The Warden looks around wildly. You notice he has only one eye, the other socket is hideously scarred and puckered up. He points at Targi, rushing in with a battleaxe raised, and calls "Ridebit interitu vestro perfide"
Targi, make a DC 16 Will save or be afflicted by maniacal laughter so intense that you fall prone!
Shalastar scampers in and b1tch-slaps the Warden. He reels back, looking dazed. Todin lunges with his rapier, catching the man on the shoulder. Sotha strikes as well, hitting his arm, then Targi swings his battleaxe and it's all over as the Warden's head parts company with the rest of him!
Tragen and Malak arrive breathlessly as the head rolls to their feet, trailing blood. The rest of the corpse falls onto the burning bedding.
No, seen them thank you, was just allowing an extra day as people are often busy over the weekend. Now you've said all you want to, I shall post the next round...
[DM scampers off to game thread, thumbing through spellbooks...]
The eastern facade displays an intricate stained-glass mural depicting a stern Pharasma judging Count Andachi, one of Tamrivena’s most infamous previous rulers, which casts multicoloured light across the floor inside. The interior is plain, with bench seats facing an altar, beside which there is a large chair and several stools with cushions. A lectern holds a large book, closed but with several bookmarks. Doors lead off to either side.
The Sunday School lesson went extremely well, thank the Holy Spirit.
Every time I teach I get humbling amounts of praise for my teaching... now to use the same techniques (listen to the Spirit, use the resources, teach with authority) tomorrow. :)
Kroft sat up, blinking, and pushed her hair back behind her ears.
"Ah... you're here. I must have nodded off... happens far too often these days. Yet I feel surprisingly refreshed... um. Never mind me, what have you discovered?"
The youthful Guardsman straightens up, swelling with pride at Ashe's word.
You make your way across the courtyard to Kroft's office. The door stands ajar and the Field Marshall appears to have dozed off on her desk.
"I... I think the Field Marshall is still awake, Sir," squeaks the youth. He opens the gate and peers in. "Yes, her office light is still lit. She said that were you to come you may go straight in to her."
He holds the gate wide, struggling to attention... and drops his spear again in a clatter on the cobbles.
A voice shouts "Coming..." when Dillan knocks. Eventually the door opens to reveal a ginger-haired youth in a shabby black cassock who has a broom in his hand.
"The blessing of the Lady upon you," he says formally. "How may I be of service? I am Gervaise Lamb, but I think I've seen you before. Aren't you the ones rooting around in Harrowstone?"
Lord Jedward Jotham-Sales rubs his chin.
"I do not recall, did I even know, everyone's trade; but there was a blacksmith, a couple of farmers and one fellow who hoped to raise sheep for mutton and wool... I recall he was concerned that the journey would be arduous for his flock, but was determined to make the attempt. Another was interested in establishing a lumber business. As I understand it, the rest were labourers and other agrarian tradesfolk."
Robard indicates that he knows but the direct path from Oleg's to the fort, but has ranged somewhat in the local area as he'd been sent out to scout suitable areas for his Lordship to hunt. Rhasa, you get the impression he is a competent but rather unimaginative scout/ranger, a reasonable tracker and rather fond of hunting as sport rather than to fill the pot. On the plus side, he's genuinely interested in learning about the area, and shows you his sketch book - he's a gifted wildlife artist with a keen eye for the animals and birds he encounters.
The Warden struggles out of his bed, his nightgown soaked in blood. He does not look pleased and raises his hand again.
"Flammeus orbis hanc comburet perfide!" he snarls as a ball of fire forms and rolls directly at Todin... setting the bedclothes alight as it passes over a trailing sheet.
Todin, you may make a Reflex save at DC 17 or take 3d6 ⇒ (2, 3, 3) = 8 fire damage from the sphere.
What with attempting to get out of the way and evading sheets, poor Todin can do no more than flail around with his rapier.
OK, now clean and refreshed, the entire party assembles at the Citadel. The midnight bells have just been rung, and a solitary lantern hangs over the gatehouse, illuminating a sole Guard who looks bored and half-asleep.
As you all walk or ride up, there's a sudden flapping of wings and Majenko arrives. The Guard drops his spear in shock and scrabbles to pick it up.
"W...who goes there?" he squeaks, voice breaking. In the light you can see he's a young recruit.
"That would be me," said one of Jotham-Sales's men. He's tall and blond and introduces himself as Robard.
"I'd welcome your insights, M'Lady. This region is new to me but I understand you've been exploring for a while."
The Warden was casting defensively - poor fellow was asleep & was woken up by being stabbed...
Now, I run combat thus: -
1/ Everyone rolls initiative, and states their actions for the first round with necessary rolls. Posts may be made in any order, as you drop by the board.
2/ I write a narrative summary, putting events in initiative order and resolving all actions.
3/ You then post what you want to do next, with relevant rolls, in any order as you turn up.
Repeat 2 & 3 until the brawl is done.
OK. Apart from Todin, who's stepped back in duelling stance, everyone else will take a round to rush in before they can do whatever they want to do. Of course, the Warden, still mostly asleep, is now getting out of bed so Todin gets his AoO...
Right now it's the height of the ENnies judging so as it's not entered (published after the deadline) I haven't time to read it for a week or so... do you lot want to use it?
And I have an interview next Wednesday to prepare for (and Sunday School to teach this week as well... Word of Wisdom.)
Lord Jedward Jotham-Sales is up and about as well. His people have packed everything up and got his horse ready. He mounts and approaches Gorguk.
"Would you care to ride with me, Guardian Tsadok?" he says. "We can speak of your intentions regarding the colonists..."
You are faced with a slab of black basalt that appears to block an opening... but you can find no way of actually shifting it, no mechanism or controls.
Those of you capable can, however, detect magic.
The sleeper's save: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21...
There is a wild spluttering noise as the fellow in the bed comes awake. Raising one hand, he calls "Magicae telum missile volare verum".
Two sparking balls of intense bluish-white light fly unerringly from his fingertips to strike Todin in the chest.
Damage ball #1: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2
The rest of you hear the commotion and see an intense flash of light!
I think Todin (and I) had better roll initiatives...
Fellow in bed's initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Todin slinks further into the chamber. Round the corner he sees another chest and a bed, which is occupied. The snores continue.
(Grumblejack, by the way, was last seen in the kitchen enjoying a large oak-cured ham!)
The former bandits seem quite at ease, having settled surprisingly well into a more regular lifestyle - although they still show signs of thinking that they have joined a new band rather than turned over a whole new leaf.
Lord Jedward Jotham-Sales's men are somewhat more reserved, although after dinner they engage in a quite jovial horseshoe-throwing contest with the former bandits, an enterprise somewhat hindered by most participants being a bit drunk and it being too dark to see just how far the horseshoes are going!
OK. So Una, Gronk and Icabhod want baths at the Broad Face, yes? They are all directed to rooms upstairs and provided with hip baths, hot water, soap and large fluffy bath towels. Anyone else joining them? (Probably Shakhan, typical arena fighter luxuriating in a hot bath after combat!)
Varrel, you have asked for food and drink, are you bathing as well? Or will you prestidigitate yourself into a state that's fit to associate with other people instead?
At Hedge Wizardry, the shop is closed for the night but there are lights on upstairs - fortunately Skoda lives over the store and eventually responds to your knocking (with a chicken leg in one hand). Redhoof is brought forth, and gives you quite a dirty look when he catches scent of you.
So, off to the Acadamae. A very fat mage called Calatin is the 'duty wizard' tonight, and is summoned by the gatekeeper. He's happy to cast prestidigitation on the spot, he won't charge for that as he's not prepared to talk with you until you smell a bit better! Once you are sweet-smelling again, however, he invites you in and attends to your other requests. You soon have your paperwork and trumpet in pristine condition as well as your new ioun stones, and Calatin says he will examine the physician's mask and will be able to tell you more by tea-time tomorrow. At this point a large white owl swoops down, munching on a mouse. Calatin welcomes it fondly, apparently this is his familiar.
About three-quarters of an hour later - pushing midnight - you reach the Citadel.
Third time lucky, Todin.
Opening the door quietly, you peer into darkness... hearing gentle snoring! Dimly, you can make out a chest against the wall ahead, and the chamber extending off to your left.
The innkeep - a 'generously proportioned' gentleman - doesn't bat an eyelid.
"Of course, my dear," he says. "Upstairs, first on the right. My wife will be up directly with hot water for you, and some wine..."
A few of the less-well-behaved patrons hold their noses, but quail under your glare.
The room is nicely-appointed with curtains, a bed and a chest. There's a mirror on top of the chest - one glance shows that freshening up would be a good idea.
A few minutes later there's a rap on the door. A stout lady enters with a bottle of wine and a glass, which she sets on the chest. She's followed by two younger girls, one with a hip bath and the other with a large steaming pail of hot water. The one with the hip bath also has a large fluffy towel and a bar of soap.
The spiral staircase up ends here at a stone landing (#23 on the map). The stairway once continued up to the roof of this tower but now the roof is closed off. This chamber is lit by a single torch on a sconce. To the north is a door bearing a plaque that reads "Office" (this is the door to room 24). The southern door has a similar plaque that reads "Private: Keep Out!" There is a signal horn hanging on a wall hook, but otherwise there is nobody and nothing here. Both doors are closed.
When you emerge into the fresh air at long last, it's full dark. Shopping will likely have to wait for the morning... many establishments will be closed.
Oh, and the looks of the few passers-by suggest that a bath may be in order!
A winding corridor stretches ahead, clouded with phosphorescent gray mist. Statues stand rigidly along the meandering hallway, each clad in the trappings of a powerful mage or priest. Thick tendrils of pearlescent vapor hiss forth from their open mouths, weaving through the air like translucent alien vines before reluctantly dispersing. A susurrus of whispers can faintly be heard from the statues, the sounds of forgotten tongues trapped in time.
As you head west the mist dissipates and your heads clear.
Thank you, some excellent role-playing there... when characters have this much depth it makes DMing an even greater pleasure.
Happy for you to continue this evening... just let me know when you are ready to move on.
Lord Jedward Jotham-Sales will turn up around sunset having bagged a couple of deer. The state of his hands shows that he field-dressed them himself (very neatly, to Rhasa's professional eye). Dyfrig will work his usual magic upon them.
The otyugh says "Rat-hoomans, mmmm, tasty!" It looks like your garbage disposal issues will soon be resolved as the beast makes to come into the wererats' lair.
Are you happy with handwaving your trek through Korvosa's sewers back to the surface or do you want to splash through the unmentionalble muck?
The more orderly section contains fifty five books on subjects ranging from magical theory, history and astronomy... but no actual spell books. However, Targi finds an imposing tome of no small age called The Floralegium by Branthus Hart. This beautifully illustrated book of flowers is obviously something special... she reckons a collector might pay 250 gp for it.
The books elsewhere are poorly printed compilations of lurid tales which range across the whole gamut of adventure genres. However, the one genre over-represented is bawdy tales featuring amply endowed young maidens in grave peril! Known as chapbooks, these are real penny-dreadfuls!
The otyugh looks rather blankly at Varrel. You get the clear impression that this one is nowhere near as smart as the last rather gentlemanly and polite one you enountered.
"Hungry!" it says. "Not eat you, though... but have you food for me? Pleeease?"
You approach area C4. Two thick grates of rusted iron hedge in this section of sewer tunnel. From a man-sized crack in the northern wall seeps a steady flow of sewage, oozing into the greater flow of tainted water. A hulking pile of filth and debris partially blocks the stream of offal, a cart-sized clot in this disgusting artery.
An old and permanent fixture of the city sewers, the grate to the west prevents undesirables from slinking through the sewers. The grate to the east is a newer addition meant to serve the same purpose, but includes a lifting mechanism for the passage of sewer workers and other civic servants. This is a wall-mounted mechanism consisting of several gears and a large handle which rests on the south wall, 10 feet to the east of the eastern grate. Looks like the wererats jammed the device to keep it permanently unlocked and ready to use.
The otyugh heaves itself up at Ashe's call.
"So hungeries" it says. "Caught by mean rat hoomans."
When you have time to have them appraised, Vendra's silver and violet jewellry is worth but 50 gp.
House Rule: I don't like the half-price magic items either. 75% if sold to a shop (poor shopkeeper has to make a profit after all) or full price if you sell privately... but you do have to go to the effort of finding a buyer IC, you can sell to a shop by just saying so, at least when in a city as big as Korvosa where shops dealing in magic are easy to find.
Ashe, the books on necromancy and disease will give you a +2 circumstance bonus if you consult them when making Knowledge checks on those topics.
Tragen in the lead, you arrive in #22... which appears to be a library, lit by a single lantern. It is not very tidy, books and scrolls everywhere, apart from one bookcase of some fifty volumes which appear to be ordered neatly.