Recently returned from a "research" foray into the Blakros Museum, Sundr the Spinner takes advantage of the Wounded Wisp's Pathfinder discount beside her third pint of Exile Amber Ale. Her golden blonde hair is short-cropped for better sight-lines in battle, her equipment well-made in Ulfen fashion, and the eternal playful smirk on her face is vivacious as ever.
Turns out Senzo is the only one free. I apparently haven't played him since he got the switch to unchained. I'll have him ready.
A dwarf glides into the room. His corded muscles are on full display as he arrives bare-chested. His beard and hair are tied tightly; indeed everything about him appears taught. He carries little for equipment, though what he does have with him is immaculate.
When he opens his mouth his Taldane is oddly accented, a mix of Dwarven and Minkaian. "Greetings fellow agents. I look forward to the trials ahead."
His right fist smacks into his left hand with a crack to rival a gunslinger's namesake. The violent gesture melts into a respectful bow, "I am Senzo Tanaka."
"Not one dwarf, but two! How delightful!" Already tall for a woman, Sündr towers over the two new arrivals. She slips off her barstool and a hand slides down the haft of the gleaming axe propped against the bar, which she hefts with ease and twirls into an elaborate bow punctuated by the thud of the axehead on the beer-soaked floor. "I am Sündr-dögünn, called the Spinner. Please to make your acquaintance. Care for a pint? They're quite good."
She belabors the point by downing the remains of her flagon.
And we’re off! It’s the 27th in most of the world at this point.
The incessant beat of hammer against anvil and the scrape of steel on the grindstone greet entrants into Smine’s Weaponworks, a smithy of great repute in the town of Tymon in the River Kingdoms, along with an oppressive wave of heat and the acrid smell of coal. A broad-shouldered dwarf, face and arms smudged with soot from the furnaces, smiles broadly, proclaiming in a voice harsh with years of yelling, “Ah! I was expecting you lot! Step inside my office. I have refreshments.” He steps into a cozy office, gesturing at an eclectic assortment of chairs, ranging from an overstuffed chaise to a sparse and undecorated rocking chair. After rinsing his face in a nearby basin, he pours out several glasses of water, immediately quaffing one for himself before refilling it and sitting down at his desk. “Venture-Captain Holgarin Smine, at your service. Guessing the Lodge got my message. You don’t look too fresh-faced for this mission.”
Finishing the rest of his drink, he wipes the corner of his mouth with a clean cloth. “I’ll be quick about it. You’ve got a bit of travel a head of you. One of the mayors of Uringen, Lady Aurelia Ogden, wants the Society’s help with an experiment she’s been doing. The clock tower of Uringen has drawn all sorts of researchers. It hasn’t worked quite right from the get-go. It makes a whole piece of the town disappear, in fact. Four clock faces, each with a different way of counting time, each displaying a different time—until now. The mayor thinks that those faces might finally line up. What’s going to happen when it does is anybody’s guess. She doesn’t have the staff she needs to record it properly. That’s where the Society comes in.”
“Uringen’s alchemical goods are some of the best. In exchange for recording the experiment’s effects, and dealing with unexpected issues, Mayor Ogden will give the Society a discount. But there’s something else that the Society wants. You heard about the mishap with the Sky Key? How it’s not working correctly? Turns out, that clock tower might have something that can fix it. Scholars call that something ‘temporal essence.’ Fetch at least one vial of the stuff. Ogden says the best time to collect it is in the middle of the clock face alignment. I’ve arranged for travel to Embeth Forest. When you get there, you’ll be meeting Jamel Visser. Visser’s the leader of the local forest guides. They call themselves the Embeth Travelers. Don’t dawdle. You’ve got to make it to Uringen before the clock faces align. The boat will get you to Visser in a little over 2 weeks if you don’t run into trouble. The clocks align in 3 weeks.”
He drinks down his second glass of water and sets it on the worn table in front of him, then asks, “Any questions…or refills?”
Knowledge Arcana/History/Local: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
"Huh, I heard a song about that thing once. One of the clock faces always spinning out of control, right?" Sündr twirls her finger around and around and chuckles. "Anyway, anything we need to know about the forest? Or Visser?"
|Truk the Hammer|
Local: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Confident that drinking water has become some kind of competition, Truk guzzles his glassful and pours himself another while the Venture-Captain gives his briefing. He gasps for breath as he polishes off his second glass a second after the dwarf finishes speaking.
Truk is obviously a half-orc but wears his orcish blood well. His tusks are small, dulled, and only slightly poke out from under his bottom lip and his ears are only mildly pointed. His skin is a greyish-olive that contrasts well with the cropped dark hair along the top of his head. He wears a short well-kept beard on his chin. What elements of his orcish parentage that are absent from his facial features are plainly visible in his tall form and broad powerful physique.
He's clad in a suit of perfectly-fitted heavy plate armor. Strapped to his back in a masterfully crafted polearm embossed with Venture-Captain Smine's maker's mark.
History: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
"No refill, thank you. I know of this place. The town of Uringen was founded in 4637 AR by an Ulfen skald name Birji Uringen. I can get behind such a profession!"
He looks around seeking to see if anyone else understands, "There's a weird fluid thing near the clock we need to fill? Strange, but not THAT strange. I'm in. No questions."
History: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
He nods in agreement with everything that was already said. Quietly drinking his water from the rocking chair and listening intently.
"Do we have any details on the experiment that the lady mayor is conducting and how we can help? Also, can ye think of any expected dangers we might encounter along the way based on the area's recent history?"
Smine grins at Rayne’s request for some mead, replying, ”Seems you’ve mistaken my smithy for a tavern, lad. Don’t keep a lot of strong drink around the place, too easy for one of the lads to get into it and make a mistake – could mean a bad burn or, worse still, a poorly-made blade…”
His reply peters out as he notices Truk busily re-hydrating, and looking eager to continue. The puzzled look on the dwarf’s face is replaced by another grin when he spots the weapon Truk carries. ”That’s one of mine,” he says confidently, ”I’d know it even without my mark. It’s got the curved rear spike, makes for a good catch on your opponent – and I like the way it looks like a downswept falcon wing.”
Considering the questions that have been asked of him, the smith is quiet for a moment, then says, ”As far as Visser, he leads the Embeth Travelers. They get folks to and from Uringen safely. I’d heed his word about anything. The fey are thick in those woods, so I’d take precautions against them too. Good man, though. He doesn’t have much use for coin. We’ll be paying him in more useful goods.” Smine nods toward a collection of weapons hanging from the wall.
He looks at Badger and says, ”Can’t say I know much about Lady Ogen’s experiment, she’ll certainly have a keener idea of that. I’d say record the usual stuff. Sights, sounds, anything else you notice. Bring extra paper and ink, just in case. You never know. As to what the temporal essence looks like, I haven’t a clue. What does liquid time look like? Again, the mayor will have to help you with that.”
“I’ve told you a bit about the forest, but there’s something odd about Uringen as well. It’s split - literally. One half of the town disappears for bit, and the other sticks around. Aurelia Ogden is the mayor of the half that disappears sometimes. Knavar Mieren is the mayor of the half that sticks around. One of the reasons you’ve got to get guides to help you through the Embeth Forest is that Uringen can be tough to find - I’ve heard that the town itself is always moving.”
”One last thing - hold off on buying any alchemical goods until you get to Uringen. No sense wasting your money. Also, don’t go blabbing that you’re with the Society while you’re in Tymon. Locals don’t know about this lodge. But if you’ve got any preparations to make, now’s the time, the boat pilot will want to get some distance down-river this afternoon, I expect.”
Let me know if there’s shopping you want to do, will get the next post up in a bit.
"Thanks for all of the information ye have provided. It is much appreciated." And with a bow, he grabs his sheathed sword, tucks away his Wayfinder and stands at attention by the exit.
No shopping for me.
|Truk the Hammer|
If anyone else wants to do some shopping before setting off on the river, just let me know.
After an uneventful trip along the Sellen River, the Pathfinders arrive near the edge of the Embeth Forest. A sturdy wooden pier stretches over the western bank of the fast-moving river, where a barge offloads crates of goods. Nearby, a camp laid out in a rough semicircle bustles with activity, its borders marked off by covered wagons and tarpaulins. Water from a recent downpour collects in the canvas’ folds and in puddles on the ground.
The party clambers onto the pier and makes their way to land, where a pair of Travelers, dressed in rough clothing well suited to a life in the forest, point the way to their leader. Jamel Visser is standing by the central campfire, apparently in conversation with two of his scouts. Jamel is dressed in plain forester’s garb, as well as a worn but well-kept suit of leather armor and a longbow. He listens to the two scouts with a pensive expression. At the party’s approach, he turns and calls out, “Well met, travelers. Smine sent word of your arrival, expressing the urgency of your journey, but we will have to delay your departure. On our trip here, we ran afoul of that blasted grig’s traps, and we won’t be able to leave until we’ve fixed things up.”
Sündr sizes up the man. "True -- we can be just the right touch in a pinch," she winks. "Sündr-dögünn of the Society, at your service. Axe and arm stand ready."
“I’ve got a few problems, to be honest,” Visser says simply in response to the offers to help. ”Deadfalls, pits, whatever snares those twisted fey assembled, and that’s just the start. They’ll all need to be cleared or disabled as we travel through the woods.”
Gesturing around the camp, he continues, “Our mules are sick, probably poisoned, and even some of our hounds have succumbed. Our healers would be most appreciative if you helped them out.” Shaking his head in frustration, he says, ”A grig? It’s a little fey, human-looking on top, and grasshopper below – this one’s named Mather Nithra. I’ve never actually seen him face to…well face, I guess. Just in passing as he hopped away from putting mistletoe in the stew pot. Some fey might clean your house while you slept at night, and I can tell you, he’s not that kind. Nithra’s folk like to harass us in and out of the woods. We usually catch most of their tricks, but not this time.”
Okay, now we embark on some skills checks.
First, as a party, you can attempt up to four Heal checks (DC 18) to treat those poisoned by Nithra’s traps. Each Heal check to treat poison takes the PC who rolls the check 1 hour, as it represents treating several poisoned people and animals. These Heal checks can take place at the same time; for example, if four different PCs each roll a Heal check, it takes only one hour to attempt all four checks.
Next, once some healing is done, you’ll be setting off into the forest. Everyone please make four Perception checks (including any bonuses for trapfinding), to cover the next few days of travel. Because of the strange, shifting nature of the forest, you can’t take 10 on these checks.
Heal: 1d20 ⇒ 5
Perception w/trapfinding: 1d20 + 9 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 9 + 3 = 30
Perception w/trapfinding: 1d20 + 9 + 3 ⇒ (19) + 9 + 3 = 31
Perception w/trapfinding: 1d20 + 9 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 9 + 3 = 19
Perception w/trapfinding: 1d20 + 9 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 9 + 3 = 21
I also have trapspotter as well.
Heal: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (7) + 10 = 171d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 231d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 271d20 + 10 ⇒ (18) + 10 = 28
Perception: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (4) + 15 = 191d20 + 15 ⇒ (10) + 15 = 251d20 + 15 ⇒ (13) + 15 = 281d20 + 15 ⇒ (6) + 15 = 21
[ooc]Obviously if other people have some healing skills, that would cut down how many rolls I have. But there's 4 rolls of each.
Badger's gentle touch allow him to heal a number of the Travelers who have fallen prey to the fey traps, and Rayne's sharp eyes and attention to detail ensure that few traps go unnoticed. Rayne does nearly step right onto the tripline of a massive deadfall trap, but Badger lays a hand on his companions arm, halting him, and points out the danger.
That's enough heal checks completed. There are now four traps that need disabling, two poison dart traps and two falling log traps. Rayne? Anyone else?
|Truk the Hammer|
|Truk the Hammer|
Weird, I could have sworn that I posted them...
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (19) + 12 = 31
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
No DD here.
"Any way we can skirt around these, Visser? We can improvise, but one of us might get hit with a poison dart in the process."
Knowledge (Nature): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
Just as the group is discussing the best way to disarm a deadfall, a loud crashing is heard and a giant grizzly bear emerges from the woods! Before it (or the group) has quite recovered from its surprise at the meeting, a shrill voice is heard behind it: "Jadrek! Wait! Stop!"
The burly bear shakes itself and glances over its shoulder, then turns its attention back to the party. A moment later, a gnome emerges from the woods, riding atop a large dog and flanked by a shaggy-looking wolverine. The gnome and dog stop suddenly as they spy the group, and a wide smile appears on the little gnome's face.
"Hello!! You must be the rest of my companions for the next few weeks!" she exclaims. "I'm Zirt, and this is Gregarious," (she indicates her mount) "and this is Jadrek" (with a nod toward the grizzly) "and this... well, this is another friend of mine who hasn't told me his name yet." Zirt narrows her eyes severely at the wolverine, as if the creature can understand her scolding. "Anyway, what are you all doing out here in the middle of the woods? You should be careful... I heard there are mischievous fey about!" A glint of excitement shows in her eyes as she glances around the woods.
Apologies for missing the first bit... I'm here now!
Rayne is distracted by the party crashing gnome that he forgets that he can disable the traps and just stands around. He quickly regains his composure and gets to work.
Disable Device: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (5) + 16 = 21
Disable Device: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (18) + 16 = 34
Disable Device: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (14) + 16 = 30
Disable Device: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (7) + 16 = 23
Rayne retry on Disable Device: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (15) + 16 = 31
Nithra's traps prove devilishly complicated, and Rayne nearly sends a swarm of poison darts into the party as he figures out the first one. He manages to disarm it, however, and the remaining traps prove much easier for him.
Still, with some sickened travelers still remaining, and the need to move carefully to avoid traps, the journey through the forest takes several days. While eating a simple breakfast on the last morning of travel, Visser says, ”You all have proven yourself useful, and we’re getting close to Uringen. We’d not have made it so quickly without your help, and some of us might not have made it at all. I’d like to thank you for that. When you return, to head back to the river with us, any of you who would like is welcome to one of our Embeth hounds. They’re well-trained and loyal.” He eye lights on Zirt and her menagerie and he adds, with a quick grin, ”Though some of you may have enough beasts to tend to.”
The group travels for most of another day until Visser, raising his voice over the jingle of yokes and the rattle of wagon wheels, booms out, “Halt!” Dismounting from his horse, he gestures ahead. “About half a mile down that road, you’ll be in Uringen. Desna smile upon you in that place.” He then pulls an oilskin folio out of his saddlebags and says, "Since you’ve been right useful this trip, I was hoping you could carry these reports to Mayors Mieren and Ogden, since you’ll be in town anyway. I’ll put in a good word for you as well; maybe you’ll get
something from them for it.”
First Uringen post to follow, feel free to RP with Visser in the meantime.
Zirt's eyes widen at the mention of Embeth hounds, and she quickly shakes her head when Visser suggests she might not want one. "Oh, no, Mister Visser, I've heard of your Embeth hounds, and I've been wanting to get Gregarious a playmate. You'd like that, wouldn't you, Gregarious?" she finishes, with a pat on the big dog's head. Gregarious, whether simply because of her tone or due to some deeper understanding, wags his tail enthusiastically in response.
Zirt's eyes narrow at the man. "Zirty?" she asks, her voice squeaking a bit in gnomish outrage. "It's not very nice to call someone a nickname when you hardly know them at all! Particularly if you don't even know whether their culture has nicknames! Ours does, by the way, but they aren't used like that at all. It would be like you calling Gregarious "Gregariousy"! In case you're wondering, no, his culture doesn't have nicknames; "Gregariousy" would be some other dog's name, and he wouldn't even talk to you for probably a few months at least, unless you brought him a nice steak to make up for it, then it might only take a week or two. Anyway, it's not so big a deal for me as it is for him, but I hope you'll think before you go making up nicknames for people in the future."
With a little *hrmph* the gnome crosses her arms and stares out into the forest.
Zirt turns to peer at the man more intently for a moment, then smiles slightly. "Well yes, of course we have, Mister Deverin! I didn't recognize you because... well... I think your face must have changed. I once had an aunt (well, she was really my mother's cousin's second husband's aunt, but I called her my aunt) who looked different almost every time we'd visit her! Which wasn't very often, but it was still very surprising."
She pauses. "I suppose I overreacted a little bit. It isn't that it offends me, I just... couldn't believe that you'd think of me like that, after we've only met once before today. I'm just not used to the idea, that's all, and... and I suppose I might have overreacted."