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RPG Superstar 2015

On Abadar's Secret Service (Inactive)

Game Master James Martin

A game of colonization and exploration in a new land with new dangers and threats.


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Female Half-Elf Rogue 1/ Inquisitor 4. Init: +5, hp: 30/30 F: +4, R: +4, W: +7, AC: 18

Smiling at Orin "That sounds delightful. And Dr. Eyesquint I have heard such things of the Dancing Swan myself but have never been there. That seems as good a place as any to enjoy our last meal in Absalom".

If no-one else took the second set of Muleback Cords Lena will grab those on the way out

Lena will go with Orin, Catila and whoever else joins them for the meal. She relaxes in the informal environment and begins to get to know the people she will be spending the next year (at least) of her life with.

After the meal (and possibly a few drinks if the others are inclined), Lena heads back to the Temple of Abadar where she packs her things from her spartan bunk in the Knight's Quarters. She will say her goodbyes to those who are still awake at the hour and leave notes for the rest explaining that she will be away for some time.

The next morning, Lena is up early. She performs her morning routine of jogging, push-ups and sword forms before stripping and cleaning her crossbow and polishing her armour. She hasn't had a chance to wear her full combat gear for a few weeks so intends for it to impress. Her Key of Abadar holy symbol shining in pride of place on her chest, glittering armour reflecting the morning sun and her full backpack of adventuring gear bulging, she heads towards the docks, passing a small cafe and partaking of meat, eggs and coffee.

When she reaches the ship that will take her across the seas, Lena hangs back a while and watches intently. In particular she observes the crew making ready to sail and the civilians on board leaning over the gunwales to get one last look at the Starstone Cathedral. She watches a few of her companions arrive before deciding to join them.


Although the night is spent in many different ways, 10 bells the next morning finds you in varying states of bleary-eyed awareness, standing at the bottom of the gang-plank to the ship, an old, although solid looking, merchant vessel named the Coinlord's Pride. The Captain, solid in his own right, is a dark-skinned Mwangi man that seems to be made from a side of beef named Ulysses Wright. He moves among the many cargo boxes being winched up the side of the ship with the ease of a man who has done this all before and has nothing new to learn. He barks orders, cajoles slow workers, laughs with old sailors and generally keeps the whole project moving. When he sees you, he walks straight to you, looking you over as he goes.

"Welcome to the Pride, ladies and gentlemen and cat-people. She's my pride, she is and she'll be your home for the next six weeks. If you'll carry your things aboard, my first mate Mr. Twitch will show you to your quarters. Please remember one thing: aboard this ship I am the captain and the captain is god. Remember that and we'll have no issues, you and I." With this he nods to the gangplank and moves back to his work, shouting at a sailor who has failed to properly secure a netload of oranges to be winched aboard.


Male Dwarf Monk(Zen Archer)/Inquisitor 5, hp 60/60, AC 21, (T21/FF18), Init +13, Perc +14 F+8(13)/R+8(13)/W+11(16)

Orin a little worse for wear from all of last night's toasting to the success of the endeavour, turns a little green at the sight of the gently rocking ship at anchor.

"Well there's nothing for it, he mutters to himself and crosses the gangplank.

Grimfang, his wolf is less enthused to do so, but with much cajoling and bribery in the form of some leftover table scraps from the night before, Orin get him to come aboard.

He introduces himself to the captain and offers his services in generating more fresh water in the need arises, before asking Mr. Twitch to show him to his quarters.


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Leralt came aboard with his bags. He hoped they did not get wet or anything. He speaks with the captian and introduces himself. When he made it to his room he did not pay much attention. He would be spending his nights in a magical space. He could take the rocking while he was awake but as he slept was asking to much of him.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

Gellius Krupt takes his meal with the others at the Swan, speaking little and listening much. After a slice of roasted pork in mushroom gravy, spiced potatoes, and a glass of dry red, he excuses himself and returns to his rented rooms for the last time. By the light of a candle, he cracks his new journal and writes his first lines:

As of tomorrow morning, I am finally, truly, free...

The next day, just before ten bells, Dr. Gellius Krupt arrives at the ship. He appears to be a new man. His hair is neatly coifed, his head held high, and he makes direct eye contact with everyone, even the inquisitor.

Noting Orin's look, he approaches.

"I take it sea travel causes a bit of gastric distress, no? Allow me to assist. I suggest standing with a firm grip on one of the masts, or the rail, if you prefer. Keep your gaze focused on the horizon, it will give you a fixed point to concentrate on and take your mind off the ship's motion. Finally, here..." Krupt digs around in a pouch at his side, producing a small packet. "Ginger-infused tea. It will counteract any nausea."


Male Dwarf Monk(Zen Archer)/Inquisitor 5, hp 60/60, AC 21, (T21/FF18), Init +13, Perc +14 F+8(13)/R+8(13)/W+11(16)
Gellius Krupt wrote:


"I take it sea travel causes a bit of gastric distress, no? Allow me to assist. I suggest standing with a firm grip on one of the masts, or the rail, if you prefer. Keep your gaze focused on the horizon, it will give you a fixed point to concentrate on and take your mind off the ship's motion. Finally, here..." Krupt digs around in a pouch at his side, producing a small packet. "Ginger-infused tea. It will counteract any nausea."

Orin takes the offered packet with thanks, but does not make or drink the tea before thoroughly examining the supposed herbal infusion. He knows to beware of Chelaxian's bearing gifts...

Knowledge(nature) 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Profession(herbalist) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8
Ha! Awesome rolls

It seems fine so he makes the tea and drinks it down.


Female Halfling Ranger 3

Daisy stood at the bottom of the gangplank and watched the dwarf trying to entice the wolf onto the ship. "I think yon beastie has got more sense than any of us." She swallowed her own anxiety and went aboard. The deck hummed with activity and, after taking in the captain's greeting went to the far rail to look out over the mouth of the harbor to the ocean beyond.

Girl, what have you gotten yourself into? That's bigger than any lake you been on.

A crewman, Must be Mr. Twitch, was guiding the others below. When he returned to the deck she tugged at his shirtsleeve. "Mr. Twitch, I hate to trouble you but I think I'm best out of everyone's way so if you can point me to me doss, I'll thank you kindly."


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

Catila is delighted to host the others at The Dancing Swan and spends a truly enjoyable night getting to know some of her future fellow landowners. When the night is over she diplomatically shoos away the others offers to help pay, insisting on covering the bill, including a very nice tip, herself.

The next morning finds her up early, ready to go and just making her final farewells to her assistant Fon Wei. The good Dr. is consoling a tearful Miss Wei, trying to console her but also in a bit of a hurry "Now now my dear, a year isn't so long! Why, a mere twelve months it will be! I will correspond with you as often as I may and you shall see, our time apart shall fly by. And haven't we agreed that this single year of service is much more than the many years we'd otherwise have ahead of us to pay off those jewels? No, no Fon! We've been over this many times already! First, space on the ship is limited and I am not allowed to bring you with me, and second, you know I need you here to take care of my affairs while I am away. But I promise you my dear, if I have not returned within a years time, I shall send for you. Ok? Now I really must be off! It's almost 10 bells and I must not miss that ship!" and with a final, tearful embrace, Catila pries herself from the weeping Wei's arms and hurries off to the docks as fast as her small feet can carry her.

Arriving just in time, she listens to the Captian's speech, introduces herself along with the others, then makes her way aboard. Only pausing in her room long enough to be able to recognize it again later, she immediately hurries off to the prow, climbing out as far as she can go, eyes peeled on the horizon and the exciting mystery and adventure that await them all beyond it.


Male Half-Orc Paladin of the Sacred Shield 4

Absalom has been good to Mevakh. He stands on the ship, looking back at the city that was his home for the previous three years. When he was purchased from his former master (Mevakh cannot bring himself to even think the man's name), he was filled with anger and rage. He did not understand how a person could be bought and sold like chattel. He was thankful to be out of his master's grasp, but he expected no better from the followers of Abadar.

Three years later, he spent his last night in the city praying to the Master of the First Vault, his one, true, only master. He prayed for guidance and strength in the trying to. The clerics had shown him a life of dignity and service. He was still a slave, yes, but his service was something that he was willing to do. It took him years, but he understood that freedom, something that many men took for granted, was something that had to be earned. Andoran did not simply become free by the fiat of another nation; it claimed its freedom and earned it. So, too, would Mevakh. Upon his year of service, he would be free, and free to choose to continue following Abadar.


Male Catfolk Bard (Archaeologist) 1; HP 9/9; AC 13/13/10; F+1/R+5/W+2; Init +3; Per +7

Songan, having spent the night on the docks in a secret place he had used for a hiding hole in the past, was ready to go quite early, being accustomed to nights outdoors. He greets the captain with a respectful bow, knowing good and well that if this is to be a pleasant voyage, he must court the large Mwangi's affections, such as they were. He holds his tongue for the moment, preferring to stay back and observe the goings-on and the behaviors of others before being terribly talkative himself.

He follows Mr. Twitch down to his quarters, gratefully leaving his heavy pack on the ground and stretching out once the weight is gone, returning to the deck of the ship to further observe the continued loading of the ship before approaching Captain Ulysses and speaking. "Begging your pardon, Captain, but I am wondering if there is something I may do to help prepare the Pride for departure?"


Female Half-Elf Rogue 1/ Inquisitor 4. Init: +5, hp: 30/30 F: +4, R: +4, W: +7, AC: 18

Taking a last look back at Absalom, Lena thought about what she was leaving behind. She loved this city, she had been born here and spent her entire life here. Sure it was dirty and dangerous at times such as during her childhood, but it was also magnificent and cosmopolitan such as when she found Abadar and her new life began. Except she had made mistakes. She had been given the chance to start over and had blown it. Truly the Master of the First Vault was generous for he had provided yet another way for Lena to start a clean ledger. She only worried that she would not adapt to her new life on Abadaria. There were no cities, no crowds, no taverns, no shops. Bringing the light of civilisation to this new land would certainly be a challenge, but she had little other choice.

Determined not to mess this chance up, Lena strode purposefully toward the Coinlord's Pride, greeting her companions as they arrived and began boarding the ship.

"Good morning Captain Wright, a fine vessel she is indeed" full of secret compartments no doubt bulging with illicit goods she thought to herself as she tried to judge the captain's worth. She had let her friendship compromise her goals before and had no intention of allowing that to happen again.

Lena walks up the gangplank and allows Mr. Twitch to direct her to her bunk. She settles her things and quickly examines the room looking for hidden compartments, magical devices or traps. Old habits die hard, it would seem she thinks as she catches herself. Finding nothing, Lena locks the door to her cabin behind her (if that's possible) before heading back out on deck to join the civilians and her companions as they watch Absalom dwindle away on the horizon.


Mr Twitch turns out to be a rather calm large bald headed man with a lot of piercings on his face and ears. He introduces himself with a deep voice in a quite polite tone and shows you to your cabins. The men are shown to a cabin that is about five feet deep and fifteen feet long. Hammocks are stretched from wall to wall, two deep, with sea chests placed under them. The women are shown to a slightly smaller cabin in the same configuration. He then shows you to the head, which consists of two wooden seats perched over the edge of the ship, with a more-patch-than-fabric piece of sailcloth mounted on a rope to allow for some privacy.

Your offers of help are politely rejected, and with a routine born of repetition, the ship is rapidly readied for sailing. True to word, you push off from the docks at noon, just as the 12th bell rings.

Life at sea soon falls into a predictable rhythm: waking at the same time, eating at the same time, sleeping at the same time, at least after the initial bouts of seasickness have worn off. Your voyage is scheduled to take six weeks.

Please describe your personal routine and if there's anything you'd like to accomplish on the way to the new colony.


Male Catfolk Bard (Archaeologist) 1; HP 9/9; AC 13/13/10; F+1/R+5/W+2; Init +3; Per +7

Songan will spend the time doing his best to speak to the members of the crew and passengers on the ship. He keeps to social areas and uses his skills in oration and acting to try and keep the crew's spirits up. Knowing that his species is rare and probably not everyone aboard will have seen a Catfolk, he wants to give himself as much open exposure as he can, hoping that the ordinary citizens on the ship will come to accept him as one of their own rather than be afraid of him.

His routine is going to be fairly simple: during mealtimes, when everyone is gathered together, he will spend his time telling stories and performing short acting routines to entertain the crew and passengers during the meal; he will eat himself after everyone else is finished. When not in mealtime, he alternates between standing up on deck looking out over the ocean and trying to speak to some of the different passengers and crewmen.

I'm going to make a few different skill checks here, DM OMB, just to see if I can go ahead and cover all the bases. If there's something else you'd like me to do, please let me know.
Perform - Oratory: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Perform - Act: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18


Songan, the colonists initially treat you with a mixture of fear and distrust, but the sailors welcome you wholeheartedly; they reason that if a cat onboard is good luck, so a cat-man must be great luck!


Male Catfolk Bard (Archaeologist) 1; HP 9/9; AC 13/13/10; F+1/R+5/W+2; Init +3; Per +7

Let's hope they're right!


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Leralt spent his days crafting an item the dwarf requested. His nights inside his magical hide away, looking over his spellbook with his small statue of Nethys placed before him. He kept to himself and dispite the weather always wore his coversome robes. While trying his best to stay out of the way and out of sight. Those that did bother to approach him would find him reluctant to talk or have little to say unless the subject was related to magic, history, nature, the planes, or languages. In which case he would speak with vigor and show a great deal of knowledge in a wide verity of subjects involved.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

Krupt passes the time indulging his curiosity about the catfolk. He'll have Songan perform simple tasks, like climbing the rigging, jumping barrels on deck, or racing from one end of the ship to the other. He takes copious notes concerning musculature, reflex time, hand-eye coordination, and other information. The good doctor is sure to thank Songan for his assistance, and makes no mention whatsoever of blood samples.


Male Dwarf Monk(Zen Archer)/Inquisitor 5, hp 60/60, AC 21, (T21/FF18), Init +13, Perc +14 F+8(13)/R+8(13)/W+11(16)

Orin spends his time trying to get to know the colonists and his fellow adventures.
Diplomacy:1d20 - 1 ⇒ (5) - 1 = 4 Nailed it!
He probably pesters the cook with his constant 'helpful' suggestions. He also discusses his calling with any and all who will listen to his ramblings.

Mostly he just spends his time on deck and out of bordom he tries to teach Grimfang some new tricks. He starts with trying to teach him to seek out hidden, living things. If nothing else he can keep a look out for rats on the ship.

Each Handle Animal check takes a week: Seek(DC15) 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21

The first having gone so well he tries to teach his wolf how to defend someone:

Each Handle Animal check takes a week: Defend(DC20) 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24

Grimfang is an apparently very teachable wolf. So the rest of the time Orin just tries to keep his companion calm and get the other passengers used to having the presence of a wolf in their midst.


Female Half-Elf Rogue 1/ Inquisitor 4. Init: +5, hp: 30/30 F: +4, R: +4, W: +7, AC: 18

Lena spends initial stages of the journey getting to know the other adventurers but also speaking to the crew and colonists with an eye for making a mental plan of the various strengths and weaknesses in the people. 

Sense Motive 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16

In particular she attempts to identify and troublemakers in the civilians or anybody she thinks might present an obstacle to setting up a stable society,

After a while, she will relax a bit more and feel a bit more comfortable around the other adventurers. She asks questions about people's background and their professions. Although these questions are coming from a genuine interest, her initial attitude may make the others think she is being suspicious still. If others ask she will talk about her past, but doesn't seem comfortable to talk much about her childhood and teen years other than to say she 'lived in poverty then found the Church of Abadar, the greatest treasure she could have asked for'.

While alone, she enjoys watching the view from the ships, trying to guess the nations and cities that pass along the coastlines then trying to spot aquatic creatures once they hit the open ocean. 

Each morning she runs lengths of the ship and spends half hour or so exercising and practicing sword forms. Anybody who is interested is welcome to join her too. 


Female Halfling Ranger 3

On the second day out Daisy finally overcame her wariness of Dr. Krupt and accepted the ginger tea he offered. Seasickness had hit her hard from the moment the Coinlord's Pride made open sea. The tea got her on her feet again and, more importantly, brought back her appetite so that within a day she was back to her old self.

Feeling better she fell into the ship's routine. They up at dawn (the sun rising and setting over the ocean was something she decided she'd never tire of). The captain would gather as many as he could for prayer. Piety had never been Daisy's strong suit, but she'd bow her head respectfully. They usually breakfasted on tea and porridge. Every few days they'd give out oranges or some other fruit and insist everyone eat it, not that Daisy needed encouragement there.

Afterwards Daisy would make her way forward for her morning pipe. Sailors finishing their night's watch would gather there for a smoke as well and their company was easy to keep. They'd all watch the clouds and discuss what weather they promised. The sailors would point out the seabirds to Daisy, who was amazed to see them so many days from any land.

When that group would drift off to get their sleep, Daisy return to her fellow passengers. She'd practice her Elvish on Lena (Daisy only knew a few words and phrases, but she desperately wanted to learn to speak it properly). That and Lena would try and teach her "sword forms". Until the voyage Daisy's melee fighting technique had been simple: you swing your sword until you hit something.

As she suspected, she had much in common with Orin Oakhammer. They'd swap bits of woodland lore they knew, and she watched him teaching tricks to Grimfang. She tried to befriend the wolf herself.

handle animal to make friends with Grimfang": 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24

Sometimes she and Mevakh would spar on deck. He with his battleaxe, she with her scimitar. It was clear he was holding back on his efforts and even then he'd keep her at bay more than she'd liked. Occasionally she'd get under his guard and deliver a swat to his posterior which he'd take in good humor. With Songan she'd swap songs. Daisy sang badly but with enthusiasm and she had a large repitiore of risque songs in her head. In the evenings she'd listen to his performances raptly. She still hadn't found out if he liked being scratched behind the ears, though she was dying to ask.

Leralt was silent and withdrawn but Daisy noticed if someone got him talking about arcane matters, he'd open up. So early on in the voyage she asked about the dwarf's god, Botan. The was an awkward moment of silence before the spellcaster explained that a Botanist was someone who studied plants. Daisy would have reckoned that would be a farmer, and said so. Leralt excused himself to go finish his work. They hadn't spoken much since, but she gave herself a point for at least having gotten the man to laugh.

If Leralt was difficult to draw out, Dr. Eyesquint was the opposite. From the moment the gnome woke in the morning until she went to sleep, she was non-stop conversation. And half the things she spoke about were lost on Daisy. Daisy accompanied her around the ship as she poked about. Though, while Daisy was just satisfying her curiousity about the vessel, Eyesquint was determined to "ferret out nefarious doings". Daisy wasn't sure what "nefarious" was but it evidently didn't mean catching two crew members in flagrante in the hold. Daisy stammered out an apology while the doctor went on seeking secret compartments.

She watched Dr. Krupt poke and prod Songan, and ask him all sorts of questions. He, the doctor, was definately an odd one even for a human and there was something unnerving about his total dedication to knowledge, but Daisy had to admit he knew his medicines. She was waking up naseous, but his ginger tea soon had her right as rain. Still, she only talked to him as much as was necessary to be polite.

And so her days went. In the evening, after Songan's performances, she'd clamber into the rigging and make her way to the crow's nest. The sailor on watch always a appreciated a second pair of eyes, though hers were mostly turned skyward. She'd point out the constellations she knew and the sailor would show her the ones he was familiar with. Then it was down to the deck where she'd smoke her last pipe of the day and turn in. Krupt had suggested her smoking wasn't helping her health but on that score, she decided he was an ass.


Excellent! Now, let's move things along a bit, shall we?

The days stretch into weeks and seem to drift by as the ship sails across endless expanses of open water. Between sparring, studying, training and speaking, the days pass. The colonists seem to be in good spirits, eager to start new lives in a new land of plenty. The sailors move through their routines with professional grace, though you do notice them occasionally pairing off with members of the colonial contingent. Morale seems high, even after a storm hits and confines most everyone below decks for the better part of two days, heaving and green-tinged from the sudden return of sea-sickness. Dr Krupt's tea seems to have met its match in the tossing seas, but eventually the ship sails beyond the storm and all returns to normal.

The animals onboard soon become a source of amusement as the horses need to be exercised and the cattle and goats and sheep fed and watered. Grimfang is a source of nervousness for them, but Orin's training soon has them accepting him as a sheep dog instead of a wolf. On one memorable day a batch of chicks get loose and are chased around the ship before all are finally rounded up and returned to their pen.

All in all, the journey is a good one, seeing the conception of at least two future colonists and one unfortunate death of a sailor who seems to suffer a seizure while checking the rigging and plunging to his death. The Captain delivers a stirring eulogy to the man before casting his body into the sea. The next week, his oratorical skills are challenged again as one of the young female colonists and a sailor exchange vows, and another colonist is added to the roster.

A week before landfall, the Mayor begins to bring colonists to the deck in groups of 10, explaining to them about the disappearance of the previous colony and their changed circumstances. There is a great deal of hand wringing and worry, but he manages to sooth their worry some by explaining about the presence of the group of specialists who will see to the disappearance and protect the new batch of colonists. Even though there is still some murmurs, the colonists have seen the group around the ship and seem reassured by what they see.

It is a foggy morning when the call of "Land ho!" rings from the crow's nest above. The ship is put at anchor as close to a wooden dock as it can be and the ship's boats are lowered for use. The Mayor and the Captain and the band of adventurers are the first ashore, discovering a slightly overgrown wagon path that leads from the beach to the gates of a square wooden walled settlement. Once inside, the place is eerily silent, as even the tropical birds have gone quiet. A three-story wooden building dominates the town, a combination meeting house and temple/residence of the Mayor. There are seven other buildings completed: two long house style barracks, a smithy built from local stone, a general store, a storehouse, a trade shop (built to house tools and stations for many trades) and a tavern, built as the communal kitchen and dining area for the colony. All are empty, with things looking as if people left in the middle of mundane tasks, such as cooking, working on crafts and generally living. A thorough investigation reveals no foul play, no signs of disease or poison; the well in the center of the settlement is tested and found pure. There seems to be no sign of any reason for the disappearance.

Once the settlement is deemed safe, the colonists are off loaded, and a long day of ferrying people, animals and cargo is begun. Rafts are built from local trees hastily felled and a flotilla is launched. By the end of the first day, everyone is tired and ready to sleep. Watches are posted, but nothing disturbs the first night.

The second day the last of the animals is offloaded and crates of lamp oil are sitting on the deck to be lowered to waiting rafts below, when a bolt of fire from the clear blue sky strikes the ship directly in the spot where the lamp oil waits. A thunderous explosion rocks the colony as the ship bursts into flame, spraying burning oil and wooden shrapnel across the bay. Rescue is attempted, but the oil fire burns too quickly. Within minutes the ship has sunk and 27 men are dead, the captain and three colonists among them.

In a swift stroke, the hope of a new life is darkened by tragedy.


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Leralt happens to see the event as it happens.

Spellcraft
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14

He cast detect magic afterwards. Let me know if you need a Perception roll.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

Dr. Krupt, at work manufacturing poisons to deal with the copious amounts of vermin that have inevitably infested the buildings during their time abandoned, misses the fiery display, arriving to note the aftermath. His face is a mask, showing none of the horror or fear that is plain in the visages of the colonists and his fellow adventurers. After watching the rescue attempt for a few moments, he turns to those around, asking questions.

To the general assembly: "What was left on board the ship? Did we get all of our supplies and livestock to shore yesterday?"

To his gnome companion: "Well, 'doctor,' here's something worthy of investigating. Where is it you said you studied again?"


Female Halfling Ranger 3

Daisy was eager to get off the ship that first day, though after six weeks shipboard, solid ground made her feel dizzy and nauseous. Chaldira's cunny, is me stomach ever gonna be right again?

The wagon path hadn't seen travel for a long time, it didn't take much effort to see that. And the colony was as reported, deserted with no sign as to why. While the others poked around the buildings, Orin jerked his thumb at the town walls, "Let's see what's out there."

The walked the perimeter of the colony in silence, each casting their eyes about looking for something that might tell them what was going on.

'Perception and survival': 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 251d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26

The next day found Daisy sitting on the town walls. Her stomach still had been a bit unsettled that morning but she had finally gotten used to being on firm ground again. There wasn't much for her to do as the colonists were settling in. She'd easily found a place in the barracks to claim as her own and stowed her few possessions there. Now she looked out at the jungle and thought, If I was to sneak up on this place, how's I'd go about it?

Before she could answer her own question, there was a boom and a ball of fire rose up in the sky from the docks. She leapt to her feet and prepared to race down there to see what had happened, but she brought herself to a halt. All around her the colonists were doing the same thing. She stood her ground and shouted at one group, "You there! Arm yourselves and get to the walls. Keep a sharp eye out! We don't know what's going on."

She raced to the gate to make sure it was secured. How to make everyone leave the town in a hurry: give 'em something to go out and investigate. She wasn't certain that's what happened to the previous colonists, but wasn't going to rule it out either.


Leralt: you spot the effect, but the shock and split second nature of the effect doesn't grant you the time to study it properly. However, it definitely doesn't resemble your arcane magic; it has a more organic feel to it.

Gellius: One of the shocked colonists standing in the compound staring at the smoke rising shakes his head and turns to you. "We got the livestock off first thing; didn't want to have keep cleaning up after them. All that was left was the non-perishables: lamp oil, rope, wood, iron and the larger tools: plows and the like." He shudders as a secondary explosion rings out. "Don't guess we'll see those again." Regaining his composure, he shouts to the others to grab buckets and hurry to the beach; perhaps something might be salvaged.

Orin: On the first day you make a cursory exploration of the compound and its surrounding area. You find many tracks, mostly deer and rabbit, although also a lot of mole activity. There are no humanoid tracks that you can find, though judging by the wetness of the soil, it's rained not long ago, so tracks may have been washed away.

Daisy: A few of the colonists nearby hear you and nod, heading back to the stores to grab spears and crossbows, and head up to the palisades.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

Gellius speaks, either not caring if anyone is listening or simply assuming they are.

"Iron sinks, wood floats...we've time and manpower enough to salvage what we can, once that fire burns itself out. Given what was left behind by the previous colonists, this isn't as big a loss as it could have been."


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Leralt looks for Orin. He needed to ask him sense it seemed that this was more a druids area then a wizards.


Male Dwarf Monk(Zen Archer)/Inquisitor 5, hp 60/60, AC 21, (T21/FF18), Init +13, Perc +14 F+8(13)/R+8(13)/W+11(16)

Leralt finds Orin, but he has no clue as to what the bolt of fire was.

"Magic most likely" No ranks of spellcraft, sorry

He sas a brief prayer for the dead before continuing.

"Whoever or whatever was the cause of it, must have been able to see the ship to work the magic. It might worth doing a sweep up and down the coast to look for any tracks."


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)
Orin Oakhammer wrote:


"Whoever or whatever was the cause of it, must have been able to see the ship to work the magic. It might worth doing a sweep up and down the coast to look for any tracks."

"Yes, because bothering a being that can blast a ship to flotsam with a single stroke would certainly be worth our time. Note that it, or they, destroyed the ship, rather than raining havoc down on the settlement. They don't mind us being here. They'd just rather we didn't leave," says Krupt, his voice calm and even despite the disturbing observations he makes.


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Leralt gives the man a rare look of annoyance, his dark eyes swimming.

"I do not believe I asked for your view on things. If you were using your eyes correctly you would note that it was the target, a cargo of lamp oil, that did the damage and not the spell itself. They were watching and waiting for a perfect strike."

Ignoring Gellius he turns back to Orin. His expression back to normal.

"I was more interested on your knowledge of nature and those involved with it. The magic was not arcane, not that of a mage. It felt more natural, such as that from a druid or those with a connection to the natural world. Could its source be from fey or maybe even a circle of druids. It is not unheard of settlements running afoul of those groups. It may even be that the former settlers some how insulted such a group and were sprited away, fey are known for that. I have some knowledge on such subjects but would like the assistance of someone more in tuned with it, like yourself. That is if you are willing to help?"

Would like to scout the area with Orin and anyone else they can round up, like he suggested for tracks. While looking for signs of who or what was involved. Dont have ranks in knowledge (nature) for nothing ;)


Female Half-Elf Rogue 1/ Inquisitor 4. Init: +5, hp: 30/30 F: +4, R: +4, W: +7, AC: 18

Lena was supervising the carriage of various crates of goods through the town gate when the explosion destroyed the ship. Her crossbow was in her hands in an instant as she sprang up into the wall to get a better look. Seeing that Daisy was quick-thinking enough to organise the defences, Lena nods briefly to the Halfling before scanning the tree line and the skies looking for targets. 
Perception 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17 
what in the Hells was that? she thinks to herself

Spellcraft 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22 to try to identify the fireball 

Once the immediate shock is over, Lena hurries down to the beach to see if anybody can be saved from the wreckage along with any important equipment.

After the situation is dealt with, Lena passes Leralt, Krupt and Orin talking. 
"Exploring the immediate area around the town is a very good idea. I'll come with you, I have some experience reading tracks of various species"

@DM: what time did the explosion happen? If its getting late, Lena will suggest we head out in the morning


Male Half-Orc Paladin of the Sacred Shield 4

Earlier

On the ship, Mevakh easily falls into a routine. A disciplined schedule is one of the many things in common from his old life as a slave and his new as a servant of Abadar. He prays in the morning, leading the congregants who will follow, at the stern of the ship. He assists the crew in whatever way that he can, not enjoying any idleness. Most of the crew avoid him (subtly, they likely believe), which makes it easier to do whatever work needs to be done.

When the sailor falls, Mevakh rushes to his side and attempts to heal him with Abadar's magic. Apparent that it is too late, the paladin sighs heavily in sorrow. The sailor may have been one of the ones who avoided him, but he didn't deserve what happened to him. He says a silent prayer and performs the proper rituals to Abadar, leaving sufficient gold in the man's pocket to assist him in the afterlife. During the funeral, he stands quietly to the side and allows the captain to give his crewmember whatever public funeral that befitted the man.

Mevakh finds himself getting along swimmingly with Daisy during the trip. The diminutive halfling woman seemed to harbor no guile nor malice. He genuinely enjoys spending the time with her as they spar, though he focuses on his defensive training and makes no strike that might hurt her, even inadvertently. His experience with the others ranges on varying levels of polite. Several are uncomfortable with him, it seemed, though his race or his beliefs may be the cause. With his history, he has no problem in solitude. For many years, he lived in isolation with almost no friends, existing solely for his master to torture. Solitude was a welcome friend in those days, one he still enjoys today.

Recently

When they land, Mevakh gladly assists in unloading the ships. With the magical cords on his back, he is able to carry great loads onto the shore. It is during one of these trips that the ship explodes in a gout of flame. He throws the crate of foodstuffs to the beach with a crack of wood and rushes into the water.

[Swim dice]1d20-4[/dice]

His heavy armor weighs him down immensely and immediately. Strong as he is, he is unable to get beyond his height in the waves. He watches helplessly from the shore as the boat finishes its conflagration. For the first time, his stoic exterior breaks long enough to see sorrow and anguish. He makes his way back to the beach, stripping off his armor as quickly as he can to try his best to save anyone trapped on the ship or still alive.

Diplomacy 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15

Between the colonists on the beach and the colonists who return from the camp to assist in the rescue, Mevakh finds himself speaking to a dozen potential rescuers. "We must return to the water to save those that we can! Fear not!" Not waiting for a moment to see who follows, he rushes into the water without his armor, shield, or weapons. He hopes that his example will inspire others as he dips under the water, swimming with powerful but unpracticed strokes towards the burning ship.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

Krupt stares at Leralt's back a moment, then makes an exasperated sigh and shakes his head, leaving the tiefling to his folly. Noting the futility of the rescue attempts, he turns back to survey the wreckage.

If any of the ship's boats are on shore, he quickly comes up with a plan. He'll have the colonists string fishing nets together with rocks weighing the bottom edges, then have a boat head across the bay to string the nets out. Then the nets can be dragged back to shore, hopefully snagging any sunken cargo for collection.


Male Half-Orc Paladin of the Sacred Shield 4

My earlier rolls were a (7) on Swim for a total of 3, and a (15) on Diplomacy for a total of 23. It got messed up on the edit.


Male Catfolk Bard (Archaeologist) 1; HP 9/9; AC 13/13/10; F+1/R+5/W+2; Init +3; Per +7

The trip over to Abadaria finds Songan making good friends with a number of the sailors, who seem to regard the Catfolk as something of a good luck charm, a designation that he is happy to accept. When not busy performing or trying to help the colonists become accustomed to his presence, he is busy teaching Daisy many of the songs he learned in Absalom, from the popular to the unpopular to the more bawdy numbers if they were asked for.

For the most part, their belief in him seems to be correct. Several colonists have announced the expected arrival of new, tinier colonists to shore up the numbers. However, the death of one of the sailors, a man who he had spoken to on several occasions, casts a pall on the crew and passengers for a few days, Songan included. Overall, though, the voyage is a good one, with the sailor's fall being the only event that was truly impacting on the journey.

Hearing the captain's eulogy and wedding ceremony makes him realize just how far he has to go with his oratory, both events stirring the heart in a way he didn't think he'd yet managed to achieve back in Absalom. He mentally notes the captain's inflections and the emphasis he uses in both speeches, hoping to apply some of the lessons learned to his own verbal ability.

When land is finally spotted and the ship anchored, he goes into the town with the others to make sure there is no hazard or immediate threat to themselves or the colonists. While the clearly sudden disappearance of the colonists is at the very least eerie, like a ghost story told around a late night campfire, there seems to be no present danger, so the offloading of the ship begins. Songan helps as much as he can with getting the cattle and other supplies off the ship, the exhaustion of the day leading to one of the most restful sleeps of his life.

He is on the docks helping get the last of the animals ready to move into the abandoned town when the explosion nearly knocks him prone, and he looks back to the ship with a start, his eyes going wide, mouth agape. He is no fool, though; from the size of the explosion and the fire burning, even if he could swim, he'd never reach the ship in time to do anything about it. He clenches his fists, watching helplessly as the ship sinks beneath the waves.

When the others inevitably begin arriving, he tells them of the explosion, though he didn't know what caused it; barring some super-powerful being toying with them, he agrees with Leralt's assessment. Something must've hit the lamp oil that was waiting on the deck to be brought to shore. Either way, the immediate concern is recovery of any cargo that will not have been ruined by a dip in the briny water of the ocean.

Hearing Dr. Krupt's plan, he calls to him to offer his own opinion,"Dr. Krupt, I do not believe attempting to retrieve cargo immediately is the best way to begin the recovery effort. There are iron and steel implements of various purpose that will have gone down along with the supplies; if the fishing nets get caught on any of those edges, they are more likely to rip the nets than be dragged by them, which will leave us in an even worse position than now. We should first try to ascertain the depth of the harbor, and if we have capable swimmers who can handle the dive, tie rope lines to the more hazardous tools and heave them up. Then drag the bottom for salvage."

"We should also try to gather some firewood for the colonists. With our lamp oil supplies gone, another priority for tonight is a source of light and fire for the colonists. I am in possession of an everburning torch, which I am glad to volunteer use of, but it will hardly suffice for the lot of us."


Male Dwarf Monk(Zen Archer)/Inquisitor 5, hp 60/60, AC 21, (T21/FF18), Init +13, Perc +14 F+8(13)/R+8(13)/W+11(16)
Leralt Littlehorn wrote:

"I was more interested on your knowledge of nature and those involved with it. The magic was not arcane, not that of a mage. It felt more natural, such as that from a druid or those with a connection to the natural world. Could its source be from fey or maybe even a circle of druids. It is not unheard of settlements running afoul of those groups. It may even be that the former settlers some how insulted such a group and were sprited away, fey are known for that. I have some knowledge on such subjects but would like the assistance of someone more in tuned with it, like yourself. That is if you are willing to help?"

"Oh aye a druid could have cast the spell. That sort of thing is beyond my skills, but hardly the work of a grandmaster."

He pauses a moment, frowning deep in thought.

"If it was someone with the power of nature, there is no point in looking for tracks, there will be no trace of a druid in the wilderness. Even worse, they could have been in the form of some beast when they brought the fire, a fish even. I'm not saying that we should not still look, but perhaps we should prioritize securing the town and organizing some sort of recovery effort. If only to recover what bodies we can for a decent burial and to make sure no one drowns trying to be a hero."


Female Halfling Ranger 3

Daisy paused at the gate, uncertain whether to follow Lena or if should stay at the settlement. When a group made to follow the Inquisitor the question settled itself for her.

"Oi! You lot. Where d'ya think your gettin' to? If your goin' out there at least arm yourselves."

We ain't had time to organize a proper militia and these folk will get themselves killed if I let them alone.

"You, the big 'un," she pointed to largest man in the group, "You're in charge. Get to the armory and get yourselves some gear. Then get some blankets." She looked through the gate to where the flames and smoke rose over the treetops, "You'll be needin' to bring back the hurt folk."

"You," she grabbed another man by the arm, "Robert, ain't it?"

"J-Jim, actua-"

"Yours is the gate, Bob. Don' let now one in what you don' recognize. I'm gonna find the healers. They need to be ready."


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

Krupt listens to Songan's suggestion. "Yes, a reasonable premise," he says as he looks out on the water, but he is unable to suppress a shudder. "If anyone is actually brave enough to swim out there, that's a sound plan. The dragnets will still be needed, if they want to recover the dead."


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

Apologies for my absence, first time getting more than a couple minutes at the computer in a few days

Earlier, Aboard Ship:
The good Doctor seems to thrive on board ship, never once needed the aid of the Chelaxian's ginger brew. As the weeks pass she seems to be everywhere and speaks to everyone. She is always full of questions but her natural charm and beauty, plus her intimidation size, allow her to get away with a level of 'inquisition' that most others would not be permitted to practice.

Less than 'ferreting out nefarious doings' though, she seemed to want to know everything about everyone, and be genuinely interested in them and their various histories. She seems to be most interested in the reasons why people made the choice to sett;e this remote island colony, and as well anything at all anyone, crew or colonists, may have heard about the previous colony. But even the smallest details could keep her attention for hours, and indeed, sometimes it was these details she focused on and many found her questions odd and unrelated. Still though, by the end of the trip, Catila knew intimate and personal details about almost everyone on the ship.

Diplomacy to gather information: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25

When not 'detecting', Catila is most often found entertaining the colonists and crew by harmonizing in song with Songan, seeming to delight in the catman's unique voice. Or else she is up in the crow's nest, being very welcome there one those on lookout realize that their eyes seem that much sharper with when the small bard is humming her little ditties beside them. The final place she is most often found is perched upon the masthead, an area she's claimed as her own and a place she uses to meditate upon all she has learned and her ideas and lines of questioning ahead to solve the mystery of the missing colonists.

When the Coinlord's Pride finally sights land, the sea and sun tanned Gnome races to her spot at the prow, eager for the fist sight of her new home and the mystery and adventure that awaits them all

NOW

As the rowboats pull towards the island, Catila is one of the first to touch land, leaping from the ship to land nimbly in the sand. A wide grin on her face, she eagerly joins the others in the initial investigation of the settlement. Her sharp eyes not missing a thing, she does to quick general investigation as to what possible clues to the missing colonists may have been left behind.
Knowledge(local): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23
Profession(detective): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22

As well, having the idea that there might possibly be a non-intentional reason behind the disappearance, the small detective also spends time consulting with Orin, Daisy and Gellius, asking them if anything about the local flora & fauna might possibly be responsible for affecting the colonists, wondering if perhaps something they ate or drank caused mass hallucinations, disease or the like.

She also enlists the help of the Druid and Ranger to help approach some of the local wildlife, preferably mammalian or avian, and then uses her racial ability to speak to the animals, asking them for anything the might be able to share about the many 'two-legs' that had lived in the wooden town or any other 'upright walkers' that may live on the island.

On the second day, her abilities not being so much geared towards heavy lifting, Catila finds a way to the top of the mayors house and keeps a sharp eye on both the ship and the surrounding area, humming to herself all the while.
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27

As such, she is in an excellent position to witness the firey attack on the ship and her fine mind is instantly whirling to try and determine all about it that she can
Knowledge(arcana): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13

Hurrying down of the rooftop and racing to the beach, it is with tears in her eyes that she watches the rapidly sinking vessel and the lives it takes down with it. As the Chelaxian asks her rude and completely inappropriate question, Catila merely raises an annoyed eyebrow in response. As the debate about their next course of action ensues, she listens quietly for a while then finally chimes in "For the most part I agree with Songan. But while an endeavour at recovery of the items is certainly something we shall have to attempt soon, our priority must be in trying to determine the source of the attack and seek to ensure there is not another!"

Seeing that others have the defence of the town seemingly in hand, she continues "I volunteer to scout the immediate vicinity to try and determine who or what might have been the source of the attack. While you are surely correct in that if it was indeed an attack by a Druid we'd likely not find tracks Orin, we cannot rule out any other possibility at the moment either. I would greatly value your assistance in searching the area, yours as well Daisy. Any other who feel the desire to join us are of course welcome as well. So, who's all coming with me?"

Catila will wait a few moments to see who might join her, but even if she must go by herself, she will leave very soon.


Catila:
You are indeed in an excellent position to see the attack. From the clear blue sky comes a column of fire that begins above 40 feet above the ship and strikes down upon the lamp oil barrels precisely. The fire is brighter than it should be, as if it were augmented by a power beyond the natural. However you can see no immediate perpetrator behind it, though you do note that the sea birds circling over the ship suddenly scatter just before the effect, one bird staying behind a moment longer than the others. In fact it seems to move just before the column of flame appears...

Divisions are made, as part of the group seeks to search for answers, while others seek to recover men or equipment lost in the explosion.

While the current is strong, a few swimmers make it to the burning wreckage and manage to pull several unconscious sailors from the wreckage and back to the beach. First aid is given, but three of the seven men recovered are beyond hope. The remaining four are stabilized and moved back to the fort for further healing. However, one of the swimmers who helps transport victims to the temple returns in a hurry: The temple floor has been torn up and the Mayor is missing.

The search for tracks is launched, but as feared, none are found. However Catila does note something strange.

Catila:
There is a disturbing lack of wildlife around. Birds, yes, but no mammals, not even the small skittering kind usually found scavenging around a beach.


Female Gnome Bard (Detective)/ 5

DM OMB, while I now know exactly what happened (with the fire at least), does Catila need to make any more checks or rolls to put the pieces together? And also, just curious, did she glean any useful information from her weeks of speaking to all those on the ship?

EDIT: Also, were there any specific characteristics about that bird that she would be able to later pick out, discern or describe?


Male Dwarf Monk(Zen Archer)/Inquisitor 5, hp 60/60, AC 21, (T21/FF18), Init +13, Perc +14 F+8(13)/R+8(13)/W+11(16)

Mole People!! I guess we should heal the injured sailors before we do anything else. I don't have any healing memorized, if no one else does either I can just use my wand.

Orin goes to help with the injured before going to investigate the missing Mayor. He looks to see if there is a tunnel or anything where the temple floor was torn up. If there is, he asks around,

"Do we have have anything that belonged to the mayor? Anything he touched recently? If we do, Grimfang can track him by his scent."


Catila:
The gull was pretty normal, save it had some sort of black marking on its otherwise white head.

Orin, the floor is made of simple boards laid next to each over a frame of wood over packed earth. The floorboards have been pushed up from below, and there is indeed freshly moved earth below it.


Male Catfolk Bard (Archaeologist) 1; HP 9/9; AC 13/13/10; F+1/R+5/W+2; Init +3; Per +7

At the news of the missing mayor, Songan growls, a threateningly annoyed sound that emerges from deep in his throat; it sounds not unlike the low growl of a lion. Perhaps he is not so much a good luck charm as he thought. Knowing who is most likely to have seen something and made sense of it, he asks the good Detective as soon as he sees her if she was able to see anything from wherever she was at the time of the incident, assuming for the moment that the ship was deliberately attacked.

Upon reaching the temple, Songan hears Orin mention finding something for Grimfang, and immediately begins combing the immediate area to try find any clues of the Mayor's disappearance as well as anything that belonged to him to let Grimfang scent it.

Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Leralt looks at the floor then to Orin.

"You said druids could turn into animals. Well this is looking more like a druids work or at least something that digs pretty well. Do you guys have any way of contacting each other or meeting up?"

He still did not know enough but it seemed that their enemy was small in number. Each attack was pin point and ambush, the actions of a single or very small number of enemies.


Songan is able to find a small chest belonging to the Mayor, on which several items of clothing worn yesterday are laid casually. He brings the items to Grimfang, who sniffs them vigorously for a few moments before springing at the torn floor and beginning to dig at the fresh earth.


Male Dwarf Monk(Zen Archer)/Inquisitor 5, hp 60/60, AC 21, (T21/FF18), Init +13, Perc +14 F+8(13)/R+8(13)/W+11(16)
Leralt Littlehorn wrote:
"You said druids could turn into animals. Well this is looking more like a druids work or at least something that digs pretty well. Do you guys have any way of contacting each other or meeting up?"

To Leralt: "Not anymore than a wizard might."

Orin stops Grimfang's digging. He tries to think of what might have been responsible for the digging.
knowledge(nature):1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16

"If we are dealing with druids, things could get much worse."


Male Tiefling Void Elementalist 5

Knowledge (Nature)
1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
Edit-Well that was pointless >.<


Male Human (Chelaxian) Alchemist (vivisectonist) 5 (Init +2; AC 17, t12, ff15; hp 18/41; F+6/R+6/W+1)

Dr. Krupt seems momentarily surprised at the recovery of survivors. He is quickly back in stride, moving to whatever building he's claimed as home and workshop and heads to the tent with his healer's kit and tools of the trade.

Upon noting the torn-up floor, he instructs all rescue workers to avoid contact with the area, having the rescued victims taken elsewhere, like the town hall. This leaves the scene untouched for scrutiny by his companions. He then begins triage, seeing to the worst of the wounded with stitches, bandages, and poultices. Stabilizing who he can and dressing wounds all around.

Knowledge(nature) check in place of Heal: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26

He scans the colonists in the area for someone that he appraises as being a relatively quick thinker.

"You there, girl. Find someone to assist you and bring any medical supplies here from where they were stored after being brought ashore. I'll need clean bandages and additional herbs. Get someone to build a fire and put pots of water on to boil. I'll need cold water brought in so I can treat the burns. Sea water will do. Don't stand there with your mouth open catching bugs. Run along!"


Female Halfling Ranger 3

Daisy stared at the hole in the floor. Ya' stupid squawk. Useless t+&%. So busy lookin' at the walls somethin' snatched a man right from within'. The mayor's dead an' it's my fault. She wracked her brains on what might have done this. Ankheg? Landshark? On an island great smack in the middle of a bloody ocean? She'd have to talk with Oakhammer about it later. She crouched down and examined the scene looking for scratches, fluids, blood, anything that might tell her what happened.

Perception Roll: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13

She'd heard the whole story by now. The bolt from the sky, the exploding lamp oil. They'd been bringing up the dead and injured from the docks, more of the former than the latter. Mevakh, they said, was still down at the water trying to pull people out and some of the others were talking about salvage. But Daisy was holding back welling despair. They'd been attacked by an enemy the hadn't seen. The ship was gone and with it any communication with Absalom. It'd be months before the church suspected anything was amiss. Weeks after that before another ship could be ready to search for them. That is if the Archcanon didn't write off the whole expedition as a wash.

Orin was pulling Grimfang away from the hole where the wolf had been digging. Daisy gave him a pat, "There's a good fellow." Dr. Krupt was taking charge of the treatment of the victims. That was good.

"Right. I want you all to spread the word. From now on, nae o' you is to be alone and without a sword within reach. That ways at least one of ya might live and let us know what ate the other."

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