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It is moments before dawn as the group breaks camp to begin walking the next stretch of their journey. While their destination, Falcon's Hollow, is still some days distant, they are eager to deliver their parcels, collect their due, and move on to more meaningful work. The intrigue of the mysterious stranger who had paid each of them a handsome sum for what appeared to be a simple delivery, and the admonishment not to open their parcels is the furthest from their minds at the moment. Shaking off the cold, wet, and bitter night and finding a warm and drying sun is what occupies most of their thoughts, currently.
They travel for the better part of the day. Stopping only briefly for a quiet meal. The previous night's damp sleep seems to be taking its toll on their conversation, or lack thereof.
The dark mass of the Arthfell Forest looms just to the north of the road, an ominous wall of unbroken green and shadow. Not far ahead is the famous Travelers Stop Inn, the only safe refuge in the area. Rounding a bend in the road, the group sees a trio of mangy dogs playing a gruesome tug-of-war with some sort of humanoid corpse. Their snarls and barks break the silence of the otherwise calm afternoon.
Colwin blanches at the sight before him covering his mouth with a hand and swallowing, before he manages,
"Good gods, what is that, don't tell me its a person?! Ah, nice doggies, don't do anything you will regret, I probably taste dreadful. Is, ah, anyone good with animals?"
As he speaks he siddles behind Aldaara giving the paladin an apologetic wince.
Gibbeous, the barn owl, shifts upon his master's shoulder and fixes his sleepy eyed glare upon the hounds.
Perception to determine what kind of humanoid the corpse is? Add +3 to perception if the dogs are in the shadow of the trees.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
Woot! Natural 20, starting as I mean to go on!
Kensington is not upset by the rain. Weather back home was allowed to run wild and free, with no intervention.
Despite her linguistic talent, this group seemed to have little inclination to talk, at least to Kensington. Since she was a creature of words, she couldn't stand this. Still, she resisted the curiousity of the package. Since she believed in law and order, she wouldn't break her word and open it. But it couldn't be any mere parcel with mundane contents. Not under these conditions.
She kept these opinions to herself. But then she hears the dogs, and sees them. Most people back home could easily talk with these creatures. Kensington had never had that blessing. Her heart called her to follow her own gifts, not the culture around her. Luckily for her, no one judged her in this. She had never before been in a situation where someone wasn't around to speak with animals. Now she began to understand what she had given up by being such a maverick.
Kensington takes out of one her bars of soap. Then she casts "Light" on it.
"Let me illuminate the situation," Kensington suggests.
Then she throws the bar of soap, not at the dogs, but at the corpse. This should improve our ability to see it, if it connects, that is.
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Horfil is excited with anticipation knowing full well this is what he ran away for in the first place,
"I know a good way to stop these dogs but sadly it involves violence... Maybe the Ranger can try to talk these dogs down but if worst comes to worst this will be a good fight."
He grins as he says this.
Knowledge Arcane to determine if the dogs are magical or not.
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
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As the bar of brightly lit soap flies through the air, it clearly illuminates the clearing before striking the corpse and settling a very short distance away. One of the dogs briefly lets go of it's fierce biting grip on the corpse to turn to the group and snarl. The rest flinch only briefly, but continue on in their savage tearing of the corpse. As the LightSoap settles, the party can count 4 distinct canine shapes.
For the moment, the dogs seem intent on tearing at their new meal.
Having been alone for most, if not all, of his travels thus far Leotian was eager to learn about his new companions, also he seemed to be having difficulty containing his curiosity about the package.
"Why is everybody so quiet? Where are you all from? Are you sure we can't just take a little peek at this package? Aldaara are you a paladin? I've been looking for a paladin, well not just any paladin a specific one. I know you're not her cuz her name isn't Aldaara do you know many other pala- Eh? Hey what's everybody stopping for?"
He pushes his way to where he can see more clearly "C'mon guys I'm short I can't see. Oh doggies!" Hearing Horfil he rolls his eyes "I have a name y'know, and I don't speak dog, but lots of animals do like me. I'll give it a shot."
He addresses the dogs holding out his hand to show he means them no harm "Don't fight doggies, it looks like there's lots for all of you. Show me what you've got there."
Wild empathy to increase the attitude of the dogs
-4 if the dogs happen to be magical beasts
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
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Cross posted, nix this if Leotian's wild empathy is successful, I'll spoiler for now since I can't edit after 30 mins.
"Perhaps a display of, ah, power is called for? Let's see, ah, excuse me dogs? No, no, that will never do... Heed me flea bitten curs, begone or I shall roast the lot of you!" The wizard says sending a twenty foot torrent of flame shooting up from his finger tips.
Gibbeous emits a series of soft hoots, which as suspiscious type might take umbidge at. Good one boss, they are s~&~ting it now, huh, huh.
Using the Firejet ability 7/8 remaining. Whats my intimidate modifier? Oh dear ;)
Intimidate: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (10) - 2 = 8
I now draw my sword.
As Leotian begins to address the dogs, the party is approximately 25 feet from the dogs and the carcass. The clearing is approximately 25 feet from side to side.
Leotian's attempts at empathy appear to be working. The dogs seem to barely notice him as they continue tearing into the carcass. The dogs seem almost friendly to him at this point. If any of the other members attempt to approach any closer, the dogs begin to snarl.
We might be able to get through this, depending on the next few die rolls and the party's attitude towards combat, without having to resort to maps
"Oh well done Sir! They seem to like you, I don't suppose you can get them to leave the corpse of that hobgoblin alone can you? It seems to be wearing one of those, ah, chain shirts and, not to be crass, but I would imagine they are fairly valuable... Oh dear, I am becoming quite callous and mercenary..." Colwin says, peering anxiously over Aldaara's shoulder.
"It's okay," Kensington reassures him. "We'll forgive you. After all, it's not as if you grew up . . . on a ship at sea. Yes, that's it. I think I can get the dogs to depart, slowly, without doing them any harm.
She casts "Drench" on the hobgoblin, hoping the dogs will be driven off. It's a harmless spell that creates a one-target rainstorm.
"Don't you think it's strange that this hobgoblin should be attacked this way? I don't mean by dogs. Dogs are scavengers. That's normal for them. What I mean is, he was attacked. Definately. I'd like to know why.
OOC: She's trying to drive the dogs off the corpse. The spell only does 1 point of non-lethal damage, which should hardly have any real impact on the hobgoblin.
Colwin nods, "Perhaps he was the aggressor and bit of more than he could chew. I don't know much about hobgoblins in particular, but my understanding is that goblins in general are rather rascally. It's wounds look like they were made with blades of some kind...."
Noticing the dog's snarl as she takes a step forward, Aldaara pulls back. Placing a wary hand on the hilt of her sword, she stares down the dogs intently, prepared for any dangers. Glancing back at Colwin, she rolls her eyes a bit. Men.
Using her voice at no more than a whisper, she speaks to her companions that are within earshot. "It appears as though Le-...the ranger may have things under control. Be cautious. If need be, I will charge in the front."
Horfil looks at Kensington and says "Why did you just drench the arm? The dogs may have been talked down but that doesn't mean that they still won't bite..." I can't believe that she just did that
"If there is a fight then I'll be right behind you Aldaara!"
"I'm sorry. I thought the idea was to get the dogs off the corpse. I apologize, and I'll wait for someone's orders next time. As soon as we decide on a Captain, that is. Sir! Shall I begin using my 'Magic missiles?'"
OOC: Don't be too shocked. Kensington's Lawful/Neutral and was a navy officer. This is how she thinks.
wow I just realized that we have 3 character that are charisma based... Choosing a leader will be hard in game I guess that it will be based on role playing. It most likely be put to a vote.
"Don't start using them until they attack us first and don't call me I hated calling my instructors sir back in weapon school."
He readies his weapon expecting an attack.
"I'm glad to see my original assessment was correct. Use only non-harmful spells until violence on the canine part is shown. Would anyone like me to cast "Shield" on them?
OOC: Kensington doesn't want to lead. She's a communications officer, not a commander.
"Forgive my unclarity. I didn't mean I'd cast "Shield" on the dogs. That would be counter-productive. I meant, would anyone on our team like me to cast a "Shield" spell, on themselves?"
"Well I would, but honestly I don't really plan to go near enough for it to be necessary. Also, ah, my own shield spell is personal only, so... In anycase, I must say I rather think our objective here ought to be to get rid of the dogs so we can examine the late goblinoid there. Shoo doggies, go on shoo!" Colwin says, looking faintly embarrassed as he wafts his hands in the dogs general direction.
Gibbeous watches events stoically.
Shield is, sadly, a personal range spell with target you.
OOC: Oh, that's right. "Shield" is only personal. Now I feel foolish.
Pfft, there is so much stuff to recall when playing a caster its impossible to recall it all. Gets confusing when you can use it on your familiar and people are constantly popping it off from wands, etc.
Horfil looks back at Colwin and says "Well if your shield is personal do you have something in that spell book of yours to protect us? I mean I'm no Wizard but even I could have learned something to protect myself."
"Hmmm, I might have just the thing actually, let me just get my sand and r ode petals... Very well," the wizard begins to gesticulate languidly as he scatters sand and petals while chanting, "Ypeelgnileeferaouy!"
Finally Colwin throws out his hands towards the canines and their eyelids begin to droop...
Sleep DC 16 will to resist, up to 4HD total effected
Spellcraft to determine what he is doing 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Leotian nods at Kensington's suggestion that they should have a captain. "I agree, a leader would probably be a good idea, I'd prefer it wasn't me, people don't seem to be all that keen on taking orders from someone who's half their size." Of course no one actually suggested him.
He takes a breath, and slowly moves towards the dogs in the most non hostile way he can. Keeping about 10 feet away to let them come the rest of the way if they will. He addresses them "Will you show me what you've got? Give?"
Handle animal to see if the dogs understand and obey
I'm a little new at trying to talk to animals please let me know if this isn't the skill I should be using
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
OOC: I play druids all the time, usually in 3.5 D&D. It's sorcery I'm rather rusty on. You can't use "Handle Animal" to talk to the dogs, not really. The best you can do with it is trying to improve their attitude toward you by one step, if you're a ranger or a druid. You can use it to push them into them doing tricks they don't know, such as Down, where the dogs won't attack anyone. But real communication with the dogs requires the "Speak with animals" spell.
I'm sorry. I don't mean to discourage you. But after my own "Shield" blunder, from now on, I'm checking the book for everything I post.
Or you know we could try to make a group intimidate check we have 3 cha based classes and then another couple that are decent with cha (assuming the rogue ever comes into play). and if that fails I can start my battle dance (costs a move action) and then activate chord of shards when they come with in 15ft of me (it deals 2d6 points of sonic damage and can only be done during my performance which in my case is my battle dance).
Oh my goodness, I see we have a lot of late night players. Or maybe we're in vastly different time zones? No matter. There's lots to dig though.
Let's see, it looks like the first action we can go on is Colwin's sleep spell...
Each of the dogs looks up at Colwin as his spell begins to take hold. . .
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Two of them collapse immediately into a deep doggy sleep. The remaining two shake themselves briefly, as if to shrug off some slumber, and look temporarily dumbfounded at their soggy meal, slumbering comrades, and approaching halfling. They seem temporarily demoralized and appear to be reconsidering this meal.
Horfil did not seem to fully guess which spell Colwin had just cast.
The dogs do not have any collars that any of the party can see. They seem to be quite feral.
The dogs do seem somewhat obedient to Leotian's suggestions.
Kensington is right about handle animal...doesn't quite work here, and you'd have to wait many hours to try another empathy check. Leotian could, though, try to give the dogs a suggestion (with another check). You could also try a distraction. Your combined intimidate check might have a shot. And, of course, there are other, more brutal, solutions.
"Hmm, blast, I was sure that was going to work. Well those two should sleep for about a minute, so perhaps one of you could, ah, loom at them - probably not Leotian... If we can just drive them off, or maybe one of you could, ah, tempt them with some food. I have some trail rations here you could use. If that fails I do have another sleep spell, though I'm reluctant to use it." Colwin says, fumbling in his pockets and withdrawing some strips of dried meat - which Gibbeous eyes with interest.
Is it Leotian, or Leoian like in your alias?
"Guys I see one of two options that we have here. Option one we kill them. Option two we scare them. I'm more in favor of killing them but that is just me. Oh and good job Colwin for putting some of them to sleep. I'm assuming that is what you did because two of them are now asleep"
I start my battle dance as my move action and as my standard action I prepare Chord of Shards and it triggers when the dogs get with in 15ft. of me.
"Personally, I'd have preferred that we scare them away, but then, dogs do have terrific noses and could come back to haunt us," Kensington suggests. "It's amazing how reliant I was on other people's magic. Back home, under this kind of circumstance, someone would have either cast "Speak with animals" to negotiate with the dogs, or used a summoning spell to conjure up a cat so the dogs could chase it. Though, of course, it would usually be a cat large enough to fight back. By the way, bully for you for the effectiveness of your sleep spell."
She waits for someone to give her an order.
"Oh dash it all, I'm just going to go ahead and give them another magic lullaby. I've got plenty of fire left if we get into trouble before morning." Colwin says, pulling out more sand and rose petals and again performing the eeriely languid motions. Again he hurls a cloud of twinkling swirling petal strewn grit at the dogs.
I'm going to go ahead and roll for the doggies saves since I know the modifiers. If thats over stepping the mark disregard and my apologies.
Dog 1: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Dog 2: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
One more canine succumds to Colwin's magics, yawning hugely and then settling down for a snooze. The wizards mutters a curse and kicks a nearby rock in frustration.
"Well confound it all! Lets just knock this one out, if we want to leave them alive. I don't want to kill animals for nothing, but stray dogs that are prepared to eat a corpse on a roadway strike me as too dangerous to responsibly leave alive... I would never forgive myself if they devoured some poor peasant when we could have stopped them easily now." Colwin says, looking faintly queasy as he speaks the words.
"I propose that we rush it and try to take it by surprise."
Leotian glances over his shoulder at Colwin as he suggests offering them food, as they seem much less interested in their now soggy meal dry food might do well to get their attention."That's a good idea Colwin, but I think I have some of my own rations here somewhere... And I'd rather not unnecessarily hurt the dog." He searches through his pockets as well until pulling out some dried meat strips "Ahh there we go" He moves off to the side so that if the dog(s) come to him the others will have a clear path to the corpse, then holds out hold out one of his rations to the dog(s) for extra incentive "Come"
Handle animal to push the dogs to come
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Sorry I guess I should have phrased that as interact with animals rather than talk with them, I know I'm not able to actually speak with animals. I guess I should have used down, or come instead of give since those're tricks that's actually listed, Thanks all. And sorry it's Leotian I had Leoian as an alias before discovering I couldn't convert him to pathfinder society, and didn't notice he was the default until it was too late to change my post.
okay this is what I'm thinking of attempting to do my, to hit with battle dance is +4, to deal nonleathal damage it is -4 to hit so I'm at a net +0 to hit should I try to knock it out?
Colwin, we can let your rolls and results stand, since there's no harm at this point. In the future though, I reserve the right to apply situational modifiers. In this case, the dog's lack of morale might have played a part
As Leotian holds out the food, the remaining dog begins to approach, cautiously. He sniffs the air as he approaches, catching the scent of the food, and warily eyeing the rest of the party. He approaches to within 10 feet of Leotian.
I'll assume everyone else is 5 feet or more farther away. Enough for a charge from Aldaara is she wishes.
Keeping her hand on the hilt of her sword the entire time, but not yet drawn, Aldaara circles around the dog as he moves towards Leotian. She watches the dog the entire time, waiting for some indication that things have turned badly. As she circles the dog, she gets closer and closer to it's packmates, and more importantly, the hobgoblin corpse.
Essentially, what I'm doing is moving about the dog so that I don't provoke an attack of opportunity, whilst moving towards the corpse. I've readied an action to pull out my blade and strike if the dog moves to attack. For roleplaying purposes, I've not yet drawn my blade, but I'm doing that as part of a move action.
"Okay you guys had your chances now it's my turn... Now I know that you guys don't want to kill the dogs so I'll just attack one of the legs... Or does anyone have any rope? We could tie the dogs mouth down so that it doesn't wake the others with its barking."
Colwin gives Leotian a thumbs up, with a goofy grin, and then cautiously makes for the hobgoblin taking care to circle out well away from the dog. Eyes flickering nervously between the standing and slumbering hounds he makes his way to the corpse and, if no danger presents itself, begins to examine it in detail.
Pulling disgusted faces he looks for any possessions, identifying marks, and tries to determine how the creature was dressed.
Perception to search, which he will do twice, to be careful.
Perception 1: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Perception 2: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
I start moving towards the dog standing behind Leotian. I will use stealth to get behind Leotian with the change that the dog will not notice.
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Oh great... Um glad my weapon is drawn and my battle dance is going by the way I'm counting and I'm down 2-3 performances depending on how long all of this is going on. I still have 5-4 depending on if it is 2 or 3.
Leotian hears Horfil when he suggests using rope or tying the dog's mouth, but keeps his attention focused towards the animal. "I don't mean to contradict you Mr. Horfil, but in my experience a dog is much less likely to raise a fuss if we don't antagonize it. Don't something like trying to tie his mouth shut I think is a lot more likely to cause a loud or violent reaction, and wake the others. Since he still doesn't seem to like anyone but me I wouldn't suggest getting too close."
"I guess you're still not comfortable coming too close huh boy? Here you go." He gently tosses the strip of dried meat about halfway between himself and the dog.
"Perhaps this will help, S... er, Horfil?"
Kensington opens her backpack and offers her winter blanket. It is thick, and could be cut into strips as a limited rope.
Horfil looks back at Kensington.
"No it is okay we don't have to cut up your blanket I don't want to sacrifice something that could be useful later just for this. And thank you for not calling me sir, I know you wanted to but you didn't so I thank you for that."
What time of the year is it?
Aldaara watches intently, waiting to see exactly what the dog is going to do. "I'd prefer not to shed an animal's blood, but if we must we must. Seeing as the ranger has experience with feral animals such as these, I defer to him at the moment." She cringes as she says this last part. Defer to him? What a queer situation you've got yourself into, Aldaara.
With my stealth roll we will more than likely be headed to combat sorry about that I figured with a +6 on most of my skills (+3 for trained and +3 for cha,int,dex) that I would be fine.
"Perhaps if someone ran? I know dogs love to chase things."
We'll say it's late summer. The leaves are full and it is warm, although not overly hot this day
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
The dog does approach, sniff the dried meat, grab it in his teeth and begins tearing into it.
1d100 ⇒ 3
It appears at this point that he is content to grab the new meal, drag it a few feet towards the woods, and lay down and eat it. The path between the party and the body and sleeping dogs is clear for the moment.