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James' Carrion Crown

Game Master Ghastlee

A scream in the night, a claw in your back..

Here we begin. I will prequelize each character before they arrive at Ravengro, Starting with he who is prepared.

He looked down at his manacled hands. They were pale, knobbly things that looked almost arthritic. A couple of weeks in the hole had made his skin appear paper-thin, a week without food and sufficient water shrunk the powerful muscle. He had all but chewed off his fingernails while in the hole, not that it had helped to stop the laughter that ringed quietly within his head.

A jolt of pain from the club the guard jabbed into his kidney urged him to look up, making him breathe in sharply. As he looked up at the faces in the small sentencing room, a feeling of rage welled up within him which intensified as the laughter became louder.

The Jurisdeclaris behind a high desk looked at him with detachment and breathed out "You are hereby sentenced to live the remainder of your short life in Harrowstone, which, I hasten to add, is a blessing compared to the extent of your crimes and the suffering of your victims." It looked like the man wanted to spit "There you will reside in the misery of your thoughts until such time as you are drawn, hanged, and quartered. May the gods have no mercy on your blighted soul."

The gavel clanged once, twice then thrice and the laughter got so loud he thought his eyes would leap from his skull just to get away. He closed his eyes but the gavel and the laughter kept getting louder.

Viktor wakes up uncharacteristically late to the sound of a southern woodpecker hammering its beak into the roof of the Number Three barracks. One of the faithful, Rufus, is looking at Viktor as he puts on his boots.

Viktor has spent either some time or a night in Vigil on his way to Ravengro.

Shaking the webs of sleep from his mind, slightly confused and disturbed by the bizarre nightmare, Viktor rubs his eyes in a poor attempt to fully awaken. Pausing a moment to comtemplate the dream - surely a mixture of apprehension over the journey to Ravengro and a dubious sense of guilt over the loss of Professor Lorrimor - Viktor suddenly realizes he is being watched. Sheepishly, he nods at Rufus as he swings out from the covers of the bed.

Fair Morning, if not a strange one. It is not like me to sleep so heavy or so late. Yet, I feel so tired. Surely, a case of dread for the the heavy burden of a long journey ahead with an even heavier heart...for I go to bury another father.

Viktor frowns, nods again at Rufus, and proceeds to dress and prepare himself for the day ahead.

Rufus: "If you pardon me, Brother Viktor, I should be able to get you to the coach if we leave in a few minutes."

To Rufus: "Yes. Of course, Rufus. By all means. I should be ready momentarily."

Viktor silently admonishes himself for being tardy and jeopardizing his timely departure and hastily prepares for travel, gathering up the rest of his gear.

Rufus walks you out of the barracks, the eastern wall of which is actually built into the city's inner wall. It's quiet this time of day in this quarter.

Rufus: "Nice day for travel, Brother Viktor. I heard it's a long trip to Ravengro. The whipman said you have to make a few stops."

Viktor nods solemnly.

To Rufus: "Indeed, a nice day, but not an enjoyable one for travel."

Viktor continues to walk with Rufus leaving the statement without further explanation. After a few awkward moments of silence...

To Rufus: "I had not heard that the coach had other stops to make en route to Ravengro. Do you know how many, where, or why? I was hoping to travel as directly and quickly as possible."

Rufus just shrugs

Rufus: "He said it's about a hundred miles out is all, I expect he'll stop to feed and rest the horses. Is it true that the whole country is haunted? Brother Stephus says even the crusades couldn't lift the curse on the land."

Viktor smiles and chuckles softly to himself, after hearing Rufus' questions - recalling his own similar questions to Professor Lorrimor in his youth.

Thinking to himself: Gods! Have I truly grown up and changed so much? I remember thinking such myself not so long ago.

With a new found assertiveness, Viktor turns his attention back to Rufus as they walk in the street.

To Rufus: "As far as crusades go, our ancestors have done alright here in Lastwall haven't they? I don't put much stock in rumors of cursed lands. With true conviction in one's goals, faith in one's purpose, and the will to make it so, anything is possible. If the land is "cursed" as they say, it is only due to its people's inability or lack of desire to take action. As for hauntings, much of what people fear is superstition and the unknown. While there certainly are things to fear that go bump in the night, I believe that with training, knowledge, and faith, even the darkness must part to reveal the truth within the light. Good will always overcome...but should it need a little help now and then..."

Viktor smils and motions to his sword belt, drawing his sword midway from its scabbard and allowing the metal to flash brightly in the morning sun before letting it fall back into its proper place.

To Rufus: "We all have a purpose. I know this to be truth better than most."

Rufus smiles and bows slightly before moving on to round the corner.

Rufus: "May your light shine on in that place, Brother Viktor."

At this point, you've reached the coach, a massive darkwood box on wheels that seems out of place on the bright cobblestone street. Four large grey horses are standing ready to depart, and a lanky whipman is checking the rig. He's wearing a dark suit and briefly looks over his shoulder.

Whipman: "Are you ready? We have lot of ground to cover."

(he has a thick Ustalavan accent.)

Stopping before the coach, Viktor turns to clasp his right hand on Rufus' left shoulder.

To Rufus: "It shall until the day it is extinguished and I stand judged before Iomedae herself, as we all must do one day! All that is important is how we decide to face that truth in the end. As for you my friend, I shall share a farewell my foster mother once spoke of to me - may your heart always be kind, yet firm in its conviction; may your mind always be open to discovery and elightenment; and may your spirit always soar with hope, faith, and inner peace!"

Nodding to Rufus one final time, Viktor turns and looks at the whipman currently busy attending his coach.

To the Whipman: "Yes, indeed. The sooner we depart, the sooner we arrive in Ravengro...whenever you and your fine vehicle are ready. What do you estimate our travel time to be and do you travel this route often? And...more importantly, since we will be together for some time, what should I call you? Your name, good sir?"

Viktor steps towards the coach, pausing to reach for the door, awaiting the whipman's response.

Rufus excuses himself quietly, reciting the Act of Defiant Retreat.

The carriage driver turns and squints, his tiny eyes hidden behind odd tinted glasses.

Whipman: "My name is Mister Raklav. You are Mister Nivorski. Ve vill be making two stops for rest and restock in small village of Oakhurst and then Mistdowns after border. Ve have other passengers to pick up as well but should make Ravengro right on schedule.

Viktor frowns slightly at the unexpected yet highly formal response from the whipman, thinking silently to himself: So, it is to be like that then with this man. I suppose there is some truth to the reputation of the Ustalavan folk afterall. Somehow I fear it will be a long journey ahead if this is any indication thus far.

Nodding formally to the whipman, Viktor smiles and bows in an attempt at proper etiquette.
Viktor attempts a Diplomacy skill check: 1d20+8; result = 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18.

To the Whipman: "A pleasure to meet you Mister Raklav. You may call me Viktor, or, Sir Nivorski, if your prefer and are more comfortable with formality. I am sure it will be a routine and expeditious journey and I defer to your skill and knowledge that far exceeds my own on this long passage. Truly, I believe I am in good hands. May I inquire as to what else you know about our other forthcoming passengers? Anyone or anything I should be wary or concerned of?"

Viktor opens the door to the coach.

Raklav bows

Mister Raklav: "I see you are more civilized than most in this backvard country. The other passengers' names are.. confidential unless you ask them yourself, vonce I have collected them. I do know that they are all part of the funeral train and that I have been compensated in advance for the delivery of you all to Lorrimor's home. Ve shall be on our vay if you are prepared."

Viktor looks surprised for the briefest of moments, before silently admonishing himself.
Thinking to himself: Of course. How could I be so naive. Silly of me to think that this coach was sent solely for me and that I'd be the only one going to the funeral. Of course the professor would have other friends and associates from this region. I wonder who they are. Unusual, the secrecy, but the professor was a fairly private man. Perhaps this may well be an interesting journey after all. Hmmm.

Returning his attention back to the whipman.
To Mr. Raklav: "I'll take that as a compliment Mr. Raklav. As for the others, no great concern, but I appreciate your candor. Very refreshing. Thank you. Well then, shall we be off?"

Viktor unhooks his sword belt and shield straps, then steps up and enters the coach. Gently resting his swordbelt, shield, and his pack on the seat across from him, Viktor turns and seats himself in one of the forward facing seats, finally closing the door afterward.

Thinking to himself in the solitude of the coach's interior: With several of us attending the funeral, I wonder...
Viktor lets the thought hang as he leans back and closes his eyes for a much needed nap.

The whipman nods and climbs up into his half-covered seat. As you climb in, it's obvious this is a well-kept luxury vehicle, if not a bit dark in decoration. After about a minute waiting, you hear the wheels creek as you start to depart.

Viktor actually gets some good sleep. It seems the carriage is built quite well and the ride goes smoothly. Smoothly, that is, until the holy warrior wakes to the sound of raised voices and realizes the carriage is no longer in motion.

The sound of a deep, stupid voice echoes from the road.

"Wif dat big cart there gots ta be some rich stuff inside!"

Then you hear Mister Raklav: "I'm telling you no good will come of you trying to get in, I'm carrying only books and candles, nothing of vorth. Besides, I can shoot you vhere you stand.

Shaking off the whisps of sleep, realizing the coach has stopped, Viktor listens momentarily to the conversation outside.

Thinking to himself: How long have I been asleep? Hmm. Bandits I wonder, or just fools with nothing better to do than harassing travelers on the road? It certainly sounds like my companion has things well in hand and can handle his own. A determined man that one. I like him! Still, best to check it out lest things get out of hand quickly.

Viktor reaches over to grab his swordbelt from the nearby seat, then moves to open the coach door. Standing on the coach step in case of sudden movement of the vehicle, he looks out, using the door itself as cover if need be. Scanning about, Viktor looks for the source of the delay, trying to discern numbers and location of anyone beyond...
Perception check = 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12

To Mister Raklav: "Mister Raklav, it seems you have managed to find some uninvited guests on our little journey. Indeed, while it sounds like you have things well enough in hand, I'd hate to see you waste your valuable ammunition on such rabble. Still, if you feel you need any assistance, just say the word. I've had an excellent rest, and could use a moment of brief excercise to drive off the stiffness of travel."

Shouted out to the antagonist: "You should listen to the coachman here friend, for he speaks truth. Little good can come of this course of action. You should reconsider your tone and action...quickly...and be on your way."

Viktor sees the terrain has become rocky and ahead of the carriage, which has now stopped, a large humanoid with pig-like features stands behind some rocks to the side of the road. The beast-man seems to be carrying a large metal bar.

Raklav is stoically holding a large crossbow aimed at the pigman.

Mister Raklav looks back briefly: "I think ve are in trouble.."

The brutish creature, having seen the door opened if not Raklav talking to Viktor, lets out a howling sound and moves to approach the carriage. The horses look ready to bolt.

Beast-like man


Still wary of ambush, Viktor readies himself momentarily by taking a deep and slow breath. As Raklav addresses him, Viktor steps down from the coach step at the anticipation of said trouble. Hearing the howling charge of the beastman, Viktor speaks softly to himself... "Very well, time to do some work..."

Glancing in Raklav's direction: "Mr. Raklav...stay put and do what you can to protect the coach and horses. Watch for possible others. I'll try to keep this one off of you."

Viktor readies for battle...
Rolling Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20

Beast-like man

Viktor acts quickly as Raklav keeps his aim..

Xabbu has found a good place to sleep and play his songs. For the past couple of days, he's waited for the carriage ride in relative comfort. It's late afternoon at the Quiet Moose tavern in the quiet town of Oakhurst and dinner was quite good. A tall figure wearing a large cloak enters the room, which was until now filled only with local men, farmers and miners.

Tov'Mei has been travelling for some time when he finally arrives at Oakhurst. He was instructed to await his ride to Ravengro at the Quiet Moose tavern, where the proprietor could offer a room and some potentially necessary privacy. Finding no other option, he walked into the small establishment to seek out Orin Grivens, the owner.

As Nathan walks down the rocky canyon road toward his destination, he hears raised voices past the intersection ahead:

"You should listen to the coachman here friend, for he speaks truth. Little good can come of this course of action. You should reconsider your tone and action...quickly...and be on your way."

Acting first in combat round #1, Viktor will take a move action and move his speed. His move takes him as follows on the map: H8, G8, F8, ending in square E8 for a total move of 20 feet (his armor encumbered movement). As part of his movement, Viktor pulls his sword from the swordbelt currently held in his left hand and is now wielding it in his right (his BAB is +1 or higher, so he can draw a a weapon as part of a move action). ((Yes, Viktor does not currently wield his shield which remains on the seat in the coach.)) Victor converts his remaining standard action to a 2nd move action and uses that to detect evil on the beastman (a move equivalent action). Viktor is done.

Moving out from the safety of the coach, Viktor moves down the edge of the road in the direction of the beastman, drawing his sword and staring deeply into the soul of the would-be bandit, attempting to unlock the secrets of the darkest evils within this creatures heart...

Viktor Speaks briefly: "You should have reconsidered..."

Xabbu strums his lute quietly in the corner with his back to the wall and facing the door. You never know when you need to make a hasty escape when your legions of fans come swarming into your current place of employment. He is ,and most days is, slightly drunk from his current life of leisure so his illusions of grandeur are slightly elevated.

Seeing the large man enter he sets his lute down and motions to the barkeep for another ale and perhaps a chunk of bread. He is cautiously watching the newcomer as he does everyone to see if he will be trouble.

The beastman snarls and hurls the bar at Viktor

Roll(1d20)+2 VS AC:

Then retreats in a straight line from C5 to C2, hiding behind a wall of higher rock just as Mister Raklav fires a bolt and misses. Viktor notices the creature seems to move in an odd, off-balance way.

Raklav: "I think ve are in even more trouble

Viktor can hear high-pitched yelling coming from behind the carriage.

(Nathan will see three small humanoids dashing toward a large dark carriage from behind.)

(the green circles are the small humanoids, Nathan is another twenty feet to the south of the map on imaginary tile P7)

Tov’Mei approaches the barkeep, being sure to keep hidden under the cloak, as he is all too familiar with reactions to his appearance in small backward areas.

Tov'Mei: Good day sir, I was wondering if you would know where I can find Orin Grivens? I was told to seek him out here and he would be able to provide my a room for a couple nights while I wait for transport to Ravengro?

Barkeep: Ravengro? Raveng…. Oh! You must be Tov’Mei I was told to expect you. You must be joining up with that Gnome over there, he’s already been here for a couple days, quite the ill-mannered little thing if you ask me, but doesn’t cause an issue and keeps people entertained. A room has been prepared I was told what you would be needing.

Orin hands a key to Tov’Mei and directs him to his room.
Tov’Mei looks over to the Gnome that Orin motioned to and sees him get up and approach…

Checks to remain hidden under the cloak: not sure if they're needed but figured I might as well include them in here.
Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Disguise: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22

Viktor narrowly dodges the flying bar of metal as it sails just over his shoulder, watching the lumbering beastman back away behind the rocky outcrop. Torn between the decision of pursuit of the beastman, or, attempting to cut-off and delay the more numerous group coming from the rear towards Raklav, Viktor takes the noble choice to try and protect the coachman from the more immediate threat.

Shouting out to Raklav:"Mr. Raklav! Keep your crossbow trained on this one up front here. Take him out if you can. I will try to cut off our new guests to our rear."

Viktor hustles around the front of the carriage and down the far side in an attempt to cut off the new combatants.

((OOC: I am assuming the beastman is evil, but you neglected to confirm or deny if that is true from the detect evil last round. :)
Viktor takes a double move (no action, double movement as a hustle) to move only this round. His movement takes him as follows: E7, E6, disagonal to F5 and then G5 (his first 20 feet of movement). His 2nd move action moves to H5, I5, and ending in J5 (an additional 15 feet of his maximum 20 feet). Viktor is done.))

Orin nods to Xabbu and a serving girl brings him some refreshments. She smiles at you before hurrying to wipe down a table.

None of the patrons or the serving girl notice anything other than Tov'Mei's abnormal height. It seems Oakhurst sees it's share of travellers.

(all of the assailants are evil...forgot to reconcile the detect evil yeah - )

Viktor sees there are three goblins, the two of them who remain unthreatened move and place a large metal bar through the spokes of the carriage wheel that could do some serious damage if it happens to roll. Upon seeing him, they look alarmed and the one who has only a small club in his hand leaps to attack!

Roll(1d20)+2 VS AC:

// g

Male Human Gunslinger

(( OOC - at the expedite the combat. (sorry I suck. I'll not be this tardy in the future) Nathan wants to run, double move and assuming the top of the map is NORTH.

I want him to run along the eastern side of the wagon, up what appears to be an elevation and leap from it, onto the wagon and drawing his pistol as he goes. I recognize that the distance might be too great and what I want to do might take two turns.))

((I'll add colour to the post once James gives me the go ahead that what I want to do is okay.))

Xabbu grabs his refreshments and walks up to Tov'mei. Hearing him mention that he is heading to Ravengro as well has got him wondering if perhaps he can persuade this large man to protect him from his legions of fans.

Good day large sir. I couldn’t help but overhear you are heading to Ravengro and by chance I am heading that way as well. You may have heard of me my name is Xabbu.

Xabbu looks around from side to side to make sure noone heard him say his name

Just try not to tell too many people or we could have a mob on our hands. And that there is why I request your assistance. You are surely aware that you are a large man with somewhat of a air of mystery about you? I am wondering if I could persuade you to work in my employ to protect me from my relentless fans. I would like to travel in peace you see as I am heading to a funeral and this should be a time of reflection. I could pay you generously for your service with either music or coin whichever you prefer. I myself think my music is worth more then the coin but thats up to you. What do you say sir?

((that shall require an acrobatics check, but should be doable since this'll technically be your second round))

Male Human Gunslinger

(( Roll(1d20)+4 - Acrobatics Check:
Total:18 ))

That is a success!

Beast-like man

Back to the top with Viktor next to act!

Viktor deflects the blow of the goblin's club, and follows up with a thrust of his own as he sidesteps to his left. Seeing the stranger run and leap towards the carriage, Viktor shouts out a warning to Raklav.

Yelling out:"Mr. Raklav...Look out for the newcomer coming at you! It may well be their leader!"

((OOC: Viktor takes a 5-foot step to move from J5 to J6, then makes an attack roll against the goblin in K5. Single attack with Longsword: = 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22, crit threat 19-20/x2. If it hits, deals damage = 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9. Viktor is done.))

As Viktor plunges his sword into the guts of the goblin, it lets out a gurgle, then falls down dead as the paladin swipes his weapon out to the side. The other two creatures share a knowing, frightened look for a brief moment.

Raklav lets out a triumphant shout after loosing a bolt, then a curse when he realizes he hit only the rock that the beast-man was hiding behind. As Nathan lands beside him, he shifts in the seat and holds up his crossbow defensively. "Who are YOU?!"

The beast man tosses a rock at Raklav but the whipman ducks and the rock SMASHES into the front of his carriage. The beast man hobbles out closer to the road. The two goblins yap at each other briefly and Viktor can tell they're afraid, but one goes around to the front of the carriage and the other tosses a small axe at Viktor and moves toward the rocks on the side of the road.

Roll(1d20)+4 VS AC:

OOC: Three small criticisms/questions to the GM.
First: it appears your map has changed. The previous map had the coach filling squares G6/7, H6/7, and I6/7. The new map has the coach filling squares F6/7, G6/7, and H6/7. Thus, unless I missed something, the whole carriage moved forward 5 feet? In retrospect, it appears the map lost the top row and gained a bottom row, thus the numbering/lettering system is different?
Second: you failed to update Viktor's position on the new map from the 5-foot step mentioned in my post (J5 to J6).
Third: shouldn't Viktor get a AoO for the Goblin moving out of J7 before he can move and then attack Viktor with the thrown axe? That was my intention with the 5-foot step over if the goblin was to move away (which he did).
Not trying to be a pain in the butt...just asking! :)

You're right - I re-made the map that I'd been editing in paint cause it was ugly, and did so before sleep. Wasn't paying attention. Take your swing sir!

OOC: Thank-you sir! I'll use the new map coordinates going forward.

Viktor will take the AoO on the goblin in square I7 before he moves away from Viktor. Note, that if the AoO does not hit, and/or the hit fails to kill the goblin, assuming the goblin's move and attack roll stays the same as before, his attack will strike Viktor (Viktor's AC without his shield currently is 16; but you probably already knew that)! Of course, should the AoO hit and/or kill the goblin, I guess it won't matter then! Either way, obviously, Viktor is done this round!! :)

AoO with Longsword: = 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20, crit threat 19-20/x2. If it hits, deals base damage = 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7.

Seeing the second goblin move away, Viktor sees an opportunity and slashes quickly with his sword at the fleeing creature...

Viktor's quick slash catches the goblin unaware and the creature falls down gurgling as it drowns in its own blood.

[Nathan is next]

Male Human Gunslinger

"Who are YOU?", was the question directed to Nathan by the wagon driver and he offered a confident smile as he responded.

"No one of consequence my good man...mind your ears." Nathan casually pointed his pistol at the unpleasant creature beside the wagon (square F8) and fired.

1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9 on Touch AC of the target. 1d8 ⇒ 8 DAMAGE on successful hit.

Nathan's shot misses the goblin, but as a fluke, hits the metal bar that the creature was in the process of sliding through the spokes of the wheel. The goblin is so shocked that the bar is bent and blasted out of his hands that he lets out a yelp.

Mr. Raklav simply looks stunned after the weapon discharges, having likely never seen such a display.

It is Viktor's turn now.

Hearing the explosive gun blast, and glancing over his shoulder, Viktor is relieved to see Mr. Raklav still standing, with a look of shock on his face that matches Viktor's own.

Thinking to himself about the newcomer: Well, he doesn't seem hostile to us at least, but that weapon, and, his lack of aim with it certainly is a concern. For the moment, he appears helpful...or at least not hostile...but looks can be decieving. Still...there is more pressing enemies around. I'll have to deal with him later.

Viktor recalls the large gangly beastman out front, and decides it best to take care of him next. Sprinting in a hustle around, the coach, Viktor heads for his chosen opponent, making a brief comment to Raklav and the stranger as he passes.

To Mr. Raklav: "Noisy one, isn't he Mr. Raklav? Watch yourself, but keep an eye on him."

To the Stranger (Nathan): "Your assistance is welcome and admirable...but if you intend us harm, you'll deal with me."

((OOC: Viktor will take a double move action (hustle). His movement takes him as follows on the map: H5, G5, F5, E5, D6, ending in square C6 for a total move of 35 feet (40 feet if C6 counts as rough terrain - either way, that is his double move speed). Viktor is done.))

Mister Raklav almost looses a bolt into Viktor's back but the shot misses and finds the nearby rocks.

The beast-like man snorts and tries to smack Viktor with a large, flat piece of iron it's holding.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 191d6 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8

The remaining goblin stands, stunned in the same spot, not knowing what to do.

It is now Nathan's turn.

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