Friday, March 12, 2010

Afternoon, Road North To Ulm

Tuesday, June 3, 1650

The weather continues to be sour, but the except for some drizzle in the morning, it doesn't rain.

The road north from Buchhorn follows a steady climb, and by ten in the morning you pass by Ravensburg, a large, walled town.  Soon after, without being certain when, the countryside begins to look familiar - but it not until you reach Biberach-an-der-Riss that you realize that you're back walking on the road you used to leave Germany.  At some point they joined, but you're not certain when (there are many forks in the road along the way).  You must cross the Riss again, still being 5 c.p. pieces each.  I believe that before you were not charged for the animals ... but the carriage this time will be a 5 s.p.

You recognize the hovel where you stayed last time once you are on the other side, 18 days ago.  It is about one in the afternoon when you leave Biberach behind, and now you find yourself near the place where previously you were concerned about grimlocks.

It is about that time, about two in the afternoon, when the party sees the white stag, certainly the same as before, walk slowly from the woods to stand at the side of the road.  To describe it again: it is quite a large beast, with horns that are, this early in the season, about four points.  It is pale white all over.  At present, it is about forty yards forward of the party.

Serafina will ask, "What is that?"

109 comments:

Andrej said...

"That is the bane of our journey."

How far from the side of the road is it?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(Nickle and dimed to death!)

"Let's just continue on by and avoid it."

Alexis said...

It is right on the shoulder.

Serafina asks, without moving forward, "What does he want?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"We do not know. Everytime we have encountered him very close, it has signified great danger, whether from the creature itself or from something hunting it. It very nearly killed Jan. I would that I never see it again."

Alexis said...

The stag starts to walk towards the party

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

We're in the carriage moving, right? If so, then lets move a bit faster away from this thing. If not, let's get into/on the carriage and get moving faster away from this thing.

Notice the commonality? Move. faster. away. Yes. :)

Avel said...

Am I driving the team at the moment or is Emmanuel? In either case, I make sure the reins are in Emmanuel's hands and I set myself to throw my javelin.

"Delfig, what is that thing? Should I attack?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Don't attack it unless we have to... it's a very powerful creature!"

"Drive away from this thing!"

Avel said...

"You heard him Emmanuel, drive!"

Andrej said...

Andrej agrees we should drive past it, and climbs up into the carriage if he's not already there, and makes ready his staff.

Alexis said...

At the moment, Emmanuel IS driving; he snaps the reins, and the horses break into a run. At that point, the stag drops it's head and charges...

Serafina will shout out, "HE'S RIDING THE STAG STRAIGHT AT US!"

There's not much time to think, even less time to act - three, four seconds. I will ask Avel to roll a d6.

Avel said...

6

Alexis said...

(OOC: Home at last!)

Avel has won initiative and each character (apart from Serafina, who has already shouted) is free to take one action requiring no more than three seconds. The horses will rear in preparation for the charge.

Andrej said...

Andrej will hold on tight.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I am jumping OFF of the carriage away from where the stag will hit it. "Why are you attacking us?!" I will scream at it.

Alexis said...

(OOC: morning, fellows; I'll give a little while for Avel to give an action, and then we'll finish out the round)

Alexis said...

Well, sorry Avel,

The horses will kick out, striking at the stag, so that the carriage will seize to a halt just before it is struck – the air is split by the scream of animals and the splintering of wood. The stag’s horns tear into the side of one horse, its body slamming against the frame of the carriage – killing it instantly.

Delfig drops to the ground ... Emmanuel has jumped on the same side as him, and they both tumble to a stop on the side of the road, conscious and next to each other. Serafina is thrown clear, but she rolls on the road and stops moving. Avel is knocked straight up in the air, and has a moment to look down at the three animals colliding together beneath him, before dropping into their midst. He bounces from his shoulder from the back of one horse, flips over onto his hands and manages to come to a stop ... amazingly, without taking a hit point of damage.

Andrej is not quite so lucky. Rather than being thrown clear, the carriage as it turns over cups him with one of its sides, grabbing him if you like, so that when all is done, he finds himself underneath, his leg pinned to the ground. He suffers 4 damage, and must make a strength check (d20) with a modifier, so he must roll at least four under his strength or less to free himself two rounds hence (the first round, he’s stunned).
This all takes two rounds to complete.

Party’s move. Emmanuel will climb to his feet, stagger back and fall against a tree. He’s taken 2 h.p. of damage, and has blood riviting down his arm.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

...

Just ...

I'll draw my sword while running over to Serafina to check her out. I'll protect her to the death, putting myself between her and the stag.

(Avel... you rock!)

(What is it with the crazy white stags in your game?)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(If I have a moment, I'll reach down to check her pulse, assuming that medieval medicine had that sort of knowledge or approach -- if not, I'll check her breathing and see if there's blood around her.)

Alexis said...

Serafina's not terribly hurt (just a few bruises) - is just knocked out is all. Delfig can hear Andrej grunting under the carriage, trying to get his leg free.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Delfig can hear Andrej grunting under the carriage, trying to get his leg free.

(Next round, if the stag doesn't approach Serafina. I'm hoping by then, Andrej's situation will have been resolved.)

Alexis said...

It must not be clear. The stag is dead (not the carriage, as it might be read above).

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OH! I thought the *horse* was dead. When you spoke of the horns goring the side, and then the reference to "it"... Gotcha.)

OK, after checking on Serafina, I'll yell over to Emmanuel "Are you injured badly?" as I get over to Andrej. I'm hoping that with my help (and Avel's), we can lift the carriage up.

Andrej said...

Strength check: 12 (which passes with the -4 modifier)

Alexis said...

Andrej frees his leg and crawls out from underneath the carriage. Serafina moans, starts to regain consciousness.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I will run over to Emmanuel and begin to bind his wounds to stop the bleeding.

Andrej said...

Andrej will see after the horses, assessing any injuries they may have using his husbandry skill.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Andrej or Avel... please see to Serafina! She was knocked out by the fall."

(It wouldn't be a thread without me being an idiot.)

Alexis said...

Serafina climbs to her feet with Avel's help ... Andrej must attend to his leg. Emmanuel makes a signal to Delfig that he is alright.

"Where is he?" calls Serafina, looking around. Her voice carries some pain. "I don't see him."

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I'll circle around to see where the stag's body is.. if it's there... sword out and ready.

(Dammit. I kid you not, when you said the stag was dead, I jokingly thought "what if he makes it disappear." Get outta my head.)

Alexis said...

The stag is there. It hasn't disappeared.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"He is over here, m'lady!" I call out to Serafina.

I'll cautiously approach the body of the stag and look it over. I stay about 3' away and keep my sword ready. I will be looking to see if it is indeed dead. I'll look at the horns, face, neck and hooves to see if they appear "normal" for that type of creature.

Alexis said...

"No, not the stag!" she answers. "Him!"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Who? We are all here... Avel, Andrej, Emmanuel and myself." I'll look around to see if I can see anyone else moving about.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I replay the incident in my head just as I ask the question, then it hits me... "There was someone riding the stag? We did not see him!"

Alexis said...

"You did not see him?" she answers. "He was hideous ... you said he was the bane of your journey."

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"The stag has been the bane of our journey, but we were not aware anyone was riding it. Can you describe the thing riding the stag?"

I'm trying to remember what the creatures looked like that I've encountered before, in my lovely walk at night and then the creature that I found in the cotter's house.

Avel said...

(sorry everyone. Was on a plane out to Arizona. Took me a day's worth of sleeping to catch up from the jet lag. I will not be able to post anymore today, but will rejoin tomorrow.)

Andrej said...

"I saw no one on the stag. Serafina, what "him" do you speak of?"

OOC: I'm assuming Andrej saw nobody on the stag, but I know now how you are with information, Alexis :)

At this point, Andrej expects a full accounting of what Serafina saw and will go about getting it.

Alexis said...

Serafina answers Andrej and Delfig distastefully,"Something smaller than a man, and much, much thinner; in places, his bones seemed to show through, particularly on his chest; his clothes were rags, hardly covering his body, and where there showed skin it was all purple bruising."

This does not sound like a description of the thing that Delfig witnessed on Jan's table a month ago - that thing, though invisible, was relatively healthy looking, compared to Serafina's description.

I need a d100 from Delfig.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

1d100: 100

(*blink* I either just scored the jackpot or got us all killed. Feast or famine, boys! 'scuse me while I go buy a lottery ticket today.)

Andrej said...

Alexis, Would Andrej's knowledge of legendary creatures be of any use here?

Alexis said...

I made the roll, Andrej, and I'm afraid not.

The roll, Delfig, was for your hear noise ability. Which obviously you didn't.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(Like I said.. it was either feast or famine. Guess it was the latter. Heh. Figures, given Delfig's luck)

"Serafina, we saw no such creature on the stag, but what you describe makes me think that we are being hunted/followed. This stag has been seen at several points in our journey, almost as if it were following us."

To the rest: "Can we still use the carriage with one horse? We should get out of here, quickly."

Alexis said...

Emmanuel will shout in pain at this point ... he'll stagger backward into the road and turn. There will be a raking mark across his face. He'll fall to his knees.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(Oh crap)

"Andrej! Get Serafina into the carriage! Avel, come with me and let's get Emmanuel!"

I'll draw my sword and sprint towards Emmanuel. Can I see anything moving around him, or anything "disturbing" the grass or leaves?

Alexis said...

Delfig, no, nothing. You can't see a thing.

Before Andrej can make any moves towards Serafina, she will draw her sword off her back; Andrej will see quite clearly that she has no intention of being 'gotten into the carriage' ... which is upside down at any rate.

Andrej said...

No worries, Andrej had no intention of trying. My staff is at the ready. I'm moving in slow circles, edging closer to Serafina to seek her protection as much as give her mine. I'm trying to look everywhere at once, but systematically so... not frantic or anything. "Emmanuel, ar eyou ok? Do any of you see this thing? Serafina, you might be the only one able to do so."

Alexis said...

Emmanuel is alive, but in a fair bit of pain. "Nothing master, I saw nothing ..." He will crawl forward steadily and hide under the overturned carriage.

Serafina says that she can't see him. She guesses that she might have been able to 'see through' a mind fog ... an illusion meant to hide him ... that she can't see through now. (OOC: rule where the highly intelligent = sees invisible). She has tried to focus her mind, but it hasn't worked.

Andrej said...

Andrej will step away from Serafina and begin swinging his staff one-handed in erratic patterns all about him. Erratic so that an opponent would have trouble timing the swing to step in for a hit.

Anybody have any better ideas? We have some flour with the foodstuff in the carriage if this thing is invisible... I'm not sure what that'll mean for a "mind fog", though.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I will pull Emmanuel close to the carriage, if he needs help.

"Form a semi-circle with our backs to the carriage and weapons out... we can swing them back and forth and see if we can see this creature that cannot be seen."

Alexis said...

Delfig, roll a d6.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

d6: 4

Alexis said...

You, Delfig only, have initiative; you get the whiff of something foul and repulsive, almost like a small puff of cloud moving towards your face; the odor is the only sensation ... action?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(I'm so going to regret this)

I'm going to attempt to tackle "whatever" is in front of me.

(the thought is that if something is invisible, maybe I just caught a whiff of it's breath. At best, I just grappled it. At worst, I look like an idiot falling on my face. Worth a try.)

Alexis said...

d20, Delfig

Andrej said...

Why not just try hitting it with your sword?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

d20: 5

(Andrej - because I wanted to confront the attacker and find out "who/what/why" - versus just killing him and have no idea who our enemy is or what is going on. Moot point anyway, I whiffed hard.)

(Word verify: subworm - can't get much lower than that...)

Alexis said...

Delfig will feel claws scrabbling at his body, and teeth; but he fights back, and feels only a graze against his right arm ... causing 1 hp damage.

It hasn't let go of him. He must take what action you deem appropriate.

The other party members will find Delfig falling to the ground - as you were back to back, you are all immediately present.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Help me! I think I've caught our mysterious assailant!"

I will try to bear him down to the ground, using my large body size to keep him/it under me. I would like others to come help me restrain it.

Andrej said...

Andrej will step aside, letting the massive Avel through, but will look through our baggage for some rope.

Alexis said...

Andrej,

Because of the flip-over of the carriage, it would take you two rounds to find your baggage, and three rounds (at least) to look through it. Delfig could be dead by then.

Andrej said...

OK, scratch that. My first instinct was simply to kill this loathsome thing. Finding the rope was just my way of trying to accomodate Delfig's desire to speak to it, assuming he and Avel would be enough to subdue it. How hard would hitting an invisible, grappling opponent be? What risk is there of hitting Delfig instead?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

How about, instead of hitting/killing, you just help me grapple the thing and restrain it? That would seem much simpler and less risky to me.

Andrej said...

For the record I think grappling it to begin with is far riskier than simply fighting it when its trying to kill you, but I'll oblige.

Andrej will assist Delfig in grappling and restraining it.

Alexis said...

I posted some rules for grappling and unarmed combat on the other blog, so please have a look at them. To answer Andrej's question, you're -4 to hit, with or without a weapons ... if you roll a 2-6 on a d20 with a weapon, you hit Delfig; but you risk no harm to him if you grapple or pummel.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(If we were just standing around, perhaps, but I've succeeded in apparently getting ahold of it, so you slicing/dicing it is far riskier now. Let's get the thing restrained, see if we can communicate with it and if not, we'll decide what to do next.)

Alexis said...

If you both still intend to grapple, roll a d20 to hit, please.

Andrej said...

D20: 16

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

d20: 9

Alexis said...

And Serafina rolls a 3. Delfig feels a weight lift off his body, but catches nothing with his hands, while Andrej manages to scratch his fingers along what may have been the creature's back. Clearly, it was real ... but at the moment it has slipped out of reach.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Let's go back to the semicircle, keep around Emmanuel while he recovers himself. This thing may attack again!"

Andrej said...

Agreed. Do you want to try talking to it now?

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Let's see what it does next."

Alexis said...

I'll ask Andrej to roll a d6 for Serafina.

Andrej said...

Game-speak in parenthese

"I should have struck true (rolled a 16) but it was to little effect. The thing is either lucky (made its save to break free) or extremely hard to pin down (dice modifiers for dexterity and invilsibility put it out of reach). I suspect it'll attack again and eventually will defeat us if the best we can do is just stand here and wait(did the math)."

How is Emmanuel? If well enough to move Andrej instructs him to search our belongings for our flour and rope.

Andrej said...

Serafina d6: 5

Alexis said...

The creature also rolls a 5, so she and the creature are simultaneous. It seizes her and scratches her face also for 1 damage; she does no damage to it in return ... all you can see is her rolling onto the ground.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OK, I'm done with this... )

I get out my lute and cast Perception.

(The idea I will listen to see if I can hear this creature and strike with my sword at it where I hear it, while also telling Andrej/Avel where it is.)

Alexis said...

(OOC: I'm waiting for Andrej's action while Delfig takes his lute from his back; I'm not sure what has happened to Avel, haven't heard from him since Monday evening. In standard D&D practice, I won't run his character...you're on your own until you hear from him).

Alexis said...

(OOC: Oh, and let's save your angst, Chgowiz; if you mistakenly post under the other name, save yourself the headache and just leave it up...try not to do it, obviously, but don't stress the error)

Andrej said...

Andrej will wait to see if Emmanuel is in good enough shape to respond to his last request. In the event that he is, he'll simply wait with his staff ready and his eyes looking out beyond our ring. If he's not, I'll respond to that base don how you describe it...

Alexis said...

Sorry, meant to say it; Emmanuel is looking for flour and rope. I must assume at this point that Andrej has missed that Serafina is wrestling on the ground with the creature at this moment.

Let me pull this all together.

At this moment, Emmanuel is under the carriage, digging through a pack to find Andrej either some rope or some flour. Delfig is taking the lute from his back with the intention of throwing a spell. Serafina has managed simulataneous initiative with the invisible creature - she missed, the creature scratched her for 1 damage - and they are apparently fighting each other in the middle of the road. Avel is, presently, not in sight ... either he is concealed behind the carriage, he's in the woods investigating something, or he's taking a leak.

We are uncertain as to what Andrej is doing, as his last message makes little sense with regards to Serafina.

Andrej said...

Sorry. I didn't understand. Andrej will assist Serafina by either overwhelming or grappling with her assailant. Ideally, he'd engage it during a time when Serafina was on her back (presuming the thing is astride her) and attempt to knock it loose. Lacking that, I'll simply grapple.

D20: 2

Avel said...

(OOC - hey guys. I'm on spring break in Arizona visiting some family. I thought I'd be able to keep up this week, but the three hour time difference is making that nigh impossible. Is it alright if Avel just fades into the background for the rest of the week?)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

("Oh, look... Avel apparently was knocked out by his miraculous fall..." :>

Enjoy spring break!

A note that I will gone as of Thursday about 9pm till Monday about 8am - I'm going to a club run in Tennessee.)

Andrej said...

OOC: As for me, this online campaign is my only recreation save internet porn and interprative story-telling through the art of quilting, so you're both ruining half of what little fun I get have in life. Just kidding. About the porn. Ok, and the quilting. No worries from me Avel, have a good time. We'll wake you up when its over. :)

Alexis said...

(OOC: I must point out that Avel is now in my time zone)

Andrej misses.

At the moment that Delfig begins to finger out the song he plays to launch his spell, even before it is completed, the focus of every individual is changed; at once Delfig, Andrej and Serafina (Emmanuel perhaps, right now he's searching) can see the creature.

It is as Serefina described - its maw is filtered with hundreds of sharp teeth and it lacks any hair at all. Its skin is dark green and weirdly translucent.

The creature and Serefina continue to scrabble at each other - it bites at her arm, and she rolls and slaps its head on the road, then rolling free.

Andrej is about five feet away.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

The moment I can do so, I will draw my sword and attack the creature, I'd like to take advantage of my spell!

Andrej said...

"Delfig, don't stop playing!"

Andrej will strike with his staff at his soonest opportunity.

D20: 5

or not

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(The perception spell for a bard does not work that way - see: http://tao-dnd.blogspot.com/2009/02/bard.html)

I'll continue my stated action.

Andrej said...

My suspicion is its the playing and not the spell that caused it to come into view... the spell was only supposed to affect you, wasn't it? We can all see the thing starting when you began playing, not when you finsihed casting.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(Don't know. We'll find out, I suppose... worst case is that I guide you in.)

Alexis said...

Um...

I did say the effect took place before the spell was cast. And Delfig is right - perception doesn't work that way. As soon as Delfig stops playing, it disappears.

Delfig, you can hear footsteps padding away across the road, the soft greenery in the ditch giving way - and that this is happening vaguely in a given direction. From sight, the roadside where it is coming from is about 15 feet away.

Andrej has sacrificed his chance to strike by the contention with Delfig.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I'll charge the area where I hear it moving, sword swinging, to try and hit it.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"It's moving away from us into the ditch! Look to where the grass is moving in front of me!" I'll call out.

Andrej said...

Andrej follows after urging Delfig to play the blasted lute so we can send this thing to whatever afterlife awaits it.

Alexis said...

Delfig, in the process of rushing forward, and swinging around, most of what you can hear with your perception is yourself. You swing at air, nothing else.

Serafina will join in Andrej's entreaties to play.

(If this is character playing, did Delfig fail an intelligence check I wasn't aware of?)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(No, but apparently I'm just royally pissing everyone off with my choices today. Sheesh.)

Andrej said...

Not royally pissed... just a little baffled. :)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OK. Whatever. Pling, pling, I shall play as commanded.)

Delfig will drop his sword and play as commanded.

Andrej said...

Andrej prepares to chase and hit the thing if it appears again as Delfig resumes playing.

Alexis said...

(OOC:

Let me take a step back. Chgowiz, if that was inappropriate, I apologize. I do not wish to railroad you, and if you feel that is the circumstance, I apologize for that too.

I confess to setting up this encounter five months ago, when I introduced the stag in the first place. I did conceive of the manner in which it could be fought by two first levels with Andrej and Delfig's abilities, plus the NPC ... if it is a bit too pat, so that you feel you're not given the opportunity to play as you wish, I will rework the circumstances immediately)

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(Ahhh, don't pay me any mind. I was having "a moment" - one of the disadvantages of playing whilst at work and having real life affect my mind. I probably would have been a lot more flexible had I not had to deal with people who seem to not be able to follow the most basic of instructions. Anyway... no worries, please don't change anything and we'll proceed. Delfig would have been persuaded by the insistence of Serafina and Andrej and started playing the lute.)

Andrej said...

OOC: Let me say that I enjoy playing by blog and think with this group of folks we do a pretty good job of minimizing the impact of the limiting factors while getting the most out of the uh... un-limiting factors

but...

The nature of a playing medium that allows you to fit the game in alongside other things going on in your life means sometimes you're not giving one or the other thing the attention you'd like to. It's certainly happened to me. Ultimately we'll be fine. Keep up the good work everybody.

Alexis said...

(OOC: it is just one of those days; I don't know if I'm going to get to post anything more than this today ... if I do get the opportunity, I'm going to reboot the combat with a new post, since this post have 100+ comments on it already. I'll let you know if I get any time this afternoon)

Chgowiz said...

(Sounds like a plan. My last check will probably be ~ 6pm tonight, then I'm going to game w/@thePrincessWife tonight and get to bed early for our trip to TN.)

Andrej said...

In that case I'll check in later this afternoon. Have a fun trip Chgowiz.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Chgowiz picked the right time. But I will post on the weekend and we'll begin Monday).