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DM Magister Ludi's Legacy of Fire

Game Master Gordon the Whale

In the barren wastes of the Brazen Peaks, secrets await those brave enough to find them.

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Dross takes the bowl from Hadrah " Yeah one would probably be best. It would be a shame to see such a meal in the dirt. " he moves out into the camp seeking out a different guard than the one before.

"I agree. You should rest. I will see to the guards and let them know."

Valik nods once at the prostrate man then steps out of the tent into the fresh air.

Valik will spend the next hour or so checking on the watch and warning the men to be especially vigilant.

Game Master

Valik and Dross meet each other on their way to visit the guards. They barely have time to greet each other, when they hear shouting coming from Almah's tent.


At the sound of the shouting Dross fumbles the bowl of stew. There's a brief moment where it seems he may not drop it before the clay bowl tumbles and smashes in the dirt. " S#1t " Dross turns sharing a look with Valik before running towards the Armeera's tent drawing his longsword on the way while wishing for his Guisarme that's sitting by the fire.

As the men close in on the tent, Dashki is yelling, "NO! How many times to I have to tell you people? I don't know anything about the fire! I didn't see it start! All I saw was some smoke and then a burned wagon! What makes you think the fire was even set? That idiot Elois always burned a hundred candles in his wagon! Maybe he just got unlucky!"

Almah retorts, "Oh, so you're saying it was his fault then! This is my friend we're talking about, ingrate! Unlucky! There's been a little too much unlucky going on around here, if you ask me!"

Dashki makes a low growling sound, almost like a dog or hyena.

The sound is suspiciously like a common gnoll curse, pronounced with an impeccable accent.

"I'm sick of all your damned hinting! If you're going to accuse me, out with it!" He pauses for a moment, then blurts out, "Bah, we're deep in gnoll country! It was probably just -- pugwampis!" He spits the last word out awkwardly.

Almah replies scornfully, "Hah. And what is that supposed to be?"

As Valik and Dross pull the curtain aside, they see the princess, her tight-lipped face pale with fury, sitting stiffly at her desk while Dashki towers above her, fists clenched with rage. They both turn to face the newcomers, the Ameera with a practiced veneer of calm, Dashki with barely suppressed rage and embarrassment.

"I think all the shouting was scaring the goats, not to mention the rest of the camp", Valik says calmly. "Ma'am, by your leave, I need to talk to Dashki. He is the smartest person in this camp when it comes to gnolls, and probably tracking and scouting, and I figured that he and I could go and talk to the guards. Let them know what to look and listen for, smarten them up some."

Almah raises an eyebrow. "Very well. Dashki, you will assist Valik in preparations. But we will get to the bottom of this fire incident."

Dashki looks from Almah to Valik in disbelief, then abruptly storms out of the tent, shouldering Valik roughly aside as he does so. He mutters indistinctly as he walks out into the gathering darkness.

Valik turns to Dross before leaving the tent and shrugs.

"Dashki. Wait a moment. I had to do something to get you out of there before one of you said something that you were going to regret. This camp needs you to be focused on keeping us safe from the gnolls, not worried about something the Ameera said. I do need your help, you know how the gnolls think, so you are the best person to keep us from being surprised."

Dashki turns on Valik, eyes narrowed. He draws himself close to the Ulf, and the smell of old sweat and filth wafts to Valik's nostrils. "Look, fishbelly. I don't need your help dealing with Almah. I don't need your help at all." He breaks away. "And I already told you, the wind dispersed the smoke before it got over the hills. It wasn't visible from the town. There won't be any attack tonight. I know how to do my job." He spits on the ground.

"I hear you can lead a camel to water, but you cannot make him drink." Valik shrugs. "I guess if I want you to do your job, I cannot complain when you do it in your own way. Good night Dashki."

Valik walks away and heads back over to the fire.

Dashki looks confusedly at Valik. He turns to look back at Almah's tent, then back to Valik again. "Yeah, walk away, blondie!" he calls, but with uncertainty in his voice. "It was probably pugwampis!" He wipes his nose on his tattered sleeve and turns to Dross. "What are you looking at?" he says belligerently, and then turns without waiting for an answer and starts to walk out of camp to the east.

When Valik returns to the circle of light around the fire, only Hadrah remains, cleaning up after dinner. "Dear me," she says, "What was all that shouting about? Is there trouble?"

You guys still here?

I don't know if Dross is. I am though. I was waiting for a response from Dross, or something to happen.

"It was nothing Hadrah. Don't worry about it, Dashki is just a mite upset."

Hadrah nods gravely. "That Dashki," she says, pausing for a moment before continuing, "We knew him a little back Solku way, my dear Hadrod and me, I mean. He used to take rich folk into the mountains to hunt gnolls, for trophies, like. I suppose he was good at the work, but it's not good work, if you see my meaning. Our Ameera hired him because he knows the ways of gnolls better than anyone, and I don't doubt that's true. And, I'm sure I don't doubt the Ameera's wisdom, a high lady like her knows better than the likes of me, but most folk back in Solku never liked him much, nor trusted him, and I reckon most folks in the camp never did neither. And I couldn't help but hear him blaming our woes on pugwampis just now, begging your pardon, sahib, and even I know there never was such thing as a pugwampi, not outside of stories, I mean."


Dross shrugs at Dashki as he storms off and goes to see the cracked remains of the bowl he dropped. He picks up the pieces and takes them back to Hadrah. " Sorry, I dropped this in the commotion. " He says looking from Hadrah to Valik.

"Dross, do you want to split a watch tonight? We don't know the quality of the other guards. You and I have actually traveled a bit and dealt with the gnolls, so I have much greater faith in you than I do in them." Valik points to the unseen guards.


" I get yer point Valik. Nothin like doing a job yourself to make sure its done right. Want me to take the first or the second? "

"First please. I am still a bit burnt and feel the need to sleep for a bit. Good night, and thank you."

Valik stands, nods to Hadrah and heads to his bedroll.

Game Master

As Valik is headed to bed, he notices a figure with a lit torch poking around the burned remains of the wagon.

Hadrah bobs her head to Valik. "Salaam, sahib."

She fishes in a crate and pulls out another bowl, and pours some soup in it, now a bit cold, before offering it to Dross. "Did you want to try again for the guards' dinner?"

"Lady give me patience...because I have just about run out." Valik growls, exhaustion dragging at his thoughts. He turns and stomps over toward the remains of the wagon.

As Valik approaches, he makes out the slinking form of Dashki. Dashki sees him at the same time. and straightens up. He seems oddly cheerful.

"Look here, golden boy," he says, gesturing at the ground with a triumphant sneer. "Pugwampi tracks. It's just like I told the Ameera. Hah!"

On casual examination, there is nothing visible on the ground in the flickering torchlight, which has been walked over and scuffed rather thoroughly by the firefighters, and by the mercenaries early in the investigation.

Knowledge (local) DC 15:
(Should have given you this one earlier.) Pugwampis are a folk legend among the tribes of the deserts, widely regarded to be apocryphal. They are said to be a small creature with the head of a dog or hyena, upon which episodes of bad luck are blamed.

Perception or Survival DC 20:
There are in fact some small, doglike prints mixed up between the heavy desert boot prints. (Perception can only notice the tracks; Survival can follow them)

Edit: You may also roll sense motive on Dashki if you wish.

Know: Local 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Survival 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Sense Motive 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21

Game Master

Sense Motive: Despite all common wisdom to the contrary, Dashki does seem to believe there are pugwampi tracks there. Indeed, he seems to be feeling quite smug about it.

ML: Hadrah wrote:

Hadrah bobs her head to Valik. "Salaam, sahib."

She fishes in a crate and pulls out another bowl, and pours some soup in it, now a bit cold, before offering it to Dross. "Did you want to try again for the guards' dinner?"

" Yeah I might as well give it another go. " Dross takes another bowl and heads out to the guards keeping an eye out.

Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8

Valik peers quizzicaly at the ground for a few moments, looking up at Dashki then back at the ground a few times.

"No gnolls...but there are pugwumpies? And you say there are decent tracks...because to be honest, I don't see them in this mess." Valik is quiet for a moment more before he asks: "Can you follow them?"

Game Master

As Dross is making his way to the guard positioned to the north, he notices a light by the burnt wagon; two men are there talking. The firelight catches brightly in the hair of one; it must be Valik.

Dashki scoffs. "Bah, you stupid paleskin! Look they're right -- Heh, nevermind. There's a reason I'm the expert, right?" He runs a hand through his greasy hair. "Yeah, looks like there was just one. It came from that way," he gestures to the northwest, "spent some time running around here, and then headed," He walks around the wagon, examining the ground, "this way..." He begins to travel a meandering path to the south.

Perception or Survival DC 15:
As Dashki leads away from the well trodden area around the wagon, you see that there is a sort of trail he is following. The prints look like those of a small dog.

Survival 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18

"Dross! Grab your gear, I think we are hunting."Valik shouts. "We are hunting this thing correct? We need to catch it before the trail goes cold...and who knows, we might find out why the fire started."

The trail winds its way to the south, where it again becomes obscured, this time by animal tracks around the pen. Dashki follows it to the gate, though. "Looks like it stopped here, did something."

Hadrod, alerted to your presence by the torch, comes out of his tent. "Hello, who-- Dashki! You... Get away from there! What do you think you're doing snooping around the animals at night?"

Valik grunts at Dashki's comment about the gate, but remains silent.

"Hadrod. Go back to sleep, we are not snooping about. Dashki, please lead on."

"Oh! Why, Valik, I didn't see you there! Well... If you're with him, I suppose it's alright. Mind you don't spook the animals, though!" Hadrod shoots a final dark glare at Dashki and returns to his tent.

Dashki rolls his eyes and returns his attention to the tracks on the ground. He looks around the edges of the animal pen for a few minutes, then rubs his nose on his sleeve and says, "Here. The tracks head off this way." He points away from camp to the northeast, into the dark, scrub covered hills.

Perception or Survival DC 15:
The dog-like prints lead in the direction Dashki points. There are also tiny cloven hoof-prints.

Perception or Survival DC 20:
Both sets of prints are somewhat irregular and have drag marks interspersed; there may have been a struggle. The dog-like prints seem to belong to a two-legged creature, while the hoof prints belong to a four-legged creature; perhaps a baby goat?

"Wait for Dross a moment Dashki. I don't want to go wandering about in the dark without another swordman, and just the three of us won't make that much more noise."

Survival 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13

Valik Roffeson wrote:

Survival 1d20+6

"Dross! Grab your gear, I think we are hunting."Valik shouts. "We are hunting this thing correct? We need to catch it before the trail goes cold...and who knows, we might find out why the fire started."

Dross looks at the bowl in his hands and back over to Valik. What the hell is he doing following that maniac around! Well I can't let Dashki lead Valik into the desert alone. Dross takes the bowl back to the fire where he retrieves his Guisarme. " Sorry Hadrah but it seems Valik has found something. " Dross then hurries to meet Valik and Dashki at the animal pen. " Ok I'm ready. What have you found? " Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0

Dashki tries to make a haughty face; in the torchlight, it looks ghoulish. "Pugwampi tracks. All around the wagon, then over here, then out there." Again, he gestures to the northeast. "Just like I said." He bares his teeth in what might be a grin... or might be exactly the feral expression of bloodlust it looks like. "You coming or not?"


Dross looks from Dashki to Valik with a quizzical expression on his face. " Pugwumpis? " When Valik's expression doesn't change Dross shrugs and say " Ok then, let's go. "

Game Master

Dashki leads you away from camp into the hills, his movements careful and all but silent. On the prowl, his limp is barely noticable. Soon, you crest a small rise and lose sight of the camp. As you progress, the thorny plants become more dense and loom around you, eerie and monstrous in the flickering torchlight. Shadows rear up like attacking gnolls, then fade away. You hear skittering sounds among the loose rocks and dry brush... Perhaps small animals running off at your approach, or something more sinister? An owl surprises you with its loud hoot from an especially tall cactus, then flies out of your small bubble of light on silent wings. All the while Dashki's attention remains fixed on the ground in front of him, though neither of you can make out the trail he is following.

Abruptly, you hear a short, muffled cry up ahead, like the wail of a baby.

Knowledge (nature) DC 10:
You recognize the sound as the cry of a baby goat. It sounds like it is in pain or distress.


Knowledge Nature untrained: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (12) - 1 = 11

" A goat? " Dross shudders at the sound already skittish with his guisarme at the ready from all the scampering noises he looks to Valik or Dashki for direction.

Valik's face suddenly lights into a big grin and he dashes off towards the sound.

"The missing baby goat!"

Game Master

Valik dashes ahead of Dashki into the scrubland. The full moon has risen, and the landscape is bathed in silver light. The long thorns and thick, hairy leaves make the vegetation look ghostly and blurred. The wailing sound is repeated, much closer, but Valik finds his way abruptly blocked by a dense growth of formidable vegetation.

I need two Acrobatics checks from Valik.


Thorny pain and suffering check 1 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (17) - 3 = 14
Thorny pain and suffering check 2 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (12) - 3 = 9


Thorny pain and suffering check 1 1d20 - 5 ⇒ (13) - 5 = 8
Thorny pain and suffering check 2 1d20 - 5 ⇒ (3) - 5 = -2

Dross charges after Valik ready to back him up. Apparently this is an important goat

Game Master

Valik and Dross careen through the moonlit hills. They skid to a stop before the mass of thorns, spines, and stickers, but the momentum of their armor makes it difficult to stop on the rocky ground. Valik steps awkwardly on a loose stone and brushes his leg into a barrel-shaped cactus. The long spines stab through his trousers. Dross flails about wildly with his arms in order to maintain his balance, and one of his arms brushes through a tangles bush covered with long, stout thorns.

You both take 1 point of damage from thorns.

A moment later, Dashki arrives behind you, moving more slowly and deliberately, and with the benefit of a torch. He seems to take pleasure in your performance, his mouth twisted in a savage grin. "Well, if that pugwampi didn't know we were coming already because of the torch, it certainly heard that racket. Heh. The tracks lead right here into this thicket." He motions. You can see that the thicket is somewhat less dense at ground level, so that a very small creature could move through it without great impediment.

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