Sunday, 23 April 2017

Keep on the Borderlands - The Path of Evil - Session 31


Lucien and Talmark gather the ears and go to find Captain Wallache. Travelling around the Burg they notice that it looks quiet at the moment. There doesn’t seem to be as many men at arms as there usually are. 

They find Knight Engel at his normal post. He welcomes them with in his usual profane manner and promptly goes to find Captain Wallache. 

He returns quickly and smiling he says “Captain Wallache is just taking his breakfast. He’ll be with you hideous nose picking stench cows shortly”. They ask about Sildar to which Engel says that he’s currently out on a mission. 

They wait for an hour and finally Captain Wallache comes to the gatehouse. 

He immediately provides an aloof and not all that convincing apology for the delay and asks the men to join him in at the small table to conduct their business. 

Lucien and Talmark produce the ears. Wallache is clearly surprised at the numbers. He counts through them: 38 sets of goblin ears, 1 set of ogre ears and 4 sets of hobgoblin ears. He questions the party representatives about how they, half a dozen or so men, were able to defeat what looks like a whole tribe of goblins? How did they capture the goblin warlord Ragnar? How did they kill the ogre? Where did they travel etc? [DMs note to players: Talmark and Lucien, please provide some responses to the above questions and I’ll come back later and re-edit your responses in].

He cannot accept that all the goblin ears are from combatants. “Some of these goblins look very scrawny” he rationalizes “some look like they are female ears”.  Looking at the ogres ears he quips “this looks very old, like you found it on an already dead ogre rather than one that you killed yourself.” He assesses that of the 43 sets of ears 33 are acceptable and he provides the 330gp bounty.
That’s twice now that Wallache has slighted the party of the bounty that they deserve. Lucien uses Sense Motive to try to better understand what Wallache’s motives are for treating them in this manner. 

The check is an opposed check done against a Bluff check from Wallache. Wallache rolls a 17 + 5 bluff skill = 23. Lucien rolls 6 + 10 sense motive skill = 16. He cannot quite work out why Wallache is short changing them. 

Still 330gp is a good start. They had previously sold their looted weapons to Berowalt at the Minotaur Blacksmithery. He had given them what had seemed like a fair deal and so they travel back to the Cold Hart Tavern and gather the looted weapons and some of the men at arms to help them carry them. 

They find in the smithy diligently working away. Entering the 20-foot-high building with the 5ft parapet upon the flat roof Talmark thinks of the defensive nature of the structure. The main room is occupied by a large forge, bellows and other items. The diligent Berowalt is working with two assistants. One is working the bellows whilst Berowalt and the other are working a new sword. 

Upon entering a small bell rings at the door announcing the parties entrance. Berowalt looks up from his work, wipes his hand upon his apron and approaches Lucien and Talmark. They present the looted weapons to which Berowalt scratches his beard and responds “Metal is hard to come by here and is in great demand. For the man sized weapons, I can put them into good order and sell them to the needy defenders of either the caravans of the Burg. If they are something else then I can use them for scrap metal, melt the down and re-use them.” He looks closer at the weapons and says “Look some of these are small. I’ll give you 2.5gp for each of the 25 small short swords, 7.5gp for each of the 12 small short bows, 4gp for that there morning star and 6gp for each of the 2 war hammers. That would be a total of 194gp. How does that sound?”

The deal sounds fair to Lucien and Talmark and is essentially the same as what was previously given to them by the hard-working blacksmith. Lucien and Talmark procure a set of scale mail armour and a heavy shield for one of the men at arms at the cost of 57gp. Berowalt thanks them for their business and the party leaves.

They proceed back to the Cold Hart Tavern and rendezvous with the party. There they present the three remaining men at arms with a set of scale mail armour, heavy shield, long sword, long bow and a quiver of arrows each and they distribute the remaining wealth amongst the four party members.
As they are talking about their next steps Per enters the room. He had been out for the morning equipping himself. He is clad in chain mail armour and carry a pretty nasty looking glaive. Smiling, he does a few fancy fighting moves to show off his new equipment and good natured chuckles can be heard amongst the group.

The party still has a few major items of loot to liquidate including the statute from Cragmaw Caves (50gp), the silver cup (70gp) and the tapestry (900gp). Summary of wealth is provided in the following table. 

The updated character sheet is provided below.



  1. Sorry guys that last post took a while. Real life got in the way and there is a bit of admin involved in updating the character sheet.

    Let me know if I've got anything wrong. I've double checked most of them but Lucien I might have got some of your stuff wrong. It's a complex character and I almost had an aneurysm trying to work it.

  2. DEW, I feel for you, having created your last headache with the halfling bard/wizard!

  3. Tim, many thanks for creating Per for me. I'm very happy with how he's turned out. I wonder if you could add carpentry as a hobby skill? If he's already maxed out on skills, then just leave it out. I would like to add a longbow and a dagger to his weapons when he can afford them. I'm very excited about joining your campaign.

    1. Yep no drama. As soon as you get some loot you can pick that up, unless the party wants to procure this for you in advance. In terms of skills I think we should just replace Climb with Craft (bows and arrows). You can pick up Climb at second level. Crafting will be better for you I'd suggest at this level. I'll make those adjustments to the character sheet.

      Also note I just changed your weapon to the glaive. It's just a slightly superior weapon and still quite like a spear. Just a little optimisation.

  4. Lucien already has the pentagram birthmark on his cheek, and dresses in the standard red and black of Cheliax, so is it pretty apparent to observers close enough to him where he stands.

    "Capt Wallache, it through the enlightened inspiration of our god that sound choices and appropriate tactics came to mind quickly, resulting in not attempting to take the entire tribe all at once. We are a capable band, dedicated to helping civilize and tame this area.

    You'll find that these non-combatants you dismiss so readily will breed combatants or grow to become combatants in short time, do not slight them so lightly, think towards the future."

  5. "Lucien has the truth of it. Judicious use of tactics, blocking terrain, and the fear caused by a group working in concert to slaughter their enemy can reap, to use a phrase, mass enemy casualties while minimizing harm to one's own band. That particular tribe will be trouble no more.
    "As for the ogre... We made 2 forays into the Goblin lair. There was a pair of men with the mace of Toreg upon their shields, slain. We found ogre footprints, and there were some near the Caves of Chaos. We encountered it a few days ago, on our first foray into the goblin's den. It fought fiercely as their ally, and we lost one of our hired hands, and thus retired to rest for a bit before continuing our assault later. It may have had a hand in the pair's death, it may not have. And there may be more than one, so do not be surprised if we bring you another set.
    "Say, Captain, it seems a bit quiet here today. I had been hoping to spar and get some training in with some of the Knights, but where have they all gone? Will I have to wait long for their return?"

    With a good natured laugh "Per! Look at you and the boys, looking almost like REAL warriors now! Ah yes, our foes should beware now, you are equipped for their doom!"

  6. Later, when we can find time to be out of earshot, Talmark will bring up to the main group "I am sure that Wallach and the others will soon begin to wonder where it is that we stay, when we do not return here immediately after our forays. At some point we will have to give tell about our base camp. There is a part of me that wishes to better fortify our hide, building a true palisade and tower in front of the cave mouth itself, and yet another part that wishes to keep it hidden. And then there is the question of the Toregites. The powers here may request being lead to their corpses or burial plots. Something to keep in mind. I think we should not tarry here long to minimize the number of question that could be asked of us, but we need more building supplies regardless.
    "We need a better locking mechanism for our present front gate, as well as 2 other gates to set within our system. One in the western passage that can form a backup to the front gate and prevent/delay invaders from passing into our sleep chamber and then to the bridge, and the other to form a block below the bridge. This I think would involve putting some sort of grate into the stream (I cannot recall how deep it is) as well as a wooden wall with a gate in it to block access along the stream. This can be tied into the bridge above to form a solid barrier. Then, in the future, perhaps we can expand outwards."

  7. Perhaps we should also sow the stream with caltrops as a little extra welcome to any who try to cross it or use it to attack the position. When I have some more time, perhaps I will spend some time learning basic trap-making that we can employ on the approaches to the cave as well.

    Otherwise, as soon as you are all ready, I agree, let's get back out to the wilderness and earn some more trophies!

  8. Lucien converses with the main group as well.. "Could be there is trouble amiss and that is the reason for the deployment of the knights of the Burg," Lucien smirks, "Let's hope so - and that their numbers are suitably whittled."

    "A part of me is sure Wallache feels threatened by our last foray. He seemed taken by surprise, not happily surprised, but taken aback that we were able to wipe out the tribe."

  9. Lucien can craft potions out of his Alchemical extracts that the rest of the group will find most useful, in particular True Strike (+20 on next hit), and Expeditious Retreat (+30ft to MV for 1min) in addition to the Clerical spells he can make potions of.

    He will not shoulder those costs himself though. While in the Burg, he can buy the ingredients required if he knows how many of what the others would like and is given the gold to buy the ingredients. It would be at-cost, so for a 1st level spell/extract, it is 25gp.

  10. Malandir would like to request one true strike, one CLW and one expeditious retreat. We might need to consider some party money to cover expenses like potions, since they are usually expended in the interests of the group. For the moment, the elf is happy to buy his own. Now when someone can knock out greater invisibility, he would be first in the queue with all his money!

  11. Lucien will get the requisite ingredients with that 75gp, he'll craft it when we get to our cave (unless we are going to stay at the Burg for a bit, which it looks like it is in our best interests not to.)

  12. "Lucien, I have the same feeling about Wallach. If we continue to do 'too well' our group may go from being a help to being a target much sooner than we wish. I propose that we talk to other burg merchants and residents and Caravaners about our deeds, but in a way that makes us sound like we are genuinely here to help rather than tearing the Kights down for their lack of progress. ...until later.
    "You know, I wonder if they mobilized to search for those two Torag we dealt with? I tried to be as vague as possible with Wallach about them without giving any outright falsehoods. Jumbled, yes, omissions, yes, but no lies. Those may need to come later as well..."

    I would love to have a potion of True Strike. Now, that does not effect chances for critical hits, other than rolls to confirm, correct? Still, would be nice to have in case we run into another serious baddy that deserves immediate and lethal attention!

  13. No effect on crits - cannot be used in a confirm.

    It is just a handy thing to have when you are in a "must hit" situation. You lose a standard action drinking it, yes, but like always in these games, you takes your chances...

  14. I am not convinced enough time has passed for them to be aware the Torag's were missing before we arrived. Think about it...

    Unless #1 -- The Torag Clerics deployed from the Burg after us, in which case we maybe should have recognized them?

    Or #2 -- Unless they split off from a bigger group that arrived at the Burg and are no longer here. In which case why did they not check on the split off pair immediately when they did not return? Why would they wait until they are even further away before asking to deploy a search party - and why would Wallache not be leading the mission?

    I feel these 2 possibilities are too convoluted to be likely.

    AND - with the tribes, caravans and people (Sildar for one) do apparently tend to go missing on occasion and not much seems to be done to locate them individually. No one specifically asked us to look out for a missing caravan guard or locate ambushed property.

  15. Sorry guys. I've been a bit tardy. I've been doing a lot of short haul day fly in fly out trips and it just makes it hard to get any consistent time on a PC.

    In terms of why it's quiet at the Burg. You ask a few of the locals, including Sgt Engel, Berowalt and Berrin.

    Sgt Engel says that from time to time the brothers of the faithful must go on a mission to prove themselves and undertake a great test. Those that survive return with a higher ranking. Sildar is amongst those that have left to face the beast - Bymbir, Lord of the White.

    Berowalt confirms that the order had recently purchased equipment and weapons from him including additional long spears, bows and arrows, crossbows and bolts etc. Enough to supplement the equipment of a 'company' of men.

    Berrin says that Bymbir is a white dragon who is said have great wealth and that the brotherhood want to recover the dragons horde. He says that Bymbir has a cave, high in the peaks of the snowy mountains (I'll have to draw a map when I've got more time at the PC).

  16. DEW, we are getting some game dialog in until you are ready, so all is good, don't fret.

    If everyone else agrees, I think we'll pin the dragon part for now.

    We'll make innocent enough inquiries and deduce the "precise enough" location later, but I do not think we should even consider reconnaissance until we are all around fourth level or so and have defeated the Caves of Chaos.

  17. Indeed! Though I like the idea of capturing a dragon's horde, if it has a name it must be a big and older one, so it can keep to itself for a bit LONGER! (Especially if the Burg Knights do not succeed)
    Hearing of the Dragon, however, will lead Talmark to inquiring more about it, such as it's age and history. His dream of having his family sword imbued with flame has found an ultimate target!