View Full Version : HoHo Game, Prologue 3: The Third Prologue

2008-01-26, 10:46 PM
Daralis and Vaelis ride slowly through Drellin toward the claims office. A strand of heads dangles from Vaelis' saddle: 5 orcs, 6 goblins, 2 hobgoblins and a bugbear. Altogether the heads should bring twenty gold. Mercenary work had been slow in the Empire and many had come to Vrath once the garrison commander posted the bounty. Daralis and Vaelis recognized each other in the bounty office from their service together.

"We're running low on funds, so until Bowen gives me more I'm only paying half. Here's your ten." After counting them a second time, the soldier pushes an assortment of copper, silver, and gold coins across the counter toward you. "Sorry best I can do," he shrugs and turns his back to walk away.

2008-01-27, 03:10 AM
Vaelis's eyes flash from grey to purple, and his clenched fist pounds the counter, causing the coins to bounce.

A contract was agreed to. You will pay what is due.
Juxtaposed with his body language, Vaelis's speech is disconcertingly calm.

Roll Intimidate: 17 - 1 = 16 (+/-)

2008-01-27, 12:41 PM
"Okay, okay. No need to get violent, friend." He shakily counts out the rest of the money and slides it over the counter. "But when the next guy comes in wanting to get paid, I am going to tell him you took the last of the money." He turns and walks away.

Something touches your shoulder from behind. You turn and see a dwarf in wizardly robes tapping you on the shoulder with an iron staff. His robes are brown. He has a scarred face, an overly large nose, and two large iron hoops dangling from his ears. He wears an odd stone ring on his right hand and carries a large satchel over his shoulder. "You and your friend here are obviously underpaid for your talents. What do you say we head over to the tavern and talk about a more lucrative opportunity."

"Didn't I tell you to stay out of here you no good dwarf!" The officer shouts from behind the counter.
"By imperial law you must show me respect, dog!" The dwarf draws a garnet medallion out from under his robes.
"So do you have time for a pint of ale? My treat."

2008-01-27, 01:26 PM
This mercenary work is barely honorable as it is, and now they wish to dishonor me further by cheating me.
Ah, so this beurocrat sees reason after all. Good.

Collecting the coins, not bothering to double-check the counting, Vaelis turns fully and ponders the dwarf for a long moment.

Vaelis looks towards Daralis for concurrance.

2008-01-27, 02:01 PM
Daralis remained passively in the corner. Past experience had proven it was best to leave “negoiations” to Vaelis, and today was no exception. It was a trifling amount of gold to quibble over, but as she gingerly fingered the dwindling gold in her pouch, she knew Vaelis was right. Berwyn was growing rapidly. Each evening the badger pup gobbled down his barley more rapidly, and his wet, black nose sniffed her pouch wistfully.

Daralis surveyed the dwarf and concluded he did not appear entirely trustworthy, but warily nodded her consent.

2008-01-27, 03:03 PM
"Ha ha! Excellent, I think you both will like what I have to say." The dwarf leads you across the street to a tavern. The sign outside has a picture of a fat giant drinking from an overly large mug. You know this to be the Giant's Tankard, Home of the 2-pint ale mug. The dwarf selects a table in the back corner and orders a drink for everyone as well as some food. After everyone has settled, he opens his satchel and places 8 small rubies on the table. "There's two of these for each of you right now if you agree to help me, and the other two once we're done."

He takes out a roll of scrolls and unfolds them to show you. "As you can see, I'm an ambassador from Halstein, with diplomatic commission to convey me through the empire on my mission. Now, I assure you, I take no part in the hostilities between our two great nations currently. As you can see from my letter from the emperor, my diplomatic status is recongized even in war times. Who cares about those damn iron mines in the Red Hills anyway. They're slag heaps, I say you people can have 'em if you want 'em that bad. However, that dolt of a garrison commander here doesn't like me for some reason, sent all my armed guards home. With situation as it is in this province, I can't go about my mission without some protection. What's my mission, you say? I'm glad you asked. I am a professor of languages and history in my home country and am currently studying ancient Giantish rune inscriptions throughout the known world. As I'm sure you are aware, my scholarship has conclusively established a link between the Giant language and proto-Dwarven and has even suggested it may be related to Common. There is a pillar here of ancient Giant origin that I have not been able to study in person. I have been relying on secondary accounts of the runes from the works of Halman and Haridar but I have found their scholarship... lacking in certain areas. It has been difficult to obtain the necessary permissions since the tensions have been running high among our people. I am not about to turn back now that I am so close without seeing the pillar for myself! If you two agree to protect me on a n expedition to the pillar and then guide me to the border of Vrath, I will reward you handsomely with these rubies, and give you a credit in my next book."

2008-01-27, 08:09 PM
Daralis felt famished, and was grateful when a generous meal of braised rabbits, stewed carrots and various rye and poppyseed breads arrived at the table. She ate hurriedly, and slipped a few choice morsels to Berwyn in her satchel.

The conversation did not allay her concerns. The dwarf’s words were eloquent; however, his charming mannerisms failed to conceal the devious glint in his eyes. Despite her misgivings, his documentation appeared legitimate, and the offered payment was certainly attractive. An acknowledgment in a linguistic book was of little consequence to Daralis, yet she thought fondly of her parents, Mibbtmottin and Seewyn, and knew they would be pleased to have the Ellinger name associated with a scholarly work (however remotely).
The rubies were another matter…

Daralis' initial inclination was to accept the dwarf’s proposal, but she desired to consult Vaelis privately. She hesitated to interrupt the Dwarf, who was currently expounding on the various intricacies of the proto-Dwarven language, but Daralis grew weary of feigning interest. She smiled congenially and interjected awkwardly,

May Vaelis and I have a moment to consider?

Daralis got up from the table, satchel on her shoulder, and motioned for Vaelis to join her.

appraise 12
sense motive 2
forgery 5 -2 -2 -2 = 0

2008-01-27, 10:38 PM
Vaelis listened closely to what the dwarf had to say while he ate sparingly from the rich foods offered. While he didn't much care for the rubies, that the dwarf was offering them indicated the job would not likely be a waste of time. Which is good since the bounty office all but admitted they would not honor further work. And while a citation in a linguistics book is hardly a ballad of valor, any increase in renown is an honorable achievement.

In response to Daralis's motion for him to follow, Vaelis shrugged, nodded an acknowledgment to the dwarf, then followed Daralis away from the table.

2008-01-27, 11:10 PM
The paperwork appears genuine and the dwarf seems to be telling the truth. The rubies seem real to you, but you don't have any idea what they are worth.

2008-01-28, 11:16 PM
Vaelis, what's you're inclination? I sense he's not entirely forthright. Still, he's a rather squat, slow-moving fellow. After we have fulfilled our obligation, if he rescinds the offer, we could manage to procure our rightful payment. Shall we accept?

2008-01-28, 11:50 PM

It is apparent the bounty office has no more work for us, and few others in these part will provide suitable employment, even for a fraction of what this dwarf is offering. I cannot speak for his forthrightness, but something tells me that he walks a path that will lead us to a worthy foe; in fact, I would not be hasty to dismiss the thought the worthy foe is in fact he.

I say we take the job.

Vaelis raises a questioning eyebrow, awaiting Daralis's final dissent or concurrence.

2008-01-29, 12:43 AM
Daralis nods in agreement and returns to her seat.

Ambassador, I believe we have an accord. What direction shall we travel in first? Orcs patrols are dense to the West, so I suggest we leave through the Northern gates at daybreak. Do you have any maps to ease our travel?

2008-01-29, 12:46 AM
"Yes, I have several maps of this area and I believe I know the route well. Daybreak will be fine. I'll give you each one ruby now and you can have the other in the morning when we leave. Don't spend it all in one place."

2008-01-29, 02:18 AM
At daybreak the others find Vaelis at the Northern gates, brushing down Silvermane, his steed. As they approach he feeds Silvermane an apple, gives his tack a final check, then mounts up. As Vaelis waits for the others, he retrieves another apple out of his pouch and bites into it, while Silvermane snorts and paws the ground anxiously. Yes, my friend, we will soon be on our way, away from these confining walls.

2008-01-29, 12:10 PM
The dwarf arrives riding on a large pony. "So did you get your training in the military? I know your people have a tradition of service. Its obvious from your skills that you are not a draftee. Pathfinder perhaps?"

2008-01-29, 01:44 PM
Vaelis responds while scanning the horizon,

It is true that my people are known for their service, but our traditions and skills have a long history, reaching back before the empire, well before humans first appeared in this land, and even before we came to these lands ourselves.

He pats his mounts neck.

But it is good to be traveling.

Roll Survival (weather): 18 + 8 = 26
Roll Sense Motive: 7 + 2 = 9

2008-01-29, 04:09 PM
His questions seem to you to be those of an overly-inquisitive academic, who perhaps doesn't know what's impolite to ask.

"So why'd you leave the military? Surely you weren't kicked out? Though I've heard Ilium's military forces reward loyalty to immediate superiors more than talent. I think our forces are much better regimented in that regard. Then again, we don't have nearly as large an army as you. Though, we did manage to beat back General Nestor's assault on Ironcrag. Sent his army fleeing back here to Ilium and the capital as I've heard the tale. Though maybe the news has traveled differently here in the Empire."

2008-01-29, 07:20 PM
Indeed, why was I decommissioned? For months I have asked myself that very quesiton...

Hmmm... It is common knowledge that most of our highest echelons of leadership get their ranks through political pull, rather than strategic or tactical genius. Most have able lieutenants upon whom they rely for plans and guidance, but I sometimes wonder if it would not be better for...

No matter. For now I seek out to find my own honor.

2008-01-30, 01:40 AM
After travelling with Vaelis for the previous four weeks, Daralis was accustomed to awaking before daybreak. By torchlight, she prepares for the upcoming journey. She deftly bends her bow to restring it, and plucks the string gently, listening carefully to the subtle harmonics of its reverberations. Satisfied, she turns to grooming Tirion's wooly coat and examines his paws for new abrasions. She pads quietly into the galley, noticing the baker has delivered three fresh sweet cream pies along with a number of other pastries, breads and meatpies. With the smallest pang of remorse, she cuts a few small slices, tucks them neatly in a spare tin, and then packs the rest of the pies in her satchel, leaving a glittering gold piece with the crumbs.

With preparations completed, she mounts Tirion and lopes toward the city gates. As she rides alongside Vaelis, she overhears Vaelis describing his heritage to the Ambassador. As they pass under the watchful eye of the perimeter tower, Daralis opens the tin and distributes the small slices to her companions before asking

I know only the history of my clan. Will you tell me more of your people's history as we ride, Vaelis?

2008-01-30, 08:26 PM
And so, Vaelis proceeds to recount the common oral history of the Valenar, beginning with the tale of Creation, and ending at the point when the Gamemaster decides to push the plot along. There is much battling and begetting, deadly dragons and dead giants, victory through unconventional means, and grave losses brought about by betrayal.

2008-01-31, 08:53 AM
"So I take it you're not a believer of the alternative history offered by the Crimson Brood? I'll go ahead and tell our gnomish friend about that. See, some elves think that the elves were enslaved by dragons early in their race's history. Most of the elves were used as toys or labor, but the prettiest the dragons used as mates. The Crimson Brood believes that draconic blood still flows in the veins of some elven families and that the elves should again partner with the dragons instead of trying to hack off all their heads. I met a Crimson Brood fellow one time. Nice guy, a little bit too serious for my taste, though. Kept talking about Elves First and Elf Power and all that. The guy couldn't shut up about mating with dragons, either--kind of gross if you ask me. But, I guess you aren't one of those. Do you think that red mithral that they use is really forged in dragonfire? But enough about that. Let me tell you about the history of my people."

Thorius proceeds to tell you the legend of the dwarves, which he interupts at every turn to express his doubt for such fantastic stories. In the end, his story is a boring 10,000 year theory of natural selection and language development.

2008-01-31, 12:21 PM
The Crimson Brood? Those heretical abominations were supposed to have been wiped out when my grandfather was but a child... For them to still be around? Dangerous times provide one with more oppurtunity for Honor and Glory.

When the party stops for its midday meal Vaelis rechecks his tack, equipment, and weapons. After ensuring everything is in its place and in good condition, Vaelis proceeds to sharpen his knife and polish his sword.

2008-01-31, 11:14 PM
"I've never understood why your people are such staunch supporters of the Empire. Your people are strong, you could be independent. You could rule such an empire if you wanted. Although I guess there are advantages to being part of it. Even I've considered if my people would be better off as part of the Empire. I guess we must all do what brings the greatest advantage to our people, and our selves. I guess I just don't see that you gain that much being a part, that's all," Thorius says, between mouthfuls of bread. "Pass me another of those rolls, those are good. Sorry, I shouldn't talk about politics so much. Its a bad habit of mine. I mean no offense."

2008-02-01, 12:19 PM
When Vaelis is content that his black mithril blades are clean and sharp, he resheaths them, finally gathers some food for himself, and silently eats as the others finish up and prepare their own equipment and mounts.

2008-02-02, 12:55 AM
Daralis perches by a small rivulet under the shade of an outcropping. As she fastidiously bundles her remaining bread into her satchel, she fondly strokes Berwyn. Daralis' brow furrows as she perceives her ward has become quite dusty. Berwyn contorts himself into ball and retracts to the farthest corner of the satchel trying to avoid the inevitable. Despite his valiant efforts, Berwyn is unceremoniously extracted from his pouch. His smooth fur bristles in defiance, his beady eyes squint at the offending sunlight, and he squawks with displeasure. Tirion, familiar with Berwyn as she was, decides that she would prefer to join Vaelis sharpening his blades, and trots quickly away from her master. Daralis speaks in a series of chitters and hisses that Vaelis had some time ago learned to it was best to ignore, as she gently submerges the irate badger. Berwyn emerges seething, but cleaner. Satisfied, Daralis gingerly tucks him back in the satchel.

As they rode out, Daralis ruminates on the exchanges between Vaelis and Thorius, and decides it is time to interject.

I certainly know less of history than you, Ambassador, but I believe I agree with Vaelis. While the Empire isn't perfect, it affords opportunities for those willing to work for them. My cousins in Blenheim are ceaselessly tariffed and squeezed by the larger guild families, and it has only worsened over the past few generations. In Ilium, my clan can practice their trade in relative peace and security, and we are granted our own local governance. Can you say that Halstein would treat Gnomes more fairly?

Cast daily Burrowspeak

2008-02-02, 01:04 AM
"We have several gnomes on the faculty of our college of wizardry. We dwarves don't seem to have a penchant for illusion or enchantment magic. But we attempt to teach it anyway. The minister of the exchequer is a gnome in Halstein. We reward skill in Halstein, what's more fair than that? I imagine outsiders such as yourselves would find it easy to ascend to the highest ranks of society in Halstein based on your skills, not forced into petty mercenary work like here. But I've said too much again. Why don't I just shut up until we get there. It shouldn't be too long now."

2008-02-02, 01:11 PM
As the dwarf is rambling on and on, Vaelas catches a glimpse of three figures at the top of a hill to the side. Though he has to look into the sun to see them, Vaelas's sharp eyes and elven instincts tell him they are orcs mounted on war-boars. They are about 400 feet away at the crest of a hill.

Daralis' spot - 14, Thorius' spot - 4, Vaelas' spot - 30

2008-02-02, 01:45 PM
While loosening his sword and slowly readying his bow, Vaelas quietly and calmly warns his companions.

Daralis, Thorius, we have company up on the ridge. Three orcs, mounted.

So, who makes the first move?

2008-02-02, 02:55 PM
Thorius and Daralis are now both aware of the orcs. Your warning and preparations seem to have been discrete enough not to alert the orcs. They haven't seemed to change their behavior and are still slowly following on the ridge.

"Holy Moradin, how long have those goons been following us?" Thorius asks in a low voice.

2008-02-02, 03:46 PM
Daralis is unsure that Tirion could face three orcs on boarback. She looks for brush, trees, or rocks that could conceal them and hasten their escape from their pursuers.

Survival or Spot? I don't know my modifiers.

Survival Roll - 20

Spot - 10

2008-02-02, 05:04 PM
There is a pretty good amount of brush 200 feet ahead and to the east, the orcs are about 400 feet west of your current position.

2008-02-03, 02:33 AM
Daralis surveys the horizon, notes the dense underbrush and recognizes an ideal setting for an ambush. She turns and informs Vaelas of her thoughts, and asks

What's your inclination? I think we can set a decent trap for those fellows.

2008-02-03, 08:28 AM
Okay. You and the Professor head towards brush, but keep moving forward in this direction as well, stay calm, and don't rush. I'll head off towars the west; either they ignore me and I get behind them, they ignore you and I lose them and catch back up to you, or they split in which case whoever gets the one can assist the other with the two.

This plan is predicated on the idea that the orcs are to the west, the brush is to the east, and we have been heading either north or south, presumably north. When we split, we will be making a Y shape, 90 degrees between our two new paths (northeast and northwest). When we split, I will increase my speed marginally to either "full speed" or a hustle.

2008-02-03, 01:33 PM
Daralis nods. Her azure eyes remain fixed straightforward, her face placidly expressionless, but she eagerly fingers the fletchings of an arrow in anticipation of the impending combat. Daralis hears the Ambassodor breathing heavily and recalls her conversation with Vaelas at the Tankard. Based on outward appearances, she judged Thorius incapable of gaining the advantage in combat, yet Vaelas perceived the dwarf's frailty was deceptive...

Tirion interrupted Daralis' musings with an impatient snort. Daralis senses the immense dog's agitation, and increases the tension on the reins. Forcing Tirion to maintain a leisurely gait, Daralis deftly guides the her towards the dense coppice.

2008-02-04, 03:22 PM
May the Ancestors guide us towards victory.

Vaelas nudges Silvermane towards his new direction and increases his pace.

2008-02-05, 11:42 AM
Strategy:If they end up chasing me, then I will attack then ride ahead, attack then ride ahead.

If they end up chasing the other two, I will swing back behind them, and attack whoever is in the back.

If they go about their merry way, I'll let them live this day.

Tactics:Atack the mount of the nearest mounted opponent with my bow. When they cease to be mounted, put away the bow, move up to the closest and whack on him with my sword for a bit (2-handed) while my horse kicks and bites. If a second gets within melee range, I'll ride away (65 ft.) and start putting arrows in the first. When he drops, move into melee, whack, kick and bite.

Rolls:d20: 6, 19, 5, 4, 15, 8, 9, 7, 11, 8, 18, 1, 5, 11, 20, 15, 7, 18, 18, 16, 4, 11, 14, 8, 2, 11, 4, 9, 13
d6: 5, 3, 1, 4, 4, 1, 5, 3, 3, 3
d8: 1, 1, 7, 2, 3, 3, 7, 2, 4, 7
d4: 3, 2, 3, 4, 4, 2, 3, 4, 3, 1
d3: 3, 3, 3, 3, 1, 1, 3, 3, 2, 1

2008-02-06, 10:37 PM
The orcs seem to prefer elf blood and follow Vaelas. Vaeles keeps his horse at a slow gait to lure the orcs closer. He can hear them spewing vile curses about what they like to do to Elven women and how many elven heads they've staked on spears. They finally come into spear range and each throw a spear. Two of the spears are thrown to short. The third comes close to hitting Vaelas' horse but Vaelas quick maneuvering makes the spear miss. Vaelas takes aim at the orc that threw the closest spear and fires an arrow. The arrow strikes the orc in the throat and he slumps down in his saddle. Vaelas spurs his horse to an increased speed, still a moderate pace for the horse but much faster than the boars can match. The two remaining orcs throw spears again but are still throwing too short. Vaelas lets lose another arrow and it strikes home, penetrating the orc's chest. The orc falls sideways off the boar and lies limply on the ground. The two riderless boars seem to lose interest. The one remaining orc turns back as Vaelas easily outdistances him.

I decided to roll for you lest I let my advance knowledge of rolls subtly influence the sequence of events I assigned you. These rolls include all applicable modifiers including range and firing from horseback. Please correct me in the future if I'm calculating yours wrong. Orcs first volley, 5+1 = 6, 4+1 = 5, 17+1 = 18 (ride check of 22 beats). Orcs second volley 3+1 = 4, 11+1 = 12. Luke's arrows, 18+1 = 19, damage 2d6+5 = 12, 19+1=20, damage 2d6+5 = 11.

2008-02-06, 10:40 PM
Daralis and Thorius make it to the brush and plunge inside to hide themselves. All seems quiet and well until Thorius tries to crawl out a ways in an attempt to see how Vaelas is doing. Daralis hears the cracking sound of a branch and Thorius yelps in surprise. Daralis turns to see an open pit once disguised by brush where Thorius had been and hears him hit the bottom with a thud.

2008-02-07, 01:56 AM
Daralis limberly crouches amid the juniper branches, and listens intently for the footfalls of approahcing orcs. The professor's clamorous plummet fills her with a mixture irriation and anxiety. She immediately scans the groundcover for other potential pitfalls, quiets the animals to ensure they remain concealed, and silently makes her way to the lip of the pit. Using a trick her father had taught her as a youth, she twinkles her fingers and hums tunelessly until four luminous spheres appear in front of her, and descend into the opening. She expectantly peers over the edge, awaiting a sign from Thorius.

VB says these are the skills I might need to roll.

Survival 3 + 6 = 9

Move Silently 18 + 11 = 29

Handle Animal 3 + 12 = 15

Cast Dancing Lights, 4 lantern-style, down the hole.

2008-02-07, 07:45 AM
Vaelas turns Silvermane in order to chase the last fleeing orc.
this space intentionally left blank

2008-02-07, 08:23 AM
The orc is unable to outrun or avoid the swift-riding Vaelas and takes an arrow in the back a few seconds later, sending him to the ground. The boars don't seem to be hostile, though they might be if approached too closely. Two of them seem to be locking tusk and snorting at each other.

Attack roll 18+1=19, damage roll 9+5=14

2008-02-07, 12:15 PM
Vaelas rides closer to the seperate direboar and attempts to 'befriend' it with soothing words and some of his apples.

I should gather the bodies and head back to the others; it will be a lot easier if I can use one of these boars as a beast of burdon
Wild Empathy roll: 18
Even if not successful, he will try to gather the bodies and anything that dropped from them, using Silvermane to carry them, and walking him back:
Search roll 1: 15 + 7 = 22
Search roll 2: 15 + 7 = 22
Search roll 3: 10 + 7 = 17

2008-02-09, 01:41 PM

Daralis peers over the edge of the pit. Thorius is at the bottom of a roughly 30 foot pit. The bottom seems to open up into a larger cavern. He looks up and says, "Thanks for the light, lass. Luckily I always memorize a feather fall spell for just such occassions. It comes in useful when you live underground. Why don't you lower me down a rope."

Tirion sighs and plops his head down on his paws to take a nap. However, Berwyn seems agitatated. He sniffs the air and growls softly. Daralis looks up and catches sight of three camoflauged goblins trying to sneak up on her. Daralis' eyes meet the closest goblin's and they reach for their weapons.

Thorius yells from below, "Moradin's beard! There's a scorpion in here, throw that rope down!"

Initiative Order: Daralis, Goblin, Goblin, Goblin, Scorpion, Thorius. You can command Tirion using Handle Animal, but he won't be able to act this first turn. The goblins are wearing leather armor and have shortspears.

The dire boar initially snorts viciously at Vaelas, but softens quickly once it smells the apple. The 12 foot long savage beast becomes soft and compliant once fed. Vaelas stacks the bodies on the beast and it willingly follows him to toward the brush.

I think that roll should be handle animal instead of wild empathy since the boar is trained. Either way the roll is enough to get it to follow you. You think you'd have to work with it a bit more to command it, though. I've gone ahead and rolled your spot and listen checks. You will not be aware of the scuffle in the brush for 2 rounds, at which point you'll be 100 feet away.

2008-02-09, 04:51 PM
Daralis lithely scampers around the circumference of the pit. In the glimmer of the lantern lights, Daralis faintly makes out the fearsome scorpion. She aims her bow and fires two shots in rapid succession. She murmurs softly to Tirion, The slumbering dog abruptly arises, and lumbers toward the goblins emitting a guttural growl.

5 foot step, move such that the pit is between me and the goblins.

Handle animal, order to attack. 7

Rapid shot at the Scorpion. 14, 17 Damage rolls 6, 6 (VB says HOLY CRAP!)

VB says I may or may not get my sniper bonus, and doesn’t know the size of the scorpion, so I’ll just put up all my rolls without modifiers. Sorry to make you do math!

2008-02-09, 05:17 PM
Two quick arrows to the head fells the man-sized scorpion; Its tail shudders and goes limp just as it was raising it to strike Thorius. The goblins advance and throw their spears at Daralis. One of the spears goes long and disapears into the brush. One of the spears falls short and clatters into the pit. The third spear impales Daralis in the leg. Thorius looks up and says, "Thanks, lass. What's going on up there? Who is throwing spears?"

Daralis takes 3 damage. The scorpion is dead. Tirion now acts on your turn. The goblins are about 15 feet from Daralis, about 10 from Tirion.

2008-02-09, 08:30 PM
Daralis grimaces in pain. Being a gnome of few words, she merely mutters,


and proceeds to loose 2 more arrows, one each, at two of her assailants. Simultaneously, Tirion lunges toward the third goblin with her fangs bared.

no movement.

Rolls only, no modifiers.

Rapid shot, one arrow each at goblin 1 and 2. 4 and 9 :( Damage rolls 3, 4

Tirion attacks goblin 3. 14 Damage roll 6 ☺

VB says I can do an attack of opportunity with my bow blade on one goblin if they get close, but it’s at -2 apparently. I thought I should roll that too, just in case. 11. Damage roll 2.

2008-02-10, 11:20 AM
The first arrow catches the closest goblin squarely in the chest and he stumbles forward into the pit. The second goblin deftly dodges the arrow, scurries around the right side of the pit, and tries unsuccessfully to spear Daralis. The third goblin is intercepted by Tirion, who clamps his massive jaws on the goblin's neck. Soon the third goblin is dead. Thorius shouts, "Goblins! Nasty little buggers." Off in the distance, Vaelas here's the sounds of combat coming from the brush where Daralis and Thorius went.

2008-02-10, 01:37 PM
Daralis whistles to Tirion, who is masticating upon the deceased goblin. She reluctantly drops her prey, and trudges toward a new quarry. Daralis pounces upon the goblin and plunges her bladed bow at his chest.

Rolls only.

No move for Daralis.

Tirion ordered to close and attack Handle Animal: 2 ( I hope that's enough!)

Tirion's attack and damage rolls 12, 3

Attack and damage with bow blade: 19, 3

2008-02-10, 02:03 PM
Daralis slashes at the goblin's arms while Tirion lunges at his heels. He's soon brought down.

2008-02-10, 09:29 PM
Upon hearing the sounds of combat, Vaelas drops the reigns of the direboar, brings Silvermane into a canter, and strains to make out the combatants while readying his bow.

2008-02-11, 11:33 PM
As Tirion extinguishes the life of the remaining goblin, Daralis vigilantly guards against additional assailants, scanning for goblin shadows amidst the darkened silhouettes of poplars, willows, and pines.

Convinced she is alone, Daralis peeps over the lip of the pit and hails to Thorius.

Henceforth, they will not be bothering us. Any inclination as to to why these irritable fellows pursued us?

She frowns at the jagged laceration on her calf, but cheerfully stumps toward Tirion--offering the beast an entire sweet cream pie as recompense for the diligent goblin-thrashing (Berwyn receives a quarter slice to reinforce the well-timed forewarning). With some effort, Daralis awkwardly drags the goblin corpses to the lip of the pit, and proceeds to merrily relieve them of their "burdens".

Spot and Listen for more foes. Spot 20 + 5 = 25. Listen 15 +13 = 28

Search check for the goblins 13 + 0 = 13, 5 + 0 = 5

2008-02-12, 01:30 AM
"Someone mind throwing a rope down to me if the scuffle's all done?" Thorius says as he paces around the cavern floor below.

2008-02-12, 11:31 PM
When Vaelas arrives, he finds Daralis looting corpses and Thorius yelling about rope. Trusting that Daralis has taken care of any immediate threats, he puts away his bow and dismounts.

You will find three more bodies to search on the direboar about a hundred feet back. Feel free to claim any trophies as your own.

Not seeing Thorius, but hearing his voice, Vaelas takes a moment to examine his surroundings. Realizing the dwarf has somehow fallen into a pit, Vaelas retrieves his rope from his saddlebag and lowers one end into the pit, bracing himself to help the dwarf up.

2008-02-14, 09:07 AM
A search of all the bodies turns up little of interest. They were armed with crude spears, wooden shields and leather armor. They carried no money and surprisingly no food either.

Thorius climbs out of the hole. "Thanks my elven friend, obviously your ears are keener than this here gnome's. Feels like I've been hollering for a rope for hours." He brushes himself off. He has cuts and bruises but appears largely okay. He looks around. "Now which direction were we going, that pillar's around here someplace."

2008-02-14, 11:25 PM
Daralis grins sheepishly but remains wordless. Concerned that idle passersby will note their presence, she discards the cadavers into the pit. After sending the goblins to their impromptu graves, Daralis rejoins her companions, gestures in the direction they had been heading previously, and spurs Tirion into an brisk trot.

2008-02-17, 04:42 PM
After a few more hours of travelling, something begins to take shape in the distance. In the wooded foothils of the mountains in the distance rises an enormous stone pillar. Though you are still unsure how tall it is, it looks far larger than any tower you have ever seen and you would not be surprised if it were constructed by giants. Lower than the central pillar are a pair of stone shapes flanking it. They look to be pillars as well but you can't tell for certain. They seem to rise just above the tree line.

2008-02-17, 07:47 PM
As a consequence of her diminutive size, the majority of objects Daralis encountered appeared rather towering. Daralis squinted at the pillars soaring against the horizon, and recognized these were no exception; indeed, they were massive.

Impressive. Ambassador, you mentioned that examining the pillar would yield valuable insight into giant's linguistic structure. What specifically do you expect to find written on the pillar-- list of genealogies, poem, account of past battles?

2008-02-20, 12:36 AM
The two side 'pillars' intrigued Vaelas; Thorius did not mention them before. The central pillar was massive and impressive, yes, but it was a lingering relic of the dead civilization of a nearly dead race. A race that had long ago proven itself unworthy. But even dwindling races can always attempt to rekindle past glories; their remnants attempting to honor their ancestors.

Those pillars reek of deception.

2008-02-20, 08:18 AM
As they approach closer, the forms come into focus a bit more. The central pillar must be at least 300 hundred feet high, and it has large glyphs covering it. The smaller objects don't appear to be pillars at all. They are a much more modest 40-50 feet you would guess. They appear to be statues of giants, though you can only see their shoulders and heads above the trees.

"A record of the deeds of the giant king who built it. The dates and descriptions of events will aid our knowledge of history as well as linguistics. You see, it is written in 4 ancient dialects of Giant as this was built by Malbolge the Unifer who had recently conquered and unified the hill giants, stone giants, frost giants and fire giants."

2008-02-22, 12:08 AM
Thorius reigns in his pony and dismounts. He opens up a pouch and begins to pour earth from it onto the ground. To your questioning looks he responds, "I'm worried that the slaves may be using the pillar as a base so we might need some extra protection." He moves his hands over the pile of dirt and speaks a few words of magic.

the dirt seems to sink into the ground, which begins to crack and rumble. A bulge rises in the ground where the dirt had been and soon a large humanoid form of rock and earth rises from the ground to tower above the dwarf. A nine-foot tall clump of earth with stony trunks for arms and legs and the hint of a head stands before you.

"This is my familiar, Arthos," Thorius says. He speaks a few words in another language to the earth elemental and then mounts his pony again.

2008-02-22, 03:13 PM
As a gnome of rural origins, Daralis was accustomed to proverbial bucolic scenes: sedimentary rocks and multicolored pebbles scattered alongside glistening streamlets. However, the Familiar that loomed beneath the glyph-strewn tower did not fall into the aforementioned category. As a youth, Daralis engaged in fanciful playacting. " Giants and Bibbimottin the Slayer" was the common favorite among the Ellinger siblings; however the mock combat against Nacklebur, clumsily masqueraded as a giant, failed to prepare Daralis for the colossal statues that glowered down at her now.

Daralis sidles Tirion closer to Vaelas' mount, giving him an unsettled look. It was certainly fortunate that Arthos was an ally; he would make a formidable opponent. She whispers timidly to Vaelas:

Have you ever witnessed anything akin to this creature?

2008-02-22, 05:38 PM
During my first campaign.

And nearly my last. I was much too green then. Am still too green.

Are not 'familiars' generally . . . smaller?

As I suspected, statues. But why? What deception do they hide? Is the danger here of orc or giant origin

2008-02-23, 03:41 PM
"Generally they are. Most wizards do not devote much study to the familiar bond. However, I have found many principles of the study of the elemental planes applicable. Arthos was but a wee thing when I graduated from the academy. But in the years since he has fed much on elemental plane-stuff conjured from the far realms and his power has grown with my own. Now when we get to the pillar I will need to spend several hours studying the runes and casting magical divinations to discern their meaning. Arthos will protect my person, but his senses are not the sharpest and so I want you two to make sure there aren't any surprising coming up on us."

2008-02-23, 05:28 PM
Daralis remained apprehensive. She judged the gargantuan familiar to be approximately twice her height, and Arthos almost certainly weighed more than she and her companions combined. Despite her misgivings, Daralis was afflicted with impetuous curiosity and a nagging desire to play with the prodigious fellow. She discerned a benevolent, good-humored face concealed among the rocky crags above Arthos' torso. Besides, she rationalized that Arthos would inevitably engage in battle alongside Vaelas and herself--discovering his weaknesses was as useful as knowing his strengths. She decided to test Thorius' assertion that the elemental was weak-sighted by making miniscule waving motions in front of Arthos face - or as close to it as she could reach from her lower elevation.

Pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Arthos!

She timorously peeped up into the familiar's scraggy eyes , and gave him a quick, hesitant pet on the end of the stump that served as his hand.

2008-02-23, 06:52 PM
Vaelas smirks at Daralis's actions and rides ahead to scout out the area. As he passes a statue he gives it a sidelong glance and hurries on to the central pillar where he dismounts, glances to the sky to check the weather, then begins searching around the base of the pillar for indications of recent visitors.
Survival Roll: 15+8 = 23
Search Roll: 15+7 = 22 (25/Orcs)

2008-02-24, 11:00 AM
Though no one appears to be here now, you find the remnants of two campfires, one about a three days old and one about a week old. There are also tracks from various humanoids and animals, maybe fifteen different sets within the last two weeks--some goblins, some orcs, some wolves and perhaps a bugbear. The weather looks clear for now but there are some clouds far in the distance. It might rain tomorrow or the next day.

Arthos turns to face Daralis. He stoops down to peer closely at the gnome. He says something unintelligible in reverberating Terran, scoops up the gnome with one of his enormous arms and brings her close to his ill-formed head. After a few moments he puts her back down and turns his attention back to his master.

Thorius has pulled out some colored sand is pouring it out in some kind of circle around the central pillar.

I was wrong about Arthos's height. He's about 16 feet tall actually.

2008-02-24, 06:58 PM
It appears we are currently alone, but others do visit this location. Daralis, stay here with the professor for a bit; I wish to examine something.

As he says this, Vaelas turns and begins walking towards one of the statues. When he nears it, he begins to examine the area around it, as he did the central pillar, but also examines the statue itself.

Search Roll 1: 13+8 = 21
Search Roll 2: 7+8 = 15

If nothing noteworthy is found, I wish to continue to the next statue, then the next, and so on, until I come full circle. Feel free to make any additional rolls necessary (search, jump, climb, et c.).

Note: Bow is left with horse.

2008-02-24, 08:17 PM
Though you have little familiarity with sculpture or stonework, the statues seem to be of great craftsmanship. The one on the right you identify as a stone giant and the one on the left you identify as a hill giant. The pillar itself seems of less fine construction. It is uneven in parts and not very smooth. It looks hastily cut perhaps. You can make little of the runes themselves though they are carved quite deep into the rock's surface.

2008-02-24, 10:47 PM
After several minutes of examining, Vaelas returns to the others at the central pillar just as Thorius finishes pouring his sand.

Thorius, before you begin: Earlier you mentioned that Malbolge unified four tribes of giants, but here we have statues representing just two. And statues and pillar appear to have been crafted by different hands... What do you make of this?

2008-02-25, 11:42 PM
"Well the statues are obviously of later construction, made during the flourishing of giant culture brought on by Malbolge's rule. Perhaps this was the spot where he took the oaths of the stone giant and hill giant kings and the statues commemorate that."

2008-02-26, 07:12 AM

This mystery will have to wait, then.

Vaelas retrieves his bow and quiver, then heads towards the hill giant statue, which he then begins to climb, to gain a better vantage point for keeping watch.

2008-02-28, 01:34 AM
Daralis inquires,

Thorius, what did Arthos say?

as she scrambles up a nearby low tree, to give her a better vantage of the grounds around the tower.

2008-04-03, 06:00 PM
"Arthos was saying that your people are very small and that he would be careful not to step on you. He said the same thing to me when I first summoned him."

Thorius has now removed a heavy book from his pack. It appears to be metalbound and the pages may be very thin metal as well. He has finished drawing a complicated magical circle around the central pillar and is now reading Draconic text from his book and gesturing with his staff.

From on the statue you have a good view of everyone's position and into the forest beyond. You doubt anyone could sneak up on you from this vantage point.

2008-04-05, 06:14 PM
Daralis smiled. Arthos was gracious to extend such courtesy.

After a short interval of time passed, Darlis grew listless. She nimbly flipped upside-down on the gnarled branch, but even from her inverted perspective the horizon was void of enemies. Berwyn snarled in displeasure at the unforeseen reversal of his universe. Daralis frowned, but righted herself at the sounds of Berwyn's protest. Berwyn was a sneaky badger, but his grumpy disposition occasionally gained the better of him.

Daralis affectionately patted his head, "Silence is necessary during concealment, Berwyn"

The grumpy badger chortled his annoyance-preferring to conceal himself in a burrow.

Daralis merely shrugged. "It is an advantage. No one would expect a badger in a tree."

I don't know if I need any of these, but, just in case (rolls only):
Handle Animal: 10
Hide: 17

2008-04-06, 11:05 AM
Thorius finishes casting his first spell and golden arcane energy surrounds his person then dissipates.

"I can read your tattoos with my magic, I know you are Pathfinders. But the questions remains, why are you here? I've been trying to figure it out since I saw you in the city but I have no answer as yet."

"I'll tell you the truth and you do likewise, how about that? I'm on a military mission from Halstein in cooperation with certain forces from the Empire. I don't need you to protect me, and I am quite capable of defending myself if you should try anything. According to my information, you aren't supposed to be here. It would probably be safer just to kill you both, but you did rescue me from that pit which I may not have been able to do on my own. I feel honor bound not to kill you outright. Also, the fact that you didn't leave me down there leads me to suspect that you are not here to hinder me. Now, your turn."

2008-04-07, 05:59 PM
As Vaelas turns his head from the surrounding countryside to watch Thorius his brow creases and his eyes narrow. He then glances in Daralis's direction, raises an eyebrow and shrugs.

There is no deception in my actions. I have been out of active service for several seasons now.

He pauses and smirks.

So, are you removing us from Drellin or bringing us to this pillar?

2008-04-07, 10:12 PM
"I do have an interest in this pillar, though not quite what I told you before. If you are not on active service then it seems you have a choice. We have need of people with your talent. Change is coming to the Empire, and to my country as well. The corruption and religious dominance of the Empire, as well as the xenophobia and greed of my country, have held the mortal races back and at each other's throats for too long. Like-minded individuals like myself and others within the Empire are working to change all that. We are building a just society. I am offering you an opportunity to join us. If you refuse, I feel indebted to you and I will allow you to leave if you do not try to oppose me."