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DM-Tareth's Modified Kingmaker Campaign

Game Master Tareth


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Thad, go ahead and make your Round 3 set of actions. Because of your critical success on the previous roll I allowed the extra 'dive' to grab the charm. Sorry I didn't mention that at the end of the previous post.


Elf Paladin 2

OK, it sort of seemed that way from context but I wasn't sure...

Thad prays a simple prayer and marshals his strength as he squeezes at the squirmy bony mass in an attempt to crush the blasphemous relic. "Please, give me strength. Don't let it hurt anyone else." His jaw is clenched as he forces out the words; the chill of the grave traveled up his fist he'd used to grab the charm and stabbed straight for his brain leaving him momentarily shivering for warmth.

Strength check to break charm: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
1x Lay hands to destroy charm: 1d6 ⇒ 2

((Assuming the charm is successfully destroyed))
Move action: draw longsword

Thad throws down the shattered remnants of the charm and turns to the woman caught amidst the grasping undergrowth. He draws his sword and faces her, declaring "You must be Kessel; we've heard a lot about you. Drop the axe and we'll call off the birds. Nobody else need die today."


male Human Bard (Detective) 2

Moving to U12

Imon moved forward, bow at the ready, waiting to see what the woman would do. He doubted she would surrender, even if her allies were dead or disabled. He held his shot though, he didn't want to risk hitting the birds.


The charm struggles in Thad's grip for a few seconds until it suddenly crumbles to dust in the paladin's fist as the white glow of positive energy weakens any magical protection it may have had left.

Kressle struggles a bit against Warren's attacking birds, but manages to avoid any significant damage. She listens to Thad's demand to surrender and laughs softly. The sound a combination of hatred, disappointment, and maybe just a hint of sadness or regret. Her eyes flick to the dust still coating Thad's hand as she says in a rough voice, "It seems you already know what kind of fate awaits me should I do what you ask. I've seen what happens to those who try to willingly go against their oath and I don't wish to die that way."

With a snarl and a surprising quickness she brings her axe around and steps up to attack Thad. Unfortunately for her, the strike glances off of his armor and fails to cause any damage.

The other remaining bandit continues to try and escape as he slips into a slightly less dense patch of forest.

Kressle Step to N16
Kressle Attack Thad: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Bandit B3 move to P31

Round 4


Elf Paladin 2

Thad takes up a defensive stance and does his best to fend off her blows as he tries one final time to win Kessel away from her allegiance to whatever dark oath she swore. "I swear to you under the Stag's horns- by hearth and by heart and by bow, the charm can be overcome! I will do everything in my power to free you. Nobody. Need. Die."

The memory of Happs' death still haunted him, and the pain of his most recent injury conjured memories of the agony of wrestling that damned hand away from Happs' chest. He steeled himself for what might be required- if she trusted him he'd have to put himself through that again. Just as fiercely and desperately as he parried her attacks, he fought off his doubts about whether he could really save her.

Full round action: full defense


Warren continues to glide effortlessly through the brush (as if it wasn't even there). Double move to M30, about 15' from the bandit.

Warren speaks as he brandishes his scimitar. "Stop and surrender, don't make me have to send my eagles after you too."

The eagles having been given the command to attack, continue to go after the female bandit. Hovering in place from their last attack, the eagles rip at the bandit with talons and claws defending Thad.
Tuney: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 131d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 151d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 121d4 ⇒ 41d4 ⇒ 41d4 ⇒ 1
Montey: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 121d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 181d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 161d4 ⇒ 31d4 ⇒ 11d4 ⇒ 3

DC 15 fly checks to continue to hover.
Tuney: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Montey: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27

Tuney fails to maintain flight after his flurry and settles on the ground nearby and is grabbed by vegetation.
Montey continues to hover in place.


Warren: Do your eagles attack Kressle immediately or do they wait until she or Thad actually make an attack?


Unfortunately I am in a full speed chase through the bushes and not keeping a strict eye on developments in the entangle. I think they go after her immediately. Plus they saw her attack Thad.


male Human Bard (Detective) 2

Imon fired at the woman, hoping that the arrow would bring her to her senses. The shot went wide, however, as he was more concerned with hitting the eagles than he was with missing her.

Attack 1d20 ⇒ 9

In frustration, Imon wondered if he could convince her, where Thad had not. "Surely you realize that victory is no longer possble, all your allies are dead or incapacitated! If you surrender, you might live, if you don't, you will die. It's your choice."


Kressle Attack Montey: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Kressle Damage Montey: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8

Kressle steps back after her failed attack and Thad's refusal to press his advantage. A look of surprise and maybe even a bit of hope crosses her face as she listens to the paladin's oath followed by Imon's calls to reason. But just as she starts to speak the eagles swoop back down and attack her with a flurry of blows. Most don't penetrate her armor or go wild. However, as the feathers fly, several new scratches, gouges, and bleeding wounds cover her face and upper body.

In a desperate attempt to drive the birds away she swings and lands a solid hit on Montey with her axe causing the bird to drop to the ground. A second later Tuney gets caught in the surrounding vegetation.

Breathing heavily, she turns away from the birds and back to Thad. Before she can say anything else, she noticeably flinches and it's suddenly easy to see movement under her armor as something appears to 'crawl' from the center of her chest to her heart. With a combination of fear and wildness in her eyes she looks Thad in the eye and says, "It seems a part of me wishes to believe you elf."

Suddenly her arm drops to her side and the axe falls to the ground. Her knees buckle as she begins tearing at her cloak and armor while sweat erupts across her forehead mingling with the blood. Her panicked breathing fills the air as she tries the reach the thing moving beneath her clothing. A whispered "Please..." is all that escapes her lips before she begins to scream.

****

Deeper in the forest the running bandit turns a startled look towards Warren after the druid's call to stop. Throwing his hands out to the sides, the scrawny and underfed looking man says, "I surrender. I swear I'll join your gang or whate'er it is you want. Jus' don't let 'em know about it."

At that moment a series of shrieking feminine screams echo through the woods back in the direction of the rest of the party. The bandit drops to the ground covering his head and ears with his arms and just begins gibbering to himself in utter fear.


Elf Paladin 2

Thad lets the sword fall to the ground in favor of his belt knife and kneels by the stricken woman's side. He quickly cuts through the armor's straps and her underclothes to give him access to the charm. Then, with teeth clenched together in anticipation of the pain that will follow, he grabs for the cursed amulet.

Rolls that might be applicable:
Diplomacy check to keep Kessel calm while I work: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (11) + 9 = 20
Will save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Lay hands on charm: 1d6 ⇒ 6


Gorax, Stellan, Anwel, Udoeak, Andrei:
The party slowly, cautiously creeps further into the spider's lair. Tension fills the air along with the stench of moldering remains and damp soil. It is quiet, almost unnaturally so, as the only sounds are those made by your own breathing and equipment.

Finally you approach a shallow hole in the ground. It's partially covered by a thick webbing and scattering of sticks and dried grass. It appears to be about as deep as a man is tall. A foul stench drifts out of the pit most likely caused by the huge corpse of giant spider. It's legs are curled in death. Dried gore and ooze surround the body, but little else of value can be seen.

Gorax, Stellan, Anwel, Udoeak, Andrei - PER(DC15):
The body is several days old. Looking closer at the body of the spider it seems the creatures death was caused by a series of very careful as scrupulous incisions. This was not the result of a frenzied fight, but more of a careful dissection. It's impossible to know for sure but it even looks like some of the parts may have been removed or...harvested.

Gorax, Stellan, Anwel, Udoeak, Andrei - PER(DC18):
While looking for clues to what happened you glance off to the west. At just that moment by pure luck or coincidence you see three orbs of light rise high above the trees and then burst in a sparkling display of color. It was several miles to the west and south, but still easily within a days quick march.


Montey falls to the ground bleeding from a wicked slice. -2/6hp

Warren dispels the entangle and advances to the cowering bandit. He whistles for his eagles, and a look of anguish appears when only one rises above the canopy.

stab eagle: 1d20 - 2 + 1 ⇒ (10) - 2 + 1 = 9


Male Elf Shadowcaster 3

DM - Tareth:
Anwel stands slightly behind the others, his wand at the ready. "I don't know why it would wait to jump us," he murmurs, "But if it is, you'll need cover." He winces at the rancid smell that bursts from the pit when the cover is prized off. But the others' hands are full, so while they haul the bulky thing off to one side, Anwel steps forward to the edge of the pit. He hitches up the hems of his robes and kneels down to peer inside.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20

The pit's walls cloak the bottom in a dark shroud, but Anwel is used to that. As long as there was a little light, he could see, and he had the word of his mistress and her other servant that the Prince's gifts would deepen that gift in time. But for now, he can see just fine. The spider's wounds seem very small in proportion to its body, and must have been both deep and precise in order to bleed it as much as they did. Some parts look missing, too - Anwel's hand trails to his left side at that thought, and he swallows. This looked like it had been done by a surgeon. Just to be sure, to bring up any other possibility, Anwel tries to think of any magicks that can be called from dead spider-flesh.

Spellcraft: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
If Knowledge (arcana) is more appropriate, just use the above roll. The modifier's the same.

"Looks like that's our culprit," he says, gesturing nonchalantly at the remains. He straightens up and brushs bits of webbing and debris off his robes. "I confess that on one level I'm a little disappointed it's dead," he says, smirking and looking at Andrei. "Your story had me spoiling for a fight. Though it would seem there's a new mystery on our hands." Out of the corner of his eye he spots a trio of glowing orbs, red, blue, and green, from the general direction of the forest.

"Who did kill it? Was it the Stag Lord's goons, or are there other chartered explorers we have not yet met?" He points at the light show. The individual orbs seem to have burst into glittering motes that now swirl in the air. "Did you three meet anyone on the road to the trading post?" he says. "If not, we should make their acquaintance now, whoever's side they're on."


male Human Bard (Detective) 2

Imon rushed to the woman's side, not to help, but to see. He watched Thad work for several moments as he pieced together what was going on. Finally, when he believed that he'd figured it out, he cried out in shock, "They have a device implanted in themselves to kill them if they betray the Stag Lord? What sort of man could inspire that kind of loyalty? Or is it fear?" He continued watching, casting a glance over his shoulder, wondering where Warren had gotten to, before he looked back. Clearly, he had been wrong to believe that the Stag Lord was a simple bandit leader.


DM, newcomers:

Sorry, for not being quicker, busy day today, tomorrow will be worse.

Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24

"Yes, it's dead, how boring but it does open a new mystery." Stellan looks puzzled, "This body was dissected, skillfully, I don't think I could have done as well. Parts were removed, I certainly would not make a meal of this, so I suspect other motives. Magical ones perhaps?"

The light show catches his eyes. "Well, that's impressive and obvious. So they're are either hard-pressed or unconcerned with discovery. Both troubling." Stellan sighs, "We do need to check it out. What magic was that?"

Stellan bites his lip. "I'm not sure how many Charter bearers exist. I was told of you Gents but I did get an impression more may abound. Maybe some rivalry or politics involving the Sword-Lords?"


Spellcraft1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19 Previous post the spellcraft roll, what do I know?

Sorry, I've had problems in the past adding dice rolls after already preview rolls, so I'm posting this separately.


Male Elf Shadowcaster 3

DM - Tareth, Kudosites:
Heh, it seems we made the same post, Stellan.

"That?" says Anwel, hoping to steer the conversation away from dissection, "If it is what I think it is, then it's a fairly simple spell. That sort of thing happens around us all the time, tiny bits of First World matter and tiny bits of shadowstuff pushing into the mortal realm. The two planes are parallel with each other and with the mortal realm, so when the bits emerge, they're close together - and destroy each other." Anwel shrugs. He'd been seized by the impulse to show Stellan what he meant, but realized a split second later that he hadn't prepared that spell. Not to mention that if its caster were hostile, tipping them off would be a bad idea. "The trick is to make it happen much more than it normally does, all in once place. Millions and millions of little bits altogether. We can't normally see the flash, but with so many together, we can. Most of the spells that create light work off this principle."

Yeah, that's right, Dancing Lights is powered by virtual particle annihilation, or, well, the magical version of it.

I was having a bit of fun with the explanation, but here's a Spellcraft roll to justify it. This is distinct from my earlier roll to see what could be done with spider parts. 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21

"But you're right, we need to worry more about the practical matters, like who these people are and what they're doing here," says Anwel ruefully, as though apologizing for the self-indulgent lecture. "If we can't find them, maybe write to Swordlord Tercio when we return to the trading post?" He turns away from the spider's nest and pulls out his map, doing a rough bit of trigonometry to try and figure out how far away the caster should be, if the lights appeared directly overhead, and marking that down.


Kressle's screams fill the air as Thad struggles to keep the woman still enough to finish removing the clothing and armor over what is now clearly bloody wound directly over her heart. With the quick decisiveness of someone who's seen this before Thad thrusts his hand into the wound eliciting further cries of pain from Kressle before she simply passes out.

White light glows around Thad's arm and down his hand into the chest cavity only to be met by tendrils of black energy that curl up out of Kressle's wound. Thad's single-minded resolve to save the woman and destroy the charm serves him well as he fights off most of the items attack. Although the struggle seems to last for hours, in reality it is only a few seconds before he slowly withdraws his hand. As his blood covered hand emerges, everyone nearby can see the still squirming charm of bone held in his fist. It is shaped like a miniature hand and made of numerous small bones like the previous versions the party has seen. The item seems to have spent most of it's necromantic energy as it slowly becomes still and the cold, dark energy of the afterlife dissipates.

Thad Damage Will(DC15 for Half): 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9


Stellan and Anwel:
While your initial thoughts about the distant spell turn toward the commonly known Dancing Lights a little further thinking has you questioning that initial assumption. At the very least it must be a modified form of the cantrip as the range to get that high above the trees is certainly longer than normal or it was cast by a very adept mage. In addition, the way each individual light rose above the trees and then burst into a simple pattern is not typically how it's taught in the universities.


Male Human XP: 3150 Fighter 2 HPs 14/24 AC 17/T12/FF15

As Gorax moves forward, his feet crunch on the parched bones of some forgotten creature. He carefully watches his step, trying not to crack and snap any more, but it takes his attention away from the spider's depression. It is difficult to look anywhere but on the ground just in front of him.

He is shocked, when in front of him the dark form of a giant spider seems to be curled up dead in front of him. He holds back waiting, "Stellan, you know bout nature and stuff, is it really dead?"

Perception 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5


Elf Paladin 2

The scraps and remnants of Kressle's shirt get pressed into service as an improvised bandage as Thad tosses the horrific talisman aside and applies direct pressure over the wound. He can only pray that he was quick enough as he wills the divine light into her battered body.

Lay on hands @ Kressle, 1d6 ⇒ 3

Could someone remind me whether half damage rounded up or down?

BTW, if we're not just retconning out the presence of our inactive players, some of them should probably go take care of the sleepers...


Desperate to find out where the other eagle is, Warren slings the emaciated bandit over his shoulder and rushes back as fast as he can.

eagle stabilization: 1d20 - 3 + 1 ⇒ (16) - 3 + 1 = 14


Male Human Bard 3 (Arcane Duellist); HP: 30/30 AC: 15/11/14; Saves: F +3, R +4, W +1; Init: +1; Per: +4

DM and Newcomers:
perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Andrei listens quietly to the conversation. "Right we seem to have a couple of choices, head in the direction of the mysterious spell-caster. He or she will likely have moved on but we might learn something of them and may encounter other people also investigating the signal. We could attempt to signal back to get their attention, which is probably foolish but might be brilliant. We could head back to the trading post and see if there is any news. Or continue trying to follow the undead back to where it was made. On that topic I'd like to take the time out of any of the these options to bury any humanoids here." gesturing around him. perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

"If this creature has been dissected isn't it likely they were looking for the 3 eyelashes and forth rib bone or something to power some spell or create a potion? Sorry I don't much about magic, is there some part of giant spiders that is useful? In fact it might have been killed by our friend the undead before he died."


male Human Bard (Detective) 2

Imon decided that he couldn't help with the woman anymore, so he put his bow away and drew his dagger instead. He headed toward the two that were asleep and looked them over, outside of the range of the spell if it was still active. If the spell was active, he waited until it ended, otherwise he knelt near them and removed their weapons before cutting their throats.

First Coup de gras: 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8 +1d4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8= 16

Second Coup de gras: 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6 +1d4 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7= 13


Male Elf Shadowcaster 3

DM - Tareth & Kudosites:
"I was under the impression that our friend hadn't passed through here at all," says Anwel, "but had come from the south and had merely approached to one side before moving on." He gestures with the map back to where they'd left the creature's trail, a hundred or more feet away from the edge of the boneyard, and looks to Gorax for support. The big man had been doing the tracking.

"If there is some use for giant spider parts I don't know it, which makes whoever wanted them either more eccentric or more knowledgeable than I am," Anwel admits, putting the map away. "Though anyone who looked would find neither eyelashes nor ribs on a spider. Maybe Udo or Stellan knows more. But if we're looking for a magician there's one big obvious sign as to where to find one." Anwel slings his pack, newly map-laden, back over his shoulder.

"I'm afraid," he says, turning west, "that if we do want to follow that sign we'll have to move now. You're right, it's a day's march away and much can happen in a day. But one who sends a signal will usually wait for a response before moving off. Staying here to sort and bury old bones will take all day, and that's fine, but not if we want to do anything else.

"You all know I've wanted to go to the forest since the sun rose," he says heavily, expecting to be talked out of it again, "And maybe that makes this argument suspect. But aside from Bokken this is the first sign we've seen of living people out here. Maybe they're bandits, maybe they're friends, maybe they're fey, but I think they're worth finding."


DM, Newcomers:

Stellan looks in the direction of the lights as Anwel gives his explanation of them. Stellan shrugs replying, "Seem better than what my mother taught me. As to the mystery of the spider parts, I'm still thinking."

Knowledge: Arcana 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Knowledge: Nature 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Heal: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17

Does Stellan have any idea what purpose anyone might have for the harvested parts?

At Gorax's question, Stellan deadpans, "I'm dead sure it's dead."

When Andrei speaks, Stellan nods but then listens to Anwel's reply. Stellan talks to Andrei, "Let me do a quick look, if we do not find the remains of people, then we need not linger here, if so, Anwel makes a good point, we leave very soon for that signal, that anyone within many miles must have seen, or just forget about it. While the danger is very real, it does point to the presence of someone that is worth talking to, making the assumption he wants to talk and not every 'bad force' in this land is drawn there. Or we can do any of those other things. I think we should find out what is going on here as quickly as possible; every attempt to settle this land has ended in tragedy. We are just beginning to learn why."

Perception:1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11 Looking quickly for people remains.

Stellan turns to our geographer. "Anwel, how far do you think the signal could be seen, I think it's about twelve miles from here and could be seen for twenty or so, but I may be wrong, not something I have much knowledge of."


Male Elf Shadowcaster 3

DM - Tareth & Kudosites:
"It's definately further away than twelve miles," says Anwel, a little surprised to be asked a direct question so soon after giving his opinion. Surprised, but also pleased. It meant Stellan valued his opinion, and trusted it and him. "We've been taking it slow so far to get the mapping done. In this terrain, we could get as far as twenty-two or twenty-four miles before we had to camp, if we pushed ourselves. That's the figure I had in mind when I said they were a day's march away.

"Assuming that's true, and that the land's undulations and Golarion's curvature average out to a fairly flat surface, then the lights would have had to have been at least two hundred and eighty six feet above the ground to be seen at the horizon. Since we could see them above the canopy, they had to have been higher than that. They could be seen for thirty miles around or more."

Anwel's face goes thoughtful. "That height casts some doubt on my thought that they are magical," he says. "Producing that kind of light three hundred feet away from yourself normally requires the pinnacle of mortal power. There are ways of increasing that range using less energy, but they're little-known and less-practiced, especially on such minor magic."

Read: a level 20 wizard with no enhancements to his caster level could propel the lights created by dancing lights 300 feet away from himself. A level 5 wizard with no enhancements to his caster level, using the Enlarge Spell metamagic feat, could do the same thing.


17/17HP; AC17/13/14; Fort +4 Ref +6 Will +0; Init+3; Perception +7

Sorry bout my lack of posting, I hadn't seen the new posts on my list of watched things. I don't have the time to post right now, but I'll post sometime today. Again, sorry.


Elf Paladin 2

After Kessle's bleeding slows, thad takes a quick glance around to survey the aftermath of the ambush. He sees Imon collecting the weapons of the sleeping bandits and kneeling down to secure the captives, so he turns his attention to matters closer to hand. Tuney (or was it Montey? He had trouble keeping track sometimes) was twitching on the ground, the axe's solid blow having clearly broken the wing and caved in part of its chest. He gently scoops up the injured bird and cradles it in his own injured arm.

He might have a problem. The arm goes from burning like the worst frostbite to a pins-and-needles pain to a muffled numbness that brings relief from the agony but robs him of all sensation up to his elbow. Still, there's no time to worry for himself. The eagle had been a worthy companion for the group and had placed its life in danger to protect him. He composes his thoughts and channels the holy light, praying for the Stag to mend the bird's injury.

Lay on hands@Montey: 1d6 ⇒ 1


With Thad's assistance Kessle and Montey both seem to stabilize although both are unconscious at this point.

Tityanna shakes her head slightly and her eyes seem to refocus as she wakes from a trance like state. The visions she just witnessed still dance in her mind, but then she remembers the ambush and notices the blood covering Thad. Rushing over to the paladin's side, she bows her head softly and begins to pray to Erastil. Seconds later everyone in the clearing is bathed in a silvery glow and feels their pain and wounds ease a little.

Warren steps back into the clearing with the escaped bandit slung over his shoulder. While the druid searches the scene for his fallen eagle, the bandit just continues muttering gibberish softly to himself.

Tityanna - Channel Positive Energy 1d6 ⇒ 3
Thad: Round half damage down.


Stellan:
You make a quick survey of the surrounding remains, and there don't appear to be any human bodies among the bones and desiccated corpses scattered about. Perhaps a few goblins or other humanoid types, but nothing you'd think worth spending extra time dealing with.

There are numerous uses for certain parts of a giant trapdoor spider. The venom sacks can be used to develop a particularly nasty paralysis poison. You recall that Maxim Delcroix's Cantrips and Simple Spells for the Adventurer listed the organ that produces the spider's webbing as a potential component of the Web spell. The heart, eyes, and fangs were also listed as useful in a variety of magical conjurations and potions. Other uses are really too numerous to list and this doesn't include the possibility of someone who is just curious or researching a new spell.


Male Human XP: 3150 Fighter 2 HPs 14/24 AC 17/T12/FF15

DM and Kudosites:

Gorax, relieved at Stellan's reply is a little embarrassed to admit that he'd lost the trail. He membles a reply in a low voice as he looks at the ground in front of Anwel, "As for tracking, we could go that way Anwel, but I doubt we'll catch up. I mean, the tracks seem much weaker now, who knows how long we be able to follow. No I think, you're right maybe a good time to go back. Via the forest is good, the shade of the trees and the smell of the fens in the undergrowth would be much nicer than this plain old grassland." He retreats back a step, relaxing more, his ordeal over. He turns towards the west, where the forest is reported and smiles, yellowed cracked teeth showing in his mouth. His sword, the point trailing on the ground, is raised, and sheathed, it would seem immediate danger is gone and past.

As Stellan and Anwel discuss magic and lights and the .... Gorax's eyes cloud over a little, far too deep a conversation on a subject he knew little about. Ad for the mapping, he knew good maps were worth a pretty penny and it was what the Highlords wanted them to do, but now, why not just go and make their way back, either the way they came using the map, or making a new path to the west. He shrugs mumbling, "We'll go west anyway, we've spent too long going this way for Anwel's liking. He has a way you know, makes us go down his path, but no matter, it will still be a god adventure I'm sure."


Stellan stops his pondering, "This would be more Udo's work than mine but the uses are almost endless in the components as Andrei suggests to research of many kinds; Maxim Delcroix's Cantrips and Simple Spells for the Adventurer lists this as useful for conjuring Webs, and a vicious paralytic can be made. But enough of theory, we do need to move to the practical; I just arrived here, hence I’m willing to go on for sometime, others may wish to return for a quick report and rest. I do like going into the forest, more likely to get game."

Vinur's ears perk up at the mention of game and he barks his agreement.

Stellan smiles at Gorax's comment, in a low tone he says, ”Yes he does, think he was a leader of some kind, given the way he just assumes that people will see the wisdom of what he says. But I have no reason to object, right now.”


17/17HP; AC17/13/14; Fort +4 Ref +6 Will +0; Init+3; Perception +7

DM/Kudosites:

Udoeak finally breaks his silence after thinking over the remains. I'm not too sure about conjuring webs, I never really was one for traditional spellcasting of any sort, but I'm reasonably sure that a poison could have been made from the remains. In any case, yes, we do need to get moving. There's a reason for that signal, and we need to find out what it is.


Male Human Bard 3 (Arcane Duellist); HP: 30/30 AC: 15/11/14; Saves: F +3, R +4, W +1; Init: +1; Per: +4

DM/Kudosites:
Andrei listens to each of his companions responces then speaks "Gorax would like to head back to the trading post. Everyone else seems roughly in favour in heading for the signal." he looks around for nods of agreement. "Gorax is right, that the undead creature's trail isn't important now and the Anwel is right that burying any dead here would take all day, maybe just to find any. Time is important right now, so lets head out towards the signal now. Stellan we are going to need to know what we are getting into, can you and Vinur scout ahead and the rest of us will move as quickly as possible. Anwel and Udoeak make quick notes for the map as we travel, detailed maps can be made later." Andrei heads back out the area of death to collect their equipment and mounts.


After Warren brings the bandit back, he sheathes his scimitar and picks up and carries the smaller eagle in his arms.

"Thank you Tityanna."


Male Human XP: 3150 Fighter 2 HPs 14/24 AC 17/T12/FF15

DM/Kudosites:

]Hearing Andrei's speech, Gorax nods, "A plan, sounds a plan. Count me in." Returning to his horse, he pats her chestnut neck, whispering in her ear. As the horse pays little or no attention to the embrace from the warrior. He pulls at the saddle, tightening the straps and making sure all is secure. It has taken some time, but he is getting into the routine of a rider and and his mount.


Stellan nods agreement with Andrei's suggestion, "That will work well, but Vinur's still too small to keep up with a horse. I'll carry him on my horse. And by the way, if it makes you feel better, I see no signs of people bones here." Suiting deeds to words, Stellan saddles up, takes a small bit of jerky, feeds some to Vinur, and takes out scouting for the main group staying between 100-200 yards ahead. He heads as best he can toward the area of the signal.

Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9 Scouting.
Survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11 Don't get lost, avoid dangers, and if something edible should be in their direct path he won't ignore it.

Of course, Stellan is unaware he just had a stroke. :p


male Human Bard (Detective) 2

"What now?" Imon said, heading back to the others. "We have a- two prisoners. I hope this is where you tell me that you have a more defensible camp somewhere to return to. I don't much care for being out in the open like this."


Imon, Warren, Thad:
Silence descends upon the forest as the battle is over and the prisoners lie unconscious on the ground. A search of both the living and the dead reveal a few items of interest. The man in robes, who you discover was actually an elf, carried a nasty looking curved dagger with a polished amber stone in the hilt. Embedded in the amber is some kind of larvae or other insect like thing. He also carried a pouch containing 5 gold coins, 35 silver crowns, a glass vial containing a rather putrid looking milky substance, and a note.

Kressle has little of value except 70 gold coins and her two handaxes which are of excellent quality. Her armor is ruined after the removal of the charm.

The other bandits have little else of value beyond the usual shabby weapons and tattered armor.

Imon, Warren, and Thad: Sylvan:
The note is written in an odd dialect of Sylvan. The handwriting is a bit shaky but legible except where blood has washed out the ink. It reads "....and make contact with the woman Kressle. I've word she may be faltering in her loyalty to the cause. She that she doesn't.

More importantly...is located in a cavern complex somewhere to the west of her current camp. Go there and make contact...rumors are true...the book and return it to me...." It is signed with the initials ZJF.

Gorax, Stellan, Anwel, Udoeak, Andrei:
You all set off west in the general direction of the signal. Nothing disturbs your journey across the grass covered landscape and in fact it seems a rather quiet and pleasant day for the journey with the sun shining overhead, but with the cool spring air keeping things from getting too hot.

Eventually you arrive at banks of Thorn River just a short distance from the edge of the forest. Following the river north you come across a ford that appears to have been crossed within the last day or so.


Male Elf Shadowcaster 3

DM - Tareth & Kudosites:
At Andrei's command, Anwel takes out his map again. The margins are by now fairly cluttered with jottings and calculations, but the middle is still fairly empty. The landmarks of their journey south - the oak tree shaped like a claw and the boneyard they were leaving - stand out on the right of the scroll, and an empty sea of light brown separates that from where he'd marked the signal. "I heard that," he says to no one in particular, smiling a little and watching Gorax and Stellan out of the corner of his eye. He'd have preferred to be made fun of to his face, the way he'd been doing to Andrei, but this was fine. It meant they were getting comfortable around him. Now all he had to do was not screw that up.

The sun passes its zenith as the group trudges over the hill country. Anwel is as glad as ever of his hood, but it makes it difficult to look around. He keeps having to turn his head from side to side like a horse or deer watching for prey. Still, he does his best to keep an eye out for any landmarks that might be interesting enough to investigate once they'd found the ones who'd set off the signal. If he finds any he marks their approximate positions down on the map.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23

Upon reaching the edge of the forest, Anwel begins to seem more at ease than he has been since leaving the trading post. He throws back his hood without leaving his hand to shade his eyes. His body seems less tightly controlled while not becoming skittish and jumpy, the state to which Anwel had previously defaulted when that control had slipped. He points excitedly at the footprints in the muddy riverbank.

"Well, here's a trail," he says, aware he's pointing out the obvious but feeling the need to crow a little bit. "We figure out which way the people who left it were going and follow it into the woods, and we have a decent chance of finding the people who sent that signal. No?"


Warren smiles at Imon, "We have an excellent camp with the best settlers starting our new kingdom. Oleg and Svetlana are good people and a warm meal behind solid walls is waiting."

Warren looks around. "Let's get back to Oleg's. Oh, why don't you take this."

Warren hands Imon a charter that Zavac left behind.


DM,Gorax, Stellan, Anwel, Udoeak, Andrei:

Stelllan, as he leaves, hears Anwel's reply, saying, "I know, I don't talk behind people's backs, but the side is acceptable; Andrei's bossy too, but I don't mind, nothing to worry about." Stellan rides off.

He sees the tracks at the ford and starts studying them to see if they may be related to the signal or signallers.

Survival 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27 Tracks, what made them, how many, where did they come from and where are they going?
Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23 Anything in the area he should take note of?

"That will work well, assuming those that made the tracks have anything to do with the signal. I'm trying to see if the trail goes in that direction. Gorax, do you see where the trail continues?" Stellan waves at the trail ahead.


male Human Bard (Detective) 2

Imon gave the charter a quick look over. "What's this?" He asked as he started to read it.


Male Human XP: 3150 Fighter 2 HPs 14/24 AC 17/T12/FF15

DM,Kudosites:

The big man dismounts, as he watches Stellen go to work. Intriqued by the wild man's skill, he does his best to aid him in his work. "You're good at this Stellen, I could learn a lot from you."

Survival (Track) 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14 to aid Stellen.


Stellan and Gorax:
You quickly find a path that runs north away from the ford. Looking across the small river you see the same path continues on to the south while another, smaller trail goes off to the west and deeper into the forest.

There has been a significant amount of traffic through the area over the last couple of days. Going north and south. The most recent prints look like a group of four or five on horseback making their way north. They certainly passed through here today. Most likely late in the morning, not too long after you saw that signal.

It's hard to tell since you've never been through here before, but your instinct and basic sense of distance and direction tells you that the northern path likely runs all the way back to Oleg's.


DM,Gorax, Stellan, Anwel, Udoeak, Andrei:

"Thank you, Gorax, I owe it to my Da, he taught me woodscraft as my mother taught me witchcraft." Stellan looks very sad for a second then shakes himself and goes on, "Well I think we see what's happening here well enough, let's go back and tell the others." Stellan returns to the group with their findings.

Unless the DM objects, everyone should be able to read the "Stellan and Gorax post."

"Well that's a clear choice, we go north to find a group of 4-5 mounted people heading to Oleg's or we chase the area of the signal with no surety of what we will find, if anything. I'm thinking heading Oleg's way seems best; we can find out who these people are and what they are up to, and resupply. So what do we do?" Stellan looks at the others expectantly.


Male Elf Shadowcaster 3

DM - Tareth & Kudosites:
"Well," sighs Anwel, "There is a decent chance that should we go into the forest any tracks we find will lead right back here, and thence to to the trading post. This ford is not going anywhere, and neither are any of the paths or trails leading away from it."

Anwel's face hardens, and he turns away from the woods. "And the possibility should be openly stated that these are more of Happs' lot, gone to harass the Levetons again or, depending on how much they know, to free or avenge their erstwhile comrades. I think Stellan is right. We should hurry north, should the Levetons and the Restovites need relief."

The quill flourishes, and a mark and label appear near the left edge of the paper. The mark looks like the middle of a snake with inverted square brackets spanning it. The label reads "Thorn River - ford". Three dotted lines branch out from the brackets, one north, one south, one west.

"Oh," says Anwel, as they're making ready to leave the canopy, "before I forget..." He reaches out to Stellan and taps him once on each shoulder and once in the middle of his chest. "Your ward. I don't know whether that will be useful or not," he says, knowing that Stellan is just as aware as he of how long such a spell will last, "but I also do not know if I will be able to conjure it again before nightfall."

Before we leave the shadowed eaves of the Narlmarches, cast Mage Armor on Stellan from my shadow spell slot. It will last one hour.


Warren brings Imon up to speed.

"You don't have to call me my lord or any of that anymore because I am elevating you to lord status. It appears Brevoy has offered a chance to rule a land, the only catch is, the land does not know about it yet. Bandits are the main threat: you have seen them. Who knows what else is out there? Anyway, you seem capable. How about it?"

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