Ever Last The Night

Game Master Orthos

A tale of warfare, espionage, mystery, and heroism in a post-apocalyptic, subterranean world.


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Shadow Lodge

Chapter One: Thorn Within

"So point your fingers, Point right at me;
For I am shadows and will follow you - One and the same are we...."

----

Noon rings twelve strikes on the great bell of the Grangoban, towering tall over the city of Suir - tradepost, military city, metropolis, and last leg of the first line of defense of northern Galadae against potential aggression and assault from the lands of Anhur. Despite the hint of impending threat, there is no brooding melancholy nor fearful hush over this city. High noon is a bustling, busy, noisy time of day as in any major metropolis, a vast swarm of activity milling about its many streets, market-goers and soldiers and travelers and simple passersby coming and going, living and loving, dreaming and doing. Were it not for the occasional sight of passing troops marking in formation as they move from base to base or go about their daily drills, it'd be easy to forget that the threat of war was only a few hours away, should someone choose to make the first move.

All is not peaceful, though, and that's where you've come in. Whatever your reason, you've found yourself in Suir, looking for work. The flyer from the military caught your eye: a simple bounty hunt, kidnapping, or search and rescue, it seems. Without enough information to discern which and no description of the missing, you've been forced to attend the scheduled meeting to glean more information. Noonturn, on the nineteenth of Ianuwary, at one of the military installations sprinkled across the city, Station Dair.

Dair is little different from any other Galad urban outpost: A large ring of buildings, some inventory, some barracks, some various training quarters, around a wide field used for drills, skirmishes, and the like, with a sturdy wall of stone and iron around its borders to prevent accidental or intentional civilian presence, patrolled by armed troops in groups of three to keep an eye out for too-curious flying passersby. For those familiar with the local timeline, Dair was constructed twenty-four years prior, after military forces being moved north to reinforce the border began to swell over the resources of the prior three stations. A fifth was built some nine years later, but none since, and the flow of volunteers and conscripts alike has slowed to where no excess appears needed.

The only entrance by ground to Station Dair is a single gate on the north side of the west wall. It is to here that your directions sent you, and a mention or a copy of the request flyer is enough for the attendants there to allow you entrance... albeit escorted by a soldier called, requiring a wait of a few minutes. Led in, you passed several barracks and training chambers before being escorted into a meeting and consultation area with a moderate-sized waiting room. Several simple chairs are arranged around a large wooden central table, where several pitchers of water and empty glasses have been left waiting for you.

You are left here in the company of other adventurers, bounty hunters, or would-be do-gooders, likely here for the same reason you are, with only a word of, "The Captain will be with you all shortly" from your escorts. Any attempts to leave the room are met by two armed soldiers stationed just outside, who ask you politely but forcefully to return to the waiting room until the Captain arrives.


Male Ratfolk Alchemist 2 {HP 24/24, AC 18 [22 with Dex mutagen]}

The young ratfolk, garbed in leather, has not stopped fidgeting since he arrived. He sits on the edge of his chair, repeatedly opening and closing one of his many large pockets, eyes darting from person to person. His fur is gray, but for a shock of black atop his head, and his long tail seems to curl and spasm as if possessed of its own will.

"There never seems to be a shortage of work in these parts," he says to no one in particular, as if inviting conversation. His speech is quick and choppy. He takes it upon himself to begin introductions. "Gatley Raspart is my name, alchemist and explosionist at your service." His head gives a sort of bow, although his eyes continue to dart about the room.


Male Ael-Varan Sorcerer 2 {HP: 19/19, AC 13 (17 with Mage Armor)}

A moderately tall Ael-Varan with sandy blond hair, green eyes, and pale white skin stands next to a chair. His wings are white on their edges and have a splash of red plumage in the middle. He is clothed in simple traveler's garb except for a modified shirt that covers his front and ties near his lower back near the base of his wings.

Beginning to feel claustrophobic in the enclosed space, he seizes on the opportunity to speak to someone when Gatley introduces himself. He nods slightly in answer to Gatley and introduces himself. "Greetings Gatley. My name is Eyarwen. I am fair with a bow, but I bring other skills as well." He snaps his fingers and produces a small flame on his finger tips. Then, with a flip of his wrist, he snuffs the flame and replaces it with a small wooden ball. Dismissing the ball, he continues speaking to Gatley.

"It probably won't surprise you, I come from Deep Danann originally, but I have been travelling around are small world for a few years now. Where do you hail from?"


Male Ratfolk Alchemist 2 {HP 24/24, AC 18 [22 with Dex mutagen]}

"Sarawak originally," Gatley answers, still fidgeting. "Quite a distance from here. But I find the opportunities in Galadae to be more... lucrative. Well met, Eyarwen."


Female Glaistig Fighter 2 (HP 30/30) AC(22/13T/19FF)

A rather petite glaistig leans awkwardly against the wall, twirling a long strand of ash-blond hair about her fingers, gray eyes flitting from face to face. Her simple traveler's tunic and skirt are well-worn; her cloak is patched, almost out of place with her well-polished armor.

"Good day, gentlemen," she says.


Male Fey-touched human Oracle 1

A truly massive man, nearly eight feet tall, stands by the door. His appearance is primitive and ragged, and tiny spiraling marks cover every inch of exposed skin. The man's hands rest on the handle of a club made from a six-foot-long darkwood branch.

The man aims a thousand-yard stare at everyone in turn, his wild eyes scanning the room. He states, matter-of-factly, to no one in particular in a loud, rough voice;

"I am Lugaid. I am warrior. I greatest."

He lowers his gaze dramatically, peering out at the assembled companions from under a heavy brow ridge.


Male Ael-Varan Sorcerer 2 {HP: 19/19, AC 13 (17 with Mage Armor)}

"Galadae has been profitable for me as well, Gatley. I hope today's venture proves to be more of the same."

Turning to the others, Eyarwen greets them warmly as well. "Good Day Lugaid, and Good Day, to - I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name" the second greeting being sent toward the woman. "You both look like you can handle yourselves well in a scrap. My name is Eyarwen in case you didn't catch it. What brings each you here?"


Female Glaistig Fighter 2 (HP 30/30) AC(22/13T/19FF)

"Oh, my apologies." A slight bow. "Selda Quigley. Just here as I heard help was needed."


Male Ti'Larinn Ranger 2 (HP 25/25) AC(18/14T/11FF)

A Ti'Larinn with dull green scales stands in the corner, his eyes scanning those in the room and watching the doors. He wears a suit of studded leather with a bow and quiver strapped to his back and a scimitar buckled at his hip. His voice came out in a low rasp as he spoke.
"Harroc. I hunt."


Male Ael-Varan Sorcerer 2 {HP: 19/19, AC 13 (17 with Mage Armor)}

Turning to the Ti'Larinn, Eyarwen says, "Harroc, I am Eyarwen. You seem well equipped for that task. What are you adept at hunting?"


Male Fey-touched human Oracle 1
Kyorlurn Harroc wrote:

A Ti'Larinn with dull green scales stands in the corner, his eyes scanning those in the room and watching the doors. He wears a suit of studded leather with a bow and quiver strapped to his back and a scimitar buckled at his hip. His voice came out in a low rasp as he spoke.

"Harroc. I hunt."

Lugaid raises his club, banging it on the ceiling as he does, showering the group with bits of mortar and dust.

"You hunt! I hunt! I smash, kill!"


Male Ti'Larinn Ranger 2 (HP 25/25) AC(18/14T/11FF)

Harroc shrugged a shoulder at the Ale-Varan's question. "I hunt what people need hunted and that which I deem worth my skills. I do not like prey that offers no challenge."
The giant man's outburst did not faze Harroc. He gave an annoyed grunt and glared at the brute. "So long as you do not smash my target, then we should have no trouble."


Male Fey-touched human Oracle 1
Kyorlurn Harroc wrote:
"So long as you do not smash my target, then we should have no trouble."

Lugaid gives Harroc a playful shove.

"Two hunt, one kill." He mimes smashing an imaginary beast with his club. "I win!" The big man gives a deep, booming laugh. "Harroc friend."


Male Ratfolk Alchemist 2 {HP 24/24, AC 18 [22 with Dex mutagen]}

"This conversation is stimulating," Gatley says awkwardly. "Do any of you have any idea what the mission is to be? I hope the pay is good." He continues fidgeting with one of his many pockets absentmindedly.


Female Glaistig Fighter 2 (HP 30/30) AC(22/13T/19FF)

"Just a missing person, 'sall I know." Selda drags a hoof across the floor, tucking it behind its partner. "Hoping nothing too serious for whoever it is' sake."

Shadow Lodge

The sound of the soldiers snapping to attention is unmistakable, as is the sound of boots on the stone approaching your room. At first, especially for those on the far side of the room from the door, it appears no one accompanies the arrival of the noise, nor the low female voice announcing, "At ease, gentlemen," that follows it. However, once its owner enters the room, her presence is all too noticeable, despite her size.

The halfling is tall for one of her race, nearly reaching three and a half feet tall, almost appearing like a short thin dwarf if it weren't for her being cropped in short military standard cut rather than the long, elaborate braids most dwarves prefer. Said hair is a dark chestnut brown, her eyes a dark steel grey, her uniform in pristine condition, a large - on her - parchment rolled up and tucked under one arm, a rapier on her belt. She gives the room a quick glance over, moving from person to person and meeting each in the eye with an appraising glance unless they make a deliberate effort not to meet the halfling's gaze. Once all have been observed, she nods once seemingly to herself then claims the seat nearest the door. "Please, be seated."

She continues a few moments later, regardless of whether people have taken seats or not. "Gentlemen, ma'am. Prompt arrival, a good sign. If your skills at tracking and information gathering, and self-defense of course, are on equal par with your ability to meet deadlines, this should be a swift and simple task, which will be to the benefit of all of us."

"I am Captain Yvonne Milton. I'll not bother you with the details of my duties or position here, they're for the most part irrelevant to the task at hand. You've been brought here to be debriefed regarding a missing man. Here's who you're looking for." He unrolls the parchment on the table, taking a moment to stand in her seat so as to spread it out so all in the room can see before sitting back down. The page holds a picture of a middle-aged human man, the shade of his hair dark with perhaps a little grey, with stern eyes over a confident smile, a neatly trimmed mustache and goatee, and a prominent scar along the bottom-right of his jaw.

"This is Brigadier Ignatio Deskar, officer of the 2nd Beith Squadron. He was last seen by his unit and superior officers two weeks ago tomorrow, reporting out of his night shift patrol at Station Beith in Ralan. His barrack was found empty the next morning, in secure condition and proper dress - his personal belongings and equipment were missing, but nothing more, nor was anything stolen from his barrack-mates, or any supply stores from Beith. Over the following week the city was searched, soldiers and civilians questioned, military and civilian morgues searched, and the like, presuming something had happened to the man. When those resources turned up nothing, it was presumed he'd been taken or departed alive rather than dead, and the search spread to other Stations, as well as sending word to our agencies along and beyond the Anhur border, in case he'd been taken or - aspects forbid - departed willingly across. We've received further information in the week since, as well as authorization to seek civilian aid and provide payment, which is where you come in.

Information we received within the past few days points Deskar southwest, headed toward the Julian border. From the civilian reports we've had of sight of a man matching his description, he is said to be traveling alone but looking anxious, as if he fears he's being followed, or somehow acting out of sorts." She pauses, tapping a finger on the edge of the parchment, then continues. "Brigadier Deskar has a family, a wife and four children, as well as a few siblings with children of their own. We believe that someone has been blackmailing Deskar, most likely through threatening his family, for Galad military information from Station Beith. His behavior, as best we have surmised, does not suggest willing betrayal. Nevertheless, securing the well-being of his family is our duty; pursuing his trail and securing Deskar, preferably alive, and finding out who is soliciting information from him and how much he's given away is yours."

Captain Milton nudges the parchment closer to the center of the table. "That's the long and short of it. Find Brigadier Deskar, discover what information he's shared, and bring him back, either to protection or judgement depending on his willing involvement in the situation. Any questions?"


Male Ratfolk Alchemist 2 {HP 24/24, AC 18 [22 with Dex mutagen]}

"Thank you, Captain Milton," Gatley says perfunctorily. "I do have a few a questions." He continues shifting and fidgeting as he begins.

"How do we know he is being blackmailed? I have known men to leave their families and stations for their own reasons. You say that he seemed to be anxious or afraid of being followed, but the fact is: he is being followed, or will be in short order. If he is a deserter, he may well be anxious and for good reason. If this is a mission to apprehend a deserter, that is all well and good, but it will be important to know our role should we find Brigadier Deskar."

"If this is actually a man who needs help, then I think we may need to know what it is he needs help with. What are the blackmailers threatening to do? Do you know what they have uncovered about him? If we don't know who is blackmailing him, what they are threatening, or what they want in return, he may well deny everything to keep whatever it is from being exposed."

Shadow Lodge

"That's information we'd like to know as well," Milton replies with a frown. "According to his superiors, the brigadier was a respectful and dutiful soldier, kept to his responsibilities with little trouble, no black marks on his record. His rank and position put him in a place for sensitive information to be available, but he was not a front-liner, and his squadron is not on the border at the moment, so he was not - at this time - living under worry of going to combat immediately, unless we were to move to open war. He was a volunteer, does not owe any debts the military is paying for him, and has had regular access to leave as any other career soldier outside times of war. In short, there's little reason - that we can see - to urge him to desert.

We suspect blackmail because it appears the most logical course, but you are correct, desertion is certainly a possibility. I don't want to damn the man before he's been proven guilty though, nor do I want to send you all on a witch-hunt for a man who well might be innocent. Hence why this is merely a retrieval mission. Once we've secured the brigadier's family's safety - the most obvious target for blackmail, if there is any - and he's been returned to us so we can secure his, we plan to move on to actual investigation, questioning, and trying to get to the bottom of this, hopefully with his cooperation. But until we have proof he's deserted, I hesitate to call him such."


Male Fey-touched human Oracle 1

Lugaid thumps his chest and bangs the head of his club on the stone floor.

"I find this man. I best tracker alive."


Male Ael-Varan Sorcerer 2 {HP: 19/19, AC 13 (17 with Mage Armor)}

"So our quarry has a two week head start," says Eyarwen. "I don't think we should tarry much longer. The trail is already quite cold. The only thing we have going for us is that he will not recognize us since we are civilians."

Eyarwen turns to the captain. "Once we have captured your man, where do you want us to bring him? All the way back to you, or to the closest outpost?"

Shadow Lodge

"The nearest," Milton affirms with a nod. "We can send a transport to bring you back here once we have word of your location."


Female Glaistig Fighter 2 (HP 30/30) AC(22/13T/19FF)

"But what could they possibly be blackmailing him for?" says Selda quietly, unaware she's spoken aloud.


Male Ael-Varan Sorcerer 2 {HP: 19/19, AC 13 (17 with Mage Armor)}

"Captain Milton, I will accept the assignment," acknowledges Eyarwen. "I am ready to begin. Each minute that passes makes our task that much harder."

Turning to the others, Eyarwen asks, "How do you want to proceed? Shall we spend some time here gathering background information on the missing person, or set off in his general direction? My preference is the latter. We should focus more on his whereabouts and less on his motivation, in my opinion. However, I defer to the expert hunters in our group." Eyarwen bows in deference to Harroc and Lugaid.


Male Fey-touched human Oracle 1

Lugaid bangs his club on the floor once more.

"We not wait, talking. We hunt!"


Male Ratfolk Alchemist 2 {HP 24/24, AC 18 [22 with Dex mutagen]}

Gatley nods. "Do we know the last place he was spotted? That sounds like a good place to start."


Male Ti'Larinn Ranger 2 (HP 25/25) AC(18/14T/11FF)

Harroc steps forward from his corner. "Easier to head in his direction and track him from there. If he's left a trail, then I'll find it."


Male Ael-Varan Sorcerer 2 {HP: 19/19, AC 13 (17 with Mage Armor)}

Eyarwen is pleased that the group is ready to go. He was beginning to find the room stifling and longed to be outside again. "Well, it seems we are in agreement, a wonderful start to our venture. I am already prepared to leave. Does anyone need to gather any supplies before we leave?"

Shadow Lodge

Gatley Raspart wrote:
Gatley nods. "Do we know the last place he was spotted? That sounds like a good place to start."

"The last report came from Neva, a half-day's ride southwest by horse or a little longer by frill if you've never been there," Milton replies, and stands as the group appears ready to depart. "If you need mounts we can make arrangements. Otherwise, godspeed in your search."


Male Ael-Varan Sorcerer 2 {HP: 19/19, AC 13 (17 with Mage Armor)}

"I won't need a mount," answers Eyarwen. "I prefer to fly."

Turning to the others, Eyarwen prods them. "I guess we are headed to Neva. Gather you things and your mounts and let's head off. Each minute we spend here our quarry increases the distance between us. I will let the trackers among us lead the way."


Female Glaistig Fighter 2 (HP 30/30) AC(22/13T/19FF)

Selda sighs. "I do so dislike riding...the saddle stirrups aren't made for hooves."


Male Fey-touched human Oracle 1

"Lugaid make own godspeed!"


Male Ratfolk Alchemist 2 {HP 24/24, AC 18 [22 with Dex mutagen]}

Gatley looks about at the others and then down at his short rodent legs. "Well I for one will make use of a pony. We have a journey ahead of us and I want to make all speed." The ratfolk does not want to admit that he is slower on foot than his companions, but he is well aware of this fact.


Male Ti'Larinn Ranger 2 (HP 25/25) AC(18/14T/11FF)

Harroc shook his head and stalked over to the door. "Horses stick to roads and can be heard coming. I make my own trail." Harroc tilts his head back at the others. "I will go on ahead in case there are enemies along the way." And with that, Harroc exits the room.


Male Ael-Varan Sorcerer 2 {HP: 19/19, AC 13 (17 with Mage Armor)}

Eyarwen looks closely at the ratfolk alchemist. "Pay no mind to Harroc, Gatley. A pony will come in handy to carry extra gear and also to use as a cover story that we are simple travelers. Harroc and Lugaid can scout ahead as they like. Selda and you can travel together. I will fly above and try to keep an eye on both groups. A grand plan. Let's saddle up and head out."


Male Ratfolk Alchemist 2 {HP 24/24, AC 18 [22 with Dex mutagen]}

Gatley nods and moves out with the others to fetch a pony and strike out at once.

Shadow Lodge

Captain Milton steps aside as group members make their way toward the exit, nodding to each and gesturing to Gatley to follow. The others are led back outside the compound to the public street, while the halfling and one of the human soldiers escort the alchemist to a large stable located some distance down the east side of the station. Noticeably none of the animals here appear to have the look of combat mounts, seemingly comfortable and lazy in their stalls, observing the newcomers with eyes accustomed to humanoid appearances at all hours. Milton bypasses the larger animals and heads straight for a set of ponies in the rear of the building.

After some examination, she selects a dull roan pony and leads the animal out of its box, then gestures for the other soldier to see to saddling it. "Arlow is a little on the old side and wouldn't ever be mistaken for a warhorse," she explains to the ratfolk, "but he's even tempered and obeys orders from any rider without much complaint. He should do well on your trip." She passes the reins to Gatley and, if the alchemist has no further complaints or comments, leads him and his new mount back to the compound's exit, explaining the basic necessities for feed and care the animal will need for the basics of travel along the way.

Presuming no one takes off before Gatley returns, you all now are on a busy thoroughfare about twenty minutes after noon, with marketgoers and travelers thronging the streets around you, slowing but thankfully not at all preventing travel, though the presence of a mounted companion among you is typically enough to get most people to clear a path once they hear the animal coming. The road you now stand on or by leads nearly directly to the city's west gate, and merges cleanly onto the trade road heading out of Suir, passing through a large marketplace along the way, for any who feel a sudden need to purchase last-minute supplies before leaving. The gate itself, whenever you reach it, is manned by a trio of local militia - not soldiers such as those you saw inside Station Dair, but Suir's own local watch, noted by their green-and-grey uniforms and preference for guisarmes and longbows - two flanking the road, inspecting incoming wagons and travelers with large cargo and waving out departures who don't look suspicious or act oddly, and the third on the city wall, eyes on the wilderness beyond.


Male Ratfolk Alchemist 2 {HP 24/24, AC 18 [22 with Dex mutagen]}

"Thank you," Gatley says to Captain Milton as he mounts the steed. "I think he will suit me just fine."

As the party makes its way along the thoroughfare, Gatley looks about, never really sitting still upon his mount.


Male Ael-Varan Sorcerer 2 {HP: 19/19, AC 13 (17 with Mage Armor)}

Eyarwen follows the group out of the room. Once Gatley is settled on his mount, he walks along with the group through town. Once they have passed through the gate Eyarwen turns to the group, "I will take to the air and keep watch. If Harroc and Ludwaig move ahead, I will stay between the two groups to keep an eye on each." With that, he gives his large wings a flap and takes off into the air about 30 feet and follows Harroc's lead.

Eyarwen keeps a look out for trouble. Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13


Male Fey-touched human Oracle 1

After Eyarwen leaves, Lugaid looks around, perplexed.

"Who this Ludwig he talk?"

He shrugs and moves to keep pace with Harroc.


Male Ti'Larinn Ranger 2 (HP 25/25) AC(18/14T/11FF)

Harroc did not slow his pace and continued past the watchmen to the town gate.

Shadow Lodge

It doesn't take long for the clearing around the city walls to give way to subterranean wilderness once you pass through the gates. The trade road between Suir and Neva, the dirt beneath your feet and hooves long packed hard as stone and cleared by decades of frequent travel, remains mostly clear, but beyond the thoroughfare's borders the ground is heavily obscured by overgrowth of the common fernlike plants that make up the majority of wild Galad flora. Though primarily a dull slate blue, a few of the more colorful specimens - ranging from a pale white-grey to vibrant reds and oranges - occasionally make themselves visible through the overgrowth, and their sizes range between ankle- and knee-high shrubbery and towering bushes with ten-feet tall, man-wide trunk-stems covered with countless arm-thick stolons. Stalagmites and low-reaching stalactites along the sides of the path have been fitted with glittering crystals, providing travelers with a flat blue-grey light for those devoid of the ability to see in darkness. A few are duller than others, thanks to the growth of a brownish moss that frequently manifests on dripping stalactites where precious water and nutrients are found.

After the first ten minutes, you find yourselves past the backup of trade wagons and travelers headed northeast and alone on the stretch of road winding off into the grey-dim distance ahead, where the light from the stalac-crystals blends together into a fuzzy fog. The caverns around you echo with the occasional rustling and chittering of local fauna, but nothing moves to approach, and the keen eyes of your scouts spy nothing but small vermin and animals going about their daily business as you begin the march southwest: underbirds, rat squirrels, local spiders and locusts, and bats primarily. The vast majority of these creatures are quick to scatter, retreating into the safety of the underbrush or the higher reaches of the cavern ceiling (currently 350 feet high) at the approach of the travelers.


Male Ael-Varan Sorcerer 2 {HP: 19/19, AC 13 (17 with Mage Armor)}

"Out and flying at last," thinks Eyarwen to himself. "I didn't like the feeling of being trapped in that room." Eyarwen glides slowly through the undersky in the cavern and moves up to a height of 50 feet. He keeps a watch on both of pairs of his fellow travellers.

perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20


Male Fey-touched human Oracle 1

Lugaid splits off from Harroc, staying within sight of the group, and begins scouting ahead. His movements are jerky and birdlike, though quiet and inhumanly quick, especially for a man so large.

Perception: 1d20 + 8 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 8 + 2 = 11
Stealth: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (10) + 4 = 14
Survival (if needed): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10


Male Fey-touched human Oracle 1

Are you f!!%ing kidding me, dice? First the lockpicking thing, now this?


Male Ratfolk Alchemist 2 {HP 24/24, AC 18 [22 with Dex mutagen]}

Gatley trots along upon his pony, staying close to Selda. He continues fidgeting with the same pocket as before, keeping an eye on the scouts ahead so that he can be alerted if anything goes awry.


Male Ti'Larinn Ranger 2 (HP 25/25) AC(18/14T/11FF)

"Good. He keeps to himself. That'll make things easier." Harroc slips into the brush and keeps his eyes peeled for any signs of danger.

Stealth: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (18) + 9 = 27
Survival (if necessary): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20

Shadow Lodge

The foliage becomes thicker as your travels take you farther from the city gates, in a few cases with ferns or vinelike undergrowth growing across, in, or through the beaten path, with some of the flora trampled or nibbled upon by passing travelers and wildlife. The light grows dimmer, space between stalac-crysts growing more sporadic the farther from civilization you get.

Your travel is uninterrupted for the most part, at least for the first hour of the journey, and quiet given the limited conversation and wide spread of the group. Harroc and Lugaid branch off ahead in different directions, with the towering warrior along one side of the road and a short distance into the foliage and the lizardman on the opposite, somewhat deeper into the underbrush. Eyarwen keeps a keen-eyed look-out from high above, while Selda and the mounted Gatley bring up the rear.

Spoiler:
Selda Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17
Gatley Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12

Harroc is the first to spot the attacker, noting a discoloration on one of the duller green ferns twitching in a way inconsistent with the minute breeze flitting through the cavern. The frond suddenly lurches, swiping futilely at the Ti'Larinn and splattering the ground between them with droplets of a dark green-brown paste. The rapid movement catches Eyarwen's gaze above, as does a second, similar assault from the patch on the opposite side of the road, where another fern - this one a pink-stained grey - suddenly pitches sideways and seems to pour out a three-foot-wide pool of nectar onto the stone, which after a moment of reorientation begins sloughing after Lugaid under its own power. The shuffling of plantlife catches Selda's eye in turn, alerting her to movement in the brush behind the hulking scout.

Knowledge rolls:
Eyarwen (untrained): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
Harroc: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Selda: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 17

All three of you quickly identify the sudden attackers as hungry Oozes, with all the appropriate invulnerabilities and resistances thereof; Selda alone is able to identify the specific classification, knowing the frondlike markings and fondness for hiding within plantlife to lurk in wait for herbivore prey as calling cards of the Garden Ooze. In addition to the normal ooze resistances, she would know it is both immune to and excretes acid, which in its case won't harm stone, wood and other plant materials, nor metal, but will quickly corrode flesh.

Please roll Initiatives as well as stating actions. In-combat posts do not need to be posted in order (but you may if you want to wait to see what people do before you), the GM will tabulate those in the proper order each round.


Female Glaistig Fighter 2 (HP 30/30) AC(22/13T/19FF)

Initiative: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9

Selda winces as she recognizes the creature. "Garden ooze! Won't eat your weapons, but don't let it touch you!"

She hurries up to the rest, holding her axe at the ready, carefully watching, not wishing to disturb the scene more than necessary.

Readying an attack against the ooze for the first hostile action it takes against the party


Male Ti'Larinn Ranger 2 (HP 25/25) AC(18/14T/11FF)

Initiative:: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 17

Harroc jumps back and quickly nocks an arrow. "Pest! Remove yourself from my path!"

Attack Roll:: 1d20 + 7 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 7 + 1 = 20

Five-foot step back and attack with bow (using Point-Blank Shot)


Male Ratfolk Alchemist 2 {HP 24/24, AC 18 [22 with Dex mutagen]}

Initiative: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 19

"Do they burn?" Gatley calls out, dismounting from his steed and preparing to hurl a bomb.

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