Vorik - Double Move to M12
Vorik - Perception to see any other bandits 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
As the bandit falls over unconscious Vorik whispers to himself, "A fine bit of work 'eh Astrid. Now to finish the night's work."
Turning back to the watch platform he runs over to the tents to either secure any sleep bandits or put down any who continue to fight. As he arrives he says, "Give it up lads. Surrender now and you may have a chance to live past this night. Keep fighting and you'll be food for the worms for certain."
The bandit at the south platform makes a quick startled sound as his crossbow is disabled.
The shirtless bandit falls .. dead before he hits the ground.
The injured gnome on the north platform sees his enlarged ally fall .. he hears the call to surrender .. "Kressle? ..Bunyon?"
The bandit at the south platform replies "Here Rillo .. GAH!" Jaestra's arrow hits him .. "I'm out ... ach ooooh No more. I'm out."
"Me too me too .. no more please, I won't fight." comes from the north platform.
As Vorik is securing the woman, she starts to come to .. still groggy .. weakly resisting. "You're not Bloodband .. who sent you?"
Vladimir stands, sword readied, waiting for Jaestra to join the others.
"You two on the platforms, get down here...now. Leave your weapons, lest we are to believe you still have a bit of fight in you." he says glancing to the disemboweled man on the ground next to him.
Vorik doesn't say anything to the woman until she is completely bound and gagged so she can't rally the others who are surrendering. Once he's finished, he'll lean in and whisper in her ear in the best growling voice he can muster, "You ask who sent us. Your own foul deeds and dark soul sent us. You have earned a deep debt to the honest folk of this land, and we are here to extract what you owe. I would suggest you cooperate, for my executioners axe has already tasted blood this day, and it is thirsty for more."
Intimidate 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
No other bandits .. there are 2 horses tied to a hitching fence on west side of camp. No other signs of life.
The two gnomes descend from each of their platforms and immediately put up their hands. The one from the south platform slowly approaches .. "You got it.." "Yer the boss" adds the other..
As Vorik whispers something in the woman's ear, you see the fire in her eyes fade ..
Speaking to Vorik, Jaestra, and Peregrin, Vladimir asks, "It appears we have three prisoners. How do we wish to proceed, take them someplace else or give them their trial and punishment here?"
Seeing the two gnomes approach, "You two have a seat right here." he says, pointing to the ground next to the eviscerated man. "Be cooperative, and don't make any sudden movements and there is a fair chance that your fate will be kinder than your friend's. Choose not to cooperate, and I make no such guarantees." the swordsman says with no exceptional amount of malice, but no particular warmth either.
I look to Vladimir, "Mr Vladimir, I think we should give them their trial here. I also believe we should let Sir Vorik and Mr Fetch be in charge of the trial as they know what to ask and are able to get the answers we seek."
While the trial is taking place, I am collecting any unbroken arrows and searching through the belongings of the camp, to check if there is anything of worth.
Do these bandits recognise the silver amulet I am wearing and if so, do they say anything about it?
Nodding with satisfaction at Kressle's noticable change in attitude, Vorik picks her up and takes her over to the campfire where he left the other two bandits. Setting her down against one of the logs, he'll then grab the pack that contained the Enlarge potion and make sure there aren't any other surprises hidden in there or anywhere else in the area. He bends down to check each of the fallen bandits are still alive. If so, he'll do what he can to bind any wounds and then secure them if it's needed to make sure they can't cause any further trouble.
Once finished, he'll wave to Peregrine and then give Kressle another glower, "If you'd like a word with her, I think Kressle here might be willing to talk."
Right after the fight Peregrine had grabbed up the torches and stomped out any smoldering fires and put them somewhere safer. Once that was taken care of he frowned down at the gnomes, Peregrine distinctly recalled that the sound of arcane syllables floating over the night air when the torches had been lit. He looked closely at them, looking for signs that they were spellcasters of some sort. "We should bind their hands..." Peregrine cast about the camp something to tie them up with.
Assuming he finds something, even if its just stout strips of cloth he'll bind the gnomes' hands. Either of them carrying spell component pouches or the like?
Satisfied with his work for the time being Peregrine took a few moments to work some simple magic before joining Vorik. With a quick gesture and a sudden intonation the diviner's eyes seemed to fall out of focus and he slowly looked around at the camp.
Cast Detect Magic and look about the camp. I'll leave the rolling to you should he spot anything, both his Knowledge (Arcana) and Spellcraft are +8.
Peregrine continued this for a short time, mentally noting anything unusual and then finally turned toward Kressle. He approached the captive in a business like manner, sat down on a log, and studied her for a short time before smiling a smile that was not a smile at all. "Before we ask you any questions, why don't you tell me all the things you think I want to hear, keeping in mind I already know a great deal, and I very much dislike obfuscation and lies." He looked at her patiently, as though this were her cue.
Vorik watches over Kressle until Peregrine arrives and starts questioning her. Seeing the situation under control, he walks over and retrieves the night's first catch dropping the wounded bandit next to the others around the campfire.
Stepping over to Jaestra he whispers to her so none of the bandits can hear, "This lot seems taken care of for now, but we still don't know when those others might arrive. Do you want to keep an eye out from up in one of the platforms so they can't sneak up on us?"
around and under north platform:
a music box
8 trail rations
wooden case of 9 empty bottles and 3 bottles of greenish strong smelling liquor
smaller case with 2 packets of piny tobacco
a small curled letter (like a tiny scroll) from someone signed Sal'dor.
2 unscorched one person tents, 3 bedrolls
In wagon at south platform:
3 bear traps
crate of metal scraps (silver, steel, .. flatware, unidentifiable pieces)
crate with 6 bars of cold iron, 2 bars admantium
three crates of furs and hides
weapons and armor found on and around bandits:
2 short swords
1 battle axe
3 short spears
2 masterwork handaxes
2 small masterwork daggers
2 heavy crossbows (both currently mounted with ball-joints on platforms)
1 light crossbow
45 crossbow bolts
1 quickdraw light steel shield
3 studded leather armor
4 leather armor
2 gnomish twist-cloth armor
1 spellbook (read magic, detect magic, spark, detect poison, reduce person, silent image, mage armor, jump, rope trick)
In satchel searched by Vorik:
6 labelled potions(1 gaseous form, 4 cure light, 1 enlarge person)
total gold 236
It appears apart from the two gnomes and the woman named Kressle, the injured are all past saving.
The gnomes sit as instructed by Vladimir .. and do not struggle as they are bound and each of their component pouches removed. They look around attentively and quietly, one of them speaks up to the other as he watches Jaestra rummage through the camp .. "Ey .. Bunyon. Her amulet .." the other replies "Aye .. guess He sent 'em. curious curious.."
Kressle licks her dry lips. She awkwardly attempts a self-sure slightly seductive look toward Peregrine as he studies her. As he speaks, she seems to just notice the blue cloaks on the attackers .. she looks around and sees Happs's amulet on Jaestra as well. Her mask slips again..
"You .. you come from Oleg's? .. Mercenaries? I ... uh I'm not so sure what it is you want to hear.. I'm the leader here .. in my shrinking territory." Her expression changes. She looks like she is trying to figure you out..
"You do know we work for the Stag Lord don't you? He is not going to like losing his .. supplier. Ho boy .. you really have no clue what you have gotten yourself into, do you love?"
Vladimir listens to the conversation, trying to put the bits and pieces together. "He sent 'em?" the swordsman asks the gnomes after hearing Kressle's comment about the Stag Lord, "Is the he you are referring to this Stag Lord she's talking about?"
The gnomes both nod and look a bit confused. "Yeah .. Stag Lord. First thought you was Bloodbands .. then thought Magpies .. " glancing over at Peregrine 'But if you don't know Stag Lord -"
"Pawns" the other gnome interrupts, nodding, sure of himself.
The first shrugs.. "Eh or just some do-gooders lost in the woods playin' hero.."
I whisper back to Vorik, "That sounds like a good idea, Sir Vorik. So you wish to join me?"
I head over to the southern platform, climb it and sit down. Making sure to keep any eye out for anyone or anything that approaches.
Stealth (To try and not be seen) : 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Perception : 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (13) + 11 = 24
A broad smile crosses Vorik's face and brightens his eyes at Jaestra's invitation. "Aye, I'd be glad to stand watch with you. He adds with a soft chuckle,"Although it seems like my eyes have been blind to all but the most obvious on this trek."
With a glance around the camp his gaze falls on the prisoners being questioned by Vladimir and Peregrine and the smile is replaced with a soft sigh and a slight look of resignation.
"But first, I should see to the horses and then help the others finish dealing with this lot. Especially if there are any executions that need to be carried out."
Shrugging his shoulders he lets a deep breath escapes his lips, "It seems this is going to be a long night, but I'll join you as soon as I'm able."
He watches Jaestra for a few seconds as she moves over to the platform. A small smile can barely been seen under his whiskers. Then with a shake of his head and slight blush, he turns and gets to work rounding up the horses.
Animal Handling: To see all the horses safely picketed and fed for the night. 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
After making sure the horses and rest of the camp are safe and secure, Vorik will wait until the others are done questioning the bandits and then pass out one of the Cure Light Wounds potions to Jaestra, Vladimir, and Peregrine. The other two potions he'll hand over to Peregrine saying, "You've likely a better mind for seeing these go to the right use at the right time. One's labeled Gaseous Form, the other Enlarge."
"Thanks for the potion, Vorik." Vladimir says, stowing the vial in his pack.
After making sure everything is secure in terms of the camp and captives, the swordsman searches through the tent the half-naked man appeared from, looking for a shirt or some sort of cloth. Cloth in hand, Vladimir goes down to the small stream to clean and bandage the wound in his leg. As soon as he is done with his leg, Vladimir heads off to retrieve his bow.
Once everyone has gathered around and questioned the bandits, I climb down and head over to them, "Will we be spending the night here, so we can rest and hopefully find these other bandits that have been coming? If so, I will make camp up on the platform. I can get a good view of the surrounding area when I wake then."
Survival (to make a water-proof shelter on the platform) : 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
After handing out the potions, Vorik steps over to the gnomes. Watching them carefully he says, "You mentioned Bloodbands, Magpies, and Pawns. Are these factions within the wood or surrounding countryside? Do they all serve this Stag Lord? What of those who are supposed to pickup the next 'shipment' when were they expected and how many usually show up?"
He gives the two a strong threatening look then growls, "Remember your lives depend on your answers."
Sense Motive 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Rillo speaks first .."Bloodbands are brutes to the east, Magpies are ... witches and things of shadow.. assassins. A pawn is a game piece that moves by the will of another -- blindly to its death like a --"
Bunyon cuts in "--Magpies Bloodbands and us Bluecloaks all follow his word, and are kept to a truce and our own domains. Stag Lord's own men should be here just after first light to pick up His cut on their way to Papa Grundy's to get His liquor and smoke." He nods his head to the northeast.
Snorting at the first gnome implied insult regarding pawns, Vorik turns to the little mage and says, "I'd guess you would know what it's like to be a pawn then. Judging by your current situation. You followed the will of another and now face death should you not change your ways."
Turning to the other he asks, "How many usually pick up the shipment and where does this infamous Stag Lord call home? While you're at it tell me how to find the camps of these other groups."
Bunyon gives Rillo a sidelong look .. "Two or three .. usually two. His fort is south of here .. where Shrike River empties into Tuskwater Lake. Magpies control the southern end of Narlmarches, Bloodbands are east of here - North Kamelands. Know very little about the Magpies.. Bloodbands mostly roam about several small camps, its said their leader Sal'dor has eyes on every inch of the plains."
Dearest Miss Kressle,
How lovely to hear from you. I regret to tell you that I will not be aiding you in recovering your lost property. The mites you speak of and I have an understanding. I fear my involvement in your dispute would upset that balance. And you are right to assume if I see any of your bluecloaks stick a toe in my domain, they will most certainly lose it.
Lord of the Bloodbands
Once my shelter is made, I climb back down from the look-out platform and join my companions. "So, whats going on? Any news about the ones who will be arriving to pick up the goods? These people co-operating or do we need to have "Astridonoir" drink some more blood?"
Vorik rummages through the recovered goods and finds the letter. Taking a moment to read it, he hands it to the others and says, "It seems our friends have been victims of thieves themselves."
Turning back to the gnomes he asks, "What and where are these mites mentioned in the letter? And what exactly was stolen? I've noticed a few things that we'd expected to find but don't seem to be here."
In answer to Jaestra's question Vorik says, "It seems we should expect another couple of scoundrels working on behalf of this Stag Lord at first light." He gives the bandits a stern look and continues, "They seem to be having a change of heart, but I'm not certain they've repented their evil ways." His gaze wanders to Peregrine and Kressle, "Nor do I know how Peregrine has judged Kressle after their talk."
Knowledge (Nature) : 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13(What do I know about Mites, other than they are Fey? As they are my favoured Enemy I get to use this skill untrained and gain a +2 bonus on it.)
I look to Vorik, "Did you say Mites? They are a type of Fey, I have studied how to defeat the prankster like Fey and I think it is about time that I put that knowledge to a practical test."
I then look at both Vorik and Vladimir, "Are the people who repent still to lose a couple of fingers as a warning and a reminder not to stray from the path of Law?"
Giving Jaestra a quick smile Vorik says, "Aye, mites. I'm not familiar with such a creature so your knowledge should come in handy."
Stepping away from the prisoners Vorik waves Vladimir and Jaestra over while keeping an eye on Peregrine and Kressle. In a grumbling whisper he asks Vladimir, "Do you have an alternative to the hangman's noose for those who we aren't completely sure of? If so, I'd be happy to hear it."
Rubbing his beard in thought he quickly adds, "You missed our earlier discussion where it was decided that we should hang those who are obviously guilty and have no hope of reforming. Those who swear to change, lose an index finger and are sent on their way." He nods toward Jaestra, "Which is what Jaestra was referring to."
"While these two gnomes have been cooperative so far, I've not been able to get a good sense of their intentions or the truth regarding their words."
They are an underground species .. maybe somehow related to gremlins. Some affinity with vermin.
Known to be ugly, thieving .. most commonly heard as "infestation of mites" describing an unruly group of children (perhaps with low breeding)
Vladimir takes the cue from Vorik and speaks in hushed tones, "I am not sure a few fingers is enough of a deterrent to keep them from resuming their banditry."
Vladimir momentarily considers the situation before continuing, "I assume that in the past when you have taken fingers, it has also come with an automatic sentence of death should they be found committing such acts again? Assuming that is the case, I suppose we can let them go short a few fingers, I would prefer the whole hand, but you seem to have an established order."
Nodding at Vladimir, Vorik voices his understanding, "It's a fine balance we walk, that is certain. Earlier a finger was considered enough, but I'd be interested to know Peregrine's or Jaestra's thoughts especially regarding those who use magic. Not being a expert, I don't know if one finger is enough to disrupt their castings or if a whole hand is necessary."
"My own thoughts lean toward giving a soul the benefit of changing their ways and the opportunity to live whole lives so they can make up for their past. Of course that only applies once."
Hearing Jaestra's comments on the mites, Vorik pauses to think for a minute and then says to her, "Could those small tracks we encountered earlier belong to these mites? If so, perhaps they now hold Svetlana's ring and other goods which belong to the few honest folk of this land. They certainly sound like a problem that would fall under our duty to deal with under the charter. Perhaps a good next step after we remove a couple more of this Stag Lords minions in the morning."
I look to Vorik and Vladimir, "I am no expert at magic either and I have no talent latent or otherwise in it. So I'm not sure about a finger being enough to interrupt spell casting. But I believe 2 fingers should be ample enough warning to make people stop straying from the path of Law and if they are then caught again they should meet a short drop and a sudden drop, as my captain used to say. But what if the magically talented were able to use their powers for the betterment of others once they have repented, would that not be enough to consider a different form of punishment?"
I turn my attention to Vorik, "Sir Vorik, if these malicious fey are causing problems for the innocent people of these lands suffering and loss of property, then I say we remove their fears and retrieve their property for them as soon as possible."
Vorik's cheeks puff out as he let's out a long sigh. Looking over at the bandit's who died during the fight he says to the others, "In some ways I would have preferred these scoundrels had followed in the footsteps of their comrades and simply died in battle. 'Tis much easier to send a man to his doom in the heat of combat. But Law and Justice must stand even in wild, untamed lands such as these." Turning to step back to the prisoners he says, "I guess the only way to find out if these men have truly changed their ways is to put them to the test."
The paladin's eyes close for a few seconds as he takes a couple of deep, long breaths to center and focus his mind. Summoning up the power of Light, Law and Justice the tall Ulfen stands over the prisoners and says, "You men are accused of banditry and crimes against the honorable and good folk of the nation of Brevoy. Know that the gods watch and judge the next actions you take. By the law and the power granted us by the His Lordship the Mayor of Rostov and Lord Surtova Regent of the Dragonscale Throne you face the punishment of death by noose or by axe. As agents of the throne we are empowered to judge the truth or falsity of your statements."
He pauses a moment and giving the prisoners time to absorb his words before continuing. "The Light and powers of Good can be merciful. Should you choose to repent your evil ways and dedicate yourselves to honest and lawful living, mercy will be offered and your freedom granted. But not before lady Justice takes her due by the removal of the first and second fingers of your right hand."
"Finally, should you return to banditry and come before the scales of justice again your lives will be forfeit with no hope of mercy."
Looking each of the two in the eye, Vorik asks, "What say you? Do you swear on your own soul and that of all you hold close to your heart that you will end your evil ways and from this point forward dedicate yourselves to good and following the path of Law and Honor?"
Standing over the two, he searches for any sign of evil that remains in their hearts or any evidence that shows their answers and oaths to be false.
Using Detect Evil
Sense Motive as they answer and swear 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
The gnome named Bunyon nods and answers, looking a bit weepy .. "Yes sir, I swear to dedicate myself to follow that non-evil path you speak of"
The other, Rillo nods "Me too." Bunyon nudges him into continuing "Yes sir I swear to be good here on out ...two less fingers should make things interesting for a bit .. but uh I am left handed sir .. if that changes anything."
Bunyon rolls his eyes.
Apart from Rillo showing signs of prevarication regarding his dominant hand, their oaths seems genuine .. maybe Bunyon a little more sincere than Rillo.. You sense no evil.
Answering Jaestra's question Vorik says, "Aye, their intentions seem true and I detect no evil within their hearts."
With a slight nod of satisfaction, Vorik accepts each of the gnomes oaths. "So be it. You have given you oaths and your debts will be paid." Grabbing one of the hand axes from the spoils and a solid block of wood, Vorik steps up to each of the prisoners.
"This is the price that must be paid in exchange for your lives." In a single quick motion he grabs the right hand of the first gnome in one hand while raising the axe with the other. The blade glitters in the firelight momentarily as he prepares to bring it down in a single hard swift stroke....
"I'm very glad to hear you are repenting, think of this at the chance in life you never had before. A chance to help those around you, with your magicks, to assist people back onto the path of Law and maybe you can settle down to start your own families? You also have something to remember your life of chaos and it will also serve as a reminder to what will happen if you stray from the path of Law again."
I make sure that I don't turn away when their sentences are being carried out, feeling slightly ill at the sight of it though. I keep my composure and look on as a protector of Law and Order.
Once the sentence is over I look to the 2 Gnomes, "I have a respect for you, accepting our oath and not shying away at the last moment. But if you do stray from the path of Law, that respect will turn to pity and if you don't lose your head, you will gain an arrow, of that I assure you."
The axe lands with a loud Thunk easily severing the first to fingers. Before the second bandit has a chance to react, Vorik repeats the process on the same hand as the first.
Not wanting the former bandits to suffer from disease or other related problems from the punishment, he'll give each of them half of his potion of Cure Light Wounds to seal the wounds and stop any bleeding. He'll then offer them each a hefty drink from his ale flask.
Speaking softly to the two Vorik says, "You've shown yourselves to be strong, brave souls. Renouncing evil, and facing up to ones past mistakes is not an easy thing to do." With a nod toward the bodies stretched out at the edge of camp he continues. "Many would rather die, than simply change or admit their errors."
Smiling at Jaestra's words, he follows her statement by adding, "Should you choose to stay on in this land, you'll be welcomed. Your past misdeeds have been severed and a new life is open before you. You've our respect and have been given a second chance. May your choices take you far on the path of good and happiness."
Diplomacy - 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
He then steps over to Kressle, his brow furrowing into a frown as he looks down at the former leader of this ragtag band. "Now, what do you have to say? Will you renounce your previous life and change your ways?"
The two gnomes nod at Jaestra - cradling their hands, and thank Vorik for the potion and drink. They inspect each others' wounds with emotionally detached curiosity. .. Bunyon notices Vladimir's skeptical gaze .. smiles and waves with two fingers.
Kressle lowers her head as Vorik approaches. She hides her face but her whole body looks clenched. She waits a moment before answering Vorik ..
"You have beaten us. Out here the strongest lead... " she stops and is quiet for a moment. "I renounce my previous life. I'll bend a knee .. but not lick a boot - if that is the price of living."
...She raises her head and looks Vorik in the eye. "And if you are the type of warrior you appear to be .. you know the real price is never knowing who would be the one lopping off digits had it been a fair fight." She tosses a mild sneer toward Peregrine then looks back to the ground.
Matching Kressle's gaze, Vorik kneels and watches closely as she drops her eyes back to the ground. Looking intently for any sign of evil or deception. Shaking his head at her final words he says, "Don't fool yourself into thinking you only lost this fight because of the skilled magics of one man."
Glancing at the two gnomes and the dead bodies, "There was barely a watch set, and those men who were posted, were asleep or unaware. Four complete strangers were able to ride into your camp without a challenge and take you completely by surprise. It was over before the first spell was cast or arrow flew."
With a snort, he makes a dismissive gesture, "Bah. Sloppy. Sloppy and overconfident. All because you and your men thought you were the strongest. Thought this Stag Lord or one of these other gangs under his control were the only threat to your safety. No, you can't blame us for your own short comings. Strength must be supported with thought, honor, justice, and heart. Without those vital elements pure strength will always fail in the end."
Standing up, he turns and runs a hand through his hair with a sigh, "That is why I don't really wish to see you hang, nor do I wish you to be a slave to do my bidding without thought or action of your own will. We do not come here seeking to be a new Stag Lord, but to create new opportunities and possibilities for those who wish for something better. Something that supports the light of honor, justice, courage and peace. You can be a part of that, but you must truly wish to change."
Sense Motive on Kressle 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Diplomacy 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24