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DM Carbide's Kingmaker IC

Game Master John Woodford

Kingmaker AP Part 1: Stolen Land

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Male Gnome Cleric 2

Okay, I'm just going to break character for a bit here and say that I think the intraparty conflict we're seeing could easily get out of hand. At some point, I start to wonder just why the group would stick together with some rather opposed viewpoints. I can see them dealing with the Stag Lord together out of a sense of duty, but I don't see them sticking together as a functional group any longer.

We have three camps here, one, Camp Adam, saying 'hey, let's make the former bandits tax collectors and trust them implicitly. Also, I am crazy'. Diametrically opposed, we have Camp Havrin, which says 'kill them all at the faintest provocation'. Occupying the middle ground, we have Simn and Bea, who say 'let's give them a chance at redemption, but let's be sensible about this', and who will quite probably take this position as divinely mandated (Lawful Good alignments at work here. Bea in particular has to uphold a certain code of conduct or lose her class abilities).

I doubt this game is going to be fun for anyone if we split into warring factions every time a moral issue arises (and I can easily see that happening). I suggest we all take a step back and think about moderating character attitudes somewhat. This doesn't mean being a pushover, but common sense should be a big guiding factor.


Male Human Ranger 3
Bea wrote:
She does not yet wear any outward sign of being a sworn paladin of Erastil.
Oops! My bad! I thought based on this from the original thread...
Simn Thistlesworth wrote:
Simn had been quite unrepentantly asking questions on his companions' backgrounds during the walk. After all, they were going to be working together for a fair while, so it only made sense to get to know each other. He'd been open about his own past, unremarkable as it was.

... that Bea would have indicated that she was a follower of Erastil. Sorry! Maybe we can explain the mix-up by saying that Erastil's followers can sense when they're in the presence of one of Ol' Deadeye's chosen holy warriors.

With respect to Havrin's alignment, yes he is neutral good, and I agree that his recent language and actions lean more toward the lawful side. However, there are severval other factors at play here to consider. First, Havrin's father was kidnapped by bandits in this region, and Havrin doesn't know if his father has been killed or is still alive as a prisoner somewhere - that's why Havrin's Favored Enemy is humans (particularly bandits). So you can understand why hearing that some of the bandits in this camp have a history of torturing their prisoners has really set him off.

Second, as a devout follower of Erastil, the god of family and community, Havrin sees it as his duty to protect Oleg and Svetlana from the bandits. That's why he can't understand why the rest of the party would accept that the bandits (who were just captured) are truly repentant of their ways and then send the five 'former bandits' - some who are still armed - to the trading post (that they've been robbing on a monthly basis) where Oleg and Svetlana are practically defenseless. Particularly since one of the five has a history of torturing his victims as confirmed by two of his own number. Now, if the party were escorting the bandits back to a truly fortified outpost where they could answer for their crimes (not necessarily to be executed, but to face justice and be given the chance to be rehabilitated) then Havrin would have no problem with that. Havrin's not necessarily opposed to giving the bandits a chance at redemption (except maybe the torturer), but again, his primary concern is with the safety of Oleg and Svetlana and any other innocents in the region that have been victimized by the bandits.

Third, with respect to the taxes... Out Of Character I have to give Adam kudos for thinking outside the box - although I'd like to see him explain to Oleg why the bandit's who've been shaking him down on a monthly basis are now going to be collecting taxes from him! In Character, Havrin doesn't see how the Charter granted by the Swordlords to explore and map the region and to strive against banditry gives the party the right to collect taxes from the inhabitants of the region - in his eyes they would be no better than the bandits. Also, with the current political climate in Brevoy, Havrin doesn't really trust any representatives of House Surtova - seeing them as usurpers of the throne and leading the country toward civil war. Since Adam is a member of House Surtova, Havrin is going to be a bit wary until Adam proves himself to be trustworthy; however, Adam's OOC-admitted insanity may make that a difficult prospect!

Hope that explains a bit about where Havrin's coming from. I don't view anything that's come up so far as particularly game- or party-breaking, merely good fodder for role-playing. Our characters are a disparate group of people from widely varying backgrounds - their relationships are likely to be somewhat rocky as they work to become a cohesive group of allies striving toward a common goal.


Female Human Paladin 3

Cool. My main concern was that this might be a case of warring egos, but as long as we keep this civil (ooc) I think the "intraparty strife" is some great roleplaying. We have some very complex characters with varied (troubled?) backgrounds, and I'm really enjoying seeing those come out as we try to resolve our differences. Enough so that I don't care if the campaign gets side-tracked a bit, as this is some fabulous role-playing. And once we work out these differences and figure out how to compromise or work as a team, these things will happen less often and we can get on with killing orcs or whatever else we need to do.

Havrin wrote:
Maybe we can explain the mix-up by saying that Erastil's followers can sense when they're in the presence of one of Ol' Deadeye's chosen holy warriors.

This works for me. Yeah, to clear things up, Bea is a VERY recently converted paladin - she very likely doesn't even know she's one herself, and hasn't talked about it at all. The little bits about her past that she has talked about are enough to know that she's a soldier for hire, currently working for Adam, and not much more. She has her own reasons for being protective about her past, and I'm sure those will come out as the story unfolds.

Also, OOC, I really like Adam's idea. That said, sending them out immediately as tax collectors might be a bit premature, and would go over REALLY badly with Oleg. For now, we need to establish that they're honest working men that don't pose a threat to Oleg, and when the wilderness is actually ready for some taxes, they've already got a job. So if these men return what's stolen themselves, ask for forgiveness, purchase goods from Oleg, and perhaps even see if he has work for them, I could see it work.


Male Halfling Bard 2 / Cleric 1

A lot of OOC talk going on, should we take it to the discussion thread? I'm up for either. I'm with Bea, though, I'm enjoying the conflict. Its great roleplaying. I guess I should try to clarify when I say that Adam is less crazy than he is a libertarian libertine, or at least seems to be, most of the time. He does have some strange quirks about him, that are gradually being developed the more I play this character. :P. Also, he has a solid streak of political ambition, in which he feels free to use legal and religious systems to his own advantage. So, I hope all that adds up to Chaotic Neutral. When he's defending the former bandits like this he feels a little Chaotic Good, but I'm trying not to use his nasty side against a fellow party member. That would be bad. :P

I was going to point out in character that it seemed like Havrin was using the spirit of the law to pursue his own vendetta, while Adam was using the letter of the law to prevent such a thing. In any case, as long as we don't let things get too out of hand, this should garner some interesting discussions.

Adam's insanity can best be described as a somewhat logical swing between the extremes of the good-evil or chaotic-lawful alignments. Although, if he were to be diagnosed, its possible he might be considered to have paranoid delusional megalomania. I haven't yet got all the details in there.


Weakly Godlike Entity

All of the bandits are keeping very quiet during the discussion. Branko is still fuming and occasionally glaring at Havrin when he doesn't think anyone else is looking, Terrill and Jal are mostly in pain, and Willem and Jameth appear to be trying very hard to keep their expressions as neutral as possible.

Incidentally, Terrill is the only one left of the pair that Willem & Jameth pointed out. Ivan was the other.


Male ***INACTIVE*** Human Diviner 2|| Init +2 | Perc +1| AC 11 / T 11 / FF 10 | HP 16/16 | Saves F +2/R +1/W +4

From where he's been leaning against a tree in the background, Retsiji straightens up (not that anyone but Simn and Adam can tell) and motions for the rest of the party to come closer to him. To the bandits, he says "Not you gentlemen...you stay put."

He continues in a low voice, "This is a worthy discussion, and one we probably should have had before we reached this point. Now is not the time, though, and they--" He indicates the captives. "--are not the right audience. Regardless of whether any of them can be rehabilitated, we have a strategic problem. I'd rather this bandit chief hears nothing about the fate of his band than that they know it was a small group. If we can believe that fellow Willem, there are dangers in plenty out here, so disappearance isn't out of the question. We still need to watch the captives, though, so I suggest that Havrin and I follow the last one and kill or capture him. Why me? Because I can keep up with Havrin, and if one of the bandits here makes a run for it Jacyn can easily catch him where Bea, Simn, and Adam would have trouble. I don't have a lot of magic left, but I'm an adequate shot."


Female Human Paladin 3

"Havrin, you handle that?" She looks around the camp again, "You wanna meet us here or back at Oleg's? I wouldn't mind getting moving. That cart over there work?" She addresses the ex-bandits, "You still haven't told me if any of these good over here belong to Oleg. If they do, you'll need to take them back."


Male Half-Elf Cavalier (Order of the Dragon) 3

Personally, Jacyn sits someplace in the camp with Simn. Im not opposed to allowing them to go free if they are repentent, but to allow them to go free now, just cause they say they promise they are done being bad is downright dumb.
Also, regarding intra-party conflict, Im all for it, as long as the we keep it civil, but Simn makes a good point on that topic. What we might enjoy now will become very annoying later on when everytime we take prisoners we end up having this same LONG conversation ab out what to do with them and the extent to which we trust them. If thats going to be the case, Jacyn will stop taking as many prisoners, if you catch my meaning.
Lastly, Simn also makes a good point about the party staying together. If Adam and Havin cant see eye to eye (and the rest of the group in general) they would have very little reason to stick together, in character.
I dont mind that we have this conversation about this topic now, but I think we need to decide as a group, in and out of character, how we are going to solve this issue everytime it comes up, so we dont have to constantly revisit it.

Jacyn sits by patiently, awaiting the end of the conversation. He doesnt interrupt, at least not yet, though he briefly nods at Retsiji's suggestion of the wizard going with Havrin to look for Gellus, while he stays with the rest of the group and the prisoners.


Weakly Godlike Entity

Jacyn--message for an alter ego of yours in the Discussion thread.


Male Human Ranger 3

Havrin struggles visibly to calm himself, taking several deep breaths as he listens to his companions.

Adam Burlevogne wrote:

"The warrant does not give us the right to bring previous bandits to justice, only current ones. It is a death warrant, not an arrest warrant. These men have given up banditry, and I hold their word as their honor."

He turns to Havrin.
"You would strip men of the honor they would seek by giving up illegal gains to pursue legal ones? It is a sad day for justice anywhere when you can so freehandedly obliterate the freedoms that men hold. Since they have given up banditry, the warrant no longer applies to them."
Adam prevents any weapons being taken from the free citizens.
"They are not prisoners, they are our allies. At least the four who have sworn to uphold our legitimacy. Sworn in, and fully documented as our representatives. Even witnessed by faithful members."
Adam holds the documents forward that he and Simn had just completed.

"And I contend that an oath made under duress holds no value," Havrin responds in a calmer tone. "If you were a bandit who was captured and told that the only means of ensuring your continued survival would be to swear an oath to renounce banditry, would you not so swear? And would you truly feel honor-bound to uphold your oath once your captors let you go about your merry way?

"And if we're speaking of oaths, I swore an oath to the Levetons that I would strive to keep them safe from these bandits, and I intend to keep that oath," Havrin says solemnly, his gaze meeting the eyes of each of his companions.

Adam Burlevogne wrote:
"As for Branko, I gave him the opportunity to put aside his illegitimate ways, and he refused, and thus remains unrepentant. To be put to the sword or the rope, at your whim. I do not particularly care what you do with unrepentant bandits, but the repentant ones are not in our jurisdiction."

"Actually Branko indicated rather vehemently how sick he is of banditry, Kressle, and the Stag Lord - and as hard as you may find this to believe, I think he speaks the truth. That's why I'm willing to let him and these others live to face justice in the courts in Restov, and let the courts decide how they should be rehabilitated."

"However, anyone with a history of torturing and raping prisoners will be put to death if they try to escape," Havrin promises grimly, looking meaningfully at Terrill.

Adam Burlevogne wrote:
"Without legitimate taxes, how do you recommend that we maintain a base of operations so that we may continue exploring and removing illegal threats against the productive peoples of these lands? As I mentioned before, the Powers that Be were so eager to give us the warrant of exploration and bandit disposal that they forgot to give us the financial means to perform our duties. Frankly, I find your comparison of taxes to banditry offensive in the extreme to both the governing power of those that granted us the warrant, and to the necessary survival of governing and law-enforcement organizations."

"Oleg and Svetlana have already offered to allow us to use the trading post as our base of operations, with free lodging and meals," Havrin reminds Adam. "What more do we really need? However, if you truly feel the need to try to collect taxes from the inhabitants of these lands then I will not stand in your way - as long as you are the one explaining to them why they need to pay such taxes to you. I, however, will not be party to any such thing."

Adam Burlevogne wrote:
...Adam is less crazy than he is a libertarian libertine...

And here I thought libertarians were all about LESS government - and by extension, LESS taxes! ;)

Bea wrote:
"Perhaps we should accompany these men back to Oleg's, and see how things play out for a few days? It's true, these men have done things in the past, but we must believe that they may change - or how can we ever expect forgiveness ourselves for misdeeds we've done?"
Retsiji wrote:
"This is a worthy discussion, and one we probably should have had before we reached this point. Now is not the time, though, and they--" He indicates the captives. "--are not the right audience. Regardless of whether any of them can be rehabilitated, we have a strategic problem. I'd rather this bandit chief hears nothing about the fate of his band than that they know it was a small group. If we can believe that fellow Willem, there are dangers in plenty out here, so disappearance isn't out of the question. We still need to watch the captives, though, so I suggest that Havrin and I follow the last one and kill or capture him. Why me? Because I can keep up with Havrin, and if one of the bandits here makes a run for it Jacyn can easily catch him where Bea, Simn, and Adam would have trouble. I don't have a lot of magic left, but I'm an adequate shot."
Bea wrote:
"Havrin, you handle that?" She looks around the camp again, "You wanna meet us here or back at Oleg's?"

"That sounds acceptable to me," Havrin replies to Retsiji and Bea. "Why don't we plan to meet you all back at Oleg's."

"And Bea? Please swear to me by Deadeye's Bow that you'll keep Oleg and Svetlana safe, okay?"


Male Human Ranger 3

Having said his piece, Havrin moves to the place where Gellus was last seen to check the ground for the missing bandit's tracks.

Survival check: 1d20 + 5 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 5 + 2 + 1 = 16 (includes favored enemy bonus and ranger tracking bonus)


Female Human Paladin 3

Bea nods at Havrin. "I swear we will do nothing to endanger them, and not make any final decisions until your return. Until then, may Erastil guide you safely back."

Seeing Havrin depart, Bea walks over to inspect the cart to see if it's in working condition.


Male Halfling Bard 2 / Cleric 1

"Can we please stop referring to them as our prisoners. I would like to think that I am a man of my word. The men who swore fealty to us seemed more inclined to do so than less inclined, so I do not think they should be treated as prisoners. As to them 'facing justice', there's no provision for such a thing. However, if you wish to have the legitimacy of their oaths questioned in a court of law, I would agree to such."

Adam turns from Havrin to follow Bea, and also examine the cart. He hopes for a reprieve from the man-hunter's vendetta. He gestures for Willem to join him, if he will. Although, at this point, I wouldn't be surprised if they made a run for it. I've done all I can for them. If the big folk want to kill them, or drag them around as prisoners, there's not much I can do about it. However, I'm sure the historians of Irori would likely not favor an abuse of the oath or the promise made to them along with that oath. It's good to get religions involved in these things.

"See, this for example. The ford is obviously not good for carts to cross. With these logs, our men could easily build a dam and bridge here, make the road safer and easier to travel, and set up a toll to help pay for it and other improvements to the road. I don't quite have the knowhow for that, though. Just some ideas."

He looks over at Willem.

"How often is this road traveled, and by what forms of traffic?"

By the way, Libertarians are for a small government, but are not anarchists. Government is a necessary evil. What they want to ensure, however, is that government continues to support the interests of freedom and personal responsibility.


Male Gnome Cleric 2

"If we are to become the law here, we ought to base that law upon fair and consistent principles," Simn told Adam seriously, "The appearance of reward for past sins will not go down well with the region's law-abiding citizens, and so their respect for any authority we try to exert will be lessened."

"The charter may specify the execution of unrepentant bandits only, but if repentance is a matter of opinion, it is a thin, easily ignored law. I guarantee that if you judge repentance according to prisoners' words alone, particularly given an alternative of death, people will fight you every step of the way. Oleg, I am sure, will explode if we try to bring these men under his roof for even a single night."

"So, we need some means of demonstrating repentance that will satisfy a majority of doubters, and we need to know what to do with prisoners who don't meet that standard, given that cold-blooded execution of surrendered prisoners is not a good habit to get into. I'd suggest that you give the matter some serious thought before we sit down and hash out the details."

At the moment, much as Simn might respect the principles of Law, Adam's warrants appointing the men as tax collectors weren't worth the paper on which they were written.


Male Half-Elf Cavalier (Order of the Dragon) 3
Havrin Stahl wrote:


"And if we're speaking of oaths, I swore an oath to the Levetons that I would strive to keep them safe from these bandits, and I intend to keep that oath," Havrin says solemnly, his gaze meeting the eyes of each of his companions.

Jacyn nods more visibly than previously during the conversation, conveying his approval of Havrin's words.

When Havin and Retsiji prpare to chase after the missing man, Jacyn approaches the pair and speaks quietly, "Find him quickly, I implore you. I fear this is not the end of the conversation you have had with Adam. I will do my best to keep the Leveton's safe, but if the fight is renewed, I fear it will not go as easily, with you two missing."


Weakly Godlike Entity

The wagon is useless for its intended purpose, and while it looks like it's been kept up the repairs are all cosmetic.

Bea, Jameth responds, "One or two o' those boxes--the furs an' hides--are from Oleg's. He's welcome to both. All three, if he likes. That's all, though. Iffin' y'd come by yesterday we'd've had summat else o' his, but th' wretched mites took it." Willem adds, "Not quite his...Kressle, y'see, took his wife's wedding ring. Weren't the nicest piece o'work, so it was in wi' the copper and other odds and ends."

Havrin, you find a set of tracks leading east into the forest.

Discussions of the relative merits of anarchy vs. minarchy should be taken to the OOC thread. (If you decide to move it to the Off-Topic Discussions forum I give it ten posts before Bitter Thorn shows up <g>.)


Male Halfling Bard 2 / Cleric 1

Adam says nothing to Simn, only pointing to the documents that he had recently made where Simn's signature and the symbol of Irori had been drawn. His jaw sets in no small amount of anger and pride as he goes to find Bea at the wagon on the road.

"Am I so wrong in this? It does not feel like I am." He asks her.


Male ***INACTIVE*** Human Diviner 2|| Init +2 | Perc +1| AC 11 / T 11 / FF 10 | HP 16/16 | Saves F +2/R +1/W +4

"We'll do our best, Jacyn." Retsiji looks a bit embarrassed and goes on, "Actually, Havrin will do his best to find Gellus quickly and I'll do my best to keep up with him and help keep us out of trouble." As the pair head into the forest, Retsiji tries to stay out of Havrin's way while he tracks Gellus.


Female Human Paladin 3

Be stops and regards the halfling, trying her best not to appear to look down at him. "Adam...no, I don't believe you're entirely wrong, and your heart is certainly in the right place. If anything, you're just a bit...overzealous. I'll tell you now - I like your idea to turn these men into legitimate workers. It just may take some time to actually implement it. Be patient, and keep your cool. We'll make this right."

DM Carbide wrote:
Jameth responds, "One or two o' those boxes--the furs an' hides--are from Oleg's. He's welcome to both. All three, if he likes. That's all, though. Iffin' y'd come by yesterday we'd've had summat else o' his, but th' wretched mites took it." Willem adds, "Not quite his...Kressle, y'see, took his wife's wedding ring. Weren't the nicest piece o'work, so it was in wi' the copper and other odds and ends."

"That's it! We need that ring back. If you can return these goods here and Svetlana's ring, I'm sure it would go a long way to smoothing things over with Oleg."


Male Halfling Bard 2 / Cleric 1

Adam nods and retrieves the lute from the horse they shared.

"Perhaps you're right. I think a little music might help soothe this savage beast." He walks about a little as he tunes his lute, pacing in confusion and a small amount of despair. He breaks into a moving rendition of Sing All a Green Willow, which was a court favorite, at least when he was last in Port Ice.

It gave him the opportunity to escape from his current surroundings, at least in his mind. A much needed moment of peace and serenity, that allowed him to bring his mind back to the courtly challenges of diplomacy and intrigue that he was used to.


Female Human Paladin 3

Bea addresses Jameth and Willem, "These mites - you know where they came from? How far away they are?"


Weakly Godlike Entity

Willem replies, "Well, the little blue beggars all look the same t'me, so take this coom grayno solace, as they say. There's supposed to be lots of 'em living in the hill under the old sycamore tree..." Jameth interjects, "It's a hair over half a day's ride southeast from here. Mostly we leave 'em alone, an' they return the favor."

Incidentally, with Retsiji and Havrin's horses unoccupied, you have the wherewithal to transport all of the loot back to Oleg's. You won't be able to make very good time that way, but on the other hand two of the bandits are disabled and aren't moving very fast either. At that pace you won't make it back to Oleg's until the following day.

Havrin, you and Retsiji have been following the trail for about a mile. Time to make another Survival check. Call it DC 12; normally it'd be DC 15 for firm ground, but so far the trail has been right where Jameth and Willem said it would be. Also, it's apparent to you that whoever is leaving the trail is keeping to the easiest possible route, even when that adds distance, and is stopping to rest frequently.


Female Human Paladin 3

”Except when stealing wedding rings from you, eh?” Bea considers a moment before calling out loudly. ”Alright, our new friends. If you’re to prove your penitence, come help us retrieve the ring. Consider it your punishment for past crimes – after we’ve dealt with the mites you’ll be free to either travel north out of these lands or stay with us and find honest work here. Simn, can you patch them up? Everyone needs to be in fighting shape by the time we arrive at this Sycamore. Have you any horses?”


Male Human Ranger 3
Jacyn Frestarn wrote:
When Havin and Retsiji prpare to chase after the missing man, Jacyn approaches the pair and speaks quietly, "Find him quickly, I implore you. I fear this is not the end of the conversation you have had with Adam. I will do my best to keep the Leveton's safe, but if the fight is renewed, I fear it will not go as easily, with you two missing."

"We'll try to find him quickly, my friend," Havrin says, clasping Jacyn's arm in a warrior's grip before continuing in lower voice. "I too fear this is not the end of the conversation, but it is one we must all have and reach a consensus on if we are to discharge the duty entrusted to us by the Swordlords. I don't entirely fault the Surtova for wanting to give those who are truly repentant a chance to change their ways, I merely think he is being dangerously naive about in this circumstance," Havrin pauses before adding as a worried expression crosses his face. "Either that, or he's barking mad."

"Keep a sharp eye out, especially on Terrill and Branko. If something happens and Retsiji and I don't return, I'm counting on you all to keep Oleg and Svetlana safe."


Male Human Ranger 3
DM Carbide wrote:
Havrin, you and Retsiji have been following the trail for about a mile. Time to make another Survival check. Call it DC 12; normally it'd be DC 15 for firm ground, but so far the trail has been right where Jameth and Willem said it would be. Also, it's apparent to you that whoever is leaving the trail is keeping to the easiest possible route, even when that adds distance, and is stopping to rest frequently.

Survival (Tracking) check DC 12: 1d20 + 5 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 5 + 2 + 1 = 12 - whew! just barely!


Weakly Godlike Entity
Havrin Stahl wrote:
DM Carbide wrote:
Havrin, you and Retsiji have been following the trail for about a mile. Time to make another Survival check. Call it DC 12; normally it'd be DC 15 for firm ground, but so far the trail has been right where Jameth and Willem said it would be. Also, it's apparent to you that whoever is leaving the trail is keeping to the easiest possible route, even when that adds distance, and is stopping to rest frequently.
Survival (Tracking) check DC 12: 1d20 + 5 + 2 + 1 - whew! just barely!

Another mile and Havrin & Retsiji are out of the forest and into the Kamelands, rolling hills covered with tall grass. Tracking DC drops to 7, because whoever you're following is keeping close to the river--it's apparently easier to deal with soft ground than waist-high grass with uncertain footing underneath it.

I'm going to assume that since Havrin can't miss a Survival check here H&R speed up and take the -5 penalty on tracking rolls for moving at normal speed.

Dice rolls:
1d100 ⇒ 39
Survival (Tracking ) check DC 7: 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 2 + 1 = 16
Survival (Tracking ) check DC 7: 1d20 + 2 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 2 + 1 = 20
H: Perception check DC 15: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
G: Perception check DC 18: 1d20 ⇒ 8

Havrin is easily able to follow the trail through the bottomlands along the river, and another couple of miles pass...filled with oppressive humidity, the hum of insects, and the occasional squish as one of you hits a muddy patch. Incidentally, Havrin, for all that Retsiji looks like a typical sedentary mage, he's keeping pace with you stride for stride and doesn't really seem to be winded.

H & R have been following the trail for close to two hours when Havrin spots something moving ahead of them. The bend of the river is such that he can see part of the north bank over the river, and there's a man-sized figure walking slowly along the river about half a mile ahead.


Male Human Ranger 3

Havrin silently motions to Retsiji to get the wizard's attention and points toward their quarry. With arrow nocked and bow held at the ready, Havrin slows his pace in an attempt to stealthily approach the slow-moving figure.

Moving at greater than half-speed but less than full speed (let's say 25 ft per move action instead of 30 ft) so taking -5 to Stealth check: 1d20 + 7 - 5 ⇒ (10) + 7 - 5 = 12


Male ***INACTIVE*** Human Diviner 2|| Init +2 | Perc +1| AC 11 / T 11 / FF 10 | HP 16/16 | Saves F +2/R +1/W +4

Retsiji shakes his head as he sees where Havrin is going and points past the figure, up out of the bottomlands around the river. He murmurs quietly, "We could go up and around him, then come on him from uphill. What do you think?"


Male Halfling Bard 2 / Cleric 1

Calmed down immensely by his song, Adam makes his way back to Willem and Jameth.

"I fear I owe you an apology. My fellow travelers have been less kind to you than I would like them to be; this is my fault. Mainly for acting in securing your future freedoms without their consent. They fear that your oaths of giving up banditry are false, and in the excitement of the moment I had every hope that the word freely given was your bond. I realize now that I should have acted more judiciously in attaining your freedoms, and relied more on my companions than I had by acting independently. I am used to doing things on my own in the courts of Port Ice, employing my own personal ambitions and resources. I wanted to give you the same opportunities that I have enjoyed, but not to alienate my fighting companions. If you have not noticed, I am regretfully of small stature, and must necessarily overcompensate just to be heard. But I should not have so willingly distinguished myself without also having my companions' consent. For this, I beg your pardon. It may be necessary to treat you like prisoners for a time further, though I will make every allowance and argument for your eventual release. I am not certain what you must prove to my companions, but I fear that your word given is not enough. But, friends and compatriots in this resistance against tyrannical oppression, when we have convinced my companions that we have indeed given up our illegitimate ways, I have every hope and confidence that you will be granted all the amenities that we have recorded."

Diplomacy
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23


Male Human Ranger 3
Retsiji wrote:
"We could go up and around him, then come on him from uphill. What do you think?"

"Sounds good," Havrin whispers back. "Let's do it."


Weakly Godlike Entity

DM Notes:
Distance: 1d100 ⇒ 10
Perception check: 1d20 ⇒ 5

Havrin and Retsiji head uphill out of the river valley and through the tall grass. After Havrin judges they've come far enough, the pair return to the riverside. To their surprise, they come out within about fifty feet of the figure, whom Havrin recognizes as the bandit he put an arrow into. The bandit is resting on a small hillock with a wet cloth over his head. He has not apparently noticed Havrin and Retsiji.


Female Human Paladin 3

Bea laughs lightheartedly after Adam's speech. "Ah, Adam - always the diplomat. Don't worry, you're not our prisoners, and as long as you serve with us to repair what you've wronged, you'll have nothing to fear from us. You have my word, and I'll do my part to uphold Adam's and yours as well. I warn you though - if you betray this chance to become new men we won't be so forgiving."


Weakly Godlike Entity

In response to Bea's offer, the five surviving bandits exchange wary glances. Willem is the first to speak, standing up so he can be heard better. "Well, now, I'm not turning down yer fine offer. Still, beggin' your pardon, ma'am, but have y'ever faced mites? They every one can hex you to make y'feel like y'r going ta soil yer britches--weaken yer arm so's y'can't strike true. 'S how things that weak an' ugly survive. But if that's yer price, I'll do it--better t'die in an honest fight than be worked t'death in a Brevoy mine, or t'be hung as a thief." Jameth and Jal nod in agreement, Branko glares at everyone, and Terrill won't meet anyone's eyes for a moment before he, too, nods sharply. Willem goes on, "Iffin' y'want to succeed, though (which I presume t'be the case), best we go in all healed, and not make our move without yer mighty hunter and yer boffin wizard." He sits back down. Jameth adds, "Too right y'are...right now, only thing Jal 'n Terril be good for is drawing fire...not that I'm suggestin' anything, mind."

Adam, Willem and Jameth are also obviously moved by your speech. Jameth answers, "Master Halfling, we should be thankin' you for takin' our part when some o'your comrades'd clearly be happier t'see us dance a hemp jig, or p'raps be shortened by a head. We'll try not t'disappoint."


Female Human Paladin 3

"Unfortunately we won't be able to wait for our other two companions - they'll be expecting us back at Oleg's and I won't have you all show your faces there without sufficient restitution for the Levingtons. No, the lot of you will have to make up for their absence, unless Havrin has the luck to track us there instead of going on to the outpost. Don't worry, though - I wouldn't have you fight with us without proper weapons and having your wounds healed. As soon as Simn gets you patched up we'll be moving."


Male Halfling Bard 2 / Cleric 1

"Is it not possible to negotiate with the mites? Perhaps we have some other treasure we can trade for the ring."


Female Human Paladin 3

"I've never known Mites to speak common - do you know their language?"


Male Halfling Bard 2 / Cleric 1

"I am uncertain what language they speak, but I know at least four, so possibly one of them will be understood by them."


Male Half-Elf Cavalier (Order of the Dragon) 3

"I do not think going after the mites before Havrin and Retsiji return is such a good idea. We dont know how many there are, or what kind of defenses they have set up. I understand your desire to not return to the Leveton's without the ring, but perhaps even the news that we now know where it is, along with the returned goods will be enough show of good will that Oleg and Svetlana might forgive these men."


Female Human Paladin 3

"I don't much like the idea, either, but I like any other option even less." Quietly, to Jacyn she adds, "Plus, Havrin is dead set on ensuring these men are punished. It's not just the Levingtons who need to forgive them." She speaks up again, "These men have proven themselves capable fighters - Adam, what do you think?"


Weakly Godlike Entity

Jal says, "I am the only one here who's come within sight of the tree the mites lair under. It would not be far out of the way to follow the river for part of the way there, so that we would be more likely to encounter your friends as we traveled. Since you asked, we have only two horses here at camp. Happs Bydon and his men took six, which I presume you have already."


Female Human Paladin 3

"A fine plan! Very well, we'll follow the river and hope to catch up with them. Let's round up the horses - we'll make as good of time as we can with a few left of foot as soon as the last of you are healed well enough to travel. Simn?"


Male Gnome Cleric 2

Simn nodded, gathering in more healing energies. He'd like to have some available for after the fight, but having everyone in shape for it was also important.

Channel positive energy: 1d6 ⇒ 4

"I imagine the mites speak sylvan, so negotiation ought to be possible," he said, "That said, we did agree not to make any final decisions until the others returned. Giving these men their weapons back and haring off to retrieve Svetlana's ring would seem to be an attempt to arrange a fait accompli without their input. I advocate waiting for them to return and then following through. Understand, I support the plan, I just don't agree with carrying it out behind the others' back."


Male Human Ranger 3

Havrin motions for Retsiji to move quietly and attempts to stealthily approach Gellus, arrow nocked and ready. Attempting to move as close as he can (at least 30 ft) toward Gellus.
Stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27

Once he reaches his goal (or as soon as Gellus notices their approach) Havrin calls, "Gellus! Surrender now or face Pharasma's judgment!"


Weakly Godlike Entity

In the Kamelands:
Gellus doesn't notice Havrin as he approaches, and his reaction is quite gratifying. He starts upright out of his drowse, jumps to his feet, spins around, and falls over. Struggling to his feet, he calls out weakly, "All right! I surrender!" He then does something a little odd. He'd caught himself falling down with his right hand, and as he did a cloud of flies buzzed up from the ground. Havrin, you and Retsiji notice a bluish-purple stain on that hand as he gets up. He notices it too, looking quizzically at his hand, then at the ground. A look of nausea and horror comes over his face. He staggers back a few steps.

Back at the camp:

Dice rolls:
Knowledge (History) check DC 15 for Simn:
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18

Simn, you're pretty sure that mites don't generally speak Sylvan any more. Your healing put Willem up to full, and Jal & Terrill up to just under half.


Male Human Ranger 3

Havrin warily steps forward to see what Gellus stuck his hand into. The paranoid ranger continues to have an arrow nocked and ready.

Perception check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8 (add +2 if human-related)

Knowledge (nature) check to figure out what Gellus stuck his hand into: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7

"Retsiji! What do you make of this?"


Female Human Paladin 3

Bea nods. "This is true. Very well, let's be off to track down the tracker! Then with his approval and assistance, to the Sycamore!

Grab just what we need. We may need to make camp before we're there, but we'll come back here for the goods before returning north." Bea sets about making final preparations, grabs the horses, and after helping Adam atop one, joins him and awaits the others.


Male Halfling Bard 2 / Cleric 1

Adam scowls at having to find their other companions, but finally agrees that its a solid plan. "Gah! I don't look forward to seeing Havrin's smug face again, but lets go find him if we have to."


Male Half-Elf Cavalier (Order of the Dragon) 3

"Havrin has helped keep you alive and well more than once in the past few days, master halfling. While your opinions may differ on this subject, I suggest you not be so quick to disregard friends out here. We are surely already outnumbered many times over by those who would see us dead. No need to decrease our number."


Weakly Godlike Entity

In the Kamelands:
Gellus has put his hand onto the body of a creature that neither Havrin nor Retsiji recognizes immediately. It's a small blue humanoid, most of which seems to be head, ugly features, large sightless eyes staring blindly at the sky. It has suffered multiple stab wounds. Gellus relaxes a bit as he gets a better look at it. "Feh. Just a dead mite."

DM Notes:
Gellus Perception check DC 10:
1d20 ⇒ 19

Gellus is making no threatening moves, nor is he trying to escape. If H & R let him, he looks around for something to wipe his hand off with. "The greedy little worms usually take everything, but...ah! Here's something." He picks up a torn sack and cleans his hand with it. "All right, I've surrendered. What now?"

Back at the camp:
The erstwhile bandits armor up and gather their weapons, preparing to move out with the party.

Dice rolls:
Sense Motive checks DC 15:
Adam: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Bea: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22

Bea:
Watching the five prepare to move out, it's clear from your experience as a soldier that they've broken up into basically three groups. Jameth, Willem, and Jal are working together--helping each other armor up and the like. They also occasionally do something for Branko, who has otherwise isolated himself. None of those four are doing anything for or with Terrill unless it's absolutely necessary.

ETA: Unless you want to hurry, I'm assuming that the group at the camp sets out about an hour after Havrin and Retsiji left.


Male Halfling Bard 2 / Cleric 1
Jacyn Frestarn wrote:
"Havrin has helped keep you alive and well more than once in the past few days, master halfling. While your opinions may differ on this subject, I suggest you not be so quick to disregard friends out here. We are surely already outnumbered many times over by those who would see us dead. No need to decrease our number."

"I know what he has done for us, he needn't be so arrogant about it. The manhunter can do as he pleases, as I have no intention of decreasing our number."

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