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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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Pinning the goat with his knee, Valik works quickly to hobble and tie up the small goat. Valik turns and eyes the grappling hook embedded in the scrub. "That is done. Dross, do you need a hand getting up? Do you want me to pull on the rope while you climb?"


Dross grabs hold of the rope and gives it a tug to make sure it's properly caught. Then bracing against the wall he begins to climb. " Should be easy enough now, take care of that bloody pugwampi! "

Climb: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Climb: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

Game Master

Pugwampi Hunt
5 Sarenith, 4711
About an hour past sunset
Round 10


Valik gets the little goat firmly tied up. He continues to cry and struggle, but to no avail. Meanwhile, Dross clambers up the wall of the ravine. His foot almost slips unluckily on loose stones onece or twice, but he makes it to the top and stands up on the ledge.

Order of action:

Relevant Environmental Rules

Aura of Unluck:
All characters in the presence of a Pugwampi are cursed with bad luck, and must roll twice for any check that requires a d20 roll (ability check, skill check, attack, CMB, caster level, etc.) and take the lower result.

Dim lighting:
The entire landscape is dimply lit by the moon. Dim lighting provides concealment; attacks against creatures with concealment have a 20% miss chance. Creatures with concealment may also use the stealth skill to hide.

Thorny Vegetation:
The vegetation counts as rough terrain (1/2 movement, no 5-ft step, no running or charging) and provides improved concealment (30% miss chance). Avoiding the thorns while moving through the vegetation requires an Acrobatics check; this reduces speed to 1/4, or you may move at 1/2 speed with a -5 penalty to the check. The vegetation also blocks vision.

It is possible to crawl under the vegetation to avoid the thorns. For a medium sized creature to do so, it will be both prone (-4 attack, -4 ac vs. melee/+4 ac vs. ranged) and squeezing (-4 attack, -4 ac). Moving 5 ft. in this manner is a full-round action and provokes an attack of opportunity. A small creature crawling under the vegetation is prone but not squeezing. Tiny and smaller creatures do not need to crawl to move under the vegetation.

Dashki's torch (now held by Valik) provides normal illumination (no concealment) in a 20' radius around his position.

Dashki and the pugwampi exchange another futile volley of arrows with each other, evidently both having a hard time getting a clear shot through the vegetation. The pugwampi seems to think this is quite hilarious, continuing with its grating, high pitched laugh, while Dashki is evidently getting more and more annoyed.

The really funny thing is that the unluck aura isn't even coming into play yet; they both keep missing their d100's vs concealment!

GM only:
Dashki longbow 1: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Dashki longbow 2: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Dashki concealment: 1d100 ⇒ 8
Dashki damage: 1d8 ⇒ 1

Pugwampi shortbow: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Pugwampi concealment: 1d100 ⇒ 64

Valik and then Dross.

"Enough. We can't fight in this thicket. Let's get out of here. If that critter follows us, we can deal with it out in the open...besides, I am certain that there are more than just pugwumpiis out here, we don't want to attract too much attention."

Valik moves out of the thicket with the goat under his left arm, wiggling past Dashki.

Move to H11


Dross takes out his bow and sends a shaft at the Pugwampi.

Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Attack2 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Concealment: 1d100 ⇒ 45
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 8

Game Master

From the north side of the thicket, Dross can see the pugwampi a little more clearly, and his arrow flies true. It hits the pugwampi with less force than Dross would have expected, as though the pugwampi's skin were exceptionally tough, but it pierces the ugly little thing nevertheless, and it stops giggling, now yelping with pain instead.

Skipping round header, because I'm in a hurry and this will end it.

Dashki nods at Dross. "Not bad, kid, but let a pro show you how it's done." He fires again, expertly placing his arrow right where he thought the pugwampi was... about three inches to the left of where it actually is. He curses and throws Dross a dark look.

GM only:
longbow: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
longbow: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
concealment: 1d100 ⇒ 28
damage: 1d8 ⇒ 7

Game Master

It seems Dross's arrow has made an impression on the pugwampi. It lets out a stream of growls in its rough but high pitched voice as it scampers away deeper into the thicket.

Gnoll language:
"You who have wounded me! I lay a curse on you and your family unto the thirteenth generation! May all your... endeavors come to naught! May your... flocks sicken! May your... blade turn! May your--"

The angry stream of syllables is cut off abruptly with a small thump, then silence.

"Well that was odd. Are you going to fish out the corpse Dashki, so you can show it to the folks at the camp? If not, I want to start back."

Dashki nods grimly. "Yes I am. I know what they say about me at the camp. They need to learn that Dashki knows what he's talking about." He reclaims his torch from Valik and walks up and down the edge of the ravine, peering into the thorny brush, until he finally wades in. You hear an intermittent rustling, interspersed with Dashki's cursing, until a few seconds later, he reemerges, his ragged clothes even more torn, and his skin bearing long scratches, but holding the ugly little creature aloft.

"Oh, yes, this will show them..." Using a bit of rope, he ties a noose around the pugwampi's neck, which he affixes to the end of a long stick to make a sort of gruesome staff. He looks at his creation proudly, and repeats, "This will show them..."

GM only:
Acrobatics DC 15: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Acrobatics DC 15 reroll: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
=> 1 pt damage

Acrobatics DC 15: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Acrobatics DC 15 reroll: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
=> 1 pt damage

Acrobatics DC 15: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
=> 1 pt damage

Acrobatics DC 15: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
=> OK


" Well your name is cleared in my book, sorry I suspected you Dashki. " Dross relaxes when Dashki emerges from the bushes with the Pugwumpi held aloft. " Let's get back to the camp. "

Valik grunts, turns and starts walking back toward the camp, goat under his arm, holding the torch to light the way back.

"With luck, things should improve at the camp...less suspicion, less doubt. People will start to work together."

Game Master

Do you report to Almah first, or return the baby goat?

"Let's go see Almah. The combination of baby goat and dead pugwumpii will be pretty solid evidence as to the cause of the fire."

You make your way back to the camp. As you approach, one of the guards calls out an anxious, "Who goes there?", but he quickly recognizes you and waves you past.

Almah greets you at the door to her tent. Garavel is sitting in a chair by the desk, his torso heavily bandaged. He sits stiffly. Though the princess's eyes are initially friendly, upon seeing Dashki with you, her face hardens into an impassive mask. "Well," she says, "have you discovered anything of note? Other than a... young goat, is it?"

Dashki shoves past Valik and Dross and throws the pugwampi down on the desk. "There. Like I said, a pugwampi. Nobody believes Dashki. You call him a... call him a liar. You say I sneak around, I'm no good. Well look, look at that. I said it was a pugwampi, and it was a pugwampi." He gives a decisive nod, and looks around warily at everyone in the room, as if wondering which one will challenge him.

The princess is speechless, and seems somewhat revolted by the ugly, and now somewhat mangled, thing. Garavel, however, takes this news as impassively as he takes everything.

"Ah, indeed. I was under the impression that the pugwampi was nothing but a myth, but this specimen does seem to fit the description." He pokes it a little. "Yes, I can see how that could explain the fire. And... What does the goat have to do with this?"

"I think that the pugwampi was actually after the goat. The little monster just caused all the mayhem by its presence. You should have seen it Garavel, while we chased the creature down, everything that could go wrong was getting to the point where it was almost humorous."

Valik pauses and turns to look at Almah. "The fire in the wagon may only have been the result of simple bad luck caused by this beast. There was no evidence of any other cause."

Garavel nods sagely. "Yes, I see. Well done. Now that the mystery is solved, I believe we must make the security of the camp our first priority. The inhabitants of Kelmarane may have seen the smoke from the fire, and..."

Dashki breaks in, "No. I said it before, and I'll say it again. The smoke dispersed too quick, and the light was wrong. They didn't see it in Kelmarane."

Almah scowls at Dashki, and seems about to reply, when Garavel answers. "Indeed. Well, it may be so, but it is to our advantage to remain vigilant. And, I fear, even if we are not known yet, it is only a matter of time before scouts find our location." He pauses and looks hard at Dashki. "Do you agree, expert?"

Dashki looks away from Garavel's gaze. "Um, yeah. Yeah, they'll find us sooner or later."

Almah claps her hands once. "Well then. We must find a more defensible location. Dashki, you have demonstrated your knowledge of... pugwampis. Now demonstrate your knowledge of the highlands. You will go and scout out a more suitable spot in the morning."

A small smile briefly comes to Dashki's sour face. After a moment, he says, "Uh, okay. I mean... Yes. I... think I might know just the place." He works his mouth thoughtfully, as though chewing, and there is a hard glint in his eye.

Garavel gazes thoughtfully at Dashki for a moment before turning his attention slowly to Valik and Dross. "You two have been injured. Return the kid to the herders, have Father Zastoran see to your wounds, and get some rest. The other mercenaries, the guards, and our... gnoll expert will keep watch tonight. Father Zastoran be able to heal all of us more fully when his potion is completed in the morning." He makes a short bow to Almah, "If this meets your approval, Ameera?"

Almah has been distracted, watching Dashki through slit eyes as he studiously avoids meeting her gaze. "Hmm? Oh, yes, of course, do as Garavel says."

Garavel nods. "Is there anything else?" he asks the men-at-arms.

"No, that will be fine, I will do as you have directed. Thank you Lady Roveshki." Valik nods, and following Garavel's directions, returns the kid to the pens where he unties it. He then finds a place to spend the night.


Dross bows and heads out of Almah's tent. He walks straight to Father Zastoran's hospital pavilion looking around for the old man.

Game Master

Father Zastoran patches up Valik and Dross's wounds, and they set up their tents and go to sleep. They sleep soundly through the night; true to Dashki's prediction, there is no gnoll attack. They wake up feeling somewhat refreshed, but still sore and hurt from their exertions of the previous day. Valik +2 hp, Dross +4 hp.

GM only:
Garavel +9 hp (-4) plus healing infusion 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4 => 0hp
Elois +2 hp (-7) plus healing infusion 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9 => 2 hp

As they exit their tents in the morning, Valik and Dross see Hadrah serving breakfast to the guards, who look a little bleary-eyed, as though they got little sleep. The other mercenaries and Dashki are nowhere to be seen.

Hadrah looks up brightly. "Oh, mister Valik, sahib! When we got up this morning and saw little Rombard back in the pen, we were so happy and surprised! My hadrod went straight to Garavel -- Garavel is looking so much better this morning, by the way -- and he told us about how you had brought him back under your arm, saved from that awful monster of Dashki's -- he is still carrying it around on a stick, so ugly -- and we were so thankful! Really, if there is anything we can do for you, all you need to do is ask. Here, have some breakfast!"

Breakfast consists of yogurt, dried fruit, and spicy cured goat meat, with hot tea. It is well-prepared and filling.

As Valik and Dross are sitting down to eat, Father Zastoran steps out of his wagon. "Oh, good, you're up! Here, I've made some healing infusions for you, I think they'll help you feel much better!" He walks over to the campfire, leaning heavily on his staff, and hands them each a small cup full of a thick, sweet-smelling yellow liquid. "Drink it all down now!"

Dross CLW infusion 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Valik CLW infusion 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5

"There, now how are you feeling today?"

"Hadrah, it was our pleasure. I am happy that I was able to return the kid to you. This is why we need to remember the saying: "Her light rises anew each day. Do not let the darkness make you forget her dawn." Even when things look dark, we must not give up hope."

Valik digs into breakfast with great vigor, commenting to Hadrah on the spices of the goat meat and the refreshing tea.

When Zastoran arrives, Valik thanks him for the infusion and gulps it down, quickly, so as to minimize the taste. "Thank you Father Zastoran. Your infusion was marvelous."

"I want to say this while there are a few of us here around the fire. I think that we were not fair with Dashki. He may be irritating and unpleasant, but he is a good tracker and wise in the ways of survival in the desert. I believe that many of us had judged him or suspected him to be responsible for the fire. That was not worthy of us. I believe that we owe him an effort to respect him and his opinion, especially when he is discussing survival in the desert, no matter how unplesant he acts."

Hadrah's mouth opens wide. "Well, of course I suppose he knows all about the desert, he's just so-- well, and you know what they say-- that is, how do you know he didn't--" She breaks off, looking flusteredly at Valik's honest and earnest face, then looking down at the breakfast and blushing a little. "Well, I suppose you're right, sahib, and he did have a part to play in getting our dear Rombard back, didn't he. I'll do my best to speak more kindly of him in the future."

The guards nod their assent in a noncommital way. One of them speaks up, "As long as he serves the princess, who is the representative of the pactmasters, and makes no trouble, we have no quarrel with him." The others nod.

Father Zastoran nods and strokes his beard. "That was well said, Valik, like a true servant of the Dawnflower. But I follow Nethys, and I think all things, like the All-Seeing Eye, have two sides. I freely admit he knows the desert well, and so far he has kept us safe from gnoll attack; but there may be more to Dashki's story than we know, and it remains to be seen whether he is truly deserves our trust. That he was innocent of one crime does not prove he is, or will be, innocent of all others." He shrugs. "Only time can tell."

"Ah, but Valik, I have other news for you as well. Elois is awake, in the hospital tent, and he has asked to look on the face of his rescuer, and thank you in person."

"Elois survived! That is amazing Father Zastoran! You do most excellent work!"

Knowing that Elois isn't going anywhere fast, Valik takes the time to properly clean up and give his dishes back to Hadrah before making his way to the hospital tent.

Father Zastoran accompanies Valik to the hospital pavilion. The sides have been rolled down to shield the patients from the low morning sun, and it takes a moment for Valik's eyes to adjust to the darkness. When they do, he sees that two of the cots remain occupied; one holds the injured mercenary, Utarchus, and the other, Elois.

"Elois," the priest calls quietly, "Elois, Valik is here to see you."

Elois's face, though no longer blackened as it was when he was pulled from the fire the day before, is distorted and wrinkled, the new scar tissue pink and shiny in the dim light. His hair is all gone, even his eyebrows and eyelashes. When he opens his eyes, they appear young, clear and bright, out-of-context in Elois's wrecked visage. His voice is a little hoarse, and he speaks quietly, but without apparent pain, in a rich Varisian accent. "Ah, Valik. My savior! Father Zastoran has told me what you did, and I am grateful. I owe you my life, and this debt I will not forget. I think you have a great destiny before you, and that your participation in this expedition is only the beginning of it." He smiles, bright teeth shining in his ravaged face.

"Alas, I am no warrior to promise you my sword arm, no mage to reward you with spells and wonders, nor even a prince to shower you in gold and riches. No, I am but a humble teller of fortunes and stories, but these treasures I give to you freely; all the more because there is nothing lost in the giving. This land is not the land of my birth, just as I see it is not yours, but I have made a point of collecting its legends, and perhaps I can share some with you. Ah, but not today." He coughs a little. "I fear my voice is still too weak."

"I would read your fortune in the harrow cards, but alas, they were burned in the fire, and it will take some time for me to get a new set, far as we are from civilized markets. However, dear Father Zastoran brought me this, which he found in the ashes of the wagon." An unnaturally wizened hand extends from beneath the blankets, and picks up a crystal ball from beside the cot. "It's a little cracked from the heat, and I am not as skilled in its use as in the Harrow, but perhaps we can learn something from it. What do you say, Valik? Do you dare to look into your future?"

"Elois. I understand that you wish to repay me in some small way. I say to you now, there is no debt, of honor or otherwise to me. If you still feel that there is a debt, I would ask that you fulfill it with someone other than me."

"The Lady says something like:"People that keep their lamp under a basket will bang their toes in the dark." I take that to mean that if you simply repay me, then nothing is done to make the larger world a better place. You know what I mean?"

"As for the crystal gazing, do you think its wise? What if I misinterpret something and make an unfortunate choice, or become saddened because I see something that I don't like, or become a prancing pony because I see something that I do like?"

A wry smile comes to the face of the burned fortune-teller. "Ah, you are a Sarenite then. Somehow I doubt that you would so easily be led astray by the revelations of the orb... But no matter." He sets the crystal ball aside. It looks to have been cracked in the fire. Father Zastoran, standing where Elois cannot see, rolls his eyes a little and smiles at Valik. Elois continues, "When I am stronger, I shall recite for you the tale of the epic battle between Sarenrae and Rovagug, when the world was new, as told by the legendary genie princess Shazathared. I think you will like that one. Until then... May you walk in Her light. I will do my best to rest here, in the light of old Father Zastoran's infusions." He winks and relaxes back down onto the cot.

You have some free time to wander around the camp and interact with NPCs as you like. When you're done, we can move on to when Dashki gets back from scouting with his report.


Dross eats his breakfast in silence, listening in to the conversation of others trying to get a sense of the camps mood. After eating he gathers and checks his gear. Why tie the goat up? Why not just kill it?

I am good to continue whenever.

Game Master

Elois drops back off to sleep and Valik takes his leave.

Valik and Dross are assigned to guard duty for the morning, as they are the most well-rested of the mercenaries. The pactmaster guards take shifts guarding Almah's tent, but Valik and Dross are assigned to keep watch at the outskirts of the camp. Like most days this time of year in Katapesh, it is bright and cloudless. The morning is beautiful, but as the sun rises higher, it begins to get unpleasantly warm.

There is no sign of gnolls, or anyone else, until Dashki slinks back into camp from the northeast shortly before noon. He moves quickly and quietly, pausing only bare his teeth in a brief sneer -- or is it his attempt at a smile? -- at Valik before heading to Almah's tent.

A few minutes later, Garavel sticks his head out and says something to the two guards standing outside the tent. One of them heads off to where the other mercenaries are sleeping or lounging about, and the other makes his way to Valik and Dross, and tells them they are wanted by the Ameerah. They arrive at the princess's tent at about the same time as Travis, Dullen, and Asad, who look as uncouth and surly as ever.

Almah looks over the assembled mercenaries for a moment before she begins, "I have hired you, on behalf of the Pactmasters, not merely to put out fires and guard the camp, but to fight as necessary to complete our mission of retaking Kelmarane. There will likely come a time when that will mean taking up arms against the gnolls, but for now, we have a smaller task for you. In our current position, we are too exposed to detection and attack. It is our first goal to find and secure a more defensible position to make a base. Dashki has already done the finding, and it is up to you five to do the securing. Garavel will tell you more."

Garavel unrolls a map on the desk. "We are here, at the Sultan's Claw. Kelmarane is here, about two miles north of the trade road along the Pale River. As Dashki pointed out, the Uwaga Highlands separate us from Kelmarane in our current position. This makes it easier for us to escape detection, but also makes it difficult for us to gather information about the forces arrayed against us in the village. Dashki has confirmed the location of this monastery," he points to the map, " on the north side of the highlands, about a mile away from our present position, as the crow flies. Records suggest the monastery was the home of some sort of Sarenite sect, but was abandoned at the same time as the village. Dashki reports that it is in poor condition, but it will provide us some shelter, and more importantly, from there it is possible to look across the vale of Kelmarane to the town. As long as we stay inside it during the day, and avoid lights at night, it will provide us cover from the gnolls, as there is no sign that they visit it. However, it appear that it is not entirely uninhabited--"

Dashki interrupts, "Whole area is covered in pugwampi tracks. We got ourselves a pest problem."

Garavel nods impassively, not even looking at Dashki as he speaks. "Based upon our experience with the havoc a single pugwampi can cause in the camp, it is critical that the creatures be removed before we relocate. Dashki will show you to the monastery, and then continue scouting, to ensure that the gnolls do not interfere either with you, or with the camp."

Almah takes over from Garavel, "I am putting Valik and Dross in charge. They proved themselves to have initiative and good sense in the incident last night, and they have some experience with pugwampis. The rest of you do as they say." There is some grumbling among the other mercenaries, but no overt objection. "Do you have any questions about your assignment?"

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