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Ok folks, I'm struggling a little with this and I think it's time to move on, if no one minds. Ara does not know how to destroy the demon blood, and for Beagan to test it, the vial would have to be opened. People chose not to open it again (wisely, I think).
Detect evil would find it... if it were out of the vial, or the vial were open.
Poor Jurin does not smell anything around his tent except for Brokenose.
Shall we go on to tomorrow morning?
Laina reports back to Cole once he is in his tent.
"There were several that approached your tent. Sosiel came by, but a bottle of wine. He said he hoped to talk to you about troop morale. Aron came by, said he had hoped to talk siege tactics with you. Nurah stopped by, about tomorrow's route. One of the cavalry people came by the name of Gerymi came by, but seemed flustered when I asked what she wanted. She seemed nice, by the way." she adds with an impish grin.
Beagan Berelcar wrote:
Beagan's channel does not appear to affect the blood within the bottle. Do you uncap it to try it outside of the bottle?
sorry for the lag.
Aravashnyel hands the bottle back to Serra, transferring it as carefully as if it were poison or acid that might spill at any moment.
"Yes, that is one of the demonic drugs. See how it moves in defiance of the laws of our plane? It should be destroyed."
After talking with his squire, Serra heads over to Aravashnyel's tent.
"Ahh, there you are! I was beginning to think the good Captain would be keeping you all evening. Come, sit and..." The elf's friendly words trail off at Serra's question, whatever good humor he had been entertaining thoroughly doused by the question.
"What do you mean, "distilled" blood, Serra?" Caution, disbelief and disgust mingle in the tone of his voice, but he waits for Serra to continue.
With discussion dwindling to a trickle, one by one the companions separate to be on their way. Serra takes the offensive vial with him in hopes of getting Aravashnyel's input on it.
If anyone else is going with Serra, please let me know. If you are NOT going with Serra, let me know where you do head.
It strikes Eli as soon as the vial is opened, an intense promise of everything he's ever dreamed of. His wife, his children, even power to make his enemies pay and pay and pay. It coils in dark shadow, slick tendrils leaping within the vial as if to meet him half way. The draw of it seeks, and finds that hollow within his heart and promises it to fill it with whoever, and whatever he might desire most; all he must do is sip.
The scent burns his nose, like rotting roses as he sniffs. It is enough; he seals it again quickly. IF his hand trembles, perhaps it is simply the cold of the evening, a mere coincidence. Surely it is that..
"On it, Sir." She says with a grin, then takes off to gather the lords, waking them if necessary.
Serra: Laina creeps quietly up towards where Aravashnyel and Serra sit talking. She waits for a suitable break in the conversation before interrupting. "Excuse me, Sir Serra. Commander Cole would like your counsel, if you please."
Beagan: "Sir Beagan, if you've untangled the problem here, Commander Cole has a knotty one he would like to discuss with you."
Eli: The young woman coughs, from the edge of the firelight, but does not come fully into its illumination. "Si..Sir Elyanias, C-c-commander Cole would like a moment of your time, if you could." She stutters slightly and disappears back into the darkness as soon as her message has been delivered, bringing a raised brow from Marcus.
"She is either terribly officious, or perhaps offended by Saul's dark looks. Give her our apologies, 'Sir Elyanias' as we will give yours to this bottle of cider."
Serra Iondri Phaer wrote:
Ara takes the book tenderly, knowing the value and trust inherent in such an offer. "Thank you, Serra. Yes, Let's compare and see where we might both benefit from such an exchange."
We can go over spells off thread.
Jurin Kreedsön wrote:
Laina nods, moving quickly to leave, "Of course. The two of you must talk breakfast strategies and such." The woman smiles at both of them on her way out, her mood somehow lightened by the quartermaster's quirks.
Beagan Berelcar wrote:
"Is there any reason these ropes would have been coated, or dipped in special goo?" Given the poles sometimes found up their backsides, who knows what these knights due with their ropes.
Frederick scrubs at the back of his neck, grumbling."Just the usual to keep them from absorbing water. It should protect it, not make it fray." To prove it, the man moves to his pack, pulling out a small tin of protect-all, a slime put on ropes to make them more water resistant.
perception: 1d20 ⇒ 3 The container looks like any other sort for such things.
Even as he calls it "hated thing", his body knows it for the lie it is. His muscles tingle in anticipation and tiny flares of need erupt in his brain. He looks about, but sees no one. But he can follow the feeling, back into the cook wagon. Back to his bedroll. There in the blankets, he finds it. A small vial, swirling with a black viscous liquid. It calls to him, so much more potent than Faith's blood fresh from her wounds. It aches with promise and pulses with shadow. This is not blood as he knows it, but something...refined. distilled. And it promises so much more than a memory.
at the end of the evening, after Brokenose and the others have called it a night, a familiar tang catches at the back of your throat and hisses in your veins. Memories of *Her* whisper in your mind, that first taste she gave you of The Blood."Drink, Baby... drink and know Me. And I will always be with you. Just one taste, and you will always be able to find me." There is a source, somewhere close.
Laina thinks for a moment before answering quietly. "It feels... bad. The bog was a mess, and did you notice how fresh the plants were that were beneath the water? It hadn't been there long. And the tents falling down like that. I'm not that great with ropes and such things, but surely they should have held up a little better. But I'm new to this; maybe moving this many people is always like this? What do the specialists think? I tried talking to Aron, but he looked ready to jump out of his skin, so I thought I'd best leave him alone."
"Whaat,!?! Oh!! Begging your pardon, Sir..."Buaxelais' cheeks flush a deep red as he realizes who he was addressing. " It's these ropes. Frederick was supposed to check them this morning and he said they were fine, but three of them broke while we were putting the tent up just now. " He casts a guilty glance at Frederick; not really wanting to get the man in trouble, no that he's calming down.
"I'm sure it was merely an oversight." Buaxelais mumbles.
Frederick, however, is undaunted, "I swear to you, Sir, the ropes looked fine this morning. Buaxie probably just doesn't know his own strength. No harm done."
The three ropes are frayed where they've broken. From Beagan's studies in painting, it looks like some substance may have been applied that weakened them, though he doubts it was acid from the goats.
craft: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
With the raising of the tents, raised voices draw attention to a collapsed tent on the northern side.
"I told you, I did check it, and the ropes were ok when I packed it up this morning!"
"If you did, then why are they snapped this evening? Do you think the goats were acid bearing beasts and somehow *SPIT* all the way across camp to ruin our tent?"
Two men, Buaxelais and Frederick, both young men from Taldor seem ready to come to blows over the poor condition of their tent, which lays in a heap nearby.
The troop continues, this time towards the east until they find a place where they can cross without sinking into muck and mud. By the time they are on the other side and on their way, the sun is setting once more in the west. It's possible that the company could push through to Vala's Gift and reach it before morning, or they could camp again this evening and move on the next morning and reach it by mid day.
st: 1d20 ⇒ 14
st: 1d20 ⇒ 3
st: 1d20 ⇒ 20
st: 1d20 ⇒ 1
st: 1d20 ⇒ 3
st: 1d20 ⇒ 12
st: 1d20 ⇒ 1
st: 1d20 ⇒ 17
st: 1d20 ⇒ 13
st: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Nurah suggests going to the East to go around the boggy land, assuming that it will be worse towards the west.
This makes sense to your seasoned survival skills, but it does move you further away from your expected route. The stream is likely thinner in that direction (to the east), with the bogginess broader wherever the blockage of the steam is in combination with the flatter before the drop to join the river. However, from the look of the plants beneath the water, this bog is new, something has blocked the stream, making it overflow its bed.
Saul flushes and looks fit to burst at the reprimand, but Marcus smiles and touches his nose. "No harm done, Eli. I am not so fragile as all that. And I'm no nobleman, knighted by the queen. Saul, you best stick to Eli now; we have to protect the nobles and all."
moving on, unless anyone has anything I missed.
The journey continues, though more slowly. There is more weight to carry, now with the goat meat and the ground begins to prove less hospitable the further north they go.
"I did think it would be better than this, Sir Cole. This bog wasn't here on my last trip this way." Nurah says. "it was just a stream, easily forged. If we'd had outriders, we'd have known the sooner and could have saved some time by angling around it. As it is now, we either fight the wagons across..." She pauses, looking at Cole's mount as it continues to high step, its hooves sinking back into the mud on the way down. "... or we back up a bit and cut around,hoping to find drier ground. "
The stench of the dressing of the goats spurs a quick clearing of other areas, with wagons, horses and people moving away as quickly as is reasonably possible. Still, it takes 4 hours to complete and pack everything; it its mid-day before the troop is on the move once more.
Please do not let this stop any conversations that were still in play.
Sosiel, the priest of Shelyn approaches Jurin, hoping to help. A wicked rope burn cuts across his nose, and he seems to be limping.
"Blessed Morning, Jurin! Our leader had requested I take spells to help with the feeding of the men, and I am very glad to have complied. While it will not feed everyone, it could feed many while you are working on getting things together, no?"
Aron seems less than joyous at his side, but he too offers to help, "How are you wagons, Quartermaster? I can take a look and make certain they are still in good shape."
Brokenose brings up yet another goat and lays it nearby. "We'll need to dress them, Jurin. Can't let them poison on their innards. How many of them will we be taking the time to dress?"
Amber and Aravashnyel join Serra by the wagon, surveying the damage. "It will need to be freed of all of it's contents, of course. Then we can fix it right up." Aravashnyel offers.
"He's right. It wouldn't do to have any confusion there." Amber adds, grabbing some of the stomped goods from the wagon. "Hmm.... this could be saved as well; with a little magic. We might need it as well."
As Cole walks the camp, he finds several tents have been damaged. People sleeping in them when the stampede hit became entangled when the tents fail. Some cut their way out to try to face the danger on their feet, just in time to see the Paragon Knights disperse the crazed herd.
He walk brings him to the tents of the specialists; Nurah's on the left, with Aron and Sosiel's immediately to the right of it. The halfling stands free of her tent, picking and poking at that of her neighbor's.
"I think it's fixable, Sir. Just a few cuts. Aron and Sosiel finally found their way out and have gone to see the Quartermaster to help with breakfast." She smiles broadly at Cole.
Cole Zeff wrote:
Walking through camp, Cole finds most of the wagons are whole, their tenders checking them over. The southern most one, though, has a broken wheel and holes in one side. "It's gonna need fixing, Sir. This wheel is useless. Putting the next on on and fixing the side will take at least until midday."
Serra Iondri Phaer wrote:
Several goats find the end of their remaining minutes at the end of Serra's flying ranseur.
Amber nods in answer to his question. "Yes, that was not quite the morning I'd been thinking of, but I'm quite awake now."
Elyanias Myoch wrote:
The goats, though as large as a man and with vicious looking horns, do not appear to be demon tainted.
Saul shrugged and flushed, rubbing at the back of his neck. "I had a feeling I'd need it. Just didn't realize it'd be to keep you safe from sweaters on the hoof."
Beagan and Xanthos surge to the aid of the poor stable boys and their charges, jumping in front of the goats before they might thunder over the young workers.
Jurin moves forward and tosses a spells worth of flour into the eyes of the lead goats. Meanwhile, Brokenose and Elliott help detangle Patricia from the tent. will save for goats: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18 I'm pretty sure that beats the save for the blindness. But boy do those goats stand out now.
Eli as noted above, calls forth three firebeetles to help him. He then sounds a loud boom to go with it. Marcus and Saul continue as they had begun, with Marcus' arrow raining death upon a small knot of goats. Between them all, they scatter one clump of goats while stun another full clump into falling.
From his airy position, Serra can see the back of the stampeding herd of goats. If there are other dangers beyond that, they elude his focused perusal.
Amber begins to draw a wand, then suddenly steps back, and to one side. "Mercy, Kastor! so caught up in this, I nearly missed you there. Here, let us see what they think of this!" with a efficient flick, she casts another pyrotechnics spell. This one crackles and snaps and takes on the looming presence of a giant bear.
The goats continue on; their panicked momentum carrying them to their doom. Several run into the lancemen, ramming into the horses only to be wounded themselves. ram: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 221d6 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12 ram: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 81d6 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Cole and Laina shoot into the middle of the goats, bringing it to its knees. It goes down into the dust, only to be trampled by the goats behind it.
The last of the goats pay no heed to the dangers in front of them, attacking whatever is in their path. In this case, it proves to be two horses.
ram: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 141d6 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
A hail of arrows come from the other knights, raining down in thin sheets of death. The stampede thins, those animals that can still do so heading north, or south, anywhere, but into the continued death that awaits in the camp.
And we are out of initiative
With the cohesion of the herd broken, the noise and the dust die down; and so does the danger, leaving only an accounting of the damage done before the day can get under way.
saves for goat block 1: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13
Eli's spell goes off, a small herd of fire bettles coming to face off against the...what? yes, the goats, for all can see they are goats now, stampeding towards the camp.
Quickly, Eli adds another spell, a loud 'Booom' adding insult to the poor goats injury. Several (the first block) stumble and fall, so stunned are they by the noise, but the others continue on.
Marcus fires again into the midst, dropping a goat into the way of his companions. The combination proves too much for some of the goats, and a bit of the stampede splinters off from the group.
Round 3, Summary
Beagan Berelcar(Aravashnyel): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Jurin called upon whatever magic makes him so Jurin-y and he becomes twice more the man he apparently he is. Further, he instructed Brokenose to protect the other kitchen assistants. Brokenose followed the orders, turning towards the others. ”Come, on you two! Get up on that bluff over there. That’s got to be safer than here.” Elliott moved quickly, grabbing up a bubbling pot to take with him, but poor Patricia cried from inside the kitchen tent, “Ooof! I can’t. I’m stuck!”
Serra called out for his blade, then cast about for something to do. His body lightened as the ability to fly overcame him.
Amber gathered what she could, scrolls and wands and scurried behind the horses. ”Oh yes, that might do!” she said, then she too cast a spell, a flash of light and sound sparking in front of the leading goats.
Kastor huffle hurries to Serra’s side, the ranseur held out with great pride and purpose.
Most of the goats, frightened by the fire of Beagan’s lance and the flashes of Amber’s pyrotechnics, turned more toward the north, but they continued dangerously close to the wagons. One small group, though, continues forward, towards some of the unmanned horses, and a few stable hands.
Jothinra grabbed the Mendevian Banner from its place, and used it to inspire the men. The men responded, moving to their places and firing, or rushing to engage. Jothinra whistled for Agathon and the horse nearly pulled free of Lanceman Sipherac’s grasp to go to his Master.
Begin Round 4
The beasts thunder across the ground en masse, their panic shaking the ground beneath the camp like a dog shakes the fleas upon its back. Every tent in the camp collapses from the shuddering, drawing squawks and grunts from those still sleeping inside.
Nurah comes skittering out the back of her tent, gasping as she narrowly escapes the tent silk.
Cole, finally able to get some idea of the carnage thundering at them finds himself nonplussed to figure out any way to turn the herd of...well, something, away from the campsite.
Jothinra begins to give orders, shouting at his men. For their part, they quickly scramble to do as they are told. From within the tents, those that had been grabbing a few moments of sleep before striking camp try to comply, but many find themselves entangled within the tents. Still, several bark out an obedient, "Yes,Captain!"
Good news! Everyone that wasn't awake inside the tents is now awake. Bad news, 80% of them are now entangled.
percent of tents: 100 = 100 percent entangled: 1d100 ⇒ 81
Begin Round 3
The camp becomes a hive of activity, though most folks have little if any knowledge of where the danger lies or what it is that approaches. Still, Serra, Eli, Aravashnyel, and one of the stumbling knights still trying to find his horse, seem to have spotted something coming from the south east.
Begin Round 2
Beagan and Jurin (with their companions) are up. Please remember to make your perception checks with the additional +4 to your roll vs the DCs stated above.. Don't feel like you have to wait for those ahead of you; the trouble is still 100feet or more out. I may have been off on how long it will take them to reach you. Oops. ;)
Cole Zeff: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Elyanius Myoch: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Beagan Berelcar: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
Serra Iondri Phaer: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
Elyanius Myoch: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (15) + 0 = 15
Jurin: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
Goats 1: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Goats 2: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Goats 3: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Goats 4: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Jothinra: 1d20 ⇒ 7
Since this is kind of new, please bear with me. On your initiative, please give me some idea of what you think your character's connected NPCs are doing on this round. If you have more than 2, pick only 2 of them as the other one is sleeping
"Not Erastil, No...." Marcus says, with an unusual solemnity to his features. The man hesistates, clearly not wanting to go forward. "It was a dream. Not of Erastil, but blessed by him, I am certain. I heard a voice I had not heard in a very long while. She bid me come to you, that you might make it through what you face now." he takes a swig of the Applejack and passes it back. "When the gods talk through dreams, even those not your own, it is best to listen."
" To Arms! Something Comes and Quickly!"
A cloud of dust stirs to the east. A rumble of the ground comes with it. 500 feet or more out, and headed directly at the campsight.
Creatures of some kind are within the dust. more than one or three, or even 10. There is a bleating to go with the rumble.
A herd of goats, larger than usual and with wicked horns, are stampeding towards the camp. They will reach it in 10 rounds.
"Oh. Yes, Sir. Of course." The man takes a step back and turns on his heel to go find Cole.
"Liam Fretz, Sir. Sorry to interrupt, but the uhhh, I mean, Sir Syrup said that I should ask you... is it to be a full camp, Sir? With tents and fires? Or a cold camp? The men were wondering." The man stands overly erect and at attention as he awaits his Leader's response.
Serra Iondri Phaer wrote:
While there is little cover, Serra is able to find an area that will suit.
A young man with old eyes approaches, asking about the possibility of fires for cooking. "...And will it be a full camp, Sir? With tents?"
With the delay from the messenger, and then re-organizing of the wagons and knights, the sun is almost entirely gone by the time they are moving again. To the East, stars begin to dot the sky and the moon rises pale in the sky, giving the land they pass through an almost magical appearance. Not truly a portion of the World wound, this last seems like home for those from places further south and not infested with demons. Thin tufts of grass whip at the legs of the horses, taunting them with the taste of a succulent meal.
knowledge local 12:
The area they are passing through is one of the few remaining fertile agrarian areas near Kenabres. Vala's Gift, the small hamlet that is scheduled to be their first stop is an ideal place to rest. The river meanders to the West here, leaving a broad terrace of arable land; perfect for growing grains, which has been invaluable to Kenabres.
Cole is surprised to find very little of the ash mounds here. It is only after thinking about it that he realizes that the river meanders widely to the west, leaving a triangular wedge of good land. Apparently, the demons didn't come this far across the river. The river meanders further to the East further up, and they will meet up with it just past Vala's Gift.
The horses plod fairly easily even in the dark, though the wagons move slowly, lugging down the troop's progress.
How long into the night do you plan to travel?
The knights to a man turn and move forward, protecting the supply wagons. In the 'wound, the loss of those could mean death, or worse...
The cloud of dust soon gathers detail. A horse head first, then hooves, then finally the person atop the beast. "Irabeth sent me." says the messenger, gathering her breath. " 'Quednys requires one of the Paragons for a mission of grand importance. The queen agreed on her way out of town.' She does not say what the mission is, but did say that you should choose, Sir."
The Company sets out with Cole near the front, the other Paragons scattered throughout and the supply wagons bringing up the rear. The suggested route is due north to Vala's Gift.
The way looks somewhat familiar as it is just a little West of the route he and Laina took on their last day of travel. They did not go quite north enough to hit Vala's Gift, a small farming town that has looked to Kenabres for its commerce in the past.
Laina tries to get accommodated to riding a horse, but only stubbornness seems to keep her in the seat.
Nurah draws near to Beagan, calling to him over the rumble of this many people on the move, "Well now, Sir Beagan, if it's songs you want song, perhaps you could part with the stories of your Victory in the Gray Garrison for me, and I may sing you into History."
Suddenly, a "hail! " comes from those in the back, then another closer to the ears of each of the Paragons. "There is a cloud of dust approaching from behind us, from Kenabres. How would you like it handled, Sir Cole?"
The girl blinks...then blinks again at the aforementioned horse. "Uhhh... my apologies, Mistress uhhh, Ma'am. I uhh, don't know very much about horses, you see. So I'm didn't realize." She nods, wondering why Klarah couldn't come on the trip if Jurin gets to be Quarter Master General.
When all and sundry are ready, the expedition begins to move out. If you have preferences for where you are riding in the train, let me know.
Laina stalks off fuming only to realize she'll need to explain to Cole why she's not riding. She paces near his tent for a few minutes, but cannot convince herself to fail in front of him. Finally, she returns to the