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Damian glances around at the primitive lean-to, crowded with the mass of survivors. A brief smirk crosses his face, almost nostalgic. A dozen-plus people crowded in a tiny living area, scraping for food and heat. Never thought I'd be back here again.
"Well, with this large a group, we don't need everyone to keep watch. I can take the first few hours. I'm used to little sleep."
In what seems almost a reflex, he pats himself down, checking the locations of various items on his body before slumping down onto the ground. He looks over to Khazrael. "You asked us why we were out here, if memory serves. Care to answer the same question? I'm assuming those of you who weren't with the caravan were traveling together, right?"
The squabbling among the group was worrisome to the Rashemi healer. A lack of leadership could lead to ruin, but she did not feel confident enough in her understanding of foreign ways to try to step into that role. While the flaming wall idea had some merit, she silently echoed the others' words in preferring a more mundane sort of shelter. She was also suspicious of how this man of Gond was able to manifest his magics over such long periods of time, and didnt truly trust it to keep the group safe and warm throughout the evening.
When word of an acceptable place to rest reached her, Tryntha relaxed visibly. Once the group congregated there, she cast a spell that conjures breads, cheeses, dried meats, and water enough for the whole group and then some (sustenance for 21 people for 24 hours is created).
"The food is simple and bland, but I can guarantee it will nourish you properly. Any excess will begin to decay in about a day, but I can cast another spell to keep it fresh tomorrow. If anyone has any lingering pains I have plenty of healing magics left for the day. Also, I have two spells to protect people from the elements if anyone has a need, and will prepare more in the morning."
"There's an army headed this way?" The dark-clad human perks up dramatically at that word, leaning forward towards Khazrael. "Do you know any details about it? What kind of soldiers, what their goal is? Who their opponent is?"
An army, huh? Little did I know there was an incipient war in this area. Could be good money involved! Maybe that tip wasn't so bad...
"Sorry, that was a bit rapid-fire. I'm a bit eager to find work again, after the avalanche disaster."
"They're demons and drow, and some undead, I think. My time observing them was mostly spent desperately running away or fighting for my life, so forgive me if my description is a little vague."
Vague? Yeah right, I probably know some of them.
"There were more than I could count, and they moved fast. I had trouble outpacing an entire army, and I move fast. They're not a bulky siege machine, they're not raiders, and they're not here to occupy. They're something more like a pure, destructive force. They waste no time, and there'll nobody to stand up to them if we don't do something."
Having missed all the baleful glances and speech towards him, Tanner does not think anything is amiss at camp. He maintains watch until Khazrael speaks about the approaching army. Tanner turns and says, "By Gond! An army you say? Yes, Khazrael, something must be done. Although I am not a coward, I am not sure if our band is the one that could turn back such an army - especially in our current state. Since my suggestions seem to be foolish, I shall leave it up to others to decide - but I see little we can do other than warn the Iron Lord. I am not one to abandon you, but since I have the capacity to fly - perhaps I should do so to warn Immilmar and then return with help?"
"With this big a group we can afford a double watch and still let everyone get enough sleep. If there are enough volunteers I'll join you on first watch. Else wake me in a few hours and I'll take the second."
That settled Norgold digs through his pack for the heavy blanket buried beneath the rest of his supplies. Rapped warmly and chewing on the last bit of dried meat from dinner he waits for the rest of the party to sort itself out. Khazrael's comment destroys the temporary peacefulness.
He listens as Khazrael began outlining a more and more dire situation. I've been sitting in Taporan while a war destroyed most of the Great Dale. Helm protect us. Who could be powerful enough to hold an army of demons, drow, and undead together? On that point, to what end if all they do is destroy? Damian's response triggered a look of disgust, the whole war might fit well with Norgold's plans as well, but he wasn't callous enough to rejoice at the news. Addressing himself to Tanner,
"If you can get the news there sooner you should go, we aren't likely to starve. Our Rashemi companions can probably give you directions that you can follow from the air."
"Don't be too rash. Getting there is one thing. Convincing them is another, and you haven't seen the army. They have."
Damian peers to the entrance of the leanto, out to the rapidly approaching cold. "Plus, I don't doubt your confidence, but it's still a dangerous trip on your own. I think it's more important that we get them," as he nods to Khazrael, Lissa, Adalmar, Tiriel, and Achkby, "to Immilmar."
Damian nods over towards Tiriel. "Speaking of which, if I've got my names straight... she mentioned someone before who isn't here." His burrow frows as he searches his memory. "Callos? Wasn't it? What happened to him?"
(OOC: see reference here. Damian's a careful listener.)
The survivors gather together to hear Khazrael and Adalmar tell of the blitzkrieg sweeping the East. Some refuse to believe the tales - a combined army of demons and drow allied with the undead sweeping through the Great Dale and Thesk in the middle of winter? It seems hard to comprehend ...
Desmona desperately asks for word from the West. She is horrified to learn of the fall of Myth Drannor, which bodes ill for all of the free peoples of the West. Of Cormyr's fate specifically there is no word.
Katrin and Tiriel remain tight-lipped about their exact mission, but it is clear that they believe that the Iron Lord must be warned and that the Armies of the North must be assembled, lest the entire East falls to the forces of the Baneson and Sethra, the necromancer reborn ...
Tanner volunteers to fly to Immilmar himself, but others warn him that travel alone, even by air, might be perilous. As if to reinforce this sentiment, a cry pierces the moonlit night - a scream from high above. After a few minutes the cry is answered by others. Nocturnal birds of prey, perhaps?
Before Tiriel can answer Damian's question, the sharp scream causes him to leap to his feat, quickly drawing two daggers in a smooth motion. "That didn't sound pleasant." He quickly walks over to the edge of the evergreen trees forming the simple lean-to, and peers upwards, his eyes squinting against the darkness.
Beh. Not like I can see anything in this dark...
After a brief moment, he pulls his head back in and whispers to the others. "Anyone with better eyes than me, I could use the help. Unless one of our spellcasters can cast a spell to let me see in the dark."
Well, if I feel anything this way, we're in trouble. But might as well...
While looking to the others, his grey eyes flare with a blue light, which fades leaving his eyes a normal blue afterwards. Peering outside, he scans the skies for the source of the noise, and his arcane sense searches for a telltale sign of a magical aura...
That sounds pleasant. But if I may, I don't think we're exactly equiped to fight an army with our handful of survivors and very much limited rations. Let's not kid ourselves here, we're a caravan full of travelers, not a military unit.
If you want to help, the best we can do is relay the message to the Iron Lord and have him rally his armies and allies to action rather then have us get rolled over by an unholy army.
Candle Bearer of the Red Cloak fan club
A quiet wood elf stands and draws his longbow when the shriek from above disturbs the night air and readies an arrow. He scans the night sky and tries to recognize the sound.
This is to see what he can see see see. Spot - (1d20+10)(30)
This is to recognize the shriek as either a natural creature or an unnatural one. if it's natural, he also wants to know if it's dangerous.
His whole body goes tense at the sudden shriek. Carefully easing his blanket off his shoulders and onto the snow, Norgold rose to a crouch within the cramped shelter. He unhooks a chain from his belt using one hand to keep the links from clanking. With nothing left to prepare he stares out past the covering evergreens into the moonlight, and waits.
spot with skill mods - (1d20-1)
Not sure how big a penalty to apply, not really expecting to see anything anyways.
She was shocked beyond her imagination. Myth Drannor, the great city of Cormyr's elven allies was gone. Razed to ruins by this massive army that had broken out of its incredible barrier.
And if that was the fate of Myth Drannor, then her beloved Cormyr which she loved more than her own life could possibly be in danger - no, it could even already be occupied, or worse. Her father and mother...her two younger sisters...what had happened to them all?
Her emotional crisis was put onto the backburner of her mind as a screeching wail pierces the silence of the night.
"Tanner, you stay put - EVERYONE GET BACK IN THE LEAN-TO!" Desmona orders, surprising all those near her. "I don't care that you defend yourself if need be, but unless they attack us first, we'll leave the birds to their own doing. Now, I'll take first watch with one other person, who doesn't need continuous sleep for spells. Any takers?"
I am the Catboy. I demand pettings!
With Desmona's sharp cry, Damian turns and glares at her, his now-blue eyes narrowed in anger. He quickly, but silently, walks over to her, his gaze forceful, and his voice stern, but quiet. "Keep your voice down! If there is anything out there, you're just going to make it worse. I'm not going anywhere, and I won't let anyone wander around out there, but I am not going to sit here and hope it was just a harmless bird."
"And do not give me orders like that. If you want to give me orders, hire me. But right now I'll follow you out of respect, not authority. And get your emotions in check. You don't know what's happened to your loved ones. Worrying about them will just get you killed. Assume the best for now. Find out later."
Damian glances around at the others. "Like I said. If anyone has a spell to let me see in the dark, I'd appreciate it." With that, he shakes his head slightly and walks back to the edge of the lean-to, peering out.
The barbarian eats the magically-created food without question. No need to waste food.
Retay listens to the story without much interest, having never heard of the places mentioned. At the screech from above, however, he leaps to his feet, greataxe in his hands.
Uncharacteristically, he gives an order. "Quiet, both of you!" he whispers at Desmona and Damian, even though the latter was quiet. "If there's something out there, don't let it know we're here. And yes, it obviously knows we're here thanks to your yelling, but it might not yet know we're here here."
Retay stands tensely, staring into the dark sky, his hands gripping his greataxe, his teeth clenched in an almost animal snarl. At this moment, his barbarian origin is obvious.
"I'll join you on watch."
Can't seem to get the board diceroller to work, so I'll just post some mods in case they're needed.
Intimidate a measely +2, although Retay's not really trying to intimidate them, just to get them to shut up
Spot +3 to see any threats
Listen +4 to hear any threats
Knowledge (nature) +5 to identify the creature if applicable
As he is about to reply to the 'vote' on whether he should stay or go to Immilmar, the shriek pierces the air. It takes conscious effort to not open his fire hand to prepare to throw a ball of fire, but he manages to not do so. He knows that the flame would illuminate them and reveal their position, so Tanner chooses not to do so. "Looks like our food problems may be solved..." Tanner begins to say.
Then, the fighting breaks out. Not against an outward foe, but against the worst kind...ego. Already not in good standing with the others, Tanner stays out of the Alpha selection process thinking to himself, I don't even think the army needs to worry about us, we'll likely kill each other for them. Tanner then scans the sky with his darkvision.
Katrin wakes up blearily at the bird screeching overhead. "What's going on?" She takes a minute to figure out the situations and listen in on people's conversations, then gets up from her bedroll, her hand on her sword hilt. "I can see well in the dark, let me take a look."
Even those with mere human vision are able to make out the dark forms circling overhead in the moonlight.
Some of you with keener eyes are able to recognize the birds as large carrion crows. They keep their distance but appear to be patiently waiting, as though they know something that the rest of you don't ...
There is a faint groaning or creaking noise audible in the distance. The birds continue to caw overhead, but this new noise seems to be coming from underneath the ground ...
He has been mostly friendly with the newcomers, offering his name and his origin - the Great Dale - when asked. At the same time, he seems a little defensive - perhaps that has to do with tiredness ? His slightly bloodshot eyes and uneven beard attest that he has seen better days.
When the noise gets closer, he wearily prepares to fight if needed, his thoughts plain on his face : What is it going to be this time ?
__________________ My old characters (I don't game on this board anymore) --- Avatar by Castaras
"Even gods must learn to control their tempers, lest they set a bad example."
The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Steven Erikson
"They're circling. Waiting for something..." The grumbling from below causes Damian's eyes to open wide. He rapidly starts scanning the area for a hiding place, and turns quickly to the others. "Get up! Something's coming!"
The rumbling calls to mind images of burrowing umber hulks and other creatures of the Underdark, and Khazrael's mind works rapidly to get to safety. He casts his glance to the outcropping the group camps around and mutters a few odd-sounding words. He hunches forward and his knees bow out, his body changing to accomodate the spell he weaves. He scrambles up the snowy rocks and perches atop them.
((OOC: Casting an extended spider climb and climbing to the top of the rocks))