Chapter 13: The Worm of Hatred (OOC)

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Talanall
Talanall's picture

Alrighty, then.

Rennit and Jonas also show up in the sauna, and you are now doomed to have those creepy fuckers make arch little references to, "What happened that night in the sauna," for the rest of this campaign. So let it be written; so let it be done.

Per my earlier comment, Georgie's fire resistance 5 means that he is effectively unable to benefit from a sauna, short of stoking it to temperatures that would cause all of the other PCs to suffer heatstroke within just a couple of minutes.

Supper is adequate.

Attempts to pull together rumors fall short of their goal that evening, because frankly it's been a long day. But the party continues asking around for a few hours the next morning (since you stopped tonight, it's going to take you two days to get to Port Hope whether you push hard or not).

A total of five hours' effort, counted across the evening of 1 Verdil and the morning of 2 Verdil, turns up these factoids:

  • Behir Chief Eulan Barnstead collects bone and ivory carvings. If anyone on the steppe knows about the sort of carving that you've been asking about, it's him. At this time of year, it's a little hard to get hold of him because the Behir are in their summer pasture,
    which means you have to find their herds to find him. This is challenging but not impossible, except that the Behir halflings have a feud going with their neighbors to the east, the Red Creek halflings. Since one of the functions of chiefdom is to serve as a military leader, he's hard to get hold of in the spring and summer, and even harder to get to listen to you.
  • Rumor around Winterhome is that the tribes are slowly (some would say too slowly) putting aside their usual feuds and livestock rustling to focus on the goblinoid problem.
    There are worg riders loose on the steppe, and rumor has it that they've started to hit the occasional caravan. Right now, it sounds like most people think that if the tribes would stop fighting each other, they could repel the goblin bands long before they make it this far west. As it is, the Winterhomers seem pretty happy to have the Horsekillers encamped nearby, although a substantial majority also seem distrustful of them because of their Agonite faith. Sergeant Ergil's brothers-in-arms may not be soldiers of the Aureshan Legion,
    but that doesn't seem to be quite enough to lull the residents' suspicion that they're the vanguard of an army of conquest.
  • There is a massive arrangement of standing stones to the southeast of Winterhome. Locals call them the Dragon's Teeth; nobody knows what they're for, but the stone posts and lintels are enormous enough to be impressive, and they clearly are not natural. A good chunk of the spring and summer business that Aphora gets at the Barnsley Lodge is scholars out of Port Hope, Merethrone, and even some from as far off as Zenthar and the Republic of Hara. According to the local rumor mill, they show up and take all manner of rubbings from inscriptions on the stones, as well as spending inordinate amounts of time taking measurements with astronomical instruments, surveyors' tools, and even lengths of knotted rope. It sounds like the Dragon's Teeth are a crackpot magnet, whatever secrets they hold.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Did we used to have a plot hook thread to keep up with these loose threads we could follow later?

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

I think that was in Mike's game.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I also had one.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Can we get it back? As much as I understand "Kill Cole" is plot hook #1, it would be nice to have a list of side quests to do if, let's say, Cole doesn't come back into this plan of existence again anytime soon. Or is really dead.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

How much was breakfast? With the 5cp left over Avar brought drinks for Avar and Chuul to share in the sauna. Or did he?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Breakfast may be had for 1 cp, although it consists of bread and preserves with tea.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

"The Bastards." I love it. XD

drumandfight
drumandfight's picture

You should get in on my Only War game. It follows a regiment of penal troopers dubbed "The Emperor's Bastards" or just "Bastards" for short. Never have a seen a bigger squad of retards and fuck ups. But they get the job done.

Darker

@Talanall, if you don't mind, could add the gathered info related to the carvings to that hook. Both about the halfling guy that collects them and about the person that sold one to someone from Port Hope to fund their shop in Golden Sheaves. Figured if we pursue it, it would be good to have it in one place and I don't want to mess up the nice narrative of your thread by tossing junk in it.

Darker

Also, I just dropped the seeds in the mail. I'm hoping it had enough postage, so tell me if you don't see it by mid next week at the latest. I still have plenty left.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Done. And thank you so much for the seeds. I'm super excited.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Tal,

If you want, I can send you my seed, too! Just say the word.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

That's a very generous offer. I'll get with you when I'm ready.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Are we waiting on us to do something or just a busy weekend?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Busy weekend.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

As a matter of clarity, you guys are dealing with a thunderstorm in character. Where you are, you are wet and fairly miserable.

Getting a fire going, or even keeping a lantern burning, is a non-starter in these conditions. Fortunately, it's going to get light out pretty soon, so you won't stay blind, but the rain and wind impose a -4 penalty to Listen, Search, and Spot checks, as well as to ranged attack rolls. Gallielle, being Small, isn't really able to stand upright against the wind, and the rest of you are checked, meaning that you can't walk normally against the wind, but if you hunch down and move slowly, you can creep around at 5 ft./round. All nuisances, but you could (theoretically) saddle up your horses, mount up, and ride. And on the bright side, these conditions would apply equally to most hostiles you might encounter.

But the really nasty thing about this storm is that it has lightning with it. Right now, the storm's center is some way off, but if you are in the open when it passes above you, there'll be a period of roughly an hour where lightning will strike about once per minute.

Any individual strike might deal 1d8 to 10d8 points of damage to the unlucky inhabitant of whatever square it lands in, so this is not exactly a negligible hazard; it could kill any of you outright, even Chuul (although he'd have to be really unlucky). And it could likewise fry one of your horses.

The outdoorsy members of your party think that the whole thing should blow over in about five hours.

Do you want to wait this out, or try to press onward?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Again regretting her spell choice, Alannah is all for waiting it out. Traveling the rain is bad enough, but being struck by lightning is the worst.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Didn't kill Gideon. Lightning is easy mode shit

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

For all we know, Gideon is now some kind of ambulatory murder-corpse.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Darker wrote:

Also, I just dropped the seeds in the mail. I'm hoping it had enough postage, so tell me if you don't see it by mid next week at the latest. I still have plenty left.

The seed arrived this afternoon in what looked like good condition. I'll be building trellises for the vines as soon as the weather stops sucking.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

MinusInnocence wrote:

Didn't kill Gideon. Lightning is easy mode shit


Hopefully, it won't kill Avar either. I am sensing a theme in the adventures I play in.
Darker

Talanall wrote:
Darker wrote:

Also, I just dropped the seeds in the mail. I'm hoping it had enough postage, so tell me if you don't see it by mid next week at the latest. I still have plenty left.

The seed arrived this afternoon in what looked like good condition. I'll be building trellises for the vines as soon as the weather stops sucking.

Awesome! I was hoping it wasn't going to arrive all crushed.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Secrets

I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 8, 5 = 13.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 1, 3 = 4.
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 6, 9 = 15.
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 6, 9 = 15.
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 6, 2 = 8.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 2 = 2.
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 15, 2 = 17.
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 7, 2 = 9.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 6, 7 = 13.
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 2, 7 = 9.
I rolled 1d20+11, the result is 20, 11 = 31.
I rolled 1d20+11, the result is 5, 11 = 16.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 6, 4 = 10.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 18, 4 = 22.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Seeekrits!

I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 16, 1 = 17.
I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 5, 1 = 6.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 14 = 14.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 7 = 7.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 10 = 10.
I rolled 1d20, the result is 8 = 8.
I rolled 1d20+11, the result is 6, 11 = 17.
I rolled 1d20+11, the result is 12, 11 = 23.
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 4, 9 = 13.
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 9, 9 = 18.
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 13, 9 = 22.
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 7, 9 = 16.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

More secrets.

I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 5, 8 = 13.
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 17, 8 = 25.
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 9, 8 = 17.
I rolled 1d20+8, the result is 16, 8 = 24.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Last bit.

I rolled 6d6, the result is 2, 4, 6, 6, 2, 5 = 25.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Knowledge (nature) checks from anyone who has ranks in the skill, please. Bardic knowledge and untrained checks are not applicable here.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Nature knowledge!

Knowing
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 2, 3 = 5.
Darker

Alannah does not know much. Perhaps that the sun is where the cold comes from.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Knowledge check

Knowledge (nature)
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 13, 3 = 16.
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

However is Alannah going to live it down that Chuul of all people knows more about something than she does?

Darker

Sure, she respects him.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Garren knows nature. In fact, he's totally friends with a fey. Totes for real.

Knowledge (Nature)
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 3, 5 = 8.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Hmm. Well, that was underwhelming.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Chuul notices a hawk circling overhead. Which is not really odd, except that he is used to seeing them keep their wings extended when they do this, and he's used to seeing it happen on a warm day. Today is cool for late spring, probably because of the rain, and this particular hawk is flapping its wings steadily.

He watches it dive straight downward over the party, pull up, climb again, dive, and climb again, dive a third time, and then fly off toward the south. This is even weirder, because there don't seem to be any prey animals for it to stoop upon. No pigeons or songbirds. Not even a rabbit or ground squirrel. Very odd.

The rest of the party doesn't seem to have noticed. Or if they did, they aren't finding it as peculiar as he is.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Can Baldr speak to others of its kind? And by "kind," is it limited by species or type? Because not only is he not a hawk, he isn’t even similar to other birds of prey.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Well, right now Baldr can't do it because Oskav is only 6th level, and he won't gain the pertinent ability until Oskav reaches 7th (at which time Baldr's Int will also improve from 8 to 9).

According to the core rules, Balder technically would be able to speak to any bird. The rule in question is a bit inconsistent, though; cats are supposed to be limited to communicate only with felines, weasels can only communicate with other mustelids, and bats can only communicate with bats. But snakes and lizards can communicate with any reptile, evidently a hawk, owl or raven can communicate with any bird, and a toad can speak to any amphibian. There's no specific word on rats, but I'd guess that they can talk to other rodents.

If not for the guidance provided by the core rules in this case, I think I probably would limit ravens to communication with other corvids, and hawks and owls to other raptors. I don't care enough to make a house rule on this.

Also, I am kind of hoping that I never actually have to deal with the "Speak with Animals of Its Kind" ability. With a few exceptions (mostly corvids and parrots), birds are astoundingly stupid about things that humanoids would care about. Since the ability in question stipulates that "communication is limited by the intelligence of the conversing creatures," I find myself dreading the task of translating what I imagine would be a fairly limited conversation.

On a related note, I rather fancy that Baldr would dislike speaking to Paendrag, Jalen's hawk companion. Her intellect is that of a normal animal (Int 2). I think the nearest analog we have would be . . . Dalvar trying to talk to Thunk, maybe? The relative gap is actually narrower between Baldr and Paendrag, unless I'm totally underestimating Thunk's Int score.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

There's a map in IC. Do you need initiative or just a marching order or...?

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

I figured something will be triggered, if anything. Avar doesn't think anything of the countryside so he keeps trucking.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Yes, a marching order would be helpful right about now. You are coming from the north along the road.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

drumandfight
drumandfight's picture

I assume Georgie and other scout guy who I forget is in the game sometimes are ahead of the group or at least working on point/on a flank. Georgie will take a flank somewhere if it is all the same.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

I will defer to a party order but having Georgie up front and Avar ride behind him works for me. I imagined we were all clustered up and that when the party marched single file we all would be ten or so feet apart.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Are Arkady and his kids still with us? Oskav will ride ahead of them but behind the other party members.

"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Yes, they are.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

I propose, Georgie - Avar - Alannah - Chuul - Oskav - Our guests in any order they want - Garren - Jalen.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Works for me.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

No objections. Garren is neither offended nor surprised that Alannah wants to give Chuul a better view of her backside than his. Honestly, like most of the party, he's starting to enjoy the rear view more as the distance grows.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Thus?

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Georgie (Blue 1)
Avar (Blue 2)
Alannah (Blue 3)
Chuul (Blue 4)
Oskav (Blue 5)
Gallielle (Purple 1)
Arkady (Green 3)
Rodion and Yana (Green 1)
Elimindreda (Green 2)
Garren (Blue 6)
Jalen (Blue 7)
Jonas (Yellow 1)
Rennit (Yellow 2)

Arkady is on foot. He can keep up because he's only lightly burdened and is wearing light armor, and Chuul's horse is rather heavily burdened with about three hundred pounds of armored, ill-tempered orc.

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

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