Abadius 1st, 4700
Our adventure begins in the Stomping Squat’s afternoon crowd -- the townsfolk are celebrating the first day of the new year, the turning of the century, and another year of opportunity for the growing town. The sun is hovering just barely over the treeline, but Danny has been giving discounts on drinks all day. Sounds of cheering and merriment can be heard at the Stomping Squat from across town.
You have only just arrived and the scene is a drunken spectacle. Selyna Duntherhall, the town’s youngest and most respected blacksmith, has been arm wrestling some of the fishermen in one corner of the room for some time, as evident by the heap of empty glasses forming a makeshift arena. Even a group of elder Farristil widows, who rarely get seen smiling since the rebellion, are loudly chatting and laughing about the good old days, while one of the few Farristil men left, Syran, is ordering another round for the family.
You can decide if you've come alone, in pairs, or even as a group if you'd like. Instead of forcing this, I'm hoping it will just come naturally as we begin :). Welcome to the game thread, by the way!
What time of day is it?
If it is morning, anyone who has been in town already will know that Rouqas has been here for a couple hours. If it is evening he will have been in and out of town randomly throughout the day.
Rouqas can be found in the squatting stomp having an ale and cheering on Selyna on as she arm wrestles the fishermen.
”Give them what for! Don't let them best you!”
Is she winning or losing?
Jannet has just arrived after making her way in from her hut in the fields. Despite the festive occasion, she is wearing rather somber gray, as she has for the few months since old Marisol died. She makes her way to the bar for some ale, and greets Danny as she does so.
"A happy new year to you! Good to see everyone in such a merry mood." She smiles shyly at the older man, and offers him a bundle of dried herbs. "Thought maybe you could use some new supplies for the brewing."
Garris had arrived back in Biston early that morning. While heading back to his home with tow wolf carcasses, and three hares, he heard the news of the discounted drinks that would served at the Stomping Squat. As soon as he got home, he cleaned himself up and went to sleep, asking his mother to wake him for lunch.
After lunch, he assisted her with cleaning of the hares. His father was already out selling the wolf pelts. Shortly before sunset, he heads to the Stomping Squat. He sees the arm wrestling in the corner, and smiles at the celebration. He sees Jannet at the bar ordering a drink. Looks like she just arrived as well.
He approaches the bar. "Good evening Jannet. Happy new year. Danny, I'll have me one of the ales as well. By the way, I caught some hare last night. It was just prepped, so if you want to pick it up in the morning, feel free."
It is late afternoon/early evening, about 5 pm.
Selyna has been winning some and losing some, but often staying on the table on account of "being the lady." She grimaces as she braces herself against the force of her new opponent, "Always have, Rouqas my boy, always will!"
"Happy new year, miss. Yep, the party's gotten started alright," he says, laughing. "Thanks so much, you know I trust your judgment on these things," he adds, stuffing the herbs into a pouch hanging at his side. "Here, I've got plenty enough of this to go around," he says, winking, as he passes you a tall mug of ale.
Danny whips out another glass and fills it under the counter. "Nothing beats some fresh game on the New Year, thanks Garris. This one's on the house."
Calon gracefully enters the Squat and stops near the door, scanning the crowd. His huge sky-blue eyes fix on Jannet across the room at the bar. As he moves towards her, he seems to flow through the groups of drinking humans, never touching any of them. She easily picks him out as he approaches, his skinny frame towering over almost everyone else.
He smiles shyly as he comes to the bar, "Greetings and Happy New Century, Miss Jannet! I was hoping you might be of aid to me. I injured myself collecting a new specimen of Caenophidia Colubridae and I had to use the last of my healing. Could I possibly trade you a spell for some of your most effective balms?"
He gives a short nod to Garris, keeping the smile plastered on his face. It is rather obvious to everyone that he is a little uncomfortable in such a crowded place.
"Nothing that shows they'll be bad, that's for certain," Jannet says in answer to Garris's question. "And for that we can all be thankful!" She raises her glass of ale to both him and Danny before taking a sip.
As Calon comes over and asks for healing, Jannet grins, a bit impishly. "What, the great wizard can't tend to himself? Come now, let me take a look at what's ailing you. I'm sure we can find something that will set you right." She leans over to look at the injury. "Ah, that's nothing a bit of comfrey won't take care of." She rummages briefly in her bag. "Here. Add a bit of water to these and bind them over the wound with a bit of cloth and you'll be right as rain in no time." She hands Calon a small packet of dried leaves. "And I suspect Danny here could give you something that'll help you forget whatever pain it's causing you." She grins at Danny and Garris as she talks.
"Ah, thank you, I actually took some herbs to numb the pain a while ago. I'm sorry, I guess I really wasn't clear. I was hoping you might have one of your Magical brews you might want to trade? For the next time, of course, this would hardly be worth it, I really just hate to wait for the natural healing process to run its course, I guess I got a little spoiled, first with my mother (she was a Druid, you know) able to heal almost any injury, then at the academy they had a professional healer on staff to take care of any, uhm, 'accidents' any of the students might have..." Calon trails off as he finally runs out of breath.
Embarrassed, he turns to Danny, "I don't suppose you have gotten any Efflewermead in, have you? Oh, well, I guess I will have whatever mead you do have, then. Thank you."
As he turns and his eyes scan the room, he catches Rouqas' eye. At his nod, he replies in kind with a quick nervous smile.
Jannet quirks an eyebrow as Calon goes on about other healers. "I fear we've no academies here, so you may need to learn to bear it. I didn't bring anything with me this afternoon, but you're welcome to come by the hut and I can brew up something for you."
She gets the impish smile again. "But, if you really can't wait..." She reaches out and touches the wound lightly with her fingers, and the flesh begins to close.
Healing Hex: heal 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
She sits back down with her ale, smiling, perhaps looking just a little bit smug. "That better?"
"No, sir, no Effler' Mead in this joint, but I've got my homebrew, and it'll suffice I'm sure." Danny's eyes widen at Jannet's open display of magic across the the bar, and after giving Calon a mug of ale he hurries down the bar to tend to some waiting customers. "I bid yeh good evening. I'll be here if you need me, haha!" he says as he leaves.
Selyna, who has been fighting through a particularly difficult match, slams her opponent's hand down on the table triumphantly just as the merriment and discussion is suddenly pierced by an unearthly, desperate scream from the doorway.
As everyone turns to look, a woman stumbles through the doorway and collapses in a heap on the floor, sobbing fitfully. ”That’s the ol’ Bencey lady, Caroline Bencey,” somebody says, and people all around are straining their necks to get a better glimpse, while a few rush to her side.
Calon smiles his thanks to Jannet and takes off the bandage. He is just taking his first taste of the 'mead' when the woman stumbles in. Curious, he moves forward just behind the crowd gathered around her, his keen ears trying to pick out what she has to say over the noises of those asking questions of her.
Any trace of smugness disappears at Danny's reaction, and Jannet seems to deflate. I knew I shouldn't do that, not here where people are watching. Why did I let him bait me like that? She sighs, and turns to her drink, only to be distracted by Caroline Bencey's sudden entrance.
She joins those hurrying to the distraught woman's side. She puts her hand on Caroline's shoulder and gently tries to calm her enough that she can speak, brushing her hair back out of her face. "Someone bring a drink of water," she says, looking around for help.
Caroline continues to lie squirming on the floor as the crowd gathers around her. Danny rushes forward with a glass of water at Jannet's request, and everybody quiets down as Caroline begins to speak. ”Stanley... save the children, Stanley...” she mumbles, almost incoherently. Her head lolls back and she pants for breath -- you can tell that she’s surely been running as fast as possible for some time now, and she is acting very delirious.
I'm going to allow Knowledge (local) checks, unless otherwise stated, to be made untrained.
Know (local): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
As soon as he hears her mention the name, Calon hurries off to see if there is anything he can do to help, knowing that there is little he could do for her that Jannet couldn't do much better.
He moves swiftly and surely, knowing the terrain well as the farm is only a short distance from where he is staying.
Knowledge: Local 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
"Breathe, now. Drink some of this." Jannet holds the cup of water up to the panting woman's lips. "That's right. Nice slow breaths. Now can you tell us what happened?" She dips the edge of her sleeve in the water and gently wipes Caroline's forehead.
She looks up. "Someone had best go see to Stanley and the children out at their farm. She must have run all the way here from there. If anyone can ride there instead of going afoot, that might be wise."
As soon as Calon begins leaving Rouqas will follow him out.
"Calon. I will come with you since you know the way." he says as he comes up beside him.
Knowledge: Local: 1d20 ⇒ 9
Just for everyone, you can make untrained knowledge checks. Just not for a DC higher than 10.
Untrained: You cannot make an untrained Knowledge check with a DC higher than 10. If you have access to an extensive library that covers a specific skill, this limit is removed. The time to make checks using a library, however, increases to 1d4 hours. Particularly complete libraries might even grant a bonus on Knowledge checks in the fields that they cover.
Caroline's terrified face turns up to look at you, Jannet, but your words seem lost on her. "Monsters... nightmares..." she shudders and moves away from the damp rag.
People standing around begin to get very uneasy, and frightened murmurs begin spreading through the small crowd. "This doesn't sound good... somebody needs to go out there and make sure the old man and his kids are safe," Danny says just as Calon and Rouqas make for the door.
Any other takers? ;)
Also, it'll take a serious Diplomacy check to get Caroline to disclose any more information, she's too worked up to even hold a conversation right now.
Garris had just taken his first sip of ale as Caroline had stumbled into the room. He gathered with the crowd as close as he could.
knowledge local1d20 ⇒ 9
He didn;t really know her all that well, and so had no clue what she was going on about, but as Jannet and the others ran out the door, he had a strong urge to follow.
Good thing I brought my sword and scythe with me. I probably shouldn't have left my bow at home.
Jannet frowns. "She's not making much sense. Here, someone get her to a comfortable chair, and make sure she keeps sipping on that water. If she starts to come round, have her sniff this lavender, it'll help calm her." She hands Danny a little packet of herbs. "I think I'd best go see what's wrong with Stanley and the children. Garris, I'll come with you -- I know where the farm is." Jannet helps whoever volunteers to get Caroline to a chair, then leaves with Garris.
The four of you meet up on the road to the Bencey farm as the sun is setting. Dusk sets in around you as you hustle down the road, and in your haste the journey passes quickly. The farmhouse is surrounded by its fields, which are dead, barren, and just starting to frost over in the winter climate.
As you separate from the main road you see several figures in the dusk’s fading light trudging around between the buildings. There are no visible lights coming from the house or its buildings.
Perception (assuming her familiar is with her, which I would expect it to be; it rarely leaves her shoulder) 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Jannet squints uselessly into the shadows, seeing nothing but the ill-defined shapes moving between the buildings. "Can any of you see anything?" she whispers to the others.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Calon gazes at the figures, the dim light as bright as day to him.
"The figures... skeletons, I think." He whispers. He cocks his head to one side, listening intently, "and a dog, frightened."
He draws his rapier, and with a flourish and a murmur "મેજિક આર્મર" a soft green glow flows from the weapon and surrounds him for a moment before fading into invisibility.
Casting Mage Armor: AC: 18, T: 14, FF: 14
Nothing unusual for the situation.
The dark figures go out of sight as you enter a patch of trees that lines the final stretch of trail into the Bencey property. During the walk through the trees, everybody begins to hear the dog barking, which is still frantically yapping its head off somewhere on the farm's property.
When you emerge from the trees, one of the skeletal figures is finally fully revealed. One of them walks around the corner of the house and opens its mouth in a raspy, numbing cry. The skeleton’s bones begin to rattle as it takes steps toward you, a cruel-looking scimitar raised against you.
Also, since my internet access is wonky and whatnot, I haven't got any battle mats made up and most likely won't for a while -- if ever. I'll do my best to clarify everything and everyone's position through detailed description, and please ask me if you're confused.
The group is approaching the front of the farmhouse from the south. To the west, on the corner of the house, is 1 skeleton, it is 30 feet away in a straight diagonal line.
Garris, if you would like to roll stealth and approach from a different angle, you can do that since you mentioned possibly coming up quietly.
Initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 2
As Garris moves forward, Jannet whispers, "Be careful," and briefly touches him on the shoulder.
Cast Guidance on Garris (+1 to one attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, your choice)
I'm figuring Jannet is unarmed, as she wouldn't have taken a crossbow or sickle with her to go into town.
As soon as he sees the figure, Calon's free hand whips up in a throwing motion. While the others see nothing, a ball of invisible force streaks towards the skeletal figure...
And slams into the side of the house, causing a low thud.
Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Telekinetic Fist: Ranged Touch attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
If it hits: Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 4 Bludgeoning
TK Fist: 1/6 used
Rolling initiative for Rouqas: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Round 1 Skeletons
The skeleton in front moves towards the group, its bones rattling softly and the scimitar swinging in front of it. It brings it down in a brutal slash toward the frontliners (whom I presume to be Garris and Rouqas. As I get more used to this, I'll remember to ask you what your marching order/how the group is composed before we start combat :P)
Attack 1d20 ⇒ 1
...but the swing goes very wide, swishing through the air and missing its target completely and harmlessly.
Two more skeletons appear at the corner of the house, their rusty chain shirts clinking with each step.
Attack of Opportunity on Garris 1d20 ⇒ 13
Garris swings once at the skeleton but the blow glances off the undead's chain armor. The skeleton then slashes at Garris, but he ducks underneath the blade with ease and sweep's its bony legs out from underneath it. It collapses on the ground in front of the group in a heap of shaking bones.
Calon winds up and unleases another blast of force at the new foes that have arrived, aiming for the skulls.
Telekinetic Fist: Ranged Touch attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
If it hits: Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 4 Bludgeoning
TK Fist: 2/6 used
Jannet's spell's power fizzles against the brainless, bodyless skeleton: its bones rattle a bit, but no damage appears to be done.
Calon's attack this time strikes home, and a powerful telekinetic blast removes the top half of one of the skeletons by the corner of the house, sending the bones flying across the grass behind it. One destroyed, one prone, and one advancing...)
The skeleton standing next to the group stands up to continue its attack AOO for Garris and Rouqas.
If it survives, it takes another swing at Garris, the one who tripped him.
Attack 1d20 ⇒ 20
Critical Confirmation 1d20 ⇒ 7
Damage 1d6 ⇒ 5
The other skeleton advances and swings its scimitar viciously at Rouqas.
Attack 1d20 ⇒ 18 Another threat!?
Critical Confirmation 1d20 ⇒ 6 Another miss... :(
Damage 1d6 ⇒ 1
As the skeleton attempts to stand, Rouqas smites it back down with a powerful blow from his greatsword. It crumbles into a pile of inanimate bones at his feet.
Garris does not get hit, then. One skeleton remaining, and Jannet will have no problem moving behind Garris, but it is first Garris' and then Rouqas' turns.