Sorin turns to Koya. "Mother Koya, I confess to being greatly puzzled by all of this. While I am glad that we were able to lay these bodies to a proper rest, I do not understand why a dream would send you here so late after this tragedy took place. I do not see that any wisdom or insight has been gained from this. Ever since a shapeshifting creature tried to replace the Warden and the presence of the undead in the swamp it has been clear that there is more evil at work than originally thought. It is a great relief to see we well, we were quite worried, but I feel almost as ignorant today as I did when we first ventured into the swamp thinking of nothing more than goblins. Can you shed any light on any of this?"
What has Ameiko been doing during all of this?
Lisabett remains at the top of the ridge, watching after Almar, however foolish his pursuit. She will remain until he returns, and take a calculating survey of the hill. When night falls she will part from camp a ways to partake of the spheres in relative solitude.
Essentially, Lisabett will take 10 on her Survival to find the best place to make camp on this hillside, reasoning that having the road beneath them at night cannot be terrible.
1st level D-Obscuring Mist, Produce Flame, Speak with Animals
Orisons Create Water, Guidance, Spark
Raziel, Setomi, and Sorin
Tears well in the edges of Koya's eyes. "I do not know, Sorin. I can only guess what Desna wishes for me to find here. Perhaps we are meant to understand the threat of this man...the man that Almar has been chasing. He was in the dream as well: clad in black, with murderous lust written on his face. We will cross paths with him. Of this, I am certain. When though...when...I cannot say."
Ameiko has been somberly assisting with the burial. She moves as if under a great weight, but says nothing of her apparent burden. She has not sought any conversation since you came upon the grisly scene within the cave. It may be the first time you remember the Tian woman being so lacking in speech.
"No! Just one of those Ulfen guards! Damnation! I let my wishes overcome my wits... but why is that man out there? Guard duty? Yet he told us nothing and just slipped away... can it be a strange Ulfen custom? Anyway let's ask him"
Almar coughs quietely so to make his presence known without startling the Ulfen, then he asks:"I didn't notice you leave, friend. What are you doing here all alone? And what do you think of what happemed up there?
Almar and Lisabett
Lisabett does recognize Espen on the road when he turns to Almar.
"A few hours not watching the road and we could be dead." Espen answers coldly. "As for the scene in the cave, I've seen worse."
Raziel, Setomi, and Sorin
Ameiko looks up wearily at Setomi.
Sorin overhears Ameiko's response to Setomi.
I didn't think about it before but Ameiko seemed fairly upbeat when we left Sandpoint but has been strangely reserved even before we witnessed this grisly scene. Did she see something on the way here we missed?
Now that Mother Koya has been found well, Sorin is eager to return to Sandpoint. I'm assuming that there's no time to do that today. How long did it take us to reach this cave? Are we pretty far out from Sandpoint?
It took just over six hours of riding to reach your current location.
Moving the camp to higher ground is not a difficult task, but by the time you are situated on a wooded hill nearby, dusk has come. Another exhausting day comes to a close, and though you have at last found Koya Mvashti, the mood is far from celebratory.
The elderly priestess stays up long enough to greet the stars with some prayer, but she seeks rest not long after. "Sleep well, woman." You hear Andres speak gently to Koya. He does not move from her for all the night. Espen does not look in their direction once, even when patrolling the camp.
Ameiko Kaijitsu seems barely tethered to the world. She stares silently at the sky with glassy eyes, adding little to the sounds of the night, save a quiet song played on her samisen before first watch.
Perform (Strings) - 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (20) + 13 = 33
The night passes quietly, and the clouds are bathed in vivid pink as dawn visits once more. Gorgeous as the sunrise may be, the wilderness feels strangely unwelcoming. Birdsong is sparse, and the morning air has an unkind chill to it.
Most are on their feet, preparing for the day, when the flaming arrow rises from the trees, not two miles from where your camp lies. The bright flare leaves a thick trail of smoke behind it. A signal, from the east.
Idiot b*tch, Lisabett seethes at the player as she lays her head down on her bedroll to sleep. May as well have consigned Espen to beat upon a drum as he makes his rounds.
For several moments, Lisabett contemplates touching the woman and fatiguing her, but given Sorin's propensity to see any action that is a benefit to others save himself as a threat to all that is good, she simply rolls over on her side and tries to ignore the din.
Sleep is illusive for what seems hours, but then the song persists so Lisabett recognizes the gross exaggeration. When it comes it is troubled, to say the least. She liked to believe that she had forgotten her father's face when he had cast her from his lands, and for all the years she had lived in shame, his likeness had never come to mind. He spoke so rarely of the women in his life, Lisabett was never certain if she had appeared as his mother, or perhaps an aunt. The nurses who had taken her charge before the age of seven shared not one discernible feature, likely they were simply all that were available to maintain the health of his only offspring.
Lisabett wakes for the last watch with the feeling of ill ease. She nods to Brother Holheim as he takes his watch, then assesses the health of the horses briefly before beginning her rounds. When the flare goes up, she is quick to react.
"Espen, Andres, stay with the women," she commands as she moves to her horse. "Mother Koya and the Lady Ameiko will remain until the threat has been assessed."
Almar studies the orizon for some time before giving his opinion:"Well, if that's Shalelu's signal she's probably counting on goblin overconfidence. If they are a sufficiently strong force I dare say they wouldn't care for a signal fire... provided they notice it and know what it means. Either way I think we have better reach that fire and see for ourselves what it's about. Keeping our eyes and ears open for possible ambushes, of course"
So saying Almar spurs his horse in the fire's direction
Can I get Charisma rolls from Lisabett and Sorin for their crush traits? I know Sandru isn't here, but a successful check might be justifiable through thought because of that.
It takes you a moment to secure your saddles and don your armor. Just as you are mounting, Ameiko rides up next to you, her rapier drawn. "Let me ride with you! Shalelu is dear to me, and if you ride to her defense, I would assist!"
Aren't the Crush Trait rolls only once a day? If so, we've already made the rolls for today; page 27 - Dec. 15th. If we're doing otherwise that's fine, I just want to make sure I understand. I'm old and I confuse easily;)
Sorin is startled by Ameiko's words.
And suddenly she's animated again. Something is strange with her today. And why is she asking permission? She's already riding with us.
I'm sorry if I was unclear. The group camped for the night, and as of my January 2nd post, it is a new day.
"And Setomi is with me as well." Ameiko continues. "You will find the both of us able, no matter the situation."
Bluff - 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (16) + 12 = 28
The six of you ride in the direction of the signal arrow, over a hill and towards a forested area. Just as you reach the edge of the wood, Shalelu bursts out from the treeline astride her horse.
"They are coming!" She shouts, much louder than is needed. "Make for the road! We must reach the caravan!" Shalelu flashes you a wicked smile and rides past you.
Through the trees, you hear the wild barking of dogs and high pitched chattering. It sounds as if there are many, many goblins giving chase.
Is anybody not turning and following Shalelu?
No, it was my bad. Somehow my ageing brain reversed the sequencing of events.
Charisma check 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
As Shalelu bursts out of the woods Sorin turns to follow her. He makes no effort to be at any paticular point in the riding order. Wherever he ends up, he ends up.
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"You found Koya?" Shalelu turns, her hair whipping in her face.
Behind you, the goblins emerge from the forest. You count at least twenty riders on goblin dogs spilling out from the treeline, but there is a larger humanoid among them, riding atop a massive boar. The rider is well-muscled and covered in brown fur, but does bear some resemblance to the smaller goblins. It lets loose a furious howl, and the goblins answer it with cries of their own.
You come over the hill. Glancing at your camp, you think it is well-concealed enough provided your pursuers do not cease in their chase. But where are you leading them?
It is then that you notice the caravan on the road. It has just come into view.
"Goblins cannot resist a raid." Shalelu's voice is hard to hear over the thundering hooves of your horses. "Ideas?"
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"You may depend upon that." Shalelu calls back to you. "But it is nevertheless pleasing to see some knowledge of tactics in my fellows!"
As you come nearer the caravan, it begins to look very familiar. The driver at the front turns, and you see that it is Sandru Vhiski, shortbow in hand.
"Your plan is solid, Lisabett." Shalelu continues. "I would add only one suggestion."
Sandru pulls his bowstring taut and issues a command. The cloth flaps on his wagons are pulled down, revealing groups of archers.
"Duck!" Shalelu yells.
A barrage of arrows arcs above you; the shafts sail into the enemy ranks. The goblins shriek in dismay, and several of the riders tumble from their mounts. Others find themselves flung from their dogs as the beasts are felled. The archers ready themselves for another volley.
Two more arrows come in from the flank, each downing a goblin and sowing greater confusion amidst the advancing horde. Andres and Espen stand nearly a hundred paces away, their bows raised.
The archers have thinned the assault, but there are many goblins yet. As you come to a stop in front of the caravan, you are very aware that several of the goblins are nearing your position. In the middle of them is the larger humanoid, astride his massive boar. Both the rider and the mount have arrows protruding from them, but neither shows any pause.
A Knowledge (Nature) check might reveal more about the larger humanoid.
For the purposes of this combat, I'm electing not to include any of the NPCs in the initiative order. They are contributing to the fight, but I'd rather not bog things down too much considering how many monsters I'm running (with more on the way). Periodically, the NPCs will kill or incapacitate an enemy. Everybody is affected by Ameiko's inspire courage, which begins immediately (+1 competence bonus to attack and damage rolls). For those of you who get a trait bonus if your NPC is threatened, know that Ameiko, Sandru and Shalelu are all considered threatened by all enemies. Koya, however, is not here (presumably, she is still at the camp).
Almar - 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Lisabett - 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Raziel - 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
Setomi - 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Sorin - 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Murdrul - 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Goblins (1-5) - 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Goblins (6-10) - 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Setomi, this is your first combat with us. We do post in initiative order, but if you suspect you will not have a convenient time to post in the next 24 hours and it is not your turn, you can go ahead and denote your action. I will assume temporary control of any PCs that have not acted within 24 hours of it becoming their turn.
The map is right here:
The brown rectangles are the wagons. They are solid objects and they provide cover. You cannot currently enter them as they are occupied by archers. All other terrain is normal.
Creatures denoted with a white letter are mounted. The goblins are small creatures on medium mounts, so they only take up one space, but all of them are riding goblin dogs. The larger humanoid, Murdrul, is a medium creature riding a large boar, which takes up four spaces (hence all the "Bs"). Please indicate if you dismount or not; I'll give it to you for free, but you can stay on your horse if you wish. Keep in mind that your steeds are not combat trained).
Sorin is up first.
Sorin dismounts from his horse with his glaive and quickly scans the battlefield.
They're spread out but so are we. Looking at the leader figure on his boar Sorin realizes that he has a straight shot at Lisabett and the center of the defensive wagons. If he is defeated, the goblins may be easier to deal with and since arrows seem to be of little use against him...
Sorin use a Move Action to go to I12 and, as a Swift Action, activates Smite Evil with Murdrul as the target.
As a Free Action to Murdrul, "Avaunt, evil one! Your presence here frightens no one! Surrender and your life and soul may yet be spared the doom that devours all those who follow such dark paths!"
Sorin is assuming Murdrul is going to charge, or at least move forward and attack. Since he has only one AoO per round, he won't use it on any of the goblins, even if he has the opportunity, in anticipation of using it on Murdrul.
Is each square equal to 5'?
Not sure what I would need to roll to complete this action. I take it an acrobatic roll for the jump, a melee roll for the attack, and another acrobatic roll for the landing??
Seeing the creatures bear down upon her, Setomi kicks free of her mount and moves forward at a slow jog. As she nears the beasts, she leaps into the air, spinning over both mount and rider, slashing at the goblin as she passes over it. She lands in crouch, ready for another attack.
I'm not sure the mechanics describe a way to resolve that specifically, but I love the flavor and will allow it. We'll handle it as a tumble through an enemy's square, followed by an attack; it's a high DC, but you nailed it. Mounted combatants are not denied their Dexterity modifier, but because the goblins have yet to act, they are considered flat-footed, and you get sneak attack damage against them. Go ahead and roll damage.
What square are you aiming to end in?
The goblins' dog mounts move with surprising speed; they are on you in a matter of seconds.
Goblin 1 may or may not act, depending.
Goblin 2 moves to I19 and slashes at Almar with its sword.
Attack - 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
If it hits, it deals 1d4 ⇒ 3 points of damage.
Goblin 3 double-moves to G14.
Goblin 4 moves to I18 and swings at Almar with its sword.
Attack - 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
If it hits, it deals 1d4 ⇒ 2 points of damage.
Goblin 5 moves to I13 and thrusts its sword at Sorin. This provokes an Attack of Opportunity, which it sounds like Sorin is not taking.
Attack - 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
If it hits, it deals 1d4 ⇒ 2 points of damage.
Raziel is up next.
On his turn Almar will unsheate his rapier and attack the goblin in I19
Attack Roll:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Damage roll:1d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Edit: Do we get to attack with our horses too (I think we got light horses)? I'll post the attacks just in case, on goblin in I18
Hooves attack 1:1d20 - 2 ⇒ (4) - 2 = 2
Damage Roll (if hits): 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Hooves attack 2:1d20 - 2 ⇒ (20) - 2 = 18
Damage Roll (if hits): 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Re-edit: forgot a rapier cuses critical with 18-20!!!
Critical confirmation:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Damage roll:1d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Re.re-Edit: and a natural 20 is a critical...
Critical confirmation (horse):1d20 - 2 ⇒ (17) - 2 = 15
Damage roll:1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Your horses are not combat trained, so they cannot make attack rolls. If you're still mounted, I'm actually going to need a Ride check from you to keep your horse from fleeing (with you on it). Your rapier attack will stand once its your turn, Almar; the Ride result will be resolved after.
Setomi springs forward into a flip, gracefully halving a goblin's head and avoiding the snapping jaws of its dog.
I don't think anybody has identified the wakizashi that Ameiko gave you, but I should probably tell you out-of-character that it is a +2 weapon. It will affect your attack and damage, even if Setomi doesn't know its properties as of yet.
Almar, I've read over the Ride rules carefully, and a mount needs to be combat-trained in order for its rider to direct it to attack. That isn't to say a horse that isn't combat-trained can't attack (if it was surrounded by wolves, for example, it likely would defend itself), but you can't get it to fight for you. You can, and must, direct it in combat (move/stand still), however, which is what your Ride check is for. I had thought this was a required free action, but it is, in fact, a move action. Because I was mistaken about that, I'll give you the first move action for free, so you can still draw your rapier and attack on your turn. On subsequent turns, however, you must take a move action to make a DC 20 Ride check at the beginning of your turn, and failure will prevent you from taking any other action that turn. I was being nice and letting your rapier attack stand regardless of Ride check the first time around, but from now on, you'll need to commit the move action and succeed in order to act normally, at least while you are mounted.
Controlling a non-combat mount in combat seems to be pretty difficult.
Anyway, I'm jumping the gun by about half an hour as far as acting for Raziel, but I'm tired and I want to head to bed, and I'd like to move things forward before tomorrow morning.
Raziel dismounts from his horse and draws his scimitar. He stands awaiting his foes. Raziel is readying an action to attack a goblin if one of them closes with him.
Lisabett is up next.
I hope I can stick my move in here, even though I'm late. It looks like nothing major has happened yet that I would affect.
Raziel dismounts and moves closer to Sorin, drawing his blade. He utters the words of Sarenrae's Blessings, allowing Her light to wash over those nearby.
AC 16, 16/16 HP
Move to I9.
Cast Bless (50' burst, +1 att and save vs fear)
The goblins surge forward, threatening the caravan and its defenders.
Dog 1 seems confused as to the fate of its rider, just slain by Setomi. This distraction is only momentary, as the beast quickly notices Setomi's unattended horse. The horse takes one look at the goblin dog, and bolts. The dog chases after it.
Goblin 6 rides up to Raziel, ending its move in J9 and attempting to slash at Raziel. Attack - 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
If it hits, it deals 1d4 ⇒ 3 points of damage.
His dog attempts to bite Raziel. Attack = 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
If it hits, it deals 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8 points of damage, and Raziel must make a DC 12 Fortitude save.
Goblin 7 rides up to Sorin, ending his move in I11 and attempting to stab the paladin. This will provoke an Attack of Opportunity from Sorin, but if I'm understanding correctly, he's not taking the attack. Attack = 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17 (Flanking)
If it hits, it deals 1d4 ⇒ 2
His dog attempts to bite Sorin. Attack - 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
If it hits, it deals 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7 points of damage, and Sorin must make a DC 12 Fortitude save.
Goblin 8 rides to E7 and hacks uselessly at the wooden caravan with his sword.
Goblin 9 follows suit, riding to E6.
Goblin 10 rides around the front wagon, ending its turn in B7.
Almar puts his rapier through a goblin's eye. The creature becomes limp and falls from his dog, sliding off the gunslinger's sword.
Murdrul stares at Sorin and lets loose a furious howl, flying into a rage. This is an Intimidate attempt, DC 13 (10 + Sorin's hit dice + Sorin's Wisdom modifier + 1 morale bonus from Bless). Intimidate - 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
If successful, Sorin is shaken for 1 round, plus an additional round for every 5 points that Murdrul's check exceeds the DC.
Murdrul barks something in a strange, guttural language.
If it hits, it deals 2d6 + 9 ⇒ (6, 3) + 9 = 18 points of damage.
Sorin is up next.
Sorin 5' steps to H12 and attacks Murdrul.
Since there are a fair number of modifiers here, I'm going to spell them out so I don't make a mistake.
Smite Evil vs. Murdrul: +3 hit, damage and AC vs. Murdrul only; auto bypass any DR he has
Ameiko's Inspire Courage: +1 hit and damage
Crush person threatened: +1 hit and damage
Raziel's Bless: +1 hit and fear saves
Shaken, 1 round: -2 to everything except AC and damage
My AC: 15; 18 vs. Murdrul
My HP: 8/28
Melee BAB: +5
AoO vs. Murdrul 1d20 + 5 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (6) + 5 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 - 2 = 15
AoO Damage 1d10 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 = 16
Normal Attack 1d20 + 5 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (7) + 5 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 1 - 2 = 16
Damage 1d10 + 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 = 17
Good grief, that was astoundingly bad; and a waste of good damage. It's also fairly obvious that Sorin is heavily wounded and likely to fall.
I went back and forth on whether or not to have Murdrul enter a rage on a turn in which he didn't attack, but I ultimately figured he could use the hit points. Because of his resultant -2 to AC, both of Sorin's attacks hit!
Even under heavy assault, Sorin's expertise with the glaive shows. His first blow cuts deeply into the advancing Murdrul's chest. His second finds the blade sinking into the stomach. Murdrul screams in fury and pain, but does not fall.
Setomi is up next.