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Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Deciding that the trap is sprung, Sphynx moves into action. He rises to his feet with the fluidity of a cat preparing for launch, but does not move directly for the prey. He releases one of his hunting darts at the least wary adversary and steps to create a flanking position with one of his companions, if possible.
OOC: attack: d20+4 = 16
OOC: +4 is my standard bonus. I do not know if there is a bonus for surprise.

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
(+1 to Attack Roll for Point Blank Range)
Attack roll vs. AC 14: (17) = Hit.
Base Damage (1d4) = 4 pts.
Sneak Attack (1d6) = 5 pts.
(+1 to Damage Roll gor Point Blank Range)
Total Damage = 10 pts.
The unwary tribesman has suffered a significant wound!

Sphynx steps halfway from cover, still behind the two tribesmen, and throws a hunting dart at one of them, sinking it into the flesh of his upper back, just below the base of the neck.

The tribesman yelps with surprise, as his knees buckle, and he stumbles forward; he does not lose his balance completely, managing to remain upright, but he is obviously in a great deal of pain, clawing with futility at the piece of metal stuck in his back.

Nimbar is next, but I don't have time to post his move right now. Hang tight!

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Color Spray DC 15
Wendol: 14, 3 (both fail); Stunned for 3 rounds.
Stunned opponents drop what they're holding, can't take actions, take a -2 penalty to AC, and lose their Dex bonus to AC.
Current AC: 11

Nimbar raises his hand, releasing a cone of colored rays; the rays strike the tribesmen hard, slapping them senseless, although not knocking them down. Both tribesmen stare blankly, wobbling and bobbing as if they were drunk on wine.

Hawke: Charge & Pounce: 25, 27, 23 (3 hits)
Damage: 1d8+5, 1d8+5, 1d4+2 (13,7,3)

Hawke charges from cover, leaping into the fray, coming down HARD with his lead hammer on the skull of the one that Sphynx attacked only moments before! There is a sickening crunch as the tribesman slumps to the ground!

13 pts. damage.
Wendol is at -4. Wendol is down and bleeding out.

Hawke slams his hammers into the remaining tribesman, dislocating his left shoulder, and breaking 4 ribs on the left side! The tribal warrior cannot answer, his body still saturated with spell energies, rendering him unable to respond.

10 pts. damage; significant wound

At this point, the remaining Wendol is a lost cause; with three opponents in melee range, and being unable to defend himself, it is only a matter of moments before he is put down, for good.

Combat has ended! EVERYONE: What do you do?


Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Sphynx smiles and nods at his friends. He retrieves his dart and cleans it before putting it away. He looks around to see if any other threat approaches. “Let’s move these bodies off in the brush a bit. We should be able to do it without leaving drag marks.”

Afterward, he peruses the bodies looking anything of value or seeming importance.

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Hiding the bodies is easy; you drag the two fresh bodies over to where the first body was hidden the day before, and make a surprising discovery: huge (3/4" long!) army ants have already consumed about 40% of the flesh on the first body, and you surmise that in 2-3 more days, it will be nothing but bones. You also surmise that a similar fate awaits these two bodies as well.

Between the three of you, it is a simple matter to throughly disguise / cover up any tracks or drag marks.

Your search finds little in the way of value; the hide armor that these tribesmen wear is stiff, and heavily impedes movement (Speed: 20); the weapons (1 knife, 1 spiked club, 2 javelins each) are crude, and worth very little money. The spiked clubs, in particular, are rather heavy, and not well-balanced.

However, one of the tribesmen DOES have a small jewel, whose base value you estimate to be 150 gp.; which means a merchant would likely pay between 75 and 100 gp. for it.

Hawke says, "What's our next move?"


Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Hiding the bodies is easy... you surmise that in 2-3 more days, it will be nothing but bones.
Sphynx smiles at the fortuitous discovery. “This is almost as good as a pig farm.”
DM said:
Your search finds little in the way of value...
Sphynx takes the worthless items and tosses them in random directions, especially the weapons.

DM said:
However, one of the tribesmen DOES have a small jewel...
Sphynx pockets the jewel for party inventory.
GM said:
Hawke says, "What's our next move?"
Sphynx shrugs. “Originally you were looking for Kobolds. Seems these cretins were discussing them as well. We can move back into one the caves or we can poach more of these bandits beforehand, if their presence continues to be prevalent.”

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Nimbar says, "I think we should retreat again, and wait. We need to keep watch, and see if we can spot any Kobolds in the area; there are 11 caves in the ravine, by my count. We know that one cave was Goblin-inhabited, one belonged to our dead Ogre friend, and the other is the home of these warrior-tribesmen. That leaves 8 possibilities left. In fact, if we can wait for a quiet time, when no one is stirring, I'd bet we could find and follow Kobold tracks in the main area of the ravine."

Hawke says, "Isn't that risky? Searching the main part of the ravine would leave us exposed and vulnerable to discovery, not to mention ambush."

Nimbar replies, "There's always a risk involved. Staying in the Ogre cave, for instance, is risky as the Nine Hells. But we need to get this show on the road."


Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Sphynx snickers quietly. He is always quiet, most especially when it may be necessary. “I would not compare this Ogre cave to the Nine Hells, but I agree with Nimbar. I can be pretty sneaky despite my pasty skin.”

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
The party makes it back to the Ogre cave without incident; the rest of the day passes in tense silence, as the three of you wait it out in well-hidden positions. At one point, there is heightened activity just outside, near the mouth of the ravine. With three tribesmen missing, it is obvious that the others are becoming concerned.

GM: Search roll: (16); Party's counter-tracking roll to hide the bodies: (24) = Search fails.

Although there is a lot of movement and talking, no shouts of discovery or cries of alarm are heard. It's obvious that the three missing tribesmen are a problem, but without evidence of foul play, the others seem content to let the matter go. After a few hours, you hear the tribesmen's voices getting fainter, as they move up the ravine into their cave dwelling.

A few minutes after the tribesmen's voices have faded, you hear the distinct voices and guttural grunts and snorts of Humanoid speech. You suspect perhaps Orcs, or Hobgoblins, or maybe both. The sun has set at this point, and the twilight is quickly turning to night. The Humanoids, whoever they are, start milling around, talking, snorting, laughing, and making noises as if they were in the middle of performing mundane tasks. There are many copses of trees in the ravine, which serve to hide some of the cave entrances. Nimbar suggests that some of the noise might simply be related to the gathering of firewood.

As the night wears on, new voices are heard; these voices have a canine quality to them, almost Hyena-like; Hawke says that there can be no mistake: there are Gnolls about. Of the possible Humanoids one might encounter, Gnolls are among the most dangerous, second only to Bugbears. Gnolls are known for their ferocity and high morale. They are relentless, once they have the scent of prey.

Nimbar says. "Don't worry, as long as we're in this smelly, old Ogre cave, they won't catch our scent."

As the party continues to wait, they finally hear what they have been waiting for: small, screechy voices, speaking in Draconic! At one point, there is the sounds of scuffling and grunting, and angry Humanoid shouting. The shouting is answered by the small screeching:

Kobold #1 (In Draconic): "That's mine, you big oaf. I took it off the fat merchant we captured last week. If you don't keep your hands off it, I'm going to tell the Cave Mother!"

Kobold #2 (In Draconic): "He can't understand you. Speak in Goblin. Only the Gnolls and the Cave Mother can speak our language."

Kobold #1 utters something in a language that no one understands; there is more Humanoid grunting and sputtering, followed by the sound of receding footstomps. Apparently, whomever left, did so in a disgruntled fashion.

Kobold #2, Laughing: "I love the looks on their faces when we threaten them with the Cave Mother. They truly are scared of the old witch. She is a wise seer, and a skilled potion maker, but she is not powerful."

Kobold #1: "It's not her they fear, it's her son, Grendel. They say the reason for his strength is that she made a pact to share her bed with a devil. Come on, let's go finish laying the trap. Three of the tribesmen have gone missing without a trace. That means there's mercenaries about. Or maybe adventurers. Probably come to rescue to the merchant."

The two voices fade off to the north. Thinking back to rough sketch you drew of the ravine's cave locations, with the Ogre cave being #5, and the Goblin lair being #4, you think that the Kobolds must be headed toward what you labeled as Cave #1.

GM: Thread Page 1, Reply #17.

It appears that no scouting will be necessary. The real question seems to be whether or not there are still other Humanoids in the vicinity, and whether or not the party wants to risk trying to rescue the merchant that they now know to be held captive.

SPHYNX: What are your thoughts?
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Coldeven 19, CY 576:
---10:00 AM: Party sees smoke.
---10:15 AM: Party discovers massacre / decides to follow the nomads.
---03:30 PM: Party reaches Caves of Chaos.
---03:45 PM: Sphynx silently kills the Nomad by the corral / sets horses free.
---04:00 PM: The party returns to the Ogre cave to rest. Rest period is 24 hours.
===DURING REST PERIOD: Conversations overhead @ ~7:30 PM===
Coldeven 20, CY 576:
---04:00 PM: Rest period complete.
---04:15 PM: Party returns to corral area.
---04:30 PM: Party ambushes the other two Nomads who are returning.
---04:45 PM: Party returns to Ogre cave.
---06:30 PM: Sun is beginning to set. (Twilight)
---06:40 PM: Party hears Nomads talking.
---07:45 PM: Suns sets / it is now night time. Moon is full, no complete darkness.
---08:00 PM: Party hears Humanoid voices.
---08:20 PM: Party hears Kobolds talking.
---08:25 PM: Kobolds leave to finish setting their "trap." [CURRENT TIME]
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Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Sphynx conveys that he would like to follow the kobolds, discretely and at a distance, to make sure of their destination.
It appears that this ravine is home to a variety of denizens, malevolent denizens. I think we should stick to your original task, first, and go straight at the kobolds. Freeing a fat merchant will be bonus.”
Hide: d20+7 = 21
Move: d20+6 = 19

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth

The Kobolds disappear into the copse of trees just south of Cave #1. Apparently, their "trap," whatever it is, is there. Hawke points to a narrow gap (indicated by the red arrows) where the party can cross from their wooded area to that of the Kobolds', while risking minimal exposure. The party agrees, and crosses at that point. As you cross the gap, you can hear screechy, Draconic-speaking Kobold voices ahead, talking to each other about their trap. The party has a +5 bonus to their stealth rolls (hide and move) because the Kobolds are distracted.

Sphynx: Hide 21 (+5= 26), Move 19 (+5= 24)
Nimbar: Hide 22 (+5= 27), Move 27 (+5= 32)
Hawke: Hide 11 (+5= 16), Move 7 (+5= 12)

Chance for nearby Humanoids as you cross the gap = 1 in 1d6.
Roll = 5 (Success! No one nearby!)

Nearest 2 Kobolds Listen & Spot:
Listen: 18,12 (Both hear something)
Spot: 20,13 (One of them sees Hawke!)

The other 6 Kobolds are too far away to hear or see the party.

Thus, 2 Kobolds will roll initiative, the other 6 will be surprised.

The Kobolds aren't setting a mechanical trap, they are busy putting spikes into trees, so that they can perch in them, and leap down on unsuspecting victims from above. As the party gets close enough to see this, Hawke unwittingly steps on a crunchy leaf, giving away his position. Nimbar curses as he hears the following words in Draconic:

Kobold #1: "Hey, look, there's someone over there!"

It is now time for initiative. There are 8 Kobolds within easy melee range, but only 2 of them are alert enough to act in the surprise round.

Sphynx: (27)
Nimbar: (20)
Hawke: (14)
Kobold #2: (8)
Kobold #1: (4)

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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Within the copse of trees, there is dense vegetation and foliage; vision is at 75% (i.e. missile attacks are made at -2 to hit, because of how difficult it is to see, and because of how many branches and bushes are in the way.)

Movement is also at 75%; those people with 30' move will be reduced to 20' move rate. (This includes the Kobolds as well.)

Line of sight for spells is not hindered, although spells which require a ranged touch attack will still be at a -2 penalty to hit.

Each square is 5 ft.



Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Not wanting to light up the dark with the illumination of a magic missile, Sphynx intends to ease around in front of Nimbar and cross behind the kobold as it makes its way toward Hawke, stabbing it in the back with his dagger. If unable to close enough, or if spotted, he will launch a dart, instead.
d20 = 14
Damage = d4 + d6 = 6