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WotW: A Knot of Thorns The Second Parchment

Game Master Xzaral

Way of the Wicked by Fire Mountain Games



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Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

FYI, Mark, if Gwyn's move was successful and it happened before Price's actions in the order, tack on a +2 flanking bonus to my Round 2 hit... so '20' total.

"Can a dwarf ever really be on top of things?"

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

"Certainly... small things - shoe boxes and the like."

Cain's s!!*-eating grin at the dwarf is dripping with an unspoken taunt.

King of Talingarde

Continue Round 1 and into Round 2

As the dwarf stands, Cain manages to pierce him through with the glaive, dropping to the floor as his blood spills out.

I redirected your spell to the middle guard Xanos, hope you don't mind, since the dwarf dropped. Xanos utters another spell and the central guard's mind suddenly becomes clouded, able to fend off the attacks coming at him but little else.

Price and Gwyn surround the southern guard and between their strikes finish him off.

Kalina attempts to strike at the remaining guard, but while unable to return the assault, he is at least able to keep his defenses up.

Dwarf and southern guard down. Central guard still standing, but severely wounded from Kalina's earlier attack. You all are up now.

More GM Stuff:

G2W 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (2) - 1 = 1
K LS 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4; 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
K D 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15; 1d8 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

Price holds up a hand to forestall her companion's attacks... for a moment.

"Drop the weapon, surrender, and answer a few questions... You'll be one of the few people to make it out of this prison alive." She gives him a smile that stands in sharp contrast to her bloody mace as she casts a glance at the cutthroats around her. "Or you can end up as worm-food right now."

Intimidate 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23

HP: 11 / 11
1st Spells (3): xxx
Daylight (1): x
Judgment (1): x
Effects: None

Seeing the tide turn so suddenly, Cain sees an opportunity. He drops the glaive as he steps up to the remaining guard, Blackerly's blade flashing from its sheathe and hanging in a two-handed stance… ready to fall.

"Listen to the lady."

Drop glaive, step up into G-48, and ready an attack in case he remains armed, continues fighting, or tries to call out… trying to boost Price's Intimidate roll.
Readied Attack - Longswrod (2-handed) 1d20 + 6 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (10) + 6 + 2 - 1 = 17; FE, PA.
---> Damage 1d8 + 6 + 2 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 6 + 2 + 3 = 19.
Intimidate AA (DC 10) 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6.

Status: same as before (posting from phone, sorry).

HP 23/23, Temp HP 8, AC: 11 (17), Fort +1 / Ref -1 / Will +5, Perception:+8 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50

Xanos lowers himself down through the trap door slowly, like he was finishing a pushup, revealing himself to the remaining guard.

If thw guard had worked here longer than a few days he would have heard of who Xanos was by now.

"...or don't." he said behind the mask he still wore, his voice a low rumble of casual menace.

intimidate: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (12) + 7 = 19

Why don't you let me help you with that whole "being scary" thing, Cain :)

Hey, the more, the merrier. I was just trying to help Price's roll out.

King of Talingarde

The combined mental assault of our three villains is more than this guard can handle, though to his credit he adamantly shows backbone in the face of danger. "Heh, guess we underestimated you." He throws his sword to the ground and gestures with his shield arm, as though asking if you want it removed. The tremble in his hand betrays his fear.

He eyes the fallen dwarf, blood pooling from his wound, "Whatever you want to know, I'll tell ya."

HP 23/23, Temp HP 8, AC: 11 (17), Fort +1 / Ref -1 / Will +5, Perception:+8 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50

"Whatever we want to know? How generous of you. That takes quite a burden off of us." Xanos said conversationally. He moved a chair beneath the trapdoor and gestured towards it. As the guard made his way to the seat, Xanos continued.

"While I was making preparations to destroy this useless place I was having a discussion with Grumblejack. Have you met Grumblejack? Look up. Say hello, Grumblejack."

Xanos leaned against the edge of the table and smiled behind his mask as he spoke.

"The thing that we agreed on regarding the worst part of our incarceration was the lack of good conversation. He came to despise the silence. I had been gagged, you see, and he isn't much of a talker, but he does love to listen. We were quite the pair for quite a while. Apparently he has difficulty trusting quiet people. People he does not trust tend not to wind up eaten. I prefer simply keeping away from them, but who can really argue with the simplicity of his convictions? Now that you've met him, I believe we can agree that it's in everyone's best interests to keep him content. That puts you in a bit of difficult situation. You see, Cain here rather likes the quiet and gets irritated when people speak frivolously. He tends to silence people by removing the parts that make noise. As you can imagine it's been a bit of a balancing act keeping them both happy and we've rather exhausted our conversation options."

He leaned back, relaxed, like a cat watching a wounded bird.

"So, I'm afraid it's all up to you. Why don't you go ahead and just start talking. If you start getting eaten or cut, you'll know you need to be more creative."

And then he waited, letting the silence hang in the air.

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

Price listens politely to Xanos and lets the fear flower in the guard before removing his shield and tossing it to one side. She indicates he should sit then pulls up a chair and seats herself delicately. Price crosses her legs, taking the opportunity to kick the guard's sword across the room. She smooths her disguise as if it were an evening dress and clasps her hands in her lap - all smiles.

"Good evening, guardsman. I'm Miss Price. Why don't you start by telling us your name, how many men are down at the Bridgehouse right now, and everything you know about the Warden."

The surrender is no surprise. A sheep will be a sheep, he thinks as he takes the man's horn (if he had one).

So Cain -- seeing the situation well in-hand by Xanos and Price -- sheathes Blackerly's blade and goes to making himself useful. He begins with a circuit of the room, using his nose as much as eyes, ears and hands to find anything useful about the room or its contents.

Following his circuit, he quickly searches through the gear and pockets of the two fallen guardsmen, taking a few moments to use the dwarf's clothes to clean the glaive's blade.

Xanos wrote:
"..You see, Cain here rather likes the quiet and gets irritated when people speak frivolously. He tends to silence people by removing the parts that make noise…"

Cain lifts his head from where he's digging through the other human's possessions and gives the man one of his grins -- little more than a baring of canines. He shrugs at Xanos's observation with a nod that says 'It's true' before getting up and patting the man down for anything useful.

Basically take 10 to Perception (total 17) again to make an inspection of the room, each of the fallen guards, and then the remaining man.

King of Talingarde

The guards possess the same standard equipment as all others, including horns. In addition you are able to find three decks of cards (1 marked), flint and steel, and an empty bottle of fine whiskey (all gone).

Looking between Xanos and Price, his gaze settles on Xanos as he answers, "There are three men at the forward gatehouse right now, a-and a dog. Those three are sober at present, and alert. Wil pulled a prank, but too bad for him Blackerly ended upon the receiving end. They were supposed to be up top, but me and," He looks ove to the dwarf and other soldier, "these two switched so we could get in the game. Looks like bad luck for us, heh." His laugh is a forced attempt.

"As far as the Warden, the guy doesn't pay attention to most anything down here. Blackerly is pretty much in charge. The old dodder just sits up there and plays with his owl. He's from Hesterfield, if that helps ya any. Learned that because it was tonight's gate password. I know he's one of them wizards, he's done a few tricks to prove it, try to make us loyal to him. Not sure much else to say."

Cain begins wracking his brain for any information he can recall about the wizardly warden or Hesterfield. "What kinda tricks?"

Knowledg: Local 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20.

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

Price warms herself by the fire and ponders. She pulls a half-burned twig from the grate and uses the sooty end to take notes on the sheaf of papers they retrieved from Blackerly's office.

"And you are sure there are only three guards at the bridge? Your shift schedule shows three at the bridge and three off-duty. We haven't been able to definitively account for one of your off-duty boys... Grumblejack was a bit over-zealous and he didn't leave much to identify. I should caution you - Lying to me negates our offer. Care to amend your statement?"

Sense Motive 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (14) + 10 = 24

Female Aasimar (Musetouched) Fighter 1/Rogue 1 HP: 11/16 AC 17/13/14: F+3, R +5, W+0 (+1 versus Charm/Compulsion), Per:+5, Init: +3

Gwyn walks over to the fire and lets the warmth spread through her damp clothing and soggy cloak. She's quiet and doesn't do much.

...except send a dagger dancing over her hand.

Intimidate: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17 Trying to add a little more weight to the others words.

King of Talingarde

"He'd make things glow, a show of colors. Not much to be impressed about to be honest, seen the same stuff at festivals as a kid. And honest, should only be three and a dog. Don't know nothin' about where he'd be if not at his post."

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

Price nods, "Fair enough. What's your name, soldier? And what do you know about the Warden's tower? Do you patrol it? Have you been warned about going up the stairs?"

King of Talingarde

"My name? Evritt. Warden's tower, it's three stories. First part's dedicated to Branderscar's history. Memorabilia and whatnot. Second floor he keeps his library. Lot of books there. Don't read too much myself though. Top floor's his quarters and his office. Only been in the office a few times, pretty sparse."

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

Mark - can we access the Warden's Tower from the top of the wall? Are there any windows in the tower? If so, where?

King of Talingarde

The third floor of the Warden's tower has two windows in it. One that overlooks the prison, the other facing out. You cannot access the tower from the wall.

HP 23/23, Temp HP 8, AC: 11 (17), Fort +1 / Ref -1 / Will +5, Perception:+8 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50

"Evritt, I need to know if you would like to live through the night. Do you consider yourself a hero, or a coward?"

King of Talingarde

Evritt gives a nervous laugh. "Heroes live forever in song, but not much else. If those are my options, I'll go with coward."

HP 23/23, Temp HP 8, AC: 11 (17), Fort +1 / Ref -1 / Will +5, Perception:+8 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50

"As expected." Xanos said, geting up to walk over to the nervous guardsman. Touching the man's chest, a black spiral swirled out, broke in a number of places like it was being shattered, then froze in place and then sunk through his clothing to mark his skin. A moment later it faded from view.

"The kitchen is your haven. Go there. Do not come out until dawn. Doing anything else will set you against us a second time and we will not be so merciful. We are going to kill your fellows and the warden. I'm sure attempting to interfere will earn you a place in the songs you mentioned, in case you change your mind about being a hero."

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

Price shakes her head. "No. The girl is your affair, Xanos. This one is mine. I ensured his safety... and it will be on my terms. Evritt will be tied up and rendered insensible."

She turns to the guard. "You will live to see tomorrow. You will awaken bound in the courtyard with no more than a few bruises."

HP 23/23, Temp HP 8, AC: 11 (17), Fort +1 / Ref -1 / Will +5, Perception:+8 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50

Xanos lifts his eyebrow and shrugs. "Suit yourself."

Cain carries the dead human up the ladder, tossing him up in front of Grumblejack. "All yours, big guy. Give you the dwarf if you'd prefer."

He descends a few rungs, hanging from one hand and foot. "We have anything else we need to do here? Still some work to do."

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

"I think we've learned all we can."

She turns to the guard. "We don't want to carry you... so you are going to come along with us to the guard post on the other side, the one with the door into the compound. There we'll knock you out and get about our business. If you try anything I don't like - you become a snack for Grumblejack."

King of Talingarde

Looking back and forth, the Evritt picks himself up, and though his knees are wobbly he does a credit to his post and doesn't fall back down. "L-lead on, milady." he says, half-joking though his eyes don't leave the whole in the ceiling where the ogre can be heard.

Without waiting, Cain grabs up the glaive and climbs back up through the ceiling. He lets Jakes help Price with the captive guard, taking point in heading out of the gatehouse and across the dark and rainy yard. A shadow in the night.

With Gwyn gone, Cain will take point as we head over to the warden's tower. I'm assuming we'll deal with Evritt, then head to the door on the ground floor.

King of Talingarde

Our villains approach the tower of the Warden, south of the prison proper. As they make their way across, they notice a plant in the rain, separated from the rest of the garden.

Craft (alchemy) or survival DC 15 if you examine plant:

The plant appears to be Belladonna. From this plant you could harvest 3 doses of the poison.

Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 14
Onset 10 minutes; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d2 Str damage, target can attempt one save to cure a lycanthropy
affliction contracted in the past hour; Cure 1 save.

Continuing on, they see the Tower itself. Three stories tall, only the top floor with windows, shutters in place to prevent the rain from seeping in.

New Map

Place yourselves on map as you feel appropriate.

HP 23/23, Temp HP 8, AC: 11 (17), Fort +1 / Ref -1 / Will +5, Perception:+8 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50

alchemy: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (2) + 9 = 11

Xanos is clearly not paying attention to the prison's garden...

Survival 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11.
He's not the only one.

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

Survival 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8 Yeah, it's definitely a cactus.

Mark, if a minor retcon won't bug you. I thought of a question earlier but didn't have time to post it... Before we knock out Evritt, I'd like to ask him what is the nearest town and how far away it is.

For GJ's position, I'm thinking against the wall, beneath the highest window... wherever that is.

King of Talingarde

The nearest town is Varyston, a good hour from Branderscar by foot.

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7


Price continuously sweeps the area ahead of them using Detect Magic and warning Gwyn and Cain (as the door-breakers) if she spots anything.

King of Talingarde

Price's scan of the door does not reveal the presence of any magical auras. It appears to be safe in this regard at least.

Cain is on the map. Not sure where to place Kalina, but I'm gonna suggest we put her out with GJ.

Cain waits for the signal from Price, then steps forward -- lock picks in hand. He does a quick check on the door for signs of any traps or triggers before checking the lock itself.

Taking 10 on both Disable Device, Perception and Stealth on the first attempt.
Disable Device 10 + 6 = 16
Perception 10 + 7 = 17
Stealth 10 + 6 + 1 = 17.

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

Price whispers playfully, "If that doesn't work, we've got about 200 keys here..."

Cain grunts, "Oh, sure.. if ya wanna do it the easy way."

If the above Disable Device doesn't work, Cain will begin trying the keys.

King of Talingarde

Attempting to pick the lock of the door of the Warden's tower quickly becomes a moot point. The door itself is not locked.

Cain silently pushes the door open. "It's a wonder these guys can keep their dogs from escapin' 'round here... don't know if there's been a locked door in the joint."

He pokes his head in, straining with ears and eyes without actually entering. "Price, you wanna take point and sweep for magic?"

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

"Sure. Stick close. If we see that bird - hammer it quick - and we may have to rush to find the Warden."

Price peeks into the room, bathing it with her occult and ordinary senses, before sneaking in cautiously.

Perception 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17
Stealth 1d20 + 6 - 2 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 6 - 2 + 1 = 17 cloak

Cain nods, leaning the glaive against the wall as he grabs his bow. He strings it as he steps across the threshold a second behind Price.

Perception 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16
Stealth 1d20 + 6 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 6 + 1 = 18.

King of Talingarde

This room is a testement to the history of this edifice, of it's rise as Castle Branding to it's eventual change into that of the modern Branderscar Prison. Plaques cover the walls listing the names of nobles and deeds long forgotten.

Appraise or Knowledge (History) DC 15:

One of the wall hangings is an old brocade tapestry that depicts Castle Branding being turned into a prison with the motto “His Judgment Cometh and that Right Soon”. The tapestry is worth 150 gp. It is however very heavy (50 lb.) and awkward (-2 to any Acrobatics, Climb, Jump, or Swim skill checks while carried).

A set of circular stairs lead up to the next floor.


HP 23/23, Temp HP 8, AC: 11 (17), Fort +1 / Ref -1 / Will +5, Perception:+8 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50

knowledge history: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13

Xanos moves in behind Cain and Price, calmly surveying his surroundings. Grumblejack followed him, dragging a length of oily rope.

Xanos paused in front of the tapestries, saying nothing. Then he reached his hand back and said "Oil."

The ogre dutifully deposited it in the tall wizard's hand.

With a rag he applied oil to the bottoms of the tapestries, letting it run down the wall to where he pointed Grumblejack to drag the rope as they continued up the stairs.

I'd have done this even if I made that check :)

Class: AC: 16|12|14 - For:+4 | Rex:+3 | Wil:+9 - Per:+15 Init:+7

Price ignores the propaganda and moves across the room towards the stairwell, scanning it with Detect Magic and her darkvision.

Appraise 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13

Please assume I'm scanning with Detect Magic as we go along.

Xanos, If you want GJ to rig this room to burn, that's fine with me. But afterwards I think the plan was him to monitor the windows above in case the Wizard Warden pulls a Feather Fall. I think Cain was also suggesting Gwyn or Jakes should stay as well.

HP 23/23, Temp HP 8, AC: 11 (17), Fort +1 / Ref -1 / Will +5, Perception:+8 Channel 8/8, Bolster 8/8, Infernal Healing 50/50, Command Undead 50/50

No problem. Just describing the continuation of my arson plans.

Cain turns and gives the tall man a grin, "I'm a huge fan of your work, but can we take care of the warden first? Love to have your talents on-hand in case he's not asleep."

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