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Just looked it up. Higher ground is actually only +1 to attack with a melee weapon. The first one falls with an arrow in his spine. Leriond chimes in with his own familiar twang attack - (1d20+6)damage - (1d8+2). Down goes number two.
one of the rats makes it up the stairs attack - (1d20)damage - (1d4), biting at your feet.
She's got nothing really. A pocketknife, a pair of keys, a purse with a few (7) silver pieces. The bolt in her eye has some striping on it, the kind used by an archer to identify his ammunition, but you don't recognize it.
Take the pocket knife, keys, silver and bolt. Put my bow and short sword away and get out two daggers. Then go over to the barn and check it out, then check the house, by knocking on the door. Then if it is answered ask for directions to the town. If no answer, try a key to the door. Have Leriond keep watch.
From the size of the key, one goes tot he padlock on the barn door. The cows inside are very distressed, having not been milked since probably the day before. The house is empty; the old woman lived by herself. Whisperdowns is probably the nearest town.
Grab Lerion, and fill him in. Then stop by the nearest farm on the way back to town and and have him give them some BS story about how we found the woman dead, blah blah blah, free milk for them. I proceed on and we can meet back at the inn we stayed in earlier. Report to the garrisson commander ASAP, unless he doesn't want to be disturbed. Then wait until morning.
You find a farm a mile away. Now that you think of it, no one is out and about there either. After a little poking around, you find a man's body in the barn, a woman and two children in the house, and a farmhand in the stable, all dead. Most shot by crossbows, apparently taken by surprise. The farmhand apparently put up a fight, as a pitchfork is stuck in the wall by the stable door.
As Jaster grabbed the foreign coin and bolts he has some evidence The rats are dead. But I wouldn't have disturbed you except for so is the old bat and everyone one every farm I visited on the way back. I don't know what is going on, but these are the only clues I found. The knife was on the old woman. The bolts were in everybody and I found the coin on a farm. I want my 50 gold. The deal was for killing the rats, everything else is a bonus for you, even if she is dead.
You had his attention at "so is the old bat and everyone one every farm I visited on the way back." He sinks back into his chair. All dead, you say. It does follow you around, doesn't it. He waves a hand to his steward to pay you. These are Smirnoff's national colors, he whispers.
*Smirnoff is one of the other Nations to the east that the Elven Empire was trying to enforce the peace in.
**You still need to fix your XP, and I'm taking off for the night.
Well, now I have a target. I can't think of any other reason the orcs would wipe us out. This move is too soon to be coincidental. Now I know who is responsible and they will pay. Then with a more pontificating air. And maybe save your town in the process.
Fool! You know nothing. The Elven Empire has not been attacked for over three hundred years. I remember the Last War. It wasn't pretty. We must at all costs prevent an escalation of hostilities. If I ever hear that you have interfered in this matter, I will skin you myself.
*At level 4 you should only have 8,700 XP. If you had 14,700 you would already be level 5. And add 150 for the rats.
What about the crossbow bolts, where do they come from? Look around, this isn't a normal border incursion. Someone wants to start a war.You can do what you want. I will never seek you out again.
Go to the inn and pick up 5 days worth of food and a blanket somewhere. Then go to the outlying farms and see if Jaster can pick up the trail. Leriond can come or stay. Jaster is going to try to find the top guy responsible for the incursion. This may take some time. Also, give Leriond his share of the gold (25gp).
Very well. Hey, I would be glad have you watch my back in a fight. I may defy authority, but I keep my word. As a fellow Two Edged Sword, don't be afraid to call for help, I will hear you out. You have your own path. Follow it.
Survival for tracks. (1d20+5)
They have at least half a day's head start, maybe more. You are so good at tracking, however, that you are able to follow their tracks well after dark, even going your normal speed. The moon is shining, aiding your pursuit.
*It's supposed to be one check every mile, but we'll make it every hour or until terrain changes.
Make another check.
They've got an 18 mile head start, and are not making any effort to hide their trail. 2 humans, and one half orc. Think Princess Bride. Jaster has so far gone 3 hours, or nine miles. They are nine miles ahead.