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  #1  
Old 08-26-2018, 03:58 AM
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The Road to Foxdale

The approachThe small village of Foxdale has sent couriers to relay a message. The settlement has fallen prey to an attack by a ferocious red dragon wyrmling. They plea for any strong enough to slay the dragon to come and help Foxdale in its hour of need. You all assemble to help fulfil this singular task, whether your motivation be justice or profit. It will not be an easy task, especially for a band of wet behind the ears adventurers like yourselves. You will need skill, cunning, and just a little luck to succeed in the trials ahead.

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At the moment, you find yourselves trekking down a dusty and rutted cart track towards Foxdale. Some of you have worked together before. Others you met on the way. Some were brought together by a shared past of tragedy. Some have ventured out on a quest to track down lost family members. Yet others are in the pursuit of power, or freedom. What matters is that you are all together, having decided to come together as one.

You have heard that Foxdale is a village of about five hundred people. Most are humans, with a handful of elves and dwarves also residing. The village is at least two days away from the nearest settlement. It is nestled by the Emerald Forest on one side. To the other side, a fair distance away, lie the Gallanstone mountains. In between lie miles of farmland, the crops nearing harvest. That is where you find yourself, having negotiated a difficult pass across the Gallanstone to reach here. Youíve had nothing but the odd tavern to break up the monotony of the travel, but you know the village is only a few miles up the road.

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It is when you reach within two miles of the village that you witness the first signs of destruction. A burning smell assails your senses, followed by ash particles driven in by the gentle wind that gets into your eyes and nose. Finally you see it. Acres upon acres of farmland. Burnt to cinders. Ripe harvest. All gone. There is another smell. Of burnt flesh. You can make out the charred bone structures out in the field. Livestock. Cows, perhaps. Nothing but ash remains.

You press forward. You are now about half a mile from the village. The taller among you crane their neck to see if they can spot the village walls. However, there is something else of more immediate concern. About fifty paces from your group, a massive tree trunk lies slung across the path. Seated on it is a kobold. Standing behind the trunk are three more. The lead kobold sees your group approach. It points a small crossbow at you and yells out, in a voice remarkably deep for one of its kind.

"Oi! You halting. Right there! What you wanting with Foxdales? "
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:35 PM
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Kobolds
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Naskan Kreccac
Kobolds. If the dragonborn were the embodiment of wrym-kind in humanoid form then kobolds were the remains, the scraps, left over bits not suitable for a respectable being. The creatures always skulked about carving out niches in the shadows of greater individuals, never doing any of the heavy lifting themselves. Naskan had little patience for their kind.

"Pitiful wretches. Cast-offs of grander beings. How dare you block this through way with your abhorrent presence. Gratifying destruction wrought by the deeds of others. Your kind are a pestilence upon the world. Remove your pathetic hides from my path or be smote for the mercy of Tamara does not extend to you."

While Naskan normally was a bit haughty, he generally never showed anything but respect for others. These creatures, however, seemed to hold a poor standing in his estimation.

 




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Old 09-09-2018, 08:39 AM
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Lelianora Nethiren
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Nora glanced sidelong at Naskan, taking an involuntary step away from him. She'd never seen anything from the big dragon-man but mildness and courtesy, but when he got mad... well, that was a lot of muscle and scale and teeth. Even directed elsewhere, his wrath was disquieting. Good thing he's on our side, Nora thought.

And as for what had earned his ire... well, the kobolds deserved it, rightly enough, if they'd had anything to do with the destruction all about them... as, surely, they must. But something about this sat ill with her. Put together, these four little vermin might weigh as much as Naskan, and they'd surely be feeling brave to challenge the dragonborn alone... let alone an entire band of armed travelers that outnumbered them.

And kobolds weren't that brave.

"Ware," whispered Nora to the others, in the thick, lilting Elven accent that she'd not yet managed to unlearn. "They'd not dare face us like this, if these were all their numbers. Surely there are more are about." Slowly and carefully, she reached for her bow and the quiver across her back, looking not to the kobolds, but to the high grass and scrub around the path to other side. As she did, she listened to the subtle whispers of the things that still grew green and unburnt nearby, seeking the green magic's guidance toTotal roll of 21 to spot signs of an ambush warn her of danger.


 


 
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Old 09-09-2018, 01:00 PM
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Lothar Hillperson
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Lothar was enjoying the journey to Foxdale until it became painfully obvious to the toil that the locals had been facing at the hands of the rumored Red. The ground showed the signs that he and Naskan had become all too familiar with. Scorched earth, burnt houses, and the rank smell of immolated flesh.

As they turned the corner and saw the kobolds and their makeshift barrier, Lothar only laughed. "They are pathetic," he said to his traveling partner. "Tell them who is in charge here." Lothar's confidence was second to none as he had seen Naskan in battle before.

Naskan spoke harshly and frankly to the trembling Kobolds, and Lothar smiled. He then pulled his greataxe and prepared to chop off their heads. He cared little if they wanted to talk or fight. Actually, he preferred that they fight.

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Old 09-10-2018, 10:33 AM
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It had been a few days since Ash had "joined" with this travelling band heading towards Foxdale. They seemed eager for safety in numbers for the journey, so not much convincing was required to open their ranks to the warlock. He, on the other side of the coin, was eager to have willing bodies between him and the dragon's flames. He just hoped that, when it came time to raid the wyrm's hoard, that these people would be content with the coins and trinkets they found - leaving any books and tomes to him. Otherwise...

The journey through the Gallanstone was surprisingly difficult for the frail human, but never once did he seek out assistance in navigating the poor footing of the mountain trail. Inwardly; however, he was glad when he could finally place his feet on level ground once more. As was his familiar (a bat), whom seemed to become increasingly incensed that its sleep was constantly being interrupted by the jostling of the trek. When the group stopped at the first tavern after the Gallanstone, the warlock excused himself and ventured off into the night by himself. Thanks to his companion's seemingly preternatural ability to find one, he quickly stumbled upon a cave where he spent the night alone - straining his eyes in the dark to read one of the tomes in his possession that he already knew by heart. In the morning, like clockwork, he was awake and silently waiting outside the tavern for the rest so that the assembled could continue the trek.

As their destination neared, the warlock looked on in wonder at the signs of destruction. He had imagined the dragon to be strong, but the sheer amount that it had consumed with its flames was exciting for the man. He couldn't help but wonder just how long it had taken the beast to perform these feats. He hoped it was something he could do with a single breath. The stronger the beast, the more interesting its trove, surely. At a few points, Ash strayed from the path to kneel down and inspect the bones they found out of overt curiosity. He brushed off ash with his hand - seemingly unconcerned with soiling himself with soot and arguably enjoying the smell of sulfur that emanated from disturbing the settled dust - to see how deeply into the bones the charred marks were made. A few sets of corpses disappointed him, as it seemed the bones were still in tact. After a bit; however, he found some whom were burnt through down to the marrow. What incredible heat... how exciting. When it became obvious that the group was not interested in waiting on him to complete his autopsies, the warlock sighed and hurried to keep up pace with the rest. Soon; however, the group came to a stop.

A group of kobolds barred their path. Before Ash could muster adequate words of disgust for these wretches seeking to impede him, the sanctimonious dragonborn spoke. Though the general thrust of what the warlock would have said and what the paladin did say was undeniably equitable, Ash couldn't help but roll his eyes at the prose. He muttered under his breath. A simple, 'move or else' might have sufficed. Not having anything useful to add to the group's initial linguistic salvo; however, the warlock remained silent and largely nonplussed.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:39 PM
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Kaspar ThorngageBy the time the group reached the foot of the Gallanstone, the young bard's grumbles and gripes were already wearing on his companions. He was a city boy and regardless of how many leagues he'd covered, he still longed for the comfort of rounded cobbles beneath his feet. But he was no fool, either. He kept his eyes on his companions, aiming to pick up their savvy in the wilderness and as they began their arduous ascent, he turned his gripes to song, affording inspiration and a marching tempo. "What little use I can be out here," he thought as he laced his limericks and lilts with magic.

It was Naskan's brusque address to the kobolds that roused him from his grim reverie as he wondered at the power of a being that could lay waste to such swaths of land as this. Indeed, his constant jokes and songs faded as they neared Foxdale and traveled deeper into the destruction of the Red.

Kaspar was taken aback by the knight's approach to the small dragon-kin. Yes, they could be thieves and cowards, but he knew cities that could not run without their ingenuity and willingness to take on the most foul of tasks. Out here, who knew what a clutch of kobolds would've had to do to survive? Help a dragon, he wondered. But he moved forward to join the dragonborn. Nora was right - he'd never known a kobold to be quite so confident in the face of superior numbers. Not without backup.


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Old 09-10-2018, 11:16 PM
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Spike Scoria
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The journey to Foxdale was long and tiring. Spike had a difficult time keeping up with his long legged companions. Things got easier when they got to the mountains. This was his terrain. But he got distracted here, with all the pretty rocks, deep ravines and outcroppings. Spike wanted to explore but his group wanted to be on their way. Later, they told him. The dragon came first.

It wasn't until the start of the devastation that Spike started thinking seriously about the dragon. How big was it, to cause all this destruction? The biggest creature he had ever seen was an owlbear. The dwarf had a difficult time imagining anything larger than that. He was so busy daydreaming about it that he nearly crashed into Lothar when the group came to a sudden stop.

Naskan was talking, but Spike didn’t understand his words. He must using dragon speak, Dragish?, Spike thought it was called. Whatever he said, it sounded a might fearful. But, who was he talking to?

Spike pushed through the crowd of tall folk to get a better view. He let out a loud growl as he spotted the kobolds. "Me da killed four of em with one swing of ‘is axe. Lopped their heads clean off." He snarled as he unsheathed his axe. "I bets I kin do it, too. Kaspar, kin ye get those dog-faces to stand closer together fer me?"

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Old 09-11-2018, 04:01 AM
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The Approach
Following Naskan's forceful admonishing, there is some commotion near the tree. The kobold who spoke earlier stands up on the trunk. A pair of small, leathery wings sprout from its back and it lifts itself into the air to get a better look at the group. It promptly drops down and pushes its crossbow into the hands of the one standing next to it. There is some pushing back and forth, along with hushed conversations that sound like garbled noise to the group. In the end, it drops the weapon and takes off, flying away to the right.

The other kobold gingerly picks up the dropped weapon. It too sprouts wings from its back and climbs, hovering twenty feet the ground. It clears its throat and addresses the adventurers.

"You are entering the domain of our Lord and saviour, the great dragon lord, Cathrax the Awesome. And you are not welcome here. Go back where you came from. The town under protection of our lord. It needs no adventurers. You leave, and there will be no violence. You crossing this line, we whooping your arse!"

The first part seemed like a prepared speech. But gradually, the kobold grew in confidence. It now hovers before the party, crossbow pointed, while the two other kobolds next to it take cover behind the tree and train their own ranged weapons.


 
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:07 AM
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Lelianora Nethiren
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Nora goes tense and still, getting a hand on her bow and another to her quiver, but not yet making an aggressive move. Her almond eyes flick back and forth, and her tapered ears twitch ever so slightly, as she reads the subtle signs - a rustle of disturbed grass here, a twitching leaf there.

"There are more," she whispers urgently to her companions. "Look not... do not let them know they've been seen. Two more, on either side of the path, yon..." She nods her head slightly, indicating a point about thirty feet ahead of them on the path, well before the visible kobolds who've accosted them, "...and two more, just a few paces behind us." She very subtly inclines her head back that way. The moment they know they've been spotted, these ambushers will likely leap to the attack... but at least they won't catch Nora and her companions by surprise.


 
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:40 AM
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Kobolds
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Naskan Kreccac
The warning from Nora pierced through the hatred burning in Naskan's mind, drawing him back out of imminent combat and to his senses again. It would do little good, killing these wretches and possibly having his companions harmed in the process. No doubt Lothar and Spike would fare well but there was also Ash and Kaspar to think of. Singing songs and studying corpses was more their speed.

Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning. A teaching of Zelbena sprung to the dragonborn's mind. A teaching his old friend Dramash would certainly not have listened to. Zelbena was always chiding Dramash for being too reckless, too emotional. These feelings were not beneficial to a warrior.

They were in open country, farmland. Surely there would be another way around that didn't involve a kobold blockade and ambush. The creatures had chosen this location for their own benefit. No point in allowing them that advantage. If it was to come to a fight to gain access to Foxdale, let it be on even terms.

Naskan gave a nod to Nora before addressing the kobolds. "Cathrax the Awesome, reputation of his terror has spread far and wide. We wish not to impose upon lands he has claimed as his own. We shall withdraw."

The dragonborn makes eye contact with his other companions, especially Lothar and Spike, silently urging them to follow him in a strategic withdrawal. Speaking in low tones and trying not to move his mouth much, he whispers, "Give them this false victory. We will find another way."







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Old 09-11-2018, 10:15 AM
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Lothar Hillperson
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Lothar noticed the change in Naskan. It was not his typical approach to threats, but perhaps the dragonborn had a trick up his sleeve. Then, when Naskan turned to the others and subtly offered up his plan, Lothar smiled.

"Yes, let us live to fight another day," he said. Lothar then followed suit with a strategic withdrawal until they could all come back together and plan another way.

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Old 09-11-2018, 11:53 AM
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Ash sighed. Cathrax the... Awesome? Between the name and the company he keeps, perhaps this dragon won't be so mighty after all. His fingers twitched - eager to be rid of the blockade before them - as he readied to fight. When the dragonborn opted for another course of action; however, the warlock simply stared at him in stunned silence.

I have little respect for these wretch's intelligence, but even they wouldn't be dense enough to cover only one entrance to the town. Retreating now will only cost us time and daylight... I see no purpose. Better to simply get this over with here - ambush or not.

After providing his 2 cents, the warlock attempts to recall any information he may have of kobolds - in particular interested in any potential weaknesses they may have.

 


 
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Old 09-11-2018, 05:41 PM
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Kaspar Thorngage"Hmm. Didn't expect that," the young tiefling thinks as Naskan changes his tone. "Smart, though. We don't know how many there are."

"Boy what an underwhelming name, though, huh?" Kaspar quips under his breath to Spike, careful not to elbow the spiky armor of the former watchman.

Not certain that the ploy will carry, he plays into the sterotype and swings his lute around to beginning strumming idly as he follows the party away, bowing deeply at the hovering kobold.

"Our many tributes to your most esteemed and awesome lord. See? We're gaily on our way."


 
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Old 09-12-2018, 09:39 AM
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Spike Scoria
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"Withdraw? Are ye serious? Yer scared o' these little pukes? What are ye, wusses?" Spike started foaming at the mouth, a dangerous sign. He gave Kaspar and his quip a hurt look. The tiefling was supposed to be on his side. "Are ye afeared o' the flyin' one. We'll see how good he flies with me jav'lin in his gut."

Naskan gave Spike a look and started leading him away. "Those dog-faces are an evil lot. They won' just leave us go. Ye know that. Yer akin to 'em," he grumbled to the dragonborn. A spark went off in his brain. This startled the dwarf, since independent thinking was not a common occurrence. "Unless ... yer in with 'em. Well, are ye, A derogatory term for a dragonborn, I suppose.drake?"

Spike held his ground and stared down the paladin.

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Old 09-12-2018, 10:10 AM
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Ash cracked a smile at the dwarf's tirade. The dwarf is impetuous, but not wrong. We shouldn't be so quick to judge these strangers in a positive light - especially when their actions seem to favor the foe. He cleared his throat to add his voice to the situation.

There is no better way to out a traitor in your midst than to attack those whom he may be allied with.

He glanced down at the dwarf with a solemn expression.

If you initiate the fight, those true to the quest will rise to your aid - forever answering the question and opening the path before us. Call it... killing two kobolds with one javelin, if you will.

With this, an orb of dark energy formed in the warlock's hand - signaling he was ready for the 'festivities' to begin as well. A smirk formed on his face as well as he locked eyes with the dwarf.

Unless you are... as you say... a "wuss".
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