Ongoing Games (In-Character)Play-by-post games are going on in this forum as we speak (well, read). All threads on this board are actual games, so please, only post on a thread if you are a player of that game.
Summoning up his complete knowledge of cave lore, Estanos finds it... lacking. The only thing that comes to mind is," If we find a chamber filled with many bats, we must be cautious. Their dung is reputedly exceedingly noxious; there are stories of healthy, grown men being struck dead by the stuff."
After sharing that pleasant tid bit, he crosses his arms and hurries up and waits for the vanguard to examine the cave.
"Now we're concerned about dung?" Viktor asks, frowning, before cracking a rare smile. "I just fell into a bit full of bones and inhabited by an enormous spider - I think dung is within my ability to handle." The paladin beckons the others to follow him into the cave.
Illuminated by Ilya's stone, you can see that the cave is far from a sprawling labyrinth. It is a single, narrow chamber that slopes downhill from the entrance in a sort of crude, naturally-occurring ramp. More bats hang from the ceiling, and the ground, though in places covered in guano, is not so noxious as to be harmful.
The magically-lit stone displays more than a simple cave, however. Its white light falls over the cave walls and ceiling, and, when touched by the brilliance, they begin to glitter with golden light. But it is not magic or a trick of the eye. What glitters are veins or metal that criss-cross the walls. And it is not just any metal... The cave sparkles with the aura of gold.
Last edited by ApatheticAbacus : 06-29-2012 at 12:35 AM.
"Our discovery - pardon, Father Estanos' discovery - of this cave is fortuitous," Viktor says, looking at the walls of the cave with an impassive expression. "We should mark it on our map, so that it might serve the future settlers of this land. For the time being, however, I see little here that we can do."
"Well, well, well," Zinovia says, looking avariciously at the golden veins. "Estanos, would you be so good as to mark this on our maps." Evidently, the wizardess has decided that she lacks the interest to keep the group's maps in order, and that no one but the priest and herself have the capability to do so.
" And how would you handle such excretions, Viktor? No armor can ward against its diseased emanations, nor can any sword which I know cleave the illness it brings." Estanos guides as he descends the slope with the others, keeping his eyes on the ceiling, as though the bats themselves were the potential hazard. " Dangers should not be dismissed merely because they are mundane."
After spending a few moments gazing upon the golden tinged walls with a wide smile, Estanos nods at Zinovia's request. " Of course. Consider it already done."
Zinovia chuckles. "Much as it would be amusing to see the noble knight battling back muck, or attempting to do so, I believe that the bats ought to be flushed out easily enough by loud noises. And when the time comes to make use of this, I shall incinerate the guano from the entrance."
The location of the gold deposit is mapped, and you make camp outside it for the night.
12 Gozran, 4708
A frosty morning greets you, with winter's chill still lingering over the Greenbelt today, despite a clear, pale blue sky. The grassy plains continue for miles. The contours of the ancient land are low rises and gently sloping hills. You spot a few dugouts cut into the hills, simple timber structures with tanned pelts hanging on racks outside.
These are the sorts of hunters' dwellings common to much of Brevoy and beyond. They are used to winter-over. With the spring hunting season, they are empty.
Travelling is an excellent time to read your letter. Opening it, you find a nondescript piece of parchment with a brief message written upon it.
I do not write this to ask something of you. I instead desired to wish you good fortune in your travels, and remind you of the importance of your mission. The Stolen Lands is vital territory that cannot be allowed to remain untaken. It will tip the balance.
All the best to you. Make us proud.
Moving on, a small rise in the grasslands attracts your attention. It has a single tree atop it. It looks to be long dead, with sun-bleached, knotted branches and a gnarled trunk. Recognizing it as the tree on your recently-found map, you approach it. At the tree's base, between old roots, a segment of the earthy ground is out of place, its dirt disturbed and upturned into a mound.
Quick inspection reveals that the dirt is covering something, and a few minutes of digging unearths a rough brown satchel. Inside is a thin reedy wand with a silver bauble on one end, a thick silver ring, and a small book.
You identify the wand as a wand of magic missile (CL2, 4 charges remaining). The ring does not detect as magic, and is likely simply valuable jewellery. The spellbook has been mostly destroyed by groundwater, but you make out five spells that are intact: identify, mage armour, reduce person, silent image, and unseen servant.
I hope it isn't presumptuous of me to push on. This scene is basically just free loot for finding the map, but if anyone wants to respond to it, go right ahead in your next post.
13 Gozran, 4708
Once more, you come to the boundaries of your Charter. Here, rocky highlands rise in the distance into the Nomen Heights. A mist rolls down from the mountains, heavy and thick, obscuring your vision as you explore amongst the rocks.
The mist does not dissipate as the day moves on, turning ground, which is strewn with massive boulders and rocky outcroppings, into a veritable maze. It is slow moving.
Suddenly, from nearby, you hear sounds of shouting rise from the mists, then a crushing noise, a scream, and a bellowing roar from something with very big lungs.
Tireas freezes as he hears the noises, trying to identify what it's coming from, since his vision is lacking in the fog. He imagines if they were still enough, whatever the beast is might pass them by, but then again, there was the chance it was already going after one of his new companions.
Despite the risk, he shouts, "Everyone okay? Hello?"
"Who goes there?" Viktor calls similar to Tireas. He draws his sword from its sheath, his steely eyes scanning the mists in search of any sign of whatever made the noise. "By Abadar, show yourself," he whispers.
"Ahhhh!" The only response to Tireas' call and Viktor's follow up is another scream, this one different than the last, likely from a different voice. Another roar follows it, angry and violent. Now that your ears are primed to the noise, you can tell that it seems to be coming from north of your current position, fairly close by.
Looking to your north, you see a ridge of granite rising perhaps fifteen feet into the mists like the spine of a giant, buried skeleton, that forms a natural barrier between you and... whatever is happening. But it does not extend far, and you could quickly get around it to the source of the sound, for whatever is the cause seems to be concealed behind it, close at hand.
"Good," Zinovia says, a hard tone to her voice, as she hears the sounds of struggle, and, probably, of some ferocious monster. "I welcome the chance to test my magic, but let us be quick about this: defeat it and press on."
Estanos examines the ring with close attention; he does not know much of the habits of jewelry in the savage north, but he does his best to apply his cosmopolitan knowledge to the task of determining whether it might be the lost ring of Svetlana. Having done that, he wonders aloud," I hope this is Svetlana's ring. It would make her and Oleg ever so happy to have it back."
~ As the sounds of violence fill the air...
" 'Ought' nothing, Ilya. It is imperative! " And Estanos is moving either himself, or his horse, as fast (or perhaps a little faster) than is strictly safe. The sounds of someone in mortal peril and in need of aid call to the priest like the tide calls a sailor.
Rushing towards the source of the sound, the you pass by the craggy ridge of rock. The hilly terrain dips into a depression, a trough between several large rocks and a pair of scraggly mountain pines. All of it is shrouded in mist, making visibility difficult.
A humble leather tent has been erected here, little more than a few branches with skinned pelts thrown over them for shelter. A small fire smoulders, a few embers still glowing orange.
As you come around the rock face that shields the camp from view, something goes flying in front of you. It is a man, greasy haired, wearing leather armour. He hurtles limply into a rock with a sickening crack. He does not get up, and blood pours from numerous wounds.
Two other men lie fallen in the camp. One has been messily decapitated, while the other is no more alive.
A sadistic, dim-witted laugh booms out. "Hur hur hur!" A massive creature lumbers into view, following the trajectory of the man it has thrown. The thing is humanoid, vaguely, but much larger, with broad, thick shoulders and arms the size of small tree-trunks that stretch almost to the ground. Its skin is sickly and green, scaly with worts, while its eyes are black and beady. Its huge hands end in sharp claws, dripping with blood. As it sees you approach, the huge creature bellows. "RRRAGHHH!"
The mist makes seeing difficult. Any ranged attacks (including touch attacks) past 30 ft are treated as the enemy having cover. Past 60 ft, it's hard to see at all.
Ilya blinks, face pale, as he witnesses the carnage wrought by the troll. For a moment, the runaway prince stands rooted to the spot, the improbability of the group's success suddenly brought home to him.
"By the gods, that thing's huge," he says, a look of horror on his face. But then a glint of his normal attitude reemerges. "Easier to hit then," he says with a nervous smile, retrieving his bow as he starts to sing.
The scene before the eyes of Estanos is awful, yes, but his gaze is differant than that of his comrades. This tragedy is not the first of its kind that he has seen; and he'd helped perpetrate those which preceded it. In the name of good, yes, but no less evil for it. The questionable fate of the downed man tugs at the heart of the priest, but his logic guides his compassion. If he allows the valiant to fall, it will matter for naught whether he is granted a few additional seconds.
" Hold fast, we must hold fast! Let it come to us!" Estanos half commands, half implores. He can feel his pulse pounding in his temples, fear making the acid tang of adrenaline fill his mouth.
All of his very being burns to heal the stricken man. But no, Estanos must wait for the creature of darkness to strike, and pray that the unknown man can hold on for just a few.. more... seconds...
Holding action to channel, excluding the troll. This should tag the fallen man, stabilizing him. The trigger will be after the troll's attack.
Tireas silently moves to the rocks as his companions prepare for the encounter. He reasons that Viktor can take more hits than he, and that this way it would be easier to attack the troll's exposed flank.
Taking the turn to move to the rocks.
Climb: (1d20+8) Edit: The one number that would cause a fail. Wonderful. Hopefully taking a 10 is an option
Stealth (if needed): (1d20+6)
Zinovia's magic missile crashes into the troll's mottled hide, while Ilya begins his song. It roars and charges, stomping towards the party with murder in its dull, beady eyes. It forgoes its own reach advantage, charging in close with Viktor, evidently desiring the maximum carnage when it can bring its full wrath to bear on the puny little humans.
With its pointed tusks, it gores Viktor. The paladin's shield manages to deflect the worst of it, but it still scrapes across his armour, piercing through it near the paladin's shoulder.
9 damage to Viktor.
Despite the pain he doubtlessly feels, Viktor gives as good as he gets, cutting across the troll's face with his sword. The creature bellows its pain and rage.
Then Estanos' holy light floods the battlefield, making the day sunny despite the mists, and healing some of Viktor's wound. The fallen man groans as some of his bleeding ceases, and a less deathly pallor returns to his skin.
Tireas, in the meantime, scrambles up the large outcropping of rock. He doesn't manage to go as fast as he can, but he is still able to get into a good position, from which he can see the troll's hunched, exposed back.
Zinovia pushes her frail body, shifting her position to the party's flank. From here, she can launch her fire without fear of injuring her allies. She weaves the spell, blasting the troll.
Zinovia will move diagonally up to the left two squares (i.e., she'll be standing one square left of Viktor when she's done). She'll then fire her burning hands diagonally to the right, so the cone hits two squares of the troll, and nothing else.
"Let's see how hard a fourteen foot troll hits the ground when he slips," Ilya mutters under his breath as he casts his spell. A sheen of oil covers the earth beneath the monster's feet. "Good luck balancing on that, troll."
Moving 10 feet towards the troll and casting Grease on the space occupied by the troll. DC 14 Reflex Save or fall prone.
Estanos' second wave of healing has Viktor almost as good as new. The troll roars its frustration, just smart enough to recognizing that these tiny little creatures aren't dying as easily as the ones he has finished with.
The troll keeps its feet under Ilya's grease, confused by the sudden slipperiness, but surprisingly agile. The monster's thick hide absorbs the force of Tireas' blow, but Viktor's just barely gets through. Zinovia follows up with fire to stop it from regenerating.
The monster viciously attacks. It first rakes its claws over Viktor. One huge hand wrenches aside the paladin's shield, while the other slashes across him.
7 damage to Viktor
Then it turns, goring at Tireas with its tusks, trying to rid itself of the annoyance behind it. Its fangs sheer through armour and flesh, delivering a deep wound.
8 damage to Tireas.
Moved Zinovia one more space back, since she could do it, and it avoided the AOO, which I think was the intent.
Moved Ilya 10 ft back instead of 10 ft forward (towards the troll). RocketMan, I figured you meant to say "away," but if you did mean to charge the troll, let me know and act as if you had this round.
Last edited by ApatheticAbacus : 07-02-2012 at 07:41 AM.
Two of his comrades injured; Estanos has a moment of indecision. Perhaps if he tries to heal them both, it will (in the end) prove sufficient for neither? This problem is almost as old as time itself. The difficulty of limited resources and unlimited tasks.
But no. He will have faith. This time, he holds his holy symbol aloft, thrusting it skyward in the hopes of acting like a beacon through the thick mist. " Sarenrae! Sarenrae! "
Third verse, same as the first. Channeling to heal, excepting the troll. (1d6)