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Finally managing to get his enlarged body under control, Storn swan for the rope, grabbing the trailing end just as Oorug hoisted himself out of the water and onto the deck of the ship. Several of the keelboat's crew grabbed the rope and hauled Storn in, after first begging him to release his spell to make it easier.
Once back on deck, Storn lay there gasping for breath and grinning in triumph. It was almost as if he threw himself into the water and let himself be chewed on by a crocodile for the fun of it.
"Very well, Halvor will escort you."
One of the men with the crossbows stood and nodded to the woman. He asked you to follow him and led you down a hallway to a suite of rooms at the end. The suite consisted of a bathing area with 3 tubs, a bedroom with two large beds, and a common area with 2 couches and a large overstuffed chair. The decor was opulent, and it was obvious that your hostess spared little expense.
Once you were inside the rooms, Halvor placed a guard outside the doors. Upon further investigation, Bruendor found that the taps of the tubs created hot and cold water on demand. No need for servants splashing water out of buckets, or even cold baths.
Another pair of crackling arrows plunge into the croc's back, even as it tore the dolhpin into two pieces. The cloud of blood around the predator grew even more as Sander's bomb arced into it. The croc vanished in an explosion of fire and a gout of water laced with gore.
The resulting splash inundated Storn, driving the giant-sized man under the water. Though he struggled and thrashed, he was unable to get back to the surface.
Storn is underwater, and must hold his breath until he can make that swim check (now DC10)
"Enough! Please, if you are from a future era, do they truly train goblins as singing pets? This is intolerable. You are saying that this phenomena in the sky is actually the end of my world, and happened centuries ago? Unlikely. It would take millenia for the recovery to take place to allow civilization to rebuild to the point where you came from."
"Still, it does correspond to some of the auguries I have read recently. Very well, you may stay in the guest wing, but if any of these dark elves, drow, purple monkeys, whatever you call them come looking for you, or send their demons to collect you, I will not risk any of my property or people in your defense. Also, you will stay in the quarters assigned to you and will not attempt to move about the rest of the manor. Do I make myself clear?"
To me, it was simply Paizo's attempt at making crafting worthwhile, and boosting some of the "softer" skills (like appraise) that rarely got love in 3.5. In fact, the only people I know who took crafting skills in 3.5 were those out to make huge savings on making their own magic items with all kinds of restrictions to reduce the cost.
I have no problems with the take 10 mechanic, as it reflects my experience with everyday life. I have an employee, who can range between abominable and stellar on any given task when the pressure is on. Given no pressure, he is a steady state average. I have noticed this in a lot of employees at the various jobs I have worked at.
All of that aside, as Angelica pointed out, we are using them in my games, so use them if you want to. If not, don't (But no crying that the dice roller hates you, either)
"There has been an...unsavory element intruding upon our domain these days. I had thought that it was simply another influx of elves from teh south. What are these dark elves and drow you speak of? From whence do they hail? And what is an Echo? We have seen the demons, of course, but that is certainly nothing to be disturbed about. Someone has obviously summoned them for research purposes."
"Still, your words sound honest and true, though they seem to make little sense. Convince me that you are not fugitives from the legitimate authority of Celwynvian."
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Sander's second bomb soared over Storn's head and splashed into the water. The explosion was muffled, and the crocodile didn't seem to be much fazed by it. It was much more disturbed by the arrows that Quill launched into its back. As it squirmed in the water,near death, Storn inhaled and shouted. With the shout, the big man grew even bigger, more like a giant. The change in size finished off the crocodile, tearing open its already mortal wounds.
The dolphin that appeared as a result of Molly's spell slammed into the remaining crocodile, bruising its underbelly. The croc hesitated as Molly's spell washed over its mind, then retaliated by gnashing at the dolphin. It sank its teeth into the dolphin and began to thrash.
Oorug started puling himself up the rope, but paused as Storn assumed giant size. His eyes were wide as saucers as the big man thrashed in the water.
Storn needs to make a DC15 swim check to stay afloat.
The dolphin takes 12 damage which kills it I think. If not, it's grappled.
1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
Storn turned to grab the rope that Molly had tossed into the water, but he floundered. If only he'd spent more time learning to swim like a fish, instead of drinking like one. Beside him, Oorug managed to stroke towards the rope, grasping it with an outstretched hand and reaching back for Storn, who was slowly falling behind as the current pulled the boat inexorable downstream. Other lines were tossed into the water behind Storn by the rest of the crew, in hopes that the big man would be able to grab one.
The nearer of the crocodiles put on a burst of speed, its heavy tail propelling it through the water at tremendous speed. It lunged upwards, catching Storn about the middle in its jaws. The pain was incredible as the sharp teeth punctured his belly and the croc began thrashing back and forth.
Storn takes 12 damage and is grappled.
As you watched, the woman flickered slightly, going from a solid appearance to an illusory one and back again. "Surmounting my walls, magically concealing your approach, and entering my manor is pretty much my definition of assaulting my holdings. I appreciate that your intent may not have been to do harm to me and mine, but your methods do not lend much confidence. Convince me, and I may offer the succor you seek."
On a further examination, the men with crossbows were not nearly as solid as they first appeared.
Bruendor pushed the door open. When nothing exploded, or leaped out to slice him open, he leaned in to peer inside. There was a large marble staircase leading up to the second level, overlooking a marble foyer. In an arc across the foyer was arranged eight crossbowmen, each with a loaded crossbow pointed straight at the dwarf. On the staircase was a severe looking woman, who said, "By all means, come in. I'll even give you the chance to explain why you are assaulting my residence before I have you imprisoned. "
Harbug - yes, 20g each
Harbug searched his memory for recollections of the name Marteme, but nothing stuck out. He later wanders the ship looking for magic auras, but does not find anything on the main or storage decks. From the captain's cabin he senses a minor aura, and again from Dialla Marteme's cabin. He scowled as he saw how the first mate laid about with his whip, but saw that the crew was certainly working hard under the lash.
Sander, being agile, managed to fling himself to the side to grab onto a solid portion of the rail. Storn, and Oorug beside him, splashed into the water beside the ship.
Molly grabbed a rope and tossed it in to the water, begging the downed duo to grab hold. With a concerned look, she glanced behind the boat. The pair of crocs that had been trailing the craft for hours weren't behind it any longer. Instead, a pair of v-shaped wakes were speeding towards Storn and Oorug.
Molly, are you aiming the rope at any particular person, or just into the water?
Here's the map
Sorry about falling down on the mapping job. Water is not my forte :)
Sander - that' a good summary of what you know of the crew so far.
Storn leaned against the same rail as Sander, looking out into the water and to the crocs following behind. He stretched his limbs as Oorug came up to join him.
"Nice work on the oars, Storn! It's not often that someone new can pick up the slack on the oars like that. And that haul of fish this morning! I saw that turtle, and I can't wait to see what supper's like. You guys are all right. And, tell Quill not to take Halrex's words too seriously. She knows that a god lookout and spotter is just as important as being able to row. She's just hard on any new rowers...ack!"
As Oorug leaned against the rail as he was talking. He cried out as the railing gave way, and all three - Oorug, Storn, and Sander flailed about trying to catch their balance on the rocking boat. Leaning out over the water, it wasn't hard to think of the consequences of falling in!
I need reflex saves from Sander and Storn.
Purchases made, and a night of rest later, you find yourselves on the Wanton Ways just before dawn. The captain tells you in no uncertain terms where to stand, and what to touch - nothing!
The ship was off and into the bay with little enough fuss, though the first mate seems to be overly free with his whip. The man lashed out any time he saw the slightest mistake or sign of malingering, and it was easy to see that the crew strongly disliked him.
The ship was completely packed with cargo, and it was clear why the captain tried to squeeze you for every copper that she could. If indeed she did miss her delivery deadline, there was enough cargo on board to cost her hundreds of gold in delivery fines.
There was another passenger on board, introduced by the captain as Dialla Marteme. She apparently was headed all the way to Korvosa and had booked a room for herself, while the rest of you would be spending the night in the common crew quarters. The woman didn't appear to be interested in conversation and closed herself up in her room almost as soon as the ship cast off.
The trip is going to take at least one night. Feel free to RP what your character is going to do for 24 hours. Ask questions as needed.
Indeed, there are no sewers shown on the map, and you haven't seen any sign of drainage grates or sewer entrances from the roads. Given elves' propensity for arcane magics, it is entirely likely that their entire waste removal system is based on applied prestidigitation.
The place marked Ekardani's Estate on the map is one of the few walled compounds in Celwynvian. There is only one access point through the walls, and that it the front gate. The walls themselves are more for show than any real security - only eight feet tall and not even topped with spikes or broken glass.
The morning passed as you drudged through your daily efforts. Some of you met with more success than others. And for some, well it wasn't exactly surprising that Quill wasn't suited for rowing. Still, he was given a fair go at it before Coxswain Halrax ordered him to "Get your hairless arse off of that bench and go sit in the watch tower, you puling, useless kitten! And if anything sneaks up on us while you're up there, I'll toss you to the crocs, no matter what the Captain says!"
Storn, on the other hand, took to rowing like a fish to water. Or like an Ulfen to drink. Shouting and singing with the half-orcs, he steadily pulled on the oar for the entire morning. When the mid-day shift change came, his arms and back were sore from the unaccustomed exercise, but he was still in good spirits.
Between them, Sander and Molly took care of the horses. First mucking out their stables and changing the hay, then feeding and rubbing down one that had gone lame the day before. Neither were hostlers, but between them they knew enough to get the job done. The fishing was another matter. The nets that the crew had set over the side were heavy, and neither were exactly strong. They got the nets partially up the side and anchored, but had to call for help to get them the last of the way on board. The catch was good, and would fill the plates for a day or two. Of particular interest to Krothu, the crewman that served as head cook, was a giant sand turtle that was nearly half as big as Sander.
Molly didn't do so hot in the kitchen with Krothu that morning, leaving a pot of porrige too close to the fire and scorching it. But, the half-orc allowed that Halrex was worse than useless in the kitchen, and no one on the crew would eat anything that Barka served up. Still, she wasn't likely to do more than her share of watches in the kitchen with those skills.
Basically, the morning went well. In down time, it was easy enough to meet at the port railing and look off into Belkzen across the water, or to stare down at the fish and other creatures swimming in the clear water. Crocodiles of various sizes could be seen in the water and on the banks, and one particularly large pair seemed to be following the boat, snapping up scraps that Krothu tossed out of the kitchen porthole.
At mid-day, the entire crew breaks for lunch, except for the Captain or whoever he designated to steer the boat. Take some time to talk, complain, or shoot things in the water. You know, whatever makes you happy.
Yeah, I'm guessing your house was built in the 80s or early 90s when they were fist putting in the PBT pipes. That Quest piping had a massive lawsuit and recall. Class actions went on for years.
The new PBT piping doesn't have that problem, but it doesn't help when your house is all the old stuff. It cost about $8000 to have our house redone, and that was the "friends and family" discount.
Dinner was good, and the evening passed quickly. When the time came for the night watches, the off-duty crew went promptly to sleep, with little grousing or conversation. Oorug bade you do the same, and the night passed swiftly without incident.
The morrow brought the hustle and bustle of getting the keelboat into the water. There was no wind to speak of, so it was up to the horses and rowers to make the ramshackle boat move downstream at any speed faster than the sluggish current. Storn, unsurprisingly, ended up on the first rowing shift, with Quill pulling the oar in front of him.
Molly, having drawn mid-watch, slept in a little later than the others to find herself on breakfast duty. After that, it was a stint on the lookout tower.
Sander was tasked, along with Mariana, of helping cook breakfast and serving it to the crew at their stations. After that, it was time to muck out the stables and then fishing to try and augment the boat's supplies.
Coxswain Halrex made it clear that you would be rotating through the duty roster in the six days that it is estimated that the trip will take. She also makes no concealment of the fact that she feels anyone not doing their share at rowing is a slothful wasted piece of flesh. But, maybe that's just because she hasn't gotten to know you very well yet.
Storn and Quill:
Make a DC10 Strength check please, for your rowing pleasure.
Make me a DC10 profession(cook) or Int check.
Mariana and Sander:
Make me a DC10 Handle Animal or Ride check.
Then, make me a Strength, Survival, or Profession(Fisherman) check
The trip bac to the portal isn't very long, and the way was clear, almost as if any patrols had been warned to stay clear of you. It takes four applications of Kelendra's water spells, but you finally managed to get back to the portal. Funnily enough, looking through the portal, you can't see anything of the Academy rooms beyond. You distinctly remember looking from the other direction and seeing this shadow realm, but the real world doesn't appear visible from this pocket of time. It doesn't seem important until you try and pass through the portal...with no effect.
"Well, if ther are no mounts, and you can keep this one under control," the captain hooked a finger at Jakscar, "Then I can make it 250 gp for the five of you. This little side trip will put us a day and a half off our route and I've got a schedule to keep, the extra cost goes towards the risk of us running into calms or rough weather and making Korvosa a day or two late. And sorry, Whiskers, you aren't my type."
"Oh joy, a bunch of daylighters. It figures. You there, Molly, is it? You're on night watch, mid-shift with Sharg and Taug. The rest of you will be rotating on and off throughout the day. See me in the morning for your duties. For now, get some food, get to the know the rest of the crew, and get some sleep."