Pollo rubs the weariness from his own eyes, sets his jaw and gives Tamli a determined nod. "You have my word. I won't speak for the rest of em, but... Actually I'm about to anyways. Heh." he chuckles softly, the mood still sombre. "Yea, I don't think you could stop this group from trying to figure this out. Bort deserved better. You all still do deserve better. It's just as well we are stuck here, because we are going to get to the bottom of this one way or another. Acid wolves and gods-know-what bears be damned."
Pollo puts his hand on Tamli's shoulder and squeezes. Not the way a friend might pat another on the back, but the way a soldier might reassure a comrade.
"Best that everyone keeps their guard up tonight. Who knows why this person decided to target Bort, and I don't want something like this to happen again. Whomever it was mighta thought it would be easy to get away with, not counting on us to take on the investigation. That goes for everyone in this caravan."
"Hey Tamli, you have come through here plenty of times before with Bort. Can you think of anyone here who didn't like Bort? Might have a half cocked reason to want to kill him?"
Milo reassured Tamli, "Don't worry, we'll find out who did it!"
To Pollo's suggestion, he replied, "I'll take last watch." He was exhausted, and feared he might fall asleep at his post otherwise.
The elf slightly raises one eyebrow. “If she did it, yes,” she responds coolly to Rolth, wondering if the sheriff really is suggesting what she thinks he is. In any case, even though she herself admitted previously that she is travelling nowhere in particular, a small part of her isn’t entirely happy to be (technically) detained – it is rather beneath the dignity of the person she used to be, and this former status is something Anghariel is still not wholly used to having been deprived of.
She gives Tamli the closest thing to an encouraging smile she can muster right now. “Rest assured, we will get to the bottom of this,” she tells the half-orc, and nods in agreement with Pollo. “Um,” Anghariel then addresses Tamli, looking a little awkward, “do you think there might be some kind of clue to be found in Master Borgith’s…personal effects? A diary, or a travel journal, or something like that?” She shakes her head. “There has to be some connection, however remote, between him and whoever wanted him, well, you know.”
Tamli sighs, shaking her head sadly. "Bort kept some of his business private but nothing untowards we were ever aware of. He was well-liked with no proper enemies. Shrewd but always fair if that makes sense. As for papers - well he's got a bunch of paperwork in his wagon if you want to have a look. I can get you the key just... keep things orderly. Don't ransack the place. Respect the man's memory."
Anghariel looks downright insulted by the suggestion that she might possibly exhibit anything less than the utmost decorum while in the late caravan master’s abode. “I wouldn’t dream of it!” After a moment, her haughty expression softens again. “…anyway, yes, that paperwork might be worth looking into. At worst I’ll fall asleep poring over it.”
Milo told Tamli, "Don't worry, we'll keep everything in order. It's best for us to check the papers, just in case."
He prepared to follow the half-orc to the wagon to retrieve Bort's documents.
Pollo's head nods in agreement with each of the others in turn and chuckles at how ridiculous he probably looks. Putting his hands on his hips to look around the room one more time, in case something jumps out at him, he follows along. Something is nagging at the back of his mind, like whatever just happened is only the beginning, and whomever did this might just go to extra lengths to not get caught.
You're not really paranoid if the monsters are actually out to get you, right? Nah, I'm probably just being paranoid. He shrugs his shoulders in response to his own inner monologue and follows the group back to the caravan to inspect the papers.
Tamli grimly leads you to the wagon and unlocks the door to let you in. She watches you with a stern gaze, keeping to her commitment that you do not mess anything up.
Inside, Bort's wagon is filled with knickknacks and keepsakes from his journeys. His belongings are truly a bewildering assortment of odds and ends, including a bottle with a tiny skull floating in oil, a taxidermic
dragon whelp, a mummified owlbear paw, a shining crystal that holds the illusionary image of a mountain peak inside, and so on.
The books are large and filled to the brim with details of his travels and transactions over many years but whatever system he used was idiosyncratic and hard to make sense of. It will take someone several hours to any useful information out of the books.
Letting the more book minded people deal with the paperwork Osveta looks around the wagon for anything out of place or missing... which is a very difficult thing to search for since she had never been in here before.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
The wizard makes sure to thoroughly wipe her shoeless feet before stepping inside Bort’s wagon. She looks mutely around its interior for a while, nearly smiling as she imagines how many outrageous stories the dwarf surely would have had to tell about his cluttered collection of curios, before focussing on the aforementioned paperwork. “Yes, this is going to take a while,” Anghariel soon murmurs after scanning a few pages at random. Before getting started on her task she looks for a reasonably comfortable place to sit, assuming that Tamli would object to taking the tomes out of the wagon.
What skill am I looking at to make sense of the books?
All right. I don't think either of my Lore subskills applies here, but I do have Society +7. The CRB tells me that Decipher Writing is a secret check, so I suppose you'll be rolling it for me?
Well then I could have saved a few posts by just rolling it lol.
Anghariel settles into reading the books, which is a several hour ordeal.
The rest of you can either stay up with her or get some sleep. Up to you!
Anghariel eventually figures out Bort's log system and starts to jot down notes about his comings and goings. It turns out he's been to Etran's Folyl 22 times in the past decade, and about five years ago the merchant started making deliveries labeled 'reagents' to someone only referred to as 'H', receiving large amounts of gold in exchange. The deliveries are numbered from 1 to 14, with the final delivery occurring today (well now yesterday) when the caravan arrived in town.
Milo told Angariel, "I'll help you with that, but I need some sleep first." He headed off to his accommodations and went to bed.
Milo is fatigued 1, which isn't really that bad, but I figured I'd play it up. His Society skill is +3 trained.
Pollo attempts to stay up with Anghariel, but only minutes into the reading session he falls asleep, leaning up against the side of the covered wagon. His snoring is a soft and steady backdrop to the quiet of the night.
Pollo is ready to rest, but eager to help. I thought this compromise was fitting. I'll assume that Anghariel can fill us all in in the morning.
Anghariel is up fairly late but the rest of you manage to get some proper sleep whether trying to help or otherwise. Thankfully she isn't up so late as to fatigue her the next day.
You wake up the next morning to find the Feedmill largely empty. You awaken to eat some leftovers from the night before since Amora, Trin, and Phinick did not report for work today. Delma sighs and settles down at your table as Anghariel finishes explaining what was in Bort's books.
"Well folks, we've got a mess here. I know you've got some investigating to do and I'll make sure to help as I can. However, we count pretty heavily on income from Bort's caravan and I can't let you stay here for free. Normally I'd charge five silver a head... but I'm willing to make an exception if you can help me out with a few favours around here."
She blearily looks at her notes, then at Bort’s log, then back at her notes. “As the delivery is recorded here, I would assume it has indeed been made,” the elf replies to Osveta’s question, “but to be –” She trails off, entirely failing to stifle a tremendous yawn. “To be sure, I suppose we should ask Tamli.” Anghariel blinks at the words in front of her. “Maybe she knows who this ‘H’ is as well. Someone has to,” she says and yawns again, more moderately this time. “It’s strange, though. For a town whose entire economy seems to revolve around turnips, somebody here has a lot of gold to spend on ‘reagents’.”
The next day she looks somewhat less tired, though still far from perky – but then again, as far as anyone has seen so far, she never really does. “I could cover the cost of our stay if need be, I think,” Anghariel offers, indicating herself and her fellow travellers, “at least for a day or two.” She leans back in her chair and stretches vigorously. “But tell us what you need, Delma. It might be something we can take care of as we attend to…everything else.”
Have we made our daily preparations yet?
Osveta nods to Anghariel as the elf continues her investigation.
The next morning she happily, as much as she could be anyway, munches on the leftovers. Then Delma comes and joins their conversations. "Oh, it does?" she lets out when the innkeeper brings up the town's reliance on Bort. "Who was his main contact in town?"
"I'm sure we can help out enough to make it worth your while and save us a few silver." Pollo says, looking surreptitiously at his mostly empty coin purse.
"While we do that Delma, would you happen to know someone that dealt with Bort who might have the initial H in their name?"
Milo awoke refreshed; he headed into the main room of the Feedmill, and obtained what breakfast he could. When Delma spoke of of a few favours, he replied, "I'd happy to help out; tell me what I can do for you."
She smiles at Anghariel. "You're kind. My father is the mayor but he's... well he's quite senile nowadays and doesn't get out as much. I'd sure love it if you could take him out for a stroll around town. I know it doesn't sound like much but it's important he gets out, and maybe he can help! He's been around this town forever. Targen Fulst - owns the Feedmill too!"
She listens to the rest of the questions. "Well I suppose I'm the main contact - he comes to the Feedmill first but then he goes around to make his deliveries. As for an H, well lots of people in town have an H in their name. My middle name is Harthi for example."
Yea, I figured that would be too easy. Pollo smiles to himself when he gets the answer he expected from Delma.
He turns to his companions, "Well, what leads do we have right now? Bort has been dealing with someone who is listed as 'H' in his ledger. This guy named Eallom is supposedly the one who usually starts the fights. We should talk to him about if he did, and why. We also need to find Phinick and ask him what he was up to. In the meantime, we have volunteered to get some Rosemary to help with the flea infestation, but need to be careful of the bear that roams that area, and to help cover the cost of our rooms, we will be helping Delma out a bit. I think walking around with ol Targen Fultst will be a perfect way to get a bit more familiar with this town while we are trying to figure out what happened here.”
Ok, that was mostly for my own sake. Did I forget anything?
Milo told Delma, "I'd be happy to escort your dad on his walk. Do you think it would be a good idea for you to introduce us? It could be less confusing for him that way." He had fond memories of walks with his grandfather years ago, so the idea didn't sound like a chore. Who knows, the old fellow might mention something important.
Sorry guys busy few days.
Delma smiles. "Oh he's napping right now, I could rouse him but he's awful grouchy. Maybe you talk with some of your folk and I'll make sure he's up and ready by the time you get back."
As Delma is talking, the halfling stablehand
Your leads to chase down right now are finding and talking to Amora, Trin, and Phinick (you only know where to find Amora and Trin), getting the rosemary for Edra, or talking to any of the other people present that night. You may have other leads you've thought of you wish to pursue as well.
Gigon slept, but not without disturbing dreams.
That's when he heard the giggling. Looking about, his eyes went wide when he saw them. They were turnips, with root-like bodies and little hollowed out spaces for eyes and mouths. Hearing the return of the raven, the Alchemist knew what was about to happen, and he couldn't let it. Running from his hiding spot, Gigon scooped up the little things just as the over-sized bird carved a burning swath in the forest floor.
Scurring as fast as his legs could carry him, they finally got away from the bird. Collapsing from exhaustion, the strange little creatures looked at their saviour curiously. One of them touched the palm of his hand.
Everything faded to nothingness soon after.
Sitting bold upright in his bed and looking at the palm of his hand, Gigon blinked a couple of times. I could swear I saw something, but now...
Shaking his head, the Alchemist made sure his reagents were all properly prepared before joining the others.
Anghariel blushes a little at Delma’s courteous words. “But this ‘H’ person,” she tells her as if eager to change the subject, “has been paying Master Bargith substantial amounts of coin over the past few years in exchange for ‘reagents’, whatever precisely they might be. Can you think of anyone in Etran’s Folly who is uncommonly well off?” Somehow, she manages to restrain herself from adding that no one who’s wealthy and in their right mind would choose to reside in a place like this.
She nods at Pollo’s summary of the group’s endeavours. “Let’s talk to Trin,” the elf agrees with Milo. “Perhaps we’ll chance to spy Phinick somewhere along the way. And after that, we could see about the rosemary.”
Memorised a couple of different spells as part of my daily preparations!
"Reagents," Gigon questioned. Turning to Delma, "Do you have anyone in town that works with herbs to help people with maladies?"
@Anghariel - yup!
Delma frowns, shaking her head. "A little bit of basic country healing in the families, but nothing serious. Frankly since the plague folks have been kind of reticent to get too much into that sort of thing.
With that answered, you make your way to Trin's house, looking for the serving girl. Trin apparently lives with her brother Marny on a small farm on the southwest side of town.
It's a pleasant enough day and the air is thick with the scent of turnip greens, which thankfully are sharp and bitter greens and not too bad on the nose.
As you arrive at the farm, you all notice a young man bolt out from behind the farmhouse. He keeps looking over his shoulder and seems very, very panicked.
Milo ran after the youth as well, looking back towards the farmhouse to see what he was so scared of.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
Sacrificing some speed as necessary for the perception check.
Pollo looks at the scared young man first, then at the area from which he began to run. Having confidence that Osveta and Milo at least can track him down, Pollo quick steps over to the area he came from to see what might have spooked him.
Unsure what she might do even if she did manage to catch the fleeing man, Anghariel too circles round to the back of the farmhouse instead to discover why he is running in the first place.
"AHHHH!!" he yells as he spots you. "RUN! PIG!" As he runs, an enormous boar rounds the farmhouse! The man is already on the other side of the farmhouse, and the boar sees a new target - you. Squealing, it rears back and charges!
Gigon: Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (7) + 4 = 11
Anghariel: Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Osveta: Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Milo: Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Pollo: Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (15) + 5 = 20
Aurora BOARealis: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (16) + 8 = 24
Charge!: 1d20 + 10 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 10 + 2 = 13 Damage: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (5, 2) + 4 = 11
REflex: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
The boar's hooves thunder as it crosses the grass and goes straight for Osveta. However, its nose dips far too low and it catches a tusk on the turf. The boar rolls head over foot before coming to a stop in front of Osveta, its terrifying charge having hurt nobody.
Everyone is up! Map is updated.
"What is wrong with you?" Osveta growls at the boar as she draws her sword and steadies herself.
Demoralize: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
> Grip greatsword in 2hands.
> Intimidating Glare on boar.
Milo drew his sword and circled around the beast, all the while observing it. "Anyone know if this is normal behaviour?", he asked.
Draw weapon, Stride, Recall Knowledge (Nature (untrained) +0) — I think this is a secret check.
Seeing the huge boar come out of nowhere, Gigon panicked for a moment. Grabbing one of his vials filled with a strange blue liquid, he quickly lobbed it at the boar.
> Throw Bomb: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7 Fairly certain that's a fail. The boar, Osveta, and Milo all take 1 cold damage. No damage if it's a Crit Fail.
Regaining his composure, and feeling really bad, the Gnome pulled his dagger.
> Draw dagger
Pollo watches with guarded amusement as the boar runs by. "This thing supposed to be in a pen or is it wild?" he shouts to the terrified boy. Circling around and approaching the animal, standing next to Osveta, Pollo decides to see if he can tip this little bitty over. He reaches for the boar's tusks, perhaps foolishly.
Grapple Check (athletics): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
Move into position, grapple check (against fortitude DC i think?). If that fails and I still have an action left (and I'm not on my keister) I'll draw my sword. If the grapple succeeds, is there anything else I could do?
Edit: Ooh. That's gotta be bad. Man, Pollo is not long for this world if he keeps doing that stuff! Ha! Reading the grapple rules, it looks like the boar can knock Pollo Prone. If he still has his 3rd action left, he will try to stand back up.
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Everyone starts yanking out weapons and trying to figure out why the hell they're being attacked by some jerkass midnight boar. Milo is relatively sure some boars are just reprobates, although being attacked in the middle of the night is a little odd. Gigon's bomb just explodes in mid-air over everyone's head, and Pollo tries to leap on the boar but is knocked to the ground for his efforts. Osveta does not scare the boar one bit.
Anghariel is up!
The elf lets out a rather un-ladylike yelp when a massive boar suddenly comes bearing down on the party. She quickly pulls herself together, though, and after removing herself from the beast’s immediate vicinity, a few baleful arcane syllables together with an ominous gesture see her unleashing a ray of sickly necrotic energy on the oversized pig!
Action 1: Stride.
Actions 2 and 3: Spend a Focus Point to cast Call of the Grave on the boar. Call of the Grave vs Boar: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Critical Success: It becomes sickened 2 and slowed 1 as long as it’s sickened.
Success: It becomes sickened 1.
Failure: It is unaffected.
"Hey everybody! Trying to wrestle this thing to the ground is probably a bad idea!" Pollo tries to shout helpfully from his position on his rump.
Attack: 1d20 + 10 - 1 ⇒ (10) + 10 - 1 = 191d20 + 5 - 1 ⇒ (15) + 5 - 1 = 19
Damage: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (5, 3) + 4 = 122d6 + 4 ⇒ (4, 4) + 4 = 12
Crit: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (6, 1) + 4 = 11
Recover from Sickened: 1d20 + 10 - 1 ⇒ (5) + 10 - 1 = 14
There's a bit of a chill in the air as a very unpleasant ray fires into the boar, which appears to wither the gigantic pig a little. However, it's still plenty bitey.
With Pollo flipped over its shoulder, the boar charges at Osveta and hammers its head right into her, ripping into the barbarian with horrifying force! Osveta hits the ground, her abdomen torn open.
Boar (sickened 1)
Osveta (dying 2)
Osveta takes 12 damage, and then 23 from a crit! She is now dying 2. A DC 12 flat check, using a hero point, or some healing will get her back up.
Everyone is up!
Safest to use a Hero Point, I think.
Milo was shocked to see the damage inflicted on Osvetta; it was time to take down this fearsome beast! He stabbed at it repeatedly with his short sword.
Strike, Strike, Strike
Shortsword (flanking): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 27
Critical hit piercing damage, sneak attack: 2d6 + 8 + 1d6 ⇒ (6, 6) + 8 + (6) = 26
Shortsword (flanking), MAP (agile): 1d20 + 7 - 4 ⇒ (2) + 7 - 4 = 5
Piercing damage, sneak attack: 1d6 + 4 + 1d6 ⇒ (3) + 4 + (1) = 8
Shortsword (flanking)MAP2 (agile): 1d20 - 8 + 7 ⇒ (9) - 8 + 7 = 8
Piercing damage, sneak attack: 1d6 + 4 + 1d6 ⇒ (5) + 4 + (4) = 13