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Here Be Tryants: A Kingmaker saga.

Game Master Joy


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Be it so known that the bearer of this charter has been charged
by the Swordlords of Restov, acting upon the greater good and
authority vested within them by the office of the Regent of the
Dragonscale Throne, has granted the right of exploration and travel
within the wilderness region known as the Greenbelt. Exploration
should be limited to an area no further than thirty-six miles east and
west and sixty miles south of Oleg’s Trading Post. The carrier of
this charter should also strive against banditry and other unlawful
behavior to be encountered. The punishment for unrepentant banditry
remains, as always, execution by sword or rope. So witnessed on this
24th day of Calistril, under watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov
and authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of
the Dragonscale Throne.

These are words written upon the charters you all now hold in your hands. Looking around the town square, you see several other small groups like yours, each clutching their own charters and making plans. Children play sword lords and bandits in the open spaces between the groups, wishing they were old enough to go on adventures too. Their parents look from the edge of the square where their parent are either running or shopping at the many stalls that have been set up around the square. The passing out of the charters has proven to be a wonderful excuse for the populace of the town to take the day off work and have an impromptu fair day.

Looking about at the other charter groups, you see that one is already starting to leave, two are taking the time enjoy the ale stall, one is deep in argument and the last is buying additional supplies.

You may head straight out on the road, discuss any plans, buy gear or chat with other groups.


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep

An imposing man dressed in black leathers and scale mail grips the reins of a fierce midnight-black stallion. The warhorse bears its teeth at anyone who draws too near, and even nips at approaching horses. Such acts are simply for display, though, Radomir's hand makes sure of that--at times he's placed his gauntled fist directly into the horses's mouth to keep it from causing a scene. The horse is laden with the tools of a knight's trade: studded leather barding of the same black dye as its master's clothes; a lance is holstered to its side; a bedroll and blanket rest behind the rim of ithe saddle.

Radomir is much the same as his horse. His stern gaze looks out across the unruly mass of celebrants and his young face bears a stoic expression. He also bristles with the tools of his trade: a huge great sword is strapped to his back and he carries a bardiche in his free hand. Other weapons hang from belts and hooks about his body, and if the eight of all this metal unsettles him, he doesn't show it. Truly, he moves as though he would be dressed in no other way. The only time his stark manner changes is when his gaze falls on the antics of the children. Then, his warrior's stance melts and he smiles or laughs with genuine amusement. He even offers a ride to any child brave enough to approach his fierce stallion.

Those moments are rare, though, he and his charger both cut an intimidating figure. During those moments when he is alone, Radomir reads and re-reads the charter to himself. "Perhaps now we will find a master worthy of our service. Eh, Czernabog?". He affectionately strokes the horse's mane as the stallion seems to sigh in resignation.


Male Aasimar Bard (Animal Speaker) 5 , HP 38/38, AC 22 [Touch 16, Flat 17], CMD: 22 Init +4, Perception +0 (60' Darkvision)

The man stands quietly as he reads the paper held in his hands. Once done, the paper is rolled and placed in a small scroll case. He slides it under his armor as he leans down and throws a pack up on his shoulder. He shrugs to shift it and tightens the straps.

With an amused smile he looks around at both the children and other groups in the same manner. He rests his hand upon the old leather bound hilt of his sword and nods to those gathered with him before speaking, It appears that we are to travel together, the man says as he looks about. I am Alexander Orlovsky, and it is my honor to meet you all.

He nods with respect to each of the others as they introduce themselves. With a smile, he looks around the town square, I suppose there is no rush to hit the road. I vaguely know where this Trading Post is. He shrugs good-naturedly. Does anyone need anything before we head out? Or perhaps wish to speak with our rivals? Alexander chuckles softly, but with humor.


Alexander Orlovsky wrote:

The man stands quietly as he reads the paper held in his hands. Once done, the paper is rolled and placed in a small scroll case. He slides it under his armor as he leans down and throws a pack up on his shoulder. He shrugs to shift it and tightens the straps.

With an amused smile he looks around at both the children and other groups in the same manner. He rests his hand upon the old leather bound hilt of his sword and nods to those gathered with him before speaking, It appears that we are to travel together, the man says as he looks about. I am Alexander Orlovsky, and it is my honor to meet you all.

He nods with respect to each of the others as they introduce themselves. With a smile, he looks around the town square, I suppose there is no rush to hit the road. I vaguely know where this Trading Post is. He shrugs good-naturedly. Does anyone need anything before we head out? Or perhaps wish to speak with our rivals? Alexander chuckles softly, but with humor.

A grim warrior walks up to Alexander and gives a respectful nod. "Indeed it does. I am Radomir Shax." His stoic expression breaks as his stallion nudges his back. "And this is big oaf is Czernabog."


Female Human Cleric 5,HP 35/35,Init+5F5R3W8,Per9AC18/11/17

Approaching the group is a slender woman dressed in sturdy traveling clothes. One can notice the designs of tattoos on visible patches of skin and her blond hair is gathered under a kerchief. Her leather armor is clean and she bears a simple crossbow and dagger.

Greetings, I am Andrea I have also received a charter to explore and develop the lands. I can offer my skills as a healer to the group. As for extra supplies, I currently have nothing in mind but am more than willing to wait for others to make purchases.


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep
Andrea1 wrote:

Approaching the group is a slender woman dressed in sturdy traveling clothes. One can notice the designs of tattoos on visible patches of skin and her blond hair is gathered under a kerchief. Her leather armor is clean and she bears a simple crossbow and dagger.

Greetings, I am Andrea I have also received a charter to explore and develop the lands. I can offer my skills as a healer to the group. As for extra supplies, I currently have nothing in mind but am more than willing to wait for others to make purchases.

Radomir nods to Andrea. "My training has giving me some skill in surviving in the wild, and," He gestures to the weapons strapped to his body. "I am a man accustomed to battle. I look forward to fighting by your side."


Female Human Cleric 5,HP 35/35,Init+5F5R3W8,Per9AC18/11/17

Excellent. Is everyone here or are we expecting more?


Human Arcanist 5, HP 29/29, AC 12 [T: 11, FF: 11], Per +5, F: +4/R: +4/W: +6, Arcane Reservoir (4/8)

Eduard taps his chin as he reads the scroll before slipping the parchment into his backpack. He turns to the others, wearing clothing that does not indicate a life of manual labor.

"Eduard Petrov at your service. And I believe that I have come prepared." He motions to the other groups that are assembling, "I find it is always useful to have information about one's rivals, but as we are unlikely to come into direct conflict, perhaps we should simply get on the road. I have not been as far south as we are traveling so cannot say that I know anything about Oleg's Trading Post, but I suspect that we will find out more there than we will speaking to the other...competitors."


Male Human Slayer (Bounty Hunter) 1 , HP 12/12, AC 18 [Touch 13, Flat 15], CMD: 17 Init +4, Perception +6

Merryn stood slightly apart from the group in some shade. It wasn't that he didn't want to be seen with the group but rather that he wanted to observe the other groups first. With keen eyes, he watched the other groups going about their business.

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8 - Merryn is looking for anything that would immediately mark any other group as a threat.

After watching the other groups for a moment, Merryn assembled group.

"Greetings, my name is Merryn Blackthorn and I'll be the scout in this merry band of ours," Merryn's voice betrays little mirth as he speaks. "I excel at tracking and the bow, and I also have intimate knowledge of the Stolen Lands as I grew up there. I don't know of Oleg's Trading Post; I have spent the past few years in the employ of the Sword Lords as a bounty hunter."

"I need to pick up a few more supplies; incendiary arrows at the least. Other than that, I am ready to move out," Merryn scans the traders as he speaks, picking out a stall that sells what he needs.


Male Aasimar Bard (Animal Speaker) 5 , HP 38/38, AC 22 [Touch 16, Flat 17], CMD: 22 Init +4, Perception +0 (60' Darkvision)

Alexander tosses his head back and laughs as children run by with wooden swords. Fair enough. I thought it might be a good idea to talk to them here rather than out in a field somewhere. Just in case. I expect we're each to cover a different section of the Stolen Lands, but on the off chance we are not...

The bemused smile returns as he looks around at the other groups and gathered people. Then he shrugs and rests his hands on his sword belt. But stepping off early is fine by me. We've certainly got a good walk ahead of us. He chuckles and nods toward Czernabog. Or a leisurely ride in some cases.

Alexander arcs his back in a stretch and breathes in deeply, then looks around the square again. Let's introduce ourselves and wish them luck in their travels while Merryn picks up the last of his supplies. He gives a short nod to the scout.

Once the introductions are done, Alexander moves off to each of the other groups in turn and briefly introduces himself and any other members of the group not shopping. He only spends a short time with each. Moving between the groups and then quickly bidding them good luck and safe travels. Occasionally he's stopped by a one of the townsfolk and each time he shakes their hand, laughs good-naturedly, and thanks them for their encouragement. Once finished he meets up again with any of the group that went off to finish gathering supplies and prepares to head out.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23

Alexander is currently just aiming to get some favorable attitudes towards the group and learn some names and maybe where the other groups are headed. He's not really looking to spend enough time to actually make friends or get a lot of information.


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep
Alexander Orlovsky wrote:

Alexander tosses his head back and laughs as children run by with wooden swords. Fair enough. I thought it might be a good idea to talk to them here rather than out in a field somewhere. Just in case. I expect we're each to cover a different section of the Stolen Lands, but on the off chance we are not...

The bemused smile returns as he looks around at the other groups and gathered people. Then he shrugs and rests his hands on his sword belt. But stepping off early is fine by me. We've certainly got a good walk ahead of us. He chuckles and nods toward Czernabog. Or a leisurely ride in some cases.

Alexander arcs his back in a stretch and breathes in deeply, then looks around the square again. Let's introduce ourselves and wish them luck in their travels while Merryn picks up the last of his supplies. He gives a short nod to the scout.

Once the introductions are done, Alexander moves off to each of the other groups in turn and briefly introduces himself and any other members of the group not shopping. He only spends a short time with each. Moving between the groups and then quickly bidding them good luck and safe travels. Occasionally he's stopped by a one of the townsfolk and each time he shakes their hand, laughs good-naturedly, and thanks them for their encouragement. Once finished he meets up again with any of the group that went off to finish gathering supplies and prepares to head out.

Radomir nods and keeps a tight grip on Czernabog's reins as he follows Alexander to the nearest group. Once there, he allows the others to do the talking. He simply stands to the side, gripping his bardiche and glowering at anyone the others talk to.

Let's call that an intimidate action to soften people up towards whatever manipulation Alexander's aiming for. intimidate: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10 +1 vs brigands


Male Human Slayer (Bounty Hunter) 1 , HP 12/12, AC 18 [Touch 13, Flat 15], CMD: 17 Init +4, Perception +6

Merryn ambles off and purchases some additional arrows.

+20 Whistling arrows, +40 iron-tipped distance arrows.

As he waits for Alexander to complete his tour of the square, Merryn once again turns his focus to the other groups.

Going to take some time now, taking 10 to look at the other groups for a result of 18.

Once Alexander is done, Merryn moves to meet the group before they head out.


Female Human Cleric 5,HP 35/35,Init+5F5R3W8,Per9AC18/11/17

Andrea brings her own horse along and quietly observes the doing of the other members of her party. She is like a quite shadow, seen but giving no reason to approach unless someone has need to speak with her.

Her packs are filled, her horse fed and her equipment ready for the journey into the Stolen Lands.


Male Elf Investigator (Mastermind) 3

Thaliar arrives after the others have already started to mingle. Humans were always in such a hurry, more even than their shorter lives would assume they were. He wears a simple, brown studded leather armor and on his back he carries what looks like a modified spear, with barbs sticking out the haft just under the spear head.

Before heading to his own group Thaliar moves towards the group that is heavily discussing their plans. "Good day fellow explorers, it's a great day isn't it? Now I could not help but notice you were fiercely discussing your next course of action and wondered if I may be off assistance? We're all planning to head out into the wilderness and do the same job so we might as well cooperate."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1d6 + 7 ⇒ (15) + (6) + 7 = 28


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep
Thaliar Medevin wrote:

Thaliar arrives after the others have already started to mingle. Humans were always in such a hurry, more even than their shorter lives would assume they were. He wears a simple, brown studded leather armor and on his back he carries what looks like a modified spear, with barbs sticking out the haft just under the spear head.

Before heading to his own group Thaliar moves towards the group that is heavily discussing their plans. "Good day fellow explorers, it's a great day isn't it? Now I could not help but notice you were fiercely discussing your next course of action and wondered if I may be off assistance? We're all planning to head out into the wilderness and do the same job so we might as well cooperate."

[dice=Diplomacy]1d20+1d6+7

Radomir's eyes sparkle when Thaliar approaches. Whoever this elf is, I like him. Perhaps he is someone who I can pledge my loyalty to.. "We were just discussing the contents of our charters, and deciding if we want to...question... The other groups."


Male Aasimar Bard (Animal Speaker) 5 , HP 38/38, AC 22 [Touch 16, Flat 17], CMD: 22 Init +4, Perception +0 (60' Darkvision)

I believe Thaliar means he's going over to speak with the other group that's arguing before heading to speak to our group. Or more likely, meeting us while we're meeting the other groups.


Thaliar, you would have arrived in time to get into line with the others to have your charters passed out to you. You can have remained separate from any groups after that though.

Thaliar and the main group each seem to move about the square in other directions as they try to look over the other groups. Names and destinations are exchanged as everyone tries to take the measure of the other adventurers.

You manage to catch the departing group before they leave the square. Composed of three humans (2 males in leathers and 1 female in scale), a dwarf (male in breastplate) and two half elves (male in no armor and female in leather), they seem to have come together as a group quite well under the obvious leadership of the female in scale named Reanna (a cleric by the look of her). Since none are mounted, they chose to head out as soon as possible to reach their first destination before nightfall.

The arguing group seems split down the middle with half the group following a human (male) in scalemail named Ivor and the other half a half elf in leathers (female) named Willowbrook. The other four are another human (female, no armor), halfling (female, leathers), half elf (male, lathers) and elf (female, no armor). They will pause long enough to introduce themselves to you all, but will resume right after you leave even if the current topic of contention is resolved. You general impression is that it was more of a fight for dominance of the group than actually caring which road they take out of town.

The two groups currently enjoying the food and ale stalls are a bit mixed together and you are not quite sure who is with which group. You are able to find out that any charter holder gets to eat and drink free for the day. Finding that out also helps you figure why the two groups are a bit mixed together. Out of the twelve of them are two halflings (female in leather, male in none), one dwarf (male in scale), two half orcs (female in scale and male in breastplate) , three elves (two males in none and 1 female in leathers) and four humans (2 male in chainmail and 2 female 1 in leather and 1 in no armor). It is a bit unclear who the leader for either group will end up being and it is unclear if they will get themselves together and be successful.

Merryn - You didn't observe much beyond what the the group did

The group that had gone shopping at the stalls has either blended into the crowd or left during the time you spent talking to the other groups.

After introducing yourselves to the other groups that you find, you realize that it is getting to be a bit late and that you had best hit the road yourselves. After grabbing a last bit to eat and any last minute supplies, you soon find yourselves on the road. The day looks perfect for travel, there is just enough light cloud cover to keep the sun from beating down on you without being heavy enough that rain would be a concern.

As the pleasant day winds to a close, you find yourselves still not at Oleg's and at least another days travel away according to the maps that were handed to you with the charter. Finding a likely campsite for the night, your group manages to get some rest and you remain unmolested throughout the night. Any watches set are uneventful and you guess that even the brigands you are going to hunt aren't bold enough to set up ambushes this close to fortifies town with its own guard and soldiers. The next day appears almost as nice, the clouds are a bit thicker now, though still not quite heavy enough to actually rain. Your group presses on forward and with the good weather you all seem to make equally good time and find yourselves in front of a walled off trading post in the early evening. A heavy wood sign hangs from a post near the gate and marks this place as "Oleg's Trading Post". A bell hangs below the sign with a pull chain attached to it.

The gate to the post is currently shut and though you cannot see into the post, you can sounds coming from within it. The occasional yelled conversation and a pounding of a hammer.

The group is now at Oleg's Trading Post and I will deal with any scenes taking place in it tomorrow. You may use today to go over an conversations that happened while on the road to get here and to ask any other questions about the other groups.


Female Human Cleric 5,HP 35/35,Init+5F5R3W8,Per9AC18/11/17

Andrea's eyes brighten as Thaliar introduces himself. My goodness, he is quite the charmer. Welcome to our group, Thaliar.

Andrea will scope out the other groups and make light pleasant conversation, she doesn't want to tell to much of what her group is uo to after all. After they head out onto the road, Andrea rides her horse and takes in the countryside, she had grown up in a city and never got a real chance to be in undeveloped areas before.(Although no doubt the charm would wear off soon.)

When they arrive at the trading post, Andrea will pull the bell.


Adding in - Thaliar can have gotten back together with the main group when you were all trying to figure out which of the ale stall groups were with who. It was a mass confusion of reading of charters and the realization that Thaliar didn't belong to either ale stall group.

To add in the other groups reaction to yours:
Departing group seemed indifferent
Arguing group were definitely unfriendly (to you and their own group)
Shopping group slipped away
Ale Stall groups both seemed friendly and cheerful about this whole thing


Male Human Slayer (Bounty Hunter) 1 , HP 12/12, AC 18 [Touch 13, Flat 15], CMD: 17 Init +4, Perception +6

For most of the journey, Merryn remains taciturn with his gaze on the horizon watching for any dangers. He takes the last watch, the silence across the camp and the rising dawn reminding of previous sojourns on the road.

The following day, Merryn resumes his self-assumed post of scout and continues to watch for danger but his watch is uneventful. He is the first to spot the trading post in the early evening as the sun begins to wane. He holds a clenched fist up to call the group to a halt.

"It appears that our host has closed his gates," Merryn says quickly, "That would indicate that they may be having trouble with the local bandits. I suggest we proceed with caution in case we get mistaken for them."

Merryn watches Andrea go to ring the bell, his hand on his bow in case his ranged ability is required.

Journey:
I suggest that we put any journey discussions in spoilers to prevent muddying the main story.


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep

As the group mingles with the other charter holders, Radomir continues to stand back, letting the more quick-witted take the lead. He does however, pay special attention to who wears what, and sizes up each in turn. He will speak with obvious warriors, discussing potential threats in the area and favored forms. All of this is an attempt to intimidate the others. The goal is to stake his claim (and his companions') on the area, and present his companions as the authorit in the stolen lands.

When they leave, Radomir offers his horse to the others in his group who don't have a ride. That way, everyone gets a chance to rest. At night, he uses his survival skills to keep their capsite well hidden from bandits. He makes conversation with the others, and smokes a pipe as they enjoy the campfire. While Radomir answers questions freely, most of his thoughts a stories involve some kind of battle or conflict. It becomes increasingly clear that the young cavalier isn't the sharpest sword in the armory.

As the group approaches the trading post, all signs of his affable nature dissipate and his cold stoicism returns. When Andrea pulls the bell, Rafomir has gripped his bardic he in both hands, and given Czernabog free rein. Both seem ready to fight, although neither are directing their hostility at anyone, yet.


Male Elf Investigator (Mastermind) 3

"If you fear to be mistaken for bandits, remove your hands from your weapons, both of you." The comment was casual and so was the contempt with which the words were spoken. "I have no doubt we can handle the occupants of this outpost should it be needed but there is no need to provoke them."

Without any further word Thariel stepped up next to Andrea, ready to talk with whoever was in charge here. He doubted there were any Elven bandits lurking in this area so odds were reactions to him would be more favourable.

Yes, Thaliar is a bit of an arrogant ass and has little patience for what he considers stupidity.

On the road:
While on the road Thaliar sticks mostly to himself. He lets the brigand do the scouting work, the man seemed both eager and capable and there was no reason to exert himself if others were so willing to do the work for him.

When Radomir starts conversation when they make camp Thaliar talks about how he comes from the southern River Kingdoms, lived in Pitax for a few years and eventually became a teacher in employ of House Medvyed near the Grongi forest. At no point does he mention what he did in Pitax or why he left his teaching job and he dodges or simply ignores any questions about those subjects.


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep

Radomir narrows his eyes at Thaliar's harsh words but suffers the rebuke without comment. He doesn't change his stance, either. A warrior is always ready for combat, to defend the lives of those he has sworn to serve.


Male Aasimar Bard (Animal Speaker) 5 , HP 38/38, AC 22 [Touch 16, Flat 17], CMD: 22 Init +4, Perception +0 (60' Darkvision)

The Journey:
Alexander spends most of the trip trying to learn more about the others. He speaks little of himself, though he has plenty of stories. Most are of others that he's served with, or stories he's heard around the fire. The conversation seems designed to keep the mind off the walk and on the horizon, and the man seems well practiced at it. Alexander doesn't speak incessantly, often giving the others silence when the group appears more interested in enjoying the view.

When they camp, he plays his drum for a short while. A relaxing beat meant to soothe the animals and the other members of the group after a long day of marching. In the morning he wakes early, stretches, and then joins Merryn by the fire. Should reach the Post by evening, I would think. He offers matter-of-factly, with a short nod to the scout. Alexander looks around as the group packs for the day, then up at the sky, Good day for a walk.

When Merryn holds up his fist, Alexander walks forward and squints into the distance. Good eye. As they move forward he looks around the group and notes the caution of the others, nodding to both Radomir and Merryn.

He chuckles and walks forward with Andrea and Thaliar, with his shield on his arm and his other hand resting on his sword belt. Welcome to the frontier, Thaliar. I doubt these people will be worried about travelers arriving armed and ready. Otherwise they'd do no business at all. He laughs then smiles as Andrea steps forward to ring the bell, stepping to the side and giving her a short nod of his head as if to say "after you".


Human Arcanist 5, HP 29/29, AC 12 [T: 11, FF: 11], Per +5, F: +4/R: +4/W: +6, Arcane Reservoir (4/8)

Eduard spends most of the time that the group is mingling getting some food and drink. He seems calm and plenty content to wait patiently and simply listen at the outer edges of conversations as the others finish their business.

On the road he is happy to speak pleasantly and speculates that the two groups that were quick to move out will represent the strongest competition. Once they reach the trading post he simply shrugs.

"I just think that we need not see danger where there may be none. There are no signs that this place has been overrun. Sure, the gates are closed, but it sounds like there are people conversing within. And probably still working from the sound of the hammer. There will be plenty of time for combat later. Let us not rush to find it where it is not."


Male Aasimar Bard (Animal Speaker) 5 , HP 38/38, AC 22 [Touch 16, Flat 17], CMD: 22 Init +4, Perception +0 (60' Darkvision)

Alexander laughs again, Don't worry Eduard, he gives a wink towards Thaliar, nor you Thaliar. I expect that our friends Radomir and Merryn have done this before.

He looks over his shoulder, back at the two warriors. I doubt any of us will start the fight. But out here... Alexander waves his arm, indicating the surroundings, It's better to be ready than not. And I've never met a Postmaster that's worried about a soldier being a soldier. This isn't a town, with pretty walls. These people look out for themselves and expect others to do the same. If we didn't look prepared he'd probably take us for fools. Or city folk with too much gold for their own good.

He shrugs and rests his hands on his sword belt, I know we're all new to each other and we don't know where the others among us have been. But trust me... Alexander smiles wryly, This isn't the first march for any of us. We all know what we're doing.


Male Elf Investigator (Mastermind) 3

Thaliar wasn't worried these guys were green. What he was worried about was whether any of them had ever encountered a trading post before without robbing it, murdering it's inhabitants or both.

"There is a difference between being prepared and being hostile. This here is treading the line." After that he dropped the volume of his voice so that he was sure those inside could not hear him, "We need these people, we don't want to alienate them or bully them into submission. They are our prime source of information and, as far as we know, our only allies in this area."


Male Aasimar Bard (Animal Speaker) 5 , HP 38/38, AC 22 [Touch 16, Flat 17], CMD: 22 Init +4, Perception +0 (60' Darkvision)

Alexander's bemused smile returns and he laughs again, You two worry too much. Radomir and Merryn are calm and prepared, nothing more. I'm more worried about your nerves than theirs. He chuckles good-naturedly and shakes his head. My apologies, you are correct though. We don't want to make any enemies here.

Alexander rubs the back of his neck, then returns his hand to his sword belt to rest. And I'm certain none of us plan to.


Female Human Cleric 5,HP 35/35,Init+5F5R3W8,Per9AC18/11/17

I agree. In the frontier, a fort or trading post can be the only sanctuary against whatever is in the wilds. So having all the doors barred and strict laws set in place is not unexpected. We should remain cordial so we can get a reliable place of supply and rest.


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep

Radomir nods as well. "Aye. My hear people are accustomed to bandit attacks and monsters. A show of strength is to be expected. They may be more suspicious of people who do not seem to concerned with their own safety.". He shrugs and keeps his grip tight on his bardiche all the same. "I do not intend to start a battle, but I will make sure to end it."


As soon as the bell is rung, the sound of pounding and loud voices stop. After several minutes of waiting, one of the gates opens up, revealing a man of middle-aged years. He stands at about six feet tall, which is the only reason why you suspect he is a human instead of dwarf despite his massive barrel chest, beard and general hairiness. The man still carries a hammer in one hand, suggesting he may have been the source of the noise you heard upon arrival.

The man looks over your group and he seems to relax a bit before he speaks. "Well, the lot of you don't look like the regiment of soldiers I requested from town. At least you also don't have the look of bandits either. My name is Oleg and this here is my trading post. As long you don't bring any trouble with you, you can come on in. I got things to trade if you are interested and if not, I have space to rent for the night if that is all you are looking for. Last one through go ahead and shut the gate after yourself. Don't need any varmints running in here and eating the herb garden again." He will go ahead and lead the way back into his post, looking over his shoulder to keep his eye on the group.

Pic of the Trading Post

As you enter the trading post, the first thing you realize is how run down it appears from the inside. Though everything is still serviceable enough, it looks as if the place had undergone many months of neglect and is only recently being put to right. The second thing you notice is that you don't see any other people around.


Male Aasimar Bard (Animal Speaker) 5 , HP 38/38, AC 22 [Touch 16, Flat 17], CMD: 22 Init +4, Perception +0 (60' Darkvision)

Alexander smiles amicably, You'll have no trouble from us, Oleg. Well met. He steps forward with the others and looks around with an appraising eye. We could, indeed, use a roof for the night. He chuckles, It looks like it's going to rain soon, and I'd prefer to sleep on something that's at least passingly familiar with what it's like to be dry.

He drops his pack near a wall and stretches. Seems like you're a little low on labor around here. Must be tough fixing all this up with just you and... He looks around, whoever else you were speaking with earlier. How do you like it out here? He leans his shield up next to his pack.


Female Human Cleric 5,HP 35/35,Init+5F5R3W8,Per9AC18/11/17

Andrea enters, a bit puzzled why there was no one looking out over the wall at them. Doing such only makes sense securitywise.

Greetings Oleg, I am Andrea. Our group is a chartered group that is exploring the Greenbelt for the Swordlords. We look forwards to partaking of your services during our time here.


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep

Radomir follows through after Andrea. He keeps a tight hold of Czernabog's reins. "this is an interesting place you have. It's defensible, although it needs repairs. It's good work." He nods appreciatively. "I am Radomir Shax, a soldier from Brevoy. This is Czernabog. Do you have stabling for horses? I would like to put him away for the night. He's ill-tempered at the best of times, and he grows surlier when he's tired."

As he enters, he scans the area, looking for threats, hiding holes, escape routes, etc. He'll also search for the source of the other voice. Alexander is wise, to catch on that someone else is here. He also has a way with people to set them at ease. He will make an excellent commander for our squad. If he does not assume a leadership role, I will have to lead by example, and establish his command position for him.

perception check to find anyone in the area or any weakness, etc. perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11


Male Elf Investigator (Mastermind) 3

"Good day sir, my name is Thaliar Medevin. It's an honour to meet you." Thaliar nods at Oleg as he moves after the man.

After he looks around in the trading post he nods, "Say, are those vermin you refer to the local bandits by any chance? You do know the charter gives us a mandate to take those out as well as explore the region?"


Male Human Slayer (Bounty Hunter) 1 , HP 12/12, AC 18 [Touch 13, Flat 15], CMD: 17 Init +4, Perception +6

Merryn remains quiet at Thaliar and Andrea's comments, although he does shake his head slightly.

It appears these two haven't seen as much of the Stolen Lands as the rest of us, Merryn muses to himself as he waits for the door to open.

When it does, Merryn relaxes his grip on the bow. Although the man who greets them is large and muscular, his demeanour is not that of a bandit. It's clear this is the man they expected to meet. Merryn lets the others do the talking, although listens to Oleg talk to see if he can catch any telltale signs of stress or fatigue.

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23 Just trying to discern whether or not Oleg is stressed out; it may indicate trouble which Merryn would expect with a fledgling outpost like this.

As they enter the fort, Merryn agrees with Radomir's assessment. Although defensible enough, a large enough group of bandits could overrun the fort if it doesn't receive some repairs.

"I'm Merryn Blackthorn," he says during a lull in the conversation, "Former bounty hunter for the Sword Lords and scout for this expedition. Have you had any trouble with banditry recently? Or trolls?"

As he waits for an answer, Merryn quickly checks the wall for sniping positions. In the event of an attack, Merryn would use the outer wall as cover and eliminate threats from afar.


Merry - From the bags under his eyes to his tense body posture, you do indeed discern that the man it both under stress and fatigued.

Radomir - You don't currently see anyone else in your area and the weakness you see are the obvious, namely a lack of man power and poorly maintained fort

"It is just me and my wife here now. We had accepted a charter of our own to try to turn this old fort into a thriving trading post. It hasn't quite gone the way I had planned." Oleg gives a loud sigh. "The first thing to go wrong was the state of the fort itself. No one said it was going to be this run down. Though even then, things went well enough for the first couple months. Then the bandits found out about this place. Now I am supposed to give them a tithe each month, or else."

"They aren't due for another couple days, so you have time to rest up and then head out if you don't really want to take them on. Though if you are serious about having a mandate to take out bandits, I would certainly be happy with that."

As you are walking in the post, Oleg points to a building on your left. "That's the stables there. Only got my own horse in it right now, so plenty of room and feed to share with yours. Czernabog there certainly looks life a fine horse. The best ones are always a bit ill-tempered. My wife tells me husbands are the same way."


Male Aasimar Bard (Animal Speaker) 5 , HP 38/38, AC 22 [Touch 16, Flat 17], CMD: 22 Init +4, Perception +0 (60' Darkvision)

Alexander laughs, Well, lucky for her then, I suppose. He strides forward and offers his hand. Alexander Orlovsky, at your service. He smiles and looks around the trading post. It appears you have your work cut out for you here. We are, indeed, pledged to both explore this region and fight against banditry. He looks around at the others in the group solemnly and nods, We'll fight off these criminals with you, and hopefully, with a bit of luck and hard work, we can get this trading post up and running. Assuming no one looks like they would object to doing so.

So...tell us about these bandits. Perhaps over dinner? I don't believe we have much to bring to the table beside coin, but I'd certainly be willing to pay for a meal that was cooked in a pot. And perhaps meet this lovely and clever wife of yours? Alexander gives a friendly smile and follows Oleg asking questions about the bandits. How many there are, where they come from, what they're like, and most importantly, how well they are armed. Once done with the important discussion he'll move on to how well Oleg has settled in and what else he needs work on in the fort.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Alexander intends to use this opportunity to influence Oleg's attitude.


Female Human Cleric 5,HP 35/35,Init+5F5R3W8,Per9AC18/11/17

Indeed, if these bandits are threatoning the trading post we can dispose of them. We will have the element of surprise since no doubt they only expect Oleg and his wife.


For a moment, Radomir was turned toward thestables, as though he was going to make a beeline for them and tend to Czernabog. But, as soon as Alexander pledges their service to eradicate the bandits in the area, the warrior's stance changes, and he turns to follow Alwxanderand the others through the trading post. He still keeps a wary eye on their surroundings. "Aye, Oleg. Alexander has the right of it. Czernabog and I will fight alongside him and end the bandits in the area."

Good, he has begun to take charge, and speaks for us all. He served in armies, and even commanded men. His old habits will return, and I will finally have someone to serve. Perhaps I won't need to manipulate the situation. I will still need to show the others he is the one to obey. Thaliar's very strong-willed, and Merryn's kind are used to following their own rein. They will need special attention.


Human Arcanist 5, HP 29/29, AC 12 [T: 11, FF: 11], Per +5, F: +4/R: +4/W: +6, Arcane Reservoir (4/8)

Eduard listens to the conversation and nods. "Yes, part of our charge is specifically to destroy bandits that we find, so I suspect that it is an easy lift to convince us to help you here. As Alexander said, we will need further details, but dinner seems a fine time for that."

He pauses, then speaks with a start as if having forgotten something, "Ah, and I am Eduard Petrov. Entrepreneur and arcanist."


Oleg certainly seems less gruff after Alexander pledges to fight off the bandits and as the rest of the group chimes in and agrees, he even manages a slight smile.

Apparently deciding you lot are okay, he finally calls out to his as yet unseen wife. "Svetlana! Six more mouths for dinner tonight!" At his yell, a window opens in the building on the right side of the compound and an attractive blond head is suddenly visible and yells right back at him. "I already guessed that since I didn't hear any hollering or scuffling going on out there. I'll be out in a bit to greet our guests as soon as I add to the stew."

Oleg just chuckles at her response and leads your group over to an area that has four benches set up near a large, though currently unlit, campfire pit. He'll take a seat upon one of the benches and begins to answers Alexander's questions about the bandits. "Well, they've just been here three times so far. The first time the bandits visited, there were a dozen of them led by a cloaked man armed with a bow. A woman was with him who carried two small hatchets. She did the majority of the talking on that first trip. Certainly had a black sense of humor, the way she smiled when she spoke of what would happen to Svetlana if the we didn’t do what she wanted was what convinced us to not try to fight back or argue with them. The woman also seemed to be particularly sharp and observant, whereas the man seemed to be a bit more crude and foolish. This, plus the fact that the woman quite nearly lopped off my right hand with one of her hatchets in what she called a "joke", convinced us that the b@~** was the most dangerous of the bandits. As it was, the woman took Svetlana’s wedding ring right off her hand and tossed it to one of her men as payment for “not shortening my reach.” On the second and third visit, only the crude hooded man accompanied the bandits. The second visit, he came with only six other men, while on the third he only came with four. We think that the bandits have let down their guard and think that we are completely cowed. Hopefully, when they visit tomorrow they’ll be even fewer in number, and that woman with the hatchets won’t be with them."

Oleg just shakes his head frowning as he remembers those previous visits. "Those damn officials who gave me the charter certainly didn't warn me that anything like this could happen. I swear if not for Svetlana's condition I would have already gotten her out of her and taken on those damn bandits myself, but there is no way she could done any traveling alone."


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep

As Oleg talks, Radomir will stable Czernabog. When he returns, he sits at the bench, and calmly waits for Oleg to finish. He also takes out his pipe for a small smoke. "Which direction do the bandits appear to come from?"


Male Human Slayer (Bounty Hunter) 1 , HP 12/12, AC 18 [Touch 13, Flat 15], CMD: 17 Init +4, Perception +6

Merryn listens to Oleg's tale with mild interest. He agreed with Oleg's assessment of the situation. It sounded as though the bandits had become complacent and that their leadership was lacking. Not uncommon, as most bandits were lazy by nature.

"I would agree, Oleg," Merryn said taking a seat, "It should be a simple affair to eliminate this initial group of bandits if they have grown complacent. I would suggest we subdue their leader in case he can provide any information on where to find this woman."


Oleg turns to Radomir to answer him. "They come from the road and ride straight up to the gates. I don't know at what point they get onto the road or from where. I just know that they end up here."


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep

Radomir nods and puffs in silence for awhile, content to let those with more sophisticated minds suss out the details.


Female Human Cleric 5,HP 35/35,Init+5F5R3W8,Per9AC18/11/17

We can probably set up a kill zone inside of the gates, we mustn't let any escape and send word back. Perhaps have those of us skilled in bows and crossbows get on the roofs of the buildings.


Male Aasimar Bard (Animal Speaker) 5 , HP 38/38, AC 22 [Touch 16, Flat 17], CMD: 22 Init +4, Perception +0 (60' Darkvision)

Alexander nods along with the others, Close the gate behind them, strike them quickly, and hope that those that remain surrender. But, of course, prepare for them not to. He looks around the group, The punishment for banditry is death. I expect that these bandits are aware and will react accordingly.

He smiles and chuckles slightly, Tomorrow we can go up on the walls and see if we can find some places to shoot down upon these criminals. That, at least, should be simple enough. The key will be closing the gate. He looks to Oleg, What do you think? Will they all come in, or do some stay outside? We won't have to lock it, just make it difficult to simply turn around and ride away. He shrugs, A few options spring to mind, but there are complications with each. He chuckles again, And some of you are quite a bit more clever than I, so I'm sure we'll figure out something.

I suggest Radomir and I stay in the courtyard. Radomir coming out of the stables once we engage and I'll come out of the...other building. That one that was to our right as we came in. Alexander shakes his head, Forgive me, I keep saying that we should put off planning until morning and we've had a chance to see what we have to work with, and then I keep rambling on. He smiles and lets the others speak up, spending some time complimenting both the food and the cook once dinner begins. No matter how good or poor, he's certain to have a short tale about how the fare is much better than what he had on a certain patrol on the border in Brevoy. One man lost a tooth in his bread, and another soldier found a tooth in his "stew"!


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep
Alexander Orlovsky wrote:

A

I suggest Radomir and I stay in the courtyard. Radomir coming out of the stables once we engage and I'll come out of the...other building. That one that was to our right as we came in. Alexander shakes his head, Forgive me, I keep saying that we should put off planning until morning and we've had a chance to see what we have to work with, and then I keep rambling on. He smiles and lets the others speak up, spending some time complimenting both the food and the cook once dinner begins. No matter how good or poor, he's certain to have a short tale about how the fare is much better than what he had on a certain patrol on the border in Brevoy. One man lost a tooth in his bread, and another soldier found a tooth in his "stew"!

"Yes, Sir. I am at my best when on horseback, or working with Czernabog in some other way. I do have some skill with a bow, but I am not as effective as others would be" Radomir nods towards Merryn. "We have been trained to work as a single being, support our allies, and devastate our enemies. Point us to them, we will not let them rise again."


male Human Cavalier 5 | HP: 22/45| AC: 25/14/24/23 | Init: +4 | Perc: +10(+12 v surprise)| F:+7 / R: +3 / W: +2 (+4 vs fear/compulsion) | Sentence 4/4 |Circuit:125 mi from keep

"we should make sure to keep a few alive for intereogation. The punishment for banditry is death, but I am sure some may leap at any chance for clemency. If they do not, we can always put them to the question. They may find themselves more willing to talk after they've experienced the consequences of silence."

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