The Fey, the Far, and the Ugly Space In Between

Tecklenburg

Explorer
Otthor

The dragon tells you that there was a structure down there that housed the Aboleths. From his description, it was almost like a red crystal-roofed dome pavillion on stone framing. The strange crystal roof bore the engraving of a vast creature, almost aboleth-like but different. Inside was a single wall with a vast array of inscriptions on it. There was no sign of an active portal nor any archway or door-looking construct. But he wasn't exploring much. He was on a search and destroy mission and the creatrues scattered into chaos when he suddenly emerged in their midst.

His tone implies that he is growing impatient and is ready to go. If you keep testing him, you're going to have to roll some dice!

I'm going to hit him with some nuclear logic upside his dragon head.

"That is the treasure of a powerful alien culture from the the Far Realm. It is likely that no dragon in all the world can claim such a thing amongst their horde. I would think the short period of time to excavate it would be well worth such an addition to your legacy. And coincidentally, you have several minions here with sleds, just waiting to transport it to your lair."

Once he has soaked that up and I've got him hook, line, and sinker, I'll add in "...but I need to examine the inscription on that wall. If you can bring up the wall as in tact as possible, I'll take etchings of it that I can decipher while we're in flight."

[sblock]Defy Danger (Int)
2, 4 + 3 = 9

Success but with a worse outcome, cost, or hard choice.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
He is entirely agreeable to this but he warns that the lnoger you guys wait, the more prepared the enemy will be when you get there. The aboleths invaded his mind telepathically and they can probably talk to the rest of their allies in the same way. They likely know what happened here.

It is a risk we'll have to take unfortunately, as we have to know what is happening here and if it is just part of a larger invasion. Hopefully he brings up that wall first and I'll immediately begin drying it and then performing the etchings. 1 Adventuring Gear sound good?

Per Manbearcat
That is a lot to etch. If you want to do 2 AG, I'll give you a + 1 to your Spout Lore efforts as if you had Bag of Books.

That works for me. 2 AG it is. When the dragon is happy with his excavated treasure and we set off, I'll carefully review the etchings while we're in flight. His big head frill should give me a nice buffer against any winds so hopefully I'll be ok attempting to decipher these things.

[sblock]Spout Lore (Int)
2, 6 + 3 (+ 1 BoB) = 12[/sblock]

Tell me something useful!

Per Manbearcat
As you're nearing the end of your day long journey to World's End, you've evaluated the etchings in full and uncovered their mysteries.

While it is alien as all get out, it appears to be primarily maths-based. It seems to be some kind of probability matrix/Markov Chain going forward chronilogically through time. Who knows when it was inscribed. However, what it notes is that 3 days from now there is a 100 % chance of the event occuring here in this world. Your deep speech isn't great, but the maths end after that and it cryptically references that date: "The Creator comes. Amidst the human cattle there is a willing vessel This world will be hers. She will be pleased."

It is one day worth of travel to World's End, therefore 2 days round trip...

There are two humans in Earthmaw. They surely aren't willing vessels. That leaves the humans in the Coldlands. Hmmmm, that only gives us 1 day...doesn't leave much room for dilly dally :p I'll let the dragon know of my findings after we vanquish the aboleths at World's End.
 
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Binks

Explorer
Rather than be unnerved by the snow leopard taking down the musk deer, I'm calmed and a subtle smile takes in my face. Clearly the aboleth taint hasn't taken hold up here. The natural order proceeds as it is supposed to. I try to convey this to my goblin allies but it is too complicated for our language barrier to navigate. Ironically, I'm able to converse with Lucky and Rawr without a problem. They understand and appreciate the sentiment in their unique animal-way.

Well, there is nowhere for natural predators to hide out here so we should see them coming. However, that means there is nowhere for us to hide as well. I'll trivially navigate the half-frozen peat bog and do my best to keep an eye out for any signs of thinness over deep mire that may trap us. The winds are harsh so I'll keep us all close together to share our body heat. Rawr and I will be on the wind-side as I'm magically warded from the cold and he is large with a thick fur coat. That should help buffer Exel, Xanob, and Lucky. Exel and Xanob can also keep their shields up to help protect themselves and Lucky a little better.

The tracks are trivial for us to follow. Even if I wasn't here they wouldn't need a ranger to guide them. Before we set out, I'm going to gather the most sizable rocks from the scree up top. I'll put them in my satchel so I can leave markers for Otthor as we transit this bog. He should be able to follow our tracks no problem, but I'm not taking any chances.

Per Manbearcat
Every step crunches 6 inches or more into the permafrosted peat. If it weren't for the extreme cold, navigating this place would be beyond treacherous...nigh impassible in fact. Slogging just a few miles takes the better part of an hour...and you've still got 1/3 of the way left to go.

[sblock]You can take + 1 here as your wisdom has mitigated a lot of the misery for your crew and the magical warding of your amulet doesn't hurt either.

When you slog through the frozen mire, roll + Con. On a 10 +, you're the master of the bog! On a 7-9, choose 1 and the GM will use one of the other 2 against you.

* Your physical fortitude is up to the exhaustive effort.
* You avoid any thawed-out, quick-sinking areas.
* Nothing worse than snow leopards inhabit this bog. [/sblock]

Sounds good.

[sblock]Slog through the frozen mire (Con)
3, 4 + 1 (+1) = 9.

I'll take:

* You avoid any thawed-out, quick-sinking areas.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
The tracks continue their way straight across the bog. You can tell that there were many falls and struggles by the people that moved across it last. About a mile in they clearly sit down and rest and the little one must have been carried the rest of the way as the small prints are gone while one of the adult prints simultaneously gets a little deeper.

Nearing the end of your crossing, something changes abruptly...but not the tracks. There is a fine line of gore that literally cuts right across your path as far as the eye can see (probably from one end of the bog to the other). It is cold and freezing, but clearly relatively fresh and laying atop the tracks you're following. Flies buzz around torn flesh and maggots crawl across entrails. You can see multiple human prints, of about the same freshness. paralleling the line of gore that cuts across your path.

Hmmmm. Going to have to think on this one.
 

Binks

Explorer
Alright, let us have a go at this.

I find myself wishing Otthor was here. Clearly magic is afoot! This would be one situation where I have a lot to learn from him rather than him from me!

Ok. I grab one of the rocks in my satchel and toss it across the line of gore. Anything?

Per Manbearcat
Nothing.

I sigh and look at the goblins and animals and shake my head. If we cross this line something terrible is going to happen. Something is going to come out of the bog most likely.

I look to the edges of the bowl. Do they look traversable? Can we bypass the rest of the bog if we climb them?

[sblock]Discern Realities (Wis)
1, 4 + 2 = 7

1 question and + 1 forward when acting on it.

* What here is useful or valuable to me?[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
It is a sheer, difficult climb to the 50 foot ridge at its lowest point. The ridge is precarious and elevates up to 100 feet at the highest. You're talking deadly fall territory. One of them is outright dead on a 6-. You'll be 1d8/1d10 no armor on 6- with a knock-on DD (Con) to find out if you die or not.

The dog can't climb this so he is going to need some help getting up top. He can traverse the ridge however. But you're talking danger everywhere. Nasty climb then a 1/3 mile navigation of a precarious, narrow ridge-line.

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't. The ridge-line it is!

The dog can't weigh more than 50-60 lbs. Rawr would weigh 7-8 times that much. Can I spend an AG to create some kind of harness and affix him to Rawr? Is that feasible?

Per Manbearcat
Hmmm...Let's find out as that is quite a load, even for a mighty bear such as Rawr. I mean it is surely feasible, but a Fighter's load is 12 + Str. Let's just go with 2d6 + 1 (your Int is 0 which I would use for the craft but his Str might be 2...or even 3). 10 + and it is well crafted and the dog is within his load. 7-9 and its awkward so he'll take -1 ongoing. 6- and it just flat out won't work.

Also, for both the climb and the navigation of the ridge, you're going to need to go 2d6 for your collection of companions.

Sounds fair.

[sblock]RAWR! (Str)
3, 6 + 1 = 10.

RAWR![/sblock]

I bring everyone over to the ridge. I take my pack off and grab leather straps, rope, and climbing gear for fasteners. As I'm going about constructing this thing, I let folks know what I'm making. If they look at me cock-eyed I'll just point to the bog and say with a surly tone "...you all want to cross that?...be my guest."

When I'm finished I'll put the harness on Rawr and strap the dog in.

We'll do the climb and ridge navigation later. Gotta run!
 
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Binks

Explorer
Lets get up on that ridge.

Carefully picking the most stable and climbable route to the top, I lead the goblins and Rawr up the difficult face. Our fingers, hands, backs all ache from the difficult hand climbing.

[sblock]Saerie Defy Danger (Str)
4, 2 + 0 (+1 DR) = 7

Success with a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.

Team Defy Danger (Str)
5, 2 + 0 = 7

Success with a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.

2 complications.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
It is the arduous work of twenty minutes, but you pick out the proper path, your collective hands are up to the task and you make it to the ridge.

Unfortunately, a couple things spoil your momentary victory:

1) The ridge is much less accommodating than you would have hoped. It is much more narrow than you expected and the footing is anything but sound. Take - 1 to navigate it.

2) Much more immediately, you have stumbled upon a Griffin's nest with a few newborns. And a piercing sound brings your eyes from the nest toward the interior. Mama has just grabbed one of those musk deers and is on her way back to the nest...and she doesn't look very happy with you!

I give everyone "the hand" and signal for them to carefully, but quickly, back away from the nest. Gods, a fight here would be an absolute nightmare. Given that I can speak with beasts, I'm going to attempt to calm mama.

Backing away from the nest I put my hands up and sincerely plea with the creature, hoping to calm her maternal instincts. "We mean your hatchlings no harm. We are simply trying to avoid the unnatural ground." I say the last as I point to the below, hoping that the creature has an idea of it and understands.

[sblock]Defy Danger (Cha)
6, 3 - 1 = 8

Success with a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
The creature takes the musk deer from its claws to its massive beak as it lights down on the ridge next to its nest. A resounding <CRACK> and the musk deers neck is broken. It drops the dead creature into the nest and screams aggressively at you with a few feinted steps toward you. "AWAY, AWAY, AWAY."

You can either stand your ground and fight the creature, back up and bump your allies behind you (forcing them to defy danger to not fall off), or you can defy it yourself.

I trust my footing but more importantly I trust my mind's ability to instantaneously perceive an escape route and act unconsciously. Hopefully I can find a small landing nearby that I can clamber to so I don't displace my allies. If I find one then I'll quickly crouch down, grab the narrow ridge with my hands, and swing down to it.

[sblock]Defy Danger (Wis)
4, 4 + 2 = 10[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
You find your landing, grab the ridge and quickly swing down to it. It is so narrow and it would be too risky to get your guys across on it, but you can actually use it to navigate the rest of the way and avoid taking - 1 from the ridge.

The Griffin goes back to the musk deer, tearing apart the carcass into neat, bite-sized morsels for its brood.

I've climbed so much in my life. From the trees and mountains of the Feywild to those of this material realm, I've seen it all. I'm going to point out the most precarious areas and instill confidence in their terrifying navigation of the dangerous ridge-line. Can I use Decades of Experience here?

Per Manbearcat
Allies (meaning other player characters) are typically supposed to be invoking that. However, there is resolution happening here and it is fitting. Go ahead. They can have + 1, cancelling out that - 1. I'm going to say no xp though.

That's more than fair. I'll navigate the landing below them while they step carefully across the ridge. There is excitement and tension in the air as we are so close to successfully surviving this harrowing climb and evading whatever dangers lurked in the bog.

[sblock]Saerie Defy Danger (Dex)
2, 5 + 2 = 9

Success with a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.

Team Defy Danger (Dex)
1, 3 + 0 = 4[/sblock]

No!

Per Manbearcat
You expertly move along the landing for several intense minutes until it leads you to the ridge-line as it descends and widens toward the interior floor below you. The natural structure is clearly in sight now. It is a squat stone building, maybe a 15 * 10 with a working chimney.

However, as you're finishing off your final descent, you see several humanoid forms emerge from that building. Spears in tow, they point at your position, hoot and holler, and then sprint to the nearby foot of the ascending terrain and quickly disappear in a pass that cuts a skyward-pitched opening between two mountain slopes.

The distraction is not missed by your companions either. Rawr bellows in protest as the unsteady, scree-covered ridge betrays him. His feet slide and he falls sidelong some twenty feet, slamming against the stone hard once, twice, three times until he finally slams into the earth. When he gets up he groans in pain but he's ok. He is.

The harness is broken in the fall so it stays when Rawr moves. And Lucky is broken beneath him...

I rush over to the sweet dog and hold it in disbelief. Rawr comes over and licks his poor, broken form. Exel and Xanob stand over me nervously waiting, weapons drawn, as they look toward the pass that the figures disappeared into.

I'll figure out what I'm going to do later.

This sucks.
 

Binks

Explorer
Alright. I feel a murderous rage coming on and some fitting vengeance theme music.

From my kneeling position holding poor Lucky, I look up. One tear streams down my face and my eyes slowly scowl as my lips quiver with an unfettered thirst for payback. I think to myself the moment I gave him the name Lucky he perishes...and so unceremoniously...Lucky. I shake my head as I lay his broken body down and stand up deliberately. If they wouldn't have magically warded the bog, this would have never happened. One pace turns into two. Those paces turn into a trot. That trot turns into a sprint. A sprint straight toward that ascending pass that goes up into the higher elevations where the figures set off into.

My bow comes into my hands and an arrow is strung. The first fool that shows himself is getting one right between the eyes. I'm in a full out sprint. I'd like to attempt to get there before they can set up any proper defenses or get away if that is their aim.

[sblock]Defy Danger (Str)
3, 4 + 0 = 7

Success with a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
You take the sharp left and tear up the narrow mountain trail. The sides flanking your left and your right are only 15 feet apart. Those sheer walls ascend some 30 feet before they level off to a more gentle grade.

When you take that hard left and enter the pass, you see two men resetting a trip wire and a nasty dead-fall of boulders from above. You're literally on top of them instantaneously. They're both on their knees finishing up resetting the trap (it is set). You can go ahead and deal damage to one of them right away but you're going to have to defy danger to avoid the tripwire. If you want to Volley, you can do that, you can slam on your breaks, avoid the wire and attempt to gather yourself for a shot as they sprint away.

I'm just going to put an arrow into one straight away and trust my cat-like quickness and instincts to avoid the trip-wire.

[sblock]d8 damage on one of the two kneeling men. 4 - 1 = 3 damage. Dead.

Defy Danger (Dex) to avoid the tripwire
1, 4 + 2 = 7

Success with a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
You dive over the trip wire but the very tip of your boot catches it, triggering it. You roll up to your feet as the debris crashes down hard behind you. The pass fills with rocks 10 feet high. When your allies get their, it is going to be several moments navigating that rock-pile before they can get to you.

For now you're cut off. And the other figure, a wolf-pelt wearing human with a bird-feather adorned spear, rushes you, attempting to bury his shoulder into you. You can't possibly get an arrow strung and fired in time.

I'll plant my feet firmly in the ground, drop my center of gravity and attempt to upend him with a single-leg takedown.

[sblock]Defy Danger (Str)
5, 2 + 0 = 7

Success with a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
You take grab his front leg, use his momentum and sweep him to the ground where you're on top of him. The melee sends your bow skating across the frozen trail off into a corner (about Reach range).

The other three men appear to have given up any pretense of an ambush and are rushing at you (from Near range), spears leading.

I need this one dead before these guys can get to me. I pull my elven dagger from its sheathe and send this guy to his maker.

[sblock]Hack and Slash (Dex)
2, 4 + 2 = 8

d8 damage. 6 - 1 = 5. Dead.

b[2d6] counterattack. 3, 5 - 1 = 4 damage to me.[/sblock]

Couple things. I want to see if I can pick out a leader of this group. One that might know something about the refugees and about that bog.

[sblock]Discern Realities (Wis)
2, 5 + 2 = 9

1 question and + 1 forward when acting on it

* Who’s really in control here?[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
Your elven blade stabs through his breastbone and into his heart, extinguishing his life. You barely get your throat back in time as in his futile death throws, the tip of his spear slashes across your neck.

As you look back from your crouched position, the men are upon you (Reach range...they can attack you from here with their spears). The biggest one is flanked by two smaller men. By small I mean some 260 lbs...double your weight. The largest figure carries a strange fetish; a squishy black sphere with red dots like eyes, many rubbery appendages dangling from it. He sneers at you and smiles the smile of a man informed by darkness and insanity. "Your form is known to The Old Ones. They see you from the void." They don't waste any time coming at you with their spears.

I'm going to stand my ground and defend myself. Assuming I'm effective, I'm going to attempt to terrify the lackeys.

[sblock]Defend (Con)
5, 5 + 1 = 11

3 hold. I'll spend it to:

* Halve the attack’s effect or damage

* Deal damage to the attacker equal to your level. 4 - 1 will kill one of the lackeys.

b[2d6 + 2]. 5, 2 + 2 = 7/2 = 3 - 1. 2 damage to me.[/sblock]

As we exchange blows, I draw my sword in my off-hand and in the same move impale one of the other two lackeys it after taking the butt of one of the spears into my ribs. When the three of us disengage momentarily and the dying man sloughs off of he melee, I glare at the smaller of the two barbarians remaining. "I just want him. You may climb that rubble <signalling behind me> and leave these Coldlands a coward, but a living one. But you can't go back." I nod behind him, meaning I can't let him rejoin his clan and let them know I'm coming...and possibly kill the refugees. I'm hoping that, in forgetful terror, he runs across the bog, triggering whatever response there is.

[sblock]Parley (Cha)

Leverage being his life.

4, 6 - 1 (+1 DR) = 10

They do what you ask if you first promise what they ask of you.[/sblock]

I shout to my companions, who are surely at the debris by now, to let him pass. I'll let him pass when he moves by me.

Per Manbearcat
The smaller barbarian is clearly prideful. However, seeing how easily you cut down his 3 friends, he is fully taken by survival instinct. He backs away from the leader and backs around you, one hand off the shaft of his spear, palms up. When he gets to the rubble, he begins scaling.

As he does so, Rawr crests the top and leaps to your side and rushes the large man who is left.

The large man curses in a language you cannot understand and spits on the ground. He places the hand with the fetish out before him and says a few more words in that language that is filled with sounds that are akin to common spoken backwards but filled with tongue. Your memory is jarred as you've heard it before. Deep Speech. The tongue of the Far Realm and aberrations.

The ground below you erupts in black, rubbery tentacles.

As I sheathe my weapons, I dive backwards out of the field and toward my bow. If I get there, I'm firing off an arrow as Rawr rips tears into him. I don't want to kill him however. If he falls, I'll immediately stop Rawr before he rends him to shreds.

[sblock]Defy Danger (Dex)
3, 5 + 2 = 10

Volley (Dex)
2, 4 + 2 = 8

d8 damage. 5 (+ 3 Rawr) = 8 - 1. 7 damage.

I'll choose danger as my complication.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
Rawr rears up on hind legs. The writhing tentacles are puny compared to his huge form and ferocity. As you pepper the large figure with arrows, Rawr backhands him almost taking him from his feet.

However, you hear a terrible sound from above. The dead-fall must have reverberated through this pass far more than you'd like. The familiar sound of a frozen top layer of snow shifting and the entire sheet rumbling down toward you registers in your ear. This pass is about to fill up with all manner of death!

The large man sees it and his eyes bulge. He turns to run out of the pass with all speed. His tentacles dissipate the moment he turns to run away.

Rawr pursues and I do the same, high-tailing it out of the way of the falling ice and snow. We can't afford to let this guy go nor can we waste time trying to climb the rubble behind us.

[sblock]Defy Danger (Dex)
2, 4 + 2 = 8

Success with a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
You make all haste out of the pass, leaving your goblin companions on the other side of the rubble as well as the barbarian you let go free so you could find out what happens with the bog.

You almost run into an enormous bear rump as you round the narrowest point of the pass (less than 10 ft) and emerge at a fork that opens up fairly sizably. Rawr is gaping at the large barbarian who is in the nasty claws of a 12 foot ice troll who is about to take a crunchy bite from his head.

You can take a shot at the ice troll and automatically deal damage here (as he is most preoccupied with this tasty morsel). However, then you'll have an angry ice troll who would be more than happy to have seconds! Obviously, if you leave things be, you're getting no information from that guy (unless you can find a way to speak with the - really - dead...).

Hrmmmm...let me think about it and get back to you.
 
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Binks

Explorer
Per Manbearcat
You make all haste out of the pass, leaving your goblin companions on the other side of the rubble as well as the barbarian you let go free so you could find out what happens with the bog.

You almost run into an enormous bear rump as you round the narrowest point of the pass (less than 10 ft) and emerge at a fork that opens up fairly sizably. Rawr is gaping at the large barbarian who is in the nasty claws of a 12 foot ice troll who is about to take a crunchy bite from his head.

You can take a shot at the ice troll and automatically deal damage here (as he is most preoccupied with this tasty morsel). However, then you'll have an angry ice troll who would be more than happy to have seconds! Obviously, if you leave things be, you're getting no information from that guy (unless you can find a way to speak with the - really - dead...).

Alright. This is a pass up into the high mountain country that these human barbarians frequent, right? So surely they use torches for warmth and for lighting the way in the twilight hours. Do I see any wrought iron braziers with ready-to-light torches anywhere nearby or maybe earlier in the pass?

Per Manbearcat
There is one right at the fork, not far from the ice troll (Near range). They're all partially used but they should hold a flame for a bit of time.

Ok, as he is about to chomp the human barbarian, I pull to the furthest reaches of my bow's draw and hone in on the creature's eye. I know this won't hurt it permanently, but I need to stun it for a second while I get one of those torches.

[sblock]Called Shot (Dex) Head
5, 6 + 2 = 13

✴ 10+: As 7–9, plus your damage

✴ 7-9: They do nothing but stand and drool for a few moments.

I'm not even going to bother rolling damage...but that shot to the eye should buy me some time.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
Your aim is true. Your arrow penetrates halfway into the creature's eye-socket and into its brain. It makes a strange moaning sound and staggers back, rips the arrow from its torn eye with one arm while holding the human out before it reflexively, almost in defense.

It is stunned.

I rush over to the iron wrought brazier and pat Rawr on the rump. "Get him!" As Rawr engages the staggered ice-troll I pull my pack off one shoulder and pull a tender-twig out <Marked off 1 AG>. I grab one of the torches, strike the tender-twig to the bottom of my boot, and set the torch aflame. I grab an arrow from my quiver and as the frozen fat of the torch melts, I rub it all along the shaft of the arrow, setting it alight <Marked off 1 Ammo>. I drop the burning torch at my feet and string the flaming arrow, loosing it at the elbow holding the human.

Per Manbearcat
+ 1 damage here.

[sblock]Called Shot (Dex) Arm
6, 4 + 2 = 12

✴ 10+: As 7-9, plus your damage

✴ 7-9: They drop anything they’re holding.

d8 + 1 (+ 3 Rawr). 7 + 4 - 1 = 10 damage.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
The reeling creature's eye has fully regenerated in this short period of time. But the flaming arrow...that does the trick. When the burning point and shaft buries into its elbow it immediately lets go of the unconscious human. Its gray-blue mottled flesh chars black and peels back, as if retreating from the flames.

He charges you in utter rage, ignoring the brown-bear tearing at its knees and thighs.

His range is Reach and he is coming to blast you!

The Torch isn't finesse, so you'll have to Hack and Slash with Str.

I drop my bow and pick up the torch from the ground in one fell swoop. As he recklessly rushes toward me, I'm going to attempt to tumble through his legs and sprint away so I can put some distance between us. I need to get my Healing Potion out and quaff it!

[sblock]Defy Danger (Dex)
6, 2 + 2 = 10[/sblock]

He finds himself grasping nothing but air and I'm sprinting off to where he just left. As I'm running off, I reach into my satchel and grab the stoppered potion. Flicking the stopper off with my thumb, I down the whole thing.

[sblock]10 HP returned[/sblock]

I quickly look around at the slopes just above the cliff faces of this pass. Any potential for avalanche there?

[sblock]Discern Realities (Wis)
6, 1 + 2 = 9

1 question and + 1 forward when acting on it.

* What here is useful or valuable to me?[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
If something big enough slammed into one of the walls, it would very likely trigger a collapse of the snowpack at the top of the vertical, 30 foot faces of this intersection.

Alright, I back myself against the wall with the forking routes on my left and my right. I want him to come in and hopefully one of his stray fists will smash the wall and start an avalanche. I'm going to Defend. Can I use that as one of my options for hold?

Per Manbearcat
Sure, but you're going to have to defy the danger as well if the avalanche is triggered. But it will certainly stun him for a stretch if it works, that is for sure.

[sblock]Defend (Con) myself
2, 4 + 1 = 7

1 hold to

* Have the troll smash the wall in its fury and trigger an avalanche.

d10 + 3 damage to me and Forceful. 10 + 3 - 1 = 12 damage.[/sblock]

Ouch...

Per Manbearcat
The creature charges you with reckless abandon, its fists smash the walls once, twice, three times as you attempt to parry and dodge. You can feel the mountain groaning and the sound of the snowpack above you destabilizing. One of those hits catches you clean in the chest, taking you from your feet and smashing you against the wall, leaving you on your rump.

You see the creature look up and put a shielding arm above its head as the crushing weight of ice and snow is on its way.

You take - 1 to defy this danger from the Forceful tag/being knocked prone!

My head is a fog and my ears are ringing but I'm smiling. Rawr grabs me by the shoulder with his maw. The only thing that could possibly save me is that and my battle-hardened instincts.

[sblock]Defy Danger (Dex)
2, 5 + 2 - 1 = 8.

Success but with a worse outcome, hard bargain, or ugly choice.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
Your bow or the torch. The bow comes off of your shoulder and the torch and slammed from your hand. You can only grab one as you roll out of certain death. Which will it be?

You won't have near enough time to light another one, but you can automatically deal your damage + 1 to him if you keep the torch.

...I should have let the troll eat this guy. I cringe mightily as the avalanche smashes down upon my bow. It was the first bow I crafted. It wasn't beautiful but it has been with me since before I became a ranger...

I get up off my rump, shake the cobwebs from my head. The only part of the troll unobscured by the snow, boulders and ice is part of its big nasty head with greasy hair. I move to it and set the hair on fire.

[sblock]d8 + 4 damage. 3 + 4 = 7 - 1 = 6.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
The creature screams and pulls its arms free, one of them stamping out the fire while the other swings wildly all around. You're going to have to Hack and Slash to avoid the wild, blindly flailing arms if you're going to set it ablaze some more. If you throw it, it will be awkward tag.

I quick-step back a few paces. No way am I getting in melee with this thing. Its lower half is still buried so it can't get to me. I launch the burning torch at it end over end.

[sblock]Volley (Dex)
6, 4 + 2 (- 1 awkward) = 11

d8 + 4 damage. 5 + 4 - 1 = 8 damage. Its dead.[/sblock]

Per Manbearcat
The torch spins end over and impales the creatures other eye setting its face and hair fully ablaze. Its head is consumed and the creature begins to turn to ash. The smell is just awful.

With heaving breaths and an aching body I look to Rawr as he returns to me. I'm shaking my head in disgust, anger, and deep, deep sadness. I've lost Lucky and my trusty bow in under an hour. To Rawr I simply say "...take him with us" as I point to the unconscious man. "Lets head back."

We'll go back to the entrance of the pass and work on excavating the first avalanche or figuring out how we can get over it to get back to the goblin brothers, Lucky's broken body and that stone structure. We need to interrogate this guy, salvage for supplies and rest up.

Saerie

HP 9/21
AG 3
AM 3
DR 26 (I'll keep track of them for everyone but Otthor)
XP 9

No bow. Healing Potion gone.
 
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Othor, see below. The stakes are much too high in this fight. You're wading in alone (as a player) against an army (you'll see...) of Unfettered Krakens, Sahuagin Mind Slaves, and an Aboleth Overlord. I'm going to give you full autonomy over Averandox (see below). I'll frame the opening of the scene maybe tonight...maybe this weekend. In the meanwhile, familiarize yourself with the below.




Averandox (The Frozen Wind of the North)
Solitary, Huge, Terrifying, Hoarder

24 HP; 3 Armor
Claws, Jaws, Wings (b[2d10] + 3 damage, piercing 1) Forceful, Messy, Reach
Ability Scores + 2 all
Special Qualities: Wings, Frost immunity


Frozen Breath
When you breathe a cone of icy shards, roll + 2. * On a 10+, your frozen breath scours your enemies with the power of winter (as below). *On a 7-9, as 10 + but take -1 ongoing (cumulative) to Frozen Breath until you Rest and Recover.

Frozen Breath
Forceful, Near
Shards of ice envelop everyone nearby, inflicting 2d6 damage which ignores armor.​


Aura of Terror
When you first wade into battle with puny creatures, roll + 2. * On a 10 +, they flee in terror of your awful presence for a moment. On a 7-9, a couple stand there stupefied by your magnificence...but most are unimpressed.


Frozen Wind of the North
When you call upon the frozen elements of the north, roll + 2. * On a 10+, choose two. *On a 7-9, choose one. * On a miss, some catastrophe occurs as a result of your calling.

* The effect you desire comes to pass
* You avoid paying nature’s price
* You retain control




A single beat of his powerful wings will carry you aloft for considerable time. The moon is out in full and you can see it glimmering off the surface of the unfathomably large lake at World's End Bluff. The shoreline is frozen over, just a thin frosting, but the middle of the lake is alive with whitecaps. Very recently, a massive force must have stirred it.

Averandox's core begins to thrum with a latent roar that the dragon cannot wait to unleash. You feel it from your legs up through the entirety of your body. He is your ally but the mindless pull of evolutionary instinct makes your spine want to shiver nonetheless. Looking beyond you several hundred yards away, you see the sky is alive...

Two gargantuan krakens, unfettered by gravity's dictates, fly without wings. Their rubbery tentacles and huge mantles catch the moonlight as they cut ominous figures in front of the backdrop of the night-sky. Below them, on the shore of the great lake, is a platoon (30) of mermen, fish-faced with piranha-like fangs. Their four arms handling tridents with martial proficiency. Although you cannot see it, somewhere there must lurk a powerful aboleth.

Huge draconic wings ferociously attack the air. One beat accelerates you forward dramatically. 300 yards becomes half that in an instant. The rumbling in its throat, emanating through the rest of its body, grows ever deeper.

@Tecklenburg, 150 yards away from your enemies and closing...a few hundred feet up on the back of Averandox. What are you doing? Remember, you're acting for both yourself and the dragon.



Saerie, let me know what your plans are. Are you just digging out that deadfall (will take a fair bit of time...probably an hour) so you can reunite with your goblin companions (and then do whatever from there with the unconscious barbarian, etc). You're a bit past mid-day at this point. You'll be approaching dusk in a few short hours after that excavation. Let me know.
 
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Tecklenburg

Explorer
Now this might sound crazy, or not, but hear me out. Few questions:

1 - Are the two flying krakens nearby each other?

2 - Where are they with respect to the bluff? Directly over it, near it, or far from it?

3 - How high are they with respect to the ground and the bluff.

Here is what I'm thinking. Averandox can likely make short work of the horde of minions and fighting the flying krakens might be tough for him. They've got massive tentacles that can take away his advantages and his AoE won't be as useful. I'm thinking of pulling a Legolas and fighting those Kraken up in the air. I can teleport Near range with Bladesong. They'll have to be Near to each other to attack me...

Seeing what I'm getting at? Something like the Mûmakil scene?

If they are near the bluff, so I could take a flying leap, teleport, or throw a grapnel or something if need be, then I'm going to have Averandox take me in close to them. I'll fire off an arrow to soften them up first! Let me know 1 - 3 and then we can get after it.
 

Binks

Explorer
Saerie, let me know what your plans are. Are you just digging out that deadfall (will take a fair bit of time...probably an hour) so you can reunite with your goblin companions (and then do whatever from there with the unconscious barbarian, etc). You're a bit past mid-day at this point. You'll be approaching dusk in a few short hours after that excavation. Let me know.

Here is what we're going to do in this order:

* Rawr and I will work on excavating the deadfall debris from this side while Exel and Xanob do the same from the other side. I figure this will take us a good hour or so.

* Once we get through, we're going to bring this barbarian warlock, or shaman or whatever he is, with us to the shelter they were staying in. I'm going to bring the Far Realm motif focus he was carrying and place it on a table. We will tie his body and his legs to a chair inside with the strange implement in plain view. When he wakes up I'm going to interrogate him.

Here is what I want out of this guy:

a) What enchantment is upon the peat bog? If he knows, can he dispel it?

b) What exactly is that fetish? That certainly doesn't look like any sort of artifact for an animist. Looks like some kind of Far Realm object to me!

c) I know the refugees came through here. Where are they and are they ok?

d) I'm sure I could check the stone for wear and tear with Hunt and Track, but I'd like to know what he says regarding which way to go at that fork where we rescued him from the Ice Troll.

I'll study him closely as he answers.

[sblock]Discern Realities (Wis)
6, 4 + 2 = 12

3 questions and + 1 forward when acting on them.

- What happened here recently?
- Who’s really in control here?
- What here is useful or valuable to me?[/sblock]

If he doesn't cooperate, then I'll threaten to just test out the nature of the bog on him. Seriously. I'm not happy. Lucky is dead because of him or whomever enchanted this bog. I will all too gladly strip this guy naked, in case he has any protections, and drop him into the bog to see what happens.

[sblock]Parley (Cha)

Leverage is the immediate threat of whatever grisly fate awaits him in that enchanted bog.

4, 3 - 1 (+ 1 from DR) = 7[/sblock]

Looks like he'll need some form of convincing. If that is the way it is going to be, then we'll go ahead and take him to the edge of the bog, tied to the chair, facing forwards. With the help from the goblins, he's a big guy, I'll tilt his char very, very far forward until he almost nose to peat.

If he doesn't want to help us, then in he goes and we'll stand back.

* Assuming there is some kind low-lying scrub somewhere up here, besides the frozen peat bog, I'm going to gather that up to make a crematory bed for poor Lucky. I will say some prayers to the primal spirits and then commit his body to the elements while my three companions silently, respectfully watch.

* If there isn't any kindling in the shelter then I'll gather more of the scrub so we can make a fire for the evening. By the time all of this is done it will be twilight. This will be a good place to hole up for the evening.

Four walls and roof so we should be cozy and secure. If the door doesn't lock, then we'll set up some kind of barricade.

If we need to take watch...

[sblock] Saerie Take Watch (Wis)
5, 3 + 2 = 10

Goblins Take Watch
1, 5 = 6[/sblock]

These goblins aren't very good at scouting or taking watch! They failed the Perilous Journey earlier that got Otthor into trouble!
 
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Now this might sound crazy, or not, but hear me out. Few questions:

1 - Are the two flying krakens nearby each other?

2 - Where are they with respect to the bluff? Directly over it, near it, or far from it?

3 - How high are they with respect to the ground and the bluff.

Here is what I'm thinking. Averandox can likely make short work of the horde of minions and fighting the flying krakens might be tough for him. They've got massive tentacles that can take away his advantages and his AoE won't be as useful. I'm thinking of pulling a Legolas and fighting those Kraken up in the air. I can teleport Near range with Bladesong. They'll have to be Near to each other to attack me...

Seeing what I'm getting at? Something like the Mûmakil scene?

If they are near the bluff, so I could take a flying leap, teleport, or throw a grapnel or something if need be, then I'm going to have Averandox take me in close to them. I'll fire off an arrow to soften them up first! Let me know 1 - 3 and then we can get after it.

I see what you're getting at. You'll have to expend some AG if you're going to do something like I think you are.

In order:

1) They aren't near each other currently, no. Far range from each other. However, yes, they'll have to be at Near range (your teleport range) if they're going to attack you with their tentacles while you're physically engaged with the opposite Unfettered Kraken.

2) One of them is Near the bluff while the other is Far (over the water).

3) Vertically, they're both probably just above the bluff. Maybe 100 feet up?

If you're going to have the dragon do a fly-by so you can hop off onto one of their mantles, both you and the dragon are going to have to DD (tentacles).

* Once we get through, we're going to bring this barbarian warlock, or shaman or whatever he is, with us to the shelter they were staying in. I'm going to bring the Far Realm motif focus he was carrying and place it on a table. We will tie his body and his legs to a chair inside with the strange implement in plain view. When he wakes up I'm going to interrogate him.

Here is what I want out of this guy:

a) What enchantment is upon the peat bog? If he knows, can he dispel it?

b) What exactly is that fetish? That certainly doesn't look like any sort of artifact for an animist. Looks like some kind of Far Realm object to me!

c) I know the refugees came through here. Where are they and are they ok?

d) I'm sure I could check the stone for wear and tear with Hunt and Track, but I'd like to know what he says regarding which way to go at that fork where we rescued him from the Ice Troll.

I'll study him closely as he answers.

[sblock]Discern Realities (Wis)
6, 4 + 2 = 12

3 questions and + 1 forward when acting on them.

- What happened here recently?
- Who’s really in control here?
- What here is useful or valuable to me?[/sblock]

If he doesn't cooperate, then I'll threaten to just test out the nature of the bog on him. Seriously. I'm not happy. Lucky is dead because of him or whomever enchanted this bog. I will all too gladly strip this guy naked, in case he has any protections, and drop him into the bog to see what happens.

[sblock]Parley (Cha)

Leverage is the immediate threat of whatever grisly fate awaits him in that enchanted bog.

4, 3 - 1 (+ 1 from DR) = 7[/sblock]

Looks like he'll need some form of convincing. If that is the way it is going to be, then we'll go ahead and take him to the edge of the bog, tied to the chair, facing forwards. With the help from the goblins, he's a big guy, I'll tilt his char very, very far forward until he almost nose to peat.

If he doesn't want to help us, then in he goes and we'll stand back.

The human doesn't appear fearful at all of your wrath or of your threat to throw him in the bog. In fact, he is smug and seems to almost welcome it. However, in watching him closely (the last of your 3 DR), you can tell that he is absolutely terrified of Rawr (intimidating tag) and can barely take his eyes off your huge, menacing friend. Perhaps it is a childhood fear, but the prospect of such a grizzly (!) fate as being torn to pieces and eaten alive by a bear gets him talking and then some <I'll save us the extra post and time of you telling me you'll have Rawr menace him or gnaw on his leg!>.

Regarding the top two questions:

- What happened here recently?

He used an otherworldly ritual to protect against human intrusion...you specifically...his father knew you were coming. It is a protective ward from the Far Realm. If humans violate the line of gore, tentacles will draw them into the depths, never to be seen nor heard from again. You were wise to avoid it as the dog's fate would have been much worse...

He can dispel it, but it will take some time.

- Who’s really in control here?

His father, Ranyon Argoth, is a powerful warlock. He has been appealing to entities beyond this world for the power to undo this wretched, unjust existence for nearly two decades. They whispered back but he couldn't understand. Finally, those whispers have become clear to him. The Elder Ones are coming. They will end this miserable world and he will be their herald.

His clan has your refugees. They are alive and will get to witness the beginning of the end first-hand. It is an honor for them.

The right path will take you to their cavernous home at the top of the mountain. But it won't matter. The end is already upon us.

He relays the above with utmost pride and deranged glee. You know he means every word of it.

* Assuming there is some kind low-lying scrub somewhere up here, besides the frozen peat bog, I'm going to gather that up to make a crematory bed for poor Lucky. I will say some prayers to the primal spirits and then commit his body to the elements while my three companions silently, respectfully watch.

Exel and Xanob are respectful and even a little emotional. Their culture has an affinity for noble beasts like Lucky. He was strong, valiant, and loyal. Those are virtues they appreciate.

Rawr shows some tenderness as well. He clearly grew fond of the old dog. He will definitely want some payback and in your interrogation of the human, his intimidating (Strength tag) is in full affect and clearly has sway.

* If there isn't any kindling in the shelter then I'll gather more of the scrub so we can make a fire for the evening. By the time all of this is done it will be twilight. This will be a good place to hole up for the evening.

Four walls and roof so we should be cozy and secure. If the door doesn't lock, then we'll set up some kind of barricade.

If we need to take watch...

[sblock] Saerie Take Watch (Wis)
5, 3 + 2 = 10

Goblins Take Watch
1, 5 = 6[/sblock]

These goblins aren't very good at scouting or taking watch! They failed the Perilous Journey earlier that got Otthor into trouble!

No worries. You don't need to keep watch. Shelter is secure and cozy enough. You can't Rest and Recover, but you can (a) Make Camp, (b) Bolster, (c) End of Session, and (I think you'll have enough xp) (d) Level Up.
 

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