I merely meant that the last of the straggling tribes reached the spot. I can't count how many tribes gathered though I'd say at least in numbers not far less than our town. However I am almost positive the main 4 have all made it. His face scrunches as he speaks as if something foul is on his tongue. Or, as they call themselves, the 4 riders. War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death. I'm sure they think themselves so clever.
"Sounds like a lively group!" interjects the gnome.
goodberry before bed: 2d4 ⇒ (2, 3) = 5
Prepared Entangle x2 and cure light wounds for 1st level spells and Stone Call x2 for 2nd level spells
Rols arrives to the meeting wearing his hide armor and little else his tattoos, scars and brands on full display.
After listening intently to Cedric, Rols interrupts "I'm sure you see mostly what you want to see," covering one eye. "If we attack first we give them no alternative than to fight." Rols finishes, his word dripping with contempt.
He grunts at Posh's statement If you want to call it that.
He walks towards Rols. Hmph, I've seen what those, Savages do, what they revel in. This He points to his eyepatch This, lets me see clearer than ever. And yes, and we would have the surprise, and the initiative. He shoulders past Rols and out the door,
he says as he walks out If you want to meet with the orcs, I'll show you the way. However I won't be joining your... talks. Meet me outside the gate when you are ready. I'll be waiting.
Tibby gives a small apologetic smile to Rols after he lets out a sigh. Please don't judge him harshly, the dear has been through much darling. What's more he was quite unhappy when I told him about your plan. He... had wanted to preemptively strike at them. He.. does have the towns best interest at heart, at the end of the day... Mostly.
|Tordrek the Rusted|
Looking over Rols completed sign, Posh muses "Ah good. A standard non-provocative greeting."
By they way Rols, might I ask what language you are using for your orcish? I'll attempt to match.
"Okay, what did you just write?" Artemis asked as she placed her hands on her hips. "Wait, do I even want to know?" She added as she leaned over and looked at the words. "I'm not even sure I can pronounce that... Latukob?" She muttered trying to get it right. "... Okay what did I just say?"
|Tordrek the Rusted|
"Madam Juno, it loses a bit in the translation. But it basically says, 'Hey there'"
Posh turns and heads out the door, heading to meet the scout.
I'm ready to continue
|Tordrek the Rusted|
After you make your way to Cedric, he quietly takes you all down almost hidden paths through the dark woods. As you travel deeper into the heart of the wood, the canopy thickens and begins to block out the morning sun. The air is cool, but humid and the smell of flowers, plants and other such scents hang thick in the air. It takes a few hours of travel, and you hear them long before they come into sight them. Deep, rhythmic drum beats, complemented by a surprisingly pleasing chanting. You come across a large meadow with open sky with a fresh, cooling breeze that blows away the thickening forest air. From a thick copse of underbrush you see a large encampment of orcs,centered in an open glade. Flowers of several colors ring the edges, and a cascade of scents from cooking meat, natural flowers, to incense overwhelm your senses. About the camp you see tens of scores of orcs roaming about. Children seem to be playing some game based around a large ball wrapped in some type of animal skin, where the adults are going about setting up what appear to be shamanistic totems, pits, and other decorative items. A large fire is roaring in the middle of the glade visible over several tents. You don't seem to have been spotted yet. what will you be doing
"Pretty!" gasps the gnome.
Looking towards the parties token half-orc, he stats, "Whenever you're ready I'll help you carry that sign into their midst. Perhaps we can get an impromptu meeting with their leaders."
With a few quick motions, he reaches out and touches each member of the group, excluding Rols. "That should help us communicate a bit"
Drawing a quick circle in the are in front of him and a few orcish words, he peers down towards the camp.
Cast Message on party. Then cast Detect Magic
|Tordrek the Rusted|
"I am going with you." Artemis said as she looked to Rols, Posh and Lienhol. "I wish to be able to give a full report when we return. So I'm not sitting this out." She told them.
She looked at Tordrek and gave him a nod. "You watching out back would be good to have if we need to run. Some type of cover fire would be most welcome." She said.
"Anything else we wish to go over before we do this?" She asked the group in total.
Is Alvin still with us? Hasn't posted in a while.
I was beyond civilization for stretch but I am most definitely still around! :)
The headache was driving Alvin to distraction. The loud buzzing within his skull had greeted him with the sun and only grown worse as the day wore on. He'd said little throughout the morning, arguing with the others would have unquestionably only made it worse. Besides, it seemed the lot of them were of a similar opinion regarding the situation, he sincerely doubted there was much he could have done to delay this meeting in favor of closer surveillance beforehand.
Not that the proposed meeting was entirely a bad idea, whatever the scout Cedric's opinion, a surprise attack against orcs numbering in the hundreds was hardly an appealing proposition.
Watching the orc encampment, he had to admit it made him mildly optimistic. Children suggested this was indeed a gathering rather than a war camp. Perhaps the diplomatic approach would survive past the first exchange of greetings.
Doing his best to ignore the stabbing pain behind his eyes, Alvin turns to Posh and Rols, holding up a small vial, "I'll join you as well. I can't speak the language per say, but with this I can at least understand it. With luck these tribals won't prove overly difficult to get a read on."
On making any approach, Alvin will down his extract of Comprehend Languages.
"Tis an intriguing skill. Certainly I did not mean to imply you all weren't allowed to approach with us. I simply assumed those may prefer to keep their distance." Posh nods in Tordrek's direction.
"Well you know what happens with you assume, right?" Smiling, the gnome turns back to the half-blood. "Believe we are ready when you are."
Picking one of the signs poles, he awaits Rols lead.
|Tordrek the Rusted|
You step into the grove carrying your banner, as soon as they see you the children scatter back towards the tents, and many of the orcs draw weapons, bows, axe's, falchions and block your way. Some snicker at the sign, others seem mostly confused, while some seem to take offense. After a moment, an exceptioanlly large orc, taller even than Rols steps forward, his armor is painted red and he sports red face paint. He is chuckling, however whether or not it is at the sign you aren't sure. After a few uneasy moments he speaks, surprisingly in common.
Well alright, you've got me attention. Explain yourselves before we decide to not allow you that chance.
You see two other orcs walking your way, both are rather far away but carry an air of authority. One is an almost sickly green and sports several vials, flasks, and other oddities, while the other appears to have grey skin and wears only a large cloak and hood, covering most of him from your vision.
"Woof..." Artemis muttered under her breath as she looked up to the towering orc. More awe then fear in her eyes.
I knew orcs got tall but... Damn! He looks like he could break each of us in half without breaking a sweat...
Artemis took a deep breath and looked to Rols. "Translate what I say for the others." She requested before turning her attention back to the Orc leader. "I am Artemis Juno, and this band with me are all soldiers of the Dawn. We have come on behalf of the city of Aldune. We are here to know your intentions, be they hostile or not." Artemis told him. The young Juno's eyes never wavered from the chief, in fact she stared him down. Her emerald eyes hard, but not untruthful. She knew enough about orcs to know if you showed weakness, you'd quickly be passed over and likely killed.
Alvin chokes on the last of his extract as Rols' banner becomes readable. Fighting down a last cough, he mutters, "Banking on their sense of humour a little much, don't you think?"
As they draw closer it's clear their half-orc companion was right on the money, Alvin considers himself rather impressed.
Eyeing the approach of the two shaman seeming orcs, Alvin leans on his spear and waits silently. And now we hear from the opinions that truly matter.
Staring up at the orc from around his ankles, Posh pipes up. "Good sir, the lady summed it up nicely. There is another aspect to our purpose though. A sickness has struck the region and we seek information as to it's source."
Pausing a moment, he considers Ms Juno's words. Stepping out from behind the orc's tree sized calves, he boldly grunts "Jiak aravemiuk juno. Warrioruk ro agon. Katu pas ciavausan aldune pardahun inavenavionuk. Lat kupal ukhiav or broavheruk?!"
Smiling he glances back to Rols. "I'm a bit rusty, but how was that?"
At the mention of a disease, many of the orcs around you look angered, The Orc you presume to be War, raises his hand to silence them. He then looks directly at Posh.
We speak the common language, no need to force yourself little gnome. Perhaps a little more practice though?
He takes on a grim look as he responds to you all, speaking common.
I am, and I'm sure our intentions likely won't be to your liking. Our intentions are to end the sickness. Our people have suffered under it for a long time, our local witch doctor has traced its source back to that town. It's claimed many lives, we will see them repaid
he glances back now as the other two near the group.
You will likely have to, if you desire to be heard.
The other two finally arrive, the cloaked one speaks without pulling his hood back, its a raspy voice. As War, he uses common, showing a politeness unexpected
What do you want? Why do you come here? Surely you know the town caused this sickness you speak of, it is only right they suffer from it now as well.
With a wave of his hand, many of the other orcs begin to disperse, save a few guards. You also notice now that many of the orcs wear paint, either red, black, green, or yellow.
Lienhol speaks up:
"The townspeople suspect you of having engineered the curse. We came to you to investigate - and because your people are known to be practiced in the art of hexing. I have no interest in politics beyond what is necessary to bring an ends to the suffering. May I speak with your witch doctor? His insight may be valuable."
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Alvin watches the exchange carefully, his gaze scanning for even the smallest facial expression that might provide an insight. Not that there were any "small" expressions on the exaggerated features of the towering orcs facing them.
Rolling for a hunch on the trustworthiness of War's words and the others opinions, he's undoubtedly guarding his speech but is there any sign they are attempting to be deceptive?"
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 + 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 11 + (5) + 1 = 36 My god, Investigators are nuts...
"Lienhol is correct. They believe that the illness comes from you. They thought it was your way of weakening the city before you attack." Artemis explained. "But if both are effected, this seems more like a set up..." The blonde woman muttered as she crossed her arms, placing her left hand on her chin. "Could this be the same group that attack us? Trying to weaken us even more?" She questioned as her mind quickly went through the options at hand. "If you would allow it I believe working together we can find those responsible for this illness."
War laughs though not quite entirely in spite.
The Orc with the many vials and flasks speaks up, his voice thick, gravely and deep.
My my, little girl, I believe you may have been lied to and tricked. I assure you our companion Famine is quite skilled in his work. Let me ask you, perhaps the one causing this curse, and it is not sickness or disease, it is a curse, one that drains the life energy from its host, is seeking to cover themselves? Has any of those in the city died from it? Many of ours have and Famine has never been wrong in his work before. That is the way of civilizedpeoples is it not? To lie, trick, and deceive. In any case, have you any evidence or proof that the leaders of that town have not afflicted this upon us?
The hooded orc only pauses and rubs his chin while the other speaks. He speaks curtly to Lienhol
He is not here at this time. He is busy.... working.
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"Hold on a moment. First: do not call me a girl. I am an adult thus if you are going to call me something akin to my sex, use woman. Or better yet, use my name. Artemis. I gave it for a reason." She told the orc with the vials, giving him a slight glare. "Second: you said that is has killed among you. How long has this illness been? For the city it only started a week ago and none have died. A few have slipped into a coma but not yet passed. They also stated that it came in on a fog. If those among you have already died to this illness then it couldn't have come from the city, as they would have a higher death rate then yourselves. Orcs have the greatest endurance among the races that I am aware of, how long did your kin hold on?" She questioned. "Third: You used the term companion for this Famine, does this mean he is not an orc? If so, at what time did he come to you? Do you know what he works upon?" She question before her eyes narrowed "Are you so sure we are the ones who have been lied to? Do you have proof this doesn't come from you?"
Artemis shook her head before looking back to War. "I have seen the people, those ill and those whom have kin among them. I do not believe it came from any of them." She told him as she placed her hands upon her hips. "And from what you and yours have spoken here, I do not think it came from your either."
War looks to Artemis.
You are but a girl here, until proven otherwise. As all are. Do not think to receive any special treatment. Girl. He glares at you, before continuing.
The Curse has been upon us close to a month. It is the reason we have gathered here.
He is cut off by Pestilence, the orc with several vials and flasks.
They need not know the reason of our gathering. And as for Famine, he is our companion... our brother. We have ruled our tribes for a long time. Never before has he steered us wrong.
The cloaked figure speaks up again.
If you truly wish for your words to be heard, a trial, to determine if your words are worth hearing. The trial can be given from either of us. A test of strength, If the gods are with you, and you can prove yourself worthy, we will listen further.
War looks to the cloaked figure, Death, they haven't even earned the Right to a trial.
Death holds up a hand to quiet War, Them being brave, and... caring... enough to come here as earned them at least a chance.
After a moment War backs down, but not before saying Then one must face my trial. Perhaps the Girl Would like to? A trial by combat! Honorable combat against me, or a champion of my choosing.
Death sighs, If they so wish, fine.
As Leinhol speaks Death shakes his head.
If you so desire, you can wait near here, for even we do not know where our brother goes for his divinations.
All this bravado and posturing was hardly helping Alvin's headache. The validity of an opinion based on one's ability to kick an orc in their hairy balls, it was hardly a wonder the lot of them still lived in tents.
That said, it was hardly an opportunity they could afford to pass up. He'd half a mind to step forward himself, he rather enjoyed a good fight honestly, if the circumstances were right. But he doubted Artemis would ever forgive him if he did. Besides, it was probably best he avoided being the center of attention for the time being. I just hope Ms.Juno is up to the task...
Shifting his spear to the other side and leaning casually on one of the branches, the half-elf addresses the three Chiefs, "What are the rules of such a trial? Honorable combat means many things to many people? Weapons? Fists? What of Sorcery or Alchemy?", he turns to Pestilence, careful to meet the orc's eyes directly, "Surely you didn't rise to your position purely on the merits of a mean right hook?"
I'd agree Artemis has right of first refusal here, but if she does pass, Lienhol is likely the next best suited to the task.
was going to wait for others, but I figure this can help clear up the honorable question.
War turns to Alvin.
Honorable combat, is using everything one has to win a fight. But only relying on their own abilities. There can be no aid before, or during the fight from any others. Its a fight to either last standing, or first surrendered.
Would Artemis' pride allow her to... That is the real question. And she says no! XD I hope she's up to the task as well! They also do seem to want it to be Artemis, for what reason I would like to know. *looks to GM for answer*
Artemis looked the towering orc over, only to give a nod and a shrug. He wanted her to prove she wasn't a child, fine! She'd gladly prove herself. She needed to or else many would die and it would all be her fault.
"I accept the trial." Artemis said as she stepped foreword. "Chose your champion if you will not face me yourself." She requested. "I would also like to know if there are any other rules I should be aware of before this begins." She said as her hands shifted from their place upon her hips to being cross armed.
hhhhmmmmmm..... sure, why not. Basically, you stuck up for yourself, War took notice, he both disliked that, but also respected it. So he was attempting to give you the chance to prove yourself, in a way that makes him seem uncaring. He also decided he wouldn't mind putting you in your place if you proved unworthy. In other words, purely because he wanted to.
War lets out a resounded laugh.
I hope you do not disappoint, If you would choose to fight me, I will gladly oblige. As I said, no help from others, we start 30ft apart. First to surrender, or first to go down is out. Anything goes as long as it is from you alone. A grin appears on his face.
Death shakes his head.
you have learned of one trial, you can follow suit, or you can seek one from me, or one from pestilence.
... So, he wants to fight her because she has some amount of self respect! XD Right then!
"Oh no, you're the one wanting to fight me boy." She said as her eyes narrowed. "You choose if you're too scared to step up to the trial you have requested." She stated.
Her eyes shifted to Death as she said "If my brothers-in-arms wish for a trial of their own I will not stop them," then turn her attention back to War "but this one, is mine. I am not a child and I will not stand by and be called such!"
"Aye sir. Thanks for the pointer. As you likely know, I don't get much practiced among the civilized."
Watching the banter between the orcs and his companions, Posh's excitement grows exponentially. The gnome begins to do a little dance in place to let out some of his energy.
At Death's admission, he twirls around and blurts "OOOO can I do one? Sounds like sooooo much fun! What do you have?"
"Wait, before we start punching or swinging sharpened bits of metal at each other a few more things. One, you said Famine is a diviner of sorts, yet you all seem surprised by our arrival and its rather odd that the day we come he happens to be gone. Two, he is not an orc is he, if he were you would have just said so instead. Three, what if you are both right, the curse came from both the city and the orcs, and the culprit or culprits are playing both sides...." Rols looks around and then shrugs, "Anyways, it would appear you have at least two volunteers for trials"
|Tordrek the Rusted|