Alset responds to Ood, "I found a halfling dagger and it looks like there's a way down the well and a few items at the bottom. We'll need a climber to venture down for a look. Want to volunteer?'"
Alset, adds the Song'o "letter opener" to the growing collection of gathered valuable items. He leaves the well, convinced there's no immediate threats and assists Odie in door opening using his own crowbar as needed.
Yes, Ood, a few of these high rolls on attacks would be nice. At least we know that such things are occasionally possible.
Perception on Odie's room: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Back to normal rolling patterns. Either that or Alset's eyes need to adjust to the darkened room.
Inside the eastern room, wood and metal racks line the walls, each fitted with an assortment of arms and armor. There are five short swords, two heavy crossbows, 60 bolts, four suits of leather armor, two suits of studded leather armor, four heavy wooden shields, and a masterwork breastplate.
In one corner is a crate marked with the symbol for Northwind Smithy, the local blacksmith in Pridon's Hearth. If you look inside, it contains four additional short swords, four longswords, and 144 crossbow bolts, all brand new and still wrapped in straw and cloth.
This room is well-ordered, likely not having been open during the attack on Fort Breakthrough. There are no other exits aside from the door you came in.
I'll assume you guys check out the well at this point. Now there is only one unexplored but spider-filled room left.
Feeling somewhat safer, Alset joins Odie for a noonday meal. "What should we do next? Do we have enough to decide what happened? We saw the footprint of a lizard-folk, but nothing else. What part did they play in this massacre? And, we'll need to figure out how to take all the valuables back so it won't get looted and the bodies. We can't leave the bodies, they should be properly identified and buried by their families and friends. Iomedae would want it to be so."
"lunch sounds wonderful!" Stonewall sets down his pack and pulls out the rest of his read from his morning as well as the honey and cheese, "Anyone else want some?". Stonewall slathers some honey on his bread and breaks off a hunk of cheese. "I've been thinking. I bet that tower with the spiders is the commander's room. I still don't want to get into it. Yuck, spiders. Anyway, I counted 10 bodies so far but the complement for the fort was 8 plus the acolyte. You said you found a halfling dagger Alset? I found 2 small bodies in the top floor or the SW tower, I wonder if they were halfling...we should inspect all of the bodies closer before doing anything with them to see if we can get any more information . Also, I don't think we will be able to haul all this stuff back with us. Oh, I just remembered the lockbox the frog had!"
Stonewall pulls out his crowbar and goes at the box to break it open.
Take 20 + 3(Str) + 2(crowbar)=25
I'll assume that opens it, correct me if I'm wrong
Stonewall peruses the contents of the box while he continues to eat.
DM, time check?
There are 9 bodies, two of which are small sized; Stonewall could tell no more about the bodies in the SW tower as he ran through. I don't know if I said something incorrectly or not earlier; if so I'm retconning it. There are only 9 bodies so far discovered.
The lock box contains 112 gp, a silver holy symbol of Erastil, a silver flatware setting, three bottles of acid, two tanglefoot bags, a thunderstone, and a gnarled wand.
It is 11:45. The sun's heat is starting to make you sweat, the humidity sinking into your armor in places you didn't know could get wet and sticky from the heat. Flies and mosquitos can be heard all around you, though they stick to feasting on the dead bodies instead of living flesh.
Feel free to start claiming items you want, otherwise I'll assume they're with Beloved in the center pile. I've added these items to the list.
What about the body in the trunk in the in the bottom of NW tower?
There were only hunks of rotting meat, as in beef/chicken/pork meat, not human body meat.
Alset slices the plant into pieces.
Combat is over. 400 XP. Odie and Ood wake up in 3 minutes, or earlier if shaken. Alset, I see the torch comment now, I had thought that was only if it was vulnerable to fire for some reason. But also, how are you holding the torch and your shield and your longsword with just 2 hands? That was why I suggested the shield sconce.
The room stinks, but nothing else seems to be life-threatening. There is the medical box on one wall. A search of the room reveals only more rotten fruit and vegetable matter. The medical box is easily removed from the wall and contains: a healer's kit, two bottles of antiplague, two bottles of antitoxin, four bottles of bloodblock, 2 sunrods, and various bandages, wood alcohol, needles, thread, splints, and herbal tinctures.
I've added these to the tracking sheet.
In addition to the unexplored rooms (SE tower upper and lower stories, eastern locked room), you have yet to fully investigate the SW tower's upper story, the animal pen, and the well. The current time is 11:30 am.
I'm not saying you have to explore every room, I'm just providing you with your options. Would your PC explore every inch of this place? Your main quest is to investigate what exactly happened at Fort Breakthrough. Does your PC feel they have a satisfactory explanation? Does your PC want to recover all the guard's bodies? Are you too injured to risk any more danger? Is your PC low enough Intelligence to think the Grippli did it and is done with the place? I'm not trying to railroad you in a certain direction; I'm just reminding you of your purpose here in case you've forgotten In Real Life.
sorry, I wasn't clear, I meant Quinn who was mentioned in post 259, he's not on the map
FYI, once you're back in town and out of danger, I'll give the identification of all the items and how much they're worth and all that.
Stonewall finds three beds, a large trunk, and a cabinet, all ransacked and disarrayed. The odor of spoiled meat fills the room, coming from a body thrown haphazardly into the trunk. The body is missing a chunk of his shoulder and maimed with claw marks all over.
Stonewall also finds a large, pleasingly fragrant package of dried and pressed jungle plants with a note saying, "Quinn, pleze drop theze off with Heri. Make shure she pays you upfront fer them, and tell her Ill have more red fern soon!!!!"
Quinn is/was the acolyte from the temple whose body is in the courtyard. Heri is a shopowner back in Pridon's Hearth.
Odie and Alset find a decapitated corpse and papers scattered about in the NW tower. Paperwork is scattered all over, consisting of mundane reports of local water sources, plants, migration routes, and weather reports. The guard was killed by spear wounds, and a Heal check reveals that he was killed from above, as if by someone taller than him. Perhaps more importantly, however, Alset finds a single footprint left in the blood of the victim: human-sized, but with clawed toes. Alset recognizes the footprint is from a lizardfolk.
A wooden ladder descends downward.
Map is updated. Also the walls are packed earth, there's no hallways underneath the parapets. That's the brown stuff on the map.
** spoiler omitted **
I figured it out: There are indeed 10 bodies. There are 7 guards, PLUS THE ACOLYTE, plus the 2 small bodies. So you still have 1 body left to find (The 8th guard, who is not coincidentally the Commander). I thought Quinn was part of the 8, but he's not. Whoopsie. In contrition I'll give 1 XP to all of you. Divide it equally.
"This wand looks fun, let's see what it does."
Odie points the wand toward a wall and waves it.
UMD: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
"I may have needed to learn to use a healing wand previously, but I think this one is broken. Maybe we can still sell it when we get back."
Yes, the barbarian is the only one of us with UMD.
"I say we go get the stuff out of the well and then divide up all this loot."
Odie looks around expectantly at the rest of the party.
Maybe burn the spiders with our new gear next?
"I'm going to check out those small bodies again and see if that tells us anything else. Odie, you check the well."
Stonewall heads back into the SW tower and investigates the 2 small bodies.
heal check take 20 [20+1(Wis)=21]
After this, Stonewall starts to gather the various bodies in the courtyard.
The wand reveals none of its secrets, but does explode in Odie's hand.
Mishap damage: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 6) = 10
Odie falls to the ground, unconcious. The wand is unharmed.
EDIT: So sorry Odie, I wrote this earlier but forgot about wand mishaps! What's your HP now with that 10 damage? I hope you're not dead... at least you've all got lots of CLW potions now! Though I'd worry your allies may be getting bitter about having to heal you all the time. We'll pretend the rest of this post happens after you've been healed because I already wrote it.
Ood heads down the well and gathers up the items in the center. He doesn't claim any of the items, saying his fists will do his fighting for him, not these manufactured weapons.
Stonewall finds that the two bodies are halflings. They have numerous crossbow bolts in them, but Stonewall sees that these wounds were inflicted after the halflings were already dead. His experience in the cold mountains of his homelands helps him to see that the cause of death was frostbite; something extremely unusual in this climate.
The group spends a few minutes gathering the dead. It is now 12:20. bodies are now laid out respectfully in the center of the courtyard. Most have spear wounds, many others have bite and claw marks. Some of the bodies seem to have been suspiciously altered after death, to appear as if crossbow bolts or halfling spears did the killing, but this is not the case. 8 human bodies (~160 lbs. each) and 2 halfling bodies (~35 lbs. each), totaling 1,350 lbs. This does not include any loot you have recovered. There is also one more missing body you have not recovered, the 8th guard.
The pig can carry 115 lbs. Carrying Capacity rules: LINK. You most likely will not be able to carry everything back in one load. You could make multiple trips, you could craft (carpenter) a wagon, you could bury some bodies here (they are a few days old in this heat and very stinky/rotting), you could bury some treasure and come get it later. And of course you could go take out those spiders and worry about this problem after the fact.
First things first. Alset removes the wand from Odies limp fingers and places it with the other gear/treasure. Using one of the CLW potions, he attempts to heal Odie.
CLW hit point recovery: 1d8 ⇒ 4
"I appear to be making a habit of this... Thank you Alset."
I don't think we can carry all of this back with us. I think we should take the gear we want to keep for ourselves, and anything else the captain would want us to, and then report back with our findings."
After a second of thinking.
"We can come back with her and maybe she can help us with the spiders, we'll need to clean them out before they can use the fort again. She might even have others she can send once she knows the severity of the issue."
Alset continues with Odie, "I think you may be on to something with the captain, sherriff (I believe Adeala, is her name) and the spiders. Unless we know there is something significant that we need in the spider room. I think this is a wise choice to seek her help."
Turning to the dwarves, "What do you think about the spiders? Was there anything of value in the room? I'm not sure it's worth the 20gp for each alchemist's fire flask, especially since the spiders are somewhat contained."
Stonewall nods his head, "The spiders can stay where they are for now. There are some items I think we should keep for our group as a whole, the antitoxin, antiplague, bloodblock and the sunrod. We should also keep the tanglefoot bag, thunderstone, potions and acid flasks. I have no need of any of these arms or armor.
Alset, examines the two heavy crossbows and the many bolts. He tests each one in comparison to his own and keeps the one with the most accurate aim.
1=Existing Crossbow - It wasn't the crossbow after all
2=Found Crossbow 2 - It was a defect in the original
3=Found Crossbow 3 - It wasn't a defect, this one is just better looking
Crossbow Compare: 1d3 ⇒ 1
Alset keeps his original crossbow and resupplies his stock of bolts.
[b]"Let's just bury the bodies, that is the best we can do right now. I wish we could take them all back with us but we can't. Perhaps just outside the fort?"[b]. Stonewall grabs his shovel and looks at the others to see if anyone else will help him.
Ood helps Stonewall bury the bodies. There is a nice flat spot just outside the Fort a little down the road, raised high enough that any flooding or rain won't wash away the bodies.
Ood asks, "Remember to not bury Quinn, the acolyte. That priest requested he be brought back, dead or alive. Also, do we bury these halfling bodies? I'm not sure what their traditions are."
"Now, the fun part! All I really want is this nice looking (MW) studded leather armor. What about you guys? I think Alset should take all the healing stuff and the healing kit. I might also take this wand, maybe someone in town can identify it and then I can use it without blowing myself up!"
Alset aids in the burial of the bodies. "Odie," he offers, "come with us and help with the burial. I'm sure you'll get what you want from the equipment. If you will be safe with the wand, perhaps we'll let you carry it. We would want you barfing up slugs or anything.
Knowledge local proper death rites and burial practices: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Alset informs, "I think we should . . . the bodies because . . . It might be wise to burn the animals, grippli and other badies, but perhaps the Sherriff will want to see them first."
Alset informs, "I think we should return the bodies to their people for proper burial service because this is a respectful thing to do."
Also you'll get some XP if you return the bodies. Also don't forget, the grippli is still alive, only unconscious. You can still bury her if you want, I guess...
Burying of human bodies has been seconded.
After digging seven graves into the soft soil for an hour, the bodies of the seven guards lay at rest in a new cemetary. Using pieces of the broken doors and gate, you plant markers over each grave in memory of those that died.
In the center of the courtyard, you pile the animal corpses, both the dinosaur scavengers as well as the pigs and goats from the compound. Their bodies float into the air as ash.
At the gate of the fort lies the unconscious body of the grippli, Quinn the acolyte's dead body, and two dead Song'o halflings. They weigh about 300 lbs. total 35 for the halflings, 25 for the very small grippli, and 205 for Quinn. He was a big guy.
It is now 1:20.
There is still the SE tower. Do you feel you have you thoroughly investigated Fort Breakthrough?
per Alset and Stonewall, we are done exploring, now we need to decide what to bring with us and what to leave
After the burials, Stonewall grabs a tanglefoot bag and an acid flask for himself and says, "I say we take the halflings, Quinn and the grippli. We should also grab all the equipment the grippli had and the small stuff (potions, wand, feathers and the like)plus the Breastplate amd Terbutje because they look like excellent quality but the rest won't be worth carrying back I don't think. Maybe we can fix the leave it in the armory and seal it up with the construction equipment? We also need to make something to carry all this stuff. I have a tarp so we could make a sling or something to carry Quinn and maybe a few other things."
knowledge (Engineering): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
to figure something out to move this stuff
"I bet the sherriff has something we can use on our trip back here. I also think she will want to see the other bodies before we bury them, for all she knows we murdered them ourselves."
Plus if we spend all day building a cart or whatever to haul it all in one go, we'll be walking in the dark and I'd rather not do that in this strange place. Somone from town could also help translate for the frog-woman, or at least they'll have someone to blame for the crimes if they don't believe our ironclad lizard-folk-did-it explication.
Crap, is it really? Dang, I'd already updated my character sheet.
" I've no interest in their possessions, as long as I have food to eat, I will be content. That being said, let's put these souls to rest, bring Quinn back to his keeper, and bring the grippli back for the sheriff to deal with. How are we going to get Quinn back though. Has anyone seen a sling we could drag or the like?
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Odie suddenly stands up and states:
"What are we wasting our time here for? We are four grown, well, people! We cannot go back to that town without fully investigating every inch of this fort! We've got that acid and if that doesn't do it, we've got oil we can throw then burn it! It's just a bunch of spiders! All this sitting if not getting us any closer to answers! Let's do this!"
Odie takes up the acid flask and makes his way to the spider room.
Even if nobody follows me, I'm at least going to throw this in!
Who has the best arm to throw this thing? I feel like we're so close! Let's get on with it and finish this dungeon!
Stonewall looks at Ood and says, "But you need some of this stuff, here take this acid flask, and here is a thunderstone, oh, and take the last tanglefoot bag!" Stonewall foists the items on Ood.
When he realizes what Odie is doing, he tries to get ahead of him and stop him but he just can't move fast enough. When Odie gets ahead of him by enough he understands what Odie is going to do he prepares a flask of acid to throw as well as he runs after him. "Stop Odie stop."
Odie stops to listen.
"What? Do you have a better plan?"
He better have a good plan, mine is shaky at best but it's better than sitting around doing nothing about the spiders.
Stonewall knows that most military forts have a wheelbarrow or cart of some sort for moving around heavier objects. He has seen nothing of the sort in the fort, but perhaps there might be clues in the commander's quarters...
I thought I posted this earlier but apparently it ate my post.
Alset prepares his alchemist's fire for the destruction of spiders. He shakes his head and wonders how long it will be before Odie gets them all killed or worse. He quickly, but not as quickly as Odie, follows Stonewall. "Ood seems to be the best among us at throwing things. Let him help."
Alset says to no one in particular, "Odie does have a point. If it's possible we should at least remove all the threats from the fort."
Odie only has 2HP. He'd best be careful or he be below zero, Again!
Alset asks, "Did anyone tie up the grippli? Don't want her to regain consciousness and disappear. She's our witness and source of information for the Sherriff."
If the grippli isn't tied up, Alset will do so and ask the others to wait before attacking the spiders.
"I'm pretty sure Ood tied up the frogman, so we should be good unless he's waking up."
These guys are so easily distracted.
When the whole party is by the spider's door.
I'm sure we can do this all in one around as quickly as possible but I'm not sure if we can do it like this or not.
"Ok, I'm going to open the door, when I do, everyone should chuck in whatever they've got, acid and oil and torch, then I'll slam it closed before the spiders even realized they've been ambushed."
There's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark out, and we're wearing sunglasses.
As Odie says GO! he opens the door and tosses his acid.
Acid (ranged touch): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3
Ood's flask fries the spiders, the green acid soaking almost every last spider. The scant few remaining scurry off out of the windows and into the jungle.
Good job, everyone. 400 XP. I guess that frog scared you into overestimating encounters, ha ha.
The bookshelf lies on top of the trapdoor, trapping it underneath. Scattered books of poetry and various tales of adventure litter the floor near the fallen bookshelf, they are all moldering from the humidity are of no value. The lumpy mass on the bed is the body of the commander, Marcus Pandellion. On top of his body is a crudely scrawled note:
Wee no longer let hoomanz ru-win river!! ! !! Leaf Song'o landz. Or wee kill more. ! . !!. -Song'o halfhoomanz
If you search the commander wears masterwork studded leather, a masterwork silver dagger, and a pouch of 126 silver and two keys, likely to the chest and the armory door.
800 XP for finding the commander's body.
Stonewall walks in and says, "Good job boys. Here Ood, take one of my acid flasks, you're way better with them than I am." He hefts the bookshelf off of the trap door. "One more room to check I guess." Stonewall opens the hatch and peers in.
Actually, Stonewall tied her up but it doesn't bother him enough to correct you
Ood accepts the acid thinking, this could come in handy. It was pretty effective with the spiders.
"Sounds like the halflings were the aggressors, I wonder how the 2 halflings met their end given their burial rites were not observed. We have much to report. Hey let's move this shelf and see if we learn anything from the trapdoor.
Ood starts toward the shelf and pushes.
Under the trapdoor is a ladder leading to a storage room. Boxes and barrels line the walls of this dark room. In the corner, Stonewall sees a halfling cowering in the corner. He is obviously fatigued, likely having been stuck in this room since the bookcase fell on the trap door. He wields a knife in his shaky hand and shouts at Stonewall in a dry voice. He is speaking Polyglot.
Great, another complication.. To the others, "Its a halfling and he's yelling in polyglot.
To the halfling, "We are here to rescue you, come on, we mean you no harm."
diplomacy: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (5) - 1 = 4
Fabulous, doesn't someone have a decent charisma? he probably doesn't speak common anyway. That's it, I'm putting a skill point into linguistics and learning polyglot for level 2
All you dwarves look alike
Odie reaches into his pack, pulls out a waterskin, and hands it to the halfling.
Then speaking in a calm voice that should transcend language he says:
"Listen little one, here is some water, you need to come with us."
I don't think it'll take much to knock this kid unconscious if necessary.
Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 5
The halfling is extremely grateful for the waterskin, downing the whole thing quickly. However, he is still quite agitated, keeping the knife between himself and the party. He speaks a little calmer now, but still in Polyglot.
Please don't let the next rolls be a 6 and then a 7...
Alset climbs down the ladder and puts his sword back in its sheath. He attempts to communicate with the halfling in common. "Brave halfling warrior, we will not harm you, if you put away your knife. Do you understand me?"
Perception on halfling understanding common: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Diplomacy toward halfling: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Alset continues, "We have food if you are hungry, and I know you are." Alset places some food on the nearest box and steps back to give the halfling room to take the food.
Alset whispers to Ood, "Be ready for some non-leathal damage. We need to get this halfling back to the Sherriff. He'll know what happened here."
The halfling understands nothing you say. He does motion to a box of dried foodstuffs, however, that has been opened. It is a large box of dried fruit that the halfling has presumably been eating from.
You also notice a note near the boxes and crates. It is a list of duties written in, thankfully, correctly spelled common. Latrine duty, watch shifts, and so on. Most importantly is the final bulleted item that says:
Make sure Tor recovers the wheelbarrow from the breakwater today.
That item is unchecked.
My apologies for the out of time post. I had typed 99% of the post then got called away from my desk. I returned and completed the post many minutes later only to after clicking submit did I find out that others had already posted similar attempts to communicate with the halfling.
Ood observes the others attempts at diplomacy in appreciation though that is not where his skills lie. Ood does observe the halfling curiously ready to act if needed, and nods to alset.
sm: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21