falston (with horses loaned from the townsfolk) that night, traveled into the night, made a short stop for a few hours of sleep, and finished the trip by noon the following day. It is now evening on the 4th day since the meetings began.

You have no idea why Dorn might have been in this particular house. No delegates were staying here as far as you know. The Falston delegates always stay at the same inn, the Kettle & Drum. Most of the delegates were staying at various inns around the city. Dain spent the evening tracking down some of the attendees remainining in Hawksridge to see if they knew anything. You and Dagon are to meet him at the Kettle & Drum tonight.

You don't know for sure that the mushroom is toxic, but from the evidence in the cellar (bits of chopped mushroom lying about, pieces of glass from a broken decanter that bore evidence of being heated over a flame, remnants of a few other plants that Dagon knew as typical poison ingredients, etc.) you have a strong suspicion it was used to make poison and would likely be toxic.

No secret doors are found in the cellar, though you do find a small bag of coins (50 gold) stashed behind a loose brick. Having decided that you have exhausted all avenues of investigation in the house, you decide to return to the Kettle & Drum, hoping that Dain will also have returned with useful information. The two of you make your way outside into the street. The sun dipped below the hills on the western horizon a few moments ago and the sky is rapidly darkening. You make your way through the city towards the inn, getting lost occasionally. It is on one of these detours through a particularly confusing section of the city that Dagon realizes you are being followed.

A lone individual is walking swiftly towards you, perhaps fifty or sixty feet distant. Your pursuer does not appear to be taking any great pains to conceal his presence, though you don't recall anyone being there a minute ago. The streets here are deserted. It is now fully dark. Scattered clouds diminish the light from the stars and a half-moon that nonetheless manage to provide enough illumination for Dagon to see passably. You catch the glint of moonlight on steel from an object held in one shadowy hand. It is only a moment before Talonus notices that Dagon has stopped paying attention to his conversation and looks back to see what has usurped his attention. The lone figure says nothing though you think he must be aware that you have noted his presence. He (you are fairly certain it is a male) continues walking swiftly towards you, brandishing a dagger in each hand.

2007-04-17, 09:11 PM

"So what do you think Dain will..." Dagon's voice trails off as he turns, noticing the pursuer.

With sightless eyes and deafened ears
Perceive these few beyond the shroud
Beware to ye who commeth near
Your silent footfalls ring aloud.

He readies his sword in response to moon-given warning of hostile steel. Brandishing his blade in his left hand, he readies his sling in his other.

They hold the spark of halcion
The grace of fire not yet gone
None to know and all anon
The last few sons of Avalon.

"Halt!" he warns.

1. Ready sling and scimitar (move action)
2. Take 5 foot step away and back from assailant.
3. Ready action:
- trigger: assailant does not stop
- action: attack with sling

2007-04-17, 11:41 PM

Talonus turns quickly as Dagon does and draws his bow at the shadower.

"Perhaps you would like to explain why you are following us with bare weapons? Suffice it to say, we're rather curious as to your reason."

2007-04-18, 01:24 AM
The Stranger Makes an Offer

The cloaked and cowled figure does not stop coming forward, though he slows to a normal walking pace. He is roughly 40 feet away. Within the shadows of his hood you see a bright line appear--you realize he's grinning at you.

"Curiousity can be dangerous if you are unprepared for its consequences, elf. It is Lady Curiousity that has landed you in your current predicament." He pauses, apparently for a moment of internal dialogue. "But it gives me no pleasure to kill," he says with a slight sigh. "I will let you live if you return my deck of cards. I promise they are of no use to you."

He speaks with a mild accent. It is reminiscent of the speech of those from the distant south. His words carry the weight of ironclad confidence. It is very intimidating.

Dagon, decide whether his actions trigger your attack. It's not yet combat, so there is no priority benefit for readying an action (essentially, you've all readied actions), so initiative will determine order as usual. Also, if you are going to ready for an attack, you might as well include attack and damage rolls, in case the attack is triggered. Actually, this is a good idea generally--it would be cool if you guys could try to remember to include rolls for any actions your responses contemplate, even if they're conditional responses, so that I can write up the results without having to go back and ask for rolls. It'll speed things up! If the rolls don't end up being needed, they won't be used. I promise not to lock you into a course of action just because you included a roll for it. Does that make sense?

2007-04-18, 10:27 AM

Angered and somewhat confused by Dorn's recent murder, Dagon quells the better part of his nature. Eerily and without a sound he launches a stone at the oncomer.

Yup, attack triggered:

Here's my initiative: [roll0]

Attack: [roll1]
Damage: [roll2]

He takes another 5 foot step back away from the attacker.

2007-04-18, 12:43 PM
Dagon, it was Dorn's murder, not Dain's. I hope, anyway. ;) Also, you seem to have double posted. I'll use the first results, but is there any way to delete the extra post?

2007-04-18, 02:13 PM
Fighting the Cloaked Stranger, Round One

Dagon whirls his sling around and lets fly with a bullet. The stranger steps to the side just as the projectile is released and it flies harmlessly past. The stranger charges the two of you at full speed and rakes Dagon across the arm with his dagger. Talonus takes a couple steps back, pronounces a few arcane words, reaches into a pocket and lobs a handful of small round objects at your assailant. Are those tiny tarts? Yes... yes, they are.

The stranger looks quizzically at Talonus and seems about to make a snide remark. Instead, uproarious laughter spills forth. His knees buckle with the effort and he falls to the ground, rolling about and laughing maniacally.

The stranger had the highest initiative but waited for Dagon's attack on Init 15, which missed with an Attack of 13. On Init 14 he charged and struck Dagon with his dagger for 2 points. On Init 9, Talonus took a 5' step away from the melee and cast Tasha's Hideous Laughter. The stranger failed a DC 14 Will save and was inflicted with, uh... hideous laughter. He is now prone (+4 AC) and can take no actions for 2 full rounds. It is Dagon's turn to act again on Init 15.

Also, I wanted to remind you both, since it's been a long time, that magic is quite rare in this place, including divine magic. Magic weilders are viewed with suspicion and awe. People certainly believe in magic, but it is so rare to see real magic that it has evolved a mythic quality.

2007-04-19, 12:24 AM

Forgot about the magic stigma. Will keep it in mind... although not quite yet.

"Quick! Disarm him! He'll recover soon."

Talonus glances around and makes sure they're still alone in the streets. Then he backs away from their assailant and casts Sleep on him.

2007-04-19, 01:57 AM

Dagon has murder in his eyes but checks his intentions at the last minute in response to Talonus' urgings.

Yeah, I figured magic was kinda rare. In any case, Dagon's class doesn't even technically exist, so I'll probably not be casting spells until I can wild shape. That said:

Dagon readies his scimitar as a free action. Dagon attacks, taking a -4 to hit in order to deal non-lethal damage. The target's AC is at -4 as he is prone. Dagon unconsciously spends 1 Void to gain a +2 on this attack.

Attack: [roll0]
Damage: [roll1]

He will repeat this process, again spending 1 Void to gain +2 on the attack.

Attack: [roll2]
Damage: [roll3]

As part of his second action, he readies his shield.

2007-04-19, 12:16 PM
Fighting the Cloaked Stranger, Rounds Two and Three

Dagon turns his scimitar at the last moment and strikes the stranger a stinging blow to the ribs with the flat of the blade. The stranger tries in vain to block, but he is laughing so hard he can't control his arms effectively. Amidst the laughter, you hear a few strained words.

"This... changes... nothing..."

Talonus backs away slowly, concentrating on his casting as he begins a new spell. Dagon strikes the stranger again with an audible *thwack*, drops his sling and straps on a wooden shield. As the laughter subsides, Talonus completes his spell. Nothing happens. A final chuckle escapes from the stranger. It doesn't sound forced.

Feel free to cast spells. It's not sooo rare that people are going to go nuts and mob you. I'm just reminding you that people will take notice and possibly change their attitudes. It could be beneficial at some times, harmful at other times. Some people will hate and fear magic weilders, others will be impressed, others might become sycophantic. The only thing that will not happen is for people to shrug and think you're just another stinkin wizard.

In any case, getting to the combat results, Dagon hits the stranger for 8 points of non-lethal damage. Talonus backs up another 5' and casts sleep, which has no effect. Hideous Laughter has expired. Talonus, you have another action to take before the stranger can act. Your spell takes a full round to cast and takes effect just before your normal action comes around again.

2007-04-19, 07:01 PM

No, but this might.

Dagon will take an Attack of Oppurtunity if the man tries to stand. Standard attack dealing lethal damage. Spending 1 Void on this.

Attack: [roll0]
Damage: [roll1]

He will move such that the man is between Talonus and himself. If the man makes a move towards Talonus, and thus leaves Dagon's threatened area, he will take another Attack of Oppurtunity.

Attack: [roll2]
Damage: [roll3]

He otherwise attempts to ward the man's daggers with his shield.

2007-04-20, 12:01 AM

Talonus lets out a curse when the first spell fails, then tries again.

Talonus will try another sleep spell before the assailant is recovered. If that fails too, he'll use Inspire Courage (+1 to attack and damage)


Forgot to mention, I moved back further than a 5' step last round. I'll move back 30' if there's enough room with my move action.

2007-04-20, 02:13 PM

Dagon rushes to interpose himself between the attacker and Talonus. His body tenses in anticipation of the inevitable counterstroke.

Spend 1 Void to raise AC by 2, this will be in effect until my next action.

Undaunted, he strikes with his silvery scimitar, a powerful downstrike of ferocious intent.

Damage: [roll1]


Critical Confirmation: [roll]1d20+4

2007-04-20, 02:15 PM

Critical Confirmation: [roll0]

2007-04-20, 02:23 PM
Anger and rage consume Dagon for a moment and the red moonlight glitters off his blade like a promise of destruction.


2007-04-20, 02:57 PM

"Stabilize him now and we'll talk. Otherwise I'm incinerating these cards with my magic."

Bluff roll[roll0]

2007-04-20, 03:07 PM

Diplomacy Check [roll0]

Forgot to add +2 for Sense Motive synergy. Result is a 17.

2007-04-20, 11:57 PM
Fighting the Cloaked Stranger, Rounds Four and Five, and Negotiations

Talonus starts casting another spell and continues to back away from the stranger and Dagon. Dagon attacks with his silvery scimitar. There's a flash of metal and a grunt of pain as Dagon connects with a wicked slash to the stranger's side. Injured, the stranger struggles to his feet and Dagon takes the opportunity to strike again, this time a slice across the forearm. Shrugging off the pain, the stranger faces Dagon and executes a blinding series of feints. Dagon is caught off-guard... and suddenly the stranger strikes. While Dagon is attempting to parry a left-handed thrust at his stomach, the stranger twists and brings his right arm across Dagon's neck in a sweeping arc. Steel bites into flesh and blood erupts from a deep fissure. Dagon collapses in pain and shock to fall at the stranger's feet, his blood seeping out into a pool on the street. The stranger turns to face Talonus as Dagon's life slowly ebbs away. He stretches out a hand.

"My cards, if you please. You might still be able to save your friend."

Talonus' Sleep spell finishes, but again to no effect. He takes out the deck of cards and levitates them into the air while putting more distance between himself and his deadly opponent. "Stabilize him now and we'll talk. Otherwise I'm incinerating these cards with my magic," he bluffs, having no spells at his disposal to accomplish such a feat.

But the stranger seems concerned. "I will trade with you, mage. A potion to save your friend's life if you hand over my deck, intact." He reaches into his cloak and draws forth a small vial as evidence of his good faith.

"Stabilize him now! You still have the power to kill him and then we'll talk about trades."

"If I give him the potion, he will wake. We both know he will try to kill me again."

"Disarm him, stand on his throat, whatever. He dies, the cards are gone. We all lose," Talonus tries, using his best diplomatic efforts. The cards float higher into the air over Talonus' head.

"Do not be foolish. If you lose even one card, I will kill you." Nonetheless, the stranger picks up Dagon's scimitar and lobs it into an alleyway before uncorking the vial and pouring it on Dagon's wound. He takes Dagon's hair in one hand and rests a dagger against his neck to ensure his docility. Dagon's wound closes partially and the bleeding stops, though he does not wake. "It appears he was closer to death than I thought. No matter, he is stable now." He stands, but does not move far from Dagon's prone form. "My cards," he repeats, once again holding out his hand in anticipation.

Talonus lets the cards float back into his hands. "I have your word that you will not harm us if you get these back?"

The stranger smiles. "You do." He seems sincere.

The two of them spend the next minute or so negotiating over just how the hand-over will be accomplished. Talonus is concerned that the stranger will kill Dagon once he has his precious cards. The stranger is concerned that Talonus is going to scatter the cards or destroy them once he feels that he and Dagon are out of immediate danger. Neither side wants to budge, but eventually the stranger makes a concession and moves away from Dagon's body to stand at a point roughly equidistant from Dagon and Talonus. He seems to be growing very impatient with all the posturing.

"Give me the deck. I have been more than accomodating. I shall wait no longer." His daggers are once again held at the ready.

"Alright, you will have it in a moment," agrees Talonus, stalling slightly.

Dagon inflicted 24 damage with a critical hit and an attack of opportunity. The stranger struck back by feinting, successfully, and then using a sneak attack to hit Dagon for 18, plus inflicting a bleed effect of 1/round. Dagon falls unconcious and is bleeding to death. Talonus' Sleep spell is once again unsuccessful. The stranger heals Dagon with a potion of Cure Minor Wounds for 5 points, bringing Dagon back to -1 and stabilizing him. Talonus and Dagon are now about 40 feet apart, and the stranger is roughly 30 feet from each of them, oriented in triangular fashion.

2007-04-21, 11:01 AM

Talonus holds the deck in front of him and starts reciting another spell, one that appears to take extra long. When he is finished, he deals out the cards one at a time so that their assailant can see them and so that he can try to remember as many of the cards as he can. When he's done, he levitates the deck perpendicular from the line made by himself and their assailant so that the deck forms a triangle between himself and the assailant.

"Alright, now you move slowly towards the deck and I will move towards my friend. We do this peacefully and nothing gets scattered. And just one more question before we never see each other again. Do you know anything about what happened to the dwarf Dorn?"

Talonus will use Prestidigitation on the deck to steal one card and leave an identical counterfeit hoping the darkness will aid the disguise. He'll go to Dagon and try to revive him to the point where he can walk. It's not really in the rules anywhere but I figure he's pretty close to being awake as is.

Heal roll [roll0]

2007-04-21, 03:02 PM
Negotiations with the Stranger Conclude

You have to cast Prestidigitation and then recast Mage Hand, but I'll allow that you make it look like a single casting.
The stranger moves as instructed, walking slowly towards the cards as you head towards Dagon. The process is completed without incident. The stranger grabs the deck out of the air when it is close enough and quickly riffles through them to check whether he has them all. Apparently satisfied, he stuffs the deck into a pocket somewhere. "Never heard of him," he says. His sheathes his daggers and turns to walk away, heading into a narrow side street.

You help Dagon to rise. He is weak and dizzy, but by putting his arm around your shoulder and supporting much of his weight, you enable him to move his feet on his own.

You each gain 750 xp.

2007-04-21, 06:29 PM

Talonus helps Dagon as best he can.

"Come on Dagon, let's get out of here." he whispers to his friend as they start walking. "We need to find Dain. Where has that dwarf gotten to?"

Talonus heads back to the inn where they were staying as quickly as possible. Once inside, he helps Dagon to bed and bars the door.

2007-04-22, 01:20 AM
Breakfast, Day 2 after Dorn's Murder

In the morning, Dagon wakes up feeling predictably terrible. Dain is downstairs helping himself to a hearty breakfast. He has news from the previous evening. After you parted ways, Dain went to seek out some of the delegates who were still in town to see if they had any useful information. After a few fruitless meetings, Dain found out from a frightened delegate that he'd seen Dorn in the company of a halfling, drinking together at a local establishment. Halflings aren't common in Hawksridge, so it made an impression on him. Dain pursued the matter with the bartender where Dorn and the halfling had stopped for a few drinks, who mentioned that he'd seen the same halfling hanging around earlier with a tall man in a dark cloak who looked like trouble. The same man had been in the bar the previous evening, sitting alone near the fire, going over some documents and fiddling with a deck of cards. He'd been unfriendly with the servers but otherwise hadn't caused any trouble. Upon questioning, the bartender had recalled that the stranger had been tossing documents into the fire as he'd finished with them. Dain searched the ashes and, with a stroke of incredible luck, found a piece of parchment with odd writing, only half-burnt, buried under cold ash near the edge of the fireplace. He produces it for your inspection. It is smudged with charcoal, but reads as follows:

CK B5 C6 SQ B4 R1 B9 BJ CJ SK S4 B3 CT R4 CK R1 SQ ...

and so on. There are perhaps fifty doublets before the text is obliterated by charring. The bartender's staff had heard the cloaked man referred to as Ormand. The halfling's name was not known.

Dain's face reddens as he listens to your tale of the previous evening. His knuckles are white as he grips the edge of the table. A ceramic mug cracks in his other hand. You get the impression that he's doing his best not to take his frustration out on random objects. He is concerned about Dagon and insists upon bringing some food upstairs. Dain is a firm believer in eating to regain one's strength.

2007-04-23, 01:17 PM

Talonus heads upstairs with Dain reading the combinations and trying to jot down what he can remember of the code on a separate sheet of paper. When they reach the room where Dagon was resting, he closes the door behind him.

"One last thing. I managed to secure one card from the deck. I think it's fairly obvious that the cards have something to do with this code. Hopefully whatever code this is, requires the full deck to discern. There is a good chance this confident assailant will return for it. Either way, we probably should not separate again until we know more about what we are facing. How're you feeling Dagon?"

Not sure what roll it'd be to remember the card combos. Here's a roll anyway though. [roll0]

2007-04-23, 05:11 PM
It'd be an intelligence roll, so you'd end up with 13. It's a very difficult check, it's not easy to memorize that sort of information quickly. Also, the codes were on the backs of the cards, so it would have been VERY difficult to quickly sift through the cards and see both the fronts and backs and associate codes with cards.
You manage to recall a handful of codes, but you're not really positive about any of them, aside from the one card you do have. You try using what you remember to make sense of the letter, but you quickly decide that you don't have anywhere near enough information. You're not even sure what the codes on the cards mean.

Dain mumbles his agreement with you about your theory. He tells you his theory that the halfling is a local. He believes that Dorn wouldn't have spent an evening drinking with someone he didn't already know fairly well. "Dorn was guarded with his relationships; he wasn't the easiest dwarf to become friends with," Dain recalls to you with a hint of fondness.

I'm assuming that at some point this morning Dagon will heal himself? In any case, you guys should give me an idea of what your next course of action is going to be.

2007-04-24, 12:42 AM

"Well, if Dagon is feeling better then our path is clear. First, I want to go back to the house and take Dain to the cellar. Maybe his dwarf senses can pick out something from the craftsmanship that Dagon and I missed. Then, we should find this halfling which Dorn was seen talking to. If that fails, I think there may be some performances I will want to give int the evening. While we are out, Dagon keep an eye out for our friend from last night. I'll be busy composing so I might be a bit distracted. I am ready to go whenever you two are."

Talonus will grab some parchment and starts write "Dorn, the Hero of Falston", a moving song about the heroic life of Dorn and his mysterious death.

2007-04-24, 04:49 PM

Still a bit groggy and more green than probably healthy for a human, Dagon rubs his eyes and tries to down some of the tea Dain brought with him.

He listens to his two friends speaking and nods in agreement.

"Shouldn't I come with you though?" he says as he experimentally tries to get on to his feat. "I think we're safer together than apart. I'm sure he's discovered you still have one of his cards."

He takes out the feather and fungus for a moment and looks at them.

"I'd also like to get a closer look at these and refer to my notes. Twenty seconds in a dark cellar isn't the most ideal way to analyze these things."

If the others agree, Dagon will join them. He will then take 20 while Dain is doing his search to figure out what he can about the clues.

If the others insist he stay back, or if his condition makes it non-negotiable, he'll remain in the common area, using the crowd to preclude the possibility of ambush and assassination (hopefully).

2007-04-25, 08:15 AM

There is a pause.

"Oh wait, you meant for me to come with you," Dagon looks a bit confused. "Sorry, I'm still getting over the poison's effects I think."

There is another pause.

"Wait, there was no poison. I think I need some air. Anyways, I'm ready to go."

1. After some discussion, it has been decided that Dagon can cast spells, but hasn't received his full "exaltation" which occurs at level 5.

2. If possible, he would have used his allotment of heal spells on himself yesterday. If not, he will prepare nothing but heals and heal himself as best he can, saving one cure light, and 2 cure minors.

3. Please feel free to roll for me on this one once you've decided what Dagon could or could not do :)

2007-04-25, 03:52 PM

"Yeah, you seem a bit woosy Dagon. Let's get you some fresh air on the way to that house. I have to say though, you do seem a lot better than you were last night."

2007-04-26, 03:36 AM
Dagon Studies the Evidence

Dagon, you weren't technically conscious last night, so you had to heal yourself this morning. You use 2 cure light wounds to heal [roll0] and [roll1] and 2 cure minor wounds for 2 more points. I believe you are totally healed. Btw, not sure if Art explained to you that I've ruled that your bonus spells can be scaled down in levels to help you immediately. So you actually have 3 bonus spells at first level right now.
After a brief discussion, it is agreed that Dagon should spend a few minutes examining the feather and mushroom here, before setting out. The mushroom is of a variety that grows in these parts, though only in caves at fairly low altitude and moderate temperatures. You are aware of its poisonous properties. You believe that there are caves suitable for this type of fungus in the forests to the north of the city, in a rocky escarpment. The feather is still puzzling. Meanwhile, Talonus composes some lyrics for his song. Dain sharpens his axe.

Eventually the three of you make your way back to the house where Dorn was killed. It's much the same as last night, save for the missing deck of cards. Dain explores the cellar, but finds nothing of interest that you didn't notice yesterday.

2007-04-26, 11:27 AM

After examining the feather and fungal sample, Dagon relates his findings to the others.

"I've been thinking that we should go search this cave. It may not tell us much, but maybe the harvesters left some clues."

He pauses, looking at the feather and frowning.

"I really don't know what to make of this though. It's definitely not local. May we should ask around to see if any of the taxadermists recognize it."

Putting the feather back, he thinks some more.

"Maybe we should see if we can track down this halfling? He may have more information. To be honest, I'm a bit worried about him. If we could think to approach him for information, the murderer or murderers might think to silence him."

2007-04-26, 12:55 PM

Sorry if this wasn't clear. You don't know of a specific cave where these mushrooms grow. There are many caves that have suitable conditions. You happen to know that the escarpment to the north contains caves in many places, and that those caves should have the right conditions for this type of fungus. Whether they actually do is unknown to you.

2007-04-26, 12:57 PM

"Yeah, let's find this halfling. I guess we can start at the bar he was spotted at and ask around."

2007-04-26, 02:11 PM

"That seems reasonable."

Getting up, Dagon follows Talonus and Dain back to the ever more familiar bar.

Fugus: Yeah, I gathered it wasn't a specific location, so much as a direction. It's a faint lead, but one to explore if things don't work elsewhere. At the very least, it might give him more samples of the fungi with which to analyze.

Spells: Dagon has re-arranged his spell preparation, and thanks for the extra bonus spells. The alterations will be up in the character sheet shortly.

Dagon pauses for but a moment, taking out a handful of berries from his pouch.

"Dain, Talonus, take some of these. It's a simple hunter's trick my father showed me last season. Eating these berries will help heal your wounds, even in the thick of battle. You cannot eat more than a spider has legs in one day however, for they are gifts of Aradna, the Gold Spider Queen, and she there is only so much that is within her reach.

That said, they might help in the midst of battle. The blessing will only last for two days however. Make sure you do not try using them after then, for they will be but simple berries. I will give you new berries each day."

Dagon casts goodberries twice.


He gives half, rounded up, to Dain (since he's usually more in the thick of things), and half, rounded down, to Talonus (since he usually hangs back and isn't as likely to need them).

"Let's go."

2007-04-26, 11:19 PM

Dain and Talonus pocket the berries. The three of you head to the bar where Dain had been asking around the previous evening, a place called Chadwick's. As it's still morning, there are few patrons. Just a smattering of die-hard drunks and hungry travellers. You note the bartender disappearing into the back room, though he returns shortly with a couple of plates of cold food, which he delivers to a table of the latter sort of patrons. He sees the three of you come in and lumbers over. He speaks in streams, four or five short sentences in a row, no pauses. You feel it would be rude to interrupt during one of these stretches of oratory.

"Welcome to Chadwick's. Name's Chadwick. Sit where ya like. What can I get for ya? 'Fraid it's cold food only for 'til Gertie gets the kitchen running." Which, you take from his expression, won't be for a few hours at least. A pause. Then his eyes focus on Dain as recognition dawns on him. "Ah, ya must be Dorn's son. The fella what was in here asking around last night. Hard ta recognize ya what with the different lighting and all. Sorry again for your loss." He shakes his head slowly in a display of resigned acceptance. Another pause. "A terrible shame, that. He was a good dwarf. Ya must have some more questions. Come on back and we can talk in private." He motions for you to follow as he trundles his bulk towards the back room.

2007-04-26, 11:32 PM

Though it has been some time already, Dagon still feels the bite of hearing Dorn's death spoken of yet again. Realizing this must be harder on Dain by far, he quells his jostled emotions and follows Chadwick and others into the back.

2007-04-27, 05:38 PM

Talonus follows Chadwick to the back and looks for a place to sit. He will wait for Chadwick and the others to be comfortable before launching into questions.

2007-04-27, 06:25 PM
Chadwick's (Cont'd)

Guys, feel free to take over little bits of the scene that don't matter, like the 'everyone sits down' part. You don't need to wait for me to say 'begin.' If I was going to make anything happen before you got a chance to speak, I'd have written it in the intro segment. If you're waiting for Dain to speak, that's ok, but I'd like to try to avoid having Dain drive the story too much. In any case, back to the story. Dain might as well begin. ;)
You all find seats around a worn but sturdy oak table in the kitchen. Chadwick pours beer or wine for those who feel like a drink with lunch. Dain accepts a pint gladly. For those with lesser stomachs (and livers), he offers water and milk. There is fresh bread as well, and some cold roast pork and excellent yellow apples. Chadwick sits with a glass of wine and makes small talk about the weather. Eventually Dain brings the subject of conversation around to the halfling his father had been drinking with.

Chadwick puffs his cheeks in thought. "Think he calls hisself Finnias somethin-er-other. Don't see him too often. Quiet fella, keeps to hisself mostly. Lives out in the woods."

2007-04-27, 09:47 PM

"There are people who live in the woods, despite the size of this city? That is nice to hear and know. I guess the lure of the beauty and bounty of the forest has its followers, even in these settled lands.

Chadwick sir, if I may ask, where does Finnias live?"

2007-04-27, 10:29 PM

"Not too sure, my boy. Don't know him well. Comes in from time to time when he's in town is all. Fella's a trapper by trade, so must be up north aways. Wouldn't catch much near the city, would he?" He chuckles.

2007-04-27, 10:33 PM

The young man nods, listening intently.

"Does he have people he tends to sell his pelts and catches to? I'm sure he's fairly self-reliant, but does he have people from whom he generally buys goods?

Also, have you ever seen feathers like this before?"

Saying this, Dagon shows Chadwick the unusual feather.

2007-04-27, 10:55 PM

"'Fraid I don't know about that. Most of them trapper-types are the solitary sort, that's for sure. Must have some connections though. Gotta sell to someone, don't he?"

He leans in and stares at the feather closely, without taking it from your hand. "Nope. Sorry my boy. I don't recognize it."

2007-04-28, 07:59 AM

Nodding at Chadwick's words, Dagon retrieves the feather and returns it to his waist pouch.

"Trappers can certainly be a solitary lot."

Thinking for a moment, Dagon adds:

"Do you know anything about the house at the end of Hare Runner Street?"

Dagon is asking about the warehouse where all the clues were found, and where Dain was seen being taking out by the "figures".

2007-04-28, 02:32 PM

Chadwick shakes his head. He doesn't know anything about the house. "The lot of you are trying to find out who killed Dorn, aren't ya? I know they found him on Hare Runner Street, rest his soul. Tell ya what I think." He leans across the table and speaks in a whisper. "It was them Cirruneth what done it." He glances sidelong at Talonus, perhaps expecting a reaction. "First time they've shown up here in years and stuck their noses into the meetings. I don't like it." He leans back and his glances quickly to either side, as if he's making sure no one overheard, though you are clearly the only ones present in the kitchen.

What you know about Cirrune: it is an insular kingdom to the east and south. It is predominantly elvish, and ruled by an elven king. In historic times, Hawksridge and its surrounding areas were actually part of Cirrune, though many, many years ago the Cirruneth withdrew their influence and Hawksridge has been largely independent ever since. The people of Cirrune are rarely encountered outside of their own kingdom, which is fiercely protective of its borders. The general belief is that visitors are prohibited, upon pain of death. There is a great deal of mystery surrounding them. This is the first you've heard of their presence in Hawksridge, though now that you've been told, you seem to recall some muttering amongst the populace about 'them elves' and 'those strange people.'

2007-04-29, 12:44 PM

"I've never met a Cirruneth before!" Dagon says with some excitement. "I'm sad to hear that their first attempts to interacting with us has been marred by so much mistrust and ill-tidings."

Dagon seems to consider that for a moment.

"What do the people say the Cirruneth are up to? Do we know what they said, if anything, at the meeting?"

2007-04-29, 03:33 PM
History Lesson

Talonus, I hope you don't mind I made a History check for you. And you got a 20 + 7 = 27. So, you are aware of rather a lot more information regarding Cirrune's history (and a little geography, for good measure).

Roughly 100 years ago, there was a war between Cirrune and a powerful kingdom in the south called Ulthwanda. The Ulthwandans were aided by an army of barbarian mercenaries from the Plains of Water, a wide region of temperate plains to the north divided by an almost countless number of tributaries flowing out of the mountains, which run generally from the southwest to the northeast. The barbarians were led by the legendary Rhas the Great, who is now believed to be long dead. A lesser known fact is that Rhas is reputed to have had a powerful wizard in his entourage, an elf by the name of Isul, while the Ulthwandans were commanded by a triumvirate of dark (from the perspective of the histories you've read) priests: Jushad, Martell, and Lyraea. The two armies converged upon Cirrune, one from the north, one from the south, but were held off by the elves' tenacious defense, aided by the people of their then large kingdom and led by their young king, Nirovandilus. The war was terrible and costly, but in the end the invaders were repulsed. Jushad was slain. Isul was captured but managed to escape.

Some 20 years later, war came again to Cirrune. Rhas had rebuilt his strength and more, this time bringing not only the tribes from the riverlands but also ogres and giants from the mountains. Isul returned with him. The Ulthwandans came north in great force with their priests: Martell, Lyraea and, strangely, Jushad. The histories differ as to whether this is the same Jushad, back from the dead, or a different priest having assumed the identity of Jushad. The people of Cirrune once again rallied to their kingdom's defence, but from the beginning it appeared that this time, their strength would not be sufficient. Powerful magics were worked against them, and their will to fight was sapped. But just as the war seemed lost, an army of dwarves responding to an alliance formed during the intervening years marched out of their strongholds in the Barrier Mountains southwest of Cirrune and attacked the rear of the Ulthwandan host. Lending their stout hearts and strong arms to the beleagured defenders, the dwarves, led by King Borias the Bold, managed to rout the Ulthwandans and then, together with the Cirruneth, defeated the vast army of Rhas the Great, who fled back to their homes in the north and west.

Since the second Cirrunic war (as it is generally known), the alliance with the dwarves fell apart (you don't know why) and the people of Cirrune became disatisfied with their elven rulers whom they felt were ungrateful for their sacrifices during the two wars. Tensions increased and the elves' influence waned. They became more and more insular over the decades until they had practically removed themselves from the world at large.

2007-05-01, 01:59 AM

Talonus nods as he silently follows the conversation. New delegates at the conference and murder. Could it just be a concidence? The dagger wielder came from the south as well. What was the halfling's role? Too many questions..

"Chadwick, like Dagon said, if you know anything about how the talks have been going, we would be most welcome to hear it. Also, do you know of any particular attraction that may bring the halfling to town? I would rather not wander the woods looking for him if possible, especially considering he may not know anything. Finally, any other viewings of the man with the cards? He sounds like he's a southerner and a competent fight to boot. Any information you may have may turn out to be useful." Talonus gives a description of the man to Chadwick to refresh his memory.

"Regardless of whether you know the answers to these questions, you have proven yourself to be a true friend of Dorn's. I hope you will accept our friendship as well. I would like to repay you for your kindness by performing in your tavern for a brief moment tonight for the entertainment of your patrons. I have some small skill with a lute or so I have been told."

Diplomacy roll [roll0]

Sorry for the small absence, busy weekend. I didn't do much more to continue the scene earlier because it felt like Chadwick had something specific to say so I stalled. Also for some reason it just feels like Dain is the leader of the group. Probably because Talonus is a bit flighty and Dagon is the youngest.

2007-05-01, 10:48 PM

Chadwick blushes. "Well, now, I never did much but serve him drinks and give him the local news. But yer more than welcome to play here tonight. Music is good for business!"

"Haven't heard much about the meetings since most everyone left town almost immediately. The Cirruneth didn't show up until the second day of talks. Then, far as I heard, they just introduced themselves and sat in the back to listen. They left town soon as the news of the, uh, murder got out. Good riddance, I say."

"Finnias likely won't come back to town until he's got a good stack of pelts to sell. Could take weeks. Depends on the season. There's a bit of road through the forest that most of them trappers take to get northward though. Runs all the way to Corlan Heights, the town on the other side of the escarpment. There's an inn up that way, about half-way between here and Corlan. Sort of a hangout for hunters and the like, y'know? Anyhow, might be you could find someone there who know's the halfling's place."

He doesn't have any more information on Ormand.

Actually, I figured Dain looks up to Talonus a lot. He's older and much more knowledgable and was something of a big brother (possibly, that's still up to you to decide) to Dain growing up. Also, Dain is not in the best place emotionally to be making good decisions or polite conversation. So even though it was on Dain's initiative that you all went on this mission, I thought Talonus would naturally become the leader. Not to mention that you're far more charismatic...

2007-05-02, 09:48 AM

"I'd like to thank you as well, Master Chadwick. You've been of great help, and at no small risk to yourself."

Dagon then looks over at Talonus, obviously waiting for him to take the lead as to where to go and what to do next.

2007-05-02, 11:26 AM

"Oh nonsense. No one's going to bother about me. I don't know nothing important anyhow."

2007-05-02, 06:42 PM

Who/what is Ormand?

"We will see you later tonight then. Oh, do you know how long it would take us to get to Corlan Heights?"

2007-05-03, 01:07 AM

Chadwick tells you that he hasn't been that way in years, but he thinks its about 80 miles. He wishes you good luck in your investigation and says he's looking forward to hearing you perform later tonight.

Travel time for 80 miles would be four days walking, or three days riding. It could be done by a swift rider in two days. Riding hard, it would be possible to make it in one day if you had a spare horse and weren't weighed down. Ormand is the dagger-weilding southerner who nearly killed Dagon. Dain told you his name when he returned from his investigations that first evening.

2007-05-05, 12:14 AM

Talonus heads out onto the street, thanking Chadwick one last time on the way out. Once they're clear of the tavern, he turns to Dagon and Dain.

"Well, looks like we have some choices ahead of us. We can try to go to this Corlan Heights and see what we can find. If we want to do that though, we should get some horses for speedier travel. I was thinking of visiting a few inns tonight and singing stories of Dorn. He already is well respected by several people in Hawksridge. If we can turn him into a folk hero, then maybe we will have some help with this investigation. What do you guys think?"

2007-05-05, 09:01 PM

"Performing at Chadwick's seems a good idea. At the very least, he deserves some kind of acknowledgement for what he's done. After that, if we're lucky, your stories of Dorn may stir up more witnesses or leads. But I don't think we should wait more than half a day before heading towards Corlan Heights."

Dagon looks out at the village and has a worried look.

"We still don't know what relationship the hafling had with Dorn. There is a very real chance that whoever wanted Dorn dead will wish the same of him. Either way, we need to find him soon, either to learn what we can of him, or warn him of the danger. Perhaps we may even end up doing both."

2007-05-06, 11:32 AM

"Yeah, Dagon's right, Tal. The halfling might be the next target. If we don't get to him soon, we may never have the chance. Everyone who wanted to leave the city after the murder has already done so. I think we can afford to take a couple of days to go north and you can work on your songs while we travel. But we need horses. If we leave soon, we can make the inn by tomorrow evening."

2007-05-07, 10:52 AM

"Let's go procure some horses and pack our things then. Pack light though. We can go to the north gate and see if anyone matching Ormand's description has headed out that way this morning. We will then get some rest and I will perform at Chadwick's tonight. We'll head north at first light tomorrow and push hard."

2007-05-08, 07:23 AM

Dagon agrees to the plan and makes preparations. Seeing as how the berries he prepared earlier today should last through until the morning after tomorrow, he alters his nightly preparations.

Unless something is happening in the night, Dagon will be ready at sun-up. I'm altering his spell preparation, switching his level 1 spells to be cure-lights.

2007-05-08, 12:46 PM
Travel Preparations Are Made, Talonus Gets Ready to Sing

You return to the stables where you had left the horses loaned to you by some of the villagers in Falston. Those horses were already on their way back to Falston, but the stable master has others that he is willing to sell. He wants 300 gold for three horses and riding gear, but Talonus talks him down to 200 with a tale about a greedy merchant that is forsaken by the gods, leading a life of misery and woe. Talonus picks out three horses that are in good health. They are fine animals.

You pass the afternoon making preparations for travel to the wilderness. You purchase some supplies, alter your spell preparations, and take a few hours to rest up for what will be a long, hard day of riding. After the sun goes down, you make your way back to Chadwick's. He greets you warmly. Dain and Dagon find themselves a comfortable place to sit. Chadwick brings food and drink, for which he will accept no payment.

The place is crowded. The food is excellent and many local folk have come to enjoy it. Talonus spends a few minutes soaking in the atmosphere, getting a feel for the crowd. There is a small sqaure of open space in the centre of the room, free of tables and chairs. Talonus makes his way there. He stands in the open central space for a few moments until people begin to notice him. A murmur of expectation spreads throughout the room...

I'll let you describe the story you want to tell. Do you use an instrument? Tell me what effect you are trying to create. And include a roll for performance.

2007-05-08, 03:25 PM

"Dagon, keep an eye on the crowd and the door. If Ormand is here or enters, we need to know about it. Oh, and applause when I point to Dain."

Talonus breezes through the crowd, trying to keep the butterflies in his stomach from getting out. Once he gets to the centre of the room, he pulls out his vihuela (a medieval spanish guitar) and strums a few notes to hear the acoustics. He gives the crowd a big smile, then quickly launches into a quick, high spirited folk song. He'll put on a show, dancing as he plays and getting the crowd to join him in singing the chorus. After the first song is done, he'll do a few more songs, mixing up the pace, some fast cheery songs, some slow, mournful ones. After 6 songs, he'll address the crowd (who are hopefully having a good time by this point):

"Ladies and gentleman, I'd like to share with you one last song, about a great hero who has tragically been cut down before his time. Some of you may have known him, some of you may not have had the honour but I would like to do my small part in showing you a glimpse in how this great man lived. We are privileged to have his son here with us tonight *indicating to Dain* and while nothing can ever replace his father in his heart, hopefully this song will help him find some peace."

"Dorn, the Hero of Falston" will be a soft, catchy tune that celebrates the life Dorn lived, the people he's helped and shares the mystery of his death. Talonus wants everyone to remember the song and hopefully the song can catch on. He figures if enough people are aware and feel bad about Dorn's death, maybe something will turn up that can help them. Also, hopefully it will help ease the grief of Dain, Dagon and himself.

Perform roll [roll0]

2007-05-08, 08:54 PM

Dagon had long admired Talonus, not only for his age and wisdom, but for his skill with music as well. He wondered if all elves were artistic geniuses, or if it was a particular trait of his friend. He prefered to believe it was the latter, for something so wondrous could not be common banality. Then again, as far as Dagon was concerned, nothing about elves was common banality.

Letting his mind ease at the sound of Talonus' tunes, Dagon openned his senses to the room. No note of discord would be allowed to enter unmolested, and if Ormand showed himself tonight, Dagon would make sure to know of it.

Spending 1 Void on a Spot check:


It goes without saying that Dagon claps boisterously and congratulates Talonus on his masterful performance. Unless anything else happens in that evening, he will go to be early, and rise early the next day.

2007-05-20, 02:14 AM
Dorn, the Hero of Falston

The last strains of Dorn, the Hero of Falston die away as Talonus lowers his instrument and bows his head to the assembled patrons. A moment of silence follows, in mute homage to the memory of Dorn, hero and friend. The silence is broken by the sound of sniffles amongst the crowd. You see some of the patrons dabbing their eyes and blinking away their tears. Sniffling gives way to applause, a more heartfelt and enthusiastic applause than you have ever received. Shouts of "Again! Again!" and "Dorn, the hero!" are taken up by a few at first, then by many.

Not one to disappoint a happy crowd, you play the song again, in its entirety. By the second chorus, there isn't a dry eye in the place, including Dain, whose tears have made the ends of his moustache quite wet. His beard is soaking up the overflow. At the end of the song, the crowd calls for another encore. You solemnly oblige. As the third round comes to a close, Chadwick himself comes bustling out to centre stage.

"Ladies and gentlemen!" he booms in his deep, but good-natured voice. "With a touch as of the softest feathers and a tongue as of the finest silver, I present to you, Talonus the bard!" Raucous applause ensues. Chadwick bows alongside you, then steers you expertly off-stage and into the kitchen. "Master bard, 'twas the finest performance I have seen in many years. Excellent. Most excellent. Please sit and have something to eat. We must let the crowd calm down." Already you hear the dim roar of conversation and laughter resuming through the open doorway. Occasionally voices are raised in exuberant toasts, offered to such legendary characters as Talonus Silvertongue, Talonus Feathertouch, and Dorn, the Hero of Falston.

Dagon sits through the performace, transfixed by Talonus' skill and artistry. Suddenly, he remembers he should be on the lookout for Ormand. Scanning the crowd, Dagon sees... a very attractive woman. She's dancing merrily with some lout, a local farmer no doubt. Surely he's no match for your nimble wit and charming smile. Wait, wait... you're supposed to be on guard for Ormand. No time to be checking out the ladies. You return to scanning the crowd. Was that a halfling you just saw duck under a table? A dark-cloaked figure slipped in the doorway, you think. You're trying to follow his movements and identify him and you realize that... the woman is standing by herself. Lout nowhere in sight. Hmm, this could be the opportunity you've been waiting for. All you have to do is walk over there confidently and ask her to dance, flashing her a trademark Dagon smile. Oh, shoot. There he is, walking back over to her with a couple of full beer mugs. The lout, that is, not Ormand. Right, Ormand! Gotta keep an eye out for Ormand. Anyone here look like Ormand? Gee there's a lot of people here. You wonder where they all live. People are really enjoying the music. Talonus sure is good. You wish you could sing like that. If you could sing like Talonus, maybe you could write a song and sing it to that beautiful woman over there. You can't believe she seems interested in that guy. He's such a clumsy fool. And he doesn't even look like he washes regularly. Yech. Probably not too bright. She sure is beautiful though...

Talonus, you can make a Gather Information check with a +10 bonus.

2007-05-20, 03:44 PM

Well, at least it looks like SOME people are having fun. This rots. We should have just headed out tonight before the evening.

Dagon grumbles to himself about his lack of lady-luck and tries to focus on looking for halflings. Satisfied that there is no sign of Ormand, he heads over and orders a few more rounds of the town's signature ail - Chadwick's Choice!

2007-05-21, 05:19 PM

Talonus moves over to the table and sits, downing a mug of ale as soon as he is seated. He had been so focused on giving his best performance, he hadn't taken into account how giddy the crowd's appreciation would make him. He smiled back at the cheering crowd, egging on those who may have broken into spontaneous song as he quickly had a few bites to eat.

Gather Information roll 1d20+18

2007-05-21, 05:20 PM

Second try...

Gather Information 1d20+18

Looks like forum roller might be down. Mind just rolling for me?

2007-05-22, 03:29 AM
Talonus Revels, Dagon Sulks

Talonus rolls an 8 + 18 = 26 on his Gather Information check.

Chadwick hurries back out into the bar, leaving Talonus to eat alone for a few minutes. You refresh yourself and revel in the euphoria of your performance. Feeling that the time is now ripe for gathering some useful information, you pour another drink and head into the crowd. Everyone is happy to talk to you. The subject of Dorn comes up easily because of the song, with little prompting on your part. Most people have nothing valuable to say. They express their sincere sorrow at the tragic loss of such a fine dwarf. You allow them to discharge their feelings and then you move on. More than one patron claims that Dorn was not only drinking with Finnias the halfling the night he was killed, he was seen leaving the bar in his company. They took a bottle of wine and some sausages with them. There is a lot of speculation that Finnias is the murderer. If not Finnias, then those mysterious Cirruneth, surely.

You also pick up some of the latest news. Galt, the leader of the outlaws in the north woods, who have become troublesome of late, is believed to have been recently and violently removed from office. A local farmer by the name of Mulgin has claimed the reward for Galt by presenting the bandit's head, though no one really believes the farmer's story of how he accomplished the feat. The two Cirruneth who were at the town meetings had an audience with Balimthorpe III, the Earl of Hawksridge (the hereditary ruler of Hawksridge and its surrounding territory) on the evening of Dorn's murder and were seen leaving the city early the next morning.

Dagon, meanwhile, is sulking at a corner table with a few mugs of ale for company. You take a moment to congratulate Talonus on a wonderful performance when you get the chance. He's really quite popular tonight. In fact, as you look up from your drink you see him chatting with the pretty woman. She seems fascinated by him. Just then, a boisterously drunk man steps on your foot and elbows you in the back of the head as he loses his balance. He steadies himself on your table. "Hey! Watch where you're going, chum. You almost made me spill my drink," he says as he sloshes some beer on you inadvertently.

2007-05-22, 10:50 AM

"The hell?" Dagon mutters as he reflexively rubs the back of his neck.

He just looks at the man in a half-daze, not really in the mood to be friendly, but without the energy to really put up a true retort. He picks up a towel and dabs himself off. He decides to just ignore the man. No need to ruin the good mood Talonus has managed to drum up.

2007-05-22, 10:56 AM
Not sure if this will be relevant, but:

Sense motive: [roll0]

Dagon's not actually suspicious per se, but he probably sizes up the man with a "what's your problem" kind of attitude.

2007-05-22, 02:50 PM
The Spilly-Talker

The man returns your glare for a moment, then moves on. You think the whole episode was an accident. He did seem very drunk, but you're not certain.

2007-05-22, 03:04 PM
Morning Comes, The Journey Northward Begins

Unless there's something else you guys want to do tonight...
Eventually the crowd thins out as the night wears on. Before you get too drunk, Dain reminds you both that you must get up early the next morning if you are to make it all the way north to the inn in the Hawkswood (it has no real name, though folks seem to refer to it simply as the Forest Inn). He leads you back to the Kettle & Drum where you fall asleep promptly.

The morning dawns brightly and far too early for your tastes. Nonetheless, having an important mission, you force yourselves out of bed and head downstairs to take a light breakfast. By the time you've packed your bags and retrieved your horses from the stables, the sun has passed above a low ceiling of dense clouds and the morning light takes on a hazy grayness. The air feels moist. You sense it will begin to rain shortly. The three of you make your way out of the city through the northern gate. Once out of the city's confines, you urge your horses to a faster pace and begin to close the miles between you and the forest's southern edge.

The rain begins, a steady drizzle that soaks through your clothes within a matter of minutes. It is a warm day, but the rain and the wind created by the speed of your travel combine to make the experience a chilly one. Pastures and crop fields pass on both sides of the road. Cows moo at you occasionally, while huddled together for warmth and company. The road becomes muddy after a few miles and you are forced to slow down a little.

You are cold, hung-over, and tired. The pace you set is gruelling for both the horses and riders. Make fortitude checks, DC 15. Failure will result in a temporary loss of 2 CON until you can rest somewhere warm and dry. Dain's fortitude check: [roll0].
You reach the fringes of the Hawkswood within about three hours. The thick canopy of leaves offered by great deciduous trees provides welcome reprieve from the rain. You stop to enjoy a brief lunch of cold meat and dried fruit under the shelter of a great old oak.

You make good progress after lunch. The trees here keep out the worst of the rain and the roads stay relatively dry. The damp woodland air is so vibrant it's almost refreshing. The afternoon wears on. The horses require rest occasionally. The sun is creeping towards the western horizon when Dagon sees something--a glint of metal spied between tree trunks about 50 yards away. It is visible only for an instant. At the rate you are moving, you will reach a point parallel to the spot in about fifteen seconds.

2007-05-22, 09:38 PM

Dagon focuses and imagines the essence of alcohol evapourate off his skin, as if he could, through sheer force of will alone, undo the indiscretions of the prior night.

Fort save (spending 1 void): [roll0]

Taking one of the enchanted berries himself, he eats it in lieu of a meal. While the others muched no their hasty repast, he meditated upon a nearby fallen log. In the glow of midday, filtered through the towering conifers, he tried to bid the last vestiges of his ale goodbye.

Meditation check to regain Void, Concentration:


During the ride, as he spies the metal, he reins in his mount.

"Wait!" he says urgently, unslinging his shield with his left hand. "I see the glint of metal up ahead... over there!"

2007-05-22, 10:37 PM

Fortitude check [roll0]

Wow, totally expected to fail that roll.

Still elated from the events of the previous evening, Talonus barely felt the cold. As they travelled, Talonus kept going over the performance in his mind and asked Dagon and Dain for their opinions whenever possible.

Hearing Dagon's warning, he tries to rein in his horse before going any further.

"Woooo... what's going on?"

2007-05-23, 12:37 AM
An Ambush, Of Sorts

There is a cry from the woods to the west of the roadway. The trees here are smaller and denser, making it difficult to see between them. In some places, thick green underbrush grows to heights of four feet and more. There are many hiding places for potential ambushers.

Dain reins his horse to an abrupt halt. "Brigands!" he spits.

There is some rustling of leaves as two men drop to the roadway fifty yards in front of you. They are carrying loaded crossbows and have swords strapped to their backs. Four more men join them from the west side of the road, nocking arrows to their longbows as they drop spears at their feet. You also hear more than see evidence of other men rushing through the brush to the west. The telltale scrape of blades being drawn sends shivers down your spine. You are not sure how many there are. Your horses are getting nervous. One of the crossbowmen on the road yells, "Dismount or perish!".

If you feel that your actions are likely to result in the start of combat, please include initiative rolls and initial actions.

2007-05-24, 02:20 AM

Can't we ever get from one spot to another without someone trying to take something from us?

Talonus flashes his winningest smile and says "Ah, excellent. Just the people we have been looking for. Put your weapons down, we are hear to warn you. Or would you prefer not to hear about the warband heading this way? I believe they called themselves.. Galt's Vengence?"

Bluff roll [roll0]

2007-05-24, 02:43 PM

Dagon has his hand firm on the reins, but doesn't make any move to dismount, indeed, he nudges his trakehner lightly and it stomps its foreleg slightly as if getting ready to charge.

I hope this works, Tal. Because if it doesn't...

Init: [roll0]

2007-05-24, 06:44 PM
Brigands on the Forest Road

The speaker is a stocky fair-haired man in his twenties. He's got a thick blond beard and a slur in his speech. He turns to the other crossbowmen, a slightly older and taller man with short dark hair and a poorly trimmed goatee. He looks somewhat familiar. "Tor, you sure these is the ones we want?"

Tor growls back, "Yeah, I'm sure. These are the ones."

The blond man turns back to you. "Well then, even if you is telling the truth, and I don't think you is, we'll deal with you and be gone 'fore they get here. My man Tor here has a score to settle with you folks. We want yer horses, yer gear, all yer stuff. Then we let you go. I count to three. If you still be on yer horses, we gonna shoot. One..."

The sounds of the men off the road to the west are getting closer. You catch glimpses of them through the foliage. Some of them are within 20 yards. There's at least four, probably more.

2007-05-24, 07:03 PM
Enter Naizan

Naizan, you are riding south on the Corlan Road. You passed the Forest Inn a few hours back but decided not to stop for more than a quick refreshment. It is now late afternoon. The rain stopped about an hour ago and the clouds have moved on. The sun hanging low in the western sky creates long shadows through the forest. Mosquitos have just started to come out for the evening and to avoid being bitten you've quickened your pace slightly. Mosquitos have always liked you. Luckily, you have become quite adept at swatting them out of the air.

You've ridden this way many times, as you are often sent to Hawksridge on official business. You let the horse guide you most of the time so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery and keep an eye out for unharvested berry bushes. You know there are also sometimes bandits on this road and you are wary of other people. You are confident in your horse, though, knowing that you can outride most pursuers.

Nonetheless, as you round a bend, the scene that unfolds before you is a little unexpected. About a hundred yards away, six armed men stand shoulder to shoulder across the road. Three riders, an elf, a dwarf, and a man, sit farther back, facing them. You can read the tension in their postures and the nervousness in thier mounts. No one has noticed you yet.

2007-05-24, 10:08 PM
Rounding the curve on the forest road, Naizan reins his steed to a halt and surveys the standoff with an air of puzzlement. He is a stocky, white haired gentleman, dressed in robes of green silk, embroidered with hummingbirds and irises. A large ring adorns his left hand. The otherwise impressive figure he would cut is marred somewhat by his crooked nose, large ears, and the visible stains of berry juice in his silvery beard. He rides a piebald horse, caparisoned in green and black, bearing some sort of heraldic device over its chest. Aside from a dagger in his belt, his only armament appears to be a bundle of javelins quivered on the right side of his mount.

Naizan waits to determine what the nature of the standoff might be, pulling free one of his javelins in case things prove violent, as they so often do.

(PS how do I do the die rolling and the ooc button message thingie?)

2007-05-25, 01:30 AM

"Geez Tor, what did we ever do to you? Let's be realistic here. First, I'm getting off my horse so let's not get jumpy here."

Talonus sighs and dismounts in a way to keep his horse between him and the brigands.

"Now, see my dwarf friend? Do you really think your crossbow bolts will faze him with that shield and all that armor? I doubt you could take him down before he gets to you and I really wouldn't want to be in your shoes when that happens. You wouldn't be the first brigands gutted by his axe, I can tell you that. As for my other companion, he's as likely to bite your head off as talk to you. Now why don't we settle this without anyone's heads being bitten off and I'll give you my horse and and my money and you let us be on our way? How does that sound?"

Diplomacy check [roll0]
*you can decide on the penalty but it's difficulty 15 with a -10 penalty if I'm trying to change Unfriendly to Indifferent with a single round action*

Initiative roll [roll1]

Also might want to make an Intimidation roll for Dain after I talked him up.

For Malefax: Use for example 1d20+3 . I used zeros in "roll" instead of O's so it wouldn't actually roll for me.

2007-05-25, 06:58 AM

Welcome aboard, Malefax :)

The ooc tag is achieved by using the [ spoiler ] blah blah [ / spoiler ] tags. I've inserted spaces next to the brackets which should be removed in order to make it work.

Also (and this is just nit picking), it's handy if you preface your post with the character's name bolded.

Whenever your character speaks, have their text be coloured. Find a personal colour so it's easier to detect.

If you character thinks, you can have it coloured and italicized.

I'm not sure what you can do regarding the elf's body odour. We just kinda tough that one out.

Dagon weighs the options and decides any sort of unusual prayer might result in hostilities being joined. Instead, he watches Talonus closely, waiting to see what the bandits do next.

2007-05-25, 10:13 AM
Naizan has seen enough to recognise who are the brigands, and who the brigandees. In his experience brigands are a cowardly lot (those with excess bravery often end up hung early in their careers).

"They probably won't like the idea of being surprised from behind, and they won't know immediately whether I'm alone or not. If the brigands flee off the path, that might give these strangers time to escape, not to mention me a chance to ride right through them".

Naizan carefully gauges the distance, hefts his javelin, and hurls it at one of the longbow armed brigands, spurring his horse into a canter after the javelin is let fly. Initiative (although I presume this would be a surprise round). (1d20+2)[roll0] Javelin attack (1d20+30[roll1] Damage (1d6+3)[roll2] Intimidate (1d20)[roll3]

"Don't let the brigands escape!" Naizan shouts in as booming a voice as he can muster, pulling another javelin from his quiver.

What Naizan does next depends on a few things. If the brigands look spooked and start to run, he will continue riding his horse down the path, yelling and throwing another javelin if he can manage it while on horseback. If they turn and aim arrows at him, he will ride the horse off the path into the woods to take cover in the trees, slowing it to a walk and throw another javelin. If someone somehow gets within melee range before his next action, he will kick them repeatedly in the eye. Here are what rolls might be required: Deflect Arrows (1d20+5)[roll4] Another Javelin throw (1d20+3) [roll5] Damage (1d6+3) [roll6] The kick to the face is the same as the Javelin, it just has an extra +1 to hit. Also Ride (1d20+2)[roll7] might come up, and if I fall off my horse Tumble (1d20+7)[roll8] (are my rolls upposed to look like that? I don't see numbers)

2007-05-25, 10:34 AM
Should've mentioned it earlier.

1) You can't edit rolls (i.e. change [ roll ] to [roll] or 1d20+3 to 1d20+4)
2) You can't preview the post before rolling.
3) You also can't "edit in" rolls, as in adding rolls through edit.
4) You can edit the text around the rolls.

My guess is you did one of those things.

There's also the possibility that the forum roller is screwed up... which I guess I can test by making a roll somewhere but I didn't think of that until starting to edit.

2007-05-25, 12:06 PM
Ah, I previewed the page to see if I had done the tags right. So I'll just redo all the rolls here.

Initiative D20+2 [roll0]
Javelin attack 1 D20+3 [roll1]
damage 1d6+3 [roll2]
Intimidate D20 [roll3]
Javelin attack 2(if I have a surprise round, etc.) D20+3 [roll4]
damage 1d6+3 [roll5]
Ride 1d20+2 [roll6]
Deflect Arrows reflex save 1d20+5 [roll7]
Tumble if I fall off horse 1d20+7 [roll8]

2007-05-25, 04:04 PM

Naizan, you've got your formatting a little twisted around. Speech is simply coloured with the [ color ] tag. Titles are bolded with the [ b ] tag. Thoughts are coloured and italicized, but not bolded, unless you're going for special emphasis. You do indeed get a surprise round (and will as long as you remain undetected), but you are too far away to effectively use your javelins. You started at 100 yards=300 feet away. I'll allow that you closed one full round of movement while watching the situation unfold, which is 60', so you'd be 240' away still. Javelins have a range increment of 30' and a maximum distance of 150'. You could attempt to throw at full gallop, but you take a -8 penalty for the horse's movement and you'd still have another -8 penalty for 120' of range, though you'd finish the move in melee range. D20 is a game of many rules... I had to look all this stuff up just now so I understand that it isn't obvious. Regardless of the details though, you're just too far to throw a javelin at these guys, especially in a forest where there are trees hanging over the roadway. If you'd like, go back and edit your post. Otherwise, welcome to the campaign!
The brigands watch Talonus warily as he dismounts. Your speech seems to have sapped some of their willingness to fight. The blond man has stopped counting to three, though the men in the bush are still coming closer. They may not be able to hear you well over the racket they make as they push through the foliage and crunch twigs underfoot. Dain has also hopped off his horse while unstrapping his great shield from his horse's side. Dagon remains mounted, poised and ready for action.

2007-05-25, 04:25 PM

Leading his horse by the reins, Talonus walks up to Dain and puts a hand on his shoulder.

"Hold steady brother, we may not need to butcher all these people after all. In fact, there may be a job I have for the lot of you and I'd be willing to pay handsomely to have it done too. But first, let's make sure we don't have any accidents. I'll have my friends calm down a bit and you can call off your men in the woods and lower your crossbows. Then Tor can tell us why he's got an axe to grind with us and we'll see what we can do to fix that situation. It's looking to me that it's fortunate both sides have found each other, I can get my task completed and your men can get paid handsomely without having to risk being dismembered."

Diplomacy roll to go from Indifferent to Friendly (assuming I have a minute to talk) [roll0]

Holy cow, Tal is rolling ridiculous. Kind makes up for the fact that my minotaur is rolling so poorly.

2007-05-25, 04:37 PM
Okay, nevermind all that. I foolishly thought ranges were in increments of yards, but no, that was first edition. And yeah, the formatting came out wierd for some reason. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it soon enough.

Naizan sits motionless on his horse, not drawing any particular attention to himself. His brow is furrowed in concentration, and he grasps his javelin lightly in one hand.

2007-05-25, 05:48 PM

Here he goes again.

Dagon muses to himself about the silvery-tongued aptitude of his elven friend.

I wonder if it's an elven thing.

Still smarting from his apparently lack in attention the previous night, he keeps a wary eye for the encrouching bandits from the trees. Noting that Dain has also dismounted, he grudgingly gets off of his trakehner as well, though he makes certain to put himself in front of the mare. He concedes nothing more however, and keeps his shield readied, with his now freed right hand at his side, just inches from the pommel of his sword.

Not sure if this is relevant, but here are my general awareness and tracking what's happening in the forest rolls:

Spot: [roll0]
Survival: [roll1]

2007-05-25, 08:23 PM

As you speak, the men in the trees approach to within a few yards (fifteen feet) of the road's edge. They approach slowly, moving to stand between the trunks of large trees that will offer them handy cover, should the need arise. Dagon stares back at them defiantly. Realizing that things aren't going as planned, nor has any violence yet begun, one of the men holds up his hand in a gesture of restraint. The men stay where they are, weapons drawn, their breathing quickened from the brief run. Five men are visible, each armed with a sword or axe and a large wooden shield. They wear leather or studded leather armor and look extremely unsociable.

The crossbowmen, Tor and Blondie, walk towards you to make conversation a little easier. The other bowmen fan out a bit behind them to ensure that they have clear shots at the lot of you. Blondie speaks. "We don't do jobs for no one but Brock. But if you's offering enough gold, maybe we just pretend we never seen you."

"Brock'll kill you if he finds out, Blondie," Tor cautions, though it sounds like he wouldn't really mind if it happened. "Personally, I'd rather we gut these fellas. I want my revenge."

Naizan, you are too far away to make out the words, though it's obvious that some sort of parlay is afoot.

2007-05-26, 12:46 AM
Although things don't seem to be leading to blows immediately, the situation seems to Naizan distinctly threatening. He gently spurs his horse into a walk, uncertain whether it might not be wiser to detour around this obstacle entirely.

2007-05-26, 01:35 AM
Noticing Naizan

Heads turn as the hoofbeats of Naizan's piebald become apparent in the tentative calm of negotiations. His (mostly) impressive white figure emerges from a deep shadow, the greens and blacks of the Corlan device resolving as he passes into a shaft of bright sunlight. Two of the bowmen turn their aim upon you.

Blondie yells out, "Road's closed, traveller! You's lucky today. We got no business with you on account of we busy with these fine folk. Now get lost!"

I'm going to give distances in these situations so you can plan accordingly. You are still 180' away. Incidentally, keep in mind that your horse, while swift, is not trained for combat. Meaning it's a DC20 Ride check each round in order to control the horse. Failure means you spend the full round controlling the horse, though you can still move it. The Ride check takes up a move action whether or not you're successful, so even with success you can only take a standard action.

2007-05-26, 02:05 AM

OOC: How many people appear from the woods? 4? And do we recognize Tor from some place? Was he part of the group that ambushed us before on the way to Hawksridge?

Also, I'm hoping Dagon and Dain are free to talk under the benefits of my diplomacy roll. I'd hate to leave them out of the conversation.

"Gentlemen, gentlemen, let's not be too hasty. Our fellow traveler here appears to be an honest fellow, obviously just with some bad timing. Besides, we seem to have a little problem here ourselves. Tor appears to be against some extra curricular activity and can't seem to let bygones be bygones. I suppose we could go through Brock but... it seems like such a waste to bring in others to split the pot."

2007-05-26, 12:47 PM
Naizan gives Blondie an incredulous look, and replies in a smooth baritone. His accent is aristocratic. "Since you have no business with me, I presume that means you have no reason to interfere with me. Hence although I apologise for interrupting your amiable discussion, there can be little objection to my proceeding along the road.

Diplomacy [roll0]
Also, how thick are the trees, Brett, would it be very difficult for me to ride my horse off the path?

2007-05-26, 04:49 PM
To Talonus, Tor says, "I don't like your tone, elf. We're not children to be soothed with pleasant words. Don't you worry about that traveller, and don't you worry about Brock. You worry about us. We're the ones that are gonna kill you." He levels his crossbow at Talonus.

Blondie adds, "Show us the gold. Maybe we let you live."

Dain attempts to intimidate Tor [roll0]
Dorn stares hard at Tor. "You're the one that got away last time, aren't you Tor? On the road from Falston, we killed three of your compatriots. 'Tis a shame you ran away so fast." Dain chuckles. Tor scowls, but he seems to lose confidence and he does not shoot.

At this point, Naizan's appeal to the brigand's logic is heard. It is not appreciated. Blondie responds, "I don't like them big words, traveller. You still ain't getting through. Now piss off!"

There are five men visible in the forest at the side of the road (read post #92). Yes, there's enough room to manoeuver your horse in the woods. You'll have to made Ride checks to move faster than normal speed.

Also, I want to explain something about Diplomacy I've already mentioned to Naizan. I'm not using it according to a strict interpretation of the rules in the book. The DCs will be heavily modified depending on circumstances. You can't make consecutive rolls to go from Unfriendly to Indifferent, then Indifferent to Friendly and so on for the same negotiation. For that matter, you don't have to specify what level of friendliness you are hoping to reach. Also, diplomacy is not simply the does-everything tool of social interaction (not that you're using it that way, I'm just trying to be proactive). It's appropriate when attempting to come to some sort of arrangement (or change an existing one) with another party.

The initial diplomacy roll will set the mechanics for the entire process. After that, we will rely on roleplaying to the extent that the situation requires it. In this case, Talonus is attempting to convince the brigands not to fight in return for some sort of payment. Because I didn't clarify this earlier, I'm allowing the diplomacy roll of 32 to govern the interaction, which is sufficient, after a modifier of -10, to make them essentially Unfriendly instead of Hostile, but doesn't mean that they'll automatically accept payment or refrain from fighting. The 'friendliness' of the party will help determine how much the arrangement must favor them in order for them to accept it. Time and other pressures will be forcing their attitude back towards Hostile eventually.

In Naizan's case, we have a separate negotiation in which he's trying to convince the brigands to let him pass in return for obeying the rules of common courtesy (which they unsurprisingly lack) or bowing to his superior logic (which they're not inclined to do). He's started at Unfriendly, and his Diplomacy attempt was not sufficient to change their attitude enough to accept his offer. He can make better offers, but need not roll Diplomacy again. If he keeps making offers, they will either let him pass if the offer is good enough or they will become frustrated and their attitude will shift to Hostile, at which point they probably won't hear any more offers.

2007-05-27, 12:54 AM

Calm though his appearance remains, Dagon's emotions teeter on the edge. Were lawlessness and the rule of arms this commonplace? Back in Falston, men such as these simply did not exist, and having lived all his life in that happy place Dagon had never before met their kind. Yet their kind seemed to be everywhere, things that wore the guise of men but whose hearts were little elevated above the atavist.

And then of course, there was Ormand.

That's right, one of them got away last time.

Dagon seems to lose interest in the proceedings. Talonus' words are ornamental and Dain's words are full of fury, but they are, in the end, just words.

That won't be the case today.

Turning around, he adusts his horse's saddle and bags. He speaks to it softly, as if to calm it in the face of all that is happening. Still holding his shield in one hand, Dagon's free hand moves about the fastenings and straps. It is a simple enough ruse and hopefully one that will work.

Dagon will use the ongoing conversation as well as the distraction caused by Naizan's arrival to cast Entangle. I'm hoping that the combination of him facing away from the brigands, the fact that they're a bit farther away, and the fact that everyone's engaged in conversation will help conceal the verbal and somatic components of his spell. As implied above, Dagon will also try to make it look like he's just soothing his mount and adjusting the saddle/getting the money they are demanding.

Normally you need line of sight to target a spell. Dagon's already seen where the new arrivals are hiding so he gently directs his horse's gaze in that direction. Assuming the horse doesn't have catarcts, he will look for them reflected in its eyes :smallbiggrin: If that is sufficient, he centers the spell on them.

2007-05-27, 04:01 PM
Dagon begins to cast entangle at the men in the woods as he studies his horse. You discover that your horse won't keep it's head still long enough for you to maintain focus on your target by looking into its eyes, so you are forced to look at the area of your intent. You begin to speak softly, but as the power of the magic begins to take hold of you, you cannot help but intone the words more strongly. Your voice rises to a noticeable volume. One of the brigands off to the side of the road yells out.

"He's using magic! The tall one!" The men in the forest start to charge forward. The bowmen raise their bows. Tor and Blondie crouch and take aim. Dain hefts his massive shield. Dagon goes silent. Everything seems to happen in slow motion.

The trees respond to your call. Branches bend downwards and seek out the offensive men. As the charging brigands take their first steps, they are snagged and slowed by grasping tendrils of wood and leaf. One brigand is caught securely--a branch wraps around his waist and holds him to the tree's trunk. The others are making headway.

Dagon casts entangle in the area of the trees to the side of the road. One brigand fails his saving throw and will have to spend the round attempting to free himself. The others succeeded with some exceptional rolling and will be able to move at half speed. They started 15' from the road, which we'll say is 20' from the party. They normally move 30' as humans, so they will be able to reach you this round with charge actions. Tor and Blondie are still about 50' away. The bowmen are 120' distant from the party. Naizan is 120' beyond them.

It's Talonus' turn to act.

The initiative order is:
- Dagon (16, first action already taken)
- Talonus (16, really you should go before Dagon, but I'm going to assume that you didn't mind waiting until after the entangle spell went off)
- Blondie (14)
- bowmen (13)
- Naizan (10)
- Dain (10)
- Tor (8)
- woodsmen (3)

2007-05-27, 06:46 PM

Seeing the trees and vines starting to animate themselves, Tal quickly changes gears. I guess conversation is out... I really was hoping we wouldn't have to kill too many of these poor fools.

Talonus will take a 5' step back to use his horse as cover and try to cast Sleep on the bandits.

2007-05-27, 09:31 PM
Naizan is stunned by the sudden animation of the trees. It's not very often the woods become literally alive! The odds seemed stacked in favor of the brigands, but if the other party has magic on their side, perhaps the situation isn't as desperate as it might seem.

What Naizan does depends on what the two bowmen seem to be doing. If they are determinedly ignoring the goings-on behind them and keeping their bows trained on him he is going to guide his horse off the path and into the trees, still at a slow walk, trying to look nonthreatening. If they turn around to shoot at the other people he'll run the horse 115' up behind the party of bowmen. He will also do that if they shoot arrows at him unprovoked.

2007-05-27, 09:47 PM
I'm listing distances to the various enemies so that you guys can plan appropriate actions based on range. Also, in keeping with the theme of minimizing the number of posts required during combat, feel free to post your character's actions ahead of your turn, and feel free to list conditional or provisional actions. I will attempt to resolve things according to your intent. Talonus' sleep spell will take effect just before initiative 16 next round.
Talonus makes sure he's standing between his horse and the bowmen and begins to cast a sleep spell.

Blondie takes aim at Dagon and fires his crossbow. The bolt scrapes Dagon's right shoulderblade as it flies past.

The bowmen, whose focus has shifted away from Naizan again, loose their arrows. All four land harmlessly. They curse their rotten luck.

Dagon takes 1 damage from Blondie's crossbow bolt.

2007-05-27, 11:51 PM
You need to be able to move unhindered to charge so you shouldn't be able to charge through entangling terrain.

2007-05-28, 05:51 AM
Yep, you're right. They can't charge through the entagled terrain.

Naizan rides swiftly up to the bowmen as they draw arrows and prepare to fire again. It takes all of your effort to keep your mount moving in the right direction.

Dain hurls a small hammer at one of the swordsmen fighting to get free of the entangling trees. It strikes him in the face with a crunch. "Ha!" Dain exclaims with detectable glee. The brigand collapses backwards to the earth, leaking claret upon a field of leaves and twigs. Gnarled roots reach out of the ground and hold fast to his body.

Tor fires into the flank of Tal's horse. The mare cries out in pain and bolts into the woods to the east. Dain's and Dagon's horses follow her lead and make a break for it, crashing through the brush. Tor and Blondie reload their crossbows.

With shouts of frustration and grunts of exertion, the three brigands in the woods who remain mobile and upright force their way free of the aggressive foliage. They are now at the edge of the road, close enough to poke with a sharp stick.

That's it for round one! Dagon, you're up first, round two.

2007-05-28, 09:33 AM

Eerily silent, Dagon charges Blondie, drawing his scimitar and slashing his opponent in one instant.

Charge attack
- move 50 ft.
- +2 to attack
- -2 to AC until next round
- spending 1 Void (3 left)

Attack roll: [roll0]
Damage roll: [roll1]

2007-05-28, 11:08 AM
With surprising agility, Naizan vaults off his horse. Already fairly high in the air, he does a flashy but normally impractical split-kick, attempting to strike two of the archers in the back of the neck on his way down. Recoling back from the impact, he lands lightly on his toes (or perhaps heavily on his face) behind the group of archers.

The plan is five-foot step forward, leaping off the horse, and full attack/flurry of blows. I figure that might be a tumble roll or something. If you don't think the situation allows for that, I'll just make the one attack.
Attack 1 [roll] 1d20+2
damage [roll1]
Attack 2[roll2]
deflect arrows (if it comes up) [roll4]

2007-05-28, 11:10 AM
Attack 1 since I screwed up the formatting: [roll0]

2007-05-28, 11:18 AM

Talonus lets the sleep spell pass through him as he points a finger to the remaining woodsman. Once the spell is released, he turns his attention to his allies, pleased to see that the stranger appears to be engaging the highwaymen. Moving to put Dain between himself and woodsman, Talonus begins singing a rousing song about fighting off wicked bandits.

Tal begins to Inspire Courage (+1 to attack, damage and saves vs fear and charm) so add the effects to Dagon's and Naizan's rolls.

2007-05-28, 04:15 PM
A Fight in the Forest (Round 2)

Dagon charges at Blondie, who's desperately trying to get his crossbow reloaded in time. He's too slow. Dagon's scimitar bites into his side as he tries to get out of the way. Blondie drops the crossbow and draws a great flail from where it was strapped to his back, unlimbering the viciously spiked weight on its end. He attacks immediately. Dagon attempts to parry, but the flail's chain becomes wrapped around the base of his weapon. Blondie pulls away, tearing the scimitar from Dagon's hand. It clatters to the road between the two combatants.
Dagon charges and hits Blondie for 7. Blondie takes a 5' step to put Dagon between himself and Tor, draws his flail and disarms Dagon.

Talonus' completes his spell and releases it at the nearby enemies. Two of the brigands decide that this is a great place for a nap. They lay down and go to sleep, much to the surprise and consternation of their remaining comrade. He becomes frightened as a heavily armed dwarf bears down upon him. Talonus begins to sing of wicked bandits and the errors of their ways. Dain steps in close to his man and attempts a trip with a kick at the brigand's heel, but fails to connect.
Talonus puts two of the men to sleep. The third makes his save. Dagon attempts to trip him but misses the touch attack. Probably distracted by the singing.

Two of the bowmen shoot at Talonus, attempting to spoil his irritating performance. Both miss. The other two bowmen nearest to Naizan turn and shoot at him. They miss, horribly. These are obviously well-trained archers. The latter two drop their bows and bend to pick up the short spears at their feet as Naizan has become uncomfortably close and remains annoyingly unpunctured. Naizan seizes the opportunity to attack. Leaping from his saddle with a shout, he flies at the bowmen, crossing the last five feet with a forward somersault in mid-air and finishing by striking out with the soles of his feet. One bowman is sent reeling, but remains standing. Naizan sticks the landing in perfect form. He settles his clothing back into place.
Naizan hits one bowman for 5 damage. Unfortunately, you couldn't make a flurry of blows attack and dismount in the same round. Flurry of blows is a full round action. The necessary skill to dismount without using a move action is Ride, DC20. I used your tumble roll for the ride check, but substituting your +7 tumble with a +2 ride doesn't give you 20. So you had to take a move action to dismount, a 5' step to reach the bowmen and attack once. But don't worry, the bowmen appear to be useless. ;)

Tor takes aim at Dagon's back and fires his crossbow. He misses. Taking stock of the situation, he employs the better part of valor and runs into the woods to the west. The remaining brigand from the forest group makes the same wise decision and tries to dash for safety, but Dain isn't interested in that outcome. His axe cuts all the way to the spine at waist level. The brigand's dash is short-lived.
Tor runs 30' into the woods. Dain gets an AoO against the retreating brigand and strikes him for 14 damage. Ok, the singing is helpful after all. Begin round 3.

2007-05-29, 11:30 AM

Letting the song fade out, Talonus eyes the situation. He takes out his long bow and rushes forward and looses an arrow at one of the crossbowmen who shot at him.

Stops Inspire Courage (still lasts for 5 rounds) and moves to within 30' of the crossbowmen and shoots an arrow at them.

Attack roll [roll0]
Damage roll [roll1]

2007-05-29, 12:42 PM
Inspired by the elf's triumphant song, as well as the inability of these archers to actually hit anything they aim at, Naizan darts in among the bowmen, lashing blows in all directions. He seems very confident for an unarmed man outnumbered 4 to 1.

Attack 1 Damage [roll1] Attack 2 [roll]1d20 +3 damage[roll2]

2007-05-30, 12:04 AM
Attack 2 [roll0]

2007-05-30, 12:06 AM
confirm critical [roll0] damage [roll1]

2007-05-31, 02:55 AM
Just waiting for Dagon's post so I can resolve the round.

That's the second time this rolling system has put up a double-20. Wonder if it's bugged?

Also, Naizan, I think your damage code should be +4 on both attacks with Tal's song still active, shouldn't it? Why did you drop one to +3? It won't matter, mind you, you've annihilated them both.

2007-06-02, 05:28 AM

Dagon takes a step back, paying no heed to Blondie's tactic.

"Oh please spare me, murderous bandit warrior..." he says. His tone is flat, sarcasm dripping from every inflection and sprinkled lightly with barely controlled rage.

Bringing up his now freed hand he makes a sign, drawing his fingers together like claws. He snarls, uttering through glutteral sounds something that half sounds like an incantation and half sounds like a wolf calling to his brethren to the hunt.

1. 5 foot step back
2. cast summon nature's ally 1 (wolf)
- wolf is summoned directly behind Blondie
- swapping out my Speak with Animals spell for this

Wolf stats
- 13 hp
- ac 14 (flat 12)
- attack +3 (+4 with Tal singing)
- special attack: trip - auto-attempt with successful bite attack at +1, +4 for having more than 2 legs, does not provoke AoO

3. bite attack
- attack: [roll0]
- damage: [roll1]

4. potential trip attack
- trip: [roll2]

2007-06-10, 09:26 PM
The Fight in the Forest (Round 3)

Dagon takes a step back from Blondie and begins to cast a spell. "Lemme show ya something!" Blondie yells as he steps forward, swinging his flail with reckless abandon, seeing his prey disarmed and distracted. Dagon raises his shield just in time. The flail's weight crashes into it, leaving your arm slightly numb but otherwise in good health.

Thanks for posting the wolf stats, that will be handy soon.
Talonus moves forward to close range with the bowmen and lets loose an arrow of his own. It pierces one of the bowmen through the throat. He makes a gurgling noise and grabs at his throat. He stumbles about, trying to breathe.

Dain takes the weapons away from the sleeping brigands, in case they should wake. The one who is trapped in the trees is still held fast by grasping branches, but he manages to draw a knife and throw it at Dain, who casually blocks it with his massive shield. He scowls in return. The brigand realizes his folly and apologizes.

Naizan attacks the bowmen. A furious roundhouse kick connects with the side of one man's head. His neck snaps sideways and his eyes go blank. He falls in a heap. The other, initially stunned, manages to dodge out of the way. The remaining bowman has picked up his spear and makes a frantic stab at Naizan's side, gouging deeply into the flesh.

Naizan takes 7 damage from the spear attack. He is still facing two bowmen, who are now spearmen. One has been wounded.

2007-06-11, 11:44 AM

Talonus raises his bow to take another shot at the bowmen but the whirlwind of spears and feets kept him from getting a clear shot. The new ally was a pleasant surprise and seemed quite capable on his own even with the massive wound and 2-1 odds. He turns to Dagon's fight with Blondie and is surprised to see the wolf arrive. Allys are popping up all over the place which is rarely a bad thing.

"Not looking good for you Blondie. Tor sure ran in a hurry didn't he? As if he knew your group stood no chance against us. Surrender now and we will be lenient. You spearmen throw down your weapons or I'll let the dwarf gut you."

Talonus will move 30ft towards the bowmen while hopefully staying within 30ft of Blondie and shoot him with his long bow.

Attack [roll0]
Damage [roll1]

Oops, forgot +2 damage for Point Blank Shot and inspire courage.

2007-06-11, 02:38 PM


Naizan's mind, through long training, is emptied of all but the moment. He does not think, he simply is. Kicking ass, specifically.

Attack 1 [roll0] Damage [roll1] Attack 2 [roll2] damage [roll3]

2007-06-12, 05:56 PM

"F'dat shak ta!" Dagon curses.

1. Dagon takes a 5 ft step back and to the side (in the direction of his fallen weapon).

2. Dagon casts Summon Nature's Ally 1 (another wolf) - this wolf appears immediately in front of Dagon between him and Blondie.

3. Wolf 1 and 2 will both attack (flanking Blondie).

Question: Did Blondie provoke an AOO by Wolf 1 when he moved towards Dagon to make that attack just now?


Potential AOO from wolf 1:
Wolf 1 attack: [roll0]
Wolf 1 dmg: [roll1]
Wolf 1 trip: [roll2]

Standard attack from wolf 1:
Wolf 1 attack: [roll3]
Wolf 1 dmg: [roll4]
Wolf 1 trip: [roll5]

Standard attack from wolf 2:
Wolf 2 attack: [roll6]
Wolf 2 dmg: [roll7]
Wolf 2 trip: [roll8]

2007-06-12, 11:56 PM
A Fight in the Forest (Round 4)

No, Blondie did not provoke an AoO when he attacked Dagon. He only took a 5' step, which never provokes an AoO. Also, Summon Nature's Ally has a full round casting time. Which means the wolf doesn't pop into existence (and you are technically still casting the spell so you can be interrupted) until just before the start of your next turn. I.e. it comes into existence now. The second wolf won't come into existence until next round. Incidentally, I messed up earlier (or perhaps more accurately, the brigand messed up) when one of the brigands ran away into the forest and Dain cut him down with an AoO, he had the option to withdraw without provoking an AoO, as do you all. It's a full round action to withdraw and you can move double your movement.
Dagon completes his spell. A snarling wolf materializes behind Blondie and leaps immediately to the attack. Blondie manages to keep the wolf at bay with a few well-timed swings of his flail. Dagon begins casting again, and continues to back away from his opponent. Blondie, realizing that he'd better stop Dagon or he's going to be swarmed with wolves, takes a step forward and launches another brutal attack at Dagon. This time, your defense isn't quite fast enough, and the flail's spiked weight thuds into your upper arm with the force of a mule kick. There's a crunching noise as the bone in your arm is crushed.

Blondie strikes Dagon for 13 damage (he used Power Attack). Dagon, you will need to make a concentration check, DC 24, to continue casting.
Talonus shoots at Blondie, taking care not to hit Dagon. The arrow strikes him in the meat of the right thigh and lodges deeply. Blondie curses at the woods. "#%$! I'll kill you Tor, you coward!"

Blondie takes another 6 damage. His total is now at 13.
Naizan meanwhile is punishing the bowmen for their inaccuracy. A lightning-fast punch to the midsection sends another one of them to the earth with a groan. He passes out. The one with the arrow through his neck has stumbled off into the forest and collapsed against a giant elm. The last bowman has blood running freely down his face from being kicked in the face earlier. He manages to avoid Naizan's fury once again, but thinks that perhaps he has tried his luck enough for one day. He drops his spear and runs into the woods to the west.

This fellow actually withdraws, saving himself from probable death. He moves 60' off the road and into the woods.
Dain has turned his attention on Blondie. With a snarl he unfastens his shield, letting it clatter to the ground. He gets his short legs churning and trundles towards the area where Blondie and Dagon are fighting, crossing two thirds of the distance in a few seconds.

Dain isn't fast enough to make it this round. He's about 10' away from the fighting now.

2007-06-14, 01:09 AM

Concern flashes across Tal's face when he sees Blondie's flail impact with Dagon. Negotiations are out now.

"Hey Blondie! You think you can kill me? Well, this is what I have to say about that!!"

Tal then proceeds to throw tiny darts and wave a feather at Blondie.

Talonus casts Hideous Laughter at Blondie.

2007-06-16, 01:29 AM
Actually, Blondie was threatening to kill Tor for his cowardice, not you for yours. Also, it's tiny *tarts* not tiny darts, lol. ;)

2007-06-17, 12:12 PM

Dagon grits his teeth, attempting to complete the spell while keeping his shield arm as upright as possible.

Darts? Tarts? I don't understand :smallconfused:

Concentration Check: (spending 1 void)
- [roll0]

2007-06-18, 05:38 PM
Bah, English isn't my first language. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Tor makes much more sense. Oh well, I'll say Talonus heard him wrong. And I guess Tal has a Hideous Laughter variant that uses darts.

For stuff like combat, maybe we should do a 3 day maximum or something between posts? After 3 days, the DM can just take the most obvious action for the player (or maybe the player loses his turn). Exceptions made if the player said he/she would be unavailable for a while.

2007-06-18, 10:56 PM
Though Naizan hasn't yet posted, it's really Dagon's action that I need to know to post. He gets to act before Blondie does. Dagon, your spell was interrupted, but you still have your action for round 5. Blondie is in front of you, the wolf is snapping at Blondie's heels. Naizan can (and should) post his action as well, but I can at least continue the combat without him as soon as Dagon posts.

2007-06-21, 05:44 PM

Dagon pushes the attack, drawing a knife from his belt as he slashes at Blondie.

I'm a bit confused. Dagon's lost his action so doesn't he not get to go until the next action? Or is this the action after he lost his spell? If so, he will draw his hunting knife (dagger) and attack in one smooth motion, kicking up an arc of dust in an agressive posture that will hopefully throw Blondie off guard. In other words:

Spending 1 void on attack, bonus from Tal's song, bonus from flanking (with wolf):

Attack: [roll0]
Damage: [roll1]

2007-06-22, 01:34 PM
A Fight in the Forest (Round 5)

Dagon recovers his wits quickly. Drawing his hunting knife with his good arm, he switches fluidly from defense to offense. Blondie attempts to knock your attack aside with the shaft of his flail, but you expect this and simply wait for him to extend himself, then you strike. Your knife sinks deeply into his abdomen. Blondie inhales sharply.

Talonus flings a handful of tiny darts at Blondie. Everyone is confused. Where the heck did you get a bunch of little darts and what could they possibly be good for? Realization comes to them as you continue the spell. You release it at Blondie with a final flourish of a garishly painted ostrich feather. Unfortunately, it seems to have no effect.

"Wait! Stop!" Blondie shouts, grimacing with the effort. "I give up... get this wolf off me!" The wolf, snarling, makes another lunge for Blondie's leg and gets a hold of his ankle. The wolf pulls hard and Blondie can't keep his balance. He falls clumsily on the road. He lays still, seemingly unconscious. The wolf fades out of existence, to return from whence it came.

Dain comes up, his charge petering out into a slow trot. "Well done, boy! That's the last of 'em! Except for the one trapped in a tree back there."

2007-06-25, 12:11 PM

Talonus looks over at Dagon, noting his damaged arm.

"You alright Dagon? I still have some of those berries you gave me if you need them. Dain, why don't you take away that flail Blondie appears to be so fond of? Don't want any accidents when he wakes up."

Talonus then takes a second to survey the road. Looking over at the longbowmen a ways down the road, he notes they have all been disabled or routed by the helpful stranger. Talonus raises his voice so he can be heard.

"Hello there!", he calls out to the stranger. "Thank you for the assistance. If you are injured, you are welcome to come here and we will tend to your wounds. If you are not, come here anyway, as I would like to shake your hand sir."

2007-06-25, 05:23 PM

"We don't bite," Dagon says in follow-up to Talonus' words.

He clutches at his arm a bit and winces. "Yup, I think it might be broken. Actually if you don't mind," he says, turning to Tal and Dain, "if I could have some of those berries it would be great. Maybe four from each of you? They'll go bad come tomorrow morning anyways."

For a long moment Dagon looks down at Blondie's unmoving form, and there is naked, murderous intent in his eyes. He eventually shakes his head and his expression is back to his boyish, youthful self.

If the others agree, then Dagon heals 8 hp - the maximum I do believe he's allowed to heal from by the berries.

2007-06-27, 01:30 AM

Dain passes a handful of goodberries to Dagon and claps him on his uninjured shoulder. He looks up at Dagon with genuine concern. "You ok, kid?" Seeing the answer in Dagon's face, Dain grunts and turns away to take care of other matters. He steps heavily on Blondie's hand with one mailed boot. "Just making sure he's really out," he says to no one in particular. Satisfied, he searches the body for weapons and removes a hand axe and a couple of daggers along with the great flail. He deposits the weapons at Talonus' feet.

"Be right back," he says and runs back down the road and into the forest. There is some rustling of dried leaves, followed by a brief shout and a few curses. About two minutes later Dain emerges from the foliage, preceeded by a somewhat bruised and scraped, but otherwise uninjured brigand. Dain prods him in the back with the point of his axe to keep him moving. The captive brigand looks resigned to whatever fate is in store for him. "Caught him just in time! The trees were losing their grip," Dain offers by way of explanation.

The brigand falls to his knees. "Have mercy," he begs, looking from face to face, seeking pity. "We weren't going to kill you, I swear!"

2007-06-27, 02:48 PM

"Oh really?" Dagon retorts. "And I suppose this was your way to inviting us for some late morning chai lattes?"

He shakes his head as he gets up. Although somewhat confrontational in content, Dagon's words carry more whimsy than malice.

"Thanks," he says to Dain and Talonus with nod as he acepts the berries and wolfs them down. He pauses a moment and his arm seems to move with ease once more. "I'll have to learn a good pie recipe for these one day."

Dagon smiles brightly as if to reassure his companions he's 'ok' and starts walking towards the bodies of the other fallen brigands.

"Just don't try to run," he says to the pleading brigand as he passes. "Listen to my companions and you may get out of this one intact."

Saying no more, he starts searching the remaining bodies. Those that are yet alive he binds as best as inexperience allows.

2007-06-28, 05:51 PM

Talonus passes along 4 of the berries Dagon gave him earlier.

"Now, what to do with you two..."

Talonus paces in front of the captured bandit and unconcious Blondie for a little bit. He then quickly turns and strides forward purposefully towards the captives.

"What's your name kid?" he asks as he dumps some water on Blondie trying to wake him.

2007-06-29, 01:21 PM

"Uh, it's Marcus," he responds.

Blondie does not stir. You think he may need medical attention or he will die shortly. He's bleeding rather profusely from at least three places.

2007-06-29, 09:34 PM

Returning from his quick tour of the battlefield wreckage, Dagon gives Talonus a sidelong glance as he listens to him talk to the young brigands. For the moment, his previously overbrimming intent of murder seems apeased.

Seeing that Blondie is still bleeding, he mooches an additional berry from Dain and shoves it down Blondie's mouth.

Apologies. I'm taking liberties with Dain's response.

The goodberry should magically heal Blondie of 1 hp, which will/should instantly stabilize him.

"What ARE we going to do with you," says Dagon. "You know," he says to no one in particular, "I say we bind and gag them and leave them in a nearby cave. IF we decide to come back for them, well then lucky them. Otherwise, we can let nature take its course."

2007-06-30, 02:10 PM

Talonus darkly chuckles at Dagon's suggestion.

"Not a bad idea D... not a bad idea at all. I think we'll do something different this time though."

Tal leaves two more berries next to Marcus and Blondie.

"After we leave, you feed these to Blondie, you hear? And you tell him to tell Brock that if he ever needs something done right in this area, he come find us. Otherwise, stay out of our way or we'll give the rest of you boys more of what we gave you today. You understand what I'm saying boy?"

2007-06-30, 02:29 PM

"Y-yes sir," Marcus stammers. He looks upon the offered berries with suspicion, but takes them.

Dain scowls at the exchange, but says nothing.

Feel free to take some liberties with Dain's responses. You probably have a good sense of what he's like by now. He gladly gives up the berries to Dagon and/or Tal. Dagon jams (hehe, jams) a berry into Blondie's mouth and the bleeding stops.

2007-07-01, 12:58 AM

Jam is a brilliant idea :)

"Are you sure we want to be letting these guys muck about freely like this?" asks Dagon. He has a somewhat worried look as he glances between his friends. Apparently he's regained his boyish naivete.

"If not us, they might give other travellers trouble. I'm not sure I want to be responsible for that, indirect though that responsiblity might be.

If you two are ok with it, then I guess it's fine by me. I just wanted to be sure."

2007-07-01, 09:04 PM

Gonna take a little liberty with Marcus' language skills.

While eyeing Marcus, Talonus takes out his dagger and says (In Dwarven) "You're right. Let's just spill his guts on the road right now and be done with it."

Seeing Marcus register little comprehension, Talonus continues in Dwarven.

"While there is definitely a chance they'll go back to their bandit ways, killing these two will do little to solve the overall problem. If they can lead us to Brock however, we may be able to stop the band entirely. Also, even if these two go free, Blondie is going to hunt down Tor and end his miserable existence so at least there'll be one less highwayman on the road. If we were to kill them, this Brock may come looking for revenge which could get inconvenient in the middle of our investigation. Better to play him a little until we are in a position to make a difference. What do the rest of you think?"

2007-07-01, 10:24 PM

"Wow, that's kind of complicated," Dagon replies in Dwarven. "I didn't think of it that way. I suppose you're right. Brock is the one who should be bleeding on a spit for this."

He looks back to the bandits.

"I'm game with your plan, Talonus. We've wasted enough time with these excuses for humans anyways. Let's let them go and be on our way."

2007-07-02, 07:13 PM

Dain surveys the captives. "Well," he begins in dwarven, "this one is a sorry excuse for a bandit and couldn't cause much trouble on his own," he says, indicating Marcus with a jab of his thick finger. "As for Blondie, I'm not sure he'll make it far, even with the help of those berries. And, as Tal says, if he somehow survives, he'll probably just cause trouble for Tor and his friends. So, yeah, I figure it's safe to let them go."

Do you want to do anything else with the bodies or captives before you move on? What do you do next as far as resuming the journey or seeking out the brigand camp?

2007-07-02, 07:17 PM

"Well then," Dagon says, shifting on to his saddle as if at one with his mount.

He puffs out his chest and says in a booming, low voice, adjusted by a mock acent of faux-nobility, "Let us be rid of this foul place and be on our way to glory and adventure!"

2007-07-03, 04:33 PM

"And revenge," adds Dain under his beard as he trudges off after his shield and horse.

I like the new icons guys. Much more character appropriate!

2007-07-03, 09:50 PM
apologies for the extended absence, guys

Naizan having felled his opponents, turned and ran away into the trees. The cause of his hasty retreat was not immediately apparent. After a moderately lengthy absence, he re-emerges onto the road, leading his spooked riding horse by its halter.

"On your way to glory and adventure?" Naizan asks, apparently overhearing Dagon's last utterance. "I would have thought this counted. Although it takes rather more bandit-slaying to achieve much glory."

Naizan pauses briefly, glancing at each of the three travelling companions in turn. "We seem to have encountered one another under fortuitous circumstances. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Naizan Fendake, emissary of Virillion the fourth, king of Corlan. I am very pleased to make the acquaintance of you good gentlemen."

2007-07-04, 12:13 AM

WB :)

"I thought I saw someone off in the distance, and knew Talonus wasn't that good with his tarts... err... darts," Dagon says, giving the unconscious archers by Naizan's feet a glance. "Thanks for your help with the highwaymen, Fendake-dono. Luna knows we needed it.

My name is Dagon, and these are my friends Dain and Talonus. We are from the village of Falston, and on our way northwards from Hawkesridge on urgent and personal matters. Would you by any chance have come across a halfling woodsman in your travels?"

2007-07-04, 12:12 PM

Naizan nods to Dagon graciously, and responds in a measured tone of voice. He does still appear somewhat dissheveled from the combat, however, and his robes are rent and bloodstained.

"I am sorry to say I have not chanced upon any halflings of any description on my journey. I have not tarried much thus far.

He pauses briefly, considering his words and then says "If the matter is private, I will not pry, but it may be that I can be of some assistance, depending on the nature of the situation. In any case, since I myself am headed to Hawksridge, I am eager for news from there. Is there any worth the telling?

2007-07-04, 12:44 PM

Talonus bows magnificently, conveying a definite sense of respect and gratitude.

"Let me say thank you for your assistance as well, Mr. Fendake. Let us head north a bit, away from this grisly scene and we can talk of our travels. Perhaps there are ways we can be of assistance to each other. Also, perhaps you will permit Dagon to take a look at that wound, he is quite experienced at dealing with them."

Talonus mounts his horse and starts to head north until the scene of the ambush is behind them. He'll ride close to Naizan and speak in low whispers.

"There are a few recent events in the area that perhaps you should be aware of. Apparently there was a coup amongst the bandit people recently and their previous leader Galt was replaced by a man named Brock. We may have unwittingly become involved in that struggle. Having been jumped by these bandits twice now, I think I'll make it a side goal to wipe this band off the map.

There is more to say about what is happening in Hawksridge but please, why don't you share why your king has sent you to Hawksridge? If you're permitted to of course."

2007-07-04, 09:17 PM

"Leaving the scene of the bloodshed is well-advised. And I would be grateful for any medical assistance you could provide. The wound is not serious, but I have seen even insignificant scratches fester if tended ill."

Naizan rides away from the scene of the ambush with the small party of adventurers. His tone of voice is quiet and calm, and he listens to Talonus's words with polite attention. He replies:

"The authority of a bandit chief is like to be short-lived. Particularly if he is in the habit of making dangerous enemies. Do you know what you have done to earn this brigand's ire?"

As for my mission in Hawksridge, it is no secret. I am renegotiating a treaty that is soon to expire. In addition, as friends and neighbours, my liege has an interest in keeping abreast of events in Hawksridge, hence my interest in local tidings. I had heard rumors, for instance, that there had been some foreign visitors in Hawksridge recently, but it may be there is little truth to the tale."

2007-07-06, 01:19 PM

Dain rides up at a trot, having tarried at the ambush scene to recover his fallen shield and rock hammers. He approaches Naizan on the left and extends his hand in greeting. "Naizan, you said? I am Dain, son of Dorn, son of Dregor. I am glad you are not our enemy. Greetings, friend, and many thanks."

Upon hearing Naizan's question regarding strangers in Hawksridge, Dain replies, "The Cirruneth? News has traveled quickly, it seems. We have been told they were seen in Hawksridge, but did not see them ourselves. They left the day before yesterday. It may be they feared for their safety."

You each receive 400 experience for the forest road encounter.

2007-07-08, 03:41 PM

Kinthas, would you mind putting the historical and geographic info in the first post? Then we won't have to look around the multiple pages for it.

"Yes, there were some agents of Cirruneth in Hawksridge. Some were there for the negotiations, others for their own reasons. A foreigner named Ormand was particularly troublesome, I don't suppose you've heard that name before?"

"As for us, we were on our way north a short ways to look for a halfling trapper named Finnias to ask him some questions. It shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 days. As you've seen, it may not be safe traveling these roads alone. If you'd be willing to accompany us back north, we would be happy to return to Hawksridge with you and vouch for your good character to the council. We are not exactly nobles but we have a decent reputation in the city. What do you think?"

Sense Motive check on Naizan.

2007-07-08, 03:48 PM

Naizan turns to greet Dain. "No thanks are needed, son of Dorn. Had you been a little slower on the road or I a little swifter, I might have been ambushed without warning by those wretches . So I think you perhaps helped me just as much as I helped you -- albeit, perhaps unwittingly."

Listening to Dain's mention of the Cirruneth, Naizan looks interested, but a little puzzled. "Why would the Cirruneth fear for their safety? Is there trouble in Hawksbridge, or were they simply unwelcome? Who is supposed to have seen them?"

2007-07-08, 04:15 PM

"No, the name Ormand is not familiar. You say he was troublesome? How so?"

2007-07-09, 04:26 AM

"Oh, I thought you'd have heard. A council delegate was... murdered the day the elves arrived in the city. Many of the cityfolk are already suspicious and fearful of the Cirruneth. After the... murder, well, you can imagine the rumors, so they did not linger in the city. They attended one day of the council meetings and met with the Earl, Lord Balimthorpe, according to a friend of ours. They left early the next morning, after the... body had been discovered." This is said stiffly. Only the brief pauses betray an inner struggle.

"Ormand is a dangerous southerner who seems somehow complicit in all this. We know he and the halfling knew each other. And we know the halfling knew..." Here, Dain pauses for a full second and swallows before continuing. "The victim," he finishes with obvious effort. "Tal or Dagon can tell you more of Ormand. I did not meet him, though I should like to."

Naizan, you have in fact already heard of the murder and know that it was Dorn of Falston who was the victim. Talonus, you feel that Naizan is being sincere.

2007-07-09, 08:09 PM

Listening as the others discuss the recent events in Hawkesridge, Dagon looks over Naizan's wounds. Though less an expert on such matters than his friends believed, the youth yet trusted the power of the Moon Goddess. Speaking a simple charm, he channels silver Essence upon the injuries, forcing them closed through force of will.

Cure Light Wounds: [roll0]

"Take care to rest, Fendake-san" he says to Naizan after letting Dain finish. "So freshly healed, your injuries will still strain your body."

Remounting, Dagon turns to face the road.

"As for Ormand, he's a dangerous creature. Beware the strike of his blade."

2007-07-10, 01:32 AM

"We are actually investigating the murder. During our search of the last house the victim was seen at, we found an odd deck of cards, with letters written on each of the cards. Shorty after taking the cards, this man Ormand appeared and demanded the return of the cards. There was a scuffle where Dagon became badly wounded while defending me. I was able to bargain with Ormand and Dagon was saved though we had to return all the cards save one which I was able to hide."

As he speaks, Talonus sneaks glances at Dain to see how he's dealing with talking about his recent loss, albeit in a roundabout fashion. Part of Talonus wanted to reveal Dain's connection to the murder victim to the stranger. Naizan seemed like a trustworthy fellow and the idea of justice seems to suit him. But Talonus also knew that it was not his information to reveal.

"As for the bandits, we have no real relationship with them except that they've tried to rob us twice and were soundly punished each time. There is one man named Tor who has been at and fled both attacks. Still, trying to be robbed twice is reason enough for me to want the end of their band."

Talonus looks seriously at the face of each of the men, as if weighing their souls. Then he speaks solemnly, adding a weight to his voice that Dain and Dagon rarely hear.

"It may be foolish of me, but I feel as if all this is more than just a murder investigation. I have a feeling of foreboding that I know not from where it comes. I feel like we are being caught up in great events, those of which we barely see the tips of. Whether you join us or not Naizan, it feels like too much of a coincidence to meet one of such harmonious temperment to our own at this juncture. I feel destiny's hand at work here and I know not whether to be comforted or frightened at the thought."

2007-07-10, 09:04 AM

Naizan listens to the words of each man, his brow furrowed slightly.

"This is a tangled skein indeed," Naizan comments, when Talonus has finished. "Mysterious symbols, foul murders, unexplained demands. It is difficult to know what to think. But I am resolved on one point -- I will accept your invitation to accompany your search for this halfling."

Naizan pokes at the nearly healed wound on his side absent-mindedly as he continues, but his expression is quite serious.

"There are two particular points on which I desired further clarification. First, how was the murder committed and what were the circumstances surrounding it? The second is, what was the matter concerning which the Cirruneth spoke to the council? It seems a strange coincidence that their arrival was on the same day as the murder."

2007-07-12, 01:24 PM

"Poison. He was killed with a poisoned needle or dart. The body was found in an alley near to the house in which he was slain. Ormand's deck of cards was found in this house, though he claimed to know nothing of the murder."

The companions, now four, ride slowly north on the forest road towards Corlan Heights while the details of the happenings in Hawksridge are relayed to Virillion's emissary. The sun is sinking behind the western treetops, casting the road into deep shadow. It is dangerous to ride faster as the failing light plays tricks on the eyes and the horses could easily stumble on root or stone.

"The Cirruneth," Dain continues, "did not address the council, but merely observed the proceedings. They are known to have spoken only with Lord Balimthorpe himself, in closed quarters."

2007-07-16, 09:45 AM

Naizan looks thoughtful as Dain speaks, and scratches his carefully trimmed beard absently.

"Well, perhaps this halfling can shed some light on the matter. Such a dark mystery could benefit from a little illumination!

Naizan's curiousity appears to have been satisfied, and he rides along without further comment for the time being.

2007-07-17, 03:12 PM
The Journey Continues

The pace is slow, but the ride is pleasant. The air is cool and the smells and sounds of the forest at night are soothing. Conversation is sporadic, with each companion taking some time to ride with Naizan and share a few thoughts on the recent events in Hawksridge. A waxing moon is high in the sky when the bright lanterns of the Forest Inn first become visible through the trees.

A stable boy is roused from sleep to care for your horses and the four of you continue inside to seek warm food and lodging. A handful of travellers populate a large table in the common room. A sizeable collection empty mugs speaks to their current state. The talk is boisterous. Two other patrons sit at a small table near the wall, talking quietly and doing their best to ignore their drunken counterparts.

The ride takes four or five hours. Along the way, Naizan pieces together a rough timeline of the events in Hawksridge.

Day 0
- second session of the council is held
- two Cirruneth arrive partway through and observe the proceedings
- the halfling, Finnias, is seen at Chadwick's in the presence of a dark stranger, who is believed to be Ormand
- after the session concludes in the evening, Dorn meets with Finnias at Chadwick's, they share a number of drinks, talk as friends and leave together
- the Cirruneth meet with Lord Balimthorpe in closed quarters for about an hour

Day 1
- early in the morning, Dorn's body is found and reported
- the third session of the council is postponed, most of the delegates return to their homes
- the Cirruneth leave the city
- the Falston delegates return to Falston by evening and break the grim news
- Dain is incensed and resolves to seek revenge, his friends Dagon and Talonus promise to help
- the three of them set out immediately on borrowed mounts
- in the middle of the night they are attack by four brigands on the road to Hawskridge, three are killed, one escapes

Day 2
- the companions arrive in Hawksridge and begin to investigate
- later that evening they discover the house where Dorn is thought to have been murdered, a beggar in the street points it out, saying that he saw two men carrying the body out the door
- Dagon and Talonus search the house and discover some poisonous mushrooms, a strange feather, and a deck of marked cards
- on their way back to the inn, they are approached by Ormand, who demands the return of his cards
- Ormand nearly kills Dagon and Talonus negotiates the exchange of the cards for Dagon's life, but manages to secretly keep one card

Day 3
- the companions speak to Chadwick and discover much of the foregoing information
- horses are procured for the ride north to seach for Finnias
- Talonus sings a heart-rending account of the life and death of Dorn, the Hero of Falston
- he learns of the demise of the brigand leader Galt at the hands of Brock and of the meeting of the Cirruneth with Lord Balimthorpe III, Earl of Hawksridge

Day 4
- the companions set out from Hawksridge
- that afternoon, they are again set upon by brigands, this time there are 11 men, one of whom is the escapee from the first attack, named Tor
- the brigands are defeated with the timely intervention of Naizan, an emissary from the northern city of Corlan Heights
- Naizan is convinced to join the companion's search for the halfling, Finnias
- the companions resume their journey and arrive at the Forest Inn

2007-07-17, 06:55 PM

Talonus walks into the tavern, humming a joyful tune. As much as he enjoyed the tranquility of the road, he enjoyed the hustle and bustle of people more. His eyes scan the sparse room. Slim pickings for information but better than nothing. He heads to the bar carrying most of his possessions in hand.

"Barkeep? My friends and I will be needing a room. Something with a window. We are also looking for a halfling trapper by the name of Finnias. We had some business with him in Hawksridge but missed our appointment and were hoping to find him around here. Would you happen to know the name?"

Did we get any money from the defeated bandits?

2007-07-18, 09:27 PM

Naizan gives the impression of being lost in thought, but the appearance is misleading. He follows Talonus up to the bar, his elegant clothing out of place in the rustic surroundings. He observes the patrons in the bar carefully, trying to decide who are locals and who are travellers.

What would that be, spot? [roll0]

2007-07-19, 01:47 AM
Inside the Forest Inn

If you guys bothered to check the bodies (no one mentioned it, but i'm fine with being a little revisionist on that), you'd have found about 30 gold. The only reason I say 'if' is because it might be out of character for you, so just confirm with me whether you think it's something you'd have done.

Naizan, I think the appropriate skill would be Sense Motive (which you're actually much better at--your result would be 14 instead of 7). It's not a test of sight but a test of understanding. Anyway, it's not hard to determine. The two sitting by themselves are obviously travellers. The boisterous bunch at the large table look like forest-folk.
Dain and Dagon find seats at an unoccupied table and order food and drink. Talonus and Naizan approach the barkeep. "Yes, of course. A room with a window is no trouble. The fee will be six falcons a night."

Coins in Hawksridge and the other ex-Cirrunethi principalities have retained the designs of their Cirruneth days. There were three major houses of nobility in Cirrune. The ruling house had the falcon as their symbol and it is embossed upon the gold coins they minted. Silver coins bear the griffon, and copper coins the orchid, symbols of the other two noble houses. Many of these coins are still in circulation, and where new coins have been made, effort has been taken to reproduce these symbols as closely as possible. Thus, coins tend to be referred to colloquially as falcons, griffons, and orchids and these coins are common to all of the local regions.
"Finnias?" the barkeep asks of the air above his head. Apparently having received an answer, he continues. "Yes, yes, I believe I know Finnias. He comes in here on his way back from the city, usually, and spends a night or two getting drunk with his friends. I'm sure some of those fellows would know him better than I," he says, indicating with a glance and a nod of his head the group of men at the large table. One of them is singing a popular drinking verse, badly.

2007-07-19, 06:33 PM

I thought that Dain had searched them. I guess I misinterpreted search for weapons as search the bodies.

And you realize it's 2gp a day for a good room and 5sp for a common room in the player's handbook? Inflation might be different here, just checking.

"Those gentlemen over there you say? Well, here's the Falcons for the rooms, another 1 for a bottle of wine and another 1 for yourself. See to it that there are enough mattresses for all four of us please, we have had a hard journey and miss the comforts that a roof over our heads present."

Diplomacy check for barkeep [roll0]

He then turns back to his companions. "Some of us should check with those individuals in the corner as well in case they know anything. I'll talk to our rowdy friends over there."

Talonus then heads over to the drinkers and puts a wide grin on his face. He takes out his vihuela and strums along to the drinking tune and joins in singing backup to the tone deaf patron while egging him on.

"Oh, and every cow will have it's hay
And every dog will have it's day.
But if it's alright with you, I would rather not stay.
For no treasure in the world is worth marrying Fat May."

When the songs over, he'll share a laugh with the patrons and say "Well, I hope you drink better than you sing or you won't last long drinking with me."

Diplomacy check for drunks [roll1]

2007-07-21, 02:32 PM
The Forest Inn

The charge for the inn is high, but not unreasonable. I figured 2g is for a room with one bed. You need four beds, and this in has a rather special location so there's no competition. It's a fairly nice inn and you are getting the best room. I suppose I should have mentioned that it was a high-ish price and let you haggle, but I don't think 6g will break your bank. I didn't think you'd want to spend the time writing about that. If you want to have negotiated for a lower price, you can make a charisma check. I don't think there's a skill for haggle, is there?

The barkeep thanks you kindly for your generosity and assures you that the beds will be the most comfortable you have ever slept in. He produces a bottle of wine from under the bar and four clean mugs. He also orders the kitchen help to heat up some of the stew from dinner which he promises to serve as soon as it's warm. "Please make yourself comfortable, gentlemen. I am at your service."

Talonus goes over to the large table and begins to play. The song is greatly improved with your voice and instrument, though you can't quite repair the damage the lead singer is doing. Nonetheless, when the song is over there is much laughter around the table and you are welcomed warmly with an offer of an overflowing mug of ale. "An elf! An elf has come to drink with us! Be glad, my friends, for it is a good omen," one of the patrons calls over the general noise. The talk quiets for a minute to let him deliver his line. "But good omens are fleeting, and this one shall soon be under the table!" Raucous laughter ensues. You are thumped on the back more than once as you are encouraged to drink deeply.

2007-07-23, 08:26 PM
Naizan Naizan watches Talonus insinuate himself smoothly with the revelers. The bard certainly has a way with people. Naizan has had much experience with negotiations and private dealmaking, but he has never found it easy to ingratiate himself with strangers. It would seem, however, that this situation calls or just that.

He walks over to the table with the two travellers.

"Excuse me, gentlemen," he asks politely, "Would you mind if I joined you? The other table seems a little raucous."
Diplomacy check [roll0]

2007-07-24, 08:27 PM
The Forest Inn

The two travellers, a man and a woman, stop speaking as Naizan approaches. They glance at each other as you ask to sit down, but the man says, "Yeah, sure, have a seat. My name is Berthold and this is my sister, Leeza." The woman looks past you to Dain and Dagon who sit at their own table. "Are you traveling with those men?" she asks.

2007-07-24, 09:41 PM

Naizan nods in response.
"We met on the road. They're good men, but neither is much for conversation. The fellow with the lute is the talkative one, but he maybe goes a bit far in the other direction. My name is Naizan Fendake. I'm from Corlan. I'm very pleased to meet both of you. I take it you are travellers as well?"

2007-07-25, 06:39 PM

Talonus knew he couldn't match the rowdy humans drink for drink. He quickly casts a Prestidigitation spell and using a series of jokes, games, tricks, bluffs and distractions, he tries to maintain the illusion that he's drinking heavily with the other patrons.

Bluff roll [roll0]

"You know who's also good to share a pint with? This halfling trapper I met, last time I was this way. Little fellow, name was Fin-something. A little strange at first but a hoot once he had a few drinks in him. Don't suppose any of you gents would know where I could find him?"

2007-08-01, 06:03 PM
Two Conversations

Berthold and Leeza glance at each other again before both nodding in response to Naizan's question. They appear somewhat uncomfortable to have been engaged by you. Berthold speaks: "Yes, we're also from Corlan, on our way to Hawksridge, and then to Belgard." Belgard is a large port city, situated on the coast at the mouth of the river Bel, the same that flows past Hawksridge. The city is many days travel to the south and east. From further smalltalk, you discover that they are heading to Belgard to visit their uncle, a successful textiles merchant, who is ill and not expected to survive long. Their father, Alswith, is a tailor of some fame in Corlan. He produces clothing for many of the courtiers and nobles. Berthold is a handsome young man in his early twenties. He appears tall and well-built and is dressed in rough but serviceable traveling attire. He has a suspicious attitude. Leeza is a very attractive young woman of perhaps sixteen. She is also dressed in serviceable traveling attire, but plainly is unused to the conditions of the road. Her skin is pale and smooth and her long blonde hair is tousled from the wind.

Talonus merrily banters with the boisterous patrons and appears to drink his fair share and then some. The men are generally good-natured, at least for the moment, and appear to genuinely enjoy your company. You tell some excellent jokes and sing a few good drinking songs. The mood is cheerful and carefree, very much in contrast to the mood at Naizan's table. Dagon and Dain sit back, sipping ale and watching each scene unfold, exchanging occasional commentary. At the mention of Finnias, the man who joked earlier about your drinking capacity responds affirmatively. "Aye, he's a decent fellow. Got a cabin about twenty miles from here." You are able to use the goodwill you have engendered at the table to extract some passable directions without arousing much suspicion. The cabin is to the west and north. You turn north when you reach the big rock. Apparently it's hard to miss. There are game trails that you can follow most of the way.

Sorry about the delay for a few days, I've had a very busy weekend.

2007-08-04, 08:15 PM

Exhausted from the day's travails, Dagon makes no effort to mingle. To him, a quiet table well-appointed with non-alcoholic drinks and comfort food would be the ticket to his private corner of nirvana. He listens iddly to Talonus' singing, more by the default of proximity than by any real effort.

When the revellers speak of Finnias, Dagon's attention peaks but for an instant. He notes the mention of trapper routes and finds himself almost excited at the thought. Even though he had waited long for an oppurtunity to travel beyond Falston the outside world had not been what he had expected. There were too many... people, and his experience in Hawkeridge had done little to recommend the hospitality of cities or their folk.

2007-08-06, 05:20 PM

"20 miles? Ah, a shame. Hopefully he'll stop by here before we are required to depart. Now, where were we?" Talonus asks before launching into another song.

After a little while longer celebrating with the rowdy patrons, Talonus begs his leave of them promising to write a ballad extolling their drinking ability. He staggers, catching himself repeatedly on conveniently positioned furniture, to where Dagon and Dain sit. He speaks in a hushed tone "Well, looks like we know where to find Finnias now. Since it is late and we're all tired, well at least Dagon and I are tired, perhaps we should retire and set out in the morning?"

2007-08-06, 08:43 PM

Finishing up some chicken pot pie, Dagon wipes his mouth and sets a hand on Talonus' arm.

"Here," he says, "let me help you up. I don't know what trick you pulled but liquor is liquor, and you've never held yours well."

Getting up, Dagon glances over at Naizan's table.

"It looks like our new companion is enthusiastic as ever. Well I hope he's enjoying himself. Goodness knows we haven't had enough funlately."

Without any further ado the young human makes his way, giving his elven friend a steadying support as needed, up to the party's room. Judging the inn a safe enough place, Dagon invokes the power of Luna and bids his remaining wounds shut. That accomlished, he heads off to sleep.

Cure light wounds x 2:


2007-08-06, 11:37 PM

Dain finishes off a mug of beer and plunks the empty vessel down on the table. "I'm going to have a few more before I head upstairs. You two go ahead. I'll watch Naizan's back," he says in a low voice. Dain is sitting with his back to the wall, his war axe leaning, blade down, against the wall next to him.

2007-08-08, 02:22 PM
Breakfast with Melons

I'm just going to move things along rather than wait for Naizan to post. We can fill out his conversation with Berthold and Leeza later and make retroactive changes to the storyline as necessary.
Naizan finishes his conversation heads upstairs with Dain a little while later. The four of you spend a comfortable night in a large corner room of the Forest Inn. No one bothers you and the inn stays relatively quiet until you wake a little past dawn. Breakfast is a hearty affair with eggs, sausages, cheese, and even ripe melon, which you're amazed to find at an inn in the middle of a forest. As you sit, finishing the last vestiges of your morning meal, conversation turns towards planning for the day ahead.

Dain suggests the party set out immediately for Finnias' cabin. The horses are still likely to be a bit tired from the long day of travel yesterday, and the forest terrain will make for slow riding in any case, so Dain also recommends that the party walk, leaving the horses stabled at the inn. Lastly, he suggests that the party consider hiring a guide to lead them to the cabin.

Feel free to agree or disagree with Dain. These are his in-character suggestions, not my out-of-character hints.

2007-08-08, 06:54 PM

Dagon eagerly devours his fare, but eyes the melon with obvious unease. Not until he sees Talonus munching down on the strange-looking fruit does he do likewise to his portion.

"I'd tend to agree with Dain," he says to the group. "The horses need a good rest, especially after what happened on the road. We'll be lucky if that didn't spook them beyond usefulness."

"Besides," he continues, "I'm eager to be putting some ground beneath my feet. As for a guide, that mightn't be a bad idea, though the question would be who, of course. You two wouldn't have found anyone fitting the needs last night would you?"

The last he says to Naizan and Talonus.

2007-08-09, 11:00 AM

Talonus eats a light breakfast, steering away from the heavy sausages and eggs. His stomach was still a bit queasy from the night before although he handled it with his typical elven grace. He was grateful for the melon and when he was done, nothing remained but a thin piece of shell.

"I'll trust Dagon on the horses, I don't mind walking a little even if it's just to stretch the legs. As for a guide, I can certainly look around for one but would it take time as well as deplete our funds. I leave the decision with you Dagon, as you will be the one deciphering the directions we received last night if we do without a guide. I am more concerned about another ambush than getting lost really. Perhaps Dagon or Naizan can range ahead slightly while the others bring the horses along."

2007-08-09, 05:57 PM

Dagon shakes his head.

"If we are ambushed, the horses will only be a liability. The path you describe will take us into the back woods, and that is no place for the rides we've brought along."

"As for a guide, you're probably right in that it will drain our rather lean coffers. What's more, I don't want to drag any more bystanders into this... situation."

"I say we head out once we're done with breakfast, stow our mounts, and cover some ground before the noon heat sets in."

2007-08-10, 01:39 AM
Tracking the Trapper

Having agreed upon the details, the party settles their breakfast bill and sets out alone on Finnias' trail. The horses are left stabled at the inn. You pay for a week in advance (14 gold falcons) with the understanding that, should you return earlier, you will be refunded in part.

The instructions you were given require you to travel north for a couple of miles to find a particular game trail where it crosses the road. The spot is marked with a small standing stone bearing a white slash. Then you are to turn west and follow the trail for nearly ten miles until you reach the Big Rock, which is actually a hill of stone some two hundred feet high. It can be seen from quite a distance by climbing the occasional tree to take your bearings. From there, you are supposed to switch trails to one that runs in a north-westerly direction, towards the hills that demarcate the territory of the Kingdom of Corlan. Another six miles should bring you to a swift stream, at which point you leave the trail and head upstream to the north-east. The cabin of Finnias lies about a mile in that direction.

Dagon, I'm assuming from Talonus' comments that you're going to attempt to lead the party using these directions. Please indicate whether you are going to employ any special tactics, whether or not you will follow the directions exactly, how you will approach the cabin, et cetera. Make 5 survival rolls and any other rolls you think you might need to make based on your intended course. I will use them if circumstances require it.

2007-08-11, 08:46 AM

Dagon reviews Talonus' instructions carefully. While the others are stowing the mounts, he prepares copies of the instructions for each individual, keeping it carefully in a well-oiled pouch. He also finds and annoints a small group of berries which he likewise portions to the group. That done he takes some time for himself.

Luna invictus, mistress of the wild children, may we seek favour among the wardens of your realm.

Dagon contemplates the harmony and furor of the animal world, seeking the key to friendship with beasts should the need arise.

1) casting Goodberry:
- [roll0]
- they are evenly split among Naizan, Talonus, and Dain

2) switching out one casting of Cure Light Wounds for Charm Animal

He follows that paths that are visible, cleaving as closely to the instructions as possible. While no climber, he does his best to keep an eye out for the landmarks as indicated.

No particular strategy other than taking an even but not-too-fast pace and making note of the local flora and fauna. He'll be on the lookout for possible cave formations as well, the type wherein the deadly mushrooms might be lurking.

Survival roll 1: [roll1]
Survival roll 2: [roll2]
Survival roll 3: [roll3]
Survival roll 4: [roll4]
Survival roll 5: [roll5]

"We should be careful on approaching the cabin," Dagon tells the others as they start the trek. "A trapper's home is something akin to his sacred ground. We'll be trespassers in his eyes irregardless the circumstance or intent. Besides, I think if I saw a group of heavily armed men approaching my otherwise-isolated home, I'd probably get ansy too. Tal, do you have any ideas on how to handle our first meeting?"

2007-08-11, 01:02 PM

Talonus lets out a yawn as he eyes the journey ahead of them.

"Not really sure. Just be careful and keep your eyes open. I tend to just make up these things as I go anyway. Keep our sense alert during the trek as well, don't want to be jumped by any predators either."

2007-08-13, 05:42 PM

Dagon yawns heartily.

"I wouldn't worry too much about predators. Humans are the most dangerous type you know."

Stepping on to an outcropping of granite, he tries to get his bearings.

"I mean, we eat just about anything, and hunt pretty much anything we put our minds to."

Seemingly satisfied with the direction the group is heading in, he jumps back down, brushing off his shorts. Turning to Talonus, he grins merrily.

"Besides, I'm sure we'll be able to handle ourselves if anything overly aggressive decides to turn up. Unless it's more bandits. Can't really account for them. In any case," he says, turning to the north, "I think it's this way."

2007-08-14, 10:52 AM

Naizan seems quite willing to follow the lead of Talonus and Dagon. He is not particularly familiar with travelling through the wilderness, and his horsemanship is a little unsteady. He also doesn't seem to have much inclination towards small talk, content to ride quietly while the others chatter.

2007-08-16, 12:35 PM

Talonus trudged along the trail following Dagon's lead. While it was good to stretch his legs and be walking, after a while he began missing the horses and the open road. The forest seemed peaceful but he kept a hand on his bow in any case.

Seeing his companions rather quiet, he begins striking up a conversation with Dain about the merits of the axe versus the sword in melee combat while Dagon ranges ahead.

2007-08-16, 09:59 PM
Sorry guys, I will post on Sunday!! I'm in Florida this week and haven't had time to formulate a good post.

2007-08-21, 01:37 AM
Tracking the Trapper (cont'd)

Dagon leads the party north along the forest road. The day is shaping up to be a fine one. Dain notes it as a good omen for the trek ahead. "At least we'll stay dry this time," he grumbles to no one in particular.

An hour's walk brings you to the small stone marked with white. Dagon leads the party off the road and into the woods. Avian life is plentiful. Those birds with a love of morning serenade your passage, their high-pitched calls a vibrant soundtrack fitting for this stage of your adventure. The trail is clear here, but before long it becomes narrow as you pass into regions of denser growth. You are frequently forced to walk single-file so as not to be fighting through the greenery lining the path. There are nettles and thorny vines in abundance, so sticking to the trail seems a wise and comfortable course of action. In places your trail merges with others, or seems to disappear for a few hundred metres as you cross a stretch of stony ground, but Dagon always seems to know just where to find the path and he is confident that you are moving in the proper direction.

Four hours pass before you reach the Big Rock. It is indeed apporpriately named, as it appears to be a single, massive rock punching through fertile earth to reach two hundred feet or more into a stunningly blue sky. You stop here for lunch and a rest, climbing a few feet to a naturally leveled space near the base of the Rock that seems perfect for relaxing. Dain is explaining to Talonus why axe blades are better at cutting through the mail of armored opponents. He's been on the topic for the better part of an hour. Talonus isn't really paying attention, but every once in a while he nods and hums with apparent interest. Dagon discovers a stream of fresh water nearby and you take the opportunity to drink and refill your waterskins before setting out again.

There are many game trails converging upon the Big Rock, and more than one heads in a north-westerly direction. But once again, Dagon seems to know which trail he is looking for and he leads the party confidently on its way. The foliage here encroaches less closely upon the path and you are able to walk much of the way two abreast. There are fewer birds here as well, and they are quieter. You become more conscious of the sound of your boots crunching twigs and leaves underfoot. Combined with the rising tension of being closer to your destination, you feel suddenly that conversation above a whisper is unwise. The party trudges on in relative silence.

Two and a half hours of travel to the north and west has brought you within sight of the high ridge that tops the escarpment cutting through the forest on an east-west parallel. The caves wherein lie the deadly mushrooms are supposed to be found in the rocky face of that ridge. It is mid-afternoon and warm. You are a little tired and sore from all the walking. The trees here are large and there are more evergreens than there were near the Big Rock. There is less sunlight at ground level and it will doubtless grow darker as the sun begins its descent towards the western horizon. The undergrowth has diminished as well, though it is still thick in many places. At this point, however, Dagon has brought the party to a halt. He feels that you should have found the stream already. The last stream you crossed was nearly an hour ago and running in an easterly direction. Dagon felt it was not the stream described in the directions you received at the inn, but he is sure you followed the correct trail from the Big Rock.

You may discuss your options ;)

2007-08-21, 06:55 PM

"Bullocks!" Dagon curses. "I think we must have taken a wrong turn somewhere by the rock or the stream. I'm guessing the stream, but there's no telling for sure."

Looking rather dejectedly annoyed, Dagon starts climbing a nearby tree to get better purchase of the party's surroundings.

"And it figures that it'd start getting dark just about now as well."

He peers around for a moment before letting out a rather loud sigh, returning to the forest floor as he does so.

"It would appear that this was a botch... it doesn't happen often, only about one in twenty times I try to navigate in unfamiliar terrain, but c'est l'actualite."

Still stewing, he takes a few swigs of his decanter, now half-emptied.

"It's not ALL bad though," Dagon continues. He gestures towards the escarpment with a lazy shrug of his shoulder, "I have a feeling we'll find those poisoned mushrooms up in the caves lining that rock-face. Given that night will fall sooner rather than later, I say we head there and make camp. We might even find a few extra clues. We can backtrack for the stream tomorrow morning and try finding our bearings again."

2007-08-21, 07:06 PM

"Don't be so hard on yourself Dagon. It's very possible that we were given bad instructions as our helper was rather intoxicated at the time." Talonus' face darkens. "Or there may have been a more sinister purpose." He falls silent for a little bit thinking about the implications.

"Either way I doubt it was your fault old friend. But what do we do now? We could strike forward and see what we find? Or we can turn back and head to the Big Rock which looks to be a crossroads of sorts. Maybe we can deduce our path from there or meet with some traveller who knows the way?"

2007-08-21, 09:56 PM
It's only mid-afternoon Dagon. You figure you've got at least 4 hours of light remaining. It's a 2.5 hour trek back to the Big Rock. Your climb up the tree gives you a better sense of the distance to the escarpment, probably two hours.

2007-08-22, 09:20 AM

Dagon nods, finding reassurance in Talonus' words.

"You know, now that I've gotten a better look, I think we could make it back to Big Rock before nightfall. We'd even have a couple of hours to spare. Given the urgency of things, I say we give that a try. I can't quite make out the stream we're suppose to be forging for, but once we get to the Rock, I should be able to find the way."

Assuming it is agreed that we head back, here are some Surivival rolls:


2007-08-22, 03:24 PM

"Excellent. Let's be off then. Please, excuse the delay good Naizan. I assure you, Dagon is usually most at home in the wild. In fact, I remember this one time..."

Talonus relates the story of a how Dagon once found a hidden grove of berries that fed their village of Falston for a whole winter. He embellishes it somewhat adding a roving pack of werewolves and a lost farmer's daughter.

2007-08-24, 01:38 AM
You return to the Big Rock without difficulty and make camp. Dain scoffs at the mention of werewolves.

Plans for the evening/night? How will you attempt to locate the cabin the next day? Re-rolling your survival check is not an option. You followed the directions to the best of your ability already.

2007-08-24, 05:38 PM

"We had best be wary tonight. Perhaps there is a less obvious location within sight of the Big Rock but not easily seen from people approaching or at it. Also, as much as it pains me to say it, perhaps we should have double overlapping shifts. Dagon and I will take the first watch, then Dagon will sleep and I will wake Dain, then I will sleep and Naizan and finally Dain will sleep and wake Dagon. As for tomorrow... I am rather out of my element here. Does anyone have any ideas that don't involve returning to the inn?"

2007-08-25, 02:32 PM

Naizan sits by the fire, warming his hands and gazing absently into the flickering flames. His short silvery beard reflects the reddish firelight, giving his face a ruddy cast quite at odds with his serene expression.

"I think the key is to find the stream. If we head north-west and it runs north-east, it should cut across the track of our march. I surmise the trail we chose must have diverged from the correct northwesterly direction, and thus we failed to find the stream, which may itself turn and twist somewhat. It is possible that our directions were faulty. However, they have led us as far as this rock, and it is easy to lose one's bearings in the woods. Alternatively, it seems quite possible to me that the stream we crossed today was indeed the proper stream. In any case, I would merely suggest taking a different trail that leads in approximately the right direction."

2007-08-26, 11:26 AM

“I agree with Naizan-dono,” Dagon says with obvious respect, “the stream will be our road. If indeed it cuts orthogonal to our path, we will find it regardless the details of direction. On the way, we can keep an eye out for trapper lines or other signs of trails that may hint at the location of Finnias’ cabin.”

Originally from August 26

Would Kinthas/people mind if Dagon uses one of his Survival checks to “be on the lookout” for birds in the area. If successful, he will forge the group’s path slightly towards the likeliest landing spot of said bird. He might even entice it somehow, perhaps with a call. When the bird finally lands, and meets Dagon’s eyes, he will cast Speak with Animals followed by Charm Animal. If successful, he will do the following:

The ruffle of feathers and plaintiff call of disturbed cicadas breaks the moment’s dialogue. Off to the left and mere paces from the party, a young falcon perches nimbly on an aged cedar tree. Regal in bearing, it regards the area quizzically. Dagon seems happily transfixed by the new visitor, and after a while, the two’s gazes meet.

Welcome, young aviator. Would this be your domain? My flock and I seek one who lives under your gaze. Perhaps you could help us find him, for he is wily and cunning. He is like us, but smaller. I offer you food and drink in return, though I am open to another exchange if one better fits your fancy.

New from August 28

Actually, if time permits, I'd like to perform the falcon events on the same day as the party's return to Big Rock. Dagon has the spells perpared already, and since "[a]vian life is plentiful"... :smallwink:

That said, timing would be tight, so I'm also fine with Dagon performing the necessary rituals on the next morning. I leave it up to you.

2007-08-27, 05:02 PM
Tracking the Trapper (cont'd)

Yes Dagon, you can absolutely do that. I'm assuming you are attempting this the next morning as you set out?

I can't really let you use a survival check you already made (since you already know the result!), but I made another check for you and you are nonetheless successful in tracking down a hawk. You can edit your last post to take the spoiler text out and put it into the main message body and maybe indicate when this is taking place.

The falcon stares unblinkingly at you with strikingly golden eyes. She has light brown feathers, fringed with white at the trailing edges of her wings and tail. She lets out a long screech, which is understood by Dagon to mean the following: "Yes. I know of the small man. Follow."

The falcon drops from her perch, spreads her wings and climbs into the sky with graceful authority. For a moment, she disappears, blocked from view by the treetops as she seeks out favorable air currents, but shortly her streamlined shape reappears, gliding silently overhead in a northerly bearing.

You follow. At times you are able to take trails that mirror the bird's directions, but often you are forced to cut through the brush. You are unable to make progress to match the falcon's. She is conscious of this and circles back regularly, flying over your head always in a straight line to impart the latest directions. Twice, she dives in pursuit of a meal.

Eventually, you find that your course through the forest is roughly parallel to a swift stream. You sense its proximity from the gurgling sounds of its turbulent passage. At times as you walk its steep banks, you see animal traps cunningly laid in places of access to the water's edge. You suspect you are close to your destination and, indeed, before long you catch a glimpse through the trees of a stout log cabin situated in a small clearing, surrounded by massive conifers. Animal pelts are drying on racks nearby.

2007-08-28, 09:52 PM
Just to note that I've updated the previous post. :smallsmile:


Dagon generously shares his provisions with the falcon.

My thanks to you, young aviator. I am in your debt.

He eyes the cabin and its surroundings with a mixture of relief and disquiet. They had managed to find the place at last, and yet, what would that bring? Would Finnias turn out to be a conferate to Ormand's ill-doings? Would they find his fast-decaying body, throat slashed by a magically jagged blade?

"So umm... what now?" Dagon asks his companions.

Taking a moment to collect his own thoughts, he gages the pelts hanging in the clearing. Perhaps they could offer up some useful clue.

Dagon tries to surmise:

1) How recently Finnias must have been present, as evidenced by the freshness of the newest pelts.

2) The skill of Finnias as a hunter, as evidenced by the most dangerous animal skins present.

3) The skill of Finnias as a woodsman, as evidenced by the quality of the tanning, and the construction of the cabin.

4) If there is anyone presently "home", as evidenced by movement or sounds from the cabin, or smoke emitting from a chimney.

5) If there are recent tracks leading to said-cabin, and if they were made by one person or two (or more) different ones.

2007-08-29, 06:00 AM
Cabin in the Woods

Yes, we can rule that this happened the same afternoon. Perhaps the party sat and made a little campfire before heading back to the Big Rock to eat some warm food and discuss your options. Upon getting ready to leave, Dagon spots the falcon and settles on his current plan of action. The conditions are low-light, -2 to spot and search checks for those without some sort of vision enhancement. It will be dark within 20 minutes, and pitch dark in an hour. The cabin is perhaps 50 yards away, the nearest edge of the clearing is 25 yards. You can obviously choose to go closer, I just didn't want to assume.
You arrive at the cabin as the last light of day filters down through arching boughs to decorate the clearing in a myriad of slanted rays. Pollen and other airborne debris drift lazily in the still air, lending each shaft of sunlight the illusion of soft substance. Small birds flit from tree to tree and squirrels race around the great trunks. The tranquility is intoxicating.

The cabin is well constructed and appears conscientiously maintained. The chimney is dormant and there are no smells or sounds that might indicate a humanoid presence. The pelts belong to fox, beaver, elk, and boar. It is hard to tell whether Finnias is a skilled hunter based on this evidence alone, but having inspected a few of his cunningly laid traps, you get the sense that he's pretty good at being a trapper, at least. You have seen no humanoid tracks thus far, but you are yet a short distance from the cabin and it is not possible to tell whether there are footprints nearer to it. It is also impossible to tell the freshness of the pelts from this distance.

2007-08-29, 04:44 PM

"Now, the hard part begins. Let's head down and see if anyone is home. If he asks, we will pretend to be travellers on the way to Corlan. We had decided to wander off the road a bit in search of game and now we are lost. After seeing the type of reception we get, we can decide whether to confront Finnias about the truth. If he starts to get suspicious and makes a break for it, we will have to move fast."

With that Talonus starts heading down the path towards the cottage. Remembering one more thing, he give another piece of advice.

"Oh, one last thing. Don't eat or drink anything until we get a good read of Finnias or unless he eats it first. Dorn's murderer's used poison and we do not know how close this Finnias and the killers were. If at all.

2007-08-29, 07:14 PM

Nodding in agreement, Dagon falls into step beside Talonus as the elf heads towards the cabin. For a moment his hand falls upon the handle of his sword, but thinking better of it, the youth takes on a more relaxed posture.

"This is your arena, Tal. Best if you do the talking."

That said, he rubs his beard absent-mindedly a few times before occupying them with the feel of his pack straps.

2007-08-30, 12:20 PM

"I think Naizan's also more than apt at turning a phrase or two and his knowledge of Corlan will be crucial for our cover as travellers heading to that region. Dagon might be able to bond with Finnias over their shared knowledge of nature. And Dain might... well, he could... hmmm... perhaps it would be best Dain if you didn't say much."

2007-09-02, 03:03 PM
Cabin in the Woods (cont'd)

The party makes it's way towards the cabin cautiously, winding your way between majestic trunks and around patches of thorny bramble. You hear someone begin speaking. The source is in the woods nearby and you cannot make out the words, but you recognize that they are words of power! The voice ceases and the woods around you come alive. Branches reach for your head and shoulders, vines snake along the ground and grab at your feet and ankles. The thorny brambles grasp at you with prickly appendages.

Make reflex saves, DC 13, to avoid entanglement. A result of 7 or lower indicates that you have been tangled in a thorn bush and will suffer 1 point of damage/round until you escape. Make spot checks to locate the source of the voice, DC 18. Also tell me your reactions! If you are successful in your spot check, you see a halfling hiding on the other side of the clearing amongst some bushes at the base of a large fir tree. He's about 150 feet away.

2007-09-02, 04:56 PM

Reflex save [roll0]
Spot check [roll1]

Talonus falls back in alarm trying to wave off the branches with his arms as he ducks and weaves. Managing to just barely avoid the grasping vines, he looks around frantically with a panicked expression. He adopts an aire of hopeless desperation as he shouts:

"Egads! What is happening? The forest is alive! Help! Help! Please ancient spirit, we mean no harm."

Talonus will try to look helpless and harmless as he tries to pinpoint the location of their assailant. He will also pull his dagger in case he needs it to help cut free any intangled companions.

2007-09-03, 01:24 PM

While you're in the area of effect you have to spend a lot of your time dodging plants if you're not to wind up entangled, so it's kind of impossible for you to look helpless and not actually become helpless. You can move at half speed throughout the region of entanglement and take actions normally, but you need to make a reflex save every round. Also, to try something new, initiative in this scenario will be determined by whomever posts first. The halfling has won a group initiative contest, so he will go before the party each round.

Dain's reflex check: [roll0]
Dain's spot check [roll1]

Wow, that's one speedy and observant dwarf.

"He's over there!" Dain shouts as he tears a vine from his arm and stomps on a grasping root. He's attempting to point, but his hands are mostly occupied keeping himself free of plant-wear. "In a bush by that... that tree, dammit!"

Everyone can take a +10 on their spot check due to Dain's moderate assistance. If you succeed on the spot check, you can take actions that target the halfling, otherwise, well, you can't obviously. ;)

2007-09-07, 11:56 AM
[spoiler] Saving throw [roll0] Spot [roll1]

Naizan, shocked by the sudden vegetative onslought, drops his horses reins, grabs a single javelin from his saddlebags, and starts running forward in the direction Dain has gestured, regardless of whether he can actually see the halfling or not.

2007-09-17, 02:15 PM

I can't wait for Dagon any more, so I'm just going to play for him. Arguably, I've waited too long already. Anyone know what's up?

Hmm... the character sheet site appears to be down, so I'll have to improvise some values for Dagon's stats. Sorry...

Reflex Save: [roll0]
Spot Check: [roll1]

2007-09-17, 02:49 PM
Cabin in the Woods (cont'd)

Dagon cries out as he becomes ensnared in the long tendrils of a leafy vine. Roots work to immobilize his feet. Talonus goes to his aid, sawing away at the vine with his dagger. The stem of the vine is woody and tough. An axe would be better for this work, he realizes, but he makes some progress. Naizan rushes forward, dodging limbs and roots as he makes for the halfling's hiding place. Dain does the same, unlimbering and strapping on his shield as he goes, which seems quite an impressive feat under the circumstances. Dagon begins casting a spell as Talonus works to free him. The halfling is also chanting again. He seems to complete his spell just as Naizan and Dain emerge from the zone of animated flora, Naizan a few steps in the lead.

Dagon is casting a summon spell. He'll get an escape attempt next round if he takes a full round DC20 strength or escape artist attempt. He'll get +5 with Talonus' help and if he escapes he'll be able to move as his only action (though his spell will finish). Talonus will have to make another reflex save, still DC13 to avoid becoming entangled himself. Naizan is about 5' beyond the area of the entangle spell and Dain is just at its edge. Both are beyond its influence. The halfling is about 120' from Naizan, though Naizan knows only that the halfling is near a large fir tree in this general direction. Naizan can make another spot check at +10, DC18--otherwise known as DC8--as well as take a normal action in round 2, which begins now. Oh, and this isn't all that important, but the party agreed to leave their horses back at the inn. It sounds like Naizan brought along his horse anyway, which is fine. The horse is currently rearing and kicking in an effort to free itself of grasping foliage.

2007-09-21, 11:30 AM

Yeah, the character sheets have been down a while now. I'll probably have to recreate Talonus somewhere.

Reflex Save [roll0]
Spot roll [roll1]

Talonus' eyes follow where Dain is pointing and he finally spots the halflings form against the tree. Having seen their assailant spurns him to work faster at freeing Dagon. He ducks and weaves frantically as he cuts at the vines and branches holding the druid in place. Seeing Dagon's scimitar in his sheath, he pulls it out and winds up to give another hack at the vines.

"Don't worry Dagon, I know what I'm doing. I've seen you swing this thing a ton of times. Just... try not to move too much."

2007-09-21, 08:25 PM
Ugh, that sucks... all the villains were stored on that site too. Anyway, not sure its going to matter for a while. It seems as though Dagon has disappeared.

2007-11-04, 08:35 PM
Good news! Looks like we'll be back in action shortly. Bad news is that rpgwebprofiler.net is still down, so all of our characters are lost. Hopefully you've got backup copies of yours, I know I don't have backups of mine (including the villains, sadly). But I've switched to www.myth-weavers.com which seems to be fast, reliable, and sporting a slightly newer version of the character sheet. If you need to remake your character, I think we used a 30 point buy system for attributes (can anyone with a copy of their character confirm this?). Hit points are full for your first 2 levels, randomly determined after that (ignoring any result of 1). If you are recreating from scratch, start with a level 3 character (the PCs were going to reach level 3 shortly) though starting equipment will be limited to level 2.

2007-11-05, 07:45 PM

Sorry guys. I will try to be a bit more "on" in the future. Remaking characters with Myth-Weavers is going to take a while but I'll get to it. As Dagon is taking a full-round action this action to try to break free next action, that'll hopefully be less of an issue. I do recall that his Strength modifier was +2, so I'll use that in the roll, with the +5 bonus from Talonus. He'll also spend 1 Void on his First Strength Excellency for +2 on the roll ;)

Dagon reacts to the situation with a mixture of abashed embarrassment and righteous indignation. To think that someone would be using the arts of nature against him...

"Mmmph," he says rather ineffectual as a stray vine gags him. He bites through it to finish the muttering of his spell.

Focusing on the power of the Old Ways, he attempts to make the best of the situation and focus on getting free of this leafy nuisance.

Strength roll: [1d20+9]

2007-11-05, 07:47 PM
[spoiler] Hehe, still remembering how this works it seems.[/spoller]

Strength check to escape: [roll0]

2007-11-06, 03:12 AM
Fight in the Forest, Round 2

Welcome back, Dagon! I've recreated Dain on the myth-weavers site. His new location is http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheets/view.php?id=30668. Nice strength check, btw. Feel free to describe the results of your own rolls, when it seems appropriate.
Bits of wood and leaf are sent flying as Talonus hacks heroically into the branches entwining Dagon. With a grunt and much tearing of fabric and foliage, Dagon emerges from the tangle a free man. He and Talonus head for a calmer spot.

A summoned eagle charges the halfling and attacks with its talons. Attack [roll0], damage [roll1].
A large eagle has appeared at the edge of the magically animated area. It immediately streaks towards the halfling's hiding place, screeching aggressively. Within seconds the eagle has crossed the clearing and raked the halfling with its talons, scratching at his face. "Screech!" it says knowingly.

2007-11-06, 03:35 AM

Shield held high, Dain runs into the clearing as fast as his short legs can carry him. He makes it only a few feet before stumbling to a halt as blades of grass as hard and sharp as steel stab mercilessly through the soles of his boots and taller weeds pierce his calves between slim gaps in his armor. He shouts in pain and surprise. Wincing with each step, he cautiously retreats back into the entangling trees to escape the deadly grass. "We cannot cross that ground!" he calls to Naizan, who can tell with a quick toe test that he is similarly surrounded by dangerously rigid grass.

Naizan still has a full action to take this round. Grass lies in all directions. He can retreat into the area of entanglement by crossing a few feet of sharp grass. It's not clear how far he would need to move in other directions to reach relative safety, as grass covers the clearing except for a space directly in front of the cabin, which is about 60 feet away and to your right. Anyone with spellcraft can attempt to discern the nature of the effect, DC 17.

2007-11-06, 12:07 PM

Reflex save [roll0]

Talonus hands Dagon's scimitar back to him as he ducks and weaves his way out of the living forest area. Once he thinks he's clear, he looks back to the area where Finnias is battling the magical eagle. He raises an eyebrow at Dagon.

"One of yours?" he asks. He measures the distance from himself to their pint sized assailant, trying to decide a course of action.

Just when he thought he was clear, a vine darts out and grabs him around the waist and pulling him back into the dangerous area. "Don't worry about me! Stop Finnias!"

Heh, I accidentally posted this response in another thread and successfully rolled my REF save there. Transfer the post over here and of course I fail it now. Oh well.

Spellcraft (guessing) [roll1]

2007-11-12, 05:04 PM

Sorry guys. I haven't had a chance to remake Dagon. I'm on call tonight too, so it probably won't be tonight either. I'll try to muddle my way through, though I guess we're still waiting on Naizan.

The following post then is only a "conclusion" to the current round (i.e. the one where Dagon gets free and, apparently, Talonus gets stuck).

"Like hell!" Dagon scoffs at Talonus' remarks. "Besides which how do we know this is Finnias? It could be the leprachaun tooth fairy for all we know, come to collect from the time you stole Laura-Lee's teeth from her pillow."

Between the attempts at levity, Dagon hacks away at some of the vegetation. As he does so, he ponders its nature. This can't be natural, he thinks.

Duh... his thoughts continue. I could have told you that...

Spellcraft: [roll0]
(Roll is a guess)

2007-11-12, 08:53 PM
Naizan stumbles to a halt at the edge of the razor sharp grass, momentarily stymied. He glances around quickly, trying to make sense of the surrounding confusion.

Coming to a decision, he backs up to the edge of the entangling zone and attempts to skirt along its edge, between the grass nd the trees, circling around the clearing attempting to close in on the spellcasting halfling and his avian tormentor.

I'm a bit unclear on the geometry here -- is the halfling in the clearing, or not? Is he 120' away, or 60' away, and can I spot him now that he's being attacked by an eagle?

2007-11-13, 03:34 AM
Encounter Map: End of Round 2


As Naizan has aptly pointed out, the geometry has become a little confusing. So I've taken the rather laborious step of drawing up a little schematic. I got the idea from some of the other campaigns I've browsed. In any case, using this aid we can play according to proper D&D movement rules and it should make explanation of events MUCH simpler (though no less time consuming, haha).


Each square is 5' x 5'.
Large trees are represented by those green circles of roughly 10' diameter. You may move into and through any corner of a tree space freely. No limbs grow within reach of the forest floor. If you are standing in a tree square and there is at least one sqaure of tree between you and an opponent (not counting the one you are in), you have cover because of the massive trunk (+4 AC).
The entangle effect is represented by the large green disc, and the spiky grass by yellow squares. Only those squares you know about are highlighted, as it is virtually impossible to tell regular grass apart from razor sharp grass until you step on it.
The cabin is represented by the 15' x 25' block towards the top of the map (which is East, not North, in this case). There are some drying racks arrayed in front of it, which count as obstacles (double movement required to move through these sqaures unless make successful tumble check DC 15).
Bushes are designated by dark green fuzzy areas. Bushes provide concealment (20% miss chance and permit hide attempts), but count as difficult terrain (double movement cost, block charge attempts unless have woodland stride ability (ahem, Dagon)).
The characters are represented by capital letters with colors matched to your speech text: H for Halfling, E for Dagon's summoned eagle, N for Naizan, T for Talonus, G for Dagon, and A for Dain.

Dagon, you are aware that the entangle effect is simply Entangle. In fact it is a spell you know and cast yourself two days ago. You do not know what the sharp grass effect is, your spellcraft knowledge is insufficient. (Though Talonus knows and may choose to enlighten you all. Some of the mechanical info is described below with the assumption that Talonus will eventually say something.)

Naizan, you can definitely identify the halfling's location because the eagle is making it impossible for him to hide. On your turn, you move 5' through the dangerous grass and take [roll0] damage. You must also make a DC 15 reflex save [roll1] to avoid having your movement speed reduced by half (until healed). You figure out you are able to skirt the edge of the spikey grass while staying away from the entangling plants if you move east (towards the cabin), but not west. Moving while probing the grass for dangerous blades reduces your movement by half regardless of the result of your reflex save. Check the map for your new location.

2007-11-13, 06:34 AM
Fight in the Forest: Round 3 Begins

Though the bushes make it hard to see exactly what's happening, you catch a glint of steel as the halfling hacks at the eagle as it dives for another attack. Feathers fly, the eagle cries out again and crash lands behind the halfling.

You may begin... first to post will be the first to act, though you can of course ready an action or delay your action until someone else has acted.

2007-11-13, 10:41 AM
Naizan bends over double, the better both to conceal himself and to detect potential spiky grass. He moves as swiftly as he dares along the edge of the danger zone, hoping to be able to turn the corner at some point and take cover behind the cabin. Blood trickles down his ankles, leaving small spots on the grass.

2007-11-13, 12:27 PM

Escape Artist check [roll0]

"The grass has been enchanted! It will cut at your feet and slow your movements. Mystic healing will lift the damage to your feet."

Talonus struggles vainly against the grasping vines. He hands his bow and quiver to Dagon.

"Take this to Dain and get out of here Dagon. Help Dain and Naizan, they're in more danger than I am. The trees are annoying but not deadly UNLESS the halfling subdues us all. Go give him a taste of his own medicine in the group of trees over there and flush him out into the open. And cure Dain quickly or he'll be hobbling too much to be of use."

2007-11-13, 02:44 PM
Naizan finds that he can make his way north almost immediately. The enchanted grass appears to be following a more or less straight line in this direction as well. The cabin is close.

2007-11-16, 04:11 PM
Finish Round 3

Filling in for Dagon
Dagon hurries over to Dain with Talonus' bow and quiver in hand. "Follow Naizan's lead," Dain orders gruffly while accepting the offered weapon. "Looks like he's found a safe path forward." Seeing Dagon hesitate, eyeing the blood seeping into the dirt around his feet, Dain hastily adds "Save your healing, kid. Someone may need it later."

Dagon nods and runs eastward, attempting to keep to the path Naizan walked just moments ago. Meanwhile, Dain turns to take aim at the halfling, taking up a stable firing position and letting the slim quiver lean against his stout leg. He draws the string easily, holds his breath for a moment, then releases both. An arrow flies towards the halfling...

Dain's ranged attack: [roll0]
Arrow damage (if hit): [roll1]
Concealment (20%): [roll2]
.. and glances harmlessly off his thick leather armor.

Begin Round 4

Encounter map
The halfling draws his own bow, takes a bead on Naizan and fires once. The shot is good, but Naizan's reflexes are better. With one fluid sweep he swats the offending projectile aside using the blade-edge of his hand. It spirals harmlessly into the forest.

2007-11-16, 07:22 PM
A question -- did the shooting take into account the deflect arrows? If not, use this roll. [roll0]

Having apparently rounded the corner of the spiky grass, Naizan hurls himself into a sprint. He will attempt to reach one of the trees on the far side of the clearing and take cover behind it.

2007-11-16, 07:37 PM
I don't have access to anyone's character sheet anymore, so I don't know what feats you have (or any other stats, for that matter, I've been guessing for some stuff.) If you've recreated the character online, can you post a link? If not, it would be great if you could sign up for myth-weavers.com and make one. Shouldn't take long since you can probably remember most of the important stuff. Attributes were 30-point buy, HP max for first 2 levels. Should be level 2 right now, but everyone will make level 3 shortly so you can just start from there if you want. Starting gold for equipment is 900gp, no more than half on any one item.

To answer the actual question you posed, no, I did not take Deflect Arrows into account. I forgot that you had the feat, sorry. I will edit the original post to reflect your super deflecty abilities. I don't think you need to make a contested roll, incidentally. The text in the PH seems to indicate that it just automatically works for one missile per round if you have a free hand.

Also, feel free to specify which square you want to end up in. There's a letter/number coordinate system. I'm assuming you want F7 or F8 because you'll need to run to make it and you can only run in a straight line.

And lastly, you don't need to tell me what you're "attempting" to do, just describe it as if it happened successfully, as long as you think it's reasonable that it should work out the way you intend. I'm offering a fair amount of latitude to you guys to control elements of the situation that aren't critical to the story, so I don't mind if you need to make up a few details. I'll let you know if something happens to foil your plans and you need to edit the post, but that will probably be uncommon. I think it will save time and it also allows you guys to get into the descriptive part of the storytelling a little more. (And of course, build in any skill checks, etc, that are necessary to make your actions happen unless you aren't sure what the difficulty should be.)

2007-11-18, 02:12 AM

Escape Artist [roll0]+3 = 4

Talonus struggles vainly against the vines. He tries to use his dagger to cut grasping vegetation but more vines appeared faster than he can clear them.

(In Elven) "Bring the forest to life Dagon! Flush him out of those trees."

Assuming Dagon speaks Elven. I don't remember the languages

2007-11-18, 02:56 AM

Before this journey, it had been many years since anyone had swung a weapon at Naizan in anger, and more since his devotional training had been called upon to protect his life. Once, he had stood for hours, day after day, amid the branches of a willow tree, learning to feel from the trickle of breeze along his skin the wind-tossed motion of the branches. Any arrow or bolt betrayed itself helplessly to Naizan's imperturbable focus -- to his mind, they screamed aloud, warning him away.

Moments after the halfling loosed his shaft, Naizan reached the shelter of one of the tall, thick-trunked forest giants that encircled the small clearing, perhaps 25 feet due north of the halfling's location. Naizan paused briefly, the tips of his fingers resting lightly against the smooth bark of the tree, steeling himself for what could be a deadly face-to-face confrontation against a magic-wielding foe of unkown potency. It was a strange circumstance that had brought him to this pass.

I will wait for the next round to be announced before I write next round's stuff, but basically Naizan will probably charge the halfling.

2007-11-18, 05:37 PM
Talonus, you can cast spells while entangled, if you like, instead of making escape attempts. The plants are not preventing you from waving your hands about. (the entangle effect isn't particularly clear on this, I'm just ruling that it's possible)

Naizan, you won't be able to charge because the bushes count as difficult terrain. They also take double movement to pass through:

Each square is 5' x 5'.
Large trees are represented by those green circles of roughly 10' diameter. You may move into and through any corner of a tree space freely. No limbs grow within reach of the forest floor. If you are standing in a tree square and there is at least one sqaure of tree between you and an opponent (not counting the one you are in), you have cover because of the massive trunk (+4 AC).
The entangle effect is represented by the large green disc, and the spiky grass by yellow squares. Only those squares you know about are highlighted, as it is virtually impossible to tell regular grass apart from razor sharp grass until you step on it.
The cabin is represented by the 15' x 25' block towards the top of the map (which is East, not North, in this case). There are some drying racks arrayed in front of it, which count as obstacles (double movement required to move through these sqaures unless make successful tumble check DC 15).
Bushes are designated by dark green fuzzy areas. Bushes provide concealment (20% miss chance and permit hide attempts), but count as difficult terrain (double movement cost, block charge attempts unless have woodland stride ability (ahem, Dagon)).
The characters are represented by capital letters with colors matched to your speech text: H for Halfling, E for Dagon's summoned eagle, N for Naizan, T for Talonus, G for Dagon, and A for Dain.

2007-11-19, 03:04 PM
Makes sense. From what I gather though, I can move to the clear square north-east of the halfling with my 30' move, even with the movement penalty from the bushes, am I correct? (I was previously confused about which direction north was).

2007-11-19, 05:06 PM
Naizan: yes, you can make it there (square J6, right?)

2007-11-20, 02:43 PM
Actually, Talonus qualifies as entangled and would thus require a DC 15 Concentration check to cast a spell. I hadn't actually put any points into concentration, I was waiting for the level up to do so. So the odds of him succeeding that roll are slim (although still better than his odds of succeeding the escape roll). I don't mind being helpless a bit more, Dain, Dagon and Naizan are the real fighters in the party anyway :smallsmile:

We're still in round 3, right? I think Talonus has made his check for this round already.

2007-11-20, 08:22 PM
Talonus: We're in Round 4, but you have already made your check for this round. I was just mentioning spell casting in case you thought it wasn't an option. I didn't know about the DC 15 rule (but it seems reasonable). Where did you find that?

Otherwise we're just waiting on Dagon... I'll fill in for him again if he hasn't said anything by tomorrow.

2007-11-22, 07:59 PM
Sorry, been busy with Thanksgiving here. Post will go up *tomorrow*. =)

2007-11-24, 04:45 PM
Finish Round 4

Dagon moves forward, taking up a position near one of the drying racks which offers limited protection from the halfling's arrows. He pauses there to make a brief incantation. Seemingly to his own surprise, a bright flame rises in the palm of his right hand and remains there, consuming some invisible source. Meanwhile, Dain shifts a few feet to the side and fires another arrow, missing by a wide margin. He mutters unhappily to himself something about not being worthy of his parentage.

Filling in for Dagon again. He moves 30' and casts Produce Flame. He has cover from the halfling due to the thick furs draped over the rack in front of him.
Dain's ranged attack: [roll0]
Arrow damage (if hit): [roll1]
Concealment (20%): [roll2]
Begin Round 5

Encounter map
"Come closer if you dare, human. You'll pay for every step," the halfling threatens. He fires three arrows in rapid succession at Naizan, who is taking what cover he can behind the trunk of a massive fir. Two of the arrows strike the tree, while the third is deflected into the dirt by a prescient swipe of Naizan's forearm. Seeing his attacks thwarted again, the halfling backs up a few paces to put a little extra distance between himself and Naizan. "Go tell your master my soul is price enough. He'll not have my life as well!"

2007-11-24, 07:32 PM

Although it has been many years since Naizan has had legitimate cause to fear for his life, his training stills his heartbeat and calms him as effectively on the battlefield as it does during his daily meditations. He frowns as the halfling yells at him defiantly, reacting smoothly when another arrow warns him of its assault, his mind elsewhere.

He moves forward in a short burst, closing the distance toward the halfling but staying in cover. He hefts his javelin threateningly, but holds back from loosing it yet. Long experience has taught him to search for a peaceful solution, and the halfling's words give him some hope that even in this unlikely situation, negotiation may bear fruit.

"You are mistaken, halfling. We are not here to slay you, and the master I serve has no interest in souls. If you continue to attack us like some rabid dog, I will put you down. Cease your pointless assault. There is no need for fighting."

Naizan will move west and slightly south to square I8. He will then do that holding action thing where it gets triggered if someone does something specific. He will throw his javelin at the halfling if the halfling shoots his bow at anybody.
Diplomacy check [roll0]
Javelin throw [roll1]
Damage (if hits) [roll2]

2007-11-26, 12:54 PM

Escape Artist [roll0]

Talonus mutters to himself as he tries to escape the angry vegetation. "Ok... left arm out... left leg out... duck that vine... cut that one... and DAMNATION! When will these blasted weeds give it a rest?"

As he struggled though, he noticed Naizan taking the forward position and parlaying with the halfling. A man with many talents he thought to himself. I'm glad he's on our side.

2007-11-29, 08:14 PM
Momentary Ceasefire

The halfling takes a few quick steps to his left to put another of the massive trunks between himself and his opponent. Noting Naizan's readied posture, he keeps his bow levelled and an arrow drawn to his cheek. Dain and Dagon are similarly poised to strike, Dain with bow and Dagon with fire. The tension is palpable. All eyes are on the two characters at the north end of the clearing. Dain barely dares to breathe, straining to hear each word of the conversation. Talonus continues to struggle vainly, the accompanying rustling noises just loud enough to obfuscate some of the words.

"Why have you come if not for my life? If you seek to bind me to your service, know that I would rather die. Not that you could catch me. I have dwelt within these woods for many years--they are my only home--and they will never betray me to the likes of you."

2007-11-29, 11:22 PM

Naizan remains almost motionless, his javelin readied to throw. He lacks Talonus' easy charm, but his measured tones and educated rhetoric give his words a certain dignity and gravitas. He addresses the halfling so calmly one would never suspect from his speech that moments before the man had been trying to kill him.

"We have not come to bind you, and we have not come to slay you. We are here to speak to the halfling Finnias. That dwarf" Naizan gestures in Dain's direction with his free hand "is Dain, son of Dorn. His father has been foully murdered. You are Finnias, are you not? Put aside your bow, and come speak with the son of Dorn."

2007-12-03, 04:23 PM

Escape Artist check [roll0]

After his near escape, Talonus finds himself even more entangled than ever. He tries to speak on his group's behalf but leaves fill his mouth and all he can manage to muster is a half intelligible "Pleh".

Hearing Naizan's calm and steady response though, Talonus figures he couldn't improve on the dialogue anyway. Ah, no wonder he is a king's ambassador he thought to himself.

2007-12-04, 09:16 PM
I spoke with Dagon yesterday. He's decided that he is not going to continue posting in this forum because he doesn't enjoy the play-by-post format. The question then is: would you guys like to (a) continue with one less player; or (b) find a replacement? A replacement could either come from amongst our usual group of players (I was thinking I'd ask amongst them first) or it could come from an open call on the forum (I was planning to do this if there were no takers from amongst our usual friends). Any suggestions/preferences?

2007-12-04, 10:50 PM

The halfling appears stunned. His head turns slowly to regard Dain. He lowers his bow, tension draining from his body. His legs give out and he sits abruptly on the grass, his diminutive form disappearing from sight behind clumps of thick bushes. "A fate worse than death!" he wails. "Have I become so blind? To greet friends as enemies, to welcome peace with anger? It seems the gods have planned cruel punishment for my crimes!"

The halfling's head reappears above the foliage. He addresses Naizan. "Forgive me, good sir, I have acted very poorly. As you have guessed, I am called by the name Finnias." He attempts to effect some sort of bow, but accomplishes instead a brief disappearing act. "Please, my home is yours. Come inside and we will talk. There is much that needs to be said." He walks slowly towards Naizan, his arm outstretched in a greeting of friendship.

2007-12-20, 09:50 PM
Hello? *looks around for signs of intelligent life (cue tricorder sound effect)* Is anyone there?

2007-12-21, 12:30 PM
Naizan bows courteously and accepts the halfling's outstretched arm. His response is gracious, but perhaps a little formal.

"That much needs to be said, I have little doubt. I am pleased that we can speak peacably.

Naizan accompanies the halfling back to the cabin, where the rest of the group also assembles. His body language betrays a certain residual wariness, and he glances about carefully as they walk. Naizan seems prepared at this point to defer to Talonus and Dain in posing the halfling further questions.

Sorry for the hiatus -- end of term marking and general mass hysteria. In terms of inviting more players, I think that would be fine, if Ben's out. Whoever you would like brett -- I'm cool with whoever.

2007-12-24, 01:14 AM

Having watched the scene between Naizan and the halfling unfold, Dain sighs audibly at the friendly resolution. He'd been half-expecting the halfling to stick a knife in Naizan's ribs instead of shaking hands and hadn't lowered his bow until he was really and truly sure that hostilities were concluded. He walks awkwardly on his damaged feet towards Talonus, who is still struggling in a cocoon of local flora. A couple of minutes later, Talonus is free and the trees have returned to their normal, unanimated state. The pair make their way towards the cabin.

Ok, I'll see who I can find to join in! Gotta spur Talonus into reading his mail too... he's been in Maui.

2008-01-02, 06:43 PM

Phew, almost a month long absence. Must be a new record. Sorry but was in Maui and then busy with holidays and such since I returned. Back in the office now so I should be able to post fairly regularly.

Talonus emerges from the mess of vegetation, spitting out pieces of foliage as he does so. The halfling's apology sounded to his elven ears somewhat sincere but also overacted. Perhaps it was merely Finnias' manner but Talonus was not put at ease just yet. He takes Dain's outstretched hand and rises to his feet.

"Thanks Dain. Best let Dagon take a look at those bloodied feet before they start to fester." He considers telling Dain his suspicions about Finnias but refrains from doing so. Talonus was certain Dain needed no extra reasons to be distrustful of the halfling.

Heading into the cottage, Talonus takes in the sights and the smells of the room. He tosses Naizan a grateful and encouraging smile as he checks his gear for damage. Naizan appears to have established a rapport with the halfling and Talonus was happy to let him take the lead in the conversation.

From my recollection, we are looking for Finnias because he was the last to see Dorn alive on the night he died... was there another reason? Might've left town quickly or was there something about his and Dorn's conversation that aroused further suspicions?

Also, Kinthas is in Mexico right now I think so it might be a week or more until he responds.

2008-01-11, 01:30 PM

Alright, I'm back! Sorry about the long absence. Things should go pretty smoothly from here. I haven't found a replacement for Dagon yet, but I'll run him as an NPC for the time being. He's usually silent anyway. I'll probably just phase him out once we get someone else involved.

Your information from Hawksridge is that Finnias was the last person Dorn was seen with the night of his murder. They were known to be old acquaintances who sometimes shared a few drinks together and had been doing just that at Chadwick's bar that night. Finnias was gone the next morning, but so were a lot of people who'd heard about the murder (e.g. many of the delegates as well as the elves who'd mysteriously arrived).

You enter the cabin behind Finnias. He tells you to make yourself comfortable while he fetches something to drink from the storeroom. It is a simple dwelling, hewn of large logs, cleverly stacked and wadded to create four solid-looking walls. The ceiling is low, and the taller of you must stoop significantly to avoid bumping into all manner of dried and drying herbs, meats, and tools of the trapping trade hanging from hooks screwed into the crossbeams. Scents mingle to create a heady aroma that nonetheless leaves the impression of good food and a comfortable home. A largish table, for the size of the cabin, is surrounded by four stout, carefully carved wooden chairs in varying sizes. A small bed is pushed up against one wall, and a stone fireplace dominates the other. Wooden boxes and trestle tables take up the remaining perimeter space. The fireplace is cold.

Dain finds himself a chair and plunks his weight down heavily. He starts removing bits of armor from his legs and Dagon kneels in front of him to tend to his damaged feet, using the juice from a handful of goodberries to close the wounds. Afterwards, Dagon goes to stand by the door. Finnias returns after rummaging in the next room with a bottle of some amber liquid and five wooden cups. He fills them from the bottle and passes them around before offering a brief toast: "To Dorn. A good dwarf and a good friend." He downs his drink, sits at the table, rests his head on his arms and quietly begins to cry.

Slow, sorrowful sobs shudder through his tiny body. "There was nothing I could do!" he cries into his arms. Looking up then, at the three of you, his tearful gaze passes around the table to fall upon Dain. "It was the stranger Ormand who killed your father. Oh, a wickeder man there has never been! He found us, your father and I, as we neared my house in the city. We were a little drunk, you understand. We'd had a few pints over at Chadwick's. He seemed friendly at first and said that he'd some important news from the guard. Well, naturally I invited him in. But he was false! Oh, was he false. No sooner had I closed the door behind me than he attacked! I didn't even see him draw a weapon--suddenly they were just there, in his hands. We tried to defend ourselves, unarmed and unarmored as we were. Dorn held his attention while I ran to get a knife, anything to fight back with. But Ormand was too fast! He moved so quickly, you weren't sure where he was from one moment to the next. I've never seen anything like it. Next thing I knew, Dorn had a dart sticking out of his neck. He told me to run, and then he collapsed. Just like that--he died. I'm so sorry. I was afraid and I ran. I got out a window and Ormand couldn't follow. He was too big, you know? And I ran, I ran down the streets and the alleys and I hid until morning. Then I left the city with a group of travellers heading north and made my way up here, the only place I thought I'd feel safe. I know these woods better than anyone. I've been following you since yesterday. You didn't know did you? I thought you were his men, sent to find me. At first I thought you would just get lost and go home, but you didn't. You came back. And once you'd found my house, I knew it was only a matter of time before Ormand came to get me. I thought if I killed you, I could hide here for a while. Lots of men disappear in these forests, Ormand wouldn't know where to look. I'm so sorry."

Finnias pauses, a little out of breath from the rush of reliving the experience. His tears have stopped, though his eyes are red-rimmed and swollen.

2008-01-12, 01:21 PM

Naizan sits at the table across from Finnias, his back straight and his posture formal. His visage, however, is sympathetic, as he watches the halfling's emotional outburst.

Sense motive check -- Naizan has a +9

After the halfling finishes his story, Naizan puts down his untouched cup of brandy and addresses Finnias, in a gentle tone of voice,

"Dorn was a good man, and we know you and he were close. It must have been a terrible experience to have seen him slain so viciously." He pauses for a moment, then continues in a more confident and assertive tone, "I assure you, we will do the best we can to get to the bottom of this mysterious matter. Do you have no idea why he was killed? Did Ormand say nothing to you that might shed some light on his purposes?

2008-01-12, 03:44 PM

Sense Motive +5

Character sheet mostly back up btw. Missing gear and upgrade to lvl 3.

Talonus sips his drink as he watches the halfling tell his story. He tries to match the details given by Finnias with what he knows of the events that occured.

"Ormand is certainly a dangerous character. Having faced him once myself, I cannot blame you for not being able to overcome him even with the help of Dorn. There is a chance to make this right though Finnias. Return to Hawksridge with us and help us find the killer. Let us put Dorn's spirit to rest together, for the sake of his son and yourself."

I believe we've told Naizan the story of our encounter with Ormand but I don't have time to find it right now. Need a recap?

2008-01-12, 04:29 PM
An Explanation, At Last

Anytime an NPC is being deceitful, I will always roll Sense Motive on your behalf, but I won't tell you about it if you failed. If you succeed I'll send you a private message through the GiantITP message system. Or I might just post it, depending on the situation. If you have a specific use of Sense Motive in mind that you want to make a special check for, then by all means let me know but don't forget to mention what you're trying to accomplish (though don't bother rolling, because I'll still roll for you).

In this case, I assume you just want to know if he's being sincere--and you are quite sure he is.

"Well, he mentioned that he had news from the guard, so, I mean, I think that must be it. Our association with the guard is hardly common knowledge." Finnias becomes visibly nervous when you question him about Ormand's motives. You are certain that he is leaving out some rather important details in his answer.

Dain seems oddly unmoved by the halfling's story of his own father's murder. "Guard? To what guard do you refer?"

Finnias is taken aback by this question. He looks around the table at your assembled blank stares. "Y-you don't know about the guard?" he stammers. "You are his son! Surely he's told you." Dain gives a slight shake of his head to indicate, no. Finnias looks to the rafters. "Mother forgive me, now I've done it." He pours himself another brandy and downs it quickly before continuing.

"The Guard isn't a person, it's an organization. The Veiled Guard." As if recalling verse from the memory of an old poem, he closes his eyes and recites: "The Veiled Guard was formed after the end of the Second Cirrunic War by the young king, Nirovandilus II. It began as a simple outgrowth of the Sapphire Guard, the king's own royal guardsmen, but after a few years it was expanded and given it's own chain of command under the name The Veiled Guard. It's mission is to gather information from all corners of the realm to warn the Kingdom of Cirrune of the coming of a Third Cirrunic War. As the power of the elven kingdom has waned over the decades, this mission has become ever more important." His eyes open, the recital complete. "The Guard works covertly, preferring to maintain it's ties in secret, though each kingdom in the former Cirrunic empire has representatives within the organization--yea, even Hawksridge, though it doesn't style itself a kingdom. Your father is... was an agent of the Veiled Guard. He recruited me, years ago, to be his eyes and ears in the northern forests. We would meet in Hawksridge from time to time and I would fill him in over drinks at Chadwick's."

He pauses and makes an apologetic face. "It's been so long since there's been any real trouble that it all became rather relaxed, I'm afraid. Perhaps we met too openly or spoke too freely. This Ormand, he pretended to be agent of the guard when he approached me. And I believed him, because he had one of these." At this, Finnias shows you his left hand. Upon the third finger he wears what appears to be a simple silver ring, but a close inspection reveals an intricate pattern finely etched into the silver. The artisanship is exquisite. "They don't all look the same, mind you. Ormand's was made of gold. But it will have this motif, somewhere in the overall pattern." And he points out a series of repeating figures that look vaguely like Qs.

2008-01-14, 01:51 AM

Naizan sits very still, his expression bleak. Long years negotiating in the halls of power have given him an instinctive tendency to seek conciliation and compromise, to flatter rather than confront. He has reasons enough to distrust the halfling, but he is a man who tries to build bridges, not burn them. So he proceeds circumspectly, although Finnias' earlier outburst is still turning over and over in his mind -- "my soul is price enough".

Naizan glances down at his hand, as he speaks, toying with a heavy gold ring on his right middle finger.
"So you recognised Ormand's ring when he approached you, Finnias, and that was why you trusted him? It is understandable -- Ormand was very convincing, I am sure. You couldn't have guessed his true intentions.

Abruptly Naizan slaps the palms of both hands down on the table and sits forward in his chair -- the blow is not hard, but the noise punctuates his smooth tones with an abruptness that naturally draws attention. As he does so his gaze fixes intently on Finnias, staring deeply into his eyes, holding it for an uncomfortable moment.

"If we are to solve this riddle, if we are to gain for Dorn's shade the justice he deserves, we must know more about this Ormand. Was that the first time you had met him, Finnias? Did he say anything that might betray his ultimate purposes?

2008-01-15, 02:47 AM

"I agree with my companion, whatever you know of this Ormand may prove the key to us turning the tables on him. Perhaps this may have some meaning to you?" Talonus reaches into his sleeve and pulls out a single playing card and places it on the table. "We found the entire deck in the house and Ormand attacked us in order to recover it. We have yet to figure out it's significance..."

2008-01-22, 12:19 PM
Please pardon my absence (yet again). I had a rather unplanned trip to my grandparent's place during which I had no access to the internet. I am coming back today (writing in an airport) and will be continuing the story this afternoon (evening for those of you in EST).