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DM RichD's Giantslayer Campaign

Game Master Briccone

GiantSlayer Book 2: The Hill Giant's Pledge
Part 1: Rivers of Belkzen

To prevent the possibility of another attack on Trunau, the heroes embark on a riverboat journey through the Hold of Belkzen, facing dangerous river denizens and a saboteur bent on vengeance along the way.


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NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

After a few weeks of uneventful traveling, you arrive in the small town of Trunau where you were sent by the clan elders to open diplomatic relations with the town and possibly trade. The reasoning was that a town so close to orc settlements might like some good dwarven arms and armor! The guards at the gate ask you your business and on hearing your response, tell you that the only inn in town is the Ramblehouse.

When you enter the Ramblehouse, the proprietress, Cham Larringfass-a halfling, greets you all warmly. Dwarves! You all have doubled the dwarven population in town! she says with a laugh. She then fires off a bunch of questions. How long will you be staying with us? Why did you come to our lovely town? Will you all be needing a common room or individual rooms? She asks the last question with a hint of greed in her eyes. I have four rooms available, yes? After checking in, she says Of course you all will be attending the Hopeknife Ceremony tonight. Our town’s leader, Chief Defender Halgra of the Blackened Blades has a daughter and tonight we celebrate her coming of age and receiving her very own hopeknife! Chief Defender Halgra will be officiating and will be assisted by Kurst and Rodrik Grath, prominent members of our town militia and the two eldest sons of Patrol Leader Jagrin Grath! She laughs again here I am babbling and you all have no idea who any of these people are! The whole town will be there! It takes place in the commons. Is there anything I can help you with or any questions I can answer to make your stay more enjoyable?
Feel free to ask her any questions.
Oh look! It is the Kraken-Maw! He probably heard you were in town! She then whispers under her breath, or he’s looking for a card game. She then continues in her normal voice I am sure he can introduce you to the other dwarfs in town.

You all have a few hours until the Hopeknife ceremony. Please feel free to RP and I’ll post the start of the Hopeknife ceremony on Monday (unless there is some good RP going on)

On the map of Trunau, these are where the following are:

A = The Commons
B = The Ramble House


Male Dwarf Hedgewitch/7

So this is a typical human town. Just like the others when I was on my quest to find Jocosa Gnok thinks to himself. I wonder if they will be as scared of her as some of the others?

"Gnok Earthstone, and this is my friend Jocosa" says a disheveled dwarf with a white tiger at his side. "How much for an individual room since Jocosa will be with me?"

"We need to speak to the mayor, as we are here to open trade talks with the town. Will he be at the ceremony?"


INACTIVE - Re-Usable

Jocosa, hearing her name called by Gnok, purrs in a mostly un-tigerly way and bumps her head into the dwarf, almost knocking him over. It seems to be a game that the two of them play..


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

Cham laughs. Unfortunately, when you're surrounded by orcs, you don't have a mayor - you have a Chief Defender! And SHE will not only be there-she'll be officiating! It is her daughter's ceremony. She then turns serious. A private room runs about 3sp per day. If your friends here also get private rooms, I'll knock it down to 2sp per day per room. If you get a private room, but your friends get a common room, then I'll knock it down to 1sp and 5cp. Of course any damage your...er..friend she looks at Jocosa here does is not included. And if it sheds, there be an extra cleaning fee. she pushes the guestbook to Gnok. Sign here. You pay for each night in advance. She looks at the rest of the group. And what about you all?


Male Dwarf Hedgewitch/7

"She is not an it. She is a she. And don't worry she does not shed." Gnok grumbles. "Is there an extra charge if I shed?"

He signs the guestbook and forks over the required amount.


Male Dwarf Barbarian 4 (HP 60/60(+12) AC:19 T:11 F:19 Saves F:+8 R:+4 W:+3 CMB:+8 CMD:19 Init:+1 Perc: +8 Intimidate: +6, Rage 14/14 rounds), Condensed Rage Effects: +2 melee to hit, +2 (or 3) damage, -2 AC, +12 hp, +3 Fort, Will save

Bormann Grimm scowls at the chatty halfling and says, "Private room," as he places his money on the guest book.
Bluntly, he soldiers on with, "What is a 'hope knife' ceremony?"


Male Dwarf Rogue 2 (HP 19/22 AC:16 T:13 F:13 Saves F:+3 R:+6 W:+2 CMB:+2 CMD:15 Init:+3 Perc: +6 (+7 Traps) Stealth: +7)

Kranzer Kraken-Maw lifts his head from his arms at the mention of his name. Red-rimmed eyes peer toward the new arrivals. His vision swims, blurred. Short humans...ugh...short...dwarves?! The remains of the night still cling to him, a heady odor. And with a bout of hiccups to boot. He cracks a corner of soap off his bar like every morning and quickly pops the piece into his mouth. Then he charges across the room, attempting to vault over the tables and chairs in his way, excitement scrawled across his face.

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12

"Ha HA! Dwarves, 'ere of all places! What'll it (hic!) be then? Cards? Dice? Trade you say? Could walk away with so much more gold than what your tradin' for! Day's lookin' up now. (hic!) Yessirs. Lookin' up."


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

Cham smiles at Gnock. You don't look like you shed...much! She then looks at the guest log before shoving it in Bormann's direction. Enjoy your stay Mister G-knock.

Cham is almost giddy when Bormann mentions he wants a private room also. Two down, two to go! she thinks to herself. The Hopeknife ceremony marks us becoming adults. As a town constantly under threat of orc attack a look of disgust crosses her face at when she says 'orc' adults are required to be able to..uh..not be captured by the orcs. When one becomes twelve, they are given a special, small knife that we usually wear upon a chain around our neck. She lifts her dagger from her blouse and holds it aloft We are shown which arteries to cut and swear to use their knives on ourselves, our family, and other members of the town she stops and gages reactions. It might seem dire, but it is nothing compared to what the filthy orcs would do. Besides, it has become tradition for betrothed to exchange hopeknives so it is all not grizzly. She smiles and asks Bormann, Do you have pets as well?

When Kranzer vaults over the tables, Cham blanches noticeably. Hopefully the dern fool won't break another table! Now Kraken-Maw, you wouldn't cheat your kinfolk too? She says with a wicked smile.


Male Dwarf Wizard (Earth Elementalist) 2 (HP 16/16; AC:16 T:16 FF:14; Saves F:+1/+3 vs poison/+5 vs spells R:+2/+6 vs spells W:+4/+8 vs spells; CMB:+2 CMD:14 (see profile page for modifiers); Init:+2; Perc:+3; Spellcraft:+8){Effects: Mage Armor}

"Our thanks for yer hospitality, Goodlady Larringfass. I'll be takin' a private room as well. My companions've had to listen to my snorin' every night since we left Janderhoff, an' they tell me it's loud enough to bring down the mountains. Might as well give 'em a break from that!" the bald dwarf with a bushy black beard and mustache says with a chuckle.

"Drosk Ironhame's my name," he introduces himself, fishing two silver pieces from his belt pouch and handing them to the halfling woman with a polite bow of his head. "An' our cheerful companion's name is Bormann Grimm. As ye can guess, he's a bit sleep deprived from our journey." As Drosk signs the guestbook, a small green gecko peeks out from his vest and then scurries up to perch atop his bald head, peering curiously at the innkeeper. "An' this is my friend, Nik-nik," Drosk explains.

"Yer hopeknives sound like a wise precaution," Drosk comments following Mistress Larringfass' explanation. "We'd be honored to attend tonight's ceremony, if yer sure Chief Defender Holgra an' the other folks won't be offended by the presence of outsiders. Can ye tell us more about Chief Defender Holgra an' yer other town elders?"

Kranzer Kraken-Maw wrote:
"Ha HA! Dwarves, 'ere of all places! What'll it (hic!) be then? Cards? Dice? Trade you say? Could walk away with so much more gold than what your tradin' for! Day's lookin' up now. (hic!) Yessirs. Lookin' up."
Cham Larringfass wrote:
Now Kraken-Maw, you wouldn't cheat your kinfolk too? She says with a wicked smile.

"Hail and well met, Goodman... Kraken-Maw, was it?" Drosk asks with a friendly smile, extending his hand to the newcomer. "Drosk Ironhame's the name. I understand from Goodlady Larringfass ye know all the dwarves here in Trunau. Would ye mind introducin' us? Any smiths here in town?"


Male Dwarf Rogue 2 (HP 19/22 AC:16 T:13 F:13 Saves F:+3 R:+6 W:+2 CMB:+2 CMD:15 Init:+3 Perc: +6 (+7 Traps) Stealth: +7)

Kranzer hiccups again. Rolling over the tables warn't the best for the 'ole stomach. "No cheatin' but what's in folks' heads, Cham!"

He turns back to Drosk. A clean smell fills the air as Kranzer talks. "Kranzer's the name." He scratches his head. "Have ta think about the smiths for a second, but I do know tha dwarves. Just me and Greta here. Greta! Greta, where is that blasted woman?!"

Kranzer leans in close and whispers, "Warnin' to ya though, don't look at a lass fer long 'round Greta, else you be wantin' her to marry ya both the next day. Marriage," he looks disgusted, "And they call me dishonest, ha!"

Knowledge (Local) to remember where any smiths are located. Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19


Male Dwarf Barbarian 4 (HP 60/60(+12) AC:19 T:11 F:19 Saves F:+8 R:+4 W:+3 CMB:+8 CMD:19 Init:+1 Perc: +8 Intimidate: +6, Rage 14/14 rounds), Condensed Rage Effects: +2 melee to hit, +2 (or 3) damage, -2 AC, +12 hp, +3 Fort, Will save

Bormann's eyebrows rise as he takes in the explanation of the hopeknives with a little surprise. He has normally considered human (and halfling) communities to be relatively soft about such things when it comes to dealing with enemies. Perhaps Trunau is a town worthy of a dwarf's respect.
"I am impressed with the determination the hopeknives embody. I would like to see this ceremony."


Male Dwarf Hedgewitch/7

I am assuming that all of us know each other, except for Kranzer. Right?

"Kranzer, good to meet you. I'm Gnok, and this is Jocosa. Let her sniff you, so she gets your scent."

"Jocosa, sniff and no bumping, ya hear."


INACTIVE - Re-Usable

Jocosa looks at Gnok with a really? look then moves up closer to Kranzer and sniffs. She wrinkles her nose at the obvious smell of the hungover dwarf, and this time she doesn't bump into him.


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

Cham is just about giddy as Drosk takes a private room as well. She thrusts the guestbook at him. As she spies the Gecko, she smiles and says, Does it shed? She then looks over at Gnok and gives a wink and a smile.

Kranzer wrote:
"No cheatin' but what's in folks' heads, Cham!"

At this Cham rolls her eyes.

@Kranzer: You know that the Clamor is nearby. It is G on the map. It is run by Trunau's councilwoman - and half-orc Sara Morninghawk. It is also where most of the hopeknives are crafted.

Cham smiles at Bormann. And we would like for you to see it. She tucks her hopeknife back into her blouse.

@Gnok: You are correct you know everyone besides Kranzer.


Male Dwarf Wizard (Earth Elementalist) 2 (HP 16/16; AC:16 T:16 FF:14; Saves F:+1/+3 vs poison/+5 vs spells R:+2/+6 vs spells W:+4/+8 vs spells; CMB:+2 CMD:14 (see profile page for modifiers); Init:+2; Perc:+3; Spellcraft:+8){Effects: Mage Armor}
DM RichD wrote:
As she spies the Gecko, she smiles and says, Does it shed? She then looks over at Gnok and gives a wink and a smile.

"Not any more'n my head does," Drosk replies with a chuckle.

"Goodlady Larringfass, what can ye tell us about Chief Defender Holgra an' yer other town elders? What're yer views on the trade priorities for the town?" Drosk asks with interest.


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map
Drosk wrote:
"Goodlady Larringfass, what can ye tell us about Chief Defender Holgra an' yer other town elders? What're yer views on the trade priorities for the town?"

Ohhh! Gossip! Cham purrs. You came to the right gal, D-Rusk! What can I tell you of Chief Defender Holgra? She was born here and then went adventuring. She returned here in her forties with several children. It is said they all have different fathers. One of her sons is even a half-orc! She is a mountain of a woman to normal sized folks so she towers over all of you. She is a capable leader that has kept us safe so we don't begrudge her offspring or her appearance.

Then there is Agrit Staginsdar. She is a dwarf like yourselves. She is a practitioner of the arcane arts. It is said that this disappointed her family greatly. She is the owner of the House of Wonders which is a business that provides spellcasting services and magic items. She glances at Drosk's attire for those that are so inclined. She is married to Sara Morninghawk. Sara is also a council member and a half-orc and owner of the Clamor-The best and really only smithy in Trunau. Sara crafts most of the hopeknives we carry.

Then there is Lessie Crumkin. She owns the Trunau Countinghouse. She might be a banker but her martial skills are fantastic!

As for trade, I can't say I'm an expert in that. I can give you the gossip on just about anyone in town, but when it comes to diplomacy and politics I'm about as lost as a kobold at an elven feast!

the Clamor is letter G on the map.


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

The door opens and Cham says, My word does get around fast. Greta, dear, we have some of your fellow dwarves here! Kraken-Maw is already trying to entice them into games of chance! Come over here and introduce yourself, lass!


Male Dwarf Wizard (Earth Elementalist) 2 (HP 16/16; AC:16 T:16 FF:14; Saves F:+1/+3 vs poison/+5 vs spells R:+2/+6 vs spells W:+4/+8 vs spells; CMB:+2 CMD:14 (see profile page for modifiers); Init:+2; Perc:+3; Spellcraft:+8){Effects: Mage Armor}

"Yer town council members sound like a fine group of people," Drosk says after Mistress Larringfass finishes her description of the town council. "I imagine Chief Defender Holgra's too busy with preparin' for tonight's ceremony to meet with us this afternoon. I thought I heard the sounds of a smithy further down the lane when we arrived - would I be correct in assumin' that's the direction of Councilmember Morninghawk's smithy? An' can ye tell us how to find the House of Wonders and the Trunau Countinghouse? I'd like to introduce ourselves to the council members this afternoon after we've had a chance to freshen up from the road."


Male Dwarf Barbarian 4 (HP 60/60(+12) AC:19 T:11 F:19 Saves F:+8 R:+4 W:+3 CMB:+8 CMD:19 Init:+1 Perc: +8 Intimidate: +6, Rage 14/14 rounds), Condensed Rage Effects: +2 melee to hit, +2 (or 3) damage, -2 AC, +12 hp, +3 Fort, Will save

"Half-orcs?!? Bormann seems genuinely taken aback.
"Well, I suppose you know your own business here in Trunau. But the history of my clan is no more friendly toward half-breeds than to full-blooded orcs. Most of the surviving Sky Citadels would probably see them as dangerous to their security as an orc or goblin. Trunau surprises again."


Male Dwarf Rogue 2 (HP 19/22 AC:16 T:13 F:13 Saves F:+3 R:+6 W:+2 CMB:+2 CMD:15 Init:+3 Perc: +6 (+7 Traps) Stealth: +7)

"Well Cham's got it right this time. Clamor's where ya want be if arms and armor are up your alley."

At Gnok's tiger as she walks away, Kranzer says, "Odd, that tiger, and a dwarf with her? But I'm no one ta judge ye for what ya are. No sir. No one."

Kranzer grows serious for a moment, almost brooding, toward Bormann's comment. A stark contrast to his previous joviality. "Half-orcs got just as much cause to fight tha orcs as any, probly more. Good people, they are. Had to slit my fair share of comrade's veins on patrol. Hard veins them half-breeds. Hard people too."

He shakes his head. But always softer than dwarves, eh? How about it cousins? Drinks for tha dead on me!"


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

Cham looks at Drosk Yes you are correct! That is Sara Morninghawk's smithy and you are also correct, Chief Defender Holgra will be busy today, but tomorrow she should be available. She gives you you directions to each location.

Surprisingly absent from the Map the AP provided so I will add them tonight when I get home.

Kraken-Maw got the gist of it. We may not like some of their ancestors, but for the most part the half-orcs are a decent lot and even have positions in the militia.

She looks at Greta as she approaches, Will you require cleaning service today for your room? I can send Gabi up if you do?


Female Dwarf Cleric 4; HP 35/35; AC 19, T 10, FF 19; F+5, R+1, W+7; CMB+4; CMD 14; Init +0, Perc +3; SM +7

Greta smiles sweetly at Cham. "No, miss! The room's clean enough and I've no visitors if that's what that look in yer eye means! Kranzer, I do hope you're minding your manners. That poor lass you 'educated' with your words of wisdom last night is still sobbing and swearing off men. Honestly, what you louts think passes for romance in this town! It's enough to put an honest girl off marriage, it is." Greta seems to notice the sudden influx of dwarves into the room and smiles broadly, an honest open smile that lights her somewhat plain face into radiance. "Blessing of home and hearth to you, cousins! May you find our home as welcoming as your own and may the stone ever rise to meet yer feet. What brings so many fine folk to Trunau, now?"


Male Dwarf Barbarian 4 (HP 60/60(+12) AC:19 T:11 F:19 Saves F:+8 R:+4 W:+3 CMB:+8 CMD:19 Init:+1 Perc: +8 Intimidate: +6, Rage 14/14 rounds), Condensed Rage Effects: +2 melee to hit, +2 (or 3) damage, -2 AC, +12 hp, +3 Fort, Will save
Kranzer Kraken-Maw wrote:


He shakes his head. But always softer than dwarves, eh? How about it cousins? Drinks for tha dead on me!"

Bormann nods his assent, "Aye, I will drink to that."

In response to Greta's query, Bormann looks mainly to Drosk and Gnok. "Trade diplomacy, Greta, and a decent drink to get the dust of the road's surface out of our mouths. But I will leave the former to dwarves more diplomatic than I."


Female Dwarf Cleric 4; HP 35/35; AC 19, T 10, FF 19; F+5, R+1, W+7; CMB+4; CMD 14; Init +0, Perc +3; SM +7

"Drinks are definitely available in Trunau, but diplomacy? That you had better have brought along!" Greta laughs and smiles.


Male Dwarf Wizard (Earth Elementalist) 2 (HP 16/16; AC:16 T:16 FF:14; Saves F:+1/+3 vs poison/+5 vs spells R:+2/+6 vs spells W:+4/+8 vs spells; CMB:+2 CMD:14 (see profile page for modifiers); Init:+2; Perc:+3; Spellcraft:+8){Effects: Mage Armor}

"A pleasure to meet ye, milady. May yer hearth burn ever bright," Drosk replies to Greta's greeting, bowing his head respectfully to the female dwarf. "My name's Drosk Ironhame, an' my companions here are Bormann Grimm an' Gnok Earthstone," Drosk introduces his fellow dwarves. "An' this is Jocosa, Gnok's friend," Drosk adds, indicating the white tiger. "Oh, an' Nik-nik," he says, pointing to the gecko perched atop his bald head. Nik-nik bobs its head, flicks out its tongue to moisten its eyes, and then scurries down from Drosk's head to perch on his shoulder.

"As Bormann said, we're here in the hopes of openin' diplomatic relations between Janderhoff an' Trunau, an' possibly set up some tradin' opportunities as well," Drosk elaborates upon Bormann's brief answer to Greta's question. We're thankful to have been met by Goodlady Larringfass' hospitality, an' to have met some friendly folks such as Goodman Kranzer an' yerself. I believe Goodman Kranzer here was about to buy us all drinks so we could toast to the brave folks who've died with honor defendin' Trunau. Would ye care to join us?"


Female Dwarf Cleric 4; HP 35/35; AC 19, T 10, FF 19; F+5, R+1, W+7; CMB+4; CMD 14; Init +0, Perc +3; SM +7

"I'd be a poor lady if I refused an offer of a drink and friendship! Pleased to meet you all. I'm Greta Bolkasdottir, local girl and rumor-monger. You came on a fine day, what with the ceremony and all. It's not every day Trunau gets the party going, but when we do, it's always a memorable event. Provided you don't drink too much!" Greta smiles at Nik-nik, laughing a bit when he licks his eyes. "He's absolutely precious! And such a beautiful cat!"


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

Are you all planning on going anywhere before the ceremony, or are you all going to get a drink (or two) and rest (for those that have been traveling). If nothing else is planned I will post the opening of the ceremony. Both Greta and Kranzer will tell you that after the ceremony, there are usually games and festivities and will allow the visitors to mingle and introduce yourselves to the other townspeople.


Male Dwarf Hedgewitch/7

"Thanks for the drink Kranzer" Gnok says after the first round comes. "Next round on me!" he exclaims. "For the Dwarves" he continues. After many rounds of drinking he finally sits down, "wake me for ceremony" then he starts snoring.


INACTIVE - Re-Usable

Padding silently over to his friend, Jocosa lays on the floor next to Gnok and washes his paws. Having been thru this many a time, the cat keeps watch, growling slightly whenever anyone other than a dwarf or the halfling lass comes near Gnok. As time for the ceremony comes close, he head bumps Gnok till he falls to the floor and wakes.


Female Dwarf Cleric 4; HP 35/35; AC 19, T 10, FF 19; F+5, R+1, W+7; CMB+4; CMD 14; Init +0, Perc +3; SM +7

I propose we have a drink then head over to the ceremony.

Greta drinks her stout, taking long pulls, then stands and wipes her hands on her dress unselfconsciously. "We had best get moving if we're to be seeing the ceremony. There will be games and festiveness a-plenty after, not to mention drinking." Greta smiles at Cham and waves, then heads out.


Male Dwarf Rogue 2 (HP 19/22 AC:16 T:13 F:13 Saves F:+3 R:+6 W:+2 CMB:+2 CMD:15 Init:+3 Perc: +6 (+7 Traps) Stealth: +7)

"Yes, more drinking! Tha first thing you've said all day that makes sense, Greta!

Kranzer knocks mugs with the others a few times, the drink sloshing over the side of his mug. And every time drink lands on the floor he says, "For tha dead!"

He takes a last pull on his last drink and stands and adjusts his leather armor (Must'a slept wrong in it again...), feeling the hopeknife below. It feels heavier closer to the ceremonies. More veins, he thinks, solemn for a moment.

Then he slams his palms on the table and says, "The party goes on!"


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

Jubilation fills the evening air in the normally staid town of Trunau, for it is the twelfth birthday of the Chief Defender’s youngest daughter, Ruby, and the townsfolk have been preparing all day for the ceremony and festivities to follow. A throng of spectators has amassed at the town Commons; the buzz of the crowd subsides as the weathered town leader, Halgra of the Blackened Blades, takes the stage and begins to speak.

Thank you all for joining us this night. I take immense pride in my responsibility as Chief Defender, especially when it comes to the honor of the hopeknife ceremony. It is always a great privilege to bequeath Trunauan youths their hopeknives as they come of age. Halgra stops speaking long enough to open an ornamental case and retrieve a slender, ornately decorated dagger hanging from a silver chain. But tonight is a special occasion, for the recipient of this hopeknife is none other than my youngest daughter. Once again, Halgra pauses, but this time she turns to talk to the child beside her.

Ruby, by the traditions of our town, you have come of age. This hopeknife represents your responsibilities as an adult and defender of Trunau. You must be willing to use it on yourself, your fellow Trunauans, and your family—even me, should it come to that. It will be a far quicker death than that which the orcs will offer, and providing it is your duty. Do you swear to guard Trunau from all comers, and to use your hopeknife only for its intended purpose? Ruby—dusky skinned, black haired, and painfully shy—nods her head in response to her mother’s question.

If the orcs come, and there is no other option, this is where you cut—here, here, and here. Halgra demonstrates which arteries to sever while Ruby watches. When she is finished, Halgra sheathes the hopeknife and places the necklace around Ruby’s neck before turning back to address the crowd.

Tonight, Ruby becomes a full member of our community! Let us welcome her, and celebrate her passage into adulthood! Trunau forever! The crowd echoes Halgra’s last words in unison, signaling the end of the ceremony.

As the ceremony ends, the mood of the town changes. The crowd, solemn and grim-faced during the ceremony now yell and clap their hands, shouting, Games! Games! Two men take the stage and their resemblance is so uncanny that they must be siblings. Looking over the crowd, one says with a smile, Now Rodrik, which game shall we play first? The crowd starts to chant Tug-of-war! Tug-of-war! Rodrik returns his brother’s smile, I don’t know Kurst! The crowd yells even louder for the tug-of-war. Rodrik lets out a hearty laugh.Tug-of-war it is! Kurst turns to the crowd. The rules of tug-of-war are easy-It is Ruby here against the town’s best defenders! Rodrik and I and several members of the militia against Ruby! The girl’s face pales as four burly men of the town’s militia grab hold of one end of the rope. Now Kurst, that looks unfair! Perhaps Ruby should have some help! Ruby, pick some people for your team! The crowd starts to shout at Ruby:

I’ll be on your team!

Let’s beat those Grath brothers!

Ruby, looking around the crowd and not wanting to insult anyone by not picking them can’t seem to make up her mind-until she spies you all. I cannot play favorites among my fellow townspeople, so I pick the dwarven strangers!

The crowd is monetarily stunned, but then begins shouting at you:

Finally some competition for those Grath brothers!

Good choice Ruby, if they fail, we don’t know them anyway!

Is the tiger included in that selection?

Let the Kraken-Maw and Greta join their friends!

A round of ale for the dwarves if Ruby wins!

The crowd looks at you all to see if you accept.


Male Dwarf Hedgewitch/7

Slightly hungover from the afternoon drinking, Gnok stands and bows to the lass, almost falling over, "Aye Ruby lass. We shall be on your team!"


INACTIVE - Re-Usable

Head butting Gnok, the white tiger moves off to the side and lays down to calmly watch the contest and begins grooming herself.


Male Dwarf Wizard (Earth Elementalist) 2 (HP 16/16; AC:16 T:16 FF:14; Saves F:+1/+3 vs poison/+5 vs spells R:+2/+6 vs spells W:+4/+8 vs spells; CMB:+2 CMD:14 (see profile page for modifiers); Init:+2; Perc:+3; Spellcraft:+8){Effects: Mage Armor}

At the Ramblehouse:

Greta Bolkasdottir wrote:
Greta smiles at Nik-nik, laughing a bit when he licks his eyes. "He's absolutely precious! And such a beautiful cat!"

At the sound of the word 'cat', Nik-nik gives a slight jump on Drosk's shoulder, glances about nervously, and then scampers to hide in Drosk's vest. The lizard's quivering causes the the fabric of the vest to pulsate rapidly, making it appear as if Drosk's heart is about to beat out of his chest. "Ye'll have to excuse Nik-nik," Drosk chuckles. "He lost his tail to a cat once; fortunately it grew back. He don't much care for cats, though - exceptin' for Jocosa, that is!" he adds, grinning toward the white tiger.

Drosk joins his fellow dwarves in drinking a toast to the fallen defenders of Trunau, maintaining a moderate pace to avoid being hungover for the night's festivities. He eagerly joins the others when Greta announces it is time for the ceremony.

At the Ceremony:

"Yes indeed, Lady Ruby! We'd be honored to be on yer team!" Drosk exclaims, following Gnok's example and bowing to the young girl.

Is the tug-of-war match taking place on the stage or on the ground?


Male Dwarf Barbarian 4 (HP 60/60(+12) AC:19 T:11 F:19 Saves F:+8 R:+4 W:+3 CMB:+8 CMD:19 Init:+1 Perc: +8 Intimidate: +6, Rage 14/14 rounds), Condensed Rage Effects: +2 melee to hit, +2 (or 3) damage, -2 AC, +12 hp, +3 Fort, Will save

Bormann initially scowls at being picked for the tug of war team, but with the enthusiasm of his fellows, his expression turns to resignation. After all, it may help any trade agreement if they win the friendship or at least respect of the locals.

"Aye, girl - I mean woman, I will pull. Bormann Grimm am I, and they are Drosk Ironhame and Gnok Earthstone. I will let Gnok introduce you to his companion when this is done and we have the offered beers in hand."


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

@Drosk: On the ground


Female Dwarf Cleric 4; HP 35/35; AC 19, T 10, FF 19; F+5, R+1, W+7; CMB+4; CMD 14; Init +0, Perc +3; SM +7

Greta smiles and bows deeply to Ruby. "I'm honored! Let's show these folks a good show!"


Male Dwarf Rogue 2 (HP 19/22 AC:16 T:13 F:13 Saves F:+3 R:+6 W:+2 CMB:+2 CMD:15 Init:+3 Perc: +6 (+7 Traps) Stealth: +7)

Kranzer sucks in a breath and puffs out his chest. He steps forward, looking sidelong at the crowd. All them ladies out there watchin’ ya. Best not muck it up fool!

"Ruby’s got’r help now. A dwarf never loses when good drink’s on the line!”


Male Dwarf Wizard (Earth Elementalist) 2 (HP 16/16; AC:16 T:16 FF:14; Saves F:+1/+3 vs poison/+5 vs spells R:+2/+6 vs spells W:+4/+8 vs spells; CMB:+2 CMD:14 (see profile page for modifiers); Init:+2; Perc:+3; Spellcraft:+8){Effects: Mage Armor}
DM RichD wrote:
@Drosk: On the ground

Thanks! Not sure how the tug-of-war works, but I have a CMD of 15 vs. drag combat maneuvers when I'm touching the ground.


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

On hearing your acceptance, Chief Defender Halgra smiles broadly and the cheers go up from the crowd as the visiting dwarves, Greta and Kranzer are good-naturedly ushered to the rope.

Huzzah for Ruby and the dwarves!

Greta and Kraken-Maw! Show the visitors how its done!

Rodrik takes his sword and carves a line in the ground, and him, his brother, and the militia men grab hold of one end of the rope. You all and Ruby grab the other end. On both sides the member closer to the line is 15 feet from it.

Team Ruby -> X <- Team Militia
Distance from Team Ruby to line in the dirt (X): 15 Feet , Distance from Team Militia to line in the dirt (X): 15 Feet

As you all grip the rope, Chief Defender Halgra says The contest starts when this handkerchief hits the ground. She then produces a brightly colored red handkerchief, raises it above her head and lets it float to the ground.

Gnok Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Team Militia Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9

As the handkerchief hits the ground, Gnok spurs Team Ruby on by giving a quick tug.

Team Ruby Strength Check: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 9 + 2 = 17
Team Militia Strength Check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12

The dwarves, hunker down and working in unison, pull Team Militia 10ft towards the line.

Gnok Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Team Militia Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7

Gnok, seeing victory, quickly starts to tug the rope again.

Team Ruby Strength Check: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 9 + 2 = 26
Team Militia Strength Check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25

Team Militia is pulled to the brink of the line, but tenaciously dig in.

Gnok Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Team Militia Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16

The dwarves, following Gnok's example, quickly tug the rope to pull Team Militia over. The crowd starts chanting Ruby! Ruby!

Team Ruby Strength Check: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 9 + 2 = 13
Team Militia Strength Check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23

Team Militia rallies and pull Team Ruby 10ft to the line.

Gnok Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Team Militia Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11

Now Team Militia seems to get the drop on Team Ruby as they quickly pull the rope.

Team Ruby Strength Check: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10
Team Militia Strength Check: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 7 + 2 = 15

Now it is Team Ruby right on the line.

Gnok Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
Team Militia Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

Team Ruby tries to turn defeat around.

Team Ruby Strength Check: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 9 + 2 = 15
Team Militia Strength Check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15

Both teams struggle and no headway is made.

Gnok Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Team Militia Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

Team Ruby Strength Check: 1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 9 + 2 = 26
Team Militia Strength Check: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27

Just as it seems as if Team Militia will pull Team Ruby over the line, Rodrik 'slips' which leads to total chaos on Team Militia. Militia men begin to slip and 'let go' of the rope. As Team Ruby pulls the only remaining militia man still holding the rope over the line. The crowd erupts in cheers for Ruby.

Ruby is hoisted onto the shoulders of several townsfolk and whisked away to the next contest. You find a couple of tankards of ale thrust your way as the crowd continues to chant and cheer for Ruby. Rodrik and Kurst approach you and Kurst says to Greta and Kranzer, Will you finally accept my offer and join the town militia now? Someone need to pick up the slack while my brother here writes his poetry! . Rodrik guffaws and says, At least it will take two, strong dwarves to take up my slack!

Rodrik says to the rest of you, Well met travelers! What brings you to our small town? I am Rodrik or as I am known, the handsome, smart, friendly Grath brother and this is Kurst or just Kurst as he is known. What brings you to our small town?


Male Dwarf Hedgewitch/7

Taking the offered tankard of ale and downing it in one big gulp, "ah, hair of the dog as my friends in other upland towns would say, although I never understood the expression."

Then hearing Rodrik question, he resonds "Gnok Earthstone, and these are my clansmen" as he points to Bormann and Drosk. "We are hear to open diplomatic ties with Trunau and perhaps set up trade for good dwarven armor and weapons from us, and for items that you can supply."


Male Dwarf Wizard (Earth Elementalist) 2 (HP 16/16; AC:16 T:16 FF:14; Saves F:+1/+3 vs poison/+5 vs spells R:+2/+6 vs spells W:+4/+8 vs spells; CMB:+2 CMD:14 (see profile page for modifiers); Init:+2; Perc:+3; Spellcraft:+8){Effects: Mage Armor}

"Aye, it's as my clansman Gnok said!" Drosk exclaims, blowing the foam off his tankard of ale as he joins Gnok's conversation with the Grath brothers. "Drosk Ironhame," the bald dwarf introduces himself with a nod of his head. "May yer axes always stay sharp! Sand an' shale, but you boys're strong to nearly take five dwarves in a tug-of-war!" he says with a wink. "We've been sent by our clan elders in Janderhoff. They're sincerely impressed with how yer people've been defendin' yer town from the orc hordes, an' they want to help with yer struggles," Drosk explains. "We're hopin' to meet with Chief Defender Helgra an' yer other town council members, but we don't want to intrude on young Ruby's celebration this evenin'."


Male Dwarf Rogue 2 (HP 19/22 AC:16 T:13 F:13 Saves F:+3 R:+6 W:+2 CMB:+2 CMD:15 Init:+3 Perc: +6 (+7 Traps) Stealth: +7)

At the mention of the town militia, Kranzer whirls around quick to the crowd. ”Warn’t there mention of ale for tha winners? Can’t leave a poor dwarf dry for long.”


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

Kurst laughs at Kranzer's attempt to change the subject. So all we need to do to recruit you is provide ale as a signing bonus? That might be arranged! What about you Greta? What is your signing bonus?

Rodrik nods at Gnok. I am not one for politics, but Chief Defender Halgra will be around shortly after people stop congratulating her. You all are her daughter's teammates after all. Beutiful Cat! Where did you meet such a creature?

Rodrik grabs a tankard of ale and holding it in Drosk's direction says,

May your pick always strike mithral!
May you live long enough to grow your beard to your toes!
May your supper plate never be bare or your tankard empty!
May you feel the heat of a good forge on your face!
Until Torag calls you home!

With that he downs the tankard as Kurst mimes gagging behind him. When did you start writing dwarven toasts, dear brother? he says. Rodrik just smiles. To Drosk he says, We are definately in need of help with our stuggles. I hope Chief Defender Halgra comes to an agreement with you all, but if you decide to stay here in town after the negotiations, Kurst and I WILL try to recruit you for the militia!


Male Dwarf Barbarian 4 (HP 60/60(+12) AC:19 T:11 F:19 Saves F:+8 R:+4 W:+3 CMB:+8 CMD:19 Init:+1 Perc: +8 Intimidate: +6, Rage 14/14 rounds), Condensed Rage Effects: +2 melee to hit, +2 (or 3) damage, -2 AC, +12 hp, +3 Fort, Will save

Bormann takes a long pull from his tankard. "If we do end up staying in town for an extended period, then I, at least, will consider joining the militia. I am a warrior, not a merchant or diplomat. Staffing a trading house is not in my blood."


Female Dwarf Cleric 4; HP 35/35; AC 19, T 10, FF 19; F+5, R+1, W+7; CMB+4; CMD 14; Init +0, Perc +3; SM +7

Greta smiles and laughs. "You know I'm there if you need me, Kurst. But someone has got to ensure that the people of Trunau keep falling in love and making new members! It's a dirty job, but..." Greta smiles broadly.


INACTIVE - Re-Usable

As she hears beautiful cat, Jocosa rises up, stretches and moves over towards Rodrik and sniffs. She then turns to Gnok, as if to say I like him.


Male Dwarf Hedgewitch/7

"Aye lad, now yer done it. Only thing she likes more than praise is food, so yer made a friend." But Gnok rolls his eyes at the cat.

"How did I meet her, well that is a tale to be with lots of ale in a tavern, but the short version. When I came of age, studying under the shaman, I felt a different pull from the gods. Came to the upland and searched. One day I found a dead tiger with her one remaining cub, and took the cub in. Had to work at many a farm to get milk for her, but we grew together over time till she could hunt for herself, but we never separated. I was just heading back to the clan hold when I came upon my brethren and was asked to join them since I knew more about the uplands than most."


NARRATOR CoT Map / GS Map / ROTRL Map

Kurst nods at Bormann, And we would be honored to have you in our ranks!

Kurst smiles at Greta, That's you? I thought it was Rodrik and his sappy love poems and plays like Hommel and Brekka!

@Greta and Kranzer:
Rodrik is a will known poet and playright in Tranua. The play Hommel and Brekka is Rodrik’s last play and is widely considered to be his best work. The love story of Hommel and Brekka is told in four acts, though the play’s running time is less than 1-1/2 hours. That the playwright managed to compress all of the most meaningful aspects of a forbidden relationship into such a short work is a testament to his talent. The play’s namesake characters are a Shoanti warrior (Hommel) and a Chelish conqueror (Brekka). Trunauan viewers particularly enjoyed the air of the exotic in the play; while Rodrik has never visited the Storval Plateau, he was entranced as a boy by the stories of that land’s sprawling plains, rolling river valleys, and hardened native people.

Rodrik says, If she likes food, then food she'll have! He calls over a turkey leg vendor and buys one for Jocosa. He is just about to give the steaming hunk of meat to the tiger but then looks at Gnok for permission.

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