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    Default Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    This is the thread for Strange Rumblings in Langtier, a 3.5 D&D campaign set in the Silver Kingdom of Menedy. The game happens here. Use the OOC thread for communicating with me and the rest of the group out of the context of the game, asking rules questions or advice and massaging my ego with flattery, toadying and brownnosing.

    The Out of Character thread is here.
    Last edited by Hairb; 2008-07-24 at 09:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    The Silver Kingdom of Menedy

    Plot Hook
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    The trouble in the north seems to be all anyone is talking about these days. After a spectacular falling-out between King Jucender and Baron Ordulain of Langtier, all of the king's representatives have been withdrawn from the rustic northern barony. It has fallen on the Baron's meager army to enforce the laws of the land, collect taxes, maintain order and police the kingdom's borders. Rumours tell of riots, dissent and chaos; tales of witch-burnings, massive conscription and villagers barricading their homes against the outside world abound.
    Baron Ordulain seems to be recruiting help wherever he can get it, and a flock of sellswords, outlaws and thrillseekers have made a bee-line for the troubled barony, hoping to exploit the unrest for their own personal gain. In the temples of Larusel, priests offer prayers for the souls of those caught in the center of all this mayhem, and denounce the Baron for causing the trouble in the first place. Headstrong crusaders around the kingdom are taking up arms in the defense of the villagers of Langtier, while more cynical types see the situation as a chance for fame, gold and glory.


    Law and Living in the Silver Kingdom
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    Human and Half-Orc peasants in the Silver kingdom have a hard lot in life. They are answerable to their liege lord, typically a knight, working for him in return for use of his land. Although no law prevents it, social mobility is low, and travel is fairly rare for the average peasant. To them, adventurers are emblematic of a life filled with unimaginable freedom, wealth and novelty. The liege's land is in turn granted to him by a baron in return for paying tithes, maintaining infrastructure like mills and bridges, maintaining a small unit of men-at-arms and keeping his territory clear of bandits, outlaws and threats to law and order. The baron may deprive him of his land and workers if he fails to keep it orderly, although most barons are loathe to do so without just cause. Tyrannical barons quickly earn the ire of the church of Larusel, which they can ill afford. The baron's land is granted by the king, in return for a pledge of allegiance, good management of the land, payment of taxes and the maintainence of a body of armed warriors. The king may dissolve a barony at any time, but such an action would cause a political crisis.
    Burghers, who live in towns and cities, generally pay rent to their landlords in cash, not labour or goods. They make up a tiny middle class of merchants, craftsmen, skilled professionals and officials.

    Halflings or (lightfeet as they are most commonly known) are answerable directly to the king or his chosen representives by way of ancient law. They may not be hindered while moving about lawfully, have the right to stay on any common ground they choose and cross waterways and borders without paying tolls, tariffs or fees. On the king's roads, a band of halflings may declare right of way over anyone but the king himself. As a result of the many legal grey areas involved in imprisoning a lightfoot, most officials find it easier to "encourage" them to move elsewhere. Because of their unique legal status, lightfeet make ready smugglers, fences and highwaymen. A group of lightfeet are generally related, moving around in large extended family units ruled by the family patriarch or matriarch. They are required to maintain the king's roads and signage and provide archers, outriders or light infantry in times of war.

    Elves are ruled directly by their prince, and elvish laws differ from princedom to princedom. The princes are required by treaty to obey, defend and serve the king of Menedy, pay tribute and allow free passage into their lands. Elves and half-elves dwelling in the Princedoms are considered citizens of the Silver Kingdom as well in most cases.

    Dwarves live in fortified "holds" which incorporate workshops, mines, warehouses, domiciles and sometimes farms. A Hold is ruled by a Thane, which is a hereditary title passed on since ancient times. Dwarves pay tax to their Thane who in turn contributes to the coffers of the Council of Thanes and Graves.

    Gnomish graviates run in much the same way, although they tend to be less centralised and occupy more land than holds and have more rurally focused economies. Typically, graviates supply food and timber to holds in return for finely crafted goods and raw materials. A Grave's land typically encompasses two to four burrow settlements, each with a mayor, council and small militia.

    The Council of Thanes and Graves elects a king for life. The king of the Mistholds (called the Low King after the signing of the treaty with Menedy) rules with the concensus of the Council, acting as their voice when dealing with the human kings.

    The Law of the Mistholds require Thanes and Graves to come to each others aid in times of war, but does not stipulate to what degree. Dwarves, with their proud military history, and gnomes, with their organised militias, rarely have trouble coming up with the numbers. The Low King can expect help from the humans, but must contribute troops of his own if called on to do so. Citizens of the Mistholds have free passage in the human lands, and are answerable to local law while in them and vice versa.

    About the Kingdom
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    Nowadays, the term Menedian refers to any subject of the Silver Kingdom, regardless of race. The first Menedians, however, were a few tribes of red-haired humans who dwelt along the south coast of the Sea of Plenty. Their chief god was Olectaus, the Raging Storm, a capricious and short-tempered lord of the seas and of weather. After the revelation of Lacour, Larusel became the chief god and the fire-headed began their conquest of human lands located inland. These men were tall, with dark hair and blue eyes, and were called Orbijers in the Menedian tongue, meaning 'farlanders'. The Orbijer lands were divided up among the new nobility, first the earls and later, the barons. Worship of their gods was permitted, and the pantheon of so-called Peasant Gods was formalized. Most rural centers feature places of worship dedicated to both the Peasant Gods and Larusel, although towards the coast, Larusel is by far the most popular.
    Today, about 95% of the nobility are of Menedian origin. Around 70% of the knighthood and bureaucracy are Menedian. The King's Book states that only a red-headed king or queen may wear the crown.

    Rough Timeline
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    1000 years ago. After a revelation by Lacour, prophet of Larusel, the coastal Menedian tribes sweep north and then west, bringing them into conflict with other human tribes and beginning the Foundation Wars. The red-headed Menedians overrun almost all human lands, but falter upon reaching the Elven princedoms. The nomadic Lightfoot (halfling) tribes swear fealty to the Menedians. The first king of Menedy, Lintarus, in crowned by Lacour and charged with the sacred duty of strengthening the kingdom's borders against the followers of Elmarguus. Lintarus' generals become the first earls, and knighthoods are bestowed upon other heroes of the war. The King's Book collects Menedian laws and establishes a feudal system, and the Crowners are founded to ensure its principles are upheld throughout the land.
    500 years ago. Goblinoid tribes sack all the major settlements of the Gnomish hill folk. Gnomish refugees flee west to their allies, the dwarves, settling the hills and forests near the Dwarven holds. The two races form the nation known as the Mistholds, ruled over by a council of Dwarven thanes and Gnomish graves. The Council of Thanes and Graves elects their first king, a dwarf named Ordrec the Great.
    470 years ago. Menedy invades the former Gnomish lands, driving the goblinoids back into the north. The new territory is given to the first barons. A brief civil war follows, pitting the earls against the king and the new barons. With the aid of halfling outriders, the priesthood of Larusel and elvish mercenaries in the service of the outcast Prince Hydelian, the earls are crushed and new baronies are declared in their place. The Mistholds are drawn into conflict with the Elven Princedoms over new Gnomish graviates established in contested territory.
    460 years ago. Conflict between the three nations ends when the Elven Princedoms are devastated by waves of barbarian tribes from the Brasslands, while goblinoids turn their attention on the Mistholds. Menedy lends aid to both nations after the invaders are shown to be manipulated by Elmarguus' worshipers. Their help comes at a price, though. A rash of treaties see the Princedoms become a protectorate of the King of Menedy, and the shattered Mistholds a semi-autonomous vassal state.
    400 years ago. The armies of the Silver Kingdom successfully reclaim the last of the gnomish lands. Several friendly goblin tribes are incorporated in the kingdom under the Treaty of Iron and Blood, which requires them to provide and supply soldiers to defend the kingdom, but exempts them from any other taxes.
    390 years ago. Under the auspices of the heathen emperor Polyrand the Wicked, an alliance of monstrous forces assault the Kingdom from the west. It is during the decades-long campaign against Polyrand's forces that contact is first made with the ancient nation of Pirilin, which has cloistered itself away for centuries.
    350 years ago.A splinter faction of orcs within Polyrand's forces rebels, severing supply lines and allowing Prince Tyiaclen's elvish warriors to spearhead a successful campaign against Polyrand's territory. The rebellion is put down without mercy, and a few orcish survivors are begrudgingly given shelter in the Silver Kingdom. Their descendants will become the first Menedian half-orcs.
    300 years ago. A plague strikes the kingdom, decimating the northern regions. A horde of undead plague victims march south, besieging the capital and laying the surrounding countryside to waste. A group of heroes who survived the turmoil in the north seek out and destroy the horde's master, a former lieutenant of Polyrand named Dadhur. The horde collapses, and rebuilding begins.
    150 years ago. The Barons of Obarc, Salanter and the Oemandine set out on a campaign against the distant nothern kingdom of Quoreed. Harassed by corsairs that threaten the capital and the Coast of Plenty, the King and other nobles are reluctant to lend much aid to what is viewed as a noble but reckless endeavour. Stewardship over the three baronies, which comprise much of the nation's northern border, is granted to the Ordulains of Langtier, who rule the border regions in consultation with the King. The so-called Barons' Crusade strikes out north, over the River Scrynd, through the Goblin Hills and into the Narinec flatlands, where they vanish, never to be seen or heard from again.
    50 years ago. Coronation of Jucender the Elder, called Jucender Manyblessed during his reign. His rule is characterized by unity and consensus-building within the kingdom, and diplomatic entreaties are made to many of the kingdom's former foes.
    3 years ago. The king dies at the hands of a fanatical follower of Elmarguus. His eldest son, Jucender the Younger, is crowned king of a nation at the height of its power and influence.

    Gods of the Silver Kingdom
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    Domains not listed in the PHB can be found at the links given. All list of the PHB domains can be found here.
    Larusel- Nobility, War, Law, Good
    The Lawful Good being Larusel revealed himself to the prophet Lacour a millennium ago, declaring that the Menedian people were a part of his planned salvation of the mortal world from the wickedness of Elmarguus. Larusel is the crowner of kings, writer of laws and protector of nobility. To hold his favour, rulers must rule wisely and fairly, while their subjects must be loyal and obedient to just rule. His favoured weapon is the longsword.

    Elmarguus- War, Destruction, Chaos, Evil.
    The Chaotic Evil god Elmarguus resents all of Larusel's teachings, and is in all senses his antithesis. The two have been at war with each other since they emerged from the void at the dawn of time. His followers seek to gain power by any means, and would gladly trample over the bodies of millions to achieve their desires. Treachery, mistrust, fear and hatred are his tools, and his favoured weapon is the battleaxe.

    Olectaus- Trickery, Water, Weather, Chaos
    All but forgotten, Olectaus is the god of weather and the seas. His priests have little status in society, and generally only are called upon to bless new vessels and invoke protection on the faithful or very superstitious. Secretly, Olectaus's followers await the devastion of the land in an apocalyptic flood that will return the Menedians to their former faith. He is Chaotic Neutral, and his favoured weapon is the javelin.

    Khrond- Trickery, Chaos, Air, Luck
    Orcish folklore holds that it was the Chaotic Good deity Khrond the Weakling who was cleverest of the brutish Orc gods. His cunning saw him steal Gruunod the Iron Lord's eagle shape, evade punishment and manipulate the lesser orcish gods against each other to cover his tracks. The orcs who rebelled against Polyrand claimed to have been guided by his hand, and many of their descendants follow his commandments- outwit the tyrannical, gull the domineering and challenge fate itself. His favoured weapon is the light flail. As Krone the Quick, he is worshipped as a protector of the sly and enterprising in human settlements. Many of Krone's followers do not even acknowledge his connection to the orc-blooded, and some half-orcs venerate Khrond and Krone as brothers even though they are one and the same. Khrond is also worshipped by humans throughout the Brasslands.

    Ladost- (Strength, Protection, War, Community)
    The dispassionate True Neutral goddess Ladost is invoked by chieftains in the Brasslands to protect their tribes in times of peace and by warriors and barbarian captains ensure victory on the field of battle. Brasslanders have carried worship of Ladost into the Silver Kingdom, although few others venerate her there. Her favoured weapon is the scimitar.

    Meneki- (Law, Repose, Knowledge, Healing)
    Brasslander justice seems brutal and uncivilized to those under the protection of the Silver Kingdom, but those tribes who have passed on the Lawful Neutral teachings of the first judge Meneki by word of mouth for generations beg to differ. Meneki takes great interest in the wellbeing of his followers, and is thought to control life and death for those under his rule. It is said that Meneki can gaze into the past to assay a dying man's character and deeds and determine the path he takes in the afterlife. The future is not unknown to Meneki either, and he can foretell all the virtues and misdeeds a person will ever perform at the very instant of their birth. For this reason, Meneki is considered a protector and educator of youths in the Brasslands. His favoured weapon is the Greatclub.

    The Peasant Gods
    Barand the Smith (Fire, Artifice, Law, Earth)
    Barand the Smith is a Lawful Neutral god of crafts, wealth, diligence and skill. He is a patron of craftsmen, collectors and antiquarians. He rewards honest toil and feats of great skill. His favoured weapon is the warhammer. Dwarves call him Borodan Steelfather, and as Baradad he is worshipped by many hardworking gnomes.

    Lorgeyr the Fisherman (Water, Protection, Travel, Good)
    Lorgeyr the Fisherman governs the inland waterways and those who make their living on them. He is a melancholic god, given to introspection and reflection. His followers aspire to be inquisitive, considerate of others and helpful to those in peril. His favoured weapon is the longspear. A few elvish and lightfoot hermits revere him as the reclusive god Loodyr. Underground streams and most springs and natural wells are the preserve of a dwarven and gnomish deity named Londes, who has much in common with Lorgeyr.

    Gordrum the Hunter (Animal, Chaos, Strength, Good)
    Gordrum the Hunter, a Chaotic Good deity, is the strongest and most courageous of the peasant gods. As their self-appointed protector, he uses all his wits to seek out and destroy evil things that dwell in dark places, and urges his followers to do the same. His favoured weapon is the longbow. Many elves given to the art of war and the thrill of the chase identify him as Gollodyn Fireheart, and certain halfing wanderers attempt to emulate his acts of bravery.

    Midiasc the Ploughman (Sun, Plant, Protection, Good)
    Midiasc the Ploughman is the patron of farmers and those who make their living from the land. He smiles upon those who make responsible use of their property, live frugally and exercise thrift and temperance. His favoured weapon is the scythe. The gnomes also worship him, primarily as a bringer of fertility to the wild groves and orchards of the gnomish Graviates. In their tongue he is named Midaas.

    Sirilane the Weaver (Artifice, Magic, Repose, Good)
    Sirilane the Weaver governs many different arts and sciences, including magic. Additionally, she cares for the souls of the departed and ensures their passage into the afterlife. Her priests often officiate at funerals and maintain burial sites. She demands that the dead be allowed to rest in peace, and rewards cunning and creativity. Her favoured weapon is the dagger. Elves were her earliest followers, and their funeral procedings typically include prayers and offerings to Sirilane the Raven Queen.

    Keles the Herbalist (Plant, Healing, Magic, Good)
    Keles the Herbalist knows all that there is to about the secrets of healing and plants. She commands her followers to study the healing arts for the benefit of others, respect the power of nature, exercise mercy, be compassionate and use knowledge as a tool for good. Her favoured weapon is the sickle. Her worshippers include halfings, gnomes and frequently, elves. In the elvish tongue she is Celest Brightleaf, and to gnomes, Kaal Well-Fare-Thee.

    Tranchke the Brewer (Knowledge, Community, Law, Good)
    Tranchke the Brewer is the goddess of communal gatherings, sharing, mediation and communication. She hosts the gatherings of the peasant gods, as her priests and laity do in the mortal world. Her followers seek to prevent conflict through discussion where possible and rally people to protect and serve their community. Her favoured weapon is the mace. Dwarves worship an even-tempered goddess named Tanakay the Wise who is commonly identified with Tranchke.

    Mersilbe the Muse (Charm, Liberation, Chaos, Good)
    Mersilbe is said to be the fairest of the gods. She is the Chaotic Good patron of creativity, youth and mirth. Her followers hold that joy is the highest good, and that all living things should be free from misery and hardship. Her followers seek out the sources of pain and suffering in the world in the hope that they can make it a better place. Her favoured weapon is the quarterstaff. The gnomes worship her as Mirse, as do the elves.


    Neighbours of the Silver Kingdom
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    The tiny nation of Pirilin lies nestled in the Slatespine Mountains to the west of the elven lands. In the Silver Kingdom, Pirilin is regarded with awe and curiosity, due to its mysterious past, exotic exports and the strange mystics who rule it. Wealthy Menedians enjoy luxuries like herbal medicines, tea, laudanum, silk cloth and spices purchased from Pirileen trade caravans. However, Pirilin is most famous for its warrior monks.
    Before the Foundation Wars, Pirilin and its environs were ruled by a number of warlords famed for their cruelty and brutality. Pirileen mercenaries fought under the banner of Lurtach the Vile, and famously sacked the Elven city of Telunis, stripping it of every ounce of worth and selling its every one of its inhabitants into slavery. This was until the teacher Lu Shen, the vizier to a particularly notorious warlord, retreated into the mountains and developed his famed technique that unified stillness of mind with bodily strength and clarity of purpose. His students, upon mastering the technique, began their own schools of thought. As depredations by greedy warlords increased, Lu Shen's disciples gathered in fortified monasteries and developed their famous martial art. Peasants began relying on nearby abbots, rather than warlords, for protection, providing the monks with food and services in return.
    The monasteries eventually managed to completely undermine the warlords and their petty kingdoms, although some, like the Temple of Iron Patience, were tyrannical themselves. The Pirileen nobility remains to this day, although they are largely powerless and function much like merchants and guildmasters do in the east.
    A conclave of abbots held around 900 years ago sent Pirilin into virtually complete isolation from the outside, and the infamous Pirileen passed into legend. It was not until the invasion of Polyrand the Wicked that the Silver Kingdom came into contact with Pirilin again.
    Pirileen monks often wander the Silver Kingdom in search of tests and challenges. A few, like Jen Mi of the Blue Lotus Way, have become famous adventurers, renowned in song and legend. Not all Pirileen monks were born in the mountains; a small number hail from the east, having trekked to the mountains and later returned to their homelands.

    Further east lie the Brasslands, once the territory of the mighty emperor Polyrand. After the fall of Polyrand's empire, it was split by many warring factions into a constantly shifting patchwork of tribal lands, kingdoms and fiefs. Menedians view the Brasslanders as warlike savages more akin to beasts than men, however a number of these so-called barbarians have achieved fame and fortune through their exploits.
    The Brasslands are a forbidding place, full of thick forests, desolate moors and misty hills. Bands of orcs, ogres and trolls make their home here, and many Brasslanders are themselves part orc. The restless dead stalk the countryside, raised by Polyrand's magicians to bolster his ranks in the desperate final days of his reign. Legends speak of shapeshifters who are neither wholly beast or man, while telll others of folk who are descended from the unpredictable genies and fiendish things too terrible to even contemplate.
    Strangely, many Lightfoot families have traditionally ventured into the Brasslands to trade, and these Halflings are often conversant in the barbarian pidgin tongue used throughout it. In fact, the legendary Halfling thief Poriten's closest ally was a towering halforc named Murroki, who started out as a hired caravan guard. Other Brasslanders have found their way into the Silver Kingdom as mercenaries, trackers or on shamanic quests.
    Last edited by Hairb; 2008-09-04 at 11:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    I won't be a total nazi about this, but I'd like a certain format for posting to make things easy to read. Blocks of coloured text give me the pip, I've discovered, but hopefully this format will be easy to use and read. Let's take a peek at what Iauk, the half-orc thief:


    Iauk came to a stop and hissed "Wait here. I'll check the door." then crept up to the closed door. After spending a moment inspecting it for traps, he gingerly pressed his ear up against it and listened.
    Spoiler
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    Move Silently:
    [roll]1d20+5[/roll]
    Search:
    [roll]1d20+6[/roll]
    Listen:
    [roll]1d20+9[/roll]

    Obviously, if I find a trap, I won't risk setting it off just to listen at the door. BTW, does failing Disable Device checks set off the trap?

    Iauk and his party (the Minstrels of Armatier, at your service) run into an irate bugbear (in square D4) later down the track. While Lamond the elvish swordsman holds it at bay (in square D3), Iauk (in square B3) tries to engage it with a punch dagger to the kidneys...

    Iauk snuck around the creatures flank, giving its flailing morningstar a wide berth. Sighting an open chink in the beast's armour, he drove his punch dagger into it's exposed back. "How's that feel?!" he snarled.
    Spoiler
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    Move to D5 via B5. Because of my Mobility feat, I get a +4 bonus to AC against attacks of opportunity I provoke in C5 and D5.
    Attack (punch dagger) including flanking bonus:
    [roll]1d20+4[/roll]
    For confirming criticals:
    [roll]1d20+4[/roll]
    Damage
    [roll]1d4+1[/roll]
    Crit damage
    [roll]2d4+1[/roll]
    Sneak Attack
    [roll]1d6[/roll]
    In that example, letting me know about the feat wasn't necessary, but a helpful reminder anyway. Roll your critical confirmation roll and damage to save you having to do it later if you do roll a threat.
    Last edited by Hairb; 2008-07-24 at 09:07 AM.

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    Default Re: Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    This story begins at the Northern Gate of Lorhain, a major town in the Barony of Armatier that sits on the nexus of trade routes from the Mistholds, the southern plains and elvish princedom of Arc Melene and, most importantly of late, Greater Langtier.

    The town's social fabric has been in chaos for weeks, as waves of travellers head off for the troubled north and refugees, outlaws and deserters for the baron's army flee the other way. In almost any tavern, sullen folk claiming to be "of the north" offer stories and advice in exchange for drinks or coppers, although few of them can offer anything above and beyond the thousands of tales and rumours already spreading through the town. Many moneylenders have shut up shop, knowing that a man could disappear into the city like a pebble into sea, never to be seen again. Finding a place to stay is almost impossible; tenements and flophouses are overflowing, innkeepers have found themselves able to charge whatever they like and still be turning people away of an evening, and a number of enterprising folk have converted barns and warehouses into dormitories. Hundreds more sleep rough every night.

    Getting out to Armatier and into Langtier is risky. Bandits and outlaws have always been common in the north, but the threat they pose now is impossible to ignore. As always, safety rests in numbers. Some shrewd merchants have started paying travellers' food and board in exchange for travelling with their caravan; it's cheaper than hiring bodyguards.

    A fat merchant in Lorhain is headed north with a wagonload of grain destined for the mills of Langtier, and wants some extra people in his group for the trip to the market town of Ormoil. At 3 silver pieces a day, the man's pay isn't great, but it will make your expedition into the kingdom's north a little more comfortable.

    The man and his four sons arrive at the gate at 8 bells, and already you and a crowd of others have gathered just inside the gates. He casts an eye over the group and picks you and five others from the crowd.

    "Three stallions a day, and that's all I'm paying. If the innkeeper charges us more, then that's coming out of your pocket, not mine. Sound fair? I don't care if some fellow offered you twice that last week, there's plenty here who want the place if you don't."

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    Default Re: Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    Behlan

    As the merchant inspected the ragtag crowd Behlan pulled at the hood of his battered cloak, shielding his eyes (and the slight hangover he was nursing) from the sun. He grinned at the man's final choices, presumably he looked cheap, and carefully swung his pack onto his back. He didn't even pause to think about the offer; he was going north and now someone was willing to pay him to do it.

    "Good enough," he said cheerily as he stepped forward. "You've got a deal."

    So what if the money wasn't great, he thought as he smiled widely at the merchant, it was clear from the man's girth that he could afford to have a few coins liberated from him on the way.

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    Default Re: Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    Vespe

    Vespe watched as the merchant gazed at the crowd, and grew nervous. He had certainly overstayed his welcome in this town, and this...WONDERFUL trader came just in the knick of time...not that there had been much of a choice for Vespe in the first place. The alternative, staying here, was a rather unpleasant idea. He re-adjusted his pack, ran his hands through his hair, and began tapping his foot anxiously.

    When the merchant's hand pointed at him, he rushed through the masses and gave a salute to his new employer, followed by vigorously shaking the man's outstretched hand and, as if making a sales pitch, quickly exclaimed "You've made an excellent choice sir, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed. My name is Vespe Ratavo and may I say it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm a skilled diplomat, negotiator, barterer, salesperson, all-around general troubleshooter, entertainer, and something of a translator, although I'm afraid I can only speak Common, Elvish and Orc, is that a problem?" Vespe allowed approximately one tenth of a second for the man to respond before continuing.

    "I understand your concern, sir, but I'll have you know I am also a trained bodyguard, well versed in arts of the martial variety, so fear not for the safety of you and your..." Vespe took a quick look at the trader's sons- "sons. Your...wonderful...sons. Of course..." he mumbled, his smile quickly disappearing.

    With renewed eagerness, he asserted "Well, without further ado, I'm ready to leave whenever you're ready, sir. No sir, no further business in this town, I'm ready to leave soon...whenever you say..."

    He looked left, then right, then whispered "You know, if we leave as soon as possible, we can miss the worst of the bandits. They're a lazy lot, they are. Just a thought, sir.

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    Default Re: Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    Aliron sighed and tugged at the bottom of his glove. "No sense in staying in this overcrowded cesspool much longer," he stated to the merchant, peering obliquely at the party. "This lot would be as good as any other." He leaned in closer and, with a slight grimace, intentionally whispered loud enough for everyone else to hear, "You can't trust anybody these days," and patted some dust off his own shoulder. He continued to tidy himself, tightening his cloak while circling the wagons as if to inspect them.

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    Default Re: Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    Derel

    Seeing the merchant look his way and give him a nod, Derel lifted his pack to go and join the others chosen.

    "What d'you reckon to this lot"? he mumbled to the raven perched precariously on his shoulder, what with it being almost one third the size of his small frame itself.
    "Should be alright as long as tubby doesn't sit on you" she cawed back just loud enough for those around them to hear, but not loud enough for any of the travelling companions to notice.

    Supressing a laugh, Derel walked up to the merchant, shook him by the hand and greeted him with the words "you made a smart choice today boss".
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  9. - Top - End - #9
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    SolithKnightGuy

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    Rafe

    Rafe taps his forehead in a quick salute of acceptance. He has no doubt that his chainmail and shield influnced the merchants decision. He had been about to volenteer his services as a cleric, but he was not about to complain. As he intruduced himself to the merchant he wondered if the man even noticed the holy symbol hanging from his swords pommel.

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    Groj

    Groj nodded brusquely, acknowledging his name as he stepped forward. The grim look on his face shifted to -- well, still grim. Three stallions wasn't much, but the idea that he'd waste it on an inn was a laugh. He'd have to share that with his friends back home... eventually.

    Something like a smile flickered in the recesses of the ranger's eyes as he surveyed the trio of elves (no, one's a half-breed...), but his jaw twitched at the sight of the staff-wielding lightfoot and his ratty black bird. Gonna have to watch the posse more n' the road. Still, the -- cleric? paladin? -- didn't seem to be ready to run off with half a dozen saddlebags at a moment's notice like the others. The first elf, now circling the wagons, was as obvious as could be, while the other pointy-ear, the one with the banjo strapped to his back, was still trying to extract his lips from moneybag's asscheeks.

    Grojimar looked back at the crowd still milling about and glaring at the lucky chosen. He pointedly clicked his pony closer, yanked his battered halberd out of it holster straps, and sauntered not-so-casually up to the largest and meanest-looking of them, slammed the butt of his weapon on the ground, and bellowed in the man's face: "AWRIGHT! Yew heard the man! Get yer asses in gear and clear out -- jes' like yer momma, bossman ain't got no use f'r ya, n' neither do I. 'F I see any yer faces again, ye'll be wishin' yew were a Brasslander's b****, that's a ga-ron-tee! Now git!!"

    Staring the much larger man in the eye wasn't easy, but Groj just pictured his elder sister -- Screw you, Tanisha -- and nothing before him seemed remotely threatening. Finally, the man broke away, then waved at his cronies to join him. The rest of the crowd seemed to deflate at once, and many began to pick up their belongings and leave.

    Groj casually reached over to his pony and flipped open the old leather saddlebag, extracting a carrot. His newly-shaved chin itched, but he did not scratch. The pony nipped at his fingers and he leaned his bulk on the halberd, not noticing the merchant and his man's reappraisal of their selection.
    "Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible." --Miguel de Unamuno

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    Default Re: Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    "Yea'll do, you lot. Throw yer kit onto Arne's wagon there, if you feel like it." The merchant indicates the wagon driven by his eldest son, a thoughtful looking fellow of about 25 who's been appraising the crowd the whole time.

    The merchant speaks to the rest of the crowd, who have started turning disappointedly away. "If you're looking to head north still, I hear the Baron made another order of grain only yesterday. Best of luck!" He climbs aboard the last of three wagons, and shouts to Arne to lead the way. The second wagon, larger than the first and pulled by a pair of oxen, is driven by two twin boys no older than 19 and follows the first out of the city. The last one is of a similar size, and in addition to the merchant, bears his youngest son, a nervous looking beanpole of a child.

    "Spread out around the wagons. We'll look a little better organised than if you hang about like a gaggle o' geese," the merchant says, "And for the sake of holiness, keep up!"

    Spoiler
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    I'll need to know where each of you is positioned in the convoy: near the front, the back etc. I also need to know what gear you're putting on Arne's wagon, and how fast you can move per round.
    Last edited by Hairb; 2008-07-27 at 08:06 AM.

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    Vespe

    Breathing a sigh of relief, Vespe removed his backpack, opened it, and removed two small pouches from it, which he affixed to his belt. He then set the pack in Arne's wagon, nestled in in with the wagon's other contents.

    Money and wool secure, and with a large burden off of him (in more ways than one) Vespe took a place in the middle of the caravan, happily tapping the ground with his walking stick (and idly wondering if he was correct about the local bandits being late sleepers) as he followed the wagons out of the city.

    Spoiler
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    To clarify, my spell component and money pouches are now attached to my belt. The reference to wool is due to the fact that, interestingly, wool is the only material component I need at the moment.

    My "walking stick" is actually my quarterstaff, and therefore my quarterstaff is readied in case of combat. My rapier, lute, spell component pouch, and money pouch are all being carried on my person. I'm already wearing the leather armor, in case that wasn't clear.

    My current position is to the right of the second wagon, and since my pack and everything in it is in the wagon, my movement rate increases to 30 feet, and I take no penalty on Hide, Jump, etc. (I would reflect this on my sheet, but I'd probably end up messing it up somehow )

    I'd also like to go ahead and make a Bardic Knowledge check to see if I actually DO know anything relevant about the local bandits.

    Bardic Knowledge Check - (d20+3)[15]

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    Behlan

    Behlan looked around at his traveling companions with interest as he made his way to the front wagon. His attention, however, was quickly caught by the Halfling or, rather, the disproportionately large Raven perched on his shoulder.

    Turning to the wagon he nodded to the young man, presumably Arne, in friendly manner before tossing his pack into the back. "Cheers."

    He stretched his arms back and sighed in relief as he turned back to the others. "I think we can trust each other." He smiled.

    Watching the enthusiastic young elf (Vespe was it?) take up position at the middle wagon Behlan stepped after him. The last thing he wanted was to end up spending hours having to walk next to the pompous man with the pony, and Vespe at least seemed entertaining.

    As he made his way to the wagon he passed the Halfling and his Raven, unable to resist any longer, Behlan stepped over to the pair. "Cool bird," he said by way of greeting. Closer to the bird he was even more impressed. "Does it talk?" he asked eagerly, reaching forward incautiously to touch the Raven.

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    Everything in Behlan's pack is now in the wagon, so that everything except weapons and ammunition. He's taken up position near the middle and walks at 30ft per round

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    I think I'll list information gleaned from knowledge checks and the like in order from most to least commonly known:
    • It is common knowledge that those on the run from the law often flee to nearby forests, caves, hills, or sometimes even ruins, abandoned mine workings and the like. The outlaws prey on travellers, holding them up for their goods, attacking their encampments after dark or sometimes kidnapping them and ransoming them off.
    • Stories of daring "bandit kings" are quite common. Some are popular folk heroes, while others are feared and hated. Their reputation often leads to their capture, so the stories of these men and women typically outlive the bandit kings themselves.
    • Bandits often work together, although attacks by lone highwaymen are not unknown either. As they are often poorly skilled and underequipped they almost solely attack soft targets, and use ambush tactics calculated to achieve maximum effect with minimum outlay of ammunition.
    • The most famous group of outlaws in the kingdom's north are in the service of a man known as Bael Bracain, who claims to be the heir to the Barony of Salanter. His territory lies far to the west, however.
    Last edited by Hairb; 2008-07-27 at 09:55 AM.

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    Rafe

    Rafe nods and tosses his whole pack into the wagon, though he wouldn't really have minded carrying it on the march. Almost as an afterthought he snatches his pouch from the top of his backpack. As the wagons begin to move Rafe settles in to the front, eyes wide open.


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    I'm down to my chainmail, sheild, spell component pouch, holy symbol, and longsword. Oh, and his signal whistle. That's a 15 ft. movment speed I think.
    Last edited by The_JJ; 2008-07-27 at 11:17 AM.

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    Grojimar

    "C'mon, Human," Grojimar muttered to his pony. "Looks like this train's a-movin already." Human whinnied, searching Groj's fingers for leftover carrot as he was slowly led to the front of the caravan. The ranger calmly took in each of the wagons, animals, and drivers, until he reached the cleric, whose wide-eyed gaze and active, open stance provided a striking counterpoint to Groj's narrow-beam stare and closed, crossed-arm position.

    "We might as well be friendly. You a cleric r' a paladin?" Groj asked through the chew he'd begun working over. Groj mused over Rafe's response, then continued the conversation in slow spurts, first offering his name ("Call me Groj. M' from hereabouts.") and asking him about his purpose and what he thought they should be most concerned about. "Round here, it's the organized ones what matter. Random crooks ain't gonna be a problem, 'specially not f'r you n' me."

    As the conversation dies down after 20-30 minutes, Groj will give his farewell ("Ah prefer to ride wit th' back. Look like you c'n hold th' front.") and mosey back to the back of the caravan, where he'll make friends with the youngest son using casual talk about how his pony is named Human and how that means the animal will walk into the house with you...

    Spoiler
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    Should I roll for Diplomacy with the young boy? I have it part of Groj's character that he gets along with children, but I don't know if you want to make it a dice-based situation or not.

    After his convo with Rafe, Groj will move to the back of the caravan and keep a careful eye out for ambush locations. He'll also think about what he knows about the local area, geography, and nature.

    Roll for Spot of the wagons, horses, and people (or should that be search?): (d20+1)[10]
    Roll for Listen of the wagons and people, in case there are NPC convos he can overhear: (d20+1)[11]

    Roll for Spot of possible ambushes(or should that be search?): (d20+1)[2]
    Roll for Knowledge - Nature: (d20+4)[7]
    Roll for Knowledge - Local: (d20+4)[16]
    Roll for Knowledge - Geography: (d20+3)[6]
    "Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible." --Miguel de Unamuno

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    Grojimar

    Groj loosely ties Human to the front corner of the last wagon, so the animal -- which will often wander off and return on its own, thinking itself and independent human rather than a beast of burden -- can free itself during an attack.

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    Most of Groj's gear is on his pony. He's carrying his halberd, dagger, and shortbow with arrows, as well as his backpack and his waterskin. I don't think my sheet is calculating correctly right now -- I think I have 58.5 lbs on him, so he's just over the light load. If an attack occurs, Groj will drop his backpack where he stands or toss it into the wagon if it's still moving and be at full speed (30?).
    Last edited by Cyranojoe; 2008-07-27 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Adding name
    "Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible." --Miguel de Unamuno

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    Default Re: Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    Aliron

    Aliron made his way to the front of the caravan and pulled on the straps of his backpack to leverage the weight with his hands. "No sense to adding fuel to a potential fire," he said bluntly.

    Noticing the merchant's quizzical expression, he said, "Don't worry though, I'm sure if we're ambushed they won't set fire to the wagons first. No use in running into the clanking wall here just for ash," nodding at Rafe.

    "They'll burn them after they're done with us. Come on you metal parapet of tortoise stroll! Put some spry in your step. Slow and steady does not win the race" he said, hopping onto the wagon and hopping off on the other side.

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    Front of the wagons, 30 feet with everything in pack, I believe.
    Last edited by aliron; 2008-07-27 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Split into paragraphs...not used to writing one sided dialogue.

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    Derel

    With the merchants words Derel hoisted his pack and started to walk with the convoy. His plan was to wait until everyone took their prefered positions and then slot himself between the two most metal covered individuals.

    As he was walking the Half-Elf came up besides him and commented on Braan.
    About to show him that she could indeed talk the Elf then made the rather foolish mistake of trying to touch her.

    Through their empathic bond Derel sensed a rush of annoyance at the hand coming towards Braan and with loud caw she bit his finger.

    "Sorry friend, she prefers if you ask her permision before you go groping her" Derel told Behlan, half sincerely half amused, as he moved to the other side of the wagons, setting himself up halfway between the Cleric in the front and the shouty nutjob in the back.
    As he moved Braan called to the Half-Elf "by the way yes I can talk, and next time you try to pet me it'll be your nads instead of your finger".

    Spoiler
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    I am keeping my pack because it doesn't affect my speed or spells as it is a light load. I have my spell components pouch, sling with bullets, and my quarterstaff on my person. This means I move at 20ft and am positioned with the middle cart on the opposite side to Vespe.

    As for Braan attacking Behlan I don't think initiative is needed because it was a suprise attack, which means it goes against his flat footed AC. Also because she was just trying to make him pull back his hand she would only do nonlethal damage.
    Braan attack = (1d20+4)=17. Braan damage = (1d2+2)=3 (nonlethal)
    Last edited by Kobold-Bard; 2008-07-28 at 05:02 AM. Reason: Added Italics
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    Behlan

    Behlan pulled his hand back sharply as the bird bit at his fingers.
    "Sorry," he said, his tone both apologetic and disappointed.

    His eyes widened as soon as the bird started talking, though it took a moment for it's words to sink in. Once they had Behlan threw his head back, his hood falling to his neck with the sudden movement, and started laughing.

    He looked back to the bird and, speaking directly to it, said enthusiastically, "really cool!"

    He turned back to his position with the wagons and he tried to shake the pain out of his finger as he took stock of their surrounding.
    Last edited by vomit_bunny; 2008-07-28 at 09:39 AM.

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    Grojimar

    Now at the end of the group, Groj muttered to Human, "Keep yer eyes on them up front, 'specially the boy," gesturing to the sorcerer. Groj squeezed his fists, cracked his knuckles slowly. "Ah'll watch fer the fellas from back in town."

    Most likely gonna get jumped by the folks they didn't pick, he thought. Idjits f'r making sech a scene about pickin' their crew like that. They was fixin' to jump us then n' there, too, no chance to move 'r fight back.

    He continued to work over his chew, his cold blue stare freezing soldiers and peasants alike as the caravan made its slow way out of Lorhain's immediate environs.
    "Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible." --Miguel de Unamuno

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    Rafe
    Rafe nods at Groj. His right hand drifts to his sword, and then to the holy symbol hanging from it. "Yeah, I'm a cleric to Larusel. Newly initiated though, I spent a lot of time out in the Brasslands. I'm Corp- uh, just Rafe now." His accent is a bit weird, obviously attempting to mimic the upper class diction, but it keeps sliping into something from the eastern edge of the Silver Kingdom.

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    Derel

    "Ha, I think you made a friend" Derel said to Braan.

    "He should be so lucky" she replied. "And remember your supposed to be guarding this thing so keep you eyes open".

    "Alright alright. Tell you what why don't you go take a birds eye view". He smirked as he made this last comment.

    "Y'know that gets funnier every time you use it Shortstack" replied Braan as she took off to fly over the middle wagon, near to Derel.

    Spoiler
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    Ok so now I'm actively watching for anything that might be a threat, as is Braan. Rolls are as follows.
    Derel Spot - (1d20+3)[22]
    Derel Listen - (1d20+5)[16]
    Braan Spot - (1d20+5)[13]
    Braan Listen - (1d20+5)[20]
    Last edited by Kobold-Bard; 2008-07-28 at 11:22 AM. Reason: Added Bold and Italics
    Zenithbold-Bard by Lord Raziere | Backer #121 of the Giantitp Kickstarter | My homebrew
    Quote Originally Posted by OverlordJ View Post
    New law: Obey me or you'll be crushed by a MOUNTAIN.

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Vespe

    Vespe had grown bored. Tapping his walking stick against the ground was fun to begin with, and the ordeal with almost striking a pebble had jarred him, but all the same it was rather dull.

    During the journey so far, Vespe had been mulling over his traveling companions, and in particular who would be the most fun to chat with. The trader and his sons wouldn't be interested in chatting with their discount bodyguards. The man in chain mail didn't seem very jovial at the moment. The other elf seemed rather blunt, and frankly not very nice. The big guy carrying the warhammer was rather intimidating. The halfing seemed nice enough, but he and his bird seemed busy looking for...something.

    That, of course, left the half-elf. He certainly seemed like a...a...gregarious (right, that was the word, he thought) sort, and definitely the least likely to smash his skull or turn him into a frog or something.

    Vespe walked over to Behlan. Hello! My name's Vespe. Vespe smiled very sincerely as he said this. What's yours?
    Last edited by Vespe Ratavo; 2008-07-28 at 06:19 PM.

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    Behlan

    Behlan smiled and reached out to Vespe with his unbitten hand as the elf introduced himself. "Behlan," he said cheerfully in reply. "I couldn't help over hearing your introduction. Bad habit, I know," he added unapologetically, not that Vespe had been particularly quite about it. "Pretty impressive stuff."

    He turned and looked around the road they were travelling on, trying to spot anything out of the ordinary, though he was still speaking as he did, "I also couldn't help noticing the lute." He grinned back over his shoulder. "So, do you know any decent songs?"

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    spot check - (d20+6)[21]
    Last edited by vomit_bunny; 2008-07-29 at 07:12 AM.

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    Vespe

    "Of course!" Vespe removed his lute. The instrument was rather battered and old-looking, and seems to have some small pieces of wood missing. "Now...if I can just remember..." He took a minute to tune it, then started to play.

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    Perform - (d20+7)[13]

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    Derel

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    Intelligence check to see if Derel knows the tune Vespe is playing (1d20+1)[15] Higher than his perform so I'll assume I passed.


    Derel heard the music coming from the other side of the wagon he was standing next to. After a few seconds he realised that he knew the tune the Elf was playing. It was a popular travelling song he had heard a couple of times. Not the best rendition in the world**, but maybe that was just because it was early and the singer was still tired.

    More enthused for the journey thanks to the music Derel called to the bard
    "Not bad friend, keep it up and we might actually make it north without dying of boredom".

    After a few more bars Derel started to whistle along with the song.

    **
    Spoiler
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    Not the best rendition is not meant as mean, but based on this a perform roll of 13 is only a routine performance.
    Last edited by Kobold-Bard; 2008-07-30 at 04:52 AM.

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    The six of you march onwards at an easy walking pace towards the border under an overcast autumn sky. The road is empty, and nobody hears or sees anything as you pass neat, well maintained fields and small thickets. The low hills in the distance gradually draw a little nearer as the dull sun climbs higher and higher.

    Rafe
    Keeping your position in the convoy is absolutely exhausting. After four hours, you feel utterly fatigued and worn out.

    Derel
    Flying above the wagons, Braan can see the the road continue roughly northward, crossing a river about 12 miles north from here. Keeping up with the big fellows and the carts requires you to keep a brisk pace but nothing overly strenous.

    Groj
    "It's a nice pony." says the boy, whose name seems to be Milto. Aside from that, he isn't terribly excited by your animal. He seems to be mostly listening to his father go on for hours about the finer points of the grain trade: how to spot a good deal and avoid a bad one, recognising spoiled produce and how best to cut your losses when you have some, a few unusual methods of pest extermination and the like. Milto listens to his father obediently, who makes no efforts to include you in the conversation.

    A halt is called around noon, as the convoy passes the ruins of a stone structure. The circle of stone remanents indicates a round building about 30ft in diameter once stood here. The three older boys unhitch the animals one by one and lead them to drink rainwater from a cistern formed out of the rubble while Milto and his father take shelter from the wind's chill in the ruins.

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    Braan's "attack" on Behlan probably hurt, but not enough to deal even nonlethal. I'm assuming everyone's on the lookout, so no need to keep rolling spot and listen checks.

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    Behlan

    Behlan had listened happily to Vespe play as they walked, tapping in time to the music against the hilt of his sword once the pain in his fingers died down. The tune was nice. Nothing special, but then expecting someone to produce a virtuoso performance at the drop of hat, while walking though notorious bandit country, was a bit much.

    The walk itself was relatively pleasant, especially with Vespe impromptu entertainment, and by the time they stopped Behlan was feeling fine, his headache having cleared sometime earlier, if a little thirsty.

    He wandered to the first wagon, as the merchant's sons took care of the animals, and hauled his pack down from where he'd left it earlier, quickly rummaging through it for his waterskin. He pulled it free and knocked back a few mouthfuls as he eyed his travelling companions. The quieter of the two humans, the one who'd decided to walk up front, was looking a little worse for wear, he noted.

    Behlan thrust he waterskin towards the man."Um," he started, realising he had no clue what the guy's name was, he shrugged and continued, "water?"
    Last edited by vomit_bunny; 2008-07-30 at 06:45 AM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Strange Rumblings in Langtier: Party No. 1

    Grojimar

    As the caravan comes to a halt, Groj mutters to Human, "Great place for an ambush, huh?" Noticing the merchants' boys leading the oxen to the cistern, he shakes his head. "And a great place to poison animals, too. Think they'll pay us if they get thesselves killed?" He doesn't move to stop them, though, and instead leans his halberd against a nearby stump and hefts his pack atop Human. He rustles through the bag, finally pulling out a scratched and dented tin flask.

    "Here," he says to the horse, pouring water out of his own waterskin. "Ain't tainted with nuthin' but Lorhain's finest crapwater." The horse whinnies and snorts, looks longingly at the cistern 20 yards away, then lets his tongue lap up the offering.

    After taking a gulp for himself, Groj stows his pack and halberd on the pony and pulls out his warhammer, which he straps to his back, and arms himself with his shortbow and arrows. Seeing Milto and his father enter the ruins, Groj grumbles, then yells, "Somebody watch the perimeter!" as he hustles after the departing clients.

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    "Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible." --Miguel de Unamuno

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