CY 577 7th day of Flocktime.
The Overking is gone. He has been gone for several months now. The joy of overthrowing his iron rule was shortlived. Nyrond and other Iron League nations invaded the Great Kingdom, seeking payback for all the depradations they faced for the many decades of rule by the House of Naelax.
Count Dunstan of Knurl faces a dangerous situation. Emboldened by the chaos in the south, the humanoid tribes of the Bone March boldly march into the Blemu Hills, seeking to sack the town. Desperate to save his hardy little hold, the Count opened the gates to adventurers, some unsavory, to help stave off the tide of certain doom.
You are all gathered in the "Gnoll's Head Inn" in Knurl, along with a crowd of many rough and tumble sell swords, cut purses and spell slingers, ready to hear the Count's announcement tonight. Ale flows freely and rumors of events to the south and the north are thrown about as haphazardly as the darts being played by the trio of drunken dwarves in the corner.
This is my first attempt at a PBP game. The players have all been recruited and I'm keeping it small and familiar to start. Thanks.
Testing one, deux, trois,
It has been a long and boring journey. Agathon Quintus has finally reached his goal. The town of Knurl far away from the rats and the stink of the City of Greyhawk. How many mornings has he prayed to the Great Shining One for this... To be free of the toil and the oppression of the city. How long has he hoped and dreamed of being right here, far out into the wilderness of the World, on his own and answerable to none but himself...
Looking about this place so far away from home, Agathon can only bring one thought to mind...
"What in the hells was I thinking!?"
Knurl is certainly one of the dirtier places he has ever seen (and this after months of rough travel guarding a caravan that no one seemed interested in attacking in the first place).
With but a few coins left in his purse, he realizes that for the first time in his life, he is in real danger. Not the kind of danger he has trained and dreamed glorious day dreams about... Combat. No. Right now, he is in danger of starving!
In Knurl for the past evening since leaving the employ of the caravan master, he has found no one hiring... However, those two scrubby looking fellows he was quietly listening to earlier did mention that some Count was going to be making some announcement about work for hired swords... What was the name of that Inn? Ah! The Gnoll's Head.
Entering the place early, Agathon finds himself a seat against the wall with a good view of the door and the whole room. Putting his feet up and nursing both his ale and the remainder of his cash, he listens to the varied conversations. He will join in any discussion that happens to come his way (being casual and polite); but, otherwise will keep to himself. The doings of the World to the north and south are interesting and he wonders what part he may play in the days and weeks to come.
From the memories of Agathon Quintus...
I've never seen the Gnoll's Head so full! Normally there would be plenty of places to sit, but people are starting to stand outside. I'm glad Edgar got here early and talked Nichols into letting us have a table.
I hope the Count is making the right decision by inviting all these adventurers and mercenaries into town. Everybody I know is mixed on the idea - some welcome the help against the goblins, while some think we can defend ourselves quite well, thank you. At least most of them have money - dad's never been so busy at the shop!
Looking around, I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing here. All these adventurers seem so sure of themselves...so confident...so seasoned. And me? I'm fresh out of my apprenticeship with Cephali, the Count's wizard. She told the three of us that we'd been forged into the weapons that Knurl needs us to be. I hope I can live up to that.
Stefan, here are three d20 rolls for you to use as skill checks for Agathon while he is sitting in the Gnoll's Head Inn waiting for the Count to speak This is three initial rolls for skill checks at the beginning of the game. (1d20=15, 1d20=5, 1d20=18)
Wow. All these people look like serious adventurers. I wonder if they will even let me take this job? I wonder if there is some sort of competitive "tryout"? I'll just sit over here against the wall....wait, why are all the wall seats taken? These people are paranoid. I'll sit at the bar, order a small ale and nurse it along until I can figure out what the score is here. One dagger in boot, check. One dagger in belt, check. One dagger inside shirt up behind neck, check. Quarterstaff, leaned against right thigh while I sit on this stool, check. Any hot chick to look at?
Sir Gendar, Count Dunstan's captain of light infantry, strides into the "Gnoll's Head." His moustache is perfectly oiled and he picks at the massive callous in his sword hand. The crowd quiets down, the locals almost instantly. Whispers about Gendar being the "best swordsman in Knurl" bring an occasional snicker of disdain from warriors outside the area, but everyone looks at Gendar with anticipation.
"Knurl faces a dire situation. You all know it and the Count certainly knows it. With the Great Kingdom coming apart at the seams and civil war brewing, the humanoid tribes that overran the Bone March are emboldened to move south and seize territory in the confusion. Their first target will likely be Knurl, since Count Dunstan is the last legitimate noble of the Bone March remaining.
I'm not a man of words, so this will be short. Count Dunstan needs adventurers to help defend Knurl--not to man the parapets, but to strike the enemies of Knurl unexpected, behind their lines and with devastating precision.
This is not a secret. Some of you are spies for the evil to the North.
(This brings mutterings and suspicious glances from many in the crowd)
To you, Count Dunstan says--the Bone March does not belong to you and soon will belong to the righteous people of the North again. (Shouts of agreement from a few in the crowd).
(How much is the Count going to pay--someone shouts.) The Count will pay with equipment, healing and repairs. YOu will be given specific assignments based on our assessment of the war needs. You can keep whatever treasure you find (I sure hope so! someone yells) and if you stick it out with the Count to the glorious end, you will receive land grants in the newly restored Bone March based on your deeds. (Most of the crowd derisively laughs at this offer) If you decide to do this, stay here at the Inn and meet with me after this pronouncement."
The crowd begins to shout derisively. The confidence that the Count and Knurl will still exist a few months from now is low. It is clear most came here hoping to take the Count's last gold pieces and do as little as possible, then flee the area before it is overrun by orcs and hobgoblins. Only a few in the crowd seem to be genuinely interested, exchanging glances.
If you make the required spot or listen checks below, you can click on the spoiler tab to reveal information
DC 10 Spot Check
DC 15 Spot Check
DC 20 Listen
I'm disappointed at the realization that most of the crowd was here to try to drain the Count's coffers before the orcs and goblins could get to them. I'm not sure now exactly what I expected, but it seems like more people would see that defending Knurl against the oncoming horde would be the right thing to do. If Knurl falls then the humanoids will likely overrun the Bone March - fight them here or there, now or later? Since this is my home the choice seems obvious. My family is here and I really don't know where we'd run to anyway.
Sir Gendar and I lock gazes for a moment. I've met him briefly a few times - he came to Cephali's tower once or twice to observe our training. I nod to him, and a flicker of a smile crosses his face as he nods back, almost imperceptibly. His gaze moves on to others, as I survey the room looking to see who is left.
I take 10 for the first spot roll
I see that great table in the corner is clear. I nudge Edgar and Kendra. "Let's move over there", I tell them, taking up my tankard. Edgar does the same. Kendra hesitates a moment, then announces "I have to pee!". She kisses my cheek and rushes away in a swirl of perfume.
Edgar and I exchange looks as we head for the corner. I hope she doesn't chicken out on us now, or we threw away a year of intensive mage training on someone for nothing. Once Edgar and I get more details, I'll find her and hopefully talk some sense into her.
I rolled a 20 on the second spot roll!
DC15 spot check (1d20=20)
Just as we sit down at the large table - which already has a few people sitting at it - I nudge Edgar's arm. "Uh-oh. Trouble." He follows my gaze at the three large, rugged barbarian looking types who are now behind the bar, pouring themselves free drinks into enormous tankards! Nichols, the owner, is at the other end of the bar settling the tabs of all the customers who are leaving.
As loud as I can muster up, I yell, "Hey! They're stealing the booze!!!". Hopefully, the three drunken dwarves will do something to prevent their supply from being cut off. I'd really rather not try to take on three of anything by myself!
I remain standing, just in case I have to enspell the barbarians or take evasive action.
Rolled a 19 on the listen check - close but no cigar :(
DC20 Listen check (1d20=19)
Agathon at first didn't know what to expect here. He has never seen a crowd of ruffians like this before. He slowly surveys the room during the hours of waiting for the Count's announcement attempting to size up the make and mettle of each man by his appearance and gear.
Although he normally has little time or patience for those who must brag of their prowess or openly lie to give the appearance of bravery or just of some bare show of manhood, Agathon pays attention to this group of men. Many of those here are locals and they might spill forth important clues to this situation along with the ale they are freely spilling down their gullets.
When this knight, Sir Gendar enters the room and the hush falls, Agathon sees here a man confident in his own skin (as well as the rather impressive gear he is sporting). Such a man must be a formidable opponent. He makes a mental note to not find that out.
I don't where in the narrative the two Spot and one Listen checks are supposed to go. So, here they are. I rolled a 20 for the first spot, a 10 for the second and a 20 for the Listen check.
As the Knight tells of the intentions of the Count and details what is happening in this place. Agathon's mood changes from one of general interest and worry about the size of his purse to one of great interest. Not three mornings ago did he spend his morning prayers pleading with Pelor for a worthy cause in which he might prove his worth in spirit and as a man.
As Sir Gendar completes his pronouncement, Agathon looks about with disgust as so many sheepishly head for the door in the hope of fleeing to the hills or the bosum of their mothers to avoid the avalanche of terror that is coming to engulf this town. He looks about and sees that there are a few with a fire in their eyes. Looking upon these people and this inn (and in his memory, the entire town) what was shabby and dirty just a few moments ago now seems care worn and seasoned. This place is the home of so many people. They are facing a great horror that is coming soon. Is there hope for this place? He sees determination on the faces of those who are still sitting or standing still as the rabble continue to shuffle out.
"If they will stand, then so will I."
He takes note of the ones remaining behind and he begins to pray behind his own eyes...
"Oh Great Shining One! Thank you for answering my prayer! Forgive my despair! I was foolish and selfish. How dare I look into my purse with longing when here is a town preparing to stand against this tide of evil! Yes, there are many leaving in a vain attempt to escape that which comes; but, I see there are a few that would rather reach for steel than for the reigns... In the coming days and weeks, Oh Pelor, I humbly ask you for the strength to live and die like a man. May my body prove to be an able tool in your hands in the coming battles against the evil of this World!"
Agathon will approach Sir Gendar after his pronouncement and say, "Sir Knight! I am foreign to these lands and know little of your people. I care not for your politics or the size of your purse. Your town is upon the brink with a tide of evil and its minions at your door. I can think of no more worthy cause than good people defending their homes against terrible odds and more terrible foes. If you will accept what service it can provide, my sword is yours!"
As Sir Gendar looks into his eyes and his powerful visage cracks into a small smile, Agathon finds that he has been awaiting this moment his entire life. In but a few moments of speech, this warrior has inspired him to join in a cause greater than himself. This has to be that moment! Agathon will stand aside to allow others to pledge their service and will make eye contact with those hale enough to stand for what is right...
Agathon, Quintus and Jaques notice each other as they appear to be the only ones not moving away from the barbarians. Sir Gendar and his men sense a bar fight brewing and start heading for the door. It would be quite beneath Sir Gendar to get involved in a barroom brawl. Thaddeus--with your knowledge (local) you know this is not an act of cowardice, just normal behavior for nobles.. The bartender dives behind the counter as the three barbarians, men clad in studded leather armor and grimy furs, armed with battleaxes, clubs and shortbows (the battleaxes are leaning against the table they were sitting at, as are their bows) focus on Thaddeus, since he yelled out about them 'stealing their booze.'
"We're stealing nothing, cur!" one of them pronounces as the other ones eye the heavy liquor bottles in their hand.
Roll for initiative
As Sir Gendar bows out of the room (with his men), Agathon wonders briefly why... Perhaps this is a test of some sort? Rotating in response to the shout, he glances at the man who yelled out. Hmmmm. This guy must be ready for a fight to call out three big fellows like these... Don't see any big weapons on him though... Perhaps I should back him up if things get nasty...
As Agathon thinks this in a flash, he completes his turn to face the barbarians at the bar.
Here is my initiative roll. It is a 22. Are we sure this rolling site is working right? This is like the third 20 I have rolled in my last 5 rolls! Anyway, I came across the floor to pledge my sword to Sir Gendar when this other fellow shouts out about what the Barbarians were doing; so, I am obviously in the middle of the room without my drinking mug (sitting back on my table) which might be a cool weapon in a bar fight… Oh well. What is my physical distance and position relative to the bar and Thaddeus? Is Thad to my left or right as I rotate around to face the barbarians (and enter into tactical movement)? And, am I correct that as I finish my declaration and Thad yells out, the events that I describe above happen right before my initiative roll (I am assuming that I can turn in response to Thad and complete the turn during their verbal response before things go tactical... Cool? Oh, and is there a nice heavy chair at hand?
I just did a much more thorough test of the Invisible castle site with a totally different account (so as to no mess up my account for this game). I did several sets of 10 rolls using various dice and modifiers (1d20+3, 1d12+1, 2d6+6, as examples).
The rolling ended up to be right down the middle with regards to statistical averaging. So, I guess we have just been really lucky with our rolls...
So, Invisible Castle is okay.
I got 20, 19, and 20 on the first three rolls with Invisible Castle, so originally I thought we had a gold mine too...then my last initiative roll came back. Ugh.
If the barbarians take offensive action then Thaddeus will drop a sleep spell on them. Otherwise he will attempt to defuse the situation via bluff, diplomacy, or intimidate - I'm not familiar enough with the skills to know which would be most appropriate in this situation. Are these 'local' barbarians? Might Thaddeus know anything about their customs or how best to approach them?
I may have bitten off more than I could chew. I was hoping that the presence of Sir Gendar and his entourage would have made the barbarians rethink their actions...I suppose I was wrong. Well, some of the adventurer types look like they might do something. Where's that half-elf..?
I'll have to see how this plays out. I can ask them to pay for their drinks and return to their table, using the Voice the way Cephali taught us - or I can try a sleep spell on them. I'd rather get this defused quickly so Sir Gendar can come back and brief us.
If the Barbarians actually attack the guy who called them out, then they are thieves and anarchists, opposing the mercantile orderliness of this establishment. I will attack them from behind and attempt to set an example of them. So long as it is merely a discussion, I'll just ready my position. The attack (if made) will be with bare hands. [roll=Jacques]#1739514[/roll]so who turned the bell curve of their random roll program inside out?
Sorry for the bit of confusion. We're all learning still. Based on your posts, here is the resolution.
Agathon is about 20' from the barbarians. He spots an apparently unarmed man with blond hair and blue eyes, yet carrying adventuring gearwhom he'll later know as Jaques standing at the bar next to the barbarians and taking on a position of readiness against hostile action from the barbarians. Agathon picks up a chair, ready to use it to defend himself against these thugs when an obvious wizard of some Suel background apparently, for he has white skin and green eyes with black hair, gestures at the barbarians with his quarterstaff, making slow circular motions with his hands as if to invoke powerful magic. Thaddues tells the barbarians to SIT DOWN. They mumble something about "just tired of the slow service during the speeches" and reluctantly sit down, yet avoiding eye contact with Thaddeus. Thaddues, Agathon and Jaques all look at each other, since it was apparent that they were the only ones that would have taken direct action against the barbarians had it been necessary. Please give a brief introduction now for the other players
150 XP each
Hello, gentlemen. I am Agathon Quintus of Grey Hawk and a follower of the Great Shining One. I am here to attempt, in what fashion I may, to bring the light of justice and truth upon the evil which resides in these parts. Though I am but one man, I believe that even the tiny spark of a single sword can create echoes heard across the land if it be wielded by one of true heart. It is my hope that mine will prove worthy under the light of Sun and dark of night to so echo. I have pledged my service to yonder knight. Do either of you know of him and his cause? And what of you? Are you drawn to defend this place from the coming storm as well?
You see that Agathon is dressed in a traveling warrior’s get up. His armor is clearly off the shelf scale mail in less than pristine in condition. The remainder of his gear is obviously care-worn and well seasoned and dirty. Although not disheveled in appearance (he is clean shaven and his clothing shows signs of up keep as well as wear), he definitely looks as if he has been on a long journey. The only exception to the care-worn look to his gear is his sword. A great sword of non-remarkable make, it is spotlessly clean and well cared for despite the ragged looking scabbard that holds it to his back. His hair is red (he looks exactly like his avatar) and there is an unmistakable gleam in his eyes that only can be found in the most ardent believer…
despite Steff's well intentioned but erroneous description The adventurer at the bar appears unarmored and unarmed save for a walking staff. His closely cropped black hair is nearly as short as his beard stubble, and he looks as though he has traveled some distance recently. However, his traveling cloak, boots and clothing are obviously of expensive make, and not particularly "worn in". His youth and inexperience are most obvious in the delighted twinkle of excitement in his brown eyes. "Good day gentlemen. I was drawn here as well, seeking to assist this valiant land in resisting the depradations of savages. Have you seen many such adventures and bold endeavors?" He vibrates with the nervous energy of a terrier, watching a tennis ball in his masters hand....
I assume there are one or two kids here, who do random fetch-and-carry tasks or messenger work for patrons of the tavern.
"Boy! You there! Yes, you! Run and catch Sir Gendar and his entourage before they get too far. Let him know that the unpleasantness has been dealt with, and beseech him to return to the tavern so that we may get to the business of defending Knurl. There are two silvers in it for you. Off you go now!"
With that, the wizard sits down and grins at both of you. He is of average height, average build, and in every way physically unimpressive - but his eyes gleam with intellect and his voice hints at power. He is dressed in normal street clothes with a cloak thrown over, with little ornamentation save for a cloak clasp in the shape of Rao's crook. You see smudges of ink on his fingers as he reaches for his tankard.
"Gentlemen, my name is Thaddeus MacPherson, and Knurl is my home. I am surprised that you have both come so far but am grateful that you are here. Adventure and even treasure are of little importance to me at this point - my only concern is protecting Knurl from the humanoid invaders. I will not have our freedom be a brief span of days betweeen the fall of the Overking and the arrival of the greenskinned horde!"
Your hair color on the character sheet was only listed as a "b" so I took a guess and wrote blond. I stand corrected. Scott, try to remember to post as your character, not as generalripper.
The boy returns after a few seconds and says that Sir Gendar said to meet at the castle in the morning, an hour after sunrise. He announced that to all the stalwarts who remained behind, not just you. Several more people leave the bar, which is now largely empty compared to the throng that was there before. Kerrik, the elderly human bar owner who always wears a stained apron with a skeletal gnoll paw as a clasp, tells you that rooms in the inn are free for you tonight, since you prevented damage to his bar. He nods at Thaddeus, as he knows him, and tells Thaddeus that he'll give him a nice bottle of wine, since Thaddeus has no need to stay at the inn.
Agathon's listen and spot checks prior to the barbarian bar incident. Click on the spoiler button below, Cory. If you post that you wish to share this information, then Scott and Dave can click on the spoiler as well
As the bar cleared out Agathon overheard a heavily tattoeed halfling mention something about "getting out of town and back to the listening post" to a fat woman in raggedy chainmail. Agathon also spotted a finely dressed attractive woman in silvery elven chainmail and a spectacular looking longbow trailing the halfling and fat woman. By the time the introductions were over, this incident occurred about 20 seconds ago.
I will indeed share what I heard in that spoiler (You both can open it).
Agathon will quickly thank the bar man for the offer of rooms:
“Thank you, my good fellow. But what part I played here was very small”… as the bar keeper will no doubt insist on the free room… Agathon will further say… “Very well then, if they are to be free, then I would ask to be housed in your most meager room as I would not feel right in taking your best from a paying customer.”
Then, before Sir Gendar returns... Agathon will say to Thaddeus:
“So, you are of these parts. It is good to meet you. I have indeed come a great distance. Although, I will admit I know nothing of this land and its conflict, I do know who to use this [indicating his sword] and I hope to put it to good use here. Knowing the details is important; and I do hope that you will enlighten us. [indicating Jaques over his shoulder] But, for my part, doing what is right does not come with the territory nor does it depend on the circumstances… It is simply what must be done.
But, I’m afraid that before you can educate us, there are possibly things to be done…
Do you know that little person, the one covered in tattoos and his corpulent companion that left just now? I heard him say to her that they needed to get back to a “listening post” and report to someone named Gorathor… They were followed closely by an attractive young lady in beautiful chain armor carrying that incredible long bow… The Halfling had a most unsavory look about him and the large woman had the eyes of someone ‘up to no good’. Forgive me if I have taken the wrong impression of these folks, for I do not know them.”
Agathon is obviously seeking direction from Thaddeus at this point (you can read it plainly on his face) since he is the local and seems to know at least some of the people.
No, I don't know any of them. I'd have heard about a halfling with tattoos, and would definitely have heard about a woman like that if she's as attractive as you say. I've never heard of this Gargathor either.
Obviously the halfling and the fat woman are spies of some sort - but for who? They could work for the humanoids, some political rival or old enemy of the Count's, or some other force.
As for the beautiful woman - just because she's following them does not necessarily mean she's an ally of ours. She could work for this Gargathor, making sure they report in. She could be associated with another political faction. She might be an adventurer who will follow them back and ask this Gargathor for a job - or she might want to gather information to repot to Sir Gendar tomorrow, thus proving her worth.
Would I know anything about the Count's political rivals or old enemies?
I suggest that we follow them at a discreet distance. We might learn more about who Gargathor is, and we might learn what the woman's intentions are. I am not the stealthiest person in town but I'm game if you two are...?
I tumble along after them, stealthy as a ninja chewing bubble gum.First the Move Silently, then Hide (1d20=20, 1d20=6)
Agathon will smile at the ranger question and shake his head in answer, his uplifted eyebrows saying, 'sorry'. To Thaddeus he says, “lead the way…” He offers the road to Thaddeus with a sweep of his arm. He then will follow him being as quiet as he can.
Below are my rolls for moving silently and hiding…
Move Silently then Hide (1d20-2=18, 1d20-2=7)
As he steps out into the darkened street, Agathon suddenly realizes how embarrassingly loud his simple movements seem to be! Just the act of turning left to right to pick up the targets causes creaking and chinking all over his armor. On the hunt for these folks, Agathon will concentrate on trying to remain silent and undercover. He will thus be leaving the bulk of the searching to the others.
Gargathor...Gargathor...let me think. No, it doesn't ring a bell.
I'll follow Jacques out the door...
The output syntax seems strange for rolling both dice at the same time, but it looks like I didn't do well...
That syntax did look weird. I'll test it again.
Thaddeus and Agathon stumble out of the door, following Jacques, whom they both immediately notice is moving very quietly and stealthily. Agathon having military training and Thaddeus being smart, they drop back a bit and let Jacques take the lead.
Jacques, you notice this, but you also notice that the halfling and the fat woman are walking towards the town gates, engrossed in conversation. The beautiful woman with the bow has disappeared.
Jacques, will you let the two others follow you at a distance? How far? Will your trio leave town, if necesary, to follow your targets?
though it might be more productive to follow the halfling and companion, I think Jaques would rationalize looking for the elf chick as being one more likely to produce useful information. Though he probably would not want to delay enough to lose the other two, since she would likely be somewhere near them. So, given a choice, he'd follow her directly. Lacking that option he'd follow the halfling and companion, staying far enough back to spot others who might be tailing them, his actual interest being more in their tail than in the quarry. That said, he'd follow them pretty far outside town, so long as the fighter and mage looked like they were still back there to provide backup if needed
Agathon notes the grace with which Jaques silently acquires and begins to stalk our prey. He knows when to back off and let the scouts move ahead. Seeing Jaques in action, Agathon exchanges a quick look with Thaddeus, raises an eye brow as if to say... "hmmm... Not bad..." in a silent compliment to the abilities of their new companion. Holding back for a bit to give the little guy enough room to scout ahead, Agathon will finally begin to follow after Jaques gets a good 60 - 80 feet ahead and just before he is totally lost to the dark streets ahead. Agathon will spend his efforts in trying to remain quiet and not losing track of Thaddeus. He decides to trust Thaddeus with keeping track of the slippery Jaques.
I am hoping that this purposeful concentration on silence versus attention to the surrounding environment might afford him some small circumstance bonus to moving silently while giving him a penalty to spotting any ambushing enemy... DM's call on that, of course. Please don't feel obligated to tell me if you decide to deny it... It is simply a role playing thing and if it does benefit him with a bonus/penalty, then that would be cool. If not, then perhaps when he is more experienced, he will realize that he shouldn't do that. So, off we go after the bad guys!
At last, at last, a real adventure! After all that training, I finally get to use it for something other than "practice" with les fraternitae du chauve-souris. Keep cool, try not to grin, your teeth might show in the dark. Look professional, concentrate on the task at hand. Great! Looks like those two guys are hanging back, perfect backup if the situation gets dicey. Always nice to work with professionals.
After just a few steps Agathon realizes that his water skin is sloshing about a bit and that damn plate on the lower right side of his scale mail is making that clicking sound as he walks! "Never really thought about this stuff before..." He thinks to himself and tries to put his left hand on his water while he uses his right index finger to pry up that noisy plate in an attempt to quiet himself further. He winces as he then steps on the edge of a stone that is shot out to his right clattering into other stones. "Damn!" he mutters under his breath no doubt earning him a reproachful look from Thaddeus (though he doesn't look up to see it). He realizes that this sneaking around stuff is going to take some getting used to. Swearing to himself that he is going to sew in a strip of leather under that plate later tonight, he troops on keeping Thaddeus in his peripheral vision and looking out for more stones to not step on...
I know that this breaks the 'one post rule'; but, I thought I would add a bit of flavor. In doing so, you notice that I made sure not to change any actions mentioned in my last post. I just added some details to what I said before. I hope that this is okay to do... Your thoughts, Mr. DM?
Wow! Both of these guys really seem to know what they're doing. Agathon's wineskin is making little sloshing noises and I think one of the scales on his armor is clinking, but other than that he's totally silent. And I can barely see Jacques! These guys are great!
Good thing Agathon can follow Jacques, so I'll just stick with Agathon and concentrate on being quiet. I'll also take an occasional look behind us to see if anyone is following us. I mean, the attractive bird is following the halfing and Miss Piggy, and we're following the attractive bird, so who's to say no one is following us..?
Jacques loses sight of the beautiful archer pretty much right away, see previous post of mine. However, he is able to keep sight of the halfling and his companion as they head outside the town walls and move into a shanty town camp set up by refugees and mercenaries who either cannot or will not afford the gate tax (5 cp, paid weekly).
The shanty town camp is built no closer than 50 feet from the town walls. A squad of heavy crossbowmen in three watch towers keeps a close eye on the area from the town walls.
Jaques can see all this from just past the town gates. He observes the fat woman and halfling disappear into a large circular tent among a large group of smaller tents, lean-tos and hastily constructed shelters. The shanty town residents don't appear related or one group, but there are clusters of tents and shelters that might belong to one group of travelers/refugees or another.
Agathan and Thaddeus catch up with Jacques, who has been watching the shanty town from just past the city gates, inconspicously (he hopes).
Just one post per character, please. I appreciate your enthusiasm for color commentary, Cory, but I want to keep the one post per player between my posts rule firm. Thanks.
Thaddeus takes no action this round, but will pause to survey the situation and mull it over in his mind...
What kind of law and order is there in the shantytown? Is it patrolled at all by the town or are they on their own?
Do the tower guards ever call patrols into the shantytown if they see something happening, or are they just there to keep problems from overflowing into the town?
Does the large circular tent appear to be watched or guarded? Not by the town militia, but more by henchmen types who keep anyone from lingering too long?
Do the tower/gate guards typically make conversation with locals or are they tightly focused on their duties? Or does it just depend on who you get? Does Thaddeus happen to know anyone who is on duty?
Jaques will inquire of his companions as they catch up at the gate, "Any objections to my getting closer to see if I can hear something?" Bearing in mind that the shanty town seems disorganized with people milling about randomly, Jaques wants to determine how close he can get to the tent without attracting attention. Since cloth walls don't muffle sound too much, he'd like to see if he can get close enough on the outside, around back/side to hear something of what's being said. He will place a higher priority on not getting caught/getting attention, than on positioning himself to hear something. If challenged, he would like to be in a position to be innocuous, and simply move along. Lighting a pipe sheltered from breeze, looking at cell phone display, kind of thing. That would be an "inconspicuous listening" roll, as modified by the conditions and environment I suppose. Also I would forbear making the attempt if either Thad or Aggie object
“If you think you can get close enough to hear anything, then I would only advise you to be VERY cautious. It looks like there are a lot of folks over there and we don’t know with whom their loyalty resides. I will be at the ready to come to your aid if you need me. If you are confronted and decide to go along with them inside their tent, then be sure to look up at the sky and say something about the weather… If you look up, I will hold back and wait for a cry for aid. If you do not look up, then I will come straight away.”
With that said, Agathon will step aside, check to be sure the retaining loop is off his sword and that it slides a bit nice and freely. Glad to be done with the sneaking around for a moment, he bends down, to scoop up a small bit of dirt and rubs it between his hands. He will listen to what Thaddeus has to say after his own response. If Thad comes up with a better plan, then Agathon will gladly go with whatever he comes up with… He is very conscious of the fact that his task here is to hit things (preferably evil things, of course) and is more than willing to let the others do at least the basic planning and thinking. His plan above is simply what he suggests in the absence of any other plan…
Based on Thaddeus' knowledge local
What kind of law and order is there in the shantytown? Is it patrolled at all by the town or are they on their own? It is patrolled by a squad of guards several times a day.
Do the tower guards ever call patrols into the shantytown if they see something happening, or are they just there to keep problems from overflowing into the town?They call in guards to break up fights and apprehend criminals when necessary.
Does the large circular tent appear to be watched or guarded? Not by the town militia, but more by henchmen types who keep anyone from lingering too long? -- I made a spot check for you with a result of 7. It's possible that some of the folks milling about might be guards, but Thaddeus can't tell from where he's, which is about 130 feet away near the town gate.
Do the tower/gate guards typically make conversation with locals or are they tightly focused on their duties? Or does it just depend on who you get? Does Thaddeus happen to know anyone who is on duty? It seems to depend on who it is. Thaddeus knows one of the guards at the gate in passing. His name is Verlik, but other than knowing his name and having seen him in town a few times, Thaddeus doesn't know more than that. Thaddeus or anyone else can make a gather information roll to get more information on the shanty town residents from the guards if he spends a few minutes talking to the guards
Jaques rolled a total of 20 on his hide roll, but only a total of 6 on his listen roll Jaques moves into the shanty town with little attention being drawn to him. He can get close to the tent, but doesn't hear anything, although he seems to have found a good hiding spot in what appears to be a recently vacated camp site near the big tent.
Agathon can see Jacques from where he's at, which is just outside the shantytown, near a flat wagon where a vendor sells snacks and flagons of cheap beer.
Thaddeus can see Agathon (he's about 30 feet from Agathon) but can't see Jacques. Thaddeus is still near the guards by the gate, not close enough to make them ask him to move.
Pedestrian traffic in and out of the gate is slowing down now as the city gates are about to be closed for the night--in about 15 minutes or so.
Thaddeus will approach Verlik.
"Hey, Verlik! Thaddeus, yeah, that's right - you brought your sword to my dad's shop a couple weeks ago for sharpening. Yeah. Listen, I wanted to let you guys know, I'm out here with a couple guys checking something out for Sir Gendar. Right - that big guy over there by the beer wagon (pointing). There was also a smaller guy with really short hair and a quarterstaff who came through a minute ago. Hey, you're very welcome. I also wanted to let you know that I need to cast a spell or two, and I didn't want anybody to think I was going to burn down the town and try to brain me or something. Naah, there won't be any cool lights or anything like that, sorry. Okay, thanks!"
With that out of the way, I'll begin casting a message spell with Agathon as the target.
If I don't have enough time in my action to cast the spell after the conversation with Verlik, I'll wait till my next action.
Agathon will position himself (if at all possible) so as to be able to look at the snack wagon vendor and have Jaques in the background (to make it easier to talk with this fellow and keep the little guy in his sight). Whether or not that is possible, he will ask the snack wagon vendor what a couple coppers will get him to eat.
As he pays for whatever a few copper will buy him (if anything), he asks the vendor, “So, who lives in that big ass tent over there?”
As he says this, he will indicate with a nod the direction toward the large tent of our adversaries. If the vendor asks him 'why?', Agathon will just answer with a shrug, "just curious". Once he pays for the food he will pocket it for later while keeping an eye on Jaques.
Thaddeus casts his message spell without interruption or interference. His total Diplomacy roll was 15
Jacques 2nd listen roll is a total of 23 Jacques overhears conversation inside the tent, somewhat muffled. He can't pick up everything being said, but he does hear:
"....can't pick sides just yet...the Skullcrushers don't have enough coin...."
"Dunstan can survive. This town's like a breakwater if the Aerdi ever figure that out."
The snack vendor tells Agathon:
"The big tent? That's Gorgathor. He's a big halforc mercenary who got exiled from the town itself last year for brawling. That's why he lives in that tent."
Transmitting through the message spell
"Agathon, this is Thaddeus. I am using magick to speak to you. If you wish to respond, you have but to whisper and intend to speak to me, and I shall hear. The gate will close in less than a quarter hour, so make haste. I can see you but not Jacques."
I will then try to move to somewhere that I can see both Agathon and Jacques, while watching for threats to Agathon.
After a momentary startle,
Agathon is intrigued by this use of magic. He had never heard of such a spell before. He thanks the snacks vendor and strolls at half movement rate about 15 feet away (using up an entire move action to go this short distance) in the general direction of the tent (angling to whichever direction will still allow him to see Jacques) and thinks of speaking to Thaddeus.
In a whisper, he will say, “Interesting magic… I can see Jacques clearly. He is crouched in a campsite behind the big tent. He is just sitting there and listening, I guess… He has made no signal of distress. Do you wish me to go over there and 'hurry him up'?”
As Agathon takes his stroll and speaks with Thaddeus, he will glance around to see if anyone is taking an interest in Jacques, and to see if the pretty archer about.
A hugely muscled halforc wearing the ceremonial robes of a cleric of Kord (God of Strength, Athletic Contests, Courage and Brawling--this is common knowledge to the PCs and no rolls need to be made) emerges from the tent after a few seconds. He stretches and surveys the shantytown with an appraising stare.
Jacques notices that many of the shantytown residents appear to be making preparations to leave, probably in the morning. Saddlebags are being packed and the sound of packing and satchels being pulled together are evident from multiple places around the camp.
The halfling and fat human woman emerge from the tent. The halfling is sipping a small flagon of something and the human woman is munching on a leg of mutton.
The halforc says to them: (Listen check total roll of 9 for Jacques)
"....hills....cave to hole.....raiding.....tear the orcs a new one...."
I rolled a sense motive roll for Jacques to see if he could figure out the intent of their statement at least, but the total roll was only a 4, sorry
Thaddeus--as you move to another position you notice the two barbarian bar raiders from earlier tonight leaving the town on shaggy but hardy looking mountain ponies. They appear to be in a hurry, as the gate is about to close. You don't see Jacques, but you see the halforc and his companions standing outside the tent talking as described above.
Agathon--you don't spot the archer woman.