Stellan frowns in some confusion, "A griffon but not quite like others, they are not usually evil, just hungry. I'm sure it's after the horses by scaring them off, so they lose our protection."
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
K:Arcana: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
K:Nature: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
What is different about this griffon? Can it be bargained with?
I think griffons are magical beasts but I'm rolling the Nature just to cover all bases.
Stellan notes that Gorax is getting up with Anwel's aid then hears Anwel mutter a spell and its results.
Spellcraft: 1d2 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10 Tell the spell, not that Stellan couldn't guess. I messed up the roll there didn't mean to roll a d2, cannot fix it though, messing with a roll tends to change the others in the same post.
Stellan starts at the sounds coming from the fog, thinking, What is that I saw Anwel cast a strange spell, did he summon aid? I thought he was an illusionis-Oh! It dawns on Stellan what kind of spell it must have been. Stellan suddenly looks sheepish.
Hope I didn't underplay my mistake, Stellan knows a lot about Anwel's magic by now and he isn't dumb.
Will save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Attack: 1d20 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (13) + 4 - 2 = 15
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 8
Imon lined up a shot and fired as soon as the creature crossed into his view. Immediately after that, he snapped to the side, just about to ready another arrow in the direction of the voices, when he happened to notice that Anwell seemed to be doing something sneaky. He couldn't help but smile when he realized the value of such an ability, and then turned his gaze back to the sky.
By the way, I kinda forgot to factor it in, but then, I also don't know the range. if the Griffon was within thirty feet, then the attack roll would have been 16 and damage would have been 9.
Sorry for the delay, back home now.
"Come down here you mangy beast and get some of this flesh." Andrei calls up into the darkness drawing his sword and readying to hit it if it comes close enough.
Rallying Cry: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
AC 13, Bard song 7/9 rounds
|DM - Tareth|
The creature lets out another screech from twenty feet in the air. This time the call has a hint of pain and frustration as Thad's arrow strikes true and the sound of reinforcements fill the air. Imon's shot just misses as the creature banks away into the fog pumping it's wings to gain altitude.
A short time later another call echoes through the night. It's much higher in the air and a hundred or so paces off to the west.
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
Survival 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Is the beast retreating to make another pass or just running?
Stellan solemnly looks in the direction of the creature's screams, "I didn't get the best look at that beast but while it seems mostly a griffon it has a coloration I've never seen before, black and grey. A bit big too but it's the tail that bothers me the most, if I saw only that with its spikes I'd swear it was a manticore. I have trouble believing in a griffon/manticore cross-breed but I have no better answer. Keep a watch, griffons are clever and he may wait and try again soon. I guess we need to build the fire up a bit as well even with the obvious risk. Anyone hurt yet?" Stellan looks to build up the fire, but not to overdo it so as to give away our location too far, and expecting a return attack at any moment.
|DM - Tareth|
The soft, filtered glow of the flames from the fire illuminate the fog and a bit more of the night. The creature lets out another cry, but this time it is certainly from farther west and much higher in the sky. Soon enough the feeling of menace passes and the horses and eagles settle down. It seems the black griffon has decided to try to find easier prey...for now.
That's an interesting question. Has Anwel ever heard of Griffon-Manticore hybrids? Or any hybrids involving either Griffons or Manticores for that matter? Would they occur naturally or would someone had to have bred them? Where might such a creature make its eyrie, and how many are likely to be in this area? An individual? A mated pair? A pride? Knowledge (arcana): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
"I do not believe so," says Anwel, looking up into the sky. "The griffon never landed among us or peppered us with spikes, and none of the horses went so mad as to lash out at us with their hooves. The things among us most likely to have taken hurt are their halter ropes. Speaking of which," he says, with a sheepish look at Gorax, "do you need me to hold this anymore? I would like to examine those ropes, and mend any frays and tears they may have developed before they get any worse."
Assuming Gorax okays it, Anwel will cast Mending on each rope in need of it til they're repaired to his satisfaction. If the griffon does come back, there's no point making its job easier.
|DM - Tareth|
If it is like either of those creatures it would probably nest in the hills or mountains further west and it's very likely that the creature could be mated and have one or two hatchlings given it is spring.
"Born of Lamashtu's jealousy, the Pikkelyuk was half falcon, half panther. A cunning creature of midnight black who hunts in the cover of darkness. The Mother of Monsters hoped the twisted creature could best the more majestic and loved griffon's ridden by many of Imoedae's knights during the Shining Crusades.
Pashtu knew that tangling with a Pikkelyuk would be trouble and she needed to get the potion to the king as soon as possible. So she turned away from the dark forest and rode south..."
Stellan stirs the fire and feeds it carefully from the woodpile. Vinur comes out of his hiding place warily, then sits next to his friend. Stellan's head snaps up and he exclaims, "Pikkelyuk, it could be a Pikkelyuk." Stellan looks around to the blank faces of his companions. "Sorry, it's from an old childhood story my mother told me. The tales of Pashtu the old witch. In one of them she needed to evade ... never mind. In the tale it was said to be 'Born of Lamashtu's jealousy, the Pikkelyuk was half falcon, half panther. A cunning creature of midnight black who hunts in the cover of darkness. The Mother of Monsters hoped the twisted creature could best the more majestic and loved griffon's ridden by many of Imoedae's knights during the Shining Crusades.' So says the story anyway. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure it helps. The more salient point is this is just the begining of our difficulties here, everyday we find more reasons why this land hasn't been successfully settled by the 'Kindred' races. Not that pointing it out is helpful either."
Stellan rechecks the camp. "Thad, Warren is there anything more we can do to protect the horses? They are all too high on the list of animals good to eat around here. And who's up on the second watch? Stellan will get settled in.
"It helps," says Anwel reassuringly, running his hands over a rope to check for deformations. His fingers run into some loose, broken ends, and he closes his hand over them to knit them back into the braid. He can feel the strands moving under his palm; the horse whose halter is tied to it will feel a slight pleasant buzzing around their muzzle. "Your story fits with what I know of such a creature. It is not natural, and divine intervention is as likely an explanation as any."
The mending finishes, and Anwel exhales, then continues up the line. "Regardless of its genesis, I suspect we have not seen the last of this pikkelyuk," he says, taking his time over the unfamiliar word. "Its eyrie is likely to be in the hills to the west, possibly on the Arrowhead Butte itself. And it will probably have a mate and young as well." Anwel reaches the knot that secures the line to the tree without finding any other flaws that need mending, and moves on to another. He works along it the same way, towards the horse this time.
"I believe Imon and you have second watch," he says, looking askance at the horses. "And if we are unsure of the horses' safely, we should give some thought to pairing up should one or more of them be unable to carry us. Perhaps by weight."
Gorax watches for the thing in the sky as Anwel helps him to put on his shield, before informing him that the creature had flown on. A sigh escapes his lips, the thought of combat gone, and he'd not even managed to be ready.
His shoulders slump as does his voice, answering Anwel, "Yes, go. No need for me to hurry now." Taking his shield he undoes the leather belts, freeing the greased buckles and letting the shield fall to the floor. He kicks dirt over his shield in disgust at missing a moment for him to prove himself to his fellow charter holders. He grumbles and puts the shield over his pack, before tidying the ground where his blanket had fallen, returning it in a heap on top of his makeshift bed.
Wiping the sleep from his eyes with the back of one hand and carrying his lonsword in the other, Gorax walking with a stumbling gait towards the rest of the group. Yawning he says, "What the hell was that, from what you say its not natural!" His eyes, red from rubbing look upwards, but see nothing.
"I'll sleep by the horses if you like." offers Gorax.
At Gorax's offer, Stellan replies, "Thanks Gorax that will be helpful, but not too close, they are not worth getting you trampled if it attacks suddenly. Being a creature of flight telling it's about will prove difficult. And yes it is an unnatural creature like a griffon/ manticore mix. And Thad sensed inheirent malice within it. And I agree with Anwel, it likely likse the heights and has a mate and young, with its size it will be hunting for large prey all the time."
Sorry I've forgotten the watch order, Stellan a caster is in the middle watch? I'm off to a family event back late tonight.
Andrei made a suggestion to change this shortly after and no disagreed so I assumed we were going with this. I had thought I corrected this to add Gorax to middle watch but can't find that post.
so I would suggest: first, Stellan, Tad and Imon, middle Thad and myself and last Warren and Anwel. Stellan and Imon's sharp eyes should easily make up for a lack of an elf.
Andrei made a suggestion to change this shortly after and no disagreed so I assumed we were going with this. I had thought I corrected this to add Gorax to middle watch but can't find that post.Andrei Avotrus wrote:so I would suggest: first, Stellan, Tad and Imon, middle Thad and myself and last Warren and Anwel. Stellan and Imon's sharp eyes should easily make up for a lack of an elf.
Oops. Yeah, let's go with this. Also, if we're talking about watches, does that mean we're okay with moving on?
|DM - Tareth|
The sound of the river and occasional croak of a frog fill the night air as the party spends a chill damp night wondering if the Pikkelyuk will return. But it seems the creature decided to search for easier prey and the remainder of the night passes uneventfully.
Eventually the fog shrouded dark sky turns to a dim gray as brings little in the way of warmth or relief from the fog and damp. In fact as the dark gray grows to a slightly brighter gray, the cloud cover fills in further and a dense drizzle starts to fall.
This thread was not updating for some reason.
Warren returns from trying to calm the animals, having more success with the tethered horses that the horses of his previous lady friends, Aliana and Tityanna.
"Well, we have come to give the lands and her creatures a chance to help us. A trip to the west to engage the Pikkelyuk directly is probably warranted after we have secured the relic. It is possible they will befriend me, but it is possible they will be hostile. Especially if their nature is not of nature but of magic."
Warren resumes his part of the watch.
Pretty sure we're on to the morning, as "the remainder of the night [passed] uneventfully" and "the dark grey [sky grew] to a slightly brighter grey".
Anwel takes the early morning watch silently, his hands clasped behind his back. He eyes the overcast sky with a critical eye. Unless the sun burns off some of the cloud cover, he will have a hard time taking sightings during the day. The ground is dewy when he sits down to immerse his mind in the day's arcana, and he manages to finish just before the first heavy drops begin to fall. The rain is something of a mixed blessing. His books and papers should stay dry in their oilskin sheath, and his wool hood and robes should protect his body, but the slate and chalk will be useless while wet and his bedroll will probably need airing out and treating with magic by the end of the day, or it will start to grow mildew. The rain will, however, dull their tracks and mask their scent, and the nimbi and the canopy will make them hard to spot from the air.
1st – Color Spray (DC 17), Color Spray (DC 17), Mage Armor, Shield, Silent Image (DC 17), Vanish (shadow)
0th – Ghost Sound (DC 16), Mage Hand, Mending, Prestidigitation
While Warren wakes the others and explains his plan, Anwel finishes his packing and stands by ready to help with the others'. Only the roan remains tied to her tree with the other horses. "I am not sure how well we can plan around encountering the pikkelyuk again," he says to the druid. "At least with the relic we have some idea where to start looking - on and around Arrowhead Butte - and the local fey or goblins might have some further leads. The pikkelyuk might lair anywhere," he says, waving in a general westerly direction to give his statement a little more precision, "and as a flier it will be hard to track. I think it far more likely that it will find us again than that we will find it, unless we stumble upon it by chance. Should either happen, though, we can try and talk if you want." He smiles a sardonic smile and shrugs a little shrug. "At least you will probably have time to work on your speech.
"Speaking of our heading," says Anwel, turning to Stellan and Gorax, "shall we make for the fetish at first, give the others their chance to examine it? Imon and Thad, in particular, might get more out of it than we could last night. You cannot miss it," he says to the five who had not seen it. "It's a bone figure a bit longer than my hand, hanging from a branch right over the path."
"Odd, is it some magical trap set up by the goblins or fey?" Andrei says collecting his equipment and packing it away. "We are likely to have to face that creature again and it is better we do than some settler or trader but we should be ready for goblins as I suspect they are likely to be the next opposition we meet."
Imon perked up when he heard talk of the fetish. "If you believe it's a trap, then I should come and see if I can disable it. I must warn you though, the skill is more intuitive than learned, so someone else might want to study it, either before or after it is disabled."
Stellan wakes oddly well-refreshed after last nights disturbance. He does his morning routine building up the fire with wood that had been protected from the rain last night and communing with Vinur. After that wipes the water off his chest and arms with a bit of cloth and puts his jacket on. The chill rain seems not to bother him at all. He feeds Vinur and deals with breakfast.
Stelllan joins the conversation with, "The fetish could be anything, a marker, a challenge, a claim, an invitation, or some magic to scry or trap. We just don't know right now. Having everyone use their arts to check is a good idea. I suspect we will see goblins sooner rather than later, it's their territory after all. As for the pikkelyuk it may have a mate, I'm trying to recall if such creatures ever hunt in packs."
K:Arcana: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12 Do Griffons, Pikkelyuks, or Manticores work together in larger groups than a mated pair?
K:History: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26 Any light it can shed from stories etc.
K:Nature: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27 Just in case.
Stellan feeds and grooms Hjarta and saddles her up, putting Vinur in his accustomed saddlebag. He ready to lead the group out when ready.
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Survival 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
|DM - Tareth|
It is a short walk along the narrow trail to the edge of the forest. The fetish is still easy to spot. Strung from a branch just a few steps under the dense canopy and dripping wet from the rain. It is composed of small bones and moss to make a simple humanoid figure. Two black raven feathers hang from the figures neck.
Large drops of rainwater drip from the forest canopy as the group examines the little marker in the gray morning light. But nothing appears to be amiss. Imon finds no sign of trip wires or other traps. And there is no sign magical or divine resonance.
Seeing the figure for the first time, the former bandit, Tam, squints closely at the thing and then shakes his head and adds a low whistle. "Well, that didn't take bloody long." He says. "The little buggers moved in right quick once Kressle and the rest 'o us were drove out." With another shake of his head he turns and looks into the depths of the dark forest, "Best be keepin' your weapons handy and step lightly. Them goblins are tricky little cusses. The whole bloody forest is probably booby trapped."
"So it is a marker of territory?" Andrei checks with Tam. "If there are going to be booby traps through the forest then it would be wise for Imon to lead to way and slowly. Stellan, have the goblins been back here last night? Maybe your skills to see the signs of their passing and activity may give Imon a hand knowing where to look for these traps. And the rest of us better be ready for an ambush, in this forest Montey and Tuney might not see the Goblins coming." Andrei swings off his mount and buckles on his shield.
"And if we do encounter them it would be good to take one alive, assuming someone speaks their language?" Andrei looks questioningly at Anwel.
"My Goblin is rusty," says Anwel, sounding a little peeved at having to repeat an assessment he had given just before they left the trading post, "But I have been practicing what I do know in my head since we have been on the road. If we do capture one of Tartuk's people, I believe I will be able to understand them and make myself understood in return." He briefly considers a demonstration, but rejects it as pointless since the others would not know false Goblin from true.
"I would appreciate it, however," he continues, a little hesitantly, "if you and Imon take the lead in any negotiation or interrogation, while I act as interpreter. Knowing the words is one thing. Knowing what to say is another, and while I might understand their mores with study, I suspect your intuition will be quicker." Following Andrei's lead, Anwel dismounts Lairochal and takes her halter rope.
"Tam," he says, giving voice to his worries, "if Tartuk's people have claimed and occupied this area, how likely is it that your old camp will be held against us? And how might it be defended, given its layout and the tactical predilections of goblinoids?" Anwel looks to Warren, Thad, and Imon as well, since they have seen the bandit outpost as well and their insights, while not as intimate as those from someone who lived and worked there, could be valuable too.
Thad seems a little confused about the talk of returning to the bandit camp.
"I can't think of any reason to go back to the site of the old camp, unless we're trying to establish which other groups might have visited it since we left. Better to press forward and make directly for the butte... we're not the only ones looking for the seed, and if it is truly important to examine the campsite then we can do so after the seed is secure."
"I prefer to cross the stream up ahead, like we did before, then stick to the lesser used game trails or go cross country to make our way forward. The goblins haven't been here that long, they can't have trapped every little clearing and deer run. It might add a few hours to the journey, but once we have a good canopy over us at least we won't have to worry about that Pikkelyuk- or whatever it was."
So, technically knowledge (nobility) includes heraldry. Might it be applicable to recognizing this particular tribe by their chosen emblem?
Knowledge (nobility: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
"Thad, we were using the bandit camp mostly as a navigational aid."
survival to determine direction: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
"I am not 100% sure of the way, but the relic is priority one. If someone can get our bearings, we go straight for the relic. It is, after all, a race."
Warren sends Tuney up to scout.
Perception Tuney: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (1) + 16 = 17
Both Warren and Tuney aren't having their best day at noticing things.
"The directions Cal gave me to Arrowhead Butte back at the trading post were to follow the game trails west from the camp Kressle commanded," says Anwel, sounding annoyed again. Indeed his pique is, if anything, amplified, since he had explained this directly to Thad at Thad's convenience before they left. The conclusion should be obvious, but Anwel decides to spell it out anyway, in case anyone else was feeling particularly obtuse. "The problem with 'making directly for the Butte' is that we do not know precisely where it is. It did not appear on any of the maps I copied back at the trading post, and, Montey and Tuney notwithstanding, it is not as though we can see the crest of a tor on the horizon and use it as a landmark. Even if we could, there is no guarantee that it would be the right one. Changing the point at which we begin to follow the game trails west might easily change where we end up, and cutting directly across country seems to me one of the best ways to get lost and ambushed.
"We need not try to take the camp should we find it held against us," he says. "We can try and sneak around it, but I do not see a way to reach our destination without starting there, not with the information we have." Anwel spreads his hands wide, as if to embrace the irony. "More information is always welcome, of course," he says, looking at Tam, the hypothetical information's most logical source.
|DM - Tareth|
You do spot a narrow side trail a few feet further within the forest that leads to the southwest. It looks more like a game trail and none of the goblin tracks go in that direction. Instead the tracks continue on the main trail heading west along the river.
"I have no problem with questioning goblins, but first could we go see this marker you were talking about? If we are going to be finding them throughout the area, it might be a good idea to make sure i can disable them. If they aren't markers, then we might still learn something about our foes from this object." Imon was already packed,and had his bow in hand, clearly ready to move on.
Assuming anyone takes me to the device, I'm going to roll now, so I'm not holding anyone up while they wait for me. If we don't go over there, then disregard everything after this note.
Imon examined the object studiously, careful not to touch it until he was ready to try disarming it. Finally he prodded it, noting any reaction. Once his curiosity was sated, he set to work disabling the device, assuming it was a trap.
Assuming the others give him time, he will take twenty on both rolls, if not, he will take 10 on perception and roll disable device.
Perception, to determine if it is a trap, and if it looks like anything the bandits were using: 26, or 16
Disable Device: 25, or 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
|DM - Tareth|
Turning to Anwel with a shrug of the shoulders Tam says, "Your guess is as good as mine. Wasn't much to the camp really. A couple o' platforms in the trees an' a few logs to hide behind."
"Probably enough for there for them to set up a decent ambush if'n they thought we'd head there."
"As for this mountain you're lookin' for, I'm pretty new to these parts so can't be of much help. But you head west from pretty much anywhere around here and you're going to have to cross through the Smoke Glass Hills.
Sorry for not posting earlier, overslept today.
K:Arcana: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9 Do Griffons ever work/hunt togther in larger groups than a mated pair, (not counting harmless younglings)?
K:Arcana: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26 Do Pikkeyuks ever work/hunt togther in larger groups than a mated pair, (not counting harmless younglings)?
K:Arcana: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27 Do Manticores ever work/hunt togther in larger groups than a mated pair, (not counting harmless younglings)?
Stellan looks around as asked, "All the tracks I see are from yesterday, no fresh ones. There is a small game trail that way." Stellan points to the southwest. "There are no signs of goblins tracks on the small game trail and it looks like it might connect to the larger western trail. Maybe Warren's friends could take a look?"
If I haven't become twisted about, that larger western trail, not as well used as the southern one, leads to the old bandit camp and then, quite a distance on, to the area of Arrowhead Butte, correct?
Turning to Tam, Stellan asks, "Do you know if Arrowhead Butte is part of the Smoke Glass Hills? Can you point out on Anwel's excellent map where those hills are?"
|DM - Tareth|
@ Stellan: It sounds like the westerly trail that the goblins used follows the river to the camp, that the well-used southerly trail skirts the edge of the forest and terminates in parts unknown, and that the southwestern trail is, well, in between them.
"I would rather not take the map out in the rain," says Anwel, pulling out his slate instead. A few big drops of water fall from the leaves and branches of the canopy and land on its surface"I could dry it off," he explains, waving his hand over the thin, flat stone and making the splashes disappear. "But it might harm the ink. Remember the spellbook? This should do in a pinch though," he says. Another wave and the chalk is dry, letting Anwel mark the Thorn River ford and the edge of the Narlmarches on the right edge of the slate. He adds a dotted line heading northwest to represent the unmapped part of the Thorn River, and a circle to represent Kressle's old camp. Finally he adds a scale of one inch to twenty miles on the blank top left of the slate. He gives it to Tam.
Are the Smoke Glass Hills known for anything? The name seems evocative. Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Does Arrowhead Butte stand out visually in any way from its neighbors? Knowledge (geography): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
The fetish is made from bones strung together, correct? Would it be possible to take one without harming the whole?
|DM - Tareth|
The jagged summit of Arrowhead Butte is fairly easy to recognize.
Because of the simple, crude way the piece is put together, it is easier to take the whole fetish. Trying to take only one part will probably result in the whole thing falling apart.
Tam looks at Anwel's map with a frown. Running a grubby finger just above the slate, he points to an uncharted area further west. "Hrmmm. Like I said, I'm not real familiar with the area, but the hills are usually a two or three day walk from the main road. We might make it in a couple o' days on horseback, maybe even sooner if we ride hard. Course, things'll go slower if'n we don't stick to a good trail."
Rubbing his hand along his stubble covered chin he turns to Stellan and adds, "I've never seen it, but sure, the butte's part o' the Smoke Glass. Far as I know, there's a good sized quarry near the top. That's how it got its name. Cause o' all the folk who've made arrowheads and tools from that glassy stone. I even heard a few o' them black robed fellows spent some time diggin' around up there for some reason. Don't know why, didn't ask. Best not to ask questions o' them folk."
When Tam is finished with the slate, Anwel takes it back, dries it again, and stows it away. "Well," he says brusquely, "a quarry for volcanic glass might leave a visible scar on the landscape. Never having seen Arrowhead Butte myself, I can only imagine what it would look like, but its top might be especially jagged compared to its neighbors." He puts a hand on Lairochal's saddle, ready to mount up again. "I still do not think that inference good enough to steer by, and the trail leading to and through the camp still seems like the best, if most dangerous, option for speed."
Imon returned from investigating with the marker in hand. "It wasn't a trap, it was apparently just a marker. When I saw it, I believed that it was related to the bandit charms, but the only similarity seems to be that it is made of bone. This one is much more crudely done."
Considering what has been said Stellan speaks, "If Arrowhead Butte is a place for many of the tribes around for stones, then there should be trails leading to that area nearby. We need to get in closer then it should not be too hard to find. With this poor weather we cannot see landmarks until on top of them but it could also conceal us from hostiles. Heading to the camp seem the least likely to get us lost and we can be on guard for traps or troops as may be. Same as everywhere here, this land is held against us, I'd feel badly about that if they were good neighbors but bandits and raiders are not good friends." Stellan looks to the sky, "The clouds and rain should discourage flying beasts for now. I really hope that last night's creature is single, I don't want to face a pride of them."
At Tam's and Imon's words, "So they moved swiftly to claim their rival's territory, begging the question how did they know so quickly? There may have been scouts that took note of the battle at the bandit camp." Stellan shrugs, "Can't really know for sure, but these goblins also appear well led for their kind. Just be careful, I'll lead the way."
If everyone is done Stellan carefully picks his way to Kressle's former camp.
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
Survival 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Warren sends his faithful companion to scout the former camp for any activity.
Tuney makes a lazy circle carefully circling high overhead and returns.
Takes 20 for 36 perception.
"Dispersing a goblin camp is typically a good idea. If moving through the camp doesn't slow us down, we can hit it on the way. We will be able to rest and recover spells before arriving at the Butte."
Warren waits for Tuney to join him on the main road to the camp.
"I agree, I would prefer to deal these goblins at a time of our choosing and if we get lucky we might capture a 'native guide' at worst we thin their numbers. However I'd prefer to not alert other groups and particularly their leader of our coming so any one with a ranged weapon keep an eye out for any that run."
|DM - Tareth|
With the cloudy sky and drizzle, the light is more like early twilight than morning as the party carefully makes its way along the western trail. Neither of the birds have much success spotting anything from a distance since the visibility is just too poor under these conditions. But they also don't draw any unwanted attention from the ravens or other smaller birds who harassed them the last time they flew into these woods. In fact, it seems most of the usual smaller creatures who would be plentiful in a forest like this are staying in their nests or burrows. They certainly aren't moving about or singing like they normally would on a typical spring morning. The woods are quiet. Only the sound of dripping rain and the occasional breeze break the silence.
"I would say the worst would be that we underestimate their numbers and they swarm over us like starved rats, but I appreciate your point. Are we ready to move?"
Assuming that they were, Imon readied his bow and started getting acquainted with the surroundings from the perspective of combat.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Stellan is leading the way about 100' ahead of the party. As he goes deeper into the woods he notices the unusual quietness. A bit unnerved by this he pays even closer attention ahead, when a thin line on the road draws his eye. "Whoa, Hjarta, hold here." If anyone is with him he very quietly says, "Stop! Tripwire in the road." Stellan then casts Message to Imon, if he is with the main group, anyone in the lead of the main group otherwise, "There is a vine or string that looks like a tripwire on the road, stop the others and please take a look if you would."
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
Survival 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Stellan looks for signs of an ambush.
Imon smiled, pleased that someone else knew the value of that particular cantrip. "I understand," He whispered back, and then held up a closed fist to anyone that might have been behind him. "Hold on everyone, Stellan believes there might be a trap ahead, prepare for a possible ambush."
Imon continued on, finding Stellan easily enough. "What have you found?" He asked, immediately looking for it on his own.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Disable Device: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
As Imon comes up and talks to him Stellan drops the spell and replies, "Hello Imon, the vine or line is up about ten paces, looks like it's about ankle height for a small walker, just below for people of our size. It'd be just a vine fallen on the road but it appear stretched taut across the trail."
Stellan continues looking around for trouble.
"Daro, daro," murmurs Anwel at Imon's signal, pulling back on Lairochal's reins. The roan slows to a walk, then stops, and Anwel lets the reins slacken so she can move her head. He unslings his bow from his back, but does not draw an arrow. He wants a hand free if it turns out casting a spell will serve them all better. Slowly, Anwel looks into the woods on each side of the path, alert for the ambush Stellan fears.
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Or perhaps not so alert after all.
Warren sends both eagles aloft at the mention of an ambush.
Realizing that summoning another ally will consume precious seconds, he begins the casting the moment he senses danger. His instincts have always been right before and at this moment his senses are praternaturally alert.
Summon Natures Ally I--full round casting time.
"Steady, expect contact with the enemy in seconds. Watch the flanks and stay together."
Perception Warren/Tuney: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 271d20 + 16 ⇒ (9) + 16 = 25
A dimensional portal begins to form 30 feet ahead of the druid.
|DM - Tareth|
With Stellan's help, Imon spots the trap and after a few moments is able to successfully disarm it. It was a simple mechanism, set to drop a net across the trail when triggered. Both the net and the trip line are made of tough leather twine.
While Imon is disarming the trap, the drizzle and fog seem to thicken slightly bringing visibility down even lower. Sensing the party's general nervousness, a couple of the horses stamp and snort a bit with their own anxiety as Warren's portal opens several feet further down the trail.
|DM - Tareth|
I know people may be off to numerous Christmas activities. But I'm going to bump this ahead just a bit in case the lack of posts is more due to dots not updating. Please feel free to backfill if there's something else you wanted to cover prior to this post. Oh, and Happy Holiday everyone!
With the trap cleared and no other immediate threat detected the party continues deeper into the woods following the forest trail. After another mile or so, another trail branches off to the north. It crosses back across the Thorn using a narrow ford and then disappears into the fog and trees. Warren, Thad, and Imon quickly recognize this as the trail they used to ambush Kressle and the others just a few days ago. Her main camp should be only a few miles further up the main trail.