View Full Version : The Storm <Team Two>

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2007-11-29, 06:33 PM
The blazing sun beats down upon the scorched surface of Perun as you cross the courtyard of Redrock Keep. The building's high red sandstone walls provide some shade, but the heat is oppressive. The guards on duty at the central tower have been waiting on your arrival and quickly escort you to the great hall where Sir Allec the Red and several of his liutenents are gathered around a large table at the far end of the room, studying the maps laid out across its polished wooden surface. As you enter the great vaulted space, the skarrn warrior straightens and turns to face you.

"Finaly you are here. I have much work for you to do, and not much time to explain. Please, come closer." He says in firm but pleasant tones.

As you cross the room, you cannot help but notice the rich decorations of the hall, with finely decorated tapestries decorating the stone walls and the mounted heads of hunting trophies hanging above each of the large arched windows, every one a dangerous animal. Amoung the ones you recognize are the heads of Giant Eagles, Manticores, and a Displacer Beast.

When you reach the table, several of the liutenents move to give you a clear view of the maps spread out upon the table. "The mission I have for you is one of great strategic importance. As you know, I oppose Carmein Del'thur, the sorcerer who slew the rightful king of this land and usurped the throne with the help of several tribes of desert nomads. Carmein's forces have consolidated their control of the White Desert and are working to invade the Rimward Mountains and the surrounding badlands."

"Currently, my men and the few nomad tribes who are allied with us have been successful in keeping Carmein's men from invading and we are at something of a stalemate, but we have reason to believe that Carmein has entered into negotiations with a dragon, intending to use it's power to break the stalemate."

Sir Allec points to the map in front of you. "This is Blackrock Spire, located in the midst of the Needles and several days inside the White Desert. It is rumored that a blue dragon of great age lairs here within the Spire, but the dragon has only been seldom seen over the years, so we do not know if it is still in residence or even alive. Neverless, tribesmen loyal to Carmien have been seen frequenting the Needles. I have dispatched several teams of scouts to see what is in the area, but none have ever managed to return and report."

"This time, I have sent several of the desert tribesmen instead of my own scouts. They know the land better than my own men and should have been able to make it to the Needles and observe the actions of Carmien's men. This is where you come in. Your mission is to make your way to the Needles as quickly and secretly as possible and escort the tribesmen out of the Desert."

"However, an army of Carmien's forces has made another attempt to invade, and so we have been forced to have one of the allied tribes head them off before they can set up a foothold in the mountains. This may make your job more difficult as the shortest path to the Needles runs right through where the two armies are expected to meet. Any questions?"

Tar Palantir
2007-11-29, 07:15 PM
Bripp stands on his chair in a vain attempt to offset his short stature. In the high pitched, abrasive voice of one accustomed to command, he says, "Yes, I have several. One, how much does it pay? Two, how many puny humans will we get to smash? And three, why in the name of Tiamat don't we get the dragon on our side? If there is anything I know about blue dragons, it's that their greatest weakness is greed. If we can outbid this Del'Thur fellow, the dragon will just as gladly follow us as him. Plus, with the legendary Bripp Redscale, shaman leader of the Tribe of the Hall of Shiny Floors, suporting you, no dragon would dare to oppose you!" He puffs out his chest, showing off his magnificent red scales, unusual among his kind. Everything about the kobold, from his blood red mace to his crown made from a feathered human skull, suggested both his importance and his strange, often disturbing, taste. Despite his odd appearance, he has an aura of power and command that belies his paltry 2'2" height. He crosses his arms across his chest, his long snout turned up haughtily as he waits for the answers to his questions.

2007-11-29, 08:08 PM
double post

2007-11-29, 08:11 PM
Sir Eric Gianor wipes the sweat from his brow that had formed on the walk across the blistering courtyard. He looks at the map and frowns, concentrating hard on memorizing every detail, even though he knows he has no head for memorization. At the mention of the dragon, he shifts nervously in place.

One thing, Sir Allec. If we do happen to encounter the armies in battle, should we help our allies defeat the enemy forces or try to avoid the conflict in order to get to our main objective faster?

2007-11-29, 08:21 PM
(Please colorize you character's speech, Tar. It makes it so much nicer to read.)

The knight shakes his head in irritation, the red spines running along the skarrn's arms and back stiffing somewhat in irritation. Apparently he question's his lieutenent's judgement in hiring a kobold for this job.

"You are recieving more than a standard soldier's pay for your services, five gold pieces each week, plus room and board, supplies, and necessery gear, plus you can keep anything you find or plunder from our enemies. I thought you were told this when you were recruited." Allec looks sharply at the lieutenet responsible, who shrugs, as if to say "Don't look at me."

"As for the enemy, we only expect light resistance, if any, on this mission, but there are no guarantees."

"The idea of bribing the dragon to work for us is proposterous. It would take half our treasury at the least to tempt the beast, and besides that the creature is a foul beast. It reputedly enjoys slowly torturing any visitors it recieves to death."

He turns to Eric, and addresses his question, relaxing a little. "I would prefer that you avoid any confrontations with the enemy, as our allies should have more than enough men to deal with Carmien's agressions."

2007-11-29, 08:25 PM
Understood Sir. That is all I need to know, so I will step aside and let the anyone accompanying me on the mission to ask questions. I am ready to leave whenever necessary.

Eric bows to Sir Allec and steps away from the table, keeping just in the shade and gazing across the courtyard, apparently deep in thought.

2007-11-29, 09:28 PM
Hal Stormwind, the slight silver-haired elf, listens as best he can, though cannot help but be distracted by the diverse assortment of folk he has been asked to join. He particularly takes interest in the kobold's speech, considering it with a mixture of curiosity, amusement, and genuine interest.

He then turns back to Sir Allec.

"Well, I am about as far from my home terrain as I could imagine, so I can't even think of what questions to ask. But I imagine both my eyes and sword are as sharp as they ever will be. I'll do all I can to help.

He nods toward the kobold. "Even with the dragonling among us to add his persuasive skills to the mix, I agree negotiating with the dragon seems unlikely."

[[[dual-wielder, I am having trouble reading the orange text. Can you please switch it to a darker color? :smallsmile: ]]]

2007-11-29, 09:32 PM
Is this better?

Tar Palantir
2007-11-29, 10:33 PM
Bripp nodded, considering Sir Allec's words with proper dignity. He then replied, "Very well. If resources will not allow it, then we will continue with your original plan. But I must say i feel the dragon to be more dangerous than any soft skinned human, present company excepted. The dragon will eventually need to be dealt with, and bribery is much more likely to work than outright battle against such an old and powerful creature." He pauses to rummage through one of the pouches at his belt, finally removing a dead rat, which he ate noisily before continuing. "Also, if need be, I could muster any kobold tribes in the area in support of your cause. If there are warriors brave and strong enough to defeat this dragon, they will be found among my people." He burped loudly as he finished, then proceeded to pick his teeth with a thin, sharp rat bone he produced from another of his pouches.

2007-11-29, 10:48 PM
Sir Eric turns around at the smell of the dead rat, cringing in disgust as he watches Bripp devour it. After some of the things he witnessed on Reach, he was looking forward to a chance to prove his worth alongside honorable allies. As he looks down on the 2 foot tall lizard with a rat bone in between his teeth, he sighs... "Not exactly what I expected." he thinks to himself. He shifts his gaze back to the courtyard, now with a slight scowl on his face.

2007-11-30, 02:26 AM
Jak shifts his weight, calling sudden attention to the ghostly stillness he had been maintaining, and moves forward to a more sociable distance. His gaze creeps across the map, then he places a finger on the cluster of icons labeled The Needles.

"I would know more of this place." His finger traces a path towards the bordering mountains, where two armies are deployed. "And here, also. From you, and also from these tribesmen in who's knowledge of the land you place such faith. You call this the shortest path. Is there another?" His finger is joined by the rest of his hand, as though he could absorb the depicted terrain by feel alone, which he then withdraws to resume searching with his eyes. "My Elders spoke of lands that cook rivers into sand. This journey is to take days, perhaps weeks. Where is there water?"

2007-11-30, 08:03 AM
Badael (Jaden)

Badael is elven for Jaden, so I'm just going to call him Jaden from here on out, since I imagine we'll be speaking in common anyway.

Walking through the room, Jaden takes a particular interest in the hunting trophies...

*sigh* My council has done so much to get nature back into these places...just so people can kill for fun and sport...

Lost in his thoughts, Jaden only half-way listens to what is being proposed.

Something about a dragon and a desert...and a spire...

BlackRock Spire? Play WoW much? :smallwink:

A desert...hrmm...something of that magnitude is beyond my skills to heal...I must remember to send word to the council after investigating this desert. Afterall, if it was a true desert before the sundering of the world, there is no need to 'heal' it...

After a few more thoughts, Jaden finally decides to speak up.

"While I'm a little nervous about coming so close to a dragon's lair, especially one so old, since helping you will help restore some order and let nature continue to....

Jaden looks again at the trophy heads on the wall...grits his teeth, and continues.

...flourish. I will consent to help you. Can we assume that we will have a guide to show us the way?

2007-11-30, 02:19 PM
"That is the shortest way across the open desert. Once you leave the Crooked Pass, a straight course across the desert will bring you to the Needles as swiftly as possible. You could swing wide of the battle site, and thus avoid the conflict directly, but that would add several days to your travel. As for water, it is scarce in the White Desert, which is why you will be taking most of the water you will require with you. There is an oasis here," Sir Allec points to a spot to the east of the shortest route, "where you could resupply with water, but it would add a day of travel to your route and put you more directly in the path of Carmien's army."

"I see my trophies disturb you. Let me assure you that each was raiding the livestock of a settlement and had to be put down. It simply would have been a shame to waste them. As for a guide, I am unable to provide you with one. Any that I might have been able to give you are needed elsewhere if we are to ever drive that black-hearted traitor off the face of this world. I can provide you with a fine map of the area, which should be sufficient for you to reach your destination. On the way back, the scouts know the area well, and should be able to guide you back, if such is required."

"Are there any other questions?"

I played WoW for a while, but I never heard of Blackrock Spire while playing the game. Call it an odd case of convergent invention.

2007-11-30, 03:31 PM
And this Crooked Pass, the scouting reports from this region report no hostile activity? Surely such a pass is of some strategic importance? Jak's finger sweeps the mountains bordering the desert once more. Your tribesmen know of no more secret passage? No road too narrow for an army? It seems likely your missing scouts were intercepted at this place.

Blackrock Spire has been a fixture in the Warcraft universe since Warcraft 1 in the early 90's, when it was base of operations for the Orcs. It has since been passed around like a cheap hooker and last time I loaded up WoW a couple years ago, it hosted at least 4 races that did not exist at the inception of the game (incidentally, including dragons, but black ones), two high level instances, two 40-man raid dungeons, and a huge lava lake far below the ring around the outside that served as the path. That was the best part: as a priest, I could cast Mind Control on enemy players and make them fall in.

2007-11-30, 03:45 PM
"The pass has been in our hands and well guarded since shortly after the overthow of the king, and obtaining it is likely the objective of Carmien's forces now. There are other, less useful passes through the Rimwards, but most of them are also patroled my our men or by the tribesmen. If my scouts were killed or captured, it was after leaving the Pass."

I hated shadow priests. I played a tauren shaman, and ran into a few. Stupid fear/life drain combos dropped on me when I'm just trying to grind out some quest items.

2007-11-30, 03:52 PM
I was a shadow priest :smallbiggrin:

2007-11-30, 03:57 PM
This is well. These other passes are marked on the maps we are to receive? My.. companions and I can decide which to risk. Now, we must know more of how we are to carry enough water to last us.

I ran in 2-3 man teams, so I played the 24/27 holy/disc split... vastly superior for anything other than solo pk'ing. Actually, I invented it... if Nurfed still has a forum, my old Priest thread from before release is probably still stickied there. A few months later when they figured out I was right, Vhell and Tivoli popularized it, at least on Archimonde... no one listened to anyone from Discordia. If anyone remembers that name, I'll tell some stories... before my guild disbanded we were #4 game-wide on every major raid boss takedown, but our fame had more to do with our... ingenuity. We probably caused more hotfixes than the rest of the game population combined. No outright cheats, but lots of thinking outside the box.

Tar Palantir
2007-11-30, 03:58 PM
Bripp puts away his makeshift toothpick and stretches, then says, "Well then, let's be off. The sooner we leave the less likely it is that word of our mission will spread and endanger us. Secrecy will be our ally." His wise words are slightly undermined by the absurdity of his feathered skull crown and bright red scales.

2007-11-30, 04:11 PM
I agree with our little dragon here. I believe heading off as soon as possible would be the best decision. Does everyone in the group have a waterskin or some other way to transport water?

2007-11-30, 04:26 PM
(ooc: I can't find anything in the PH that talks about drinking water management, but a full waterskin weighs 4lbs, which is about 1.8L/60floz. I'm guessing that's vastly insufficient even if there's water right up until we leave the mountains)

Jak's head swivels to focus his expressionless gaze on Erik, the first eye contact he has made since entering the room. Indeed. Yet, for travel in the desert, some measure of flexibility is in order... we may need to take the long way home. Jak turns to Sir Alekk. You offer supplies. This undertaking seems to call for the use of a mule. Will you make one available to us?

Tar Palantir
2007-11-30, 04:36 PM
Bripp stands up tall and speaks, in an excited voice, "Oh, I have heard of a creature far better than a mule! It's a beast of burden used by desert people. It can go a long time without water and can walk on the sand without slipping. I think it's called a cama...cara...caramel! That's it! no, wait, that's not right. I can remember right now. But it's real! I read about it in an ancient tome in the Room of Many Books, near my former kingdom, the Hall of Shiny Floors." He obviously thinks there is nothing wrong with what he is saying.

2007-11-30, 07:19 PM
"The quartermaster is handling all of those details. Once you leave here, you will need to visit him to pick up your gear for this mission anyway, so speak with him if he hasn't already made sufficient arrangements."

The skarrn begins rolling up the map. "Is there anything else that you need to ask?"

2007-11-30, 09:20 PM
I, for one, am ready to see the quartermaster. I do not know how I will deal with this environment, and frankly, I will need all the help I can to keep cool in this blasted armor.

Eric is clearly anxious to get underway, but out of courtesy he waits by the table, waiting for the others to make their opinions heard. "Always playing the gentleman Eric. Never looking out for yourself. Just like Father would have wanted..." Eric brightened at the thought of his father, who had been the one to first introduce to the concept of a perfect knight. He was filled with new determination to make this first mission a success.

2007-11-30, 11:38 PM
A ghost of impatient contempt almost seems to flicker through Jak's expressionless face as the kobold proclaims apparent nonsense and ridiculous self-justification yet again, but he turns instead to Erik. With a slight nod, he signals his willingness to follow Erik's lead for the time being, then seems somehow to melt out of sociable range without leaving his place at the table.

2007-12-01, 02:24 PM
"A last instruction for you. When you meet with the scouts, ask them: 'What is the greatest danger a man can face'. They will identify themselves as one of my scouts with the phrase 'The greatest danger is the evil within', to which you are to reply 'Danger must be faced with honor and courage'. If you do not supply the proper countersign, they have been instructed to flee imposters. If you discover an imposter, capture them for interrogation if you can."

Sir Allec finishes rolling up the map, produces a leather map case, and stores the map within. He then hands the case to Eric. "If that is all, you should go see the quartermaster. He should be found in the armory just off the courtyard."

2007-12-01, 03:01 PM
Eric takes the case from Sir Allec with a slight bow and places it in his backpack. He then turns towards the door and says over his shoulder:

If everyone is ready then we should be off to see the quartermaster.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-01, 04:30 PM
Bripp jumps down off of the chair, saying, "It's still weird having to walk with my own feet. I used to be carried on a litter by my subjects before they were brutally slaughtered by cruel men and wicked elves. They got their comeuppance in the end, though. I miss that litter. I had a gnome build an fan that fanned me all by itself, and it only blew up twice! I think I still have that gnome's nose in one of these bags here..." Rummaging through his pouches, he follows the others to the quartermaster.

2007-12-01, 04:41 PM
I am going to believe that you are joking, Sir Kobold, if only so that I do not ruin the group's morale before the mission even starts. Perhaps you should not tell stories of your abuse of your own people from now on. Some of us may not approve of such behavior

Sir Eric shakes his head and tries to block out the Bripp's crude stories. "That is two strikes against the Kobold," he thought. But he knew that he could not, in good conscience, attack an ally. "Probably for the best, I can't stand the thought of ruining my first mission."

Tar Palantir
2007-12-01, 04:54 PM
Bripp stood as tall as he could, which admittedly wasn't very, and said, "I did not abuse my people! The only reason I have the gnome's nose (if I still do) is that he tried to poison me and got caught. I kept it as a deterrent to future assassins. And I'll have you know that everyone was much happier under me than my predecessor, Drall the Oppressor. I took good care of my people and so accepted a few token signs of their gratitude, freely given. Perhaps you should look at your own people, Mister High and Mighty. My entire kingdom was invaded by a group of humans and elves who broke into our home, stole our possessions, and slaughtered our people, down to the last kobold child! The only reason I survived was because I used my magic to hold them off until it ran out, at which point I feigned death and escaped. But I digress. My point is that it is common practice for your people to slaughter mine, when all we are trying to do is defend our homes. Who is the evil one there?" He glowers at the knight, looking simualtaneously frightening and ridiculous.

2007-12-01, 05:02 PM
Was I the one who salughtered your people? No. You simultaneously insult all humans for being cruel to your people and judge me as evil just for being human. I would never kill innocent beings based on their race, but you seem to be willing to judge me based on mine. The humans I was raised among would never use their people to carry them from place to place. They would never consider themselves too important to walk on their own two feet. You call me "Mister High and Mighty" and with the same breath of air proclaim your greatness and superiority. No, perhaps you were not as evil as someone deemed "The Oppresser", but you certainly feel that your comrades are so below you that they need to carry you wherever you go.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-01, 05:11 PM
Bripp swells up in anger, and practically shouts, "I do not accuse you of killing my people, but I do say that you do not understand them. Kobolds are readily slaughtered by practically any other living thing ever seen. A kobold ruler has to prove to their people that they are stronger than every other kobold in the kingdom. Otherwise, how can they defend their people from bands of humans or elves or orcs or whatever other creature happens to be in the area? So what you say is abusive is, to my people, a sign that the ruler has a firm hand on things and is strong enough to protect them. I do not say that humans are evil, because they clearly do not view what they do as wrong. What I do say is that you should not pass judgment on what you do not understand, and most people are too busy killing kobolds to ever try to understand them. I am sorry if I was rude, but this is a very sore subject for me. I forgive you for what you said in ignorance, and hope that you now have a more enlightened view of things." He makes a visible effort to calm himself, and then says, "I don't want to get off to the wrong start with you, since we may be together for some time. We all have predjudices to overcome, it seems."

2007-12-01, 07:15 PM
A shouting match between squadmates, given as first impression before one they accept command from. No honour. No self respect.

Jak's refusal to outwardly acknowledge the proceedings make no secret of his discomfort, where it is noticed, but in the midst of such drama his tenancy to draw attention only when it is deliberate allows him to escape the mind.

2007-12-01, 10:15 PM
Indeed, it was wrong of me to take offense so quickly. I realize that the Kobold people have been given a tough deal, and I sympathize with your plight. Perhaps by performing this good, you can begin to show the world the good that can come from the Kobold race. I know that the prejudices of the world will never go away, but perhaps we can put them aside for the greater good.

Sir Eric smiles at Bripp and looks at the ground, obviously embarrassed at his sudden outburst. As a child, he had been known for his angry outbursts and tantrums, perhaps lashing out against a strict father. He had thought he had it under control, but obviously he still had work to do.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-02, 07:54 AM
Bripp smiles and nods, saying, "I accept your apology. Better to work this out now than in the middle of a battle. Now, off to the quartermaster!" He starts off in the direction of the quartermaster, rumaging through one of his pouches, muttering to himself, "Now where is that nose?"

2007-12-02, 10:43 AM
Hal looks relieved.

"I think many of us are far from home... and differences are doubtless going to crop up. I'm glad to see such differences can be resolved peaceably. I for one look forward to learning about all of you and your peoples."

"But for now, more practical matters. To the quarter master!

2007-12-02, 07:31 PM
You finish descending the stairs and once more cross the courtyard. You cross the open courtyard quickly, to better avoid the heat, and enter the armory. The keep's thick stone walls do much to keep the heat out, so inside it is fairly cool.

The quartermaster, a stout dwarven man, is there, sitting at a desk, apparently doing some paperwork. As you enter, he looks up. "Finaly got here, did ya? Took ya long enough." The dwarf gets up from his desk, grunting a little as he does so. "Follow me."

He leads you back into a storeroom, filled with stacks of uniforms and racks of armor. There he gives you each a desert outfit, to protect you from the heat, although it takes him some time to find one small enough to fit the kobold, and a waterskin.

"As fer the rest o' the supplies, they're already packed on tha camel. Just collect the beast from the stables, and ya can leave as soon as yer ready."

2007-12-02, 07:37 PM
Eric enters the armory first and bows to the dwarven man.

We apologize for the delay Sir, and thank you for this invaluable equipment.

As Sir Eric approaches the camel warily, it grunts and shies away from Eric, causing him to jump. He backs away slowly, obviously uncomfortable with the beast.

Will the desert outfits go over/under our armor, or will we have to remove any armor to make use of them?

2007-12-02, 07:45 PM
The desert outfits will protect you from the worst of the heat, but only if you are not wearing armor. Wearing armor will also give you a -4 penalty to Fortitude saves made to resist the effects of the heat.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-02, 08:51 PM
Bripp jumps up excitedly, grinning. "Camel! That's what it's called. Ha! I told you it was real." He then puts on his desert clothes over his loincloth, looping his belt and pouches over the top. He takes a look at himself, then says, "Not bad, not bad. Maybe a change of color, though." With a wave of his hand and a word of power, the clothes become bright blue, with garish stripes of vivid red around the ends of the sleeves and just beneath his belt. "Much better. Pity it only lasts an hour. Oh well. I can change it again if we meet anyone."

2007-12-03, 01:26 AM
Jak nods respectfully as he is handed his desert outfit and steps aside into an adjoining room to change. Out of sight, he moves quickly, transferring his hidden items from the old clothes to to new. Mildly paranoid, he also moves as quietly as possible, straining to hear anything from behind the door.

hide dagger, sleight of hand [roll0] (edit: now I recall, +2 for being a dagger, +2 more if the desert outfit is "heavy or baggy clothing)
hide thieve's toods, sleight of hand [roll1] (may also benefit from clothing bonus)
listen [roll2]

After strapping his short sword to his back and slinging his pouch belt across his hips, he emerges carrying his black leather gear rolled into a bundle. He accepts the offered waterskin and adds it to the bundle in his arms.

"I'll be needing to stow these. This camel..." with a slight sidelong glance at the kobold "...it will be able to bear a few more things?"

(ooc: no armour? my specialty)

2007-12-03, 08:04 AM
Hal thanks the quartermaster for the clothing. "I take it we have more water carried by the.... camel?""

The elf retreats into a quiet corner to change. He decides to leave his armor off for now, though he stores it carefully for quick access should he change his mind.

2007-12-03, 08:19 AM
Keeping rather quiet, Jaden follows the others to the quartermaster, wolf in tow.

Gladly taking anything that will keep the heat off, the elf strips off his leather armor and replaces it with the desert clothing given by the armorsmith.

When he gets the chance, Jaden will pack his leather armor on the camel, but nothing more. For a brief moment, he worries about someone stealing his armor, but that quickly passes.

I doubt they could handle the smell of that armor for long

Jaden smirks at this thought and continues to watch the rest of the group hoping to glean more about them from their actions.

((OOC)) About the Smell: The way I figure, he's a druid, who spends a lot of time in the wild, and while some aspects of nature have a pleasent fragrence, others do not. Also, just because he might have taken a bath, doesn't mean his armor has ever been washed, and sweat soaked leather can begin to stink, not to mention if there are other things on it besides sweat, he does have a wolf for a companion after all...

This has been an odd aside :smallbiggrin:

2007-12-03, 11:45 AM
Six kegs of water have been lashed to the camel's sides, along with several panniers, most filled with travel rations of dried meat and fruit (if/when you choose to examine them), but with some room to add your own gear, if you wish. The camel is a bit stubborn to handle, but doesn't offer too much resistance to being led.

One thing that is readily apparent: the stable is almost empty of animals, there only being two or three horses left in the stalls. This would explain why you haven't been given mounts for your journey.

As soon as everything is to your liking, you may set out.

2007-12-03, 11:56 AM
Jak's face wears the first expression his companions have seen on it: incredulity. Whatever he expected of the camel, hump-backed, long-necked and ill-tempered clearly wasn't it. He approaches the beast with an air of not knowing quite what to expect to stow his clothes and second waterskin. While he does so, he takes the opportunity to glance inside the panniers loaded upon it. Noting the contents, he takes a quick estimate at how long the camel's load should feed him and his companions for.

(ooc: so... about how long?)

2007-12-03, 12:04 PM
A little over two weeks. You have a total of 70 man-days of food and water, but the kobold only counts as half a man, so the whole party can survive for 15 and a half days before the supplies would run out.

2007-12-03, 01:18 PM
"We will return with your information." Jak proclaims shortly. His move out of the way of his companions needing to stow equipment quickly becomes a leap clear of the derisive spit the camel aims at him. Keen ears catch a low growl cut off in the back of Jak's throat just as it begins to rise.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-03, 04:05 PM
Bripp stores his waterskin on the camel, then attempts to leap on the camel's back to ride it. Not a skilled rider in the best of circumstances, he slides sideways off the camels neck and lands on a crate. Shaking his head to clear it, he stands up and marches to the front of the group, his pouches dangling at his sides, along with a brutal looking mace which had previously gone unnoticed. Despite his flamboyant appearance and absurd behavior, he appears to be someone not to be trifled with, rather like the classical eccentric wizard, albeit at a scaly two feet tall.

2007-12-03, 04:14 PM
Doing his best to hold back a smirk at the attempts of Bripp to ride the camel, Jaden eventually succumbs to the urge and kneels down to put his waterskin in his backpack as an excuse to hide his grin.

Seeing his wolf out of the corner of his eye, Jaden's focus shifts.

I hope Shyr is able to maintain his health in this desert...

Subsequently...is there anything I need to do to make sure that Shyr (my Wolf Companion) survives in the desert?

2007-12-03, 05:21 PM
Here's your options, as far as I can see:
Option 1: Leave him to be stabled here.
Option 2: Get the group to feed him from the supplies. He'll eat the same as any other medium creature.
Option 3: Make Survival checks for the wolf to forage on its own. The wolf, not you. May slow your travel.
Option 4: Make Survival checks to forage for the wolf. May slow your travel.

2007-12-03, 05:33 PM
Eric enters a side room to change. He reluctantly takes off his armor and replaces it with the desert outfit. In almost no other circumstances would he venture out without his armor, but he realizes the necesity of keeping cool. He re-enters the main stable and places his waterskin and armor on the camel, keeping his shield in one hand and his sword in the other. He wears a small hand axe tucked under his belt with a quiver of javelins across his back, alongside his backpack.

2007-12-04, 07:50 AM
Hal eyes the supplies tied to the camel. Although a camel is a far cry from a ship, he still feels the urge to eye the knots and buckles keeping the supplies on the beast of burden and make sure that they are secure.

He also notes to keep far out of range of its spitting.

"I suppose we should either leave this evening, or leave early tomorrow morning, to start off when it is cool? He is clearly hazarding a guess, not being very familiar with the environment.

2007-12-04, 05:45 PM
A smile touches the corners of Jak's lips. The night shall be our ally.

if we disperse until it's time to leave, or if the next time he has a moment alone is otherwise off-screen, Jak will take 20 to hide his dagger and lockpicks better.

2007-12-05, 06:18 PM
Indeed. Even in these light outfits, the days will be scorching. I vote for this evening, as I would prefer to get underway as soon as possible. But if anyone truly does not want this or genuinely needs to wait until morning, I, of course, will wait.

2007-12-07, 04:55 PM
(unless someone wants to voice oposition to the proposal . . .)

You are able to find an empty room just off the courtyard and out of the sun to wait for evening. As the sun dips below the planet's edge, the chill of night begins swiftly setting in. You set out down the steep mountain road down from the butte of red sandstone upon which Redrock Keep sits, leading the camel behind you. With the sun down, it soon becomes bitterly cold, strange on such a hot planet.

2007-12-07, 06:16 PM
Eric shivers in his light outfit, and resists taking a drink of water despite his growing thirst. He turns to the others to make sure they are alright. He keeps his bastard sword and shield in front on him, constantly looking for signs of danger.

So we should probably come up with a marching order right? Eric will march in front (it's an honor thing).

Tar Palantir
2007-12-07, 08:07 PM
Bripp marches behind Eric, doing his best to ignore the cold. He constantly digs through his pouches, pulling out various trinkets and momentos from events in his reign, among other things. Despite this, his hands never seem to stray far from his mace, and his keen eyes and ears are alert for danger.

Bripp marches behind Eric (it's an intelligence thing. Caster stays behind the meat shield :smallbiggrin: .)

2007-12-07, 10:38 PM
"I was hired for my sharp eyesight. Let me walk with you, Sir Eric, so I can keep a lookout.

2007-12-07, 11:03 PM
Your presence will be appreciated Hal, as will your keen eyes. I do not like travelling in the dark, although i admit it is a necesity.

2007-12-08, 02:20 PM
Jak takes in the groupings his companions are easing into and settles in abreast of the kobold. He clearly has no intension of bringing up the rear with a camel in tow. From time to time, he scoops a fistful of dust from the ground and rubs it between his palms, and his eyes never settle.

"Night eyes, Elf. I'd kill to see so well into shadow." His flat tone almost seems to suggest he'd kill Hal, if he could take his eyes by doing so.

2007-12-08, 04:18 PM
Eric is a little unnerved by the strange statement from his shadowy teammate. He shakes off the strange feeling and continues scanning the area for signs of danger, although it is not much use in the dark.

How far are we going to travel this night? I do not think it wise to push ourselves too hard on this first night of travel. Perhaps we could make camp shortly after the sun rises and sleep during the hottest hours of the day?

2007-12-08, 04:53 PM
Your have reached the more level floor of the valley and are following a dry river bed south, towards Crooked Pass and the White Sands themselves. The terrain here is mostly rugged hills and mountains, the red, sandy soil erroded by wind and the occasional rainstorm. The light of the roiling Storm provides enough light to see by, if weakly, although the elves and kobold have no trouble seeing. The sparse vegetation, mostly sagebrush and hardy grasses, is strange by Stormlight, apearing like a tangled garden of spikes and briars.

The chill night air cuts through the thin cloth of the desert outfits, being better suited for shedding the heat of the burning sun than for keeping warm in the cold. The temperature continues to drop and the cold has already begun to take its toll, sapping the strength of most of the party.

Everyone except Eric and Bripp take [roll0] nonlethal damage from the cold, and are fatigued.

2007-12-08, 07:36 PM
Jak stares at Eric for a moment before nodding his assent.

"It would not do to enter hostile territory in poor condition. We should seek a defensible position... preferably off the flood plain." His worn face betrays his effort to seem unphased by the night's draining efforts. "Desert Outfits." he can be heard growling under his breath. "Useless."

He toes the loose soil and comments further "Off the flood plain, and high enough a deep fire pit should go unnoticed."

If we march at night again, Jak will change back into his Adventurer's Outfit.

2007-12-09, 01:29 AM
OOC: (Desert Outfits are for keeping cool in the daytime. Regular clothing does no better in these tempertures. You are looking at something like 40 below. There would be frost forming if it wasn't so dry.)

2007-12-09, 01:24 PM
Yes, the temperature is dropping rapidly and we need a fire badly. If someone will accompany me, I will scout ahead for a suitable place to make camp.

Eric shivers, silently regretting ever taking off his armor.

2007-12-09, 01:39 PM
Jak sets his jaw and nods slightly to Eric before gliding off in the direction of the high ground.

2007-12-09, 02:13 PM
Eric sets off in the same direction as Jak, looking for anywhere where a fire might go unnoticed.

Search: [roll0]
that's really the only roll I could come up with, but if there's anything else I should do to find a good place to camp, let me know.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-09, 03:24 PM
Bripp follows Eric, trying to recall the words to his spell to conjure flame, but the cold breaks his concentration. He says, shivering, "If I get warmed up a little, I might be able to conjure some magical flame. Just so cold..." His voice trails of in a string of incoherent mumbling.

2007-12-09, 04:45 PM
search [roll0]
survival [roll1]

if Survival's the roll, our druid putting in an appearance would probably be positive...

2007-12-09, 05:58 PM
You soon find a suitible spot for a campsite and are able to build a small fire, although finding fuel for the fire is a little difficult, due to the scarcity of trees. Searching the supplies, you find three well-made tents, enough that everyone can sleep comfortably.


Survival was the right roll, but the DC wasn't terribly high. As for the cold, I had a character who made the same mistake as you guys, and assumed the "walk at night" thing worked in D&D. The way the rules are written, it only works in extremely hot deserts.

2007-12-09, 06:12 PM
Eric sits down near the fire, shivering, now back in his armor to try to absorb some warmth from the pitiful flame.

Maybe we were given these outfits for a reason. We seem to be better protected against the heat than we are against the cold. Perhaps we should revise our plans?

Yeah what happened to theterran? Druid would be useful in survival situations and in combat...

2007-12-09, 07:32 PM
"I'm puzzled as to why our employer gave us gear to handle the day, but nothing to shield us from the cold at night. Should I survive this, I will not seek more work from this man. Hopefully I will have enough cash to seek passage to a more temperate planet."

He looks around. "We should rest, setting up watches. I suggest pairs. I can take a long shift."

2007-12-09, 08:12 PM
I shall take first watch, and I would love it if you would accompany me Hal.

Eric stands up and stretches the stiffness out of his limbs. He picks his sword and shield and walks to the edge of camp.

2007-12-09, 08:42 PM
Jak begins to rummage through his backpack, and soon extracts a well-packed bedroll. He begins to undo the ties and looks over at Eric.

Wake me for the next watch, then. He begins to include Hal in his glance, then returns his gaze to his now-unraveled bedroll. He blinks, shakes his head, and drops it to the ground, murmuring about the cold getting to his head and shifting his attention to the more immediate necessity of pitching his tent.

Fun fact: Bushmen (a primitive African tribe that speaks in this weird clicks-and-whistles language) that need to travel in the Sahara not only travel at night, but dig a hole to hide in during the day and insulate it against the sun by covering themselves in a thick layer of pissed-on sand. Jak doesn't know this, though, and now I'm glad.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-09, 09:14 PM
Bripp, muttering about incompetence, looks over the paltry fire. With a few words and an arcane gesture, a cone of deep scarlet fire bursts from his hand, igniting the wood. "There," he says. "That should keep for a while. Just keep piling the fuel on and we should be fine. If all else fails, burn the torches. Also, I believe that we should travel during the day. Unfortunately, I must rest, so I cannot take watch. Wake me if the fire goes out, or else when it's morning." He then pulls his bedroll out of his bag and crawls into it, falling quickly asleep.

2007-12-09, 09:15 PM
I will agree that as a system, D&D doesn't do a decent job of modeling some things. However, if you try overnight hiking in Death Valley, you have to pack winter gear or else freeze to death.

As for theterran, he's still around here somewhere. He just seems to have gone down in posting since he had a new kid.

2007-12-09, 09:34 PM
Oh wow, I did not know he had a child. Congratulations terran!

Eric nods towards Bripp in thanks, and then stands a little closer to the fire, facing the outside of camp. He shifts from foot to foot frequently, obviously a bit nervous.

2007-12-09, 10:50 PM
The night passes uneventfully. The fire does much to keep the cold at bay, and those in the tents find that they can keep fairly warm. Gathis, a bright fire star from which the system takes its name, rises above the edge of Perun, a brilliant orange-red disk. The sunlight begins to warm the air almost as soon as it strikes the ground, taking the biting edge off the cold and promising scorching heat in the day.

2007-12-10, 06:34 PM
so we all got enough sleep to heal our nonlethal, replenish spells, and get un-fatigued, and wake up early enough for a full day of walking? It sounds that way, so I'll proceed as if that's the case.

With the sun peeking over the horizon, Jak appears to have recuperated from last night's misery and is repacking his belongings for travel.

The daylight seems preferable to the chill of the dark. His lips writhe into a hint of a smirk, as if he'd said something ironic. He plucks at his desert outfit in distaste. These, at any rate, seem better suited to travel by day. Perhaps if we break camp early, we can rest and shelter for the worst at midday.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-10, 06:40 PM
Bripp rises early, spending some time focusing in order to replenish his arcane powers. Once finished, he joins the rest of the group and says, "I think that if we leave early and take it easy, we can go farther than if we push ourselves in this heat. Depending on how bad it is in the midday with these desert outfits, we can break for midday if needed." He then mutters some arcane words, changing his clothes to a violent orange with purple spots.

2007-12-10, 07:44 PM
(I thought I had already posted this, but I guess it didn't go through)

Eric awoke to find himself covered in a thin layer of sweat. He changed out of his armor and put on the lighter desert outfit before leaving the tent. He blinks in the morning sunlight and stretches out.

Whew, they were not lying when they said this planet could grow hot. Already, in the early morning, it is hotter than anything I felt on my home planet.

He turns to Bripp and Jak, nodding at their suggestions.

Yes, I fear that midday might prove to be too hot for any kind of travel. In fact, any time of day could be too scorching for strenuous activity. We should not over-exert ourselves until we are more accustomed to this extreme climate.

2007-12-11, 07:04 AM
Can anyone actually become accustom to these extremes?, thought Jaden as he pulled the desert outfit on.

Still irritated that the plan of traveling at night went awry, Jaden's outlook on the day was bleak.

2007-12-11, 07:32 AM
"If none of us are used to this sort of climate--and I gather none of us are--Sir Allec must be quite desperate to get these scouts back if he is willing to trust us with the task. Not that I doubt your abilities, but the climate may be a greater dragon to tangle with than the blue."

"That said, let's push forth as much as we can. The sooner this is done with, the better for all of us."

"And let's ration water carefully, in case the worst happens. Oddly enough, as a sailor, that's one thing I've had to do before. Ship stranded in the eye of an elemental storm, the clouds turned acidic, water vapor everywhere and not a drop to drink..... "

Hal realizes he is talking too much, quiets himself, and after readying his gear, he takes his place at the head of the party, eyes alert for any trouble ahead.

2007-12-11, 01:05 PM
You break camp and set off once more, the sun climbing in the sky. Already you are sweating (can kobold's sweat? I forget), but the loose folds of the desert outfits do much to shed the worst of the heat. You travel down the winding valleys through out the day, making good progress towards Crooked Pass.

As the sun climbs higher, the desert heat increases, though still bearable. Soon the sun will be high overhead. Do you wish to press on through the noontime, or are you going to take a break from travel?

I find it somewhat interesting that so far the weather has offered a greater challenge than low-level combat could. Don't worry, something other than sweating and freezing to death comes soon. :smallwink:

2007-12-11, 03:26 PM
If we break now, we can push on through evenfall. We've made camp in the dark once before, but this is certainly more bearable than the freezing night. We've found our limits before and overcome the stress... if we're to learn what's possible, this may be the safest place to experiment.

2007-12-11, 03:40 PM
I agree with Jak. If the Kobold can help us with the fire again, the night will be bearable for camp. I say that a quick break now and then pushing on until night would be the most beneficial action.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-11, 03:43 PM
Bripp straightens up proudly, saying, "My magic is available. I say we rest for an hour or two, then continue."

2007-12-11, 04:31 PM
Agreeing with what the others had put forth, Jaden nods and searches for some small symbolance of shade. If none can be found, he just plops down next to the rest of the group.

2007-12-12, 01:29 AM
You take shelter in the shadow of a rocky outcropping, resting through the hottest part of the day before continuing.

After two further days of travel, you finaly reach Crooked Pass, a narrow slot canyon carved through the last of the Rimward Mountains. The pass is well named, twisting back and forth as it decends to the desert below. The going is not overly difficult, and the sandstone walls of the pass have been carved by centuries of flash floods into sinuous, convoluted shapes, fascinating to look upon.

You spend the night in the pass, and the next day you reach the far end. Around the mouth of the pass is an encampment of soldiers, flying the banner of the Kingdom of Perun. This small detachment apparently have been stationed here to deny the use of the pass to Carmien's spies and scouts.

Ahead streches the White Sands as far as the eye can see, shimmering in the glare of the burning sun.

2007-12-12, 07:50 AM
Hal greets the soldier on guard, explains their purpose, and asks them of any recent news or signs of trouble.

2007-12-12, 12:33 PM
"There's a large army heading this way that want to take the pass, but I'm sure you've heard about that. I've heard that Kylia and her Sand Wolf tribe were the ones dispatched to deal with it. They are riding all the way from Kypris pass to deal with Carmien's scum. You can almost feel sorry for the traitors." The guard laughs a little at the last.

2007-12-12, 03:13 PM
Jak attempts to review the map of this land in his mind, particularly the positions of Kypris Pass, Crooked Pass and The Needles, as well as the oasis.

"How many days out is this Sand Wolf tribe? What are the enemy positions?

2007-12-12, 03:59 PM
"The Sand Wolves? They probably are still two or three days from encountering the enemy. Carmien's forces, if I had to hazard a guess, are probably somewhere around the Al'Kim Oasis, about five days travel to the south-west."

(The Al'Kim Oasis, according to your map, is an oasis about three days travel from the Am'kai Oasis, the oasis you were told about, and roughly four days from the Needles. The Needles are about a four days from here, and about three days from Am'Kai. Kypris Pass is roughly a week's journey to the east from here and is one of the other important passes through the Rimwards.)

2007-12-12, 04:09 PM
Overhearing, Jaden innerjects.

"It seems so far...it's hard to believe people can actually survive out there in the extremes..."

Seemingly changing thoughts in midstream, Jaden continues.

...tell me...has this desert always been here...even before the sundering of worlds?"

It's soooo far...I'm going to cry :smallfrown:

2007-12-12, 04:27 PM
"Old stories say that this planet used to be much greener and less hot, but that an ancient empire of elves made a pact with a powerful demon for power. The demon betrayed them, instead turning the world into the desert it is now and banishing the elves beneath the surface. Of course, that may simply be old legends."

Tar Palantir
2007-12-12, 06:01 PM
Bripp steps forward, this day his outfit a vivid yellow with green stars scattered across the chest. He said, "Are you in need of any assistance here? Whatever we can do to help we will, but we must move swiftly, for our mission is of great significance." He puffs out his chest at this, the skull on his head quivering slightly.

2007-12-12, 06:05 PM
"Sorry, no need for scaly lizards here. Guarding the pass doesn't take much unless we're being hit by a whole army."

2007-12-12, 06:28 PM
Eric leans in towards Jak, speaking so that the guards cannot hear him:

We should not delay here any longer than necessary. I would like to cover as much ground as possible today, so as to avoid any encounters with the main armies. They will obviously not be willing to accept our help anyway, and I do not think they will take kindly to Bripp's... forwardness.

2007-12-12, 08:27 PM
We've much ground to cover. Jak's flat gaze meets the eyes of each of his companions, gathering their attention, before addressing the guard once more. If you've no further advice on the outlying terrain, we'll be setting out.

2007-12-12, 09:51 PM
"I agree we should be getting on. However," Hal turns to the guards, [color=blue]"Before we move on, I don't suppose you might have something you could spare or trade to help us endure the cold of night? Our employer equipped us well for the daytime but not the other extreme."

"If not, of course, I understand. But if you do I imagine it would to be your benefit as well, since we are trying to retrieve the scouts who would be informing you of the enemy's movements."

2007-12-12, 10:39 PM
"Most of the time, we try and avoid moving around at night in the desert. Staying inside tents works well enough. We might be able to spare some armorbright, but you'd have to talk to the officer in charge of supplies."

2007-12-13, 12:37 AM
With a cold look at Hal, Jak claps the guard on the shoulder and looks him in the eyes.

"We trust you will be more discreet with the details of our assignment than the elf, here." He turns back around to address Hal in a clenched, but hushed voice. "If some prisoner's taken while we're behind enemy lines, I'd prefer he wasn't mentioning our position under torture. Let's not make our extraction difficult for ourselves, shall we?"

2007-12-13, 12:57 AM
Let me know when you want to set back out or if you want to chat with the guard or each other some more.

2007-12-13, 07:50 AM
OOC: I had assumed they already knew who we were, since we're on the same side, and would need to let us through (or otherwise they would have stopped us for questioning). This is player error, not character error. If we were supposed to be discreet with these guys and Hal knew it, he wouldn't have said anything.

If the GM allows a retraction, I can reword my speech. If not, I have no problem moving forward as is.

2007-12-13, 09:06 AM
Lost in his own thought...

Jaden mearly mumbles to the guard...

"You have given me much to think about..."

2007-12-13, 10:13 AM
I think we can pretty much head out again. If we had no problem with the cold while sleeping in tents last night, I don't believe any more chatting is necessary. Anyone disagree?

2007-12-13, 12:30 PM
Yeah, okay forget it. Let's just get moving.

Hal responds to Jak, for once his voice going cool. "I don't believe I was telling him anything he didn't already know."

"And if we can't survive the nights, anyone's knowledge of us will be useless anyway. But if I have done any damage, I'll readily face the consequences when they come."

"Let's move on, shall we?"

2007-12-13, 12:42 PM
Yes, let's move. I do not want our delays to cost the lives of our charges.

2007-12-13, 11:22 PM
Jak's response was personal paranoia excaberated by the fact your character isn't human. He assumed no one knew what they didn't need to, as that's how he would have set it up, and was a bit harsh because your character isn't human. You're partied with an Evil character from a xenophobic culture... it'll be a while before we're all trusting each other completely.

With a firm nod, Jak's eyes turn to the horizon, over which the Needles wait. His body settles into a fluid looseness as he mentally readies himself for the long journey.

"Soldier." He bids his farewell without turning, and sets off.

2007-12-13, 11:47 PM
You once more set out, leading the grumpy camel behind you. The white sand that gives the desert its name is hot through the soles of your sandals, and the glare from the sun dazzles your eyes as you travel onward. The kobold suffers the most for this, as his kind are adapted for dark tunnels, not glaring deserts.

Got one last Final, and then I can get to the meat of the campaign. I'll give further updates tommorow, with actual action.

2007-12-14, 07:53 PM
I forgot to ask, but what course are you taking? Straight through and hope to beat the two armies? Swing wide towards the oasis? Swing wide the other way to avoid the conflict for sure?

2007-12-14, 09:05 PM
I'm still a little hazy on what the map actually looks like. Any chance you could bust out Paint and doodle a rough approximation? Along with figures in days of travel that would really help clear things up.

Just a recap, assuming I have my facts right:
-we have 12 days of water left, assuming Jaden's wolf is not with us
-we are 4 days from the Needles by direct route
-we are 5 days from the Needles via the closest oasis, which increases our risk of enemy encounter
-we are 3 days from resupply at base camp when we return to this location (if we make it back to the pass, can we resupply on the way home?)
-the battle probably starts in 2-4 days... at any rate it'll be in full swing before we get back
-there is another oasis further out of the way, but since I don't know which directions the Needles are from our path, I can't use directions to figure out how much use that route is... although if I'm logic-ing correctly a return route via that oasis should bring us within useful range of a different pass through the mountains

let me know if I'm overanalysing here... but if all this matters, picking wrong could be bad, right?

2007-12-14, 09:52 PM
I'm still a little hazy on what the map actually looks like. Any chance you could bust out Paint and doodle a rough approximation? Along with figures in days of travel that would really help clear things up.

Will do, now that Finals are over.

Just a recap, assuming I have my facts right:
-we have 12 days of water left, assuming Jaden's wolf is not with us
-we are 4 days from the Needles by direct route
-we are 5 days from the Needles via the closest oasis, which increases our risk of enemy encounter
-we are 3 days from resupply at base camp when we return to this location (if we make it back to the pass, can we resupply on the way home?)
-the battle probably starts in 2-4 days... at any rate it'll be in full swing before we get back
-there is another oasis further out of the way, but since I don't know which directions the Needles are from our path, I can't use directions to figure out how much use that route is... although if I'm logic-ing correctly a return route via that oasis should bring us within useful range of a different pass through the mountains

Mostly correct. The second oasis is well out of the way. It is useful for crossing the desert, not for travel between the needles. I'll get you a rough flow chart soon.

The battle will probably meet out amid the dunes, not at the pass, as the Sand Wolves are trying to prevent Carmien's army from taking the pass by heading them off early.

let me know if I'm overanalysing here... but if all this matters, picking wrong could be bad, right?

Depends on your definition of bad. Your choice does matter though.

BTW, where is the wolf?

2007-12-15, 12:56 PM
This help?

Tar Palantir
2007-12-15, 01:12 PM
Bripp says, "I say we travel straight towards our destination. We want to get this done as quickly as possible, and it is at least possible that they will circle around to attack from an unexpected direction, so we can't really predict where they'll be. Just run straight and pray. That's my opinion."

2007-12-15, 01:17 PM
Eric frowns in thought, scratching the ground with his toe.

Yes, I say we go straight ahead as well. The less time spent in this desert, the better. And Bripp is right, it will be impossible for us to know when and where the dark Sorcerer's forces will attack.

2007-12-15, 05:21 PM
"Our mission is to avoid detection. This timeframe puts us in the middle of a pitched battle, in featureless terrain, without the option of night travel. Remember this is not the first time this has been attempted. Our predecessors were lost between here..." Jak's finger touches the Crooked Pass, and traces a dead sprint to the Needles "...and here.

Avoiding the likely battle site seems most prudent. We can then circle around behind the enemy on our return via the Am'Kai oasis... no doubt our charges will shorten the life of our water supply. Carmein's forces stationed there are sure to be of token strength." A steely light in Jak's eye makes the unstated suggestion for him.

2007-12-15, 07:05 PM
What course does everyone suggest? A vote should end this quickly. I say we go straight to the needles, and then travel back by way of the Am'Kai Oasis.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-15, 08:23 PM
Bripp says, "I feel speed more important than stealth now. We would lose days circling around, and we aren't even certain the battle will be there. I say plunge straight through, then stop by the oasis on the way back." His words carry the tone of finality common in those accustomed to command.

2007-12-16, 10:46 AM
Hal thinks in silence for a bit. "Both arguments are strong, but I must admit Jak makes a good point: if we head in a straight line, we may be walking into the exact same trap our predecessors did.

"We may lose a day by traveling via the Oasis, but if we travel in a straight line, I think we are more likely to be harmed or captured, in which we'll lose far more than just a day.

"I vote the Oasis route. However, if I am outvoted, I will not complain."

2007-12-16, 08:33 PM
Jak's gaze swivels to rest on Jaden. His silent, unblinking patience speaks for itself.

2007-12-17, 06:31 AM
Silently listening to the others, only shuffling every now and then when he gets uncomfortable. Jaden begins to form his opinion...

He stands from his crouched position to speak.

"Even if it adds a day to our travel, I would much prefer to take the route to the Oasis. It would be one of the few landmarks in a barren, featureless landscape. It is one of the few things that would let us know that we're on the correct course.

If something were to happen and we were to get thrown off course, we would know after a few days when we didn't find the oasis, and that would leave us enough supplies to hopefully retrace our steps and find our way back here. Going the direct route, it would be a week or more before we figured out we were off track, and I fear at that point, all would be lost.

So my vote goes for the Oasis Route."

Crouching back down, Jaden waits for the reply from his companions.

2007-12-17, 01:01 PM
Here's how the votes seem to stack up right now:
Head Straigt Out: 2
Head Out via Oasis: 2
Head Out Around Battleground: 1

We've got a tie between straight out and go by way of the Oasis.

2007-12-17, 01:06 PM
Is the Oasis Route not around the battleground?

I was under the assumption that it was.

2007-12-17, 01:46 PM
Oasis Route is around the Battleground, but its on the side closest to Carmein's forces. Jak voted for going around on the other side of the battlefield, the side closest to friendly troops.

2007-12-17, 08:41 PM
I want to come BACK via the oasis... should be circling around behind carmien's army, going there on the way in seems like it heads straight at them

I had understood Hal's vote to be for my plan, looking back I'm not sure anymore

2007-12-17, 09:22 PM
Sorry, I must've misread sleepy's post and/or thought going towards the troops was going sort of back the way we came. Hal was essentially agreeing with Jak. If that's not the oasis, that's fine.

Hal's main point was not diving straight through.

Personally, I vote for whatever gets the plot moving the fastest. :smalltongue:

2007-12-17, 09:41 PM
Well, that shifts which two choices are tied.
Head Straigt Out: 2
Head Out via Oasis: 1
Head Out Around Battleground: 2

As for what would move the plot along, Theterran changing his vote.

2007-12-20, 10:06 AM
"Well, it looks like three of us at least do not what to drive straight through, out of two who do. Can we consider that at least a majority vote for 'not straight through', and now determine whether we should go via the oasis or around in the other direction?

The former has the navigational advantage Jaden mentions, the latter has more tactical advantage. I admit I'm torn. Thoughts?

2007-12-20, 11:13 AM
Jak impassively hears out Hal's move to further discussion, then turns his head to watch the others. His piece has clearly been said; he has nothing further to add.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-20, 02:05 PM
Bripp snorts, irritated, then says, "Fine. We go around in the other direction, opposite the oasis. We can hit the oasis on the way back, when there's no one there that wants to kill us."

2007-12-20, 04:16 PM
You turn to the south-east, traveling over the rolling dunes of white sand for several days, hiding from the heat of the day where you can, usualy in the shadow of a dune. For three days you continue this way, then on the fourth, while searching for somewhere to escape the heat of the noonday sun, you spot what you think to be the remains of a building, partialy burried on the reverse slope of a large dune. A shattered colonade leads up to the face of the dune, where a partialy visible wall and an entrance way can be seen.

2007-12-21, 10:26 AM
Hal tries to keep an eye out for danger.

Spot: [roll0]

Listen: [roll1]

2007-12-21, 02:31 PM
Jak motions for the others to hang back, and his usual loose gait becomes accentuated, smooth and gliding, knees bent and footfalls silent. He slinks towards the entranceway and leans out around the corner, slicing the angle as to reveal the interior slowly and not pop into view. His actions speak of long hours of grueling practice.

yay I get to sneak

listen [roll0]
spot [roll1]
hide [roll2]
move silently [roll3]

now let's see if I can't not embarrass myself after that description

2007-12-21, 03:04 PM
The interior is shadowy and hard to make out. The floor is stone, with windblown sand heaped up against one wall. Opposite the entranceway is a stairway, leading down into darkness. The room is quiet, except for a faint sound like small things clicking together.

2007-12-22, 12:55 AM
Just FYI I'll be offline for a few days, through Dec 26. If you all want to plug through ahead without me, that's fine. Otherwise, see you next week.

2007-12-22, 02:31 AM
Jak turns his eyes upwards, careful to remain slow and stealthy.


with no sign or TheTerran, DeathQuaker offline for the holidays and what sounds like incoming combat, I say we hang back until the whole team's here

2007-12-22, 02:35 AM
can't edit in a spot check, apparently
spot [roll0]

might as well just save what he sees 'till after christmas

2007-12-26, 03:14 PM
The cieling is made of fitted stone blocks, with the remnant of colored plaster still clinging here and there, worn by years of sand. The cieling is as bare as the walls.

Why is everyone's first guess spiders?

2007-12-26, 03:19 PM
Maybe because that's what typically inhabits these types of places in the real world...that and many people have a phobia of them...:smallwink:

Am I correct in assuming that Jak is alone in there and the rest of us are waiting outside?

2007-12-27, 09:08 AM
we're all outside, Jak's just up at the doorway peeking in

Jak squints into the gloom one last time before easing back around the corner and straightening up. He walks back towards his companions, more relaxed than before, but still obviously on alert.

"Sounds like... something." he informs the others, less than pleased with his own vagueness. His eyes lock with Hal. "Night eyes might have better luck. Come." He then turns to address the rest of the group. "The rest of you might think about armour." He catches Hal's eyes again and nods in the direction of the doorway.

2007-12-27, 10:08 AM
Hal nods and follows Jak in silence, trying to stay alert.

Can I keep my Listen and Spot rolls from above, since they haven't been used yet?


Hide: [roll0]
Move Silently: [roll1]

2007-12-27, 10:37 AM

Getting slightly irritated, Jaden creeps toward the doorway as well, wanting to see what everyone is looking at. Taer, his wolf, comes up slowly behind him. A soft, low, gutteral growl comes from Jaden.

In Sylvan:
"If you see anything, let me know."

Jaden has Low-light Vision
Jaden Spot - [roll0]
Jaden Listen - [roll1]
Jaden Hide - [roll2]
Jaden Move Silently - [roll3]

Taer has Low-Light Vision
Taer Spot - [roll4]
Taer Listen - [roll5]
Taer Hide - [roll6]
Taer MS - [roll7]

2007-12-27, 11:03 AM
Eric shifts restlessly, not pleased at all with having to hang in the back. He starts to move towards the door, but shakes his head and stays back. He leans in towards Bripp to whisper in his ear.

Stealth is not our strength, eh my friend? I have to admit, I am not comfortable with letting my companions travel into the darkness alone, but I would just be a burden.

At Jak's suggestion, Eric retrieves his armor from the camel and places it nearby, but does not put it on until he gets some more detailed information.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-27, 10:20 PM
Bripp nods. "I would prefer to just walk in and kill anything that dares attack us, but I'll allow the cautious ones to poke around first." He changes the color of his robes, this time to a blinding yellow with red stars, before beginning to fidget impatiently.

Bripp has darkvision, but only a +1 to Spot (or around there, can't view my character sheet from here.) If that would help, just say the word.

2007-12-28, 01:05 AM
The sounds of clicking are too faint for Hal to hear, but Jaden and his wolf both can hear it clearly, something like the sound of a small clockworks or the sound of cicadas on a warm summer's night. Taer growls, baring his teeth at the sand piled up against the wall. The chittering grows louder as the sand shifts, revealing a pair of scorpions as large as Bripp which skitter towards you.


Bripp: [roll0]
Jaden: [roll1]
Jak: [roll2]
Hal: [roll3]
Eric: [roll4]
Scorpions: [roll5]

2007-12-28, 11:19 AM
the elves and I are just outside the doorway, everyone else is back a bit and has LOS, correct? if my turn doesn't make sense I can change it, if the place I want to go is more than a 5 foot step use a move action and lose the ready action

Jak's sword sweeps from his back as he hisses, eyes suddenly burning with intensity. He glides aside from the doorway, poised to intercept the charging scorpions one at a time at the choke point and clearing it for his companions' access from behind.

move action: draw weapon
5 foot step: move beside doorway on the outside
ready action: attack anything that comes out

if the attack happens:
attack 1d20
damage 1d6

2007-12-28, 11:24 AM
let's try those attack rolls again
attack [roll0]
damage [roll1]

2007-12-28, 11:42 AM
How are we determining who goes first between Bripp and I?

2007-12-28, 12:25 PM
Bripp goes first, due to his higher modifier.
You don't need to post in inititive order, I just put the round back together so that it makes sense afterward.

2007-12-28, 12:32 PM
Eric hears the disturbing crashing sounds and runs forward, leaving his armor behind him. He sees an open pathway and attacks the first scorpion that he comes across.


2007-12-28, 12:55 PM

Init: 12
HP: 10/10
AC: 14 (Stupid armor/shield is on the camel)

Taer Stats:

Init: 12
HP: 13/13
AC: 14

Irritated that he had be caught without his armor, Jaden takes a step back, retrieves his shortbow from his shoulder, and fires an arrow at the lead scorpion.

[roll0] (Not sure about penalties for firing into melee, not sure where everyone is)

Taer stays by Jaden's side, guarding him from the scorpions.

Tar Palantir
2007-12-28, 07:39 PM
Bripp moves forward, drawing his mace, swinging at anything that looks like a threat.

Moving in to attack. Attacking if I get in range, readying to attack otherwise. Same rolls either way.


2007-12-29, 05:03 PM
Hal moves to the other side of the doorway--tumbling past scorpions if necessary--hoping to flank any that come out with Jak. If there is a scorpion to attack by the time it's his turn, he'll attack it.

If need be: Tumble [roll0]

Attack (please add in flanking bonus if it applies): [roll1]

FYI Hal is without armor, so his flat footed AC is 10 and his regular and touch AC is 13.

2007-12-31, 12:37 PM
Sorry for the delay. I forgot that Sleepy had already posted.

BTW, no need to post in inititive order. I do a recap post at the end of every round to fit everyone's actions in.

In a flash, Jak draws his sword and prepares to attack the scorpions.

Bripp scurries in and flails at the creature with his mace, but his blows do little against the vermin's tough carapace.

Eric charges into the building and strikes at the nearest scorpion. His blow bites into the ground beside the creature, sending a spray of sand into the air.

The scorpions lash out at their nearest attackers.
Scorpion 1 (Against Eric)

Scorpion 2 (Against Brip)

Jaden's arrow finds a chink between the scorpion's chitonous plating and sinks in deep. The vermin shrieks in pain and its efforts visibly weaken.

Hal moves to cover the otherside of the doorway, ready to attack should the scorpions come within reach.

2007-12-31, 12:40 PM
Roll to confirm crit:[roll0]

Tar Palantir
2007-12-31, 12:44 PM
Brip feels the bite of the scorpion's claw and grimaces in pain. He steps back and gestures, spouting arcane phrases. From his hands comes a glimmering mist which descends over the vermin.

5 foot step out of combat, then cast Sleep. DC 14 Will negates.

2007-12-31, 01:41 PM
Eric grits his teeth, zoning out the pain from his fresh wound. He brings his sword around for another blow, determined to not miss again.


2007-12-31, 02:30 PM
Jak growls as his rearward companions careen past the chokepoint he'd hoped to exploit and lunges through the door behind them, sword at the ready.

move to attack a scorpion; if Bripp's sleep succeeds, Eric's scorpion, otherwise Bripp's

attack [roll0]
damage [roll1]

2008-01-01, 05:38 PM
((I'm a little confused about the setup, as I thought Jak, Jaden, and Hal were closest to the scorpions. Can you please do a quick "diagram" (ascii characters are fine) to show our relative positions? Thanks.))

2008-01-01, 09:49 PM
my understanding is where we got ready to intercept scorpions at the door and jaden remained outside to shoot, bripp and eric ran THROUGH the door and are fighting inside... I think something like this

scorpion ____ scorpion
bripp _______ eric


2008-01-01, 11:02 PM
Sleepy's diagram is correct in regards to last turn.

2008-01-02, 08:31 AM


Init: 12
HP: 10/10
AC: 14 (Stupid armor/shield is on the camel)

Taer Stats:

Init: 12
HP: 13/13
AC: 14

Not wanting to risk hitting any of his party with an arrow, Jaden puts away his bow and draws his club. He sends Taer into the melee. ((He'll attack the same one I hit with the arrow))

Taer Attack - [roll0]
Taer Damage - [roll1]
Trip - [roll2]

2008-01-02, 09:36 PM
Hal moves in and tumbles around the Scorpion on Eric, hoping to flank with him and stab the creature with his rapier.

Thanks for the clarification.

Tumble to avoid AAO: [roll0]

Attack: [roll1] Add flanking bonus if he makes it into his desired spot.

2008-01-03, 09:40 PM
Eric can't believe his bad luck. His first real combat, in real life, with real lives at stake, and he is panicking. He breathes deeply, calming himself down, and swings his sword again.


2008-01-03, 10:09 PM
Sorry this took so long getting up. The forum going down today didn't help much. BTW, sorry Dual_Wielder, but the scorpion dies before you can take that last swing.

Bripp's spell settles over the scorpions, but to no effect.

Jak darts into the room and strikes at a scorpion, but his blow goes wild.

Eric's blow again misses the scorpions with another spray of sand.

The wounded scorpion begins to scuttle back into the shadowy recess of the stairway, while the other scorpion continues to attack.

Scorpion 2 (against Jak)

As the wounded scorpion flees, Taer lunges inside and rips one of its hind legs off. The scorpion twitches for a moment before dying.

Hal swings wide around the second scorpion and comes in from behind it. His rapier skewers the thing through the head with lethal precision. It too twitches for a moment before sucumbing to death.

2008-01-03, 10:12 PM
Forgot that preview post screws up roll tags.

Scorpion 2 (against Jak)

2008-01-04, 11:18 AM
As Jak's breathing slows, he straightens, frustration shining from his eyes. Used to the intuitive tactical cohesion that comes of years of training together, his companions' mad rush past his prepared interception, on the heels of Jaden's insistence on joining the scouts, clearly has him gritting his teeth. His eyes settle on Hal and he exhales, calming himself and shaking his head in exasperation he assumes the elf shares.

"Armour." he says, not without an ironic bite. He then walks over to the sand pile in the corner and prods at it with his sword, proceeding to wander around the room sweeping anything of interest with his gaze, and finally slipping just into the mouth of the stairway for a quick peek.

while everyone else is getting dressed:
search, paying special attention to the scorpion nest and the stairway:
search [roll0]

have a look down the stairs
hide [roll1]
move silently [roll2]
spot [roll3]
listen [roll4]

2008-01-04, 03:40 PM

That sting hit so:
Fort Save (DC 12):[roll0]
Con Damage:[roll1]

In the scorpion nest you find nothing more than the bones of small rodents and lizards.

The stairway is dark, so you can't see all the way down, but the stairs are steep and the stairway is narrow. Above the stairway and carved into the lintel are some engravings but these are choked with sand and grit and so are unreadable. There are brackets set into the wall at intervals where torches could be set for light, but these are empty. You cannot see the bottom of the stairway, as it is too dark.

2008-01-04, 03:55 PM
Is there a noticable difference in temperature in there? Basically, if we put on armor will we suffer the same consequences as we would were we wearing it out in the desert?

2008-01-04, 06:26 PM
It is much cooler inside the building than outside. You would not suffer any temperture related penalties for armor inside.

2008-01-04, 07:48 PM
Hal nods to Jak--whether in agreement of his unspoken thought or his spoken mention of armor is unclear--and gets out his own armor and dons it quickly (leather armor is nice like that).

If Eric looks like he is still calming himself, Hal claps him lightly on the shoulder. "It's always unnerving to face a new enemy," he says in genuine empathy, as he has never seen scorpions before, let alone of that size, "But if you don't mind advice--mind you, I'm usually not the one to ask--when facing something unknown, it's not always a good idea to charge it blindly."

He looks up at the group; he speaks quietly so as not to alert any other creatures nearby. "Maybe we need to work out tactics as a group. I'm no strategist, but I am used to working on a ship's crew. Ships sink if the men run every which way when storms strike."

Tar Palantir
2008-01-04, 07:55 PM
Bripp nods in agreement with Hal. "For my part, I will hold towards the back, using magic where it is needed and beneficial, but I don't have much magic to use each day, so it will be sparce at best." He shrugs slightly in apology.

2008-01-05, 11:36 AM
"Position is everything." Jak's voice adds as though he is quoting. His return to the group clearly went unannounced. "Control the enemy's movement and rob him of options. To be outmaneuvered is to fight on dying terms." His glance casts towards the doorway, and he adds in less grandiose tone "Such as alone in the dark, rather than together at a chokepoint." His eyes still bear a glimmer of frustration, but a corner of his mouth quirks into the barest hint of wry amusement.

Refresh my memory, do I take 1 con damage and save against the delayed damage, or am I good?

2008-01-05, 01:53 PM
Refresh my memory, do I take 1 con damage and save against the delayed damage, or am I good?

You made the initial save, so you haven't taken any con damage yet. Let's see about the secondary damage.
Fort Save (DC 12):[roll0]
Con Damage:[roll1]

2008-01-06, 07:53 PM
"Agreed. Perhaps at first we should just try to stay relatively close to each other."

"Now, Jak, was there anything to see by the stairway?"

2008-01-07, 01:18 AM
"Darkness." he responds flatly. "We'll need to bring our light."

2008-01-13, 03:21 PM
(Let's see if we can't get this back on track.)

The stairs are steep and the stairway is narrow and dark, so you can't see all the way down. Above the stairway and carved into the lintel are some engravings but these are choked with sand and grit and so are unreadable. There are brackets set into the wall at intervals where torches could be set for light, but these are empty.

2008-01-14, 10:11 PM
Hal examines the engravings curiously, and touches them to see if he can feel any patterns his eyes cannot trace.

He also examines the torch brackets. Are they affixed to the wall; do they move in any way?

2008-01-14, 10:15 PM
The sand and grit obscuring the carvings falls out easily almost as soon as you touch it. You could brush the dust out of the carvings and possibly attempt to read the ancient script.

The torch brackets are normal.

2008-01-15, 07:57 AM
"What's this now?" Hal gently attempts to brush the dust away with his slender fingers, looking at the emerging script.

Hal speaks Gnomish and Draconic as well as his native Elven.

If need be:

Decipher Script (untrained): [roll0]

2008-01-15, 01:41 PM
The script is an archaic form of elven, readable, but difficult to understand, as many of the words are no longer in modern use. (Someone with ranks in Decipher Script could probably get more out of it.)


"Carry ** weapons and bring ** darkness into the Hall of Stillness"

** = word you can't read.

2008-01-15, 08:38 PM
Jak leans in towards the newly revealed etchings, but recognizing nothing, eases back.

is "word" deliberately singular?

if so, I'm tempted to hazard a guess that the use of two asterix was no mistake (pun intended)

2008-01-15, 09:47 PM
I orrigionaly had *word* there, but I decided to drop the middle part.

Yes, they are the same word.

2008-01-16, 08:01 AM
Hal waves to his companions to get their attention (if he did not have it) and addresses Jaden specifically. "It's an old form of Elvish.... I cannot make out this word. Can you?" He also translates it for anyone in the party who does not speak Elvish and asks them what they think the missing word could be.

2008-01-16, 08:27 AM

"I'm not well versed in ancient elven, but I'll try."

Jaden makes his way past everyone else to get a better look at the scripting.

I don't have Decipher Script, but I'll still take a look.

[roll0] Decipher Script (untrained)

2008-01-16, 04:11 PM
You do realize that Decipher Script cannot be used untrained?

2008-01-16, 04:17 PM
I figured it couldn't, but I thought I'd give it a shot anyway :smallwink:

2008-01-17, 09:30 PM
(Let's see if I can get this going again. You are in a room at the top of a set of stairs. It is cool here, so you can either rest here and continue on your trip, or go down the stairs and continue on when things cool down. Those are your two options, realy. Which do you choose?)

2008-01-18, 07:55 AM
(Hal's still waiting to see if anyone has any suggestions for what the missing word could be.

Where is everyone?)

2008-01-18, 07:34 PM
(I haven't a clue. Let's hope they show back up, or I'm going to miss the kobold.)

2008-01-19, 04:47 PM
(assuming, for the sake of moving things along, Jak knows what it says)

Jak compresses his lips, staring first at the etchings, then down the stairwell.

"'No'. The word 'no' seems to fit." He glances down the stairwell again, and adjusts his grip on his sword. "Those brackets may have something to do with all this. You..." he turns to Bripp "can you cast a Dancing Lights spell? We may want to have a look at things from up here. Particularly if we're leaving weapons behind as a precaution."

2008-01-20, 06:55 PM
"Good idea."

While they wait for the kobold's answer, Hal considers. "Contextually, you're right, Jak, that makes the most sense. But why an obscure word for 'no'? That's one of the few words that seldom changes in language... there's probably some subtlety we're missing... but what else could it be... 'burning'? Ah, I'm probably over-thinking it....

"Likely, I mostly object to the idea of leaving my weapon behind..."

2008-01-25, 08:33 PM
just realized "piercing" might make some amount of sense too

2008-01-31, 12:37 PM
The kobold suddenly vanishes in a puff of smoke.

2008-01-31, 10:23 PM
"Guess he was all talk after all."

Hal peace-ties his rapier and decides to fill the empty sconces with torches, lighting them as he goes. He keeps an eye out in case any of his other companions disappear spontaneously, in which case, he's turning around and going straight back home. Or dying in the desert, whichever comes first.

2008-02-01, 09:54 PM
Jak nods to Hal, and places his sword on the bottom step, hesitates, then reaches beneath his robes and produces a dagger, which he lays beside it. He then stalks into the dark, peering through the gloom for anything he can make out and always on the lookout for suprises or treacherous architecture. For now he keeps the light of the stairwell in sight.

hide [roll0]
move silently [roll1]
spot [roll2]
listen [roll3]

I'm still interested.

2008-02-02, 01:49 AM
(Looks like we've still got two players. Good enough for me.)

As Hal lights several torches and places them in the brackets, Jak descends the stairs. At the bottom, faintly lit by the light coming down the stairs, is a large room. From the decorations that you can see, you figure this was once a chapel of some sort. Wooden benches cracked with age all angle so that those sitting upon them would face towards a simple stone altar at the far end of the room, upon which a large brass bowl rests. The floor is dusty, but the room is not as weathered as the one at the top of the stairs. You can't realy tell how wide the room is, as the narrow strip of light coming from the stairwell doesn't extend much to either side.

2008-02-02, 04:23 PM
Jak scans the room below, first for obvious dangers, then for anything related to the inscription upstairs. He then slinks via the safest path towards the stone alter in order to examine it more fully.

hide 1d20+7
move silently 1d20+7
spot 1d20+6
listen 1d20+2

Paying special attention to potential traps, the alter, and noisy sand piles.

2008-02-02, 04:24 PM

Let's give that another shot:
hide [roll0]
move silently [roll1]
spot [roll2]
listen [roll3]

2008-02-02, 05:27 PM
No obvious dangers lurk in the room, although Jak remains wary of hidden dangers as he crosses the room like a wisper. The stone altar is about four feet square, its only ornamentation a simple border of half circles along the edges of each face, upom which rests a large, shallow brass bowl, about three feet around and only six inches deep. The bowl is tarnished with age and is decorated with a band of waves engraved around the top edge both inside and out.

2008-02-02, 06:44 PM
Hal stays at the bottom of the stairs, letting the more stealthy Jak do the scouting work, but he watches and listens carefully for trouble.

Spot: [roll0]
Listen: [roll1]

2008-02-04, 06:56 PM
half-circles.... open end out, like a sun?

Jak makes one last scan of the room for anything fishy, then straightens up somewhat and waves Hal over. Still, despite the apparently empty room, he waits for Hal to approach rather than call out... the hushed dark and foreboding puzzle have him on alert.

2008-02-04, 07:34 PM
Round side facing the edge of each face.

Is Hal carrying a torch or other light source? I know that Jak isn't.

2008-02-04, 09:17 PM
Still having a torch from placing them in the sconces, Hal carries it, lit, into the room with him, hoping he is following the cryptic warning correctly. Not certain, he takes just a few cautious footsteps in, to see if anything happens when he enters, staying on the alert for trouble.

If nothing happens, he slowly crosses the room to join Jak.

2008-02-04, 11:09 PM
As Hal brings the light into the room, The width of the room becomes apparent. The room is about 35 feet wide and about fifty feet long. The walls are decorated with scenes of riverboats sailing upon fast flowing rivers, farmers working in irrigated fields, and shining oasises beneath a golden sun. The paint and plaster on the wall is faded with age and chipped in places, but overall is remarkably intact.

In one corner, what apears to be a pile of rags, sunken waterskins, and other debris begins to rise to its feet. The creature at first apears to be human, but that impression is quickly dispelled. The creature's skin is sunburned, but unnaturaly pale, and it's flesh is withered and dry. The cool air suddenly warms, begining to rise to the same heat as the burning sun under which you have traveled for the past several days.

2008-02-05, 09:27 PM
Jak whirls and sprints for his weapons, racking his brain for ways around this new problem. As the possibility of creatures impossible to harm by mundane means suddenly looms in his mind and the land's change to desert ties itself to the scorching heat, the word "magical" sears itself into his brain. The irritating kobold's abrupt departure suddenly seems much less of a relief.

Not sure what you'll let me get away with here. If Jak can hold the dagger in one hand and the sword in the other, but attack with only one at a time without penalty, he'll pick one up in each hand. Otherwise, he'll tuck the dagger behind his belt and wield only the sword. Basically I want to try the sword first and if we run into damage reduction, try piercing damage without taking a turn to sheathe one and draw the other.

2008-02-05, 09:39 PM
TWF penalties are based on attacking with two weapons, so they only apply during a person's turn and only if he uses the off hand weapon.

2008-02-05, 10:50 PM
Hal lets Jak slip past him to retrieve his weapons on the stairs, and backs into the doorframe between the room and the stairs. He holds the torch in front of him, hoping it will perhaps it will ward away the creature -- but in the meantime hastily tries to undo the peace ties on his rapier.

He still turns the riddle over in his mind. "Burning weapons and burning darkness, perhaps?

Use Rope to quickly undo his weapon: [roll0]

2008-02-05, 11:31 PM
didn't you use the rapier on the scorpions?

ok, so I pick up a weapon in each hand... initiative time?

initiative [roll0]

2008-02-06, 08:01 AM
I mentioned I'd peace-tied it before he entered the chamber, in case the stipulation was "no" weapons.

2008-02-06, 11:07 AM

2008-02-07, 07:27 PM
Initiative: [roll0]

2008-02-07, 07:53 PM
(Well, looks like you are first then. Everyone but Hal and Jak have vanished from this group, so don't expect help. That said, I set this up before they left, so this fight may be a little hard.)

2008-02-08, 08:27 PM
I was afraid of that. No sneak attack, no sudden strike, my feint is useless if his init mod is anything to go by, I have no bab to use to tank with combat expertise, and I'm still anticipating damage reduction.

At the beginning of my turn I will look for anything other than the creature that appears to have changed with the addition of light, with a mind to the puzzle... if you can let me know if I see anything relevant I can take my turn as soon as it rolls around without waiting.

2008-02-08, 11:13 PM
((Here's what I'll do for you guys. I'll institute stunting. If you discribe your actions well, I'll give you an appropriate bonus to AC, attack, or damage for the turn. For this fight, I'll weaken the undead so that he won't be a TPK.

Also, if you want, I can give you guys Eberron-style Action Points. Your choice.))

2008-02-09, 03:55 PM
((I was kinda hoping we'd get a circumstance bonus for over half the players finking out ;) I don't know how action points work, but I can write))

2008-02-09, 06:23 PM
((Where did Death Quaker go? If she dropped out as well, I am going to take some serious measures. I have this storyline too well figured out to let drop.))

2008-02-10, 08:19 PM
I went away for the weekend. That happens sometimes. Usually I don't see a lot of posts on weekends, so I didn't realize I should let you know I was gone. Sorry. (Edit: also, I generally post more often on weekdays than weekends anyway.) :smalleek:

Rest assured if I can't continue to participate, I will do you the common courtesy of giving you notice, not simply disappear. :smallsmile: I will also not decide to completely disappear (i.e., not post for around five days) in the middle of combat. If I don't give you notice and don't show up for more than a week, it means I'm, like, in the hospital or something.

As for the fight, Hal is beginning his turn still blocking the doorway, waving his torch in what he hopes is a menacing manner. Can you please tell me what the monster is doing--is he just standing there looking menacingly, or is he advancing on Hal? Is he responding to the waving of the torch at all?

Thanks. :smallsmile:

2008-02-10, 11:03 PM
Alright, we're in business!

big fight with undead music: Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas

2008-02-11, 12:08 AM
(( Glad your still with us. Thought I was going to have to drasticly change the plot more than I already am going to.))

The undead is advancing towards Hal and seems unafraid of the torch. You have this nagging doubt in the back of your head than maybe those old elven words don't mean exactly what you thought they mean.

2008-02-11, 07:25 AM
Hal grits his teeth, remembering that despite being mostly abandoned after the scorpion fight, there are still the lost scouts to find.

Still keeping the torch in his off-hand so that Jak might see, he draws his rapier, braces himself against the doorway, and sets off on a charge, his swift feet kicking away dust and debris as he aims his slender blade into the creature's hopefully yielding flesh.


IF I hit, damage: [roll1]

AC is 13 for next round.

Also, I like Action Points. Action Points would be cool--especially since you said we're doing a somewhat swashy adventure, much like Eberron is. I would in fact spend an action point on the above action if I had one to spend.

2008-02-11, 04:12 PM
Hal charges towards the creature, and suddenly feels like he is charging straight into an oven. The oppressive heat begins to take its toll as Hal's rapier bites into the undead's flesh. The thing's skin is tough, like sun dried rawhide, but the sharp edge of the rapier manages to tear through. (Hal needs to make a Fort save)


((I'll get the rules for Eberron Action Points up in the OOC so we can start using them.))

2008-02-11, 07:16 PM
Fortitude: [roll0]

2008-02-11, 08:34 PM
Within moments of nearing the creature, your mouth goes dry. You feel as though you haven't had any water to drink for days. The oppressive heat swiftly takes it's toll. (Hal is dehydrated and takes [roll0] non-lethal damage.)

((Sorry, but that's how the dice roll sometimes. :smallannoyed: ))

2008-02-12, 07:46 AM
Moment of clarification - is the attack and damage you rolled for the creature, or did you reroll for me?

So did I do 8 or 6 damage to the creature, and am I down 6 HP or no HP and 4 non lethal damage? Because that's the difference between me being winded and being unconscious and unwakable for awhile.


2008-02-12, 10:58 AM
Moment of clarification - is the attack and damage you rolled for the creature, or did you reroll for me?

So did I do 8 or 6 damage to the creature, and am I down 6 HP or no HP and 4 non lethal damage? Because that's the difference between me being winded and being unconscious and unwakable for awhile.


((That was the creature's attack. You dealt 8 damage to the creature. You are down 6 hp and 4 non-lethal damage. Better hope Jak can finish the rest of the job you started.))

2008-02-12, 07:54 PM
((I thought that's what it was, but you had never said, "And the creature attacks Hal." If you can remember to describe the actions, I'd appreciate it. :smallsmile:

Hopefully, you're right, or it'll be a short campaign for all of us. :smallcool: ))

2008-02-12, 08:49 PM
((Sorry about that. I fogot to edit in the creature's attack. As for you both going down, I have at least three contigency plans, depending on which level of dead you might possibly achieve.

Where's sleepy gone anyway?))

2008-02-13, 12:01 AM
sorry, had a busy monday. Things don't look good. Well.. let's see what my writing skills can add to the mix, if we're still getting any sort of bonus for that...

Jak seizes the sudden blast of heat and rides it to that still place in his mind where all is crystalline focus and certainty guides each instinctive movement. The calm well of his ki wards him against discomfort as he sweeps around behind Hal seeking the creature's vulnerable back. As his companion wilts before the undead's crushing assault, he enters the circle of engagement on light feet, sword poised to strike and dagger guarding against riposte.

His trained eyes note shifts of weight and flares at the joints, reading the music of movement and feeling the creature's intent. An opening appears as the undead's attention shifts and he feels his sword reach out at tendons momentarily exposed, still mind and ki guiding his hand. No thought nor doubt plagues the void of his focus as the risen horror's clumsy movement leaves vulnerable to a crippling strike.

OK, here goes. Might as well give these action point things a shot.

attack: 1d20+1d6
damage: [roll0]

ac: 15

2008-02-13, 12:04 AM
ok so that doesn't work
base roll: [roll0]
action point bonus: [roll1]

2008-02-13, 12:38 AM
Jak's blade grates against undead bone as it solidly connects with the creature. The supernatural heat that surrounds the creature immediately causes Jak to break out in sweat, but the volumous robes of his desert outfit protect him from the worst of the heat. The undead doesn't react, simply attempting to club the skilled ninja with its unholy strength.

Damage: [roll1]

((That got you a +2 damage. Hal got a +2 to attack earlier, but already hit by alot.))

2008-02-13, 02:57 AM
((shame my epic rolling skills aren't up to the task, hehe. Seeing as though Hal's passed out, it's my turn? If not, ignore the following.))

Even as Jak feels his blade slide from his foe's body seemingly unnoticed, he hears as its body begins to sing of furious intent. Muscles contract and shoulders set as it prepares its mighty blow, every intent written in its animated form. Jak flows bonelessly around the lunge's arc, bent low and slipping outside the monster's overextended limbs. He circles against the spin it's leading shoulder pulls it into, again towards the creature's back. His dagger floats above the undead's elbow, hampering movement and guarding his left, while his sword whips downwards in a silver arc to connect above the knee.

Far outside the void of his mind, a familiar rasping voice seems to whisper in his mind, words more understood than heard. "Hamstrings... just here... hold the leg firm. Sever... just here... and the leg collapses." Whatever pieces of his mind are shut away for the moment draw strength and pride from the memory of his Elders, from his adherence to their teachings in this desperate struggle. He feels fresh adrenaline set his muscles afire as the slash descends.

Might as well go for another action point. That last attack would have one-shot me.

damage: [roll2]

ac: 15
hp: 8

2008-02-13, 02:58 AM
oooh, a ray of hope

confirm crit: [roll0]
crit damage: [roll1]

edit: or not

2008-02-13, 08:12 AM
Don't feel too bad. If it is undead, you prolly couldn't have critted anyway.

2008-02-13, 05:21 PM
Jak's blade slashes accross the undead creature's thigh, but the thing's leathery skin prevents his blade from biting deep enough to hamstring the creature. Still, the creature is thrown off balance and its counterattack is clumsy.


2008-02-13, 09:00 PM
Jak's dagger easily controls the undead's attempt to gain balance, buying him the time to dance back out of reach after his daring maneuver. His blades weave fluidly as he threatens and withdraws, seeking the moment ahead he needs to strike again without begging to be crushed in response. As the monster turns to face him head on once more his weapons lick at forearms and joints, telegraphing the continuation of his previous tactic, but as the monster prepares to defend, Jak's arm suddenly locks. In one motion he lunges from the balls of his feet, risking everything on a direct thrust to the throat.

Based on the critter's init modifier and undead-ness I can't imagine feinting makes the slightest difference, but it's how he's trained to fight. Since I'm pretty obviously fighting something out of my league, I feel safer continuing to spend action points.

standard action: fient [roll0]
standard action: attack [roll1] + [roll2]
damage: [roll3]

on the off chance I've completely misanalysed the situation:
sudden strike: [roll4]

2008-02-13, 10:57 PM
Jak's rapier finds the undead's throat, punching through tough skin and sliding between the creature's vertebrae, severing it's spine. The creature drops like a puppet with it's strings cut. As the body hits the ground, the oppressive heat of the desert that has filled the air near the animate corpse disipates rapidly, as if a spring breeze has swept through the room. The soft sound of trickling water echos slightly in the room, still only lit by the light from Hal's torch.

450 XP to each of you.

(If you realy want to know how much that creature got nerfed, open the spoiler. :smallwink: )

Only had to nerf that thing slightly. It lost 4 points of strength and DR/5 slashing.

2008-02-14, 01:50 AM
And here I was all ready to start slashing with my dagger, too.

Oh, and I'm wielding a shortsword, not that that's terribly relevant for now.

Jak sucks in a huge breath and rises to the balls of his feet, then holds still for a moment as his mind drops back into regular consciousness and the enormity of the past few moments come crashing down. Blood hammers in his ears and his breaths become long and panting. The waves of endorphins still flooding his bloodstream leave his thoughts jittery and spastic, and a pause is required to settle and still them.

With an almost too-calm unhurriedness, he tucks his dagger into the folds of his desert outfit and takes his sword in both hands. By contrast, its lightning sudden rise and fall seem startlingly violent, an impression enhanced as the undead's rotting skull rolls away from its body. He examines the edge of his blade in the dim torchlight, and finding no bodily fluids or clinging flesh, returns it to its scabbard on his back. A few quick paces towards the guttering torch find him beside Hal's unconscious form.

Jak takes Hal's chin in his hand and moves it from right to left, less checking for breathing than seeking to rouse the elf. Finding him unresponsive but apparently stable*, he undoes the straps to Hal's armour and tugs it up over his head, in hopes he will recover more quickly. He also pours a few precious drops of water into his mouth, but as they trickle back out he decides to waste no more.

Jak then picks up the torch still lying on the ground and attempts to pinpoint the sound of the water, listening first in the direction of the alter. He heads in the direction he hears and briefly examines the source of water, then ((if it's not the same place)) travels towards the alter to look for signs of change there. Finally, his curiosity satisfied for the moment, he returns to the once-more-dead body and, placing the torch beside it, searches it thoroughly for anything of interest.

Regardless of what he sees, unless it is very clearly benign, he has no intention of triggering further unwelcome surprises and will not go tinkering with any potential traps, puzzles, mysteries, or otherwise until his companion wakes.

If he completes the above actions and Hal shows no sign of improvement, he will go back outside and (reluctantly) retrieve the camel, then do investigate it's packs for anything his former companions' mysterious vanishing might have left behind, particularly something immediately useful to an unconscious person.

*if my understanding of the rules is incorrect and this is not the case, I'll revise

keeping an eye out for suspciousness: spot [roll0]
if relevant: listen [roll1]
loot corpse: search [roll2]

2008-02-14, 03:23 PM
The brass bowl upon the altar is now filled with crystal clear water. Other than that, nothing has changed in the room.

The corpse has nothing on it that would be immediately usuable to rouse Hal. (I'll give you a full list of what it has once I get back to my books at home.)

Hal will be unconcious for the next four hours, so Jak has plenty of time to bring the camel inside. There is no sign of your other companions, but what gear they left stowed on the camel still remains.

2008-02-14, 08:24 PM
((seems like a chain shirt and a suit of leather armour, based on their character sheets... nothing else would have been stuffed in there. At least our food and water supply should last longer now... how many man-days remain?))

Jak leads the oblivious camel down into the shaded Hall of Silence, gritting his teeth at its snorts and obstinate resistance. He then returns to the alter, examining the bowl now freshly filled with water more closely. Tentatively, he touches it with a fingertip, then (assuming nothing seems amiss) touches his finger to his tongue, curious to see if he can detect the presence of any magical properties. Even if none are to be found, he fills depleted waterskins until it is drained and marks each with a piece of chalk before returning them to the camel.

He then examines the alter closely for anything he may have missed previously. If he finds nothing, he nudges at the bowl. If it moves easily, he will lift it from the alter and examine the surface beneath.

search: [roll0]

2008-02-14, 08:26 PM
((Apparently preview post sods up rolls. Whatever, I've got time, take 20. Hell, take 20 to search the whole room if he's sitting around for 4 hours. Search mod is +7))

2008-02-14, 10:41 PM
((Purely in the interests of moving on, we could perhaps just say there was a single potion of Cure Light Wounds in the camel's pack? Heck, Cure Minor Wounds. It's very hard to word this and not sound like, "*whine* Is my character awake yet?" which is NOT my intention, but in a two person party, you may consider that having one of those two people essentially useless somewhat detrimental to keeping the plot moving.))

2008-02-15, 01:29 AM
((I was just saying that if there was anything Jak wants to do while you're out, he has the time. After this post, consider yourself awake. I won't be as cruel as one DM I had. He made us roleplay 3 months worth of boring guard duty.))

The water in the basin is icy cold, but otherwise normal. The bowl is firmly attached to the altar and will not move. Searching the room top to bottom, you find nothing substantial.

Corpse's possessions (besides clothing, empty water skins, and other rubbbish)

Assorted coinage that totals 157 gp
2 Tanglefoot bags
Healer's Kit

2008-02-15, 08:12 AM
When Hal comes to, he groans, rubbing his head. He notes the thoroughly looted remains of the creature. "So that's what it's like in the belly of a steam-eater. I believe I hurt him before I fell. I hope that was at least of aid to you." Hal looks at Jak, sitting after finishing his thorough search of the room. "Very well done, and thank you."

"I don't know about you, but I am literally out of my depths--a lookout and a sailor from a world of mist, here scouting in a world of nothing but sand and sun. You are a talented warrior, but if I may guess, trained for different kinds of missions than this. Our companions seemed no more suited for this journey, and they have abandoned us after only a single battle in which the damage was minimal." Hal mutters under his breath a colorful sailor's curse about cowards.

"I agreed to find these scouts, and I am more worried for them still--I want to find them, though certainly not for the bastard who hired me. But I am growing more acutely aware of how unsuited I am, at least, for this journey. I want to do my best, but I have no interest in dying futilely on a doomed mission." Hal looks at Jak seriously. "I say we move on once I get myself bandaged from the slice of this beast's scimitar. If we find signs of the scouts, we do our best to help them. If we find ourselves in over our heads, however, I suggest we reconsider our employer's intentions. He hired outsiders, gave them no knowledge of the alien environment he was throwing them into, where creatures lurk that few of us have any knowledge of how to combat.

"For all I know, he merely wished to get rid of any visiting outsiders who might interfere in this conflict in which he's gotten himself embroiled. Or, equally if not more likely, he's an idiot. In either case, if our mission seems futile, I say we retrace our steps as best we can, get back, and seek better and more honorable employment elsewhere.

"Until then, you have my sword and any skills I have at your disposal. Your back is guarded."

((I believe I am now, after resting, at 1 hp and with no nonlethal damage. Let me know if I am mistaken))

2008-02-15, 04:09 PM
((The creature did all that damage with it's bare fists, not a scititar. It had the scimitar on it, but didn't use it. And yes, you can be up at 1 hp.))

2008-02-15, 09:12 PM
((Then consider the appropriate words substituted.))

2008-02-17, 12:39 AM
((no internet connection at home till tuesday, posts will be slow till then))

Jak looks at the rotting monster without expression, then returns his gaze to Hal.

"No doubt an unanticipated concern." he says evenly. "Only chance found us in this place... isolated among featureless desert, only the momentary positions of troops deciding our path. Beasts such as we found above make no home with man."

His lips compress, and he pauses before continuing. "As to the mission, I am bound by my word. And while I've no wish for death, I must surely overcome worse than this to recover an artefact worthy of my elders." He toes the scimitar from the pile of looted goods stacked beside the former monster. "Common steel." He stares silently down at the weapon, considering in a new light the challenges he must face to earn something more wondrous.

2008-02-17, 04:12 PM
"I respect the importance of being bound by your word. But what do you do if the man who took your word proves to be honorless?" Hal shakes his head. "Never mind that. This is no time for debate. We are agreed at least in that we continue for the mission for now."

Hal touches his midriff and winces. "I am mobile, but my battered ribs don't let me breathe easily. There might be something for a poultice in this kit we found on the beast; with that and some sleep, I'll probably be of more use to you. Unless you think we'd be better saving it for later. And, ah... but before that... let's at least be rid of this unholy carcass. Maybe we can at least bury it in the sand up above, if burning it seems too risky. What do you think?"

2008-02-18, 08:33 PM
"Rest then, and make what use of this package as you can." Jak says, indicating the healer's kit. Doubtful we'll find a better camp than this.

"As to that thing... I see little need to expend the effort. Focus will return us sooner."

2008-02-18, 09:39 PM
((Unless there is anything else you guys want to do, we can advance the plot to the next morning.))