Khari opens her mouth to quip back at Kiln, only for Ondek to introduce himself. "Ask and the gods deliver." raising her tankard to Ondek, she offers a smile. "Well, welcome to our band. Kurag seems to know what's going on better than I, and Rask and Kiln seem to have good heads on their shoulders as well. I'm Khari by the by." gesturing to each of her companions, Khari offers a hand for a handshake.
Kiln looks back and forth between Ondek and Khari, before accusing, "you set this up, didn't you? Are you cousins or something? We didn't even agree to find a wizard, and one shows up? Now that is awfully convenient! Are we sure it's a pointy hatted mage that we need, and not some god awfully strong great sword wielder to tighten up our front line and dish out the damage?"
Khari offers Kiln a smirk over her drink. "If we gather another weapon wielder, how will you reach our enemies? It seems like a good way to limit our mobility." placing the tankard down, she studies the newest dwarf. "I'm afraid I don't know this fine fellow, but it is as I said: sometimes the gods can manipulate fate to send those in our path for when we most need it."
|Kurag Urlot III|
Kurag returns after a brief spell catching up on the news with some of his friends. It seems like most of the town has recovered somewhat.. or at least as well recovered as they can be in this amount of fully there hasn’t been any other attacks or threats since we have been gone. Luckily too most of the people were able to take shelter and stay out of danger. Those that did get injured were drug back to the healers and have recovered.. At this Kurag looks out the door and those closest can see his eyes harden. These people have suffered too much already. I am just waiting for the council to accept my resignation and then I will be off again.
Only then does he realize that there is another dwarf with the party. Oh sorry,the name is Kurag, and you are?
"Greetings! I am Ondek Brightstone. As I was just explaining to your companions, I am a wizard in need of adventuring allies, and you seem to be in need of an arcane spellcaster. Would you like a fill of your mug Kurag?"
He offers the pitcher as Kurag sits.
”Without using any of your fancy shmancy wizard words, can you tell us just what an ‘enchanter’ does? Pitcher of beer, or no, if you say “we enchant things” I might have to pop you.”
"I specialize in magics that confuse, enfeeble the mind, or turn friend to foe. Enchantment is a school of magic useful for diplomats, con artists, and dilettantes, of which I am the former, mostly. I do not use the typical fireballs and blasting rays of many wizards and, I eschew the dark arts of Necromancy as well. Don't expect me to raise the dead or turn someone's bones inside out, and I believe you'll find my skills similar to many adventuring wizards sorcerers."
"You misunderstand, my good dwarf. I am a diplomat, not a con artist. That is what I meant by the former. As for friend to foe, perhaps you could see how that could advantage you in a combat? If a crowd of orcs or goblins suddenly begins to stab and bash one another, they are all so much easier to eliminate. Alternatively, similar magics can change the minds of hostile creatures to become more compliant, even to the extent of becoming quite friendly. Those same orcs, if their leader becomes a friend, can now be directed elsewhere or sent away entirely. Are those examples clearer?"
Rask sits back, drinking his ale, listening to Kiln and Ondek joust with their words. He chuckles at the fighters apparent lack of understanding the usefulness of a wizard in battle.
"Kiln, he will be quite useful, and he looks to be a good companion."
"Ondek, those are good thoughts. One time, when I was a caravan guard, our wizard had two of the leader grey dwarves decide to attack each other while the rest of us took down their followers. Easy outcome, no one badly injured on our side, so I like what you are saying."
"Please. Allow me to simplify for you, good AxeDwarf. I will mess with the minds of our enemies, make you faster, stronger, and tougher, and occasionally call forth powerful allies from another plane. Also, I can spin yarns and speak politely with pretty much anyone capable of speech, if that is called for."
Ondek raises his mug and takes a long drink.
"I am most glad to have your approval!"
Kiln takes a swig of ale before conceding, "well, let's just hope you are better at convincing the angry beasties out there than you were at sweet talking such an affable dwarf as me."
"Well, seeing as how were gonna be traveling together, how bout we fill the new guy in on the job? Buried treasure? Bandits in the hills? Ancient crypt full of bejeweled skeletons? Some clues might be nice, especially if my historical research is to play any role in helping."
Pulling out the geode found on Grenseldek, Khari leans forward. "We just got back from a giant fortress, and what did it's leader have on her but this?" Holding the geode up to the light, Khari turns it so that it catches in such a way to show a path through a tiny mountain range. "Now granted," Passing the item over to Kurag, "we are still missing about half the map, and I'm not sure where it will lead us, but isn't that part of life?"
I'm a bit lost as to what we're supposed to be doing? Is it to follow the geode map?
"I am with Kiln. I joined the group after Torag led me here, and was with them just before Kiln joined. I do not know the whole back story either. I believe Kurag is the only remaining original member of the group, so......" and Rask looks over at the scout for help.
|Kurag Urlot III|
You arrive back in Trunau to a hero's welcome. Many feel that with the giant and orc alliance broken and the band's leader defeated, Trunau is safe. It is only when you meet with Halgra, Silvermane and the city council that you reveal the truth. There is a giant warlord-Volstut the Storm Tyrant who is gathering an army of giants in a secluded valley in the Mindspin Mountains that could threaten not only Belkzen (and Trunau), but other nations bordering the mountains as well. You had learned this with the coorespondence he had written Grenseldek spurning her offer.
In addition, you now possess both halves of the geode treasure map. The geodes’ crystalline interiors model the topography of the Mindspin Mountains, and a carved groove through the crystals represents a trail through the mountains. You figure this might be a map to the treasure Ingrahild and Umlo Nargrymkin, descendants of Nargrym Steelhand, were looking for—the tomb of their famous, giant-slaying ancestor Nargrym Steelhand, which likely contains weapons that can be used against the Storm Tyrant and his giant minions.
Kurah takes the half of the geode that they just found and holds it wistfully in his hand. This my friends is the second half of the full geode. The 2 together should map out a probable path to an ancient hidden treasure of Nargrym Steelhand. Yet this is not the real mission. Looking at the newest member of the group he continues on. The final result of this mission is to take out Volstut the Storm Tyrant. Only then will Trunau be safe. That is why I am asking to have my service to Trunau ended so I can pursue this quest to safe the town.
"Nargrym Steelhand, huh? Sounds dwarven to me. I need to think on that a bit, seems to me I've heard that name before..."
KN(History): 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (14) + 15 = 29
"Now, this Storm Tyrant fellow, that sounds like a big old baddie. What do you know about him? Druid? Angry cleric of the winds? Some kind of air creature?"
Dunno if any knowledge is appropriate for Volstut, will roll if applicable.
Feel free to continue to RP
Early the next morning, Kurag is awakened by a knock at the door. When he opens the door he finds a member of the militia. He was green a few months ago but now carries himself with an aura of experience. Sergeant Kurag! Private Hawkins. The council wishes to see you and your fellow adventurers at noon today. Also, your breakfast is on the house. The council wants to make sure what they have to discuss is done on a full stomach.
Feel free to RP the morning.
At noon you are ushered into the council chamber. Chief Defender Halgra begins by saying, Welcome Seargent! We see many new faces among your band. We are glad to hear that your former members did not leave in death, but are forging their own path. She nods to each of the newcomers. Greetings to each of you as well. I hope that you have found our humble town most welcoming! If there is anything you need please let us know. Now we are greatly disturbed by your reports of Volstus the Storm Tyrant. If as you say he is gathering an army of giants in a hidden valley in the Mindspin Mountains. We feel this army would threaten not only Belkzen and our town of Trunau, but also the other human nations bordering the huge mountain range, including Lastwall, Molthune, Nidal, Nirmathas, and Varisia!
Silvermane then adds, It is up to you all to travel to the valley to try to stop Volstus before he can assemble his army, thus preventing untold bloodshed and destruction across western Avistan.
It is then Agrit Staginsdar's turn to speak. She greets you each in dwarven and then says in common, You now have both halves of the geode treasure map that leads to the tomb of the fabled dwarven giantslayer Nargrym Steelhand. Adventurers and treasureseekers have long sought the tomb, as according to dwarven custom, Nargrym was laid to rest with his armor, weapons, and riches—including the magical steel hand that allowed the hero to wield the giants’ own weapons against them. According to the map, the tomb lies on the way to the giants’ valley, and if it still exists, recovering such a cache would prove invaluable in a fight against the Storm Tyrant’s giant horde. Nargrym Steelhand’s tomb lies approximately 90 miles southwest of Trunau, a journey of just over a week on foot through the mountains.
I do remember some stories of Nargrym Steelhand told to me as a lass. Nargrym Steelhand was a famed giantslayer from the dwarven Sky Citadel of Janderhoff in Varisia. He slew many giants to defend Janderhoff ’s mining interests in the Mindspin Mountains—even the fire giant Gunderoth, called Dwarfskinner, who scorched the living f lesh from nearly 30 dwarven miners. But though Nargrym’s legend remains strong, the circumstances surrounding his death were grim and mysterious.
After Gunderoth’s defeat, Nargrym’s own squire and kinsman, Lokmorr Edergun, cravenly stabbed Nargrym in the back out of spite and jealousy. Lokmorr took credit for slaying the giant himself, claiming it had killed Nargrym, and was heralded as a hero. But a priest of Torag named Byrim Forgepride discovered Lokmorr’s crime and confronted the kinslayer about his betrayal and deception. Believing he might still pull off his ruse, Lokmorr turned upon the priest and slew him as well. Although Lokmorr tried again to cover up his dark deeds, he was unsuccessful, and the ruling council of Janderhoff branded his forehead with the mark of the betrayer, struck his family name from the dwarven histories, and sentenced Lokmorr to be trapped alive in the tomb of the hero he had murdered. But Lokmorr’s punishment did not end there, for his brutal acts of blasphemy and murder so offended Torag that the god of the forge cursed Lokmorr with immortality, condemning him to eternal imprisonment in Nargrym’s tomb. Because of these events, many believe that Nargrym’s tomb is cursed; in the centuries since his passing, few have come to his tomb to pay their respects, and the location of the famous giantslayer’s grave has been mostly forgotten.
But Lokmorr’s heinous acts affected others as well. Believing her son innocent of the crimes he was accused of, Lokmorr’s mother, Gertid Ederhild, attempted to petition the council on his behalf and was publicly shamed and forced into exile for her actions. Despondent, Gertid lost much of her will to live and became a wandering vagrant, stopping only to sleep and eat whatever insects she could scavenge. Her sorrowful dreams attracted the attention of Mazmezz, the demon lord of vermin, who haunted Gertid’s dreams and slowly pushed the dwarf from despair into insanity. Under Mazmezz’s inf luence, Gertid eventually wandered into a nest of ettercaps. In her madness, she believed the ettercaps were her own children. The ettercaps came to view Gertid as their own mother and she, in turn, sought to care for her new “family.” Gertid led the ettercaps on a pilgrimage to her son’s grave and there erected a shrine in his honor, not knowing that Lokmorr still lived on in the tomb below.
Years later, amused by Gertid and her ettercap family, Mazmezz blessed the insane dwarf with another child, a daughter named Luggra. To Gertid, Luggra was no different from any other dwarf child, but Luggra’s arachnid eyes and rudimentary spinnerets belied her true heritage. When Gertid died, Luggra became the new matriarch of the ettercaps. Luggra never knew Lokmorr, but she continued to maintain her mother’s shrine, and in the centuries following her mother’s death, her veneration of her half-brother turned into something akin to worship.
Luggra eventually gave birth to her own daughter, Stilgrit. But while Luggra was a dwarf who displayed only a few arachnid traits, Stilgrit was born a grotesque abomination, neither dwarf nor ettercap, but rather a hideous union of both. Upon Luggra’s death, Stilgrit succeeded her mother, and believing herself favored by Mazmezz, calls herself the “Mother of Spiders.” Today, she still leads the ettercaps in worshiping her uncle Lokmorr as the divine consort of her patron Mazmezz, while the webbed and mummified corpses of her mother and grandmother are venerated as divine prophets.
She takes a breath, If you believe such stories. In Janderhoff it is common to hear parents tell their children that if they step on a spider, Stilgrit will get them! I heard that you met and helped Steelhand's decendents, Ulmo and Ingrahild. I wish I could have met them and I wish I could go with you, but I must help in the town's defenses.
It is then again Halgra's turn, We wish you godsspeed on your journey. The fate of the land rests in your capable hands!
As you turn to leave, she adds One last order of business. Sergeant Kurag, we do not accept your resignation from the militia, but instead grant you a leave. Your position of Sergeant Major will be here when you get back! Congratulations!
Lot of information here, so feel free to RP any questions. The trip to the tomb is uneventful, but if there is anything you would like to buy or do before you leave town, now is the time to do it!
"By my beard, that is horrible. Why would a dwarf betray his own kin and clan like that? If true, this Lokmorr Edergun must truly be a shaven-chin ratfink like no other. The Great Creator cursed him and his kin alike, and now we have to deal with them in a permanent fashion."
"We should provision up and prepare for a journey. Are there any scrolls or spells we need before we head out?"
Kiln took all of that in, "well, I know I just met you lot, and you especially pointy hat, but I didn't learn my skills without a fair bit of adventuring with other groups." He pauses, before continuing, "if there is anything my career has shown, it's that you can be sure of two things on an adventure. One, every rumor you hear is likely true, and two, you didn't hear every rumor there is to hear. So, There's likely some crazy spider-dwarf out there that will get in our way, along with her brood. And whenever we find this tomb, you can bet your beard that there immortal dwarf will be there, and be none too happy about it. Of the two, it's the immortal dwarf that bothers me more. I'm not sure how to kill an immortal." He turns to Ondek and Khari, "like as not, magic, such as you both wield will be needed to kill that thing, or at least incapacitate it long enough for us to accomplish our mission. But as for spider-dwarfs, they probably bleed and die just fine. Although, poison might need to be dealt with."
|Kurag Urlot III|
Back at the pub Kurag gives them what little information he has on the Storm Tyrant. I would think he is just a very powerful giant of some type. If that is the case he bleeds like all the rest so typical Kiln tactics would work.
In the morning Kurag wakes with a start before going to see what is happening at his door. When the private announces breakfast is ready Kurag just gives a half hearted smile. Last meal? he thinks to himself. Gathering his gear and making himself as presentable as possible he gathers the others and escorts them to the council at noon.
He listens with rapt attention as the members of the council give them what information they know, divined, or have gleaned from other sources. It made sense for them to at least attempt to visit Steelhand's tomb since it was on the way to the Mindspun Mountains valley that held the army. Yet this was not to be some easy task. So you are telling us that the tomb may be defended by an insane immortal dwarven traitor in addition to a half spider half dwarf abomination leading a group of ettercaps and possible other spiders. Not what I was expecting but it is just a step in the path to the Storm Tyrant.
At the end when they said he was not granted his resignation he was about to protest. Thankfully he held his tongue in check as the rest of the sentence indicated they understood his desires and would await him if he returned.
Will look at the loot list and indicate what items Kurag has claimed. Then once we know for sure we can sell those that aren't claimed and purchase items for the trip.
"Hm, I'm actually less worried about the kin-killer and more concerned with the two dead women. Bad thing happen when you start worshiping remains." Fiddling with her necklace, Khari contemplates their options. "It seems that there is not getting around it though, if we are to face off against this Storm Tyrant having proper gear to get us through is a necessity." Slapping her hands on her thighs, Khari lets out a grunt of exertion as she stands. "I'm not getting any younger, either. The faster we reach this tomb, the faster we can deal with its contents. I'll make sure to prepare some spells to help with the arachnids."
"Well then, after a productive day shopping for new scrolls and convertin' my loose coin into scribing materials, I think I am ready for some adventuring! Anything else you lot need to take care of before we head out?"
As he listens to the council describe the insane dwarf, her offspring, and their worship of spiders, Rask keeps his counsel to himself. Once they have left and begin to split the treasure they found before heading out again, he takes a few potions and the headband.
"A dwarf worshiping a spider. This is an abomination in Torag eyes. I am ready to go at anytime, and I guess that Kiln is also. The rest of you will need to prepare spells for this task, then we can go."
"Yes, indeed. I believe we can set out in morning, I have a new spell prepared especially for long journeys and overland travel. These dwarven legs have carried me fine thus far, but why not go in style if possible?"
Ondek seems quite excited and happy about getting ready to set out for a long journey.
Following the geode treasure map, you all arrive at the base of Stag’s Pike, a slender stone spire in the Mindspin Mountains near the border between Belkzen and Varisia. From Stag’s Pike, a narrow footpath climbs into the high mountains where the dwarves of Janderhoff built their mining fortresses in past centuries. But the map points away from those settlements, instead indicating an overgrown trail that leads to a high and lonely plateau overlooking the source of the Runtash River. While little is left of the path, small, weatherworn stone markers placed every hundred feet or so still mark the route. Upon reaching the plateau, the trail heads into a secluded wood of pale, silvery aspens with golden leaves swaying slowly in the brisk and chilly mountain breeze. According to the map, the tomb of Nargrym Steelhand lies within the wood.
Aspen leaves rustle gently, glittering like the pale, golden embers of a forge fire. The wood seems peaceful and quiet.
"Aye, I would not feel amiss being laid to rest in a place like this. Steelhand must have been a true and proper hero to his clan, to earn this sort of tomb."
Ondek sits atop his phantom steed and looks around the glade, taking in the beauty and still quiet of the place.
"I suppose we follow the trail, then?"
Looking at the forest in front of them where the trail continues, Rask gripes, "why does it have to be a forest? We are not elves. Why can't we be in the hills or underground?"
However he follows Kurag, the scout into the woods.
”Aye, laying a dwarf to rest in a forest or glade makes about as much sense as using an elven word as the magical password to get into a secret dwarven back door. Plainly put, it’s silly, but here we are.”
|Kurag Urlot III|
Kurag ignores the banter from Kiln, Rask, and Ondek as he carefully studies the trail before them while atop Lucky. He disliked the forest for other reasons than it being a traditionally elven abode. No,he did not like the forest or its swaying branches. The movement of the branches and the closeness of the trees meant that anyone would spot them before he spotted them.
He ticked off the foes that were likely set against them as he studied the trees as well...undead dwarf, spiders, ettercaps. The spiders would likely have webs and nests for their use so he would look for sunlight glinting off of those. The problem was that the silver aspens might hide the webs as well.
Realizing that he was just sitting there and hadn't answered Ondek for a while now he answered slowly and quietly without breaking his gaze from the tree line. Yes we follow the path at a slow steady pace. We keep our eyes open and weapons at the ready. This path has not been used for quite some time either because it has been forgotten or because everyone around knows it is dangerous. Let me go forward about 30 feet in case there is an ambush or snare set for someone.
perception 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (10) + 14 = 24
stealth 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (12) + 16 = 28
Ondek draws out the rod of extend metamagic and casts mage armor on himself, covering his body in a faint bluish glow.
"Be on guard, got it. No sweat, Kurag."
GM, how many days travel to arrive? I only ask to know if I need to re-up my shrink item on my treasure chest.
@Ondek: It is 90 miles from town to the tomb. Not sure if you all are on horseback or walking. Correct me if I am wrong but I think walking is 12 miles per day and horses are 40 miles per day, therefore if walking the 7 1/2 days. If riding 2 1/4 days.
Kurag is trying so hard to see the thin web of a trap, he is trying to look everywhere-except when Lucky snaps a spider web. Suddely twigs snap into place hurling wickedly sharp shards of slate into the area.
Range attack: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (6) + 15 = 21
The shards penetrate the armor of Ondek, Kurag, Kiln, and Khari. Only Rask's armor prevents the shards from penetrating.
Damage: 2d6 ⇒ (4, 2) = 6
Everyone except Rask needs to give me a DC17 Fort save. If pass, nothing. If fail:
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect DMG: 1d3 ⇒ 3 Dex damage plus paralysis for 1 round; Cure 1 save
|Kurag Urlot III|
This hits them even though I stated having them back 30ft? ouch
Kurag winced in pain and frustration as he felt the sting of a trap hit him.
fort save Kurag1d20 + 5 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 5 + 2 = 13
ride check for Lucky 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (5) + 19 = 24 mounted combat
Thankfully he was able to react enough to cause Lucky to jump out of the way. However before he could react any more and alert the others he felt paralyzed in place and his reactions slow. He just hoped the poison wore off quickly and there would be no lasting damage from it to himself or the others.
I'm -5 to Ride. It's unlikely I'd be riding a horse.
Fortitude: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 8 + 2 = 16
It looks like I take the damage, and am paralyzed.
Current AC is now 21, well, not counting that I'm paralyzed.
At the sound of the snapping trap, Khari's hand freezes halfway up to her neck as something strikes.
Fort: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 8 + 2 = 15 Welp, this is going well...
|Kurag Urlot III|
@Kurag: Per the AP: "As soon as a single trap is triggered, additional traps suddenly trigger in a chain reaction throughout the wood, potentially striking anyone walking through the area."
Wow...that is harsh. Need to up my perception at this rate.
|Kurag Urlot III|
Dang it and I forgot o put in the floating +1 for traps for being a rogue. I remembered the plateau mountain bonus. Oh well as long as we don’t die lesson learned.
|Kurag Urlot III|
Kurag looks at the others to see if they are all right. Once he sees that they are able to move again he shakes his head in apology. Sorry I missed that guys. I will be more careful this time around. As it is you might want to stand back and give me some space.
perception 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (4) + 14 = 18 +1 traps pathetic