Aidan's smile tightens a little at mention of additional help. We may be able to lend certain resources to help you, aside from these two promising Adepts. And maps of the route and the village are certainly available. You folk already look very well equipped....
Extra work on maps - grrrr.... Also, weren't you guys generated with max starting gold?
As for pay, we're offering 300 gold per person for this expedition. We'll write up a blood note for the balance owing. You also have rights to any treasure or equipment you win in the course of your journey.
Yup, but no adventureer worth his salt doesn't ask for all the help available! Also I could be wrong but I don't think that we actually need you to draw a map for us, rather than let us know as we come to areas what the map says. Correct me if I am wrong folks.
Perhaps some of the gear for mining would be helpful. As a woodsman I spend very little time in mines. Beyond that I would be curious to know what was learned from the survivor.
Geography1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
I am familiar with the region and can guide us there easily, but maps are always wise, in case I were to meet with a less than glorious end.
"Well, when I spoke of equipment to obtain, I was thinking that we'd obtain it ourselves. After all, no point hiring us if we can't prove that we're self sufficient."
Taking one last bit of cheese, she'd continue.
"Perhaps we could head out into town and obtain any extra equipment we need, then return later when the civilian from the mining village recovers."
I'm going to try and make a map of the area anyways, though it will not be any sort of work of art....
An older man with short grey hair and a close-cropped beard appears at the doorway and beckons Aidan. They speak in whispered voices for a few moments before Aidan returns to your group. The girl lives, but is currently in a deep slumber. She was not struck by any plague. Rather, her flesh had been rent by the walking dead - a ghoul. Had she died, she would have risen as a ghoul herself. When she awakens we will know more. This is troubling....I hope none of you will balk at the thought of facing the undead?
I have never faced them, but this sounds like a threat much larger than I had imagined. Before we go can you give us any ideas of how best to face the undead of varous types.
Turning to Aiden
Perhaps the church would be willing to allow me to prespend some of my future pay on some holy water.
Landon remains standing quietly while the others discuss plans and requests for a while before speaking up himself, "I think if anything we require the use of horses or failing that a wagon and horses to pull it, that may be the better idea actually as it could serve two purposes. It would get us all there relatively quickly and provide us a means of getting any survivors back here for aid that much easier. Aside from that we should be able to acquire the things we need on our own."
There could be upwards of 200 villagers. If they yet live - which seems to grow more improbable with every passing moment - then you would need a very large cart. No, brother, on site you will need to be creative and use what resources you have to help. Brother Duvall is a skilled healer, in addition to his curing spells and his ability to directly channel The Watchers' Grace.
Looking at Hezar, Aidan responds:If only I had the time to tutor you on the fine points of undead fighting! Sometimes, one must roll with the knowledge they have. For Ghouls, I will say that they are fast and smart. They can paralyze humans with their claws or their bite. Dwarves too - not so sure about Genasi. And remember this - they hunt in pairs. Where there's one ghoul, there's always another.
Taking a drink of water, Aidan smiles grimly. I will empower some vials of water with Helm's blessing myself. And we will provide horses and provisions for your journey. I want you on the road by sunrise tomorrow. The village is a four day journey, mostly via the road north of the Sulduskoon river. I am going to check on the girl myself, and will let you know any information she may have. If you wish, we have visitor's quarters you can stay in tonight. Goodbye for the moment - I shall return! With that, he is out the door and you find yourselves alone.
Well I wanted adventure...
I suppose we must prepare. Perhaps we should aprise each other of our skills. I am a tracker and a good shot with a bow.
Hezar grabs a chair and pulls out his whetstone as he begins to systematically sharpen his spear, then axe, then dagger, and finally his arrowheads.
"Well, I'm good at scouting, sneaking around, getting into places I shouldn't be.. and I'm a fine shot with the bow too."
Taking her coin purse off her belt, Janiries would check how much gold she has.
"I've got.. hmm, thirty nine gold left, and if we're wanting to head off at sunrise tomorrow, then we should probably get our equipment sorted out quickly. If we're to descend into the mine, then some spelunking gear might help, as well as some camping gear for the trip. Any suggestions from the holy men regarding equipment that might help with dealing with the undead might be useful too."
"Though my magic is not as potent as Duvall, I can call upon Helm's power to punish enemies of his faith."
Since i forgot to describe him earlier, He is slightly above average height and looks like hes barely out of his teens. He wears well tended but muted scale armour and a grey tabard bearing Helm's eye and gauntlet symbol ove his heart. At his side is a heavy bastard sword and he carries a heavy shield on his back with an unstrung longbow. He looks for all appearances to be a young chevalier except for his eyes, those seem to be constantly dissecting and observing those around him much like a predator looking for weakness.
[ooc] I too forgot. Hezar is a tall lanky man. Most often he has a full bushy beard, as he only shaves it when he goes into town (Currently he has stubble) He is constantly dressed in dark brown and green clothing with boiled leather armor. At his belt there lies an ax and dagger, on one side while a quiver bristling with arrows balances them on the other. In one hand he carries a longbow, while in the other he carries his longspear.
|Duvall of Helm|
Addressing Janiries and others in the room, Duvall says, "You should have all the supplies you need. You're adventurers, yes? Then you should have camping gear, backpacks, bedrolls, etc. We're getting horses and that will help us greatly. I doubt we will be spelunking - more likely we will be in tunnels with tracks for carts and such. Although, if you have a sturdy rope, that would help.
"Ghouls are best fought at a distance if you can manage it - they hate light, and holy water will be a deterrent, but not much of one if they are really hungry. Payment is irrelevant - the townsfolk need us to help them overcome this evil. Saving lives and cleansing that town and mine will be payment enough for me."
I am a woodsman. All my life. I do not know much about adventuring. What I do know is that it never hurts to talk through what might be needed. Hezar replies quietly, non-combatively.
Well intentioned I am sure, but a rather abrasive fellow...
"Spent enough time in mines to know how to not get anyone killed. As for ghouls, they can't paralyze or turn anyone without hands or heads." Belgrin motions towards his weapon with the slightest smirk.
"rope's always good, grapples too. Been out of the tunnels meself for awhile, not carryin any at the moment." He grabs 2 gold coins out of his pouch and hands them to Janiries. "Grab a rope and hook for me while you're out, eh?. Haven't been to EVERY mine in the mountains, don't know if they all have any pits or cavern openings."
We can't afford a spelunking kit lol. But I do have some rope already, and we are buying more. I also have a lantern. I think we will be ok without the climber's kit, but the main thing that we don't have is the Hammer and pitons. Perhpas we buy those and a grappling hook?
Hezar nods to everyone as he heads out to make purchases.
Winking over to Ariael before she follows Hezar to make some purchases.
Got the shopping list here. Hopefully this is all trivial to get so we can move on ;)
5x Rope 5gp
10x Pitons 1gp
2x Hammer 1gp
1x Campsite Kit 12gp
2x Hooded Lantern 14gp
10x Oil 1gp
2x Grappling Hook 2gp
Hezar frowns as he peers into his purse, and hands Janires the majority of it. 10 GP
He helps gather up the equipment and takes it back to pack onto the horses.
I have made a party Gear tab in my profile.
Aidan returns to the room after a long while. He looks troubled. I've spoken to the young lady who fled Tilver's Folly, and she told a terrible story. Apparently, their village was attacked and seized over a week ago by a large, well-trained band that appeared to be bandits. There were many casualties amongst the villagers. He shakes his head and pours himself some water, thinking for a moment.
When the bodies had been buried, the bandits put the villagers - all save the infirm, several children, and two pregnant women - to work in the mine, but digging in a new, previously unexplored direction. They laboured day and night under their overseers' whips.
After several days, the girl - Alya - says that they broke through some sort of wall and into a chamber. The villagers were all sent back to the village, under guard, while the leaders of the supposed bandit group stayed to survey the find.
That night, the attacks started. As most of the village slept, shrieks of pain and fear broke their exhausted slumber. They must have been terrified.... Aidan reaches for the wine this time. When day finally broke, a number of them - bandits and villagers both - were missing, scores were injured and many lay dead. Alya herself, and her younger sister Endra were attacked, being saved from death - ironically enough - by one of the bandits.
They knew not where the attacks came from, but most suspected the unearthed chambers in the mine as the cause. The remaining bandits went to the mines, but never returned....
That night, despite their preparations, the survivors were attacked again. Undead swarmed them, unafraid of the fires they had set, the torches they bore. Many wore the faces of people they knew - those killed and missing in the previous attack. Alya was injured, though by morning she was one of the few who could still walk. Her sister missing, all her friends dead or gone, she fled - finding a horse who had broken away from the stables the night previous, she rode the animal near to death getting here. She is so small and delicate, yet possessed of a remarkable strength - three days and nights she rode, despite her injury and sickness. She was turned away at several small villages, and from the town of Marakir, all of them fearing she carried some sort of plague.
Standing up straight, Aidan's face hardens. Your task, then: find and evacuate any remaining villagers. There is a small family villa down the road and to the east of the village - if anyone lives, bring them there. The Stendar family owns the land and can be trusted to help. If you can find any of the bandits, capture them - we desire to learn of their real affiliation.
We then want you to attempt to determine what was uncovered in the mine, and bring an end to that threat. If it proves too difficult to destroy, attempt to contain it, even if it means loss of the mine. Alya reports that there were several unused blastglobes remaining in the lead contractor's equipment shed; if needed, they may be used to seal the mine entrance. But, I must emphasize, try to recover the mine if at all possible. Its loss would be devastating.
Be ready to depart early tomorrow morning. Tilver's Folly is roughly four days' travel - three if you really push yourselves. Remember, though, that you must arrive fresh enough to fight.
If you've any questions, now is the time to ask.
I'll assume this happens after everyone is back from their shopping trip.
Edit, purchasing some blunt arrows for myself as well. How many Holy Water did he bless for us?
I have none. I have prepared as best I am able.
Janiries would pull out her journal and some ink, taking notes as Aiden weaves the sad tale, listening intently to ensure she gets every detail down.
"Meeting here tomorrow morning, right? Other then that, I've no questions. I'll be at the Winking Warrior till tomorrow morning, if anyone needs me."
Ready to move onto tomorrow morning now, after the others are done with their questions. :D
"Roughly how many people lived there? Such knowledge may save us from missing someone."
Wooden symbol of Helm (I technically don't need it but should have it) 1g
Hemp rope 100ft 2g
Waterproof bullseye lantern 17g
5 pints of oil 5s
5 days of rations 25s
Aside from that I'm good to go
LAndon you might not need all of that, take a look at everything Jan and I picked up for the party. Though I recomend rations folks. I will not have time to hunt for us on the way there
You can never have enough rope or oil...especially when you can do so many wonderful things with either, or both. And i got tired of losing lanterns and torches to water so whenever i dont have the light spell i like to get my lantern waterproofed.
|Duvall of Helm|
Hezar is up and ready to leave before the sun is fully up. He grooms his horse, taking time to get to know it better.
via Wild Empathy
He packs the saddle bags with Rations, and various pieces of equipment so he is not so encumbered with gear. Bedroll, and blanket, rope, and grappling hook. He lashes his spear to his pack and strings his bow, ready to move. He takes the time to place one of the Holy Waters or more depending on how many we get in his belt pouch with his acid flasks, in case they come upon the undead.
Belgrin spends the evening checking his gear, sharpening his maulaxe blade, testing and adjusting straps, handles, and buckles.
Come morning, He rises to the sun's rays, trekking out to the appointed meeting spot.
hope these giants picked out a right-sized pony. Not about to ask for a handup to mount a steed.
Good to know I am not the only one up with the sun.
Hezar offers his hand to Belgrin
Sense Motive 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Recognizing Belgrin's general dislike for his horse Hezar says. Allow me to let you horse know that you are the boss not it. Hezar smiles
Wild Empathy 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Wild Empathy 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Hezar spends a few minutes with Belgrin's horse making sure it is perfectly calm.
|Duvall of Helm|
After his morning prayers, Duvall dresses for the trip, checks his gear, and walks out to meet the others. Seeing Belgrin and Hezar, he walks over and shakes hands saying, "Top of the morning, my new friends! I hope you slept well. Where are the rest of our companions, I wonder?"
He then checks his horse, and it isn't difficult to tell that he appears less than confident around the beast.
If I may.
Wild Empathy...no reason to roll I dont think at this stage, occured to me before that it isn't like the horse will fight
Hezar takes his time calming the beast, making it especially docile for Duvall.
|Duvall of Helm|
"Many thanks, Hezar. I've always been uncomfortable around horses. I just feel more secure when I'm on my feet, I guess." Duvall chuckles, blushing slightly.
"Tell me truly, our Elven companions. I heard you speaking their language. What do you think of them? Can they be trusted to carry out our mission?"
The question brings Hezar up short. He pauses to consider.
I have had only a little interaction with the fair folk myself. However, I have always found them to be as just a true as we, perhaps more so. They are long lived and perhaps that allows them to recognize the value of trust more than those of us who do not live so long.
He pauses for a moment.
That and both my father and grandfather lived among the elves of the Forest of Tethyr for a time and have nothing but respect for them. In short I do not know about the two journeying with us, but I have as much trust in them as I do in any of the rest of us. Myself included.
|Duvall of Helm|
Aidan walks slowly into the courtyard - leaning heavily on his arm is a gaunt looking young woman, unsteady on her feet. She is fetchingly pretty despite her weakness; her pale skin and green eyes give her an almost fey appearance. Her long brown hair is worn up in a simple style that only emphasizes the features of her face. She wears a simple white linen blouse (looking a size too large) and a long, full grey skirt which just touches the ground.
This is Alya; she felt well enough to walk, at least for a short time, and wanted to greet you before you left. I see we are early; not all of you have checked in yet.
Alya looks up and smiles. I wanted to say thank you - to all of you - for helping me and my village. Such darkness has visited us these past days! Your heroism brings joy to my heart. She seems to sway a bit before Aidan steadies her, his face full of concern. He motions to one of the stable hands, who brings first a stool for her to sit on, then a large goblet of water.
There were never many of us in the village, a hundred or so, including the dwarven foreman and six of his kinsmen, who were specialists in mining and stonecraft. I think they may all be gone. She draws a deep breath. And my little sister - Endra - she is missing too. I fear for her; I fear that the darkness that almost claimed me has taken her. Her eyes fill with tears as she speaks. Aidan kneels down beside her; you notice that for the first time you've met him, he is unarmored. He places his right arm around her as she buries her face in his shoulder; he whispers to her, likely words of encouragement. Strangely, Aidan's left arm appears to be made of a bronze metal, with gears and pistons replacing muscle and bone.
If you've any questions for Alya, please, ask quickly, as she is tired and needs her rest. Also, we need to get you on the road sooner, rather than later. The longer we delay, the worse things could get at the village; and the more of a crowd you will attract while departing.
Aidan has gifted you with a dozen vials of holy water, in a small box and cushioned with crushed up paper. There is also a sealed envelope, addressed to Elur, and sealed with wax.
Kneeling down next to the crying girl, Janiries would speak quietly to her, putting on her most comforting voice
"As you feel, so shall I; As you would do, so shall I. Your village shall be avenged, this I promise."
She'd then rise and move over to her horse, making sure she's ready to move out.
|Duvall of Helm|
Hezar is ashamed that his first thought is of her beauty.
If your sister can be found Ma'am. I can track her. I will do my best to learn what happened and bring her home if I can.
Hezar turns before he blushes and mounts his horse.
Ariael meets them all late. Unbeknownst to them, he was preparing his spells for the day. He strides up to them just before Aidan and Alya show up. Dressed in greens and browns, he looks the part of the typical Elf, able to slip unseen among the trees.
He stands there quietly as first Aidan then Alya speaks, though when its time to leave he says to the young girl "I too promise to avenge your family" Its the most he's said since you've met him.
He whispers quietly to his horse, calming him, then saddles up. While he does not like riding, he has done it enough to passingly competent.
0=Acid Splash, Detect Magic, Ray of Frost
1=Shield, True Strike
Landon arrives much later than he wanted to, only catching the tail end of the conversation but noticing the ill woman sitting by Aiden. She must be the survivor. Brave woman and a strong will to get out of her bed in her condition to see us off. Nodding to her, "Ma'am, take care of yourself for we shall take care of your village." He then proceeds to load his gear upon an unclaimed mount and take its reins. He looks around for their last companion, not seeing her he looks to Aiden with a silent questioning look.
Thank you - all of you - for your kind words. Alya manages a smile through her tears. Aidan stands up, his hand still on Alya's shoulder, and looks at the assembled group.
We're missing one more - the sorceress. No-one has seen her? Seeing no response, he beckons a young adept to come forward. Sister, see if you can find the young lady who volunteered yesterday - the one with the hair like fire. The young adept hurries away to look for Elur.
"Get some shuteye, lass. Just gettin here the way ye did was enough; I'd say ye earned it. No ghoul's going to chew on dwarven flesh for free. these rottin bastards WILL pay for their meal. Me cousins and I will see to that."
Pausing for a second at the girl's traumatized visage, Belgrin notices his error.
"And eh, count on seein familiar faces again too. Anyone still livin's comin back with us."
Absolutely, if that's what you folks want to do! Go for it. You'll have to overshoot the road leading north to the village by a few miles though, just so you know.