Narrator: The delvers have rested in Polisberg after their first successful expedition into the wilderness. Everyone has enjoyed sleeping on real beds (except Marik) and eating food that isn't bugs (except Marik).
Marik: Marik's special!
Marik: "So, dwarf, where does the starvation brigade expect me to lead them now? Hope you've all bloody remembered to pack food this time."
Narrator: Minnizig has decided to spend some time living off her new song collection ("Harpies are evil"), and Ghazeb thought he might have to go home for a family emergency, but things cleared up.
** Shelley raises a hand. "The starvation brigade is over here." **
Narrator: You have also been approached by a pretty lady named Shelley.
** Marik stares. **
Shelley: On a severely underfed equine of some sort.
GM: So what's Shelley's reason for joining these people? Talk amongst yourselves. Do you want sponsorship and stuff?
Shelley: The pretty lady also appears modestly underfed.
Shelley: I'm interested in protecting these good people from the hazards of adventuring.
Shelley: Golems belong in the front lines, not people.
Beltarne: ((Sorry, had to let the cat in))
** Thasos is bemused at being referred to as "people" for once. **
Beltarne: "Of course I packed food, Marik. Don't be ridiculous.
Marik: "You weren't supposed to take that 'starvation brigade' thing seriously. It was a joke. Dwarves understand sodding humour, right?"
Wolfgang: "Oh, we met her in town. Seems to know a thing or two about putting ghosts to rest."
** Ghazeb Ghazeb is also bemused at Thasos being referred to as people, **
Beltarne: "Course we do! Dwarf jokes are the funniest jokes in the world."
Marik: "You didn't have to go and invite a sodding necro-- you know what? I don't care. It has to be better than that chatterbox drunkard of a pixie."
Wolfgang: "We'll never starve as long as we keep getting attacked by edible wildlife"
Shelley: "Having undead about cluttering up things and confusing political issues is awkward. I specialize in removing them one way or another."
Beltarne: As an aside to Shelley, "He's just cranky because he's been close to a city for a week."
** Thasos gives Marik a dirty look when he mentions the unfortunate Firefly, but of course says nothing. **
Beltarne: "So, a cleric are you?"
Beltarne: "I myself deal with the undead menace from time to time."
** Shelley is sitting on an undead equine, Beltarne... **
** Ghazeb backs away from Beltarne and Shelley **
Wolfgang: "Well, good thing her horse doesn't bite eh?"
Beltarne: ((Bah, way to spring that one on me.))
** Shelley eyes the unkempt elf before answering Beltarne. "I'm a wizard. I specialize in organic golems, guiding unrestful spirits to their final destinations, and putting down spontaneous necromantic automata." **
** Wolfgang aside to Shelley "It doesn't, right?" **
Shelley: (( I did sort of mention it. ))
Shelley: "Not unless I tell it to. Golems lack initiative."
Beltarne: ((Way to not telepathically inform me!))
Shelley: (( places her hands to her temples and concentrates reeeeealy hard ))
Beltarne: "Well.... erm. Isn't that a mite uncomfortable to ride on? Lack of padding and all that?"
** Shelley shifts slightly. "The saddle is a bit specialized. On the plus side, Adam never stops to eat random flowers." **
Wolfgang: "Must not be for a wee twig like her"
** Thasos looks Shelley over skeptically. **
** Shelley smiles briefly at Wolfgang. **
Wolfgang: ((I dub the pack horse "Clyde" unless someone has another idea))
Beltarne: "So... how do you feel about... oh, I don't know, using an army of your 'necromantic automata' to rule the West Marches? Sounds like fun, eh?"
** Beltarne is being devious **
** Shelley speaks slowly for Beltarne's benefit. "Nooo... It sounds like an administrative nightmare." **
** Beltarne blinks **
** Beltarne regards Shelley with wary respect. **
** Thasos subtly smiles and nods. **
Beltarne: "Very well, if that's the way you want it. I'll play your game you rogue."
** Marik shoulders his pack. "So. We are going... where?" **
Beltarne: ((Channeling Sean Connery a la Celebrity Jeopardy on SNL))
** Ghazeb is just happy he has all his fur back. **
Beltarne: "Back towards Obsidian Lake, my outdoorsy friend."
** Thasos looks at Shelley, and stretches out his arms, palms up. **
Shelley: "I'd like a stop by the Potters Field. I need to dig up my squad."
** Marik sets off, not much caring if the rest of the group fo-- "Squad?" **
Beltarne: "Erm. Squad?"
** Shelley sniffs. "The town has a prejudice against automata." **
Marik: "You're bringing fecking zombies along?"
** Thasos 's face reveals new understanding. **
** Shelley waves one hand dismissively. "Skeletons. Zombies drip." **
Marik: ((This is, for the record, *exactly the same tone* Marik uses to say 'You're bringing fecking humans along'.))
Ghazeb: "Will that not smell bad.
Marik: "Skeletons. Oh yes. That's much better."
** Thasos points at Ghazeb and holds his nose. **
Ghazeb: "Well no worse than Thasos's tent I guess.
** Ghazeb shrugs **
** Marik heads off towards Potter's Field, grumbling. **
** Shelley nods happily. "Much more co-ordinated. Stealthy. Agile." **
** Ghazeb follows, though from a distance. **
Wolfgang: "Better than greenskins for sure!"
** Shelley kicks her heels into Adams ribs (literally) and clatters alongside Marik. **
Beltarne: "Well..... they don't get a share of the treasure, though."
Shelley: "Well of course not. It's not like they're people."
** Beltarne follows Marik and Shelley, leading Steve the Pack Horse **
Shelley: "You don't divide the treasure amongst your axe and your shield, do you?"
** Thasos grins again at the idea that he's people. **
Beltarne: "Just so long as we're clear."
** Shelley waves a hand dismissively. **
Narrator: The delvers set out on a bright morning, the sun already heating up a cloudless sky. A brisk wind from the northwest helps a little, but the delvers can already tell that by mid-morning, it won't be enough to cool them off. Marik confidently leads out of South Gate to Potter's Field, a short hike away.
GM: Does Shelley do something? How does this next bit work?
Beltarne: ((Do we wanna buy back those faerie trade goods from the merchant at South Gate? $5/lb))
** Shelley drags a shovel out of her saddlebags and starts digging in a freshly turned patch of earth. **
Marik: ((Marik is indifferent. Marik says yes.))
Shelley: "There's a second shovel on the other side if someone wants to pitch in."
Beltarne: ((Mark, is it the same 30 lbs we sold him?))
** Beltarne sighs, and pulls out the shovel **
GM: Yes, of course it is.
Beltarne: "Tyr save me."
** Ghazeb finds a shady spot and sits down. **
** Beltarne begins digging **
Shelley: "We can get Alpha out, he can take over for me, and then him and you get Beta out, and then they can take care of themselves. With supervision."
Wolfgang: ((Isn't buying them because we'd look dumb, and all the faeries might be dead))
** Thasos takes the shovel from Beltarne and finishes the digging. **
Beltarne: ((I'm kind of worried the faeries are gonna try to kill us. They don't sound very friendly.))
** Shelley grunts. "Otherwise they'd dig a trench to the sea-side..." **
Narrator: A short while later, a skeleton emerges from a shallow grave and takes over the digging on Shelley's orders. Despite its fixed grin and unhesitant acceptance of her orders, the other delvers can't help but shiver as they notice the glowing red dots for eyes and the inescapable feeling that it would kill them all if it had a chance. Shelly doesn't seem to notice.
Narrator: The skeleton digs out another, and the two combine to dig out three more.
Shelley: (( It's like transformers! No wait. ))
** Thasos has a brief flashback and shudders visibly. **
** Beltarne eyes skeletons uneasily **
Narrator: With the animated skeletons marching ahead, the delvers continue marching. As they pass travelers on the road to Firhill, the travelers flee to the side of the road.
Beltarne: ((Hold up, buying back the 30 lbs of faerie trade goods))
** Wolfgang Wolfgang looks to see if there is anything in the skull behind the eyes **
GM: Sure, sure.
Marik: "Congratulations, Beltarne. Your new friend has ensured that nobody between here and Shigrad will talk to us."
GM: Who's carrying it? split it up amongst the stooges?
Wolfgang: "I thought that was Thasos and the sheep incident?"
Beltarne: "Well... makes you happy, right, Marik?"
Beltarne: ((Stooges sounds good))
** Shelley eyes Wolfgang. "Sheep incident?" **
Marik: "I'd prefer to be left alone. I'd also prefer NOT to be the target of a torch-and-pitchfork-wielding mob."
** Thasos sighs. He's never going to live this down. **
Wolfgang: "He didn't ask before taking, the dwarves were not happy"
** Thasos rubs his belly and tries to look innocent. **
Shelley: "Yeees, I could see that making you unpopular."
Beltarne: ((I have $60 to put towards the trade goods. Anyone got another $90?))
Narrator: Despite the heat, the delvers make good time, crossing through Firhill a while after 9 am and turning southwest along the Durgan hills. Another two hours travel brings them through a narrow valley and back up over a hill.
Marik: ((Marik will.))
Wolfgang: "You know most humans, as long as you look harmless it takes a hammer to convince them otherwise"
** Thasos nods emphatically. **
Shelley: (( I've got cash. ))
** Ghazeb nods **
Narrator: As they crest the hill, they spot a dozen humans in robes and travel cloaks, led by a man in magnificent robes with a full beard.
** Beltarne sighs **
** Marik finds cover. **
** Shelley orders the goonsquad to march in the ditch. **
Reverend vanDieth: "Stand behind me, my brethren! Our faith will shield us from these abominations!" He pulls a small, silvered wagon wheel and brandishes at the skeletons!
Marik: Stealth: [3d6.skill(18,-5)] => [6,2,1] = 9 vs (13) or less Success! by 4
Beltarne: "Wait!!! Wait!"
** Shelley waves cheerfully. "No problems sir! People have right of way." **
Reverend vanDieth: "Unclean! Necromancer, you shall not defeat us!"
** Shelley guides Adam off road to stand in the grass for a bit." **
Beltarne: "What, are you talking to me?"
** Thasos holds up a hand and shakes his head at the man. **
** Wolfgang looks around for monsters **
** Shelley sniffs. "Necro-technician thank you." **
Marik: (Bow ready, Aimx3 at the lead priest, assuming I have time during negotiation.)
Reverend vanDieth: "What? Trifle not with me, foul temptress - I am protected by my faith and you shall not lead me astray!"
GM: Sure, Marik.
Ghazeb: "WHO ARE YOU CALLING A STRAY>"
** Thasos moves to stand between Shelley and the annoying man. He holds up both hands, palms out. **
** Shelley rolls her eyes. "Leading people astray is willywisps, not wizards, but whatever." **
Reverend vanDieth: Looks at Beltarne, boggles. "Brother Beltarne??" He thinks furiously. "Blink twice if you are ensorcelled!"
Beltarne: "Simmer down Ghazeb. He was being metaphorical."
Ghazeb: IQ (10) [3d6.skill(10,0)] => [2,3,3] = 8 vs (10) or less Success! by 2
** Beltarne looks at him quizzically **
** Ghazeb calms down. **
** Shelley checks. Nope, wearing travel clothes. No temptress dresses here. **
Beltarne: "I'm not ensorcelled. We just... needed another party member... and, well, she was available..."
Shelley: "Besides, this is a perfectly sensible coat."
** Thasos brings his hands together, right hand covering left fist, and bows slightly. **
Beltarne: "She's got a liscence from the city and everything."
Shelley: "I do!"
** Shelley starts digging around in her pack-sacks. **
Wolfgang: "Aye, she had the horse in town"
Wolfgang: "They didn't have a problem with it"
** Shelley says, somewhat muffled from having her head in her packs. "I'm a fully licensed and accredited exorcist and psycopomp." **
Reverend vanDieth: "Ah? Well then... quickly, move past her while she's distracted!" He ushers the other travelers on past the delvers, staying between them and Shelley.
Wolfgang: "So settle down."
Ghazeb: "You can get a license for that?"
Beltarne: "Good morrow, Rev. vanDieth!"
GM: Shelley can attempt a Diplomacy roll at -3.
** Shelley says, still muffled, "Yes, but the qualifications are obnoxious." **
Shelley: Diplomacy (12) [3d6.skill(12,-3)] => [4,2,2] = 8 vs (9) or less Success! by 1 Conditional: +2 from 'Charisma' when making Influence rolls
** Beltarne mutters, "I'm never getting invited to the Cleric's Ball again." **
Reverend vanDieth: Looks to make sure his flock is on the Polisberg side of the skeletons. "Really? I had heard rumors." He frowns. "Where are you headed?"
** Shelley emerges from rooting around in her packs, waving documentation. **
** Thasos shrugs. **
Beltarne: "Obsidian Lake, with a stop at White Pines, hopefully."
Shelley: "The ghost of noble Sir Scydd is restless, entrapped by a vile lich! We're going to rescue him!"
Reverend vanDieth: "I don't know those places, sadly."
GM: You guys going to talk to the man for a while or let him go?
Beltarne: "Yes, we hear tell Samuel the Black still holds Scydd's spirit in thrall."
** Shelley isn't holding him here. That would be rude. And possibly "leading him astray" *eyeroll* **
Beltarne: ((Let him go if he doesn't know anything useful about stuff in the direction we're heading
Shelley: "Wish us luck, sir, for we ride forth to vanquish the fiend and free Sir Scydd to his rightful reward!"
Shelley: I think I need to spend one of those unspent points on Savoir Faire. Hard to have CoH Gentleman's without good manners.
Reverend vanDieth: "Ah? Well, may the road rise to meet you." He walks off, muttering "Heathens."
Wolfgang: "Safe travels Sir!"
** Marik waits for them to pass, then comes out from the treeline, shouldering his bow. "Would have been bad luck to shoot a priest." **
Ghazeb: "Wow, that worked."
** Wolfgang once he is well and gone "What a blowhard, if he ever needs our services we charge him double" **
Narrator: The delvers continue on, crossing the militia boundary about an hour later and crossing over the two rivers. Marik estimates it is around 4 pm when they turn south and enter the pass between the mountains.
Beltarne: "Yes, it would have been.... what?"
** Shelley glares at Marik. "And terribly rude of you." **
Marik: "Next time I'll let him blast one of your little pets into the hereafter, then."
Wolfgang: "You'd think a prince would be more polite"
Beltarne: "Well, they probably would have just run away. Probably."
** Shelley rolls her eyes. "They're not pets. They're just tools. Although I'm not surprised to see so much anti-automata sentiment around here." **
Beltarne: "I think a large part of it is the glowing red eyes. They look.... angry."
Shelley: "With liches and whatnot, the ferals would tend to prejudice people, and nobody seems to be doing anything constructive with artificial automata."
Wolfgang: "They can build stuff?"
Shelley: "Well, yes, of course. Plow fields, dig ditches, haul stone, power a grist mill... all kinds of useful things."
** Shelley grins. "Muck out stables." **
Beltarne: "Do they ever revert to being... feral?"
Marik: "Send small children running."
Ghazeb: "Well, this may not be so bad after all."
Ghazeb: "Can they carry our Loot?"
Wolfgang: "Man, they'll put rookies out of work"
Narrator: Just as the delvers plan to stop for the day, Marik gets the feeling they're being watched.
Beltarne: "Right, what about all the ditchdiggers they put out of work? The porter's guild would have a fit too."
Shelley: "They can't run amok. They're too stupid. You either tell them to run amok, or you get the spontaneously created ones that just sort of flail around randomly."
** Marik gestures something to the effect that he thinks someone's about to ambush us, then takes cover. **
Shelley: "Someone's going to have to tell them what to - oops!"
Narrator: A series of birds call out, and then a man on horseback, wearing a ragged green coat and carrying a knocked bow, rides into view.
** Wolfgang takes cover **
Marik: Gesture: [3d6.skill(12,0)] => [5,6,5] = 16 vs (12) or less Failure! by 4
Marik: Stealth: [3d6.skill(18,-10)] => [4,5,5] = 14 vs (8) or less Failure! by 6
Marik: Luck the stealth roll.
Marik: Stealth: [3d6.skill(18,-10)] => [1,1,6] = 8 vs (8) or less Success! by 0
Marik: Stealth: [3d6.skill(18,-10)] => [6,2,2] = 10 vs (8) or less Failure! by 2
** Shelley snatches up her shield and rod. **
Marik: I like success.
Ghazeb: "What kind of fool would attack this group?"
** Ghazeb stands in the middle of the road. **
whispering to Shelley, You recognize the colors of the Polisberg Outriders.
Beltarne: "Or one with friends in the trees."
Shelley: "Squad halt!"
** Shelley squints. "Outrider?" **
Outrider Officer: "Yes. Necromancer? You are covered by archers with meteoric arrows, so do not attempt to cast spells or send your minions to attack."
Shelley: "Would you prefer I tell them to sit down and put their fingers in their earholes? It might make this easier."
Outrider Officer: He looks surprised. "Yes. Are you not a necromancer?"
Beltarne: "She's licensed, officer.
** Shelley sounds a little frustrated. "I'm a necrotechnician. None of the oogey-boogey." **
** Thasos looks around, trying to spot the archers. **
Outrider Officer: "Ah?" He looks around. "A dwarf, a gargoyle, a tigerman... where's the pixie?"
Beltarne: "Prematurely retired."
Ghazeb: "She was tasty."
** Beltarne hits Ghazeb in the arm. **
** Thasos slaps Ghazeb upside the head angrily. **
** Shelley gives Ghazeb the hairy eyeball. **
Beltarne: "Don't say that about our friend."
** Wolfgang gives Ghazeb a dirty look "That's not funny, she's still laid up in town!" **
Outrider Officer: He face starts to redden, then he relaxes. "Humor. I see."
Ghazeb: "It was a joke, he looks like a man who likes to laugh."
Wolfgang: "You need to work on your jokes."
Beltarne: "Jokes can wait till he decides we don't need to be skewered, Ghazeb."
Shelley: "It's a nasty joke anyhow."
** Thasos nods and scowls at Ghazeb, more upset with him than usual. **
Outrider Officer: He takes his right hand away from his bow and begins searching through his saddlebags. "So... tigerman... Ghazeb Khan, yes, late of Shigrad?"
** Ghazeb looks around. "yes" **
Outrider Officer: "I see. My records show that you haven't paid your road tax. 25 silvers, please."
Ghazeb: ((1 sec))
** Thasos grins from ear to ear. **
Ghazeb: "I did too, when we were in town."
Ghazeb: "Was a late fee and everything."
Outrider Officer: "Are you refusing to pay?"
Ghazeb: Greed (15 or less) [3d6.skill(15,0)] => [4,2,2] = 8 vs (15) or less Success! by 7
** Ghazeb thinks about it for a min. "well. I will have a talk with your boss." **
** Ghazeb hands over the silver. **
GM: Does Ghazeb still have $100?
GM: He spent a lot on the elven rations.
Ghazeb: I would say no.
Marik: ((Wait. Ragged cloak, right?))
GM: Then he isn't handing over the money he doesn't have.
Ghazeb: "Could some one loan me the cash."
GM: Yes, he looks pretty bad - they've obviously been in some fighting.
** Thasos frowns at Ghazeb, but hands over his last remaining $4, remembering the debt he owes. **
Beltarne: "Sorry, I'm flat broke. Spent my last copper getting those faerie trade goods."
Marik: ((Can I see ANY sign of his friends?))
Ghazeb: "Guess I am then."
** Ghazeb puts his hand on his sword. **
GM: Marik : yes, there's another 5-6 archers around here.
** Thasos puts his hand on Ghazeb's sword hand and shakes his head sternly. **
Outrider Officer: He makes a notation on the sheet. "Very well then. It will be assessed when next you arrive in Polisberg." He notices the interplay between Thasos and Ghazeb. "Threatening us would be unwise, outlander."
Beltarne: "Officer, if you don't mind, could you answer a few questions for just a minute?"
Outrider Officer: He frowns at Beltarne. "Yes, what is it?
** Ghazeb takes his hand away. **
Beltarne: "I hear tell you've been having some problems with someone stealing supplies out of Kirkengard."
Beltarne: "We were planning on heading out that way after we return to try to sort that out for you."
Wolfgang: "And filthy greenskins coming too close"
Beltarne: "Can you verify that information, and do you have anything further on it?"
Outrider Officer: He frowns. "That is Outrider and Militia business. While I'm sure some of you are trustworthy enough" taking in Beltarne, "your company is not the best" takes in everyone else (but Marik whom he can't see or at least doesn't point out that fact).
Beltarne: "Very well. Does "Orcmeet" mean anything to you? We found a map on some goblin ambushers that mentioned it."
Outrider Officer: "Orcmeet? There are some orcs to the west of here."
** Thasos is offended, but tries not to look like it. **
Beltarne: "Seemed.... ominous. Like they might be gathering for something."
Beltarne: "Anyway, that's all I had for you officer. Thank you for your time."
Wolfgang: "All we met were goblins, but they never seem to be far from orcs"
Outrider Officer: "Unless they've found the Iron Crown, no army of orcs would stay together long enough to march on Polisberg. I doubt there's any concern."
Outrider Officer: He nods to you all, whistles, and continues on north along the road, followed by another 9 men (and elves and catboys, etc) in traveled stained coats on thin looking horses.
** Wolfgang salutes him "Good hunting!" **
** Marik waits for them to be out of sight, then comes out of the trees. **
** Thasos gets Ghazeb's attention, and holds out his hand. **
** Ghazeb holds out his hand. **
Narrator: The delvers bed down for the night in the canyon, surrounded by the towering mountain walls. Other than the spookiness of the skeletons standing watch - though whether they watch for danger or for an opportunity to slit your throats - the night is mostly uneventful.
Shelley: "Ghazeb. I think he wants his money back."
** Thasos rubs his fingers together. **
Narrator: Wolfgang is on watch, early in the morning, when he hears wolves howls in the distance and sees smoldering forms - dozens and dozens of them - vault down the crags on the side of the mountain and flee south on the pass.
Narrator: The forms look goatlike, some trailing smoke and others wreathed in flames.
** Wolfgang yells "Burning goats!" **
** Wolfgang has his shield ready or gets it that way **
** Thasos is instantly awake and soon armed. **
Beltarne: "Snrk.. huh?"
** Ghazeb tries not to wake up to that. **
GM: They're not heading toward your camp.
** Shelley pokes her head out of her tent, clutching her rod. "What. The hell." **
GM: You could chase after them if you wanted.
Beltarne: ((Heh. Mark's funny.))
Wolfgang: "Exactly. Burning, smoking goat things ring a bell?"
Ghazeb: "Ghazeb misses the inn already."
whispering to Shelley, Those were fire goats, you think. Some kind of faerie creature.
whispering to Beltarne, Those were fire goats, you think. Some kind of faerie creature.
** Thasos pokes his head out and looks at Wolfgang incredulously **
Wolfgang: "I heard wolves howl before they passed"
Wolfgang: "Sign from the gods or what?"
Beltarne: "Faerie critters? Fire Goats, I think?"
whispering to Wolfgang, Those were some kind of bendanti fire demon, you think. A bad omen.
** Beltarne breaks out the faerie lore book and tries to find the half-remembered entry. **
Wolfgang: "Or regular goats the hellhounds set on fire"
Wolfgang: "unless the fire goats sounds like wolves"
Wolfgang: "Do dire wolves breath fire?"
** Ghazeb puts his paws over his ears. **
Shelley: "I have no idea. But what. The hell."
Beltarne: ((Default Hidden Lore(Faerie) IQ-5, Mark?))
** Beltarne found the F10 macro key **
GM: I already rolled, Beltarne.
Beltarne: "Well, seems death isn't imminent. See you in a few more hours."
** Beltarne goes back to sleep **
Narrator: During the night, light clouds roll in on a gentle breeze. The new day starts cooler, as the delvers continue their way south.
GM: Everyone roll Vision-8!
Beltarne: Vision (14) [3d6.skill(14,-8)] => [1,1,2] = 4 vs (6) or less Critical Success! [B556]
Marik: Vision: [3d6.skill(16,+2-8)] => [3,2,1] = 6 vs (10) or less Success! by 4
Ghazeb: Vision (11) [3d6.skill(11,-8)] => [1,6,3] = 10 vs (3) or less Failure! by 7
Thasos: Vision (11) [3d6.skill(11,-8)] => [4,1,1] = 6 vs (3) or less Failure! by 3
Marik: ((Well done, Beltarne!))
Beltarne: ((What's up, fire goats? Say hi to your mother for me))
Wolfgang: Vision (13) [3d6.skill(13,-8)] => [3,4,2] = 9 vs (5) or less Failure! by 4
Shelley: Vision (12) [3d6.skill(12,-8)] => [1,2,1] = 4 vs (4) or less Critical Success! by 0 [B556]
whispering to Beltarne, You see a cave, high over the pass. Someone at one point painted some words over it - you think you can make out "eep" and "ewar"
whispering to Shelley, You see a cave, high over the pass. Someone at one point painted some words over it - you think you can make out "eep" and "ewar"
Marik: ((I think we noticed it!))
Shelley: I'll take it. I'm not proud. :D
Wolfgang: ((the dice will have their revenge later!)
** Beltarne squints at the ridgeline **
whispering to Marik, You see a cave, high over the pass. There are some splashes of color that may not be entirely natural.
Beltarne: "Is that a cave?"
GM: I just whispered to myself because I cannot type.
Beltarne: "And someone wrote.... 'eep' and .... 'ewar' over it?"
GM: Marik, for what it's worth, the time is around 7:30 - the contrast between the cave's shadows and the splotches is what caught your eye.
Beltarne: "Marik, mark that on the map."
Shelley: "Beware I assume is the other one."
** Thasos shrugs cluelessly. **
** Thasos makes a silent "oh". **
Wolfgang: "Maybe we should get closer so we can read the sign?"
Ghazeb: "More Goats?"
Beltarne: "Sounds... potentially lucrative."
Marik: ""Keep Away" and "Beware." I swear, how do you people see ten feet in front of you with eyes like those?"
Beltarne: "It's a ways up."
Wolfgang: "Not a problem, where is it again?"
** Marik dutifully marks the location on his map, and since we've decided to not be sidetracked this time out, starts figuring out where to go to get to Obsidian Lake from here. **
** Thasos points over his shoulder. He can see behind him AND in front, just fine. **
Marik: ((Also, I forgot to mention foraging last night, Mark - can I roll it now?))
GM: Marik: sure, why not?
** Beltarne points out the cave mouth to Wolfgang **
Marik: ((Woodlands, or not-woodlands?))
Beltarne: ((Can I roll Naturalist to help?))
** Wolfgang flies up so he can read the sign clearly and returns **
GM: Beltarne: yes.
GM: I think, anyway, and I don't suspect it matters much one way or th other.
Beltarne: [3d6.skill(12,0)] => [6,2,5] = 13 vs (12) or less Failure! by 1
Marik: Survival (Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland): [3d6.skill(16,0)] => [2,3,3] = 8 vs (16) or less Success! by 8 - add 4 if we're in woodlands.
GM: Who gets the extra 2 meals?
Marik: Breakfast the next morning for Marik and Beltarne. >.>
** Ghazeb looks hungry **
GM: Wolfgang: you can't really see a sign. There *may* be some ancient, faded paint but you're not sure of that. The cave extends beyond where you can see in the mountain, but you do see a faint trail leading from the pass to a 50' tall cliff that the cave surmounts.
GM: Alright, continuing on then...
Narrator: The delvers continue south east, making better time as it isn't quite as hot. A little after 9, the road visible forks, one trail continuing southeast and the other veering off to the east-south-east. It looks like it may head into the mountains.
GM: Also, you passed the goblin cave if that's interesting to anyone.
Wolfgang: any smoke?
Wolfgang: good, keep moving
GM: Which way?
Wolfgang: Marik knows!
Beltarne: "White Pines first, or Obsidian lake and white pines on the way back?"
Marik: "By 'White Pines' do you mean 'that village full of mud golems', or 'some other town we never actually found'?"
Wolfgang: lets skip the golems for now
Beltarne: "The town we never found, but I thought we found the road we thought lead to it on the return trip?"
Marik: "Aye, I think so. I can get us back there."
Beltarne: "So, which first?"
Shelley: "I think Scydd's been tormented long enough."
Beltarne: "Very well, Obsidian Lake it is."
GM: Which way?
** Ghazeb sits down. **
Marik: Right. I'm pretty sure that Shining Lake was the place we were *last* time, so clockwise around Shining Lake. East, then southeast, then south past Obsidian Lake.
Marik: If *Marik* is less sure about that being Shining Lake than *KEVIN* is, please correct me.
GM: Marik strongly suspect that the lake is Shining Lake, but honestly, the maps you have are crap.
GM: Right ho!
Marik: I'll take 'strongly suspects'.
Beltarne: ((Shelley's research indicates the road through the mud zombie village leads almost directly to where we want to go, as far as I can tell))
Marik: As long as it's not 'No, actually, you're all the way west on a different map entirely'.
Narrator: The delvers continue on down the right branch. As the road starts to turn due south, the delvers spot an oily mass of black ooze in the distance.
Shelley: On the road?
GM: The ooze is oozing toward you slowly, and is a few hundred yards away, off the road to the northeast.
GM: Well, maybe not a few hundred, more like 60-70 yards away.
Beltarne: Can we out-walk it?
Marik: "I'm not wasting arrows on that."
** Thasos doesn't bother readying his iron weapons. **
Beltarne: "Lets just leave it be."
Wolfgang: "Lets avoid the creeping crud"
Marik: "But it looks like it might be the sort of thing that won't stop growing if it isn't stopped."
** Beltarne continues walking. **
Shelley: "I don't even know what that is."
Beltarne: "Out here, all it's gonna eat is that damn druid or some of his minions."
** Thasos nods. **
Marik: "And plant life. And animals. And."
Beltarne: "Personally, I'm fine with that."
Marik: "And it might be IN our path on our way back."
Marik: "I'm just saying, it might be better to set it on fire NOW."
Beltarne: "But setting it on fire costs money."
** Thasos shrugs. **
Beltarne: "It's a bad return on our investment."
Ghazeb: "Ghazeb thinks thats as big as they get."
** Shelley eyes it dubiously. "Blobs are... outside my expertise, but I think they get as big as barns." **
** Marik shrugs. "Fine. *I* can handle walking around it on narrow trails full of spiders if it turns out to eat half the road." **
Beltarne: "Spiders?! That's.... That's not funny. It'll be fine."
GM: You continue south for another hour or so, soon reaching another fork in the road.
** Ghazeb sits down. **
Marik: ((Loot the fork - good silverware sells well - and move on.))
Narrator: The ruined village full of the strange mud monsters is visible through the trees ahead, the misshapen forms moving randomly about.
Beltarne: ((Take the road fork that leads to the path that hits the river, and give the village a wide berth.)
Marik: "We'd be wanting the fork that doesn't lead to angry mud creatures that want to rend us limb from limb, yes?"
Wolfgang: "Look, mud things, we'll swing by on the way back for more loot, if we have room"
Beltarne: "No, I think that's the fork we want."
** Ghazeb licks his paws and grooms him self. **
Narrator: The delvers turn east, heading toward the dark forest that stretches from the northeast to the southeast.
Beltarne: (("The road to Larston through the Graywoods used to lead nearly straight to Calad Haven, but the bridge across the Shining Lake is almost certainly out."))
Shelley: "Does anyone have a map?"
Beltarne: "Sure, they're just not good maps."
Marik: "Here, you're welcome to have a look."
Marik: "If you think you can do better, by all means, be my guest."
Narrator: At noon, the delvers are once again in the forest, just past a faint but strangle trail they have encountered before.
Shelley: I'm not sure what Calad haven or Larston or Graywoods.
GM: As in, it's literally the same one.
Shelley: Strange trail Ie the spiderhydra tracks?
GM: Now you can either follow the road to the south, which will eventually get out on the peninsula.
Beltarne: ((Calad Haven is where Scydd haunts. I think Larston is the mud demon village. And I think we're now in the Graywoods))
Shelley: (( ahaaa ))
GM: Admittedly, you don't think there's a bridge to span the peninsula, so that might be tricky.
GM: I mean, from the peninsula to the south shore of the lake.
Beltarne: So we can circle through the Graywoods though, or Durgan hills, right/
Marik: But we can avoid the peninsula and continue through the Graywoods to the lake's south shore?
Marik: I think we did this in the opposite direction last time.
Beltarne: Yeah, I thought the peninsula was on the south side of the lake
Beltarne: With the druid's circle on the north
GM: Your other option is to head through the woods for about 2.5 miles and then turn south.
** Beltarne stares unhappily at the spider-infested woods. **
GM: The base of the peninsula is on the NE side of the like, and the peninsula itself extends to the SW.
Marik: ((Yeah, that matches what I remember.))
Marik: "Through the woods."
GM: Okay, so the plan is? It's off-road navigation time!
Beltarne: ((Spider-hydra.... HOOOOOO!))
Beltarne: ((BTW, I got tired of words. I'm drawing a fricken map.
** Shelley sings, for Minnizig, "If you go down to the woods today, you better be in disguise..." **
Shelley: that was supposed to be /ooc
Shelley: in (( ))s
Marik: ((Marik has been drawing a map. I should do that.))
GM: Okay, so the plan is? It's off-road navigation time!
Ghazeb: ((door, afk))
Marik: 2.5 miles through the woods, roughly SE, and then south.
Marik: ((Marik's actually largely BETTER at off-road navigation.))
Narrator: The delvers plunge into the deep shadows of the woods, navigating from tree to tree by some scheme that only Marik understands.
Narrator: At little before 2 pm, the delvers see several deer skeletons, overgrown with vines.
Marik: ((Did we kill deer around here at all before?))
Marik: ((I don't remember doing so.))
Narrator: Disturbingly, the vines are heavily looped around the skeletons' necks and limbs. One of the skeletons is almost spread-eagled, several feet above the ground.
** Beltarne gives the vines the hairy eyeball **
GM: Marik is certain he has never been here before.
Beltarne: ((Are they moving?))
GM: The vines look dead.
whispering to Beltarne, Those look like dead strangler vines. You can tell, because they're not crawling over and trying to strangle you.
** Beltarne looks around for similar looking vines sneaking up on him. **
** Marik gets a stick and pokes one of the skeletons. **
whispering to Shelley, Those look like dead strangler vines. You're not sure, but the deer off the floor is strongly suggestive of stranglers, and they're clearly dead.
** Shelley frowns, and eyeballs the skeletons to see if they're actually undead evil deer lurking in wait in some weird scheme. **
whispering to Marik, Those look like dead strangler vines. You can tell, because they're not crawling over and trying to strangle you.
** Ghazeb Ghazeb looks on." **
Beltarne: ((Dude, you only poke things with sticks to check if they're dead. I'm certain the deer are dead.))
Wolfgang: "OK, horrible viney death awaits?"
GM: People have whispers.
GM: If they have skills.
Beltarne: "Strangler vines."
Shelley: "Those are strangler vines. I think. But it looks like they bought it mid-lunch."
Beltarne: "Wonder what killed them."
Ghazeb: "Well lets keep an eye out for more."
Marik: "Strangler vines. Dead. Best not to think about what killed them. Move on, unless Morticia here wants to play with the bones a little."
** Beltarne follows Marik as he strides off. **
** Ghazeb follows. **
** Thasos follows. **
GM: About 40 minutes later, you turn south and break out of the tree line - into an extremely marshy patch of ground with infrequent, stunted trees. You can barely make out a wide arm of the lake, perhaps a half mile to the south, and a some hills to the east of that past the trees.
Ghazeb: "Can we go around it?"
Marik: "Obsidian lake. Very swampy."
Marik: "With luck, it'll be swamp snake for dinner tonight."
Marik: ((I suspect our logs would be VERY different if I hadn't blown 2 points on Absolute Timing, btw.))
Beltarne: "The road to where Scydd haunts should be to the east. But Samuel the Black, who we have to kill to free him, roams the southern shore."
Marik: "Well, it's possible that Scydd may have helpful advice. I suggest we skirt the lake on the eastern shore."
GM: So what's the plan?
Wolfgang: "That sounds good Marik"
Marik: Skirt the lake on the eastern shore, being even more paranoid than usual.
Beltarne: "It's also possible he attacks people in blind rages. Ghost, remember?"
Marik: "What's wrong, godman? Worried your faith might be tested? Let's get moving."
GM: Currently, there's this swamp in to your south and trees in all other directions.
Shelley: "The incorporeal undead are tricky, but if it comes to blows I think I can drag him far enough back to this world for you to deal with.
Marik: East along the swampline, then south as we get a chance?
Beltarne: Hows movement through swamps work. Just slower than normal?
Marik: I'd prefer to avoid trudging through swampland if possible.
GM: Swamp travel is 1/4 speed I think.
Marik: One wrong step and we lose the dwarf.
Beltarne: I like that plan
Marik: On account of him being short.
GM: Okay, along the treeline you go!
Beltarne: No, I got it. Thanks.
Narrator: Just after 3 pm, the delvers break out of the trees, about midway on the swamp's N/S axis and on it's east side. They stand on some rolling hills surrounded by forest. From here, it is apparent that what looked like the northern shore of a lake is actually a broad river, maybe 1/3rd of a mile wide, surrounded by trees on all sides. It curves away to the northwest and can't be seen again.
GM: Marik has a suspicion that the river/broad arm just rejoins the other lake near the southeast edge of the peninsula.
Ghazeb: "Ghazeb is not happy about this at all."
Beltarne: So... Shining Lake is connected to Obsidian Lake by a river, is what you're saying?
GM: Uhm, who are you asking?
Marik: The river is to our west, and we wanted to go east, right?
GM: Yeah, I don't provide information like that.
Beltarne: I'm making sure that by "peninsula" you're talking about the one on Shining Lake.
GM: Marik thinks that the river may join the lake that you were already at, east of the island with the harpies.
GM: Yes, same peninsula - he thinks.
** Ghazeb is glad he does not have the navigation job. **
Beltarne: Okay, thanks.
Marik: ((I think he means, 'the lake with the peninsula that we were already at is connected to this new, still-theoretical lake, by a river.))
Marik: So, southeast along the riverbank.
GM: right, except the theoretical lake is clearly a river.
Beltarne: And we didn't run across any road on our trip east?
Thasos: ((lake, river, body of water, whatever))
Beltarne: Bad info, I guess.
Marik: Mark - on the goblin map, the one with the bloodstain on it, that red dot is the Goblin Cave with the Alchemist Lab, right?
Beltarne: I thought that entire map was north of there.
GM: No, you think that's someplace in the western mountains. You think the right hand side of that map may be the pass you were in.
GM: You suspect the two pools of blue may be the Crystal Lakes mentioned on the relief map.
GM: excuse me - on the topological map of the western mountains.
** Marik flips back and forth through his maps, cursing in Elvish. **
** Ghazeb finds a dry place to sit. **
Marik: "Well, chums, we're off the map."
Beltarne: "I think following the river should get us where we need to go, but it'll probably also take us into the swamp."
** Shelley fiddles with her fingernails. **
** Shelley corrects herself, nails. **
Marik: "Whoever put this cloth one together couldn't tell a bloody lake from a river."
Marik: "Or has no bloody sense of scale."
Marik: "But I think southeast along the riverbed will get us where we're going."
Beltarne: ((Check out the alchemist's map))
Wolfgang: "Wasn't the north shore of obsidian lake swampy by what we gathered?"
Marik: ((That's the 'bloody cloth one' - bloody being a pejorative, not an adjective, sorry.))
Marik: "That's the theory."
Marik: "Well, at least it's impossible to get lost following a river.'
Beltarne: ((I think Shining Lake just drains into Obsidian Lake. Pretty reasonable, actually, with the mountains to the north.))
Marik: So the plan remains, 'Southeast along the river banks.'
GM: You travel through the woods along the river bank, turning northeast to follow the river. Just as you stop around 5 pm, the river is starting to turn southeast again and open up. Marik can clearly see the peninsula to the east, and barely make out the harpy island beyond that. The mountains tower in the distance.
GM: Marik is reasonably certain that he is due east of the harpy island.
Beltarne: ((Fucking teleporters))
Marik: We started the day... northwest of the harpy island?
GM: Way north of it - it's south of the town on the lakeshore.
Marik: So we've made progress southwards for sure!
Marik: I am content.
** Ghazeb looks upset. **
Beltarne: Why were we going northeast along the river when we said southeast?
Shelley: (( Don't you have absolute direction? ))
GM: because the river turned northeast?
Beltarne: southwest, that is.
Shelley: (( Or a compass? ))
GM: errr, shit.
Marik: ((I have absolute direction, yes.))
GM: let me draw something really quick.
Shelley: Hell, THASOS has absolute direction.
Thasos: ((i think that's only in mazes and the like))
GM: Dark green is forest, light green is swamp, background is the hills, blue is the river. Numbers indicate places you've been in order.
GM: Does that help?
GM: Actually, do people see the map I just drew?
Marik: I totally thought the river was going in the opposite direction, so yes.
Ghazeb: yes i c it
GM: I may have been retarded.
Marik: Also, according to that map, we turned NorthWEST to follow the river.
GM: River goes southwest, then northwest, then southwest.
Marik: And you said northeast.
GM: Yeah, I was retarded.
GM: Sorry sorry sorry.
Beltarne: I see it, but which way is north here, up?
Marik: I am now on track.
Marik: Southwest, following the riverbank.It will lead to Obsidian Lake eventually I hope.
Marik: ...Wait, no, fsck.
Marik: Yeah, this is our best bet anyway.
Marik: Not like anyone else has a clue where we're going.
GM: Marik also suspects - suspects - that there is a branch of the lake south of them.
Wolfgang: is it time to fly high?
** Wolfgang loves fighting manavores **
Marik: Based on the terrain I can see, would it be faster to cut straight south, or to continue on the river?
Beltarne: I'm still confused. Are you saying in all the time we've been traveling we haven't passed the harpy lake yet?
GM: South through the forest.
GM: The harpy lake is (probably) WEST of you.
GM: And the GM is still an idiot, sorry.
Wolfgang: are we there yet?
Marik: Nightfall. Foraging, camping, updating maps.
Marik: Please tell me that one of you lot knows how to make a bright light so I'm not updating maps by firelight.
Beltarne: [3d6.skill(12,0)] => [3,6,1] = 10 vs (12) or less Success! by 2
Marik: Due south in the morning.
Beltarne: "Sure, it's called a fire."
Shelley: I have lamps.
** Shelley does it the civilized way. **
Shelley: And 48 hrs of lamp oil.
Beltarne: That was my Naturalist roll to help Marik forage.
GM: The night is pleasantly uneventful. You guys see huge spiderlike creatures in the distance with forelegs as big as the rest of their bodies, but they don't bother you.
Marik: "A fire doesn't produce a bright light that saves me having to draw maps by firelight."
Marik: "For the record."
** Shelley nibbles disinterestedly at her rations. **
Marik: Survival (Woodlands): [3d6.skill(20,0)] => [3,5,1] = 9 vs (20) or less Success! by 11
Marik: ((It occurs to me that Marik might just be able to make a decent living *gathering food and selling it*.))
GM: Yes, but he wants to recover his patrimony, remember?
Marik: Also, life as a simple hunter is beneath him, and he'd need to deal with townies on a regular basis.
Marik: The bugs joke is getting old, incidentally, because nobody in any state of mind wants 11 meals worth of grubs.
Beltarne: ((So, 6 for party, 2 for horse, and 3 for whomever in the morning?))
Marik: Marik brings back real food. >.>
Marik: ((3 for all of Marik's meals tomorrow.))
Beltarne: ((And how does my Naturalist roll assist that?))
Marik: ((My goal is to never be eating rations, ever. These are EXPENSIVE.))
GM: If you want food for the horse, you need to declare that before rolling.
Marik: I want the horse eating fodder through the second day. >.>
Marik: (Which was that)
Beltarne: So does Marik gather 13 meals (his MoS + Mine) or 12 (+1 for successful Nat roll) or what?
Narrator: The winds pick up through the night, blowing away the clouds. The next morning starts a day that looks to be hot, but the delvers are under the shadow of trees.
Ghazeb: ((OK got to go do the kid thing, wish me luck.))
GM: +1 for Beltarne, so 12.
GM: We'll miss you Ghazeb!
Ghazeb: March faster! [3d6.skill(12)] => [1,2,1] = 4 vs (12) or less Critical Success! by 8 [B556]
Shelley: Say goodnight to the spawn!
Marik: ((Marik feeds, for the record: Himself (3 meals), each member of the party in order of net reaction bonuses, the horse.))
GM: Beltarne and Marik could make hiking rolls.
Marik: Hiking: [3d6.skill(15,0)] => [6,2,3] = 11 vs (15) or less Success! by 4
Beltarne: [3d6.skill(13,0)] => [2,6,6] = 14 vs (13) or less Failure! by 1
Marik: Whup, that should be vs. skill 14.
Beltarne: ((Fucking hiking))
Beltarne: ((I've failed every hiking roll I've ever made. and I even put another point into it.))
Beltarne: ((Fucking hell))
Narrator: The delvers head south through the forest in the morning. Just as they are about to break for a rest, they come out of the trees onto another bit of bright lake.
Narrator: The shore runs from the northwest to the southeast, with at least a mile of water to the southwest and marsh beyond that. The harpy island is to the west-northwest over some water. The entire east is filled with more forest, though some of it is darker and more foreboding than the trees you are currently in.
Shelley: "So. Anyone recognize this?"
GM: The small lake that you are currently facing is maybe a mile or so wide and feeds into the river you got away from, as Marik expected.
GM: It looks like there may be dry land past the swamp, and even a small opening between swamp and forest due south of you.
Beltarne: "Not really"
Marik: Right. Around the small lake to that opening, to see if we can skirt the swamp entirely, and then farther south.
GM: Another hour's march circles the lake armlet to the east side (clockwise?), passing over a creek in the process. The creek leads into the woods to the EAST.
Marik: ((I remember something about a creek in the rumors.))
Marik: ((Hm, seems not.))
Narrator: The trees thin out and open to a wide plain of thick, reddish mud. The water table is visible very high here, creating a near swamp.
Marik: Does this sound like any landmark Marik's heard of? I'd think a whole lot of reddish mud would get a name.
Narrator: The tree line continues to the south for a mile or two, and then an extension thrusts out to the west. Otherwise, there is nothing but red mud and swamp ahead of you.
GM: No idea.
Beltarne: ((There were mud golems near Obsidian Lake, as I recall))
Beltarne: ((One assumes they need mud to spawn.))
Marik: "I think Obsidian Lake's south of that swamp."
Marik: "I stress 'think' because nobody's ever mapped this area that I've been able to find."
Wolfgang: ((I think it was volcanic rock golems))
Beltarne: "So do we want to try to skirt the swamp one way or another, or push in?"
GM: Oh, hey, important note - to the northWEST, Marik can make out the peninsula. The road would pick up on the south side of that lake somewhere in this sea of mud.
Wolfgang: "What's the fastest way around the swamp?"
Marik: So, westwardsish should be a road?
GM: Past the swamp? Possibly.
Marik: And when you say 'an extension of the treeline thrusts out to the west', is that 'skirting the swamp', or something else?
GM: It's like a mile or two south on the edge of the mudfield.
GM: So yeah, you could follow the treeline that way.
Marik: I like anything that gives us a chance of not wading through swampland.
GM: Well, it's more mud that swamp, but yeah.
GM: So, heading south along the treeline until it turns west and then following that?
GM: For what its worth, moving through the trees isn't noticeable faster than moving through the mud.
Shelley: It's less messy though.
Shelley: And involves less leeches.
Marik: Yes, but it's less in the sun.
GM: True that!
Shelley: Less a lot of things.
Beltarne: So, we should be looking out for: Faerie forest (maybe that dark one we saw up north?) volcanic rock golems (north shore, controllable by cleric) scydd (north shore) and Samuel the Black (South shore)
Wolfgang: Scydd may be east shore
Wolfgang: conflicting rumors I think
Marik: ((Dropped from MT. May need to be kicked.))
Marik: So yeah, south along the treeline, then west.
Beltarne: Still here
Ghazeb: works for me
GM: I read you, Marik.
GM: Sorry, doing a lot of math.
Marik: Good good.
Marik: S'ok! Just lost conn on two things, was worried.
Ghazeb: (( you can try /ping ))
Narrator: The delvers move south, moving in and out of the trees. Marik estimates it will take nearly two hours to get to the corner of the forest.
Narrator: At 10:35, Marik feels a wave of energy cross his body. The horizon turns to green and gold, overwhelming everyone's vision. When the sparks fade from their eyes, they are not in the dark foreboding woods any longer.
Marik: ((Still getting 'that name is already in use' on Maptools.))
Marik: "Oh, son of a --"
** Thasos looks around, trying to get his new bearings. **
Beltarne: "Wolfgang, wanna go up and take a look?"
** Wolfgang flies up for a look **
Narrator: Mud squelches under their feet and water overlaps their toes. To the west, they can see nothing but a vast swamp. The trees thin out to the EAST, opening up into rolling hills dotted with small copses of trees. A small forest is to the northeast, less than a mile away.
Marik: "That might actually have been fortunate."
Narrator: From his elevation, Wolfgang can see a muddy red plain a few miles to the north, though the swamp continues next to it, and thick dark forest to the east. To the south, after a mile or so of hills, is a huge lake of dark water.
** Wolfgang repeats this to the party **
Narrator: There may be a collection of buildings to the east, about 2 miles away.
Wolfgang: "Looks like we are just north of it, some hills in the way"
Marik: "Buildings to the east."
Marik: "I'd like to check those out."
Narrator: Wolfgang can barely make out more trees on the south shore of the like, miles and miles away.
Beltarne: "Check out the forests, head straight south to Obsidian Lake, or East to (possibly) Calad Haven?"
Beltarne: "I'm with Marik. The inhabitants may have left some valuables behind."
Shelley: "Is that a town? What do we know about it?"
Wolfgang: is that the shortest way out of the swampy area? (east to the ruins)
Beltarne: "It's where Scydd died. That's pretty much it."
GM: Going anywhere east should put you out of the swamp, or moving to the north. Pretty much if you're 1 degree east of north or south you'll get out of it quick. Heading west involves getting your feet very wet.
Marik: "Yeah. Calad Haven - if that is Calad Haven, and then south to Obsidian Lake."
Wolfgang: "OK, east to the village first"
Shelley: "Sounds definitely like we want to check it out then. There may be some information about how the Lich controls him."
Beltarne: "To the ruins, glory, and coinage!"
GM: It's steaming hot as you head east. The infrequent copses of trees don't provide much relief.
Marik: ((Note to self: "Shade" spell.))
** Wolfgang lazily rides the thermals **
Narrator: The delvers head east, crossing near the small, central forest.
whispering to Marik, The forest almost seems to glow to you.
Narrator: Past it, they traverse more hills and clusters of trees. By one of the trees, Wolfgang notices a collection of disturbed toadstools.
Shelley: Wee ones, right? Not Crushrooms?
Wolfgang: "Those mean anything?"
Beltarne: Maybe a faerie ring?
Narrator: A few pieces of insanely tiny clothing - none bigger than the palm of his hand, and repeatedly patched - sit next to the small 'shrooms, along with a few thimblesized drinking cups.
Marik: "There is a LOT. I mean, a LOT of magic in that forest."
Narrator: Beltarne can just barely make out the smell of cheap beer, long since skunked.
GM: Marik notices some patterns in the grass near the clothing. The patterns are suggestive. If slightly disturbing.
Marik: Suggestive of what?
Beltarne: "Hmm... looks like the fae had a party a bit ago."
Marik: "Something ate a whole lot of pixies"?
GM: Yeah, that.
GM: What Beltarne said.
GM: You realize you are somewhat lost and possibly there is entire forest full of people like Firefly between you and anyplace you know.
Thasos: ((except we knew firefly was friendly))
Marik: I'm totally keeping that to myself for now.
** Wolfgang is oddly unconcerned about this **
Beltarne: ((Like, suddenly. Or hey, fae forest nearby.))
GM: After taking this in, you continue east.
Wolfgang: "So, the book say how to introduce yourself?"
Beltarne: "Erm... I should probably check."
GM: The buildings resolve the shattered ruins of a town. The wall was clearly breached in several places a long time ago, and has fallen apart since them. Most of the buildings were burnt.
GM: Ominously, it seems darker here, even though the sun still shines brightly overhead.
** Shelley keeps her eyes peeled for ghosts. **
Shelley: well. senses.
Narrator: Shelley's skeletons' eyes glow a bit brighter, and the teeth in their skulls seem more pointed than they did moments ago.
Shelley: Shame I can't sense Mana.
** Beltarne edges slightly away from the skeletons **
Narrator: As the delvers turn a corner following long abandoned streets, voices scream out in panic and despair. Blood erupts, showering the delvers, and evaporates seconds later.
Shelley: Um. Detect Undead?
Marik: "So we think that this is -- WHAT IN THE NINE BLOODY HELLS WAS THAT?"
GM: Roll it, Shelley.
Thasos: Hearing (13) [3d6.skill(13,0)] => [4,5,4] = 13 vs (13) or less Success! by 0
Shelley: Per (12) [3d6.skill(12,+4)] => [6,2,3] = 11 vs (16) or less Success! by 5
Wolfgang: "Yup, haunted"
GM: Yes, there are undead here. Yes, they are coming this way.