Story 102. The Arl’s Ward.   Posted by Evil GM.Group: 0
Brother Loran
 player, 107 posts
 H:23 / 23 M:16 / 12
Sat 27 Feb 2021
at 18:44
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Brother Loran took the boys arm and kept him close his staff out to ward off any attack a prayer on his lips
Richard
 player, 126 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Rogue
 HP 32/32, Def. 13
Sun 28 Feb 2021
at 20:42
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Richard nods at Fost and again nocks an arrow and prepares to fire should the spider be revealed.
Evil GM
 GM, 304 posts
Mon 1 Mar 2021
at 16:51
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Godfrey nods his assent and Trip, borrowing the torch from Loran, prepares to widen the opening to the spider's bolthole. Godfrey nods, and Trip begins to melt away the webbing around the hole.

A jet of liquid webbing lances out at the thin man.

OOC: Okay, gents, time to roll for initiative! (Once initiative has been set, I'll roll for the spider's spitting attack and we'll start combat rounds.)
Fost
 player, 246 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Warrior
 HP 40/40, Def. 13/15
Mon 1 Mar 2021
at 17:03
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
rolled 18 using 3d6+3 with the AGE System with rolls of {6}, 4, 5.  DEX (Initiative).

This message was last edited by the player at 07:46, Wed 03 Mar.

Mikhail Loren
 player, 161 posts
 Circle Mage
 HP 27, MP 15
Tue 2 Mar 2021
at 01:42
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
18:42, Today: Mikhail Loren rolled 11 using 3d6+2 with the AGE System with rolls of {1}, 2, 6.  DEX Initiative.
Brother Loran
 player, 108 posts
 H:23 / 23 M:16 / 12
Tue 2 Mar 2021
at 12:19
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
12:18, Today: Brother Loran rolled 13 using 3d6+1 with the AGE System with rolls of {6}, 1, 5.  DEX init
Richard
 player, 127 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Rogue
 HP 32/32, Def. 13
Tue 2 Mar 2021
at 22:47
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
17:46, Today: Richard rolled 15 using 3d6+3 with the AGE System with rolls of {5}, 6, 1.  Dex (Init).
Fost
 player, 247 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Warrior
 HP 40/40, Def. 13/15
Wed 3 Mar 2021
at 07:46
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Initiative Order
[Total].[Dragon Die]+[DEX][SP yes=1/no=0]
CharacterResult
Fost18.6+30
Richard15.5+30
Loran13.6+10
Mikhail11.1+20
Dinn 
Godfrey 
Trip 
Spider 

Evil GM
 GM, 305 posts
Wed 3 Mar 2021
at 16:50
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Trip instinctively leans away from the webbing as it flies past him and strikes the floor nearby.

OOC: 11:33, Today: Evil GM, for the NPC Trip, rolled 12 using 3d6+3 with the AGE System (({1}, 3, 5)). Dexterity (Acrobatics)

Round 1

The spider follows its shot with a second at the invader pointing the spear at it, but the webbing splashes against the edge of the spearpoint and splatters harmlessly. It then attempts to tuck itself further back into the crevices of its lair.

OOC: 18:21, Today: Evil GM, for the NPC Godfrey, rolled 12 using 3d6+3 with the AGE System (({2}, 6, 1)). Dexterity (Acrobatics)

Fost is up. Everyone please post your actions. Godfrey, on his turn, is going to attack the spider. Trip will continue to widen the hole with the torch, and Dinn will take a shot, if he has one.

Anyone lined up on the hole can see the spider (thanks to the light of the torch), but it is definitely using the rough terrain of the cave roof as cover (increasing its Defense).

I’ll get a map up as soon as I’m able today.


Initiative Order
[Total].[Dragon Die]+[DEX][SP yes=1/no=0]
CharacterResult
Spider19.6+40
Fost18.6+30
Godfrey16.5+20
Richard15.5+30
Loran13.6+10
Mikhail11.1+20
Trip10.3+20
Dinn8.1+31

Fost
 player, 248 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Warrior
 HP 40/40, Def. 13/15
Wed 3 Mar 2021
at 17:37
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Fost advanced but his blade got snagged by the web, the sticky fibre making his blow ineffectual. Anticipating the counter attack he lowered himself a bit, his feet wide apart. If he fell he would never be able to evade being immobilized.

Major: Charge
Minor: Stand Firm

rolled 12 using 3d6+4 with the AGE System with rolls of {3}, 4, 1.  Bastard Sword attack.
Forgot+1 from Charge, so 13, still a miss I think

Defensive vs Spider's Round 02
rolled 15 using 3d6+3 with the AGE System with rolls of {2}, 4, 6.  DEX (Acrobatics).

rolled 12 using 3d6+4 (1 stunt point) with the AGE System with rolls of {1}, 1, 6.  STR (Might), oppose potential knock down

This message was last edited by the player at 17:48, Wed 03 Mar.

Evil GM
 GM, 306 posts
Wed 10 Mar 2021
at 00:12
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Fost lunges with his blade, but it deflects off the edge of the rock wall and impacts harmlessly against the spider's body.

Using the warrior's near miss to guide his own strike, Godfrey plunges his spear point deep into the beast's carcass. It shudders violently and falls against the bottom of its lair, dead.

OOC: Evil GM, for the NPC Godfrey, rolled 16 using 3d6+5 (4 stunt points) with the AGE System with rolls of {4}, 3, 4.  Attack vs. Giant Spider.

Evil GM, for the NPC Godfrey, rolled 11 using 2d6+3 with rolls of 3,5.  Two-Handed Spear Damage 2d6+3.


"Well, that was bracing," Godfrey says with more than a little relief in his voice. "Looks like we'll be able to use this as a base, after all."

OOC: And, as quickly as it begins, the fight is over. It looks like Godfrey knows what he's doing with that spear of his.
Mikhail Loren
 player, 162 posts
 Circle Mage
 HP 27, MP 15
Wed 10 Mar 2021
at 01:29
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Snuffing out the bit of magic he was preparing, Mikhail nodded. He left his witchlight ignited as they started to talk and get ready to move out. "I'm still not liking the idea of going out of our way to hunt these things down. We can still wait until the kid is taken care of before taking off to hunt down darkspawn."
Fost
 player, 249 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Warrior
 HP 40/40, Def. 13/15
Wed 10 Mar 2021
at 05:30
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Fost nodded appreciatingly at the brawny spear wielder.

"The kid is to be delivered to Bournshire. If we do this now, I believe that the band of darkspawn will have already left this immediate area and unless you have magical means to track them I have doubts that we would be able to do so with mundane means after presumably days before we even start the hunt. Nature will do its best to erase any leads.", Fost repeated his reasoning.
Except for the safety of the boy, surely and undoubtedly an important point, he saw no benefit in proceeding otherwise.
Either way, no one had command, they were equals and friends and any decisions were made on the basis of democracy.
Of course, he frowned as he pondered the impact of a new discussion on their new allies. Indecisiveness brooked potential betrayal.
And so he turned expectantly to the other two.
Richard
 player, 128 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Rogue
 HP 32/32, Def. 13
Wed 10 Mar 2021
at 23:38
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
"We stick to the plan.  Take the kid with us while we find the Darkspawn entry point to the surface.  Let's move."  Richard's summary is brief and to-the-point.
Brother Loran
 player, 109 posts
 H:23 / 23 M:16 / 12
Thu 11 Mar 2021
at 18:31
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
still keeping himself between the child and the spider Brother Loran edged round the back of the fighters towards the cave entrance Staff at the ready prayer on his lips
Evil GM
 GM, 307 posts
Sun 14 Mar 2021
at 22:23
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
The group returns to the cave entrance, where the remainder of the original wagon’s food and water still sit in their barrels. Unfortunately, the water has started to take on an earthy scent and may no longer be safe to drink.

Outside the cave, the party’s mule-driven cart and mounts have remained where they are, and are grazing on the low grasses just off the road. The sun is low over the west, but there’s still some time before twilight comes.

Both Richard and Fost know those dwarven steps are only a few hundred yards away, close enough for them to investigate before it gets too dark.
Fost
 player, 250 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Warrior
 HP 40/40, Def. 13/15
Mon 15 Mar 2021
at 08:59
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
"Let's quickly move everything into the cave and then head out for those strange steps we have seen earlier. I presume the Darkspawn emerge from there."
"Setting up an ambush will greatly increase our chances of success. Quickly, my friends,
before time for an advantage we may sorely need passes."

This message was last edited by the player at 09:02, Mon 15 Mar.

Evil GM
 GM, 310 posts
Sat 3 Apr 2021
at 02:55
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
The group cautiously follows Fost’s original exploratory path along the highland trail. The area seems exceedingly bleak, grasses that were green at the entrance to the cave appearing dull and grayish as they walk. Even the sky seems to lose its hue as they continue northward, like color draining from the face of a dead man. As they near the dwarven steps, an eerie silence falls over the area.

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Dinn says.

“It’s all in your head,” Godfrey responds unconvincingly.

Before the group lays the dwarven steps, starting about 30-40 yards away, where the footprints lead Fost before. The stone hexagonal stones spread out a good acre or so, row by row descending gently toward the lakeshore.

OOC: How do you want to go about exploring the steps?

And, just as a reminder, if you look at the right side of the main image for the Storm Coast, you'll see what dwarven steps look like. https://dragonage.fandom.com/wiki/Storm_Coast

The steps the party sees before it are decidedly lower, rising only somewhat out of the ground. You can't exactly gauge the height of them from your position 30-40 yards away.

Fost
 player, 252 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Warrior
 HP 40/40, Def. 13/15
Sat 3 Apr 2021
at 09:31
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
"Let's check again for any tracks to determine if they already left or still are inside. Clearly, inside they will have an advantage if only knowing the layout. So I rather suggest we scout the immediate area here to lay an ambush. For that we need the location of the actual entrance into the deep."
Fost suggested and waited for reactions.

Fost rolled 14 using 3d6+2 (3 stunt points) with the AGE System with rolls of {3}, 3, 6.  PER

This message was last edited by the player at 11:05, Sun 04 Apr.

Richard
 player, 130 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Rogue
 HP 32/32, Def. 13
Sat 3 Apr 2021
at 20:21
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
"Tracking them will be considerably more difficult over stone.  Still, we might be able to get an idea regarding their numbers." Richard responds, then looks up at the sun's position.  "I suspect they will still be underground given the time of day so that will influence our ambush plans.  We should still be ready for just about anything."

16:21, Today: Richard rolled 10 using 3d6+3 (3 stunt points) with the AGE System with rolls of {3}, 2, 2.  perception check.
Brother Loran
 player, 111 posts
 H:23 / 23 M:16 / 12
Sun 4 Apr 2021
at 18:08
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Brother Loran wasn't too keen on searching the steps now they had the boy then really needed to get him away safely but then waiting by the cave for the rest searched was not the best idea either.

So he followed the rest but kept back with the boy slightly so they could make a run for the cave entrance if the party was attacked.
Evil GM
 GM, 311 posts
Fri 16 Apr 2021
at 21:22
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Scouting just ahead of the others, Fost and Richard see that the individual columns are approximately four feet high and three feet across, with a row of similar columns in front of them that rise only two feet, almost as if they were stepping stones. The steps are interlocking, and the pair can imagine they appear like granite honeycomb from above as they stretch westward to the sea.

Each piece has been weathered by time, edges rounded and surfaces pitted and uneven, causing the structure’s alignment to be just a bit off. Grasses have grown in between, although they appear to be affected by the same dreariness that is graying out the plant life here.

Climbing onto the pillars, they find that the stones seem to step down with the grade of the slope; further in, they see a section of shattered pillars and fragments of some sort of stone slab on a lowered platform about 10 yards in from the front edge. The debris partially covers what appears to be downward stairs heading east.

OOC: Sorry for the delay gents. I placed a map in group 0 showing a section of the steps.

Only Fost and Richard are on the map at the moment, since they were the ones exploring ahead.

You gents can neither see nor hear any darkspawn.

Mikhail Loren
 player, 165 posts
 Circle Mage
 HP 27, MP 15
Sat 17 Apr 2021
at 01:45
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
"We are most certainly not ready to head into their own territory, if the legends are to be believed. I pray that the Maker can help make up the difference in what ever we lack." Mikhail remained further back, eyes scanning to look for Fost or Richard's warning. Or worse, a sudden movement of darkspawn.
Fost
 player, 253 posts
 Fereldan Freeman/Warrior
 HP 40/40, Def. 13/15
Sun 18 Apr 2021
at 10:24
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Fost turned to Mikhail, warily watching the staircase.
"Well, this sure looks like the way down. Down from where they lurk. Yes, going down would seem a bad idea. What do you suggest?"
Fost looked around.
"Can anyone confirm this, does anyone find any tracks?"
"The immediate area here is pretty treacherous, I would not be thrilled to fight in a melee on these... stilts. I'd rather have sure footing. On the other hand, we have bows. But we must assume they only venture forth when it's dark, so shooting with bad light is difficult. We cannot set anything on fire here to provide light, only stone here. And I sure don't see where we could hide. "

Fost looked at everyone, hoping someone would have a good idea.
Brother Loran
 player, 112 posts
 H:23 / 23 M:16 / 12
Tue 20 Apr 2021
at 17:24
Re: Story 102. The Arl’s Ward
Bother Loran locked over at Kikhail while keeping the boy close " the maker helps those that help themselves, ButI'm sure he is looking down on us with knowing eyes and will come to our aid if he feels we cannot overcome"