Zeran looked between the farmer and Froderick and simply shrugged. He sat back against the cart and yawned a bit waiting for the go ahead to get the horses moving. If a notice for the beast popped up at the post, then they would have something to do in this area again soon. Otherwise, they had a task to do and things to do of themselves. Kyrie's words and offers hopefully inspired the farmers to figure some better protections or figure out a trap or two, but he also knew nothing of this beast and as such didn't know if that would work. "Traps? Better fencing? I'm not a farmer or a homesteaders, so I can't offer much to either of those but the best of luck. Do be careful, please, this land can be dangerous enough without people losing their valuable lives. Good luck." He smiled, trying to be friendly at least.
Back at the post.
Zeran finished helping to unhitch the horses after getting the cart into the usual parking spot. He caught what Svetlana had said and his eyes widened a bit at the dwarf's eagerness to head into battle. "Woah woah woah! Froderick I thought you were the smart one here?!" He frowned, and in his usual charming manner threw himself ass first into the conversation. "Are you mad? Forgive my being rude but, that seems to be a very very very bad idea. We know nothing of this 'Stag Lord' other then what the bandits told us. What we DO know is that he has been running things more or less like his own little bandit kingdom. He was taxing Oleg and Svetlana here, and more then likely other trade routes and such as well. We also know he has an air of mystery about him and some think he isn't human. As well, we also know he was feared, feared enough that the man we found in the spider hole had risked his own life to escape and get away. This 'Lord' has organized the bandits, either by force or reason and turned them into a veritable if poor army. If the increase in activity is any sign to anything he is either planning an act of retribution for our attack on the camp."
Zeran took a moment and looked between Svetlana and Froderick to make sure they were at least half listening. Sure they were, he continued his tone serious and grave as before.
"I'd assume his base of operations is in the south. If you want to go charging into the wasp nest face first then by all means. But I suggest if we do, we have a very good plan maybe ask our new, reforming former bandits if they have any information for us besides what we already know. Anything could be of value, hell even what they stole the most of and what was their largest send off to the Stag Lord would be vague enough to be useful. Did he like furs? Booze? Money?"
Zeran sighed and shook his head slightly gathering his thoughts.
"I could be blowing smoke out my ass here, but I for one would rather we focus on some of the tasks in our area now and maybe send word off to Brevoy that the bandits may be preparing for something more then petty raids and taxation. I would also suggest we come up with a very good, very well thought out plan as to what we are going to do should we go after the Stag Lord immediately. My vote is against it, no need to throw our lives away with so little information and no plan."
He fixed his eyes on Froderick now, staring at him man to man conveying respect for the Dwarf as best he could given his speech.
"Don't forget, the bandits we just fought almost killed myself and Miguel, the only damn reason I survived is because you are an excellent protector. I respect you Froderick, you have a good heart and know what you want with the rest of your life. But don't underestimate the bandits. I was a rogue myself once if you recall, but I doubt the Stag Lord or his cronies will have a heart as big as mine if we go knocking on their door. We will deal with him, and he will get his. But I don't want us all getting killed trying to do so."
He waited a moment, hoping his words would sink in and hold some meaning before giving a polite nod of his head and making his way to help around with whatever he could.
OMG a post! I need to post more so I can think of something creative for the subject
What a rude bunch, animals have to eat sometime. Good show Frodrick he handled that with ease and no bloodshed he's getting better at communicating, good on him. The bard went back to is bird watching, nature is always wonderful this time of year, we even aided saving another creature, day well spent. He then laid back in the cart hands folded behind his head humming along as they went.
Once the group reached a halt Miguel sat up from his rest full cloud watch to retrieve Bogdin from his harness, 'Lets get you some food' stroking the horse's neck as he led it to the stack of Hay in the barn. Miguel's stomach grumbled 'You have your now, I need some of my own.' The man pulled out a stick of dry bread to munch on, and paused a moment to inspect the crusty beating stick that was once food. 'waist not, wont not'
Posted on 2013-08-27 at 04:52:02.
Edited on 2013-08-27 at 20:27:57 by Okron
Why all the hate dear dwarf? Is it because dwarf = hate?
Frodrick nodded at Zeran’s statements. It seemed that time had taught the dwarf the lessons of patience and seeing through another’s eyes – what would have once kindled his anger was now taken in stride.
“I see yer point, and I didn’t mean we just charge on in like we ain’t got nothin’ to lose. I am just sayin’ we should bring the fight to them before they bring it to us: they know where we are housed and we know nothing about them. If we find a few bandits by themselves we might be able to learn more about where they are located.”
“Unless something big happens in the near future like our singer here learns to bring the stars down on our enemies, there ain’t a whole lot that we can hope for to change our lot for the better against that there Stag Lord. We be five beings against an army of bandits in turf they are a bit more familiar with: the odds are stacked against us unless the Sword Lords decide to send us an army of our own. By lookin’ at the farmers and trappers of this area, I ain’t seen no one that I could trust my back to in a real fight, so conscription by any means also is right out.”
“But I will admit: getting some of the other jobs posted might be a good thing for us. If anything else we can get some better quality weapons – and having our own general territory secured could be a bonus if it ever came to a fight in ‘our own lands’. Plus getting more familiar with the layout and its dangers of this area would not be a bad thing for us.”
“So the short end o’ it is that I can do without badgering the bandits for now, but I be getting a wee bit blustery at the mention of them getting more active!”
Yeah, I ran with it. The random encounter table is not going to be this good to me twice
Oleg's Trading Post
South Brevic Borderlands
A large man accepted the gold from Kyrie (-15G).
“I thank you on behalf of those families who have lost sheep. I will see to it that the division of coin is fair. May I ask your name, miss, so that I may tell those families who to thank in their prayers?”
(Contrary to the previous post, the farmers' departure is with overall some less grudging, and at least a measure of respect, mostly aimed toward Kyrie)
Kesten, leader of the mercenary guards, listened to Zeran's concerns. “If this Stag Lord is actually preparing a counter attack, my men won't make it easy for him. There may only be four of us, but defending a fort is always easier than attacking, and we'll see them coming for several miles around from the wall. You don't have to worry much about us—with Thorn Ford down, the bandits have no large encampment in the north that we've ever heard of, so if they come north with any real numbers, we'll hear about it from the hunters first.”
Exploration & Mapping
30 Gozran – 1 Desnus
Hexes: +--XP Each
True to Frodrick's direction, the party left again the next day after stocking up, hoping to pick up right where they left off travel. They broke wide around the hills to follow along the river to the south.
The first day of Desnus was warm, and the night warm and clear. Zeran was enjoying the clear view of the stars on his watch when he heard a quiet rustle of an animal moving through the tall grass in the darkness.
Remembering the farmers' comments from a few days ago, the ex-river pirate stirred the embers of the fire a little more, hoping to remind whatever it was of its instinctive fear of fire and make it leave. As luck would have it, just as he was about to return to his star-gazing he heard another shuffle through the grass, which promptly came to a stop when he cocked his ear.
Not an animal.
It could have been the wind, or it could have been his imagination, but Zeran thought he heard a quiet, but distinct hushing sound from the darkness, all too close to the edge of the fire light for comfort.
(Also -50G from Kyrie for her brand spankin' new healer's kit that Oleg got in this week)
Posted on 2013-08-27 at 21:38:19.
Edited on 2013-08-29 at 07:58:53 by Sibelius Eos Owm
I made this mistake once already. Glad I fixed that shit before much went wrong.
"Who goes there! Identify yourselves or be considered hostile!" Zeran quickly stuffed a ball and shot into the muzzle of his gun. He flinched, but never lost concentration as an arrow struck the dirt just a foot away from him.
Oh yeah, hostile.
Around him the camp was just coming to, but already the bandits were descending on them like flies to a corpse. Zeran wasn't even to his feet when two men with short swords burst into the circle of fire. They both came straight for him, trying to stop him from activating his wand while his companions prepared.
Zeran quickly dodged the first, but the other was faster. Her only narrowly avoided the blade by interposing the polished metal barrel of his gun between him and the blade as he rolled to his feet (-4dmg Zeran)
Zeran almost stumbled over himself backing away from the swords and the ugly men behind them—or wait, the one of the left was a woman. Without stopping to think Zeran pointed his pistol, aimed on instinct, and fired. The man stumbled backward, almost keeping his footing before falling over, as good as dead with a ball in his chest, at least for now (-13dmg BanditA, Dying)
Miguel blearily rolled off his bed just as Zeran shot the man dead. He got to his feet as many others were around him and drew his sword, mentally priming it with the arcane energy under his power.
The woman, perhaps overconfident or perhaps oblivious to the speed at which Zeran's companions were acquiring their deadly weaponry, lunged for the gunslinger again. Her blade that had come so close to him the first time proved lucky again and found its way into his gut, only a few inches short of where another sharp object had so long ago been lodged (-6dmg Zeran, Disabled). Zeran's vision blurred and he began to feel light headed.
As the only other standing target, Miguel quickly learned of the archer's presence when a shaft penetrated the outer layers of his armour until it was lodged to prick him painfully in the side (-3 Miguel).
Frodrick cursed himself for his old, slow bones as he hefted his bulk to his full height. With Zeran stumbling on his feet, he rushed immediately to the man's side, drawing his waraxe as he moved. Krii meanwhile wove a spell barrier around his body even before he reached for his weapon.
Responding to a barked command from her master, Jargon stampeded over the bedrolls on the ground into the camp, coming to Zeran's side. The chestnut mare reared at the bandit woman, dominating her field of vision and aiding Zeran's escape.
If that weren't quite enough of a looming threat, rolling out of a very pleasant dream Kyrie appeared unarmoured at her back, shovel in hand and radiating a righteous aura of protection.
Bandit A: Dying
Bandit B: Uninjured. Oh, hello boys
Bandit C: Not visible
Zeran fell back again, trying to keep his head below Jargon's flank hoping that the archer didn't get any ideas. “I could use a potion here!” he called. “You know, when you're not busy or anything.”
Miguel tested his arrow. It wasn't deep, but it was certainly not moving from the leather padding anytime soon. He left it in, hoping it might go away of its own accord if he ignored it enough. Probably not. The bard took aim at the darkness where he thought the archer must be given the direction the arrow came from and threw a cluster of lights into the void, casting a large section of the field into bright light.
Sure enough, crouched in the grass some 50' away was the archer, shock registering on his face as his concealment vanished. Miguel started after him, gleaming sword in hand.
“Shoot! Shoot them, you fool!” the woman backed away from Zeran's defenders and began to retreat toward her long-range support. To his credit, the archer managed a clumsy shot that flew several feet wide of Miguel before he decided to turn tail and retreat for the darkness.
(the first round basically had nothing but (move-stand) (move-draw weapon) actions, though as you saw a couple (Kyrie and Frodrick) got to do a couple extra things thanks to swift actions and non-zero BAB's. Also because I realized it would be silly not to assume Jargon would be called in the first round of combat.
(I think it's like Krii's turn next, but I realized I would probably have to stop and post sometime. Miguel is still 50' behind the archer, but only 15' behind the woman. The archer is moving to get out of the light of the spell so he can resume hiding, while the woman is basically running. She is something like 45-55' away from most of the party, so attacking further will be the field of charge attacks or ranged weapons (or Jargon))
(I think Krii might just have a chance at a spell? But oh wait, it's Frodrick's turn. Anyway, Krii is 65' away from the woman right now, which is actually just barely close enough I think, if he hustles)
(Oh yeah, and if you notice something your character should have obviously done (like Frodrick's Jargon thing, but I caught that one) in the time alotted, let me know)
Krii waited for the group to go and them rode up to the farmer whom had given them such grief and drew his sickle holding it to the farmer not as a threat but more to show and emphasize his statement
"A young darkling I met as a child once told me something his father had told him on his death bed, There is no safety to be found in a blade, a blade brings death not life, it is a responsibility, a burden, it is not a gift, it is a curse."
with that Krii sheathed his weapon and rode off to join the others.
Krii sat silently listening to his companions trying desperately to think of something useful to add to the conversation but coming up with nothing for the first time in along time Krii felt tired and for the life of him he couldn't figure out why once they had all said there piece Krii excused himself and went off to his favorite rooftop where at he gazed into the sky and promptly drifted off to sleep.
Krii hearing Zerans cry instinctively reached for one of his potions but steadied himself remembering his gun slinging companion wasn't the same kind of special he was, his attentions then changed to his opponents he quickly cast his mage armour to help sway any stray arrows that might come his way and took target at the one visible bandit deciding that since they seemed so hot under the collar he might try to cool them off (with a large influx of bees I mean... frost magic... Owen make sure its frost magic and not bees.. can I shoot bees from my fingers yet.. stick with frost magic)
He made a slight run to get into better range with his spell then let fly the frosty energy bolt hoping that they would strike true and actually hurt something for a change.
Zeran grumbled and cursed to himself like a fictional short angry cowboy with a long bushy red mustache who called all mounts mules. He wasn't a happy camper again, this was twice a sharp pointy thing had decided to make his gut its home. "Damn, damn, damn." He had called for a potion but couldn't recall if they actually HAD any and that his calls were in vain. "Mental note, thank dwarf if vocal chords still work. Hug Kyrie if arms still work, remind Miguel that phyiscal objects don't disappear on their own usually. Don't poke wound." He was spouting noise to himself just to keep on his feet. He knew if he exerted to much effort he would simply collapse. For the time, he was indisposed to help but he could at least take the satisfaction in having downed one of them and lended his aid to the fight. That much he was proud of.
It seemed that fate had a cruel sense of humor. Here Frodrick had hoped to catch the bandits off guard - but here the exact opposite had happened. The old dwarf knew what to do instinctually as his companion made his ruckus in the night. Instantly his arms were grabbing his axe and his shield. He would have to get up and size up the situation, but he could already tell that the gunman was wounded.
"Jargon, defend!" Frodrick commanded as he pointed to Zeran. He only hoped she could see in the poor lighting of the night and the fire.
This is what I get for doing half the round already in the last post
Frodrick set his axe down. Keeping Zeran alive was his top priority just now, and he set Jargon's great strength to work on that task.
Krii quickly chased after Miguel and the fleeing bandits. He called his magic to his fingers and fired a beam of frost after the woman. She stumbled mid-stride in surprise at the sudden chill down her back, but didn't slow (-2cold BanditB)
With the chief threat too busy running as fast as it could in the opposite direction, Kryie rushed over to where Zeran leaned on Jargon's protective flank. She handed him the potion she carried with her and turned to watch the bandits. More than certainly they would know better than to try something like that again in the near future, even if they got away from Miguel and Krii.
Miguel caught up to the bandit who had maimed Zeran just as the man was quaffing the potion that would save him (+6hp Zeran). As she sensed his approach she turned back to attack—he was alone at the head of the group. If she could kill him, she could get away to pillage another day.
Miguel was faster by far, and struck her down with a single, powerful strike adding to Krii's spell (-11dmg, Dying). She fell with the same snarl that would have thrust her bloodied sword into Miguel's gut.
The archer realized his advantage with Miguel distracted by cutting down the woman. He nocked another arrow in his bow and sent it straight for Miguel's heart. Without waiting to see his shot land, he turned back for the shadows and booked it to the safety of obscurity.
Miguel, meanwhile, had barely looked up from the woman's body when he was hammered directly in the chest with the arrow. His free hand went instinctively to clutch at the wound, his brain overpowering his immediate desire to remove the offending projectile from his body and bleed out to death.
Okay, calm, rational, cool. He could feel blood run down the inside of his brigandine. That would be a bother to clean later. His heart hammered away strong behind his cage of ribs. That was a good sign, it was going strong. Given this degree and angle of perforation he judged that if the shaft had actually gone deep he would probably be laying on the ground bleeding out by now, not scrambling to assess the damage.
By some stupid twist of luck or fate, the arrow sticking out of his chest approximately just left of centre wasted most of its force striking against one of the metal plates in his armour before breaking the skin. Miguel, as he was relieved to find, was actually in very good health, despite the stinging pain now coming from two projectiles taking up temporary residence in his body (-4dmg Bloodied *near-critical*)
(people marked with a star have yet to move this particular round, if there is confusion over the fact that current initiative order has basically gone round and round with hardly any mention where each round began and ended)
Zeran sucked back the potion and gave a nod of his head to Kyrie. "Much appreciated. Now, how about we see to slapping these fools around? Hopefully avoid more stomach wounds I WOULD like to eat tomorrow." He jested, with a grimace and a shake of his head. He narrowed his eyes and focused off into the distance seeing the commotion. "Go on ahead of me they will need your help if that f**ker decides he has balls to fight to the end. I'll catch up." As he spoke his hands followed the routine to reload his gun, if he got the chance he would blast yon fool into oblivion.
With perhaps some small consideration for his own safety, Krii jumped in front of Miguel, using his body and magical armour as a shield against any further arrows meant for the bard.
“Blasted cowards the lot o' them!” Frodrick cursed. He hollered after the fleeing archer, “Just you run with yer tail between yer legs and don't let me catch sight o' ye again! It'll take more than a handful o' the likes of craven rats like you to take down the last of Clan Redbrew!”
The last of the bandits was still just within view of the light, but far enough to make any ideas of a chase a long and arduous ordeal. The lone archer would not likely be returning tonight with both of his companions dead from an attack that ended almost before it officially began.
(While it's still possible to chase down the last bandit if you want to, he's got a fairly good head start, Krii is the only one who can move faster than 20' who isn't wounded, and then there's the matter of catching the bandit in the darkness without Miguel's lights, which although have a fairly large range, are still bound to his location.)
(Assuming no chase and/or after chase)
After removing the corpses from the vicinity of the camp, the party settled in for the rest of the night. They considered moving camp, but out on the open field as they were, they would have to go a long way before the light of the fire could be hidden from view, and in the end it wasn't worth the effort wasted. Frodrick took up the tail of Zeran's watch as his follow, to allow the gunman the few moments extra rest.
Frodrick 13/13 –
Jargon 13/13 –
Krii 8/8 –
Kyrie 13/13 –
Miguel 2/9 –
Zeran 6/10 – (e) 30 bullets
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: E7 +25XP Each
Kyrie tended to Miguel and Zeran's wounds daily, to conserve the two remaining potions for true emergencies like the one from the night of the attack. Having entered a new area of the hills, the group set out a winding route for mapping, intending to start at the northwest section against the already mapped section and moving southeast until they hit the river, and following it south to the next area.
The days passed almost as if summer had more or less arrived, as temperatures continued all week in the heat wave range. While it was hot, it was still spring if only by technicality, and the temperatures though uncomfortable to bear in layers of armour with little prospect of shade, never grew truly unbearable.
(morning on the 4th)
Frodrick 13/13 –
Jargon 13/13 –
Krii 8/8 –
Kyrie 13/13 –
Miguel 7/9 –
Zeran 10/10 – (e) 30 bullets
Nettles' Crossing – Shrike River
The sign standing next to the thick, sagging rope spanning across the river read:
Ring Bell for Service
A rusty bell hung by the sign, and on the opposite side of the river another such sign and bell could be seen. The south side also had the crumbling, burnt-out husk of a wooden shack, slowly losing a battle with overgrowth and encroaching vegetation.
Downriver a series of large rocks in the middle of the river betrayed the last remaining signs that there was once a full bridge across the Shrike—wooden planks and debris formed a pile of rubble caught in the middle of the swift moving river.
The river at this point is only about 180' across this stretch.
(Interact with what you like, though suggestions include
-Rope (either in attempt to cross, or inspect, whatnot; anyone with a little skill in climbing or a fair amount of natural body strength could make an easy go of it if they were unencumbered)
-Shack (perhaps calling out to see if anything still uses it)
-Rubble (something like 100' downstream, so that's a bit out of the way)
Posted on 2013-09-05 at 20:59:54.
Edited on 2013-09-06 at 06:18:55 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Zeran looked about and frowned a bit. "Hmmm..." He gave the rope a light tug and jerked it about some to see how strong it was. "I'm going to wager...swimming isn't an option and I don't trust this rope to much either." He mused outloud before giving the bell a light poke. "Well? I say we ring this and stay on our toes, that shack looks more or less abandoned but you never know. Who wants to do the honors or shall I?"
Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.
“Who wants to do the honours or shall I?” Zeran thumbed at the old rusted bell.
Frodrick grumbled. “I don't care to have anything to do with water or water crossing, but I ain't afeared of no bell. Ring, if it will make ye happy.”
Zeran gave the bellcord a sharp rattling which rang dull and cheerless. There was no answer for several long seconds, and it seemed like that “Nettles' Crossing” was indeed long abandoned.
Then there was movement from downstream. It seemed as if there was a small rock in the stream that had not been there before, not far from the pile of rubble. Then it moved again, rising a step up out of the water and a step closer to reveal the pale balding head and shoulders of a man.
Despite the strength of the current against him, the man was barely slowed in his march. His pale bare chest rose step by step out of the water as the river flowed passed him. With each step he rose further out of the water though soon it became obvious the riverbed could not be that shallow, until finally he stood full on the surface of the river, bare-chested and wearing sodden, rotting breeches.
As he approached it his sinewy body was revealed that it was just that—scarcely more than rotted flesh and sinew. In place of a nose he had two hollow nostril holes on his face, and his twisted grimace was only made more hideous by the absence of flesh around his teeth.
The revenant's steady march brought him to some sixty feet downstream from the bridge when he called out in a gurgling voice.
“You lot are not from the same lot as my tormentors. Bring me that cur, the Stag Lord and throw his body into the river so I may savour his death, unless you're here to join me instead.”
(Yay literary reference in titles that I would not have understood until a few days ago)
Posted on 2013-09-10 at 04:56:38.
Edited on 2013-09-10 at 05:01:24 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Zeran looked at the approaching horror and blinked having to double take. "Well, if we hadn't been attacked by a small furry child zombie creature I'd say this was a surprise. But frankly I'm surprised I wasn't surprised." He looked at Froderick as the shambling undead made its way over, giving the dwarf a 'who knows' shrug before turning to face their newcomer. "I'll assume your nettle, and I'll also assume the Stag Lord and his cronies did you something nasty hm? Well you are indeed right we are NOT part of his group and they aren't to fond of us. May, I ask what happened exactly? But yes, once we deal with that git I'll happily chuck his body into the river. Though, any information YOU, may have about the git might save us some hassle. Mind if we parlay a bit or should we abscond?" Zeran asked, looking surprised now, conversing with a corpse, not something you did all the time.