The Hunt

LostSoul

Adventurer
The Wildlands are unforgiving. Gnoll huntbands have been dogging your journey. The sun pounds down on you, and the only place to find shade is in the barrow mounds among the dead. Your horses are gone - killed by the same bastard shapechanger that betrayed you and murdered your friends.

You are deep into the hunt now. On the evening of the tenth day of your pursuit, when the sun dips in the sky and the day's heat is replaced by bone-chilling cold, you see a small village on the horizon. It is a typical Wildlands settlement - small, walled, built on Bael Turath ruins. Here you can get a good night's sleep, some decent food, and maybe even some fast horses. Fast horses to ride Shalminisar into the ground and avenge Riardon and Corrin.

At the main gate in the village's ancient Bael Turathian walls, a grizzled man waves you down. "Hail, travelers," he says, his eyes lingering on your well-worn weapons. "I am Borden, warden of Bel Tungin. What business do you have here?"

You can sense that something is troubling him. He looks suspicious - prepared for violence.

Borden doesn't want to start a fight - his suspicion is just a link for you guys to pick up on and find out that Shalmanisar, the shapechanger, is here. You won't need any rolls for that; he'll give you the information, I just wanted to role-play it out.
 

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Saishu_Heiki

First Post
Skamos gives the man a careful, measured glance.

"Are events so bad here that travelers are beset by town wardens before they can set foot inside the gates? As for our business, it is for the dead but must deal with the living."

Yay for getting started!
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
"When have things been good? Not since the Bael Turath built the 'old city', I'll wager," he says, nodding his head towards the hill the village is built on.

"Your business is with the dead? Come to 'visit' the tomb of one of your ancestors? We don't truck with treasure hunters or grave robbers. They bring too much trouble. Though not many make it out of the old city alive."

Skamos, your masterful knowledge of History clues you in to what he's talking about. This must be an old Bael Turath burial ground. The "old city" he talks about is the necropolis the town's been built on.

(That wasn't a roll or anything, by the way.)
 

Storminator

First Post
Erias uses the old Amaunator greeting: "Sunrise, warden. My companions and I have had enough of the road, and I would pray Sun's Departure from within your walls. Will you have us?"

PS
 

jelmore

First Post
Kathra grimaces and looks over the immediate surroundings, unconsciously evaluating the defensive capabilities of the town's outer perimeter and noting possible threats.


I'm using WotC's dice roller at : http://www.wizards.com/dnd/dice/dice.htm since I left my physical dice at home.

Active perception check? I rolled a ... crap, 6 + 2 equals a whopping 8.
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
Storminator said:
Erias uses the old Amaunator greeting: "Sunrise, warden. My companions and I have had enough of the road, and I would pray Sun's Departure from within your walls. Will you have us?"

"Ah, a follower of the blinding eye," he blurts out. A look of regret comes over him. "Sorry, brother. I mean no offense. It's just that Amaunator hasn't been kind on us lately - too much of him, not enough rain."

He pauses. "It's more than that. I'm not myself today. You look like fine people, and I've always been a good judge of character. Or I thought I was.

"A stranger came to the gates yesterday. An eladrin, tired and hungry. There was a strangeness about him, but - the fey are a queer folk. And never let it be said that we in Bel Tungin turn away those in need!

"But today we can find no trace of him. Grave robbers we can deal with. Not murderers. He killed the innkeeper's daughter last night. Wounds like I've never seen before.

"I don't know what I've let into our town." He sighs. "But I trust to my gut - maybe I should have yesterday, and Connie would still be alive - and it'll be a dark day when you can't trust a priest of Amaunator.

"Enter my town. But be warned - if you wish us ill, I will draw your blood myself."
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
jelmore said:
Kathra grimaces and looks over the immediate surroundings, unconsciously evaluating the defensive capabilities of the town's outer perimeter and noting possible threats.

Normally I wouldn't have asked for a skill check for that action, but I'll run with it!

Kathra sees the evidence of dwarven handiwork in the walls and some of the older buildings in town. There should be a secret passage into the "old city", built so that only a dwarf could notice it.

[sblock=The following is some OOC knowledge. You can read it if you don't mind separating player knowledge from PC knowledge. It has to do with the consequences of Kathra's failed check.]Because of the failure, I've decided that the only way to enter the "old city" is through the dwarven passage that Kathra will find (if she looks for it). And this old dwarven passage is trapped - and the traps are primed. Probably by Shalmanisar, but I haven't decided for sure yet.[/sblock]
 

jelmore

First Post
LostSoul said:
Normally I wouldn't have asked for a skill check for that action, but I'll run with it!


I'm not one of those "I have to Search, Spot and Listen in every single room I enter" people, but it seems like a habit a martial defender-y type might pick up.

IMO, if a player says they're looking/listening for trouble, I'd make them roll; otherwise I'll go with the Passive scores (I do this in 3.5E already). And as anyone who finds their keys sitting next to their wallet or purse after 10 minutes of searching (or their dice bag after turning their bookbag inside out!) can attest, an otherwise perceptive person can miss easy things from time to time.
 
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Graf

Explorer
Tira, sour and hostile, hangs back as her companions engage the guard.

Borden said:
But today we can find no trace of him. Grave robbers we can deal with. Not murderers. He killed the innkeeper's daughter last night. Wounds like I've never seen before.

The half-elf abruptly drops her typical facade of hostile reserve, as soon as the guard grants them entrance, she slips forward and she latches onto his arm.

What... sort of wounds?

Glancing at her companions meaningfully she follows up with You've searched the entire town I presume, and found no-one no trace of this eladrin?
 

Storminator

First Post
Erais narrows his eyes at Borden, about to riposte his blasphemy, but thinks better of it when Tira begins her questioning. Better to bring light than heat this day. Erais thinks of his own questions, then suddenly realizes the warden would make a perfect mark for the shapeshifter. Erais concentrates on any minute details of the warden, hoping to sort out a prepared lie from an honest response.

Insight check to see if the warden seems trustworthy (as he answers Tira's rather charged questions). 3(roll) + 9(modifier) = 12.

Nothing gets by me! ;)


PS
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
Graf said:
The half-elf abruptly drops her typical facade of hostile reserve, as soon as the guard grants them entrance, she slips forward and she latches onto his arm.

What... sort of wounds?

"Strange ones. Like teeth or claw, but... not. Like he had some sort of claw the length of a sword, and used it with the precision of a butcher's knife. And - and he mutliated her body. He cut out her organs and stole off with them."

Graf said:
Glancing at her companions meaningfully she follows up with You've searched the entire town I presume, and found no-one no trace of this eladrin?

"It's strange. I've been hunting game and gnolls my whole life, and I've learned a thing or two about tracking prey. I picked up on his tracks, but in the middle of the street, they just stopped. Went nowhere. I figured it was some strange power of the fey."

Erias, you get the sense that he's trustworthy and telling you the truth. He feels as though he's out of his league, and that he's failed the people who depend on him. He's looking for help, though perhaps a little too proud to come out and ask for it.

No roll was needed for that information.
 

jelmore

First Post
Kathra walks up to Borden and puts her hand on his shoulder. "Then it is fortunate our paths crossed this day, for we are seeking a creature that can change its form, and sows confusion and distrust in its wake. He has already claimed the life of two of our friends, and my guess is your friend's daughter also fell victim."

"We... I... have sworn to bring this creature to justice" -- at this, Kathra's hand moved to rest on the head of her warhammer -- "so any information you can give will serve us both well. Is there anyone else who might have seen this stranger? Who was the last person to see the woman alive?"
 

Storminator

First Post
Erais nods at Kathra's words. "We have lost comrades to this shapeshifter. Since he... it... seeks to sow distrust, remember my very first word to you. It will be our sign that I can trust you. I would not be fooled again, should this creature attempt to replace an honest man. In a dangerous moment you will know me... I shall refer to myself as a follower of... what you called Lord Amaunator. "

PS
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
"I am grateful for your help, strangers," he says, the suspicion not totally gone from his voice. "These are dark times, and we all have to stick together.

"The last person who saw Connie was her ma. I can take her to you. She's at our inn, the Tiefling's Mask. I'm not sure what else I can tell you about this stranger that might help."

You'll need to make some kind of skill check to get more helpful information, either from him or other people in town.
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
Storminator said:
Erais nods at Kathra's words. "We have lost comrades to this shapeshifter. Since he... it... seeks to sow distrust, remember my very first word to you. It will be our sign that I can trust you. I would not be fooled again, should this creature attempt to replace an honest man. In a dangerous moment you will know me... I shall refer to myself as a follower of... what you called Lord Amaunator. "

Borden nods. "Good idea. A code word."
 

jelmore

First Post

Bah. I picked the character with noooo social skills at all and a Charisma penalty, so I'm hoping that Streetwise works similar to Gather Information or Knowledge (local)...


Kathra begins to unwind mentally as the village moves into the town proper. After dodging armed packs of gnolls and scraping for food from the countryside for over a week, even this small pocket of civilization holds the promise of being able to relax.

She spies a small shop selling sweetmeats, and decides to indulge herself; it would also give her the opportunity to ask some discreet questions without coming across as too abrasive. Corrin used to tease her -- only rarely -- about learning to socialize more around non-dwarves.

Kathra picks up a couple of spicy-smelling breads and holds them up to the grocer, then fishes a few coins out of her pouch. "I hear there's been some trouble in town recently. Someone was killed? Do they know who did it?"

And a die roll of 8 + 4 equals 12.
 

Graf

Explorer
Tira smiles. She's going to enjoy this code word.

Clamping her hand firmly on Erias' elbow she gives Borden her most convincing look.

In fact, it is quite convenient that Lord Erias here has been working so hard on a new, powerful magical ritual that will allow him to track this creature.
We'll need to start at your temple of course.


She attempts to guide Erias off toward the center of town. After a half step she pauses...

Of course, we'll have to go around town making preparations, it may be a bit visible. I'm sure you can inform any concerned townspeople that the troubles will be over by dusk.

Any attempts by Erias to avoid not-being-led-away will involve Tira digging her fingers into his elbow and hissing Let us not tarry, your worshipfulness, the people of this town require the aid of your mighty deity.
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
Graf said:
In fact, it is quite convenient that Lord Erias here has been working so hard on a new, powerful magical ritual that will allow him to track this creature.
We'll need to start at your temple of course.

"Of course", Borden says. "If the priests of Erathis give you any trouble, let me know. I'll have a word with them."

Graf said:
She attempts to guide Erias off toward the center of town. After a half step she pauses...

Of course, we'll have to go around town making preparations, it may be a bit visible. I'm sure you can inform any concerned townspeople that the troubles will be over by dusk.

"I'll let the people know that you're here with my blessing. Good luck! Together, we can catch this thing and bring him to justice."
 

LostSoul

Adventurer
I've been thinking about how to handle this - I wanted the other players to make at least one roll before anyone made two, but I don't want your actions in-between to be pointless!

So I'm going to rule this: this is going to be a "linked test"; success or failure on this check is not going to add to the resolution in the skill challenge (that is, the success or failure totals), but it will influence other rolls. Think of it like an Aid Another action with consequences for failure.

I realize this means that you can really game the challenge; all I can ask is that you don't. I'll have to step up things, apply some pressure, move the conflict along.

I wouldn't do this in a face-to-face game, I'd just say "Wait, let the other guys go first," but I realize PbP is different.


jelmore said:
Kathra picks up a couple of spicy-smelling breads and holds them up to the grocer, then fishes a few coins out of her pouch. "I hear there's been some trouble in town recently. Someone was killed? Do they know who did it?"

"The innkeeper's daughter was killed by a stranger," the grocer says. "Borden hasn't found him yet, else his body'd be hanging there." He points to a dead, white, wizened tree on top of the hill.

[sblock=More OOC knowledge, feel free to read if it doesn't bother you]From one of the windows, a pair of eyes watches Kathra and the others come into town. Bony fingers tighten around a heavy leather bag. "They've come, sooner than I expected. I must get below and find the tomb. Then, then they will regret coming after me."

The consequences of failure: Shalmanisar knows you're after him now, and he's moving; the next roll where this applies will have the DC raised by 2.[/sblock]
 

jelmore

First Post
OK, I can slow down on the die rolling. I'm new to the play-by-forum format, so just let me know if I'm getting ahead of myself.

Kathra nodded. "True enough. I'm sorry for your troubles; perhaps you'll get see justice done before too long."

She headed back to the rest of the Group; Erias was scowling and Tira had that look on her face, which meant she was probably giving the sun cleric a not-wholly-undeserved ribbing.
 

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