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The Sounds of War (Inactive)

Game Master Arcmagik

A campaign that is heavily influenced by Kingmaker; yet nothing will be as you expect...

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male Aasimar (Angel Blooded) Paladin level 3

"I will go too," Teyran said, jumping down from the wagon and drawing his sword. He turned back to the wagons and announced, "If you are staying behind, stay alert. This isn't friendly territory yet, and who knows what else beside brigands is out there."

"Each one of you are quite capable on your own compared to my soldiers. You are also freelance and not under my authority outside of the border keep, so my request can technically go unheeded. You are tasked only with exploration of the Stolen Lands. What I could like is for someone skilled and capable enough to survive more then a scratch from a wild cat to make sure the Keep is truly abandoned."

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

Valeska offers... "Safety enough in numbers, and if we each play our part. Whatever we encounter, best we deal with it from a distance. Does everyone have a bow, crossbow or sling?"

"We also need to work as a team, with assigned roles best suited to our individual strengths. Strategy will win the day. A scout, archers and crossbowmen, close quarters specialists should it come to that. And, equally important, support from those not best suited for combat."

"Your thoughts?"

Male Human (Varisian) Fighter (Brawler)/5 HP 44/44, Init +2, Per +6, AC 18/ t14/ ff14, F 5, R 3, W 3

"Thoughts? Thoughts? My thoughts are you just take the fun out'a things." Tad grumbles as he strings his bow. "Just how d'you expect to scout t' location if nobody gets inta tha location?"

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

Valeska smiles. "Fail to plan, plan to fail. I understand letting loose and having some fun, but I tend to keep my eye on the goal. Who's our scout? Anyone good enough to share point with them?"

"I'm sneaky (+7 stealth) and I can throw this spear hard enough to rip a deer's lungs out through its ribcage." Grendolynn says, hefting a two meter long spear with a long leaf shaped blade. "My father always taught me that tactics were important. I'd say me and one other quiet person go and take a look, while the rest of you wait just outside the gates. Come running if we shout. Hopefully if there's anything inside we can catch a glimpse then come back out to make a formal plan. If it's nothing, or just an animal, we kill it and then sound the all clear. Cautious enough for you Valeska?"

HP 30/30 ~ AC18 tch13 ff15 ~ CMD18 ~ Fort+5 Ref+5 Will+3

"Well now you got me all riled up, there better be some baddies in there." Morley arms himself with battle axe and shield. "Didn't bring quiet shoes I'm afraid... I'll post up at the gate when we're ready."

male Aasimar (Angel Blooded) Paladin level 3

"I've never owned a bow. It always seemed a litle cowardly, killing from a distance, not being able to look your enemy in the eye, and offer him either forgiveness or the mercy of a quick death. Or it could be that I never bothered because I couldn't hit anything with the damned things. I've never been sure which. He looked at the keep, and then back at the group. "So I will take point. Everyone else stay at my back and fire at any foes, and for the gods' sakes, don't shoot me in the back!" It wasn't clear how much of that, if any, was a joke and how much he meant.

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

"Does anyone mind me leading this soiree or want to step up themselves? Without leadership, there is the threat of chaos and increased chance of failure."

"If there are no objections, Grendolynn you're point. If Erostil feels he can keep up, we will send him after you. Tad and I will follow, with more range. About 60 feet behind. Arasmes, Morley and Teyran... Stick with Antha, like she's the Queen of Tian, come visit. If we engage at close quarters, and Antha is in a secure position, bring the hammer down as it were."

"Sound like a plan?"

"Sure, that'll work. Just stay far enough back to keep quiet. I'll be off then." Grendolynn says not really seeing the point in all the debate. She walks off towards the keep, spear in hand. Wherever possible she takes cover, and is as quiet as possible.

Stealth 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9 Bah...
Perception 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12

She'll only approach to about 30 feet, and then circle around the keep. Are there any entrances other than the gate? Are the walls intact or are there holes to get in?

HP 14/14; Init +3; Per +4, Low-Light Vision; AC 13, T 13, FF 10; F +1, R +5, W +3 (+2 vs mind, +1 vs Fear), immune sleep

I have +7 Stealth as well, but it doesn't go so well with a wizard's hp and AC! :D

"Hardly a Queen, Valeska - but I'll take it!" laughed Antha.

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

"Warriors enjoy being entrusted with a worthy charge. I'm certain you are worthy enough without the title. But, still."

Giving the scout a lead, Valeska urges Tad forward, along side herself.

Male Human (Varisian) Fighter (Brawler)/5 HP 44/44, Init +2, Per +6, AC 18/ t14/ ff14, F 5, R 3, W 3

At Valeska's prodding, Tad nocks an arrow & sidle's forward, his movements steady & at the same time slightly staccato, as though moving to a rhythm only he can hear...
and intentionally missing the beat.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9, keeping an eye out for activity within the outpost. Not a sharp eye mind you...

male Aasimar (Angel Blooded) Paladin level 3

Teyran shrugged, a little annoyed at Valeska not only granting herself command, but also completely ignoring his suggestions. Besides, he could better protect Antha, and all the others, by providing a stopper between them and the enemy.

It didn't matter though, he would let her take the lead, until or unless she proved incapable. Command wasn't Teyran's specialty, anyway. He'd always been best at commanding only himself.

He set himself into position, and then marched along, searching for anything out of the ordinary.

1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14

"May the Dawnflower watch over us all," Arasmes says, moving with Antha and the others, his crossbow readied as he looks towards the keep, watching for trouble.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 12

HP 14/14; Init +3; Per +4, Low-Light Vision; AC 13, T 13, FF 10; F +1, R +5, W +3 (+2 vs mind, +1 vs Fear), immune sleep

Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21

Male Dhamphir Bard 1

Erostil pauses for a moment when his ability to keep up with the group was mentioned. He had never had his own physicality challenged in that manner, and whilst he was not trained the the arts of war, what weapons he had were well looked after and he was fairly good with them.

I am aware of how to be quiet and methodical in my movements, although these eyes of mine are not perhaps the sharpest. If you wish me to take second place in this line then I am happy to do so. Let us hope that there is nothing there that means us ill.

Stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

"Please Erostil, join Grendolynn at point."

With Grendolynn and Erostil move silently towards the Keep while the remaining move forward slower. There are several weak points in the Keep's walls as well as the main gate. Erostil and Grendolynn will both spot several unsavory types camped out in the keep. One of them may have catch sight of the hobgoblin as he slaps his buddy on the arm and points her way, but the other man doesn't seem to notice so he returns to his gambling with several others.

Grendolynn, Erostil:

You only count 6 bandits as best as you can tell from your positions.

Grendolynn nods to Erostil, and motions back to the group. She sneaks back out of sight as quickly as possible.

Stealth 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18

Once back to the others she says, "I count six bandits inside, they may have seen me."

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

Valeska nods. Thank you. So, at least six. Is there more than one approach?

"There are several weak points in the walls. It may be best to send our heavy hitters in the front while the rest of us surround them through the breaks in the walls."

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

"Yes, but you'd expect that... No? Let's send the heavy hitters around while we distract them. If they see stealth and range coming at them, there is no reason to think anything else is coming."

"Once we engage and distract, the melee force will be free to move with speed. And, engage with brutal force." Valeska waits for everyone's thoughts. "Do they seem honorable, like they would offer a duel?"

Male Human (Varisian) Fighter (Brawler)/5 HP 44/44, Init +2, Per +6, AC 18/ t14/ ff14, F 5, R 3, W 3

At Valeska's query, Tad snorts "They're Bandits. Duels'r fer people Oo believe there'r rules to fightin'. Bandits know there's only one rule, else they don' live long enou' ta be a problem."
Turning to Grendolynn, "Those 'weak points', 'ow big are they? Fer tha' matter, 'ow many & where are they?"

DM, more details on the weaknesses please.

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

Valeska nods in appreciation towards Tad. "Thank you, Tad. The question was for the sake of any who would be gripped with conscience."

"We are not dealing with a traditional engagement where army meets army on the field of honor. Matters of honor and dishonor should be set aside until such time as we encounter an enemy that would understand these concepts."

"So, Grendolynn. What is the make-up of this force you've discovered. Goblins, orcs?"

"Men, far as I could tell. Probably a mixed bag." She says, "After I thought they made me, I got out of there fast. Maybe Erostil saw something more."

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

"Archers and ranged... do we all have experience with 'concentration of fire'? It is a discipline often times overlooked. When an enemy has been successfully hit, concentrate your fire until they are brought down. It is the quickest way to reduce return fire."

"Undisciplined forces will spread their fire, but 6 wounded enemy can still manage 6 attacks. If we concentrate our fire and bring down just two of them, they can only offer 4 attacks."

"We bring down the biggest or the leader first, it demoralizes the remaining force. Simple principles. Let's work together and learn how to execute them flawlessly as a team."

"I am not in charge, I am not your leader and I do not pretend to hold any power over you. We are all equals and I am coordinating an assault to the best of my ability. I am open to suggestions. And, remember I asked if anyone wished to step up... No one did. I am merely filling a role, no more or less important than any other."

Male Dhamphir Bard 1

Stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (18) + 7 = 25
Quieter than a stealthing mouse, Erostil will get back to the group.

If you have experience in these matters, then we should follow your directions in this. Much can be learned from those who know of things in other walks of life than our own. I must admit I had never thought about this focusing of fire as an actual tactic, but now that you mention it, it seems similar to what wolves will do when they are hunting? Am I right?

I didn't get a good enough look at these people to be able to tell anything much more than that there were 6 of them. Might it be an idea though for one of us to go to those people and speak to them as human beings? I mean they might be bandits, but to treat everything around us as worthy of suspicion and execution is surely more than a little paranoid?

Male Human (Varisian) Fighter (Brawler)/5 HP 44/44, Init +2, Per +6, AC 18/ t14/ ff14, F 5, R 3, W 3

"'s not just that glee man. Supposin' we do talk with them. While we do that, one of 'em looks outside & notices we 'ave tha' compn'y at oor backs. Even bandits c'n do simple sums & figger when yer outnumbered it's a good time to play nice. So's they surrender. Now what? Now we've six more mouths to feed an'! now we've ta look after 'em ta make certain they aren't plannin' sompin' skanky-like. That 'er Lord Swordsman up yon hill decides they're bandits anyway & strings 'em. Might be kinder just ta give 'em that chance ta die like men."
Tad spits off to the side in emphasis.

"Not really, it's our job to be out here killing these people now. If they were upstanding they wouldn't be squatting in a keep." She replies to Erostil. "Tactically we could use the heavily armored fighters to draw their attention, and pull them out of the keep into an ambush by everyone else. Valeska, you and I look to be the most well protected. Two lone women would likely prove a tempting target as well. The others could lay down in the grass and hide, and then we lead the bandits to them."

Male Dhamphir Bard 1

Or if they were to surrender, then we have started our first blow against this Stag Lord, and might well be able to further our reputations in this area. Violence only begets violence, and it is not a path I wish to go down without having explored other options. Yes it is 6 extra mouths to feed, but it is also 6 extra bows to our cause. 6 extra people that might be able to help us move equipment and supplies around. 6 extra people who know the lay of the land and might mean that we avoid some of the common dangers in this land. 6 extra mouths just means that when we hunt, we need two deer instead of one for example though. Unless you do not believe yourself capable in the hunt?

"Should they surrender they would be the lord's responsibility, not ours. He tasked us with clearing out the keep. If you want to walk in and talk to them, by all means do so Erostil. You may want to leave your funeral preferences with us first though." She says sarcastically. "Should I go and inform his lordship and ask his desires for these men?"

"I have never been in these lands, so I do not know anything about its inhabitants. Are all those found here to be considered bandits unless, of course, like ourselves, they happen to have the piece of paper saying they have a purpose here?" Arasmes asks. "If they were upstanding, why wouldn't they be squatting in an empty keep? Even though the keep looks rather dilapidated, walls and a roof make better shelter than open sky."

"I'll defer to Valeska's tactical acumen with regards to how a foe can be defeated, but I just want to be sure of things before we set such a course."

"I've lived out here most of my life. Things are usually as they appear, and those men looked to be a rough sort." Grendolynn says to Arasmes.

Going off the fact the DM described them as bandits, not men, not humanoids, not people, not hunters. I guess that might be considered meta-gaming, but I'm assuming something in the way they looked justified that description by the DM.

Agreed. As you say, according to the description they really are bandits. Arasmes isn't so sure though. Not trying to stop the attack. Just siding with Erostil since the two of us seem to be the group's conscience :P

Arasmes looks at Grendolynn a moment before speaking. "I don't know how to take your statement. You have lived our here most of your life and you look like a hobgoblin. You are most certainly not what you appear. Are you the exception that proves the rule as the only person coming out of these lands that is not as they appear?"

He sighs before continuing. "If the decision is to attack, then I will be there, committed to it, with you all. I would suggest not killing them as, if they are bandits, they may have information to share, and if they are not bandits, we may need to apologize and make amends. We are not in the deep wilderness, away from those whose duty is to judge and dispense justice. We have a Swordlord at our backs."

"Good point..." she says at Arasmes' words, looking chagrined. Her cheeks turn a reddish color, and she presses her lips tightly together looking towards the ground. Hope these two are right, I just got a feeling there's gonna be blood on our hands soon, not matter how this goes down.

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

Valeska above all listens carefully to the points presented.

"Excellent points, all. We do not wish kill people as a matter of course... this is true. I dare say, Teyran might just get what he wants."

"Although I do like the 2 women idea, Grendolynn... I think we should take Teyran, as well. If they've seen you, then even better. A spear is good, because it's out. A greatsword can be rested on the shoulder. It's to be expected. I'll do the talking, with a loaded crossbow. We will parley at a distance of 10 feet."

"My words will be simple and clear, we come to claim what is rightfully ours and we've the papers to prove it. They can surrender and work for us, or we can take the keep by force."

"The others will be waiting for my signal. The signal will be my taking a step back. On that signal, we attack in concert. The three of us MUST be aware of our proximity to the enemy and give the archers a clear vantage."

"We have our official and legitimate claim, diplomacy, the offer of options and resolution with extreme prejudice. How does that sit with everyone?"

Male Human (Varisian) Fighter (Brawler)/5 HP 44/44, Init +2, Per +6, AC 18/ t14/ ff14, F 5, R 3, W 3

As the huntress, the bard & the priest debate the morality of what the company contemplates, Tad's expression grows more & more bemused. "Seems ta me there's another question might want answerin' in this too." Turning to Grendolynn, "Did any see ya? Cause if not, our odds favor yon fancy pants first plan," pointing to Valska. "If they did, tha God's-man, tha Glee-man 'n' I walkin' up and tryin' fer Par-Ley as tha rest o' you lot make ready if'n they won't serves us 's well as it serves them."

"As I said, I thought one of them saw me. But they don't appear to be doing anything about it just yet."

Male Dhamphir Bard 1

That particular plan sits better with me than the idea of going into there with weapons out and mindlessly attacking. If we are to claim these lands, then just as much can be done with an outstretched palm as with a drawn sword. I will have my sap ready to club someone with. I would strongly advocate the idea of capturing these men rather than anything else. If we do end up having to kill them, then that is another matter, but peaceful options can be tried. Thank you Arasmes for your insights. Remember, we are not barbarians, and do not want to be tarred with that brush.

Male Human (Varisian) Fighter (Brawler)/5 HP 44/44, Init +2, Per +6, AC 18/ t14/ ff14, F 5, R 3, W 3

"Welp then, let's go." clapping Erostil & Arasmes each across the shoulders as he heads in the direction of the Gate.

HP 30/30 ~ AC18 tch13 ff15 ~ CMD18 ~ Fort+5 Ref+5 Will+3

Morley's eager mood drops with the talk of morality, and pre-planning the dispensation of justice. "...I just hope the choice is clear when the time comes.." "I'm ready. Keep a cool head and sharp eye everyone. If it comes to a fight, I'll keep the gate clear and safe should anyone need to fall back."

male Aasimar (Angel Blooded) Paladin level 3

"It bears mentioning, because some of you seem to not know this in the way that Grendolynn and I do. These are the Stolen Lands, haven of smugglers, thieves, murderers and worse. Everyone we encounter is here for a reason, some wish to make their own way, free from society's interference, some are escaped slaves, fearing a return to bondage, and some simply want to watch the world burn. All should be regarded with caution and a healthy bit of suspicion, like you would a cornered animal, because nothing, man or beast, fights harder than when its back is to the wall." Teyran took a look toward the keep, and added, "Valeska's advice is good, keep weapons in hand, but be relaxed. Let's go."

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

Lead the way, Grendolynn. I'm right behind you, with Teyran behind me... Everyone else, including Tad, please.. give us 60 and take up position, within range.

"Alright, I'll do the scaring you do the talking." Grendolynn says, drawing her shield as the three of them approach the front gates of the keep. Once there, she stands slightly behind Valeska, her goblinoid features in full view. She does her best to look as evil and deadly as any of her kin. C'mon monster face, serve me well!

Intimidate 1d20 ⇒ 18

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

As they approach, Valeska is not pointing her crossbow at the keep's current occupants, but off to the side. The message she's trying to send is strength, not aggression.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10

You surprise the guard who was lounging instead of keeping watch on the approach to the keep. He stumbles backwards as he makes a startled noise and the other bandits' eyes are drawn to it. They make a lot of threatening moves to grab weapons of varies sorts. The noise draws out the leader who is the only one with a tent in the courtyard...

"What the hell is going on out here!" He shouts before he does a double take to the party, "Well, looks like we got lucky today, boys, and some guests have come to offer us tribute."

There are several more bandits then initially thought six has become ten bandits (including the leader).

Female Human Tactician 1 HP 12/12 | AC 18/20 | T 14 | FF 14/16 | CMD 17 | F +3 | R +4 | W +0 | Init +6 | Per +0

Valeska smiles, knowing Teyran and Grendolynn are flanking her.

You look like a man in charge, I hope I'm right. Please know we surprised your man, and could have killed him. We didn't.

But, we seem to have a misunderstanding. By law, we have claim to this keep. And, we have returned to occupy it.

So, here's the deal. You can evacuate the area and there's no harm done. Or, you can work for us. The pay would be decent, you seem to like the area.

I suggest you choose your next words and actions wisely. Valeska's crossbow although loaded remains not pointed at anyone. She shifts her weight from one leg to the other.

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