After introducing himself to Nester Rees and trying to get an idea of the man's capabilities, Crar is eager to be off. "That sounds like a good plan. A night's rest, then push hard tomorrow to put some distance between us and Absalom, hopefully before anyone realizes where we're going and tries to stop us."
No more questions here
Nester relaxes in his seat, "The relic is small, I will carry it with me, no need for us to take any other transport, providing we can keep a good speed." He looks down at the dwarven gunslinger and scratches his chin. "Hmmm" he muses, "Excuse me, I forget your name, but it might help to keep our speed up if you had use of a pony." He turns his attention to Crar, "and if you wear that protection" he points at Crar's hide armor, "it may be as well for you to have use of one too." Rees' hand rummages around in the folds of his cloak, he brings out a few coins, letting them roll on the table. "Here, hire a couple of ponies for the journey, we don't want to take any longer crossing the island than we have to."
He finishes his drink and wipes his lips with a white embroided handkerchief, before getting up and leaving having conducted his business. He walks out using his cane and limping out of the Inn, not once looking round but returning to the bustle of Absalom. The group watch him go, before continuing their conversation on the mission ahead. See discussion thread for watch order. As the evening wears on you eat and eventually go to your rooms and sleep. The night passes uneventfully and the day dawns, a weak sun rises into the sky and a chill wind reminds you that the depths of winter have only recently passed.
You prepare and meet Nester and his pack pony at the appointed hour, leaving through the north gate and starting on your journey. At first you traverse the Cairnlands, a broken landscape of blood-salted earth and the ruins of countless failed assaults on Absalom’s walls, which soon yields to open fields and fertile ground. Ahead, a vast forest covers the foothills of large range of snow-capped mountains. The well-trodden road soon ends at a tall wall of trees, signaling the end of civilization.
Survival roll to find the path and a perception roll please.
You are able to travel at 30ft, to cross the island. Crar and Bedmyr have a pony with saddle each.
I will assume that you are done in Absolom now and ready to start the journey, thus shopping for items is finished. Unless you want to roleplay the night and the departure next day, we will continue straight on.
P.S. if you have any concerns about the way I'm sort of rushing this forward a bit, then let me know. That goes for anything about the way I'm DMing this, I'm far from perfect. It's in an effort to keep the story moving for pbp.
As the group gets underway, eventually leaving civilisation behind, Lillia moves to match pace with Nester. "So, I understand that the item we're going to be trading to the Gillmen is a fairly unremarkable piece on its own," she starts, in a curious voice, "but what about the Azlanti relic we're getting in return? Do you know what to expect, or are you just going to confirm its origin?"
Survival: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
|Latharel the Lost|
Survival 1d20 ⇒ 1
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Latharel inhales the air outside the city. How long has it been that he last set foot outside of Absalom - too long ago he thinks.
No - it is only a rumour that he is a ranger ... he is an urban ranger ... Don't even bother to look up if he gets any plus on that one ...
From his vantage point atop the pony, Crar is the first to notice an opening into the forest, like a green tunnel running into the dense mass of trees and undergrowth an everlasting dimness beyond. The grass and mud of the track, several feet wide, would allow small carts or caravans to have passage through this wildwood, surely this is the track shown on the map. The trees, deciduous and evergreen reach upwards into the pale sky, and grey clouds begin to build up and the winds freshen. At least within the confines of the dim light of the forest, you will have some shelter from the elements. Though the trees without leaves let you see the new greyness above, boughs and branches as black fingers clutching against the darkening clouds.
Crar and his pony with Targ at his side take the lead ahead of Latharel and Nester leading his pony, and then lastly Lillia and Bedmyr as he tryies his best to ride the brown pony, Bedmyr definitely not a natural. You start into the forest and have been going only a few minutes, when noise ahead brings your eyes to peer down the path. Crar stops his pony and the rest of you from moving on. Out of the shadows of the trees three creatures appear ahead, they move slowly towards you. As your eyes become accustomed to the light you realise these are not riders but creatures with sun-bronzed upper bodies of seasoned warriors and the lower body of a sleek warhorse. In their hands, each holds a weapon, the lead creature a dull looking sword and the others a spear, held easily at their side.
Initiative: Bedmyr 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Initiative: Crar 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
Initiative: Latharel 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Initiative: Lillia 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Initiative: Nester 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Initiative: Targ 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Initiative: C1 1d20 ⇒ 4
Init Order: Bedmyr, Latharel, Lillia, Targ, Nester, C1, Crar
Not heard of Bedmyr for a while, so I'll not worry too much if Bedmyr doesn't post. Anyone any idea if Nostrus still wants to continue?
I think Nostrus is away on holidays just now. Hopefully he'll be back posting soon.
I know I'm at the end of the initiative order, but just posting Crar's probable action unless something completely unexpected happens.
Crar looks on in interest at the centaur warriors, not having actually seen any of their kind before. He takes some of his food and offers it to the centaurs as a gesture of goodwill.
If it's possible, Crar attempts to aid in any attempts at diplomacy.
Knowledge (nature) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Diplomacy 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
|Latharel the Lost|
After Latharels' greeting the centaurs approach cautiously, the leader stops just 10ft from you. "Greetings friends from the younger races, I am Urdel Thunderhoof and this is our protectorate." he motions expansively with both arms to the forest surrounding you. "You ventured far from Absalom into these regions, unlike most of your kind? Though I can see you pose no threat to me and my kind or those under our protection, we ask you treat this forest with all respect and honor, do not take advantage of the native inhabitants within."
Turning towards the half-orc he seems to hesitate momentarily, before continuing, "The path you have chosen, will take you to the great gray mountains and beyond, but unfortunately I cannot offer you the comfort of a safe passage. A cat prowls this forest, a hurtful beast whose hunger is for any living creature that it finds, it seems more than just a simple creature of the wood. We sensed its presence a couple of nights ago, as we sought to entrap it, but it escaped and prowls once more. Even now, we continue our hunt to catch this predator. Should you come across this animal, then you have our permission to destroy it for the good of all that live in this forest. " Urdel nods solemnly at you as he gives you this piece of news, the weight of responsibility lies heavy on his shoulders.
His two followers stamp their hooves and look at each of you in turn, weighing you up as you speak to their leader, though they seem quite relaxed. Once Urdel's words have had time to be understood, he turns and nods at the centaur on his right, speaking to him in their native tongue.
Let them have your spear for protection and hand them the purple berries to give them health and repair their wounds.
Converse etc ... you are not in combat, initiative is not operational. Let me know when you want to move on.
Should any of you lie or try to manipulate the truth by only telling half truths, then please roll for Bluff.
C1 Sense Motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
C2 Sense Motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
C3 Sense Motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
For future reference, I will need at least one or more of you to interact with NPC creatures/monsters if your initiative is before them. If your initiative is after NPC creatures/monsters, I will not consider your action until the creatures/monsters have acted. So in this case Crar's very nice diplomacy post, wasn't considered even though he posted first. Just wanted to clarify.
|Latharel the Lost|
Crar smiles to hear the Sylvan, not having heard that language in quite a while, and responds in kind.
Turning to Common, he continues. "Any special details about this cat that might help us to hunt it down? Appearance? Size? We are on a mission of our own, but we will do our best to confront this threat to the balance of nature."
Know (nature) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14 to identify the berries, or
Spellcraft 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25 to do the same.
Know (nature) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18 to identify the cat.
Urdel motions his companion forward who stretches out his hand and presents Crar with 8 purple berries as he speaks. "No need to be so hasty, the ways of the ancients move on without need to rush. These berries contain the essence of life and can repair minor wounds you might endure. Their potency does not last forever, and by the fourth moon will fade. They are yours as a gift, as is the spear." As his companion offers a well made spear, made of dull metal and a green and red cloth hold, it's head is sharp and deadly.
Having given the gifts Urdel, speaks, "As for the cat, it is dark and of the shadows, but more than that we cannot tell. It's hunger drives it, but more than that we do not know, once it is killed we would know more, until then good luck on your journey." They turn and resume their hunt.
The berries are boison berries.
The centaur don't know what the cat is, so the knowledge(nature) can't reveal more. Its a big black cat, pretty steathly and attacks with large paws and jaws. They currently think its like a very large black panther.
Berries enchanted by goodberry spell and a masterwork spear, if you want to accept.
It's about 3 1/2 hours since you left Absalom.
"A very generous gift," Lillia says as the items are handed to Crar, "I have nothing suitable to give in return, other than our assurance that we will strive to settle the matter of the cat while we travel through the forest."
As the centaurs are turning to leave, the witch is struck by a thought, and she holds up a hand, "Oh, before you go, as you said it is unusual for our kind to venture this far away from the city; but have you encountered any others of us recently?"
"Maybe 15 moons or more there was evidence a cart travelling this way, though our clan have no knowledge of its drivers or passengers. At that time, when the mountains are a barrier of icy cold, the path is not well used." with that Urdel bows his head and continues to move down the path and into the forest.
You take stock and decide to refresh yourselves with some nourishing bread and liquid from your water bottles. Refreshed you continue along the path, loosing any tracks from the centaur hunting party. The weather above the trees clouds over as the sun drops weakly out of the sky and twilight rushes towards you, heralding the oncoming night.
If you want to role play the nights discussions and plans for tomorrow around a camp fire, go hunting and stuff like that then, nows the time....
Each night you are travelling outside of town, please provide the following in addition to any role playing checks you want to do.
I would like a survival check to find a reasonable campsite.
I would like everyone to give me a perception check for their period of the watch.
Once camp is set, Lillia retrieves a long oak container from the packs taken off the back of her mule. Opening it, she takes out a half finished pocket-watch, the brass backplate hanging open to reveal an intricate combination of cogs and springs. As the scarred young woman carefully aligns the components in the casing, a silvery arachnid skitters between her hands and the box to gently nudge various tools with its legs, almost as though to draw her attention to those which she would need next.
Survival(untrained assist): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
|Latharel the Lost|
Survival (untrained assist) 1d20 ⇒ 1
Having lived far from nature for so long - Latharel feels not comfortable to suggest a place for the night.
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
But he keeps his eyes open during the night.
Luckily I'm an urban ranger - otherwise I would be a disgrace with this survival. But just fitting - first time n the wilderness since his youth.
The group decides to stop for the night. Helping to look around for a good place to make camp, Crar is impressed by Lillian's eye for spotting an appropriate place. "Good eye, Lillian! Might make a shaman of you yet!" Before night falls, Crar attempts to have a look around the camp area to find any nuts, berries, or mushrooms to supplement the evening meal.
Know (nature) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19 to look for food nearby, but he's not planning a full-on foraging exercise.
Around the campfire, Crar leans over to speak to Latharel. "How are you liking it out here? I confess I've always been a bit confused by you, Latharel. You seem to have a lot of the skills my ranger friends have, but seem to greatly dislike being in the wilderness."
Assist Survival 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12 success adds +3 to Lillian's check (due to aid others trait).
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Crar and Latharel, can continue their conversation in retcons, whilst the night rolls on ... I'll wait if you all want to RP that one out .. let me know.
1d11 ⇒ 7
Crar leaves the group as you make camp, his natural affinity with the wild places allows him to discover a clump of green shoots, the first to start appearing when the days begin to lengthen. Under the shoots are small orange tubers, known in Absalom as Winter Carrots, although the shape is bulbous unlike those found in summer. Crar is careful to only harvest a small amount, allowing the rest to grow and reach maturity and continue the cycle of growth. These tubers will provide a tasteful relief to supplement the rations and provide fresh vitamins too.
A little further on Crar is able to find a small tree, still with a supply of little brown rotund nuts, a couple of handfuls suffice and he returns back to camp with his rewards from the wild.
Meanwhile the camp has been set, a small ashpit built and fire started, a small trail of smoke rises upwards into the trees. The ponies have been hitched to trees close by and Nestor is brushing the hunches of his pony, keeping it clean and letting it feed on the grass in the clearing.
You talk and eat as the night envelopes you in darkness, the only light from the fire in your midst. Casting strange shadows around the friends gathered here, one by one you wish each other goodnight, settle and go to sleep or keep watch over your companions.
As you all settle down for your first night out on this expedition, expecting a nice quiet night, you find that the forest is full of sounds. It is most disturbing for those, who have spent most of their time in the city, where you expect noise, but out here in the wilds, the forest has a symphony of its own. Birds sing their last good nights from high up in the winter canopy, occasional flapping sounds seem much closer than they should be, dry cold leaves rustle then stop suddenly. The fire spits and crackles, every sound seems amplified, your senses heightened in the darkness that surrounds you. And so you sleep, thinking of the day past and dangers of the wild woodlands, eventually closing your eyes and drifting into the blackness of sleep.
It is halfway through your watch, to your left(east) the ponies neigh and seem restless. Targ makes out their shapes as they move and occasionally stamp their feet. Seemingly in front of you(south), a wail sounds, a call into the night. You hear two or three snapping noises to your right(west), but see nothing in what were bushes and undergrowth (that you remember were there when the light departed). The fire still burns quite brightly, keeping you warm in the cool night air, a beacon in the night.
Map of camp blue diamonds are asleep.
|Latharel the Lost|
"Crar - I left my folk long ago when I met my wife. This is nearly 40 years ago. Since then I followed her and the Szarni. I haven't been in the wilds for a long time and while this brings back memories - well - it seems to me having once known how to move and act in the wild makes it even more difficult for me until I get used to it again."
|Latharel the Lost|
Latharel takes a 5 foot step to N4 - taking out his Curved Blade (move action) and ensures cover for the two members sleeping on the west side of the fire.
Ready action: Attack if anything comes out of the wood.
"Targ - I'm not sure - but be watchful and ready to wake everyone. This did sound too close for comfort for me."
If this is surprise round, then do only the move action.
As you move towards the sounds, silence reigns over the forest once more, only the yellow light of the fire and its occasional spits and crackles are heard. The two warriors rest on tip toe, squeezing every last bit of glowing light to peer into the shadows of the trees.
Suddenly a sound pierces the silence, a high pitched scream, a rustling of leaves on the ground, then nothing, you hold your breath, tensed ... moments pass in the blackness before you hear a single sound. The triumphant 'Woot' of an owl as it carries its kill off to be eaten and sate its appetite.
The fire crackles and the sounds of the forest once more resume ... the camp fires warm and friendly glow pulls you back as you let your breathes go and breath normally once more. The night continues as you watch into the blackness, until the watches change and night gives way to day.
Let me know if you want to change anything for the next days travel, spells etc. What you want to do, otherwise I'll assume you just carry on with what you've got, and I'll post the next days travel.
|Latharel the Lost|
|Latharel the Lost|
Speaking to Latharel, the night before:
"I am sorry, Latharel, I didn't mean to bring up bad memories. Myself, I seem to have the opposite problem, I always feel a bit uncomfortable in cities. I'm too used to the wilds. This mission, is a nice change for me." Crar is silent for a moment, then tentatively adds, "It can be difficult, having such a long memory. I feel for your loss."
The next day:
In the morning, Crar helps dismantle the campsite and head back on the trail. Happy to be back in the outdoors, Crar nonetheless feels out of touch with nature after recent months of urban living. He feels as if his senses are missing something.
Survival 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
I'll use the perception/survival rolls above for tonights camp, as that seems to be what they are for...
You all wake and after an hour or so, continue through the forest. The path is more difficult than you thought, both in finding the correct way and then in walking on through the undergrowth. The day is gray above you and the forest dull and dark. The progress is painfully slow, as you only travel a few miles in the bewildering forest, stopping several times, including for a refreshment stop. The forest seems to get increasingly still and the air cooler, the canopy thicker cutting out much of the sky. Crar seems to struggle and is slow to action during the journey.
Eventually as the afternoon wears on, the sound of running water echoes ahead and several muted beams of light pierce the thick forest canopy. Soon the dense forest opens, revealing a river that blocks the way forward. A large felled tree trunk offers a way over the swift moving river. With the exception of the rushing sound of the water, an eerie silence pervades the area, as does the fresh smell of death. A half-eaten carcass of a large deer stains the forest’s foliage near a fast moving river.
You are fatigued after spending the night in hide armor (medium armor).
A fatigued character can neither run nor charge and takes a –2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity. Doing anything that would normally cause fatigue causes the fatigued character to become exhausted. After 8 hours of complete rest, fatigued characters are no longer fatigued.
Looking at the large deer Targ quickly identifies several rake marks scar the carcass, suggesting a powerful feline felled this animal. Targ searches on the bare earth around the carcass reveals fresh paw indentations in the forest’s dirt floor leading to a large oak tree trunk that bridges the gap over the river.
Perception check from everyone please.
Sense Motive check from everyone please.
Acrobatics to cross the river via the tree.
Will wait for Latharel's rolls, you can still decide what you're gonna do.
Nester waits patiently as you study the dead animal and the earth.
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Sense Motive 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Crar's horse Sense Motive 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (17) + 0 = 17
Bedmyr's horse Sense Motive 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (12) + 0 = 12
Nester's horse Sense Motive 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (8) + 0 = 8
|Latharel the Lost|
Perception 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Sense Motive 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Acrobatics 1d20 ⇒ 14
Heal 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14 To check how long the beast is dead.
"What do we do with the pack horse? "
Latharel positions himself next to the horse - bow drawn.
Staying on this side until the horse crossed over. Anyone good at Handle Animal - don't ask your fellow ranger for that ...
Crar's horse seems unusually nervous around the carcass, restless, stamping, it's ears are twitch as its nostrils flare breathing heavily. It shies and refuses to continue onwards towards the river, its front hooves pound on the brown earth, kicking up clods of loam.
Latharel places his hands in the wounds, searching for clues. It would seem that the animal is freshly killed, within the last 4 hours. The marks come from large paws, a cat, a large wild cat. You stand around the deer pondering your next move.
As you mill around the deer carcass and look at the marks in the ground you feel a piercing presence, as if something or someone is watching you.
Crar does his best to calm the horses - especially his own - and encourage them to try fording the water. His encouragement does not meet with much success, and the half-elf decides to try to move his horse back away from the water and the carcass and tie the reins to a tree. No sense in letting the horse get so scared it runs off. "There now, everything's fine. See? We'll try and keep upwind of that kill, hopefully you'll settle down." He can understand a horse being a bit skittish around a carcass, but this feels different, not quite right. "I don't like the look of this." Crar thinks to himself, this would be a lot easier if I wasn't so tired. Dratted armor!
Action: try to calm horse down using wild empathy, will move horse back to V8 and tie the reins to a sturdy tree branch.
wild empathy check 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
handle animal 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Once a couple of the party make it arcoss to the other side of the river, Nester takes his pony's bridle and starts on his way to the tree trunk across the river. Despite the sound of the water rushing underneath and the slipperiness off the truck, both Nester and the pony are able to make it across to the other side.
Handle Animal 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (17) - 1 = 16
Hmmm, I must be the only druid who hasn't invested any ranks in Diplomacy or Handle Animal...:(
Seeing the others making their way across the river, Crar sets his mind to getting his horse across the river. He also notices that Bedmyr seems a bit preoccupied, and offers to help the dwarf lead his mount across the river. After Nester and his pony ford the water, Crar leads Bedmyr's pony across, attempting to establish an empathic rapport with the animal and coax it across, then returning to do the same with his own mount.
Will attempt a wild empathy (diplomacy) check on both animals to raise their attitude to friendly or helpful; I'm under the assumption that maybe then they'd trust me enough to allow me to lead them across the river. I'll lead Bedmyr's mount first, then return for my own. This may take several minutes to accomplish.
Bedmyr's mount wild empathy check 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Crar's mount wild empathy check 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Ugh, I think I've just drowned the horses with these rolls.