(Jennis)"Thank you for your offer but you have already done so much more than we could ever repay you already, I couldn't possibly take your money."
Try not to feel bad. You've just given a chance for great role plying to ensue
(Minerva and Sheep)
It doesn't take long to return to the homestead. When you arrive and start unloading the door opens and Montulo can be seen at the door bathing the area in light. Inside you can smell something delicious, or at least appetizing considering how long it's been since you've all had any real meal, and hear dishes clinking.
Skallagbiorn, after the fact, when you take the time to consider what happened you are almost certain that you all just did battle with some form of apparition or ghost and a powerful one at that.
The sleigh, despite its rather abrupt halt seems intact but banged up a bit and capable of being pulled but is in no way magic. The sleigh is large enough for five people, with two seated in the front and three tucked in together on the floor of the rear, if it wasn't semi full of items scattered on the ground.
the sleigh and nearby ground:
Amongst the junk and broken wood scattered on the ground you find:
Two masterwork trappers kits
Eleven bottles of cheap wine
Two long spears
A collection of animal pelts already cured an rolled up (value 150gp)
A box of jewellery including precious gems, gold and silver (350gp)
A heavy shield made of supple green hide (magic aura)
A bag of coins:
Pulling open the bag does reveal the girl. She is tied up and gagged and her night clothes are in disarray but the worst par is the large welt on her face and forehead. She's unconscious and even with magic healing won't wake up for at least a few minutes, maybe an hour or more.
After righting the sleigh someone's foot bumps something in the snow. Kneeling down you reach into the snow and pull out a slim one handed axe with good balance and a sharp edge to the dull iron head. The handle looks made of ash and a loop of the same leather as the shield hangs from the end of it. There is a distinct magic aura coming from it.
Zethyris rushes farther away from the man as Anastasiya fires two more blasts of force at the man. As soon as the bolts connect with him his body begins to fade and disperse into puffs and wisps of smoke picked up by the wind. Despite his destruction you still here an echo of his voice, "Damn you all for ruining my latest wedding day. I'll remember this and I'll come back for you. I'll have my revenge! You'll all pay for this!"
Zethyris moves away from the man and takes the heavy sack from Thorvald as he moves to carry it away from the fight. Ana continues to bury bolts of force into the mans body as she internally battles with her decision to stay and fight. Skallagbiorn, through his pain, manages to call upon his gods power again to knit wounds together. Rutilux swings his flail through the man again sending more smoke billowing but rebounding off of nothing. Thorvald having taken the sack away to partial or relative safety and being released of it by Zethyris he moves back into melee with the man in hopes of turning the tide of this battle. The man continues his almost frantic attack on Skallagbiorn as his axe opens a long gash across his abdomen inside his armour (10 damage) but his great sword manages to deflect a second swing aimed for his knee. Isham's axe swings down and should bury itself in the mans collar bone but passes right through. Jediah tries to fell the man with a right hook to his jaw but his metal encased fist sails through unhindered. Julian takes careful aim and fires an arrow through the mans throat which buries itself in the sleigh behind him.
attack Skallagbiorn: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (7) + 8 = 15damage: 1d6 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (6) + 1 + (3) = 10
attack Rutilux: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5damage: 1d6 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (4) + 1 + (6) = 11
Julian attack: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 27damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Your keen senses warn you when you pick up a pair of shadows, one behind you and one across the street, but you easily blend into the shadows and fade into the alley leaving them staring and unable to figure out what happened.
Making your way through the alleys rather than the streets forces you to detour several times around guard dogs and scale a few fences but you still reach the apartment building.
From cursory looks you can see three entrances from this side. The main entrance with an old RFID door that may or may not work, a rear door with recently added security panels and up above you a fire escape.
Hw are you going to try and get in?
You're more than welcome being here Skallagbiorn.
Now if I was an evil DM...
And you escape with the large sack after subduing and evading whatever it was that was riding that sleigh only to find it full to bursting of children's toys, broken and ruined during your escape, and a dull sense of foreboding as the laughter and happiness of the all of the worlds children dies out.
Meanwhile deep below the surface of the ocean, farther down than any creature or even the legendary kraken have been, something moves. It starts with a mere twitch but grows into a rumble.
The oceans turn wild as tsunamis and tidal waves wrack coastlines while others watch helplessly as the waters recede for miles.
Without children's laughter the spell of slumber has finally faded and a being older than the realms and the gods begins to awaken.
Sounds good about your rides and to make things fun there's an old stripped down motorcycle with a sidecar out back that still works.
Catching a cab to a block south of Garbeck's apartment you find yourself in a meta-slum, an area of abandoned, derelict and old buildings used by squatters and unfortunates that can't afford to live anywhere else, and from where you get out you are fairly sure you can see at least three different 'vendors' camped near the entrances to several buildings. Walking down the street your senses on are high alert knowing that you could be mugged or worse here and no one would every know because Lonestar never comes out this far.
Can I get two perception checks and either a disguise or an infiltration check.
Minerva and Sheep: if you're just cruising around looking for gossip and rumours give me etiquette checks please to see what you can mange to find. And give me either disguise rolls to blend in as tourists or infiltration rolls to hide your presences.
Goldylocks: Is there a specific locale your heading to? There's a restaurant, a bar and a dance club listed.
Also can I get a perception check from everyone.
As soon as Zethryis ducks under the flaming breath he comes back with his rapier leading. Again the blade should strike through but the feeling of impact isn't there. Ana in a near panic after seeing the effectiveness of her allies attacks is nearly frozen in hesitation before she decides to attack the man/creatures mug in hopes of preventing further strange breath attacks. The mug shatters, showing the man and those nearby with the last dregs of the cups contents while he second bolt strikes him again. Skallagbiorn takes the breath attack in full but manages to keep his cloths from igniting. Calling upon his god, divine energy mends and binds everyone's wounds slightly. Sunfire manages to avoid the attack but Rutilux takes it in full and somehow manages to ignite his under padding on fire so he spends the round putting out the flames. Thorvald as well takes the full might of the flames but keeps his clothes from burning as he calls on his primal fury as tries to rush back out, away from the man with the girl. Clutching the girl tightly as using his own body as cover leaves his back open to retaliation as the man/creatures axe buries itself in his back, passing through his protective armour (14 damage) as he passes by. The man swings his axe and buries it in Skallagbiorn's chest (12 damage) as it passes through his armour but Skallagbiorn reels back and avoids the backswing. Isham moves forward and swings his axe but it passes harmlessly through the man. Jediah attempts to sunder the mans axe but but his technique is turned around on him as his glaive goes flying. Julian sits and watches looking for an opening or something that will give him a clue on how to kill this man.
For those who made perception checks you can see that despite the ineffectiveness of most of the attacks he is actually hurt.
AoO: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28damage: 1d6 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 1 + (1) = 5
confirmation roll: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21damage: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 5) = 9
attack Skallagbiorn: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26damage: 1d6 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (5) + 1 + (6) = 12
attack Skallagbiorn: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6damage: 1d6 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (4) + 1 + (2) = 7
"That is where you come in. In my experience I've found that it takes runners to find runners. If it was easy I'd hire bounty hunters, they're cheaper. Now if you'll excuse me I have other business to attend to." he then disconnects and leaves you staring at a blank screen.
You've been in San Francisco for only a couple of hours and have already managed to pick up a job. Thinks are already looking up.
So what are your first steps to track down these three and recover the item.
Zethyris moves in cautiously, but is unable to get behind the heavy man with his back to the sleigh, and takes position to his left and waits for someone to distract him. Ana lets fly a pair of bolts of force that slam into the man. Skallagbiorn noticing Zethyris' tactic moves to the mans other side slashing with his great sword as he takes position. Despite the strike hitting a god spot the hit feels wrong. It's missing most of the reverberation from the impact. Zethyris strikes seconds afterwards, his blade slipping in under his sleeve but despite good it it feels as if he missed, merely scratching skin instead of piercing vitals. Rutilux inches Sunfire the last few inches and strikes with his flail. The three heads sweep through his shoulder scattering some of the smoke but clearly not moving the man. In a mad attempt to secure the girl Thorvald rushes headlong past the man, taking a chilling cut across his side for the act (6 damage), and then grabbing again when he grabs hold of the sack he is hit again (8 damage). Snarling obscenities through his teeth, "Arrogant little brats, let the cinders take the lot of ya!", the man sloshes his beer across everyone nearby and then takes a deep breath, blowing out flaming cinders that rush out across everyone nearby (Zethyris, Skallagbiorn, Rulitux, Sunfire and Thorvald need reflex saves DC16 to halve the 16 points of fire damage and if you fail must succeed on a DC 14 reflex save to avoid catching fire). Isham dismounts and moves towards the fray as he begins rallying everyone and encouraging everyone not to falter. Jediah steps up and stabs his glaive deeply into the mans belly but stumbles a half inch after contacting no resistance. Julian pops out from behind some frozen bushes and lets two arrows fly. Both manage to hit his targets but pass right though as they shatter on the sleigh immediately behind him.
AoO vs Thorvald: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23damage: 1d6 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 1 + (3) = 6
AoO vs Thorvald: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27damage: 1d6 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (5) + 1 + (2) = 8
touch attack vs everyone in melee: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
flame damage: 5d4 + 1d6 ⇒ (4, 3, 4, 1, 3) + (1) = 16
"what I have is my own business..." his voice starts to trail off as he starts being lulled in my Isham's story but with a sharp shake he snaps back to reality, "That wasn't very nice, and neither is this!" as he hurls his axe at Isham. The weapon spins end over end and Isham is confronted with a disturbing sight as the weapon literally passed right through his armour. Beneath the metal his skin feels the bite of the blade as well as a deep chill as if the weapon had been submerged in a frozen lake before contacting him.
Isham takes 7 damage from the sudden attack. Top of the round
Will save: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
attack vs Isham: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16damage: 1d6 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 1 + (3) = 7
With a heavy and thick spit in everyone's general direction he wipes his mouth with his dirt sleeve, "You dun wish a fight, yet that twit," pointing at Rutilux with his axe, "runs me and my sleigh over like a maniac. If you lot have a whole deal of nerve."(insert Rutilux's question)"Smokie Joe? Haven't heard that name in years, why?"(insert Ana's threat/inticement) as he makes no attempt to hide his inspection, "I'm sure you are but I've not no interest in old hags."
In the back of the upturned sleigh are two sacks, one small but overstuffed with something hard and possibly pointed and the other easily large enough to hold a person.
In addition to above you see that the small sack seems full of bottles of something, probably wine. The most disturbing factor is the fact that this man is leaving no indents or marks in the snow. The sleigh and his elk left tracks but even crawling out from underneath left no trace of him
Everyone rushes headlong after the sleigh and Rutilux outpaces everyone, rushing forward in hopes of buying time for everyone else to catch up despite the large lead that it has. As he swings around in front of the sleigh he sees a heavyset man dressed in furs covered in a thick blanket of cigar smoke that seems to blur and partially obscure his details and his body. Unfortunately he doesn't get much of a chance to examine the rider because the man cuts at the reins causing the two dark furred elk to veer in his direction slashing out with their antlers. Rutilux steers Sunfire out of their antlers range just barely as they barrel past him.
With the elk unable to keep up their pace as they weave back and forth and sometimes cutting away abruptly your luck turns as the sleigh hits a rock half buried in the hard snow causing the sleigh to tip sideways and topple over. The elk continue to pull the overturned sleigh until their halter ropes snap freeing them to escape.
The man pulls himself up and out of his overturned sleigh just as the rest finally manage to catch up.
Initiative and first actions please
Mr. Lawrence forwards two numbers to the hard line (his normal contact as well as a 'fan is broken' number) as well a data file.
Inside the data file
Team leader, heavily augmented close combat specialist. Known aliases: Darcy Quinn, Able Three, Sammy/Samantha Avery. Known places of Interest: Jeb's diner, Warblers Den, the Electric House. No known address.
Team hacker, superficial augmentation, limited combat abilities. Known aliases: Bobby Orr, Wizard501, Elberect the Destroyer(sim-mmorpg:Heavenly Quest). No known places of interest. No known address.
Team arcane specialist, no known augmentation. known Aliases: Emmery Phillips, Oriculango, Gar the Red. Known places of interest: Elm St Redline, Salim's Arcane Emporium, Redwood Memorial park, Denny's (various locations). Last known address: 8546-32 Wellington place.
This team of runners where hired to procure a valuable artifact for a client. After acquiring the item they cut ties and went dark. Network agents have located several transmissions relating to the object and a supposed digital auction of it happening in several days.
The only magic aura comes from a stone ring on Montulo's finger that appears to be a ring of protection of some sort
A short while later, the trail leads into in a small copse of trees and disappears. Zethyris, Skallagbiorn and Isham spend several minutes scouring the area for signs of exit to no avail but just when you are about to lose hope, Zethyris spots something moving in the distance.
Near the edge of the horizon is a low cart being pulled by some horned creatures, probably elk or moose, and moving away at an almost reckless speed considering the limit of the light provided by the stars.
Those who failed the last roll, reduce all skill checks, attack rolls and attribute checks by 1
The boy is still sleeping soundly despite having a large and probably heavy wooden shield clutched tightly over him.
The tracks are faint in the snow. The snow itself has turned hard and snaps and crunches under your feet. After everyone that's leaving gathers their horses and mounts up, excluding those doing the tracking who lead their horses, you all head off north I to the night. Following the drag mark for over a mile and a half the open ground is getting a bit rougher and you are getting close to woods.
Can I get a DC10 fortitude save from everyone. The two trackers need to roll survival again
Somehow missed those posts
The girls room is full of the faint yet pungent smell of cheap cigars as well a what could be spiced beer. Sitting atop the dresser is a small but finely made silver mirror and a bone hair brush. The beds sheets and blankets lay on the floor at the foot of the bed and near them is the crushed remains of a large cigar. In the light of the lamps you can see small wet stains on the wooden floor where the beer smell is coming from.
There are no signs of the girl and the window is still shuttered and locked from the inside and various wooden carvings stand undisturbed on the window sill.
(Rose)"Hey what's going on out there? You were all arguing and now you've just suddenly stopped."
"Well he did retire in a way miss. He left the shadow game but never left the world. Over the last several years, and with my help, he came to be one of the most sought after mechanics in San Francisco for runners and their gear. As well as others with needs that standard shops and dealerships can't provide. Its a real pity he's gone but i made a deal and I always uphold my deals to the spirit of them. Some of you are new to the city and some of you haven't been around in a while. As your agent I can help get you in touch with jobs and suppliers all across the city. For a price of course, I'm not a charity."
Creeping into the room as quietly as you can your skirts happen to rustle several wooden objects lying on the floor. You pause and wait to see if she noticed but there no one there. The bed is empty and the window is still shuttered tightly from the inside. You can smell facing traces of tobacco and ... Spiced beer?
knowledge religion/arcana DC20:
GEAS primarily are the purview of powerful priests or wizards as well as strong otherworldly beings and only equally powerful beings can remove them afterwards
Thorvald and Skallagbiorn:
Most ulfen births and deaths are kept record at the presiding churches. Most common families don't keep written records of relations, word of mouth is usually enough. Those related to more powerful or influential clans may keep documents or proof to protect them in the case of weregild. Lesser and affiliated families joined to or under the protection of a clan will usually wear their clans colouring (similar to Scottish and Irish traditions of plaid pattern and colourings) or carve the clans heraldry visibly upon their property.
"Margrave forces everyone to bend knee, those with skills he can use get used, those without are left as fodder for the rest of live a life of slavery until they can't work anymore or die of exhaustion." she finishes the food that's left and then begs off any more questions for the morning.
if anyone wants to do something tonight say so, otherwise well skip to morning tomorrow night.
With the flick of a button the screen shifts from black to a shadowed image of a man sitting at a desk. All of his features have either been hidden by shadow or blurred by high end software. "Hello, you must be Greybeard's... friends from up north. You may call me Mr. Lawrence. I'm sure you have several questions like who am I and how did I know you were there. Suffice it to say I was Greybeard's agent here and he asked me to contact you if you ended up showing"
"If he's not dead then we are all in danger. I don't think you understand the extent of his power. In less than five years he was able to take every bandit, highwayman, thug and vagabond for leagues around bend knee to him. I don't know all that much about him but I know that his seven lieutenants are terrified of him and their power terrifies me. I've never heard of him having anything that can fly, unless maybe Weller conjured something. I've heard he consorts with devils and has one as a pet. Your arrival caught Margrave off guard, I figured that I could use the chaos of that, plus his lieutenants were gone. I figured you could either deal with him before he realized what was happening or we could escape together and I needed your muscle to deal with anyone he sent after us. I, I don't know what I'll do now but I know that I'll never let anyone, any man, make me into his pet ever again. Maybe if I travel far enough south he won't be able to find me, I've heard some raiders talk about the shackles, maybe there." she stops and sips at the soupy broth for a bit before continuing. "Well aside from a few hundred thugs and bandits he controls a large band of raiders, the 'Mad Eyes', led by one of the seven. Gluorg, is crazy, he's almost as big as you," pointing to Skallagbiorn, "but him, and to a lesser extent his men, are berserkers. I'm talking about raving, howl at the moon kind of crazy who somehow are able to ignore fatal wounds for as long as their battle continues. Then there's 'Wulf', he's another one of the seven. He leads an army of mercenaries called the band of the wolf or something but he's been gone for a long time. He's an expert swordsman and rumours say he's a lycanthrope. Puylo keeps everyone in line. He's a former gladiator from the south with a strange sense of honour. Don't even try to fight him. I've watched him fight twenty to one and walk away without even being touched. I already told you about Margrave's Arcanist, Weller, he's an infernalist. He can turn people into mindless slaves and create flames that burn even water. I don't think anyone aside from. Margrave knows anything about Shade, he just shows up when he's finished his job and wants another. Heck I don't even know if he's a he or not, or if he's human. Wrask is an ice troll. I heard he was a hunter and a trapper before Margrave taught him the fun of hunting people. The last one is another horror. Margrave just calls him the doctor, but he he doesn't save lives he more interested in finding new and creative ways of killing people. I think he also dabble in necromancy but I've never found any proof."
Since you sat through that Q&A session you can take the twenty Skallagborin and Ana
When you check on the children the boy is safely in his bed sleeping with the shield beside him, nothing to worry about.
When you open the door to the young woman's room you are certain you spotted movement but when you had the door fully open you realize that the movement must have come from the curtains on the window blowing back and forth. She is sleeping soundly although she does stir a bit when you open the door allowing you to see that she isn't as young as everyone first believed.
The house is locked up tightly and the fire is still slowly burning.
Outside in the bitter cold you can see very little but you can't see signs of any danger. Making your circuit around the house you can see that everything is secure, all of the windows are shuttered tightly and almost no light can be seen coming from the house.