Be it so known that the bearer of this charter has been charged
by the Swordlords of Restov, acting upon the greater good and
authority vested within them by the office of the Regent of the
Dragonscale Throne, has granted the right of exploration and travel
within the wilderness region known as the Greenbelt. Exploration
should be limited to an area no further than thirty-six miles east and
west and sixty miles south of Oleg’s Trading Post. The carrier of
this charter should also strive against banditry and other unlawful
behavior to be encountered. The punishment for unrepentant banditry
remains, as always, execution by sword or rope. So witnessed on this
24th day of Calistril, under watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov
and authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of
the Dragonscale Throne.
You have each come from different walks of life; each of you bears this charter from a different person, for a different reason; each of you has his or her own motivations for wanting to settle the Stolen Lands... And here you are.
You've travelled from the place you call home to the southern edge of Rostland, where you are to meet the rest of your would-be group at Oleg's Trading Post. The first to arrive is greeted warmly by a beautiful young woman with a great smile on her face. "Welcome, please come in! Oleg's Trading Post is glad to have you here. I'm Svetlana. Come in, come in, you look like you need to rest your weary feet." She walks briskly across the yard towards you, reaching to grab your pack from your shoulders. She has long silky blonde hair, and wears a simple green dress that appears to be home made.
On the roof of one of the buildings, an older man with a great beard can be seen repairing the roof. He gives you a cursory glance and continues with his work.
First to post, first to arrive. When all 6 have arrived we can proceed!
Out of the morning mist rides a man on a a Snow Tors Mountain horse. A equally white cub of a wolf sticks its head out of a saddlebag. The man is dressed frontier style with Issian overtones in a layered outfit of wool and leather. A Varisan scarf adds color that the face of the man lacks. The man, tall and blond, stands upright in the saddle. His ice blue eyes are disturbing until notice is taken of the intelligent good humor that radiates from his face. "Hail and well met, Goodwife Svetlana, I'm Stellan Volkov, this rascal here is Vinur. Please let me carry this pack inside, after the miles I've ridden a few more feet won't matter." He will stable his horse Hjarta, doing all needed grooming. Turns to Svetlana when finished. "Lead on Lady of the House."
Leaving the rest open so people could have come in with me. Got to run now, back later.
After several days of walking, Elros finally made it to Oleg's Trading Post. As he enters through the gate, he could see a man still repairing the roof. He gave the man a wave, and got one back. Standing by the stable is a lady dress in green. She seems to be waiting for someone to come out of the stable. When they made eye contact, Elros smiled and nod his head and proceeds toward the nearest seat, and sat down to rest his feet. Jumping onto his knee is a Compsognathus, who also seem to be rather tired itself. There's patches of mud across the Compsognathus's army green skin, probably accumulated during the journey. Elros seems to be talking to it, as he comforts it by petting it from the bottom of the neck to the base of the tail.
"It seems like we might be the first one here Jimmy."
Caelus sets his horse to a brisk saunter as he rides into the area surrounding Oleg's Trading Post. He rides up to the building and dismounts, he places his left hand in a relaxed fashion upon the hilt of his dueling sword. He tries to remain relaxed, but he almost seems tense and a little nervous, and overly protective of his blade.
Caelus leads his horse closer to the outpost and looks for an attendant. Seeing none he grumbles to himself and hobbles his horse to a nearby post. He removes his saddlebags, removes his riding gloves and tucks them inside his belt.
Caelus stops in front of the outpost and takes a long look at the building. He takes out a leather bound case with various papers inside. He consults one of them, sighs to himself and puts it back inside his pack. He then removes a leather book, and an ink pen and begins to jot down a few points. He continues to write as he walks into the outpost and upon entering, he takes a quick look around, makes a few more notes, and slides the book and pen back inside his pack. He sits down at an empty table and appears to wait patiently.
Just for the sake of clarity, is Oleg's Trading Post in Restov? Or somewhere on the outskirts?
Amoonrann pulls the hood down of her cloak down tight as she slowly rode towards the trading post. Her pulse was racing and she was less than eager to get things started. In fact, she was less than eager to do much of anything except turn tail and run. Within a month, she could be rid of these lands, lost in the woods somewhere no one would ever find her, not even those bastards who managed to track her from her homelands.
These lands foreign to her; cold -- both in terms of weather and in terms of social custom. The cold...Amoonrann longed to be rid of that most of all. She missed the warmth of her homelands, the lush rich harvests, the more than plentiful hunts. Here, ever day was a struggle. The earth itself seemed to forsake all attempts to cultivate it. Even with the green thumb of a Druid, Moony was having difficulty doing little more than pull enough off the land to barely survive.
Amoonrann had always kept to herself, she made only rare treks to Restov to sell some of her pelts and purchase whatever supplies she needed. She never spent more than an hour, or so, at a time there. And this, all things considered, should be fairly expected considering how she was treated on her first arrival to these lands. Restov nearly rioted when the road-weary Tiefling had the audacity to presume she could spend even one night there.
Arathiul whinnied, which brought the Druid out of her thoughts to see Olegg's Trading Post where it looked as though some of her party was already arriving. "My party," she mumbled to herself in Sylvan as she leaned forward and pet Arathiul's neck to which he snorted contently. A storm is coming, she thought to herself as she took comfort in the presence of Arathiul, her only friend in the world. The black steed had been with her since he was a young and arrogant colt. Those of the Green thought that a rider can no more choose their mount, but that it is, in fact, the mounts which choose their riders. And Arathiul was a picky bastard. How he'd buck and fight and writhe himself free of all attempts to ride him. Except when he saw Amoonrann. He calmed himself instantly. The two of them knew from that moment on, that whatever happened, they would ride together.
And now a storm was brewing in the distance: one more for them to weather together. "The bastards want a fight, we'll give 'em a one, old friend," Amoonrann said, again in Sylvan, as she made her final approach. She spotted a man up top, repairing the roof and she kept a wary eye on him to read his reaction to her approach. She saw the that around the side there were stables, but Amoonrann elected to tie Arathiul to a peg out front. One way or another, she wouldn't be staying here long enough to warrant stabling him. So she dismounted and tied him to a peg, feeding him a carrot and scratching his nose.
Amoonrann took the opportunity to gauge the reactions of those around her, to see if anyone seemed offset by her presence. If ever there were a time t run, this would be it. She elects to wait outside with the horses until she's satisfied she is the last one of the group. Thus, she can get a sense of as many of her 'comrades' as she can.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Disguise (Half-Elf): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
Guess we are strangers then, I'll continue in that light, I am going to assume the Swordlords at least provided descriptions of the other party members.
Stellan steps out of the stable and sees Elros and Amoonrann in the yard. They see the man described above, with a wolf cub chasing after him. Those knowledgeable enough, could tell it's not a normal wolf cub, depending on exactly what they knew. A close look will also notice that neither he nor his cub seem to trail frost from their breath, as others do in the day's chill.
I'm not sure where Caelus would be that he wouldn't notice Svetlana and Elros, but I'll assume he's out of sight.
He believes their descriptions match some of the party members. "Hello, You must be those sent by the Swordlords. I'm sure others will come soon. I'm Stellan Volkov and this playful pup is Vinur. Let's get to know each other, starting with work I suppose. I'm a frontiersman, good in woods, not being seen, can heal and spell a bit." Stellan stops suddenly. Oh, how inconsiderate of me, of course you'll want to rest first. I do tend to talk too much, so mother says." Stellan comes into the courtyard to meet everyone and waits for Svetlana to lead him to home and hearth.
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
I'm shocked by that roll!
Stellan sees past the disguise to the real person under it. That's odd she's changed her look, wonder why, but it's none of my business.
Stellan looks with piercing ice blue eyes that widen for a second, then he shrugs and waves at Amoonrann, and gives her a friendly smile.
Stellan's motives are exactly as they seem, he wants to get to know people and is a friendly person. A deeper view would see that he is burdened with some recent grief. He doesn't try to hide any of this, it wouldn't even occur for him to try. It seems that he noticed your disguise with his strange eyes but does not care.
Amoonrann observed the Human as he approached, then the young pup that followed him. He didn't seem overtly hostile, if anything he seemed a little too friendly. She nodded her head in response to the wave and, after feeding Arathiul the last of his carrot, she casually approached the pair.
"Hail. I am Amoonrann, Druid of the Green. My friend behind me is Arathiul," she said to the Human in a civil tone. Not cruel, or cold per se, but dignified. She'd spent too long alone, she was...unaccustomed to such overtly friendly encounters. She crouched down low and smiled at the wolf pup, extending her hand slowly for him to smell and study. "And hello to you, little one," she said quietly as she studied him curiously.
Knowledge (nature) to identify the familiar (which I know, at best, will only tell Moony that the familiar is not natural):1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Wild Empathy Check on Vinur: 1d20 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 - 1 = 11
Sorry, I should have described the trading post better!
Oleg's Trading Post is more than you might expect for what it is, and where it is. More of a small fort, four wooden walls are erected around the few buildings that stand within. There are 3 wooden buildings and a stable within the walls as well as some composting pits in the back corner. Oleg's Trading Post is a few days ride from Restov, just south of the Rostland border (outside of Brevoy, and in the Stolen Lands proper).
Svetlana welcomes each of her guests warmly and shows them to the guest cabin where she has a rich-smelling rabbit stew cooking, and 6 beds cramped together in the cabin. "I apologize that there isn't much space," she says as she worries about, making sure that everybody seems to be getting in okay, "we just aren't used to having this many visitors all at once!"
The gruff older man sees the group of being gathering in the grounds, and mutters to himself as he picks up his things and climbs down off the roof of the stables. He reaches his hand out to introduce himself to each of the travellers. "I'm Oleg. Welcome." After introductions, Oleg saunters off to the largest of the buildings (presumably where he and Svetlana reside) to go clean himself up.
Moony, with her high check, can most certainly identify the Winter Wolf pup - a long long way from home.
Caelus' stomach growls slightly as he smells the delicious smelling rabbit stew, as he hasn't eaten anything except for field rations for several days. He makes a slightly embarassed face as he looks at the individuals that joined him. Two wilderness people, human and a half elf and what appears to be an elf, possible a magi of some kind with his lack of armor , Caelus thinks thoughtfully to himself.
Preception Check on Moony 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6
Caelus shrugs to himself and nods briefly to each of them, he keeps his hand rested on his dueling sword in a relaxed manner. "Greetings, I am Caelus Vraie. It would warm me to know your names as well." His voice is mostly clear, but you can hear that he hides a strong accent, one that is very difficult to place.
Amoonrann stands from her studying of the Winter Wolf pup, smiling to him as she does so as she allows herself to be led into the cabin grabbing her Scythe as she passed Arathiul. The old woman led her to a cabin with six beds which made Amoonrann sigh quietly. Apparently, her stay here was going to be much longer than she'd initially hoped. "I'm sure whatever accommodations you have are better than camping at the side of the road. Please see to it my horse is stabled and looked after," she said, kindly, even managing to force a smile. She enters the cabin, staring at the Human already within, the one with his hand resting on the hilt of a sword.
She took a moment upon her entry to size the Human up, glaring at him somewhat ominously for a moment before she started moving towards one of the beds at the back of the cabin. "Well, Caelus, it would warm my heart if you would kindly remove your hand from the hilt of your sword," Amoonrann said as she passed the Human and sat at the foot of whatever bed was farthest from the door, resting her Scythe against the wall nearby. "After all, we're all friends here, aren't we?" she added, going back to staring at him. Her tone wasn't threatening, at least not intentionally. Still, her tone was firm enough that she should seem confident in her abilities and if the Human were to raise his blade against her, she would not go down easy.
Perhaps it was the Winter Wolf pup she'd seen earlier, but Amoonrann suddenly found herself recalling her tutorship with the Druids back home and, specifically, the notion of pack hierarchy at play here. As with the wolves, the members of this party would soon start vying for their role in the group and, no doubt, the leader will be the most coveted spot. And if they want to play those games, so be it, this was not Amoonrann's concern. However, she was not going to be the lowly b*~#* of the pack either.
Let them know I do not fear them, the Tiefling thought, only then can I have a place among them.
Caelus nervously removes his hand from the hilt and lets it drop to his side, his hand twitches a bit as if lost, but he clenches his hand a few times and then appears to be fine.
Caelus slightly bows to the lady, "Appologies, I did not intend for my stance to be threatening. I have been through alot with my sword and this is the first time that I have been outside of Restov in sometime. I have never been in a situation such as this, so I may appear nervous from time to time."
Bluff Roll to put on the act of being nervous 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (16) + 0 = 16
My apologies to everyone, I made assumptions about Oleg's based on what I knew and did not realize what you all were trying to do. I missed Amoonrann's desire to hide outside, I thought she was just inside because she hitched her horse. Similar assumption were made about everyone else. I just wanted things to move and if everyone played the lone wolf no one would get together. Caelus, Stellan is wearing a blue leather jacket but no armor at all. Sorry poor description on my part.
A link to a picture of Stellan follows: Stellan and friends!
Yes the picture still needs work, some other time, it will have to do.
Stellan nods his agreement with Amoonrann, saying, "This is great, Svetlana, and that stew smells even better." He looks down at Vinur, continuing, "I don't suppose you have a meaty bone for Vinur?", he asks hopefully. Stellan's seems surprised by the interaction of Caelus and Amoonrann. He holds his hand out to Caelus, Stellan Volkov, at your service, need any healing or bleeding let me know, but no one would want me to cut their hair. Ha!" For all the babel, Stellan's voice is soft, his manner warm, his eyes piercing. After the greeting he takes off his backpack, extracts a ventilated box, and puts it out of the way but in the warmth.
Stellan's only weapon appears to be a dagger, having left his shortspear with the saddlebags in the stable.
Sense Motive 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10 Casual, not at all deliberate on Stellan's part.
Hm, my new companions seem OK, but a bit chilly, eh, just a long trip and meeting strangers. Stellan continues to believe in the best of everyone.
Caelus grasps the mans forearm and shakes it, demonstrating an older Taldan way to shake hands. "Well met sir, as you heard me mention previous, my name is Caelus Vraie, swordman by life and by trade. I would show you my skill, but I believe the young lady is quite taken aback by my sword. Most people are."
Caelus then rests his hand back down on the hilt of his sword as it is a habit of his. He suddenly remembers himself and nervously pulls his hand away and drops his arm to his side.
A brief clatter of hooves sounds moments before a cloaked rider appears in at the trading posts gate. Quickly dismounting, he pulls back the cloak's hood, revealing a younger, somewhat pale-toned man with jet black hair, smattered with silver. He greets the woman at the gate warmly, and after a brief conversation, hands her the reins to his horse and with a brief stroke of his flank, leaves him to her care. Looking about the courtyard, his eyes widen in surprise at the number of people present, and he turns to shake his head ruefully at the stable. ’Aballon, with the namesake of the sky’s swiftest star, we are going to have to do better than this.’ Securing his pack, the young lad makes his way over to where a number of other travelers have gathered, with a slightly wistful glance at the pot of stew on the table.
”Good day! I hope the roads have treated you kindly thusfar.” he greets the group cheerfully, settling into a chair at one of the nearby tables. From a closer position it is clear that the scattering of silver in his hair isn’t grey, but clearly defined, almost gleaming points. His eyes are slightly odd as well, the blue in them so light they nearly appear monocolor, but the congeniality in his bearing is difficult to miss. ”Would it be fair to assume at least some of you are here on behalf of the Restov exploratory group?”
"Me for sure! and I assumed for the others, maybe too much." Stellan looks chagrined for a second, then grins again. "The road is good compared to the mountains, and new found friends makes this day better." Stellan puts out his hand in greeting, a flicker of puzzlement goes across his face, as he looks into eyes not like his, yet alike. "I'm Stellan Volkur, this is Vinur," Stellan nudges the Wolf pup with his boot, playfully, "- and I'll leave the others to introduce themselves."
Stellan settles back down to finish his fine meal. Is he human? Seems to be more, but no matter. Stellan dismisses the matter from his mind as unimportant. Wonder where the big guy is? They told me the roads are not safe here, I hope he's OK.
Sense Motive against Caelus' bluff: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Amoonrann's demeanor shifted quickly from accusing to almost apologetic when Caelus removed his hand from his hilt. She was about to thank him when an Aasimar entered the room and started speaking of the expedition. She listened to the ensuing conversation with a passing interest.
"My trip here was likewise uneventful," Amoonrann said, managing a smile as she saw Caelus remove his hand from the hilt of his sword. "I am Amoonrann, one of the members of this expedition to the Stolen Lands," she said, bowing her head somewhat before the two men. Then, she shifted her eyes back to Caelus, "and please excuse me if I come off as...cold? Arathiul, my horse, and I spend little time around other people."
Oh my Stellan your character from the image you provided is staring into my soul =p
Initially Elros didn't want to break from resting his leg, but hearing Svetlana would be bring the group over to a bed and some rabbit stew made Elros think otherwise, he stood up and slowly lowered Jimmy. Half-dashing toward the building Svetlana lead the group into. Due to his speed when he entered the guess room, he nearly bumped into a man with blades hanging on his waist. Elros apologise and gave him a child-like grin then greets him briefly,
"Oops, sorry about that brother, the name's El."
He laid himself to the bed closed to the door, and sigh happily,
"Ahhh... Sorry Jimmy, I'll clean you tomorrow, promise."
After only moments of rest, the group seems to be entering a conversation, when a man with silver-tipped hair entered the building. Not wanting to be missing out on this, Elros joined in,
"Sorry about the hastiness earlier, unlike most of you, I don't have the luxury of a horse."
Elros start apologetic, but quickly ended with a jestful tone. He saw a man wearing a leather jacket downing a bowl of stew, and after seeing more bowl of stew, he left the bed and moved toward the table and sat down beside the man.
"Hey I bet the stew's tasty right? If I recall correctly, you're Stellan right? Nice to meet you, same to everyone else. Just call me El."
Cutting his speech short, he quickly grab a bowl, and every so often, he'll pick a piece of rabbit and feed his Compsognathus.
Thanks, El, for looking at the pic, it's a bit creepier than I expected but I'll just say Stellan would be much more charismatic if not for his, unintentional, creepiness.
Looking over at Amoonrann, Stellan butts-in and says, "Oh that's alright, Amoonrann, I was like that, for the same reason, until I made a friend. He taught me to talk more and be interested in what people say. Eh, that sounds kinda calculated doesn't it? Not what I mean at all." Elros II comes in. Stellan replies to his questions, "Quite alright and yes I'm Stellan, El, and this is my friend Vinur. Everyone else can speak for themselves, have to give them an excuse to speak after all." Offers a smile and a wave but lets the man eat.
The sounds of hoofs are once again heard in the trading post and shortly after they stop a young man enters the room. He is smiling and nods to each in turn. "Good day everyone, I am Roga. I assume at least some of you are also here on behest of Restov."
As he steps away from the door and closer to the group of people gathered his Kellid heritage is clear. The man is about average in height and brawny build. He has shoulder long black hair and grey eyes. His scalemail is covers an explorers outfit in an olive colour and a small leather cord is visible around his neck, it is not possible to see what it carries.
He inhales and says: "That smells lovely would it be possible to have a bowl?" He then continues: "Which of you fine ladies and gentlemen do I have the pleasure of working with in the time to come?"
Sorry about being late.
The large, armored man that Stellan was expecting comes in. In response to his question, Stellan answers, "Certainly I, and others here, they'll introduce themselves, but I'm Stellan Volkov, and this is my ally Vinur," Stellan points to the wolf puppy chewing a bone, "-your healer, frontiersman, and minor hedge mage, at your service, good sir." Stellan's disconcerting gaze locks with the powerful man's eyes as he extends his hand toward the newcomer. "Pleased to meet you, Roga."
As the man who then called himself Roga enters the room, Elros greet him, but he did not pause from eating the stew,
assume the perception check would be small
"Hey Roga, the name's El, nice to meet ya."
Elros continue to finish his stew.
Elros wiped his mouth using the sleeve of his light blue robe. And a
"Excuse my table manner, I'm just a bit hungry. Here have a bowl, I bet you could guess how tasty it is just from how I'm wolfing it down."
Elros scoop a bowl of stew from the pot and place it on the table and motion Roga to sit on the stool.(assuming we're sitting on a stool and not a chair here, for no particular reason at all)
"Accomplished! That's a first for me!" Stellan laughs, "It's more a matter of being raised in a small hold, days from any friendly neighbors. Learn to do for yourself or do without." Stellan listens intently when Roga describes himself. "A stead-shield of Ol' Deadeye? That will be of great help; we'll need it, in this large and wild land." Stellan uses a very archaic term for a Paladin of Erastil, showing his rustic roots. As Elros offers food to the man, " Yes, yes, don't listen to me run on. Eat, Eat. 'The night is cold but the hearth is warm. Take time for meals and rest.' Da said that all the time." Stellan quotes a common Erastilian proverb.
Caelus smiles to Amoonrann, "I understand the feeling, I grew up in both Taldor and Restov, I was always surrounded by people, and yet the only people that would talk to me were my dancing teacher and my Mother. I was quite alone, and I might come off as cold as well."
Caelus nods to the newcomer and holds out his hand "Caelus Vraie, swordman by trade and by life! Please come sit with us all and eat, seems you are the last to arrive, so maybe we can get down to business finally."
Triaxus takes the brief moments of introduction to quickly ladle a bowl of stew and accept a warm roll from Svetlana with thanks. "From the smell of this El, I imagine you're more than justified!" Eating quickly, he takes quick glances at the rest of the group, his brow furrowing slighty as he looks over Caelus.
At Stellan's words, Triaxus raises a stew-sopped roll in toast. "Can't claim to have met a traveler who'd disagree with that! Good to know we'll have such keen guidance on this trek, Ser Roga. I'm Triaxus, a pleasure to make your acquaintance."
Svetlana finishes getting everybody settled and handing out stew, beaming at the group. "What a fine looking bunch of adventurers! Quite a few of you look like you've seen some time in the wilds, too.. I will go fetch Oleg now that you're all here." The young girl rushes off out of the guest cabin.
A few moments later, she returns with her arm looped through Olegs. "A few of you were here when he came down earlier but for those that weren't, this is my husband Oleg." Standing next to each other, they appear quite strange together. A young, attractive woman with a smile that could melt a mans heart; and an older, grizzled man whose only expression seems to be the scowl that he wears right now. He stands in the doorway with his arms crossed over his chest.
Svetlana proceeds back into the room, clasping her hands together in joy. We are so glad that Restov finally has sent us some help to defend against the bandits. You look so able-bodied.. There are quite a few of them, but I just know you'll be able to help us get rid of them once and for all!" She continues beaming at the group assembled, waiting to hear their thoughts.
Jimmy the Compsognathus, squeak at Elros.
"Oh my didn't you had enough?"
Elros half-reproach his familiar, but proceed to scoop a fairly small amount of stew into his bowl and place it on the floor.
"There you go Jimmy, should be more than enough, unless you're as hungry as I was earlier."
How big exactly is the table we're sitting around atm?
Elros then turn his head to talk to both the man and the woman.
"Hey Caelus is it? Come sit down, and have a bowl of this lady's fine rabbit stew. And Amoor... Amoon... Sorry madam I didn't hear your name completely when I enter. Anyway come on over, don't be shy, I re-assure you that it's pretty decent."
As the young lady walked out to fetch a man named Oleg, Elros' familiar finished his bowl, it seems to be trying to eat the bowl too. Noticing this Elros stop it.
"Don't do it Jimmy! Bad Jimmy, you can't eat a bowl remember?
The Compsognathus, look Elros blank in the eyes, it doesn't seems feel any anger from Elros, yet his tones seem to be scolding it. Jimmy jumped onto Elros' thigh and hid itself under Elros' black cloak.
As the young lady return with a man by his side, and explain their situation, Elros said cheerfully,
"Before you went out to fetch your husband, I was about to say what fine culinary, whoever married you is extremely fortunate."
Elros then said in a proud voice towards Oleg,
"You sir, are the man. Don't tell anyone."
He then promised Svetlana that he'll take care of the bandit, even if it means just himself doing so. Once lived with bandit himself, he knew that most bandit means no harm, at least those he once live with didn't. When Elros actually sat down and think about the words he promised, he grew nervous, the bandit Svetlana mention might be ill-hearted, and he certainly won't be able to put up a fight in melee.
Knowledge (nature) on knowing Jimmy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
"Amoonrann," corrected the Tiefling as she rose from her bed and sauntered over to the table at a slow pace. Despite their...overzealous...enthusiasm to speak with make her feel welcome, it was all rather overwhelming to the Druid. She'd spent the last year in near absolute solitude, speaking with other humanoids only on rare meetings in the wilderness while she was hunting, and when she went to town to trade some of the goods she could make no use of herself.
In that time, she developed an almost animal-like aversion to people, especially in larger groups. Indeed, her last bit of prolonged time with any large group had almost resulted in her getting lynched for being demon spawn. Admittedly, six people hardly counts as a large group, but when the only real company you've had is yourself for a year...
Amoonrann took her place at the table and helped herself to a serving of the stew as the woman spoke of bandits in the area, a topic which perked the Tiefling's interest. Still, she remained silent on the matter, letting the others ask their questions and state their 'moral convictions' about the 'evils of banditry' and the like.
On a personal level, Moony bore the bandits no ill will -- they, like most other things, serve a function within the greater balance. Indeed, nature is wrought with creatures that rob other creatures of their kills so that, in and of itself, was nothing that didn't have its place. Moony's concern with the bandits are simply more personal in nature. If her predators had indeed fled to the Stolen Lands, it stands to reason that they would take refuge among bandits.
Wouldn't we know of bandits in the Stolen Lands by reputation? The Player's Companion seems to make the presence of bandits/monsters within the Stolen Lands a pretty well known fact. The Player Guide says, "Rostland has long viewed them as “stolen” from it by bandits and monsters," on page 3 and our little charters also reference the existence of bandits within the Stolen Lands...we may not know of these nearby bandits explicitly, but shouldn't we be familiar with their existence generally?
Caelus paces thoughtfully, "Master Olge... Lady Svetlana, I am at your service for anything that you need, be it freeing you of bandits or what have you. However my reasons for coming are still my own. Even though I have this rite of exploration from the Surtova Family, I am here to find my adopted brother."
Caelus clears his throat for a second before continue, "Have you possibly seen him? He may have passed by here at some point. He is a young man of nine-and-ten, of Tian Xia decent? Quite meek and shy? Does that sound familar at all?"
Oleg seems to get irritated quite quickly as he picks up on the fact that the party was not sent out explicitly to aid the small fort. Svetlana seems puzzled, but manages to keep a weak smile. She takes a step forward and asks quietly "You mean you weren't sent here to defend us from the bandits? Oh.. The letter from Restov we received indicated otherwise... But that is alright! As you are still willing to help us with our plight. They first came by 3 months ago and have come to terrorize us nearly every week since then." As Svetlana begins to tear up, Oleg stares down at the floor, his brow tightened in clear anger.
Svetlana takes a step back and continues. "They are actually coming back tomorrow morning.. Would you be able to help?"
Triaxus bites back a scowl, as Svetlana reveals the true severity of the situation. 'Did the garrisons at New Stevenson's not know how bad it had gotten? Or just apathy grown from life within the city's walls? By the Song, had we been a day delayed...' Shaking his head briefly to refocus on the will-be's rather than might-have-been's, he begins digging into his pack, where he pulls out a scroll and glances through its contents. "Hmm. From what I can see, the charter we were provided with states for us to ..strive against banditry and other unlawful behavior...Well, that seems academic. There is nothing in our charter to stand in the way of any of us assisting you any way we can against such marauders. Consider me at your service as well."
Sense Motive 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Turning to Oleg, Triaxus smiles, perhaps a touch ferally. "So, what's your plan of attack?"
Sense Motive:1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
Amoonrann snorted at Elros and the as yet unnamed Aasimar's zeal. Crossing her arms and leaning back in her chair, she closed her eyes for a moment and thought very carefully about her next words. After all, she suspected, her perspective would be...less than popular, with the other folks in the room.
"Merely because we have the authority to kill the bandits, does not make it a wise idea to commit ourselves to an unnecessary and possibly fatal battle here. We should help, but only if we stand a chance of winning. Otherwise, we should escort these good people back somewhere safe instead of forfeiting all of our lives in the name of a hopeless cause," Amoonrann said in a calm, but assertive tone, keeping her eyes closed. Her pacing was even, and she made sure to pronounce each word carefully and to its fullest.
Amoonrann leaned forward in her chair again, and, slowly, opened her eyes, and set her gaze to the pair who ran the outpost. The male was clearly upset by his weakness, which Amoonrann sympathized with. But what she had to say next, while cold, was necessary. "Let me be clear: I would like to help you both, but it would be foolish for us to pledge our allegiance to you without more information. For example, how many of these bandits usually come?" her tone was the same as before, calm but assertive. Perhaps a touch gruff, but not deliberately cruel.
Sense Motive 1d20 ⇒ 17
Caelus stands before Oleg and pats him on the shoulder. "Fear not friend, I will assist with your bandit problem. This is your home after all and you have the right to defend it!"
Caelus smiles hardily and attempts to draw out his sword, he stumbles and can't quite get the sword out of his sheath on the first attempt. He is finally able to slowly draw it out, and then almost drops it. He laughs hardily again. "I am Caelus, master swordsman! My sword and I will defend you to the death! Caelus then sheaths his sword and nearly cuts off his hand, he pulls it away as he did pinch the skin. "ouch!"
Bluff 1d20 ⇒ 14
Stellan's about to speak when Amoonrann makes her point. He says by way of reply, "We have to defend these innocen- oh that's a good point shouldn't get us all killed for nothing." He sees Caelus's clumsiness and is irritated. Is the man drunk?
Sense motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6 On Caelus.
What an oaf! "Please sit down Caelus and lay off of whatever you have been drinking, these good people deserve better."
"Oleg, Svetlana, we will do what we can, we're here to explore these lands, not exactly to defend them, but we should stop bad behavior. Please tell us your tale of woe, in detail, so we may plan our best course of action." Stellan sits back, waiting, his humor gone.
Sense motive on Oleg:1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Elros couldn't see through the anger behind Oleg, but he still sympathised towards them,
"What exactly do they do, when they travels here?"
Elros asked the couple. As the others replys to Oleg's couple request Elros could see the clumsiness of Caelus.
Sense motive on Cealus:1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Hmm, he's probably just being humble and reserve.
Oleg grows visibly more frustrated at Svetlana begins to talk about what happens, and leaves the guest house to head back to the main building. Svetlana only pauses a moment to glance over her shoulder as he leaves. "The first time they came... There were about a dozen bandits. Most of them seemed not very strong, but two of them.. One was a cloaked man armed with a bow, and the other was a terrible woman with two small hatchets. She did the majority of the talking and had a very dark sense of humor.. The things she said she would do to me..." Svetlana trails off as her eyes begin to tear up, lost in an unpleasant memory. She quickly wipes away the tears so that she may continue. "She seemed to be particularly sharp and was clearly in charge. I'm guessing the cloaked man, who is more crude and foolish, was her underling. The woman nearly took off one of Olegs hands on that first day, in a cruel bit of jest. Then she took my wedding ring and gave it to one of her men as payment for "not shortening Olegs reach".. But since then, their numbers have been less and less as they can tell we have no defenses. Last time they came it was only the cloaked man and a handful of his men. You will likely have even numbers against them, although many of them appeared to carry bows."
Svetlana begins to pace nervously as she is recalling the events. "They always come an hour after sunrise, and stroll into the fort to take all the furs and trade goods that we've received since the last time they showed. I've heard a few of them talking, and it seems as though their camp is only about a day's ride away. This is all I know and can help you with. I thank all of you for your help. Amoonrann, I hope you may change how you feel.. If you need Oleg and I to do anything, please just come let us know. Otherwise we will leave all the prepations up to you. See you at sunrise."
Before she leaves, she turns to Caelus and thinks for a moment. "Yes... Yes I think I remember somebody by that description passing through here, but it was some time ago now. I haven't heard anything of him since then, I'm sorry."
Now, make preparations for how you want to deal with the bandits. When you have settled on your plans you can head to bed and we will fast forward to sunrise!
Caelus seems to visable change in demenor from clumsey oaf to serious. He nods thankfully to Svetlana "Thank you for that news, means that I am at least on track!"
He chews on his nails as he lightly paces the room, seemingly lost in thought. "Is anyone here the honorable sort? Seems reasonable that they have been getting lazy and sending less people to steal from the outpost. However, I recommend that we set a trap, not force our hand up front but see what we can force out of them.
Caelus looks to Svetlana "Is there any good spots to hide? and when the bandits come, what direction to they come from and where do they stop here in the outpost?"
Putting his hand inside his cloak and reaching for his spell component pouch, Elros pulls out some coloured sand.
"I don't mean to brag, but If we could ambush them and I start of with a Colour Spray, we might be able to disable quite a few of them. After that... I'll leave it to those with swords."
Elros carefully pulls his hand back inside the cloak and put the sand back.
"A solid ambush would be the best idea. Maybe attacking from multiple directions, make a bunch of noise, it could make our numbers seem larger than what we've got, at least for a minute or so. His face darkens for a moment, lost in a memory, before shrugging and leaning in towards the table. "Tends to work well enough for the other side, in my experience."
Triaxus traces a rough square on the table with his finger, and after closing his eyes for a moment, taps a couple of points within the imaginary borders. "I assume they enter through the gate, same as we did today? If so, there are the guesthouse and stable that would block line of sight from the entrance."
At Elro's suggestion, he then blinks and shakes his head. 'Yuhei's right. I do always miss the obvious.' Turning to face the rest of the group, he asks, "El's presence has certainly given us a great advantage then. The most I bring to the table is fighting a lot of bandits before. Myself and Caelus seem to have any frontal assaults well in hand. Is there anything else we can bring to the table?" With a apologetic smile at Amoonraan, he adds. "You said it; best to do this smart."
"Noise eh? I guess I could cast a ghost sound to distract them."
Within his cloak Elros pulls out a bit of wool and mumble some word and waved his hand, and cast Ghost Sound outside the cabin.
DC 15 Will disbelief
You hear the sound of about 4 men shouting outside the cabin. Elros then tells you that it's his spells at work and there's no need to be alarm.
The ghost sound only last for a 6 seconds/1 round.
"It might not be much but it's better than nothing, if you want some distraction."
Elros then look at the rest of the people in the cabin and ask in general, "What else do you guys think of the plan?"
Caelus nods to all the input "Excellent points, but we will need a good place to hide, possibly the stables for anyone wishing to get up close and personal such as myself. Anyone with some range should probably take up position at some distance"
Caelus takes out his journal and begins sketching out the outpost. He draws the stable and their current location. "If the bandits stop here in front of the main building, we can hit them from the stable and then from one of the other peoples for people with range, we could catch them on both sides"
In the fort there is the guest house, the main building, the stables, and the storage shed where they keep all their goods. The bandits will likely head directly there should the fort gates be open. It would be feasible to hide behind the shed, the guest house, or the main house to not be seen by the bandits.
Stelllan listens as the warriors plan. "I can cast a spell to call the Chill of Winter's Rest, so that a few might fall into a slumber depending on how strong their will is. Little beyond that so far, I can cause a bit of frostbite, but I need to cast it two, even four times to stop a warrior. The slumber spell will try to take everyone within three long paces though; I would need them somewhat bunched and everyone else at least three or four steps away. Perhaps we should pace it outside to see where best to hide and put ourselves for easy targeting for warrior and the wyrd-workers." Suiting action to words, Stellan pulls out a coin and a glow worm and speaks words that should come from no human throat.
جمع النجوم وتألق في الصقيع $$&$)*&$#
He crushes the glow worm and the coin frosts over. The crystals of the ice gather the light and the coin glows, bright enough to fill the room with a slightly blue, cold radiance. He prepares follow Elros outside into the cold evening. "Good that it's spring, hate to go out when it's cold." Stellan says without a trace of sarcasm. It's best to plan with the place in front of you."
As he sits down, Roga says: "I'm pleased to make your acquaintance" and then eats.
He looks interested at El's familiar and asks: "El was it? That is a strange creature you have there, have you travelled here from far away?"
He is clearly puzzled by Svetlana request and answers: "While that was not purpose, I would be more than happy to help." And continues after there has been some strategic discussion: "I would treasure an opportunity to try and convince the bandits to change their ways, some of them might want to repent. That might however only be possible after a fight, but I would prefer if could somehow be possible before. Stellan putting them to sleep would be a most favourable option."
He then walks with them outside to take a closer look at the trading post.
Caelus chuckles at Roga, the paladin, "Then you can wait for them in the open, while we hide. You can try to talk them out of it, and if it doesn't work, we attack, you will be our bait!"
Caelus slaps Roga on the shoulder