Carrick nods his had in affirmation at Grunyak's questions, wondering the same thing.
“My wife died trying to find a way to destroy that urn.
After my wife’s death, friends sent entertainers and other diversions to distract the household in its grief. That’s when Sabas arrived, begging a place. He seemed a simpleminded innocent, a natural fool with a gift for ridiculous nonsense.
The treasures were kept in a hidden vault, protected by magical guardians. Somehow, the jester learned how to bypass the vault’s defenses.
He’s sure to head west along the abandoned canal and then turn north toward House Disaren’s lands at the northernmost point of the Thistleridge Barrens. An old road that leads across the Alycean Valley meets the canal there."
"Tribune, how much of a lead do you reckon this Sabas fellow has on us?" "Is there any shortcut we could take that might help us catch him?"
Grunyak readies his things. He does pull out a small pearl and whisper a word. Activates his pearl of power 2nd level to recover spiritual weapon. His eyes flash violet and he smiles as he returns the pearl to a pocket in his clothes.
"Ready to get going when you all are.
Toral smiles again.
"Okay, take the drink on the way and as always Grunyak has the rigth idea! If there is no shortcut then let us use our short feet into our hand and hurry."
When the course of action is clear, Carrick moves to the door ready to depart the instant everyone is ready, he knows time is of the essence. Still he feels uneasy about the whole affair, yet until the Jester is found there will be no answers.
Walric, the male guard from the gate, leads the group to northwest corner of town to a canal. "Follow the canal a few hours to The Bondstones. Its a small ruin, once a church to Sarenrae. Then head north for about fifteen miles to Diseran Village."
Anyone need anything before chasing after the jester?
“I am ready!!“ he says.
survival to follow directions : 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (10) + 12 = 22
He tries to lead the team based on the directions.
"Thank you, Walric. We appreciate the directions. We will let the Tribune know of your competent help." "Now, on to the bond stones."
Grunyak settles into the middle of the march. He reminds the others of his tasks from the society. "Keep an eye out for bandits, There are 2 nearby per our master of spells."
Fox will assist Toral tracking the tracks, but by scent.
[Animal speech] "We are going to find and relieve a professional thief of ill gotten goods. This person must be skilled to have done this act."
Daikitsu, please give your blessing on our mission.
Carrick uses his wand of CLW to heal his battle wounds.
Wand of CLW: 3d8 + 3 ⇒ (7, 4, 5) + 3 = 19.
Lead on Toral!
After a few hours travel you spot shattered ruins loom up through the mist, limestone walls covered in ornate carvings. One massive slab depicts a radiant figure blessing a pair of worshippers. The remains of a small campfire stain an adjacent wall with smoke. Above the coals, a roast snake dangles from a stick, badly burnt.
A Talden male moves out of the shadows, "where is the jester? And what have you done with my brother? We can’t have strangers poking around in our business, so you’d best explain yourselves"
Perception 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (3) + 21 = 24
"And we can't have strangers pointing bows at us from the shadows" Philthy offers in return "Reckon we all get that campfire going again because it's dark and cold and misty and a good fire burns all that away and strange supicions too"
Diplomacy 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22
Philthy smiles his crooked smile - mustering up his wit and charm.
i sometimes loose the bubble in pbp as to how much people got hurt. Next time, just nudge me and Grunyak will channel. It can save resources and i don't mind being reminded. Grunyak is nothing if not a healer. If he noticed people hurt, he would help them.
"Good spot there, Philthy. I would have never expected this man not to be alone. I guess it is my trusting nature."
He sayes to Philthy while keeping his gaze on the trees where he still does not see anyone.
He turns back to the man who spoke. "What do you mean, where is the Jester?" "We certainly don't know." "As for your brother, I don't know you much less your brother. So how could I have done anything with him?" "Let us join you by the fire and you can tell us what is going on and what is bothering you."
diplomacy aid to Philthy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Toral nods and just adds.
“We are all just ok the road … we all have our stories. We mean no harm! And we’re seeking the jester because we were tasked to do so. Please don’t hurt us!“ he says with empathy.
Auto aid Philty.
sense motive to understand them better : 1d20 + 19 ⇒ (18) + 19 = 37
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14
Only at the last moment does fox see the folk, but its nose was filled with several scents.
Fox smile to appear adorable, aid diplomacy?: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Carrick also auto aids the diplomacy
Indeed, we've come in search of the jester, as well. Perhaps our interest in him aligns.
As he says that he scans around for the others Philthy mentioned.
Perception: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (13) + 15 = 28
Seeming agitated, the leader continues, "my brother's name is Baran. He was sent to investigate why the jester stop reporting to our employer. As for the jester, you should leave him to us. As he betrayed us not you."
"Oh, whatever quarrel or issue you have with the Jester is no business of ours, but he has ended up with an item of great sentimental value to someone who has asked us if we could be so kind as to retrieve it - and as that seemed to be a great reason to see the sights of your rather spectacular countryside we agreed. I take it he left his former job in quite a hurry, perhaps this is where the confusion came from"
"I mean, what could be more trustworthy and unthreatening than a bunch of wandering dwarves?"
Any insight on how to circumvent a fight or what they want GM with the sense motive check? ;)
“My friend is right. Let’s please come to a peaceful solution here! We both want the jester. Why not work together?!“
Yes, we just need to retrieve the item, then you may do with him what you will.
Carrick is concerned with what it might mean to turn the Jester over to these unknown folks, but he's not interest in conflict with them either.
"Yep, that solves our problem of hauling him back here for justice. We never got a straight answer about what to do with him from the Tribune anyway. If you help, you can have him."
Grunyak is unsure what the local law is, but he is sure it is not pleasent. He wants nothing to do with that side of this as they were not given any writ or other authority.
"The request was to get the objects back off him, there was no talk of having to bring him back or any justice sought - he could fall in a hole for all I care, so long as the heirlooms were neatly boxed up for our collection"
"Our interest is purely retrieving someones property they would like back - our interest in the Jester is simply that they are the carrying that property."
The leader looks over the group before nodding and stating, "I think we can work something out. If you capture the jester bring him back here in four days time and we can make a deal."
He then slowly backs away as the four guards lower their bows and head out with their leader.
After Carrick is sure they have gone he addresses the party.
Well, they didn't really give us much to go on did they? They were looking for the brother Baran, but offered us not a single bit of information about him. Yet they seemed content to let us track down the Jester. It's all odd business. They've offered us nothing, so I don't know we are bounded to our word with them. The Tribune may well want the Jester back for his own "justice" and he is actually paying us for our time. Sort of.
Once the party is well and truly alone
"IN fairness the Tribune only asked us to retrieve his items, what happens to the Jester seems like something the Jester will determine when we get there. Seems like a bit of a nasty sort and pretty conniving, reckon it will all end with spilt blood and dead bodies, that's just me though"
Fox scratches something in the dirt, resembling a stick figure picking the pocket of another. Same stick figure's waste is then slit with a claw, then a sack of money is drawn, with a question mark.
Killing the thief = profit?
"It is always nice when people listen to each other instead of fighting. It is a good day then."
Now, Grunyak looks around in vain to find tracks or such that might be the jester's. "We need to follow the trail North to Deseran Village, but it would be nice to find some clue at this jester follow pasted through here."
Grunyak looks for the road or trail heading to the North or maybe a sign pointing out the way.
It must be almost morning or late into the night. We might want to think about resting. It has been a long day. What are you all's thought on that?
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Carrick tries to understand the foxes drawing but has no clue.
Not sure if there is any kind of clock mechanic to this adventure, but I doubt we need a rest from a resource perspective...I say press on. Lest the trail grow cold.
Resting is fine for me.
[Animal speech] "Would you like to see a trick?"
"Don't tell the others, though. It must be a surprise."
Said trick is performed when only Philthy is paying active attention.
Bluff?: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (17) + 10 = 27
Fox crudely draws a circle shape with a tien symbol in it, along its edge some crude scratches in specific points.
It firmly pats its paw into it, so dust poofs away from the image.
Fox uses hide in plain sight to vanish into the shadows.
From a distance, in a hushed and fake gruffy voice "Hey, ye see tha'? Ripe fer robbin' when they sleep."
Fox uses a ki point to remain hidden.....
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From what you gathered from the briefing and talking in town, the next village would be Disaren. Disaren is the village the Tribune Bourtze believes hired the jester.
Toral agrees with Philthy and nods.
"Maybe we can find some tracks. Let me check! Otherwise we continue and see what happens." he says.
survival: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (4) + 12 = 16
"I'll give it a look with you, Toral. Not my strong suit, but I might spot something useful."
survival untrainer to aid: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Grunyak will prepare to leave if that is our course.
He could be anywhere at this point, Disaren is probably the best place to look, or maybe try to find something out there. But doesn't hurt to look for some tracks.
Carrick joins in looking.
Survival Aid: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
It takes sometime but you find tracks heading west for about nine miles before heading northwest along a river.
It is getting about midnight. Do you want to continue on or rest for the night?
Sure rest is fine.
We seem to be on the trail, but the hour grows late, perhaps we stop for the night and pick it up in the morning.
"That seems best. We will be too fatigued to captur this fellow if we don't"
Grunyak will help look for a good stopping spot on the trail. A barn would be nice. perception aid: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16
You are unable to find a structure to rest for the night but do find previously used campsite. The next afternoon you come find his trail meets up with one of several horses.
Survival checks to contiue following the horses.
survival : 1d20 + 12 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 12 + 4 = 19
Toral starts to search for clues to follow the trail.
Carrick assists Toral in the tracking.
Survival aid: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (20) + 9 = 29
Dang wasted a natty 20
Grunyak puts in his suggestions of tracks.
survival aid: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (2) + 5 = 7
"Can anyone tell if our thief is now on horseback?" "We may need to start thinking of magical aid options to help with this. Especially if he is moving faster than us."
The scent Fox associates with the jester does move in the direction the horses. Carrick believes one of the horses is carrying more weight since the jester and this trail meet.
You follow the trail for two days.
The jester’s trail winds through a tangled thicket along the marshy banks of a silt-clogged canal. Foul secretions drip from the withered trees, and broad patches of ground lie barren, as if scorched. Almost lost in the thorny tangle, structures crumble beside the abandoned canal. Heaped debris—the remains of the pumps and waterwheels that once powered the canal’s locks—clutters their interior. The battered structures now guard a causeway of broken stone and tangled driftwood, a crude dam allowing foot traffic to avoid the swamps that line the silt-filled canal. Torn body parts lie scattered near the buildings. Bright spatters of blood discolor the bleached stone walls and lie smeared in wide swaths across the ground. Two giant slugs move towards the party.
Philthy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Carrick: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Toral: 1d20 ⇒ 17
Fox: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (3) + 9 = 12
Grunyak: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (12) + 1 = 13
Blue: 1d20 - 4 ⇒ (9) - 4 = 5
Red: 1d20 - 4 ⇒ (1) - 4 = -3
Everyone is up.