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DM Barcas - Kingmaker: Rivers Run Red

Game Master Isaac Duplechain

As Newhaven rises, threats besiege it from all directions. To the north, the news of the last heir of House Rogarvia threatens the start of a new war. To the south, an empire of trolls and monsters grows.


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Male Human Cleric (Abadar) 5th / Fighter 1st / AC 24/10T/24F / HP 47 / F +9 R +2 W +10 / Init. +0 / Perc. +5 / Sense Motive +13

Following Zander's example, Verik mounts his own horse and coaxes him towards the ford on its westernmost edge. He gives a slight sigh and then looks towards Nikolai with what could be considered a forced smile, though the words sound sincere. "My thanks to you Nikolai, both on seeing...ah noticing that beast in its approach, as well as your stroke to lay it low once and for all. Had you not shouted when you did I would have not been of much use floundering around in the water."

He turns then to regard Jemini for a moment, and then almost impulsively extends a hand to her with a slight rush to his words. "Jemini, you've certainly proven your mastery of the ford over and back already. May I offer a ride to the other side and your own horse?"


I'm going to get us moving along. Again, as always, if you need to finish something in previous scene, just throw a Earlier... tag on it.

With the hydra's body incinerated in a makeshift pyre, the Founders continue south. Small creeks dot the landscape, but none so large as the river they just crossed over. The hours of the afternoon pass quickly, though Nikolai's presence still seems to be throwing a pall over the easy banter of the others. The river lowlands around Tuskwater Lake and between the two larger rivers looks to be excellent for farming. Jhod would certainly love to expand in this direction, if for no other reason than to extend the reach of his farmer god. As the sun grows high and begins to dip, the group halts to take a few moment's break before seeking out a suitable campsite.

Perception DC 20:
The sounds of battle echo over the lowlands. Somewhere, within a mile or so to the south or southwest, a clash of swords rings in the air. It is so faint that details can't be gleaned.


@Akiros - 22 Gozran 4709

Akiros watches over the army with some pride as they train with wooden swords. Though their numbers are few (just around one-hundred) relative to the massive armies of Brevoy's noble houses, Pitax, or Mivon, he takes great pride because they were drawn and trained from this lawless land. Already, in just a year, they have more men than the Stag Lord was able to assemble in all the years he dominated the Stolen Lands. They are certainly not legendary warriors, not yet, but they are more disciplined than his bandit colleagues ever were. Ironic, he notes, because a number of them are the same men. It's amazing what some discipline and rigor will do to improve training compared to merely terrorizing villagers and the weak. Soon, they will be ready for true steel in their hands once he feels that they are ready in their minds.

A young boy interrupts his reverie, pulling on his cloak. He looks down to see one of Tandlara's wards, a boy no older than eight years, with a piece of parchment in his hand. He wordlessly hands it over to Akiros, who unfolds it to read the words written on it. 'Akiros, it begins in a hand that is unmistakably elvish, come immediately to the Founder's Hall. I have need of you.'


Male Human Cleric (Abadar) 5th / Fighter 1st / AC 24/10T/24F / HP 47 / F +9 R +2 W +10 / Init. +0 / Perc. +5 / Sense Motive +13

Perception 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7

"Ahh a fine sunset to herald the nighttime bugs and vermin coming out to bite me!" Verik seems to have taken on an animated conversation with no one in particular, or perhaps his own horse, though it is clear to everyone else that Virtue does not seem to answer him. "Yes an end to our bracing first day of travel, though I cannot feel where I end and my saddle begins! And why is it that I am wet everywhere except for my parched throat which needs the wetting?"


Male Human Samurai-Ronin 4/ Oracle-Battle 2 | AC 24/ T12/ F23, HP65, F+7/ R +3/ W +7, Init +1(Roll twice), Percep +4, Sense Motive +10

Whee! : ) Does Akiros recognize the writing?

Sanctuary- 22 Gozran 4709
The General smiles down at the boy, yet, as always, it is a smile tinged with sadness. While he always felt more at ease around the young than anyone else, for he knew they did not judge, at the same time, he was never able to stop his mind from immediately making the calculations 'He's no more than two years older than he would be now' Of course, sometimes the other gender was used, for he had never known, nor would he ever, whether he would have sired a boy or a girl.

With his many years of practice though, Akiros is able to quickly dispel the morbid thoughts and speaks to the boy "Thank you messenger, you have performed your duty well. But, who gave this message to you lad?"

At the same time, Akiros motions for one of the ten young men, more advanced in their training, whom he has been grooming as squad leaders. The one who trots over is one of his most promising of all. Very likely Akiros would be making him a Captain in the near future. When he arrives Akiros orders " Stafen, have the men continue the drills until I return. If I am gone longer than an hour, send someone to come find me for further orders."

As he turns to leave he gently guides the boy with him asking further "Were you to accompany me back son? What were your orders?" and as he speaks, with a smile he unobtrusively presses a silver into the lad's hand.


@Akiros

It doesn't take much to figure out that it is Tandlara's writing and bidding. The odd abruptness of the request is enough to tell that. The young boy must be in training under her, as he says not a word and cryptically runs off after taking the silver. The messenger boy quickly slips between two buildings, utilizing his small size so that Akiros (or any other, he darkly notes) cannot follow.

Stafen nods at Akiros and accepts his command. "Yes, sir." Stafen, originally from Galt, starts leading the men through battle drills designed to meet a similar opponent on the field. Soon, they can add more tactics and more types of troops. Perhaps even a mounted army, to be able to defend Newhaven from the mounted knights of the hungry lords to the north if need be.

Akiros heads over to the castle. Sanctuary remains a small town dominated by the structure that was once his home when it was under the Stag Lord's rule, so he is at the Founder's Hall in mere minutes. Sitting in the room that doubled as throne room and meeting hall are Tandlara and Clewing, leader of the city guard. Akiros remembers back to the warrior's skill in their battle, but sadly notes that his fire had gone out after being nearly torn in two by the Stag Lord's greatsword during the battle.

Tandlara watches him with alien eyes. One cannot tell what the elf thinks, or even how she thinks at all. Relations between them have always been cool, starting when she plucked away his sight. Fortunately, the others had ensured his sight returned, though he had not been privy to that conversation. He never asked who voted which way, and her vote remains the most mysterious of all. She idly strokes the feathers of her crow, standing on the table in front of her. "Akiros. I see you received my summons."


Male Human Samurai-Ronin 4/ Oracle-Battle 2 | AC 24/ T12/ F23, HP65, F+7/ R +3/ W +7, Init +1(Roll twice), Percep +4, Sense Motive +10

Sanctuary- 22 Gozran 4709

Shaking his head at the boy's swift and effective 'escape' the samurai thought to himself 'She trains them well'. He then stood for a moment, watching how easily and competently Stafen took over command of the men. Yes, Captain for sure, well, almost certainly. There had been those couple reports about the man's drinking he'd have to look into. Probably, hopefully, the reports we're simply the jealous exaggerations of a rival. Regardless, he would uncover the truth eventually, he always did. Nodding to himself the warrior makes his way to Founder's Hall.

He had known of course that the summons would be from Tandlara. Who else? And he had not expected much from the boy, but he was willing to bet the lad would remember earning a sliver from the General. Akiros had no liking for the game of politics, and he would never claim to be good at it, but he could play at it when he felt the need, and the chance of having a possible in to the spymaster's network was certainly worth a silver. He'd have to find out the boy's name.

Akiros had mixed feelings about a Witch being the Spymaster. For while he had to admit she had gifts which made her uniquely useful and qualified for the job, at the same time he did not quite understand, and therefore did not quite trust, those same unique gifts either. He had mixed feelings about the Witch herself, as well. For while she had been the one to restore his sight, she had also been the one to take it. And he had never been quite sure if her act of restoring it had been a willing one or not. Damn it, the Elf was just too...different, for him to get a proper bead on her. And as a warrior trained to always know his opponent, this was a feeling Akiros did not like. He liked even less the physical feeling he got around her, for just being near her made him itch, underneath his skin, and behind his eyeballs. And then there was that crow...

But really, overall his feelings of discomfort were a minor thing, and he had dealt with far more uncomfortable feelings in his lifetime. Like her or not, comfortable with her or not, he had forced himself to accept her, for they were on the same side and, ostensibly, they had the same goals-the betterment and protection of Sanctuary and Newhaven.

As he enters the hall Akiros first nods to Clewing, a nod of respect from one warrior to another. He feels saddened at the visible dimming of the man's 'flame', and he understood as well, for he too had lost a part of himself only to later have it restored. He wished there was something he could do for the man, but he had no idea what that might be. Finally, Akiros turns to his 'summoner'. As always around the Spymaster, his features are composed and relaxed, his tone even and neutral. Sitting without first waiting to be asked to, after a moment, once comfortable, he replies "Yes Tandlara, I received your 'request' that I come see you. You know I am busy training the army. What is it that you would ask of me?" Even. Never giving, never taking, an inch more or less than was necessary.


Male Human Fighter (Archer) 6

Perception -> 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12

Survival -> 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20

Zander studies the terrain. "On the lake shore should make a nice spot. Safer than along rivers, if we get a spring flood. There you can have all the water you want, and maybe we can catch some fish for dinner."


Earlier

"Thanks Verik, would you like to mount from the front or behind?"


Male Human Cleric (Abadar) 5th / Fighter 1st / AC 24/10T/24F / HP 47 / F +9 R +2 W +10 / Init. +0 / Perc. +5 / Sense Motive +13

Earlier

"I would prefer to steer of course so just get behind...me...ahh..." Verik's face begins to flush as his mind catches up to the jest, his mouth turning to a slight frown. "Yes ha ha ha, I see what you're playing at...oh and you're wet too, so you can spin that as your next jibe on me eh? Perhaps I should find another copy of that pamphlet to fully grasp the meaning?"


@Akiros

Tandlara stares at Akiros for a few long moments before speaking to him. He stands still and rigid under those unrelenting eyes, uncompromising in his integrity and professionalism. "We have uncovered a plot, Corwin and I. It threatens all that we have built here, all the Dear Ones from the youngest and weakest to the oldest and strongest. I have seen it in my visions, and heard it from my children. A dark god's malignant gaze has settled upon Sanctuary. It is our duty to turn that gaze elsewhere."

As her cryptic words settle in, Corwin steps in with practical and straightforward language. "Some of my men have been acting strangely all week, ever since the others left. Last night, I caught some of them seizing children without cause. When I asked them their purpose, they seemed in a daze and confusion. After I took the children, they remembered nothing. It seems that their wills were conquered and that they were mere puppets. I can't trust any of them anymore, Akiros, and I've never met a warrior with as strong a will as yours. We need your help to track them down, whoever has been doing this. You're also a good judge of character, something that I can't really claim. Can you help?"


Male Human Samurai-Ronin 4/ Oracle-Battle 2 | AC 24/ T12/ F23, HP65, F+7/ R +3/ W +7, Init +1(Roll twice), Percep +4, Sense Motive +10

His only reaction to Tandlara's words is a slight frown, yet when Corwin explains the situation clearly, genuine concern sets in to Akiros's expression. "Of course I will help Corwin, you need not even ask. This sounds a serious threat! Guardsmen accosting children and not even knowing or remembering? Some malignant force making puppets of our men? I do wish the others were here, for this smacks of wizardry, deviltry, or both, to me, and neither of these things fall within my areas of expertise. Nevertheless I shall do what I can."

He remains quiet, thinking for a moment more, and then, eyes blazing with the intensity for which he is known, and comfortable now in his position as general, he begins issuing orders, not really considering to whom he is giving them. Nor does he much care. For this is not a time for politics, it is a time for decisive action.

"Corwin, summon here immediately all the guards of which you are suspicious. I wish to question them and find out what they have eaten or drank lately, and which, if any, strangers in town they have recently spoken to or interacted with. Also, send a messenger to Stefan and two of my other senior soldiers indicating that I wish to see them here immediately for specific orders."

He then turns to the Elfess "Tandlara, if you truly wish to help the me help the city, you shall have to speak plainly. I am but a simple soldier, and thus your cryptic and mystic words mean little to me. What exactly have you seen in your visions? What exactly has your network heard? Can you attach a name to this 'dark presence'? Do you have any idea what it wants?" he has many more questions for the witch but these would do for now. Instead of speaking further, he merely lets the weight of his piercing gaze fall on her, compelling her to meet his simple and straightforward demands without further drama or exaggeration.

Are we allowed to make Intimidate and such checks against the other leaders and prominent NPC's?


Perception 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2 :)

Berrin is obviously somewhat distracted as the party selects a campsite, muttering general agreements with Zander and humming any decisions away. Getting off Valnyr he spends some time combing him down after the days ride and battle, muttering encouragements to the horse as much for it as himself.

Having finished with setting up a horse line and settling Valnyr in Berrin takes his gear and plods it down in a likely looking grove and sets to getting a fire going, both for warmth and cooking if anyone were so inclined. Getting the fire snarkling Berrin plods down and stares into the flames. "We should'ave brought fire an' acid in flasks with us." he complains to no one in particular. "It's damned stupid to head off to fight monsters we know regenerate like that blasted hydra without the two things we know will harm 'em right propper."

Shuffling uncomfortably he looks up to the group. "I'm wondering if we should head back." he says, a stony expression on his face. "Ya'll know I ain't a coward so I'll say it again and I'll give you a reason; We should head back. It makes no sense to head unprepared for battle, we know what the monsters are vulnerable too so we should have stoked up."


"Well, doesn't that first beg the question what resources we have to hand that could serve the purpose. Verik? Nikolai? Anybody else that can somehow create fire or acid? Personally I have an alchemist fire on me - I would be able to make fire too, to light a torch, if I didn't have one of these handy everburning torches. Doesn't anybody here carry basic fire making peripherals? These creatures succumb to fire after all, not specifically magical fire."


Male Human Fighter (Archer) 6

"I agree. I don't think we can apply so much magical fire to reduce them to ash. It will likely have to be like this hydra, hit'em till they stop moving, hit'em again. Then burn the bodies. The hydra caught me off guard because I didn't know they could do that. With the trolls I will not be so careless."


Jemini Perception 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
Nikolai Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
Taisper Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21

Taisper:
Far, far in the distance to the southwest, you hear the faintest sound of steel on steel and shouting. Whatever it is, it is not particularly close. It's probably just the rolling lowlands that allows it to reach you in the first place.


@Akiros

Tandlara gives Akiros a faint, amused smile. "I granted you your eyesight back as a gift. Did it take your ability to hear and listen as a trade? There are costs sometimes, I know. Recall how it felt to not be capable of sight, how much more clearly you could hear, and hear my words. 'Speak plainly'? Bah!" She strokes the ebon-feathered bird on the table, which caws at Akiros. "The dark god Gyronna, mistress of hags, snatches children for dark purposes. I have seen in my visions the fall of Heibarr, a city rent asunder by the Hag's hate. She wishes the same upon Newhaven."

Corwin quietly goes about the business that Akiros requested while Tandlara speaks. Within a few minutes, the guards are assembled outside the hall, while the Stafen and the other two soldiers stand at attention waiting for Akiros's orders.


Male Human Cleric (Abadar) 5th / Fighter 1st / AC 24/10T/24F / HP 47 / F +9 R +2 W +10 / Init. +0 / Perc. +5 / Sense Motive +13

"Yes well I agree with Zander on the moving and hitting part, and I for one can certainly work to burn something with oil and tinder, distasteful as that sounds."

Verik dismounts and works at the tiestrings on his saddlebags to free the medium tent, as well as a small iron pot. "To Jemini's point however, I lack the means of any magical fire beyond the channeling of a spark, which I cannot earn until the dawn. Taisper's acid though would be most formidable to a downed foe - wouldn't you say so cousin?"


Male Human Samurai-Ronin 4/ Oracle-Battle 2 | AC 24/ T12/ F23, HP65, F+7/ R +3/ W +7, Init +1(Roll twice), Percep +4, Sense Motive +10

Akiros has no ranks in K (religion) but could he roll anyway to see if he has ever heard anything about Gyronna? And also about Heibarr (would that be K(local)?). In case yes, 1d20 ⇒ 20, 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16

His years of practice at hiding his emotions and keeping them in check allow Akiros to easily keep his features and voice calm and even despite what he is feeling inside as he says "It is interesting that you refer to something as a 'gift' which you had taken from me in the first place. Nevertheless, you need not be concerned, for I 'hear and listen' far better than you might imagine. Gyronna, what more can you tell me of her or her worshipers. And more important, what do you know, or what can you speculate upon as to why she might have suddenly turned her dark gaze upon our small city."

When the guardsmen and soldiers arrive, Akiros acknowledges them with a nod and gestures to indicate they should remain at ease where they are for the moment.


Berrin pokes at the fire sullenly with a stick, stroking forth a shower of sparks the go snarkling up into the air. "So we just hit them hard enough?" he remarks grimly. "Sounds easy enough, but how do you tell if the things stopped healing and is actually dead? Stop and look to see if the wounds have stopped knitting together? That's going to be a bother if we've got more than one of 'em breathing down our necks." the tone of Berrin's voice clearly conveys that he's worried about the prospect of fighting trolls.

"Wish I had a magic sword that would burst into flames or drip acid or something. I'd feel allot more comfortable going into this mess knowing I had something in my hands that would actually kill the creatures, not just cause it a minor inconvenience." he remarks sullenly, still stroking the fire.

Leaning back he tosses the stick onto the flames and sighs, locking his fingers behind his head. "Oh, well. I suppose it can't be helped now. How are we handling the watch rotations? Anyone need uninterrupted rest like Tandlara did to be able to work magic?" he asks, eyeing Taisper and Verik in turn. "I got no problems with splitting my sleep."


Male Human Heretic 5 Master of Many Styles 1

As the group discusses Troll-crushing techniques, Taisper is just a short distance off, tacking up his horse. He is just looping the girth straps back through the martingale when, much to his horse's disappointment, he stops. He angles his head towards the southwest and relaxes, trying to use "soft ears", as Zander and other rangers have taught him.

there it is again they're at it again all them what gonna ain't we

The inquisitor looks over at the fire where the others are, then away to the southwest. His horse nudges him with its nose, wishing he'd finish the job. He ignores the creature at first, then shakes his head and relents.

Way too far.

To his horse's relief, he finishes tacking up and walks carefully back to the fire, interrupting whatever conversation is going on by proclaiming, almost offhandedly, that "There's a battle to the southwest. Can you hear it? It's far, but it's unmistakable. Someone is fighting." He fishes around absently in his rations pouch. "I could use a full block of sleep, Berrin, if you don't mind. Definitely helps with the ol' spell-slinging, I find." He gives a lame smile.


@Akiros Tandlara closes her eyes and rattles one of her bone fetishes with her right hand. A few awkward moments pass while she mutters incomprehensibly to herself. Finally, she opens her eyes. "Yes, Gyronna. The Angry Hag. Her followers sow discord and mistrust wherever they go. So it was when they tore Heibarr into pieces out of fear and hate in the citizens. But you knew this already, did you not?" She lowers her voice and leans towards him. "Who do you think told Sarah's husband, hmm?"


Perception, aided by Taisper's hint 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4

Jemini, wholly incapable of discerning anything distant other than the breeze, looks at Taisper. "Are you sure? We must investigate! A caravan of settlers or merchants might need our help. Does it sound like weapon on weapon? Then it might be bandits, otherwise maybe a monster?"


Male Human Heretic 5 Master of Many Styles 1

"I hear steel-on-steel, but it's a long ways off. It's probably just a fluke of the wind and some lucky geography -- these rolling lowlands -- that let me catch the sound to begin with."

Survival to gauge the distance...? 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (11) + 10 = 21


Male Human Cleric (Abadar) 5th / Fighter 1st / AC 24/10T/24F / HP 47 / F +9 R +2 W +10 / Init. +0 / Perc. +5 / Sense Motive +13

Verik looks at some concern at his cousin, clearly hearing nothing that would give him the faintest notion of a battle. "I would agree though on sorting this out, or at least having some of us scout ahead? Maybe it's nothing, but maybe it's your man Gregary there Zander. At least we shouldn't leave the matter wholly unattended while we sit here throughout the night with a fire that could be spotted, yes?"

"I am not one for stealth as you all well know, but I volunteer to go, even if to hold with the horses and wait while one or more of you scout ahead of me."


Male Human Samurai-Ronin 4/ Oracle-Battle 2 | AC 24/ T12/ F23, HP65, F+7/ R +3/ W +7, Init +1(Roll twice), Percep +4, Sense Motive +10
DM Barcas wrote:
@Akiros Tandlara closes her eyes and rattles one of her bone fetishes with her right hand. A few awkward moments pass while she mutters incomprehensibly to herself. Finally, she opens her eyes. "Yes, Gyronna. The Angry Hag. Her followers sow discord and mistrust wherever they go. So it was when they tore Heibarr into pieces out of fear and hate in the citizens. But you knew this already, did you not?" She lowers her voice and leans towards him. "Who do you think told Sarah's husband, hmm?"

Will Save vs DC 20: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10

There is a moment of pure silence after Tandlara's last words drop into the room. Then suddenly, faster than a striking snake, Akiros' hand is around the elf's neck, his face a mask of pure uncontrolled rage, death the only thing existent in his gaze, his grip an iron vice promising nothing except a slow and certain end. The Samurai leans in close, his breath hot on her face as he whispers "How dare you sully her name with your foul lips! She was ten times more woman than a wretched hag such as yourself could ever hope to be!"

Will Save vs DC 15: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11 oh-oh
At that moment there is a gasp, with his back turned he knew not form whom, but likely one of the city guard. With it's distraction a voice within Akiros' mind, the voice of reason, the voice which usually held sway, speaks stridently 'Stop! What are you doing! Are you insane! You cannot do this! You will lose everything!' and for a moment, his grip lessons slightly and Tandlara is able to suck in a single panicked breath. Yet then memories of his beloved Sarah explode into his mind, her laugh, her smile, the way she danced, the way she loved and, most of all, the way she looked at him as she lay dying by his hand. His gaze turning red, all rational thought fled from his mind, his grip tightens even further, his intent clearly to crush the life from this woman before him.

Will Save vs DC 10: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Yet then a louder voice cries out with shock and warning "Sir!!", the voice of Steffen, his second in command. And finally, the red haze fading, with the last desperate grasp of his will, Akiros' reason returns and, with a slight gasp of his own, he releases his death grip and stumbles back a step. His own face full of shock and surprise he opens his mouth to speak "I..." yet closes it almost in the same moment, seeing clearly in burning gaze of the witch that there would never be any forgiveness forthcoming there. 'What have I done??'

A moment more though and his famous iron composure quickly begins to return. Giving Tandlara one last look Akiros' spins on his heel, saying nothing further. He briskly marches past his men and the guards of the city watch, commanding them all to follow him outside with a flick of his intimidating gaze.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25

Despite anything that may be said or done behind him he does not stop until he is outside, his mind aswirl with questions and doubts. That Witch! What has she made me do? But no! The actions were mine and so then too is the full responsibility. But, what price for my weakness? Have I lost everything? Was this some twisted gambit of hers and have I, foolish pawn, played right into her hands? Or, worse, has Gyronna's evil will truly descended upon us and I one of her first victims?'. Once outside he turns to face the men before him and waits until they have gathered to attention before he speaks, nothing whatsoever of his internal anguish showing in his stone faced look.

I wasn't sure DM B whether you'd prefer me to roll this out or just RP it out so I went with a bit of a combo of both. Also wasn't sure if you'd be wanting any rolls from Tandlara or not so if there's any changes that need to be made to any of this, no worries, just let me know.


Male Human Fighter (Archer) 6

Zander strains to hear what he earlier missed. "I the swords are already crossed, we will need the horses to close the distance quickly. There will be no time for stealth, but can rely on the horse to get us clear if it is a situation we wish to avoid."

Zander moves to get his horse and mount.


"Just let us move! If there are wounded, or women and children suffering, we must be there quickly to avert the worst!" Jemini spurs her horse in the general direction Taisper indicated, hoping that her lead will galvanize the rest into action.


Male Human Heretic 5 Master of Many Styles 1

Taisper opens his mouth to speak, revealing a wad of partially-chewed jerky. "But I juff faid iff rwilly fah ahway...oh nevah mime." Taisper looks at the others, swallows thickly, and takes a drink. "I'm trying to say, we won't get there until well into the night. We'll be exhausted. On top of that, I don't think we'll get there in time to be of any use anyway. Better to rest and show up fresh." Even as he talks, though, the inquisitor is moving back towards his horse, which eyes him balefully.


@Akiros Tandlara maintains a steely inscrutable gaze steady into Akiros's eyes as he throttles her, venomous and alien towards him. She hisses in a breath when he releases her, her hands running across the bone fetishes around her waist. It rests for a moment on one that looks suspiciously like Akiros's armor, but does not retaliate. Angry red marks mar her pale elvish skin, clearly beginning to bruise. She makes a clicking noise with her tongue as Akiros turns and leaves.

It is not his soldiers that speak to him first, but rather Corwin. He waves off his guards and the soldiers, who are clearly disturbed. "What in the hells was that, Akiros? You can't attack another Founder like that, not in front of the Captain of the Guard! Gods, do I have to shackle you? It's a good thing that Taisper isn't here, you'd already be tried and punished!"

Tandlara suddenly appears behind them, rubbing her neck. "I should have been more careful with my words. It is a reminder of the volatile mercuriality of man. I wish not for him to receive punishment on my behalf." She continues to glare at him, her eyes less forgiving than her words. "Now gather yourself and return when you are ready." She returns back to the hall without another word.

Corwin watches her leave, then turns to Akiros. "What was that all about? What did she say to you?"


With Jemini leading the way on horseback at a brisk pace, it takes a few minutes of hard riding to get to the site of the melee. As they approach, the sounds of fighting echo through the late evening sky, overpowering the noise of the hooves of the party's horses. They hear hisses and screeches, screams and wails, as steel clashes on steel.

They burst upon the sight of the battle suddenly after leaping a small creek. A small caravan of three wagons, pulled by ponies that are now panicked and trying to escape, stands still in the middle of a barely-visible but worn trade road. A dozen gnomes, armed with spears and crossbows, have circled the wagons against a raid of monstrous creatures. Half a dozen gnomes lay dead and dying at their feet, while their attackers lunge and snap at them from all directions.

The attackers are all scaly humanoids, though they vary greatly in size. Three quarters of the two dozen raiders are small with black scales, while the rest are tall and muscular with green scales. Only a handful of their number lay fallen. It is clearly only a matter of time before they overwhelm the gnomes' defenses.

The largest of the raiders rides an immense lizard with a frilled neck, its toothy maw slick with the blood of its enemies. He wields a large, heavy trident in both hands. When he sees the party's arrival from over the caravan, he shouts to the other raiders in a guttural tongue: Draconic. "Thesshatki! Shekkatanga tesh hargulka nesktakang!"

Draconic:
"Interlopers! Kill them as Hargulka commands!"

Knowledge: Local DC 12:
The two types of raiders, while similar looking, are actually two separate species. The large ones are lizardfolk, a ferocious people not generally aggressive outside their swampy homes. The small ones are kobolds, cowardly creatures somehow descended from dragons. The two species do not normally work together, raiding or otherwise.

GM Rolls:

Berrin 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Gnomes 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Jemini 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Kobolds 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Lizardfolk 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (20) + 0 = 20
Nikolai 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Taisper 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Verik 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (14) + 0 = 14
Zander 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16

INITIATIVE
24 Jemini
20 Nikolai
20 Lizardfolk
16 Zander
16 Gnomes
14 Verik
9 Kobolds
6 Berrin
5 Taisper

STATISTICS
Kobolds (18): hp 5/5; AC15/12T/14FF; +2F/+1R/-1W
Lizardfolk (6): hp 11/11; AC17/10T/17FF; +4F/+0R/+0W

No map yet. Just assume that you are all within 60 feet of an acceptable target. The leader is too far to charge, so I'll include his information when he is within range. I'll post the map when I have the opportunity to create it.


Male Human Cleric (Abadar) 5th / Fighter 1st / AC 24/10T/24F / HP 47 / F +9 R +2 W +10 / Init. +0 / Perc. +5 / Sense Motive +13

"Ahh! Not quite so far and exhausting as you thought, eh cousin? Well I'm certain the Lawgiver will lend you strength to drive back these foul cretins who prey on their betters!"

Verik sits straight in his saddle, drawing out his golden key symbol while adjusting the heavy shield on his back to a more comfortable position. "Tactics? I can give the Master's blessing to us all once again...but a reckless charge upon those runts, numerous as they are, would seem a poor idea."


"An idea nevertheless." Berrin grunts as he pulls on his greatsword and gathers up Valnyr's reins, getting ready to charge. "Take the fight to those two-legged-lizards before they take the fight to us."


Initiative 24
AC 24; HP 35/35

Jemini spurs her horse onwards, straight towards the caravan; she tries to shout her intentions to the gnomes: "Get together, pull in your wounded - I will try to veil the caravan so that these raiders cannot easily assault you!"

I'm guessing its too far to use a single moveaction, so she'll double-move and explain her plan to use obscuring mist (or more accurately, obscuring spirits)


Remember that it is centered on you. We don't want a repeat of TSL!


That's why she's going all the way to the middle of the caravan ;)


Male Human Cleric (Abadar) 5th / Fighter 1st / AC 24/10T/24F / HP 47 / F +9 R +2 W +10 / Init. +0 / Perc. +5 / Sense Motive +13

Well maybe we should wait for the map then, because it sounded like the wagons were surrounded and you're going to find yourself hit by a bunch of AoO's only to be trapped up against the outside of the wagons...which would be bad I'm thinking :)


Male Human Samurai-Ronin 4/ Oracle-Battle 2 | AC 24/ T12/ F23, HP65, F+7/ R +3/ W +7, Init +1(Roll twice), Percep +4, Sense Motive +10

I'm here. Will post Akiros' response tomorrow (Sat)


DMPC - Nikolai Rogarvia
Round 1, Initiative 20
hp 33/33; AC 15/10T/14FF; +3F/+5R/+3W

SwA: Arcane Strike
SA: Charging Greatsword vs. Kobold (M17) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
-> Damage 2d6 + 11 ⇒ (5, 1) + 11 = 17

Nikolai spurs his horse forward with a battlecry, following Jemini's lead. His sword seems to glow in the sunset as he raises it high. From atop his charging horse, he cleaves into one of the kobolds. The creature barely has time to raise his small spear uselessly as Nikolai nearly severs his head with a stroke of his sword. The other kobolds on that side of the wagons yip in panic as the rest of the party bears down on them.

Top Half Map
Bottom Half Map


Round 1, Initiative 20

The lizardfolk continue to encircle the gnomes. Their numbers have barely been touched by the melee with the gnomes, who are barely hanging on. Their leader yells orders in Dragonic, moving them around to face both the newcomers as well as the gnomes.

Lizardfolk Leader: hp 50/50; AC 17/10T/17FF; +8F/+1R/+1W
Lizardfolk Leader's Mount: hp 28/28; AC 15/10T/14FF; +10F/+4R/+2W

No attacks this ground. The gnomes will be in full defense right now, so feel free to skip them. Kobolds too. I'll adjudicate any AOOs if you provoke them.


Male Human Samurai-Ronin 4/ Oracle-Battle 2 | AC 24/ T12/ F23, HP65, F+7/ R +3/ W +7, Init +1(Roll twice), Percep +4, Sense Motive +10

Sanctuary- 22 Gozran 4709

Spoiler for length:

DM Barcas wrote:

@Akiros Tandlara maintains a steely inscrutable gaze steady into Akiros's eyes as he throttles her, venomous and alien towards him. She hisses in a breath when he releases her, her hands running across the bone fetishes around her waist. It rests for a moment on one that looks suspiciously like Akiros's armor, but does not retaliate. Angry red marks mar her pale elvish skin, clearly beginning to bruise. She makes a clicking noise with her tongue as Akiros turns and leaves.

It is not his soldiers that speak to him first, but rather Corwin. He waves off his guards and the soldiers, who are clearly disturbed. "What in the hells was that, Akiros? You can't attack another Founder like that, not in front of the Captain of the Guard! Gods, do I have to shackle you? It's a good thing that Taisper isn't here, you'd already be tried and punished!"

Tandlara suddenly appears behind them, rubbing her neck. "I should have been more careful with my words. It is a reminder of the volatile mercuriality of man. I wish not for him to receive punishment on my behalf." She continues to glare at him, her eyes less forgiving than her words. "Now gather yourself and return when you are ready." She returns back to the hall without another word.

Corwin watches her leave, then turns to Akiros. "What was that all about? What did she say to you?"

The General's expression continues to show nothing as first Corwin, and then Tandlara speak. If anything, his already implacable features become even more so. He does not return the glare the witch gives him, in fact he does not seem to even register her presence at all. A few moments after she leaves though, he does finally turn to Corwin and speaks.

"I am aware of what actions transpired, Captain, and I am fully aware of and accept my culpability for them. When the founders return I shall present myself to them for their judgement. Until then, I shall continue to perform my duties as I have sworn to do. Unless of course you wish to make issue of the matter now?" and once again he allows the full force of his personality to descend.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19

If/when the Captain backs off, so too does Akiros' unyielding manner lesson somewhat as he says more quietly for the Captian's ears only "She crossed a line. Yet so too did I by allowing her to goad me into such a reaction. What was said I shall keep between her and I for now, perhaps forever. Yet make no doubt, it is she who gained the victory here today, not I. Now, we have much more important matters to take care of." And with that he turns to the men and guards before him

"It is just now come to my attention that a most serious threat besieges our city. It is an attack all the more insidious and dangerous for it is not an attack of sword and steel, but one that targets our very hearts, minds and souls. An enemy seeks to destroy us from within. From now on we must be extra vigilant and look closely to the actions of our comrades in arms, our neighbours, even our families and loved ones and, most importantly by far, ourselves. For no one of us is above possible contamination by the evil and twisted force which now seeks to destroy all that we have worked so hard for."

He then turns first to his men "Steffen, from now on until I give further notice, the army is on high alert and marshal law and curfew are in effect. None may walk the streets armed with anything more deadly than wooden weapons, and yes, this includes the soldiers and city guard themselves. Even I shall have my weapon peace-bonded. I wish constant patrols within the city to boost the guards' numbers and no patrol, guard or soldiers, shall number less than four men. Both soldiers and the guard are from now until further notice forbidden alcohol or spirits of any kind, nor any other substance which weakens the mind or will. If we hope to survive this deadly threat, our will power shall be our greatest weapon and defense. All drinking establishments are forbidden to serve alcohol after sundown and no one is to be on the streets at night without specific, written permission from either Tandlara, Corwin, Myself, my officers or any other of Newhaven's senior officials. I shall come see you soon with further orders and to update you on the situation."

He pauses for a moment, giving the three men an intense and careful review "There is one final thing. Steffen, with the city in a state of emergency such as it is, we need good men. So, as of now, you are granted the position of Captain of Sanctuary's army. " He looks to the other two young men and nods "Grayson, Bennick are now your 2nd lieutenants. Between the three of you decide who best among the men to be your Sergants and Corporals. Perform your duties well and I shall see to it that these promotions remain permanent including pay raise and privileges entitled to them. That will all."

He salutes them as they leave and watches them go for a moment before turning to Corwin and the guardsmen. "Now, you lot, I have heard of the reports of your actions last night and throughout the week. For the moment, I hold you blameless for your actions yet this stance shall depend greatly on your words of the next few minutes. Now, I wish you to think well and answer most truthfully as you tell me anything and everything you can think of regarding you who may have met or spoken to last night, where was the last place you remember being? Who the last person you spoke with? Did you eat or drink anything unusual? Has anything else unusual at all transpired with you think week? Think carefully and answer me truthfully and all will be well. Do not, and, well, there's no need to dwell on that possibility for the moment."

As he listens to their answers Akiros concentrates carefully to try and determine the hidden truths behind their words and demeanor.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9


Male Human Fighter (Archer) 6

Round 1, Initiative 16
hp 36/36; AC 20/15T/15FF; +5F/+6R/+3W
FA Rapid shot at leader, 5' adjust south

Zander quickly assesses the situation. His greatest impact would be to remove the lizard leader. Luckily it rides high above it minions, and he snaps off two quick shots to get its attention.

Rapid Shot #1 at 1 range increment-> 1d20 + 9 - 2 ⇒ (18) + 9 - 2 = 25
Composite longbow damage -> 1d8 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (5) + 4 - 2 = 7

Rapid Shot #2 at 1 range increment-> 1d20 + 9 - 2 ⇒ (12) + 9 - 2 = 19
Composite longbow damage -> 1d8 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (4) + 4 - 2 = 6

The corner of Zander's mouth twitches in the hint of a smile. That should get his attention.


Male Human Cleric (Abadar) 5th / Fighter 1st / AC 24/10T/24F / HP 47 / F +9 R +2 W +10 / Init. +0 / Perc. +5 / Sense Motive +13

Round 1, Initiative 14
HP 28/28; AC22/12T/22F
Effects: Shield of Faith

SA: Cast Shield of Faith on Self
MA: Move to T-U 9-10 and ready shield

"Bloody hells they're already charging...HEY WHEN DID YOU ALL START SERVING THE LORD IN IRON HUH?" He looks skyward in prostration and then calls forth the power of the Lawgiver to prepare himself for the upcoming battle. "Mighty Lawgiver of the Master, grant me protection from these derelict wretches who would slay those who offer benevolent trade and society to these lands!" A brief golden aura seems to surround and permeate Verik's breastplate and shield as he spurs his horse forward and grips his shield to a proper defensive position.


Round 1, initiative 6
Berrin: AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 18
hp; 44/44
Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +0
Conditions: Charging

Valnyr: AC 15, touch 17, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, –1 size, +2 natural, +4 template)
hp 19/19
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +1
Conditions; Charging

Ride DC 5; Guide with Knees 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21

"Oh, not again!" Berrin moans as he sees Jemini gallop ahead into the thick of the fighting. "HYAH!" he shouts as he spurs Valnyr forward, urging him into a charge at the nearest kobolt standing between him and Jemini, pulling out his spear as they go.

Valnyr charge attack vs kobolt in V 17 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25 for 1d6 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 4 + 2 = 12 dmg; splat! ;P

Berrin hardly feels the impact as Valnyr viciously drives his hoof through the kobolts skull with a wet *thunk*, intent on the larger lizardman standing to close to Jemini for Berrin's comfirt he hefts his spear and hurls it at him with all his might.

Berrin attack vs lizardman in U 24 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20 for 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10 dmg, oooh! So close.

The world seems to slow as Berrin watches the spear sail through the air toward his target, his face splits into a grin as he is rewarded with the sight of the spear driving through the lizardmans lower abdomen, sticking halfway out the monsters back, looking like it might pin the lizardman to the ground.


DMPC - Taisper Stosz
Round 1, Intiative 5
hp 26/26; AC 21/12T/20FF; +6F/+3R/+10W

SwA: Judgment (Destruction, +2 damage)
MA: Draw Crossbow
SA: Crossbow vs. Lizardman (U24) 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

"Salyeln, Xelelqeln, Hafwijeln
Fray sawiv il relnel, lruf sel
Yray I saz tu uon funx
Yray haf act vijihikayiuc saz lqnelat."

Taisper glows with an otherworldly light for a moment as he mutters to himself in Celestial. He prays to Abadar to allow him to set down upon the enemies of civilization. Raiders like this are all that Abadar stands against. They deserve nothing but immediate execution. He raises his crossbow to fire at the same raider that Berrin had just speared, but the bolt goes wide as the raider falls to the ground.

DRA is out on tour. Hopefully he won't mind me moving things along.


@Akiros

Intimidate 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (6) + 12 = 18

Corwin goes to sympathetic to cold when Akiros rebuffs him and belittles his rank. He listens to Akiros start handing out orders, but belays them before Steffen and the other two soldiers leave. His questions to the other guards linger in the air, but Corwin signals for them to wait. "We aren't instituting martial law! Are you insane? With all the others gone, people are going to think that you're some stiff-armed tyrant! I'm in charge of the city's security as Captain of the Guard, Akiros, not you. I'll take your aid in supplementing their numbers, but we aren't going to put a steel boot on the throat of the people just because you're upset that Tandlara said something to make you mad. Come on! We can figure out what's going on without making the people hate us..." He shakes his head. "Cutting off alcohol may not be a big deal to you, but we'll have an open rebellion by the first dawn that people can't get any of Bokken's ale." The scarred warrior presses up against Akiros, mere feet away with a grip on the glaive he has been practicing with for the last few months. The soldiers and guardsmen eye each other, the tension between their leaders throwing them to be ready to fight each other as well.


Male Human Samurai-Ronin 4/ Oracle-Battle 2 | AC 24/ T12/ F23, HP65, F+7/ R +3/ W +7, Init +1(Roll twice), Percep +4, Sense Motive +10

Akiros stands merely looking at Corwin for sometime. His set-in-stone expression making it nearly impossible to determine what thoughts roam behind his dark eyes. Finally, the corner of his mouth turns up slightly as he says "Well, it is good to see that not quite all of your fire has fled my friend."

For a moment Akiros considers dismissing his soldiers off to do their duty, somewhat annoyed that they even paused at Corwin's command. Yet it is was not their fault as his own actions were largely responsible for their being in a more insecure position than normal. He also considers taking the Captain of the Guard aside for a private conference but ultimately decides that it would be good for all to hear his next words.

"First allow me to offer you an apology Corwin, as you are right, my words to you most certainly could have been affected by my interaction with...her. Yet I assure you my suggestions as to how best to protect the populace are purely for their benefit and nothing else. You heard what...Tandlara said, or most of it anyway. We must take the threat before us most seriously or by the time Lady Lebeda and the rest of the Founders return they may a city of nothing more than ashes and torn, smoking corpses over which to rule."

He pauses for a moment, allowing his last words to sink in and choosing his next words carefully "What you say is true Corwin, you are in charge of the city's internal security, yet the army is in charge of dealing with any and all external threats, which by all accounts this is. Even though the enemy we may be facing is ourselves, the source of this attack comes from somewhere else. This is why we have to work together, and why we have to guard most carefully our own words and actions. For if we cannot even control our own minds, than the populace has no chance. You came to me for help for a reason my friend, and you were right to do so. Now please let me give you that help. I am no tyrant and my orders are in no way meant to punish the population, merely to try and protect them from themselves. But perhaps you are right in that it is too much too soon. Let us instead go about it in steps. First off, I insist that both my soldiers and your guardsman be prohibited intoxicants until this crisis is over, for we simply cannot afford them to be anything less than their absolute best. At all times. As for the populace, how about this? The sale of alcohol must stop at sundown and all establishments closed two hours later. Do you think that will work? I grant you know the people of Sanctuary far better than I do though, and I have never been one to turn much at all to drink, so I will gratefully accept your opinion on this matter."

I'm a bit confused by the intimidate roll DM B. Was that Corwin's attempt to intimidate Akiros? In looking up the skill, it shows that the DC to pass when making the attempt is 10 + the target’s Hit Dice + the target’s Wisdom modifier. So I think that should have worked on Corwin, no? At the same time, I never realized before that making intimidate checks leaves the target hostile to you a few min later. So, not so good to use it on someone you plan on having a long term relationship with I now know. Live and learn I guess : P


Seeing the map, slight change of plans: obscuring mist just doesn't cover enough area.

Round 2, Initiative 24
AC 24; HP 35/35
Move: S23T24
Action: attack

Not quite comfortable on the saddle Jemini guides her horse forward a bit more, intent on slicing her way through to the leader. Unfortunately her attack goes wide as the lizardman before her dodges underneath the swing of her blade.

Attack 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12 damage 1d8 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9


Male Human Heretic 5 Master of Many Styles 1

Taisper mutters blackly under his breath, watching as his bolt flies wide and yet another battle unfolds in the predictably chaotic way for this group. I shoulda kept my mouth shut. he thinks ruefully. How the hell did I think this was so far away, anyway? It's like there was some kinda...I dunno... He looks around uneasily and his horse shifts from foot to foot underneath him, reflecting that unease.

Spells left: 1: 2/4, 2: 2/2


Corwin seems to accept Akiros's proposal. While he does not seem pleased about it, he saved some face in front of his men by not simply capitulating to Akiros's initial command. To do so would be to invite disrespect and marginalization, something that the Captain of the Guard cannot tolerate. A force of watchmen requires discipline and heirarchy, and to appear weak and trifling at this point would only further fuel the discord and discontent of the guards. He nods his assent to the guards and soldiers, who leave immediately to start spreading word throughout the city.

Akiros and Corwin return to the Founder's Hall, where Tandlara icily greets their return with her alien gaze. Systematically, the three of them question the guards, starting with those caught with the children. A disturbing narrative develops, similar in each retelling: several of the guards in question each recall going to a tavern at the end of their shift, where they were approached by a beautiful woman. They describe the women in such disparate terms that there must be more than one. The women, in each case, were intoxicating in their smile and laugh, with whispers of carnal promises. None recall leaving the taverns, however, or the nights that followed. Each of the bewitched guards recalls going about their normal business the following night, then suddenly nothing again. Only the ones who were caught recalls anything to do with children, and they describes it as if they had fallen asleep in the middle of theirshift and only awoke when their comrades asked what they was doing.

There are only a few small taverns in the city, mostly just what is available in the inns. Likewise, there are a finite supply of beautiful women. Either would be an excellent place to start an investigation.

I was rolling an Intimidate in response mostly to show a battle of wills and intimidation. Sort of like when two people are angry and getting in each other's face. It's a matter of who back down first.

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