Zeran was about to stop Kyrie from approaching and let out a soft sigh as things took a little more tense. He shot a glare at the large frog thing and turned his attention back to the frogman. "Kyrie we best be on our way. He doesn't want a fight simple as that, Garuum and his friend here just want to be left alone and they don't care at all about our map making. I'd suggest we leave a little margin note about them so we don't forget and intrude again." He motioned to the cart and gave the farmgirl a small smile. "Come on let's just get out of here and let them be, lest they start causing a ruckus I see no reason why we should fight them." His eyes kept darting to that large frog. He was less concerned about Garuum and more concerned about the frog, THAT would be their main concern should a fight break out.
Zeran simply shrugged his shoulders. "I don't care either way, I'm proud of my shot, it lies dead. I only asked if anyone else thought it was an alright idea." He left it at that and went back to where he had been sleeping he was still tired. "Oh nice footwork back there lass." He shot Kyrie a smile having stopped for a moment, faking a need to take a small stretch before he headed off again.
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: E4 +25XP Each
The boggard and his pet were perfectly content to watch the party carry on. Zeran marked the small mire on his map, adding a note about the current inhabitants. The mapping process carried on unimpeded.
The group strayed from the Skunk River eastward to the edge of the forest in their travels. Around midday on the first day, as they were coming into the new area, Frodrick found a set of old boar tracks, perhaps two or three days old.
In several places between that day and the next he could point out markings on trees that indicated one or more aggressive boars cutting into the bark, or rooting around for a meal. Late on the second day, they encountered an impressive heap of hog manure that could not have been more than a few hours old. There was no question—they were in hog territory.
Finally on the third day they came upon a large hollow under a large fallen pine tree. The dead branches of the tree provided a natural shelter for the depression, which was scattered with bones. While no one knew for sure, the signs from the past two days lent the imagination the impression of a very large boar occupying the den.
It was not long before the party had confirmation on that notion. A massive bull of a boar, easily over 300 pounds emerged from the brush. The distinctive ridges of grey bristles around the boar's face, in addition to the scarring on its and its sheer size, meant the boar could only be none other than the legendary Tuskgutter.
Some five foot long of shaggy brown-grey fur and muscle, the boar stood facing the party, its tusks clacking a steady rhythm in time with its foot, pawing against the ground. There was never a chance to back away. The aggressive old male lowered its head and prepared to charge.
Though he had no reall ill-will to the boggard, Frodrick had been ready to fight. Leaving that creature was probably the right thing to do, but it left him with the nagging feeling of built up pressure that comes with readying one's self mentaly for a skirmish. The last few days had not simmered that sensation, and with this large-ass boar seeming in a territorial rage, Frodo was read to bealt out a battle cry.
"For the honor of Redbrew!" He shouted, drawing his axe and whirling it around. But the boar had charged straight for his prized possession and companion: jargon. She was hit baddly, a huge tear had formed in her flank. The boar was a monster. It had even ignored the armor!
Now that battle itch turned into a full on rage of its own. The dwarf would have none of this. He could tell JArgon would and could still fight, and so he reigned her in to bash the thing's head in with her hooves while he would assial it from above with his axe.
"I'll have that head cheese and damn well will enjoy it you overgrown orc @%er!"
Tuskgutter's Lair; E4
Giles immediately jumped out of the wagon at the sight of the Tuskgutter. He fanned out to the right of Frodrick, drawing his sword. If the boar charged, exactly as it looked about to do, he would be ready. He withdrew his small archery target disk and prepared his accuracy spell.
True to expectation, Old Tuskgutter charged straight at the group, snorting violently. Jargon reared up as the old boar careened into her space. The Tuskgutter thrust upward with his tusks and gored into Jargon's chest (-14dmg Jargon 5/19 Bloodied). Blood flowed out between the leather drape of her armour.
Kyrie was next out of the wagon. She hastily braced her shield to her arm as she ran to meet the frontline. She placed her free hand on Jargon's flank as she came around, willing life energy into the mare (+3hp Jargon).
Zeran grabbed his pistol off the seat next to him. He jumped down out of the wagon, his other hand searching for a ball to load as he moved to get a shot at the boar's exposed flank.
Miguel drew his sword, coming ahead on Frodrick's left. He slashed at the boar and the Tuskgutter squealed back at him. The boar pulled away from Miguel and his sword only caught a scrape of tough, leathery hide.
Just as the Tuskgutter was evading Miguel's attack, Jargon stepped in and bit the boar on the ridge (-4dmg). Old Tuskgutter squealed in surprise and quickly shifted to face Jargon and her knight. Frodrick had directed Jargon to attack as he drew his axe.
Jargon Hooves rose up before the Tuskgutter, kicking her forelegs. Frodrick, axe now in hand, leaned over in his saddle and hacked into the boar's meaty hide (-7dmg), as Jargon's blows rained down on its head (-4dmg, -2dmg Tuskgutter Bloodied).
Having very thouroughly made their point, Frodrick directed his valiant mare to back up a step closer to the wagon.
Not counting the Elk, the shambler was less of a threat.
Giles stepped up beside Kyrie, taking the boar's flank across from Miguel. He struck with unerring accuracy, divination magic guiding his hand. He cut through the Tuskgutter's thick hide, his sword opening a shallow gash across the beast's flank (-4dmg Tuskgutter Badly Wounded). though the spell guiding his hand did not guide anything more than his accuracy, the blow was enough to begin wearing down the old boar.
With several wounds already, the Tuskgutter was only growing angrier and more violent. With Jargon retreating, he turned on Giles, the soldier that had dealt the latest wound sneaking up from the side. Tuskgutter hammered his impressive bulk into the knight's legs, almost throwing him off his feet as his training saved him from any mortal injury (-13dmg Giles 6/19).
The Tuskgutter took a step away from Miguel, circling Giles. The old territorial boar was prepared to show these humans why it was a legend among the hunters in the region.
Kyrie and Miguel followed him around. Kyrie drew her sickle and tried to put the boar down once and for good. The Tuskgutter evaded her—he had not lived to this size by being an easy target.
Zeran's pistol went off with a bang. The Tuskgutter probably didn't know exactly what had happened, only that suddenly there was a white pain in its shoulder (-9dmg Tuskgutter). The boar was stunned in its tracks for half a second... but didn't fall. It cried out in rage and kept going (Staggered).
Miguel cross around, working slowly into a strategic flanking position. The momentary blank when Zeran's bullet struck home gave the bard a solid shot. He struck quickly and carved another would-be fatal wound into the boar's flesh, but the Tuskgutter did not go down (-11dmg).
Seeing their quarry teetering on the bring of life, swaying with a ferocity only barely holding off unconsciousness, Frodrick spurred his mount back into the fight. He came in, his waraxe glancing off the boar's hide, but Jargon's teeth finding purchase (-5dmg). The boar was all but dead, covered in blood from numerous wounds, but nevertheless refused to collapse finally.
(I totally had to invent a new category in my 4-part damage indicator (Barely Injured, Injured, Badly Wounded, Near Death) just for this creature. That said, Near Death probably would have worked, for this, too.)
EDIT: I expected either one or the other to happen within the first 1-2 attacks of the next round anyway, so this is no surprise.
The Tuskgutter spun about in a bloody haze, deciding which foe needed to be the next to have a taste of his strength. The boar seemed to take Miguel in his sights, ready to make potentially the last blow before it collapsed.
Before the beast ever got that far, though, Giles stepped in with his ornate longsword. He swung down, bringing his weight down on the back of the boar's neck (-6dmg Tuskgutter). Old Tuskgutter crashed forward to the ground in the same movement that would have had him attack the bard (Dead).
Not Even Boar, Can Outsmart Boolet, Or Sword, Or Axe, Or Hooves, Or Bites.
A knot had formed in the former pirate's stomach as their mapping march had progressed from the boggard, something big was coming but he hadn't a clue what for all he knew it was just the travel fatigue making him a bit paranoid of unmarked lands. "So who wants to take bets we end up falling into a nest of really angry flies with hats or something else?" He jested to the group though keeping his eyes ahead.
13 Sarenith, Giant Bacon.
"Uh anyone else get the impression we shouldn't be-" Zeran was cut short as what he had hoped wasn't there, was there. Seems the legendary boar was home today and the party had shown up as uninvited guests. "Oh bloody hell! MOVE!" He shouted scrambling off the wagon pistol in one hand the other fumbling for a bullet. He hadn't seen the blow but the curse from the old dwarf and the cry of pain from Jargon was indication enough for him and he winced.
"Come on...come on!" His hands fought to reload his pistol trying to get that extra fraction of a second in, given how violent this boar was coupled with it only getting angrier as his friends struck at it he knew each second counted. "Got it!" Loaded and ready to fire he narrowed his eyes, took aim and let the bullet fire from his pistol.
The results were pleasing to the gunslinger, Tuskgutter had probably taken its fair share of blades and arrows but the loud bang of his pistol coupled with the round driving home into it's shoulder had given it pause for a moment. "Finish that thing before it remembers it can still gore us!" Zeran shouted.
A moment of alarm ran through him as he saw the boar aiming for Miguel, but the alarm faded as Giles delivered the killing blow. He waited a moment letting everyone catch their breath and take a moment to let the battle haze fade. "Froderick is Jargon going to be alright?"
After being relayed about her health: Good News
"Glad she is going to be alright. Remind me never to piss you or her off you both have a mean swing and I don't got enough meat on my bones to take a hit like that."
After being relayed about her health: Bad News
"Can she still move well enough at least? We can take some time to rest but away from this area, kinda stinks and we don't want to risk infection."
After responding in regards to health
Zeran walked over to the boar and looked at it, crossing his arms over his chest and tilting his head to the side. "Wasn't there a bounty for this guy? I'd suggest we get his head back before to long, a rotting boar head doesn't make for safe travels."
He turned to Giles after a moment and called out. "You doing alright? You took a nasty side check yourself." He hadn't seen the full extent of it but his gut did tell him the man might need some rest as well, and would probably be sore for a few days.
If Jargon and Giles need some time to rest Zeran is more then willing to wait for a bit but urgency is of the matter he feels not being knowledgeable in the rate of decomposition and what the dead boar might end up attracting.
" Look kid I don't swing that way I appreciate the offer...as for my hair if you are actually interested, call it a gift from... my extended family heh"
"I see." he said, "My brother is the one in line to inherit in my family." Miguel leaned back on his bedroll. "Father always wanted me to take on the family business, though. Bogdan never really had a head for numbers." Miguel settled on his bedroll, staring at the cave ceiling.
"Oh, that's Bogdan my brother, by the way, not Bogdan the horse. They're completely different people. The horse has better manners."
"So, you hair turns silver in moonlight, then, hey? Cool."
"I apologise if I'm prying into things you don't want to share. You're the new and mysterious one, and as a bard I'm compelled to listen to new stories."
"I dont tend to recant my tales to often, I dont care for the attention it grabs and had we not been threatened by that pile of weeds I would have taken the normal steps to avoid having my hair come into question and Ill leave it at that. You are a bard, so why are you out here, out in this uncivilized hell, why not go to a city sing peoples troubles away, settle down with a nice girl or boy whatever floats your boat. Why risk it all."
Giles brushed himself off cleaning some of the blood on his legs away
"Listen kid if I needed to rest after every little scratch I got I would never had made it through the first day of training, Ill be perfectly fine and we can keep moving on my account, beside the sooner we get this hog back the better maybe we can even have a bit of a feast"
Zeran simply rolled his eyes at being called a kid and let it slide this time. "Well we need to get this giant slab of bacon back home now before it starts to stink. I've no idea how long we have before then so if someone does I'm all ears." He walked a slow circle around the boar and sighed. "Kyrie, Miguel help me with this. You two are stronger then I am but I'll lend a hand. We can load him up and get it going home."
Tuskgutter's Lair; E4
Kyrie and Miguel (with Zeran's assistance, coaching, and direction, freely given) hefted the bulky Tuskgutter by the legs into the back of the wagon. They wrapped the massive slab of pork up in a tarp to keep the necrophagous insects off the body until they made it back to Oleg's.
There was some daylight left, and just a bit of area left to explore, so they completed the map for this area of the forest and turned north for the last minutes of daylight before it was time to make camp. Kyrie finished off what her power and Miguel's magic had started earlier healing Jargon. (+4hp Jargon Full)
The middle of the night saw another of the same, by now expected, interruption as it often did. This interruption was short, and practically over before any of the party had time to rub the sleep from their eyes.
On Kyrie's watch, Jargon suddenly released an angry scream from the vicinity of the wagon. From the same location there came an injured yelp before Kyrie had time to grab her shovel and get to her feet. By the wagon she could barely make out the cowering shape of a big thylacine, with Jargon Hooves half standing on it. (Thylacine Bloodied)
The carnivorous marsupial left at a dead run, long prehensile tail tucked between its legs. The sounds woke the rest of the party, but by the time they opened their eyes there was nothing to see but the faintest glimpse of the brush thylacine's retreat.
Jargon stamped about for a couple moments after the predator left, but before long Frodrick was able to calm her and make her go back to sleep.
Hexes: E4 – B5
Old Tuskgutter's body attracted flies over the next hot few days, but was covered well enough to avoid the brunt of their depredations.
The days were some of the hottest of the season so far. The official start of summer was still two weeks away, but the sun beat down from cloudless skies. Even under the shade of the forest canopy it was as much as the Charter party could do to keep moving. Crossing the ford over the Thorn River was the most active part of the journey as everyone went to soak their heads in the coolish waters.
Late in the day on the 15th they made it out of the forest and into the direct light of the sun. After just an hour in the sun the adventurers were beginning to suffer the effects of the heat. Fortunately by that point the sun was already going down and they were soon out of the worst of the heat. (-2sub Frodrick, -4sub Jargon, -4sub Giles, -2sub Kyrie, -2sub Miguel, -1sub Zeran)
Those wearing armour (read: everybody including Jargon) took the worst of the heat, with their thick padding trapping in body heat. Overnight the party recovered, but leftover sunburns on faces and arms remained the next day.
The next day looked to be almost as hot, but the party made it back safe to Oleg's just after noon. The trading post was surprised to see the group return early. Quickly the post took on a busy air of excitement in preparations to hold the feast of the year, the legendary Tuskgutter.
“Stefan,” Oleg called the boy. “You take Dandy Girl Uriel and go with Frodrick to the edge of the forest. Cut some sturdy, long branches. We'll need to make a proper spit to get this sucker cooked right. Don't take too long, neither. Get back before it gets too hot.”
Stefan took a faded black mare from the stables. He had her saddled in short order and was ready to set out at Frodrick's command.
Adela and Svetlana took to skinning the boar in the courtyard. The heat had not done too much damage to the body. Luka and Tanya were employed to help with food preparations for the non-boar parts of the feast, collecting vegetables and beginning soups.
While Oleg was busy directing the preparations to move the large tables into one long extended table at one end of the courtyard, Gavril saw to Kyrie's purchase, as well as Frodrick's order for better barding for Jargon, which would arrive within the week.
Hunters and trappers passing by soon joined in with eager chatter, and most ended up staying for the rest of the day. By nightfall the population of the small border fort was enough to make for proper festivities.
(Oh, by the way, did I mention? +25XP from Miguel and Giles' roleplay exchange. Don't look now, but I think y'all leveled up.)
(Oh yeah, Giles has healed a bit over time--12/19. No real wounds left, but scratches and lingering soreness remains.)
Posted on 2014-05-06 at 21:39:17.
Edited on 2014-05-15 at 20:44:50 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Frodrick and Stefan rode in silence. The afternoon’s sun beamed down on the dwarf, though he had taken off his armor since his uncomfortable experience the other day. He started to feel the itch of sunburn upon his face, but ignored it.
As they neared the edge of the forest, the dwarf got out of his saddle and looked to the boy. “You seem to be handling that there horse pretty good I see. Been takin’ god care o’ him?”
The boy nodded as he too got off to proceed on foot. “I have named him Uriel.”
“Named him huh? Pretty bold action – reckon you be thinkin’ he’s yours now eh?”
The boy shrugged. “Not really, I just like him, and he likes me.”
“Well we bee better getting’ some sticks for the feed tonight eh? Give me a holar if you find a good one. We can tie our horses up here. Don’t need to be guidin’ them through this bit o’ forest when we just be getting’ some sticks.”
Ten minutes later the silence was broken by a hardy cry. Stefan ran to see what the issue was, and found that the dwarf was on the ground, a large canine creature was on top of him, its maw held at bay only by the old dwarf’s hands.
“Gods damn you frisky thing!” Frodrick hollered. He saw Stefan and called out to him. “Me axe! Get me axe! I dropped it o’er there when the beastie tackled me!”
Stefan saw the axe, and grabbed it. He was now looking over at the dwarf, and the dwarf saw the boy hesitate, but only for a moment. It was a moment the two shared – one where they both knew that the next action would decide where Stefan’s loyalties lay, and if Frodrick’s trust was misguided.
Heaving the axe above his head, the boy swung down, right into the back of the creature. It snarled and let go of Frodrick, leapt away and turned. Stefan saw intelligence in the creature’s eyes and it looked like it was sizing him up. With a final snarl, it ran into the thicker foliage and disappeared.
Panting, Frodrick got up on his butt. Stefan offered his hand and heaved as the dwarf accepted the offer of aid.
“If I were fifty years younger that whelp would have never stood a chance. Be good that yer were here eh boy?”
“So let’s not be all quiet about it. Why did you hit it and not me?”
“Because I like you. And you helped me a lot. I learned a lot too. I joined the bandits because I didn’t have a lot going for me. You turned me around and set me straight. I owe you a lot.”
Frodrick slapped his hand on the boy’s shoulder. “Well ya did good this day. Makes my ol’ ticker proud.”
That evening, Frodrick banged his mead mug on the table, gathering everyone’s attention. He stood up on the table and cleared his throat.
“We be celebrating the riddance of the terrifying critter that once be known as ‘Tuskgutter’. We dine on his flesh this evening, and tales will be told of this feat for generations to come… I will make sure of that myself – uuh - so long as I don’t find a hatched in my noggin’ that is.”
A few chuckles were had, including Frodrick, who had decided that this evening would be the first time since his clans obliteration that he would partake in the drinking of alcohol. It had felt good to have the stuff back in his belly. He looked at Stefan and smiled a bit as he continued.
“Or a beast get hold of me. Like one that I encountered today. It be a wolf of some sort – really big, canines as large as me nose. And I had no axe, armor, or steed to keep myself safe. I could only strain to keep it at bay with my calloused hands.”
“My weapon had fallen to the ground, out of hands reach, though it wouldn't of mattered as it took both of m’arms to keep the bastard from ripping out me throat. And the young pup here heard my cry and hustled over. He took the axe and gave the thing a good whack in the back. It stormed off with its tail between its legs, and I owe young Stefan here my life.”
With this, Frodrick raised his glass. “To Stefan, who could have chosen to escape, but instead showed his honorable nature and aided an old dwarf from being dog crap.”
Drinks were drunk and Frodrick sigh in content. “And as such, I wish to say that I will be taking young Stefan under me wing from here on out – if he so chooses. I will teach him the arts and ways of fightin’ as a cavalier, and perhaps one day soon he will surpass me and skill and aid in protectin’ the weak. What say you boy?”
Posted on 2014-05-11 at 04:19:58.
Edited on 2014-05-11 at 04:20:32 by Shades331
Hexes: B5 – E4
Vekkel Benzen arrived at the fort within a couple days, overjoyed to see the decapitated head of the beast that took his leg. The old retired hunter quickly set about hobbling around the post preparing the stock for the meat jelly.
Stefan spent most of the days when he wasn't occupied in some task or another following Frodrick around. The boy was well learned in horsemanship by now. Frodrick equiped him with a couple weapons and tested his skill. He proved to be a fair shot, and handy with his axe.
They discovered that Uriel, the faded black horse with the irregular blaze and the stockings had sometime in his life already been trained for war, and picked up on its old training with just a little refresher.
After about a week the group felt more ready than ever to set out once again. They travelled back retracing their own route north, crossing the thorn ford again. Stefan spared a long look when he recognised the site where the old bandit camp once stood. He quickly shook it from his mind, a chapter of his life now over.
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: F3 +25XP Each
On the fourth day on the road, the Greenbelt Charter party plus one entered into a new area of the forest, the furthest south they had been in the Narlmarches. Contrary to their first sight of the forest, ambushed by the shambler months ago, they encountered no unusually hostile life. They knew the further south away from the border with civilization they strayed, the more wild and untameable the land, but so far they had not seemed to overstep any real or imagined line.
The sun rose earlier and set later each day as the longest day of the year approached. Nights were warm and days were hot, though the shade of the trees blocked some of the sunlight, and the temperature never rose to the point they were in danger of overheating again.
Early on their last day on this edge of the forest the Greenbelt party turned west on their last stretch away from the edge. After only an hour of travel the hot day was broken by a series of quick yipping barks.
After a pause, the barks repeated themselves. The sound came from ahead in the forest. Whatever animal or other beastie made them seemed upset by something. As they approached the source (hands close to weapons in case whatever it was decided it did not feel like entertaining company) they spotted a large round pit in the ground.
The pit was some ten feet across, and looked to be a natural formation caused by local erosion. The rocky shaft dropped deeper than they could see into from this angle, but there was no doubt this was where the sound was coming from. Even as they stood there, the yipping barks resounded again, coming from inside the pit.
Narlmarches Zeran will ready his weapon and toss a stone into the pit while shouting "Hello?" In both Common and Undercommon. If no response, he pokes his head over.
Zeran set down the reigns. He grabbed his pistol in one hand and hopped off the wagon. His hands ran automatically through the motions of reloading the gun. Keeping a safe distance back with his gun ready in his right hand, Zeran lobbed a stone into the pit.
The stone disappeared into the pit and landed with a sharp report a thump an instant later. The barking immediately started up at the stone's landing, angrier and lasting several moments longer than before.
Judging from the sound and the distance the stone feel, the pit was deep, but couldn't have been too terribly far.
Zeran called out, "Hello?" Then again in Undercommon. There was no response save for the yipping barking, still apparently upset over the deal with the stone.
Zeran carefully approached the edge of the pit. He inched closer, peering down to catch a glimpse of what lay at the bottom. Finally he caught motion. About 20' down the wide hole he saw just the head and back of a large thylacine, standing on its hindlegs with forepaws against the side of the pit.
The beast came down off the wall, out of Zeran's sight. He moved just a little closer, now almost at the edge. He could just see the animal pacing frantically about. It must have fallen in, somehow, and was trapped down there, angry and hungry.
Directly across the pit from Zeran, on the opposite side of the mouth, he noticed the stone looked disturbed. He took a second glance at it—it seemed like there had been some kind of earth slide there.
Zeran put two and two together at the same time he felt the ground go out from under his feet. He rested for a full half-second before the dirt fell completely away. Reflexively he made a jump back for safer ground, but he was a second too late.
Reflex Save: 6 + 6 = 12
The ex-pirate landed in a small shower of dirt, which did nothing to break his fall (-5dmg Zeran Prone). When he came to his senses an instant later, he saw the large animal standing over him. It looked like it hadn't had a decent meal quite recently.
Before he could muster so much as a 'nice doggie,' it clamped its very large jaws around his leg (-5dmg Zeran).
Zeran tugged frantically to pull his leg free from the creature. He was on the ground, trapped with a hungry animal. There was nowhere to retreat to in the hole—he simply focused on avoiding the animal's jaws. (Total Defence)
(I'm having Zeran use his surprise round action to perform a total defence, but if when he has time to decide upon an action he feels more like going for the shot, or drawing a melee weapon, or standing, or pistol whipping, or any other possible action, I can easily edit this to reflect that. Keep in mind this ending may change by the time you perform your actions, though I doubt his decision will significantly alter your actions)
Posted on 2014-05-16 at 19:01:44.
Edited on 2014-05-17 at 20:30:05 by Sibelius Eos Owm
I think we have a few conflicting plans in motion. Why do 4 people need the rope? XD
Thylacine Pit; F3
After a second to take into account what he just witnessed, Frodrick called to his squire. “Get some damn rope or somethin'!”
Miguel was faster. He jumped out of the wagon, taking off his coil of rope as he ran to the pit's edge. He stood back carefully and threw the other end of his rope over the edge, then braced himself back. Kyrie didn't have time to take the rope, though. She jumped without hesitation down into the pit.
With more than 180lbs of raw determination, Kyrie landed hard. She took the brunt of the fall on her feet, softening some of the impact, but it was too much of a drop to absorb all the force (-6dmg, -6sub Kyrie Prone).
Acrobatics: 9 – 5 = 4
The girl wasted no time resolving the dispute in the best way she knew how—redirecting hostilities and attention. Kyrie reached out to grab the animal. It clamped its jaws down on her guantlet, but failed to penetrate. Kyrie dropped her shovel and held the thylacine down with her other arm (Thylacine Grappled).
“Nice doggie, now just come with me and we'll get you out of here,” she grunted through her teeth.
With the party's only rope in Miguel's hands already, Stefan wasn't sure what he should be doing. At a loss, he decided to follow his master's last direction to the best of his ability. With a flash of inspiration, he guided Uriel to Miguel. “Pass the rope.” He turned his horse to face away from the edge of the pit, serving as a solid anchor.
Giles approached carefully on the other side, his crossbow loaded. He peered into the pit, taking his focus disk from his pouch. Even with the mess of people now occupying the area below, his spell would ensure a dead hit.
The animal snapped furiously. Maddened by hunger, it didn't care what Kyrie was trying to do with it, and simply snapped back at her with an audible crack. Zeran knew better than to waste this opportunity and quickly stood up while the beast's mouth was occupied.
Hoping to help Kyrie out with her predicament, he took his pistol and clubbed the animal across the forehead (-4dmg). The thylacine jerked back from the force of the knock-down blow, but didn't lose footing.
Finally, kicking into gear, Frodrick threw himself into the action. He rode Jargon as close as he dare lead her to the edge of the pit and dismounted. He saw what he wanted to do. He knew where he wanted to be. With his axe in hand, Frodrick sized up the jump.
Where's a girl gonna find a diamond-studded collar in this wilderness?
Thylacine Pit; F3
Miguel passed his end of the rope up to Stefan. The squire tied his end to his saddlehorn while Miguel peered over the edge that Zeran fell down. With a mental shrug, he took a dramatic step into empty air.
Miguel landed harder than he intended. With a grunt, he flopped over (-3dmg, -6sub Miguel Prone). “That could have gone much better,” he groaned to himself as he reached out to Kyrie and the thylacine, doing whatever he could to help her restrain the creature. (+2 Grapple Kyrie)
Acrobatics: 1 + 7 = 8
With Miguel's help and quick hands, Kyrie took hold of the beast, forcing it down and pinning it with her body. The thylacine was strong, but she had the upper hand already. She quickly scanned it with her divine senses. By all appearances it was just a normal animal.
For another sniper, it might have been a one in a hundred shot, to hit his mark while avoiding pegging any of the others. For Giles, under the effect of his divination spell, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. His bolt found its way square into the thylacine's flank (-7dmg Thylacine).
Against Kyrie's hold over most of its body, the thylacine could do little but try to wriggle free. It twisted and struggled under her grip, but the farmgirl managed to keep her hold, if not by much.
Seeing that Kyrie and Miguel more or less had the situation under control, Zeran took to the rope. Braced against the rock face of the pit, he pulled himself up quickly, almost to the top of the hole.
With Miguel's continued help, Kyrie took the end of the rope laying at the bottom of the pit and tied up the thylacine's legs and snout, immobilizing it, though it thrashed angrily. At the top of the pit, Stefan dismounted Uriel and came to the edge of the pit. He took the rope, still anchored to his horse, and began to pull the animal up and out.
While the squire went about the business of removing the beast from the pit, Miguel took to the pit wall and pulled himself out, slowly.
Climb Take 10 = 16
The thylacine was surprisingly light for its size and attitude. Stefan set the creature on its back, its legs tied up in a bundle over top. “Uh.” He looked around. “What should I do?” They needed the rope back to drop to Kyrie, but releasing the creature in its current state seemed unwise.