Day 161, kind of: Dwarves Finally Leave Gorna.
This is kind of a fill in of the exposition from the end of the previous session.
Today’s session opens with a montage (montage!) of all that you did on Days 162 and 163. It’ll bounce between digging through orc-sweat stained treasure, negotiating with the gnomes, summoning a skeleton, summoning a new animal companion (yes? No!), and Tex furiously scribing spells into a spellbook.
Since the gold is easy enough to distribute, Brother Beast divides it into five even piles of 86 gold each. He gets change from the gnomes for the last piece, and hands over 2 silver to each party member as well.
Brother Beast also considers the scythe and checks its stats against the weapons he already has.
Tex currently is walking through the store room grabbing items and upgrading her and Skelly II. She figures Skelly II shouldnt die again so she gets him new armor / sword. She also inscribes spells into her spellbook along with Necromancery stuff that she needs to do.
By the end of Day 162, Skelly II is kitted out, Tex has updated her spellbook from leveling up, and gold has been distributed.
Brother Beast eventually decides to trade the scythe for a healing potion or two.
Tex - “WHOOOOAAAA Beast… What you doing with that awesome looking scythe?” she looks at Brother Beast, eyes full of excitement
Brother Beast: “Trade it for healing potions.”
Tex looks at him and states out loud “Why dont you not do that, maybe tell the little folks to either give it to me or make me one just like that. I could use something more lethal than a quarterstaff.”
Brother Beast looks an her, and stands the scythe up next to her. It’s about twice as tall as she is. “Too tall for yeh. Want one made to your size, ask ‘em yerself.”
Tex looks at the scythe and gives a oh hum sound, “Well i would but i think they are still mad with me about the lawn ornament statement..” she looks for the nearest gnome near them. “HEEEEEYYYYY GNOOOOOOMEESSSS!!!”
Brother Beast shakes his head and finds a gnome that’s willing to trade.
One of the gnomes says, “Yeah, what?” He will be thrilled when Tex is no longer around, you can just tell.
“You still mad about my statement about you all are warriors, defenders of the lawns of this here city? And if you are not, is there someone who can make a scythe of greatness? Preferably with some magic bonuses?” Tex asks the gnome
Gnome- “Um yeah. I guess you haven’t really been paying attention to anything around here. Look, we’re in a little fortified bunker. Now that all the orcs are presumably dead we’ll probably expand and bring in some smiths and wizards, but right now you all have brought us more raw materials than we ever could have hoped. So not just no, but hell no. Especially for you.”
Tex becomes enraged with the gnome “WHAT YOU SAY TO ME! HELL NO!? SKELLY GET OVER HERE NOW! A no would have been sufficient you disrespectful punk! We can go right here right now if you want.” Skelly begins to walk over to Tex with his new shiny Axe and shield drawn.
Beldren, whos is totally there nad has been this entire time, jumps in. “Whoa, there! Tex, we’re guests here. Call Skelly, off, and don’t give the gnomes a reason to kill you.”
Tex looks at Beldren, nods then grumbles to Skelly, “Hold yourself steady Skelly. Not today.” Tex drops his shield and axe from battle stance, cocks his head to the side, and slowly shrugs at the gnome.
Gnome- “Right. I’m gonna go talk to Pegolot about this. You figure out what you want to trade for potions or whatever, and I’ll go tell him that you all need to pack and leave. Later.” the gnome stomps off to another part of the compound. Tex flips him the bird while his back is turned
Beldren, laughs a little nervously. “Ah, well, getting kicked out is part and parcel of being an adventurer after all.”
Erihild, who was going through all the stuff figuring out how much it’s worth, still looks stunned.
Erihild- “Er, Tex, we found this partial book, and it looks like it has spells in it. Do you want it?”
Brother Beast, having successfully acquired two potions of cure light wounds, states: “I don’t see why all of us. It’s the halfling who’s causing trouble.”
Tex turns to Erihild, “Appreciate it the offer but I do not wish to own it. You all earned it and should do with it as you please.” She turns with a glare in her eye towards Beast “You know the old saying ‘You win and lose as a team’”
Erihild looks a little surprised, but shrugs to herself.
Beldren says to Erihild: “Let’s keep it with us. Katreana and her other wizard friends might be able to use it.”
Erihild- “Yeah, okay. I can probably figure out how to just read it like a scroll if I have to as well.”
Brother Beast: “What team? You weren’t with us before we arrived, and I don’t want to fight alongside undead abominations.”
“Oh dont give me the whole ‘undead abominations’ speach” Tex says mockingly, using air quotes around undead abominations. “He saved our hides out there and he was the only that died. It is not his decision to be here in this world…” a evil grin crosses her face “it was mine MWAUAHHAHAHAH” she cackles in a high pitch noise.
Brother Beast growls. “Yah, you’re tharn alright.” He turns to Beldren “I’m back to the gnome’s headquarters, whether the rest come with or not. I won’t travel with a necromancer, ‘specially one that falls apart when her abominations are put down.”
Tex folds her arms over her chest, hangs her head and utters “Oh brother, brother. One day you will have an appreciation of the undead like me. Anyways Erihild let me see if i can scribe what is in the spellbook you found.”
Erihild, now slightly confused. “Uhh, okay, here.” She hands over the book pieces.
Beldren, in the background, is trying to pacify Brother Beast and persuade him to stay with the group.
Tex takes the book from Erihild and begins to chant in a dialect not known to many, but known to those who already know the dialect. She attempts to read the spellbook.
Tex decipers the first spell, which turns out to be….Identify. There are five other spells in there. She has trouble with four of the other five spells, but figures out that one is Ray of Exhaustion.
“Well Erihild, good news bad news time.” Tex looks up and says.
Erihild- “Yeah? Oh, we also have about 9000 gp worth of stuff to trade to the gnomes, everyone.”
“Well I got two of the spells deciphered out of six. One is Identify and one is Ray of Exhaustion. You can hold on to the book and i can try to decipher tomorrow of the other four, or play the roullette game and not know what the other four spells are.” Tex states handing the book back to Erihild.
Erihild- “I can’t use the spellbook, my spells come from the heart. Maybe have Skelly carry it for you? We can get him a backpack, I’m sure.”
Tex looks puzzled, “what do you mean from the heart?” she asks Erihild
Erihild, for the first time, looks not intimidated by Tex. “Bards just know some magic, we don’t really train for it. Have you never met a bard before?”
Tex looks at Erihild, “No i have heard of bards and met plenty, just didnt have any of them state their magic came from the heart. They all just said it was songs they learned.”
Erihild tsks. “Sure, however you want to put it. Real music comes from the heart. Look, anyway, have Skelly carry this, it’s not very useful to me.”
Tex looks impressed with Erihild, “Sure.” She summons Skelly II to her and puts the pack his back. “Skelly Carry this for me until I say other wise. Also do not smack Beast… Unless I tell you to.” Then she winks at Skelly. Skelly turns his head to Tex and makes the expression as if he winked back at her
After several minutes of quiet argument Beldren persuades Brother Beast to not leave the group. He is super persuasive, somehow.
Eventually Pegolot walks in. He sighs. “I just heard what happened. We owe you all plenty for bringing us supplies and dealing with the orcs, but you all need to leave when you’re ready. We’ll trade you straight across for all the stuff you looted from the orcs, so just let us know what you want, and if we have it, we’ll trade you.”
“Pegolot, instead of making of all of us leave, how about they stay a bit longer and ill set up camp outside the town. They didnt do anything wrong, its been me and my bad temper. So im sorry, but dont punish my comrades. Whaddaya say?” Tex asks sweetly as she can.
Pegolot looks confused at this change of attitude. “I mean, sure, I guess. You don’t need to leave town, just find a house a block or two over. It’s not like there’s anyone else here, now.”
Tex claps her hands together ‘Oh, Pegolot you are the best!” she exclaims. She raises her right hand “I promise to be more behaved in your town as your guest.” Her left hand remains behind her back, her middle finger and index finger crossed.
Pegolot looks like he just came out of a trance. He shakes his head. “Right, so what all do you want to trade? We mostly just have the potions and gear you brought but you never know what we might have found laying around.”
Erihild- “Oooh, okay, we’ll let you know tomorrow morning, how about that?”
He agrees, so time skips to Day 163 and during the evening you spent time looking through the DMG to see what you want. Pegolot also sends a wizard in to identify the three magic items you have, which are...a , a type II necklace of missiles, and a quiver of ehlonna. So a little bit of retconning, the ring turned out to actually be a quiver.
Tex takes out the spellbook and tries to decipher the last four spells in the book. She gets two of them: detect undead and blur. “So useless. Oh well” she mutters then put the book back into the pack that Skelly straps
Brother Beast inquires about the availabillity of potions of cure moderate wounds, hide from undead, bull’s strength, and bear’s endurance.
Gnome trader guy- “We have all of those but hide from undead. It’s not a common thing. Sorry.”
Brother Beast: “Yah, figured.” He buys 3 of the moderate wounds, 2 Bear’s Endurance, and 2 Bull’s Strength. Since that sends him over his allotment by...260 gold, he pays out of pocket for that.
Tex laughs loudly.
Erihild is busy hemming and hawing about potions and other gear and so says, “Um, since I’m kind of the archer for the party, would anyone mind if I took that magic quiver?”
Brother Beast has no objection, not being an archer himself. Beldren and Tikkaer also don’t object, Tikkaer because he prefers to kill giants up close and personal.
Erihild- “Neat!” She purchases a couple of expensive potions (also paying out of pocket to get cure serious wounds, fly, and haste) as well as enough arrows to fill the extradimensional space in the quiver.
Newly equipped, and with the gnomes not entirely irked at you, Tex has time to try to decipher the remaining spells in the spellbook (but not copy them to her own book just yet).
Tex begins to decipher the last two spells. She cant decipher them and tosses the book back into the pack.
So now, finally, on the morning of Day 164, the gnomish lookouts report heavy smoke coming from the direction of Oytmeet. What do you do?
Beldren, having no instructions on what to do next, suggests that the group proceed to Oytmeet, so see what’s going on. The other option is to stay in the city of Gorna, camping, instead of imposing on the gnomes, and making sure that every giant-kin and goblinoid in the city is dead.
Erihild- “I’m pretty sure I signed up to go find them to kill, not sit around and hope they come to me. I’m just saying.”
Tex nods at Erihild “I Agree. We need to take the fight to them and kill them. If we got a city on fire from the looks of it, then we need to save the people…” She turns to Beast and smiles slyly, “Also I can use the dead bodies to bring back as undead slaves.” she wiggles her fingers at him and says “OooOOoooOOoo”
Brother Beast: “You speak to me of that again and I leave.” He glares at her and then glares at Beldren. “You gave good reasons why I should travel with you the other day, but if that ...halfling... won’t be civil, your reasons will mean nothing.”
Tex smiles “Oh calm down Beast, I am kidding. I can only have one.” she nudges him with her elbow. “I will be civil.”
Beldren is starting to look like he wishes he never signed up to lead a group. “Tex. Stop it.”
Tex puts her hands up in the air, “I am stopping.”
Brother Beast stomps out ahead of the group, in the direction of Oytmeet. “I’ll scout.”
Crossing Gorna takes only a few minutes; you head straight across the main square, which puts both the castle and the burnt portion of town on your left, and out the main gate. The whole place is dead silent, except for the occasional animal that has decided to make its living in town. As you turn north, eventually the cobblestones peter out, and….Tikkaer notices a solitary set of bootprints, heading north. They look about three days old, made by a medium-sized biped.
Tikkaer points these out to the rest of the group.
Erihild- “Sooo what? We missed an orc?”
Beldren: “It’s possible. Does anyone know how to track?’
Tikkaer: “I do, but it’s obviously not a giant. I’m not interested.”
It’s also obvious that the person was heading straight up the road (which goes almost due north to Oytmeet), and was moving pretty quickly.
Tikkaer: “Besides, they’re going in the same direction we are.”
Beldren: “Of course! To Oytmeet then!” He mutters something about remembering to check the map so he knows what terrain he’s on. So the group proceeds, Brother Beast scouting as we go.
Ugh, finally. Since you’re all pretty slow moving, it takes two thirds of the day to get anywhere near Oytmeet. The road starts to slope downhill, and by about 3 pm you’re at a vantage point where you have a pretty good view of Oytmeet. It’s on the other side of the river, and about one third of the city is still smoking from being on fire most of the night.
On the near side there are a couple of houses and a dock or two, but what really catches your eye is the solitary giant on the near side, who appears to be herding sheep. He’s gathering them up one at a time and placing them in a boat. When there’s just one sheep left, he takes that one and bites its head off, and then eats the rest of it in just a few more bites. The giant carries a spear, rather than the traditional club. He then walks into the river and pushes the boat ahead of him.
Tikkaer and Beldren notes that the giant is a cyclops, about 15’ tall with a spear nearly the same length. Tex doesn’t quite catch the cyclops part, sorry.
Tex excitely whispers to herself “So. Freaking. Hardcore.” as she sees the giant eat the sheep.
Since there isn’t a wooden rampart on this side of the river, you can clearly see into town, which looks like a stomped-on anthill, with many orcs running to and fro, either carrying water, running around with weapons, or shouting at people doing either of the other two activities.
Erihild is too disgusted at the giant to make good observations at this point.
Tikkaer, focusing on the giants, instead of the largely irrelevant orcs, notes one more cyclops and an ettin walking around doing manual labor for the orcs.
Tikkaer, “Well there are a total of three Cyclops over there and an Ettin...amongst the worthless Orcs.”
Erihild- “But how many orcs are there? Enough of them can still kill you, you know.”
Tikkaer, “enough that we probably need a good plan if we want to kill everything over there...though they seem to not be the ones that started this fire.”
“Step one, Charge. Step two, Stab. Step three, Profit.” Tex says sarcastically
Tikkaer, “Step three is more likely to be die with that plan.” Tex just shrugs and smiles
Beldren: “We can shoot the giant in the river, and see if anything else notices. The rest have to cross before they reach us. It’ll slow them down.”
Tikkaer, “I don’t see why not. Not sure they would notice with everyone on the other side trying to put out the fires.”
You’re about a quarter mile away from the edge of the water in the cleft between two low hills. The ground between you and the river is open, and fairly well mowed, on account of the sheep.
Beldren leads the group toward the water, taking out his crossbow as he goes.
Erihild follows with her bow, giggling at how easy it is to get arrows from her new quiver.
Tex hands begin to glow red, along with her eyes as she prepares a spell for casting.
Brother Beast follows to Beldren’s side, opposite Erihild.
Tikkaer gets his bow ready as well and prepares to move forward.
Unfortunately for you all, by the time you get down to the water’s edge, the cyclops has arrived on the far side and is climbing out by the time you all get down to the two houses on the near side. Fortunately for you, those two houses are deserted, instead of full of orcs.
Beldren looks terribly disappointed. “Out of range…”
Tikkaer, “we need to get to the other side and figure out what we can do to start making their lives more difficult, or over.”
Tex looks at the houses “well we could ransac the place and see if they got any intellegence information we can use to see how many people they brought.”
Beldren: “Go ahead and search, but this isn’t the kind of place anyone would keep that kind of thing.”
Tex walks into one of the houses and begins to search around for clues, hopefully in the color of blue.
It looks like orcs have lived here for like eight years! And then stopped using the place when it got too nasty for them, and that’s saying something.
Tex moves from one house to the other and begins to check the other house out.
It’s more of the same, although Tex does note that in the shed next to the second house, there is a boat stored upside down in the rafters.
Tex comes out of the houses and reports to Tikkaer “SIR! NOTHING TO REPORT SIR!” as she salutes palm facing toward Tikkaer, hand about her head as she stands rigid and upright
Tikkaer blinks while looking at Tex, “I am not in charge, report to brother beast.”
“I cant” Tex says, she leans in closer and whispers in his ear “He is still mad with me. And i am not trying to make him mad… on purpose this time.”
Beldren: “Did you find anything interesting?”
“Nah, just a bunch of living situations that would make you vomit your brains out of how dirty and disgusting. Also a boat upside down in the shed next to the second house.” Tex replies
Tikkaer face palms, “we need across the river...she finds a boat...it is not important…”
“TIK!” Tex exclaims, “you if are gonna hit yourself in the face, let me do it for you next time.”
Beldren dwarf-fully ignores this byplay: “A boat, great! Let’s get it out and into the water. Probably shouldn’t cross here exactly... “
Erihild- “In broad daylight?”
Beldren: “... or in broad daylight! But a boat is just what we need.”
Tex looks at the group, “Well luckly for us, I found the boat and one of the spells i know is light! So if we cross at night I can light it up dimmly for us to see. That way we dont hit a rock and sink to the bottom of the river and drown. Like a sack full of gnomes.”
Tikkaer, “we could probably use the house for a staging area until night and then not use the light spells so hopefully the enemy won't see us crossing the river.”
Brother Beast goes to check out the shed.
It’s clearly designed to hold boats and fishing related gear. The boat is sitting on rafters, but careful inspection reveals the rafters can be removed, and that the boat is also being held by ropes, leading to a nicely rusted winch. The floor is more or less empty.
Beast comes back out. “The shed’s good to stay in. The boat’s in the rafters and it’ll be work to get it down.”
Beldren: “Oh. Well, may as well start now.”
You pile into the shed and get to work on moving the boat around. There’s still enough equipment untouched that you’re able to reach the rafters, work the winch, mess with the ropes (which are cleverly designed to rotate the boat so the bottom is down by the time it lands), and even kick the sides, which resist your boots!
But this work takes you until about midnight. Starting after midnight, you hear intermittent shouting across the river. You can’t see anything, though.
Before the boat hits the water Tex attempts to decipher the two spells she couldnt before. She figures out...dispel magic.
Tikkaer, “Are we going to go see what is happening?”
Beldren: “Yes. Let’s get this thing in the water and get everybody in it.”
Getting the boat down to the water isn’t that bad, and maybe an hour later you’re situated and ready to cross. Despite your stubby little limbs, you can work the oars, and manage to cross the river without getting shot at or any shouting in your direction happening.