Even the best laid plans go awry... But that's not what's happening here
At Frodrick's urging the party travelled, keeping to the dark places between hills, on the off chance the feeble moonlight caught a glint off their weapons or armour. The bandits were camped at the top of the hill like people who were either not concerned about being spotted or thought to take advantage of the higher terrain.
“Okay, we surround them and take them alive if they are willing.” Zeran reminded the group.
“How are we going to go about this?” Miguel asked.
“Don't worry, I've got a plan. On my mark, run in like the city watch raiding a cathouse—you'll know the signal.”
Zeran directed Kyrie and Frodrick to stand ready down the hill from the camp, so that they didn't alert the guard trying to sneak around in their armour. Krii and Miguel were to get as close as they could on the opposite side while Zeran took care of the sentry.
When he was sure everyone was in place, the former river pirate crawled up as close as he could without alerting anyone to his presense. To be most effective with his weapon he needed to close a certain distance.
Suddenly Zeran felt the tiny snap of a twig underfoot. The sentry stiffened, far too close for such a distinctive sound to be missed at this time of night.
“Seriously?” Zeran looked at the ground under his foot. He couldn't tell one way or another.
“Hey! Who goes there?” The bandit woman on guard was standing up, the others beginning to stir at the noise.
“Ah, screw it.” Zeran looked back to the woman, put on his best dirty watchman squint and fired. (-10dmg BanditA Dying) The guard dropped from the ball in her chest.
“That was the signal! We have you surrounded. Surrender now and we'll spare your lives!”
Zeran didn't pop a grin this time when he removed the sentry from combat, they still had the rest to deal with and if their intimidation failed then they would be fighting. "Oi now listen here, you want your friend alive you put your hands on the back of your head and don't move a single muscle." He barked at the other bandits pointing his empty fire arm in their direction hoping they weren't well versed in this particular art of bulls**tery.
If they cooperated then they could possibly save the sentry, and if they didn't well that was just another bit of banditry removed from the country side for now.
That didn't go so smoothly, but at least nobody got hurt... oh wait.
Frodrick guided Jargon in the half-light up the hill. Jargon's hooves thudded against the grassy terrain as the bandits scrambled to get up.
It looked like their first plan had been to split up and flee in different directions. With the heavy plodding of Frodrick's mount on one side and Zeran's shouting on another, the end result was all three booked a flight in a single direction.
One of the three tripped over the dark terrain almost immediately. He fell hard into the dirt and rolled while the other two made their getaway.
Unbeknownst to them, Miguel and Krii waited in the darkness in exactly that direction, as Zeran directed. Krii waited until their mad-dash brought them within his range.
“Thirty feet, directly in front of us,” he told Miguel. The sorcerer fired a glittering purple-black ray from his palm, striking the man on the left, weakening him (-5Str Bandit B).
Things were already going very pear-shaped. Krii's timely warning gave him the opportunity to fix at least part of the situation. He sighed and muttered the notes to his spell, directing it into the darkness about where Krii had said. The area of the spell was wide enough that it would probably catch them if they were remotely where he aimed.
With a nigh-inaudible release of energy, the running footsteps disappeared and were replaced by a pair of solid thumps. Krii confirmed a moment later what Miguel suspected. “They're both down.”
Back at the top of the hill Zeran charged in after the fallen bandit, skillfully keeping his balance where the other man had fallen. He couldn't see exactly where the man was, but he heard the moan of pain and the scrambling.
He pointed the gun vaguely at the darkness and counted on the fact that the man couldn't see any better than he how far off he was. “Stay down if you value your life!”
There was a groan, a slump, and a muttered curse of admitted defeat.
It's like a trip up memory lane, except with less continuity and more tripping
Miguel threw up some light only moments after the brief conflict began. Sure enough, face down on the grass a few yards in front of him were the two bandits under his sleep spell.
By firelight Kyrie worked quickly to apply bandages to the fallen guard. With the wound bound and the bullet in place to stop the majority of the bleeding, the woman would likely live. Whether it was worth saving her life was another question for when she woke.
While she worked, Frodrick guided Jargon over to Zeran and the only conscious bandit and led him back to the camp site. The dwarf threw Miguel's rope to Kyrie so she could bind the hostages together, while the bard himself, aided by Krii, dragged the enspelled sleepers to join the train.
A minute later, as the spell wore off, both sleepers jumped life with much kicking and jostling, then immediately froze when they realized they were surrounded and unarmed.
“Go ahead, try the ropes. You best get comfortable. You lot are now our prisoners.” Frodrick told them. He explained their situation in short, and the benefits of cooperation.
“You will pay for this. We are agents of the Stag Lord. This is our territory and he will not let such insults pass.” Frodrick did not respond. He favoured them with a flat, unimpressed look and left them, effectively silenced.
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: E5, D4, C5 +75XP Each
In the morning the bandits' rope was tied to the back of the wagon to trail along behind as the party continued it's trek north along the Thorn river. Besides some grumbling and twisting against the ropes, the party suffered no mischief from their prisoners.
In their exploration the Greenbelt party passed the bridge across the Thorn as landmarked on their map. The Thorn in this part ran narrow and deep between two hills, across which the bridge stretched.
Though the party was not travelling south and did not need to cross the old wooden bridge, it's obvious age would have made them hesitant to use it. While it was still traversable, it likely had not been maintained any time since the map was drawn, itself already a fairly old document. There was no way of knowing how much weight it could still bear.
Early the next day the party followed the river north into the forest. Despite the precedent set by previous trips into the Narlmarches, the most action all day came in the dead of night (as it always seemed to) when a small gang of three elk passed by, the camp.
The remnants of the Thorn Ford bandit camp lay dejected and untouched by human hands since the day it was razed now more than two months ago.
Moonradish Patch; C5
Over the next few days the pattern of mapping and exploration undisturbed by any threat greater than the bandits' complaints about their ropes rubbing their wrists raw and the woman's slow and painful recovery.
They left the river a couple days ago, travelling east of north back toward Oleg's as they explored the reaches of forest that they had first passed through getting to the bandit camp.
It was late midday when Frodrick heard a low, contented moan coming from a clearing to the right. Further investigation revealed an arrowhead-shaped patch of moonradishes, with four kobolds laying in the centre. They lay amidst a pair of buckets filled to the brim with radishes, as well as the remains of what radishes now filled the four reptilians.
One kobold, turning its head slightly from gazing vacantly at the forest canopy to gazing vacantly at some hallucination of a dwarf riding a horse, suddenly sucked in its breath, staring wide-eyed at the apparition.
With a slightly delayed reaction the kobold jumped to its feet, grabbing its spear. “Back! No take radishes! These kobold radishes.”
The other three kobolds soon descended from their food-coma stupor and similarly leapt up with their spears.
Zeran fished out Miguel's rope and handed it to Froderick only to be slightly surprised to see him toss it to Kyrie. "Fingers don't want to work the knots?" He jested giving the old dwarf a playful grin and a respectful bow. As he got things sorted out and ready for their departure in the morning.
“You will pay for this. We are agents of the Stag Lord. This is our territory and he will not let such insults pass.”
He heard one of the bandits say and a grin crossed his face as he turned on his heel pointing in the air with his pointers but close to his body bent at the elbow. He had seen Froderick give them the stare and his grin only grew. "Excuse me, but do you think we give a damn? I personally blew Kressle's brains out the back of her head after her and I finished our little dance, the Thorn Ford river camp is gone and done with. You lot don't scare us and this Stag Lord is welcome to huff and puff and blow all he wants but he isn't going to scare us." He clapped his hands together and chuckled a bit.
"I suggest you get your sleep, we got a trek ahead of us and I wouldn't want you collapsing and getting dragged behind and I doubt you want that either." His spirits were in an all time high, for once an encounter hadn't ended with them horribly wounded or injured and his plan had gone off without to much of a hitch.
leaving a gap here in time for any responses.
He slept soundly that night with his grin on his face and high hopes for the future.
Zeran looked at the bridge as they passed it and scratched his chin. "Can we make a note of this? I'd like to fix it up once we get properly established and such, no sense having a bridge collapse on travelers least of all us should we ever need to make proper use of it." He said, more as a suggestion hoping it would be a good one. He personally didn't fancy the idea of having to swim across the river constantly, would be great for cardio though.
12 Desnus - Passing Thorn Ford Camp.
Zeran made sure to point out the ruins of the camp, though not easily seen it wasn't hard to make sure they got noticed. He was just sad he couldn't point out Kressle's dead body, that would have been an extra treat for their new 'friends.' "See? I wasn't kidding. Soak it in." Was all he said before he went back to humming the song stuck in his head. He didn't need to say more, if others wanted to they could but he had said his peace those nights ago at least for now.
15 Desnus - Kobolds.
Zeran blinked, first the radishes caught his eye then the clearly stuffed kobolds and their reaction. "Woah woah easy there. We don't want your radishes, are the Sootscale doing better without Tartuk now? Things improving?" He asked, hoping to ease them down a bit and maybe have them click two and two together and figure out who the party was. "When you get back please send our regards to your chief." He added, a friendly smile on his face as he kept his body relaxed and his posture friendly. He was hoping they wouldn't come to blows, the kobolds had proved friendly enough and the last thing he wanted and hoped the rest of the group agreed, was to piss them off.
Moonradish Patch; C5
The kobold lowered its spear in confusion (and perhaps the exertion of holding it up with a bloated stomach).
“Without Tartuk? Tartuk gone?” Suspicion crept into the kobold's eyes. “You lie! You want radish!”
(Assuming some explanation and a little convincing)
“Tartuk dead.” The kobolds took a moment to wrap their heads around what that meant. “Tartuk dead!” The four jumped into the air with hoots of joy. They all immediately regretted it in their current state and bemoaned the pains in their guts.
They talked excitedly amongst themselves in their own language and resolved to leave the patch with their earnings, but not before giving the party a very stern look that they should not attempt to take their radishes while they were away.
Oleg's Trading Post
South Brevic Borderlands
The party returned to Oleg's, with their prisoners, late in the afternoon. There was much jeering that at this rate they would need to a bigger fort to house all the extra labour. Nevertheless the prisoners were led away to join those from the Thorn Ford camp.
After the business of unhooking and setting aside the horses and wagon was settled, Oleg had some news for the group. A messenger came with bounty from the swordlords at Restov in response to Oleg's message to the city that reports of the kobolds had settled down in the region.
Furthermore, a letter arrived at the same time addressed to one 'Ser Valen Krii, Master of Castle Corvisanto in his Uncle's Name and Heir Presumptive'. Krii took this letter and, following a quick skim of it's contents, disappeared to some corner of the fort for several hours, not to return until near supper.
Finally, the last bit of news, there was a visitor to the post, having arrived only two days prior. He seemed to be a gentleman of some sort and carried a sword. He claimed to have business with the Greenbelt Charter party. Oleg thought he might have been a knight, perhaps looking to join the Charter. At the present moment he was out of the fort on some unknown business but was due to return later in the day.
The mysterious stranger had yet to return by the time Svetlana put food on the table. The return of their wedding ring put the Levetons in an especially festive mood and Oleg had some extra supplies brought out of the store to celebrate.
It wasn't until Zeran excused himself to use the privy that anything was found amiss. When he returned to his seat at the table, by some contrivance he had also taken up a seat on the opposite side, joining in conversation with Adela and Luka.
For a whole second neither of the two identical gunslingers seemed aware of each other's presense, until Svetlana gave one the other's requested second helping of stew.
(I absolutely had to get something up finally to respond—this has been a real fun week. I definitely don't have the time to do all that needs to be done for the next post, but who knows what can happen with a day off in the immediate future. Also in retrospect actually I think I just did get most of it out anyway... so much for sleep XD.)
(Also, by the way, that bounty reward totaled 800G for the party, plus the return of the ring nets you 1000G worth of credit (200 each) for buying things from Oleg's stock)
Posted on 2014-01-16 at 09:29:59.
Edited on 2014-01-16 at 09:33:07 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Zeran facepalmed wiping his hand down his face in exasperation. "Yes, tartuk is gone. I shot him dead and you're people are free." He gets an idea and reaches behind him into his things and fishes out the purple faker's journal holding it up. "This was his, if he was alive I wouldn't have this. We don't want your radishes, take them with you and go see your chief he will give you the details. But please we would rather avoid fighting." He said, trying to keep upbeat but his itch to get home was bothering him, he had been enough from a bed for this trip.
[Hopefully someone can convince them further if I didn't.]
Clone Mirror Gag Go!
Zeran looked up with confusion as he wasn't handed stew. Then his eyes met...himself. He couldn't believe what he was seeing at first and decided to test it to see if it was just a mirror.
He jumped from the table and pointed his eyes surprised when the copy followed suit. Next followed a series of odd movements even going so far as to do a heel pivot and arm cross before whipping back around and pointing. Head tilts eye winks and jazz hands all was copied well and he couldn't make it out. "I think, we might have a problem here." He said out loud looking completely stumped. He knew it wasn't a mirror, but the way the clone copied him was eerily exact.
Krii took the letter skimming over it before ignoring all else and retreating to his favored corner to read it more carefully though the fact that it had reached him here made its purpose more then clear to Krii and in the end he knew that he could not escape the fate in which it held for him.
(I know you were expecting me to make the contents known Owen but I really cant think haha plus it'll be obvious to everyone)
As "Zeran" returned to the table he didn't take his former seat instead sitting directly across from it and join in conversation with Adela and Luka seeming to pick up from some earlier and of topics that seemed uncharacteristic of the gunslinger, and something about his voice also seemed to have changed, it wasn't till Zeran(zeakols) return to his table and sat at his former seat and lost his second helping of stew that things took a turn for the very strange "Zeran jumped from the table and pointed his eyes trying to copy the original as close as possible. Next followed a series of odd movements even going so far as to do a heel pivot and arm cross before whipping back around and pointing. Head tilts eye winks and jazz hands all were copied as closely as possible, with the original spoke however "Zeran" gave a small smirk to the gunslinger and in almost a completely identical voice said
"I wouldn't expect myself to say anything like that, I think the problem is that your not embracing the fact there are now two of us think of all the fun we could have"
At this "Zeran" spun around to the group and gave a slight bow of greeting before rising again and changing his shape and frame from Zeran back to his own form, raven black hair draped to his shoulders and blue eyes like glistening jewels in the firelight he wore the clothes of a solider branded with some sort of religious sigil and a brilliant gleaming long sword hung from a belt on his side.
" I am Giles Alexandra Nox and I am at your service "
He ended this bowing once more hand over his chest
Posted on 2014-01-16 at 10:36:19.
Edited on 2014-01-16 at 10:38:29 by Nyrodine Ezayo
Zeran raised a curious eyebrow as his duplicate talked a grin crossing his features as the newcomer introduced himself. "Color me impressed that was rather interesting." He said before taking back to his seat and swapping the bowls around so as to get his second helping of stew. "So you say you are at our service? Looking to join us are we?" He asked the man, Giles it was and nodded. "Well I for one would toss my vote into you coming with us, you'll have to ask the others though." He nodded towards Miguel, Kyrie and Froderick. He wasn't sure where Krii had gotten off to though.
Oleg's Trading Post
South Brevic Borderlands
Eager to be back on the move, the party had their wagon restocked and ready to go again for the next morning. Just as they were finishing up breakfast, though, Krii made an announcement.
Krii was leaving for Ustalav. The tall, genial man might have left the story at that, but something in the looks of confusion from the people he had spent the last two and a half months with moved him to explain further. He told them about the letter he had received from Ustalav, his homeland to the west, that recent events showed him he couldn't run away from his duty.
As the party rolled their wagon—the charismatic stranger, Giles, now taking up a seat—away from Oleg's and toward the forest in the Southwest, Krii and Vilify headed along the South Rostland Road east back to Restov.
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: +--XP Each
The group spent most of a day travelling over the grasslands to a stretch of the Narlmarches they had not yet mapped. They took the plunge the next morning into the unknown depths, aiming to have most of the heart of the forest committed to paper by the time they emerged.
While at first the trip was uneventful, the party soon became aware that they were not alone in the forest. A mysterious presense seemed to be watching the group.
In the first instance later in the day, about every ten minutes for an hour, one of a variety of loud noises would suddenly emerge from just beyond the party's vision, causing all to jump out of their skin in alarm. The first time the sound resembled the roar of an angry owlbear coming from immediately behind the wagon. Another time it was as if a dozen bandits were suddenly closing in, shouting battlecries from all around the party, only when the sound 'arrived' there was nothing but vague disembodied bellows. Yet again there was a terrible blood-curdling shriek that provoked a very short-lived exploration.
Almost as soon as they'd heard them, they group recognised the sounds for a fake (doubly so given the lack of any physical source) but they served to put everyone on edge for the entire hour straight. The last disturbance they were forced to endure at the hands of their tormentors was that of a tremendous belch emanating from directly underneath the wagon. This last sound was accompanied by stifled giggling coming from the trees above.
Later that evening after the party had made camp found to their dismay that the laces of their boots had by some mysterious force been tied together over supper.
Any hopes that the oddities of the previous day would be an isolated incident were dashed immediately upon waking to discover their hair had been all mussed and tied into knots—except for Frodrick, whose beard had been loosened and perfectly straightened. This discovery was accompanied with surprise as they turned to each other and saw their companions' faces adorned with soot-drawn glasses and moustaches.
Zeran, who had been on the morning watch, awoke along with everyone else, and could not remember when he had dozed off.
Later in the day each began to notice something of their possessions missing. First was Frodrick, reaching for his compass when he discovered it had been replaced by an acorn tied to a bit of string. Kyrie cried out when she saw this, her hand going to her neck. Sure enough, she pulled out her acorn pendant that she always wore around her neck—but this one was different, it was tied out of a length of horsehair. Later Giles was found inexplicably with Frodrick's compass and all the tent pegs from both his and Miguel's tents. As Miguel put these away, though, he discovered his lyre was missing from his pack, though quite as mysteriously he found Zeran's bullet pouch. Kyrie procured the lyre from her own pack while Zeran found that he now possessed an entire set of crossbow bolts for loading his pistol. He returned Giles' ammo and received his own, and with a quick check-over everyone found that all items were accounted for, with the exception of the extra acorn.
As for the task of exploration, the group found that the Thorn river cut off their travel through this part of the Greenbelt. As per their plan they knew they would have to turn west after this to go around the river's source.
The party settled down in the evening for their second day in the forest, only to find themselves plagued by unusually loud wildlife, as if every creature and critter that hopped, flew, or swam around the riverbank felt a dire need to loudly announce its presence. This phenomenon went on, starting and stopping most of the evening and well into the night.
It was, in fact, when suddenly the entire forest dropped silent at once that alerted Giles on his watch.
He saw them right away—a group of seven ugly creatures with bulbous eyes forming a ragtag band stalking up on the camp. He saw them and saw that they saw him see them. They outnumbered the sleepers just barely, and were on the verge of calling their attack when their battlecry turned to shrieks of terror.
In just as much confusion as they were, Giles saw the vegetation around the group spring into motion, with bushes and ferns writhing and wild grasses thrashing, all reaching out to ensnare the would-be midnight ambushers.
Giles would have woken the rest, but the mites' shrieks had already done this for him.
(I kinda went overboard on trying to get us moving without actually doing that much at all. Top initiative is the mites, followed immediately by Kyrie, Frodrick, Miguel, Zeran, and last Giles in that order. The area of the lashing weeds/bushes is a 40' radius circle centred on the seven mites, four of which are currently having troubles with the plants.)
(Obviously, feel free to work out rp moments across the last three in-game days, since things moved kind of suddenly from stasis to conflict in the blink of a post.)
Posted on 2014-01-29 at 09:57:31.
Edited on 2014-01-29 at 09:58:59 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Kyrie just stared, her gaze changing from between Zeran to Giles then back to Zeran, then back to Giles. Finally she stood up, walked over to Zeran, and clapped him on the back.
"You've been holding out on us." She declared, "You have a twin? That is amazing!"
Kyrie contemplates, "It's not stealing identity either because you can't steal it from yourself."
(presuming the 'wait no, he's actually a different guy' - Kyrie *is* saying that even having observed Giles dispel the illusion)
"Oh... my bad." Kyrie rubbed the back of her head sheepishly, "I thought you took a different image so we wouldn't get the two of you confused." She said to Giles.
"If you're here to help, well, that's why I'm here too." Kyrie nodded, "And you can help keep Zeran on his toes." She added in jest.
[back post part 2 - the third day]
"... my... hair." Kyrie muttered in disdain as she carefully worked her fingers through the mussed mess that was her otherwise braided and decently kept hair, working through the knots as she could. It was a strange tone for her to voice to take, and Kyrie had to admit she actually felt rather annoyed. Something felt entirely wrong as well. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be until later that she would find out what it was.
"My pendant?!" She nearly shrieked when she saw what Frodrick had in place of his compass. Sure enough, when she checked, Kyrie found the lack of her special pendant, with a different acorn being in place. Her hands were shaking as she received her pendant back. It might be silly, but it was rather important to her, having been with her all her life. She couldn't believe she didn't immediately recognize that it was missing.
Though, to be fair, whatever it was did replace it with something relatively similar. But that was a small consolation.
Kyrie regarded the replacement acorn...
((more to be added in regards to acorns and acorn substitution later when I get more information on how they're different))
* * *
Always in the middle of the night, it seemed. In retrospect, perhaps she should've warned Giles about that before he joined, but it completely slipped her mind. The first thing Kyrie did when she was woken was actually check her pendant, and make sure it was the right one. With a breath of relief, she got up, picking up her trusted companion, her shovel, and prepared herself.
Except, Kyrie was confused by the sight before her.
"So... when did plants decide to really dislike mites?" She asked, moving forward to get a closer look.
((Shovel is as shovel does, and it's a shovel. Kyrie is moving up to the edge of the affected plant area to get a better look, and will whack any mite that advances in range, but she's more confused by the plants and isn't going to enter the affected area))
Zeran flicked his eyes between Kyrie and Giles and shook his head chuckling. "Lass if I did indeed have a twin I'd have him with me, I think this man here has quite the copying skill though." He clapped her on the back in return and gave her a broad smile in good spirits despite being cloned.
Zeran shook his head and ran his fingers through his hair working the knots out seemingly easy. Soon enough his hair was back in proper order and he was wiping his face clean. "I'm starting to lose my patience. Sooner we get the hell out of here the better." He growled looking rather annoyed by whatever prankster was mucking with them.
[Back Post 3]
When Zeran exchanged the ammo back he counted it and nodded glad to see it all there, and checked three times to make sure all his powder was accounted for. Satisfied he wasn't missing anything he checked once more before finally letting the neutral poker face drop. He was angry. "Might I suggest if we catch whoever is doing this we beat them with a branch until they stop twitching? I know that is overly cruel but to be perfectly honest I'm THIS close to turning us around and going back to get some tinder and burn this forest to the ground." He held his thumb and pointer finger fairly close, almost touching.
It wasn't a serious threat, the tone of his voice gave that away but the look on his face was of a man who has had his buttons pushed far to often and to much in to short a span.
Zeran sat up and cracked his eyes open. If hatred could be manifested in physical form it was him right now. "Alright, SOMEONE IS GOING TO DIE!" He shouted nearly frothing at the mouth. He grumbled something about 'why is it every time we leave those f**king walls we f**king get f**king ambushed at f**king night.' He took a breath and sighed all while he worked to load his pistol.
"FOR ONCE I WOULD LIKE SOME PEACE AND F**KING QUIET!" He shouted out again taking aim at the nearest mite ready to show it the inside of its own skull. He admittedly was curious as to why the plant life was attacking the little vermin, but discretion being the better part of valor he approached cautiously keeping behind Kyrie. "What the hell? Either nature itself wants these things dead or our unseen pranksters are helping us I figure." He grumbled, his anger subsided for the moment. They had a battle ahead of them.
[Could try shouting the Mites down since he speaks undercommon.]
"FOR ONCE I WOULD LIKE SOME PEACE AND F**KING QUIET!” … “What the hell? Either nature itself wants these things dead or our unseen pranksters are helping us I figure."
“I be with the lad on this one: seems everything under and above the surface is out for our asses, and the only time they be willing to nab at them is in the middle o’ the night when we be needin’ our fightin’ sleep. Damnable forest: would be ten times easier if this were all underground exploration!”
Frodrick rubbed his temples from the lack of sleep and restless days: it was bad enough that he couldn’t lash out at the one pulling all the tricks on him, but it seemed that he was even denied the opportunity to unleash his fury on the little blue bastards that had found their camp.
“Can’t fight our tormentors, can’t fight the uglies of this forest, what we be doin’ here? Would have been nice to add a notch or two to me axe. “
It seemed that the danger had passed, so Frodrick decided to smoke a bit from his pipe to settle his nerves. Opening his pack, he was relieved to find that it had not been tampered with. Still in the linen cloth was his small stash safely covered. Whipping out his pipe, he opened the cloth only to find that it was not tobacco but some other plant.
The dwarf grimaced for a time. He felt like he was going to blow up. But suddenly he managed to get himself centered and in control. Taking a deep breath, he took the plant leaves and shoved them in his pipe. “^&%$ it.”
He lit the mystery plant and got himself cozy next to a log that the group had used as a makeshift bench for the campfire.
Why is it that you can only get one good ambush and then the rest are all screwy somehow? =3
The bushes and grasses sprung up and tied down four of the group of mites. The three who avoided the grasping plants clambered desperately away, but the writhing and flailing made the ground difficult to run across. They made it only half way from the centre to the edge.
The four who had been ensnared struggled to free themselves. One managed to break free, chasing after its companions to break free from the area of the effect. After a couple moments more of squirming, another managed to free itself, but it was caught again almost immediately by a fern branch.
The party roused as soon as they could, climbing to their feet and retrieving their weapons. Kyrie and Zeran ran to the edge of the enchanted field, drawing their weapons. Miguel threw his will into a quick spell to illuminate the whole area. There were seven mites visible, three of which were still pinned down while the other four struggled to escape.
Frodrick’s hand went to his side and he drew out... his pipe. The dwarf lit the mysterious weeds that had replaced his typical fare. He kicked back and waited for there to be something to swing his axe at.
Giles picked up the loaded crossbow at his side. He dropped prone on his stomach and took aim while the mites panicked. It was no real challenge to get one of the creatures in his sights. He fired and struck one, though the bolt didn’t penetrate as deeply as he expected–but still more than enough to knock it off its feet (-6dmg MiteA Dying).
The two remaining leaders in the race to escape left their ally’s body to be wrapped up by the thrashing vegetation. One of the mites, in its haste to get to solid ground, provoked a shot across the cranium from Kyrie. The mite fell with a sharp crack and the characteristic ‘oioing’ that the party now associated with a successful strike (-5dmg MiteB Dying). The other mite on the other hand ended up next to Zeran.
In the middle distance the fourth mite fought to clear the field, getting close to the rim after some effort ploughing through supernaturally dense vegetation. In the back, still stuck at the centre, the last three mites fought to free themselves from the tangle. Again one tore free and scrambled a full ten feet, while the other two after much effort also managed to escape.
(This means, at least for the moment, all remaining mites are free, unless they should fail when the plants strike again! One is in melee with Zeran, one is 10' away from the edge, one is 30' from the edge, and two are still stuck dead centre. Two are dying.)
Posted on 2014-02-08 at 09:23:42.
Edited on 2014-02-08 at 21:42:33 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Scatter like... uh... mites? No wait that's not right at all...
Kyrie wasted no time settling the question of whether it was better to be in or out of the garden. Even as she pulled back from smiting down the first careless mite, she pivoted around to Zeran. She stepped next to him and unleashed her farmer's fury upon the second mite, clobbering it if not senseless, at least visible staggered (-3dmg MiteC Disabled).
Toward the camp, Miguel picked up his new bow now that he had seen to the lighting problem. He strafed around the circle somewhat so that he didn't have any of his allies in his sights and nocked an arrow. He targeted the mite next closest from escaping the nightmarish garden and loosed the string. The mite turned just in time to see, startled, the arrow come for him and bounce off his cranium—not without leaving a large bloody mark. The mites were supernaturally tough as ever, but they were not invincible (-2dmg MiteD Bloodied).
Zeran saw the way the garden was crippling the mites' cohesion and coordination with every second. There was no need for his kind of firepower here. He drew his rapier and stabbed the staggered mite in the gut, dropping the creature almost as an afterthought (-6dmg *crit* MiteC). He flicked his blade off and raised it toward the mites in the tangled field.
“Tally-ho!” he shouted, and took a single, purposeful step past the perimeter. At once he could feel the grasses and ferns grabbing and pulling at his boots, but he simply danced away from their grasp.
With calm, methodical precision, Giles loaded another bolt into his bow and fired into the garden. One of the mites in the far back took the bolt in the chest with a meaty 'thuck' and was knocked clear off its feet, not likely to rise again (-5dmg MiteE Dying).
Next to where he fell, his companion flinched in alarm. In that momentary distraction a fern wrapped itself around most of his leg, ensnaring him once more.
The new leader in the race to escape the field paused, looking at the handful of corpses scattered in front of him and the well-armed not at all in a state of panic victims of the ambush. It didn't take long for reason to kick in and the mite turned to flee for the nearest edge of the circle that didn't lead to certain death. It broke past the circle and started running (MiteD some 30' to the right of the party).
The other two mites saw the majority of their companions dying or fleeing. It was beginning to seem like a really good idea just to take their leave of this whole situation. The began to run for the left edge of the circle, but its companion was held back by the fern wrapped around its leg. It struggled and pulled, but the plant held fast, pinning it down.
(Declaring unofficial victory. MiteD is 30' to the right, MiteF is 30' forward and 20' left. MiteG is cursing its miserable existence and also is 30' forward.)
Posted on 2014-02-14 at 05:33:23.
Edited on 2014-02-15 at 22:33:16 by Sibelius Eos Owm