Chapter 1: Harvest (IC)

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Dafyd
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Leland contents himself with standing guard for the others. To Henrik, he simply remarks, "I would feel safer in a pool of water in the woods." He grimaces as he remembers the bothrian's recent ill-treatment of a hobgoblin. "In the day time, anyway."

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

"I can't say I understand the human penchant to copulate with other species, but I tell you that if a black dragon is bearing down on us and the only chance of salvation is Johten or Leland fucking it into submission, I want you to be heroes, boys. You can even take turns and I'll treat any offspring as if it were a sister-son."

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Vandersrike shakes his head.

"I got it."

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

Vexandi, who until now has seemed even more distracted than usual, actually cracks a smile at the dragon quip, and proceeds to settle himself in for a bath as well.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

The remnant of your expedition settles into contented silence as hobgoblin, dwarf, kobold, half-elf, elf and humans all enjoy the novelty of hot water, soap, and a relatively small likelihood that something terrible will devour you. There isn't really time or space for you to have a hot soak, but after somewhat more than a week in the field, it's a luxury just to be clean. If there's anything to spoil the pleasure, it's the unpleasant prospect of putting on the same clothes you were wearing before your bath.

Still, it's better than what happened to poor Sibusiso. Even Fanyana, blind though he may be, seems to be enjoying the chance to soap up and get clean.

Before long, your baths are done, you have struggled back into your clothing, and the servants have hauled everything away to get the hall ready for dinner service. This time around, the baronet and his wife don't come down to dine with you, and there's no entertainment. Delavee's guards and other household staff are present, though, and there's still plenty of food, although tonight's fare is simple as simple can be: noodles in some kind of meat sauce, with roasted vegetables on the side. It looks like something else may have been planned, but your arrival on the baronet's doorstep forced the kitchen to get creative.

Over supper, Mbali quietly tells off a rota of expedition members who are to keep watch. Despite the greater security against monster attack, your leader is evidently concerned that you may not be all that safe.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Dawn, 14 Imogen, 973 IR
Delavee Hall
Vine Grove, Enteria

Despite Mbali's caution, the night passes quietly; nobody tries to kill you in your sleep in order to steal the loot you took away from Blackwell Plantation, and you wake up refreshed by your first really good night's rest in over a week. After the usual loud awakening call from one of the baronet's guards, it's time for breakfast. This morning, that appears in the form of a huge cauldron of porridge, mugs of small beer, and a basket full of prunes. Hardly a luxurious repast, but it's food and you didn't have to cook it yourselves.

Before long, you're back on the road and making good time toward Zeno. As the sun rises higher into the sky, the temperature rises with it, until you're sweltering in damp, unseasonably muggy heat. It's not utterly miserable, but by mid-morning you certainly are working up a fine sheen of sweat.

Still, you do well as you travel through a rolling patchwork of forests, bottomland marsh, and farmland. It'd be pretty if you hadn't just finished a comprehensive education on the dangers of the Enterian countryside; as it is, the civilized world's propensity to log every tree it can take an axe to is understandable, and even those of you who are friends to nature must reflect that your life would be easier if there weren't so many places for hungry monsters to lurk.

This feeling intensifies at mid-afternoon, when your path takes you into a bank of thick fog. The sunlight shines through it from ahead of you, turning your world to blank white mist, and forcing a brief halt while you reorganize so that all of the expedition's members are accounted for. Thereafter, you continue on your way, moving slowly and doing your best to make sure that you keep in sight of those around you. That soon becomes a challenge as the mist thickens until you can see only a matter of about five feet in any direction. Fortunately, this close to Zeno the road is improved with crushed gravel that makes it clear you're still on the right path. Still, it's no good being nearly blind, and you are forced to rely on your ears to get any idea about what may be further away than the road at your feet.

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

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

"I don't trust this. Wandering in a fog like this is a good way to cross the veil and enter the fairy realm." Henrik makes the sign of the hammer to ward off the attention of the fair folk.

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

"I do not sense any spirits nearby. Perhaps your looks alone serve as well enough a ward against the fair folk." Vex struggles through his Common in what might be considered an attempt at humor.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

After trudging through the fog for a little while, you feel the road tilt into a downhill stretch, and although you can't actually see it, the gradual descent continues long enough that you're sure that if you get far from the track, you'll find that you're in a stretch of swamp. Unbidden, you recall the spiders that swarmed you in a similar area on your way out to Blackwell Plantation. Hardly the worst you've endured on this mission but not exactly pleasant.

You resolve to be vigilant, insofar as that's possible in fog this thick, and a few moments later Evrinel murmurs, "I hear something. Water splashing, or maybe something moving in water? I can't tell. Ahead and to the right."

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.
Johten - Blue 1
Evrinel - Blue 2
Rasnak - Blue 3
Henrik - Blue 4
Vandersrike - Blue 5
Vexandi - Blue 6
Leland - Blue 7
Raksha - Black 1
Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black
Mbali - Gray 1
Uluwasi - Gray 7
Other Hobs - Gray 2-6

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

At Henrik's urging, the expedition draws to a halt to wait, listen, and see if the source of the noise draws nearer or goes away. After several tense minutes of silence, no further sounds result, so the expedition continues.

But after covering no more than about thirty feet, Vandersrike hears a rustling noise, as if a tree is swaying in the wind. But since the air is dead calm at the moment, it clearly isn't wind—and it's moving. He thinks it starts ahead and to the right of you, and stops somewhere off to the left, still ahead of you.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.
Johten - Blue 1
Evrinel - Blue 2
Rasnak - Blue 3
Henrik - Blue 4
Vandersrike - Blue 5
Vexandi - Blue 6
Leland - Blue 7
Raksha - Black 1
Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black
Mbali - Gray 1
Uluwasi - Gray 7
Other Hobs - Gray 2-6

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

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Henrik places a hand against the comrades before and behind. "Hold", he whispers.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

The column halts again, listening intently. After a long moment, Mbali and Uluwasi both ready their shields and spears, and the older hobgoblin hisses from his position near the rear, "I hear it." Vexandi also makes out a rustling, creaking noise, as if something is causing a couple of small trees to sway back and forth.

Mbali points her spear almost due south, right past Johten, breathing, "It's flanking us. Ready spears."

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.
The red area designates the general direction where Mbali is pointing.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - ??
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 1A
Rasnak scuttles over to stand behind Mbali.

As the kobold . . . tactically repositions himself . . . Uluwasi speaks up, quietly but distinctly, "Chaka, I think we must keep moving and keep together. Whatever is out there is stalking us and waiting for one of us to become separated. We mustn't . . ."

But whatever the older hob was going to say next, it trails off as a wave of stench rolls across you and Uluwasi begins to retch. Thankfully, it's a different kind of awfulness than you encountered during your battle against the ghouls, but it's no less awful for being different. Next to Rasnak and Mbali, a second hob also succumbs to gagging and nausea because of the reek.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - ??
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 10 rounds.

It is currently Vexandi's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 1B
Vexandi bears the stench with equanimity, readying his spear to stab anything that should loom out of the fog and look as if it needs stabbing, even as Johten finds himself gagging and queasy for the second time in not much more than a week.

The big human nevertheless gets ready with the halberd he salvaged off of Rory, bent on hacking down the source of this threat if it becomes obvious and is in his reach.

Leland follows suit with the general trend of entering a better state of readiness for trouble, bringing out his club and shield and muttering to Raksha. He looks ready just to defend himself.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - ??
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 10 rounds.

It is currently Vandersrike's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 1C
Vandersrike hisses. He turns north, rather than toward where Mbali was
pointing, "Twinssss." With that, the kobold slinks to his southwest, hiding to the south of one of the hobgoblins—Kakaka, you think.

"Clever girl." Henrik has also noticed the encirclement. His axe is in hand and he prepares to attack whatever is near. "Perhaps we can frighten them. They obviously know where we are." To demonstrate his plan Henrik begins yelling Dwarven vulgarities. In the shrouded fog it may mark his position but Henrik is the kind of person that would rather they come for him than have to deal with the fear of hearing his companions hauled off invisibly through the fog, "Your father was a hamster and your mother smelled of elderberries!"

Mbali hisses in annoyance, since the dwarf's shouting drowns out any further noises that might betray the position of a threat, but says nothing. Instead, she fidgets with her spear and waits.

Evrinel does likewise, hands flattened out into blades as he waits to strike out at the first target to present itself.

Meanwhile, a series of rattles and clinks indicate that the hobs are getting their weapons and shields ready, and poising themselves to give a good stabbing to greet whatever is stalking all of you. Fanyana clings to Horace's back, doing his best to keep quiet and stay firmly seated in case the animal bolts.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - ??
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 10 rounds.

It is currently Rasnak's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 2A
Rasnak panics and barely keeps himself from fleeing into the fog. For the moment, he's going to wait it out—at least until after something attacks, at which time he'll have the knowledge he needs to run away effectively.

Uluwasi remains on his guard, ready to stab when the stabbing's good.

When the attack comes, though, it's not against him. Or any of those who've been quietly trying to keep from vomiting from the stink that has settled like a pall over the expedition. Rather, it's directed at the Kakaka, who stands between Henrik and Vandersrike, and it comes almost straight down from above the big hobgoblin in the form of a wad of some kind of sticky fiber on the end of a silken rope. Almost instantly, the rope snaps tight, and Kakaka bellows, "It's above us! It's above us!" He continues shouting in a mix of terror and battle rage, but the general import of the remainder of his words is lost because he has switched to his native Goblin tongue.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - ??
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 10 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.

It is currently Vexandi's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 2B
Vexandi retreats into himself, reaching out for the Spirit World and finding it with no trouble. His awareness soon wraps around a couple of likely-seeming spirits—air mephits, he's pretty sure—and he begins drawing them into the mortal world.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - ??
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 10 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.

It is currently Johten's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Johten remains at the ready with his halberd, looking around somewhat ineffectually into the fog as Kakaka bellows about the creature that's currently trying to haul him into the sky.

Leland also holds his ground, eyes peeled and club and shield at the ready to ward off or dodge any attack that should come his way.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - ??
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 10 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.

It is currently Vandersrike's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Vandersrike, in a somewhat uncharacteristic bout of engagement, sinks his claws into the webbing on Kakaka. He demonstrates his tremendous kobold strength as he strains against the lines, "Pull, giant goblin, pull!" But sadly, kobold strength, tremendous though it may be, is not really all that strong.

Henrik also piles in to help, and his application of dwarven strength seems rather more effectual.

Mbali remains on guard against new threats rather than pitch in, although it's not really clear how she'd be able to assist; Kakaka's shouts make it abundantly clear what's wrong, but the fog is so thick that she can't possibly see what's happening to her kinsman.

Meanwhile, Evrinel remains on guard against the possibility that something will lurch out of the mists to attack the scrum of hobgoblin, kobold and dwarf. But all the effort is for naught. Some of the strands of sticky filament stretch or break, but not enough to get the hob free of his bindings.

Back with Uluwasi and Horace, the rest of the hobs are still on guard, ready to stab the next threat to rear its head.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - ??
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 10 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 10 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.

It is currently Rasnak's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 2
Rasnak loses a fight against his better nature, and scurries over to join the battle to free Kakaka. Channeling his abject terror of nearly everything, the little kobold eases in between Henrik and a looming shape that turns out to be Vexandi, and grabs hold of the hob's arm for an almighty tug. But Kakaka remains thoroughly stuck.

Uluwasi remains on guard, off in the back, doing his best to stay calm. But even a hardened warrior like him might display some nerves in the circumstances, and what comes next would shake even the most phlegmatic of warriors.

Kakaka's feet leave the ground as your unseen attacker draws in the cable of webbing that has attached itself to him, and he swings pendulously into the space where Evrinel is standing.

The half-elf ducks, not fully understanding what has happened until the hob's ankles are even with the top of his own head. Johten nearly stabs the unfortunate warrior before he, too, realizes that he's looking at an ally who has somehow been hoisted far enough aloft so that Johten is looking at the hazily indistinct shape of his shins.

For his part, the hobgoblin begins to scream in earnest as he sees what's up there—not bellows anymore, but high, piercing shrieks of real terror.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - ??
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 9 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.

It is currently Vexandi's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Vexandi finishes drawing his (potential) mephit allies into the mortal world, and allows them to materialize in the space just above Henrik's and Rasnak's heads. The two creatures immediately burst into shrill protests at being dragged away from their important spiritual business, but the elf cuts in to explain why he dragged them here to begin with, beginning his negotiations to get them to (maybe) do something useful.

Meanwhile, Johten reaches out, takes hold of Kakaka's leg with both hands, and hauls on it as if he's ringing an enormous bell. For a moment there's resistance, and then Kakaka falls to the earth. Close behind him, and squealing in outrage, comes the thing that has been causing you all this trouble. Kakaka nearly hits Evrinel on his way down, rolling back into the same place he began his ordeal. He's still entangled in webbing, but the worst seems over for him. The . . . thing . . . is not quite so close, but it also lands adjacent to Evrinel, so that he, Johten, and Vandersrike all get a reasonably good look at it.

And what a look! "Ugly" is a word, but why use it when better words, like "unholy" or "abomination," are lurking in wait? The creature is roughly the size of a shepherd's dog, at least judging by its thorax and torso, which are soft mounds of throbbing purplish-green flesh, with an octet of disturbingly human-looking eyes blinking wetly from one end above a mouth somewhere between a human woman's genitals and the maw of a lamprey. From the other end leaks a tatter of spider-like silk. Instead of legs, this monstrosity has—eight? ten?—too many, however many it has—tentacles, each one a pulsating lash of angry red flesh and sinew erupting from a tangle of dark, curly hair along its sides. The whole nightmare is filmed with a thick, mucoid coating of stinking oil.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 9 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.

It is currently Leland's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Leland hurries over, finding his way as much by the sound of the monster's incessant shrieking as anything else, until it suddenly looms out of the fog. He takes a wild swing at it with his club, but misses entirely.

As he's recovering, Vandersrike hops past him so that he flanks it with Evrinel and lashes out with claws, teeth, and tail in a flurry of impressively quick (but ultimately fruitless) attacks.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 9 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.

It is currently Henrik's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Henrik mutters, "It may have been too long, but I'm not desperate enough for pussy to put my dick in there. This is better suited for the job." Which would make sense if he'd seen the slitherweb yet, but he hasn't. So it's just creepy as usual for him. Hefting his axe, he moves through the fog until he occupies the space just left by Vandersrike, and swings right for the creature's disgusting face. Unfortunately, he misses by quite a margin.

Mbali steps around behind Joe, having realized that there's finally something that she can get to grips with. Her movement sets her up in a flanking position with Henrik, although she doesn't actually know this to be the case because of the fog. In the end, the murk actually is thick enough to interfere with her aim, and her spear just barely misses because the abomination is too shrouded in mist for her to see it properly. Frustration causes her to erupt into what sounds like Goblinish profanities.

Evrinel lunges in to the attack, stomping and kicking in a flurry of motion. Unfortunately, none of his blows tell against the creature.

Meanwhile, the hobs shuffle around, apparently still anxious that there may be more threats out there in the fog. It's probably just as well that they stay on the alert, since you're running out of places to people to stand while you try to beat down this monster.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 9 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 9 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.

It is currently Rasnak's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Round 3
Rasnak cries out, "It'sss a ssspider thing. Attack itssss legssss. Sssstrik out for itssss legssss!" He motions all around them in the mists, but otherwise doesn't take any effective action.

Uluwasi instructs the other hobs, "Move ahead. Close ranks so we don't get separated in this fog!" He otherwise seems to be calming down; perhaps Rasnak's designation of the slitherweb as a 'spider thing' quiets his nerves.

Meanwhile, the spider thing begins to flail madly with its tentacles, lashing out at many of the expedition members who have it nearly cornered. Mbali escapes unscathed, but Johten takes a pair of attacks that hit him like the lash of a bullwhip and leave him bleeding. Vandersrike, likewise, gets whipped with a tentacle, and suffers a nasty wound. Leland and Evrinel emerge unscathed, and Henrik likewise gets away unharmed even though he earned the special favor of having the slitherweb try to bite him. The creature edges southwestward, trying to break out of their encirclement before they can hack, stomp, and stab it to death.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 8 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.

Johten has taken 12 points of damage.
Vandersrike has taken 5 points of damage.

It is currently Vexandi's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Vexandi once more prepares to stab at anything that appears threatening and close enough to warrant the use of his spear, even as he finishes gabbling at the mephits in a blend of Auran and Common. His basic request seems to be that he wants them to fly up above the fog, and if practical they should try to blow away some of the mist so as to improve visibility.

The two spirits fly upward to comply with this mission, since it doesn't sound too terribly dangerous, but almost immediately there's a gust of cursing, to the effect that one of the mephits has caught himself on some webbing, is now stuck, and blames Vexandi for everything that's wrong in his life. From the energetic rustling sounds of nearby trees, the other mephit is now assisting in an attempt to break her companion free of the webbing. More cursing ensues as the effort fails.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21a - Rasnak - Blue 3
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 8 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.
Mephit #2 is currently entangled
in a sheet web.

Johten has taken 12 points of damage.
Vandersrike has taken 5 points of damage.

It is currently Johten's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Rasnak sets himself mentally in readiness to step in and heal whoever might happen to need it (provided he can figure out who does, in fact, need healing).

Somewhere in the fog nearby, Johten reaches something of a breaking point and bellows "THAT...IS...IT!" The huge man steps forward and attempts to grab the disgusting thing with his bare hands and squeeze it like an oversized zit. It's out of character for him, but he seems pissed off enough that he doesn't seem to mind touching the icky thing. Unfortunately, it slithers free of his grasp before he can really get to grips with it.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Rasnak - Blue 3
15d - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 8 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.
Mephit #2 is currently entangled in a sheet web.

Johten has taken 12 points of damage.
Vandersrike has taken 5 points of damage.

It is currently Leland's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Leland moves to head off the creature's escape, looping around through the fog to flank it opposite Mbali and directing a swing of his club at its head. The blow misses, but his presence will at least somewhat constrict its ability to flee. Raksha follows at his heels, but in the absence of specific orders from her master, the wolf bitch doesn't seem inclined to try to bite the slimy, smelly thing.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Rasnak - Blue 3
15d - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 8 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.
Mephit #2 is currently entangled in a sheet web.

Johten has taken 12 points of damage.
Vandersrike has taken 5 points of damage.

It is currently Vandersrike's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Vandersrike, unhappy at the fruits of his relative heroism, engages in tactical retrograde movement, widening the distance between himself until he has Uluwasi and several other hobs between himself and the slitherweb.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Rasnak - Blue 3
15d - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 8 rounds.

Hob #3 is currently entangled.
Mephit #2 is currently entangled in a sheet web.

Johten has taken 12 points of damage.
Vandersrike has taken 5 points of damage.

It is currently Henrik's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Henrik barges past Evrinel, chanting a spell to call up the Stone Lords' power and heal the worst of Johten's injuries. The big human looks much healthier afterward.

As Johten is being healed, Mbali attacks the slitherweb with her spear. Since Leland moved to keep up with the abomination's attempts to escape, she has a flanking backstop to allow her to divide its attention, and as a result she's successful in giving the creature a hearty stabbing with her spear. It screams a high, fluting cry of pain and outrage.

Despite being nauseated by the creature's stench, another hob (Gwala, maybe?) barges past Evrinel at the sound, and nearly stabs himself in the foot instead of the creature. Kakaka spends his time trying to fight his way clear of the webbing that holds him captive. He breaks free with a groan of relief, and snatches up his spear.

For the most part the other hobs are still holding steady because they can't see and don't know whether there are more slitherwebs lurking in the fog.

Round 4
Uluwasi must be thinking along the same lines, because he doesn't shout them into action. This probably is just as well; the slitherweb appears to have had enough after Mbali's counterattack, and it withdraws from combat. Leland tries to club it as it passes him in the fog, but he's much too late.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Rasnak - Blue 3
15d - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 8 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 8 rounds.

Mephit #2 is currently entangled in a sheet web.

The slitherweb has taken 16 points of damage.

Johten has taken 4 points of damage.
Vandersrike has taken 5 points of damage.

It is currently Vexandi's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Vexandi remains on his guard. Really, there's little else he can do at the moment, since his mephits are busy trying to extricate themselves from webbing somewhere above you. Rasnak is similarly conservative, and keeps his ears open for signs that he can at least contribute to the expedition's success by healing its wounded.

Since the slitherweb has retreated into the mists, Johten is uninterested in pursuing it. Instead, he retrieves his halberd from where he dropped it, fuming about dick-legged stink monsters.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Rasnak - Blue 3
15d - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 7 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 7 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 7 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 7 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 7 rounds.

Mephit #2 is currently entangled in a sheet web.

The slitherweb has taken 16 points of damage.

Johten has taken 4 points of damage.
Vandersrike has taken 5 points of damage.

It is currently Leland's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Leland calls Raksha to his side and says quietly, "M'bali, Raksha and I are stepping toward you now. Please don't mistake us for that . . . thing." The druid and his wolf companion step closer to the hob, and quietly make their way to stand north of Henrik and Evrinel.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Rasnak - Blue 3
15d - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 7 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 7 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 7 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 7 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 7 rounds.

Mephit #2 is currently entangled in a sheet web.

The slitherweb has taken 16 points of damage.

Johten has taken 4 points of damage.
Vandersrike has taken 5 points of damage.

It is currently Vandersrike's turn.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Vandersrike does his best to hide himself with the aid of the mists that still swirl about, and does a pretty good job of it. Uluwasi and the other hob nearest to the kobold seem still to know he's there, but if they hadn't been looking right at him, they probably wouldn't be able to pick him out of the fog.

Meanwhile, Henrik waits for someone else to get hurt.

Mbali doesn't wait; she darts into the billowing mists after the slitherweb, and a moment later you can all hear her (but not see her) shout in frustration, "Damned fog! I cannot see it well enough to put my spear into it! This way!"

Evrinel doesn't have to be told twice, and tears off in the same general direction. An instant later, the slitherweb's screech of agony suggests that the monk's fist or foot has connected with its slimy flesh.

Kakaka, now freed of webbing and with his spear in hand, also makes his way into the fog, undoubtedly interested in some payback. His frustrated curses in Goblin suggest that the mists have hindered his aim, as well. The other hobs hang back, less eager to run headlong through the fog than their comrade. And of course, Fanyana is blind and can really only cling to Horace's back and hope nothing tries to eat him.

Round 5
Uluwasi, similarly to the lower-ranking hobgoblins, remains steadfastly in place, calling, "Hold your positions, embis. Make noise so the chaka can find her way back to us."

The slitherweb, once again, scuttles away through the mists; if its appetite for battle wasn't sated before, Evrinel's parting shot must have done the job.

Victory is yours.

OOC
Gray areas are obscured by fog. Obscured areas grant total concealment. All other squares grant 20% concealment versus attacks from adjacent squares, and total concealment from squares further away than that.

Initiative
21b - Uluwasi - Gray 7
17 - Slitherweb - White
15a - Vexandi - Blue 6
15b - Mephits - Yellow 1&2
15c - Rasnak - Blue 3
15d - Johten - Blue 1
11a - Leland - Blue 7
11b - Raksha - Black 1
9a - Vandersrike - Blue 5
9b - Henrik - Blue 4
7 - Mbali - Gray 1
5 - Evrinel - Blue 2
2a - Other Hobs - Gray 2-6
2b - Horace the Mule and Fanyana - Large Black

Uluwasi is sickened for the next 6 rounds.
Hob 2 is sickened for the next 6 rounds.
Rasnak is sickened for the next 6 rounds.
Johten is sickened for the next 6 rounds.
Raksha is sickened for the next 6 rounds.

Mephit #2 is currently entangled in a sheet web.

The slitherweb has taken 22 points of damage.

Johten has taken 4 points of damage.
Vandersrike has taken 5 points of damage.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Mbali, Evrinel and Kakaka make their way back to the rest of the expedition after a minute, and after a couple of minutes, the mephits Vexandi called manage to get loose from the webbing that caught one of them above you. There's no further sign of the creature that attacked you, leading you to think that it must have decided it's had enough.

The mephits land next to Vexandi, and one of them, still trailing a couple of tufts of stubborn webbing, asks, "Would you please send us back, mortal? We can't fly freely here because of this . . . whatever it is. And the fog doesn't help much."

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

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

Vex nods and dismisses them.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

After a minute, you get back into formation, and have a sort of roll call to make sure that you still have everybody you started with. Thus reassured, you get moving again, and stop almost immediately when Mbali and Johten walk into more webbing.

Mercifully, the creature responsible for them still seems lacking in appetite for battle, and you soon pull the two loose and cut down the webbing. Before long, you feel the road start to climb the next ridge. You continue along for another couple of hours without further incident, and at length, the fog begins to lift.

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

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