Seeing the tall fellow reminising brings a mutual smile to Marcs' face."Aye it does sound beautiful. Though surely you get blown of the hills by those winds. As I walk down the streets if the winds pick up I can hardly keep my feet - I couldn't imagine being high up on a hill."
"I have heard that the lasses are hearty, though there's nowt wrong with that. Many a good knights' been spent with a hearty lass." he says with a wink.
Marc continues; "Merchants were probably talking about wealth and women, their favourite subjects. A delicate balance that."
Marc gives a wink and a cheeky smile; "Women, Money. Well one is enigmatic, flighty, capable of influencing the stoutest heart, beautiful in the dawns light; and the other is women."
Marc brushes a lock of hair away from his face. "As for what I do with lasses at night. Under the moon's light there are many good sites, especially if you have companionship." He blushes slightly but gives a wink to the tall man. "Thy is stout of shoulder I am sure you have sent many a heart aflutter."
As they move through the forests underbrush, Marc continues; "Speaking of ladies, nocturnal activities and balance. Are any of you bound in the joyous shackles of matrimoney? Never had the luck myself, but the years may be kind."
"Serena, you involved in the politics of the capital? I heard it was all the fashion for the young students to get involved in the liberal politics. Axe, you have any political training?"
At Marc's mention of politics, Serena's face wrinkles in disgust. "Oh, don't get me started. I don't mean to be rude or anything, but politics was half the reason I left Maraz. Everything kept getting so depressing, and I just couldn't take it anymore. And I never was one for fashion, to be honest. I just enjoy helping others and seeking new experiences.
"And no, I'm not married. Haven't found the right man yet, and I have no desire to settle down just yet. My feet have plenty of energy and longing to keep journeying on." ^_^ At this point, her smile returns. After a moment of consideration, Serena glances around and says, "Hope we find that patrol soon."
"Yes, although I am not one for too much conflict. Or unwarranted fighting; but these fellows need to be stopped." Marc says quietly.
"Unfortunately, I believe there might be some politics behind this bandit excursion. But at least that gives opportunaties to those to show their mettle. In times of peace, the poor or socially deprived have no options for advancement. Society stagnates."
Wow I guess no one got the joke I soo set up for everyone lol kinda makes me sad lol
"What is this word Mar-ter-imony? Oh oh married! No havent done that. Oh oh another question! Whats politics?"
Athel grins eagerly looking at the two learned party members.
Yes Athel has great wisdom, in his field, yes he has a good inteligence but he wouldnt be taught anything about city stuff as he was raised in remote village. just incase you were wondering lol
Got the joke, just couldn't find a subtle line to feed off it ;p
With a twist of his head Marc explains; "Politics, well, you know how some people lie to obtain money or power from another. Generally politics is that, whereby an individual creates a persuasive lie to rob the poor with their conscent."
"Matrimony - that's an institution that you get committed to with another person. Unfortunately I am not ready to be committed to any institution at the moment." Marc says.
'The old ones are the best.'
Sorry, didn't get the joke. Sometimes the subtle stuff flows right over my head... ^_^()
Serena rolls her eyes. "Trust me, Athel. You don't want to get involved in politics. Everything becomes so complex and convoluted, and corruption abounds. It's enough to make anyone depressed."
|Game Master Borum|
As the party makes camp for the night, you all maintain your guard, surveying the surroundings for any sign of trouble as thesun sets into the west and night begins to fall over the war-torn country of Hedon. Little do the heroes know that this night is but the beginning of a grand adventure but, for the moment, their struggles are, thankfully, temporarily put aside.
Perception checks if you feel suspicious, the clearing you are sleeping in is surrounded by trees and Xlarion has reported back in with no news and is at the moment standing atop a branch high above the heads of his master and friends, head under a wing in blissful bird sleep.
Marc tired from all the walking; 'Huh, back in the city. If you had to walk too far you could always sit down in an Inn for a drink.' He asks the others as they set up camp; "Is the country-side always so bumpy? I was nearly feeling sea-sick from all the up & downs over tree roots."
He sits rapt as Athel shows his survival skills, making a fire and ensuring the camp is habitable. Marc offers to cook and wash-up after, feeling slightly out of his element but wanting to be useful. He looks around the camp and local area to ensure the bandits haven't laid an ambush.
Perception 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Please note that I am going on holiday tomorrow afternoon until Friday. I probably won't be able to post. Especially annoying as we are starting up again :(
|Arjhann the Drakon|
Arjhann sets down his gear and sighs heavily, placing his axe, shield and newly acquired bow beside his chosen bed sight then he begins going baout gathering wood for a fire as well as other essential tasks to make the area into a suitable camp ground for the night. He keeps his keen yellow eyes fixed on his surroundings while he does so.
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Marc looks into the fire, his hands grasped upon the stick in his hand as the knuckles slowly turn white; "I really didn't think that I would end up leaving the city. It might not have been glamorous; the loft I grew up in had a few different families there. We were lucky though, the heat from the building rose keeping the place warm - except where the slates slipped exposing us to the elements." his tone soft a tight grin of a smile or grimace as the memories come back.
"Well, it wasn't too bleak. We all worked, begged, scrounged together to get enough money for food. Odd jobs, that's what I mostly did...." Marc pauses stopping his narrative, not wanting to expand upon it more at this time, and he pokes the fire in frustration.
"But to why I left the city, that's a funny story. A few years ago, I saw the famous Girard de Pontious, you know the duelist and debaucher. He was 'slumming it' at a bar I was singing at, a group of half a dozen thugs decided to mug the noble as he left. I saw him dispatch all of them in under a minute." His voice holds a note of awe. "After that I got together the copper to get a clean set of clothes and tried to follow him as he went around the town, drinking, womanising, taking all sorts of substances....but he only seemed alive when he fought. Of course he knew I was there, the occasional glance at me with a wink. I still followed him, he was the best. Just watching his technique I learned so much." He awe and respect he holds for the man is obvious, despite the stated short-comings.
"It was on the night of the red moon, I had finished my job at the scribes and caught up to Girard outside a pleasure house. These men in livery came from nowhere attacking him. Normally he would have no trouble with them, but whether it was poison, magic or his evenings 'entertainment'; he wasn't himself. A blade through his ribs and the greatest man who ever lived bled out in the gutters, killed by cowards, assassins."
Marc pauses and stands, maybe it was looking into the flames but his eyes hold tears that he let slowly roll down his face; "Of course, I should have known better, I should have hid and kept hiding. But the injustice, political cowards killing him."
"I let out a shocked gasp and started to shift to his aid, but they saw me and weapons drawn advanced. I should have tried to save him, if I could have... but no I ran and ran for hours. The men didn't know the streets, aristocratic fools. But they did have the coin to pay for information, or maybe consulted the auguries." his voice thick with emotion.
"The next evening when I went back to the loft, I found it burnt out. The people, my family had escaped but they said it wasn't safe.... so here I am!" He says the last with ease as if retelling the story cost him nothing.
Marc brushes a strand of hair away from his eyes; "Sorry, about that. Suddenly got a bit emotional. At least that's one way to remind myself why the city is so troubled at this time. " he says with a sardonic smile that does not reach to his eyes.
"Coming here, well...your company, beautiful women, beautiful views and good wine." he sips at his water skin and looks up at the night sky.
"There's no need to be sorry for expressing one's emotions. It helps us to be honest with ourselves and further grow and develop as people. Besides, I doubt I could tell the same story and not have the same tears roll down my cheeks." Serena gives mark a compassionate smile, then she glances around at her other companions.
"As for myself... well, part of it you heard earlier. There's so much political pandemonium happening in Maraz these days, and you can't get away from it even at the High Colleges. No matter how hard I tried to pour myself into my studies or how many nights I spent gallavanting with friends long after I should've been asleep, politics were everywhere. And to be quite honest, I didn't want much of anything to do with it. I have no skill with making law, despite my years of learning, nor would I trust myself to rule over so many people, to have their livelihoods resting in my hands... and with Lucian Dread's recent ascension to the throne, things have only gotten worse.
"But this is only one of the main reasons I left Maraz, and it's something I don't like to dwell on. So when you ask me why I left Maraz and came here... my preferred answer is because I wanted to. I've been a follower of Desna for many years now, ever since I first felt the twinge of wanderlust way back when I was a young girl. And after so many years cooped up in the High Colleges, memorizing long arcane tomes and boring myself almost to death with my studies, I felt that same twinge yet again. I couldn't just stay in Maraz forever. Sure, I may return someday, but for now, I'm quite content to wander down whatever path Desna wants me to tread. And having found good friends in all of you, I feel myself truly blessed." ^_^
Serena gazes up at the starry sky, giggles, then adds, "But, looking back on it all again now, I still don't know how I even got to Stagholt without getting myself killed." ^_^()
|Arjhann the Drakon|
Arjhann growled once, lips stretching back to show his teeth in a wide, inhuman but undoubtedly warm smile as he looked across his collected companions and even up at the dozing Xlarion. He noticed everyone seemed to have noticed his small rumbling chuckle and his frilled ears went back slightly in embarressment before he leaned back against a rock and gazed up at the stars as well. He was silent for a second then, without looking away from the sky, said in a low voice, "This one understands little of the Human world, I knew no one but Edgar all of my life, since I was but a child. He raised me alone on the mountains as a warrior and as his son, but know I did that no son of his was this Dragon-blood. He did not know from whence Arjhann came, only picked me up upon the snowy heights and bore me to the safety of his home."
The Drakon sighed and looked across the fire at his companions, seeming to shrink a little for the first time, as if able to see how different he was from the rest of them from their eyes. Even the bird-brother Athel was at least human. "Even Edgar was afraid of me...of what I looked like, how strong I grew, how quickly I grew. No matter his kind words, reprimands to ignore the stares of others or practice staves to my skull could erase whom I saw in my own reflection upon the pool of the water...I felt cursed, cursed by Dragon's blood."
He looked away quickly, fire doing much by shining off of his bright scales to hide a regretful tear, before his hand strayed to the haft of his axe with fondness.
[b]"Over time however, I grew to accept what I am, Edgar always said it is the actions that makes the man, not the man that must follow expected action. Many years it was just the two of us, Edgar and Arjhann, training in the mountains, occassionaly going down into the valley beneath us to gather news and for Edgar to take the odd job to make us money. Many years in fact. Edgar became an old man of 4 score winters where he was a strong hermit warrior of 30, hair gray where it had been brown, beard long, and soon arms too weak to lift the practice swords we carved daily. He told me to take his old gear and go, leave the hermit's life behind and make a place for myself if I could not find one. I took up his weapons and armor, stayed until his final rest, buried him as was proper in his people's custom and left."
He glanced back at his friends. "I took odd jobs as a mercenary till I signed on as a caravan guard up until I reached Stag Holt. The driver of my caravan told me of the troubles about the land and that I should look for work there and do some good. And so...here I am." He finished with a broad smile.
"And the Gods themselves could find no better companions at a banquet than this one."
Marc smiles at Serena's kind words. Then listens to her own story; "Oh, I never realised that with money came obligation. Although I suppose it is only good people like yourself that feel that." He follows her eyes to look at the stars a smile touching his lips as the light breeze slides through the trees.
Ax's story causes Marc to stand stock-still as he contemplates the loneliness of the big man, bad enough to be the only of his kind, but to lose his only companion. Suddenly Marc feels slightly foolish at his own story, this giant with the soul of a poet had been through so much isolation with such a big heart. At the dragon-sired final words Marc turns to him. "Yes, thy words are true. No better companions at a banquet." And Marc takes a cup and fills it with drink for his friends.
|Arjhann the Drakon|
Arjhann toasts Marc with his own cup and then dabs a blunt finger into the liquid within then draws it across his brow in a small ritual before downing the drink in one huge gulp. The Dragonman then settles back onto his bedroll, wings folding up and then wrapping around his shoulders again to avoid being crushed beneath his body, and then he turns his blunt-muzzled face towards Athel in interest. "And you Athel, what is your story?"
Athel grins and leans back against his chosen tree and smiles at the companions. "Och now that would be tellin don't ye 'now?" He says with a wide toothy smile.
"For me I just got a bit of the wanderlust in me blood. ALways had. Id go rompin in the mountains leaving the village behind. Thats how I met Xlarion don't ye know? So one day I decided to go out and see the world the traders always talked about. Me mam and pap waiting for me back at the village. I can show ye if you like someday."
Watching the clouds drift across the skies and eased by the melodic lilt of Athel Highland tongue. Marc smiles to himself, 'He seems to be happy and content. So rare in this political climate, I have to put on a sardonic front else the dark truth consumes me. Better to laugh in the face of darkness and make light of it.'
"Yes, I think I would enjoy a visit to your village once this is over. The hospitality of the highlanders is well known." He says without a hint of irony.
|Game Master Borum|
After sharing stories, the party drops off to sleep, untroubled by the chaos of the land for at least a single night. Only time will show how little sleep the four heroes will recieve in the days to come.
All of you wake early, bright eyed and bushy-tailed and raring to get going after the bandits camp. The patrol's outpost is easily reached within a good 4 hours or so of marching and, thanks to Xlarion relaying messages as to their patrols and watch posts, you are able to sneak up on them for a change.
What is your battle plan?
The patrol's headquarters is set up in a bowl-shaped depression in the forest floor. Trees have been felled and this is obviously a small staging area for raids and to recieve orders from their leader. There are at least 10 bandits currently around the fires with at least another such number scattered around looking for travelers to waylay.
Marc looks down upon the bandits camp with a mixture of trepidation and excitment; 'How are we going to succeed here?'
He looks up at each of the others and quietly speaks; "They out-number us 5 to 1. Though we may have the element of surprise we need to make it count. I don't believe that they will listen to reason and duelling with the leader may not work."
He thinks on; "We could snipe at them, if we had a flask of oil we could toss it in the fire. We could also knock-out the outlying people as quietly as possible and then try to remove those in the centre?" Marc continues, however his tactical knowledge has not been nutured and thus slightly naive.
|Arjhann the Drakon|
Ajrhann scanned the area with his fierce golden eyes and he glanced at Marc as the man spoke of several ideas. The Drakon grunted and looked back at the gathering of humans, looking for the most likely leader. "Aye, a duel may not be the best idea, but removing the head from the viper might. If we could catch the leader by himself and remove him, the entire camp would be thrown into uproar in confusion perhaps..."
He looked all about the camp again and then looked down at his bulky armor and immense size, ill-suited for sneaking about. He grimaced, then looks to Athel and Marc. "This one is no light-footed assassin, but perhaps one of you could do the business of removing the sentries in silence? Or..."
Ajrhann looked slowly back down at the bandits, a grim idea forming in his mind. "If I could cause a diversion...the rest of you could sneak around and try and surprise them from behind...I am certain I could occupy their attentions long enough for you all to get behind them and take out their archers and such." He rubbed a thick claw over the haft of his axe, growling softly.
Marc looks to Arjhann, his eyes filled with shock and not a small amount of awe at the idea of him creating a diversion. "If you were to do that, attack the 'waylayers' or ambushers and then retreat. Drawing them into the forest, don't try to stand up against them. Don't be a hero..." 'Though it seems against his nature.' Marc says.
"So we would go into the centre 'remove' the head and then uses Axes' diversion. Serena, you have any useful magicks?"
After glancing around the base and listening to Marc and Arjhann's talk, Serena nods. "I doubt I'd be a good wizard if I didn't know any useful magicks. I've got one spell that can find hidden doors, another that will hit him hard and never miss, and yet another that could stun him at worst and knock him out at best. Along with that, I've got a few other useful cantrips and abilities that could easily cause some distract them. Maybe blind them with a ray of super-bright light or use sounds to make them think their comrades are in trouble? I tell you, illusion magic is some of the best!" ^_^
She smiles, giggles, then stops to reconsider something. "Of course, as far as my blinding ray of light is concerned, I can only use it about seven times before it starts to exhaust me too much. So, for those of us sneaking into the base, we should try our best not to be discovered. Of course, there is always the danger that they see right through the illusions, but that's half of why I carry a rapier."
With that, she turns to Athel. "Would Xlarion be opposed to posing as another distraction, if only briefly? Perhaps he could harrass some of the guards on the other side of the camp from where Arjhann draws them off, cutting down the number Arjhann would have to deal with. It's just a suggestion, so it's okay if Xlarion doesn't want to."
Whoo! Trying to explain game effects without using the actual terms for them is kinda tough. Definitely fun, though. On another note, great to have you back, Borum!! ^_^
Marc smiles at the young ladies enthusiasm, feeling that it is infectious. "Great, they sound really useful. I have a ritual that allows people to communicate over distances; so hopefully we can co-ordinate our attack easily - without resorting to whistles or mundane means."
Athel grins and glances over at Xlarion "Ack why not drop a big rock on the commanders tent, if we lucky we could squish him, with the benefit of height Xlarion could drop the rock onto the camp, they would then chase after Xlarion who can outdistance any groundling. Then Arjhann here be using his distraction to draw off even more. What we don want to do though is make them bunch up like a herd of deer. Just be harder, I can help from the depths of the forest with me bow but I think I should stay close to you two after I give the bandits something to think of when our dragon man friend here shows up and then disappears. Athel blows out a big breath not used to saying so much.
|Arjhann the Drakon|
Ajrhann grunted at the soundness of this idea and then looked over his companions, loosening the axe in his belt. "So what is the plan so far? Drop a big rock on the main tent, draw out some of the men, I cause a diversion, draw out more, Serene assisting me with the distraction with her magic. Once we have them thus, what then? My armor is sound but I might not be able to hold off the entire camp for long, especially on the run. However..." He flaps his wings once uncertainly. "No, I would not have the time to try and fly out of danger, I will have to resort to my feet for the retreat"
he crossed his arms across his huge chest and sat back to listen to one of the others more accureatly summarize their plot.
Serena contemplates the situation, and her ever-present smile drops slightly. "I don't know. Hopefully it won't come down to Arjhann facing the entire camp. I for one wouldn't want to put you in that much danger unless you were willing to take it on. Marc, Athel and I could definitely stay behind for a bit and help you and Xlarion deal with the camp, and in dropping the boulder on the main camp we do have a shot at taking out their commander. Still, we'd have to get down there in order to make sure he's dead, which would mean leaving you and Xlarion alone to face however many still stand."
After some more contemplation, Serena shakes her head. "At the same time, this seems like the best plan we have. And, personally, I feel like we shouldn't spend too much more time planning this assault out, or at least no longer than we need. We still have the Black Fox to contend with, and he's still a ways off. And we have no idea if he plans to move anytime soon or knows we're coming after him. Either way, time is of the essence, though I wish this were not the case."
|Game Master Borum|
The brave band of heroes plots for a short while on how to proceed. As the planning stands thus far:
Xlarion the Roc will drop a large boulder, they are easily found, onto the obvious main tent, potentially killing the leader or wounding him and throwing the camp into disarray.
Arjhann the Drakon and Xlarion will act as Decoys, drawing out the bandit's main attack force.
Marc and Serena will use their Magical powers to attempt to confuse and rattle the bandits while Ajrhann attempts to draw them off into combat while steadily retreating.
Athel Loran will cover Ajrhann with his bow, or stay back and help Serena and Marc deal with the remaining bandits and attempt to finish off the Chief.
Things to be addressed:
If the party wishes they can attempt to silently kill the Watchmen (Stealth Rolls and Single Attacks.)
Correct me on any mising or incorrect data. The attack will begin soon once everyone is in place.
|Arjhann the Drakon|
My brother, Athel, was wondering, since Pathfinder the ideal of "Hit Points" always applies, he thinks it would be hard to attempt the storybook "silent kill" moves when the max damage a bow can do is say 8 damage and they generally have around 20. AN arrow in the gutt still hurts but in Pathfinder, he's still alive, and all the sentries are thus alerted. Unl;ess you have a seperate mechanic for stealth killing, it would be best to stick to the simple plan, as much as he would love to pull off those awesome silent "Assassination" moves :)
Marc immediately looks away after his comment about poison, ashamed he suggested something so wrong. "You are correct, of course, Serena. Plans can go awry to easily, plots on the other-hand have a mysterious success rate." he says with a hint of satire.
That sounds like the plan - the only thing is would Marc's bard abilities be better used elsewhere?
I agree, generally it's difficult to get a 1-shot kill. The best modification I saw to this is in Star Wars, where you have HP=Vitality & Con number of wounds that you affect on a crit or once the vitality is zero. Of course this raises lots of it's own problems (including low-level creatures are harder & crits are king.)
|Game Master Borum|
Due to the fact I watch way too many movies, I have several mechanics set up in situations where it would be more cinematically cooler as well as more heroic, for my characters to pull off more dramatic scenes. Stealth kills are one of these mechanics. Now, before anyone who plays rogues like I do starts objecting to the removal of their special ability of "Sneak Attack", this is not actual Sneak Attack. This mechanic involves opposed Stealth and Perception Checks. These mechanics are in place because, like duels, they can happen to YOU as likely as they can be done to my NPS. He he he...*evil DM laugh*
Borum the Rogue is sneaking up on an unaware Bandit. He has a stealth bonus of +7, an AC penalty of -2, and the Bandit's perception check bonus is +5.
Borum's Stealth Roll: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Bandit's perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Borum is very sneaky, and walks almost right up to the bandit without being spotted.
Due to the proximity of Borum however, the bandit recieves another Perception check at a -2 penalty to try and turn around for that "oh S$~&te!" moment. He is now considered Flat-Footed if he fails to beat Borum's stealth roll, now that they are in range of combat.
1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Even Worse. Now, Borum's CMB +5 bonus versus the Flat-Footed Bandit CMD 14-2
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17 vs 12
Borum puts a hand around the bandit's mouth and keeps him from screaming out in alarm. he is now grappled.
Borum then, since the bandit is grappled, drives his cruel dagger into the bandit's arm pit. The proximity of such a blow is obviously fatal to nearly EVERYONE, so no damage needs to be rolled. It's like slitting a person's throat, it can kill anyone, no matter how beefy they are.
The Bandit is neutralized and Borum stealths away with a happy grin, before being run over by a passing elephant. it actually happened, not kidding -.-
Anyways, those are the rough rules of "Silent Kills", does anyone like these, have suggestions on how to change them, bigger opponents obviously being harder to just one-hit KO like this, or interested of using this mechanic in-game, or would you prefer to stick the usual rules as is?
|Game Master Borum|
Bandit Sentry Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18 I assume you are sniping from a distance so...hmmm... The bandit also suffers a Minus 1 from the distance required to see the Sneaking Athel, so he just barely looks over the man as he creeps closer to within range of shooting him down off of the stump he is standing on top of.
The man seems extremely bored and the nearest sentry is nearly 30 feet away. A single, well placed arrow would silence him without none the wiser.
Please roll a second Stealth check, and if you beat a 17, the Bandit is Flatfooted, then roll a SINGLE Longbow attack, and I will explain how Ranged Stealth Kills work once I know if you have hit him. Pretty much there is an extra damage factor, Rogues get something really cool in this system but since we sadly have none of the sneaky type, you all...Looks at the Golden-Haired marc, Serena in her robes, Athel in his bizarre outfit and the clanker Arjhann, will have have to suffice. You won't recieve the bonuses rogues get to these rolls, but you will get extra damage. Imagine a Coup de Grace with a couple extra damage points thrown in he he he...
Marc looks to Serena as Athel moves off into the woods near-by; and Axe circles the camp. Marc casts 'Message' on the group as they split up. "Madam, shall we?" he moves his arm in the imitation of a bow preparing to 'dance'. As the pair move into the underbrush, Marc draws his rapier with a gentle rasp.
|Arjhann the Drakon|
Ajrhann circles around the group, staying hidden entirely and moving quietly so that his heavy tread does not alert any sentries around as he moves to the agreed upon position. He draws his axe and short sword and holds them clutched tight in his huge clawed hands, muzzled face silent and grimacing at the death and carnage they were about to inflict upon the bandits. They deserved it, and Arjhann would not hold back, he would do his job and draw off the bandits as best as he could. He circles wide and comes up behind the camp, weapons held tight as he waits for the signal.