Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thursday, 12 July 1280, Morning (The Trail of the Red Serpent)

(Wednesday Night)

During interrogation Gaven asks one final question of the bandit: "What can you tell us of the pool?"

Zander answers: "It's our water supply." His dry throat seems to suddenly get tight as he thinks about it. "It's very cool and fresh."

Seeing that her interrogation tactics are no longer needed, Alanna brings a water skin to the prisoner and holds it for him, allowing him to drink for the first time since his capture.

Following the interrogation, Gaven says: "I'm not sure if smoking them out is an option, the cavern is large and we aren't sure if there is another exit. We may want to handle this like we did the goblins (charm and lure). I will meditate on this tonight and allow the Light to guide me. Good night, fellows."


(Thursday Morning)

The night passes uneventfully in Alanna's well-guarded camp. At sunrise you share in her troops' morning meal, though Oloc prepares his charm spell before joining the rest of you for breakfast.

As predicted Karnak arrives before you are ready to leave. As you are all getting your gear together, Alanna approaches you. "I hope you've slept and eaten well. No messages from Belloc other than the go-ahead for me and my men to take out the fences while you go after Mackey. My men and I will soon be departing and splitting up to strike all the fences simultaneously tonight. And you now know the way to the bandits' lair, of course. Do you intend to still take the prisoner with you? Or shall I take him back to town?

Gaven speaks up: "I do not think the bandit is worth healing or bringing along. He is too famished to be much use and will just slow us down. Should we send Karnak to inform Filbert that we have intel on the Grey Foxes and that he should wait for us? Do we want to proceed with smoking out the bandits? If so, we likely need more oil."

Duran says: "I agree with Gaven. I don't think this bandit is worth healing. While I do like the idea of smoking the bandits out I fear this may not work and only alert them to our presence. I think we can try to charm them like Gaven suggested but it might also come down to brute strength and the accuracy of our bows."

Chiming in, Varros says:  "Sending Karnak is fine but we will definitely need him to scout out the bandits in the trees. I suggest finishing up the day and sending him after the raid on the bandits. That way we can also send word of our success or failure. I also agree with Gaven that the best approach may be the same one that we used on the goblins. Perhaps luring them into oil and then setting it ablaze may work better than trying to smoke them out. Having to go in after them will somewhat negate the advantage our bows give us."


With a plan decided upon, the party soon set out. The day is warm, sunny, and cheerful as you head east from Alanna's camp toward the forest. You recognize certain landmarks the bandit had mentioned – a rock formation here, a dead tree there.

You encounter no one and nothing of significance on your way – just the odd redwing and the occasional rabbit. As you approach the forest, however, a shadow spills out into the idyllic setting through which you have marched. True to its name, the leaves themselves are so dark in color that they look black from virtually any distance. Only when you are right under them can you see that they are, in fact, just a very dark green.

A very short distance into the forest, you find a tree with the "R.S." runes caved into its trunk, just as the bandit said you would. Nearby, you find a carefully camouflaged trail. The camouflage is so skillful that you doubt you could ever have found it without Zander's instructions.

From this point on, you know you are in bandit territory, and Varros has Karnak scout ahead. The trail – which barely merits the name – winds its way through dense undergrowth, and the going is slow and hot. The July warmth you enjoyed so much on the march is transformed into a furnace beneath the stifling trees of Blackleaf.

About an hour down the trail, Karnak suddenly stops on a branch and quietly caws, twitching his head as if to indicate that he's spotted something up ahead. The location corresponds roughly with that of the bandit hideout provided by Zander. Quickly and quietly slipping into cover, you all peer ahead into the trees.

You hear nothing, and at first you see nothing either, other than a rough, rocky, tree-covered slope. As your eyes focus more intensely, you notice a patch of blackness in the slope ahead, half-obscured by foliage, that might well be a cave entrance.

Scanning the dark trees all around, you spy, a moment later, a booted foot hanging down from a branch about fifteen feet up. Moving your eyes upward, you can just manage to make out a bowman attached to the dangling foot, seated on the branch. He does not seem to have noticed you.


OOC: Actions?

All olive areas on the map above are covered in dense underbrush (slowing movement to half speed), except along the narrow trail. The yellow dot is the archer attached to the dangling boot. The party is the blue square. You are about 100' (+/-) from the archer. I made the scale marker a 70' increment, to match the range bands of your bows.

BTW: You can see the bandit with difficulty. If you choose to shoot at him, he will benefit from cover, but of course so will you if he returns your shooting (i.e., at the moment you and he have identical spotting/cover problems/benefits).


  1. Gaven - cleric

    Gaven whispers, "arrows or spell?"

  2. Duran - Fighter

    Duran quietly asks, "would Karnak be able to knock him from the tree? Or he could at least distract the guard while one of us sneaks up and either shoots him or uses a spell. With the amount of cover he has I would say a spell would work better."

    1. OOC: Sorry Dan, I overlooked the question at the start of your post. Your characters would estimate that distracting would be probable; knocking him down possible (but not probable).

  3. Oloc - Mage

    "I think he is within range of my spell. My only concern is that there are more than one in the trees." Oloc looks at the raven. "Can we get Karnak to fly around to see if there are more?" If there is only the one, Oloc will cast his spell.

    ooc: Sorry guys, I posted on Thursday, but for some reason it's not here? I must have forgotten to publish...

    1. OOC: No worries; could be that or some kind of glitch. Most of the time if they don't appear here, the still appear in my email so I can copy/paste them here, but I don't have anything. But it's no biggie -- it's here now. :)

      OOC: You could definitely ask Karnak to check it out; there is a pretty good chance (but not guaranteed) that he'd spot more sentries if there are any.

    2. OOC: Oh, and you are correct, he is definitely in range of your spell.

  4. OOC: On an unrelated note, how do you guys feel about the posting pace?

    My sense is that in practice we are slowing down a bit. I've had work and life issues that have occasionally delayed me (more and more recently), and others seem to be in a similar situation. Would it be worthwhile to just say that we're going to adopt a slower pace?

    I don't want anyone to get frustrated by feeling that they're having trouble keeping the pace of 1 post every 2 days.

    How would everyone feel about slowing down by half, to a pace of 1 post every 4 days (i.e. after I post, you guys could go ahead and aim to take two days to post, rather than the one day we're aiming for now, and then I'd take two days rather than one to follow up, etc.)?

    My philosophy has always been that regularity, more than speed/frequency, is the vital factor in maintaining game momentum – slow and steady wins the race, as they say.


  5. Varros - Fighter

    OOC; sorry guys, I am on the road now for vacation. Ohio to outer banks is a long drive, lol. I will get a post up tomorrow. as far as posting schedule, personally I am flexible. I have been super busy at work In preperation for vacation, so now I am over the hump so to speak. Maybe we could shoot for every three days?

    1. No problem, Dienekes -- enjoy the Outer Banks.

  6. OOC - As far as posting speed I think that like Bard said regularity more than the frequency is the important thing. Sometimes I surprise myself with how long its been since I've had a chance to look at the sight. I think three days should be good, unless something comes up for someone and they let everyone know.

  7. ooc: I am fine with the suggested pace as well. Most important is that you, Bard, are happy with things as you are doing the heavy lifting!

    And Dienekes, enjoy the Outer Banks! Having grown up on the beaches of NC (although a bit further to the south) I am very proud of them!

  8. OOC: Thanks guys, that sounds like a plan then. We'll aim for a sort of one post every three days-ish kind of rhythm. I'll try and post in the 24 hrs following the last of your posts in the comments, and then you guys can aim for 48 hours to evaluate the situation and post your actions.

    Since Dienekes said he'll try and post today, I'll wait for him to do that and I'll try to get my post up this afternoon or evening.

  9. Varros - Fighter

    Varros quietly makes the sound to call Karnak, when he comes Varros gives him a bit of meat, rubs his head and whispers, "Good job Karnak, there should be one more man, can you find him?", with that he gives the command to scout.

    Varros looks toward Oloc, smiles grimly, and whispers, "I think we've found our next Dirtbag."

    OOC: Sorry again for the delay guys. @ Sonofotho, thanks! I've probably been here close to 30 times, I've been coming almost every year since I was 6 or 7, so I have kind of grown up on these beaches too. You have good reason to be proud, NC is probably my choice for the most beautiful state in the Eastern US.