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The Secrets of the Sunderlands

Game Master GM Netherfire


2,901 to 2,941 of 2,941 << first < prev | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | next > last >>

Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

"We were maybe a touch heavy-handed here, brother." Rolg whispers to Bolgrith. "I think we, I actually mean I, may need to practice a modicome of tact if we are to impress this general. What should we do now?"


Defense:
AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 21, hp 49
Other:
Fort +8 , Ref +8 , Will +3, Perception +5
Male Human Two-Handed Fighter, Level 5

Logan raises his pint as a respectful gesture as his companion pardons himself to leave. He then heads over to Bolgrith and Rolg. "If ever there was a case for abstaining from parenthood..." he says slightly wide eyed and with a slight grimace. "But, while my new found friend spoke his woes, it gave me time to think of a possible approach to this general..." he leans in and speaks a bit more quietly so only they can hear. "I'm thinking, instead of going to the barracks and trying to gain the general's respect, and ideally ikrei stone, by waggling our weapons about like street youths with a point to prove, let's seek his advise on how he would confront such a large army and a dragon. Who knows, maybe by trying to take a tactical approach, he will be impressed with us enough to want to help?" He says the last with a final swallow of his drink and a request to the bar keep for another ale.


Dungeon Master

Was anyone going to answer Logan or is everyone wanting to charge ahead without a plan? I can move us along if you wish...


Male Dwarf Cleric of Irori 4

Bolgrith considers the young Stonebits suggestion. "That could indeed work. At this juncture I don't see a more viable option, so I am not opposed." He casts a questioning glance at Aladdin and Rolg.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg makes an appreciative frown and nods thoughtfully.


Dungeon Master

Logan:

Braedon Stonebit is mentioned here and there among the dwarven historical records. Even if the historians strove to be as impartial as possible, it is plain that the good reputation of the Stonebits among the dwarves began with Braedon’s honor and honesty with his newfound allies. Since the Wyldote ascendance to the throne, and the rulings thereafter seem to have tarnished the dwarves opinion of men, but they do not seem to fault the Stonebit clan for the failings of the human race. The greataxe gifted to Braedon, NaaRokk, was personally forged and enchanted by the blessed High Priest of Torag, centuries ago. The dwarves did not bestow such a wondrous gift to the Wyldotes, even when they assumed power over the Commonwealth.

The dwarf, the man, and the hobgoblin make their way out of the tavern, under the watch of the patrons with the pricy spirit in their hands. It isn’t until they are about a block away, and they hear frantic running behind them, to see and at the same time realize that they had left Aladdin and his lady behind. They follow the sounds of sparring, steel on steel, and after walking a few more blocks, they find the entrance to the barracks.

Not accustomed to receiving visitors who are no recruits, they are quickly affronted by guards. Eventually, the soldiers relent, and tell the adventurers to wait while they send word to General Thunderhelm, who presently trains with the soldiers in the courtyard.


A few minutes later, a bulky but nonetheless stunted form of a warrior dwarf strides into the waiting room. Encased in full plate armor, a shield slung over his back and a warhammer hanging from his belt, the red bearded dwarf has a bearing of command and competence. By the sweat on the unarmored parts of his face, he most likely just came from sparring, though he does not seem winded at all. Under his steel helm, calculating eyes look over the visitors, and his gaze lingers on Rolg before speaking.

“I am General Thunderhelm of the Stormcall Isle. I understand you wish to speak with me.” He states, waiting for one of the adventurers to answer for their unannounced visit.

Don’t forget about the letter from the guard captain!


Defense:
AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 21, hp 49
Other:
Fort +8 , Ref +8 , Will +3, Perception +5
Male Human Two-Handed Fighter, Level 5

"General Thunderhelm," Logan gives a short, but respectful bow and hands the letter from the captain to the general. "I am Logan Stonebit, lieutenant of the Borderguard and son of the late captain Patrick Stonebit. These are my companions, Rolg, Bolgrith, and Aladdin, each of whom I trust with my life. We have been sent on a diplomatic mission from Steward Wyldote to seek out the aid of the Three Kings for aid with a gargantuan Goblin army, the likes of which have not been seen since our ancestors took breath. We have come to you too seek counsel on how to purge our land of this army and it's bugbear warlord, Gartok the Undying." Logan pauses for a moment. "And Gartok's dragon. Truly, in order for the kingdom of men to survive this, tactics will save us more than brawn."


The dwarven commander takes the letter and reads it as the Borderguard speaks. He frowns but continues reading at Logan’s mention of the size of the goblin army, and seems to be finished by the time the Stonebit names the warlord and his fire-breathing pet. At this news, he raises an eyebrow. “Were it not for your presence, I would be disinclined to belief the report of a dragon on Ytramond. But your envoy conveys the dire need of dwarven aid, if mankind is to survive this attack. Is it safe to assume that the hobgoblins have finally shown their true colors, and join their wilder kin in the onslaught?” With measuring look at Rolg, he turns and makes for a staircase, not waiting for an answer.

“Come. Let us speak of this out of the common area.”

His strides are deliberately slow until Logan is apace with the general, and as they climb the stairs with the rest of the adventurers in tow, General Thunderhelm asks, “Gut instinct cannot be learned from books, and often it saves warrior when facing a foe, in personal combat. It takes some sensitivity to expand it to a tactical application of legions and armies, but nonetheless it can be done. I would like to hear what you, Lieutenant Stonebit, would do if you had command of every man-at-arms, horseman, and warship of the Commonwealth to repel this threat.”

A Profession (soldier) roll will help come up with logistics and deployment, Knowledge (history) will recall strategies used in the past, and Knowledge (local) rolls will recall more details on what is available to use.

The dwarf officer listens as he leads them into an upstairs room. A few stout wooden tables and chairs stand in this small chamber, and by the presence of other high-ranking dwarf warriors, it seems safe to presume this to be a sparsely decorated officer’s lounge or study. A gesture from the general empties the room of the other dwarves, save for Bolgrith, and he wordlessly indicates that the five take a seat around a table.

Fishing out a single seat cushion for Coral, General Thunderhelm remains silent as he peruses a bookshelf. After a moment, his gauntleted hand pulls a hard, checkered square of polished granite out from between two tomes. On the same shelf, he retrieves a wooden box that rattles with many small pieces inside. He returns to the table with the granite slab and wooden box.
I’ll pause the narration there so he can react accordingly to Logan’s answer.


Defense:
AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 21, hp 49
Other:
Fort +8 , Ref +8 , Will +3, Perception +5
Male Human Two-Handed Fighter, Level 5

profession: 1d20 ⇒ 12
Kno history: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Kno local: 1d20 ⇒ 1


Dungeon Master

Logan:

You dice are back to their old habits, I see...

Logan witnessed first-hand the swathes of fire that spewed from the dragon's mouth. If an army had to take down the beast, it would behoove them to spread out to minimize casualties. Using ranged weapons would be most effective since the dragon can fly -and the heavier the projectile, the better.

Aside from that, whatever you think Logan would come up with on his own!


Defense:
AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 21, hp 49
Other:
Fort +8 , Ref +8 , Will +3, Perception +5
Male Human Two-Handed Fighter, Level 5

Logan contemplates the implication in regards to Hagglesport. "Whether motivated on their own or pressured by the warlord, I cannot say for sure, but what I can confirm is that the Council of Seven has hired on every fighting hand cunning or crooked enough to hold a blade from their pits. They have also detained the Steward's daughter and her wellbeing is currently unknown." I wonder if Halfstone has accepted a contract... a slight frown hints at his lips.
As they walk, Logan nods at the General's words. He considers his question quietly. "From what I understand of the Commonwealth military, right now our biggest weakness against Gartok's force is our numbers. It is because of that fact that I would imagine that the Steward would be implementing a hasty draft of all able-bodied men and youth, if he's desperate enough, to bolster his numbers. Therefore, if I had control of the entire Commonwealth military, my aim would be three fold: firstly, to partner the drafted with the experienced in order to increase training and, ideally, decrease casualties. My thought here is to ensure that what numbers we do have will last as long as they can and, ideally, ensure that if we survive this there will be enough skilled tradesmen to ensure our economy can survive as well. Secondly, since our war is on two fronts, I think guerilla warfare could be beneficial. Especially for any action taken within Hagglesport, itself. For the guerilla units, I think the Borderguard will fit the job nicely, especially those who can utilize both bow and blade. Those who aren't trained in the bow can be utilized in a stealth attempt to enter Hagglesport and undermine the Seven from within. When it comes to naval force, the more of our rivers that we can utilize the better, especially to hamstring any units traveling to meet with the main body of the army. Thirdly, I would do everything that I can to demoralize the enemy. The unity of this Goblin army seems about as fragile as a looking glass. The more strife we can cause between the tribes, the faster Gartok's army will implode... In terms of the Dragon... If we can spread our archers out in a confrontation with the beast, we can minimize casualties from its fire and claws." Logan pauses as they enter the chamber. "Gartok's strength is his weakness. He has numbers, yes, but his numbers are comprised of self-serving cutthroats at best and unintelligent, primal giants at worst. The more we can pit them against each other, the better. Even if it's over something small, like a warm meal. "


General Thunderhelm listens, and replies briefly to Logan’s answer. “Yes, cutthroats and thugs, but remember that they are united by a hatred of man and dwarfkind.”

He quietly opens the rattling wooden box, to reveal a couple dozen game pieces. He centers the checkered granite slab and begins to set pieces on the board. “Let us exercise the strategic muscle of our minds. Young Stonebit, do you, or any of your companions, know the king’s game of chess?”

The dwarf general looks up from the game piece placement at the five on the opposite side of the table.
I hope at least one of you knows how to play, in real life…


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Haha. This is awesome. I can chess if needs be. I also think it would be interesting for the Hobgoblin to represent vs the dwarf.

Hmm. Not bad Stonebit. I'd make a few changes, but that's cause I've fought on both sides of right.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg takes a step forward.

"I would play you, General, If you would do me the honor. I have always wondered about Dwarven military minds: I have fought under the command of men and elves, even a few wizards and one halfling zealot, but I have never had the privilege of Dwarven command. I admit a certain trepidation at the prospect of my first lesson coming from the hand of such a famous and formidable General, but I will give the best account of myself that can be given."

Rolg smiles and some of the edge creeps back into his voice. "Besides, this tale will be told for centuries; the irony practically screams: the stoic Dwarf, the civilized Hobgoblin, and the battle which ensued without either drawing a blade..."

Rolg indicates the game board. "Before we begin, would you indulge me with a recounting of the rules? It's been an age since I've played, and that game did not end well." There is clearly more to that story but Rolg snaps his mouth shut with the force of a bear trap.


General Thunderhelm peers at the hobgoblin. “Only if you swear by the mark on your shield that you will keep peace while you are here. If you try any treachery, Torag’s wrath will be the least of your worries.”

After the stern warning, his hard expression softens slightly when Rolg asks to be refreshed on the rules. “Of course. And if your companions see a beneficial move for you to make, I would allow such a suggestion. But once a piece is placed, the move cannot be taken back.” He outlines the moves of the various gamepieces, picking up each in turn. After describing the queen, he drops his black queen piece back into the wooden box. He brings out a small figurine, a black and fierce-looking dragon. “I will play the goblin forces. In exchange for the queen, Gartok’s dragon will be played as follows: the Dragon can move over other pieces like the Knight. Similarly, it must move in two L-shapes, but if the last square of the first L-shape (and the first square of the second L-shape) contain an enemy piece, the Dragon’s movement stops and the obstructing piece must be captured. This is a comparable disadvantage, no?”

“Given the lack of preparedness of this surprise attack,” General Thunderhelm gestures to Rolg’s white pieces, representing the side of the men and dwarves, “I will be taking the first turn.”

When the hobgoblin indicates that he is ready, the general plucks up a pawn on the end of the board and places it two squares forward. He leans back in his seat and watches Rolg think.
DG is updated.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg nods and raps his shield with a knuckle as acquiescence to the pledge of peace.

He sits.

Thunderhelm's assumption of the goblin forces tugs a small smile at the corner of the hobgoblin's mouth. Respectful. I think I could like this dwarf.

Rolg idly moves a pawn one space: testing the waters.


The dwarf general nudges another of his pawns forward, with his eyes on Rolg for any facial expression that might betray the hobgoblin's plans.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg's smile is too big: a ridiculous expression to hide anything the Hobgoblin might accidentally betray.

He slides a pawn forward two spaces.


General Thunderhelm looks up at those not directly involved in the game. "If you are thirsty, should be some water downstairs in the mess hall. You might find a recruit on kitchen patrol who would bring up a pitcher and cups."

He nonchalantly moves a bishop one square.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg snorts and slides a pawn forward to protect his line. Not in my house...


The stone-faced dwarf pushes a pawn forward.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg mirrors the General and moves a pawn.


With an almost bored expression, General Thunderhelm plucks a knight and rests it in front of his line of pawns.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg moves another piece.

He leans back to Bolgrith "Do we have anything to drink? Perhaps the general is thirsty too?"


Male Dwarf Cleric of Irori 4

Bolgrith listens to the dialog and resulting game with keen interest. He'd played chess all through his childhood and it was a favoured past time of the faithful dwarf.

At his companions request the Priest produces the strong liquor and two glasses. "Aye, I do have a bottle of something I've been saving for a special occasion." He smiles a bit sheepishly, "Though I'm afraid I've only the two cups." Setting a container before Rolg and Thunderhelm he pours a finger for the hobgoblin, and offers to pour for the General.


no looking:

1d20 + 9 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 9 + 2 = 29

General Thunderhelm’s eyebrows raise at the sight of the fine scotch. “A special occasion indeed! It is good to see a fellow dwarf of good taste. If you are truly feeling charitable,” he nods to the empty glass in acquiescence, “you will have my thanks.”

He takes the glass of scotch, and raises it to Bolgrith. “To your generosity, priest,” he then looks to Rolg, “and to the victor.” He absently nudges a pawn forward with most of his attention on the spirit in his hands. He sniffs, nods, and then sips. He pauses before swallowing, taking in the complex flavors. He gulps and sighs in satisfaction, and a hint of a content smile lies hidden under his thick beard.

If other whiskeys can be described as a kick with a burn, this particular scotch feels like a sledgehammer still orange from the kiln. In truth, the fumes from this scotch sting at the eyes when the glass is brought close. After the initial shock, flavors of peat and sea salt blend to oak and smoke, and then roll into a peppery herbal aftertaste. "Can you taste the lemon? The anise?" the general conversationally asks the civilized hobgoblin.
If and when Rolg finishes the finger of scotch, I’ll need a Fortitude save DC 15. Failure imposes a -2 penalty on skills based on mental stats, and +1 bonus to saving throws against fear.


Male Human Sorcerer 4

Aladdin stares intently at the duel of wits. "What a lovely game!" he exclaims.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg sips and frowns as he swallows. "I do get the lemon, but I admit the anise is lost to me. Perhaps," He adds smiling, "that is because I do not know what anise is."

Rolg shrugs and exercises his knight.


Defense:
AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 21, hp 49
Other:
Fort +8 , Ref +8 , Will +3, Perception +5
Male Human Two-Handed Fighter, Level 5

Logan observes the game with an attentive smile.


The general says nothing, though his smile wanes at Rolg’s answer. He turns his attention back down to the board, and squints at the moved knight. The dwarf takes on a pensive expression as he slides his knight forward as well.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg slides a pawn forward.

Alright beardy, let's see how you react when pushed.


The dwarf general repositions his knight around the pawn, and raises a look of amusement (or approval?) to the hobgoblin.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg moves his knight too. "Look! Dancing ponies!" Rolg laughs.

"So General, has you opinion of my kin changed at all?" I hope not. Too many are worthless.


The dwarf keeps an impassive expression at the laughing hobgoblin's horseplay.

"Why should it? I've seen bugbears with better stratagem. You've yet to capture your first piece..." He says as he slides a rook forward.


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

"True. I have not captured a piece. That's because I go straight for the heart when I fight."

Rolg slides his knight to take a pawn. "Oh. Check mate." he says says nonchalantly.


For a second, a dark look clouds the general’s face when he sees that he has lost. But it quickly gives way to a genuine smile and a low chuckle. “This is what I get for underestimating my opponent. It was the dragon that doomed me.” He stands, and offers a gauntleted hand to the hobgoblin, with newfound respect for the warrior. “Well played, Rolg. I will not forget this match.”

General Thunderhelm turns his gaze to the Stonebit. “Now I understand why you keep the hobgoblin with you. A cunning ally, to be sure.”

He looks down at the chessboard again, and shakes his head, before returning the pieces to the wooden box. “I would ask for another game, but I understand you have some pressing business to attend to.”

Leaving the board and box on the table, he reaches under his metal collar and appears to unbuckle a strap. Once loose, he pulls aside a metal plate from his chest to retrieve something kept under his armor. A dark, flat, irregularly shaped stone, about the size of a hand is revealed as he buckles his armor back into place. “Allow me to speed you one your way, so that we can at last begin this war in earnest.”

The black rock is inscribed with runes on both sides, polished by centuries of wear. He offers it to the one with Torag’s shield. “Do you know what this does? Presenting this stone to the official of the king’s court will keep you from waiting days to be heard by the king. You will get to speak with him immediately, though you will need to address all three for a matter this important. This stone will magically return to me in twenty-four hours, so you have until then to present your case.”


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg shakes the general's hand and then accepts the stone.

He snaps a tidy salute. "Thank you sir. We'll be going then."


Male Human Sorcerer 4

"An excellent game Rolg! Aladdin exclaimed. "You and I will have to play from time to time, glad to see another person so skilled in the game."


Male Hobgoblin (Shielded) Fighter 4

Rolg gapes at the eccentric sorcerer for a moment then recovers.

"You play chess? I would have thought it too organized for your liking."


Defense:
AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 21, hp 49
Other:
Fort +8 , Ref +8 , Will +3, Perception +5
Male Human Two-Handed Fighter, Level 5

Logan smiles at the General's comment, "Indeed, he is a cunning ally and loyal friend."
After thanking the General for his time and aid, Logan thinks over the game. "That was a well played game, Rolg. I used to play with my father as a boy, so it was wonderful to watch the game"

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