Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

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Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Malazek on Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:47 pm

The characters are re-united, a week later, at the Jolly Toad. It's lacquered wooden interior, its many impressive antlers, it's chandeliers and field-stone fireplace ... it's beginning to feel like home. You're even on a first name basis with the inn’s regular performers. Today, it's the drummer: Solon, the Serpentcoil Sage.
 
It's still morning, but the common room is full of patrons, anyway; some are regulars, some are travelers passing through. 
 
On today's menu ...
 
JOLLY TOAD MENU
Endless Stew (Kept Simmering 30 Years) … 5 cp
Aunt Polly’s Pudding … 1 sp
Vegetable Broth … 3 cp
Rump Steak with Mushrooms … 5 sp
Meat Pie ... 1 sp
Simple Bread & Cheese … 1 sp
Fancy Cheese Plate … 1 gp
Chicory ... 1 cp
Brown Ale … 4 cp
Flaming Schnapps (Pear & Berry Brandy) … 1 gp
 
JOLLY TOAD ROOMS
Private Meeting Room (One Hour) … 5 sp
Private Room … 15 sp
Private Suite … 4 gp
Sleeping Space on Floor … 1 cp
Sleeping Space near the Fire … 5 cp
 
JOLLY TOAD AMENITIES
Bath (Cold) … 2 cp
Bath (Hot) … 5 cp
Chamber Pot (Loan of) … 2 cp
Stabling (with Grooming and Feed) … 2 sp
Laundry Service … 3 cp per article
Garment Repair … Varies
 
The "troubleshooter" that Jeremiah recruited during the week is here with you. His name is Gumphrey, but most people call him "Shadow Man." (Actually, they don't ... but he keeps trying to get them to). He's a rather plain-looking fellow, with mousy brown hair and just a handful of freckles around his nose. He comes equipped with leather armor, a dagger, a high-quality bow, arrows, a climbers' kit, a bedroll, a water-skin, a rope and grappling hook, thieves' tools, a trio of potions, and a few other items.
 
During the week, Jeremiah got to know him pretty well ... and determined he's pretty much on the up and up. He has a particular skill set that doesn't lend itself well to many other jobs (not legitimate ones, anyway). And he's willing and eager to get in there and get the job done.
 
"This is great!" he says, to Jeremiah. "I was HOPING for a tavern brunch, before we hit the road." He sits down and orders both the Rump Steak and Aunt Polly’s Pudding, flipping a gold coin toward Laci. "Is this everyone?" he asks, nodding toward whoever is already here.
 
OOC: We'll finish up the downtime in Adv #1 while we get Adv #2 started. Go ahead and make your re-entrances. Feel free to make whatever last minute posts you need to in order to fully utilize your week of downtime. Once the party hits the road, however, we'll close the door on Adventure #1.

OOC: Also, are you headed back to the giants' lair? Or to the ruins Stephen wanted to visit (the ones on Maius's map)? Either or both is fine, in any order. (A simple vote will suffice; if there is a tie, "Shadow Man" will cast the tie-breaking vote).
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Glitz on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:23 pm

"Tavern brunch, eh?" Elodie says, pulling up a chair across from Gumphrey and Jeremiah. "Sounds like a plan. Can I get some bread and cheese, and chicory, please, Laci?"

To Jeremiah, she says, "Where do you think we should head to, next? I am personally voting for the spot that Stephen was talking about...we cleared out that cave before we left, so unless Maius or Talmut found out something interesting this week..."
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Malazek on Tue Jul 23, 2013 6:24 pm

OOC: After being without power for a few days, Talmut is still without internet. He may not be posting until he's back online.
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Swifthand on Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:19 pm

Malazek wrote:OOC: After being without power for a few days, Talmut is still without internet. He may not be posting until he's back online.

 Talmut joins the others in the common room, pulling up a chair next to Elodie.  "Well met, Gumphry.  I am Talmut-Xispur."

With a motion, foreigner attempts to get Laci's attention. "I will have mug of chickory as well, and a helping of meat pie, please."

"I agree - Stephen's ruins.  It has been the goal that has, thus far, eluded us."

Waiting for his order, Talmut sizes up the newcomer, lighting his pipe as he does so.
 


HP: 7/19 AC: 12 (16 M.A) Fort: +2, Ref: +3, Wil: +3 Init: +2 M.W. Quarterstaff: +0Atk 1d6-2
BAB: 1 Mov: 6
CMB: -1 | CMD: 11
Per: +0Spell Save DC=Spell Level+15, 17 Conj.
Spells Learned - 0: Detect Magic, Light, Mage Hand, Read Magic; 1st: Grease, Obscuring Mist, Summon Monster 1, Summon Monster 1; 2nd: Summon Monster 2, Summon Monster 2, Web
Bonded Object - The Staff of Nu'll
Magic Items - Pearl of Jacobany, Pearl of Jacobany
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Alpha Omega on Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:43 am

Also smoking his pipe, Jeremiah responds....

"Doesn't matter much to me. It seems we have replaced the Ogre threat, however, with Giants. I'm afraid we left that area a little more dangerous than we found it. If we are not going back to rid the area of the threats we should at least let travelers know, maybe on the adventurers guild bulletin board or somewhere else that is commonly seen."

"Laci, I'll have what Gumphrey is having..."

 

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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Glitz on Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:35 pm

"That's not a bad idea, Jeremiah. Although, eventually we'll be able to deal with those giants and rid the area of the threat permanently!" Elodie smacks the table in front of her for emphasis. "And then they'll put our names up on a banner, and there will be a parade, and parties...with booze and hookers, of course." Elodie scowls slightly, still a little sore about being the only one to wind up drunk at the inn the first night.

Noticing the one empty spot left at the table, she looks around and hollers for Maius. "MAIUS! If you don't hurry up, you won't get breakfast before we leave!"
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Alpha Omega on Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:15 pm

"That's fine I'm sure we could eliminate them at some point, I was just trying to save lives in the mean time."

Picking up on the scowl, Jeremiah replies...

"Not only did I get drunk, I slept with two hookers. I just didn't feel the need to run around naked..."

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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  macksgarageusa on Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:34 pm

Maius casually enters the room and pulls up a chair with his comrades "How's your head today, ma'am? He motions toward Elodie with a sly smile on his face. "Discretion it seems, comes from experience. Ha-ha-haha."
He eyes the newcomer up quickly, then introduces himself "Gumphrey is it? Pleased to meet you, I am Sir Maius the Confounder, but you can call me Maius. As no one ever calls me Sir!"
"I caught just the end of your discussion about where to go next. I don't personally want to head back to the giant lair, yet. But I do agree that we should make it known what we found." He pulls the crude map Stephen drew from his pack and opens it on the table.
Malazek wrote:Map- Stephen draws for Maius a crude map of the the forest trails Randal liked to use. He includes the hunting lodge Randal mentioned, as well as the ruined city on the northwestern end of the valley, but the focus of his map are two sets of ruins on the eastern side. "These ones," he explains, pointing at the southernmost ruins to the east, "have been picked pretty clean, but that's where my Uncle always take people. They're safe. These ones, though," pointing to the northeastern ruins, "might still have some secrets left. Maybe. This is where I was going to take us."
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Glitz on Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:24 pm

Attempting to maintain some dignity, Elodie nods stiffly to Maius. "My head's fine, thanks. I could drink like that every night if I wanted to."

Helping to hold the map open on the table so that everyone can look at it, Elodie says, "So, we're heading to the ruins to the northeast? I'm packed and ready to go, if everyone else is!"
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Malazek on Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:15 pm

Laci quickly brings over two rump steaks with mushrooms, two bowls of pudding, a plate of bread and cheese, a savory meat pie, and three mugs of chicory. "Can I get anybody anything else?"

While Talmut sizes up the newcomer, the Confounder and the Shadow Man make their introductions to one another. "Well met, Sir" Gumphrey says. "It's a honor to be in your service."

As the party eats, it seems they are all in agreement; they will head to the ruins Stephen wanted to see, and save the giants' lair for later (possibly leaving a warning for others at the AG bulletin board). As they look at the map and discuss the best route to get there, it becomes apparent that only half of the party has mounts. Earlier in the week, Jeremiah had suggested buying horses, but currently only Elodie and Talmut are equipped to ride. "I can borrow my cousin's horse," Gumphrey says. "It'll just take a few minutes."

When he finishes his meal, Gumphrey gets up to go. "I'll be right back. Then, I'm ready to go whenever you are."

He returns before anybody else has finished their breakfast. "He wasn't in. So, I left him a note. We ready to ride?"


OOC: Maius, don't forget to level up.


OOC: Is anybody else planning to buy a horse? If you do, don't forget to buy a saddle. Some saddlebags and feed would be wise, as well.
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Swifthand on Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:14 pm

 Talmut tugs on his beard and takes a long draw on his pipe.  "I am ready to depart as well.  Take care of any last minute preparations - Elodie and I can wait for you here, enjoying the music.  As for the giant warning, I only caution that there are other adventuring parties that seem to be vying for status in Umberfall.  I would not want our find trounced over by some overzealous recruits."
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Alpha Omega on Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:33 am

As Jeremiah finishes up, he pays for breakfast then heads to the stables. When he arrives he looks over the selection available...

OOC: Are there any heavy horses that are combat trained or just light horses?


GM Edit: OOC: There are light and heavy, combat trained and not combat trained. Umbrafall is a big enough settlement that any common mundane item worth less than 4400 gold is always available. (Expensive or unusual items will require more leg work).

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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Alpha Omega on Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:20 pm

Jeremiah walks over to the stable master,  "How much for the big one there.."

then adds  "I need one that doesn't frighten easily and I'll require a saddle as well.."

 OOC: I will also buy 5 saddle bags and a week of feed...

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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Malazek on Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:41 am

When Jeremiah returns atop a new horse, the party is ready to go. Since Maius doesn't have a steed, Gumphrey allows him to ride double on the back of his (OOC: Nuts-to-butts, as it were). And without further ado, they are off on another adventure.

Just as it was the first time you rode along this road, the sun is high in the sky. The shadows of the Angers are at their shortest, as the sun illuminates the long road before you. The sky is overcast, but it hasn't started raining yet and the air is still comfortably warm.

You pass many small cottages and quaint farms before the Timberwyld comes into view. The distant trees beckon you, like old acquaintances you haven't seen for some time.  The North Road becomes rougher and rougher, until finally it is little more than a wide dirt path. Each smaller trail that crosses your path reminds you of Randall and the way he explained the local sites. Of course, now, you know where some of these paths lead, even though you haven't yet seen the sites for yourself.

The lone trees become thickets and the thickets grow thicker, until finally you've entered the Timberwyld proper. Moss and short grasses dominating the ground underneath, as the thick, dense canopy blocks most of the sunlight.

After an hour or so, you come across a half-dozen stumps or so, left behind by some woodcutter. A small stream runs slowly across the trail, with a tiny wooden bridge offering safe passage across. Nearby, a dead tree seems to have fallen across the stream, as well. You recognize the spot as the very location where you fought your very first ogre: "Pa." This is also the same spot where Randal Woods met his death.

"Can we take a short break?" Gumphrey says. "I need to stretch my legs; Ol' Bekkie here isn't cooperating the way she used to. I don't think riding her double for so long is helping much, either. I'll refill my water-skin while we're here."

As long as no one objects, the Shadow Man climbs downs from his steed and ties her to a nearby tree trunk. Taking his water-skin from his belt, he heads toward the tiny stream.
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Glitz on Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:10 pm

"Wait!" Elodie calls as Gumphrey starts to dismount. "Stretch your legs if you must, but last time we passed by this very spot, we lost a member of our party. We should be extra cautious." 

Perception check to see if there's anything lurking nearby (+9 to Perception)

If it seems safe, Elodie will give Gumphrey the go-ahead, and dismount quickly to refill her waterskin, as well. If it doesn't seem safe, she will motion for the group to be quiet and for Gumphrey to stay on the horse.
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Malazek on Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:13 pm

Elodie glances around the woods, looking and listening for any sign of trouble. After a few moments, she determines there is no obvious danger and that it is "probably" safe enough to stop here for a few minutes.
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Glitz on Sat Jul 27, 2013 12:28 pm

Feeling relatively safe, Elodie dismounts and refills her waterskin, leading Egan to the stream with her in case he is thirsty.
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  macksgarageusa on Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:37 pm

If its safe, Maius will dismount the horse as well. When he hits the ground he gives his plums a good tug to remove them from whence they came. He mumbles, "Shoulda got my own horse."
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Alpha Omega on Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:22 pm

Jeremiah will also dismount and lead his horse to the river.

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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Malazek on Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:56 pm

After watering the horses, the party remounts and heads off on their way ... away from the spot where their first adventure started and the location of Randal's untimely death. The gray clouds overhead finally break and a torrent of cold, heavy rain falls upon the party.

A few hours later and soaking wet, the rain stops as they reach the spot on Stephen's map ... and find a ruined settlement of some sort. The remains of some ancient keep rest on the hill overhead and what remains of the village or town or whatever is sprawled out before you. Nestled in the hills, with the mountains looming in the background, several trees have sprung up around these ominous ruins. Some of the ancient walls are still standing, but most have crumbled long ago. In many places the stone floors can still be seen, even if just barely, but weeds and grasses have sprouted up through the grout. Rubble and rock surrounds the floors and walls, relics of a once great civilization, now lying in the grass like discarded debris.

As the party rides up, Gumphrey slows his ornery steed and dismounts. "Well, shall we have a look?

SR Arrival photo StephensRuinsArrival_zpsbb49afaa.png

OOC: On the map, the black walls are close to full height while the dark gray walls are less complete (easier to climb over). The lighter gray is the remains of the old foundations; you can walk over the easily enough. As before, you cannot pass through the trunk of a tree (under the foliage is fine). The darker green contour lines mark heights of 10 and 20 feet up the surrounding hills (it's gradual rise, though, so you can easily climb it easily (DC 0) at 1/4 speed. (The remains of stairs at U7 and U20 can be walked up without climbing).

OOC: Also, the ruins continue off the map, mostly to the north and south. Coming from the west, you rode past sparser ruins to get here ... if the ruins continue further east, that remains to be seen.
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Glitz on Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:45 pm

Elodie gazes at the ruins around them, wondering who lived in these buildings and what life was like for them before the area was abandoned. She listens carefully as she looks around, attempting to determine if they are alone. 

Perception check to see if there are other creatures nearby, +9 to Perception

If she doesn't detect anything, she will tell the group that they appear to be alone and suggest that they head towards the building that appears to be the most intact, the building to the northeast of them.
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Swifthand on Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:35 am

"Sounds good.", says the Conjuror, nodding and then dismounting after finding a suitable place to tie up his horse.

Talmut would like to make an Engineering roll (+11) once we move to a structure to look for evidence of hidden basements/passages.
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  macksgarageusa on Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:27 am

Maius dismounts the horse, happy to be on his own two feet. "I'm good with searching around a bit. Let me see if I recognize any of this from my studies."

Knowledge(History): +8
Knowledge(Geography): +8
Knowledge(Local): +10
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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Alpha Omega on Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:19 pm

Jeremiah will dismount his horse as well.

OOC: What time of day is it now and how long have we been riding?

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Re: Adventure #2 - The Shadow Man

Post  Malazek on Mon Jul 29, 2013 6:05 pm

OOC: It is maybe an hour past noon ... you rode maybe four or five hours to get here.

As Egan comes to a stop, Elodie puts her ears to the wind and her eyes to ruins ... but the only sounds she hears are the angry howl of the wind and the fleeting echo of horse-hooves off the nearby mountains. She takes a moment longer to survey the area. Only then does she hear the briefest of yips upon the wind ...coming from her left. Turning in her saddle, she spies the fur-covered form of several small wolves, playing in the nearby ruins. One older and larger wolf approaches just a few feet before howling for the others to follow. The entire pack (maybe eight or nine wolves) heads off, away from the party.

The party dismounts and then heads toward the largest structure, as suggested. Glancing around, Maius tries to recall the great many settlements he read about this past week. Ruins such as this can be found all over the Umbrafall region, so narrowing it down to a specific one, at this point, would be very difficult. Nonetheless, he mildly suspects this may be the Scopulus Arx (which roughly translates as either "Crag Fortress" or "Hazardous Keep") ... but it could also be one of several other lost August towns. (For that matter, it might not even be August in origin. Many of the ruins in this part of world pre-date the Empire, and the presence of August-style brickwork doesn't preclude that possibility, as the Empire frequently built over the top of older settlements). He simply needs more to go on.

With wolves at their backs, the adventurers decide it would be best to lead the horses to the keep. Tying them to a tree would be tantamount to feeding them to the wolves.

The hill leading up to the highest structure is too steep for the horses to climb, at least while mounted. So, the party is forced to lead their mounts to higher ground. It takes quite a bit of pulling and prodding to get the horses up the slopes, but eventually you manage to.

Once Talmut is within those ruins, he begins to study the architecture ... looking for some hidden entrance or secret way in. After several minutes, he thinks he has found something ... two somethings, actually. Talmut locates what he believes are two trap-door entrances to whatever sub-levels once sat under this keep. Both were cleverly disguised to look like rest of the floor, but with ceramic murals eroded away, the inset stone slabs are clearly visible to the trained eye (or rather, the groves that hold the slaps in place are). Once the party gets the cover pried from his housing, the chute should be readily accessible ... hopefully, some sort of stairs or ladder is still intact.

OOC: The red squares indicate the slabs in question.

Before they can get to work, they notice the wolves have returned to their den. For now, it seems they are content to avoid contact with humans.

SR Keep photo StephensRuinsattheKeep_zps1ea3fb5d.png
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