Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Riding Into Anatolia

Wednesday, April 14, 1651, afternoon
With overcast skies, cool temperatures, a near gale, with heavy rain and a crosswind.
Waxing crescent:




At the point where we pick up the party's travels again, they have been forced to take shelter in the vardo upon the mountain slope they are descending, having been kept awake all night by first a moderate rain, that began the evening before, turned into a violent heavy rain, where the wind shifted and began to blow bitterly out of the northeast, rousting them from their sleep to shift the vardo and the animals to better protection. It's been needful to get further off the mountain, which has meant a hard five hours of pushing, hauling, dragging and walking beside the vardo in the rain to lighten the load. Only now has the party found a flat, secluded place where they can get inside again, strip off their wet clothes, have them dried by Lukas, and rest. Three can sleep while three others can sit up where one of the sleeping shelves would be, and in the middle of the floor; it isn't restful, but it is out of the rain.

How has the party found their way here to this dreaded, unknown place?

They are on the southeast side of the Anti-Taurus mountains in central Anatolia, 17 days from Amisos. During that time they have climbed and climbed, until the highest point of the pass through the mountains they've just come through, above 6,000 feet.

The first two days, the party edged into a slot through the Pontine Mountains, following the Yeshil river, with many small towns and villages, orchards, great flocks of sheep and herders hard at work shearing them. By the third day, you were through the gap, but still climbing, upwards through a open mixed cedar, hazelnut and oak forest.


There are four days of this, the last day being the hardest, as the last climb onto the plateau at Tokat proves a trial. The weather, at least, is bearable, the sky is clear and the brisk temperature is good for travel - you walk with open coats and hats off during the day. The chilly nights, however, those you can do without. At least the days are steadily getting longer.

You reach Tokat on the 5th, a fair sized town, 500 buildings, amid tobacco, tea and coffee plantations, above the forest. The road is better here, and you roll south with gained enthusiasm. The days are cool, now, thoguh the evenings are still brisk and the nights still chilly. You pass through the bigger city of Sebaste on the 8th, more than twice the size of Tokat, and that night there is an unusual driving rain, that makes you appreciate the vardo.

Its been hardly apparent to you that you've been still climbing all this time. Tokat was 2,600 feet above sea level, Sebaste is 4,000. The plantations have yet been on both sides of the road, but now the party sees the great Anti-Taurus mountains above them, though they are 40 miles, 10,000 feet high and covered with snow. They seem impossible.

The roads have been empty much of this time, except for local traffic, and the party has noticed they've been left alone more than usual. No one seems much interested in them, or friendly, most likely because of their European appearance. At the end of two weeks, the party at last begins to make its way to the pass.

To climb the pass takes two whole days. A fresh wind brings heavy rain the morning of the second day, and another light rain that night. The party is over the pass the next day, the 13th, their feet crunching on snow and the vardo making tracks as they go. They are just beginning to descend when the sun makes it too dark to continue.

This brings us back to the beginning of the post, where the rain has made the last 18 hours intolerable to say the least. The party is hunkered down in their vardo, waiting as the afternoon wears away and there are signs the clouds are dissipating, the animals outside and everything, everywhere, slicked with wet ... when there comes a knock on the door.

150 comments:

Lukas said...

During the first terrible rain, Lukas will reminisce on the time that he met the group. And how they passed him up in the rain and neither thought anything of it.

He will then be only slightly pleased to have the vardo, slightly because he had to haul it with the rest of the group just shortly before...

As for the knock, Lukas will answer the door himself.

Lukas said...

Are we missing a title?

Andrej said...

::Rubbing hands in anticipation::

Alexis, you mentioned three were asleep and three seated upon the bench. Which were which and do we assume we are all up now?

Alexis Smolensk said...

We were missing a title. That's been rectified.

When the knock comes on the door, those three with the LOWEST constitutions in the party are asleep. I'll need a constitution check to see if they're awake.

The party has a ridiculously high constitution, in general; Lukas, Mareo and Hichem are asleep. Lukas, before you answer the door, please make a con check; your con or less on a d20.

Lukas said...

I rolled a 1.

I'm glad that wasn't in combat.
As usual in my paranoia I spammed the button afterwards to make sure the wizards dice roller wasn't broken...

Alexis Smolensk said...

Lukas, you open the door and find yourself looking down (remembering the platform is five feet off the ground) at a 6'5" soaking wet orc, with greasy black hair and with a face apparently painted with black grease - and bright white eyes and pale grey irises. It's massive, about 325 pounds, with great shoulders and leather armor. It is holding a spear, with a sword on its belt and a round helmet made of hide and metal, with short three inch metal horns.

It looks up at you, and says in a peaceable, unchallenging voice, "Your mule is dead."

Lukas said...

Lukas will eye the spear, look a the sword then turn back into the Vardo.

"Andrej, I think it's for you."

Lukas said...

Nice, it very specifically states that the level 1 version of mount is a mule or donkey.

Andrej said...

"Mages," I mutter as I don helm, shield and mace and move toward the door. These are precautions, I'm not intentionally acting in a threatening manner toward the orc. If able to and nobody intervenes or acts between now and then, I hop onto the ground next to the orc.

Lukas said...

Lukas will move to peek out the windows trying to see if he can see anything odd, like a dead mule.

Alexis Smolensk said...

There doesn't seem to be anything else that Lukas can see, beyond the bleak, gray wet landscape.

Point in fact, Andrej, you couldn't get through the small door with shield or with one hand holding a mace ... so can I take it that you lay these things next to the door? Where they already are?

The orc does not make any attack when you do hop onto the ground. A quick scan around with show the mule actually prone on the ground. (OOC: smart ass Lukas)

Andrej said...

I nod a greeting to the orc, "pleasant weather we're having," I deadpan, and ask whomever is closest to the door to pass my shield and mace through.

Alexis Smolensk said...

"You won't need those," the orc says hollowly. "I ain't come to be trouble to you."

Maximillian Boii said...

Once the doorway's clear, I'll push my way out as well, saying "I should check on the rest of the beasts."

I go first to the mule, nodding to the orc as I pass, and verify that it's well dead. I'm not sure I'd be able to tell, but I'm concerned about disease that could get the rest of our animals, or parasites, or something like that.

Incidentally, I ppurchased woundwort for just such a mountain pass (Mareo has low cardiovascular strength) So I'd have encouraged him to take some. Your discretion whether he needed it for one day or two.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The death is real, and quite by surprise. There was no indication, but apparently the mule's heart has simply given out - perhaps due to the trip or the weather.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Forgot; the remaining animals seem fine.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet exits the vardo as well. Does the Orc appear Turkish? European?

Andrej said...

While Max examines the animals and Ahmet makes his way out, I go to Sofia's horse and fetch the wineskin I keep filled for communion. Setting mace and shield aside, I take a long pull, making sure the orc sees this. I then hold it out to him, "Wine for the cold and the wet. You are welcome to share in some of it."

Alexis Smolensk said...

Ahmet would recognize this as an orc that has that distinctly desert-Asian look - wide, flattened nose with the piggish snout meshed into the upper lip, heavy eyebrows, slightly knobby head, unusually short index finger. Probably a left-over from the old Sassanian Empire, when orcs from the Kyzyl Kum conquered Persian and held it for four centuries, between 224 and 651 CE.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The orc shakes its head at Andrej's suggestion. "You don't wan'ta be 'ere when the night comes," he says, talking in a slow, difficult to understand voice. "Aristanes Vex this is." It's hard for him to say Errr-hist-ahh-knees ... he has to say it a couple of times before he finally gets it out. "Bad place at night."

Maximillian Boii said...

I come up next to Andrej.
Thanks for the warning, friend.
As you can see, ( I gesture towards the mule) we're exhausted and miserable, and cannot make it far today. Is there somewhere near where we might be safer?

Lukas said...

Now Lukas will come to the door a bit more prepared for outdoors... Probably with a warm coat of some sort.

"Is Draoi dead then? What happened to the poor beast? And who is our friend who took the time to warn us?"

Maximillian Boii said...

"Stone dead. The pass, and the rain happened."

Andrej said...

I consider Max's comment. Not yet convinced, I offer the druid a pull and give the skin over should he want to take one. "What is Aristanes Vex?" to the orc.

Alexis Smolensk said...

"It mit o' bin," says the orc to Maximillian. "Or it mit o' bin d' Vex."

He adds, "Rotten you mebbe ... b't they know of yuh now. They waitin' 'til dark."

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: do me a favour, Andrej, and shoot me an email request for the preview; it helps keep my books in order)

Andrej said...

(OOC: will do from home this evening. Thank you)

Does the orc acknowledge my question above?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet carefully checks over the mule for any sign of external injury.

"Who is waiting until dark," Ahmet asks the Orc, "and where are they now?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

He doesn't answer you directly, Andrej.

To Ahmet he says, "They," he says. "They are heer. Bes be not after dark."

He turns, and starts to move away.

Lukas said...

Lukas looks to Andrej, "So are we going to 'fight the bandits' again? That went so well last time. Of coarse we COULD investigate, but I would venture to guess these bandits will be less hospitable."

Andrej said...

"I suspect these are not bandits, Lukas, but something else..."

Alexis, could we pack up and go should we desire it? That is, does our current state and/ or the weather and/ or terrain prevent or inhibit our movement in any way?

Lukas said...

Lukas does the equivalent of a facepalm. He wishes slightly he had set up a straight man moment.

That said, he continues onwards, "Yes, I am fairly certain they are not bandits. I am merely suggesting that this situation may be one over our head and we should take caution unlike the last time when we tried to deal with the bandits."

Lukas said...

We wouldn't happen to have one of those curse sensing folks around would we?

(OOC: Wait, since I'm the one afraid of a mystery does that make me shaggy? I really need to get a familiar.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

Your movement is not inhibited. The mule is dead, but Lukas has established a solution for that; you have I believe 4 hours of magic mule allowable, but Lukas can correct me; I'm not looking at the rule at the moment.

The only issue is that it is wet, getting on to dark, you're in the mountains and the track is unreliable. There's a serious risk from your exhausted state of being seriously injured, run over by a vardo, having the vardo tip and so on, that must be recognized.

Lukas said...

Listed ruling is actually fairly useful for regular use at 4 hours + 4 hours per level.

Downsides do exist in that if for some reason it ceases to exist there is no travel for the rest of the day.

I personally prefer non-magical animals for this reason AND the reason that eventually I could use this spell for more interesting mounts than mules.

Andrej said...

"I'm in no mood to go looking for a fight if we can prevent it, Lukas. I say you conjure us a mule and we push on, accepting the road's risk as it is."

Lukas said...

"Fair enough, perhaps we can take it slow to avoid road hazards while still getting out of this area. This whole situation reminds me of those creatures in the swamp."

Lukas casts mount and summons a mule (which he will refer to as 'Weitergabe' as it's name.

Lukas helps hitch up the Vardo and proceeds to prepare to leave.

Maximillian Boii said...

Yes, let's get moving with as much care as possible.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: Just getting hung up a lot)

You start to move the vardo, then; this takes preparation to fasten things inside, put up the sleeping shelves, harness the animals again. Your fingers are freezing and you can't feel your feet, and you're more drowsy than you ought to be. Ahmet very nearly gets himself kicked in the head by his own horse, whereas Andrej slips and gets himself covered in mud. Hichem slips as he comes out the vardo's back door and hits the ground head first. "I'm all right, all right!" he shouts, finding his feet again unsteadily.

About 400 yards away, as the clouds turn from grey to slate, you can see the orc, standing unprotected in the rain, observing you. His demeanor would be right for a guardsman, not someone anxious or expectant. Just a fellow doing what might be his duty.

Lukas said...

Lukas will shout to the Orc, "Do you need a ride out of here? You seemed pretty intent on this place being too dangerous!"

Alexis Smolensk said...

In the rain and whipping wind, and his being a quarter of a mile away, he wouldn't hear you.

Lukas said...

And with that I think we start our way out of this cursed area.

Because never has a curse or haunting ever followed anyone home.

Maximillian Boii said...

I put my back into the work, but I'm mindful of our tiredness. An accident -- or collapsing from exhaustion -- could be just as dangerous as this Aristanes Vex on this exposed mountain pass. As best I'm able, I keep watch for this danger in our party.

(OOC: I feel like a union construction worker... "Safety first, fellas, lift with your knees.")

Lukas said...

(OOC: You should probably stop putting your back into it then... Lead by example! Or by standing nearby holding the shovel.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: I remember this story where a bunch of us were standing by the roadside where we were pitching tar into potholes, and not working; there were six of us, just standing around, and this fellow came up, saying, "Yeah, that's right, six city workers standing around doing nothing." And my supervisor answered, "What you gonna do? Two called in sick.")

Alexis Smolensk said...

Lukas's mule begins pulling the vardo out of the protected hollow and up into the wind, and just like that, the rain stops.

For a moment you stare at the sky, you wonder about the clouds, they look the same, and the wind is still as strong as it was ... Lukas gives the sign and his mount begins to pull the vardo.

In the distance, the orc begins swinging his great arms towards you, motioning you to 'come on, come on' ...

Lukas said...

Lukas is all for continuing towards the orc at this point.

I figure, either he's trying to coax us towards a trap and has control of the weather (Or some really good illusions) and therefore is powerful enough to just be playing with us...

Or he's legitimately helping. In which case I think we should go ahead with the trust thing for now.

Ahmet said...

Who is driving the vardo at this point? Lukas? Who else is outside the vardo?

In the momentary pause while we stare at the stars, Ahmet exits (or dismounts) the vardo, unhitches his horse, and mounts it. He gives the horse a kick to get ahead of the vardo, to ride in the vanguard.

Lukas said...

Conjured mount makes things a bit strange (Rules on how it differs from an actual horse/mule/whatever are not exactly clear). If possible I'd have Hichem doing the driving while I assist as needed since I would rather have free hands in case anything happens.

I'd place Mount under the spells to request a pass on when Alexis gets the chance, but I'm too afraid of losing the potential for fun mounts and the useful duration for overland travel so I'm not pushing it.

Andrej said...

Andrej is similarly mounted upon his horse but will follow behind the vardo. Sofia's horse's lead is attached to the vardo so that it follows behind as well.

Maximillian Boii said...

Sorry, I started to respond and realized I was confused. Is the orc motioning us back into the hollow, or did he go before us?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Forgive me, I thought I had made it clear how rough, how difficult is the terrain, how dangerous it is and how wet it is. It would be obvious that your suggestions to mount your horses would almost certainly result in broken legs for the animals, or your being dropped on your heads.

At any rate, I was looking for a sign that you took some instruction or not from the orc; I will assume that you ignore him. Hichem driving, then, the vardo manages to get about three hundred yards further along before a wheel slips and drops into a crack in the rock about two feet deep. Hichem is thrown from his seat, managing to catch himself before tumbling to the ground; he hangs for a moment on the side of the vardo, then drops to the stone ground.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The orc, earlier, walked away. He went off to a distance of 400 yards, leaving you in the hollow where you had hid out at the start of the thread, where you were when the orc knocked on the door. Lukas tried to call to him but I said the orc was too far away to hear. Then, when you were ready to move, the orc, 400 yards away, beckoned you to come towards him with his arms.

Andrej said...

I guess I took our "... flat and secluded place..." as larger than it is base on your confirmation that our movement was not inhibited above. No worries, got our wires crossed there. Andrej will be leading his horse out, then.

I'm confused in what way were are ignoring the orc, though... isn't he waving us forward and aren't we following him?

Maximillian Boii said...

Ah, OK, thanks. I had assumed the orc remained in the hollow, and it was us who had moved the 400 yards.

In that case, I guess we're moving in his general direction when the Vardo jolted?

I continue to ignore the orc, and move to help Hichem up.

Ahmet said...

Yes, I was picturing the orc back in the hollow trying to get us to return to him.

Ahmet leads his horse with Andrej. When the vardo gets stuck, he finds a place to hitch or hobble his horse. "If 'they' are waiting to attack, now would be a good time," he mutters to Andrej.

Lukas said...

I had placed my vote of confidence in the orc. I want to follow him. If we are able to get the vardo moving again I ask Hichem to follow his directions.

Andrej said...

Alexis, can you tell us what it is we're doing or at least what it is you think we're doing before we see about Hichem?

I had the orc in the right place and as the vardo was moving away I assumed we were already moving toward him. If that's the case, then I'm good and we next need to see about the wheel and Hichem. If not, I could benefit from some DM-provided clarity.

Alexis Smolensk said...

As you're looking at the vardo and its situation, the orc begins to move quickly towards you.

It is hard to tell in the clouds at this point whether or not the sun has gone down.

Maximillian Boii said...

Is Hichem unharmed?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes, he caught himself before falling. The last bit about his letting go, that was just because the vardo is at a weird angle and it was easier to hop down to the ground.

Maximillian Boii said...

OK, my next concern is the vardo. Is the wheel usable? How difficult is gitting this thing out of the crack going to be?

Alexis Smolensk said...

The wheel is not broken, but it is definitely sunk into the crack. It seems to be partly wedged there, though there still seems to be some movement.

The orc moves to where it is ten yards away, 30 feet. "I help!" it yells into the wind, giving an expression that Andrej recognizes is a sincere one, for an orc.

Maximillian Boii said...

I don't wish to abandon the vardo any more than I imagine Lukas does... Shall we try to get it out? I'm all for accepting help.

Lukas said...

Lukas will hop down and investigate.

"Yes, please help. Here let me help too!"

next to the hole he will cast material to summon gravel or sand enough to fill the hole.

He suggests they rock the wagon wheel and push the sand/gravel in to get it up as high as they need.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet, ever cautious, pulls out his heavy crossbow and two-thirds loads it, casting a wary eye about for any incoming trouble.

Andrej said...

With Ahmet on watch, Andrej looks to the vardo and the sand/ gravel.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Presuming Lukas' material spell isn't used to actually bury the wheel, that's a serviceable means to get the wheel out of the situation that it's in. The orc puts his shoulder to the back of the vardo; he's pretty big, and strong. "s'Good," he says, about the spell, suggesting the use of magic is nothing new to him. "Hab you seben pipple outta 'ere in a minute or two."

Maximillian Boii said...

(OOC: Ahmet, Andrej, Hichem, Lukas, Max, Mareo, ...)

I can think about that later; I focus on the vardo at hand.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You're pretty sure that's right, Maximillian, but it nags at you and so you count everyone, pointing your finger ... "You, you, Mareo, you, one, him and me."

And no matter how many times you count, it keeps coming around to seven.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(that should read, "one more")

Maximillian Boii said...

as the hairs rise a bit on the back of my neck, a little adrenalin helps me push that much harder.

Lukas said...

Lukas will help with the pushing of coarse. "If it's so dangerous shouldn't you come too?" Lukas will ask their assistant.

"I'm sure we can figure out how to get all eight of us to travel with the vardoo."

Andrej said...

Andrej stands back from the vardo and casts detect malevolence.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet does not help with the pushing, but rather keeps out a wary eye for an attack.

Alexis Smolensk said...

"I had moved away" the orc says, in broken tongue; "But you needed help."

The vardo comes free.

Andrej detects malevolence in every direction.

James C. said...

"It's everything! We must be away... NOW!"

Lukas said...

"It's not like we were dawdling! Stop staring at it and push or pray cause I damn well am done with this place!"

James C. said...

With the vardo free I draw my mace and lead both horses with the other hand, one leading the other with me in the front.

"Malevolence is all about us... be wary. Be ready."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet exchanges his crossbow for Dilmek and walks with Andrej, leading his horse.

Lukas said...

Lukas ensures the vardo moves as soon as he can. He also says his own prayer as he tries to do everything he can to get all of them out of there now.

He continues to encourage Hichem to follow any guidance the orc might have.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Rolling dice ...

Mareo is walking about five feet ahead of Ahmet, to Ahmet's left; Andrej is on Ahmet's right side, in the next 'hex,' while Mareo is a hex ahead. The vardo is back and to the left of all three; Maximillian is 15 feet, or three hexes, back from Mareo, by the vardo's front right wheel. Lukas is on the other side of the vardo and mule, leading his mule, about 15 feet to the left of Ahmet and slightly behind Mareo. Hichem is driving. The orc is at the far rear, pushing the back of the vardo.

I hope that's clear.

Once again, from left to right. Lukas, leading the mule. Hichem, driving. Maximillian, by the front right wheel, below but next to Hichem. Mareo, at the front. Ahmet to Mareo's right. Andrej to Ahmet's right. Orc at the very back of the party and vardo. Got it?

Alexis Smolensk said...

The air manifests and thickens in front of Mareo, becoming black like smoke and vaguely humanoid in shape; about four feet tall, but floating two feet above the ground. The air itself grows cold, far colder than the unpleasant weather you're experiencing, but only Mareo and Ahmet feel that cold. Andrej's malevolence spell, still functioning I'll rule, goes off the charts.

Mareo makes a surprise roll, fails, rolls a 1. I will have Ahmet roll a d6 for the rest of the party.

Whatever it is strikes at Mareo, rolling a 19. A smoky pseudopod, not really a hand, reaches forward and stabs Mareo's chest, causing 1 point of damage. Mareo screams, however, and drops like a sack full of horse dung.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Waiting on Ahmet's roll.

Ahmet said...

Sorry, I'm back.

Not much better than Mareo... 2.

Lukas said...

I have a feeling this is overall going to go rather poorly.

Alexis Smolensk said...

A roll of 2 from Ahmet will surprise the entire party ... so there is no possible reaction. The manifestation will disappear before anyone can do a thing. It is simply gone. But there remains the feeling that you are NOT alone, and Andrej's spell gives the same sense of malevolence that it did previously.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Ah, what do you do?

Andrej said...

Andrej grabs Mareo and slings him over Sofia's horse.

Lukas said...

Lukas will continue to lead Weitergabe as the overall goal is to continue getting the hell out of here.

Furthermore, if he were to try and cast a spell I would venture to guess he would be the next one stabbed in the chest let alone be holding up the whole vardo's escape.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You manage about thirty yards, with the same approximate arrangement, before the manifestation returns. This time, in front of Maximillian.

The druid feels the air grow cold, tangibly ice-like, as though frost were growing spontaneously upon Maximillian's fingers. All in front of Maximillian turns black. In the moment of great stress, he cannot even see the rest of the party, or be aware of his is. Time slows, but he feels caught in a vortex - he finds that he can't even fall back, or move away, or look around. The universe had closed to him and the entity, whatever it is. All he can do is succumb or strike back at it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

To do that, Maximillian will have to roll a d6 for initiative.

Maximillian Boii said...

Sorry about the delay.
d6: 3

I'm unsure how much I'm going to be at my computer today, I'll be on as often as possible.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I don't get to pick who's attacked, Maximillian ... lol ... but I win initiative. It swings at you and rolls a natural 20; the damage is minimal. I roll a d4 and get a 1. Doubled, that's 2 damage altogether.

BUT ... it's arm reaches into your chest and closes on your heart, changing from a mist to a sword point.

The remaining party hears Maximillian cry out, and sees him stiffen, his skin turning the color of milk.

The manifested creature remains. Everyone is more or less within reach to take whatever action they wish.

Maximillian needs to make a saving throw.

What do you the rest of you do?

Andrej said...

I turn undead. d20?

Maximillian Boii said...

d20:6

Save vs ?

Lukas said...

Lukas has a mental debate as to what he can do at this point.

Not much it seems...

Since we have Andrej and Ahmet on the case for ghost busting I'm going to continue trying to get the slower stuff (the vardo) further away. Everyone else presumably can catch up I would think.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I went back and found the undead rule I applied back in Innsbruck:

1) The die is rolled exactly like before, only if it isn't successful, the cleric and STILL roll again the following round. Failure this round does not mean failure next round.

2) Turning undead is an action that takes virtually the whole round; it will let the cleric move one hex while doing so.

3) When the cleric is successful, the cleric's turning will literally pick up and move the undead back 10 feet, or two hexes - during which time the undead may drop to a knee or be temporarily non-corporeal (with respect to shadows, wraiths, etc); and for the following round the undead is treated as 'stunned' and cannot move or take action.

4) The number of undead that can be so affect is up to 2 HD per level of the cleric - the cleric determines which undead are so thrust back.


Yes, you can roll a d20, Andrej.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Maximillian, you are sucked dry 1 experience level. This reduces you to first; so the last spell you gained is lost to your memory.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(The save would be vs. death; Maximillian needed a 10)

Maximillian Boii said...

Not just the last spell, but also the bonus spells, right?

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I believe I speak for the group when I say... Oh fuck!)

Maximillian Boii said...

(Nooo kidding.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes, that's right, Maximillian.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Do not adjust your hit points or your experience; you lose, temporarily, half your points; which will put you at half hit points minus 2. Your experience is unchanged, you're just counted as 1st level. XP is granted for the hit points lost.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Sorry, I don't seem to be able to make myself clear. I mean that you shouldn't throw away the number that is you 'maximum' hit points; treat the temporary loss as hit points you can't heal right now.

Maximillian Boii said...

OK, thanks. Sheet is updated.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Still waiting for an action from Andrej, Ahmet and Lukas (in case he'd like to change his mind and let Hichem drive the vardo a bit more unsafely).

Lukas said...

I'll take that as an 'are you sure' and just start casting magic missile. After I'm done with that I'm pretty much out of this anyhow.

Ahmet said...

I thought Andrej turned?

I am correct that Ahmet is 2 hexes away (~15 feet) from the creature?

Lukas said...

Andrej still has to roll.

Alexis Smolensk said...

2 hexes is 10 feet, five feet per hex, but yes, Ahmet is within two hexes.

Andrej said...

d20 for turning: 12

Alexis Smolensk said...

The 12 falls short.

I need Ahmet to take an action before I can take my next one.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet moves the two hexes, but he's now out of AP.

Lukas said...

I'm debating whether or not I should have gone with my initial impulse, but I'm going to assume what I know about wraiths is still relevant to 2nd edition...

Mainly that normal weapons don't hurt them. Therefore punching or otherwise physical attacks from me will do nothing. Although, I guess I wont know for sure if I don't try.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Given the circumstances, Ahmet, I don't think there's any chance that you're in armor. It's damp and cold, you're exhausted and in that state where it's difficult to open and close your fingers its so damp and you're overtired. The two hexes you're moving would use 2 AP, which would leave you three.

I ought to include penalties to attack, but as the temperature is still above zero, I'm going to belay that.

Lukas said...

AND you just slithered out of the Vardo. I'm guessing that would be a royal pain in plate mail.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You have every reason to believe a magical attack would still work, Lukas, as long as it wasn't one to which this particular variety of undead is immune. You have never actually encountered a wraith before, and you're guessing that's what this is.

Lukas said...

Well my initial impulse was to wrestle it off of Max, so I'm guessing that was a bad one.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: this whole encounter has been stilted and difficult to carry on; are you all out there and still involved? Darn Christmas holidays and their last- minute work schedules ... I'm feeling that pinch myself)

Andrej said...

(OOC: I'm here and good for the rest of the week until Friday @ noon.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I'm here and the rest of the week should be relatively good.)

In that case, Ahmet attacks with Dilmek:

To hit: 15
Damage: 8

Maximillian Boii said...

(Oh yes, I'm here. FWIW, it's seemed to flow pretty well to me; I'm very concerned as well.

The shouting match that went on outside my office made me a bit distracted, but everyone's pretending that didn't happen today...

Following up on the Armor note above, should we consider that we have our weapons?)

Maximillian Boii said...

(by "very concerned" I mean that we are fuuuuucked.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

Ahmet hits with Dilmek and the creature retreats, not attacking.

According to the rule, Andrej can attempt to turn again.

Lukas's magic missile is cast.

Ahmet would have to advance again if he wishes to attack.

Maximillian, I must treat you as stunned at the moment, as you have lost half your hit points (and perhaps there should be an automatic level-losing stun rule ... congrats! you're the first person I've stolen a level from in more than 4 years!)

Maximillian Boii said...

(In that case, I humbly request that the automatic level-losing stun rule hereafter be known as Maximillian's Rule. ;)

Maximillian Boii said...

(It seems reasonable that having something reach into your chest to tear at your heart would stun you. The last time a woman did that to me I was stunned for at least a year.)

Andrej said...

I think I'm more likely to hit than to turn this thing and since turning has minimal effect and nets zero xp, I attack with Aksion Spacimo:

d20: 9
dmg: 5

Lukas said...

I cast magic missile at the dark wraith thing. Assuming it is still visible after the retreat.

4 (1d4+1)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet advances and attacks again.

To hit: 9
Damage: 9

Alexis Smolensk said...

Hichem is desperately striking at Lukas' mule with the reins, but it seems unwilling to move forward if not actually led by hand.

The orc is pushing hard at the back of the vardo, and it is inching forward.

Andrej fails to turn; Ahmet fails to hit.

Lukas, I created a rule a year ago, that may not have made it into the mage file you have. The rule for magic missiles is as follows:

You get one at 1st level, +1 missile for each 3 levels thereafter; 4th, 7th, 10th, etc.

These missiles can all be fired in the same round, at up to 1 target per AP you have. So, if you were firing two missiles at 1 target, this would require 1 AP; if you were firing two missiles at two different targets, this would require 2 AP.

Therefore, Lukas has another magic missile.

Andrej said...

For the record, Andrej was attempting to hit and not turn that last round.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Sorry, read that quickly. That was a miss, Andrej.

Lukas said...

Sorry, I do remember that coming up at some point and not getting the extra missile.

I will take this one though without complaint, both out of self interest and interest of moving on...

ANOTHER 4 (1d4+1)

Andrej said...

(OOC: No worries.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

The two missiles hit and the manifestation fluctuates and wavers out of sight, but Andrej confirms that the level of malevolence has not dissapated. Indeed, there may be more than one present. The party cannot help standing for a few rounds, hearts beating, daring something to appear and attack them, but nothing does.

"CAN WE PLEASE GO?" shouts Hichem.

Lukas said...

Lukas returns to leading the mule.

"Indeed, let's leave this cursed ground."

Maximillian Boii said...

Am I free to move?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet agrees -- let's get out of here!

Andrej said...

I nod, and resume leading my horses out on foot, mace at the ready.

Andrej said...

Oh yeah, what is Max looking like? And is our friend the orc still pushing the vardo?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet leads his warhorse unless it is obvious he can do more good pushing the vardo with the orc; in which case he lashes the horse to the vardo and begin pushing himself.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The party manages to drag themselves to the place where the orc had been waiting before, 400 yards from where the party parked at the start of this post. The orc, who has been pushing this whole time, calls out that it's far enough, that you're safe ... and stops to look back. He looks much less concerned.

I want to give XP and start a new thread; Maximillian, exactly how much damage did you take?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Ah, I've got Maximillian from his sheet: 14 damage from the drain, 2 from the strike.

How many hit points did Mareo have?
I can't find that on the sheet.

Andrej said...

Once XP is sorted...

Once situated, I hobble both horses and approach the orc.

Bowing low, I make proper introductions, "Father Andrej of Cumana, at your service my friend. My companions are Maximilian Boii and his man Mareo of the Hapsburg Kingdom; Lukas Meyer of Zurich and our leader upon this expedition, Ahmet oglu Ahmet of Capadoccia. Who may we thank for the assistance?"

Andrej said...

"Oh yes, and Lukas's man Hichem, from Ifriqiya upon the Mediterranean Sea."

Lukas said...

And at this time I will be investigating the health of Max, Mareo and Hichem (Who took a faceplant).

Alexis Smolensk said...

Mareo is dead.

Please suspend comments on this thread; putting up a new one.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The next post is up.