Monday, April 3, 2017

Caves #7 - Forest Road #1

Pyre the Shaman
Episode 7

Forest Road No. 1

Our Story so Far...

Having secured the blessing and assistance of the Junction's Mayor Donalbain, the party had originally planned to charter a boat to take them from Gorman's Junction to where they believed the Red Knives 'Fortress Southwald' would be located. Unfortunately the friendly captain, Liam Wegley, was unavailable. While Nyx Greenthorn, the Elven healer and boat renter wanted to help, all she could do was provide guidance to the area the map was hinting towards. She had horses that needed tending too. The area is forested, which would make a carriage and horses difficult. Instead, the party decides to set out on foot with their bellies full.

Nyx's foodstuffs grant a +1 to all d20 rolls for the next 3 days.

The first four miles are open country and farmland, much like heading towards the west. The party has a 1-in-8 chance for an encounter. The result is a: 5. In the farmlands the only encounters are with the locals going about their day to day tasks on the rolling green fields. Closer to town, the locals smile or at least nod in a cordial manner. As the party closes in on the eastern woods the farmers seem wary and few nod at the party.

Persefani: “So... is this what you lot do all of the time?”

Ramona: “What exactly are we doing all of the time?”

Persefani: “Walking. Seems like we're doing a lot of it.”

Rendford: “Well lass, we only met up a few weeks ago. But you could say that, sure. We walk a lot.”

Taicho: “I find it invigorating.”

Persefani: Takes in the fresh air and continues moving a long: “If we hadn't ate those fine foodstuffs I'd have something beastly to say about how 'invigorating' this experience is.”

Taicho: “And now?”

Persefani: “I guess it isn't too bad.”

The border between the plains and the forest is wild and unkempt with light green and tan tall grass that feeds into the shaded path among the large, darker brown trees with gnarled roots that ride roughshod through the paths, as if meaning to trip over someone. In this burgeoning wild country there is a 1-in-6 chance for an encounter. The result is: 1! Encounter! (Table roll = 15. Let's take a look at the chart below)

1d6 Bandits
1d3 Bugbears
1d6 Giant Rats
1d3 Gnolls
1d6 Goblins
1d6 Hobgoblins
1d8 Kobolds
1d3 Lizard Men
1d8 Orcs (Result is 4)

Party Formation (Rough)

Rendford: Scouts ahead with musket drawn. He moves ahead the party as a scout.

Persefani: Next in formation. She gives Rendford some distance (something akin to 30 ft.) to let him scout effectively.

Taicho: Is behind Persefani walking along, at times using his walking stick to help tap the ground.

Ramona: Takes up the rear with her ears perked up.

Rendford: Makes a Survival check to detect the Orcs <d20+3+1 due to being a Hunter. He rolls vs. a set number of 10 as the Orcs make little effort to conceal themselves. Result is 17. Success!>. As he moves ahead his brows knit as he hears the unmistakable growl of Orcs. He pauses scans ahead to see a small smoke cloud billow on the trail ahead. He turns and moves back to the party.

Orcs: <Orcs gain a cooperative d20+2 roll to see if they detect something amiss. Like the crackle of leaves under Rendford's boots or something. He is a loan Dwarf playing it quiet and raises the TN from 10 to 12. The result is 7>

Rendford: Returns to the party with his hand up. “We got trouble ahead. Orcs.”

Persefani: “Couldn't they just be travelers? We saw a few working the fields.”

Rendford: “They could also be with the last fellows we met up with and fought, but no, I don't know their deal as I heard multiple voices and there was only one of me.”
Ramona: “We need to be sure. I think I have an idea of how to do it.” Looking at all the eyes she continues: “Persefani and Taicho move up the road as our more up front people. Rend and I make our way through the wooded parts and provide cover.”

Taicho: “How shall we know you're in position?”

Ramona: “Just count to thirty seconds while Rend and I move up then move up. Hopefully it'll just be travelers who don't want to trouble, and if they want trouble, we'll give them plenty.”

Persefani: “Just careful where you aim that thing, Rend.”

Rendford: “Trained shooter, love. You got nothing to fear.”

Persefani: “Just an Orcish blade in my windpipe...”

The party splits into two groups. Rendford and Ramona move ahead towards the woods while Taicho and Persefani take to the main road that bends towards the way Rendford believes there is a camp.

Rendford & Ramona

Rendford and Ramona move over the hilly terrain in order to surprise the band of Orcs that are ahead. The party picks through the trees and uneven ground. The two are quiet, only their breathing can be heard to the most trained ears.

Rendford: Makes a Survival check to pick the best routes through the unconventional path. He rolls with a +1 for +4 and uses his Survivalist talent to get the Advantage. The TN is 12 for a total of 12. It is rough going, but he manages a relatively clear path for him and Ramona. Near the crest of the hill he makes a Stealth check. He has found a good trail and his height makes him lower to the ground, he rolls d20+4 (+1 survival) with Advantage. He rolls a total of 19.

Ramona: Ramona follows Rendford and takes the same path as he does. As they near the crest she crouches to get herself lower to the ground. She gains +1 due to Skulduggery and she uses one of her talents (she has 2 per day) to gain the Advantage. She rolls a 14.

The lowest number is a 14. A situational d20 has to meet or beat a 14 in order to trigger a Mythic check. The result is a 13. No factor can contribute to the Orcs detecting such well hidden characters.

Rendford: Touches Ramona's arm and nods towards the clearing below them.

Ramona: Makes a Notice check. D20+4 with a TN of 10 = 28. Success! She sees there are four rough looking orcs around a fire. Three of them wear mail armor with wicked scimitars laying in their lap, three of which are still sheathed, another one has his out and is rest against his thigh. The fourth party wears hides and plays with a bone necklace as he chats in his in Orcish language.

Ramona: “Rough looking fellows.” She says.

Rendford: Nods and begins to draw and set his musket. “Yeah.”

Persefani & Taicho

The two wait d4 rounds (3). More than the two rounds it takes Rendford and Ramona to get setup. After this period of time the two look at each other.

Persefani: nods to Taicho and says: “Keep behind me and be prepared to run.”

Taicho: “You think the others are in position.”

Persefani: “I'm just hoping they're. But we have to move now.” She starts off for the trail.

Taicho: Follows after her, his walking stick tapping along.

The pair move at a normal space with no real attempt to conceal, but no attempt to draw overt attention to themselves.

<Do the Orcs detect them? 65% Chance Yes = 48%>

Ramona: Spots the orcs the stand and look in the distance. The distinct sound of tapping draws their attention and has hands drift to the hilt of blades. “What do we do?” She asks.

Rendford: “Let them make the first threat... then we strike.”

Ramona: “What if they move to ambush?”

Rendford: “That's a threat enough to me.”

The orcs assemble with the Shaman in the back near the fire while the other three move forward to intercept. As Persefani and Taicho rounds the corner the two stand a ways apart, it would take an action for either side to close the distance. The air is pent up and anxious as the parties meet.

Persefani: “Good afternoon, gentlemen.”

Orc Lead: “What manner brings a woman and a little bird to this area?”

Persefani: “I come on my legs, so does the bird. What matter is it that concerns you?”

Orc #2: “He looks like he'd be nice and plump over our fire. You bring an offering?” He looks at Orc #3 and shares a grin.

Taicho: “I speak for myself when I say no.”

Lead: “The bird speaks?” Turns to the Shaman: “Pyre, a bird that talks...”

Pyre: <Makes a Notice check at +3. His hackles are raised and he rolls a 6>. He sneers as he steps towards the group: “These roads are our roads, you must pay a toll to cross.”

Persefani: Touches the hilt of her blade. “What do greenskins collect for anyway? A school of hard knocks for your hard headed brats? Or an almshouse for your camp whores?”
Lead: “Clever mouth bitch!”

Persefani: “I'll have your tongue for that, Scratch.” She spits. “Care to dance?”

Weapons are drawn, to Battle!


Rendford uses his Survivalist talent for the day.

Ramona uses her Skulduggery talent. She has one left.

Orc Soldier Stats: AC: 12. Pace: 4; HD 1 (HP: 5); ST: 14 / Scimitar 1d6, Crossbow 1d8

Pyre (Orc Shaman): AC: 11; Pace: 5; HD: 2 (7); ST: 14; Knife 1d4
Mana: 2

Heal (R: Touch, D: Instant, S: None): Heals 2d6 hit points

Fear (R: Near; D: 1d6 rounds, S: Negates) Causes fear on a target, forcing them to run away. If unable to run away they will cower in the corner and take no action except defense for duration of spell.)

Eldritch Bolt (R: Near; D: Instant; S: None): Spell attack that requires attack roll. Deals 1d10 damage or 1d12 to targets that are Holy in nature (Celestial Beings, Paladins, etc.).

Initiative Round: 1

7 Hearts
8 Clubs
King Clubs
Ace Spades

Ramona: Makes a Stealth roll to sneak up to Orc #2 for a Sneak Attack. Due to Joker she rolls with the Advantage automatically and is at d20+4 due to Skulduggery. Orc #2 is at d20+1 the results respectively are: 20 vs. 14. She has successfully made her stealth roll. She makes an attack roll which is 2d20+4 (+1 magic short-sword) for a roll of 12. Hit! Her Sneak attack deals 2d6+1 points of damage for a total of 11 points.

Ramona's blade plunges between the shoulder blades of Orc #2. He arches as the blade sticks through him and crumbles as it is pulled back out. He falls to a heap and expires.

Rendford: With aiming this round he takes a shot with Advantage vs. Pyre the Shaman. He rolls 2d20+3 for a total of 19. Hit! He deals 1d8+1 for 5 points. The round pieces the Shaman's arm and causes him to spin and drop to a knee, but he remains up and not on the ground a corpse.

Taicho: Casts Scorch which allows him to make three 1d6 attacks. He rolls a spell attack of AB+3 vs. one for each target. He rolls as follows: 13 vs. Orc Lead, 13 vs. Orc #3, and Natural 1 vs. Shaman. His damage against Lead and #3 are 2 and 4 respectively. The final scorch burns his hand and he takes 1d3 points of damage (2 points).

Taicho: “Ah!” Grabs his hand as the pyrokinetic burns his fingers. He notices the two bolts strike an arm and the chest, causing them to writhe.

Persefani: Charges on Orc #1 and makes an attack. She rolls d20+4 (+1 with sword) and rolls a total of 14 (Hit!) She deals 1d6+1 points of damage for 4 points. The Orc she refers to as 'Scratch' is slashed in the shoulder and is felled by the blow.

<Orcs have lost half of their number and are wounded. Do they surrender? 75% Yes = 47%>

On their turn Orc #3 drops his scimitar and falls to his knees with hands up. Pyre cannot lift his wounded arm, but puts hand up to surrender. The battle ends.

End Notes:

Ramona gains the Joker and slays Orc #2 with her sword.

Taicho: Takes 2 points of damage and uses 1 mana point on a Scorch spell.

Persefani: Makes good on her promise to slay Orc Lead - “Scratch” as she called him for calling her a name.

Orcs: Lead & #2 are slain.

Taicho: Wraps a bandage around his hand. The act heals 1 point of damage (bringing him to -1 from his Max Hit Points). He looks over the pair and asks: “What are you two doing out here?”

<Do the Orcs answer? 50% chance = 63% No>

Neither Orcs answer. Pyre has a bandage haphazardly wrapped around his bullet wound while Orc #3, who is now identified as Slash seethes as there is a burn mark on his lower portion.

Rendford: “The worst kind of dilemma if you ask me,” The Dwarf looked at Persefani and Ramona: “What do we do with 'em?”

Persefani: “They're hurt enough, and I'll not abide any torture on a man who surrenders to me.”

Ramona: “Let's not go crazy here, nobody said anything about torture. But we do have two men who are markedly enemy combatants. If we let them go, they can give away our position.”

Rendford: “We've used up a lot of time getting this far into the woods. Taking them back would be a serious delay.”

Taicho: Looking over the Orcs. “Please, gentlemen. I beg you to share something of what you know. It would go a long way to help you.”

Pyre: “Long way to help? I heard those kind of words before... when the men came to us and asked for our help, little bird. They said in the long run we'd be rewarded with treasures and peace. Instead after a long war with Elves, we faced swords and exile from the people we served under. We Orcs were driven to these Borderlands with only the clothes on our back...” Spits. “Don't tell me about the long run.”

Taicho: “Well, I did not know-”

<Does Pyre reveal anything? 65% Yes = 45%>

Pyre: “Of course you didn't. But I will say something. We were heading towards. We had waited for another score of our unit but they never showed up. The Red Knives are gathering strength to create a new region out of this wild lands.”

Taicho: “Aren't you afraid the Northwald Kingdom will come for you?”

Pyre: Shrugs and says: “They are dealing with their own problems. Once we put a hold on trade with the Borderlands, the free city-states such as Rathmer, Kyna, and Seaside will have to support us with money and magic. Then, the Red Knives shall change things.”

Taicho: “Maybe for them, what do you think you'll get out of it?”

Pyre: “Our old lands- or a chance to fight for them, eventually. Now. I have told you all I shall tell, which is plenty.”

Taicho: Stands and walks back to the group. “Let's blindfold them and move on. I think he pitied us enough to reveal his hand.”

Rendford: “Oh? What did he say?”

<Taicho tells Pyre's tale in full>

Persefani: “At least we're going the right way. I agree with Taicho, might as well just push on.”

Ramona: “I'll find some cloth.”

Rendford: “I'll go last and cover our tracks, Persefani how about you move forward, yeah? You'll have the heaviest prints.”

Persefani: “The sooner we're out of here the better.”

The party blindfolds Pyre and Slash. Telling them to count to 120 before removing their folds and moving however they wish. Persefani promises if they try to follow or ambush them she will not hesitate to cut them down. Rendford leaves a pouch of the Orcs' rations and water but looks over the gold (1x6x10 shows as a 5x10 for 50 pieces. He takes 25 and leaves the other half.)

Rendford: “There's some money, weapons, and food. You can make your way south into the Borderlands and take your chances if you like. Probably find some work.” Turns away.

Pyre: Says while bindfolded: “I shall mourn the men we lost... but I thank-you for your mercy in the end.”

The party continues fourth.

The first event was at hour 5 out of 12. It is thus near lunchtime as the party stops for a bite to eat. One of the characters has an interlude. A note on Interludes – One character tells their backstory or something about them. The story is based on suit drawn with the following: Clubs = Tragedy, Hearts = Love, Diamonds = Desire, Spades = Victory. Today's interlude star during lunch is 1) Persefani, 2) Rendford, 3) Taicho, 4) Ramona = 1: Persefani! She draws a Heart.

Weather Check for Spring: 6 = Heavy Cloud cover.

The party finds a small cave and after a brief check find it clear. The cave is too closed for a fire, instead the party uses a small copse as cover as heavy clouds move into the area. The world is dim, for even the sparse rays of the sun that do escape the cloud bank and are unable to penetrate the thick boughs of the forest. The meal is rations with either water or tea that Taicho brews. Rendford is the only one who sticks to water.

Rendford: “Boiled leaves... that's not Dwarves brew.”

Ramona: “Don't you Dwarves brew barley into beer?”

Rendford: “Aye, that we do. But Barley is different than that greenery Master Taicho brews. I also like coffee, which is boiled beans.”

Taicho: “You are quiet, Miss Stargazer. Is everything alright?”

Persefani: “I mean, besides the fight where we slew some Orcs? I guess everything is alright. The way that Orc talked though...” She shakes her head.

Taicho: “Was someone close to you in that war?”

Persefani: Nods and says: “Sisters, one a paladin the other the warrior... I'm the warrior, just in case you we wondering.”

Taicho: “I hadn't seen anything more than excellent fighting skill, madam.”

Ramona: “So, which side did you fight on?”

Persefani: Looks at Ramona and pauses before answering: “I fought Sunrae. Father might have sent me away after having me with his concubine, but at the time I still thought I was a loyal patriot to the Empire. What I found out was my loyalty and love was for my first friend, Ilisanona.” She sighed and said: “She didn't care that I was Human or that her father disliked the idea that I was around, she loved me and was loyal to me.”

Rendford: Gives her a pat which she smiles and nods. “I'm not sure where she's at. After the war and the Long Peace was signed, I decided to stay in the Borderlands. See if I could sell my sword somewhere... last I heard our House was exiled for crimes against the Emperor.”

Taicho: “Crimes?”

Ramona: “It's like that all over. The Emperor went mad after signing the Long Peace with Humanity. He began to blame nobles for the loss and began to exile any he thought would rebel or assassinate him.”

Persefani: “After this, I plan to go out and find my sister. I'll be getting money... maybe getting some of you to help me.”

Rendford: “There any money in that venture?”

Persefani: Shrugs and says: “Always trouble on the road. Trouble breeds opportunity.”

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