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The Prodigal Son

Game Master doggziller

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Just getting the thread set up.

Also rolling for a heroic NPC...
4d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 1, 1) = 8
4d6 ⇒ (6, 6, 5, 2) = 19
4d6 ⇒ (4, 1, 6, 6) = 17
4d6 ⇒ (3, 1, 3, 5) = 12
4d6 ⇒ (6, 1, 5, 4) = 16
4d6 ⇒ (1, 5, 5, 1) = 12

Damn I should save rolls like that for my own PCs...


The celebrated bard, Ernesto Periwinkle, still plays the Goosey Gander every Starday night - rumour is rife that a secret paramour is keeping him in Woodenhead, for surely the composer of "Hollis & the Wyvern King" would be feted wherever he went, even the grand cities of the coast, even the courts of royalty! Yet he remains. Tonight may be busy, or it may be dead - in the wake of the Swallowtail raid, the mood of the town is febrile, swinging between paranoia and hedonistic denial. Tongiht it could go either way.

Kat arrives early, the better to stake a spot and not incidentally keep tabs on who arrives. She rocks up to the bar and orders a glass of Corentyn red, then surveys the room. Might the elf, Forrest, already be here? (Will he be here tonight at all? He said he wanted to see the bard!)

The tavern is not yet busy. A few local wastrels are lounging about with the half-pint of bad ale and bowl of thin stew that two clinks of copper can afford them - in before the door-keeper starts taking coin for the bard, and hoping to escape notice.

Next to Kat at the bar there is a remarkably tall man of late middle years, his face gaunt and silver hair thinning. Though plainly garbed, there is something unmistakably haughty in his manner as he meets her gaze. She looks away.

Near the door a well-built man with long, luxuriant blonde hair sits alone, picking at a haunch of meat with greasy fingers. He is clad in patchwork leathers. Bright green eyes blaze from his heavily pock-marked face.

In a secluded corner two seedy-looking coves sit at their usual table, perhaps adhering to their chairs? They are dicing with some mark, a young woman who - what, is it really her? She looks a lot like Eloise Madrigell, Kat's former tutor. But that can't be right - she is dressed in roughspun peasant garb and her hair is frazzled and her face is smudged with dirt. Her manner is exaggerated and altogether crass as as she rides the lurch of fortune in the game, while the rough-voiced hustlers leer openly. Not Ms. Madrigell, surely? But the resemblance is uncanny...

Human Curmudgeon 35
doggziller wrote:
Damn I should save rolls like that for my own PCs...

Looks a like 7 there - ach!

Human Curmudgeon 35


Lets have a closer at this potential Eloise. I'll cast ghost sound (calling her name) near where she is sitting and see if she reacts.

Whether she she reacts or not lets have a closer look - Time to get some -1 perception rolls happening!

Gimme a roll to check out the guy with the nice hair too.I guess I can justifying it as her doing some perving without wandering into bizarre search behaviour territory



You cast Ghost Sound... "Eloise!"

She definitely startles. The woman looks up, catches your eye briefly, then slumps into a coughing fit. One of the gamblers takes the opportunity to lean over and rub her back. The other glances about, looking troubled - seems he heard it too.

She keeps her mouth covered with her hand and you notice her finger pointing at you from under the table. At once you hear her voice as if she was whispering right in your ear:

"Not now. Wait. I'll come to you."

You recognise this cantrip - many girls at Lucrezia Alsadore Memorial were fond of it (regrettably you never learned the knack).

You pick up your glass of wine and cross the room as though looking for a seat. Keeping an eye on the long haired man, you notice that he is muttering to himself. "...fukken trolls..." is all that you catch.

One of the gamblers seems to be keeping an eye on you right now. Where do you wanna sit down? You can sit with some local wastrels, by yourself at an empty table, or join the muttering man at his table?

Or you can do something else.



Rolling Diplomacy at +6...

"Trolls huh? Didn't know there were any trolls 'round here."

The man stares at you with those unsettling green eyes for a few seconds, then blinks several times. He tears a strip off the haunch of meat before him and presses it into his mouth with thick fingers.

"Trolls," he says, chewing, "are never far. Have you seen a man weep? A troll is near. Have you seen a man enraged, impotent, thwarted in his ambitions? A troll is near. Have you seen a man betrayed by his one true love? ...but you have the idea I think."

He shakes his head sadly and plucks another morsel of meat, considering you with eyes narrowed.

"You must burn them to kill, you know."

Rolling Knowledge: Geography at +4

You think his accent is Ustalav.

Human Curmudgeon 35

Ok, what do I know about Ustalav? Given she has ranks in Knowledge Geography we can assume she has a basic understanding of the country, yeah? Is is renowned for its Trolls?

Player knowledge tells me that trolls live in the mountains and under bridges (natch)- what knowledge skill does knowing which areas are renowned for their trolls? Geography? natures?

Loving using skills -

I'm keeping one eye on Eloise while I'm talking to this guy. What is she up to? How about the old haughty guy?



Rolling Knowledge: Geo at +4

Ustalav! It's way up north somewhere. They have pretty big problems with undead, from memory. Your brows knit adorably as you try and fail to remember anything much else.

You know that trolls are relatively widely spread in wilderness areas. They are more common in the north.

Rolling Perception to keep an eye on others...

You steal a few glances. The dice game seems to be back in full swing and Eloise's table. She gives every sign that she is having fun? What is she up to?

You notice that the tall man seems to be keeping an eye on Eloise's table as well.

"A word to the wise," says the long-haired man, "if you play those coves, bring your own dice."

Human Curmudgeon 35

"Sounds like you're a long way from home buddy, did you run into troll trouble on the way here from Ustalav? I love hearing about adventures,especially from guys with great hair, how about I buy you a drink and you tell me all about it?"

<presuming he agrees>

As I walk up to the bar to get the drink I'll make eye contact with the old guy, nod towards the gamblers and whisper knowingly "A word to the wise,if you play those coves, bring your own dice."

+ diplomacy check!



I should point out that while this gent has lovely hair and very striking eyes his features are rude and his skin, just absolutely dreadful...

"A drink?"
He shrugs.
"Sure. Mead."

As I walk up to the bar to get the drink I'll make eye contact with the old guy, nod towards the gamblers and whisper knowingly "A word to the wise,if you play those coves, bring your own dice."

The man's smile is tiny and cold, the last ember of a fire winking out.
"As you say."

Kat orders mead at bar.
"We don't serve mead," the barkeep gripes.

Presumably she orders something else?

The tall man leans towards you.
"I don't suppose..." he says in a low voice, "you know a young man named Melthorpe? He was to meet me but, alas, he is late indeed."

He has a city accent. Sounds affluent. Wrong voice for his clothes.

Human Curmudgeon 35


Presumably she orders something else?

"well do you have any mulled wine? My Friend has a sweet tooth.."

"I don't suppose..." he says in a low voice, "you know a young man named Melthorpe?

Well do I? Kat's presumably been in here every night - would she have heard anything about Melthorpe?

I guess this would be a Knowledge: Local check which, alas, I am untrained in. My bluff is untrained so might go spectacularly wrong if I lied. Hmmmm, what would Kat do?

Human Curmudgeon 35

Presuming I don't know this Melthorpe guy

"Well, I've been in here most nights for the past week and I don't think I've met anyone called Melthorpe? Is he a local? I'll ask around if you like. I can pass on a message if I see him" Diplomacy check to make him think I'm helpful


Good point, I should've given you a steer as to whether the name was familiar.

The name Melthorpe triggers a momentary pang of (false?) recognition, but it quickly evaporates.


"Well, I've been in here most nights for the past week and I don't think I've met anyone called Melthorpe? Is he a local? I'll ask around if you like. I can pass on a message if I see him" Diplomacy check to make him think I'm helpful

He smiles his small smile again.

"Oh, you are most kind. Master Melthorpe is not local no, but I believe he may have been in town for some days, even weeks, perhaps. Well, it seems a slim hope, but I suppose there is a chance you might run into him. If you do, tell him that his sister is here in town, and she misses him terribly. Tell him that Leyland is here also, and he may leave messages for us at this establishment."

Is the old guy tearing up a little?

GM rolls a d20 and if Kat had made the roll you'd know why ;)

You promise Leyland that you pass the message on if you get the opportunity and he thanks you.

You return to the table with the mulled wine. The man frowns at the sight of it.
"No mead, yes?" He sighs. "This place, Andoran, many things are wrong here. No mead, no sauerkraut, and so many trolls! Terrible, terrible."
He has the look of man who has expected disappointment and takes no satisfaction in being right.
"But thank you, all the same. My name is Parval."
He pushes the picked over haunch of meat about half an inch towards you across the table. He sniffs the mulled wine dubiously and takes a sip.

Pushing things along by making obvious choices but you can retrospectively interrupt if you like

You tell him your name, ask him if he happens to know anyone called Melthorpe.
"I do not," Parval says. "It is a strange name, and I mislike it."

Human Curmudgeon 35

Back up a second there hoss.

He was keeping an eye on Eloise before and mentioned a sister... Worth a punt.

"His sister,eh? Her name wouldn't happen to be Eloise, would it?"

Kat does a big wink



Eloise, with a wrinkle of annoyance in her brow, explains that her wand of MM was confiscated by prefects at the Arcanamirium and she is not allowed to have it back until she reaches the next under-graduate rank in a year or so.

She hems and haws over the subject of money - "well I suppose I have a fair bit but it's just that I don't know how long it's going to take to find Mel..." she says. The equivocation is irrelevant however and Hildrensocks' proves to have no useful wands in stock. Eloise splashes out and gets you both a delicious pot. CLW - "ooh, these are Desna-aligned, they got that nice fruity zing!" she announces, sniffing the cork. She gets one for Leyland as well though he looks mortified and insists that he has never needed such an item and hopes that he never shall.

"So how should we go about this?" ask Eloise. You detect mixed notes of apprehension and excitement in here voice. "I think we could take the wagon most of the way and then I suppose just sneak up on foot around sundown. What do you think?"

She is keen to head out tomorrow.

Other info
The moon is shining about half-full these nights.
The lumberjack Elwood gave you what you think are pretty good directions to the little fort. He said it stands out stark on a bare hillside near the forest verge and once you're in the area, it's pretty hard to miss.

Chris wrote:

See Below

On Wed, Aug 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM, Murray <> wrote:
Ms. Eloise Madrigell has the following spells in her book:

Cantrips - all of them - she can prepare up to 4.
Ghost Sound

Level 1 - she can prepare 4 though at least 1 must be ABJURATION
Mage Armour
Protection from Evil
Unseen Servant
Feather Fall
Expeditious Retreat

Charm Person
Magic Missile (OPPOSED SCHOOL - takes two slots)
Madrigell's Discouraging Integument (homebrew) - target self. 1 min/level. Humanoids must Will save or be unable to make skin-to-skin contact due to feelings of shame/disgust.

Level 2 - she can prepare 3 though 1 must be MISERABLE PITY (only L2 Abj. spell in her book)
Miserable Pity
Detect Thoughts
Unnatural Lust

She also has an Arcane Focus 1/day she can cast any spell in her spellbook regardless of whether it's prepared.

Skills she is good at
Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Linguistics, Perception, Sense Motive, Spellcraft
Knowledges - Arcana, Nobility, Geography, History, Planes

She might possibly be persuaded to spend some money. - "Girl, what happened to that wand of Magic Missiles you were blasting those imps with? I think we can get in and out of this stockade without needing to fight but it would be handy if you could blast some suckers if the need arose. Shall we see if the store has a wand of colour spray or MM? only 750gp to potentially save all our asses"

Puku stretched out on the flat bed of the wagon, though he was exhausted from the last few days of horror, he was still unable to sleep...transfixed instead on the grey clouds above, and where indeed Moekuri's words of "Destiny" would lead him...

A mere sentence so I can find this thread a bit easier....not necassarily canon if there's more filling to be filled

Turn back time a smidge... Puku watched as his tribemates walked of into the bush, Shinise looked back and blew Puku a big smootch. The Barbarian deflated with a huge sigh, and hoped that Crom let him see them again one day.
After too long the Noble Savage emerged again from the treeline and after spotting a cart slowly trundling by he made a beeline for it.
"Hello there, Good Puku, My sincerest grief for the loss of you friend. He walks amongst the Gods now." Eloise greeted Puku with a warmth that eased the Orcs' very being.
"Thanks misses." Puku jumped onto the back of the cart and sat down crosslegged amongst the tangle of canvas tent.
"Where ever are we headed to now?" Questioned the other skinny Girl, Kat.
"I gotta go back to town," Said Puku firmly "Gotta go see my lady eh."

Correction - I got the effects of Orna's inspirational quote slightly wrong - it has given you +1 to attack rolls and +1 to Will saves vs. fear effects for the next 8 hours. No bonus to damage. (Just like BLESS).

Brickasnurd gave you 12 GP for the sold weapons, the shortbow was the only thing he considered to be worth the trading but he chucked on a couple of GP for the dagger and sap together.

Puku shuffles out the front door of the Asp & Mallard, stooped over, hands braced against his knees. His spine clicks audibly as he stretches to his full height.

Orna has snatched up a gnarled wooden staff from somewhere - more of stick really, it's hobbit-size - and grips it in both hands. She is standing in front of the village well with her feet planted in a wide stance, as though ready to face a foe.

Before her stand a couple of hobbit housewives, blinking slowly. They have buckets.

"Let us draw water from the well," says one.
"It is morning and it is time to draw water from the well," says the other. Their voices are slow and slur slightly - Puku is reminded of the way the hobbits Donnel and Gregor were talking in the inn last night.

"No way!" yells Orna, overloud and defiant. "I know what's wrong in this town, it's the water, that's what my dream meant! Go fetch your water from the river!"

"Let me draw water, my family is thirsting," they say flatly.
Another hobbit woman enters the square, bucket held loosely in arms that hang awkward like a bird's wing, broken. She stops and stares at Orna with dull and filmy eyes.

Orna's gaze meets Puku. "Hey, Poku! Help me, my dream was true, I know it! This water is poison! Do you have a knife? Cut the rope!"

(She means the rope by that draws the bucket from the well).

Kat is still upstairs at this point.

"The Water's poisened? Ho! Outofit!" Puku ambles through the small throng of Hobbit Housemarms and over to the Well. He deftly reaches over and grabs the Wells rope.

Orna continues to prattle florid words of warning to the little women and as she does so Puku pulls the bucket up from the Well.

Can Puku inspect the bucket with a sniff and try Knowledge: Nature(3), Survival(5) and/or Perception(5) to identify if the water is tainted? Without drinking any of course.

Rolling various checks...
Puku draws up the bucket and sniffs the water dubiously. It has a slightly earthy scent as well-water sometimes does, but does not seem unusual in any way he can discern.

Several more hobbits shamble in, menfolk and womenfolk both.

There is general grumbling and knotting of brows at the sight of the stand-off.
"What is this nonsense! We must drink, wash, cook and water our plants," says one gray-haired hobbit man. He has the haggard look of a man who has been without sleep for days.
"You are outsiders! Let our well be," calls another.

One of the goodwives tries to push past Orna but Orna fends her off with the staff. "You must listen to me!" she cries. She look back over her shoulder briefly at Puku, desperate urgency on her face. "Cut the rope, Poku!"

Also, Relmore the Steen arrives, gives Puku a nod, and sits down upon the same stone bench where you saw him yesterday.

Kat is still upstairs with Leyland and Eloise.

How far is the River from Oldtree? Surely Puku would have some idea of in which direction it ran in comparison to the village...
"Dont worry little Fullas, but Somebody might have chucked somethink stink in your well eh!"

Puku draws his skinning dagger from his jacket and with a slash severs the rope. He then proceeds to wind up the rope around the bucket.

"Yous arent gonna go thirsty though, I'll go get a few barrels of water from the river eh!"

I assume theres some old barrels in the inn or do i need to go look for the local chandler?

Oh I mean the local Cooper! HA oh what you must think of me!

Oldtree is on a loop of the road that veers south, away from the river to skirt a gorge where the terrain becomes very rough. If the river was handy, why dig a well at all? So it's a fair walk away, and the river water is brown with silt. It's doable, but rolling a barrel there and back would probably eat most of the morning.

With this information in mind, does Puku still cut the rope?

Actually they're halfling barrels I guess so Puku could probably carry one under each arm. All the same it's not a trivial task.

doggziller wrote:
If the river was handy, why dig a well at all?

As i had thought, in that case...

With a sceptical wrinkle of his pug nose, Puku places the bucket on the lip of the well.

"I smell no taint in this water cuz, why dont you have a Magic at it, if you reckon its patu."

Puku is keeping the Hobbits away from the bucket while he gathers up the well rope (Still attached at either end.)

With one huge, meaty arm, Puku gently fends away a grasping housewife as he says this.

"My dream was a true sending!" hisses Orna urgently, "Black water, rising up from the ground! What else could it mean?"

She shuffles a couple of steps sideways to bar the way with the staff.

Rolling some dice...
Puku notices that in their slow and sleepy way these hobbits are becoming very angry. He feels a thump against his shoulder. What was that?

"Outsiders! Let us be!"

Puku was struck for 0 damage! It's ineffective!

Puku looks back towards Orna just in time to see the arc of a stone intersect with the side of her head. Orna jerks back momentarily and yelps in astonishment but keeps her feet and her defensive stance.

Around this time Kat clambers out the front door of the Asp & Mallard. She sees Puku at the well, awkwardly keeping a bucket out of the reach of four little hobbit goodwives who are trying to grab it, and Orna standing before the well, staff raised, bleeding from a cut on her head and with tears shimmering in her eyes.

"Please, you must listen!" she cries, "This water is corrupted, it is the source of your troubles! I saw it in a true dream!"
A stream of wet snot escapes one nostril.

There are about a dozen hobbits in the square who seem to be... rioting? their shambling and enervated way. She recognises Gregor and Donnel, from the inn last night, among them. They are picking up rocks.

Relmore the Steen is sitting at his bench, mumbling to himself.

Puku feels the warmth of glory fill his heart for the first time in what seems like an age. By helping these smallfolk he has indeed gained much personal mana. Though none of his kin are here to recognise his spiritual acheivement, he feels the same swell of pride nonetheless.
PUKU takes a level of BRABARIAN!
Gain 13hp like the farken boss! total of 28 now boi!
Gains Uncanny dodge
Gains Rage Power: Superstition
Take the 1 skill point for favored class...
+1 to Climb

Puku helps Strongbottom to wrangle some of the fat pigs for the splendid feast. One huge fat Sow, obviously tipsy on windfall apples, charges at Puku. With graceful aplomb the ManOrc slides on the mud and grabs the ears of the large animal, effortlessly pinning the great beast in the mud
+1 to Handle Animal
+1 to Know Nature
+1 to Perception
+1 to Survival
Puku also gets 2 additional rounds of Rage

Human Curmudgeon 35

Kat staggers back to the inn, her head spinning from the effects many tankards of fine Oldtree cider.

"A real adventurer, at last" she mutters hugging herself tightly as she drifts off to sleep.

Kat takes a level of Magus!
Kat gets 9 hp +1hp favored class = a new total of 20hp

Kat gains a new ability - Spell Strike:

At 2nd level, whenever a magus casts a spell with a range of “touch” from the magus spell list, he can deliver the spell through any weapon he is wielding as part of a melee attack. Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (at his highest base attack bonus) as part of casting this spell. If successful, this melee attack deals its normal damage as well as the effects of the spell.

Basically two-weapon fighting but with bonus magic damage on the offhand. Using shocking grasp max potential damage in 1 round of 1d6+1d6+2d6 Electricity!

Kat awakes bleary eyed the next morning and enters some notes in her journal

"So embarrassing - fell on my ass climbing down a stupid hole. Gotta work on my climbing skills"

Kat puts a rank in climb

"All that dancing last night got me thinking about my technique"

Kat puts a rank into Perfrom:Dance

"It's not fair that Merlyn is charging the hobbits for that water. I'm sure I could have convinced him to give it to them for free if I tried harder"

Kat puts another rank into Diplomacy

"That bowl of brimming was pretty cool. I'm sure I read something about the elemental plane of water in uncles library..."

Kat puts a rank into Knowledge:Planes

"I can't believe that I didn't recognize Orna's spell. Of course it was true strike! gotta try harder next time"

Kat puts another rank into spellcraft

Kat gains the spell Ray of Enfeeblement

Kat gains the spell Obscuring Mist

Human Curmudgeon 35
Mysterious Jaguar wrote:

Kat gains the spell Obscuring Mist

Instead of Obscuring Mist...

"Can't wait to be able to learn invisibility. Every time I try I can only maintain it for a few seconds. Still it might turn out to be useful at some point"

Kat gains the spell Vanish

Sure enough that evening there is feasting and merriment in the hamlet of Oldtree, albeit of a muted sort, given that most of the villagers are still recovering from the effects of the corrupt magic wrought by the pitiful thing that had been Malek Woodsman.

Though they move about slow and careful as arthritic oldsters, life and hope can see once again in the hobbits' eyes. They chat, laugh, smile and sing as a great old sow and a brace of the alderman's chooks sizzle over the cookfire. Fine Oldtree cider flows freely - goodwife Alvea Tistwitt brings a couple of barrels up from the cellar and makes a great show of telling everyone that since they can't drink the water they had best get stuck in.

About halfway through the evening there is a rather drawn-out speech from Tersus Strongbottom that nevertheless draws a few tears when he memorialises Astred, Yalda, and Seefor, Malek's three victims. From this he meanders on the topic of the courage of the bigfolk. "Not just great of stature," he says, "but great of heart! They came to Oldtree when we were sick and weak. Can you imagine if they responded as we did to our former friend, druid Malek?"

A moment of uncomfortable silence.

"Yes, we'd not be feasting now, I guarantee it! They could have taken fear of the plague and hurried on their way, but instead they stayed and helped us break a curse we couldn't even see. The Heroes of Oldtree, I call them!"

A cheer from the audience.

"Hang on, you paid them a hundred geeps though!" heckles Merlin the Miser, but this is met with a mix of mild boos, sushing and barks of laughter from the audience.

The alderman scowls at Merlin and continues. "With our ancestral guardian Nooknarl awakened once more, perhaps we also, hobbits of Oldtree, can awaken to the courage and strength that our grandfathers boasted!"

General cheers and applause! Orna Goodgrace laughs and claps her hands and golden light spills out of her, washing the feasting hobbits in positive energy. "Oops! I channeled!" she shrieks happily. Those nearby seem much the better for it and raise their glasses in her honour.

Some notable things over the course of the evening:

Puku is sitting happily on a barrel, smoking his pipe and watching the festivities. The innkeep, Haplo Owlsbane, walks up to him. Unable to reach Puku's shoulder, he instead claps him on the forearm in manly camaraderie.

"Well Mr. Puku, I must say it's a right pleasure to break bread and drink with ye. Ye've saved our village and that's a fact. But more than that, I wanted to thank ye for the kindness that stayed yer hand when e'en the Amberley's attacked ye. Morton Amberley's my brother-in-law and thanks to yer wisdom and yer mercy, him and his family still draw breath. A more rash man might've had done with it and killed them on the spot and not many'd blame him, the way I heard it from Tersus. I'm sure the the Amberleys would like to thank ye too, though they're still resting up tonight."

"Exceptin' our Freeda of course, but she's nigh-indestructionable", he nods towards the goodwife Freeda Amberley who is already back on her feet and with a clumsy enthusiasm, attempting to learn the steps of an Almas court-dance from Katerina Crowley. Puku's plums ache briefly in remembrance of the mauling they received from the ensorcelled woman's rolling pin.

"Anyways I saw that big bow on yer back and so by way of thanks I thought I'd give you these."

He hands over a bundle of four arrows. The heads look to be made of bronze, the shafts of some pale gray wood, and they are fletched with brilliant blue-green feathers, coloured much as the breast of a peacock but evidently plucked from some far larger fowl.

"My great-grandfather Rumbole were a monster hunter, he were a mighty hobbit and he shot from a huge bow, almost as big as yer own sir. When he were after a really terrible beastie, they say these was the arrows he used. He once dropped a giant owl-bear, shot one of these right into its open beak while it were howling at him! That's how our family came to be called Owlsbane, you know! Well, these are the only ones left, I'm no Rumbole and I don't suppose I'll ever put them to their proper purpose. So yer more than welcome to 'em."

Puku got 4 x +1 arrows of monster slaying! Versus creature type "magical beasts", treat these as +3 arrows that do an additional 2d6 damage.

Kat will also be receiving a wee reward, I'll write it up tomorrow

Funnily enough, this week I mysteriously hurt my teste! Aw dats Matrix!
Puku's eyes bulge out of his head with glee at the magic arrows. To the Wetawhakawi, the gift of a weapon suggests the forging of a noble kinship,
From his jacket he pulls his hunting blade and slashes a small cut in his off hand, proffering it to Owlsbane to seal the bond in blood, such is the way of his Iwi .
Smiling from ear to ear, crooked tusks that seem to be trying to escape his craw, Puku bulges bodily towards Haplo, bloodied hand like a hamhock extended towards the Hobbits face
Puku would also like to talk to the Chef and the Lady what smashed his nuts. Make peace with them and waggle eyebrows etc. Also hes gonna look around for the kid that cut the rope etc and have a word perhaps.

Puku proffers his bleeding hand.
"Oh, er.." says Haplo. He wipes the palm of his hand on his tunic and then seems to realise the absurdity of the action.
"Should I cut my palm then, is that the way of it?" he asks nervously.
Puku guides him through the process the friendly bond is sealed in blood! In Haplo's case he now has Puku's blood smeared all the way up his wrist.

Puku got an ally in Oldtree!

Puku asks after the cook Abelard.
"Oh well, Merlin patched them up as best he could and they're in their own homes abed as I hear it. Miss Goodgrace asked us leave to gather them all together in the morning and she'd bathe 'em in the light of Heaven which I do say is right good of her eh! Might be I can put that lazy souse Abelard straight back to work tomorrow, a-ha! Begging your pardon though sir it is only my jest."

Puku goes over to talk to Freeda Amberley. Her head is bandaged and she has a resplendent black eye, but her face beams contentedly.
"Aha, I remember you! Might be I owe you an apology, I hope you can still have chilluns!"
She hoots with laughter. "Oh but I'm most sorry sir, what a right terrible and peculiar thing!"

In the course of the conversation Puku learns that Freeda has vague memories of her time enthralled, like snatches of fever-dream remembered after a sickness has broken. She and her family had felt impelled to go up to the graveyard and once there to hide and protect it. They never went into the pit under the ground.

"Ma!" calls a small voice and a wee hobbit boy runs over and hugs Freeda, she gathers him up in her arms.
"There's my boy!"
Scamp Amberley looks up at the looming form of Puku warily.
"Ma, Relmore the Steen said I should go and get the heroes and bring them up to talk to old Nooknarl!"
He fidgets and squirms on the spot like he needs a piss.
"Ma, don't tell anyone yet, but I'm gonna be the next Steen!"
Freeda's eyes go wide. "Well you best do what Relmore says and get these bigfolk on their way, and I'll see you back here soon, aye? It's well past your bedtime."
"Yes, ma!"

Puku, Kat and Orna are gathered up and you all follow young Scamp Amberley up the path towards the Oldtree cemetary...

Scamp leads you up the path holding a lantern, the joyous sounds of the feast fade behind you as you pass through the dense trees that surround the graveyard.

At the crown of the hill you can see Nooknarl lit by some greenish luminescence, and as you get closer you see there are a great many fat-bodied fireflies flitting lazily around among his branches. Relmore the Steen is sitting perched on a root as thick as the body of a bull. The pit in the ground is gone, and the earth is churned up at the foot of the treant - presumably Nooknarl has shuffled his roots around to fill it in.

Puku is reminded of the creaking of ancient trees in the wind as Nooknarl speaks.
"Mmm'garl nurthu evalnard ged," intones the mighty treant. His viridescent eyes are narrowed nearly to slits, peering sleepily at you from under drooping barky brows.
"I have slept long, perhaps too long... though indeed I already feel the Green calling to me once more. I thank thee, travellers. The druid Malek was crafty, even in undeath - he knew what I was, and somehow he knew a way to bind me."

"Uncommonly well-educated, for a backwoods druid! Highly unusual!" offers the Steen.

"Travellers," continues Nooknarl, "I cannot repay thee. But should e'er you need my aid, return to Oldtree and speak with the Steen. For now I will grant such boons as are within my power. Etrascuun, lahmere, etrascunaal."

Nooknarl addresses Orna. "Thou do carry a stave, little one. Let me see it."

Orna curtsies and hands over her quarterstaff. Nooknarl pinches it staff between two finger-like branches and holds it up like a man trying to thread a needle. Nooknarl murmurs something, a bass rumble. Kat senses a twitch in the aether - and Nooknarl carefully hands the staff back down to Orna.

You can't help noticing the staff now has a couple of little green leaves sprouting from it.

"Splendid," says Relmore. "This is a living staff now - see that you plant and water it at least once a week, and it shall serve you well!"

"Oh, that's so wonderful, oh thank you Nooknarl, thank you the Steen!" burbles Orna and she hugs Nooknarl's trunk.

Orna's vanilla quarterstaff is now a masterwork greenwood staff! Greenwood weapons can heal themselves if damaged or broken, by being planted in soil and watered! They also take only one-quarter damage from fire!

At my discretion, appropriate nature-themed enchantments may be easier/cheaper to cast on this staff now.

"There is a magician among thee," says Nooknarl, "wise enough to undo Malek's enchantments. For her - a gift also. Take it from the Steen."

Relmore holds out a small cloth pouch in a trembling hand and peering eagerly inside, she sees... five acorns?

"Um, acorns?" asks Kat tentatively.
"Yes, how wonderful!" says Relmore the Steen.

"Come closer, magician. I would whisper three charms to you."
Kat dubiously leans in close to his woody maw. Nooknarl's breath smells like delicious wet moss. He whispers three words.
At once Kat understands the power of the acorns, as if she was born knowing.

Kat now has five of Nooknarl's Acorns! She can, as a full-round action, plant one in fertile soil, sprinkle it with water, and by speaking one of the three charms produce one the following effects:

1) Calambarr - the acorn sprouts as a supernaturally vigorous climbing vine, producing a natural ladder of up to 30' in height. The vine must have some surface to cling to as it climbs, such as another tree or a wall. It grows at a rate of 10'/round.

2) Fraguun - the acorn sprouts as a small fruit-bearing shrub that immediately flowers and produces 2d6 good-berries (as the spell, Goodberry). This process takes 3 rounds.

3) Gorthorm - the acorn sprouts as a dense hedge that functions like a wall, 15' wide, 5' thick and 10' high. After 1 round it is 5' wide and 5' wide, 10'x10' after two, and full size after three rounds.
If there is insufficient space the hedge just fills the available space.

After their initial growth spurt these plants persist as living trees that grow at a normal rate. The Fraguun shrub only produces magical fruit once however.

Restriction: each acorn can only be used once.
Restriction: The acorn must be exposed to sunlight where and when it is planted.

Nooknarl nods and creaks to himself and appears to drop off into a snooze.
"Take the boy's lantern and head back to the feast," says Relmore, smiling. "I have much to tell him of steening!"

Human Curmudgeon 35
doggziller wrote:
Kat now has five of Nooknarl's Acorns!

How intimate!

Kat's imagination runs wild with all the tactical possibilities afforded by the magic acorns, barely resisting the urge to head back to the tavern and sketch out battle maps in her journal.

Kat would like to ask Merlyn about the provenance of his bowl of brimming.

Human Curmudgeon 35

Oh, and has my ability damage healed yet?

Mysterious Jaguar wrote:
Oh, and has my ability damage healed yet?

I'll tell you after Kat has rested

Mysterious Jaguar wrote:

Kat would like to ask Merlyn about the provenance of his bowl of brimming.

Okay so this happens before you go to see Nooknarl. It's Merlin with a "I" by the way, like the famous one, because, why not.

Merlin is sitting alone, sipping a tumbler of cider. Kat sidles up to him and asks about the Bowl of Brimming.

He narrows his eyes and protrudes his bottom lip.
"Why? It's not for sale."

Rolling Diplomacy for Kat... and it's good. She convinces him that she's not asking because she wants to buy or take it.

His sudden lurch into conviviality is like watching a man fall off a horse.
"Aha, well!" says Merlin. "You might not think it to look at me but in my day I used to go a-questing with a couple of other right awkward sods, we called ourselves the Righteous Three, I'm properly ashamed to admit! But that's youth eh? Well you'll look back and laugh one day too I'm sure."

"So the Righteous Three was yours truly of course, bringing bidniss smarts to the operations, and a big old bruiser, name of Norris, he provided the muscle. And for spell-casting and what-not we teamed up wit' a dwarf magician called Thrumie... Goldforge, was it? Or Ironboots, or similar dwarvish nonsense. Well could you believe this, he were an elementalist and his element of choice was water - let Abadar strike me dumb if I bear false witness! Nine out of ten pecks piss themselves when they so much as dips toe inna puddle, but old Thrumie was right into his water. Loved it to a fault. Run into some skellies down in a tomb somewhere? Thrumie'd try and drown them. Right nutter. Didn't get on with his own folk. But he was alright."

"So yes, the Bowl of Brimming, that was one of his. He had this long-running project he was slavin' away at and he never would let me and Norris in on what he was up to, and for all I know he's working on it yet! He made that wondrous bowl, took him weeks, but it didn't do what he wanted and he were right pissy about it, he was gonna chuck it out so's I said 'Oi, I'll have that!' and I've hung onto it ever since. Simple as that."

Another roll...

Kat gets the sense this is a bit of a tall tale, but perhaps with a kernel of truth.

Morning after the bat attack

You pack up camp after an uneventful night. Puku looks pretty horrific in the light of day, though he scraped off the most obvious chunks of bat-gore before lying down to sleep, his torso, face and neck are encrusted in the dry brownish residue of a Dire Bat's innards.

Leyland wrinkles his nose at this.
"I have some soap you might borrow, Mr. Puku," he says, "In fact I will gift it to you, I doubt there will be much worth returning."

Puku got a bar of soap!

Leyland is further discomfited as he loads the wagon. He tuts and clicks his tongue, noting the various axe-scars, claw and scorch marks suffered by the timber of the wagon-bed.

"Look at that!" he says, dumping out a bag of oats, "Soaked through in blood, what a waste!"

Meanwhile, Kat ventures downhill to the dense copse where the Dire Bats were roosting, keeping a wide berth from the stinking remains of the two corpses. She gingerly steps into the deep shade beneath the canopy - there is an acrid reek of bat guano, great greyish smears of it coat the trunks of the largest trees and are spattered in lumps on the earth. Amidst the guano, animal bones litter the ground - looks like livestock, probably.

Rolling dice...

Kat takes a cursory look around but she sees no sign of anything of value in this noisome den and quickly retreats. When she emerges she sees Eloise standing next to the monstrous bat corpses, arms crossed and eyes locked on the carnage.

"This is exactly the kind of beast I'm worried my brother will run into," she tells Kat. "Bad enough when they're hungry, but when riled up by a fae curse?" She shudders. "I hope we can catch up to him soon."

Puku wrinkles his wrinkled nose at the pungent bar of oatmeal soap.
"Thanks Leyslands, what a kind gesture bro." after a moment of confused blinking, Puku placed the soap in his rucksack and gathered his kit.
He took a moment to admire the beautifully carved wooden wolf that he'd scored at Maleks place. The artifact was so precise in detail, so lifelike that Puku imagined that at any moment it would leap from his hands to freedom.
Puku considers CRAFT: Woodcarving
After a minute the ManOrc stood up and with a cheerful grimace he he bellowed out excitedly.
"Hey Leyslands, where's we gonna do some Mangeres Bro!?"

right I can't remember if I already rolled for weather and resolved Orna's "Insipid Inspiration" at the end of the last session 'cos it was a month ago! So if I did - too bad! I'm a do it again!

It's a still, humid day and the sky hangs heavy with sullen gray cloud that rolled in from some unlucky place overnight. The promise of rain is thick in the air.

The members of the party break fast and make their toilet, which in Puku's case means splashing about happily at the riverbank, squeezing his new bar of soap between his palms to see how far he can shoot it but generally not actually applying it to his body.

Puku notes the buoyancy afforded by the carved wooden panels fixed to his new armour.

Kat's morning routine mainly involves malingering for long enough such that her pot of coffee can brew before the party is ready to leave.
But soon enough the battered wagon is hitched and ready to go.

"A glum sky," notes Leyland warily, "no doubt we'll all soon be wet as the orc."
He ruffles the mane of Belle-fleur the horse. "Let's take it nice and slow today eh girl?" he says, eyeing the faint white lines on the animal's flank, the only trace of what last night were horrific wounds, now magically annealed by Orna's healing.

Eloise shuffles in her seat uncomfortably. "Not TOO slow," she mutters.

Orna clambers up into the wagon bed and stands proudly atop a sack of tubers, brandishing "The Book of Daily Inspirations". She clears her throat loudly.
"Something, friends, to bless the day ahead!"

Kat twitches one eyebrow.

She flips to a random page, and reads aloud:

Everything is energy and that's all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.

She slaps the cover shut with a look of rapturous epiphany on her face.

Roll 1d20 + INT modifier please...

Human Curmudgeon 35
doggziller wrote:

Everything is energy and that's all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.

She slaps the cover shut with a look of rapturous epiphany on her face.

Roll 1d20 + INT modifier please...

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11

Kat sucks it up

Kat nods sagely "So true Orna, so true... If only everyone wasn't so afraid to be who they really are then we could all live our dreams!"

1d20 - 1 ⇒ (8) - 1 = 7
Puku's jaw drops as he struggles to comprehend the sheer power of Orna's words.
"Aue! We ARE all energy eh! It flows through us bro..."
Sharply the Pounamu hued brute elbows Kat in the ribs to emphasize his profound realisation
"...Binds us eh! Cant you feel it around us? Between you, me, the rock, the tree! Yes, even the horse and the cart!"
He reclines back againts a sack of Kumaras and stares into the cloudy grey sky...
"Luminous beings are we...."

Okay, you both get the effects of "Bless" for the next 8 hours as you optimistically strain to vibrate in tune the frequency of your preferred realities (which I do hope aren't mutually exclusive)

The cart jounces along the ruts in the road while above, the sky presses its bruised belly down over you like some perverted glutton. Leyland, at the reins, seems fretful. "Oh, it's going to be a real downpour for sure!", he says, and "We'll be soaked to our bones, soon enough!" and "We ought to have purchased a covered wagon, Mistress, if only there'd been one to hand!" and similar comments, seemingly ad infinitum. He gets more fidgety the longer the rain holds off. "I've a fine oilskin and a broad-brimmed hat back home, why ever did I leave them behind?" - and so on.

After an hour or so of travel, the road and river fork apart upon the brunt of a range of hills, the river veering north, into a gorge, and the road skirting south through more manageable terrain.

Dice roll...

Around mid-morning you are forced to halt as there is a flock of black-faced sheep milling about on the road, their wool thick, yellowing and daggy. A rustic with a sheperd's crook and five or six teeth is gesticulating at them, while an white-muzzled old dog watches him with an air of apparent boredom.

"Ho there, travellers!" cries the shepherd, "Oi'm sorry, shain't be o'oermuch longer, Oi've to fetch these hussies up to the barn afer Gozreh unlimbers his pecker and drenches us all! Oh, pardon the expression, ladies. Real drownin' clouds these ones, eh?"

The sheep shuffle about pointlessly, like idiots.

"Hey need a helps fulla?" Puku enquires of the old pillick.

Though Puku may have never seen an actual sheep before he's only too eager to try and handle these animals. More to favor this Elder chap than to speed the wagon along.
He's gonna ascertain wether the old man would welcome help before he just jumps in. A big fat Orc could just scatter all the idiotic sheeps to all points...

Aftermath of the Ambush

XP from the last encounter:
Puku and Kat: 400 each
Eloise: 600
Orna: 300

Leyland's capabilities remain a mystery.

I have updated Eloise & Orna's sheets already but you fellows can look to your own.

With strength born of desperation, Leyland, Kat and Orna manage to haul the comatose Puku into the back of the wagon.

"He's going to live, I know it!" says Orna.
"We better get moving," says Leyland through gritted teeth.

Eloise is standing next to wagon and at once you realise that she is trembling slightly and her breath is catching in her throat. Brown rivulets of dry blood are crusted below her ears.

"I can't hear anything." she says.

Leyland's arms rise as if to embrace her but hesitate and stall and drop again to his sides.

"You'll be fine!" chirrups Orna.
"She can't hear you, hobbit," snaps Leyland.
To Kat, Orna says, "Eloise is going to be fine."

Leyland looks into Eloise's eyes and speaks loudly and slowly.
"Miss Madrigrell, my dear. You have done so well. You will hear again. But now we must go."

She nods and takes a deep shuddering breath.
"W-What about the barricade?"
She sets her jaw.
"We have to keep on."
She starts striding towards the barricade.

Orna hops into the wagon to take a closer look at Puku's injuries.

Some notes that me be of interest:

Puku's greataxe and bow are presumably lying on the ground somewhere at the top of the cliff where Carthy chucked him off

There is a dead archer glued to the barricade with Tanglefoot residue - in fact the only casualty of the fight

The barricade is a tangle of pretty hefty logs. No single member of the party is likely to be able to manhandle them with the exception of Puku. Working together you suppose you might be able to clear the road but it looks like a struggle.

Puku would still have his bow coz he put it away when he climbed the cliff, then he got out his axe. So he woulda only lost that right?

I imagine Orna will zap Puku with heals? Which ones and how much HP back?

Orna has burned all spells except her Domain cast of True Strike. I can't remember if she has two healing surges left or just one. I'll be kind and say she's got two.

Golden light spills forth from Orna's eyes and mouth and she kneels over Puku...

2d6 ⇒ (2, 3) = 5 HP are restored.

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