Balodek's Ironfang Invasion

Game Master Balodek

Ironfang Invasion GM'd by Balodek

Treasure Sheet

Refugee Camp Spreadsheet

Nesmian Plains

Chernasardo

Caves

Ruins

Current Battle


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Shadow Lodge

You find yourselves well rested after an uneventful three days crossing the Nesmian Plains, your gaze now turning to the town of Phaendar. Nestled in a bend of the Marideth river, you see the bridge has many wagons crossing it this day.

The town itself is fairly small, normally home to a mere 400 souls, but the upcoming Market Festival sees the streets and inns overflowing. Traders mingle with locals bringing their goods in from the outlying farmsteads.

Phaendar’s central square consists of a few small businesses: the Taproot Inn, the Trading Company, and an auction house and theater, as well as two dozen small family homes that double as workshops for leather- and woodworkers. Most of the town consists of wood and thatch structures, plus a few canvas-walled pavilions. Monsters, bandits, and even the occasional Molthuni raid destroy property too often for most Phaendari to feel the expense of long-standing stone buildings to be worth the investment.


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9

Baszil adjusts his horn, pleased at not having to have had cause to blow it over the last few days. He's not sure his companions have enough training to know the toots, let alone respect the command that it offers.

He looks back at his three companions, realizing that he has not done enough to learn about them over the last few days. It seemed like the first day was spent in brooding silence...probably each man thinking how they might spend their share of the bounty. Day two, there was more grunting, but also lots of walking as each seemed focus on getting the job done quickly.

And now day three...day three and Baszil finally wants to speak now that the bridge is in sight.

"There. Do you see? The bridge to Phaendar. We are almost there. Let us check on the bartender's friend, Aubrin the Green. Maybe we can catch work with a caravan going back...and get double pay for our efforts," Baszil offers hopefully in his deep rich voice.

He walks on, carrying his long blade in the opposite side as his horn. Every few thousand steps, he switches both so that neither side gets too tired.

Baszil's lamellar armor clatters a bit with every step and he makes no efforts to hide the sound.

In walking with Baszil over the last few days, you know that he can create light at will for those that need it. He has few meager possessions (bedroll, blanket, and the like) in his backpack. He does not have much of value. He has no skill for hunting on the road, eating trail rations...which he is used to.


AC 30 Flat 20 Touch 16 | HP 83/83 | F+9 R +9 W +8 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | Sense Motive +12

"It's a wise man who watches his purse." Faolan agrees as they close with their target. "I'm going to like you." he laughs easily as they walk.

During the first few days Faolan is quiet - never starting a conversation on his own. But he joins them quickly enough and he has an easy-going manner. Though he drank well the night before departure, he has little alcohol on the journey itself. Oh he has what's available with supper for sure, but he stops when the food is finished.

Knowing no spells himself, he's easily impressed by those who show the power. In conversation he makes it clear he's been a hired guard for many years now - and is accustomed to rations and other meager fare, but cannot hunt on his own effectively.

"Most of the groups I'm with I get to ride. I guess they figure the guards should be fresh in case there is action. Not tired from the walking. There was one trip though - from Korvosa to the Dwarves of Janderhoff. That was a walker, and uphill the whole way! I had knots in my calves by the end of that job - true enough!"

"This isn't too bad though. Good trail, no monsters, easy slope."

Every so often, when the group is resting, he'll try throwing his shield at various targets. It's round shape lends itself to a good toss, but it's clear Faolan has a long way to go to gain proficiency.

When they reach Phaendar, he suggests, "We should see if we can manage any accommodation. It may be that we camp somewhere - I know I don't have much cash anyway. Then we should see what we can learn about this Auburn Woman."


Human | AC 14(18) FF 11(15) T 14(18)| HP 71/71 | F +7 R +8 W +9 | Initiative +7 | Perc. +15 | Sense Motive +1

A light sheen of sweat beads Oberon Krowe’s brow below his wide-brimmed hat. His black eyes stare down, focused on the boots of the big Ulfen man he follows on the road ahead.

Left. Right. Left. Right.

Every step brought tiny needles of pain. He was a man of above average height himself, but he did not have the strength that matched his frame. The Legion’s torturers had cut and stabbed and starved him half to death once, and it had left him forever weakened. He never talked about it, never complained, and wore gloves and a grey traveling coat that concealed most of the scars and prevented unwanted questions. For years he had pushed through the pain, and had grown resilient from the effort. Unarmored, he is only lightly armed with a dagger set with a garnet on the pommel and a polished crossbow decorated with hand-carved designs.

Krowe, as he preferred to be called, is mostly quiet on the road, though he sometimes talks softly to himself. Around the campfire he is almost a different person, happy to talk and pass the time with stories or jokes. He had joined this group a few days ago at a rest stop on the road from Tamran. He had supplied a jeweler there with a few sets of lapis-inlaid bracelets and secured a rough amethyst to cut and set in a wedding band for a customer in Phaendar. Sometimes at night he would take out a loop from a jeweler’s kit in his leather shoulder bag and study the gem against the campfire, planning the cuts he would make back in his shop.

***

Krowe looks up upon word that Phaendar’s Bridge has finally come into sight. Letting out a breath of relief he smiles at the sight of home.

”The end of the Market Festival will see more than a few merchant wagons leaving for Tamran, Skelt, and Kraggodan.” He says to his companions as they draw closer. ”I know some of the regular traders and would be happy to put in a good word for you.”

”I can also help with finding Auburn the Green. She is a cleric of Cayden, and though usually difficult to find during the Festival she often ends up spinning stories and drinking ‘holy water’ in the Taproot Inn after sunset.”


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9

Baszil smiles, happy that his companions have been more chitty-chatty of recent. The first two days of silence were rough, as Baszil tends to be more vocal than most and their quiet was difficult for him. The one exception was Krowe...but that caused problems because Basz had a hard time getting words in edgewise on the strangely nocturnally talkative human as he was enjoying the man's stories and tales.

"This has been a better trip than my last one," Baszil agrees at seeing the bridge, his hand going to his bandage and the wound underneath. "Let's go find Aubrin and her ample stores of booze."

Faolan Baran wrote:
"There was one trip though - from Korvosa to the Dwarves of Janderhoff. That was a walker, and uphill the whole way! I had knots in my calves by the end of that job - true enough!"

Baszil looks at Faolan.

"Oh? You've been to Yanderhoff? Tell me more! What was it like?" Baszil falls into step with Faolan, wanting to hear more of the dwarven citadel.

"Is it true that they marry their yaks? I have heard that them dwarves harbor an unnatural affinity for their yakkind."

Dark Archive

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Male Human 8 | HP 91/91 | AC 26;TCH 11; FF 25 | F +9; R +5; W+13 | CMB +8; CMD 19 | Init +1; Perc +17; SM +5

"Shouldn't be too hard to find a cleric of Cayden. Just search for the nearest for the 'Holy Water'." An aging voice speaks out from behind a deeply set green cowl, hidden further bu an embroidered scarf covering most of the man's face. On the scarf is a series of embroidered black knotted rings that clasp together. there look to be seven of them in total.

Bor was a bit surprised he was hired on as a guard for this caravan. Most folks around Phaendor, knew little more of him than bad things tended to follow. Sure they were minor things as the Caravan driver quickly found out but surely they couldn't be linked to a single man.Looking at his companions Bor completely understands why he was hired. He was joined with a half elf with a current head wound, A man who tried to throw his armor away and a merchant who seemed to get shin splints immediately upon walking. The Caravan owner must have been on hard times with gold.

The first day went by without an incident but the second proved to keep up with the times as the wagon broke a wheel. Sure Bor had nothing to do with it but like most things word would follow and he would be looking for work elsewhere.

He was fine with that he was a wanderer. Really only stayed in one place a couple of years. Phaendor was a little different though. It always needed help and work with the constant raids and thatch roofs catching fire. The small town wasn't much but it held a small place in his heart.

Seeing the bridge again his mind comes back to the present and he listens.

Silence.

He looks down at his arm and almost seems relieved for once and brushes off the whole thing for later. Looking to his companions over the last few days he finally nods to Bazsil. "You should get that looked at before we find Auburn." Bor taps his head to make mention of Bazsil's bandage.

Shadow Lodge

As you move closer to town you see various stalls showcasing goods often hard to find in such a small town. Silks and spices mingle with more practical stalls filled with spare wagon wheels and plows. You see several of the local shops are also doing a brisk business as traders and farmers barter for essentials.

A small tent city has sprung up beyond the stalls, housing for those unable to find or afford a room during the Market. Some tents show the clean lines and careful setup of merchants used to this sort of travel, while other sections have the haphazard placement of lone travellers claiming space and no more.

One of the few stone buildings you see has a shingle proclaiming it to be Oreld's Fine Shop and sells glues, paints, dye, remedies, and other goods of the herbalists trade.

The Phaendar Trading Company boasts the other stone structure in the form of it's smithy, attached to a clapboard wooden shack claiming to be a store front. The smithy itself is larger than most barns you've seen and the double doors are swung wide to display horseshoes, wagon axles, and other worked goods. You see a muscular dwarf working one of the anvils and Krowe recognizes the surly woman as Kining Blondebeard.

In addition to these two shops and various others selling goods or housing folk you find one building a sea of calm in the otherwise hectic town. The Riverwood Shrine as an aura of peace about it, any of you needing to speak to your god would find this temple to Erastil and Desna a welcoming venue.

Last but not least the Taproot Inn, a busy place indeed as drinks and food are served.

Feel free to shop about the town and fill up with any last minute essentials in addition to chatting up the locals in search of Auburn.


AC 30 Flat 20 Touch 16 | HP 83/83 | F+9 R +9 W +8 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | Sense Motive +12
Bazsil Grimalkin wrote:

"Oh? You've been to Yanderhoff? Tell me more! What was it like?" Baszil falls into step with Faolan, wanting to hear more of the dwarven citadel.

"Is it true that they marry their yaks? I have heard that them dwarves harbor an unnatural affinity for their yakkind."

"Well," the big man begins with a sigh, "I've been to Janderhoff but not in Janderhoff. Those Dwarves are quite guarding of their fortress and my master at the time had something of a reputation."

"We unloaded the goods outside the walls, and the Dwarves carried them in. Did make for an easy unload, but I didn't get to see much - and no yaks."

Faolan follows along with the party into the village. When he sees the tented area, he suggests they can stake their claim later - he doesn't want to leave anything behind that might get stolen in this festival atmosphere.

"Shall we try the pub?" he suggests.


Human | AC 14(18) FF 11(15) T 14(18)| HP 71/71 | F +7 R +8 W +9 | Initiative +7 | Perc. +15 | Sense Motive +1

Krowe chuckles at the conversation about dwarves. ”With Kraggodan and Glimmerhold not too far away Phaendar sees it’s fair share of dwarves. The yak thing is real, but I’d suggest not asking about yakwives or yakhusbands. It could cost you some teeth.”

He glances over at Bor when the hooded man remarks upon Bazsil’s injury, and not for the first time does Krowe wonder if it might be worse than it appears. It sure seems to be healing slowly. Perhaps Aubrin could help the poor addled bastard.

Krowe had seen Bor about Phaendar before, but had not officially met the strange man before encountering him on the road. He was a strange character, and seemed unusually cavalier about the streak of bad luck the group had faced early in their journey. Come to think of it, he had heard rumors among the locals of Phaendar about the man, but had dismissed them as idle gossip. Bad luck, or bad intention disguised so, he couldn’t tell. Bor was an enigma, but far be it for him to peel away his mystique. He carried enough of his own.

”I doubt Auburn will be at the Taproot so early, but drinks and a hot meal sound good to me.” And after days on the road he was looking forward to a cushioned chair, or even a wooden stool.

Krowe leads the group to the Taproot by way of the Market Festival, taking a little time to greet some merchants and traders, and make a few quick introductions for Bazsil and Faolan.


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9
Bor Olrum wrote:
"You should get that looked at before we find Auburn."

Baszil smiles and touches the still sore spot.

"Nah, it's healing fine on its own. It'll be a nice reminder to me," he mentions in a rich and deep voice. "There are times when one should keep his head down. This I will remember."

Basz switches his horn and sword again, following the others into town.

He pauses at the shrine to Erastil, taking a moment to run in and leave a tithe to Ole Deadeye and to purchase a cheap wooden holy symbol.

"Yeah, I lost my last one when I got this cut on my head. Luckily, the Stag God isn't that vengeful," Baszil will explain if anyone asks.

He will then follow others to the bar, looking for Aubrin.

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3 Diplomacy - find Aubrin Ah yeah, our/my first d20 roll...and it's speaking well for this AP.

Dark Archive

Male Human 8 | HP 91/91 | AC 26;TCH 11; FF 25 | F +9; R +5; W+13 | CMB +8; CMD 19 | Init +1; Perc +17; SM +5

Bor shrugs at Bazsil. "Your choice." He follows the rest through and watches as the half elf purchases a new wooden holy symbol.

Interesting.

He continues on through the Festival's stalls, picking up the odd trinket here and there. He looks at them curiously as the merchants watch nervously. Bor knows he has little room for such items and even if he did he had little gold to spare. That is until the caravan's payment paid out.

Diplomacy gather Information: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (16) - 1 = 15

Bor speaks to a few of the merchants. "You seen Auburn the Green around today?"

Seeing Faolan getting a bit ahead Bor puts the wooden trinkets down and nods to the half orc merchant, bidding him farewell as he catches up and walks through the doors of the Taproot Inn.

Shadow Lodge

Most of the merchants look askance at Bazsil's questioning, perhaps put off by the oozing head wound. Bor finds his inquiries bearing sweeter fruit when a local truffle dealer nods his head.

"Oye, I've seen Auburn today. Making her way across the bridge she was, something about gettin' fresh thyme for her beer tonight. Never stops moving, that one! Reckon if you want to find her you're best laying a trap o' hops and meat. May be a bit too fond of her cups but she's always got a tale to tell and a ready hand when my pig goes astray in the forest."

Dark Archive

Male Human 8 | HP 91/91 | AC 26;TCH 11; FF 25 | F +9; R +5; W+13 | CMB +8; CMD 19 | Init +1; Perc +17; SM +5

Bor lets out a sharp whistle to get the groups attention. "Seems Auburn was last seen making her way across the bridge."

Assuming the bridge is the only bridge.

"Should we go find her or wait in the Inn?"


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9

Baszil seems disappointed that he wasn't able to get any information...as if an oozing wound is a reason to deny someone information on where to find a cleric is a *crazy* concept.

"Hey wait! Is it *Auburn* or *Aubrin*? Maybe there are two people here we're looking for?" Baszil asks, using his booming voice.

Baszil follows Bor.

"Let's go find her. Give us more time to enjoy the town and maybe find a caravan going back."

If Baszil sees any caravans packing and readying to move, he will ask if any are going back and see if they need guards.

Shadow Lodge

It is indeed the only bridge. Map of town here Phaendar. Taproot Inn is the large brown building on the North side of the circle.


AC 30 Flat 20 Touch 16 | HP 83/83 | F+9 R +9 W +8 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | Sense Motive +12

Faolan suggests, "We have some time, I agree with Bazsil, let's at least see if there is some obvious destination for her over the bridge. But if it opens to the wild, well, I say we wait for her. No knowing where she might be - unless one of you is a tracker."

He'll start amiably walking toward the bridge, his eyes on the village soaking it in. Nice little place.


Human | AC 14(18) FF 11(15) T 14(18)| HP 71/71 | F +7 R +8 W +9 | Initiative +7 | Perc. +15 | Sense Motive +1

Re: Auburn or Aubrin.

”I’m think her name is Auburn, but after a few drinks it could be Aubrin. Or the other way around. Whatever the case, she’ll be back soon. Why not wait here for her?” Krowe isn’t fond of the idea of leaving town (and comfortable chairs) to wander the countryside.


AC 30 Flat 20 Touch 16 | HP 83/83 | F+9 R +9 W +8 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | Sense Motive +12

Faolan slaps Oberon on the shoulders, "C'mon, stretch your legs a little. Build up an appetite for supper! It's too early to sit and wait." He grins widely and tries to convince the man to join them.


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9

Baszil clearly agrees with Faolan, wanting to see the town and begins to track down Aubrin. He will ask people along the way where her oats and thyme might be.

1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11 Diplomacy - gather info


Human | AC 14(18) FF 11(15) T 14(18)| HP 71/71 | F +7 R +8 W +9 | Initiative +7 | Perc. +15 | Sense Motive +1

If the group of mercs insist on a wild goose chase, Krowe will accompany them.

When Headwound-Half-elf begins accosting locals he does his best to smooth things over and find Aubrin before the whole town is insulted.

Diplomacy Gather Info: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9

On the way out, Bazsil looks for any wild geese to chase, as they might make a satisfying dinner.

Dark Archive

Male Human 8 | HP 91/91 | AC 26;TCH 11; FF 25 | F +9; R +5; W+13 | CMB +8; CMD 19 | Init +1; Perc +17; SM +5

"Auburn or Aubrin. Either way I would hope they wouldn't have both taken the family name or title of 'the Green'."

Bor follows along as he had nothing better to do. He walks quietly across the bridge. Taking the whole scene in. The sun's rays cascading off of the river's clean waters. The birds chirping in the air and the sounds of people generally getting along.

This is what drew Bor to Phaendor. The peace. Oh the peace was nice. But it never lasted. Phaendor was far longer than most, before 'it' found him again. This accursed vision reminded him every waking moment of his affliction and what caused it.

He shakes the past from his mind. There would be time to dwell on that later. Right now he had to find a drunk woman.

Watching the wounded half-elf chasing geese Bor makes his own inquiries into the whereabouts of Aubrin the Green

Diplomacy Gather Information: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (20) - 1 = 19

Shadow Lodge

You leave the warm food and comfortable chairs of the Taproot Inn behind and make your way to the bridge. Colorful gobs of lichen and moss dapple the ancient, basalt bridge here at the Marideth’s narrowest crossing. The ravine below drops twenty feet into raging whitewater and jagged, exposed boulders. To the northwest stands a ramshackle shed and a weathered but sturdy-looking wooden crane. To the north, three hundred feet past the bridge, a wall of trees and ferns marks the edge of the Fangwood.

Though many of the travellers do not know of Aubrin, at least a few locals and return visitors nod at your description. All indicate she was seen heading towards the Fangwood, and you make your way towards the expansive forest. As the trees grow closer each of you recalls a time in your childhood spent hiding in just such a forest, waiting for invaders to grow bored and move on from your home; the traditional Nirmathian response to the seemingly endless conflict.

Before any of you are able to put your woodcraft to the test, a woman dressed in forest greens walks out of the treeline, a silver amulet of Cayden Cailean reflecting the afternoon sun. The polished white wood of her staff, bow, and sword hilt contrast against her ebony skin and when she moves closer you see that her left leg ends at the knee, replaced by a knotted wooden peg.

"Ho travellers, are ye lost?"


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Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9
Balodek wrote:
"Ho travellers, are ye lost?"

"No, I think we've just been found. You're Aubrin, right?" Bazsil moves closer, smiling. "I'm Bazsil, these are my companions, Krowe, Faolan, & Bor. A bartender over in...uh..." Bazsil snaps his fingers trying to remember the name of the town they had just left. The name doesn't come to him.

"...that town, about 3 days walk? In that direction?" Bazsil can't believe he doesn't remember the name of the place...if he ever knew it. "Anyway, the barkeep...by the name of...? Uh??" Bazsil snaps his fingers trying to remember his name too. He hand goes to his bandage, wondering if the wound was worse than he thought.

"Anyhoot, the town and barkeep sent us to find you. They were worried that you haven't checked in in a while? Maybe you were supposed to visit? He wonders why you don't come visit. What have you been up to?" It seems to Bazsil that this is a very weird series of questions to ask, but he was being paid to ask them, so he was going to do it.

Dark Archive

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Male Human 8 | HP 91/91 | AC 26;TCH 11; FF 25 | F +9; R +5; W+13 | CMB +8; CMD 19 | Init +1; Perc +17; SM +5

Come to think of it Bor wasn't too sure who asked them to come in search of Aubrin or rather why exactly they were searching her out either. The last few days almost seemed like a blur.

"The bartender mentioned that you were very old friends and he sent us to catch up with you."

What Bor wanted to say was some man that served alcohol paid total strangers to find out what a drunk woman was doing. Though that may come off a bit stalker-ish.

Bor fidgets nervously as he is sure she is bound to bolt or blow a whistle for the guards as any sane person would.


AC 30 Flat 20 Touch 16 | HP 83/83 | F+9 R +9 W +8 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | Sense Motive +12

Faolan prepares to laugh at Bazsil's forgetfulness, until he thinks back...

Shrugging, he hopes it's enough for the woman to make the connection. Though from what folks were saying about her, she probably knows a lot of bartenders in a lot of small towns around here.

He plucks a bit of tall grass and chews on the end while the others chat.


Human | AC 14(18) FF 11(15) T 14(18)| HP 71/71 | F +7 R +8 W +9 | Initiative +7 | Perc. +15 | Sense Motive +1

Bringing up the rear, Krowe waves to Aubrin. "My apologies, Lady Aubrin, these are but poor lost mercenaries. I believe your friend sent them your way to aid them finding their next job. Rather than wait in the comfort of the Taproot, they decided an expedition was in order. It's a good thing you arrived when you did. If we made it to those trees, we may never have been seen again."

Shadow Lodge

The woman smiles as she recognizes a familiar voice.

"Is that you Krowe? How did you fall in with this group then?"

As the woman moves closer you see that her eyes are clouded, though moving.

"Well, I see why this one is seeking a cleric that's for sure! But, a quest from a mysterious barkeep in a town with no name, very exciting. Tell you what friends, come tonight to the Taproot Inn and I'll regale you with stories of a misspent youth. I'll escort you there now if you've nothing else you need from town."

It's afternoon at this point, assuming some time for moving in a crowded hamlet and eating lunch at the inn. If you've any last minute things to do or character tweaks feel free to do so between now and the Inn.

Phaendar’s Market Festival draws a crowd from all over Nirmathas, many solely to hear Aubrin the Green—the retired Chernasardo Ranger-turned-Caydenite cleric—recount bawdy tales of adventure from her youth. Outside, the celebration continues, as raucous shouts carry on the night air. Warmed by the firelight after a long day, any levity comes as a welcome reward to the rough, earthy souls of this riverside trade town.

You catch occasional snippets of story from where Aubrin is performing on stage, the crowd cheering or groaning to the highs and lows of the tale.

"So there I am, thinking, when will I ever be able to talk to a bear again? So before the grizzly can stand back up, I turn to it and say, ‘All I need is the honey. You can keep the bees!'"

The room erupts into laughter as Aubrin finishes her winding story and takes another draught from her tankard.

"But it’s fine now. All’s good. She named a cub after me. Someday I’m going to have to check in on little Ow Oh Gods That’s Too Many Bees."

Amid shouts and cheers she leaves the stage and makes her way to you. Many a drunk have you seen weave their way through a bar, but none so nimbly and with a bar so full.

"Well friends, are ye havvving funn?"

Dark Archive

Male Human 8 | HP 91/91 | AC 26;TCH 11; FF 25 | F +9; R +5; W+13 | CMB +8; CMD 19 | Init +1; Perc +17; SM +5

Even the joke makes Bor smile for once. There wasn't much lately to smile about. He watches as the hearth's flames create a warm glow about the room. The laughter fills his ears. He takes a long drink of his ale and raises it high into the air.

"Yes, Thank you Aubrin."

The laughter slowly begins to fade throughout the room as it is drowned out by a rhythmic beating of wings. Large wings. Wings the size of a gargantuan dragon or some unseen demon. Bor was all too familiar with the unseen sound as soon the only sound was a DRIP....DRip....Drip...drip... Looking down Bor sees a small trickle of blood coming from the rune on his arm. As the small droplets strike the floor it is like a raindrop striking a lake.

He closes his eyes and whispers to himself. "Go away.....three....two....one...." He breathes in deep though his heart begins to race. Opening his eyes he sees as Aubrin the Green stares at him. Or rather what used to be Aubrin the Green. Now stands a skeletal frame, broken and beaten with malice in it's eyes. Bis of flesh still cling to her as the mouth opens in a silent scream but just a couple inches from his face.

Bor jerks up from his chair as it lurches backwards across the floor. As he stands he looks around and the laughter returns to the hall ass if someone flipped on a switch. Aubrin the Green returns to herself and the laughter quickly turns to a few awkward stares. Bor looks around worried and plays it off. He wobbles a small bit. "Sorry, too much to drink I guess." He clears his throat. "Gotta use the pisser." Turning he hurries off to the restroom to relieve himself and give himself a moment to recollect himself.


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9

Bazsil is done with the self-tweaking. He reserves the right to tweak others tho. ;)

Man, Bors, not sure what to make of that.

"Told you it was 'Aubrin'," Bazsil snarks in a quietly deep tone as they are walking back to town.

"Miss Aubrin," Bazsil asks as they walk back. "How long have you lived here? Seems like a nice town."

* * *

Bazsil will relax within the Inn, enjoying an ale and thinking about finding his next job. He likes the show, but also looks around for others who might have work.


AC 30 Flat 20 Touch 16 | HP 83/83 | F+9 R +9 W +8 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | Sense Motive +12

Faolan smiles at the druidic figure, "We'll see you at the Taproot!" He agrees easily to accompany her back to town as well. This job is easier than I thought.

Once in town he spends the afternoon lazily looking around, just to get the lay of the land. A part of his mind remembers good escape routes, particularly with a woman who has one peg leg. Their job isn't to return with her, but he likes thinking tactically - it's how he passes the time.

As he feels he's still 'on the job' he doesn't drink much at the inn, though he does have a stout in his hands most of the evening. He sips instead of swallows and nurses the drink like it's his last. He thoroughly enjoys the show and is pleased when Aubrin joins them.

"That was a great show my lady! I think it's clear we can report you're doing well and have no difficulties." He begins, briefly, to worry about just how much they're being paid for such a simple job when Bor starts dripping blood and running to the washroom. He looks to the others, "You think he's OK? Maybe one of us should check on him."

Shadow Lodge

"Oh, not long. Lost my eyes and my taste for travel all in one go!"

You're not sure if that's a twinkle in her eye or a cataract, but there is a smile when she says this. Whatever fate befell her hasn't dampened her spirit any.

"And how about you master half-elf, how'd you lose your pretty face? "

****

"Oh I wouldn't say no difficulties, hard to get any sleep when you're a local celebrity if'n you know what I mean!"

Aubrin's grin splits her face.

"Say...what's going on with your friend there?"

Dark Archive

Male Human 8 | HP 91/91 | AC 26;TCH 11; FF 25 | F +9; R +5; W+13 | CMB +8; CMD 19 | Init +1; Perc +17; SM +5

Bor finishes up and returns to the table, wiping his hands on his pants. The color has returned to his face as he collected his thoughts. Sitting back down he apologizes. "Sorry.... The um......ale must have turned bad." He shoves the cup away, closer to the center of the table. Though in truth he knew it hadn't gone bad. Bor knew the alcohol had impaired his senses and mental defenses.


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9
Balodek wrote:
"And how about you master half-elf, how'd you lose your pretty face? "

Bazsil winces in remembrance, his hand going to his bandage again. He quickly debates a lie, but then realizes he doesn't care enough to lie.

"I think it was a regiment of the Ironfang Legion. It caught the caravan I was guarding unawares...or awares, to be honest, I don't recall. I took a hit before I could get my horn to may lips. I'm surprised I woke up at all. That was...about 10 days ago," Bazs frowns, rubbing his head again. "Not sure if it was bugbears or them hobgobs that got me, but they got me good. Took the caravan down too. I crawled myself back. Scary times."

* * *

Bazsil sniffs at his ale after Bor returns, trying to discern any problems. Finding nothing floating obviously on the top, he takes another sip.

"Seems fine to me," Baszil says, internally checking his bladder.

Are you full?
'Nope.'
Good. No need to break the seal yet.


Human | AC 14(18) FF 11(15) T 14(18)| HP 71/71 | F +7 R +8 W +9 | Initiative +7 | Perc. +15 | Sense Motive +1

Having little interest in an afternoon binge at the Taproot, Krowe bows out to stop by his small shop, wash off the road, and settle back into his home.

***

Krowe arrived at the Inn at the tail end of Aubrin’s tale. No big loss, for he had heard most of them before. He doesn’t often overindulge in wine or spirits, which is often required for most of them to be funny.

Nursing a light red wine, Krowe sits quietly as his new “friends” banter with Aubrin. He’s curious why a man would them her way, and why she would take an interest. He felt there were motives at work here that he didn’t understand. Perhaps it was a long con, though he knew they had little to swindle. Or perhaps this was just how barkeepers kept tabs on the world - passing word and hearing it through the grapevine.

When Bazsil recounts his encounter with the Ironfang Legion Krowe sets down his wine with deliberate care. ”The Legion gave you that wound? I had thought it was from highwaymen, or perhaps a bar fight.” Krowe leans in. ”10 days ago? Where?”

Dark Archive

Male Human 8 | HP 91/91 | AC 26;TCH 11; FF 25 | F +9; R +5; W+13 | CMB +8; CMD 19 | Init +1; Perc +17; SM +5

Bor looks worried. "The legion was that close? Why didn't you mention anything?" He has a new concern for the man. "You were lucky to make it out alive. Surely they left you for dead with that wound."


AC 30 Flat 20 Touch 16 | HP 83/83 | F+9 R +9 W +8 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | Sense Motive +12

"Yeah, they've been hitting caravans along the road lately. I was taken by them a few months back. Luckily their organization is weak and I was able to make good an escape, but the injuries did take some time to heal." he remembers. Bazsil is tougher than he looks.

"I think they've been growing bolder of late. I hope that's not a sign of things to come."


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9

Bazsil roils from all the questions. Moving this discussion to the bar because it's more fun.

Oberon Krowe wrote:
”10 days ago? Where?”

Bazsil returns Krowe's look with a steady glare that quickly falters. He wasn't able to keep up a brave facade for too long.

"Yeah, about 2 days walk from that other town. It was that way," Baszil tries to point in the direction of the town they came from. "Listen, like Faolan says, this kind of stuff happens. That's why caravaners hire guards. This here is a frontier city, just about. This isn't the safe streets of Cheliax where there are never any dangers and you have a strong government protecting you."

Bazsil looks down into his drink, ready to order another.

Bor Olrum wrote:
"The legion was that close? Why didn't you mention anything? You were lucky to make it out alive. Surely they left you for dead with that wound."

"Mention it? Mention it to whom? And mention that only I survived? You want me to find work by saying that?" Bazs shakes his head. And takes a deep breath. "Nah, I won't lie to people who want to hire me. I'll fight when I need to fight...but I also won't go around scaring people. We know this area is dangerous...and that's why we're here. We'll fight. Sometimes we'll win. Sometimes we'll lose. And sometimes, we'll be lucky to get out alive."

Bazsil finishes his drink and looks to order another.

Faolan Baran wrote:
"I think they've been growing bolder of late. I hope that's not a sign of things to come."

"Bolder? I dunno about that. This place still stands. Other towns stand. Sure, they attack caravans and maybe our bandits raid them. Who knows?" Bazsil leans back in his chair, one small secret off his chest.

He rubs at his bandage, the wound mostly healed on its own...but still a big red and puffy.

"I just wish I could remember what got me. My wound is on the right side, just above my ear...something came from my backside, I figure, and back handed me across my skull."

Bazsil winces at the memory, just glad his skull stayed intact.

"I never saw it coming. This time. I've skirmished with other hobgobs...but I dunno what got me this time."

Shadow Lodge

Aubrin seems about to respond to this talk of the Ironfang presence and the similarities between mercenaries and circus performers when a beer is put in her hand and she's shoved back towards the stage.

"All right, all right! Don’t shove," she slurs a bit. "Okay, Cayden strike me down if this isn’t true—"

The front door explodes into flinders. A cry of agony pierces the chaos. Aubrin lies on the floor, gasping and clutching at the blood gushing from a wound in her chest. A ballista bolt still quivers in the wall behind her.

Two hobgoblins in military dress stand beyond the shattered door, blades drawn. Behind them, lit by the glow of burning homes, dozens—perhaps hundreds—of hobgoblin soldiers march the street. Phaendar burns, shouts of celebration now replaced by the panicked screams of the frightened and dying. Behind them, above the flames and humble rooftops, rises a tower of black stone.

You easily recognize the symbol of the IronFang Legion on the hobgoblins, and the two in the doorway flex menacingly at you. Not seen for 2 years since the Ramsgate Massacre, it seems they've grown bolder after all.

Initiative:

Baszil: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (17) + 2 = 19
Faolan: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Bor: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10
Krowe: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Hobgoblins: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15

Turn Tracker
Baszil
Krowe
Hobgoblins
Bor
Faolan

Hobgoblin:

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2
DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+3 armor, +2 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 17 (1d10+7)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +1
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee longsword +4 (1d8+2/19–20)
Ranged longbow +3 (1d8/×3)

From the bar to the door is about 20 feet, the room is fairly packed but people are standing or sitting in shock at this point. There is a door behind the bar leading into the kitchen. There are no windows and you do not recall if there is a back door for certain, though it seems reasonable. There is a set of stairs next to the door leading to the second floor and the guest rooms.

Baszil and Krowe are up.


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9

Round 1, Init 19

Bazsil stands (move) and looks in the direction of the noise.

Ah piddlespot! Not again!

He takes a moment to panic, then another.

AH PIDDLESPOT! NOT AGAIN!
At least I've seem them coming this time.

He draws his long-bladed weapon (move) and 5' steps closer to the hobgobs. Not that this movement matters as we're mapless, but it does signal intent.

"GET OUT! ALL OF YOU! I'LL HOLD THEM OFF!" His loud, deep voice says words he doesn't recall saying or thinking.

Weird. That sounds a lot like my voice.

Stats of the Grim Grimalkin:

[ dice]1d20+4[/dice] to hit;
[ dice]1d10+6[/dice] slashing damage.

HP: 9/9
AC: 16 (4 armor, 2 dex) +2 AC vs. gobbos.

Spells: 0/2 used
Lore: 0/11 used
Ironfangedness: 0/1 used

Smite: not used
Grit: not used
Panache: are you kidding me?
Ki: not used
Rage: maybe later


Human | AC 14(18) FF 11(15) T 14(18)| HP 71/71 | F +7 R +8 W +9 | Initiative +7 | Perc. +15 | Sense Motive +1

Krowe leaps to his feet as the door splinters. His eyes stare at Aubrin’s bleeding form on the ground, then rise to the horrors outside the Taproot.

Was this real? Was he asleep in his shop, having another nightmare of the past? He had had many since Ramsgate. All of them with blood, and death, and a horde beyond counting. Terror as the massacre consumed the town. Grief as those he loved for died. Guilt for surviving.

Yes, fool. This is real.

A familiar voice, like a stick dragged through hot ash, chuckled in his head, and in a flash he realized the truth. It was all happening again. The Ironfang Legion had finally come to Phaendar.

They are doomed, but I can save you again.

”NOOO!!” Krowe screams, banishing the voice. He was in control. Even now, with the nightmare at his door, or rather the door to the Taproot. He had faced the nightmare many times in his dreams, and many times he had fought. Very few times had he survived, but he never gave up, and he was prepared.

Reaching into his shoulder bag he snatches out a scroll, focuses his mind, and quickly reads the magic incantation upon it. An invisible force solidifies around him like armor.

Round 1, Initiative 20
Back Row
Opponent: None
MA: get scroll
SA: cast mage armor (Updated AC 16)


AC 30 Flat 20 Touch 16 | HP 83/83 | F+9 R +9 W +8 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | Sense Motive +12

Balodek, is the crowd difficult terrain? Just trying to get a sense of whether I'll be able to close in - unless they close first. :) Thanks!

Shadow Lodge

Bazsil commands and Krowe conjurs.

Turn Tracker
Baszil
Krowe
Hobgoblins
Bor
Faolan

The hobgoblins roar menacingly at the crowd, confident in their overwhelming force and ignoring group by the bar.

Intimidate: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2

The crowd backs away from them but do not cower.

Hobgoblin:

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2
DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+3 armor, +2 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 17 (1d10+7)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +1
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee longsword +4 (1d8+2/19–20)
Ranged longbow +3 (1d8/×3)

Party is up!

Shadow Lodge

Faolan Baran wrote:
Balodek, is the crowd difficult terrain? Just trying to get a sense of whether I'll be able to close in - unless they close first. :) Thanks!

It would have been but with the crowd moving back from the hobgoblins it would now be clear for you to move up normally.

I also checked the description and there are windows in the Inn, they are not reflected on the map in the book. *grumble*


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AC 30 Flat 20 Touch 16 | HP 83/83 | F+9 R +9 W +8 | Init +2 | Perc +13 | Sense Motive +12

Round: 1, Initiative: 3

Status:
HP: 13/13 | AC: 17 (f12/t12) (not included: +2 dodge vs goblinoids or -2 for charge) | CMD 17
Fort +4, Reflex +4, Will +2
Front Row
Opponent: Hobgoblin
- - -
Conditions: None
Equipped: Shield
Silver Blanch, Cold Iron Bolts: 20/20
Melee: Attack: BAB +1, Str +4 Damage: +4 (+1 shield bash)
Ranged: Attack: BAB +1, Dex +2 Damage: +0
Martial Flexibility (move): 4/4
Shield Bearer (free, adjacent ally +2 AC (trait)): 1/1
Ironfang Survivor (free, roll twice vs goblinoid (intimidate, sense motive, stealth): 1/1

MvA: Charge to Hobgoblins (front row)
FrA: As part of the move, ready his shield
StA: Shield Bash

Shield Bash (cold iron): 1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 5 + 2 = 8 (charge) damage: 1d6 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8

Faolan straps his shield to his arm even as he rushes the front-most hobgoblin in the door. He builds up speed and slams into the lead hobgoblin… or tries to! As he charges in, an innocent blocks his path accidentally, and he nearly stumbles to avoid them, throwing off his whole maneuver.

He nearly face plants at the hobgoblins feet as he looks up into those unpleasant eyes - exposed.

First combat roll is a fumble huh? This is going to be a long campaign indeed...


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Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9

Oooh...nice roll, Rumpledshieldskin.

Bazsil seems surprised when Faolan goes running by him and at the hobgoblins, ignoring the command from someone's voice that sounded like his own.

Free action: "Get out! GO!" Bazsil uses Faolan's stumbling charge to get people on their way out the back door.

Will post after I see what Bor or Krowe do.


Human | AC 14(18) FF 11(15) T 14(18)| HP 71/71 | F +7 R +8 W +9 | Initiative +7 | Perc. +15 | Sense Motive +1

Krowe stares in awe of Bazsil and Faolan. Though strangers to Phaendar, they gave no thought at all for themselves as they make a suicidal charge at the hobgoblins to buy time for the other patrons to escape. Clearly they were more brave than he realized. Or very drunk.

Hearing Bazsil cry out again for everyone to flee, Krowe lends his own powerful voice to the effort.

”These men are buying you time! You need to run NOW! Go out the back and make for the bridge! If you can reach the woods on the other side you might stand a chance!!”

Looking at the map of town this seems logical. The hobgoblins are in town, and the strange tower can be seen through the front door of the tavern, which makes me think they might not be near the bridge, which is sort of behind the tavern. Let me know if this doesn’t work.

During his brief speech Krowe grabs his crossbow off the back of his chair and works to load it. Even though he lived in town he knew better than to go anywhere, even the privy, unarmed.

A crossbow? That’s just sad. We can do better!

Round 2, Initiative 16
Back Row
Opponent: None
MA: get crossbow
MA: load crossbow


Half Elf Horn Dude 9 AC 20/17/14 / HP75 / F +8 R +7 W +7 / Init. +7/ Perc. +14/ Sense Motive +18/Diplo +18 Nature+11 Local+12 Arcana/Geog/Dung+9

Round 2, Init 19

Move: Move into combat, next to Faolan
Stnd: Fight like a...uhh...Faolan

1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6 to hit;
1d10 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7 slashing damage.

Bazsil strides into combat, trying to give others a chance to flee. He holds his long-bladed sword in two hands, his grip about 4 inches part on the long handle.

His swing, delivered with wide eyes, is only slightly less unsightly than the one offered by Faolan.

Stats of the Grim Grimalkin:

[ dice]1d20+4[/dice] to hit;
[ dice]1d10+6[/dice] slashing damage.

HP: 9/9
AC: 16 (4 armor, 2 dex) +2 AC vs. gobbos.

Spells: 0/2 used
Lore: 0/11 used
Ironfangedness: 0/1 used

Smite: not used
Grit: not used
Panache: are you kidding me?
Ki: not used
Rage: maybe later

Dark Archive

Male Human 8 | HP 91/91 | AC 26;TCH 11; FF 25 | F +9; R +5; W+13 | CMB +8; CMD 19 | Init +1; Perc +17; SM +5

At the grim scene Bor closes his eyes again. "GO AWAY! Three.....two....one..." He counts and opens his eyes again to make sure the scene was real.

Unfortunately it was.

He grabs a small linked medallion hanging around his neck and mutters a small prayer of protection before leaping into the mass of Hobgoblins.

Standard- (Shield of Faith + 2 AC)
Move- Move into combat / Draw shield

As Bor moves in he draws a scratched and battered heavy steel shield from his back. Flexing his hand he makes sure his cestus is secured. he moves in beside Bazsil. "Careful with that blade!"

If attacked and missed Bor will use Sudden Shift- an immediate action to teleport behind the Hobgoblins to flank with Bazsil.

Status:

HP 9/9
AC 18 (20 w/ Shield of Faith; 22 vs Goblinoids)
Spells Used: (1st) Shield of Faith
Vision of Madness 8/8
Sudden Shift 8/8
CPE 2/2

Shadow Lodge

The hobgoblins laugh at your fumbling attempts before quickly deciding to split their efforts and attack the first two to reach them.

Hob1@Faolan: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 4 = 201d8 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9
Hob2@Bor: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 161d8 + 2 ⇒ (3) + 2 = 5

The first finding his mark against Faolan (+2 vs Goblinoid and -2 for Charging, correct?).
The second misses Bor and then blinks in surprise as the man disappears.

Bor, in the mapless system you are automatically flanking as long as somebody else is also in melee. Since this is a useful ability and I don't want you to feel it's worthless, would you accept that in addition to the flanking you are already getting you will also count your opponent as flat footed for your next attack?

Turn Tracker
Baszil
Krowe
Hobgoblins
Bor
Faolan

Hobgoblins:

Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2
DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+3 armor, +2 Dex, +1 shield)
hp 17 (1d10+7)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +1
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee longsword +4 (1d8+2/19–20)
Ranged longbow +3 (1d8/×3)

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