Dieter raises an eyebrow as he stands. "It will take more than some fey tomfoolery to wound my pride, Ser Ducheski." Dieter stands with Jaestra's assistance and brushes himself off. He looks around and whispers to himself. "Where are you, you little..."
Knowledge (nature) 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18 What do I know about them?
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
you see a faint and waning glow on the saddle. As you scan the area, you catch sight of another fading glow in the trees...30-35' feet from you.
As you look around, you catch a glompse of something tiny and purplish in the trees just as it disappears. You glance back instinctively to see if anyone else saw... Hrafen appears to be looking in that same direction.
As you are getting up, you hear Vorik speak of bright gold. He is correct that most fey are won over with shiny objects.
You notice Jaestra and Hrafen looking past you- to the west. You are about to look in that direction, when you notice a burly bearded woodsman-looking fellow 50 feet to the east - waving at you ...
You go about your plan, not noticing anything going on around.
A burly bearded human-looking woodsman has suddenly appeared in the woods to the east. He seems to be waving a little goofily at Dieter.
Perception:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
"Dieter, I think you have a friend." he says, gesturing toward the burly man to the east.
Knowledge (nature):1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7 via Bardic Knowledge
Dieter narrows his eyebrows. "That's a fey creature in disguise. We don't know how many more may be in the area. I suggest we leave a pittance for the wretches and move on. If we are lucky, they will leave us alone." He turns to Vorik, "Something that sparkles would likely catch their attention."
"Either that, or, more likely, it is an illusion of some kind. Whatever is causing it, though, definitely has a sense of humor."
He then raises his voice, and addresses the forest at large.
"Stupid, possibly. Smelly, definitely. However, not everyone can help just how stocky they are..."
He then casts a spell (Prestidigitation), and retrieves a small mirror from his pack, which he props-up against one of the trees.
Grinning impishly, he then concentrates, causing the tree's leaves to gradually change a rainbow of colors.
After Hrafen's light show, the woodsman yawns then disappears.
you hear a hushed voice from above and to the west. It sounds like casting.
A bullfrog appears on Vorik's helmet, and stares lazily at Dieter. "Wrrretch Wrrrretch" it croaks. Then, very unfroglike, it puts a finger up to a nostril and blows out the other.
you hear faint giggling from above and to the east.
can use same roll if it beats both, roll again for the second if you miss the first.
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
Dieter whirls and stretches his hand above and to the west. A rippling wave of compressed air blasts out with a whoosh.
Bullrush 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22 30' range
Nodding at Dieter, Vorik rummages among his packs. Finally finding what he was looking for he reveals a pair of silver earrings and grabs another gold coin. In a respectful voice he says, "Silver for the moon, gold for the sun. Gifts freely given for those having fun."
Not noticing the antics on his helm, Vorik calls over to Jaestra and says in a lighthearted voice, "Jaestra, I've a question on my mind. Perhaps you could help."
He offers the half-elf a quick wink and then continues speaking, this time in a light, rhythmic cadence.
"Within passion's fruit they will be found,
And more of them in the pomegranate's crown.
Rowed they are within an apple's core,
Yet other fruits have them more.
And though the nectarine has but one,
Still, this is all just in fun.
Playing hide and seek - a children's game.
Finding out each player is just the same."
He pauses for a second then asks, "Any idea what I'm thinking of?"
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26.
Hmmm... So there are at least two of them.
Hrafen wags a finger at Dieter.
"Now, I know you probably lost your sense of humor when you were unseated, but there is no call for attacking our... visitors. They have not tried to harm us."
He then pushes the sleeve up his right arm, revealing a network of Thassilonian runes tattooed into his flesh. Rubbing his fingers over the tattoes, he concentrates, and a man-sized figure of light appears at the top of one of the trees, where it proceeds to tap-dance.
"I know I know! A pit!" comes from the west.
"No silly, a seed!" from the east.
A tiny purple/pink dragon appears launching off a branch to the east. It sings as it flies through the air... doing loops and rolls around you.
"While your skill with rhyme is nigh fantastic,
I do have a love for Hudibrastic.
We'll take what you offer...the sun and moon,
and we'll leave you be ...not later but soon.
And since you're no grump when we laugh and play,
We'll let go 'head and be on your way.
Be careful and kind when in our lands,
maybe when riding you should use both hands."
There is a giggling to the west, but still hidden or invisible.
Vorik smiles and gives a respectful nod of the head in the general direction of the dragon in the east and the voice in the west. He then steps well back from the gifts he placed at the base of a nearby tree and bows again.
"I thank you for the game good lords.
It certainly kept us from getting quite bored.
We'll be on our way as well,
but this will make a fine tale to tell."
The dragon swoops down and scoops up the trinkets, then prances to the west side of the path, and a tiny 'cricket centaur' appears, bows and hops on the dragons back. It whispers to the dragon..
"I hope when you spoke your fingers were crossed."
"Don't worry, they were.."
"Bye Bye! Don't get lost!"
...and they fly off in the direction from which you came.
You eventually make your way out of the large area of fir trees, and come to the last area of the day's planned exploration just as the sun is setting.
This area is fairly level, and full of fruit trees. Most of them look like they could be apple trees, but it is too early in the season for most people to be able to classify. There is a vary slight fermented cider scent in the area that suggest many of them are in fact some type of apple tree. There are hundreds of these trees, and you start seeing more birds than you have seen anywhere else.
Dieter inspects the trees, noting their characteristics in his journal. "These could easily be cultivated for large-scale production. Clearing out the underbrush, culling the smaller trees, and keeping away pests would turn this into a profitable production."
Looking around the old orchard, Vorik nods at Dieter's assessment.
"Aye, it'd take a bit of work, but I'm sure folks would enjoy a bit of fresh cider. Plus, if they're kept properly, fresh apples can last well into winter bringing a fair price at the markets."
After exploring the orchard and immediate surrounding area, including the Thorn River which passes just north of the orchard, there is just enough light left to set up camp without too much trouble. Although there are several suitable clearings for a camp near the orchard, there is an unacceptable amount of insects. Either backtracking or forging ahead west into tomorrow's planned exploration for an hour or so might save you more than that in lost sleep.
"Too many bugs here. Unless someone happens to have a large amount of vermin repelant with them, we should move on ahead a bit. I supose we could backtrack if that is what everyone else wants to do, but I prefer to move on."
"We could stay here, make a fire and sleep next to the smoke? I remember the thieves in town used to do that in the sewers to keep the bugs away, as they don't like smoke. I don't mind if we stay here, go back or continue forwards though. I will go where-ever everyone else wants to go."
You continue west, through another patch of evergreens. You ascend a slight but miles long incline until you reach an area of with fewer trees which hangs over the Thorn River. (on the North side of the elevated area.)
This 'semi-bluff' is a sheer 50' cliff on the north side, a steep decline to the west and south, and a gentle decline to the east-southeast from which you came. The entire elevated area is roughly one mile wide east/west, and one and a half miles north/south. The trees are sparse enough, and branches high enough, to see almost the entire bluff from the center - even in the dim moonlight. The only animal life you see are birds, and a few nocturnal rodents.
Vorik scratches at a couple of the fresh insect bites acquired earlier in the evening. Taking a look around the bluff he runs a hand through his hair and beard before saying, "This looks a bit better than down in the lowlands. Good view, and seems peaceful enough. Shall we call it a night."
Stretching wearily in the saddle he looks to the others with a hopeful gaze. "I know I could use a few hours out of the saddle and a bite to eat."
"Looks like a good place to set up camp to me." he says dismounting Shadow and beginning to set up his tent.
"I will assume we are keeping our same watch order? Get some rest, Vorik, I will wake you for your shift in a few hours."
"The same watch order, that's good. Means I can catch some sleep quickly." I try to find a couple of tree's to make myself a shelter that is raised off of the floor.
Survival : 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Once I have completed setting up a shelter I go to my mare and pull out the Elk meat that has been under the saddle and begin to eat it. Once I have finished my meal I climb up into my shelter, "Good night all, Sir Vorik please wake me to relieve you when it is time for my watch."
Perception : 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23 (For during my watch)
During the night in the moonlight, you see the owls, nighthawks, and bats travel to and from here... heading to their various hunting grounds. It is a mild but breezy night on the hill.
Something falling from the sky catches your eye... it looks fuzzy, and its the size of a cat... but does not fall like that at all. It lands about 15 feet from you, near sleeping Hrafen. It looks like a mass of hair wrapped with vines and a purple flower.
1d4 ⇒ 1
Vladimir moves over to the sleeping halfling and nudges him with his foot.
"Hrafen you might want to wake up and move.
Knowledge (Nature):1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
The hair scoots over toward Hrafen then stops and turns as Vladimir approaches. It "jumps" in the air a few inches, then lies flat... You hear a familiar tiny voice moving away from the hair "So sorry, a gift for the bald man bye!"
You can now see the mass of hair is a crude wig of coarse greying hair, lined with leaves, parted in the middle, and a purple clematis just off center on top.
Vladimir chuckles seeing the wig, "Sorry to wake you, Hrafen. You can never be too careful I suppose."
Walking back over to where he was keeping watch from he says with a grin, "You know the leaves and flower really are a nice touch."
Hrafen eyes the wig cautiously for a moment, then grins when he realises where it is from.
"They really are *yawn* I think I will get a bit more shut-eye, though..."
He then drifts back off to sleep.
In the morning, however, he makes a point of wearing his new toupee.
When the time comes to break camp, he asks:
"Shall we travel a little further West?"
We are already in the hex, so we might as well 'fully' explore it.
I turn to face Hrafen, no different from normal, "I am up for travelling West ..." I stop mid sentence as if noticing something for the first time, must be the new hair! "... What is that? I swear that wasn't there yesterday ..."
I agree, fully explore this Hex in a Westerly direction.
In the morning light you can see quite a distance throughout your day's exploration. You can see the Thorn River bend around west to south to east like an eight mile "C" ... and ends where the river disappears into a heavily forested hill - twice the height of this bluff (which appears to be the only other high elevation point in this area) Overall, this part of the woods looks more sparse from what you can see from your view. There are decently sized wooded areas, but well over a third is made up of large grassy clearings.
After getting a feel for the lay of the land to expedite mapping, you descend the bluff the way you arrived. The northeast is a sheer cliff, the steep slopes to the northwest to southwest would be doable, but would be difficult enough to end up taking just as long.
You work your way around the area. Being able to see most of the area from the bluff has saved you some time, but you expect things to slow down as you follow the river upstream into the heavily wooded large hill.
After just a few minutes of your gradual ascent at the base of the hill... near a swollen part of the river beneath a short waterfall, you catch sight of a pile of nearly a dozen long logs with a pair of boots sticking out from underneath.
there are many various animal tracks here along with boot prints. It looks like a common drinking spot for the animals of the woods.
Also... it appears this was a deadfall trap that fell on the booted person.
Survival: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (16) + 0 = 16.
Hrafen eyes the pair of boots grimly.
"Well, that can't be good... It looks like a deadfall trap fell on someone!"
Why am I feeling the sudden urge to say that Hrafen 'represents the Lolly-pop Guild'? ;-)