Liss's Up Mwangi Without A Paddle thread


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Bloodcove: the last port of call on the Fever Sea. This strange town is part pirate haven and part merchant bazaar. Its ramshackle buildings rest on the twisting, interwoven roots of a colossal mangrove tree, a fitting metaphor for the complex web of promise, deceit, treachery, and broken alliances that defines the remote trading colony. The hard-won bounty of the Mwangi Expanse flows through Bloodcove to ports around the world, and obtaining these exotic riches from the deadly wilderness is the easy part—the real difficulty is hanging on to the treasure long enough to see it safely delivered to a distant port.

The dull oppressive buzz of the jungle’s insect life has been likened to a form of Tiani water torture and in a matter of days, hours, or sometimes even minutes it can go from being noticeable to irritating, from irritating to painful, and then from painful to maddening. It is not unusual to see grown men and women, sanity torn from their minds, trying to escape the seasonal swarms by diving into the water for a moment’s peace. Unfortunately, depending on the particular season, the deceptively tranquil waters can harbour a worse fate for these poor souls driven to the edge of their humanity.

And the city truly does exist on the edge of humanity. If there is a bright centre to Golarian’s civilizations, Bloodcove is the place it is furthest from. Most inhabitants, whether native or immigrant, barely manage to eke out an existence there and fewer ever manage to leave. The overworked clerics and healers in the few temples have little time to see to the spiritual concerns of their so-called flocks since the never-ending flood of needy, squabbling visitors never ebbs.

Those who head into the dense jungle are rarely heard from again, though rumours continue to circulate of small settlements, pockets organized life in the constantly evolving natural chaos that is Mwangi. Those who travel in force and do business with mercenary efficiency, like the Aspis Consortium, have managed to not only turn a profit but create multiple fortunes. A lucky few have managed to rise above the meat grinder that is Bloodcove and move on to a less inhospitable existence.

For the rest, the bungled and the botched, life follows the tempo of drudgery bordering on defeat. When life can end as easily on the end of an insect bite as it can on the end of the blade most choose to look no further than the end of their nose, rise no further than the lowest hanging branch, lest they lose more than just their sanity.

Some, however, still manage to hold their ambitions close, and for them Mwangi holds opportunities like few other lands. Its dense air is no more than the promise of a lover’s kiss, its wild nature a fruit to be plucked. For these few, Bloodcove is not the end of the world. It is the beginning...

Thus far Bloodcove has been a great disappointment. While you had thought to push forward the vanguard of the faith using the established temple as a base camp, instead you have discovered it to be hardly more than a beach head in a truly savage land. Dorowen, the ancient dwarven Sword Knight who at times seems to behave as though he is still in Andoran or even old Cheliax and whom you have never seen step foot off temple grounds, has surrounded himself with a trifling handful of true--albeit ineffectual--clerics whose modest ambitions add up to little more than plugging their fingers in a leaking dam of spiritual corruption.

While their efforts and services to the spiritually apathetic citizens of Bloodcove wear them thin, the short periods of time set aside for prayer have at least kept the flame of faith alive (or, at the very least, have kept the temple grounds from being bought out from under the priests by one of the many competing trading companies) yet little progress has been made towards civilizing this brutal and heathen land.

Worse, Dorowen has thus far managed to block any of your attempts to journey up river into the heart of the jungle, where your efforts appear to be needed most. During your few brief and infrequent audiences he has cited a variety of reasons and excuses--differences with the Aspis Consortium that controls most of the river trade, native unrest, ceremonial demands at the temple, various security concerns, and any number or manner of even more trifling obligations--he has managed to prevent you from leaving the city's roots for weeks.

You had, in fact, begun to wonder how this priest has avoided Iomedae's displeasure, almost expecting to see the few alms garnered by the church tarnish and grow inordinately heavy on their plates and in the coffers. This is why, when he summons you for only the second time since your arrival in Bloodcove you respond with all due haste. Perhaps inaction has finally given way to vision.

Once the public formalities have been seen to he bids you follow him into his private audience chamber. He sits in a high backed chair as you kneel before him. His gaze moves in turns from his immacualte copy of The Acts that rests open on an ornately sculpted reading stand to the brightly honed long sword displayed prominently on his wall. His eyes widen momentarily, their focus snapping to a sudden clarity before turning on you with a contemplative weariness. He coughs and bids you rise with a manner that is both solicitous and slightly embarrassed as he explains the situation...

"We both know full well the... depravations... the... corruptions that can befall mortal forms after," he swallows and seems to consider his words, "Death. And how they are despised in the eyes of our Lady Inheritor." He smiles obsequiously, almost apologetically, "This is why, of course, we would never expect to encounter such corruption here, so close to her home and heart." He gestures vaguely to the sword on the wall. "Any reports of such cannot be given great credence, and yet... when these reports are confirmed by one of our own, brother Vanten who has returned to us in dire condition, we must investigate...

"No, not investigate." Dorowen's voice and demeanor takes on a sudden conviction that surprises you. "We must root out the truth and expunge any rot that lies beneath our purview." At this he rises himself and moves to rest a hand upon the holy book that has become the center of your faith.

"Did you know that when I first came to serve in Bloodcove the servants of Walkena had constructed small shrines throughout the city? We were besieged nearly every night. Never in force, but nearly enough to keep us from our sleep once prayers were done. After two weeks of this Mairvhen--who was Sword Knight at the time, the Lady protect her soul--led us in a sweep of the city. We went two days without sleep and lost half our number. Mairvhen herself was mortally wounded, but held on through the final confrontation. In the end we tore down their shrines and their head shaman fled the city. The cult has never again dared return in significant numbers.

"Yet we cannot afford such a confrontation in these times. We lack the manpower, and we lack the..." Dorowen sighs heavily, "It would take a bigger fool than I not to see that we lack the leadership, and you are not such a fool. We must put an end to this scratch before it becomes a gaping wound."

Dorowen fixes you with a hard look and makes a sign of blessing in front you, "I charge you to employ all methods and means at your disposal to discover and destroy this new source of undead in our city. Once you have brought the light of Iomedae to this problem and burned out the darkness, I grant you freedom of the city and jungle to serve our Mistress as you see fit."

With that pronouncement the strength seems to seep out of Dorowen's frame. He dismisses you with a gesture as he settles into his chair, retreating once again into his customary air of distraction, drawn further away every moment as he silently contemplates the sword hanging on the wall, a sword once wielded by Mairvhen as she led her circle through the city during her final battle to cleanse the defilement that had come to infest its shores.

The rest was simple: a brief interview with the bed ridden elf Vanten let you know that not far North and East of the Land Gate he had run afoul of wandering skeletons while gathering herbs for poultices. His guide, a friendly local ranger named Tchi'ana who had a decent though not gifted hand with the quarterstaff, had helped him fend the monsters off at the cost of his own life. It was all Vanten could do to return to the Gate alive and he hadn't been able to search out the area. However, it was exceedingly rare that undead should be wandering so close to the city for no reason. Vanten sketches out a small map of the general area and wishes you good luck before the cleric tending him insists that you allow him to get some rest.

Its all you need, however. The turning of the next hour finds you mounted atop Earlina and headed for the Land Gate, ready to seek your destiny.

You are assumed to have gathered all the equipment and material you will need before you depart. Please make sure this gear is itemized on your character sheet. Please keep track of any materials/components with monetary value, all others will be maintained by survival checks where necessary. You are expected to track your ammunition as well. If your character reconsiders and chooses a course of action other than leaving the city that is fine, the day is young.

With all the traffic and commerce passing through Bloodcove you never thought it would end up feeling so... small. While you have managed to find yourself something of a patron in the form of Lodi, bar mistress of The Tickling Keelhaul, most of your few performances have taken place long after last call. This has earned you the grudging respect of Warren the head bouncer, and he generally makes sure the drunks leave you alone while you perform your main duties: collecting unfinished drinks for the "Quarter Barrel" (so named because that is the cost of a pint in coppers for a drink from said barrel).

Perhaps things would have been different if during your inaugural performance Harroc, the head chronicler at the local chapter of Pathfinder society, hadn't referred to your bardsong as "a bloody awful Orcish honk" and gone on to regale the gathered crowd with stories of his early career (which seemed to amount mostly to violent acts of near-genocidal intensity against hordes of barbaric orcish tribes). Since then it has been nearly impossible to gain entry into the library there, barring a few occasions when Keirdre--a sympathetic half-elf--has managed to sneak you past the other pathfinders so that you may conduct research into various poetic forms and tales.

And so you find yourself between a rock and a hard place--or, rather, an ocean and a green place. You can't seem to make enough money at any given time to pay for passage out of Bloodcove, and it is far too dangerous to simply walk away into the jungle on your own. Thus you wait, slog through the mundane irritations of each day (as mundane as life on the edge of civilization can be, at any rate) and wait for any opportunity for advancement to show itself.

Needless to say when that gnome started hanging around the Keelhaul, drinking himself silly and muttering angrily about the demonic qualities of sea travel, you expected to watch yet another newcomer sink into the depths of desperation and despair. Seeing an opportunity to ply your craft (and, perhaps, a steady source of income since his purse never seemed to go dry) you tailored your infrequent performances to him, and it wasn't long before he took notice and opened up with his story...

Reljik is an engineer for the Aspis Consortium who had made his mark in Cheliax and accepted a promotion as Chief of Operations at Nightfall station. He had never before traveled by sea, however, and discovered it to be anathema to his constitution. Not only that, the harrowing voyage had left him utterly incapable of stepping foot on a boat of any size. It was therefore impossible for him to take up his new position, since the Consortium by force traveled upriver by boat, and equally impossible for him to return to Cheliax. He had thus been forced into the unhappy compromise of working as an assistant to Bloodcove's local manager, who had little interest in surrendering his own post to work up river himself.

His story inspired you to recount the tale of Nightfall Station, when a group of local rangers was paid to actually survey, built and maintain a road for almost 2 years in order to complete construction. The road quickly fell into disuse and disrepair once the station was completed and little trace remains of it. Reljik was fascinated, and the very next evening he returned with excitement written all over his face: he had discovered a tome in the Pathfinder Society's library containing information and cataloging the original route of the road, which had to be carefully built around and through various swamps and inhospitable terrain. If he could gather enough information he would present a proposal to reopen the route to light travel, reaching Nightfall via land!

The very idea seemed ridiculous: the Consortium had originally expended vast resources and manpower to construct the roads, only to let them fall into disrepair when the river route proved more reliable. It was highly unlikely that they would be willing to do all that work over again. Reljik was obsessed, however, and vowed he would never put his foot on a boat again.

It seemed a harmless enough pipe dream, until a few days ago Reljik came in with a copy of a map he had sketched from the records and declared he would lead a group to the trail head by weeks end. The next night he didn't come in for his customary drink, and the following morning agents of the Aspis Consortium came looking for him. They announced a reward for anyone who returned the gnome to their compound, but they didn't seem overeager and you overheard the agents laughing about an argument that Reljik had apparently had with the operations manager the day before.

The whole chain of events was nothing new, and disappearances happen all the time in Bloodcove, this was nothing unusual except... something about the little gnome and his genuine desire to move on from this damnable city captured your imagination and you find your mind drifting back to the idea of him, alone, struggling through the undergrowth along the river. You keep telling yourself that its the idiotic stuff of legend, that real life is not a story... and, yet, you know that stories have power over life.

One sleepless, waking dream of a night was all it took to convince you that someone would have to find out what happened to Reljik. Someone had to tell his story.

Someone in this infested pustule of a city had to start caring, and start making other people care, and who better than a simple half-orc bard?

The next morning finds you at the Pathfinder Society. Keirdre helps you find the tomes that Reljik had been researching, and all the notes that he had gathered in his private cubicle. With this material in hand you are able to reproduce the map he originally showed you within a few short hours. You sped the rest of your day gathering supplies and the next morning finds you at the Land Gate, ready to test your own fortunes against the wild unknown and discover whatever became of your erstwhile companion.

You are assumed to have gathered all the equipment and material you will need before you depart. Please make sure this gear is itemized on your character sheet. Please keep track of any materials/components with monetary value, all others will be supplied by survival checks where necessary. You are expected to track your ammunition as well. If your character reconsiders and chooses a course of action other than leaving the city that is fine, the day is young.

Bloodcove was meant to be the ultimate test for you, but thus far the test has proven to be too much. It took you a little longer to realize than most, but after the fourth time Brynden carried you back into the city from one of your perfection seeking excursions (and this one lasted longer than most, nearly two whole days!) you finally admitted that you can't handle the harsh Mwangi jungle on your own.

Since then you have been meditating on what would be the best next step. Brynden insists that most of the jungle is just "more of the same, only with fewer women," a resource reduction that is not of particularly great concern to you but without his help there's no way you will be able to face the true test that originally drew you here so eagerly.

You convinced Brynden to lead you out into the forest again for exercises. He seemed all too eager to be out of town again, his comfort and love for the difficult terrain evident as he cast worried glances back at the city. And so you find yourself practicing your forms, trying to block out Brynden's incessant noise when a sudden movement catches your eye...

Down at the Pirate's Hook tavern you have built a solid reputation as "the laziest and most lecherous ranger in all of Bloodcove" but taking care of your best--and perhaps only--friend, Loras, has been a full time job lately. Chomping at the bit to constantly "test himself" against the rigors of the jungle he has gotten in more trouble than, well, you with a pair of redheads and a fistful of Mwangi Elf-nip! If only he would work within the natural rhythms of the jungle like you rather than against them he'd probably have more success.

And so you find yourself sitting on the sidelines yet again. Unable to return to Bloodcave until Fendon's Fair Weather sails for Korvosa due to a misunderstanding between you, the quartermaster, and his dice you agreed to lead Loras out another one of his afternoon expeditions. While he practices his forms, you work on making the loudest noises you can by blowing through a blade of grass held between your thumbs when a suddenly...

Both Loras and Brynden:
3 skeletons stumble out of the trees right on top of where Brynden was lounging, catching him unaware and by complete surprise. Although Loras detected their presence he is momentarily caught flat-footed...

The first Skeleton takes a barehanded swipe at Brynden and misses. Brynden recoils in surprise, jumping to his feet which allows the second skeleton to catch him from behind with a looping swipe of its short sword (3 hp damage)

The other skeletons quickly crosses the clearing and attacks Loras with a primitive club, catching him on the elbow with a stinging blow (1 hp damage)

Loras may act now, then the surprise round will end and the new round will begin with the skeleton's actions (and no one flatfooted any more). Initiative order is as follows: skeletons, Brynden, Loras. If you roll to attack roll damage as well just in case it hits. You can use dice and just post the result if you wish, I trust you.


Loras Responds:
Loras frowned at being hit with even a glancing blow by such a pitiful enemy. That's what I get for trusting Brynden on watch. I knew he was distracted. He draws a kama with his left hand and yells over to his friend, "I'll join you shortly." He attacks the skeleton with a flurry of blows, but attacks with a greater focus on discovering the creatures defenses. Once he had its timing down, the fight would be over.
Non-Power Attack with FlurryOfBlows at -1/-1. Rolls: 9,18 both for 1d6+1 (B+S)

Please post character actions using your characters alias profile. You can select the correct profile using the drop down menu at the bottom left of the text box when you add a post.

Loras and Brynden:
Drawing a kama is considered a standard action while flurry of blows is a full attack or full round action, thus they cannot both be performed in the same round. Please indicate whether you wish to perform both attacks barehanded or if you wish to make only the first attack using your kama. HINT: If you choose to make both attacks barehanded, please roll the barehanded damage for your second attack.

Hmm, Can you break down your attack modifiers for me when using FoB? Here's what I've got:
Regular hand: -6(normal)+2(light weapon)+2(2 weapon fighting)+0(BAB)=-2
Off hand:-10(normal)+2(light weapon)+6(2 weapon fighting)+0(BAB)=-2

Also, you have listed +3 to strike unarmed and with kama on your char sheet, but I'm not sure why when you have +0 BAB. If you DO have +3 then your attacks should be +1/+1, not -1/-1. There must be something I'm missing. Just make sure any attack roll you have given me either lists the formula with total or just gives me the total (i.e. 16+3=19 or just 19)

Male Human Monk/2

Loras Responds (again!)

Loras Attacks!:
I thought that drawing a weapon was a move action and not an action that would be a problem with my flurry of blows, so i'll attack barehanded with both since he doesn't have time to waste. if he finds that his attacks are ineffective he can always pull a weapon and do a power attack next round
Loras attacks with a flurry of blows. He knew that Brynden would complain if he took too long with his single skeleton, so an unarmed attack is all the time he has time for. (first attack is 9-1=8 for 1+1dmg and second attack is 18-1=17 for 4+1=5 dmg)
My Base attack bonus for FoB is -1 for both attacks if i attack with barehanded or monk weapons (ranged or not) because I use the monk's level for my base attack bonus. It has my attack bonus on the monk class wesbsite under flurry of blows attacks. I'm not sure if my strength bonus gets included or not to make it -0/-0 for both attacks. i always do 1d6+1dmg for unarmed and with kama, unless i do a power attack for -1atk+2dmg.
So, in conclusion, FoB uses my lvl as base attack bonus, but I"m not sure if my strength bonus gets included in there somewhere to make me attack at -0/-0 for FoB or no. =)Thanks!

If you guys are reading the spoilers, should we even bother putting them in for now? The page looks funny with post after post of spoilers hahaha

Loras & Brynden:
Thanks for the modifier clarification, I figured I was missing something. Why is your regular hit bonus +3, though?
I assume your attack rolls were 10-1=9 and 19-1=18. Even if it was 18-1=17 it still hits, though.

Loras peppers the skeleton with lightning fast strikes, none of which hit home until he steps in after a quick jab. The skeleton slips the jab only to encounter the follow up and Loras crushes it's skull with a vicious elbow. As the skeleton crumples in front of him, he looks over to see Brynden flanked by two skeletons with blood already soaking the back of his scale mail...

Brynden manages once again to avoid the reaching claws of the first skeleton, but trying to keep up with foes on either side of him proves to be too much and the point of the second skeleton's sword catches him upon the hip (4hp damage).

Round 2, Brynden then Loras. Loras is close enough to reach either of the skeletons with a normal move action (but it is further than a five foot step). Brynden is flanked with a tree occupying the third adjacent square.

Male Human Ranger/2

Fight Club (I fixed Loras's attack bonus to +1 from STR, mistake in typing =)


Bryden swears at the skeleton's swipe. "Might want to hurry up," he says to his friend, but not loud enough; Loras is in his trance. He takes a quick look and sees Loras dismantle the first skeleton.
They aren't that tough, he thinks, but feels something wet dripping down his leg and realizes that if anything were to happen to him, Loras wouldn't be able to survive alone in the jungle. So, with that in mind, he decides that not dying would be his first priority.
He considers running away, but who knows, there could be a dozen more skeletons waiting, so instead he yells "Hurry!" and retreats a few steps to put the tree at his right and two monsters in front. He draws his greatsword and prepares for total defense. With the blood running down his leg, and his friend incoming, he words a quick prayer to Erastil. He is the god of family after all, and with the amount of time they'd been spending together, Brynden figures Loras is practically family. Total defense +4AC, no longer flanked, sword out

I'm having a difficult time picturing the exactly landscape of the fight. I know there are two skeletons currently on opposite sides of him and I picture the tree being behind him as he'd been lounging up against it. So in taking a five foot step back to put the tree against his right he avoids the possibility of flanking attacks from the skeletons and gets Loras into a position to flank.


By the love of Irori, but Brynden needed to work on his focus. Loras doesn't quite care how dead Brynden would be if he had stayed in town. He'd agreed to come along on this trip, so he should have been more vigilant. Perhaps he could get a spell to overcome his ineptitude at standing guard in the future...
He demolishes the skeleton in front of him with a sweet-sounding crunch, and hears, "Hurry up!"
Brynden has backed up to put a tree on his right and the skeletons in front. A perfect target for me, he thinks with a smile. Loras rushes in, fists tightened, and unleashes a power attack from behind the skeleton currently closest to Brynden. not sure if this draws an AOO from him. He hopes it will be enough to knock this skeleton out as well, as he notices that Brynden does not look well. He knows that he must end this quickly...

Brynden attacks with a power attack at +0 (strength bonus is +1 but power attack lowers attack by 1 and ups damage by 2) and rolls: Roll(1d20)+0: 19,+0 Total:19 (lucky, but not even including flanking)
and for damage he rolls: Roll(1d6)+3: 5,+3 Total:8 (i know, lucky again!!! woo woo).

I put some notes about the position in our facebook thread.
Brynden took a five foot step to get +2 AC for the tree cover (no AoO) and then drew his sword, which is a move action. As I understand it he cannot take a full round action after that, though (fighting defensively). Therefore he can still attack this round.
I can't find any specific rules about attacking with the flat of your blade, but for now if you wish I will allow it with a -1 to attack and damage.

Closing the distance never draws an AoO. Also, I will assume Loras went for the skeleton with the sword, since it is the one doing all the damage so far. Since you indicate that your are flanking the skeleton you are not in striking distance of the other one at this time. Diagrams are really hard to make, otherwise I would make one here. In times I might learn how to insert tables.

Loras rushes to his friends aid. The sword wielding skeleton seems engrossed with the butcher's work it has been performing on Brynden and doesn't even turn to face the incoming monk. This proves to be a grave error, as Loras sets up a modified Thai clinch and drives his knee through the undead creatures spine.
All that remains of the once-deadly threat is a crumpled pile of bones on the jungle floor and some dirt on the monk's garb to mark it's demise.

I will wait for Brynden's attack before taking the clawed skeleton's 3rd round action.

Male Human Ranger/2


Brynden decides to take a quick swing with his sword as he retreats to a safer place hiding behind a tree. Loras looks like he'll be arriving shortly. He swings at the clawed skeleton, hoping to drive it away from the combat or at least limit its infernal ability to distract.
Attack Roll(1d20)+3: 5,+3Total:8, which almost certainly misses for Damage Roll(2d6)+2: 2,2,+2 Total:6

I thought that the total defense was listed under standard actions on the combat table of paizos website so i thought i could do that instead of the "attack defensively" combat option. I also totally forgot that there was a heal skill outside of magic/potions. I'm poor as s#*$, so no potion for me!

Brynden & Loras:
My confusion about the rules. If I hadn't encouraged you to attack you would have had +6 AC by doing what you wanted to do. Since it is my fault, here is what we'll do: if Brynden is felled by this next attack I will instead ignore the attack you just made and add 4 to your AC and see if the attack misses that way.

The skeleton, drawn to the smell of fresh blood with the single minded purpose unique to such loathesome undead creatures, pays no attention to the bare fleshy thing that has just driven two of its kind back into the netherworld. It steps back to avoid the wide arc of Brynden's greatsword only to swiftly lunge back in, it's twisted spirit seething with murderous intent.
Brynden barely manages to avoid the deadly claws by ducking deftly behind a thick branch, leaving four deep claw marks in the bark where his head had been.

Rolled poorly, the attack missed anyway. Third round, Brynden then Loras.

Male Human Ranger/2

Thanks Kevin


Brynden takes a close look at the claw marks left in the tree bark, and reconsiders a full out attack. It would be manly, for sure, but you couldn't be manly if you were dead, and Loras seemed to be doing pretty well on his own, anyways.
I guess this is why I usually use my bow, cleaner, safer, better That was normally true, but he didn't think an arrow would do much to a skeleton. Brynden raises his sword in a defensive stance again.
"Not feeling so well, he's all yours," he shouts over to Loras, who nods.
I didn't know about using the tree for cover, does the skeleton get a cover bonus too then? I'll use the cover and continue defensive fighting for +6AC to not die.

Male Human Monk/2


Loras hears Brynden say,"Not feeling so well, he's all yours." And it was true, he wasn't looking so well. So he nodded and prepared to finish this last foe. "Face me you dumb skeleton," he said, uncertain as to whether it would have any effect. It didn't seem to care. Loras attacks with a flurry of blows, jab leading and feinting to try and get the creature to move its claws out of position.

Non power attack FoB. (looks like both miss)
attack at: Roll(1d20)+-1: 3,+-1 Total:2
Roll(1d20)+-1: 11,+-1 Total:10
damage at: Roll(1d6)+1: 4,+1 Total:5
Roll(1d6)+1: 6,+1 Total:7

I imagine the scene as this. with Brynden in the centre. tree 1space north, skeleton one space north-east, two spaces west. I imagine the skeleton wouldn't put itself in flanking position between the two warriors, and it doesnt seem like Loras could get into flanking poittion with a 5 foot step if that is the actual setup.

Brynden & Loras:
Okay, I am obviously not being clear enough about where everyone is, so please refer to the google doc. That is the layout BEFORE Loras's last move, so you can see why he is unable to perform FoB (he needs to take more than a 5 foot step to reach the last skeleton). Assuming, then, that he didn't stand there like a buffoon striking at nothing and instead moved to help his friend, he made one attack at normal bonus. Taking your first roll he still missed by a wide margin.

Frustrated by his elusive prey, the skeleton turns to face this new threat and lashes out at Loras with his claws, but the monk is too deft to be struck by it's herky-jerky fumblings.

Round 4, Brynden then Loras. Please make sure to modify the google doc and place Loras's marker in a square of your choosing within striking distance of the skeleton.

Male Human Ranger/2

Sorry about all the confusion Kevin, I think we both initially imagined the scene a bit differently and thus all subsequent actions were a bit off. Thanks for the google doc (and sorry for the trouble)



Brynden smiles as the skeleton faces Loras. At least the strikes he'd been hit with weren't enough to incapacitate him. The longer the skeleton lived the more chance of the creature getting a lucky strike, and Brynden had no wish to carry his friend back to the city alone. He swings the flat of his blade at the creature and then retreats back to the cover the wonderful wonderful tree has been offering him. The creature takes a step sideways to prepare for Loras's attack, and thus Brynden's inept strike with his sword misses (at least I assume).

Attack for: Roll(1d20)+2: 10,+2 Total:12
Damage for:Roll(2d6)+1: 2,5,+1 Total:8

Male Human Monk/2



Loras stops himself from laughing at his friend's sword strike. It seems the blood loss or his desire to remain hidden behind his tree is dulling his senses. Oh well, at least he isn't attracting the creature's attention. I wouldn't want to have to carry the big lug back to town on my own. Loras prepares a flurry of blows that he had only been visualizing the round before. He takes a few steps so the creature would further be turned away from Brynden, and unleashes his fury.

Attacks for : Roll(1d20)-1: 16,-1 Total:15 and
Roll(1d20)-1: 16,-1 Total:15
Damage for: Roll(1d6)+1: 2,+1 Total:3 and
Roll(1d6)+1: 6,+1 Total:7

No problem at all, we will eventually work out all the kinks and laugh about prior confusion.

It seems the tree works both ways!

Despite your early success you don't quite feel comfortable fighting such strange creatures yet and are unable to find the skeleton's rhythm. Perhaps flanking the creature would have given you the advantage you needed.

I am a bit torn as to what to do here, because I *think* Loras should have provoked an AoO with your move since you moved into a threatened square (NE of skeleton) and then out of that square (E of skeleton where you are now). Moving out of a threatened square provokes an AoO unless you withdraw or use a 5 foot step. I will assume instead that you circled wide and avoided that problem altogether, but in the future please make that clear in the description of your movement.
I had no idea that GMing combat would be so complicated, hahaha! I think I've learned more rules in these 4 rounds of combat than I have up until now.

Brynden & Loras:
Somewhere in the primitive depths of the skeleton's mind it perceives the threat of being flanked and takes a quick step to avoid it, lashing out at the monk with both claws to cover it's movement. Concern for his wounded friend causes Loras to lose concentration for a moment, but a moment is all it takes and the skeleton tears a gaping wound across his chest (5 hp damage).

Round 5, same drill as before.

Male Human Ranger/2



Brynden sees Loras get hit with a nasty slash across his chest. If the fight didn't end soon, the only one available to carry them back to the city would be the skeleton itself. He rushes from his cover to get a flanking position on the skeleton. No stupid bloody skeleton is going to kill the greatest jungle-exploring band from Bloodcove!He swings his greatsword to smash it with the flat of his blade.

Attack at: Roll(1d20)+4: 20,+4 Total:24 (natural 20, +3-1+2flank)
Damage at: Roll(2d6)+1: 6,2,+1 Total:9 (bludgeon damage)

Brynden & Loras:
With a quick maneuver and a single swing of his mighty sword Brynden blindsides the last skeleton, ending the undead spirit's torment and the very real threat to both men's lives in one stroke.

Bleeding and breathing heavily, the two friends scan the small clearing for evidence of further danger but find none. What they do notice, once their breathing slows, is a small break in the undergrowth where the skeletons had so suddenly emerged from the forest.

Each char gets 205 XP.
Can you provide me with 3 more d20 rolls each, please?

Female Human Paladin of Iomedae 1

Finally having been given the opportunity to prove herself, Jaine moves about town with a spring in her step as she purchases the supplies needed for her trek into the jungle. She cannot stop thinking to herself how blessed she has been to already be given a task out in the field. She had thought that she would be performing and watching over rituals until the end of days (of course, the rituals are important as well, praise be to Iomedae). To know that her skills have been respected enough to be sent on a quest of such important so early in her young life...

The spring in her step becomes a traipse.

She stops quickly and scolds herself, knowing this is not how a representative of Iomedae should act, and speaks a quiet apology for Her.

Looking at the map, she realizes it might be best to take Earlina along, and heads to the stable. "I wager you're as excited to be free of this town as I am, right girl?" she whispers. She mounts her stead and heads to the Land Gate.

All her gear has been purchased and updated in the profile.

Male Human Ranger/2

Annoyed. I do a 20 minute write up of their conversation afterward, get all my rolls prepared, and press preview and it messes up. I'm definitely posting everything somewhere else before trying to do anything here. Also, note it happened the second time as well, but i had it copied to be repasted. Stupid interweb. Hope you enjoy the conversation :)


Loras and Brynden:

"Well, that's an interesting way to start the morning," Brynden remarks, ripping a piece of cloth from his shirt.
"Would have been less interesting had you actually been paying attention. Didn't I ask you to stand watch?"
"I was standing watch, I just didn't see them coming."
Loras raises an eyebrow. "Isn't that the whole point of the thing?"
"Well," Brynden says. "Usually, but I have to say that this particular situation has never happened to me before. Do you know how many times I've been through this part of the forest?"
"No. does it matter?"
"Yes, it does matter. Something weird is definitely going on. I've been through this forest a thousand times, and never before have I been ambushed by half a dozen skeletons. Do you really think I would still be alive if that happened every time I stepped out of BLoodcove?"
"Three skeletons is hardly half a dozen."
Brynden bristles. "Well it's at least a dozen times as many as I usually encounter. Which is usually none. Something isn't right."
"Doesn't change the fact that you should have seen them coming. I think next time you'd best climb a tree when we're standing around in the jungle. Better cover, better for you to fire your bow, and better to see our enemies coming. Plus, you won't in my way."
Brynden laughs. "Get in your way? Who was it that finished off that last skeleton? I'm having difficulties remembering..."
Loras shrugs. "And who finished the first two skeletons? The ones that were slicing you up like a festival roast?"
"Anyways, I think we'd better head back."
Loras pointed. "Do you see that?"
"What, the trees? The foliage? What?"
"The break in the underbrush, it must be where the skeletons came through."
"Ah, so now you're an expert tracker eh? Well, let's take a look," Brynden pauses. "But a quick look, I don't feel like running into another dozen skeletons. I do want to check it out though, just in case something nefarious is going on here. Wouldn't want any other adventurers getting hurt."
"No, we certainly wouldn't. It's our responsibility to check into this."
"I guess so," Brynden replies, picking up the crumpled skeleton's short sword, "But if we see anything more threatening than a f$&$ing field mouse, we boot it back to Bloodcove, agreed?"
Brynden takes his time looking around, scanning for movement, noise, or obvious signs of danger such as swords being waved around.
"Don't see anything from here," Loras says.
"Me either, but best if you stay close."
Brynden feels the cuts on his sides, and reconsiders. "Maybe it'd be best if I bound my wounds, shouldn't take more than an hour, there are no enemies coming, and night is long away."
Loras nodded, "As long as you aren't using this as an excuse not to do our duty. I'll help but I'm going to be watching more than helping.
Brynden takes his time in trying to bind his wounds.

Brynden takes 20 (1 hour) to treat deadly wounds. 20+6(heal)=26 so I heal 1hp+wis modifier, going up 5hp (i added one hp thanks to neil pointing out the favored class bonus and updated all the other stuff he talkled about).
Please note that Brynden's perception is up at the expense of his stealth, since he usually hides from danger and needs perception to not die in the jungle. He also took a rank in heal even though it seems like a skill that is useless as anything, but it makes sense for him to have it.

I think loras will keep power attack becauase i want to get improved overrun (if it works as i think, i can use it as i try to move through a person and potentially knock them prone, if it doesn't work, at least i stop in front of them and can attack). Is this correct?

The characters take ten (1 minute) to scan ahead for danger and then approach cautiously, Brynden with his sword still out.
Loras's rolls: 20, 16, 9
Brynden's rolls: 5, 16, 13

Male Half-Orc Bard 1

Deciding this will be the day that he finally leaves Bloodcove for good, Garruk gathers his possessions and, realizing there is key equipment he will need, goes to the market to prepare himself. Unfortunately, he had spent most of his last month's earnings on a fresh bottle of ink, but he still managed to purchase everything he thinks he will need (though he has to sell one of his precious daggers).

Along the way, Garruk spots a young, barely 18-year old, woman, the spitting image of Iomedae herself, traipsing along the streets. He thinks to himself this must be a sign of importance, and decides to stop into the local tavern. The coffers of the local taverns would have been pleased by Garruk's ability to see signs and portents in most everyday occurences, that is, if they were able to think at all.

Garruk drinks his ale in one long gulp, lets out an Orcish cry (loosely translated into "my future is my own"), and pays the barkeep his last copper piece. Destitute (but loaded down with equipment), Garruk heads to the Land Gate, and beyond, to Nightfall Station.

Gear updated in character profile.

Also, lol @ Brynden and Loras' conversation!

Brynden & Loras Am I to understand that you are following the trail without attempting to treat your wounds? Without a healer's kit you are at -4 to treat deadly wounds, the DC is 20 but if you succeed you will recover 1 hp. You can also decide to "take 20" which will take you two hours (one hour per person) but assures success(20+6-4=22). Please let me know what you would rather do.

Sovereign Court

Male Human Student (5)

Zafri, just noticing a couple of errors in your statblock, figured you might want to fix them since most of them are to your advantage to fix! :)


Scale mail gives a +5 armor bonus. Your AC is correct at 18, but under that you have +3 armor. It should be +5.
Feel free to omit the part about HD, it's unimportant
Saves should be Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +2
Greatsword should deal 2d6+3 damage (you get an addition 50% damage for wielding it two-handed
Your CMD is 16, not +16 (it's like AC for combat maneuvers)
Knowledge (nature) should only be at +3 due to your Int penalty (+1 rank, +3 trained, -1 Int)
Swim should be at +2 (+1 rank, +3 trained, +2 Str, -4 Armor)
Since Ranger is your favored class, you can either take 1 addition skill rank or hit point


Add the following to your AC line: (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 Wis)
Feel free to omit the part about HD, it's unimportant
Saves should be Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +4
The kama only does 1d6 damage (it gets a -1 penalty to damage for being silver
Your flurry of blows is at +0/+0 (-1/-1 base, and both get +1 due to Str)
Acrobatics should be +7 (+1 rank, +3 trained, +3 Dex)
You're missing one skill point (you get an additional one for being Human)
You should indicate that Dodge is a bonus feat by putting a bolded 'B' after the feat name, for ease of reference
Since Monk is your favored class, you can either take 1 addition skill rank or hit point

Let me know if you have any questions!

Glad Nameless is finally here to help clear up some of my many oversights.

You prepare for this mission so eagerly that the sun has barely crested the sky as you ride out of Bloodcove beneath the half raised portcullis of the Land Gate. The merchant guards on duty show little interest in your passing—their commission extends only so far as keeping troublesome things away, not with keeping fully armed and armoured people in--but one particular fellow marks you with a raised eyebrow and a nod.

His nod spurs you to sit just a little straighter than you were before (if that is even possible) and he calls out a blessing, seemingly despite himself. You hear his companions chuckle with good natured derision, but he barks something back at them brightly in a language you don’t understand. All in all, it seems a good portent.

In theory the priest’s quickly scrawled map should be easy enough to follow, but doesn’t take you long to discover how different things really are beyond the Gate. Riding Earlina over the root system of Bloodcove’s mangrove tree lanes, precarious as they are, did little to prepare you for the reality of trails that seem better suited for lizards and pygmies than humans on horseback. Time and again the dense foliage forces you down low against her back, or just as often to dismount entirely and lead her on foot. One wrong step on the slippery mud of the trail could mean a soaked foot, however, and you know all too well such a mishap which would bring your expedition to a frustrating halt to dry your equipment.

Mindful of the ground, mindful of the route, mindful of the surrounding trees, mindful of the overhanging branches... the first hour turns into another with a gruelling, grinding monotony that begins to test even your resolve. Rather than question the wisdom of your efforts, however, you decide to focus and strengthen your will by driving forward with even more relish than before.

You cease to dismount when the overhanging vines make the way impassable, instead hacking away at them with your sword, clearing the way forward for all those who might follow in your path. You begin to realize that this, too, is part of your task, for what does it mean to extend Iomedae’s reach of not to tame the very land into which you delve. With ever more powerful verve and energy the bright torch of your life burns a swath through the forest until...

At the very last possible moment your mind grasps an otherwise trifling detail and some deep instinct, perhaps the voice of the goddess herself, stays your hand in mid-swing. Almost unsure of what you are looking at, the vine hanging before you seems at first little different from so many others apart from a slight discoloration. What you first took for a trick of the light, however—possibly even ants--resolves itself to be a pair of beady eyes.

A tongue flicks out, lightning fast, searching for you know not what. The coils of the tree hanging snake writhe but it does not seem immediately aware of your presence.

You rolled 18 perception, which was enough to notice the sleeping snake, and it rolled a 1 to perceive you. While it wakes up the action is yours, as well as a surprise round if you choose to take it.

Brynden & Loras:
You take some time to treat your wounds as best you can, but soon curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to investigate the source of the undead that attacked you. Taking all due precaution, you follow the ragged trail deeper into the jungle than you had expected to go.

The afternoon sun has begun to burn away some of the ubiquitous fog that lays over the Mwangi expanse as you follow the twisted path. It quickly becomes clear to Brynden's trained eye that the skeletons weren't following any real bearing or direction, an their aimless meandering loops, doubles back, sometimes moves around obstacles but at other times plunges heedlessly through nearly impassable sections. The only terrain they seem to have turned away from, time and again, is the river itself. They even avoided crossing tributaries except where natural overpasses or small bridges (built by who, or even when, you don't know) allow easy and obvious access.

As the afternoon wears on you are dimly aware that, despite having walked a fair distance, you have not truly traveled very far from Bloodcove itself as the crow flies. After crossing your own trail--or, more precisely, following the skeletons trail as it crosses itself--for the third time it starts to seem like finding their source via this circuitous route will be the work of days rather than hours.

You forge onward, however, and gradually but perceptibly the jungle begins to thin around you and realize you have stumbled upon a swath of fairly new growth approximately 40 feet wide. It clearly stretches back towards Bloodcove and forward in the same general direction of the river. The ground is more solid here, and the skeleton tracks appear less like random splotches of muddy water as they do clear footprints. A boot heel mark here, a claw mark there, some grass torn away when it was caught in some joint or another. Slowly but surely the tracks lead you to a small footpath, almost an animal run but with the overhanging foliage knocked back far enough for a grown man to walk upright underneath, and back up the small trail away from Bloodcove.

Ever vigilant, you follow the trail and come upon yet another clearing, this one littered with the remains of skeletons warriors much like the ones you encountered. A quick scan of the area reveals nearly a dozen of the foul creatures, and what you first take for a single dead zombie. Even from a distance, however, Loras's keen eye recognizes that the felled creature does not bear the taint of the undead and is in fact a human being.

The Land Gate is the last great symbol of Bloodcove's security, false or otherwise. You have heard enough rangers laugh at the idea that the jungle beyond the wall is any more dangerous to the initiated than Wodewalk or Rotting Plan Row are in their own way to the denizens of Bloodcove. Death is no less certain wherever you choose to go.

As you arrive at the gate you notice the guards arguing with a small group of tattooed men. From their hide clothing and markings you instantly recognize the three outsiders as Ekujae, a tribe of wild elves that had become infamous some years ago during a violent rebellion against the Aspis Consortium. Despite winning their freedom in a negotiated treaty that ended hostilities between the parties and guaranteed the Ekujae fair remuneration for their labour (and provided the Consortium with a willing work force and reduction in overall security costs) their general reception in Bloodcove is still about as warm as a Irriseni blood pudding.

You overhear the word "unclean" spoken in broken Common several times and as you approach the argument heats up. The Ekujae, frustrated with their failed attempts to communicate, try to force their way past the guards and a shoving match ensues. One of the elves, driven back by a stout dwarf with a face hard as an anvil, stumbles into you and spins around, his eyes flaring angrily.

Male Human Monk/2


Loras and Brynden:

"Human?" Loras asks in a whisper.
"How am I supposed to know? I'm not a hawk and as far as I remember I didn't bless myself with magical sight."
Loras cracks his knuckles. "No need to be smart about it. Do you think there might be other enemies around, we are in no state to fight."
Brynden looks around, getting his bearings and pointing, "That way to Bloodcove. If we run into trouble I'd appreciate if you run. I'm not fighting again today unless it's against an enemy that will sit back and let me fire arrows at it all day."
"Fine." Loras approaches, carefully checking the remains of the nearest skeletons to make sure they were indeed dead. "Hello?" he says to the prone form.
"See if any of these things was carrying anything worth anything. As you know, we're poor. I might want to have a healer's kit or some actual potions next time we go running off looking for trouble."
"I never look for trouble," Loras says. "Hello?" he repeats.
The prone form doesn't immediately answer.
"Keep your sword out, but don't cut the poor fellows head off if he rises," Loras says. "He, or she, may require first aid."
Both move in.

Both are taking their time on perception checks to make sure that the skeletons have indeed been incapacitated and are looking for anything that might be sold. They have their escape route planned, and Loras is attempting to rouse the downed fellow.

Brynden & Loras:
It doesn't take long for Brynden to recognize the body of Tchi'ana, a fellow ranger and experienced jungle tracker of the zenj tribe. Despite a surprising number of empty bottles littering the ground which must have held potions at one time, he clearly succumbed to wounds inflicted by the skeletons--who nearly tore him to shreds--and judging from the condition of the body he has lain here less than a full day. Brynden is aware that some forms of divine healing have been known to slow the onset of decay after death, however, so it is impossible to be sure.

It is a humbling moment as both men realize that if things had been different it could just as easily have been Tchi'ana stumbling over their corpses rather than the other way around. Just when Brynden begins to consider how best to dispose of Tchi'ana's corpse, however, he notices a strange seam running down the back of the one remaining knee high boot.

He worries at the thick strip of hide with his finger for a moment and discovers a hidden fold that functions much like a pocket. Inside is a thin yet surprisingly sturdy dowel of wood barely as thick as his pinky finger and nearly as long as his own foot, covered in some strange enamel that bears markings neither man recognizes.

Male Human Ranger/2


Loras and Brynden:

"Tough luck, that," Brynden says.
"Aye, it is."
"Know what those markings say?"
"Know anyone that would?"
Loras considers. "Possibly, but we'll have to get back to Bloodcove. Do you think Fendon's Fair Weather has sailed?"
Brynden inspects the dowel of wood. "It's possible, but not probable. I'd rather you went in to investigate matters first."
Loras nodded.
"If there is but one boot left, where is the other one?" Brynden asks, looking for her coinpurse and weapons. "I don't see them on him, so that means that someone must have taken them from him. You remember seeing a skeleton wearing one boot?"
Loras laughed. "No I surely don't. Could be some traveler came upon the body and took what they wanted."
"Tchi'ana didn't deserve this. He even warned me once about trouble coming my way, saved me a good thrashing, and didn't ask a thing in return. I bought him a drink, anyways..."
"If he was as good as you say, his spirit will live on, and we'd best be going."
"You just take a look around for any more weapons or junk we can sell. I'm going to look for any tracks leading away." Brynden walks the edge of the clearing, looking for any tracks or evidence that someone had been there after the skeletons had killed the ranger. He also takes the moment to scan for any further evidence or items that might be useful.
"Best be getting home to heal up and rest."
"Indeed, friend," Loras says. "Indeed."

tracking: survival+ranger track Roll(1d20)+12: 18,+12 Total:30
Loras perception check: 8 Brynden perception check 16 (looking for other evidence or items that might be useful)

Female Human Paladin of Iomedae 1

Startled by the appearance of the snake, Jaine quickly draws her sword and lets out a yell before her mind catches up with her reactions. She realizes, however, that the snake is most likely just as surprised as she is, and urges Earlina to back away, hoping the creature will return to its slumber.

Jaine draws the longsword as a move action, while Earlina moves 25ft. back as a move action (I'm assuming this counts as difficult terrain, so I halved her speed).

Jaine eyes the snake carefully, waiting to see how it will react.

Male Half-Orc Bard 1

As the elf spins off of Garruk and seems as though he could be unpredictable at this moment, Garruk stands to his full six-foot-three height and gives the elf a look indicating that he is not a man (or half-man) to be trifled with. He asks, simply and directly: "What. Is. Happening. Here?"

Intimidate: (1d20+8=16)

Just to help me see this better; were the elves trying to get in or get out?

The elves are trying to get into Bloodcove through the gate, but their reason is unclear and the guards don't care to discuss it.

The snake eyes you warily, jaws flexing. Something drips from it's mouth and your excited mind imagines it might be poison, but there is no real way for you to know.

One the bright side, it doesn't seem interested in pursuing you. On the down side, it doesn't seem interested in giving up the comfort of it's perch. It doesn't seem like stealth is an option, so you will either have to fight your way past it or leave the trail and bushwack your way around at a safe distance.

The surrounding jungle seems full of eyes, however, and you imagine the constant buzz and chatter falls into an expectant hush as you consider your plight.

The Ekujae warrior's eyes widen and he staggers back away from you a few steps. You had originally thought these elves quite small, but as you watch the guards disarm his friends out of hand and rough them up a bit you realize that they are really quite young as well.

The elf stammers what you take to be an apology in whatever tongue it is he speaks when two of the guards take hold of him on either side and make to drag him away with his friends. They will likely have a painful walk back to wherever their tribe is camped.

"Thanks fer yer help, orc, not that we be needin' it wit' this rabble," The dwarf with the face like an anvil rasps, his voice like the noise you imagine if a troll were to eat your kettle drums while beating a tree with a crocodile. "Don't know what's got these fairy buggers all riled up, but whatever it is we don't need none of it 'round here. If they can't sort it with Aspis up at Whitebridge then it can't be sorted."

He spits noisily and gives you a look as if wondering why in the bloody blue blazes you're still standing in front of him after all this time.

Female Human Paladin of Iomedae 1

Sighing at the challenge before her, but realizing that this is just another test to prove her worth to Iomedae, Jaine comes to the conclusion that harming a living creature that is merely defending its home is wrong.

She begins to hack a path around the jungle, trusting in Iomedae to keep her and Earlina safe.

I'm not going to spoiler this, if that's OK with you, Liss. As you said, we're all reading these anyway. I'm going to try to reserve spoilers to provide more precise information (eg: if Jaine whispers something to only one of the other characters).

Male Half-Orc Bard 1

Garruk watches the elves leave, simultaneously content to no longer have to deal with that interruption, and saddened to see the situation in which he has found himself throughout his life.

He turns to the dwarf and speaks in very broken Common: "What happen at White-bridge?"

He eyes the direction the elves take, hoping to catch up with them once this conversation is over.

Brynden & Loras
It quickly becomes obvious that Tchi'ana's body has already been looted by someone or something less observant and respectful than yourselves. Even the skeletons have been stripped of any useful items they might have once carried. You do, however, find the shredded remains of Tchi'ana's missing boot entangled in the fingers and claws of a skeleton, it's legs smashed and broken on the far side of the clearing from where it lays.

The surrounding area has been greatly disturbed by the small battle that took place here, so it is difficult at first to find clear sign of which direction the perpetrators might have gone. Eventually, however, you are able to find evidence of two separate groups leaving the glen. One group headed back into the gathering mists of the jungle, away from Bloodcove. This group seems to consist of a small handful of skeletons, although you discover at least two sets of bare human footprints among them. The regularity of the gait, along with the clear outline of flesh around the foot tells you that these are neither zombie nor skeleton. It takes you some time to realize that another set of tracks, which you had at first dismissed as the unrelated trail of a large jungle lizard, is in fact traveling alongside this group and the creature numbers among them. How or why an animal could be coerced into traveling in a group of undead is beyond you.

The other trail you discover is much smaller, and leads back the way you came. You must have been distracted by following the skeletons to have not noticed this one, because whoever left it was clearly distraught and made no effort to hide themselves. It seems that a single humanoid left--no, fled--the area in the direction of Bloodcove. The discolored grass would have been enough to tell you the humanoid was wounded--the rusted orange patina of blood that dots the trail a tell tale sign--but bloody hand print smeared on the trunk of a tree that the woozy traveler stumbled into leaves you doubtful that whoever it was made it all the way back to Land Gate from here.

The skeletons you encountered must have either been following this person and lost track of them, because their trails separate not long after leaving the clearing.

As you hack your way into the surrounding trees, taking care not to disturb the snake and attract it's ire, you encounter a dense pocket of briars and brush that you must circumnavigate, then one of the thickest trees you have ever seen, with low lying branches as big around as a frost giant's leg. Once you have made it around these obstacles a putrid pool of water stands in your way. Unwilling to risk Earlina in the fetid swamp you make your way around this as well, over a small hillock and back to the... path?

You carefully look left, then right, searching in a small circle for where you thought the path would be in relation to how you traveled. You see a clearing with a small rise and make your way towards that, hoping for a better vantage point, but still you can't find the path. Worse, after all that searching you're not quite sure which way to go to retrace your steps.

Steadfast as ever, you consult your map again, mentally walk through the course you made through the brush, and pick a direction that makes sense. You commit your energy fully to this new route to it, trusting that whatever reason brought you on this new path was a good one.

Within the hour you spot a break in the trees on your right, but you don't immediately make your way to it, instead trusting your direction of travel and keeping your course. You make steady progress, and your single-minded focus pays off when you spur Earlina over a fallen tree and end up on a clear path.

A swath of fairly new growth approximately 40 feet wide, the footing is more sure here. A footpath runs up the side of the open area, which stretches back in the direction that you take to be Bloodcove and forward in the same general direction of the Mwangi river itself. The overhanging branches make following the footpath on horseback difficult, but riding alongside it among the newer growth seems like it would be a simple enough task compared with what you have traveled through the past few hours.

If you are reading the priest's map correctly, this route is the one he followed while fleeing the skeletons and the clearing where he and his ranger companion encountered them shouldn't be very far away, in the direction opposite Bloodcove.

Jaine's rolls:
Survival rolls were: 7 (became lost), I forget the roll to recognize being lost because I was writing at the same time haha but it succeeded, and 20 when she picked a direction of travel (found the trail again). Perception 4 to notice any signs of traffic on this trail heh heh

Due to Brynden's and Loras's actions below, please include a perception check in your next post

The stout guard rolls his eyes and mutters one of the handful of Dwarven epithets that you have come to recognize by rote, "Stupid orc." Nevertheless, he squints up at you and steps to the left, using your shadow as a shield for the sun, and shakes his head. "Nothin unusual 'cept these durn tree fairies yappin with their 'unclean' nonsense. Fr'm what I hear, ain't much those boys DON'T consider unclean. 'Sides, Aspis would be in a tizzy if'n there was any trouble."

He seems to be done but you wait expectantly. Playing up the slow Orc angle has worked wonders for you in the past, and indeed after a pregnant pause he sighs, "Well, aside from yer typical lizardfolk messes and wild animals, there was that one priest come in all banged up last night, talkin' how there's undead out there. Don't see as how that c'n be true, though, since the rangers ain't reported nothin'. 'Sides, undead ain't makin' it past this gate so what do I care, we ain't paid to patrol them damn trees." He fixes you with an evil grin, "You enjoy your stroll, orc, and let us know if'n ye see sumthin' spooky when ye get back." He barks a short laugh and walk back to his station, clearly bored of the subject.

Meanwhile, the Ekujae make their way into the woods, casting sulky glares back at the guards and Land Gate. They seem to bicker briefly before ignoring the various trails and step directly into the forest. They almost seem to melt into the trees, and you are briefly carried away by the image before you realize that if you mean to catch them up you had better act quickly or you will lose track of them utterly.

Male Human Monk/2

They look around carefully at their surroundings.
"It's pretty clear she was looted by something or someone less respectful than us," Loras says.
"Yeah, well at least they were too lazy to look closely, otherwise we wouldn't have this fancy wooden stick to ask about." Brynden looks at the tracks on the ground carefully. "Look, see here, Loras. It looks like two seperate groups left the glen. Some going away from Bloodcove."
"Well," Loras says, "One could hardly expect a group of undead looters to want to travel in the actual direction of a city full of undead-killers."
Brynden ignores him. "Something isn't right here. Look, there are at least two sets of human tracks. Why would humans be working in conjunction with a group of skeletons? Perhaps they were even leading them. IF that's the case, this wooden stick may be more important that we know."
"I see another trail," Loras says, pointing back the way they came. "Looks like it's going back towards the city. Blood on the grass and smeared all over tree trunks."
Brynden stretched his arms and yawned, and then promptly doubled over from pain in his side. He lowered himself into the grass for what seemed like an eternity, staring at the tracks.
"Something is wrong," he said.
"You said that already," Loras replies.
"Be quiet. See these? What do they look like?"
Loras shrugs. "How am I supposed to know? That's why I have you. You're the tracker."
Brynden punches him in hte shoulder. "You idiot. Look, anyone can see that its the path of a large animal, but its going alongside the path of both the skeletons and the two human companions. Something is really not right..."
"Agreed, but you're in no condition to continue. Nightfall isn't too long, and you need your rest, no matter what b!#&*&&& you'd spout about being fine. I'm in no hurry to run into a half-dozen skeletons, a giant lizard, and two mages."
"Now who's talking about half a dozen skeletons?" Brynden said with a pained chuckle. "But I agree. We should return to Bloodcove and recover. We can return on the morrow." He looks up and tries to gauge this clearing's position relative to Bloodcove, in case they need to return.
"Think you'll remember how to get back," Loras asks.
"Probably," Brynden says, pulling his bow. "If someone escaped this scene, it may be that he was followed. The enemies might know some other path and doubled back to track him. I don't know, but they wouldn't want anyone to escape and tell of their ordeal. We should tread carefully."
Loras insures that his shuriken are within easy reach and comfortably secured.
"We'll move slowly, stay just slightly off the path, and by the love of Irastil, don't step on anything venomous," Brynden says, arrow knocked and eyes staring down the path. He had a look in his eyes that was hungry and tired and bored all at once, as usual.
"Let's go," Loras says, stepping into line behind his friend. "And make sure you check the bloody path once in a while, I do want to return here soon."


Brynden Stealth check: 20+0
Loras stealth check: 6+0

Brynden perception check :10+6= 16 (please note if a human is coming Brynden gains an additional +2 to his perception and sense motive checks)
Loras perception check: 14+6= 20

Just to be clear, Tchi'Ana is actually a male of the Zenj tribe, not that it really matters to the story that much.

As they walk through the brush, Brynden pauses. He turns to say to Loras, "Did you know that Tchi'Ana was a member of the Zenj tribe?"
Loras frowns, not happy with the need to strain to hear Brynden's whisper.
"Do you think that's important?" Brynden asks.
"Keep walking," Loras says.

They continue on their journey as per the rolls of my last post

haha, the reason I brought it up was because you called him "she" a few times in your posts and I wanted to make sure the scene was set properly.
btw, as I was walking my dog I realized that even though we are not posting the character actions as spoilers we should still post our rolls as

put your rolls here

in the off chance event that PCs will have competing rolls, like in this situation right here. It will also streamline the storytelling aspect. During combat I will also post actual hp damage in a spoiler rather than in the description of the action.

phew, that's a big chunk of OOC!

Male Human Ranger/2

Please ignore if I'm getting ahead of myself or this doesn't make sense :):

Hey, I hope it makes sense that I actually post this now. I'm just doing it based on Jaine's roll of 4 to detect traffic, my roll of 20 perception from Brynden, and the fact that Loras will be stepping into the road to reveal himself anyways. I'm not sure if you're waiting for me or nameless or nameless is waiting for me. so here goes.

Brynden holds his hand up to stop Loras. “Someone on the path ahead. You check it out, I’ll cover.” He takes a few steps and kneels in the grass next to a nearby tree, nocking an arrow to his bowstring and looking for a clear shot. He could now see that it was someone on horseback, well armed and armored, and lacking a group of undead lackeys or giant lizard. He looks closer and saw that it was a woman, looking trustworthy enough. He strains his eyes and ears to try to detect any further hidden companions on the path.
Loras steps gingerly from the trees. He didn’t feel like getting trampled in case the woman decided to charge, so he wanted a quick route into the underbrush. “Good day, my lady. What business are you on?”
She looked surprised at Loras’s presence on the road, and he could only hope that she is not looking for trouble.

OOC stuff for this post:

Invisible castle for rolls even though its slower. I'm changing back after this I think, but I thought I'd give it a try. Not sure why only the first part of this is OOC since i posted it as all OOC. oh well.
Initiative in case of combat
Brynden 1d20+3 &#8594; [18,3] = (21)
Loras 1d20+3 &#8594; [4,3] = (7)

knowledge religion checks to see if they recognize she is a paladin of iomedae.
Brynden 1d20-1 &#8594; [15,-1] = (14)
Loras 1d20 &#8594; [3] = (3)

Sense motive Both characters will be assessing her as soon as this unknown woman begins talking.
Brynden 1d20+2 &#8594; [6,2] = (8) Two coming from favoured enemy
Loras 1d20+6 &#8594; [9,6] = (15)

Brynden is still looking around for further signs of danger.
Perception 1d20+6 &#8594; [7,6] = (13) +2 against favoured enemy human if there are more nearby.

Female Human Paladin of Iomedae 1

Perception: (1d20-1=13)

Jaine continues on her path, enjoying the fact that the going is much easier now that she is out of the brush.

Male Half-Orc Bard 1

"Well, I suppose I must be thanking you for the information, my stout friend. If the success I found with you is even half of what I can expect from our elven friends, then I shall see myself accepted with open arms on the morrow."

Garruk leaves with a short bow before the dwarf can respond. There are elves to follow!

Male Human Ranger/2

Brynden holds his hand up to stop Loras. There'd been some kind of noise up ahead that sounded suspiciously like a horse walking the path. Better to be safe than dead, he thought.
“Someone on the path ahead. You check it out, I’ll cover.”
Brynden takes a few steps closer to a nearby tree, careful not to step on any dry twigs or a venomous snake. That would have been an ironic end to the laziest, most lecherous, and altogether best ranger that Bloodcove had to offer.
Making sure that no large branches would offer his foe cover, Brynden knocks and arrow and offers a quick prayer to Erastil.
Erastil, my lord, please guide my arrows if this is a foe to be reckoned with. If it is a friend, however, as I so hope that it is, let her be a beautiful female friend and someone with a love for handsome rangers like me. Since you're the god of farming and family too, I'll just say that I hope I can till her field (to please you, of course, lord). Many thanks.
He could now see that it was someone on horseback, well armed and armored, and lacking either a group of undead lackeys or giant lizard. Brynden sighs, and then looks closer and saw that it was a woman, who looked trustworthy enough in his eyes. Maybe Erastil was listening to him after all. You might have helped me against those bloody skeletons a while back though, but I'm a forgiving man..
He strains his eyes and ears to try to detect any further hidden companions on the path. Despite looking like a pretty and single human female, he was in no mood to get into another fight. His ribs still ached from the pounding they'd taken and his cuts didn't feel much better.
Brynden watches as Loras steps towards the path, wondering if he might have been the better choice to confront her, seeing as he is the better looking of the two.


Initiative in case of combat
Brynden 1d20+3 &#8594; [18,3] = (21)
knowledge religion checks to see if they recognize she is a paladin of iomedae.
Brynden 1d20-1 &#8594; [15,-1] = (14)
Sense motive Both characters will be assessing her as soon as this unknown woman begins talking.
Brynden 1d20+2 &#8594; [6,2] = (8) Two coming from favoured enemy
Brynden is still looking around for further signs of danger.
Perception 1d20+6 &#8594; [7,6] = (13) +2 against favoured enemy human if there are more nearby.

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