My priority plan is to heal Knax, but if he passes his will save or Vesi does the healing thang instead, then I'll have Blaze blast away at Tartuccio instead.
"Because you're an eggomaniac who barely even used a nickname, jackass!"
Blaze's fire just burns hotter, trying to pierce the haze of Tartuccio's illusions. Whether Phantom Pain or Mirror Image
Heal: 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Electric Arc: 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7 dc18 basic reflex for Tartuccio and up to one aggressive kobold
And either way
Elemental Toss: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
Fire: 1d8 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 8
Vesi gasps at the revelation that Tartuk is in fact Tartuccio, the haughty gnome they had met at Lady Jamandi's recruitment party. Then the undine starts laughing.
"Ohhhh, this is priceless. All your bragging and boasting, and here you are, trying to scam some poor kobolds. Tartuccio the Great Failure."
As they say that, the undine steps forward a little to deliver some healing to their companions.
Heal Russ'Ruk, or Knaxshi if he fails his save: 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
will save: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12 Failure - full damage, persistent damage and sickened 1
Knaxshi reels from the feeling of something writing inside him, eating him from the inside. He feels his guts twist and he tries to choke up whatever he's put inside him. While he's not successful, he can at least manage to reload his gun.
fort save: 1d20 + 8 - 1 ⇒ (10) + 8 - 1 = 17
fort save: 1d20 + 8 - 1 ⇒ (7) + 8 - 1 = 14
persistent damage: 2d4 ⇒ (1, 2) = 3
[ooh]Oh, most sacred dice collective, please show mercy to your humble servant.[/ooc]
Reflex vs Electric Arc: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (17) + 9 = 261d20 + 11 ⇒ (20) + 11 = 31
Mirror Image: 1d6 ⇒ 31d6 ⇒ 5
As Knaxshi struggles with the phantom pain, Vesi uses her magic to heal the stricken ysoki. Blaze zaps the kobold warrior with lightning, but Tartuk avoids the blast. The ifrit then hurls a ball of fire at Tartuk, striking the real spellcaster in his face! He screams in pain!
Rus'ruk knocks out the wounded kobold warrior before moving to attack Tartuk, destroying his last mirror image.
Tartuk, née Tartuccio, has nowhere to run with your companions blocking the exits. "You'll regret crossing me!" he declares defiantly, pointing a wand at Russ'ruk and blasting the kobold point-blank with magic missiles!
Magic Missiles: 3d4 + 3 ⇒ (4, 2, 4) + 3 = 13
13 force damage to Russ'ruk.
"Oh, I think our regret will be very short lived. Yours, on the other side..." Vesi leaves the sentence hanging as they glare at Tartuk, flinging their hands towards the fake kobold.
Cast Buffeting Winds, 2d4 ⇒ (4, 4) = 8 NL damage, basic Reflex save.
"Hey! Look at that uh... Tatterdemalion, you even got Blue all riled up! That takes some doing!"
Blaze sends a scouring heat through Russ, snapping off a shot with her emergency crossbow as she pronounces the kobold cured.
Heal: 1d8 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Hand Crossbow: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Piercing: 1d4 ⇒ 1
Russ falls from the assault of magical energy and is quickly reignited by Blaze's magical fire. With a huff he grabs his weapon in both hands on the blade, pommel forward as he stands and spits. "No more from you." with a heave he swings the weapon at Tartucibold pommel first
attack(NL): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (18) + 8 = 26
damage: 1d12 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
stand, interact grab sword 2 hands strike nonlethal. 9/26hp
Knaxshi calls out a deeply held "Thanks" to the healers. But he keeps his sights on Tartuccio. The pain is still getting to him.
He shoots... into the wall. Reloads and tries to retch again.
attack: 1d20 + 10 - 1 ⇒ (1) + 10 - 1 = 10
Fort save: 1d20 + 8 - 1 ⇒ (2) + 8 - 1 = 9
flat check: 1d20 ⇒ 4
Persistent Mental Damage for Knaxshi: 2d4 ⇒ (2, 2) = 4
Reflex: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (9) + 11 = 20
Blaze gets Russ'ruk back on his feet before grazing Tartuk with a crossbow bolt. Vesi batters the purple kobold with buffeting winds while Russ'ruk smacks him with the flat of his blade. Tartuk blocks some of the sword strike with his shield spell, causing it to shatter into fragments of force.
He takes a step away from Russ'ruk and telekinetically hurls a rock at the silver-scaled kobold! Russ'ruk avoids the projectile!
Telekinetic Projectile: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (3) + 12 = 15
Russ rolls away from the rock and goes in for another one-two strike with the guard after giving chase to the false kobold.
strike: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
damage(Nl: 1d12 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
strike: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
damage(Nl: 1d12 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
"You abandon your allies, trick a tribe, and now attack us. Why do it, why throw your life away like that?" He questions during his assault.
Knaxshi is sick of this and jams the butt of his gun into his gut, spewing up whatever it was that the spell did. He feels better, but sends off a shot before steadying himself. Finally, he reloads and fires, letting everything slip away.
fort save: 1d20 + 8 - 1 ⇒ (18) + 8 - 1 = 25 Yeah!
strike: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
risky reload attack: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
damage: 1d2 + 1 + 1d2 ⇒ (1) + 1 + (2) = 4 for a massive six point critical!
Actual Knaxshi Crit Damage: 1d12 + 1 ⇒ (7) + 1 = 81d12 ⇒ 9
Russ'ruk hits Tartuk again, then Knaxshi fires a bullet that pierces the false kobold's heart! The force of the impact rocks him back, and he falls to the ground, eyes staring blankly up at the ceiling. A few moments later, though, his body twists and changes. Scales disappear, to be replaced by bruised and bloodied skin. Hair grows on the body's head, and soon you find yourselves standing over the body of not a kobold, but a gnome. As Blaze said, the ersatz shaman was none other than Tartuccio!
"The Sootscale tribe is in your debt," Chief Sootscale says, bowing to you. "You may take all of the treasures that this false kobold claimed for himself. I promise that we will pay you back further at some point of the future as best we can."
Tartuccio's personal gear consists of a cold iron sickle and a wand of magic missile. In addition, there is a large heap of treasure in his den. This mound consists of a huge amount of worthless shiny objects, such as quartz and mica crystals, bits of metal, broken weapons and armor, and other garbage. In addition, the pile contains 320 cp, 42 sp, 12 gp, two sleep arrows, a +1 weapon potency runestone, and a soiled leather bag. Inside the bag are the treasures stolen from the mitflits (who in turn stole them from the Thorn River bandits, who took them from Oleg’s Trading Post). The leather bag contains 21 sp, 9 gp, 1 pp, one dose of dust of appearance, and a plain brass wedding ring set with a single pearl—this is Svetlana’s wedding ring, worth 12 gp as an item of jewelry but far more to Oleg and Svetlana.
Tartuccio's personal journal, written in Gnomish, sits on a table here as well. Within its pages, the bitter gnome mentions several times that he hopes to achieve success in gaining a hold in the Stolen Lands so that he can impress his “patron,” but nowhere in the text does he reveal the identity of this patron. The final dozen pages of the journal contain information on his plans to infiltrate the Sootscales and use them as a force to control the region. They also mentioned that he abandoned Jaethal and Harrim somewhere in the woods before coming here.
"Too much to hope for that his patron is Lady Swordsladyship?" Blaze shrugs. "It'll come up or it won't. How do we feel about going and finding Jaethal and Harrim in the woods? Jaethal at least has great fashion sense, but I don't remember anything to recommend short, pale, and smelly."
"We should return the stolen items to Svetlana and Oleg, but a detour through the woods sounds like fun!" Vesi turns to Chief Sootscale. "Do you remember from which direction Tartuk arrived?"
Russ looks at the fallen gnome and thinks for a second about giving the corpse another swift kick, but refrains from doing so.
He instead turns to lick his wounds, "I am sorry that you had to deal with this Chief Sootscale. If we aare successful in our mission to establish a budding kingdom then you can expect an emissary once we have things established. There are allies of ours that, were once in tow of this... FALSE prophet. So knowing where he came from would aid us greatly in recovering them."
medicine: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
heal: 2d8 ⇒ (5, 7) = 12
"Err, let me help," offers Vesi when they see Russ'Ruk licking his wounds. The undine pulls out a roll of bandages from their satchel and a pot of soothing salve.
Medicine: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (12) + 9 = 21
HP: 2d8 ⇒ (5, 1) = 6
with Vesi's help Russ is exactly full on hp again
After tending to his wounds with their friendly druid's help, Russ nods to the chieftain. "Seems we've a direction then. With luck they won't be in dire straits."
He looks to the rest of the company, "Shall we have a search through the forest?"
after party talk but before leaving
Russ will approach the Elder sootscale placing a hand over his chest. "We thank you again Chief Sootscale. Let this be a sign that both of our people can become prosperous."(Draconic)
"Well, we have a rough direction, so let's head out. Oh, I can't wait to see the forest!" Vesi stage-whispers to the others. "I heard that it is very, very old. I wonder if there are druids in it. There must be, right?"
"I'm ready to head out. Thank you... but I should ask what to do about Tartuccio's body. The Sootscales are likely to put it to the field, but even though he did... awful things it seems a little morbid."
Russ furrows his eyeridge in frustration at the situation, he wishes they could have taken him alive and gotten more out of him. "I don't know much of druids, are there many in your clan Vesi?"
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"Maybe there'll be something big enough in the forest to prove a challenge to us," Amiri says eagerly as you depart the kobold cave. "Between the mitflits and that treacherous gnome, I'm ready to test my mettle against a giant or two!"
"Oh! Let's hope there aren't giants, for Harrim and Jaethal's sake," Linzi gasps.
"The two of them struck me as capable of taking care of themselves," Valerie opines.
Over the next few days, you travel northwest through the hills, past the sycamore tree where the mitflits made their lair. As you journey, yo ucome across a rocky crag that juts from the hills. A closer look reveals a 5-foot-wide crack. The crack opens into a 20-foot-deep crevice that widens into a 30-foot-diameter cave.
The cave wall directly opposite the entrance sparkles slightly. A closer investigation reveals that this is a vein of gold ore! While you don't have the resources right now to tap this vein, it might prove useful later when you begin to build your kingdom.
This hex doubles the output of a Mine established here with the Establish Work Site activity.
"Oh.. before we go Chief, do you happen to know where we could find Fangberries or Moonradishes. We've been asked to collect a few for a wonderful stew and a local potion brewer. We won't take more than we need, nor will we be greedy in the future."
Vesi nods at Knaxshi's suggestion, dutifully drawing a butterfly on the map to mark the location of the gold vein.
"I would be surprised if the locals didn't already know about it, but perhaps they lack the equipment to get the ore out."
The next day, you head into the woods southwest of Oleg's Trading Post to begin exploring the area. It is slower going than on the plains, so it takes a few days to fully canvass the area. Eventually, though, you come upon a large patch of delicious moon radishes growing in an arrowhead-shaped clearing. Four Sootscale kobolds lie on their backs in the center of the patch, bellies full of the spicy roots and three overfilled baskets of radishes lying nearby. Since you have an alliance with the kobolds, they happily allow you to harvest some of the radishes, which Svetlana has requested to make her famous moon radish soup!
Russ sniffs the radishes and finds himself salivating slightly at the spicy-earthy aromas and does his best to not just bite into the root.
"Ehem thank you scale cousins. We shall be off now."
After they moved away a bit he looked to the others, "Please someone else carey these while we travel. I don't trust myself to not eat the lot."
Vesi picks a few more moon radishes to experiment with in their recipes, and happily offers to carry the basket.
"I wonder if they have any special properties..."
Nature: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Turning to their companions, the druid takes out a small journal and pen. "Alright, what is everyone's favourite dish? Do you like things more spicy, or less?"
They continue to talk about food for a while, noting down people's preferences as they express them, and including Amiri, Linzi and Valerie in the conversation.
Diplomacy to influence Valerie: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
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The radishes have a lightly spicy-sweet flavor. Vesi posits that a bowl of creamy moon radish soup would be amazingly comforting, clearing the mind of anyone who has a bowl of it.
When the talk turns to favorite foods, Linzi speaks up first, looking up from her journals. "Sweet, sugary pancakes! They're delicious, with or without toppings."
"I like to eat what I kill," Amiri says as she sharpens her blade. "A hearty casserole full of fresh meat from a felled beast. Add some eggs and cheese. Delicious."
Valerie gets a wistful look in her eyes as she pauses from polishing her armor. "My favorite meal is one I haven't had in a long time. Whiterose oysters. They originated in Whiterouse Winery many years ago, and quickly became popular in the circles of nobility in which I was once a part of. I don't miss very much from my life before I became an adventurer, but I do miss those oysters. Perhaps one day I will be able to taste them again. For now, though, I am content with whatever foods we come across."
The tall woman goes back to her armor, but Vesi can still see the traces of a smile on her face as the fond memories have brightened her mood.
You have gained 1 Influence Point with Valerie.
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Russ hummed as he hammered the dents from his own armor. "I would have to say the green speckled mushrooms and fire roasted centipede thorax of my home warren. Something in the soil made the mushrooms just the right sweetness and the diet would also make the centipede's plump and sweet as well, juices would even caramilize if you were lucky enough to find a proper unbroken pan to cook with."
"Spicy! If a normo can eat it, it's not hot enough. I usually do a bunch of stews for myself, basically anything where you can just throw tasty things in the pot and wander off. Also, if you can ever get in on a Devil's Dinner that's been left out as someone's sacrifice, those are usually surprisingly choice cuts of meat. Just uh, make sure the boiled blood is from a goat or something."
Cooking: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18
That evening, Vesi prepares a meal for everyone - a simple stew of root vegetables and mushrooms seasoned with wild garlic and thyme, Strips of dried meat have been cooking in it until they are falling apart, adding to the savoury taste.
"Your favourites will have to wait until I acquire the ingredients, but here's something to tide you over!" the undine announces cheerfully. "Perhaps Chief Sootscale can trade some centipedes for some moon radish soup, next time we are in the area."
They turn to Linzi. "You must have travelled a lot, and you always write in your journal. Do you have any fun food stories? Unusual dishes you tried? Some people say a people's culture is about books and paintings and song, but I think it's a lot about food, too. What do you think would be the Greenbelt's cuisine?"
Diplomacy to influence Linzi: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Vesi's meal is delicious, and your companions eagerly eat the tasty stew.
Linzi wipes at her mouth before answering Vesi. "Let me tell you which place doesn't have good food. Pitax! You'd think a so-called artists' haven would foster the culinary arts as well. But the suppression of original thought that runs rampant there extends to the cuisine as well. I'm glad that my days of bland meals are behind me."
The halfling eagerly holds up her empty bowl for more stew. "But this stew is worthy of being remembered! Perhaps once we've begun to settle the area, you could open up your own restaurant! I think people would be lining up to taste your recipes, Vesi!"
You have gained 1 Influence Point with Linzi.
Over the next few days, you continue exploring the northern reaches of the forest. You traverse through a glade filled with hidden snares, indicating that a trapper may be active in the area. The next day, you come across the body of the trapper.
At first glance, it appears the unfortunate man overstepped his skill and was pinned to the ground by several large logs when his partially completed deadfall trap collapsed on him. However, closer inspection reveals that the deadfall’s ropes have been deliberately cut. A tiny, sharp tooth is snagged in one of the ropes.
The trapper's hatchet, stuck in the stump of a tree a few feet from his dead body’s outstretched arm, is a low-grade cold iron hatchet. Next to the stump is a waterskin with fresh water and a backpack containing 2 days of rations, a sleeping bag, a spool of cord, several strips of linen, and enough materials to craft three spike snares. A second bundle holds three cured beaver pelts (worth 1 gp each), a skinning knife, and a set of leatherworker’s tools.
Vesi is outraged as they come across one snare after another. "This is irresponsible. So many snares, and hidden like this, is this hunter trying to trap the whole forest?"
As they encounter the body the next day, the druid looks a little abashed. "Poor man." The druid examines the little tooth. "That's strange. It's sharp, so a carnivore. A wolverine?"
Nature: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Russ had been largely contemplative after the meal and hadn't even made much conversation. Mostly absorbed in his thoughts about Tartuk. But the death of the trapper seemed to snap him out of it especially when Blaze asked about the dentistry.
"Ah.. no looks a bit small to be a kobold fang. While I'd love to give him a proper burial, it seems the creatures may have already gotten at him so may be best to leave the remains."
The kobold does go over the equipment however and slides the hatchet into his belt if noone else claims it.
"Best we watch out for snares too, or suddenly falling logs. Don't want to get squished like flatcakes."
"We should remove them where we find them. With the trapper dead, the animals caught in the snares will die senselessly." Vesi looks around, in case they can find any other clues about the mysterious owner of the tiny tooth.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
"Linzi, what do you think? You know a lot of things, any ideas what kind of tooth this might be?"
"Agreed, if they've got anything in them already we might as well empty them too, no need to let it go to waste. But we can dismantle them regardless either way." Russ agree's.
Finishing out the day moving and checking for the remaining traps, Russ tries to speak with Valerie on the trapper situation.
"Something I hadn't even considered one we are the rightful rulers of this land is poachers and trappers. The land is rich, but that can quickly decline if human civilization is any indicator. I can't imagine we'll attract those that are better at living in harmony with nature especially given the nature of this place having swallowed fledgling cities in the past. But even more so poachers on our lands is going to be a lot of work to deal with. Do you know of any effective ways to help prevent poaching?"
society: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
For my use of at least one day of our traveling talks.
"Could be an omnivore. Some of them have sharp teeth too," says the sharp-toothed omnivore. He''l think back to see if he knows anything bout the tooth.
"Lots of poachers and trappers are just trying to feed their families." he says. "We need some way to balance this. Maybe allow hunting in a different part of the woods each year. That way no one place gets hunted out. If we find any druidic circles or rangers we could get them to help us figure out where to allow it. And to help find scofflaws."
Vesi nods thoughtfully at Knaxshi's words. "Yes, I am not against trapping, but what we saw yesterday was just too much." The undine flashes a smile. "Speaking as a druid-in-training."
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"Sure sure, you get too many traps in the woods and then you wind up with-
"Wait have I ever told you the one about the Town Without Flame? Okay, so the whole thing started with an elk, an extra mouth, and a bear who wouldn't share. So a few years back, when the Mountain that Flies was still awake, and you never knew when the horizon would turn red, there was a group of likeminded thinkers who had bonded over similar tastes in music and mischief.
"But because those tastes weren't shared by everyone else around, those likeminded thinkers were living in the woods, woods kinda like these. And there were a lot of them, so sometimes bugs and berries weren't enough to keep everyone's face safely stuffed. So they separated out into different groups who wanted even more of the same things as each other, like if they wanted to ride pigs or study giant bloodsuckers, but no matter what they liked, they all had to eat. So one group of mischievous thinkers had put up snares and pits and all kinds of traps all over their stretch of the woods, but when you do that, you're not always the first one to check the traps.
"So these roving musicians came back to check their pits, snares, and nets, and they found a towering elk, antlers spread wide, dangling from a tree, but a mysterious stranger was trying to steal it!
"She was pale and tall, with small bright eyes and a smile that promised danger without being sharp and predatory. The musicians watched her from the undergrowth, but when they decided she was alone, they came out to chase her away from their food!
They tried to run her off with blades and bludgeons, but she just laughed as she led them on a merry chase over root and tree and rock... Rocks that weren't where they should be, and roots that reached up to snare ankles and stub toes! The musicians were filled with fear and anger, but hunger most of all, so they gave up their chase and tried to find their way back to the elk, only to realize that the spindly longshank had circled around behind them!
"She'd already cut through the net, and was working at butchering the elk when there came a **Chuff Chuff Snarl** and a Bear came trundling into the clearing!
"No one wants to fight a bear, except maybe 'Miri, but the traipsing trappers already had their weapons out, so they yelled and chanted and sang and shoved as many pointy things as they could find at the bear's snout, expecting it to run away, but a fey light came over the bear's eyes and it just swatted the blades out of their hands!
Then the poachers' poacher just had to do something. After all, whether or not she liked the original singing hunters, if the bear killed them all she wasn't going to get the elk anyways... So one, two, three! She snapped her fingers and the poachers' weapons caught fire. Four, five six! Three more snaps and fire was springing up around the bear and pouring out from her palms.
"The strange light in the bear's eyes didn't fade, but it took flight anyways, and filled with the joy of the chase, all the new friends ran after it. The bear was faster, and as it ran, more and more of the forest animals rand with it, the same strange energy setting their eyes aglow...
"For you see, the bear was no ordinary bear. It had been bound by the fey to guard a village they had hidden away at the edge of the woods. And when the bear and its coterie returned, they spoke of the great dangers of the woodland blaze and how it had so quickly spread to the other inhabitants. The fey feared that those embers might quickly become an inferno, and so they began to snuff them out.
"All through their town, from cookfire, to lantern, to midnight candle. Piff, piff, piff. And then, their eyes turned back to the woods...
"But that story's a long one to tell, and a longer one to have lived, so the Year of Fire's Death and the Blood-Drenched Brush will have to wait for another time."
Performance: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20