Clang! Clang! Clang!
Sweat drips into Garreck's eyes as he brings his hammer down onto the glowing piece of metal. The dark colored tunic clings to his drenched arms and he imagines he can feel his skin boiling beneath the tanned hide he wears across his chest for protection from sparks.
Deep brown eyes watch intently as the metal thins and widens. Can't believe folks put so much faith between this tiny bit of silver and their heart. CLANG! But people say Ablamar's stuff is the best around these parts. If you can't buy it from the Smoky Hammer don't buy it at all he says.
He pauses for a moment thinking he saw something move in the wide doorway to the smith's shop.
This is long. I apologize.
The hot midday sun of Arodus shines down on Tiberius Badaxe as he walks along the road. He stops under the shade of a grove of trees to rest his legs, taking a long pull from his waterskin and eating the last of his food. A few simple snares set around his campsite last night had landed him a wild hare, praise to Erastil. The Andoran wilderness wasn't really too bad, he had decided. Especially since you can always find a remote farm willing to exchange food for a few hours honest labor. Often enough to stay alive, anyways. He had been avoiding the larger villages and taverns, not knowing if he could trust the people there or not. His travel had slowed down after the first few days, since he wasn't really sure where he was going. The signs by the road indicate that he's close to a town called Pirren's Bluff.
Tossing some rocks aside to make room for a nap, Tiberius hears a clink sound from a tossed stone. Investigating, he is startled to find a body. Observations tumbe through his mind. Human. Male. Old, with a beard. Taldan descent, most likely. Dressed in blood-soaked rags, a crossbow bolt protrudes from his back. Cuffs on his wrists and ankles, but broken. A slave, killed while running. Broken latches, so he had tried to bide his time and escape at a good time, but before the latches were noticed. He wasn't fast enough. It was recent, judging by the damaged plants around the body.
Then it clicked. Slavers, here in Andoran! Tiberius instinctively drew an axe, wishing that he'd had the foresight to take his late father's namesake with him on patrol. Or decent armor. Slavers are an evil that should be put down.
A while of searching later revealed the path of the slavers. Not wishing to be seen in town, they left the road a couple miles before Pirren's Bluff's outskirts. They would undoubtedly get back on after town, and couldn't have gone far. Thinking quickly, Tiberius retrieved the manacles from the corpse, apologizing out of habit for the damage done to its hands (Although the chains attaching the slave to the rest of the line had been detached, the manacles themselves were still firmly held on). Perhaps they were fetch a couple sovereigns in town for scrap metal. Tiberius always hated to fight on an empty stomach, and his last few coins had already been traded for food along the way. He could also use some allies.
Pirren's Bluff seems like a friendly enough town. Luckily, the guard at the gate doesn't think to go through Tiberius's backpack, but being an armed stranger in a small town certainly attracts a lot of stares. The black militia uniform certainly doesn't help matters. Seeking to avoid starting any gossip, Tiberius avoids asking the locals any questions and makes his way to the center of town, following the road to the town square without too much difficulty. Once there, listening carefully over the sounds of the street reveals the clear rhythm of a blacksmith hammer. He finds the building and steps through the doorway.
While certainly not dark, the smithy's gloom when compared to the bright sun outside takes a few moments to adjust to. The forge is easy to spot, and so Tiberius looks in its vague direction and calls out, "I have some irons here I would like to sell. The metal is strong and I'm sure you can find a use for it" as he reaches into his pack for the manacles, pulling them out and presenting them towards an approaching figure he hopes is the smith.
The foothills of the Aspodell mountain range were not the most hospitable terrain to travel through. Trees grew sparsely here and shade was hard to come by. The heat was making the journey even less comfortable. Fellorin Argthwellis was no stranger to discomfort, but no one ever really gets used to it. As he neared the true foot of the mountains he started to daydream about the glorious possibilities of making a shelter in a copse for the remainder of the day, waiting until the next morning to find the nearest town. "Praise Shelyn! I love the forest, but I never found the treeline as beautiful as now."
Fell mentally went over what he'd do when he found a nice clearing. He could gather fallen branches and make a sleeping pile. Rest for the afternoon and hunt in the evening. Maybe find a creek or pond since he was dangerously low on water. The last source he had found had been a spring three days ago and his skin only had a few drops remaining.
As the trees grew in thicker around him he started to hear a horrible sound. Like an angry gurgle of water in a cave. Wait a second, that's no cave, that's my stomach! I'm starving. Ugh, maybe I should just head into town now and try and talk my way into some food. I've told stories for a meal before, and if ever there was a time...
And so Fellorin continued east , coming to the edge of a town called Pirren's Bluff, in search of food and a bed. Maybe here he could find some work to make up for the horrible trouble he had come upon merely two weeks before.
Dannic rubbed his eyes and willed himself out of bed as the sun blasted through his window. He had agreed to do some cleaning and errands for the smith Ablamar that morning. Dashing out the door with barely a word to his mother, he hurried over to the smithy.
First work I've gotten in a week and going to be late. With a sigh, he comes up to the smithy just behind a very large man he's never seen before. Shrugging he hurries in and calls out for Ablamar just as the man produces a set of broken manacles.
Garreck watches as the silhouette of a large man fills the height of the smithy's door. The figure's head pivots from side to side quickly and then turns towards the glow of the forge. "I have some irons here I would like to sell. The metal is strong and I'm sure you can find a use for it"
Taking a few steps forward the smith's apprentice is able to get a better look at the man. Not a guard but military of some sort. Keep your head down. Keep low. He wipes his sweaty palms on the tails of his tunic and stays in the gloom of the shop.
"The smith isn't here right now but I can take a look at those for you sir." Taking the manacles from the man he turns and inspects them in the glow of the forge. Slowly turning the black metal over and over in his hands Garreck stared down at nearly invisible etchings on the bindings. He runs his thumb gently over the iron that had held a man in their grasp. Sized for a man. Not strong but alive enough.
Turning on his heels Garreck tosses the manacles back at the man in the doorway. "Ablamar doesn't deal in this kind of death." Back further in the shadows he can see the man clearer and he quickly looks him up and down. "Don't know where you came across these but they're not yours. Put them back. Toss them in the creek. Just get them out of town."
Hands and face covered in the soot of the forge Garreck's head drops and his shoulders stoop. "Show me where you found these" he whispers.
Finally noticing young Dannic standing nearby Garreck composes himself. "Do me a favor Dannic, stay here and tell Ablamar there's something I need to look into. Tell him I'll try to stay out of trouble and then follow us. Armed."
Before brushing passed the man standing in the doorway of the smithy Garreck retrieves his hammer from beside the forge. To the man dressed in military black, "Tell the little urchin here where we'll be heading and then wait for me outside."
Behind the blacksmith's shop Garreck plunges his head and arms into a rain barrel. He comes out drenched and slightly cleaner but refreshed. From next to a small pile of wood he slips a well used axe into the belt of his tunic and from behind a simple bark lean-to he withdraws a battered bag he slings over one shoulder and across his chest.
Marshall Jarri is going to be mad but this has to be done.
As the man from the forge turns away, Tiberius lets out a breath he hadn't realized he was holding. It suddenly had occured to him that the man could have assumed that he was the owner.
He waits outside the smithy, telling the one called Dannic, "Wait a moment. I fear this may be a bit more complex than that man thinks. I am Tiberius," he extends his hand in greeting to the younger boy.
Skipping ahead a moment, as how Dannic responds won't affect this next part:
When the man returns, noticeably armed, Tiberius explains, "You are correct that the chains are not mine. I found them on the side of the road. The trail was fresh, and they couldn't have gone far. I was going to pursue them myself, but after weeks on the road, I need a meal first. If your intent is to hunt slavers, I ask that you wait long enough for me to purchase a meal first." He then sheepishly acknowledges, "I also need some coin for food, which is why I stopped here in the first place to sell."
Taking the offered hand Dannic says, "Dannic Ortha, welcome to Pirren's Bluff Tiberius."
Listening to the conversation, Dannic's eyes narrow as he puts the pieces together. "Slave traders? Why don't you talk to Ablamar, Garreck? I'll take our new friend to get him fed and you can meet up with us there. I don't have the coin to buy food, but Ma won't fixin something up for him."
My thought was a tavern would be the easiest place to meet the bard. It doesn't matter either way, as long as he overhears a discussion that involves slavers that catches his attention or something. On the way out of town would work too.
Tiberius holds his fist over his heart in a type of short salute to Dannic, "I'd be much obliged."
As Fellorin walked through the town he had found a jug of water and after drinking his fill, used it to clean his face and splash away a bit of the stench of travel. No one liked a beggar that told stories for money, but a traveler with fantastic tales to spin was another thing entirely. After acquiring a few props from clotheslines he headed towards what appeared to be an open area in what must be near the center of town. Setting up near an area that looked out of the way of the local proprietors, he began.
"Gather round, gather round! Good people of Pirren's Bluff, I have traveled far and wide. I have seen many things, love and war, tragedies and also wrongs righted. Come now and hear a tale of deception and betrayal, a loving family shattered, and the courage of a young soldier who battled the hordes of Cheliax to escape and win his freedom in Andoran! It all began years ago..."
Drawing upon his skills honed from retelling the stories he heard in taverns and upon the road in his travels, Fell began to recount (and also embellish a bit) the history of his father's escape to Andoran and the events that led him there. The crowd gathered and soon there were quite a few people around his little show.
Tiberius thinks back to the last few hours. He remembers running into Dannic's mother in the square, and waiting for her to finish listening to the bard. Somehow she had ended up inviting him for food too, for another story over dinner, was it? Either way, the bard had overheard the conversation about the slavers and asked to go along as well. Somehow that landed them here, a few miles south of town and ready to fight.
Seeing the glow of the campfire, Tiberius stops to catch his breath, clapping a hand onto Garreck's shoulder and chuckling, "See? Even with that delay, we caught up to them." He straightens out, thinking. "Andoran is hostile territory for slavers. Odds are they'll have a guard or two posted. As such, it might make more sense to move as a group than to split up."
Dannic cranes his neck to look up at the newcomer. "We should definitely stay together, but I would like to see how many guards they have before we attack. If we get lucky we could overwhelm the guards before the others can react."
Dannic pauses, knowing he has a few tricks up his sleeve the others don't know about. "I believe I can neutralize one of the guards for a few seconds if we get close enough before we attack."
Dannic takes a deep breath, realizing they will likely find out about his powers once the fight begins anyway, and continues, "I recently found out I have some magical talent. I used it to break up Bildon's last 'conversation' with Githa's son and I think I could use it like that now."
As Fell met the gaze of his new companion Dannic he took in what the young man said and replied, "Good to know. I also can stop a man from taking action for a moment. Actually, might not be a bad idea for us to both give the guards a pause and allow our fellows to oust them. If need be, I'm good at going unseen. I can probably get fairly close to one of them before he notices me."
Readying himself for the upcoming scuffle, he unfastened the whip on his belt and took it in his hand still coiled. "Well, if it's decided then shall we?" He made ready to set forth unseen.
(Stealth) 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11 (not going just yet, just rolling in case we do)
"I've not fought with a mage on my side before. I'm not one to turn down a useful talent though." Tiberius bends down, using some water from his waterskin to create mud from the dirt on the edge of the road. He smears the mud along the metallic parts of the axes, to avoid the glint of moonlight on steel giving away his position.
So it seems we are approaching from the road once we get a post from Garreck.
For when necessary:
Stealth: d20+dex(no ACP) 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
And he's holding a handaxe and a throwing axe.
Garreck moves along with the rest of the men without saying a word. His palms sweating on the wood handle of his hammer. The heavy metal head of the hammer covered in soot, nearly invisible in the dark of the evening.
He sighs heavily.
Without turning his head to his companions he speaks softly. "None of them can live."
Steath 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (2) - 2 = 0
1d20 ⇒ 14
The sentry, particularly alert tonight, almost immediately notices the group of vigilantes approaching from the road. Hey! Naptime's over gents. We got company!
The slavers jump to their feet, scrambling for their weapons. Most of them don't have their armor on, but there are two sentries who are armed and garbed.
Garreck 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
Dannic 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Fellorin 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Tiberius 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
Slaver 1 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Slaver 2 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Slaver 3 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Slaver 4 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Slaver 5 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Slaver 6 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Slave Driver 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
The order of play is:
Fellorin knew that he'd have to give his more burly compatriots time to ready for battle. Being a woods guide, one needed to think quickly. When that failed, give oneself more time to think. He dashed around the nearby guard and japed, "Hey ugly! What's soft and red and split down the middle?"
Move to II-18 and cast Daze(DC14) on slaver 3
Slaver 3, dazed, can only stand stupidly as the party approaches. Slavers 1 and 6 move up to span the gap between two large trees. Slaver 4 moves around to the north to flank.
Dannic, your action occurs here.
Slaver 2 mirrors slaver 4, flanking to the south.
Tiberius, it's your turn.
Tiberius takes careful aim and throws an axe at the dazed slaver, aiming to take his legs out from under him.
d20+dex-2 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (15) + 0 = 15.
1d6 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9 damage, and 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20 trip attempt (free action)
Tiberius moves to stand over him(HH-22), drawing his other throwing axe as he does so.
The dazed slaver (3) takes a hefty axe to the shin. A sharp crack fills the air, and the brute hits the ground, completely still.
The slave driver runs over to slave four and hoists her up to his chest, holding his crossbow out to fire on anyone who breaches slavers 1 and 6. He shouts, I hope you're not too attached to any of these! gesturing to the slaves.
As Fell sees Tiberius readying to hurl his weapon he continues to say,"Your face after my friend throws an axe at it! ...Okay, I guess the leg is good too." He turns to Tiberius and says, "You did ruin my punchline though."
He waits and sees Garreck's threat do little to change the disposition of the slavers. The situation was worsening by the moment. Time to act quickly and precisely. Fellorin hurried forward and with a strong side arm sent his whip forward to take the legs out from under the fourth slaver.
Move to DD-19 and trip attempt using combat expertise. 1d20 + 4 - 1 ⇒ (14) + 4 - 1 = 17
Slaver 4, a straw-haired man, hits the ground hard, but quickly scrambles to his feet and readies his blade, little more than a knife.
Slavers 1 and 6 prepare for the impending assault by bracing themselves against the ground and raising their swords, nodding grimly to each other.
Dannic is up.
Slaver 2 moves in towards Tiberius, swinging a small mace.
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
1d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
The mace slips in under Tiberius's deflection and connects with his hip.
The slaver is standing on square HH23
The new turn order is:
Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +1
Wielding Handaxe and Throwing Axe
No current effects
Tiberius glances over to the slaver who had come up to attack him. "Can't you see I'm busy trying to kill the other one?" He sends a back-handed chop at the man's neck with his off-hand(handaxe).
Swings for 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13, 1d6 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9 damage.
If that lands:
Tiberius shrugs and goes back to lining up his throw at the slaver in front of him(slaver 1).
Dannic sighs as he realizes the slave will die if he doesn't act. Knowing he can't get a spell off in time, he grips his staff tightly and runs directly at the slaver. "Let him GO!
I don't believe I can charge him, so I will run up to him to make sure he is threatened if he attempts to kill the slave.
The map isn't showing up for me, but it doesn't make any difference. I'm aware of the AoO, but Dannic won't stand by while the slave is threatened.
Dannic dashes forward swinging his staff as hard as he can at the slave driver.
Attack: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (6) - 2 = 4
Damage: 1d6 - 2 ⇒ (6) - 2 = 4
Dannic races past slaver 1 who swipes at him with his dagger.
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
He nicks Dannic on the arm, but can't stop him. Dannic races up to the hostage and swipes at the slaver, but misses both. The slave driver holding the hostage slices her throat with his dagger and casts her aside, facing Dannic with a horrible grin on his face.
Garreck watches in horror as the body of the slave falls to the ground. He begins to charge forward raising his hammer above his head as he does so. Staring him in the eyes, he runs towards the slaver standing between him and the slave driver.
Charging to 22-DD to attack Slaver 6
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 101d4 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
"Noooo!" Seeing the slave driver execute one of the captives, Fell loses concern for himself. He runs forward and sends out a trickle of arcane energy in an attempt to stop the driver from harming any more of his hostages.
Move to BB19, AA20, Z21, and ending in Z22. Cast Daze (DC14) on slave driver. I know I'm going to provoke AoO from Slaver 4. That's okay.
Garreck barrels forward into the slaver blocking the way, but the thug stands firm, shifting the hammer away with his knife.
Dannic's blow strikes the slave driver in the shoulder, but is rendered harmless by his iron armor.
As Fellorin moves in to stop the leader, one of the slavers swipes at his exposed back.
1d20 ⇒ 17Including shaken status.
1d4 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
His blade slashes across Fellorin's back snaking under his leather armor.
Fell pushes onward attempting to cloud the mind of the slave driver.
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13Will save
The brute fights, however briefly, but succumbs to the dazing fog.
Slaver 6 swipes back at Garreck with his dagger,
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
but is unable to connect.
Slaver 4, enjoying the lack of attention, cautiously moves towards Fellorin, making a defensive swing at him. Fighting defensively
1d20 - 4 ⇒ (8) - 4 = 4
His weak swing whiffs as Fellorin moves away.
Slaver 1 Moves under the tree toward Tiberius, thrusting his dagger,
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
but is turned away by Tiberius's expert block.
Tiberius grimaces as he blocks the slaver's dagger. "You're all going pay for what just happened back there."
He spins around, swinging his handaxe at the slaver next to him, then using his gained momentum to get a second slice in with his offhand.
I'm not really built for TWF, so... we'll see how this goes. TWF penalties are -4/-8.
1d20 + 5 - 4 ⇒ (7) + 5 - 4 = 8 to hit slaver 1
1d6 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10 damage
1d20 + 1 + 4 - 8 ⇒ (20) + 1 + 4 - 8 = 17
1d6 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4 damage
Uh... confirming crit?
1d20 + 1 + 4 - 8 ⇒ (17) + 1 + 4 - 8 = 14
1d6 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3 extra crit damage