Sorry for how long this is, the General can talk!
Interrupting the conversation going on in the simple tent, the flap is drawn back and a tall man dressed in fine black armor strapped over deep crimson clothing enters. His short brown hair is combed back carefully and a neatly trimmed mustache adorns his face. He walks with an air of confidence over to the desk, his gaze quickly sizing up each of you as he does.
Following the man is an older human, dressed instead in simple loose flowing clothes made for easy traveling though their quality is fine enough to imply he spent well on them. His hair is beginning to grey and he flashes a bit of a salesman's smile at the assembled people though he remains quiet, letting the first man speak.
"Welcome to each of you. As you may or may not know, I am General Dakovya, charged with leading Andoran's western forces. I have called all of you here because to have the commanders beneath me tell it, each of you is truly skilled."
He pauses a moment, his hand raising to his jaw as he looks over each of the assembled members again before nodding. "I can see that, and see it I shall because I am counting on you. An entire town is counting on you and that skill."
Continuing along with the clear assumption that you all are in agreement, the General doesn't seem to be used to dissenting opinion. "Andoran faces a threat of a measure it has not seen since our split from Cheliax became official all those decades ago. In that time, the devilish nation has never been able to establish any sort of foothold on our lands. If we do not move swiftly that looks to change in the next days. The insidious fools have proven themselves as sneaky as their master's."
"There aren't many trails through the hills which can be traversed by a force of any size nor the wagons which would allow an army to be supplied. Piren's Bluff is a small mining town which sits along one of these main trails. Being in such a strategic location naturally the town boasts a proper keep to keep the passage secure, if the Chelish were to attack they could hold their own long enough for our own force to arrive and route them. Unfortunately word from my spies tells me that the Chelish may not need attack."
"The ruler of Piren's Bluff, one Baron Vendikon, has been under our attention for some time now, however he had as of yet done nothing to warrant deposing him, an act which would certainly result in bloodshed. Unfortunately it looks like this is no longer an option. A spy has delivered us a message stating that the Baron intends to hand over the city to Chelish forces in the next week. Having this town, small as it may be, would allow Chelish forces a direct path into the country behind our front lines. The danger would be enormous."
He pauses then for a moment considering his next words carefully. "We are prepared to overtake the fort with the forces we have amassed, even the gathering of our troops outside are likely enough to dissuade any Chelish approach, an attack and obvious act of war is quite different than allowing for a defection after all. It is not as simple as all that, however, and this is where you come in. I know that most of the people of the town are not looking to secede, even most of the soldiers are certainly simply following their lords commands. I have no interest in a bloodbath such as would certainly come if my soldiers breached the walls and took the town by force, not to mention the danger posed by weakening the forts defenses while Chelaxian troopers are keeping an eye on it. We want this to go off with as little harm to the townsfolk as possible."
"With that in mind we have come up with a plan. We need to send in our troops to ensure that Cheliax doesn't gain a foothold in Andoran at any cost. However, we can send you in advance. My friend here, Gaskar, is a civilian agent of mine and a merchant who frequents the town. If you take place as his guards no attention will be paid to your arrival. Once inside Gaskar will quickly conduct his business and depart which will be our sign to move in and lay siege to the town. Being within the walls should give you a unique opportunity to identify which of the prominent townsfolk are loyalist and which approve of the defection and, if you are truly as skilled as I have heard, to deal with the baron without unnecessary bloodshed. I pray that you are."
"Should you accept such a mission I can promise you will be well paid for the task, you will take your place on my short list of skilled help, and perhaps most you will know that many of your fellow citizens owe their lives to you. Gaskar can provide you a layout of the town and its important buildings, though he's never been inside the keep proper. Also, I would tell you that we know there are a few loyalist within the town itself who have spoken to our agents, but I do not have their identities. Supposedly those my agents trust are given a sprig of mistletoe with a yellow ribbon to display to mark them as allies. These people may be able to help you, but you must be careful that their affiliation not come out or they would be in great danger."
Finally he stops his long winded briefing and looks to each of you. "You would not be here being given such information if my commanders had not instilled in me a trust in you so that I hope I know your answer to all this. Are you prepared to serve your country and do what is right?"
Hugh Berenger stands at attention, salutes General Dakovya, and says
Yes sir! It is an honer to serve, General.
[occ]Tarlane, i could not figure out how to do this on Hero Lab, but if possible, my character would like to purchase a quiver of 10 silver arrows, and 10 cold iron arrows for those pesky were wolves...and what not. [/occ]
Meera straightens as the two new comers enter the tent and set themselves at the 'head' of the meeting. As the men speak in turn her eyes look at them, noting their posturing and mannerisms, her face neutral and impassive as each gives their information.
Once General Dakovya has finished speaking, Meera waits until each of her companions have put their answer forward before she simple nods and says,
"Aye." As affirmation of her agreement to do the General's bidding. She does turn and smile briefly to her compatriots,
"It's not every day I get pay rise, just so I can do the same sort of work." She says to them quietly, allowing her grin to widen more than her previous smile of welcoming.
The general gives Willy a look with a bit of a raised brow though he doesn't truly disagree. "Assassins if that is what is required and in this situation it may well be. If you can find a way to bring the Baron out of power without his death and return the town to Andorani hands, you have my full support in exercising it and I would be pleased to see even that bloodshed missed. It seems unlikely that the Baron will give us that option however."
Pausing a moment, the general drops a pouch onto the table with a clink of coin. "Partial payment in advance, you may use it for any gear you may be needing or in the event of bribes changing hands or the like. You'll recieve a more full payment if you can complete this mission and spare the town the attack and of course you will hold looting rights to the keep itself. Any ill gotten goods the Baron has acquired are free to your hands. Do remember that while the Baron most certain has those who are actively seeking to promote Cheliax among his people, most are simply people obeying their liege, including the guards. The less blood on your hands the better."
Finally stepping aside so Gaskar can approach, the older man rolls out a map with a detailed sketch of the city on it and passes around a sheet of parchment with notes jotted upon it. "I trade regularly with the town, so while I have never been into the keep proper I do have a good idea of the prominent folk and the layout of the village which may help you come up with a better idea of where to start when you arrive. I only intend to stay long enough to drop my wares and then depart before the siege begins, it shouldn't draw much attention having a merchants guards stay behind when there is nothing left to protect."
Yes, its not actually a sketch, but this should give you a good layout of the city and be able to plan a bit. Feel free to ask any questions and toss about ideas between you. There is several days travel to get there, those who can ride will be provided horses, the others can ride in the wagon with Gaskar. If there is anything you need to pick up that is fairly standard you will be able to buy it on the way.
Notes about the map
2. - The Dead Well - Inn built around a dried well and run by a gambler 'Lucky' Ben.
3. - Shenk's Dogyard - Tweiford Shenk trains dogs famously and keeps track of the Baron's fool of a nephew.
4. - Graden's - Simple supply shop, owners are very rough people.
5. - The First Light - Run down Temple of Aroden all but the old priest tend to leave it be.
6. - Terron's Yard - Terron Redgrove maintains a family stable business here.
7. - Forest Bounty - Grocer in town. Family of halflings is very friendly and those I deal with most.
8. - The Bucket & Bellows - Blacksmith Smaar Janderfut and his sons are always busy trying to keep up with the mines.
9. - The Lodge - Cantina for hunters and rangers who look after the hills. Never been welcomed in to see the inside.
10 - The Black Candle - Herbal Remedies and Alchemy. Viaren is skilled with plants and potions.
11 - The Conqueror's Blade - Tavern which serves the off duty guard. Often filled with soldiers and occasionally even their captain to boost morale.
12 - Pact Hall - Temple of Asmodeus built a few years ago when the Baron converted. Townsfolk complained but with no real change its become part of life.
13 - Almir Estate - Chelish house that never left town, House Almir runs all the mining ventures around the town. Very influential.
14 - Argith's Alchemy Shoppe - Argith is a young but talented Alchemist who has obsessions with experimenting with various compounds.
Maeltheron examines the map.
This will certainly be helpful, Gaskar. Many thanks. When do we leave?
@DM Tarlane: Can you be so kind as to post the map and key in the Campaign info tab so that we do not have to scroll back through the posts to view later? Thanks!
Meera as well looks over the map.
"So...how many days/nights travel there?" She asks absently, her eyes flicking about the lay out diagram.
"How many nights do you think you can manage to 'stretch' your stay out till...?" She glances at Gaskar, "The better to prolong our cover...let us work our way into staying around in the place..." She seems to find her need to peruse satisfied and steps back from the table.
"How soon before we set out? Other than seeming 'The sooner the better...'?" She lets her last statement hang, before blushing as she realizes she's doubled up on Maeltheron's question.
The general moves in to answer the questions. "The trip will take about two days and I would have you leave as soon as possible, bright and early in the morning will get you there before dusk the following day if all goes well. And Gaskar won't be staying with you in town. His skill as a merchant doesn't necessarily extend to more martial matters. The idea is that you will be able to escort him into town and then he will depart before the siege is laid. Leaving behind guards when there is no more merchandise to protect won't draw much attention, it is likely expected you will be remaining behind to await the next caravan. Once the troops arrive, I would expect the town to be sealed and you will have a bit more time. The panic of being under siege may leave you openings to infiltrate further and should buy time as it is unlikely the chelish backup will come while we are stationed outside. However, we only can hold around the town for so long before we need launch our attack so you will need to move quickly."
Feel free to come up with any plans you may have, or come up with anything you may need to purchase on the way there now that you have an idea of what you are up against. Those of you who ride will each be given a horse and the others can stay in the wagon with Gaskar. Traveling armed while going through reasonably safe countryside means we don't need to RP out the trip itself.
Sorry, but how much on an 'advance' were we allotted? *Bows*
That's...going to make a thump when it hits the table...
Meera doesn't reach for the pouch as the briefing comes to a close, seeming quite happy for another to take charge and sift and sort. With her amount handed to her, she deftly sweeps it into hip pouch, gives a deferential nod to both the General and Gaskar before taking her leave -calling for her dog to follow- and heading back into town..searching for 'supplies'...
Yah, will give all the lists one final perusal and then should be ready and rearin' to go. (^_^)
Tarlane, would my character have a chance to purchase some special arrows? I would be interested in purchasing a quiver of 10 silver arrows and 10 cold iron arrows. Thanks
Well we may want to buy or requisition what supplies we think we may need before we depart. I would be interested in picking up a few arrows with cold iron arrow heads and a few arrows with alchemical silver arrows heads. You never know when you might run into a pesky were wolf
Meera just shrugs and waives at Hugh's comments as she walks away into the night, the small encampment and eventually her billet (By way of getting what she considers 'supplies').
Come the morning Meera us ready to escort Gaskar. Her studded leather armor might have seen slightly better days. The large shield strapped across her back has a few nicks and gouges about it, though the 'normal' spear slung along with it is in good condition. A short sword rides cross the small of her back as she keeps walking pace with calm strides, short spear tapping along with the rhythm of her boots.
The large wolf hound pads along obediently beside her.
Handle Animal: Take Ten = 18
No problem picking up the normal arrows with the special materials on your way there. Also, Hugh, I had missed your mention the first time. In herolab to create weapons or arrows with special materials you go in like you are creating a custom magic item and can add materials there without putting the magic on it. Its the same way you make things masterwork.
If I don't see any other posts about plans for the way I'll get a post up shortly to start things off.
Tarlene, thank you, Ill go ahead make the purchase, of 10 cold iron arrows and 10 silver arrows and update my profile
[ooc]a wand of cure light wounds with 50 charges costs 750.
a potion of cure moderate wounds costs 300 gp
a potion of cure light wounds costs 50 gp
1 Wand of CLW= 750
3 pot CMW= 900
5 Pot CLW= 250
Divided by 5 380 gp
The next morning Hug shows up in his simple hunter’s outfit, with a full pack, armed with his long sword and bow.
I am putting up the post of setting off to keep us moving forward, but feel free to finish up sorting out your purchases up until the action actually starts.
Packing up and setting out just after dawn the first day of the trip is extremely easy going, riding through rolling hills and beautiful farmland. The second day gets harder as you enter the mountains, though being on horseback makes things easier on your legs at least. By the afternoon the trail is steep enough that the horses are obviously straining to bring the wagon up and when the town is sighted not long before nightfall its a relief.
Gaskar for his part proves an amiable companion on the trip. A consummate salesman he has a knack for reading people well enough to put them at ease and spends much of the journey telling stories of his travels which in his youth were quite extensive.
Stopping far enough away that the high stone walls of the town can be seen where it sits tucked in a natural cove of the mountain, surrounded on three sides by sheer cliffs rising up to the peaks above. While the trail has been lightly wooded the area immediately around the town is cleared to give the men(from the distance it appears there are at least several in each tower) plenty of time to leave any approaching force riddled with arrows.
The single entrance into town is a solidly built gatehouse complete with portcullis, a group of 4 guards waits outside, greeting the small trickle of miners returning from their day's work.
Just beyond the town the trail narrows sharply along one of the mountain's walls, a perfect place to barricade and hold the trail against large numbers, the fact that makes this village so important.
Maeltheron, according to Hero lab, 10 cold iron arrows cost 1 gp, 10 alchemical silver arrow heads cost 9 silver pieces
As they are looking at the town from a distance, Hugh comments quietly to Maeltheron:
This town is remarkably well protected by this mountainous terrain
As the wagon approaches the gate the guards call for it to stop. Three of the guards are dressed in heavy chain with spears in hand and crossbows over their backs, the last who must be a superior of some sort has a breastplate over his chain and a longsword at his belt in addition to the other weapons.
Approaching it seems obvious that he knows Gaskar and speaking to him for a moment. It seems he is giving him a hard time about being late and the terrible old food they have had to eat in the last week while waiting delivery. Keeping even, the merchant talks to him for a moment, promising that the 'Bounty' will soon be well stocked and tossing him a fresh apple from the back of the wagon in demonstration which seems to be enough for the guard and he calls to the others to open the gate.
Once inside, Gaskar looks to each of you and then nods down Keep Road. "I need to drop my goods at the Forest Bounty. If you don't mind I intend to unload quick and get out of town..." He clears his throat a bit before adding. "I have no wish to be here in the morning. I should be safe enough in the town walls and the Tuckets are good people. They will no doubt help me unload if you all have places to be."
I believe I've found the 5th member for the group. They are looking at Urban Druid for a class and should be ready within a few days for as soon as I can find a good spot to insert them.
a wand of cure light wounds with 50 charges costs 750.
a potion of cure moderate wounds costs 300 gp
a potion of cure light wounds costs 50 gp
1 Wand of CLW= 750
3 pot CMW= 900
5 Pot CLW= 250
Divided by 5 380 gp
Each person's share would be 380 gp.
I would think either the Urban Druid or Hugh should hold the Wand of Cure Light Wounds
I would suggest that the three potions of cure moderate wounds should go to Maeltheron, Meera, Willard.
Also i would suggest that each character gets a Cure Light wounds Potion.
We could divide the healing resources another way if you like
Meera glances over her shoulder at the following Willy.
"Aye, the dog's got the training for a fight..." She arches an eyebrow. "What? You expected me to pull a guard shift out there in the wilds on the way here all on my own-some?" She grins.
"Any way. We're here now, so time to get it settled away and then see about some rest and relaxation." She nods and keeps walking towards the kennels.
Making your way towards the back of the town in order to kennel the animal the group is able to talk over their plans a bit, though there hasn't been any set plans given for where you are to stay or order of your actions.
Crouched in the shadows of the tall northern wall of the keep proper, a humble shack occupies one corner of an open yard surrounded by a crooked iron fence. A row of doghouses lines the western side of the yard, while kennels occupy the space along the fence opposite them. Several mastiffs wearing spiked iron collars roam the yard, masters of their small patch of land, while younger ones pace back and forth within the confines of the kennels. A sign fastened to the gate in the southern portion of the fence reads, “Shenk’s Dog Yard.”
In the dusk light two people are out trying to hurry and finish feeding the dogs and getting them tended to for the night. One is a young man, dressed in dirty undersized clothes with a long brightly colored cloak that he keeps tripping over as he moves around the yard. The other is a tall dusky skinned human wearing thick leathers with a dagger on his belt.
As the group approach he turns and moves over to the fence, tilting his head a bit. "Greetings, outsiders. What I can I do for you?"
Both tavern's in town, The Conquerors Blade and The Dead Well have rooms for rent available as places you may wish to hole up for the night.
Meera saunters up to the gate and smiles. Handle Animal:Take Ten = 18 (To make the dog 'heel' and sit beside her legs)
"Evening, Meera's my name. Just in from doing some caravan guarding and looking to spend time resting before signing on with some one heading out..." She introduces herself to the fellow in leather, even as she casts an appraising eye over the kennels and yard.
Perception:1d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Appraise:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
"So...how much for services?" She asks after her gaze returns to Tweiford and eyes him calmly and levelly, her hands/arms resting casually upon the fence railing/top.
Sense Motive:1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Maeltheron leans over and whispers to Hugh.
We do not have much time. Perhaps we should find a local tavern near to the Baron for investigation of residents and the locale of the ultimate target. I suggest the Conquerer's Blade. Also, I think Bumbo there is the Baron's fool of a nephew.
The animals in the yard are beautifully well tended to, all look to be pureblooded mastiffs and are enormous. There look to be five dogs total along with a few pups.
When Meera asks about the services he glances back towards the other and nods to him. "Put the dogs to bed, Bumbo. I'll handle this." The younger man gives a bit of a dopey nod though he keeps a wary eye on the group as he moves and starts to lead the dogs each into their own large doghouse, all the pups crowding in with one of the others before he makes his way to what amounts to a lean-to against the main shack. Moving inside and pulling a curtain across the entrance you can see him peeking out and keeping an eye on you all.
The owner gives a small smile, looking down towards the dog at Meera's side. "That is a fine animal you have there. Are you looking for kenneling or training? To kennel is a gold a week. Training depends on the difficulty of what needs be taught."
He pauses as if realizing he is paying more attention to the animal than the people and glances up to the group. "The name is Tweiford Shenk and I maintain the kennels here. Raise the best dogs in... Well as far as I have ever seen."
Meera smiles back obviously accepting Tweiford's assertion as to his prowess with dogs as given evidence by those under his care.
"Just kenneling, thanks." Meera replies. "Dog knows enough to be useful, I'd reckon." Adding with a chuckle,
"There's not much call for knowing how to do fancy back-flips out guarding and roving, Dog here answers to enough commands as to pull their weight when it comes to a fight." She absently reaches down and ruffles the large dogs ears.
"So..pricing?" Meera gets to business now that the 'pleasantries' are out of the way.
Appraise:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Bluff:1d20 + 12 ⇒ (17) + 12 = 29
Diplomacy:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23 (Unskilled)
Lets get down to haggling. (^_~)