Furiel is able to slip between the old man and the door frame as he turns to close the door. You see Kressle cringe with an awkward grimace.
Grundy jumps a bit when he turns and notices you, then bends down and peers at you. "Eh? why you're not a youngin, yer a gnome! Well grab that end for me would ya?" He points to one end of a bench, while slowly making his way to the other. give me a sense motive roll please
He seems uncomfortable, but by no means hostile. He might just be embarrassed - his room is a mess. "You remind me of my boy Arliss. He'd just stand and stare all noodle armed when ya asked him to do somethin too." map
I'll take perception checks next post, and if you are doing anything special while Papa G and Furiel are occupied
Oh yes! It might not be the sword itself but what it represents, and adding that to the fact that he just atempted to cast a spell...
Old man Grundy is more than meets the eye.
|Ta'de-win of the Gale|
Ta'de-win moves over and picks up a piece of paper on the ground. She examines it after picking it up, out of curiousity. To any curious glances, she responds, "The wind may be calling."
Norton frowns when Ta'de-win gives him the note, not sure of the reason of the gesture, when he reads the note he frowns even more.
"Seems that history is repeating itself: we are inside and Stag Lord's men are coming unaware."
"It also seems" he continues in his thinking "that they already know about Kressel defection. I wonder on which side these Magpies are on."
There are still some questions Norton wants Grundy to answer, before sending everyone on a frenzy about a new fight. So he decides to postpone for some minutes the moment of passing the note along.
He folds the note and waits for the old man to come back. If Green or Rogar had seen the gesture and are looking puzzled he just gestures to be patient.
Bluff Check 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28
I'm using the bluff check as in the Secret Message rules, even if they are intended only for spoken language, since I believe what Norton does is a gesture simple enough.
"Master Grundy, I am a man of the wild, as such I am not very good at fancy speeches. So I will ask you, would you like these lands better without the Stag lord around?"
Grundy, who had been struggling getting the bench through the door with a growing scowl suddenly drops his end of the bench and looks up. "Budgie you say?! Budgie lives? And Arliss?" Kressle nods, and the old man drops onto the bench. A second later he scowls again. "Well why didn't you say so?! Foolish girl!" He turns to Green and Rogar "These lands would do far better without him... no question about that." His eyes suddenly go wide as he realizes what he had forgotten. "But you can't stay here tonight! ... a note just came today from His fort. He is sending men here in the morning! I didn't know what to do when you turned up. They made me think you had come here with my son's blood on your hands. "
"We are again blessed with the surprise factor. We can get rid of some of the men of the Stag Lord without confronting the whole lot. It seems to me a good opportunity. On these matters I still have some questions. How many men does the Stag lord have? Who is Saldor, how many men does he have with him? What are his aims? Just to voice a few."
"Hah! We are tearing the Staglord apart simply by making friends! Once he is gone, the land will not just be rid of a tyrant, but it will be infinity stronger for the bonds we forge in the process."
The Green man unslings his axe and tests the edge with his thumb.
Good and sharp, we are ready...
Rogar smiles at Grundy:"Yes, he lives too, seems like he enjoys the life of the farmer more than that of the bandit. We gave those who attacked us a chance to surrender and redeem themselves: all those who took it live, and we are now pledged to defend them. That's how a swordlord acts. As for the Stag Lord forces... we'll show you first hand the truth of our words, mr Grundy. Just wait and see!"
Grundy leans on the bar and nods "Ah Salvador Graenkin. Well, not one for gossip, but I was told he was a house guard for the Garess family. A bit of a cad, but was extremely popular with his fellow guards. Some minor noble took umbrage to his disrespectful behavior and challenged him to a duel. Salvador disarmed him in seconds and gave him a scar in the shape of a frown on his belly. Salvador was thrown out. Two weeks later this minor noble gets caught up in some tawdry scandal and disowned."
He slides into a barstool starting to become more animated as he speaks.
"Bout a year ago, Brevoy made one of their attempts to cull and capture the bandits, huge spectacle. Ridiculous growing convoy of cells on wheels including our man Salvador.
Night before they are to return, Salvador - or Sal'dor as he'd started referring to himself - rallies the rabble. He was somehow able to free himself or convince someone to let him out. He then freed the lot, took over the soldiers tired from fighting and marching, took their weapons... armor... horses... and put them in the cages."
Grundy leans in and hushes his voice.
"From what I've heard bout his goings on recently, I think he is nearly done playin second fiddle to his boss. And with how folk around here have been treated by the Stag Lord, they'll be ready for a charmer in armor." He then gives a pleased nod in a eerily similar mannerism to Budgie's 'am i good or what?' look.
"This is interesting." Norton is thinking how to manage the situation. The two powers are ready to fight, and that could be a good thing for who is there to collect the remains. On the other side if it is true that people are looking for a savior, getting rid of the Stag Lord before Sal'dor would be a better course of action.
"Old man, how many men does the Stag Lord have at his commands?"
"A good question, and continuing that question, how many is he likely to send here to deal with us, and if possible, whom?"
Rogar chuckles:"I like this Sal'dor! He's got style. And besides that he's got a good sword-arm it seems. I can't wait to test mine against his! I think we should deal with him before we deal with the drunk lord. Sal'dor might have less men, but he's probably the more dangerous of the two, in prospective. Better to crub him before he makes a nuisance of himself!"
"So... why didn't you want me to deal with this fighter and to concentrate on the Stag Lord, my Lady?"
Grundy responds to Norton and Green ... "Only maybe a dozen stay in the fort most times... maybe a few more. Most of his men are scattered around the area. They keep camps around the perimeter. He'll most likely send one of those groups ... three to five men, if I hadta guess." He shrugs, not completely certain.
A foul expression passes over Grundy's face when Rogar laughs, but softens as he continues. "His sword arm may be fair, but he relies on Rojeunet's arm for putting down the foolish gloryhounds, from what I hear. She's his insider in Restov. Ex-Magpie herself. I remember ... " He starts to zone out ... staring off in the distance, but catches himself. "Sal'dor may have more potential, but he won't be an easy target. The Stag Lord is a fish in a barrel. Nasty barrel, nastier fish... but ... " he seems to lose his train of thought, and starts staring off in the distance again.
|Ta'de-win of the Gale|
"I will scout the path, find a place of ambush. If we are defeated, then Papa Grundy could conceivably deny his involvement if we are not discovered here." She turns to Kressle. "Would you be willing to accompany me? I do believe you know this area better than I, and you have some familiarity with the ways of their pack." She asks in an even tone.
Kressle nods, stands, and shimmies her armor into place. A quick word to the others.. "We won't be long." and she follows Ta'de-win to the door.
Once outside and clearly out of earshot, she speaks with Ta'de-win.
"I hadn't thought of Rogar and Papa Grundy's feeling toward the swordlords... " She is quiet for a moment as you walk to the horses. "He blames the swordlords for his wife's death. He heard her crying out one night, and walked in on her with one of them in an old field shack. Grundy ran him through with his own blade. Grundy's wife went crazy... turns out it was more than consensual. Said she loved him and then threw herself on the blade in Grundy's hand. Two friends of this guy came around looking for him. Grundy killed them too, but they messed him up pretty good. I didn't know him before then. He's been like this for as long as I've been around."
Kressle secures her weapons... "How far in should we go? Mount up or walk?"
|Ta'de-win of the Gale|
Ta'de-win listens silently to Kressle's tale. "I do understand why he would not be at ease with Rogar. When one is attacked by a fox, one learns to become wary of all foxes. Rogar's journey to mend that wound will be difficult."
As they come to the path. "Let us walk. It will be harder to cover the horses trail than our own. If you would like to continue the conversation, I am interested in what you plan for the future."
Checks for finding a good ambush point.
survival: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19
Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21
"Rojeunet... nice name!" Rogar's interest seems piqued now.
"All the more reason to deal with this Sal'dor as soon as possible. I also dare suggest you could relocate with your sons in a farm up near Oleg's. Would help mitigate retaliation from the Stag Lord, after we deal with his enchemen..."
Grundy responds flatly to Rogar ... his eyes are a little bleary to determine the level of aggression he is broadcasting..."I'm not going anywhere, and I'm not waving yer flag."
He acts a bit put off by Furiel's flattery, but doesn't seem to reluctant to speak. "Meh... not today I'm not. Can't seem to manage it. At the fort there might some of little talent, I suppose. I've heard there is an old man at the fort that can heal with a touch as I could, but those who've talked have said hes not one they'd care to have touch em. Apart from that, no real arcaner that I know of. Mind you, its been a while since I've heard from anyone on the actual inside." He takes a swig... his eyes lazily pan across the group, and land on Rogar for a prolonged awkward silence..
He finally speaks to Rogar pointing at him as his tone raises. "And let me tell you something. I'm sick to death of you folk tellin me to move. It's like someone beatin the hornet's nest in my attic, and tellin me its my fault when I get stung!"
"No need to get agitated, nobody is going to relocate." Norton tries to smooth the tones "Hopefully the Stag Lord will be dealt with before he has any chance to retaliate."
"In case we get to confront the Stag Lord, which of his men are going to be loyal to the end? And this Rojeunet what makes her tick?"
Norton thinks that if only a dozen men guard the den, the Stag Lord could be handled quickly before he organizes himself.
The Green Man places one hand on papa Grundy's shoulder and grins.
"Easy there venerable master, you don't have to move if you don't want to, but might I suggest you still go down to Oleg's and see how your son's are shaping up?"
Grundy nods forcefully to emphatically punctuate Norton's words "nobody is going to relocate", and seems to hear only half of Green's words... Once he feels that it is clear to everyone it is fully his decision to stay or go, he calms down. (another awkward silence where all you can hear is Green's horse snoring outside) He turns back to Norton for his question, and rambles through something similar to an answer.
"There's this fellow by the name of Topper Red. He's the one I could get to jaw about pretty much anything or anyone. This was when Dovan from Nisroch was second in command. Dovan is notoriously vicious, but I don't think he ran too tight of a ship. New guy... outsider named Akiros took over, and I stopped gettin visits from the ..uh ..forces in residence."
"Loyalty? I don't think you could call any of em loyal... They fall in line with admiration and fear ... either or both. Auchs the Oaf would probably be closest to loyal, but he's most loyal to Dovan."
"Rojeunet... is an odd one. Can't figure her out." He stares into his mug for a few moments, then looks up. "...from the different things I hear. All I can tell you is she left the Magpies when they joined up with the Stag Lord."
Rogar throws his hands in the air:"Fine! Stay here and face the drunkard's wrath. And 12 men... we can take on 12 men... but not all at once, especially if they are experienced and well armed, behind fortifications and with some magical help of their own. It would be epic, mind you, but I think we need to know more about the Stag Lord defences before we attack... what if we find his whole warband there instead of just a dozen men?"
"Bah! He wouldn't dare have me killed. He lives on my booze and smoke, and no one else can make it. I think Bokken is the only one anywhere near here that could, but it would take him months to work out the recipe... and he is way the heck over in Sal'dor's territory.
Unless you can get good info from the folk you're fixin on ambushing, sounds to me like you need to scout out the fort.... One thing I know is, at least when Dovan was runnin things, they only kept two guards on the catwalk - and both pretty much just facing the path. Topper didn't know why, but they were told to not concern themselves too much with anything but watchin the road. Also, when they did leave the fort to patrol or whatnot, they were to never walk the perimeter any closer than 400 feet - always used the path." He shrugs and thinks for a few moments.
"I do have the passphrase. Heck, I'll go. At least a few of em'll know me just by my face. Bring me a wagon, I'll get at least a half order ready, throw a blue cloak on one of ya ... In out done."
"So what are we lookin for? Way I see it, we have either anywhere along where the path is next to the river and hide in wooded hill to the east. Or set up at where the path and river split ... right before the old camp. Second choice sounds better, but they may be more cautious the further they get from their own territory... If you are thinking of before the path and river split, there are a couple decent deer stands for ranged."
You find the nearer deer stand to be preferable to the further one. The wooded incline is right up next to the path... would be difficult for them to turn and run unmolested.
The second option near the old bandit camp would also work well, more areas of fair cover, more distance for them to travel should they run, and easier retreat should things go poorly for you
"You know, if the Stag lord does not have THAT many men in his fort, and we then take these out, we should be able to defeat him and the rest that remains behind if we all get in using that disguise idea."
"It would probably not be hard to convince the Stag lord that his men defeated us and remained behind "partake" of the goods before returning.
And if he is hard up for supplies himself, he probably won't ask twice when he sees a new delivery."
|Ta'de-win of the Gale|
"It is important that we lure them into our ambush. I can command the plants to help prevent their departure should they run, ideally an area rich in flora. We must also be able to hide as a tiger in the grass."
Ta'de-win will return and suggest both options to the group to decide, her own vote for the nearer option.
"Yes, one thing at the time. I got a feeling both my axe and my healing hands might see more use in the near future.
If we CAN ambush these men at all, it will say a lot about the type of people the Stag lord surrounds himself with."
"Hmm, I guess we need to see the area before we can decide if ser Ambrosi would do better on foot or on horse eh?
Imagine the sight of him riding down the foe as enlarged...on an enlarged horse!"
Grundy wishes you luck and sees you off. By the time you reach the ambush location, it is late evening. You have quite a bit of time before morning. Kressle suggests using her old camp 200 yards away to rest in shifts.
In addition to whatever else, lemme know watch order, and then perception checks.