The citizens of Trunau, a small human farming community located just south of the old Hordeline in the Hold of Belkzen, were tough minded individuals. After all, their ancestors had defended the walls of their town with great ferocity against the orc invaders centuries ago and fought so viciously that the invaders eventually gave up besieging the town and simply went around it. However, a month ago, the town endured another orc invasion from the Twisted Nail tribe, invaders apparently seeking a Hill Giant tomb, which left the inner quarter of the town largely in ruins. The invaders were repelled, largely due to the efforts of a dancing halfling, two dwarves, and a half-orc witch. The heroes were then tasked with ending the orc threat to the region by attacking their base of operations, while the Trunauans were left to rebuild the town. That was two weeks ago and no word has been received regarding the success of the party’s efforts….
10th day of Rova 4715
A cold wind blows through the village this evening, as a signal horn’s sound echoes through the town. Reflexively, the villagers reach for their hopeknives, worried about another orc attack. But the news spreads through the town, ”It’s Falric, he’s back.” Everyone in town knew the name by now, the diminutive dancing halfling eager to tell a joke, who in combat was said could not be touched. The people of Trunau begin to feel joy for once in a long time, until the whole story is relayed, ”But, he’s alone….”
The grime and blood-covered unarmored halfling walks through town, no smile on his face or joke on his lips. His dwarven friends and the half-orc are nowhere to be seen. He says nothing to anyone nor looks at anyone. A scimitar and a crossbow dangle at his sides. The village’s guards line up, each holding a torch in hand, forming a procession line as Falric walks past them. Half of his face is in shadows, but in the torchlight, you can tell he has a serious yet determined look on his face. He remains silent and marches straight for the Chief Defender’s home. She is waiting for him, a worried look on her face. He enters and the door closes….
Two hours later, a knock at your door disrupts your rest as village guards appear, their weapons sheathed. ”The Chief Defender requires your presence…” You are escorted to her home, certain that whatever awaits you is far greater than you could have ever imagined.
Wulfric jolts out of the bed in his modest inn room at the first knock and grabs for his longhammer with a sigh. When he arrived back in Trunau yesterday afternoon he had been enraged to learn of the orc invasion. His rage had turned to sorrow as he saw the damage and heard stories of loss from the locals, and he had found little of his usual joy in the luxury of good food and drink. Now his sorrow hardened into a grim resolution.
if those filthy orcs're back for another round I'm gonna make sure it costs them...
He rushes through the door, his armor clanging noisily, and almost bowls over one of the waiting guards. When he sees that there is no flurry of others clamoring to take up arms, he stops and listens to the guards announcement. "Well what're we waiting around for then?" he answers as he walks more calmly towards the door.
When he arrives at the Chief Defender's home, he nods an acknowledgement to Bruce and to Tyrek, hastily straightens his appearance slightly, and asks rather loudly to nobody in particular, "So, what can we do for you?"
Tyrek has been sitting up late with his parents, enjoying a cup of Agrit's moonshine, which both he and Sara agree is the most disgusting thing they've ever tasted. They both love the scholarly dwarf however and neither would admit to any other member of the town that it was anything less than their favorite drink. That said, Tyrek is quick to put his cup down and answer the door when the knock comes, while Urram pinches the cup and swallows the lot in one sinuous motion.
The guard's announcement has the small family sharing glances, as two members of the Council Sara and Agrit are normally well informed about town matters - for something to come up without their combined knowledge means it must be important, or extremely dangerous.
Tyrek leaves without another word, although Urram grumbles in his deep voice as they walk.
Finding Wulfric already there doesn't reassure the young blacksmith. He has a healthy appreciation for the dwarf's knowledge, and skill with weapons, but for Haagra to be gathering such capable fighters doesn't suggest anything good...
Bruce visited Trunau, or any town for that matter, only very rarely. He felt much more comfortable in the open, where he and his spirits could roam freely. His spirits were quite a hassle when in company of people and he tried to prevent that from happening.
But he was tired and hungry from his voyages into the mountains and Trunau happened to be at the right place at the right time. A warm prepared meal and a soft bed is a luxury he didn't enjoy very often. At night in the dining room he also ran into Wulfric, which was a pleasant surprise. The dwarf was good company and shared the halflings' cheerful attitude.
Bruce was about to leave town, when someone knocked on the door. Being summoned to the Chief was unusual. Especially for him, who no business in town. He was probably known for being a giant hunter, but his unusual ways were usually met with distrust.
"Let's see what we can do." He said to noone in the room, yet he ment the fey spirit of battle that was following him now and the last few days.
"Please behave. Please." He told to the invisible spirit when he entered the room where Wulfric and a half-orc he had seen before were already present. He nodded at the dwarf and sent him a questioning face.
The three of you are escorted to the meeting room at the Ivory Hall, Trunau’s government seat. Chief Defender Halgra of the Blackened Blades awaits you, seated at a table, with Falric, and an elf seated at either side of her. Halgra stands, evidencing she is a mountain of a woman and beckons you three to sit before the chairs gathered before the oak table. The half-orc gives Tyrek a look to keep his companion/pet in check during the meeting. She sits back down and begins, "Thank you for coming so quickly. This is Falric Dawnstriker, an adventurer, and this is Silvermane, our elven resident protector of the forest, who has watched over Trunau’s Hopespring for as long as anyone can remember. They will speak shortly. The fate of Trunau and perhaps the region is in peril. We have suffered a setback in our plans to deal with the threat and now require the assistance of you three.” She looks over to the halfling standing on his chair to her left. “Falric, you recommended these three adventurers to us. Perhaps, if you can bring them up to date with our current predicament.” She motions the halfling to speak and stares straight ahead, a look of grave concern on her face.
Falric closes his eyes and takes a short breath, before speaking, ”Chief Defender, thank you. As Halgra stated, I have heard of you each before and am aware of your heroic actions in the past. I need you to be heroes again. As you may be aware, my dwarven friends Morti and Barundar and Ugun the half-orc and I were tasked with dealing with Grenseldek, the hill giant chieftain, and his orc tribe stationed at the Redlake Fort, as the Council feared further orc attacks were forthcoming. We first traveled through the Ghostlight Marsh to the Vault of Thorns, where we encountered many threats and liberated some druidic treasures. Along the way, we lost Ugun, but met up with Elisen, a human spellcaster. From there, we were making our way to Redlake Fort, when we spotted a hunched 16’ tall giant garbed in a helmet and half-plate armor of blackened steel, wielding an onyx bardiche. The giant was accompanied by three hounds of fire. I immediately recognized the creature as a fire giant due to its flaming hair and beard. The giant and his hounds also appeared to be headed toward Redlake Fort. My friends and I were trailing the giant and his pets when our ranger, Morti, got too close and the hounds caught his scent, forcing us into combat. Rookie mistake..” Falric shakes his head in frustration as he recalls the memory. ”The giant’s extensive reach, coupled with magic to accelerate his attacks, was too overwhelming for us. The giant, Azrael Flamespitter, as he arrogantly let us know his name, got off 4-5 hits for every one of our attacks. He boasted that he was a lieutenant of the Storm Tyrant. And he hit us…hard! He landed an especially powerful blow on me. I could not survive another blow. He dropped both dwarves in less than 30 seconds, while the hounds mauled Elisen.” Falric pauses, as he tries to calm the emotion in his voice. ”Realizing that I could not take out the enemies as I was unable to inflict severe damage without a flanking partner, I fled into the nearby swamp and hid. With my magic negating my scent, the dogs failed to find me and returned to their master. I hoped the giant would leave the corpses of my friends behind, but he picked them up and carried them with him. I followed at a distance and confirmed that Azrael headed into Redlake Fort. I realized that I had no option but to return and gather allies to make a second foray to the fort to avenge my friends! Plus, the possible alliance of hill giants, orcs, ogres, and fire giants under the banner of someone named the Storm Tyrant should worry us all.” Falric reflexively hops onto the table and walks over to each of you seated and looks into your eyes. ”That’s the gist of the problem in a nutshell. I will grieve later for my friends. Now is the time for action and retribution.” Falric pauses, awaiting your answer, a determined look on his face.
"I am the Talon of Apsu's wrath." Tyrek murmurs, "I strike where I am need once evil has been uncovered." He looks up and raises his voice to normal tones.
"Trunau is my home and this Grenseldek is a threat to it. We're with you Falric, both of us. Apsu expects nothing less from us."
Urram nods from behind Tyrek, he's been quite well behaved, which might have something to do with his healthy respect for Halgra.
"You had me at Redlake Fort, because that's where I'm heading anyways." Bruce who was sitting on his chair despite being human-sized now stood up as well. He was not wearing his fearsome bone mask, because he understood this was deemed impolite. Therefore anger painted his face instead. "I have to avenge someone, too. AGRAHAGRSHAGRAHAGRAH!" He threw his hands into the air and danced rhythmically from one leg to the other while shouting a weird war chant.
Urram looks at the little-screaming-man with curiosity and leans over to nudge him with his snout.
"You shout too much little man." He rumbles. Behind him Tyrek snorts a slightly repressed laugh.
In draconic, so I'm guessing Bruce can't understand him.
Bruce is, of course, startled by the small dragon suddenly interrupting his dance. In his surprise he jumps onto the table landing right next to Falric.
"Ah. What did he say? What does he want from me?"
Falric smiles at Bruce and shrugs his shoulders as he does not speak Draconic either.”Be careful with that one, you’ve piqued its interest. To all off you, thanks. I knew I chose well with you. Thanks for not letting me down, your reputations honor your name. Halgra, Silvermane, the group is set. You mentioned something to me previously about expediting the trip to the Fort...please elaborate.”
”Looks like he likes your dance,” Wulfric answers Bruce with a shrug.
Before the Chief Defender can answer Falric, the dwarf adds, ”And, anything else we need t’know before we leave? You sending anyone else or just us four? You got a secret plan for how we’re supposed t’get Flamesplitter and Grenseldek t’fight us separately?”
”I’ll go either way—let it never be said that a dwarf of Angradd was scared t’fight a giant—but if this Flamesplitter’s as strong as Falric says, I’m not sure the four of us’ll be enough to fight through an orc camp and then take on him, his beasts, and a hill giant chief all at once...”
Silvermane, the elderly elven druid speaks in a serene tone, "Yes, now that you have found and liberated the Vault of Thorns, thereby consecrating it, you can travel between the menhir stones in Hopespring and the stones at the Vault, immediately teleporting there in a manner of speaking, thereby leaving you only a couple of days' journey from the Fort. When you are ready, let me know. Did you want to travel in the morning or tonight?"
Halgra looks at Wulfric, "I understand your concern, but I leave all tactical decisions to you in the field. If the fire giant is as fearsome as he appears in Falric's narrative, then perhaps you try and avoid him. I know what we ask is difficult, but I cannot spare any men to help you, especially after the last attack. We suffered many losses. We require your assistance and ingenuity in dealing with this grave danger. Also, if you could gather more information on the Storm Tyrant, that would also be helpful, as he threatens the region and beyond."
"Avoid?!?" Wulfric bristles, "No, we'll do what we can t'deal with whatever we find at that fort."
Turning to look at Tyrek and Bruce, he pauses for a moment then adds, "We're gonna have t'sleep one way or another... makes more sense t'do it here in town where we're a bit safer... you boys good t'leave in the morning?"
Tyrek nods, and Urram mirrors the gesture in front of him.
"We can leave bright and early." He suggests.
First thing in the morning! Then we can teleport and get a days travel in.
”Heck yeah, Morning is better. I can’t scout if I can’t see, unlike you two.” Falric smiles at Wulfric and Tyrek, a little jealous of their natural gifts.
Silvermane nods his head, "Wise decision. I will meet you all at the Hopespring at 7 tomorrow morning."
Halgra smiles and stands, "It is settled then. Please bring us good news this time. By the way, you will be compensated monetarily for your efforts as well, though I appreciate none of you mentioned gold. I am glad I am not dealing with mercenaries. Rest well, you have much to do in the next few days. Good night."
Yes, Falric arrived at night so it is like 10pm now. Unless you say otherwise, I will assume your memorized spells are those listed in your profile. Let me know anything you want to do that night or any further party interaction. If not, will move to next morning, the teleportation, and the trip.
Wulfric nods to the Chief Defender then turns back to Tyrek, Bruce, and Falric. ”Just after dawn then,” he confirms before heading out.
On the way back to the Ramblehouse, he takes a detour to stop by Clamor. Kneeling next to the still warm forge out back, he quietly offers up prayers to Angradd for victory in the battles to come. After a few minutes he rises and returns to the inn where he orders a few drinks, to help him fall asleep quickly.
In the morning he rises early and repacks all his gear before heading to the common room for breakfast. He wolfs down a heaping plate sausage, mushrooms, and eggs and then heads out towards the Hopespring.
I might switch out resist energy... I’ll look through my spell list and update my profile (if needed) before morning.
Falric find sit difficult to sleep that night. He keeps having nightmares, hearing the dwarven screams of his companions. He gets up and paces nervously, the anger welling inside of him. I will have my vengeance, sooner or later, Azrael! I swear it! For now, Falric focuses on keeping his new group safe.
The next morning, the halfling is ready first thing to start the journey. He meets the druid and the party at the Hopespring, eager to spill orc blood. Same spells as profile.
”Morning, Falric,” Wulfric calls out with a smile as the halfling approaches. The dwarf looks much as he had the night before—dressed in well maintained gray armor and red cloak, his longhammer towering above him—but now he also wears a sturdy backpack with a longbow slung to its side.
”I hope the others get here soon so we can head out,” he adds as he looks around for signs of their arrival.
Bruce sleeps well. He was looking forward for a made bed for a while and the upcoming action don't distract him.
The next morning he makes the logical choice and speaks to the spirit of battle once again, gaining a promise that he will be followed closely.
When he arrives at the meeting point he wears his strange large bone mask that covers his face. "Ready!
Battle Ward (Su): The shaman touches a willing creature (including herself ) and grants a battle ward. The next time a foe makes an attack roll against the target, the ward activates and grants a +3 deflection bonus to the warded creature’s AC. Each subsequent time she’s attacked, the defection bonus reduces by 1 (to +2 for the second time she’s attacked and +1 for the third). The ward fades when the bonus is reduced to +0 or after 24 hours, whichever comes first.
Urram arrives in immaculate condition. In preparation for the battle and inevitable triumph he has cleaned all his scales perfectly and insisted that Tyrek wear his shiniest silver armor.
He and Tyrek are last to arrive and Urram has to wait for Tyrek to speak since none of the other two-legs speak a proper language. Very tiresome.
He examines the white-dead-faced halfling closely, standing nearly nose to nose with it and stepping sideways when it tries to move.
"Morning." Tyrek calls, marching up to the Hopespring in a blaze of silver. It's obvious that either he or Urram takes great pride in their combined appearance as both gleam, rather brilliantly.
"Sorry we're late. Getting this one in the morning is hard." He nods to his companion, but his tone is affectionate rather than truly annoyed. "So, are we ready? I'm not bringing much in the way of food. Urram eats too much to carry so we're used to hunting for ourselves."
”I’m used t’hunting and gathering as I go too,” Wulfric offers, ”and I oughta be able t’scare up a little extra for our halfling friends.”
"I can take care very well for myself, Wulfric. You know that, don't try to be funny."
Bruce tries to shove the dragon away. "Get out of my face. I don't have time for cuddling and I don't have any treats for you either."
When the party is gathered at the Hopespring, the town’s natural source of water, Silvermane leads you behind the waterfall to some standing stones. He has gather in the center and then speaks softly, ”Watch and remember.” He approaches the northernmost stone, touches it, and incants ”Cestovani Mezi Kameny” You start to feel disoriented as the world starts to fade from view. When you gather yourself, you find yourself in the middle of Standing Stones in a swamp, the buzzing of insects in your ear, greeted by the sight of a dead giant covered in maggots. Falric immediately recognizes the place as the entrance to the Vault of Thorns he previously visited. After gathering yourselves, you begin your journey west through the swamp toward the northern tip of the Mindspin Mountains where Redlake Fort lies.
1d100 ⇒ 29..yes
1d100 ⇒ 5
Gray ooze – boring and no challenge, so will not rp it
1d100 ⇒ 19...yes
1d100 ⇒ 86...interesting
Four hours into the party's journey, as the party continues walking/swimming (Falric) through the mire, suddenly, an 8' tall armored lobster-like monster bursts from the swamp, both of its appendages ending in vicious pincers. A pair of tiny eyes gleams above a mouth full of writhing tentacles.
Everyone is surprised except Wulfric and Falric.
Monster Initiative: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
Party initiative: 1d20 ⇒ 18...party goes first.
Falric has to swim to stay above the water line, so don't know if there is much he can do while swimming.
Wulfric can take surprise round action, then monster and then all of party can act in Round 1.
No need for map, you are all adjacent to it. Difficult terrain.Wulfric and Falric are up. Only standard or partial actions allowed.
Dungeoneering if you have it for Monster Knowledge checks.
Urram has wings which will help him float. He's also really light since he's an air drake and is built for flight once he's a bit bigger.
Urram hisses like a startled cat and snaps at the creature - fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, his wings make him buoyant and almost completely to resist even the lightest current.
"By Angradd!" Wulfric exclaims as the creature bursts from the swamp. With barely a moment to react, and the creature too close for him to bring his longhammer around, his helmet erupts in flame as he attempts to headbutt his foe...
boulder helmet: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
for: 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
plus: 1d6 ⇒ 1 [fire]
As in the prior game, in order to avoid swim checks, Falric would have drunk his mutagen in order to gain a swim speed and then traveled 50 minutes and stopped for an hour to make a new mutagen and then rinse and repeat. It's the only way he can stay afloat in the swamp since he has no ranks in Swim. So in 4 hours of travel, we have traveled only 2 hours distance, but his current dose of mutagen is in effect for another 30 minutes.
Since he has a swim speed, no check needed for Falric to tread water. Can he start a battle dance in the water with a swim speed? Hmmm.. I leave that up to DM for next round.
Falric will slash at the creature with his flaming scimitar as he moves effortlessly and gracefully through the mire. "Have at thee, lobster boy!"
Attacks vs. FF AC: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (7) + 13 = 20
Damage: 1d4 + 9 + 1d6 + 3d6 ⇒ (4) + 9 + (6) + (5, 2, 4) = 30
1d6 is fire; 3d6 is sneak attack as creature is flat-footed.
Current AC is 22.
Wulfric headbutts the creature's abdomen (it is 8' tall after all :)), knocking the air out of it, while the aquatic halfling manages to barely slip his scimitar through a chink in the creature's armored shell, causing it to wail in pain and anger! Damage taken: 39!
Angered by Falric's flaming blade, the creature brings its pincer claw down on the halfling! The creature's pincer closes on the halfling before he can move away, ripping his skin and drawing blood. The creature then lifts the halfling out of the murky water in triumph, tightening its grip on Falric, crushing his ribs. The halfling screams in pain, as his death appears imminent if he does not escape the creature's iron grip!
Attack: 1d20 + 14 ⇒ (12) + 14 = 26...hit
Damage: 2d6 + 7 ⇒ (5, 6) + 7 = 18
Grapple check as free action: 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (11) + 19 = 30...success
Constrict damage: 2d6 + 7 ⇒ (5, 6) + 7 = 18
Total damage to Falric: 36!
Really good die rolls! Party is up in Round 1.
"Wriggle free, young halfling," Wulfric calls out as he backs away from the giant lobster. The fire on his helmet dances across his shoulders, down his arms, and up the shaft of his longhammer to settle on its heavy head. With a grunt, the dwarf swings hard at the attacking creature.
longhammer (pa): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 26
for: 2d6 + 13 ⇒ (4, 6) + 13 = 23
plus: 1d6 ⇒ 4 [fire]
I think I only get one attack because I have to use an actual move action to move 5' in difficult terrain
Bruce, who sits on Tyrek's shoulders, is trying to not fall off. But the Paladin doesn't really notice the small extra load. And he will do so even less next round. Bruce concentrates strongly, sings some mambojambo and Tyrek starts to grow.
Full-round casting Enlarge Person on Tyrek
casting defensively, DC 17: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21
concentration for casting while mounted, DC 16: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (11) + 11 = 22
As Tyrek swells to a truly intimidating twelve feet, he can't help but let out a loud laugh as the monstrosity dwindles to child-like size.
"Hold on tight!" He advises the halfling, before whirling his hammer around in a mighty two-handed blow.
Attack, Extra Str, Size: 1d20 + 11 + 1 - 1 ⇒ (15) + 11 + 1 - 1 = 26 Damage, Extra Str, PA: 1d8 + 16 ⇒ (7) + 16 = 23
Grunting in severe pain, Falric tries to pry the pincer open with his scimitar, but is too weak from the blood loss.
Untrained Escape Artist: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (2) + 8 = 10
Drop 2 points of damage then. I remembered not to up the damage die at least!
Tyrek, please amend your character sheet to include the warhammer bonus until you find Agrimmosh.
Wulfric, correct, normally your movement in difficult terrain would provoke an AoO but since the creature has the grappled condition, you are good as it can't make opportunity attacks. Also, don't forget scorching weapons is swift action, not automatic.
Wulfric and Tyrek's blows smash through the creature's armored shell, killing the creature instantly, as it falls back into the mire with a thud, as it releases Falric. Combat over.
yeah- it’s almost the only swift action I can take so I’ll be using it almost ever round of combat, but I’ll try to note I'm spending the swift action in each post.
Wulfric sticks the butt of his longhammer’s shaft in the felled creature’s claw and pries it open to release Falric, then bends over to sniff one of the cracks in its shell. ”It looks kinda like a lobster...” he reflects, ”I wonder if it tastes like one?”
Tyrek swells to a huge size just as the creature falls and he laughs loudly at the change.
"Good magic Bruce." He says jovially. "Will make fighting giants easier!"
Urram meanwhile seems to think that finding out whether the creature tastes like lobster is a good idea. He paddles forward and takes an exploratory bite where Tyrek's hammer has pulverised the shell.
"Tasty!" The always-hungry dragon concludes, and tucks in.
Wulfric chuckles at the drake’s enthusiasm. ”Looks like there’s plenty to go around,” he remarks as he draws his waraxe. He moves quickly to cut off the two massive claws and and most of the tail and tie them to his backpack.
Falric nods to the party in thanks for killing the creature and then heals himself with Cure Light Wounds twice.
DM, since we do not have a cleric, are we still playing with max healing out of combat? If so, Falric heals 18 hps.
If not, he heals 2d8 + 2 ⇒ (4, 2) + 2 = 8 hps.
He bandages the rest of his wounds and is ready to continue traveling.
Yes, Falric, since the party does not have a cleric, all healing outside of combat is maxed.
The party continues traveling west through the bog and as night approaches, you finally reach the edge of the swamp and see the northern edge of the Mindspin Mountains in the distance.
1d100 ⇒ 20...nothing worthwhile
1d100 ⇒ 40...nothing
1d100 ⇒ 59...nothing
You camp? Tell stories? Roast marshmallows? Post guards? If you change spells, let me know.