|Goat the goat|
I'd be happy to, Oleg. You can call me Udoeak, or just Udo, if you'd prefer.
Udoeak puts his hand forward for a handshake once within acceptable range.
Whether the handshake is accepted or not, Udoeak will follow the others to the placement for dinner, drop his stuff where indicated, and prepare to eat.
"What note would that be, lady?" says Anwel, since the woman had spoken first. She had a round face with a button nose and a wide, full mouth, her hair tied up in a light brown scarf. The man, who Anwel felt secure assuming was Oleg from the woman's reaction, though he'd yet to state it for sure, had a broader, cleft chin and muttonchops, and kept his hair out of his eyes with a leather headband. His neckerchief was soaked dark in his sweat, both from his neck and from apparently having been used to wipe his brow.
"And what is your name? We know but a little about the folk who make their homes here, and most of what we do know is derived from the name of this place. Call me Anwel." Anwel does not comment on the possibility of food. He is not terribly hungry, and there is the awkward question - confirmed in its awkwardness by the fact that neither Oleg nor the woman has mentioned it either - of who would pay for it, and now much. Anwel intended to pay full value: the coarse fabric of the duo's clothing and the state of the trading post testified to more dire circumstances than they might like, and though the most generous folk in the world were those with the least, they should not have to live like this forever.
Khargol waits his turn before offering a hand to Oleg as well, though instead of grasping the other man's hand, he grips him by the wrist, giving it a single firm shake before releasing. "Well met, Oleg. We thank you for allowing us to rest here before continuing into the Greenbelt. And well met to you, as well. I am Khargol, servant of Abadar." he says, nodding his head in the direction of the woman he assumes to be Oleg's wife.
He then drops his backpack to the ground, leaving it against the inside wall of the fort near the gate they entered. "Food? Your hospitality is appreciated, sir, and while I am pleased to accept it, I also hope to be allowed to compensate you for that." he adds, returning to the group to wait for direction on where the group will be going to discuss whatever it is that needs to be discussed.
Bimbur's opinion of Oleg's changes drastically with the home cooked meal. He is beaming as he eats his food. Smiling to all he reserves his few words for the cook. "This good food leaves me in your debt."
Jeremiah stands up awkwardly, having trouble with his armor and his leg. He strides over to Oleg and offers a hand and a smile, saying, "I'm called Jeremiah. Nice place ya got here." Jeremiah is sincere; if what Khargol said regarding the fort is true, then this man must have worked hard to get the place in the condition it's in. Jeremiah takes off the heavy armor in the yard, and leaves it with his pack, glad to have it off. When the group settles in a bit, in between bites of food Jeremiah will start up first, "So, you said we 'ave some things to discuss, sir?"
|Garth the Gnome|
Garth's early complaints about the outpost forgotten he climbs up onto a seat next to the dwarf and tucks into the warm home cooked meal. Smiling with greasy lips he expresses his thanks to the cook and then slips a half -eaten insert appropriate fowl here leg under his chair for Dog to dine on.
The gnome turns to his right, reaches his left hand across his chest, flips his hand over so his palm is at least pointed in the direction for a shake and smiles. "We didn't get a formal introduction before. I go by Garth in these parts of the world."
After his quick introduction he stuffs another biscuit dripping with gravy into his mouth.
The woman turns and looks warmly at the elf, "Oh dear, I'm sorry. I guess my excitement got the best of me! I will be happy to explain this all over a meal. We have been in need of some help out here and it appears that finally one of our requests might be answered. Come inside, make yourself comfortable, and do not worry about paying me anything. We don't always get new company out here so a good story will go a long ways"
Oleg's face almost gives way to a look of relief in his eyes but it is quickly squashed when he says,"Yes, please enjoy but let's make sure we get don't get too comfortable. These lands are not as friendly to strangers as we are. One group in particular is making a large deal of trouble for me and my wife but as she said, we will discuss more over a meal.
Go on inside, I'll gather my tools then meet you there."
Oleg starts to walk back to where he was working.
The woman holds out her hand showing you the way to where the dinner will be served.
"One of your requests?" says Anwel, letting the woman, whose name he still did not know, drag him off to the right, to some long trestle tables standing by an open firepit. He takes a seat facing the fire, fearing his cloak would drag in the kindling. He turns his face to the woman, wearing a troubled, worried, expression. "You've sent others? And you've been ignored until now? This despite your husband, and thus the people in Brevoy to whom these requests are being sent, knowing who is making trouble?" Anwel really is troubled by the implications of this, that these people had been left to fend for themselves for so long. But he wants to distance himself from Brevoy, and he wants these people to know that if he and the others can help them, they are doing so as an independent group and deserve recognition as such.
Anwel, for the first time, looks at the food. There is a stew of mushrooms, barley, and venison, which smells as though it was cooked long before the meat had a chance to ripen. Anwel could have fixed it with a little magic, but he had neglected to prepare the spell. Maybe he could get Garth to season his stew properly for him. There is barley bread, leavened and insubstantial like a foam of gluten bubbles, though the crust looked thick and brittle. Maybe Anwel could get away with stripping away the insides and eating the crust alone when their hosts were not looking. Maybe his stew bowl would be a good place to deposit the discarded insides until they reduced to a thickener. The one thing that could go unaltered was the wine. Anwel could smell it even though it had yet to be uncorked, fruity and bittersweet.
Despite his planning, and despite some of the others' beginning to tuck in, Anwel will wait until they are all seated before he will start eating. In Nisroch, he always had to eat first, in case the cooks had poisoned the dish. Here he could eat with everyone else. There was wine. And he could help. That was something.
Following the others further into the fort, Khargol releases a slow breath upon seeing the open firepit near the long tables. It seemed that Oleg was preparing this place to receive more visitors when he got it in a bit better a shape...and why not? He WAS turning it into a trading post, after all.
After the others took a seat, Khargol joined them, waiting for Oleg to arrive and be seated before seating himself so that he could keep an eye trained toward the entrance to the fort just in case trouble should happen to rear its' ugly head. The meal that was before them was certainly not the sort that was served in the finest establishments, but before sitting down, he turned again to Oleg. "You have my thanks for providing us this meal. I am certain it will prove welcome fare after a long day on the road. It can help us all. Abadar's blessing upon you and your work to bring some measure of civilization to the Stolen Lands."
He ate just as the clerics in the temple of Abadar had taught him: with manners, with order. He wondered, with a flicker of amusement, how much experience the others in the party had with half-orcs. Not all his brethren were so controlled, this he knew. After he'd taken a few bites of his meal, he turned to look over to Oleg's wife. "This is indeed a worthy supper, Miss. Thank you for offering it to us." he complimented.
After receiving a response, he turned his attention back to Oleg. "Anwel is correct in his estimation, I think. It is disconcerting, at best, that the Swordlords have seen so little reason to provide support to this bastion against the wilds. Which group is it that is giving you troubles? Perhaps we could deal with them for you in order to repay your hospitality." he asked and offered.
Bimbur takes the offered hand of the gnome, and shakes it firmly. Speaking to Garth, he speaks quickly, "Bimbur at your service. I look forward to working with you. You bring a goat and a dog to the group too; that may be a good thing."
Bimbur speaks his few words to the group carefully, "This place is like many places I have been. It is great place, but not due to the buildings and walls, but the people inside."
Bimbur resumes eating with relish; glad for the change from dried rations.
It is best to let others talk of their problems on their own terms when they want to.
Sorry, I didn't see any updates for this game, or I would've posted significantly sooner.
Udoeak eats civilly and quickly, although he does not partake of any alcohol. After the meal, he begins talking.
Aye, thanks for the meal. Better than I've had in a good, long time. Now, let's hear a bit more about this troublesome group, so that we may easier prepare ourselves to eradicate them, if you don't mind.
The elves are usually the patient one.
Bimbur is amazed that so many different flavors are mixed together in his stew. At the monastery, cooking was such a basic affair.
Looking around the table, Bimbur speaks, "We were sent by Brevoy - that is more than enough."
I could have phrased that more diplomatically, but look at the group here. Even the lame one can probably help, there is some strength in him.
Anwel's food is getting cold in front of him, but since Oleg and his unnamed wife - did humans not name their women in this part of the world anymore? - have not started eating, Anwel has not touched a bite either. He puts a hand to his belly to pre-empt any of its reminders to eat. At Bimbur's proclamation Anwel looks askanse at the dwarf. That one was going to ruin his work!
"That is not exactly the case," he says, still trying to be diplomatic. "We were not drafted or chosen, but volunteered to come here. Brevoy presented the means, in the form of a writ, only." Anwel looks at the woman. "That does not diminish our goodwill or ability, just as, contrary to Bimbur's shorthand, our being sent by Brevoy would not prove either. But it should help you to know the truth." At this, Anwel's stomach did cramp and groan, reminding him that he was not telling, and could not tell, these people the whole truth. Anwel makes an effort to pass it off by looking wistfully at the food.
The woman straightens her clothing as she grabs a seat at the table. The smile from before still shines brightly from her face. Once all are settled in she takes the chance to speak, "Sorry for not saying earlier, but my name is Svetlana and I'm sure you have met my husband, Oleg.
We both are the owners of this trading post and, until lately, have enjoyed our stay out here. We like to think that we are far enough off from the main city as to enjoy some peace and quiet yet still close enough to partake in some of the conveniences."
Peering around, Svetlana sees her husband come closer to the table to join in. She defers to him to finish the rest of their story. "Oh here comes Oleg. I'll let him continue with our story while I go tidy up a few things."
The tall man takes a seat at the table and after looking around at all the people present starts talking as if he had been there for a while, "We both enjoy the life we have out here. We do not often see many people out here other than the occasional trader, hunter, or skinner. But lately some thieves have taken it upon themselves to "tax" us, if you will. This group comes around about once a month to grab a few items from us and then leaves. So far no one has been hurt but it is taking it's toll on my gold.
You might have heard that we have sent letters asking for assistance and this is what those letters would be for. These fools have plagued me for too long and I want the kingdom to do something about it! If I were a younger man, I would see to it that those bandits do not see another sunrise but unfortunately I have seen quite a few seasons.
You must understand my wife's excitement when she got word that assistance would be on it's way. We received word that a patrol would be dispatched to here to help with the problem and that a group of adventurers, most likely yourselves, would also be heading this way and that you could provide help as well."
Sitting back on the bench, Oleg folds his arms and stairs straight forward, not looking at anyone in particular. "Now I'd prefer that if you wanted to help, then help. Otherwise, if you feel that this is not something you want to take on, then please be on your way. These crooks should be here tomorrow and I don't need anyone getting into my way."
The man, not really waiting for someone to respond, finishes his statement then starts to eat his meal.
After a brief period, Svetlana comes back outside and addresses the group, "Please pardon my husband's attitude. He's been under a lot of stress with these bandits and it has really been quite the burden on us. He's really a nice guy!
But I must reiterate what he has said and if you don't wish to help, then I fear you might get harmed. These "exchanges" don't often times go on friendly terms."
Anwel nods his head in acknowledgement as Svetlana finally pronounces her name. He is more than a little perplexed by her re-introduction of Oleg. Of course we have met him! You introduced him to us yourself! he thinks. Maybe, he rationalizes, she is trying to imitate the inflections of the better-off to make a good impression. Anwel had seen Nidalese nobles introduce themselves to one another in such a manner at gatherings to emphasize their importance. But Svetlana and Oleg lived at the edge of civilization, they couldn't be concerned with putting on airs. It was at least heartening that Svetlana claimed part ownership of the trading post. Even if she and it bore Oleg's name, she at least did not consider herself chattel. Which, Anwel thinks, means I am in no position to judge.
Oleg's talk flows seamlessly from Svetlana's. He talks long enough for Anwel to finally begin eating. He cuts the large barley roll next to his tureen into finger-wide slices and cuts through the top of each slice's crust. He then peels the crusts off the insides and puts them in the stew. After a few moments some have sunk under the weight of absorbed broth, while others are buoyed up by clumps of barley grains or large pieces of deer meat. Anwel eats the peeled crusts like wafers, and spoons the stew from the tureen in the normal fashion. When he comes to a piece of bread, he cuts it into pieces slightly smaller than the typical venison chunk with the edge of his spoon, and continues eating. He reclines slightly to the right as he does so.
Passover was not too long ago, and it's still on my mind.
Anwel listens to Oleg's tale, and there is something about it that troubles him. It does not show on his face, for Anwel finds it both difficult and rude to make faces when eating, but those who look can see the tension in his shoulders and back, even under his cloak. "Tell me," he says mildly when Oleg finishes, "Have these thieves threatened you? You don't look like the kind of people who'd part with your wares under lesser pressure, but we need to understand your situation." Anwel does not feel comfortable at all buttressing the system of "you have what you hold". Violence or intimidation is another matter entirely.
Bimbur listens attentively to the words of his hosts. He calmly stands up and points to his exquisitely crafted composite bow.
"You have made your last tribute payment. Later you can explain where they come from so I can make some windage calculations and adjust my sights."
Bimbur sits and resumes eating.
As Svetlanta and Oleg's tale begins, Khargol continues slowly eating his food, mostly focused on the words being spoken. He chews thoughtfully on the barley bread, occasionally dipping it into the broth of the stew to let it soak up some of the fluids in the bowl before taking a bite of it once more. Once the story is finished, he waits for Anwel and Bimbur to finish, releasing a quiet huff at Anwel's trepidation.
"I am in agreement with Bimbur. I did not know of your summons when we came here, but I cannot abide thieves and lawlessness. If they are allowed to continue, there will never be a prevalence of order in the Greenbelt and beyond. It would be an honor to assist you in ridding the trading post of your extortioners."
"Confidence is a virtue, really it is," says Anwel to Bimbur but mostly to Khargol. His tureen empty and his place at the table clean except for a few stray crumbs that the wind will carry away to feed mice and voles, he stands up. He begins pacing between the longhouse Oleg was repairing when they came in, and a taller, squarer building that looked in much better shape. "But to proclaim your confidence at the expense of learning tactical data crucial to our self-appointed mission - for instance, how willing these thugs might be to actually use force if pressed - that is foolishness."
Anwel comes to a halt near the wall of the newer building, just where it casts its shadow. The edges of his face and hair, and his eyes, are silhouetted black, but the glow of the fire gives the rest of his face an eerie, red cast. "We still know very little. Their battle-readiness has yet to be spoken for, and on top of that we know not their numbers, nor their favored weapons and magic if they have it, nor the personalities and proclivities of any recurring characters, particularly leaders. If this were the Civil War I would have no problem ordering a retreat."
Having made his point, Anwel lifts his head and speaks directly to Oleg. "Fortunately, sir, this is not the Civil War, and time is on our side. Tell us more about our enemy, and you will get more than vague promises of help. Total indifference from Brevoy will not, I trust, have dulled a discerning mind like yours to the distinction between vehement exhortations and a full tactical plan."
|Garth the Gnome|
The gnome's eyes flick from person to person as he ponders what he's hearing. Oleg's words about the crooks keep rolling around in his head and he tries to remember if he's heard any specifics about thieves working in this area.
Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Stuffing a gravy-soaked piece of bread into his mouth, Garth chews quickly, swallows and then leans forward so he can get a better look at Oleg. "Oleg, seems like my traveling companions are up for standing with you against these brigands. Can you tell us about what we should expect tomorrow?"
I did not think orcs were this close to dwarves in temperament; maybe I have spent too many years sequestered. These surface elves are definitely different than the drow.
"Do or do not. Defend or withdraw. I say we defend, the tactical details can come later."
Jeremiah asks of Bimbur in a polite manner, "Couldn't the tactical details come now? I'm all for stoppin' these thugs, just as you are, but I agree that we should know more about 'em, so we can form a good plan. Cuz a good plan is what'll make sure we come out on top a tha' situation." Jeremiah muses on the peculiarities of the dwarf, thinking to himself, He's not just physically unlike other dwarves, he's different in his attitude too. I've never heard of dwarves being anything but careful and planning thinkers. I wonder if he was even raised among his kin or not? He then looks on to Oleg, waiting to hear more details of the brigands.
Udoeak soon begins speaking again, I'm not saying I don't want to help - I do - but Anwel's got the right of the situation. Before anything else can be done, we've got to learn as much as we can of the enemy. Any number of things could easily swing the tide of battle, including, as Anwel mentioned, the use of magic. Long story short, The most important thing we need is intelligence. Soon as we've got that, even if it's incomplete, we'll be in a much better position to make a decision."
Again, sorry for not posting earlier, I'd intended to, but got distracted.
As the others step up to voice their own concerns and ideas about the direction the group should be taken in, Khargol says nothing, simply sitting and listening. After Udoeak speaks, Khargol releases a breath, nodding his agreement.
"Despite my enthusiasm for assisting you, I do believe that the others have the correct view of the situation. Allow me to temper my ardor by agreeing with their position. It will do you no good if the brigands who come tomorrow are able to best us all. We may wind up the first of Restov's failed expeditions and you may lose more than your new trading post. Planning and preparation are, as the others say, essential should we wish to carry the day come the morrow."
"Any information you can provide about the bandits will prove helpful. Numbers, usual weapons carried, general demeanor, level of expertise. Anything."
Oleg turns to listen to each as they make their respective remarks. Both him and Svetlana make sure to pay close attention to all that speak.
You have made your last tribute payment. Later you can explain where they come from so I can make some windage calculations and adjust my sights.
I am in agreement with Bimbur. I did not know of your summons when we came here, but I cannot abide thieves and lawlessness. If they are allowed to continue, there will never be a prevalence of order in the Greenbelt and beyond. It would be an honor to assist you in ridding the trading post of your extortioners.
"Thank you both. I do not know either of you but I can see that you two are right and just. I shall finally be able to make my stand." Oleg's attitude starts to brighten up knowing that he might now stand a chance against the bandits.
He stops to listen to the elf as he talks.
We still know very little. Their battle-readiness has yet to be spoken for, and on top of that we know not their numbers, nor their favored weapons and magic if they have it, nor the personalities and proclivities of any recurring characters, particularly leaders. If this were the Civil War I would have no problem ordering a retreat.
He ponders a little on what was mentioned and then weighs in. My my! You guys never cease to amaze me with your generosity. Well, if information is what you need then please let me be of assistance.
When these attacks first started, the band that came around was easily 10 man strong. All came on foot and did not wear more than some tattered leathers although a few had armor better than others. I saw none that could wield magic; no one with markings or held anything that could be taken as magical in nature. Then again I never wanted to test them to see what they would wield against me. Most men carried sword and I saw maybe a couple carrying bow on their backs; none of which appeared to be excellent in quality, only common grade.
This was only at first, and after that encounter, their numbers have started to dwindle down. They must be getting more and more confident in their takings so they are reducing the number of men that are coming. If I would guess, I would say that we could see about 6-7 men, but that is only my guess
Garth here is what you know...
Oleg continues to listen to those discussing the possible tactics of the upcoming encounter. While he doesn't speaking directly to those that are planning he does wait for a lull in the conversation to interject his idea. "While I am not a combat veteran and have hardly seen any fights tougher than bartering in the market, I do not think these men shall be a challenge for all of you. You all seem to be very capable individuals so I'll leave this fight to those who can handle it."
Svetlana slowly starts to clear the table. She moves slowly as to not miss much of the conversation but stays out of it.
As things start to clear off, she returns to the table with 2 bottles of unmarked wine. She opens them both and pours them into glasses she has brought back to the table as well. Once poured, she starts to share them with the guests.
Khargol listens intently to Oleg's explanation of recent events, and at their conclusion graciously accepts the glass of wine offered him by Svetlana. Swirling the liquid in the glass, he stares intently down into it, waiting for everyone to be offered their own glass before he speaks. "Do they come in through the front gate, as we did? Or do they use some other means of entrance? Regardless, if what you say is the case, it is likely that their overconfidence will continue to work against them."
"It sounds as if whoever is leading this group of brigands sees you as no threat to them and believes that you will continue to be cowed by their presence, as evidenced by their use of mudane equipment and their dwindling numbers. I would be interested in hearing what everyone else has to say, but I do not believe it would be beyond the realm of possibility to set an ambush for whomever is sent to collect from you tomorrow. With luck and skill, we will be able to stop any of them from escaping to return to their base camp."
His opinion expressed, he takes a sip of his wine, letting the taste of it wash over his tongue.
Bimbur tastes the wine and is quite pleased at the vintage.
Monks drink more than people think.
"A toast to the defense of Oleg's. May your quiver never be empty."
It is obvious that even with his lack of social graces, nevertheless, the dwarf is sincere.
Jeremiah accepts the wine with a muttered thanks, and sips on it as he listens intently to the others. After Khargol states his opinion, Jeremiah says, "Let's not forget, if we take out the one group they may decide to come in 'ere more aggressively. If we're going to ambush this group, we need to be able to eliminate the rest as well, to prevent a counterattack. Oleg, do you have any idea of where their base camp is? If not, is anyone here a tracker?"
If Oleg doesn't know the location of their base of operations, Jeremiah suggests, "Perhaps we should not ambush them 'ere, but wait and follow 'em back to their base. If we could locate it and eliminate the threat all at once, it would minimize the risk to this place." To those who are perceptive of such things, Jeremiah's speech seems rather educated, at odds with his country accent.
"Six or seven might not be too many for us," says Anwel, "But ten or more, and there are likely to be more at their base camp, would be. Thank you," he says as Svetlana puts a glass full of fresh-poured wine into his hand. He cups the body of the glass in both hands and swishes the wine around once, smelling the aroma it gives off. It smelled like it had not aged much at all, even by the standards of wines bottled with human consumers in mind. Still, the smell, and taste, when Anwel took a sip, were pleasant, flitting over his tongue and down into his system like the memory of a brief romance.
"But I think, Jeremiah," says Anwel, continuing his interrupted train of thought, "you give these people too much credit. Oleg says they've come to see this place as easy picking ground. You can't be making too much money if they take your wares every month," he says to Oleg, more to show the man that he was taking proper stock of his situation than as an inquiry in need of confirmation. "If they keep coming back to a dependable, but dwindling, source of profit, they are the worst kind of coward, not even willing to take a risk to quench their avarice. Beat them off once, decisively, and they will not be back for many months at least. Their recruitment efforts will be damaged when tales spread of their defeat, and their camp, when we do find it, will be that much weaker, deprived of the men they lose here and the men they failed to recruit. Besides, if we let the bandits get away with Oleg's and Svetlana's goods, we will not have really fulfilled the promises we have just made."
Anwel crosses between the trestle tables and the large square building, coming to rest by the wall. He places his hand on the ladder. "As for our deployment, we should have at least two, maybe three people posted on the walls before they arrive. Probably Bimbur and Garth, since they will be less likely to be spotted from the ground as the bandits make their approach. If we remove the ladders, the bandits will have a hard time engaging them, and they can pepper the bandits in the courtyard with arrow and spell. If any try to run, Garth and Bimbur will be perfectly positioned to stop them.
"The rest of us will face the bandits on the ground. Two, perhaps Ser Richard and yourself, Jeremiah, should try to close the doors behind them. Khargol and Udoeak can do what they described for the rest of us on the way here. As for me, I must be in as dark a place as possible to be most effective, and if the bandits come in the morning, that means I must begin under the cart in the courtyard.
"Speaking of which, Oleg, if we are to spend the night here, do you happen to have a cellar?"
Listening to Anwel's assessment of the tactical situation, his eyes following the elf as he moves from the tables to the wall, then follows his words to the ladders. "Your plan is sound from where I sit, Anwel, though I must also express my like of Jeremiah's plan to leave one of the bandits alive."
"Perhaps instead of closing the doors to the fort entirely, we could leave them open just enough to allow one person through. We kill or otherwise incapacitate all but one, perhaps wound him, then let him run with the belief that he escaped. Then we can track him back to his base camp and there will be no question of where these thugs are bedded down."
You've got a pretty good mind for this sort of thing, Anwel. However, Jeremiah and Khargol are correct. We need at least one to return, to give knowledge that this is not some outpost to simply be taken from. If I may, however, I'd like to propose that Richard be up on the wall, and I down here to close the door, and then close on the assailants. The wall would be better for Richard, no doubt, and I'd be best starting from a point where I could meet you in the middle, Khargol.
Jeremiah listens carefully to Anwel's reasoning, yet still feels a lingering sense of doubt. If we beat them decisively, and they decide to burn down the place because it isn't worth the trouble... Yet he doesn't voice this concern. Instead he simply nods, accepting of the groups' decision. After all, Anwel might be right, though he does seem to be depending a lot on these people having a specific mindset when he knows precious little about them. Jeremiah speaks up to say, "Sure, I could close the door to get them surrounded."
Do they come in through the front gate, as we did? Or do they use some other means of entrance?
"They have always come in through the front gate. When they arrive, they make sure that we are aware of their arrival usually by some form of shouting. It is never a pleasant enterance"
Oleg, do you have any idea of where their base camp is? If not, is anyone here a tracker?
Oleg sighs after hearing this question. He wants to know where these bandits call home but sadly that answer has evaded him. Oleg says, "I am not sure of where they are based out of. They only mention as they are leaving that they will be back in a month's time. As far as a tracker goes, I am not one but there are a few that come here for shelter or for trade every so often.
Speaking of which, Oleg, if we are to spend the night here, do you happen to have a cellar?
"Let me say for you and as for your entire party, you are all welcome to stay here whenever you wish. You help with this problem is more than I could have ever asked a stranger let alone all of you.
As for your request my friend, I do not have a cellar but I have a storeroom inside my house if that could suffice."
Oleg and Svetlana sit next to each other and listen while the group continues their planning. Both of them are sipping on their glasses of wine and eating whatever remains of their dinners.
I shall wait for someone to say formally that the party is ready for the story to advance before I do so. I will be posting a better map for this plan shortly (you could use Anwel's map as well)
Sorry for the radio silence, I've been sort of burnt out on RP of any sort, and have also been distracted by a friend who's essentially moved in with me
In response to the plan:
"Yes, that will do quite nicely. Bimbur and myself would be fully effective atop the walls, and we would have sight of any who would flee. We wouldn't want them to alert whomever is in charge of our presence, not yet. When we appear at their throats to bring the sting of Justice to them, that is when. Though, are you certain that you wish to be directly at their backs, Jeremiah? You would have no legitimate escape route should they turn their ire on you."
Richard points with a bolt at Bimbur and Jeremiah as each is mentioned, placing it back in it's case after rapping it against his palm throughout his speech.
After above discussion:
"Your hospitality is much appreciated, Sir Oleg, and you will have our service in this, and any other attacks that may come again. Banditry will not go unpunished, you and your lovely wife will be safe." He places his right fist across his chest and over his heart, bowing his head as he salutes to Oleg.
Ready for advancement here when everyone else is.
Ready for advancement.
Bimbur takes his place on the walls, picking a good spot with ample fields of fire.
"They will be riding into a kill box. With surprise and magic both on our side, this should be a rout."
"Dick, there will be no time for them to go for Jeremiah. They should have their hands pretty well full with Khargol and I. I sincerely doubt that he will be on their minds."
Oleg, thank you very much for your hospitality, hopefuly, we will be able to repay you in kind.
Khargol removes a bedroll from his backpack, moving to one of the ladders leading to the top of the fort. "I'll sleep on the wall tonight. I assume we'll be waking well before these bandits arrive to prepare the trap. Are we going to attempt to keep one alive to follow back to their camp?" he asks the group.
When the question is answered, he quickly ascends the ladder, laying out his bedroll on the top of the trading post so he can fall asleep looking up at the stars on the clear night.
I'd assume we'd be awake well before they came, yes. You do usually have to be aware of the enemy to successfully pull off an ambush. Concerning the allowance of one to return, since we're split on the issue, why not vote on it?
Udoeak brings out his own bedroll, but before placing it anywhere, asks Oleg, "Do you mind if I use that cart out front while it's not in use? I roll around in my sleep and wouldn't want to wake up any others."
With meal complete, wine drank, and plan formulated, the group gets ready to settle down for the evening. It is not easy for all to get some rest knowing what tomorrow holds but they do their best. Spells are prepared, potions are cooked, blades are sharpened, and bows are strung to prepare for this event.
The evening comes and goes uneventfully with a cold air settling in during the night time making the grass sparkle with dew come morning. The sun starts to barely peek out beyond the horizon when the birds of the land start their morning songs. It all seems very peaceful in this section of the Greenbelt. It becomes easy to understand how the couple, Oleg and Svetlana, come to call this place home.
No one gets a great deal of sleep. When an enemy is known to be coming, no one can sleep well. Bimbur and Richard are both awake well before dawn, keeping their eyes fixed on the road that leads to the outpost. It doesn't take long before the two spot a group of men walking. They appear to be heading towards the output with almost an excitement in their stride. There are many discussions going on between the men as they approach with some of them even showing off their abilities with a sword.
The dwarf does his best to alert the others who are now awake and readying themselves for their fight. Peering out from their respective positions, the group watches anxiously as the group of bandits make their way up to the entrance of the outpost. One appears to be working as a leader when the group of men walk inside the fortress. He silences them with a wave of his hand and a quick remark, then he shouts out, "Hail Old Man! You have friends here that require some of your wares. Lets see what you have gathered for us and be quick about it."
The group of men start to look at each other with an evil grin on their face and laugh. Some even start to shout out for the owners as well. Upon hearing their shouts, Oleg and Svetlana walk slowly out into the opening, hanging their heads low.
They do not speak and only stand there in shame...
We are in a surprise round. If you wish to act then go ahead. I'll let this be a first come, first serve as long as no one objects.
Udoeak, too, votes to let one escape.
When they are about 100 feet away from the outpost, I would have popped my mutagen, gaining +4 to strength and +2 Nat AC. I had wanted to post earlier that I wanted to prepare my second extract for the day as Enlarge person, but never got around to it. If possible, I'd like to use that just prior to them entering, and just after using shield, staying crouched so my 13-foot tall self doesn't bust open the roof. I realize I'll have to squeeze to get out, but I'm just fine with that, as long as you allow me to have it prepared prior.
Udoeak does nothing for now, regardless of buffs. Not only are they not all the way inside, but the doors are also still open.
Khargol flattens himself against the wall of the fort as much as he can. He knows he isn't very stealthy, but he hopes that all the bandits will be so focused on Oleg and Svetlana that they won't notice the large half-orc doing his darndest to blend into the shadows, biding his time until they are all inside and the door is shut behind them.
Stealth: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5
Yikes. I hope these bandits are REALLY unobservant...
Richard sits on one knee on his wall-top roost, and aims his bow at the assumed leader of the group, the one who silenced the rest of the disgusting ruffians.
"You have been judged, and I am your punishment." With a near imperceptible whisper, he holds his finger firmly against the firing trigger, and waits for the rest of the group to take their actions.
Readying an action to fire at the leader, the guy in T14 I assume. If they raise arms to anyone or the doors are shut, the bolt is loosed.
Jeremiah stays as quiet as he can, not moving in his spot between the houses. A small gasp escapes him as the leader comes nito view for a moment, and his heart rate quickens as he mentally prepares for what is about to come.
Stealth: 1d20 - 6 ⇒ (2) - 6 = -4
Well, I guess the jig is up.
Jeremmiah accidentally kicks over a broom which was propped against the side of the house. The ensuing thwack against the ground is especially loud, and he curses under his breath. Realizing he isn't going to be hidden by remaining in his current position, he slowly walks out of hiding and looks to the brigand leader.
Move forward 5', full defense.
Numb the Shadowcountess for showing me the true way. The true way is uncomfortable. Anwel is hunkered down under the cart, acutely aware that he is pinned down and of the puddle of rainwater under his feet. Apparently it collected during the last shower and never dried, shielded as it was by the sun. The only good thing about this place was that it would let him draw another spell from his shadow. Anwel could feel it, sitting abreast of all the others in his mind, but also distant and apart. Out of the corner of his eye Anwel can see his own shadow, black against the gray-brown of the shaded ground, black with the spell it held. He will have to give it up soon, to cast it first, so that he can get out of this exposed position.
He hears Khargol's feet shuffling for purchase on the wall. A moment later, someone kicks over a broom and it smacks loudly against the wall of a building before thudding onto the ground. Numb it all! thinks Anwel. Even the bandits, their feet the only things visible, could hear something like that. Well, there's nothing for it. We're committed now. Anwel begins muttering the incantation that will draw the spell out of his shadow and wrap it around his body in a protective sheath.
Cast Mage Armor. Stealth to do it quietly: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
"Numb," if you're interested, is the Kuthonite version of "Damn". To dull sensation is to cut oneself off from the sacrament.