Seeing Gwen has joined the fray, Sajeek smirks a he notice the big goblins eyes dart towards the treeline.
"I'll get the finger wiggler," Sajeek hisses to the giantess as he suddenly darts past the female goblin. The beastlord had a pretty good idea he would get hit as he moved past her.
Charging at the smaller goblin, Sajeek flexes his bloody claws as his feet pound against the snow. The young beastlord had to take the goblin out before the caster turned one of his raftmates into a screaming twin of the burning tree. Sajeek's heart raced with the excitement of it all.
"Wait!" Gwendalyn's eyes widen in fear as the feral Vah Shir prepares to dash past the spear-wielder, and the young shaman quickly casts another blinding spell, this time on the female goblin. Then the tall Halasite stands up and carefully steps forward to join the fray, club in hand.
hp 9/9, AC 10, mana 2/8, Strengthen
Revery is very uncomfortable in their comfortable cave, so he grabs a torch/club and tries to squeeze outside, staying away from the goblins and standing up and moving away from the entrance.
Combat has never been a skill he has concentrated on, so he must learn quickly, he realizes. It is a complex dance, like chess, but without all the time normally allowed for each move. This immediacy is why good chess players don't necessarily make good fighters. A good fighter must move almost before thinking, and that was not Revery. He would just have to try his best.
Gwendalyn and Sajeek have escaped the womb of the stone, affording both of them an opportunity to perceive things the others could not (failed listen checks).
Listen (Gwendalyn & Sajeek): 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (15) + 4 = 191d20 + 3 ⇒ (15) + 3 = 18
The ancient wraith slips by undetected. Its tail adjusting to the impossible speed a split second behind the monk's feet.
Understanding the threat that the tiny wizard represents the partially wounded Sajeek (taken 4 damage) sacrifices his defensive position and charges the blinded foe.
Attack of Opportunity vs. Sajeek: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
Spear Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
A bit of luck follows him, as the tall riptide goblin is a split second too late (critical failure) and strikes the ground just behind the vah shir's feet hard enough to shatter the end of her spear.
Quina can only stick with her mana,as long as she has some left.
The elven girl aims for the tiny goblin wizard this time and releases another fire bolt.
Unluckily,she is still scared,and her trembling hand causes her to almost miss the target,which is just barely touched by the projectile.
1d6 ⇒ 2 fire damage
DC17 fort half
corrected,was still sleeping :/
Snow-slick ground, festooned with tree stumps (hampered movement: x2), conspires to steal Sajeek’s moment. The 20’ charge misses the blind goblin by a large margin. If there’s something positive to take from the moment it is the confusion on the goblin’s face as it tries to figure out what just happened. Sajeek is in position to end the wizard's run should it try to cast a spell with him so close (will incur an AoO if the spell is not cast defensively).
Magical illumination snaps the female goblin’s eyes shut, causing yet another combatant to clutch at their eyes and claw at their faces in frustration. Gwendalyn gets back to her feet (move action), fully intending to get close enough to utilize her club (next round).
Fortitude Save vs. Flash of Light: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Revery retrieves the flaming torch (move action) that Khae had cast aside and works his way out of the cave (move action). He remains prone, but in short order he will find his feet again.
Quinaweniel works to set the tiny goblin aflame from within, and the scream that follows is suggestive that she was successful.
Fortitude Save vs. Burst of Flame: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
Maruusk remains frozen in space, entombed by the shadows.
A ragged gasp reveals that Syn might not have breathed his last, and that Khae's diagnostic skills do have their blind spots (critical failure on a heal roll).
Tears spiral down Khae’s beard, though this time they are tears of joy. He prays to Brell to bring the wood elf back from the brink. It is a testament to the wizard's might that even two spells do not rouse the bard. He is a tough little son of a b+&*&, and was brought close to the edge, but refused to be pushed over the edge.
Minor Healing on Syn: 1d10 ⇒ 1
Minor Healing on Syn: 1d10 ⇒ 6
The female quarterstaff bearer, now that the end of her makeshift spear is nothing more than fragments, moves "forward" and swings to cave in the barbarian’s skull. Nothing is as motivating as fear and she is bright enough to recognize that running will only result in her getting cut down. Sadly she is blinded and had walked in completely the wrong direction, missing even the broad side of the mountain.
Quarterstaff Attack vs. Gwendalyn: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Quarterstaff Damage vs. Gwendalyn: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
50% Concealment: 1d100 ⇒ 28
Gnashing its teeth in frustration the blinded goblin simply disappears with a rapid (free action, no AoO) word of magic and a gesture.
Direction: 1d4 ⇒ 1 (North)
Distance: 1d10 ⇒ 3 (30')
Remaining in place when blinded is a fool's gambit, and this wizard is an intelligent sort, as all wizards tend to be, so he is no fool. The random evacuation spell conspires to transport the wizard away from the front lines and within the ranks of those hiding behind the 3' high rock shelf. He takes advantage that the eyes are fixed upon a distant point and just remains quiet, for he remains blind and has no clue where he ended up either.
He is close enough to touch, but none within the cave even know he's there.
Listen (Maruusk, Khae, Quinaweniel): 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (11) + 0 = 111d20 + 4 ⇒ (13) + 4 = 171d20 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 3 = 17
Wizard Sneak: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
The goblin wizard is quiet and pulls in what is happening around him, and very quickly deduces where he is.
Wizard Listen: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
An evil grin draws up the corners of the goblin's cruel maw, revealing wickedly-sharp teeth.
(end of round, start of new round)
(tag PC actions)
Revery exits the cave and hears the goblin wizard casting a spell. What spell is it?
Determine spell cast by wizard.
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (11) + 12 = 23
"The wizard is still nearby!" yells Revery, worried about another attack. He casts the only spell he knows how to use against these foes, on the larger goblin. Then he moves away from the space is his in, but not any closer to the large goblin.
Shallow Breath cast
Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 2 and -2 to DEX and STR
Save: Fort 19 for half damage and no ability loss.
"And visible! He cast Fade, so everyone look around! He could be anywhere!!" (critical success on Spellcraft) There was this one elf in Qeynos, he was kind of short, but his magic was impressive and Gwendalyn thought that his Fade was a really neat trick. It delighted her, so he cast it again and again just to see her bounce and laugh and clap. They had quite a bit of fun together (so to speak) while Tudan did some banking, and so she recognizes the spell immediately.
The normally-perceptive shaman takes her own advice, looking and listening, but doesn't notice anything. So, she tries to finish off the foe that she can see, moving up behind the blind, disoriented, quarterstaff-wielding goblin and clubbing her over the head.
hp 9/9, AC 10, mana 2/8, Strengthen
Listen: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Spot: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (5) + 4 = 9
MA: Move up to the female goblin
SA: Attack (Strengthen vs. blinded)
Club: 1d20 + 3 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 3 + 1 + 2 = 11
... for 1d6 + 3 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 3 + 1 = 6 damage.
Those within the cave can spot the little goblin with ease (DC 10 spot check), though those with little experience with the spell in question would be unlikely to look so far from the wizard's previous position.
Even in a land of magic most shaves are provided by Occam's razor.
Time and experience change ones perspectives dramatically, lest the slings and arrows steal ones breath, and the crows pick out their eyes.
Sajeek sees an open attack (charge opportunity) left wide open to his the larger, blinded female goblin.
Khae is too distracted trying to keep Syn alive to glance about in search of enemy combatants. Finally the wood elf is roused and his first words are very characteristic of his flippant ways. "'Bout friggin' time dorf!"
Minor Healing on Syn: 1d10 ⇒ 8
Keen-eyed Maruusk gives the cave a too-cursory examination before declaring it fit for continued occupation. He then moves to join the others outside, leaving himself well and truly at the mercy of the goblin he ignored (critical failure on spot check).
Spot: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
A solid line of drool descends from the magician's hanging maw (missed action, spot roll provided), apparently competitively launched to give Maruusk a run for his money.
Spot: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Revery's magics pervade the creature's throat tissues, constricting and stopping the easy flow of breath. Panic widens her eyes, and she falls, though it is unknown whether it was Gwendalyn's heavy blow that did it, or lack of air. Either way one powerful foe has been defeated through an impressive amount of teamwork and tactics.
Fortitude vs. Shallow Breath 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Another foes remains unaccounted for, and if Syn's horrific injuries, and Quinaweniel's words can be trusted, it is the most powerful of the duo.
Crimson eyes fix with malevolent intent on those in front of him. Horror moves into the neighbourhood as those within the cave become aware of the casting from the goblin who had moved past the fire (move action) to afford the opportunity to drop evocations that fall upon an area.
His voice attracts the fear-laced eyes of all within the cave, and as they look up they get to see their doom in the form of a 3' tall riptide goblin casually leaning against a wall and eating a large piece of smoked venison.
Column of Frost damage: 3d8 ⇒ (3, 8, 2) = 13
Reflex Save (Khae): 1d20 ⇒ 3 (13 damage, unconscious, dying)
Reflex Save (Maruusk): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12 (13 damage, unconscious, dying)
Reflex Save (Quinaweniel): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (4) + 2 = 6 (13 damage, unconscious, dying)
Reflex Save (Syn): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13 (13 damage, unconscious, dying)
Those outside of the cave understand the truth of what just happened as the cave becomes quiet, save for a malevolent chuckle. It is not a good time to huddle together, especially in close proximity to a highly flammable, and potentially explosive half-empty barrel of whiskey.
(end of round, start of new round)
(tag PC actions)
A blast of impossibly frigid air sweeps out of the cave, and glancing in Gwendalyn, Revery and Sajeek can see that everyone within has been devastated. Only two glowing pinpricks of light betray the goblin's position ~25' back from the entrance.
Maruusk: 1d100 ⇒ 1
Quinaweniel: 1d100 ⇒ 34
Syn: 1d100 ⇒ 94
Syn, well-versed in being unconscious as of late, fights off the slow descent into the afterlife (stabilized).
Maruusk is not so lucky (critical failure). His airway is blocked and he falls to the ground, but never reaches it.
Quinaweniel: -8 hit points, unconscious, dying
Syn: -5 hit points, unconscious, stable
Eyes wide, Sajeek swallows his desire to flee. The desire was strong, magic unnerved the beastlord. Spirits, he could handle. He looks at the other two and nods grimly.
"Cast your magics to distract it," Sajeek whispers to them. "I'll head in after you two have finsished. His claws dig into the ground as Sajeek psychs himself up to charge the 3 foot tall death dealer.
"I can't reach it from here. Stand to the side and make it come out. At least we'll have time to think. Perhaps we could do an exchange of unconscious hostages," says Revery, trying to come up with options that will help their chance of surviving this. "That is, if any of our friends are still alive in there."
He moves to the side, about ten feet from the entrance and well away from the virtual line looking into the cave mouth.
Chilled to the bone by the knowledge that her friends inside the cave are likely as good as dead, Gwendalyn looks down at the female goblin at her feet and twitches her nose in contempt. If there's one thing that most men want, it's a woman, and she has the wizard's. The sturdy Halasite easily tosses the goblin's unconscious form over her shoulder, flashes a smile wide with menace at the eyes reflecting red in the cave's dim firelight, and saunters out of their sight to stand by Revery.
A glance is all you were each given, but in that glance you can assess which of your companions are still breathing and which are likely to be the worst off. Sadly you are not sure, though Quin is the closest to your position and the most likely to be dead, considering her fragile constitution. No member of the friendlies within the cave is further than 20' away from the outside entrance.
Revery: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Sajeek: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
It is unknown as to what the goblin is up to. Seconds drift by with you hearing the goblin rustle through your supplies. A quick glance within reveals that he holds two very familiar books close to his chest.
Quinaweniel: 1d100 ⇒ 34
Female Goblin: 1d100 ⇒ 55
Quinaweniel: -9 hit points, unconscious, dying
The female goblin is dying before your very eyes.
(end of round, start of new round)
(tag PC actions)
"O Great Wizard of fire," calls out Revery, "your woman is dying. What about our friends?"
If he understands, and is truly intelligent, he will get Revery's drift.
He whispers to Gwendalyn, "Can you help her?" The urge to end her life now is subsiding, being replaced by the more practical matter of survival and the possible survival of their friends.
The noises within subside as Revery's words are considered. A surprisingly piercing voice answers in a heavily accented common tongue, "Leave her unharmed. Leave here, and remove this filth from my lair. Know that if ever I see any of you again that it will be the last thing you ever see."
Quinaweniel teeters on the ragged edge of the bottomless abyss.
(Quin: please include a percentile roll to stabilize in your next post, with a 91-100 roll meaning she has stabilized).
Female Goblin: 1d100 ⇒ 6
Tough as the mountain stone the dwarf refuses to give any more ground and arrests his descent into the afterlife.
Revery tries once more to improve the dire situation of the female goblin. If she dies, so may all of them if the wizard is able to blast them with a powerful spell.
Check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
"If there's anything either of you can do to help..." whispers Revery to the others.
"I never thought I would treat a goblin, but anything to get our friends back," Gwendalyn mutters. Mere seconds ago she was doing her best to kill the monster, and now she crouches beside it, hands moving efficiently to keep her patient from dying; but she's unfamiliar with goblin anatomy, and anyway head wounds are tricky.
A foul curse leaves the shaman's lips when she realizes that she isn't making any headway, and then she drops to a whisper. "Sajeek! You know different things than me... please try! And Revery, try again? I only have one spell left, and Quina is so fragile..." Dashing inside to tend to the others, unable to tell who's worst off, Gwen just guesses and casts a hasty healing spell at the tiny elf. "We'll get them out right away, sir!"
Minor Healing on Quinaweniel: 1d10 ⇒ 6
Revery is a creature of book learning, and he demonstrates that well in his fumbling attempt to tend to the goblin's wounds (failed heal check vs. DC 15). In scant seconds his spell will erode as if it had never been cast, which will help the proud warrior to breathe easier.
Gwendalyn bends down next to goblin, and though her ministrations are much more skilled than the erudite's efforts, the results are much the same (failed heal check vs. DC 15). She has done enough to buoy further efforts (potential +2 aid another bonus) should anyone like to try his hand at the healing arts. Healing is a very forgiving discipline (retries permitted as often as one wishes, devoting one's efforts to healing provides two rolls per round) if one applies them self to it (please add additional rolls if you wish to try to stabilize the goblin). Considering how dire this situation is, and how few bargaining chips you have at your disposal, it would be good if this creature did not die.
Gwendalyn opens herself fully to the wizard's attack as she slides into the cave. Each breath is expected to be her last since she understands how quickly this wizard can steal a life. Having more than a fleeting glimpse she recognizes that Maruusk is dead, Khae and Syn are mortally wounded, but more importantly that Quinaweniel is amidst her agonal respirations.
Healing magics wash over the high elf, loosing death's grip on her heart, with perfect timing that only the barbarian will understand how dire the situation was the split second before the spell was cast (-3 hit points, stable, unconscious).
Sitting atop the bundled sail is a goblin contentedly sipping the dwarf's whiskey out of its previous cave mate's skull and chewing on the group's venison. Truth be told goblin society does not promote feelings of caring, the closest they come to such an emotion is a truce for mutual benefit. Otherwise they are ever at war and exploiting anything they can, especially their own kind. The two spellbooks are kept within easy reach. It appears disinterested by the whole affair.
As you previously descended upon the cave, so have you been descended upon.
(end of combat)
You are permitted to drag out the magician, cleric and bard's limp forms, but everything else, including the rogue, is to be left behind. Those that argue, or seek to talk their way into a better position will simply be boiled alive. The dagger was unseen, and as such can be subtly lifted (please include a dexterity check in your next post if you are trying to steal the dagger), but the tiny goblin makes a point of casting each of you asea without a single item in your possession beyond the clothes on your back and the shackle on your feet.
As a last bit of abuse the goblin orders that you use the pick to crush Maruusk's foot, draw off the bloody shackle, and slide it onto Revery's leg. The blood helps the movement, but the erudite loses a great deal of skin in the process (3 damage).
In short order you are homeless with 3 of you conscious and 3 of you unconscious. The threat of the goblin's whims to evaporate you fall far behind with each step you take away from the cave (please include in your post who you are carrying).
One day you will be strong enough...
Ears flat against his skull, Sajeek shifts Syn's weight on his back. It wasn't the first time he had been chased out of good hide by a stronger predator. But it was no less humilating, especially when it was a goblin of all things that had run them off. Admittedly, said goblin cast magics that could drop half of his raftmates.
The beastlords only act of retailation was a simple one. As they past the slain seal (more then likely the female's doing), Sajeek tears a chunk of his ragged cloak off. Carefully balancing the near crippled elf, the vah shir uses his claws and tugs free some of the blubbery meat. Hoping for a few handfuls, Sajeek puts the meat in torn bit of cloak.
The Beastlord knew that they weren't going to get too far carrying the unconscious trio. Sajeek's green eyes dart around, seeking a place they could use as shelter for a bit. As the vah shir eyes hunt for a spot, he rolls the fight over in his mind. While Sajeek was annoyed with himself for failing to defend the hide, it wasn't stopping him from finding some place else to rest.
What did anger the beastlord was the response of his fellow Vah Shir. Sajeek tried not to be angry at his spirit, but it was difficult. He had froze when everyone had depended on him. the vah shir had spent to much time in the furless cities and it had softened him. Fataly so.
Sajeek shakes his head to rid the distracting anger that sought to disrupt his thoughts. Ears flicking, the young beastlord silently renews his efforts to find them shelter.
Sajeek is successful in his minor act of blubber theft, luckily the carcass is well out of the wizard's sightline, and hopefully the little goblin doesn't come after them for the act. Either way the stolen meat will taste better than anything has previously.
Trees bedeck the area and soon enough a tightly-packed copse is found (successful wilderness lore check) that is suitable to gather around and plan the group's next move.
You are not far enough to avoid being tracked, especially with your footsteps standing out in the fresh snow, and the enchanter's trail of fresh fallen foot/ankle blood revealing their location, so you better hope that the female goblin survives.
Revery had tried once more to ease the pain the goblin was under, but she had very different physiology, and, he admitted, he knew little of the healing arts anyways. Something to learn, perhaps. He looked for the place she was bleeding from and tried hard to staunch the flow of goblin blood.
(Heal check to stabilize Goblinette: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (9) + 1 = 10)
"Gwendalyn?" he had asked one more time before she had bravely entered the cave.
Now, upon their exit Revery casts another Strengthen on himself (Mana 10/16) and carefully picks up the lightest member of the group, Quinaweniel. She was also the most like him, relying on magic and being weak in other, more physical areas. And she, like he, was also a jeweler. He hoped they would have a chance to work at that and see each others' work; Elves certainly had a different style, and though it tended to portrayals of leaves and other things natural, he had seem some Elven art with great depth and subtlety.
Laying Syn down carefully, Sajeek looks around the tightly packed copse, his ears flickering as he listens. Setting the wrapped blubber-meat near the elf, the beastlord moves about the trees as best he can.
Moving back to his conscious raftmates he looks them over. Sajeek's green eyes moves over to the three that had layed low by the goblin. They were going to need heat, more then just gathered body heat. A frown tugs at the vah shir's short muzzle. They were going to need a fire, sooner then later.
"Gather up some fallen twigs and small limbs," Sajeek says quietly. "I'm going to see what I can do for more food and perhaps a small rock so I can use my chains and attempt to make a fire. Not that I'm counting on finding any flint," the young beastlord says with a slight chuckle, his eyes never on one spot for long.
"Oh," Sajeek says before he leaves to forage. "keep everyone together, like on the raft. The more body heat the better," he grins again faintly.
Gwendalyn doesn't have time to mourn Maruusk; she's just relieved to have saved Quinaweniel by the narrowest of margins, and to not be a cinder at the moment. "Be right back!" The multi-tasking shaman dashes back out of the cave and spends nine tense seconds working on the dying goblin, before finally getting her to at least stop getting worse.
Shifting Khae on one shoulder, Gwen smiles faintly to herself when Revery lifts Quina with exaggerated care. He'd cast the same strength spell on her at the first sign of trouble, so she could probably add the little elf to her load and be less burdened than him; but she doesn't say anything until the spell wears off and he staggers. "Here, let me carry Quina too. Save your mana. We might need it."
They reach a relatively sheltered stand of trees and Gwen lays their unconscious friends down with care, sighing with relief at having made it so far. "Hopefully that scary little guy won't come after us. Let's get that chain off you again Revery, so that I can hit someone with it if necessary; and then I need to meditate to heal everyone. Khae first, so that he can do the same."
Heal (first aid): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Heal (first aid): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Heal (first aid): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
"Yes, please," says Revery, referring to the chain. "I don't suppose you can break it off? I could cast my spell on you again..."
He helps Gwendalyn try to take the manacle off his leg. "If we can break this open, it can be sharpened to a knife," he says to no-one in particular.
Seeing Sajeek going to hunt, Revery says to him, "Be safe!"
"My, we are a sorry bunch, aren't we? Beaten by a goblin wizard, of all things! I suppose he must have been relieved that we didn't burn his spellbooks. Gwendalyn, I'm so glad you're with us. You fight and you heal us all. And you carry heavy things. I just hope someday I will be able to do the same. Well, not fight exactly, but you know what I mean.
Hmm, I wonder if ... if G Wiz, that's what I've just dubbed him, if Gwiz is going to get drunk tonight. I suppose he'll have set up some magical trap or something.... Hmmm, Gwendalyn, I think you should heal Khae first, then he'll be able to help with the healing. Oh sorry, of course you had already planned that. Just ignore me, I'm ranting after that awful disaster. Poor Maruusk. If you had asked me before hand, I might have predicted it would be I who would have a panic attack. I hope he ... finds his rightful place."
(hp 3/6, mana 10/16)
Each of you have gained incredible insight in recent days, which will greatly aid you in the future (ding level 2).
Gwendalyn is able to find the source of hidden bleeding and staunch the flow (successful heal check). The female goblin will live to terrorize in the near future.
You each drag around eight pounds of rusted chain and manacles, only Revery is forced to either drag it along, or carry it in his hand, since he is the only one that has not wrapped it in cloth.
Fire springs to light and in short order Khae is returned to the land of the living by Gwendalyn's healing magic. Between the two healers everyone is roused and shortly thereafter the group is ready to face challenges (full health, full mana, all conscious) with a fresh kill and gathered plants to eat thanks to Sajeek's efforts.
Removing the manacles is made all the by Revery's fresh wounds, and though they have been magically healed it is an uncomfortable proposition to try to muscle them off without hurting the enchanter.
Syn eyes his leg shackle and starts to fiddle around with his lock utilizing some sticks (-2 to roll).
Pick Lock: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Ninja'd by the DM! Wilderness Lore (now trained): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Gwendalyn places a surprisingly gentle hand on the high-browed Erudite's shoulder. "You saved us all with your quick thinking. Sajeek and I were trying to get up the courage to charge in there, and you found a better way. And you saved your panic attack for when it was safe, which is very smart indeed. What I meant was that you could cast that spell again. The one that turned you into a manacle yourself? And then I could just slide the other one off of you, like before."
FlexTime: Upon arrival at the copse
Gwendalyn smiles at first, but her face gradually falls into concern as Revery's laughter continues far beyond what would normally be considered sane. She takes her hand off his shoulder and settles onto her heels, while watching the super-genius quizzically. Then he turns himself into a stick, and Gwen carefully pulls it out of the manacle. The mana-depleted shaman places Revery's wooden form protectively on her lap before settling down to meditate.
Revery reforms in Gwendalyn's lap, and quickly falls off it onto the ground. He sits there for a bit rubbing his ankle, glad to be free of the manacle.
He picks up the manacle and hands it to Syn, saying, "Here's another challenge, if you're so inclined. Must be hard with just a stick as a tool?"
Quinaweniel had accepted the last of the shaman's magic, but she had committed too fully to the silky embrace of the afterlife. As Revery reached down to lift her he onto his shoulders he had been surprised to find the cold flesh of a corpse.
The goblin wizard laid claim to the high elf's body after recognizing that the ex-magician had passed away in his attack. Two had fallen to his might, though he was unsure if he would eat their flesh, make naughty with them, or post them like macabre guardians frozen in place to ward off unwanted attention.
Two had fallen, and while it was a devastating loss to the small group it was but a drop in the bucket compared to how many had gone down on the two slave ships. Revery, Gwendalyn, Sajeek, Khae and Syn had survived the trials thus far and shared a bond that would remain unbreakable until the end of their days.
Lavish amounts of gratitude is placed on everyone's shoulders, especially from the dwarf's hugs and the bard's words. Lives had been risked time and again to ensure that as many people as possible would survive this ordeal and the sacrifices had be lauded with all the enthusiasm a sorrow-laden body could muster.
Gwendalyn makes a few adjustments (critical success on wilderness lore), drawing down a few boughs, effectively amplifying the hide that Sajeek had found and making it quite cozy. Food is brought in for several days, and possibly a week if the party goes on half rations, and while the group has little in the way of material wealth they have all they need to survive.
Syn, bemused by his ability to pick locks, stares at Revery for a moment, wondering if his eyes were betraying him. The shackles are pulled free and the enchanter reforms.
"It is difficult. I wonder why I know how to do this? Mayhap I lose my keys a lot...." With tongue absently hanging out of his mouth, clenched tightly between his teeth, Syn works on the locks. Time sifts through your fingers as he works on everyone else's locks (pick locks, take 20) and soon enough everyone is free.
Immediate concerns aside it is time to make plans for the future.
Gwendalyn stands up. "I'm the youngest one here, but I've been trained by the Church of the Tribunal, and Khae can't speak so I'll do my best." She takes a deep breath. "We've just survived a terrible danger, but we've also suffered a terrible loss: Maruusk the Vah Shir, who was very mysterious -- we may never know all that he was and could do -- and Quinaweniel the high elf, whose magical bread and water kept us alive on the open sea. We had the bond of survivors who all worked together to live through a horrible disaster, chained to a sinking ship."
Gwen lowers her head. "I especially feel the sting of Quina's loss, for I thought I saved her with my spell, then left the cave to help a stinking goblin, before waiting to make sure. I don't know if The Tribunal is teaching me a lesson about haste, or if I just didn't do it right, or if it isn't even about me at all and her own gods had other plans for her; but I feel so guilty. I'm sorry, Quina. I tried." The young shaman's chest heaves with suppressed sobs and she sits back down, hand to her tear-streaked face. "I'm sorry, I guess I'm not good at memorials."
"If anyone is good at memorials she is lacking in her very soul, Gwendalyn. It is a hard thing to do, and you have done them justice," responds Revery.
"I would very much like to exact revenge upon G-wiz, for the two fallen ones, but I suspect that too is a soul-taxing proposition. Probably our best course is to leave here, head for warmer climes, and look for some kind of settlement."
Khae, admittedly still hung over from his deep communion with Brell, though he had to use whiskey in the place of dwarven "holy water" (any ale will do, the stronger the better), follows the survivalist's instructions to tear off of evergreen branches and pile them on the ground to act as insulation. The dwarf is forced to foray far and wide since he is not tall enough to reach much beyond the lowest branches. Khae works tirelessly, seemingly not caring if this hide is good for a single night, or one hundred.
Syn rubs his leg and adjusts his splint. "A crutch is in order. I seem to have lost my paddle in the last exchange." Limping forth he seeks out a branch he can snap off.
Sajeek listens to the giantess speak, leaning against a tree. The hunter wasn't terribly broken up by Maruusk or the elf's death. The magic user was nice to have around for her ability to create food and water (not to mention she was pleasant to look at). The other, Sajeek was ashamed to call a Vah Shir. He had froze in combat like a noble born, furless city dweller. Had he acted, the two might still be alive and they wouldn't be out of a hide and supplies.
Sajeek shakes off the anger that was building in his chest. Cursing the spirits wouldn't help matters, only invite the attention of evil spirits.
Letting the other two grieve, Sajeek keeps his muzzle shut and opinions to himself. His foster mother, Lithia had taken great pains to drill that into his head. Letting his tongue wag had gotten him cuffed across the back of the head more times then he could count.
The young beastlord gently rubs the spot where the manacle had been clamped to his hide, constantly digging into his skin. Being free of it's weight was almost better then being freed of the constant clink of chain. Even wrapped against his leg, it still managed to make it's presence known. The clinking had ended up costing him game more then once.
"So, on the off chance that there isn't a settlement, does anyone know how to build a boat?" Sajeek asks as Syn begins to limp around, searching for a crutch.
"A boat that could sail the ocean would be a major undertaking indeed and might take years for us to build. I sincerely hope we have other options," says Revery.
He goes to help Syn look for a y-shaped stick that could be fashioned into a crutch.
It is cold, as winter slowly drags its ragged fingernails across the seasons, but not as bitter as it had been in recent memory. You huddle close to the small fire and know warmth again, though nothing like what was provided by the cave.
Revery's assistance is appreciated and in short order Syn returns with a crutch. It will take weeks to heal, but it is the best he can do in the interim.
Gwendalyn chews on the inside of her lip. "I think that we should move. I don't trust the goblins not to kill us if they should happen across us. I want to get as far away as possible -- and besides, we may find something approaching civilization. But I think we should be careful, since it was just luck that the other two weren't there when Revery saw their cave. This is clearly a dangerous place."
Knowledge (nature): 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
Listen: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 4 = 12
Sense Heading: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Spot: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (9) + 4 = 13
Wilderness Lore: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (6) + 5 = 11
The trail away from the new camp would be a bit harder to follow now that the crimson flow from Revery's wound is staunched, but that still leaves obvious footfalls in the snow. It will take maximum effort for a counter tracker to follow behind the group and obliterate the trail (move half speed, requires tracking feat and a wilderness lore roll to add a +5 to the tracker's DC).
Each of you carries a reminder of your time in chains. Syn has wrapped his around his crutch and Khae has tossed it over one shoulder. The shackles are too cumbersome to make an effective weapon (improvised weapon, 1d6 damage, 20/x2, 1HB, 8.0 lbs.), but they might come in handy should you come across a situation begging to be resolved by a heavy length of chain.
You reside on an island southwest of the lost continent of Kunark that is infested with trees, mountains, animals and goblins. An unknown humanoid has been seen multiple times on the mountain (DC 15 climb check), though only by Sajeek. Two sets of tracks have been found in the snow, and quickly obliterated by the storm's fury, left by unseen feet.
Khae hears Gwen's words and flops down onto the very boughs he had just carried back to the camp. No sense in toiling further if they were about to depart anyway. He looks around at the others, accepting whatever decision they might come to.
Syn taps the makeshift crutch against his shoulder as he huddles next to the fire. The crudely fashioned implement bounces in time to a song that only he can hear, though he would swear that he has never heard it before. It is a confusing time for the amnesiac bard and his gaze rests firmly upon the forever as he tries to sort out what in Innoruuk's taut buttocks is going on. The bard snaps his fingers and voices the obvious, "Hey, I think those were the goblin's spellbooks we found in the cave."
"Aye, and though it is sacrilege to one such as myself, I kind of wish we had burned them. It wouldn't have helped us a bit, so only for spite, I guess," ponders Revery as he stares mesmerized into the fire.
"Are we going to leave on the morrow? The longer we stay here the more chance those spellbooks will be used against us again. I suggest we follow the coast to take the northeast route around the island. And following the beach for a bit we might possibly find some more surviving gear, food, or even people."
He looks at Khae. "Or another keg..."
He looks at Syn and smiles. "And do you have a song for us?"
Khae beams at the thought that more of the most holy libations could be lying in wait to spring a most glorious ambush. Any trap that would require him to drink his weight in alcohol, especially cascading in rivulets down the bare breasts and beard of a nubile dwarv.... the cleric simply smiles, leans back against a tree and sighs contentedly, enjoying whatever thoughts might drift through a dwarf's thick skull.
Syn chuckles, thinking that Revery was making sport of him, but seeing that the enchanter is serious he gives voice to the melody that was haunting him. It was meant only to humour the request, but what flows forth from his nothing short of a memorable performance fit for nobility. Such a skill would garner attention on a national stage with ease.
Perform (Sing): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26
The wood elf stares at Revery as if asking what spell was cast that permitted such honey to drip from his lips.
Ancient magic coalesces about Syn (Jaxan's Jig o' Vigour, 13/14 mana) causing those closest to the bard (10' radius spread) to feel refreshed and rested.
"Nice tune," Sajeek says simply, after getting his mouth to close. The beastlord had listened, transfixed, and jaw hanging open, staring at the elf while he had been singing.
Blinking a few times, Sajeek ponders what to do next. His green eyes fall upon Syn's crutch.
"Well, Syn can't move that fast, so we might be better off letting his leg heal. Otherwise, we will be moving at whatever pace his broken leg allows, which I doubt will be a quick one. Not to mention, we won't be able to travel as far." Sajeek says after a few moments of silence after Revery had spoken. "For the time being, I'm going to see what I can do to remove some of our trail." The grey furred vah shir thinks for a few moments, a clawed finger idly tracing one of the red tiger strips that cut through the dark grey of Sajeek's fur.
"Hmmm, Revery's blood drops should have frozen, so I think I should just scoop those up," Sajeek mutters to himself as he tears another chunk from the bottom of his tattered and rapidly shrinking cloak. Making rough sack he nods to himself. "That'll do."
Picking up a few loose pine tree branches, Sajeek selects the smallest and easist to carry. He had never attempted to hide footprints in snow, and the young beastlord figured this was the perfect time to figure out the best way to do it.
Leaving the copse, he spots their trail and and ponders the best way to tackle his new task. Mind wandering, Sajeek thought about the humaniod figure he had seen a couple of times up in the mountains. Since they no longer had the protection of the cave, the vah shir figured that he should warn his raftmates.
"Oh, by the way," Sajeek says, sticking his head back into the copse. "I've seen a humanoid shape above the cave a few times, and possible it's tracks as well. So, there is the chance that whatever it was saw us run away dragging our wounded. I'll be back in a bit," the vah shir's low voice floats to their ears as he leaves again.
Gwendalyn smiles indulgently at Syn stating the obvious about the wizard's spellbooks, then applauds his impromptu performance, before replying to Revery's suggestion and Sajeek's objection. "Following the coast sounds good, and Syn not being able to move fast just means that hiding our trail won't slow us down. We're not going to get ahead by staying in one place; we need to take control of our destinies. But, you know, cautiously. Watching carefully for danger, since it could be anywhere." She looks around a bit nervously, after her recent succession of traumatic experiences.
Sajeek works to eliminate the group's trail, gathering up frozen blood into his makeshift sack and dragging a bough behind him. It is unknown how much success he has had for the process is much more than simply obliterating a track, it has to do with subtle nuances of obfuscation (failed wilderness lore roll).
Khae examines the bard's leg, and even as his pants are drawn back you can see how much swelling has formed around the ragged ends of the bones. He needs the leg splinted properly, which is impossible in these conditions, and to rest, which is something he has not been able to do. The wood elf will need to be carried, or a litter fashioned, if the group is to continue on.
Syn ignores the dwarf's ministrations, fully trusting the cleric's skills at taking care of his wound, and fixes his eyes onto the direction fo the mountain, though the thick copse of trees steals any chance of catching a glimpse of the humanoid that the beastlord mentioned.