Our party of “heroes” (Barodin Blighthwood, Kythan, Massar & Zatha)) has been stranded in the walled town of Vew for the past few days due to severe rainstorms . It is definitely no weather to be wandering around the wilderness in. They have taken refuge in the Green Griffyn Inn during the storm and are just about now growing bored out of their minds.
This morning the rain has finally stopped and after poking their heads out the door they are greeted by a nice sunny day. The road however, is still a muddy mess and will take some time to dry to a comfortable travelling quality.
As they sit in the main room of the Inn talking to each other about getting out of there finally a man enters from outside, looks around and zeros in on the party and approaches their table.
He introduces himself as a local painter of great repute named Belipar and asks if he may hire them for a job as they look to be the adventuring type. Kythan suggests that he purchase them a round of drinks for the trouble while Zatha picks his pockets – sadly finding his coinpurse empty.
Belipar agrees and heads to the bar while Kythan proclaims that this shall be a LUCKY day. Zatha makes light of the rotund halflings weight and suggests that they should ask for pay up front: “He dresses fancy but he could be moah broke than this fightah is cowahdly.” (in reference to Barodin).
Kythan wrests himself from his chair loudly calling to the painter that he didn’t take their order: “We’ve got exquisite tastes! And refined senses.” He waddles over to the bar to suggest drinks and also picks Belipars pocket also find his coin purse is empty. He does overhear him trying to set up a tab with the bartender though.
Kythan: “Oh yes, our lucky day. I can tell.”
Belipar returns the the table and the serving wench brings them a tray of ales. He regales them with a tragic tale of a missing shipment of lead that he was in need of to manufacture white paint for a painting he had been commissioned to finish.
(Right about here my mic kinda died so I ended up typing most of the banter. Which in retrospect means I can pretty much just copy-paste the exchange Smile )
Zatha: Anyone who buy me beah is welcome to talk.
Kythan: Mmmm, delicious!!! Finer than any I’ve ever tasted!
Kythan: I know all about lead. I have 15 lead teeth!
Had them since a baby!
Lead for paint eh?
Zatha: What’s gettin it back wahth to yah?
Kythan: Or EACH!?
Zatha: Oah each?
Kythan peers intensely.
Belipar: “Each? Goodness no I am not that wealthy! 25 pieces of silver for the group that is.”
Kythan: What about supper? I’ve been smelling turky ALL DAY.
Massar nods, “We will naturally have…travel expenses.”
Kythan: Like food.
Zatha: Who cahes about suppah? You have enough on yah bones fah weeks.
I like tha elf though. He makes a good point.
Kythan: It takes a lot of fuel this fine machine.
Kythan nods in agreement.
Massar: Perhaps just a small advance to cover the cost of making the journey?
Kythan: Ooo yes. Yes, yes. Game of cards while we talk?
Barodin Blighthwood: i will play you fat man
Zatha: If weah gonna make some coin, I’d rahthah do that.
Kythan grins widely.
Belipar: “Well, an advance… I don’t know… I don’t really know you all and
not that I don’t trust you but I really can’t afford to lose anymore money
without seeing my precious lead”
Kythan: We’ll get some lead for your pencil. Just need to wet our beaks you see.
At this Barodin grabs him by the scruff of the neck and intimidates him with his bad pickle-breath into giving them an advance.
Zatha leans back in his chair and puts his feet on the table
Belipar: “I ah, well you see.. I don’t have any coin on me right now… however I could throw in a comission of your fine group as well!”
Kythan: What should we play for? Lucky day, oh yes. The rest of your pickle maybe?!
Zatha: So you bought us drinks with no coin?
Belipar: “A painting that would immortalize you for all time, your praises sung to the heavens by all those who gaze upon it!”
Barodin Blighthwood: what do you think boys take him up on the offer or I start punching?
Massar: Let’s not get off on the wrong foot now, I think this is as good an offer as any.
Kythan: If we get supper, I say we’re friends.
Zatha: He’s right. Bettah some coin than nun.
Belipar: “Aha, so a deal then? My lead for 25 silver and a painting of such quality to make the very gods weep.”
Massar: Although I’d like to hear more about this before we get tangled up in it, who would rob this caravan of lead? How did you even get word of it?
Zatha mutters “we can probably sell tha paintin for another 3 silvah.”
Belipar: “I don’t know, though there have been rumours of bandits in these parts. Call themselves The Ravens.”
Barodin Blighthwood: lets the frilly artist go “ok fancy man we be interested.”
Kythan tuts Zatha. “Better to use as SEED money so that we can win more.”
Belipar: “I heard from a woodsman that saw the wreckage of the caravan out on the Old Has Road.”
Zatha: Ahm bettin theahs moah than just lead in the cahavan
Belipar: “If you like I can make you a map of where he told me he saw it.”
Zatha: Could scoah some moah loot than just for fluffy hat heah.
Kythan pulls out a deck of cards and nods at Zatha.
Massar: Yes, the map please. And any idea where this woodsman might be now? Perhaps we should visit with him and see if he knows anything else.
Belipar: "I don’t know, he doesn’t oft come into town from what I hear. One of them “ranger” folk you know how they are"
Massar: Did you catch his name by chance?
Zatha: Oh yeah. Rangah. Those fukahs are weahd.
Massar rolls his eyes, “Children these days learn foul language at such a young age.”
Belipar: “Lirod I believe?” (he doesn’t seem sure)
Zatha: I leahned it from yan muthah last night.
Kythan shuffles his deck and looks hungrily at Barodin’s pickle.
Belipar does art
Barodin Blighthwood: “stop peeping my pickle son”
Zoula (GM): time passes
Zatha throws back his head and laughs
Zatha: Kythan wants yah pickle. Huhlahious.
Kythan nudges the artist. “You know, getting your lead stolen. Downright unlucky. But your luck turned when you walked in here today.” He then grins maniacally.
Massar: How much lead is this, by the way?
Kythan whines: “Oh, but it just looks SO GOOD. You already had half. I just want a nibble. A bite. You won’t even notice it’s missing!”
Belipar looks at Kythan “Please sir. An artiste must not be interrupted.”
Belipar: “A chunk about the size of your pickle friends clenched fist I dare say”
Barodin Blighthwood: tosses the pickle at Kythan..“Fine have it i’m full anyway.”
Zoula (GM): more time passes – your drinks are dangerously empty
Kythan deftly snags it out of the air and slowly savors the pickle. Chewing slowly, lovingly.
Kythan: Oh, you won’t regret this.
Nononono, definitely not.
Belipar continues drawing
Zoula (GM): About 20min has passed
Kythan: So, I’m running low on drink. And you said you’d be me some turkey, drawy-man?
Zatha: Shiat. How long does a fackin map take to drawr? I could do that shit in like fahty seconds.
Barodin Blighthwood: “They even have turkey here?”
Wench: “No turkey here luv”
Zatha: Just gotta gnawr on yah own ahm.
Kythan: NO TURKEY!
Zatha: Is he friends with ehvahy treer out theah?
Kythan looks about to burst out into tears. Maybe our luck is turning sour. What have you got to eat love?
Wench: “Got some a’ yesterdays mutton if ye like”
Kythan: Drawy-man said he’d buy!! I’ll take it!
Zatha: Fackin ahtists.
Zoula (GM): It has been an hour, a plate of mutton and stale bread arrives for Kythan along with a top up of ale for everyone
Zatha sleeps in his chair, feet up on the table, mouth hanging open
Kythan licks his lips. “Oh yes, oh yes, these are good portents. How lucky that they had mutton, EXACTLY what I wanted.”
Zoula (GM): more time passes, some merchants come in for lunch
Barodin Blighthwood: “Hey Kythan want to play coppers and see who can bounce one in Zatha’s mouth first?”
Kythan: YES! You first.
Barodin Blighthwood: I see if i can bounce a copper into Zatha’s open mouth
So after much kibitzing Belipar finished the map and delivered it to the party. He said he’s be in town for the remainder of the week and then left.
After some discussion on who would carry Kythans food (since he only has a Strength of 5) the party heads out into the noonday sun, ready to track down some lead!
The road has started to harden up, and Massar looks up at the sky and declares that the next few days should be clear skies. They travel down the road from Vew to Sabden, slowed to a crawl by the two halfings.
Eventually they enter a forested area, and shortly after come across the wrecked remains of a cart and some dead bodies, pretty much right where Belipars map showed. Scavenging the area all they find of any value are two shortswords and a few arrows. Barodin examines the arrows and relays that they aren’t quality human made – they’ve been fire sharpened – no metal. Still functional, but not worth anything. Massar takes them anyway.
Due to the mud it’s ridiculously easy to find tracks. Many small shoeless footprints, some horse hooves and the ruts to another wagon lead off to the east. Noticing the birds have stopped chirping the two halflings hide in the bush. Nothing happens and they come out. Everyone starts Sneaking at this point. Though the halflings and elf are noticeably better at it.
They follow the tracks a mere 20 yards or so into a clearing off the side of the road and find the second cart crammed into some rocks. It appears abandoned. There’s no time for that now however – a pack of hungry wolves burst out of the bush and race towards Barodin (and Kythan).
Massar races over to Barodin and shakes him awake (+7 to Init is no joke lol) while Zatha and Kythan remain hiding in the hopes that the big folk can deal with it. Zatha actually starts moving to the scrum in hopes of getting in a backstab.
One of the wolves was hanging a bit further back and Kythan beans it on the head with his sling causing it to turn tail and scamper off!
There are two wolves on Massar, and two on Bardoin at this point. One of the once attacking Massar trips and accidentally bites its packmate beside it. Then when Massar attack it, it critically fumbles its defense and gets nailed for 10 damage. It turns to run off as well.
Massar follows it and gets a free attack as it runs getting a critical hit doing a total of 26 damage to its right foreleg. Causing it to fail a trauma check and crash to the ground. Massar moved up to deliver the coup de grace to it.
Meanwhile Barodin has been managing to miss every attack, but Zatha sneaks up on the wolf and delivers a backstab. It turns on him and gets a critical hit! He spends 8 points of Luck declaring that he slipped on e muddy ground just as it would have bitten him.
Just then Kythan fires his sling into melee (trust in Risk) and nails the wolf about to eat Zatha in the face for 16 damage from epic penetration rolls. It also fails a trauma check and falls down.
Barodin goes to hit the other wolf on him but it gets a Perfect Defense and hits with its free attack doing 7 damage!
However at this point with 1 wolf fled and 2 knocked out the other 2 decide this isn’t worth it and flee as well. They party does not pursue and they easily dispatch the two discombobulated wolves.
Checking the wagon they see it’s in good shape, and are about to try to move it from where it’s stuck when it’s pointed out that if they leave it there nobody else could take it – and they could come get it on their way back.
Everyone agrees and Massar throws Kythans in it too.
Looking around the area they also discover the bloated rotting bodies of two horses just outside the clearing. Kythan talks about eating them, but it’s pointed out that even ravenous wolves didn’t want to.
Wolves either dead or run off, the party takes some time to rest while Massar tends to their wounds with first aid. Afterwards the party follows the continuing tracks to the east.
The halfling and elves vanish into the undergrowth and move silently like ghosts while Barodin tromps through stepping on every twig imaginable.
They very quickly come out of the forest onto the beach of a lake. There’s a path moving along the beach and they can’t tell which way the tracks went (at their level of Tracking skill the actually can’t tell how old tracks are). They can see about a mile down the lakeshore to the north is a craggy rock formation on a peninsula, and about a mile to the south is a cottage with smoke coming from a chimney.
There is some debate about which way to go but they decide to head to the cottage in the hopes it may be the home of the ranger Belipar spoke of, or that they may have some stew available. They do however decide to stick in the treeline which slows their progress.
Not very long from starting out they spy an apple tree on the shore which gets Kythan all hungry. They come out of the woods and look at the tree which is too tall for the stout halfling to reach. He and Massar get into a negotiation about how much Kythan is will to pay the elf to pick him some apples. The cleric doesn’t want to pay so takes out his sling.
Kythan: OH MY GOODNESS.
ARE THOSE APPLES
I LOVE APPLES.
Zatha: Fatty, you can get apples when we ahen’t about tah get dead.
Kythan: You’re about to see the deft climbing skills of a Halfling, you tall folk.
Kythan pulls out his sling and aims at an apple.
Barodin has no time for that and just walks up to pick some damn apples. Sadly, he trips a crude tripline which causes a wicker basket full of snakes to fall on him! They bite him and he’s poisoned! (-1 to Attack/Defense/Damage for 13 hours)
Kyhtan fires his sling in hopes of killing a snake but hits Barodin in the back of the head by accident “luckily” only doing 1 damage after DR. Barodin and Massar smoke the small snakes in one shot each.
Kythan: Oh my, we should be able to get all the apples now.
Thank you so much for your help.
Massar: I think you should relax with the apples my corpulent friend
(To Zatha): You detect no more traps. You do see however that this trap was hella obvious if you had looked.
(To Kythan): You detect no more traps. You do see however that this trap was hella obvious if you had looked.
(From Zatha): oooo, noobed. Noted, ty
Kythan: A well disguised trap! My god wanted us to earn these apples. THEY MUST BE BLESSED.
Zatha whispers Well disguised my ass.
Kythan: He has communicated to me that we need at least three, to insure success!
Massar: I’ll trade you some coin for these oh-so-hard to reach apples.
Kythan: And I must eat them all posthaste!
Barodin Blighthwood: I’ll bless these apples up your ass
Massar strains on his tippy-toes to pick some apples.
Massar picks some apples and doesn’t give any to Kythan out of spite. He also looks at the wound on Barodins head but says it’s just a scratch and leaves it. Kyhtan eventually knocks a green one down with his sling, and Zatha is eating one from an unknown source.
After the Great Apple Tree Encounter the party continues ghosting (and tromping) through the woods, arriving at the cottage in the early evening. They can see an old woman sitting on a rocking chair knitting.
They approach and announce themselves and she introduces herself as the Widow Parakin. She tells them she lives alone out here in her cottage and sadly doesn’t know about any caravan robbery, but her husband used to talk about “monsters” out on the other side of the lake.
She invites them to share her stew which Kythan immediately agrees to. Barodin continues to ask her invasive questions like “did you kill your husband?” but overall the night passes sociably. Zatha sneaks around and notes a rowboat tied up outside.
Kythan pockets one of her wooden spoons (Zatha had already cased the joint, and there wasn’t really anything worth much) but then also offers to bless any dice she may have. She brings her husbands old dice from “that dwarven game” and he in fact uses the Ceremony spell to enchant them into a holy symbol of Draper. She thanks him and places them in a prominent location.
Offered the shed out back to sleep in the party rests and wakes in the morning to some herbal tea. The widow apologizes that she can’t afford to spare more food for them.
There is some discussion on where to go now. Everyone agrees to head to the rocky outcropping on the other side of the lake. Some want to use the boat (Massar has the Boating skill) but Zatha is against it because you can’t stealth in a boat. Also, it may drop them off the edge of the world.
Eventually they say goodbye to the Widow and back up the path to the North again.
Sticking to the treeline the party takes it’s sweet time to travel the roughly two miles to the mysterious rocky outcropping. They see more of the tracks in the sand in front of a dark cave opening! Dun dun dun! Zatha decides to scout around it to see if there are any other exits, and Kythan follows suit.
Barodin and Massar stand around in the treeline waiting. And then…. this happened…
Massar chats up Barodin, “So where you from buddy?”
Zatha mutters under his breath “More damn wolves”
Barodin Blighthwood: The capital, you?
was in the army moved around a lot
Massar: I came through that trading pass not too long ago, grew up over the mountain range around Cosdol. Can’t stand being around them anymore, though.
Barodin Blighthwood: mmmm why’s that?
Kythan: Lots of rocks.
Massar shrugs. Just elves, the aging difference. The facial hair. It’s hard to fit in after awhile when your’e a halfsy.
Kythan: I stubbed my toe.
Barodin Blighthwood: YOUR A HALF ELF!?! Never noticed, whats that like?
Kythan: If you’re a halfling, YOU’VE GOT SOME KIND OF HEIGHT DISORDER!
Zatha: I say we wait around a bit and see if anythin happens
The goal is to stay quiet yah jahks!
Massar: I don’t have much to complain about.
Cream of the crop and all.
Kythan: I do.
Your work ethic.
Putting down my food.
Massar tugs at his bandages, “You know if I die, you die next, right?”
Kythan: I’m too fat to die!
Barodin Blighthwood: Let me ask you something. I hear that them elves be small you know down there, dose that afflict you too?
Massar: I hear wolves love fat game.
Kythan: Padding and all.
Zatha snorts in laughter at barodin
Massar: It’s all about perspective, I guess. I’ve never got any complaints.
Barodin Blighthwood: ok, thank you,
Zatha: You two are like a damn mahied couple.
Barodin Blighthwood: always wondered
Zoula (GM): Throughout the day you don’t see anything going on
Zatha: Ya know, halflings are propahtionally longah than othah races.
Barodin Blighthwood: prove it little man!
Zatha: Yah hittin on meh?
Barodin Blighthwood: what?
Zatha: Wantin tah see mah peckah!
Kythan drops his pants again.
Kythan struts in a circle.
Zoula (GM): Well, this escalated quickly
Barodin Blighthwood: its for science
Kythan does a hip swiggle in front of Barodin.
Zatha: I dun wanna poke yah eye oot.
Such are the dangers of the Nosy quirk…
Anyways, during Zathas scouting op he heard something inside the cave. Sounded kind of like barking and growling language. The group decides to wait out whatever is inside and go on stakeout.
It is at this point that Kythan realizes he didn’t bring any food with him because he left it on the cart. Massar offers to sell him some but the cleric isn’t having any of that and even though Barodin offered to just give him some, for some unknown reason Kythan decides he’s going to go back to the cart and get some food and then take it to the widow to get it cooked.
Luckily there are no random encounters (both for him surviving and for me to quickly figure one out lol) and he makes it back to the cottage to find the widow making jam preserves. She agrees to cook his rations and makes some extra for “on the road”
[Note that in HM there are different types of rations you can buy and Selphius bought the cheap ones which is really more like an oatmeal/porridge kind of situation and requires having the Cooking skill to prepare. The others had trail rations which is dried jerky and cheeses and the like so they didn’t need to prep it]
EVENTUALLY Kythan makes it back to the rest of the party without incident. Nothing of interest has happened during his absence. Zatha decides to take a closer look at the entrance and sneaks up as it starts getting dark.
He notes that he can hear heavy breathing, a few odd growls and the clinking of glass on glass. Also he smells stale ale, wet dog and urine. Finally he notes a similar tripline to the one at the apple tree and disables it and heads back to the rest.
The party decides to move up in stealth. They sneak up but can’t see very far into the dark cave so Barodin lights a torch. Due to the torch they pretty much decide to YOLO it and just go in.
Inside the cave are 5 kobolds and a kobold leader. 3 of the kobolds were sleeping and 2 were playing around with glass bottles in the corner while the leader was sharpening his shortsword when all this started.
Init is rolled and most get in the 3 or 5 range except Barodin with the mighty 13 lol.
Massar stops holding Kythan’s hand and starts holding Barodin’s instead, whispering in his ear, “There’s fucking MONSTERS. DO YOU NOT HEAR THAT?”
Kythan starts up by hitting a kobold with a shot from his sling but is then hit by the kobold leader using its short bow. Barodin throws the torch in the middle of the cave and gets his shield ready while moving to engage the kobolds.
Barodin charges into a kobold and nails it for 10 damage and it rolls a nat 20 on its ToP check so is basically done as far as this fight is concerned. The kobold beside it attacks Barodin but fumbles getting its companions blood in its eyes!
Zatha has been moving up to ToP on the still sleeping (though one is waking now) kobolds and gets attacked by one, having to rely on Luck Points to avoid being hit.
Zatha while swinging his dagger down at the sleeping kobold sprays some dirt from teh ground RANDOMLY into the eyes of the kobold attacking him (+3 defense)
Kythan: OH THAT WAS LUCKY.
Kythan hits with another sling stone and then Massar hits one with his bow and it also rolls a nat 20 on it’s ToP check!
The kobold leader gives a big speech and then shoots Massar with its shortbow for 6 damage. Massar is extremely wounded now…
Zatha coup de graces one kobold but then gets attacked by a kobold which gets a critical hit! But then he rolls a defense of 23 vs its attack of 22 so it misses!! Huh?
The kobold with blood in its eyes attacks Barodin and fumbles again! Its belt breaks and its pants fall down just like Kythan! Also Barodin gets a free attack which he nails it for 20 damage with. Yep. Dead.
It’s pretty much just the leader and ToP’d chumps now. A grand string of critical hits and fumble occurs but eventually they kill it.
Barodin Blighthwood: Barodin Blighthwood defends with while wielding mace 1
Massar holds Barodin’s hand.
Massar: It’ll be okay.
The most notable being that Kythan fumbles a sling shot and somehow pulls his hamstring! Giving him a -1 to attacks and a 50% movement penalty for 6 weeks! Damn.
Selphius had to leave during the fight due to kid emergency so once the fight was done we finished for the evening. I think first aid checks were made though.