The 23rd of Erastus dawns bright and clear over the town of Borok, situated in the western Tandak Plains. (Map) Over Castle Borok to the south, golden pennants bearing the green gryphon of Baron Wylder flutter in the breeze. Between the castle and the town lies a riot of colour - dozens of pavilions and tents of all shapes and sizes cover the landscape. A large field of grass has been roped off, temporary stables have been erected, and both nobles and commoners from miles around have been arriving for days, for the Baron is hosting a tournament.
The town bustles with excitement as merchants pack goods onto wagons to ply visiting attendees with their wares. Bakers, butchers, and brewers work quickly to fill orders for filled-to-capacity inns, message boys run to and fro, and, for a price, the Abadaran Church offers blessings and healing for afflictions from the road. The Baron's men are seen on many a street corner, standing watch in case any visitors decide to be less than good guests.
You stride through the gaudily-decorated tournament grounds in exasperation. A quill-scrabbling clerk had the temerity to refuse your registration for the tournament starting this very afternoon - after riding all this way, too!
You arrived outside Borok last night, found yourself a plot of land near the tourney grounds, and set up your tent there. This morning you fed Lanfarness and went to register - supposedly to set up 'proper' pairings, with no up-jumped commoners jousting against true nobles in the first rounds, though you suspect it's just because Taldans don't feel comfortable unless there is an undue amount of bureaucracy involved in something. You were directed to a small tent full of scrolls, staffed by a short, balding man at a creaky portable desk - and that's when the trouble started.
The son of a peasant first misspelled your name, squinted at you suspiciously when you corrected him, grunted dismissively at where you hailed from, then smirked self-importantly when he discovered you had no squire. Never mind that you've been working with horses since you could walk, or that you are fully capable of carrying your own heraldry, or that you know nobody in this hot, sweaty town - "No squire, no entry," the clerk repeated, as if that mantra warded common sense from his idiot brain.
Dozens of people have already begun arriving from the town, villagers and travellers alike. The common folk give you a berth as you walk, though a group of travel-stained men in leathers give you an appraising look. You peg them as bodyguards, or perhaps wandering adventurers. A harsh glare in their direction is enough to make them move out of your way - they must sense your irritation. Making your way to a brewer's stand, you drop a pair of copper coins on the counter and grab a watery beer. Continuing your walk, you return to your tent and the shade inside. Given a moment to cool off, you decide this trip may be salvageable - surely someone here would be willing to hold a flag and pass you a lance or two. If you need a squire, a squire you will find.
Setting out once again, you untie Lanfarness and take him to the stables. Heading back to the brewer's cart, you find that a large tent has been erected to shade the people from the hot summer sun, and a good half-dozen carts have joined the first stall, all offering food and drink. Your eyes scan the assembled attendees, looking for someone who looks capable enough to suit your purpose.
A lanky man standing alone draws your attention. Your practiced eye notes his fine armor, a bow across his back, and a longsword at his side. The wear on the hilt of sword indicates that he has some skill in arms, and the holy symbol on his neck informs you that he knows how to serve. Yes, this man may be just what you need…
Please post under spoiler tags for now, labelled ‘Kaid’an and GM’ or just ‘Kaid’an’. I read all the spoilers anyway.
It is late morning when you and Farlan draw near to the town. Stopping a few meters from the gatehouse, Farlan gives a gentle sigh. ”This, my dear, is where our paths diverge. From here you should be able to begin your search. The land of Taldor is vast, but those Desna touches tend to gain some measure of luck. It may take time, but I am certain you will find the boy you seek.” You remember the dream: always the same three figures - boy, man, and shadow - though the precise forms change. You remember the nearly teenaged D’zarra, spinning a dagger in his fingers with a crown marked on the pommel. You remember the mark drawing your attention as it spun in D’zarra’s hands, and Farlan telling you it was the mark of the Empire of Taldor, that it was a sign providing direction.
Farlan ruffles his bear’s fur, and the movement brings you out of your momentary reverie. ”Beor and I must return to our stewardship of the forest. We do not belong in the world of crowds and artifice.”
Farlan looks into your eyes, and takes one of your hands into his. ”Farewell, daughter of starlight.”
With that, Farlan and Beor leave you.
You enter the town and ask around at the inns for any sign of D’zarra and his mother, but to no avail. One innkeeper suggests that, while a mother and young child might not be the type to travel to a tournament, perhaps other attendees may know. After all, they come from a fairly wide area of countryside, and having them all in one place could make your job easier.
Taking his advice, you head to the tournament grounds. A nearby pavilion, large and full of people, draws your attention as a good place to start. The canopy overhead provides shelter from the hot noon sun, and multiple carts and temporary stalls are selling food and drink. The overall atmosphere is one of merriment and anticipation, as spectators and contest hopefuls alike await the start of competitions this afternoon.
As you take in the room, a gloved hand firmly, yet not roughly, grasps your shoulder. Turning, you see a group of four men wearing worn leathers, the leader still holding on to you.
”’Scuse me, miss,” he opens, his expression not quite a smirk. ”I hear yer lookin’ fer a half-elf baby. I think me mates an’ I should have a talk with you.”
The other three men shift a little closer, beginning to move to your sides. The leader’s eyes narrow slightly and his mouth becomes set.
”Do the words ‘Dark Brothers’ mean anything t’ya?”
You now notice the swords and clubs hanging at the mens’ belts, though from what you can see all of their hands are still empty - aside from the one that remains clamped on your shoulder.
Put your replies in spoilers for now, please, labeled ‘GM’, ‘GM only’ or some variation therof.
You arrived at Borok yesterday as dusk was closing in. While looking futilely for an open room in an inn, you find a baker struggling to drag a handcart with a broken wheel. You aid him in carrying the cart back to his bakery, and in return the baker, introducing himself as Garren, allows you to stay the night in his shop once he hears of your difficulty. ”That’ll be the tournament crowd filling up all the rooms. Good for business, though,” he confides. ”It starts tomorrow, and once I get this busted cart fixed up right, I’ll be taking my goods there to sell.”
The following morning, Garren sets about baking fresh bread. He asks if you’d be willing to give him a hand hauling the cart to the wheelwright, and offers food and a place to sleep for the tournament if you help him move his goods each day. You agree, and assist him as he gets the cart repaired, loads his bread and pastries, and hauls it to the tournament grounds.
On the way, he shares a little more information about the tournament - the big event is the melee, where dozens of knights fight with blunted weapons, though the jousts are growing in popularity every year. Most of the nobles have stopped entering in the more dangerous melee, and the crowds love to see the upper class get knocked on their rears. Contests of magic always impress as well. Taking note of your bow, he mentions that the archery competition is open to all, and the winner takes home a good bit of coin.
Arriving at the grounds, Garren finds a place near a few other purveyors of food and drink, under a pavilion that shades the merchants and their customers from the hot summer sun. You finish helping Garren and he rewards you with a tasty meat pie and a reminder to come back later.
Picking up a tankard of ale from an adjacent stand, you eat your lunch quietly, but before you get a chance to look around the tournament grounds you notice a man striding purposefully towards you. He slips through the crowd easily enough, his bearing noble yet powerful. He seems to be looking you over with appraising eyes, and moments later he has arrived…
Please post under spoiler tags for now, labelled ‘Mihail and GM’ or just ‘Mihail’. I read all the spoilers anyway.
You arrived in town yesterday, following news of a tournament to be held here. You figured that such an event would attract the wealthy, the powerful, and the skillful - ideal pickings for companions to aid your righteous quest. Barely managing to find a room in the packed town, you go to bed early to sleep off the fatigue from your travels from Cassomir, where you left the ship, to Borok, 100 miles inland.
This morning you broke your fast in the common room of the inn, then headed out to the tournament grounds. You wandered a little, finding information about the events and watching people set up. Lists were erected for the jousts this afternoon. You find the tournament is planned to last three days, and the events will include staff fighting, archery, wizardry, tale-telling, riddling, and drinking, in addition to the jousts and melee.
Around noon, you head back over to a large pavilion that was erected over a group of food and drink carts. You purchase a simple lunch and rest in the shade while you eat. Suddenly, you notice a bit of a disturbance to your right - a group of four men in travel-stained leathers push their way through the people in the pavilion, nearly knocking over a figure in robes. They do not seem to notice, and continue on until they reach a lone woman. One of the men grabs her shoulder and begins talking, while the other men spread out around her. From their stances you read aggression, though while they carry blades and clubs at their waists, none of the men draw a weapon. They are approximately 15 feet from your position, through a crowd of people.
Please put your replies in spoilers for now, labeled ‘GM’, ‘GM only’ or some variation therof.
You wandered into town a week ago. Initially intending on just passing through, you heard word of an upcoming tournament the baron was hosting. Having never seen something like this, you decided to stick around and see what all the fuss was about. The locals seemed disproportionately excited about having their town flooded with strangers and watching men in metal suits hit each other with sticks, but perhaps it is just something that is difficult to explain well.
The inn gets more and more crowded each day as more people flood into the city. All week you learn what you can about the coming event. Lords from across Taldor are expected to be in attendance, though they don’t usually participate much themselves - rather, their knights and retainers compete as proxies. Common folk are allowed to participate in most of the side contests, including archery, staff fighting, wizardry, tale-telling, riddling and drinking. The main events, which must be registered for, are the joust and the melee.
Finally, the first day of the tournament arrives. Registration and set-up is happening in the morning, with the first of the jousting in the afternoon. You leave for the tournament grounds near noon and wander around a bit to take it all in. The melee field is in the center, with lists to the south. Tents are arrayed haphazardly to the east, where competitors are camped. A large temporary stable houses nearly a hundred horses, guarded by Baron’s men. To the north are large tents, bustling crowds of commoners and merchants hawking all sorts of goods and services. As you walk through the crowds, you see entertainers drawing audiences with dance, song, and flashy magic.
Your stomach reminds you it is nearing lunch, so you amble over to the great pavilion that shades ten or so carts offering food and drink. Glad to be out of the sun, you start to make your way to one of these when a group of four men in worn leathers push by you, almost knocking you down. You shout indignantly but they seem to pay no heed as they work through the crowd until they reach a lone woman about ten feet away from you. One of them grabs her by the shoulder while the others begin to fan out around her. You see weapons on the mens’ belts, but they don’t appear to be reaching for them - at this point they are only talking.
Please put your replies in spoilers for now, labeled ‘GM’, ‘GM only’ or some variation therof.
Andaris notes the aggression of the men and the rude disregard they showed toward the robed figure.
Andaris is making a sense motive check to tell whether the men are approaching the woman with good or bad intentions.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25
If the result shows any non-good intention, Andaris takes the following course of action
He feels that their approach brings immediate danger upon the lone woman, and so quickly thinks of a way in which to intervene and provide relief to the woman without furthering their hostility.
With nothing clever coming to mind, Andaris decides to be bold and forthright. Leaving his warhammer and cestus in his pack, he steps purposefully and quickly through the crowd towards the group of men.
Andaris then firmly demands of them, "Good day travellers, state your business with this woman or step back and allow her to pass freely."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
|Mihail Dan Razvan|
”Greetings, my fine man. My name is Mihail Dan Razvan, of the Ustalavian Dan Razvans, and I was wondering if you could assist me in a small matter.”
Mihail pauses to buy the still-as-yet-unnamed man a drink from one of the nearby stalls, as all good business is accompanied by a good drink.
”My problem is that these bureaucratic busybodies involved with the tournament registration demand that I have a squire, despite the fact that I am perfectly capable of seeing to all the duties that might fall under a squire’s purview. However, these lackadaisical scribes have decreed that I need a squire in order to participate in these festivities. Bah!”
Mihail punctuates his distaste with a swing of his hat and scratches his black goatee to relieve the itch caused by the sweat of the heat of the day. Maybe that would teach him to buy a black hat, but he still maintained that it was a good purchase.
”Do you think you could assist me? I would only need you to hold a lance or two, and carry my heraldry. I can pay you up to twenty percent of what I earn in this tourney. In return, I can offer you a berth in my tent for as long as you agree to be my squire. Oh, and even if you do agree to accept this position, you are not to touch Lanfarness, my horse. I will see to his every need, just as I have from the day he was born. Other than that, we should be fine. Any questions?”
You have a feeling that the men are acting in a threatening manner - the one grabbing her shoulder seems to be holding on tightly, preventing her from running off or making movements without him noticing.
You slip past a group of townspeople eating and draw the attention of the men with your declaration.
From the corner of your eye you see another man approaching. He seems unarmed and unarmoured, though he moves with a determined stride.
He stops in front of the group of men and firmly demands, "Good day travellers, state your business with this woman or step back and allow her to pass freely."
The leader turns his head at the intrusion, looking the newcomer over.
"Who're you, and what d'yer innerupting us fer? We's just havin' a nice talk with the lady here, asking a simple question. She's been lookin' fer somebody, an' we reckon we know a thing or two."
He doesn't move from his position directly in front of the woman, but his hand does release her shoulder as his arms drop to his sides.
"Howzabout you leave us alone, and mind yer own business?"
One of the men slowly sidles behind the newcomer as the leader speaks.
You two can now post under spoilers for each other. I read all the spoilers, so don't worry about including my name as well.
The man honestly seems to want an answer, though his actions seem a little suspicious. You are unsure whether or not he actually is willing to help.
The man is trying to hide his true motivations. His offer for help may be a lie, or a convenient truth to disguise his intentions.
As you watch the men talk to the woman, another man walks up. He seems clearly unaffiliated with the leather-clad men, appearing totally unarmed and unarmoured. The hubbub of the crowd prevents you from hearing their words clearly, but the newcomer seems to interrupt the brutes in leather, who begin talking to him in return. You notice the leader take his hand off the woman's shoulder, and one of his goons slip behind the newcomer.
Andaris carefully observes the leader's expression and body language as he speaks.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
He notes that the man's supposed interest in helping the woman is far from genuine. Ignoring the ruffian behind him, Andaris steps up next to the leader and adopts a martial stance.
Andaris is readying a stunning fist strike against the leader should he attempt to draw a weapon or grab the woman.
Warily facing the leader Andaris speaks, "It seems to me that all you are looking for is trouble, traveler. Know that I am now protecting this woman, and that any further hostilities towards her will cause swift retribution."
Andaris then addresses to the woman, "Dear lady, may I provide you with an escort from this pavilion? I fear these ruffians do not have your best interests at heart."
Gonan gets closer and tries to overhear the commotion around this woman. He moves to the nearest stall to hear better, and if that fails he will read the lips of any that are facing him.
I wonder why this man is getting involved...
You move closer, the men seeming to ignore you. From here you are able to catch the words of the newcomer:
"It seems to me that all you are looking for is trouble, traveler. Know that I am now protecting this woman, and that any further hostilities towards her will cause swift retribution."
He then addresses the woman, "Dear lady, may I provide you with an escort from this pavilion? I fear these ruffians do not have your best interests at heart."
You are close enough now you can see and hear what's happening - you can read Iluna and Andaris spoilers from here on.
|Kaid'an The Paladin|
Kaid’an puts down his drink and politely bows to the unexpected Knight. Impressed by his openness and his black hat.
”20% is a most kinda offer my good sir.
Kaid’an slowly rises his head giving the stranger a good look bottom to top.
Kaid’an uses detect evil, I am assuming he detects no evil
”I have a preexisting arrangement with a local baker named Garren but he only needs my help bring in and out his goods. The rest of the day I am yours my good sir. The bond between an man and his steed is a powerful one that I will not come between. I will not touch your horse but I do hope to meet him someday. He must be a majestic animal. I will care your lance and your heraldry.
Kaid’an holds out his hand, waiting the conformation shake.
I trust this job will give me a good seat to watch the tournament, no?
Iluna is paralyzed with indecision. Thoughts race rapidly through her mind: These men know about the Dark Brothers and Dzarra. Perhaps they can help me find him. But this other stranger who seems to have approached without cause, he claims that I am in peril. From what threat? True I have no trust for any man woman or child that may claim affiliation with the Brothers, but these men offer me aid. I do not trust this new stranger. He acts on impulse and is offensive to these men.
Without waiting for a reply Iluna returns her attention to the leader of the group and addresses them all. It takes a Brother to know a Brother. This is the first of many things that are known about the Dark Brothers. I am curious then. What you would come to me for? What do you wish to know about them that I would know and you would not? Besides, I left them. The Dark Brothers are all heretics who hang blindly on the words of a few power-hungry madmen.
Iluna continues. It is not a secret that I am looking for a young boy and his mother, who were once affiliated with that cult, though I have neither seen nor heard news of them for many days. I would be grateful for any news you can give me, or any clue as to where I might find them.
Andaris hesitates, but decides to try another tack, whispering softly to Iluna.
"Milady, I have had little time to earn your attention or trust, and so I cannot insist on your fleeing these dangerous men. However, I urge you to treat carefully with them and guard your tongue in their presence. I do insist on remaining here to guard you as my conscience will not allow otherwise."
You notice the leader exchange a look with one of his men before turning back to Andaris and smiling nastily. "See, the lady wants ta talk to us. Why dontcha shove off an' let us chat. "
He looks at Iluna, smile becoming almost courtly. "Now, lady, come with us somewhere a li'l more private, so's we can talk without listenin' ears. We got a tent just over that way," he gestures behind him with a thumb, "in the public camp."
Smiling she returns her attention to the man. Of course we should speak in private. Lead us to your tent.
Clearly discontented with this turn of events, Andaris grunts an affirmation to Iluna, acknowledging that he will accompany her despite thinking the decision unwise.
Andaris takes a look around the room before heading out, searching for further signs of danger or observers who may have witnessed the exchange.
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
Andaris sees the man in the robes, which the travellers had rudely brushed past earlier. Andaris notes the man's spell pouch; 'good, a wizard,' he thinks, 'perhaps he can help us.'
Andaris mouths soundlessly toward the onlooker, Danger, please follow quietly, hoping that the man recognizes the danger Andaris and the woman are in and decides to help.
I'll follow you both, whisper if you need help. he says under his breath.
He follows the group at a distance, while searching his memory about the dark brothers. What might they want? What might she know? Why did she leave?
K local: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
You seem to recall hearing the name 'Dark Brothers' in connection to a travelling religious group trying to spread the faith of Razmir, the Living God. The name didn't seem to make much sense - Razmir has no connection to darkness, the night, or anything similar.
The man and woman leave the tent, escorted by the four leather-clad men. They head towards the camp set up to the east and begin weaving through the erected tents. You think you managed to stay unnoticed until the leader finally stops at a pair of identical two-man tents. He turns and begins speaking to the woman.
Roll me a stealth check and a perception check, please.
You are no longer close enough to see and hear everything that's happening, so no more reading spoilers for Andaris and Eluna.
The leader gives a nod, and turns to lead you out of the food tent.
Andaris catches a glimpse of the robed man pulling a piece of wire from the pouch at his waist, then muttering and gesticulating. Moments later, both Andaris and Iluna hear a male voice whispering, "I'll follow you both, whisper if you need help." The leather-clad men don't seem to have heard. You follow the leader out - one of the men stands on your left, while the other two are following behind you.
The men lead you through a maze of tents of all shapes and sizes. You arrive at a pair of identical two-man tents, where the leader turns around and stands with his arms crossed. There don't seem to be any other attendees in view. "So," he begins, speaking to Iluna. "Ya said you were one o' the Dark Brothers, eh, but not anymore? Sumthin' happen to them?" The other men stay where they are, keeping you surrounded.
You hide behind a tent that lets you see the group, but it is too far away to read lips and you are unable to make out the words of the quiet discussion. You don't push your luck by trying to get closer - the leader is facing your direction, and would probably see you.
You are roughly 40 feet away from the closest man.
Iluna replies to the man, feeling slightly uncomfortable with his line of questioning. I was part of that group for a time. One of the cult leaders, Daerion, took me in and have me a place among them. They were like family to me. But there was an incident... A woman came the brothers carrying her child who she claimed was demon possessed. Daerion, instead of offering to help her, decided to bind her and keep the child for study. I could not stand by and watch, and so I helped to free the mother and her child allowing them to escape. But I feared Daerion would be furious and so I ran to escape his wrath. Since then I have been searching for the child to see if there is some way in which I might help him and his mother.
Bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
Iluna's answer seemed to catch the man off-balance, and he seems unsure how to proceed.
In fact, his actions seem to indicate that he is serving another, but his orders did not cover present events.
The woman speaks for a minute, the words indistinct. The man stands for a moment, then makes a short reply.
Not much to do right now except wait and watch.
|Mihail Dan Razvan|
Well, he’s a bit more flamboyant than I expected, and he did not give me his name, but that will likely be solved by our trip to that thrice-bedamned scribe.
”Shall we be off to the registrar, then? If we have to go through all this malarkey to participate, we might as well get it over with. The tent is about twenty minutes’ walk that way, so watch your pockets. You can never tell just what kind of mischief is being perpetrated at a tournament like this.”
Mihail shifts around, getting a good look at the bustling herd of people around him, taking his own advice. One can never be too careful in a place like this. Prudence is the better part of valour, after all.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
|Kaid'an The Paladin|
Kaid’an polls back his hand, insulted that his new knight didn’t shake it. Well if this knight turns out to be a dud then he will have to find something else to do. The pull of possible glory is to high so he will put up with this rude man, for now.
“Are you expecting trouble, sir? Also I don’t know where the resignation tent is so you will have to lead but please give me one minute to finish my meal.”
Kaid'an quickly finishes off his food and downs the rest of his drink, ignoring Mihail's paranoia. He can't help but wonder what trouble he has just gotten himself into and if he should have held out for 30%.
Mihail leads the way back to the registration tent. The clerk forces the two of you to go through the full registration process, despite the fact that Mihail had nearly completed it just an hour ago.
With a sullen glare, he passes you a schedule and recites dully, "The first of the jousts will be this afternoon. They will continue tomorrow afternoon and the morning the day after. You are eligible to enter the melee on the third day of the tournament - both you and your squire may participate. Speak to a herald for more information."
With that, he turns back to scribbling at his squeaky portable desk, completely ignoring your continued presence.
The schedule lists the following events:
Preliminary Joust - Southern Lists
Tall Tales - Refreshments Tent
Riddles - Refreshments Tent
Archery - Archery Field
Wizardry - West Field
Jousts - Southern Lists
Staves Tournament - Western Field
Drinking - Refreshments Tent
Final Jousts - Southern Lists
Melee - Melee Field
Kn: Local: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (2) + 0 = 2
...but nothing seems to come to mind.
Andaris whispers to the robed wizard, 'Have you heard of the shards of darkness? These traveller's are asking after them.'
While waiting for a response, Andaris decides to proceed with what information he currently has. The evil-sounding name causes Andaris to become even more suspicious than he previously was. 'Nothing good could come from objects called shards of darkness, I'll have to pay close attention to these traveller's motives.'
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Andaris gets the sense that the man is not asking on his own behalf, but for another. He thinks it peculiar that the woman's answer has thrown the man off balance.
Andaris decides to run with his assumption that the shards are of an evil power and asks the travellers, "What purpose brings good men of the realm to ask after the Shards of Darkness?".
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
The term Shards of Darkness seems familiar - you remember reading an account of them in a book of magical artifacts. Aside from the very poetic name, the text did not have much information. You recall that they are said to look like shimmering splinters of blackest night, and that nobody knows exactly how many there are - though the number is likely in the dozens. It is unknown what magical properties they have, though they seem to radiate strong magic.
The leader turns, bristling at Andaris's interruption.
"This don't concern you. We just need an answer from the lady. Tha's all."
Iluna gauges the man's response.
Sense motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
The man appears puzzled by her answer, but whether it is because she has given away too much or successfully hidden the truth she cannot tell. She decides it is best to stay on the course of guarded response rather than answer directly.
She says to the man I know only that they are said to be artefacts of great power. Of what nature or form they take I know not. The Dark Brothers sought them, though I know not why. To my knowledge, none has ever been found.
bluff: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
The leader squints and nods slowly as you finish. "Alright missy, thanks a bunch. Now, there's somebody ya need ta meet. He knows about the Dark Brothers, an' knows about that baby yer lookin' fer."
He looks over at Andaris. "You'll have ta lose the thug, though. This guy don't like strangers."
A slight smile tugs at the man's lips as he says the last sentence, which is strange given the statement. Unsure of what he derives amusement from, you suspect that something is off about this 'guy'.
You notice a slight pause before he mentions the baby - you think that he may be lying about that detail.
sense motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Iluna notices the man's strange verbatim and sly look. For whatever reason, something seems off about his mannerisms and she gets the strong sense that he might be lying. Perhaps they were just drawing upon her desire to find the baby boy, using it as leverage. Iluna is both curious and appalled. Curious as to whom these men may be working for, and appalled that she once again very nearly was taken advantage of by men whose intentions were far from honourable.
Iluna decides she must resolve this mystery. She leans over to whisper to Andaris I do not trust these men, and I suspect their words are but lies, but if there is any shred of truth in what they say I must see this through. Just follow my lead.
She then says to the man, in as dignified a voice as she can manage. My friend here will not be trouble. We can see your man together... Or not at all.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25
The man stares at you for a few seconds, and you hold his gaze unflinchingly. "Arright," he says, breaking the silence. "Have it yer way. Both of you together."
Roll perception checks please.
You hear the men behind you step close to you.
You may act in the surprise round. Roll initiative and post your first action.
You see the thugs behind the man and woman pull saps from their belts and move in to strike.
You are 40 feet away. You have enough time to warn them with your message spell before combat starts. You may act in the surprise round. Roll initiative and post your first action.
On the bus then busy for a bit, so sorry if its rushed
Andaris is taken aback by the woman's sudden change of heart towards these men, just when they were beginning to convince him that they may have something meaningful offer her, despite their vile mannerisms.
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
I don't hear a thing! If Conan the barbizard is able to alert me I'll act in the surprise round.
Andaris unleashes a stunning strike at the leader, enraged that these men would betray the trust of the woman and break the peace at a well-attended festival.
unarmed attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14, damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
On hit: DC 18 fort save on stunning fist.
Andaris takes a(nother) swing at the treacherous leader.
unarmed attack: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10, damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
unarmed attack: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5, damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
On first hit: swift action to deliver madness to the leader (+2 to skill checks,-2 to saves and attacks)
initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
Watch out, saps coming out behind you.
Gonan casts a snapdragon firework to go around the nearby tents and explode above the group of people.
about 50 ft above their heads
Gonan pulls out his crossbow and loads it, but waits to see if the bandits will still attack after the firework. If they attack, he fires his crossbow into the bandit nearest Iluna.
crossbow: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 161d8 ⇒ 1
Leaving the registrar's tent, you are about to head off when, behind you, a crack and a flash of light erupts 50 feet above the ground. The sounds of fighting reach your ears, coming from underneath the firework, behind some tents. The light and sounds seem to be about 60 feet away.
Andaris hears Gonan's warning and, looking around, sees the men drawing weapons and preparing to fight. Andaris calls out loudly, hoping to draw the attention of nearby festival attendees, "Help! Thieves! Vagabonds! Help!"
Steeling himself, Andaris prepares to fight! For all his years in a great monastery, his combat training is limited to a short period, less than a decade!, in Chu Ye fighting with rebels against demonic overlords. Feeling woefully unprepared, Andaris summons his courage to do the right thing and defend the lone woman (and himself), from these cunning ruffians.
Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Swifter than the strike of a mantis, Andaris lashes out with his fist towards the foolish ruffian threatening the woman. Andaris aims to stun the man and prevent him from drawing his weapon against her.
Surprise round: Unarmed attack with stunning fist (DC 18 fort) aimed against 10B.
Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21; Damage: 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10.
Andaris, hoping his voice betrays none of his fear for the coming combat, speaks to the woman, "I am Andaris of Tian Xia. Fair maiden, who fights at my side?"
|Mihail Dan Razvan|
”Well, I was hoping to test your mettle tomorrow, young ranger, but it looks like the fates have conspired against us.”
Mihail shifts his favourite Black Dragonhide hat into a more secure position on his head, and draws his shield. With a deep breath, he raises two fingers to his lips and lets loose a piercing whistle. ”TWEEEEEEEET! Ho, Lanfarnesse!”
The great grey Destrier bolts around the tent, clattering to a stop at Mihail’s feet. The stalwart horse hoofs the ground in anticipation, knowing that the tone of his master promises excitement.
Mihail mounts his mighty steed with practised ease, and draws his flail from beside the saddle.
”Come, young warrior! We must investigate the cause of this disturbance. We are closer than the town guard, so let us see if we can solve this before they get here. And do try to avoid unnecessary bloodshed; the guards always get ornery about that kind of thing.”
With a flourish, Mihail guides Lanfarnesse around the tents, and closer to the sounds of pitched battle.
Initiative: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Holy crap, that's a good roll. Second roll of the game, and the dice give me the good stuff. Let's hope my luck doesn't revert to type.
|Kaid'an The Paladin|
Agreed, trying to avoid bloodshed is preferable.
He draws his bow and notches an arrow. Kaid’an turns his head to the mounted man and a child’s wicked smile cracks across his face. His excitement is impossible to hide. It had been far to long since he ran with the rangers on a glorious hunt and he had never learned horrors that battle could bring. He only knew the joy of being tested.
Come on Knight, Let’s go be heros. Your squire has you back
Initiative: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Come on, oh well and 11 isn't to bad
Iluna Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Enemy Initiative: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Gonan's timely warning alerts Andaris and Iluna to the thugs behind them. Andaris simply reacts, whirling around and smashing the man behind Iluna in the solar plexus. The man staggers back, but grits his teeth and steps forward again to strike. Incidentally, you must use a swift action to enter mantis style - moot point in this case, but something to keep in mind.
Gonan slips a piece of sulfur from his pocket and quickly murmurs an incantation. It's a move action to shoot a firework, so you'll have to do that next round.
The man behind Andaris tries to club him into unconsciousness, but Andaris is ready and sidesteps the strike. Iluna doesn't fare so well - her reactions are not honed for combat, and she understands Gonan's warning too late. As she whirls around, the sap is already heading for her head. She brings her arms up to protect herself, but the force of the blow knocks her arms into her head. 8 points of damage.
The leader and the other man exchange looks and pull out their saps, stepping in to join the fight.
It is now the party's turn. Iluna only has one action (surprise round), everyone else has first round actions. You can act in the order you post.
Hey, stop peeking!
Stunning Fist Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Attack vs Andaris: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 5 + 2 = 10
Damage: 1d6 + 3 + 1d6 ⇒ (5) + 3 + (5) = 13
Attack vs Iluna: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Damage: 1d6 + 3 + 1d6 ⇒ (4) + 3 + (1) = 8
From the direction of the fight, you hear a shout ring out: "Help! Thieves! Vagabonds! Help!"
Luckily, Mihail's tent is nearby, and Lanfarnesse arrives shortly without causing too much of a disturbance - at least, no more than the fireworks and the fighting. The area seems fairly deserted - it is noon-time, and you figure most people are at the refreshments tent eating.
Dancing away from the thug's blow, Andaris is surprised that the villain was able to withstand his stunning fist technique. So much for my training; there is a long journey ahead before I have the strength to return to Tian Xia. Still, I must do my best now.
Move action: With a fluid motion, Andaris slips his left hand into his cestus.
Standard action: Andaris slams his cestus-wrapped fist into the same man who absorbed his stunning blow (B10).
Attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16Damage (B): 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Iluan's reaction to the sudden turn of events is manifold. Confusion, fear, panic, anger, frustration. Numerous emotions swell uncontrollably from within priming her natural instincts. Her subconscious acting just before she can grasp her situation, the powers within her channel these emotions into strange energy drawing forth her gift even before she summons it. As the thug's sap collides with her outstretched arms, her palms begin to glimmer with faint light.
Please, don't!- is all she has time to say before dazzling light leaps from her fingertips towards the assailant.
Iluna is casting Colour Spray (15ft cone, targeting B12 and behind). Roll a will save DC 16 to resist effects (negates). Casting defensively; Target: DC 17
concentration: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (9) + 11 = 20 = success.
Thug HD 2 or less: unconscious, blinded, and stunned: 2d4 ⇒ (4, 4) = 8 rounds + blinded and stunned: 1d4 ⇒ 2 rounds + stunned for 1 round
Thug HD 3-4: blinded and stunned: 1d4 ⇒ 2 rounds + stunned for 1 round
I very much doubt they have 5 or more HD ;). Otherwise: stunned 1 round.
The thug behind Iluna did not expect Andaris's change of weapons, and barely manages to twist rapidly to avoid being skewered on the cestus's blades. Hit.
Adjusted Iluna's action a bit - the one who attacked Iluna is at B10, the same one Andaris is beating on. Switched your target to the one behind Andaris at C10
Iluna straightens after the blow, her hands preparing for another strike from her left. A blaze of colourful light erupts, flashing off to the side. The man behind Andaris takes it full in the face, drops his weapon, and reaches for his eyes, groaning. Failed the save. Blinded and stunned for two rounds, then stunned for one more.
Gonan directs a firework to explode above the fray, then pulls his crossbow out.
"I got the lady! Whack the other one!" calls the leader. He aims a swing at Iluna's head, but his shout gives her enough warning to see it coming and duck. Andaris is not so lucky. With the two remaining men coming from both sides, he finds himself unable to dodge effectively. He anticipates the first blow from behind, and as he whirls the sap slams into his shoulder. He tries to block the second strike, but his arm protests at the motion. Vengance fuelling his strike, the thug Andaris was beating on delivers a mighty blow. With a sickening thud, Andaris is thumped in the head and collapses to the ground, unconscious. 18 damage total from the two hits. It's non-lethal, so no injury damage. The last man holds his head, blathering in pain.
"Hurry, get 'im outta here quick! Wark, take a look fer who set off that firework." The leader orders.
Honest, I'm not cheating. You don't need to peek.
Will Save: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Attack vs Iluna: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 5 + 2 = 10
Damage: 1d6 + 3 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 3 + (1) = 6
Attack vs Andaris 1: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 5 + 2 = 23
Damage: 1d6 + 3 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 3 + (2) = 7
Attack vs Andaris 2: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 5 + 2 = 27 See? Good rolls this time.[/oco]
Damage: 1d6 + 3 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 3 + (6) = 11 [ooc]At least the damage was mediocre, though still sufficient.
Crit Confirm: 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 5 + 2 = 16 ... close.
Seeing The noble Andaris fall at her side, Iluna cries out. You fiends! Why would you do this? Stop this madness at once!
Iluna sidesteps the leader as he advances towards her. 5 ft step to A12.
Her fingers still tingling with magic energy she prepares to aim another blast of light at the leaders face... Concentration DC17: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14 failure
...but nothing happens.
Fear seizes her as she grasps the severity of this now truly dire predicament and she cries out Help! Anyone!? She hopes their cries for help have caught someone's attention by now.
Gonan fires his crossbow at the thug that ordered the others to find him.
crossbow: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 151d8 ⇒ 7
He also looks around to see if anyone is reacting to his firework.
perception: 1d20 ⇒ 15
|Mihail Dan Razvan|
Mihail spurs Lanfarnesse towards the sounds of combat, toward the plaintive cries for help. Righteous fire boils in his gut at the sound of the despairing voice, a voice that sounds decidedly female.
Knight to D/E 4/5.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Mihail spots the foul perpetrators of this ruckus, and notes the young girl panicking, as well as the body lying comatose on the grass.
”Step away from them, craven scum. Your trespasses will not be tolerated. Stand down, or face the consequences.”
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
I almost hope they don’t back down. After all that bloody paperwork I could use something to take my frustrations out on. Might as well be them.
Gonan tries to take a shot at the leader, but between the bad angle and trying to avoid hitting Iluna, it is too tricky of a shot. Miss
Iluna tries to both defend herself and use magic - however, by splitting her attention so she fails at both. The spell fizzles as the thug steps forward, sap coming in high. Reactions slowed from the earlier blow, Iluna doesn't get her hands up in time to stop the swing. The thug hammers her on the head, dropping her into unconsciousness. 6 damage, all strain because it's non-lethal.
"Got 'er!" the leader (B12) cries. "Let's go! Wark, you and Kell deal with that guy there," he continues, pointing at where Gonan is still crouched.
One man begins dragging Andarius away(B14), while the other turns and tries to shake his companion(C10) out of his stupor. As it fails to get the man moving, he shrugs and advances towards Gonan alone, pulling a sword from its sheath.(C4)
Mihail, now mounted on Lanfarnesse, hears Iluna's cry and rides in. You still have a standard action remaining for this round. Kaid'an can act too.
|Kaid'an The Paladin|
As Mihail moves to the left Kaid’an moves to the right towards the cries of the female.
Protect women and children fist you fool.
Kaid’an shouts as he makes his way around the tents and towards were he heard the cries.
First movement is stops at I8 second movement stops at F12
As Kaid’an rounds the tents he sees the three men. One standing over the body of a women and the other dragging away a man. The third looked like he was suffering from a massive headache. Two primary targets and one secondary.
Shoot, now it is two v one. Perhaps that knight did have a better idea then I. At least if I fall she can’t see it. Oh, Deadeye please don’t let me fail.
Curses, I can only move this round and a couple of more levels till I get a mount. I am guessing that I can't fire through the stalls or tents. Also Erik hit the man!
|Mihail Dan Razvan|
Mihail’s face twists into a savage grimace as he smashes his flail into the thug nearest Lanfarnesse.
”May your soul return to Pharasma’s embrace, rapscallion!“
Flail to C4, bring the pain.
Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Gonan steps out out from behind the tent and turns to face in incoming attacker.
5 foot step to C2
So you want to take me in open combat?
A stream of fire begins at the ends of Gonan's hands and goes beyond the length of the tent beside him, engulfing the incoming attacker, and narrowly missing the unknown knight.
Fire Jet (Su) from C3-C6 Reflex save DC15
Fire Jet Damage: 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5 You forgot to roll this, so I'll do it for you.
Target makes the save.
Mihail's sudden appearance catches the man (C4) off guard. The thug attempts to parry the strike, stopping most of the force, but the head of the flail wraps around the block and strikes him in the chest - right where he had been punched earlier. Winded, he still manages to twist around and take Gonan's blast of flame to his back, rather than his face. He collapses unmoving on the ground, hair and back smouldering.
"This don't concern you," the leader (B12) calls to Kaid'an. "Jes turn around an' walk away." He puts away his sap and pulls out a longsword. The thug near him (B14) shoves Andaris's unconscious form aside and bares his steel as well, glowering menacingly.
The last thug (C10) shakes his head and looks around - it seems his blindness has worn off, though he still appears disoriented.
Reflex Save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Stabilization: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19