Monday, April 10, 2017

Caves: Episode 8 - Forest Road #2

Episode 8

Forest Road #2

By the time we catch up with our party it is hour 7. The sun has begun to sink and the shadows of the forest lengthen as those rays vanish. The party now moves slower, with each square costing the party 3 instead of 2 as before. The party's marching order goes as follows:

Rendford Greymountain (Scouting)

Persefani Stargazer (Lead)
Taicho Penwright (Center)

Ramona Wanderleaf (Rearguard)

Instant Weather Check (d10): = 1 = Sunny.

In this case the sky is pale blue, with nary a cloud to obscure the grand ceiling of the world. Animal activity is normal as the din of crickets overtake the rustle of bushes and the chirp of birds. A druid would be most pleased to meditate for hours, and Taicho seems to be very interested when he spots some of the local fauna. An itch to write or illustrate all he sees is pressing, but he continues marching forward with staff in hand.

(There is 2-in-6 encounter check, especially as night begins to roll on. The result is 2)

1d6 Bandits
1d3 Bugbears
1d6 Giant Rats
1d3 Gnolls
1d6 Goblins
1d6 Hobgoblins
1d8 Kobolds
1d3 Lizard Men
1d8 Orcs
Special List

Given the night, the GM makes a decision to choose Bugbears. The roll results in a 2 on a 1d3.

As night has fallen Rendford makes a successful Survival (17) to find a suitable location to bed for the night. Under the shelter of the trees the party makes a small fire and cooks some of their rations. A reminder to both the GM and the reader: Nyx's great cooking should add a bonus +1 to actions until day 3.

Rendford: “Only thing that worries me is we haven't met any patrols of this Red Knives group. I mean, we met Orcs heading towards the place, but no patrols.”

Persefani: “The Orcs could also have been mistaken on the direction.”

Rendford: “I mean we have maps, it seems like those fellows were so sure of the direction. Just... nothing.”

Ramona: “Probably trying to draw as little attention as possible.” Looks at Taicho whose back is to the party and a pad in his hand. She raises a brow and asks. “What do you think?”

Taicho: “Hmmm? Oh, I was sketching a memory of a very lovely bird I saw today.”

Ramona: “Sketching and writing, sketching and writing.” She smiles and shakes her head: “I'm going to use the restroom. Persefani?”

Persefani: “I don't need to go, but sure, I don't mind walking with you.”

Rendford: “I'll have some coffee brewed soon.”

Persefani & Ramona

The pair walk a distance in the wood. The thin rays of the firelight dance near them as Ramona says: “I'll be just a moment.” She moves around a nearby tree.

<Is there a Bugbear there? 65% Yes = 58%>

A bugbear lurks near her. This will be a Stealth vs. Notice. As this is an off-chance she will not be able to invoke her Skulduggery talent. The Bugbear gains the Advantage on its Stealth roll due to a natural talent in Stealth the results are.

Ramona's Notice is d20+5 = 12

Bugbear's Stealth is 2d20+3 = Natural 20

Ramona unbuckles her belt and lays her gear down to the ground. Her eyes scan the ground to find a good spot when she hears only a snap of twigs which she takes as an animal. She feels a soft whistle in the air when the figure descends upon her.

The Bugbear grapples her with the surprise! This is 2d20+3 (Bugbear) and d20+4 for Ramona. The results are respectively: 8 and 21.

Despite the surprise the Bugbear moves too slow and is not adroit to catch Ramona dodges past the beast and calls out: “Bugbear!” She leans down and draws her sword, putting it between her and the beast.

Bugbear: “Barnarum... sweetest wine is the blood of Elves... coarsest meat is that of Dwarves... But the tastiest will be your feathered friend... a plump bird for our table.” The bugbear's face breaks into a savage grin, his red eyes focused on Ramona.

Persefani: Steps from the side and puts her hand onto her belt: “Shall we dance?”

Initiative #1

4 Spades
2 Hearts
6 Diamonds
King of Diamonds
Jack of Hearts

Rendford bolts up at the shouts and cries. He takes an action to draw his musket from the side and another to move into the forest. He isn't too far when he spots the ladies confront the dull yellow and brown of a male bugbear. His thumb cocks the musket as he growls as he hears the bugbear's declaration.

Rendford: “Mongrel! I'll give you something to dine on- a serving of hot lead!”

Persefani: “I'll have him first!” She moves forward to engage the Bugbear.

<Does the second Bugbear spring his ambush? 80% = 77%>

Persefani gets but a moment's notice to spot the second Bugbear launching from the bush to strike at her. The result is a Stealth vs. Notice of 2d20+3 vs. d20+4 for respective results of: 21 and 17. Persefani is interrupted!

The second bugbear attacks. The looks are only dissimilar from the first is that the second has the figure and attributes of a female, but is no less threatening with her sharp teeth and grin. She cackles as she swings a great club at Persefani in an ambush. <2d20+3 vs. AC: 16 = 19. Hit! 1D8 = 4 points>. The club crashes into Persefani's shield and knocks her to the ground.

Ramona: Draws her dagger from the belt on the ground. She half turns when the female ambushes Persefani but then turns her eyes on the Bugbear. She notices his hand rests on the hilt on his belt. Her tongue touches her lips as she says: “I won't be easy prey.”

Bluto: Laughs and draws his 'knife' which is more akin to a sword. “Good. I like them to struggle.” He makes a slash at Ramona. <D20+3 AC 12 = 20. Hit! D6 damage = 6 points>. The blade catches Ramona's side in a savage slice that causes her to cry out as she takes a few steps back.

Lola: Lola cackles again: “All of this flesh needs tenderizing!” She makes a second strike again a downed Persefani. She gains +1 as Persefani is prone <d20+4 vs. AC 16 = 7>. Persefani grunts, but her shield is able to absorb a glancing blow.

Taicho: Taicho steps upon a stone and snaps his fingers. His black eyes shine bright in reds as three fiery orbs float above him. “This has gone far enough!” <d20+4 vs. AC 14. He throws 2 scorch darts at Bluto, 1 at Lola. He rolls the Bluto bound darts as: 10 & 21. He rolls the Lola dart as: 12. 1 dart hits Bluto for d6 damage (3 points)

Bluto: Bugbear (3HD = HP: 13 / 5) AC: 14 'Knife' +3 (1d6). Save: 12; Spec: Advantage on most Surprise and Stealth checks.
Lola: Bugbear (3HD = 10 / 7 ) AC: 14 'Greatclub' +3 (1d8). Save: 12; Spec: Advantage on most Surprise and Stealth checks.


Ramona takes 6 points of damage.

Bluto takes 3 points of damage.

Taicho: Uses 1 Mana point

Round #2

2 Clubs
6 Clubs
8 Diamonds
10 Spades

Persefani: Stands, her face drawn with sweat and her arm aches. Her eyes burn, but not with magical fire, but with being what can be mildly put as crossed. She makes a slashing attack with her sword. <The Joker gives her an automatic Advantage which results in 2d20+4 vs. AC 14 = 23. Hit! D6+2 damage = 4.> The sword bites into Lola's arm and makes her cringe.

Rendford: Fires a musket shot at Bluto. He loads a special ammunition into the chamber (d0+4 with Explosive Shot vs. AC 14 = 22. Hit! 1D8+1 becomes 1d10+1 damage for a total of 5>. The explosive shot strikes Bluto in the shoulder with white hot vengeance. The Bugbear squeals in pain.

Ramona: Steps to the side as she looks the wounded Bluto over. She can clearly see blood flowing from his body. She pauses and raises her blades up: “Surrender, Bugbear before I split you asunder”. <Holds action, allowing him the first move.>

Taicho: <Notice is d20+4 = 17>. He hears Ramona's command and steps towards Lola. He raises a hand towards her and says: “This doesn't have to end with death if you two will surrender.”

GM: Both parties are heavily wounded and while Ramona is also wounded, the numbers do point that one good shot will end Lola and Bluto. Do they surrender? 65% Yes = 50%>

Lola growls but slowly lowers her greatclub. Her eyes still burn as she looks at Persefani. Meanwhile, Bluto lowers his knife to the side as he says: “You wander onto our lands, no offering no-”

Persefani: “Don't push it, Bugbear. You talked about how my blood makes fine wine-”

Lola: “You... you believe that line?” She smiles: “We feast on venison and sip water... though that bird...” She trails off as she looks Taicho over.

Taicho: “I am fully aware of you talking, madam. I don't appreciate the implications of your muttering.”

Bluto: “I need to sit down, this round hurts-”

Rendford: Primes his musket and draws a bead on Bluto: “Nothing doing, you slags. You know where are camp is and to me you're trouble keeping alive.”

Lola: “But we surrendered!”
Ramona: “Rendford!”

Persefani: “I don't like that they know where are camp is either...” Spits to the side and says: “Damn the luck.”

Taicho: “Well then, perhaps we will just need to bring them in and put a watch on them...” Looks at Bluto, “I can heal that wound... show you our good attention. But with that healing comes a price.”

Bluto: “Heal... heal Lola first. I'll be fine.”

Taicho: “I can heal you both, but know this. Among the Tengu, to betray someone who does you a kindness... it injures one in the most grievous way. It mars their soul and is a stain that any beast or bird can detect. So, if I heal you. You must promise to mend your ways and be a friend to us-”

Rendford: “Should be a friend to any traveler...”

Taicho: “We shall start small.” Looks back at the pair. “Do you accept my healing and take up my promise?”

<Are they sincere in their acceptance? 65% = 13% Exceptional Yes>

Taicho spends 4 Mana Points and heals the pair back to full, plus he heals Ramona and Persefani. As the party returns to camp the bugbears follow. They are reticent, their cheeks a little red with shame. When they return Taicho retreats to bed, noting his he has drained his energy for the day.

Rendford: “How many times you've done that already to travelers on the road?” Eyes the pair as he loads begins to load flakes of black and red powder together for another explosive shot.

Bluto: “We just moved here after leaving our pack. The chief allowed himself to be taken over by a group of humans.”

Lola: “Red Knives. Before they came we had hard enough time dealing with Goblins and Lizardfolk near the wet entrances of the caves... we might also have not minded the Orcs... just not that Hobgoblin death cult that has moved... but then the Red Knives came.”

Bluto: Nods and adds: “They bring money and weapons for the boss, but says this tribute comes with a request they take over some of the caves. Our pack nearly had things worked out with all the others when they upsetted everything.”

Ramona: “Why did you two leave?”

Lola: “Pack got all these rules. Bluto and I just decide to leave, start a family out here.”

Persefani: “So... you guys are, in fact mates.”

Bluto: Looks at Lola and then to Persefani: “Yeah, so?”

Persefani: “Nothing, it's just... I guess it would be kind of sweet... if you hadn't tried to kill us.”

Bluto: Rubs the back of his neck: “I... we got carried away by the com-”

Persefani: “Just save it. I wouldn't accept an apology right now, even though my arm is healed. You two got to do more than blush and apologize to get anything more than mild curiosity.” Turns to her two companions. “I'll take first watch, one of you wake me for the second...”

Rendford: “You got it, Sefi.”


Bluto and Lola join the party.

The night passes without another encounter.

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