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  #91  
Old 10-31-2018, 11:15 AM
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Monty and the twins work with Syl to set up a rudimentary campsite near the road. Several travelers pass the group, however each group gives the campers a wide berth despite several of the passersby giving a slight smile in Syl's direction. Ollie, Gia, and Monty can't help but feel a bit uneasy.

"The roads are an uneasy place right now," the old elf says with a shrug. Before any of the others can reply, he points down the road. "They may not camp with us, but they aren't leaving us completely to ourselves." Sure enough, several groups of travelers have begun to set up a campsite not too far from where the Barand's are.

The sun sets quickly, but the cool air of spring nights remains at bay even as the last rays wink out behind the trees. The warm air, the promise of summer, fighting against the darkness. Then a light in the distance from down the road. At first it seems to be coming nearer, but it is obscured by something. As it grows in strength, the flickering of flames become obvious. Then, the silhouettes of people and carts. It would seem that the other campers have built a campfire. With the current distance, the Barand's site is still in darkness, but only a short walk would bring them to the fringes of the light. It is no small campfire that can be expected to go out any time soon. It seems that the other group feels comfortable with a large fire burning through the night.

OOCIf you wish to approach the other group, you can do so at any time - it doesn't have to be after nightfall. I wanted to give you some things to work with, so I narrated a bit past nightfall, but feel free to pick and choose time within the framework
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  #92  
Old 11-07-2018, 07:25 AM
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“No,” Monty seems to be saying mostly to himself, but perhaps a bit to Ollie as well, “With only one big fire, it doesn’t change the game. We don’t know if it’s a good idea or a bad idea to start a fire. We do know that these campers didn’t want to chat in broad daylight, so they probably don’t want to chat now.” Monty has struck a proud stance, but lets it relax a bit, ready to show some doubt. “Still. I’ll get within earshot and listen for a bit, just in case we do need to shout for help.”

Monty wanders over, still a good distance from the camp. He’s stays so far away that the conversation doesn’t come across clearly. That’s okay, he just wants to spend a few minutes hearing timbres and tones of voice and cadences, hoping to return to his own camp completely unnoticed.
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  #93  
Old 11-13-2018, 01:37 PM
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The night is dark, a dense cloud cover had rolled in with the setting sun. The nearby fire blazes on. Monty finds a nice soft patch of grass and settles in to listen. It takes several minutes before Monty realizes that he hears nothing from the other camp. Not one sound. In fact, he can hear low, rumbling snoring clearly coming from the direction of his own cart, but not even the crackling of the blazing fire from the other camp.

Just as this realization happens, Monty hears something. It is a distance away, but it sounds like the snap of a twig coming from the direction of the forest. He turns his eyes in the direction of the sound, peering into the night. Monty pauses for a few seconds, making sure his eyes have adjusted, but nothing materializes.

Meanwhile, Oliver and Gia are resting near the cart. Well, resting until the snoring begins. They share a look as they both realize that this is the first time they have actually slept near Syl. The snoring isn’t the worst they have ever heard, but it certainly complicates the night.
OOCAlright, I want to give you guys a chance to react to your particular situations. Monty heard something; the twins only hear snoring. Feel free to throw out rolls to support next actions. What do you do?

I think we may be fortunate enough to gain, not only a player, but a red. So I am also slow playing my plans for the night in case it makes sense to introduce the new character asap
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  #94  
Old 11-14-2018, 06:48 PM
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"...But the gnome's severed head... has never been found...!"

"...I have to level with you, Gee," Oliver yawns. "That story was awful. And I've already heard it."

"Because we've heard all the same stories," his sister grumbles.

"Mmmkay, that part's true. But if an unbiased critic is what you seek, I can provide." He gestures to their snoring companion. "See, you put Syl to sleep."

Gia looks skeptical. "I'm pretty sure he hasn't been listening to us."

"Not the point! A story worthy of telling will turn the ears of even those who wish not to hear it," Ollie objects, exaggerating his movements to cement his argument.

"If you say so," Gia dismisses. She points toward Syl. "Did you know he snored?"

"Hadn't gotten around to sharing a bed with him, turns out," Ollie quips. "Kinda... pierces through the night, doesn't it?"

"Well, at least it should keep the bears away."

"...Bears?"

"But it's going to drive me crazy to have to listen to that all night. We don't have any spare cloth or anything, do we?" She studies her brother's unchanging, nervous expression for a moment, and scrunches her nose in displeasure. Trying a new tactic, she approaches the cart. "Well, maybe one of the 'cursed' things will be stuffed with cotton or something. Anything to plug our ears for the night."

"...Do you really think there's bears...?"


OOCLooking to fashion some earplugs out of the cursed goods! Roe, you have every reason to punish me for trying this.

Last edited by Skep; 11-14-2018 at 06:48 PM.
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  #95  
Old 11-14-2018, 08:23 PM
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Snap.

The twig under foot became an unfortunate noisemaker. It was the result of an unfortunate distraction. Somehow the campfire wasn't the distraction. Something else, something many paces away in the woods.

The twig snapper made a noise. A whisper, perhaps. Ten paces deeper into the woods a bird called. A bird common to the area, bluebird possibly, or maybe a red one. The call was almost human it how it sounded. Almost in Common. "While-I'm-here-while-I'm-here."

Seconds later, the bird call repeated. An identical number of seconds later, another repeat.



Secret for Skep
DM might have additional info for this, but so you know-

After the first bird call, a voice pops into Oly's head. A younger person's voice. Right in the mind.
"War-niiing! Goblinz chasing some poor fool!"
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Last edited by Roekahs; 11-23-2018 at 03:18 PM.
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  #96  
Old 11-17-2018, 05:14 PM
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The silence of the supposed camp was not just disconcerting, it was also alienating. Monty suddenly felt very alone. He peered deeply into the fire, wondering if it was some kind of arcane trick meant to draw attention away from a second, more discreet camp. He grinned at the thought. Such a trick would mean that he wasn’t foolish to keep their own camp unheated for the night.

Then a noise. Monty puts the fire out of his mind and begins taking careful steps back towards his own camp, towards the darkness. He himself would be blind, but he hopes whatever had caused the noise would also be blind. A bird sings somewhere deeper in the woods. That gives Monty an idea. He begins whistling in a way he hopes sounds like birds. He can imitate human voice flawlessly, but animal noises give him slightly more trouble. He whistles a few notes from a song he’d regaled the twins with. Hopefully he could get them on alert.

Not a single one of Monty’s ideal life endings is to die alone in an eerily silent stretch of woods.

 

Last edited by Ssays; 11-17-2018 at 05:19 PM.
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  #97  
Old 11-20-2018, 06:46 PM
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As though in mirrored motion, the twins look up at each other from opposite ends of the cart, their scrounging interrupted.

"Did you hear that?" they ask in unison.

Gia nods. "Sounded like Monty, I think he might need our help."

"Didn’t sound like Monty at all," objects Ollie, as he places a cautious hand on the hilt of his spadroon.

"Well, that was kind of the point," argues Gia, her brows furrowing at her brother’s attitude. "You know he does voices. He didn’t want anybody else to know he was signaling us."

"Wasn’t exactly subtle about it, then, was he?"

"Oliver, it’s fine! The message was the tune, that's what was meant for us. I’m surprised you didn’t recognize it!"

"Huh!" Ollie throws his hands into the air. "Well excuse me for not catching the tune, I was worried about a certain promised threat of goblins for crying out loud!"

"...Wait, what?"

————————————

Both siblings sprint across the field, blades in hand, desperate to reach the other fire, as well as Monty, in time – leaving their camp, their cart, and their catnapping cabbie behind.

"Hey! At least it’s not bears, right?"

"Very important survival tip for you, Gee! Never count out the bears!"
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  #98  
Old 11-23-2018, 03:09 PM
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MontyMonty studies the other encampment. He can make out shadowy movements. Another trick?! Monty takes note of the shadowy movements and even begins to build a rhythm in his head just like he has done for patterns of speech so many times. Yet the movements are not rhythmic nor repeated. If it is a ruse then it is extremely sophisticated. With the information available, Monty begins to suspect a silence sphere of some kind exists around the camp.

However, before he can investigate further, Monty's focus is broken by a sound. Then, as he begins to depart his current position, the otherwise eerily quiet night is filled with bird noises ... at night. Not owl noises, not other nocturnal animal noises, but bird noises. As Monty woks his way back toward his camp, he makes the decision to add to the oddness of the night and begins another bird-like tune.

TwinsGia is holding an antlered headdress and Ollie is holding some length of cloth - a cloak perhaps? or maybe a kilt? - whose texture can only be described as "unpleasant". Neither of which seems terribly useful for fashioning earplugs. Although ... with the right amount of effort, perhaps some of the adornments from the headdress could be torn off and used or perhaps the cloth could be wrapped around one's head and ears. But for now, the search continues.

Then the sounds begin. An otherwise quiet night is interrupted by bird noises. Fortunately Gia, who is not distracted by voices in her head, picks up on Monty's signal. Confusion reigns for a moment as the twins - who are normally at least similarly oriented - try to decipher each others words. Of course the mention of goblins (and bears) results in immediate action from the twins. They set off into the darkness with weapons ready. The excitement, however, results in both forgetting about the item they had been holding. It is not until they are barreling through the darkness half-blind that they both realize they are still holding the 'cursed' items from the cart.

A near missThe twins charge into the darkness toward the campfire. Their ancestral heritage gives them some advantage in the night, but only some. Whether it is the glare of the fire they are running toward or the promise of goblins (or suggestion of bears) the two never see the small figure in front of them.

Monty is still curious about the other camp, but he has the wits to focus his attention on returning to his own camp, after all, he is heading back into the blackness ... alone. Relief floods the halfling as he picks up the sound of two figures approaching from the direction of his camp. Despite a lack of darkvision, the halfling's hearing is well honed and he uses that advantage to focus in on the sounds of running feet, picking up the outline of two sword-wielding forms charging straight at him. As Monty halts, ready to greet what he suspects are the twins charging to his aid, the relief turns to concern. Even as the forms close the distance, they do not appear to slow ... at all. Right before the imminent collision, Monty springs to the side just as the twins see his small form in the now-dim-light and try to come to an abrupt halt.

ShirlEven as Shirl works toward the potential safety of numbers, things progress in a strange manner. Speaking to the one appears to have spooked him and the other into rushing off into the night. Meanwhile, the other smaller figure had reacted to the twig snap. Shirl watches as the two parties embark on a collision course. As the three forms merge, Shirl can't help but glance at the fire. Perhaps that would be a better option. Even as the thought materializes, Shirl can feel the pull toward the three grow stronger. With a glance behind, Shirl can no longer make out the forms of the pursuers. Perhaps the pursuit is over? That thought is interrupted by a vicious whoop coming from way too close. Suddenly the three forms in the dark seem like a better option than confronting anything alone.

----------------------
OOCSsays: I After the first bird call, a voice pops into Oly's head. A younger person's voice. Right in the mind.
"War-niiing! Goblinz chasing some poor fool!"
un-secreted some text because it has served its secreted purpose and you might as well get to enjoy the full context of Skep's post
Skep: punishment requested; punishment earned - you are barreling into a potential encounter toting, not 1, but 2 'cursed' items (don't worry I won't punish you for the twins thing - just giving you props to screw up work with)
zevonian: I have, historically, unsecreted text that is a part of the story once it's purpose is fulfilled and especially if it is something that would be shared with everyone over a pint later .
If anyone feels concerned that I might reveal secret text too soon, feel free to suggest not sharing it inside the secret text

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  #99  
Old 11-23-2018, 04:09 PM
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The bird gave up telling it was here, it was here, after a minute. The pauses between each noising were identical in length, as if timed by some gnomish clock contraption.

The twig snapper studied the fire. Slowly, quietly moved towards it, aware of others near. A whisper, something possibly unintelligible, perhaps a string of curse words stopped mid-phrase, was uttered. A few seconds later, a few steps away from the fire now, the phrase was finished.

The fire had brightened between those words, just enough to provide a few more paces of better vision but keep the snapper in shadow. It would help those that had made the camp go about their business.

The business would be a quick one, the whisperer hoped during a fresh utterance, one made after a distinct whoop could be heard.

Consider a triangle. The whisperer, the campers, and the whooper as the three points. Somewhere in the middle, tremors began in the ground. Mild, just enough to make it known that danger was present.

And then a louder whisper, perhaps to be heard by the campers. "Goblins beyond the shakes."

ooc mechanics
Thaumaturgy uses as per PHB p282.
Stealth roll available upon request.

Any camper that dares get close will see the whisperer is a thin elf/half-elf man in a dark cloak.
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  #100  
Old 11-23-2018, 10:32 PM
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Monty puts his hand out to grab ahold of Ollie’s hand. At first, it seems as if the halfling is showing the courage of a child, but his grip is confident and in the dim light his posture bold. Monty draws his sword with contagious conviction and the human can feel through his hand that he’s not even breathing hard, let alone shaky.

He says quietly enough only they can hear, “I know what you’re thinking, that the goblins cause earthquakes. But I’ve seen that kind of magic before. The creepy whisperer did that, I think. You handle them. I’ll handle to goblins. I have a score to settle.” He knows the twins won’t have troubles making out the wink he gives with an upturned grin. It’s hard not to be encouraged by the annoying fellow.

In a stage whisper that can make its way at least as far as the twins, “For Garis’ honor, I hope you two fight better than you hunt treasure. And you over there,” Monty projects over to the arcane user, “I can’t quite make them out yet. Can you light them on fire with your magic?

Monty rarely regrets mocking anyone, and even in the rare cases that he does, it’s only ever with the benefit of hindsight. Still, a fair percentage of the times he has regretted it have involve magic users. It’s doubtful he’ll ever learn that lesson.

IntentionsCasting Heroism on the twins if there’s time. Unless Roekahs vetoes, that’s +4 temp HP at the start of each of your turns, Skep, and immunity to being frightened, for what what good it’ll do ya. I’m not sure where we are positioned, but Monty wouldn’t mind keeping out of even the dim light and would have interest in positioning the group closer to their own camp or putting the oddly silent camp between themselves and the direction of supposed goblins. But that’s all strategy and not as important as playing it cool, so… let the cards land how they will unless one of those goals would be easy to do without running squeamishly. Monty would not rush to stand next to the newcomer.

Last edited by Ssays; 11-23-2018 at 10:36 PM.
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  #101  
Old 11-24-2018, 03:30 PM
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Nearly bowling over Monty on their way to save him had been an honest mistake. At least their friend was unharmed! But hearing him tell it, there seemed to be another person in their midst... one who was hiding in the shadows, whispering things. Albeit, helpful things. Warning them about goblins. And, heck, if there were bears, who was to say this person wouldn't warn about them, either?

Oliver returns Monty's wink, acknowledging what he can only interpret as I'm being cleverly misleading, do the opposite of what I say. Goblin-hunting it would be, then; and thanks to the somewhat unnatural help of the stranger, the two knew where to begin looking.

He looks at the headdress his sister has forgotten to leave behind at the camp. "Gee," he whispers with a grin, "I think I have an idea."

—————————————

A figure can just barely be made out as the light from the flames of the campfires ebbs and flows. The figure is tall—half again as tall as a human—and has the twisting, pointed antlers of an impressive stag. It raises a sword in each arm menacingly as it stomps forward into the dark, and it growls a horrible, discordant growl that rumbles into the night.

"Again," Ollie whispers up at his sister. Gia sits atop his shoulders, around which is the length of 'cursed' fabric to mask the truth to this illusion. In unison, they growl their deepest, most fearsome bear growl. The goblins' numbers are unknown (and the goblins themselves still unseen), but given the proper incentive, they might just think twice about how badly they want to raid tonight.


 
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  #102  
Old 11-25-2018, 10:35 AM
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From the darkness several figures emerge with a 'whoop!'. The first to emerge are several short, stocky humanoid shapes brandishing weapons followed by two round, furry shapes (that, at first glance, could be bears). The figures are heading straight toward Shirl at a fast trot, but as they close the distance, the growling antlered monster catches their attention. The small band slows and then stops as their focus shifts. The humanoids seem to mill about as several gutteral sounds can be heard. Then, the furry shapes lope forward toward the antlered beast while the humanoids turn (most of) their attention back to their original prey. Shirl may have lost track of the goblins, but they certainly had not lost track of her!

From the distance, several more shouts can be heard. Then, suddenly, sounds erupt from the other camp - the roaring blaze, shouts of warning, and the clang of metal. Whatever silence or trickery had been present is gone in an instant. Shirl and the twins can make out many more figures rushing toward the bright firelight. Shirl is certain that there are significantly more than she had stumbled across, so it can't be her fault that they are raiding the camp ... can it?

OOCInitiative to beat is 15. If you succeed you can post actions.
@Skep - I debated on what to do with your situation (because it is quite clever, which should offset your earplug punishment ... at least a little). Here is what I came up with:
  • (Round 0) you get a surprise round, but all your modifiers are halved (e.g. + to attack Edit ... way overcomplicated (although less punishing than) ... you are at disadvantage for everything else; (the twins are not in particularly good fighting position). The humanoids are all currently frightened.
  • (Round 1+, option A)If you want to maintain the fear after the surprise, you can make an intimidation check and keep the disadvantage; humanoids will get a save
  • (Round 1+, option B)At any point you can drop back down to 4 legs and regain your typical character stuff; the humanoids will auto save against the fear
 
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Last edited by Roekahs; 11-26-2018 at 08:42 PM.
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  #103  
Old 11-25-2018, 05:24 PM
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With a guffaw that felt surprisingly good, Monty follows the hilarious twins. He isn’t used to being upstaged mid-battle, but jealousy fails to surface. He growls as loudly as he can in a voice reminiscent of the one he’d used to poke fun at Prosperity in the marketplace. “Behold! The Beast of Brigoon, the scourge of man!” If it doesn’t add to the fear, at least it will let the Twins know he is fully behind their insanity.

The bold announcement continues but in strange syllables that sound like some mixture of spellcasting and the snoring of a beast. He can’t be sure what the rotund furry things are that are headed their way, but he knows from experience that he needn’t mock their voices very specifically to imbue the same sorts of magic that confuse and overwhelm men.

 

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  #104  
Old 11-29-2018, 06:35 PM
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"Ha! 'Beast of Brigoon' indeed!" whispers Ollie, quite pleased. He calls up to his sister. "Hey! What do you see up there? Is something coming?"

"Bears," Gia says simply, as she readjusts her headdress.

"What!? They actually brought BEARS!?"

"Kidding," laughs Gia. "But now the prospect of charging through a bunch of rats seems a lot better, doesn’t it?"

"I hate you," Ollie states bluntly.

"Blatant lies. Look, I think the goblins are buying it, we need to drive them off. Keep growling and go."

The stacked duo teeters forward at speed, rats at their heels, rushing toward the barely-visibly forms of the goblins and snarling viciously all the way. The show is good, but the swordplay is rubbish – not terribly surprising, given that the attacker is sitting too tall to easily reach the stubby goblins, and the mobility can't see what he's doing terribly well. One blade sweeps at one goblin, the second at another, but neither finds its mark.

It was never necessarily about harming the fiends, though. Scaring them off would be just as well.


 
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Old 11-29-2018, 10:17 PM
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The Beast of Brigoon! Of course none of the primitive goblin minds had ever heard of such a beast, but the Scourge of Man had not been the intended target for the night. Besides, even primitive minds can manage the conclusion that the 'scourge' of anything is not something to meet on a dark night. As the Beast bellows and charges, the small humanoids recoil as razor sharp claws nearly as long as swords strike out. Even more unnerving is the fact that the rats do not move. They must be paralyzed by fear of this unknown beast!

Half-heartedly the goblins swing their curved blades, more in an attempt to keep the Beast at bay than to do any real harm. One of the flailing attacks, however, catches a bit of the cloth draped around the midsection of the Beast. It only falls a bit, but a pair of the goblins catch a glimpse of something strange. Perhaps it is the glint of something potentially valuable, or maybe just the thought of defeating something so strange as the Beast of Brigoon, but whatever it is, two of the goblins seem to steel themselves against the fear and creep nearer the Beast!

OOCNote the table has been updated. Skep and the goblins are now Anyone wanting to leave the engaged state needs to either take AoO(s) or use the Disengage actionengaged while the rest of the combat remains in the 'Near' realm. I decided to narrate the fear saves now, so I made the intimidation roll for this round. The twins did get advantage on the roll because of Monty's assist (but I rolled poorly ... so its basically like Skep rolled it anyway). Everyone is up!
Skep, your
  • (Round 1+, option A)If you want to maintain the fear after the surprise, you can make an intimidation check and keep the disadvantage; humanoids will get a save; humanoids that have saved, will get advantage on future checks
  • (Round 1+, option B)At any point you can drop back down to 4 legs (no action needed) and regain your typical character stuff; the humanoids will auto save against the fear
special rules still apply
 
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Last edited by Roekahs; 11-29-2018 at 11:20 PM.
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