Carrion Crown: Forked Path

Game Master gabboge

The path has forked and one group will follow their path and we will follow ours. Fate conspires against the enemies of the living.


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Prologue: The Damned Cold

The winter has been especially brutal for the coven. Had it not been for Nagual's knowledge of mammoth hunting then perhaps they would all have starved.

It was the end of one such hunt. They had cornered a herd along a cliff-side, scaring them off the edge. The location had been picked carefully, high enough cliff to kill but not enough to be a mess.

Nagual instructed the other coven members how to butcher the dead creatures, collecting meat and pelt.

The snowstorm that had been raging started to die down, enough to see a long figure walking towards the group.

Nagual recognized him, he was a relatively new member of the coven. A witchdoctor from further north. No one knew his name and he had never said a word. The elder witches had vouched for him and that was enough.

The witchdoctor walked toward Nagual naked, he had no need for protection from the elements. He carried no weapons or supplies. His only possession seemed to be a thin strip of parchment in his hand and for the fist time Nagual herd him speak.

"We should speak" With that he turned and walked back motioning for Nagual to follow.


Male Human Witch (Scarred Witch Doctor) 2

Nagual had not paid much attention to the stranger, assuming that this stranger would be more interested in the 'sisters' than Nagual - a simple hunter. However Nagual's limited arcane training allowed him to recognize at once that the stranger was a powerful caster. Well...at least more powerful than he. This 'unorthodox' introduction only served to cement these feelings into a foreboding sense of unease. And follow? Nagual's father had told him - never leave the tavern during a tavern brawl.

Shrugging these feelings aside, Nagual spoke with a voice much less fearful than he had expected. "Aye and well met, say your piece. But lead me not into temptation."


The witchdoctor stared into Nagual, his face emotionless.

"Can you not feel it? The world screaming out, tightening around you? Fate spins its web trying to correct the imbalance but even now it may be too late."

The witchdoctor exhaled deeply.

"Tonight meet me at the top of the foothill next to the camp. There I have made my home and there I you will have to make a choice. Do you follow the path that fate lays out? or do you follow the path the great spirits beckon you to?"

The witchdoctor let the small piece of parchment go and the wind gently carried it to Nagual.

parchment:
Nagual, I know it has been long since we last spoke in person but I have need of your skill and expertize. I am beginning to grow suspicious of those around me. I need people I know I can trust.

I fear The Way will catch on to my research soon.

-Petros

"Think carefully about your decision..."


Male Human Witch (Scarred Witch Doctor) 2

With a quick bow, Nagual turned and left the stranger to retreat to a quiet place to think. "Crazy witchdoctor" Nagual thought as he crumpled the parchment. "I’ll have to burn that later.

So Petros, it seems your ‘research’ has found you in another bind. I hope less of a challenge than when I found you wrestling with that snow angle claiming to be his life-mate." "Ho, ho, ho, ho, … whew" he bellowed aloud despite his usual stoic demeanor."

"So… great spirits or destiny. I say I make my own fate. And any sprits threatening to intercede. To the Hells with you!".

Nagual spoke aloud to the nearby Tusk Mountains, "I will meet you stranger, and I will be prepared for your advice, scorn, wisdom or folly. You best be ready for mine." "Last I remember, Petros was in Ustalav. Perhaps the balmier temperatures may do this accursed skin flaking some good."


The night came.

All the cloud cover has disappeared and a full moon shined down onto the thick snow. The landscape was desolate black and white.

It was beautiful but dangerous. The clouds kept in what little heat existed in the north. The temperature plummeted.

Up at the top of the switchback was the only sign of color on the landscape, a faint yellow glow from a raging fire. It called to him and he felt compelled forward by forces around him.

At the top of the switchback waited the witchdoctor. His campfire was roaring, a pillar of fire. In the center was a tea-kettle now completely engulfed in the flame.

The witchdoctor calmly reached into the fire and pulled out the kettle. He poured two cups, one of smelted iron and another of carved bone.

"There are many paths before you but few destinations, the longer you wait to make a decision the less your decisions will matter. I came here for you, but when I got here you were not you yet, so I waited."

"Now you are you... What is your decision?"


Male Human Witch (Scarred Witch Doctor) 2

Nagual studied the cups carefully. There would be no choice. He had always felt born of blood, sinew, scar and bone. While steel is a useful tool, the flesh is strong. A wiser man once told him “What use is the sword compared to the hand that wields it?”

He reached forward and grabbed the bone cup. After breathing deeply of the foul smelling concoction he drank the cup dry…

Great start - thanks much for the opportunity


The liquid hit Nagual stronger then any drink had before. He felt warmness in his stomach rise and steam seemed to pour from his mouth. He looked at his hands and they seemed pail and translucent, with a faint glow from inside.

Then Nagual woke up. Not from a dream but from his life to the real world that had always existed around him but he never saw. He saw the spirits of great mammoth lords, they stood with him now, perhaps they always had.

As his senses became sharper to this new world he could tell the difference between the flesh he saw normally and the spirit just below the surface. He saw how his spirit shaped how his body healed. In this moment he realized that the scare tissue was the true flesh of his soul.

The spirit of a great armor clad Mammoth Lord strode forth. "You have finished your work witchdoctor, he chose our path not yours. Now begone! We have work to do."

The witchdoctor nodded politely and walked away.

The spirit looked at Nagual and cracked a wide toothy grin. "Well then, ye best get packing, we got a long trip ahead of us.."


Male Human Witch (Scarred Witch Doctor) 2

Fun fun! Are you looking for another response or is it on to the next character? I'll take your lead.


Prologue: When it Rains

The rain poured down the roads washing away the blood, most of it orcs. Luckily the attack had been seen coming. They had set up fall back points at each city block, bleeding out the enemy, never letting them get too close.

They made their stand at the library. Warrior and poet alike could not think of letting it fall.

The tribe had been stopped dead in its tracks, the whole citizenry had show up, wielding whatever they could. All that was left of the orcs afterwards was a disorganized mess, most of which surrendered.

Belor and Monty made their way to the command tent. The generals were all celebrating. The regent, a man named Havel, who had been selected after the city had been cut off from the outside sat at the back brooding. A piece of parchment firmly gripped in his hand.

"Everyone out, I need to talk with Belor and Monty alone!"

The rest left to attend celebrations elsewhere.

"So, what do you think about what happened out there?"


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

Belor Spearbreaker of the Shoanti's Shundar-Quah snarls out "The orcs have gotten a new War Chief or something close to it." Setting down his glaive and stripping the blood splattered cestus off each hand he continues "I've been fighting orcs since my early teens and that was no raiding party. That was something else, something to worry about, something that's not finished yet.

He rubs his hands over his shaved head and stops and leaves a finger touching a tattoo. It is of Sarenrae's angel with the outstretched arms, looking closely one could see it covers up a nasty looking scar. "I got this when a orc I thought was finished proved he wasn't. Yes, what ever today was, I'm sure that its not over ."


Male Human HP 10/14

Monty looks nervouspy at his feet and goes into a diatribe of information on orc history.

His words seem shaky but the information comes accross confidently.
Orcs surfaced from the Darklands during the Age of Darkness, having been displaced by dwarves bent on their Quest for Sky. They prospered during this time, as there was no direct sunlight to affect their vision. Since then they have maintained a firm grasp in the Hold of Belkzen in central Avistan, but have lost much of their influence in the rest of the world. To direct themselves so confidently at one place means that they have a greater leader than they have had here fir some time. In essence i believe my commrade Belor is correct. A st49ng leader has rallied the troops so to speak.

Monty scratches his chin qnd looms to the others.

Clearing his throat his voice cracks as he speaks looking intimidated by his surroundings but never acting as if his knowledge is not true and accurate.

In times pat once the charasmatic leader of the Orcs falls the others fall back for they do not have the leader that pushes them forward. if I may be so bold as to suggest that a frontal push back towards their heart to find this leader or a silent stealth mission would be best courses of action.

Monty stands there wide eyed almost not breathing awaiting a response.


Havel sighs.

"What do you think creates these leaders? What kind of conditions create the best orc army? Before I was made regent here I was a high ranking cleric and before that I was an ordained paladin."

He uncomfortably shifts in his chair.

"I have led three separate incursions into various orcish tribes. Every time we take out their leader a newer, more clever leader comes along. Every time they come back more viscous. Are the becoming more brutal or are we teaching it to them?"

"I have a terrible decision to make, and I know what the other generals will say, but I want both of your advice, you represent both sides of this city. The orcs didn't just come to burn, they were hitting hard and fast to collect supplies, that means not just warriors but also the young... "

"We have them trapped, what's left of the entire orkish group. They were running scared and we drove them into the sewers. Now they wait down there for us, for my orders. We could flood the entire sewer with smoke and kill them all."

Sweat beaded down his head. The weight of his decision weighed heavily on his shoulders.

"So... Should we kill them all or try to talk to the cornered animal? They may have had enough time to come up with a counter attack if we give them an opening, or maybe they just want to go home."


Skills :
Acrobatics +8, Appraise +6, Bluff +4, Climb +6, Disable Device +10, Disguise +4, Escape Artist +8, Knowledge (local) +6, Perception +4 (+5 to locate traps), Sleight of Hand +8, Stealth +8, Use Magic Device +5
Init +6; Perception +4 AC 18, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+3 Armor, +4 Dex, +1 dodge) hp 4/8 (1d8) Fort +0, Ref +6, Will +0 Base Atk +0; CMB +2; CMD 17

Monty squirms in his seat as he listens and then clears his throat again not because it needs it but as a nervous habbit.

I believe that the Orcs feel as if they have been driven from their home and left to die. Every time they turn to look for a way to grow they are shut down and torn away from the home they know. It was that way with the dwarfs and now with the humans. In all honesty they are brutal because they believe they have no other choice. I believe that if you are able to open up conversation and give them a place that they would feel comfortable in living that they would grab that more than not. If you use force they will always push back not much unlike if you were to push against a boulder. what I mean to say is that they will always want to get something for their effort.

Monty shifts uncomfortably in his seat not from any false thing he has said but that he might have to worry on how his words would be taken.


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

"Ask a student of history the story of this world and he'll tell you a tale colored by his perspective of the world." Belor gives a savage grin "the bad ones on purpose and the good ones because they can't help it. It's no different when you ask a priest the same question. You'll hear a history that empathies her faith, at the very least because that is where her worldview is centered."

"Of course you know that already"

Belor grabs some rags from his pack and continues to clean up. "I can't help but notice that you’re not talking to two members of your staff or the civic leaders. You've asked your question of two of followers of Sarenrae, one a priest and the other a lay speaker." Belor looks the regent in the eye "You don't get to your place by being ignorant, but maybe you need to hear it again."

He stands and starts to pace "When the forces of Evil covered the world in darkness, the people and the creatures, and some say the very plants, dirt, and stone itself lost hope and all turned to wickedness. Sarenrae changed that. She brought light back into the world, and with that light warmth, love, and hope. Most importantly she brought redemption. The chance to turn from Evil to Good, and the world took that chance and it changed. It changed in ways that no one predicted, because she gave the world a gift that Evil hadn't expected because it wasn't just the humans and the elves and the dwarves and the other 'good' races that turned from darkness. Free will and choice were given to all thinking creatures. Suddenly many individuals who had never had a choice got one. That was a blow that shook the foundations of the pit of hell."

Belor stands still "tactically, perhaps even strategically, the choice is simple. Kill them all. But you know I'm not going to tell you that. Find a way to make peace, offer them a chance, a choice.”


Havel sighed again, this time one of relief. He smiled and beckoned them closer.

"Sarenrae has truly sent me who I needed right now. I want you to go down there and talk with them but I want to send you in prepared. Come with me, I had my war chest brought here, in case I had to break my vow and join battle."

He leads them into a back room where a massive closet stand from floor to ceiling. He flips a small unassuming latch and the closet doors shift, sliding outwards revealing a wide array of tools for war.

The centerpiece is a massive armor set, made of thick heavy metal with glowing script. The thing must weigh a ton. Each joint looks intricately articulated. Though impressive, there is a thick layer of dust and even a few webs.

"Too bad that all most of this gear is good for is killing. Most of it I collected from old enemies, you wouldn't want that stuff anyways. Carries taint."

A thick black broadsword on one said seemed to confirmed that when Monty could have sword he saw a carved eye blink.

Havel drew out two items. One an unassuming shield, though Hovel carried it with great care and affection. The other was a intricately carved wooden holy symbol, the wood it was carved from looked like it was still alive.

Have gave the shield to Belor and the symbol to Monty.

"Look inside the shield." Inside the sheild was a polished spot where a reflection could be seen easily. "It will show you the truth of your decision and whether it leads you close to Sarenrae or away from her. I ignored it once and became what I saw in the reflection." He traced the creases along his cheeks.

"And as for you Monty, a gift like this needs to be shared. Perhaps I should have donated this a long time ago to the church but they would have locked it up in some vault. This is a gift from Sarenrae, one she sent to show us her image so that we may better imagine her vestige. It is perhaps one of the truest images and that carries power. Use it to heal and spread love."

"I want you two to go down into the sewer and see if you can work out a deal. I still have some power until the crisis is over and I can make arrangements. I will be ready to open up a section of sewer for them to leave through but you have to convince them, whatever way you have to."

"Are you ready?"

Monty: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Monty: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Belor: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Belor: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12

Wow, you guys are really good at these rolls but the dice shut you down.

As you look at the war chest you can see an array of items and weapons from various centuries and cultures.


Male Human HP 10/14

Monty looks at the Holy Symbol and then up at Havel and then again at the wooden symbol in his hand. When he looks up again it seem as if he is misting over heavily and this time the clearing of his throat is not due to a nervous habit but from a deep sense of gratitude and honor.

You sir have given me more than I could ever have wanted in my life time. A relic of this magnitude given to me a lowly cleric of Sarenrae is a great honor to me. I shall do what ever is needed to turn this tide. I shall assist in these negotiations and give my all to tem.

Monty bows deeply to the man and looks humbled far beyond his already timidness.


Havel warmly smiled

I know it's the right choice... I consulted the sheild. I may also be asking much more from you soon.


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

Not wanting to offend the Regent by telling him that he never bothered how to learn to use a sheild the warrior shcolar picked it up with one tattoed hand. As he did a warmth like the sun coming out from behind the clouds on a chilly day flowed from his fingertips through his muscles, his sinews, and his nerves to everypart of his body. He slung the shield onto his arm in perfect form. As he did so he the warmness faded into a sense of Rightness, he had no other word for it accept maybe Completeness. He knew that somehow in some why this shield had been waiting for him.

He gives the Regent a formal salute in the Old manner that the Shoanti had perseved down the long centuries since the Empire had fallen, something almost never seen by and certainly never given to 'tshameks' (outsiders).

"Tasks that challenge us is how we prove ourselves in this life." Belor turns to his friend."Let's go find someone who speaks Orcish and maybe a guide to the sewers." He rearms himself securing his shield with a few study straps to hold next to his pack.


Male Human HP 10/14

As Monty puts the Holy symbol around his neck he seems to stand a little taller as if for the first time he could stand. And as it lands upon his chest his heart stops for a moment and his eyes glaze over so quickly that it may not even be seen. His mind is flooded with knowledge he had never studied but now knows and a single tear falls from his eye and flows down his cheek.

This happens but in an instance and as Belor speaks he is brought back to the reality and gravity of the situation at hand. Looking at his friend he nods.

As you know my friend I have never been much of a speaker but I know that you have the way and I will be able to assist you. By Sarenrae we will be able to accomplish this I am positive.

Monty's lips curve up slightly in a small smile of confidence something that he never seems to have but these events are changing him and he is ready to become that which he is not.


I wouldn't trust a translator if I were you, most of them know the language because they were captured and interned. They might be... less then helpful in brokering peace.

Havel guides you to the makeshift alter "Oh Dawnflower, Everlight, we stand here today not asking for strength of sword but strength of faith. We seek to build bridges with our neighbors, but we lack the tools. Send thy peace, lord, that we may think, act, and speak harmoniously."

As Belor and monty lifted their heads they felt and incredible absurdness they would be able to bring peace but this was tempered with the fact that although they understood orcish, without tusks the language would sound horrible from their mouths.

Spell: Tongues

Havel smiled back at them, then his looked changed to a bit of embarrassment. "Huh, forgot about the tusk thing."

--The Sewer System--

Monty and Belor had made there way past several check points uneventfully. Making their way to the closest juncture of sewer they could enter that would lead them to the orcs.

The final checkpoint they crossed was lightly guarded above ground but a heavily under. Rows of tower-shields, spears and spell-swords were at the ready in rows cluttering and filling the relatively thin tunnels.

Barrels of kerosene were at the ready. The water flowed into the chamber where the orcs were from here. All they would need to do is poor the barrels in from here and the current would take it in, then they would light it and quickly all air would be consumed in the system.

The marshal on the ground would not let them by without taking a charm with them. One that if used would alert him that they had failed.

The soldiers tensed up as the doors swung open, only silence and darkness were on the other end. They stepped through and the door closed with a loud thud.

Now the two were surrounded by nothing but pitch black darkness.

perception checks
Belor: 1d20 ⇒ 10
monty: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22

Belor:
There is a huddled mass of orcs well ahead of you, some are breathing hard, and there are a few sounds of muffled sobbing.

monty:

There is a huddled mass of orcs well ahead of you, some are breathing hard, and there are a few sounds of muffled sobbing.

Also, above you is something clinging to the roof of the tunnel, it was probably there to avoid being seen by the tunnel. For now, it seems to be staying put.


Male Human HP 10/14

Monty holds a hand to Belors chest. Belor can feel the nervousness through the shaking of Monty's hand.

Wait something on the ceiling not sure what it is but hold here for a second

Monty covers his new holy symbol and chants

Bíodh solas ann and then light fills the sewer and he looks up at what is clinging to the ceiling holding his action to see what it is but he is ready to fire a bolt of fire if needed.


The holy symbol in his hand glows with an otherworldly green huge, casting light in all directions.

Above was a small orc who had hid along the top of the tunnel by applying enough pressure from his arms to both walls. His face and body were covered in... camouflage. He was thin for an orc and his tusk were barely tall enough to show past his lips.

reflex save: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6

He gasped in surprise. Letting go of the walls, he splayed out his feet to catch the walkways on each side of the stream. Perhaps his leg span was not wide enough or the walkways were too slippery from all the... water.

His feet hit and a moment later they were up in the air again as he fell backwards into the water. He flailed and squirmed as he righted himself, embarrassed and afraid.

Trick and sorcery! Damned humans cheat every time!


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

Belor mutters softly “you’ll do” and reaches out and pulls the orc to his feet. “Stand and take the spear to the front boy; with a snarl on your face and with your hands gripped around his neck. That said I agree all too offen it seems some damn mage or sorcerer pulls some damn trick and what should have been a glorious victory becomes a disaster that leaves you trying to stuff your guts back into your insides.” Letting the orc go, he sets his pack down “But let’s leave off talk of the good and the bad way to die until later.”

Pulling a blanket out or his pack as he unfolds it and spreads it on the ground his words, even in orcish take on a formal tone and cadence, half ritual, half storytelling “I took this fair and square by right of combat the day I met my friend here Monty none may gainsay my right to it.” He reaches again into the pack and sets a bag of salt, a loaf of bread, a roasted turkey leg, and a jar of wine onto the blanket saying “this is my salt, my bread, my meat, and my wine I paid for each with coin earned by the sweat of my brow, or the cunning of my mind, or the swiftness of my hand none may gainsay me in this.”

The ‘table’ set he announces “Let us sit and take the salt and talk of affairs.” Belor sits takes a bit of salt and tosses in to the North, “Uncle North Wind witness us and take no offense let not your frosty breath chill us this day.” A pinch of salt and a toss to the South, “Aunt South Wind hear our words and may your warmth flow over us.” To the East “Aunt’s Daughter East Wind refresh us with your gentle rains and witness what we say.” To the West “Uncle’s Son West Wind, play no tricks on us today, and listen closely to testify that we bear no false words.”

He sprinkles salt over the turkey leg, eats a bite and hands it to the orc. Then he breaks the bread eats some and hands half to the orc. Finally he drinks from the jar of wine and hands that to the orc too.


The orc is confused, then almost indignant but when the food comes out his expression fades. He stares deeply at each item. His face almost looks as if it is painful to watch.

Not... Not until the others. I cannot take until the chief- He cuts himself off. A mixture of surprise at himself and fear.

I will not eat food that my brothers cannot. Say your peace before I find my spear and take your food for my people.

The young orcs words came out with brash guttural inflections but now Monty and Belor could appreciate exactly how complex the orcish language could be. It was so different then any other they had learned. Orcs were generally considered stupid but perhaps it was mostly a language problem.

Some russeling sounds come from further down the tunnel, vague shapes moving around.


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

"I like you. Your Chief should join us, there's more food in my pack, all mine nothing stolen or given to me by another. We will eat and talk of affairs. After eating my bread and meet, taking my salt, and drinking my wine, I will be your host and you and yours will be my guests. For a day and a night your concerns will be my concerns your welfare or lack thereof will reflect on my honor. Come eat, drink and let us talk so that this is not a day that ends in very bad deaths. I The Spearbreaker son of Foehammer and She Who Kills Each Foe Twice of the Shundar-Quah of the Shoanti say this is so.


Male Human HP 10/14

Monty kneels down on one knee and holds his hands out to show that he is no threat.


The young orc winced when Belor mentioned the chief. Though talk of eating did seem to have him in a trance, it wasn't until Monty offered him a hand that the mood shifted.

The young orc swatted Monty's hand away. "I don't need your help! You want to see the chief you will have to go through me! I will-"

"Let them through" A deep bellowing voice came from the end of the tunnel.

The young orc stepped aside and let Monty and Belor through. At the end of the tunnel was a large open room where watered pooled to be drained to the sewers below. Orc were packed from wall to wall.

The injured were placed on the walkways to keep their wounds from being infected by the foul water. The rest waded knee deep, standing on the drainage grading.

The had to rearrange themselves to allow for the two to get through to the other side where the voice came from.

At the end sat the Chief, a mountain of an orc, propped against the wall.

Belor:

perception Belor: 1d20 ⇒ 1
The orc is probably just lazy.

Monty:

perception Monty: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
The orc hasn't just sustained severe injuries but he has also seemed to have torn ligaments and a spinal injury of some sort. This orc is on his last leg and will probably die in the next few days or be a cripple for the rest of his life.

A smile cracks across the chief's face. "So, we have volunteer hostages now do we?"


Male Human HP 10/14

Monty’s heart goes out to the injured Orc leader. Obviously a great leader and warrior but soon his injuries will overtake him and he will not be allowed to live in a crippled state even if he live from his injuries.

Monty begins to speak clutching his holy symbol so tightly that his knuckles turn red and white.
We were asked to come and negotiate. To find an amicable end to this situation once and for all so all may live in peace. As for hostages if we do not live or leave the orders are to flood this place with fire. So as a hostage I am not worth much, but as a healer I can heal you and we can discuss what you would like and need to survive a more peaceful existence.


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

"My friend speaks, truly, as hostages we're not worth much. But we're not here to be valueless hostages we're here to be something much more valuable, your hosts on your visit to our fair city. Come this food I offer is mine and none others as we eat together I become your host, and for a night and a day by the ancient traditions your health warfare and safety will be my concern." Belor gives a sigh "Oh come on just sit and eat with me I think we can get all of your people out of the city alive."


The orcs are gathered around tentatively watching. Their anticipation is peaking when the chief starts speaking.

I have had enough of your talking! First you run from us and strike in the shadows, now you want to hand us food and expect us to belive you? This is another trick, one we will not be stupid enough to fall for.

Suddenly the mood shifts back in the room and the orcs around you go from desprate anticipation to anger. The change is drastic, even for orcs.

Monty Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Monty Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 3 = 22
Monty Knowledge Arcana: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Belor Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
Belor Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 13

Monty:

The chief doesn't fully belive in what he is saying. He seems hell bent on self-distruction, not only for himself but for all of his tribe. Most likely he feels extreme shame and doesn't want anything left to show his shame.

He is not arguing with you. He is really arguing for the orcs around you, trying to make sure they don't turn on him. Though his ability to be persuasive seems odd and unnatural.

Belor:

He is not arguing with you. He is really arguing for the orcs around you, trying to make sure they don't turn on him. Though his ability to be persuasive seems odd and unnatural. In fact, there is some magic to his words though it's extremely subtle.

bluff: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
initiative
cheif: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Monty: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16
Belor: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24

The orc leader trys to catch Monty distracted in thought. Belor has seen this before; it's like a caged animal you think you have under control. Monty showed his weakness and now the animal is pouncing.

The chief does not go for his weapon but instead he reaches his arm out to capture Monty.

OK guys, just remember I rarely run "straight combat" because that's boring. Don't expect that what you say in combat is just throwaway one-liners and don't expect that the best solution is the most direct.


Male Human HP 10/14

Monty steps back shaking his head.

Your shame is clouding your thoughts and bringing only more shame for these Orcs around you. Do not do this to them.

Total defense AC 21


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

"Not a good idea, Chief." Belor tries to grab the Chief's arm grapple: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11.


Even with him having no dex bonus to his CMD that isn't enough

Counter Grapple: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24

As Monty stepped back the light shifted sending shadows cascading. Figures became confusing and Belor misjudged his reach, but the orc chief like all of his kind could see perfectly well regardless of the light.

He batted away Belors arm, extending his own, latching onto his forearm and neck. The orc stood up to reinforce his leverage. Wet tearing sounds came from his back and sides, his legs shook but held.

1d6 ⇒ 5

Blood poor around the Chief's side and down his leg. Belor could feel the orc readying his legs for a push.

"We drown this one in the water, we take that one to the gate. Let's show them we are not their pets, not their toys. We are free and proud."

Monty:

Will Save: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20

The cheifs words start to ring true for you, bringing up a sense of longing for your place in the world... Then you realize that's complete troll s~@~. You have never had such feelings in your entire life, certinly not enough to side with this psychopath!

Then you realize where you have seen this before, this magic. It's the same as the bards you witnessed who worked in politics, using their gifts to persuade.

The other orcs are enthralled.

Belor:

The ors's bones splinter with every movement. By attacking you he is killing himself. It's only a matter of time before he dies, but he may be able to drown you in waste water before then, which would be a terrible way to die.


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

reverse grapple: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23 Belor mutters under his breath "Sarenrae give me strength and then louder "Monty, a little healing for me and the Chief and anybody else nearby please, ... or you know whatever you think best"


Technically you get to break free. You get a +4 circumstance bonus to escape if the grappler is trying to place a character into a hazardous situation.(http://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat#TOC-Grapple)but you also take an AoO

Attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15

Belor manages to hold his ground as the orc presses all high weight into pushing him towards the edge. AT the last second the orcs knees buckle and allow Belor to break free. The Chief throws a wild swing but it misses its mark and he collapses to one knee.

The room has now reached a fever pitch, the orcs pushed right up to the line, just waiting for one of them to start something.


Male Human HP 10/14

Monty hears the need and responds, Naer goth jaerpod

a warm glow of blue light emits from Monty's holy symbol filling all those around him. All those injured around him can feel the healing of the cleric and know it is from him the healing comes.

healing: 1d6 ⇒ 2

you fool we came in peace and to offer you freedom and a place of your own and you throw it away. What of you good Orcs would you rather live in peace or die in this sewer?

diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17


Don't forget you also get to heal ability damage. Right now you are at 1d4, but as your channel dice go up so will the d4's. For now lets go with 1/2 the amount of your channel dice, rounded up.

wisdom heal: 1d4 ⇒ 1

The blast of positive energy fills the small room. Most of the orcs start shaking their heads a bit, confused. Small voices in the crowd voice discontent "Why would..." But they are soon hushed.

The crowd is starting to wain.

The orc bellows a roar, his wounds have sealed, the bleeding has stopped and he is now angry.

He swings wide slamming his fist square into Belors stomach.

attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

"Your not listening, or not thinking clearly, your anger, your pain, is clouding your judgement. We. Can. Get. Your. People. Out. Of. Here. Alive." full defense, AC to 21. Some more healing would be nice


Male Human HP 10/14

so I roll that with every channel energy Missed that

We are here to talk peace to turn the barrage of attacks and death on both sides into a mutually beneficial relationship. Your own anger and frustration is not helping

diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
channel positive healing: 1d6 ⇒ 1
channel positive ability: 1d4 ⇒ 2

I shall heal all of you to show I mean no harm but only helping.

Monty holds his holy symbol once again and chants
Naer goth jaerpod

The warm blue light goes through the tunnel healing anyone close enough to reach the light as it radiates away from Monty.

Why would I heal you if I meant you only harm?

cant roll a d6 to save my life.


The healing wave washes over and more orcs begin to come to their senses.

An intrepid orc pokes his head out of the crowd. "Wait.. What is your plan chief? I hate the scronny humans telling us what to do, but what is our plan anyway? Maybe we got no choice."

The Chief roars back."Our people have had our destiny robbed by these-"

"But what's our plan!?"

"We hurt them and make them remember how great we were!"

attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11

The next swing is sloppy, allowing Belor to fully capitalize on it. His hands ready, he catches the chief's fist in mid air, slowing it to a harmless stop. The sight is staggering to the other orcs.

"How great we are!?" Another orc pipes up. "You can't even take care of this pup! How did you even become chief again?... I can't even seem to recall."


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

"Wait a second is this your Chief or not? Where are your other Elders? Wouldn't they know? Belor keeps his tone calm and reasonable.


"They're all dead. Killed in a human raid, the Chief was the only survivor." An orc says very matter-of-factly.


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

"They'll all died in a human raid, and he led you straight into an attack on a human city where you are all going to die!? And now he doesn't want to talk to someone who has a plan to get you all out alive??? Warriors something's very wrong here either he's not your Chief or someone is using foul magic against this tribe and wants your deaths. Something I have never wanted. I am not the Foehammer, I am not named The Orcslayer, or He Who Hates. I Am The Spearbreaker And By Serenrae's Holy Dawn I Will Have Peace!"


Male Human HP 10/14

Monty looks around with sympathy in his eyes.
So you never saw this raid only the aftermath and only this one survivor. I find it hard to believe that this raid happened. We are here to help and broker peace but this one calling himself chief is want only your distruction.

Monty continues to look at them with a longing for discussion.
I will continue to heal you all and help bring peace

Once again Monty grabs hold of his holy symbol and chants.
Naer goth jaerpod

Healing: 1d6 ⇒ 5
restoration: 1d4 ⇒ 1
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17


The crowd seems to be turning on the Chief, the questions turn into a rabble. The Chief stops fighting and starts trying to calm the crowd but it's too late. With their wits restored from Monty's healings they are more acute then the Chief had been expecting, finally he cracks.

"You idiots are just as bad as the elders! They heard the exact same thing I did from the oricle and were going to lead us down the same path of being the humans lapdogs! I saved you from that! You owe me, You-"

A gang of orcs take him from behind and beat him unconscious. One of the largest looks over his shoulders to see if anyone else wants to speak and then begins.

"Well, we are ready to talk but first we would like to not be standing in s!~!... Fair?" He paused a moment, directing his comments towards Belor "Also I have never herd of someone speak of peace as a fight, that's an interesting concept."

The rest of the orcs fall in line, getting ready to move.


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

"There are those that say everything is warfare, including life itself, that certainly is the way I was raised. Let's find a place to set down eat and talk, and figure out how everybody gets out of here alive."


With the orcs under control you are able to guide them out of the system using directions given to you by Havel. Guards are missing from all the right posts to allows you to slip outside the city bounds and exit the system where the sewer meets a backwater waste river.

By the time you get out it is dusk. The warm autumn air is a welcome feeling and the doesn't-smell-like-s+%# air is also nice.

Waiting for you is Havel and a pair of clerics.

"Welcome orc clan. I look forward to working out a deal with you. Over the course of my career I have been given large parcels of land to lord over, truth be told I have never done a thing with them. Giving you a place to live sounds like the best option."

He clears his throat

"I will provide you with shelter, food and water and I only ask one thing of your tribe... That you train. I'm sure your oracles have received the same visions ours have, the undead are coming and we need to be ready this time."

The orcs seem ready to accept the offer as soon as they can form a coherent leadership. The orcs form up to talk amongst themselves, giving you time to meet privetly with Havel.

"You did well. Our lord was kind to bring you to me."


male Human (Shoanti) 2nd level Fighter(Lore Warden)HP 16/19| AC 17 T 13 FF 14 | CMD 17 | F+4 R+3 W+0 | Init +5 | Perc +0 | SM -1

"The Dawnflower loves to bring light to darkness, it doesn't matter if the darkness is blinding our eyes or our souls." The Spearbreaker, no not The Spearbreaker now, Belor looks at Havel sharply. "I think there's more going on then what we'd guessed at earilier. The orcs mentioned oracles down in the sewers, now you do too. Plus you now speak of visions of undead coming as if they were an army. What's going on?"


Male Human HP 10/14

Monty listens intently and then clears his throat after Belor finishes.

This undead army you speak of what do you know of it and how may I assist against it?

Monty feels more confident then ever. He had never been a man of action but the thrill of turning the tide and having a hand in it gave him a feeling he had never had before... excitement.


"As simple as it sounds, we have received visions of the undead rising up again. Given the areas history you can see how we would take this seriously. Their own oracles must have received the same vision. As for assisting..."

Havel produces three letter, opening each one it is clear that all three are nearly identical, save for the names at the top.

letters:

Havel, I know it has been long since we last spoke in person but I have need of your skill and expertize. I am beginning to grow suspicious of those around me. I need people I know I can trust.

I fear The Way will catch on to my research soon.

-Petros

Belor, I know it has been long since we last spoke in person but I have need of your skill and expertize. I am beginning to grow suspicious of those around me. I need people I know I can trust.

I fear The Way will catch on to my research soon.

-Petros

Monty, I know it has been long since we last spoke in person but I have need of your skill and expertize. I am beginning to grow suspicious of those around me. I need people I know I can trust.

I fear The Way will catch on to my research soon.

-Petros

"When I received mine I thought that perhaps the professor needed my help but once I saw the other two I quickly realized that he was gathering a force for something bigger. Whoever 'the Way' is, they are connected to the undead visions. I need to stay here and prepare the army, you need to make contact with the professor. I have made all the arrangements."

A sudden realization hit him as well.

"We have no idea how many people Petros was trying to contact, you may meet others. While examining the letter I noticed that all were made with an arcane mark. Spend some time with the mark, Monty and I'm sure you will be able to pick out others with it as well."

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