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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Technically, being chained to the wall counts as being held or bound, which makes the gnoll "helpless," and subject to Coup De Grace.

However, given that there is a slight amount of slack in the chains, which would allow the gnoll to move / squirm / struggle, I am going to rule that an automatic hit DOES NOT occur, however, if you manage to hit, it WILL be an automatic crit.

The gnoll has been here a long time, and is very weak. Hence, his posture is slumped, which DOES occasionally expose the back of his head, although he continually keeps trying to lift his head, seemingly as an act of defiance. This is another reason I am requiring a to-hit roll.

Gnoll Base AC: 10
+1 Natural = AC 11
-5 Helpless = AC 6

Helpless Defender: +4 to hit

Sphynx Attack Roll: Base 16 (+4 Helpless) + BAB (2) = 22 (Hit);
Damage: 8 + (6) Sneak Attack = 14 pts.
Damage would normally put gnoll at DYING [-3]
Fort Save: DC 10 + Damage = DC 24
Gnoll fort save: +4; Roll: 3 (+4) = 7 = FAILED.
Gnoll is DEAD.

Sensing something awry with the gnoll, Sphynx waits for an opportune moment, when the gnoll's head is exposed from his slumped posture, and drives a dart into the base of his skull. It is an act of mercy. The gnoll dies instantly, feeling no pain, making no noise whatsoever; the attack comes as a complete surprise, so that the gnoll never had any knowledge of the impending danger. His death is as merciful as it possibly could have been.

The Merchant says, "Good idea. That gnoll was crazed. He would always snap at the guards that tried to feed him. I believe he was suffering from some ailment, possibly the foams. Gnolls are almost dogs themselves, so it makes sense that they'd be vulnerable to getting the foams just like a dog would be."

GM: Sphynx: +150 xp. for mercifully killing the rabid gnoll.

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Aust Thale

Quixt glances nonchalantly at the hobbled Hobgoblin, and decides to put him out of his misery. With bow still in hand, he decides to shoot first, for economy of action.

Attack roll: (17) = Hits; 8 pts. of damage.
Hobgoblin is DYING [-8]

The arrow strikes center mass as well, landing about an inch below Ordred's bolt; the Hobgoblin groans, and collapses into a heap on the floor, where he begins to bleed out.


Hawke, Ordred, Nimbar, and Quixt quickly, mercifully, and methodically put an end to the sleeping Hobgoblins, and help speed up the departure of the ones that are bleeding out. In less than a minute, all of the Hobgoblins are deceased.

An eerie silence dominates the environs. The battle took less than a minute, and the cleanup took less than an additional minute. In that time, 27 lives came to an end.

Ordred says, "I'll never understand the proclivity of humanoids, ESPECIALLY Hobgoblins, toward such vile and despicably EVIL actions; they kill for sport, torture for pleasure, and let one another die if it means they can gain glory and prestige. They epitomize cruelty, and revel in their materialism. Do they even truly have souls, at all?"

Nimbar nods, "Yes, they have them. But they are tainted and dark, like the night sky with heavy cloud cover. No light shines through."

Hawke, who was raging, begins to calm down, breathing heavily and rapidly, pouring sweat.

Hawke says, "Well, here's a bunch of 'em that won't live to do any more evil. Good riddance, I say. I will grant such beings the mercy of a swift death, but I shall not pity them, nor shed for them a single tear. They chose this way of life, and they knew the consequences of it. Come, help me gather the loot. What was taken by avarice at the price of innocent blood shall now reward us for our deliverance of justice upon these cretins."

Nimbar chuckles, "Well said. And it's just as well that the battle ended when it did. I was almost out of spells. As it stands, we'll probably need to rest here for the night. Let's look for their sleeping area."

GM: SUMMARY: There are only two rooms left to explore in the Hobgoblin Lair; all other rooms have either been explored, or their inhabitants left those rooms to join in the big fight that just took place. (And therefore, those rooms are empty of inhabitants.) Knowing what to expect, Hawke severs the head of the chief and brings it with him while exploring the rest of the lair.

The party finds the common room (Room #25), where there remaining Hobgoblins were; 4 males and 5 females are here, tending to 9 young. When Hawke shows them the severed head of the Chief, one of the females asks, in the Common tongue, to be spared; she vows that if their group is allowed to leave, they will journey far from this place, and eek out a living by hunting and gathering. She says that none of the males here are warriors, and that the reason they were placed here to help the females was because they didn't like all of the constant raiding, and consorting with the vile Wendol. She says that their band is not big enough to raid, even if they wanted to, which they do not. She also says that the evil perpetrated by the Wendol makes the cruelty of Hobgoblins look tame by comparison. She says that if the party plans to destroy the Wendol, then the party has their blessing and promise of non-interference.

Hawke, since he was the one who began negotiations, agrees to their terms. He lets them leave with armor, foodstuffs, and equipment, along with daggers (for skinning animals) and crossbows (for hunting) but does not allow them to have swords nor spears. They agree to these conditions, and thank the party, telling them as they are leaving, that there is a prison room close by (Room #24) where the Hobgoblins had been holding several captives. She says there are two slave masters guarding the room, but that they will be without reinforcement, judging by what Hawke told her of the big battle. They leave quietly and quickly, as the party is headed to the prison room.

DM NOTE: The party overwhelms the two guards very quickly; even low on spells, 5 vs. 2 is not a contest, especially given that the party has the element of surprise. However, since I am giving this victory as a mulligan, there shall not be an XP award for it.

There are 2 very large, ugly hobgoblins here; both wear chain mail armor. One also has a whip, as well as a sword, however, once closely engaged, the hobgoblin cannot make use of his whip, so he will cast it aside. The larger Hobgoblin has a silver armlet worth 135 gold pieces. They guard 6 prisoners who are chained to the walls. There are two chairs, a small table, a central fire pit, and various implements of torture in the chamber. The keys to the prisoners' chains are hanging on the wall in the southwest corner. The prisoners are:

#1: A plump, half-dead merchant, scheduled to be eaten tonight in a special banquet.

#2: An orc. He asks, in Orcish, for his freedom. He promises no betrayal. (Several party members speak Orcish, so I am simply stating his request.)

#3: A man-at-arms who formerly served as a guard for the merchant.

#4: A normal female, the merchant's wife, in fact, who is also slated for the big feast.

#5: A gnoll, who says nothing. He is drooling and chuckling quietly. He gives everyone the creeps.

#6: Another man-at-arms, as #3 above.

The merchant and his wife offer a reward to the party, if they are freed. The men at arms confirm this, saying that their employer is wealthy and infuential, and has many friends back at The Keep. What do you do? [P.S. Loot List is coming soon!]

Conversing first with the Orc, he asks his name, and he asks how he came to be in this place, that is, a hot locale inhospitable to orcs. He questions him as innocuously as possible about where he intends to go. He humors the orc regardless of responses, but he prefers to leave his hands bound behind his back, his mouth gagged, and a chain collar around his neck, and he says as much directly to the group, quietly so the orc does not hear.
"I do not prefer to kill him; however, I also don't trust him. Orcs don't roam around and get captured for fun. I'll wager this fellow is from nearby."

Conversing secondly with the merchant's wife, and as much as possible with the merchant, he ascertains their names, their home, and their business. He agrees with taking them back to the Keep. He asks the wife as well as the men-at-arms what they've heard in this place, where they were captured before being brought there, and if they have pack animals. "We don't need to tarry, and we have means to come and go quickly. If you still have animals, and they are not eaten already, we could use them. We shall assist you. "

He also mentions to Nimbar, Tellerian, Ordred, and Sphynx that he has scrolls that can help remove their plunder; however, it might be wise to store or bury it in the cave/s that they have been using to stage their movement about these hills. "I am pliable on the matter, so long as I may recoup my scrolls for future use. I'd like any share that the group finds acceptable to be mine to be gemstones or the silver tipped arrows."

He looks at the men-at-arms lastly, "For leading you out of this predicament, given you very likely would find yourselves on their menu, you shall owe us a debt...or a favor if you like. And we shall name our terms. You will agree to this measure, and the lady and the gentleman may continue to rely on you. We will enlist you in that favor at a later date, after you are more yourselves. This is something that you will share with no one save we merry few, discretion being important in these matters for you, as well as for us."

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Sense Motive: Hunch DC 20, Sense Enchantment DC 25.
Quixt: (19) +7 = 26 Success.

Quixt, after talking at length with the Orc, you get the feeling that something is awry. He says that his tribe, The Skullbreakers, has a rivalry with these Hobgoblins, who also take the name Skullbreakers, hence the source of the rivalry. That's the only thing he says that sounds plausible.

Next, he says that his clan chief suspected that the Hobgoblins were holding too much wealth, and not giving enough tribute to the Wendol Queen Mother. He says that he was sent to spy on the Hobgoblins, to ascertain whether or not this was true; the hope was that the suspicion was true, and that the revelation of it by the Orc Chieftain would curry favor for his tribe with the Queen Mother. This sounds a little thin to you, Quixt.

Thirdly, he claims that he was beaten and treated badly by the Hobgoblins, but from his excellent-looking health and lack of bruises or scars, Quixt can tell that this is patently a lie.

The last thing that Quixt notices is that the Orc speaks of details with perfect clarity, giving his speech a very rehearsed air. Quixt has seen this before; the Orc is under the effects of a Geas spell, which means that the caster was likely the Queen Mother herself, and that the Orc is probably the Queen's spy, rather than his Chieftain's. If this is the case, then the matter probably concerns something more serious than a simple tribute skim.

The Orc offers to help the party fight through the rest of the lair, if they grant him his freedom. He says that once they are free of the lair, he will return to his tribe, and say nothing of the party, since he owes them a life debt. However, Quixt's hunch is, that this is an outright lie, and that the Orc will betray them at the first opportunity.

All of the human prisoners (The merchant, his wife, their two guards) say that they are residents of The Keep. They travel here via caravan; it takes them a month to get here, and they usually stay for 4 months to trade, before returning home. They make this trip once a year. Thus, they spend each year divided equally, between living at their home, and living in The Keep. Their quarters in the keep are actually theirs; they do not rent, they actually own their apartment.

They say that their caravan was attacked about three weeks ago. The merchant says that some of the animals were killed by stray arrow fire during the raid, and likely eaten. But he also says that several of the Wendol led the remaining pack animals away, in a separate direction from where the prisoners were taken. He says that the attack was a concerted effort, but after the battle, the Wendol got first pick of slaves and animals, while the humanoid allies were left to divide the leftovers amongst themselves, as well as to clean up the evidence of the attack. He says that it is clearly the Wendol who are in charge here.

The guards mention that they feel fine; they say that they were actually treated well, and well-fed, because the Hobgoblins were fattening them up for a special feast. They suspect that the party arrived just in time, because the way the Hobgoblins were talking, the feast was to be soon, perhaps even as soon as tonight or tomorrow. They say that their gear is likely among the spoils that the party has recovered, and if they are given armor and weaponry, they will gladly help fight to get clear of the caves.

The merchant and his wife (who introduce themselves as Hallwynn and Edith) tell Quixt that these two guards, whom are identified as John and Kelvin, are their close confidants and bodyguards, but that upon return to the keep, they will offer to "loan" them to the party, on the condition that the party sees to their continued employment and upkeep. (i.e., the party will have to pay them a wage, and keep them clothed and fed, and keep their gear and weapons in good repair.) The guards agree, saying that they'd enjoy helping the party put an end to the evil that has claimed these caves.

Lastly, Hallwynn promises to reward the party handsomely once they are back inside the walls of The Keep.

Hawke says, "In our earlier explorations, we saw a corral just a bit northeast of the caves, about a 10-minute walk or so. All of the animals are kept there. There were a lot of them, mostly horses, but also goats, pigs, and sheep."

EVERYONE: What do you do?
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Creator of The Untamed Wilds
"I do not prefer to kill him... Orcs... is from nearby."
Sphynx nods at the wisdom from Quixt and responds using Draconic. "I agree. We could put him to sleep and leave him. He will not know of our departure, however, if the consensus is that he is a threat, I can and will stick a dagger in the base of his skull.."
(Quixt) also mentions... remove their plunder...
"I, for one, have no interest in trying to pander all of this stuff. Anything that interests me, I am sure I could carry. I am not opposed to carrying a whole lot more just to dump it so the locals no longer have it."
The guards... say... gear is likely among the spoils...

The merchant... two guards... John and Kelvin... "loan" them...
Sphynx has no objection to letting the guards collect their gear. In fact, he would encourage it, though keeping an eye to make sure "extras" are not claimed. ~They are hired swords, after all.~

"As far as favors or more swords. I am of a mind for a stealth approach to this place over a show of force. I would prefer to continue our skirmish approach and guerrilla tactics, now being a good time to see these people away and returning later to press further."

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Hawke says, "I think we could use these guys, as guards for the mounts, since we have to leave them so far away. But I agree with Sphynx, we are all experienced scouts, and light on our feet. The fewer our number, the more we can manage to stay hidden."

Nimbar nods in agreement, "Well, we can discuss this at the keep; the longer we linger here, the more we risk a direct confrontation with a Wendol patrol. With the help of the freed prisoners, we can probably easily carry all of the loot, which we SHOULD go ahead and take, for two obvious reasons; first, it's worth a lot of money, which will help finance further expeditions. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, taking it with us prevents our enemies from reclaiming it and putting it to use."

Ordred agrees, "Yes, agreed. We should make haste and return to the keep at once."

You guys (Quixt and Sphynx) need to vote in LINE chat; Hawke, Nimbar, and Ordred are voting to return to the keep NOW. If you guys also vote for that, I can simply write a story paragraph, and summarize the trip back to the keep, which will create a downtime point, where I can award xp and people can level up their characters. HINT: vote YES. Make it unanimous. :)

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Everyone in the party has a mount hidden nearby. None of these mounts have been disturbed.
Because of the party's activities, the raiding has declined recently, while the Wendol and their allies shore up their cave defenses, and start organizing patrols to search for interlopers. But many of their preparations are too little, too late.

Sphynx and Quixt find it an easy task to slip north to the corral, which is currently unguarded, and steal 4 horses for the merchant, his wife, and their two bodyguards to ride. The gate to the corral is also left open, allowing the other animals to roam free and flee the area if they so desire. (Most of them do.)

With the number of bags, and the amount of rope in the Hobgoblin stores, it is an easy task to make many small bundles of the major loot, allowing each rider to carry a small percentage. It is estimated that the party will establish themselves quite well with the amount of money that will be made by the sale of this much property. The merchant says that much of the stolen property is from his caravan, but he also says that part of the party's reward for rescuing him, his wife, and his friends from certain death, is that whatever money the party gets from the sale of the goods, they can keep in its entirety.

Below is the loot reminder. It has now been edited to reflect pricing for sales. You guys need to read the edits carefully, and decide on haggling points.

NOTE: Retail price is the price listed in the Player's Handbook; Sale price is what a merchant will give you for the item, no questions asked, no haggling. If you choose to haggle on any item, you have a chance to get more, but you risk offending the merchant as well.

Hobgoblin Loot + Gear:
9,834 Copper Pieces
1,391 Silver Pieces
630 Gp.

1 BIG piece of Amber [Retail: 112 gp.] [Sale: 77 gp.]
Vial of Poison (Identified by Sphynx; bonus xp for doing so = +50 xp.)

Wand of (?) - Unidentified

Pewter dishes set w/ 25 gp. (4 plates, 4 salad plates, 4 saucers, 4 tea cups, 4 knives, 4 forks, 4 spoons, 4 salad forks, 1 pie spade. 1 cheese knife); probably taken from the merchant. [Merchant gladly buys his dishes back at full price, 25 gp.]
Silver amulet worth 135 gp. (Appraised by the merchant, who is a practiced silversmith.) [Retail: 135 gp.] [Sale: 95 gp.]

22 Suits of Studded Leather [Retail: 25 gp. each] [Sale: 13 gp. each.]
31 Light Wooden Shields [Retail: 3 gp. each] [Sale: 1 gp. each.] (including combined loot from below)
35 Light Crossbows [Retail: 35 gp. each] [Sale: 18 gp. each.] (including combined loot from below)
23 Longsowrds [Retail: 15 gp. each.] [Sale: 8 gp. each.] (including combined loot from below)

Chief & Female Elites: (Plus combined loot from below):

6 Suits of Full Chainmail Armor [Retail: 150 gp. each.] [Sale: 75 gp. each.]
5 Heavy Steel Shields [Retail: 20 gp. each.] [Sale: 10 gp. each.]
5 Masterwork Longswords [Retail: 315 gp. each.] [Sale: 215 gp. each.]
5 Masterwork Heavy Crossbows [Retail: 350 gp. each.] [Sale: 250 gp. each.]

Armory: (All of these items have been taken from fallen victims, most likely caravan guards, patrol soldiers, and adventurers.)
1 suit of man-sized plate mail (half-plate) [Retail: 600 gp.] [Sale: 300 gp.]
1 suit of dwarf-sized plate mail (half-plate) [Retail: 626 gp.] [Sale: 313 gp.]
2 suits of Elven Chainmail [Retail: 4,150 gp. each.] [Sale: 2,075 gp. each.] --- Should probably attempt to haggle on this.
7 suits of man-sized leather armor [Retail: 10 gp. each.] [Sale: 6 gp. each.]
6 daggers [Retail: 2 gp. each.] [Sale: 1 gp. each.]
1 battle axe [Retail: 10 gp.] [Sale: 5 gp.]
4 heavy maces [Retail: 12 gp. each.] [Sale: 6 gp. each.]
1 longbow [Retail: 75 gp.] [Sale: 40 gp.]
370 Normal Arrows [Retail: 19 gp. for whole lot.] [Sale: 9 gp. for whole lot.]
26 Silver-Headed Arrows [Retail: 2 gp. each.] [Sale: 1 gp. each.]
90 bolts [Retail: 9 gp. for whole lot.] [Sale: 5 gp. for whole lot.]
51 spears [Retail: 2 gp. each.] [Sale: 1 gp. each.]
19 pole arms [Retail: 10 gp. each.] [Sale: 6 gp. each.]
42 steel helmets [Retail: 10 gp. each.] [Sale: 5 gp. each.]

Stolen from the corral:
4 light warhorses [These belong to The Keep; they have a retail value of 150 gp. each. The reward for returning them to the Captain of the Guard is 100 gp. each.]

Below is the combat xp earned. Take a look at it, but don't adjust your sheets yet. Story xp is still being calculated.

Killed so far: 22 normal Hobgoblins, plus 4 elite females, plus the Chief.
CR 1
(x 11) [3,300]
CR 2 (x 4) [2,000]
CR 3 (x 1) [750]

AVG. PARTY LEVEL: 6+5+6+5+6 = 28 / 5 = 5.6 (round down) = 5th.
Each Character Receives 1,210 xp. from combat.

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Aust Thale

Following Sphynx and thieving the corral felt entertaining to Quixt. As he removed the loop of the rope on the gate and released the animals, he enjoyed the mischief. Had he time and was less interested in stealth, he’d have remained at the corral to greet the Wendol or their proxies. As little as he had been among these adventurers, he found them worth protecting. Perhaps they would be his way back home to the western frontier of Yeomanry. In the meantime, they would take their spoils back to the Keep, and perhaps come back to antagonize these Wendol again.

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Defeat of the Hobgoblin Lair: 1,500 xp. each character.
Rescue of the Merchant and his entourage: 1,000 xp. each character.
Gnoll Mercy Killing: +150 xp to Sphynx.
Corral Hi-Jinks: +150 xp to Sphynx and Quixt.

Sphynx Receives a Total (Combat +Story) XP Award of: 4,010 xp.
Quixt Recieves a Total XP Award of: 3,860 xp.

All other characters recieve a total XP Award of: 3,710 xp.
In addition to the goods that he allowed you to sell, the merchant gives each of you what is known in Erypt as a Customer's Ring; the ring is a simple golden band with the merchant's seal etched into it. It identifies all of you as "preferred customers," and any merchant that is on good terms with this merchant will react favorably toward you, earning you an 18% discount on all purchases, as long as you don't try to haggle.

In addition to that, he gives each of you a Merchant's Plate, which is a small, rectangular, platinum coin worth 1,000 gp. gauranteed, anywhere in the world.

The party reaches the keep without further incident; Ordred, after taking his cut, bids the party farewell; he says he has private business to attend to, but that he might return to The Keep at some point, and if he finds the party here, he says he will probably re-join them. Everyone wishes Ordred well.

The Merchant thanks the party for rescuing him, his wife, and his guards, and throws a three-day party in their honor. For those three nights, the party members have luxury accomodations, and eat and drink their fill of gourmet foods and fine ales and wines at every meal. This causes the party to become well known within the keep. The party gains a reputation increase.

The party can now take downtime if necessary, to train, prepare new spells, practice new abilities, etc.
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Creator of The Untamed Wilds
In a private discussion with the party Sphynx says, "There are too many coins to effectively carry. They will make too much noise and have too much weight. We should look for a way to exchange them."

"I think I will keep this vial of poison. It may be of use sometime."

"I can attempt to see what I can discern about that wand before you burn a scroll on it, Quixt."

"I see no reason to not sell everything else
OOC: Random Roll: 13

During the Down Time:
Staying around the keep, Sphynx is far from idle. He spends much time about town and engaging with others. After advocating for the sale of all unclaimed spoil, he visits the exchange and any jewelers or gemist about the Keep in order to trade up for higher value gems, but nothing too outlandish.

He will not wear his Merchant's Ring at all times but will discretely slip it on his finger when engaged with any publican and make nonchalant gesture so that it is visible when talking.

He is surprised by how quickly he is able to analyze the wand in question and in private conversation with others he explains how to activate the wand and that it has the power to stifle the motor function of the target, person. He offers it back to Quixt who seems more keen on such items.
OOC: Rod of Hold Person: (charges 7, Caster Lv 5, save DC: 15)
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