5E Adventure's in Midgard – North (Reaver's Spring)

Game Master Tareth

A small merchant caravan led by Rook Bentknee, a kobold merchant, travels up the coast of the Bay of Ghed to deliver goods and trade with Rook's former adventuring companion and occasional business partner, Britta Gleamgaurd, human owner of the Frost Maiden Inn in the village of Nargenstal.


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Rain patters the canvas tops of the three wagons that make up Rook Bentknee’s little caravan and your homes for the last several days. So far the trip up the western coast of Courlandia has been an uneventful but rain-soaked slog. Yet another bank of dreary, dark gray clouds rolled in this morning to pound the coast like a blacksmith’s hammer. The fourth such storm in as many days. The driving wind and rain turned the already moody and unpredictable waters of Ghed into a churning fury unfit for ship or beast. Fortunately the storm spent most of it’s fury by midday, but the wind and driving rain have now given way to a steady drizzle and chill air more fitting for winter rather than the early spring of Mustering.

The wagons creak and groan as wheels slowly churn through the mud. The weather again bringing the caravan’s pace to a sluggish crawl as the oxen struggle to pull their loads through the muddy, soaked coastal roads of northern Courlandia.

”Just a bit further you lazy beasts!” Shouts Bentknee giving the reins of the lead wagon a quick flick to encourage the pair of draft animals. The two animals low their disgruntlement at such conditions but struggle on managing to keep the wagon moving along the road.

”Aye, we’ll be to the next village soon enough. Then we’ll all be able to rest a bit and get out of this foul weather.” He says while making a futile attempt to wipe the rain from his brow. The old kobold has been a decent employer so far. Listening to advice when asked for, treating both beast and guard fairly, and guaranteeing a fair wage once the caravan arrives in Nargenthal. At the handful of villages visited so far, he has been a hard but fair bargainer. Seemingly respected and well known by several of the village elders who eagerly listen to the current news and gossip of the Crossroads he shares with the eager information starved ears.

”Worst Khors-damned weather I’ve seen making this trip in the last ten years.” He says to no one in particular for at least the fourteenth time. He reaches down to rub the gnarled, twisted knee that gives him his limp as well as his surname. ”If it wasn’t for Britta pulling me outta that bit of trouble with those gnolls down south, I’d pack it all in and retire. Spend my days warm and dry next to the big fire telling tales at the Moon and Owl in Zobeck rather than trundling supplies out to the hinterlands of the Red Queen’s backside.”


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HP 41/41 | AC 17+2(shield)-1(poison)| Acr +4 Ath +7 Dec +3 Int +6 Perc -1 Pers +6 Saves: S +4, D +1, C +2, I +0, W +2, Ch +6 Adv charm, disease; Imm Sleep| Init +1 | PPerc 9; PIns 10; Pinv 11; DrkVis | Spd 30' | HD 5/5 | Status: -2 Dex | Spells 4/4(1); 2/2(2) | LoH 25/25 | DivSen 5/5 | Insp: Yup!!

Sitting next to Bentknee, a burly youth with a neck as wide as an oxen strains with both hands on his mushy leather boot, managing to pull it free of his foot. He winces and pulls a dark brown woollen contraption passing for a sock: "I swear! The more I tore those things, the more water they shed. In the deserts South, these babies would be worth my weight in gold! Here, they're just a health hazard..."

He turns to his employer and smiles warmly, the wet sock hanging from his index finger, which he points at the Kobold. With a laughing tone, he warns: "And Bentknee, boss or not, I swear that if you say his name in vain again, I shall whip you with the wet end of it, or worse, make a tea from from it and force you to drink it! Khors has nothing to do with rain!"


Bentknee looks askance at the brooding and completely soaked young knight for a few seconds, his scaly lips pulling back into a grin.

“Ha! You wouldn’t be the first preacher to try to silence ol’ Bentknee’s blasphemous voice. The more you tell him no lad, the deeper into the hells he’ll go.” Edgar, the human driver of the second wagon, interrupts with his own deep laugh. He shakes his head quickly in feigned amazement. ”I still remember that night in the Rook Nook when you nearly gave that poor, starry-eyed acolyte of Lada a heart attack. I thought all his feathers were going to turn yellow right there on the spot.”

Both he and Bentknee burst into rough laughter at the shared memory.

”Aye, that ravenlad just needed to learn a bit more of the world outside of the temple.” Adds the old kobold. He gives a snort sending a fine rain water mist blowing from his long snout. ”Your light bringer may not be master of storms.” He says to Trevor. ”But his sun sure to the Abyss isn’t burning these clouds off and drying out this road. So I’d say he’s either asleep on the job or getting his left knocker handed to him by Thor right about now.“


| HP: 36/36 [DR:3]| 1st: 4/4 2nd : 3/3 3rd: 2/2| Insp: 3/3 | Channel: 1/1|HD 5/5|FX: melee: +6/2d8+4 |Init: +0 Perc: +5 | Insp = no ._.|Human WarCleric 4| AC: 16

A low rumble, like a thundercloud toeing the battleline, sounds next to the animal handlers as the marching WarCleric chuckles at their good-natured bickering.

"Aye. I'd say the Thunderer is in high spirits right now!" Aterro continues his patient march, keeping pace with the grunting animals. "The rain is a blessing, meaning that he watches over us and approves of our task. That it makes mud simply means that we must be cautious." His eyes scan what little land the rain leaves visible. "You never know when Thor will decide to...test thy mettle."


Male gnome | HP 29/29 | HD 4/4 | 2nd 2/2 | Inspiration! | Active: Prestidigitation, Hex
Stats:
AC 13 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +3, Wis +2, Cha +6 | Initiative +2 | Perception +0, Darkvision 60 ft

You hear the whistling of the gnome before you see him return to the caravan. You had never really thought about how maps were made before this trip. Ibrox Redcap had introduced himself as a cartographer, and he explained that his wanderings away from the caravan were to sight and note landmarks. Even in the rain, high ground still made a difference to the vertically challenged.

Perform (whistling): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19

The first things you noticed about Ibrox were his bright emerald eyes and infectious smile. He sports an orange chin strap beard and a soaked, blood red calfskin hat attempting to cover his orange hair that sticks out in every direction. Standing a little over three feet tall, he is an average-sized gnome who wears a forest green tunic and leather cloak, that are both heavily embroidered, over leather armor that peeks out from the tunic. His well-worn muddy boots are sturdy leather. He wears a dagger and a pouch on his belt and shoulders a case of crossbow bolts and a backpack. His leather weapon’s harness carries two more daggers, and a light crossbow.


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Midgard's rains still disturbed Zove...it was too bright and colorful here, like an amplified echo. Back in the shadowrealm, the smoky pellets evaporated quickly and were partially a poison...simple to purify with experience but debilitating to those just visiting. She sat with her face poking out direct into the torrent, letting it soak and nourish her alien skin. The peace of it was what disturbed her...rain was nothing to worry about here.

Her experiences thus far attempting to interject her courtly profession into the kobold's meetings had been simply put an utter failure, the lack of any recognizable formality rendering her training quite useless. She felt out of place and was beginning to doubt her value to the team. The others spoke of vaguely recognizable masks she had never heard of and it just made her miss the dark roads and starry court the more.

She held a dark green tome covered in elvish script in the rain, the droplets somehow always just missing the pages, which themselves seemed already ruined anyways: dark swirling blotches of void like ink covering most of them.

Distracted she lazily responded to the war cleric's optimism, mishearing 'test they mettle' with "Sure, Ill grab the kettle..." and conjured forth a small flame in her palm, quickly preparing some hot tea.


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

"Tea, yes, I was just wondering what time the tea comes..."

Finnigan shivers wiping the thin strands of his damp bangs out of his eyes.

"Er, don't bother bringing mine back here. I'll come up to your cart when we stop next." He looks down at the two bags worth of potatoes he's upended at his feet to use their canvas sacks, one as a makeshift shawl for his scrunched up shoulders, the other as a damp blanket to soak up the puddle forming on the bench where he's parked his behind.


HP 41/41 | AC 17+2(shield)-1(poison)| Acr +4 Ath +7 Dec +3 Int +6 Perc -1 Pers +6 Saves: S +4, D +1, C +2, I +0, W +2, Ch +6 Adv charm, disease; Imm Sleep| Init +1 | PPerc 9; PIns 10; Pinv 11; DrkVis | Spd 30' | HD 5/5 | Status: -2 Dex | Spells 4/4(1); 2/2(2) | LoH 25/25 | DivSen 5/5 | Insp: Yup!!

"No, he said thigh metal. Khors’ priests call it their sunbeams. He’s just happy it’s raining. I tell you what Aterro, you keep the rain and I’ll keep the sun. Anytime!" the paladin adds while putting back his sock, then his boot, which lets out a splotchy sigh as it slips wetly into place.

He turns to look at the gnome, visibly unclear as to why he went out, and concerned for his safety. With some reproach in his voice, he calls out: "Found what you were looking for, Mr. Ibrox? We’re about to have tea, you’re just in time."


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

"Redcap! As your guide I advise you to stay with the vehicle when it is moving. Unless you wish to bring me my tea?"

This gnome won't be able to see over the edge of the cart to lay his eyes on the piteous measures I've taken to ward off the elements...

"You're all mistaken about theology I'm afraid. This pelting rain is the tears of Lady Sif. She weeps for Krakova!"


| HP: 36/36 [DR:3]| 1st: 4/4 2nd : 3/3 3rd: 2/2| Insp: 3/3 | Channel: 1/1|HD 5/5|FX: melee: +6/2d8+4 |Init: +0 Perc: +5 | Insp = no ._.|Human WarCleric 4| AC: 16

"Eh?" said Aterro, who didn't understand what all the fuss was about. "I don't understand what all the fuss is about! And nay, Trevor, a place with only sun and no rain is called a desert. Few would prefer the Red Wastes to even this deluge we endure, I wager.

And methinks that Lady Sif hath already wept for Krakova, and thus moved Lord Thor to send the dwarves to stick the vampires in the eye!

Although..." the somber WarCleric grows musesome, as if speaking a question he does not know how to answer. "If they do not rescind the land they occupy, does that make them as much an enemy as the undead? Does Krakova have two conquerors...?"

Aterro grows quiet, pondering the question.


At the mention of Krakova, Rook shakes his head sadly and slides two fingers across his right eye in a simple gesture of warding evil.

"Blasted vampires and their soulless kin." He says with clear spite in his voice. "Used to be good folk and good trading in Krakova before the invasion. As for the Wolfmark...well, once you let a devil into the backdoor to deal with rats in your house, all you end up with is devils and rats in your home." As he mentions devils, his eyes flick knowingly toward the returning gnome and his bright red cap.

Just then, the wagon dips into a deep hole in the road hidden beneath the water and mud causing goods to shake and rattle, axles to groan, oxen to strain, and a steady stream of cursing from Bentknee who nearly slides off the bench.

"Bloody hells! Where's that lazy scout I'm paying to mark the road and watch for trouble?" He says craning his neck to look further down the rain shrouded road for Finnigan. "Finnigan, you missed another blasted pothole! I told you to mark 'em with the flags I gave you!" He shouts ahead, clearly not realizing the ranger is tucked away in the back of one of the wagons. "We break an axle and I'll take the lost time out of your hide and wages!"


Male gnome | HP 29/29 | HD 4/4 | 2nd 2/2 | Inspiration! | Active: Prestidigitation, Hex
Stats:
AC 13 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +3, Wis +2, Cha +6 | Initiative +2 | Perception +0, Darkvision 60 ft

"Tea sounds good!" Ibrox chirps.

"Ah, Calhoun. You're cute. You really should focus on flagging those potholes." Ibrox replies to the guide.


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5
Rook Bentknee wrote:
At the mention of Krakova, Rook shakes his head sadly and slides two fingers across his right eye in a simple gesture of warding evil.

Finnigan catches a glimpse of the gesture from his vantage point in the cart behind.

Such a distinctive mannerism... superstitious, perhaps, but quite colorful...

He cups a small mirror in his palm and repeats the gesture, over and over until it looks natural, cataloging it in his memory banks, just in case he has to become someone else again. To deceive his oppressors, to escape the persecution of the wicked.

He looks at the young would-be champion of Khors whose bare wrinkled foot juts momentarily out of the cart, toes curling in the rain.

He's too young and naive to be part of the conspiracy, but probably too idealistic to be saved...

Rook Bentknee wrote:

"Bloody hells! Where's that lazy scout I'm paying to mark the road and watch for trouble?" He says craning his neck to look further down the rain shrouded road for Finnigan. "Finnigan, you missed another blasted pothole! I told you to mark 'em with the flags I gave you!" He shouts ahead, clearly not realizing the ranger is tucked away in the back of one of the wagons. "We break an axle and I'll take the lost time out of your hide and wages!"

Absent-mindedly, Finnigan slides a flag pole over the side of the wagon. It splashes into the road to float side-long in the pool of water forming above the pothole.

Sleight of Hand: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20


Dexterity: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19

After the pothole's hard knock, the kettle Zove had been boiling in her hands went 100% airborne, threatening to dump its scalding contents all over the investigating Ibrox...but a sudden and deft snatch from the young diplomat shot forth and settled it again as if nothing happened.

Her forehead was not so lucky however, during the jostle a crossbeam in the wagon's canvassing somehow snaked its way directly between her little horns, clonking her for a hard one. She stood awkwardly and a bit stupefied, perfectly presenting the tea for all overly ceremoniously.

"I'll take a look...I'm getting a bit claustrophobic in here..." she said as the knob on her head throbbed, spilling off the side of the wagon into the mud. "...what do potholes in the mud look like again...?" she honestly inquired, running ahead.


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Male Trollkin; HP 43/43, AC 13(16), PP 17, MV 30, Darkvision 60', Init +0; Inspiration (Y) Druid / 5; XP 6910/14000, Spells (0) 4(1) 4/4, (2) 3/3, (3) 2/2; Saves: +3, +1, +3, +2, +6, +2; Wild Shape 2/2

The lumbering Trollkin didn't really trust any of the others, though they gave him no reason not to... he just was not used to friendly banter and wondered what motivations were behind it... still he found it fascinating, and couldn't help but stay close enough to overhear.

Dropping back behind the small caravan from time to time, he made sure that nobody was sneaking up to ambush them from behind, and came back just in time to see the quick catch by the Shadow Fey.

His hair stood on end, and he felt his heart accelerate whenever he stood near her. He was used to dealing with the fey, and could feel their presence all around him, but this one was... different.

He chuckles under his breath at the jokes, though he really doesn't understand why most of them were supposed to be funny. He'd learn however... given time.

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7 Perception


2 people marked this as a favorite.
| HP: 36/36 [DR:3]| 1st: 4/4 2nd : 3/3 3rd: 2/2| Insp: 3/3 | Channel: 1/1|HD 5/5|FX: melee: +6/2d8+4 |Init: +0 Perc: +5 | Insp = no ._.|Human WarCleric 4| AC: 16

Aterro was lost in his thoughts, plotting the re-capture of the whole of the Krakovar, when he suddenly saw the young wizard pour out of the wagon and into the mud, running ahead of the caravan.

"Eh? What is it?" the WarCleric calls out, expecting trouble, because he usually expects trouble. One-handedly drawing his heavy maul he jogs through the splashing puddles and sucking mud to catch up with her in the van.

"Um, hello. I don't know if we've been properly introduced," he begins to the young wizard, "I am Aterro, follows of Thor. Is aught amiss? If, ah, if you are asking about potholes in earnest, they are depressions in the road. But they are invisible now because they're filled with water, just like everything on this r--OW!" he grunts, stumbling into an aforementioned, invisible, water-filled pothole.

He attacks that problem the way he solves most things--by hitting it with his maul. "HrrrrrYA!" he cries, striking the pothole soundly on its rim, displacing enough mud to make it more shallow...probably.

That done, he walks on.


HP 41/41 | AC 17+2(shield)-1(poison)| Acr +4 Ath +7 Dec +3 Int +6 Perc -1 Pers +6 Saves: S +4, D +1, C +2, I +0, W +2, Ch +6 Adv charm, disease; Imm Sleep| Init +1 | PPerc 9; PIns 10; Pinv 11; DrkVis | Spd 30' | HD 5/5 | Status: -2 Dex | Spells 4/4(1); 2/2(2) | LoH 25/25 | DivSen 5/5 | Insp: Yup!!

Trevor turns to his boss: "I’m so glad for this opportunity, you know, but why does everyone feel it’s a good idea to leave the carts and go jumping in the rain is beyond me..."

To Zove he calls out: "Best leave scouting to scouts, miss. You need a pole to find potholes in the rain, but a priest will do just fine!"


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

Finnigan furrows his brow observing the armored hulk pounding the ground.

Is that what I'm supposed to be doing I wonder?

He scans the road, not for potholes but for pursuers from Courlandia.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13


Finnigan looks south along the caravan's back trail but doesn't see anything except trees, grass, rain, the white caps of the bay, and a sad, soaked muddy red flag floating in, and marking, the recently traversed pothole.

Bentknee deftly steers the wagon around the hole cleverly marked by Aterro while another misty snort erupts from his nose at the young knight's quip adding to the clouds pouring from the hard working oxen as their hot breath hits the chill spring air.

"Thor's priest or Thor's jester, at least he showed himself to be of some worth." The kobold adds with another light laugh which cuts off suddenly as he leans forward to peer into the rain and mist.

The road winds along the coastline skirting the edge of a forest filled with stunted fir and pines shaped by the constant coastal winds. Lush salal shrubs flourish under the trees and along the shoreside of the road. While to the western side is covered by more salal and tall grasses for about fifty feet right up to where a sharp cliff drops off to the rocky churning surf below. The trees and winding road along with dark, gray day, rain and mist thrown up by the stormy sea make it hard to see beyond a few hundred feet up the road. The constant pounding of the surf and occasional burst of wind make it barely possible to hear the banter among yourselves.

"Day's not fit for man or beast." Bentknee says still straining to see further up the road. "But I swear I saw something up ahead."

He turns to Trevor, "You've got younger eyes than mine. You or anyone else see anything up there?"

Perception DC12:
You follow Bentknee's gaze and after a few seconds you catch movement on the road. Looks like a horse and rider slowly plodding their way south.

Perception DC16:
The horse seems to have a set of large overstuffed saddlebags, oddly set further back on its haunches. The rider also appears to carry a heavy overstuffed pack on their back, although oddly they don't seem to be wearing a coat, oiled cloak, or other foul weather gear.

Perception DC20:
You look at the oxen and the clouds of breath streaming from their nostrils. Even your own breath appears in front of your face with each exhale. You look again at the approaching rider and realize suddenly, that no such cloud forms in front of either horse or rider.


| HP: 36/36 [DR:3]| 1st: 4/4 2nd : 3/3 3rd: 2/2| Insp: 3/3 | Channel: 1/1|HD 5/5|FX: melee: +6/2d8+4 |Init: +0 Perc: +5 | Insp = no ._.|Human WarCleric 4| AC: 16

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7

Aterro is busily cleaning the mud off his weapon of choice.


HP 41/41 | AC 17+2(shield)-1(poison)| Acr +4 Ath +7 Dec +3 Int +6 Perc -1 Pers +6 Saves: S +4, D +1, C +2, I +0, W +2, Ch +6 Adv charm, disease; Imm Sleep| Init +1 | PPerc 9; PIns 10; Pinv 11; DrkVis | Spd 30' | HD 5/5 | Status: -2 Dex | Spells 4/4(1); 2/2(2) | LoH 25/25 | DivSen 5/5 | Insp: Yup!!

Perception: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2

Trevor nods and squints at the environment, but his mind just wanders towards his feet, which he guesses must be turning purple from the wet cold.

"Nah... I see nothing." he says with confidence.


As Aterro attacks the hole she stands there speechless, her eyelids low watching and him go getting splattered with the tiny mud specks. Her left eyebrow twitches a bit, dumbfounded.

Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14

At Bentknee's shout she looks up and her alien eyes easily pierce what Midgardians think passes for darkness "Oh, there's someone coming down the road...let's greet them."


| HP: 36/36 [DR:3]| 1st: 4/4 2nd : 3/3 3rd: 2/2| Insp: 3/3 | Channel: 1/1|HD 5/5|FX: melee: +6/2d8+4 |Init: +0 Perc: +5 | Insp = no ._.|Human WarCleric 4| AC: 16

"Eh?" Aterro grunts, looking up from his mostly-clean great warhammer and into the gathering gloom. "I see little, save Thor's wet, cold, and hard-driving blessings, but...if it would please you to see a friendly face, we could welcome them, I suppose."

Aterro casts Light upon the head of his maul and hold the light aloft, waving it back in forth as greeting for Zove's spied traveler.


Male gnome | HP 29/29 | HD 4/4 | 2nd 2/2 | Inspiration! | Active: Prestidigitation, Hex
Stats:
AC 13 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +3, Wis +2, Cha +6 | Initiative +2 | Perception +0, Darkvision 60 ft

Perception: 1d20 ⇒ 5

Ibrox focuses on serving tea from the steaming kettle. "What? Huh?"


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

Seeing empty road behind, Finnigan wonders what the kobold is pointing at up ahead.

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21

"Aye, Bentknee. Well spotted. 'tis a horse and rider coming our way. The beast is laden with saddlebags. And what's this? While we shiver and draw fast our clokes to ward off cold and rain they seem untroubled by these elements. And if that weren't strange enough.. neither beast nor master's breath can be seen billowing forth to warm the chilly air..."


HP 41/41 | AC 17+2(shield)-1(poison)| Acr +4 Ath +7 Dec +3 Int +6 Perc -1 Pers +6 Saves: S +4, D +1, C +2, I +0, W +2, Ch +6 Adv charm, disease; Imm Sleep| Init +1 | PPerc 9; PIns 10; Pinv 11; DrkVis | Spd 30' | HD 5/5 | Status: -2 Dex | Spells 4/4(1); 2/2(2) | LoH 25/25 | DivSen 5/5 | Insp: Yup!!

"That don’t sound good. Looks like we got ourselves a conundrum..." says Trevor, still not seeing it, but nevertheless putting a hand on a javelin.


Male Trollkin; HP 43/43, AC 13(16), PP 17, MV 30, Darkvision 60', Init +0; Inspiration (Y) Druid / 5; XP 6910/14000, Spells (0) 4(1) 4/4, (2) 3/3, (3) 2/2; Saves: +3, +1, +3, +2, +6, +2; Wild Shape 2/2

1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12 Perception

Still standing a bit off from the remainder of the group, but close enough to hear, the outcast trollkin looks down the road and sees something approaching as well.

He then raises both eyebrows in turn at Finnigan's description.

That one must possess the eyes of an eagle.


Zove stands regally in the rain resembling a monarch greeting her people, her wrist twisting side to side in a feminine wave to match the cleric's oscillating light with the highest of airs.


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

Finnigan stretches his legs and cracks his knuckles. He loads a bolt and cocks his hand -crossbow, placing it beside him on the wagon rail and covering it with the potato sack. He takes a bite out of a raw potato and puts several more under the sack with the weapon so if he needs to put his hand in there he can make it look like he's just reaching for a slightly unusual snack.


"Whooooa!" Cries Bentknee who pulls back on the reins and signals the other drivers to bring the wagons to a stop. The noise of the rattling wagons dissipates leaving just the sounds of the surf and still falling rain, occasionally punctuated by an ox snort.

Aterro and Zove stand a few feet in front of the first wagon, signaling the rider. The cleric's light a bright beacon shining through the mist shrouded gray day. The rest of the party is spread along thirty foot length of the caravan. Trevor in the front bench next to Bentknee, Finnigan in the rearmost, with Ibrox and Vrindel in between.

The rider is still a good two hundred feet away and continues its plodding approach. There doesn't seem to be any reaction to Aterro's light or your shouted greetings.


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

Oh ok I had pictured myself in the next cart behind the leed with Vribdel taking up the rear. 30' is not so far though, I guess.

Well, I may not really be a dancing bear guide but I've been in enough bar fights with my mates to know we should stick together in case there's trouble..."

Finnigan puts a hand on the shoulder of the driver of his cart. "Oy mate... I say to you, why don't you pull ahead of the empty cart before us and bring us directly behind Old Bentknee that I may train my eyes on our friends?". He pats the crossbow and winks as he speaks to make his meaning clear.

Louder, addressing all, he continues,

"I do not like this rider. After all, what lives breathes, does it not? If I may suggest, why don't we stay to the side and let him pass, but circle close so if he is hostile he has to deal with all of us at once."

Wishing I had something equivalent to knowledge: local to roll? Insight? Not exactly, but...

Insight: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

fantastic!


HP 41/41 | AC 17+2(shield)-1(poison)| Acr +4 Ath +7 Dec +3 Int +6 Perc -1 Pers +6 Saves: S +4, D +1, C +2, I +0, W +2, Ch +6 Adv charm, disease; Imm Sleep| Init +1 | PPerc 9; PIns 10; Pinv 11; DrkVis | Spd 30' | HD 5/5 | Status: -2 Dex | Spells 4/4(1); 2/2(2) | LoH 25/25 | DivSen 5/5 | Insp: Yup!!

As the cart stops, Trevor sends his left eyebrow up in the air, but keeps his lips tight. He knew better than to question the judgment of an old hand at this.

Anyhow, that was the theory. It lasted a good five seconds, until Trevor had to stye the obvious: "So we’re stopping, eh? Figure it’ll just pass us? Finn said it didn’t breathe..."


| HP: 36/36 [DR:3]| 1st: 4/4 2nd : 3/3 3rd: 2/2| Insp: 3/3 | Channel: 1/1|HD 5/5|FX: melee: +6/2d8+4 |Init: +0 Perc: +5 | Insp = no ._.|Human WarCleric 4| AC: 16

As the rider gave neither hail nor hello to Thor's Light, Aterro began to become concerned. At Finnigan's direction, the WarCleric's eyes narrowed. 'The man is knowledgeable, I should heed his warning.'

Aterro ceases waving his light and looks at the traveler, eventually confirming Calhoun's premise that he did not breath.

Warily he transferred his maul to a more comfortable, and more combat ready, two-handed grip. He held his place in the road like an iron statue.

"Zove, I think you'd better get behind me. Just in case Thor would test our mettle this day."

Aterro remained still and ready, like a coiled spring.


Rook turns to Trevor with a shrug. "Well we certainly aren't going to out run him." He says. "If it's just an odd traveler or messenger, it'll just pass. If not....well, that's why I've hired you lot isn't it."

The driver of the third wagon nods at Finnigan's suggestion, but with no room on the road, is forced to pull off into the brush and grass on the oceanside. Fortunately there aren't any major obstacles in this little stretch and the wagon lumbers and lurches up next to the second cart. All of the rough movement, keeps Finnigan from getting any better idea of the riders motive or possible threat.


Male gnome | HP 29/29 | HD 4/4 | 2nd 2/2 | Inspiration! | Active: Prestidigitation, Hex
Stats:
AC 13 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +3, Wis +2, Cha +6 | Initiative +2 | Perception +0, Darkvision 60 ft

"A rider approaches? That doesn't breathe?" Ibrox asks peering into the distance.

Arcana or Investigation or Nature for a clue: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24


Male Trollkin; HP 43/43, AC 13(16), PP 17, MV 30, Darkvision 60', Init +0; Inspiration (Y) Druid / 5; XP 6910/14000, Spells (0) 4(1) 4/4, (2) 3/3, (3) 2/2; Saves: +3, +1, +3, +2, +6, +2; Wild Shape 2/2

Vrindel moves slightly off the path, to better feel the earth beneath his feet, and silently leans on his walking staff, preparing to fill it with magic.


Zove takes heed of Aterro's warning, putting him between the rider and herself. At the mention of the absence of breath, she guessed "Some wizards use magic to endure the elements of weather like this. Perhaps he has ensorcelled himself and his mount to circumvent the rain and the cold..."


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HP 41/41 | AC 17+2(shield)-1(poison)| Acr +4 Ath +7 Dec +3 Int +6 Perc -1 Pers +6 Saves: S +4, D +1, C +2, I +0, W +2, Ch +6 Adv charm, disease; Imm Sleep| Init +1 | PPerc 9; PIns 10; Pinv 11; DrkVis | Spd 30' | HD 5/5 | Status: -2 Dex | Spells 4/4(1); 2/2(2) | LoH 25/25 | DivSen 5/5 | Insp: Yup!!

"Brother Aterro, would you not prefer your metal tested by the Lord of Thunder alongside your companions and nearer to the caravan? Zove, that counts for you too!" suggests Trevor.


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

I have a pretty good ooc hunch what is coming, but I don't know what skill to see if Finnigan has heard of these guys. I guess maybe my botched insight check says no.

Finnigan just waits.


Ibrox:
You are able to recall many creatures that may not display outward signs of life from nearly every type of undead to some of the denizens of the abyss encountered Neimhiem. Not to mention the magical means mentioned by Zove.
However, judging by the slow, monotonous movement, heedless of obstacles along with the lack of responsiveness, and the utterly filthy and tattered appearance, your best guess is that some sort of zombie approaches.


While the party sorts itself, the rider continues to plod forward, now about a hundred and fifty feet away. It is seemingly indifferent to the mud and rain. Even low hanging branches are simply passed through with no attempt to avoid or move them away.

The oxen of the first wagon sniff the air and start to become restless causing the harnesses to jangle and the wagon to jerk slightly. Bentknee responds with a few calming noises to the animals and is suddenly focused on maintaining a strong hand on the reins to keep them from bolting.

Bentknee Roll:

Wisdom(Animal Handling): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13

Finnigan, Insight would be more to determine a creatures motives and potential actions. A Int(Nature) would be the the best route to try and identify although Int(Arcana) or Int(History) might also offer information depending on the actual threat. I believe you can also just roll straight Int if you don't have proficiency in any of those specific skill sets.


| HP: 36/36 [DR:3]| 1st: 4/4 2nd : 3/3 3rd: 2/2| Insp: 3/3 | Channel: 1/1|HD 5/5|FX: melee: +6/2d8+4 |Init: +0 Perc: +5 | Insp = no ._.|Human WarCleric 4| AC: 16

"I will not shirk from battle, Paladin. Mayhap you could join me in the vanguard?" Aterro quips back at Trevor, his unease at the approaching traveler beginning to grow.

"Zove, you are correct that there are magical means to be used, but my experience with such arcaneries is that they travel flamboyantly, all the better to draw eyes to their power. So too, such a man that would see magic as so small a thing as to be used for his comfort, would not blindly march through branch and bramble."

Aterro begins working the handle of his maul, cracks in his facade of confidence beginning to show. He calls back to the group, "I begin to think we are seeing an agent of the Enemy. Will one of you stick an arrow in his gob, or shall I test him with cleansing fire?"

Aterro's right hand shows a small flare, the beginnings of the Sacred Flame.


HP 41/41 | AC 17+2(shield)-1(poison)| Acr +4 Ath +7 Dec +3 Int +6 Perc -1 Pers +6 Saves: S +4, D +1, C +2, I +0, W +2, Ch +6 Adv charm, disease; Imm Sleep| Init +1 | PPerc 9; PIns 10; Pinv 11; DrkVis | Spd 30' | HD 5/5 | Status: -2 Dex | Spells 4/4(1); 2/2(2) | LoH 25/25 | DivSen 5/5 | Insp: Yup!!

"Brother, don't question my resolve, but this is deep mud and you're just standing knee deep in it. I just don't see the point of making your life harder just to impress your god. I mean, do you expect Thor to give you some kind of high five just because you died trying to impress him? Me, I want to serve in the Sun for as long as I can. So it's not resolve that leaves me on this drier bench, just my will to serve, as I see it... That's my conundrum." comments Trevor, now having completely lost track of the threat.

Atlas, I hope you're ok with Trevor just running his mouth at Aterro. He's a teenager. Give him time. ;)


Male gnome | HP 29/29 | HD 4/4 | 2nd 2/2 | Inspiration! | Active: Prestidigitation, Hex
Stats:
AC 13 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +3, Wis +2, Cha +6 | Initiative +2 | Perception +0, Darkvision 60 ft

Ibrox sets his tea cup down and saunters forward. He stops beside Bentknee peering at the approaching rider.

When the rider reaches the range of 120 feet, the gnome points his right index finger at the probably undead rider and says, "Ibrox," in a stern voice.

Eldritch Blast: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23
if hit, force damage: 1d10 ⇒ 8


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

Finnigan sprays a full mouthful of hot tea all over the driver of his cart.

He feels the familiar surge of adrenaline, the kindling of nerves, familiar from so many tavern brawls and street fights. It's less pleasant without the warm glow of brandy to soften the edges.

His hand snaps to the crossbow sending the canvas potato sack covering it adrift in the air, the time for subtlety and ruse now passed by. Unsure where to point the weapon, he, settles on the rider.

"Mate are you mad or just a bit dull?" he spits at the gnome. "Honestly! What if that were one of the dread Ghost Knights who would have passed us by and now we'll have to send him back to the grave or die trying!?"


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

Could this be a Ghost Knight? Would I know one if I saw one? Or just some mindless corpse, or something else? Well I'd better make some show of helping Bentknee with the horses. In fact, I'd better make it actually count this time. If they bolt this will only get worse...

Finnigan takes a deep breath, hoping if he's calm the horses will be able to sense it. Or something. Kind of like talking to women, right? What could go wrong?

"Hey now. There, there... It's just a dead guy on a dead horse. I know, I don't like it either. We won't let 'em take you. There, there. That's a good... girl?" he leans out to peer at the horses undercarriage, all while mindful where the cocked and loaded handcrossbow is pointing.

Intelligence: 1d20 ⇒ 11

Animal Handling: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15


The smell of brimstone and burnt hair drifts along the path of Ibrox's blast as it strikes the rider right in the center of the chest. The blow rocks the rider back in the saddle, but the large pack on its back keeps it from tipping back and off the horse and it slowly regains an upright position. Perhaps more startling is how the blast seems to have triggered something in the large saddlebags and the pack on the rider's back as both begin to pulse with a dark crimson glow. Moments later the horse and rider charge forward. Although slowed by the mud, it is quickly closing the distance to Aterro, Zove and the first wagon with Bentknee and Trevor.

With the sound and smell of Ibrox's strike still lingering in the air, Finnigan successfully keeps the oxen pulling his wagon from bolting, but the nervous animals voice their fear of the charging rider. Bentknee and Edgar follow the scouts example and continue to focus their energy and efforts on managing and calming the oxen of the other two wagons.

Perception DC15 and Vrindel:
With the rider much closer, you see that the saddlebags appear to have several long protrusions coming from the center with a smaller bag attached as well. Only after a few more heartbeats do you realize the protrusions are actually the legs of some kind of parasite or insect and the large 'bag' is the creatures swollen body, the smaller likely its head.

DM Rolls:

Enemy Dex: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (12) - 2 = 10

Initiative Rolls
Enemy: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (14) - 2 = 12
Trevor the Yellow: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19
Brother Aterro: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Finnigan Calhoun: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (2) + 3 = 5
Ibrox Redcap: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Zove: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
Vrindel: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (6) + 0 = 6

Initiative Order
Trevor, Ibrox, Enemy, Zove, Aterro, Vrindel, Finnigan

Theater of the Mind Summary(TotM)
The Rider is about sixty feet from Aterro (Zone 2). All members of the party are near the wagons (Zone 1). Aterro is in front with Zove a step behind. Sitting a few feet behind Zove is the first wagon with Bentknee and Trevor. Ibrox is near Finnigan at the second wagon which is off the road on the west and side by side with the final wagon. Vrindel is also off the road but on the west side opposite Finnigan and Ibrox.

The road is considered difficult terrain, the grass and shrubby area to the west is normal, while the forest to the east is also difficult.

If I have your Initiative bonus incorrect, please let me know so I can adjust the code and order if needed.


Ranger 2 Rogue 1 | AC 14 | HP 22/22 |
Saves:
Str +2, Dex +5, Con +1, Int +0, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills:
Deception +6, Insight +3, Investigation +4, Perception +3, Persuasion +4, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10


Male gnome | HP 29/29 | HD 4/4 | 2nd 2/2 | Inspiration! | Active: Prestidigitation, Hex
Stats:
AC 13 | Str +0, Dex +2, Con +1, Int +3, Wis +2, Cha +6 | Initiative +2 | Perception +0, Darkvision 60 ft

Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20

"Eww," the gnome utters when the rider approaches.

He cocks his thumb and again points his right index finger at the probably undead rider and says, "Ibrox," in a stern voice.

Eldritch Blast: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21
if hit, force damage: 1d10 ⇒ 2


HP 41/41 | AC 17+2(shield)-1(poison)| Acr +4 Ath +7 Dec +3 Int +6 Perc -1 Pers +6 Saves: S +4, D +1, C +2, I +0, W +2, Ch +6 Adv charm, disease; Imm Sleep| Init +1 | PPerc 9; PIns 10; Pinv 11; DrkVis | Spd 30' | HD 5/5 | Status: -2 Dex | Spells 4/4(1); 2/2(2) | LoH 25/25 | DivSen 5/5 | Insp: Yup!!

"Crap! Now you've done it Ibrox!" shouts Trevor as he jumps to his feet and rushes to Aterro's side, throwing a javelin at the end of his run.

Javelin: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 141d6 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8

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