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Helio's Crypt of the Everflame (Inactive)

Game Master Helio


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Male Human Dungeon Master 1 / Procrastinator 20

As the sun rises over the village of Kassen, the first frosts of winter glisten in the dawn's light. It is the fourth of Neth, the same day that the village's namesake went on his final journey all those years ago. Today is the festival of the Everflame, the annual journey to Kassen's resting place.

The sleepy silence of night still blankets the town as it slowly comes to life in the sunlight. At noon, the trials will begin in earnest as the chosen few reenact Ekat Kassen's final journey, and return with a piece of the Everflame to warm the village through the winter's cold. Typically, the journey would be undertaken by the mayor and other village elders. But this year, as is done every five years, the role of Kassen and his compatriots will be filled by new blood. These individuals will prove, through the trials in the Crypt of the Everflame, that they too can join the ranks of Kassen as the village's protectors and leaders.

The sleepy hamlet seems even sleepier this morning, as the normally bustling village remains remarkably still as the sun slowly ascends from the horizon. In keeping with thetradition of the ceremony, the townsfolk will truly begin their day at noon, after seeing off their heroes.

As the heroes chosen for the ceremony, Mayor Uptal has asked each of you to meet at the town square just before noon. This gives you a bit of time between now and then to speak to one another or otherwise prepare. When you have all assembled at the town square, the journey will begin.


Emerging from the general store, Edvard Tirel had looked about with great earnest - it wasn't every day that you get to participate in a time honored tradition - let alone be the star of it.

Confident that his twin sister would be done with her tasks, Edvard strolled to the town square. A quick yawn and peek, it seemed as if no one had showed up. Finding a decent spot, Edvard leans up against a wall and hums waiting for any excitement...or trouble.


Male Human Witch 1

Sevrin Withers arrives hours early but he looks like he's worried about being late. The slightly built young man is wearing his best clothes for the occasion, a carefully patched traveling outfit. He has tried to groom himself carefully but his shock of dark brown hair never seems to stay in place. He stops abruptly as he reaches the edge of the square. He looks around, blinking in the morning light, seemingly unsure of what to do next.

I can't believe they chose me for this! What does this really mean? Is this where I bind myself to these people once and for all?

A chirping sound comes from above as a tiny blue and red creature flies in lazy circles overhead.


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)

"I'll be fine, mother," Nedyr had assured her earlier. It hadn't stopped her from leaving him some hot bread waiting for him as he left. Both of his parents were so proud. While they didn't always understand the subtle differences between cleric and druid, they did understand their son had found Erastil's favor.

And now, it seemed, he had another honor upon his shoulders, the village had entrusted he (and others) with a part of a sacred ceremony. Nedyr himself felt flattered beyond words.

I just hope it doesn't go to my head. He mused with a smile as he started on his way to the town square, "What a glorious day." He said aloud to no one in particular.


Female Half-Orc Warpriest 3 HP: 23/23 Init: +1 AC: 19 (T: 12, FF 17) Saves: F: +4 R: +2 W: +5 Blessings: 3/4

Délia arrives at the town square, wearing her usual clothes (not that she had many others) and her usual relaxed demeanor. Noticing that most of the other "heroes" have already arrived, she waves at them.

"Hi Ed! Hi Lizard Guy! Hi Erastil guy- Wait, is that bread? You know, I haven't had breakfast yet..."


Male Human Witch 1

"Uh, hi singer girl. I don't have any bread, or at least I wouldn't call it that."

Sevrin pulls a piece of hard tack out of his bag and taps it with his fingernail.

"My dad says that this is what heroes eat. I'm not sure why. I think he just didn't have anything else in the pantry."


Ed couldn't help but to chuckle at the scene that was developing him. Seems like that odd boy Sevrin had no idea what "cram" was - or why heroes and adventurers would eat the hard bread.

"Hail skinny boy with the bread, you'd best be saving that for the journey ahead of you. My father's told me stories that any crumb of that horrible stuff was a god send when your stomach's rumbling like the great devour-er. Imagine, being so ungry that the bark of trees and your pack mule looked like a Chelish feast. You're girlfriend over there can breakfast easily anywhere around here...possibly Otik's for his mug of cider and oats, or even Lana's bakery." said Edvard with a slight chuckle.

Sensing that some of the group had arrived, Edvard heads over and joins them in conversation.


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)
Quote:
"Hi Ed! Hi Lizard Guy! Hi Erastil guy- Wait, is that bread? You know, I haven't had breakfast yet..."

"Morning, Dellia," Nedyr offers a roll, "Here, help yourself. It's still warm."

Quote:
"My dad says that this is what heroes eat. I'm not sure why. I think he just didn't have anything else in the pantry."

Nedyr seems sympathetic, "You might be right, still, why don't you have some bread too and we'll save the heroic tack for later. I have the feeling heroes in stories didn't always have my mother's cooking to fall back on." Another part offered.

"I don't think a bit of warm bread or even hard tack before the adventure will break any rules, Edvard," Nedyr says, and clearly he's willing to break spread his own mother's bread among others. Mother made too much anyway. She often does.


Male Human Witch 1

Sevrin stares at the hard tack a moment longer as if trying to decipher a puzzle, then carefully replaces it.

"You're right Edvard, that is probably best saved until perhaps after the tree bark starts looking good."

"I'll gladly accept some bread Nedyr, I was too nervous to eat earlier anyway."

Sevrin tears a tiny piece of bread from his hunk and holds it aloft. A blue and red flash of movement snatches it from his hand and and alights on a nearby rooftop.

"And besides my own mother is a terrible baker, when she bothers. It comes out not that much different from the tack."


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)

Nedyr watches the movement as best he can, but by Erastil that was quick, "I hope your friend likes it. And yes, I'm luckier than many. I swear mother could find a way to cook dirt and make it tasty." He grins, "Still, more exciting things to talk about than food. The ritual today, and in the hands of folks are age instead of elders? I admit to being excited."


Male Human Witch 1

"I still can't believe it, not everybody gets to do something like this. I never thought I would." Sevrin looks at his boots for a moment. "I'm not used to people depending on me like this, you know. I've found people what they need for medicine and recipes and such, but this is different. It's a statement."

I wonder if it's intended as statement? Do they want to welcome me in, or keep me because I'm useful? Or is it just a thing they do, makes them feel good to throw the kids a bone from time to time.


Female Demon-Spawn Tiefling Ranger 2 (HP: 22/22 | AC: 17/13/14 | F: +4 R: +6 W: +1 | Per: +8 Init: +3 | Arr.:37)

A stone flies out of nowhere and smacks into Edvard's arm.

"EDVARD! YOU JERK!"

A young girl storms up. From the looks of things, she got ready in a hurry and is still adjusting the shirt of chain links when she gets closer. Her hair matches Edvard's, although her normally fair complexion is reddened by anger at the moment.

"Poppa said to stack the wood neat. I had fix the mess you left before I could come!"

She finishes fixing her armor and straightens up the quiver of arrows and the bow on her shoulder. She turns to the others with a pleasant smile on her face.

"Sorry about that. How are you doing Nedyr? I haven't seen you in a while. Is this everyone?"


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)
Quote:
"I still can't believe it, not everybody gets to do something like this. I never thought I would." Sevrin looks at his boots for a moment. "I'm not used to people depending on me like this, you know. I've found people what they need for medicine and recipes and such, but this is different. It's a statement."

"Why not you, Sevrin? It's true, we're granted a rare opportunity, but you're of the same generation, and as you say, you've helped bring medicine and more to folks. I think you've earned this chance to prove yourself as much as any of us." Nedyr says easily.

Elaina Tirel wrote:

A stone flies out of nowhere and smacks into Edvard's arm.

"EDVARD! YOU JERK!"

"That's for you, I think." Nedyr comments to Edvard, and fights a bit of a laugh. Either one of the siblings could hand me my ass, and chuckling at Edvard getting a rock thrown at him, or laughing at Elaina's show of temper could get me in trouble with either.

Quote:


A young girl storms up. From the looks of things, she got ready in a hurry and is still adjusting the shirt of chain links when she gets closer. Her hair matches Edvard's, although her normally fair complexion is reddened by anger at the moment.

"Poppa said to stack the wood neat. I had fix the mess you left before I could come!"

She finishes fixing her armor and straightens up the quiver of arrows and the bow on her shoulder. She turns to the others with a pleasant smile on her face.

"Sorry about that. How are you doing Nedyr? I haven't seen you in a while. Is this everyone?"

Nedyr manages to turn his near chuckle into a smile. He is genuinely happy to see folks after all, Elaina not least among them, "Good to see you again as well, Elaina. I've been exploring my new calling so haven't been around as much as usual but I'm doing fine. I think this is everyone? Care for some of my mother's bread? I think you've earned it."


Female Half-Orc Warpriest 3 HP: 23/23 Init: +1 AC: 19 (T: 12, FF 17) Saves: F: +4 R: +2 W: +5 Blessings: 3/4

Unlike Nedyr, Délia can not contain her amusement, laughing quite audibly at the situation. After a moment, she manages to calm herself enough to respond to Elaina.

"Hi Elaina! Yes, I believe we're all here. Are you all ready to go? Or does somebody still want to throw stones at Ed?"

She stretches and yawns. The last time when the the elders did not enact the tradition, she had stayed inside the whole day with a fever, so she was not exactly sure what they were supposed to do now...


Male Human Dungeon Master 1 / Procrastinator 20

"Aye, but perhaps another time!"

With a laugh, Mayor Uptal emerges from the town's greathall with a few friends at his side. Dressed in the black garb typically reserved for a funeral, he quickly wipes the smile from his face to match the gravity of he ceremony. As if on cue, the bells atop the Temple of Erastil at the other side of the town square chime in, announcing that noon has finally arrived.

Slowly, the people of Kassen emerge from the woodwork, each dressed in the same black vestments that the Mayor wore. As the crowd started to form around the prospective heroes, the Mayor turns to guard captain Gregor Wisslo at his side, and with a slight nod, takes a small silver lantern, long since tarnished by time. Despite the less-than-glistening exterior, the swirls of silver finely etched along each edge of the lantern made its craftsmanship clear.

Clearing his throat, the Mayor steps forward, lantern in hand. He addresses the entire crowd, not just the heroes gathered before him.

"Once more the cold winds of winter blow through the Fangwood, marking the end of our harvest. The woods are a harsh neighbor, as wolves lurk in the dark, howling at our walls. Serpents lie in the shadows, just waiting to strike. Bandits roam the trails, preying on the weak. Just as it was one hundred and fifty years ago, when Kassen left on his journey to save our humble town - so it is today."

He pauses to let the words sink into the crowd, before turning his attention to the group at the center of the solemn circle. The faintest hint of a smile marks the Mayor's face before he forces it beneath a veil of severity.

"Who are the brave folk who will venture forth into the wild. Those that will brave Kassen's tomb, and retrieve the flames that will warm this community for another winter? Who shall bear this torch, and be a hero, as Kassen was?"

He, of course, already knows the answer - as does the crowd. But they look on in silence and anticipation, waiting for the heroes to make their entrance.


Female Demon-Spawn Tiefling Ranger 2 (HP: 22/22 | AC: 17/13/14 | F: +4 R: +6 W: +1 | Per: +8 Init: +3 | Arr.:37)

--- Before the Mayor Appears ---

"Thanks Ned, but I'm still stuffed from the breakfast momma made for the two of us. Even Ed couldn't finish his plate." She answers the fledgling druid with a grin.

"If sense hasn't been knocked into him by now, I doubt trying more will do any good. Besides, that was more to get his attention than anything." Elaina says to Delia, "I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Hope things get moving soon. Ed has a habit of getting into trouble if he stands still for too long."

--- At the Ceremony ---

The petite fighter looks at the others before stepping forward. She manages to keep the surprise that she beat Edvard to the punch from her features and declares in a solid, if quiet compared to the mayor's, voice, "I will go."

She stands straight as tall, well as tall as she can. She holds her glaive straight and lets the late fall sun glitter off of the well kept blade. She looks ready for a journey, her pack already on her back and holding a five foot long staff secure.

I hope I don't look like an idiot.


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)

Nedyr nearly jumps out of his skin as Mayor Uptal 'sneaks' up on them. When the bells begin to ring, he straightens his attire.

He listens to the talk of the wood and winter, and wolves with intensity. I hope I prayed for the right spells. I hadn't really thought about encountering wolves and I'd hate to fight innocent animals that are just hungry.

Quote:
"Who are the brave folk who will venture forth into the wild. Those that will brave Kassen's tomb, and retrieve the flames that will warm this community for another winter? Who shall bear this torch, and be a hero, as Kassen was?"
Quote:
The petite fighter looks at the others before stepping forward. She manages to keep the surprise that she beat Edvard to the punch from her features and declares in a solid, if quiet compared to the mayor's, voice, "I will go."

Nedyr steps up as well, "As will I." He thinks he hears his mother gush in the crowd. He sure hopes she doesn't make a fuss.


Male Human Witch 1

Spurred by Elaina's display Sevrin tries to stand up straight. He starts raise his hand, puts it down, straightens his once more slumping posture, and tentatively raises his hand again. "I, uh, will go. Too. You know to, uh, help. For Kassen."

Well, so far at least one of us looks like hero. At least the lizard is behaving.

With that the little lizard alights on the tip of Sevrin's staff with a fierce, high-pitched cry.


Allowing the others to say their bit first, Edvard had waited for the best moment to introduce himself. Gentle walking behind his sister, he whispers something into her ear.

Thats more like it...watch this.

Rolling over to the center of the town square - so that all can see - the youth whips up into a ready stance, brandishing both his shield and battle axe with pride.

"Count me in" was all that Edvard said as he did an exuberant display. Turning his head slightly to catch his sister's embarrassed gaze, Edvard gives a big smile.

Aaahhh yea, that'll make Pop's proud and let these elders remember us


Female Half-Orc Warpriest 3 HP: 23/23 Init: +1 AC: 19 (T: 12, FF 17) Saves: F: +4 R: +2 W: +5 Blessings: 3/4

It takes a moment before Délia, taken aback by Edvard's little display, remembers that she, too, was supposed to say something.

"I shall go as well," she says a little hastily.

It takes all her willpower to maintain a serious face, but she manages to do it admirably. Gods, you would think they are sending us to fight hordes of monsters or something.


Male Human Dungeon Master 1 / Procrastinator 20

A little unsure of how to respond the Edvard's usual hubris, Mayor Uptal silently observes the group for a few seconds before offering forth the lantern to Elaina.

"As the first of these heroes to come forth, I present to you the ceremonial lantern. This lantern, the very same that has made the annual journey to the crypt, once belonged to our village's founder. Now, you will bear forth Kassen's lantern to his resting place, and return bearing the light that will protect us from yet another winter."

Stepping back, he allows Captain Wisslo to approach the party, carrying a backpack. The harsh old man stands at attention, apparently taking the ceremony more seriously than even the mayor. He tosses the pack forward, which slides to a stop at the feet of the heroes.

"For your journey, we - the people of Kassen - have gathered all we can to assist you. We could not offer much to our heroes, besides our everlasting thanks. All you will need are included within: use these supplies well, and return from the tomb victorious.

In his gruff voice, he sounds more as if he's disciplining them than offering them supplies. A couple of muffled laughs emerge from the crowd, as the village youths and other guards enjoy the old man's overly serious demeanor. As the captain slides back, Father Prasst steps forward.

"Noble heroes, we pray for your safe return on this journey. May Erastil protect you as you travel his wilds.

In his usual brevity, Father Prasst concludes his addition to the ceremony. With a small nod to Nedyr, the man turns and returns to the Mayor's side. Satisfied with the proceedings, the mayor continues, once more addressing the crowd instead of the small group at its center.

"And so, I present to you our brave heroes, Kassen's legacy! Some of them may not return, but never will their sacrifice be forgotten."

He turns and addresses the heroes again.

"Do you have any final inquiries before you venture forth?"


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)
Quote:
"Noble heroes, we pray for your safe return on this journey. May Erastil protect you as you travel his wilds."

Nedyr inclines his head and mutters a soft amen.

Then they are asked if they have any questions...
Only then does he pick up the pack. He opens to look into it. Whether it be nonsense as a gag in it, or items that truly should be handled carefully, he says "Thank you all for your trust." A smile, "How are the wolves this season? Hero or not, I don't want to pick a fight with them if they're feeling hungry."


Female Half-Orc Warpriest 3 HP: 23/23 Init: +1 AC: 19 (T: 12, FF 17) Saves: F: +4 R: +2 W: +5 Blessings: 3/4

Délia listens attentively as the Mayor and others speak. While she still finds being called a hero amusing, she can't help but feel her ego bolster a little. Boy, they sure are trying to scare us with all those dramatics.

When the Mayor finishes, she lifts the pack of supplies and responds to the question. "No questions, sir!"


Male Human Witch 1

Sevrin tries to look serious, and to squelch his urge to hunch up and shrink away from the attention being paid to him."Uh, no. No questions."

Wolves? I wonder when the last time was somebody didn't come back?

--after a moment watching Nedyr and Delia both go for the pack--

"What's in the pack guys? Should we divide up the supplies and get moving?"


Male Human Dungeon Master 1 / Procrastinator 20

Father Prasst is quick to answer Nedyr's question.

"Ah, fear not. They are as hungry as they ever are, and moreso with the approaching cold. I trust with Old Deadeye's guidance, they should not trouble you."


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)

"Thank you, Father."


Female Demon-Spawn Tiefling Ranger 2 (HP: 22/22 | AC: 17/13/14 | F: +4 R: +6 W: +1 | Per: +8 Init: +3 | Arr.:37)

It took every bit of Elaina's will power to keep from groaning out loud, but she still couldn't help shaking her head at her brother's antics.

Only you Ed, only you.

The Fighter recovers her composure by the time Mayor Uptal addresses them once more. She takes the lantern with a nod of her head. To Captain Wisslo and Father Prasst, she gives a simple thank you. When they are finally asked if they have anymore questions, she replies

"I have none. We'll be swift, and return as soon as we have lit the lantern."

Please don't let Edvard do anything stupid. Please don't let Edvard do anything stupid. Please don't let Edvard do anything stupid...


Satisfied with his showy display, Edvard looked about the group as they seem to be enjoying the ceremony.

By the gods, these saps are really falling for this cheesy-ness. Oh well, might as well make the best of it!

Elaina, Edvard's twin seemed to be embolded and worried at the premise of the ceremony. There was no telling how the event would impact his sister, but as her other half, he knew ways to help her cope.

Joining his sister's side, the two looked as a formidable force to be reckoned with. Wrapping an arm around her, he turns his faces, smiles and whispers to her.

"Relax, I've always got your back."

Finished with his sentiment, Edvard looks up at the Mayor, the Erastite Priest and the Old Guard Captain and gives his two cents.

"Yea yea, gramps. So...when are we gonna get this show on the road?"

Oblivious and not caring about the others opinions, Edvard wanted as much as anybody else to start this adventure - time was wasting!


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)
Quote:
"Yea yea, gramps. So...when are we gonna get this show on the road?"

"Show some respect." Nedyr hisses softly at Edvard. Then he speaks louder to the elders "Pardon his rash tongue, if you would. We're all eager and excited. Perhaps overly so."


Glancing over at Nedyr, Edvard gave a smug look.

High and mighty are we? We'll just have to see...

Edvard figured that by now the town had known the youth so well that even his brazen attitude was acceptable and understood as ~just being edvard~. But in that same tone, the druid did have a point.

Apologies, my most experienced one. I only express my eagerness Edvard said with a slight charismatic tone.


Male Human Dungeon Master 1 / Procrastinator 20

Mayor Uptal is unable to restrain his sigh. Trying his best to maintain the proper solemnity of the moment, he finishes his speech.

"And so, brave heroes, go forth! Return with the eternal flame, our salvation!"

Raising his hand, he directs the crowd's attention to the southern gate. Getting the message, the villagers slowly part, giving clear passage to the wilds beyond. The crowd is divided, as some look onward with the same dire gravity as Captain Wisslo, while others look as excited (and impatient) as Edvard. Despite appearances, everyone is looking forward to the village-wide feast upon the heroes return.


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)

Without another word, though he does give a bit of a smile as he sees his parents in the crowd, Nedyr starts to walk towards the southern gate, and will go slow or at a good pace depending on how quickly the others move.


Male Human Witch 1

Sevrin looks at Edvard for a moment, then at Nedyr. He opens his mouth like he's going to speak, but then closes it. With a shrug he shoulders his pack and hurries after Nedyr. Over his shoulder he says. "I think we're going now!"


Female Half-Orc Warpriest 3 HP: 23/23 Init: +1 AC: 19 (T: 12, FF 17) Saves: F: +4 R: +2 W: +5 Blessings: 3/4

Délia starts walking towards the gate, happy that the formal part is over. Now they just need to get to the crypt, find the flame, and then return for the feast. What can possibly go wrong?


Female Demon-Spawn Tiefling Ranger 2 (HP: 22/22 | AC: 17/13/14 | F: +4 R: +6 W: +1 | Per: +8 Init: +3 | Arr.:37)

Elaina follows the others out through the gate, smiling at her parents once she spots them in the crowd. Once out of town, and out of sight of the village, she whacks Edvard in the arm with the butt of her glaive, but not hard enough to do much more than sting a little.

"That's for being a show off."

Smiling at her brother, no longer annoyed by his antics from earlier, she finds her place behind Edvard.


As the heroes bound for the gate, Edvard had given a nod and wave to his parents in the manner of ~trust me, I'll look after my sister~. Leaving the festival grounds, the ceremony seemed a bit more real without all the drama and theatrics.

So, its really happening...


Male Human Dungeon Master 1 / Procrastinator 20

Leaving the town behind, the people of Kassen watch the heroes leave the gate before they slowly return to their everyday lives.

Beyond the watchful eyes of the crowd, the group seems divided over who gets to carry the pack. While Nedyr was the first to grab it, both Delia and Sevrin seem interested in its contents. Curious, they finally set the bag down and open it, seeking to settle the matter.

Inside they find a rolled parchment, a map of the region. The trail leading to Kassen's Tomb is marked, deviating from one of the local woodsman's trails that passed through a glade to the south. The trail eventually leads to the Serpent's Hills, where Kassen's tomb lies deep within the stone.

Also within the pack are basic, if sparse, camping supplies - a medium tent, two winter blankets, three tindertwigs and a tinderbox, fifty feet of hempen rope, and two torches. The supplies are completed with five trail rations, giving you enough food for the night.

Link to the map


Male Human Witch 1

"Alright. Take a left at Broken Glade. Keep Gray Lake on our left. Should be easy, right?

Sevrin looks at the pack.

"I thought we might want to split up the weight, but Nedyr can carry it. Or we could make the lug do it."

He flashes a nervous smile at Edvard, trying to show he was only kidding.

Did I just insult that guy? The one with the axe?


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)

Nedyr looks at the goods, "We've been generously outfitted I think."

He smiles at Sevrin "And maybe splitting the goods isn't a bad idea. We might all travel faster if we share the load. Whatever you folks like."


Male Human Witch 1

Sevrin is carrying about as much as his slight frame can support. He grabs a share of the rations, a blanket, and a torch and shoves them in his pack.

"This pack is probably the nicest thing I own. Mother doesn't like to cook anything she hasn't killed, but she knows leather."

"Come on then. I'm sure we all know the way to the glade."


Female Half-Orc Warpriest 3 HP: 23/23 Init: +1 AC: 19 (T: 12, FF 17) Saves: F: +4 R: +2 W: +5 Blessings: 3/4

Délia takes a puzzled look at Nedyr. "Generous? We have two blankets and one tent for five people. It seems that they really want us to become close friends." She takes a ration and a tinderbox. "Well, at least we have enough food. Now, everyone be alert for giant red lines in the ground. We are supposed to follow them," she says with a wink.


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)

"Truth to tell, Délia, I wasn't expecting much. Perhaps it is all relative." Then he laughs at her 'red lines' comment, "Too much to hope for I think." He grabs the rope, and his part of the rations. "Yes, to the glade. I think we may get to see a lot of nature's beauty today."


Female Demon-Spawn Tiefling Ranger 2 (HP: 22/22 | AC: 17/13/14 | F: +4 R: +6 W: +1 | Per: +8 Init: +3 | Arr.:37)

"True, though having something that easy to follow is more likely than Edvard acting sensible."

Elaina's been all smiles since leaving the village, her mood quite cheerful considering her status as the "boring" twin.

"And I have more food in case we get stuck out here, as well as a blanket and a bedroll. With what the elders gave us we should be okay."

I'll take a torch and a portion of the rations, that puts Elaina right at the cusp of being medium encumbrance. 86 lbs with a masterwork backpack.


Male Human Dungeon Master 1 / Procrastinator 20

Despite he lack of any helpful red lines to assist the party, the well traveled woodsman's trail that led to the south was plenty of guidance. While not large enough to be considered a road, the trail was clear enough to allow you to follow it with ease.

After three hours of mindless and uneventful walking through the woods, the woods finally begin to thin out. The leaves of the trees slowly disappear, leaving a ring of withered, dead trees around the large field. Even the grasses and bushes suffered similar fates, only a few sparse patches of vegetation had survived. These, too, would soon fade with the oncoming winter - with any luck, they would survive until spring.

Your survey of the glade is interrupted, however, by the sound of approaching voices. One sounds vaguely familiar, at least until a duo of armed fellows appear from behind one of the nearby trees. Standing a good forty feet from the group, the taller of the two men calls out.

"Greetings, travelers! Stand and deliver, if you will!"

He takes a slight bow, his sword glinting in the light, reminding everyone of its presence. The man stands tall, proudly. His short black hair is quite neatly kept, accenting his dapper dress. Several daggers line his belt, although his leather cloak does a decent job of trying to conceal them. He'd seem like the approachable sort, if he hadn't just announced himself as a highwayman.

The shorter of the two men chortles, his pudgy frame jiggling as he does so. As if in opposition to the other, this man looks as though he'd seen one too many tavern brawls. More than a few scars pockmark his face, and his shaggy blonde hair drapes down his back. While his style of dress is similar to his companions, these had seen much better days.

"Oi, boss, dat's some good talking."

The taller man gives the other a shove.

"Keep quiet, Boris, I'm in charge here. Ah, but yes. Your coinpurses, please. Quickly, now, we have a schedule to keep."


Motioning his way through the crowd, Edvard had made sure that the highwayman saw his stride. Sure, the sight of bandits would've alarmed any passerby, but being that Edvard had friends, and that this was a ceremony - he felt that he should have some fun with it.

Showing well is elk hide armor an battle axe dangling at his side, Edvard gave the bandits a worthy greeting.

And ho and a tut to you as well. Say, how's about this - what if you give us your coin purses...yea all of it...otherwise my 1/2 orc friend back there would rip your arms off - she tends to be quite aggressive. So how's about that boys? Seems like chubbs over there is relishing the thought.

Said Edvard with a slight nonchalant tone.

Lets see how bold they are. If more show up though, things could get sour. I hope these guys can pull their weights


Male Elf (Hit Points: 14/14) Witch-2 (Moon Patron)

"My friend," He gestures to Edvard,"has one option. You might choose to run instead." His hand moves to his sling in case a fight should break out in earnest. "We seem to outnumber you."


Male Human Witch 1

Who do these guys think they are? I've worked all my life for what gold I have, and they're not getting one thin copper.

Sevrin experienced and upwelling of anger directed toward the highway men. Especially that leader, probably thinks a few fine words sets him apart from a common thug. He began to feel a profound sense of malice towards the taller one. We'll see what they get.

"You don't have to run, but you could just leave. That would be best for everybody. Just go."

Still, they're awfully confident for being so outnumbered, I hope more don't lurk in the trees.

Sevrin scans the treeline for any indication of more would be robbers and moves to ready his crossbow.


Male Human Dungeon Master 1 / Procrastinator 20

Sevrin Perception:
1d20 ⇒ 2
Despite scanning the trees to the best of your ability, you can't seem to spot anyone else. Are these two really that foolish to attack alone?

The fat one - Boris - responds before the other man can speak.

"Heh, cocky travelers. S'alright, I like 'em when dey scream."

The tall one shakes his head, then slaps Boris across the back of his head.

"Keep quiet, Boris. Apologies, travelers, I've forgotten my manners. The name's Rillan. And this is my bumbling partner, Boris. Now, there's no need for this to get violent, or for your rabid dog to tear at his leash. Just a bit of gold, and then we can part ways. A business transaction, if you will."

He directs his blade towards Edvard. A tiny droplet drips from the edge of the blade, crashing against the dead ground below.

"Unless you'd prefer your dog to suffer. And none of us want that, right?"


Female Half-Orc Warpriest 3 HP: 23/23 Init: +1 AC: 19 (T: 12, FF 17) Saves: F: +4 R: +2 W: +5 Blessings: 3/4

Being referred as a "arm-ripping half-orc" and "rabid dog" does wonders to spoil Délia's cheerful mood. She pushes Edvard out of the way to face the bandits, then bares her teeth and starts lecturing:

"Rabid dog? You call yourself well-mannered, and then go around insulting people who just happen to have a slightly greener skin than you. You should be gald that I have a peaceful character and don't like going around ripping peoples arms off like that idiot suggested. I..."

She suddenly realizes that her lecturing may be a little misguided. "Wait... You we're referring to Edvard? Oh, I'm terribly sorry! I thought... You see, you hear a lot of stuff like that when you are a half-orc." Her angry expression changes to a smile and she continues with a lot more pleasant voice. "Well you see, we are travelling to the Serpent Hills. It's a tradition of our town. But there are no shops here in the wilderness, so we left our gold at home, of course. Or do you always keep extravagant amounts of money with you while camping? I thought so." Of course, she is lying, but she has always been pretty good at it.

"So... Since we have no gold for you, let's just part our ways, shall we? Unless you want to keep Ed or something. I'm pretty sure he would made an okay pack animal. I mean, he's not as strong as a mule, but almost as smart."

Bluff:1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12


Male Human Dungeon Master 1 / Procrastinator 20

DM Rolls:
Rillan's Sense Motive 1d20 ⇒ 19
Rillan's Perception 1d20 ⇒ 20
Damn bandit's stealing all the luck

"A fair proposition, but I'm afraid I must decline. You claim you have no money, but I can see your dog's coin purse dangling off his belt from here. Perhaps you should train him better before you offer him for barter."

Bosco steps forward, getting anxious. He moves to speak again, but quiets himself after a glare from his boss. A silent and toothy grin substitutes for everything he'd have wanted to say.

"I'm afraid this is the last chance for diplomacy, travelers. I'll even be more generous - a mere half your gold, for the privilege to pass."

His rests his free hand on his beltful of daggers, feigning adjusting his belt to disguise the hostile intent.

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