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The stress of combat and the sudden flight took all hope of sleep with them and while the rest of the night was uneventful the crew grouped together by the helm, perhaps with a little lighter mood thanks to Erodin's kind words.
Days pass uneventful and while it is without excitement the rest is good. Sailing along the coastline a few days after the attack you reach a bay, when you enter Odenkirk approaches you. “We are a little light on fresh water I think. We are passing Seal Isle and there is a stream that feeds into the bay there. We’ll take on water there. I’ll send a party to the shore. Of course, that means we’ll spend a day in some of the richest fur seal hunting grounds all along this coast. I’m thinking of organizing a hunting expedition. Interested?”
Timoen is certainly surprised by the change in mood and topics compared to the captain's inquiries. Feeling more at ease with Robert he eventually shares the desired knowledge.
How should we handle this information. I was thinking that when the time comes it would require two rolls. One to remember and a diplomacy to present it.
Just to be crystal clear Timeon is not from the castle Balentyne, he is from a the Balentyne line but lived with his family further away. His father has nothing to do with the current mission, but if you wish you can go there first but it will cost time to do so.
He can draw you a crude map.
In regards to impersonating him there will be people who know him and fooling them will be more difficult.
Grumblejack was not part of the ceremony.
The cardinal smiles coldly but appreciatively of Vank's questions: "Intelligent thoughts - I believe in Sakkarot's capabilities and I believe you will to when you meet him. Taking the ogre with you is a decition I would find most unwise, I had higher thought of your tactical aptitude." Turning to Nadine the cardinal's smile lessens. "No, but you will meet later should you succeed." he answers shortly.
The interrigation of Timeon:
While Thorn is pleased with your idea he has a clear opinion about who is going to handle it. "Consider this another test, I believe that the youth will be of great use if you convince him to talk."
Timeon might be a broken soul in a broken body, but it still demands some attention on you part to convince him to talk. After many a sob and "I don't know anythings" he yield and shares what knowledge he has left. "As you know I am the son of a minor branch of House Balentyne. we lived near the Watchwall and visited the castle a few times each season. You will never make it past Sir Thomas, he is a pillar of virtue." After a little more convincing he shares some juicy details: "Yes, yes I know of treachery within the walls. Captain Eddarly is sharing a bed and more with captain Mott's wife Kaitlyn." Guiding him to some tactical information he sobs: "There is a rookery, it is the heart and soul of any communication. It sits atop the tower, Mad Martin guards the birds and they him."
"Enough of this," he says ending the gathering. "Be merry to night and sleep well for this might be the last in a long time to come," he remarks before leaving.
The night continues as long as you want.
The first one to raise next day will experience the following:
Walking down the staircase you see Elise the leader of the other group staying here leaving the cardinal's office. She set a brisk pace as she walks past you. Just before she leaves your hearing Tallus greats her and asks: "What news Elise? "We leave now. We're going north, hurry," she replies.
Later that day you are all summoned to the cardinal's office
“Welcome, my children,” he says in a deep resonant voice that has an almost inhuman quality to it. “Training is at an end. You have proven yourself worthy. Now, it is time for you to use that training and take on your first mission."
“Your mission is war, my children. You will bring war to Talingarde."
“You have two objectives. First, you will see a shipment of munitions delivered to a bugbear chieftain named Sakkarot Fire-Axe. He makes his camp on the northern coast of Lake Tarik beyond the Watch Wall. With this shipment, the Fire-Axe will have resources enough to unite the barbarous humanoid tribes of the north and light the fire of war."
“Sitting on the dock as we speak is the longship Frosthamar captained by Kargeld Odenkirk. Tomorrow when the ship is resupplied it will be your transport. The captain is a ruthless mercenary and not to be trusted. He knows nothing of the specifics of our mission and you should keep it that way. He knows he is smuggling cargo to the north beyond the Watch Wall. That is all he need know."
“Once the cargo is safely delivered, he will take you just town of Aldencross. There our contract with Captain Odenkirk will be concluded."
“It is shame how greedy he has proven. I had hoped to let the captain serve me again but it seems he is too much of a liability. Kill him. Kill his crew. Burn his ship and leave no survivors. It is crucial that no one suspects our involvement and that loose ends are taken care of. Be sure to reclaim the coin I gave him. Best not to be wasteful."
“That done, you will begin your second task. We will do more still to aid our ally the Fire-axe. The bugbears are mighty warriors but poor siege engineers. You will infiltrate the tower Balentyne, keystone of the Watch Wall, kill its commander and open the gate for Sakkarot’s horde."
“Once the shaggy monstrosities pierce the Watch Wall, the bugbears will pillage and lay waste to the townships of the north and the local garrisons will have no choice but to meet the Fire-Axe in the open field. Sakkarot is the most brilliant, gifted and murderous bugbear of his generation. I expect these battles will go poorly for the knights and yeoman of fair Talingarde."
“Do all of this and then when your task is done, break this clay seal.” He hands them a delicately carved clay seal adorned with a tangled knot of thorns surrounding the holy symbol of Asmodeus. “I will have more instructions then. Succeed and I will see you rewarded handsomely. Fail or betray me and you will pray for the comfort of Hell before I am done with you."
“The mission you start upon today is a holy mission. The people of Talingarde think they have seen the last of the mighty Asmodeus. Soon enough we will remind them that there is no escaping the grasp of Hell. Let us toast our success.”
He pours one glass of deep red wine for each of the PCs and then finally pours one for himself. He raises the glass and offers a toast.
@ Stanislav, how do you want tot handle the suggestion to the cardinal regarding the squire?
"The ways of magic are rarely so simple and the most obvious path is seldom the right one," Thorn replies with a smile.
@Stanislav. The cardinal seems neither surprised or abhorred when you present your predicament. He merely smiles and says: "Most different and perhaps a little troublesome. We will have to find a way."
Lets go with Vank's suggestions to a montage. What I want you to take away from this is that the cardinal is a great but ruthless instructor. He drills you as an individual and as a group.
"Excellent, you are ready," the cardinal proclaims and claps his hands as you finish your last drill as a group. He really pushed you this time, the small cuts and the sweat confirms this. "As a group you are more than the sum of each individual," he continues, still smiling. "Tonight we feast, to celebrate our progress my Nessian Knot," he concludes, this is the first time he has used that name referring to your group.
Later that evening you are seated by the now familiar table but this time the slaves have outdone themselves presenting an elaborate banquet to your honour.
When the feast is concluded the cardinal rests his glass on the table. Suddently he is focussed and says in a serious voice: "And now for the important part," then waves his hand indicating your are done. The slaves understands this and clears the room of everything including table and chairs. Tiadora leads the salves into the room. All heavy dominated and stands silently by her side waiting. The cardinal steps to the centre of the room and begins chanting. The air cracks as foul magic fills the air. The ritual concludes and a barbed devil claws is way into reality. "Choose one," Thorn says gesturing towards the slaves. The unlucky chosen is gleefully ripped apart by the devil, the unholy incarnation feasting on the human blood. Once done cardinal Thorn punchtures an athame and pierce the devil's skin, drawing some of its blood. This is joined by the slave's blood and with the mixture he traces the unholy symbol of Asmodeus on your foreheads. "The Nessian Knot is forged, he proclaims."
“Just in time,” Cardinal Thorn remarks glancing out of the windows. “My ship has arrived.” On the river dock behind the manor under cover of darkness, a square-sailed longship sails into the slip. It sits heavily in the water, laden with a substantial cargo.
I'll post more tomorrow, there is nothing here that requires a response from you but you are welcome to post if you have anything to add. I'll be moving on tomorrow.
Almost a week and no post from me, not good enough.
Drogan's flame sails through the air gracefully descending towards the water and the silhouettes. Illuminating 5 scaled humanoids, the light might be playing tricks on your eyes, but they seem to be a green-bluish taint. One of the cries of out in pain as the light sears him.
Lyrysa finishes her incantation and even though all is dark once again Drogan is able to see 2 of the silhouettes disappearing below the water.
Saving vs sleep 1: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Saving vs sleep 2: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
Saving vs sleep 3: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Saving vs sleep 4: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Saving vs sleep 5: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (2) + 7 = 9
I don't think so. I have the same problem I had when the other group reached this point. A fairly simple write up became a dreaded assignment, that I never ended up completing and we just skipped over it. I had hoped this would have been different, but so far it hasn't been.
Lets say that if I haven't written something by the end of this weekend we'll press on.
Placing himself between the lanterns and the dark water Drogan scouts for any sign of their attacker. At first he sees nothing then 5 silhouettes catches his eyes. 4 of them are moving a little about while the fifth remains still.
Erodin hurls a lantern in the general direction from which the bolts came. It flies over the water, around 30 ft. before being engulfed by the sea, not having illuminated any enemies.
Odenkirk follows the order and hisses: "Quick boys, quench the light." Darkness soon covers the ship.
No elementals left.
What is Lyrysa targeting?
Sure, she is participating, doesn't way much and is helping.
With only the new formed elemental raising and Lyrysa safely out of the water something changes. A hail of bolt flies through the air. Two launches into the woodwork of the boat while the remaining two bolt bury themselves in the torsos of Erodin and Randu. (Erodin 6 damage, Randu 3 damage) The bolts are large and heavy, something fired from a heavy crossbow.
Lyrysa and then Round 4 begins.
Firing: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19
Firing: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 20
Firing: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Firing: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Damage: 1d10 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Damage: 1d10 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
From her place by the boat Lyrysa manages to fire at one elemental still standing. This takes so much of her concentration that she slips and fails to get back on the boat further more she feels something at her feet. The small elemental in front of Drogan that felt Lyrysa's wrath manages to weave away from the fangs.
End of round 2, Round 3 begin, Drogan has posted his action.
I have only skimmed over the hexes you name Nadine. Stricly speaking Cauldron is giving you the brew potion feat and that only allows you to use spells you know, as I understand it. I am leaning towards not allowing you to share spells with others none witches in regards to this hex.
I am not sure what you would like me to think about in regards to the Poison steep hex.
Cook people, go nuts, you are evil for once.
Drogan's ball of fire hurls through the air alas a bit to high flying over the water elemental. Erodin is more precise with his blade and as his blade passes through water in front of him it bursts as a bubble. A graceful blow significantly reduces the elemental before him.
2 Water elementals, 1 more reforming
What little water there is left crashes against Randu failing to move him. While the elemental in front of Erodin begins to reform the last one rushes at Drogan trying to push him but fails.
Bullrush,Randu: 1d20 + 3 - 4 ⇒ (9) + 3 - 4 = 8
Lyrysa is up and your AoO Randu and Drogan
Please pick one trait below or feel free to suggest your own and we'll work on that.
“Asmodeus is with you.” Adrastus Thorn indoctrinate you into the deeper mysteries of worshipping the Prince of Hell. Whenever you channel energy, you gain a +1 trait bonus to the save DC of your channeled energy.
“Deception is a tool. Master it.” Adrastus Thorn teaches you the subtle arts of deception and how to sense when they are being used against you. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Bluff and Sense Motive.
“Discover what is real and what is illusion.” Adrastus has taught you to see through deceptions and to never lie to yourself. You gain a +2 trait bonus on saving throws against illusions.
“Fear nothing save our dread lord.” Adrastus Thorn has shown you fear and taught you to master it within yourself. You gain a +2 trait bonus on saving throws against fear effects.
“Focus strengthens your will.” Adrastus Thorn drills you on ways to avoid magic that seek to take control of your mind and divert you from your mission. You gain a +2 trait bonus on saving throws against charm and compulsion effects.
“Let us perfect your favorite spell” Adrastus Thorn drills you again and again in the use of one particular spell. Pick one spell. This spell’s effects manifest at +1 caster level.
“Quiet as death” The Cardinal trained in the arts of being silent and stealthy. You gain a +2 trait bonus to Stealth checks.
“Strike first, strike ruthlessly and thus be victorious” Cardinal Thorn has taught you never to shirk or hesitate in a combat. You gain a +2 trait bonus on Initiative checks.
“Wear your armor like a second skin.” You have drilled extensively in wearing armor in combat. When you wear armor of any sort, reduce that suit’s armor check penalty by 1 to a minimum check penalty of 0.
“You shall be my angel slayer.” Adrastus thorn spends exhausting amounts of time teaching you about good celestials, their strengths and weaknesses. You gain a +2 trait bonus on Knowledge (planes) checks about good-aligned celestials and receive a +1 trait bonus to any damage roll you make against them.
The training will be written out as a montage, feel free to suggest elements you would like to have included.
Adrastus sits in his study seeming almost as he has moved not an inch from where he gave you your orders at dusk yesterday. “You’ve returned.”
The high priest holds the trinket and pauses as if in deep contemplation. He watches the holy symbol glitter in the light. “A pretty enough thing, eh?” he muses. “This is a holy symbol of Mitra in particular the sort favoured by the Knights of the Alerion. Perhaps you already knew that."
“Remember this symbol. This is the mark of those who destroyed our faith and sought to banish all trace of the worship of our Father from these shores. These, my friends, are your enemies.”
He tosses the holy symbol to whomever gave it to him.
“Keep it. It may aid you in disguising yourself.”
He smiles. “You have done well. Escaping from Branderscar, slaughtering Sir Balin … yes, you are worthy. Now, let us complete your training…”
I think we are going to stop counting xp then. You have now reached level 3 and head to the discussion thread and pick a trait from the list or write me if you have an idea for a unique one.
I'll add more later, when I know what you have chosen.
You can keep it as a swim check or roll another and keep it as a climb, you decide.
With surprisingly ease Lyrysa keeps herself a float and quickly reach the ship. Using her legs to keep above water she trace the new patterns she has learned and arcane fire gushes forth evaporating what was left of the elemental before Erodin.
This has been a though choice and both the players and I were impressed with the submissions. Going over everything I end up with Lizzie finishing marginally ahead of the rest. So in conclusion thanks for the work and the interest. Lizzie please head to the discussion thread I will find some way to work you in, but it wont be until the current encounter is done.
In regards to Lyrysa's action, please see what I wrote in the discussion thread.
Lyrysa quickly recognises the water elementals for what they are. She is however puzzled by the reforming as that is not a known feature of them.
The AoO's from last turn:
I was a bit unsure how to handle getting back in the boat. I studied the climbing skill and found the result a bit lacking for my taste. I want to include a climb check, but a simple moves action seems to little and to easy. I am currently considering adding a swim check first or requiring a full round action. Let me hear what you think.
I am leaning towards a swim check(move action) and a climb check (move action).
It is a cloak of resistance +1, no other magic items.
As soon as you finish the incantation you feel Robbie's excitement. It is almost as if he is tucking at the cloak on you shoulders. Feeling the fabric yourself you recognise the strains of magic weaved in between the cloth fibres. Roobie is uninterested in any and all of the remaining equipment.
An acceptable way to describe your spell? Let me know how we should handle it.
Once again Vank's swing is true and graces the unprotected head of Sir Balin. Blood gushes forth from the wound and the knight seems dizzy. Seeing his blade is on the ground the knight draws his dagger trying to stab Vank, even though his is partially blinded by blood he finds his mark and burries the dagger in Vank's left thigh. With his back to Thomas the rogue's options are open and a quick stab to the right kidney causes the good knight to tremble and fall to his knees unable to carry the weight of his armour. "Mitra cursh you," are the last words to leave his lips before he goes to meet his maker.
Dagger: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
A quick search of the room reveals nothing besides food, water and dirty bed cloths. The real treasure is the knight. Assessing his equipment you find a masterworked full plate. A dark blue cape of fine quality, a little to well kept compaired to the rest of the clothes. A longsword, a dagger, a heavy steel shield and on his neck is a silver chain holding an eight pointed blue sapphire star set in silver.
Even though Randu is roused from his sleep his blade findes the fluent form of one of the elementals and much water splashes on the deck diminishing the form. Erodin is not as lucky and his blade doesn't reduce the forms. Seeing his chance Drogan finishes what Randu started and the rest of the elemental evaporates.
The remaining four charges everyone of you trying to push you into the water and while the three of you stand fast against these small floods, Lyrysa is not as steadfast and she is washed over the side of the boat. Charging and bull rushing everyone of you. Lyrysa is pushed 10 ft the rest of you are not pushed at all. They provoke an AoO each
Bullrush, Drogan: 1d20 + 3 - 4 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 3 - 4 + 2 = 17
Bullrush, Erodin: 1d20 + 3 - 4 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 3 - 4 + 2 = 6
Bullrush, Randu: 1d20 + 3 - 4 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 3 - 4 + 2 = 6
Bullrush, Lyrysa: 1d20 + 3 - 4 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 3 - 4 + 2 = 19