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The Third Continent

Game Master Quillworth

An unlikely group, bound first by necessity and now friendship, emerges from a desert cave to find...


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Female Human 3rd Level Wizard

Satisfied with his answer, Carys retreats to the corner to study her book. She tries to smile at Xazt's interesting taste for raw meet but only succeeds at a strained smirk.

She studies her book for the next hour and a half muttering in celestial and elvish parts of different spells.

Spoiler:
As she finishes studying, she'll try to quietly cast Endure Elements.


Female Human Cutpurse Rogue 3

After awakening in the cool cave, Ariana notices Xazt eating some strange raw meat that is on the ground next to the ranger. She yawns, stretches, and walks over to the inspect the mystery meat.

"Looks like good meat- and a lot of it too. Great job Eli, thanks." Glancing sideways at Xazt she gestures towards the other side of the mouth of the cave and adds, "I'll start a fire over here."

Survival:
1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6


After nearly half an hour of coaxing, the remnants of old campfires catch and begin to burn, but this is no roaring fire. The flames are barely visible, but it seems to be sustaining itself at the moment. You aren't sure how long it will last.


Male Human Fighter (Brawler) 3

Survival 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27

Lucas chuckles kindly at Ariana.

"Ari, remember the tent? You've got to make a home for the fire. Like this."

Lucas deftly moves embers around and lays fresh kindling on them to bring the fire to life. A log or two later, there is a fine, hot cook fire.


Male Human Ranger 3

Eli wakes up two hours later. He takes a portion of cooked meat. Now with better lighting, he looks over the inside of the cave, curious if previous travelers left anything or carved the walls.
Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
After everyone has eaten, Eli attempts to dry the rest of the venison into a jerky so it will keep longer on the trail. He relaxes for the remainder of the day, keeping a casual watch on the road from the shadow in the cave.


Perception:

You notice a few things scrawled along the walls in a strange mixture of human and goblin. As you peer closer, you read:

"Gavin the merchant was here."
...then below...
"Mathrok makes with the spitting on humans!"
...then below...
"Goblins R scum"
...then below...
"Hoomans eat the poopsies"

...it just continues like this for a while. Near the end, you notice an arrow pointing North and the words "ogres." It isn't a fresh carving, but it has been done in the common tongue. There is also a little carved drawing below it in the shape of a skull. In a few of the more dank corners you find more than a few bones and some scrap pieces of iron. There is a bit of vellum caught between a bone and the cave wall, as well, which appears to have been from some sort of map of the area. It is crudely torn. You find little else until you discover a few loose rocks near the back of the cave, hiding what appears to be someone's stash of naughty books. Most of the copies have been here unused for years and have rotted away. However, the copy of "The Troll Lover" is still intact, and although it is missing its cover, the first few pages of "A Dwarven Delve" prove to be entirely unconcerned with actual mining.


Female Human 3rd Level Wizard

After studying, Cary takes some meat from the fire. Her frizzy hair seems to have deflated some during the night and she looks almost back to her what you all assume must be her "normal self."

"Do you need any help?" She asks the group around the fire a bit sheepishly. She clearly feels a bit uncomfortable since she was less than cordial the previous day.


Male Human Ranger 3

"Heh." Eli pulls out his dagger and adds to carved banter:
"Gobos R wankers"

Once realizing the purpose of the literature he finds, he does not touch it, not even to put in the fire. Not the cook fire, it might taint the meat, somehow. Gross.
He looks over the crudely torn map, hoping to find their shelter marked, or perhaps these ogres indicated by the carvings.

"Maybe. It might be nothing -these carvings are very old, but do you know anything about ogres?"

Do I know anything about ogres? Which knowledge would I roll?


Not much is known among the common people about ogres. You can roll a Knowledge: Dungeoneering or Knowledge: History. The only general knowledge of them is that they are a myth of sorts among Third Continent frontier settlers (particularly among the folks that populate Snyderholm and the small mountain villages to the Southwest).

As for the map, you notice a small marking that you don't recognize. Perhaps it is uniquely cartographic. It is a small red half-circle with something like a moon inside it, lying on the torn edge of the map. Slightly above it is a skull marking, and far to the left are several hastily hand-drawn "X" and "?" marks.


Male Human Ranger 3

Eli turns the map sideways, then upside-down. "I uh... I know this is a map, but I can't make heads or tails of it."

He holds it out to show the others.


Female Human 3rd Level Wizard

Knowledge dungeoneering 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13


Your passing knowledge with exploring new places gives you a bit of insight, but you aren't familiar with the half-circle-moon mark. You do know, however, that a half circle is usually used to denote a shelter of some sort.


Female Human 3rd Level Wizard

"I don't really know anything about ogres, except the few bits and pieces from fairy tales and bedtime stories. I doubt those have any truth or bearing on our current situation though. As for the map, I know many cartographers mark shelters with a half circle like this. I've never seen one with a moon shape inside it though."


Male Goblin 3 Fighter (Free-hand)

Xazt looks at the map for a second or two, only then realizing how terrible he is at ...geometry? Or is it geography? Graph...math. It must be geometry...


Female Human Cutpurse Rogue 3

"Ogres sound like a bad idea. Perhaps we should try to avoid them?"


Male Human Ranger 3

"Yes. We must still go north, so we will be careful." Eli leans out to check the position of the sun. "Let's leave here at sundown. I'm anxious to be moving again."

After everyone has eaten, Eli divides the venison jerky into daily portions, and gives the others and himself equal amounts of jerky. "Save this for the trail ahead."
How much would that be, exactly, Quillworth?


I'm going to say five pounds of jerky per person. That's a pretty good amount. That could stretch over a few days just fine.

If anyone wants to do something else before you set off, do so now.


Male Human Ranger 3

Cool. Eli is ready.


Female Human 3rd Level Wizard

Ready to go!


You all rise in the hot morning air and find yourselves much better rested than you've been in quite some time. You leave the shelter of the outcropping rock and begin to trudge north again, feet beating a solid gait against the packed sand of the roadway. After about an hour, you notice that the rocky lining has started to slowly disappear, but the road is still there, winding through the low parts of dunes and across huge flats.

Make 3 fortitude saves/drinks

After three hours of walking, you notice that the road is trampled, as though many, many feet were hurriedly using this section of it not that long ago. The road stretches ahead like this and turns a corner, where it disappears behind a dune.


Female Human 3rd Level Wizard

I thought we were leaving at sundown? We were going to rest during the day, and leave at night when it got cooler.


Oops. Lulz. Just pretend I said that you left at sundown. You don't have to make fortitude saves.


Male Human Ranger 3

Eli stoops and studies the footprints, to learn what he can of those gone ahead. Survival 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15. If he can, he'd like to figure out exactly how recent these footprints are, and of what race they belong to.

He stands back up, and listens for anything that might lurk beyond the dune. Perception 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23

"Stay sharp, Strongjaw. Dancer, we might need your quick little feet."


The footprints are clearly larger than a human's. After a few moments of consideration, taking into account what you read on the cave wall, you are pretty convinced that these are ogre-like, or at least from a giant of some kind. It's hard for you to swallow, given your skepticism, but there isn't much else it could be. The footprints seem to be fairly recent...you would say somewhere between a few hours and two days old, and they continue down the road and out of sight.

You concentrate on listening, but the wind whipping across the dunes is making it difficult. As you concentrate on the corner ahead, you think you hear something briefly, like a horn or someone shouting. You haven't heard anything like that in the desert naturally before.


Male Human Ranger 3

"Ah... These footprints are too big to be a common traveler's. Giant enough to be ...ogrely." Eli shifts his weight uncomfortably at the thought, and almost jumps at the odd sound in the wind. He looks to the goblin.

"I'd hate to volunteer someone else into danger, but your little feet make less noise than mine. Could you scout beyond the dune? I heard something -I just don't want to blunder us into something that will kill us. Just take a peek and come back. Quietly."


Female Human Cutpurse Rogue 3

"Sounds like a good plan."


Male Human Fighter (Brawler) 3

Lucas nods.


Male Goblin 3 Fighter (Free-hand)

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9

Positive that Xazt heard nothing but the wind (and possibly the passing of his own), the goblin looks to the attentive ranger and sees that he undoubtedly heard something ahead. Xazt looks to his companions and begins to grin, knowing that he has a place in this group. "Will do!"

Stealth: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (4) + 14 = 18

Xazt begins to head over the dune, fairly quietly, in search of the source of Eli's worry.


The wind masks most of the sound as you make your way toward the bend in the road. As you near the dune which blocks the path from view, the wind seems to be dying down, but you still can't seem to make anything out, until...yes...you just heard some kind of deep voice, but the words are unintelligible. You are currently about twenty feet from rounding the corner.

What will you do?


Male Goblin 3 Fighter (Free-hand)

Xazt hears the voices and immediately hunkers down into an even stealthier approach, moving a bit slower, to see what lies around the bend.

Stealth: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (9) + 14 = 23


As you round the corner, you see three large figures moving about at some distance, obscured by a small cloud of sand. They are speaking some kind of gruff language as they shuffle back and forth. The dust clears briefly, and you make out that they are very large, much larger than an average human. They seem to be moving huge crates with relative ease, packing them onto some kind of wheeled contraption from a large pile on the ground, which is kicking up quite a bit of dust at regular intervals. Nothing else seems to be around in the immediate area, save a bit of rocky outcropping that is providing a bit of shade for their entire endeavor, not unlike your earlier camping spot.

They don't act as though they've seen you.


Male Goblin 3 Fighter (Free-hand)

Knw: Local 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
It is local for them, right?

Xazt sizes these guys up to try to report proper information back to the group.


Local is alright, but dungeoneering or history would work too.

The information you bring back:

The hulking shapes do indeed match the stories of ogres told to every youngster in Snyderholm. In the sun, their skin gleams a rough off-white, and it is possible that the headwraps they wear hide the small horns that they are rumored to possess. Their great strength is apparent: you watch them toss crates that could hold something the size of an elephant while laughing with each other in the beating desert sun. All of the elements of the local myths seem to be in place (save the horns, but you are too far away to glimpse them anyway).

The only thing that seems out of place is their eyes. Ogres are said to have murderous, glowing red eyes. But perhaps that is a bit of fiction told to youngsters as the icing on a scary bedtime story. Ogres only appear in such stories, but some children are scared so thoroughly that they remember the stories well as grown-up merchants. For this reason, Third Continent travel guides always make sure to advertise that they are "anti-ogre" in large red letters, and "ogres" are always high on the list of excuses for missing cargo delivery (although now Xazt ponders whether or not they were all telling the truth).


Male Goblin 3 Fighter (Free-hand)

The goblin looks to their potential combat prowess, tries to get a sense, then heads back to the group.

Upon returning, before Xazt seems to be fully noticed by anyone, he says, "It's just me," in a light whisper. He walks closer and starts spilling what he knows about the ogres. "Can we stop whatever they're doing? It can't be good. Or can we even take em? They just look like big bullies. Stay fast and under their feet, cut, cut, cut? I dunno..."


Male Human Ranger 3

Eli listens intently. Three of them? You’re probably right, they can’t be up to any good, but I don’t know about fighting three of them…”

The ranger looks up from a moment of thought. “We would have a fighting chance if we got the jump on them, started with arrows. Make them come to us; give them a taste of my axe and dancer's knives. Anybody else here good with a bow?”

Eli looks to the rest of the group.


Male Human Fighter (Brawler) 3

"I've shot one a time or two. I'm not great, but I doubt I'd embarrass myself too badly. I don't have one though, those things are just so expensive..."


Female Human 3rd Level Wizard

I don't know about arrows, but I can shoot a frost ray from a distance.


Male Human Ranger 3

Eli nods, grinning. "A frost ray, eh? That oughta give them a jolt in this swelter. And Strongjaw, just wait by me, to give those wankers the ol' one-two as I switch to my axe."

The ranger pulls out his shortbow and shifts the quiver hanging from his belt. He looks over Ariana's armaments. "I'd feel better if you stayed back, wait until I have their attention, before flashing your daggers about. That goes for you, too, Carys. Shoot your frosty ray from out of harms way, if you can."

He looks to the whole group as he loosens the greataxe on his back.
"If you guys are ready, show us the way, green-ear."

Stealth check for the approach: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 8 + 2 = 19

This isn't a top notch plan, but Eli isn't a top notch strategist. If anyone has a better idea...


Male Human Fighter (Brawler) 3

Go for it!


I'm going to need Stealth checks from everyone as you move forward to round the corner.


Female Human 3rd Level Wizard

Here goes nothing 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12


Male Human Fighter (Brawler) 3

Stealth 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

DAMN!

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