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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Sallera's Avatar

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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    "Hem them in! Do not give them the opportunity to run free." Shuffling forward, Faien lands heavily on his good leg, his sword appearing in his hand with the intensity of its contained power glowing like a miniature star. Swinging it upward to draw the burning creature's eye, he abruptly reverses direction and slices across the dog's exposed flank with an audible crack of discharged electricity.

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    Swift to reassign essentia from Shirt to Weapon.
    Move adjacent to the nearer hound, drawing sword.
    Attack: (1d20+10)[29]
    Damage: (1d8+6)[14] + (4d6)[21] electricity

    Edit: Confirmed, for a total of 43.
    Last edited by Sallera; 2012-07-25 at 10:35 AM.
    Thanks to Arokh for the avatar.
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    Current characters:
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    Aya
    August
    Sei
    Eikaba

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    Auran grunted heavily with surprise as the beast barreled into him, the searing heat of the hellhound's fire making his blood boil with more then mere anger.

    Rallying, the dragon born sidestepped, bringing his resonating warstar down into the creature's snout. Quickly calling forth the protective power of Bahamut, Auran called for protection from the unholy fire.

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    5-foot stepping down one square to get flanking bonus.

    Attack: (1d20+23)[34]
    Damage: (1d10+10)[11]

    Combat Casting Concentration check: (1d20+10)[27]
    Battle Blessing: Swift cast Resist energy (Fire): Shrug off 10 points of fire damage per round.

    Spoiler: My Characters:
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    The Cruciform Shard in "Eyes of the Lich Queen" (Eberron)
    Auran Sol the Dragon-born in "Red Hand of Doom" (Eberron)
    Soren St.Croix in "The Resistance" (E6)
    Koan, the Mountain Glacier in "Masters of the Nine Swords"
    Mutt Scalawag in "Beyond the Horizon"
    Brigid, Princess of Bears in "Shadows of an Untold Land"
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  3. - Top - End - #63
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    PairO'Dice Lost's Avatar

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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    The creature barreling over Auran stumbles as its fur is torn to shreds by shards of ice. It slows down enough for you all to see that it has vaguely canine features, and that it does not appear to be visibly bleeding from the many small wounds in its side. The creature stumbles to a halt, whimpers pitifully as the areas around its wounds darken and cover up with ice, and slumps over after one or two final steps; by the time its body thuds to the ground, it looks like someone might have just pulled it out of a snowdrift in the Frostfell.

    The creature still in the farmhouses growls loudly and springs toward Vaeri, revenge obviously on its mind. It covers twenty feet in two short bounds, leaps past Faien...and is intercepted by Faien's powerful swing, which takes it in the ribs and keeps going, slicing up and through its ribcage and neck. The miniature thunderclap that follows the blade's lightning discharge sends the decapitated head flying a few feet away. This body, too, does not bleed from any wounds, instead starting to dissolve into a brownish-red sludge along with the other one.

    The battle is not finished, however: the hair on the back of everyone's neck rises (for those who have hair on the backs of their necks, that is) as twin piercing howls arise from the farmhouse. Two more massive creatures come loping out of the smoldering doorway, both belching fire as they soar through the air. One lands between Faien and Auran, its fire sweeping out to strike Vaeri in retaliation for her killing their companion; the other aims at Roni and Auran as targets of opportunity and lands in a crouch, ready to leap again.

    Vaeri hesitates a moment too long before ducking and her clothes are nicely roasted by the creature's breath, but its fire is abruptly cut off as Auran's warstar smashes its jaw shut. Its face is heavily mangled after the blow and it doesn't look to be in good shape. His follow-up slam to the side of the head puts it down for good, leaving only one enemy on the field

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    I'm assigning Auran's attack to Hell Hound #3 since Vaeri and Faien dispatched the first two, and between that and the AoO it goes down.

    Vaeri takes 10 fire damage, Roni takes 4 fire damage, and Auran takes 0 fire damage thanks to his resist energy

    Roni
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    These creatures are hell hounds, fire-breathing dog-like fiends. Aside from the fact that their bark is almost as bad as their bite, you don't know too much about them.


    Map--Round 2
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    Last edited by PairO'Dice Lost; 2012-08-05 at 08:48 PM.
    Better to DM in Baator than play in Celestia
    You can just call me Dice; that's how I roll.


    Spoiler: Sig of Holding
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
    Darn you PoDL for making me care about a bunch of NPC Commoners!
    Won a cookie for this, won everything for this

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    Buffeting the hound's snapping jaws aside with his shield, Faien takes a half-step back, the ghostly illumination around his blade drawing inward to limn its leading edge with a hard white light. Leaning forward into the strike, he cuts across the creature's front legs with another crack of power, then circles around to ward off any further assault from the farmhouse interior. "These dogs burn truly enough, but they die strangely. Is their presence here the result of some summoning?"

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    Attack: (1d20+10)[27]
    Damage: (1d8+6)[9] + (4d6)[14] electricity
    Move 10ft south/left.
    Reassign essentia from Weapon to Shirt (SR 17).
    Thanks to Arokh for the avatar.
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    Current characters:
    Faien
    Aya
    August
    Sei
    Eikaba

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    With a single blow, the final creature is felled: it collapses forward into the strike as its front legs give way, and soon it joins its fellows as a patch of strange sludge on the ground. Though Faien waits several heartbeats for any new threats, and then several more just to be sure, no further creatures emerge from the farmhouse and no threatening noises can be heard.

    Anyone who goes into the farmhouse
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    As you pass through the smoldering doorway, flames still licking the moist wood from the first creature's breath, you can identify the source of the scent of decomposition you detected earlier. A heap of rotting bodies is piled haphazardly along one wall, slightly disturbed where it seems one of the creatures barreled through it. On the other side of the pile is another room, revealed by the creatures' disturbing the pile of bodies, which was probably the main room of the house before the creatures did their best impression of a hurricane and smashed all of the furniture (what little of it there probably was) to pieces. The few window coverings that are still intact consist of heavy wooden shutters held in place by thick branches, a final futile defense against whatever force brought the soldiers and fire creatures here.

    Some of the corpses in the pile wear armor, and some wear common clothing, but all appear to have been dead for less than a day as far as you can tell, and a few of them have been chewed on by your fiery friends. A closer inspection shows that none of the armor left on the bodies is in any condition to be usable; all of the armor of any quality at all is stacked in the far room, along with piles of coins, small bags and boxes, and various other odds and ends. The coinage in the room consists of mostly silver pieces with a few golds scattered here and there, totaling about 95 gp. Three sets of studded leather armor, three longswords, four light crossbows, and five sunrods appear to be salvageable from the clusters of miscellaneous gear, and there is some fancy clothing that might be fairly high-quality once all the blood is washed off.
    Better to DM in Baator than play in Celestia
    You can just call me Dice; that's how I roll.


    Spoiler: Sig of Holding
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    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
    Darn you PoDL for making me care about a bunch of NPC Commoners!
    Won a cookie for this, won everything for this

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    Roni Quickwing

    "You okay there, kiddo?" Roni calls out after seeing the flames flaring near Vaeri. "Didn't singe your wings, did they?" Roni waits for an answer, frozen in place until he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that his sister is okay. She always put on a strong face, but Roni remembers a day not too long ago when she would cry over scraped knees and spilt milk. She was still a sensitive young girl, while he reminded himself that he had to serve as the man of the family, especially without their parents around.

    As he enters the farmhouse, the young spellscale runs the gamut of emotions. He starts out with slight disgust as he holds his cloak over his face to avoid the stench of brimstone and decomposition. However, as they spot the pile of bodies, he drops his cloak and his jaw. Such wanton violence had no place in his happy-go-lucky view of things--granted, he knew it existed, but always tried to romanticize away the gore in favor of the story of a good war epic. Seeing the real thing up close for the first time shakes him to his core, and he turns to the paladin for answers.

    "You believe in good when there's evil like this lurking about?!" he incredulously asks Auran. "This world doesn't need heroes," he mumbles to himself, "it just needs less monsters." The only comfort Roni can find in the farmhouse is the pile of loot, but even that is tainted by the thought that most (if not all) of this belonged to the victims. He expands his interrogation to include both Auran and Faien, asking: "How can the two of you prattle on about justice when things like this happen? How is it just that we get the gold and they get the grave? Poor blokes..." He looks down at his feet, unsure of what else to say. Surprisingly, he hasn't even laid a finger on the coins. For the first time in a long time, Roni looks very much like the sensitive little boy Vaeri had grown up with rather than the devil-may-care young man he often tried to hard to portray.
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2012-08-06 at 12:22 PM.

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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    "Vaeri!" Auran cried out as the gout of flame washed over her. The dragonborn raised his warstar, preparing to step into the breach, but Faien beat him to it, finishing the final beast.

    "Check the building," he barked. "These beasts stink of Tiamat...if they be summons, their summoner may yet be in the area...unless that were the blasphemer from before."

    Auran rushed to Vaeri's side. "I am so sorry, child...I should have protected you. Allow me to mend your wounds..."


    Withdrawing the slender golden rod from it's wrist sheath, Auran touched it to Vaeri's scaly forehead, allowing it's soothing warmth to permeate and salve her burns. "I'll tend now to your brother..."

    Only once all were healed did he turn the magic upon his own grievous wounds.

    "Do not blame yourself young spellscale" Auran said with audible sadness. "It is not your fault that evil is done in this world...believe me, I know. And do not discount your role in what is to come...so long as any monsters prowl, there will always be need of those brave enough to put what is most precious on the line. As for the gold...we should attempt to bequeath it upon any surviving kin, or failing that, a charity."

    Spoiler
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    I'm marking off charges on my lesser vigor...is Faien injured?
    Spoiler: My Characters:
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    The Cruciform Shard in "Eyes of the Lich Queen" (Eberron)
    Auran Sol the Dragon-born in "Red Hand of Doom" (Eberron)
    Soren St.Croix in "The Resistance" (E6)
    Koan, the Mountain Glacier in "Masters of the Nine Swords"
    Mutt Scalawag in "Beyond the Horizon"
    Brigid, Princess of Bears in "Shadows of an Untold Land"
    Spoiler: A DM's Role
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Sallera's Avatar

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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    Faien grits his teeth as he enters the farmhouse, burying the point of his blade in the floor. The soul-forged sword lingers for a second as he shuffles forward, then flickers out. "We would appear to be dealing with worse than demon-serving bandits. I should not have let that one flee." There is a hard edge to his voice, but it is carefully contained, a tone matched by the expression on his face. Striking one of the sunrods, he chases away the last shadows concealing the scene, and kneels down to inspect the bodies more closely. "All of these in... a day, perhaps two at most? Is this road so well travelled? And why not bury them? What were they trying to hide?"

    At Roni's query, Faien turns, using the sunrod to aid his standing. "I told you before, did I not? Justice is not of the world. It is our creation. It is not unjust that these people were killed; it is misfortune. Justice fails only if we do not mete out appropriate punishment to the killers. You are thinking only of what you see, and not the consequences. Look beyond what is here. You see that stolen coin, and subconsciously categorize it as 'ours,' while bemoaning the fate of those it was taken from. Should it not be returned to their inheritors?"

    "We must seek justice, not make excuses for its percieved lack. If you truly believe there is no such thing, then certainly, you will never see it." Leaning the sunrod against the wall, Faien slowly draws his sword from the air, holding the blue-tinged blade just below eye level. "But as long as society exists, so will laws, and so will the sword that enforces them. On the day I can no longer draw this blade - only then - can you say there is no justice left in the world."

    Letting the weapon fade away once more, Faien allows a little of the mask to fall away from his face. "If it were easy, there would not be magistrates like me. I cannot force you to change your views, and I will not try. But we may yet see worse than this if we continue pursuing these creatures, so if you can gain neither resolve nor insight from the sight, then avert your eyes. It will be... kinder, that way."

    "Now, are any of you skilled in tracking? I would pursue the archer that fled, if I can."
    Thanks to Arokh for the avatar.
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    Current characters:
    Faien
    Aya
    August
    Sei
    Eikaba

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    Roni Quickwing

    Roni smiles inwardly as Auran rushes to heal Vaeri. As the dragonborn turns to offer the young man healing, he raises a hand and politely turns him away. "No need, Auran," he says to the paladin, "save the healing for any others that need it. I learned a while back to procure my own means." He activates his belt and sighs as he feels the gentle tingling of the curative magic flowing through him.

    Healing Belt Charge - (2d8)[11]

    "I don't blame myself," he says firmly as he rebuilds his facade. "I blame the evildoers. I never fancied myself much of a hero, but if it means stopping awful things like this from happening, I'm in--pro bono, even." As Faien joins the conversation, the bard raises an eyebrow. "Misfortune?!" he half asks, half exclaims, "This is just a result of bad luck, and justice is only our attempts to even the odds? You're more of a gambler than I initially thought, magistrate."

    As Faien shares more of his zeal for law enforcement, Roni sees for the first time the nobility of it. This man isn't simply doling out consequences for breaking an arbitrary set of rules; he is protecting the world from itself. Roni nods as Faien vows to uphold the law until his dying breath and responds, "I definitely agree that it's not an easy concept to throw yourself behind, so I'm glad that you're willing to do so. Who knows? I may even change my wayward ways." He exchanges a quick wink with his sister, indicating that he has no plans to do so. However, something inside his heart tugs at him. The two men traveling with him are formidable examples, and Roni begins to consider for the first time what it means to live for something greater than oneself.

    "I can prepare myself for whatever cards come up," Roni says, puffing his chest a bit and taking on a more stoic demeanor. "It's just there are some deals you wish for and some you wish against, savvy?" He tries to play the part of the hero, but feels like little more than an understudy given his current company. Did his sister still view him as her brave older brother? Or could she, too, see that he was just a boy among men? He puts the thought out of his head and chimes into the conversation once more. "Sorry, Faien, I can't track worth a copper. Speaking of coin, it would be nice to pass this inheritance to the next of kin," he says, "but how exactly do you propose that we find them? It's not like we can just ask the decedents, and I don't see any Last Wills or Testaments laying about."
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2012-08-06 at 05:16 PM.

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  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    Inwardly, Auran nodded to himself. The boy was young yet, especially by Auran's elven standards, but there was yet much potential in him...no doubt the coming crucible would serve to harden his resolve.

    "There will be more settlements nearby...should they yet stand, we will inquire about the residents here, and inform them of their demise. Of course, we'll inquire before we mention their unfortunate inheritance..."
    Spoiler: My Characters:
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    The Cruciform Shard in "Eyes of the Lich Queen" (Eberron)
    Auran Sol the Dragon-born in "Red Hand of Doom" (Eberron)
    Soren St.Croix in "The Resistance" (E6)
    Koan, the Mountain Glacier in "Masters of the Nine Swords"
    Mutt Scalawag in "Beyond the Horizon"
    Brigid, Princess of Bears in "Shadows of an Untold Land"
    Spoiler: A DM's Role
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  11. - Top - End - #71
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    (OOC: Sorry...out of pocket a bit longer than I expected)

    Shaking herself out the shock of being burned, Vaeri looks at her singed cloak.

    "Bloody beasts." She says, stamping her foot. "Thank you, Auran." She nods slightly to him. "That feels much better, thank you."

    Following the others into the room, she gasps at the sight and turns her head. Crystalline tears hover on the edge of her eyelashes when she turns back. "Merciful Tamara." she whispers.

    As the others discuss the values of justice and good and evil, she kneels beside the bodies and quietly whispers a prayer to the gods.

    "I do not like this." she adds. "This," she points to the pile of treasure in the corner, "is the work of men, not beasts. Yet, the beasts clearly had some intelligence in them. Could the bandits we faced earlier summoned the beasts and been the cause of all this?"

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    "Almost certainly so." Auran answered.

    "I've exhausted most of Bahamut's blessings for this day, and will need to rest and recover. I suggest we give these souls a proper burial, then make camp for the night. Roni and I can perform the manual labor. Faien, you and Vaeri should scout the area more, make sure there aren't more bandits waiting in the woods nearby. Your horse and her wings will let you cover a lot of ground, while still being able to flee back and regroup if you should run into any trouble..."
    Spoiler: My Characters:
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    The Cruciform Shard in "Eyes of the Lich Queen" (Eberron)
    Auran Sol the Dragon-born in "Red Hand of Doom" (Eberron)
    Soren St.Croix in "The Resistance" (E6)
    Koan, the Mountain Glacier in "Masters of the Nine Swords"
    Mutt Scalawag in "Beyond the Horizon"
    Brigid, Princess of Bears in "Shadows of an Untold Land"
    Spoiler: A DM's Role
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  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Sallera's Avatar

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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    "I realize you may have gotten turned around in the fight," Faien comments dryly, "but it is mid-morning, not mid-afternoon. I had thought to press on and inform those in the nearest town that they might bring a guarded party here to identify and retrieve the fallen. However, I suppose we can't be assured of finding a town today, and in this heat, they may well be better off buried, so that I have no objections to. Still, dig a single grave and mark the place. That should not take you all day." Stepping outside, Faien whistles for his horse, which approaches the farmhouse with clear reluctance.

    "If none of us are skilled at following a trail, I suppose finding the archer will prove difficult, but he did not appear to be taking much care as he fled. Give me any empty waterskins, and we will see if we can at least find something drinkable while we are out; if your magic is waning, then we can spare wasting it on such mundanities. Two hours should be sufficient time for you to dig a hole; if we are not back by then, continue onward and we will cut across to catch you up. Given that we have seen no sign of these bandits until now, the trail is unlikely to head back the way we came, so if we follow it too far, there is no sense in waiting around while we retrace our steps."

    Pulling himself up onto his mount, Faien guides it away from the farmhouse. "If you have no objections, Vaeri, let us leave them to their work. The sooner we set out, the better our chances will be."

    Spoiler
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    Assuming no great objections to be dealt with...

    Take 10 on Survival for 12 (assuming Vaeri aids) to follow the archer's trail. Since it can't be done without Track if the DC is higher than 10 anyway, we'll just see if that works.

    If we lose the trail, Survival to find water: (1d20)[10]
    Thanks to Arokh for the avatar.
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    Current characters:
    Faien
    Aya
    August
    Sei
    Eikaba

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

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    Auran didn't get turned around...but his player did. Paladin's don't get that many spell slots. Did you want Auran to create some water?


    "I didn't mean to imply that it was nearing bedtime, merely that there are only so many pitched battles I can fight at full strength. Still, your words are wise magistrate. See whom or what you can find, be safe, and we'll be on our way if you've not returned by high noon."
    Spoiler: My Characters:
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    The Cruciform Shard in "Eyes of the Lich Queen" (Eberron)
    Auran Sol the Dragon-born in "Red Hand of Doom" (Eberron)
    Soren St.Croix in "The Resistance" (E6)
    Koan, the Mountain Glacier in "Masters of the Nine Swords"
    Mutt Scalawag in "Beyond the Horizon"
    Brigid, Princess of Bears in "Shadows of an Untold Land"
    Spoiler: A DM's Role
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  15. - Top - End - #75
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Roni Quickwing

    The spellscale nods solemnly as Auran volunteers him for the work of digging. A few days prior, the boy would have bristled at such indentured servitude, but now he found himself thinking from an alien perspective: if it was him or Vaeri crumpled in the farmhouse, how would he want others to act? For once in his life, it seems that the right thing to do and the most comfortable thing are not the same. Even Roni has his limits, though, and he speaks up at Faien's suggestion that they press on immediately. "I don't think it's too selfish to want to sit and have some lunch once we're done serving as undertakers. After that, I could press on but might not be at my fullest. If we find a spot to camp until darkness settles, we could travel by night. It might be more difficult to see, but that could help ensure that we don't walk into another ambush."

    He looks to the others as he finishes speaking. Vaeri was too kind to ask for a rest, so he'd get no support from her. It seemed that Faien, despite his limp, could trudge on as the seasons changed around him. And from what Roni had gathered about the dragonborn paladin, he'd soldier on as well. Auran likely wouldn't even complain with his dying breath. Outmatched, Roni sighs, drops his pack to the floor, and pulls out a collapsible shovel. "Fine, fine," he concedes, "we dig, we eat, and we march on. But as soon as we reach a town, it's straight to the inn! Well, maybe we can tarry a bit in the tavern first..."
    Last edited by OMG PONIES; 2012-08-07 at 08:44 PM.

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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Griffon

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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    Vaeri starts to stretch her wings but then realizes there is not enough room the crowded hovel.

    "Yes. I can gain a bit of height with my wings, but they are not quite strong enough to fly as yet. But I will do what I can."
    She unshoulders her pack but takes the waterskin and holds out her hand for Roni's as well.

    "I am with my brother though. Upon reaching the next town, a bit of rest would be good. Sleeping in a real bed would be very welcoming at this point. As would a turn in a bathhouse." She glances down at her singed cloak. "And I'll need a new cloak." She grumbles under her breath.

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    aid another (1d20)[17]
    Last edited by Fireheart; 2012-08-08 at 07:51 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: Circle of Life's Red Hand of Doom IC Thread

    Faien and Vaeri

    Two hobgoblins, running full-tilt through a thick forest, leaving plenty of scraps of clothing and footprints...neither of you may be particularly skilled trackers, but the archers would have had a hard time being less subtle without painting themselves pink and attaching bells to their boots. Moving slowly through the dense undergrowth so as not to miss any signs, you manage to track your quarry a little over three miles to the edge of a swift-running river. The river is clear and its water seems fresh and clean, giving you a good place to refill the waterskins, and you estimate that it's several hundred feet wide.

    The tracks stop at the water's edge, and aside from a bit of mud kicked up where they meet the water there is no other sign of the archers' passage. The river has washed away any clues to whether they went upstream or downstream, tried to swim across or doubled back, or clues of any other sort. You can make out the hints of civilization downstream at the limits of your vision--that would probably be the next town along the road, so the hobgoblins probably wouldn't have headed that way, but then again there's plenty of forest between you and the town and who knows what's in there?

    With no other way to track your quarry, you make your way back to the farmhouse to reunite with your companions.

    Auran and Roni

    Just over an hour later, after you've finished laying the dead to rest and before you have a chance to snack on anything, Faien and Vaeri emerge from the forest. They are perhaps a bit more sweaty and dirty from the heat and the undergrowth, but they do not appear to be more wounded and they have no hobgoblins in tow, so it looks like their search was in vain.
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  18. - Top - End - #78
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    "They were in a hurry, but they were not complete idiots," Faien offers by way of greeting. "However, the waterway we lost them at is but three miles from here, and there was a town some ways downriver; I think we should meet it if we continue along the road." Tossing the full waterskins back to Auran and Roni, he guides his mount back to the road.

    "Rather than eat here, let us continue on. We ought to be able to secure a proper meal soon, and we can spread the word of these bandits, if the townsfolk do not already know."
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    "Indeed." Auran replied. "I am most disturbed by this turn of events. That hobgoblin possessed a holy symbol of Tiamat. I do not believe these are regular bandits at all...I believe they too are looking for the scepter we seek..."
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    Roni wipes the sweat from his brow. While Auran's protective spell had kept the heat at bay, it had done little to stave off the exhaustion caused by grave digging. "Of course they are," he laments, "otherwise it would have been too easy." Turning to Faien, he cracks a smile and says, "You had me at 'proper meal.' Let's be on our way, then."

    He looks back over his shoulder at the pile of coins, eyeballing the loot very much like a small child eyes a cookie jar just after his parents have told him he can't have any. "Er, if we're giving this to any kin," he says, "should we take it with us? You know, so we can give it right to them without having to send them back here?"

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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Faien looks back over his shoulder, raising an eyebrow. "You have not already? Go ahead, then. We certainly needn't burden ourselves with the task of distributing it; the town's watch or council, whichever seems more reputable, can handle that if we give them the coin."
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    Roni laughs at Faien's suggestion. "Nay, magistrate," he chuckles. "It seems your hometown may be the only one that doesn't impose the Greedy Guard tax. It varies from one municipality to the next, but can range from 1% to 100%. We'll not be leaving this much temptation in the hands of any guardsmen."

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  23. - Top - End - #83
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    "Agreed. The council will be the best place to leave notice for the bereaved and of their inheritance. We should be off at once, or I fear there may not be a village left standing. I can only pray the Key has not already fallen into the talons of the enemy..."
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  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Vaeri helps collect the items. "What happens if there is no record of who lived here?"

    Pulling her cloak back about her wings, she brushes the sweat and dust from her forehead. "A town would be nice, but a bath would suit me far more than food at this point."
    Last edited by Fireheart; 2012-08-20 at 06:53 AM.

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Once everyone has collected all of the items they plan to take with them, the four of you take your leave of the farmhouse. The road is empty of travelers and obstructions--including travelers' remains, fortunately, so it looks like the hobgoblins only had the one ambush spot prepared--and you make excellent time. Half an hour or so after leaving the farm, the forest thins out enough so that you can see the river through the trees and catch a glimpse of some fishing boats passing by in the distance. The road meanders closer to the river as you go along, and you can start to make out farmland, a few buildings, some docks, and other parts of a town, but the distance is still too great to make out any details.

    After another several miles, you reach a point where the road is following right along the riverbank. You're close enough now to make out some sort of guard tower next to the road, hastily constructed of wood and brick and only partly painted; a fence lies across the road, with two humans standing in front of it bearing spears and shields. The emblem on the guards' shield is the same as the incomplete emblem on the guard tower, a somewhat-abstract pattern resembling a small boat sailing on crashing waves between two cliffs.

    The guards stiffen up into a ready posture s soon as you come into view, and when you reach the barrier one steps forward and holds out his spear, point up, in a halting gesture. "Well met, travelers," he says in a friendly yet wary voice. "I hope you've had a safe and pleasant journey, you're the first to come along this road in days. What are your names, and what business have you in Drellin's Ferry?"
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  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Eyeing the makeshift fortifications as they approach, Faien gives a cautious nod of approval. "Not much, but it could be worse. Such haste in the construction bespeaks a recent effort."

    As the guard halts their passage, Faien nods courteously. "Good day and well met. I am Faien Illimis, magistrate of Karrnath, and our business here would appear to be unfortunately related to the reason you have had no recent travelers by this way. Might we speak with your superiors? There are things we wish to discuss regarding the state of this area, and I would rather not have to explain them twice."
    Last edited by Sallera; 2012-08-20 at 02:26 PM.
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  27. - Top - End - #87
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    The guard nods cautiously at Faein's introduction, but does not lower his spear. "A meeting could certainly be arranged, Magistrate. Before I can allow you to pass, I will need to see proof of identity for you and your companions."
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  28. - Top - End - #88
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    "Of course." Reaching into his pack, Faien withdraws a small wooden case emblazoned with the Karrnathi seal, flipping the catch open and handing it to the guard. Glancing back at the others with a slight frown as the guard peruses his official documents, he recalls that between Roni's 'advance tickets' and their departure from the Rail in, effectively, the middle of nowhere, he hadn't actually seen papers from any of them.
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  29. - Top - End - #89
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    The guard steps back and leans his spear against his shoulder as he inspects Faien's papers. He takes almost a full minute to look them over, then hands them back with a smile. "Thank you, Magistrate Illimis. Welcome to Drellin's Ferry." He seems relieved that Faien is who he says he is and not yet another threat to the town. He looks over his shoulder without taking his eyes off the rest of you and calls "Oy, Arton! Message to run! Get out here!"

    A small human boy, seven winters old at the most with features strongly reminiscent of the guard's, comes clattering out of the tower and skids to a stop behind the fence, his eyes wide as dinner plates as he stares at the eclectic bunch of travelers before him. "Go find Drathgar and have him pass the word on to Speaker Wiston there's a magistrate here to see him about the goings-on. Tell him I'll be sending them to Gausler's and he can meet them there or send word another way." The youth turns and runs off with a chipper "Sure, Pa!" and the guard turns back to face you all. His expression is warmer, but still cautious. "I'll still need to see identification for the rest of you. I'm sure the Magistrate keeps good company, but in these times we aren't taking chances."
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  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Roni rifles through his pack for identification papers, and finds no fewer than five separate sets, each with a different name. A different identity, a different story, a different mask...The young spellscale feels a pang of some odd emotion he does not yet know to identify as guilt, and pushes them to the side. He pictures the disapproving glares of Auran and the magistrate should they ever find the forgeries, and with a heavy sigh he unbuttons the false bottom inside of his bag. He pulls out a ratty old Brelish identification card--the real deal--and produces it to the guard.

    "Roni Quickwing," he says with a short nod. "And the girl's my kid sis Vaeri," he adds, unsure of whether his sister brought her papers with her. "Please, sir, tell me that Gausler's is some manner of eatery." He smiled, and laughed half-heartedly. Roni hadn't been joking; his stomach had been grumbling for the past hour, and even Auran's protection from the elements couldn't stop his throat from getting parched after all the work he'd put in this morning.

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