marius we must stay calm we will discover the truth
Marius draws a simple map before heading out. Rough version here.
Scale is approximately 1/2 mile per square. Marius is careful to differentiate between the forest (in paler green) and the deep forest (which is wilder and far more dangerous). The young druid also maps out several points of interest on the map, including a meeting place of his circle - Old Oak Henge. Others are marked as possible hiding places for Kane, or as points of interest for exploration.
The light will begin to wane soon; and the forest is not somewhere one should wander in the dark. If we set out now, we may be able to get to the Maiden's Grove before dark - or maybe not. It is a sight to behold, though - a giant wooden effigy of the Lady of Rangers, surrounded by a ring of animals - all carved into the living wood. I would wish to linger there a bit, and pray by the stream, as all this death has left me feeling out of sorts.
I would be honored to see such a sight. Let's move!
Hezar will set the pace to get there before dark.
Nijena, after having made arrangements to be kept "in the loop" as to the childrens' eventual fate, was ready to move out with the others.
"Let us be on our way," she said, "while I will not promise vengeance, I have promised justice. And neither can be served from here."
I suspect those "arrangements" will be merely asking the guard captain to please be sure to let her know where the kids end up, when/if she returns to ask. But if there's someone else she needs to talk to, she'll do that first.
Matthias smiled faintly at Rylind, though his eyes were serious. He very much wanted to believe the best of her, and he chose to believe she was being sincere. "I had a lot of siblings, older and younger, and I knew a lot of children, growing up. The Black Days were hard on them, too." He didn't spell out the obvious, that many children had lost their families during that time as well.
He was curious about the sadness she showed, but tactfully left it up to her to speak her mind, or not. Being a half-orc had probably left her with plenty to be sad about, all on its own - he knew most people didn't care for them. In his own way, he knew how that felt. There might be a time for questions, but it didn't seem appropriate here. "Come on, let's let them take what comfort they can from each other. We can check up on them with Osuki once our business is concluded; at least they'll have the knowledge that the killers didn't get away." He took the excuse to put a hand on her back to guide her out with him.
You return to the gate, and all confiscated weapons are returned; the Captain wishes you well in your hunt as you mount your horses. You swing around the vineyards to the east and head north to the forests' edge. The sheer vastness of the vineyards is hard to believe - no wonder it challenges all of the Purple Hills to the south as Tethyr's main producer of wine.
It takes nearly two hours to finally reach the forests' edge - by now it is roughly two hours until dusk. The Maiden's Grove is about four, five miles into the forest - if we're lucky, we might make it by nightfall. We could camp here, at the forests' edge. If we run into difficulty, and find ourselves in the woods at night, things could go bad very quickly. How shall we proceed? Marius says this while looking deep into the woods, his home for many years.
Matthias looked into the woods as if Beyha might appear at any moment. "I'd hate to leave Beyha in there alone, if she's run into trouble," he said with concern, "but if you don't think we're likely to make it to Maiden's Grove before dark, I guess we wouldn't do any good anyway."
|Kevkas the Battle Oracle|
Take 10 on survival +2 for favored terrainand geography to confirm this
I think we can make it if we push. There is risk of being attacked but the forrst...all forests are my home. I am confident I can get is there. We will have to be quick about setting up camp but I say we move. Besides you are so big and burly what would dare mess with us?.
Dm let me know if my checks tell me that we won't make it
1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25 Survival
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26 Percep
Hezar leads the party quickly on the trail.
|Kevkas the Battle Oracle|
Hezar's woodcraft is impressive - the young ranger quickly finds a route through the trees, in the waning daylight. The forest is strangely quiet; Marius remarks upon it several times, and seems uneasy with the atmosphere of the woods. Tethys, his black panther, stays close to the ground and appears frightened by the surroundings.
After about an hour and a half, you come upon the clearing. The smell of burning wood greets your nostrils; from your position in the treeline, you can see that the six animal statues surrounding the shrine of Mielikki had been set alight. Four have been burned almost to the ground; two remain, though they are blackened and their original form is difficult to make out.
The statue of the Lady of Rangers still stands, though horribly disfigured. The head has been cut off and burned, and the body has been burned in parts, with profane symbols carved into the once-living wood.
The statue stands before a still pool of water - just at the waters' edge, you see a body, front quarter submerged, unmoving.
Map is here. You're at the southwestern corner, still within the treeline and, as far as you can tell, unobserved by anyone.
|Kevkas the Battle Oracle|
Anyone stepping into the clearing needs to declare which space they will start in - either by placing yourself on the tactical map or by asking me to place you via grid code.
The body by the pool is definitely Beyha - you can tell from her armour and clothes. As you turn her over, you see see that the flesh of her face has been cruelly cut away, and her body rent by many wounds. Her blood has stained the once-pristine pool an ugly, cloudy scarlet.
Belgrin dismounts and draws his weaponry, his stony expression laced with barely perceptible outrage as he growls his protest.
Goddess or no, ye don't just butcher good stonework and vandalize it for laughs. Someone'll bleed for this mockery, mark my words.
Waiting for changes before I move in. Only thing worse than an angry Dwarf in your face is one behind you.
Everyone has been very cautious, so no surprise round! Producing a tactical map is usually a dead giveaway a fight is coming....
As a few of you move forward to investigate Beyha's body, two of the burned wooden statues - one of a great bear, the other of a large stag - rise up and begin to shamble forward, their eyes lit with a red light of menace!
Initiative time! Everyone needs to place themselves now, in the treeline or not.
Wooden foes: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Belgrin: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Osuki Nijena: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Janiries: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Kevkas: 1d20 ⇒ 2
Hezar: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Matthias: 1d20 ⇒ 5
Rylind: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Marius: 1d20 ⇒ 3
Belina: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Ogre: 1d20 ⇒ 6
Ambrose: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
So, initiative tranches are:
1 - Janiries, Belina
2 - Wooden foes
3 - Osuki, Rylind
4 - Ambrose, Belgrin, Hezar
5 - Kevkas, Matthias, Marius, Ogre
Tranche #1 is up first - Janiries and Belina!
Belina moves into the clearing (move action to J19) and, raising her lovely clear voice for all to hear, begins to inspire courage (standard action) in her allies. Everyone gets a +2 morale bonus vs charm and fear, and a +2 competence bonus to attack and damage rolls.
Matthias, who had ignored Nijena's order and rushed forward in case there was anything he could do to save Beyha, looked up at the approaching menaces in fury. With Beyha's bloody head in his lap, he wasn't the first to react, only setting her down carefully as he rose to his feet.
Even as the wooden statues rise up, Janiries rapidly moves into action, sprinting up into critical range of the foe to the left, before letting fly with her readied arrow.
Miscellaneous Action: 5 Foot Step to H17 (Provided that puts me within 30 feet of Wooden Foe 1, if not, normal move up to H16)
Attack Roll with Composite Longbow on Wooden Foe 1: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 7 + 2 = 19
Damage Roll: 1d8 + 1 + 2 + 2d6 ⇒ (2) + 1 + 2 + (5, 6) = 16
Well, hopefully that hits! He should be flat-footed for my attack, after all
Janiries' arrow finds it's mark, landing in the torso of the bear statue with a solid *thunk* The creature is utterly unfazed by the attack, and continues its' approach!
Damage to Wooden bear = 16-5 DR = 11 total
Tranche #2 - the wooden foes - are up next!
Foe #1 (the Bear) moves with a speed that belies its size, quickly dashing to a position in front of Janiries. It then strikes with a large, clawed wooden paw!
25 foot move to G16 - move action
Attack: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
Damage: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (2, 5) + 4 = 11
The creature hits hard, knocking the lovely elven rogue to her knees!
Foe #2 (the Stag) takes a 15 foot move to L14 and lashes out at Matthias with an oversized wooden hoof!
Attack: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32 Crit confirm? 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14
Damage: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (3, 6) + 4 = 13
The stag hits the young Helmite hard, though just inches from seriously hurting the handsome cleric.
Tranche #3 - Osuki and Rylind - are up next!
The air around her shimmering with a translucent, rainbow field, Nijena was ready for combat. She'd expected something, but she hadn't quite expected this.
She tried to dismount quickly, but a twisted stirrup slowed her. Still, on her feet at last, sword in hand, the exotic woman's jade eyes blazed with a bright green flame as she called upon the magic in her blood.
In seconds, quick arcs of blue-green lightning flashed downward from the sky, hammering into the wooden bear that had just attacked Janiries.
Fast Dismount?: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8 - failed
Dismount as Move Action, draw Temple Sword as part of Move.
Cast Heat Lightning at G16. Damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6, Fire Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 4. Bear takes 6 non-lethal damage, 4 fire damage, is on fire, and is Dazzled for 1 round. Reflex Save (DC14) for half non-lethal, no dazzle or fire.
Edit: With Mage Armor, current AC is 21
Osuki's spell strikes the lumbering wooden bear hard, igniting the old wood with blue flame:
Save vs. catching on fire DC 15: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Damage: as rolled by player -->4x1.5=6 hp damage
The spells other intended effects, however, simply do not seem to affect the creature - its vision remains unimpaired, and it shows no ill effects from the shock of the lightning.
Rylind leaps out from the trees, scimitars drawn. (Move action to position E15). Not wishing to provoke an attack, she watches and waits for an opening. (Unable to take 5 foot step due to previous movement.)
Tranche #4 - Belgrin, Hezar and Ambrose - up next!
I was considering posting yesterday, but the two PCs we're waiting for are two of my oldest and most reliable posters, so I'm loathe to potentially step on their toes. Also, I have a bunch of NPCs to run, so I'm hoping to avoid DMPCing as much as possible. Having said that, if no-one has posted by noon I'll have to jump in. Blah.
Sorry. Losing track of time lately.
Seeing the creatures spring to life and move on his party, Belgrin wastes no time marching over to the wooden bear and laying into it with the sharp side of his maulaxe.
attack: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
slashing damage: 1d8 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Belgrin's stout blow just glaces off the wooden monstrosity, inflicting no damage save a few splinters.
DMPC -->Hezar advances into the clearing (to K19) and takes a shot at the Stag-shaped living statue at L14.
Attack: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 9 + 2 = 20
Damage: 1d8 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 + 2 = 9
The sharp-eyed ranger lands a shaft directly into the centre of the wooden beast, but the strike appears to slow it down not at all!
Cackling to some joke that only he heard, Ambrose advances into the clearing (square E16) and casts burning hands at the wooden bear creature:
Damage: 5d4 ⇒ (3, 4, 3, 4, 3) = 17
Save for half damage (DC 15): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Ambrose's spell hits hard, though the Bear shows remarkable agility in avoiding part of the blast. It is still left smoking, however!
Tranche #5 is up next - Kevkas, Matthias, Marius, and Ogre!
Sucking air after having the wind knocked out of him, Matthias took a few steps back and drew his mace, calling on Helm to aid his allies from the wooden woodland creatures. "Mighty Helm, help us to defeat this devilry and avenge your loyal servant!" he gasped.
5' step, draw mace, cast Bless on party (+1 to attacks and saves vs. fear for 4 min.)
Also, just to remind everyone, anyone adjacent to Matthias gets a +1 bonus to saves vs. fear.
|Kevkas the Battle Oracle|
As soon as the giant wooden creatures moved to attack, Kevkas grinned and started mumbling something under his breath. The big half-orc barely flinched as one struck Matthias, right next to him. Instead, he stopped muttering and shouted out a word in orcish. "Pick on someone your own size," he growled.
Cast Enlarge Person on self (new AC 17, +9 3d6+6 greatsword, 10' reach)
Messed up the roll syntax for the cast defensively check; see next post.
|Kevkas the Battle Oracle|
@ Janiries - Ambrose (which is to say, I) was careful enough to ensure you weren't in the line of fire, so to speak. His 15' cone would look like the following:
See? Safe :-)
@ Osuki: It was. Ambrose hit the critter for 17 points, which was halved by a successful reflex saving throw. The result was then multiplied by 1.5.