As you move closer, you see his head... slight amount of decomposition. So slight you could probably recognize him if you knew him. In fact, you do... the fey's woodsman illusion. This looks like the same man, although his beard appears to have been hacked off. What few tufts are left match Hrafen's wig exactly.
Survival : 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
I look at all the tracks around, then the trap and finally resting on the man. "Hmm, you think the Dragon and Cricket killed him?"
I turn my attention to the boots.
Perception : 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (4) + 12 = 16 (What quality are they?)
Vorik Survival: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Vorik dismounts and takes a few minutes to look over the area around the body with the others. He listens closely to Jaestra and Hrafen. His brows furrows in thought as he unconsciously runs his hand across his beard.
"I'm not certain our fey friends were behind this man's death. They simply didn't strike me as evil. Plus, a trap like this is much more a man-made thing. Now perhaps..." He pauses for a second before continuing. "Perhaps, if this man was responsible for setting this and the other trap we found, then they may have lured him in causing him to be killed by his own trap. That I could imagine them finding both humorous and justified. Especially if he was hunting against their wishes."
He shakes his head slightly with a grimace, "Just another reason not to anger or get too involved with the fey folk."
Dieter examines the scene as well, looking for clues to the hunter's demise.
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
Survival 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (7) + 11 = 18
"It appears that the rope securing the trap has been cut, or chewed, by very sharp teeth. I would say some forest denizen decided that this hunter was no longer welcome. In a permanent sense."
He shakes his head slightly with a grimace, "Just another reason not to anger or get too involved with the fey folk."
"Agreed." the swordsman says, keeping a wary eye out for more of the fair folk.
Dieter shrugs. "Any number of creatures have sharp teeth. But yes, that fey dragon would be a possibility." He scans the nearby treeline, "We must be vigilant. Despite my affinity for the wilds, I have no love for the fey. They are fickle and spiteful and cruel. Come, let us continue."
You continue up the wooded hill, along the Thorn River. After a while a path becomes clearer.
There are bipedal tracks here. Several small bestial tracks... some kind of small gremlin maybe? And hoof prints... similar to a large satyr. roll of 19 or more will yield more info
Much of this hill has flattish tiers that run along the north and south edges. Along one of these... about halfway up the hill you see a small family of goats tearing into the tough grasses on the north face. They watch you as they chew, then apparently uninterested in you, go for another clump of grass.
In addition to the sound of the river gurgling over rocks, a faint repeating but rhythm-less light "thump" in the distance.
"There are other markings near the hoofprints, after looking at the spacing you deduce they are "knuckle tracks," as if the hoofed creature is top-heavy, and moves something like a gorilla."
You continue up the hill. The area is crowded with wrinkly barked straight pines, and wild bushes like junipers underneath any opening in the canopy. The earth is rugged dirt, dead pine needles, and a web of roots just under the surface. The incline lessens... it appears you are nearing the top. The repeating light "thump" sound has stopped.
any preparations, perception checks... etc
At Dieter's mention of something gorilla-like, Vorik readies his hammer and adjusts his shield just in case there is trouble. Before moving ahead further he scans the summit, looking for any sign of the creature or creatures that made those tracks. Unfortunately, the sun is at a bad angle and he can't really see much.
"We'd best be cautious. It could be the owner of that goat herd might thinking we're poachers or bandits." He whispers to the others.
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
Perception : 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23
When Dieter mentions the creature is more Gorilla like than Satyr, I draw "GoldFire" and nock an arrow to her string. I keep an eye out and if anything threatening comes towards us, I will loose the arrow at them. Since the thumping has stopped, I am making sure not to get distracted.
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
"I am as surprised as you are. I'm guessing that this creature would be classified as 'gorilla-like,' since gorillas hardly favor temperate deciduous forests."
You go further up the hill following the stream on increasingly worn path. After a slight bend you see the crest of the hill about 30 feet ahead... you should be able to see over the crest in half that distance. You see the remnants of a fence, reduced to mostly posts with a few rotting slats.
About 10 feet ahead on your right, between the path and rivers is a weathered woodburned sign, which reads "Thornspring Hill"
On the sign the words "is Mulky's go away!" is smeared with some berry-red substance. A stiff wind comes from the north which kicks up some dust. High on the hill, straight trees with no low branches... there is little to block the wind. Ahead of you hear the "neeaaah's" of several goats, and a distant rattling banging - like an unlatched shutter in the wind.
The wind lessens, and the goats quiet down.
You move closer and see the flattened top of the hill... a clearing a little less than 200 feet across. There is a two story farmhouse (run-down looking, but not quite "in ruin") with a front porch the width of the house, and a small fenced in area next to it with three more goats feeding on the tufts of grass at the base of the fence posts. It looks like much of the wood from the outer fence was cannibalized for this little area.
In the center of the clearing is a bubbling spring which feeds the Thorn River.
On the right side of the water is an unlit fire pit, and an overturned tree positioned as a bench.
you see face in a window on the left side of the house. (A,4) It disappears a second later.
you are coming up path around (Z,13-15)
The outside 5' of the map everywhere but the bottom of the map is a 30-45 degree decline.
Shaking his head at the shabby, rundown farm. Vorik dismounts and says to the others, "Apparently, 'Mulky' isn't used to having visitors. Which isn't much of a surprise. It's a wonder the place is still standing."
"Shall we just go up and knock?" He says starting to walk up to the door.
You walk up toward the house. Two of the goats look up at you, and stroll over. On the front porch is one chair sized for a halfling or a child, and a large chair that could accommodate the largest of men. Hanging on the inside of the porch roof supports on the left is a crude straw target. No sign of arrows or other ammunition however.
There are sling bullet sized dings in the wood around the target, if you take the time to look.
When you reach the front porch, you hear a voice inside. It sounds like some type of little person, but a with gravelly texture coming from the other side of the front door.(A,5)
"Don't know ya. Don't wanna. Go away! My magic is real, I tell you, my magic is real!"
Perception:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
"We mean no harm. We just would like to speak with you for a few moments."
Diplomacy:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
EDIT: Just lovely rolls....*grumble*
Take 10 on Perception (if I even need to roll it as my bonus is already higher) to get a total of 22.
I look to Vorik and Vladimir, "It looks like there was a fight here, you see this marks in the wood? They were made by little stone bullets most likely, I know that some people can be very proficient in using them as weapons. So be careful." Upon hearing the voice I look to Vorik again, "What is it with everyone and being able to use Magic? I feel kind of left out now."
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18.
"Actually," Hrafen says thoughtfully, "I think someone was using the dummy as target practice for a sling..."
He then raises his voice to address the occupant of the shack.
"We mean you no ill will; we are simply passing through the area. I can understand not wanting to invite complete strangers into your home, but why don't you come out onto the porch, and we can have a chat?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21.
"No harm eh? That a bouquet of flowers strapped to yer waist?
The two goats scoot away... back into the fenced area. After Hrafen's suggestion he speaks again.
"Tell ya what. You get off my porch and I'll talk to ya." You hear the sound of someone bounding up stairs inside.
The front porch is ten feet deep and about eighty feet wide. There is an overhang which does not appear to be intended as a balcony for the second story, but is apparently able to serve as one. You see a little person hop out of the second story window onto this overhang. He looks like he could be a halfling, but he has the hood of his short dark cloak pulled low over his face. Underneath he wears oversized, but fairly wealthy looking clothes. A small dull crystal orbits around his head, and he holds a sling in one hand... a stick of wood which could very well be a wand is tucked in his belt. He does not look hostile, but he does not appear to be particularly friendly as he steps into view.
this is about two rounds worth of actions if there is something you care to do during his actions include it in your post
(including whether or not you choose to get off the porch) feel free to roll another perception check regarding the hooded guy.. and social rolls etc.
As per the stranger's request, Hrafen backs off from the porch.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21.
"My name is Hrafen Vormenghast, and as I said, we are simply passing through the area; we have no desire to inconvenience you unduly - however, one never passes up opportunities to meet potential allies... To whom am I speaking?"
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23.
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
"If we intended to hurt you, would we really have trundled our way up to the front of your house? There is no guile in our greeting, friend."
Assist Another (diplomacy) 1d20 ⇒ 20 Natural 20.
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
Vorik steps back off of the porch and stands next to one of the posts supporting the overhang. He focuses his gaze on the halfling and frowns a bit at the orbiting crystal.
Pulling out his copy of the charter, Vorik holds it in the air and says, "We're not here to cause any harm. We've been tasked by the Lord Mayor of Rostov to survey the region and deal with any bandits who might be troubling honest folk like yourself."
He pauses to look around at the ramshackle farm. A look of concern and slight respect fills his face as he continues. "I can see why you might be wary of strangers given the obvious time and hard work you've put into keeping this place up. Clearly it would be a valuable target for any bandits looking to make a quick score. But like my friend said, bandits don't step up and just knock on your door."
"I've no desire to take from any man what is rightfully his. We've already eliminated Kressle and her gang, we'd just like to know if there are others around who disregard the law and need to be brought to justice."
Folding his arms across his chest Vorik gives the halfling a stern look and says, "So why not end this nonsense and come down and share a bit of news and we can be on our way."
The odd halfling bows in response to Hrafen, after shrugging sheepishly to Dieter's words. "Iii am Mulky. Welcome to my goat farm."
One of the goats bleats "Mneeeaaah!"
"Quiet you!" He turns toward the goat. His hood falls back for a split second, and you see more of his face before he pulls it back up. He has black circles under sunken eyes, and some sort of symbol on his forehead.
Mulky then turns back to you as Vorik speaks. The goat bleats again just as Vorik is finishing his second sentence. Mulky glares at the goat, but quickly gives Vorik his attention again... and lets him finish before replying with an apology with which he at least gives an effort to sound sincere.
"Well I really would hate to send you on your way after you've gone to so much trouble. Problem is I just don't feel safe enough with all you well-armed folk. If we must speak face to face, how bout just one of you come in and we chat a bit."
The goat bleats again even louder "Mnneeeaaahh!!!".
"I warned you!!" Mulky turns toward the goat and starts swinging his sling.
included in description since you all rolled high
The symbol on his head looks like that of a summoner closely bonded to an otherworldly being which wears the same symbol
Vorik walks over toward the goat and reaches out to give it a light scratch behind the ears. Looking up at the halfing he frowns and says, "That's no way to treat your animals friend. A bit of kindness will go a lot further. Plus they'll produce more milk for you if handled with a light hand."
Standing between the halfling and the goat, Vorik casually adjusts he shield to help block any stone the little man might send his way.
"Now why don't you come down off of there and talk, then we can be on our way."
The goat nudges you with it's head, and the other one near it jerks it's head over toward the back corner of the house (which you can see now - having moved over toward the goats) You see a large figure peering from around the corner of the house. It looks has the legs of a satyr (though far more muscular), a torso like a gorilla, and a horned half man/half goat face. It has a symbol on its forehead similar to, if not the same as the halfling. It has bluish grey skin with mottled dark grey and black wooly fur in patches. It notices you noticing it... and grins evilly.
"Oh good sir. I believe the time to talk has passed. I believe my good friend Maury has returned."
He turns his gaze on the rest of the group.
"You do seem like nice people. That will make this soo much less fun. Drop your weapon, and I will let you stay here forever... feeding on most delicious grass. Raise your weapon and die where you stand. Run? Running is Maury's favorite..... You were warned!!"
feel free to roll initiatives. (and co-ords ... halfling is at (A,8) but up on porchroof...)
Perception : 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14 (Can I see this Maury?)
Initiative : 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
I would like to be placed at (D, 8) please.
I look to the short man, raise "GoldFire" and let her arrow loose at him, "I will not eat grass, but more importantly I will never drop my beloved "GoldFire"!"
"GoldFire" Attack : 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23 (25 if he is Fey)
"GoldFire" Damage : 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10 (12 if he is Fey)
Initiative: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21.
Knowledge(Arcana): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22.
Knowledge(Planes): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11.
Place me at D6.
Hrafen frowns, and whispers out of the corner of his mouth.
"He seems to be quite mad."
He then addresses the halfling:
"Unless you know of a way to brew beer from grass, I have no interest in your offer, but I promise not to draw any weapons..."
Hrafen then shouts to the others:
"He is a Summoner! Quick! Take him down before his extraplanar companion comes!"
He then fires a series of force missiles into the halfling!
Magic Missile: 2d4 + 4 ⇒ (2, 4) + 4 = 10 Force damage.
Initiative:1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Place me at (D,10)
Hearing the conversation turn to combat, Vladimir draws his blade, looking for this "Maury"...
Readied vs. enemy within reach
Readied Attack:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Damage:1d8 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19
Starting Position: *15
Puzzled at the goat's curious behavior, Vorik takes his eyes off of the halfing and looks toward the rear corner of the house. Hearing Hrafen's warning shout he replies with a shout of his own, "Too late! It's already here. Behind the house. Looks like we found our gorilla like creature. And an ugly cuss it is!"
Vorik readies his hammer and shield then steps over to the edge of the porch where he takes another quick look at the support posts before turning to face Mulky's pet.
Do the posts look solid or are they loose or affected by a lot of rot?
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Move to A11