After six long weeks, this morning the crew of the Peregrine sighted land to the west. A few hours later, the Peregrine sails into a natural bay with a sandy beach within rowing distance for the ship's boats. As the crew begins to untie one of the smaller boats to lower it into the water, the sailors pass a spyglass among themselves and finally hand it back to the captain. Captain Jacob Markosi peers at the island for a moment before grunting and handing the spyass to expedition leader Ramona Avandth. "You should see this," he says quietly.
Ramona accepts the spyglass and peers towards the shore. When she lowers the scope, she is clearly distressed but trying to hide her worry. She approaches and motions towards the far side of the deck, away from where most of the other colonists have congregated. "Can I have a word with you?" she asks.
Moving to the side to give some relative privacy, Ramona speaks. "We have a problem." She offers you the spyglass whilst she explains. "Something is wrong. Nobody's in sight. There's no smoke from cook fires or the smithy. Some of the buildings look burned out."
Barry accepts the spyglass and glances through it at the shoreline. He hadn't been expecting a ceremony from the previous group of settlers, but they should have spotted the ships by now. And certainly some of them would be glad to have new faces joining them. Frontier life was hard work and extra hands were always welcome!
He passes the spyglass on to the next person wanting it. "Maybe they had trouble here and moved to another location? We'll have to go ashore and see if they left word. No reason to assume disaster until we know more. Should just be a minimal team though. Don't want to risk non-combatants when swords may be needed."
Standing aside to let the others speak, Barry mentally calls his spirit animal from cleaning barnacles from the hull. If they were going ashore he wouldn't want to leave it behind. He moves over to the side of the ship and waits for it to crawl up the hull to his hand, then places it in his belt pouch, safe for now.
"I agree, something doesn't look or feel right... we need to check this out. If you would like me along, I will get my gear. I can be ready in a few moments. I would suggest not going directly in at the settlement site, but to land just this side of it and work our way in.. there could be a trap waiting for the unwary."
If she gets the nod, she will go below and gather her gear.
Shannon, frustrated, leaps up just in time to grab the spyglass before the tall person to her left hands it off to the tall person on her right. Looking through the spyglass, she realizes that none of the chimneys have any smoke coming from them, and in these times, a fire at the hearth is not something one would want to allow to go out. Overhearing Merrian's response to Barry, she chimes in, "Well you're not going without me!" Tossing the spyglass to the tall person on her right, she hurries to catch up. "Nothing like a fresh, new adventure to get a person off a boat," she laughs as she catches up to her cousin. As they head to their bunks, she wonders to herself, "I sure hope that sea ranger elf person joins us. Between him and his eagle, we would practically have panoramic vision." She laughs a little more at her own little joke as she shoves her belongings into her pack.
Sea Ranger deftly catches the spyglass that Shannon tosses him and grins. "Sea Ranger is already here." He answers the halfling, apparently having stepped up besider her unrecognized. He takes a long look through the lens and his smile fades as he shakes his head sadly. The half-elven druid had been looking forward to help colonize this island in a manner where nature and her many facets were respected by all. It looks as though that dream has already been shattered. He whispers a word to Scout and the osprey wings away from his shoulder, soaring high above the water in the direction of the burned-out village.
"Scout will seek out anything moving around and circle overhead if she does. Our bond is such that I cannot see through her eyes." He turns and smiles again at the others. "Not yet, at any rate."
Handle Animal check: 1d20 + 3 + 4 ⇒ (8) + 3 + 4 = 15
Will use Handle Animal to have Scout 'Seek' anything living and moving around the burned out buildings, circling about 100' above whatever she spots. I think the DC for a druid's animal companion is only 10, correct?
Barry glances around at the others. They had obviously been hired along for their non-colonist skills, to help the colony if any strange issues were encountered. And there seemed to be at least one.
"Sea Ranger, Merrian, and Shannon. Good, let's gather our gear and get to the boat."
"Miss Avanth, Will the Peregrine be staying here? If it stays we'll just go with weapons and such to search the town and the immediate area, and report back. If not we'll need to take all of our gear to cover a few days ashore."
"Merrian, That's an interesting thought and a good precaution. Let's row to the left end of the beach area and beach the boat there. A short walk is better than facing a hail of arrows while we're all stuck in the boat."
She sighs in relief, grateful you'd volunteered to do what she was about to ask you to do anyway.
As Sea Ranger sends Scout out to... scout, the rest of you make your way to one of the rowboats - which seats four.
"I'm going to ask Captain Markosi to sail north along the island's coast to a secondary landing sight determined to be an alternative spot to found a colony. Later, it was also designated as the emergency extraction point if danger befell the colonists.Once you have explored the village of Taldor's Bounty, meet us there where we can determine what do from there."
OOC: Handle Animal is not required for tricks an animal companion has been trained in. If you're having to push them, you get +4 for any checks.
Sea Ranger watches Scout fly off for a moment, then nods at Barry and heads below-decks to grab his gear. He is back within a couple minutes and glances toward his companion for a moment before joining the others on the boat, ready to help paddle their way toward shore.
Thanks Azal, couldn't remember the specifics for animal companion!
Barry gathers his full gear with the others and heads toward the boat. Thinking ahead he stops again by Ramona, "I've three days rations in my pack. Assuming something happened to the previous group there might not be any supplies ashore. Do you know how far the second landing is? If we have to hunt for food we could be slowed making it there."
Once he gets to the boat he takes a position at the oars.
Assuming Sea Ranger and I will need to row? Unless they have halfling sized oars?
Once we are under way, setting course to land on the south end of the beach.
As we move toward the island, looking along the shoreline for anything out of place. I am also watching Scout for any signs of activity.
The bay's waters are calm, with only a gentle rocking of the ship's boat. The shore is approximately three hundred feet to the east, where a lonely dock is built off a sandy beach. Sea Ranger and Barry take the oars.
OOC: No checks required to row the boat. Everyone who's looking, including Scout, can make a perception check. Barry and Sea Ranger are at this point more focused on rowing, so though they can make checks, they will be at penalties.
Once they get started Barry quietly suggests to Sea Ranger that they take it slow to maintain the watch. Besides, he sees no need to "rush" their approach to the beach. "Slow and easy. Keep watch please ladies. Hey Sea Ranger, Will your bird make a sound or something to alert you if it spots anything? It seems pretty well trained. Or is it like my little bug? A familiar type animal?"
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (9) + 10 = 19 and minus.... ??
Was there a place on the boat where packs could be tied down so they don't have to be worn? I wouldn't want to go overboard wearing my pack and all of my weapons.... I think I'd keep my machete on my belt though.
Sea Ranger grins at Barry. "Scout will circle if she spots something moving out there. She is my companion, and is indeed well trained - very much like your... uh... bug, I'd imagine. We share a close bond. As for food, I can call upon nature's magic to summon berries for us to eat in the mornings should it come to that. They will sustain us as a full meal would, and they have healing properties as well. Beyond that, I have rations enough for five days."
As he talks and rows, the half-elf tries to keep a sharp eye out for danger - as well as keeping an eye on Scout to see if she signals him should she find something.
Scout's Perception Check: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31
Sea Ranger's Perception Check: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16 -? (penalty)
Wow! OK, I swear I didn't change up those rolls or anything! I figured Scout got there first, so rolled her check before Sea Ranger's. Yay!
perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (9) + 6 = 15
Shannon is secretly grateful to have arms too short to row this boat, and rests her crossed arms on the bow of the boat to catch the breeze and see if there's anything of interest as they approach the shore. "Do we have a plan for what we'll do once we're ashore?" She turns and calls to the others behind her, keeping her voice low. She knows sounds carry over water, and does not want to draw any attention from the shore, if possible.
perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
"Yeah, not getting killed."
Merrian keeps watching as she answers the question.
"I am just hoping that they found this location not suitable and decided to go to another one."
Barry chuckles at Merrian's response. "Not getting killed is pretty important. But we also need to search for any clues about what happened. We aren't seeing bodies lying around on the beach, so that's a good thing... But the buildings are still in place, so what happened to the people? Maybe they left notes. But we need to search for anything, anything that will explain what happened or where they are."
"If they moved to the Northern location, the ship will be there way before us. But if they are somewhere else, we need to know where before we head north."
Though no-one else sees anything, Scout screeches and circles above an area close to shore. There's clearly something lurking beneath the surface,but not so far beneath that it might not strike as you approach.
OOC: Given Scout's magnificent roll, you get enough warning to potentially prepare - everyone can have one round's worth of actions, though Sea Ranger and Barry have to balance that with rowing.
Sea Ranger grimaces as Scout gives warning. "She's spotted something. Looks like whatever it is is lurking off the surface close to shore. If we can avoid it let's do that, but otherwise we'll have to assume that whatever it is, we might have to deal with it here on the boat. If anyone anticipates trouble swimming, speak up now and I have magic that will give you some relief." As the ranger speaks, he continues to row, angling away from the area where Scout is circling for as long as possible. The osprey will follow the threat to give them some idea of whether it's closing in on them or not.
Anyone in medium or heavy armor and/or with a terrible Swim skill modifier? I can cast Air Bubble on one person, if needed - which grants you 10 rounds of breathable air in a bubble around your head.
Barry scans in the indicated direction while maintaining his rowing. He follows Sea Ranger's lead about possibly turning the boat to avoid whatever is coming. "I'm an OK swimmer. Be ready for something coming over the side. The water here shouldn't be very deep, but you can drown in one foot if something holds your head under...."
Are we using oars or paddles? Oars would be fitted to oar locks and could be handled with one hand while having a drawn weapon. Paddles would take both hands, but could be used like a long club.
Shannon reaches back and takes hold of her shortbow, setting it next to her in the bow of the boat. She also adjusts her quiver so that she can quickly reach her arrows if she needs them, all the while scanning the surface of the water for whirlpools or ripple patterns that might indicate something underneath.
Merrian has her crossbow ready and loaded. She is also watching the area of water that Scout has indicated.. she does not have her dagger out, but it is close enough should she need it.
"Speak for yourself human.. what 'should not be too deep' for you is already too deep for us.. but I can swim.. a little anyway.. I am more worried about our gear.. "
Merrian keeps watch on the water and the shore line.. making sure that we have only one surprise at a time.
You can't really avoid it, you are certainly tracking for that area, but forewarned is forearmed, and so you're not surprised, when a couple of hideous creatures start to try to attack from the water. Amazingly, you all move before them!
OOC Give me a bit to get used to doing maps again; the first combat there's not really much maneuvering possible. You can attack them from inside the boat, but it's tricky to attack whilst seated, and it's not steady enough to be 100% of attacking whilst standing. Rolled knowledge, checks, no-one recognises them.
Watching the water for whatever is approaching, Barry attacks if one comes close enough.
"Good point Merrian. Some times we humans forget little details like that. I'll try to do better in the future!"
If the boat has oars, in oar locks I would have drawn my machete. If it just has paddles, I'll probably just be hitting with that. Should be like a club so no difference in damage....
I will be staying seated for now
To Hit: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (1) + 1 = 2 Pretty sure that's a miss....
Since we have initiative, can I get a sneak attack in, for my bonus?
attack: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
damage: 1d3 ⇒ 1
sneak attack damage: 1d6 ⇒ 2
OOC: I am not sure about my modifier amount, please check Azal
Sea Ranger keeps a sharp eye on Scout and when the raptor gets close enough, he sets the oars aside and draws his sling, letting fly a bullet at whatever the osprey is tracking - once he is able to see it with his own eyes. When it closes in, he'll draw his scimitar...
Sling Attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15
Sling Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4
If no ranged attack is possible before they close the distance, will attack with scimitar. The attack roll will be +1 better than above (due to a better melee attack modifier) and his damage would be:
Scimitar Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Shannon wishes for greater height, at the same time being grateful that most of her is protected, in part, by the bow of the boat. Nocking an arrow, she strains to watch the surface as near to the boat as she can manage, and is prepared to loose the arrow upon seeing anything breech the surface.
Arrow: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (6) + 4 = 10
Damage: 1d4 ⇒ 4
After releasing her arrow, Shannon ducks down below the rail of the boat's bow for cover.
First Merrian's arrow, and then Sea Ranger's bullet both struck the same one, which then struggled and gurgled under the water, but that didn't stop the other one, and Shannon's arrow went wide, and the other one stabbed at Barry from outside the boat even as Barry swung with his machete, they both missed. At that point...
OOC: You can establish now that trying to attack whilst seated is at -2 to hit, but you might require a balance check to stand up - though will probably give the halflings a bonus to this due to a far lower centre of gravity.
One never made it to the boat, I figured Sea Ranger would probably target the one already injured.
New round. Anyone who wants to be, can be within 5 feet of it.
Sea Ranger quickly stands, sliding his scimitar out of his scabbard and trusting to his sea legs to keep him from falling overboard. He slashes at the monster, hopefully before it skewers one of his companions with its spear.
Acrobatics Check: 1d20 + 2 + 4 ⇒ (16) + 2 + 4 = 22
Scimitar Attack: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
Scimitar Damage: 1d6 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9
Azal, I took one of the variant racial traits for half-elf 'Sea Legs'. Not sure if it helps in this instance, though it seemed likely it would so I added the +4 bonus above. If you deem it doesn't though, no worries, just drop that +4 to his Acrobatics check. I put the text of the trait below for you to take a look at. Thanks!
Sea Legs: Many half-elves find their way onto the water early in their youth, whether they live with trader families in or near Kyonin, work as smugglers around Lake Encarthan or the Inner Sea, or plunder alongside pirates. These half-elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Swim checks, as well as a +4 racial bonus on Acrobatics checks to move on narrow or slippery surfaces, and on Climb checks on docks and ships. This racial trait replaces adaptability.
After almost throwing his machete into the water while trying to attack the creature, Barry accepts that he isn't a nimble pirate and keeps in his seat. If the creature comes within range he slashes at it again, but does so poorly again as he seems more focused on staying in the boat and not dropping his weapon overboard....
Attack: 1d20 + 1 - 2 ⇒ (10) + 1 - 2 = 9
Not even going to try and stand!
As they approached, Sea Ranger showed his elegance on a ship, well boat, and stood up, and easily sliced and cut down the creature, which twitched once but then stopped moving. As you look up, you see the crew of the ship cheering in joy as you fell the creatures.
OOC: Perfect West. This is almost exactly what Sea Legs was for, though admittedly usually in a much bigger boat....
You only needed a DC 10 acrobatics check so either way it would have been fine,
Seeing Sea Ranger stand and finish the last creature Barry scans the area before stowing his machete. He reaches for his oar and looks again toward the beach. "Let's get ashore before more of them come along. As poorly as I did in that fight I'd prefer to not face a school of them!"
Once Sea Ranger is ready, continue rowing for the shore. Targeting the south end of the beach. ??
Sea Ranger calls out to Scout, tasking his companion to continue keeping a sharp eye out for trouble, then sets his scimitar to one side and resumes his place at the oars. "Agreed, though Scout will keep watch for us. I wonder what those beasts were..."
Azal, I know we failed the knowledge checks but I didn't see a description. Where they humanoid in appearance? Or more fish-like (i.e. no legs)?
Shannon is so relieved that the danger has passed, that she has to stop herself from jumping up and down in celebration. "I'm going to need a machete," she thinks to herself, vowing to bulk up the muscles in her arms so she can actually pick it up...
You manage to row the rest of the way to shore safely, and, with your concerns, manage to beach not that far from the village, though not right at the village. It shouldn't take too long to make your way in.
OOC: Firstly brief description of the monster:
With a large head and numerous teeth, this unsightly creature resembles a goblin from the waist up and a greasy octopus below.
Also, any plans to make before heading in to the village?
Once they get the boat to the shore Barry jumps out and grabs the rail on his side. "Pull it up the beach a ways. Wouldn't want a swell to roll in, lift the boat and take it out. Later we can move it over to the dock."
He glances up at Sea Ranger's bird. "I take it your bird doesn't see anything hostile? So let's spread out and move toward the village. If anybody spots a body, or anything else weird, we go slow and careful. They could all be in the buildings dead of some plague. We wouldn't want to be exposed to anything like that!"
Any way you could post a map somewhere so we could see it? Or, if you could email it to Steve or me? Actually, Steve has used Google in a couple of his games and set it up so the players were able to move their own markers.
What's the word on my spirit animal? Tardigarde OK? Or do I need to change it? I don't really want the octopus. The +3 to swim will only be useful for a couple of levels as I plan to take Deep Heart https://aonprd.com/ArchetypeDisplay.aspx?FixedName=Shaman%20Deep%20Shaman at level 3.... Maybe the Sea Krait would work instead? https://aonprd.com/WizardFamiliars.aspx . I'd keep the Fort save and have a little vipar instead of a bug. :)
After we pull the boat on shore, we will start to make our way to the settlement.. going slow and cautiously, checking and watching for anything along the way.
Barry readies his crossbow as the group moves toward the village.
Sea Ranger signals to Scout to keep a watch and advances with the others, his scimitar at the ready as they move toward the seemingly abandoned village. Had it been burned down by invaders? Or some sort of terrible catastrophe? They would soon find out...
Shannon hums to herself as the party approaches the town. She wonders, What on earth could have happened here?
Can we hear or smell anything? Birdsong? Insects buzzing? Putrifying bodies?
A well-worn path in the grass rises up a slope toward a cluster of buildings to the east. The buildings are arranged in a rough triangle, with each point ending in a wooden circular enclosu8re with rectangular notches cut intermittently, like battlements. These round enclosures are clearly meant to be three points of a wooden palisade fence, which would enclose this first group of buildings once completed. The palisade fence, however, is complete only along the southeastern side of the triangle and is obviously unfinished elsewhere. The grass around the settlement looks like it was cropped at one point, and many paths exist between locations in the settlement, but ine less well-trafficked spots, the grass has started to regrow.
All the buildings are constructed of either rough timber or mud bricks set in a wooden frame, and have pitched thatch roofs. Many have open window frames, but only a few have actual shutters or even a canvas curtain for privacy. Doors are basic, wooden affairs, too simple for locks, and some buildings lack them entirely. The construction is new, quite rough and unfinished.
You also can asee a solitary dock to the west.
As the group moves toward the town Barry considers what he sees, what what he does not. The village looks abandoned.... "Let's stay along the beach, and toward the dock. We can approach the buildings directly from the dock area if we haven't seen anything by then."
"Does anyone have training in tracking? Watch for any footprints and maybe we can get an estimate of time!?! If they hauled stuff out to the dock there should be deep tracks or maybe drag marks from heavy stuff like crates!"
Barry still keeps his crossbow ready, just in case something drove the colonists away and has taken over the village....
If grass has grown since whatever happened, it isn't likely that any actual footprints would still show. But if they dragged anything heavy onto the dock there might still be marks. ?? I have Perception +10 and Survival +8 if any of those help. ??
"I don't have training or tracking, but since my eyes are closer to the ground, I'll keep watch for anything that looks out of the ordinary," says Shannon
Sea Ranger nods in agreement with the proposed approach and keeps alert for danger, as well as one eye on Scout to see if she spots anything dangerous.
Sea Ranger's Perception or Survival: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Scout's Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (14) + 11 = 25
If Survival is more appropriate, his modifier is the same for both Perception and Survival.
"I will also keep a watchful eye out."
Merrian will check the area, looking for tracks and possible signs of a move by the settlers as Barry suggests. She is also moving stealthily through to the village and once there as well, she will let the tall ones be first.
perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
survival: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
stealth: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21
A solitary dock extends from the beach into the bay. The construction is solid and looks recent, suitable for tying off a small boat, though no watercraft are visible. The beach inclines to the east before giving way to grass and trees. Further on in that direction, buildings and a palisade wall stand on the rise.
None of you can see any clues as to the whereabouts of the colonists.
OOC: In other news, with Australia easing restrictions, I have managed to pick up a printer/scanner. Still sorting out how to use it, but you can start to expect maps soon - though my skill at using actual mapmaking programs is terrible, so will probably just scan it and put them up somewhere and have a link here, rather than using google docs or something for you to be able to move your own icons.
Merrian keeps on moving towards he village still being very cautious and careful and watching all that she can.
Barry stops when they reach the area close to the dock. Perhaps they could've just rowed to the dock and tied off there, but they were being cautious....
Noticing Merrian moving toward the village he strides after her. "Wait! There should be a village full of people here. Since there aren't even bodies we have to be cautious. As the least stealthy of us perhaps I should lead. Sea Ranger and his bird can follow about 20 feet back with each of you ladies to his sides. If I spot something I'll hold up a hand to call a halt."
"That way, if I stumble across a plague infected body, or something dangerous like that, it won't wipe out the whole party...."
Unless someone disagrees? Moving straight in to the first building, looking for, anything!
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 10 = 23
Sea Ranger nods in agreement, his eyes watchful as Scout continues to soar overhead, also looking for any hidden dangers. "We should head toward the nearest intact building, if there is any such to be found." The lean druid suggests in a soft voice as Barry moves to take the lead.
Sea Ranger's Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Scout's Perception: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (18) + 11 = 29
Sounds good, onward to the the palisade and from there to the nearest building that appears to be at least somewhat intact. Probably better chance to find any survivors (or at least clues) there, I'm thinking. As before, if Survival is more appropriate, his modifier is the same for both Perception and Survival.
Merrian follows the men, keeping watch and looking out for anything that may be out of place.. or even attacks us.
perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
survival: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
stealth: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31