Into Unknown Shadows

Game Master Mowque


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This is the last time I shall control your character in any way

Shalina Sekh-at sat on her camel, looking at the vast desert surrounding her. Over the course of the last week she had grown to know this desert well, the Parched Dunes. Even by Osirion standards the place arid, hot and lifeless.

Over the course of that week, Shalina had only glimpsed living things. In the lee of a large dune, perhaps a single hardy bush or tuft of grass. A few times, a lizard had scuttled past, hiding among the sand. Once or twice, she had thought she had seen a desert scorpion or snake vanishing into the heat haze. Only high above, was the constant sign of life. Great eagles hovering on the very edge of sight, framed against the blazing sun.

Shalina Sekh-at, born and bred in Wait, thought she knew heat. But the Parched Dunes had taught her humbleness. The searing winds, the endless sand and the relentless, burning sun had tested even her. It had been a long week.

For the hundredth time she asked herself why she was here, with a caravan of traders, heading for the most remote, empty spot in all of Osirion.

The answer was simple as it was useless. Her uncle Namrut had been contracted to find a very valuable artifact that was supposedly found out here, in a newly discovered pyramid. As usual, he had chosen Shalina to do the actual work. It was a major vote of confidence, but her pride had deflated as she dealt with sunburn, sand flies and freezing cold nights.

The directions were vague. "Several miles west of the Oasis of Blue Gems". It had taken weeks before she found a caravan heading for the Kho-Rarne Pass, many miles past where she would be going. The traders were headed for the endlessly distant of the Mwangi Expanse. Their journey would take months, but luckily Shalina's was coming to an end.

Just last night, around the campfire, Necho, the caravan chief, had said tomorrow evening they should reach the Oasis. Everyone was glad but none more then the bard. To the traders it was a welcome stop,f or her, it was her destination.

It seemed the old, balding caravan master was right. Even as Shalina watched, a green spot appeared among the dune, a few small trees and bushes. After the endless waste of the Parched Dunes, it looked like paradise.

Suddenly, as they came closer though, the first three camels founded, and the men began cursing.

Quicksand!

The foot under the sand had turned fluid and captured fully half the caravan, as the rest backed up and ran into each other. The bawling beasts added to the confusion, fighting their riders. Shalina's had managed to avoid the turmoil but was restive under her.

I sometimes will roll if it will speed things along. This is one of those times.

Handle Animal Shalina: 1d20 ⇒ 15

The animal shies under her, and leaving the track.It barely dodges some quicksand, avoiding the soupy mix of water and sand.

Just as Shalina is coming to terms that they are being held up, something much worse happens. From around the dunes around the beleaguered caravans, she sees small figures rise. Reptilian, humanoid figures.

Kobold's, armed with slings and small bows. One of the larger, with a bright red snout raises a rusty knife and shouts, 'Give us all your goods or we will kill you while you are trapped!” he shouts in rough, hissing Common.

Closer, in Draconic Which Shalina speaks! the bard hears two of them say to each other, ” They look very rich. Lots of gold...”


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Everything seemed to happen all at once. Shalina barely got her camel under control when kobolds emerged, demanding their goods. There was no way that she had suffered through the last week only to be robbed by a bunch of opportunistic reptiles.

The first thing Shalina needed to do was to get off her camel. As much as she hated to get off her mode of transportation, she also knew that firing her crossbow while atop of a skitterish camel was not going to end well.

Dismounting quickly, Shalina swings her crossbow around and loads a bolt. She then levels it at the larger kobold who had spoken and yells in draconic, "You die first if you move against these people. Go now and live."

acrobatics to dismount: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17
intimidate: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 2 = 9

I'm guessing they're not going to consider her very intimidating. How many are there and how many of the caravan are trapped in quicksand?


Say about a dozen camels in he caravans, with 3 trapped, and the rest mostly panicked. Twenty kobolds, most lightly armed.

The red-snouted kobold looks surprised when Shalina speaks in Draconic and he looks to his allies, as if to re-assure himself.

"You are the ones outnumbered and trapped! If you fight, you will all die." He raises his hands and shakes his small scaly fists. Shalina notes all the kobolds have some splash of red on them.

"This is your last chance!" His confident words are belayed by the rather nervous look on some of the other kobold's faces.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Hearing the doubt in his words, Shalina tried once more to get them to surrender or leave before having to fight. Precious moments were ticking away as there were three camels trapped. Continuing in draconic, she gave them a confident smile and said, "No, this is your last chance! You may outnumber us in bodies but not in skill. All it means is that in the end there will be more of you dead than us. Do you really think the caravan would have come this far without protection?"

bluff: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
intimidate: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17

Do the red markings on the kobolds mean anything to Shalina? Would a knowledge roll tell her more?


For future reference, according to the rules you can only Intimidate one target per day. I am loose about the rule, if you can intimidate someone in a different way, but just a note.

The kobold leader looks more worried at the surety in Shalina's words. The reptile's eyes flit from one human to another, taking in the camels, the chests of treasure and the trapped animals. His own followers look skittish, uncertain.

"I am feeling generous today!" the kobold says, the high voice on the hot wind. "No one need die. Take half your gold and leave it for us. We will allow you to go safely, if you do that." An odd mix of begging and threat is its voice.

The red spots are not something she will figure out. They do all look rather ragged and hungry though.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Oops, can you tell I don't often try to intimidate others? Will remember for next time :)

Shalina didn't feel like she could speak for the caravan by way of giving away their gold. Her eyes flit briefly over to Necho to see if she could get a read on what he was thinking. To stall for some time she asked, "What can you possibly do with gold way out here?" Taking in their emaciated appearance, she posed another question. "Wouldn't you rather share a meal with us instead?"

Most caravan chiefs don't want to part with their money so I'm assuming that Necho wouldn't want to as well. Not even sure if anyone else in the caravan is paying attention with the camels still trapped in quicksand. Let me know if she needs to make a sense motive check on Necho.


Necho is grappling with the camels, but he has kept an eye on the exchange. He nods to Shalina in support. Obviously he doesn't speak Draonic. At her offer of eating with the annoying lizards he frowns, shaking his head.

The kobold laughs "We have our uses! And we, eat with lowly humans? Pah. Leave the gold, last warning!" One kobold, braver then the rest, slings a rock, bouncing off a chest of goods.

Necho would go for leaving the gold, assuming it was a ruse to kill the kobolds.

A few of the kobolds are chanting, "For the horde! For the horde!" to each other.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Shalina lowers her crossbow slightly but not fully. She glances at Necho and hopes to buy him time to free the mounts and thus free other men to potentially fight. "Fine, half the gold but only after we have rescued the three camels."


Necho nods, and starts to move to free the camels. Most of the merchants are overweight, soft men but there are three tough guards with them. The Parched Dunes are so empty, they didn't expect any bandits.

"Do it fast! We want to see the jewels and coins." the leader says, raising a staff made of some sort of leg bone. He points it at Shalina, "You come here. Hostage."


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Before she could stop herself, a burst of laughter escaped from Shalina. "I would not make a good hostage. I'm nothing to these men. Having me in your possession will not control their actions. I would do much better helping them get the camels free."

Using the staff to point at Shalina drew her attention to it. For the first time she wondered if he had magic on his side since he didn't seem to need a staff for walking. Humming to herself to channel her magic, Shalina's eyes were opened to seeing magical auras.

Will cast detect magic unless she's interrupted.


She sees a weak aura around the bone staff. Nothing serious but it is there.

To her surprise she sees Necho gesturing to her, 'Go" he says in Osrion. "We'll save you."

The kobold shakes his staff, "You speak proper language, You make good hostage. Come here or all humans get killed."


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Shalina tried to hide her surprise with a shrug of her shoulders. Switching back to draconic she says, "Fine. I'll willingly go with you. But if anyone touches me or my stuff then I'll take offense. I won't hurt anyone as long as I'm left alone, you have my word."


So you go over to the kobolds and put down your weapons?


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

I'll unload the crossbow, stow it, and go over to the kobolds but won't willingly hand anything over to them. Shalina will keep her hands up and visible.


Shalina spends longer then she'd like standing next to the kobold leader. The sun is getting quite hot and just over the next ridge she can see the tempting green of the oasis.

The caravan finally gets the camels free of the quicksand, cursing and bellowing. Necho has cleverly gathered the caravan on the other side of the quicksand. He also also led the men to pile gold and jewels (although Shalina has a guess it is less then half).

The kobolds eyes it hungrily. The leader nods, and they rush down, shouting and yelling in glee at the treasure. Shalina remains at the leader's side, nearly poked with the bone staff. Another kobold, with a bow stands behind her.

Necho eyes them, obviously looking at you to save his treasure.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Inwardly Shalina sighs at the look Necho gives. So much for rescuing me. Good thing I've been saving myself most of my life.

Where are the three guards? Do the others look like they're ready to fight with Shalina? She's capable but I have my doubts of her against 20 kobolds :)

Casually shifting her weight, the archaeologist prepared to make her escape and put some distance between the kobolds and herself.

I'm thinking this is probably either an acrobatics roll or an escape artist roll. I want to get her far enough away from the leader and the kobold with an arrow so that she can use her own crossbow. Which should she make?


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Another question...what was Shalina's arrangement with the caravan when they set out? Was she just catching a ride or was she expected to be one of the guards? Also, are they business contacts of Namrut or not really? It'll help her decide which way to finally act.


Acrobatics would be best. The caravan was just one of the very few to come out this way. They are fully independent. They have a vague idea Shalina is here to plunder some local place but they don't know where. They have been nice enough. The guards are standing by the treasure, probably going to attack the kobolds if they take the coins.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

acrobatics: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16

Shalina threw herself backwards on her hands and kicked her legs over in a backflip. She almost kicked the leader kobold in the face as she flipped. She added another backflip to make use of her momentum. Once she was clear of her kobolds, she swung her crossbow around and loaded it again.


Sorry, been busy last two days. Should be settled down. Usually I am a hermit but this weekend was unusual. This opening scene is a bit slower then I'd have liked...

Shalina's actions throw everything into confusion. Her backlip baffles the koboplds, who start to yell. Down in the quicksand, men and reptiles fight with sword, knife and sling, knocking piles of gold into the mud. It is a mess, but a distant one.

Shalina is quick with her crossbow, but there is time for the kobold that was previously behind her to let off a shot.

Kobold crossbow: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3

The arrow hits her, grazing an upper arm, drawing blood that trickles into the greedy, dry sand under her feet. The kobold with the bone staff waves it...but nothing happens.

You are up


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

No need to apologize. As much as I understand the tendency to hermit, life often gets in the way.

"Seeing how you didn't leave me alone, I guess it's my turn."

Raising her crossbow, she fires at the leader.

attack, +1crossbow: 1d20 + 6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 6 + 1 + 1 = 17 (point blank shot)
damage: 1d8 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 + 1 = 4

The bolt in turn grazed the leader and blood trickled down his arm making his grasp on the staff slippery.

Assumed that the attack hit and that she's within 30ft of the kobolds.


Feel free to make "assuming it hit" statements. It can help move things along.

The red-snouted leader curses and waves the staff again, random sparks shooting out of the top. Shalina can hear him chanting Draconic, but it is just random words.

The fighting below is a muddy mess of sand, blood and gold. It seems the caravan is winning though, although a hail of slings and arrows are making it tough going. To her surprise she sees Necho wielding a spear.

The other kobold rushes toward Shalina, crossbow forgotten. It has a ragged knife in one clawed grip. It moves quickly over the hot sand.

Knife: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12

The blow misses however, as the kobold is obviously not used to fighting beings so much taller.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Shalina backs away from the kobold in order to load her crossbow and get another shot off, this time at the one with the knife.

Rapid reload. Will back away 5ft or so to get off a shot with the crossbow rather than switching weapons.

+1crossbow: 1d20 + 6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 6 + 1 + 1 = 25 (point blank shot)
damage: 1d8 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 + 1 = 3

The bard had no problem hitting her target but the bolt failed to do much by way of damage.


The kobold hisses as blood runs down it's arm. It is a flesh wound though, doing little damage.

The kobold with the staff waves it impressively, obviously having no idea what to do. There is a bang and flash of purple though, shocking the poor thing.

Shalina nearly stumbles as the flash clears. The whole sandy area around her is turned to glass! It glares harshly in the desert sun, under the feet of her, the knife kboold and the one with the staff. It is perfectly smooth but very thin, just a clear glazing.

It is Acrobatics DC 15 to move on the glass. If you miss by 5 or more, you just fall prone. If you roll under ten, you break the glass and take 1d4 damage of slashing glass bits.

The knife kobold tries to move forward, obviously very confused by the glass.

Acrobatics: 1d20 ⇒ 1

It fails utterly falling prone at Shalina's feet and slashing itself on the glass shards.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

acrobatics: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (9) + 11 = 20

Shalina was surprised by the new turn of events but it didn't confuse her like it seemed to disorient her foe. Moving back from the prone kobold in order to get a decent shot, she loads her crossbow and releases the bolt in one graceful motion.

I think only rogues can coup de gras with a ranged weapon so she'll just attack.

+1crossbow, point blank shot: 1d20 + 6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 6 + 1 + 1 = 28
damage: 1d8 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 + 1 = 3
possible critical: 1d20 + 6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 6 + 1 + 1 = 25
additional critical damage: 1d8 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 + 1 = 7

I don't know if I did that right so adjust as needed.

Shalina's bolt buried itself between the kobold's eyes. He continued to twitch among the glass shards until his eyes glazed over and he quit moving. With one kobold down, she returned her attention to the leader. He obviously didn't know what he was doing with the staff but if she was lucky, he might just blow himself up and then she wouldn't have to kill him.


Should have played a rouge!

Shalina dispatches the fallen kobold. Turning her eyes, the other one is waving the stick around. The staff flashes and a gout of fire spurts at Shalina, a hot wind before it.

Reflex Save for half: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Fire damage.Take Half: 2d6 ⇒ (6, 5) = 11

She dodges most of the flames, which whip past her. The hot air slams into her though.The bard manages to keep her feet, but barely.

Farther down the sand dune, another kobold sees how the fight is going, and fires a crossbow bolt at her.

Crossbow: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (6) + 11 = 17

Bolt damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5

The bolt hits her in a leg.

Looking down, the fight is still a mess but if she either kills or knocks out the leader, the rest will surely break.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Do I track my hps or do you? I would have seriously contemplated a rogue if I wasn't playing one in another game. I wanted to make sure I could make them different. That and I enjoyed Shalina when I played her.

Shalina gasped at the double onslaught that had left her twice wounded. At least she had managed to avoid the worst of the fire damage. She really hoped that the oasis had water to swim in when this was all over. Her eyes narrowed at the leader and she aimed her loaded crossbow at him.

+1crossbow, point blank shot: 1d20 + 6 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 6 + 1 + 1 = 12
damage: 1d8 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 + 1 = 3

My damage rolls have been sucking!

I'm assuming that doesn't hit but I am willing to be pleasantly surprised if it does :)

She watched her bolt fly wide of her target and she cursed under her breath. Obviously her wounds had momentarily distracted her.


It best if you track only in case you have some tricky class abilities or something. But we work together. You are down 13 points of damage.

Shalina misses widely, but the kobold seems more concerned with the bone staff. It hisses and smokes in his hands but does nothing else.

The more distant kobold runs up, standing next to the leader and fires off another shot.

Crossbow: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30
Damage: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
Crossbow Confirm: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14

It hits Shalina hard, in the shoulder. The pain wedges deep into her joint, a grinding, deep pain.

Distracting the leader and the crossbowman seems to be helping the fight below as the guards and caravans owners seem to be pushing the kobolds back.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Ouch!

Continuing to shoot despite the pain, Shalina once again aims at the leader since he appears distracted by the staff. She counted on her luck to hit him this time.

Will use one of her archaeologist luck bonuses on her attack

+1crossbow,point blank shot: 1d20 + 6 + 1 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 6 + 1 + 1 + 2 = 17
damage: 1d8 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 + 1 = 10

I'm hoping it hits:

The bolt sank deeply into the leader's thigh and caused him to nearly drop his staff as he grunted in pain.


The bolt hits the kobold and nearly causes him to drop his staff. Glancing at Shalina, still standing on the glass, the kobold barks something incomparesable then vanishes into the sand. The others follow and soon the little reptiles are gone.

Even down below, they withdraw from the fight, leaving two dead at the hands of the caravan. Shalina can see Necho lean over and use a healing wand on a fallen fighter.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

acrobatics: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30

Shalina limps her way over to Necho, barely affected by the sand turned to glass. "Everything ok? Did they get anything?" Unsure as to whether he may reward her with a charge from his wand, Shalina begins to bandage her wounds.

If Necho doesn't offer to heal her with the wand, she'll cast CMW on herself.


Sorry about delay. Had the worst week at work ever, which including Saturday

Necho heals Shalina some, with the wand before it expires you are down to -10 HP

The caravan master looks the bard over, seeming disappointed, "I thought you'd be able to do more, to be honest. All these rumors about a great treasure hunter..." he sighs and goes on, 'We lost about a quarter of it to the sand." He points to the men picking through the muddy sand, withdrawing coins.

"No one was killed, and we have enough healing. After the clean-up, we'll head to the oasis and then part ways." He seems colder toward Shalina.

The 'clean-up' takes a few hours, with the merchant refusing to give up on the lost coin, but finally the driving heat, hot sand and tempting water just around the bend convince them to leave. Necho was right, about a quarter of the caravans gold is gone.

Did you put your gold down? Not sure you had time

The oasis is a small, round pond, hardly half an acre across. It is surrounded by a short belt of trees and shrubs, and here and there a small spring burbles. After the empty wastes of the Parched Dunes, it looks like paradise. Rabbits dart among the foliage, lizards bask on rocks and Shalina even sees a few ducks swimming in the green water.

The caravan begins setting up camp, many of them swimming in the cool, refreshing water.

Suddenly, Shalina notices, against one of the palm trees across the oasis, a small ramshackle hut has been made. A thin trail of smoke comes out of the top. Someone is living there. She had heard this place was uninhabited.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Ugh, sounds horrible! I hate it when real life gets in the way of fantasy ;P

Necho wrote:
The caravan master looks the bard over, seeming disappointed, "I thought you'd be able to do more, to be honest. All these rumors about a great treasure hunter..." he sighs and goes on, 'We lost about a quarter of it to the sand." He points to the men picking through the muddy sand, withdrawing coins.

Shalina bristled at his comment. "Treasure hunter, yes. Kobold killer, not so much." She paused, "Wait, you've heard stories about me?"

Not surprised if he doesn't answer. I didn't put anything down before the fight started so I assume whatever gold I had was still in tact.

Having the entire mood of the caravan suddenly change around her, Shalina was somewhat excited to see the hut with smoke in an unexpected place. It piqued her curiosity and gave her a distraction. Since Necho said that they would part ways at the oasis, the bard didn't feel any need to consult him before she went to explore.

Does Shalina get to keep her camel that she was riding or does that belong to the caravan? I assumed that she would have made some sort of transportation arrangments so that she isn't stranded on foot in the desert but thought I'd ask.

Approaching the area as quietly as possible, Shalina takes cover in whatever foliage she can find and watches the hut for additional signs of life. Growing a little bolder, she sneaks towards the abode to see what she can see and hear.

stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (10) + 10 = 20
perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29


Necho shrugs, "You hear rumors. Namut is a man of some minor fame."

Shalina sneaks up, moving among the shrubs and bushes, the soft green a pleasant change from the harsh yellow of the sands. The dappled shade from the date palms is like a forgotten luxury.

Being quite stealthy, Shalina gets close tot he small hut. As she watches, a man comes out. He is tall, well-built, with the shoulders of someone who does much manual labor. He is middle-aged, with tanned, weather beaten skin. He is carrying a hoe, on one shoulder headed toward a small garden, irrigated from the oasis. He doesn't notice Shalina, and appears to ignore the caravan, at least for now.

The hut is shadowy and dark, but Shalina thinks she spots the gleam of steel.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Shalina could never resist the glint of something shiny. She crept closer to the hut to see if she could get a better look. At the same time, she stopped herself from entering the hut.

Let me know if she needs to make a second stealth roll for this.

She was intrigued by someone who would choose to live way out here. He was obviously unconcerned about the presence of the caravan but he also hadn't introduced himself to the group. When she was satisfied she had seen everything to be seen at the hut, she approached the garden and cleared her throat to make her presence known.


Peeking inside, she sees a very simple hut. A small pallet bed, a small cookfire, small pantry of dried vegetables. In one corner though, stands a small altar. Shalina can't quite make out what god it is reverence to. Above it, stands a sword on display as well as a long papyrus scroll, worn with age.

As she looks, she hears a voice behind her, firm but not unkind. "May I help you?" The voice is deep, worn, and a bit defeated.

The man is standing behind her, hoe still over his shoulder, eyes fixed on the bard.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Shalina whirls around with a sheepish look on her face. "Sorry for intruding. I was under the impression that this oasis was uninhabited so your hut piqued my curiosity." She smiled and introduced herself, "I'm Shalina." She looked at him expectantly hoping for his name as a string of questions began to form in her mind.


"Aah." He scans her face, then obviously is convinced she is truthful, "So you were not sent to finish me off?" He shrugs as if this is good, but minor news, like something tasty is going to be served for dinner.

"My name is Tekk. If you are not after me, what brings you all the way out here?" he waves his hand at the tiny patch of green and the wild, empty wastes beyond. Shalina can see webs of scars and calluses across his hands and arms.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Tekk's question added even more questions but she thought it polite to answer his before she asked one of hers. "I'm looking for a pyramid which is west of this oasis. Sadly that was the only direction given to me." Her eyes brightened somewhat. "Since you live here, maybe you know about the place I'm looking for. How long have you been living here?" Then she couldn't help herself but ask, "And who would want to finish you off?"


The man considers Shalina carefully, measuring. Finally he speaks, his voice low and soft, at odds with his weathered face and rough hands. "I have seen the pyramid. A few months ago, a sandstorm blew in, winds for a solid week. It uncovered some of the doors. I went to inspect it, but a group of kobolds chased me off. Figured it wasn't worth it. Was I wrong?" He raises an eyebrow.

'As for your other question...I've been here long enough. Enough to learn the migrating ducks that live here, to learn the ways of the sand and the dunes, to learn exactly how hot it gets out here. Long enough, my young friend."

He ignores the last question. Shalina can see Necho making his way around the oasis. With a shock, Shalina sees the caravan master has his spear in hand, metal point gleaming in the hot summer sun.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

She got excited at his words. He knew where it was and hopefully she could convince him to come with her. "The kobolds also attacked the caravan I was traveling with and I may not have tangled with them either if I was by myself. However, according to my uncle's sources the pyramid contains an item that would well be worth checking it out. Maybe you'd consider showing me where it is?"

tag Tekk

It was then that Shalina spies Necho approaching with his weapon drawn. Surely he wasn't that upset about the loss of a little gold that he would come after her with a weapon. It was then that Tekk's first question came back to mind and Shalina wondered if perhaps Necho was someone sent to finish Tekk off. She unslung her crossbow and loaded it. "Tekk, you may want to go in to your hut. This is uncharacteristic behavior for the caravan master. Either he's really angry with me for the loss of his gold or he's after you. I'll find out."

Approaching Necho but stopping at a safe distance, she asks. "Are you really that upset over the loss of your gold? What's with the weapon?"

Tag Necho


Tekk nods, "Perhaps, if you seem trustworthy enough. I know nothing of who you are and what your motives are."

At her words about Necho, the man glances at the sweating bald man, a brief twist coming to one of his lips. A smile? flashes quickly and is gone, like a breeze over the sands.

"I will stay with you, and will see what your caravan master says." He shifts slightly, his hoe falling into his hand. Suddenly Shalina has the idea that a hoe in the hands of Tekk is farm more dangerous then a sword in the hands of other men.

Necho comes up, waving the spear. He ignores Shalina and gesture right at Tekk, "What is this? You know the law!" he doesn't even use the man's name, a flagrant breach of proper manners. This is very odd for the usually calm and polite caravan master.

"You can live here, but not to speak to others. Exile is supposed to be a harsh command."

Tekk seems unmoved, "I have kept my peace for many a year, caravan master. It was unjustly given, but I have held to it. She came to me, to my hut, asked me questions. I have done nothing more then answer."

Necho looks to Shalina, eyes narrowed, "Come with me, child. This man is dangerous. You should not be speaking to him."


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

The day kept getting more peculiar. Necho had known about Tekk and mentions his exile. What could this man have done to warrant exile and from where? If she wasn't supposed to talk to the man, why hadn't Necho warned her not to approach the man in the hut? Although who was she kidding, if he had told her not to then she would definitely have sought Tekk out. It was one of her downfalls, tell her not to do something and she'd find a way to do just that.

However, what really irked the archaeologist was that Necho felt the need to point out her age and she did little to hide her feelings. "So when the openly hostile kobolds needed a hostage then I was old enough to take care of myself but when I talk to a nonantagonistic man then I am a child? We're soon parting ways and you're leaving me alone in the desert anyways. How is he any more dangerous than the heat or other creatures that live in the desert?" In asking, Shalina was hoping that Necho would inadvertently share more information about why Tekk was out here but she was also trying to figure out what Necho was trying to accomplish. Sure she could go with him but what was to stop her from seeking Tekk out again once the caravan had left?


Necho looks at Shalina, helplessly a bit, as if her resistance was unexpected. "Maybe he doesn't look dangerous, but I know who he is, and what he did. There is blood on those hands." he points the spear roughly toward Tekk, who stands, muscles slightly tensed now.

'Besides, it is the law." The caravan master says, "The man is exiled for heinous crimes." The bald man glares at Tekk, noticing the hoe. "He is dangerous, despite apparently settling down to farm these days."

Tekk's fingers tense, and eyes tighten. "If I was dangerous, caravan master, you'd already be dead." Quick as a snake, the hoe lashes out, jarring the spear. A quick twist, he hooks the metal tip around the spear and sends it spinning into the sand.

Necho curses and stoops to pick it up. His face is set in anger but Tekk speaks then, his voice quiet, "Think, caravan master. You could get your guards, yes, and make a fight of it. You may even win." he says idly, "But then who would tend the oasis for you? Who would gather firewood, put up stores of foods, keep the pond deep and rich? Think on it."

Necho gives Tekk a final glare then grunts, 'Fine. Shalina, you best come with me."

He stamps off, back towards the caravan camp, not even looking if the bard is going to follow.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7
Necho wrote:
"Maybe he doesn't look dangerous, but I know who he is, and what he did. There is blood on those hands."

Shalina shot back, "Don't we all to some extent? It just depends on your perspective."

When Tekk handily disarms Necho, Shalina hides a smile as the caravan master bends to retrieve his weapon. However, it was becoming quite clear that it would be best to ease tensions on everyone's part if she did what was expected of her and return with Necho, at least for now.

As Necho stomps away, Shalina leans towards Tekk and whispers, "I'm sorry for creating such awkwardness for you. I'll do as he says for now but I'll be back when they leave because we haven't finished our conversation about the pyramid. However, if I don't come back it's because they've kidnapped me in some misguided attempt to save me from you. If that's the case, she winks at him, you'll have to come rescue me."

With that, Shalina follows Necho. She makes enough noise so that he knows she's behind him but makes no attempt to catch up or talk to him. She then takes her stuff to the far end of the caravan's camp and settles herself away from everyone.

Does she know how long the caravan stays at the oasis before traveling on?

Sitting in the dusty sand, the sparkling blue water catches her eye. Suddenly she realizes how hot and sticky she feels. Shalina looks at the water longingly wanting to wash away the grime of the last few weeks. Getting to her feet, she takes her important stuff with her but leaves her bedroll, and walks the perimeter of the oasis in the opposite direction of Tekk's hut, looking for a secluded spot where she wouldn't be noticed. Finding a small cove, she waits for awhile to see if anyone had followed her. Confident she was alone, she peels off her armor but leaves her undergarments on. She then ties her dagger to her thigh with a piece of cord, just in case, before slipping into the water for a swim.

perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15


They were planning on staying a couple of days, but you did upset Necho. Also, I forgot to answer, yes you keep your camel! Want to name it?

Tekk shrugs, but his face is long, "That was a mistake, I should have just let him rant."

Back at the oasis, Shalina bathes. The cool, green water is very refreshing. An astonishing amount of sand and grime is washed off, filtering through the water. The reeds provide good privacy and soon the bard is cleaned and refreshed. The sun is lowering now, settling behind the distant western mountains, no longer a punishing disc high in the sky.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

So does upsetting Necho mean they stay longer? I'll name the camel but will have to think on the name when I'm not at work :)

Shalina pulls herself out of the water as the sun lowers knowing that the desert will cool off quickly. She allows herself to air dry the best she can before redressing herself and rebraiding her hair. She then gathers her stuff together and returns to camp before Necho feels the need to come looking for her.

Shalina keeps herself removed from the rest in silent protest for how Necho had reacted. If he thought of her as a child then she'd act like the petulant child. To keep herself entertained, she sang songs quietly to herself while she reorganized her gear.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Shalina will watch Necho to see if his actions are any different this evening from previous evenings with the caravan. When it comes time to turn in, she'll also make sure he's sleeping first before allowing herself to doze off. She's having trust issues right now :)


Probably shorter. He'd rather move on and leave you behind.

Shalina keeps to herself, although she sees Necho looking her way a few times and shaking his head. The met sit quietly around the fire, talking and joking like usual. Except for Necho the mood is light and happy. The oasis is a good camp site, water and food are plentiful.

The inky darkness of the desert covers the oasis, the only light the small caravan fire.

Suddenly, from behind her, near the water she hears the rush of wings and the settling of something heavy. It is quiet, but something large just landed by the pool and is drinking gulps of water.

Apparently the caravan, farther away and louder, didn't even notice.


Female Human Archaeologist/10; Elemental Kin/10 | 61/95 HP, 0/20 temp HPs; Active Conditions: Raging | Rage = 18/23rounds; Archaeologist Luck = 3/6; Spells Left: 1st-4/6, 2nd-4/5, 3rd-2/3, 4th-1/1 | Mythic Power 4/7

Shalina inwardly chided herself as she heard the noise behind her and desperately wanted to go and take a look. Your father always told you that your curiosity was going to get you into trouble. The internal argument continued as she answered herself, And yet that's what Uncle Namrut counts on when he sends me after items. She ended the internal dialogue with a well-made point. If whatever landed is dangerous then it's better I take a look so I can warn the others.

With her mind made up, Shalina hums a tune over a small stone to make it glow with light which she squeezes in her hand to block the majority of the light. Very quietly, she sneaks away to try and get a better look at whatever was in the darkness.

stealth: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
perception: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10

Of course, the pitch of the night caused her to take a few wrong turns and she had to open her hand more to let the light guide her steps. Whatever was out there, it would probably hear her coming unless it was preoccupied. She subconsciously patted the places where she kept her weapons to make sure her whip was handy and then continued to creep forward.

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