If I’m not mistaken, having advantage on perception is equal to having a +5 to Passive Perception, so that’s what we’ll work with. Go ahead an make that change on your sheet, and make a note that +5 is from those.
Let’s move forward! I’m working on a post now. Should have one done by the end of the day.
You spend the rest of the day working with the Captain before bedding down for the night. Thanks to the Mending Cantrip and the paints that were given to the Captain, together you were able to make both ships fairly serviceable. At the very least, they are able to sail.
The cove is fairly protected, and only has one entrance through the high cliffs around. The Captain has men standing watch, so you get a full night’s rest.
Long Rest Granted. Make any preps to spells or whatnot now.
New Game Statistic: The City’s Status
The City of Waterdeep is in deep trouble, as you know. What you don’t know is how much. The city now has 4 Stats: Hunger, Health, Defense, and Crime.
Each stat will start at +20. For every day that passes, each stat lowers by 1. Every five levels (15, 10, 5 and 0), the city enters a worse state and there is an “event”. If any stat gets to 0, very, very bad things happen. People start starving, a plague hits, a crime boss takes over, or even the Undead break in. It isn’t the end of the campaign, but it very well could be the end of Waterdeep.
Completing one of the four main missions will stabilize one stat and potentially provides a bonus to the others. The Sea Mission provides a bonus but does not stabilize any stat. Instead, it allows for faster travel.
I will be recapping how the City is doing at every Long Rest. Currently, you have spent one day away from the City, and the stats are as follows:
The next morning, you all rise and pack up, packing enough food for nine more days. Any more than that, and you’ll have to forage, if there is anything to forage.
The weather is pleasantly cool this Autumn morning, with little wind and clear skies as you set off. The landscape is, surprisingly, still green and fertile, though is mostly rolling hills and rocky terrain. You travel all morning with little incident. Visibility is fairly good, though trees and hills spot the area, keeping you from seeing too far ahead.
Tycho’s familiar is able to see more than most, being able to fly above. Here and there along the path are individual zombies or skeletons walking to the south, presumably towards Waterdeep. You are able to avoid these easily with Tycho’s familiar guiding you. All in all, it is a pleasant morning.
After you break for lunch and head out once more, you top a relatively large hill, and Galahad sees something in the distance with his new Eyes. It appears to be a fort of some kind, a tower and a low wall. It is not very large, but he can just make out creatures moving to and fro, the glint of metal on some of them. This is a few miles distant, but the hill it is on is taller than most around, giving easy sightlines to a large area around. It is also directly between you and your destination.
Galahad studies the structure, even going to far as to sketch it's defining features for others to see who can only make out a squarish lump on the horizon. He looks for any identifying symbology, or even colors which might potentially identify the occupants. He describes everything he can in detail to let others with different knowledge bases from his own have a chance to use them.
In the end though, his opinion is thus.
"I believe that we should approach this cautiously and see if they might potentially be friendly to our cause before showing ourselves. If possible."
Blanket Int check to see if he can add find anything useful from his observations: [roll0]
"Maybe I can help with that." Tycho sends Ichtaca to scout the fort, using Prestidigitation to add some details to the drawing while he uses his familiar's senses. Ichtaca is invisible and the telepathic bond has no limit in range. When he got enough intels (or he is in danger), he summons his familiar back.
Galahad’s new Eyes are useful, but he can see nothing to tip him off as to what is lying ahead.
Ichtaca, however, has no such limitations. The familiar flies right up to the small fort, finding it bustling with energy, with people going to and fro, mending equipment, making food, even working a forge.
The Familiar also notices that none of the “People” moving around the base have any skin on them. Or muscles. Or organs. They’re just skeletons, moving throughout the base apparently performing chores. He counts five, though there could be more inside. On the northern side of the base (you are to the west) is a wagon drawn by skeletal horses.
The Familiar sees that there might be more inside the fort, but is waiting his master’s command.
[sblock=Tycho]The familiar flies cautiously into the fort. The inside of the fort is mostly abandoned. Nothing apparently lives here. Save for one room, which is at the top and has a clear view of the surrounding area. Here, three people stand before a table with a map on it. Two of them look powerfully built, with large battleaxes on their backs. One has a scar on his right eye, and the other is bald. The third is slightly smaller, but no less impressive. In fact, his presence is more impressive, and the way the two big ones seem to differ to him suggests he is in charge.
“…all around this area,” the leader of the group was saying. “Make sure the wagon is fully supplied. Our search may take some time. It is unlikely our quarry is this far away from the forest. They do so love their nature walks.”
“The rest of the Pack are wondering,” the scarred man said hesitantly, as if he didn’t want to bring it up, “if we find them, would you…”
The smaller man backhanded Scar, knocking him to the floor. Scar curled up into a ball and whimpered. “If you continue to please me then yes, I will grant you your desire. But we only have so many Rings, and you are of more use to me as you are at the moment. If you would like to hide in caves while the rest of us hunt, then continue to anger me, and I will make sure your unlife is as unhappy as the remainder of your life will be.”
The Bald man suddenly threw out his hand, grabbing Ichtaca, still invisible, around the neck.
“I’ve found something,” he said, drawing his knife. “Someone’s been spying on us.”
The slender man smiled, his canines were long and pointed.
You have time to call him back now, but you can also let him stay and see what he can learn. The second option runs the risk of losing your familiar until you can summon him back.
BTW, I rolled their perception and the attack roll to grapple on my own. Baldy rolled a 22 perception, smell based, and a nat 20 to grab. Just for transparency.
The map was of the general area, with a mark near the edge that appeared to be the fort. In the middle was a large forest, the edge of which is perhaps another day away, and in the middle stood what looked to be a castle. This castle was not on any of the maps you were given or perused before leaving, though the forest seems to be your destination.[/sblock]
"Ok. So, we do we have?
First, a wagon full of supplies. Then we have a map of the region. All of this protected by 3 tough guys with good reflexes, I can tell.
They are looking for something or someone, somewhere between them and the forest, I think.
Next, there is something big in the forest, something like a castle. Maybe a bigger HQ. The head of the sneak for this area, I suppose. "
The people in the building, which Galahad can identify as many being nothing but skeletons now that he knows what to look for, are mobilizing. One figure steps out of the shadows of the building, but the shadows seem to follow him. [/sblock]
Galahad glances down and notices Tycho's drawings next to his own. He stoops down, suddenly curious. After a moment, he can be heard speaking, mostly to himself. It was almost as if he was taking mental notes.
"Curious, they look almost feral... and the canines, perhaps some form of lycanthropy?"
Not sure if Arcana, Nature or Religion. But the result would be the same. [roll0]
That role’s high enough to get some good information.
[sblock=Galahad]From the tale Tycho tells of what his familiar saw, a form of Lycanthropy would make some sense, as there seemed to be an “Alpha” relationship between the leader and the other two, and they did mention a “Pack”. Werewolf would make the most sense, in this case.
But Lycanthropy rarely shows itself in the human form, so long canines are not normal. Judging from the gaunt face, Galahad would guess Vampire before he guessed Werewolf. Scar and Baldy didn’t have the canines, so it is possible they are Werewolves, though they treat the other like an Alpha, which is not how they would treat a Vampire Leader. While they might serve a Vampire, only another Werewolf would be the Alpha.
Galahad only imparts this information after a bit of gentle prodding. He seems distracted by his curiosity and the questions raised by these contradictory facts. "Perhaps this one is of the rare few, though I suspect there is more to it... The mention of 'unlife' is interesting in it's own right, as lycanthropes are not generally considered a form of undeath, so much as a curse upon the living.