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Sardaukar's Legacy of Fire

Game Master Sardaukar

4,851 to 4,900 of 7,436 << first < prev | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | next > last >>

Male Human (Desert) Druid 11

After a few moments, a small mound of earth emerges from the beach and coalesces into the form of Hazreem.

He grunts, "Well, I am running out of ideas...not to mention animals to talk to."

DM Sardaukar, how soon before dusk?

Probably another 4-5 hours till dusk.

Male Human (Desert) Druid 11

Hazreem sighs, "We still have a few hours left before dusk." He gazes to the south where the strip of land beckons. "I could easily make it across on my own...but that leaves the rest of you stuck here. So looks like our two options are continue west back the way we came or build a raft and float across the channel to the next island." He grimaces "The Golden Ram doesn't swim, I'll bet, so I would advise us to stay on this island." He looks at the other members of the group, waiting for a reply.

BTW, Hazreem is still down 20 hp...

Scarab Sages

Male Halfling Rogue 11

"Then let us find this damned ram and get it over with..I'm going to waste away if I have to live on fruit for much longer"

Fem Half-Elven Cleric L10+Bard L1 | HP88/88 | AC (30)22 T17F17 CMD24 | Saves F8R10W15 | Percep +11 | Endure Elements | Status: Expeditious Retreat

Mah'ysa will convert a Summon Monster III spell to give Hazreem 3d6 + 7 ⇒ (3, 5, 2) + 7 = 17 points of healing.

Male Human (Desert) Druid 11

"Thanks Mah'ysa."

Hazreem is at 71/74 hp. He will walk it off.

Hazreem, as you walk it off, make a survival check.

Male Human (Desert) Druid 11

Survival 1d20 + 17 ⇒ (19) + 17 = 36

CG male half-elf inquisitor of Sarenrae 8

Dauamri snorts at Pae's comment, an odd sound coming from the half-elf. "If you start wasting away, my friend, you will be nothing more than dust by the hour's end." He turns to the others. "I do agree, however; we find this ram, and we leave this place. If it is somewhere on this island, we search it bit by bit until we locate sign of the beast."

Hazreem, as you walk along the brilliant white sand, palm and cypress trees at the back of the beach with an occasional tangled thicket of undergrowth and bamboo, you notice a pattern in the sand. Footprints, and not yours. Several of them, at least five unique ones. They are about human-sized, but it is difficult to tell what kind of creature created them due to the sand, just that it appears to be a biped with a stride matching that of a human. They appear to come out of the trees and head down the beach in the direction you are going (west).

Male Human (Desert) Druid 11

"Actually, I suggest we follow these tracks first!" Hazreem points out the track to the others. "Who knows, they may actually be friendly." There is a distinct note of sarcasm in his voice.

Following the tracks along the beach to the west, after about a half hour the sand curves back north revealing significantly more shoreline to the northwest. The land across the watery divide continues as well, virtually mirroring the shore you are on.

Coming into view several hundred feet ahead of you is a sight you probably wouldn't have expected to see here. Gnolls! Even from here you can make out their foul outlines. At least a half dozen. They seem to be busy doing something near the shoreline where several outriggers have been pulled up onto the beach, but it is difficult to tell from this distance.

You make out one of them pointing in your direction. Several others turn and look where he's pointing, raise spears in the air, and turn towards you. The rest continue with whatever they were doing. The ones facing you take up a threatening posture but do nothing more other than look at each other, probably discussing what to do about your sudden presence.

Scarab Sages

With a quick prayer to The Dawnflower Bahir approaches while keeping his sword point down and his shield ready while yelling out, "Do you speak common? We don't wish a fight but could use some directions."

Casts Honeyed Tongue.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (5) + 19 = 24
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (10) + 19 = 29

As you get closer, you realized that the ones in the back are securing a large, dead animal, possibly a large boar, to one of the outriggers. It is fastened to a bamboo pole and tied up with long leaves, like palm leaves.

With a better look at the gnolls, you find these gnolls to be little tattered and malnourished as compared to the ones you fought in the Brazen Peaks. They keep their guard up as you approach, spears at the ready, but don't make any movement to attack. You count seven. Three with weapons drawn and facing you, four more in the back with three outriggers.

The three facing you simply stare with a feral look in their eyes, but one in the back stands upright and pushes his way through to the front. He seems to be in a little better shape than the others. He yells back in common, "You say you no fight, but on our sand you walk with sword in hand!" His eyes scan you up and down, then glancing back at the others that are slowly following behind you. His attitude seems to shift slightly. "You from world before, how get here? We look for way back like you." His language is very rough and broken, though you manage to be able to understand the beast-man. The gnolls keep their distance and appear ready to fight if you get too close.

"Let me deal with this" Pae states and his voice roughens as he switches to Gnollish

"The humans do not speak the language of the folk well..but I do..what brought you here into this place.We also seek a way to return to the world of outr birth Have you seen a great Ram?"

The apparent leader of this little gnoll group immediately turns to look at the small creature approaching to the side of the armored one, speaking its tongue. The others standing behind also turn at the same time to look at the halfling. When Pae stops speaking, the gnoll barks out a lengthy response.

In Gnoll:
When speaking in his native language, the gnoll's auditory skills are greatly improved with an authoritative aspect to them. "Why does one of such small stature and obviously greater intelligence travel with such... men." That last word clearly pronounced with disgust. "How we got here is of no importance, only getting back is. Tell me how you got here so that I may be able to go back that way. And yes, a great ram roams these islands, a magical golden ram. We've tried to hunt it, but none who have tried have returned alive. Have you seen it recently?"

Scarab Sages

Male Halfling Rogue 11

In Gnollish

Pae shakes his head and speaks again in the harsh gutteral language

I travel with them because they are skilled in areas where I am always needs muscle after all and the female is pleasing to the eye..but the way we arrived here is now sealed by the magic of Nex..there is no going back that way.We seek the ram..but have not yet seen more than it's spoor"

CG male half-elf inquisitor of Sarenrae 8

Daumari grits his teeth as he listens to Pae and the beastman talk, the inquisitor holding back the urge to attack the monsters first and seek answers amongst their corpses later. He holds his tongue, biting back a series of barks and chattering that would likely incite the gnolls to attack if he did not.

A disappointed look appears on the leader's face, as much as a gnoll can show complex emotions. It continues in it's harsh language, pointing off behind you and to your right, slightly inland. He glances back once while talking, looking at the progress of the other gnolls.

In Gnoll:
"There was a strange, fiery vortex in the sky to the southeast a day ago. I take it this was your arrival. A long time ago, countless moons ago, we arrived in what must have been a similar event. You seem to be the first new arrivals since then." He glances back for a second before continuing, "We seek to harvest the treasures on the ram. If you will concede the treasures to me, I could provide you with our best trackers to locate the beast for you."

Scarab Sages

Male Halfling Rogue 11

Pae turns to the others..

"The chieftain says they arrived in a similar fashion to us. They will track the ram for us if we grant them the treasures it holds"

Fem Half-Elven Cleric L10+Bard L1 | HP88/88 | AC (30)22 T17F17 CMD24 | Saves F8R10W15 | Percep +11 | Endure Elements | Status: Expeditious Retreat

Mah'ysa looks at the others.
"Seems alright with me."

Male Human (Desert) Druid 11

Hazreem nods, "Yeah, as long as we can claim its horn."

Scarab Sages

Concerned, "Do they want its horns Pae?"

The gnoll leader watches as you converse in common. Before Pae has a chance to forward Bahir's question, he answers himself in his bestial voice. "Horns, and gold hide."

Scarab Sages

Bahir shakes his head in dismay, "The hide you could have but we need the horns."

The gnoll stares at Bahir for a few seconds before spurting out in his broken common, spittle flying, "You no tracker!" He turns and starts walking back towards the outriggers, grunting and growling something in his native language. The others begin climbing into the three canoe-like crafts. Those with spears at the ready back up, keeping themselves turned towards you as they reach the boats.

In Gnoll:
"Twilight will soon be upon us. We're done with these creatures."

CG male half-elf inquisitor of Sarenrae 8

Daumari takes a step forward and issues a series of barks, snarls, and growls at the Gnoll leader's back.

In Gnoll:
"Filthy, worthless cur! You are so filled with pride that you would sacrifice your pack's well-being to stroke your own ego. They look to you to lead them, but you are unworthy of the position. The sand in your eyes blinds you, and you cannot see the value of this deal. You track, we hunt. We claim the horns as our prize, you claim the hide. We do the dangerous work, and you stand only to profit."

Daumari looks to the other gnolls on the beach. "Are you willing to be led by a selfish whelp?"

I think that counts as Gnollish Diplomacy. Maybe Intimidation, but if I wanted to turn to intimidation at this point I could probably do better ...
Diplomacy 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
Intimidation 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (4) + 13 = 17

The armed gnolls growl fiercely in response to the Inquisitor's action, thrusting their spears forward threateningly as one spouts something in gnoll.

In Gnoll:
"Let me kill this one now!"

The apparent leader turns around, his eyes drilling into Daumari. The hyena-man transfers his spear to the left hand as he raises his clawed, right hand in the air, a gesture that silences the others. Once quiet, he begins barking and growling out his own response, directed towards the Inquisitor.

In Gnoll:
"Ha! A pointy eared pansy calls me worthless, and one of those Sarnerite types as well! If you know what's best for you, you'll keep your distance from that ram. But if you are foolish enough to attack it, I'll agree to your bargain. We track, you hunt, you take the horns, I take the golden hide."

Successful Intimidate.

He turns to a pair of gnolls just sitting down in the outrigger and spouts something, causing them both to get back up and climb out, grabbing their spears. These two stare intently at their leader for a few seconds before their glance turns towards your direction.

In Gnoll:
"Thurrg! Gremar! You're staying behind. Track the ram, let these fools get themselves slaughtered, then return with the hide. The rest of you, we depart!"

Everyone but these two start preparing to push the outriggers out to sea, who begin moving towards the tree-line.

Male Human (Desert) Druid 11

Hazreem watches the confrontation silently, unsure of whether Daumari was successful in securing the gnoll's help. He asks quietly "Were you able to persuade them to help us?"

Scarab Sages

Not knowing what is being communicated in either direction Bahir says under his breath, "They are worse than no help if they take the horns..."

CG male half-elf inquisitor of Sarenrae 8

"They'll help; they track the ram we kill it. We get the horns, they get the hide." Daumari grins before continuing, almost as an afterthought.

"They think we'll be slaughtered in the attempt."

In Gnoll:
"Thurrg! Gremar! Raise your heads high. When you return you will be heroes to your pack: You will either bear the golden ram's flayed skin, or proof of our death and foolishness. In either case, you will be praised."
I don't recal what time of day it is. Should we head out now or set up camp? Can't say I like the idea of sleeping alongside our trackers, but it may prove unavoidable anyway.

Scarab Sages

Looking at the two gnolls that are still standing next to their canoe, "So just these two are staying to help us?" Glancing up and down the beach he shrugs his shoulders, "Which way do they suggest we head to start the search? Or is it back into the jungle?"

Pae merely shrugs.."Well we'd best get on with it then"

It is mid-afternoon. The sun, or whatever fiery orb is above your heads, is starting to head down in the western sky. You should still have several hours before it nears dusk.

After Daumari grunts out something, one of the two gnolls left on the beach grunt back before starting to head down the beach near the treeline, back the way you came. The other one follows. He continues to grunt and bark as he walks.

In Gnoll:
"I will keep my distance so that I can reclaim your carcass once the ram has moved on." He starts walking away as the other moves in behind him. "We saw what may have been tracks back this way. It may have crossed the water as it can walk on top. If so, it may be best to wait for it to come back. It always does."

Back at the shore, the remaining five gnolls cast away in their augmented canoes and paddle away from the beach. They turn east, the same direction you are walking on the beach. Their bestial eyes watch you as you follow the two gnolls. Shadows from the sun above form in front of you as you walk through the sand.

CG male half-elf inquisitor of Sarenrae 8

Daumari translates for the others' benefit. "Walking on water would explain why our efforts have failed so miserably." He turns his attention once more to their guides.

In Gnoll:
"How many times have you seen the ram? How often does it return?"

As you walk, Daumari and the two gnolls continue grunting and barking at each other.

In Gnoll:
"It roams the serpent isles for some unknown reason. Been here as long as I have. Isles are big, but fairly easy to track if you know what to look for. Doesn't move that fast. Otherwise, we don't see it except by luck. Those who try attacking are either killed or turned to gold, though gold not real. Brother was chopped up to carry gold back, but next day only had flesh bits. Ram not natural. Watched it walk right up the side of a cliff as if it were on the ground."

The gnolls turn into the trees and the progress is slower now as they search for signs. A few minutes in, one kneels down and examines the soil. He grunts. The other gnoll moves by him and more rough speech occurs. The kneeling one points inward towards the center of island.

In Gnoll:
"Gremar! Here. It was here, maybe day or two ago. Heading that way." The other responds, "At least a day to catch up. Should get moving."

Scarab Sages

As Daumari translates Bahir does not look happy about the latest news of traveling quickly in his plate armor for at least another day but he stays silent in resignation to fate.

CG male half-elf inquisitor of Sarenrae 8

"So those foolish enough to fight the ram are transformed into false gold. Fools' gold; how poetic." The inquisitor's voice is emotionless and flat, and he clearly finds no humor in the pun.

Fast forwarding a bit here...

Moving inland, the two gnolls get to work following the tracks of the large beast. Every now and then they point out several large spoors in a pile, more to let you know not to step it in them than any desire to prove they are on the right track. Eventually it gets too dark to continue and you are forced to set up camp for the night.

The night goes by uneventfully with the gnolls weary about staying in your presence. They find their own place to camp and return in the morning. You post guards in the night to protect against both unwanted visitors or any gnolls who might try anything funny. But nothing happens and the night passes by.

In the morning, the two gnolls do return, ready to head out. Over the course of your travels during the day, those that speak gnoll are able to pry additional information out of them and this land. They are gnolls from the Brazen Peaks region of Katapesh. Their last memories from long ago about that land before this world is fighting in Jhavhul's army, the efreeti warlord. They were fighting along side their fellow gnolls at the base of the Brazen Peaks near the human civilization called Kelmarane. The battle was going their way and they were overwhelming their opponents when suddenly there was a bright flash and the world began spinning out of control. When they woke up they were here, along with the rest of Jhavhul's army. They really didn't have a good idea of why they were fighting in the first place.

Soon, a civil war broke out between the genies, between the efreetis and the shaitans. The gnolls, basically being abandoned in this strange, new world, traveled north to these serpent isles and made themselves a new home. They kept themselves isolated from the hostilities and don't know much more than that. They've been here for countless years and really don't know how much time has past since then.

As the afternoon wanes, the trackers freeze in place and hold up their hands, motioning to stop. With everyone stopped, Bahir out of breath trying to keep up in his full plate armor, they point ahead. You don't see anything, but with everyone stopped you make out the sounds of something big pushing through branches and brush far ahead. The trees are thick here with lots of branches, rocks, and ground cover making movement slow. You are in difficult terrain with numerous trees providing partial cover against ranged attacks over 20 feet.

The gnolls look at you expectantly, as if their job here is done.

Scarab Sages

Just happy to have stopped, it takes the paladin a moment to realize this is not just another, brief but welcome, rest while the gnolls reacquire the rams spoor. Drawing his sword and readying his shield he prepares to face whatever is coming through the thick foliage.

He'll activate the scimitar's frost ability. If he has enough time he'll detect evil in the direction of the "something big".

Here's my initiative roll if you need it: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18

Male Human (Desert) Druid 11

Hazreem comments drily, "Perhaps we should see what sort of creature this is first, before we head in with blades swinging. Let me have a look first."

He then shimmers slightly and a column of air appears where the druid once stood.

Wild Shape into a Small Air Elemental and fly towards the sound of the beast. He will try to remain undetected and will see if he can determine its nature.
Perception 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (12) + 16 = 28
Stealth 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31
Knowledge Nature 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (18) + 13 = 31

Scarab Sages

Taking the comment as being directed at him he grumbles at the little swirl of air, "Do you see me charging in? I seem to remember backing off from our ape friend earlier." Shaking his head at himself, all this trudging around endlessly over mountains and forests was making him irritable.

Scarab Sages

Male Halfling Rogue 11

Pae frowns at the Gnols tale and when he can he draws close to Mah'ysa and whispers...

"If these gnolls are speaking the truth about their origin..then they came into this place..centuries ago"

Fem Half-Elven Cleric L10+Bard L1 | HP88/88 | AC (30)22 T17F17 CMD24 | Saves F8R10W15 | Percep +11 | Endure Elements | Status: Expeditious Retreat

Mah'ysa's eyes widen at Pae's revelation.
"How could they still be alive?" She whispers back.

Can a whirling vortex of air really be stealthy?

I also was unable to find the stats for these gnolls as they were different than the previous gnolls you've encountered and had to go with just the basic stats. But I finally found the correct ones. Instead of spears, they are equipped with large clubs and have some nice looking composite longbows. Both their fur and hide armor are dyed in hideous patterns and decorated with shells, feathers, and tiny fetishes. Their Charisma is the same, so no changes to the results of the previous rolls.

DM Rolls:
1d20 + 19 ⇒ (13) + 19 = 32

Leaves blow and branches sway as the small swirling vortex of air moves forward and disappears through some thicker foliage.

Coming into view for Hazreem is a large beast, a bull-like creature that seems to be made of interlocking golden plates. Two massive golden horns extrude from its head and curve around like that of a giant ram. It is clearly not natural and appears to be a golden version of a Gorgon. And if it is such a creature then beware it's breath as they are known to turn men to stone with it.

But as you look upon it, it turns it's large horned head towards you before breaking into a thundering run. The fading sound of pounding hoofs are heard all the way back by the others as it flees the strange vortex heading further away from you at quite the speed.

Male Human (Desert) Druid 11

Hazreem returns to the others and addresses Pae in the Auran tongue.

"%^&$! The creature saw me and fled away from me! I did get a good look at it, though. It looked like a Gorgon, which can turn its prey into stone with its breath, or in this case, fools gold. I will stay in this form so I can keep up with it. Once it has stopped moving, I can lead you to it."

Scarab Sages

Bahir throws his arms up in exasperation, "How am I...we...supposed to keep up with that?!"

Scarab Sages

Male Halfling Rogue 11

"This is going to require stealth..subterfuge and..a modicum off luck.Hazreem scared it so perhaps it is wary of Elementals..we could use that to our advantage methinks..if we can find somewhere to herd it to where it cant get away"

I'm assuming you follow...

Going back to work, the gnolls easily track the beast and in short order you come to edge of a clearing within the otherwise thick canopy. Tall grasses of various types cover the field before you. Near the far edge of the clearing, standing out in the open, is the large beast. Nearly 500 feet away, it is slowly walking towards the left side of the clearing. It's large, golden horns distinctive against the gold plated hide. So far it doesn't seem to notice you.

Scarab Sages

Male Halfling Rogue 11

Not surprised, 500 feet is -50 to perception on distance alone

"We need to lay an ambush" Pae states bluntly.."unfortunately that means someone is going to have to act as bait. Ideally we need to draw it into a place where we can set upon it from all sides."

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