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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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Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

Gray looks to Jorzan as he holds the compass and shakes his head.

"To uuse the compass, a member of a faith must hold the it and read the phrases that are underlined, just as Justahl did. I can imagine this would be a powerful relic for any Gorumite."

Gray looks to the blood on the ground then back to the group.

"It seems the compass when used, will tell you two things. First The line of blood shows you what way to go to. IF you have a sought after place in mind. Second the needle will point the route to the nearest battle as long as the spikes are dug into the user's hand. However the location the blood points to also has a chance of glory and battle."

Looking to Justahl's hand.

"It seems the spikes are an important part of this thing, so whomever uses it must be prepared to shed blood for their goal."

Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

"Humm, well a battle awaits us to the northeast. I guess we knew that part was coming regardless. Well let's get on with it then. Sir Justal, I assume you will never ask, but should you get tired I can easily carry itty-bit

Male Human Fighter (Lore Warden) 8 / Wizard (Scroll Scholar) 1

Astar shrugged.

"The compass is, yeah, it detects battles and glory. It's something of an odd device, overall. I wouldn't recommend activating it constantly, though I'm sure it has its uses, given its divinitive abilities. A compass that points North also tells you where South is."

He grinned, and then signaled to Kelne with a sort of mock salute, based on their recent and short ship expedition.

"Have we our heading?"

Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

Looking to Astar with a grin.

"Well, we do...But I guess that depends on if Justahl was thinking about where to take the girl next or where to find his horse...Or even if he Had a destination in mind to begin with."

Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

"Meh, good point Grey, but at any rate Kelne's original plan is as good as any. For those that cannot walk atop the snow and ice will need mounts and we have a long way ahead of us. We aren't going to be doing ourselves any favors trying to do this on foot."

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

"Right. Horses first. If we need to head North after that, then we do so."
much as he disliked giving up his position as scout, seeing the way Kelne and Hurin moved so easily atop the snow, Jorzan had to admit that, at least for now, having those two ahead made the most sense.

As he once again admonishes himself for not obtaining a pair of the magical winterbound footwear, he speaks his thoughts aloud "Kelne, Hurin, why don't you two do the scouting for now, as those boots of yours make you much more mobile on the snow. The rest of us will stick together and make the best pace we can. Astar, Lasy Nasmarra, you two going to be warm enough? We have a long way to go people, so let's get moving."

Motioning for everyone to get moving if they haven't already done so, the shadowy rogue unlimbers and nocks his bow, and then, along with his living Shadow, takes up the rear of the group, his keen eyes constantly roving for any sign of threat or opppurtunity.

Proposed Marching order:

Hurin Kelne

Astar Justahl

Nasmarra Gray

Zan Jorzan

Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

*Gray casts Endure elements on himself.*

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

"Nasmarra, I think Gray has discovered the secret of the compass."
Breaking free of Nastarras eye contact, Justahl gently but firmly takes his hand back and steps away.
"And we really need to be going."

He nods a Hurin. "I'll keep that in mind, but really she is no burden."
Turning to Gray, he replies; "No, I had not thought in mind when I started to read the passages except to make the compass work."
He nods his agreement with Jorzan and starts marching.

Bonded Item: cast endure elements

Nasmarra lets Justahl's hand go when he pulls away, though she maintains an eerie stare as she repeats the words once more without making a sound. Taking a few steps back, she answers Jorzan without her stare breaking. "The cold clings to the soul, does it not? Where there is shadow, there cannot be life or warmth, unless taken from another source." She runs her fingers lightly against the amulet on her neck, drawing its woven mana up and out of it. A faint shimmer envelops her as she protects herself from the cold. Her pale blue skin looks no different warm or cold.

The march begins.

It is blessedly quiet, the snow deadening sound all around and the trees obscuring from view. The landscape is incredibly lovely with its rolling hills and squat pine trees mixed in with their grander cousins, and while it is quite cold in this part of the Land it is nowhere near the brutal and life-stealing sub-zero temperatures of the White Dragonhold.

Some reference pics of the kind of terrain you're in:
Reference photo 1
Reference photo 2
Reference photo 3
Reference photo 4

After just a few hours of carefully plodding through the light snow cover, you see the crumbling tops of an ancient wall peek over the treetops, and then you are in a very short clearing looking at one of the walls of the Uniter.

The wall is a magnificently crumbling edifice, a monument to the extraordinary will and colossal ego of one man, the only man in the history of the Land known to have actually united all peoples under one banner. More or less. While the walls of the Uniter -- which can be found in many places -- vary in size and whole-ness, they all share one trait, that they can serve as shelter to travelers. No one has ever tried to live in one for more than a night or two, though it is not entirely clear why.

This particular wall (or portion of wall, anyway) is about 40' tall and made of a combination of quarried stone and fieldstones. As such it is a bit more dilapidated than other walls, but intact enough to serve as shelter. The wall is 15' thick and hollow inside, and it is fairly easy (DC15 Climb check) to climb to the top and have a look around, if one so desires.

There are two caravans here; one appears to be a tiny merchant caravan and the other a nomadic gypsy caravan, both consist of only a couple wagons and a dozen or so cold-looking people and some horses and pack mules. There are also three rangers here, well-clothed and well-armed, resting for a moment and consulting maps.

I'm assuming you guys are hanging back and scoping things out before jumping in, so assume that at this point no one has seen you.

Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

"Ah, but aren't we going to stand out like a sore thumb. A diverse group, a motherless child and all on foot."

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

Justahl turns to Hurin.
"You believe we should bypass this particular shelter then?"

Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

Gray shakes his head to Hurin,

"In my travels I've seen groups like ours come and go. It seems common for multiple caravans to camp together over night.. More look outs and safety in numbers.... But then again.. This very well good be the battle we were pointed to. However with merchants and a light mercenary group, I doubt it."

Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

"eh well we need horses and they might have em. Just pointing out the obvious. Maybe Cassandra should change her appearance with that bracelet. It is going to be obvious to those rangers we are adventurers. No way around that. The gypsies will be their own problem they are always looking to trade, but always have one eye on your purse. A strong face to the group may keep our belongings intact."

Waiting for y'all to decide something.

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

"Disguising Cassandra, and myself for the matter, is a good idea. With that done though, I think we should be fine to shelter here for the night."

Jorzan then turns to Cassandra, gently lifting her out of Justahl's harness "Cassandra honey, remember how I showed you how to use this bracelet to make yourself look different? We're going to try that now, so no one can recognize either of us, ok? I'll go first, and you make yourself look similar to, but not exactly the same, as me, ok?"

Then straightening and standing, Jorzan considers for a moment what to make himself look like. For some reason the image of the Skynight dragon rider comes into his mind and he begins using the magic of the disguise spell to change his appearance into something resembling Min. When finished, he looks like a nondescript, half-elven fighter, several years older than his real age and taller and heavier in the chest and shoulders.

Turning to the others he asks, "How do I look?"

Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

"Heh like a seasoned half elf veteran. Good choice, maybe it will help deflect some questions about your origin. Now before we go down there what's our story? Let's make sure we are all on the same page. Maybe on pilgrimage? Refugees relocating? Or simply adventurers looking for something?

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

Reluctantly, VERY reluctantly, Justahl agrees. The deception tasted foul on his lips. But... it was necessary.
"Yes, we will be adventurers."
Slowly he takes his tabard off and turns it inside out before donning it again. He takes his shield cover out of his pack and slides it over his shield before tying it off.
"There. I am not going to be able to fool an intelligent enemy, I look too much what I am; a knight of Izmir. But, perhaps they will assume I am some kind of deserter."

He looks around at the rest.

Male Human Fighter (Lore Warden) 8 / Wizard (Scroll Scholar) 1

After digging around in his haversack while the others planned their attire, Astar had slipped ahead to make himself known, approaching the nearer of the two groups. He held a small burlap bag up by the drawstring.

"Hail, hello, howdy, and all the rest. Fellow travelers, you must truly possess good fortune for our paths to intersect. I possess some of Stormfare's finest coffee, and I might be convinced to be generous, provided my associates and I may likewise rest in this area."

It was a balancing act to appear friendly and non-threatening without projecting weakness or pliability. The offer to share coffee was meant to be the outwardly obvious thing, while stalking up towards them alone was more of a subconscious signal of goodwill. There were too many variables to these affairs, with so many strangers with unknown attitudes. Regardless of the outcome of this opening volley, he felt it would be more useful to play things by ear.

Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

"Look at it this way, Justahl," Kelne said, "Adventurers tend to be disparate individuals, not subject to anybody's authority and bound together in some common cause. Usually, that cause will be profit, but not always. I think protecting Cassandra counts as such a cause, so we do actually meet the definition, even if we don't normally describe ourselves as such."

"You're along because your Goddess wants you associated with our cause, whatever they might think it is, and you're doing your level best to keep a low profile and avoid discussing the matter. All true and not actually misleading at all, if somebody insists on seeing through your disguise and asking questions." He thought the odds of that were good enough to discuss the contingency.

"As to our horses, we had to abandon them due to a spot of bother a few days back. Very annoying, but that sort of trouble's to be expected in our line of work. Again, quite true, and a bit of evasion as to the exact nature of the trouble is to be expected. So long as it's nothing that's going to come down on them or theirs, they shouldn't need the full details."

Given the way it clashed with his morals, he felt it was important they didn't ask Justahl to try and be misleading on their behalf, and expecting him to even try lying was right out. There would probably be a few white lies along the way, but there was no harm in keeping them to a minimum.

Astar's offer to share coffee from the famous roasteries in Stormfare makes a fantastic first impression on those already at this wall. Presses are produced and soon the smell of coffee is drifting through the clearing. The other travelers look the rest of you over, but then pay you no mind. Their attitude seems to be one of leaving well enough alone, and since you first offered coffee, they're well-inclined towards your group in general. No one in any of the other groups offers any information about themselves, but nor do they ask anything of you. Conversation sticks to comments about the weather and possible travel dangers, most notable of which is the mention by one of the rangers of incursions by Black Dragonflight shock troops north into the White Dragonhold, meaning there is a very real possibility you may end up having to dodge them...

A couple of the gypsies offer up some jerky and a good, thick bread they toast over the fire. It's about as homey as things can get in the middle of a snowy woods, short of having a log cabin to curl up in.

The merchant caravan has a couple children in it, and they are utterly smitten with snowy, gazing in wonder at his pure white feathers and ancient-looking face.

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

Did Cassandra disguise herself as well?

Also, what are the merchant caravan and gypsy's selling, if anything?

Jorzan keeps mostly to himself and his group, trying to avoid too much direct interaction with anyone. He does however ask around if there are any horses for sale, and at what price.

He also consults with the rangers, and anyone else traveling from the North and/or the East as to any other conditions and/or dangers which might be best to keep an eye out for. He will also share what knowledge and information he's gathered about the route behind them, as long as he can do so without giving away any identifying info about specifics of where the group came from or the exact route they took (dragon doors. etc.) or what their purpose and mission is.

Diplomacy (gather info): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Knowledge (local): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13
Knowledge (geography): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Knowledge (nature(: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Survival: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (6) + 13 = 19
Bluff (to hide pertinent facts or even that he's leaving them out): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26

Knowledge rolls: Any rumours or info about any of those present, recognize any features about anything told to him and plan the best route, any natural hazards or upcoming weather phenomenons.
Survival: Predicting the weather

Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

Gray approaches both merchants and gypsies. Asking if anyone needs medical attention before nightfall comes.

@Jorzan You already predicted the weather a day out, remember? More snow. And that 19 is too low to get you anything more.

You set up a shelter and speak with the other travelers present. They are all coming from the south, so cannot provide any information about the way east. They (especially the rangers) respect a traveler's need for some privacy and don't ask any specific questions about your own journey but are happy for any help you provide about your own route, even if they aren't going that way.

A second small merchant caravan arrives from the northwest, bearing the news about Ormiria. Everyone in your group feigns surprise, while the nomads and merchants and rangers are all genuinely surprised. You note that none of them seems to know much of anything about the Red Dragonflight, and react to the news that the Red Dragonflight flag now flies above the city of Ormiria with mild caution and indifference.

Cassandra is bundled up a bit and doesn't seem really to bear notice except for a bit of interaction with the other kids at the camp, who find her off-putting but basically nice.

The merchant returning from the northwest says they are deadheading and have no goods, as they are returning from trade in Olmskoldsv. The merchant heading west has textiles and other cloth that they will likely trade for jewels and quality weapons and tools in the Forgelands. The nomads aren't selling anything per se, but are always willing to barter and wager.

With the goods you possess, you are able to procure mounts for fair market prices. It takes a bit to make sure the sale is to the agreement of all parties, but in the end it works out.

You awaken the next day as the nomads and merchants are preparing to leave. The rangers, unsurprisingly, are already long gone. Just as Jorzan predicted, more snow is falling, though it is thankfully fluffy and light, and not heavy and wet and chilling. The mounts are fed and ready to go -- a courtesy done for you by one of the rangers for the kindness and companionship you showed them last night.

Nasmarra sits in prayer and meditation, quietly clearing her mind for the tasks at hand. While many clerics of the various gods of the Land spend an hour (and only that amount) in supplication as the price of power from their deities, Nasmarra is awake long before the dawn to meditate. Scenes from her life's previous regenerations flash through her mind, giving guidance and insight. Nasmarra knows that all of this has happened in the past, and that all of this will happen in the future, just as all of this happens in the present. She does not pray to a god per se in meditation, though she does draw her power from beseeching Shelyn. She does not, however, consider herself an acolyte or cleric of the Eternal Rose - simply a follower in a symbiosis with the goddess. While she does appreciate love and beauty, she looks at them with a longer-term view. There is beauty to appreciate in the snow of the early morning. The white cover of snowfall, even though it is bitingly cold, is hauntingly beautiful. With her dark hair and pale blue skin, she herself adds to the silent, still beauty of the place. She sits silently, lost in her thoughts, for hours long before any other person awakens in the camp.

Nasmarra's cleric domains are Fate and Love. Only Shelyn has both domains.

It is this point in the morning that Astar walks by without seeing her still form sitting in the snow as he stretches his body and mind to prepare for the day. Without opening her eyes, she speaks to him. "There is a beauty in knowledge and in truths, one that transcends the very concept of time and does not fade or grow as time passes. The magic that permeates the world follow a set of rules that govern everything, from the cold air we breath into our lungs to the bound mana in my amulet or your sword. I receive the divine magic from the goddess Shelyn and appreciate the passing beauty of a falling leaf or a youthful couple, but this beauty lasts for a mere moment. The beauty of creation and truth is greater than that. There is no greater beauty than truth, Astar Dijtstra." She goes silent, having never opened her eyes as she spoke to Astar.

Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

Hurin had enjoyed himself in camp. It felt good to be back on the march, like his old campaign days in the military. He did regret that he had not thought to switch out of his armor before entering the camp, but he figured the evil powers still may not know he had thrown his lot in with this group just yet. He had enjoyed watching Cassandra interacting with the other children. It occurred to Hurin that the group would have to make sure to help nurture her as well as protect her. He would try to remember that she needed to be allowed to be a child whenever possible and it wasn’t a threat to her safety. Hurin had encouraged her to play with the other children at the camp and kept a watchful eye on her while she did, but from a distance.

In the evening he followed Astar’s example and shared some of his tobacco with the men and blew smoke rings for the children with his pipe at the campfire.

The next morning Hurin awoke, he had offered his two man tent to Jorzan and Cassandra if they wanted it explaining that his boots were magically able to keep him warm in winter. He tried not to make a big deal out of it because he knew the teenager’s ego was still bruised, but rather made the comment in passing that he had set up the tent and that they or whoever else might need it were welcome to it. Hurin had changed out of his plate armor and into his chain shirt for the evening. He then found a likely spot in the shelter of the wall where he could see the fire and the camp and leaned his back against the wall resting and thinking about life and his new found chapter of it. Eventually when he felt sleepy he placed his magical bag behind his lower back and let himself drift off while chewing on his pipe.

When he awoke he dusted the frost from his bushy brows and beard. He rearmed and armored himself and saw to his new mount. He helped out where he could lending his strength and expertise when needed through ought the camp as the groups prepared to part ways.

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

Justahl arose in the morning and reequiped himself. After his morning prayers were complete, he started making friends with his chosen mount.
Animal Handling: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (8) + 13 = 21
Brushing him down made him remember Nouhves even more keenly; but there was nothing to be done about it but forge on.

Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

In the morning Gray spends time to pray for his spells. After that is done he packs all of his sleeping gear.

After a couple minutes of watch people tend to their horses Gray asks Justahl if he could help gray out.

[b]"Excuse me justahl, do you think you could help me with my horse...see I can't say I ever riden one before. So any tips would be helpful."[b]

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

His attention turned inward, Gray has to repeat himself before Justahl finally realizes someone wants his attention.
"What? Oh, yes. Of course Gray. Let me show you what was taught to me..."
He proceeds to instruct Gray in Animal Handling and Ride to the best of his ability.

Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

Gray nods to Justahl. "Thank you sir."

Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

"Grey, I'd say you picked a pretty good riding instructor there. I'm sure you will get the hang of it in no time and if you don't looks like you can practice every day for the foreseeable future. Ha ha!"

For a few days, the journey is blessedly silent and uneventful. The ever-watchful Jorzan and stealthy Kelne constantly check the party's perimeter and scout ahead, taking careful note of other tracks and comparing findings.

On the fifth day, you all come across an odd set of very large humanoid footprints. After consulting with each other and comparing knowledge you are able to determine that these tracks belong to some kind of Frost Giant, which is odd as you are way south of where one might expect to encounter such creatures. Alarmingly, you quickly come across several more sets of tracks, as if a large group of the creatures crossed your path. The good news is all the tracks are heading south, but that, too, is baffling.

You search for further signs of the creatures but find nothing; no markings, no offal, nothing save their prints going towards warmer climes.

For two more days you continue ahead, the snow getting thicker and the trees denser and the air colder. It is on the 8th day you hear fighting.

You are in a low, small valley, hidden under the heavy cover of snow-crushed pine trees, when over the ridge you hear the distinct sound of muffled voices raised in disagreement and the squeaking of wagon wheels. There is a fearsome war cry, then, and the clanging of steel-on-steel, which sounds oddly compressed in the sonically-dead snowy landscape.

The fighting is coming from the other side of the ridge to the north. It should be easy to quickly clamber to the top and peek over to see what's going on.

If you're interested in the fighting, give me a Stealth check to climb up unnoticed. If anyone has Profession(Soldier), gimme a check on that, too. You're in difficult terrain, so unless you have feats or magic or class features or whatever that overcomes it, you have half move rate.

Cast fly, ghostly disguise

Stealth (with Bit of Luck 7/8) 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3 or 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14

Nasmarra stops as she hears the din of battle, then closes her eyes and mutters something. A pallor envelops her, making her transluscent and misty. The hem of her dress fades in and out of visibility, giving her an eerie, ghostly look. After a few moments, she is only partially visible - and what they can see is the appearance of a spectre. Her feet raise off the ground, first a few inches, then several feet. "I will see what is ahead," she intones in her usual clear whisper. She glides slowly and silently up the ridge until she clears it to see what is on the other side. She slows near the top, taking a moment to bend the strands of fate towards her own aims.

Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

Hurin's ears perk up with the sounds of battle and his heartbeat quickens. His time in the military causing him to slip right back into his training. He secures his horse and looks for high ground. If there were giants about there would be fighting unless Kelne and Jorzan could lead them around it. Out here travelers depended upon each other for aid. It didn't sit easy with the dwarf to turn his back on someone in need, but if that is what it required to get Cassandra to the wall then so be it. Using his boots ability to carry him atop the snow and leaving no tracks the dwarf moved up the hill to a place of advantage. He didn't crest the hill though he left that to the stealthier members of the party. It was good to get in among the trees though when fighting giants. It made it harder for them to sweep at you with their giant axes and a sturdy tree could slow them down while giving a dwarf a mobility advantage.

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

Instantly moving up the ridge, wrapped in the shadows, Jorzan is still somewhat distracted as he make the last couple of yards on his belly. Looking closely to see all that be fighting is about, he also looks for any thing dangerous or any opportunity.

Stealth: 1d20 + 22 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 22 + 1 = 27
Perception: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (12) + 18 = 30

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

With the sound of battle, Justahl resisted the temptation to simply charge in. Cassandra had to be kept safe. Still, if there were people in need... About to ask Jorzan or Kelne to scout, he relaxed when Nasmarra volunteered.

Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

Kelne worked his way to the top of the ridge, intent on finding out what was going on. Whether they were going to get involved in this fight would depend on what they saw, though his immediate instinct was to lend a hand.

Stealth: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (9) + 18 = 27

@Jorzan, @Kelne, @Hurin and @Nasmarra: You all make your way to the top of the ridge and are greeted with an odd sight. Looking down from the tree-lined hill, you can see that the trees thin out greatly about 500 feet away, and in the sort-of clearing at the end of the near tree line and before denser woods begin, is a curious fight between three small forces.

A quartet of covered wagons is making its laborious way through the snow, each wagon mounted on large skis and being towed by a gorgon-like construct of some sort. The gorgons are plodding slowly ahead as the fight rages on around them. Indeed, as you watch, a couple arrows strike the metal-clad beasts and shatter harmlessly against their armored exteriors. While it's not clear what the wagons are carrying under their threadbare and tattered coverings, you can, however, see at least one thing in each wagon -- all are carrying a giant gemstone, at least the size of a bull or a horse, that is so big it sticks out the back a little bit, hence why you know it's there. These gems look just like the kind Baron Ormir was using to imprison people and things back in Ormiria.

Thinking back, you all recall the impromptu interrogation session with Crazy Lenny, some nine or ten days ago, now, and how he referred to the fact that Ormir had had treasure and prisons stashed all over the castle.

The first fighting force makes sense; it looks to you four as if the caravan guards are defending the caravan. A half-dozen warriors clad in the solid but mismatched armor or mercenaries and wielding magicked weapons are hewing and swinging at their attackers. The attackers are red dragonflight soldiers, some kind of Arctic Division, or specialized snow troops, clad in white and wearing furs and masks and wielding flaming weapons. They outnumber the caravan guards nearly three-to-one and are much better equipped for the terrain and climate, but are not nearly as skilled or strong as the guards, so the fight is in a strange stalemate at the moment.

The last fighting group in this three-way battle is a small team of elves, maybe 10 of them, all clad in light furs and wielding small, light, heavily magicked weapons. Their platinum hair and ice-blue eyes and frost-pale skin make them very difficult to see or follow, and it takes a second before you recognize them as being the same race as Trista, the flirtatious ranger you met back in Olmskoldsv. Trista, the Snow Elf. To see this many of them in one place at one time is a rare thing, indeed.

500 feet away from you, this is the three-way fight that is playing out as the wagon drivers spur their slow but well-nigh invincible beasts of labor onward.

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

Eyes narrowing as the site before sends the thrill of battle through his veins, Jorzan takes close stock of all he sees, plans and possibilities swirling through his mind. As he looks, he tries to determine if anyone in the any of the wagons appears to be the leader. Perception: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (14) + 18 = 32

Finally he whispers to the others "So? Head in, kill the Red Dragonflight, and determine whether the guards and elves are friend or foe?"

Before they can reply he slips quietly back down the hill, to a distance he can hail the others without causing undue noise "Justahl! Get up here! There's some Red Dragonflight fighting some guards and also some kin of your girlfriend Trista! Also, I have a feeling that there may be a chance a certain four legged friend of yours may be near-by." message delivered, he heads quickly back up the hill.

So, just to be clear, the elves are fighting both parties and both parties are fighting them? How do they appear to be doing?"

Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

"I'd be very interested to know who the caravan is working for myself," Kelne remarked as the group formed up, fishing a wand out of his pack, "The Red Dragonflight and Ormir's lot don't like each other, so we could well be looking at a fight between the two. I say we go for the Dragonflight first and find out what the others have to say for themselves, but I suspect we'll wind up being on the elves' side."

With that, he set about putting the wand to use. He had a lot of ground to cover, and a bit of speed wouldn't go amiss.

"Hurin, Justahl, Astar, if you could join the charge. Everyone else, support as you see fit." It was unlikely they'd carry out a charge across that kind of distance without being spotted, but coordinating a response to an attack from an unexpected quarter was by no means an easy thing. They ought to have things their own way for a while at least.

Using the wand of expeditious retreat as soon as we're ready to go.
Use magic device (DC 20): 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (14) + 15 = 29

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

Blinking a little at Jorzan's shout, Justahl dismounted and made his way up the slope to where the others were watching.
Hope leapt into his chest as he beheld the same kind of gemstone-prisons that had held him and Kevin. Just perhaps...
He thought about taking Cassandra into the middle of a three way fight and shook his head. Quickly he unbuckled his harness and let Cassandra down.
"You need to stay out of the fight Cassandra. Stay with Gray. Out of sight. Both if possible."
He readied his arms and shield, cast Bless Weapon and Divine Favor on himself, and waited.

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

Frowning slightly as it once again seems they've arrived at familiar ground, Jorzan replies to Kelne "Isn't that what I just said? Anyway, I'm all for attacking the Red Dragonflight, but on foot, except for you and Hurin perhaps, a charge isn't going to work very well, especially through all these trees between us and them. I say we sneak up as close as we can, even with Sir Cranksalot here. Once we reach the treeline, it will still be a long run to reach the battle, but at least they won't see and hear us coming days in advance, as they will if you try to charge from here."

Another question DRA, so it's 500' from where we are to the treeline, but how far is it from the treeline to the battle?

Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

"aye, Kelne I'm with you and I can keep my pace as well as any man and those red dragon bastards smashed my house! They've got an ass whipping coming their way! But Jorzan may be right 500 ft is a long way to be covering ground in the open, but if you lead down the hill you won't be doing it alone!"

Male Human Fighter 8, Ranger 3

Kelne shrugged, "You and I could get close, probably. The others, maybe, but they'd need to work at it and it'd be slow going. With that much distance between the trees, we may as well take the direct path rather than try to dash from cover to cover." They could, after all, make out the details of the fight despite the distance.

"Besides, they're distracted, so they still might not see us coming so long as nobody's yelling their lungs out. Actually, Gray, could I borrow that invisibility bracelet? If I take the lead, and hit them as soon as they spot the rest of you coming, that ought to keep them nicely occupied while you're closing the distance."

Waiting only to get his hands on the bracelet, Kelne set his plan into action, setting off down the hill at what would have been a light jog, but was turned into something a great deal faster by the effects of the spell.

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

Sir Justahl nods in agreement to Kelne, eager to move. As soon as he moves off, Justahl moves as well.

Male Dwarf Fighter 7/Barbarian 2 AC29 HP128 F+14 W+6 R+6 Perception +14

"Fine then, frontal assault it is. Just leave me some heads to chop we get there. My axes can bite those gorgons, but do we know for sure which faction drives them? The Red Dragon Flight is clearly our enemy, but are we sure where the elves stand in all this?"

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

Shaking his head at the lack of proper tactics, Jorzan shrugs mentally. After all, it was still unlikely that they would be seen and heard charging down hill with the cover of the trees and the distraction of battle in everyone's ears.

While Kelne waits for the bracelet, Jorzan addresses the non-combatants of the group, Gray and Nasmarra "You two wait here or make you way slowly down the hill with the mounts. But whatever you do, Keep Her Safe!" glancing with a tight but fond smile at Cassandra.

Next, pulling out a wand he says "Hurin, Justahl, stick near me, I've got an idea." and activating the wand, he casts darkness on his vest, immediately decreasing the amount of light in the vicinity near him.

Then, briefly deciding which weapons he wishes to work with, he draws his shotswords. With a practiced motion swiftly making sure they're posioned, the shadowdancer begins running silently down the hill, weaving between the trees, darkness all around him and his living Shadow following as closely as it can behind him.

This action is based on the description of us being "hidden under the heavy cover of snow-crushed pine trees", and as such, the darkness spell wouldn't be particularly noticeable among the rest of the dimness the snow-crushed pines would provide. If this is not the case, Jorzan does not yet cast the darkness spell

Male Human Cleric 9 (86/86HPs AC26 [domain spells used 0 and Normall spell used (one 1st&5thlvl). 0/10 channels used.)

Gray hands Kelne his greater invisibility braclet.

[b]"Don't worry guys she will be safe with me."[b/]

Gray hunkers down next to the girl as he wraps his cloak around. After ward he arms himself with mace and shield and of course his hat.

Male Human Fighter (Lore Warden) 8 / Wizard (Scroll Scholar) 1

Astar had been keen to strike up conversation during the trip so far, more than willing to trade theories and ideas with his new associates. Tending to keep on the end of probing and listening to responses before adding his own views, it almost seemed as if he was constantly working towards some elaborate punchline, regardless of the topic.

He fell silent as soon as they'd come across the battle, though. Being new to this group, he wasn't comfortable with blurting out plans. He'd yet to acquire a sense of the standard operating procedures. Further, he wasn't sure what his actual role was to be-- part of the reason he'd been treating the expedition as something of a sightseeing vacation up to this point.

Having been called to join the charge, he had no problem with drawing his blade from its scabbard and holding it down low to his side. He nodded. His ironic smirk was still there, but something about the sudden terseness of his motion indicated he wasn't taking the situation lightly.

"Let's do this, then."

Ready to charge with the rest.

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