View Full Version : HoHo Game, Prologue 1: Aggressive Negotiations

2008-01-20, 01:09 PM

Lord Tobias has sent you with a small chest of silver ingots and a letter of credit from the Vedic bank for up to 10,000 gp backed by silver ingots held in their vault. You are supposed to meet a Pathfinder named Jonas <your orders describe him for identification purposes> at the Welcome Wench Inn near the border of the Vrath province. From there you are to proceed into Vrath and meet with garrison commander Bowen Miller at the provincal capital, Drellin (a small town by comparison to most of the empire). Eventually, you and Jonas are to assist Bowen in making some kind of peace arrangment with the orc slaves who have revolted.


You received this letter a few weeks ago:

Dear Jonas,

I hope you have been doing well since leaving my service. Our noble deeds at Fel Mandon brought my name to the attention of Ilium's finest generals and they have honored me with another commission in the important task of securing the newly acquired province of Vrath from the orc slave revolts occuring there. Unfortunately, the funds, supplies, and men recquisitioned for the task were sorely needed to quell the rebellious miners at a silver mine I recently acquired. Their discontent would surely have spread chaos throughout the empire had we not acted quickly in securing the area and maintaining the flow of silver.

The garrison commander of Vrath has been sending frantic messages requesting the support he was promised. Unfortunately, though these messages have reached my ears they have apparently been intercepted before reaching the capital. Ever vigilant and mindful the task set before me I intend to solve this problem of the slave revolts in Vrath. Unable to bring enough forces to bear on this situation, I think negotiation would be the best course of action.

I realize that you are no longer on active service, Jonas. My commission does give me the authority to reactive Pathfinders for a new term of service. However, I think if you can assist me in this task your services will not be required here at the mines. Of course I will compensate you upon the completion of this task. The flow of ore from the mines is proving more than expected due to the diligent workers.

I am sending my most trusted Pathfinder, Saul Rowenson, with some funds to meet you at the Welcome Wench Inn near the main caravan route into Vrath. <The letter contains a physical description of Saul so you may identify him> Hopefully with these funds you two will be able to procure a settlement which will best serve my, and the empire's, interests.

Lord Tobias Ai'Panfeld

The Welcome Wench Inn sits along the main route into Vrath and caters mostly to the merchants and their guards taking goods into Vrath and the slave dealers coming from Vrath into the empire. The inn is quite busy and the common room is full of traders, mercenaries and a few locals. Both of you arrived late this afternoon. After locating each other according to the descriptions provided by Lord Panfeld you took a seat in the corner of the common room to discuss your mission.

2008-01-20, 09:52 PM
Jonas spun the parchment in a tight spiral, and thrust it back in his brass mapcase. Next time, stay off the main roads if you donít want to be found, fool, did you forget everything from your time in the service? It had been a long time since Fel Mandon Ė why must he nurse this grudge? He had his health, his freedom from the service Ė temporarily anyway Ė and the last few months had treated him well as he traveled from tavern to tavern such as this one. Well, not quite like this one Ė the stables were cleaner than most, and the soup on the main boiling pot had that smell of too much fresh herbs that they used this close to the border to make up for the lack of salt. All of the sudden he was reminded of home in Eastern Glade -

But, there was business to attend to, and there was little point in trying to hide now. This Rowenson appeared to be every bit as good as Tobias said; heíd caught up with Jonas a full two days faster than expected. Jonas rolled the mapcase across the rough oaken table to his new companion, and with his other hand, flagged down a hurried barmaid who was darting between tables of armed men. She may be welcoming, but Iíve not been in the field long enough to want any piece of that. He dropped a few coppers into her apron with a wink,

Be a doll, lass, and bring my friend and I a round of something to celebrate this chance meeting.

Jonas lowered his voice as he tucked his legs under himself, in case he needed to beat a hasty exit.

You can get the next round - Saul, is it? Youíre welcome to read that finely crafted tale there, if you wish. Toby, that is Lord Panfeld, speaks highly of you; Iím sure itís well deserved. I take it from this your fresh from these mines he speaks of, must be good to be out in the sunlight again. What more do you know of this situation in Vrath, then, and how can I help? Always glad to be of service to Lord Panfeld, particularly in times such as these.

Roll Bardic Knowledge with regards to the military operations of Ilium in Vrath Ė 14+2+2+2 = 20
If needed, a Sense Motive Check on Saul Ė natural 1. that didn't take long

2008-01-21, 12:16 PM
Saul nods at the barmaid as she leaves.

Thank you for the drink.

He takes the scroll which Jonas has given him and scans it.

Lord Panfeld flatters me. And may I be the first to welcome you back to the service.

Saul returns the scroll to Jonas.

I don't know that I have any information you don't already have, or couldn't deduce from your document there. You know what they say of the gods, though: they never give a man more than he can handle. I expect the same is true of Lord Panfeld, and our present task. We shouldn't worry ourselves.

I'd like to Sense Motive, just to get a read on my new companion. Does he seem irritated at having been roped back into service?

I'm also feeling frustrated and embarrassed that I allowed myself to bully the silver miners for as long as I did. The kickbacks were great, but I'm disappointed that I allowed greed to get the better of me.

2008-01-21, 01:26 PM
Oh, Iíve found Tobias to be many things, but never much of a flatterer.

Jonas takes a long draught of his newly arrived ale.

And as far as the gods giving Ďmore than he can handle,í I imagine there are some hill giant skeletons in Vrath who might disagree with you. But no matter. Here we are, called to service yet again. I donít much care for traveling at night, but I imagine that the garrison would not be caterwauling so if it wasnít in dire need. Of course, if youíre tired and would rather eat hot food and sleep in a bed, Panfeld clearly thinks theyíll keep for a few more hours. We could ride out in the morning. I can ply my trade here in the hall, and maybe leave with heavier pockets; the slave traders look to be free with their money tonight.

Jonas strokes his mustache as he watches his companion intently from under the brim of his broad hat. He studiously tries to keep his face blank. You can learn a lot about a man by giving them choices. Will he see caution or alacrity as the greater good tonight, or does he have other plans?

Roll Bluff Ė just trying to keep expressionless and not indicate which I think is the wiser choice Ė 15 + 4 + 6 = 25

2008-01-21, 01:57 PM
Hill giant skeletons? Is that what we're up against? Lord Panfeld hadn't told me. In that case, I think it prudent to get a good night's rest before we ride out. I think you're right when you say that the lord clearly thinks the garrison can hold out until then.

You spoke of your trade. What did you mean by it?

2008-01-21, 08:36 PM
Caution it is; just as well. Paco was tired anyway.

The skeletons Iím speaking of are little more than a tripping hazard. But, I imagine the orcs will be plentiful enough if we arenít careful. Weíll make better time by daylight; itís less risky, particularly with the unrest. Agreed.

Jonas stretches as he stands up from the table, tugging at the bottom of his leather jerkin to take out the wrinkles.

Order us some food, if you would; not the soup, something with more meat. Iíll be back when it arrives. For now, to my aforementioned trade. Iím an improviser, you might say. Tobias certainly appreciated my improvisations previously, I imagine thatís why he asked me along on this one. Wonder what it was that got you sent out here?

Jonas strides over to the bar and upends an empty wooden basin before setting it in front of the fire. He tosses what little remains of his ale onto the flames, which sputter and smoke, drawing looks from the nearby tables.

Good evening gentlemen and gentleladies! I, Jonas AiíLenti, by the graciousness of the lords of Ilium, have traveled far to provide this eveningís entertainment!

As he bows, Jonas takes in the crowd. Slavers. Sell-swords. No children to speak of. Something violent then, but not Fel Mandon. The crowd will turn on me if I go with that one, as might my new friend back at the table. Something with local flavor, then, hill giants and maidens perhaps? As he stands up from his bow, Jonas flips his hat onto the nearest table, brim up, welcoming any who care to support the arts.

As Iím certain many of you good people know, the orcs of Krovang oft make treks into these regions, looking for sport and spoil. But as dastardly as your worst orc, the wrath of a riled giant would make even the stoutest man - such as that lad there! Ė turn pale. And it was an evening such as this one, not too long ago, when the Ö

Roll Preform (oratory). 14 + 4 + 6 = 24

2008-01-21, 09:22 PM
Saul nods to himself. A bard then. Fine company, but of how much use in battle remains to be seen.

He leans back -- orders whatever the cook has over the fire at the moment, as long as it's meaty -- and listens to the bard's tale.

2008-01-22, 12:17 AM
Jonas returns to his seat in the corner, a full plate of vittles awaiting him.

That went well, I think. Iíll leave the hat over there for a bit longer, give those fellows in the back time to add to the pile. Ah, well done on the order, friend, a veritable feast.

Jonas eats a few bites in silence, before looking up with a wry smile.

So, your first time this far from the capital then? And not to pry, but I can guess what my role in this bargaining that Panfeld has for us is; Iíve played this game of his before. Whatís yours, then, keep me out of trouble?

2008-01-22, 02:56 PM
Saul shakes his head.

I'm sure it's no trouble of yours that Panfeld intends me to deal with. But I'm sure that, if Panfeld wants me along, there will be trouble. He's expecting it.

2008-01-22, 11:43 PM
After counting the coins in your hat you are a bit disappointed in the take. You thought you gave a stellar performance but find only about 1 gold in assorted silvers and coppers. As you're pocketing the money a fat, drunken slaver stumbles over to your corner and slaps a platinum piece down on the table.

"That was a good yarn, bard," he chuckles to himself, revealing gums and yellowed teeth.

"Take this coin, I'll be getting plenty more. I've got a load of good orcish slaves; taking them to the emperor himself for some bloodsport. He's come up all the way to Calbolg* for a hunt and I'm going to give him one."

With that he takes his leave and stumbles upstairs for the night, aided by a pair of sell-swords.

The total take is: 1 pp, 4 sp, 60 cp. The innkeeper also comps your rooms, meals and drinks (they haven't had a bard here for a while).

*Calbolg is the provincal capital of the province you are currently in (Amery), and is about two days behind you on the road.

2008-01-23, 01:00 AM
Jonas slips the currency into his purse as he walks outside to get a breath of air. Slavery was necessary business, but bloodsport always struck him as a filthy affair. Nothing to be done with it now, though, he had orders, and if Panfeld could be trusted Ė Hah! Ė many more lives hung in the balance than he could save here. Just keep telling yourself that, fool. He shakes his head, and wanders to the stable where gives a handful of coppers to the stableboy.

I want those two horses fed, watered and saddled by first light, lad. Thereís a couple more of these in it for you if their brushed.

With a momentís inspiration, he adds,

And here are two silvers each for you and the blacksmithís apprentice. See that large slave wagon there? Iíd like you boys to reshoe the horses or oxen that draw it, even if it takes you all day. Especially if it takes you all day. If anyone asks you about it, say it was a generous donation for a gift that was far too kind.

Maybe having to wait an extra day will turn the Emperor, Numa guide him, to less bloody entertainment, and our new friend will have to find another buyer. Jonas walks back in to the quieting main hall, and locates Saul.

Hereís your key, friend, complements of the finest oratory teachers of Eastern Glade. I suggest you lock up well; that blonde wench over there was eyeing you carefully throughout my story; you were quite the distraction. I, for one, have lost my desire for company this evening. No fault of yours, of course. Just the atmosphere this close to the border, Iím afraid. If youíre right about what awaits us in Vrath, we shall both need our rest while we can get it. We should get on the road early.

With that, Jonas heads up the stairs.

Diplomacy roll for the stable boy, I assume? 16 + 6 + 4 + 7 = 33

2008-01-23, 11:03 AM
You get a decent night's sleep and ride out toward Vrath early the next morning before most of the inn's guests are stirring. As you pass the workshop you notice that not only are they re-shoeing the horses for the slave wagon, they've removed all the wheels and are repairing and replacing them as well.

2008-01-23, 11:10 AM
Jonas tips his hat to the two lads, and begins whistling a capricious tune.

A few hours out of town, Jonas came to what was for him a rare realization - he had been monopolizing the conversation.

...and that was how I got out of Devinshire unnoticed. My left hand has never felt quite the same, let me tell you. But, there will be time enough for my stories today; tell me, how did you come to serve under the pathfinder banner?

2008-01-24, 11:29 PM
Saul flinches out of his reverie.

I follow certain schools of martial arts, schools in which it can prove difficult to find a suitable sensei. I was led to believe I could find one in the military, so I joined. And, to a certain extent, I found what I was looking for. I feel now, though, I've lost my way. Wandered from the path. That kind of experience can be valuable, but I'm ready to find my way back now.

Saul nods down the road.

This assignment is one step in that direction, I believe. I hope I'll be putting my skills to good use. Honorable use.

2008-01-25, 03:54 AM
Jonas scans the horizon, his hand wrapping tightly around the grip of the leather whip at his side.

Guidance and redemption. I guess we aren't so different after all. You're the better man though, friend; I'd almost given up on ever finding them.

Jonas turns back to face his companion, relaxing.

Maybe you're right, this road we're on might do the trick. Either way, you owe me a drink and I hear there's an awfully nice tavern on Market street in Drellin. Or there was, before the revolts. If it's gone, drinks are on me.

2008-01-26, 06:38 PM
Fair enough. I hope our duties won't involve rebuilding the tavern. My carpentry skills may leave the people of Drellin wanting.

2008-01-26, 09:47 PM
And here I thought those muscles of yours would be put to good use. Ah well, if we set things right, there ought to be enough slaves about to handle the boards, thatch and nails for us.

2008-01-28, 08:25 AM
Saul catches a glimpse of a rider cresting the hill to the right of the road in his peripheral vision. The rider's horse is enormous. The rider himself wears leather, carries a spear and shield, and seems to have somewhat bestial features though you can't tell for sure.

2008-01-28, 09:20 AM
What the hell...?! That he should have a vision at such a time must mean something. But what? Did the riders cause it? The thing behind them?

Kren heeled Horatio forward at a gallop, aiming for the two humans. If they're enemies, at least I can see them. Within him, the Beast growls softly, not liking the ambiguity of the situation and anticipating a fight.

As he rides, Kren stands in his stirrups and yells. You humans know you're being followed? Look - you can see the dust.

2008-01-28, 10:37 AM
Everyone roll initiative. I'll roll for you if you haven't by tonight. Kren, is your dreamsight active? Post replies in OOC please.

2008-01-29, 12:19 AM
Saul turns toward the rider on the hill who has started to descend. Saul sees the rider begin to speak but only hears ďHe..Ē before he is enveloped in utter silence. Suddenly, Saulís horse shudders and collapses, flinging him to the ground. As he is falling Saul sees the cause of his misery, a cloaked rider brandishing a wicked flaming scimitar has just sliced his horse virtually in two. Saul hits the ground hard but recovers quickly and assumes a defensive stance.

The first thing Jonas notices is his whistling go silent, he turns questioningly at Saul just in time to see a cloaked rider materialize from nothingness behind Saul and slice right through Saulís horse.

Kren thinks the pursuer must have seen him because whatever it is, it picks up its pace and charges the humans. Kren begins his descent and tries to shout a warning but gets the distinct impression that it is unheard as he sees the rider materialize and carve through Saulís horse. He hears no sound at all coming from the riders below and quickly descends the hill.

Saul fails ride check to not fall when the horse dies, takes 4 damage, makes balance check and recovers his footing quickly enough to be standing in the next round. Everyone is aware in the next round and can take full actions. Kren believes that the rider had a magical invisibility spell on himself and his mount and still has a magical silence spell on him. The horse is not only sliced nearly in half, but also charred. The rider is male, tall, wears a dark cloak with a red breastplate underneath, and carries a very long red scimitar. Thanks to Kren for this awesome map, 30 bonus XP!


2008-01-29, 11:04 PM
Saul lands badly, but rolls to his feet. He has time for half a thought, which he spends chastising himself. Then his self-discipline, honed by years of training, takes over.

He flows into his Blood in the Water stance -- and, sensing he will be the first to do so -- strikes with a sharp, piercing cry.

Swift action to adopt Blood in the Water stance, then Leading the Attack.

2008-01-29, 11:17 PM
The rider tries to parry the blow, but he is still off balance from his charge and brings up his blade too slowly. Saul's greatsword cuts a gash in the rider's left leg. The rider's mouth opens in pain but no sound is heard. Unfortunately, Saul's battle cry is also lost in the silence.

Attack roll - 22, damage roll - 11. I'm going to rule that since Saul's allies could only see the strike but not hear the battle cry associated with Leading the Attack, it only grants a +2 bonus to their attack rolls this round instead of of the normal +4.

2008-01-29, 11:26 PM
The rider tries to strike back at the now dismounted Saul, but Saul easily dodges the clumsy slash. The rider then spurs his horse, rides forward 40 feet and turns the horse around to set up another charge. Saul takes another swing as the rider passes and connects right above the waist.

Rider's attack roll - natural 1, Rider's ride check - 17, Saul's attack of opportunity - 24 (18 natural), Saul's damage - 9. Rider moves 40 feet forward. Sound returns to the area once the rider moves forward.

2008-01-30, 12:01 AM
Jonas likes to believe that, even in the stillness that surrounds him, Volcannon can hear every word that forms on his lips. He also figures that even his noble countenance would blush at Jonas' colorful language.

And then everyone could hear him, as the rider, now bleeding, bolts in front of him. Jonas spurs Paco to pursue.

Forward, for the Glory of Eastern Glade!

His arm slings out to the side, unfurling the whip with a quick snap of his wrist. Then with all the fury in his small frame, he lashes up in a smooth arc, sending the heavy hide forward obediently. The last few feet wrap tightly around the neck of the dark rider. While Jonas pulls hard to take up the slack, he throws a quick wrap around his saddlehorn for leverage and stands in his stirrups, stopping Paco suddenly to drag his assailant down.

Activate Art of War

Close to 15 feet. If he were to end in F16 (as I read your description) I want to be in E14 lets say on behind.

Ride check - DC 5 guide with knees 18 + 3 = 21 What A Waste.

Trip Check - 16 + 2(dex) + 1(masterwork) + 1(BAB) + 2(LTA) + ??art of war?? = 22

Strength Check - 13 + n (circumstance bonus for leverage?) = A number which I hope is enough

In the unlikely event that I hit but fail the strength check and he tries to return the favor, let him. If he fails, I'll try again until someone ends up on the ground (my quick check of the SRD suggests I can do that - your call of course).

Assuming that someone on the ground is me, here is my tumble to avoid damage
Tumble - 7 + 5 + 2 = 14.

2008-01-30, 12:16 AM
Jonas follows the wounded rider and his whip catches the rider's neck just as the rider is turning to ready another charge. Jonas uses the saddlehorn for leverage and pulls the rider to the ground.

The first roll, what you label the trip check is the touch attack. For that we add +2 Dex +2 LTA +1 BAB +1Mwk for a 22 as you say, which connects. Art of War applies to what I would call the trip check, what you call the strength check. For that we add +4 from art of war and +2 circumstance from the saddlehorn for a 19. The rider's strength roll is an 18 (I'm not kidding), so he goes down. The rider is lying prone on the ground in the square Ryan noted. This battle is sucking for the DM.

2008-01-30, 04:34 AM
These humans seem to be able to handle themselves. Kren's satisfaction turned to dread as he realized that the attacker might be killed. He could be connected to the visions!

Spurring his mount toward the melee, Kren shouted for the humans to Stop! He might know something! Don't kill him! As he rode, Kren readied his shield, but dropped his spear - Better to look peaceful.

Pulling up next to the now prone ambusher, Kren continued to shout for the humans to stop their attack. When sound was cut off, he began making placating gestures.

Ride to square F10, controlling mount with legs (Ride Check DC=5 16+3=19).

No idea what to roll to try to communicate.

New Map: moved stuff around so we can see the action.

2008-01-31, 01:43 AM
Saul rushes forward and strikes again.

I run 30 ft. forward, toward the rider.

Do I need to make a Spot check to see Kren making these gestures? I roll a 2 for that check, so it doesn't matter either way, I suppose.

Natural 1 on my attack roll.

Saul is a man of extremes.

2008-01-31, 08:45 AM
Edit: Whoops, forgot he was prone

The rider hops to his feet and parrys a slash from Saul. He dismisses the silence spell spell and begins casting another. He completes the gestures quickly and without exposing any opportunity for attack. His voice is thin and reedy as he speaks the words in Draconic. He holds his hands forward and flames jet toward the party.

Stands up from prone, Saul misses AOO with a 13.
Dismisses silence spell.
Cast Defensively - 19
Kren identifies the spell as burning hands. Everyone notices the rider's gloves seem to glow red as he casts the spell.
Saul also thinks from observing his movements that he may have martial training from the Desert Wind and Shadow Hand schools.
Kren and Kren's horse fail the reflex save and take 13 fire damage.
Saul, Jonas, and Jonas's horse make the save and take 6 fire damage.
Next up: Kren, Saul and Jonas in any order

2008-01-31, 11:20 AM
Saul, sensing the battle has suddenly taken a turn for the worse, decides to abandon the offensive momentarily to recover his maneuvers and his wounds.

Fortunately, for a warblade, abandoning the offensive involves attacking. The simple swing calms his mind, refreshes his marial instinct, and even closes and soothes his wounds.

I forgot to specify which maneuvers I had readied before this encounter. Shall we say that the two I've used are my only two readied maneuvers this encounter? (Usually I get three in addition to my stances.)

I choose to use my special Warblade ability that allows me to recover all my expended maneuvers by initiating a swift action, following it with a standard melee attack. Vital Recovery then restores 3 + character level (3) of my hit points.

I roll a 13 on the attack.

2008-01-31, 11:35 AM
Saul's swing misses. You can go ahead and ready three.

2008-01-31, 12:27 PM
As the flames singe past Jonas, he dips his hat to shield his vision. When he looks up, his whip is already in motion, wrapping around the hilt of the rider's blade. He pulls with a quick snap, hoping to send it flying out of the smoking glove that wields it.

Keep at him, he is faltering!

I hope...

Art of War active

Ride Check(Guide w/ Knees) - 3 + 3 = 6

Disarm Check - 19 + 2(dex) + 1(mounted) + 1(masterwork) + 1(BAB) + 2(whip) + 4(ID) + 4(AoW) = 34

Damn, should have gone to the rapier...but the AoO probably would have killed me. Maybe next round, If I'm still vertical.

2008-01-31, 12:45 PM
Saul tries to focus on the techniques which instinct tells him will be of use, but the heat of battle floods his mind.

Leading the Attack, and at random (numbering the remaining maneuvers and rolling 1d4) I choose Sapphire Nightmare Blade and Insightful Strike. I've chosen them randomly as a self-penalization for not having chosen them earlier.

2008-01-31, 06:45 PM
The scimitar slips out of the rider's glove and lands on the ground nearby. The rider glowers at Jonas and mutters to himself in Elven, "This one I won't need a sword to kill; I'd prefer to use my hands."

2008-02-01, 05:51 AM
The Beast within Kren howls as the flames wash over him. He snarles along with it. Well then, we'll do this the hard way.

With a cry, Kren directs his mount to attack. As it rears and lashes at the ambusher with its hooves, Kren draws his scimitar and swings.

Ride Check - Guide with Knees (DC 5) - 4+3 = 7
Ride Check - Attack with Mount (DC 10) - 17+3 = 20
Horse's attack roll (Stats on pg. 273 of MM)
My understanding is that the ambusher has not moved since I got close, so the horse is taking a full attack.
2 Hooves +6 (1d6+4) and 1 bite +1 (1d4+2).
Hoof 1 - 14+6 = 20 (9 dmg)
Hoof 2 - 16+6 = 22 (5 dmg)
Bite - 8+1 = 9 (4 dmg)

Kren's Scimitar = 16+4+1 (mounted) = 21 (1d6+1 = 2 dmg)

2008-02-01, 08:56 AM
The rider attempts to adopt a defensive unarmed fighting stance but is unable to get out of the way of one of the hooves. The hoof hits him squarely in the chest. A lesser man would have fallen from such a blow, the rider is merely knocked off balance. He gasps and coughs up blood. He adopts his defensive stance again and brings up a forearm guard to block the scimitar. The sword guard catches the sword but it slides along the side, cutting his right arm to the elbow.

After the onslaught the rider is finally able to adopt his martial stance. He's clearly trained in unarmed combat techniques. His form seems to blur red with speed as he starts an attack, suddenly he vanishes from view. Kren and Jonas's horses collapse from under them as they are struck forcefully in the neck. The rider reappers a few feet from where he was, crouching with his fists clenched in a defensive posture. "You chose the wrong side, fools. You may have slowed us down, but now you're horseless in our country. We'll see if you can meddle with our plans any more before the wolves get you," the rider says in Common.

The rider has moved to the square between Kren and Jonas. He became invisible momentarily and struck Paco and Kren's horse while invisible, dealing enough damage to drop both of them. Paco takes (attack roll 19) 20 damage, putting him at -6, Kren's horse takes (attack roll 26) 22 damage, putting him at -2 (by my count). I rolled 9+3 = 12 for Jonas's ride check (2 falling damage), and 6+3= 9 for Kren's (3 falling damage).

2008-02-01, 11:47 AM
The last time he was dismounted, at the Battle of Grey Slough, he remembered the scream of his mount Livia as she fell into the mire. As he was falling now, the fact that Paco was silent as he collapsed did not encourage Jonas. Goodbye old friend As he steadies on his feet, Jonas feels a sharp pain in his ribs, and a warm trickle on his cheek. That doesn't bode well. Anger wells up within him, and he lashes out hastily.

That horse was a gift from a dear lady! On him, lads!

Drop the whip. Draw rapier.

Art of War active

Attack: 5 + 4 = 9

I'm not going to bother rolling damage.

2008-02-01, 03:18 PM
Saul caws in alarm when the rider turns invisible. He tries to track his movements, but fails. He's so quiet. He cannot stop the horses' deaths.

Then the rider reappears to mock them. Saul determines that this hubris will undo him, and leads the second attack.

Closing the distance and Leading the Attack. I roll a 14.

2008-02-01, 07:33 PM
The fall from his horse is disorienting and painful, and it takes a few moments before Kren realizes that his horse is badly hurt. Horatio! I have a few seconds before I need to heal him... maybe enough to finish this bastard.

Kren begins to howl a challenge, but a sharp pain in his side turns the sound into a whimper. Stepping away from the red-armored ambusher, he calls upon nature to speed its healing power.

5 ft. step back from the ambush dude (if Kren's that close, I'm not totally sure), and cast Cure Light Wounds for 6 hp, bringing Kren to 14, by my count.

2008-02-02, 12:40 AM
Saul maneuvers into a flanking position and draws blood as his slash connects across the rider's abdomen (9 damage, leading the attack in effect for the round).

The rider is bleeding heavily now. He tries to mouth a spell but seems unable to find the words through his coughing and gasping. It looks as if the horse's hoof may have broken a rib or two in addition to all the cuts the rider has received. He regains enough composure roll over to his sword and retrieve it dodging another slash from Saul. He winces as he picks up the sword, the maneuver obviously pained him. Suddenly he vanishes in a puff of black smoke and reappers a many feet to the west.

Rider takes 5 foot step to his sword, making the tumble roll to avoid AOO with a 27. He picks up the sword, drawing an AOO from Saul which misses with a 16 total. He then activates a shadow hand maneuver that Paul recognizes as Shadow Jaunt to teleport 50 feet to the west (left).

2008-02-02, 01:44 AM
He's a fast one, I'll give him that. Or I'm slow. For the first time in what seemed like forever, Jonas had a moment to collect his thoughts. Wrong side!? Do I even have a side!? He collected his whip, and looked at Paco's corpse. Wait a second, he's breathing! He stumbles next to his fallen comrade, and tries to comfort him.

You there! I'll get your name over drinks later, but if you can do anything for these horses make it quick. We need to pursue. Saul, can you give chase on his mount? I'll follow as soon as I can.

Art of War active

Pick up whip.

Heal Check: 12 - 1 = 11

I assume you're taking care of the percentile dice for Paco?

2008-02-02, 02:13 AM
For a moment, Saul feels disoriented.

Is his horse nearby? I'm not much of a rider, but I can try.

If I can reach the horse Jonas mentioned this round, I'll run to it and attempt to mount. If not, I'll give chase on foot.

2008-02-02, 10:02 AM
Saul gets to the horse and manages to mount it on the second try. It seems responsive and he gives chase to the rider.

Paco is still bleeding. Kren's horse seems to have stopped bleeding and stabilized.

You failed your fast mount roll so it costs you a move action to mount it, then you can catch up to him with your other move action.

2008-02-02, 04:23 PM
Kren's first impulse is to give chase, on foot if need be; but as the human's words sunk in, he was able to control his instincts and quell the Beast.

Horatio was unconscious, but breathing well and not bleeding too heavily. The stranger's horse was another matter. Sorry, Horatio. Your wounds will have to wait for the morning. Shouldering past the mustachioed human, Kren placed a hand on the horse's neck and felt a surge of power repair the damaged flesh.

Cure Light Wounds - 1d8+3 = 4+3 = 7 hp. And of course, magic healing stabilizes him.

On another note, Kren's previous healing should have healed 2 more hp. I only healed for 1d8+1 when it should have been 1d8+3. So he's at 16.
He'll live, but any more healing will have to wait. Right now we must focus on the prey.

2008-02-02, 05:02 PM
Saul closes the distance quickly on the rider. However, the foe looks surprisingly unconcerned. At the last possible moment the the rider turnsand speaks a word in Draconic, the horse vanishes into thin air, sending Saul sprawling to the ground at the rider's feet. The rider smiles wickedly, speaking another momentary word in draconic and bringing his blade down across Saul's back to deliver a wicked cut. The rider turns and limps away again.

The rider dismisses what Kren now realizes must have been a Mount spell. Saul fails his ride check and balance check to keep from falling and takes 3 damage. The rider casts a quick spell which seems to channel energy into his blade (Kren thinks the spell is Critical Strike) and scores a critical hit on the prone Saul (15 natural roll, 27 modified, 19 natural to confirm, 35 modified), damage is 18. The rider moves 30 feet to the west.

2008-02-02, 08:20 PM
Furious with himself, Saul takes a moment to bleed, and to allow the others to take the point this time.

Surely that rendered me unconscious. What's my HP at?

2008-02-02, 09:02 PM
I have you at 13 out of 34. You're still good to go :smallsmile:

2008-02-03, 01:59 AM
Thank you, fri-

Jonas' sentence is cut short by a scream to his west, he looks up to see the rider slashing down on menacingly on Saul. With the horses now stable, Jonas levers himself to his feet, and closes the distance to his newly wounded companion, coiling his whip in case the rider turns back.

Saul! How bad is it? We're coming, lad!

Move action 30 feet West towards Saul. Ready a disarm with "if he comes within 15 feet of me" as the activate.

2008-02-03, 03:37 AM
I could use a hand. And some healing magic, if it's available!

Assuming I won't provoke an attack of opportunity, I'll stand up.

2008-02-03, 08:06 AM
No AOO b/c the rider is now 30 ft. away.

2008-02-04, 05:03 AM
The ambusher seems like a close fighter... I guess I'll just have to keep my distance then, won't I?

Kren channels the power of a spell in a new direction, using the energy to call for help. A squat grey creature answers his call and attacks the ambusher.

Move 30ft toward the ambusher (putting Kren 30ft from him if I understand right).

Kren sacrifices Bull's Strength to cast Summon Nature's Ally II, calling a Dire Badger (MM pg 62). It appears positioned so that Saul and it flank the ambusher. Kren directs the badger to attack immediately.

Badger Attack!
Claw 1 - 9(roll)+4+2(flank) = 15 - 1d4+2 dmg = 4+2 = 6
Claw 2 - 14+4+2(flank) = 20 - 1d4+2 dmg = 3+2 = 5
Bite - 17-1+2(flank) = 18 - 1d6+1 dmg = 6+1 = 7

2008-02-04, 07:49 AM
Fair enough. It is not flanking with Saul because the rider moved 30 feet to the west after attacking Saul. Also, no hits from the badger.

2008-02-04, 08:17 AM
The rider murmurs something in Draconic and makes a few gestures then disapears.

The rider cast invisibility, making his cast defensively check. He's moving silently to avoid detection, oppose with a listen.

2008-02-04, 12:48 PM
Jonas saw his assailant blink out of existence, much as he had appeared only a few moments before. He continued his trot forward past Saul with a shout,

Keep up, Saul, he can't have gotten far! Now then, where is he?
With his free hand, he began grinding the bars of brittle chalk he carried with him in his pouch.

Let's hope this works.

Move forward 30 feet ( I think this puts me 10 feet or so past Saul)

Art of War Active.

Cast Detect Magic, looking in the general direction he was in before.

If possible, I want to crush the pieces of chalk inside their paper wrapper in my pocket - I assume this is a free action (i.e. spell item prep), but whatever you decide is fine.

2008-02-04, 04:07 PM
Blood pounding in his ears, Saul strains to hear the rider's movements.

Rolled an 11. B'oh.

2008-02-05, 07:06 AM
Kren smiles. Disappearing won't defeat the badger's nose. And he had still other ways of dealing with such tactics if needed.

Directing the giant badger to attack, Kren dashed into position to assist.

Over here! Surround him!

Per DMG pg 295, a creature with the scent ability can detect an invisible creature as it would a visible one. The dire badger can pinpoint the space where the ambusher is, so it will move to the space and attack. I'm posting rolls for a full attack in case the ambusher hasn't moved more than 5 ft.

Kren will hopefully be able to get close enough to attack as well; he'll either move to flanking position and attack, or double move and flank.

Claw 1 - 18+4+2(flank) = 24 - 1d4+2 = 4+2 = 6 dmg - miss chance = 24 (hit)
Claw 2 - 8+4+2 = 14 - 1d4+2 = 2+2 = 4 dmg - miss roll = 70 (miss)
Bite - 16-1+2+2 = 19 - 1d6+1 = 6+1 = 7 dmg - miss roll = 63 (miss)

Scimitar - 16+4+2(flank) = 22 - 1d6+1 = 2+1 = 3 dmg - miss roll = 94 (miss)

I wish I'd rolled the miss chances first.

2008-02-05, 08:01 AM
One of the badgers claws catches the rider and tears at his flesh. He reappears on his knees in with his hands up. "I surrender, I surrender."

2008-02-05, 08:53 AM
Calling off the dire badger, Kren lays his scimitar along the ambusher's neck.

Don't move. Do anything tricky and you're dead.
Keeping the scimitar at the ready, Kren drops the shield from his other arm and uses it to retrieve a coil of rope from his bag.

One of you, tie his arms.

Kren will ready an action to strike if the ambusher tries to cast a spell, rise from his knees, or move threateningly.

2008-02-05, 07:37 PM
As the fog of colors swirl in the corners of Jonas' vision, he is taken aback by the distinct glow of crossed arrows on their arms. Small world. He mutters quietly from the corner of his mouth,

Keep sharp, Saul. These two are both Pathfinders. Something is amiss.

Then louder, for everyone to hear,

I'll leave the tying to you, Saul.

The downed rider appears smaller, kneeling in a pool of his own blood. This has to be some kind of misunderstanding. Jonas thoughts came not through some belief that his contingent was incapable of deceit, murder, and betrayal - he had plenty of experience with those. However, it seems unlikely that Jonas would forget having done something recently to warrant this special attention. His only contact with Pathfinder's in months was Tobias, and if he wanted Jonas dead, Jonas felt certain that Saul here could have done the job admirably.

I need information, then. As he walks forward, he decides to focus his attention on the hunter-turned-prey, for now.

Well met, traveller. Obviously, we'll ask that you set that blade of yours down, ever so gently. It appears that you have some issue with me and my friend here that I fail to recall, and I imagine its best for all of us if we chat about it. I'm not usually one to dispense with pleasantries, but since I assume you know who we are, let's start with you. Have you a name, and why, pray tell, have we met under such beleaguered circumstances? By the marks on your arms, we've all bled under the same banner before.

Art of War active

Close to 15 feet, with the threat range of the badger and Kren between me and him if possible.

Assuming we are still considered to be in combat, I'll make the following check.

Intimidate: 3 + 9 = 12

However, if you feel the combat is complete, and I have the requisite time to talk it out, I'll do the following

Diplomacy: 19 + 17 = 36

2008-02-05, 08:09 PM
Saul takes the rope from Kren and wordlessly ties the rider's arms behind his back.

EDIT: Rolled a 14 on my Use Rope.

2008-02-06, 11:23 AM
The rider ponders Jonas' words for a moment then starts to laugh, which quickly turns into a coughing spell followed by him clutching his side.

"You don't even know what's happening do you? Whose orders are you here on? You don't even understand. Let me see your orders. I am certain that mine supercede yours. I have special orders from General Nestor himself. By my authority I am ordering you to leave this area. There is an ongoing Pathfinder operation of the highest importance which your presence is interfering with. All will be made clear to you soon enough but for now you should return to the capital. You are clearly more skilled than whatever petty mission you are on warrants. At the capital I am sure there will be tasks worthy of your skills."

General Nestor is the emperor's younger brother. He is currently commanding military operations against Halstein. Though rumors that you heard recently were that he suffered a defeat by the dwarves and is regrouping.

2008-02-06, 05:37 PM
Jonas' brow wrinkles in consternation. Nestor's man? Out here? Curiouser and curiouser.

I am pleased you find this amusing, I'm sure we will all have a good laugh about this later. I'm an errand boy; that's all you need to know of my orders. Yours, however, are of unique interest to me. I've received new assignments in a variety of manners; these are the first that came with dead horses and burned flesh. I am certain you'll understand my incredulity. Why would Nestor be interested in my activities? And you said something earlier about 'being on the wrong side'? Perhaps if you give us details on the ongoing operation, it could help us stay out of the way or provide appropriate assistance as it is required. And for that matter,

Jonas looked up at the man still holding his scimitar to the rider's neck.

who are you, friend, and what brings you to this stretch of road? We appreciate your assistance, of course, but I find it odd that the four of us would meet here by chance.

Jonas' eyes darted up to meet Saul's, looking to see if his more recent employ under Tobias might be able shed light on these happenings. Surrounded by Pathfinders, and only one I can trust. I guess I am back in active service...

Sense motive on the rider, obviously. 13 + 5 = 18

Also, I don't know if knowledge (history) or Bardic knowledge is more appropriate for information on Nestor and the related campaign in Halstein, so I'll give you both.

K(H): 20 + 7 = 27

BK: 5 + 6 = 11

2008-02-07, 03:57 AM
The marks on his arms...a pathfinder?! Too much for mere coincidence... and it means that he could be related to my vision. From what the ambusher says, the other two are involved somehow as well...

I am Kren, a Moonspeaker. I was traveling cross-country, looking for the road. I saw signs of an invisible rider approaching you from the rear. Imagine my surprise when I Saw that one of you - or more - has information I need.
Addressing the ambusher: So, tell me what you know of the Giant. And his arrows...

Kren will watch the reactions of the ambusher and the humans he helped. He assumes that the ambusher triggered his vision, but wants to know if and how the ambush-ees are involved.
Sense Motive: 14+4 = 18

My understanding is that Kren does not know that Saul and Jonas are pathfinders, though based on Jonas's comment he could conclude that the ambusher is.

2008-02-07, 01:25 PM
Saul meets Jonas' eyes, and attempts to remember what he can about General Nestor.

Knowledge (Local) check, if it's applicable: 16 + 8 ranks = 24.

2008-02-09, 01:52 PM
"I mistook you for those that are opposing our mission here. I'm afraid I am not at liberty to say more. You have apparently inadvertently crossed our path. Though, in these times it is not unlikely that perhaps your superior put you here deliberately to interfere with us. There are those who would do such a thing. In fact I think it is likely that your superior is of questionable loyalty and that is why you are as yet unaware of what is going on. I'm going to reach into my pouch now, I'm not getting a weapon."

He slowly reaches in and pulls out a scrap of cloth showing a red lion rampant on a blue and gold checkered field. He offers it to Kren. "Take this to the capital and show it to someone in the army. Tell him that Vayshan sent you. More will be explained there. I cannot explain more to you here. I still have work to do here. Any healing you could provide me would be appreciated."

Everyone recognizes the cloth as General Nestor's arms. The rider appears to be genuine to everyone making sense motive checks.

2008-02-09, 07:27 PM
Moonspeaker, eh? I've told stories about your people, but I must confess I know little enough. Again, thank you for your help.

As Jonas listens to the rider, Vayshan?, he realizes that he had told this kind of tale before too, and usually some poor fool ended up in the middle. Well, at least I know what part to play. He coils the hide whip and hangs it on his belt as he shakes his head.

Saul, this is your errand. But for what little its worth, I believe the man. Plus, the capital is lovely this time of year. I'll leave the decision to you. But whatever you decide, I think this man owes you a horse.

Any rolls I can do for moonspeaker info, that'd be great. I rolled a 19.

2008-02-10, 03:51 AM
Saul ponders all this new information a moment, then speaks.

Our orders are clear. I understand there may be reasons for delaying our errand, but those reasons are insufficient to nullify my loyalty to my superior. Until I have orders from someone who outranks him, my mission is clear.

2008-02-10, 01:10 PM
Jonas nods thoughtfully.

Fairly spoken, Saul. We complete our task first, then if nothing else holds us here, make haste back to the capital. And you, Kren? Will you bear Nestor's seal back to the capital, or do you have another purpose that requires your attention? You said something about giants? I hate to be the bearer of ill news, but the giants are decades gone, Moonspeaker. The orcs saw to that.

2008-02-10, 01:55 PM
Vayshan seems a little agitated at Saul's suggestion of continuing the mission. "Perhaps I didn't explain myself clearly enough. General Nestor certainly outranks whoever your superior might be. Your presence in Vrath compromises our operation here. By the authority of General Nestor I am ordering you to return to the capital for further instructions."

2008-02-10, 11:19 PM
Saul glares at Vayshan.

I'm not altogether convinced you are what you claim to be, or that you're here on the general's orders. You fight without honor.

Now, if you like, we can settle this by the blade, like barbarians. Or we can reason, like men. If your orders supercede my own, I'll need to see them in writing, signed and sealed -- not merely some scrap of cloth.

But if you are indeed here on the general's orders, and I can have that proved to my satisfaction, then I will gladly and speedily leave this land to you.

Saul turns to Jonas.

I'm ready to continue.

Finally, he nods to Kren.

Thank you for your help, stranger.

2008-02-10, 11:49 PM
"You think I'm carrying written orders on a mission of this importance? You may know how to wield a blade but I think perhaps your skull's too thick for the kind of work we do at the higher echelons of this organization. What exactly are you all doing here anyway? Some petty baron's personal errand? It seems to me that must be it. Elsewise we would have been aware of your presence in the area. Do you find that kind of work fulfilling? It is despicable that there are some in our society that dishonor our training with such menial tasks. Now stand aside, I have work to do. Go make yourself useful in the capital, dark days are upon us." He starts to stand up, daring someone to stop him.

2008-02-11, 03:40 AM
Vayshan's words struck home. Petty Baron, indeed. By Nestor's reputation, he is more a man than Tobias - such thoughts must wait. Saul is right, quelling these riots is a worthy cause, regardless of the source of our orders. Saul's honor has a grip on him. A good lad, that one. But betrayal does odd things to the mind, as do sword wounds. I must defuse this before it turns ugly - again. Jonas steps forward and pulls Vayshan to his feet.

Gentlemen, if we wanted to see each other in the grave, there was ample opportunity earlier. I've got a wounded horse that's been through more with me than I care to remember, and we are all bleeding, tired and in no position to trek on foot for very long. I say we rest, eat a quick meal, and perhaps Kren here will be able to mend our wounds in a few hours. If these coming days are as dark as you claim, Vayshan, we will do well to recover what strength we can.

With that, Jonas turns and limps towards Paco, his pack and a full waterskin.

2008-02-11, 03:44 PM
Jonas speaks wise. We'll rest first.

2008-02-11, 10:36 PM
"Fine," Vayshan says, clearly agitated. He quaffs a potion which seems to stop his bleeding and close his wounds some, though he still clutches his ribs tightly. He adopts a meditative position and closes his eyes.

2008-02-11, 11:58 PM
Say, Vayshan, you wouldn't happen to have any more of those?

Jonas smiles at Saul as he asks, not expecting a response from the rider. He takes off his hat, and notes with a frown and some choice phrases that his favorite feather is well and truly scorched. He tosses the limp remains into the dust. He loosens his saddle from Paco, who is breathing slowly but evenly, and removes the bridle and reins. He settles with his back against the saddle leather as a rest and eats a slightly stale roll and bit of cured meat. After he has finished, he leans back, hat over his face, to rest briefly. Maybe just a short nap...

2008-02-12, 10:30 PM
Saul joins Jonas, but when he sees that his companion has started to nod off, he determines he'll stay awake a while. He catches Kren's eyes, and offers him a polite nod, curious to see if the newcomer will strike up a conversation with him.

2008-02-14, 09:10 AM
"No," Vayshan replies curtly to Jonas' question. He continues to meditate silently.

2008-02-15, 06:10 PM
Jonas wakes with a start. Dusk is settling in, and a light fog hangs in the distant hills. As he peers into the shadows, and sees Saul tending a small fire, and goes to join him, keeping an eye out for the horses, Kren and Vayshan.

2008-02-15, 06:13 PM
Kren has tended to everyone's wounds (including the horses) as best he can. He sits quietly and stares into the flames. Vayshan lies down for the night and appears to be asleep as far as anyone can tell.

2008-02-16, 02:12 PM
Jonas warms his hands over the flames.

Sorry I nodded off like that, Saul. Quite out of character. I'll take first watch. Go get some rest. We should get moving towards Drellin at daylight.

2008-02-16, 02:12 PM
It's fine. I didn't mind. But now I think I will get some sleep.

Saul nods at Jonas and Kren, then beds down by the fire.

2008-02-16, 02:31 PM
Jonas throws another log onto the flames. A short time later, he sees that Kren has nodded off, leaving Jonas alone with his thoughts in the dark. Must have taken a lot out of him, looking after us so. Jonas takes a single copper out of his pouch, and begins flipping it along the backs of his fingers, watching it glint in the glow of the fire. We will see what daylight brings.

2008-02-17, 04:45 PM
I forgot to mention it, but everyone gets 6 HP back from Kren's healing. That's a rough estimate since I'm not sure what he has left memorized, etc, but it includes the horses as well.

2008-02-17, 05:06 PM
Jonas is suddenly startled by hearing the words of a magic spell. He sees Vayshan lying on his pad, gesturing with a wand and trying to murmur the words softly. Your eyes meet as he completes the spell and everything becomes silent again. Knowing he couldn't reach Jonas in time, Vayshan instead draws and throws his sword at Jonas's head. Due to Vayshan's awkward throwing position, the sword cuts Jonas's cape instead and embeds itself into the earth.

Saul awakes to strange words being muttered. He is still groggy but knows something is amiss when the sound of the fire crackling suddenly goes quiet.

Jonas missed hearing or spotting Vayshan get out a wand and his sword but heard him begin casting a spell. Saul also woke up to the spellcasting. Kren is still asleep. Vayshan cast a silence spell during the surprise round.

The intiative order is:
Vayshan - 20
Jonas - 13
Saul - 12

Vayshan used his action during the first round to draw and throw his sword at the flat-footed Jonas, but due to throwing a non-throwing weapon and his position laying down, it missed with a total of 11. Saul and Jonas are both fully aware during this upcoming round and can act normally. Distances are very short so you can stand up (drawing your weapon at the same time) and step 5 feet to get into range if you need to and still have a standard action left. Unless someone wants to debate this point I'm going to say that the leather wearers have their armor on but the metal-armor wearers (Vayshan and Saul) don't since they would have impeded their rest. Everyone has also gained 1 HP from resting.

2008-02-17, 07:13 PM
Jonas feels the sword tug at his cape as it spirals past his ribs. He sees Kren mouth open as he exhales a snore. Saul, on the other hand, has thrown back his blanket, and his hand appears to be darting towards his pack. Good lad! If we survive, I'll have to apologize for not listening to him about this brute. Jonas draws his blade as he rises, and steps close to Vayshan, stabbing down in a quick thrust, hoping to feel flesh part before lancing into the dirt below.

Stand, Draw rapier.

5 foot step to close.

Standard attack on prone opponent Vayshan (without armor! yay! I might hit him!)

Attack Roll: 14 + 2(dex) + 1(BAB) + 1(MW) = 18

Damage Roll: 6 (take that, healing potion! - assuming I hit...)

Finish him, MP!

2008-02-17, 09:42 PM
The rapier pierces deeply into Vayshan's shoulder.

2008-02-18, 02:33 PM

Kren awakens in a cold sweat from dreams of fire, war and arrows. A lion roars in the dream, jolting him from sleep. Kren echoes the lion's roar with his own startled scream. But when he awakes, his cry is muffled by a strange silence. Something odd is happening.

Kren is awake now and is at the bottom of the initiative order. He is aware of everyone's position.

2008-02-19, 12:28 AM
Anger rocks Saul's body. His temples throb, his knuckles ache. He draws a rapier and closes the distance, intending to put an end to this dishonorable cur.

Retrieving my rapier and taking the 5' step toward Vayshan. Is it possible to position myself so that I flank Vayshan with Jonas? Normal melee attack. Rolled a 3.

2008-02-19, 08:31 AM
Vayshan tries to stand up to better defend himself, but Jonas's rapier catches him in the chest, sending him sinking back to his knees. Eventually he collapses face first, unconscious.

2008-02-19, 05:21 PM
Saul curses silently as Vayshan dodges his wild thrust. Even seeing him pass into unconsciousness does not abate his anger. He stabs at the inert form, intending to deliver a killing blow.

2008-02-19, 08:01 PM
Saul's rapier pierces through Vayshan's torso. If he wasn't dead before, he certainly is now.

2008-02-19, 09:11 PM
Dying a fool's death in silence. No last words. Poetic. Jonas' hand comes to rest on Saul's shoulder as he lowers his own blade. Their eyes meet, and Jonas tosses his head North, away from the fire and, he hopes, the unnatural silence that surrounds them currently. It is difficult to gauge Kren's response in the flickering light as Jonas cleans his rapier on the tattered edge of his cape before shooting it home in its scabbard. I think we'll need to talk. He points in the same direction he indicated to Saul, and begins a deliberate walk away from the firepit. He hums melancholily to himself, waiting for the sounds to reach his ears, so he can turn and consult his remaining companions.

2008-02-20, 12:59 AM
Saul stares at the corpse a moment, brow furrowed. His anger had mastered him, and a man was dead because of it. A man who deserved to die, Saul concluded as the anger ebbed from his mind -- but what of the next time his blood boiled?

For now, Saul searches the corpse, looking for clues as to Vayshan's murderous intent.

2008-02-20, 05:40 AM
Kren felt sluggish, almost as if he were under water. He rarely sleept so deeply - but then, he rarely had such intense dreams. Visions.
He stared at the dead man a moment, rubbed the sleep from his eyes, then followed Jonas away from the unnatural silence surrounding their camp.

I'm glad you and your friend are such light sleepers... Anyway, we're all awake now - let's talk.

I had told you that I am a Moonspeaker, a druid - what I did not say is that many Moonspeakers are prophets and visionaries. One of the eldest of our circle gave me this prophecy - and my dreams are haunted by it as well.

I saw a lion, proud and noble.
Suddenly he is struck by an arrow.
He turns and roars in defiance at a mighty giant standing near.
The giant's mouth opens and hundreds of arrows pour forth.
The lion is pierced many times and sinks to the ground.
The ground begins to burn, engulfing everything.
The lion disappears, the giant disappears. All that remains visible are five arrows, embedded in the ground in a circle

When I approached you on the road, I was struck by a vision - you humans are involved in the prophecy somehow. As the dead man might have been.

Tell me, do you know anything of a Giant?

2008-02-21, 01:41 AM
Jonas smiles at Kren's apparent good humor about the recent bloodshed. Good, my fears of a misunderstanding were unfounded. It appears these visions told him what he needed to know.

Think nothing of it - a favor returned for your assistance earlier. But as to your visions - I've told many tales in my time, but that one's got a nice ring to it. Mind if I use it? And Saul and I, we are in your vision? We are here on business, but I doubt it involves giants or lions. Of course, if you had asked me a few hours ago, I would have told you it probably didn't involve invisible horsemen. You should tell Saul what you've told me - maybe he'll know more.

Jonas begins walking toward a stand of brush that had been recently cleared from the road.

As far as Vayshan goes - all I know of him is what you already heard. But, backstabber or no, he was a Pathfinder, and he deserves better than to rot here by the side of the road. I'll gather some wood for a pyre.

As Jonas returns to the camp dragging two small saplings, he calls out to Saul and Kren.

Well, did we find anything useful or perhaps more informative than what he had to say while he was breathing?

I'll cast detect magic to examine any items of Vayshan's that Saul has come across - and take the time to concentrate on any relevant auras. Assuming he hasn't yet, I'll also search him and prep him for the pyre - once everyone else is pretty well finished.

Search Roll: I'll take 20.

2008-02-21, 08:46 AM
He doesn't have anything that would provide a clue as to what he was doing here. He has a lot of typical traveler's equipment in his pouch and saddlebag. The items of note are:

Magical breastplate made of some unidentified red metal
Magical Valenar scimitar made of the same red metal
2 arcane scrolls
1 magical wand
1 magical potion

The weapon seems to be larger and differently weighted than a normal scimitar. You all have difficulty trying to use it.

If you can read elven:

The scrolls are labelled "Mount," the wand is labelled "Silence," and the potion is labelled "Cure Light Wounds."

2008-02-21, 03:43 PM
Saul gives the wand to Jonas.

Here's the wand of silence he used on us. I see no harm in taking the rest of his belongings with us, especially the scimitar. I may be able to learn to wield it, given time. Then again, if anyone has objections to looting from a dead man...?

2008-02-21, 07:49 PM
Jonas drags the body onto the haphazardly lain brush. He dusts his hands, and crosses Vayshan's arms across his chest, before taking the offered wand with a nod of thanks.

I don't see that leaving it here for goblins and orcs does anyone good. That red metal of his smells magical, and might draw a nice price if nothing else. Maybe he will pay you back for that horse after all. If you start to feel any guilt, there are beggars and orphans most everywhere who will be more than happy to relieve us of it.

As he brings a glowing torch out of the fire pit, he turns to his companions, and says, in his best oratory voice, says

I knew little of this Vayshan, except he was one of us - a Pathfinder - and a gifted and bold opponent. May whatever gods he prays to receive him - so that he doesn't come back at us again. Either of you want to offer any words before we set him alight and move on? The sun will be up soon.

2008-02-21, 11:42 PM
Saul nods.

He fought well, if not honorably. That said, I hope that when we crossed him we were honorable in doing so.

2008-02-22, 03:54 PM
Jonas waits briefly to see if Kren has anything to add. He stands stoically, staring at the flames. Perhaps that is the way of the Moonspeakers with a slain enemy.

Alright then, well said.

Jonas lowers the branch onto the pyre.

That deed complete, Jonas begins gathering his belongings. Paco is up, thanks to the careful ministrations of Kren, so Jonas affixes his saddle and other gear. However, with Saul dismounted and a heavy chest of silver to be carried, Jonas decides to let the wounded beast rest before trying to carry both rider and silver.

The stars are fading as Jonas completes his tasks, and he turns to his companions.

Well Saul, I'm prepared for the road ahead. Kren, we are making our way to Drellin. I know nothing of this prophecy of yours, but perhaps someone there will. And if we are involved, somehow, it would do us well to have your help again. That, and I owe you an ale.

2008-02-23, 12:59 AM
Saul nods in assent.

Yes. Come with us. I find it unlikely fate has brought you here to fight this man and nothing more -- though I'm glad it did.

2008-02-23, 06:45 AM
I will join you gladly. At least until the vision directs otherwise.

2008-02-23, 11:02 AM
Jonas tugs Paco's reins, and begins the slow walk towards Drellin as the sun begins to crest the Eastern horizon.

2008-02-24, 03:34 AM
A few hours past midday, Jonas rummages in his saddlebags for a small packet of food he had brought from the Welcome Wench. Feels like ages ago, now. He divides what little remains with his companions for a brief meal as they walk.

Last of the real food, gentlemen; savor it. Tomorrow it's back to 'bricks' and 'leather'.
He looks over at his companion, trying to avoid concern. He's limping, again; maybe two more hours.

Let's pitch camp before dusk, Saul; I'm already starting to tire. Until then, I'm eager to hear your interpretation of this prophecy, Kren. Since Saul and I appear to be bound within it, I desire to know what role we are to play. You stated that another of your people has been seeing the same visions - is that commonplace?

I am expending one day of my rations.

2008-02-25, 02:46 AM
Saul digs into his own rations, taking a grim bite.

Yes, let's hear more about these visions. I don't know much about them myself, but I know enough not to ignore them when they crop up.

2008-02-26, 08:30 PM
Well, I told you that I am an initiate of the Moonspeakers. Our circle began by ministering mostly to shifters though we will help and counsel all who seek our aid. Perhaps it was natural that we would pay closer attention to the moon than other students of nature...
Moonspeakers embrace the power of the heavens, not just that of the lands we tread. As such we are often astronomers - we chart to heavens in order to understand the power of the stars and bodies.
Some few of us have visions of great clarity; only rarely, however, do two of our circle share a dream. In this case, the dreamseer Grevaa - a respected and ancient member of our circle - was able to tell me what I had been dreaming. She then spoke the prophecy I have already related to you.

As to interpretation: I have little real idea. Vrath was once a land of giants - hence my travel here. The lion would seem to represent the Empire...or perhaps a representative of it? The arrows would seem to suggest Pathfinders.
I would welcome your insights regarding the interpretation of these things.

Does this answer your questions?

2008-02-27, 02:11 AM
I remain unaware of its full meaning, Kren, but am grateful for your candor. It seems we must wait for what follows. I have heard the giants are gone from Vrath, and I believe your interpretation of arrows and lions, if true, suggests dark times are ahead. But the fire and the circle? I know not what they portend. And if it is as rare as you say, two of your people sharing a vision is the most important omen of all.

The Empire has, in its vast wisdom, afforded me with many opportunities for travel over the years. When I am not immediately engaged, I take the time to collect tales from other people to augment my skill as an orator. I find these stories often have visions and prophecies; let me ponder for a few moments, and see if one of these tales might add anything to our analysis. And if any new visions come to you while we travel together, please share them with us.

Jonas remained quiet until they were encamped that evening, deep in his own thoughts.

I'll bust out all my knowledge skills here - I assume they could all be relevant (in different ways, even). Essentially, I'm rolling for stories with similar structure and/or thematic elements. Take whatever you feel is appropriate, OQ.

Bardic: 10 + 6 = 16
K(History): 5 + 7 = 12
K(Local): 4 + 7 = 11

2008-04-03, 05:49 PM
Jonas, you have the same basic impressions of the symbols that Kren does. You know that according to legend each giant tribe had a king who was said to be especially mighty. Arrows are also associated with elves as well as with the Pathfinders. Fire has many associations in legend, many dwarven gods and legends are associated with fire and earth, dragons are associated with fire, the empire and Volcannon are also associated with fire to a certain degree.

Your peaceful discussion is soon interrupted by an unknown voice. "In the name of the master of these lands, Tolmer Ai'Bandon, I command you to state your purpose for trespasing on his domain."

You all look up to see a young man mounted on horseback about 50 feet further into the field (ie. he came cross-country and your camp is between him and the road). In the dimming light it is difficult to make out many fine details, but he appears to be a young human wearing studded leather holding a bow at ready. Behind him a few feet is another human on horseback. He appears even younger, probably a teenager. This one is also wearing leather armor and carrying a bow.

If you make a trained knowledge nobility check of 15 or bardic knowledge check of 20, you can look at the following:

Tolmer Ai'Bandon is fairly famous and just received a knighthood about 10 years ago. He is a member of a group of newly knighted warriors typically called The Pride. They are all handpicked officers who have served under General Nestor who have been rewarded with titles and land for long and heroic service. Most of them rose from the bottom of the ranks of commoner society and a few, though not Tolmer, were slaves when they entered the army. They are quite popular among commoners for this reason

2008-04-04, 01:31 AM
Jonas starts slightly upon hearing the unfamiliar voice. He quickly digests what was said, and a small smile crosses his lips. Ai'Bandon, well well. I've heard good things - let's hope his man heels close to his master; and that he is no friend of the recently departed. Jonas stands slowly with a glance at his companions that he hopes will calm their nerves. He holds his hands palm up and steps a few paces towards the mounted men so that he need not shout.

Greetings, man of The Pride; stories of your Master Ai'Bandon's noble deeds in service of the Empire reached even my lowly ears in Eastern Glade. I am Jonas Ai'Lenti; my companions Saul and Kren. We had a horse fall on the road, lamed the poor beast and had to put it down. As a result, we have been slowed in our travel to Drellin. We mean no insult or trespass to anyone, and certainly not a hero of such renown. Please, we don't have much for food, but join us and eat, and tell us what news there is from these lands. I'm anxious to hear firsthand tales of The Pride.

Jonas stands still, waiting for the whistle of fletchings from bowstrings.

Bardic: 15+6 = 21
Diplomacy: 16+17=33
if I need it for my mild glossing over details - Bluff: 19+10=29
crap, the dice have been saving up.

2008-04-06, 01:15 PM
Saul lets the bard to the talking, and keeps an eye on the darkening woods surrounding them.

2008-04-07, 05:32 PM
"Hail, master Ai'Lenti. I confess I am unfamiliar with your family but we are honored by your presence. If you had sent word of your passing through we would have been sure to greet you under better circumstances. I am sorry that my father is away and so not here to see you. I am Aelas and this my brother Tollin. Come, tonight you will dine and stay at our manor. Tollin, ride ahead and tell mother to prepare to receive a noble guest. We will of course prepare quarters for your servants as well."

2008-04-07, 10:55 PM
Call me Jonas. One of your father's greatest ideals is that there is no need for men in the field to worry of titles. A gracious offer, which we most humbly accept. We are all pleased to make your acquaintances, young Masters Aelas and Tollin Ai'Bandon. If you must announce us, Tollin, do tell your Good Lady Mother to make no fuss over us! A hot meal and a soft bed will be quite sufficient. Oh and to avoid any confusion later, I should mention that these men are my traveling companions and free citizens of the empire, not servants. It will be fine for us all to billet anywhere there is space - again do not trouble yourselves over us! Let us gather our belongings, Aelas, and then we shall follow towards this manor of yours.

As he gathers his bedroll and straps it back onto Paco, he glances at his companions. Hang in there lads, hopefully we'll learn more about what's going on in Vrath.

As they fall into step with Aelas, Jonas walks close to the young man's stirrup so he can speak to him more easily.

I did not realize we had drifted into your father's domains; most rude of us to come by announced. It is quite unfortunate that your father is away, I'd always wanted to shake his hand one day. Perhaps another time. I hope nothing too urgent or dire has called him away? Certainly not Nestor's campaign in Halstein? I feel sure I would have heard if that were the case...