An Ancient Evil

Game Master Celestial Healer

The kingdom of Leyland is in the midst of change. New technology and new social structures are taking the place of the old ways. In the midst of this, an ancient evil is awakening and threatening this prosperous nation. It falls upon a band of heroes to face this menace.


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The sturdy knock seems to echo within the tiny house, but no other sound greets your ear. When Jerry tries the handle, he finds the door unlocked. It opens with a noisy creak, but again there is no other sound.

The house looks like it was poorly kept for the last many days, and the occupants put no real effort into tidying the place when they departed. A nearly empty soup pot attracts a lonely fly beside the cold hearth. A quick search reveals that the house is thoroughly unoccupied, including the chamber in which the Smythe girl was kept.


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

"Told you so. Now let's move on to this Hole thing. No point putting it off," Sylvia says grumpily, not at all like she is nervous about an arcane prison break.


46/46, AC 11

Jerry walks out of the building his head held high, raising an eyebrow at Sylvia's baiting. He methodically brushes a speck of fluff from his riding shirt; "If that's what you believe." he replies keeping some civility.

Then he moves over to Luce and slides her mail across her broad shoulders, the links chinking lightly against the stillness of the morning. In fact Jerry finds it disconcerting so close to a forest that there's so little wildlife and the bustle that accompanies it. Dragging his shirt over his head, he replaces it with the padded under-shirt and mail shirt. However he does this away from direct sight of the others.

Mounting up, the noble moves back towards the rest and back down the path. "Good, the farm is clear."


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

"Now on to Nathan's shack, then past it?" Sylvia queries, "Anybody get a map?"


46/46, AC 11

"I've got a good sense of direction, being not too bad at tracking also." Jerry says with a deprecating shrug, remembering his lessons amongst the tribesmen and the moonless nights he spent tracking with them. Though his eyes search out Nathan and Caladrel, knowing his skills are but a faint reflection of theirs.

Luce keeps her head low, forcing Jerry into an awkward riding stance but helping both of them follow the path better into the grasping forest.

Jerry Survival: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Luce (Aid): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22


You make your way into the forest's twisted embrace, the withered leaves crumbling beneath your step. Jerry is no doubt pleased to observe that your tracks are easy to follow. Indeed, while following the week-old trail of the constable was a very difficult endeavor, the lot of you crashing through the forest yesterday left a clear path for you to retrace all the way back to Nathan's cottage.

The forest path is dark and dreary, and the cottage is as abandoned as you left it. From there, you can see the northwestern forest path to which Gindel referred:

"Follow the trail onward to the northwest until you reach a small brook. The brook leads downstream to the depression. As it reaches that point, the brook tumbles into a shallow gorge. If you follow the game trail to your left, it winds down to the bottom."


46/46, AC 11

Riding atop Luce the lioness; Jerry keeps low and pats her flanks reassuringly. The predator is slightly skittish and both by the forest and the nature of it. Walking up the rough trail, Jerry tries to take point - ensuring that Luce doesn't scare the others and isn't a tempted to take a swipe at his companions.

"So we are nearly to the brook, this could have been beautiful in summer. I wonder how many summers' it'll be before we can picnic there? How does that sound, an outdooor picnic with some good wines; maybe some venison and asparagus?" Jerry says hopefully trying to raise the spirits, whilst confident of their superiority.

Keeping out of the water, he starts to approach the brook.


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

"Picnic?" Sylvia grouses, wiping a green streak from her face where a stray branch had whipped it, "Why would we do that when there are nice cafés where we can sit calmly, sip wine, and watch passers-by?" Chanticleer snorts as he follows Sylvia rather patiently, for a change.


46/46, AC 11

"To get a feel from where your food comes, to see the hard work that goes into making it." Jerry waxes; "Certainly, it's magnificent to sit in a coffee house at the edge of a boulevard engrossed in fine conversation with an intellectual equal. But I find wine never tastes finer than in the open air, with good friends."


Female Tiefling (Motherless) Inquisitor [Sin Eater, Preacher] 4 [HP: 25/28] [AC: 16 | T: 11 | FF: 15]

"I'm not particularly opposed to either, re-kk!-really," Trina offers idly, stopping as one of her tendrils takes hold of a low branch to tug her head free. The tendril keeps a tight grip on the batch of leaves it pulls off in the process, and curls back under her hair with its prize. "Though I must admit a particular fondness for a warm hearth, a warm drink, thick quilts, and a fine story during the midst of a dark winter snow, myself." It was an event she'd only had a few occasions to enjoy, given her nomadic upbringing, and one she particularly cherished any time she could repeat the experience.

The thought put her off the frustration of getting tangled up in low-hanging foliage and a slight spring back in her step as the group meandered its way through the wood, following in Jeremiah's wake.


46/46, AC 11

"That sounds lovely, especially with a hot-chocolate and some shortbread." Jeremiah adds, glad to see a smile upon the troubled ladies face.


You proceed along the path for some while longer before you hear the sound of a running stream ahead of you. The brook runs through a grove of trees, twisted and blackened, their bare branches splayed as if in pain.

Perception checks, please.


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

Perception with low-light vision: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13


Female Tiefling (Motherless) Inquisitor [Sin Eater, Preacher] 4 [HP: 25/28] [AC: 16 | T: 11 | FF: 15]

Perception + Darkvision: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14


46/46, AC 11

Luce sniffs and shies away from the grove; it doesn't quite smell right. However Jerry pats her flank and coaxes the cat towards the edges of the copse, his eyes flicking to the branches seemingly grasping imploringly to the sky.

Luce Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Jerry perception: 1d20 ⇒ 19


Male Human Rogue 4 (HP 23)

perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

perception: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (6) + 13 = 19


Jerry:
Luce is clearly alarmed by something in the trees. How effectively can she communicate that to you? I am okay with her heads-up being sufficient to allow you to act during the surprise round.

Rhodes:
You see some movement in two of the nearby trees. Dark figures seem to emerging from the trunks themselves, as if they dwelled directly inside the trunks.

Can I have initiative from everyone please? Those not mentioned above have no notion of what might be going on, although you no doubt sense the unholiness of this place.


46/46, AC 11

Celestial GM:
Unfortunately, Luce still has a beast-like intelligence. And at this level certainly cannot communicate, however if it's alright then I'll just have Jerry draw his lance during the surprise round.

From his position upon Luce back, Jerry feels the rough shifting of the lioness and a thrum go through her torso. Thus his hand goes to his lance and his other wraps around the pommel of the exotic leather and fur saddle, whilst raising his elbow for the standard of his shield to stand out.

Initiative (Jerry): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Initiative (Luce): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

Oblivious initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16


Female Tiefling (Motherless) Inquisitor [Sin Eater, Preacher] 4 [HP: 25/28] [AC: 16 | T: 11 | FF: 15]

Initiative: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}
Caladrel Inthesial wrote:
[dice=perception]1d20+6

oops, that was suppose say initiative.


Smitty: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Rhodes: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
Bad things: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24

Two female figures seem to emerge from nearby tree trunks. They seem to meld away from the blackened arbors, and bear much resemblance to the blighted wood themselves. Their skin resembles the blackened bark, and their fingers twist like gnarled branches, ending in sharp claws. Their eyes glow a wicked yellow and project pure malice.

Knowledge (Nature) DC 18:
These figures might once have been dryads. Clearly whatever has tainted their trees has tainted them as well. How they may be altered by this condition you do not know.

The first of them commands the withered undergrowth to come to life. Twisted roots and desiccated ferns reach out to ensnare your feet

Entangle vs all: DC 15 Reflex

The other sneers and makes an arcane gesture. Jerry and Caladrel suddenly feel tired.

Deep slumber vs Jerry and Caladrel: DC 17 Will save

Rhodes still has an action in the surprise round.

MAP

Dark green areas are difficult terrain due to undergrowth. See the bordered region for the area of the entangle effect.

Rhodes may take a single action, then:

Dark creatures
Sylvia
Luce
Smitty
Caladrel
Rhodes
Jerry
Trina


46/46, AC 11

Jerry looks to the wooden forms his eyes going wide at their scantily clad forms, despite their malevolent appearance. He closes his eyes for a moment and his lids feel really heavy. Lethargy slips into his limbs and he's glad he's already seated since powerful thighs are sapped of all strength.

The vines seem to creep over Luces paws and grasp at his ankles, as the knight tries to remember the old tales of forest ladies of the Fey.

Reflex Save: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Will Save: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4


Predator

Luce feels the man upon her back slump at the arrival of the wrong woodland creatures, then vines and the forest floor erupts under her paws. She growls and wants to get away from this terrible place, it smells wrong, looks wrong and feels wrong.

Reflex Save: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (9) + 7 = 16

She jumps away and pulls away from the creepers that twist serpentine towards her.


Male Human Rogue 4 (HP 23)

Rhodes Reflex: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20


Male Human Rogue 4 (HP 23)

Rhodes moves to area H-8 on the map, drawing his sword as he goes and attempting to gain some cover from the Blighted Birch B****es.


Female Tiefling (Motherless) Inquisitor [Sin Eater, Preacher] 4 [HP: 25/28] [AC: 16 | T: 11 | FF: 15]

Reflex: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11

Knowledge: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13

Dice don't like me today


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

REF: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

Knowledge (nature): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30
Reflex Save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Will Save: 1d20 + 9 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 9 + 4 = 22 (+ 4 against supernatural abilities of Fey creatures)

Caladrel's face darkens with sadness and anger at the twisted nature of the once beautiful creatures. He calls out to his friends, "These creatures appear to be some twisted form of Dryad. They must have succumbed to the taint that has affected their trees. Defend yourselves as you must, but try to not kill them. Perhaps they may still be saved."


Smitty Reflex: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22

"You should be more concerned about saving yourselves," one of the creatures sneers in a voice that is hollow and sinister. She leaps at Rhodes, swiping with her twisted claws.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 4

The other seems somewhat beguiled by Jerry's lion. "This one brought his kitty. Pretty kitty, such a pity." She claws at the beast.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3

MAP

Sylvia
Luce
Smitty
Caladrel
Rhodes
Jerry
(entangled, asleep)
Trina (entangled)
Dryads


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

"Sorry, Cal, but I agree with the evil tree." Sylvia springs forward as she pulls a vial from her bandoleer and gives it a shake. She lobs it toward the nearest twisted dryad, angling the splash away from Luce.

Move to C10.
Ranged touch to hit F7: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (13) + 7 = 20
Precise bombs excludes E8 from splash.
fire dmg if hits: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (3, 5) + 4 = 12


Predator

Slipping away from the vines that grasp at her lithe limbs, the lioness looks up just in time to see the perverted dryad approach and throw a fist at her. The gnarled and clawed hand just misses Luce, thanks to the weight having slid from her back.

Cool blue eyes regard the woodland creature and her predatory instincts kick in. At first she decides to back off from the creature, but then realises the silly human that gets her food and sits on her has fallen off. Thus she gets angry and lashes out.

Her head darting forward sharply to bite at the creature, however as the fire rolls towards her she moves her head at the last instance.

Bite: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10


46/46, AC 11

Slipping from the saddle to the soft loam, rather than being welcomed into it's fresh soft embrace - it's a rotting, sweaty hug. The grasses and vines wrap around Jerry whilst his consciousness recedes, to be replaced by the nightmare morpheian dreams. The cackles of the corrupted forest ring in his ears and disturb his slumber.


Female Tiefling (Motherless) Inquisitor [Sin Eater, Preacher] 4 [HP: 25/28] [AC: 16 | T: 11 | FF: 15]

Tugging at the vines ensnaring her feet, Trina knows she won't be able to reach the dryads, so resolves instead to attack from the rear. She drops her glaive into the waiting grip of her tail and draws her sidearm as she struggles her way forward, moving up behind Jeremiah and standing over the downed man as she takes aim and fires at the nearest of the befouled fey.

She wonders if the roar of the pistol will be enough to rouse Jeremiah from his slumber.

Move (half-speed) 10 ft forward next to Jeremiah then attack left Dryad. -4 Dex from entangled = -2 penalty to ranged attacks.

Attack (touch): 1d20 + 5 - 2 ⇒ (17) + 5 - 2 = 20
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 4


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

Caladrel begins to chant in Druidic. A flaming ball of fire appears in his hand and rolls to the dryad on the right. fire damage: 3d6 ⇒ (4, 2, 3) = 9 DC 16 reflex save to negate


Sylvia's bomb hits its mark, and the twisted dryad shrieks in agony.

Reflex save vs flaming sphere: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26

The other dryad dodges smartly out of the path of the ball of flame conjured by the druid.

Trina's bullet hits its mark, but the fey creature seems resistance to wounds from ordinary lead. The bullet falls to the ground and the creature merely sneers back defiantly.

Giving a chance for Rhodes and Smitty.


Male Human Rogue 4 (HP 23)

Tumble to G6
Tumble: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (15) + 10 = 25 for flank with Luce the Kitty. Rhodes stabs with his rapier at the BBB between himself and the cat. "I don't mean to sound *sappy, but your *bark is worse than your bite." Rhodes chuckles to himself.

Attack with Rapier: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21
regular damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5
sneak attack: 2d6 ⇒ (5, 1) = 6

I didn't include the flank bonus on the attack roll because I'm not sure of any mitigating circumstances. Please include it if it is applicable.


In a spectacular display of acrobatics, Rhodes assaults the corrupted dryad and pierces the creature in a vital place.

It is indeed an effective flank. You did not overcome the DR, but the precision damage gets through.

I have dropped a line to taig to see if he can direct Smitty.


Male Dwarf Gunslinger 4

Smitty levels Bessie at Creature #1. "Eat lead, unholy beast!" he shouts as he fires.

Ranged Touch Attack: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
Blammo!: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5


Smitty's aim is true. The bullet strikes the tainted dryad, but she seems unaffected by the injury.

The first of the dryads continues to swipe at the great cat.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (8) + 7 = 15
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14

The other steps forward and attacks Rhodes.

1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
1d6 ⇒ 6
1d6 ⇒ 2

MAP

Green areas are difficult terrain. The bordered area is still under the effect of the entangle spell.

Sylvia
Luce
Smitty
Caladrel
Rhodes
Jerry
(entangled, asleep)
Trina (entangled)
Dryads


Female Tiefling (Motherless) Inquisitor [Sin Eater, Preacher] 4 [HP: 25/28] [AC: 16 | T: 11 | FF: 15]

Her attack ineffective, Trina swaps her glaive back into her hand and her gun back into its holster, then bends down and roughly shoves Jeremiah several times, shaking the man awake with her free hand. "Back on your feet, soldier, this is no time for a nap," she chides, half gently teasing, half quite serious.

Once he's awake she moves up next to him, putting herself within swinging glaive range of the hostile dryad.


M Elf Druid 4 {AC 19, T 13, FF 17, HP 28/28}

Caladrel moves the ball of fire over the Dryad to the right again. Fire Damage: 3d6 ⇒ (1, 2, 2) = 5 DC 16 Reflex save to negate.

He then begins another long chant in Druidic.

Converting Soften earth and stone to Summon Nature's Ally II using his spontaneous casting special quality.


Predator

Spotting the man opposite attacking Luce tries for another bite, hoping that this one won't end up too sappy. 'Strange wood ladies, need to stop poking me.' The lion ducks from the attacks, their limbs sweeping past.

Attack (Bite) Dryad in (F7): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Luce is slightly put off by the fire and the general bustle of the melee, being used to attacking alone or with her rider.

EDIT: Reflex Save (if required): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18

The vines and grasses pull at the lionesses paws, irritating the erasable companion.


F Elf Alchemist 4 {Init +3; Perception +8 (llv); HP 25/35}

Reflex save for end of last turn to see if Sylvia becomes entangled.

Reflex: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8

"Guh! Stupid plants!" Sylvia struggles to free herself from the ensnaring greenery.

STR: 1d20 ⇒ 20

Wrenching free of the twining vines, she chucks another firebomb at the nearby dryad, angling it to avoid both her allies.

Ranged touch: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Bombed!: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (1, 3) + 4 = 8

Oh dear. If 10 doesn't touch, the deviation is (starting in Sylvia's direction and going clockwise:1d8 ⇒ 7 so G8, if my calculations are correct. Sylvia remains in the area of the entangle spell, so a new REF save:
1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14

"GAH! Stupid plants!"

This is doing nothing to improve Sylvia's attitude towards places verdant.


46/46, AC 11

In his artificial slumber, the noble is reminded of his school days. A sneaky sleep whilst no-one is watching, even if he's not comfortable. The bang of a board-rubber dropped, or is it a book slammed upon a desk.

Then it feels like someone is roughly pushing him awake; '5 minutes more...' he thinks groggily.


Female Tiefling (Motherless) Inquisitor [Sin Eater, Preacher] 4 [HP: 25/28] [AC: 16 | T: 11 | FF: 15]

"There may not be five minutes more if you don't wake up," Trina admonishes, shoving him a bit more roughly with her tail.


Distracted by the grasping plants, Sylvia's aim is off. The bomb misses its mark. Luce succeeds in biting at the dryad, he seems to be only amused by his fangs. Smitty fires again at the twisted fey.

1d20 + 9 ⇒ (8) + 9 = 17
1d8 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4

The dryad again tries to avoid the blaze of Caladrel's enchantment. Reflex: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (4) + 9 = 13 This time she is not so nimble, and the ball of flame singes her woody flesh.

Rhodes is up.


Male Human Rogue 4 (HP 23)

Rhodes staggers at the attack of the dryad, his clothes now streaked with chlorophyll. "Damn it! Do you know how hard these stains are to get out? Look at this? Huh!? What're you going to do about this?" Rhodes swats at the flanked dryad with his rapier.

Rapier Attack + Combat Expertise: 1d20 + 8 + 2 - 1 ⇒ (8) + 8 + 2 - 1 = 17
Rapier Damage: 1d6 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6
sneak attack: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 6) = 10
Rhodes' AC increases to 20 this way, but they seem to be hitting much better than that. Maybe luck will favor him this time?

Rhodes then weaves his way toward G-9.

Acrobatics: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17

Once there, he brushes bits of brush and leaves from his vest. "Somebody kick Jerry!"

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