First snow of winter is starting to fall, making the landscape before you look more interesting and dangerous. There is a small lake in the middle of the forest, and there should be a small town beyond the threes were you can see a lot of smoke, lights and some sounds you cannot make out yet, but it might be the winter festival is starting.
Alaire's gaze is drawn toward the sky, watching the snowflakes dancing in the wind as they descend. He murmurs softly under his breath as he tries to roughly estimate the time and the distance remaining toward the town, hoping they will make it before the sky darkens.
He hefts his backpack a few times till it settles more evenly across his shoulders, glancing toward his companions with a slightly weary smile. "Tis not far now, I believe. Let the thoughts of warm beds and shelter against this chill wind quicken our steps."
...not actually sure if we are all together or where/why, but figured I would take a stab at it
Jager grumbles a bit, huddling under his blanket with his feet dangling from the back of a cart. "...see why we need a rear watch. day not fit for man or beast grumble grumble." He adjusts the loaner crossbow across his lap and lets his mind wander. Someone up front is trying to be encouraging, but this whole trip has been miserable. About bloody time they reach a town.
Some days it's just not worth getting out of the bedroll.
Deylon looks from the they bench of the coach towards the town. He is sitting "crossbow", as he is the look out for the driver. currently he is traveling for the year as part of the field experience needed to attend officer's school. While the church had offered him a fairly lucrative postion as a travelign gaurd. The Red Mage postponed that, at least till he saw more of the world with an unbiased eye.
"Is that a normal ammount of smoke for this village", Delon asks the driver. He could never tell with the small villages, as he grew up in mercinary camps accustomed to making little use of great fires.
Driver humbly answers Aye! It is a normal fire for a winter festival, otherwise it would not be so big and more quiet as he continues to eye the road every once in a while.
This 'ere is da town of me old folk's speak kindheartedly I grew up 'ere with me family, maybe me 'ol uncle is still around somewhere as he chuckles to himself I donno if he will receive me with any warmth, we did not part in the best o'way
Alaire finishes a quick inspection of Zerig's ox and the supplies it carries, ensuring it is tied alongside the caravan tightly. Shortly after he hefts himself back up into the caravan, seeming a bit relieved at the excuse to stretch his legs a bit. He settles back in, rubbing his hands together and exhaling into them for warmth.
"So you are familiar with the area, sir? Perhaps you could tell us a bit more about it? Shortly after he casts a glance over to Zerig. "Perhaps a game of dice to distract from the cold in the air, as well?"
Zerig gives Dolores the ox a final pat as he climbs back into the cart and deftly removes the bag of game dice from a hidden pocket. "Certainly Alaire." He speaks quickly and to the point.
Leaning back he listens outside the caravan for the sounds of life by the roadside.
"reprieve from the cold aire I can provide", the red clad warrior mage evenly said. No aires of haughtyiness, as many clad with Mage Academy seals often exhumed. Just the pragmatism of a mercenary weighted his words; magic was just another tool, it didn't make him think himself better than others.
Raising his left hand to those in the caravan seeking comfort, Deylon poised the out stretched hand, formed a fist, then snapped. "esti digit a tion pra", he said and the air warmed, partially.
With hazel eyes catching the fading sunlight, The red mage returned to watching for the driver. He listened in on the conversation, but was patiently vigilant on their trip.
Prestidigitations are minor tricks that novice spellcasters use for practice. Once cast, a prestidigitation spell enables you to perform simple magical effects for 1 hour. The effects are minor and have severe limitations. A prestidigitation can slowly lift 1 pound of material. It can color, clean, or soil items in a 1-foot cube each round. It can chill, warm, or flavor 1 pound of nonliving material. It cannot deal damage or affect the concentration of spellcasters. Prestidigitation can create small objects, but they look crude and artificial. The materials created by a prestidigitation spell are extremely fragile, and they cannot be used as tools, weapons, or spell components. Finally, prestidigitation lacks the power to duplicate any other spell effects. Any actual change to an object (beyond just moving, cleaning, or soiling it) persists only 1 hour.
The character's clothes have been warmed as per the warming affect.
Jager caught a snatch of the conversation up front and snorts unhappily before continuing to grumble.
"...oh wonderful, bloody Winter Festival...guess we don't get to sleep tonight...warm beds, sure, but not much use if the whole town is carousing half the night.."
He was getting more vocal in his misery, but counting on the wind to keep him muffled. Just what he needed" sympathy from these poor sods. Why won't this bloody cart speed up? There was pay to be collected.
noticing the noble accent of Alaire Yes m'lord I can tell you a fing or two! as he hurries the cart This the town of Woodale m'lord rich in lumber and nothin' else, but game and some land to farm but none to trade
When listening to Deylon magic Sir, it is bad luck to do magicks in a cart, im' just a humble man with latent fear in is voice of what ever magic Deylon just made.
Speeding up the cart suddenly to get faster to the town Faster I drop ye in town the faster I get away from magicks!
The red mage internally shook his head. Magic was not different tha any other tool that man and the gods had wielded. It's affect on the world was greatly exaggerated by both the church and best practiced mages. A shame to see how the people were so superstitious.
"I will not caste anymore in front of you then, but be warned, magic has no will of it's own", the redmage instructed the worried driver. Ignorance was not th bliss that every mage made it out to be.
Alaire offers a polite nod as he considers the driver's words and replies, "Informative. I appreciate it."
"You have my thanks." Alaire offers Deylon a curt nod as he feels the magic work, it being evident he is familiar with magic in general and not alarmed by its use. He then turns back to Zerig and asks, "Dice poker today?" . As he reaches to accept the dice, he stops suddenly when he feels the cart lurch forward and gain speed. He frowns and turns toward the driver, laying a hand on his shoulder gently and offering in a calm and diplomatic voice,"Sir, please calm thyself. Twas nothing more than a harmless spell. There is no need for fear, you have my word."
Attempting diplomacy if allowed, feel free to ignore this role if not.
Diplomacy:1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12 Perception:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Good time to ask, do you prefer people role dice when they attempt something (like this post) or would you rather ask for the rolls before they are made?
Alaire frowns as a look of unease passes over his features. Offering Zerig a thankful nod he begins to don his armor and check over his weapon and shield. As he runs a whetstone along the blade of the knight's sword to sharpen it he speaks up, "It would appear there might be trouble ahead. I suggust you prepare thyselves. Zerig? Once we are closer can you scout ahead and see what we are dealing with in case foes lie in ambush?"
Zerig tightens his armor straps, adjusts the scarf he's wearing as a cowl, checks that his weapons are ready at hand and easy to grab, and steels himself for the coming trouble. "Then tis likely that bandits aren't what await us."
Jager frowns at the unsettling noise and comes forward. He makes sure his polearm is in each reach and his cestusesses ...cestetes... cestii... his bashy-hand-wraps are snug, and sets the stock of the crossbow against his shoulder.
"Could be anything. Wits about you, crew."
Unknown forces of destruction. Fantastic. Could this trip get any worse?
To avoid confusion put what your character thinks in italics, since it's simpler I suppose
As the cart advances thru the road, the nervous driver is on his last nerve ready to bolt at the first sign of danger.
The scenery about you is beautiful, lush forest and snow and the noise of fire consuming it all once you reach the town. Some building are ruins others are burning.
Trembling and with fear as deep as it goes Mmmm'lord... I..I..I.. this is far as I go sobbing and cleaning his snot and tears. You see him go as fast as he can, stumbling here and there towards a ruined house. A prolonged silences follows after he goes in and suddenly a scream of pain and sadness all well know to you when people see their love ones or what's left of them.
There is a trail that leads to the town center were there seems to be somewhat muddy like there was at some moment people walking around everywhere, decorations proper of a festival now in tatters and ruined.
Alaire's features soften with compassion as the cart driver runs off, before he winces at the sound of his scream. "We must ensure what caused this is fled." He leaps down from the cart, quickly surveying the situation around him, drawing his sword as he glances around. "...after we will save who we can."
He begins to move forward, casting one glance to Zerig with a grim nod in his direction. He begins to murmur quiet prayers under his breath for the dead.
~Adest preserve us. Guide those who have entered thy embrace this day. Grant us thy strength to preserve those lives which remain. Let they who have taken life so thoughtlessly be judged.~
Jager looks at the crossbow in his hand. Hm. Not enough hands. He takes up his polearm and jumps down to follow the holy man. He takes up a position on the opposite side of the street from Alaire, watching carefully as they advance. "What do you think? Call out or sneak up?"
What seemed to be mud at first glance is actually blood. The is so much of it you start to think if there is anything left of the townspeople its probably pieces if you can find them. Make you wonder what the driver found at his house if there was even something to cry too.
I need to know what is your next actions before I can continue, feel free to role play a bit
Alaire barely makes it three steps before he stops outright, his stride broken suddenly as it had began. Jager's words don't even seem to reach him as the blood flows from his face, leaving him looking pale and shaken. Despite his background in the church and seeing dead bodies on a daily basis the sight before him still seems to rattle him as he comprehends the scene before him.
He sinks down onto one knee, touching his hand to the ground. It's too cold for mud. There shouldn't be mud...but it can't be...
As he rises back to his feet, he turns back to the others, showing his hand and the crimson stains that mark it where he touched the ground. His voice is soft in tone, yet grim and chilling as the air around them. "Tis blood...so much blood."
Jager tightens his grip on his polearm and cautiously advances toward the square. His face is set in a grim expression and the squelching of the mud is extra-sickening now. "Sneak up it is." he mutters.
As you all sneak into the town center, you start to get a glimpe of what it is to come. Body parts maimed woman killed while still holding their babes men hanged and disemboweled, all manner of torture and greif was betowed upon this poor people.
When you start getting close to the town center the roads begin to get wider and you can see blood streaks of what looks like they were draggin something.
Perception DC 15 (Optional check)
There are streaks of fingers and nails left in the ground were people were eing dragged, some flayed skin here and there. There is something in the floor a ring of a black ram head engraved in a garnet
Survival DC 20
You notice dog like footprints and other regular human footprints
You can listen the flames in the background and the smell of blood, sweat, feces and urine all mixed together. Yet there are other noises the closer you are getting to the town center there is still life in the midst of this debutchery and slaughter.
Horrifying. Alaire tried not to let the sight around effect him, but found it more and more difficult the further they went. The only solace he found was that such brutality left no doubt in his mind that whatever did this had to be brought down. Such a blatant disregard for life could not be tolerated. He who deals death will eventually have it catch up with him...and so it shall be.
He found himself following Zerig in times like this, the graceful man's steps far more practiced in this than his own. He was thankful for his friend's talents as they approached the town's center and he steeled his will as it only had seemed to be getting worse and quickly at that.
Perception #1:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Survival:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Perception #2:1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
So focused on trying to remain quiet despite the bulky armor and follow Zerig's footprints in the bloody muck, Alaire is not particularly focused on his surroundings...or perhaps the scene around him is effecting him more than he would care to admit, even to himself.
Alaire shakes his head briefly side to side in response to Jager's question, "I possess no talent in tracking, I fear.". He falls into step with the other two as they move onward, attempting to keep his steps quiet as possible.
Deylon follows the rest of the group towards the sounds in the middle of the town. The streets widen more before your eyes you start to see crucified people making a circle around a big bonfire and you see strange small dog-like creatures dancing around and poking with sticks and armed man in a red sourcoat while a couple are beginning to work were he is to be crucified.
Around the scene there is blood dripping from the crucified corpses filling strange markings in the ground around the bonfire.
Spellcraft check DC 20 Relifion check DC 25
Deylon 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19 almost...
Deylons says in a whisper This are some kind of markings for a sacrificial ritual I just can't pin point the meanings
[ooc]The creatures in questions you recognize them as kobolds after a second or so.
Alaire quickly glances toward the markings Deylon indicates with a flash of recognition in his eyes, frowning with anger at the diminutive, dog-like creatures. The grip on his sword is tighter than it likely should be and he lightly chews the cigarette in his mouth, as if eager to charge forward though restraining himself for the moment.
His own voice is also hushed, though tinged with urgency, "We have little time to spare I fear. Plan quickly so we might move and put an end to this."
Alaire's eyes widen in realization, shooting a look at the others as he whispers frantically, "This is a sacrificial ceremony. They intend to summon a fiendish entity by killing all those people. We have no time to spare!"
Alaire watches Jager pass, giving a firm nod as he leaps from cover to follow after him. While loathing having to possibly take the first strike in this battle, he sees little choice in the matter and offers himself small comfort in the fact if they didn't act many more lives might be lost...
Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
He faces the kobold that Jager does with his bastard sword (assuming it is not already dead) or turns his blade upon the next closest involved in the ritual, preferring to swing at their front and be face to face if he can.
Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
A soft prayer flows from his lips, "~Death is not a hunter unbeknownst to its prey, one is always aware that it lies in wait. Though life is merely a journey to the grave, it must not be undertaken without hope. You who have stolen that hope now face judgement by the Spirit Lord himself. Flee now if you value your lives~".
Alaire attempts to intimidate and dishearen the foes with their sudden appearance and his grim demeanor.
Well it all looks really good but this is combat so or you attempt to intimidate or move in and attack. In any case I have taken your attack for the surprise round.
Jager growls unhappily. "Well, you heard the man." as he charges and collides against the poor smaller frame of the kobold that he almost cleaves in half with the strength of his attack, felling the creature listening to its whimpering as it goes down.
Zerig bolts against the pair of kobolds working in the crux and in a flash of speed and a single strike of is sword he disembowels the creature falling to its knees whimpering and barking curses as it tries to hold his innards.
Deylon Charges along side with Jager against the kobolds striking with some grace at the kobolds chest felling him in one fell swoop.
Alaire chants soft prayer flows from his lips, "~Death is not a hunter unbeknownst to its prey, one is always aware that it lies in wait. Though life is merely a journey to the grave, it must not be undertaken without hope. You who have stolen that hope now face judgement by the Spirit Lord himself. Flee now if you value your lives~".
A low bark and whimpering at their surprise there are still survivors and not only that but they are the kobolds attempt scramble for their weapons.
Jager tugs his polearm free of the kobold before wheeling and hacking into another. He casts a critical eye over the field. how many kobolds are there? Anything especially big and menacing making itself known?
"Keep an eye out, lads. Don't know how many of the little bastards there are."
I think it's a move to use Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21 Hope I can reach to attack. 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 191d10 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14 Yay for 5-ft steps.
There is 1 kobold left with Zerig and Jager, Deylon and Zlaire have 2 left that were poking the man, no menacing one yet, infact they are dressed in letter clothing and you see what would have been some spears piled together.
I posted the Surprise round in the turn people are going, kobolds and Alaire go at the same time
Alaire steps back beside Deylon as he pulls his sword free from the kobold. He then slams it once into his shield to gather the foes attention before his voice rings out loudly, "If thy flee now, thy lives will be spared! Else commit thyselves for death for it will be the only thing you find here!" He lowers his shield, glaring at the kobolds in challenge and preparing himself should they choose the later option.
Free Action: Five foot step away
Standard Action: Total Defense Option (+4 Dodge AC = 23 AC for this round)
Well i need the actions of the rest before I take the kobolds decision which is going to be a very simple one. So know we are mission Zerig and Deylon? I opened a recruitment for substitutes and will keep them if they choose to comeback I suppose or will turn them into enemies.