Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
GM
 GM, 13 posts
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 09:08
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road


There's nothing like the desert to make people feel small and insignificant. In every direction, huge dunes roll across the landscape, and an even bigger sky looms above.

Travel in the Anauroch desert is slow, hot, and full of blistering sun. There are no clouds, no promise of water anywhere. To avoid the worst of the heat, the party starts moving well before sunrise, when the moon's full glory makes the dunes look like mountains of diamonds. The sunrise is a gorgeous spill of pink and gold across the horizon, but the baking sun is soon pounding on everyone like a hammer in a forge. Vultures occasionally soar overhead, hoping that something has died in the heat.

Ahead of you, a few hours later,  you see a black spot of movement on the horizon. As you travel, it gets larger and larger. Cory looks worried. "Another caravan - likely Zhents. Normally I'd suggest that we camp with them - safety in numbers. What do you think?"

This message was last updated by the GM at 10:05, Sun 05 Nov 2017.

Randolph West
 player, 6 posts
Mon 6 Nov 2017
at 06:08
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"I'm good with Zhentarim. If you don't bother them they won't bother you."

West billowed his cloak to stop his owl from overheating while it hid under its folds. The bird clearly didn't appreciate the heat.

"Just a word of caution, don't mention the treasure or anything to them. Let's just say they're rather opportunistic, and have more resources than we could muster."
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 6 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
Mon 6 Nov 2017
at 08:57
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"And you're saying we're not opportunists?" Cory asked West. "I doubt you'd have started on this if there weren't some benefit to you or yours."

"That said, we should get our stories together before we catch up with them,"
she added, gesturing at the road ahead. "We don't have the means to pretend to be another caravan, and we certainly don't want the Zhents to think we're going to raid theirs. Any ideas?"

This message was last edited by the player at 09:16, Mon 06 Nov 2017.

Fern
 player, 6 posts
Mon 6 Nov 2017
at 16:20
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"There's a difference between benefits gained through mutual cooperation," Fern answers, his voice sounding muffled from within the thick scarf wrapped around his face, "and those gained through simply taking them. The Zhentarim's policy is to minimise loss and maximise gain, no matter the cost to others weaker than them," the elf glares at caravan, "unfortunately we are in the weaker position right now. I suggest an appearance of strength, and to not say more than necessary - travellers heading to the Vuerthyl. That's it. If they ask further, only reveal that we are searching for someone. Rebuff all other attempts for details. It is none of their business, and we should make it clear that is the case."

This message was last edited by the player at 00:54, Tue 07 Nov 2017.

Malark Chondathan
 player, 6 posts
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 00:28
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Fern makes a good point. I do worry though that 'searching for someone' may pique their curiosity and would take the story further, if pressed, that we're settling an old score. If they stay true to their policy, getting involved in a private feud would likely be more cost than gain."
Randolph West
 player, 7 posts
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 01:25
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Or we could simply pretend to be a bunch of adventurers on the way to making a stop point in the desert!" West says jokingly. "We need no objective, only adventure ho."

He coughs, then continues. "But in all seriousness, don't trust them. Let's just get to it then."
GM
 GM, 14 posts
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 09:42
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
There is a strained tension in the air as the two groups approach each other. It is fairly obvious that both sides have spotted each other and were busy sizing each other up.

As the distance closes, you can see that the caravan is manned by six Zhentarim mercenaries from various species. The group seems to have abandoned the black garb and symbol of the Zhentarim in favor of desert clothing, loose layers of light cloth and a wood and cloth mask to keep out the sand.

About 100 feet from the party, the caravan pulls to a halt, and one of the Zhentarim steps forward, buckling a longsword around his waist.
Fzoul Slovis
 Zhentarim, 1 post
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 09:54
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
The man before you pulls off his cloth-and-wood mask, revealing a human in his late thirties. He is well tanned, with balding blonde hair cut short, and has a scar on his face from a close call with a blade. You can't help but feel intimidated by this man who has obviously seen many more years of combat on the battlefield than you have.

Sensing the tension in the air, he holds out both hands, palms open and facing the party. As he lifts his arms, his clothes billow slightly, and you catch a glimpse of the hilt of a shortsword lashed to his back. His eyes scan the party.

"Let's all calm down. If you don't start a fight, there won't be a fight. My name is Fzoul. Fzoul Slovis of the Black Network."

You note that despite his words of peace, he does not smile - Fzoul seems wary of you.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:05, Tue 07 Nov 2017.

Randolph West
 player, 8 posts
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 14:13
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Hail, I go by Randolph West. And these are my companions on our journey towards Vuerthyl."

West imitates Fzoul's gesture, though instead of a short sword, his billowing cloak reveals a very annoyed owl sidling around his torso, trying to escape the hot air and sun. West grimaces, pushing the feathery creature back under his shoulder and keeping it restrained.

"I am but a humble merchant, and we seek uneventful passage to the next stop. We are not looking for a fight either."

This message was last edited by the player at 14:14, Tue 07 Nov 2017.

Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 7 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
Wed 8 Nov 2017
at 11:42
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Lifting her chin, Cory stepped forward slightly as she mimicked West and Fzoul, both palms open and kept away from anything that might be seen as a weapon.

"Greetings," she intoned, pitching her voice to carry. "My name is Cordelia Longsaddle, and I, too, am a merchant headed for Vuerthyl. We travel in peace, and have no intent to hinder your business."

Standing there with her cloak open, she fought the urge to wilt under the heat or  the Zhentarim's intimidating glare. Give an appearance of strength, as Fern had said - that was the ticket.

This message was last edited by the player at 11:45, Wed 08 Nov 2017.

Fern
 player, 7 posts
Wed 8 Nov 2017
at 13:00
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Face and head mostly covered by a scarf, Fern simply moves quietly to stand beside Cory. As the other, more civilized members of the party spoke, Fern chose to keep watch - the elf's eyes flicker over Fzoul for a moment, before drifting over to scan the group of travellers behind him for any possibly hostile movements. Still, the druid is careful to keep his own stance open as well, both arms held away from his body, left hand empty and fingers held open, right hand clearly lifting his quarterstaff up for the sentry to see.
Fzoul Slovis
 Zhentarim, 2 posts
Wed 8 Nov 2017
at 15:14
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
A grin spreads across Fzoul's scarred face. It must have been a strange sight, seeing (almost) the entire party mimicking his gesture.

"You people are a peculiar lot, indeed. We seem to be headed in the same direction, at least for a while. Will you join me for a drink?"

He motions in the air with his right hand, and you spot some slight movements from behind him as two tiefling mercenaries lower their crossbows and emerge from behind their camel pulled wagons.

"The nights in the Anauroch Desert are cold and dry. Will you join us to bed down tonight?"

OOC: The party has the choice on whether or not to camp together with the Zhents. If you join Fzoul for a drink and one of you regales him with a tale from your previous adventures in the Moonsea (make something up), make a Charisma check to learn information. Add your proficiency to this check if you are proficient in Persuasion (or Deception, if you didnt actually do those things, or you are exaggerating your exploits).

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 15:16, Wed 08 Nov 2017.

Malark Chondathan
 player, 7 posts
Thu 9 Nov 2017
at 02:01
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Malark had seen this before. Maybe even once too many times in the past. An army marching towards a destination stopped by a peaceful servant of whoever only to be ambushed as soon as shields touch the ground. So it was somewhat surprising when Fzoul let it pass when Malark simply stood there not even smiling as he was waiting to be ambushed the moment everyone else had that palms up.

"*#&^$(#)! Portray strength, project peace fellas! Doesn't mean you have to open yourself up to an attack!" nagged the voice in Malark's head.

Alas, he was relieved with the suggestion from Fzoul. He takes a small step closer to the rest of the party to show solidarity before addressing Fzoul. No need for obvious gestures to show his very obvious weapon.

"Apologies. This weather is making my brain numb. I'm Malark. Malark Chondathan. It's a pleasure to be acquainted."

He tries to take some cue from the others about whether they want to take up Fzoul's offer but quickly realises he can read nothing off their faces.

It is indeed a cold night.
Randolph West
 player, 9 posts
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 11:04
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"A fine proposal. There is always safety in numbers." West laughed, though inwardly he was still remaining cautious. "What say the rest?"
Fern
 player, 8 posts
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 15:14
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Never quite one for conversation in large groups, Fern nonetheless sits with the rest, listening and smiling at the exchanges and conversations while he drank sparingly from his own waterskin. The elf's eyes narrow a little at Fzoul's suggestion, natural suspicion of the Zhentarim warring against pragmatism. Finally, Fern nods, his muffled voice sounding almost puzzled as he asks;

"Certainly, though would the night watch be split amongst us as well?"
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 8 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
Fri 10 Nov 2017
at 16:48
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Cory chuckled too as the tension eased, although her laughter was a bit more forced - it wasn't easy to stand up to an intimidating swordsman that was twice her height.

"The offer does sound good," she replied as Fzoul's mercenaries lowered their weapons, trying her best to keep up a confident front. "It'd be more sensible to travel together in this desert, rather than apart."

"Fern makes a good suggestion,"
the halfling added when the elf brought up the topic of the night duty. She'd kept her share of watches herself, when travelling with her mentor's caravan. "What about one person from each party per shift? Would that serve both our interests?"

This message was last edited by the player at 16:57, Fri 10 Nov 2017.

Randolph West
 player, 10 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 02:28
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
West joined the main group huddled at the fire and sipping at this traveler's mug of... some sort of alcohol? Alcohol was something West tended to avoid, dulls the mind and the senses. Information leaks from a drunkard like a barrel. But he wasn't adverse to social drinking, though he'd barely finished even a quarter of the mug. He offered it to his owl, now perched on his shoulder, and the bird pushed the container away with its talon.


When it came to his turn to share a tale, West thought for a moment. He didn't have much in the way of typical adventuring, so he instead he began describing a thesis he'd wrote back in college regarding the mental effects of a Guards and Wards spell on different humanoids.

"So the easiest effect one could craft is the illusion of a giant spider, since the spell creates webs, but since the effects don't create an actual illusion, you have to get creative using dark corners and the dancing lights." he recounted. "If you can get the subject to line up with the webs before the lights in a dark corner you can easily entrap them. Of course, this doesn't work against particularly strong individuals, but the effects on the regular person are fascinating. Three subjects soiled themselves and one outright fainted and would have suffocated in the web had the spell not been dispelled."


10:22, Today: Randolph West rolled 13 using 1d20-1.  Charisma Check.

As the others discussed the watch schedule, he stuck with the Zhentarim caravan for a bit longer. Keeping watch wasn't something he'd look forward to, given his need for arcane preparation, so he kept out of the discussion for now. He hoped, given the number of armed guards, the watch wouldn't be an issue.
Fzoul Slovis
 Zhentarim, 3 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 03:46
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
The night grows deeper and the shadows grow longer as you join Fzoul and his group of Zhentarim mercenaries for a meal of ale and stew about the campfire.

Raucous laughter soon fills the air, as Fzoul downs mug after mug of ale. With each successive stein, his mirth and laughter grows louder and louder and Fzoul goes around slapping everyone on the back. He seems especially friendly with West, and in return for his tales of, uh, magic school, Fzoul shares his experiences on the Great Sand Sea, Anauroch.

From his drunken lips you learn that the goblins up and down the Black Road have been a problem for the past few months. Usually the Zhents buy them off or turn them against one another, but they've not been interested in either of these methods lately.

"And the problem with stamping 'em out is, there're always more gobs the moment you turn your back!"

Recently, in addition to the goblins, there have been bugbears, hobgoblins and gnolls stirring up trouble along the Black Road and up towards the Greypeaks. If you guys are planning to head back up that direction towards Parnast, Fzoul recommends giving it a wide berth.

"The problem is them gnolls. Those cunning bastards are surprisingly well-organized for monsters, and like setting up traps and ambushes."

There's a toll station set up a couple days travel from here, leading into Vuerthyl. It's manned by hobgoblins; decently armed and armored ones at that. Combine that with a defensible position and it would have been a really hard fight. The merchants in Fzoul's party opted to pay the 15gp toll.

"Ah, how times have changed. In the old days, no one would believe you if you told them that the Zhentarim had to pay tolls to travel along their own road! We would have pulled together a raiding party, brought the fight to their doors and beat their sorry asses!"

Fzoul pulls out his longsword to demonstrate, promptly tripping over the leather straps of his scabbard and falling on his face. Even more laughter fills the camp area, and Fzoul sulks and retreats to his bedroll. You are unsure as to whether or not his red face is due to the alcohol or his embarrassment.
Randolph West
 player, 11 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 11:44
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
West pays attention to the details regarding the goblin menace. He knew Vuerthyl had been having a bit of a goblin problem lately, but it sounded far worse than he expected. It was likely Veradda's killers were goblins or subspecies thereof. The main problem being the tollbooth. In all likelihood, the best option would be to pay the toll, but these were goblins (and hobgoblins at that). There was no civility or honouring when it came to life or death transactions. It was likely Fzoul's party had only been let through because they would have put up a significant fight.

Meanwhile, most of the persons in their little entourage looked like scrawny travelers, with a single beefy fighter. They might look like easier prey.

Even as Fzoul stumbled comically around, West was still deep in thought. He'd have to look into a way to possibly bypass the route. West wasn't sure about the others, but he never looked forward to fighting. At most he'd raised a hand to a street urchin, or zapped a couple of vermin with his fingers. Well trained hobgoblins in a defensive formation were beyond his experience.

West looked at Malark. Guy looked like he'd been through bigger scrapes.

"So, um... Malark, was it? What do you think about the goblins, do you think we'd be able to handle them with the four of us?"

OOC: Is there a possible route to bypass the location of the hobgoblin toll? We should note its exact location.
Fern
 player, 9 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 11:56
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
As the others laugh and cheer in the campfire night Fern hides his scowl in the depths of his scarf, nursing his half-empty mug of water. The elf seems listless, perhaps even jittery in the company of the Zhentarim , but otherwise does his best to not cause trouble.

Talk of goblins and hobgoblins aside, Fern decides to size up their fellow travellers. Funny that the others seemed so concerned about some goblinoids far away, when there was the yet-unknown threat of their would-be hosts hanging over their heads. Pragmatism was good and all, but that did not mean he had to like it. The wanderer nods and grunts with the sharing of stories, even as he counts up the number of travellers in the Zhentarim caravan: its people, their fitness and what weapons they might carry. In particular he sought out those that might have a flair for the magical. Always best to keep an eye on those. Just in case.

Fern is trying to assess the caravan's strength. Look out specifically for who might be fighters/bodyguards, and if any might be spellcasters. If he can tell at a casual glance what they are transporting too, that would be ideal.
GM
 GM, 16 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 14:19
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Speaking to the other members of the caravan, you learn that the hobgoblin toll plaza had been erected where the Black Road passes through a steep-sided canyon. The hobgoblins have put up a stone wall, and with this defensive structure, they own the road and passage to the east.

You could take your chances by navigating around the toll plaza to find another route, but it would likely cost the party at least a day or two longer. But if that means getting to avoid trouble with the hobgoblins, it might be worth it. For the Zhentarim and their caravan, it wasn't an option, as travelling off the Black Road would have meant risking their lives and cargo if the wheels of their wagons got stuck in loose sand.

Fern spends some time snooping around the campsite as discreetly as possible. There are six members of the mercenary group in total, led by Fzoul. One of them is a dwarven priest of Waukeen, and makes no move to hide his identity. The rest are militia of various species. The Zhentarim's cargo is split amongst two wagons.

One wagon contains the food, water and other supplies, including a shipment of medicinal herbs. You have already had an opportunity to eye the cargo when Fzoul's lieutenant cracked open a barrel of ale from it to drink at dinner. The other wagon contains a shipment of timber from the Border Forest. The Zhentarim make no move to stop you from observing their cargo, although they will stop you if you attempt to lay your hands on it.
Malark Chondathan
 player, 8 posts
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 14:58
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
It's been a while since Malark last spent a night in the desert amongst adventurers. It most certainly brought back memories of a more glorious moment in his life. Alas, it was nice to be drinking in the dark, hearing the stories of others by the fire. In the midst of all of this though, he had to remind himself he was not in the company of allies - and even then his temporary "allies" were potentially facing a bigger threat from the wilderness.

He turns to West, "I don't see why not - especially if we play to our strengths. We're going to have to trust each other though. But I think we also have to be prepared for what lay ahead tonight. I'm going to volunteer to help with the watch. I think if these goblins hit us tonight, we can take em on. Tomorrow though, I think we should find a way to make it through the tollgates. Perhaps we could get Fzoul to help us lend some weight in addition to paying the fees those goblins are going to extract from us. And if they won't help, I guess we'll just have to go the long way." He questions his confidence for a moment but doesn't dwell on it.

But then Malark goes into a whisper, "But I'm not sure how this is going to pan out if our hosts turn on us while we sleep..."

He notices Fern is quietly looking around but elects to just hope the elf has got the scouting covered for the rest of them. Nifty fella that one.

He takes a last sip of his drink, picks up his Warhammer and ambles over to Fzoul, "Hey there! You guys need help with the watch tonight?"
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 9 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
Sat 11 Nov 2017
at 18:20
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Cory relaxed a bit more as everyone gathered around the fire for dinner, especially after the ale started to loosen the tongues of their fellow travellers.

Not that she was going to let herself go entirely, she thought, watching Fzoul stagger off to his bedroll. A jovial drunk the man might be, but that didn't make him any less dangerous. She'd let West handle the mercenary - his tale was awkwardly worded, but it had done the job.

At least the caravan appeared genuine - she doubted that a priest of the Coinmaiden would lend himself to blatantly false enterprise (although she wouldn't discount the possibility of smuggled goods). It was all too easy to suspect the Zhents, even if they were being honest - the old tales still held a lot of clout.

"The goblins trouble the Zhentarim as much as they do us," Cory mused as she sat in on West and Malark's post-dinner discussion. "I think they'd be quite happy with anyone who manages to drive them off - what the hobgoblins are doing is pretty much highway robbery." She sighed into her ale for a moment, before continuing. "I doubt Fzoul'll stick his neck out for a quartet of strangers he just met on the road, so we'd best prepare to take the long route. Maybe Fern could point us in the right direction, once we get started."

"That may not be an issue, Malark"
she added, as the fighting man started to rise. "They have too much to lose in their cargo." The halfling took another sip from the (to her) oversized mug, before carefully setting it down. "I'd join you for the watch, but you might be better off with someone who can see well at night."
Fern
 player, 10 posts
Sun 12 Nov 2017
at 13:54
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Goblins are easy enough," grunts Fern, having returned from his ambling around the campsite, "hobs are a bit trickier. Smarter, too. Normally I'd take the long road too, but we're pressed for time right?"

The elf sets his staff down by side, clearing a space for himself in the sand;

"Not that it matters - I've no coin to pay the toll, so round the spot it be for me. 'Less you lot have a better idea,"
Fern shrugs nonchalantly, taking a sip of his waterskin, then adds in a lower tone "and whether they need help with the night watch or not, I'll be keeping a look out at least. Hey, mage-" he calls over at West, "that owl of yours still nocturnal?"

If the others have nothing else to add, Fern will observe the campsite a bit more, then find a quiet spot away from most of the Zhets to trance.
GM
 GM, 17 posts
Mon 13 Nov 2017
at 06:55
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
The Zhentarim gladly accept your offers to join in the night watch, and the rest of the party tend to their equipment and turn in for the night. The drivers and Fzoul bed down for some sleep, leaving the caravan guards to do their duty. Camel spiders, sand scorpions, snakes and large-eared hopping mice come out at night to casually murder each other. They also try to get into the tents.



The night-time desert is bitterly cold and dry, and Malark huddles closer to the campfire, lost in his thoughts and cursing the sand that enters into the joints in his chainmail. You hear a strangled exhalation, and an ugly tearing noise. Small, furtive, humanoids have snuck unnoticed by the guards into the wagons and killed one of the drivers. You see the blood dripping from the blade of a goblin's dagger, as black as the night sky in the moonlight. A cry of alarm goes up from the camp.

OOC: Combat time! To save time, no need to roll Initiative order, just tell me what you intend to do, and I'll arrange things in a way that makes sense both narratively and mechanically.


Goblins have surrounded the campsite. Fzoul and his mercenaries are busy fighting off goblins on the other side of the camp, leaving you and your party to deal with the remaining group of 4 goblins (1), and one goblin boss mounted on a worg (2). There are 2 sleepy camels tethered to the wagons (C) who might lash out at anything nearby if they get startled.

The caravan wagons can be crawled under or climbed over for half movement. Standing behind one offers three-quarters cover. You can also attempt to collapse the tents in order to climb over, characters attempting to move through the tent's area treat it as difficult terrain. With the nearly full moon above, and reflective sands all around, the dunes are bathed in a pale, dim light.

The party members have been resting in the western tent, but are now scrambling to pick up their equipment. Except for Malark, who already has all his gear, the rest of the party only has what they have on their persons and what they can grab in the chaos. Indicate which square you guys are currently standing in your next post.

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:38, Mon 13 Nov 2017.

Fern
 player, 11 posts
Tue 14 Nov 2017
at 06:12
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Goblins. Of course it was Goblins. Little things were the cockroaches of the adventuring community - no matter how many you killed, there were always more goblins.

Hobs were a different story altogether of course. But still. Goblins

"It was a good trance..." the druid grumbles outloud, standing up in the tent. Even in the dim light of the night, Fern's eyes remained sharp as ever. The elf almost grabs his bow before remembering that he had used the last of his arrows a week back. Grumbling, Fern instead picks up his trusty quarterstaff and heads out of the tent, creaky and mildly annoyed from the small cramped conditions he had been forced to meditate in.

Following the source of the commotion, Fern carefully circled around the campsite, trying to get into position to cast a spell. Seeing as they were all bunched together nicely, it would do well to keep them there, away from the camels; he'd do the Zhets that little favor, at least.

Starting square: B9
[Move] 30ft to G9
[Standard] Cast entangle, centered on K4, 20ft radius difficult terrain. Strength saving throw vs DC 13 or be restrained. Should hit all of them, including the leader.

Malark Chondathan
 player, 9 posts
Tue 14 Nov 2017
at 11:28
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Oh crap. Here we go." Malark utters to himself.

He takes a quick look around to make sure his comrades are at least scrambling and immediately decides to move towards the direction of their foes.

[Starting Square] G8
[Move] 10ft to G6
[Action] Ready. If any hostiles come within melee range, Malark initiates an attack.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:35, Tue 14 Nov 2017.

Randolph West
 player, 12 posts
Tue 14 Nov 2017
at 15:19
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Hoooooooooooooooooooot!"

A bundle of feathers burst into West's face as he woke up startled and swearing. He pushed the frantic bird aside as he flung the tent flaps aside, wondering what was going on.

"Oh just great. he was about to call for Fzoul's band when he spied them already busy on the other end of the camp.

"Even better." he grimaced, flicking his wrists and casting a sheathe of glimmering force over his person, which faded away as the magic took hold. Picking up the closest thing he could call a weapon (his travelling staff), he trundles towards the neighbouring tent, keeping cover from the goblins.

OOC:
Action: Cast Mage Armor, duration 8 hours.
Starting square: G8
Ending Square E7

Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 10 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Wed 15 Nov 2017
at 00:54
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Cory groaned and rubbed her eyes as she sat up in the tent. She'd just gotten to sleep - what in the Nine Hells was that ungodly racket?

And then she heard the cry of alarm.

Jerking to full wakefulness, she grabbed her crossbow, hissing as Fern nearly stepped on her on his way out. After a quick check to confirm that she'd brought ammo and her drum, she slipped out of the back of the tent.

Peering cautiously around the tent they had been sleeping in, she stifled a gasp at the spindly humanoids milling around the first wagon - halfling-sized, but somehow more misshapen. Where had those goblins come from?

Taking a deep breath to calm her racing heart, she made a quick dash to the large boulder standing several feet away. Ducking behind the rocks, hoping that the goblins hadn't spotted her yet, she loaded a bolt into her crossbow and began to wind the crank.

OOC:
Start: B8
Move: 20 ft. to B4
Standard: Ready an action - shoot the first goblin to pass between the boulder at G3 and the first wagon.

GM
 GM, 18 posts
Wed 15 Nov 2017
at 05:43
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Fighting affected people in different ways. Some people relish the thought of besting others with their skill or guile, while others shy away from the risks and dangers involved. But one thing's for sure, a bloodthirsty band of goblins disrupting your sleep is definitely not something to be happy about.

*confused grunting*

The party is rudely awakened from their sleep by the cries of alarm and confused grunts of the tethered camels. Scrambling for their equipment, they crawl out of their cloth tents to find that goblins were swarming all over their campsite.



West bumps into the already-armed Malark as he emerges from the tent, distracted by his panicking familiar. The wizard mumbles an apology, rubbing his forehead where Malark's sturdy iron shield, only to black out as two smooth stones strike the back of his head.

[Language unknown:  "Ek tist ere! M ingwi aiie!"]

West is hit by 2 sling stones, one of which lands square in the back of his head, causing a concussion. He takes 5 and 4 damage respectively, and falls unconscious. On his turn, make a death saving throw.



Cory leaps into action, grabbing her crossbow and rolling behind a boulder for cover, only to find her boulder already occupied by a slightly surprised goblin militia. She fires off a shot at the passing Goblin Boss, but is distracted and her shot goes slightly wide, and the mounted goblin manages to fend the bolt off with his wooden shield, at the expense of his own wild swings at Malark also hitting air. The goblin, equally surprised, attempts to hurl the stone meant for Malark at Cory instead, but its shot also goes wide, soaring a distance into the desert landscapes.

[Language unknown:  "Anterslat el si dinit! Mo o intte lar!"]

Cory ducks behind the boulder and looses a bolt at the Goblin boss but misses narrowly. The goblin attempting to hide behind her boulder slings a rock at her, but also misses.



Malark stares in horror as West drops to his knees, reeling from the impact, before keeling to his side - unconscious. Two goblins had managed to leap onto the caravan behind their shared tent and took the opportunity to attack the human while he was distracted.

He leaps into battle, only to encounter 300 pounds of vicious muscle, teeth and claws. Even the most seasoned fighter could only do so much against the hungry beast, and Malark goes down, bleeding from a nasty bite wound to the neck.

[Language unknown:  "K conin neli plpeit! Ma usart elpo trhiet!"]

Malark manages to fend off the goblin boss attack with some help from Cory, but alas, falls prey to the worg's powerful jaws, suffering a critical hit. He takes 20 damage and falls unconscious. Make a death saving throw.



How could things have gone south so quickly? One moment Fern was in the middle of his peaceful trance, and the next, all hell had broken loose, goblins were running rampant in the camp, and now West and Malark were on the ground, possibly dead. Fern did the best thing he could - summon plants everywhere to make things more chaotic.

Green vines erupt from the desert sand, creeping over goblin, worg, caravan, and camel alike. If the camels were sleepy before, they sure are awake now. The vines surround the feet of the goblins and the worg, but the goblin boss and one of his minions manage to avoid the worst of it.

*confused grunting intensifies*

Unhappy at having its feet tangled amongst the greenery, the camel lashes out with its hooves in an attempt to get free, narrowly missing the head of a startled nearby goblin.

[Language unknown:  "Ce!!! Ine ecch ainst ur hasainrea er!"]

[Language unknown:  "Whri i ter an pa are poes no mausut outwhiill!"]

Fern's entangle spell catches the goblins by surprise, but one of the goblins and the goblin boss manage to succeed on their save. Refer to the tactical map for more details.


This message was last edited by the GM at 06:10, Wed 15 Nov 2017.

Fern
 player, 12 posts
Wed 15 Nov 2017
at 13:10
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Horseshit," Fern remarks, watching as the chaos unfolded before him. And it seemed like a good idea too...the panicked camel's baying distressed him, as did the sudden collapse of his two comrades;

"Malark," the elf calls out, prodding the man's unconscious form with his staff, "Marlark. Get up."

A small stream of green energy surges down from the elf's hand and through the wooden staff, tracing the outlines of numerous intricately carved beasts, ranging from small birds to grinning cats. The light pools around the gaping teeth marks in the human fighter's side, hissing as the flesh stitched up;

[Bonus] Healing Word on Malark;
21:04, Today: Fern rolled 4 using 1d4+3.  Healing Word.


"And you. Get off," he snaps, swinging the heavy quarterstaff like a cudgel at the nearest goblin;

[Standard] Smack goblin, melee attack
21:09, Today: Fern rolled 20 using 1d20+2.  Quarterstaff attack.
21:09, Today: Fern rolled 1 using 1d6.  damage.

Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 11 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Thu 16 Nov 2017
at 01:12
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Cory yelped as the sling stone whizzed past her head, throwing off her aim. Whirling around, she glared at the goblin perching on the boulder above her.

"You...you green-skinned robber-cile - go away!" she snapped, power lacing her words as they slammed into the ugly creature in a disorienting wave.

Not waiting to see what effect she'd had, the halfling scrambled back towards the campfire. Her fellow travellers had not fared so well against the remaining goblins. "And you," she muttered, echoing Fern as she focused on West. "Get up!"

A second, greater surge of power echoed through the air at her words like a resounding drumbeat, converging on West - as the sound died away, the worst of the swelling on the hooded man's head began to recede.

She hoped that getting West back on his feet would be worth it. They were going to need all the help they could get.

Standard: Cast vicious mockery (cantrip) on goblin at D2 - make a DC 13 Wisdom Save or suffer 4 psychic damage and disadvantage on next attack roll before end of next turn.
Move: 20 ft (after terrain) to C8
Bonus: Cast healing word on West. Heal 5 HP.

09:11, Today: Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle rolled 5 using 1d4+3.  Healing Word on West.
09:10, Today: Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle rolled 4 using 1d4.  Vicious Mockery on Goblin.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:13, Thu 16 Nov 2017.

Randolph West
 player, 13 posts
Fri 17 Nov 2017
at 11:39
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Ooomph...."West roused himself groggily. "Why am I even doing this?..." He rolls to the side and lifts himself off the ground, scrambling behind the little cover offered by the campfire.

Black sparks trail from his hand. While he wasn't much of a fighter, it didn't mean he could at least fire an occasional bolt to scare off animals. Goblins were... only slightly smarter than them. He assumed.

Whatever it was, a black ray of dark energy peels from his palm, aimed at the goblin that had been lucky enough to escape the vines.

OOC:

Stand from prone, using 15ft of movement
Move to E10.

Fire Chill Touch at Goblin at H7
Attack: 19
Damage: 5

19:36, Today: Randolph West rolled 5 using 1d8.  Damage.
19:35, Today: Randolph West rolled 19 using 1d20+5.  Chill Touch Attack.

Malark Chondathan
 player, 10 posts
Sat 18 Nov 2017
at 01:01
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Arghhhh." Malark exclaims as he regains consciousness only vaguely aware of what had happened to him but immediately jumps back into the chaos...

Stand from prone(15ft of movement)
[Bonus] Rolled 2 using 1d10+1.  Second Wind.
[Move] Moves to J8 (15ft)
[Standard] Melee Attack Goblin on I7
Attack: 25
Damage: 7

08:34, Today: Malark Chondathan rolled 2 using 1d10+1.  Second Wind.
08:55, Today: Malark Chondathan rolled 25 using 1d20+5.  Melee Attack.
08:56, Today: Malark Chondathan rolled 1 using 1d8.  Damage. Add +3 for Strength modifier.
09:06, Today: Malark Chondathan rolled 3 using 1d8.  damage re-roll for attack roll crit.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:07, Sat 18 Nov 2017.

GM
 GM, 19 posts
Sat 18 Nov 2017
at 03:09
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
[Language unknown:  "Ckfo ouswernce nivir heus on ssnepe!"]

One of the goblin yells excitedly. It appears that it has found something of interest in one of the caravan wagons. Unfortunately, the other goblins are too busy freeing themselves from the grasping vines to pay any heed to him.

The worg and the entangled goblin manage to pull themselves out of the Entangle spell's hold and quickly move out of the area, closing in on the party. The goblin pulling out a nasty looking scimitar.

Pulling out scimitars, really just rusty lengths of metal, the goblins re-assemble themselves through the chaos and wade out of the area of magical vegetation.

The goblin boss leads the charge, leaping across the campfire and slashing wildly at the healer druid. Surprised at the ferocity of his attack, Fern manages to parry most of the wild swings with his quarterstaff, but suffers a nasty cut across his leg when he steps backward and bumps into the tentage.

Fern takes 7 damage from the goblin boss's flurry of attacks

He is followed by another goblin, but its skills fortunately did not equal its zeal. Stepping on a log originally destined for the fire, it slips and its blade falls short of hitting Malark. The combined assaults on it by Fern and West's spell soon overwhelm the goblin's untrained guard, and it collapses, foaming at the mouth.

The goblin swings at Malark, but misses. Fern and West manage to finish it off - well done!

These goblins were clearly amateurs. Their armor had not been properly maintained for a long time, and their blades were rusty and blunted. Nothing compared to the power of a well-trained soldier like Malark. With a tremendous roar, the semi-conscious Malark leaps into action with a heavy blow so powerful that it shattered his target's blade, cleaving it nearly in two.

Malark expertly takes out one goblin.

West is clearly not comfortable being in the middle of the melee fray. As he retreats however, the worg takes the opportunity to leap onto his back, sending him to the oblivion of unconsciousness once again.

OA on West hits and deals 11 damage, knocking him unconscious once again.



At the same time, Cory and the lone goblin to the side are having a face-off. It swings its scimitar wildly, and scores the Halfling across her back. They bring their fight closer to the fire, creating dancing shadows all over the boulders and tents in the campsite.

Cory and the goblin's battle (actually more like Cory's retreat and the goblin's pursuit) leads them to the center of the campsite. Cory's attempt to cast Vicious Mockery on the goblin is shaken off. The goblin deals 4 damage to Cory.

Meanwhile the camel has freed itself from Fern's spell, but discovers to its consternation that it is still tied to the wagon. It tugs at the leather reigns, to no avail.

The camel manages to tear itself free of the Entangle spell.


This message was last edited by the GM at 05:17, Sat 18 Nov 2017.

Malark Chondathan
 player, 11 posts
Sat 18 Nov 2017
at 08:22
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Take that you scum!" declares Malark as he takes down the goblin before turning his head around in time to see West crumbling to the ground with that damned worg. That must be that the creature that he himself fell prey to earlier he thinks to him. He also manages to see Fern fending himself from the Goblin Boss.

He takes a moment to consider if there was anything he could do for West before deciding it be best he attempt to take down of their threats.

"Hang in there, comrades."

[Move] 15ft to E10
[Standard] Melee Attack Goblin on F9
Attack : 24
Damage : 4

16:18, Today: Malark Chondathan rolled 24 using 1d20+5.  Melee Attack.
16:19, Today: Malark Chondathan rolled 4 using 1d8+3.  Damage.

This message was last edited by the player at 08:23, Sat 18 Nov 2017.

Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 12 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Sat 18 Nov 2017
at 09:05
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Cory gasped and fell onto the tent as the scimitar struck, the oiled canvas sagging under her weight. Panicking, she struggled out of the tangled fabric as the goblin leered at her, seemingly none the worse for the wear. The halfling still had her crossbow, but it would do her little good with that rusty blade right in her face.

"I-I said go away!" she exclaimed, focusing her will once more as she smacked the drum hanging from her side.

As the power-laced drumbeat faded away, a faint, mist-like powder began to drift down over part of the caravan; scrambling backwards, she directed the powder to settle over the goblin standing over her, and as many of its compatriots as she could safely cover.

Hopefully, it could at least buy her - them - more time...

Standard: Cast sleep, targeting a 20 ft. radius burst centered on intersection of E4, F4, E5 and F5. This should affect the worg and the goblin threatening her,
without hitting anyone else.
Move: 15 ft. to B11 (after casting).

17:03, Today: Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle rolled 16 using 5d8.  Total HP affected by sleep.

This message was last edited by the player at 09:11, Sat 18 Nov 2017.

Fern
 player, 13 posts
Sun 19 Nov 2017
at 18:10
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Alright, things were going well...just need to- Fern barely had time to finish his thoughts before a searing pain cut through his mind. Stifling a scream, the druid flails out wildly with his staff, druidic magic flaring down it's length even as his focus waned from the brutal assault.

Don't think about the blood...don't think about the blood...

[Bonus] Shillejah
[Standard] Smack Worg

18:07, Today: Fern rolled 4 using 1d6+3.  Damage.
18:07, Today: Fern rolled 21 using 1d20+5.  Shillejah attack.
18:07, Today: Fern rolled 5 using 1d20+2.  Concentration.

GM
 GM, 20 posts
Wed 22 Nov 2017
at 04:55
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
[Language unknown:  "Stund enho wahe newit anasmo? U somatione ntele oulromter thasheica! Aveecttho, der ekain ughtheanyeau ic o?"]

Cory's Sleep spell shrouds the battlefield, and the goblin she was fighting sinks to its knees, fast asleep. The halfling skirts around the battlefield, looking for opportunities to help her allies.

The goblin Cory is engaged with is now asleep and unconscious. He will be roused from his slumber after 1 minute, if he takes any damage, or if someone spends an action to wake him up. Sleep duration 0/10 rounds.

Cory moves to B11.


Malark's battlehammer flashes again and again, as he engages with the goblin before him. Parrying his opponent's blows expertly, Malark lands a solid hit on the goblin boss's right shoulder, almost causing him to drop his weapon. The fight seems to be going well.

Malark hits the Goblin Boss for 4 damage.

Imbuing his staff with a measure of Nature's might, Fern lashes out, smashing his staff into the worg's snout. Briefly stunned, the worg shakes its head, and decides to go for easier prey, like that human he managed to take down earlier. As it turns its back upon the elven druid, Fern takes the opportunity to smash it on the back of its head once again.

Fern hits the worg twice for 7 and 4 damage respectively.

As the injured predator leaps at Malark, this time he is ready. Lifting his sturdy shield, Malark heaves as the weight of the worg impacts his shield, but there is no lasting damage. A seasoned warrior such as he would never fall for the same trick twice.

Except, of course, Malark had left his entire left flank open, and the goblin boss's greatsword bites painfully into his side. Malark collapses once again, bleeding out on the ground.

Worg's bite attack misses against Malark's defenses, but a lucky crit from the Goblin Boss deals 18 damage and knocks Malark unconscious once again.

[Language unknown:  "Nte thhis, not one! Miaten, ol elyin notsheureame er no?"]


Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 13 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Fri 24 Nov 2017
at 08:00
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Cory flinched reflexively as she stumbled away from the collapsed tent, expecting another strike to land on her back, before she realized that the goblin had not followed her, having succumbed to her spell.

Her relief was short-lived, however, as the remaining goblin's blade slammed into Malark with a sickening crunch, nearly cleaving the fighter in two as it dropped him again. West had also fallen to the worg's bite, leaving Fern surrounded by the ferocious beast and its partner.

With an effort, the merchant tried to shake off the dread that seemed to settle in her stomach like a hopeless, leaden weight. There was no way to aid the two humans - she did not have the energy to revive them anymore. The only thing she could do was to help take the heat off Fern, and hope that Malark and West wouldn't die in the meantime.

"Fern! Hit it in the head again!" she called, as she nocked another bolt in her crossbow. Hoping that the elf would distract the worg long enough, she quickly took aim and fired at the beast.

Standard: Attack the worg with crossbow.
Bonus: Grant Fern bardic inspiration (+1d6 to any one attack roll/ability check/saving throw within the next 10 minutes).
Move: 10 ft. to A13.

16:00, Today: Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle rolled 7 using 1d20+4.  HALFLING CLUTCH REROLL!
15:58, Today: Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle rolled 5 using 1d20+4.  Attack On Worg (light crossbow).

Fern
 player, 14 posts
Fri 24 Nov 2017
at 14:28
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Still biting back the pain, Fern chokes down a groan of horror as their wizard and fighter go down again. Numbers. It was always about numbers. And he didn't have the right spells, or the right strength...

Master would have. Master had all sorts of skills for this situation. But him? Little Fern? There was really only one thing he could do now.

Stand up and fight!

With a pained growl, the elf swings out with his staff, complying with Cory's panicked instructions, hoping to strike the legs off the worg;

[Standard] Attack Worg;

23:15, Today: Fern rolled 7 using 1d8+3. Damage
22:24, Today: Fern rolled 21 using 1d20+5.  SMACK WULF.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:15, Fri 24 Nov 2017.

Malark Chondathan
 player, 12 posts
 Senses: 12/9/10, Ini: +2
Fri 24 Nov 2017
at 17:10
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
01:08, Today: Malark Chondathan rolled 13 using 1d20.  Death saving throw.
GM
 GM, 21 posts
Sat 25 Nov 2017
at 04:02
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Ratface had not risen to his rank as Goblin Boss for nothing. He was wiser, quicker and more willing to play dirty than any other goblin. He was also more cautious, which contributed to the fact that this year, Ratface had reached the ripe old age of 14, a full two years older than most goblins in his profession survived to.

[Language unknown:  "Iont siest lail uril butredanters ch ol?"]

Sleepy goblin is still sleeping, 9 rounds of Sleep remaining.

If goblins were good at anything, running away would rank somewhere near the top of that list, alongside dirty play and possibly, getting mauled by novice adventurers. Leaving his mount to finish off the elf druid, Ratface decided to go on the retreat, expertly using the worg as cover to slip away and go after the halfling caster instead.

Goblin boss disengages as a bonus action using its Nimble Escape ability and moves away.

[Language unknown:  "Whul, n entkorard. Ere Staiveted ughhatest hepout wino lable, ad everbech!"]

Ratface cackles evilly in his native tongue, slipping an arrow into the rest in his shortbow. A crossbow bolt flies out from the other side of the campfire, missing his companion entirely.

Cory fires off a shot at the Worg, but misses despite her halfling luck.

[Language unknown:  "K wh stere ateichand erecomver!"]

The goblin boss lifts the shortbow and fires off a shot, almost impulsively. It goes wide, as expected, but must have startled the halfling as she scurries backward, away from where the arrow landed.

[Language unknown:  "Leeen, tic nt tr whevil itut!"]

Goblin Boss fires his short bow, but misses Cory entirely.

At the goblin boss' sharp command, the Worg leaps into action, deadly sharp fangs trying to close around Fern's left arm to disable his use of that annoying shield. At Cory's call, however, a surge of clarity shoots through the elven druid.

When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on tight.

An old proverb that his mentor used to recite rose to mind, and the druid almost reflexively ducks the worg's assault, bringing his staff upward in a painful strike against the worg's shin. It yelps in pain, but holds its ground.

The worg and Fern skirmish, and Fern manages to land a painful blow on the worg's hind leg, dealing 7 damage.


This message was last edited by the GM at 04:46, Sat 25 Nov 2017.

Malark Chondathan
 player, 13 posts
 Senses: 12/9/10, Ini: +2
Sun 26 Nov 2017
at 05:35
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Death Saving Throw. Success.
    Success : 2
    Failure : 0

13:32, Today: Malark Chondathan rolled 16 using 1d20.  Death saving throw.

Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 14 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Sun 26 Nov 2017
at 05:41
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Cory bit back a scream as an arrow crashed to the ground next to her, missing by inches. She had managed to pull the   goblin's leader off Fern...and it was now after her.

Her mentor had always reminded her not to panic - or to show panic - in the face of adversity. It was hard to remember that when goblins were waving or shooting sharp objects at your head, though.

Even so, the halfling somehow managed to keep her hands steady as she reloaded her crossbow and levelled it at the worg once again. Perhaps the goblin would change its tune if they could take out it's partner.

Standard: Attack the worg with crossbow.
Move: 20ft. to E13.

13:41, Today: Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle rolled 6 using 1d8+2.  Damage.
13:39, Today: Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle rolled 16 using 1d20+4.  Lucky reroll (again).
13:39, Today: Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle rolled 5 using 1d20+4.  Shoot the Worg.

This message was last edited by the player at 05:42, Sun 26 Nov 2017.

Fern
 player, 15 posts
Sun 26 Nov 2017
at 12:25
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Hearing Cory's screaming, and seeing the goblin leader's faint shadow, Fern's eyes narrow. In the flickering light of the campfire the druid spins his staff at the worg. His teacher's sayings seem to echo past his ears. Concentrate. Feel. Act.

In this moment of sudden focus and clarity, the elf lashed out again with his weapon!

[Standard] Attack Wolf! (If Cory's bolt fells the wolf Fern will instead try to charge the goblin boss)

20:22, Today: Fern rolled 1 using 1d8.  crit damage.
20:20, Today: Fern rolled 6 using 1d8+3.  Damage.
20:20, Today: Fern rolled 25 using 1d20+5.  Smack Wulf.

GM
 GM, 24 posts
Sun 26 Nov 2017
at 13:36
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Ratface had seen this before. Countless times, he knew when the tides of battle were turning against him, and as the halfling and the elf took down his worg, he knew it was time to bail from the battlefield.

Cory and Fern's combined assault finally takes down the worg.

Scurrying past his sleeping comrade, Ratface pauses only to grab the messenger bag slung around it. Unfortunately, the strap had twisted itself around the goblin's torso, making it impossible to take the bag with him without dragging his comrade's sleeping body along with him.

[Language unknown:  "Ulta moasdi yin itshe houtr il wi, acit'etat!"]

Cursing his luck, the goblin boss slinks into the darkness of the desert sands.

Each PC earns 100 XP for participation in this midnight goblin raid. Looting the goblin corpses yields 1 gp in various currencies amongst them, as well a scrap of cloth with the leering skull of some loathsome tusked creature stitched into it.

There is also the matter of the messenger bag, filled with what appears to be curved strips of pale, foul-smelling wood.

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:18, Wed 06 Dec 2017.

Fern
 player, 16 posts
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 13:29
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Fern lets out a faint breath as all the tension seemed to leave his body. A small but silly grin creeps its way over the elf's lips as he looked over the battlefield and beheld their victory! One worg dead, two goblins down, their goblin fleeing in fear while Malark and West lay bleeding out slowly on the fl- oh crap.

Stifling the curse Fern rushes over to the nearest of his fellow travellers, checking for breath. Seeing the West yet lived, the druid immediately makes to treat the worst of his wounds, tearing strips of cloth from the hem of the caster's cloak to form makeshift bandages, for once regretful that he had not packed a medicinal bag before leaving.

21:28, Today: Fern rolled 10 using 1d20+3.  Medicine.
Malark Chondathan
 player, 14 posts
 Senses: 12/9/10, Ini: +2
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 15:47
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Death Saving Throw. Failed.
    Success : 2
    Failure : 1

22:00, Yesterday: Malark Chondathan rolled 7 using 1d20.  Death saving throw.

GM
 GM, 25 posts
Tue 28 Nov 2017
at 05:24
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Fern manages to stem the flow of West's lifeblood from the painful looking claw wounds running down his back. His condition is stable, at least for now, but it might be a few hours yet before he regains consciousness.
Malark Chondathan
 player, 15 posts
 Senses: 12/9/10, Ini: +2
Tue 28 Nov 2017
at 10:47
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Death saving roll. Success
    Success :  3
    Fail    : 1

18:43, Today: Malark Chondathan rolled 19 using 1d20.  Death saving throw.

Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 15 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Wed 29 Nov 2017
at 14:42
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Sinking to her knees, Cory watched tiredly as the last remaining goblin slunk away into the darkness. "It's over...," she muttered, feeling drained as the stress of their nighttime battle faded away.

A ragged gasp from near the fireplace reminded her that not everyone had fared as well as she had against the goblins. Rising to her feet, she tottered over to the nearest fallen figure.

Malark's injuries looked (and smelled) even worse than Cory had expected, up close. The worst of the fighter's bleeding appeared to have stopped, however, and his breathing seemed to become easier even as she watched.

The halfling heaved a sigh of relief - at least no one else was going to die tonight. Even so, she did her best to clean and bind the man's wounds, copying what Fern was doing for West as much as she could.

"So...does anyone know where those goblins came from?" she asked tiredly, once both humans had been sufficiently bandaged. "Other than some hole in the middle of the Anauroch Desert, that is..." Her gaze wandered over to the sleeping goblin that had been trying to kill her moments ago, and the rough leather bag jammed under its arm, a few bits of some kind of wood sticking out of it. "The last goblin wanted that bag. Could there be something important in it?"

22:27, Today: Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle rolled 22 using 1d20+2.  Wisdom (Medicine) - Probably Redundant.
GM
 GM, 26 posts
Thu 30 Nov 2017
at 04:03
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
The halfling stares at the wood strips intently, and her eyes widen. She recoils instinctively, stepping backward.

In the meantime, West and Malark's breathing have become more regular, and it is obvious that they will be able to sleep off their injuries. Both of them would probably be aching in the morning, but there was no permanent damage to bone or muscle.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 04:47, Thu 30 Nov 2017.

Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 16 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Fri 1 Dec 2017
at 11:16
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Ewwwwwww...," said Cory, covering her mouth and nose as she finally realized what the goblin was holding. Toenail clippings were already disgusting enough to stumble upon, and these were easily as big as her hand. Why were the raiders carrying these...and how did they get them?

With an effort, the merchant tore her gaze away from the bag and at the goblin - its eyes closed as it slept standing up, the creature had an oddly dopey look on its ugly face.

"...so, what do we do with him? And his bag?"

This message was last edited by the player at 11:18, Fri 01 Dec 2017.

Fzoul Slovis
 Zhentarim, 4 posts
Fri 1 Dec 2017
at 15:42
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Truss him up, and we'll question him in the morn."

Fzoul strides up to you, armor splattered with what you assume to be goblin blood.

"We lost a good man tonight," the veteran murmurs under his breath as he looks inside the wagon. The goblins had snuck in and knifed one of his drivers while he was still asleep. The only mercy the man received was that his death had been quick. He turns toward Fern and Cory.

"Rest up for now. Tomorrow I'll make sure I get some answers out of this one,"

He spat on the ground and pulled out a coil of rope from the wagon. With quick and deft movements, Fzoul restrains the unconscious goblin, making sure to empty its pockets and blindfolding it.
GM
 GM, 28 posts
Fri 1 Dec 2017
at 16:15
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
The rest of the night passes uneventfully, and the party rises late the next morning. The mood is somber as the deceased driver is buried in the desert. Fzoul and his men take turns to walk past the marker planted in the sands, each whispering a message that they did not manage to tell their fallen friend while he was still alive.

OOC: Everyone gains the benefit of a long rest. Restore your HP to full, and take the opportunity to review your Fate triggers.

The campsite is soon bustling with activity as the Zhentarim prepare to move on. Some of Fzoul's men continue to linger around their friend's grave marker, while others are busy packing up the shelters into the wagons. Fzoul strides past you with a grim look on his face, toward where the captive goblin had been left tied up.

OOC: What are each of you doing at this time?
Randolph West
 player, 14 posts
Sat 2 Dec 2017
at 12:48
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
West woke up with a splitting headache and a few choice swears. His bird sat by his head cooing softly. He glared at it for a few seconds before it assumed its usual position on his shoulder.

He was alive. That much was clear. So he assumed they'd somehow fought off the ambush. He ran his fingers along the back of his head, feeling the swelling bumps where the stones had struck him. He felt the stinging sensation on his back as sat up. That would leave a mark.

Other than the numerous complaints, West had no other complaints. He pulled out his book, glanced through the usual rituals as he prepared for the day. Then he pulled his (now ragged) cloak over himself and left the tent.
Fern
 player, 17 posts
Sat 2 Dec 2017
at 13:32
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Having seen their way through combat, Fern was marginally more trusting of their fellow travellers, in so far that they hadn't immediately turned around to stab them in the back when their party was down. The elf had spent the rest of the night trancing next to the unconscious bodies of Malark and West, breathing the cool desert air and renewing his connection with the land.

Day comes, and with it, work. The first thing Fern does upon seeing that West and Malark were alive was to pull them aside to check on their wounds. Infections could breed anywhere, even in the dry and sterile desert. That done, the elf heads over to find Cory, hoping to confer with the halfling on the exact details of the paper and pouch they had found.

"...so. Toenail clippings. Giant toenails, in fact," Fern echoes, eyes twitching, "anything...else?"

He waves as Fzoul approaches, though the druid's attention remains largely inward, pondering the nature of the goblin attack.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:33, Sat 02 Dec 2017.

Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 17 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Sun 3 Dec 2017
at 04:27
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"... gods, I wish you hadn't reminded me of that." Cory groaned, cradling her head in her hands as she sat on a rock. Despite Fzoul's advice, she hadn't been able to rest well the night before - the stress of the battle (and stretching her magic to the limit) had left her feeling quite cranky. A half-eaten bar of trail bread from her supplies lay next to her - the food was helping with her headache, but not by much.

"I didn't see anything else in the bag, and I honestly don't see why they found it so valuable." Raising her head, the halfling glanced blearily over at the Zhentarim leader as he headed towards their trussed-up captive. "We'll have to ask that goblin to get our answer to that question."

This message was last edited by the player at 04:30, Sun 03 Dec 2017.

Fern
 player, 19 posts
Mon 4 Dec 2017
at 14:25
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"These toenails are-" Fern reflexively answered, then stopped himself as he remembered the presence of the Zhentarim, "-something we should discuss with West about later," he turns to regard Fzoul, masking his distaste with (he hoped) typical druidic stiffness, "grim news, I take? What did you manage to...force out of our captive?"
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 18 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Tue 5 Dec 2017
at 07:00
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"West?" Cory frowned. "The man's obviously a -" she refrained from using the word 'smuggler' " - trader in exotic goods, but even he might be hard pressed to find value in toenails." Grabbing her trail bread, she tore another bite out of it, making a face at its bland texture. "'could be wrong, though. Goblins - mmmph - did want them, f'r some reason..."

The halfling turned around to face Fzoul as Fern addressed him. She was pretty sure the Zhentarim was about to question the captive goblin...or had he already done so earlier? She wasn't too sure, after not sleeping well following the attack. Stupid goblins.
Randolph West
 player, 15 posts
Tue 5 Dec 2017
at 10:57
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Whats this about toenails, and why would they interest me?" West interjects. His back prickled as he walked towards Cory and Fern. The owl hoots gladly to see the others, but its owner does not seem as jolly.

"So we have a captive then?" West didn't wait for their answer. "While F'zoul may have experience in this sort of... unsavoury business, I believe I can talk to him a bit to get some other information from the goblin. What is it we need then?" he finished, rubbing the stiffness from his shoulders.
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 19 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Tue 5 Dec 2017
at 11:24
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Giant toenails," Cory replied to West as he approached, her voice heavy with disgust. "Our goblin was carrying them, and the other goblin wanted them." She gave the hooded man's much friendlier owl a little wave, before continuing.

"Fern and I were wondering if you knew of any exotic uses for those. Those that would be of interest to goblins, anyway." Looking over to the Zhentarim leader, the halfling added: "Or you could help get that answer out of Fzoul's captive. Among others. I'm not too good at that kind of thing, but I can sit in and watch."
Malark Chondathan
 player, 16 posts
 Senses: 12/9/10, Ini: +2
Tue 5 Dec 2017
at 11:32
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Getting almost ripped apart twice wasn't exactly Malark's idea of a first combat engagement but at least he was alive. Instinctively reaching out for his weapon, he regains consciousness with a gasp and immediately looks around for the next target to attack.

But all he finds are his comrades going about doing whatever it is people do after coming close to being slaughtered - checking items, tending to the wounded and the dead. So much carnage. He mentally checks off that Fern, West and Cory are alright and finds himself somewhat relieved. Few things bond people together faster than knowing that you've collectively shed blood.

His body is aching badly but it'll heal.

"Hey how're you folks holding up? How long was I out?" he tries to ask the group.

Turning to West Malark asks, "Did we get those bastards? Why is that one still alive? You going to talk to it? Well if he doesn't talk, I could take a swing."
Randolph West
 player, 16 posts
Wed 6 Dec 2017
at 06:14
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Toenails." West mumbled to himself. He racked his brain to recall if they were spell components, or if there was some bizarre market for them, though he highly doubted both prospects.

"Well I'm not someone blessed with glibness, but from what I know, what you lack in charisma you make up with external factors." he said, putting aside (though thankfully not literally) the toenails for now.

"Punching it might help, in all honesty." he replied to Malark. "Though violence is another area I don't specialise in either."
Fern
 player, 20 posts
Wed 6 Dec 2017
at 13:37
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Good for potions," Fern mumbles, hopefully out of earshot of Fzoul, "giant's strength. You are what you eat and all that. Taken a bit literally in this case," the elf shrugs, waving at Malark as the warrior joined in, "ho there Malark. I'm afraid you were out most of the night. And for most of the fight too."

"If we're all going to interrogate the goblin, I suggest letting Fzoul take the lead. Man probably has had practice," the druid adds darkly, "the most important thing to find out is where it came from. And how many more of it there are. Aren't you a mage, West? Can't you just..." Fern makes some wavy motions with his fingers, "force it to talk? Read its mind or something?"
Fzoul Slovis
 Zhentarim, 5 posts
Wed 6 Dec 2017
at 14:37
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Fzoul acknowledges Fern's wave as he walks past with a nod, although the expression on his face remains grim.

"I'm on my way to find out what I can from the scum that you guys caught last night," the mercenary says, spitting words out through gritted teeth. Fzoul clenches and unclenches his fist, and pulls an ugly-looking club from his belt.

You get the impression that the goblin isn't going to enjoy his upcoming conversation very much.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:33, Thu 07 Dec 2017.

Randolph West
 player, 17 posts
Thu 7 Dec 2017
at 06:56
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Unfortunately I cannot read minds, not with the spells I have. Most of my selection is to aid with my business." West shook his head.

"However, I do believe our captive might not speak Common, and I happen to have a spell for that. It's useful for clients from out of town."
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 20 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Fri 8 Dec 2017
at 12:28
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Cory made a face at Fern's suggestion. "That does not sound appetising. Or marketable. At all. Remind me to let someone else taste any potions that you find first."

"So the spell'll let you understand the goblin? That's useful," the halfling added when West mentioned his magic. "Are you able to cast it on us too, or do you have to translate?"
Fern
 player, 21 posts
Fri 8 Dec 2017
at 14:59
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Go listen in," Fern gestures at Fzoul once the man turns away, "no telling what we might miss. If you can cast it on us too, that would be helpful."

The druid leans forward, brows furrowed,

"We hear rumours of giants, and goblins show up with their toe clippings. I do -not- like the implications of this. But more importantly, remember that one of them lot got away. The boss in fact, if its trappings were anything to go by. We need to know where it came from and how many," the druid grimaces, muttering half to himself, "its never just one goblin..."
Randolph West
 player, 18 posts
Mon 11 Dec 2017
at 07:53
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"The spell will only work on myself, but I can supply translations, assuming our captive lacks the culture to speak Common tongue. As for beatings..." West nodded and turned to F'zoul.

"I may be of assistance, from what I recall, the goblins never spoke a word of Common to us. I can be of help."
Fzoul Slovis
 Zhentarim, 6 posts
Fri 15 Dec 2017
at 12:11
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Nodding to West at his offer to help, Fzoul leads you all to the clearing near to the smouldering ashes of the night's campfire, where the captive goblin is kept. The goblin's eyes widen with fear as Fzoul looms over him, cracking his knuckles..
GM
 GM, 30 posts
Fri 15 Dec 2017
at 14:14
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
An hour later, with West's translations and Fzoul's, uh, persuasiveness, the goblin tells you what he knows.

"Me goblins from Jawbreaker Tribe. Boss Goblin orders raid wagons for food. New tribe from west come, take over old hunting ground. New Tribe chieftain is smart and strong and lead well. Many followers, bugbear, hobgoblin, goblin."

You also learn that his tribe stole the bag with the "wooden strips" from the goblins to the west, but don't know what they are or whether they are valuable.
Randolph West
 player, 19 posts
Sun 17 Dec 2017
at 01:59
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"So we have more than one goblin tribe running around robbing and looting. Fantastic. Also why are they even gathering giants toenails...?"

West pondered for a second.

"I still say we continue on, exterminating a goblin force isn't something we should prioritise right now."
Fern
 player, 22 posts
Tue 19 Dec 2017
at 05:39
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road

"Definitely. But news like this is something we should pass word on of," Fern largely agrees, apparently deep in thought, "hobs and bugbears means its a pretty powerful one. Might become a regional threat if allowed to build too long," the druid fidgets with the tip of his quarterstaff, tracing the numerous carved markings along the uneven wood, "least we know to watch for the west. And if this one's tribe is dealing with a bigger threat, chances are we'll not have to deal with a second wave of goblin raids."

Standing up and dusting the sand off his trouser, Fern makes for a quick stretch, looking around camp;

"Well.That's that then. No point wasting time. Pack up, grab our rations and let the little bugger go I guess," a pause, as his eyes swivel over to Fzoul, "...unless you prefer to enact justice for your men, of course."
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 21 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Wed 20 Dec 2017
at 04:51
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Hobgoblins and bugbears," Cory muttered, once West had finished translating. "I wonder if the toll station Fzoul mentioned yesterday might have anything to do with them. Either way, we should keep our distance. The caravan has to stick to the roads, but we could steer clear." And if Fzoul's caravan got to Vuerythl first...well, warning the trading post of the new goblin tribe was also in the Zhents' interests.

The little merchant glanced towards the bound goblin as she considered Fern's words. She didn't have much stomach for killing the pitiful looking creature, even if it had been trying to do the same to her the previous night. "What should we do with the goblin's bag?" she asked instead, sidestepping the issue. "Other than some truly disgusting mixtures -" here, she made a face at Fern "- I don't see much use for...ergh...its contents."

This message was last edited by the player at 07:17, Wed 20 Dec 2017.

Fern
 player, 23 posts
Wed 20 Dec 2017
at 08:02
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road

Fern looks puzzedly at the smaller halfling,

"...we...sell them, I presume?" the druid scratches behind his ears, perplexed, "given your background, I would have thought that obvious. Reagents like toenails are pretty valuable to the right alchemist," he shrugs, "giants not being very forthcoming with their clippings, or friendly to folks wanting to take a pair of shears to their toes."
Cordelia 'Cory' Longsaddle
 player, 22 posts
 Capitalism, ho!
 Senses: 14/10/14, Ini: +2
Wed 20 Dec 2017
at 08:17
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"...I'll have to bow to your expertise in this," the halfling grumbled, abashed. She had to look beyond her own prejudices, or she wouldn't be able to get ahead.

"It's just that...couldn't the goblins have taken, say, hair clippings instead? Or maybe they could've at least have washed them..."
Fzoul Slovis
 Zhentarim, 7 posts
Thu 21 Dec 2017
at 09:51
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"Don't you worry about that. This filth and his tribe owes a debt of blood, and I always collect."

He stands up, and turns around to grip West's hand in a grateful handshake. "Thank you for your help, mage. And to all of you as well. I am glad to have met with new friends."

The Zhentarim turns away to direct his mens' preparations to leave the campsite. When all the preparations are done, Fzoul bids your party goodbye, promising to buy everyone a round the next time you meet.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:03, Thu 21 Dec 2017.

GM
 GM, 31 posts
Thu 21 Dec 2017
at 10:32
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road



There's nothing like the desert to make people feel small and insignificant. In every direction, huge dunes roll across the landscape, and an even bigger sky looms above. The oasis of Vuerthyl is a motley collection of sun-bleached tents in the vast Anauroch desert.



As you arrive at the desert stop, you are ushered to meet Azam the caravaneer in the large, Calimshan styled tent that passes for a tavern here. A pair of tieflings, who seem to be unaffected by the heat, eye approaching visitors warily. The dim interior of the tent is a relief from the bright light and wind, though itís as hot here as anywhere else. The gentle sounds of a stringed instrument fill the air, and the people inside are hunched over food, drink, and conversation. A dragonborn with rust-colored scales greets you, and guides you to a private table. There are a few other adventurers here, but it appears that they are ignoring you for the moment.

The dragonborn delivers water as well as dates, olives and bread. Before long, you are joined by a lean, half-elven man with a long, craggy face and the dark skin and hair that shows his Rashemi ancestry. He has an impressive mustache. Heís clad in practical desert gear. His most striking feature is a golden-scaled pseudodragon that lays draped around his shoulders. The pseudodragon stirs, blinking with milky irises, and sniffing the air.

"Hsing, my patron," the man gestures to the snoozing dragon, as if it was a perfectly normal thing, ͞"Is most pleased that you have come. Welcome to Vuerthyl. I am Azam, a humble merchant."
Randolph West
 player, 20 posts
Wed 27 Dec 2017
at 11:24
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
The owl fidgets quietly in the presence of the pseudodragon. West, annoyed, plants a firm hand on the bird to stop its movements.

"Greetings, I take it you have business with us?" West gets to the point straight. "We're merely passing through though."
Fern
 player, 24 posts
Thu 28 Dec 2017
at 14:23
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
The presence of the dragonborn and the pseudodragon on his shoulder draws Fern's undisguised interest, the druid alternating glances between the pair with clear curiosity in his eyes. As West goes up to greet the half-elven merchant, Fern is reminded a little of their current situation and quickly composes himself. Still, the elf seems far more interested in the pseudo-dragon's scales than the conversation with his half-kin.

"Rare to see one of their kind," Fern comments almost absent-mindedly, turning his apparent stare into a frown, "what do you want with us?" his mind turns to an old tale by his mentor, and the elf's scowl deepens, "if its camels, no we do not need camels. Not a single one."
Azam
 caravan master, 1 post
Fri 29 Dec 2017
at 08:09
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
"I welcome you, travelers, to Vuerthyl," Azam repeats himself. "Many travelers like yourselves pass through this place, and we like to treat our guests well. Allow me to buy all of you a round of food and drinks, and in return, you can tell me a tale of your travels thus far."

He signals with his hand, beckoning the dragonborn to come. He does so, bearing a plate of dried dates, flat loaves of bread and various cheeses, laying it in front of you. Your stomachs involuntarily rumbles at the sight of the delicious looking spread.

Azam, smiling, gestures for you to eat, as he fills bronze cups with wine for each of you in turn.
Fern
 player, 25 posts
Fri 29 Dec 2017
at 12:21
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Fern's frown quickly turns into a puzzled glance as Azam brings in plate after plate of food. Though by no means a pampered louche, the elf found himself staring hungrily at the spread, especially after the days of hard rations and water from their trek through the desert.

Staring at Azam for a good five seconds, he elf gives the equivalent of a mental shrug before seating himself at the meal. Yes, they could be trying to poison them all or something. But food was food, and he was reasonably certain in his constitution. Reasonably.

Fern takes a cautious sniff of the wine, stealing a quick look towards West, and then Cory. He does not yet drink, but the druid's eagerness to partake of the first hearty meal they've had in a while is plain to see.

"...not sure what is there to say, really," he manages, still holding the full cup of wine, "the deserts the same everywhere. Sand, heat and insects, all which try to kill you in various ways."
Azam
 caravan master, 2 posts
Sat 30 Dec 2017
at 02:41
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
The bread is crusty, sprinkled with rock salt and goes exceedingly well with the platter of goat cheese. Sun drying the dates to preserve them has also concentrated their sweetness manifold, proving to be a surprisingly delicious complement to your meal. The food is standard fare for the Bedines, natives of the Anauroch Desert, but hunger is excellent seasoning to go with it.

Azam stifles a grin as he finishes pouring a cup for himself. You and your group are obviously hungry after their travels, and he delights himself in being a good host. The pseudodragon settles back into a comfortable position, wrapping its long tail around Azam's arm, oblivious to the difficulties posed to the poor man in raising his cup to his lips.

"Ah, but surely you have come from somewhere other than the desert dunes? What news can you tell me, of the regions outside of the Great Sand Sea?"
Randolph West
 player, 21 posts
Tue 2 Jan 2018
at 07:28
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
West still wasn't up to trusting the half-elf, he wipes the lip of his cup and only takes a drink once he's seen their host consume some himself.

"Well, if its rumours you want, I've heard tales of dissent amongst the dwarven kingdoms. Whispers of a maddening material, hewn from frost pitch as night, that sends even the stoutest of dwarves into a madness. Of course, tis nothing more than a rumour, but here's hoping the frosty shortlets keep their supply lines well maintained. They're too important to many a merchant."

West rests his hand on his cup as he finishes, stopping his bird from trying to take a sip.

"But lets talk about here, what's been going on in this harsh, crisp desert of yours?"

This message was last edited by the player at 07:33, Tue 02 Jan 2018.

Fern
 player, 26 posts
Wed 3 Jan 2018
at 13:02
Chapter 1: Black Riders on the Black Road
Unfamiliar with procedure, Fern mimics West in his actions and speech, only drinking after he sees the wizard drink as well.

"Well, I'm not much for gossip," the druid adds, tearing into the bread, "but news does reach me sometime. Small tales- a dryad from the forests of Tethir marrying a human adventurer in a nearby town. A mold that affects only the certain wildberries up North, widespread enough that a small reward has been offered for a cure. Some sort of new dish from the South, involving fermenting eggs in a special mix of brine and vinegar while buried under three feet of soil."

What other conversation the elf might make is temporarily put on hold as Fern shifts his full focus to devouring the spread before them.