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1d10 ⇒ 3
Dashki leads the party across the rutted road to a large, two-story building (Building 3). A faded sign above the door, now loose on its hinges, along with the stables alongside (Building 4) suggest that it was once a common house. As the party slips inside, the impression is confirmed. Stools are scattered about and tables are upended, but the spacious room was clearly once a sort of tavern, and a dimly lit stairway in the back leads to an upstairs hall with rows of rooms on each side.
There don't appear to be any stairs going up to the roof. Dashki whispers, "Have to go out a window, reckon."
patrol: 1d10 ⇒ 4
Dashki slinks over to the door and looks out, remaining concealed from outside observation. "Cliff's about fifty foot to the road, then thirty more. One building is two story, roof is maybe... thirty foot up. Twenty foot left to climb. Rock is rough, broken. Any of you a climber?"
Dashki snorts and shakes his head, eyes watching the entrance and various areas of collapsed walls. "Nah, snakes ain't smart like some animals. Eat anythin' what moves, they will. No friend of the Kulldis, that's for sure. Might be they let it alone, hope it eats intruders. Us, say. Feed prisoners to it now and again, might be." In response to Valik's question about the sewers, he chuckles a little. "Why, you gotta go? Nah, no sewers. Ground's too hard, and it weren't ever that big a city anyways. Not much rain in these parts neither." He spits.
Dashki shrugs. "Up to you. Ask me, we scout out the lower city more, ambush a patrol or two."
The boar grunts and stirs in its sleep.
"Better decide fast, though, or it'll be boar like it or no. Better wakin' it with arrows than waitin' for it to charge."
Remember that you previously entered and exited the upper city through another route, around the NW side by the temple. That might be pertinent to Valik's concerns.
Dashki shrugs. "Dire boar's mean, ugly. Not stupid, anyway not too stupid to know friends. Fresh meat three times a day, he'll be nice enough to gnolls, I reckon. Humans, he'll probably charge on sight." He looks back in at the boar. "Or smell, more like. Probably shouldn't get too much closer, even if he is asleep."
The dire boar snuffles and grunts in its sleep, as if to underscore the guide's point.
"Might be able to sneak past if we want to go up, since it's sleepin'. Wouldn't want to try it awake."
Boar Stealth: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (5) - 1 = 4
Boar Perception (asleep, 20 ft): 1d20 + 12 - 10 - 2 ⇒ (5) + 12 - 10 - 2 = 5
Valik Stealth: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (1) - 3 = -2=>Fail
Dross Stealth: 1d20 - 4 ⇒ (12) - 4 = 8=>Fail
Travis Stealth: 1d20 - 4 ⇒ (15) - 4 = 11
Felliped Stealth: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Dashki Stealth, 2 party members failed: 1d20 + 11 - 4 ⇒ (13) + 11 - 4 = 20
Dashki Perception (through wall, 20 ft): 1d20 + 7 - 10 - 2 ⇒ (9) + 7 - 10 - 2 = 4
Dashki Know(nature) DC 14: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
Dashki leads the party through the broken lower town, ducking behind partial walls, pointing out patches of rubble to avoid walking on, and otherwise making them as unseen as possible in the early morning light. There are a few clinks from Valik's armor, and Dross sends a rock skittering across the empty street with a careless kick of his boot, but there don't seem to be any watchers to notice.
The building the group is moving to is located at the base of the road that winds around the bluff to the top of the hill and the upper town. It appears that it was once a guard post, with an arched gateway across the road. Now, the arch has collapsed, and the rubble has been cleared enough that there should be no difficulty in passing it. The building itself is in bad condition, with the wall facing into the road collapsed. The other three walls still stand, though the stucco that once covered them is peeling badly, and about half of the tile roof is still intact. As the group draws close, Dashki motions for them to halt.
"I hear somethin', he whispers, "Snorin', like." He listens closely and peers around the corner of the wall, then returns to the group, eyes wide and shaking his head. "Dire boar. They're nasty. Keep on fightin' even after they're dead. Not chained, don't look like. Maybe tamed for a guard. Sleepin' now, though."
"Might work up north, like. Not many trees in Katapesh. Buildings all stone and clay, don't burn much. Old ones like these, supports and furniture all rotted away." He shrugs. "Freein' the beastie might work, assumin' the gnolls ain't tamed it."
"Ask me, we should lay low. Scout around, wait for opportunities. Ambush 'em." He peers beck over the wall.
Dashki points at the southernmost building of those against the bluff. (Building 2) "That's where I seen the Kulldis takin' meat. Three times a day. Somethin' big in there." He turns and points the other way, across the river. "Over there, the mill (Building 7) they go in with a goat, come out without it. Somethin' in there too, likes live prey maybe." He sniffs and peers at the other building across the river. "Somebody in there, looks like."
It takes Dashki a moment to react to being spoken to, so fiercely is his angry gaze fixed on Felliped. "Huh? Oh. As to that... Gnolls see in the dark, better than men. Even pitch black, but just up close. At distance, they're blind as us. Best to move at night. Moon's almost full, so enough light to see by, but dark enough for cover."
Dashki screws up his face in an ugly grimace and tugs at his lank hair for a few moments before answering. "Aye, that's truth. Drawin' the Kulldis into battle won't get us anythin' but dead. But..." His eyes flicker between the other people, as though he is trying to decide whether to continue, "If they think yon pretty boy is still around, they're like to put on a show for him. Execute his fellows public-like, where he can see it, from the hills or the river, wherever he's hiding. If you was close, just a small group... Might stop it happenin'. Or," he looks darkly at Felliped for a moment before looking down again and continuing, "At least get close enough to put 'em out of their misery with an arrow. Gnolls ain't clean or quick about executions." He bares his teeth in a fierce grin.
Dashki shrugs. "We'll be killin' the Kulldis one way or another. Catchin' 'em by surprise makes it easier." He licks his lips nervously and glances around the room. "Ah... What about these friends of the...?" he gestures at Felliped, "We rescuin' them too, are we? Kulldis'll be mad that one got away, they might take it out on the others. If we're gonna grab 'em, might want to do it before we spend the time goin' to the fort."
Dashki's face brightens at the mention of resolving the geier situation before heading out to the guard post. "Mmm, that bird will be dangerous, alright. Probably want everyone around to help fight it off. Best wait here until then. Could be days before she comes back." He nods, looking somewhat relieved.
Dashki runs his fingers nervously through his greasy hair, glancing at the faces of his superiors. He licks his lips. "Yeah. Yeah, I can get you there. No water in the hills, but there is a well there. Uh, I think. Through the hills, it will take at least six hours. You'll want water skins, trail rations." He shrugs. "Weapons, I guess."
Dashki nods reluctantly. "Nearest place to cross the river east of Kelmarane is Hook Ford. That's a full day's walk. Probably more with one of those jingly iron sweaters on." He gestures contemptuously at Valik's armored coat. "Travel through the mountains is dangerous, too." He shrugs. "Makes this seem like a pretty nice spot, don't it?"
Dashki scowls at Valik, his eyes hard. "I... no. I don't know." His eyes dart shiftily from Valik, To Garavel, to Zastoran, and back to Valik. "I don't know what you mean. It's abandoned, like everything else. I don't go there. I mean, I haven't been there. Or the shrine, or the waterfall."[b] He thinks for a moment, avoiding meeting anyone's eyes. [b]"To get to the guard post, you have to cross the pesh fields. It's wide open, and the moon is full. Too easy to be spotted from Kelmarane, even at night."
Bluff: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (11) - 1 = 10
Dashki scowls. "Yeah, yeah, it's still there. The gnolls think it's haunted too."
The others are beginning to look skeptical. Dashki notices, looking around nervously. "What? Gnolls are superstitious. They think this monastery is haunted too."
Sense motive DC 10:
Dashki is unhappy about the guard post being brought up; he knows more about it than he is saying.
Dashki narrows his eyes at Garavel for a moment, then shrugs. "Fine, the battle market, whatever. They live there. Don't seem to send patrols outside the town much, but I did see patrols durin' the day. Four gnolls, makin' the rounds through the streets. Armed with swords and bows. One time I saw... somethin' else with 'em. Walked funny, carried some sort of big halberd or somethin'. Big guy, hairy. Couldn't really tell what it was from this far away. No real pattern to the patrols that I could see, but there was one every couple hours. Three times I saw six of 'em carryin' a bunch of meat down to a buildin' at the base of the road up the hill. They tossed the meat in and high-tailed it away. Something big and nasty in there, I bet. Hungry too, eats that much meat in a day. Around noon, four of 'em came down the hill with a goat, took it to a buildin' by the river. Old mill or somethin'. Came out without the goat. Reckon they're feedin' something in there, too."
Dashki smiles his crooked, sneering smile. "Nest like that, eggs that big, nothing it could be but a geier. A giant vulture, like, the size of a horse. I reckon the mama bird'll be back in the next few days. If the nest is disturbed, she'll be angry." He gives an awkward bow, whether in mockery or imitation of Garavel's is unclear.
The gnoll expert starts talking without preamble. "Almah says they will pack up, but await word from me before moving this way. When you're all done playing with the little pugs, just come outside the west doors. I'll be able to see you from the hills, and I'll come down." He pauses for a moment, as if considering whether to continue. "And... the priest sent these for you." He tosses a small pouch to Valik and turns back into the hills without waiting for a reply.
Upon opening the pouch, Valik finds four vials, neatly labeled in a spidery hand: Healing Extract.
"Well, well, ain't this cheery now. Having a little campout, are we?" By now, Dashki's sneering tones are all to familiar to all the mercenaries. He sniffs the pot of food a little and wrinkles his nose. "Think I'll be heading back to the Sultan's Claw, myself. That goatwife may be a simpering busybody who doesn't know when to shut up, but she can cook, anyway. I was going to take you too, but it seems you're making yourself quite at home here. Pugwampi hunting must agree with you."
"Heh, yeah, they're nasty little buggers alright." Dashki chuckles, an odd sound, almost like a subdued version of a hyena's call. "But you know, they're mean and stupid, they don't seem to be unnaturally unlucky the way humans are when they're around. Like they're immune or something. Animals neither. Or... uh..." He trails off, looks around the room nervously, licks his lips, and starts again, "The monastery itself is on pretty flat ground. It slopes down to the north into the valley, which is how you get that pretty old view of gnoll central. Umm... All around here," he gestures to the south, east, and west of the monastery on the map, "is hills and brush, but nothing real big or steep right close. All clear for, I'd say, about fifty paces all around the building, give or take. Took a little peek in; the main door don't got a door, and there's a place or two where the wall is all tumbled down. You'll have no trouble getting in, that's for sure."
Dashki shoves past Valik and Dross and throws the pugwampi down on the desk. "There. Like I said, a pugwampi. Nobody believes Dashki. You call him a... call him a liar. You say I sneak around, I'm no good. Well look, look at that. I said it was a pugwampi, and it was a pugwampi." He gives a decisive nod, and looks around warily at everyone in the room, as if wondering which one will challenge him.
Dashki nods grimly. "Yes I am. I know what they say about me at the camp. They need to learn that Dashki knows what he's talking about." He reclaims his torch from Valik and walks up and down the edge of the ravine, peering into the thorny brush, until he finally wades in. You hear an intermittent rustling, interspersed with Dashki's cursing, until a few seconds later, he reemerges, his ragged clothes even more torn, and his skin bearing long scratches, but holding the ugly little creature aloft.
"Oh, yes, this will show them..." Using a bit of rope, he ties a noose around the pugwampi's neck, which he affixes to the end of a long stick to make a sort of gruesome staff. He looks at his creation proudly, and repeats, "This will show them..."
Acrobatics DC 15: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
Acrobatics DC 15 reroll: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
=> 1 pt damage
Acrobatics DC 15: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Acrobatics DC 15: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Acrobatics DC 15: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Skipping round header, because I'm in a hurry and this will end it.
Dashki nods at Dross. "Not bad, kid, but let a pro show you how it's done." He fires again, expertly placing his arrow right where he thought the pugwampi was... about three inches to the left of where it actually is. He curses and throws Dross a dark look.
longbow: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
longbow: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
concealment: 1d100 ⇒ 28
damage: 1d8 ⇒ 7
Dashki and the pugwampi exchange another futile volley of arrows with each other, evidently both having a hard time getting a clear shot through the vegetation. The pugwampi seems to think this is quite hilarious, continuing with its grating, high pitched laugh, while Dashki is evidently getting more and more annoyed.
The really funny thing is that the unluck aura isn't even coming into play yet; they both keep missing their d100's vs concealment!
Dashki longbow 1: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Dashki longbow 2: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Dashki concealment: 1d100 ⇒ 8
Dashki damage: 1d8 ⇒ 1
Pugwampi shortbow: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Valik and then Dross.
Dashki mumbles quietly to Valik, as though he doesn't want the pugwampi to hear, "We can't leave off now. If it lives, it will go up into the hills and tell all its nasty little friends about us." He fires another arrow at the little creature, with similar results.
longbow:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
unluck:1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
concealment:1d100 ⇒ 10
damage:1d8 ⇒ 8
Dashki squints at Valik. "So the mighty northern warrior is going to be the hero and rescue a baby goat? I'm sure your father is proud. Hold this." He hands the torch over to Valik assuming Valik takes it and unslings his bow from his back with practiced speed and ease. He nocks an arrow to the string and fires at the pugwampi. However, his finger slips on the bowstring, and the arrow goes wide. Dashki growls under his breath.
Attack 1: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Attack 2: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Miss chance for concealment (1-30 miss): 1d100 ⇒ 14
A moment later, Dashki arrives behind you, moving more slowly and deliberately, and with the benefit of a torch. He seems to take pleasure in your performance, his mouth twisted in a savage grin. "Well, if that pugwampi didn't know we were coming already because of the torch, it certainly heard that racket. Heh. The tracks lead right here into this thicket." He motions. You can see that the thicket is somewhat less dense at ground level, so that a very small creature could move through it without great impediment.
Dashki tries to make a haughty face; in the torchlight, it looks ghoulish. "Pugwampi tracks. All around the wagon, then over here, then out there." Again, he gestures to the northeast. "Just like I said." He bares his teeth in what might be a grin... or might be exactly the feral expression of bloodlust it looks like. "You coming or not?"
Dashki rolls his eyes and returns his attention to the tracks on the ground. He looks around the edges of the animal pen for a few minutes, then rubs his nose on his sleeve and says, "Here. The tracks head off this way." He points away from camp to the northeast, into the dark, scrub covered hills.
Perception or Survival DC 15:
The dog-like prints lead in the direction Dashki points. There are also tiny cloven hoof-prints.
Perception or Survival DC 20:
Both sets of prints are somewhat irregular and have drag marks interspersed; there may have been a struggle. The dog-like prints seem to belong to a two-legged creature, while the hoof prints belong to a four-legged creature; perhaps a baby goat?
Dashki scoffs. "Bah, you stupid paleskin! Look they're right -- Heh, nevermind. There's a reason I'm the expert, right?" He runs a hand through his greasy hair. "Yeah, looks like there was just one. It came from that way," he gestures to the northwest, "spent some time running around here, and then headed," He walks around the wagon, examining the ground, "this way..." He begins to travel a meandering path to the south.
Perception or Survival DC 15:
As Dashki leads away from the well trodden area around the wagon, you see that there is a sort of trail he is following. The prints look like those of a small dog.