Game Thread II. Adventures "Up the River" - RPG Crossing
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  #1  
Old Sep 10th, 2010, 01:45 PM
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II. Adventures "Up the River"

The gates to Lehman's Hollow slide shut and the two boys quickly push the canoe into the water, their hearts beating in their ears. For the moment, they can only concentrate on getting into the current, and away from town as fast as possible.

The two friends paddle on and the few scant lights shining in Lehman's Hollow -- and from Ollyphant on the opposite shore -- recede as the water turns a bend. Not long after, the rain finally plays itself out. Only the quiet chirping of summer insects and the splash of an oar can be heard in the darkness.

Just as Silas thinks to ask about his "enlargement," the spell ends. The boat suddenly bobs on the river as the additional weight disappears and Silas is his own usual size again. "How long will what last?" Dan asks innocently, grinning. "Tell you what, I thought we were goners there. Rambob wasn't taking no for an answer and I almost thought we might have to... Well, in any case, there may be trouble when we get back -- I don't know how well Bob can keep a secret, especially one that conflicts with his bloody Guardsman Oath. We'll have to see."

It must 3 or 4 in the morning. Here the river gets a bit deeper, but is still rather placid. As long as one person can keep the canoe in the middle of the current, there's no need to paddle. Apparently, Dan decides that Silas is that person, and reclines back on his pack, hoping to catch a little sleep. "What a day, man..." the wizard mumbles, drifting off.

And so Silas is left to keep the canoe in the middle of the Yakawanna. There weren't any real rapids in this leg of the river, so it was fairly easy going. After a while though, the ranger catches an odd sound on the left riverbank. The sound of someone or something running through the woods. The land between Lehman's Hollow and Archebald was uninhabited territory, so there was little chance it was a person.

The crashing continues for a few minutes before, "Silas..." comes a call from the dark trees along the bank. It had an animal sound to it, like the mouth forming the name was unused to shaping those syllables. "Silas!" the strange voice calls again, more urgently. Then "Silas, Silas, Silas," it seems to mock, like a parrot, over and over.

After a moment of silence, the voice calls again -- but this time, from the opposite side of the river. "Siiiilaaasss," it beckons, and the ranger can just make out something thrashing in one of the trees overhead. Then something hard hits the inside of the canoe: a chestnut, completely mealy with worms and maggots.
DM's NoteSkill checks may reveal more info here.
  #2  
Old Sep 11th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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perceptionPerception

Dice Roll:
1d20+6 (11)+6 Total = 17
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Old Sep 11th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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DM's Note - Perception DetailsThe figure in the trees is about the size of a child, but other details are too difficult to make out in the darkness. You're positive that it's the same voice as the caller that was just on the opposite bank however.

The chestnut is still green -- still unripe as it's not yet autumn. For it to be this maggoty and rotten is not natural.
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Old Sep 16th, 2010, 08:33 PM
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"Dan, wake up!" Silas hissed, and poked Dan, rather more firmly than he'd intended, with the paddle. "We're being followed!"

Silas looked down again at the chestnut lying in the bottom of the canoe. Bloody hell, he thought with disgust, a sudden spike of fear lancing through him and setting his heart rate racing. He dropped the paddle into the bottom of the boat with a thud and took out Rambob's bow, his hands shaking as he knocked an arrow. His eyes darted to the trees, looking frantically for the cause of the noise, There he thought, his keen eyes catching the movement of the small figure. But what is it? And how does it know my name? His first thought had been that Rambob had sounded the alarm, but he quickly dismissed it. It's too small to be someone from The Hollow. What is it?[/ Silas squinted, his eyes straining in the darkness. The memory of it saying his name gave him gooseflesh.


What is it? he thought frantically. It was just too dark to see.

"Who are you? Silas half-shouted into the night. He was surprised at the timber of fear he heard in his voice as the words cut through the night. His eyes were glued to the trees where he'd seen the motion, his bow instintively half drawn, though not yet pointed at the target.
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Old Sep 17th, 2010, 03:19 PM
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"Szznngg--g... wha- Followed?" Dan blearily looks about in the darkness. "Followed by who? By Bob?" The two friends were several miles upriver now from Lehman's Hollow. The going would be very tough for anyone to keep up -- especially Rambob, who wasn't a fraction of the woodsman that Silas was. Trackless wilderness towered on either bank, and the river current was fast. Still, Dan knows that anything can happen out here, and Silas actually seemed spooked. The wizard listens for a good minute, his oar across his knees. When only the trickle of water and the sounds of waking birds greets his ear, he shakes his head. "Eh, it's nothing. OK OK, I'll steer and you get some shuteye."

The sun rises, and Dan enjoys it puffing on a bit of moss as Silas sleeps. Around noon the water begins to get rough. The sound of crashing water soon fills the air: rapids ahead. When Silas opens his eyes, Dan is already pulling the canoe onto a muddy bank between two large rocks. "We're going to have to carry it a ways -- the river climbs for the next couple of miles."

So with the sun beating on their backs, the boys heft the supply-laden canoe and slowly begin picking their way along the riverbank. Some of the rapids along the river drop more than 15', but most are only a few feet. In all, it's a gorgeous little hike on a sunny day, but Dan needs to rest frequently, as it's also hot, heavy work. "Let's at least have some lunch, I'm totally beat," he says. There's a great willow tree nearby, split right down the middle and blackened. But the ancient strike didn't kill it, and it continues to grow, split in twain ever since.

The companions lay the canoe down in the shade of the willow, then Dan roots around in his pack. In a moment, he pulls out a little packet: "Check this out, Keil stix, compliments of Yoseph Kutsop." He hands one of the smoked treats to Silas. "I got some paprika bacon too, but we'll save that for later." Magic was mostly a woman's pasttime; but Yoseph, the local butcher, was one of the few other men in town (beside Dan) known to dabble. Friends said Yoseph worked some kind of enchantment into his product, while opponents claimed it was the customer over whom Yoseph placed his spell -- why else would they ever eat his sausages?

Whatever the case, Silas and Dan felt there was some hidden virtue in the Stix, and set in hungrily.

Dan suddenly brightens, then takes out a wooden cup. "Good stuff -- deserves a good drink. What do you say we have a little sip of ol' Dad's wine? Those idiots in Archebald wouldn't notice a couple of flagons missing from a three gallon keg, right? I heard the innkeep is a drunk."
DM's NoteRoll a Perception or K (Nature) check (or both?).

Silas heals another HP for the night of rest as usual.

Last edited by mountainbound; Sep 17th, 2010 at 03:21 PM.
  #6  
Old Sep 23rd, 2010, 07:08 PM
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"I don't think we should, Dan." Silas looked at the keg, and Dan could clearly see the longing in his eyes. "And in any case, I think we should keep our wits about us tonight. I'm telling you, we were followed. Whatever it was, it wasn't anything I've seen before." Silas paused, looking down the ground and booting a small pebble with the toe of his boot, sending it flying across the campsite. Silas watched it roll into the trees behind Dan. He wasn't sure if he should even share what he was thinking.

"Dan, whatever it was could speak. And it wasn't human. I'm sure of it."

Perception checkPerception check
Dice Roll:
1d20+6 (18)+6 Total = 24


Knowledge (nature) CheckNature Knowledge
Dice Roll:
1d20+7 (7)+7 Total = 14
  #7  
Old Sep 25th, 2010, 02:34 PM
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"All right, all right," Dan conceeds over the wine. "I guess we'll be in Archebald in a couple of days anyway." The young wizard doesn't say much about Silas's story of the strange caller, but instead lounges on the grass beneath the split willow, gnawing on the last of the smoked sausage. Perhaps he was concocting a counter-argument to get at the wine, but kept his peace for now.

Meanwhile, Silas gets up and begins inspecting the old willow. Beyond it a waterfall crashes, sending over a nice cool breeze every so often, to help with the heat of the summer afternoon. The ranger begins to follow the dark lines where the tree was once burned by the ancient lightning strike. Soon he lets out a quiet whistle. The marks looked the same as any other tree that had been struck, but the angle was all wrong. It appeared to Silas that, rather than being hit from above, the willow had been blasted by a bolt at the level of the ground -- horizontally. He knew of no oddities of weather that could cause that to happen. But then again, the tree was old, and it had been many, many years since it suffered the lightning. Who knows what tricks nature could play over the years?

Continuing his scan of the area, Silas comes upon a site even more curious. "What the..." he breathes. He was no slouch when it came to tracking, and staring at the dirt, it seemed very clear that someone had passed this way recently. Indeed, there was a trail of sorts -- one made by someone skilled in not disturbing the woods when they walked. The trail stopped near the willow, at a place near the small pond by the waterfall -- a good place for bathing or getting water. In the opposite direction, it wound between a stand of poplar trees, climbing higher up a hill, away from the river. Very strange, since no one lived in these parts -- the wilderness in this new world was far too dangerous for anyone to live outside the saftey of other men.

At this point Dan notices something has caught his friend's eye and gets up to join Silas. "What'd you find?"
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Old Sep 26th, 2010, 08:36 PM
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Silas didn't answer right away. He squatted down, ignoring the slight soreness of his leg, and examined his find. "Tracks", he said absently, his attention still focused on the ground. "And fresh ones at that. Dan, whoever, or whatever made these knew what they were about. These tracks were made by someone well versed in woodlore. Silas' mind was racing. Could it have been made by the creatures calling me name? Silas really didn't know. But he wanted to find out.

Silas took out his bow, checking it to make sure all was in order. Once he was sure that it was, he slung it back over his shoulder, and checked the rest of his gear to make sure it was solid, and would not rattle as he was moving. He'd performed similar checks a thousand times before and the routine gave him confidence. He touched the hilt of his rapier, wondering at the comfort its presence gave him.

"I want to follow the tracks for a bit. Silas looked up at Dan, but didn't meet his eyes. "Do you want to come with, or stay here with the boat? Silas paused for a moment, hesitating. "I know I can move faster, and more quietly on my own, but I'm not sure we should split up out here. I don't know how either of us would fare alone if another crawler decides to show its ugly head."
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 09:35 AM
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"I don't know of anybody said to live out here in the wilderness. There's no farms for miles in either direction. We should stick together," Dan says. He reaches into the canoe and grabs his staff. "All right, lead on."

Silas walks several paces in front of the wizard, searching the ground to keep to the path. After about ten minutes, it winds around a hill and upward, past boxelders as thick as an oxcart. Finally there's a break in the trees ahead, and Silas spots a number of ruined stone buildings perched on top of the hill above. They have the same ancient, crumbling character as the pillars near Lehman's Hollow, but not much more detail can be seen without going nearer.

Dan carefully steps beside Silas and looks out of the trees at the assemblage of weathered buildings above. "Another old set of ruins. Looks deserted. Shall we take a look?"
DM's NoteThe path you've been following goes on ahead between a few of the structures, down a central lane through the ruins. You can also veer off the path and loop around the hill through the forest to get another view, but the trees are thick and it won't be easy to be quiet (Stealth check needed if you go this way and want to be quiet about it).

Last edited by mountainbound; Sep 27th, 2010 at 09:49 AM.
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 05:07 PM
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Silas held up his hand for Dan to be quiet and he stood stock still, listening. His eyes roved around the perimeter, looking for motion. "We should definitely check it out, but the tracks roll right through the middle of this thing, Silas whispered, so low that Dan had to strain his ears to hear him. "I'm going to go sneak up and around that hill to see if I can get a better look at what we're about to walk into here. You stay low, and still while I'm gone." Silas gave Dan a stern look, "and no pipe! You can smell that thing from miles away." Silas took off his pack and handed it to Dan. He kept only his weapons. He wanted to move as silently as possible, just in case.

"I shouldn't be long. Silas gave Dan a brief salute and set off to scout ahead, his mind very much focused on the task at hand.

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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 05:08 PM
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perception and stealthStealth
Dice Roll:
1d20+7 (20)+7 Total = 27


Perception
Dice Roll:
1d20+6 (17)+6 Total = 23

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Old Sep 28th, 2010, 09:26 AM
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Quiet as a cat, Silas slinks away through the twining undergrowth toward the scattering of ruins atop the hill, leaving Dan with the packs -- and an empty pipe. The ranger skirts around the trees, careful to avoid touching the poisonous vines tangling between them. And beyond the vines, a thick carpet of briers and nettles stretching from the border of the trees to the edges of the stone structures greets you. It's almost as though the nasty vegetation was intentionally placed around the hill to make any approach difficult. It would have snagged most anyone trying to push through it, but somehow the young ranger keeps his balance and deftly escapes the thorns with barely a snag.

In moments, you're creeping around the first of the stones. It's a dolmen standing 15' high. There seems to be a wide ring of such stones, some fallen, some still upright, encircling the hilltop. The roofless structures inside the wide ring look tiny in comparison to the huge guardian stones. Without even a scrape of his sole on the ground, Silas sidles up next to one of the crumbling buildings and peers through a span in the piled rock. It's a long building -- or was, once, with one high side still largely in tact. Arching openings, which might have once held glass, allow light to pour in. More poisonous vines and nettles have taken residence inside the building. You notice a few smaller pillars with a flat stone atop them, like an alter of sorts inside. Everything is overgrown, however, and it's tough to discern more without going in. In one corner the vegetation disappears, and it looks like there is a hole, perhaps once a stairway, leading under the "church," as you decide to call it.

You're about to investigate the next building when you hear a sharp hiss. An animal? You wheel around with your rapier, but there's nothing nearby. The sound comes again, and you realize that it's the sound of water being thrown on a hot flame. Creeping around to the side of the church, you see an odd sight.

A bearded man crouches near a campfire that he's built in the middle of the assemblage of ruins. He's bare-chested and has the scars of many battles on his hairy back. The fire looks incredibly hot -- there is no smoke, just the quiet whoosh of the flames. He has several oddments carefully placed nearby: Holly leaves, a dagger, a pile of white sand, and an earthen bowl filled with some liquid. He's saying something in a strange language and staring intently into the flames. Not far away, a large mountain lion lays on the dirt, it's pink tongue sticking out of its mouth in the heat of the afternoon, and the fire. The great cat is alert, watchful of both the man and the area around -- but it hasn't detected Silas.

The man pours the rest of the liquid on the fire, resulting in yet another hiss. He raises his voice, calling a word over and over. And then... a face appears out of the flames with a loud whoosh. Dark spaces make up its eyes and mouth, and when it speaks, the skin shivers on Silas's arms. With a voice low and infinitely far away, the fire answers the bearded man's call. A conversation of sorts ensues, with the mountain lion looking on all the while. It is only after several moments that you realize the man has switched to the common tongue. He's saying: "...crawling up from the deepest holes. The time is coming, I can feel it. I've seen the mark of the Delvers and I know it to be true. What must I do?"

"Silas!"
Dan's voice shatters the scene.

You wince to hear your name ring out over the ruins. Out by the fire, the mountain lion is on its feet in an instant, wary of the unexpected call. The bearded man and the thing in the fire have stopped talking for the moment.

"Silas!!! Sh!t!!!" Dan calls again from the thick forest below, fear making his words shrill. "Help!!!"
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Old Oct 19th, 2010, 10:15 PM
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"Damn!" Silas muttered, forgetting himself. He'd come so far, so perfectly. Even the big cat hadn't noticed him and that was something. He didn't know what to make of the strange sight before him, or the new, fresh terror that lanced through him at the sound of Dan's cry for help.. A part of his mind reminded him that the best course of action would be to stay still, and make a silent, careful approach back to Dan. There was no telling what, or how many enemies he'd blunder into. He couldn't begin to guess if it was even wise to draw the attention of the bearded man, which he would certainly do if he wasn't careful. But there was nothing for it. Fear for his friend won out and after the way the last few days had gone, Silas could only assume the worst. Silas didn't even hesitate. He stood up and dashed through the brush back to Dan, the furies be damned with what happened. [I]I might only get one shot to save his life, he thought frantically.

Sword in hand, Silas blasted through the woods, the hunter inside of him wincing at all the racket he was making. Silas just hoped he would not be too late. He surpressed an urge to shout back to Dan to tell him he was coming. He might only get once shot at this, and he didn't want to blow it by shouting like a damn fool. The noise he was making was already too much for comfort.
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Old Oct 20th, 2010, 09:24 PM
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You quickly tear yourself away from the strange scene and try to make your way back through the nettles and briers as fast as you can -- this time ripping and tearing your clothes and skin. When you near the place where you left Daniel, you can see the branches of the trees overhead shaking and swaying. Ahead, the ground seems to slither with an unnatural rustle. You see your friend hanging about seven feet above the forest floor, a thick cord strangling around his throat, left arm, and chest.

Attached to the nearby elder tree you notice a bunch of woody vines, as thick as a man's thigh, writhing and pulling -- seeming to be hoisting the young wizard further into the tree. Beneath Dan and all around, the ground seems alive with moving vines and vegetation. Indeed, too late you notice that the plants right beneath your feet have begun moving, trying to wrap themselves around your boots and legs.
Combat NotesYou are about 25' away from Dan.

Reflex save, DC 12 or you become Entangled.

K (Nature) to determine whether you can identify what sort of creature has Dan.

Enemy Status
Vine (main trunk), AC 13.
  #15  
Old Oct 31st, 2010, 08:25 PM
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The run towards Dan seemed to take forever. Silas cursed the thick forest brush as it grabbed and tore at his clothes and skin, slowing him down. Come on, come on, he thought frantically. Silas no longer cared about the noise he was creating as he barreled through the undergrowth. Fear drove him on, We should have never split up.

When Silas burst into the clearing, he stopped for second to take stock of the situation. He gulped air in deep, deliberate breaths. Silas was momentarily stunned by the scene playing out before him. What the......

Silas franticly searched for a way to get Dan down. His assesment was short lived, however. Something grabbed his foot. The sheer surprise of that touch caused Silas to leap violently away in fear, yelping as if he'd been stung.

"Dan! He yelled, taking a swing with his sword at the nearest section of the wriggling vine.


Reflex Save, K Nature, AttackReflex Save
Dice Roll:
1d20+5 (15)+5 Total = 20


K Nature

Dice Roll:
1d20+7 (7)+7 Total = 14




Attack Vine

Dice Roll:
1d20+3 (19)+3 Total = 22


Last edited by Krimchee; Oct 31st, 2010 at 08:26 PM.
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