Chapter 1: Harvest (OOC)

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Obsidian_Spoon
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Is the lighting decent enough to provide vision for a posse of grigs if Vex called them to scout the trail?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

No, sorry. And even if it were, they don't have good characteristics for tracking. No Track feat, and poor modifiers for the relevant skill checks.

The DC for the trail is higher than 10, which means that characters who lack the feat can still use Survival and Search to detect individual traces of a creature's passage through an area (which is how Vex found something).

You have NPC resources on hand who can handle tracking (Mbali and Uluwasi both have ranger levels).

The real challenge is that you have a casualty who is now a mobility problem. Fanyana can only move at half speed, and his blindness imposes some gnarly penalties to most Str and Dex-based skills. He'll be a liability if you take him with you, but if you leave him behind, he's a sitting duck.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Rolls.

I rolled 1d20+11, the result is 5, 11 = 16.
I rolled 1d20+4, the result is 9, 4 = 13.
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 10, 3 = 13.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Knowledge (nature):
Vexandi thinks that Sibusiso's odd behavior certainly sounds like the kind of thing that a fey might cause, although he thinks it's a little odd that one should be hunting where there is no clear territorial basis for its attacks. This cavern was inhabited until fairly recently, and the only spiritual activity he's detected is that haunting in what's left of the kobolds' old chapel. But if he could figure out a way to put that aside, then really this sounds like exactly the kind of thing that a fey would do—blinding one mortal and luring another off into the wilderness before anyone can respond is consistent with how they fight.

That still wouldn't explain why Fanyana was raving about a beautiful woman with snaky tentacles instead of arms, though. Vex is stumped.

Lore:
As Rasnak examines Fanyana's eyes (and determines that there's nothing he can do for the hob), he also listens to the blinded sentry's description of what happened outside. When Uluwasi asks what could have blinded Fanyana and induced Sibusiso to wander into the woods, the little kobold immediately concludes that it's a bothrian. They're relatively uncommon in these parts, but not unknown, and Rasnak is aware that some of them can suppress the will of individuals they've chosen as prey.

Since bothrians are grotesque crossbreeds of mollusk and insect stock with various other creatures, Rasnak doesn't feel as if he can guess exactly what lurks in the forest tonight. Whatever it is, it's got tentacles; bothrians always come across as a more-or-less recognizable hybrid of an octopus or assassin vine with some other creature.

He suspects that if Sibusiso is dead already, then the best possible outcome already has been achieved. Some bothrians . . . play . . . with their food.

Knowledge (nature):
Leland also concludes that he can't do anything for Fanyana. The hob's eyes are physically intact—in fact, the pupils dilate and contract normally when exposed to light. Fanyana ought to be able to see, but obviously can't.

He's heard about these symptoms in those who've gotten on the bad side of a nymph; they are reputed to be so striking in appearance that the mere sight of an angry nymph can destroy a mortal's vision. But this attack doesn't make sense for most nymphs; they're territorial but shy, and it seems extremely out of character for a nymph to attack someone who hasn't cornered it or placed its home in danger. That clearly cannot be the situation here, since the cavern was already settled by mortals and had then become deserted after the deaths of Rasnak's clan.

Then there's the matter of Sibusiso's disappearance. It isn't unheard of for them to take mortals as lovers, but Sibusiso was no beauty. And it'd hardly make sense for her to blind someone who is clearly friends with her prospective mate, although Leland supposes that an evil nymph, such as those that associate with the Unseelie Court, might not care.

But then again, Leland also supposes that an Unseelie nymph may take a humanoid as food. They're nasty creatures, and a hungry one can be nastily indiscriminate about the source of its meat.

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

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

This is the exact shit Rory was talking about when Joe got her eaten by ghouls. Maybe he's working with the enemy?

"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

It's a very real possibility. If Rory were alive, she'd likely have known what's going on here. It's pretty convenient that she's not.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Who, if anyone, is going with the hobs?

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

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Vandersrike goes with the hobs.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Henrik goes with the hobs.

Darker

With more people going than staying, Rasnak realizes that he's perhaps safer hiding among the crowd than sitting in the cave alone. He will also reluctantly go -- after trying to talk them all out of it, of course.

Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

Vex is going.

Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

Leland will go. Assuming Horace is with us, he offers to Sibusiso to walk with Horace and keep a hand on the luggage so that he doesn't have to stay behind alone.

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Joe will go, though he pities poor Fanyana having to stay behind, blind and alone.

Cronono
Cronono's picture

Vandersrike will search the area, looking for evidence or a tasty and as yet unconsumed morsel.

Searching!
I rolled 1d20+9, the result is 15, 9 = 24.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

No signs of Sibusiso's cock and balls. Vandersrike even looks overhead in case they've been hung from a tree, but no dice. His twig and berries are gone without a trace.

In the process of looking around, he does notice that Sibusiso's armor is entirely intact. No signs of damage, and it looks like it was removed by being unlaced and pulled off in the correct fashion.

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

Darker

Rasnak uses his lore to see if he knows what might have done this based on the description and the injuries.

Lore
I rolled 1d20+6, the result is 17, 6 = 23.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

It's a bothrian. There are lots of different kinds, and they're not natural. The popular theory is that some wizard in the more isolated parts of Enteria's temperate rainforests must have created them, either by accident or as some kind of perverse experiment. Rasnak thinks that he probably doesn't really want to see one in person, since they're rumored to be crossbreeds that include several species at a time: a touch of mollusk and a smidge of insect or arachnid, usually swirled together with some unfortunate mammal or avian. From Fanyana's testimony, it sounds like this one included something basically shaped like a humanoid female.

Anyway, Rasnak's impression of them is that most are infertile in much the same way as a mule or other hybrid. That's unquestionably a good thing. Nevertheless, some of them have demonstrated the ability to reproduce, and Sibusiso's injuries suggest that the one that killed him retained some kind of interest in procreation. Rasnak has no way of knowing for sure whether he's looking at the aftermath of a feeding, a mating, or both.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Darker wrote:
a mix up of partsssss

A downstairs mix up.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I'm traveling starting Thursday 10/5/2017, around noon-ish. Will be back on the evening of Sunday, 10/8/2017. I don't expect to be updating this campaign during the time I'm gone.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Henrik is developing into a favorite of mine.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

To be clear... Johten is 100% down for dropping the ol' hammer should a black dragon want a little sump'n sump'n.

Dafyd
Dafyd's picture

No sloppy salmonella sex for Leland.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Talanall wrote:

Henrik is developing into a favorite of mine.

I'm glad you approve. I was afraid that he might be inappropriate as things get increasingly bleak and depressing.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

It's totally inappropriate, which is what makes it good.

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

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Okay, let's have a round of Listen checks from everybody, please. Also, is anyone going to volunteer to take the lead in this murk? Any In Character preferences about your marching order? Mbali and Uluwasi are pretty lax about such things.

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

Darker

Rasnak gets nowhere near the front... preferably, he stays in the middle, surrounded by bigger, more combat-ready troops.

Also, listening

listen
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 3, 2 = 5.
Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

What do my elf ears hear?

Listen
I rolled 1d20+7, the result is 2, 7 = 9.
Obsidian_Spoon
Obsidian_Spoon's picture

....not much, it seems.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Dwarven hearing is superior to elven.

Listen
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 12, 3 = 15.
deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Dwarven hearing is superior to elven.

Listen
I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 16, 3 = 19.
deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Double-post. The 15 came first. I'll let someone else delete if it's annoying.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Dafyd's having some issues on his end that prevent him posting here because he's in Greenland at the moment, and the sun's messing up certain parts of his Internet service. But we're in touch via other means, so this is his roll.

I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 12, 3 = 15.

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

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Johten doesn't mind being near the front of the party.

Listen
I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 14, 1 = 15.
Cronono
Cronono's picture

Vandersrike, somewhat obviously, remains near the Holy One.

He can't hear much.
I rolled 1d20+5, the result is 11, 5 = 16.
deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Init (if it matters)

Initiative
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 7, 2 = 9.
Talanall
Talanall's picture

I'm honestly not sure if it does or not.

If all you and the creature/NPC can do is hear one another rustling around in the fog? I mean, I guess that technically this is a surprise round of a sort. I guess. Maybe.

I haven't called for initiative, because although you now know there's something out there, you can't see it and don't really know exactly where it is. So it seems premature to worry about whose turn it is to act.

Right now, the situation is apparently that if you stay on the track, your path is likely to lead pretty close to the source of the noise. On the other hand, this thick fog makes it super easy to get lost; if you leave the path to try to keep your distance from whatever Evrinel has heard splashing around, then you have no landmarks to use to orient yourselves. You may not be able to find the road again.

To clarify the mechanics here, leaving the road without getting lost will require a DC 15 Survival check. That's no big deal as long as you're all convoyed up the way you are at present; under conditions that allow you to take 10 on a Survival check to avoid becoming lost, Mbali and Uluwasi can't possibly fail. For that matter, neither can Vexandi or Leland. As long as you're clumped together and aren't threatened or rushed, there really is no appreciable chance that you'll get lost.

But if something happens to separate some of you from the group, you're going to have to fend for yourselves. And in the current circumstances, the "something" that happens will probably be that a monster jumps out of the fog and tries to eat you. You won't be able to take 10 in that case. Not good.

Even worse, if you become lost, you won't realize it unless you make a DC 20 Survival check. Until you do, you'll wander at random. Eventually you'll get your bearings, but it could take hours, and that's a long time to be wandering alone. Something bad could very well happen to you.

Worst of all, if you get lost here you are in conditions that make it far more likely that your predicament will be aggravated by other factors. The presence of fog, the prevalence of of creeks and streams, and the likelihood that you'd be wandering around in this mess at sunset are all indicators that you could get sucked into the Spirit World.

In all probability you would NOT get lost unless the splashing noises are coming from something that 1) is hostile, 2) knows you're there, and 3) is so frightening that the entire expedition flees in a panic.

But if you do, it could go spectacularly wrong. As a DM, I'm getting a little turned on just thinking about it.

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

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I'm for standing absolutely still until dawn.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

That'd take roughly 15 hours In Character.

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

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

Dwarves are known for their stamina.

Darker

And short stature.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

It blows my mind that many forms of dwarfism that occur in the real world affect bone length but not soft tissue. As a result, Little People are hung just like people without dwarfism; but PROPORTIONALLY that makes them huge. If I had dwarfism, that's how I'd start most conversations.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

I'm certainly never going to look at Peter Dinklage the same way again. So thanks for that, I . . . guess.

For real, is anyone's character going to propose going around? If not, then yeah, I guess we'll need initiative rolls.

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

Darker

Rasnak is for hiding. Is that the same thing?

Talanall
Talanall's picture

Rasnak is always for hiding.

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

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

It can't see us in the fog, so I'm for hiding, too. If we stay still maybe it'll wander off after a few minutes. I think we should at least try that. Then, when it fails, we can all scatter and meet up in the fairy realm.

deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

We can try again.

Talanall
Talanall's picture

May as well roll for Initiative at this point.

I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 6, 1 = 7.
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 19, 2 = 21.
I rolled 1d20+1, the result is 1, 1 = 2.
I rolled 1d20+2, the result is 3, 2 = 5.

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

Darker

Init

I rolled 1d20+3, the result is 18, 3 = 21.
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Johten will do whatever Mbali orders, but he's most in favor of keeping ready while slowly moving forward, the better to (maybe) put some distance between us and what/whoever is making noise. It could be a trash panda. It could be an owlbear. It could be a vengeful spirit in the form of an ever-changing collection of random geometric shapes, interested only in existing outside the window of its estranged father and whispering ominously of all his sins. Johten would rather not find out.

Initiative
I rolled 1d20, the result is 15 = 15.
deadDMwalking
deadDMwalking's picture

I previously rolled a 9.

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