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A New Start

Game Master sunshadow21

The untamed lands to the north and west present great opportunity, and also great risk, for those bold enough to make their own path.

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HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"When I set out from home with you I never intended to do this forever. I guess now is as good a time as any to move on. Thank you for everything you've done for me. Gods bless." He hugs everyone goodbye, and packs his meager possessions into a knapsack. Holding it over his shoulder with a thick lock of his hair he strolls off towards Mo's Tavern....

Once inside he looks for the two Aasimar and the Half-Elf. "So we meet again. It seems I find myself in want of traveling companions, and a fortune teller told me I should put my things in your cart. I was impressed with the way you three fought out in the field, mind if I travel with you?" Before waiting for a response he pulls a chair up to their table.

Inside the small tavern, Mo, the big, burly man, who also happens to be the owner is currently tending the bar. There are several pretty barmaids, but nothing out of the ordinary appearance wise, and a handful of locals, who all seem to have heard about some kind of ruckus, and are slowly gathering together to wait for the sheriff and his boys to get back to fill in the blanks. The arrival of the first three really doesn't raise a fuss, but the arrival of the troupe seems to raise the volume of noise outside as well as traffic into and through the tavern tremendously as women and children start to emerge from their evening chores.

Smiling to greet the white haired elf Garrett extends a hearty handshake and warm welcome. "A fortune teller? It is strange that in my whole life I had never once come across anyone with such talents and yet within the week I have been in such proximity to two! That I know of! I see no problem in making room for you and your wares on our wagon but alas it is not my decision to make." He continues smiling as he studies Balmoren's face until a wave of shock rushes over his own. "O but where are my manners? I am called Garrett Snow, newly recruited to the ATA along side Evrail of the Midrealms and Einar Hakon," gesturing to each respectively. "Make your case with my friends here and you are sure to be joining us on our journey."

Garrett approaches the awaiting crowd, "What happens to be the root of this commotion? The bug is dead. I watched it go down with my own eyes so it shouldn't be anything to fear. Unless that's not the issue."

Diplomacy (gather information): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

Evrail nods to Balmoren, after he says he was told to travel with the group of them. He than says "It is fine with me." He watches the villagers come out wondering why they were all coming out now.

The initial gathering of men was based on the ankheg sighting, with the men gathering so that once they had more concrete information, they could fan out and stamp out any others that may have recently hatched. It seems like they are fairly adept at and familiar with fighting ankheg on the whole. The latest activity seems to be driven by the appearance of the traveling performers; that is definitely not an overly common sight in this relatively isolated hamlet.

"Traveling performers? I would imagine this to be joyous news. What cause do you have to call need of the sheriff?" Garrett asks a man in the crowd closest to him.

The man looks at the paladin a little oddly before deciding not to say what he initially thought, "Ankhegs are trouble that need to be stamped out quickly, as in call out the militia quickly. As head of the militia, the sheriff is the one to give the orders. If he ascertains that other of the vermin may be present, we fan out and make sure to take them out before they can cause trouble."

At this point, you see the sheriff enter the tavern, and slowly the men start to drift out as they are given instructions. Eventually, the sheriff works his way over to you. "I thank you for your timely intervention. Cicero and his family are new enough to the area, I wasn't sure how they would handle themselves when it came time to put their training to the test, but they handled themselves just fine. If you are looking for some work, I may be able to offer you some. We have tracked the location of the breeding pair to inside of Leroy's Woods, a place that most locals avoid like the plague. Leroy, while mostly harmless, is a bit eccentric, and has a tendency to shoot his blasted toy on the slightest provocation; how the woods are still standing with his love of explosions is beyond me. At any rate, we need to take that breeding pair out, and are willing to pay a good bounty for them; you can even keep the shells for yourself, and they fetch a good price up in Lookout Keep."

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

Evrail nods before saying "I can only speak for myself, but I can help."

I wouldn't mind taking up the job offer and doing some adventuring, my pockets are kind of empty these days... as he pats his belt pouch, and takes a sip from his drink. I would like to hear more about those fellas, just so I'm more prepared in case we do decide to help you

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"I will gladly assist you. My fate lies with these three now. Though I lack skill with blades, I am decent with a bow and can lend magic to the task. Is there something we could say to this Leroy that would prevent him from seeing us as enemies?"

"Honestly, as long as you are straight forward with him and don't go near his lab when he's working, he's mostly harmless. He might light up some bangs and explosions near you just because, well, he likes that sort of thing, but I've never had that much problem with him personally. Dealing with him simply requires a bit of patience, and a tolerance for loud noises. There are just a lot of stories of teenagers betting each other to do stupid pranks and the resultant outcomes that make a lot of people leery about the place, generally because they were stupid enough to take the bet in the first place, and are a bit hesitant for a return trip, even when having proper business."

"Oi! Patience with people... He is asking much of me... Well I can do it, I will use all my charm" as a huge grin shows on his face.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

"That sounds reasonable. I'm sure if I chose to live in the woods I would receive similar treatment due to my own abilities. Can you provide us with a map or guide?"

He able to give directions quickly. It's fairly easy to get there, and it's only a few miles away.

Do you plan on taking the wagon with you or leaving it here?

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

My vote is to leave it.

We should take the wagon with us if we plan to haul the ankheg shells to a trading post.

"I suppose it wouldn't make sense to turn our backs on such a grievous threat after working so well together to purge the last vermin," Garrett responds thoughtfully. "After all, this sort of thing is just the type of adventure I spoke of with the cobbler during the festival! This Leroy, has he ever set out to use his 'blasted toy' on this infestation problem of yours? Perhaps he could provide most valuable help to the situation."

"You know, I never thought much about it before, but I don't know if they have even been a problem for him or not. He doesn't usually leave his woods or share what goes on inside their boundaries, and trying to convince him to help with the bigger problem would take a great deal of effort, more than I could reasonably ask of you, but you might be able to get him to provide you with a few things to help you fight the ones in his woods. I can't imagine that he would particularly like the idea of having tunnel boring creatures in his domain. I've noticed he doesn't really care for the dark or tight spaces, and ankheg tunnels would irritate him on both counts."

"I understand how a person could find such environments threatening; they say close spaces have a way of suffocating the mind as well as the body, and I have yet to meet a man who is not discomforted by the secrets of the dark. Fear not, I have great confidence that we should be able to sway the heart of your misunderstood friend. From what you say I imagine he currently has just as much at stake as the rest of your settlement," the young aasimar smiles confidently as he sips a glass of water he had ordered from the prettiest barmaid he could find (in order paired with a wink from the woman and a scoffed glare from EVERY man who heard his dainty request).

"What all do you know about Leroy? How did the man come to have an expanse of forest named after him?"

Diplomacy (influence attitude): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15

I'll probably do this with a lot of notable NPC's to represent Garrett's natural charm. I imagine him as the type of person who has that sort of likable draw that just attracts people for no apparent reason.

"Man? He may have been once, but now is as much creature as man. He's lived in those woods as long as any around here but the oldest of elves can remember. It's most likely Leroy isn't even his real name, but the name that folks around here ended up giving him. He simply showed up in the woods one day, looking like the product of a mad magical experiment gone awry, claimed the woods as his own, and has lived there ever since, seemingly content to live in his own little world. This hamlet could vanish, and he probably wouldn't even notice. Whatever he went through in his past life screwed with his mind heavily and most around here believe that he now pursues the big explosions and flashes as a way to keep his mind from dwelling on itself and whatever past he may have fled."

"Well I'd say now it's a must! One can't hardly imagine the stories such person would carry," excitedly the paladin turns to party. "We should set out for Leroy Woods in the morning after breakfast! What do you think?"

"Perhaps, but you may find out that some stories are best left untold, assuming you can get him to tell them in the first place." The sheriff gives that final word of caution before leaving to check on the progress of the local men.

Well it's not like I can't turn my back on it, it's just that there is some profit to it and a good fight as his imagination rolls like golden coins around him.

Well this fella might have interesting stories to tell I would like to hear of him, stories are good ways to keep history and sometimes can hide important information on creatures you might have to deal with later on. as Einar crosses his arms I can be mighty convincing but, let us see what we get when we are there, no more drinking for me, I'm of to bed to be ready in the morrow.

You are given a room for the night, and head out the following morning. A few miles west of the hamlet, about midmorning, you find your destination easily enough. Surrounded by scrub and fields, the mass of trees stands out clearly. Leaving the wagon at a nearby farmstead, you enter the woods and notice something unusual almost immediately. Once you get past the first 100 feet or so, you start seeing large clumps of glowing moss typically seen only underground, and they look like they have been deliberately placed. They give off enough light that the woods are never in complete darkness, but always have enough light that someone with low light vision can operate normally.

You reach a clearing filled with fresh potholes and digging, clear signs of recent ankheg activity. As you start to examine the holes, you hear a sudden BANG mixed with the crackle of electricity behind you. "Who are you? Go away.", a yappy, somewhat shrill voice cries out. As you turn to identify the source, you suddenly hear another electricity filled BANG behind you. "Why you fill perfectly good clearing with nasty holes? Leroy not bother you. Why you bother him?" This time you are able to get a glimpse of the source of the voice in one of the trees before it once more disappears into thin air. Mad magic experiment gone awry is a kind description. You think it may have once been a kobold, but now he seems to be part kobold, part dragon, part fey, and all crazy. In the brief glimpse you had, you noticed the strange "toy" in the creature's hands as he seemed to be reloading it. Two barrels were attached to a crossbow stock and switch and the whole thing crackled with electricity that didn't seem to bother the creature at all. The voice speaks once more from behind your back,"Speak quickly or leave. Leroy has no time for lazy, good for nothing pranksters."

With his hands empty and raised Garrett tries to speak, "L-," only to be cut off by a burst of lightning and a roar of artificial thunder.

"Le-," a closer bang drives the silver haired boy to shield his eyes in the pit of his elbow.

"Leroy! he screams. "Please, Leroy. These nasty holes are precisely what brings us to visit your property this morning," Garrett begins to explain in a softer tone. "The villagers down the road have been experiencing troubles with a pest they call 'Ankhegs.' They rumor that the breeders are somewhere on your property."

Noting the strange device the elusive creature is wielding he continues after a hard dry swallow. "You seem to be well equipped for the task of rooting them out if you would find it fit to do so. If not, we would gladly take on the chore." At this point Garrett slowly drops his hands and looks around, unsure of which direction he should be speaking in.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

We are not pranksters. As my companion said we've come to rid your woods of the hole diggers." Balmoren studies the area carefully looking for hidden Ankhegs or a better look at Leroy himself.
Perception 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21

You can catch glimpses of Leroy as he seems to settle down to watch you, but it's hard to see details as his mottled brown and green skin blends in well with the branches and budding leaves. You don't see any ankhegs immediately around the openings.

"Obviously we know your name, it would be rather discourteous if we denied you the same. My name is Garrett Snow, the fellow beside me is Balmoren," he breaks off the planned introduction as he takes a step back and gives the elf a closer look. "Actually, I do not know your full name or very much about you besides your trust in diviners. I suppose it does not matter much right now, but I apologize for not asking before."

After clearing his throat and remembering what exactly he was trying to accomplish, Garrett motions to Evrail and Einar. "And with us is Evrail Isen and Einar Hakon." He gives a proud smile and a light bow in celebration of the introduction.

"Now to business. Judging by these holes I would feel confident to say that those troublesome beasts have been through this clearing at some point in time. If you could possibly join us or direct us to an area you think may be keeping this libidinous couple we would be greatly appreciative."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

Evrail raise an eyebrow as he listens to Leroy speak, he than waits to see what the others have to say to him before trying to speak himself.

Leroy suddenly appears by one of the holes, sniffs around a bit, flies over to the next hole, sniffs a bit there, and does this routine until he has done this at all the holes. Going back to one of the earlier ones, "Freshest scent here.". Having thus provided you aid, he once more disappears into the trees, watching to see the outcome of all of this.

Well that was helpful to a certain extent, and probably all we are getting as his golden eyes stare at the hole Well shall I lead the way or someone wants the magnanimous honor to ruin my mood?

"Feel free to take any position you prefer. Of course Evrail here has proclaimed himself a viable monster hunter. Perhaps those skills of his will be of use."

Bear in mind that the tunnel is large enough for a full grown ankheg, so you can go double file if you wish.

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

Casts dancing lights

Balmoren waves his hands briefly through the air while muttering some arcane words and a group of four glowing balls appear around him. With a gesture he sends them into the hole to light the path. He unlimbers his bow and says, "I will take the rear. I certainly have no desire to take on an Ankheg toe to toe."

Does my familiar smell Ankheg within 30'? I can't talk to him yet, but I have an empathic link. Assuming the fresh scent of Ankheg would elicit an emotional response on his part.

He can help a bit in indicating when you start to get close, but unless he's trained in Survival, scent by itself won't help in tracking them through the tunnel system you'll be in. He can still roll Survival even if he isn't trained, but it will be a lot harder to meet the DCs required.

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

Evrail looks at the opening after there is light to see if he can find the freshest tracks of the Ankheg.

Survival:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27

Double file with Einar & Evrail in the lead and Garrett and Balmoren a few feet behind seems like the best way to explore the tunnels. Evrail can track to his heart's content and Einar and Garrett can keep an eye on both sides with their darkvision keeping Balmoren safely in the middle of the group.

Garrett gives one last look to Leroy before joining the others down in the vermin tunnels, "You're welcome to join us if you'd like. You seem to be a man of many useful talents. It would be both an honor and a privilege to see but a glimpse of what you're capable of. In any case, your help thus far will not be forgotten." He gives the... creature... a quick smile and trudges off to catch up with the rest of the group.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15

"So Balmoren, tell me about yourself," he asks loudly as he strains his pale violet eyes to adjust to the darkness of the tunnel and hazy glow of the witch's arcane lamps.

"If you are truthful, Leroy will help skin beasts if you bring them here, but Leroy will not go down dark stinky hole." You hear as you head down into the tunnel. It angles down to the southeast until you are roughly 15-20 feet below ground. Evrail is able to keep the group perfectly oriented in what at times is a bit of a maze, with both big tunnels and smaller tunnels where younger ankheg dug around, as well as a few collapsed tunnels. It is clear that whatever made these tunnels has been here a while, and could very well be a major source of the problem the surrounding area has had recently.

You travel on for several hundred feet when you see a large opening up ahead. The compy starts to get extremely nervous as you approach it.

You have one round to prepare for combat. There are a number of smaller tunnels leading off the side, and the main tunnel with a large opening up ahead. You are currently about 30 feet from the opening to the larger space, which appears to be some kind of natural cave. I will get a map made and posted tomorrow after I get home from work.

Well let's see what the hole has for us. as Einar wields his axe ready for anything that might show its face and his shield ready in case of danger. I told you I had some charming demeanor, just wait for my speech when we meet the Ankheg

Round 0, Initiative X:

HP: 12/12
AC: 18 Touch: 10 FF 18
CMD: 14
Saves: 3/0/4
Resist: acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5
Speed: 20ft
Equipped: Short Sword and Heavy Steel Shield
Abilities: Smite Evil [1/day], Daylight (DC) [1/day]
Conditions: none

+4/+3 Base, Power Attack -1/+2; Total: +3/+5

Einar Hakon wrote:
"I told you I had some charming demeanor, just wait for my speech when we meet the Ankheg."

"Remarkable! I had no idea the ankhegs were capable of speaking the common tongue."

Unsure of which direction the attack will come from, Garrett unfastened the heavy kite shield from it's position on his back and draws the short sword from his waist, then backs up close to Balmoren in an attack ready stance.

Readied action to 5' step and attack anything that threatens himself or Balmoren.

Readied Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6


HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

That postioning on the map is fine with me.

I was born in the barrier mountains a few decades ago. I lived in an elven village until my relationship with Compy started to bring out magical powers. Then I decided to join a traveling troupe one summer and see what the world had to offer. I've been with them for the last years, and now fate brings me to your side." He pauses and glances down at the dinosaur. "Compy smells something in the chamber up ahead." With that he knocks an arrow and readies himself for combat.

ready action to shoot any unfriendlies who show themselves.

Balmoren 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Einar 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Evrail 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Garrett 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13

Young Ankheg 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Parent Ankheg 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6

Garrett has just enough time to fire an arrow off at a smaller ankheg before it fully emerges from the side tunnel, and is able wound it before it bites him hard, almost dropping the young paladin in one shot, but the paladin is able to barely stay standing. Two natural 20's hurts a lot. Meanwhile, Balmoren sees another small one appear from one of the side tunnels behind him just as it lets loose a stream of acid that arcs past the party on the one side of the tunnel, causing Balmoren, Compy, and Evrail some minor discomfort, and making them glad the acid wasn't full strength.

combat information:
Round 1

Initiative Order bold still to go
Party in posting order

Balmoren awaiting rolls to see how much damage is taken
Compy awaiting rolls to see how much damage is taken
Evrail awaiting rolls to see how much damage is taken
Garrett 0 hp; staggered
Young Ankheg 1 6 damage (moderately hurt)
Young Ankheg 2
Parent Ankheg 1
Parent Ankheg 2

The party is up. Balmoren may take his readied attack on the ankheg behind them. Balmoren, Compy, and Evrail all need to make a DC 12 Reflex save or take 3 points of damage; a successful save halves that to 1.

Yeah 2 nat 20's normally hurt the most of anything. Unfortunately I have to wait until 2nd level for the cornerstone ability of a melee paladin.

Round 1, Initiative 13:

HP: 0/12
AC: 16 Touch: 10 FF 16
CMD: 14
Saves: 3/0/4
Resist: acid 5, cold 5, electricity 5
Speed: 20ft
Equipped: Bastard Sword
Abilities: Smite Evil [1/day], Daylight (DC) [1/day]
Conditions: Staggered

+4/+4 Base Total: +4/+4

Doing his best to ignore the excruciating pain of the ankheg's bite, the paladin digs deep inside for the strength to swing his sword against the beast one more time. With all his weight behind him, he attacks with a blow that brings him to his own knees to deliver.

Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Crit Confirm: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Crit Damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7

Seems appropriate

HP 12 | AC 14 | T 14 | FF 10 | CMD 14 | F +1 | R +6 | W +2 | Init +4 | Per +3

Balmoren Reflex save 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Compy reflex save 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17


Balmoren and compy duck the worst of the acid stream with a simultaneous reptilian shriek. The arrow Balmoren held knocked whizzes from his bow towards the small Ankheg with a twang.

Readied attack @ Young 2 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Damage 1d8 ⇒ 3

Without taking the time to see if his shot connected he steps back and fires again, a terrified Compy hiding behind his heels.

5' step to F10, fire bow again @ Young 2
Attack 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Damage 1d8 ⇒ 4

"Hold on soon as this vermin is dealt with I can attend to your wounds."

"That would be... very kind of you," the battered paladin replies slowly as he reels in pain.

I'm guessing the young ankheg will probably be dead by the end of the round since it's "moderately hurt" at 6 damage and its taking between 13 - 23 more.

The ankheg in the side tunnel in quite thoroughly dead as the paladin buries his sword deep into it's skull, fortunately leaving the main carapace largely intact for future recovery. Balmoren misses with his first shot, but his second one manages to bury itself in the ankheg's underbelly, causing it to squeal out in pain.

Einar and Evrail still to go this round.

Male Half-Elf Urban Ranger 5

Round 1, Initiative 12
HP: 11/12

Reflex Save:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15

Moves to attack the ankheg away from the group while Garrett and Einar attack the one near the group.

Move to G-6, drawing sword as he moves.

Attack and Damage Roll:
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 142d6 + 6 ⇒ (4, 3) + 6 = 13

Stabilization Check DC 10: 1d20 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 - 1 = 6 (+ CON - Negative HP Total)

I activate Rage! I will help Garret IF I'm close enough or will charge the darn thing if I have to do so.

Einar explodes in a fit of rage I don't ignore me!! insulted by the Ankheg not fighting him first.

Attack 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Damage 1d10 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11 (power attack)

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