Gwendalyn steps outside of the copse and attacks a nearby arbor, breaking off a couple of large tree branches and stripping the ends to make a frame for a stretcher. Then she tests the theory that all of the evergreen branches that Khae gathered would serve to hold the light wood elf's weight, determined to just carry him over her shoulder if they don't suffice.
"I think that we should carry Syn, to make it as easy as possible for Sajeek to hide our track. I like the idea of going northeast along the coast like Revery suggested, in case something useful washed up on shore. I have a pretty good sense for direction if we need it, but that won't even matter unless we have to sidetrack around something dangerous. And besides, people tend to settle along coasts, because of the fishing and trade."
Bits of clothing are needed to be torn free in order to fortify key joints, and in short order the barbarian has fashioned a passable litter. Syn clambers aboard, perhaps with a bit too much enthusiasm, adjustments are made and you are ready for the morning trek.
(please include any activities undertaken/weapons crafted through the rest of the evening and the watch order)
Revery: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (13) - 3 = 10
Sajeek: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Khae: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Syn: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (13) + 0 = 13
Morning's light snuggles up next to you (full health, full mana), kissing you with its warmth (those with vetted character sheets are level 2 for this encounter). You felt extremely exposed without your cave walls to protect you, especially Khae who grew up in Kaladim, but the monsters in the dark appeared to have taken the night off.
Setting out is an easy affair, made all the simpler by possessing nearly no material objects (one will need to thank the goblin wizard for that kindness at a later date).
Sajeek recognizes that the litter will make his job easier as long as Syn is pulled by the beastlord at the back of the group, since the branches do a good job of obliterating the track (+2 circumstance bonus to counter tracking). He could even enlist the bard's help to batter the ground in key spots, since the wood elf will by laying about and facing where they came from. (Sajeek please include a wilderness lore roll for counter tracking)
Hours drift by of you wandering about along the shore ragged and apparently endless shoreline. (please include a marching order)
Revery: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (8) - 3 = 5
Sajeek: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Khae: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (2) + 4 = 6
Syn: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (8) + 0 = 8
Sajeek hears something quickly enough to warn the others of approaching danger (none are flat-footed, nor is there a surprise round).
Jetsam leads to flotsam, which provides the group with a few salvageable pieces of wood to use as clubs, and the timing could not be any better for a crude shape tears out of the trees and bears down on you. It is small and its movements are not quick, but it is tireless and obviously incredibly strong. It is the earth come to life, with geodes and jagged bits of metal springing forth from its shoulders, fists and elbows. You face an earth elemental, and considering your luck as of late you doubt that you stand much of a chance. Perhaps it is time to say goodbye to Syn and run.
Attack recipient (by alpha): 1d5 ⇒ 3
Revery is the recipient of the creature's first attack and feels an impossibly heavy weight collide with his thighs.
Charge: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23 (-2 to AC)
Damage: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Proc (Root): 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (13) - 1 = 12
The enchanter is knocked back and barely conscious (0/12 hit points, disabled). He feels his feet start to adhere to the ground, but the force does not coalesce enough to do anything substantive (no reflex roll required).
- Earth Elemental
Khae steps back and seeks to bring the enchanter back into the fight.
Minor Healing: 1d10 ⇒ 9
Syn swings his branch from his litter, but is too far away to be of much use.
Branch Strike: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (17) - 3 = 14
Damage: Negligible even if it scores a critical.
Revery dreams he is a knight in bright armor, fighting a giant in the form of a goblin. His huge sword spins around amazingly fast, aided by magic. The giant goblin has no chance, except now its face is that of Revery's mother. She chastises him for his antics, and he stands, shocked.
Awake and traveling, Revery offers verbal advice to help Sajeek with his track-covering exercise. (Wilderness Lore, aid another: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4)
When the attack comes, he is closest and woefully unprepared. The creature of stone and earth gets the best of him, hurting him terribly and seemingly rooting him to the spot. (Reflex: 1d20 ⇒ 7)
His mind racing, Revery recalls what he knows about Earth Elementals. (Knowledge/Monster Lore, untrained: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (13) + 8 = 21)
Khae provides aid immediately, and Revery wonders if running to the water will save them. "To the water!" he yell as he attempts to withdraw into water (double move, no AOO). If he cannot run he plans to do his best to defend himself until the others come to his aid (total defense).
(HP: 9/12, Mana: 32/32)
Revery is unable to even know where to start in terms of advice for the exercise in counter tracking (requires the track feat to make the roll) and his words are about as helpful as when Syn had given voice to his deduction that the spell books were owned by the goblin wizard.
The magic of the rock golem had failed to coalesce (unsuccessful proc, no reflex save called for), so the enchanter's feet are free to dance about he sees fit.
Revery withdraws shin-deep into the ice-cold waves remembering (intelligence check 15) that earth elementals swing their blows slow, but with incredible strength. If the erudite goes any deeper it will be difficult for him to stay up on his feet (will require balance checks to avoid ending up swimming).
Taking first watch as he normally does, Sajeek's night in the copse was fairly neventful. Aside from being alone with his thoughts, it was a peaceful watch. Or so it had seemed.
Walking behind the others, dragging the crippled elf as the beastlord works to disguise their trail. Revery had started pointing things out with book learned knowledge. The beastlord listens for a little bit, then tunes out the high browed book reader.
Sajeek picks up Syn and throws him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. He runs into the water, stopping before it goes over his knees.
"Is it afraid of water or something?" Sajeek asks. "I hope so, cause if it's not running in water is not going to work."
After making a litter for Syn, Gwendalyn immediately replaces her left-behind club. She just doesn't feel as safe without a stout chunk of wood to bash things with. Taking over the watch from Sajeek, she then wakes Syn, advising the amnesiac wood elf to wake Khae next and to tell the mute dwarf that Revery is last; but she resolves to discuss the order with the others at the earliest opportunity, since she isn't certain that it's the best.
When they head out the next morning, Gwendalyn takes point while Sajeek and Syn are at the rear, attempting to disguise their tracks. Thankfully Sajeek's sharp ears detect the earth elemental approaching, since the normally-perceptive shaman hears nothing out of the ordinary. Unfortunately, Revery is nearly knocked out by a single blow; and Khae bravely heals the dark-skinned enchanter, though it leaves him close to the stony assailant.
When Revery runs to the ocean and Sajeek follows with Syn, Gwen is forced to make a snap decision. Her instinct is to keep everyone together, and while Flash of Light was quite effective against the goblins, she was taught that it only works on living creatures; an animate rock might be completely immune. So, the strong Northwoman tucks the compact dwarf under one arm and dashes after the agile Vah Shir, drawing her club as she goes and then spinning to face the earth's child.
Despite how dire the situation is the sidesplitting silent laughter, that rocks the dwarf's shoulders, is something that can easily lift one's mood. The cleric had never been treated like a sack of potatoes, and he realized that the spuds had all the fun.
Syn raises his branch in a manner of a shadow knight threatening to decapitate a child, warning the elemental that if it came in closer it would get such a leaf burn. The bard squeezes the vah shir's shoulder and whispers his gratitude. He understands that the wisest course of action would be to leave him as an appetizer to distract the thing and not have his dead weight slow the party down.
Water is as nothing to an earth elemental. Helpless waves would break across the great mass and density of its stony body like impotent flies batted away by the tail of livestock. That being said the creature stands like a marionette whose manipulator has left for afternoon tea. It does not press its attack, and would easily pass for a statue if you had not seen it move just moments before.
(end of combat)
Your new position affords you the opportunity to see that there is a rather large deer lying not 200' from your position. Its head has been caved in by what looks like dozens of blows.
With a snap of furry fingers it is like a bolt of insight has drifted down to the beastlord. Untold hours of training had been afforded to him in the way of pets, and this elemental was moving like one set to act as a sentry by a mage. Those within the sphere of influence would be destroyed right up to the edge. The party, like the deer, had unwittingly entered that area and as such received a sound thrashing.
Another epiphany finds its way into Sajeek's mind. If this was not a pet then the thing would have beaten them to death in the waves.
Moving forward a bit, causes the elemental to explode into motion, but it stops the moment that the group retreats past whatever invisible line exists. The creature waits a few moments and then wanders back into the treeline, since the threat has been nullified.
"Ahhh. The stone thing is someones pet," Sajeek realizes as the earth elemental moves off. His green eyes spot the deer large deer lying out in the open. Stomach sizing control, the young beastlord takes a few steps forward. The elemental charges back towards him, Sajeek backpedals quickly.
"Okay, Revery, was the water thing a guess? Or were you betting on it being someones pet and it was guarding this place?" Sajeek asks, glancing over at the shape shifting magic user. "Becuase, I think if it wasn't guarding this place, it would be busy beating us to death while standing in knee deep freezing water."
"Secondly, whose up for a game?" the beastlord asks suddenly, mischief in his green eyes. The young Vah Shir eyes the earth elemental. "Several of us could draw out the stone thing's attention while some grabs the deer." Sajeek thinks for a few seconds. "Or see what it's guarding, if anything."
Tired of holding onto the elf, Sajeek carefully sets him down. He would be damned if Syn wasn't going to end up end wet from kness down as well. The beastlord looks at the litter he had been dragging Syn on. He knew it was making his job diguising their tracks easier, he just didn't want to have drag the elf around.
Realizing that he was being petty, Sajeek grins at Syn, as if the elf had been listening on his thoughts. The beastlord makes sure that Syn is balancing himself with his crutch before letting go. No need for the elf to be drenched from head to foot.
Gwendalyn looks askance at Sajeek, her eyebrows drawn together skeptically. "What if it's guarding a who, not a what? Strong pet, powerful master, I'd assume. I'd rather try and get around without disturbing the rock monster again, so that we don't make its summoner curious, and stick to smaller game for now. We don't have a knife to dress a deer with anyway."
Revery recognizes how potentially dangerous the game might be, since a single blow from the creature might root someone to the ground before they can retreat out of range. Either Sajeek is suicidal, likes an extra portion of risks, or has embraced his animalistic hunger.
Syn is a bit shaky, but finds a solid platform with his legs and crutch under him. Khae moves to the wood elf's side to ensure that the bard does not fall.
You hear the crunching approach of soft-shoed footsteps long before the aged high elf comes into view. Snow clings to the base of his long robes and surprisingly the threadbare backpack that sits high on his back, as if he had recently paused to lean against a snow-encased tree. Age has bowed his back and sucked the pigment from his short-cropped hair. He has not noticed you yet, ironic that his surname is "Farsight", but his path will come close enough to yours for even cataract-laced eyes to see you. The old elf stops at the deer carcass and pokes it with his toe a few times, then continues along the same course towards the trees that you know holds a very unfriendly elemental. His pale eyes flit back and forth as if in search of something.
Gwendalyn is moved to compassion by the old man's physical infirmities, and she assumes the best about the high elf since Quinaweniel was nice. (She has a lot of common sense, but not much life experience yet.) Sure, his pet tried to kill them -- well the earth elemental hasn't attacked him yet, so it's probably his -- but maybe it just isn't very smart.
"Hey, over here!" The young woman clad in an ogre's tunic bounces up and down, waving to get the pale elf's attention. "Watch out for the rock monster, if it isn't your pet!"
Revery laughs when the elemental stops its deadly attack. "Just lucky, this time!" He says.
When Gwndalyn calls out, he tries to get smaller, all the while hoping the summoner has means and desire to help them out.
It is a motley cross-section of the goodly races standing on the shoreline with representatives of the dwarves, elves, erudite, vah shir and barbarian. Normally there would be racial tension, as there will be if certain members of the group travel to the lands of the others, but in this place and under these circumstances, such petty prejudices are far from your minds.
Stopping in mid-step it takes the old elf a few moments to orient on the barbarian, perhaps not expecting people to be frolicking in the winter surf. He brushes away her concerns allaying her fears that he is aware of the threat, doesn't find it to be a threat, is powerful enough to handle the threat, or is completely addled.
Each step he takes closer draws down the wrinkled corner of his mouth a bit more until a full frown has taken up residence on his ancient face. You realize how ragged and filthy you must look to an outsider, which is perhaps why he keeps his hands enfolded in the voluminous sleeves of his robes rather than extending an appendage in friendship.
A painted smile finds his lips, but does not extend to his heavily cataract-infested eyes. "Good morrow to each of you sirs and lady. I am known as Alrik Farsight. My companion Xiblin Fizzlebik is not far away." The words are issued with the expectation that if he is not known then you are somehow at fault. He inclines his head to each person in turn, but only by a fraction of an inch, perhaps restricted by the rigid stick that appears to have been crammed up his food exit.
"I hope this day finds you well?" The question is released upon the world, but it is obvious that no one is listening, the high elf is simply proceeding through a script of interactions.
The conversation would fit into any court in the land, well maybe not ogres or trolls, they'd probably eat anyone who wasted their time with such pleasantries, but in this situation it is simply ridiculous. If this continues this way, you are perhaps only moments away from being asked to wash behind your ears.
Before waiting for you to reply to any of his previous words he ask, "Would it please you to depart from the frigid surf and join us in a repast? It is simple fare, magically summoned, but filling." With a grandiose sweep of his arm he invites the party to make their way further down the snow-encased shoreline towards a brown robed gnome that stands with hands on hips.
The gnome waves his hand and the earth elemental explodes out of the treeline and sprints to his side. Xiblin sighs to himself in resignation and returns to the summoning of lunch with obvious annoyance.
Not the friendliest duo on the surface of Norrath, but at least they do not appear to be ready to attack you.
Khae, normally one to follow the others lead, this time follows his stomach. In short order he has the wood elf loaded in the litter and has stomped off to quell the grumbles within his tummy. There is a bit of a pause as he passes the invisible line, but the elemental remains affixed in place, so the cleric gains confidence and picks up his pace.
It is not far to find two patchwork tents huddled around a decent-sized fire.
Xiblin makes a production of sighing again, loud enough to conveniently find the party's ears, as he summons more food.
Sajeek looks at Gwen at pouts, his ears flickering.
"You're no fun any more," the Vah Shir says crossing his arms across his chest. The young beastlord chuckles, trying to ignore the freezing water that was rapidly numbing everything below his knees.
The young vah Shir's green eyes are draw by the movement of the ancient elf. Sajeek blinks several times, stunned by what he sees. The elf wanders up to the deer corpse and pokes it. Sajeek waits breathlessly for the stone creature to react. It does not.
When Gwen shouts, Sajeek flinches, expecting a fireball to come sailing their way when the old one turns and looks at then. Instead of deadly flames, the elf sends a greeting, and invitation for food.
Slowly stepping out of the freezing surf, Sajeek follows after Khae and Syn, once again lounging upon his litter. The beastlord wasn't sure what to make of the two. Looking at the elemental standing by the snall man called Xiblin, Sajeek thinks for a few seconds, trying to remember what his race was called. 'A Gnome,' Sajeek thinks to himself. 'I think the halflings are stouter, and something about hairy feet,' he thinks as he looks around.
"Um, Hi," Sajeek says as he gets within talking distance of the old elf and gnome. "Thanks for the offer of food," Sajeek's muzzle stretches as a smile forms on his face. "And thanks for not having the stone thing pummel us." he grins at the gnome. "I am called Sajeek. This is Khae and that is Syn riding on the litter." The beastlord, points to the dwarf and elf in turn.
Gwen rubs dirt on her hands and then rinses it off in the ocean before following the others to the small camp, keeping her clean hands well clear of her filthy clothes. "Pleased to meet you, Alrik and Xiblin. I'm Gwendalyn, and he's Revery." She gestures at the Erudite, then looks at the magically-summoned food, and tears well up in her eyes; she blinks, and the intrepid explorers clear trails down her grimy cheeks.
"I'm sorry, it's just that Quina -- Quinaweniel -- she kept us alive with that spell, after the ship sank. Until the goblin killed her." She wipes her face on the shoulders of her sturdy fur tunic. "You know, if you have a knife, we could butcher that deer. We've done it before, and Syn is really a very good cook! He made the best venison steaks I ever had." Take 10 on Wilderness Lore to field dress the deer if they agree.
Alrik escorts the group to the tents in silence and though he says no words to suggest his disdain you feel it is surely as you would feel a slap. To this one you are as something that has been scraped off of a boot, though haughty high elven decorum insists that he treats you with something approaching respect. Perhaps it is his faulty hearing, but you doubt it, for the high elf does not acknowledge that anyone spoke. Once you have found the summoned food, waterskins, and fire he takes his leave from you. Backtracking he returns to his previous course searching for something muttering under his breath in the elven tongue and causing Syn to chuckle.
Xiblin does not even provide you with that much courtesy, for he ignores you and returns to his searching in the opposite direction that Alrik had headed. These men have nothing worth stealing other than two starkly different-sized tents, two bed rolls (one fit for a medium character, one for a small), a couple daggers (again the size discrepancy), one blanket (medium sized), and some summoned food/water.
The magician's stone golem is left behind, perhaps to watch you, and Revery can positively attest to its strength which belies its small stature. You await the elemental to explode into motion and treat it like a flaming keg of very potent alcohol, expecting it to go off at any moment.
Speaking of small stature there is another shivering and soaking gnome huddled under a blanket, though this one is naked and is covered in blood, though you see no wounds. He is far from lucid, appearing all the worse since his white hair erupts from his skull in all manner of chaotic angles.
No stranger to the horrors of combat, though to this point it has been almost solely theoretical, each of you recognize that this pathetic little creature has been tortured. A very familiar shackle drifts away from the gnome's tiny foot.
Borrowing the knives, Gwendalyn and Sajeek are able to dress the deer in short order.
The gnome finally absorbs enough heat to be able to take in his surroundings. He introduces himself as Nogglegrop and mentions something about being kept alive to be eaten. Though his eyes have much more in the way of lucidity, his words are still cryptic enough to possibly be nonsense.
Syn busies himself to relieve the pathetic creature of its bonds (pick locks, take 20) and then works to prepare the well-tenderized meat, and once again produces food fit for kings (critical success).
Tradeskill (Baking): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
Revery is relieved when the elf talks to them in a civil manner, and doesn't realize right away that he is being civil in a rude sort of way. He does try to talk to the gnome, asking how he came to be here, but the gnome's failure to answer puts him out a bit.
When the other gnome begins to talk, Revery is again interested. He imagines they were also aboard the slave ship, though perhaps the elf was one of the slavers. He would have to check his wrists and ankles when they get back.
"Why do you think you are to be eaten? Who has threatened you with this? And is it just the three of you here, or are there others?" Revery has more questions, but realizes he has already asked too many for the poor gnome.
He wonders what the others are looking for. He imagines it is something they had aboard the ship, and lost; which gives more points to the story that they were the slavers and not the slaves.
Wheels turn in Gwendalyn's head. "I'm not sure that any of those questions matter, except whether there are more. Something's not right with those two; even if they didn't do this to him, and just found him like this right before we arrived -- to leave him in this condition? with complete strangers? That shows a shocking lack of empathy, at the very least. I don't feel safe here. I think we need to leave now, while they're gone, and take him with us."
She pauses, as a thought-gear turns and clicks into place. "But they're not all gone, are they? The rock monster is still here -- and maybe they don't want us to leave. I think that we need to get ourselves ready, and break into a sprint, all together. Revery can carry Nogglegrop, Sajeek can carry Syn, and I can carry Khae; I'll heal you up first just in case, and I wouldn't mind one of those strength spells!" The young shaman casts Minor Healing on the still-wounded enchanter. 1d10 ⇒ 6
Gwen pauses again. "But what if there's no limit to its pursuit? We might be faster than stone, but not more enduring. At some point, we may need to turn and fight." She casts Inner Fire on herself, Sajeek, and Revery. "I think that should do it... I'm down to half of my mana, and I want to save as much as possible for healing, if necessary."
Revery thanks Gwendalyn for the healing. He says, "We should at least finish eating first..." He pokes his head out of the tent to see where the other two are.
Then he goes back in and casts Strengthen on Gwendalyn, himself, Sajeek and Khae. "We should stick close to the shore. That way we can always go in and it still might avoid going in; and if it does, it is heavy and may sink in deeper than we do, slowing it down."
(HP: 12/12, Mana: 24/32)
You saw no shackles on either older gnome or high elf. Their appearance does not give the impression of mistreatment that is so rife among those the young and healthy slaves that had been taken. They wore clothes sized for them and carried supplies fit for their disparate-sized needs.
Each tent sleeps two creatures of the size they were designed to hold. Those that wish to speak to the gnome are not getting far from the campfire, for he is all but hugging it.
Nogglegrop blinks stupidly for a few moments and watches the others speak as if the scene is disconnected from himself. Then he speaks, "Forgive me, but I realize now that my words were unintentionally misleading." He is close enough to the fire that edges of his white beard have curled back into burned waves of browns and blacks.
"I was aboard the same doomed vessel as each of you it appears." He nods towards that shackles that everyone else carries, thanks Syn for releasing him, and follows suit in tossing his heavy shackles over his tiny blanket-encased shoulder. Nogglegrop remains naked, unless blankets are all the fashion nowadays, between a few members of the group you should be able to garb him to look as mismatched as each of you do.
"Others escaped the second ship, and that ship was filled with races most nefarious: black hearted humans, trolls, ogres and dark elves. Fate conspired against me and I ended up cast adrift with them rather than the goodly races as was my lot. It was their pet ogre that was saving me for a repast, if his dark words and lingering looks could be trusted. A rowboat filled to the brim with slavers was taken, while my dark companions were far from welcoming I must admit to their efficiency in dispatching those that once incarcerated us, and many many days passed as we sailed on to this island under the power of 8 oars and a sail. Though blindfolded I know I heard at least 4 voices, the ogre I can place with ease, but the other was much higher like an elf."
He points back in the direction that the group had come from. "The shore was non-existant at the most southern edge of the island, so last night we dropped anchor a short distance out, swam and climbed a short distance up the rocks. Exposure to the elements was sufficient to numb their reaction times and once we were high enough I immediately dived off the edge and into the surf. My leap was poorly executed, I must admit, and I battered myself on the rocks on the way down. We had closed in on the end of things, and the ogre was salivating considering its meal, and after days of threats and being cut and abused I knew it was now or never."
Never one to dwell long on the negative Nogglegrop chuckles and continues on with his tale, "I drifted in and out of consciousness until the waves spit me onto shore and gnome and wizard rescued me not that long ago." He giggles impishly, "Bristlebane love them, they did what they could, but know nothing of how to treat a injury. Luckily I am gifted with the healing arts and tended to my own wounds."
This must be one tough little gnome to survive a dive off of a cliff, especially after potentially weeks of mistreatment and exposure. Khae knows better, for it was the same divine aura spell, a spell of last resorts, that he used to pass the coral reef without damage to himself, that was likely used for the impromptu cliff dive.
A wad of venison takes up residence in the gnome's cheek, set aside so he can politely refuse the barbarian's offer to leave. "I have only just begun to feel my extremities, and this fire and I have a date long into the night I am afraid." His smile is especially charming, especially for a quirky race that diplomacy is a completely foreign concept.
It is not difficult to lock in a heading. You met Alrik wandering south, and Xiblin moved the opposite direction. The water is to the east, so moving west will carry the party away from either of the duo.
"Uh, maybe their just old," Sajeek says through a mouthful of magiked food. "And we do look like we stripped our clothes off of half-eaten corpses. Mostly because we did." The vah shir says after swallowing his mouthful of food. "It's not like that goblin wizard was keeping all of those bodies for conversation. We probably found one of their food stashes."
Pausing, Sajeek sniffs the air several times as Syn begins to bake the deer meat. The Vah Shir starts purring.
"That smells... really, really good," Sajeek grins at Syn and takes a few drinks of water. His green eyes fall to the gnome.
"Did you get captured by the slavers as well, Noddlegrop," Sajeek asks pointing at the chains that Syn had removed. "Where you found by goblins? I could see them wanting to eat you. I think you might be a bit to gamey for the old guys to eat." Sajeek chuckles at his own joke.
At the sight of Revery and Gwen getting ready and discussing the old men attacking them or possible attack, Sajeek's looks at them confused.
"Are we leaving so soon?" Sajeek asks with a mouthful of summoned food. "Just because they don't want to be downwind of us? Have you smelled how bad we reek? I would have thrown a firebal at us just by our appearence," the vah shir laughes.
"Perhaps you're right, Sajeek. We eat and wait? Nogglegrop, have you seen the elf casting any spells?"
Revery ponders it all while eating some well-received venison. "Mmmm, Syn, you say you're not a cook? Hell with that, I dub you Chef Syn! This is great stuff!"
"That sounds pretty rough," Sajeek says, looking at the gnome and nods. "We ended up floating on chunk of the decking and covered ourselves with the sail."
Sajeek pauses for a few seconds, recalling the days on the raft. He idly fingers the shark tooth he had found. "And there were a couple of sharks that followed our raft. And they dind't seem bid on waiting for us to fall into the water," the beastlord chuckles and takes a bite o his venison atop summon bread.
"Not nearly as bad as being told you were saved to be someones snack, mind you," sajeek says after swallowing a large mouthful of venison. "And the being cut for someones else's amusement is pretty nasty."
Sajeek looks of in the direction the elf had wandered off in and then looks at were the gnome had wandered off to. The vah shir shrugs, not spying either of the two furless old men.
"Too bad, their missing a good meal," Sajeek says, tugging off his soaking boots and sets them near the fire to dry. Stretching out his legs, Sajeek wiggles his clawed feet, enjoying the sensation of heat.
Looking over at Rev and Gwen, Sajeek shrugs.
"If you two want to eat and dash, have fun. I'm planning on lounging near the fire and letting my food settle," Sajeek says with a teasing grin. "Besides, I'm somewhat curious as to know what Alrik and Xiblin are looking for. Not too mention what they are doing out here. And they might know what island we are on," the Vah Shir's eyes glance in the directions that the elf and gnome had wandered off.
Gwendalyn blushes. "...oh. Well in that case, I'm glad to have misunderstood." She adds hastily, "It might seem like I overreacted, but the last time we were in someone else's camp, its former inhabitants came back and tried to kill us."
She clears her throat. "So then, once you're warm, we can get that blood cleaned off and share some of our clothes with you." The Northerner looks around. "And while you're doing that, I think I'll get started building a lean-to, since I doubt that our chilly hosts would share a tent with us, even if we were clean."
"Err... right after I have some more of that incredible venison." She takes a bit of another piece and her eyes close in pleasure, juice running down her chin. "MMMmmm!" She gestures at Syn with her unoccupied hand, fist closed and thumb up.
Syn flushes at the unexpected praise. If truth be told he was feeling like more of a burden than a help due to his shattered limb. It was nice to be able to contribute, if only in a small way. Drawing off a piece of perfectly seared and utterly savoury flesh he has to admit that he might be short changing his efforts a bit.
Khae has moved right up to Nogglegrop and draws a crude representation of a pick, taps it a few times, then his heart and points up. It only takes a few confusing exchanges before the gnome catches on. Shaking his head he shrugs and says, "It is Fizzlethorp that answers my prayers, not Brell my friend." Both clerics hug each other for they share an ontological bond reminiscent of the eternal kinships that exists between the Duke of Below and the King of Thieves.
In that brief exchange you have learned a great deal about the newcomer, for his god is mischief incarnate and his followers tend to be a twisted, but amusing, lot or pranksters and entertainers.
Xiblin and Alrik return hours later. They do a double take at the cooked venison and avoid any contact with the party or their food. It is Alrik that cracks first, likely because he's so sick of summoned food that he'd kiss a goat by this point, and grudgingly accepts a few bites so as not to be rude. He must be fixated on propriety since he returns 5 times after that, and even lures Xiblin for a few bowls of food.
A lean-to is set up at the edge of the clearing that the elderly duo's campsite rests upon. Those that look closer can see evidence that the area was cleared by fire and simply ripping the trunks out through sheer force.
Seeing that the others are not going to join in around the new fire the newly clean and comically garbed, though eternally grateful, Nogglegrop asks, "Where will you go from here?"
Syn starts to hum and is quickly told to "Shut the f&~$ up and quit screeching that racket!" by the older two.
Perform (Sing): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (8) + 12 = 20
It might sound strange, but you get the impression that they are warming to each of you a bit. Another hundred, or so, years and they might even say hi.
Gwendalyn smiles at the two old men acting too good for their company, but not their food. At least they let us share their camp. She considers Nogglegrop's question. "Well, this seems fairly safe. We could try exploring more of the island, focusing on the coast but not exclusively. Day trips at first, then overnight camping trips as we get more familiar with the area. Gradually increasing our range and how long we're gone until we've found everything that's worth finding or needs avoiding, I guess. I still hold out hope of finding a settlement, but this might be it."
After handing Nogglegrop his tunic and his half-cloak, Sajeek wanders around the clearing. It doesn't take him very long to figure out how the two elders had cleared the area. His green eyes linger on the small stone creature before moving over to Revery. The high browed magic users suggestion ended up saving their lives, since it took them out of the area the earth elemental had been guarding.
Sajeek looks some tree limbs or saplings that are straight enough to make a spear or quarter staff. Hunting with claw and fang was more enjoyable, but, the Beastlord had lost game several times due to his lack of reach.
Waiting for the elder two to come back so that he maybe borrow their knife again, Sajeek is respectful to them. Being respectful to his elders had been quite literally beaten into his thick skull by his last mentor. Who was rather aged, and had beaten the snot out of him. Something Blackmane had never let him live down.
"Sorry if I dulled the blade," Sajeek says, handing the knife back hilt first. "If you have a wetstone, I will put an edge back on the knife."
"Elder, sorry for prying," Sajeek says as Alrik heads to get his fifth helping. "but, the two of you look like your searching for something. Is it something I could help you find? My small way of saying thanks for not raining magical death down upon us." The Vah Shir looks over at the elemental. "Or having that stone thing bludgeon us to death," he grins at the old elf.
After what the goblin wizard had done, Sajeek had little interest in irritating any magic users. Unless, he was pretty sure he could win the fight or get away fast enough.
After enjoying the meal, and feeling quite full in fact, Revery stands and stretches. He looks at Nogglegrop and asks him, "Nogglegrop, what are your plans? I'm not sure what ours are now, but we were planning on going to the north side of this forsaken island. Personally, I think we should continue on with that plan, as there doesn't seem to be much here for us."
Sajeek dares to address the high elf, which does not give the impression of being a fruitful venture.
(Sajeek please include a diplomacy check in your next post)
Nogglegrop considers the question for a moment before admitting, "I have been living each moment like it would be my last and I have honestly not lifted my eyes to the future in many many days. I am unsure what to do, but I am joyous to have the choice."
"THE IMPUDENCE!" Alrik's scream tears through the tranquil scene, shattering the momentary shard of calm as Sajeek says just the wrong thing (diplomacy critical failure), though he is unsure exactly which words were the ones that crossed the line, "BEGONE THIS MOMENT OR I SHALL FLAY THE SKIN FROM YOUR BONES!"
The answer to the question of whether Alrik can cast spells is provided as tendrils of energy dance between his fingertips.
Shifting to escort you, at an uncomfortably high rate of speed, the stone golem chases you south from the camp. Those that pause, try to talk their way out of what had transpired, or decide to play games are immediately attacked.
Nogglegrop pumps his short legs to make his way out and throws over his shoulder that he is feeling that exploring is his next plan.
Syn looks forlorn, but tries to hobble quickly and is knocked flat by the earth elemental for moving too slow. The wood elf gasps and groans, while writhing on the ground.
Revery lends a hand to Syn, after gathering up his makeshift crutch, and the duo make it outside of the boundary just moments after Khae and Nogglegrop find their way free of the zone of influence.
The gnome and cleric both touch the bard, nearly simultaneously, and his new wound is but a memory.
Glancing left and right, the wood elf cannot help but laugh, even considering how dire the scene is.
Gwendalyn had been expecting this betrayal, but then got talked out of it; so she ends up being caught by surprise when it happens on schedule. "Run now! Think later!" They're all out of position to use her earlier plan of who would carry whom, so she falls back on Northerners' default plan template, in which "run" can be replaced with several other verbs, depending on the situation. In fact, Gwen is so far from the others -- just coming back from "watering the trees" -- that it ends up being Revery who helps Syn, while the shorties help themselves.
Evening had fallen, leaving only the stars out to light your way as you scampered through the woods, falling as much as running. Blood flows freely from a myriad of scrapes, scratches and punctures (subdual damage is taken by all).
Subdual damage: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Your bellies have been packed full of sumptuous venison and bland summoned bread. Flesh has been made supple as the campfire flames had chased away winter's chill, but it had all ended far too quickly.
The bard lays back against a tree and works to catch his breath after the short, but furious sprint. Syn's teeth grit as he tries to focus through the waves of agony shooting up his leg as jagged bone ends had slashed through his leg tissues.
Nogglegrop watches closely, eyes scouring with professional interest, as Khae tightens Syn's makeshift splint and checks to ensure that the bard's distal circulation has not been compromised. Permanent damage had already taken hold on the appendage, and he would lose the leg if he kept running around on it.
The litter had been lost in the departure, but the high elf's dagger remained in the beastlord's possession.
Khae: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Nogglegrop: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13
Revery: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (8) - 3 = 5
Sajeek: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
Syn: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (19) + 0 = 19
While Sajeek tries to collect himself after the short sprint and intense exchange he catches the briefest soft white glow in the distance further south. Orienting on that position he is able to catch the glow again.
Revery also sits against a tree, catching his breath and wondering what just happened.
"That elf. Alric. Is not nice. What did you say to him, Sajeek? Your people don't have some strange custom where you offer to bed your host's daughter, do you? 'Cause that's pretty much a no-no for erudites, humans, and elves."
He ponders the whole exchange for a while, and comes to no firm conclusion. "I say we keep going, as per our plan, but still with a litter for Syn - that leg is not looking too good."
Gwendalyn shrugs at Revery's commentary. "It's better than I expected -- at least they just chased us off! And I can carry Syn over my shoulder, so that we can put some distance between us and them right now, and make another litter later if necessary."
Gwendalyn startles in alarm at Syn's turn for the worse, then looks closer at Syn's leg. "Oh dear. I'm sorry I didn't realize sooner just how bad it was. I don't know why I assumed it would get better on its own! I'm just... not very experienced yet. This could take some time."
Then young shaman busies herself getting ready for a major operation. "Forget going further, we've gone too far already. We need fire to cleanse the knife -- no wait, we don't have time, and I can treat infections anyway. I can cast a spell to make you tougher, Syn, but it won't do anything about the pain. Can you take it if it will save your leg?"
She pauses and looks sideways at the other healers there. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that we need to manually set the bone -- and this doesn't look like a clean break. That means going inside and shoving back every single splinter of bone where it belongs. And *then* it can heal. Yes? If you think I'm right... I could use all the help I can get."
Gwen prepares to cast Inner Fire if Syn agrees, so that she can cut his leg to the bone with less risk of killing him from the shock. It's a grim task that would resemble torture, but once done it would be done -- unlike grieving for the loss of a young man's leg, which would last the rest of his life.
It is late evening by the time you have stopped to rest after your harrowing sprint away from the elderly duo.
Gwendalyn deduces that the break is not the issue, and the splint is the best that can be asked of in such a situation, what is the issue is the continued movement being asked of the bard. Even the makeshift litter bounces him around, and the wood elf needs time for the swelling to subside in his tissues and for the bones to start to knit together.
Unless there is a direct threat that forces the party's hand, or leaving the bard behind is an option being considered, this is the best place to set up a camp.
Syn drifts in an out of lucidity, though he never loses his grip on his consciousness, but he hums an eerie tune which momentarily removes everyone's fatigue. Secondarily it seals all wounds.
Perform (Singing): 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
Jaxan's Jig of Vigour (Healing Subdual): 1d4 ⇒ 2
Jaxan's Jig of Vigour (Healing Subdual): 1d4 ⇒ 1
Khae leaves the bard to the shaman's ministrations, and instead busies himself seeking out a club to defend himself with. The gnome's reports of an evil group wandering about the island, especially the ogre's threats, had changed his demeanour. It appears that ogres were anathema to the cleric's people.
Others notice Sajeek's attention being fixed into the beyond, and turning their heads they isolate the soft glow in the distance.
"I didn't say anything of the sort!" Sajeek hisses angerily as he glares off into the woods. "Old, furless bastards," Sajeek mumbles to himself angerily. "May the spirits keep them wandering around this stupid island for a thousand years," his burning green glare back the direction they had been chased off.
Realizing he still had the mages knife in his had, Sajeek tosses it at a nearby tree with a hissing curse in the his native tongue.
"Since none of you have any claws or fangs, who ever wants that cranky old bastards knife can have it." the beastlord grumbles, turning around, his back facing the direction they had been chased from. His green eyes fall upon Syn's very pained expression.
"I'm sorry Syn, next time I'll just keep my muzzle shut," the vah shir says, ears laid half-way down. Sajeek actually felt bad about what had happened. Not so much from the two old ones reaction. More the fact that he had pretty much just made Syn run on a broken leg. Shifting his eyes so that he doesn't have to look at the wood elf, Sajeek spots something else.
"Hey, do you guys see that glowing spot further to the south?" the beastlord asks.
"This doesn't look like a bad place for us to rest. Given the strain that Syn just went through, it might not be a bad idea," Sajeek says quietly The young Beastlord glances over at the light, making sure the soft glow doesn't suddenly dissappear, or start moving.
"Or there is the source of the light. That sort of begs to be investigated," the Vah Shir says, his tail shifting back and forth. Sajeek's green eyes kept finding their way back to glance at the soft light.
"Not to make small of your efforts Gwendalyn," Sajeek looks up at the giantess and grins slightly. "I don't think letting the scent of blood into the air would be a good idea. Not if can be avoided. The sounds of us running away might have drawn the attention of anything that is looking for a meal." Sajeek thinks for a few seconds.
"Umm, let me take a sniff at Syn's leg. I think Khae had set Syn's leg in the cave. I would beg the falling and running broke whatever had started to heal. Mind you, I'm much better with animals then furless folk. As recent history has proven once again. Actually, come to think of it, I'm not really that good with my own kind." Sajeek says with a chuckle.
Revery feels bad that he made Sajeek angry, but he says nothing. Instead, he busies himself by helping make Syn comfortable. After that, he helps the others set up camp, since it seems like they will be here for a while.
When Sajeek mentions a light, Revery strains to see it. If it's a constant glow, it might be magical. He is suddenly very interested. But right now, Syn's leg is more important. It would be a tragedy if he were to lose it.
When things settle down, the erudtite finally sits and meditates.
Gwendalyn pulls the wizard's knife out of the tree. "I think I'll keep it for preparing food. On second thought, Syn probably just needs time to heal without being moved." She ponders. "But that means we can't investigate the light all together."
The Northwoman continues. "So, either it remains a mystery -- which could be dangerous -- or someone investigates it alone, which could be even more dangerous, but just to them. It's a question to consider." She joins Revery in meditation.
Syn grits his teeth as clawing fingers clutch the torn fabric of his pant leg. Tediously slow waves of lucidity return as soon as his tisses accept his promises that he will not enlist them to activity any time soon. His mildly-addled song exhausts him (out of mana, no jig of vigour effect remains).
Khae refuses to leave the bard's side, but waves for the others to do what they need to. He is a daunting foe carrying the hunk of tree he found, and is well-suited to the task of protecting his patient. The dwarf busies himself joining Revery in mother henning the wood elf, ensuring that he is resting on evergreen boughs, rather than the snow and works to collect sufficiently dry wood for a small fire.
The leg wound releases just as much in the way of effervescent blood-stink as any of the myriad of scratches that the party suffered in their exodus from the previous campsite.
None are able to see the glow anymore.
Rising up from where he had been sniffing Syn's broken leg, Sajeek squeezes the wood elf's shoulder reassuringly as he stands.
"I don't smell any infection. Just a bit of blood, but that's most likely our forced run," Sajeek says looking at his raftmates. "I want you all to know it wasn't my intent at all to anger Alrik. I was taught that you should always approach elders with repect. I guess elves have a different way of showing respect to their elders." The Beastlord looks back towards the area they had chased from.
"I'm going to stick with talking to animals, that seems to work out better for me. I understand them," he mutters with a shake of his head. Turning, the young Vah Shir looks at the soft glow in the distance.
"I'm going hunting," Sajeek says quietly. "I know we just ate, but we have to think about tomorrow as well. There is a chance that Syn might need to rest a few days."
Pulling off his longcoat, Sajeek lays it over Syn for added warmth. He had fur after all. Sajeek's fur had thickened a bit in the time that he had been this cold land.
"I might investigate that glow a little. Unless it ends up being really far away that is. Just to make sure there isn't some giant monster sitting at a bonfire or the like," the Vah Shir chuckles.