The ballista shot missed the crosspiece of the catapult and Seltyn manages to prevent some of the fire from spreading, but the area burning continues to grow. Smoke begins to pour out of the hold below.
"Hang on tight to something.", the grizzled sea elf shouts. Windfavor steers the ship hard to port to dip the left side below the water line. His desperate maneuvre is rewarded with a crunching sound and water begins to leak into the hold while the ship begins to slow.
With the warning, Acrobatic DC 10 to avoid falling prone, missing a Acrobatics DC 5 and a bad tumble.
"I don't think she can hold together much longer. I would have thought elven engineering would have let me try that."
I may have no internet for a few days so I'm posting this ahead of time, as this is what he would do. :(
Acrobatics1d20 - 5 ⇒ (19) - 5 = 14
Despite the limitations of his armor, Wil remains standing, lurching forward with the ship and giving a grimace at the sound of water pouring in below deck. "Dammit, Windfavor do what you can to reach that other ship. Everyone I'm going to go below decks to repair what I can..." Without another word he moves down into the hold to see what, if anything, he could do...
Perception - see what there is damaged and see if he can fix it...1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Um I'm not sure if craft/profession/or just some good old luck is needed here... I assume it would be -intelligence- so here goes. 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (20) + 0 = 20
Pray I don't drown :(
Seeing the rampant spread of fire on the deck, hearing Will describe the water gushing in from the port side hole, Windfavor sadly gives the order to abandon ship.
"Abandon ship. The water barrel is now highly buoyant, if anyone is in heavy armor, the better be ready to grab on to it."
Windfavor steers the ship away from the galley.
"While we are burning they should stay away from us."
Once again the rustling of pages is heard echoing from the galley and the sweet leathery smell of a freshly bound book tickles the nose. Suny is rapidly swimming towards the ship as the manacles holder her have come loose.
"I will be back for you all..." Before she makes her way out the same way she came in.
Acrobatics:1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Slipping back out through the hatch and back into the sea.
Swim Check:1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
Seltyn glances quickly at the book, and realizes it is a lost history of a group of wood elves. It would be wiser to peruse it at a later time.
The evacuation of the Sprite occurs without incident. Windfavor easily takes Elorin's body and possessions. As you make landfall well north of the Coastal Kingdom on the main continent, you quickly set up camp for the evening in a sheltered cove before a large forest. It is here Seltyn has a chance to refer to the book again. A days of travel from here is the what is referred to as the 'Living Hall', the home of a large group of wood elves.
Talon, Seltyn, Thalas, and Suny have a strong feeling that travel to the 'Living Hall' is the right thing to do. The overland trip back to the elfhome will take weeks.
At first, Talon is confused and his path always seems to have him heading out of the wood after a short hour of hiking. Seltyn, the holder of the book, although somewhat lacking in woodland skills, takes over the navigation. After a four hour hike, you find yourself in the middle of a clearing of four meditating elves. They are dressed in woodland garb and completely astonished by your appearance. Two of them begin to open their mouths to speak, shake their heads, and resume their silence.
Something to get us out of this mess eh? Like that other boat? :D
The Hall might be the best place to go. In any case, it will be out of the plains here, and we might be able to find help for ourselves and Elorin. First things first though, is everyone ok?
Something to get us out of this mess eh? Like that other boat? :D
One of these days, something will go our way. If we live long enough, we will eventually achieve some goal or other. Statistical fact!
Anybody got a charisma higher than 9? Maybe some diplomacy?
Diplomacy - Improve relations 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Wil moves a few steps ahead of his companions and, once he is sure he isn't interrupting something important, bows politely to the wood elves sitting silently in the clearing. He made sure to keep his hands far from his weapons, hoping they perceive it as a sign of good faith. "Oemveela eym mywa elanammytyaneel Nyeylaella, E ils Fmelvam illw aniralaa oela acelala fairelw sa eym nleaml illa anira Oe'ala eo Acoiresa. Eym Lairety amilla ilananilnynaw fa anira Fcilnyn Nyeanwac illw lailwca amilla celaan ane anira amilelala. E ameycw cena ane nleam eo amires E ilwwmalala lae E sila we ean tymetyamca." Despite his clear elven, it was hard for him to break the habits of proper respect that being among humans had so ingrained in his bearing and words.
"Forgive our rude interruption Cousins, I am Wilaml Fmelvam and these fine elves behind me our known as the Foxes of Elfhome. Our Ship was attacked by the Black Citdel and sadly was lost to the waves. I would like to know of whom I address so I may do it properly."
The elder elf respond quickly:
"Welcome, we are not used to visitors. Our enchantments may be waning, as visitors are not supposed to be. Anyway, you are obviusly in need of shelter, let us bring you to the center."
The elves lead you through the forest to a beautiful clearing around a clear lake. There are many weeping willow type trees around the lake the elves use for homes. There is single long hall made of a stand of trees growing together. The trees have grown together to form a large building with an open roof.
"Impressive, is it not. The woodforming of my ancestors was used to make this. Sad that these ways are lost."
Four large warriors come out to meet you. Large longbows made of an extremely dark wood, chain armor made of the same dark wood, and elven curved swords made of the same wood for the hilt are at their side.
Seltyn immediately thinks of the book. He'll wait until we're more settled in and know who to talk to before he mentions it. If he can study it, he can better assess its value- and whether or not they'd consider raising Elorin in exchange for this treasure.
It was no accident that we were led here.
The elder responds warmly to Wil's greeting.
"Welcome to our home. We see you have had some hard times; the grime and smell of fire is still upon some of you."
As you are lead to the main hall, the elder explains; "We are a martial order of monks and ascetics. We also have trackers, druids, and the occasional priest of Gozreh among us. You are welcome as young ones such as we have probably forgotten the grudges of old that led to our secession from the elven nation."
SN: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
I am afraid that my knowledge of our races history is poor, although I can tell there is a story there. Your sarcasm befits you well. The grudges of old? I don't know of them, unless you are referencing to the time after the Goblin Wars. If that is the case, then there have been many changes recently. The Humans have a much shorter lifespan than ours, and thus there have been changes in Government there, and not all of the humans are as unreasonable as you might believe. Why do you hide yourselves away from the others, and withdraw your forces from the world around you?
I mean no offence by this, but these Elves around me and myself are searching for the tools to make our people great once more. It has been a hard fight thus far, and some of us have fallen, including myself at one time, although I was fortunate enough to have a little intervention there. Why do I mention this? Because the Elven nation needs help right now, and fast at that. There are Rovagug cultists that are roaming the lands, and with there being so few of us, we are having to take what we can find, when we can find it. For example, the Bow I have upon my back is a gift from the Humans for services rendered, I would introduce you to the bow Oneshot
If I am overstepping my bounds then sorry, but this part of the story feels like the undiplomatic bow wielder should say something.
The elder monk expounds, "We chose to resist peaceful resettlement at the hands of the humans. An artifact, the Caduceus, was withheld by the elven court from us because we chose to go our separate ways. The enchantment you seem to have penetrated was designed to keep us from being discovered."
He also corrects some of Seltyn's statement. "We do not withdraw from the world. We act with the humans under times and terms of our choosing. We own property, trade, and deal with the humans around us. Realizing that we will not be beating swords to plowshares for a while, we have trained to fight and stress the martial arts. You will find we have less time for songs and poetry that many of us would like."
My bad, you are right.
After looking at Oneshot, the elves are quite impressed. "Truly a noble bow."
After being shown into the meeting hall, a group of four truly old and wizened wood elves enter. They seem surprised to see you.
The spokesmaid addresses you. "Welcome and be refreshed while you are here." A few goats trot in carrying baskets of food and skins of water.
She speaks in a cracking voice, "I am Eloyanna. Strange events must bring you here. I assume Lady Ciedrel is now Queen of your people. Has she married yet? If not, I am sure it is not talked about."
Wil nods and greets any who will me his eye, he hoped that his human mannerism's and ragged appearance didn't make him look fiercer or unfriendly as he tried to build good relations with their Woodland brethren. After the initial introductions he is relieved when they are semi-welcomed into their brethren's home village. It was a great start and he hoped to foster it further.
He nods at the elders wisdom and before he has time to respond they are taken elsewhere, brought before the true elders of their village. At least as it appeared to him. He didn't play into old hatred or expound on why they should help instead he had saved his words for just this moment, where they would be of the greatest use.
Diplomacy: Improve Relaitions 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
"May the leaves of your life tree never turn brown Lady Eloyanna, thank you for your generosity. I am Wilaml Fmelvam of the Foxes and these are my honorable associates..." He introduces each of his fellow who are present and even mentions Elorins name despite the fact she has fallen. "It is an honor to meet you all and personally I do not know of Lady Ciedral's affairs. We do indeed bring dire tidings though. It has come to our attention only recently that a Tree Mother was taken by a group of Rovagug Cultists who are, as we speak, using her power to violate the laws of nature itself for their own gain. They have gained tremendous power and have summoned forth all manner of ilk to aid them in threatening the humans of the Coastal kingdom which may upset the balance in the region. Forgive me if I misunderstand the difference between you and Elfhome but I thought you should be made aware of this threat before we proceeded much further."
He takes a quick drink of water before settling down and allowing them to digest his statement quietly amongst themselves. If he had overstepped himself then he would take the lashing from Seltyn later, but for now he hoped to foster good relations with their distant and wary woodland Brethren. He had however spoken earnestly and truthfully, hoping to win some good favor among these elders and hopefully spark a new friendship between them and Elfhome, or at least a relationship with the Foxes that Elorin could improve upon later...
"Aside from that grave threat one of our band has fallen and we were on our way back to Elfhome to see her return to us when a Black Citadel galley waylaid us and sunk our vessel in combat. From their we luckily found our way into your generous and helping hands, may the all Father be praised for this meeting."
This is Elorin's thoughts and actions whilst dead. It is in a spoiler so it does not disturb the flow here, but anyone is free to read it.
It has been a long time since she had done it but it felt natural. The memories of her life now held a different kind of power. In her body she was often weighed down and held back by some of her experiences. Here in this place she was free to explore the past without fear or trepidation.
She sat and meditated on the path that brought her here. Her time with the followers of Norgorber was previously a painful and regretful memory. In this place she could see each day as clearly as if it was being lived once more. Being dragged into the temple, taking part in rituals and things she did not understand at the time.
The smells, sounds and sights all so vivid now. Though she was not afraid and did not try to shake them off, as she had done before. Instead she watched from many angles as the initiation took place. She remembered how lost she was after her family had died, how so very lonely she felt. That emptiness must have been a beacon to them. She thought to herself. A girl with power she was unaware off with nothing to lose must have been a a hard advantage to ignore.
She had remembered faces and names that where long forgotten. She even remembered she had friends in the followers. For brief moments in her time there she no longer felt alone. Those moments with those people, where she could share her story’s had begun to make her strong, those where the seeds that her rebellion grew from. If it where not for them she felt she would be there now.
She remembers the face of the person she was ordered to kill. Watching them from the shadows and making note of their actions, and movements. She knew the whole time she could not do it and when face to face with her intended victim she saw something in the eyes. A will to live that she at the time had lost.
‘I grant your wish madam, you will not die by my hands, you will live. I give you what little choice and life I have left.’ Those words now seemed melodramatic to her but she spoke them with heart at the time before leaving her victim to live and heading back to the temple.
She remembers that walk back to the temple cleary. It was raining but she did not mind, the rain was cooling. She played out scenarios in her head, telling Norgorber that she refused his word. She would not carry out his wishes any longer. Standing in front of the believers and telling them her victim still lives.
She remembered the punishment. Even this memory, one she had buried so deep in life, held no fear for her. The pain she endured for days was simply a feeling, an experience and though she remembered each punishment with vivid clarity, she could not change what had already happened. Though the scares of that time still lay all over her physical body and she may have become an expert in hiding the hideous marks from those around her, the scars she held in her memory where harder to hide. They held her back.
She wondered for a brief moment if the others would find her scars on her body now she was no longer controlling it and think she was ugly. As fun as a moment of insecurity was in this lace, she found she did not really mind at all anymore.
It was then she remembered why her thoughts have always held her back. That day she knew she was going die. She knew the penalty for disobeying the god was much pain and suffering until death was sweet release. She had willed all her life and all her remaining strength onto that woman. So that the madam would have what She was about to lose.
In a way it did not matter that she was doomed to certain death because she had given her life to madam and it would continue in some fashion and when she escaped and ran, she never truly took that life back. She died that day and it took her life years to catch up.
This thought some how made her feel lighter and free. Many other memories ran through her head, times with her new friends on a quest to save the Elven kingdom. Though her part had ended she knew her friends would continue and strive to accomplish all they could.
She was so happy she could help them even in death. Happy memories made her feel warm and she wanted to share that warm, happy and content feelings with her friends. Let them know that everything would be ok. In life she would of shared a song and passed on her calm and happy feeling that way. In death she could no longer share her song, but she concentrated very hard on all her friends and projected her feelings the way in life she projected her voice.
She hoped that the sense of happiness and reassurance she tried to give in life would reach them now. Envelop them in calmness and allow them to feel happy in what they have achieved.
'My friends you are all strong and amazing people in every way. It has been a pleasure beyond words to have met you. You where all a point of strength in a weak life. may that strength now guide you on in your quest.' She thinks as she sends her calming emotions to her friends
The elderly maiden takes a look at Elorin and speaks with concern. "The spirit has not left. There is still time."
"I will return this maiden to life if you promise to back our claim to return the Caduseus, the magic staff held by the elven nation, to the rightful owners. If, in Lady Ciedrel's opinion, we are not the rightful owners, than you are released from your oath, as our claim will not be valid."
Elorin is taken away to their shrine. She returns whole four hours later.
SM:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Wil looks from the Elders to his comrades, clearly unable to reply favorably or disfavorably to their cousins request. When Seltyn spoke up, Wil was relieved to not have had to deflect on the issue. "Since I am not originally of Elfhome I can act as a mediator on your behalf as well as there's, especially if you grant us this great boon Elders. As I said I am not sure of what happened in the past between all of you, which will allow me to do my best to make sure that all sides receive equal treatment without bias complicating proceedings."
Wil follows them to the shrine, bearing Elorin himself and watches over the ritual from afar if allowed. When she rises once more he assists her anyway she needs until her strength returns. He returns her gear to her, except for Oneshot as Talon bears the weapon still. His personal guilt over her death is clear on his scarred face, he still hasn't forgiven himself for his grave mistake and feels he owes her a debt he cannot, at the moment, repay...
Seltyn will cast prestidigitation on anyone who wants to spruce up, then keep a respectful distance from the shrine, and studies the book. When Elorin returns, he's happy, and greets her warmly.
Much has happened in your absence. We can use your help planning our next step.
The Wood Elves are somewhat suspicious, and explain, "Sharing our magic is what lost our Caduceus in the first place. We are somewhat circumspect with our rituals. We normally do not allow strangers, but you make your case well, we like your patron diety, and we are allayed that you are not from elfhome. The paladin may observe."
Wil and Elorin return after a prolonged departure. The elder elfmaid explains to Elorin, "Your companions have agreed to present our claim for the Caduceus from elfhome. We feel the compelling need to seek its return as soon as possible. If you are returning, we can provide an escort."
Aside from my note above in spoilers... ;)
Wil helps to steady Elorin, providing her with a strong shoulder to lean on as he explains everything that has happened during her absence "It is their firm belief that this Caduceus is their's by right and I promised to work as a mediator for them, especially since I am not originally of Elfhome. So past differences will not affect my judgement or opinion. It was the easiest path to see you restored as well. You have been sorely missed Sister Elorin, I take full responsibility for what happened and will do my best to repay you anyway I can."
He thanks Seltyn fr his ample magic and feel's much better once the smell of burning wreckage is cleansed from his clothing and personal being.
Prestidigitation My FAVORITE cantrip! :D
Elorin waking in her body feeling heavy at first. Her time in death had been freeing and cathartic and being back in her physical body took a few moments to get used to.
She was in a strange place, with someone she had never seen before. After looking around and seeing Wil she knew it was safe for now.
Elorin looks slightly different to everyone. The same body, same face, but there is definitely something different about her. Something calm and serene. Her mannerisms and how she holds herself seem very different. She is much happier and much more graceful in her movement.
When she speaks her voice is different, it is deeper and much more confident. She speaks calmer more sultry than anyone remembered her sounding. She radiates calm and grace.
"Thank you Elder Maid. I know what you have done here goes far beyond the personal sacrifice for raising me. You have allowed us into a very sacred and personal space. We shall always honor your actions today and what my friends have promised, I pledge to help."
She turns to Wil as he speaks and places her hand gently on his chin to raise it up and kissing him on the cheek before speaking. "You take your duty as a Paladin and friend to heart. I have witnessed this more than once. I understand why you feel you need to take responsibility and I respect your choice. I will say this only once as I mean it with all my being and after that I will respect what you choose." She says this calmly and with only goodness in her voice.
She smiles and speaks low and straight. "You hold absolutely no debt to me Wilaml of the house of Fmelvam. You may act as you wish and how your honor bids you to. I shall accept your friendship and alliance with great happiness and love but I will never accept that you should take the blame for what happened. I will only accept that you must work it through and deal with it in the way that you know how."
leaning slightly on Wil as they leave the temple area and seeing everyone else she smiles broadly. Hugging Suny back as she grabs her unexpectedly. "It brings me glad feelings to see you are all well. I shall help in anyway I can. The Elder Maid tells me we have agreed to help negotiations for the Caduceus and that some of them can escort us to Elven home if that is where we are going that is all I know about the current situation. I know your journey has been a difficult one and to have arrived here is, for now, a great blessing. Have you all had chance to rest and recuperate?"
When Talon sees the huge flurry of emotions and almost crippling doubt and grief on Wil's face when carrying out the ritual, he wonders about his friend, and how he can cope when so much rides so close to the fore.
How can you remain sane, and yet feel as much as you do? I do not understand it at all.
He goes away for a while looking for a target to practise on, and then works more to hone and refine his skills. There was so much more to do, and so so little time.
Rested yes, recuperated not so much. It's good to have you back though Elorin. I missed you and that voice of yours He smiles slightly and then finds a flower to hand to her. He looks awkward at this point, as though he has never given a flower to a lady before.
Azlain was out of place as usual here. He disappeared from the rest for a time, enjoying his solace, finding a place to bathe and change his bandages.
When the others returned he gave a nod to Elorin welcoming her back to life.
Something in common, she and I. Though it looks like she has fewer souvenirs.
Thalas, respectful of the wishes of his people, communes with Labelas Enorath during the ritual to restore Elorin. When she returns to them, he speaks, "Welcome back to us; as Talon, Seltyn, and myself can attest, to be Touched directly by Labelas Enorath is a... changing, experience. Is there anything we can do for you right now; perhaps just someplace to sit?"
She takes the flower from Talon and thanks him. placing it in her top after smelling it. She look up to see Azlain nodding at her and she returns the gesture with a tilted nod back.
Then turning to Thalas "Thank you Thalas I shall be fine soon. Though I can not lean on Wil all night. I will sit for a while." She takes her arm form around Wil and sits on the ground."I thank you Wil, I will be much better once I have rested."
From what you can observe, martial training is the main activity. The monks practice unarmed fighting, there are warriors fighting with curved elven swords and bastard swords, and there are horsemen practicing riding on shaggy, hardy ponies.
A large feast is held in Elorin's honor. The assembled wood elves number almost 200 and they are quite shy and reserved. There only three holy symbols you have seen: Desna, Gozreh, and Corellon Larethian.
The Living Hall is the only structure. The community lives outdoors and under the trees. The war leader is at the banquet. He is wearing a suit of full plate, but it appears his suit of armor is made completely out of dark wood and carries a large flail made out of the same dark wood. He is quite old, but walks with a sure step and seems to have a strong and steady hand.
Thalas approaches who seems like the senior priest/priestess of Corellon.
"As a follower of Labelas Enorath, I find it curious that of all the Elder gods of our people only Corellon has a following here whereas there are two of the new gods' represented amongst you. Is there any particular reason for this?"
Seltyn will avoid interaction long enough to rest, prepare spells, learn his 2 free spells, and read the book. He'll probably give it to the wood elves, but he wants to know what's in it, first. A day or 2.
A group of tatooed trackers approach Azlain. They are dressed in woodland garb and wear the holy symbol of Gozreh, the nature diety. They are interested in Azlains own markings.
The priest of Corellon speaks to Thalas: "We do not feel in times of war rest of the ancient pantheon has helped us. There is not much time for reading and knowledge when you fight for your very survival."
As the evening wears on they show you to a tree for shelter and invite you to stay. They seem eager to return to elfhome and pursue their claim.
Seltyn learns his new spells, and tries to add blur to his list from the scroll. DC 17
1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
That done (40 gp), he asks the others to talk with the wood elves, and give him time to read the book.
I don't know how we can complete our mission now. If we return to Elfhome, they'll be taking us. I'm not sure how that would go over. Just be your charming selves and see what you can learn about all this business.