SESSION 33: DAY 14 – BURG LIECHENSTEIN TO CRAGMAW CAVES
Per agrees that to confront a dragon whilst the group is still relatively inexperienced would be foolish. He is happy to bide his time until he and the others have gained more levels. In the meantime, he would like to spend a bit of time honing his combat skills, perhaps by training with the town guard if that is permitted.
Talmark claps Per on the shoulder "Per, my friend, I have found the burg's knights to be somewhat reticent in sparing with new comers, though they do occasionally indulge. If you can find no partner I would be happy to train with you.”
“I’d be honoured” Per responds.
"As for a next target”, Talmark adds, “We have already clashed with the hobgoblins, and they can be a tough bunch. Orcs will be much more difficult. As I recall, the two species hate each other, so perhaps we can enlist the hobgoblins help? They did try to talk first both times we encountered them.
Though, since we butchered the last four and took their ears they may be less willing to converse...
I'd be willing to take on the gnolls before the orcs if we have no help from the other denizens of the caves. I doubt anyone has any love for them, and their hides may fetch a bounty as well, from those with no aversion to having rugs made from 'intelligent' creatures!”
The mighty warrior turns to Kord and asks, "Say, Kord, when you say, 'manage a gang', would that be us or do you suppose we should capture some slaves? Perhaps we should have kept some of those goblins alive after all!"
Kord responds, "Talmark, I meant that I could manage a small team of men from the Burg or some artisans that we hire to help. Perhaps some local labour that I could instruct. We should be able to build a much stronger structure with a little time and investment in raw materials."
Kord’s head rocks back as he reflects on keeping some of the goblins alive. "Those dead goblins have already served us. Giving us their ears for reward, weapons for loot and lives for experience. I'm sure that they might yet again serve us."
After reflecting for a while Kord returns to the subject of the Caves of Chaos and Talmarks remark about the gnolls. "Perhaps you are right. Gnolls are filthy beasts, more animal than humanoid. They are pack hunters as well. Very dangerous in open ground and they cannot be bargained with. I support the idea of an attack on them."
Thinking of the task of defeating a group of gnolls Talmark adds, "Another thought: fire. Being furred, I would bet that, like most creatures, gnolls would be massively afraid of fire. Perhaps some breakable flasks of oil that could be lit might come in handy as area denial or even missile weapons. Flaming arrows too. Hmm, where is a no-good-untrustworthy Flame-Seer when you want one..."
Lucien weights into the conversation, “A lit flask of oil, while cheap, is also rather undependable on its own. Burning Hands, Spark, other fire-spells, Alchemist's Fire and bombs, will cause an eruption in flames every time on a doused opponent - tossing oil soon before or after such eruption extends the conflagration, definitely a tactic to give weight to.
I vote we tackle the gnolls as well. I also vote we cash in the other loot, I've been working out the crafting costs for what I am thinking the party could use (party funds, so to speak) and we need gold.
I am thinking 4 lots of Cure Light Wounds potions (over and above what I make for private use) and Kord crafting 4 more Cure Light Wound scrolls (using party funds since it is for the party) so we have some staying power.
That is 200gp in just party funds we need for those eight things, if someone wants to buy upgraded weapons/armor... well, we NEED to sell the other loot”.
Talmark agrees, “At some point I’d like to upgrade my armour. Being in the front line, this armour is already showing signs of being damaged”.
Malandir has been considering the conversation carefully and adds, “The hobgoblins may not be certain that we killed the goblins ... although of course they have seen us once in the goblin caves, seen the slaughter we did there, and then lost a group of their own warriors in the goblin caves so will probably make the assumption it was us.
Either way, they are weakened by their losses, but will be on guard and wary, so perhaps it is right to find another fight with an enemy who is not prepared for us, let the vigilance of the hobgoblins wane over days of inactivity. I feel on the cusp of discovering new talents, but I need the opportunity to practice my skills further to hone my emerging abilities. Getting out into the wilderness and killing goblinoids sounds like the perfect environment in which I, indeed we, may develop. I’m eager to quit the Burg and go killing once more.”
The party are agreed to sell their remaining loot and to go back to the Caves. They set out to see if the vendor in Valor Trading will take the statutte, silver cup and tapestry for a fair price.
Leaving the tavern they pass Randel’s Well, a few residences and the Bright Horizon Bank before coming to the large double doors of Valor Trading. As they enter they see that it deals in all manner of armour, weapons and large quantities of goods such as salt, spices, cloth, rare woods etc. A half elf, Dearg, sits behind a large table. He is busily working through a log book and has two younger half elves, probably his sons, running around the shop shouting out quantities of various goods back to him. As he hears the party enter the trading hall he looks up and exclaims, “Well look at these girly, lily-livered tunnel worms my sons.” Straightening up he turns and addresses the party, “Err what can I do for you good sirs?”
Lucien opens the negotiations and asks about selling the three valuable items. Dearg considers each of the items in turn and offers to buy them for 765gp (ie 75% of their true value) or, if they’d like, to take store credit of 1,020gp (ie 100% of their true value).
Lucien stares at the half elf for a minute and considers the offer. He is wondering if the half elf is trying collect a high profit or if he is being honest. Using Sense Motive (skill + 10) he rolls a 15 = 25 against a motive roll of 0 bluff skill + 12 roll = 12. Dearg isn’t bluffing or trying to be dishonest. He is operating a trading hall and provision house in a remote area and this is his normal profit margin to trade for rare goods as it’ll take him a while to move them on. If the party had been in a bigger city the profit margin would be less (ie they would get closer to 100% of the total value).
Lucien asks about the goods that Dearg stocks and if he is able to modify them at all. Dearg responds in the negative. All he does is to buy and sell. If they need specialist goods that he doesn’t have then he can get them for them but apart from that they’d be better off seeing Berowalt at the Minotaur Blacksmithery.
Dearg does add though that he is very keen on procuring any furs that the party would come across and would pay full clip for them (100% of value). “What about the firs of a gnolls?” Malandir asks.
“Ohh yes” Dearg responds. He looks up a little journal and adds “I’d pay 10gp for a male and 5gp for a female pelt. More perhaps if a particularly nice pelt came in.” DM’s note to party – this would be on top of the normal 10gp bounty for combatant monster ears. I might just also add that I didn’t DM fiat that Dearg would be interested in pelts, this was party of the random table economic system that I use. Better lucky than good.
Lucien confers briefly with the party and they agree that it’ll be better to have the gold rather than store credit and they sell the loot for 765gp and distribute it evenly amongst Lucien, Kord, Talmark and Malandir.
Talmark notes that he now has a little over 300gp but that probably isn’t enough to buy a new set of master worked armour. Kord notes the same. He had been wanting to get a master worked heavy mace but if he did he wouldn’t be able to contribute to developing more scrolls and potions as per the parties recent conversations.
Updated NPC register below.
Updated character wealth register below.
Current consumables register below.
They decide to get moving. They need to generate some more wealth and Malandir and Per need to gain more experience.
As they leave the Burg they fall into formation. Talmark and Per lead the way, talking tactics, offensive moves and defensive counter moves. They are followed by Lucien and Kord who discuss politics and theological matters. Malandir is in the middle and the three men at arms bring up the rear.
They plan to go to Cragmaw Caves to make their final preparations before going to the Caves of Chaos.
A few hours into their journey they hear some growls.
The lions, with their high perception, have automatically detected the party (ie I didn’t roll a 1 on a d20).
The party rolls for surprise and get 12 + 6 for Malandir’s Perception = 18 against a DC of 0 (to notice a visible creature) + 8 (+1 for every 10ft away) = 8. Malandir stops dead and, mouth agape, points out two massive lions, a male and a female, feasting upon some poor unfortunate creatures upon the side of the road. The beasts stare at the party and set to attack.
Lion initiative: Roll 16 + 7 = 23
Party initiative: Roll 18 + 0 = 18.
· The female lion is 80ft away and can charge either Per or Talmark. She charges 1-3 Per, 4-6 Talmark, roll d6 = 3 = Per. As she charges, Per gets an Attack of Opportunity with his reach weapon. He stabs at the beast as it moves in on him and hits it in the face with the deadly glaive for 17pts of damage. The massive blow would have easily felled a normal man but Per is horrified as the beast keeps advancing upon him. It opens its jaws to bit him and immediately grabs the fighter on the right shoulder and delivers 6pts of damage. It then goes to strike at him with its front claws and hits him twice, once in the right shoulder and the second blow to the right leg. He is dealt 6pts and 6pts of damage respectively from the blows. Per slumps to the ground and begins to bleed out. The lion roars and begins to salivate at the thought of fresh blood.
· The second lion is too far away to charge Talmark and it double moves up to get ready for next round.