Lilita nods at being told which bowl it was and bends to examine it.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
She wrinkles her nose. "You smell that? There's something other than turnip soup in there, for sure. Smells like...flowers." She shrugs "I'll let Reg know."
Speaking with Edra she merely shrugs. She's already feeling bad for making assumptions about Krent, she's not about to do it with the goblin too.
She hangs back, talking to Targan and giving the wheelbarrow a push from the back here and there if it needs it thanks to a rock or uneven path.
"Lets start with Koln. He can tell us more of where that bowl might have stopped between being filled and being served to Bort."
She pauses as she notices Regarial has joined them "Unless you prefer to do otherwise?"
|Regariel of Greengold|
Before going to find his fellow travelers, Regariel takes several minutes to closely examine the vial he found, still holding it with gloved hands and minute care as he searches for any physical clues.
Perception Check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
After he catches up with Lilita and Markon (and offers a polite greeting to the elderly Mr. Furst), Reg nods agreement with the young initiate's suggested next step in the investigation. "Speaking with Koln sounds like an excellent idea to me." He holds up the vial, which gleams in the sunlight. "I would very much like to establish when Bort's bowl might have met up with this."
Elder Fulst says he's had enough sun and air for now, and asks that you drop him off back at the Feedmill before continuing. Markon doesn't mind this in the least, glad to relinquish the cart into Delma's care. As you head out, you can hear the old man prattling about is Delma really going to carry on serving dinner tonight like a man wasn't just poisoned there-- but you get the strong sense that if Delma were instead choosing to close for the night, he'd instead be criticizing that. Ah, family.
The walk to Koln's house is easy enough; the sun is bright and the air still cool as it's not yet noon. Birds chirp and grasshoppers pop out of the grass as you walk.
Koln's home appears to be a modest farmhouse fairly close to the encroaching trees of the woods around it. A well-tended vegetable garden sits on one side of the house, and laundry hangs on a line outside, flapping lightly in the breeze.
Lilita walks in silence as they leave the Feedmill and head towards Koln's house, lost in her own thoughts.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
She jolts out of her revery at the sight of Koln. "Something's wrong!" she shouts. She reaches for her weapon as she runs the rest of the distance towards the waiter's house, an eye out for what seems to have startled him.
Lilita's sharp-eyed warning gives our heroes a moment's edge to prepare themselves! Everyone gets one freebie extra action before 'initiative' starts, technically, which can be used to draw a weapon, or move, etc. Treating Lilita's bonus action as drawing her weapon.
Markon draws his sword at Lilita's words of warning, while Sparrow summons a flicker of defensive light him with a short syllable...
Reg: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Lilita: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (14) + 6 = 20
Sparrow: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Markon: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Our heroes spring swiftly into action, and now they can see a wild boar is pursuing poor Koln around the farmhouse! Markon swears, while Sparrow lets out a little tch sound.
Markon starts to jog forward, unslinging his shield as well as he goes and sliding his arm into the straps. "Hey! Waiter-guy! Get back behind us!"
"Markon, the man has a name!!" Sparrow calls annoyedly, while weaving magic between his fingers. Motes of light jump between his pale hands, then streak out in triplicate form to blast painfully into the large, feral beast.
Magic Missile: 3d4 + 3 ⇒ (4, 3, 4) + 3 = 14
"Perhaps I can scare it off," Sparrow says as his arcane bolts fly.
Markon eyes the bellowing beast. "--I think you just pissed it off, actually."
Markon moved twice, but used his third action to ready his shield. Lilita, your weapon is already drawn, and you're up; Reg, you can have used the freebie action to draw or to move as you like, and you're also now up. Map link by my name!
Regariel spares no words on wititicsm but pelts after Lilita, who, in true heroic fashion, does her best to interpose herself between the boar and the hapless Koln. Going to give a hero point to Lilita for disregarding her personal safety to get all the way in front of the hapless NPC!
-Spend 1 Hero Point to reroll a check. You must use the second result. This is a fortune effect (which means you can't use more than 1 Hero Point on a check).
-Spend all your Hero Points (minimum 1) to avoid death. You can do this when your dying condition would increase. You lose the dying condition entirely and stabilize with 0 Hit Points. You don't gain the wounded condition or increase its value from losing the dying condition in this way, but if you already had that condition, you don't lose it or decrease its value.
The boar eyes its new prey? challenger? with small, beady, glinting eyes. It bellows a challenge and runs forward to Lilita, the big head lowering then rising in a savage hook with its tusks.
Attack Lilita: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30 ..............ow. Sorry Lilita. Well you might get a chance to use that Hero Point very shortly....
Critical hit: 4d6 + 8 ⇒ (4, 3, 6, 1) + 8 = 22 Ow, indeed.
Lilita bravely runs all the way to the farmer, not focused on her own defense as Markon is, and... she pays for it. No sooner has she skidded to a stop, and certainly she hasn't had a second to adopt a defensive stance, when the boar takes advantage of her proximity to tear into her with brutal savagery, the tusks tearing a hole in her gut... The brave swordswoman drops to the ground, bleeding profusely...
Okay, so how dying/unconscious works in Pathfinder 2 is that you're currently at 0 hit points, and you're at 'dying 2.' (Normally you'd be at dying 1, but I knocked you unconscious with a critical hit, so that escalates you to dying 2.) Each round, unless you receive healing, you'll make a check to stabilize (just roll a d20 with no modifiers attached) and if you roll high enough, your dying condition will lessen, and if you roll worse, it'll get worse (dying 3, etc). If you hit dying 4... well... you die.
The boar almost seems surprised that its quarry went down as easily as it did. It snorts a moment, then takes an almost absent swipe with its bloodied tusks at the farmer-slash-waiter.
Attack vs Koln: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8 Miss
Through Desna's luck, Koln isn't hit. He looks down white-faced at Lilita's body, and then turns and runs as fast as he can away.
"Ahhhh f@~%," Markon says shortly at the sight of Lilita down and bleeding profusely. "Dammit, can one of you help her!? I got a boar to kill!"
He strides forward, raising his shield defensively, and tries to drive his sword into the boar's eye.
Markon vs Boar: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19
Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
His sword finds its mark, and the beast bellows-- but doesn't drop. Markon grimaces, in the manner of a man who expects some pain incoming. For his part, Sparrow grimly and silently runs forward as best he can on his bad leg, the drawback of his limp on display as he cannot make the same progress over the ground as all of you do. If he has more magic to cast, it isn't immediately forthcoming.
Regariel and Lillit are up, but I suggest letting Regariel go first!
|Regariel of Greengold|
And how. O_O
Regariel doesn't wait for Markon's call to close the distance between himself and the unconscious young woman. "I'm here," he replies tersely, falling to his knees beside Lillita and dropping his sword in favor of his healer's kit. Trusting that Markon can keep the boar occupied, he starts binding Lillita's wounds, doing everything he can to halt the bloodflow.
Battle Medicine check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Lilita is clearly caught off guard by the boar's attack. She gives a little cry as she falls.
dying?: 1d20 ⇒ 1
Well. I guess it is time to use that hero point.
There's a great deal of blood. Reg's attempts seem futile at first but Lilita's breath continues to come and her pulse does not stop. She's not dead yet.
So much blood.... gushing from Lilita's side, and Reg can see far too much of Lilita's innards, and knows this is the sort of injury that the surgeon's art may not heal. He grabs curative herbs while feeling how little they might do against the gruesome gash. It seems hopeless.
Yes, murmurs a woman's voice, low and soft but somehow incredibly familiar to you. Yes. As it should be. I see you, little blade. And I return you to your scabbard.
And then you find yourself-- going back? Back down, into your body? And then-- soft, cool, blackness.
Regariel sees something-- strange. The grievous injury-- closes, sealing off the horrible sight of Lilita's organs in a fashion he wouldn't believe if he hadn't just seen it. Through the rent in her garments, he can see a that a new scar has appeared on Lilita's stomach-- a horizontal line that is about six inches long, pink and tender looking, bisected by another shorter scar, perhaps two inches?
...It sort of looks like a sword.
But there is no time at all to muse on such things. There is a boar still trying to kill you all.
Boar vs Markon: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Damage: 2d6 + 4 ⇒ (5, 2) + 4 = 11
Markon interposes his shield between himself and the boar's tusks, and saves himself a truly terrible injury, though the sheer force of the blow cracks a split on his shield and probably bruises his arm and side like hell. He rocks back on his feet, staggering a moment but holding his ground, and the boar tries again.
Boar vs Markon, #2: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Boar vs Markon, #3: 1d20 ⇒ 8
As if offended by Markon's stubborn resistance, the boar gouges twice more at him, but fails to connect. "Yeah, suck it," the human man growls.
Sparrow limps closer still, though he keeps Markon between himself and the boar. He chants, he gestures, and a slick film of oil coats the ground beneath the boar's hooves.
Boar Reflex: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
The boar snorts in startlement, and then its hooves slide out from under it! Boar is prone, this makes it easier to hit
"I'll work on Miss Yuzu in a moment, if you wish to try and stab that overgrown walking bacon rack," Sparrow says shortly.
"You don't have to tell me twice," Markon says, and tries to stab with all his might at the boar.
Markon Power Attacks!: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26 A hit! And actually a crit, thanks to the prone. Thank your wizard, Markon.
Power attack critical damage: 4d8 + 6 ⇒ (3, 1, 8, 5) + 6 = 23
Markon's blade slams down into the creature with brutal force, gravity behind it, and lands a devastating blow. Surely most creatures couldn't withstand it-- but the boar seems to somehow surge back with a bit of pure hate keeping it fighting... Perhaps Regariel can convince it to, well, not.
Markon adjusts his shield again. Just in Case.
Status: Lilita is at 0 HP and unconscious (but not Dying); Markon: 15/21 HP; Regariel is up
|Regariel of Greengold|
Regariel has no time to ponder the strange salvation he just witnessed, though relieved gratitude washes through him as he regains his feet, placing himself between Lilita and the boar. Standing poised, Reg watches the injured beast's movements and waits for a moment when the boar seems fully focused on Markon ... then he strikes, short sword flashing.
Precision Strike (Reg hopes): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (20) + 7 = 274d6 + 1 ⇒ (2, 6, 2, 3) + 1 = 14
Regariel's strike is precise, surgical, and devastating. He studies the beast a moment, assessing belly and sinews, flanks and eyeball- then strikes. His blade plunges into soft skin just ahead of one haunch-- and drives deep.
The boar bellows in anguish and fury... but cannot stand against this double onslaught of Reg's blade added to Markon's. Snorting furiously, the creature slumps to the ground.
Sparrow pauses only long enough to be sure the creature isn't going to lunge back to its feet before dropping stiffly to his knees by Lilita and checking her injury, hands flying to the site of the wound....
...and then pauses, looking very bemused.
"It's......... scarred. It's-- already-- she's not in-- danger this moment, I don't think..."
He feels at Lilita's pulse, still looking bemused.
"The hell are you talking about, she just got gored all to f&%$?" Markon pants, keeping an eye on the twitching boar corpse.
"I saw it, thank you. She's just-- there's no open wound, now. Let me take some time, and see if we can get her conscious."
Medicine check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14 Lol, missed by one
Sparrow's attempts to wave some smelling salts under Lilita's nose don't seem efficacious, but she is indeed breathing steadily and easily. The human man huffs. "Regariel-- perhaps you might try again, now that it's less the pressure of crisis?"
Markon grunts and wipes blood off his sword on the boar's hide. "I'll see if I can find that farmer, if he's not halfway to the inn by now."
|Regariel of Greengold|
"It's true, Markon," Regariel says quietly, wearing an expression both fascinated and unsettled. "I watched the wound close just now.
Entirely on its own ... or at least it wasn't in response to anything I did."
Concern returns to his face as he again kneels by Lilita's side, performing his own checks on her pulse and breathing. "She's still in a very fragile state, though." He sighs and pushes his hair back from his face. "I'll do my best."
Reg produces a pipet and a small sealed bottle containing a clear liquid from his medicine kit. Opening the young woman's mouth, he uses the slim glass tube to deftly place one tiny drop of the tincture under Lilita's tongue. Then he selects a few herbs, places the leaves between his palms, and crushes them under Lilita's nostrils. Anyone watching closely will smell the sharp, bright scent the leaves give off.
Herbalism Lore: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (3) + 7 = 10
The young elf offers a silent prayer as he waits to learn if his efforts are effective.
Sparrow looks both intrigued and slightly unsettled by Regariel's words that the wound closed. "Fascinating," he says, and lightly pokes at unconscious Lilita's scar with a fingertip, up until he notices Regariel watching him. "--ahem. Well... if we can't get her conscious... perhaps Markon will have to carry her back to the inn? Oh dear, are we acquiring a collection of unconscious people who can't be woken? That seems unfortunate."
"I'm tired of shlepping people!" Markon calls back. "Hey-- waiter-guy-- Cole--"
"IT'S KOLN," Sparrow calls with exasperation.
In a moment or two, Markon returns, leading Koln. The waiter-slash-farmer looks nearly overcome, staring down at Lilita, clutching his straw hat in his hands. "Is she dead? Oh gods, she ran to save me, what a noble thing, and now she's--"
"Not dead," Sparrow interjects, "but if you have, perchance, a wheelbarrow, might we borrow it? Apparently my friend's shoulders are giving out."
"My shoulders are f#$&in' fine, they held a shield between that boar and your pasty ass if you didn't see it," Markon answers.
Lillit, you come to lying on your back in a farmer's field, with Markon and Sparrow bickering above you, Koln clutching his heat nearby, and Regariel trying to resuscitate you with leaves.
Softer than the sound of the argument, Lilita moans as she drifts back to the world of the living. Feeling the hurt in her side, she moves her hand to protect it but finds only unbroken skin. Tender, but unbroken. She raises a hand to rub her eyes and opens them to see...Reg.
She blinks at the elf for a moment, then sees everyone else around her. She rolls her head to one side and sees the (thankfully) dead boar lying on the ground there. She sees Koln - unhurt. She takes this all in with a hazy expression, silent for the moment. Then, in a manner which is perhaps faster than advisable, she rolls slightly back to the side to avoid Reg's head and sits up, makes a sign and closes her eyes again.
My Lady, thank you for another chance to do your work. I will not squander it.
She opens her eyes again. When she is alone, she will need more time to reflect on this miracle, but for now there is not time or space for that kind of reflection. She instead looks everyone over. Her voice, and her smile are weak. "Well. Wasn't that exciting? Sorry I wasn't more of a help."
|Regariel of Greengold|
Regariel sighs through a smile when he sees Lilita's eyes open, though he suspects that her regaining consciousness is no more due to his efforts than her miraculous healing. Never mind. The fact that she is awake and breathing matters far more than how she got to that state.
... though perhaps not to her? When Lilita sits up, he reaches a hand toward her shoulder out of reflex, intending to urge her to lie back down, but when he sees her gesture and closing eyes, he refrains. And waits, quietly.
When she apologizes, Reg chuckles. "I think Koln here might have a very different take on how helpful you were," he murmurs, then his eyes turn grave. "But please, lie back, rest, and take things slowly, Lilita. Though you are conscious, you are far from healed."
He looks up at Koln. "Are boar attacks common in this area?"
Sparrow gets stiffly to his feet, and mutters at Markon to let him see the impact from that shield, etc-- a salve is dug out, to prevent the forming bruises from hurting as much...
Sparrow Medicine: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
"F##$in'-- OW! What are you doin'!?"
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 5
Sparrow blinks at the sharp yelping from Markon, looks down at what's in his hand, then blanches. "--I'm sorry, I-- when I picked up my things I apparently swapped the vials, oh no, let's, er, wipe that off your skin immediately--"
"You damn well better!"
If Koln wasn't so grateful for his life, he might lose some respect for your competence. But as it is... he comes near to Lilita, still clutching his hat in his hands, and mumbles a shy, "I thank you, lady. If not for you-- well if not for you I imagine I'd be deader than a plague victim just now. You saved my life. I'll pray the gods keep you, every day that remains to me."
Upon questioning, Koln is able to tell you that he didn't see much in the fight, what with all the fists and mugs and bowls and chairs flying; he can confirm that Finnik had handed him the bowl for Bort, and he'd taken it out to Bort himself. He remembers there'd been extra in the bowl, on account of how much Bort likes turnipta.
He doesn't know any reason Bort would have been targeted, and says that the dwarf is always popular on his visits to the hamlet, and expresses seemingly-sincere concern for Bort's welfare, asking how he's doing so far.
"The only other thing I can remember is that I saw Finnik run out the door as soon as everyone started fighting. You know, he's not a bad sort, for a goblin, despite what some people say.
"Of course you can use my wheelbarrow to get back to town, if the lady needs it!"
To Regariel, Koln just shakes his head. "I wouldn't say-- common, as such. I'd seen mark of the boar in the woods for a few weeks now, but always deep enough I figured there'd be no reason for it to come out here! Plenty of new spring growth and shoots to keep it busy. Mean thing like that, maybe it just decided it wanted Koln on the menu. Well, joke's on it-- I'll dress the beast and send fresh pork your way at the inn, by your leave."
Lilita pats Koln's hand and smiles at him, before acquiescing to Reg's demands and lying down "I am happy you are all right. It's the Inheritor's will, sir. I know it." She settles back on the ground and lets the others take over questioning.
"A wheelbarrow? Oh. I...I'm sure I can manage it walking." Lita says. The two medics...and the injured man who will have to carry her if she passes out again might have a different opinion there.
|Regariel of Greengold|
And one medic is quick to express his opinion. "You may be sure you can manage it," Reg replies, in a stern tone belied by the corners of his mouth turning up, "but I am not. Wheelbarrow, Initiate." His tone turns coaxing. "You have been selfless and heroic enough for one day, surely. Let us take care of the aftermath, hm?"
He smiles and nods at Koln's offer. "Fresh meat would be most welcome, thank you. Just give me a moment to look the carcass over." He looks thoughtfully at the dead boar. "Likely the beast was acting out of natural ill temper, but increased aggression can be a symptom of disease.
Better to err on the side of caution."
Especially, Regariel thinks as he bends over the porcine corpse, with freakishly sick wolves about.
Medicine check: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
Regariel takes the moment to look over the boar, checking the eyes and the mouth in particular for signs of disease. But whatever hideous acid had frothed from the wolves, this boar seems relatively healthy-- a large, dangerous specimen, and as Reg says, foul-tempered, but showing signs of neither starvation nor illness.
He pronounces that the meat should be safe, and Koln promises that tonight you'll dine on boar tenderloin.
Markon, meanwhile, is hauling the wheelbarrow, with a put-upon look, while Sparrow trails him apologetically, muttering about how it was a mistake, for gods' sake...
It's not the Triumphant Entrance that Lilita might like, but the four of you manage to return to the inn with no further mishaps. Markon makes a great show of being deeply exhausted when he parks the wheelbarrow, and announces he is going to go take a bath, thanks, and can you maybe keep your salves and whatever out of the bath water, Sparrow--
"Tch! Miss Yuzu, allow myself and Regariel to help you inside, please-- your wound is-- well-- let's just not test miracles, shall we?"
The men help Lilita into a chair, Delma coming out with knit brows and worry. In short order some hot tea is served. Sparrow spreads his medicinal supplies on the table, going through them to check that everything is precisely where it ought to be. "I'd like to look you over if I can... I, ah, promise you the mistake with Markon will not repeat...."
Medicine: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
It seems that when working in calm conditions, good lighting, and without a boar raging nearby, Sparrow can do much better. He spends some time poulticing Lilita's gut, and while the wound itself seems healed, the cool mint tingly from whatever he has applied seems to be highly beneficial-- Lilita starts to feel invigorated and less on the verge of passing out.
HP back to Lilita, crit success, times two for spending an hour: 4d8 ⇒ (3, 4, 1, 6) = 14 = 28, so you're at full, Lilita
It takes the better part of an hour, but Lilita is certainly feeling much better by the time the poultice has cooled. As he works, Sparrow looks at Regariel. "Could you check on Markon? I doubt he'll let me try to look at his injuries, but I suspect they're a bit worse than he'll admit aloud.
"Once that's done, I should tell you all what I discovered in my morning with Bort's records, while you were tracking information down on the hoof."
Now that the panic of battle and the worry over everyone's state is over, Lilita is concerned about the state of herself, too hurt and exhausted for her usual filter. She takes off her cloak to line the wheelbarrow and expresses dismay at it being soaked in blood.
"I suppose I am not well enough for a bath myself." she comments as Markon goes off.
"You've seen my guts, now, Sparrow. You can call me 'Lita " she comments, but she allows the help and gingerly removes her jacket to give Sparrow better access.
"Reg? I don't suppose you could grab my spare shirt?" she asks. "How much is laundry, Ms. Delma? Will it be extra considering how stained it all is?"
She settles however when Sparrow says he is going to treat her, and submits docilely to the medical attentions. In fact, both Reg and Sparrow might notice that, despite her concern over the state of herself and her clothes, she listens to everything they tell her to do and accepts any help that they offer. (after the initial refusal of the wheelbarrow.) She is not too proud to accept help.
She offers Sparrow a smile when he is done. "You clearly know your art. I am glad that I had friends who could support my reckless heroics." she touches his arm. "Thank you."
"I suppose I owe all three of you a drink now."
|Regariel of Greengold|
Reg gives Lilita a smile and a nod. "Certainly." After learning where she has stowed her pack, he brings the young woman a clean shirt as requested. Setting it down, he adds, "A tub bath is probably not a good idea, but a sponge bath shouldn't be a problem."
When Sparrow asks him to look over Markon's injuries, Reg smiles wryly. "I'm certainly willing to do what I can if he's willing to let me. We'll see how cooperative he's feeling once he's done with his bath. And after that, I do want to hear what your investigation has yielded."
Gonna just roll/wave my dictatorial narration wand to speed things forward here:
Regariel Medicine: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Healing Markon: 2d8 ⇒ (3, 5) = 8 Using an hour to heal will double t his, and Markon's at full
Regariel leaves Sparrow and Lilita after delivering the shirt, and goes in search of Markon, who is soaking out the aches, or trying to, since herbs might be better applied sooner rather than later. When Regariel explains to the bathing warrior about some treatments that might help his aching body, the man looks wry and skeptical, but doesn't outright refuse the additions Reg proposes making to the hot water. Reg also checks the swelling and mottling of the bruises starting to develop on the human's arm and shoulder, and mixes up a poultice. An hour later, when Markon rejoins everyone in the common room, he looks much the better.
Essentially, an hour ish of inworld time has elasped and Lilita and Markon are both back to full HP
Changes of shirts and bloody or sweaty clothes are accomplished; Markon smirks a bit at Sparrow as he resumes as seat. "Since you botched healin' me up, you can do your little magic trick to clean my dirty clothes tomorrow, huh?"
Sparrow sighs. "Alright, if you insist. Miss Yuzu-- Lilita, if you insist-- I can probably cleanse that shirt in the morning, if you wish it. But to the mater at hand:
"I went through Bort's logs. He visited this town 22 times in the last decade, generally bringing relatively routine items and making a modest profit. However..." Sparrow adjusts his spectacles, "however, in the last five years, he started some apparent specialty deliveries-- multiple shipments to someone notated only as 'H', and listed as 'reagents' with no further description. And he collected a rather fat sum of gold each time for the items as well. I spoke to Tamli and she says she doesn't know what those were, or who H was-- she knows that Bort often carried a few individual items to people who ordered them, but that normally those shipments weren't a secret, and she was fully informed. She has no idea what these repeated deliveries were and was, it seems, kept out of the loop on the matter. While it is not a great deal to go on, it does at least provide some sort of hint that perhaps our caravan master was not-- sorry, is not-- completely as innocent and mundane as he appears to be."
Markon grunts, leaning back in his chair and lacing his hands behind his head. "So he's dealin' somethin' shady? And other than that the only lead I see we got is the little goblin guy. We know he handled the food, and then split like a bat outta hell. Seems to me we find him, we've got our poisoner. Hey Lita, I'll take that drink, by the way," he says with a roguish grin.
Sparrow clears his throat, somewhat embarrassed, it seems, by Lilita's thanks. "I am sure that had the situation been reversed you would have attempted to do the same for me," he demurs with a wave of his hand.
Lilita's spare shirt is much less flash than her red jacket with cape, but she is glad to be clean as she settles in to listen to Sparrow's information.
"Perhaps Delma knows where he sleeps?" Lilita suggests "Or where he might go to hide? She seemed to know him best of anyone. I'll ask her when I go for a round of drinks."
"I'll get you a drink, of course, Markon," she says "I don't think I am going to start yet myself though. We still have to take care of those stirges and after the mess that boar made of me I'll need my wits about me until we settle in for the night." She rises to procure the drink in question. "What will it be? Anyone else want something while I am going?"
She heads to the bar, where she orders the drinks. Once she has done so she asks "Do you know where we can find Finnik? Where he stays during the day? We think something spooked him last night and we'd like to know what he saw."
|Regariel of Greengold|
Regariel listens intently to the information Sparrow has gleaned, his face grave but not shocked. At Markon's addendum about Finnik, his brow furrows as he thinks.
"It's true he might have run because he dosed Bort's soup," he says. "Or he might have seen who did so and been too afraid of the person to tell anyone. Or too afraid that he would be accused, given how ill-disposed many people feel toward goblins. Or he simply may have wanted to avoid the fighting."
Not that Reg has warm feelings for the species himself, but he refuses to reason ahead of the facts. Jumping to conclusions has landed many an investigation in a bog. "Whatever the reasons, talking to Finnik may net us more information.
"Thank you, Lilita," he replies to her offer of a drink. "I'll have some more spiced tea."
Markon shrugs. "You wanna defend the goblin, Ears, be my guest..."
Delma is easily called from the back and enquiries are made about Finnik, as well as drink orders placed. The innkeeper sighs.
"To be honest I'm not fully sure where Finnik... er... 'lives.' There's no shortage of abandoned buildings on the north side of town, and on very cold nights I've invited him to sleep in the barn, but he has a dreadful fear of horses and has always declined. Finnik's been working for me for about a year-- he was a pitiful little thing that just showed up one day, scavenging from the fields and the refuse heaps, and it was probably just a matter of time before some farmer set their dog on him. I figured I had better give him some sort of legitimate way to earn his bread," she says, in a somewhat defensive tone that indicates she has perhaps had many arguments about this, with various people.
"He's-- not a bad sort, he's really not. He's never filched from me, and he's eager to please. I find it hard to believe he'd try to kill Bort-- he's not a malicious creature, and I think he'd only even seen Bort once before, on Bort's last visit. Certainly they didn't meaningfully interact."
Markon has his hands laced behind his head, and shrugs again. "Goblins and dwarves got like, a deep, long-lasting hatred of each other, though. Maybe that's all the reason he needs."
"Yes, thank you for your scholarly opinion, Markon," Sparrow says brusquely. "So you have no idea where we might find him, then?"
Delma twists her apron a bit in her hands, sighing. "Other than going house to house on the north side? Not particularly. He usually gets his food through me, though. If it's vital that you talk to him, I could, well... I suppose sort of arrange a bit of a.... a trap, you know, set some food out on the back porch.... but I won't do that if you mean to harm him," she says with a little set of her jaw.
Lilita glances at Markon as she passes him his drink, then back to Delma. "I'm personally trying to reserve judgement until we have all of the evidence. But if he isn't the one that poisoned Bort, he's the one who is most likely to see who did."
"I'm leaning towards not him? Even if he wanted Bort in particular dead, I would think poison would be a bit...um. Subtle. For most goblins? But, like I said, reserving judgement."
"All the same, I would say it's pretty important we talk to him. Given the way it seems most of the townsfolk feel about him, it seems like we might want to clear his name for his own good." Does she believe that or is she trying to get Delma to help them? It seems like she believes it.
She settles back at the table "Right now, my money's on that stupid boar. We haven't gotten enough evidence to accuse anyone else."
Delma hesitates a bit at Lilita's words, but doesn't entirely seem convinced that Finnik would be given a fair shake.
(Mechanically, I'll need a Diplomacy check if you want to convince Delma to help try to lay a trap for Finnik.)
Markon snorts at the mention of the boar. "Ahh, but he's dead, so he's a bad suspect now, huh?"
Sparrow taps his chin thoughtfully as he considers the dilemma before them. "We could also scout the northern side of town and see if we any sign of Finnik ourselves," he points out. [b]"As well as perhaps follow up with that very jumpy gentleman you inadvertently scared last night, Lilita? Krent, wasn't he called? He acted suspiciously as well. ...And we have the matter of the stirges, I suppose."[/ooc]
Indeed, you do have a) stirges, b) Krent, c) try and find Finnik on your own, canvassing the north side of town, d) trying to lure Finnik with food, either with or without Delma's assistance. What do Lilita and Reg vote for, as far as courses of action to pursue next?
|Regariel of Greengold|
"I too am keeping an open mind," Regariel says calmly. "As Lilita says, we haven't enough evidence to draw any solid conclusions from yet, and being a goblin isn't a crime in and of itself." Else the constable would have hauled him into custody shortly after he showed up. But that thought he keeps to himself.
Reg considers the options Sparrow has laid out. "If the plan is still to deal with the stirges at midday, that should likely be what we do next," he muses. "But whether we seek out Finnik after that or wait until after we speak to Krent, I'd recommend luring him with bait only as a method of last resort. Species aside, no one reacts well to being tricked."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Lilita sees that she doesn't seem to be convincing Delma.
"Reg is probably right. He may come in to work. It would be much better to interview him like anyone else. Trapping him will make him feel like a criminal"
"I feel bad for judging Krent too. But...He did act so strangely" she sighs "Anyway, someone did it. Eventually we are going to find out who.
She gets to her feet and nods at Reg's assessment of the order of operations. Of course, they will have to wait until Markon finishes his drink and Reg finishes his tea, but she can start to rearrange all of the things she had to take off to give Sparrow access to treat her wound (her scar?)
"I don't suppose anyone has a plan on how we're going to clear out the clot?"
MArkon shrugs. "I dunno-- fire?"
Sparrow shakes his head. "I keep reminding you that is NOT the solution for everything. I believe that we were hoping they would just be quiescent in the brightest part of the day, and hopefully make our job easier. I admit I didn't intend on working as a pest control service on this journey, but if it helps get us goodwill in the town, thus avoiding the misguided attention of the... sheriff..... then it seems a productive use of time, at the least. Shall we? And perhaps lunch, after, if it goes smoothly?
Markon shrugs, and unrolls from his chair to return to his room and re-don his armor.
With Markon re-geared and Lilita healed, the group sets out, possibly with more trepidation than before, given how close they came to a near-death experience just hours earlier. But the morning remains obstinately pleasant, as if to say that really, it's silly to be worried, and within fifteen minutes of walking you are back on the path that leads to the old shrine and, presumably, the stirge nest.
"We gonna try and go in quiet, hoping we can get them while they're all... somulent?"
"Somnolent," Sparrow corrects absently. He looks to Reg and Lilita. "Is that our plan, then?
If you guys are trying to approach 'quietly' you will have to make Stealth checks. If you want to charge in try the element of surprise that's also an option-- either has possible advantages. Given you don't know precisely where the nest IS, only that there are stirges in the vicinity, you may also need to make Perception checks. So, roll me the Perception checks, and, if you're attempting sneaky, roll me Stealth as well. If you don't roll a Stealth, I'll just assume you're going the charge route. ;)
"Yeah. I think that was our plan." Lilita agrees, in a whisper.
"You know. I thought maybe we should. Well. Come up with more. Plan."
She gestures to the sword "This isn't going to be much use against a swarm of something, you know? I have a crossbow I am going to use instead, but, maybe we should work together to make this as easy as possible for all of us? I'm willing to admit that strategy might not be my strong suit. But it is someone's.
She glances towards Reg.
I think we'll need these to move on after Reg's post so I will do them so we don't have to wait.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9
Stealthy!: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12
|Regariel of Greengold|
Reg blinks when Lilita looks in his direction, then smiles a little sheepishly, rubbing the back of his neck. "I, ah, can't claim to know much about stirges," he says. "The only vermin extermination I've ever done was helping clear out a plague of oversized rats that had taken over some tunnels and underground storage near Riverspire. However..."
His expression turns grave and thoughtful, eyes on the ground ahead of him. "Given that we have little idea where the clot even is, we'd best speak to Farmer Metmon again, try to uncover more information that will help us narrow the search. After that, a stealthy approach seems the best way to both find the precise location and learn the stirges' size, numbers and midday behavior."
Looking up once more, Regariel gives his companions a small smile. "So perhaps still not much of a plan, but we need more information, I think, before we can devise a better. Do any of you have other suggestions?"
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Stealth: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (4) + 5 = 9
... we're going to crash through the underbrush like water buffalo, aren't we.
Lilita quirks an eyebrow. "I think if he had any more information he would have given it to us yesterday, when he was trying to convince us to kill the things, don't you think? As long as we are here we might as well check around?"
See above rolls. maybe?
"I think Lilita's got the right of it," Markon shrugs. "The dwarf didn't know where they laired and said he didn't know how many they were dealing with. Dunno what going looking for him will accomplish other than make us have to double back. 'm with Lilita on this, let's just go look. Worst case scenario we can beat it back away from their nest, right?"
Sparrow clucks his tongue once. "I'll admit I don't care to walk more than we have to," he points out, indicating his leg and walking stick with a little tilt of his chin. "Perhaps we can discreetly scout, at the least?"
With Reg overruled, the little group moves cautiously forward... or they try to. Lillit cracks a twig underfoot, and as the group wince over the noise, Regariel finds a sudden, helpless sneeze threatening due to the late sunlight shafting through the trees. He tries to clap his hand over his mouth, but the snort-cough-sneeze that results seems terribly loud through the trees. And sneezes are contagious. Because Sparrow follows Reg's with one of HIS own.
On the upside, however, Regariel's eyes are no less keen even if they are watering-- he lowers his hand from sneezing, and points wordlessly at a tree ahead, up in the branches, about fifteen feet up, where flimsy wings can be seen to be stirring....
Markon stealth: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (9) + 5 = 14
Markon per: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (19) + 5 = 24
Sparrow stealth: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Sparrow per: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (10) + 1 = 11
Bloodseeker: 1d20 + 6 - 2 ⇒ (5) + 6 - 2 = 9
Our heroes do seem to have the drop on the enemy! Of course, the enemy is also 15 feet up a tree, but, eh, details.
Sparrow takes in the trees and the distance to them with a frown. He closes his eyes a fraction of a second...
Diviner's Fortune: 1d20 ⇒ 19
...then touches Regariel on the shoulder. "Good luck to you," which sounds more like an objective statement than a well-wish.
(Regariel, this turn, you can use the 19 pre-emptively in place of a d20 roll you'd make.)
Then, Sparrow raises his stick, and limps forward carefully, not getting too far ahead of the others.
As for Markon... he unslings a bow from his back, temporarily dropping his sword and shield. "Screw this, let's see if I can pinprick one from here, huh?"
Bow shot: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 6
One of the just-stirring bloodseekers has no more than stuck its head over the edge of its mud nest-- when Markon's arrow sticks it neatly, and disgustingly, to the tree trunk! One down, three to go!
|Regariel of Greengold|
Sneezing, for all the world as if he were some raw newcomer to tracking and possessed of allergies besides, how embarrassing. Regariel's chagrined self-castigation lasts until he spots the roosting blooddrinkers, interrupted only by Sparrow's touch to his shoulder.
He blinks at the other man's words, then turns his attention back to the nest, loading his crossbow as Markon takes careful aim, smiling with grim satisfaction at the bodyguard's successful shot. "Well done," he murmurs, feeling a sudden confidence for his own chances wash over him. Reg narrows his eyes as he sights in on another stirge ... then fires.
Fortune-enhanced Shot: 19 + 5 = 24
Crossbow Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 4
Lilita is slightly more cautious this time. She does not charge in - not when it looks like they probably have the matter in hand. She takes the time to get out her hand crossbow and load it.
She steps out around Markon, but stays with everyone else, watching the stirges rather than running out in front of the rest of the group to get within range faster. They'll be here soon enough.
Not in range this turn, three actions are move, get our crossbow and load. That's all I can do, yeah?
Lilita prepares for incoming! Reg's aim is Luckily good- though his target doesn't quite die.
The three stirges, one trailing blood, launch themselves from the nest and beeline towards our heroes....
Two of them must expend all the might of their wings just to close. When one of them comes within punching range of Markon, he releases his bow to do just that, trying to cold-clock the ugly little beast in mid-air.
Attack: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (9) + 8 = 17
Damage: 1d4 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
And he does! There's a sickening noise as if someone had just punched a water balloon, not that any of you know what those are, and the oversized mosquito reels out of the air, crumpled and leaking the blood of less well-armed creatures than yourselves.
"That that, you ugly little whoreson," Markon growls.
However, the third stirge had the advantage of being just that much closer to you all than its fellows. Though REg's arrow badly tattered one of its wings, it seems to fly well enough to reach Sparrow...
Attack Sparrow: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (3) + 8 = 11
But Sparrow sticks his cane up in front of himself and blocks the nasty-looking proboscis from his flesh.
"Why am I on the front line?!" he exclaims.
"I was wondering that my own self. Idiocy?" Markon shouts back at him.
"I assumed you were going to move forward!"
"Well you're the one who's always tellin' me what happens when I ASSUME, aren't you?" Despite the banter, Markon is also quick to act-- he snatches up his sword from the ground, and straightens back up with a swing to knock the stirge away from Sparrow.
Markon Vs Blue: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Damage: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (8) + 3 = 11
The already-wounded stirge is cleaved in twain. Markon grins in satisfaction, then bends to scoop his shield up off the ground as well. "You got this, right, Lita?"
(Lilita and Reg are up, I haven't acted for Sparrow yet but I will have him act if the stirge somehow survives both of them.)
Lilita wrinkles her nose at the thing in her face. She steps back and fires with her crossbow.
Attack!: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
Possible damage: 1d6 ⇒ 3
"Not all of us can kill things in one go" she admits to Markon
She loads another bolt after the first one flies, though she doubts it will come to that with everyone focused on this one little monster.
|Regariel of Greengold|
Lilita may not have killed the stirge outright, but she has given Reg the moment he needs to assess the situation while he reloads. He brings his crossbow to his shoulder, narrows his eyes, and fires.
Strike with DaS: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
Damage with SS: 1d8 + 1d6 ⇒ (6) + (1) = 7
Regariel slots another bolt, eyes the stirge critically, and sends a crossbow bolt dead through its heart. The stirge drops like a stone.
...and just like that, the forest is quiet again. Sparrow arches his brows, looking down at the neatly dispatched corpses of the very-overgrown insectoid creatures. "--well done, all of you. That was quite neatly handled."
Markon grins, swinging his sword a few times in the air just for the fun of it. "Yeah, that was how it oughta go-- quick and neat, and none of us bleedin' out on the ground. I like it when we don't get hurt."
"It's certainly to be preferred, isn't it? Markon, why don't you check and make sure the nest doesn't have anything like the eggs of further young?"
Markon scrunches his nose. "Why do I always gotta climb stuff?"
"There might be valuables left over from their kills," Sparrow says blandly, and the warrior brightens at the idea, sheathing his sword before he goes over to adroitly climb up to the mud nest.
His face falls in disappointment soon enough. "Nah, there's nothin' up here. Just mud and sticks and s$%%. --you know, those little ugly suckers just drink blood, they don't take the bodies. So there's no reason anything would have been up here, Sparrow."
"You don't say," Sparrow says with suspiciously bland innocence. Markon opens his mouth, shuts it, glares a bit, then scales back down the tree to the earth.
"Let's go see this damn farmer, then, maybe he'll have some sort of reward for us..."
Metmon is pleased to hear that the stirge nest has been cleansed. The dwarf claps his burly hands together with a satisfied smile. "Well now! Best news I've had of a ten-day. Now we can let the animals feed as is natural, not have to keep them cooped up when neither they nor we are pleased with it. Now then, I believe I promised you some good turnip cakes and the best turnipta in town...."
The dwarf invites you into his modest, but clean and comfortable, home, bidding you have a seat while he puts together a small hamper. In short order you have been gifted a dozen small, round cakes the size of your palm, sweetly aromatic with the scent of cinnamon and cloves, as well as a jug of a liquor sealed with wax and marked with Metmon's seal.
"It's strong stuff, by your lights," Metmon says with a note of warning. "No insult intended! Just that humans and elves and such, well, bless you all, not a one of you can hold a stiff drink. My turnipta's didstilled four times to get any sort of kick out of it, makes a pleasant midday mead for myself and my lad, but it might knock your own selves right out if you're not careful. Also-- here, I was keeping this in case of an accident here on the farm but I imagine you're all likelier to need it."
He hands over a minor healing potion. (Restores a d8 HP when drunk)
Lilita covers her mouth to hide as smile, a surprisingly dainty gesture, clearly amused by the back and forth between the men. She claps Markon on the back when he climbs back down and winks to Reg.
"Guess it all worked out.
When they reach the farmhouse, Lilita seems genuinely pleased with their reward. "These smell lovely." she says in regards to the cakes.
As they are presented with the turnip bounty (and the potion besides) Lilita says "Were any of your neighbors having trouble? I suppose you would know if they were. Gossip gets around."
"I suppose you heard about the trouble at the inn last night?"
Spilling Tea Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
|Regariel of Greengold|
Regariel murmurs sincere thanks for Metmon's appreciative gifts, particularly the potion. Desna avert, but if they ever again need to bring a comrade back from death's edge, perhaps they won't need to rely on what looked suspiciously like either wild magic or divine intervention.
When Lita questions the farmer, Reg ceases his inspection of the potion bottle and pays strict attention to the conversation.
Sorry folks, but with his lack of charisma modifier, much less diplomacy skills, Reg will not be assisting in the questioning. Keen ears, eyes and mind, yes. Silver tongue? Not so much. ;)
Markon just looks highly wry at the sympathetic backpat... He also looks ready to try some of the dwarf's potent liquor right on the spot, but Sparrow gives him a quelling stare when he reaches for it.
Metmon merely shrugs at Lilita's enquiries. "I did hear there was a ruckus, and trouble with the caravan folk? My son and I keep much to ourselves, by and large..."
"Well, thank you for your time, Mr. Metmon, we won't keep you further, no doubt there's much to do on a farm," Sparrow says, seeming vaguely disappointed there's no particular gossip to be had from the dwarf.
The group of four takes their leave, with Markon taking it on himself to carry the large sloshing earthenware bottle.
"Plesae don't drink anything until we're back at the inn," Sparrow sighs as you set out from the farmer's house.
"Okay. So can we go back to the inn? I was promised lunch."
Lunch is a simple but filling affair-- smoked trout served with a creamy, thick herbed cheese and some robust slabs of a dense, dark rye bread. Delma remarks that you people certainly are having a busy day thus far, between boars and stirges!
Markon gets to sample the turnipta, and manages to quaff a healthy swallow before he starts coughing and has to wipe his streaming eyes. "...s... good.. stuff," he manages through his coughing, flashing a thumbs up before much more carefully sipping the rest of his mug.
As you're finishing your meal, there's a bit of commotion at the door-- your new friend Koln has arrived, with a wagon's load of boar meat, as promised. Delma is startled but not displeased, and says she'll see what Amora might be able to cook up from it. Olf and Ulf have followed the meat in and eagerly point out that you won't be able to eat HALF of that on your own, so surely you'll want company for dinner?
And then it's Tamli, the half-orc sticking her head in and wanting to know just what you've found so far-- and then Regariel takes the opportunity to check in on Bort. Cookie is holding vigil with the dwarf, and says there's been no apparent change that he can see...
The point is that it's much later in the day by the time you finally get out of the Feedmill again. Late afternoon sun plays golden over the roofs and the turnip fields as you turn your steps northward.
Across the bridge, even the golden hour can only do so much to hide the shabby state of the north-side buildings. Unlike their counterparts to the south, they have been left to fall into disrepair. Weeds choke what was once dirt roads, and here and there a fallen-in thatched ceiling reveals bare wood spars jutting upwards like the picked skeleton of a dead animal. Though the sun's still shining, this side of town seems several degrees chillier. Perhaps it's just in your heads, though-- it's easy enough to imagine the town 20 years ago, bustling and full of life on both sides-- but the townsfolk have ceded this side to the ghosts, it seems. You do see a person or three-- poor souls, clearly; two dirty children in worn, patched clothing peer at you from behind a doorless doorway, but they twist away into the inside if you take any steps their direction, and a wary glance from a pinched-face woman who is likely their mother convinces you you wouldn't be welcomed.
Aside from the poorest of the town's souls, there is no shortage of other life-- animal. Squirrels or rat dart out of sight among the tall grass and untrimmed trees, and crows caw at you from crumbling roofs.
As you go, you collectively keep an eye out for any sign of Finnik...
Lilita is likewise disappointed but polite. She is quiet on their trip back, but the lively scene at the inn brings her out of her reverie
"As far as I am concerned there is plenty to share." Lilita says, in regards to the boar. "But I have to admit I didn't do much to help bring it down so I think it is up to everyone else.
Lilita is content to watch the bustle with a small smile on her face until the others are ready to go.
Survival: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9
The plight of the poor souls she sees in the ruins distracts Lilita too much to see or hear anything. She is also thinking over how they are going to deal with Krent without him running away.
"Hey, I'm gonna eat like three servings of that boar just by myself," Markon threatens cheerfully. Sparrow scrunches his nose. "Well, someone else can certainly have my portion; boar sounds much too heavy for me..."
Dinner plans notwithstanding, you all find yourselves once more trekking about the town....
Lilita: You could have used your Perception, which is higher! But it would still have fallen short of the DC, so no real difference either way. Going to roll Reg's just to keep us moving:
Regariel: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Markon: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Sparrow: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
It's Markon, perhaps surprisingly, who notices the prints. The warrior is using a found stick to hack at tall grasses in a desultory way, and after one such clump falls to his fake blade, he pauses, stopping to look down at the ground his bored swipe just revealed.
"--hey, come look at this. This looks like a goblin print to me..."
Sure enough, when you gather around, the muddy earth shows signs of relatively recent passage by a bare, goblinoid foot-- the three toes are something of a giveaway.
Markon looks around, using his stick to poke at the grass in search of more prints.
|Regariel of Greengold|
It's Regariel's turn for a quiet, preoccupied walk. Thoughts chase themselves through his head: thoughts of Krent and Finnik, of the evidence they've already discovered, but mostly of Bort's condition and what other help might be found for him. Markon's discovery of the three-toed footprint brings him back to himself.
"Three toes," he murmurs. "At that size, it has to be a goblin."
Survival: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (6) + 1 = 7
His own search through the tall grass uncovers nothing, but perhaps others will have better luck...