The Ruins of Myvolia

Haven Bound

The eight of you gather at the crossroads. Jabilo and Sunbow discuss briefly the leads they have discovered, Lucius briefly fills in his experiences, feeling you must press harder to capture Septum before he gets to Haven you make the decision to move south.

You hit the road at a brisk pace hoping to steal as much sunlight as possible. The acrid smells of Tek leave as you get closer to the jungle pass before Haven. The grasslands get hillier and turn from golden to brown and then to a wet green as you approach the Simbon Mountains and Kinwah Jungle. Happily you get an extra hour more of light as you leave a great deal of the expansive flatland to the south-west.

After 4 and a half hours of hard riding…harder than you would normally feel comfortable…you cross the Sambo river and the last strands of day disappear behind the curtain of the long horizon.

Dismounting, your horses sleek in sweat, you forge in the dark for a good encampment. A sharp shriek pierces the night as Lagniappe dives down and rest upon the forearm of Sunbow. You can see the half moon reflect in her eyes as she releases a scrap of embroidered cloth into the shaman’s hand. Too dark to read the embroidery or discern the colour, she screeches again and takes off back into the night air.

In a quiet voice from the back of the group you hear Lund say

Well, you don’t see that every day.

To that you hear the deeper voice of Ranu beside him

We must respect the Jungle Eagle. I’m sure the Omen Master will know what it means.

Sunbow will ask Lucius how quickly a tent can be raised. “I would very much like to examine Lagniappe’s gift at once, as I feel it a vital clue, though bringing forth a light source out in the open like this….”
Lucius nods.

bq). We’ll make camp here, men. Sir Dayton, organize a watch for the night and distribute rations. There will be no fire tonight. Our quarry may be close by. We’ll strike out at first light.

Lucius turns to unsaddle his horse and unpack his tent.

With a great deal of difficulty, the five men set about erecting the encampment without a light source. After about an hour of muttering and stiffed swearing they get a tent set up, the horses picketed, a latrine dug, and a watch organized.

Lucius, Sunbow, and Jabilo step into the tent to examine the piece of cloth with the dim light of one of Jabilo’s cantrips. It is a very finely woven fabric with what was at one time a very professional embroider. It seems to be a picture of a black business on a yellow and blue field. Lucius, thinks it reminds him of one of the merchant guilds you see in the city…perhaps Sandorian…but isn’t sure. Jabilo, seems to think he has seen the symbol before sewn onto the cloak of Granbian back in Kembe…but isn’t 100% sure. Sunbows, mind jolts!

The building in the picture looks identical to the Omen of the Lost Lord…a dangerous proposition. Like the White Parrot, it is a warning of great danger brought about by foolishness. It lets one know, one who is willing to listen, that there will be a great trial. The trail will carry a great cost; but, if you survive, you will become wiser and more powerful. It is said that only the greatest of the Omen Masters successfully navigate the Omen of the Lost Lord.

Thinking back you recall the words of your mentor Londra’Zo

The Lord is a strange task. It will always appear that everything is going well. Lords are wealthy and have great power. They can shower you with gifts and bring you to great places. Know that a Lords will is his own though. He is motivated by what he needs and what he wants. If your whole tribe is in his way he might just destroy them all. He might just need you and your gifts. He might just drain you. His need isn’t the world…it is the palace he builds. No Que’Sambian needs the trapping of a palace, he has the forest, the earth, and the wind and rain. Don’t let the Lord steal these things from you.

There is deep silence in the tent, in the darkness, as the three of you contemplate your own thoughts. The silence goes on. And the night is uneventful.

Jabilo Dismounts and surveys the immediate area for safety, if anything looks at all suspicious he will summon Sunbow for his opinion. else he will pronounce the area suitable for setting up camp and point out any obvious place to set up the tent.
Lucius will check with Sir Dayton to ensure that the watch has been properly apportioned. He will find out what share of it is his own before climbing into the tent to find the meagre comfort of his blanket.

Though he is weary to the core, he has trouble falling asleep. His mind shrieks at him that the cloth recovered by the bird is just a bit of scrap, with no deeper meaning, but his instincts feel otherwise. He has found a deep respect for the native magic of this land and a feeling of foreboding scratches at his conscience like a bird scratching for seed.

Unable to sleep he rises, leaving the tent to check the camp and ensure all is well. Once he is satisfied, he will return to the tent to find what rest he may.

Comments

Okay. Thanks to Alex’s pickiness…erm I mean competence (which makes me a little leery considering the sheer amount of head-to-wall pounding I have been doing just to get us to where we are) we no longer have to put the <br><br><br> stuff after the div tag. Because the CSS code is always active…it changed your last posts…they will look a little wonky unless we delete them and start over.

So just to reiterate…just use this code:

<div class="TM">Type what you have to say here...and it will make a nice little box for you.</div>

Replacing the TM with MD for Mike and the SJ for Alex.

Thank-you Alex! I didn’t know you knew anything about this stuff. There is soooo much I don’t know. As for the colour…I actually chose that grey.

Haven Bound
 
As they depart the next morning, Sunbow will address his companions.

“I am sorry to have brought this upon you, my friends,” he says, clearly referring to the scrap of material he was disturbed by the night before.

“It seems that a trial of sorts…I will not bother trying to explain, for I know not exactly what it will entail…is upon me. Or will be shortly. It is likely I will not survive.”
Haven Bound
 

Morning come with a stiff rain.

Sir Dayton has the four conscripts quickly break camp, fill the canteens, fill the privy, dress the horses and sort the dry rations. Ranu is a quick strong worker closely followed by Sil and Lund, while Kyle tends to dawdle on the work and relish cleaning his antique sword. Sir Dayton doesn’t let the smallest lapse go without comment and the party is on the road in under 15 minutes.

It is a miserable ride. Simbon pass is the first trail in the morn. You hear the shriek call
of the jungle primates mingle with the cawing laughter of the jungle birds. The air gets thick with humidity while the rain still beats down on your head…feeling more like a swim up the steep hill of the pass rather than hard walk it is. The horses must be led as the trail is far to rough and slippery to traverse.

After three hours of tough climbing you see a crest ahead and a ‘v’ on the horizon as if the hill and jungle just gave up in a shrug at the top of the hill. As you get closer you see a solitary man leaning against a tree. He is widdeling, wearing a slick, wide brimmed hat that tents his head from the heavy downpour. He slowly cocks his head and looks toward the party.

Like a bad cliche come to life you realize this isn’t a normal traveler. He appears to be a Centaran, with the rich dark skin of a jungle tribe; but, he wears the colourful loose clothes of a gypsy, or perhaps, a seasoned buccaneer of Southern Alorea. He beams a bright healthy smile as you get closer and mocks to doff his hat but stops just short so as not to get himself wet from the steady rain.

Good day Sir Knights and esteemed traveling companions. I’m sure you have heard tale of the dangers associated with traveling the jungle hills of the Simbon, well congratulations… you have found them.

When he moves you see the flash of a large scimitar slip briefly through the folds of his loose colourful clothes.

I assure you, I am far from alone in these dangerous parts. But, my friends are shy, and prefer to speak with the tips of their arrows and points of their blow darts. I admit to not being particularly happy with their shyness, and thus, have convinced them to allow me to do this civilized.

So, if you please. Drop all of you traveling bags on the ground, coupled with your side purses, leave the weapons where they are—for this is a dangerous place. And then please, move along your marry way.

With that he bows politely and again locks you in a bright welcome smile. Strangely, he speaks with a very proper Thraycian dialect with a minor Centaran accent.

Haven Bound
 
Lucius groans inwardly, his temper sparking he says:

_Are you barking mad? Does it look like we have any trade goods or treasures that you could possibly want? We are soldiers on the hunt for a dwarf and his companions, and we are in a hurry. Now if you would wish to try your mettle against us, then I assure you as Pelor is my witness that you will surely die, you puffed up peacock. However if there is any sense in your head, then you will see that the losses you risk in trying us are nowhere near the rewards that you can hope to achieve. So move your ass off the road and I’ll try to pretend that you didn’t just threaten to rob us.
Haven Bound
 
Sunbow looks for Lagniappe overhead, and scours the surrounding area visually in an attempt to gauge the man’s sincerity about being “far from alone.” Lagniappe surely would have alerted us…assuming she is about.
Haven Bound
 

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk

Sounds the colourful Centaran.

You don’t become a highwayman by letting people pass by just because they ‘look’ like they have no treasure. Besides, I count two soldiers, three peasants, and three lost tribesman. That gives me a four to one advantage…I like those odds.

With that his smile widens and he draws his scimitar expertly.

Now, if you will be so kind, the saddlebags and belt pouches on the ground…and I’ll even let you keep two horses. I’m not a villain after all.

Sunbow

You do notice Lagnaippe circling overhead; but, she hasn’t made any out of the ordinary movements. As you scan the jungle, you notice slight flutterings, and a couple of odd noises, just enough to give what the Centaran is saying a degree of credence.

You know, if you wish to speak with Lagnaippe you need to cast a spell…but she will listen to a select few commands…as per handle animal. Though, you get the impression there is more to this bird than your previous companions.

All
p.s I was expecting everyone to say something after a post like this…even just a ‘I do nothing’ so that I know you have read it. Thanks.

Haven Bound
 
Jabilo will attempt to screen himself amongst the men and horses. Hoping to surprise the Centraran with a spell should he make a further aggressive move. Perhaps the rain and grumbling men will disguise it source…
Haven Bound
 
Lucius reaches into his surcoat and rests his hand on his prayer beads and says to his companions, Sir Dayton root out the bandits in the trees. Sunbow, I would suggest you do the same. I’ll de-feather this peacock.

Lucius activates the bead that casts Bless.
Haven Bound
 

Dayton cries out in a crisp voice

Kyle. Ranu. Left flank. Flush out these maggots! Sil, Lund, with me, right flank. Stay within shouting distance.

The hirelings quickly obey Sir Daytons orders rushing the jungle looking to flush out any combatants.

The Centaran steps out into the middle of the path, crouches low with his scimitar thrust out before him seemingly confident with his higher ground. His smile disappears into a sneer.

Alright, Vurdue! Lets put some holes in these travelers. Open fire!

Round one

Lucius

Four arrows come streaking out of the woods—one after another—blindingly fast. Three strike you in the torso and one glances of the top of you shoulder plate cartwheeling into the jungle behind you. (7 pts, 8pts, and 7pts of damage = 22 pts of arrow damage)

The Centaran in front of you just stares, waiting for you to make the move toward him…or to be drawn into the jungle.

Ranu calls out that he sees somebody ahead and is trying to engage; but, the jungle is very dense: there is a minus 20’ movement penalty (Jabilo, you will need to use your full move action and then your standard action to move through the jungle without some sort of magical aid).

Initiative

I will allow Jabilo one free standard action in the sense that he was saving his initiative. But other than that it is Lucius’ turn followed by Sunbow, and then Dayton. Jabilo and the hirelings will move after the Highwaymen move.

Haven Bound
 
Jabilo casts Web centred at the intersection above the one the scimitar wielding brigand is straddling. bq). Leave him; route out his lackeys first!
Haven Bound
 
oh shit

Lucius draws his steel and bellows, Face me you coward, for I am the righteous fist of Saint Clevoy!
(Fighting Challenge) He charges his opponent. If he becomes aware of the web he will adjust his tactics, depending on whether the Centaran manages to avoid the spell
Haven Bound
 
As for Sir Dayton, he will head towards Ranu in an attempt to get at the archers.
Haven Bound
 

Jabilo

You peak out from behind the horse and aim a web at the path just beyond the Centaran. A web sprouts out perfectly anchoring to the adjacent trees and completely entangles the cocky highwayman.

Lucius

You hold short just as you realize that Jabilo shouted out a warning to avoid the Centaran as a thick sinuous web sprouts out of thin air completely encompassing your foe.

In the thick heat of battle you realize that that volley of arrows probably came from one source as opposed to several snipers…with this worrying thought in mind you know that Dayton is near where the volley came from and Ranu is on the opposite side of the path…where no arrows have emerged yet…so you bite your tongue reconsidering your orders for a split second.

Sunbow

You survey the scene seeing everything go down. You notice movement in the trees just to the right of the Centaran…and know that it isn’t your companions.

Round one a

Haven Bound
 
Sunbow charges the movement in the trees to the right as he becomes his familiar shape of a leopard, prepared to hunt. It feels good. Lagniappe dives from above searching for a head to tear apart in aid to his now-feline-friend.
Haven Bound
 
Lucius, seeing the web covering his opponent, reconsiders his action:

Dayton, the archer is somewhere near you! Find him, quick!.

With that Lucius will head towards Sir Dayton where he suspects the archers to be hiding.
Haven Bound
 

Lucius

Quickly adjusting your tactics, you plunge into the undergrowth of the jungle. You are immediately astounded by how thick and impassable the jungle is. You struggle forward to see Dayton beginning to engage a bandit entangled on the outermost webbing of the enchantment. A quick glance tells you…this isn’t your man. The brash youth only has a handful of poor looking arrows in his quiver and a half drawn machete in his off hand. You scan around searching for movement as a sleek jaguar whips past you in full gallop ignoring the boundaries of the tropical forest. A second later Sil pulls up beside you pointing toward the leopard with an astonished and fear-stricken face.

Careful of the wildlife, Sir!

Round one b

Sunbow

A split second before you morph into the comfortable skin of the jungle cat, you call out to Lagniappe. She must have heard you; but, she continues to circle as if she is uncertain about the situation. You’re certain she knows the command, and are a little angry as you shift.

Donning the leopard, your senses become acute. You quickly dart through the horses giving them a quick scare and plunge deep into the jungle. The jungle fades as you approach and doesn’t hinder you in the least. You run through it like you would run through an open field. Your sharp eyes and keen smell quickly tell you the story. You notice five men. Two caught in the foul, unnatural, smelling web, one fighting Lund, one firing an arrow towards Dayton, and one 20’ up on a cliff with an arrow notched and a fan of four other arrows ready…waiting to be fired. You streak through the jungle, feeling the man on the cliff is the greatest danger…he smells of a predator.

As you close, a young bandit sees you and starts running back around the hill scared of the jungle cat. You pass him, unconcerned, and leap up the cliff trying to breach the top before another volley of arrows is loosed from this…dwarf. This archer is an ugly looking dwarf kitted up in woodland garb. He smells of the earth and moves with the grace of a stalking panther. You aren’t quite able to crest the hill when the dwarf briefly glances down as you are pouncing toward him. You see his pupils dilate as he quickly tries to readjust his aim toward the jungle cat bearing down on him.

Kyle and Ranu have engaged a bandit on the other side of the road. Lund is currently fighting an opponent approx 40’ from the initial ambush.

All of the highwaymen in the webbing seem to be completely entangled in the webbing.

Jabilo

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 
Jabilo will gather up the horses in a relaxed manner. He will gather up a small smooth stone from the path, and while considering it he will address the brigand.

bq). If you struggle, your suffering shall increase beyond your imagination. Who are you, and why have you chosen to interpose your self into our business?
Haven Bound
 

Jabilo

Casually gathering up the horses, you saunter up to the Centaran to ask your questions. The man, now painfully not smiling, tries his best to crack a smile but it turns into a lopsided grimace.

My name is Kan’Lar. I’m normally more of a seagoing businessman…but times are tough. I couldn’t pass down the money; these lads, are still wet behind the ears and damn near useless in the jungle. Vurdue is the one you want. He’s the one tied up with the Hospitality Guild…the ones that approached us on the docks…I’m just a business man.

He states this matter-of-factly with a stern expression as the torrential rain now washes down his face. The two others caught in the web look quite young and are watching to see what Kan’Lar does…while the third tries desperately to avoid Dayton’s blows.

Round two

Sunbow

Just as you crest the top of the cliff, the nimble dwarf grabs his arrows from the soil, leaps backward over the edge of the north face of the cliff while still facing you. In mid-air he notches a second arrow and draws back quickly releasing two arrows right into your exposed chest (9 and 12 pts of damage= 21pts of arrow damage).

You see him tumble clumsily to the bottom of the cliff right past two bandits both holding bows. He yells and points toward you as he quickly notches another arrow and points it in your direction—kneeling just behind them.

Lucius

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 

Lucius

If Lucius has seen the dwarf he will call for Sil to follow him and plunge forward (quaffing a healing potion on the way). If not then he will order Sil to continue searching and move back towards the road (quaffing a healing potion on the way).

Dayton

Will dispatch his opponent (unless he surrenders) and then will follow Lucius towards the dwarf or, if they have not seen him, he will continue to search for archers.

Haven Bound
 

Lucius

The jungle is thick, the rain is pouring, and you are having a very hard time distinguishing where you should unleash your fury. Dayton runs the trapped bandit through to a gurgling end of a misspent youth. He turns to look at you with inquiring eyes.

You are so damn unsure. Just before you are certain you will send everyone back to the path, you spot just behind Dayton a young bandit trying to hide behind a draping of vines. He is visibly shaking and clutching a machete to his chest with shivering white knuckles. His eyes are closed.

To your right you hear more thrashing of jungle and earth. There is obviously more than one person trampling through the jungle…though you can’t see it. Then you realize that only Sunbow is out there, alone with who-knows-how-many assailants. Decision made, you command Sil to plunge forward while you quaff a healing potion (not sure what kind you have: I rolled a 4,4, and 3 on a d8). Dayton follows you side-by-side as you both trek forth into the thrashing jungle. You call back to Jabilo that there is another bandit on the eastern flank of the web and to deal with him as you see him as no serious threat.

You don’t see anything until Sil calls back to you to say there is a cliff. Looking up, you see Sunbow, in his Jaguar form, stalking over the top staring intently over the north face. Whatever has caught his attention is off to your left.

Round two a

Sunbow

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 
Sunbow crests the hill but realizes that he has taken a major threat out of the encounter and circles back to rejoin the main foray, casting cure moderate wounds on himself as he circles. He then realizes that the bowman who stumbled will surely be a threat when he regains his footing, so he will circle around the backside of the hill and keep watch, ready to pounce, as the coward to his right flees into the jungle. He will hunt for him later if needs be.
Haven Bound
 

Lucius

You watch Sunbow, in leopard form, stare down the north face of the cliff—jar and flinch from getting hit by a couple of arrows—and then hop back down from the cliff. He then places his paw upon another paw and a slight glow emanates from the touch as he heals himself. He then takes off through the bush past Sil…deeper into the jungle effortlessly. Seconds after Sunbow disappears deeper into the jungle, the blubbering bandit who was shaking behind the tree earlier breaks down and flails headlong into the jungle screaming like a banshee…running for his life.

Round two b

Sunbow

Jumping down from the cliff you heal yourself (16pts of damage healed). You look to see Sil, Lucius, and Dayton closing slowly—seriously hampered from the dense jungle. You then start heading to the back of the hill so as to set a trap or come up behind the dwarf and his men.

Sil is still quite frightened by Sunbow but is picking up on the fact that the cat is ignoring him and the others don’t seem to care. He is holding his action to see what Lucius and Dayton do.

Kyle and Ranu have killed their bandit and call out that they don’t see any others…but will continue searching.

Lund has taken his bandit prisoner and will be walking him back to the road. He also yells that he sees no more brigands in his direction.

Nobody can currently see the dwarf or the two other bandits that were with him.

Jabilo

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 

I am sorry to hear of your misfortune.
The spirits are restless; men are suffering everywhere.
My counterpart is a peerless predator in the jungle; I have no doubt that suffering will find your Vurdue swiftly.
In the meantime perhaps we could come to a less final arrangement?
Tell me what you know about your purpose here? Why where you hired? How long have you been waiting here? Have you a camp set up near by? have you waylaid any others, or were you sent to meet us specifically? Tell me. Or would you prefer to leave this opportunity I grant to these children?
Be quick, the knights are returning, they will be much less interested than I.
Lay down your arms.

Haven Bound
 

well played, sir

Haven Bound
 

Jabilo

Kan’Lar nods emphatically as you speak. Rivets of rain fly off the tip of his chin as he tries to be agreeable with you.

We are only here to help slow your pursuit of another dwarf and his party. I was approached by a dwarf named Ventrum while I was sitting on the deck of my ship…waiting for a cargo that wasn’t coming. He knew I did some smuggling and asked me if me and my men needed some coin. That was only four days ago. He gave me some coin and told me to meet Vardue on the road to Tek…and Vardue would show us what to do. Vardue accosted us just two hours outside of Haven and led us here.

We met up with the group just yesterday, just as the sun was setting. Vardue talked with the dwarf for some time. The group didn’t say much, in fact the only one who was even close to being friendly was…

Two gore painted arrowheads sprout from Kan’Lar’s forehead and mouth. A stunned second passes as the jungle rain quickly cleans the ichor from the brigand. His body goes limp within the webbing showcasing the feathered tails of the arrows that just took his life—protruding from the back of his skull. The other trapped men start screaming in terror.

You look up to see a grungy dwarf approximately 50’ away, on the other side of your web, just peaking out of the underbrush onto the path. You are remarkably surprised that you spotted him as he practically blends right into the jungle. The dwarf has another arrow notched and seems to be taking quick stock of the situation.

Everybody can hear the screams of the other two trapped bandits.

Round three

Lucius

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 
Lucius and Dayton look at each other through the gloom of the rain-slick foliage as they hear the screams of the men by the road.

Get back to the horses! Lucius growls.

Sil! Sir Dayton calls into the brush, Get back to the road.
Haven Bound
 
Sunbow circles the backside of the hill, trying to chase the two brigands back toward the main group.

Lucius

Cursing the thick foliage, you and Dayton run through the jungle back to the well worn path. Through the sound of the driving rain on the large green leaves you here Sil barreling behind you. Stopping just short of Jabilo you quickly look across the webbing to see the arrows sticking out of the brash highwayman’s head and the fevered screams of his companions caught in the webbing. Jabilo quickly motions to a part of the jungle past the web but you see no other enemies in sight. Seconds later Kyle and Ranu burst from the jungle on the opposite side of the path looking stricken with passion as only fresh battle can cause.

Off to your right you hear the muffled growl of an angry leopard and the brisk commands of men fighting.

Sunbow

Spurred on by sounds of battle, you quicken your pace. The jungle melts away cleanly as you swim though the leaves and trees like a hot knife through butter. Skipping up over the ridge as silent as a jungle cat does, you crisply drive toward the two men you had seen before. The two bandits are in almost the exact same place. Both are holding their bows up warily toward the West expecting the danger to come from the road. Thinking to herd them toward the road you strike. Charging from the cradle of the jungle, you pounce on the back of the closest brigand. Tearing at the back of his exposed neck with your jaws and raking the rest of his body with your claws…he is dead before his body hits the ground.

Frightened and stumbling his companion backs up and circles with his bow still in hand. The signs of shock plainly whiten his face. But, instead of fleeing, he timidly stands his ground and loosens an arrow toward you…uselessly striking a tree behind you. Realizing the error of his actions the bandit’s eyes widen and shoulders slump as he prepares for what might happen next.

Next

Ranu, coming into the clearing with Kyle, seemingly is the only other person to see the dwarf across the webbing. He quickly fumbles with his weapon and draws a shortbow—pointing it over the lake of webbing before him.

Jabilo
It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 
Kyle, Ranu, take cover! Lucius bellows to his men as they emerge from the jungle. Jabilo, we need to stop that bandit!

With that Lucius and Dayton plunge back into the undergrowth, doing their best to skirt the web and get to the dwarf.
Haven Bound
 

Kyle and Ranu quickly do as they are told ducking back into the bush they just emerged from.

Haven Bound
 

Jabilo looks down at the small stone in his hands and mumbles something under his breath. he slips the stone into the folds of his blanket. Then he suddenly points off past the web Casting Glitterdust centred on Vurdue,

bq) exclaiming great jungle predator your quarry is there!.

Haven Bound
 

Jabilo and Lucius

The rough grizzled dwarf squatting in the fronds beneath a large tree is suddenly covered in bright shiny golden motes. The dwarf shakes his head in a grudging resolute way. He lifts his head up and opens his eyes like two dark brown pools of intensity in an ocean of golden calm. Looking Jabilo directly in the eyes he nods his head as if in respect then quick springs to action: deliberately moving to the center of the well-worn road he stops in the center and draws his bow. Nocking two arrows on the single string, he places a finger between them, and then unleashes the draw. The two last highwaymen stuck in the web go silent as the last of their screams echoes dully in the jungle rain.

As if with a new will, the grubby golden dwarf springs across the rest of the road and plunges into the thick jungle.

Next1

(I’m keeping his general position on the map, bearing in mind that he is glitterdusted; but, the jungle obscures him completely from all of your vision at this time…you will have to get closer to see him.)

Haven Bound
 

Swearing in frustration, Lucius and Dayton will skirt the web until they get to the other side, watching warily for the dwarf.

Haven Bound
 
Sunbow pounces on the frightened man before him. He will finish this one off before circling around to rejoin the group.
Haven Bound
 
Jabilo dismisses the web before him turns and remounts his horse.
Haven Bound
 

Lucius

Frustration mounting deep in the recesses of your forehead you muster forward with Dayton and Sil close behind. Pushing hard, almost dangerously hard, you skirt the edge of the webbing. Off to your right you hear the sounds of Sunbow finishing off another bandit and far off to your left you hear the smashing and snapping of Ranu and Kyle pushing through the jungle on the other side of the path.

You are just getting to a spot where you can mostly make out the road again when the webbing disappears. There is nothing holding you back from going straight across the road now.

Sunbow

With a quick turn you pounce on the defeated highwayman. It takes you mere seconds to spill the lifeblood out of him.

Turning your head to the left, you hear the ungodly noise of your companions trucking through the jungle. Looking more closely toward the road you make out a section of jungle that is covered in bright golden motes apparently sticking to everything in the area. The movement of your companions is very close to the ‘golden’ part of the jungle. There seems to be no other threats in the area.

You hear a shrill scream from Lagnaippe flying well overhead. The scream is obviously a warning. You understand but a single word burning in the pit of your stomach.

Trap.

Jabilo

Quickly speaking the words to dismiss the webbing you race back to your horse, grab the rigging, and make the great effort to mount by yourself. With only a small amount of struggle you manage to get to the top of the saddle and with the better view you can see the movement on both sides of the road as your companions track through the jungle searching for the grubby dwarf.

The other horses seem to have settled a little as the event seems to be playing out (at least in the horse’s minds) and seem to be in no danger of scattering. Seconds later, Lund comes lumbering out of the jungle just behind you to your right. A bandit is trailing behind with his hands tied and his head down. Lund looks up at you. With a smirk on his face.

What should I do with the prisoner?

Next2

Lucius it is your turn.

Haven Bound
 

Sir Dayton, Sil, stay on the road, I’ll try to flush him out. SUNBOW I NEED YOU!

Lucius will make for the last spot they saw the dwarf.

Haven Bound
 

Lucius

Running ahead of Sir Dayton and Sil, you burst through the jungle onto the smooth path. You again are reminded of just how easy it is to travel on the road and effortlessly get to the other side—out distancing in a second what had taken you half a minute in the torturous jungle brambles.

Before you plunge back deep into the jungle on the other side you hear the rummaging of Kyle and Ranu to your left…you don’t see them…you just hear them.

You again stare into the dark depths of the jungle ahead…where you know the dwarf went…you wipe the pouring rain from your brow uselessly and then start forth again.

Next3

Sunbow

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 
Sunbow circles back toward where he heard Lucius call for him. He casts whatever spell lets him talk to Lagniappe and asks for an explanation.
Haven Bound
 

I am assuming the spells you have listed on your character are the ones you have memorized for the day. If that is not the case can you please change your character to reflect that.

Haven Bound
 

Sunbow

Hearing the desperation in your companion’s voice you storm out of the jungle as quickly as if you were running down a paved road. Seeing Lucius just about to plunge back into the jungle he looks back at you—you spot Lagnaippe circling up in the air directly above the stretch of jungle Lucius is about to enter. The Eagle looks directly at you and sets her head back and screeches again then continues to fly in a sharp circle mere feet from the top of the trees (shown as a red line on the map).

To your left you hear Kyle and Ranu stomping through the jungle like a drunken marching band. Dayton and Sil are waiting impatiently on the road…staring at you and Lucius. And Jabilo seems to be mounted and talking to Lund back down the road a ways.

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Jabilo

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 

Just to be clear about the map a little: I’m assuming Sunbow took a bit of a round-a-bout path to be able to see Jabilo and the horses. If you read the topography, being that far from the peak in the road Lucius and Sunbow would be unable to see Jabilo and the horses. Dayton and Sil are right at the top so they can see far down both sides.

Just wanted that clear. Every topographic line is approx 5’ up or down (the elevation is listed).

Haven Bound
 

Bring him along, mount up. have him keep his head down though. that Vurdue has taken to murdering his own companions for some reason.

To the prisoner: can you explain why Vurdue is more interested in killing you lot than attacking us?

come. time is wasting. Jabilo moves forward with the horses heading for Lucius.

Haven Bound
 

Jabilo

Lund prods his prisoner encouragingly like one would a young boy. Which might not be far off the mark looking at the bandit closely. Smooth-skinned and skinny the young man looks to be wearing tar-covered boots and a dirty sash.

I’m not sure, sir.

He looks around erratically and wide eyed.

But, he could be anywhere. I’ve seen him run through this jungle like it was a barren beach…and he disappears if you only look away for a second. He barely speaks…I’m not sure even what this is all about, except the Captain said we could make some money inland while the times is tough.

With that Lund helps him on to the back of the saddle and mounts himself. You hear Lund whisper some soothing words as he motions the horse to follow you and the other horses.

Next5

Lucius

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 

Where are you coward? Lucius bellows into the jungle, scrutinizing every leaf and branch for any sign of the archer. Come and face me, or is the land of Sundaria so bereft of honour that the dwarves know how to do naught but fling arrows from the shadows?

Test of Mettle, DC 14 or all enemies CR 3 or greater must attack for 7 rounds (I believe that it is a Will save, I can’t figure out what book this prestige class is from, do you rememeber?)

Sir Dayton stands ready also, wincing as he waits for Lucius to get feathered.

Haven Bound
 

Lucius

Standing, staring into the lush maw of the Simbon Jungle, the heavy rain pounding off your armor, you hear no response…and feel no respite.

A large jaguar stands beside you, looking up into your eyes. The awkward shifting of armor comes from Dayton and Sil standing down the path…and you hear the nicker of horses and the padding of hooves as Jabilo leads the mounts up the crest of the hill and into sight.

You are tired and weary, this wet has softened your feet and you feel that slight burning at the base of your neck that ominously predicts a cold. This dwarf moves through these woods like the jaguar does…

[OOC: You have only used a quick action. To be clear you must have line-of-sight and he must be within 100’ before I even make him roll a saving throw.]

You still have actions, Dayton and Sunbow may also state their actions.

Haven Bound
 

Lucius curses into the jungle in frustration before regaining his composure. Finally, turning to Sunbow he asks, Will you scout the jungle ahead of us, I fear it will be useless chasing this dwarf through the underbrush and can only play into his plans. Rather, we should remember our original purpose and hasten to Haven. Our enemies would not have sent such a delaying force if the possibility did not exist that we might yet stop them.

Sir Dayton, get the men mounted up and ready to ride, the faster we put distance between ourselves and that coward dwarf, the better off we shall be.

Sir Dayton nods to Sil to mount up and bellows into the jungle, KYLE, RANU, GET BACK TO THE ROAD ON THE DOUBLE!

Both Dayton and Lucius will remain on guard for the dwarf. Once everyone is mounted, Sir Lucius will ride first in the column with Sir Dayton at the rear.

Haven Bound
 
Sunbow nods in understanding and turns to patrol the woods on either side of the march as we depart.
Haven Bound
 

After the last damp echos of Dayton’s voice stills the humid jungle air, everyone scrambles for their mount. Lucius and Dayton hustle quickly to get on their horses and bracket the party, one in front, one behind. Spurring the horses forward slowly Kyle and Ranu just manage to breach the jungle and are hanging onto the rigging of their horses as the party starts cresting the hill.

Lucius

On horseback it becomes more apparent just how hard the rain is coming down. Large rivulets cut deep into the path coursing down the hill. Your horse does a quick sidestep as it slides down the hill slightly on the softening road. You don’t see any dangerous pooling or land ready to let loose just yet—as the water pours right back into the jungle at the end of the next switchback.

You see Sunbow’s jungle eagle break free from her circling and jet down the path before you screeching at Sunbow in leopard form. Sunbow watches the bird for a split second before dashing into the jungle at a full sprint across the road from where you were both standing before.

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Sunbow

Watching the men furiously try to gather the horses you turn your attention back to the jungle. You aren’t quite sure which side of the jungle you should start with; but, you know the Dwarf is just as at home here as you are…so you must be careful.

You feel, deep in the pit of your stomach, that rich exciting feeling of the hunt and the tingling ecstasy of finding your prey…without it aware of your presence. You are feeling the strong emotions of Lagniappe as she throttles through the air. You hear the triumphant screech as she buzzes low just past you and drives down the hill just ten feet from the ground. She has found him.

Lagniappe (red dot on map) pulls up just at the last second and snatches a thick tree branch at the end of a switchback down the jungle path. Turning quickly she motions with her elongated neck toward a section of jungle just to her left, your right. Your mind races, you don’t want to sprint down the path open to ambush, you don’t think the dwarf can see you yet…so, you take off down the hill at a full run cutting through the jungle hoping the switchback will intersect.

Luckily, you come up on the path quickly. Looking back up the highway you see where Lagniappe is perched. You know the Dwarf must be between the two of you but he is hiding so well that you can’t pick him out of the jungle. You stare, transfixed, toward where the Dwarf must be as the heavy rain runoff cascades over your paws and down the road. You crouch instinctively so that you blend in with the mud and large fronds jutting out from the forest over onto the road. The cat in you settles your mind into waiting for the Dwarf to move first.

Jabilo

It is your turn

Haven Bound
 

Jabilo will ride up to where Lucious is.

We should attempt to ride past this dwarf; perhaps we can out distance him, he is fleet but he appears to be on foot. his goal seems to be to waste our time.

Haven Bound
 

In case I don’t get back to this any time soon, Sunbow will stare at the area the Dwarf is in, watching for any movement as the group he is guarding approaches from behind. Upon the first shifting branch, he pounces, attempting to viciously maim, but not kill, his prey. The animal instincts have not taken over completely, and we could learn much from this foe.

Haven Bound
 

Damn this weather and damn this road! Lucius swears. We are going to have to lead the horses down. It is too steep to ride them and if that Sundarian gets a clear shot at anyone mounted it will mean a vicious fall at the least. Jabilo, have you any means of ensnaring or slowing him if we can determine the area that he is in? If Sunbow can flush him out we might have a chance at him, but otherwise his abilities to move and hide in this terrain make this nearly impossible. Once we get to smoother ground I think that you are right and we should ride at top speed to outdistance him.

Haven Bound
 

The jungle is silent save for the steady thrum of the incessant rain beating the top of your heads and the snare-like leaves surrounding you.

The party dismounts as per the command of Lucius…all except Jabilo who seems more comfortable carefully riding his mount and guiding Sunbow’s unattended horse. Lund has tied his prisoner to the pommel of his horse and allows the youth to walk behind him as he draws his blade. Like a symphony of snakes, the rest of the party follows suit baring the blades of their choice filling the air with the rasps of drawn steel over steel.

Havenboundnext1

The dwarf has yet to make an appearance…or movement. Lucius, Sil, Ranu and Jabilo can see the jungle eagle down the path, at the edge of a switchback, staring intently into the jungle just down the path—past the turn.

Sunbow continues to watch the path of jungle he knows the dwarf to be in…but still can’t see him.

Guiding the horses down the slick path in the pounding rain has the sick uneasy feeling of setting a bear trap with your foot between the jaws.

Lucius

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 
Lucius will lead his horse to the switchback, turning to the others before he turns the corner.

Be ready to move quickly. We may have nothing more than a general location to assault if that Sundarian is preparing to ambush us again. We attack him if he is within range, but we do not head into the jungle after him, he is far too capable in this underbrush for that to be effective. Jabilo, if there is any thing that you can do, I suggest you do it.

If he sees the Sundarian or can get a fix on his location Lucius and Dayton will both attack him, trying to draw him off from the rest of the group. Lucius will use Test of Mettle DC 14 or all enemies CR 3 or greater must attack for 7 rounds and order the rest of the group to move on.
Haven Bound
 

Jabilo fixes the image of Vurdue’s outfit in his mind. dismounting he strides the edge of the jungle. quickly he selects an appropriate stick from amongst the undergrowth and deftly slices it free with his dagger.

Lucius I can direct you onto this tiresome fellow with fair certainty… but short of slaying him outright I cannot effectively hamper his movement at the moment.

Haven Bound
 

Excellent, Jabilo. Point the way. Sir Dayton, be ready to charge. The rest of you, as soon as we have him engaged, take the horses and move down the path. Hopefully Sunbow can help flush this menace out.

Haven Bound
 

Lucius

You start leading your horse down the path beckoning Dayton to follow you. The others start leading their horses to the side of the road getting ready to ride past when the action starts. Jabilo hops off his horse and fetches a small branch beginning to prep a divination.

The muddy path is slick and the heavy rain makes the down-hill grade that more treacherous. Moving at a brisk walk you manage to get to the end of the switchback without turning the corner. You make a quick scan of the jungle and see the golden outline of a crouching dwarf with a bow drawn and pointing at you. The dwarf makes a slight move to release his bow.

In a flash the jungle Eagle charges into the air in a flurry of feathers and talons. It screeches past you and up over the jungle canopy. A frightening blur of leopard fur charges up the road and bowls over the dwarf just as he looses his last arrow.

You look down in surprise at the tail feathers of an arrow sticking out from between your shoulder plate and your breast plate. Then the pain hits (take 14 pts of dmg). Grasping the arrow with your off hand you feel woozy for a second as you watch your horse waver before you. A split second later you realize the vertigo was simply caused by the movement of your dead horse hitting the muddy hillside with two other arrows quilling its neck.

Road4

Sunbow

Your patient waiting scores results. The dwarf makes a slight move and you are baffled how you managed not to see him earlier. The slight flicker of light through the driving rain reveals the dwarf crouching in the underbrush crowned in golden flakes that sparkle in the light. You spring into action, clawed padded feet ripping into the soft earth as you bound the 80 feet in less than a couple of seconds. Amazingly the dwarf lets loose three arrows into the direction of the uphill path just before you reach him.

With a last pounce you soar into the jungle bowling over the dwarf as you taste his dirty soft flesh and rend his tough leathery torso with your strong back legs. You grapple his neck and instinctively thrash out over and over with your hind claws looking to feed on your meal quickly before you have to share it with scavengers. Breaking out of the trance of the hunt you realize this is an enemy…not a meal (Dwarf took 18 pts of damage).

The dwarf isn’t sitting still and is making a great effort to struggle free.

Dayton seeing the arrows fly doubles his move, leaving his horse behind, and runs down the road even with Lucius—weapons drawn and ready. He gives a quick command to the others not to proceed past until the dwarf is fully engaged.

The others maintain control of their mounts and Jabilo hasn’t yet cast his spell.

Jabilo

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 
Sunbow, from atop the dwarf, will scream into his face the most aggressive roar he’s let lose in a long time (intimidate) to try and freeze his captive long enough to wait for help explaining we’d like him alive (assuming that’s everyone else’s will, also) considering he might not recognize that this cat is a member of this party, I suppose. If this doesn’t achieve his goal will attempt to tear the dwarf’s arm from it’s socket (when it’s his turn. of course). He figures that should probably stall him.
Haven Bound
 

Jabilo tucks the twig away.

I guess that settles that then.

let’s get these horses down the hill. Lund try and keep your horse between your prisoner and the fighting. The poor guy has had a miserable enough day already, he should have the chance to live long enough to try and redeem it.

Haven Bound
 

A little behind the screen moment here.

You guys may have noticed that I have taken some liberties with ‘time’ for the story to run together smoothly. But the overlapping of initiative was strictly story driven and never combat affecting. So, when you see me write a series of events I will blend ‘turns’ to make it look a bit more cinematic…but I never ignore the initiative order in terms of adjudicating combat information.

With that being said, we recently had a situation where two people were holding actions. The Dwarf was waiting for a target and Sunbow was waiting for the Dwarf to move. Lucius finished a move using both his standard action and his move action…which triggered the Dwarf’s held move…which triggered Sunbow’s held move. Now the Dwarf and Sunbow share the same slot and I allowed the Dwarf a full attack because Sunbow charged 80’ (the very limit of his charge) and allowed Sunbow his full attack as per pounce (and a few very lucky rolls I might add).

The next round Lucius was able to close into melee; but, the Dwarf and Sunbow both chose to strike and then move: Sunbow following the fleeing Dwarf. Dayton, a tad slower, sees this all go down and is able to follow getting close enough to use a ranged weapon.

I just wanted to make sure nobody felt like they were getting ripped off due to the tricky series of events. I will post the full entry shortly.

Haven Bound
 

Jabilo

Quickly realizing that the dwarf’s plan might include killing your only prisoner you arrange the party strategically and get them moving down the path toward the switchback. You gather the free horses and quickly examine Lucius’s mount. The beast doesn’t appear to be breathing.

Lucius

Grinning grimly but broadly, you realize the Dwarf has been drawn into melee, you charge into the fray to dole out your portion of the punishment. Quickly demanding, in a force-filled voice of command, you insist he test his meddle on you. It’s hard to tell how effective your command is as you charge into the underbrush and see the leopard form of Sunbow completely entangling the dwarf raking his back claws against the struggling dwarf. Dismissing it as currently not very important you thrust you blade surely into an opening not containing the fur of the leopard (9 pts of damage to Dwarf). You are gifted with the grunt of pain and stifled jerk as the dwarf continues to try to escape the claws of the jungle cat.

Road5

Sunbow

You let loose a deafening roar right into the struggling face of the Dwarf and continue to try to maul him into submission. Managing to turn his stout body sideways he blocks your claws with his armor and gains a purchase on the ground with his hands. Moving just as quickly as a wild beast, he shifts his weight quickly shuffling your bulk over his body and breaking your hold on him. Springing to his feet seemingly without effort he starts to bolt.

Seeing an opening you move to bite and drag him back into the fight (7 pts of damage). It isn’t enough to keep him pinned and he takes off into the jungle…but not without struggling with Lucius: the dwarf has to stumble and dodge to get past Lucius. For the first time the dwarf seems almost clumsy as he takes another stab from Lucius and runs onto the road and again into the jungle again (6 pts of damage).

Not to be outdone, you take off after him. Lucius’s firm defense and quick hands slowed the Dwarf and allows you to keep pace with the Dwarf. Your head is even with his hip as he sprints through the jungle ignoring the thick soup of vegetation just as you do: you realize he must study the old ways just as you do.


Dayton watching all this play out tries to head the Dwarf at the switchback. Just missing the dwarf on the road, he follows the Dwarf back into the thick jungle. Charging with his great axe drawn he again is hampered greatly by his armor and the dense jungle that hangs on the side of this mountain. Realizing that there is no way he can catch the dwarf he angrily grabs a dagger and hurls it at the running Dwarf (5 pts of damage).

The hirelings continue to lead the horses down the hill warily watching the surrounding jungle, and the young highwayman remains ducking behind Lund’s horse.

Jabilo

It is your turn.

Haven Bound
 

Jabilo remains behind Lucious’ downed mount and holds his action. maintaining a watchful eye on the proceedings in the brush he waves the hirelings on down the hill and around the switchback.

if Lund and the prisoner pass his position without challenge; he will use his action to wrench the two arrows from the horse before joining the rear guard as they attempt to disengage.

Haven Bound
 

-Keep moving!_, Lucius will yell to his companions, pointing down the road. He will stand in the rain, quiet but for his ragged breathing, ignoring the agony in his shoulder and listening for the dwarf. He will move to attack if he shows his presence once more. Otherwise he will wait until the party has moved down the road, go to his horse, cut loose his saddle bags and toss them to Sil.

Haven Bound
 

I’ll pick this up again when Trevor’s PBP dies down. It has been mentioned a couple of times that it is difficult to have two PBPs going at the same time. I have the next post ready to go…I’ll just wait until Trev’s moves on to one-on-one stuff. If there are any objections to this please discuss here.

Dave

Haven Bound
 

Not using the fancy box, but Sunbow considers letting the Dwarf escape in respect for his skills, then thinks better of it and tries for a trip as he runs alongside.

Haven Bound
Wild_Gazebo Wild_Gazebo

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