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The 2nd Day of the 4th Month, 1532 Imperial Calender
After leaving the Mers presence the remainder of the day flew by, with heavy coin in your pocket and the rain clearing up by the evening. Mud on the roads didn't alter the elation of a job well done, and each member of your little band can persue whatever interests they had. For Kārlis and Kristaps that seems to be enjoying more wine and investigating the price of armour and weapons with a Dwarven Smith they had located, as well as gathering more tales and information about the surrounding area. For the rest of you? Who knows. Oskar seems content to have money to both pay for the room and stabling for quite some time as well as pay his own salary, which promptly vanishes. Whether the footman is spending it or hoarding it some-where is hard to tell, but he is, for the rest of the day, seen dutifully engaged in the repair of Markus' clothing, the care of his laundry, and a few other menial tasks. While the slush of cash has not made him a less grumpy servant, it has made him a quieter one.
The following morning a formal invitation for dinner arrives, by way of the Mers own footman, a dapper gentlemen in doublet and breeches just managing to be on the right side of fopish. The invitation is for Sir Markus Vengalis 'and company', though it properly identifies each of you by name in the text.
While Kārlis seems a bit irate at the prospect, his brother has already paid for a shave and to have his mustache tended. "If Mom could see us now! Invitation to the Mers for dinner. A bit higher up in society for two sell-swords from Ogre eh?"
Oskar has finished with Markus clothes and even shined his boots, though given the state outside it seems a rather pointless task.
As the hour approaches you make way to go to the Mers estate, which is located in the northern portion of the town, an impressive looking, rather modern dwelling of stone. Two stories tall, though with a southern 'tower' that has a third small story on it. All of it looks to have been made within the last few generations, though the tower is obviously rather new.
If Anyone doesn't want to attend now is the time to speak, also anything anyone may have wanted to do int he past day. Sorry for the long break, things should be back to a good clip now
There isn't anything like 'too far'. There is 'inappropriate for the group your in' however. Really what it boils down to is 'are you ahving fun' and 'is your fun contributing, neutral, or hindering of other peoples fun."
In an ideal situation you are both having fun and your fun builds others fun. This is independent of group style, but reflective of it. For example, a group of Hard-core system geeks who barely bother to give their characters names are just as acceptable as the theater trope where every character needs to have a six-page backstory. Take a player from either of those groups and drop them into the other and they become the problem.
Now of course this is an idealized state. Most gaming groups are composed of different people with different interests and different levels and focus's of fun. Sometimes your fun does enhances anothers, and you want that more often than not. But sometimes it just kind of sits there, it's neutral. Me having my Dwarf set up a Blacksmithy in town and recruit a local human apprentice might be neat, but for some people it would just be something I was doing that didn't really add to their enjoyment of the game.
What you did sounds like it pretty squarely falls into this camp. You were really into something the other Players weren't, perhaps because they just don't want to deal with that sort of thing, perhaps because for them the 'fun' of the game lies elsewhere.
What you don't want is your fun occuring at the expense or cross-purpose to other peoples fun. I couldn't be in a group that considered using the word 'sub-optimal' in a sentence other than in sarcasm. I like the Role-playing and simulationist dials up pretty high on my RP experience. I try to play with people who are like me in that regard, but still, not everyone likes everything the same way.
Wynn's Math seems good to me.
The Mers claps his hands together and his grin does the impossible and seems to widen. "Good! Good! My Wife and Daughter will be so looking forward to having actual heroes at the table. I'm sure the cook will spare no expense." A tiny crease touches his temples as Wynn walks away but he is back to all smiles and handshakes.
"I'll expect you some time after the Evening Bell, no need to stand on ceremony or anything like that. Now I'm sure you have things to attend to, if merely deciding how to spend your reward!"He lets out a little chortle and than waves a hand. "So much business to attend to you understand. The Job of a Town Official is never finished or so it seems. If this rain just manages to let up.."
He finishes his exchange of pleasantries and than moves to depart back through the door he came, whistling a common children's song called The Ducks by the River.
After his departure the brothers look to each other as coin is divided.
"Well first things first I am going to go settle up with the Innkeep and get that room for a couple of weeks. Than I'm going to go see what there is to spend money on in this town. I hear there is a Dwarven smith, though I doubt I have the funds to afford anything good. Still some better armour maybe? Or perhaps I should invest in more of those medicines from the old woman." Kristaps ventures, to which his brother merely shrugs and nods.
Stepping out of the Town Hall it seems to rain has truly let up completely.
So people can obviously spend money if they like. There are general stores, two smiths, Tailors and Cobblers, the Alchemists, The Old Woman, the Temple, and a couple of Taverns to attend to. Otherwise I'll just skip us through the day and the next, assume people are resting and such and get us straight to dinner with the Mers. Try and get things moving along here.
As breakfast is consumed, and talk continues, Kristaps looks like he might make an effort at correcting Slandra, but his hang-over wins out and he just lays his head down instead.
The goods divided as best one can, Kārlis inclines his head to Markus. "I think that will do it. I'm not sure how much of this stuff will sell for, but we can make the attempt at least.."
The Morning is quick, if a tad dreary. While the rain is slowly letting up, the ground has more than fully melted, and while the main-streets and the main-square are well cobbled, the side-streets are mud-filled nightmares. It's a quick measure to figure out what you can sell, and what you can't, and while you can find some small measure of coin for the weapons, and a bit of the rope goes as well, it's the coin itself and the three gems, plus the silver clasp, you are able to pocket some real money from. The Alchemists apprentice takes all the gems, while a merchant gladly exchanges some coin for the silver clasp. All in all, once the bidding is done, and in truth no-one seems int he mood for haggling, the party is richer by 145 Crowns, 327 Silver Wolves, and 18 Coppers.
This includes all the money you've gotten from both the main bandit encounters, but not the smaller ones. If you want to divy that up, just state OOC how your doing so. Recall that there are 10 Coppers to a Silver Wolf, and 30 Wolves to a Golden Crown.
After that has been taken care of, the Company can head back to the civic hall, where the clerk you encountered on your previous visit looks at you with a combination of startled nervousness and what some might think of as fearful awe.
"Oh Yes... Oh yes, Sir Vangazi's band. I... well that is to say We, were expecting you, just... a moment. Yes a moment. Please.. please just take a seat..." There is only a single slender bench propped against one wall and the Clerk's own chair, you would have a hard time doing so.
Through the door and in a moment the Clerk exits, acccompanied by the Rotund form of the Mers, who is smiling like a fox in a henhouse.
"My Good Sirs! And Sister..." He quickly amends with a touch of his hand to his forehead in Slandra's direction. "What can I say. At first when I was told of the first lot you have brought in I was glad enough. Than more, and their Rascal of a leader! Dead of course, sadly, but I'll not mourn a man who was right for the noose."
He moves about to offer each of you his hand in turn, Starting with Slandra and than going through Kristaps, Karlis, Wynn and finishing with Markus.
"Truly you've done a blessing for this town. Cleaned up this muck and filth just as the rain comes in to wash away the winters debris. Now, for the simpler matters. Ervīns!" He calls, looking back to the Clerk who jumps a half-foot in the air. "The Reward, and the signed letter of thanks... be quick, do you think folks like this want to wait around all day for a clerk to shuffle his feat?" The clerk does shift away at a fast trot, returning mere moments later with a bag and a small note. The Bag contains 112 Gold Crowns, the note is a simple missive thanking you for services rendered to the town.
"With the power vested in me by the people of Trenci, by the Charter of this Town, the Noble Baron Paradus and our Noble King, I thank you for the services you have rendered..." He finishes with a little flourish of his hand and than shooes away his clerk.
"With the formalities out of the way, I do want to extend my personal thanks as well. If you and your companions..." He is clearly talking to Markus here "...would graciously like to attend to my own house tomorrow for Dinner, I and my family would be most honoured. The cook has fresh fish and a fresh supply of bacon for what promises to be a lovely meal. I find it's also good for men such as we to cultivate relations. Makes matters Civic more... well civil!" He chuckles a little bit at his own joke as he awaits a response.
The Taproom continues to bustle and roar, drowning out the patter of the rain outside. The conversation of the table itself seems almost strangely secluded, despite the occasional ruckus tap on the back, or the strains of bad singing which occasional puncture through the air.
In response to Wynn's question about the ogre Kristaps shrugs "I've never seen an ogre honestly. But Five against one sounds like odds I could favour. Plus if we're going to be in this line of work for a bit, having the thanks of a healer woman is going to go along way..." He emphasizes that last statement by running a hand over where one of his more grievous wounds was. "But honestly, I'm just glad this has turned out well. I'm willing to follow our Nobleman friend here, and he's probably right about the scroll. Time for the Ogre after that?"" He shrugs and pelts down some more meed, showing definite sides of inebriation.
The Inn-keeper nods to Wynn as she rambles past the bar, seeing past perhaps bandages and mystery to the now well-laden purse soon to be more-so. "Of Course Sir, not too long, it'll take us a while to drag all the hot water up there, but it'll cool off if you wait..."
It takes you a little bit, but it appears the Bandits are being held in the same place you Met the Mers and his clerk the other day. Two very grumpy guards, looking like a pair of Wet Dogs, stand at the entrance. Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19 It doesn't take much for them to let you in however, asking you to make sure they fall down an extra step for them. Interrogation: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
The Interrogation goes not much of any-place. While most seem just too beater to talk, those that do talk don't seem to know much. One of those you captured is ID'd as one who would come into town. They say their weapons were mostly stolen, and that most of the things they had stolen you got in the attacks. The winter months being rather lean in terms of banditry save for that Noble courier. They also don't know much about their leader, save he said he was a soldier and that he'd come out west to 'pick this single horse town clean'. There might be some more information there you can't glean, but men who are destined to soon swing from a rope aren't too talkative it appears
Wynn returns perhaps an hour or so after leaving, departing upstairs for a room and the hot bath that a poor maid has been busily pouring for her, having to force her way with boiling bucket after boiling bucket of water past half-drunken merchants and lumber-millmen. Kristaps seems to have gotten more deeply into the Drink, while he brother just arches an eyebrow and eventually carries his brother, still singing something resembling a tune, up to bed.
Oskar has Markus' room all ready, or as ready as can be. "Successful venture than Sir? Enough coin that we won't be sleeping outside the city Walls again? Said with just that tinge of sarcasm indicating some past occurrence Oskar is rather eager to forget.
The Morning brings a continued light patter of rain, though the worst of the storm seems to have broken. Kristaps is a tad hung-over, and despite this eagerly tears at the cooked Bacon and bread that is offered up for breakfast, the first of the Spring Pork having come in with the fair it seems. Kārlis is less worse-for-wear than his brother, but no less hungry, though he has been busy, laying out what goods you have that he thinks are saleable. Those who slept in the common-room are awake, save for one still sleeping it off in the corner. The Inn-keeper seems cheerful, if a bit haggard, a profitable night for her it seems, and with a few coins from the lot of you for rooms, her mood only improves. She mentions there will be Fish-Pies for dinner and than hollers for the maid to come help her try and get rid of some of the mud so many boots have tracked all over her floor.
The Tabulating of what you retrieved from the Bandits does take some time, but seems mostly set to the side as your bellies are filled with hot food, Meed, or Wine as the case may be.
Kārlis sits at the table, not saying much, though raising his glass with a small cheer at the appropriate times. More than once some of the regulars come by to Toast you, and after a while you get the impression your victory is being used as an excuse to get rip-roaringly drunk. As the rain continues the little Inn first becomes crowded, and than absolutely packed. Mostly with some combination of Old Men, traveling Merchants, Tinkerers and peddlars. Though there are also quite a few men from the local Saw-Mill and others. Eventually even the Barber from outside makes his way in, having made enough at his trade for a round and supper apparently. Each new entry is met, eventually, with an insistence of the tale being retold, and cups slamming down on tables.
Kristaps is far more talkative than his brother, as you have all well learned. He readily joins in with Markus as the tale is retold.
"Than you come charging in like the Black Knight, sword just this way and that. Between you and Slandra, that poor Red-haired bastard was sliced to bits like a well-cooked ham!" This is punctuated by his knife, which he jabs into a piece of bread.
"I've been telling stories for some time, glad to actually be in one. So what, we get some of this stuff to market, see if we can sell much of it. Though in this place, who knows eh? We see the Mers about our reward."
As the conversation goes onward, and Marcus and Wynn go back and forth a bit he nods. [b]"True that, we don't know whats in that case. If it's sealed... well could be valuable. Than again we could rightly get a reward from the Baron for returning it to him."[b] Adding to Wynns supposition on the Bandits origin [b]"Disaffected Soldier Maybe? Mercenary down on his luck who turns to Banditry. Wouldn't be the first time. I mean what other than coin did he stand to gain out here? I think we should get as much of this sort of thing squirreled away. Enjoy a day or two of food and warm beds. Let the Mers and the Baron wine and dine us if they feel like it, and than go see about that Ring for the Old Lady. I rather liked her."[b]
I'll let another RP round or two go through before advancing to the following morning.
Slandra begins to make the slow effort of looking over each body for signs of life and stabilizing those in which she finds some. Four, the Leader Included, are well beyond life, having died under the parties savage blows, or combined with wounds already received. One of the Bandits, one that fell by Markus' sword is still alive, and she stop the flow of his blood, though he looks to be in a bad way. The Last, one whom Wynn has felled, she reaches too late.
There is much to be looted from the bodies, some easily taken, else perhaps only of minor interest, or at least not of much interest to those who have to move through the reign with only the war-horse to carry any gear. The Great stead looks as much the drowned rat as the rest of the group as they start their long trek back to the town.
I'm presuming you'll just gather evidence and such, loot, and only take the one live one back with you.
All of you feel soaked by the time you reach the Town, though you may be thankful that while you hear distant thunder, the rain hasn't intensified yet.
It is readily past lunch by the time you return, and still there are a few on the road with you. A couple farmers with waggons covered with crude tarps driving food to market. A peddler whose wide-brimmed hat serves to drive the rain into a small waterfall over the back of his pack, covered as it is with tin, rope and winds of string. The Guards at the gate notice you and wave you through, even as they stop others for the customary tax on market-day.
Forward towards the centre of town you can see that some sort of Market has been established, though it's not nearly as bustling as one might hope, and damp farmers and merchants grab what warmth they can beneath awnings and tarps, only the occasional house-wife of apprentice dashing to try and buy goods.
The street on which the Inn stands has a few small stalls set up, again mostly farmers with Garlic, Turnips and Winter-Wheat, or Fishermen selling catches from recently thawed streams and the lake. Right across from the Inn a Barber has a tent he has converted to a tarp stretched out over a barrel and the long pole wrapped in red that is his trade's symbol. He jokes with a waiting customer as he shaves an elderly man.
A Guard is nearby on hand to take the final bandit from you and relay word of your deeds to the Mers.
[ooc]Alright, so presumably the group is going to divy loot and settle in to dry off and such. If you have other things to do, do it. I suggest perhaps using the Discussion section for deciding what your taking, whose getting what, what's being discarded, while keeping in-game discussions and such here. I'll react obviously, but unless questioned or such I'll wait till you're loot is divied and a census on passing the night seems to be reached. Though if you wanted to brave the Rained-upon Market, feel free.[ooc]
Just to remind people, all terrain here is difficult, so you can’t charge. Sorry Slandra
Kārlis continues his assault on the remaining Bandit, who is rapidly becoming surrounded by the party, the desperation in his eyes now bordering Madness.
Karlis attacks with his sword
Sword on Bandit 4: 1d20 + 4 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 4 + 2 = 81d6 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
That madness seems to aid the Bandit, as he continues to press his attack back at Kārlis, seemingly unheading of the others now barelying down on him.
Sword at Kārlis: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 101d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
The Sounds of Swords parrying and dancing carries above the sound of the rain, broken only by the occasional distant thunder.
Kristaps seeks to aid his brother, aiming for the Bandits vulnerable spots.
Sneak Attack on Bandit 4: 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 1 + 2 = 221d4 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (2) + 1 + (4) = 7
The Knife sinks deep through the ribs of the bandit whose back arches as blood spurts from his mouth and his eyes flutter while he sinks to the ground. The Battle over it is stained with blood that the rain is washing away. These bandits have considerably less on their person than their fellows, but some things of interest linger in the backpack of the Leader.
The Thunder and Lightning are distant yet, but your instincts tell you the rain will probably go stronger in a couple of hours.
Okay, so everyone gets 350 XP, which by my reckoning brings you up to a total of 1400. As a reminder we're using the 'Medium' progression, so 2000 XP is needed for second level.
Equipment and such from the Bandits includes the following
The Leader had on him a Short Bow, 18 Arrows, a Shortsword, His Clothes, a Belt-pouch containing 20 Gold Crowns and a small opaque stone like one might find in a ring, Studded Leather Armour, and a packpack containing a Sleeping Roll, an Extra Black Cloak, Enough Nuts, Smoked Meat and stale crackers to constitute five days of trail rations, and a scroll case.
1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 61d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 61d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
You readily recognize that the little wooden engraving is a common Charm of Meza, usually worn by those travelling through the woods.
[spoiler=For Markus]The Scroll-case in the Leaders Backpack is large and bears the Mark of the Local Baron, as well as remnants of old seals.[/Markus]
Just as a reference Markus, I believe Argentus is flanking on Bandit 5. It didn't make a difference but I wasn't sure if you were including it or not, I tend to separate all the pluses just so it's clear whats going on.
Wynn's Whirling two-handed attack cuts deep into her foe, who goes down just as surely as his fellow, the mud beneath her feet reddened by blood.
The savagery of your attack seems to bring down foe after foe. Markus' sword finds it point in the shoulder of his foe, such that he is already falling to the ground even as Slandra swing her own blade. The Horse whinnies and kicks, the mount proving as great a danger as it's rider and felling another, leaving but a single foe standing.
Kārlis moves with deft speed forward to attack the remaining main and cut off any potential escape.
Kārlis moves to Q8 and attacks
Sword on Bandit 4: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 111d6 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
But his opponent, now desperate, managed to parry off his attack before returning his own desperate assault, the man almost frenzied with some combination of fear and battle-lust.
The Bandit attacks back
Sword on Kārlis: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 161d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Perhaps it is the fury of battle or the desperation at being the last of his fellows standing, but the man draws a line of blood across Kārlis' shoulder and left arm.
Kristaps turns to join his brother, moving through the muck his blades shining in a sudden burst of lightning that cracks to the east.
Kristaps double-moves to S6 to flank the last Bandit, and it's back to the PC's, same order, Markus, Slandra, Wynn, all the bandits but 4 are down though.
Slandra's Sword punctures straight through the Bandit leaders armour, into his chest and out his back. Blood spurts from the wound in a great goat as the leader slides to the ground, his eyes fluttering once before he hits the mud.
Kārlis nods to Wynn, figuring the Rag-Doll has things well in hand and leads through mud and underbrush towards the last bowed opponent, intent on ensuring none escape.
Kārlis moves to P8
Their Leader down, the Bandit seems to become even more desperate, the rain pelting down as they seem to decide to a man that there is to be no escape. It's death or victory!
One bandit continues his assault on Markus while the other twists to bring his sword to bear against Kristaps. The One locked in combat with Wynn continues to seek to avenge his fallen comrade. The last bandit with a Bow shoulders his bow and draws out his sword to meet the onrushing Kārlis.
Bandit 2 attacks Markus, Bandit 3 attacks Wynn, Bandit 5 attacks Kristaps, Bandit 4 Puts away his bow and draws his Sword.
Sword on Markus: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 91d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Obviously demoralised however, none of their blades find their mark.
Kristaps continues his attack, trying to strike home with his dagger.
Kristaps Sneak-Attacks Bandit 5
Sneak Attack on Bandit 5: 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 1 + 2 = 201d4 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 1 + (3) = 7
His Blade finds the Bandits side, drawing a deep slash in the man, who doesn't drop, but looks almost dead on his feet.
Since Kristaps is the only one who moved, I'm not going to update the map. It's back to Markus, than Slandra, than Wynn.
You can't charge on difficult terrain. However from her present spot Wynn can move to M12 and attack, which is what I presume she is doing.
Wynn moves in and with a Single swing cuts deep into the Bandit, whose blood splashes across the nearby tree, even as it gargles uselessly out of his mouth. He collapses on the ground.
Kārlis takes the opportunity to try and move to enclose the Bandits, his movements still restricted by the terrain, but deftly putting him between the bandits and any route of escape.
Kārlis double moves to J9
The Bandits are startled by the sudden death-cry of their companion. Several hesitating for a moment as they look over to see their fallen comrade and the bandaged spectre splattered with his blood. The other with a bow looses an arrow in Wynn's direction, while another stops his advance on the Knight to change towards this new opponent, blade readied. The other two move to attack the Knight, while the Leader shifts himself to try and plunge a sword through Slandra's belly.
Bandit 4 Fires an Arrow at Wynn, Bandit 2 moves to T12, Bandit 5 moves to U12, and both attack Markus. The Leader Strikes at Slandra and Bandit 3 Double-Moves to N12
Arrow at Wynn: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 51d6 ⇒ 5
Markus is able to fend off the Blade of one of the Bandits, though another sneaks a blow past his armour and draws a line of blood across the mis-patched cloth and mail.
The Arrow at Wynn goes far wide, and the Leaders pressing attack at Slandra is hampered by the blood coursing down his arms, even as it's washed into the Mud.
Kristaps takes this oppurtunity to run in behind the gathered Bandits, spinning a blade in his hand as he strives to drive it upward into a lung or kidney.
Kristaps moves to U11 and Sneak-Attack/Shanks bandit 5
Sneak Attack on Bandit: 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 1 + 2 = 141d4 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (1) + 1 + (4) = 6
The Blade misses it's mark however.
Okay, we've managed to group all the PC's together in the Initiative Order! So it's Markus, Slandra than Wynn...
The Leader Takes a vicious hit from the Knight, blood spurting from his wound. It is followed up by a fierce kick from the mount. Though he looks rather wounded, the Leader is still mobile enough to parry Slandra's attack.
I'm going to assume Wynn is probably going to want to go now, though she would be up if she wasn't delaying anyways.
The Bandits movements are disordered, their focus mostly on the Knight, though their leader seems a tad more aware. Several still appear to be rather badly wounded, having had but a single rainy night of repast and apparently no access to magical healing like the stalwart band of heroes.
The two Bandits who have drawn their bows fire at the parading knight, and the leader moves deftly towards him, aiming his blade high. The other three move towards him, ducking under branches and through an increasing mire of mud, though none can get close enough initially to add to the press of blades.
Bandit 2 double-moves to S11, Bandit 5 double moves to U11, Bandit 3 to S9. Bandit's 4 and 1 use bows to attack Markus, and the Leader moves to S12 and attacks Markus(who should be occupying squares T13-14 and U13-14).
Bandit Bow at Markus: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 61d6 ⇒ 1
The Gods seem to smile on the Knight-Errants Bravado, as arrows go wide into the tree's, and his defence is enough to ward off the leaders assault.
Kristaps decides it is easily time to join the frey. Knife draw he moves to try and circle the opponents gathering around the knight.
Kristaps will undelay, and now be going right after the Bandits, He double moves to X10
Kārlis follows Wynn's lead and lays low, waiting for her signal even as the other bandits all, for the most part, have their backs to the two waiting scouts.
Markus and than Slandra act. Wynn and Kārlis are delaying, so though they may not interrupt some-ones turn, they may go after any-one has acted. As of right now, the initiative order is:
Lastly I'll try and get a revised map up tomorrow after I get home
The Bandits haven't seemed to have noticed Wynn or Kārlis yet, but they certainly have noticed those approaching from the South East. They leap to their feat, most of them drawing blades, though one or two are readying bows. Their Leader, who you now all recognize, already slings his backpack across his shoulders and stands with his sword in the air. "Gods' Blood... it's that plowing Knight, I'll give a half dozen royals for who-ever puts an arrow in his eye..."
All of the Bandits are standing up and getting out their weaponry. A few will be taking 5' steps. Kārlis follows Wynn's lead, and moves behind her at half-speed
Markus up and Than Slandra
Moving through the Muck, water splattering off of branches and cloaks, the heat of coming battle pushing back the cold of the spring rain, the party advances on the bandits. Not able to do much more than move, the two brothers have their weapons drawn and move forward, Kristaps taking position eventually behind a large tree.
Finally it seems the Bandits have in some sense become aware of the party, the movement of Argentus through the underbrush and mud enough to alert them, though there isn't any indicator they have heard the two rangers moving up from the opposite side.
They are reaching for weaponry, bow-strings dampened but still possibly usable, blades in slickened and warped sheaths.
Ultimately Kārlis moves to E17, and eventually, using a double move on his actual action, Kristaps gets to U15. Something I forgot to remind everybody is that due to underbrush and the mud, everything is considered difficult terrain. Wynn is up for her actual action this round, than the bandits.
Alright, so I am back, and I've sent out e-mails to everybody, but obviously it might take a little bit for people to trickle back.
Wynn and Kārlis sneak off to try and come from the other side as they reach the camp. Thankfully, though the rain and mud makes moving through the forest and underbrush difficult, it also masks the noise of even Argentus' heavy tread.
The Bandits make a sorry sight. Several and still obviously wounded from previous conflicts, and though there is a remnant of a fire, it's obvious that they are sitting around waiting for the rain to let up to move on, various cloaks and collected branches made into make-shift shelters for wet and soggy men.
Even though they are likely wary, the conditions are against them as the party moves to finish this once and for all.
You have a surprise round in which to act, the map is linked below, questions and queries and the initiative order are as follows
Kārlis: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (5) + 5 = 10
Bandits: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
So First the Full Surprise Round, than Kristaps, Wynn, and than the Bandits, followed by Kārlis, Markus and Slandra.
Recall that in the Surprise round you have a single Move or Standard Action.
Morning of the 30th Day of the 3rd Month, 1532 Imperial Calender
Kristaps manages to slink down the stairs, though his demeanour improves at the burst of healing energy that courses through the room, the slight altering of the way light falls the most subtle of the signals that you have received Menuo's blessing.
Kārlis seems more eager to go, running a wet-stone once more along the edges of his blades till they are sharp enough to split a hair.
You're about as ready as your going to be, and with weapons in toe, and a goodbye to Oskar and the few regulars at the Inn this early in the morning you set out.
At once you notice the a trickle of traffic greater than one would expect on a rainy day. It is the town's market Day, and a few farmers have braved the weather in covered carts to sell the early spring Garlic, the last of the Winter Wheat, fresh flower Bulbs, Woven Baskets and other house-hold crafts. You seem the only people going out of town, and the Guards at the town gate give you a small nod as you leave.
As might be expected, the traverse first along the road isn't bad only in comparison to entering the woods. The cool spring rain has helped along the grounds thaw, and your boots stick in the Mud, though thankfully it's not that deep yet. Wynn seems to know the way well enough, even though much of the trail is likely obscured by the weather now.
Finally Wynn thinks you are about as close as you can reasonably get without being observed. While you don't know if they are still at their camp-site or if they have moved on, you have to consider how you will approach this site. Though granted there are fewer men, and a couple are likely still injured without access to magical healing.
Okay, I'll let you guys discuss what you want to do, but if there seems a quick consensus I'll go with it. I'll have a little map up. Something to consider is that at the moment the majority of the ground in the forest is going to be difficult terrain, and thus cost 2 movement, and preventing 5' steps and charging.
Early Morning of the 30th Day of the 3rd Month, 1532 Imperial Calender
Assuming you will generally sleep through the night, getting everyone a single HP back.
Despite wounds and fatigue and in at least one case a drink too many, the party finds itself readily roused in the morning, not the least which because of the gentle pelting of a cold spring rain off the Inn's roof. The rain is light, and poses both potential problems and benefits. Obviously travel will make you wet, and the roads are likely to be more muddy. Likewise it may be more difficult to track through. However, the former is a problem as much for your opponents as yourselves, and It would be that much more difficult for them to move on. Of course they also lack both a decent roof over their heads, and access to magical healing. Or at least Wynn believes.
Oskar has busily mended what of Markus' gear he could, and has taken the liberty of ensuring that a meal of bread and cheese is available, along with some dried apple pieces. "You did leave the impression youd' wish to be off again as soon as possible Sir..." he volunteers as the party gathers itself together.
The town seems quieter in the morning rain. The pattering of it off the stones and into puddles seeming to harken the true start of spring, regardless of what some Noble Astrologer has to say on the matter. Gathered together in the common room, Kristaps is still rather worse for wear, and a few others still sport wounds, if not as severe.
[b]"Lovely... nice rain for some Dirty work huh?"[b]Kristaps volunteers.
He obviously waits for some more healing, with his brother takes a bite out of the offered bread and looks to Markus for direction, offering a single nod to Wynn when the pile of rags enters from the direction of the stable.
Kristaps shrugs and grabs a mug as he follows Wynn away from the crowd, Kārlis following along. The crowd seems a bit disappointed that more stories are not forth-coming, but generally disperses with some help from the boisterous matronly Inn-keeper.
In private quarters, with only Oskar on-looking as he pricks his fingers trying to thread a needle to patch up some of Markus' clothes, they listen to the on-going exchange.
Kārlis remains silent, with only the occasional nod one way or the other as the discussion carries on, one getting the impression he see's both sides of the issue and is content to let others decide the course of action.
Kristaps however, does speak up "I know your eager to get this finished, and I confess that I don't want those Bastards to escape any more than you do. But even after that... Medicine from Old Lady Vanags, I'm still not at my best. If he has more men and we run in there weakened as we are? I mean at worst if we take the night to rest up he flee's and we've got our bounties already right? I think I'd be much better after a full nights rest, and with Menuo's blessings from Slandra more fully backing us." He turns to the mentioned Cleric "When will you be able to use your magic again?" He inquires.
I don't recall if we had figured out when Slandra gets her spells and such back, and do Channels returns at the same time? I would assume so to keep everything part and parcel. Given that Menuo is a Moon God, I would say almost any time save Noon would probably be appropriate.
1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
Keep in mind that Kristaps is presently at -1 Hit point even after the Healing draught.
Early Evening of the 29th Day of the 3rd Month, 1532 Imperial Calender
Granny Vanags listens attentively to what Markus has to say, seeming to keep a half wary eye on the door to her cottage where her grand-daughter obviously conspires to hear as much as possible. The herbal infusion is more than bitter and goes down harshly, tasting of roots and something else, but it's effect are undeniable. Wounds knitting together, blood-flow staunching, and so forth. Kristaps avails himself of a batch and lets out a low curse as he drinks the foul stuff.
"Demons Blood this stuff is strong.... though mother did say the best medicine should be almost as bad as what it cures..."
Having purchased some small measure of supplies, Grandmother Vanags is quick to make sure you'll be able to make it back to town with no effort and congratulates you on your victory, while mentioning, offhandedly, that this gives her lots of hope that her ring might be recovered.
The remainder of the trip back to the town is still slow, but not as torturous. The sun is almost set by the time you reach the outer gates, and you are halted by the guards there, who recognize you and seem startled both at your appearance and the half-dozen men you take with you.
A short explanation has one of them rushing into town for other guards, a half-dozen of whom soon appear and take the prisoners off your hands with assurances they will let the Mayor and the Guard-Captain know regarding your assistance so you may collect your bounties.
The party, sans Wynn, returns to the Inn, where they are soon swamped by the evenings regulars, all eager for tales of their battle against the Bandits. Tales that Kristaps is more than happy to supply, carefully omitting that he was unconscious. You are each bought at least two rounds of the houses Ale by those who wish to reward your heroism, and the thick stew and bread that forms dinner seems welcome in your stomach.
You indeed reach Granny Vanags long after the others have left, and the old woman explains what she saw of them as well as offering you the similar options regarding healing. She is a little less circumspect with you by yourself but does mention before you leave that she understands why you keep your secret, both of them, though she suggests perhaps not all of your party are as blind to the particulars as they may seem. Also, that revelations are seen less as betrayals the sooner they occur.
It is into the evening, the sun fully set and the second round already half drunk before Wynn enters the Bar, having been stopped at the gates by guards who readily let her in, as they had been forewarned of her appearance. A rousing cheer goes up as she enters and one of the more elderly gentlemen is quick to seat a drink in her hand as she is marshaled over towards the others as Kristaps describes; "The Arrows rained down from the bandits like deadly crows, biting at our flesh, and we surged forward. Wynn there was as quick as a cat, and with a slash, opened one bandit from his guts to his gorgles.
Early Evening of the 29th Day of the 3rd Month, 1532 Imperial Calender
The Matter of the Bandits settled you continue your over-land trek, now at least on a road, and with a wagon that Kristaps can sit on. Still the going is tough, and shepherding the captive bandits no easy task. The Sun has already begun to dip lower and lower in the sky by the time you find yourself down the curving side-road that leads to Grandmother Vanags.
As you approach the little hut you see the light of a warm hearth emanating from within, and the small tendril of smoke that emits from the chimney is readily caught against the day's dying light.
The door to the cottage flies open and you can see the silhouette of the old woman, who hobbles forth on her cane well before you have approached the dwelling. She stops once and waves her stick back towards it with a cantankerous yell to "Stay in the house!"
Through the open door though, as the old lady ambles up to you, all can see her Grand-daughter peering out, her subtly lost as she see's what must be a bloody and gruesome, yet perhaps somewhat heroic sight.
"My-My, you work fast don't you Sir Knight? I hadn't expected such so soon. You look quite... well like you decided to wrestle the wrong end of a bear, but than from the looks of things you gave as good as you got." Here she cackles for a second, eyeing the party all the more. "These are part of those bandits you were looking for eh? Well and good than. Nice to see there is SOME-ONE around who can look after order and civility in these parts. I suspect you hear about your wounds eh?
Granny Vanags can provide a great deal of assistant in terms of healing, as well as herbal remedies, lures, and concoctions. How-ever she is relatively tight-lipped, she wont' be giving lists of what's on offer, rather she answers to need. For the present purposes she will readily provide first aid, and will, for 15 silver, Treat Deadly wounds, Healing 1 hit-point of damage. She has a 'Special Herbal Tea' which is basically a cure-light wounds potions for a cost of 15 Gold Crowns. She will voice the opinion that Markus and Kristaps need a good while to heal, lots of bed-rest and that they would heal better if under the attentions of a skilled healer.
Early Evening of the 29th Day of the 3rd Month, 1532 Imperial Calender
It takes some time to pack the camp, or rather what you can take with you. The Gold and valuables divide up evenly enough, but the remaining gear seems to be a 'take what you can carry' affair. The Bodies are left where they are, with perhaps a cursory prayer on them afterword. Without proper buriel, of course, there is the danger of the bodies animating, or the ghosts of the dead men returning as angry spirits of one kind or another, and yet there is little the party can do at the present moment.
The treck back through the woods is slow. Even with markus on Horse-back, Kristaps slows the party down, and it takes over an hour to reach the main road. The other bandits, bound to the cart, and right where you left them, to be joined by the single fellow left alive whose unconscious body lays across the horses flank.
Working to rehitch the Horse to the cart itself, there is only the matter of the living bandits to contend with. Though he says little it's obvious Kārlis thinks they should follow their brethren to early graves, but he's willing to bear with them to town if others wish for them to receive 'proper' justice.
Their is some time to debate the matter however, as you move back along the road towards the small off-shoot that leads to the Granny Vanag's place.
[spoiler=For Wynn]You get only the barest of information. A couple of names. The Leader is 'Rego' and from the sound of his voice, and the way he gives commands, you think he probably has military training of some sort. You get that they at least will stay the night in the present camp, but don't plan on staying around too long. Though there seems to be some disagreement, Rego says they will send a single man into town the next day to see what has happened to their fellows and than either try to rescue them, or flee with the gold and papers Rego was able to flee with from the battle.[/ooc]
Given the time-frame involved I just need to know what your doing abotu the living Bandits and such before you'll reach Granny Vanags. Presumably Wynn will likely show up well after the rest of you have returned to town.
Kārlis stands, watching Wynn move towards the woods and it seems for a moment as if he might follow her. He nods in seeming agreement with Slandra's position and turns back to the group, now one less.
"I guess we gather what we can and hope for them to wake soon? Than we can move back to where we left the cart. You'll be able to..." here he pauses as if not sure he knows exactly what he is saying. "... you'll be able to use the blessings of Menuo to heal them further?"
He is already setting aside things he obvious things are useful or not, trying to judge what the two fo you, plus the two injured party and the horse can carry.
Wynn, meanwhile, moves through the forest, tracking the bandits, whose leader is soon joined by some of his fellows.
Wynn Tracking: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
The Elf tracks her quarry for some time, having to slow down to not over-take them, but eventually finding their camp. Only the Leader and four additional bandits seem to have survived, several of them is rather rough shape. Though you dare not approach closer, you can hear them cursing you, and the leader suggesting they need to recover from their wounds and rebuilt their strength, as well as find out who the hell you were.
Having learned all your likely to as they settle in, still rather wary, you seek to Return to the Inn.
Meanwhile, after some time, both Kristaps and Markus, thanks to the Blessings of Menuo, regain consciousness. Still wounded, neither one seems lible to be able to do much strenuous, wounds threatening to re-open and pour out their lives blood.
Kristaps groans before awakening, but laughs to see that they are alive. [b]"We survived? And they have all died and fled? A good outcome than... and supplies and riches besides? Enough for many nights of food and ale and warm beds at least. Perhaps a suit of clothes that don't smell of blood and sweat and soil."[b]
He looks around and nods to Markus [b]"Seems I'm not the only one holding his guts in. Where is Wynn? assuming an explanation of shortly coming he nods. [b]"Wise... I do think he is more than he appears... actually I'm not entirely sure he is a he.."[b] He than slips into uncharacteristic silence, or more like groans as he tries to help with the gathering of supplies.
Feel free to do some RPing as we go here. I'm going to presume without further braod comment the party will be gathering what it can and heading back to the cart. You'll reach the cart in an hour or so, and more than likely the town within another couple. Depending on what you do with the remaining bandits. Also recall that Granny Vanags is on the way and she did suggest she could offer you some healing, at reasonable rates.
Wynn, with that perception check you can get quite a bit about the Bandits remaining, so if you want specific information, just ask for it.
Both Kristaps and Markus remain unconscious despite Slandra's healing. After throats are slit and but one Bandit remains alive, with all the goods one could find gathered together, the party seems at a cross-roads.
"They both seem like they'll live. But they don't look in good shape. Should we try and get them and... well evidence of the bandits back to the town. Maybee back to the cart where we left the other bandits bound at least?" Kārlis asks.
I'm not going to have Slandra make any checks for this, but in the rules, both Markus and Kristaps may wake up in about an hour or so, though they will both be limited to a single standard action a turn, and anything other than moving will start them bleeding again. Kārlis has sort of voiced his opinion but will go with whatever the group decides. With Markus down, who ends up making decisions? Who knows?
The group moves frantically to where Kristaps lays, and be it by spell, or his own constitution, it is rapidly discovered that he lives.
"Well we got a bunch of them... and most of their loot it looks like. Kārlis volunteers as he helps to move his brother to a more central location.
"Will they recover? And how long till they are up and about?" He enquires, before turning to Wynn "You think you can keep that horse settled. We're going to need him to get any of this stuff away from here...
After waiting to here what Slandra has to say on the state of the various companions, Kārlis nods and moves to gather things together. "Should we check to see if the bandits are alive at all? Do we want them to be? He seems unsure where to proceed, even as he picks up backpacks, bodies, fallen weapons and moves them to a central pile.
For Reference, and because I figure you'd get to it eventually, here is what is to be had from the Bandits;
* 8 Shortswords
Midday of the 29th Day of the 3rd Month, 1532 Imperial Calender
With no immediate persuit seeming likely, the Bandits, including their leader, slip into the forest, though granted, the two by the path from which you appeared do so much more slowly, on account of the ones wounds. No more arrows rain down upon you, nor do they seem likely to immediately return.
Almost at the same instant, Kārlis bursts from the Forest, sword in hands, a vicious gash across his shoulder and signs of a smaller wound on one of his legs. His blades are bloodied and he moves swiftly towards the party, looking from face to face as the others flee.
"Where is my Brother?" he asks, even as he draws deep breaths. "I was accosted by two of them and a Dog. The men fell easily enough but the blasted Beast was more tenacious than a Greyhound with a rabit."
The fallen around you bleed or not as their wounds may indicate, and the scattered remains of the hastily drawn camp remain, as do the majority of the bags the Bandits had been packing.
I'm going to assume combat is over here, given the Bandits desire to just get out of here and the lack of pursuit. 650 Experience points
As the Horse mulls about and Wynn leans on her sword, the Bandits make ready their escape, apparently deciding to embrace the better part of valour. The one injured by the Horse limps away, while his fellow seems to cover him. The one injured by Wynn merely retreats, reaching the edge of the tree-line as he does so. More cautiously, the leader see's the moving Slandra and takes a quick shot with his bow.
Bandit 3 moves away from your group, Bandit 6 readies an action, Bandit 4 takes a double-move, and the Bandit Leaders takes a Shot at Slandra and than moves away 30 feet.
Bandit Arrow at Slandra: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 121d6 ⇒ 5
The Arrow goes wide, and the leader of the bandits swears as he tries to get further away.
Wynn is up
The Horse savages his opponent, while Slandra's blade sinks deep into her opponent, his body slumping to the ground.
As two more of their brethren fall to the ground, the remaining bandits seem less inclined to listen to their erstwhile leader. While the one who has downed Kristaps picks up his bow and moves cross-wise to the action, appraising what has been going on, the others attempt to escape the fray. Only the leader appears committed to the action, swearing under his breath. He reaches down to grab a bag on the ground, hoisting it over his shoulder and beginning his own slow retreat as he re-readies his bow.
So Bandits 1 and 5 are out for the count. Bandit 3 is limping away, obviously disabled, takes a single move action. Bandit 4 Withdraws(and actually does it on the map this time...), while the Bandit leader uses a standard action to pick up a backpack on the ground, and a move action to move away from the group.
I will definitely revert to the marked grid next combat. Wynn is up.
Wynn's blade cuts deep into the Bandit she attacks, his blood spurting forth, though he remains standing. Likewise the horse takes another chunk out of one of his attackers, and this bandit looks like he is barely up on his feet.
The last bandit begins to stumble backwards, his hand clutching at the gaping wound left by the ferocious beast. Wynn's opponent's morale seems broken by her deadly charge and his own damage and he begins to withdraw, stumbling backwards in a defensive posture.
One of the Attacks on Slandra presses his attack, trying to circle around her. His compatriot turns his attention to the Killer horse, driving a sword toward the beast in a furious yell as it savages his compatriot. The bandit on Kristaps continues his attack as well, blades flying. The opponent in the tree takes his time to drop to the ground, before taking a quick survey of the situation and sends an arrow flying towards Wynn.
"Stand your ground you cowards!" He calls, his face obviously distorted by anger.
Bandit 3 takes a five-foot step to avoid attacks of opportunity from the horse. Bandit 1 and 5 attack Slandra, Bandit Four Withdraws, Bandit 6 Attacks Kristaps and the Bandit Leader Fires at Wynn
Sword on Slandra: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 161d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Apparently the words of their commander have their intended effect as the Bandits press their attacks, blood splattering across the ground. Kristaps lets out a cry of pain as he drops to the ground, cluthing a wound to the shoulder. While the rest remain standing, all look haggard.
With Kristaps down for the count, it's back to Wynn's turn. Map posted
The Bandits seem taken aback by the ferocity of the Horses attack, even as the slumped knight on it's back clutches precariously to life and saddle both.
Slandra's blade slips through first her opponents defences, and than his rips, tearing out through his back before he slides to the ground, his own blood bubbling from his mouth.
With nearly half their visible members gone, the Bandits do seem shaken, and indeed, the one in the tree yells out, even as he sends another arrow flying. "Fall back! Stay together you fools! Ignore the Double-Damned Horse!"
One bandit, at which Wynn rushes, fires one last arrow, before dropping his bow and drawing his sword to meet the onrushing bundle of bandages and fury.
The Bandit bitten by the horse ignores the issued commands and presses on against the beast, though his two fells turn to the large Kef woman, trying to flank her, one moving left, the other right, though the horse proves a bigger obstacle than one might imagine.
Alright, guy in the Tree, whom you might surmise is the leader, fires an Arrow at Slandra. Bandit 4 fires an arrow at Wynn, drops his bow and draws his sword. Bandit 3 attacks the Horse, Bandit 1 takes a 5' step East and attacks Slandra. Bandit 5 takes a bit of a route, but provokes an attack of opportunity from the Horse before he can attack Slandra. Of course, Bandit 6 attacks Kristaps
Shortbow at Slandra: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 131d6 ⇒ 3
Slandra truly seems blessed by the gods, as neither Arrow nor Blade seems able to touch her. Others are not so lucky however. The Arrow finds it's mark on Wynn, sinking deep into her flesh. Kristaps takes a quick wound across the side, but presses his own attack. The Horse, foam streaming around it's bit, takes a sizable chunk out of one of the bandits, proving that perhaps ignoring it was not the wisest move.
Kristaps Attack: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 91d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Kristaps however, proves unable to beet his opponents defences.
Okay, same order as Before, Wynn, Markus and SLandra
I think next time I'll go back to using the grid. Incidentally I'm going to post a map at the end of this post rather than the beginning, just so you can all judge what your doing after the bandits have acted.
Slandra's blow goes wild, the Bandit that had been nipped by the horse ducking beneath her blade.
Most of the Bandits with bows discard them for swords, save for a single one who quickly fires the bow towards Wynn. The Bandit in the tree seems to be taking his time, but after a moment does a quick draw and sends an arrow flying at Slandra.
The Bandit engaged with Kristaps Draws his sword and attacks, and the rest alternate between attacking Slandra and swarming the mounted knight. Though the tension of battle means none of you have really taken the time to make a careful look, none of the ones you've engaged as of yet match the description of the leader, though no-one has a good bead on the one in the tree.
Bandits 6, 2 and 4 drop their bows and draw their swords, attacking Kristaps, Slandra and Markus respectively. Bandits 5 and 3 move into position with their already drawn swords to try and overwhelm Markus. Bandit 4 fires at Wynn, Bandit in the Tree fires at Slandra.
Sword on Kristaps: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 81d6 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
The Combined weight of the sudden mob seems to over-whelm the Knight, Blades flashing from around him and finding holes in his armour. An Arrow nicks Wynn's shoulder, while Slandra and Kristaps escapes unscathed for the time being.
Ouch, that hurt. By my reckoning Markus is at -5 HP, and it's Wynn, than Markus(unconscious, though his horse can still fight), than Kristaps, than Slandra, to make life Easier I'll just post Kristap's attach here so Slandra can just go.
Sword Attack on Bandit 6: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 21d6 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
While the Sentry Bandit to the South seems focused on the charging main force, he seems barely even aware as Wynn approaches him, only turning too late, as the sword slices across his body and he collapses in a spray of blood.
Markus's mount spurs forward into the midst of the Bandits, driving his lance straight through one's shoulder, who collapses to the ground. The horse stamps forward, battering another of the foes about. Slandra is jarred about by the movement of the mount, the saddle not truly made for two, but manages to stay steady.
A note, I'm not going to accountant it, but it's possible, perhaps even likely that with Slandra on board your horse would be at Medium Encumbrance.
Drawing his Dagger, Markus runs behind the horse for a moment, veering to the side to get to one of the bandits.
Markus moves up to the square SW of Bandit 6, but can't do anything else this round.
It's Slandra's turn. Sorry about forgetting you were on the horse.
Wynn: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
So the Order is;
The Bandits seem, if not surprised by the entry of the party, at least wary, and they leap into action. The two sentries are yelling even as they fall back, slinging arrows at the approaching Adventurers.
Those bandits who were busy packing stop what they are doing, a few pushing stray objects into packs as they unsling bows or heft swords, a couple beginning to move towards you. Those with bows readied take their shots, arrows whistling through the air.
Bandit 7 Moves 6 East and fires at Markus, Bandit 6 Likewise Fires at Markus. Bandits 1, 3 and 5 are draw swords and move towards the party, each moving 6 spaces West. Bandits 2, 4 and 8 Fire their Bows at Kristaps, Kristaps and Slandra Respectivly, and the guy in the tree is holding his arrow for the time being.
Bandit 7 at Markus: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 51d6 ⇒ 6
Most of the Arrows sail wide, though at such close range, one does manage to pierce into Markus' Leg.
Sorry this took so long guys, I'll be more consistent now. Alright, Wynn is up.
Always forgetting something. Consider 'North' to be up and give directions as directions. i.e. I move two squars east and than a square north-east or whatever. Or just E-E-NE. All should work. Unless you guys would prefer the grid? The Size of this particular area makes that difficult, but eh, I'll work it out.
As you come across the bandits you find that there camp is a well used clearing, the ground slightly mucky from travel, but a well-worn path leading straight to them. The men seem to be on guard, but are partially distracted by the plume of smoke that emits from the North-East -North being up on this map-.
The two nearest to your small group are obvious sentries, and have bows drawn and arrows at the ready. The remainder are split between those with readied bows, and those that seem to be engaged in furious packing. You see tents that have been struck, small bundles of fire-wood. Most of the men seem to be wearing packs of some sort. It's obvious they have been striking this camp as quickly as possible. One of them sits relatively high in the large tree in the centre of the clearing, only partially visible among it's branches(the one surrounded by the yellow ring).
Trying something new with the maps, let me know if it doesn't work. There is no sign of Kārlis at the moment, but a quick count indicates there may have been more men at one point, and that at least a couple may have wondered off to investigate the fire, so you have no idea if or how long it will be till he returns. You all have a surprise round in which to take a single standard or move action before initiative is laid out. I'll be doing a group initiative for them to make our lives easier. At this vantage point none of them scream out 'leader' though the description you have you can keep in mind. You can tell for sure the two closest to you don't match that description. All the 'Green' Area's are Difficult Terrain, but also offer Partial Cover from a combination of Tree Foliage and ground covering
Kārlis takes the offered tindertwigs and torches and nods. [b]"I'll split off when we think we're getting close... wait for the smoke, perhaps a count of twenty afterword?" He says, nodding his head as if that's all that needs to be said.
After perhaps two hours of moving through the forest, slow and steady, patiently observing the two trackers move, Wynn and Kārlis both stop, look to each other, and with a nod Kārlis fades into the forest. To most of you, the Forest remains as it was, the sounds of clattering branches, the near-by caw of birds, and the dampening muffled sound of so many tree's.
You have heard the movement of men ahead, detected the faint smell of smoke, like a nearby fire that has been put out. The Stench of Humans is thick in the air, and their heavy boot-prints obvious in the hardened soil. You would guess you are perhaps 100 feet from the nearest, and that there are many, perhaps a dozen.
Waiting with purpose, the regular noises of the forest are broken with the unmistakable bark of a dog, and a thin trail of smoke pursing upwards further along, the work of Kārlis one hopes. You have moment to prepare yourself.
Give a basic outline of what you are doing. You have had a bit of atime to assure things like readied weapons and so forth, and there is a surprise round in which you may all act, though you obviously have only a vague notion that there is something in front of you. I'll post an actual map either Tommorow or the Weekend.
In reply to Markus' comment Kristaps only shrugs "Might get something for the swords, always money for swords, but I'm not exactly a weapons merchant you know..." before setting up to trudge along with the rest of the group after double-checking some knots.
The movement through the woods takes a considerable amount of time, with strategy being discussed in hushed whispers between Wynn and Kārlis' discussions on some aspect of the trail.
"We'll probably not notice we've hit the camp till we're within... well maybe 100 paces, 150 if we're lucky..." Kārlis observes. "... if they've got scouts out, they might see us before we see them. Distraction might be good, might be pointless if that other one got there before us. Fire is always good.." He shrugs as if to indicate he's given what input he thinks he can, and looks to Wynn as if he expects her to have something else to add.
The forest gets darker and thicker as the motley band gets deeper and deeper into the woods.
Alright, unless one fo the PC's suggests some concrete plan, I'm going to assume after the next set you just keep moving until you get some notion of the camp, and that's all stealth and perception checks and so forth.
The pleading continues, but apparently, falls on relatively deaf ears. It's a quick measure to lash the three men to the cart, and pile the two bodies in the back. It seems unlikely, unless they manage to slip their bonds, that they will be going much of anywhere.
Sadly, the Bandits appear to have very little on them. After a few minutes or rumaging and man-handling, they only give up 5 daggers, 5 Short-Swords, 5 Short-Bows, and a collection of 42 Regular Arrows. Each was also wearing studded leather armour. You also find a crudely half-carved figure of some sort, and one of them is wearing a rabbits foot on a leather thong around his neck, if your so inclined. Everything they have is functional, but not of exceptional quality.
Moving into the forest, Wynn and Kārlis co-ordinate their efforts at tracking, and the party begins to move into the woods, the ground still thankfully frozen, though some spots are more thawed than others, and the going is not especially easy once you get far beyond the road.
A Tracking roll from Wynn, with an Assist from Kārlis
Tracking for Kārlis: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
The tracks, laid as they are through the remnants of snow and the beginnings of melt, are relatively easy to follow, and after the first while it takes little to follow the trail, though the men making it have at times tries to cover their tracks. As you move through the woods you may, of course, discuss strategy. You know there are perhaps a dozen and a half men left, though who knows how many will be at the camp.
If you want to make any preperations or such, nows the time to say so. Otherwise you'll just keep tracking until you come across something of note.
The Bandits stir, and Kārlis and Kristaps do there best to look intimidating to add to Slandra's undeniable aura of menace. The Bandit Markus speaks to stutters a bit before saying "...it..it's the gallows for us one way or another..."
Kārlis and Kristaps both make aid other rolls with intimidate
Kārlis: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
One of the others blinks back and forth at the various displays and yells out "Better the f*%$ing noose than what that Kef B$~%#'ll do to us. I seen how that kind work, we'll be staked out to bleed to death or have out guts eaten by wolfs..." even as the 'leader' tries to shush his men, the ones who regain consciousness seem eager to fall all over themselves to betray their former compatriots, honour and thieves indeed.
[b]"The New Leader is a guy named Napus. I ain't never seen him before last year, but he's got the look of a professional soldier or the like, and he's real smart. He's the one that got us boys together eh. Says if we work in a big group and share the spoils we'd get more and be able to get better targets, and he's right. We've never eaten so well during a winter..."
Another pipes in just as quickly as the first finishes. "He's a tall man, Darkish Hair, and a scar on his cheek, nice and wicked, like from a claw or a duller blade or something. The camp... the camp is maybee two hours walk east... we can show you the trail, it's not hard to follow..."
Further interrogation leads simply enough to the truth that their orders were simply to look for ripe looking targets, ambush them, get their money and than let them go. The little band is by far the worst resistance they have ever encountered. They dont' seem to know much about Napus' motives, save to 'Get Rich', and though they do say they know they are getting supplies from in the town, they mention the names you already know in that regard, who seem to have handled most of those negotiations.
When pressed one of them also offers up "Napus was going to move the camp soon. Said it would be better pickings on the East Road soon... now please, we told you what you want to know... just keep that crazy savage away from us..."
Of course there is also much pleading for their respective lives, all save for the one Markus retrieved, who seems to have fancied himself a braver sort, and has merely fallen into sullen, dejected silence as his companions offer up information as freely as water.
Kārlis clears his throat and draws the group to the side. "The man ahead of us knows the land better... but if we headed now, we might be able to over-run him... or reach the camp first. Though we don't know what we'd be riding into... and it would mean having to figure out what to do with this sort and the wagon. Wynn.." he says, pausing for a moment "... you seem apt at tracking Men, I think between the two of us we wouldn't have much trouble." He puts strange emphasis on the word 'Men' and than looks to the others, having voices his opinion now content to follow the lead of others.
"Well each man worth coin to a head, and a Bandit to boot, we can't really take them with us. Not sure what we can do with them unless we waste a bit of time to go back to town... which I mean, we did promise we'd bring back the wagon..." Kristaps volunteers.
The Bandits bound hand and foot, Kārlis nods the Wynn "We can bet the one who fled is probably on his way straight to where-ever this camp is." He just nods as he moves among the others.
In a subtle emergence of moonlight flesh reknits itself, and the power of the gods spreads through the assembled. It causes all of the bandits to slowly regain consciousness, though some are obviously better healed than others. The One Markus brought it is the first to regain some semblance of awareness and he tests his bonds before looking around and taking stock of his predicament.
Kristaps takes up a position just on the side of vision, having finished cleaning his dagger and going about sharpening it in a vaguely threatening manner. Kārlis just stands there, his eyes moving from person to person as if to ask who should be doing the interrogating. The Bandits seem in silence, though one or two do continue to test WYnn's bonds.
With a -Thunk-, Markus causes the Bandit to crumple, presumably returning with him to the scene of the battle.
Of the five that remain, two of the Bandits are Dead, one outright, and one having bled out in his time on the ground. The other two are quickly stabilized by Slandra and though unconscious, appear to be in little danger.
Congregating on the road Kristaps smiles "Well that went pretty well I think? Certainly not that tough eh..." his Jovial smile spreading and raising the corners of his moustache.
Kārlis nods as Markus returns with the fifth Bandit over his sadle. "Well that's five bounties at least..." standing back and working to clean his blades.
Out of Combat obviously, and 200 XP for everyone.
Markus continues to try and run down the bandit, who dodges and weaves and such. The Bandit takes a furious swing at the horse, side-stepping to let it pass but attempting to slash at it as it moves in front of him.
Bandit takes his Attack of Opportunity at the Horse, but doesn't prevent the over-run.
Sword at Horse: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 131d6 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4
The Bandit waves his sword wildly at Markus as he tries to move around the horse.
Bandit takes a swing at Markus and a 5' step.
Sword at Markus: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 111d6 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
He can't quite get the man however, even as he tries to marshal away.
It's technically Slandra's turn before the Bandit, but both him and Markus are far enough away to be there own seperate melee more or less.
So Slandra is up, though...
Kārlis looks around for a moment, having already advised Slandra to try and see if any of the bandits are still alive, while he gestures to Wynn and Kristaps. "Where did the Knight go?" a bit of unspoken derision tonning his voice.
Kārlis looks to Slandra with a nod, looking down at the bandit at their feet as he watches the other bandit flee into the woods. "Kristaps... let him go..." he calls, turning to nod towards Wynn, reasoning the wrapped figure is probably right and that seperating deeper into a forest when they have no knowledge of how many other bandits their might be, is critically dangerous. "Slandra, see if any of these are alive and try and keep one of them that way eh?" he says with a shake of his head.
The Bandit and Markus are into the forest, and the bandit continues to withdraw, drawing the Knight-Errant deeper into the woods if he chooses to follow.
For sake of ease, assume 75% movement and a DC8 Ride Check if you want to follow Markus, the tree's and such prove an impedement. He has moved another 45 feet into the woods and is becoming lost in terms of vision to the rest of the party.
It's Wynn's turn, you can still see Bandit 3 but would require a DC18 Perception check to see Bandit 1 at this point. Bandit 3 has light cover, and is at a distance modifier of -6 at the moment, which you could reduce to -4 by moving toward him before firing.
Assuming Wynn doesn't drop 3, he will break into an all out run into the forest, and Kristaps will not follow, falling back to the others.