Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Keep on the Borderlands - The Path of Evil - Session 10

Day 6 – Burg Liechenstein

"So” Lucien asks “Talmark, Kord, Malandir... should we go back to the cave and recover the goods left behind? If that is our course of action, we should first check with representatives of the company where the missing supplies came and pin them down for a reward, maybe even negotiate the use of a wagon and horse for the endeavor."

If the items are unmarked and therefore free salvage I think we should review the Burg rules regarding trading herein -- My guess is we would de facto be, "merchants," for the timeframe that we are selling/trading and Master Jurgen would require his 5% fee or tax on any deals we make. We should check with him to see if there is a writ, license, or some other official recognition of being authorized to trade/sell and obtain that.

If we are instead going to the Castle, I actually think we are fairly well stocked for that as-is."

Lucien voices that Talmark should get both potions so he has the ability to heal himself on the fly.

Lucien considers Mandalin. He thinks to himself, we should invest no resources in him that would be better suited on a Chelaxian warrior of good birth and standing.
Kord turns to Lucien “Remember, the crates and sacks were marked with an image of a blue lion.
I had a look at them and I estimate they are about 50 man days worth of provisions, probably worth 50gp if we were to try to lug them here. But they are probably more worthwhile as provisions to keep the party well supplied in the cave.
The blue lion image is the mark of the Lionshield trading company, an old family owned trading house. They have a warehouse in Canorate, Molthune and regularly bring goods to the Burgy where they trade with their counter parts from Elidir and Logas in Isger and Senara and Egorian in Cheliax” adds Kord.

Malandir regards the humans thoughtfully. He doesn’t care that they are wary of him and are reluctant to share their meagre haul....he hasn’t earned anything, yet, so expected nothing. And besides he’ll teach soon enough about the ability to use guile and stealth to reap even greater rewards.

"If you have won, through strength of arms and divine blessing, the stores at the cave, why leave them for another to secure? I can help you to better assess what is of value, but don’t ask me to barter with merchants over a fair price...they seem to dislike my Drow heritage and my demeanor, the maggots.

As to more lucrative exercises, I like the idea of plundering caravans and returning most of the goods for a reward.....perhaps these two acts could secure the funds to furnish more men and better equipment in your company?

And with regard to spying out new locations and marks, I think you will find me ideally suited to your purpose. So if you insist on a piece of paper to bind me in contract more than my sworn word, I expect an equal share of future spoils....and the right to kill any good cleric, paladin or knight who falls into our power...after you have interrogated them, of course."

Malandir extends a black gloved hand to grasp the forearm of each of his new companions……..

Lucien considers the elf's demand and offer of partnership, "I will need to revise the contract if we are to... "accept' you as an equal partner, that part is trivial and I am sure you are well versed enough in this world to recognize our faith and the requirements for abiding by contracts.

Regarding the eventual disposition of certain clerics or knights, demands about rights require a position of strength to capitalize on -- and I am not seeing that here.

You must understand that while we have no driving interest in securing their safety in general, there may be circumstances that arise wherein it is in the best interests of a long-term plan to spare the very life you are intending to claim rights to. Or instances where the reasoned likelihood of discovery would preclude ending said life.

So long as we understand one another in those regards, I can commit that for the most part we can accommodate your visage being the last these clerics and knights can focus their last eyes on. It will be placed in the contract.”

Kord looks at the elf and laughs “Hahaha. Elf we have no love for good paladins nor clerics. I think you’ll find you are in the company of like-minded beings, well in that regard at least.”

Malandir nods “Very well, the ending of good clerics is a proclivity of mine, and not fundamental to our agreement. I see in the dark where you cannot. My bow can pick out a foe in a swirling melee. My skill with locks and tracks and underground places are, I suspect, greater than yours. I look at the three of you and your hired muscle, and I see that you have need of my skills, which will be proven soon enough. My bow and blade, my knowledge and skills, are at the disposal of your band for fair recompense. I would consider the opportunity to kill good clerics and their faithful a boon.”

Lucien offers his hand “Your confidence is inspiring, Malandir. I am sure you will prove your value in short order. Like you, I am of the mind we should obtain a wagon and recover the cave spoils.”

Kord extends his and they shake on this initial agreement, with a binding written contract to come in due course, of course

Malandir suggest that they keep some goblin weapons to use as props for taking out a caravan. Kord informs Malandir that they had already sold them unfortunately but they could keep some future weapons captured.

They discuss the option of fortifying the cave. It is an excellent idea, agrees Kord. “Does anyone have any Craft Woodworking, Knowledge Engineering or Profession Engineering or some such skills” enquires Kord, “They would be very useful to either do the work ourselves or to hire some tradesmen to help. We could supervise the tradesmen better if we were skilled.”

Malandir suggest that he has Knowledge Local, which will help them to find the Caves of Chaos and Cragmaw Castle, and Knowledge Dungeoneering, which could help to fortify Cragmaw Caves.

[DM’s Note: I find it hard sometimes to get real value out of the knowledge, craft and professional based skills so I generally tend to give them a broad meaning.]

As they are enquiring of the provisioner of what timber is available they notice a caravan will be leaving for the north west passage in an hour. Heading for Cettigne. [DM’s Note: It is normal practice for the caravans to signal via a crier that they are intending to leave so that others may join the caravan for the journey and thus they can offer each other mutual protection from the wilds.]  

Kord says “Come on let’s hurry and get some lumber and join this caravan. We can drop the lumber off at Cragmaw caves in relative safety and fortify it as best we can and then we can go from there to explore the Caves of Chaos. It’ll only be about ½ a day’s travel from the Cragmaw to the Caves of Chaos and we’ll be able to scout it out first and use Cragmaw as a base. What say thee?”

Kord looks at Freemont “Get the men ready.”



  1. Perhaps we could dig up and replant a screen of bushes from the surrounds in front of the cave as well -- a wooden door or wall or whatnot would not necessarily "stand out" but it would appear out of place to anyone glancing in the direction of the (clifface?)

    So it does not clutter here, I emailed you about crafting when you are unsure of what skills or profession applies, or if no one has a clear-cut skill or profession that applies.

    Lucien will use his diplomacy to ensure the Men at Arms are on board, "Our intention is to use the caves we cleared as a waypoint, a safe haven of kind to rest in and retreat back to when required... And to be honest, it makes no sense at all to recover the Blue Lion foodstuff, travel back, turn them in for reward, then spend selfsame reward on the same foodstuff and go right back to the cave to provision. You all see the rational and agree, correct?"

    "I have high expectations about this outing..."

    Lucien then stops himself, nods, and walks away.

    Though he showed no cowardice on the first outing, he felt no sting of enemy weapons nor drew blood either. Just the way HE likes it, yes, but better to not remind the men he escaped all harm and reaped more gold than they.

  2. "Agreed," Talmark says. "Keep and utilize the food stuffs. Hopefully Sildar did not see the wares and can divulge nothing. Speaking of, perhaps he can be utilized as some manner of leverage against the Iorians? A spy in their midst or some such. We parted amicably, and we did save him, perhaps he will be grateful and willing to help, or at least disenchanted with the Order."

    "As for the door to the cave, if I recall correctly we could set it back a little distance so it will not be too easy to spot. I do very much like the idea of camouflaging the entrance. Maybe someday we could put a good old fashioned tiger pit out front too."

    Talmark would like to look over the caravan gathering to head out that we will be travelling with, just to see it's composition so far and to maybe make some plans.

  3. Malandir looks up. "Sounds like time I made myself useful.... I'll come and look at this caravan with you, Talmrk."

  4. Lucien mulls schemes to leverage Sildar... and chastises his lack of foresight by not healing the warrior when they had the chance; saving him was one tick, the party could have scored another tick by healing him, still another by maybe forgoing half the reward he offered.

    Missed opportunities...

    Still, healing Sildar may have chaffed the men, who received no healing on the outing themselves.

  5. Kord agrees "Using a screen for the front of the cave sounds like an excellent idea."

    Talmark and Malandir scope out the caravan and find that it is a wagon train of 2 wagons. It's difficult to work out what it's transporting but the general mood of the caravan is eager, as if great riches await them at their journey's end.

    The caravan master is a celebrated explorer that goes by the name of Andrin.

    You've heard that Andrin is wary of bandits and may need help.

    When you see Andrin, as he's preparing to leave, you notice that he carries a scroll case that he continuously takes out and reads. At his side is a finely crafted sword. His hand never leaves its hilt.

    Malandir talks to one of the guards and uses Perception, Diplomacy, Knowledge Local and Sense Motive and finds that Andrin needs gold to repay debts.

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  7. A barricade inside the cave could channel any attacker ... and some caltrops could be thrown down just before we are assaulted. Any enemy would find himself engaged by my bow before he attacks, and if he withdraws....