Drispeera gives a mental sigh, having a hunch her teammates may not agree with her on this. Ummm... does the charter have anything about staking a claim if we do find out this rock is valuable? Do our employers from Restov get it, or what? In any case I'd recommend not putting it on the map, until we can get this sample evaluated. Never know what bandits and goblins etc might catch a peek at our map somehow. Can the five of us just remember where it is until we know more?
Drispeera joins Mornaura on the high ledge, surveying the terrain.
If there's nothing further in this hex, shall we go on? Other folks can make their appraise checks when they catch up? Want to make the most of GM Nel's time before he's off to GenCon.
|Kaeso the Human Fighter|
Kaeso pokes his head in the cave and looks around.
Appraise: 1d20 ⇒ 11
"Um, guys, I think Drispeera might have a point. Restov is so far from here, that the poor folks who live here have to wait a long time for help. It might be good for everyone if we, well, built ourselves up a bit. He looks down at the ground, clearly disliking talking about politics.
The party decided to move on after surveying this hex.
In this area, the lay of the land is much more flat. Not a lot of hills or crags. after walking through the area some, you find a clearing of roughly 200 feet radius with the skeletons of boars, deer, bears, and a few humans strewn out in a circle.
Getting a bit closer you find the carcass of a Giant Spider, next to the center of the clearing, where he had his lair. A quick Survival check notices nasty gore marks on its side... Looks like she tried to grab a pray that was too large for her...
Her lair is a 5-foot diameter shaft at the center of this clearing.
Drispeera dismounts from her horse (which she alternately calls "Snow" or "Brick" depending how she feels about riding at the time) and first checks the gore marks on the spider.
Is it the same as the giant boar made? Or do we have another critter nearby to worry about?
Heal: 1d20 ⇒ 10
Survival: 1d20 ⇒ 6
Yup, the spider's dead alright.
Then she'll head over to the shaft. Let me take a peek. I have pretty good vision in dim light. Just be ready if something jumps out at me, ok?
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
The spider’s lair is a 5-foot-diameter, 25-foot-deep shaft. The thick webbing along the walls would make it relatively easy to clamber up and down the shaft. Although the spider often cleans out the skeletons that accumulate within its den, it hasn’t done so for a week or so and a few bodies still remain at the bottom of the shaft, including the body of a dead man, still dressed in leather armor and carrying a short sword.
Scurrying down the pit, Bingo finds the body of a dead bandit, still dressed in leather armor and carrying a short sword and 10 gp. He also wears about his neck a silver Stag Lord amulet worth around 20 gp.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Of perhaps more interest is a scrap of paper tucked in the bandit's left boot. Bingo grabs this piece of paper, and climbs back up the hole. Holding the piece of paper above his head for everyone to see, Bingo smiles triumphantly!
Unfolding and straightening out the paper, the party sees that it bears a simple drawing; a claw-shaped dead tree atop an otherwise barren hill, with an “X” in blood scrawled by the tree's roots!
|Kaeso the Human Fighter|
Wasn't there someone complaining earlier when things moved on without giving her time to post...? ;) No offense, there's just a lot to catch up now.
Alright, so, back at the crag:
Appraise (including Dris' +2 aid because noone else used it): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27 BAM! See? Just wait for me. :P
Bluff: 1d20 ⇒ 4 Totally looking like I didn't find anything. :D
Climb: 1d20 ⇒ 9 Alright, can I get up on the crag with taking 10?
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16 Looking around for landmarks from the top of the crag (or just from the hill if I can't get up).
Knowledge Geography (including map making kit): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31 Adding landmarks in the correct hex and adding this crag (but not marking the gold)
When Drispeera summons the companions into the cave by mentioning possible valuables, Mornaura chuckles and decides to take a look for herself. While the sorceress aids her by pointing out the most sparkly spots in the rock, the witch takes her time examining them. At first she only mumbles to herself and tries to play it calm, but even a cursory inquiring glance will make her tell her companions about her findings, in an uneasy voice.
"Ah well, it's definitely gold, and it seems like a lot of it. I just hope noone decides to start killing each other over it, because that's what seems to happen usually. Happy?"
And then she storms off and starts climbing up the vantage point.
When Drispeera joins her up there a moment later, Mornaura smiles at her apologetically and shows her the map.
"Hey, in case you haven't noticed, I'm not particularly good in trusting... people. Anyway, I've marked the crag, just as usual, and 'forgot' to add anything about the gold. And I think we can come up with better ideas for it than letting restovian nobles take it, right?"
At the spider's lair:
Survival: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Heal: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
For a moment I thought that thing was only sleeping - had completely overlooked that wound in its side. Seems like the gold is still worrying me...
With a musing look on her face and Faron on her shoulder, the witch walks around the circle of bones, poking with her staff and undeliberately creating a strange rhythm of thumping the ground and the clatter of bones.
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
After finishing the round, she looks over to the others, and, when she sees that Bingo has emerged from the hole again, decides to rejoin them.
"What have you found there? A treasure map?"
Furling her eyebrows, she takes a look at it and lets out a sigh.
"Well, I expected something more elaborate. With a drawing that simple, that hill could probably be anywhere. Even Faron might need lots of time finding it. But maybe we can narrow down the prospect and send him out, should we happen pass through a promising area."
Knowledge Geography: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
Great, another reason to kill each other.
The tree is no landmark you have ever heard of so far.
After cleaning up from the spider's lair, the party finally sets out to return to Oleg's. With another day of uneventful travel, the familiar sights of his trading post come into view.
After letting the horses rest in the stable, you find good ol' Svetlana cooking lunch, and Oleg counting some coins from surely some recent sale. They wave at you inviting you to lunch.
Over the meal, you recount your adventures of your last trip, and of special interest is the fact that a man by Vekkel Benzen, who is currently lodging at the Outpost, had just put up a wanted posted for the head of the boar known as Tuskgutter! The poster states that he will reward the killer with a masterwork longbow and six +1 animal bane arrows. He also promises to share the head cheese he plans to make out of this trophy.
Assuming you complete Vekkel's quest, EVERYONE LEVELS TO LEVEL 2. Congratulations! *final fantasy fanfare*
To Mornaura: My family auctioned me off as part of a business deal. I'm not so big on the trust myself. So far this lot seems confoundingly honest, tho'. I don't know if I'll ever be besties with Norn or Hermia, but I'd certainly trust them never to take more than a copper of their fair share.
To the group: There's nothing in this lot that's useful to me. Take it if you can use it.
Level 2! Yay! A new cantrip! It's good to be a sorceress. Oh well, it's progress on the way to level 3!
|Kaeso the Human Fighter|
Kaeso asks Svetlana a question:
Post #666! Muhahahahaha!
After a day or two recovering and selling off gear, Kesten informs you of another pressing matter.
"Friends, we have received word of a few of my scouts missing or getting killed on the west side of the Greenbelt. I wanted to let you know in case your travels take you that way. Please keep an eye out for them, and report back to me if you encounter trouble. My surviving scouts said Tatzlwyrms were sighted in the area."
With the mention of the west of the Greenbelt, Jhod's ears spring up.
"And my temple! Don't forget about the temple of the elk! Please, find it for me. Erastil be praised!" as he scurries along into the kitchen to serve himself more soup.
Svetlana also approaches the group: "I received work that our friend Bokken is back from visiting his brother in the south. He traded with me this morning and said he was reopening his apothecary shop! He lives less than 10 miles to the est of here if you would like to pay him a visit. He mentioned having a task he needed adventurers for."
Drispeera gives herself a moment to roll her eyes and mutter, I'm beginning to see why they could only find five idjits willing to come to this forsaken wilderness.
Then she pulls herself together and throws on her most charming smile before inquiring of Kesten, Sooo what of these tatzel-whatevers? What can you tell us of them? They sound dangerous. Is there perhaps a reward for dealing with them? And, unfortunately the kobolds were dead when we arrived. We were unable to find out more about what plagues their kin. Do you have a more specific location to give us for these troubled kobolds? She bats her eyelashes flirtatiously, aiming for sincerity, not vamp. Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (15) + 11 = 26
She will also suppress her slight distate for Jhod's fanaticism, as she inquires with doe-eyed innocence, Of course we are keeping an eye out for the temple. Can you give us more clues as to its location? And I forgot what you said the reward for finding it would be....
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22
To Bingo she simply says The alchemist's shop sounds like fun to me. Shopping at long last! After that, lets look at our long, long, lonnng list of tasks and prioritize them. Perhaps by reward?
"Tatzlwyrms are more primeval than dragons in evolutionary terms. They branched off the family line millennia ago, and didn’t advance in the same ways. Undersized compared to their larger cousins, tatzlwyrms are ferocious in their own right. And while most other reptiles can’t compare to them mentally, tatzlwyrms are hardly impressive specimens when put beside their notorious relatives. Tatzlwyrms don’t possess a dragons’ raw capacity for intelligence and creativity. Oleg and I will pay 600 crowns for one of their heads!"
Jhod says "Reward! There is no greater reward than Erastil's good graces! He will be delighted I found his temple! As for the more mortal concerns, even though I have no coin Erastil still empowers me with his graces. I will provide for you any spell at my disposal without charge should you be able to do this for me."
Hermia Knowledge Nature (Mining) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Hermia has mostly kept to herself on the trail. She peers at the gold, but lacking any appreciable skill in the area, if asked, opines that working the area is beyond their abilities at this moment, and they should consider sending to Restov for experts in the field to assess the find. The map brings a brief frown to her face, being no mercenary she does not find the prospect of putting themselves in danger for something a bandit would consider treasure a particularly sound idea, but hers is just one voice.
Hermia untrained Perception 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Hermia does not notice anything out of order at the post. She proceeds with her business with Oleg.
Hermia never spent her 300 gp from starting, so she would like to purchase
1 book on siege engines (I believe you said it would be 50gp)
1 book on mining
She also asks if Svetlana has a fair hand with stitching and might be able to design and create a bag for her from a drawing for her healing her healing herbs and banadages (essentially a healer's kit for another 50gp)
[ooc]Hermia Knowledge Nature (Kobolds) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
"An alchemist?" Hermia hums, her face brightening, shifting away from the conversation Dispeera is having with Jhod. "He's like to have any number of books! And some knowledge of herbs in the area, like..." she adds surreptitiously.
|Kaeso the Human Fighter|
Kaeso is happy to be at camp, able to work on some projects. He takes the packs off of Joss, the heavy warhorse, and puts him through his paces, attempting to get him combat-ready.
Handle Animal: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
"Does anyone else need any help with their horses?
He takes another look at the catapults on the towers to see if he might figure some way to fix them.
Craft siege engine (A new skill): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Kaeso keeps looking around for something to do. Finding no other pressing tasks, he asks Oleg if there are any heavy things he can lift. "Need to stay strong!"
Norn has been training with Kaeso to the best of his ability for the past day or two.
"Well friends, we have a few tasks ahead of us. Maybe we go see this Alchemist, and start exploring the east side of our chartered land. We might pick up our Kobold trail as well."
Mostly where might be a better place to start looking. Do they have any favored terrain, like to be near water, or prefer caves or anything like that?
Seeing Kaeso examine the siege engines, Hermia joins him for a time.
"My arms are not incredibly strong, but my mind is sharper than most. Would you allow me to help with the defenses?"
Hermia's gaze moves over Kesten, Jhod, and the camp itself. "Maylike when we do, we will need to find folk willing to man them, yes? T would expect they are quite a bit more difficult to aim than crossbows."
|Kaeso the Human Fighter|
"Hermia, I'd be glad for the help. In fact, if you know better than I what to do, I'll help you. When we get them fixed we'll likely have to test-fire them to see how to aim them."
Kaeso leans a bit closer to Hermia: "I really wanted to thank you for the help against the big boar. We all would have been in big trouble, with Norn down. I hope I can return the favor!"
Kaeso thinks for a bit, and realizes that he just told Hermia he hopes she finds herself in mortal danger so that he can help her. I'm an idiot!
Hermia smiles warmly. "As I said, my arms are not strong. My strength is to bolster yours, and Norn's, to defend us. You need not thank me for having the foresight to provide you with the best protection I could," she says. "And soon, I think, to create curatives for the benefit of all."
I will get to leveling soon, just want to have a few hours to think on it.
On the trail up Drispeera tries to talk with Hermia. I'm really glad to have a cleric along, I hope Hermia and I can find common ground once in a while. Heya Hermia, I know we don't always see eye-to-eye. But I actually think we're not too far apart on this mine thing. I don't want it on a map, where bandits or kobolds or something might get ahold of it. But if we do get this area cleared out and safe, and if we see evidence that the Restovian nobles would not only mine the gold, but also protect the people working and living there, we can discuss telling them then. Until then, we just keep it quiet so it doesn't bring more violence to the area, like Mornie said. That sound okay to you?
Hey did I ever tell you that my family wanted *me* to be a cleric? -laughs- That didn't go too well, as you can imagine. I guess I just don't have that kind of discipline.
At Oleg's, Drispeera will heat up some kind of puffed grain, slather it with butter and salt, then climb to a tower to munch away. If anyone asks, she'll say she's just admiring the view. Strangely, she is not facing the vista outside of the fort, but looking inward to watch Kaeso and Norn training with the horses, hopefully shirtless and sweaty.
When they look ready for a break, she'll bring her horse over. Oh, are you finished? Darn! I was hoping you could train Snow too (called thus because she has not been on his back for awhile--otherwise she calls him "Brick"). If they agreee, she'll resume her "watch" from the tower.
We're going shopping, yay! Hopefully the alchemist has some cool stuff. I've never actually spent money before. I'm so excited.
Hermia's eyes narrow at Drispeera's supposed counsel, and she tilts her head to the side. "I wonder, Mistress, if you have ever considered what tone you apply to your words before they leave your mouth? I say this as a courtesy to you, that you can make yourself out to be quite condescending, not only toward myself, but to Mistress Mornaura as well.
"I might be a novice priestess from a backwater community, and not the vaulted halls of your Kyonin, but I am not completely ignorant. As I said, this mine is beyond us at this time. It may come through study that I, or perhaps Mistress Mornaura might learn how to reap its benefits ourselves and thus eliminate any need to contact Restov at all. What we are unlikely to find, however, are the tools and the time required to train others to work this safely and efficiently."
Hermia pulls up her reigns. "Until that time, you can be sure that no word of this find will pass my lips in a language that Kobolds could understand, or to any of our enemies, lest they give up the easy life of raiding and pillaging to take up the difficult one of earning their keep through honest labor."
|Kaeso the Human Fighter|
Kaeso happily takes Snow from Drispeera. "What a fine steed! Let's try to get him calmed down for you. You might find a posting trot saves your, um, backside some pain.
Handle Animal: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
GM Nel, I haven't been keeping track of how many "handle animals" I've done on Joss. If you ever decide he's combat ready, I'll start teaching him voice commands and tricks.
To Hermia: Oh dear, I was sincerely trying to put our differences behind us. I was also trying to express appreciation for your art, in which I tried to gain even the smallest accomplishment and failed utterly. But clearly my attempts to reach common ground were clumsy, and for that I sincerely apologize.
Regarding the mine, I completely agree that we are not capable of mining it ourselves. I simply meant that I do not know if the lords of Restov can be trusted to protect the mine or the people working it. They took weeks to send aid to Oleg and Svetlana. Once we have made the region safer, we can see where matters lie. Until then, my thought was only to leave it fallow, and tell no one.
Well, I had hoped to make our travel time more companionable for both of us. But since I seem to be failing in that, I'd at least like you to know that I respect the arts and knowledge that you've brought to our group, and if you are in danger, I will do my utmost to protect you. With a slight nod of her head towards Hermia, Drispeera will urge Brick forward.
Are we off to the alchemist's now? Are we? Are we? Hunh?
Don't see why not. I think Oleg's business is concluded for now.
The group leaves quiet Oleg's, and heads east to seek this alchemist, Bokken. After just a few hours of travel and mapping this area, you can start to smell the pungent smell of alchemical remedies, poisons and concoctions being brewed. Over a hill, you can now see its source: a small hut in pretty much the middle of nowhere. There is light coming from the inside, and smoke bellows out of it's rudimentary chimney.
The day is cloudy today, but no signs of rain yet.
Mornaura has been visibly enjoying the two day break, being able to take a bath, sleep in a real bed and spend some time with Faron alone on one of the roofs or towers.
But nevertheless, when the companions head out again in the morning, she seems eager to continue with exploring the land and fulfilling their quests.
"I must admit that our break was really restorative, but it feels good that we are on the road again."
Looking at the dirt trail in front of them, she smirks, even giggles for a moment.
"And for once we agreed on the next objective without an hour of discussing. That has to be a good sign. Let's hope that this alchemist has something interesting to offer."
|Kaeso the Human Fighter|
Drispeera gives Kaeso an odd look... Lead into gold? Oh, that's just an old legend. But he should have some fun stuff that goes "flash" and "bang." Let's go in and see what he's got. La, la, la! I've got my own money. I don't have to talk anyone into buying things for me! She jingles her purse again, just to hear the sound.
Upon entering the hut, you are "greeted" by an even stronger smell than what you were experiencing outside. The door has a bell on the inside, alerting the apothecary of your entrance.
"WHUZUTH WAS THAT!! Oh lordie, someone in my hut. Customers I hope? Gentlemen, ladies, please come in, come in. I am Bokken, one of the two hermit brothers of the Greenbelt, at'cha service." Bokken's left eye twitches a lot, while his right eye solidly burns his gaze upon you. You can clearly tell his... nuts and bolts are not all there...
"Now what will it be chaps! I got me some potions and oils here! Can I interest you in some healing potions? Light ones only 50 crowns, and Moderates just 150! Or are you more the pyro type? I got some neat Alchemist's fire or alchemist's ice here for sale too!"
Dris wrinkles her nose and whispers to Bingo-- Smelly farts indeed! It smells like rotten eggs are his primary ingredient for everything.
But she brightens up at the mention of explosive things. How much for the alchemist's ice? Is it the same as alchemist's fire, but cold?
And do you have any tanglefoot bags? My friend Mornie might be interested. (They would totally go with your shoes)she whispers to Mornaura.
With a mien of curiosity (and one hand holding her nose), Mornaura looks around in the hut and tries to identify all the potions and ingredients.
"What? Why would tanglefoot bags go with my shoes? Besides, wouldn't it be helpful to tell him that we're here because he needed help with something before spending gold? He might have special discounted offers for people who help him, right?", she asks in a slightly nasal voice.
Your bag... goes with your shoes? Girly fashion joke, get it? Oh nevermind, buy what you like, I'll make it match your outfit later. I did think you'd like the tanglefoot bags tho', for quickly stopping guys you wanna talk to after we're done fighting 'em.
When she hears the word "discount" she lights up again. Mornie youre a genius! I forgot all about the bargaining and the discounts. Shopping is so much more exciting when its your own money!
She whirls on Bokken. She's right! We're totally here to help you. Tell us what icky monster you need us to slay, and he's gone! Kaput! Then you can give us lots of cool toys without taking our shiny, shiny coins!
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
I know that inane chattering is hard to sell as coming from a high-diplomacy, high-charisma character. Hopefully it comes off as naively enthusiastic. I was originally modeling Drispeera on Cordelia in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But suddenly she's turned into Anya (remember the greedy and blunt-spoken, but somehow charming ex-vengeance demon?)
|Kaeso the Human Fighter|
I hated cordelia and anya.
Hermia, being small and mostly unobtrusive, studies the wares in silence. Seeing that Drispeera has the right of such things, she will allow the elder woman to negotiate, and she tugs at Kaeso's wrist as she retreats.
"The hut does not seem any bigger on the inside, yes?" she says.
"Oh, hohohohoh. Yes. Alchemist's ice is the cold cousin of it's more fiery brother. Instead of lighting things on fire, you freese 'em to death! As a bonus, it freeses water too! Tanglefoot bags?! Of course! What do you take me for, some kind of lame alchemist! I can do those in my sleep!"
"Whazat blueish lady? You want to help with ze problems? Oh hohoh. SURE! I gots me a problem! But not a monster problem no no no no. I need me some Snozzberries. WAIT! Was it snozzberries? No, no I think those are fake. I need Fangberries! Yes. At least ten bunches! With fangberries, oooooooh the things I could brew. You bring me those fangberries and EVERYTHING I give you at cost. YES! All my potions at cost. DEAL?" Bokken spits on his hand and stretches it out towards you.
Sorry Bingo, meant to do this earlier.
Bingo-related Perception check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Meanwhile back at the hut:
Drispeera keeps a delighted smile plastered on her face, as the pungent madman thrusts a slimy paw in her direction. She leans sideways towards Bingo and Mornie and whispers, "At cost"? Is that good?
Knowledge nature (What do I know about Fangberries?): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
After raising one brow and giving Drispeera an inquiring look, the witch starts to chuckle, "It can't become any better. We only pay him as much as he has to spend in order to make those things for us."
Her gaze stays locked on Drispeera, as she doesn't want to miss the expression when realization kicks in.
"And if we keep bringing him ingredients, that means we get potions for free."