Post by ProfGremlin on Nov 2, 2010 22:53:40 GMT -5
Bitsa munches on a piece of bacon and looks up at Sheriff Cogburn when Herman is shown in. Once the hobb understands Herman's purpose he looks around at the others and sighs inwardly. I hate to put the cosh on the boys hopes...
Bitsa speaks up, "Meanin' no disrespect sir, I ain't never taken a tenderfoot on a caper such as this an' I ain't all that sanguine about it now. If he spooks at the wrong moment it could mean all our hides." Finished with the bacon, the hobb selects the knobby end of a loaf and sets about gnawin' on it.
Later, on the trail...
The hobb sends his glance along both trails as dust floats in the air from the passing of Sheriff Cogburn's wagon. The rattle of the buckboard and jingle of the horses tack fade in the distance as the dust dissipates. Over the quiet murmur of the stream not to far off, Bitsa looks at the others, "I'm not so sure I want to stand on Salazar's front porch an' ring the bell. What d'you lot think?"
I'll have the deep-fried battered pixie with balrog dipping sauce and a Hobgoblin ale.
"Hay Hobbit, Agreed. Let's try to stay under cover, though, so that we are not detected too soon..." Owynn answers. Not knowing the fighting value of his companions, he is not too keen to hasten the first encounter. "I will take the lead with Tenkar. The boy should take the rear with the wizard." That said he looks at the others, especially Aonghasan, awaiting their reaction.
"Eh, I would have preferred the direct 'beat them to bits' approach, but the boy should probably be eased into the sight of blood and death... heh heh". Tenkar settles into his spot in the front with Owynn.
Post by monstermike on Nov 4, 2010 13:22:54 GMT -5
After a short strategy discussion, the group decides that the fortress, being the nature of such things, is probably well guarded. None of you feel too comfortable in plain view of the structure, but as you continue north along the road, you find that that the trees and terrain quickly shield you from view.
The road continues its gradual climb as it wraps around the north side of the mountain. It is a fair spring day, with a comfortably cool temperature and a light breeze. You continue along the road for about two miles to a point nearly northwest of the mountain. A footpath branches from the road that appears to lead to the western slopes of the mountain, and the road continues in a northwesterly direction, directly away from the mountain.
Herman, in his own private mind, rather favors continuing on the road away from the mountain and not stopping. The rest of you see that the footpath points in the direction you want to go and decide for that option.
[OOC: Unless anyone really wants to object. If you continue on the road away from the mountain, the adventure will take a really stunning departure from what I have prepared, starting with you getting hopelessly lost, and ultimately ending in cannibalism.]
The trail leading south from the road gradually begins to climb up the lower reaches of the western face of the mountain as it travels southward. You all are keeping your eyes peeled for anything hostile - bandits, wild animals, or unknown terrors from the mines, but nothing appears to disturb your hike. After about two miles, the trail reaches its apex about halfway up the southwestern face of the mountain and appears to continue on down the southern slope and off to the east.
You pause for a moment to rest and drink some water. As you rest, you hear the scream of a hawk from higher up the mountain. Bitsa, Owynn, and 'Nasan all look up and notice what might just be the opening to a cave, partly obscured by an outcropping of rock on one side and some low scrub on the other. It's hard to tell from here, and it may just be the light playing tricks on your eyes. Bitsa pulls out his prized spyglass and takes a look.
"No, it's not a shadow. There's definitely an overhang of rock and an opening into the mountain up there," he reports to the others.
It looks like a fairly strenuous climb up to the cave - probably a quarter of a mile (400m) with about a 300 foot (91 m) gain in elevation. There is no trail, and it looks like a mix of rough and easy going to get there.
Discuss and post your moves by noon on Nov. 6. Game time: 4/4 10:30
Owynn considers the position of the opening and the way to go there. After weighting different options, he proposes: "I should probably go there do some scouting. Tenkar or Panagiotis, you could go with me, if you wish -- but not both! The others should follow us at a distance, and try to stay under cover to either assist us at range if needed, or rush to our help if we find something in there. What do you think?" Turning to Bitsa: "Do you see any guard or sentry around the opening from here?"
Post by ProfGremlin on Nov 6, 2010 15:01:24 GMT -5
Training his spyglass on the cave opening again Bitsa looks a little closer and replies to Owynn, "No, at least nothing apparent. If there are guards and they're smart they'll stay back in the shadows, though." The hobb looks around and examines the route up the hillside to the cave. He makes his decision and voices it, "I'll agree with Owynn, he and Pan can head up first. I'll stay here and keep a lookout," he gestures with the spyglass, "Once they've reached the cave I'll head up and someone up there can keep lookout."
I'll have the deep-fried battered pixie with balrog dipping sauce and a Hobgoblin ale.
Post by monstermike on Nov 6, 2010 16:21:15 GMT -5
The party of adventurers spends a few moments planning strategy. Owynn and Pan will hike up to the cave and scout for danger, with 'Nasan, Herman, and Tenkar following behind them but within crossbow range. Bitsa will stay behind and keep a lookout. Once Owynn and Pan are up to the cave, Bitsa will begin climbing up.
'Nasan does a low level check for any magical energy in the area but finds none, [6 AP INT].
Bitsa spends some time looking at and around the cave with his spyglass, then up and down the route to the cave. For good measure he also checks both ways along the footpath, but they seem to be all alone on the mountainside.
Owynn and Pan climb up the mountainside, cautiously approaching the cave. Climbing the talus pile, Pan skips nimbly from rock to rock, his tail giving a joyful shake occasionally. Owynn takes a more pedestrian approach and uses his hands to aid his climb over the talus.
In a few minutes, the two of them are near the mouth of the cave. While 'Nasan, Herman, and Tenkar continue to climb, and Bitsa keeps lookout from the footpath, Owynn and Pan examine the outside of the cave entrance.
The opening is about 35 feet wide and around four feet high, and looks almost like a big frowning mouth in the hillside. There are no footprints, no litter, and no signs of recent activity around the area. Peering inside, they can see 15 or 20 feet into the cave by the ambient light. The ceiling seems to be higher beyond the low brow of the opening, and the cave seems to narrow somewhat as it goes deeper in. The floor rises slightly; a person walking into the cave would be walking up a slight incline. Beyond this, they see nothing unusual and hear nothing from within the cave.
Soon, since nothing seems to be happening at the cave mouth, Tenkar, 'Nasan, and Herman arrive to join Owynn and Pan. A few minutes later, Bitsa joins the rest of the group.
Your move due by noon, Monday, Nov. 8. (Enter the cave? Who? How? Precautions and preparations?)
Owynn turns to Bitsa and whispers: "Why don't you go ahead and scout around a little? We better make sure not to attract too much attention while lighting a lantern..." He then unsheathed his sword and wears his shield, and makes a sign to Panagiotis and Tenkar to do the same.
Post by ProfGremlin on Nov 7, 2010 21:33:03 GMT -5
Bitsa nods to Owynn and removes his pack. Setting the pack down he draws his sax and moves further into the cave. The hobb stretches his senses to the max scenting the dry dust and cold stone. His eyes pierce the gloom to discern the shift of shadows as they lay against the walls. Bitsa feels the tension in his calves as he steps carefully up the slight incline of the cave his sandals quiet on the floor. Placing his hand against the nearest wall the hobb uses that to guide himself slowly and carefully as he penetrates further into the shadows.
OOC: Roguery roll for scouting the cave: 2+4+22(Luk)=28
Before anyone enters the cave, Aonghasan turns to face the party and bows with a flamboyant flourish. Then, holding his staff aloft, he attempts to rally and inspire his companions before entering the cave:
"Before we go further, there is something you must know! Although I may appear to be only the handsomest, most dashing, magnificent, noble, graceful and arresting creature alive, you will see another side of me which will become plain when we run into trouble ahead, as we undoubtably will.
"Not only am I the most learned loremaster of the civilized nations, I have delved so deeply into arcane wisdom, that I have lain hold of awesome eldritch powers beyond the comprehension of mere mortals.
"You delvers, whose gentle hearts may fear even the smallest, most monstrous vermin that creeps upon the floor, may now both quake and tremble with fear, when my staff, wroth with the wildest arcane power doth roar.
"Know you this: my magic may appear both fell and fearsome, but do not be afrighted! If you follow the light of my staff and take courage in the wondrous power that I command, we will be victorious!
"If the prospect of witnessing earth-shattering cosmic power is too disturbing for your mortal minds, I do not blame you-- you may retreat to the safety of Dead End if you wish. If, however, you still want me as your leader, knowing the dread power that I command, I shall not refuse you."
- SR on Charisma to Inspire Courage, Determination, and Morale: 3 + 2 + 20 = 25 [Dice log:  10-11-08 08:50:11 CST]
"You should also know this," continues Aonghasan. "Long ago, a hero named Tallinoor succeeded in ridding Rag Mountain of trolls, but he died in the attempt. I expect we may discover the grisly details of that legend on the path ahead.
"What's more: if this Salazar is who I think he is, our path will be riddled with traps and puzzles that draw upon his knowledge of alchemy, metallurgy, demonology, engineering, chess, and recreational mathematics. Steel yourselves."
Finally, Aonghasan turns to face the cave, and speaks in a quiet but imposing voice: "Fall back, dark powers!" Touching the dragon-claw clasp of his cloak with his left hand, and holding his staff aloft in his right, he utters the incantation for Dura-spell Battery, charging the clasp with 10 WZ [cost 5+10 WZ]:
- SR on IQ to cast Dura-spell Battery: 3 + 5 + 20 = 28 [Dice log:  10-11-08 09:08:19 CST]
Edit: Corrected verb typo.
Last Edit: Nov 8, 2010 10:12:09 GMT -5 by gaptooth