Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes.   Posted by Grey Wyrm.Group: 0
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 157 posts
Sun 20 Oct 2019
at 13:35
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
About mid-morning the next day you see a dozen horsemen approaching along the road from the west towards you. The glint of sunlight on metal from armour and lances, plus their orderly two-abreast formation tells you they are probably soldiers. Sure enough, as they get close you are able to make out their green tunics over scalemail and their shields painted green with a brown bear rampant. The pennant flying from the lance of one of the leading riders bears the same symbol. The leading pair of riders halt on either side of the first wagon and the other five pairs of horsemen ride down either side of the wagons and halt flanking both wagons and their draft horses.

The more senior of the lead riders, the one without the pennant, addresses those riding in the first wagon.

"Good day to you, gentlemen. I am Lieutenant Cordolan, 25th Cavalry Squadron, Army of the Duchy Palatine of Urnst. Please state you names and your business here in the Duchy of Urnst."
Ricky Aramis
 player, 50 posts
 Human Bard
Mon 21 Oct 2019
at 02:13
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
Luc will grin at the mounted infantry "I'll let our herald do the talking - Oi Herald! Lieutenant Cordolan has enquired about our business in Urnst!" Ricky will leave his crossbow behind his seat, will hop off the wagon and stride confidently to stand before the lieutenant. "Well met Lieutenant Cordolan! My colleagues, warrior priests of the temple of Pelor in Hardby have been tasked with escorting a nobleman to trade negotiations. Having delivered gifts and successfully completed talks we now travel considerably lighter back from whence we came. So far we have slain a small group of bandits as well as a lion and ants of unnatural size, have you noted any further threats that may have occupied the area recently?" By the time the Bard has finished talking Bull has strapped on his shield and hopped off the back of his wagon, hand resting confidently on his mace. Ox will emerge from the front of his wagon to rest stride the wagons seat. The mercenaries will stay out of sight until called on, especially Bron who will throw a blanket over himself in case the warriors knew the knight.

OOC: Ricky has gotten 24 on his diplomacy check. Also, the previous night Ricky used inspire competence to boost Lucs skill and Luc attempted to identify the potions (a DC 25 spell craft check). he got 27, 32, 32, 23, 16, 28, 20, 26, 24 and 25.
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 158 posts
Mon 21 Oct 2019
at 14:10
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
"That sounds like a satisfactory reason for being here but I will still need some more details," the Lieutenant responds. He seems friendly enough.

"I do need to make a note of your names, though. Everyone of you. Where were these trade negotiations held? And you mentioned that you killed a small group of bandits. We found several bodies a day's ride to the west where some rock outcrops flank the trail. Not the first time we've seen evidence of bandits laying an ambush there. The corpses had been stripped and left for buzzards and other carrion-eaters to feast on, so we assumed they were the victims of bandits, not bandits themselves. I think you should tell me more about what happened there."
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 159 posts
Mon 21 Oct 2019
at 14:31
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
Luc's spellcraft checks the previous evening identified several of the potions:
  • 2 Potions of cure moderate wounds
  • 2 Potions of detect magic (second one not identified but appears identical)
  • 1 potion - not identified
  • 1 potion of bull's strength
  • 1 potion - not identified
  • 1 potion of darkvision
  • 1 potion - not identified
  • 1 potion of enlarge person

Ricky Aramis
 player, 51 posts
 Human Bard
Mon 21 Oct 2019
at 15:28
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
"That's fair enough. The devotees of Pelor are the brothers Ox and Bull Gordon, the sarcastic one is Master Luc Fromage and I am Ricky Aramis, a humble teller of stories. The trade talks were held East of here. The threat however lies to the West. These bandits were the second group that we have dealt with. Each time we have captured one for questioning, each time we have been told that a half Orc bandit called One Eye has established a small fortress in the Southernmost of the Cairn Hills. It will take us roughly two days to get back to Hardby, a few to re-outfit and then we plan to strike them, hard and raze their shack to the ground. What they did to civilians the first time we ran across them cannot be forgiven and will be avenged. Is there anything else we can help you with Lieutenant?"
Nerius Bootlum
Tue 22 Oct 2019
at 15:33
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
The slightly obnoxious noble that commissioned this journey chooses this moment to emerge from the first wagon.

"And I am Nerius Bootlum. It was I that engaged these gentlemen and their four guardsmen to escort me to the gnomish village of Abborgrottell, to deliver an antique bedframe to their Headman. Goodness only knows why they would value such a thing, but I am certainly not going to complain about the peculiarities of gnomes on this occasion."
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 160 posts
Tue 22 Oct 2019
at 15:50
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
The Lieutenant nods to the trooper with the pennant and he pulls out a slim roll of paper and makes a note of the names and a few other details.

"Thank you, Mister Bootlum, and Mister Aramis. I will need to make a note of your four guardsmen's names as well, of course.

"We have heard rumours of a bandit called One Eye but haven't learnt enough details yet to act against him. If you do mean to assault his camp, we should join forces for that mission. The Cairn Hills are part of the border of the Duchy after all, and it really is our responsibility to deal with bandits in our own territory. Under the circumstances I am certainly not inclined to refuse your assistance with that task. I think we should sit down and discuss details over lunch. We can at least arrange a time and place to meet and a preliminary outline of tactics if a joint operation looks to be workable."

Ricky Aramis
 player, 52 posts
 Human Bard
Tue 22 Oct 2019
at 16:29
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
Ricky will grin at Luc, then will address the Lieutenant. "We have no issue with that at all Lieutenant. I apologize for being a little cagey with our benefactors business, I didn't know how much master Bootlum wished to divulge. Lieutenant, we're happy to discuss what ever you'd like, be it over a meal, while we travel or at an organised meet at a later date. While we were able to save some of the people they'd kidnapped they'd already killed a few pilgrims before we could intervene. Our business with One Eye feels unfinished and we don't leave loose ends."
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 161 posts
Wed 23 Oct 2019
at 12:31
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
While Ricky is talking with the Lieutenant, Jaime climbs out the back of the front wagon and walks around to speak with the trooper that is making notes.

"Jaime, Tyrion, Pod and Bron. Those are the names of us four guardsmen," he tells him.

The trooper nods and mutters a simple "Thank you" as he notes them down.

The lieutenant smiles at Jaime too.

"All right then, we'll stop now for an early lunch. This is as good a place as any," he announces.

"Troop, dismount!"
Jason White
 player, 12 posts
 Human Prison Officer
Wed 23 Oct 2019
at 12:43
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
Bron and Tyrion will remove the knights full plate while the others bring the wagons off the trail. They will try to offer a decent meal from the rations and casks of ale they're still carrying. If the troopers are receptive Ricky will perform the song he's written about the bandit that stole the bed and earned eternal slumber.
Bull Gordon
 player, 36 posts
 Human cleric of Pelor
Thu 24 Oct 2019
at 07:24
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
While they bring the first wagon off the road Bull will jump into the back with Ox. Out of sight they will cast detect evil and detect magic and through the canvas will do a slow sweep of the mounted warriors surrounding them.
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 162 posts
Thu 24 Oct 2019
at 13:01
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
The changing of the guard goes off without a hitch and Bull and Ox are able to scan the soldiers from the cover of the wagon. None of them are evil. The lieutenant's sabre (scimitar) and cloak radiate faint magical auras and he and most of the troopers has at least one item in their belt pouches with a faint magical aura.

The troopers rig a rope line to secure their horses a little way from the wagons and set about lighting a fire to boil a pot of water to brew some sort of herbal tea. They unpack some of their own rations and are happy to pool them with the party's rations so everyone can enjoy a bit of variety in their diet.

Ricky's performance about the bandit and the bed is well received and loudly applauded.

As you eat, the lieutenant discusses plans for the raid on the bandit camp. He suggests meeting 7 days from now, back at the rocky outcrops where the bandits previously tried to ambush your wagons. That will give you time to travel to and from Hardby with two or three days in town for whatever preparations you need to make. Then you can plan your raid on the bandit camp in more detail when you are all together again at the rocky outcrop. He is happy to delay that longer if you would prefer, for example if you were intending to try to get close enough to view the bandit camp on your own before meeting up with the troops. Had you had any thoughts about the best time of day (or night) to plan your assault for? If you are thinking of travelling or attacking in the dark he would make different arrangements than for a daylight mission.
Luc Fromage
 player, 39 posts
 Human Wizard
Thu 24 Oct 2019
at 13:56
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
The party are keen to scout One Eyes fortress and unless they see good reason to they actually plan to approach the camp during the middle of the day. They will explain that each time they've faced the bandits they've let one or two live, partly for information but mostly to spread the word about their strength (they've bested them in melee and wiped them out with a fireball.) This time when they show up with a large force of men and tell them to surrender and give them a day before their annihilation that at the very least some might flee, hopefully several will defect.

The group are happy to meet the Lieutenant and his men in seven days at the rocky outcrop and are very willing to change the plan of attack if the recon or the soldiers instincts think better.
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 163 posts
Fri 25 Oct 2019
at 13:16
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
The lieutenant is happy to shake hands on that arrangement and assures you they are already looking forward to testing their steel on any bandits that refuse to surrender. The troops finish their early lunch and are soon back in the saddle and ready to leave, unless you have anything else to add?
Jason White
 player, 13 posts
 Human Prison Officer
Fri 25 Oct 2019
at 13:23
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
Nothing else, the party is keen to get onto the road and make their way back to Hardby :)
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 164 posts
Sun 27 Oct 2019
at 15:18
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
The two groups part company very amicably after agreeing to meet again in 7 days.

The rest of the journey back to Hardby proves to be uneventful and Nerius Bootlum hands over the 2000gp fee he agreed to pay you as soon as he is returned safely to his home.

OOC: Everyone in the party will be able to level up when they get back to Hardby, including the 4 mercenaries.

The treasure and equipment you took off the bandits (and the sale price you can get for it in Hardby) is as follows:
16pp, 120gp, 300sp, 200cp, 3x50gp citrine gems, 8x10gp blue quartz gems, 1x100gp white pearl (642gp)
3 potions of cure light wounds (3x50=150/2=75gp)
1 masterwork studded leather armour (175/2=87.5gp)
10 masterwork leather armour (10x160=1600/2=800gp)
1 masterwork buckler (165/2=82.5gp)
10 masterwork light wooden shields (10x153=1530/2=765gp)
11 masterwork shortswords  (11x310=3410/2=1705gp)
11 daggers (11x2=22/2=11gp)
1 masterwork composite shortbow (+1 Str) (450/2=225gp)
5 shortbows, 6 quivers, 112 arrows (5x30+6x1=156/2=78gp)
5 shortspears (5x1=5/2=2.5gp)
3 backpacks, 6 large sacks
16 days rations
3 x 50ft rope, 2 grapnels
1 shovel, 1 axe, 1 pickaxe, 1 crowbar
8 blankets, 3 bedrolls
3 tinderboxes, 6 torches, 1 hooded lantern, 3 flasks of oil
(Subtotal of bandit loot (sale value): 4323.5gp excluding mundane gear)

100gp for the uncured dire lion hide
Ricky traded the 100gp dire lion hide + 425gp of bandit treasure to gnome illusionist Ellywyn Twinkleberry Schleppenstik for scrolls of new spells

Party commissioned a rope climber designed to carry 300 pounds for 350gp

The treasure and equipment you got from the dead knight (and the sale price you can get for it in Hardby) is as follows (identifying the magic items proves simple enough by trial and error):
Banded mail barding (1000/2=500gp)
Exotic military saddle (60/2=30gp)
+1 full plate (3800gp, full price assumes someone will keep it)
Masterwork heavy steel shield (170/2=85gp)
Masterwork composite longbow (+4 Str) (675/2=337.5gp)
Quiver of 20 masterwork arrows (301/2=150.5gp)
+1 Longsword (2315gp, full price assumes someone will keep it)
Masterwork dagger (302gp, full price assumes someone will keep it)
Masterwork lance (310/2=155gp)
Masterwork Morningstar (308gp, full price assumes someone will keep it)
+1 cloak of resistance (1000gp)
+1 ring of protection (2000gp)
2 Potions of cure moderate wounds (2x300=600gp)
2 Potions of detect magic (2x25=50gp)
1 potion of protection from evil (50gp)
1 potion of bull's strength (300gp)
1 potion of bear's endurance (300gp)
1 potion of darkvision (300gp)
1 potion of lesser restoration (300gp)
1 potion of enlarge person (250gp) (subtotal knight's equipment=12,603gp)
Belt pouch: 20pp, 20gp, 10sp, 6x50gp carnelian gems (521gp)
Research notes and map to battle site in Bright Desert

Bull Gordon
 player, 37 posts
 Human cleric of Pelor
Sun 3 Nov 2019
at 02:33
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
Keep:
Masterwork Morningstar (Pod)
+1 cloak of resistance (Jaime)
+1 ring of protection (Ricky)
2 Potions of cure moderate wounds (Jaime and Luc)
1 potion of protection from evil (Ricky)
1 potion of bull's strength (Ox)
1 potion of bear's endurance (Bull)
1 potion of darkvision (Luc)
1 potion of lesser restoration (Luc)
1 potion of enlarge person (Ox)
3 potions of cure light wounds (Bron, Pod and Tyrion)
+1 full plate (Jaime)
Masterwork dagger (Luc)
+1 Longsword (Jaime)

Kept in Wagon:
11 daggers
5 shortspears
3 backpacks, 6 large sacks, Belt pouch
16 days rations
3 x 50ft rope, 2 grapnels
1 shovel, 1 axe, 1 pickaxe, 1 crowbar
8 blankets, 3 bedrolls
3 tinderboxes, 6 torches, 1 hooded lantern, 3 flasks of oil
Research notes and map to battle site in Bright Desert

Sell:
258gp, 8x10gp blue quartz gems, 6x50gp carnelian gems, 1x100gp white pearl

2 Potions of detect magic (2x25=50gp)
1 masterwork studded leather armour (175/2=87.5gp)
10 masterwork leather armour (10x160=1600/2=800gp)
1 masterwork buckler (165/2=82.5gp)
10 masterwork light wooden shields (10x153=1530/2=765gp)
11 masterwork shortswords  (11x310=3410/2=1705gp)
1 masterwork composite shortbow (+1 Str) (450/2=225gp)
5 shortbows, 6 quivers, 112 arrows (5x30+6x1=156/2=78gp)
Masterwork lance (310/2=155gp)
Masterwork heavy steel shield (170/2=85gp)
Masterwork composite longbow (+4 Str) (675/2=337.5gp)
Quiver of 20 masterwork arrows (301/2=150.5gp)
Banded mail barding (1000/2=500gp)
Exotic military saddle (60/2=30gp)
Items sell for 5026gps plus 2000 gps from Bootlum
Plus the gold and gems at the top party have 7764 gps to play with

Purchases
- A Masterwork Heavy Mace for Bull (His MW Morningstar will go to a merc) 312gps
- Ox will work the magic full plate from the knight to size it for Jaime, remove most of the distinguishing marks and add some subtle Pelorite iconography. Luc will use prestidigitation to change the colour of the cloak of resistance to white.
Luc will spend a day scribing a scroll with 5x CL5 fireball spells for 937 gps and 5 sps
Leaves the party with 6514 gps and 5 sps
(Party commissioned a rope climber designed to carry 300 pounds for 350gp)

Wagons
Could I please get an Iron chest welded to an iron plate bolted into one of the wagons? I figure 10x the 2gp cost of a wooden chest (20gp) and half again for the plate might be a fair estimate and then 150gps for an amazing lock?
Ballista Wagon!
A wagon (70gps x2 cost of normal wagon), two light horses (150gps) with studded leather barding (200gps) and a masterwork ballista (800gps) with 20 bolts (20gps)
(The wagon is modified so the canvas awning clamshell separates so that both halves will easily swing open once unlatched to reveal the ballista.) 1240gps
Would I be able to find a pair of siege engineers? Im hoping for two 2nd level fighters, one with the feats weapon focus ballista, monkey grip, point blank shot and precise shot, the other with rapid reload, tower shield proficiency, toughness and skill focus: profession siege engineer. That way the gunner maxes his attack roll and the loader halves the reload time and handles the contracts :) (This is based on the description of the ballista found on page 99 of the DMG.)
Also, is there a merchant who would be willing to one for one our MW Morning Stars for MW Heavy Maces? Not a big deal, just that maces are the favoured weapon of Pelor :) 

Upon returning to Hardby the party will suggest the mercenaries take two days R&R and meet back the morning of the third day. They will then take the wagons to the temple of Pelor. The clerics will spend the night fasting and praying for the benevolence of Pelor, Luc will study hard to record the new level of casting he has attained and the bard will sweep through several taverns, celebrating the expanded repertoire of music within. The following day the group will gather in the Pelorite morgue with the body of the knight. Using rites carefully controlled by his church he will cast the speak with dead spell. Talking with the greatest respect and solemnity his first question shall be "Good sir, if we know your history, beliefs and mission we can properly lay you to rest so pray tell, what is your story?

OOC: Character sheets updated to lvl 5, mercenaries updated to lvl 2 and all kept items recorded on character sheets. Amongst the madness my questions are:
a) Is there any additional cost to rework the armour?
b) Is there any issue with Luc taking a day to scribe his scroll of fireballs?
c) Am I able to get an iron chest fitted to the second wagon in three days and is the price I've suggested reasonable?
d) Will I be able to find a pair of siege engineers willing to join us for a raid on a bandit fortress and will they have the skill set I'm seeking?
e) If I find the engineers will I be able to get a MW ballista mounted on a modified wagon in three days?
f) Does the knight corpse resist the speak with dead spell? (DC 16 will save)

Grey Wyrm
 GM, 165 posts
Sun 3 Nov 2019
at 16:02
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
Your church of Pelor in Hardby will be able to persuade a merchant to exchange MW morningstars for MW heavy maces.

The iron chest on the wagon is ok and can be done in that time and cost.

The MW ballista and crew is a problem. There are no ballistae at all in Hardby nor men trained to use them. Weapon and crew would have to come from Greyhawk and would probably take a couple of weeks to organise. Besides, from what you have seen of the mountain you won't be able to take a wagon up there to assault the bandit camp. That will have to be done on foot or at best on horseback.

You could hire a couple of heavy crossbowmen with suitable skillset and masterwork weapons.

Anything done with Prestidigitation is only temporary, apart from cleaning or moving something.

PHB p124 says a captured suit of full plate can be resized to fit its new owner for 200 to 800gp.

Luc can scribe 1000gp worth of scrolls in a day. Third level spell at caster level 5 is base price 375gp each, so takes 2 days to scribe 5 scrolls. I will allow him to scribe 3 in one day by working late into the evening but he can't do that 2 days in a row.

The corpse answers your questions.
"Jontin Mulhale I am. Iron Jon they call me. Giants slain, ogres slain, orcs by the score fed my coffers. Now it ends. Now to rest."
Bull Gordon
 player, 38 posts
 Human cleric of Pelor
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 02:24
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
Brilliant!
- We'll change  the morning stars to maces.
- We'll get the iron chest installed.
- We won't worry about more henchmen at this stage (I would like to take the leadership feat at next level so recruiting will probably be a big deal.)
- since the full plate is being resized from a medium human to a medium human I'm guessing  it would be the minimum 200gps?
- I was basing the time taken on the cost price, cheers for allowing three in a day, we'll just go with three fireballs.
- We won't do any further spending as I'm going to save up for a big crafting session.

Ox will nod respectfully. "Iron John, are you aware of any current or rumoured dangers to your quest for the shadowbane?"
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 166 posts
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 13:36
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
"Rary the Traitor covets that blade, his armies are anywhere, everywhere, or desert tribesmen, or centaurs. Some say the battlefield is haunted yet! The risk is great. The reward is greater!"
Bull Gordon
 player, 39 posts
 Human cleric of Pelor
Mon 4 Nov 2019
at 14:30
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
"One last question Sir John, before we lay you to rest and sing of your glory. Do you know of any threat to the Duchy of Urnst, the town of Hardby or the city of Greyhawk?"
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 167 posts
Tue 5 Nov 2019
at 13:32
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
"Yes ... Shadowbane ... in the Traitor's hands ... would be a threat to all."
Ox Gordon
 player, 34 posts
 Human cleric of Pelor
Wed 6 Nov 2019
at 07:44
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
As the magic recedes Ox will respectfully close the corpses eyes and will whisper a final prayer to Pelor. The party will talk throughout the morning about what they have learned and will prepare a funeral service. At midday they will use the temples crematorium to burn the body in adherence of the rites of Pelor and will gather his ashes into an iron urn. They will have it engraved "Within is held the last of Jontin Iron John Mulhale, his victories were many, his service great, now he rests."

That night and the following night Ricky will hit the pubs of Hardby, drinking, carousing and subtly asking about the Bandit One Eye and Rary the Traitor. During the day he will organise the iron chest and three weeks worth of provisions. Bull and Ox will spend the second day in the workshop, Bull reworking the fullplate and Ox imbuing a 1st level pearl of power. While they work Luc will be feverishly scribing a scroll with three fireball spells.

On the third day they will meet with the mercenaries and will ride out for their meeting with the warriors of Urnst.

OOC: Ricky Aramis rolled 22 using 1d20+12.  Gather information bandit one eye.
Ricky Aramis rolled 32 using 1d20+12.  Gather information Rary the traitor.
Ricky Aramis rolled 21 using 1d20+9.  Bardic knowledge bandit one eye.
Ricky Aramis rolled 13 using 1d20+9.  Bardic knowledge Rary the traitor.

Grey Wyrm
 GM, 168 posts
Wed 6 Nov 2019
at 14:13
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
The rumours say One Eye the bandit is a halforc barbarian thief. There is nothing subtle about his tactics beyond hiding in ambush. Most of his men are human but there are a few other halforcs too and it is rumoured there are a pair of ogres among them. Some of the stuff he has stolen turns up in the town of Pontyrel, east of the southern Cairn Hills, so it is speculated that he is probably fencing his loot there on a regular basis.

Rary the traitor is a very powerful wizard - an archmage. He rules the Bright Lands from a tower in the Brass Hills. His armies are commanded by Lord Robilar, a high level fighter lord who has been Rary's ally since before they magically appeared in the Bright Lands about 7 years ago. Rary is rumoured to be searching for something and if he finds it he will be almost unstoppable. (The sword Shadowbane doesn't sound like it would fit that bill, but Lord Robilar would certainly be able to make use of it.) Trade is officially banned with all those who fly the banner of the archmage but unofficially the authorities in Hardby turn a blind eye to trade through the village of Ul Bakak at the eastern end of Hardby Pass.
Jason White
 player, 14 posts
 Human Prison Officer
Thu 7 Nov 2019
at 12:08
Re: Chapter 4 - The thing about gnomes
With these rumors in mind and their preparations made the party will head off to the rendezvous with the warriors of Urnst.