Chapter 17: A Small-Town Girl (OOC)

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MinusInnocence
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I will keep delaying until after combat breaks out or Chuul decides to leave.

"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

Noted. Let's see what Avar's going to do, since Oskav's basically going to hold still for the moment.

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

HVB

Quote:
They're aberrations, just like beholders and mind flayers (neither of which Tolrea has, because those are Product Identity belonging to Wizards of the Coast).

Aww, Kya was gonna be 50% sure that the next monster they encountered was a displacer beast...

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I was sad when I realized that was Product Identity, too. It's one of my favorite monsters, and I had a neat martial arts style cooked up for it, and everything.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

You mean the Octo-puma, which is totally not the same thing?

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Chuul doesn't really like the way we're being asked to leave either. But he does assume that this is their land and we're the interlopers. He doesn't know we've been given an actual timeframe and distance by the nagas. If he did, he'd be willing to pack up and fuck off. Whether one of the brains of the group who are able to make out what the nagas are saying to us wants to tell that information to Chuul is up to them. Without it, and barring them speaking plainly enough for Chuul to understand their wishes, he's not likely to show them his back.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

"The moon is..." Avar bemoans to himself making an intelligible noise while simultaneously staring down and pinching the bridge if his nose.

Annoyed, the paladin looks to the others.

"There is something with the moon that makes it not okay to sleep here. These," Avar swipes his hand in the air back towards the abberations, "Nagas, say that we must leave within the hour. About a 15 minute walk should suffice. About a mile or so."

Spinning back to face the snakes, "If we leave can we at least know what this place is? Are others barred from here? Could, say, halflings stayed in this area recently?"

--------
Lets see if we can get some help here. Diplomacy inbound. Probably not though.

I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 9, 9 = 18.
HVB

Kya takes her cue from Garren and begins gathering her things as well, a bit confused as to Sir Avar's feelings toward the moon.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Garren continues preparing to move off.

"Sounds like they think this place is dangerous and shouldn't be studied. I don't see any reason to fight them for the right to sleep here. This place has stood for countless ages so it'll be here if we want to come back. We have more important business than learning about planar portals and other mysteries."

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Chuul nods once. "We will go," he says. His points his now-gigantic guisarme toward the nagas. "Leave us be."

He begins tearing down his tent and making ready to leave, not taking his eyes off the potential danger for more than a second or two at a time.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Avar turns back to the nagas. Sheathing his sword the paladin looks expectantly at the abberations.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

You're out of initiative.

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

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

This is the second time Avar has volunteered to wander off from the group after we were explicitly warned about extraplanar fuckery.

I feel like we found the Confederate in the social experiment.

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

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

I am not sure what that means but there was never clear guidance on where we were supposed to disperse to. Probably better to keep going forward than go back.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

A Confederate is a person who is not part of the control group. He's actually a member of the science team who has placed himself secretly in the group for the purpose of nudging the group into certain situations.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

The nagas really were extremely clear that they want you to get away from the stones and stay away. That was kind of the point of the whole interaction, from their point of view. They woke you up to say, in effect, "You're too close to these rocks, murderhobo. Get up, pack your stuff, and go away within the hour, or die."

I don't think they said anything that could be construed as, "Dick around with us and see what happens," but I could be wrong.

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

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Fixxxer wrote:

A Confederate is a person who is not part of the control group. He's actually a member of the science team who has placed himself secretly in the group for the purpose of nudging the group into certain situations.


Got it and...maybe? Damn Imperials.

Wouldn't it make more sense to disperse forward, or in the same direction we were travelling, than in some random direction? If we travel back the way we came or in some other direction we weren't planning on going that's just inefficient. That's the reasoning Avar offers if anyone asks.

HVB

I'd imagine that since the nagas are using celestial words and phrases in their normal vocabulary and haven't killed us yet they're probably not evil, but Avar's intention seems to be, move around the pillars very unnecessarily diagonally to get within 60ft, so there's that...

HVB

We can walk around the pillars at a safer more respectful distance and they probably wouldn't care???

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

HVB wrote:

We can walk around the pillars at a safer more respectful distance and they probably wouldn't care???


Thats kind of my thinking. Also, Avar doesn't think these snakes are evil but he wants to confirm because Garren asked.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Yes, the crux of the matter is that they're . . . uh, not standing, because they don't have legs. Coiled, I guess? They are coiled in a location that Avar can't plausibly approach as a part of complying with their demands, because they're literally next to some of the stones he's been told to avoid.

Upon your arrival in this general vicinity, though, Alannah, Oskav, and Avar stopped following Chuul and Garren, instead making a beeline for the stone circle. I don't think I'm giving anything away by pointing that out. It's dark and Avar isn't a tracker, so I'll refrain from saying whether the halflings' trail looks like it leads anywhere near the stones.

However, the Bastards have been heading generally southward for the last hour or so, following what Chuul and Garren believe to be the tracks of a caravan of halfling noncombatants (you opted not to camp in the same spot that showed evidence that the halflings had used it as a campsite, instead pressing onward to try to catch up). Even if you're traveling on a steppe or prairie, it usually isn't possible to go in a perfectly straight line unless you're following a proper road, with bridges to get you over streams where you find it convenient to cross them instead of where you find it possible to ford them and all that sort of thing. The caravan you're following certainly includes wagons, and therefore it's meandering a good deal to accommodate their limitations.

So the Bastards have every reason to think that the halflings avoid obstacles when they travel. They're not part lemming, or anything. To the contrary, it looks like they camped about an hour away from where this little standoff is coming to a close. Probably it was more like two or three hours for them, because wagons are much slower than your horses. The point is, there's considerable circumstantial evidence to suggest that they picked their campsite to avoid camping too near to these megaliths.

As to the nagas' alignment, obviously I won't say anything directly revelatory about it. But please observe that a number of evil creatures speak Celestial, including both demons and devils. In fact, Celestial is a really useful language because it's one of the most widely spoken planar tongues. I'd have to count to be sure, but I think it's the second most spoken language in the Core monster set, behind Draconic.

Anyway, tons of things speak it, and most of them are listed with non-good alignments in the Core bestiary. Tolrea departs from Core conventions by changing most alignment listings to "any," retaining "always X" listings when the monster is undead or has an alignment subtype. So (for example) devils are still always LE, because they have the Lawful and Evil subtypes, but red dragons' alignment changes from "Always chaotic evil" to "Any," because they don't have a subtype. I think it still works out that most creatures that speak Celestial still are non-good. But I would have to count them to be certain.

The fact that the nagas haven't attacked you is more compelling, although even that isn't ironclad proof that they aren't evil. But it's pretty decent circumstantial evidence that they're either non-evil or have some more subtle purpose for wanting you alive. But "non-evil" probably is the winner. You're way out in the middle of nowhere, and if they murdered you in your sleep there's really nobody around to see them do it. If there's some evil-tinged agenda at work, then it's very subtle indeed. They haven't asked you to do anything, other than leave as soon as you can gather up your possessions.

Without getting a detect evil or similar effect into play, this encounter probably won't inform you of the nagas' moral status. Garren clearly realizes this.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

As the player, I'm good with whatever. As the character, Chuul is likely to see Avar walking generally toward the nagas/megalith as intentionally provoking a fight after we established that bloodshed wasn't required. In a situation like this, it seems to me that everyone would leave as a group for safety instead of straggling off with distance between us. So Avar heading in a direction that everyone else isn't going would only reinforce this.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Unless I'm reading the map wrong it looks like Avar needs to move 15 feet closer towrds Naga 2 to detect evil.

So Avar will head east with a slight 15' bend as to detect evil. If questioned he will say that he is going around the stones to continue south as was the party route.

He will continue to move and will honor leaving. Avar just plans on doing it in an east and south direction. The nagas gave us an hour and so Avar will walk until clear of the nagas and the stones. If they ask him he will tell them of his intentions. If they should attack then I guess Avar will cross that bridge if he gets to it.

20 seconds ago the party was ready to unleash hell. Maybe they still will be if Avar gets attacked. Or maybe Alannah gets the satisfaction of hearing Avar become snake food. Or maybe Avar detects evil, gets a reading, and walks quietly into that good night away from the rocks without issue.

It's in Tals hands now.

Darker

Alannah's only regret is that she can't see in the dark to watch this go down.

HVB

Kya is reacting if she sees avar begin to stray from the group toward the nagas regardless

Talanall
Talanall's picture

*mumbles*

I rolled 1d100, the result is 10 = 10.
I rolled 1d20+21, the result is 9, 21 = 30.
I rolled 1d20+18, the result is 17, 18 = 35.
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 8, 2 = 10.
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 4, 2 = 6.
I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 3, 1 = 4.
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 6, 6 = 12.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I'm using a variant initiative check to keep track of who acts when. Kya wins initiative, and since HVB already specified that she was going to interrupt if Avar made as if to do what he is now doing, her action fires first, as indicated in the IC thread.

Perhaps just as importantly, she wins versus the nagas, so her interruption comes before whatever response they might offer.

What does Avar do?

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

Darker

Maybe Avar should listen to the naive little ass-kicking girl. After all, Alannah likes her.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I'm sorry if I set up the erstwhile Paladin.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I think we all understand and accept that your internal monologue went something like this.

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

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Assuming Avar is all packed up and ready to move he will move 3 squares SE and then hustle 40' directly east.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Okay. Roll for initiative, people.

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

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

I knew I could count on the paladin to snatch violence from the jaws of peaceful dialogue.

Improved Initiative
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 8, 4 = 12.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Dammit, Avar. I don't think the nagas are interested in Aureshan reclamation of the valley. Put away that copy of Imperial Watchtower.

Init
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 16, 6 = 22.
HVB

I think the part where the paladin actually starts to RUN right toward the huge circle is really the icing on this cake.

Can we opt out of combat :)

Ini
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 14, 6 = 20.
Darker

Can we pick which side of the fight we are on? Alannah is not acting to defend Avar. She may participate in his smiting, friend of Ryster or not.

I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 11, 2 = 13.
Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Init

I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 10, 1 = 11.
Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Look, the good news is that nobody has to do anything. Additionally, the fight will be over quickly. The bad news is that to get loot off Avar you will need to go near the stones dependent on where he falls.

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Also, I kind of wish Drum were still around. I bet Georgie would be down to take on the snakes if, for anything, an opportunity to make a new pair of boots.

Also, Avar isnt running toward the stones. He is still 60 or so feet away from them and is currently heading straight in what I think is east.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Board Rider wrote:

Also, Avar isnt running toward the stones.

I think the fact that we're in initiative means that the nagas disagree with this.

Drumandfight and I spoke recently. He mentioned wanting to come back and play again. I suspect that he's currently in a position where time is too tight for that to be a reality, but we can always hope.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

Just know that Oskav is running with you in spirit. In reality, he can't run at all, but he supports your dream.

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

HVB

MinusInnocence wrote:

Just know that Oskav is running with you in spirit. In reality, he can't run at all, but he supports your dream.

Hahahahaha.
I'm trying to figure out what avar's dream is. My initial guess is suicide by cop.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

HVB wrote:

I'm trying to figure out what avar's dream is. My initial guess is suicide by cop.

Falling Down is one of my favorite movies - you should watch it if you haven't already. You should watch it again if you have seen it before. It's great.

I think Avar is just trying to make sure that when THIS character dies, he doesn't open a portal to another world and draw in an evil creature. But I think trying to arrange his death to happen in a circle of stones MIGHT run counter to that.

Initiative
I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 12, 1 = 13.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

Rolls

Init
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 16, 2 = 18.
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 17, 2 = 19.

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

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

Wouldn't it be swell if something decided to take a cosmic ride through the stones at this moment?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I guess it depends who you ask.

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

HVB

Did the nagas do anything yet?

Board Rider
Board Rider's picture

I'm going to guess the poison is going to fly soon.

HVB

Maybe...I thought I missed reading something, I guess not

Talanall
Talanall's picture

No. Avar's decision to jog in closer to the nagas (and necessarily, closer also to the stones) is what touched off my latest call for initiative. But Chuul and Kya both beat the nagas' initiative rolls, so they act first.

Whether they want to act is really not my call. I think it's pretty clear that Alannah plans to watch the fun without getting involved, but that doesn't mean your characters have to.

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

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