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For as long as you can recall you have been a slave. Your existence a blur of years of repetitive and grueling physical labor for your master Zoldor, a bitter and miserly old stone mason and builder in the small but significant town of Fort Inevitable.
Fort Inevitable stands on the rolling plains near the West Sellen River, close to the forest. The town is surrounded by green pastures and wide, golden fields of grain. A strong stone wall with battlements and gatehouses protects Fort Inevitable, and within this formidable defense, the town is an orderly collection of two- and three-story stone houses and workshops with roofs of red tile or blue slate. If the streets seem a little cheerless and drab, at least they’re paved with good cobblestones and cleared regularly.
Nothing epitomizes the essential nature of Fort Inevitable as aptly as the stone Citadel of the Hellknights, which looms over the town. There is no difference between martial law and civil authority in Fort Inevitable. The senior officer of the garrison rules as the commander, directly overseeing civic administration as well as exercising military command. The current commander is a stern, middle-aged Chelish woman named Paralictor Audara Drovust. She is the commanding officer of the Order of the Pike’s chapter in the Crusader Road region, ruler of the Citadel, high magistrate, tax assessor, director of public works, keeper of the treasury, and chief regulator of business and commerce. No important aspect of the town’s life and activity is left outside the lady commander’s authority.
You stand before Paralictor Drovust now. Your master, Zoldor (may he rot in hell), died 30 days ago, purportedly of natural causes, and apparently without a legal heir.
The Paralictor’s words pull you back from your thoughts to the here and now.
“You belong to Fort Inevitable and the Hell Knights now. Ordinarily I would just auction you off to the highest bidder but I have a task that needs completing and my knights have other pressing duties. If you complete the task successfully you will become free men, if you fail you will be dead, or worse.”
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that some malevolent presence is stirring in the dungeons below the Emerald Spire (you generally know where this is). We’ve kept it quiet but undead monsters have begun to plague Fort Inevitable in recent months. High Mother Dremagne (you know she runs the local Temple of the Golden Key devoted to Abadar) has successfully divined a clue about this malevolent presence: the emblem of a crown above a skull. Your task is to search out the ‘crowned skull’ in the Emerald Spire and destroy it. Questions?”
Mistress Paralictor, my I ask if you could tell us more about the Emerald Spire? What is it?
And I too would be most grateful for any equipment you would provide.
Kiryl listens to the Paralictor's words with anger in his heart-Our bondage is unjust, but it is what the laws of this damnable place dictates. How I long for a blade in my hands to and the power to change the laws.
Bitterly addresing the Paralictor-Our duty and your authority are clear. Give us what succor you will and then set us about our task. The taste of freedom is worth any chance of death by undeath.
Idiri silently listens to what is being said.
"The Spire was probably some damnable wizard's experiment from a thousand years ago marked by a large tower of green glass. Now it is a strange ruin in the Echo Forest, just a day's march from here."
There's a knock on the door and a well dressed man enters.
"Ah, here is my assistant, Chamberlain Nythist. He will see to your equipment and warrant, as well as to remind you of the law."
The Paralictor departs and Chamberlain Nythist leads you down a long hall to a small armory talking along the way: "You may equip yourselves from the contents of this room. If you obtain more items during your task, the Paralictor has declared you may keep them as well so long as you pay Fort Inevitable's tax, the tax is 20% (you know this is standard for all in the area). Those that fail to pay the tax are imprisoned until the tax is paid. The tax can be paid to me here at the Citadel. I am also to provide you the Paralictor's warrant, it states that you are about her business, this will allow you to pass in and out of the town with only cursory inspection and to be out past the nightly curfew. I have additional warrants signed by the Paralictor that declare you free, to be presented upon completion of your task. Equip yourselves, I have other duties to attend." He hands the paper warrant to Curral.
Armor available: Leather, Studded Leather, Hide, Scale Mail.
Weapons available: Anything 50gp total or less, so you could take one weapon worth 50gp or two weapons worth 25gp each. 24 units of ammunition come with ranged weapons.
Misc equipment: Up to 10gp worth.
Freebies: Backpack and rations.
20% tax...it's almost as bad as the slavery. We risk our lives and they provide what exactly in exchange for our payments? I will have to continue to work for the day that these unjust laws can be thrown out!
Kiryl selects a fine set of scale and a greatsword. In addition, he grabs a coil of silk rope.
Let's go destroy some undead.
Weapons light crossbow 2 daggers
Equipment: bedroll, blanket, torches, insulated flask. 50 ft. Hemp rope
When everyone has finished obtaining equipment the Chamberlain leads you to the Citadel’s exit and bids you farewell.
You now stand outside the Citadel within the stone walls of Fort Inevitable, it is a cool
Spring day and still a couple of hours before noon. From your time in the town you know there are 3 gates to enter/exit the town. Mosswater Gate and Juliet Gate to the West and East respectively are the main gates and can accommodate horses and wagons or the North Gate which is smaller and only for foot traffic. The Echo Forest and the Spire lie to the Northwest so departure through Mosswater or North Gate would be most practical.
Pnin takes a shortbow, 80 arrows, and a dagger, puts on a suit of studded leather, and grabs whatever he can find to start making a standard rogue's adventuring kit.
Any chance there are some caltrops or lockpicks?
Sanrael shrugs and sets off after Kyril..”guess i will tag along with you” catches up...winks at him and laughs saying, “you can be my wingman anytime”
Pnin and Curral follow Sanreal and Kyril toward the North Gate (Clint and I are at the same training).
Pnin wears a big smile, happy to be off on an adventure with a small taste of the coming freedom.
Idril does her best to keep up with the group
Kiryl grimaces as he hears Curral's attempt at prose behind him-I thought his sing-songing was just a way to make the days go faster while working for Zoldor. Maybe it will distress the undead as much as it does the living. Falayna give me strength....
The group heads through the town towards the North Gate passing several familiar buildings in the process: the Mardyl Barracks (an old stone building used as an auxiliary barracks by the Hell Knights), the Hall of Rectitude (an imposing court house where criminal and civil proceedings are held), the Fountain in the center of town, Rillin's Armory (where you know you can get better armor if you have the gold), Braddon's General Store, the Stalwart Priory (where an order of monks dedicated to Irori reside), the Temple of Silence (dedicated to Pharasma), and the Garrison Stable (where the Hell Knights keep their horses).
Lady Rillin (the Master Armorer) is standing outside her shop and shouts out as the party passes by: "You lot are moving up in world, good for you, when you get some gold come see me and I'll make you some real armor!"
When you arrive at the North Gate, two hell knights look you over and wave you through. You can see two more forms watching from the tower to the right of the gate.
Once through the gate, a dirt road leads more or less in the direction you are headed (Northwest). The road passes by the Cerwin Vineyard owned by Caerlin Cerwin. His daughter Taeserle is riding towards town as you head the opposite way, "Good day! You've a nice voice, Curral isn't it? you should come by the winery and sing for the customers some time, once they're in their cups, they'll tip you well." She continues into town. Caerlin and Taeserle are the only half-elves in town besides Sanrael.
A couple miles past the winery the road veers to the Northeast and you will need to leave the road and enter the Echo Forest to head to the Spire.
Feel free to role-play a response to Armorer Rillin or Taeserle if desired. (I could have cut my post at either of those interactions but I'm just trying to move the story forward a bit more rapidly)
Everyone make a perception check when entering the forest.
Nod my head to Lady Rillian and hope she acknowledges and move on.
perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (14) + 5 = 19
Kiryl breaths in the city air as his long strides carry him towards the North Gate-Do things smell different with the faint hope of freedom in the air? All these places seem new even though I have passed by them many times before.
To Lady Rillin-Should we survive real armor would be a boon indeed, provided we don't find something better during our labor.
Later by the Vineyard-For such a fair girl, she has no ear for fine things... They must serve some strong drink indeed for folks to appreciated the sound of a drowning cat.
As the group prepares to enter the Echo Forest-Sanrael, maybe you or Pnin should take the lead? I know little of the forest and its ways, but I hear that both of you might be of use here. Between and elf and a cat we should have some luck of it.
Kiryl hopes his bluster is enough to cover his nerves. He may have hated being a slave, but it was a life where the dangers were clear.
Looking uncomfortably about the woods: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (2) + 10 = 12
To Lady Rilling, Curral nods at her comment. We shall visit you as funds permit, my Lady!
To Taeserle. That I'll do milady. I look forward to visiting you and performing at the winery.
Continue following Pnin's lead.
perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Pnin leads the way into the forest attempting to be stealthy, he's followed by Kyril, then Idril, with Curral fourth in a single file. Sanrael lags behind looking for anyone that might be following the group.
After several minutes the group reaches a small clearing, Pnin and Idril catch sight of a group of six hobgoblins entering the clearing from the other side about 30' away and give warning:
The hobgoblins shout and start moving forward into the clearing shoulder to shoulder. From what you can see the hobgoblins are wearing studded leather armor and carry shields and flails.
init HobGob: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 2 = 4
init Curral: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
init Idril: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18
init Kyril: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
init Pnin: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
init Sanrael: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
The party gets the drop on the hobgoblins. Melee, ranged attacks, and spells are all possible.
Sanrael draws his sword and steps into the forest..stealthily moving to the left and just behind the HobGobs from their left side
Idril feels the love of battle and unleashes an elemental ray of cold. Silently stunned as she watches who she was ready to defend, because he was nice, runs into the forest.
Cold: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Idril hangs in the back.
Sensing indecision from his companions with a shout Kiryl charges the nearest hobgob, years of pent up fury being released as he slashes violently downward with his greatsword:
GS charge: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (2) + 3 + 2 = 72d6 + 9 ⇒ (1, 5) + 9 = 15
Pnin moves to within a 30' range for a sneak attack on the hobgoblins.
bow: 1d20 + 4 + 1 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 4 + 1 + 1 = 11
dmg: 1d6 + 4 + 1 + 1d6 ⇒ (5) + 4 + 1 + (5) = 15
Sanrael moves off through the forest. Idril sends an icy ray of coldness into the ground near hobgoblin feet. Kyril charges forward with pent up anger swinging his great sword and it whistles through the air above hobgoblin heads. Pnin sends an arrow streaking by another hobgoblin head. Curral remains calm despite the chaos happening around him and does just the right thing to avoid disaster, dropping a sleep bomb on the unsuspecting enemies causing three hobgoblins to slump to the ground with a good bit of snoring.
will: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14
will: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
will: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
will: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
who C, I, K, P: 3d4 ⇒ (4, 1, 2) = 7
Three hobgoblins come onward to attack Curral, Idril and Pnin, avoiding the giant blade Kyril is wildly swinging above their heads. Seeing three of their companions go down they attack with ferocity and determination, flails smashing into 3 of our heroes! Despite severe wounds, Curral and Idril somehow remain standing!
flail: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
dam: 2d8 ⇒ (7, 3) = 10
fail: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
dam: 1d8 ⇒ 8
flail: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (16) + 1 = 17
dam: 1d8 ⇒ 1
*Pnin, I have your bow attack at +4+1 to hit with dex and point blank shot. Where is second +1 coming from? If you struck on sneak attack, damage would be 1d6+1+1d6, no dex to damage at this point.
Sanrael rushes in to the fray from out if the woods...from the left just behind attacking goblins..attempting to flank them...
Sleep bomb to the rescue!
Kiryl checks his charge, digging a heel into the soft earth, and pivots bringing his blade in a glistening arc on the hobgob attacking Curral:
GSPA flanking: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 3 + 2 = 112d6 + 9 ⇒ (4, 3) + 9 = 16
He can't sing water in a bucket but that enchantment was TIMELY!