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Black Tom's Whispering Cairn

Game Master Black Tom


3,751 to 3,800 of 5,758 << first < prev | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | next > last >>

Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

"Well, that would help too. But don't be so hasty to dismiss the idea of getting extra help. There are lots of possibilities, f-from buying horses to (gulp) animating the dead." Vug nervously glances at Friar Feres.

"F-father F-f-feres, if you asked the gods f-for help, do you think they would send someone...or something? We could also ask that f-f-f-forlarren what's-her-name. I doubt that f-funny snake woman we met underground would help us... Hmmm...I bet if I had enough time and the right equipment, I could use that mind f-f-flayer's research to come up with some kind of mutant creature, but it would take too long. Any other ideas? Maybe we could buy an elephant!" Vug tosses out a bunch of ideas in rapid succession.


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

Celeste waves her hand vaguely. "Oh, me and Eligos, we go way back, and I would trust him with my life." She warms noticeably at the mention of her friend. "As a matter of fact, he spoke very highly of you, and his word is good enough for me."

Ekaym smiles. "You don't have to be nine persons, you know. Some of the strongest teams have only two or three members. Still going it alone would be pushing your luck, and as your sponsor I would like to maximize your chances. You will be given a full rundown of the rules, but I'll give you some pointers."

"All battles are potentially lethal but you have the option of surrendering at any point. If you do you must cease fighting or be disqualified. A disqualified gladiator must leave the arena immediately or the entire team is disqualified.
You may fly, but only to a height of 40 feet. Burrowing into the ground is forbidden.
A fight ends when all members of one team are dead or have surrendered.
You cannot loot fallen foes and you will keep your stuff if you are defeated or killed.
If you put the spectators at risk you will be disqualified and possibly prosecuted. And you don't want that, not in the City State.
If you win, you get an award, which I will bring to you after I get my share.
"


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

"How big is the arena?"


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

"Good question. It's a 100 foot square. You will do well in the contest, I can tell already."


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

Are you ready to fast-forward to entering the competition?


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

Can we bring in animals, like horses or elephants? Do they count as contestants?


Male Human Cleric 14

Is it okay to use Summon Monster spells in the competition?


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

Vug drops the idea of buying an elephant after it dawns on her that no one present knows the first thing about elephants.

Vug is ready to move ahead, unless Father Feres wants to cast Lesser Planar Ally or something like that.


Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 178/178; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

Valgrim asks Ekaym, "Are we allowed to wager on ourselves in the Arena? I've got some coin to spare."

After that, we can move to the competition.


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

Ekaym grins. "That is actually encouraged. Anything to give you an extra edge. What were you going to call yourselves?"

The Free Dinner that precedes the Champion’s Games is a spectacular event, with more than 200 guests and half again as many servants, cooks, musicians, and other entertainers. The event itself takes place under the open sky on the arena battleground. Numerous long banquet tables are arrayed in a circle around a central wooden stage that gives entertainers a place to perform. The entire area is festooned with flowers, ribbons, and multicolored pennants. The arena gates open for the event at 5:00 pm, and a patrol of Raknian’s wardens takes position before each one, checking invitations and keeping an eye on the situation.

Two great bonfires burn north of the seating area, and scores of cooks, scullions, and waiters are busy there with spits, grills, and platters.
When you arrive, Ekaym presents his license and a clerk records your names, the name of your group, and takes a note on Valgrim, who is registered as your leader. After being admitted, you are shown your table and servants soon provide plenty of delicious food and drink. The arena fills quickly with guests and attendants, and shortly before 6:00, Raknian himself enters the arena.

Loris Raknian is a tall, heavily muscled man in his early 50s. He has short grizzled hair, a strong jaw, and small gray eyes. He is accompanied by a lithe tanned, clean-shaven man in his 30s who sports a thick crew cut, a robed wizard with a long gray beard and a stern look and six bodyguards.

The crowd greets him with thunderous applause. Raknian´is quick on the pleasantries, and sits at a prominent table between the central bonfire and the stage. The current holder of the Champion’s Belt, the gladiator Auric (whom you recognize from Wolfstone) and his wizard friend and teammate Khellek also sit at Raknian’s table. When Raknian presents Auric to the crowd, he is greeted with even more applause.

Next, the wizard, who introduces himself as Talabir takes the stage and runs down the specific rules for arena combat. Ekaym's description seems to have been accurate. After the rules are explained, Loris Raknian takes the stage again and declares all gladiators “Champions of the City State” for the duration of the Games (more applause), and then signals for the Free Dinner to begin. Several bards take the stage and begin performing as servants carry huge platters of food out to the various tables.


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15
Valgrim Twin-Axe wrote:
Valgrim asks Ekaym, "Are we allowed to wager on ourselves in the Arena? I've got some coin to spare."

"That's an excellent idea, Valgrim! If we win, we're rich, and if we lose, we're probably dead anyways so it doesn't matter. There's literally no downside!" Vug enthuses, apparently sincere in her remarks.


Male Half-Orc Bard 11

"Good point Vug!" Bubba listens to the players for a moment. "These guys are not bad, but I have heard better. The food is outstanding though!."


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

"Bub, maybe you could ask around and see if you can scrounge up some details on the other teams. F-f-f-f-forewarned is f-f-f-forearmed, after all."

Vug mixes all of the available drinks, gravies and sauces together into one uber-beverage and takes a sip.


Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 178/178; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

”Valgrim’s Vanguard, it is then!” Valgrim enjoys the meal, looks around the dining area and pays his respect to Auric as the current Champion by raising his cup of ale to him. ”Bubba, also try to find out how many teams are competing and who are the favorites. We need some good odds if we’re going to make some real coin!”


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

Bubba might want to make a Gather Information check if you want to snoop, but there are 24 teams competing and Auric's Warband are the favorites. Betting on you pays three times the money, since you are currently untested newcomers. (You bet on the outcome of each match in turn, so the odds are more than likely to change). Wagers are generally limited to 250 gp.

There are plenty of people trying to gather information about you too, and you may want to change their perception of you if you like (which would be a Bluff check and you'll need a primary roller).


Male Human Cleric 14

Feres calls upon the blessing of Sarenrae to imbue Bubba and himself with a touch of the Goddess' divine glory.

Use Touch of Glory on Bubba and on self to grant each of us a +8 bonus to one single Charisma-based skill check within the next hour.

If it's okay with Bubba, Feres will also try to Gather Info on the other teams. Bubba can use the Touch of Glory either on his own Gather Info check or on a Bluff check to change other people's perception of our group.

During the feast Feres mingles throughout the crowd, offering friendly greetings to the other competitors and inviting them to brag about their past exploits or talk about the other contestants.

Diplomacy check to Gather Information: 1d20 + 12 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 12 + 8 = 22


Male Half-Orc Bard 11

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 19 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 19 + 8 = 35


Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 178/178; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

Valgrim moves to Bubba and says quietly, "Alright, Bubba, I need you to spread the word around, especially among the bookies, that we are a no-name team, who got its fame killing some lowly orcs in the mountains. I'm a drunkard, Vug is a loose cannon, and we all basically suck and we're here just to try our luck and most likely lose in our first fight. Got it? Downplay our skills, that way we can get better than 3-1 odds and can rake in the gold on our bets. Get to it!"

Roll that Bluff check...


Male Human Cleric 14

Feres returns from mingling with the other contestants just as Valgrim asks Bubba to spread rumors about their own group. Before the half-orc leaves to spread the word, Feres imbues the bard with another touch of his Goddess' divine glory.

Use Touch of Glory on Bubba again to give him a +8 bonus on his Bluff check.


Male Human Sorceror (Stormborn) 15

Vulcan mingles, for once downplaying his powerful natural intensity, hood drawn up, he sliently keeps to himself while observing the competition.


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

Vug's eyes sparkle at Valgrim's words. "A CANNON, you say? Why didn't I think of it before! Of course, we'd need some horses to haul it in, and we'd probably have to be a little careful not to aim it too high..."

She starts scribbling some figures on a napkin with a piece of charcoal.


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

Bubba's charm, enhanced by Sarenrae's glory, is enough to net you a full list of the combatants, in alphabetical order: Arcane Auriga, Auric’s Warband, Badlands Revenge, Chuko’s Ravens, Draconic Brood, Drunken Devilry, Final Phoenix, Guttuggers, Iron Hill Monkeys, Night Owls, One of Us, Pitch Blade, Rauth’s Dragoons, Sapphire Squad, Snow Leopards, Teeth of Gorum, The Crazy Eight, The Fisthammers, The Gravediggers, The Skull of Murq, The Unhumans, The Woodchuckers,
Valgrim's Vanguard and Varmint Patrol.

Of these Auric's Warband (who are using flesh golems) and Pitch Blade (two dwarven brothers that are supposedly tough as nails) are the top ranked, followed by Draconic Brood (a band of half-dragons (red)).

The contest is organized as follows: the first day four teams are pitted against each other in a free-for-all, where the last team standing wins. The next day the survivors pair off against another team, leaving three teams, two of which fight for a spot in the finale while the third (generally last year's winners) battle a fabled monster. Then the two remaining teams battle it out fo the title of Champion.


Male Human Sorceror (Stormborn) 15

"Since the first round is a mass melee, we should probably each make sure we have a couple of potions since we might find ourselves outside of Feres' range at some point."


Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 178/178; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

"Good info, Bubba, 24 teams in total. It seems we get a day between battles, which is good. Seems like fun, wonder who we'll start out against? Those dwarven brothers must be bad-ass, given that they're only 2 of them. Must watch them closely. Ekaym, where will be staying during the Games? On site? And where does our friendly host Loris reside?"


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

Ekaym smiles nervously. "Er, you will all be staying on site, underground in the Coenoby. I'll be able to visit you of course and bring you your winnings, but no gladiator is supposed to leave the premises while the games last. Raknian lives close by, in that building over there."

I'll get you a map of the area as soon as I am able.

During the dinner a beautiful elven woman in an evening gown sidles up to Father Feres. It takes a moment for you to recognize her as Tirra, the companion of Auric and Khellek you met in Wolfstone, but in a very different outfit. She explains that certain of her... er, business associates judge that you have a good chance of defeating Auric's Warband in the final round and would like to place a substantial bet on you if you survive that far. If you want in on it and can spare 2500 gp, you will receive 7500 gp back - assuming you win, of course. Tirra gives you a wistful look. "Another thing... please go easy on Auric and Khellek, if you can. They are my friends, after all and I wouldn't want to see them get hurt."


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

"I hope they'll go easy on us, too! We'd still like to win, though." Vug adds. "I'll put any money I can on us."

I had to look up who those guys were; they were investigating the other (non-Whispering) Cairn, right?


Male Human Cleric 14
Vug Vang wrote:
I had to look up who those guys were; they were investigating the other (non-Whispering) Cairn, right?

I had to look it up too. Page 10 was where we first really interacted with them after our first foray into the Whispering Cairn.


Male Half-Orc Bard 11
Valgrim Twin-Axe wrote:

Valgrim moves to Bubba and says quietly, "Alright, Bubba, I need you to spread the word around, especially among the bookies, that we are a no-name team, who got its fame killing some lowly orcs in the mountains. I'm a drunkard, Vug is a loose cannon, and we all basically suck and we're here just to try our luck and most likely lose in our first fight. Got it? Downplay our skills, that way we can get better than 3-1 odds and can rake in the gold on our bets. Get to it!"

Roll that Bluff check...

Bubba spends the day visiting Taverns trying to play down his team.

He'll take 10 on each check for 10 + 19 = 29, 37 on the first check with touch of glory.


Male Human Cleric 14

Feres vaguely recalls meeting Tirra at Zalamandra's Emporium in Wolfstone. Nevertheless, the stout priest gives the beautiful elven woman a warm, friendly greeting and invites her to join his companions at their table.

Feres listens carefully to her request. Sense Motive check: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25.

"I must say, I for one am rather flattered that your... business associates... believe that we have a chance to make it to the final round, much less actually defeat your friends. I'm afraid I don't have anywhere near that amount of money for a wager, but I'm willing to chip in if my companions are as well. And if we are fortunate enough to make it to the final round and face Auric and Khellek, we will certainly strive not to cause them any lasting harm," Feres assures Tirra.


Male Human Cleric 14

Can Feres surreptitiously cast Detect Evil and study the other contestants as he is mingling?


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

Tirra sounds honest enough, and the room is too crowded to cast spells without being noticed.

Tirra smiles: "Well, if you are such rubes as people seem to think there shouldn't be much risk of that. But you never know, you might win some money and be in need of investment. Let's keep in touch."

Bubba's silver tongue works its magic and you're the laughing stock of the entire competition, and they look forward to see you obliterated in the first fight. The odds against you soar to 10 to 1.

The Free Dinner ends with an impressive show of fireworks. A group of dancers surrounds the central bonfire and begins whirling around it, their lean bodies outlined by the roaring flames. As the dance builds, an impressive display of explosions and arcs of fire and lightning burst upward into the air from the bonfire.

Spellcraft 15:

Spoiler:
This is accomplished by a Pyrotechnics spell complemented by some minor illusions.

In the sudden silence that follows, the dancers fall to the ground and Loris Raknian announces in a deep baritone voice: “The Champion’s Games have begun!”

After the dinner, you and the rest of the competitors are esoorted to a lift inside the arena, and successively lowered into an underground chamber. You are led through a subterranean complex into a large partly natural, partly artificial cave and given one of twentyfour lodges.

This enormous cave resembles some sort of underground village. The cave walls are finely hewn and the floor paved with smooth slabs of stone. Many artificial and natural pillars support the relatively low ceiling fifteen feet above. Wooden doors on the cave’s walls lead to a circle of underground dwellings, the lodgings of gladiators during the Champion’s Games. A pair of similar doors on the north wall leads to a kitchen and an infirmary.

An underground stream runs in the middle, crossed by a wooden bridge that leads to a dining area with two long tables. The relatively fresh air, murals of famous gladiators on the walls, and the soft illumination provided by amber-colored light globes hanging from the ceiling makes this cave a true marvel of underground architecture.

The place is very crowded, but everybody knows that it will not last long, since by tomorrow only six teams will be left standing. I suggest you get some rest and prepare your spells for the battle, which starts at 10 am tomorrow (it's now late evening).


Male Human Sorceror (Stormborn) 15

Spellcraft 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20


Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

You awaken on the big day to find a crowd has gathered near the meal tables at the north end of the Coenoby — the day’s battles have been posted to the wall near the door and the gladiators are eager to see who they’ll be fighting.

You are scheduled to fight in the second round, starting at 10:00 am.
Your opponents are the following teams: “Arcane Auriga,” (four elven archers) “Badlands Revenge,” (a human druid and two gnoll mercenaries) and “Sapphire Squad.” (three mounted fighters).

You have some time to spare if you want to get to know the opposition, talk tactics and buff up (you'll have a few minutes to buff before the battle starts).


Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

Vug passes out the following goodies:

  • Father Feres: extract of Barkskin (+3 natural armor)
  • Valgrim: extract of Shield, extract of Barkskin (+3 NA), extract of Enlarge Person
  • Bub: extract of Shield, extract of Barkskin (+3 NA), extract of True Strike
  • Vulcan: extract of Barkskin (+3 NA)

    She also buys some spiffy green sashes for everyone to wear (5 gp each), and she bets the maximum amount on Valgrim's Vanguard.


  • Male Human Cleric 14

    Feres thanks Vug for the extract.

    Feres will bet 250 gp on Valgrim's Vanguard.

    When it's time to cast buffing spells, Feres will cast:

    Freedom of Movement on Valgrim (duration 80 minutes)
    Bull's Strength on Valgrim (duration 8 minutes)
    Shield of Faith on self (duration 8 minutes)
    Archon's Aura on self (duration 8 minutes)


    Male Human Sorceror (Stormborn) 15

    Thanks Vug
    Vulcan will take the potion of Barkskin, buff with Shield and moments before the battle begins cast Fly. (8 mins)


    Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 178/178; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

    Valgrim will also bet 250 gp on the group. If the gladiators can watch the other fights, Valgrim is curious about the 2 dwarves (Pitch Blade) and tries to view their fighting style and weapons used (trip, power attack, raging?, 1 weapon style, 2 weapon, etc?)


    Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 178/178; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

    "Hey Bubba of the Silver-tongue, why not try and make friendly with the elven archers and see if they're willing to team up with us against the gnolls and the mounted warriors, at least till our 2 teams are left?"


    Male Half-Orc Bard 11

    Bubba thanks Vug for the extracts and also places a 250 gp wager on the Vanguard. He then approaches the elven archers.

    "I have an idea, if you will listen for a moment good elves."

    Diplomacy:1d20 + 19 ⇒ (13) + 19 = 32

    Assuming they listen:

    "If we team up against the other two teams at first, it will increase our chances of advancing to the next round"

    For their response:

    Sense Motive: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (14) + 19 = 33


    Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

    The Pitch Blade fight with shields and dwarven waraxe, raging as they go. Improved Sunder is their favorite trick.

    The elves are delighted at your proposal and gladly accept. They are all female, all cousins and their leader is called Rennida Auriga.

    You'll have to hold the buffs that last only rounds, as it is hard to gauge exactly when the fight starts. Minutes are fine.

    Got the map up. The Badlands Revenge's leader is named Joren, and his animal companion is a Dire Badger. The Sapphire Squad are mounted on heavy warhorses.

    Time to roll for initiative.


    Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 178/178; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

    Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19


    Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

    Vug also drinks her mutagen before the fight as well as her Shield extract.

    Everyone else is drinking their Shield and Barkskin extracts, right?

    1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13


    Male Human Cleric 14

    Initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 10

    Buffs/Spells in Effect:
    Barkskin: +3 enhancement bonus to natural armor. (80 minutes)
    Shield of Faith: +3 deflection bonus to AC. (8 minutes)
    Archon's Aura (Will Save DC 18): Any hostile creature within a 20-foot radius of Feres must make a Will save to resist the effects of this aura. If the creature fails, it takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, and Armor Class for the duration of this spell or until it successfully hits you with an attack. A creature that has resisted or broken the effect cannot be affected again by this particular casting of archon’s aura.(8 minutes)

    Feres' AC: 24; touch 13; flat-footed 24
    Feres' HP: 66/66


    Female Elf Alchemist (preservationist) 15

    Vug's AC = 29 [+5 armor, +5 dex, +4 shield, +3 natural, +2 deflection], Touch 17, Flat 24

    Buffs: Shield (8 minutes)


    Male Half-Orc Bard 11

    Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21

    As posted in the OOC , Bubba opens with Inspire Courage +2 and haste on us and 3 of the elves.


    Male Human Sorceror (Stormborn) 15

    Init1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15

    Drinking extract of barkskin, active spells Shield, Fly, Bubba's Haste. Active effects Inspire courage

    Current AC 23

    "Leave the riders to me!" Vulcan says with a grin.


    Male Human (mostly) Mystic Theurge

    Sorry about the delay. Still wearing the silly smile and trying to get a paper ready for a conference in Amsterdam next week (so there is going to be a short hiatus on Sunday).

    Valgrim and Bubba go first. The elves are out of range of Haste.


    Male Human Cleric 14

    Valgrim, don't forget I cast Freedom of Movement and Bull's Strength on you.


    Male Dwarf Ranger 12/Barbarian 2/Fighter 1 HP: 178/178; AC:31; F +21; R +17; W +15 (+17); Init: +2 (+6); Percep: +27 (+29)

    Before the battle, Valgrim casts Resist Energy - Fire and Lead Blades on himself and drinks Vug's potions of Enlarge Person, Barkskin, and Shield and steps onto the Arena, wielding his bardiche.

    Spells in Effect:
    AC: 27 (28 with Haste)
    Barkskin (80 minutes)
    Bull's Strength on Valgrim (duration 8 minutes)
    Enlarge Person (8 minutes)
    Freedom of Movement on Valgrim (duration 80 minutes)
    Lead Blades (6 minutes)
    Resist Energy - Fire (60 minutes)
    Shield (8 minutes)

    After Bubba's Haste goes off, with enhanced speed (60 ft), Valgrim rushes off to S21 to attack one the flat-footed riders on the warhorses of the Sapphire Squad!

    Power Attack with Vital Strike: 1d20 + 12 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (2) + 12 + 2 + 1 + 2 + 1 - 1 = 19
    Damage: 6d8 + 19 ⇒ (6, 3, 3, 3, 5, 7) + 19 = 46

    He then stands his ground, waving off further enemies with the 20' reach of his bardiche, as he is Large and wielding a reach weapon. Enemies are subject to AoO if they close to melee range.


    Male Half-Orc Bard 11

    Bubba moves up to within 20 feet of Valgrim, trying to keep the large dwarf between himself and the horsemen, shouting words of encouragement (having cast haste and started Inspire Courage).

    "You go big guy!"

    Buffs in effect:
    barksin
    shield
    haste
    Inspire Courage + 2

    AC 24
    hp 63/63
    Bardic Performance 14/15
    haste 7/8 rounds

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