ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 450 posts
Tue 13 May 2014
at 21:21
ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
After leaving the bosom of Hengisbury and Thornbury, Delmedus, Harbek, Rick, Conrad and doughty Donnel, armed with the legendary blade and scabard Dragonbane, embark upon a journey across the wilderness, seeking what help they can to aid them in their quest to destroy the red dragon and save the two children.

Read the ACT 2 travel rules (the D&D Next playtest travel rules are no good so we are using these instead), make sure to remember to look at the Kobold map, linked below, and post away!

KOBOLD MAP

Act 2 RULES!
Donnel
 player, 187 posts
 AC 14
 HP 25/26
Wed 14 May 2014
at 23:06
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
One supply pouch is all Donnel can shoulder, being small and only marginally strong. The trip from where they stand, a bluff overlooking the crossroads village of Blackford, to where the dragon lairs, Skull Mountain ensconced within The Desolation, will devour that and all of its cousins, were it an especially promiscuous halfling clan.

They would need more and the packhorses to carry them.

About their burial exploits at Castle Pemberton he says nothing. If it's not one thing that needs to be put to rest, it's another. It seems a never-ending business to be atoning for the sins of one's moldering progenitors.

"So what do we have in total," he asks no one in particular, while surveying the supply train, "and in which direction do we travel?"

OOC +2 Dex and took the standard 5 hps (+1 for con and +2 for toughness).
Conrad
 player, 383 posts
 Ranger
 AC 16, HP 28/28
Thu 15 May 2014
at 00:36
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Conrad scouted ahead, letting the wind dry out his armor.
Rick
 player, 363 posts
 Rician Hawklight (950xp)
 AC 14, HP 14/19
Thu 15 May 2014
at 04:50
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
I think we should head north, follow the river and see if there is a place to cross. If not, we can cross at the end. Hopefully that will catch us up with the kobolds.
Delmedus
 player, 379 posts
 Human Fighter
 AC 19 HP 21/21
Thu 15 May 2014
at 15:35
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Delmedus rode in silence for a long ways from the haunted ruins, lost deep in his thoughts finally he comes to when the others begin to discuss options "We can deal wityh the Kobalds, the issue still stands with the dragon.  Besides it flyes and is fire breathing, what else do we know about it.  THis sword will help us but I still fear it is not enough.  Does anyone know anything about this area that may help us figure some things out.

I want to save the children, but feel that if we go after this cult before we are ready then we will die and so will they.  Suggestions on what we can do to help us better prepare?"

Harbek
 player, 214 posts
Thu 15 May 2014
at 17:14
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Harbek had mourned enough. Now an anger welled up inside of him. Kidnapping children, hurting them for some evil cause. He'd had enough of this. Harbek shouldered his pack and shield checking his straps, and equipment.

"I agree." Is all he said in response to Rick's suggestion. He didn't know how to defeat a dragon. He'd have to think about it while traveling. For now he'd simmer a little in his disgust for these kobold creatures.
GM
 GM, 455 posts
Thu 15 May 2014
at 20:17
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Day 1
You head northeast across the Holdenshire Hills hoping to cross the great river marked on the map at 'Ringwood', whatever that is, hopefully a town where you can stock up on supplies.

Speed: +1 mounted, -1 hex hilly terrain = 1 hex moved northeast.

What you see in the new hex: hills! To the north, west, and south are more hills. There is a small gap in the hills to the east where the land is lower and gets flatter and your horses would be able to move quicker across the open country. There are more hills in the distance in this direction, but mostly its open ground falling gently down into the valley of the great river far to the east. To the southwest, also in the hills, are the ruins of Brockendale Castle behind you.

Lost check - not rolling until I understand DCs a bit better. Pathfinder module says DC13-15 nature check. How to convert?
GM rolled 1 using 1d20. Day 1 dragondice. No dragon attack!
GM rolled 5,5 using d12,d8. day 1 random encounter! No encounter!
Delmedus
 player, 382 posts
 Human Fighter
 AC 19 HP 35/35
Fri 16 May 2014
at 15:55
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Delmedus followed Conrad, certain in his skills of the woods.  "I am glad you know where you are going Conrad, I may of grew up in the woods but I never could tell my direction that good.  It looks like it will be a good night to get some rest.  I will take the midnight watch so that Harbek and Rick can get some sleep to prepare their spells."

Once camp was made for the night Delmedus cleaned his gear and took the night watch, enjoying the new lands that they are in.
Donnel
 player, 188 posts
 AC 14
 HP 25/26
Fri 16 May 2014
at 20:31
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Donnel nudges the expedition towards the eastern gap, attributing its appearance to yet another manifestation of his mother, Luck. As they traverse the hills and their lesser cousins, the hillocks, he keeps his eyes peeled for conies or other small game that he could drop with a stone. To do so, he ranges freely from the main caravan itself, trusting his light step for a surprise advantage.

At camp, he surveys their pack horses (or had they chosen mules?), totaling their supplies to provide a report to the quartermaster. Doing so enables him to test the provisions for freshness, lingering this night with the early fall sausages, seasoned with garlic and wine.
Conrad
 player, 386 posts
 Ranger
 AC 16, HP 28/28
Sun 18 May 2014
at 04:58
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Conrad scanned the horizon as the dusk unfurled across the land.  Things seemed quite.  Maybe a little too quiet.

"Let's go East.  The groun' is flatter, we'll cove' more distance," he told the rest of the party.

This message was last edited by the player at 04:58, Sun 18 May 2014.

Rick
 player, 367 posts
 Rician Hawklight (950xp)
 AC 14, HP 14/19
Sun 18 May 2014
at 11:34
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Rick casts simple magic, of light and uses magehand when possible to limit the amount of resources used while traveling.  When camping he uses his magic to ignite fires and keep away dangerous animals.
GM
 GM, 460 posts
Sun 18 May 2014
at 20:49
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
You travel east, descending from the hilly land into the flatter river valley and then continue northeast towards the river, skirting the hills. A little in the distance you see some smoke to the north - some sort of small village or hamlet in the next hex perhaps.

Not lost; no dragon attack; random encounter: merchant caravan!

GM rolled 20,8,1,6 using d20,d20,d12,d8. Day 2: lost; dragondice; random enc. GM rolled 1,8 using d6,d12. random encounter timing. GM rolled 3 using 1d4. carts. GM rolled 8 using 3d4.


Two hours before dusk, you spot a caravan in the distance of three horse-drawn carts. They slow down when they near you, then stop completely. Their leader, a halfling merchant named Emma Caleary, greets Donnell warmly with a traditional hug.

'I thought you you were a halfling from over there, I'm glad you are! Well met, and your party. I fear you are heading in the wrong direction. Stay away from Halfpoint: the village is under siege from the orc horde. We are fleeing from there with what wares we could save and headed to Hengistbury - they say it is still safe from Bandits? Do you mind if we camp here tonight with you? These hills are dangerous.'

They are happy to swap stories with Donnel and the rest of you, and buy/sell goods up to 800gp. Two of the caravans belong to halfling merchants and are accompanied by halfling guards, all of which are very chatty and good natured with you, but the third belongs to a sullen dwarf merchant and his dwarven entourage, and he remains apart from the rest, scowling to himself, staying in the shadows away from the campfire.
Conrad
 player, 388 posts
 Ranger
 AC 16, HP 28/28
Mon 19 May 2014
at 02:22
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Conrad was surprised to hear about the siege, "well, it sounds like we're 'eaded in the righ' direction.  Maybe we can len' a hand.  You can bunk down with us here tonigh'."  Conrad offered her a good-humored wink.

Looking at the scowling dwarf but continuing to speak to Emma, "what's with him?"
Rick
 player, 368 posts
 Rician Hawklight (950xp)
 AC 14, HP 14/19
Mon 19 May 2014
at 05:24
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Have any food,  medicine or tools for trade?
Harbek
 player, 217 posts
Mon 19 May 2014
at 13:54
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Harbek sees a fellow dwarf and heads over to him.

"Did I hear correctly that your group has run into some trouble with invaders?"

In the back of Harbek's mind he hears Rick's query about buying wares. Harbek has a few items he would like to procure after speaking with his fellow dwarf.
Delmedus
 player, 383 posts
 Human Fighter
 AC 19 HP 35/35
Mon 19 May 2014
at 15:26
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Delm was was interested in finding a caravan on the road.  For may years of his life he served as a caravan gaurd for many merchants and it always made him feel at home.  The fighter smiles as he watches Donell and Harbek find some of their kin to talk to.  Delmedus then goes over by Conrad and speaks with the halfling merchant  "Well met Emma.  It is troubling news that there is a orc horde but it is good to see that you made it out safe.  Could you tell us more about these orcs and by any chance do you have a map of the region that we could buy or copy."
GM
 GM, 462 posts
Tue 20 May 2014
at 13:52
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
'Thanks. We have food, medicine and tools for trade', Emma replies, 'But I don't have any maps. I can tell you about this area if you like, though. We are in Lanickshire now, and the capital of that is Blackford, by the Great River to the southwest. To the north is North Riding, capital Northminster, at the river delta with the Northern Ocean. Our hafling village of Halfpoint is exactly hafl-way between North Riding and Lanickshire, hence the name! Across the Crawley Hills to the southeast is Holdenshire, and the capital of that is Hengistbury - that's where we are headed.'

'The Orcs have always lived in the Crawley Hills, and occasionally raid caravans and the like, but this time its different: they are more organised and are strangling Halfpoint village! There are loads of them, really powerful warriors. We only barely made it through. I've never seen them so organised like this.'

The dwarf merchant, Googli Stonefeatures,is headed for Blackford unlike the halflings. He greets Harbek gruffly. 'Lanickshire is falling apart. The bandits of the Southern Downs have taken control of the town of Blackford, and are expanding fast to other areas. They are led by an evil dragon-sorcerer called Vaclav who claims to have received divine powers from the Dragon in the east. I used to trade from Blackford - make a good living too - but now everyone has to give money to the bandit leaders. Their talons are spreading everywhere. I had heard they have reached out to the orcs in the Crawley Hills for an alliance, and went up to Halfpoint to check if this was true: I fear it is. There are rumours the bandits are reaching out for other alliances with goblins in the woods across the Great River, and with the lizardman tribes in Holdenshire. If no-one stands up to the bandits soon, they will control the entire region.'

'You look like adventurers. I don't supposed you think you could help?'

Harbek
 player, 218 posts
Tue 20 May 2014
at 15:02
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Harbek listens intently to Googli Stonefeatures Gruff greetings are something any Dwarf should be used to with each other. It isn't personal.
Blackford was on the way and Harbek's only concern with dealing with the bandits was the children they were out to rescue. But the days and nights it would take to rescue them were making it less and less likely that they'd survive. Who really knew where they went anyway? We are assuming they are take directly tot he dragon, but they could be being taken to this Dragon-Wizard person, Vaclav.

"We have to go through Blackford anyway I am guessing. Perhaps we can accompany each other there? Are you looking to fight the bandits and this Vaclav person?"
Harbek thought for a moment.
"Thing is we'd normally be eager to help you clean them out completely, but we have children to rescue. Still, I am certain we can be of some use since we are going there anyway."
Delmedus
 player, 386 posts
 Human Fighter
 AC 19 HP 35/35
Tue 20 May 2014
at 17:18
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Delmedus nodded listeng to the halfling then took out their kobold map "This is a rough map we took off of some slain kobolds who took the children we are looking for.  Would you be able to mark these towns for us and any known threats.  I fear that if the orcs take over Halfpoint then that will be a staging area for all the nearby towns.  In your estamate how many invaders are there?"


Conrad
 player, 391 posts
 Ranger
 AC 16, HP 28/28
Wed 21 May 2014
at 01:28
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
"These bandits soun' like a serious pro'lem.  Even worse tha' the orc siege.  We nee' to disrupt the organization 'fore they take ove' the whole region.  Savin' the chil'en is a priority, bu' I think killin' Vaclav jus' became the new top."

Conrad paused to think a moment, "If we ca' break the sys'em and frame orcs or goblins, we migh' stop this from happening again anytime soon."
Donnel
 player, 189 posts
 AC 14
 HP 34/34
Wed 21 May 2014
at 03:03
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Donnel performs the traditional greetings perfunctorily. He doesn't know Emma any more than he does Googli. And that they need the good fortune of a merchant caravan on their second day of travel reminds him that, inexplicably, they had not bought provisions for their journey. Oh, beasts of burden they have but brains he has yet to find.

The talk of draconic sorcerers and orc raiders intrigues him. Could they, a mere band of fighters, reorder the politics of the region, merely on their way to Skull Mountain?

"If we can't kill one measly lizard spell-tosser, we should turn back now," he reasons triumphantly, aided by generous swallows of Emma's proffered summer-berry wine.
GM
 GM, 464 posts
Wed 21 May 2014
at 07:43
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Emma's glad to mark your current location on your map. 'Here's halfpoint, in blue', she says. 'That's where we are now, a tiny bit south of it I guess. The other towns are are all marked already.'

http://i1006.photobucket.com/a...ldmap-1.jpg~original
GM
 GM, 465 posts
Wed 21 May 2014
at 13:18
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Googli nods at Harbek. 'Aye, lets go together.' He leans in, whispering fiercely through his beard. 'There's a group of us, The Blackford Resistance', trying to liberate Lanickshire. We have a base below the 'Thousand Roses' tavern off Market Street. I'll take you there.'

He nods at Conrad. 'Aye. If we can find a way to break the alliance between the Blackford Brigands and their other regional allies, either by killing the leaders, spreading mistrust between the groups or by liberating Blackford, then it would weaken all the evil groups in the wider area at the same time.'

'Blackford is to the southeast of here. We'll ride at dawn tomorrow?' he asks you hopefully across the campfire.
Harbek
 player, 220 posts
Wed 21 May 2014
at 14:14
Re: ACT 2: Journey to Skull Mountain
Harbek wants to say yes immediately. There is a kindred between Dwarves that makes Harbek want to help almost immediately. However, he has loyalty to his current quest and the companions who so kindly took him in.

Harbek asks Googli to wait for their decision on that for a moment and then gets up to talk with the remainder of the group.

"Well it looks like our cause has legs we did not know existed. There is no way that these things are not connected in some way. So many things happening in such a small area, the dragon must be controlling it all."

Harbek played with his beard a moment.
"Dragon-wizard, invasion, it all seems like the work of a mastermind. This dragon I fear is a smart one."

"So, do we head southeast and try to kill the dragon-wizard? It is possible that it is he who needed the children anyway."