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Once upon a time...

Game Master Lloyd Jackson

The players and the places


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Male Human Student 1

24th Calistril, 4710

The weather continue much as it has since the storm several days ago. Cold and cloudy with almost half a foot of snow on ground. Occasionally the wind will pick up, or brief flurry of snow will drift down, but mostly it's just cold, calm, and lonely.

You continue east, as you have since crossing the massive stone bridge that spans the Sellen. The great swamp/forest that locals call the Narlmarshes to your right for past five days. Now that you think about it, the storm hit right after you crossed. Maybe those stone Wyverns weren't welcoming you, maybe they were warning you to turn back?

Regardless, the brown log walls of the fort up ahead beckon you on, promising a warm bed, hot food, and gods be good, a bath. Dassah wouldn't mind that either. The thought of seeing your dearest friend again speeds your steps. Your 'condition', as your parents put it, and clothing protect you from the cold, though being forced to finally wear boots and a coat strikes you as somehow perverse. It hasn't risen above freezing since the snow came! It wouldn't be so bad if you didn't have to tuck in your tail, but the cold nips it worse than anything, and you have yet to find a tailor with 'tail-mits'. Poor Dassah has it worse though, there isn't a snake alive meant to slither through snow, so the tent at night, which are dreadfully long here, is the only time you've had together.

You can now see the fort in all it's, well, if not glory, at least better-than-nothingness. Oh let's be honest. It looks like something soldiers would make. A book of wooden palisade ten feet high, with twenty foot towers at each corner. The gate is currently open, and as your round the corner you see a man and woman at the entrance ready to greet you, though the genuine warmth of their smiles is tempered by a pair of ready crossbows resting on a nearby barrel, and the wood-ax the man is leaning on. You notice that while ready for winter, they bundled up anymore than you are!

Greetings stranger! The man calls out gruffly, in a rather accented Taldane Where are from and what takes out from there in the middle of winter? The woman smiles and gestures toward the squarish building on the opposite side of the small compound. Indeed, come in and tell us your story. Pardon the bows, but there's been trouble around here and couldn't be sure you weren't a part of it.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"Never mind apologizing about the bows, I do get used to it after a time," answers Eleanor, pulling her hood back away from her head. "And I do promise, I will do my best to be no part of your troubles. I am not sure my story is particularly interesting, I am just another pioneer." Eleanor pauses to look up into the falling snow, enjoying the feeling of the flakes melting on her face. "Although if they had told me winters here were so harsh, I am not sure I would even be that."

Eleanor enters the square building, "I hope they warned you I was coming, or at least sent word?" She peels of her sodden cape, and inquires where she may place it to dry. "Although I generally take some care to conceal my. . . heritage, since I think I may be here a while, I find it best not to start out with falsehoods." With that, Eleanor flexes her wings loose, and shakes the cold and wet from her hair and feathers.

"Ah, so much better," taking a seat she continues, "Now that I have arrived, what can I help you with?" Eleanor smiles warmly, then realizes her fangs may put the poor folk off, and quickly straightens her face.

"Dassah, be careful, and try to get warm. I am afraid this will be a painful introduction, and I do not want to be caught off guard. Be nice, be polite, and please, warm yourself. Just looking at you is making me cold."

"I suppose introductions are in order. I am Eleanor, and this is Dassah. She is my eidolon, and my best friend, and you are?"


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"Oh, I am sorry. You left your weapons outside, and I walked in with mine."
Eleanor unstraps her crossbow, and sets it near the door before returning to her seat.


Male Human Student 1

Removing your hood, you notice the usual reactions. A slight stiffening of a smile, a hand that grips a tool or weapon more firmly. Oh well. Even at the end of civilization people, people don't react kindly to strangeness.

From the inside the building almost looks like a small tavern. A large common room dominates the front half, a long table occupying the left side and a large iron stove the right. The doors leading to the second half of the building are closed, but it probably functions as the couple's home, though there is a large bed near the stove at the moment.

Gesturing to a series of hooks and rack near the stove, the woman stares with astonishment as your wings are revealed. Hvar í hylinn komst þú úr stelpu og hvað ert þú? Shouting to the door Oleg! Koma kalt járn! Virðist ekki eins og anda, en stúlkan hefur svarta vængi fugla! Turning back to you, Pardon, I've never seen someone like you before. Least not one that bothered with boots and cloaks. I wouldn't have forgotten your description, so no. No one warned us about you. The east road is hardly ever used during the busiest of times, you're the first winter traveler we've had come that way.

The man comes inside bearing the two crossbows and, seeing you sitting calmly, racks them by the door. As you do the same, Thanks. Some that come by here insist on wearing them everywhere. Sense if you're out on the kames, but foolishness in house. Gesturing back to the stove and taking a seat himself, As for what you can do, pulling out a small iron nail If you would do us another politeness and bleed yourself with the iron, tell us where you're from, and what you are. I'll give you our names and tell you about the trouble. If not, I'd ask you to be on your way. You don't seem like a spirit, but I'd rather not make a mistake.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"An odd request, I suppose. But I dare say people have asked for worse." Eleanor takes the small nail from him. "If you would allow me?" she crosses the small room, and heats the nail over the fire, "Never can be too careful, infections are just as likely to kill me as the cold." Once the nail is heated, Eleanor pours a little water from one of her skins over the nail, quenching it. Handing the nail back to Oleg, she says, "Please help yourself, but please try to be somewhat gentle." Eleanor bares her arm for Oleg, then looks at the woman. "I am sorry if I put you off. I am Eleanor, as I said, and I am a pioneer. I am here to try to find a homestead, if there are any left to be had. As to what I am, I was cursed by one of my great ancestors indiscretions. I am tiefling. Unlike some of my kind you may have met, I am more definitively what I am, and hiding the fact would be a difficult task at best, so instead, I just am me."

Wincing slightly as her blood is drawn, she finishes "Despite my appearance, I assure you I am not here to cause you any harm or distress. Although it may be too late on the distress point. Anyhow, it seems as if something is definitely wrong here, and as I am in need of a place to stay, perhaps I can help?"


Male Human Student 1

As the nail draws blood, the woman looks slightly relieved Well, there's nothing you can do about history, and you seem nicer, if stranger, than most of your kind we've seen before. So we'll just leave it at that. I'm Svetlana and this is my husband Oleg. The trading post is ours and the only thing around aside from trappers shacks. Beds are five silver scales, though we take any coin. Meals come with it, and baths are free, though you fetch the water or snow yourself. You can sleep in the guest house if you wish, though I recommend sleeping here, as this is the only fire at the moment.

Oleg continues Farmsteads are wherever you care to place them. This area may be claimed by the Dragonscale Throne, but truth is south of here is the River Kingdoms. You have what you hold. Which in this case means holding it from the trolls that run the kames and whatever fool bandits decide to set up between the kames, forest, and lake. Plenty of people have tried to make of go of it down there, none of lasted that I know of. Fair number of trapper/hunter types though. The current crop of fools is our problem. The trolls haven't been kind enough to eat them yet, and with travelers holed up for the winter they've decided to live off us. Three months back a dozen of them rode up. Oleg face and voice tighten as he continues They rode up and threatened to burn the place down and make my wife their toy unless we gave them all the trade goods we had. Every month month since then it's been the same thing. Near the end of the month, they take the furs and other things the trappers bring to us. We sent word to Restov, and supposedly help is coming, but it hasn't come yet. With a sigh Who knows if it will. The only good news is each time they've come it's been fewer. First a dozen, then six, and last time only four. Gruffly, but with a bit of a wry smile So there you have it. Don't suppose you're a great sorcerer ready to bring fire and destruction down on them?


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"I am not a sorcerer, but I could help you I am sure of it. There were only four of them last time, and that means that it is unlikely there will be more than four this time, aye?" Esmirelda looks around trying to see if she can spot any places where she and Dassah could hide, perhaps form an ambush. "I bet Dassah and myself could hide somewhere, and ambush them when they come. What they are doing to you is wrong, and I will happily help to send them on their way. I am not fond of the idea of just slaughtering them, however; if they come in armed intending to rob you again they will force my hand. Could you show myself and my Eidolon around so we can make an assessment?"

Eleanor reaches into her pack and pulls out a gold coin, "I am certain we will need a day or so to thaw ourselves out before we continue south." Eleanor pauses a moment, "There will be two of us during the day, but only one will need a bed. I can pay a little extra if you need, due to our strange nature. I am going to call Dassah now. Please don't be alarmed." Eleanor begins her ritual, then thinks better, and tries again to reassure the couple.

"I assure you, she is even more kind than I, though perhaps stranger looking still. She does bleed, but she is not entirely of this world." Esmirelda closes her eyes and begins to meditate on the form of Dassah, recalling the details of her form. Smiling as she shifts her focus from the appearance to the personality of her eidolon. As her ritual continues, slowly Dassah forms in the room with her, until after a just a minute, Dassah is whole and with her again.

"She is my eidolon, and she is. . well she is important to me. She will be at least as useful as I when it comes to the bandits. She will fade away when I sleep, but she is real as can be while I am awake. Last we were together it was horribly cold and I think she may need time by your fire?"

They need our help I think, and you need their fire, so do your best to be polite while we are here?


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

After much trudging about in the snow, Eleanor returns to the structure Oleg and Svetlana call home.

"After due consideration, I have devised a plan of sorts. Well, I am not exactly a strategist, so more an idea about where best to hide and ambush the bandits should they return, unfortunately; I will need some extra help from the two of you. " Eleanor takes a moment to figure out how best to phrase her requests before continuing. "I am not a wizard or a sorcerer, and I can not incinerate the bandits with the force of my will, nor can I call on the gods to smite them. I can call magical beasts to assist us, no demons, I promise. Most likely a dog or an eagle." Eleanor removes her cloak and hangs it to dry near the fire, and tousles Dassah's hair to wake her from her nap by the fire.

"Feeling better now that you have a fire to snuggle up to?" she whispers to Dassah before returning to a seat.

"My idea is this. First, I notice there are ramparts all around the outer wall of your fort. I would like to set up a spot up there where Dassah here can keep watch. She notices almost everything, and I am all but oblivious. Second, as you have no doubt noticed, she is embarrassingly short on warm clothing, it is dreadfully hard to find clothes that fit her properly, so I will need to find a place that is warm and secure for her to retreat to once she has spotted the enemy, and hopefully a nice stock of blankets to borrow for her to cover up with while on the wall. The spot for her to retreat to should be a place with a view of the courtyard sufficient to allow her to use a crossbow, but also fairly warm. I would propose that it be the north west corner of that bunkhouse, if we could get heat in one of the rooms."

Dassah interrupts Eleanor pointing out that which she considers to be self evident, "I would love to help you, Eleanor, I really would, but I have never even touched a crossbow, save to bring you yours when you ask. I am not sure I could hit the broad side of a barn on my best day."

"I am sure you will do fine, my dear, I am only really counting on you making one shot so it takes them longer to find me, then I want you to hide in that bunkhouse." Eleanor gives Dassah a loving smile before returning her attention to Oleg and Svetlana.

If the bandits follow you into that bunkhouse, you scream your fool head off at me, and I will summon a second animal. It will banish you, I am afraid, but at least they will not be able to hurt you. It may even confuse them a little to see you poof out of existence.

"When I arrived I noticed that you have your own crossbows, and at least Oleg appears to know how to use one." Eleanor smiles broadly at Oleg, giving him a knowing nod.

"I would be happy if you could also help fire from somewhere safe into the courtyard, but I do not want to put either of you in peril. So, if you do not have at least some experience with combat, I would ask that you stay in here, and I will do my best to keep the bandits as far from the house as possible."

"I also have a little bit of a 'Plan B'. Oleg, do you have manacles in any of your stores? If so, I would appreciate you finding two pair. If I fail, manacle yourself and your wife to the spike there by the fire. When the bandits come in, tell them that I too was a brigand, and that I took the two of you captive just prior to their arrival. Thank them profusely for rescuing the two of you from my evil clutches. Hopefully they will believe you and even if I fail, you will be no worse off than you are now." Eleanor does not seem to happy to be mentioning the potential of defeat. She quickly shrugs off her insecurity and continues.

"The places that look best to hide, to me, are either inside that storage building with the door cracked just enough to allow me to see out of it, inside one of those pits along the north wall, or if we could remove a board or two from the south wall of that bunkhouse. Honestly I would prefer the storage building because it is further from the places you and Dassah are likely to be holed up in."

Finally, although I do hate to haggle, I have enough to pay for a several days boarding here. If I am to stay and help fight off the bandits... I will pay up to all I have, but I am not sure they will arrive before I am penniless." finishes Eleanor, obviously embarrassed.

"Thoughts?"


Male Human Student 1

Oleg nods is agreement, Most likely Happs, he seems to be the right hand for the boss, Kessle, and three, maybe we get luckly, two others. Be nice if we equaled them, two to one odds are just too step to risk, but one to one is doable. Happs standard river trash, crude and foul, probably a guard who got greedy. The boss woman though, she only came the one time, but was a something else entirely. Svetlana, who is otherwise remarkably calm, breaks in venomously, A b+#$@. A twisted, evil, murderous b+!*$. She SMILED about the things her boys would do if we didn't hand over our supplies. Almost chopped off Oleg's hand, and when I begged her not to, she took my wedding ring as 'payment' instead. You may not want to kill anyone, but I do. And their bodies will hang by the gate! Oleg shifts a bit uncomfortably at this, but nods in agreement.

Oleg and Svetland both grow a bit wary as you mention Dassah, but once the ritual begins, you notice the tension ease out again. Unnatural though she may be, you've noticed few people react to her with visceral horror. Once Dassah has fully manifested. Oleg asks So you're a jumala-soittajan? Actually had a few visit before. Kellids from Mendev area, wanted to get out between the crusaders and demons. Don't blame them a bit. Looking at Dassah You and the one who calls you are welcome to our meat and fire. As Dassah curls up near the stove, Svetlana says She's such a pretty thing. The last one was like a monstrous wolverine, and his caller had a temperament to match.

Evening class calls me away, will respond to second post later this evening


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"Well, she is special, Dassah I mean. As to the hanging of bodies off your fort, I really wish you would reconsider. I am not sure that is the message you want to send to the world about yourselves. As for your ring, it is yours. I certainly won't keep you from it. In fact, anything that is yours that they bring back on a raid you should keep. I just hope we can find some sort of healing magic around here somewhere."

"Oleg, would you be so kind as to accompany me to the wall? I have a blanket and bedroll I can put up there for Dassah, but perhaps you have some others as well?"

Turning to Dassah, Eleanor goes on, "I want you to stay here and sleep until we get back, I am not sure how long you can keep watch for, but I hope to get a warm spot set up for you."

"We should gather up some rocks, we can heat them near the stove, then carry them up to the wall in my pack. Should help her some."

Eleanor steps into the spare room Oleg and Svetlana had directed her attention to, and carefully unpacks all the items from her pack, and returns with two travelers outfits. "Here Dassah, lets get you into these. Doubling up might help a bit."

Eleanor helps Dassah dress, the skirts hanging akwardly from Dassah's hips. "When I get back, I will definately take you up on the hot bath," Eleanor smiles at Svetlana. "Do you suppose you have soap and a hairbrush?"

[/b]With that, Eleanor grabs her cloak and bundles up before slipping her near empty pack on, picking up the water buckets, then slips back out into the night.

Eleanor first heads to the wall, stopping along the way to slowly fill her pack with any palm sized flat stones. After finding a spot with a good view of the road leading up to the fort, she clears the snow away, and puts down her bedroll, and covers it with the blanket. Climbing back down, she heads to the well, fills both buckets with water, and heads back to the main house. I hope Oleg can add more blankets to that pile, or at least some canvas to help keep it dry.

Making sure to enter with a smile, Eleanor walks back into the home, and asks Svetlana, "Where can I heat the water? I think it would be shockingly cold to bathe in this..." Eleanor begins stacking the stones she found next to the fire. Once she has finished, she heads back out into the cold to find another pack full of stones.

Eleanor will continue the process of gathering stones and water until there are enough stones to make a decent layer under the bedroll, and enough water for a hot bath. Once everything is gathered and all the rocks are stacked around the fire, Eleanor will nap until the water for her bath is heated up.


Male Human Student 1

Oleg Chuckles You're a sweet girl once you get past the eyes and feathers aren't ya? The message bodies send is the right one for this area. It says we're tough enough to fight and mean to do so.

With a deep breath, Svetlana stands and shakes herself, heading for the storeroom. Bath comes after diner. Right now the stove's mine. The soap is meant for de-lousing, so watch out. Don't worry about money until the time comes. You have enough for a few days, and after that none of us may be worrying about anything. she says with a lopsided grin. Oleg, grab the blankets from the stable. The jumala can use them as a nest and should keep her plenty warm.

As you and Oleg walk outside. The right window of the house has a fine view of the gate. Your jumala can take position with my wife there and help by loading the crossbows. Svetlana is a fair shot, but loading is slow and I'd rather not leave her alone during the fight. As for me, taking the ax from it's resting place in the stable someone has to hold the gate and you don't seem a brawler, so that's what me and the ax will do. I'll hold them, and you and the wife kill 'em. Any magic you can do will be a bonus.

Stopping you along the wall, Oleg grows serious Thank you. There aren't many who would stand with a stranger without knowing what they're standing against, and usually require good pay to do it. If this works out, our place is yours for as long as you need one.

As the stones gather heat by the stove, you joing Oleg and Svetlana for a welcome meal of mulled mead and thick stew, which they both take obvious pride in. You wouldn't think it, but we eat better here than we ever did in Restov, even with the bandits. The trappers bring plenty of meat to trade, and the stolen lands are generous if you're careful.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"Thank you. Sometimes I think I have to be the ambassador for my race. People tend to think the worst of us because of how we look. It doesn't always make life easy, so here I am on the edge of the world, looking for a place to make my own." Eleanor keeps busy making Dassah a nest while she talks to Oleg.

"I think this should do nicely. Any idea when to expect these bandits? We can talk over dinner I think. I know I am famished, and I am really looking forward to something besides trail rations."


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

Following dinner, Eleanor helps clear the table and do dishes, then asks Svetlana for help heating water for a bath. Afterwards, Eleanor takes a long, hot bath, followed by having Dassah helpsher brush out her hair. Eleanor then settles in for the night. "Please wake me before dawn, if you will be up."


Male Human Student 1

They arrive about midday, though I'm not sure how far their camp is. Their horses were carrying tents and it looked like they used them.

You spend an uneventful, and enjoyably toasty, night with Oleg and Svetlana. Rising early you summon Dassah and begin to wait. Smoke begins to rise from the fire newly stoked. You insistence on eating breakfast during watch earns a grumbled, Wings of a bird and half the sense. as Svetlana brings out a bowl of hot porridge.

The clouds of the last week have broken, leaving a chill morning, but one that begins to warm quickly. As it does, you and Oleg manuever the table into place while Svetland makes sure windows to various buildings are barred from the inside. Your inventory with Oleg doesn't reveal much, as the bandits took anything useful or valuable, but there is a 70ft coil of rope and a half full barrel of lantern oil, perhaps 30-40 gallons. Though he does have ice gear, Oleg would rather fight on solid ground.

The sun shining off the snow proves to be uncomfortably bright at times, but at least it will be easy to spot the bandits coming. Aside from small bumps and the occassionaly tree, the land it flat and open until the forest some ten miles away.

Make perception checks for both you and Dassah at noon.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

Perception (Eleanor): 1d20 ⇒ 1
Perception (Dassah: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (9) + 15 = 24

"I dislike the idea of using the last of your sparse supplies. Although I can think of a lot of ways to use a rope and all that lamp oil, we should keep in mind we are in a wooden fort, and your home. I am not to keen on burning it all down. So, I think we will make due with the plan as it is. You will guard the gate, I will hide behind a barricade and fire from inside the storage room, while my Dassah and your wife fire from the second floor of your house."


Male Human Student 1

As you scan across the horizon, you hear Dassah in your mind Look over there, the line where the forest ends, then towards us, maybe a mile away. Horses

Sure enough, you see them. A line of horses, perhaps four, their dark coats easily visible on the white snow. They aren't going particularly fast, but should be here within the next 15-20 minutes.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"Dassah, get to the house and help Svetlana, you will be loading her crossbows. Just keep up with her! I will get Oleg, we only have a little while, so lets keep it efficient!"

Dassah and Eleanor climb down together, and each heads to her respective position.

"Oleg, they will be here in ten to fifteen minutes. Dassah is on her way to your wife to help load crossbows. I will be in position in a moment. They are on horse, so close the gates behind them after you let them in. There are only three or four, but I don't want them getting reenforcements. The gates latching will be the cue to everyone else to open fire, ok?"

"You get that Dassah? Let Svetlana know: 'Do not open fire until the gates are barred.' I am trusting your eyes again on this one, love. Help her out."


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

If Oleg does not have armor, I will cast mage armor on him, otherwise I will spend the time helping Oleg don his armor, if needed


Male Human Student 1

You can feel Dassah's concern in her thoughts Alright, but I don't feel good leaving you alone.

Tension visible on his face, Oleg dons a battered shirt of chainmail and conceals it beneath his winter clothes with surprising ease. You can see Svetlana doing the same inside the house. Thank you. If they give me a chance to close the gate I will. If not, be ready to shoot once I pick up the ax and swing.It's in the snow alongside the guesthouse.

Within a few moments, everyone is in position and the only thing left to do is wait...


Male Human Student 1

I'm assuming you're hiding, but still keeping an eye out, you have improved cover.(+8 to AC and +10 to stealth) Svetlana and Dassah both have improved cover as well. Please make the stealth checks for you and Dassah. Svetlana's stealth 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13

With the gates shut, you can't see the riders approach, but you can hear them. Several men talking loudly. A voice calls out Oleg! Open the damn gates ya stupid bastard! Or do I have to set fire to your lazy ass? The other voices laugh at this, one calling out And bring out sweet cheeks! I know she likes me better than you, maybe this time we'll take her with us.

Clenching his fists, Oleg opens the left side of the gate to admit the riders. The leader, Happs, enters first. Easy to recognize from the Leveton's description, though only in his mid-twenties, he appears to be the oldest of the bandits. You guess the others haven't even reached their twentieth year. Despite this, their strung bows and axes look ready, and sharp, enough. Bandits perception checks. 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 121d20 - 2 ⇒ (1) - 2 = -11d20 - 2 ⇒ (12) - 2 = 101d20 - 2 ⇒ (11) - 2 = 9 Alright. Unless you get a one or two, the bandits won't spot you, and haven't a prayer of seeing the sneak Dassah. I will go forward as such

Once all the bandits are inside, Oleg begins to close the gate. Turning back to face the gates, Happs says Hey! We're goin' back that way, so why're ya closin' it ya dumb s~*~?

Need to make sure no animals escape. Is Oleg's reply, and the doors close with a boom.

Initiative
Oleg 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Svetland 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Happs 1d20 - 6 ⇒ (4) - 6 = -2
Bandits1d20 - 3 ⇒ (3) - 3 = 0

You, Dassah, and the Levetons will have a surprise round to act and then the normal round. As this fight is simple, feel free to post your and Dassah's actions together.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

As the Bandits howl to enter the fort, Eleanor casts Mage Armor on herself.
"I remembered to armor myself up. I have my crossbow loaded and cocked. I hope you are ready, they just knocked..." Eleanor checks her crossbow again, making sure it is set.

"As they enter the gate, I am going to try to grease their axes . . . should make life easier on Oleg if they can't hold on to the damn things."

Casting Grease, and Grease at appropriate times
Stealth, bandit number one's axe: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (8) + 11 = 19
Stealth, bandit number two's axe: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 27

Eleanor

Initiative: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
Stealth: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (1) + 11 = 12

Dassah

Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Stealth: 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (8) + 17 = 25

"Dassah, dear, it seems the oldest is the leader. If we are lucky, the rest will break when he falls. Have Svetlana target him first. Firing in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... Now!"

Eleanor clenches her teeth, and fires on Happs.

Eleanor

To Hit: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 7

Dassah

To Hit: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12 (-4, not proficient, +1 Small Size, +1 BAB, +3 Dex)
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 6


Male Human Student 1

Crouching in the shadows, you stumble over a leg of the table, and end up in plain sight of all the bandits. Fortunately, you are still mostly behind the table and the men don't seem particularly worried by your appearance.

And who's this? Put down the bow girly! I don't bite unless you ask nicely. Happs moves his horse towards your location, but looks back at Oleg when he begins closing the door. This the animal trying to escape?

No surprise round for you, but the others still get it.

Surprise round: Crunuch

Svetlana
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
1d8 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

Dassah
As written

Oleg
Move action.

Surprise round: Summary
As soon as the gate closes, and perhaps even a moment before, Svetlana brings her bow to the windowsill and fires. The bolt gouging a furrow across Happs face. Seeing the bolt strike true, Oleg dashes forward to retrieve his axe while a second bolt smacks into the bandit's back with a meaty thud.

Round One: Crunch
Initiative
Svetlana
Eleanor
Oleg
Dassah
Bandits
Happs

Svetlana
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
1d8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7

Eleanor
As written

Oleg
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
1d8 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6

AoO
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Dassah
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
1d8 ⇒ 5

Bandits
Dismount
Move to door

Happs
Dying

Round One: Summery
Flitting from the window, Svetlana's bolt fails to wound. Glancing off Happs' armor. Your bolt; however, strikes true. Burying itself in the man's side. With a wet gasp, Happs yells at his men, Kill the bastard! as another bolt sails from the house to embedded itself slightly up Dassah's first. Seeing their leader fall from the saddle, the unnerved bandits leap off their horses and run to the gate. Oleg swings his axe furiously, but his blows fail to connect. The scent of blood, frightened cries, and unexpected movement frighten the horses, adding further chaos to the scene.

So originally Dassah's attack missed, then once I add Oleg's AoO, it changed. I swear I'm not trying to cheat your lovely companion. Who apparently is a natural shot. Ah. Never mind. Let's go with it. Huzzah for non-proficiency! Post your and Dassah's action for round two.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"If you drop your weapons and surrender, I will leave Oleg to judge your fate. If you continue to fight, you will surely perish. The choice is yours." shouts Eleanor, trying to project her voice above the din of the combat.

Summoning Celestial Eagle to harass one of the bandits whose weapon has not had grease applied.

Eleanor moves to cover as she summons an eagle to aid in combat.

"Well done beautiful! Now, help Svetlana. You dont need to fire any more, just keep her crossbows loaded. I don't want you to have to kill anyone, Ok? Also, I want this to progress slowly enough that they have time to surrender."

Eleanor will spend the remainder of combat using her standard action to pick up crossbow, and her move action to reload crossbow, or vice versa as appropriate. She will hold the crossbow out so Svetlana need only take from Dassah's hand, and fire.

combat rolls:

Eagle:
Standard action: Full Action Attack:
To Hit:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10 Damage (1d4, Bite): 1d4 ⇒ 3
To Hit:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22 Damage (1d4, Talon 1): 1d4 ⇒ 4
To Hit:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10 Damage (1d4, Talon 2): 1d4 ⇒ 4
Move Action: None, full attack.


Male Human Student 1

Round Two: rolls:

Svetlana:
1d20 + 0 ⇒ (10) + 0 = 101d8 ⇒ 5

Eleanor/Eagle
As written

Oleg
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 261d8 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Critical confirm 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Dassah
Reload crossbow

Bandits
Open gate
Move

Happs
1d20 - 2 ⇒ (15) - 2 = 13

Round Two: Summary
Svetlana's bolt slams into the gate near one of the bandits hands. Summoning a spirit you know well, you call on the bandits to surrender. As the eagle's claws savage a bandit's head, Oleg takes advantage of the distraction to bury his axe in the man's face. The wet cracking sound audible even over the din. Dassah hands a readied crossbow to Svetlana. I think I would just hit one of the horses if I tried to shoot now. Did you see what the man's axe did? It was terrible. Seeing their companion's grusome end, the remaining two bandits frantically pull the gate open wide enough to slip through, then run.

Round three here we go


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"I did see. I am sorry you had to see as well, but it had to be done. I am just grateful it wasn't either of us."

"Dassah, how is Svetlana? I want to let Oleg know."

Eleanor will take ten, with the Guidance cantrip, to use Oleg's rope to bind the injured man (or men) at the ankels, wrists and waist, tying them off to the overturned tables.

"Oleg, Happs is down. He is now your prisoner. All I ask is that you be fair in your determination of his fate. For now though, I think your wife needs you, and he is not going anywhere. If you decide to put him to death, that is your right, but I can have no part in it, and I hope you will wait until I have gone."

After securing the prisoners Eleanor bolts to the house, flying up the stairs two and three at a time. Upon reaching Dassah, she falls into her eidolon's arms, "I am so happy you are alright."

Some time later, Eleanor disentangles from Dassah, and wiping away her tears she tells Dassah, "We both need baths the get rid of the stink of battle."

"Oleg, whatever they have that was once yours is again yours. If they have anything else, I would appreciate some share so that I can start my farmstead, but I will leave that to you and your wife. Do not forget that I still owe you for two day's lodging thus far, and I certainly will not be leaving tonight."

Smiling at Svetlana, "I will begin fetching water. You did well." As she leaves the home, Eleanor pauses a moment to pat Oleg on the back. "I will be back soon."

Eleanor has never killed anyone before, nor has she been so close to such a gory event. After checking and making sure the prisoners are still bound, Eleanor will retreat behind the storage shed to sob for a while before returning to the home.


Male Human Student 1

You don't make a check for binding. It's just CMB + 20. I'll let you use Guidance anyway.

She seems fine, just anxious for Oleg.

As the bandits flee, Oleg quickly shuts the gate to prevent the horses from escaping. Carefully moving to your position, His life is forfeit for banditry, and I'd rather not have to do it later. Besides, poor manners to fix someone up just so you can hang them later. Get inside and I'll take care of it.

I was worried about you too. With mock seriousness at the mention of baths, I am perfect and do not stink.

As you venture outside again, the bodies have been moved and you see Oleg gently shutting the stable door. Ah. Good work today. You and your jumala. Don't worry about lodging. You helped us, so our place is yours now. seeing your demeanor. It uh... might best if you didn't go behind the storage shed girl. There's a bit of a mess.

Later on, after some time alone and the bath, you join Oleg and Svetlana for the evening meal. Both of them talk happily about the bandit problem being over, hopefully, how to recoup losses, and plans for spring. Afterwards, Svetlana gestures to a small pile of armor and weapons. Nothing they had was ours, best we can tell. Our thoughts were to split thing about fifty-fifty. There's...

loot!:

alchemist’s fire x2, leather armor x2, hand-ax x2, composite longbow (+2 Str), longbow, 40 arrows, 20 days of
trail rations, large tent, winter clothing x4, riding tack x4, light horse x4, silver stag skull amulet, 45 gp(Only a few gold coins. Mostly silver with a few copper mixed in.) and various sundries.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"I believe I would have use for the alchemists fire, some coin, and a pack horse. I would like to examine that amulet as well. I think I should leave the rest with you. Is there any chance you could hold my share in credit for me? I will need items now and then as I set up I am sure. Tonight though, I want to sleep in a warm bed. I think I will not have many moe opportunities to do so."

Eleanor will retire with Dassah, it has been a long, hard day. .


Male Human Student 1

Credit won't be a problem, most of the hunters in the area do something similar. There isn't much right now, as you've seen, but we do have two healing potions hidden away. Sorry about not telling you. Svetlana says, But we had to be careful. They're the most valuable things we have at the moment. Take them if you might need them.

The day ends. You, Oleg, and Svetlana take watches during the night, just in case the bandits that fled decide to sneak back, but the night is uneventful, doesn't even fall much below freezing.

26th Calistril 4710
You awaken to dark slate skies. It kept the night from getting cold, but it means the day won't be much warmer. As you sit down to breakfast, Oleg asks What are your plans for now?


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"I think we should head out and start scouting for a farmstead. The weather is abysmal, but it will mean competition will be low. With luck, we may even find someplace another has already abandoned." Eleanor glances out the windows at the black cold sky. "I think I will need to purchase any spare blankets and rations you may have, and some firewood and an as well if you have some to spare. Winter is not looking like it will break any time soon."

"I would appreciate the healing potions, the wilds are no place to be with no ability to heal. I probably should have thought more clearly about that before I left home. At any rate, thank you for letting me know now."


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

The following morning, Eleanor and Dassah head out, following the path the bandits made through the snow on their way to, and shortly thereafter quite hastily from, Oleg's home.


Male Human Student 1

Subtract 100gp in credit for the potions. They are offering to sell them to you, not give them away. The 'take them' probably gave the wrong idea.

Before you leave, Oleg spreads a battered map on the table and begins giving you a brief overview of the area. It's about thirty leagues from here to Restov, almost due east on the road. This map shows what's called the Greenbelt. I'll tell you what I can about it and the dangers. This map is old and probably made from even older maps. No one has mapped the area for generations, so no promises as to how accurate it is. We're here. Pointing to an area near the top of the map. This is edge of the plains of Rostland. The land is good, but it's close enough that setting up without permission will bring tax collectors and someone who claims to have inherited it from some long lost uncle. Mostly, the plains are safe except for a few bandits. Heading south, you can see where the plains end and the kameslands begin. Indicating the darker green that covers the eastern side of the map We call them that, because of the kames. Worked stones, sometimes even foundations that are found on a lot of the hills. No one know where they come from, but they're old. Trolls tend to lair around them for some reason, so carry fire or acid as long as your are in the hills.Further south you go, the more common they are. They lair up during the winter, hibernating almost like bears. Not to say they you won't find any, but it's much safer than spring time. A spring troll is a hungry troll, and ranges all over. That's what the oil is for. Gesturing back at the storeroom where the barrel of oil is kept. The forest is the Narlmarches. It's big, old, and doesn't take kindly to strangers. I've never been inside, but hunters say the fey rule there, so keep your wits sharp. As for water, the big lake is the Tuskwater, so called because the boars are thick around there. The southern one is Candlemere and has as unnatural reputation as the forest. The river to the south and west is the Thorn, small river with plenty of brambles, while the one to south and east is the Shrike. Plenty big enough for boats, but the waterfalls east by Restov and the Tors keep it from being used for trade.

Straight south, where the plains, kames, and forest meet, there's a area that's full of moon radishes. Great for eating and storing, and other things think so too. Good place to hunt for game. On the south side of the Thorn is a area where Fangberries grow thick. Useful for trading and eating. Also good place to find game. I'd guess that the bandits set-up camp somewhere between here and the fangberries, as most people keep to that strip as the safest and most bountiful. Keep an eye out for them.

Moonradishes at junction of S/T/Z. Fangberries in AN.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"I should have remembered to ask earlier, but did you recover your wedding ring from the leader?"

"I shall begin my quest here, close to you," explains Eleanor, gesturing to the map [L] "I will attempt to explore most of this area before heading south. Returning to you every couple days as I can, just in case the bandits come back for vengence. If you see them on the horizon, light something that smokes, a lot, and I will rush back with all haste."

Eleanor studies the map at some length. "It looks to me .. If I skirt the forest to this lake here, [AV] that it should be southerly enough to avoid the tax issues you mentioned, and hopefully far enough north to avoid the bulk of the trolls? I also believe it will take me past the radishes you mentioned, as well as possibly to the bandit camp somewhere between the radishes and the berry patches."

Eleanor takes a moment to confer with Dassah "I am not good with maps and the like, if I got us a book, could you sketch maps for us? Also, before we leave, is there any clothing that you think might help you stay warmer? Otherwise I think I will ask them for a large basket to lash to the pack pony for you. . . It may not be very dignified, but it should be warm."


Male Human Student 1

No. The woman was one who took it, and Happs didn't have it on him. We'll make a signal if anything happens. You trying and do the same if you need help.

Hearing you mention the lake, Svetlana comments That will be plenty south alright. Just be careful.

I could... it is not something I have tried before, but I will try. with a mental giggle. Perhaps I will become a troll, turn the basket into my lair and sleep all winter while you trudge through the horrible snow. It sounds nice actually.

And so, loaded with supplies and accompanied by your dearest friend, you set forth to explore the Stolen Lands...

The rest of this day and the next pass uneventfully as you explore the area around Oleg's home. Dassah seems quite at home in the fur line basket/nest you made. Occasionally looking around, but mostly pulling the lid down tight and dozing. Tall grasses poke through the snow, and the occasional tree or hillock provide landmarks, but mostly the land stays flat and white. The white blanket of winter rendering the landscape uniform. The clouds don't add much, continuing unbroken both day and night, making the two hardly distinguishable. L is now explored.

You continue south and slightly east. Exploring the plains before heading for towards the hills and forest, and hopefully the radishes Oleg mentioned. The clouds break, giving you colder nights and warmer days, but otherwise things remains much the same as before.

The third day takes your to the edge of forest and hills, both of which appear much as Oleg described them. The occasional trees become more frequent and turn into small stands, but the transition from plain to forest still seems a little too sharp. Skirting the forest's edge, Dassah's shark eyes pick out some tracks in the snow. knowledge:nature1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10 It appears to be a split-hooved animal, deer or pig, but you're guessing pig. It appears that a group came through.

Coming to a clearing near the woods edge, nestled between a few small hills, you find the radish patch the Leveton's described. Also as described, someone else has found this area too. There appear to be a few dozen pigs huddled and though quite a few appear large enough to be dangerous, four stand out from the rest, with the smaller ones clumping around the each of the four. Family groups perhaps?


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

Eleanor stops a good ways back from the boars, watching and waiting to see if they will move on. As time passes, she begins to grow bored, eventually summoning a dog into the midst of one of the 'family' groups, in hopes that the dogs sudden appearance will scare the boars away.

"I am hungry, and I could sure go for some pork roast... Unfortunately I do not know how to hunt and clean a kill. Let's not kill more than one if we don't have to, and let's certainly not try to get them all at once!"

3 days' trail rations removed from Inventory. If a group of boars separates from the herd, we will engage them. If they flee, we will use their absence to harvest as many radishes as possible, then return to Oleg's in the hopes he will buy the radishes.


Male Human Student 1

As you observe the herd, a few occasionally turn their beady eyes toward you, otherwise they seem content to ignore your existence. At the dog's sudden appearance, the entire herd comes alert, with those nearest leaping back, unsure whether to attack or flee. After this brief moment of indecision, the adults in the group, led by the largest, descend on the poor dog in a wall of bristling hairs and gleaming tusks. A single upward stroke by the large sow sends the summon vanishing away in a yelp of pain.

The sudden disappearance causes considerable confusion, with the entire herd milling about looking for the corpse, though they remain in close proximity to one another.
From the basket I'm not interested in pork anymore. Or radishes.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"I concur. Moving on then! I don't really want to get much further from Oleg's, so I think our plan has changed. Let's head west for a couple days, then return to Oleg's for more supplies."

I dont think we should venture further south, and we are down to seven days rations. We will head to S, R, Q, J, K and back to L. spending about 1.5 days in each before moving on. I will then reload with supplies, hoping that Oleg will have restocked after 10 days.

Doing her best to keep Dassah warm, and setting up a camp each night, the two cold explorers begin their journey to the west.

"Right now, I am more concerned with learning the paths back to Oleg's than exploring, but we will have to explore in more detail next time we head out."


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

Returning to Oleg's Eleanor smiles, "Well, I found snow, cold, and boars! Unfortunately I did not find a lot to eat. Do you have trail rations in stock? I could sure use a couple dozen. Not much out there to eat."

If available, I would like to purchase 40 trail rations, and load them on the pony. 20g total cost, I will subtract it from the total I have in credit.

"I hope you still have warm rooms to lease, tell me, what has happened here in the last couple weeks? Any more raids?"

Eleanor walks over to the pony, and helps Dassah out of her basket nest. "Wake up, darling, we are back at Oleg's, why dont you run inside and see if you can help Svetlana with anything."


Male Human Student 1

8th Pharast 4710

It's been almost two weeks since you've seen the welcome sight of Oleg's trading post. You can tell things have changed. Light glinting off a sentry's halberd being the most obvious. The white and yellow flag of Brevoy a top one of the towers is also new.

As you approach, the guard waves at you and calls to someone below. Through the open gate, with a trio of skulls tastefully attached to each door, a cheerful Svetlana waits to greet you. It's good to have you back. How was it? Laughing at your reply That's Brevoy. Though soon the ice will be too weak for fishing on. We have plenty of rations, though not too much else yet. Hearing the size of your request, she purses her lips in thought. Yes. We might have enough. Oleg should be back from Restov in a week, so it should be fine. The guards and priest have taken the guesthouse, but we can share the house.

After you have everything stowed away, Svetlana sits you down near the stove. You notice that she has placed Dassah in charge of a large pot of soup, irking your cat-like friend. She's making me work! And there is a perfectly warm stove too.

What's happened here? Well, Kesten and his three men arrived some days after you left. They've been here almost a week. The priest, Jhod, came with them, though I gather they met on the way here. Wish they arrived sooner, when you did. Though that probably would have meant not getting the bandits' horses, which we sorely needed as trade to make up for the supplies we lost.

Speaking of bandits, they did come for us. Just two days ago in fact. Looked like the whole bunch, eight or nine at least. Let them get right up to the gates before jumping up and pin cushioning them. Six against eight isn't much of a fight when you've got surprise and walls on your side. We got four. Three right away, and one whose horse we killed while they were running. Didn't get the woman though. Jhod put an arrow through her side, but the b@@*$ ran. Don't know if she is alive or dead. None of the men fancied hunting them down. Which is a bit disappointing if perfectly understandable. They won't attack now, Kesten's done his job. Other than that, nothing much has happened.

Taking over from Dassah, As for our arrivals, Kesten Garess commands the guards. Though how much of a Garess he is I don't know. He keeps to himself and doesn't talk much. The other three are like most guards. Happy to drink and dice their time away and hoping that nothing too exciting happens. I think they were sent here as punishment, at least they seem to think so. Aren't bad, but you may have to explain that no means no, not chase harder. Names are Nikolas, Thanos, and Karth. Jhod is one of Deadeye's priests. Says he is just felt like coming south this winter and wants to try hunting the Narlmarches. Odd. Haven't seen one in their middle-age still wandering. Usually up to their knees in children, grand-children, and local affairs. Still, he is handy with a bow, and the furs he brought are good enough.


Male Human Student 1

1 Pharast 4710
Avoiding the radish patch, you plunge into the Narlmarches. The forest contains craggy hills, lazy streams, deep ravines, and a great variety of trees. Occasionally you see prints in the snow, but nothing that catches your eye. Towards the end of your fifth day you come upon a small river that has been slightly damned by a fall of trees. The trees bear obvious signs of axe work, though their purpose is somewhat unclear, as the damning appears to have been unintentional. Looking closer, you see a fur clad leg poking out from the tree limbs and the ice that covers trees, pond, and river.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

"Dassah, give me a hand, I think someone is stuck in here."

Clearing away the branches, snow, and ice as best they can, Dassah and Eleanor do their best to uncover the fallen. Carefully loading the body onto the horse before returning to Oleg's.

"I have no idea who this may be, but perhaps Oleg and Svetlana will know. At the very least they may be able to perform a decent burial."

----------

"You can stir a pot for a while, it won't hurt you any. Besides, how long has it been since you had real food? Look at it as an opportunity!" answers Eleanor, half sarcastically.

"That is a lot of happenings in the last two weeks! Look like it is all for the best though. I think I should ride out tomorrow and track that bandit down. It is unlikely that she will have gotten too far if she was gravely injured. It may be the best chance of returning your ring to you. Unfortunately, it means I will miss Oleg, but I will be back in a couple weeks.[b]"

Eleanor and Dassah spend the night in the home with Svetlana, taking her word that the guards don't understand the meaning of no. Waking early, before dawn, Eleanor summons her faithful companion, and makes ready to leave. "[b]Dassah, be a dear and prepare something for breakfast for ourselves and Svetlana wile I get the horses loaded and ready."

After enjoying breakfast with Svetlana and Dassah, Eleanor explains, "I had hoped to visit longer, but I had best make haste while the trail is moderately warm. Please give my warmest regards to that husband of yours. For now, I must be off though."

Sighing heavily as she leaves, Eleanor takes a last long look back at Oleg's, "[i]We will be back again, I am certain. I am entrusting this journal to you. I just want you to write down the goings on, beasts, and locations as we discover them. If possible, it would be nice if you drew us maps as well, love. Shall we?"

Eleanor and Dassah ride out the main gate just hours after their arrival, trying to follow the trail of blood in the white snow left by the female brigand.

----------


5th Pharast 4070
After some time, you are able to free the body. It appears to be a Taldan man around thirty. He wears winter gear, but has little else on his person. Look over there. Dassah directs your attention to a tree stump with axe embedded. Nearby, a severed rope leads to the tangle of logs. Looking at the two ends, it appears that the rope was severed by something sharp, but not a knife, as the cut is too uneven.

Around noon the next day, as you journey north and east, you hear a loud metallic snap beneath you. The horse is startled, but settles down relatively quickly. Looking down, you quickly find the disturbance. A metal trap, with cruelly fanged edge lies in your path. It's good to roll 1 sometimes.

9th Pharast 4070
The day feels much like the one yesterday. A warm wind from the south carrying clouds and drizzle at night and some sun by day. It hasn't even been freezing for a few days! Fortunately, the melting snow has created a thick clingy mud that, while a bit little difficult to move through, leaves excellent prints to follow. Swaying back and forth in her basket, Dassah examines the trail ahead. With a trail like this from the horses, I think we could follow them quickly, especially if you help. Dassah believes you can follow the trail at full spead, -5 penalty, and not risk losing it. Also, with taking 10, unless something changes, you should be able to follow the trail all day. If you do not object, I will narrate as follows.

The trail of crushed grass and muddy print puddles is easy to follow. You quickly cross the plains you spent days exploring. While your knowledge was recently gained, it allows you to keep pace with those you are following. A blood stained cloth reminds you that while moving quickly, you are following wounded quarry. A dangerous proposition. The day ends with you at the junction of forest, hill, and plain. The bandit's trail continues south, along the border of wood and hill. If you wish me to continue, just say so.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

Pushing the horse and poor pony to travel as quickly as possible, Eleanor and Dassah make extreme haste for the first day and a half (12 hour days, riding as fast as possible without risking serious harm to the horses, exhausted animals are one thing, damaged animals are quite another...) "If you lose the trail, call a halt, otherwise I am following you!"

Whispering to the horses, "As soon as we catch that bandit, you get a day off, I promise.."

Tracking rolls on the Discussion side, or you can make them if you prefer.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

We continue on, "This is the ominous time of day, please keep extra aware." Following the trail around the edge of the forest, Eleanor and Dassah agree to continue until dusk, then they will set up camp.

I know it is foolish to wander in to enemy territory, and then set up camp and lose you for the night, but we cant risk losing this one. We will soon need money and goods, and we cant count on just one act of good faith to cause Oleg and Svetlana to feed us forever..


10th Pharast 4070

Following the trail over unknown hills proves to be more difficult. Twice the it seems to disappear. Dassah's eyes are up to the challenge however, quickly finding the trail so the chase can continue. As sun begins to lower, you find the forest curving back in on itself. A cleft the wall of trees formed by a small river, possibly the same one you found the dead trapper in. The trail curves in, continuing to hug the forest. Just before dusk, as you begin looking for a suitable campsite, Wait. Do not move. Up ahead, where the river goes into the trees. There are three odd trees, with something, a man?, in the branches.


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

Focusing her look down, at the trail in the snow, trying to hide the fact that Dassah has spotted a man in the trees, Eleanor reigns the horses up. "I can only think of two reasons to hide up in a tree like that. One, he is hiding on the beasts of the woods, or two he is the lookout for the bandit camp we have been seeking. Given that the trail of the bandit who stole Svetlanna's ring led us directly here makes me believe the latter is true. You stay put in that basket, ready your crossbow and keep an eye on him. I think we are about to have another fight though... How far distant is he?"

"Ok, three trees, one on the left, one right, and the center one. Which is he in?"

Looking back up from the snow, Eleanor peers around, looking for any features that might provide reasonable cover for the coming battle. Guiding her horse over to the spot most likely to provide such cover, Eleanor dismounts, keeping the horse between her and the man in the tree. Eleanor readies herself to summon an eagle to harry the man in the tree while feigning a stretch.

"This looks a good a place as any." announces Eleanor, unlashing the basket containing Dassah from the pony and lowering it to the ground.

"The same as before, we attack on three... One, Two, ... Three!"

Initiative:
Eleanor: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Dassah: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21


Quarter of a bowshot away, maybe. As Dassah emerges from her basket, she is able to point out what she has found. A tripod platform made from trunks with the branches still attached to help it better blend in. A humanoid figure sits atop the small watchtower.

There are plenty of trees to hide and take cover behind.

If you wish to conceal yourself or the horses, it will require a stealth check. Range is 200ft. Declare actions, and let the bloodshed begin!


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

Eleanor and Dassah will move approximately 20 feet closer while looking for trees to hide behind.

Stealth: Eleanor: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
Stealth: Dassah: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21

Eleanor:
Eleanor summons a Celestial Eagle as close the the bandit on the tower as possible, which immediately flies in to attack.

If Eagle can charge: To Hit: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5 (+3 to hit, -2 from Charge)
If Eagle can not charge: Eagle moves 160' closer to target

Dassah:
One partially hidden behind trees, on three, Dassah fires a bolt from her crossbow:
To Hit:: 1d20 ⇒ 12
(+4 dex, +1 small size, -4 no proficiency, -1 wrong size (Medium weapon, small user) )


Initiative
Dassah 21
Eleanor 17
Bandit1 10

Dassah's aim proves true once again, as her bolt buries itself in the bandit's gut. With a cry, the eagle rushes forward, but branches around the platform hinder it's attack. The bandit shouts in fear, pain, and surpise.

That was surprise round and I rolled an 8 for Dassah damage. She hit the guy. Bad stealth, bad perception, gets hit by summon wielding an outsided weapon she isn't even proficient in, then rolls 1 on his perception check, so he doesn't even see who shot him. The dice gods are agreed. This man must die.

P.S. Charge is +2, not -2, to hit .


Female Tiefling Summoner (Master Summoner) 1

Dassah reloads the Crossbow, Move Action and hands the crossbow to Eleanor Second Move Action.

"I will stay on the bow for now so that you can focus on keeping an eye out. I am sure there is more than just one in there..."

Taking the crossbow from Dassah Move, Eleanor aims at the bandit Standard, and fires.
To Hit: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 4

As the bolt flies loose, the eagle continues its attack against the bandit. Smite
To Hit, Bite: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3 (+1 is from Smite)
To Hit, Claw: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
Damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3 (+1 is from Smite)
To Hit, Claw: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Famage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 (+1 is from Smite)


The man collapses under the savagery of beak and claw. Your bolt finds it's mark, ending his struggles.

From the trees to the left, perhaps a hundred feet away, a woman's voice calls out. Menas! What in abyss is happening? A few seconds later, Move it! A pair of scruffy Varisians sprint from the trees, carrying ready bows and short swords. Right behind them is a woman wielding twin handaxes.
Perception
Bandit2 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (19) + 0 = 19
Bandit3 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (3) + 0 = 3
Kressle 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8

Initiative
Bandit2 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Bandit3 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
Kressle 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Dassah 21
Eleanor 17

New round and you have the initiative once again. The two Varisians are in the bottom ford. (rocky area in the stream near the left watchtower. The woman is on the shore right behind them.

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