Chapter Five And A Half

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Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Ao on Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:48 pm

[Marching Mountains, Dusk - Kellar the Quick]

Kellar's breath is strained. He's been running for a long time.

The dragoon checks his weapons, staring out into the hazy, dusky evening landscape amidst the Marching Mountains. He is crouched behind a boulder, the great rock nearly sheared in two by a lightning blast many moons ago. Orbaugh titters quietly on his shoulder, the tiny dragon huffing and puffing in the excitement.

[[Master, you must rest!]] sputters the pseudodragon telepathically, looking worriedly at his companion.

But Kellar is not paying attention - he is looking down the ridge for signs of the trolls. He had been drawing them away for nearly two hours now, and his stamina was beginning to wane. Three times already, it seemed like they'd been lost. But the beasts were fearsome trackers, and he knew they were hunting him as a matter of sport at this point.

His shoulder armor shifts uncomfortably, and leaning his axe against the boulder, he moves his arm to adjust it. Suddenly, the sound of wings flaps through the air above him, rustling the needles of an enormous yellow-barked pine tree. Instinctively, he goes for his weapon - but it quickly becomes clear that the interloper is a raven.

Keeping an eye down the ravine for the trolls, Kellar stands as the bird lands upon his arm. There is a note bound to its’ leg, which he quickly unties.

The dragoon’s eyes widen as he reads the scroll, his lip curling into a grimace. Time seems to stop, his mind whirring uncontrollably as he weighs his next course of action. His heart and mind and pride collide, willing him in a hundred directions. But even while these forces are at odds, he knows what he must do.

Kellar draws the Kraken’s Fist from his chain shirt, holding it fast. There was only one path, and he would not be tempted to stray from it. The dragoon closes his eyes, the words flowing through his mind and broadcasting to his fellows.

”I am safe. I must depart. I am sorry, my friends. We will meet again soon.”

He draws the chain over his neck, fearful of the questions that might come flooding back through the magical pendant, deigning to sway his mind. He drops the pendant, staring down at it.

Kellar’s lips part, his voice quiet amidst the trees as he whispers…

“Andrianna.”

The pendant crushes under the weight of his boot, shattered into dust. He looks down to the ravine once more, grabbing his axe and running with renewed vigour.

North, this time.

[Marching Mountains, Dusk - Fellowship]

The campfire flickers gently in the open cave mouth, a million stars visible over the deserts of Calimshan from this vantage point. It has been hours since the hasty retreat, your wounds still tender and bloodied from the brutal combat.

[i]”RUN.”[i]

The urgency in Kellar’s voice had shaken the party to its’ core. The pressure of insurmountable odds had been with the fellowship from the day they met in Gaoler’s Bend those many weeks ago - but the spectre of death had nearly claimed them in that pass.

Valeria had taken a vicious blow, as had Artimus. The dragoon tried to shield his friends, but the greataxe-toting troll had nearly rent the warriors breastplate in two with a downward cut that might have cleanly separated an ox’s head from its’ neck.

That’s when he had made the call. Cutting the troll across the face, Kellar had leapt toward the slaver, grabbing him by his collar and running up the ridgeline into the mountains.

The trolls took the bait, charging after the dragoon and the stolen captive like wolves after their pridefully-earned supper.

You watched the dragoon disappear over the rocky hill, dropping the slaver just in time for the trolls to trample him to death. And in that moment, fleeing was the only option.

Now, looking out over the desert from the mouth of a small cave, you wonder where Kellar has gone, and what was meant by his cryptic message…

[…]

Marietta stares up at the fellowship, the smoky-eyed cleric spooning a clear mixture of broth from a stockpot over the fire. She lays a bowl gently in Valeria’s lap, looking again at the wound on the paladin’s shoulder. Marietta had wiped it clean and dressed it, saying a healing prayer over it an hour before. Already, it had stopped hurting.

“You’ll be fine.” she says matter-of-factly, but Valeria can already begin to sense the affection in the woman’s voice, beneath the veneer of standoffishness.

Custer’s pipesmoke wafts through the air near the cave mouth, the darkness of night now disguising the landscape beyond. Only the moon and the endless sea of stars is visible from here. Somewhere below them, one of the horses whines - quickly stifled by the gentle care of Osvald, first at watch.

Dwan’s forehead burns like fire, his neck throbbing with pain and his throat raw with bile and the taste of rot. The druid sweats profusely, and even Marietta’s soothing broth is not enough to grant him restful sleep. It is becoming clear, that even Mazolath’s poultice will not sustain him for long. He must be healed soon - or he will be lost.

[…Dawn]

You awaken to the scent of coffee boiling, an exotic mix of spices blended with the beans causing your mouth to water. The sun breaks over the horizon, casting a cascade of pink and purple hues across the dunes far below.

The foothills of the mountain are cold and shaded, and you feel compelled to draw your cloaks around you as a chill shivers down your spine.

Marietta pours you a drink, looking to the cave mouth as Artimus returns from his watch.

“We best leave soon, if we’re to arrive at the djinn’s palace for sundown. We may take the winding road up the bottom of the mountain - it’s the fastest, and will be the easiest on the horses. There is also a gully that is cut through a western pass. It is an untamed ascent, thick with trees and brambles and unsure footing. Undoubtedly, it will take us longer, and we’ll risk the horses… but it leaves us less exposed. Either way, let’s make a decision.”

========================

Ok guys, a few things.

I decided to start a new thread, due to our parting with Kellar. And, of course, I’ve hand waved the encounter with the trolls, and crafted a little narrative to fill in the blanks of what happened.

I’ve taken some liberties with what your characters were doing, the decision they made to run, etc. I did that to create a clean break in the narrative, so that we can continue on without Kell. If you feel as if theres something you would have done, or that your character has been unduly railroaded (or something of that sort), please let me know and we’ll retcon or sort out what you require.

Otherwise, a new day has broken, and there is a clean slate here.

Two routes through the mountains. Take some time to role-play the break of dawn here, and come to a decision on which route you will take to the djinn’s palace, and what your marching order is. Also, Ill need provisional stealth checks for each of you, alongside any active perception checks you’d like to make.

MVP: Kellar. We’ll miss you, big man.[/b]

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Rand Theriot on Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:49 am

As the dawn's early light cracks its shining smile across a horizon filled with the Marching Mountains, many in the group are more focused upon the warm feeling of breakfast in their bellies... or the cold lock of a stalwart ally's disappearance than yet another gorgeous landscape.  Through the small talk of the early morning meal, the alert, always aware ears of the fellowship can cleanly make out the sound of shuffling feet.

Through the small cloud of dust kicked up by his staggering feet, a tall 6'6 human drops to his knees as he comes within eyesight of the cavemouth... and within scent of cooking meats. The hulking man wears torn leather rags, and drags in one hand what appears to be the trunk of a small tree, its branches torn off to form a rudimentary club.  

The figure's grotesquely scarred face is looking even more haggard than it likely usually appears.  Dry, cracked lips huskily plead out with an out-stretched arm and the remains of a battered manacle clink softly on his wrist

"Water... water please I beg you!" the man cries out, in a thickly rural Tethyr accent.
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Custer Thickett on Mon Apr 11, 2016 11:24 am

Cuss sat upright on his bedroll, his blanked still wrapping his body as he took the cup of spiced coffee from Marietta. He nodded as he mouthed a silent 'thank you.' He closed his eyes as he smelled the roast and took his first sip. The pleasant bite of the brew brought a smile to the corner of his lips despite his mood.

He palmed for his necklace, adjusting his charms to hang in front of him as he found them disheveled from his sleeping. Grasping the Kraken's Fist, he once again reached out for his friend Kellar, 'Wake up an say something, yeah? Did ya make it through the night?'

The night before, he had sat leaned up against mouth of the cave with one hand holding El Derro's ornate smoking pipe and the other comfortably cradling the Fist, ready to reply as soon as the blue man answered his increasingly desperate calls.

Earlier in the day, when Kellar's voice said goodbye, Cuss believed it to be a trick of the kind he'd been expecting ever since claiming the compass from Kesian.

He looked to where Dwan sat, the dwarf's eyes briefly meeting his gaze. Cuss nodded from behind his cup, then he got up and leaned against the cave wall near the mouth. His eyes glanced the horizon, looking for Cyric's high cleric and his manticore mount. 'He's up there, yeah? Looking down and laughing through that mask as he watches us fall, one by one,' Cuss thought.

He listened to Marietta as he turned his gaze downward to a curious cloud of dust blowing in the light wind. He coughed to clear his throat, then answered her, "What good is a road if ones like us doan us it, yeah?"

He raised the cup for another sip, but as the cloud of dust turned into the dark shape of a large humanoid, Cuss let go of the vessel to let it fall. He dove for his light crossbow, hefting it to load as the cup rang out impact with the floor.

As the others startled from the sound and sudden movement from the halfling, Custer clicked the string taught as he rested a bolt in the flight groove, then he turned to level the ready to fire weapon at the approaching threat.

From behind the sight, Cuss traced the scars on the man's face to make a target.

"Water! Water, please I beg you!" it cried out.

His eyes narrowed slightly, and his trigger finger twitched, ready to tighten.
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Osvald Hale on Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:06 pm

Osvald whispers calming words to the horses. Patting down the nervous stallion.

The Rangers eyes track the horizon endlessly, plying the darkness for any sign of Kellar. Cursing, Osvald shakes his head clear of dour thoughts. Glancing toward the cave entrance, the warmth of the fire glowing softly within, then up to the star-scattered sky above, Osvald says a prayer for his brave friend, and the others they'd lost to fate. Sighing, The ranger takes a sip from his flask and circles back on his patrol.

...

Osvald chews hungrily on his breakfast, wolfing down his trail ration beside the few remaining embers of last night's fire. Marietta had brought a small satchel of fragrant dry leaves she brewed into a sort of loose tea, which some found a touch bitter but Osvald had quite enjoyed. Scooping out some of the remnant sludge in his battered old cup with a finger, he chews them for only a moment before his expression sours and he spits them out, coughing out a disgusted sound.
Marietta laughs, "They're too potent to chew, Hill-Man. Some stout warriors and... Adventurous types, She says with a wink to Valeria Take them powdered, like your pipe-weed snuff."

Grimacing, Osvald spits again, cursing, and wiping his tongue on his sleeve.

Snatching his water skin up, Osvald raises it to rinse out his mouth when a clattering sound catches his attention. He looks to Cuss--the halflings gaze fixed on something in the distance.

The ranger looks over his shoulder at the approaching form in the distance. His eyes take a moment to adjust and--"Hells... Look lively, everyone!"

Osvald swings his bow off his shoulder and nocks an arrow as a sound echoes on the wind:

"Water... water please I beg you!" Common, heavily accented. ...How long could a man survive in the desert?

As the figure approaches closer, Osvald frowns. His eyes scan the horizon, but the figure was alone.

"It's a man, Tetheyrian if my ears don't deceive me. Seems to be alone..."

Osvald curses under his breath.

"YOU THERE! HALT! WE MEAN NO HARM, BUT TRY ANYTHING AND YOU'll FIND YOURSELF RIDDLED WITH ARROWS AND LEFT FOR THE BUZZARDS."

Osvald voices carries out, bouncing off the distant rocks and echoing across the desert plains...


=====


Osvald is wary, Perception check on the surroundings beyond the newcomer.
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Apr 11, 2016 1:06 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:00 pm

Gimble spent the hours after Kellar's leave in quiet meditation. The old gnome would look into the distance, seeming to examine the distant dune and rocky formations of the mountains. In his mind, though, he was thinking about Kellar, where he went, what he was doing, where he will be headed, and what was in store for him. The questions and concerns tumbled in his brain, but he could find no answers for them; he knew the warrior very distantly.

Dwan's illness took another portion of Gimble's thinking. He and Minerva kept an eye on the dwarf throughout the night, in case any assistance was needed.

As the morning rises over the desert, Gimble is awakened by the smell of breakfast. He eagerly hops to his feet to get his fill, enchanting the fabric of his robes to keep out the chill.

"I'd much rather take the road. I'm not sure how well I'd fair if we went through the pass. If the horses are lost, then I would surely disappear into the brambles. He lets out a laugh and takes a sip of coffee.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1d20+3 Stealth = 6

1d20+1 Perception = 4

2d20kh1+3 Perception = 21


Last edited by Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:00 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:01 pm

Forgot to roll the others.
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:01 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Rand Theriot on Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:45 pm

At Osvald's authoritative ultimatum, the parched, hulking man becomes still and holds up his two palms open to the group.

"As you wish!"  he raspily replies.

A clearer look of the lone figure reveals much.  Even kneeling before the mouth of the cave, his size is substantial... likely over 6'6 while standing tall!  Beneath the ragged leathers, sunburnt skin can be seen between the torn folds of what have may one day been a vest. A relatively fresh brand, burned into his shoulder hints out from between the pauper's garment. Despite his clear fatigue and helplessness, he is not emaciated.  With broad shoulders and a barreled chest, indeed, he has the look of a man who has spent his entire life in hard, manual labor.  The dullish look in his eyes say 'farmer,' but its plainly obvious that most plow-pushers don't end up with such ghastly, military grade face-wounds.

"Bandits or merchants you may be," he laboriously continues, "I care not, but you'in don't seem like a murderer."

Lowering his arms, he rubs one purple, bruised wrist, while the other clinks softly from a manacle that remains locked in place.

"Spare my life and my thirst, and I'll owe you lot 40 fold!"


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Rand Theriot on Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:55 pm

Rand attempts to speak persuasively
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Apr 11, 2016 5:55 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Osvald Hale on Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:54 pm

Osvald eyes the stranger warily, spits, curses, and lowers his bow.

"Alright, stranger. I'm comin' over." Osvald trades a glance with Cuss--"If he moves, plug him will ya?

As the ranger moves closer, and gets a sense of the man, it becomes clear he's traveling alone and poses no immediate threat--though the massive club he persisted to drag through the desert was evidence enough he had some strength yet. A fresh brand peered bloodily from between the rags. No slaver was he.

Osvald stops five paces away with palms up.

"I am Osvald Hale, of the Small Teeth mountains. My company and I are on a dire errand to save one of our number. Join us in this task, and consider any debt repaid."

Osvald throws forward his waterskin as a gesture of good faith, it sloshes heavily onto the sand.

When Rand has drunk his fill, Osvald extends a hand to help the fighter up.

(Cast Cure Wounds on Rand during the handshake)

"That should get you in fighting form. Come, meet the others... Tell me, How does one find themselves alone in the desert?"

=====


Finishing introductions. When the group discusses plans, Osvald agreed with Gimble
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Mon Apr 11, 2016 6:56 pm

Val tries to keep her mind off of Kellar's disappearance by diverting her attention to her own wounds the soft, caressing touch of Marietta. Even if no one else could tell, Val knew that the woman had a sweet spot for her. "Thank you for for dressing this," she murmurs demurely. Getting a good night's sleep would go a long way towards healing the wound, but Kellar's absence plagues her throughout the night and leaves her tossing and turning in concern.

By the time dawn arrives, she's tired and cranky with dark circles under her eyes. The poor ugly who asks for water just makes her narrow her eyes in suspicion. Carefully she approaches Custer and whispers in his ear: "I wouldn't trust this fellow. I don't like the look of him- one can always tell the state of another's soul by their appearance. His says, quite loudly, 'I am not to be trusted'."
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Rand Theriot on Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:35 pm

The haggard, thirsty man, snatches up the tossed waterskin, and greedily drinks from it until trickles of water sizzle down his sunburnt cheeks.  Thankfully, he takes Osvald's hand and rises to his feet.

"Osvald of the Small Teeth you say?" he gasps out after taking another heavy pull from the waterskin.

Taking a moment to catch his bearings and appear more civilized, the man composes himself, and wipes away a bit of dirt from his rags.

"Well met. Ransdell Theriot I'm named, but most call me 'Rand.' I was born on the banks of the River Ith, in Tethyr," he replies in his thick, rural accent.

Rand bends to the ground and retrieves his stump of wood, before returning with Osvald to the cave's mouth.

"I'll tell you honest chum... I thought I'd die last night, and I thought I'd die again this morn. In chattel was I, along with many other strangers. Indentured the lot of us, all by force I reckon, to a pair o' slavers.  Liberation was ours, but only after a trio of trolls plastered our masters into fine meal. I thought I'd make the largest dumplin' in their porridge, but a battle rang out between those trolls and some local bandits I presume, but it matters not. Scattered into the wind we all did, with no guide, no water, and no way. Providence has brought me to you this morn just as I could taste death in my lips, and I shan't forget it, that I say rightly."

With vigor returning from Osvald's healing touch, Rand sits upon a nearby stone and loudly cracks the knuckles of his frying-pan sized hands. A great burden, and the shadow of death seem to leave his shoulders, as he exhales in satisfaction. That moment of vulnerability passes though, supplanted instead by an almost predatory grin.

"I care not where you go or who you serve. Should you need me to crush a head or put on me finest airs, I'll do it. A debt I owe you for your kindness, an' I'll add to your number if'n you'll have me."
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:21 pm

Light peered over the uneven stance of Artimus' shoulders as he staggered out of the rising suns warn glow into the cave's veil. An uncustomary sneer on his face. The night was long and yet he was not ready for the day- not ready to face the recounting of recounting of yesterday’s event...or the counting of heads gathered about the waning embers.

Artimus practiced the thoughts aloud that had plagued his mind over the long night under the vast sky .
We can't juzt leave him out zhere,
We juzt can't let him go-on,
He’s playing the zhe Fool taking zhen into zhe wild.
Trying to protect uz.
He waz juzt trying to protect uz…
He was alwayz trying toprotect us all.
I can't ...


The mariner's unheard pleas halted as Dwan's hunched form came into focus in the dim light, Gimble and his silent bird, still sitting on Valeria's' - just where they were when he'd gone to take sentry. - watching ever their feverish dwarven friend.

He realized he couldn't take after the dragoon- even if he could convince the others. It put Dwan futher away from aid.

The lines in his face deepened and his chin dropped to his chest under a dark realization. It was as much to quell his own pain- his own guilt that he wanted to take after Kellar.

“Not ever coin turns in your favour. “ A platitude his uncle Salazaar would have offered had he been there right now,  with them in that cave....and not dead, buried in the vale beyond the firehelm keep, nestled at the foot of the Thunder mountains.  The, now silent voice of a loved one.

He would not risk Dwan to follow Kellar. They couldn't wash their hands of routing by the trolls- just so Artimus could let go of the pain and forget. To forget the fear in the rocky clearing, The fray turned against them. Suddenly all he could remember was a flash of red behind his eyes- stars and the crunching sound of  bone- and the blurry outline of  the Dragoon disappearing into the brush.
Their adversaries in tow.

A soft loathing began to wash over the Mariner. Dulling his senses. He barely registered Valeria and Osvald’s notice of an interloper.

It was the deep, laboured voice that caused him to turn.

The burly man's face was frightening and his gate staggered. Had Artimus been wearing his more traditional jaunty grin, those about would have seen it wither out of view.

Valeria wrote:
"I wouldn't trust this fellow. I don't like the look of him- one can always tell the state of another's soul by their appearance. His says, quite loudly, 'I am not to be trusted'.

"



"Non"

Artimus answered Valeria's wise caution with a sharp and hushed tone.
"We know not hiz crimez....-and WE will not be judge and jury...."

Artimus leaned in closer to Valeria.

"Unlezz, zhat iz, your god zpeakz directly into your dainty. White. Earz"

"Zhe zhirzty ztranger drinkz- zhen we hear hiz piece."



Osvald wrote:

"I am Osvald Hale, of the Small Teeth Mountains. My company and I are on a dire errand to save one of our number. Join us in this task, and consider any debt repaid."

Osvald was already reaching for his water skin even as Artimus launched his all too aggressive rebuttal. One that had swung toward Valeria. A manifestation of anger and guilt bubbling beneath the Mariner's sneer.

Artimus Delonde's tone was out of line that, enough so that he had heard it himself. His gaze softened as he swallowed the portion of the guilt that amounted to adolescent angst.

The kind that lashed out in the absence of clarity.

Artimus slowly mouthed the beginning of an apology when he turned to answer the hulking man.

"Eh, ztranger, you've had some bad luck, that much is clear- how do you find yourzelf here- in zuch a zorry ztate?"

Artimus asked almost as pointedly as the blade that Oswald had pointed at the large, rough hewned man's neck.
It seemed the ranger knew the secret of a kind word ... and a sword.

"Be truthful S'il vous plaît(if you please)."

How do they say... Zhe Zonz and Daughterz of Cormyr can spot a lie as clearly as the ... you know...zhe zhing on your face.

===================================
Welcome Rand,  Great post!

Artimus agrees with the road option with the horses. AO hates horses, and wants to kill them always, he’s a dirty horse killer. XOXOX
Rolling Insight and persuasion.

1d20 Cha persuasion on Rand to tell to the truth (if Artimus is any good at making you feel like you should be honest?)RP however you like!

1d20 Wis Intuitions to judge if Artimus thinks Rand is being candid..


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:21 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Ao on Mon Apr 11, 2016 9:45 pm

By the time the sun has risen above the Marching Mountains, you are well ascended into her rocky range. The fellowship moves at a graceful clip, the well-heeled horses striding confidently upon the shelf with nary a misplaced foot.

You left the cave mouth two hours previously, filling your water skeins at a small, bubbling waterfall and giving the horses a drink. Rand’s insatiable thirst continues to plague him, the lumbering man’s throat burning like sandpaper.

Dwan wobbles in his saddle, clearly worse for wear. His pallor is white and ghostly, the dwarf nearly unable to keep himself upright.

[…]

A copse of dry, leafbare trees welcome you into a soft valley, where orange grasses and violet longstalks shimmer in the wind.

Marietta rides silently among you, paying little attention to the idle chit-chat of the group. The priestess had offered Rand a seat upon her mare, a charitable gesture to their inherited waif. Now, she rode quietly, contemplating the surroundings in her enigmatic way.

Gimble, in his ever-present curiosity, scans the landscape for anything of interest. You crest the top of a small incline, granting a panoramic view over the southern face of the Marching Mountains.

[Gimble, perception]

The gnome looks ahead, his keen eyes drawing him to the barely noticeable shape of a giant eagle, coasting along the cliff face. It disappears only a short distance ahead, into the crags and crevices of the clifftops. Given the time of day, it must be returning to its’ nest… It couldn’t be far off from here...

Suddenly, another sight catches the gaze of the wizened gnome.

Below them by several miles, on a rocky shelf, two far-off figures sit perched atop a pair of ebony horses. They are bare-chested, and from this distance Gimble can tell that one of them is wearing a horned helm.

They are staring at you, exposed on the road…
[Only Gimble shared a provisional stealth check - so I had to roll for y’all.]

Before the gnome could even have warned the rest of his fellows, the riders turned their mounts into the treeline, disappearing below…

Marietta sidles up along Gimble, questioning the gnome.

“What is it that you saw, wizard?”

She ponders for a moment, looking ahead.

“We are still many hours from the Djinn’s citadel. We must not tarry if we’re to arrive before dark.”

======================

Ok folks, couple key points here:

Gimble sighted what he believes to be a nest of giant eagles ahead. If you want to approach this in any way, I’ll need some provisional survival, wilderness, knowledge, navigation, or perception checks. Also, please provide a provisional stealth check

The dark riders below. You’d have to descend back down the way you came for a bit, and then circle back around to attempt to follow - similar skill checks required, plus a provisional stealth check

Ignoring these paths, and heading for the citadel - only stealth and perception checks required.

Please - feel free to continue the RP with Rand. Also, I said that marietta 'offered' Rand a seat on her mare... If someone else is giving him a ride, let me know.

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Custer Thickett on Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:15 am

Cuss trotted along behind the group with his father's old light crossbow laying, loaded, across the saddle in front of him.  A precaution he took not only due to the unknown road or the large stranger riding Kellar's horse, but also for Dwan's worsening condition.  The dwarf looked to turn any moment.  

He tried not to worry.  Not about Dwan, Kellar, or even his little sister.  He just kept his eyes forward, and kept riding.

"We've no time for stopping, yeah?  Keep those hooves moving."

[Stealth]
27

[Perception]
9


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Apr 12, 2016 11:15 am

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:10 pm

The days after they leave Sim's palace are rough on Dwan. The sun beats down on the fellowship and it seems to drain his energy away.  He is relatively friendly the first day out, but by the time that Kellar disappeared he was tired and could hardly speak.  On the inside he was screaming.  

In his mind he wept at the farewell cries from Kellar., Dwan could see that something was occupying his mind, the tell tale signs of a soldier who needed to be somewhere else.  If only he could have spoken up.  

His body ached to attack, to turn and use brute force to bathe in the blood of his companions. It was all Dwan could do to contain this.   Dwan's mind was strong as his body started to weaken and wane.  

In the morning he was in full control once more.  He dug through his bag to find another full vial, it took much longer than he would have liked but he was able to find one.  He downed it and breathed a sigh of relief as the corruption receded from his thoughts.  It caused me to skip a dose; I must be more vigilant if I am to fight this. He thinks to himself.

The cries from a strange man draws Dwan's attention.  He raises his head and starts to approach but stops when he sees the man.  Blood has caked parts of his body and he looks as ragged as Dwan feels.  I best not tempt the beast too soon.  

Dwan instead walks to a boulder nearby, the top was chipped as if something large fell on it, but it made for a rather large, yet crude bowl.

Dwan pulls out his flask and lets the last few drops trickle into the bowl-der.  He takes out his scepter  and says a prayer to Selune in druidic.   The few drops expand, and the bowl starts to fill with clean water,.  As this happens, Dwan  submerges his flask to fill it once more.   By the time the spell has completed water is starting to pour over the boulder.   Dwan fills his hand with water and uses it to wipe his face.

We've got water here. Fill your flasks, canteens, and what not.  It looks like today is going to be another rough day. He cries out to the bunch.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Dwan remains relatively quiet on this days trip, his mind is wrapped in the worry that he would lose control again. He does take the time to ride up next to Rand and introduce himself.

I'm Dwan Bolduum from the Chondalwood.  It is nice to meet you.  We appreciate you offering to bolster our ranks. He says with a smile.  

After Gimble explains what he saw.

I would prefer our chances with the eagles.  It would be easier to calm their nerves than to ride blindly into what is possible a trap.  Not to mention the high ground will give us quite the advantage. We would be able to see any threat coming

===============================================
Dwan makes water for the group.  (create water LVL 1)

When the group is looking to decide Dwan votes for the path with the eagles. Dwan will try see if he recognizes the eagles, and should they get closer, Dwan will start giving instructions on the group as to not startle the eagles or cause them to become hostile.

SKILL CHECKS:

Animal Handling  7+5 12
Nature 18+3 21
Stealth 15+0  15

=================
Sorry for the absence, its been busy at work and school hasn't been helping either.


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:10 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:06 pm

A crossbow rested on artimus lap, mirroring Custer’s lead. Such a large implement would been impedance to a skilled rider,but the enchantment imbued within its ornate ravenesque carvings rendered it nearly weightless. A precaution against the interlopers from the wild… The forms spotted on the ridge added to the groups dis-ease as did the dangers  from within. Still it was impossible to conceal it’s brandish-ment . The new face in their mist seemed unphased by the casually readied weapons. Assigning the preparedness to the danger of their surroundings- or simply not noticed at all.

Rand was difficult to read and gave away little.


Artimus found his demeanour confortings, those with dire motives often spoke twice as much at double the volume in efforts to hide their true intention.  

Rand made no such attempts.


I don’t underztand Frere Dwan,  How will zheze clever birdz help our perdiciment?  


Artimus questioned, wiping the back of his clean of condensing sweat.

I’m inclined to follow his lead zhough…

Artimus offered the group.

It’z hiz zkin we ride to zave; he zhould have zhe mozt zay, non?
------------------------
Artimus is in favour of following Dwans lead.
Stealth,11 + 4 (15)
Wilderness 7 +1 (Cool
Cartography.  13 + 6 (20) To update the map with their progress. and shares the map with osvald to improve any checks where awareness of the surrounding would help
Steath 2 6 + 4 (10)
D20' : 11, 7, 13, 6


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:06 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Rand Theriot on Tue Apr 12, 2016 7:09 pm

Never one to turn down an invitation to ride with a classy dame, Rand was more than happy to accept Marietta's offer.  After several hard days of wearisome hikes with a slave collar locked around his neck... and even tougher times the year before, a pleasant horse ride through the mountains was a veritable holiday for Ransdell Theriot.

As members of the adventuring party chatted amongst themselves on the trip, he noticed the stalwart contemplation that Marietta seemed locked in.  As she quietly reflected and absorbed her surroundings, Rand feigned the look of a sightseeing dullard... but followed Marietta's observant example.

To the horizon, he gazed at a cloud, soft and pillowy drifting above Gimble's head.
"The short one," he considered. "I never seen a gnome outside a tall tale, but a grand-dad of his stature certainly fits the page. He puts on a silly air to hisself, but I'd wager he's got the greatest guile amongst this lot. I ought mind me words 'round him."

Staring dully at a clump of weeds just ahead of Artimus and Valeria, Rand wondered to himself,
"Now there's a shining pair if I ever saw one. All luster, all bluster on the dame I'd say. She clops around here like she's drivin' the wagon, but that's not the score, no sir."  

For a second, Rand's eye hawkishly focuses on the Mariner's various rapiers and daggers.
"A fine poof that lad pretends to be, but why'd a noble sort be running with a gang like this? Something funny 'bout that fellow, but I don't think he'll bother me much."

Reaching backwards, to the horse's baggage, Rand withdraws a skin of water and glances towards Custer.
"Now there's a killer if'n I ever saw one... and I'd know. Gotta watch your step around those short ones, lest they cut your ankle, and then your throat."

He tosses the skin the Osvald, "Here chum, have a drink! Don't say I never repay a favor."

Rand flashes Osvald a friendly smile as the ranger takes a swig and tosses it back to Rand.
"Now there's a funny thing. Why'd a fine fellow like he run with that lil' cutthroat? Is he running the show, or is it the dame that's got me riding sidesaddle?"

The sickly looking dwarf, Dwan, rides alongside Marietta and addresses her: "I would prefer our chances with the eagles.  It would be easier to calm their nerves than to ride blindly into what is possible a trap.  Not to mention the high ground will give us quite the advantage. We would be able to see any threat coming"

Rand scratches absently at his maimed cheek and adds from behind Marietta, "If there was bandits in these hills, we'd be one fat goose to pluck. I don't like being a bird, but I might like riding one."
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:01 pm

Even hours after Rand joined their little group, Val is still surprised and irritated with Artmius. Just who does he think he is? I hope Rand stabs him in the back, that’ll teach him. Riding side by side she casts what must be her fifth nasty glare since they hit the road at the man with the funny accent. And what a stupid accent! I bet he thinks it’s oh so charming. She grits her teeth but forces a smile to her face and leads her horse right up next to his. “Artimus,” She begins sweetly, fixing her silver eyes on him. “You simply must excuse my behavior earlier today. Sune teaches that our goodness shows in our physical appearance. One has to wonder what that man has done for his features to be so…..well, frankly, ugly. But, of course, I know others are too simple to understand such teachings.” She sighs and shakes her head. “Maybe you should try and be nicer to the paladin who also happens to have celestial blood in her veins. Wouldn’t want you to wake up without your pretty boy looks thanks to my god.” She gives him a nasty smile and holds her head high. Maybe now he’ll understand to respect me. Asshole.

While allowing poor Artimus to take in her words, she calls out to the others: “Giant eagles sound interesting. Gimble might combust if we don’t allow him to see them.”

perception: 6

Stealth: 5


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:01 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Osvald Hale on Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:41 pm

The air grew cooler as the party climbed the winding trail.

Osvald felt right at home as the terrain grew ever more craggy, the incline ever more perilous. He was pleased at the advantages elevation offered them, the relative protection of the rocks after being so exposed in the open desert.

Scavenger birds drifted lazily in the far sky. They travelled with weapons slung across saddles, eyes searching the hills.

The trail widened for a distance, and the party broke single file, clustering to pass water as slowing the horses to a shuffle. These tough desert nags were tough sum’bitches, Osvald knew, but even they needed a break from time to time. The gnomes chatted cheerfully, as always. Osvald admired their dauntless constitutions to Cuss at Sim’s dinner, unaware of their enchantments before the halfling filled him in… Now, he was just a little jealous.

Osvald glanced up the trail toward where Cuss trotted along along. Cuss’d been aloof and distant since Kellar’s departure. It was only understandable, the two had grown close over the months. Osvald would have to say something to him. When the time was right.

A waterskin lands in his lap, and the ranger looks up to see Rand giving him a wave,

"Here chum, have a drink! Don't say I never repay a favor."

Osvald bows his head, takes a long draught and tosses the skin back.

...

“Artimus, You simply must excuse my behavior earlier today. Sune teaches that our goodness shows in our physical appearance. One has to wonder what that man has done for his features to be so…..well, frankly, ugly..."

The ranger chuckles , yanking back his reins and slowing his mount until Val comes up alongside him. Pulling back his lank hair, grown nearly half way down his chest in their long time on the road, He reveals the twisted vine of scars that cover the back half of his cheek, run up behind his ear. Raising his chin, he pulls down the collar of his jerkin so the Disciple of Sune can see the scars wind down the length of his throat, below his armour and extending who knows how far beyond.

Grining, Osvald pulls his armour back up into place and shakes his hair back down, concealing the grievous wound. “…We don’t choose where we get hit, or how hard. I see a man with a mean looking scar, all I can tell you is he’s got the guts to choose to get back up. With a wink, Osvald clicks his teeth at his horse, and they spur back up to the front of the line.



His horse snorting in protest as hooves scrabbled on the occasional loose stone, Osvald lead the group up the trail toward the Nest’s of the Great Eagles.

=====

Memories of almost dying in the orc chieftain tomb with my face smashed by that shadow ghoul thing, fun times.

Osvald will go with the majority vote toward the Eagles.

NOTE: We are in Osvalds Preferred Terrain: Mountains. The party isn't slowed by difficult terrain when Osvald leads, can never get lost expect by magical means, and may also get advantage on certain checks at your digression Ao.
Osvald receives advantage on pretty much everything you requested this round:

adv.  survival: nat. 20! 25 with mod
adv. nature: 24
adv. navigation: 23
perception: 21
stealth: 20

Also, I'm going to roll with potential advantage on Knowledge about the eagles from Osvalds convo. with Sim earlier. Your call to allow it.

Bird Smarts: no adv. = 14 / with adv. = 19


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:41 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Ao on Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:27 pm

Marietta pulls hard on her reins, looking quizzically back at you. Long violet fronds cascade overhead, clinging to the cliff walls and growing alongside a luscious moss.

She speaks in a low voice.

“Chasing eagles? I don’t understand, we should head for the citadel.” She looks around, seeking consensus. When it appears clear that the fellowship’s intentions are set, Marietta sighs deeply.

“We can spare an hour, no more. I don’t know what designs you have for these beasts druid, but it had better be worth it. If we’re caught in the marching mountains at dark, we’ll either be caught and quartered in the dark, or someone is liable to fall off a cliff.”

She huffs, letting several of you pass before following begrudgingly…

[…]

The erstwhile path leads through a series of brambly thickets, where jagged rocky outcroppings give way to ten foot inclines and weaving, snaking single-file walkways.

The wind whips through your hair, cooling your skin in the hot sun that bakes the rocks you walk and lean upon. Small, buzzing insects create dense clouds amidst the foliage, while fat beetles seem to crawl from every crack and hole in the side of this mountain.

[Dwan, Nature check]

The druid listens to the humming of the insects, his mind whirring as he places the foliage and environment around him. It is humid, yet cooler than the direct sun. And it’s obvious that plenty of carrion have taken to this copse, ample food for the eagles.

Dwan points the way for the party, making observations about the rock formations and natural shelves, and inferring where the giant birds might have taken nest alongside Osvald.

[Artimus, cartography]

The mariner scrawls across his map, his fingers black with charcoal as the sweat melts the granules beneath his fingers. He wipes his hand across the saddle, taking care not to smear the carefully crafted approximation of their path through the mountains.

He is pleased with the result.

[Party gains advantage on any navigation checks through these western low peaks in the marching mountains]

Osvald moves expertly ahead on his steed, guiding the fellowship over the hazardous terrain in a way that only a man of the mountains could.

[Osvald, Survival, Nature, Navigation]

The huntsman expertly matches his horses hooves to the cracked rocks, guiding the fellowship along in tandem beneath craggy overhangs that threaten to crumble. Soft spots in the mountain path, he skirts - pushing aside stinging foliage like a spectre, and guiding the rest of his fellows in kind.

At last, and in short order, Osvald holds his hand up to the group behind him. Peering around the corner, you can see that ahead, an enormous wide-mouth cavern is set into the mountainside.

Deep indigo hues glisten off the cave walls, from sapphire pools surrounded by thick nests of straw and branches and brambles.

It is a breathtaking sight, for no less than a dozen giant eagles and their young nest in the space beyond…

Osvald’s keen eyes catch upon a strange sight, however. Near the back of the cavern, there is an enormous pile of refuse - the pile catches the sunlight, glinting with the shimmer of metal or iron…

========================

Ok guys! You’ve arrived without incident at the eagles nest, and you have surprise (are fully stealth) thanks to some excellent rolls.

Let me know how you plan to approach the eagles - they are in an enormous (200 foot diameter) cavern, with many nests and plenty of young. It opens up onto the cliff face, where your narrow path skirts the western shelf…





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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Custer Thickett on Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:04 pm

As the group follows Osvald off the road, Cuss slows his horse to saddle up just behind Marietta.  He nods at Rand, then tells her, "Worry not, we are guided by the fate of gods."  Custer thrust his chin toward Osvald, "And a son of Hale."

He waits for them to start moving, then follows behind the group with a weary eye on the path behind them.  His horse followed the others, which freed up Cuss to look, listen, and think.  He ignored the sinking desire to think of friends and loves lost, and rather thought of Sothis and Kesian.  

The compass clawed at his soul from its hiding place inside his twarb.  He knew his work was not complete, and he could not shake the feeling that something was still very wrong in the Small Teeth.

His only consol was remembering the shape and color of the birthmark on Agata Tree's gentle face.  It had been some time since he had heard her voice, but he could still feel her watchful eye.

Overlooking the sapphire pools and aviary, Cuss closes his eyes and breathes in the smell of the crisp mountain air.  It was clean and refreshing.  

He looks to Dwan and Osvald for leadership while turning his focus to finding a comfortable, quiet, shadow from which to get a better look at the trail behind them.  



[Stealth]
19


[Perception]
13


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Wed Apr 13, 2016 1:04 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:19 pm

Val stares in awe at the nest of eagles in the cave. “Awwww babies!” Any and all of her previous annoyances are wiped away by the presence of something adorable. “Do you think the parents would notice if we stole just a couple?” She whispers to Gimble conspiratorially, a mischievous gleam in her eyes.

She hangs back instead of approaching the nests, knowing her armor would make too much noise and startle the animals. Keeping one eye on the group to make sure no one gets close enough to make an eagle try to kill them, she also keeps one eye on the way they came in case anything or anyone sneaks up behind them.

perception: 0 (lol)


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:19 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:29 pm

Gimble's eyebrows rise up in surprise and curiosity as he spots the two horsemen through his familiar's eyes. Far above them, Minerva's keen sight easily picks out the shape of men and horses against the rocky background. He turns to Marietta. "Know of any peoples that patrol these parts? There are a few curious fellows on dark horses down the mountain. Gone now." He shrugs his shoulders and points to the shelf below them. "If they are foe, then I hope that this is the last we see of them."

"One has to wonder what that man has done for his features to be so…..well, frankly, ugly. But, of course, I know others are too simple to understand such teachings.” She sighs and shakes her head. “Maybe you should try and be nicer to the paladin who also happens to have celestial blood in her veins. Wouldn’t want you to wake up without your pretty boy looks thanks to my god.”

Gimble whips his head around to look at Valeria, the look of anger clear and sharp like a freshly crafted razor. His features almost seem to darken as his voice booms across the mountainside; one could swear that his beard sprouted grey streaks and his eyes shone with a golden light. "Valeria Thaemor, you will not voice your ridiculous, bigoted opinions out loud like that again! You may be proud of your blood, but you may not insult others for their own traits. I have half a mind to take you back to your temple and leave you on the steps - if they would be willing to take you back." The gnome allows the following silence to sink in and rests his gaze on Valeria. His small chest rises and falls in the aftermath of such an outburst. "Apologize to this man." He points a short finger to Artimus and looks back to Val. "I will hear no more of your words, Valeria. I expect better from you." Gimble waits patiently, stopping the caravan if he must, for Valeria to say her apologies to Artimus out loud.

[...]

Gimble keep his eyes plastered to the landscape for most of the ride up the mountain. With the aid of Minerva, he is able to view the rock formations and shape of the lands from above.

Gimble waits with great anticipation and excitement to see the eagle nests. He urges his pony to the front of the group, letting out oh's and ahh's as the animal leaps and bounds across the uneven, rocky terrain. A breath escapes him as they round the corner and spot the entrance. "My word. They are quite majestic indeed." His eyes trace the cave and its inhabitants as he counts the number of creatures that he can see. An almost child like giddiness overtakes him. "How shall we introduce ourselves? I can imagine that they'll be rather cautious around their nests, and we are quite close."
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:42 pm

The Gusting wind tussled the Mariner’s wispy white blond hair. It caught and snagged on the bristly stubble that had grown over their long journey.

As they ascended, Artimus gleaned from the chatter that the eagles that they sought out, we super intelligent and massive. Two very important facts that had been lost on him. He'd been quite delirious when they'd spotted the creatures- the mariner had assumed they were typically size only at a much closer.

They paced around a multitude of various size loose rocks and thick dry underbrush. He was careful to step exactly where Osvald did, his boots well worn on mountain passes in the northern reaches.  On two occasions Artimus mistook a branch serpent- letting out a small and too high pitched chirp.
“a znake!” he said pointing as re recoiled.

Oswald and Custer brandished their steel, turning to the curvy and spotted branch.

"Ah yes, Captain"
Oswald said with pationizing tone,. kicking the branch-  "and a vicious one, I think it's poisonous"

Their humor was thin after he called out for the second time.


Earlier,
==============
Artimus winced as heard Valeria’s voice. The words themselves were kind, and yet t her soft intonation landing on the words in precisely the right way to remind him of his earlier misstep . a subtly that he might of missed just years earlier.

“ah” the momentary self satisfaction of the understanding flashed over his face.

“Ah, zo zhiz iz how a paladin of Zune wizh zeleztial blood in her veinz tellz zomeone to eat manure when zhey’re being a pompouz azz- how delightfully caddy and zmug. "

"J’m excuze Mizz Valeria-" Artimus apologized, bowing in his saddle

"I'm azhamed to admit my mood got zhe better of me back in zhe cavern. My wordz were heartfelt- yet delivered.... how would you zay very poorly. “

As Oswald bore his own scars to Valeria, Artimus wondered how many days she’s stay cross with him… perhaps she isn’t the grudge holding type he pondered perhaps to generously.

==============================
Artimus’ pace slowed markedly as they neared the unmistakable caverns portal. He peered warily into the mouth of expansive cavern, it’s vast reaches penetrated by his daylit eyes.

"Zo… zhe giant eagles are in zhere?"
 He asked dawn softly, the question hung in the air.

"..And we’re going in .... az in all us uz?… how big did you zay zhey were again?"


He asked again squirming in his the chain shirt he wore beneath his impressive and stylish shirt. He adjusted the sword at his hip, the second figit confirming what the first suggested.

"Perhapz I zhould keep watch out here. Mind zhe horzez… we don’t want them to get frightened"


================================
Artimus Don't like the idea of giant birds-huge, mean bird eyes- cold and murderous.
Keeping a real good watch
1d20
1d20


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:42 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Rand Theriot on Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:56 pm

Rand lumbered behind Osvald and the rest of the group, bending his head under branches and trying to squeeze his over-sized mass through tight passes.  

Gimble, the gnome, giddily exclaimed to the party, "My word. They are quite majestic indeed. How shall we introduce ourselves? I can imagine that they'll be rather cautious around their nests, and we are quite close."

Rand ponders for a moment, and stoops low on all fours to reach Gimble, face-to-face. As his heavy knees touch the ground, small twigs snap.  It seems that he's trying to be quiet, but, perhaps not so successful with it.  With a finger almost as thick as a chicken leg, he asks somewhat incredulously, "You speak bird?"



Stealth roll 11+5 = 16
Don't mind the other 4 numbers, I'm still getting accustomed to the roll system.


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:56 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Wed Apr 13, 2016 7:08 pm

Careful of the cave, you know how animals can be around their young.  We most certainly aren't going to be taking one with us.

Try to scout and see if there is a way for us to get to the citadel from here.   Also keep an eye out for an of the bandits from below, I'd at least like to see where they plan on springing any traps.  


Dwan stops and looks into the cave, he sees something gleam from inside of the cave.

I will go in to see if there is anything that can assist us. I've dealt with many animals before, and even helped a few give birth.  I should be fine, but don't follow.

Dwan creeps into the cavern, he pauses a moment for his vision to adjust to the lack of light before moving forward slowly.  He keeps his head on a swivel making sure to asses each bird as he passes.  He notices a few feathers starting to ruffle and whistles a soft note in hopes to soothe the birds.  As he moves through the cavern, he takes note of the ways the birds move, the musculature, the weaving of their feathers.  This may be useful in the future. he thinks to himself.

==================================================

Dwan moves into the cavern to try to find what the shiny is.

Animal Handling 2 + 6 8  (of course)
Perception 10+ 4 14
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Osvald Hale on Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:25 pm

Osvald stands, back pressed against a rock wall just out of sight from the nest entrance.

Dwan rounds the path toward the entrance, and Osvald nods to him in encouragement, the motion says: 'I've got your back.'

The ranger worried about the rapidly worsening condition of the Druid, and if Dwan felt this encounter would help, Osvald wouldn't hesitate... But, the Eagles certainly didn't disappoint in the 'Great' department. The ranger hoped it wouldn't come to blows...

"Good luck." he whispered, and mouthed a silent prayer.

=====


Osvald isn't totally sure what's going to happen.

Perception + Nature checks on the Eagles in case their mood starts shifting.

WHOA, bad rolls today...

Per: 1 + 5 = 6

Nature 2+ 5 = 7


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Osvald Hale on Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:27 pm

Roll:
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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:27 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Ao on Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:05 am

The ranger creeps past his fellows, following Dwan toward the cave mouth.

Artimus and Rand stand sentry aside Valeria, while Custer slinks between the canopies of the trees, eyeing the passway down.

Marietta turns to Gimble, watching Osvald and the sickly druid slink off towards the shimmering caverns.

“I like this not.” she mutters irritably, chewing on her bottom lip.

She turns back to the giddy gnome, speaking about the men in the shadows from earlier.

“There are many travellers who pass through the western shelf. Tethyrian traders, some of them. Lawbreakers, most of them. Some are harmless… but I would not be surprised if the Rundeen’s slave network had a cave or two burrowed into the side of this great mount. Not surprised one bit.”

[…]

Gimble watches Dwan move further and further away from them, the gnome fascinated by the unfolding events.

On the perimeter of the cave mouth, two elegant brown eagles are the first to notice the fellowship’s approach. With sparkling yellow eyes, their enormous muscular necks perk up suddenly. They are nearly ten feet tall, their wingspans perhaps 18 or 20 feet.

The ambient cooing and pruning of the flock stops immediately, silence following as the birds tensely watch Dwan and Osvald approach…

The mothers in their nests cover their young, and you watch as several of the other giant eagle males edge towards the perimeter, their eyes locked upon the interlopers.

Insects hum in Dwan’s ears, his breath shaky and worn upon by the illness. His throat is distinctively tight, a sickening sweat forming at the corners of his jawline. The druid hums a low note to calm the beasts, but bile in his throat causes him to choke, and his throat rattles as he attempts to start anew.

[Animal handling, Dwan]

The giant eagles stretch their wings out in warning, a deep growl echoing from within their throats. Majestically, the bulwark of feathers and muscles lets the pair know that they can go no further into the lair, the broad-chested males beginning to creep forward threateningly.

Dwan knows enough of animal kind, to know this is not going well.

Osvald studies the birds. He can sense their pride, their uncertainty…

[Nature, Osvald]

He watches them, not understanding their behaviour. The ranger has seen their kind before, but admittedly is not familiar with their ways. As they begin to advance, he cannot tell if they are approaching to observe, or to warn.

Suddenly, the flock parts.

An enormous grey eagle struts forward, his head crowned by a mass of feathers that extend in all directions. Streaks of maroon run from his beak down his chest, and you can tell that this eagle is very wise, and strong, and dominant.

The other warriors of the flock form up in a phalanx behind it, as it walks forward cautiously…

It pauses, eyes locked upon Dwan and Osvald… and shifting back to the fellows far beyond…

Seconds pass…

“SCRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAW!” The bird screeches a deep, bellowing war cry that sends adrenaline through your guts and fires the hair on the back of your neck, as the flock extends its’ enormous wingspan and kicks off from the ground toward you!!!!!

=========================

Oh dear!

Things have not gone well with the eagles. Not well at all. We’ve a couple options here, fellows…

Lay of the land: Dwan and Osvald are approximately 50 feet away from the rampaging eagles to the north. The fellowship is about 50 feet behind them, at the edge of the cliff where the path wraps around to the west, back the way you came.

I'm going to share details on what rolls I need for the most obvious courses of action. Of course, don't feel limited - just want to give you an idea of what we're dealing with here.

1) Fighting back. If you're planning on fighting these eagles, their stats are up in the lair. Dwan and Osvald - you know these are majestic, sacred birds. Killing them would be out of alignment with your classes, and I'd rule that there would be some repercussions that we would mutually come to agree on, TBD. I know it's self-defense, but the burden of provocation in their secret nest home with young about falls mostly upon you. I'll sketch out a combat map if it comes to it.

2) You can retreat down the path, of course. Standard athletics or dex check if youre running, or ride if you're riding. unless some of you get creative with your checks (and in-character reasoning) why you're sure-footed and able to navigate the path you just ascended, well...bad rolls are going to mean some serious shit for you. Also note, checks are going to be much harder if you intend to take them on horseback! Very easy for a horse to misstep here, at haste...

3) Dwan can certainly attempt another handle animal check here - but he would have to stop, exposing himself to an enormous amount of eagle attacks and ensuring that to retreat, he would take a great deal more in attacks of opportunity - if he failed the roll.

4) Some other creative path. Make sure you're making skill checks, folks.

Good luck!

Ao

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:32 am

Artimus and Rand stood near to the eagle caves entrance. Swatting away the flying devils that molested this area of the wood. Artimus waved away the biting gnats and mosquitoes as he shoo’d away the continuous anxiety at the task Osvald and Dwan taken on.

He shuttered the thoughts of giant aviators and darkened caves turning to their new traveling companion, who was standing silently to his left- not seeming to mind the bugs nearly as much as he did.

"Zo.. Rand iz it?"

"Pardon my rudenezz; I did not get a chance to introduce myzelf.  My name iz Artimus Delonde- Captain of zhe Millenium Falcon  Trois Piztolez."

"We find ourzelvez in theze mountainz at the edge that blazted dezertz in zearch of a cure for our friend Dwan- He waz blighted by zome kind of red mizt; we met while hunting a clutch of werewolvez."

"I know I know, Far-fetch-ing iz it not?"

"Ahere'z more ... but I zhink we zhould let zhat bit zink in firzt."

... (conversation can happen here between Rand and Artimus Smile  )

=======

The cave's mouth screeched blasphemously- crying out into the buggy mountain air like a heretic with the bloody treason of trespass.  

The sound rolled up Artimus' back like lighting, causing his whole body to lengthen suddenly as if a string were attached to his crown was abruptly yanked upward.

It was clear something had gone wrong- Artimus mind raced back into the interior of the cave where his friends delved to parlay with these mythical and awe-some beasts.

The blistering alarm shocked their steeds into a frenzy,  Artimus gathered up their reigns and did what he could to allay them as he gently guided them perpendicularly from he caves entrance. He pathed the creatures along ridge-line keeping their feet in steady elevation lessen the chance for a caught hoof or loosed rubble- He hoped.- they would need these horses.

1d20 5+1 animal handling
1d20 6+1 extra roll
======================


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:32 am

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Rand Theriot on Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:16 pm

Rand turns his thick head towards Artimus and grunts affirmatively to his question.  "Ransdell Theriot I'm named, but my chums like callin' me Rand."

He swats at a nice fat mosquito, sucking the blood from his shoulder. Its needle like proboscis pierces into the tissue where his skin is branded.  Partially obscured by his leather rags, the little pest drinks from the bottom loop of the letter 'B.'  With a wet splat of his large palm, the bug is no more.  He looks at the smear disinterestedly and dispassionately.

"I met a few dames that talk like you. 'Toy Piss-tools? That some kinda flop house?"

His meaty hand swiftly flies through the air and snatches a fat mosquito buzzing by his bulbous nose. Between two fingers, he squeezes the insect until a little trickle of red oozes down his thumbnail. A faint smile hints at the corner of his lip.

"Dem joints always got those kinda fun names," he muses.  "Some day we'll go, yeah chum? You'll gemme one of your girls on the house?"


As the two strangely accented men speak, Marietta converses with Gimble, “There are many travelers who pass through the western shelf. Tethyrian traders, some of them. Lawbreakers, most of them."

Rand gives her a quick sidelong glance but turns back to Artimus. (Roll #1: Deception)

"Wolves I know nothing of, nor their where-abouts, chum. I'll tell you straight, I'm not one for doggish ways and should rather they roast than wag. Though, I wager you more enjoy the cat's meow, yes?"
he blithely replies, with an obscene grin.




Rand stands alongside Artimus as the ranger and druid's parley with the Giant Eagle nest. Once their attempts go sour, Rand and Artimus' small talk and jokes are interrupted by a screech from the cavemouth.  The sound is earpiercing, and shocks not only the two men, but the horses they had corralled.

In a frenzy, Artimus gathered the reigns of the animals in a poor attempt to control their building panic, but to little avail. Rand yanks the bridles of the horses, hoping his fearsome, more immediate strength would be more convincing than the danger in the cave. (Roll #2: Athletics)

Through the din of neighs and terrifying bird-calls, Rand bellows to Artimus, "Better we give these wretched nags to the birds as an offering, than join our mares in an eagle's gullet!" (Roll #3: Persuasion)



Roll #1: Deception - 14 +3 = 17
Roll #2: Athletics - 15 + 7 = 22
Roll #3: Persuasion - 18 + 0 = 18


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:16 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:08 pm

No no no no no no no he says to himself  He lets out a few shrill whistles while spreading his arms  and standing in front of the elder eagle.

BCRAWWW! he cries out.

(Animal handling 9 + 6 = 15)

Dwan makes eye contact with the elder as he moves his arms in a similar way that the mother eagles used to shield their young.

Selune help me, I mean you no harm. he thinks to himself.

BRCAWWWW he cries out again in desperation. Sweat forming on his brow.

With a deep breath Dwan concentrates on the eagles in front of him. His shoulder's twitch and his elbows bend at an unnatural angle. His knees bend backwards and the legs elongate. Dwan's beard expands and engulfs his body, the hair expanding and forming into feathers.

A loud BRCAWWW is heard from Dwan's beak. The rest of the party hears cooing and quick snaps coming from the beak, to the eagles though...

We mean you no harm, my lords. My name is Dwan Bolduum, I originally come from the Chondalwood. We are travelers making our way to the citadel. We happened across what appeared to be bandits on the road and thought to take this road instead. I assured my colleagues that we can trust in the honor of the eagles to let us pass safely. While passing the nest I did notice something in the cave that might not belong. I wanted to ensure that the shiny object over there wasn't causing any harm or corruption to you all.

========================
Dwan places himself at the mercy of the eagles. He changes into one and communicates in the language of Giant Eagle.


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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:08 pm

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Re: Chapter Five And A Half

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