Session 30A:
Crimson Wind


[JadedDM]: Chrysote 19th, Seaday; 10 bells.  The following morning, the party awakens and meets near the eastern gate of the city.  It is a calm, warm day without a cloud in the sky.

[Daufer]: Daufer appears at the gate, wearing gleaming plate mail. He leads a light brown mule, coaxing the animal to step forward.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris approaches slowly, his cloak's hood shielding his eyes from the harsh sun.  He keeps his hands in his pockets and slouches slightly.  There is a slight stink of alcohol clinging to him.

[Aidan]: Aidan looks past the gate, scowling at the horizon.  He pulls his backpack off his back and ties it to the saddlebag of the gray mule he pulls after him, then readjusts his tan cloth cloak and raises his hood.  Amaris sits happily on a saddlebag, though occasionally she looks off towards the horizon, scowling as well.

[Loreleii]: Loreleii walks behind the priest. Most noticeable today is a wide-brimmed hat with a red ribbon tied on it. She follows Daufer with a gleam of excitement noticeable in her eyes.

[JadedDM]: Meschior approaches, Eskar not far behind him.  The cleric appears downcast and carries a worried expression on his face, despite the impressive chain mail he wears and the long sword buckled to his side.  Eskar has his dark-tinted goggles on, obviously bothered by the sun.  He keeps his cloak's hood up over his head.

[Daufer]: Daufer finishes tying things down to Sardonx the mule, when he catches the whiff of spirits. The priest looks over at the thief. "All right, Gaheris?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris nods slightly, wincing a bit.  He says nothing, though.

[Loreleii]: Loreleii's smile looks strained when she looks upon the fire priest. Nevertheless, she walks over to him and greets him.

[Aidan]: "I hope your god will have mercy on us today, Meschior," Aidan says as he climbs onto the back of his mule.  "Surely we'll all be in his element by sunset."

[Airellian]: ((Man, I hate this already.))

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "As do I," he says ominously, before turning to smile at Loreleii.

[Daufer]: Daufer nods and says nothing about the thief's current condition. He turns over to the dwarf. "You never came back and told us where the Tainted Hands were, dwarf."

[JadedDM]: Eskar grunts and pops a piece of charcoal in his mouth.  He answers while chewing, causing a few 'crumbs' to spit out of his mouth in the process.  "I be looking for them but not finding them.  I wait many hours.  Never see."

[Loreleii]: Loreleii gives Meschior a simple smile in return. "You don't have to do this. But, I'm glad you’re coming."

[Daufer]: Daufer raises a brow. "For hours? You should have told us immediately when you saw no sign of them." The priest sighs. "No matter, what's done is done."

[Aidan]: Aidan sighs, coaxing Amaris onto a perch on his hand and then raising his hand so that she can hop into the space between the fabric of his hood and his head.  "If they are already gone, we might want to start on our way."

[Daufer]: Daufer nods in agreement. Like a mother hen, however, he turns over to the group and says, "Does everyone have everything they need? Food, water..," Daufer continues to list out items necessary for survival.

[Aidan]: Aidan rolls his eyes and adjusts the bandolier of throwing daggers about his chest.  "Everything but something to keep us from combusting," he mutters.

[Loreleii]: Loreleii giggles at the hobgoblin's militaristic henpecking and hides the deed behind the brim of her hat.

[Daufer]: Daufer takes one more chance to check his gear. "All right," he says. "Let's go, then."

[Aidan]: Aidan pats the side of his mule's neck and spurs the beast forward.  When it doesn't move, he sighs loudly and gets off, choosing instead of walk and pull the beast by the reins.

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "May Renos watch over us then," he says, adjusting his own gear.

[Daufer]: Daufer leads his mule out of the eastern gate.

[Loreleii]: The librarian adjusts her pack and follows after the priest.

[JadedDM]: The party reaches the eastern gate where the guard identifies them.  "Ah, the Shadow Bats.  Off on another adventure, are you?" he asks.

[Aidan]: Aidan and Amaris scowl at the guard and his question.

[Daufer]: "Something like that," Daufer says. "Did you see the Tainted Hands pass this way this morning?"

[JadedDM]: Guard:  "No, sir.  I have not seen them at all."

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "Is it possible they haven't departed yet?" he asks the others.

[Aidan]: "If that were the case, I'm sure Eskar would have seen them somewhere."

[Daufer]: Daufer's forehead furrows. "I suppose it's possible. But we shouldn't assume so."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris pulls out a flask, takes a swig, and then tucks it back in his cloak.  "Doesn't matter.  Either way, we should go forward."

[Loreleii]: Loreleii looks anxiously at the thief.

[Aidan]: Aidan nods his agreement and pulls his mule forward.

[Daufer]: "Very well, then," Daufer says, stepping outside the gate and pulling his mule along with him. "You studied a great deal last night, Rysid, so it seems you would know where the Dayru Desert is best."

[Aidan]: Aidan stares at the hobgoblin.  "I was re-memorizing my spells for a task that I'm not particularly looking forward to.  Perhaps you should ask the other librarian... I'm sure she would have brought something along regarding the local geography."

[JadedDM]: Eskar stays in the rear of the party, trying to keep up with the others.  He frequently casts his glance behind him, making sure they aren't being followed.

[Loreleii]: For a moment, a slight change in expression is noticeable in the librarian’s eyes as Aidan refers to her. The next moment, she bends her head over a dusty tome and says, "The desert lies in the northeast, beyond the Kelkarn Highlands." Looking up, she adds, "Our first part of the journey will take us quite close to Qavay, I believe."

[Daufer]: Daufer looks surprised when he hears the familiar name. However, he merely says, "I see."

[JadedDM]: Eskar:  "Must be looking out for the undead then," he comments.

[Aidan]: "Wonderful," Aidan says sarcastically.  "That place brings back such happy memories."

[Daufer]: Daufer's brow furrows. "I'm unsure, dwarf. With the groaning spirit's defeat, her hold over the land would have been broken. I don't think we'll see too many undead."

[Aidan]: Aidan grumbles and checks the sky, then begins pulling his mule towards what he assumes to be the northeast.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "I heard there's a village in Dayru...I can't remember what it's called, though."

[Daufer]: "Hard to imagine anyone living in such a desolate place by choice."

[Aidan]: "What kind of village?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "I heard it mostly consisted of refugees, runaway slaves, army deserters...that kind of thing."

[Aidan]: "Perhaps they'll be friendly enough to let us rest there if we need to.  Or they'll be more interested in killing us, considering we're working for the Viscount.  Whichever."

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "I have heard a rumor or two about Dayru myself.  Largely that it is inhabited by the Segno..."

[Loreleii]: Loreleii whispers over to Meschior. "Aren't you worried about the ore? You have such trouble meeting your quota... What will happen if you don't meet it because of this?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "The Segno are a myth," he mutters.

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "I am, yes.  If things fall too far behind, the Drow may send another representative."

[Daufer]: "What are the Segno?" Daufer says, displaying his ignorance.

[Aidan]: "Pyrolisks and Segno?  What incredible adventures we have.  I hope we survive the man-eating halflings to run into the body-combusting birds."

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "They are a race of halflings.  They were driven mad by the Dark Mist, so it's said."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Supposedly," he adds, "if you ever encounter them, they will rape you, kill you, and then eat your skin.  And if you're really lucky, they'll do it in that order."

[Aidan]: (...that line sounds familiar...)

[Daufer]: "Halflings?" Daufer asks quizzically. "Here in Renosia?"

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "So the stories say, yes.  There aren't many eyewitness accounts, as the few that have survived were usually driven mad."

[Loreleii]: The librarian’s eyes widen at all the talk of cannibalism and madness.

[Daufer]: "Well, we've faced worse things than a band of mad halflings," Daufer says.

[Aidan]: "Not worse than a band of flesh-eating halflings.  I hope things will be much simpler when the pyrolisks make us explode."

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "There are many other dangers in the desert, too.  I heard the Tainted Hands slew the last Brown Dragon there, but there could be more."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "I heard that those who die of the heat and exposure wind up rising again as the undead."

[Aidan]: "That might be more pleasant than exploding."

[JadedDM]: Eskar:  "What will we be doing if we run into the Tainted Hands?" he asks suddenly.

[Daufer]: The hobgoblin shudders at the mention of the dragon. "Perhaps we should simply feed you to the dragons and save you the trouble of going to Abelard, Rysid."

[Aidan]: "I suppose that would be a quicker death than traveling all the way to the home of these pyrolisks."  Aidan seems to seriously consider being eaten by dragons.

[Loreleii]: "Oh, let's stop talking about such things like being eaten or dying. What's the point?" The librarian looks genuinely frightened.

[Airellian]: ((Seriously, I don't like playing two characters.))

[Aidan]: (at least your second is only an npc)

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "Do not fear such things, Loreleii.  We will make sure you remain safe, whatever dangers we face."

[Aidan]: "Just don't look any chickens in the eye," Aidan mutters.

[Loreleii]: Loreleii leans in closer to the fire priest.

[JadedDM]: Ignored, the Duergar just shrugs and pulls out his blade to examine it.  The blade is as black as the night.

[Daufer]: Daufer eyes the blade with distrust and loathing. "Another gift from the Nightmaster? What deal exactly did you make with him?"

[JadedDM]: Eskar:  "I fight Vile One in name of Shadowbite.  Is good business."

[Daufer]: "But you still worship the fire god?" Daufer asks with some incredulity. "How can you have two allegiances?"

[JadedDM]: Eskar:  "Yes.  Is not so hard."

[Daufer]: "Despicable," the hobgoblin says, shaking his head in disgust.

[Aidan]: "It doesn't sound anything different than worshipping D'lokka and serving the Viscount.  That's two different allegiances."

[JadedDM]: Eskar shrugs, clearly not bothered by the hobgoblin's attitude.

[Daufer]: "You equate serving a god to serving a mortal?"

[Aidan]: "Gods have their own whims and wishes which we as mortals have no intimate understanding of.  Mortals, which we know intimately well, can still have whims and wishes beyond what they ask of their brethren.  Serving either is serving a mystery beyond oneself."

[Daufer]: "You place too much importance on a mere man. The Viscount will one day die. He will be replaced, either from combat or from old age. His whims and plans are small, a speck, in the grand scheme of things. The gods are eternal. There is no comparison."

[Aidan]: "And yet we serve his whims and plans as if they were of the greatest importance right now.  We bestow upon him as much respect in the mortal realm as the gods deserve in their own realm from beings far greater than mortals."

[Daufer]: Daufer shakes his head. "I only serve his needs so long as it furthers my own ends. Still, you are right. This is a silly contest."

[Aidan]: "Ah, and then we serve others to serve the whims and wishes of ourselves, a far greater master than most anyone could become for us."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris halts suddenly.  "There's something up ahead.  Looks like a wagon."

[Daufer]: Daufer brings his mule to a stop and loosens his maul. "Do you see any people?"

[Loreleii]: Loreleii looks anxiously up ahead, her mind troubled by the previous talk of the dangers of the desert.

[Aidan]: Aidan wipes the sweat from his brow and stops, waiting for a more detailed report.

[JadedDM]: In the daylight, it's visible enough from where they stand.  It's a traveling wagon that has been tipped over.  There is no movement save for a couple of crows flapping around.

[Aidan]: "It looks more like the danger has passed," Aidan says, eyeing the crows.

[JadedDM]: Meschior draws his sword and steps in front of Loreleii.  "Still, best to be on guard."

[Daufer]: "The crows wouldn't be gathering unless there were dead bodies nearby," Daufer says.

[Loreleii]: Loreleii tries to get a good view over Meschior's shoulder.

[Aidan]: "Perhaps the chickens have ventured forth to meet us and the crows are deciding which body parts are theirs."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris, making a slight stumble, shakes his head.  "I'll…I'll check it out."

[Daufer]: Daufer steps forward. "Calm down, we're not even in the desert yet, Rysid. The dwarf and I will take a look. Everyone else stay here. Gaheris, stay here and get your bow out."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris nods and draws his bow.

[Aidan]: "I was being sarcastic," Aidan mutters with a roll of his eyes.  Amaris lets out a screech that sounds oddly like a giggle.

[Daufer]: Daufer motions the dwarf to follow him. The hobgoblin then makes his way toward the wagon.

[JadedDM]: Eskar tails the hobgoblin, trying to keep up.  As they approach, the crows see them and fly off to a safer distance, cawing in protest.

[Aidan]: Aidan pulls a throwing dagger from his bandolier as Eskar and Daufer leave to move closer to the wagon.

[JadedDM]: The wagon appears abandoned.  Strangely, there are no bodies, although there is what appears to be the remains of a human arm that the crows were feeding on.  The wagon is peppered with arrows with red tips.

[Daufer]: Daufer looks closely at the red arrows, a mailed gauntlet brushing at the fletching.

[JadedDM]: Eskar:  "Must be bandits," he says, looking into the wagon itself.

[Daufer]: Daufer points at the remains of the human arm. "I don't like to give credence to myths, but..."

[Aidan]: Taking a quick glance around them, Aidan takes a look at Gaheris and his bow.  "...Did Siara decide she wasn't interested in the contest?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris lowers his bow.  "Eh?"  He looks around.  "Come to think of it, I haven't seen her since we left the Viscount's mansion."

[Aidan]: "Oh?  I thought something might have happened...and perhaps that's why you were...drinking.  Where could she have gone?"

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "You refer to the woman that was with you that night?"

[Daufer]: "What are you looking for, dwarf?" Daufer says. "We still have many hours of traveling to go."

[Aidan]: "The woman that wasn't Jasmin, yes.  She had just recently joined us on Gaheris' recommendation, and she was a great help against the Nightmaster."

[JadedDM]: Eskar grunts, leaving the wagon.  He appears disappointed.  "Nothing but broken cages."

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "Could the Nightmaster have something to do with her disappearance?"

[Daufer]: "Cages? With what inside?"

[JadedDM]: Eskar:  "Nothing.  Escaped or taken, I think."

[Daufer]: "Let's go back, then," Daufer says.

[Aidan]: "The Nightmaster?  I don't think he had any opportunity to do much to her.  And she seemed relatively alright at the Viscount's party."

[JadedDM]: Eskar nods and follows him.

[Loreleii]: "What did you find?" Loreleii asks once the two come back.

[JadedDM]: Eskar:  "Nothing," he complains.

[Daufer]: "No bodies," Daufer says. "Only a single arm. The crows must have had a full meal earlier."

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "No bones, either?"

[Daufer]: Daufer shakes his head. "None that I saw."

[Aidan]: "I don't think crows eat that well...And they likely wouldn't have been flying over head if they had already eaten."

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "How disquieting."

[Daufer]: "It is troubling, I admit," Daufer says. "But what other explanation do you want? Do you really think that insane halflings came and ate these people?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "That's nonsense."

[Aidan]: "Would flesh-eating halflings eat bones?"

[Daufer]: "In any case, we're not in the desert, yet," Daufer says. "Which is what we're trying to do. We've wasted enough time."

[Aidan]: "Should we just push on, then?"

[Daufer]: Daufer nods and takes the reins to Sardonx once more and leads the mule back on the path.

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "Let us hope we do not share a similar fate," he says grimly.

[Aidan]: Aidan pulls his own mule after the hobgoblin, though he still keeps a throwing dagger in his hand.  "Daufer, have you seen Siara since the Viscount's party?"

[Daufer]: "No," Daufer murmurs as he concentrates on the task of leading the stubborn beast. "Why is it so important?"

[Aidan]: "Because she's part of the Shadow Bats and we have no idea where she is.  She could have been useful on this adventure."

[Loreleii]: "I don't know if this is the best time, Meschior," Loreleii says. "But, are you going to be coming up to live in the library once we're... uh, you know."

[Daufer]: "I'll admit her song and spells proved useful against human adversaries. But how would her charms help against mindless beasts?"

[JadedDM]: Meschior thinks before speaking his answer.  "I suppose I hadn't thought of it, although it does sound better than you moving into the smelter.  The noise and heat aside, it's not very roomy."

[Aidan]: "...How useful is an archer that reeks of ale or a librarian who can't exactly divine her way out of a book?"

[Loreleii]: Loreleii gives Aidan a pained look at his insults.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris responds by taking another swig of his flask quietly.

[Daufer]: "No one forced you to come, Rysid," Daufer says, still trying to control his unruly beast.  "You went knowingly into this danger, even though you could have walked away.  So, if the only thing you can say are your current groanings, I would rather you not say anything at all."

[JadedDM]: As they travel on, the sun slowly begins to set over the horizon.

[Aidan]: "...That doesn't particularly answer why it would be beneficial for us to not bring another aid along with us."

[Daufer]: "We couldn’t very well wait for her. Time, Rysid, time. Every hour we would waste trying to track down the dancer would be another hour the Tainted Hands had to make gains on us."

[Aidan]: "And no one tried to contact her before the morning?  We wasted all night waiting for no information while the Tainted Hands are likely too far ahead of us to catch up to, and yet no one thought to look for one of our members."

[JadedDM]: Meschior keeps close to Loreleii.  He observes Aidan and Daufer, frowning.

[Daufer]: Daufer shrugs. "What would you have me do? Turn back and look for her?"

[Aidan]: "Obviously nothing can be done now.  I'm simply saying that if you or Gaheris were more willing to look after your comrades then perhaps Jasmin wouldn't have felt as though she would be more valuable elsewhere."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "What are you saying?  That her betrayal is my fault?"

[Daufer]: Daufer snorts. "Her actions were her own, Rysid."

[Aidan]: "You lived with her, Gaheris.  And you insulted her often enough recently."

[Loreleii]: "Oh dear," Loreleii says, clapping a hand over her mouth.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "I never said anything that wasn't true!  She kept sleeping around with the enemy, giving them all of our trade secrets!"

[Daufer]: "Labree simply wanted to be the center of attention. When she couldn't be accommodated here, she went elsewhere."

[Aidan]: Aidan turns on Daufer, pointing a finger from the hand with the throwing dagger at Daufer.  "My name is Aidan, hobgoblin.  If you insist on using my family name then you had best think of what history comes along with it."  He turns to Gaheris.  "And why would she have need to sleep around with the enemy?  How long have you been insulting her and her character?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Because she's a filthy whore!" he shouts, which he immediately regrets as he puts a hand to his throbbing head.

[Aidan]: "You cared enough about her to live with her, Gaheris!"

[Daufer]: Daufer laughs. "Did she snag her hooks into you as well?"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "That was just so we could split the rent..."

[Aidan]: "I am willing to count her as a friend, hobgoblin.  Perhaps you were too jealous that she preferred humans?  If you only cared about splitting the rent you could have asked anyone else, Gaheris."

[Daufer]: Daufer looks amused. "You defend someone so earnestly when she stabbed us all in the back so thoroughly."

[Aidan]: "She stabbed us in the back because she was treated like refuse!"

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "If you think I'm such a horrible leader, then why didn't you join them as well, eh?"

[Aidan]: "Because I assumed they were worse than the two of you, but apparently I should have thought harder before leaving that party."

[JadedDM]: Eskar:  "My friends...now is not the time for fighting...is not good business."

[Daufer]: Daufer shrugs. "I don't see how anything we say can change your mind. You obviously have your opinions. An outsider's view."

[Aidan]: "Sometimes an outsider's view is necessary to remind the insider's that they're all a bunch of fools."

[Airellian]: ((This is kind of boring.))

[Aidan]: (i'm having fun with my character development.)

[Daufer]: "I wonder. I know exactly what sort of person Labree is. Yet, I was willing to sacrifice my life to free every single one of us from the Karik mines. Including her. I wonder if you would be so willing to do the same."

[Airellian]: ((It just seems like the two of us talking back and forth. It'd be more interesting if the others got into it.))

[Aidan]: "You have been nothing but rude to me, and you rarely consider offering any amount of respect to anyone who does not fall into your own interests.  I would definitely not be willing to save you if the opportunity arose."

[Aidan]: (gaheris has been in the conversation and meschior and loreleii haven't really been around and wouldn't necessarily know what to say.  sounds pretty likely that they would just kind of stand there awkwardly while everyone's arguing about something they're not involved in)

[Airellian]: ((I guess so. Still.))

[JadedDM]: Gaheris takes a very long swig from his flask before continuing with the discussion.

[Daufer]: "I suppose that's the difference between us. I would risk my life to save someone I loathe whereas..."

[Aidan]: "Whereas I don't loathe nearly as many as you do."

[Airellian]: ((Seriously, where is this supposed to go?  It just seems like arguing for the sake of arguing.))

[JadedDM]: Eskar removes his goggles, as they are no longer needed as the sun sets.  "Is not good to be fighting with friends, yes?"

[Aidan]: (if you'd rather have mindless characters that don't define their motives we could just attack each other, instead)

[Airellian]: ((I thought we defined ourselves pretty well at the start of this fight. But, if you'll look, it's been an hour, and this still hasn't gone anywhere.))

[Aidan]: "It's not good to be fighting with friends, no.  Luckily that's not quite the case."

[Daufer]: "Why should we be friends? I barely know you. When I first started with Labree, she nearly cost us our lives by being overzealous."

[JadedDM]: The party's arguments are suddenly interrupted by an unknown voice shouting a single word in the Goblin tongue.

[Airellian]: ((But seriously, I like to think of this as a novel. Where the action, combat or otherwise, actually goes somewhere.))

[Aidan]: (action has to be driven by characters or it's absolutely pointless.)

[Airellian]: ((Which is what was happening. It was just the two of us sniping at each other.  See, now it's happening OOC. NOoo!!))

[Aidan]: Aidan looks around them at the sound, grabbing the reins of his mule.  Amaris flaps into the air and circles above the group.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris swears, and Meschior's eyes widen, as well, in recognition of the word.  "Watch out!" he shouts.

[Daufer]: Daufer grabs his maul and looks around, his eyes glowing in the night.

[Loreleii]: Loreleii shrinks behind Meschior at the guttural sound.

[Aidan]: Aidan crouches low at Meschior's shout.

[JadedDM]: Suddenly, the sky is full of arrows as a number of goblins pop out of various hiding spots and begin firing.

[JadedDM]: (Actions for Round 1?)

[Aidan]: Aidan begins to cast a spell.

[Aidan]: [1d10] => [2] = (2)

[Airellian]: ((How far away are they?))

[JadedDM]: They have the party surrounded, and are all about 30 yards away.

[Daufer]: Daufer chants a prayer.

[Loreleii]: Loreleii cringes behind Meschior.

[Daufer]: [1d10] -> [7] = (7)

[JadedDM]: Aidan's turn.

[Aidan]: Aidan pulls a leafy green substance from a component pouch and rises from his crouch, gesturing with his dagger-hand as he looks towards a cluster of goblins.

[Aidan]:  (whispering): [1d4] => [4] = (4)

[JadedDM]: Four of the archers suddenly twitch and drop their bows to scratch themselves wildly.

[JadedDM]: Eskar's turn.

[JadedDM]: Eskar suddenly turns invisible.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris' turn.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris swears as a red-tipped arrow gets caught in his cloak.  Throwing back his hood, he takes aim and fires at one of the scratching goblins, catching it in the forehead.  It drops dead.

[JadedDM]: Daufer's turn.

[Daufer]: Daufer raises his arms and cries for the Lady of War to intercede and strike his foes still.

[Daufer]: [1d4] -> [4] = (4)

[JadedDM]: Three goblins on the other side suddenly freeze in their steps, their arrows drawn but not loosed.

[JadedDM]: Leader's turn.

[JadedDM]: Most of the goblins have leather armor on, but one of them wears studded leather and carries a rather wicked looking bow.  Moving at speeds that should not be possible, he fires twice as fast as his companions.  A red-tipped arrow strikes the ground at Daufer's feet, but the other grazes his face.

[Daufer]: Daufer hisses in pain as the arrow leaves a deep gash in his cheek.

[JadedDM]: Meschior's turn.

[JadedDM]: Drawing his sword, Meschior gets behind Loreleii to protect her flank.  Between him and Daufer, she is pretty well guarded.

[JadedDM]: Archers' turn.

[JadedDM]: With three archers held, one dead, and three scratching themselves like flea-bitten dogs, this leaves six left for an opening volley.  Gaheris dodges an arrow, Meschior blocks another but takes a hit by a second.  Miraculously, Aidan dodges one, as well.  The last two are easily blocked by Daufer's armor.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris' turn.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris fires another arrow, but this one goes too high and misses.

[JadedDM]: Leader's turn.

[JadedDM]: The leader fires off two more shots at Daufer, but both are blocked by his plate mail.

[JadedDM]: Archer's turn.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris takes an arrow in the thigh, swearing loudly.  Meschior blocks both arrows directed toward him with his shield.  Aidan manages to dodge another arrow, as well.  The last two don't even come close to touching Daufer.

[JadedDM]: (Actions for Round 2?)

[Daufer]: Daufer looks menacing.

[Aidan]: Aidan readies the throwing dagger he's been holding.

[Loreleii]: Loreleii cringes some more behind the two priests.

[Daufer]: [1d10] -> [2] = (2)

[Aidan]: [1d10] => [4] = (4)

[JadedDM]: Daufer’s turn.

[Daufer]: Daufer roars in pain and anger, exuding an aura of fear directly in front of him.

[JadedDM]: A couple of goblins suddenly turn tale and flee.

[JadedDM]: Aidan's turn.

[Aidan]: Aidan aims his dagger at the nearest-looking goblin and flings it in his direction.

[Aidan]: [1d20-5] => [13,-5] = (8)

[Aidan]: [1d3] => [2] = (2)

[Aidan]: The dagger finds its way into an archer's chest, and the goblin slumps to the ground.

[JadedDM]: Meschior's turn.

[JadedDM]: Meschior continues to defend his beloved.

[JadedDM]: Leader's turn.

[Airellian]: ((I hope the mules are fine.))

[JadedDM]: Daufer deflects two more arrows.

[JadedDM]: (Oh, good point.  I should roll morale checks.)

[Airellian]: ((Take that goblin leader!))

[JadedDM]: Daufer's mule panics and attempts to flee.  Aidan's mule, however, manages to stay calm for now.

[Airellian]: ((Damn you!))

[Aidan]: (woo hoo!)

[JadedDM]: Gaheris' turn.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris nocks another arrow and fires, taking an archer out in the throat.

[JadedDM]: Archers' turn.

[JadedDM]: Not including those who have fled, died, or been held--five archers remain.  Gaheris uses his cloak to catch another arrow.  Aidan is grazed against his leg.  Meschior also takes a hit.  Daufer easily blocks the last two.

[JadedDM]: Aidan's turn.

[Aidan]: [1d20-5] => [18,-5] = (13)

[Aidan]: [1d3] => [1] = (1)

[Aidan]: Aidan curses at the blood on his leg, but pulls another dagger from his bandolier and throws it at one of the archers.  Unfortunately, the dagger merely grazes its side.

[JadedDM]: Leader's turn.

[JadedDM]: The leader seems steadfast in his desire to take down the hobgoblin.  He fires two more arrows in hasted succession.  The first is blocked, but the second finds a home in Daufer's thigh.

[Daufer]: Daufer cries in pain as the arrow thunks into his thigh.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris' turn.

[JadedDM]: Taking aim, Gaheris slays another goblin with one of his owl-bear feathered arrows.

[JadedDM]: The leader shouts something in goblin, and all of the goblins capable of doing so begin to retreat and scatter.  Clearly, this prey is not worth the trouble.

[Daufer]: Daufer chants another prayer of holding onto the goblin leader.

[JadedDM]: The goblin leader pauses, but seems to shake off the effects of the spell before resuming his retreat.

[Aidan]: Aidan pats his mule's neck, and Amaris alights on the mule's saddlebag.  After a few moments of silence, Aidan walks off to see if he can retrieve either of the daggers he threw.

[Daufer]: Daufer curses as the goblin leader shakes off the effects. He looks around. "Where' the dwarf?"

[JadedDM]: Aidan finds one of his missing knives embedded into a dead goblin.  The other cannot be found.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris grumbles as he plucks arrows from his cloak.  "He vanished."

[Daufer]: Daufer goes over to the goblins that were not able to flee due to enchantment and slays them.

[JadedDM]: They die immediately.

[Aidan]: Aidan returns to Amaris and his mule, adjusting the beast's burden.

[JadedDM]: Meschior ignores the arrows sticking out of him to check on Loreleii.  "Are you unharmed?"

[Daufer]: Daufer runs off after his mule.

[Loreleii]: "Me? What about you? Oh, Meschior" Loreleii says, almost sobbing.

[JadedDM]: Meschior holds her close to him.  "It's nothing, really.  I'm just glad you are safe."

[JadedDM]: Daufer finds his mule a short distance away, mulling around aimlessly.

[Daufer]: Daufer brings the mule over to the rest of the group.  He then goes over the goblin bodies. "Gaheris, perhaps you can replace your own spent arrows with these Goblin ones."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris nods.  "I'll go check them."

[Daufer]: Daufer walks over to the wizard. "I believe we were in the middle of something."

[Aidan]: Aidan turns towards the hobgoblin.  "We were."

[Daufer]: "That will have to wait, however, till after we make camp. This place is no good. The goblins could come back in force. And who knows where the dwarf is."

[Aidan]: "Of course."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris returns, his quiver almost bursting at the seams.  "He probably saw something shiny and ran off."

[Daufer]: Daufer turns so that he's speaking to both the thief and the wizard. "I know you have no love for the undead, but we've been provided with these convenient bodies."

[Loreleii]: "Are you sure you're okay? You took a lot of arrows!"

[JadedDM]: Meschior looks uncertain what Daufer means, but Gaheris pales a bit.  "Err...won't they slow us down a bit?" the thief asks.

[JadedDM]: Meschior:  "I will need to patch up a bit, but I'll survive.  My armor absorbed most of them."

[Daufer]: "No more than when the dwarf traveled with us, wherever he went," Daufer says. "We could set a fire to strip the flesh away from the bodies. I would feel more confident with more manpower, should we fall under another ambush."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris looks around at the dead.  "You can make all seven of them zombies?"

[Aidan]: Aidan sighs, but remains silent.

[Daufer]: "Not all of them, no. That is beyond me."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris sighs and rubs at his forehead.  "I guess it would help to have guards that don't sleep for when we camp.  But I can't imagine I want that smell following me around."

[Daufer]: "Yes, I suppose it might attract many predators. And it would take a long time to wait for the flesh to be burned away."

[JadedDM]: Gaheris:  "Do what you feel you need to do, as long as you're sure they won't slow us down.  I'm going to scout ahead for a good camping site."

[Daufer]: The hobgoblin gathers the bodies together.

[JadedDM]: Meschior begins patching himself up a bit, removing the arrows and doing what he can about his wounds.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris returns about ten minutes later.  "I think I found a place.  A small cave.  Nothing living there, anyway.  It should do the trick."

[Daufer]: Six zombies have already been wrenched from their rest, moaning in the cold dusk.

[Aidan]: "Lead the way, then."  Aidan tugs gently on his mule's reins as Amaris flies on above them.

[JadedDM]: Gaheris turns up his nose at the goblins.  "Ugh.  This way."  He begins walking back to the cave, which is just big enough to house them all, although with the zombies it will make things fairly cramped.

[Daufer]: Daufer leads his own mule, Sardonx, after the party.  Six shuffling goblin corpses follow behind everyone.

[Airellian]: ((Nah, the zombies can stay outside.))

[JadedDM]: Gaheris finds a nice corner and begins drinking from his flask again.  Meschior sits down and rests, tired from their journey so far.

[Loreleii]: Loreleii sits down next to the fire priest, still shaken from the previous battle.

[Aidan]: Aidan pulls his backpack from the mule's back and settles into a corner of the cave with Amaris perched on his shoulder.  He digs in his pack for a large book and opens in before him as the bat looks intently at its pages.

[Daufer]: Daufer sits down into a comfortable nook in the cave.

[JadedDM]: (Okay, we'll call it a night here.  Close enough to ending time, and I'm wiped.)

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