OK, so here they are for the next week!
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Profession-Cook: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Profession-Cook: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Profession-Cook: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Stealth(Ki Stealth): 1d20 + 8 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 8 + 4 = 25
Stealth(Ki Stealth): 1d20 + 8 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 8 + 4 = 23
Stealth(Ki Stealth): 1d20 + 8 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 8 + 4 = 29
In the evening, Lisabett casts Detect Magic and attempts to identify any items that give off an aura.
Lisabett knowledge arcana 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23 and spellcraft 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
After having seen to the horses and eaten what she considers a ration, Lisabett waits until she can approach Sandru alone to speak with him.
"I am wondering if you misunderstood what happened in town last," she says, her eyes fixed on a point to the side a few feet between them. "When you fell asleep, Sorin and I carried you to a bed. I tried to leave, to enjoy the storm and they encouraged me to drink more, till I lost sight, myself," she admits and frowns.
"I came to help you with the morning sick, but only appeared to have succeeded in hurting you," she says and shakes her head. "And since."
Lisabett Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Lisabett Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
Lisabett Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Lisabett Survival 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19
Lisabett Survival 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26
Lisabett Survival 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23
All of the bundled items appear to be magical. I'd actually like to see separate Spellcraft rolls for each item, which should be to your advantage, actually, as the dice-roller seems to have rebelled against you once more with the above check.
It is on the second day of the week that you find earth freshly stirred by hooves. Riders have passed through here, and not long ago.
Sandru is not pleased with the news, and insists on making use of a little known route through the edge of a lightly-wooded forest. This slows the pace of the caravan, and hardly hides you from sight, but none discover you.
It is Almar that first spots the trail made by riders, minutes after you overlook it. On second study, you are sure that he is right: several have made their way across your path, and not long ago.
Since you spoke to him, Sandru seems to make a greater effort to smile at you, but of late, he gives his ear more readily to Almar's counsel.
Haedr, the captive, still regards you warily. He regularly speaks to almost all in the caravan except you.
For a time, Sandru changes course to move through a light wood. Within the trees, the strange voice seems absent. Upon the plains, though, it yet murmurs in your ears, coming from nowhere. It forms no words and seems not to make the sounds of language, but it is speaking to you - of that you are certain.
Working with the elven foodstuffs is strange, and for a time, your cooking seems blander than is usual. There is little complaint from the caravan, but just as rare are the compliments you were hearing not long ago.
When night falls, you move through it as naturally as any nocturnal predator. Caran and Walthus used to start when you appeared and disappeared from the shadows, but now they seem to have accepted that you are some sort of spectre.
Haedr, your ward, asks to know more of Shelyn every day. Upon hearing of your deity's hope to save Zon-Kuthon, her brother, he becomes obsessed with the tale. Despite his interest, never does he share a prayer with you.
Talking to Haedr. "I'm still a little confused how the current captain became captain. Why would Bjorn risk the leadership of his group on a single wager? That seems a bit foolhardy especially since he had semi-honest work for everyone to bring in money. Also, how was the current captain able to back up his threat to "join or die"? Were enough people already that loyal to him?"
"Out of curiosity, what is it about Shelyn's attempt to redeem her brother that you find so fascinating? It seems a fairly straightforward and obvious desire to me. Remember, the beauty that Shelyn espouses has little to do with physical appearance. It's a love of the heart and things that make the world a better place. You've touched a part of it yourself when you sang that song a few days ago. If there were no beauty in the world, would that song even exist?"
At some point, he'll talk to Raziel. "I confess I'm a bit confused by this curse business. The elves said they knew nothing but omens of your curse yet they knew that your father and his father had it as well. If it bothered them so much why trade with us at all let alone leave us with these additional gifts? We were already moving away from their territory. Do you remember the harrowing we received and how distraught Kasha seemed after giving it? I've though back on it and it hasn't really helped but I can't help but feel there's a connection. Of course, you're the one afflicted by it; what are your thoughts?"
Haedr's eyes widen at Sorin's questions. "It is not an easy story to understand. Not for me, anyway. If Shelyn is so powerful, and loves her brother that much, how can she fail to redeem him?" A boldness creeps into his voice, but it seems to shrink away as he realizes his tone. "I know nothing of the ways of the gods. I should not say such things...but..." He trails off, his thought lingering.
"But...as to Bjorn and his wager, it was a simple dice game for a few coins. He did not place our leadership on the table, but it was taken from him when he angered his opponent. The Captain's men were so swift. In seconds, nine of our best were dead, and no more of us laid bare our steel after that."
During the week Almar frequently talks with Sandru discussing matters concering the security of the caravan, though, after discovering the rider's traces he seems gloomier than ever. When he's sure no one else can overhear them he talks quietly with Sandru about his concerns:"Sandru, how much till we reach this Brinewall Castle? The longer we stay in the open, the more probable it is we'll have to confront those riders. And if they are gathering all of their force, we'll stand little chance. 50 battle hardened, vicious reavers. We need a difensible position to stand a chance, you know as well as me if we face them on open ground they'll just slaughter us as things stand. So I ask you again... how far is this Brinewall Castle?"
Setomi curses at the unfamiliar ingredient that they purchased from the elves. The stuff is so darn delicate!! By mid-week she finally has a handle on the stuff.
Her nightly scouting has gone much better, and she can now leave and return without anyone the wiser. There has been no one skulking about their camps, as far as she can tell, but still the discovery of fresh tracks has most of the party on edge.
Speaking to Sorin:
"Since I wasn't even aware I had a curse on me, I can't tell you much Sorin. It isn't as if I even know the root of my curse, never having met my father, and my mother died as I was born."
Speaking to Lisabett, who is examining the items:
"If you would not mind, I would wish to help you determine what these items are. After all, we should all share our abilities."
Six beautiful daggers, with gilded hilts and jewels in the pommel
1Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
2Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
3Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
4Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
5Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
6Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
An ornate hunting horn
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
A flute made of rough tree bark
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Two rapiers in silver scabbards
1 Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
2 Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
A small white stone, perfectly round
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
A leather-wrapped tube with glass lenses on either end
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
A starknife, forged of translucent crystal
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
"What?" The color drains from Sandru's face. "Are you certain? I heard nothing!"
Almar storms out of Sandru's wagon shouting orders:"Rise the alarm! Two horn blasts! They were distant, but I heard them! Move the caravan! Increase the pace! If we can reach this supposedly cursed fortess, Brinewall... then maybe they won't dare following us there! If the whole warband is reunited, that's our only chance!"
"Becalm yourself!" Sandru hisses. "Yelling will accomplish nothing." He takes a quick glance at the caravan, then scans the trees to the west. "All the same, do as he says. We move now."
In a moment, the caravan is in motion, climbing up a dusty ridge on the well-worn but seldom used road. The distress that has fallen upon your company is a quiet one; the tension in the air is palpable. The sun seems hotter than it has been in several days.
And then you come over the ridge, and see a ruined castle sitting atop a distant hill. Though the stone is the natural color of the rock and tangled vines creep down from its towers, the building seems a blight on the landscape. "Desna guide us." Sandru mutters as he whips the reigns.
Sandru hesitates for a moment before answering. His gaze falls upon the ruined buildings hiding in the shadow of the castle. "The village. We could hide the wagons in the village. Yes...Lisabett. Setomi. Move ahead to the village and make sure it is uninhabited. Shalelu, you will be my eyes and ears in the wood."
The elf nods and slinks off through the nearby trees, bow in hand.
I just remembered that Hu5tru is out of town. This can be a Setomi scouting mission, I think.
Setomi moves towards the village, quickly and quietly. She effortlessly slips into the shadows cast by the crumbling buildings, and disappears from your sight.
Spotting the building and insuring that all is calm; Setomi moves back to the caravan and finds Sandru.
"I think I have found a building big enough for the wagons, and that will offer us some protection from the raiders. Come! Follow me."
With that, she climbs aboard the lead wagon and gives directions to the driver to take them to a large mud-brick building in the ruined village.
Sandru nods, and gives the signal. The caravan moves forward, towards the village. Despite the hustle, Mother Koya lingers, staring up at the ruined castle. She does not take her gaze from it until Andres barks at her, which in turn brings an angry word from Sandru. Walthus Proudstump pleads for silence, but tension remains high.
The keep and the buildings below rest upon a small harbor at the mouth of the Steam River. Its waters flow past a crumbling lighthouse and curl around to mingle with the village's rocky shores. An algae-choked lagoon sits in the middle of the abandoned settlement, surrounded by ruined buildings. Setomi leads you to one of the larger structures with half a roof still standing. From the look of it, this was likely once a town hall. It is not easy to move the wagon wheels over the rubble, but you manage nevertheless, and soon, your caravan is out of the sight of the main road.
A moment after the group has settled within, Ameiko stumbles and collapses.
Sorin and Setomi are nearest Ameiko, and each can make a Reflex Save to try to catch her.
"She looked pale, I noted a moment ago." Caran steps forward sheepishly. "But I thought naught of it."
"Earlier on our journey, I was very worried, as she was not herself...but...but she seemed better!" Sandru falls to his knees before Ameiko's motionless form. "I never should have allowed her to come. This is on me. Me alone."
Ameiko is breathing steadily, and her pulse is normal, but she does not stir in the least.
Sorin mutters a few words to himself that no one can quite catch, "She's been out of sorts since this trip started. I thought it was just nerves since I know this is part of her past."
Sorin looks at the ruins in the distance, "Those skeletons if the swamp cave were of men who were Tian; perhaps Brinewall is haunted or cursed but it affects Tian most strongly."
"Raz, is there anything you can do?"
Sorin looks abashed at his obvious mistake. "Ah, yes, of course...I don't know where my mind is these days."
He looks at Ameiko with a look of concern. "She can't even defend herself. Mother Koya, a battle would appear to be coming. Would look after her during this. Perhaps your wise eyes can see the truth of this malady."
Sorin calls over to Haedr. "How will your captain approach this? Will he try to talk, sweep in and attack, something else?"
Looking over the crumbled remains of the northeastern wall, you see no movement except for the push and pull of the river currents against the shore. Debris floats back and forth with the water, periodically scraping against rock. You realize that a wrecked ship lies in the harbor, mostly submerged. It's broken planks do not seem of the same age as the ruined village. In fact, you would guess that this vessel met its end not long ago.
Mother Koya lifts her head and looks gravely at Almar. "Her mind and heart are with her dearest friend, and will justly remain so. You ask much to take her from Ameiko's side. Yet one must watch. Who?"
"Be sure, watchin' the road is easy enough for me, ai." Walthus stands up. But also sure, gettin' another set of eyes would be good measure. Sandru?"[/b]
Sandru's sense of responsibility seems to have crumbled. He does not hear the question, but instead stares at Ameiko.
"I will." Haedr, the captive, volunteers.
"No! I will go." Setomi seems to almost physically tear herself away from Ammeiko's side. She looks back, but takes a deep breath and looks towards Almar.
"I am the best choice, and there is nothing I can do for her here. Mother, please care for her...find out what is wrong!!"
Without a further glance, she disappears into the night.
Almar nods at Koya respectfully:"I know it's asking much, but if those reavers find us things will go very badly for everyone. Acting as sentinel is the best way to help Ameiko and the rest of us right now."
When Proudstump and Setomi volunteer the gunslinger adds:"Very well then it's decided, Setomi and Mr Proudstump will be out eyes and ears. Sorry Haedr, but we can use your skill with the blade here if things turn for worse. Sending you on the roof would be a waste"
Bluff check:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Woo, I'm BACK! *slaps and rubs hands together*
Water at our backs, and them controlling the treeline Lisabett seethes. He will burn this village to the ground, the food, horses and wagons, too.
Lisabett spares a glance at Sandru, and recognizes the slack look on his face. Inaction. No man was he, certainly not Ulfen, and if he were an example of a Southern one, Almar would eclipse him as surely as a giant a dwarf. Lisabett wants to grip and shake him, but recognizes that not a word she has said thus far has reached him at all.
"And what do you know of the wood, little one?" Lisabett asks Setomi. "A clever sneak you are, there is no doubt, but these men will survive for weeks on bark and berries. I know you are no tracker."
Lisabett looks to the captive, pulls out her machete and tosses it on the ground, and speaks in Skald.
"Du. Claim your prize and your freedom."
She looks about for Shalelu. "Mistress, your skill with the bow is better than his eyesight. Let us end this," she suggests.
Finally she looks to Sorin and smiles sadly. "Attend the girls."