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  #76  
Old Aug 22nd, 2023, 05:07 PM
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"I mean, always following Ulfgar's lead is a bit of a stretch..."

Pluck says as he listens in on the conversation and sidles over to talk quietly.

"Not discounting your vision, but it is a vision right? Not necessarily fact. Far be it from me to hold our angry friend here from chopping some heads off, but we might want to see if there is truth to this first no? Can't say I have much love for local petty lords, but let's not get ourselves put in another prison right off the bat."

Pluck flinches all too obviously at the surprise of the horse, clearly unsettled by the surroundings.

"On second thought, yeah, lets go get the Baron. Right away. I don't like this place."

 
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  #77  
Old Aug 23rd, 2023, 01:06 PM
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Gridrish, seeing the horse, hears Dunnegan's voice in his head...TRAP

He holds up his right hand signaling for the party to hold. At least this is what Dunnegan or one of the leaders would do. He hopes his friends understand.

He slowly walks over to the horse, calmly, making soft noises, clicking his tongue off the roof of his mouth. He reaches out with his left hand, gently petting the creature. With his right hand, he extends his four fingers straight and taps his chin with the index finger in quick succession. He says, "Speak." He asks the horse where he has been and what has he seen. He asks where all the people went. He asks about the troll.

He relates everything he learns to his friends. He says, "I thought of King Foad. Remember that he shared that he knew all about Myrrh's tricks and traps. "
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  #78  
Old Aug 25th, 2023, 11:20 PM
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Nov 16, Cedar Hollow steading mid-late afternoon

Standing at the edge of the tiny steading, the group discusses their next course of action. The two little people in the party seem decided that it would be best to travel to Wickenstadt to confront the Baron.

"I don't believe my ears!" Fritz splutters. "You argued with me about backtracking when we were only a few hours from the outpost. Now that you're here, you're not even going to look around?" The salt deliverer is stunned. Then he starts laughing with an edge of terror in his voice. "And I believed Pol when he said you were appointed ones. Haha... You... you're going to get us all killed now! Can you even fight? It doesn't even matter! It's only two hours from nightfall and we are miles and miles away from any civilization. We'll be dead by morning. The night walkers and hungry spirits will see to that!" He continues laughing.

While this was happening, Grid puts his head near the freed gray horse and listens intently to the animal's odd whinnying and sighing. Soon the druid begins to translate. "He says the big thing came yesterday afternoon... Men in field saw it. The horse was in the field with them. Men ran to their homes to get their families. They left the horse free... The big thing got into the pigsty and stole the pigs. It left the men alone. It is close still... People ran off into woods carrying things. No one came back."
DM's noteYou're a good half day's journey back to the south outpost, and about that far away from Wickenstadt.
Fritz is minute by minute growing more terrified about his chances of survival.
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  #79  
Old Aug 26th, 2023, 10:35 AM
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Gridrish soothes the horse. He reaches into his kit and gives the horse something to nibble on.

He relates what the horse told him, "The troll is real. The people ran into the woods. The troll took some pigs. It is still nearby."

Gridrish suggests a plan to the group. He says, ""We help. Sutton, can you set a trap for the troll to bait him out of wherever he is hiding?"
"

To Fritz he asks, ""Is there a supply of salt in this village? Can we get into one of the barns and lay a circle of salt down?""

To the group he suggests, ""I think we should try to get the homesteaders to come back. We can secure them in the barn before nightfall. And deal with the troll once they are safe.""

Thinking that it is interesting how they managed to "survive" a night in the woods. It is also interesting that Fritz seems to WANT us to look around. We must be ready for an ambush.

What does the group think?
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  #80  
Old Aug 29th, 2023, 11:31 AM
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Ulf looks back and forth between Grid and Merrick, obviously struggling. Finally he shrugs and growls out, "Traps! Bah!" He gives his axe a shake in general annoyance. "We set off the trap, kill the troll, then we go do the same to this baron. We free Karana along the way!" Ulf looks to Merrick at this.

"If this trap is set for us, I'd not have some hapless villagers get caught in it in our stead." Ulf continues in a near growl. "Seems to me that I can see two clear targets for my axe!"

He then looks at Grid, "Salt and spirits! Hiding in fear?" Ulf barks a laugh at the thought, though his smile doesn't reach his eyes which seem more than a little concerned about the idea of nasties that his axe can't touch.

Last edited by RobS; Aug 29th, 2023 at 11:35 AM.
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  #81  
Old Aug 29th, 2023, 03:43 PM
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Pluck regains his composure

"Right... I was just testing you guys. Didn't think it would work! Jolly good."

 


Taking Grids word to heart, and knowing his panic could be a liability, he turns to Fritz. Nonchalantly pulling a small vial of oil from his pocket, he puts a drop on his fingers, before saying

"Fritz, I suggest you calm down and get a hold of yourself, and tell us any information you might be holding back."

 
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  #82  
Old Aug 31st, 2023, 03:19 PM
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"Oh my, did we go that far out of the way? I must have been distracted I didn't realize. Fritz do you know why the troll isn't attacked by these night haunters? It sounds like they would be aligned to attack anything living out here."
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  #83  
Old Sep 3rd, 2023, 08:46 AM
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Nov 16, late afternoon, Cedar Hollow

right-aligned image
Still standing on the outskirts of the humble steading, the horse stays close to Grid as the druid ponders the situation with Fritz. The salt seller, more than a little testy now, says "If they had any opportunity to take their belongings before they fled, it's a safe bet they took salt enough to get them through the night. It's been a long time since I've been out this way, I don't know what their supply may be without rooting through yon homes. I guess you're not above that either..."

A few minutes conversation with the horse reveals the homesteaders are gone - none left even in the woods. Grid translates: "They ran with the womenfolk and children. The men would be needed to see them through the forest. That was yesterday and none have returned."

Around this time, Kuld catches the scent of something. The mongrel dog circles Ulf's legs a few times, obviously sniffing toward the closest of two barns, perhaps 100' away. Then a few of you smell it too: a hint of bacon.

Not to be distracted, Pluck sees that Fritz's disposition is quickly turning, and this once-ally could be a serious liability for the party when you get back to Wickenstadt. The bard's magic catches the salt seller completely by surprise, and before Fritz knows what's happening, he's feeling more relaxed, things maybe aren't even as bad as they seem. "Is that bacon...?" is the first thing out. Then: "Can't say for sure whether the spirits would bother with a troll or not. They leave the animals alone, is a troll any different? Anyway, we didn't meet the homesteaders on our way here, so if they left yesterday they headed north directly to Wickenstadt rather than to the south outpost." He scratches his chin and unbuttons a few buttons of his pleated gray cloak to take a drink of water. "Pol and his rag tag men couldn't handle a troll anyway. Only an armed squad, and I doubt Baron Von Richter will send them. There's not enough men to spare. Truth is, the Baron has changed. Ever since the spirits began waking, he's a shell of the leader he once was." Fritz looks surprised those words came from his mouth. "Er, but don't tell anyone I said that. I don't know what you folk are playing at, or why anyone would ever want to come to this haunted realm, but if you're able to clean just a bit up, then the Baron might look more kindly on you. He's shrewd and he won't go letting you do as you please. These are dark times."

As if to punctuate those last words, you hear a low grumble issue from the barn. If anyone needed more proof than a horse's word, this was it.
DM's noteAnyone who wants can roll an Insight check.

Map is up. The barn has four solid walls though there are knotholes and cracks enough to see through if someone wanted to. The door facing the home is ajar.

Last edited by mountainbound; Sep 3rd, 2023 at 08:50 AM.
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  #84  
Old Sep 4th, 2023, 12:20 PM
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Merrick smells the bacon cooking and his stomach starts to rumble hungrily. He has a sudden sick sensation.

"Does anyone know what cooked humans smell like? Gods I hope it isn't bacon.

Wait, do trolls even cook their food? What if someone sneaks up there and takes a peak inside"


Merrick summons his bow and prepares for the worst.

Last edited by Duck of Death; Sep 4th, 2023 at 12:21 PM.
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  #85  
Old Sep 7th, 2023, 01:12 PM
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Dice sneak up to peak in through near side of barn:
1d20+5 (1)+5 Total = 6

Ulf thinks about why and what a Troll might be cooking as he carefully makes his way towards the near side of the barn. The smell, generally pleasant enough, turns his stomach sour at the thought of the possible source. He works his way methodically and carefully, every step sounding loud in his ears. He hopes that the beast within is distracted enough to ignore any slight sounds on the far side of the wall from his current activities.

Last edited by RobS; Sep 7th, 2023 at 01:16 PM.
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  #86  
Old Sep 9th, 2023, 12:12 PM
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Gridrish pats the horse and thanks it for helping him and his friends. A part of him hopes the horse will stay with the party.

Gridrish smells what he and the others think is bacon. Is it?

 


As he ponders, he starts walking toward the barn, trailing behind Ulfgar. (Aiming to M,23) As he walks, he scans around him, while digging through his pockets. He finds what he is looking for, the plume of an ice troll, presumably taken from a troll that he killed. At least that is what King Foad told him. Will seeing a troll bring back his memory of how he came into possession of the plume?
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  #87  
Old Sep 11th, 2023, 08:40 PM
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Nov 16, late afternoon, Cedar Hollow

The party gingerly makes their way toward the barn, with that oh so ominously pleasant smoke drifting out of the open door. Somehow Ulfgar finds himself in the lead, dried fall leaves cracking and crunching beneath the dwarf's thick boots. The rest of the party seems content enough to follow behind the stout warrior, despite the ruckus he's making.

Grid, following last, gives the horse a pat and grips the strange crystalline plume. Could this be the moment when he meets a troll -- and remembers it? Either way, the horse looks on quizzically, and then follows a few steps behind the druid.

Coming up to one of the wide slats and peering through, Ulf and the others spy a large shape in the dim light of the barn. It takes a moment to make out what's inside. There's a fire burning on the dirt floor. Next to that is a pig carcass. It is likely the pig's blood, soaking the straw around the fire, that has thus far prevented the whole place from burning down. Glints of firelight reflect off a large form further in the darkness. A pig leg left on the edge of the fire is burning, emitting the savory smoke that alerted Kuld.

The large form shifts and emits another moan. It kicks a foot straight out and you see the toes are twisted and covered with what looks like a shiny fungal growth. The troll's leg then crashes to the floor and lands with a metallic chink. It turns, scrabbling at another large metallic growth near the base of its back with large, green hands. You can see several scabby tumors that all glint like gold in the firelight. The thing moans again, this time smashing its hand against a barn timber and making the whole place shake. It is clearly preoccupied, so much so that it doesn't notice you or even its food burning on the fire.

DM's noteFeel free to roll more checks if you like.

Map is up. The barn has four solid walls though there are knotholes and cracks enough to see through if someone wanted to. The door facing the home is ajar.


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  #88  
Old Sep 12th, 2023, 02:22 PM
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Gridrish signals to his friends to gather near him.

Gridrish says, "The troll is in a lot of pain. He is suffering from Myrrh's curse. Remember when Foad had Scotus show us his face half-covered in some metal all matted with hair and his hand covered in gold and silver? This is Myrrh. "

"Does anyone speak the troll tongue? Or can help me communicate with it? "

"I don't know if I can heal him. This might be some kind of magic at work. But we should try. Maybe he can give us more information about Myrrh."
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  #89  
Old Sep 13th, 2023, 11:27 PM
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"Karana empowers me with the ability to heal and cure disease. I am not sure I can be any help communicating with it however. I suppose it is worth a try? Though killing this creature is our pathway to the Baron... I am not good at high pressure decisions."

Merrick holds his bow steady unsure of if we are fighting or helping, but this creature makes him uncomfortable and he certainly isn't letting his guard down. He tries to think if this type of curse is something he would be able to cure with his restorative abilities.

 
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  #90  
Old Sep 14th, 2023, 05:11 PM
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Ulf shakes his head at the talk of discussions and healing. This is exactly opposite of what he has in mind to do with his axe. Helping Ogres and Trolls is not what he typically thinks about when he considers doing good deeds. Removing said beasts from their heads seems a much more noble pursuit. With a low growl, he decides to wait to see what happens.

As he is listening to Grid, he reaches into his bag with his free hand, reluctantly letting go of the horn. He pulls out a well padded, cube shaped object. He gingerly handles the object thinking to himself that if he needs to immobilize a beast run through with metal, this might be just the thing. He doesn't comment on the cube, but simply keeps it at the ready for the moment.
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