View Full Version : Enter Sandman
2007-09-13, 04:34 PM
One must wonder how the White Trade Road got its name. There was nothing white about it. The dust was a filthy brown that swirled when struck by the hooves of beasts and the boots of men. The dry plains grass around the road was brown, brittle, and stiff, with no whiteness to it. The only thing the color white not made by man were the clouds in the sky.
A small group of six individuals traveled the road, heading north. As they walked or rode, they could see ahead of them a peculiar sight.
A small cluster of rocks suddenly thrust up from the plain's soil, causing the road to curve to the left to avoid it. The figure of a man could be seen lying against the rock, apparently slumped over in fatigue or injury.
Another figure was apparently attempting to reach him, but he was held at the road's edge by two stout men in armor, holding him back physically. A third armored man looked on.
A group of horses, probably belonging to the group, neighed nearby, watched over by a fourth man in mail.
Claim a color and make a post. As some of our members have trouble accessing their sheets, this will be RP only.
2007-09-13, 04:48 PM
Saaya moves along the road, his deep gray tunic and brown pants covered in dust and the hood of his light black cloak pulled up over his head. He brushes a wayward strand of dark brown hair out of his face and rubs his hand over his eyes. Easily his most noticable feature, his eyes are inky black throughout, giving him a disconcerting stare. He raises his hand to his forehead, shading his eyes against the sun and squinting into the distance. His black-on-black eyes dart upward with a look of discomfort as he looks ahead. Without taking his eyes from the figures up ahead, he intones dryly and softly (apparently to know one in particular),
Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
After a moment's pause, he speaks in a more normal (though still quiet) voice.
What do we think of this? They may be on the level, but this is a notorious haunt of bandits. How do we proceed?
Obviously, I'd like to pick navy blue if no one objects! Looking forward to the game (and getting my character sheet back from the internet).
2007-09-13, 07:35 PM
A rather short figure strides along in the midst of the group, seemingly better dressed for a ball than for travel. He wears long, dark red trousers, breaking at the perfect point above black, leather, pointed shoes. His shirt is the same as his pants, with gold embroidery adorning the chest and the cuffs. Over all of this, he wears an open, black coat, its bottom reaching down to his pants cuffs, the collar spread wide. As his eyes look ahead, he seems to **** one head to the side, as if hearing a sharp sound that no one else notices. He smiles a malign smile for a moment, then catches himself and returns his attention to the road ahead. Looking to the side to the only one he really knows on any level, Raze, he speaks. "Does it really matter?" he queries rhetorically, cocking his head as if to feign confusion. "Either way, at least one of us would halt, and either way, we go on our way. The only distinction between the two situations is that in one case we happen to, ah... aquire a few new goods." He smirks, and flicks a bit of dust off of his finely tailored outfit. He bows his head, lost in thought for a moment, his bushy brow furrowed. As his coat shifts with his stride, two daggers can be seen on each hip, each sheathed in a simple brass loop. For a moment, his eyes seem to reflect a ray of green light, but in a moment the phantasm is gone, and he keeps walking, throwing a glance over each of his allies in turn, probing, questioning.
((claiming this color. Roderick is highly amused :smallamused:.
2007-09-13, 07:53 PM
The stocky young woman with soulful blue eyes and a beaming moon-face trots along on her proud, strong horse. Bundled against the winds of the White Road, she is even more rounded to view. She catches her breath at the sight of the conflict up ahead, and splutters in response to Saaya's inquiry
Well, but, well, none of them are wearing soldiers' livery, so I'd guess the four are bandits. If we can make them stop, I may be able to save that poor man's life.
Glancing sideways at Raze for guidance, Yolande is already preparing to urge Raynard to a canter and reaching back to grab her crossbow off of its place behind her.
Purple for me, then.
2007-09-13, 07:55 PM
The dwarven man looks the situation over briefly from atop his mount; a white mare with splotches of brown. His blood red breastplate gleams in the sun, and his full red beard is done in two braids. Hair like a mane sticks out in seemingly random directions, and his bushy eyebrows nearly hide his eyes.
A moment of contemplation and Raze has his simple answer. "If these men be brigands, then they will meet the business end of me axe. Regardless, these activity seem to me quite suspicious, aye? Methinks 'twould be wise to assure that none of these travelers have need of our assistance."
Obviously, I'm taking red for Raze's color.
Also, I'd like some more detail about what we're seeing. Is the slumped man moving at all? Are weapons drawn? That sort of thing.
2007-09-13, 08:12 PM
As the distance between the group and the event closed, they got a clearer view of what was occurring:
The man against the rocks was of roughly middle age, and wearing the garb of a low class merchant. He lay limp expect for shallow breathing and one hand which clutched at something protruding from his chest. It appeared almost akin to a slender branch, as if from a tree.
The four armored men all had similar garb: They wore full sets of chain mail, heavy leather boots and gloves, and peaked helms with a distinctive and long nose guard. They bore no insignia, but the saddle bags on their horses did seem to bear some distinctive mark. The one standing apart on foot did have a red band of cloth tied around his arm.
All of the armored men sported unkempt ragged beards. Their complexion tended towards swarthy.
A pile of ashen spears and shield lay nearby, apparently set aside by the three mailed men on foot. The men still had daggers in their belts, but made no move to draw or used them at the party's approach. The mounted man still had his spear and shield.
The person being restrained was a rather young lad, with ruddy red hair, a pale complexion, and in the clothing of a peasant. He kicked and clawed furiously at the men holding him back from the man against the rock.
The man with the red arm band hailed them. "Travelers. It's best you don't interfere."
2007-09-13, 09:25 PM
Roderick looks the man up and down, sizing him up. "And what, might I ask, is in our best interests to avoid?" he inquires, then abruptly looks up, as if a rather brightly colored bird had just flown by; oddly enough, there is no bird in the sky to look up at. He shakes his head slightly, perhaps even sadly, then looks back to the man, giving him a probing, questioning look. He stands there cockily, one of his daggers easily visible on his belt.
2007-09-13, 09:39 PM
The leader's beard was streaked with grey, as was his hair. His face was wrinkled, cracked, and scarred. His nose was bent out of shape and missing a chunk out of it. Although he seemed in his mid 30's, his body was strong and sure.
The man pointed at the fellow against the rock. "That man has been claimed by the Fae. It's best to just leave him be and let them take him quietly. Interfere, and it could mean bad news for all of us."
The red haired lad interjected. "You can't let him die because of some superstition!"
The arm band man did not appear offended by having an apparently deeply held belief called a superstition, but his face remained grim and serious. "That man has been marked for death. Save him, and there will be blood to pay."
2007-09-13, 09:43 PM
Raze rides up beside Roderick, looking to the leader of this band. "A person's death is not a thing to be casual about, nor are your threats. What mean ye by 'marked by the fae' and why does his life carry such a price, if I might ask?" he says, in a grave baritone.
2007-09-13, 09:59 PM
The man's eyes grew slightly fearful, and he glanced at the dry waving plains grass around him before taking a step closer and speaking a hushed tone.
"We're caravan guards. My men and I were riding at the rear of the column when we heard a sound. It was someone singing." He shuddered abruptly. "We stopped our horses, and this fellow did too. Then, straight up from the ground, a branch rose up and hovered in the air." He reflectively made some sign with his hand, probably a gesture designed to ward off bad luck. "That branch flew straight as an arrow into the man's chest. Knocked him clean off his horse and against that rock. The Fae that rule these plains clearly desired his blood. We would have moved on, but the lad insisted on trying to help him."
"It's what any decent man would do, you heartless.." The lad devolved into vile language.
Once more making the reflective hand signal, which appeared to consist of extending all the fingers of one hand except the thumb and placing them over one's heart, the red arm band man continued. "The Fae want blood. If you deny them the one they have chosen, they will not only return for his, they will come for yours, and that of those with you, your kin, and even those you love. They are vengeful creatures. "
The two men restraining the lad nodded, each removing a hand from the lad to make the sign over their hearts. One could see a family resemblance between the arm band man and the two doing the muscle work.
2007-09-14, 10:20 AM
Lowering her crossbow as they sit and talk, Yolande glances at the others, clearly wanting to go to the man's aid, but unsure how to do so.
Lore check (1d20+4=23) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1264213) to see if she's heard of this kind of action by the Fae, and if there is any precedent for getting around it.
2007-09-14, 11:38 AM
(( Hm. Like to see if Jarzel knows anything, but there are probably a few different Knowledge types that could apply. Do fae actually do this sort of thing, and if they do, why?—I suppose Knowledge (nature) would work? General superstitions in the area regarding the fae—would that be Knowledge (local)? Uh, I suppose it's possible that some story about "notable people, legendary items, or noteworthy places" could shed some light, so maybe Lore, too.
2007-09-14, 03:54 PM
(( Summing up the result of both checks ))
The whole thing was ludicrous. Fae that ruled the plains? That alone was absurd. Fae typically dwelt in forests. It wasn't unthinkable, but it had no prior precedent. There was no reason they couldn't, but there was no prior example of it. And along the trade road and the in the plains around it, Fae were unheard of.
Secondly, the Fae were tricksters, not life takers. No tale ever recorded them trying to "claim lives" or blood. They were quite passive, usually bothering you only with small pranks and the like as you traveled through their territory.
No, it seemed "The Fae" in this context were being used as generic bogeymen. Some fantastic event had occurred, and the simple guardsmen had turned to the most fantastical source of nature related woe, and blamed them for it.
2007-09-14, 07:21 PM
The man on the heavily laden black horse retorts, "Fae? Sounds more like run-of-the mill humanoid magic to me."
(( Jarzel spoke in Maroon last time I played him. He speaks in Maroon now, too. ))
2007-09-15, 10:42 AM
((OOC: are we still waiting for someone? I've only counted 5 characters so far...))
Roderick sighs. This looks like it may take a while. He goes around towards the other side of said huge rock, and sits there, hand on chin, eyes unfocused, thinking.
2007-09-15, 04:58 PM
The leader shook his head sadly. "You're of a similar mind as the lad, then?"
"If you mean sane, then yes." The leader ignored the comment from the lad. "Listen, strangers, I do not pretend to know magic. But if it isn't Fae, what is it? What did it?"
2007-09-15, 08:20 PM
Trotting a bit further forward towards the man with the branch in his chest, Yolande gazes down at the man with the red armband.
The only way we'll find that out is if you let us examine him, and the branch. Since it's not like to be the fey, best to find out what it REALLY is, before branches start popping up all over.
Unless prevented, she will go to the badly injured man and examine him.
Is the red armband a symbol of some kind, or is he also injured, and that's a bandage of some kind?
If possible: Heal check (1d20+8=17) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1268048), followed up by detecting magic on the branch, the man, and then the others.
2007-09-15, 08:45 PM
"Seems pretty hasty t' me t' assume it's Fey, aye? There be any number of way magic could do what has been done here." Raze looks the men over, then notices the marks on the horses' saddlebags. As he tries to get a closer look at this mark, he adds, "Damnation, give me a sharp branch and I could do 'at without magic."
2007-09-15, 11:17 PM
The red armband appeared to be a rank symbol. As Yolande attempted to get closer to the man, the leader placed himself between the two. Eyes wild, he spoke quickly out of fear. "Please, listen. I'm only erring on the side of caution. If it is the Fae, interfering would have dire consequences."
The two holding the lad looked to their leader, obviously waiting instructions. The attention of the one watching the horses was likewise riveted upon the arm band man.
The markings on the saddlebags were simple. A horseshoe over an iron gate. It seemed a likely symbol for a mounted group of caravan guards to adopt as a standard.
2007-09-15, 11:58 PM
Not even trying to force herself past the leader of the caravan guards, Yolande merely draws out the disk showing her devotion to Pelor.
Look, I understand your caution. There are all sorts of amazing stories about the fey, and their powers. I am a priestess of the Sun God. If I cannot cast light on shadow, what hope do you have? At the very least, let me try to determine the nature of what ails him. What have you got to lose? If it is the fey, and I save his life, it will be my blood they seek, not yours.
Diplomacy (1d20+1=11) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1268431)
2007-09-16, 10:24 AM
The sergeant appeared thoughtful for a second. "That's true. We couldn't let the lad help him because that would threaten the caravan. But you folks, you aren't from the caravan..."
The leader made a sharp signal with his hand. The two mailed guards released their holds on the lad so suddenly that he fell face first into the dirt of the road. The two mailed men snatched up the spears and shields laying by the road and moved to the waiting horses.
"I leave this matter to your hands. Whatever happens here be on your heads. May your god have mercy on you. You know not what you cross." The sergeant spoke loudly and clearly, almost yelling, as if he were speaking not to the group but to some unseen presence. The sergeant made the strange sign again, holding his right hand over his heart with all fingers except the thumb extended, then moved to join his men.
The lad moved swiftly towards the figure lying on the rock, speaking as he moved."Andor bless you, ma'am. I'm not a healer, so just tell me what I can do to help."
((Assuming you'll still want to use that heal check and detect magic))
The branch was not in the man deeply. Indeed, it appeared that his primary ailment was blood loss. The way his head lolled about indicated he was feeling quite woozy, and the red dampness on his shirt indicated he had been bleeding out for some time.
It did appear to be a branch, broken off from a young and healthy tree. One could even see leaves growing off it, soaked with red blood. That such an apparently shallow and non lethal wound was causing such massive bleeding was suspicious.
This was reinforced one spell later. Around the branch was a moderate magical presence. The man and guards were devoid of any magical presence.
2007-09-16, 11:08 AM
As the men move towards their horses, Roderick stands, and walks back over to where the rest of the group is gathered. Seeing the group around the fallen lad, his face hardens, and he strides forward. "Now I suppose you'll want to give him the best care possible, won't you? While we could be getting on with our trip, we'll be here troubling ourselves about this sap who will probably be dead within the next half hour," he states, somewhat sarcastically. He pulls out a dagger, and moves forward, "Idea: let's just make it quick for him and get a move on," he enjoins, then abruptly cuts himself off. He smiles, then seemingly snaps out of it, and looks again at the bleeding man in front of him.
2007-09-16, 11:13 AM
Saaya observed the exchange with the caravan guards silently, well aware that he by-and-large ignorant of this type of magic. As the guards prepare to depart, Saaya begins to take stock of their location. Frowning at the rock outcropping so nearby, he speaks quietly to Yolande as she ministers to the injured man.
I mislike our position here, at least until we know what's on the other side of this rock. I'm going to find out.
With that, he moves quickly and quietly to the edge of the group and fades into the shadows, seeking out any possible dangers hidden in the surrounding area.
My character sheet's still unavailable, so I'm doing this mostly from memory. I hope that's ok.
[roll0] - +4 ranks +4 Dex mod, +2 racial
[roll1] - +4 ranks, +4 Dex mod
[roll2] - +4 ranks, +1 Wis mod
[roll3] - +4 ranks, +1 Wis mod
2007-09-16, 12:03 PM
The man on the black horse reprimands Roderick, "Dead in half an hour? What makes you qualified for such a prediction? I don't see you examining the wounds. Death comes soon enough when it is ready."
After a further moment of thought, he dismounts his horse and takes off his backpack and ebony travelling cloak. Rolling up his sleeves, he approaches the wounded man and the priestess.
"Do you require any assistance?"
(( If the answer is yes, he'll do whatever Yolande asks (Heal check just in case: [roll0]). Otherwise, he'll give the description of what happened some thought and try to identify the spell or at least type of magic (i.e. does it seem like a special Druidic type of magic, or could it bye Arcane, and so forth) involved with this branch ([roll1]). ))
2007-09-16, 12:55 PM
Raze takes note of the emblem on the horses and tries to recall if he knew exactly what they indicated. Meanwhile, he dismounts, patting the mare on her neck as he passes and muttering comforting words to her as he passes. He looks on as Saaya moves behind the rock and says, to no one inparticular, "Methinks he has a good idea." He turns to those tending the wounded man and says, "I be not suited to that sort of work, but I'll watch over you as you tend to 'im." At last turning to the boy, he says, "Lad, it be best if you stay out of their way, at least for the moment. I'd have a word with you in the meantime. Firstly, my name is Raze. What be yours?"
I'd like a knowledge check on the emblems. I don't have access to my sheet, so I'm not certain, but I don't think I put anything into any of the knowledge skills. He has an int of 12, so... Would you mind if I just take ten, or should I roll?
2007-09-16, 02:38 PM
Waking up from a light slumber and seeing the guards beginning to walk off, Lathrohar assessed the situation. Leaning forward towards those stood around the lad, asked "What is wrong with him?"
Right, I'm here now. I'll just go with him having been asleep. He is over 250 years old. And I'll go with a nice dim Grey
Now for my assortment of knowledges that could possibly bring some useful knowledge about these Fae, local tradition about them, etc.
Also what do the red armbands stand for.
2007-09-17, 09:10 AM
Trying to keep her breathing steady, Yolande simply nods at Jarzal's offer of assistance. Both to him, and in response to Lathrohar's question, she speaks quickly and with a veneer of dispassionate analysis. A veneer.
He's lost a lot of blood, although the branch wound seems pretty superficial. The branch is definitely magical, though, a fairly powerful aura. I'm going to try to staunch the bleeding, and then maybe we can work together to get the branch out?
Her hands weave around the wound and point skyward, as if to draw down the power of the sun. A pale yellow glow suffuses her hands, and into the man's chest.
[spoiler]Converting Summon Monster I to Cure Light Wounds (1d8+3=5) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1270645)
2007-09-17, 10:34 AM
(( I suppose that unapplied Heal check above can work as an Aid Another check on removing the branch? ))
2007-09-17, 12:46 PM
((Due to circumstances, taking 10 is a-okay.))
The red haired lad pulled himself reluctantly away from the injured merchant and faced the dwarf. "My name is David Black, sir."
((Once more, summing up the results of the all these knowledge checks.))
As to what sort of magic had occurred here, it was difficult to say. Without further knowledge, it was difficult to precisely say. Both Druidic Magic and Arcane magic could produce this effect through various spells.
It was important to note that singing had been heard prior to the branch's action, which could mean one who wove song into spell. Although most types of magic employed by Bards did not have such effects.
The power of the aura indicated that the spell was fairly powerful. That either meant a single, powerful mage, which was rare, or a cabal of lesser mages using some form of ritual to combine their powers.
As to the soldiers, the insignia on their saddlebags was not a widely known one. There were many mercenary organizations in this time, so an unknown one was not that odd. As earlier noted, the red arm band was a badge of rank, denoting the man in charge.
If there was any traditions about the Fae in this region, Lathrohar didn't know them. It seemed that this fear of the Fae and belief in their presence was something the caravan guards carried with them, not something local to the area.
From the very first touch of the pale yellow glow, the man showed improvement. His eyes regained focus, his breathing deepened, and he began making small movements. His hand, once curled only in reflex around the branch, now tightened with purpose and intent. "Out." The merchant whispered the word. "Get it out. Please." He seemed desperately afraid that the branch was still in him, and despite the apparent shallowness of the wound, seemed to lack the strength to remove it himself.
2007-09-17, 04:51 PM
Getting down slowly from his cart and walking over to the boy, using this staff as a walking stick, Lathrohar looked at the branch then waving at one of the others "Well what are you waiting for, get this branch out of the lad" before moving over to the tree, looking round for any traces of the person that had enchanted it.
2007-09-17, 05:27 PM
Easy, sir. Try not to move.
Glancing up at the death-priest next to her, Yolande shrugs.
Here goes. Pray for me.
Grasping the slender branch firmly in both hands, Yolande tried not to think about the sticky blood all over it. Or what might happen to the man if she failed. Or what might happen to her if she succeeded. And she gives it a good, steady pull.
For the unintented (I assume) humour of the line
the red arm band was a badge of rank, detonating the man in charge I may never be able to properly thank you. Highlight of my day, right there.
2007-09-18, 03:41 PM
((Well, I'm glad you find it so humorous, because I don't. My spell checkers has failed me for the last time.
And Chineselegolas? I, um, didn't mention a tree. There is no tree. There was just a branch lying in the middle of a treeless prairie. Not suspicious at all. Nope.))
With a sound best not described before eating and a wrenching cry from the merchant, the branch came free. The small wound bled freely, the branch no longer serving as a plug. The amount of blood was worryingly large, particularly for such a small injury.
A gout of blood dribbled off the end of the stick in Yolande's hands. It appeared for all the world an ordinary branch. The end that had been impaled in the man wasn't even sharp or pointed.
2007-09-18, 09:09 PM
Roderick winces with distaste as a glob of blood lands on one of his polished boots. He seems to realize the futility of simply standing by, though, and moves to help, grumbling all the way: "Well, I suppose there's nothing for it but to get the poor sop out of this fix." Slining his pack down, he gets down on his knees and tries to help as best he can.
Taking 10 on Heal check to Aid Another, for a result of 11.
2007-09-19, 12:53 AM
Raze frowns as the branch comes out, but he keeps most of his attention on the boy. "I know that looks bad, David, but he's in good hands." His tone is even as he continues, "Now, tell me... How exactly are you related to this man, and be there anyone that you know of that would want to harm him?"
2007-09-19, 01:13 AM
((Teaches me to read the thread properly rather than skim the first few posts...))
Walking over and taking the branch from Yolande, Lathrohar carried it over to his cart and lay it carefully down. "I shall study this branch tonight and see if I can discern the true nature of it when we have adequate time"
2007-09-19, 01:32 AM
Happily relinquishing the branch, Yolande concentrates again and channels more solar power into the wounded merchant.
Cure Light Wounds (1d8+3=4) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1274131)
This...better do it. I don't know how much more I have in me today. Forgive this humble servant, Pelor, for her insufficiencies.
2007-09-19, 08:05 AM
(( If it looks like the old man needs the help (Heal check (take 10): 16), Jarzel will convert command to cure light wounds ([roll0]). "Blood of Life, stay thy flow." ))
2007-09-19, 09:02 PM
"Relation?" David shook his head. "I don't know that man. I just saw he was hurt and tried to help. I don't know anything more than that."
Meanwhile, Saaya had finally finished looking around the perimeter. He'd encountered nothing, although at one point he had heard some animal fleeing through the prairie grass. Whatever it was, it was small enough so that it was completely concealed by the waving yellowed stalks.
Yolande's last gift of divine solar grace did the trick. The wound sealed, and although the man was still in pain, with their help he could get to his feet and walk. He thanked them profusely. "Thank you, oh, thank you! I'm not sure I will be able to repay you fully, but I'll try my best!"
2007-09-19, 09:39 PM
After a moment's thought, Jarzel tells the old man, "Just be sure to remember this day. When you think of it, let it serve to remind you how fragile life is. We gave you time. Don't squander it."
He then turns to Roderick with a smug grin, "Never underestimate the clergy of Pelor's ability to delay one's final breath."
2007-09-20, 09:17 AM
Raze seems slightly taken aback by David's response, but with the man's wound closing, any further questions he might have had are promptly forgotten, a small grin appearing on his face. He walks over to Yolande and reaches up to place a hand on her shoulder. "Well done, lass."
2007-09-20, 05:20 PM
Blushing a bit at the dwarf's praise, Yolande gestures to Jarzal and Lathrohar.
Couldn't have done it without help. I think we all pitched in there.
Turning to her erstwhile patient, Yolande laid a hand gently on his shoulder.
Sir, a moment? First, you're not completely recovered - try to avoid strenuous movement for a couple days. And second, do you have any idea what might have drawn this attention to you - have you travelled anywhere special recently, crossed paths with anyone who might wish you ill?This was a supernatural attack, and a serious one at that.
sense motive (1d20+3=22) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1277651) to see if the man is hiding anything in his response.
2007-09-20, 06:54 PM
Walking over to David, Lathrohar said "Aiding others despite the risks is honourable, but often foolish. However much can be learnt from it" while thinking to himself I hope they travel with us and join us to camp so I can peer into there dreams and search for what actaully happened.
2007-09-20, 09:55 PM
Roderick shows no emotion at Jarzel's comment, just a small tightening of the lips, and a twitch of a finger. He gets up from his kneeling position, wipes the dust off his clothes, and shoots back a retort, "And never underestimate the power of ill luck to bring it about faster." He looks down at the young man who just was healed, flexes the fingers on one hand for a moment, then walks off a few feet, lost in a labyrinth of thought.
I need to take this malingering mood out on something. Sooner or later it is inevitable, and it would be most untoward if my allies bore the brunt of my irritation.
Another voice responds inside his head:
The sooner, the better.
2007-09-21, 06:45 AM
The merchant rubbed his hands together, casting a glance at the guards who had now mounted and were glaring at the scene with a mix of fear and pity.
"Good sir, I am most certainly grateful for the extension of my time here." The merchant smiled As Yolande spoke. "Fret not, pious servant. I am fine, thanks to you. I can honestly say I have not encountered anyone or anything that would wish me ill. Aside from my fellow caravan travelers, among who I am well liked, the only thing I've seen since setting off is prairie grass, sky, and the dusty road. I do admit that there is a good reason fro someone to wish me harm. You see, well, I have recently prospered greatly. Why, I have a most lucrative deal in the very next trade town. Rest assured, you will have your reward soon."
His words were suddenly interrupted by the thundering of hooves. The guards blew past them in a cloud of stinging dust, taking the two spare horses with them.
"Thieves! They stole our horses!" David was furious. The merchant merely shook his head. "Those horses belonged to the caravan."
"But they just can't leave us here without horses! How are we supposed to get back to the caravan?"
"Lad, I don't think they will let us back in."
2007-09-21, 07:27 AM
To Roderick: "You can't predict luck. Don't try to use that to predict one's final fate. Death comes when it will."
Jarzel then turns to address the concerns of the caravan members.
(( How far are we from town? ))
2007-09-21, 07:47 AM
All this, perhaps, just to foil a new trade deal. That seems...odd.
Yolande looks up at her colleagues, especially Raze, with entreaty.
Look, we can't just save this man, and then leave him stranded here. Perhaps David and...
She pauses, and wheels back to the man they have been working on.
What is your name, sir?
And back to Raze.
...and this gentlemen could double with us on our horses, at least until we get to [name of next town.]
She packs up her healer kit and prepares to remount.
2007-09-21, 07:22 PM
"We needn't ride double, there is some room here in my cart if they are careful to not touch my stuff" Lathrohar offered.
2007-09-22, 08:27 PM
Roderick is still thinking, pondering the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. He sheathes the dagger he took out in its buckle, then turns and stalks back to the group. "Any chance we might be getting moving again before sunset? We do have somewhere we're going, don't we?" he questions rhetorically, looking around at the faces of his companions. Sensing the general countenance, he turns to the two merchants: "Look's like you're coming with us. Better hurry up."
2007-09-23, 10:50 AM
The merchant gave his name as Arthur Dent.
The next stop on the road was a trade town called "Gray Chasm" an odd name considering that none of the surrounding terrain was gray or a chasm. It was two days ride away.
((Going to assume that you allow David and Arthur to ride along in the cart, and that you decide to continue along the road.))
At any rate, there was nothing left at the rock but dust and dried blood, and the group once more set out.
The day passed slowly. The road was empty, and the plains barren except for the waving browned tall grass that seemed to grow everywhere it wasn't beaten down by horses hooves.
Eventually, dusk began to settle, and it was necessary to find a place to stop and rest, unless one wanted to push on into the night. There was no reason one couldn't, and in truth night travel was about as risky as day travel, but most people preferred to stop and rest.
Ahead of them, along the straight dirt trail carved through the grass, they could see a great and withered tree. Lightning and fire and scorched it, and the winds had battered it. Its blackened wood and drooping branches seemed sorrowful. This was a popular rest stop along the trail, called Mourning Bough. It served as a landmark and gathering place for travelers who preferred sleep. Currently, Mourning Bough was unoccupied, meaning that the caravan guards must have pressed on rather than stop.
2007-09-24, 09:05 AM
Glancing at the darkening sky, Yolande turns back to the others.
What do you say. This looks as good a place to stop as any. I'd like to have a chance to look again at Mr. Dent's bandages.
If the others are amenable, she'll get down to tend to Raynard first, tethering him to a tree that isn't the Mourning Bough. After she's finished, she'll go and ask to see Dent's wound, to change the dressing and confirm that the magical bleeding effect has faded.
In case it's needed, here's a follow-up Heal Check (1d20+8=23) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1284040)
2007-09-24, 04:31 PM
Raze shurgs. "I could go on longer meself, but if you lot be needin' rest, that's fine by me."
2007-09-24, 09:00 PM
Roderick nods his assent to Yolande's suggestion, then dismounts from the cart, taking his pack with him. He looks around, then goes over to the grass, reaches into his pocket, and deposits something in the wavy grain, bowing his head for a moment in concentration, then walking towards the tree.
Over his shoulder, he encourages the rest of the party, "Hurry up, laggarts; the sooner we get settled in, the sooner we can wine and dine... and sleep. Oh, boy, do I need some sleep."
Spot Check: [roll0]
Preferably for DM's eyes only:
I said for DM only, spoilsports!
Ah, well, as long as you don't reveal IC...
Roderick will walk over to the grass, give his psicrystal locomotion, and give it instructions to patrol around the proposed campsite, then to hide underneath a root of the mourning bough, so he can retrieve it in a bit.
2007-09-25, 12:35 AM
Gratefully slipping off of her horse, Yolande squats a few times to work circulation back into places compressed by a day of riding.
Well, Raze, we don't all have muscles made of stone and sinew of iron, you know. Have pity, man!
2007-09-25, 02:54 PM
As the sun sinks and the shadows lengthen, Saaya actually seems to gain energy, and his movements are definitely more animated. He throws back his hood as he travels, looking around alertly.
He slows with the rest of the group on approaching the Mourning Bough, apparently supportive of setting up camp. He slides off his horse and begins to unload gear and set up camp, intoning as he does so:
"I will both lay me down in peace and sleep:for thou only makest me dwell in safety."
2007-09-26, 04:25 PM
After stabling Sombra, Jarzel follows the others in.
2007-09-26, 04:51 PM
"I could do with some rest" Lathrohar said looking round at the campsite, before standing up and facing the others in his cart "Right, everyone out. I want to set up my tent"
For the DM
Spend the night in Arthur Dents dreams finding out what happened.
((And possibly if he knows the question...))
2007-09-26, 07:30 PM
After some searching, Yolande and Jazrel find a place to tie up the horses, a tree growing up between two stout rocks. The faithful steeds begin munching on the greener prairie grass without much enthusiasm. This fall season has been unusually dry, and good grazing grass is scarce.
David and Arthur both leave Lathrohar's cart at his bidding, Dent taking the time to allow Pelor's servant to check his wounds. Yolande finds that the blessing of the Sun God has seemingly eradicated or dissipated whatever fell magical energies provoked the prolific bleeding earlier displayed.
Around the Mourning Bough, a large patch of brittle brush has been cleared away recently, as if someone had set up a camp. There is no sign other than the bare earth that anyone has been to Mourning Bough recently.
Both Arthur Dent and David Black help set up a camp, but once everything is in place turn in, spreading out bed rolls for themselves and choosing spots close to the Mourning Bough.
By now, the sun is but a faint glow in the west. Aside from the horses and the party, only one living thing stirs; moths.
As the sun sets, moths began to flit around the Mourning Bough, and the party. Each moth is about the size of gold coin, with a soft body covered in fuzz and brown wings with spot of bright white coloration upon them. Their fuzzy forms seem to be coated in some form of powdery substance, as if they had been lurking in a place unmoving until dust had covered them. The dust and the white spots on the moth's body seems to glow in the night left by the retreating sun.
The moths seem drawn to the people around the sad tree. They avoid Saaya like the plague, but everyone else has moths attempting to land on them. Once perched, they beat their wings gently, brushing them against whatever surface they have landed on. The moths seem to prefer exposed flesh to cloth, but are happy and content by merely being on a person. The act almost like dogs or cats desiring a scratch behind the ears or petting. If shooed away they flee instantly, and hover about as if sulking.
If enough party members choose to shoo the moths, then the whole bunch will flit away, preferring a less protesting roost.
((Private stuff for Lathrohar. If I catch anybody metagaming, I'll drop a train on them. I'll have an archmage open a portal to Eberron and literally drop a magical train on them. I swear.))
When Mr. Dent finally drifts off to slumberland, Lathorar is in like a lightning bolt. He doesn't even need to expend any energy to get to the right dream; the very first image is of the incident.
Lathorar sees the scene from Dent's eyes, and it occurs precisely as laid down by the caravan guards. Dent, however, say something they didn't. A pair of glowing red reflective eyes lurked in the tall grass; Dent caught a glimpse of them as he fell. Dent probably thinks he was just seeing things, which is why he didn't mention it.
2007-09-26, 08:12 PM
Raze swats at the moths as they approach him. One gets close enough to fly under his nose, and he sneezes as the thing goes by. While swatting, he says, "I am not yet tired, so I suppose I shall take the first watch."
2007-09-26, 11:37 PM
Setting up his tend on top of the card, Lathrohar paused from time to time to watch the actions of the moths and try and recall anything he could about them in case they posed a risk for anything.
[roll0] - These normal moths?
After erecting his tent completely, and setting his bedroll up, he climbed inside and saying to the others, "I need my nightly meditation, so I will retire to bed now"
And for DM only
[roll1] (+10 if history/religion/planes, +8 arcana, +6 others)- Identifying those eyes.
2007-09-27, 01:25 AM
Watching bemused as a few moths land again on the back of her hands, Yolande glances nervously at the others.
I guess even bugs need a little companionship now and again. I sure did appreciate all of yours today. That was...pretty scary, with the caravan guards being so emphatic and all. I'm happy to say that Mr. Dent's wound seems to be healing nicely, and without a hint of taint or infection.
Still, took a lot out of me. If you don't mind me taking watch again tomorrow, I'd love to get a full night's sleep tonight. Just give me a shake if you need me, though.
Yolande sets up her bedroll near Saaya, and smiles hesitantly at the man as she settles in.
All the clues, all the externals, seem to say not to trust this man...yet somehow I do. Why is that?
Shrugging, the young priestess takes the less comfortable option and leaves her shirt of mail on as she tucks into her bedroll, and is soon asleep.
2007-09-27, 04:26 PM
Jarzel pitches his personal tent.
Jarzel lets the moths be unless he recognizes them as harmful. (( [roll0]; If they are so non-normal as to require something other than Knowledge (nature), I have ranks in Arcana and Religion (+6 modifier), the Planes (+4 modifier), and Dungeoneering (+3 modifier), plus some others that usually don't have creatures associated with them. Check my sheet if you need them. ))
"I'd like to take first watch along with Raze. We can help keep each other up so neither of our energy fails," he says with a reassuring smile.
During the first part of watch, Jarzel makes an entry in his journal by lantern-light.
(( He didn't cast any spells, so he won't need to prepare any new ones after watch. But he'll still spend a bit of time before sleep in quiet reflection. For future reference, though, Jarzel will always prepare spells in the privacy of his tent or his own room at the inn when in town. ))
2007-09-27, 06:16 PM
As night falls, Roderick paces restlessly for a while, then spreads out his bedroll. The moths annoy him. As one lands on his arm, he quickly grabs it, holds it down, and slowly crushes it to death with two fingers, his face contorting in a grim sort of sadness as the life is forced out of the tiny creature. He looks around for a moment, unconciously running his left hand over his bare scalp, then walks over to the tree and picks up something from between two of its roots, quickly stowing it in his clothes. Having disrobed and deposited his clothes in a neat pile next to him, he then retires to sleep sitting on his bedroll in the lotus position, head tilted back.
Retrieving psicrystal. Remember that it can detect anything within 40 ft, no check needed. It will tell me telepathically of anything unusual or seemingly out-of-place it found. It is currently stowed in a secret compartment in his clothes. If anyone sees it (unlikely, since he takes such care to hide it) it just seems to be a fairly large, flat, polished emerald.
2007-09-27, 06:22 PM
Raze laughs at this, and says in an exaggeratedly confident voice, "Bah, I have the energy to flatten mountains and fill canyons! The day my energy fails be the day I die.
...Not that I would mind the company." He says with a smirk. "You're quite welcome to share the watch with me, friend."
2007-09-27, 06:44 PM
Jarzel supresses a barely audible chuckle at Raze's "day I die" comment.
2007-09-27, 09:05 PM
After Roderick crushed the moth, the rest flitted away, abandoning the group entirely.
Both Jazrel and Lothrar managed to place the moths as a species known as the Soul Guard moth. The name came from the belief that they shepherded the souls of the dead into the afterlife. Apparently, soldiers wounded and left in the field would become covered with the things after night fall. A comforting blanket of sorts to pass from this world under. Although harmless, no explanation had ever been developed for this behavior.
Private for Enzario
The psicrystal had detected nothing unusual in its sweep. Everything in the camp was as it should be.
And everything remained as it should be. Through the first watch, the second watch, the third watch, and on till dawn broke the still night. All remained peaceful, quiet and serene. There was nothing but the winds blowing through the plains grass, the Mourning Bough brooding in its burned dead bark shell, and the horses nearby. Other than that, there was nothing.
In the East, the sun truly ascended, dispelling the darkness and illuminating everything in the light of early morn.
2007-09-28, 01:59 AM
Rising early, as has been her training for the past decade, Yolande stretches out her prayer scroll facing the rising sun, weighing it down with stones from the road. Out of respect for those who do not share her faith, Yolande keeps the prayers and hymns to what she considers the minimum. After an hour or so of prayer, worship and reflection on the events of the previous day, Yolande is ready to help with breakfast. Once done, she sits down next to Raze to eat. She is all smiles, absorbing the comfort of the dwarf's solidity.
Energy to flatten mountains and fill canyons, indeed. I seem to recall a particularly melodramatic ballad that made the rounds a few years ago that had such a ringing phrase. If you're going to steal, my friend, do it with a little taste!
2007-09-28, 08:41 AM
Having volunteered for the last watch of the night, Saaya sits only a few feet from where Yolande sleeps, his legs crossed and his weapons in his lap. He watches the sky turn from black to navy blue and gradually lighten to the pinks and yellows of dawn and the light blue of the morning. He leans his head back for a moment and sighs, as if soaking in the last vestiges of night before the coming of the sun.
With a last glance at Yolande's sleeping form and a quick scan of the rest of the camp, he stands to his feet and moves over to the fire pit, adding wood and starting a new fire. By the time he has a simple but hardy breakfast well underway, the sun has risen completely and the camp is starting to stir. He cracks a brief smile as his companions squint in the light, their eyes still in the process of adjusting to being awake.
And the sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.
2007-09-28, 12:53 PM
Raze rises early with the rest. He'd slept well and was also in a good mood this morning. In reply to Yolande's accusation, he says, "I'm quite certain I don't know what you're talking about. Seem I the sort to listen to ballads?" He gives a short chuckle at this.
After he bites into a hunk of jerky rations, a thought strikes him. "Anyone thought to wake up the merchant and the lad?" With that, he looks over to where they had gone to sleep.
2007-09-28, 06:45 PM
Roderick wakes at a fairly early hour, refreshed and in a relatively good mood. Almost immediately he checks his clothing, imperceptively sighing with relief as his fingers brush an off-center bulge. He dresses and packs, wiping dew off his brow as he does so. Because of his decent mood, when Raze mentions waking the merchants, he walks over and gives each of them a solid nudge with his foot. He then stalks back over to the fire, and helps himself to some breakfast.
2007-09-29, 02:48 PM
The young woman joins in Raze's chuckle at his comment.
Repacking her breakfast things and dousing her hands with a little water, Yolande smiles quizzically to Roderick as he nudges the merchants and joins them at breakfast.
Good morning! You slept well, I hope? I didn't know you liked to sleep, well, au naturel. You're a bolder soul than me, I admit.
She glances over to her patient, seeing if he's rousing himself. He seemed fine last night, but I'll definitely want to check the dressing before we set out today.
2007-09-29, 08:54 PM
Jarzel wakes up about an our earlier than would normally be suggested reasonable for his late bedtime. He cleans up as quickly as possible and eats his breakfast in quiet contemplation.
However, he does respond to Yolande's comment about sleeping attire: "It's certainly better than slumming around in clothes filthy from the road and constant wear the way some folks have been known to do." (( If that bit about "some folks" could apply to party members, he will give a half-nod towards said members—more in the way of offering examples than disapproval. ))
2007-09-29, 10:02 PM
Private stuff for Lathrohar
Red glowing reflective eyes are said to be possessed by a bewildering array of menaces and monsters. This particular attribute cannot be used to identify the possessor of the eyes.
David and Arthur awoke much refreshed. Arthur Dent in particular seemed in high spirits. A cursory examination of the wound revealed that the Sun God's power had proven true against whatever fell magics that branch had possessed. He was, in his own words, "Almost as good as new, Pelor be praised."
Both David and Arthur partake of the morning meal. Aside from the horses, nothing living stirs on the barren, dry plains.
2007-09-30, 02:06 PM
Yolande wasn't sure whether to take the merchant's praising of Pelor to be a fervent expression of a redoubled faith, or the opportunistic mouthings of a self-serving merchant. Ultimately, after a moment, she decided it didn't much matter one way or the other. Smiling to the merchant, she nods.
Praise indeed to Him. I'm sure that the shrine in Grey Chasm would be honoured by a visit from you. Meantime, I'd say that clean living and good luck have also contributed to what looks like a nearly full recovery. Barring further interruptions by flying branches, you should be fully recovered tomorrow.
Going to check on Raynard, Yolande saw to his feed and watering, and with some effort, managed to get the bridle and saddle in place.
2007-09-30, 03:50 PM
Chuckling at Yolande's comment about his sleep habits, Roderick sprays his breakfast all over whatever happens to be in front of him at the time. He wipes his mouth, still laughing lightly, "Yes, much easier to concentrate without annoying creases in awkward places." He looks on with interest at Yolande's interaction with the merchant. His gaze is cut short as his eyes go unfocused, and his head lolls to the side, seemingly staring at something interesting that isn't there.
2007-09-30, 05:39 PM
Clambering out his tent, finishing adding some notes to his notebook before tucking it back in with the rest of his belongings. "That was a pleasant rest" he said coming over to eat, taking the branch out from his cart, looking over it again, before putting it back in his cart.
Going over to Arthur, Lathrohar said "Those eyes you saw, have you seen them before" in a mysterious voice.
2007-09-30, 09:15 PM
Raynard hadn't been in the best of moods. The grazing had been, as noted earlier, poor. The attention he received from Yolande pleased him however, and the animal settled down.
Meanwhile, David was looking at Roderick with concern. He glanced at the other party members, with a face that said, Is this normal?
Arthur looked up in surprise at the ancient elf. "I.. I don't know what you are referring to, good sir."
2007-09-30, 09:28 PM
"NOT NOW, DAMMIT!" Roderick breaks out of his reverie with a violent burst of emotion. He looks around for a moment, then says by way of explanation, "Not you folks." He looks around a little awkwardly, then digs back into his breakfast with a fervor.
2007-09-30, 10:05 PM
David recoiled psychically form the outburst, and found pressing business away from Roderick. He occasionally indulged in what he obviously thought were furtive glances at Roderick, but other wise pretended to be busy packing up his bed roll.
2007-10-01, 01:02 AM
At Roderick's outburst, Yolande takes a firmer hold on Raynard, lest he be spooked, and tries to catch David's eye with a wan smile and a shrug.
2007-10-01, 07:16 AM
Jarzel watches the unfolding events with detached interest.
2007-10-02, 08:48 PM
The tense and awkward situation was interrupted by a sound carried on the wind. High with terror, the neighing of a horse sounded from the north. Raynard and the other mounts responded to the panic of their brother with a similar panic.
Blazing down the trail, heading south, a brown horse bolted with all its energy. Although saddled no rider was upon it, and the heaving flanks of the beast were slick with the sweat created by it exertion.
Sadly, such great speed and effort bring great risk. The Mourning Bough's roots caught a hoof as the horse stormed through and past the camp, and with another shrill shriek the horse tumbled to lay still at the base of the blakcened tree.
The dead beast's glassy eyes lolled in its head as the neck swung loosely, snapped by the force of the fall. The packs on its saddle bore a familiar insignia; a horseshoe over a gate. This was a horse belonging to the caravan guards.
2007-10-03, 12:40 AM
Turning from where he stood to look at the horse, Lathrohar said to Arthur "Well when you remember I want to speak to you about them", before walking over to the horse, crouching and looking at.
Standing to his feet and looking down the trail for any sign of what caused the horse to panic
[roll0] How far would a horse have to run to exertion itself as such
2007-10-03, 09:59 AM
The young woman glances in concern at Raze and Saaya.
I'll check on the horse if you want to look at the saddle. Perhaps they were attacked?
Sliding down off of Raynard, Yolande spends precious seconds securing him again to a bough, touching his neck gently, before going over to examine the brown horse.
Checking to see if there were any injuries or ailments (branches, etc) prior to the neck snap.
[roll0] Heal check.
2007-10-03, 05:16 PM
Jarzel watches with a calm face as the horse meets its untimely end. He whispers to himself, almost inaudibly, "Bad omen..."
He quickly recovers himself, "Hm. Seems we may be in for some excitement today." But all the same his gaze stays on the horizon.
(( Like Lathrohar, scanning to see if there's anything visible. If he has time, he'll take 20, for a result of 23. Otherwise: [roll0] ))
2007-10-03, 06:09 PM
Almost immediately, Roderick is on his feet. A dagger flashes out, catching the light as it gleams off the polished blade. If one were watching carefully, they might see a hint of red in the depths of his eyes, but it's gone in a flash, and all there is is Roderick standing there, ready to kill.
2007-10-03, 07:55 PM
Neither Lathrohar nor the somber priest saw anything other than the crushed earth from the impact of the terrified hooves. The creature's flight had been forceful enough to leave marks in the tight packed trail ground.
Poor Raynard was understandably upset, as were all the mounts other than Sombra, who was as placid and unshakable as his master. Although unhappy, Raynard calmed down thanks to the efforts of Yolande.
Upon examination, the horse had no other injury other than the neck injury. Although something had put a great fright in the horse, nothing had harmed it physically.
Meanwhile both Arthur Dent and David Black were giving Roderick a wide berth, obviously afraid of the sudden display of the dagger.
2007-10-03, 08:40 PM
The girl looks up at her companions.
Well, something scared this horse, but didn't otherwise hurt it. I suppose that we've got to proceed, and if there's a chance of finding people still alive down the road...
She leaves the dead horse lying where it is, untethers Raynard and hauls herself back into the saddle.
Who else is curious?
2007-10-04, 06:50 AM
"With all due respect, it's possible that whatever scared this horse couldn't otherwise hurt the poor beast because it was too busy hurting all the other horses. And their riders."
(( Does it seem like the horse may have been under the effects of some Supernatural/Spell-induced/Extraordinary fear effect? [roll0]; [roll1] ))
2007-10-04, 07:45 AM
"That's about what I was thinking..." And with that, Raze rushes in the direction that the horse had came from, unsheathing his axe in the process.
2007-10-04, 07:55 AM
As the rest of the group examines the horse, Saaya moves a few feet down the path, shading his eyes against the sun's glare and looking down the path. As Raze rushes past him, he holds out his arm and calls out.
Stop! Wouldn't it be wise to approach this more carefully? "It is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet."
Having said this, the tiefling slips quietly away from the camp, moving carefully and efficiently, seeking to remain hidden as much as possible.
Hide 21, Move Silently 25, Spot 17, and Listen 6 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1299255)
If Saaya will try to keep about 60 feet ahead of the group, and will move quickly back (read: double move) if he sees anything worthy of reporting or is threatened by a significant danger.
2007-10-04, 10:56 AM
Raze doesn't slow at all in response to Saaya's words. "Every second we dawdle here could mean another life lost to whatever frightened this horse."
2007-10-04, 11:18 AM
"Including ours if we just rush off half-cocked," Jarzel says with a tone more reminiscent of a simple statement of fact than a warning.
2007-10-04, 07:05 PM
As he walks past, Roderick bumps Jarzel's shoulder, "What, afraid of a little scrap?" He grins, "But you do make a good point about going off half-cocked. Give me a moment." As he says this, his eyes suddenly flash a bright green, a flame seeming to leap into being within the ice blue irises. As it subsides, Roderick seems slightly more poised, more firm in his purpose, "Ok, I'm ready. Let's go."
He jogs off, drawing a second dagger as he does so. Falling into step next to Raze, he chuckles, "Well, looks like we'll be seeing some action shortly. Should be a good spot of fun, eh?"
2007-10-04, 08:25 PM
Raze gives a somewhat bitter half-smile in response. "Maybe for us, but not for the other guys..."
With that, he directs his voice to the others, Jarzel particularly. "If that's the problem, I was 'cocked' this morning when I woke up. If you be planning to join us if there's a fight, then get ready; lives may be at stake and we don't have time for you to wait around to get 'cocked.'"
2007-10-05, 04:06 AM
Packing his stuff quickly back into his cart, he went over and got his mule saddled up and got walking it over to the road, got his bow out onto his lap and got ready to ride down the trail. "I'm not leaving my stuff back here, but lets go see if there is anything we can do."
2007-10-05, 06:57 AM
The young man in black responds to Raze, "Well, if you're in such a hurry, realize the horses at least will get us there faster."
Jarzel turns around and starts heading towards the horses. Addressing himself, he softly adds, "Not that I see reason for such haste. They're so far away the only service we'll be able to render by the time we get there is burial of the dead." He pauses for a moment. "Hm. Gonna need the shovel."
(( If he is not otherwise interrupted, Jarzel will go saddle up Sombra and pack up. In the spirit of compromise rather than striking the entirety of camp, Jarzel will only grab a shovel, his backpack, rope, water, healer's kit, scrolls, and "work clothes" (his explorer's outfit). He'll leave the rest strewn about his still-pitched tent. The lighter load will help them move more quickly, too. ))
2007-10-05, 07:05 PM
Raze starts speaking aggressively, saying"Methinks you overestimate how far they may be and underestimate how long men cornered can survive combat. Not even the strongest of horses can run so far as such speeds; they may be just 'round the bend." He then pauses, and grudgingly admits, "But you have a point 'bout the horse." With that, he sets about saddling and mounting his (yet-unnamed) steed as quickly as possible.
2007-10-05, 07:20 PM
"What bend?" Jarzel asks, referring to the flat plains all around and the straight roads they support.
2007-10-05, 08:54 PM
It was true that for the most part, the plains road was straight; but as they traveled north, and entered the steppes, mesas, and canyons of the arid northern region, they round became more twisty as outcroppings of rocks became more frequent. In addition, sometimes depressions could be found on the plains, the craters of empty lakes from time long past. The group was still well within the plains, however.
David volunteered to watch the camp while they set out. Arthur Dent chose to accompany them, but avoided both Lathrohar and Roderick.
The horse had left a trail for them to follow, and they had only been riding north for around the span of 10 minutes before the horse's hooves left the trail and instead went through the brittle prairie grass. The frenzied pace of the horse meant that a suitable trail had been stamped out for them to follow.
As earlier supposed, the trail led to a gentle slope leading to a depression, hidden by a slight rise, not tall enough to even be considered a hill.
In this depression was a scene of chaos. 5 horses lay dead, scattered throughout the depression. Lying on their sides and beset by flies, the carcasses where slick with blood. Open wounds, great cuts and slashes, gave testament to a savage mauling.
Lying against one of the horse bodies, propped upright by his dead steed, was the guard captain, smeared with red and apparently wounded. A scant few feet away, two other guards stood with their backs turned to the party. Of the fourth guard, there was no sign.
2007-10-06, 02:13 PM
Pulling her horse up from its canter at the grisly sight ahead, Yolande instinctively slips back behind Raze, and settles her crossbow into the crook of her left arm.
2007-10-06, 04:04 PM
Having saddled his horse (which, strangely, hasn't been mentioned yet :smallwink:), Roderick trots up and dismounts next to the carrion scene. He hails the two standing guards: "What's the situation here?"
2007-10-07, 01:54 AM
At seeing the other horses, Raze's steed gives a cry and trys to veer away. "Whoa, steady girl..." Raze says, in as soothing a tone as the deep voiced dwarf can manage. After calming the horse down, he quickly dismounts and goes to look over the injured(?) man.
2007-10-07, 10:12 AM
Saaya stands next to Yolande, his hands on his weapons and his eyes wide with shock. After allowing himself only the briefest moment of shock, he looks around the scene, trying to find anything subtle and out of the ordinary (besides the obvious) that might indicate a present threat.
Spot & Listen: 25, 22 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1304468)
2007-10-07, 04:33 PM
Jarzel scans the scene, face impassive. He suddenly comes to a decision. He dismounts, calmly walks over to the guard captain, rolls up his sleeves, and begins to examine the wounds. (( Heal: take 10 for 16 ))
2007-10-07, 09:06 PM
The guard captain had two primary ailments: A spear broken off in his stomach, and a nasty blow to the side of his head. His helm was shattered around the area, and the captain's eyes were unfocused, looking right past Jarzel as if he wasn't there.
Saaya did not see anything other than horse corpses.
At Roderick's hail the two guards turned around. Their fronts were smeared with red blood, but the way they moved and held themselves seemed to indicate that they weren't wounded.
Both men had smiles on their faces. One spoke. "Oh, hello. Isn't it," and at this, the gestured at the splayed horse bodies around them, as if they were a harem of giggling maidens instead of carrion, "beautiful? Just a lovely day."
"Yes, indeed. Absolutely fantastic." The other chimed in.
2007-10-07, 11:11 PM
Walking upto the two guards, Lathrohar chanted a few words then held out his hand towards them
And the knowledges that seem appropriate to the situation
[roll1] - Creature/About depression
[roll2] - Spell?
[roll3] - Strange creature?
[roll4] - Divine spell?
[roll5] - About the depression, is it natural?
2007-10-08, 11:10 AM
Leaving the others to face off with the two seemingly deranged guards, Yolande glances quickly at Saaya, whom she trusted to keep his eye on the larger picture, and dismounted to trot over to Raze.
Bless you, Raze. Let me have a look, now.
Glancing sharply at the spear embedded in the guardsman's stomach, she places a slender, gentle hand to either side, and chants a quick prayer to Pelor.
Converting a Cure Light Wounds:
[roll0] Cure Light Wounds
[roll1] Heal check to determine the seriousness of his remaining injuries.
2007-10-08, 08:01 PM
Jarzel aids Yolande in her ministrations. (( Aid another: [roll0] ))
2007-10-09, 09:02 PM
The two guards stared at Lathrohar. "What is he doing?"
"I don't know."
The depression, as earlier noted, was the remains of a pond or something that had dried up, formed by entirely natural forces. There was no trace of magic on either of the guards. And the wounds on the horses could have been caused by any animal with claws and teeth, of which the plains had many.
The priestess's magic flowed into the wounded guardsman, the lambent energy glowing like the sun as it knit his wounds. The remains of the spear were removed, and the rest of his injuries seemingly healed. However, he remained catatonic.
At this point, Saaya heard a rustling in the grass, coming from the east (far) side of the depression. He alone caught it, its magnitude was so faint.
2007-10-09, 09:26 PM
Roderick wonders at these idiotic guards. You'd think that they'd at least have been on alert, considering their entire caravan just got mauled. Seeing that no one seems to be getting anywhere in any sortof deductions, he decides to take a slightly more direct route. He walks up to one of them, and gently slaps his face with a gloved hand, "Snap out of it! What in the Nine Hells are you doing? What happened here?"
2007-10-09, 09:32 PM
The man stood there for a second, befuddlement on his face. Then he gleefully returned the slap. "A game! What fun!"
"Magnificent!" His companion jerked off a glove and slapped Roedrick hard across the face, and the two laughed in unison.
But a familiar pain had seized Roderick, and a voice unseen and unheard by all save him spoke to him. "Kill them. Kill all three of them. The idiot girl is going to poor all off her energy into healing a brain dead vegetable, and these two fools must die for their insolence. Loot what you can and then get away."
And then the pain receded.
2007-10-09, 11:24 PM
Checking the guardsman's heartbeat, the young priestess shrugs at Jarzel.
I think his body will recover. It's possible that his mind may take longer. Do you see anything I'm missing?
2007-10-10, 07:51 AM
Saaya had just started to relax as the priests went about their administrations when he heard the rustle. He froze on the spot and listened carefully for a moment before moving slowly next to Yolande and Jarzel, whispering to the two priests softly.
There's something here, on the eastern side of the depression. I'm going to find out what it is.
He looks around furtively, muttering under his breath I've got a bad feeling about this as he draws his weapons and moves to the nearest cover and disappears before making his way around to the east.
Move Silently 24
2007-10-10, 04:40 PM
To Yolande (before Saaya mentions the noise): "No, I think we got it. Yeah, we can only hope he's mentally better off than the others if we want to figure out what happened at all"
Upon hearing Saaya's report, he whispers, "Go ahead, Saaya. Yolande, protect the captain. I'll make sure the others know what's going on."
2007-10-10, 07:50 PM
Nodding, Yolande shifts her body slightly to cover more of the guard captain, and glances up and around as nonchalantly as she can.
Yolande is preparing to put herself in the way of any attack that comes in on the prone guard captain. She is especially concerned about the two scarily deranged guards.
2007-10-10, 08:40 PM
Raze looks on with a critical expression as the guards slap Roderick, and his hand instinctively moves to his axe. He moves towards the two men, worried about Roderick's responce to the slap. Over his shoulder, he asks of the two clerics, "Know you anythin' that might cause this sort of... stupidity in a man?"
2007-10-11, 08:02 AM
Jarzel answers Raze, "I know of a number of things, but I can't be sure without a bit more information." Then, he adds in a whisper just loud enough for Roderick and Lathrohar to hear as well, "But we may have a more immediate concern. Keep the axe out, but don't be too tense. Saaya's checking out some strange noise he heard."
2007-10-11, 01:36 PM
Raze nods and relaxes a bit, holding his axe parallel to the ground with both hands. He keeps his gaze focused on Roderick.
2007-10-11, 10:09 PM
As the sharp pain stabs into his mind, Roderick abruptly stops moving, and the guards' slaps hit him square in the face with no reaction. His eyes glazed over and his fingers twitching, he keels over into the dust. Almost at once he is up again, an angry bonfire blazing in his blue eyes. He hears Jarzel's statement, and seems to be wrestling with himself, trying and not trying to move with some purpose. Then, a change comes over him. He stands perfectly still, at attention, then slowly relaxes. He looks around for a moment, then speaks to the guards, "Stay here, children. I wouldn't want you to get hurt until I've had a few moments with you two." He gestures to the captain. ""Go sit by your friend there and don't move until I tell you to, okay? I'll give you a treat later if you be good." Roderick turns on his heel and walks away, businesslike, brushing dust off the front of his clothes, muttering something about idiot guards and tax money.
Manifesting force screen, unaugmented. Taking 10 on a concentration check to hide the display. 1 power point spent. +4 shield bonus to AC for the next 2 minutes.
Listen Check: [roll0]
Spot Check: [roll1]
2007-10-11, 10:29 PM
Raze nods at Roderick, and though he seems concerned about the display beforehand, he visibly relaxes, placing his axe head-first on the ground and lightly leaning on it like a staff.
2007-10-12, 08:32 AM
(( Hm. Just realized I forgot about Jarzel's backpack. He would have dropped it by the guard captain before conducting the medical examination... So that's where it is. ))
Jarzel retrieves his staff.
2007-10-13, 08:12 PM
Swiftly Saaya slinked into the shifting grass surrounding the depression, scrambling up the steep slop. ((I earn experience points for excellent examples of alliteration. :smallsmile: :smallyuk: ))
The rogue moved towards the source of the sound, slipping through the grass silently. He approached by moving along the south side of the depression.
It was not long before he sighted the originator of the rustling sound, some distance away from the depression and certainly not visible to one standing in that terrain feature. Four humanoid shapes huddled a short distance from the depression. Although one was warily observing the area, Saaya appeared to have evaded their notice.
The one glaring warily about was an elf. In his wide belt a shortsword and dagger were visible. A quiver and short bow lay nearby, easily with the reach of the wary sentinel. A small buckler shield was strapped to his forearm. His torso was protected by a leather jerkin inlaid with metal studs.
The other three where in an apparently heated discussion. One was a black bearded dwarf clad in banded armor. A large pavise shield with a war axe lay close to him. In his broad hands he held a powerful crossbow.
The third man was not a man, but another elf, shorter than his sentinel companion, but similarly equipped.
The final man, and the obvious ring leader, was an actual human. Even under his chainmail armor, his impressive build was obvious. This was a man of great strength and endurance. As with the others, he bore a bow, but this weapon was massive, easily as tall as the man who stood at least 6 feet. From his belt hung the scabbard of a long sword, the engraved hilt visible.
As earlier noted, the dwarf, the second elf, and the human were apparently discussing something. The first elf was apparently on watch.
2007-10-14, 08:58 PM
Raze begins swaying in place, looking impatient as he leans in his axe, waiting to hear from Saaya.
2007-10-15, 10:57 AM
Spotting the quartet of humanoids in the tall grass, Saaya crouched down quietly, straining to see if he could catch snatches of their conversation and gauge their intentions.
After a few moments, whether or not he heard anything, Saaya crept back to the group, moving to within whispering distance of as many as possible.
There are 4 humanoids, 2 elves, a dwarf, and a human, just to the south of us. The dwarf and the human are heavily-armored and well-armed and the two elves are equipped like skirmishers or infiltrators, all of them with both missile and melee weapons. They're discussing amongst themselves, but at least one is keeping watch and has undoubtedly noticed our presence.
Listen: 20 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1317162)
If Saaya was able to hear anything they say, assume he transfers the general gist of the conversation to the others.
2007-10-16, 07:40 AM
"Did you hear what they were discussing?"
2007-10-16, 01:09 PM
Hearing Saaya's comment, Roderick grins to himself. He walks over to the main group and grins, "Well, I would hate for them to get the jump on us. Shall we pay them a visit?"
2007-10-16, 04:22 PM
Glancing over at the two deranged guards, Yolande responds to Roderick softly.
I can't just leave this patient right now. Not until we know what these two are likely to do. For all we know, they're the ones that did this to him.
2007-10-16, 08:10 PM
Unfortunately, Saaya only caught bits and pieces of their discussion. Words like guards, she, plan, caravan, and kill came up frequently.
2007-10-16, 08:21 PM
"Lathrohar, can you help Yolande by keeping an eye on these two?" Jarzel whispers while gesturing to the two insane guards. "I want to help greet our company. Alright, keep your weapons down, but out. Don't want to be too threatening off the bat, but we want to be prepared."
2007-10-16, 08:29 PM
Raze nods and hefts his axe up so that the point where the head meets the haft rests just above his shoulder. "Agreed. This look too intimidating, you think?" He grins weakly.
2007-10-16, 10:44 PM
The priestess hurries to her horse to pull down the crossbow, and brings it with her back to the guard captain.
Oh, don't worry about me, Saaya. If there's four of them, you should take Lathrohar. I'll be fine. Be careful, gentlemen.
She smiles briefly at Raze, seeing the kindness under the bravado. She hunkers down in a place where she can keep an eye on the two guards, and on the place where Saaya has spotted the others.
2007-10-17, 06:19 AM
Leaving his arrows in the quiver, Lathrohar walked over obviously using his bow as a walking staff making a few gestures as a layer of transparent armour appeared briefly over his form. Then grasp the bow/staff like it is truly his support, Lathrohar walked forward, his spare hand lingering not far from his spell component pouch, nor from his quiver. "I couldn't find anything magically wrong with them, so hopefully those guards should just continue behaving as they are now, but if they do make trouble, I can't exactly club sense into them with my frail form. My mind is my strong point. I can get them to behave best from a distance, so going over with you would be good both ways. And as you said there were some elves, someone might finally show respect to their elders." Drawing and knocking an arrow with surprising speed he continued "And I do know how to use this quite well. Once does not make it to an advanced age without learning something on the way", before putting the arrow back into the quiver and returned to using his bow appearing as prop keeping him on his feet.
I'm still here... Just reaching end of the semester so projects and exams and the such are keeping me busy...
My bow is elvencraft, so is very sturdy and can be used as a quarterstaff. Thus using it as one for the mean time. Got to keep them guessing
And that was me casting mage armour. Got two hours of it.
And if you really want me to be bluffing it [roll0] + circumstance bonus's (I am an old elf after all...)
2007-10-18, 01:10 PM
Reaching down to his belt unconsciously, Saaya hooks his fingers around the crossguards of his twin short swords and loosens them in their scabbards. He moves silently beside Roderick, his black-on-black eyes emotionless. He points in the direction of the hidden group before moving forward to lead the way.
2007-10-18, 02:22 PM
Jarzel follows Saaya. Once in the clearing, he greets the strangers, "Hello, there. And what might the four of you be up to?" His smile displays a strange mix of caution, genuine curiosity, and sterness.
2007-10-18, 08:16 PM
The keen eyed sentinel spotted them immediately. With hardly a second of hesitation, the group went from their weapons, drawing but not raising them to strike.
The human leader, hand on sword, spoke, focusing his gaze on Jarzel. His eyes and tone were harsh. "We were discussing what to do about this little situation here. Seems to me you've claimed some of our property as your own."
2007-10-18, 08:35 PM
Raze raises an eyebrow, but remains silent, waiting for someone more subtle than he to respond.
2007-10-18, 08:47 PM
Roderick trots up, an arrogant smile on his lips, one drawn and one sheathed dagger clearly in evidence, "And what might that be? Unless you really feel like ticking me off, you'd better explain that bit of reasoning. Fast." Lazily, he flicks his dagger towards their weapons, "Those are not necessary. Unless you feel like an especially spirited form of conversation?"
2007-10-19, 04:28 AM
Stood leaning on his staff, Lathrohar look at the four, his eyes lingering longer on the elves. "Now what would this been that we have claimed as our own"
Detect Magic still going, unless it has been two minutes. Swinging it over them if they are within 60ft, if not, then how far away are we?
2007-10-19, 02:32 PM
Slowly shaking his head, Jarzel calmly and without accusation states, "We've taken nothing."
2007-10-21, 02:15 PM
"Oh? Really?" He indicated the depression behind them very bluntly by pointing at it. "We found that loot first. Perkins here," He clapped one of his hands onto the shoulder of the elf who had been on watch, "Found this mess and came back to get us. Only once we got here, we found you lot mucking about in it. Now, would you kindly leave so we can get to work?"
Let's say you're discussing roughly 30 feet from each other. One of the elves has the faintest trace of magic about him, seemingly focused around the buckler on his arm.
2007-10-21, 02:35 PM
"Ah, ah, aaahhh... That's what you mean, hm? Well, we certainly aren't interested in looting. Well, I'm not, anyway. I cannot exactly speak for my compatriots," Jarzel replies with an air of disinterest.
"However, one thing does intrigue me. I was under the impression that to a scavenger ownership was determined by possession rather than simple claim. And, uh, as you are not in possession of anything from the caravan, that would make you simply...'Out of Luck.'
So, why do feel you can claim ownership over any of those goods simply because you passed by?"
2007-10-21, 07:03 PM
"I reckon the law doesn't matter much out here." He waved at the surrounding planes with the hand not occupied by the sword hilt. "There ain't no courts and no guards here. The only law is the law of the sword."
"Look, if it'll get this over with, let's make a deal. Let's split the lot 50-50."
2007-10-21, 07:34 PM
"I did say I was not interested in looting?
"And I am sure you are aware that there are surviving caravan members that have their stakes in this. For reasons of my own, I am reluctant to apply this 'law of the sword' to them. And I know I can speak for at least one of my compatriots on that."
2007-10-21, 07:58 PM
"If you don't want the stuff, why don't you just hand it over?"
"Look, Mister..." The man sighed, and placed his free hand to his brow. "I don;t much care about those caravan people. They ain't here, they ain't a factor. It's just you and me."
"Want do you want? Money? A favor? I can get ya both."
2007-10-21, 08:42 PM
"A favor? You must be a man of influence to be one who deals in favors. What is a man of influence doing scavenging the plains, then?" He doesn't give the leader a chance to respond before continuing, "Ah, but I don't suppose that's any of my business. I have my reasons to be here. You have yours.
"In any case, those caravan people are a factor as a number of my compatriots and I deem it prudent to act in their best interest at the time being."
2007-10-22, 06:45 AM
"Listen," he scratched at the stubble on his face, you don't seem to be understanding me all that well. You'll get nothing from those caravan folk if you return the stuff. I can make it worth your while."
2007-10-22, 10:10 AM
Originally content to observe the conversation in silence and support Jarzel with nothing more than his presence, Saaya quickly becomes impatient with the back-and-forth over the ultimate possession of the caravan's contents. Fixing his unnerving stare on the man, he chimes in.
Listen, am I the only one who thinks there are more important things involved here than who gets their stuff. Something strange happened to these men, and it seems to me it behooves us to find out what. At the very least we don't want the same thing happening to us. You didn't happen to see anything, did you?
2007-10-22, 04:56 PM
The leader at first met Saaya's gaze, but then broke eye contact and shifted uncomfortably under the stare. "Doesn't matter much to me. We didn't see anything."
2007-10-22, 06:22 PM
Still leaning on his staff, Lathrohar looked straight at one of the elves, and raising his hand to point a finger said "Young one, tell me what you saw"
2007-10-22, 07:47 PM
The man looked at the elf wizard with a sort of confused mirth, apparently confident in his followers loyalty. His mouth opened to speak, but he halted when he noted the serious face on the elf the wizard had pointed at.
With only the slightest sideways glance at his leader, the elf stepped forward and spoke in elven. When he was finished, he stepped back in place as his leader stared slack jawed at him.
((Only understood in-game by those who speak elven:))
"Honorable Elder, I saw nothing. Nor did the man, nor did the dwarf. My brother, however, saw two things: A rider on a pale horse, swathed in head to toe of cloth of some dark shade, heading towards Grey Chasm. It was the haste of his flight that caused my brother to investigate and discover this place.
The second sight was a brown horse, still living, tied to a rock in this place. My brother freed him, and he fled down the road."
((Spoiler for Yolande))
Meanwhile, the daughter of Pelor was having difficulty with her childish charges.
The two unhinged guards had obeyed the command to take shelter behind the horse, but like two bratty children bored with a long trip they couldn't resist poking and prying at one another.
Finally, one of them got either angry or excited enough to escalate the conflict, and in the blink of an eye a fist was swung. One guard now had a black eye, and both were wrestling and clawing at the other while the laconic guard continued to be unaware of the world around him.
Arthur Dent was up near the horses, looking nervously about. Apparently, when they had first come upon the sight, he had been so rattled he had moved off a short distance and vomited for a while before returning.
2007-10-23, 12:10 AM
Raze silently listens to what he can only parse as absolute gibberish silently, looking to Lathrohar inquisitively.
2007-10-23, 01:19 AM
Rising, Yolande crossed to within about 10' of the squabbling guards.
Perhaps some kind of curse that reduced them to four-year-old mentalities. Pity it didn't shrink them as well. Hmmm. Perhaps there's something that can be done with that.
Calling sweetly to the two wrestlers, Yolande speaks softly and slowly.
Boys! If you don't stop fighting right now, you won't get plum pie with dinner tonight, do you understand?
Trying Diplomacy, Intimidate or Bluff (as you see fit) to make them behave. They all have the same modifier, anyway:
2007-10-26, 04:48 PM
((Pardon my lateness.))
Lathrohar ((in the interest of getting on with it)) revealed that the elf had seen a figure swathed in dark colored clothing riding towards Grey Chasm on a sickly looking horse.
Back at the catatonic guard's dead horse, the two deranged guards sullenly broke up their fight, the promise of plum pie apparently enough to keep hostilities at bay. The non-responsive sentinel was as non-responsive as ever.
2007-10-26, 05:52 PM
"Really? Well, that's certainly interesting." He glances over towards the guards, noticing their antics, "Excuse me a moment."
Striding over to the guards, he lowers his tone to one of threatening malice, "Sit your asses down. Now. I have absolutely no compunctions about killing the both of you, so watch your steps."
Roderick walks back to the main group, sheathing his dagger and fingering a small bulge on the left side of his shirt, "Pardon, please. Now, you were saying?"
2007-10-26, 06:02 PM
As Roderick comes back out of the woods to threaten the guards, Yolande watches him incredulously.
Hey! Dough-head! These two are obviously not in control of their actions. We need to treat them with a little compassion. I had the situation under control. Now...how are things going over there?
2007-10-26, 10:02 PM
Upon hearing of the dark figure, Jarzel effortlessly tunes out Roderick's antics and replies, "Really? Guess we're on the right path, then. Is there anything else he can remember about this horseman?"
2007-10-28, 03:59 PM
The leader cut him off. "You two, check the horses." The elves hesitated, and he shouted, "GO!"
As the two elves departed, the man rounded on Lathrohar. "That was a dirty trick."
Back at the depression, the two guards didn't really seem to get Roderick's threat. They just sort of seized up rigid, eyes going blank and vacant as they had when the one guard had been slapped.
2007-10-28, 07:04 PM
Roderick simply stands there, his brow furrowed, obviously peeved that nothing is going his way. A finger twitches, and his teeth exude a soft grinding sound.
Suddenly, his entire face convulses, his muscles going rigid as a forced exhalation exits his lips. His eye twitches, and he falls to his knees on the ground - this is a bad one.
Then, in a flash, it is gone. He stands, and as he straightens his shirt, wheezes, "I'm sick of your games. Tell us what we want to know, and perhaps I'll allow you to take a few things you want. Grate on my nerves any more and I can promise you that I will make your lives a cistern of pain." He catches his breath, and pulls out his dagger again, just to make his point.
2007-10-28, 07:32 PM
Intimidate check anew: [roll0]
2007-10-31, 09:36 PM
The human leader looked to his dwarven ally. The dwarf gave the subtlest and smallest inclination of his head.
The human turned back to face them. "That was all my man saw. A man in dark clothing riding away on a sickly horse."
2007-11-01, 02:24 AM
Grinning slightly at the man, Lathrohar said "What dirty trick?, one should always respect their elders" as he walked slowly forward relying more on his staff than was really needed. "Or don't you short lived folk care for those who live to see the centuries pass bye"
((OOC: Sorry, been busy with exams. Should be back to posting regularly))
2007-11-01, 10:32 AM
Saaya moves forward, placing his hand on Roderick's upper arm and speaking to his companion softly.
Perhaps threats are not the way, friend. I see no need for violence.
Then, Saaya nods politely to the dwarf and the human before moving towards the two elves. When he reaches them, he speaks in Elvish.
I would know more about this figure you saw. You say he was headed toward Gray Chasm? Was there anything else notable that you observed? Any information you have would help us greatly in our search. I can't speak for all my companions, but I will gladly forgo any of the items from the caravan in exchange for this information.
If necessary, a diplomacy (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1347478) check (16, untrained)!
2007-11-01, 06:40 PM
Raze simply shuffles about awkwardly, unsure what do to with himself at the moment. He seems content to simply let the others talk; after all, a fight avoided is a fight won.
2007-11-02, 12:07 PM
"Look, I may be a bit of a scavenger, but I'm not a liar. When I said I don't know anything else, I meant it."
2007-11-02, 04:16 PM
"Very well, then. If that is so, I fear neither of our parties can provide any more aide to the other with regard to that issue. So let us turn to the other business at hand: Do you still intend to lay claim to the contents of those wagons?"
2007-11-03, 11:36 AM
"Listen, if it'll speed things up, I've got some money right here." The man removed the hand from his sword hilt and began fiddling about with a pouch on his belt that jingled with the merry clink of coins. "How much do you want for the lot?"
2007-11-04, 12:24 PM
Shaking his head with bemusement, Jarzel replies, "It's really not ours to sell.
"Now, on a normal day, I wouldn't care much about you picking off what you need. But today I happen to be in the position of needing to stay on good terms with people that do care. This means, I really can't let you take just whatever you please. However, I may be able to introduce you to those people that do care and they'll let you know what you can take. But in the meantime, I want to take a good look at that disaster area before anything important is disturbed.
"Is that all fine with you?"
2007-11-06, 07:36 AM
The man looked disappointed, but said, "Fine. I understand. You don't mind if I come with you and take a look at the stuff myself? My man assured me it was a good haul, but, well, you folks have shown me he's less trustworthy than I thought."
2007-11-10, 10:50 AM
"Even if I did, I can't say I'm willing to put up any effort to stop you. I've got slightly more pressing matters. Just don't disturb anything."
With that, Jarzel turns around and heads back to the caravan.
"Is everything holding up out here, Yolande?"
2007-11-10, 05:31 PM
Yolande responds, softly for fear of unsettling the two guards.
Fine, so far. The boys seem to be settled in. Although we'll see what happens if I don't come up with plum pudding by sundown.
She smiles enigmatically, and gestures back the way he came.
How's it going back there? Roderick stopped back a few minutes ago, but didn't stay to chat.
2007-11-10, 05:40 PM
Lowering his voice so Aurthur doesn' hear, Jarzel informs Yolande, "Turns out to be a bunch of scavangers. I seem to have convinced them not to take anything for the time being, but they still want to have a look around. I suggest we find out what we can about what happened here before anything important manages to disappear.
"Someone should probably go fetch David. These folk seem like they'll be civil as long as we have enough healthy and sane true representatives from the caravan."
2007-11-10, 05:41 PM
Saaya walks back to the ruined caravan just in time to hear Yolande's report. His face shows thinly-veiled disgust as he answers, elaborating on Jazrel's comments.
One of the elves saw a cloaked and covered rider heading toward Gray Chasm. But that's all the information they have. Most of the talk has been about claims on the caravan's goods.
Looking around, Saaya wonders aloud,
What is here that's so valuable? "Lay up for yourselves not treasures on earth..."
When are we going to move on. And what are we going to do with these fellows?
Do we even know the contents of the caravan. Quick Search and Spot checks (whichever works for just looking around for a quick impression).
Search: 22 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1365944)
Spot: 15 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1365948)
2007-11-10, 06:22 PM
Raze simply returns to the caravan silently, having nothing to add to the report. He keeps a close eye on the scavengers, his expression betraying more than a little disgust.
2007-11-10, 09:17 PM
A quick scan of the scene was inconclusive in regards to the valuables. It appeared that each of the horses had a small chest, about twice the size of a man's palm and perhaps 5 inches tall behind the saddlebags and secured tightly with rope, which couldn't have been terribly comfortable for the horses. They were securely locked and there was no sign of a key; the guards, comatose and child minded alike, had no keys on their belts.
In examining the scene, Saaya noted something odd. Below one of the sprawled horse bodies, it appeared as if the soil had been recently disturbed.
The scavenger and his dwarf guard stood on the lip of the depression, apparently conferring. The two elves sullenly returned, and the human leader began speaking to the insubordinate one in a hushed but angry tone.
2007-11-10, 09:49 PM
Maintining his hushed tones, Jarzel comments to Saaya, "Let's not be in too much of a hurry. It is possible this Sandman was involved here. If so, there may be some insight into our elusive quarry we can gain here."
(( Assuming the hidden chests are in some way evident to Jarzel... ))
He moves to Arthur and asks, "Do you know anything about these containers?"
2007-11-10, 10:57 PM
"Indeed I do, sir. You see, I deal mainly in rare, exotic, and easy to transport things that catch the fancy of nobles, historians, mages... you know the type." He loudly cleared his throat. "As I was saying, we were attempting to transport some curiosities found on an island. Those chests contain them. They're small, round stones with a mass of curious scratches on them. I have no idea why they are so valuable, only that the learned people of the Republic will pay a pretty penny to get their hands on one."
2007-11-11, 02:47 AM
At the description of the strange stones, Yolande glances up from the unconscious guard. Something was tugging at the back of her mind.
Attempting a Lore check [roll0] to see if she recognizes anything from the description of the stones.
2007-11-11, 08:50 AM
Yolande couldn't remember too much about the stones. They were supposed to be relics of some old civilization. It must have been a widespread one because the bloody things could be found in a bizarre variety of locations. They'd been found on the highest peaks and in the lowest valleys, the murkiest swamps and the clearest lakes, and in the most sparse of plains and densest forests. One was never certain where he might find them, only that scholars payed a lot to examine and own them.
The markings on the rocks seemed to be a pattern of sorts, perhaps a language. Given that inscription seemed to be their only means of record, this hypothetical elder civilization was thought to either have been very primitive or to have found carving rocks to be an extremely simple task.
At any rate, they were an intellect curiosity and a source of income for explorers and scavengers. There was no standard price for the stones, but a platinum apiece was not unheard of. Most individuals couldn't afford them, and the majority were actually purchased by institutions like the Republic Library and the Imperial Academy.
2007-11-11, 12:57 PM
Those stones? Saaya, these stones belong in a museum, where scholars have a chance of bringing ancient secrets to light for everyone's good. Not squirreled away in the dungeon of some private collector. Plus, on the off chance that the Sandman is in some way involved, having the stones may give us clues, or at least draw him to us. Is there any chance we can, I don't know, scare the scavengers off or something?
She gestures her willingness to go to the site of the confrontation with the others.
2007-11-12, 11:30 AM
Still glancing around the ruined caravan to find any objects of potential value, Saaya responds to Yolande somewhat absentmindedly.
Hmm, that's true. I've never heard of stones like those before. As to how to get the scavengers to leave...
In the midst of this sentence, Saaya trails off, staring intently at one of the horse carcasses. He dashes over to the body and begins to examine the soil underneath it. Picking up a handful of soil, he looks at it closely and removes one of his gloves to roll some grains between his fingers.
Look at this! This soil looks like it's been disturbed. Very recently too. Someone help me move this horse. Does anyone have a spade?
When the horse is moved, Saaya looks carefully at the ground underneath it for any clues before taking whatever digging implement he can find and carefully making small holes in the disturbed area, as if looking for something buried under the earth.
If time permits Saaya will take 20 on a Search check (total check of 27). If not, 25 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1368989).
2007-11-13, 10:18 PM
Moving the horse was surprisingly easy, revealing a large, irregular circle with a radius averaging about just under 4 feet.
Certain facts became apparent from examining the hole, and the scene as a whole? First off, aside from a layer of dust on top, the soil in these parts was arid and hard packed, making digging a hard task.
Secondly, the guards had apparently been making for Grey Chasm. They had been riding all day, and night had fallen by the time they would ahve found and reached this spot. Why stop to bury something?
Thirdly, the soil was ground fine. No loose clumps or clods. That wasn't exactly characteristic of a shovel.
"Whatcha got there?" The scavenger leader was crouching next to the revealed hole, eyes glittering with greed. "Found something good?"
2007-11-14, 01:33 PM
Yolande quietly reaches for her still-loaded crossbow, hoping that this doesn't get any uglier than it already was.
2007-11-14, 05:28 PM
Moving over to the hole, Jarzel comments to the scavenger leader "Good? Looks like a hole. Do you consider that 'good'?"
2007-11-14, 07:37 PM
"You don't bury something for jollies. You bury something to hide it. And if it was worth hiding, it's valuable." The man looked up at Jarzel with a wry smile. "I'm an old hand at this game. Not much gets past me."
2007-11-14, 10:07 PM
"Eh, what's valuable to one isn't necessarily valuable to another. Anyway, instead of burying, maybe it was digging something up. Or maybe a side effect of some magic. Or maybe tunneling... or... burrowing?"
(( How deep is the hole? ))
2007-11-14, 10:52 PM
((Pardon me. I thought I had mentioned at some point that the hole is filled up with finely ground soil, and thus it's depth cannot be ascertained, but I apparently I haven't until this point.))
"If they were digging something up, why did they bother to refill the hole?" The man kept smirking at Jarzel. "And nothing on the plains digs holes this big."
2007-11-15, 12:03 AM
Chuckling softly to himself and shaking his head in resignation, Saaya begins to dig, preferably with a spade of some sort but if not, with whatever is at hand.
Only one way to find out...
2007-11-15, 07:39 AM
There was no shovel among the stuff at the disaster sight, but the scavenger did have one.
The digging was swift. In a short amount of time, Sayaa had gone down about 4 to 5 feet. The scavenger leader sat near the lip of the hole, obviously eager to see what lay within. The heavily armored dwarf stood on the lip of the depression, watching the surrounding area warily.
Sayaa once more thrust the shovel blade in the soil. He hit something hard....
And then a loud chitinous rattle sounded from the hole, like the clicking of a segmented carapace, or the clatter of bare bones...
2007-11-15, 10:31 AM
Raze approaches the hole, still holding his axe. He looks down when the shovel makes contact with a grim expression. "Somehow, methinks no good will come of this..."
2007-11-15, 01:38 PM
Roderick has been standing by, watching all the goings-on. He's intrigued by the hole, and as Saaya comments on it, he walks over and looks at it. He ponders for a moment, "Hm, it almost seems as though it wasn't dug, but rather was made by some sort of burrowing creature..." As the sound emanates from the hole, he jumps back, unsheathing two daggers from his belt, an excited grin on his face as his eyes flare green for a moment, "Well, I guess we found that out quickly enough, eh?" He laughs and readies himself for whatever comes out of the hole.
2007-11-15, 01:52 PM
Saaya's all black eyes widen as his shovel strikes something hard and a brief rattling sound can be heared above the scrape of the shovel. He briefly turns his head to look behind him. Seeing so many gathered around the hole (some bristling with weapons, others not), he gulps and digs the shovel into the earth again, his muscles tense and his senses alert. He mutters to himself (though loud enough that the people standing behind him can hear).
"Behold, I go forward to find him; backward and I cannot perceive him."
2007-11-15, 03:44 PM
"Saaya, I think it's best you get out of there." As he says this in his customary matter-of-fact tone, Jarzel offers his hand to help Saaya out.
2007-11-15, 06:05 PM
Raze steps forward, saying, with a concerned tone, "I agree with Jarzel; somethin' 'ere feels... wrong." He plants his axe head-first into the ground and offers his hand to the digging man.
2007-11-16, 12:27 PM
Saaya stops digging as his companions counsel caution, and accepts Raze's outstretched hand. Climbing adroitly out of the hole, he dusts off his clothes with his hands (though it doesn't really make too much of a difference) and looks around, his hands hovering over his weapons.
So, now how are we going to find out what's in that pit? It could be an important clue?
2007-11-16, 04:44 PM
There was the slight sound of emtal scraping on leather as the scavenger leader drew his sword. "I don't think we'll have to wait long...."
In Sayaa's absence, the earth on the floor of the hole began to move and shift, as if something just beneath the surface was rousing itself.
2007-11-16, 07:16 PM
As soon as he gets Saaya out of the hole, Raze hefts his axe and stands at the edge of the hole, waiting for whatever is down there to come out, and deal with it if it's threatening.
((Entering Punishing Stance))
2007-11-18, 10:04 AM
A small spray of rock and dirt blasted from the hole, pelting them with dust and soil. A head emerged, insectoid, dominated by a large pair of sideways slashing mandibles and glittering black eyes. Antennae flicked back and forth like restless whips.
A long segmented thorax pushed forth from the earth's grasp, long slender talon tipped legs unfolding to grasp the sides of the hole. With a heave, the abdomen and other legs were freed. Clawed legs gripping the vertical wall of the hole, the thing measured about 6 feet long.
It shook itself, the segmented carapace giving rise to the clattering noise heard before, dust falling off in a thin brown cloud. Then the insect's antenna unerringly felt in the direction of dirt coated Sayaa, and it pulled itself up from the lip with an aggressive clacking of its mandibles.
((Please roll for initiative.)
2007-11-18, 11:51 AM
First round action:
Yolande lifts a hand to the disk at her throat, then spins it in a complicated pattern.
Sun preserve us all!
In the first round, Yolande will cast Bless on her companions - but NOT on the four scavengers.
2007-11-18, 02:01 PM
(( [roll0] ))
(( Identify the Creature and potential weaknesses: [roll1]; Add three for dungeoneering or nature, add 4 for planes, add 6 for arcana or religion ))
(( I'll post the action later today... Gotta Run ))
2007-11-18, 02:42 PM
Raze suddenly has a wide grin on his face. "Finally! My axe shall cleave you in two!" He shouts before swinging at the beast.
AC: 14, HP: 24
Initiative: (1d20+1=16) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1380124) (Hey, not bad.)
Attack roll/Damage Roll/Punishing Stance: (1d20+5=11, 1d12+4=5, 1d6=6) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1380128) (Bleeeeeh. Also, forgot to add +1 from masterwork for the attack roll; that should be a 12. Not much better. ALSO forgot the bonus from Bless: 13. Still, probably not...)
2007-11-18, 05:17 PM
Roderick laughs, teeth bared in an exited grimace. For a moment he concentrates, a loud, bass hum filling the air as a white ray shoots from one of his daggers towards the beast. The hum is almost deafening; it sounds eerily like a chorus of tortured groans. In an instant, though, the sound is gone, leaving a strange silence filled only by Roderick's laughter.
Whee! The sound is not actually deafening, just very loud. It can be heard easily from 100 feet away.
Manifesting energy ray, cold damage. 1 pp
Attack Roll for Ray: [roll1] (touch attack)
Damage: [roll2] cold damage, no save
2007-11-18, 05:18 PM
Oh, also, Roderick is at a full seven HP, has an AC of 16 (assuming his Force Screen is still up) and has 7 pp left.
2007-11-18, 09:50 PM
(( Well, I'm pretty much at the bottom of initiative, so I guess what I do depends on what's going on...
If the creature is giving us a hard time and Jarzel's knowledge check doesn't reveal it to be immune to fear or mind-affecting spells, he'll try to scare it away with cause fear (DC 14 Will save or be frightened (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/abilitiesAndConditions.html#frightened) for [roll0] rounds, else be shaken (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/abilitiesAndConditions.html#shaken) for one.
If the creature is getting thouroughly whomped, he'll save the spell and attack it with quarterstaff ([roll1] (includes bonus from Yolande's bless, [roll2]), or if anyone really needs it (down to three or fewer hp), convert command to cure light wounds ([roll3])))
2007-11-19, 12:55 AM
Saaya - AC 17, 7 HP
Saaya's jaw clenches and his eyes narrow as he braces to meet the creature's advance. Seeing Raze step up and attack the beast, the corner of his mouth curves upward in a slight grin as he shuffles his feet and lashes out with his twin short swords.
If possible, Saaya will 5-foot step to flank the creature with Raze and attack twice with his short swords. If he can't 5-foot step into a flanking position, he will move into a flanking position and only attack once.
Tumble: [roll1] - to avoid AoO's if forced to move more than a 5-foot step
Attack 1: [roll2] - Additional +2 if he's only attacking once
Attack 2: [roll4]
2007-11-20, 09:46 PM
The bold dwarf had been waiting for the appearance of some foe, and his patience paid off as he gleefully set upon the insect.
The axe swung up and over, coming down on the creature like a hammer upon an anvil. The axe blade struck a glancing edge of the creature's exoskeleton, and though the thing clacked in pain, the worst of the blow was deflected by the thick carapace it possessed.
Next was swift Saaya. He slipped behind the creature, strategically placing it between him and Raze, forcing the creature to divide its attention.
Yolande called upon Pelor's aid. Each of allies felt a subtle change in the heat of the sun that fell upon them, as if it sought to comfort and warm them.
Roderick's mockingly shot blast caught the thing as is skittered back and forth, trying to keep track both of Raze and Saaya. A patch of white frost quickly formed on one of the joint's connecting the thing's leg to its torso. Shaking its carapace with a rattle, the thing favored the iced leg as it tried to get tis jaws around Saaya.
The death priest recognized the thing- sort of. It bore a minor resemblance to a creature known as the Ankheg, a species of giant burrowing carnivorous insects. Ankhegs, however, where 10 feet long, and this thing was but 6. Also, the Ankhegs had a brown or yellow coloration; this creature's carapace was a dull steel gray.
At any rate, Ankhegs had a sort of primitive intelligence to them, and if it held true for this creature, it would know fear.
Jarzel's spell had an instant effect. Turning about suddenly, the thing plunged back into the hole and the earth.
But their reprieve was short. The screaming of panicked horses reached their ears, as well as shouts form the scavengers outside the depression. Behind one of the horses, a cloud of dirt erupted, and another insect appeared climbing over the dead meat. It set in the direction of the incapacitated guard and the loony pair, who appeared to take delight at its approach.
"Ohhh, isn't it fantastic?"
2007-11-21, 07:13 PM
Hey! I didn't work so hard to keep him alive just so that you'd get a free meal. Get away from them!
The priestess murmured a brief but fervent prayer to Pelor as she loosed a crossbow bolt at the nasty looking thing, then hurried to slide another bolt into place.
5' step, either to the side if needed to clear a line of sight to the creature, or towards the new insect-thing.
[roll0] Attack roll with crossbow
[roll1] Crit confirmation on 19 or 20
Move action to reload the crossbow.
2007-11-24, 10:39 PM
Raze: HP 24, AC 14
Raze quickly rushes to stand between the insect and the incapacitated guards. He brandishes his axe above his head and (if possible) makes ready to swing at one of the approaching creatures, focusing on the creature as his axe begins to glow blue.
Actions:Raze will move between the incapacitated guards and the approaching monster, doing his best to keep out of reach of the unpredictable men while still leaving no opening for the creatures to get by. If possible, he'll just use a move action for this. If not, he'll double move or run.
If possible, as a standard action, he'll ready a Sapphire Nightmare Blade to strike at the creature as soon as it comes within reach.
SNB Concentration: (1d20+8=21) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1390642) (If that's above the creature's AC, its flat-footed for the attack roll. If not, I take a -2 to the attack roll.)
SNB Attack: (1d20+6=8) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1390646) (FRIGGIN' HELL!) (Also, forgot bless again; that should be a nine. *Sigh*)
In the unlikely event that that scores a hit:
Damage (Axe, Punishing Stance, SNB): (1d12+4=13, 1d6=5, 1d6=3) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1390651)
2007-11-24, 10:52 PM
Saaya - AC 17, 7 HP
Saaya's relief at the insect's retreat is short-lived as a new foe bursts from the ground. He moves swiftly, positioning himself between Yolande and the insect and lashing out with one of his short swords.
Saaya will (if possible) charge the new opponent, moving into a flanking position with Raze (hopefully possible, I'm not sure where Yolande is in relation to the incapacitated and loopy guards). If he can't charge, he'll still move and attack.
Attack: [roll0] - additional +2 if he can charge to a flanking position while staying between the insect and Yolande.
Sneak Attack: [roll2]
Man, this dice roller continues to hate me
2007-11-27, 08:09 AM
Jarzel follows the others in engaging the second bug in melee. However, he's pretty confident that three other people in front of the guard are enough and takes up a flanking position.
(( [roll0], [roll1] ))
2007-11-27, 10:32 PM
Raze battered the creature. Sadly, the thing's thick carapace kept the blows from striking true. Saaya edged forward and tried his luck, but the chitinous plates proved proof against his edge as well.
That's when Yolande made her shot. It slammed perfectly in a slight gap in the plates where the insect's neck and thorax joined. The mandibles snapped against each other in a frenzy of clicking pain. The front limbs scraped at the neck, trying to strip the protruding shaft off. It staggered about on tottering legs like a punch drunk boxer.
The death priest strode forward and caught the creature flat upon its head. A crunch of exoskeleton and a gout of pale yellowish ichor. The thing froze for an instant, then rolled onto it's back, spindly legs flailing and lashing at the sky before curling closed in the familiar pattern of insect death.
Above the scraping of dirt form the thing's death throes and the wet sound of fluid dripping from the head of Jarzel's staff, the sound of moving dirt and the rattle of more insect carapaces met their ears, though none were in sight.
The scavenger had fled up the depression to his men, and were apparently crouched over something in heated discussion. Only the dwarf could be seen, and his armor was covered in red and yellow.
2007-11-28, 12:02 AM
I hit it. I actually hit it. How the hell did that happen? I mean, how the heck-
Panicking a bit, Yolande cast about. She stands very still, waiting.
Readying an action to shoot the next insect to pop up.
[roll1] Crit confirmation
2007-11-28, 12:23 AM
Raze: HP 24, AC 14
Raze remains in place before the helpless guards, his axe at the ready. "Stand firm, friends. I'll fight these creatures all day if I must!"
Ready action to Shockwave Fist the next one that comes close enough to get hit.
Shockwave Fist, AR/Axe/Stance/Extra: (1d20+5=15, 1d12+4=8, 1d6=6, 1d8=7) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=1395752)
If it hits, that makes 21 non-lethal damage. Also, I suck at remembering bless; that makes the attack roll 16.
2007-11-28, 07:56 AM
"Sounds like the other one's recovered. Okay, band together, and let's make they all stay safe," Jarzel says, indicating both the unconcious and the senile guards.
He begins coaxing the crazies a bit closer to the injured one.
2007-11-30, 10:13 AM
Saaya - AC 17, HP 7
Breathing heavily from exertion and inwardly cursing his ineffectiveness, Saaya straightens out of his fighting stance and looks around, keeping his eyes and ears wide open for signs of more foes. As he does so, he poses a question to the group.
So, what do we do now? Move on, or stay and fight the insects for the remnants of this caravan?
2007-12-02, 10:50 PM
The two loons obeyed Jarzel's promptings, chattering away.
"This is so exciting!"
"I can't wait to see what happens next!"
Arthur Dent scurried from where he had been hiding behind the horses and practically threw himself in their midst in his haste. "Fromtheground! They came right out of the ground! Is this the hells? Am I in some twisted mockery of the world were even the earth is not safe?"
The scavenger man and dwarf bounded down the depression to them, weapons in hand and glancing about warily. "Hope you don't mind us sticking about." The scavenger leader dug at the soil with his the toe of his boot. "They got the others. Dug the soil right out from underneath them and dragged them below." He shook his head. "This doesn't make any sense! Why didn't they finish off the caravan guards? Why are they attacking only now?"
All the around them the chorus of rattling and chattering continued unabated, surging to a new height.
2007-12-03, 07:57 AM
With the strange tones of frustration finally creeping into his voice, Jarzel chastises Arthur, "It's a bug! Bugs dig! That's all. Now stay calm, 'cause your chance at survival plummets if you panic."
When the scavanger arrives, he replies to the query: "They're smart. Smarter than they look. Looks like smart enough to set a trap."
2007-12-03, 05:17 PM
"What are these things?" Raze's voice is calm and even as he maintains his battle-ready stance, waiting for the next assault. "Never before have I seen their like..."
2007-12-04, 08:45 PM
"Who cares what they are? How do we fight them? And what the hell are they doing?"
The scavenger leader had to shout over the tumult of noise; the rattling and clicking of the thing's had risen in volume to such a degree as to mask normal conversation.
Arthur appeared near the point of swooning as the two loony guards added their voices to the ruckus, gleefully shouting nonsense.
2007-12-04, 09:07 PM
Shouting over the din, Jarzel asks the leader and his remaining companion, "Do you have any horses?"
2007-12-04, 09:12 PM
The young priest casts about for large rocks or trees - anything to get her up off the ground and away from the threat below.
2007-12-05, 10:52 PM
There were no rocks or trees; the Mourning Bough was a landmark precisely because it was such an oddity, and thus easily identified. There were no other trees to confuse it with.
Rock formations were less unheard of, and indeed got common if one headed north as the land became drier, but the plains were relative bereft of solid rock, and the depression sported no such formations.
The scavenger shouted to jarzel, "Yes, but they're a good jog away."
2007-12-05, 11:09 PM
(( Okay, and we have... Okay, did Lathrohar tak his whole cart with? Is Chineselegolas/Lathrohar still around? Just trying to figure out how many horses we have now.
Just weighing options in case we have to turn tail ourselves. :smallfrown: ))
2007-12-06, 04:55 PM
((Chineselegolas hasn't made a post since the 29 of last month. Lathrohar most certainly brought the cart, since you brought Arthur and Roderick, both of who ride in the cart. So a total of horses: Raze's Mare, Raynard, Sombra, the Cart... Am I forgetting any?))
2007-12-07, 10:55 PM
Speaking as loud as he can with the hopes that everyone can hear, Jarzel says, "One was easy enough, but it sounds like we're surrounded. It may be prudent to get out of here."
He then addresses the scavenger leader and dwarf directly, "Get to that cart."
2007-12-08, 02:04 AM
Shrugging, Yolande begins to move carefully towards the fallen captain.
All right. I'm going to need a hand to get him into the cart, though. And someone's going to have to deal with the Wonder Twins over there.
She juts her chin towards the two idiot guards.
2007-12-08, 11:49 AM
Saaya sheathes his blades and moves quickly over to help Yolande carry the captain over to the cart. As they work, his eyes still wide open for more enemies, he mutters under his breath.
Is there a connection between the insects and the cloaked rider? Why was that horse directly on top of that burrow?
2007-12-08, 11:24 PM
Raze seems to be left with the two idiots, and his facial expression momentarily reflects how much this concept displeases him. However, when he turns to look at the two dimwits, he puts on a wide, fake grin, and says, "Hey, boys, would you like to go on a cart ride?! Just form a neat line and wait for your turn to get on board!"
2007-12-09, 04:55 PM
The scavenger leader nodded. "Don't have to tell us twice. Let's get the hell out of here."
Although the sounds of the insect remained a constant din, and the sound of moving earth was added to the assault of noise upon their ears, no insects actually emerged. In places the soil suddenly bulged, or furrows rose, but nowhere did an insect actually leave the soil.
The two madmen eagerly obeyed Raze's command. "Oh, thank you, Uncle Stumpy!"
"First those cool bugs, and now a cart ride!"
"This is the best day of my life!"
2007-12-09, 05:23 PM
(( Are any clear paths left for the cart? ))
2007-12-09, 07:21 PM
(( Yes. ))
2007-12-09, 08:41 PM
Rushing accompanying the scavengers to the cart, he asks, "Do you need the horses? Stopping to change to them will put us at further risk."
After reaching the cart, he'll only pause long enough to make sure all the caravan gaurds are on board before mounting Sombra.
2007-12-10, 12:05 AM
Raze's strained smile visibly twitches at "Uncle Stumpy." He begins waving the two madmen towards the cart, holding his axe near the head with his left hand, staying wary of the insects. As soon as they get on the cart, he runs to his mount.
2007-12-10, 09:44 AM
Bless you, Saaya.
As the two heft the captain's body up onto the cart with what will have to pass for gentleness under the circumstances, Yolande turns, nods to Saaya, and runs over to her horse. Mounting up as soon as possible, she again brings the crossbow to bear.
Well, gentlemen? Shall we?
2007-12-11, 10:45 PM
Behind them, the surface of the depression erupted into violence like a witch's cauldron coming to boil. from the furrows and mounds came forth the chitinous armored forms of dozens of the insect creatures. Mandibles and carapaces clacking, antenna whipping about like curtains caught in a gale, the horde surged in the cloud of dust kicked up by their sudden arrival.
As to Jarzel's query, the scavenger replied "Forget the horses! Run!"
2007-12-13, 12:24 AM
It takes the sheltered priestess every ounce of courage in her body not to simply give the horse its head and take off. She fires off another bolt at the nearest of the surging insects. Only once the cart was moving did she allow her horse to follow.
In the unlikely event that it matters:
2007-12-14, 01:09 AM
Raze yells, "Get the cart goin'! I'll focus on coverin' yet right flank!" With that, he spurs his mare into action, staying near the right side of the cart and hoping someone else would pick up the left.
2007-12-14, 12:16 PM
Picking up on Raze's unspoken hope, Jarzel takes to the other side of the cart.
2007-12-27, 10:01 PM
The cart, now bearing the old elf, the two surviving scavengers, the three guards, Arthur, and Roderick, creaked perilously. The horse drawing it screamed in terror and protest as Jarzel and Raze moved to guard the cart's flanks.
The lead elements of the insectoid wave, one of them bearing a feathered shaft with great annoyance from Yolande, paused a few scarce feet from the horses. They moved sideways, circling about, keeping at least ten feet between them and two mounted guardians, but clearly attempting to get in front of the cart.
2007-12-28, 03:36 AM
Raze spurs his horse forward, brandishing his axe in the direction of the creatures, getting near the cart-horse so-as to hopefully keep them from getting in front of the terrified animal.
2007-12-28, 12:02 PM
"Keep moving! Don't let them get in front!"
(( How many bugs can we see? ))
2007-12-29, 09:10 AM
The girl is yelling now, hoping with the sheer force of ululating sound to discourage this ravenous horde. Yolande tries desperately to control her horse, keeping him in between the cart and the bugs.
Are the bugs moving faster than the cart? Any way to tell if they're acting on hunger, or being driven by an outside force?
2008-01-02, 11:00 PM
The insectoid aggressor's numbers are not easily counted, given both their tendency to shift back and forth into one another's places and the fact that all share identical markings. Somewhere between 10-17 individuals seem present, the majority on the slope behind them with only 4 in close proximity to the cart, 2 on the left and 2 on the right.
Raze put himself firmly between the cart and the two flankers. One moved to directly engage raze, the other continued its attempts to move in front of the cart.
However, the insects cannot quite keep up with the horses. Slowly but surely, the distance between the insects and the cart would widen. The pursuing foes were making every effort to keep up but were losing ground.
If they were hungry, why were the guards and horses, perfectly fresh and and easily available, lying in plain sight unfeasted upon? No plains scavenger was of sufficient size to be worth luring. It seemed as if they had some ulterior motive.
2008-01-02, 11:16 PM
Puzzling even as they pounded away from the swarm, Yolande thought to herself. There must be something ON the cart they want. Curious.
2008-01-07, 06:36 PM
Continues onward, content to wait until the group is a safe distance away before stopping to think.
2008-01-08, 04:57 AM
Raze continues onward as well, dropping back a bit to make sure he's able to intercept any bugs that show signs of catching up.
2008-01-08, 10:27 AM
Saaya, perched on the back of the cart with his shortbow drawn and ready, begins to slow his breathing as the bugs receed into the distance. As he does so, he looks around, taking stock of his surroundings.
Sorry for not posting for so long. I lost track of the game for a while.
Quick question: is the cart we're using one we found at the caravan wreck or one we brought with us?
Either way, Search and Spot checks (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1455157) to find anything unusual on the cart or in the general area: 21/12 respectively.
2008-01-14, 07:54 PM
At about the time the hit the trade road, they had gotten enough of a lead so as to stop and catch their breath for a minute or two.
All of the horses were jittery or panicky, and the cart horse looked like it was about to collapse. It could not keep up this pace for long with all this weight upon it, the added 2 mad guard, lone comatose guard, and two scavengers being more than it could properly bear for a great distance.
2008-01-21, 08:03 AM
"Well, that was quite the diversion," Jarzel says in his usual calm manner of hiding exactly what he means. "Let's all take a breather and then we can figure out what to do from here on once we get back to camp."
2008-01-21, 11:18 AM
Raze nods to Jarzel. "Aye... I'll keep watch for 'em as well." He dismounts and begins pacing around the outer perimeter of the area while the others take a break, resting his axe on his shoulder.
2008-01-21, 01:33 PM
Pulling her horse close to the wagon, Yolande quickly examines the unconscious guard captain to see if the jolts and starts of their escape had worsened his condition.
What in the world could they be after? Clearly, they're not acting out of simple hunger, or the swarm would have simply risen up and attacked a horse.
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