The Grey Borderlands

Session Sixteen - Payoffs and Paybacks

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As daylight begins to fill the eastern sky the party discusses what they should do. Zatha and initially Rhinan seemed to be of an opinion to just “reset” the ambush and keep taking of Ravens but Larzan said he didn’t think that they would send more Ravens down this same trail again for days.

So the decision is made to move off that farming plateau (“The Shelf” as it is known locally) back down onto the Borderlands Road, being the main shipping route into the Young Kingdoms. Larzan takes his leave of the party and says he’ll be in Quarrytown keeping an eye on Rikar.

En route, after heading down the serpentine trail and reaching the road bordering the southern Tanara River Rihnan is surprised by and bitten by a venomous snake! The snake slithers off and Valencio takes a look at the wound but is not skilled enough in first aid to really tell how bad the poison is. Rihnan starts to feel faint and babbles.

:* Well, there were these two friends, tending to the cattle.
One of them goes out into the wilderness to take a leak.
Valencio looks at the snake bite and rubs his chin
Rihnan: He drops his pants, starts doing his business, and a snake bites him right on his pecker.
Big rattler it was.
Valencio: “You know. I have no idea what I’m doing!”
Rihnan: So, his friend runs to the local healer and asks him how to help his friend.
Valencio: Valencio makes a First Aid (Wis) skill check
Roll :98 Skill: 24
Rihnan: The healer tells him that he’ll have to suck the poison out to save his friend.
So the guy rides back out to his friend.
The poisoned man is desperate and asks how it went.
And the other man says “The doctor said you’re going to die.”
Rihnan cackles with glee.
Valencio: LoL, dick snake
Rihnan: Motherfucking yeah!
Rihnan high fives Valencio.
Valencio: “But yeah, you’re probably going to die.”
Rihnan: Oh, well, it was at least a good joke.[/quote]

This is an example of what happens when someone with the Inappropriate Sense of Humour quirk in real life gets on their HM character. :p In the end though the poison is not, in fact, fatal. It does however give Rihnan a -2 penalty to all attack, defence and damage rolls for the next 18 hours.

They continue on further east on the Borderlands Road towards Kar Vesbul and set up another ambush camp just off the road and wait for more Ravens. The fact that they looks suspiciously like a bunch of bandits themselves now not registering to any of them…

Either way, the day is mostly uneventful. Due to the Ravens traffic along the road is light, caravans are travelling in large well armed groups now instead of lone merchants and tinkers as would have been the norm. As they sit in their camp they can hear a noise distant in the woods. It sounds like crashing trees and also sounds like it’s getting closer.

Zatha sneaks into the woods a little bit to get some advance warning and doesn’t get very far before he seeing a huge 9’ tall humanoid smashing its way through the woods heading in a straight line towards their camp! He rushes back and tells them that an ogre is coming!

The party hastily sets up a quick ambush and when the ogre breaks through the tree-line Eddock charges at it with his great sword hitting it for 21 damage while the ogre is startled and fumbles his defence giving the Fhokki warrior another free shot with which he hits again for another 18 damage! 39 Damage in the first 2 seconds but the ogre just looks angry.

Valencio totally whiffs an attack with his mace and then the ogre nails Eddock with a hefty blow for 19 damage, knocking him back! Rihnan manages to dodge aside as Eddock gets blown past him and attacks getting a graze for 7 damage with his polearm.

Zatha comes out of the bush with a surprise dagger backstab but only manages to scratch the creature for 4 damage. Rhinan jabs at it with his spetum but the poison still in his system makes things blurry and he just misses.

Bellowing in rage the ogre swings his club around at Valencio but the cleric of the Eternal Lantern is able to block the blow with his shield which absorbs the damage. Zatha hits a rearward strike for 7 damage which the ogre fumbles giving Zatha a free attack next second. But first! Eddock swings and [i]he[/i] fumbles his attack giving [i]the ogre[/i] a free attack against [i]him[/i] the next second!

The ogre nails the parties fighter for 18 damage while Zatha simultaneously jumps up and stabs it in the back for the final 8 points of damage to kill it. Both the creature and Eddock fall to the ground as the warrior was taken to -1 hp from that blow.

Valencio runs over to look and it is at this point that we discover that he has a First Aid of 24% which is 1% short of actually being able to stabilize an unconscious character. So for the second time this campaign it comes down to making recovery rolls and hoping. Though Eddock has a better Constitution than Massar did. He fails the first but aces the second stabilization roll, succeeding by enough to stop losing hit points. Huzzah!

With Eddock on the brink of death and Rihnan still poisoned the party decides that they will in fact have to head back to the Keep to replenish their resources, spies on the lookout for Zatha be damned. Plus getting bounties. On that note the ogres ears are quickly harvested – but sadly it didn’t appear to have any other treasure.

They make their way back to the Keep and deposit Eddock at the Shrine of the Caregiver. Balan Kasar is quite taken aback by his condition but the rest of the party informs him about the fight with the ogre and Balan declares that he will be treated as a hero. Rihnan donates some funds to the church in the hope of expediting the process.

While Eddock is convalescing the rest head to the Bounty Office to get paid for their service. There is some half-hearted haggling over the ogre ears, but things start to get a bit wild when they dump a backpack full of heads on his desk.

Belan:* One silver for HUMANOID ears. Two for orcs. That’s not an orc, so one you get.

Rihnan: Ogre you sure about that?!!?
Seems a bit light!
<heads>
Kiparus Belan:
“That could be anyone!”
Rihnan: Could be, but isn’t.
We have this holy man here to verify. <pointing>
Listen.
You take these heads and give us our money.
Kiparus Belan: “Okay look, we need to verify this.”
Rihnan: Don’t make a bounty for heads if you’re too squeamish to pay up.
Rihnan butts his spear against the floor of the building in impatience.
Kiparus Belan: “I didn’t make no bounty, it was the Earl what did it”
Rihnan: And you’re the man to collect the heads.
Bam
Six heads.
You’re the head collector.
You want me to mount them on the wall for you?
Kiparus Belan: “Hold on now”
Rihnan: I think this gentleman would look LOVELY over there.
Rihnan chuckles.
Kiparus Belan: “I’m gonna go let them know up in the Upper Bailey that you SAY you got the right heads. They need to look and verify it yah?”
Rihnan: Why don’t you bring me along?
Lock up the shop, leave our good friend the cleric here, and I’ll attend with you.
<they>
Rihnan is frankly a bit relieved to be away from the heads.
Rihnan: Quoth these Ravens, “Nevermore.”
Rihnan chuckles.
Valencio brofists Rihnan
Kiparus Belan: …[/quote]

Meanwhile while Eddock is resting in bed another cleric of the Caregiver enters the shrine and speaks with Balan. Balan hands him the money that Rihnan had given him and sends him off to buy bread for the poor with it.

After the other cleric leaves Eddock wearily asks Balan about him and is told that the other clerics name is Stosh and he often distributes food to the needy in Quarrytown, though he does adventure out in the wilderness on occasion.

Back in the Upper Bailey Zatha, Rihnan, Valencio and Kip meet with Arbitrator Parato Romili who grills them about these heads. He is very serious and seems about to have them detained but he interviews them and examines the heads noting the raven tattoos on the necks so agrees to have Kip pay out the bounty, who seems put out about that fact. They head back to the Middle Bailey and Kip hands them fat stacks of 50sp.

Eddock inquires if he can have a meeting with Stosh, perhaps he would agree to join them in adventures? He also asks if Stosh has trouble with The Ravens. Balan says not really, as the many of the Ravens themselves are also poor downtrodden folk that deserve the Caregivers mercy. But he offers to introduce him to Stosh next time he’s in.

Rihnan and Valencion stop in to visit Eddock and give him his earnings and then head to the Three Leaves to rest and relax. Zatha heads out to the landing to make some more coin with some pickpocketing and then returns to the Keep and gets a private room at the Three Leaves while Valencio and Rihnan opt to just crash in the common room.

Rihnan wakes up in the night. Amidst all the dozing patrons he can hear the distinct sound of someone shuffling towards him. He stands up quickly and loudly addresses the person who stops and looks startled and replies with a “sorry sir, jus’ lookin’ for a spot ta sleep” and turns and heads out of the inn altogether.

The elven mage kicks Valencio sleeping next to him waking him up and drags him up to Zathas room, knocking on the door and waking the halfling up. They tell him about what happened which he replies with “that’s what you get for sleeping in the common room” or something to that effect. They ask if they can sleep in his room but he makes them pay in coin for the privilege.

Valencio decides that he will stand a Nightwatch outside the door and lights and torch and basically remains out in the hall all night (and then passes out in the morning).

The next morning Rihnan is suspicious of what’s going on, thinking maybe the sneaky man in the common room was an assassin sent by the Ravens and perhaps word of them killing their brethren may have gotten out from the bounty master so they plan to surveil the bounty office all day while Eddock is on the mend.

Eddock asks if there are any other clerics aside from Balan and Stosh that can heal but Balan says not really very many in the area to his knowledge aside from the Arbitrator of the True and there was a cleric of Risk in the area but he hasn’t seen him lately.

The stakeout bears some fruit as they watch the daily doing of Kiparus taking a ledger and bag of ears and such to the moneychangers and getting reimbursed and then heading back to the shop. Things are mostly normal but Rhinan does notice a strange visitor at one point – the same man from the common room! He can’t quite make out what they’re saying but the man leaves after a few minutes and doesn’t appear to notice the elf.

Looking for a good reason to be loitering around the Bounty Masters all day Rihnan decides to visit The Magic Box for some spell components and perhaps see if there’s anything else he can get there. Zatha who has been before leads him up the stairs.

gestures him forward.

Zatha: Yoah the one that asked.
Madame Radaama: “Welcome to the Magic Box! Do ye seek to discover your destiny?”
Rihnan: If I had known it included this, perhaps not.
Rihnan smirks to himself.
Rihnan: No, rather, I was led to believe that perhaps here of all places I could find things that may lie slightly more in the realm of the arcane.
Madame Radaama: “The arcane? Of course, the spirits speak to me the secrets of the cosmos. What is that this childe of the fey seeks?”
Madame Radaama cackles to herself
Madame Radaama: “Please, sit down.”
Rihnan: Rihnan makes a Arcane Lore (Int) skill check
Roll :4 Skill: 51
<rhinan><points>
Rihnan: Hmmm. Interesting and rare.
Ah, nevermind that then.
<rihnan>
Madame Radaama: “I’m sure I can teach you a great many things young elf”
<they>
Rihnan: Hah! Keep in mind, it would be I who am robbing the cradle so to speak.
Madame Radaama blushes furiously[/quote]

And with that wonderful mental image is where we left off. :)

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