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The Stolen Empire

Game Master Vethcyr


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"That is covered under waiving the charges against you, Klinn," Jamandi says coolly.

My legalese isn't fluent, but basically the document promises that Klinn and Karina would not face prosecution for their past crimes within Brevoy, so long as they carry out the assignment without committing further crimes against Brevoy or Brevoyan citizens. Did you mean something else? And no, they're not even bothering to use the word "alleged."

Also, Jamandi is accidentally a ninja, I guess (I totally forgot to include her on the map). Whoops!


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

"Well, then, I'm as happy as a clam."

Klinn signs and dates the scroll and hands Jamandi's copy back to her.

"Now, about those other documents...?"

Don't worry about the legalese. I mostly posted that for flavor, since criminals tend to have a bit of, shall we say, experience with legal systems. :P I didn't figure you would have her go on to find some crime that we hadn't been charged with and charge us with it afterwards.


After quickly examining her copy, Jamandi nods slightly, rolling the scroll back up and placing it once more in her scroll case.

"Now that you have agreed to this task, here is a map of the terrain. Under this agreement, you will scout this area out," she says, motioning to the northern areas shown on the map. "I suggest you begin at Oleg's Trading Post." She points to a spot on the northern frontier of the Stolen Lands. "If you follow the main road south from Restov, you should reach it without difficulty. Its proprietors are a pair of Restovan merchants. You might use their establishment as a base for your exploration. As for your charters, Arastine has those."

Map

You needn't explore anything south of that northernmost lake. I have a hex map set up to accurately chart your exploration once you enter the stolen lands.


Female Human Gunslinger 1/Rogue (Poisoner) 1//Sorcerer (Sage spellslinger) 2

"Indeed," says Arastine as she opens up her scroll case and passes out three more charters, one for each of you. "Take a moment to familiarize yourselves with them."

Charters:
Be it so known that the bearer of this charter has been charged by the Swordlords of Restov, acting upon the greater good and authority vested within them by the office of the Regent of the
Dragonscale Throne, has granted the right of exploration and travel within the wilderness region known as the Greenbelt. Exploration should be limited to an area no further than thirty-six miles east and west and sixty miles south of Oleg’s Trading Post. The carrier of this charter should also strive against banditry and other unlawful behavior to be encountered. The punishment for unrepentant banditry remains, as always, execution by sword or rope. So witnessed on this 24th day of Talistril, under the watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and authority granted by Lord Noleski Surtova, current Regent of the Dragonscale Throne.

"Anyway, I believe that the swordlords would like us to leave as soon as possible. So unless you have any more questions for Lady Aldori here, shall we adjourn?"


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

"Well, I don't have any more questions. And I have everything I need with me. Let's go 'act upon the greater good.'"

At that she glances at Klinn with a sneer.


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

"I agree! Let's be off!"

Klinn carefully tucks the charter into his pack and picks up his longspear.

"After you, ladies." With that, Klinn lets out a little snicker and follows the women out the door, Nysro slinking behind him. Nysro watches Jamandi with one stalk eye until the door closes behind them.


Female Human Gunslinger 2 // Inquisitor 2

Nitina silently nods at Jamandi, then follows the others out.


You make your way out of the city hall, where a guard approaches you. "Excuse me," he says, "but the Swordlord instructed me to inform you that she has organized a cart with supplies for your journey. You can collect it at the southern gate, and it should be fully stocked in one hour. Good luck." With that, the man scurries off.


Female Human Gunslinger 1/Rogue (Poisoner) 1//Sorcerer (Sage spellslinger) 2

"That's handy," Arastine says. "I have a few things to pick up. Meet you at the gate in an hour!"

She strolls off towards the wealthy quarter of the city.


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

Klinn turns to his sister. "Care to grab a drink before we head out? I don't imagine there will be many taverns down in the Greenbelt."


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

Karina considers her options. She asks the guard rhetorically, "Do we have time?", but then answers her own question, "Eh, why not? Might as well celebrate this new business opportunity. Just one drink though, brother. The Stolen Lands are dangerous and we need to be alert."

She extends her hand towards Nitina, "Hey, Nitina. I think we started off on the wrong foot. Why don't you join Klinn and me? Come on, it'll be fun!"


Female Human Gunslinger 2 // Inquisitor 2

As we are to be working together, it seems wise to get further acquainted. Lead on.


You wander over to the nearest tavern, the Laughing Griffin Groghouse. The building is old and worn, but it is a favorite local hangout. The proprietor is an eccentric elderly gnome man named Jigger Fizzlecheeks, who welcomes you with a high-pitched call of "Welcome ta tha Groghouse! What can ah get'cha, or have yeh come ter 'kiss tha catfish?'"

Sure enough, atop the bar is a tank containing a particularly big and slimy catfish. A jar full of coins sits behind the counter, under a sign labeled "Stakes."

Only a few people are inside the tavern at the moment, so it would be easy to claim a table or some seats at the bar.


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

Karina greets the tavernkeep with a smile. "How's it going? Three ales please." She waves off the others. "Don't worry, I'll cover it."

As she tosses him the money for the drinks (if it's 4cp/mug, she'll pay 3 silver for the batch), she appears a bit intrigued. She inquires to Fizzlecheeks, "You know, this is my first time I've been to the Laughing Griffin. Could ya tell us a bit about kissing the catfish?"


"Well," the publican replies when he returns with your drinks, "'t'aint really kissin' Ol' Magga, pour say. What y'actually do is get yerself a full mug o' 'er water and drink it down. 'f ye c'n do tha' wi'out puking it back up, ye wins tha pot!" He grins manically, motioning towards the jar full of coins.

"Ah reck'n we're up ter abou' fifty gold in tha pot righ' now. Any a you folk innersted? It'll cost yas a gold piece per mug - all o' which goes inta tha pot, o'course!"

Let me know if I'm overdoing his accent.


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

"Ha!" Klinn says in a particularly tee-aged fashion. "I could do that!" Klinn tosses a gold piece in the pot. When the bartender gives him a mug of the stuff, he plugs his nose and starts chugging. I suppose you would like a con check? 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20


Female Human Gunslinger 2 // Inquisitor 2

Psh, it is impossible to overdo an accent.


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

My guess is he wants a fort save, but for you a con check is the same thing

As Klinn chuggs the catfish water, Karina lean forward and cheers him on, "Come on Klinn! You can do it! Just don't think of the smell."


Well, I would have asked for a fort save, but that works too.

Klinn chugs the disgusting liquid, and despite his protesting stomach he manages to keep it down!

DC was 18. Klinn, you are sickened for 1d4 ⇒ 2 hours, but there are no other side effects.

The other patrons cheer, and the barkeep slaps Klinn on the back, saying, "Crikey! Yeh're tha first feller ta manage tha' 'n almos' three months!" The gnome walks back to the bar, pulls out a stepladder and retrieves the jar, which he then gives to Klinn. "Here're yer winnin's, laddie. Also, all o' yer party's drinks be on tha house! Bravo!" He says, giving Karina her money back. "Jes' be sure ter tell other folk tha' ye kissed tha catfish an' won!"

Klinn, inside the jar are 51 gold coins - including the one you contributed.


Female Human Gunslinger 2 // Inquisitor 2

So, if you can speak without vomitting, why don't you two tell me more about yourselves?


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

Karina laughs and gives Klinn a hearty pat on the back, "Way to be, Klinn. Here, wash down that taste with a cold drink."

With that, she hands Klinn his drink. She then responds to Nitina, "Sure thing. Let's see... the two of us grew up in a small town a ways west of here. I'd be surprised if anyone in this bar has heard of it. Our parents had a farm, nothing too exciting. Anyways, turns out none of liked farm life so we ended up looking for something more exciting. So we did a little bit of traveling, took some odd jobs..." She clears her throat, "...Made a few enemies here and there. Apparently that list was big enough to include the Swordlord too. But that's water under the bridge now! I'm looking forward to seeing what these Stolen Lands are like."

"But enough about Klinn and me. What about you? How'd you get involved in this whole situation?"


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

"Blech, that's disgusting!" Klinn looks a bit green. He almost vomits, but manages to keep it down. "Egh, I'll certainly take some of that," grabbing the beer his sister offers him to wash down the slime. He looks into the jar and smiles a bit. "Told you I could do it." He pockets the gold and takes another sip of his grog.


Let me know when you are ready to move on. If no updates have been posted by noon (pacific time) tomorrow, I will move things along.

The bartender brings over more drinks whenever yours run low. Do you accept the free beverages?


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

Karina waves off the bartender when he approaches to serve more drinks, "I appreciate the hospitality, but unfortunately we need to be off soon. We'll make it a priority to stop by for a more thorough visit the next time we're in town." With that, she flashes a smile at the bartender.


Female Human Gunslinger 2 // Inquisitor 2

Nitina pulls her veil up a bit and sips slowly at her ale.

Not much to tell either. I've been sent from my order to serve, heard about this opportunity, and figured it was a way to make a name for myself.

I'm ready to move on.


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

Ready to move on as well


Despite the free drinks offered in the groghouse, you abstain from any more alcohol. About an hour later, you make your way to the gate, where a pair of mules are being harnessed to an open-topped wagon, which contains a number of cases. The guards indicate that this is for you.

"Well now, we were told to prepare two weeks' worth of supplies for your group, as well as gear for travel through forests and for enforcement work." One of the guards indicates a case. "This case contains two weeks worth of trail rations for four people, and this one has two weeks worth of feed for four horses or mules..."


Female Human Gunslinger 1/Rogue (Poisoner) 1//Sorcerer (Sage spellslinger) 2

As the guards are going over the cart and its inventory with you, Arastine arrives on a massive black horse. She is wearing an enameled leather cuirass, and has both her revolver and a short sword strapped to her belt.

"Glad to see you made it," She says cheerfully. "It looks like we've been well equipped for this trip. Are you ready to depart?"


Female Human Gunslinger 2 // Inquisitor 2

Nitina climbs onto one side of the driving platform of the wagon. (I'm assuming it can seat at least two). She dismisses the guards with a curt Thank you for your diligence. She checks the straps on her carbine as she waits for the others to climb aboard.

For some reason, totally thinking of this. Maybe it's the wagon, maybe it's the western-ness, maybe it's the fact that I have a gun...


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

Klinn, still a bit woosie from Kissing the Catfish, slowly climbs up into the wagon next to Nitina. He looks at the two mules and says to the guard "Do you think the two mules will be able to pull this thing?"

Is this a small wagon? a med wagon? a special 4 square wagon that can hold 1000lb and only needs two mules and travels at twice their overland speed minus 10ft? Also everyone, as a side note, if klinn is around, it is socially appropriate, and we aren't on initiative, go ahead and at +1 to all your skill checks from Klinn's lvl-0 guidance spell. It will be too cumbersome to post every time someone makes a check, so if you remember that Klinn can cast it, you can say that Klinn remembers and does so.

P.S. I'm ready to "make like a tree and get the f*** out of here."


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

Karina looks pleased with the amount of equipment on the cart. "We got all of this? Looks like the swordlord came through." She rummages through the various items in the cart, flipping through some of the books.


The wagon is about 5' by 8' - or 1 x 2 squares (large vehicle). Two people can definitely fit on the driver's step, and a third (or fourth!) could ride in back with the stuff - it's not exactly luxury travel, but it works. Two mules can pull this at their normal speed. Note that I have read the vehicle rules from UC, and I might incorporate them if the situation calls for it.

"This is all standard stuff. The last group had this load-out as well," one of the guards tells you. "The mules aren't fast, but they'll get you to where you need to be."

After inspecting the merchandise and determining seating arrangements, you set out on the five-day trek to Oleg's Trading Post, your first stop in The Stolen Lands.

Also, we have our first Firefly reference! No doubt more will come...

I will post a more thorough update tomorrow, and will have you arrive at your next destination. Until then, roleplay away as you travel for 5 days to Oleg's.


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

Each night as he prepares to sleep, his Eidolon patrols around the tent (which I assume he shares with Katrina) before vanishing into the night. Each morning at dawn, Klinn spends a moment summoning his companion. He then picks up his spear and does a few drills before breakfast. He will often stare off into the distance saying meaningless half-sentences from time to time. After the third day or so, you realize that he is speaking with Nysro, but it is impossible to tell about what. He is pleasantly chatty when others are interested in conversation, but content to spend time with Nysro as well. Each day after travelling and pitching camp, he spends his time attempting to find some edible plants he knows. Whenever he finds something he isn't sure about, he gives it to Nysro to see if it is poisonous.
Klinn is mostly just curious about any new flora he encounters, but if he can eat a meal or two off of the land, he will do so.
Survival Day 1:1d20 - 1 ⇒ (12) - 1 = 11
Survival Day 2:1d20 - 1 ⇒ (5) - 1 = 4
Survival Day 3:1d20 - 1 ⇒ (19) - 1 = 18
Survival Day 4:1d20 - 1 ⇒ (10) - 1 = 9
Survival Day 5:1d20 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
If Nysro has taken damage at the end of the day, Klinn will heal him before dismissing him.


I need to address a couple of bookkeeping notes:

1) Klinn: I need you to mark out your skills a little better. Try formatting it so that you only show those skills in which you are trained. Alternately, give me your bonus for every skill you can attempt checks with. Either of these options will make it much easier for me to glance through and see your skills.

2) Nitina: You don't have gun training indicated in your profile (when firearms are this developed, gunslingers lose the Gunsmithing bonus feat and gain an additional gun training at level 1). Also, you should probably update your stats to reflect the fact that you now use a Carbine instead of a rifle.

3) Karina: Looks good. Klinn, use Karina's skill block as an example of how to do it.

4) Pete: We'll be ready for you when the party reaches Oleg's. Before we get there, I need you to clear up something in your profile: how do you get 3 1st-level spells known at first level? You should only have 2. Once you address this inconsistency, you may join the party at Oleg's.


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

Karina spends her days on the trail with a strange mix of caution and relaxation. While the party is traveling through the Stolen Lands, she likes to sit in the front of the cart, engaging in conversation with whomever is with her, but with a watchful eye kept on the surroundings. She sleeps in the same tent as Klinn but often bickers with him about various things, such as the way he sets up the tent, or his supposed snoring keeping her up. She tries to keep the bickering out of earshot of the other party members, but it is likely that everyone is aware of it.


Female Human Gunslinger 1/Rogue (Poisoner) 1//Sorcerer (Sage spellslinger) 2

Arastine never rides in the cart, preferring to ride her horse, whom she introduces as "the sweetest horse there is. Meet Midnight, everybody." Calling Midnight sweet is hardly accurate, however, as she is only well-behaved around Arastine. Anyone else who comes too close risks taking a hoof to the groin.

Despite this seeming blindness regarding equine temperament, Arastine demonstrates a remarkable aptitude at caring for animals, and she makes sure that Midnight and the mules are well fed, groomed, and comfortable.

Arastine frequently scouts ahead of and around the party, returning periodically to inform the others of the road conditions and of any interesting or unusual tracks or landmarks she finds. She probably shares a tent with Nitina, and frequently engages in smalltalk with Karina or anyone else who seems interested.


Female Human Gunslinger 2 // Inquisitor 2

Despite the close quarters, Nitina rarely speaks with her companions unless spoken too, and when she does tends to be the one saying less. Around camp, she brooks no disagreement (about, for instance, where to camp or when to put out the fire) but neither does she argue. Once she has made up her mind about something, she simply does it (grabs the reins from whoever's driving and pulls the wagon over, or dumps a bucket of water on the still-pleasant fire) and ignores any protests.

Despite her imperious ways, though, she's not bad company, doing her share of whatever tasks need to be done and never directly antagonizing anyone.


Female Human Gunslinger 2 // Inquisitor 2

Oops. Had Gun Training on my sheet but not on my alias. I'll add that.


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

Oh, and Klinn will use the map-making kit to the best of his ability, unless someone with a wis bonus wants to do it instead (probably a good idea)


Klinn manages to find some wild berries along the way, but does not significantly impact your consumption of trail rations.

On the afternoon of your fifth day of travel, you spy a small fort in the distance. When you get closer to it you realize that this must be Oleg's trading post - your destination. It is an old wooden fort that has seen much wear over the years. A wooden tower guards each corner of the trading post, and each tower mounts an outward-facing cannon.

Perception DC 20:
The cannons are old and visibly cracked. They are as likely to explode as they are to fire.

As you enter through the fort's open gates, a large man calls out to you. "Well met, travelers! I'm Oleg, proprietor of this fine trading post. What can I do for ye? Have ye brought anythin' to trade, or be ye another batch of explorers?"

Map

Oleg is in L19, but isn't pictured because MapTools decided to purge itself again and I'm too irritated at the stupid thing to straighten it out at the moment.


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

Perception:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18

I'm about to head out the door, but I'll post something more thorough later tonight.


Male Human Oracle 2//Antipaladin 2

A small, hunched man with graying hair and a pronounced limp walks out of a side room. Fresh bruises dot his legs, arms and face. His attire - including a dirty brown cloak, a nice white shirt, slacks and leather armor - seems to be a bit oversized. He nods to Oleg and seems to pay his visitors no mind, though the more perceptive can tell he's keeping his ear up. He sits down at a bench and starts eating some trail rations.


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

Karina bows her head in respect to Oleg and extends her hand. "It is a pleasure to meet you Oleg. My name is Karina Sharasik, and with me are my companions Klinn, Nitina, and Arastine. I suppose you could call us explorers, though I think the term adventurers has a better ring to it." She smiles, and gives a welcoming nod to the hunched man in the corner.

"This is a pretty fine establishment you have here. Do you see a lot of travelers come through these parts?"


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

"Pleasure to meet you Oleg. What can you tell us about these parts? Have any of the previous adventurers returned with any news?"


"Fewer an' fewer, more's the pity," Oleg responds. "Bandits run rampant, some fairy critters 're keeping hunters out o' the woods to the southwest, and I hear rumors now'n then 'bout some sorta underground lair south o' here."

Oleg shakes his head in sorrow for a moment, saying "Sadly, the last adventurers got themselves strung up by bandits. You'd do well to be careful. That said, I know when and where you could ambush some of 'em."


Female Human Gunslinger 2 // Inquisitor 2

Nitina purses her lips. That's valuable information. You'd just give it to us?

Sense Motive 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16: Is he trying to lead us into a trap?


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

To speed things along, can we have a few conversations going at once? the second will naturally happen after the first, but I would rather Klinn not be so neurotic as to jump from topic to topic every sentence.

Convo 1: Bandits and such
"Hmm, ambush the ambush! I like it. I'm sure you wouldn't mind us securing your trade lines, now would you?"

Convo 2: Economics
"Well, this is a trading post. What sort of goods do you have here for trade?"

Convo 3: History
"This place looks old, but it sure seems grand. Can you tell us a bit about its history?"

Convo 4: Comparative Aesthetics... jk :P


Conversation 1: "Fer the las' three months, some bandits have been comin' by and stealing my stock. They claim'd these lands fer their new leader, this so-called 'Stag Lord.'" Oleg spits in disgust upon mentioning the bandit leader. "These bandits come by regular-like on the first Oathday of every month, which is tomorrow. I sent word to Restov 'bout 'em, but haven't heard back. 'f you c'n stop 'em, ye c'n have free room an' board here whenever yeh're in the area. Sound good?"

Conversation 2: "Some pelts an' potions, mainly. With all the bandit troubles o' late I haven't had much opportunity to build up my stock."

Conversation 3: "'twere a border fort originally, some sixty-odd years ago. Fer whatever reason, the Swordlords stopped garrisoning it a decade or so ago, so then it lay dormant. Three years ago, muh wife an' I got permission ter reopen it as this here tradin' post."

Nitina:
Oleg seems to be acting in good faith, and is hopeful that you will stop the bandit raids.


HP: 11/19, Spells: Level 1: (1/3)

Karina perks up about the ambush, "That sounds like fun. We may very well be interested in staging an ambush. Just let us know more about the details and we'll see what we can do."

I like the parallel conversation idea.

Edit: And I posted the same time as DM. Coolz.


Human Summoner 2 // Ranger 2

Some map clarification stuff: Does the catwalk go all the way around the wall? How tall are the towers? How tall are they? How tall is the wall once you are up by the cannons? I only see two ladders. Already I'm scheming!

Conversation 1: "So, what, they just walk in and take your stock? Do you have any good places to hide stuff here? Underground passageways, pits? But first, tell us more about these raids."

Conversation 2: "Who do you trade with? It doesn't seem like anyone lives out here. Who is travelling around that the bandits can rob?"

Conversation 3: "Your wife? What is she up to?"

As the group is chatting, Nysro will explore the fort, reporting back to Kinn anything of interest or value that he finds around the trading post.

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