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GREYHAWK CY 576: GREAT LEGENDS RETOLD -- CAMPAIGN THREAD

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Quixt said:
"...He uses his considerable charm with the bar-maids and maidens for any sliver of useful information about the area, especially the caves."

You don't hear anything about the caves themselves, but you do hear a rumor about a large, deep, sinkhole, which lies to the west of the caves that you have been exploring. Nothing specific, just that at the bottom of it, a small cave entrance can be seen, and people have heard strange sounds in the area. Almost like a wolf howling, but witnesses say that the howl had a distinctly human tone to it. The bar maid shudders, and declines to speak further, saying that she doesn't like to dwell on such unpleasant things.

During the downtime, Hawke grabs Nimbar's spellbook, and begins to peruse it while he is busy prepping the parchments for his scrollmaking endeavors. On the third day, Hawke announces that he is going to Sarris' shop, to buy a blank spellbook!

Nimbar asks, "You figured this out after only three days, reading only an hour or two at time? How in the blazes did you pull that off? Are you sure you aren't wasting your money?"

Hawke chuckles, "It's not that hard, remember how I told you you that Sir Walter said I should try it?**. Relax, I'm not going to show you up anytime soon. But having the knowledge might prove useful, especially if we have to split up."

Several thread pages ago...

Hawke looks over Nimbar's shoulder, reading his spellbook;
"This doesn't look so hard. Most of it looks like Draconic. Wait...what does that symbol mean right there?" Hawke puts his index finger in the middle of the page that Nimbar is reading.

Nimbar answers a few of Hawke's questions, but finally shoos him away, with an annoyed tone.

Nimbar says, "I need to study, go away! If you're serious about learning spellcraft, you can borrow my spellbook when we get back to the keep. Until then, keep your mouth shut, you big oaf!"

Hawke nods in agreement, "Sir Walter always did say that I had the brains for it, if I would only apply myself. He was always encouraging me to try; but I never was interested, before now. But the more I see you throwing spells against these cretins, the more useful it looks, and the more intriguing the thought becomes to me. I could be... a spell warrior! Ha ha!"

Nimbar frowns, "They're called Spellswords, and there's actually a school for training in Chendl. When we get back, why don't you apply, and spend a few years there?"

Hawke snorts with a chuckle, "Chendl? You mean the capitol city? That's far and gone from Willip... we'd never see each other."

Nimbar grins mischievously, "My point, exactly."

Hawke takes the insult on the chin, realizing that Nimbar is simply aggravated, and desirous of his quiet time. He smiles and nods, giving Nimbar the space he needs to finish memorizing his spells.

GM:
Hawke spends 15 gp. on a Spellbook, and 5 gp. on an Apprentice's Spell Component Pouch. (20 gp. total.)
With 18% Discount from Ring: (20 x .82) = 16.4 = 16 gp., 4 sp. Hawke gives a 6 sp. tip, making total expenditure 17 gp.
Hawke spends much of the downtime scribing spells into his new spell book; he scribes all of the cantrips, along with the following spells: Magic Missile, Mage Armor, Shield, Identify, Sleep, and Feather Fall.


Several days into the downtime, Hawke demonstrates some of his newly acquired skill with magic; he sets a metal mug of ale on the table of the tavern, and points at it, speaking something in Draconic. A tiny, blue, crystalline ray springs forth from his fingertip, striking the mug, and covering it in frost! Hawke waits a few moments for the mug to stop "smoking," and (wearing a glove) picks up the mug, and takes a big swig of it.

Hawke smiles, "It tastes so much better when it's this cold! And the ray is strong enough to cause frostbite and muscular damage if it is aimed at a living being. It's not exactly High Magic, but it's a start."

Nimbar adds, jokingly, with mock condescension, "Don't try that with a glass. It would shatter it."

GM:
If you will remember, on post #268 (Thread Page #14), we all agreed: In the interests of story continuity, I would be willing to suspend the downtime period, and allow the party to simply rest and "level up" instantly, but with the proviso that the downtime will occur at a later point (when the story allows it); We will now spend that "delayed" training time, making the total downtime increase by an additional 44 days. Since Hawke can now cast spells, he will spend some time making scrolls as well.


GM:
TO BE CONTINUED.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
GM:
DM SUPPLEMENTAL:
Quixt pays the 3,174 gp. to recharge the Wand of Hold Person.
Hawke asks to borrow Quixt's wand of Magic Missiles for the duration of the expedition, on the condition that he pay to recharge it. Quixt agrees. Hawke spends 1,107 gp. on the recharge.
Hawke has 1 gp. remaining. 😛
Wand recharge for both wands will require the remaining 44 days, thus Sarris will not be available for further enchantments (i.e., the armor, bracers, and two wands use up all of his available time remaining.)
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
During the downtime, Hawke manages to befriend the captain of the guard, a man by the name of Emil Al'Tabar, a renowned warrior who dual wields as Hawke does, using a saber and main gauche dagger. Every day, just after breakfast, Hawke watches as Emil calls the guardsmen to order, and issues their daily assignments. Afterwards, he and Emil spar for the better part of an hour, the result being that Emil usually gets the better of Hawke. Despite Hawke's size and strength, Emil is still faster, and obviously, far more experienced. He shows Hawke many flaws in his counterstroke technique, and helps him practice to overcome them.

While Sarris is busy enchanting things for the party, Hawke spends a lot of time sparring with Captain Al'Tabar, who still manages to get the better of Hawke on most rounds, although Hawke seems to be improving. Emil tells him that his stance and balance are much improved, and he shows him some techniques for shifting position more quickly, to help with dodging blows and with being able to counter more quickly.

GM:
The downtime is concluded; the party has spent 59 days resting, prepping materials, training, re-supplying, and re-equipping themselves. Everyone agrees that it is now time to head back to the caves.


Hawke says, "Captain Emil says there have been far fewer raids in the last 2 months, since we came back. He says that our reputation is growing, after having returned alive from several expeditions to the caves. He says that our presence here makes the citizens feel safe. They are beginning to refer to us as The Iron Men, because we seem to be unbreakable, in both body and spirit. I dunno, I kinda like the sound of Hawke and His Amazing Friends better..."

Hawke ducks as Nimbar throws his mostly eaten sandwich at him.
 

Aust Thale

Explorer
Quixt:
Quixt pays to have the Wand of Hold Person charged and lends his Wand of Magic Missiles to Hawke. He notes Hawke’s confidence in picking up spellcasting. His own mentors within his family were no longer available, and the further along his own studies progressed, the more he found himself narrowing his own studies to mostly divination and transmutation. He had found texts referencing a secret cabal of spies who delved deeply in divination. He followed them like a conspiracy theory, eager to devour even the most fantastical elements he came across.

He spends his downtime preparing spells and scrolls, as well as becoming more familiar with the denizens of the Keep. He watches carefully for signs of Eryptian government or guild lest he is discovered.

He relays the information about the cave to the others. “We should take another go at the Wendol and their allies, but I would like to explore this other place. What say you?

He beefs up his provisions And prepares for going back.
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Business aside, Sphynx is less suited to remaining in town for long periods of time, any town. The press of bodies makes him edgy, for he has suffered too many things, best left unremembered. He takes occasion to unobtrusively explore the Keep and surrounding land, including climbing buildings or other structures when possible.

He smiles at the magical antics of Hawke, but is secretive about his own magical talent, as it is much more of an instinctual repurposing of what he sees, hears, or otherwise senses. He maintains the outward appearance of a functional forward scout and competent sneak.

When the conversation with Quixt arrises, he responds in Elvish if the conversation is public, "I am more than ready to be about further exploration. The Wendol, who are party to necromantic machinations, should be eliminated. Refresh my memory Quixt, what is this other place of which you speak?"
OOC: Random Roll: 13
 

Aust Thale

Explorer
Business aside, Sphynx is less suited to remaining in town for long periods of time, any town. The press of bodies makes him edgy, for he has suffered too many things, best left unremembered. He takes occasion to unobtrusively explore the Keep and surrounding land, including climbing buildings or other structures when possible.

He smiles at the magical antics of Hawke, but is secretive about his own magical talent, as it is much more of an instinctual repurposing of what he sees, hears, or otherwise senses. He maintains the outward appearance of a functional forward scout and competent sneak.

When the conversation with Quixt arrises, he responds in Elvish if the conversation is public, "I am more than ready to be about further exploration. The Wendol, who are party to necromantic machinations, should be eliminated. Refresh my memory Quixt, what is this other place of which you speak?"
OOC: Random Roll: 13

Quixt:
A conversation picked up in the tavern while chatting up a barmaid, no more no less.

Conversation Details:
You don't hear anything about the caves themselves, but you do hear a rumor about a large, deep, sinkhole, which lies to the west of the caves that you have been exploring. Nothing specific, just that at the bottom of it, a small cave entrance can be seen, and people have heard strange sounds in the area. Almost like a wolf howling, but witnesses say that the howl had a distinctly human tone to it. The bar maid shudders, and declines to speak further, saying that she doesn't like to dwell on such unpleasant things.
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Quixt:
A conversation picked up...
Sphynx purses his lips in concentration, then smiles. "Ah, that explains why I have no recollection. Howls that sound like a wolf or a man!? Hmm, It could be nothing more than a man who has gone mad from his isolation and howls in his insanity; or this world being what it is, it could be something far more sinister.

At this moment, I am for continuing the quest of which we are more certain, but this is good information to note
."
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Nimbar hems and haws for a bit; "There are shapechanging creatures, to be sure; creatures that have both human and animal form. I've read three books on the subject, under Sir Walter's tutelage. But there hasn't been a verified sighting of one in over three hundred years, and believe me, there are a lot of people looking for them. Wizards with more salt than anyone WE know, including Sir Walter. And no one has found anything yet. A more likely explanation is a Master Druid; you see, Druids speak to animals, often in the animal's own tongue. It wouldn't surprise me to run across a Master Druid in command of a pack of wolves, who belays his orders to them by howling. And if such is the case, I'd not want to give him cause to be irritated with us. Best let that one alone for awhile."

Hawke laughs, "Druid? Bah. Druids are reclusive. I doubt very seriously that a Druid with that kind of power would make his presence known in such an obvious manner. Besides, it sounds like the so-called witnesses heard ONE howl, not a whole pack. I'd be willing to bet they heard an actual wolf, and the so-called tonal qualities of the howl are a product of fear and exaggeration. As for the shapechanging creatures you mentioned, that's poppycock as well. Bedtime stories to frighten children. We live in a world where MEN who are skilled in the magical arts commit atrocities through the use of things like Necromancy. Why invent shapeshifting boogey men? Are the Dark Arts themselves not scary enough? ... Sphynx, what say you? And what of you, Quixt? Do either of YOU believe in boogey men?"
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
GM: Posting on behalf of Sphynx


Sphynx says, "Ah, it's settled then. Although we don't agree on what the source of the howl is, we all seem to be in agreement that taking care of the Wendol is more important at the moment. I'm going to go check my supplies. We should leave at dawn. I trust everyone else will do the same?"

Everyone else nods in agreement. The party makes preparations to be on the move at dawn.

GM: Story advancement post coming soon, probably later on today.
 

Aust Thale

Explorer
GM: Posting on behalf of Sphynx


Sphynx says, "Ah, it's settled then. Although we don't agree on what the source of the howl is, we all seem to be in agreement that taking care of the Wendol is more important at the moment. I'm going to go check my supplies. We should leave at dawn. I trust everyone else will do the same?"

Everyone else nods in agreement. The party makes preparations to be on the move at dawn.

GM: Story advancement post coming soon, probably later on today.
Nimbar hems and haws for a bit; "There are shapechanging creatures, to be sure; creatures that have both human and animal form. I've read three books on the subject, under Sir Walter's tutelage. But there hasn't been a verified sighting of one in over three hundred years, and believe me, there are a lot of people looking for them. Wizards with more salt than anyone WE know, including Sir Walter. And no one has found anything yet. A more likely explanation is a Master Druid; you see, Druids speak to animals, often in the animal's own tongue. It wouldn't surprise me to run across a Master Druid in command of a pack of wolves, who belays his orders to them by howling. And if such is the case, I'd not want to give him cause to be irritated with us. Best let that one alone for awhile."

Hawke laughs, "Druid? Bah. Druids are reclusive. I doubt very seriously that a Druid with that kind of power would make his presence known in such an obvious manner. Besides, it sounds like the so-called witnesses heard ONE howl, not a whole pack. I'd be willing to bet they heard an actual wolf, and the so-called tonal qualities of the howl are a product of fear and exaggeration. As for the shapechanging creatures you mentioned, that's poppycock as well. Bedtime stories to frighten children. We live in a world where MEN who are skilled in the magical arts commit atrocities through the use of things like Necromancy. Why invent shapeshifting boogey men? Are the Dark Arts themselves not scary enough? ... Sphynx, what say you? And what of you, Quixt? Do either of YOU believe in boogey men?"
Quixt:
Yes, I believe in ‘boogie men’, though I’m not sure I’d call them that so cavalierly. Plenty of natural and supernatural beings want me dead, tortured, or enslaved. What’s a few more?
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Players-Map-Of-Ravine-001.jpeg
Players-Map-Of-Ravine-001a.jpeg

You reach the caves area without having any encounters. As before, it is a matter of about 9 hours travel by horse. You tether the horses about a thirty minute walk from the ravine's mouth, and go the rest of the way on foot. Having left at dawn (about 5:30 am), it is now 2:30 pm. The hottest part of the day is ending, but the sun is still high and bright in the sky. Sunlight filters through the trees of the ravine forest. Everything is quiet; not so quiet that the birds and other small animals are silent, but the kind of quiet that permeates a forest where no human (or humanoid) activity has occurred in quite some time. The party makes it to the copse of trees just above entrance #4, which, as everyone remembers quite well, is the entrance to the Goblin lair, which is now overrun with Green Slime. Everyone also remembers that entrance 5 is the entrance to the Ogre Cave, and Entrance 1 is the entrance to the Kobold Lair. Given that most humanoids are nocturnal, their absence is not unusual, but you know for sure that at least a few Wendol tribesmen should be out and about; however, this is NOT the case. There is no activity here.

GM: Everyone needs to make a SENSE MOTIVE roll. This is an untrained skill; if you don't have the skill, then simply roll a d20 and add your Wisdom bonus to the roll.

Hawke (Sense Motive): 18
Nimbar (Sense Motive): 26


Hawke HF Portrait 001.png

Hawke says, in a whisper, "Something's off; I have a bad feeling about this."



Nimbar HF Portrait 001.png

Nimbar nods in agreement; he whispers back, "This is an ambush. They're waiting for us."




Quixt, Sphynx, go ahead and roll your skill checks; then whisper your intentions to Hawke and Nimbar.
 
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Aust Thale

Explorer
Quixt:
Sense Motive (Rolz) = 21
It’s an ambush alright. But why would an ambush be set up for right when we return? Something more than the obvious seems amiss.
Quixt places his left hand casually on his short sword while simultaneously placing his right hand on the wand of hold person scabbarded along his belt to locate it. He then quietly readies himself to cast Invisability Sphere by pinching his gum-wrapped eyelash out of his spell pouch and centering it into the palm of his right hand, and then back to touching the wand.

He observes his surroundings closely, particularly the presence of footprints as well as the absence of animals.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Nimbar whispers, "My guess is that traps were set, and guards posted, and perhaps Alarm spells set at the perimeter to notify them whenever anyone drew near. Alarm spells don't have to be noisy. They can be silent. We should be on guard."
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
OOC: Sense Motive: d20 + 6 = 9 + 6 = 15

There is no telling where Sphynx's mind may have been wandering when the party pulled to a halt, bringing him from his thoughts. Listening to the ideas of the others, he responds, quietly.

"Suspecting a trap, whatever the trigger, I think it foolhardy to venture in. We should backtrack a bit, change direction, and approach from a different angle."

Sphynx will listen, intently, to the surroundings and use his druid ability to detect magic.
OOC: Listen: d20 + 12 = 13 +12 = 25
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
It takes Sphynx a little less than 20 seconds (18, to be exact) of intense concentration to determine that the ravine area is a veritable no-man's land, filled with magical auras, probably either alarm spells, or maybe even magical traps. Looking behind at the way you came, you are relieved to see that there are no magical auras. Apparently, whomever set these spells didn't leave the ravine itself. All of the auras are either on the cave entrances, or within the copses of trees that litter the area. All of the auras register as faint, meaning that they are minor magicks. [3rd Level or below.] You know, however, that there are some so-called "minor magicks" that can and often do prove fatal. Your ability to see the auras will last about 4 minutes, so it is possible to guide the party around them, while on the ravine floor. But once you approach any of the cave entrances, you will not be able to avoid them. You are beginning to see that your initial hunch was correct; you should find another way in, because the "front door" to this place is one, big trap.
Somewhere to the Southwest, above your position, possibly in some position overlooking the ravine from above, you hear voices. They are calm and low, conversational in tone. Perhaps guards standing watch on an alternate entrance? You can't be sure.
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Nimbar whispers, "I remember from our earlier trips that there are trails on both sides that lead up to the top of the ravine, but right before we reach the top, we will be exposed. Quixt, I noticed you preparing spell components a few moments ago. I don't suppose you have any spells that would help us to hide? Invisibility Sphere, perhaps? If so, perhaps we can get the drop on them..."

Quixt nods, smiles, and casts his spell. The party begins to move up the side trail, away from the trapped ravine floor, gaining elevation quickly.

OOC:
Move Silent checks:
Hawke: (1d20+6) = 16
Nimbar: (1d20+8) = 23

Quixt and Sphynx: Make move silently checks, please.

 



Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
GM:

Map of Cliff Top / Ravine Overlook
Terrain is flat and rocky with only minimal vegetation; it is COMPLETELY EXPOSED, offering no place to hide.

The party's position is marked. The Invisibility Sphere has prevented your detection by the monsters up to this point.

Blue = Bugbear Guards
Yellow = Wendol Guards
Red = Orc Guards

1,2,3 = Large Tents

Listen checks: (Bugbears, Orcs, Wendol): 2,6,10 (All Failed.)

2250C04D-AB72-40CF-AAC1-7F615C72F74C.jpeg
Ravine-Clifftop-Battle-001.png

These sentries look like they have been here for awhile; all of them, save for the Wendol, look tired. You surmise that this is because the Bugbears and Orcs are normally nocturnal, and not used to being active during the day.



Even the noisiest member of the party, Hawke, does not make enough noise to alert the sentries. Even the seemingly alert Wendol guards do not seem to notice anything amiss. The stage seems perfectly set for an ambush.

EVERYONE: Discuss options in LINE chat, and then post your individual intentions here. Combat has not yet started. It may be possible to get into a better position before attacking. WHAT DO YOU DO?
 
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Aust Thale

Explorer
Quixt (whispering to the others):
Move to the rear of the far tent (southeast). We can’t cast distractions and attack, cutting the Wendol off from the pit and bunching the rest together.” Quixt readies a scroll (Summon Monster), and proceeds to navigate the Invisibility Sphere and his mates to the rear of the southeastern tent before the spell wears off.
 

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