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Thirst - A Ravenloft PbP

Game Master Celestial Healer

Set in the land of Ravenloft, a band of intrepid heroes searches for a way home, but their fate may be inextricably tied to a vain, power-hungry madman. Uses the Pathfinder ruleset.


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Female Human (Gypsy) Dreamspun Sorceress 4

As Tif listens to the men she begins humming a little tune, soft and peaceful it hearkens back to memories of warmth and cradles. She continues to hum as she slips towards the edge of camp closest to their approach.

Initiative:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7

Lullaby, imposes a -4 to saves vs. Sleep... any guesses of what she'll do next? :P


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 3

“Thtay quiet,” Nathaniel whispers softly, deliberately lisping, knowing how ‘s’ sounds can carry through a quiet night. “They may path uth by.” He thanks Erastil that he insisted on a cold camp this night, so there will be no tell-tale glow of embers to give them away. With some luck the hollow that Eliva found for them to camp in might hide them from the approaching men.

EDIT: oops, didn't see Tiff's post over the page there. Oh well, maybe they won't pass us by ... ;-)


Male Human Cleric/5 {HP:43/43, AC 15}

Res, roused carefully by the others, hears Nathaniel's whisper. He quietly lays still not wanting to make any sound. His greatsword is within easy reach underneath his bedroll if necessary. Now he wishes he had not removed his armor to get a better rest. He strains his ears trying to listen to the two men approach.

Perception:1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14


Female Half Orc Inquisitor 5 {HP:28/30}

Eliva stays hidden, watching the progress of the men and hoping they pass them by, but ready to attack if they don't.

In case you need another stealth check:
Stealth: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15


As the two men approach, Tiffana casts an enchanted drowsiness over them.

Saves 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (15) - 1 = 14, 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (20) - 1 = 19.

Wow. I never roll that well.

The approaching men do not seem any more predisposed to sleep than they already were. As they get nearer, you can discern that they are, as you probably expected, wearing military uniforms with Falkovnian insignia.

What's the plan?


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 3

We are camped in a hollow, open in the direction away from where we expect the army to be camped – presumably the same direction these fellows are approaching from. Does it seem possible that they may simply pass us by? They’re obviously not paying complete attention to their surrounds.

A patrol that returns without having anything to report is far better than one that fails to return. Our goal is to find Gilbraith, not kill every soldier we see – we won’t last long that way.

Nathaniel will stay quiet and still for the moment, unless it seems obvious that the patrol are heading straight for our camp, or close enough that they won’t miss us.


female Human Rogue 4

Agreed.


Male Human Cleric/5 {HP:43/43, AC 15}

I agree too.

Res remains quiet and follows Nathaniel's lead. He senses that Nathaniel wants to try to avoid detection right now and at this moment, especially without his armor and many of his spells depleted, this is the prudent thing to do.


I will take that as a general assent. Perception 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16.

"Did you hear that?" one of the soldiers asks in a low voice. "Over there, by those trees." They grow alert, but do not move.

They are just under 100 feet away.


female Human Rogue 4

Angalia freezes, glad that she's still on the ground.


Female Half Orc Inquisitor 5 {HP:28/30}

Eliva will look for an animal in the area she could possibly spook into running, though she knows the soldiers' noisy progress through the woods makes the possibility of seeing one slim at best.

I don't know which you prefer, so take the one you'd like:
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
Survival: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16


The only animals you can see are small - large ones are no longer anywhere near these noisy soldiers. You can try to spook one into scurrying with that roll, but throw in a Stealth to make sure you don't make too much noise yourself in the process.


Female Half Orc Inquisitor 5 {HP:28/30}
Celestial GM wrote:
The only animals you can see are small - large ones are no longer anywhere near these noisy soldiers. You can try to spook one into scurrying with that roll, but throw in a Stealth to make sure you don't make too much noise yourself in the process.

Eliva spots a brown rabbit frozen in fear and attempts to spook it into making a break for it.


Stealth:1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19


The rabbit bolts into the undergrowth and the pair of soldiers look startled. One of them recovers his composure more quickly and teases his companion. "Now you're jumping at rabbits! We've been out in this damp air for too long."

They continue on their path, skirting south of where the party is camped, and pay you no further heed.


female Human Rogue 4

"Nith work," mouths Angalia quietly and lispily.


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 3

Nathaniel nods in the dark and pats Eliva on the shoulder.


The rest of the night passes uneventfully. Dawn breaks over the forest, illuminating the morning fog that has settled over the region. The air is damp and cool, and the forest is very quiet.


Tiffana:
In the predawn hours, you had a dream with the vividness you know only comes with a vision. Without knowing how or why, you are certain you were once again seeing through the eyes of Gilbraith - what he sees, or perhaps saw at some point.

More than anything, you remember the sound. It was a screeching, heaving sound, like of someone laughing or crying or perhaps both, but so shrill as to be frightening. You (or he) were lying on the ground, your chest constricted as if by a weight. When it seems you cannot take anymore, a dark figure strides into view, standing over you, looking down. You cannot discern a face, only an aura of great evil.


female Human Rogue 4

When she wakes, Angalia looks around at her friends.

"Now what? Do we try to infiltrate the regiment to see if Gilbraith's there, or keep circling and look for deserters?"


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 3

“Well, we can’t be far from the border. Let’s see if we can find it, and get our friend Andrei across first – if we can find a good, unguarded, unwatched place to cross it will also give us a good way to get away once we deal with Gilbraith, should we need it.” Nathaniel sighs heavily. “I know we were told that once Gilbraith gets what he deserves we should find our way home ... but it might not be so simple. Best to have a good way to get away from a hostile army if needs be.”


Female Human (Gypsy) Dreamspun Sorceress 4

Tif spends several moments after waking silently pondering her dream.

"We must find him, his darkness is growing... and he is no longer alone, don't ask me how I know, bit he isn't."


Andrei says, "Yes, I believe we are close."

Onward then?


Male Human Cleric/5 {HP:43/43, AC 15}

Res goes off from the others on his watch and meditates. His spells prepared for the day and his armor secure, he packs up his bedding and prepares to leave. He arrives back to camp in time to hear Tiffana's cryptic vision. "What do you mean he is no longer alone? Who is with him and what is this darkness that is growing around him?" Turning to Nathaniel, "I agree we must quickly cross the border and drop off our friend here. We do not need to endanger him anymore. We mustn't tarry, I fear Tiff's vision portends great evil in our future. The sooner we find Gilbraith, the better, before his power grows too strong for us."

"Andrei, lead the way, please."


Female Human (Gypsy) Dreamspun Sorceress 4

In answer to his question the young woman turns to him, "I do not know what it is friend Res, but it is not his own I believe, it is from... outside him, he fears it I think. He fears it but he knows it, desires it. I wish I could tell you more, but I cannot."

She rises slowly and proceeds to helping get the makeshift camp ready to move on.


Andrei leads you southward, although doing little in the way of navigation that you could not do on your own. Shortly after setting out, you catch a sight that is becoming all too familiar in this territory: a clearing of impaled victims. These have clearly been in place quite a bit longer than in the previous encounter, the partly decomposed bodies almost unrecognizable in the morning fog.

Perception checks, please.


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 3

Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10. Additional +2 if we are still within forested terrain. Further +2 if the perception check is against humans.


Male Human Cleric/5 {HP:43/43, AC 15}

perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17

Res's stomach churns as he sees the victims decomposing bodies. "I have never encountered such pervasive evil before we came to this foul land."


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 3

Nathaniel shakes his head. “I know, I just don’t understand why.” He gestures towards the poles. “Is it about instilling fear, is it about punishment, or is it some perverse pleasure the lord of this land takes from executing his victims so?”


Male Dwarf Fighter 3

"Lad thats because this Lord Vlad is no true leader. He ain't man enough to command respect, so he commands through fear."


female Human Rogue 4

1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13 - +2 if traps might be involved. Perception.

Familiarity with horrible sights is not making Angalia any more competent to deal with them.

Through half-closed eyes, she mutters "I don't care why he's doing it really, I just want it to stop happening."


Res observes some interesting features of this particular site. All of the impaled victims are in military uniforms with the insignia defaced. There is also a post with written notices tacked to it. There are three notices in total.

First in large letters:

The penalty for desertion is death. May these wretches serve Lord Vlad in death as they failed to do in life.

The second uses smaller lettering:

The following deserters are at large and should be brought to justice for their treachery. The reward for reporting cowards is 50 pieces of silver.

It then goes on with a list of names that includes Andrei.

The third notice, however, is particularly interesting.

Wanted: This coward goes by the name of Gilbraith. For the crime of desertion and for inciting others to desert, this vermin has earned a slow and painful death. Last seen fleeing like a beaten dog with two of his co-conspirators near the Borcan border. A reward of 25 gold pieces will be paid for his lifeless head. 50 gold pieces to the man who can bring him alive so that his demise can be fittingly slow.

It also bears a crudely drawn sketch of Gilbraith.


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 3

“Gilbraith has deserted!” Nathaniel exclaims, ripping the note from the post once Res has pointed it out. “This changes things ... given the location, it seems entirely likely that he fled across the border. Given that, I wonder if it is worth us risking trying to get closer to the regiment, or should we cross the border ourselves and try to pick up his trail in this other land – Borca?”


Male Human Cleric/5 {HP:43/43, AC 15}

Res considers Nathaniel's question thoughtfully. "We are a small party, and while we have handled groups similar in size to ourselves very well, we are no match for a larger patrol. Let's take advantage of this good fortune and follow Gilbraith to Borca. If the gods are still with us, we may find Gilbraith before Lord Vlad's men do."


female Human Rogue 4

"Andrei, I think you really need to hide that brand."

Angalia turns her attention to the young man. "It's not going to be healthy for you to move around with it."


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 3

Nathaniel nods. "Ange, if you can disguise it for him, even in the short term - until he can get further away from the border - it's worth doing now."


Male Human Cleric/5 {HP:43/43, AC 15}

As Angalia, tries to disguise Andrei's brand, Res asks him some questions. "What do you know about Borca? Does Lord Vlad's troops cross into it frequently?"


Andrei thinks for a moment. "Old man Starnov in my village used to talk about how Lord Vlad invaded Borca from time to time, although not recently. He said Lord Vlad views all of his neighbors as enemies, so I don't think they would be cooperating."


If someone wants to make a Disguise check with regard to Andrei's brand, you can attempt to hide it in such a way that it is not conspicuous that something is being hidden. (Actually obscuring it from view is easy with a big hat or some facepaint or what have you - a high check means no one says, "What are you hiding under that turbin?")

Beyond that, is it off to Borca?


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 3

Yes. Once Angalia is done I suggest we continue heading towards the border. Nathanial will continue using his survival skills (1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28 with a further +2 in forests and +2 against humans) to obscure their trail if Eliva is happy to lead the way.


female Human Rogue 4

Disguise 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21

Angalia gets to work doing her best to make the brand look more like a scar using a combination of ink and sealing wax.

She'll use the basic wax to smooth over the branded area and then extend ink lines so it looks like a smoothed over burn or something. She'll also re-arrange Andrei's hair as best she can. Assuming he's got enough to re-arrange.

"It's the best I can do. Let's go to Borca."


Female Human (Gypsy) Dreamspun Sorceress 4

"One moment, Andrei put this on..." Tif rifles through her pack and pulls out a worn and non discrepant robe, the sort worn by layman priest. "It should help a little if you don't look like a deserting soldier from a hundred yards away."


Male Human Cleric/5 {HP:43/43, AC 15}

Res watches as Angalia and Tiffana help to disguise Andrei. He says to Andrei, "Be careful friend, unfortunately you are a fugitive, and I suspect that many in this land will not think twice about selling you out for 50 silver pieces, so try to stay out of sight for as long as possible."

As Andrei's disguise is completed, Res turns and begins to follow Eliva toward Borca.


With Andrei thoroughly disguised and Nathaniel covering the trail, the party continues South. It is not long before you pass a spot where tracks indicate a patrol has passed recently. Fortunately, you do not spot any soldiers in that area and use the apparent opening to continue onward.

After travelling for an hour and a half, you reach an area cleared for farming. The fields, however, are fallow and show signs of years of neglect. An abandoned farmhouse stands at the far side of the plot, sagging as if weighed down by the passage of time.

For a party so large, the options for stealth are limited, and as soon as you spot the three men on horseback, they spot you as well. One of the men is wearing a uniform that was once colorful, but is now battered and faded. Still, you can plainly see that the uniform is not of Falkovnian design. The two subordinates are wearing little more than peasant garb, with simple weapons at their belts.

As they begin to approach you on horseback, the leader calls out, "Ho! Who goes there? If you are friends, we mean you no harm." He is some two hundred feet away across the field.


Male Human Cleric/5 {HP:43/43, AC 15}

Res moves slightly behind Eliva to try to obscure the men's vision slightly. He murmur's a prayer to Gorum to fill him with the ability to persuade and then steps out and calls out to the three men. "Yes, I see by your uniforms you that you are not associated with that vile tyrant, Lord Vlad. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, therefore we must be friends. We have traveled far seeking safety in this country. My name is Res Thannq. Who are you?"

Res uses Touch of Glory + 3 to a Cha based check. Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 6 + 3 = 26 and Sense Motive on their answer 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11


The leader calls in response, "Greetings, Res Thannq. I am Pyotr, sheriff in the service of Lady Ivana." As he comes closer, you can notice how very unkempt his appearance is. His uniform is quite old, and he has the haggard look of a man used to deprivation. He sizes all of you up with an appraising eye. "Mostly we get deserters and the desperate masses from up north, but you lot don't have that look. Fugitives, by your dress and gear. All the same, you have an honest face, Res Thannq, and if you have offended Lord Vlad in some way, you only rise in my esteem." He is clearly well-disposed to Res's highly effective diplomacy.

"Most of the deserters and refugees have congregated in the Round Oak camp, a short distance west of here. There isn't room or supplies enough for them in Tillich, on the road south. We've got our hands full, so if you don't make trouble, you'll be just fine." Then with a grin he adds, "Maybe you could check out the carnival. I haven't been, but it seems to take people's minds off the troubles."


Male Human Ranger (Skirmisher) 3

“I think so-called-Lord Vlad would be quite offended by our deeds,” says Nathaniel. “Thanks for your welcome Sheriff Pyotr – we’ve made it across the border in Borca then? I’m afraid we’re not familiar with these lands ... Tillich is a town? In Falkovnia they say there is a plague in this country, have you heard of such a thing?”


"Yes, this is Borca. Tillich is the nearest town. If you head west you will reach the road, and it runs south into Tillich. Along the way, the carnival is set up east of the road and the camp, as we call it, is west. There have been many refugees and deserters from Falkovnia, in addition to merchants headed north and barred entry by the soldiers. They're passing the time, as it were."

Then he turns very serious. "As for the plague, it's taken its toll on my men. As it is, we have a skeleton crew assigned to the border, with an entire army on the other side. And I've lost more than a dozen to the Laughing Plague. There's been cases in the camp, as well, and in Tillich. It's a dreadful affliction. Once you hear the sound those poor souls make, you can never forget it." And you can see in his eyes the flash of a painful memory forcing itself into his consciousness.


female Human Rogue 4

Angalia stays silent, wanting to believe that Pyotr won't betray them, but not trusting herself either.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24 - Sense Motive

Edit: I love how Angalia does brilliantly on skill checks and fluffs her combat rolls. Seems in character.


Pyotr seems weary, but is largely resigned to the difficulties he faces. He seems like a man who has given up. As such, he seems rather unconcerned with all of you, and seems like he is being honest because he just doesn't care that much.


female Human Rogue 4

"When did the plague start?"

Angalia looks at Eliva and Res. "Can't we do something?"

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