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The Seer's Journey - DM Downrightamazed

Game Master downrightamazed

A young refugee girl, blessed by the gods with foresight, is accompanied by six warriors to one of the most dangerous places in the world, where a great hero will die.


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First things first. Just so it's all in one place:

The Players:
Kelne, Human, a Fighter from the Forgelands, Van-Monnen to be precise
Karthan Zhosk, Half-Orc/Half-Dragon, a Sorcerer from Stormfare
Tanel Eppun, Human, an Oracle from the Plains of Bennalad
Agon, Human, a Monk from Goreme
Jorzan, Human, a Shadowdancer from the Unclaimed Lands
Sir Justal of NeoWald, Aasimar, from the Protectorate of the Lake

The map, and what you know about the world in general.

It is a beautiful fall day in Stormfare, which is to say it is like any fall day; chilly, and pouring rain. The sun has risen and already gone on to better things up behind the clouds, leaving the residents of the city -- yourselves included -- to deal with the rain on their own, as is usually the case. In the market district and shopping district Marketing Mages employ prestidigitation to cause flashing lights and other hallucinations to appear under the hoods of passersby, in an effort to get them to come into their employers' stores and spend some coin. Students hurry from class to home, home to class, or most frequently -- from anywhere to a coffee shop.

All the coffee shops, as always, are full.

A typical day in Stormfare, with only the arrival of a boat of refugees from the south to give the gossips something to talk about aside from the usual worried chatter about the state of the war, and how much danger the University might be in. The last group of refugees came up from Xai Xai via a quick stop in Mamban, and did not stay long in Stormfare. They hated the weather, they hated the wet, they hated the pale people and the grey sky. They all set off down the coast, sticking close to the ocean but seeking sun. This new ship, a beautiful and huge barquentine clipper called The Everdawn, has sailed from Mamban as well, though this time the ancient port was the origin of the journey. It is said the boat made a number of stops along the way, including one to drop off a curoius load of cargo under cover of night, but now it is here, and already the refugees are starting to infiltrate the city; their strangeness and lack of any idea at all where they are going, not to mention their complete lack of rain gear, causes them to stand out rather sharply.

Please take a paragraph or two to describe how it is you came to be in Stormfare. OR! For those who have already been in the city for a while, e.g., Karthan and Jorzan, please describe what you're doing this fine morning.

It is 9:00 AM, 46 degrees fahrenheit, and raining very hard.


Male Half-Orc Sorcerer, 8th, Brass Draconic Bloodine

Karthan chose not to do the outbound caravan leg with Jollo, as the summer fled the rain; in part this was to humor his mother - he'd been gone for six months on the last run.

His father has been away on assignment, and while the nature of his work means there's some irregularity in scheduling reunions, the truth of the matter is, Karthan's growing a little antsy.

Since confronting Jorzan at the caravansarai on the other side of town, the two have kept in touch off and on, playing, for lack of a better term, "Hide and Seek". They're surprisingly well matched at this.

The rules of the game are to designate two or three places at the beginning of the week, and try to skulk on the other there. If one player can sit down next to the other, and give the code word without being seen, the other buys the next round of coffee and brandy.

It's been a close matched series; it's currently 16 to 19, in Jorzan's favor. Neither of them are used to having a peer at this. Karthan finds it novel and entertaining.

On this morning, Karthan has finished breakfast with Mother, before she goes off to doing academic work at the Library. He's noticed the strangers unprepared for the wet, and his costume is set to looking like a nice set of oiled canvas trousers, a mackinack coat and a wool sweater. Something that would blend in, truth be said. He's also changed his appearance to look human, though he's still a big man.

He's listening to snatches of conversation from refugees, as he heads to the Warbie outpost, dropping a message off for his Mother, and incidentally, checking to see if there's news from his Father. He's also planning his approach to his next meeting with Jorzan. He is not visibly armed.

1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10 Linguistics check to understand a bit of what the refugees are saying.
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24 Diplomacy to gather some gossip as he makes his rounds.

Jorzan, by having played Hide and Seek with Karthan, it more or less comes down to "Who got unlucky that day". In some situations, you get the advantage (Hide in Plain Sight), in others Karthan does (Darkvision 120'). I'm assuming you know that Karthan can change his appearance more or less at will by this point.

Agon, if you want in on the Hide & Seek game, we can work you in. :)

DM-DRA, what does breakfast with a brass dragon entail? Her eating whole oxen, while he has oatmeal? Or do they eat in human form to reduce caloric demands and prevent themselves from eating every piece of livestock in the city?


Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

All things considered, Kelne was surviving beautiful Stormfare with good humour. Certainly the place was wet, but you didn't tramp across a good chunk of the Forgelands without enduring the occasional week's downpour. At least here, there was the prospect of hot meals, a hot bath and a dry bed awaiting him at the end of the day. He'd only arrived in town recently, having spent a couple of weeks in Warbane undergoing some training with one of the many weaponmasters to be found in that city.

Here, he was seeking the other weapon in any sensible fighter's arsenal - knowledge. As one of the more infamous Denizens of the Night, everybody knew something about vampires, and a good chunk of what they knew was wrong. Disastrously so if a man were to rely on that knowledge in the heat of combat. He'd been pointed towards a copy of Albruck's Liber Necronum by a helpful librarian at the University, and was working his way though it, taking notes as he went. It was probably as good a primer on the undead as he was going to find without getting into Forbidden Knowledge territory, and Kelne had long since decided that any knowledge he was risking his soul for wasn't worth it.

Although he'd left most of his gear at his lodgings, he still wore sword and armour beneath his oilskin cloak. It served as a helpful reminder to any undesirables that he wasn't someone to be trifled with, and besides, he took a certain wry amusement in the image he presented of a hardened warrior sitting quietly engaged in study. It did the students good to have their preconceptions challenged, he felt.

Each day he took a different route to the University, getting a feel for the layout of the city and for its mood as well. As always, war loomed over the landscape, a boatload of refugees providing the latest unsubtle evidence of its long hand. Today he'd opted for a morning cup of coffee in one of the ubiquitous coffee shops, having found them to be an excellent source of gossip.


Male Human (Bennelad) Oracle 7

Tanel was not in a coffee shop. He wasn't even dry. His still dripping overcloak, a heavy all-concealing Stormfare garment designed for this weather, this city.

Tannel cradled his drink, seated in the far corner of a dingy bar nears Traitor's Hill. This city he had called home, there were one or two students among the clientele, there were students everywhere in Stormfare. Tannel wasn't one of them anymore, to them he would just seem a scowling, hard-faced man approaching thirty with no where to go. They might feel sorry for him. He certainly did as he took another big drink.

He had returned only two weeks ago, but he had seen almost no-one he knew from before, it'd been half a decade. He didn't want to have his colleagues and fellow graduates see him now. He wasn't a scholar anymore.

He couldn't stay had home, he had never felt at home in Bennelad, not even when his family were still living. Even less when he had returned to wage a personal war of vengeance. At least of all now that the ghosts, literal and metaphorical, haunted him. He wasn't a farmer.

He had travelled all the long distance back to Stormfare, but he hadn't discarded his weaponry and armor. It was all neatly packed into his magical sack. Though packing neatly never helped, when ever he put things down, they were moved. He sighed, reaching across the table for his now distant drink. Mother dissapproves of her son drinkin in the morning no doubt. He didn't want to be a warrior.

He was almost drunk and it was still a few hours to midday, not that it mattered to the weather in Stormfare. He wrung out some damp from his grey woolen jumper, and hoped his feet would dry out. He didn't pray, the a$+$~~$'s in the sky didn't care about him, and he had less time for them.

Noticing a stranger even more drenched than he was, he went to the bar to order another drink. Maybe, I'll give midday a miss today.


Just gonna do these inline. If y'all would rather I hide these under spoilers I will, though I'm assuming you'll all play nice and not meta game. :-) Karthan, the effects from both of your rolls are included in the following...

Karthan: when dropping off your note, your mum tells you she picked up a bit of info you might find interesting; while there's still been no word from your father, another scout, en route to Warbane, let slip that an army has been formed in Hallas and is marching on the Great River City, Manaus (pronounced MAH-nus). Two enormous blasts of arcane power have -- magically speaking -- knocked mage's socks off for hundreds of miles around Hallas, and a bizarre and clearly magical snowstorm has been seen emanating out from Hallas, near the Mana river. The storm is so massive, and its effects so powerful, that one can see it (though granted a spyglass is required) from the guard tower on top of Traitor's Hill.

Bluff check by mum (assuming she's between adult and ancient). 1d20 + 25 ⇒ (6) + 25 = 31 Sense motive to see through it, if you wish.

successful Sense Motive:

She is much more worried about this than she's letting on.

Sadly, the refugees, while mostly easy to understand since they speak a southern dialect of Common, aren't a source of much interesting gossip, or at least the few you've encountered aren't.

Karthan, give me a perception check, please.

Kelne, give me a will save please, AND a perception check.

Tanel: as you drag yourself, sloshing, up out of your chair, your belongings suddenly shoot across the table and land with a splat and a clank on the floor. You hear a faint tittering giggle -- nothing new to you -- that ends in a short, sharp shriek -- THAT part is new -- and as you're retrieving your goods from the floor you hear a long, low, rasping shriek. Looking up, you see a massive owl sitting ON the bar, right where you were about to walk. It is nearly three feet tall, its eyes like obsidian, and it is looking right at you. A wisp of greyish smoke is dissipating from between its talons. No one else appears to notice it.


Male Half-Orc Sorcerer, 8th, Brass Draconic Bloodine

1d20 + 11 ⇒ (17) + 11 = 28 Perception

(There's no point in me trying to get past Mother's bluff check. She beats my best possible Sense Motive check by 10.)


Male Human (Bennelad) Oracle 7

Tanel stares at owl for a second, shock painted across his face.

Then his brow slants down into a grave, belligerent frown.

'...and what, ex-bloody-actly are you?' he addresses the bird, desperately hoping he's sober enough to defend himself if it attacks, a breif glance back to his table indicates that his hope might be ill-founded, but he stares as hard at the owl as he can.


Karthan Zhosk wrote:

1d20+11 Perception

(There's no point in me trying to get past Mother's bluff check. She beats my best possible Sense Motive check by 10.)

You overhear a couple of the refugees, older ladies, talking about the "shocking state" of some of the other passengers. They make a particular fuss about a small girl they saw who has apparently traveling alone, with no guardian in sight, and who is terribly under-dressed. "I just hope" says one of them "that the poor thing is here to meet a relation. What is Mamban coming to when small children just get put on a boat and sent away?! What are those fools in the West Delve thinking?!"

Her friend nods sagely. "Well I heard that a Justice of Sarenrae put her on the boat, and that House del Solarian paid her fare."

"WHAT!" comes the incredulous reply "Why I'd sooner believe that the Ghost of The Fountain paid her way, wherever did you hear such nonsense?"

"The purser told me a laborer talked to a guard who heard from a guard of House del Solarion that he saw it happen."

"...well, anyway, did you try the sargassum soup? Disgusting, I thought..."

And they wander out of earshot.


Tanel Eppun wrote:

Tanel stares at owl for a second, shock painted across his face.

Then his brow slants down into a grave, belligerent frown.

'...and what, ex-bloody-actly are you?' he addresses the bird, desperately hoping he's sober enough to defend himself if it attacks, a breif glance back to his table indicates that his hope might be ill-founded, but he stares as hard at the owl as he can.

The owl bobs its head at you and flies over to the door, where it lands on a coat rack and lets out another low, rasping call.

give me a will save, please


Male Human (Bennelad) Oracle 7

Not my forté!

Will: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23


Tanel Eppun wrote:

Not my forté!

Will: 1d20+5

You notice that your belongings have been still for a long time, a bizarre occurrence in your life. The owl, seated on the coat rack, bobs its head at you again. There is a shimmering in the air. You hear a dripping noise and now the owl is sitting on the head of a small girl. She is clad only in a cute sun dress, and is soaking wet. There is something wrong with her eyes. Suddenly the girl is replaced by a giant slab of metal. Solid, and driven through a mountain. Suddenly that is replaced by a hard-faced human female, a sun druid, clad entirely in gold dragonhide. She is on fire. The vision of the burning woman is replaced by a vision of a hairbrush, made of a strange, liquid-looking metal, this is replaced by two horrid, squat monsters, each with three overly-large eyes and a gait like an ungulate. They are replaced by a metallic insectoid, all legs and chittering jaws, striding towards you fast, too fast...

...the metallic horror fades from view. Your belongings remain where they are and the owl is still on the coat rack.

"Uh, sir?" You start slightly at the voice of the barkeep. "Sir,uh, can I get you somethin'? You've been standin' there with your empty mug staring at the door for ten minutes now." A few other patrons are looking surreptitously over their shoulders in your direction.


Male Human, Goremean Zen Archer Monk 6

The giant monk Agon stood right there at the docks, arms crossed in front of his chest, as the rain dripped down his unprotected, shaven head and from there to his rock-like chin. His monk robe was utterly soaked, clinging tight to his huge frame. Eyebrows furrowed, he stared at the ship that so many had been talking about, a grim expression on his face as he inspects the thing; he had heard rumors as soon as it landed, but had arrived long after the passengers had disembarked. Still, the Goremean felt that he should have a look at this ship for himself.

His thoughts drifted back towards not so very long ago, to the time that had lead to his being here today. After the tragic fall of his home monastery, the archer had been forced into a dire state indeed, with no money and only the equipment he had had on him at the time -- which, admittedly, was impressive from a magical perspective, but he wasn't willing to part with any of these precious items. Agon, too, had arrived here as a stowaway, loathe of being driven to such a dishonorable act he had revealed himself to the Captain the following day and, since the man had been a little afraid of the grumpy but very powerful-looking Agon, had then served as another hand on deck. Scrubbing decks, to be more precise.

After they arrived in Stormfare the Captain had even paid him for his hard work, a kindness Agon had been very grateful for. Since then he had spent his days here in the city, waiting for an opportune moment to present itself. He has actually aided the city guard a few times since he has arrived, accepting small rewards to pay for the very spartan room he was renting.

His mind snapped back to reality when, close-by, a seagull cawed and he briefly reprimanded himself for being unfocused, for dwelling on the past when actions in the here and now were what mattered. He had come to know and appreciate that bit of wisdom, imparted early on by his teachers.

Agon is far too serious to play such a game, alas. Though I'd love it if there was a scene sometime with him just having already been in the room for a long time with nobody taking notice until he finally speaks up himself.


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)

Sir Justahl ducked behind a post, thanking the Lady that the miserable weather allowed him to wear a cloak; valuable in concealing his identitiy outside the Court. The two footmen who were clumsily following him passed by in persuit, then their splashing footsteps faded into the distance. Relieved, he stepped back out onto the street.

The whole situation was becoming increasingly dangerous...

Because of the Women.

Sir Justahl never understood why a large number of women became so obsessed with him, he never felt any different from any other man. But there they were, great ladies of the court actually starting to brawl in public over his favors. Soon the fathers and husbands would notice, and the scandal would cut off critical supplies to his order. Despite direct orders from his Knight Commander to serve as Ambassador here, staying would do more harm than good.

He needed a reason to get out of the city, at least for a while. An excuse, a figment of his imagination, Somthing!

Shaking his head at the dishonor, fleeing like that, he turned his steps toward the University Library. He could find concealment in the maze of stacks there, at least for a while. Though the Baroness Agatha persued him into the University yesterday, he didn't think she would find him for a while. He worried she might send footmen though.

He set off up the road, his boots splashing in the puddles...


@Agon: Give me a perception check, please.


@Justal: as you trudge up the street, your cloak pulled low over your head and face and your boots sending up great splashes of water, you hear a commanding female voice shout your name over the din of the rain on rooftops and rushing through gutters.

Perception check, please, to determine direction the voice is coming from.


Male Human, Goremean Zen Archer Monk 6

Agon's Perception: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (11) + 14 = 25


Male Human Rogue(Poisoner) 5/ Shadowdancer 6| AC23 T17 F18; HP 88/88, CMD 22, F/R/W 6/14/7, Percep +20 Drkvsn 60', Init +6

Just a quick post. Am Bursting to begin this game, but, as it's my birthday today, I don't at present have the time, nor am I in a proper state, to be able to contibute to this game to the level it deserves. Will try to post last if possible. Otherwise early tomorrow 100%. Sorry! But Love it all so far! PS DM, as most of the poisons don't have prices listed, if you have the time, might you be so kind as to make a short list of what's available in Stormfare or thereabouts and the prices? Much appreciated if possible, no worries if not.


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)
Quote:


You hear a commanding female voice shout your name over the din of the rain...

Sir Justal whirls around looking for the source of the voice...

Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6


Male Human (Bennelad) Oracle 7
DM Downrightamazed wrote:


"Uh, sir?" You start slightly at the voice of the barkeep. "Sir,uh, can I get you somethin'? You've been standin' there with your empty mug staring at the door for ten minutes now." A few other patrons are looking surreptitously over their shoulders in your direction.

...not again... he mumbles, just as the barkeep interjects.

Tanel turns, slack-jawed to the barkeep.

'My tab, ten gold should cover it. Here,' he drops the shiny yellow coins on the sticky bar, and the barkeep quickly shoves them in his apron. This only draws more stares from the patrons.

Still shell-shocked, Tanel collects his gear, then walks out into the mudroom. He grabs his cloak, and throws it on. Bowing his head, he lets loose a pained breath. He remembers running with his sister in the local orchard in Autumn. Shaking his head, he opens the door and turns to face the owl.

'You bringing me somewhere featherball, or is it a figure it out yourself kind of deal?'

He reaches into his extra-dimensional bag, and eventually finds his halberd, the top bound and covered in cloth. It takes him longer than expected, which he expected. Blasted ghosts! Using it as a walking staff, he turns to look at the owl expectantly, before heading out into the pouring rain.


Jorzan wrote:
Just a quick post. Am Bursting to begin this game, but, as it's my birthday today, I don't at present have the time, nor am I in a proper state, to be able to contibute to this game to the level it deserves. Will try to post last if possible. Otherwise early tomorrow 100%. Sorry! But Love it all so far! PS DM, as most of the poisons don't have prices listed, if you have the time, might you be so kind as to make a short list of what's available in Stormfare or thereabouts and the prices? Much appreciated if possible, no worries if not.

Hey man, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thanks for the heads-up, there's plenty to do until you arrive, so don't sweat it. Come in when you're ready to rock. I'll get poison stuff written up for you.


@Agon: Amidst the screeching of the seagulls, you notice a different call; a low, raspy screech, and turning around you see a massive owl flying amongst the seagulls, causing no small amount of consternation amongst the seabirds. The owl is circling over a particular street a little ways up Traitor's Hill. Through the gloom, you see a man hurriedly dragging what looks like a small sack of potatoes, if potato sacks had legs, that is. He ducks into an alley, looking furtively about him all the while.

This guy is a few hundred feet away, up the hill. He's at the limit of your vision.

@Justal:You spin around, seeking the source of the voice, but see nothing. Then, as you whirl back in the other direction, you are brought up short by a black-haired woman possessed of terrible beauty, she is the one who called you; she says your name one last time, and is silent. She is standing in the middle of the street (how could you have missed her?), wearing gleaming plate mail and a clearly magical longsword at her side, a crimson cape at her shoulders (i mean, how could you have missed her?). She is in a military stance, arms behind her back, legs shoulder-width apart. Her bluntly-cut hair is as black as her flashing obsidian eyes, set off by the deep scar on her cheek.

You are standing not two feet from Iomedae. The Inheritor. The Champion. Your matron goddess.

What you do next is verrrryyyy important, my friend. :-D

Tanel: After gearing up, you look back at the owl. It has, perhaps unsurprisingly, vanished. Stepping into the rain, you are shocked at the incredible number of people in the street. Throngs, hordes, all in cloaks and hoods. As they pass, you hear their voices, low, growling mutters:
"Dogshank's alley's no place for a little girl"
"He's not fast enough"
"Never was"
"Too old"
"Too drunk"
"She'll be dead before he gets there"
"Dead or worse"
"Right down the hill"
"Shame"
"Crime"
"Pity"
"Pain"
"Slow"
"Old"
"Drunk"
"DEAD!"
The voices build in speed and intensity, a yammering chatter building in your head, right up to your threshold of pain, and suddenly cutting off. You are alone, cold and soaking wet, your breath chuffing out in wisps of white vapor, looking down the main drag of Traitor's Hill. You see a hunched and feral looking man, dragging what is clearly a small creature -- possibly human -- duck down an alley, some 300 or so feet away, towards the limit of your vision.


Male Human, Goremean Zen Archer Monk 6

Agon's eyes follow the owl with a curious expression; he knows at least enough to be able to tell that such birds are usually found in forests, not in cities.

It takes a brief moment before the Goremean notices what exactly he is seeing as his gaze wanders from the bird to the man the animal is circling above. A heartbeat passes and the monk's eyes widen as he comes to a sudden, terrible realization, stifling a surprised gasp.

His reflexes are faster than any conscious reaction, though, and before Agon's righteous anger can even flare at this cruel sight, he is already breaking into a full run straight ahead towards the perpetrator.

For a moment he considers going for his bow as he runs, but we could say what this vile creature may do to her if startled and he would rather not cause harm to an innocent by acting rashly.

Instead, however, he concentrates on the movement of his legs, pushing himself beyond the barriers of an ordinary human and becoming a veritable blur as he speeds right towards the offending, little man.

Agon is fast -- 50 feet regular speed. However, in this case I'll actually use the Monk-Speed-Up Ability. Spend 1 Ki Pool for the Fast Movement ability, gaining a base Movement Speed of 70 feet for 1 round before he resumes his normal pace, so he can't possibly lose sight. 7 of 8 uses left for the day.


Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

Will save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)
Quote:

You are standing not two feet from Iomedae. The Inheritor. The Champion. Your matron goddess.

For a moment Sir Justahl doesn't comprehend, and starts to flinch back from a suitor.

Then, with the magnitude of her presence, he does.

Shooting through his mind is the fact the church sacred texts never covered this particular situation. Should he salute? Bow? Kneel? He ended up compromising and trying all three simultaneously.
"Lady! Uh... Blessed be the Inheritor for she..."


Male Human (Bennelad) Oracle 7

Are the visions cause I'm an oracle? If so, very cool!

Tanel shakes his head and starts to move, he casts shield of faith on himself, and unwraps the halberd before moving off at high speed towards the alley, trying hard to keep his balance in the wet.

He takes wide plodding steps, and the longest strides he can while staying balanced, his halberd clutched hard in his right hand, the protective magic doing little to dull the rain's assault.

I assume the alcohol leaves him sickened, so -2 to attacks rolls, etc.


@Tanel:Man, if you're gonna be haunted in my game, you're gonna be HAUNTED. :-) Also, you're correct on the alcohol effect.
Moving as quickly as you can on the rain-soaked streets, you rush down the eerily-deserted hill. Your guts heave, protesting the sloshing spirits you forced upon them after a clearly-insufficient breakfast, and at one point you slip but right yourself before falling, a quick thrust against a nearby wall with the halberd providing you with aided balance.

As you charge, you see a veritable mountain of a man, blasting up the hill with superhuman speed. His legs are surrounded by a calming, beautiful blue-white nimbus of light. He does not slip, he does not pause.

@Agon: as you are charging up the hill, your legs pistoning up and down with immense, ki-enhanced speed, you see a flash of silvery light and can detect the halation of some sort of spell, faintly outlined in the rain, appearing as a large ovoid disc. The light of the spell seems dulled, somehow, and almost camouflaged in the monochrome city you're surrounded by.

Behind this disc of energy is another man, he moves quickly, but as if he is in pain; at one point he slips, but betrays his skill by quickly righting himself with his halberd in a single graceful motion the likes of which you have only ever seen trained warriors execute.

@Tanel AND @Agon: The two of you arrive at the alley -- Dogshank alley, of course -- at the same time and pull up in front of each other; Tanel was slower but closer, Agon was faster but farther. Both of you are breathing more intensely from your exertions, your breath making twin plumes of vapor that rise up to the roofs, where a 3-foot tall, snow-white owl is perched over a boarded-up window on the corner of the building. The boards have a curious symbol painted on them.

Dogshank alley is not wide -- spanning only 12 feet or so -- but it is long, stretching a fair distance along the side of Traitor's hill. It goes to the limits of your vision without turning, so it is difficult to say where or if it ends. There are doors every 30 feet or so on either side of the alley, most likely back doors into businesses or apartments; in most cases it's impossible to tell which, though some are helpfully marked as belonging to this business or that. The alley is mostly clean, though there is a foul stench of rotting flesh emanating from it.

K(Religion) and Perception (at -4 for heavy rain) checks, please, from both of you.


@Karthan: While on your rounds, you begin to notice something odd in the air, a strange...greasiness, that while disquieting is not entirely out of character with heavy rains. However, you also notice the streets are oddly deserted, especially since it's not yet elevenses, and then, as you are trudging back up University Hill with some spell components Mother asked you to pick up (what does she need with the web of a kelpie hand? yuck), you are startled by the sudden appearance of a pair of what are essentially miles-long dashed lines, made entirely of light. They move over buildings and out past the docks, disappearing under water.

The dashed lines are perhaps 10 feet apart and perfectly parallel. Each "dash" in the lines is an oblong blob of sickly greenish light. Something about the shape of them looks agonizingly familiar. The two lines move with disturbing fluidness, like a giant cracking a whip of arcane power, then suddenly come to rest, passing over the city and into the university neighborhood. You realize that where they have come to rest, these lines -- whatever they are -- that seem to originate somewhere over the eastern horizon and stretch out into the ocean, would pass right over the Hec Salazar Memorial Library, where right about now your mother would be working.

K(Arcana) check, please


@Kelne: as you are reading up on vampire lore and habits, you notice a group of terribly underdressed people -- refugees, obviously -- come in together in a small huddle. A couple of the snottier students start poking fun at them. Another group of students has been trying to study, but keep stealing glances at you, whispering amongst themselves, heads low, then looking back, taking in your large frame, thick shoulders, armor and sword.

Suddenly there is a loud *THUNK* and your head snaps up, alert; you see that all the students who were looking at you have fallen face-first onto the table and are snoring loudly. Another group of refugees has arrived, but something is off about them; they are walking strangely...and hunched...and your eyes...so...heavy...

The last thing you see is a glimpse of a gnoll paw peeking out from under one of the new "refugee's" robes before you pass into a sudden and heavy sleep.

Give me a fortitude save, please

@Sir Justal: The Inheritor shakes her head. "No time, my child. You have work to do. You must be my hands in an important matter, and I cannot have you wasting time dodging useless aristo harpies." Her right hand reaches under your hood and cups your left cheek. You feel divine energy coursing through you...

Symbols and words enter your mind:

Iomedae has blessed you with the "Mark of the Inheritor." Once a day, as a Spell-like ability, as a swift action that does not cause an attack of opportunity, you can invoke this disguise spell; it changes your hair and eye color to black, shortens your hair, and gives you a magnificent scar on your right cheek. Sense motive or perception checks can be made to discern who you really are, but at a dc of 20+your current level.

Iomedae steps back. "Now. You are too late to help the girl in her current predicament, but perhaps you can help the others who are already there. Close your eyes, concentrate, let the light be your guide." She points back over your shoulder. Turning, you see a small smudge of silvery light in the sky, like a beacon or bullseye lantern. When you concentrate, it gets brighter. It is not exceedingly far away, but is back the way you came; away from the university and closer to the market district. "Find the girl, Justal, and do as she asks. You are to be her escort and protector. Choose whatever companions you need to assist you, but know that your road will be perilous, and you must not let her come to any harm. I charge you with this task, chosen one. Be swift, be pure, my blessing is upon you."

You whirl around, a thousand questions burning your mind, but she is gone.


Male Half-Orc Sorcerer, 8th, Brass Draconic Bloodine

1d20 + 9 ⇒ (14) + 9 = 23= Knowledge (arcana)

Karthan looks after the streaks. "That...that can't be good." He starts to jog along the direction the lines were going.


Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

Fort save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15


Karthan Zhosk wrote:

1d20+9= Knowledge (arcana)

Karthan looks after the streaks. "That...that can't be good." He starts to jog along the direction the lines were going.

You realize as you make your way up University Hill that the shape of the light blobs looks exactly like the drawing of Arcogs you saw in Glia's Major Natural Arcana. Arcogs are little pieces of arcite sheared from cavern walls in those places that have underground ley lines. Arcite itself is largely useless, but as an arcog, it can be crafted into a magic amplifier of sorts. Though you recall also reading something about arcog use leading to insanity...

You arrive at the library door in time to see at least a dozen Gnolls and Hobgoblins, all clad in disturbingly high-quality (near masterwork) jet black platemail, charging through the door into the library.


Kelne wrote:
Fort save: 1d20+6

You suddenly come to, your natural instincts as a fighter preventing you from letting out a large gasp. Instead you allow your eyes to quietly and surreptitiously flutter open, and take stock of the situation around you. Six gnolls, much larger than they should be, are fighting the Warbanian guard who you noticed earlier standing by the door to a tower. The guard is obviously very skilled, but is badly outnumbered.

Six other gnolls are walking around the tables licking their chops and fingering the hilts of their blades while grossly caressing the students, studying them as one would study cuts of meat at the butchers.

Most distressingly, a twisted and bent figure in light brown robes, wielding a staff composed of spinal bones and with a skull on top, has a book open, and is in the middle of chanting a long spell. Two hobgoblins flank him.

You appear to be the only one conscious.


Male Half-Orc Sorcerer, 8th, Brass Draconic Bloodine

I'm going to break this down into two 'rounds' of actions:

Round 1: Karthan casts Mage Armor, and sets the Vest of Comfort and Style to match the rough style of the Hobgoblins, who are about his size. He will make sure that the library crest is incised into the forehead of the helm of the false armor, but that in overall shape and silhouette, he looks like he belongs with the raiders. As it's a use activated item, that may allow me to do a move action (your call).

1d20 + 16 ⇒ (19) + 16 = 35 Disguise skill, hopefully with clues that will tell a Warbane mercenary that I'm a friendly if he thinks it through.

Round 2: Run up the hill (I'm moving 30' in 'plate mail'), and if I can get close enough or a line of sight (640') to someone, cast a spell.

Spell choice:

If I can see a group of enemies that aren't in a part of the library that'll light up like a tinderbox, say in the courtyard in front of it, it'll be fireball.

If I need to target a single person, it'll be acid arrow. I will prioritize any target that 'looks' like a caster first, followed by anyone who looks like they're giving commands.

If, on round 2, I do not get a clear shot, after doing the run, I'll cast shield on myself.


Karthan Zhosk wrote:

I'm going to break this down into two 'rounds' of actions:

Round 1: Karthan casts Mage Armor, and sets the Vest of Comfort and Style to match the rough style of the Hobgoblins, who are about his size. He will make sure that the library crest is incised into the forehead of the helm of the false armor, but that in overall shape and silhouette, he looks like he belongs with the raiders. As it's a use activated item, that may allow me to do a move action (your call).

1d20+16 Disguise skill, hopefully with clues that will tell a Warbane mercenary that I'm a friendly if he thinks it through.

Round 2: Run up the hill (I'm moving 30' in 'plate mail'), and if I can get close enough or a line of sight (640') to someone, cast a spell.

Spell choice:

If I can see a group of enemies that aren't in a part of the library that'll light up like a tinderbox, say in the courtyard in front of it, it'll be fireball.

If I need to target a single person, it'll be Flaming Acid Arrow. I will prioritize any target that 'looks' like a caster first, followed by anyone who looks like they're giving commands.

If, on round 2, I do not get a clear shot, after doing the run, I'll cast shield on myself.

Roger-dodger on the Mage Armor

Er, checking my Bestiary it sez Hobgoblins are five feet tall, 160 lbs. Even these enhanced ones you see before you aren't more than 5'4". At 6'2", it seems a stretch for you to pass for one. The Gnolls, however, are close to your size. A couple are even bigger, which while convenient for disguise purposes is a bit troubling to think about.

After finishing your actions in round one, there are still two groups of six Gnolls each heading up the marble steps towards two of the front doors. There is also one hobgoblin per group shouting orders. To your eyes, the 'goblins are acting as noncoms here; no way are they the big bosses.


Male Half-Orc Sorcerer, 8th, Brass Draconic Bloodine

I'll impersonate the armor of something roughly my size then. Gnolls walk funny and have snouts, which is harder to pull off. Even Dire Gnolls like these... While technically, I can change height by +/- a foot, Karthan has some vanity - and I want to say something spectacular after the spell goes off. :)

If the two groups are still within 40' of each other, fireball it shall be.

If not, I'll throw the fireball at the farther group after moving into range. Ahh, overconfidence.

6d6 + 9 ⇒ (1, 6, 6, 1, 6, 5) + 9 = 34 Fireball, Reflex Save, DC 20.

Though with rolls like that, not *entirely* without justification.


Male Half-Orc Sorcerer, 8th, Brass Draconic Bloodine

For what it's worth, Karthan's crossbow and quiver are back at home. Crossbows are awkward to carry, catch on things, and are generally seen as threatening in civilian life. His other gear (including the wands and potions) are on him.


The Gnolls are close enough that you can drill all 12 with one fireball. The Hobgoblins, however, are out of range.

Twelve Gnoll reflex saves:
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (10) + 2 = 12
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16

One gnoll, a bit bigger than the rest, sniffs the air and lets out a bark before diving to the side. He catches some flames on his "disguise" cloak and howls in pain, but gets up and draws a pair of Kukri. The rest of the gnolls look around just in time to meet their fiery doom eyes wide open and screaming. With a massive detonation the fireball cooks them alive, their howls fading quickly into strangled mewls, and then silence.

Initiative time!
One gnoll: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
One hobgoblin:1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Other hobgoblin:1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16

Positioning: Each of the hobgoblins are standing off to the side of a large door at the top of the steps. So, they're roughly 10' above you, and standing 100' apart from each other. The right one yells to the left one "Go warn Fenx that there's a spellcaster out here in need of a lesson!" The Gnoll is directly in front of you, also at the top of the steps.

Also, can I get a K(Nature) check, please?


Male Half-Orc Sorcerer, 8th, Brass Draconic Bloodine

1d20 + 14 ⇒ (13) + 14 = 27 Intimidate (aimed at the one that had orders barked at it)

"Do. Not. MOVE."

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12 Initiative

0d20 + 0 ⇒ (-) + 0 = 0 Knowledge (nature) - Untrained. (I wasn't paying attention when Dad was talking about that. Too damned busy trying to pick leeches out of my shorts for that lecture.) :)

How far away are they from me? 640' feet or so? Or closer?

Are they remotely concerned or confused the 'armor' that I can tell? There aren't many things that can throw fireballs in full plate armor, and most of them are potentially much scarier than 'a caster in robes'.

When my initiative comes up, I will cast acid arrow at the hobgoblin that was about to move with information.

1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14 Ranged Touch Attack with acid arrow. Hope that's good enough.

If it is:

2d4 ⇒ (3, 3) = 6 acid arrow damage. He'll take it for this round and the next three.


Male Half-Orc Sorcerer, 8th, Brass Draconic Bloodine

Just so we can keep broadly in synch with what's happening in side, I recommend we hit 'pause' until Kalne acts after this round.


Male Human (Bennelad) Oracle 7

No ranks in K(religion)!

Perception: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (18) - 2 = 16

@Agon: Tanel catches his breath for a second, then faces the giant of a man.

'You,' he takes a breath before continuing, 'You must be the hairbrush,' at this he smiles cryptically.

Standing up straight again he asks How good are your eyes man? Lets look for the little girl,' and at that he starts moving down the alley, trying to see if the doors have been opened recently.


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)

For a moment Sir Justahl just stares into the space where he had last seen Iomedae.
Well, he HAD prayed for a new mission; it's just that his prayers had never been answered so... directly before.

The mission!
He turned around and looked in the same direction, concentrating as he was taught. He picked up the silvery light again. Find the girl...

He spoke in ringing tones that could cross worlds; "Nouhves! Come! We are needed!"
There is a ripple in the air and a fully accoutered magnificent white warhorse trots up next to Sir Justahl. He catches up his lance and leaps into the saddle.
"Come my friend, Iomedae herself has given us a mission! That way!" He points with his lance, and they take off at a gallop down the streets.

Summon mount throught Divine Bond.


Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

Options flickered through Kelne's head as he gathered himself. His first thought was to raise the alarm, but if the clash of weapons hadn't raised it by now, they were all in deep trouble. Bad as the situation was, if that figure with the bones completed his spell, it would get much worse.

Reinforcements might be on their way, but he couldn't wait for them. Skullstaff had to be stopped. Levering himself to his feet he ripped his sword free from its scabbard as he advanced on the macabre figure. At the last moment, he lashed out with the blade, intent upon removing Skullstaff's book from his hands. The retaliation, he knew, was going to hurt.

Kelne will be moving up to Skullstaff, drawing his sword as part of the move action and directing a disarm attempt at his book. Improved disarm, so no AoOs from doing so. Not sure if he needs to spend a move action getting up, but if so, he'll spend a hero point to do so.

Disarm: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (10) + 13 = 23


Male Human, Goremean Zen Archer Monk 6

I think if anything, he's the iron slab. ;P
Knowledge: Religion 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
Perception (-4 penalty already included in roll): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17

The giant stares at Tanel briefly, his expression one of dismay. "Don't spout nonsense," he grumbles in a deep baritone that fits him well. His eyes dart around until he finds the owl again, and with quick and decisive steps, stepping through the small rain-puddles with a grace that belies his size, the archer moves towards that particular house.

Agon is a man who knows to trust his gut, and right now it's saying that he might as well continue to follow that bird's lead.


@Tanel and @Agon: You both hear a door shut with a loud BANG! a little ways up the alley. It is followed by a loud oath, barked in a language you do not understand, though the frustration expressed is universal. Turning to look you don't see the door close, but you have a fair idea of where it was. There is no one else in the alley.

@Tanel give me a K(nature) check, please.

By your judgment, the noise came from about 200' away. There are four doors it could possibly be, two on the left and two on the right (as you're facing into the alley). At this distance, and through the pouring rain, you do not see any markings on any of the doors. The building with the symbol on it, btw, is on your left.

For Agon:
You instantly recognize the symbol as being a holy marque of Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters, though its exact meaning escapes you at the moment.


@Kelne: Correct about move action to get up from seated position, you are now at six hero points. "Bones'" concentration check to finish the spell regardless (CL6, +3 CHA bonus): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (16) + 9 = 25

Rising swiftly up from your chair, you vault one-handed over the table and rush the spellcaster. The gnolls cease their prowling and turn their heads as you make your charge, yelping and barking in confusion: "How is this possible?" "What of the spell?" "How did he...?"

The two hobgoblins step in front of the caster to guard him, but they are too slow. You swing a mighty overhand chop, cleaving the spellbook in two, and it falls from the mage's hands, pages scattering everywhere. His eyes, however, are unseeing and alit with a strange, arcane, sickly green light, and his mouth seems to be moving almost out of his control, his jaw slack. He releases his staff and it falls with a clatter to the floor. He is now gesturing with his hands. Bizarre nimbi of light arc and spit in the air before him.

The hobgoblins, still shocked, gather themselves, their innate military nature snapping them back to the moment. Meanwhile, your superb combat vision allows you to catch the other six gnolls gathering themselves into a formation, though they are currently too far to be an immediate threat. You also, to your dismay, notice the gnolls pulling off their "disguises" to reveal masterwork-quality black platemail covering their bodies, a stylized black dragon etched in the breastplate. All are armed with dual Kukris. From outside you hear a massive whooshing roar, and the screams of at least a dozen gnolls burning.

Here's the layout: Gnolls are either fighting the Warbanian, or scattered around the library. They are too far to threaten you until the next round. Immediately threatening your square are the two hobgoblins, also clad in platemail and wielding shortswords. The caster is behind them, and now out of your reach. Initiative for this round will just be you and the two 'goblins:
HG on your left: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
HG on your right: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 1 = 21
Ahahahahaa, oh nice, critical intiative.
Also, can I have a perception check, please?


Male Human (Bennelad) Oracle 7

K(nature): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14

Tanel starts to move, struggling to keep up with the suprisingly dextrous giant and his long legs.

'I am Tanel Eppun, I'm just going to warn you that once we open the right door we'll be jumping in the metaphorical river of fate. Cost me four years of my life last time I did. Just hope you have nothing pressing to do big ox.' He smiles widely at this.

'I do apologise for the nonsense by the way. Which side do you want to take, right or left?'


@Karthan:
I assume you're using Intimidate as a Standard Action to Demoralize, yes? Causing the 'Goblin to take the Shaken condition? Distance-wise, assuming you're at the limit of your fireball range, are indeed about 600' away.

The gnoll shakes its head and charges down the stairs at full speed, its dual kukri raised, its pawpads splatting in the wet path. He's taking a full run in platemail, so he covers 90 feet.

The Hobgoblin on your left, who was going in the door, freezes, his hand on the doorhandle, and looks back and forth unsuredly from you to the 'goblin on your right. "Who...he...is that...?" he stammers.

As he is standing there unsure what to do, a single arrow-shaped bolt of pure acid flies forth from your hand, drilling him in the side of the neck. He yells out in terrified pain, grabbing at his neck, which only increases the damage by burning his hand.

The other goblin is squinting at you, but then as the acid arrow comes streaking in through the rain and smacks his cohort, he yells at him: "Get moving, you idiot! I don't care what he looks like, he's not one of us!"

Hobgoblin attempt to "counter-intimidate:" 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16

The 'goblin on your left is too confused and pained to do anything at the moment, and freezes. The gnoll continues to advance and is now a little over 400 ft. away.

...aaannndd your turn!


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@Justal:LOL Yeah, in my world the gods are all up in everybody's business, though not without reason, as you will learn. EsPECially as an Aasimar, boy will you learn. :-) Having raised your steed, you begin to gallop through the streets, your mount's hooves echoing mightily off the walls and roofs. The rain spatters in your face, reducing visibility, but you shake it off and charge toward the lone, clear light in the sky. It started as a smudge, but as you concentrate on it it lights up in the form of a crystalline orb, strengthened by the power of your bonds with the divine.

Perception check, please.


For Jorzan:
Hey man! Whenever you're ready, rather than have you go through the whole "what are you doing today" bit, I'm going to say you and Karthan were playing your hide-and-seek game and so you're at the library 'cos you were following him. So when you're ready, assume you're hiding in the bushes near Karthan, roll initiative, and just insert yourself into the fight as if you had been holding your action. Sound good?


Aasimar Paladin (Shining Knight) L11 | AC29 (t11,ff28) | CMD28 | hp 133/133 | Save F17 R11 W13 | Percep +2 (Nouhves Percep +6)

And by "Charging" I mean running at a maximum speed consistant with pedestrian safety and road conditions (rain on cobblestones can be slick).

Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10

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