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SR's - Great Southern Isles (PbP) (Inactive)

Game Master stormraven

High-Power Pathfinder Homespun Game


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STONE-FACED KILLA

Jayse follows the groups actions while sending the second quarrel after the first. Same target.

Light Crossbow 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16;
Damage 1d8 ⇒ 7.
Then move into some cover if available (or if there is mist in range, move to it and try to get hidden. Stealth (if it's possible) 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22

"We need to make it to Isolde's hedge. Thrane said she didn't seem to have problems with the goblins." He thinks for a heartbeat, "Strae, do you have a spell to make Findelgwing move faster?"


"I agree, but if we don't find some cover, we'll never make it there!" Ushari gasps through a haze of pain.


Findelgwing fires hoping to drop the goblin she previously injured, then looks for a defensive position as she tries to maintain the distance between your group and the enemy.

Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24

Twang 110' 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21
dmg 1d8 ⇒ 6


DM

Trying to change your dice luck here, Ushari, please make another bow attack.


Shortbow 1d20 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (10) + 4 - 2 = 12 range
Damage 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5


DM
Jayse wrote:
"Strae, do you have a spell to make Findelgwing move faster?"

Jayse feels Straehan shake his head, "Right now, friend, I really wish I had a spell to make us all faster... but I don't. Sorry. Best I can do is shield us individually."

Jayse's and Fin's second arrows make quick work of the two wounded goblins and causes the others to seriously rethink how aggressively they want to pursue this party. Their resolve waivers. Your joy is shortlived as you hear the answering calls of two goblin horns. One is Southeast - so they will arrive behind the group of goblins you are facing. More concerning is the second horn coming from the Northwest which conceivably could block your route west to the hedge, catch you in a goblin pincer, or both. You realise speed and maneuverability are your only allies now... with the goblins hesitating, momentarily thrown off by the swift death of two of their camrades, Ushari and Straehan fire off additional harrying attacks, and you dash West trying to put distance and trees between you.

Seeing the characters take flight, the Bugler stands near a stump and blows his horn triumphantly with reckless abandon. Hoping to take him out so he can't relay more information to the hunters, Straehan fires another magical bolt which hurts but does not drop the creature. Ushari, on the run, takes a snap shot at the Bugler as well. Her aim is true. Her arrow flies down the neck of his shell horn and deep into his throat. He lets out a muffled 'BLAMPT' from the horn and drops over dead, the head of her arrow sticking out the back of his neck with the horn permanently affixed to his face.

rolls:

Ride DC:5 (stay on) 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Concentration DC:11 (firing while in motion) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
Magic Missile
EFFECT: 1 missile 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3 Damage

Seeing you bolt, only a few goblins manage to fire arrows while the rest cower behind cover awaiting backup. Fin and Ushari, who actively sought cover, manage to place some shrubs and trees between their backs the goblin bowmen making for some difficult shots for your small pursuers. A few arrows are close but none hit the sprinting heroes.

Goblin rolls:

Shortbow @ Fin AC:16 (20/3x) MISS 01-20 1d100 ⇒ 30 HIT 1d20 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (12) + 4 - 2 = 14
Shortbow @ Jayse AC:17 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 - 2 - 1 ⇒ (15) + 4 - 2 - 1 = 16
Shortbow @ Ushari AC:17 (20/3x) MISS 01-20 1d100 ⇒ 10 HIT 1d20 + 4 - 2 - 1 ⇒ (16) + 4 - 2 - 1 = 17
Shortbow @ Straehan AC:14 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 - 2 - 1 ⇒ (7) + 4 - 2 - 1 = 8


Findelgwing realizes that this isn't the first time she has had to try and evade a superior number of enemies. While she can't quite remember the reasons for it, she does realize that this time it's not just herself that she has to hide and that she's not as familiar with the terrain as she was back home. Never-the-less, she does what she can to urge everyone along routes that will make them more difficult to track, more time-consuming for such short adversaries to follow.

She only hopes the others don't become fatigued before they have reached safety. Ushari doesn't seem to be particularly vigorous, and Jayse is carrying another. With serious misgivings about their endurance, the tall girl keeps her eyes out for any defensible locations where they could make a stand and limit the goblin's approach.

Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Survival 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8


DM

What follows is a testament to your tenacity. For two hours, you are relentlessly pursued westward as you strategically withdraw - bounding from cover to cover, leap-frogging to provide covering fire for one another, dodging arrows, moving between the less agile goblin groups causing them to run into each other. Twice the goblin group (now easily double its size from the merging of the three troops) charges against you. Only by combining bow, blade, hand, and magical strikes do you force their retreat. For every foot they gain on you, they pay in blood.

You are bone-weary and only recall the long afternoon in a series of poignant, bloody vignettes: Jayse snapping the neck of a goblin that jumped out of a tree on him; Fin cutting the legs out from under a shrieking goblin with her sword; Ushari jumping over a goblin to plunge a blade in its back...

After 2 hours, you have all taken additional wounds, your quivers and thrown weapons are nearly exhausted, and your magic is all but tapped out, but you see in the near distance a set of widely spread large trees proceeding up a steep hill that appears to be crowned with a hedge...

Fin, Jayse and Ushari each have 3 arrows or throwing blades.
Straehan's magic is all but tapped, having used everything but one innate spell-like ability.
You have each taken additional damage (I did some averaging based on your AC v their attacks) HPs are...
F 11/14
J 8/10
U 2/9
S 2/8

I'll post a map when I have a chance - tonight at some point. Each of the large trees provides some cover which hopefully will show on the map. :) The lowest level of hill squares cost 1 for 1. The higher level are steeper and cost 2 for 1 going up... so no charging up but charging down can be done with DEX check... I'm not suggesting you do it, but you can. At this point, the ball is yours. If you want to tactically retreat to the hedge or duke it out with the goblins, it is entirely up to you. I will say this - the goblins get noticably more anxious the closer you get to the final hill and the hedge.

ROUND 3
ORDER: Jayse, Fin, Goblins, Ushari, Straehan

Hedge Fight

There are two maps on the wiki. The first is a view of the entire battlefield, hedge, etc. The second is closer and shows Jayse's view. Inside the white lines are his blind spots and show which Goblins can't target him with arrows. I'm happy to update on a turn by turn basis if necessary.


STONE-FACED KILLA

Jayse, seeing their options dwindle, points back up the hill, making a quick bowshot gesture for Findelgwing's benefit. "We need to get to higher ground. I'll try to make sure they stay off you long enough to make the top of the hill." Then, giving a quick nod for assurance, he steps away from the tree, the world slowing as he embraces the Calm, his body adapting a defensive posture, quarterstaff ready to deflect any attacks.

I don't see any options but to use the trees at higher ground and make them come to us. Each of you should be able to either use Jayse or a tree as cover while you head up that way. If it's a stupid plan... well... sorry. We don't have enough arrows.
Move action to step to N-10 and use a Standard Action to go Defensive.. AC up to 21.


Sense Motive 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12

Findelgwing isn't entirely certain if Jayse means to fight all the goblins or not, but she did understand the motion of him drawing a bow and pointing to higher ground. Waving an arm at Straehan to follow, she rushes towards the next tree north of her, then turns and fires on the goblin in T11 hoping it distracts those around him, or at least draws fire away from her 'little brother'.

Twang 110' 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
dmg 1d8 ⇒ 4

Hedge Fight: Overview Version


DM

Jayse - The map wasn't clear but Straehan is still riding your backpack and essentially sharing your space. For him to hop down without spending a move action doing it would take a very good Ride check and it will all happen after the goblin's action. If that info influences your choice of actions, feel free to amend them.

Fin's arrow catches her target in the chest but he somehow manages to stay on his feet.


STONE-FACED KILLA

Yah, I'd forgotten that little tidbit. I don't want to go defensive and leave that little dude defenseless on my shoulders… what with his low AC and low HP and all. So instead…

Jayse sees that Ushari's injuries are keeping her from moving quickly. "Sorry to make you hang out in the thick of it, Straehan, but I gotta make sure Ushari can make it up the hill." Then he turns to Ushari, "Go, Ushari! I'll cover you as best i can."

Delay until Ushari's turn. My choice of action will depend on what happens to her.


STONE-FACED KILLA

"Straehan, if you have any of those flame bursts (Burning Hands) available, get it ready."

if we have to go clear a path for Ushari or ourselves, that might be a useful action to have readied. :)


Ushari notes Jayse's actions and decides to take advantage of the time he bought. She breaks out in a sprint, her breath coming in ragged gasps, fueled solely by adrenalin, and heads for the tree in the center of the hedge line.

Double move to B7.

Edit...oops just checked the init count, and it looks like the gobbies go before Ushari. Still, she will keep the action, unless they manage to cut her off.


DM

Straehan is grim as he looks over Jayse's shoulder. "I don't have the strength to create another flaming fan, sorry. I've only got one trick left and then it is fighting tooth and nail."

Most of the goblins show signs of their previous scuffles with you. And they aren't quick to charge in after having been soundly pasted the last two times they tried an all-out assault. But they tighten their noose. They all push forward as best they can, some skirting to the flanks looking for an opportunity to separate individuals from the 'herd'.

@ Fin
Fin falls back after nearly skewering an archer with her bow. The left-most archer and his nearly unconscious companion move up cautiously trying to get sniping angles on the humans and the gnome. They fire arrows at Fin, to keep the bright-eyed elf Devil back. A straggler from the center of the pack, having no clear shot on anyone closer, fires a hail mary shot past the tree sheltering Jayse and Straehan and over his own troops, hoping the catch the wily elf as well. Two of the arrows sink deeply into her thigh.

rolls:

Shortbow @ AC:16 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 4
Shortbow @ AC:16 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 3
Shortbow @ AC:16 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (4) + 4 - 2 = 6 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 1 range

@ Jayse & Straehan AKA 'Master-Blaster'
In a clinical fashion, Jayse watches Ushari to see if she makes it to safety. He delays, unconsciously timing his actions with Straehan. A goblin rushes around the tree as his more obvious companion charges the monk from the other side. They attempt to cut him down from two sides while a third one runs up behind the monk attempting to 'unhorse' the gnome. Two other archers manage to get clear of the tree and draw a bead on the gnome as well preferring to kill their hated enemy instead of the tall human.

The charging goblin scores a glancing blow against the monk's iron thigh but due to his unnaturally quick reflexes, Jayse prevents any other blows from landing on him or the gnome.

rolls:

Shortsword @ J AC:17 (19/2x) HIT 1d20 + 2 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 + 2 + 2 = 23 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 2 Charge, Flank
Shortsword @ J AC:17 (19/2x) HIT 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 4

Shortsword @ S AC:18 (19/2x) HIT 1d20 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 + 2 = 17 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 2 Flank
Shortbow @ S AC:18 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 4
Shortbow @ S AC:18 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 2

@ Ushari
Mirroring the moves of their brothers on the left, the right side flankers sprint north the of tree Ushari is using for cover. They clear it and fire on her as another of their brethren with a cruel blade comes around the tree from the other side and attempts to gut the hapless female. A fourth goblin, sprinting all the way, comes around the tree as well. He lacks the strength to strike her but he is determined that this fish will not get away...

While Ushari manages to dodge blade and bow, the second arrow catches her unawares, nearly rendering her unconscious as she somersaults away, escaping the ravening blades of the nearest goblins.

rolls:

Shortbow AC:17 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Shortbow AC:17 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 1
Shortsword AC:17 (19/2x) HIT 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13

Acrobatics check (to evade AoOs) 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14

A few more goblins, having no easy targets, rush towards the empty center of your group hoping to cut off rescue and retreat.

Fin & Ushari:
It is hard to see on the overview map, but you can clearly see there is a hole in the hedge almost directly north of your current position.

F's HP: 4/14
J's HP: 6/10
U's HP: 1/9
S's HP: 2/8

ORDER: Fin, Goblins, Ushari, Jayse & Straehan

Hedge Fight


STONE-FACED KILLA

Seeing Ushari barely get away safely, Jayse surprises the two goblins flanking him with a spinnng jump and rushes up the hill, seeking shelter in the trees.

Acrobatics to avoid AoO 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24.
Double move, ending in C4.


Straehan hangs on for all he is worth, shoving his legs through the backpack straps, as Jayse becomes a flurry of motion dodging the futile attacks of three goblins.

As Jayse stops, Straehan conjures a ball of fire and hurls it at one of goblin archers he can pick out between the trees. Already wounded, it succumbs to the ball of flame and collapses. Another ball of fire appears in his hand. "This is the last one I've got, Jayse."

rolls:

Ride DC:10 (stay on in combat) 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Concentration DC:11 (firing while in vigorous motion) 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14

Produce Flame
RANGE: 120' RTA
DURATION: 2 minutes or 2 rnds
TO HIT: 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 4 + 1 = 24 hatred
EFFECT: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7 Pyro (as +1 Lv), Bloodline (+1 per die)

ROUND 4

ORDER: Fin, Goblins, Ushari, Jayse & Straehan

Hedge Fight

Map Updated - you can all see what looks like a natural gateway through the hedge now. (-D6) The shiny objects in a semi circle in front of it are a series of 'branches' topped with goblin skulls.
Jayse - you had an extra square of movement left so I pushed you a little further.


With a cry of rage, Findelgwing looses another arrow aimed at the lead goblin (J12) hoping to send a message to the others. She then hustles further up hill using the tree to the west of Jayse for cover (move to B2).

Twang 110' 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
crit? 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 not so much
dmg 8 = 8


DM

Fin's arrow strikes true, dropping another goblin in its tracks. She falls back behind a tree, providing cover from most of the remaining goblins.

ORDER: Fin, Goblins, Ushari, Jayse & Straehan


DM

The goblins surge forward but the rapid retreat of the group doesn't allow them to close the distance and attack. And their fear of the hill prevents then from fully committing to the assault. The strongest goblins move to the front, some seeking a bit of cover behind trees fearing the arrows of their quarry.

@ Jayse & Straehan AKA 'Master-Blaster'

The flanking archers spread out more trying to catch sight of the small human woman and the elf with the cursed effective bow. Unfortunately, Fin is too well positioned for the left flank to target her. They quickly switch their aim to the monk and gnome along with the archer following the center wing.

Again the monk manages to shield the gnome from arrows but two of the red-fletched arrows crease his arms.

rolls:

Shortbow @ J AC:17 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (17) + 4 = 21 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 1
Shortbow @ S AC:18 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 1
J=1, S=2, 1d2 ⇒ 1
Shortbow @ J AC:17 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 1

@ Ushari
The sole remaining right flank archer hustles north and just manages to catch sight of Ushari and fires one of his dwindling supply of arrows. It is enough. The arrow catches her in the abdomen and she drops, unconscious.

rolls:
Shortbow AC:17 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 - 2 ⇒ (19) + 4 - 2 = 21 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 3 range

J's HP: 4
U's HP: -2

ORDER: Fin, Goblins, Ushari, Jayse & Straehan

Hedge Fight


STONE-FACED KILLA

Jayse sees Ushari fall to the tiny arrows, frustration and anger skittering through the void of the Calm. "Straehan, be ready to burn whatever gets closest! We can use that gap as a choke point." And he moves over and picks Ushari up, preparing to head towards the whole in the hedge. He catches the elf's eye, nodding back to the hedge gap.

I'm assuming that's all my actions. A move to get to Ushari and a standard to pick he up.


I'm assuming that the brown is the steep area where each square costs 2× movement and that the light-green levels out again.

Findelgwing moves due north scrambling up the embankment and ducking behind a tree momentarily where she drops her pack. She then rolls out from behind it (-B4) and fires her last arrow at whichever target she deems will do the most good (G8 unless Straehan finishes that one or injures another).

Twang 110' 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17
dmg 1d8 ⇒ 6


With the few textures I have, I found it hard to differentiate the browns of the different hills so I went with more contrasty colors. So to paint the scene, the hill level closest to the goblins is a gentle rise which grows quite steep as you approach the hedge and the skulls. So the 2 for 1 penalty is right by the hedge.

Straehan attempts to slide off the backpack with more finesse than last time as soon as he sees Jayse move to rescue the fallen Ushari. But again he is unequal to the task and stumbles upon landing on the uneven ground. Having to choose between scrambling up the hill a bit further or throwing his last ball of fire, he chooses to put a little distance between himself and the goblins.

rolls:

Ride DC:20 (fast dismount) 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9

Taking some dramatic license here and some of the rules for picking up and carrying drive me nuts at times...

Jayse doesn't waste time picking the small woman up. He grabs Ushari by her collar and drags her up onto the steeper slope. He sees her breathing grow more ragged but then it stabilizes. She almost looks asleep if it weren't for the arrow sticking out of her belly.

rolls:

Ushari Stabilization (previous round)- DC:10 1d20 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (2) + 1 - 2 = 1 <- Fail
Ushari Stabilization - DC:10 1d20 + 1 - 3 ⇒ (16) + 1 - 3 = 14 <- Success

F's Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
J's Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15
S's Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16

Fin's final arrow hits its mark, striking the goblin right between the eyes. Unfortunately, his skull withstands the blow and the arrow skitters off, carving a bloody gash across the staggered goblin's head. He falls down heavily looking disoriented.

Now that you are among the branches and skulls, you realise there is something unnatural or, perhaps, TOO natural about them. The branches appear more like gnarled roots growing straight up out of the ground with twiny fingers that grasp the skulls...

ROUND 5

ORDER: Fin, Goblins, Ushari, Jayse & Straehan


DM

The goblins make a desperate shrieking charge, racing up the hill to capture the heroes, preceded by a swarm of arrows. Unfortunately, the goblins are as low on arrows as you are and two of their archers reach to find their quivers are empty. The remaining archers draw arrows and send them at the gnome.

An arrow catches Straehan in the shoulder and he nearly collapses.

rolls:

Shortbow @ S AC:18 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 2
Shortbow @ S AC:18 (20/3x) HIT 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13 Miss

A wave of eight fell-bladed goblins rush up the hill, closing in on Jayse and the downed Ushari. But they are stymied by the vegetation - tripping on roots, snagged by shrubs, and averted by tree limbs. It is as if the hill has conspired against them. And, in fact, what was a seemingly straight path up the hill for you now has potholes, creepers, and jutting roots. There is an ominous groaning from the trees and hedge. Only one stalwart goblin successfully manages to avoid the hazards to get close enough to Jayse to strike. It is his bent-eared friend, the Trophy Collector, looking rather hale. He slashes at the monk's leg looking to tumble him and the girl into the waiting goblin mob below...

He slices into the monk's leg but not quite enough to cripple him.

rolls:

Shortsword @ Jayse AC:17 (19/2x) HIT 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19 DAM 1d4 ⇒ 3

F's HP: 4/14
J's HP: 1/10
U's HP: -3/9 Stable
S's HP: 0/8

ROUND 5

ORDER: Fin, Goblins, Ushari, Jayse, Straehan

Hedge Fight


DM

Unconscious, though she is, Ushari dreams...

She sits up on the hillside, below the skulls, the arrow and other wounds gone from her body. The hillside is faded though as is the entire forest. All that she sees with any clarity is the Hill Tower in the distance, looming like a spike of night. Even now, its shadow rests on her. In a moment she is drawn to it at a startling pace, soaring up the cliffs and through the wall of the Tower itself. Inside the Tower, she enters a circular room. It has the smell of age and she realises it is a scene from a time long past. Men and women in luxurious dark robes talk amongst themselves. They are tall, sharp featured, and pale. They don't exactly look human or elven but somewhere in between. They laugh and joke though she cannot hear what they say. Their eyes glitter in the light of a thousand stars that glow from the walls and ceiling of the vast room. It is a stellar observatory created by magic. With simple gestures they open black gateways and step through, while other gateways open and people step through into the observatory. She is about to look at the ornate armor of the guards when she is pulled to another spot somewhere distant. It is a hall with many pillars and against one wall a portal has been hewn from stone. It is a crude work. Across the doorway a black film stretches, like smoking hot tar. Something is trying to force its way through the tar. It is large and clawed. Through the film, Ushari feels its eyes on her. It wants to eat her soul.

Ushari retreats from the portal, the pillar room, and the dream, dropping fully into unconsciousness.


STONE-FACED KILLA

Jayse spins on the bent-eared attacker, viciously swinging his quarterstaff like in a horizontal arc two-handed, then he grabs Ushari's collar, dragging her back one more step.

Quarterstaff 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
-- damage 1d6 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7.
5' step to -B7, bringing Ushari with him.


With a whistling crack, Jayse gives the Trophy Collector a cauliflower ear on one side to match his bent ear on the other. But the vicious little goblin manages to stay conscious. Jayse starts slowing dragging Ushari uphill while the goblin grasps at her legs, pulling her back.

Barely conscious, Straehan looks at the ball of flame in his hand. This is going to hurt.

"FIN! Little help here!" He hurls the ball of fire in the Trophy Collector's face, slipping into unconsciousness before the ball even leaves his hand. With a roar of flame the ball crisps the goblin's head. Compounded with Jayse's blow, the creature drops - on death's doorstep and ringing the doorbell loudly.

Freed from the goblin playing tug-o-war, Jayse is able to drag Ushari further uphill using his last reserves of strength. Switched your 5' move to a move action.

rolls:

Produce Flame
TO HIT: 1d20 + 4 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 4 + 1 + 1 = 17 hatred, high ground
EFFECT: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9 Pyro (as +1 Lv), Bloodline (+1 per die)

S's HP: -1

ROUND 6 - Finale

ORDER: Fin, Goblins, Ushari, Jayse, Straehan

Fin - you can grab & drag Straehan as part of your move action. You'll just pay more to cross each square of terrain. On a double-move you could grab Straehan and get to -D6. Single move - -B5 or -B6

Hedge Fight


Fin drops her bow behind the tree and reaches out to grab her 'little brother'. She's a bit surprised that he barely weighs more than her pack. Putting that thought aside, she scrambles up the hillside and into the break in the hedges.


DM

Some of the more brave (or foolhardy) goblins attempt to pursue the retreating heroes despite the noises coming from the trees. Every foot they progress is hampered, seemingly mired by nature herself. Only one goblin makes it as far as the ring of skulls - much to his regret. The 'branch' drops its skull and with a whiplash strike, tears his head from his shoulders, claiming a new skull for the one it discarded. The other goblins on the hill turn to flee, but it is far too late. Roots trip, briars catch, and vines strangle. The ground burps around one goblin, spraying earth and sucking his body halfway down. He screams as the earth crushes him in its vicelike grip.

Unimpeded, our heroes move quickly through the hedge carrying their wounded. After they pass, the hedge re-knits itself into a largely solid wall. Fin and Jayse watch as the gap closes and see a sight they will remember... They think back on the party in Forestal. All the diners enjoying their plates of vegetables and salad. They never imagined what it would look like if the salad ate the diners. Staring out at the hillside, they have a good idea. As they move away from the hedge to treat their wounded camrades, the screams of the goblins and the awful sawing, creaking, whooshing noises of the trees continue for some minutes. Eventually, it is silent.

Fin and Jayse pull the healer's kit from Ushari's backpack and treat their wounded. Ushari is stable and they remove the final arrow and patch her up. They manage to stabilize and treat Straehan's wounds effectively but both of them are too grievously injured to return to consciousness. The monk and ranger improvise a way to carry their camrades using their tents and sticks they find by the hedge. Fin does a wild pantomime to ensure that Jayse doesn't consider taking any living branches from the hedge. He laughs; it is an unnecessary but appreciated warning.

housekeeping:

S's Stabilize - DC: 10 1d20 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (6) + 2 - 1 = 7 no - HP:-2

Heal AA (Fin) 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10 yes
(Jayse) Treat Deadly Wounds on Ushari - DC:20 1d20 + 4 + 2 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 4 + 2 + 2 = 17 base, kit (2 uses), AA No

Heal AA (Fin) 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4 No
(Jayse) Stabilize & Treat Deadly Wounds on Straehan - DC:20 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 4 + 2 = 26 base, kit (2 uses), AA Yes +1 HP

They take their first look around at this side of the hedge. It is a series of rolling grassy hills sprinkled with trees. The heavy forest is gone and the sun shines its afternoon light warmly. The shadow of the Hill Tower no longer weighs the heroes down. In the distance, no more than a mile away, they see the shimmer of a small lake.

As they walk towards the lake, they notice a small mud and wattle hut near it shaded by an immense oak tree. There also appears to be a stopped figure working a small garden patch near the hut. A small falcon flies from the branches of the oak, straight for the group. It circles twice, gives a shrill 'kwee kwee kwee' and flies off towards the hedge.

The figure straightens up, stretches its back and heads briefly into the hut. It returns with something in its hands which it puts on the edge of garden plot before resuming work.


As you approach the garden and hut the figure, who is clearly a thin woman, stretches her back and points to the earthenware jug she left at the corner of the garden. Her tone is commanding "Drink! All of you. And DON'T step on my plants!"

She returns to her work - planting rows of beans.

Assuming you drink...

You raise the jug, it sloshes with liquid but you can't smell anything other than the jug. A taste confirms it is cool refreshing water with some sort of minerally taste. It is quite good. You each take a long swallow and get some down the throats of your unconscious friends. Your fatigue vanishes and your wounds heal somewhat. Ushari and Straehan wake up.

rolls:

Heal 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5 HPs

F's HP: 9/14
J's HP: 6/10
U's HP: 2/9
S's HP: 4/8


Ushari awakes with the remnants of a scream on her face, and a look of terror in her eyes. When she sees Fin's kindly face looking at her with a look of concern, she gazes at the elf girl with a look of incomprehension, unsure of what is happening.

Once she has oriented herself to where she is now, she rises to her feet unsteadily, and looks around.

"Where are we?" She asks.


Findelgwing gives the woman a thumbs-up and a nod of thanks for the tasty water. When she sees the effect it has on her own injuries, she pours some down Straehan's throat. When her little brother wakes up, coughing and sputtering, she sets him back on his feet and dusts the dirt and grass off his robe with her hands, a look of relief on her face.

Seeing that Ushari is waking up, she leans over and offers her a hand to help the frail woman get back to her feet also. At Ushari's question, which the human woman has to repeat in Elvish before she is understood, Findelgwing points at the woman in the garden, points to the jug of water and starts babbling on in Aquan for a bit before she realizes you aren't paying her words any mind.


Straehan is both amused and touched by Fin's concern. He lets her dust him off and then gives her a brief hug and a thumb's up.


The woman continues to work for awhile longer as you orient yourselves. Eventually, she dusts her hands on her threadbare and dirty dress and walks gingerly around her plants over to where you are standing. It takes her some time due to a pronounced limp. Oddly, she leaves no tracks.

She is a lean, muscled woman with brown hair. Her features are angular as if carved by the wind and her skin is tanned like a hide. Her face has creases and wrinkles around the eyes but despite that, determining her age is difficult, somewhere between 40 and 60 perhaps. Even her race is hard to define - human or half-elven at a guess. Her eyes are bright but their color seems to shift subtly from shades of nut brown to forest green. She seems 'solid', as if she might put down roots at any given moment. Her long fingers are bony and rootlike.

To Ushari's question she responds, "This is the forest of Forestal. But, more specifically, you are in my home." She translates every word into flawless Aquan for Fin's benefit, having seen the pantomime and recognizing the language she spoke earlier.


Ushari glances around her trying to get her bearings, and also trying to banish the strange dream she had about the Tower and the strange beings, and the...no she refused to think about IT.

She then remembers her manners, and replies in a voice still strained with her exertions, "I am Ushari, and my friends are Jayse, Findelgwing, and Straehan. Thank you for saving our lives, the goblins very nearly finished us!"


"I didn't save you - others did. I am Isolde... sometimes called 'the Hag', sometimes 'Wise Woman', sometimes 'Wild Woman', and occasionally 'Oracle of Amador'. So, which of you is ready to work to repay the debt of your lives?"


Ushari stifles a sigh. She could understand why the people of Forestal had a misgiving attitude concerning her. It was not that she was evil in that respect, it was she was separated, removed from the concerns of others. She certainly had her own agenda, that was for certain. Still, she did save all of their lives...

In response to Isolde's question, she responds, "We all owe you our lives, that is for certain. What sort of work did you have in mind? Also we bring a message from the Thrane of Forestal, an offer to barter."


STONE-FACED KILLA

Jayse turns back from looking back on the scene - just over that hill - that will live in his memory for a long time. "Even more important than the trade Ushari mentioned, Thrane wanted us to pass on a neighborly warning. As you've guessed, the goblins seem to be rising up recently." He resists the urge to look back over his shoulder again. "But Reaver activity has also been seen." He takes a moment to try to read the woman, letting his emotions feel her for malice. Sense Motive 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9.

"Who are these 'others' that saved us? And do you speak for them? Since you seem ready to collect on our debt to them." There is no malice in Jayse's words, simply curiosity.


She looks to the sky briefly, gauging the height of the sun. "Night comes soon. You won't be traveling further tonight. You can pitch your tents on the lawn. At dinner, there will be time to discuss barter. Now, my roof needs re-thatching, there is wood to chop, and I have to finish planting my beans." She points to a pile of cut rushes near a ladder and a clearly worn spot in her roof. She also indicates a large pile of unchopped wood accompanied by a waiting axe near what has to be nearly two cords of quartered and neatly stacked firewood. She then points to a barrel with rainwater and a dipper - more water if you are thirsty. Without another word, she returns to her garden plot and continues with her planting.

She is clearly leaving it to you to choose what you will or won't do.

OK, so here are the things you can do or not do: set up your campsite, chop wood, work on the roof, and/or help her in planting beans. None of the activities take particular skills or rolls.

Jayse - you sense no malice from her. She just seems curt and not particularly sociable.


Ushari looks over the list of items that Isolde mentioned, and cannot help but feel they are being tested somehow. She also notes she listed four tasks, which equaled the four of them.

She pulls the others close, translating into Elvish for Fin's benefit, and says quietly, "I think we should divide our efforts here. I can handle the roof thatching, Jayse, you should chop the firewood for her. Fin, you could help Isolde plant her beans." She gives a rueful grin to Straehan, "I guess that leaves you to make our camp."

"Does that sound like a good plan?"


Jayse wrote:
"Who are these 'others' that saved us? And do you speak for them? Since you seem ready to collect on our debt to them." There is no malice in Jayse's words, simply curiosity.

She hears the curiosity, not anger, in your voice and responds, "The trees and the land deemed you worthy of passage. Had your intent here been evil, your heads would now be decorating my rootlings alongside the goblins'. I am not our, their, 'speaker' but they would not be here if I were not as well. They guard us, our shared home. We, this glade belongs to all of us."

From the way she slips in and out of using 'my', 'us', and 'we' you get the impression she sees herself as an integral and connected part of this land and every plant on it. How much of that is delusion or reality, you can't say.

Ushari - Everything Isolde says, she repeats in Aquan for Fin.


Fin nods her head excitedly at what Isolde has to say. She then bows her head, clenches her eyes shut in concentration and launches into a long stream of babbling pausing only a few times to catch her breath.

Aquan:
"Gratitudeforsavinglittlebrotherandmeandthemandtoallofyourplantfriendsalso. " She takes a deep breath. "IfthereissomethingIcandotohelpletmeknowIcanhuntandcookfishrepairboatssharp entoolsorplantcropsifyoushowmewhere." The girl takes another breath and continues, "ButmypackandbowareoutsidewiththeplantsnowbecauseIhadtodropthemtocarrymylit tlebrothersoIwouldverymuchliketogogetthosebackwhenImay."


Isolde smiles slightly at the display of elven verbosity and answers in both Aquan and Common. "Your goods will be fetched. Do not worry. You can help plant beans. Come."

Isolde enters the garden rows with Fin, watching where she steps carefully.


Straehan goes about setting up their small camp on the lawn beneath the branches of the massive oak heading down to the small lake.


Ushari sets the ladder up next to the roof, moving slowly still due to her injuries. She hoists up the rushes in one hand and scampers up the ladder. Once up on the roof, she carefully makes her way to the hole, and lays the rushes down to cover the hole as best she can. While she is no carpenter, it did not take a genius to figure out the hole should be covered.

Take 10 on all appropriate checks.


DM

Ushari climbs onto the roof and sees that thatching is only layering rushes, weaving them into the existing pattern, and securing them with hemp. It takes her a little while to figure out the pattern but soon she is thatching the roof easily. almost as if she has woven before.


I'm going to assume Ben is OK with the plan to move things along...

Jayse finds splitting logs easy work if a bit warm in the afternoon sun. Fin plants beans under the watchful eye of Isolde. After a few hours of work, as the sun heads towards the horizon, Isolde stands, stretches, and surveys your work, nodding to herself. She seems satisfied.

She says in Aquan and Common, "Enough work. Time for dinner." She wipes her hands on her smock and heads into the hut. Very quickly, you see smoke rising from the chimney. You all clean up at the lake and head to the hut. Isolde has left the door open for you. You are assaulted by the smell of roasted meat and simmering root vegetables. Unconsciously, your mouths start to water.

The hut is modest, no more than 30' square with but a single room and two small windows. There is a table with six chairs that doubles as both a dinner table and food preparation area judging by the groove marks in its surface. Food cooks from swinging ironworks in the open mouth of the fireplace. On one side of the fireplace is the larder, spices, utensils, and a set of shelves with dozens of small boxes. The room's additional furniture is sparse. There is a thick-mattressed cot against the far wall and a battered armoire. The only adornment in the room are a couple of threadbare rugs to soften and warm the dirt floor.

Isolde has managed to wash her hands, arms, and face but still wears her dirty dress. She indicates you should sit with her ladle and begins pouring large bowls of meat and vegetable stew for you. It is attended by a fresh-baked (if over-toasted) crusty sourdough bread and a large bowl of marinated wild mushrooms.

It is tasty food and you tuck into it with ravenous hunger from all the fighting and yardwork. While you can't put your spoons down, you notice that your fatigue, wounds, and even residual pains vanish entirely.

rolls:

Heal - 1d8 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
Cures fatigue and poison

Once you devour your bowls, a couple of you opting for seconds, you push back from the table - full. "Now," Isolde says, "is the time to talk of barter, and threats, and Forestal, and you. Say what you came to say."


Ushari remembers her manners, and says, "First of all, thank you for the dinner, it was wonderful." She pauses and then continues, "Well, like Jayse said earlier, there have been increased goblin raids near Forestal, and the leaders asked us to check on your welfare, since they have not heard from you recently. They also wished to barter with you for your healing draughts. " She quickly outlines what the town offered in trade.

Once the other have chimed in, and offered their input, Ushari looks up at Isolde with a hopeful look in her eyes,"Finally, on a more personal note, there are some...questions I would like answered. Questions you may know the answer to. I have little to offer you in payment, but what little I have I gladly offer. Do you think you cam help me?"


From now on, Isolde will be translating both sides of the conversation for Fin unless I specify otherwise.

Ushari Velnokal wrote:
"Well, like Jayse said earlier, there have been increased goblin raids near Forestal, and the leaders asked us to check on your welfare, since they have not heard from you recently. They also wished to barter with you for your healing draughts. " She quickly outlines what the town offered in trade.

Isolde only smiles at the talk of her welfare. "I am fine. However, if the townsfolk seek safety from pirates, tell them some may find shelter here. Those that can make the journey and those who fear me less than Reavers."

She considers the offered trade carefully and says, "The terms are fair. I will give nine potions for the goods." She grabs a box off one of the shelves and opens it, pulling out nine stoppered phials similar to the ones that Buli was carrying in your battle against the goblins. She puts them on the table and indicates you may take them.

Regarding the increased raids, she looks blackly and says, "Yes, like hornets something recently has poked their nest. Here it is safe. Outside it grows less so."

Ushari Velnokal wrote:
Ushari looks up at Isolde with a hopeful look in her eyes,"Finally, on a more personal note, there are some...questions I would like answered. Questions you may know the answer to. I have little to offer you in payment, but what little I have I gladly offer. Do you think you can help me?"

"Maybe I can answer your questions. Maybe you have barter to pay my price; it depends on your questions and how far I must go to answer them. Nothing is free in this world, and to ask questions of me, some answers you may have to provide as well. Do you accept this?"


STONE-FACED KILLA

Jayse sits quietly, eating the stew. His annoyance at this woman's strange ways was slowly being overcome by the potential of her words and power. He listens as Ushari does a fine job of bartering for the potions, hoping Thrane will be satisfied with the results.

I wonder if Ushari will actually get any answers out of this old woman. He sits forward intently as they begin to go through the 'terms' of her question-answering, though.

Sorry for the absence… busy weekend.

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