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  #46  
Old 05-29-2020, 03:05 PM
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Vidar
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Catching up to Solveig and continuing on with Nolmendil in their ranks Vidur was much more confident in their ability to take on anything they might come across in their pursuit, although he would never admit it. There had been stories of horrible things lurking in the Mirkwood for those who wander into the wilds and he was sure that whatever it was that had taken on the merchant couldn't have been good. As they came across the stream Vidar stopped and looked at the others.

"Well I'll be an elves uncle... this is no good. You see that Solveig?" he said looking upon his ally. She had proven her way with the wilderness so far in their journey and he was looking for some sort of confirmation. Looking at the elf he enlisted his experience as well. "Nolemdil, you may be familiar in these things as well. That there looks to be an enchanted stream.. if he were to drink from it, even if only a sip... well if I be right it would explain why he doesn't recall the death of that damn gold hoarding dragon." he said a matter of factually. "Perhaps one of you knows of a cure?" he asks.


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  #47  
Old 05-29-2020, 11:44 PM
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Solveig
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As they reached the stream, Solveig waved at her companions to wait and knelt down to inspect the tracks Baldor had left in the mud. They were easy enough to follow – Baldor was no woodsman – but she wanted to be sure I'm presuming that my previous Survival check of 21 would have revealed if there was. I'm just roleplaying this through.there were no other tracks.

"That there looks to be an enchanted stream.. If he were to drink from it, even if only a sip... well if I be right it would explain why he doesn't recall the death of that damn gold hoarding dragon."

Solveig rose up, shaking her head. "The elves warned us not to drink from the stream. Whatever they may think of us, and we of them, they would not lead us astray on this. And Baldor would take their warnings seriously." Thinking back to Baldor's words at the camp, however, there was another explanation. "Suppose Baldor knew the stream was enchanted, and that drinking from it might cause him to lose his memories. He might have done it on purpose. If he was there when Smaug attacked Esgaroth. If he lost someone during the attack. That might be a memory he would wish to forget."

She glanced back in the direction of Lake-town, and for a moment, just a moment, a haunted look crossed her face. No one who hadn't been there during the attack could understand what it had been like. They thought they did, but they didn't. They understood fear, but Smaug had been something else. Not just fear, but terror. Terror that lingered, like the smell of a woodfire after it had been doused. Yes, she could understand the desire to forget. Foolishness, certainly, under the current circumstances. But understandable foolishness. All it would take was a moment of weakness...

"Perhaps one of you knows of a cure?"

"If it was natural, maybe," Solveig replied, taking a deep breath. "But you said it yourself – he's enchanted. Maybe it will wear off itself. Maybe it won't. We have more immediate concerns. If he hasn't already been killed and eaten by something, we need to make sure that doesn't happen. And we need to make sure it doesn't happen to us." With that, she resumed following Baldor's tracks. As they were so easy to follow, she did so
Dice Stealth check with advantage:
2d20+4kh1 (19, 6 (keeping 19) )+4 Total = 23
more stealthily, and spent more time
Dice Perception check with expertise:
d20+7 (14)+7 Total = 21
checking out their surroundings for perils.

OOCDue to Known Lands still applying, Solveig has advantage on Stealth checks and 'expertise' on Perception checks, and can move stealthily at a normal pace. Alas, she knows of no way to magically make dwarves stealthy.

 
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  #48  
Old 05-30-2020, 01:28 AM
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Nolmendil
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The elven scholar nodded sagely at the words of his companions, his thoughts in alignment with their own. "Indeed my friends, you are right. I fear, the magic of the stream is the reason Baldor is not thinking straight. Why the waters didn’t cause him to fall asleep however, I cannot say. In order to know more about their effect upon him, I will have to closely examine him. If luck is with us, we may only need to wait for the magic to loosen its grip upon him. If not... I might be able to help in some way. In any case, the most important thing now is to bring him back to the camp. The Shadow clings fast to this forest and I fear what might be lurking among the trees."

Increasing his pace, the Noldo hoped they would reach Baldor before something ill befell him… or them. Leaving the path was risky but it could not be helped at the moment. At the very least, he was not alone. Solveig’s and Vidar’s presence did much to bolster his spirits. No matter what dangers they had to face, his companions could be trusted, that much he knew.

 
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Old 05-30-2020, 01:56 PM
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Braegar gave a silent nod to Grimfara. He had been surprised that anyone else had Chosen to stay, but was glad of it just the same.

Nothing could be found among Baldor’s belongings that would explain his behavior.

Why aren't you helping my father.

Braegar’s face took on a pained expression, "We will. We’re trying to find out what’s wrong with him."

He hated the idea of leaving Belgo and Shadowmaw on their own. "Nolmendil said they would be protected if they remain here." He said, as much to himself as Grimfara, he knew from his own experience that the Elf Path had long been the safest way through Mirkwood. But ‘the safest’ way was not the same as saying ‘devoid of danger.’

Braegar took his bow and quiver from his things and placed them into Belgo’s hand. "Stay." He commanded Shadowmaw, "You too," he said, turning back to Belgo. Shadowmaw gave a whine and Braegar rubbed one of his ears. "Do not leave the path; if we do not return, go back the way we came."

He turned away, motioning to Grimfara, "I don’t want to leave them." he whispered, "but Nolmendil said to join them when we could and I think we should trust his counsel. Besides, right now Baldor and the others will be in far more peril than Belgo and Shadow."

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Old 05-31-2020, 10:08 PM
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The journey
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Grimfara gave a confused expression towards the boy when he questioned their motives. Can he not see we are simply looking out for you? he thought to himself, almost angry for deciding to stay in the first place. When Braegar turned to him and spoke about joining Nolmendil and the rest of the group, the Beorning nodded in agreement. Simply no one was a match for Shadowmaw and he would keep Belgo safe. Moving quickly to the hound Grimfara got on one knee and slapped his arm against his chest before batting him on the head. He jumped up and without a word ran off into the wood with Braergar, leaving him to lead the way. A smile crept on his face as they reached their steady pace, he might get the chance for a real fight just yet.
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  #51  
Old 06-02-2020, 11:28 PM
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Vormund
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Vormund awoke with a start.

"..." Shaking the drowsiness from his head, the ranger surveyed his surroundings. Following his watch, the man had taken to sleep abnormally quickly, falling deep into his slumber... his reaction to the unfolding event delayed by mere minutes. That was all it had taken for half the group to be gone however, and as Vormund began making sense of the scattered bits of dialogue he heard from Belgo and Braegar, he got enough of an idea as to the nature of the emergency.

"Wait..." Vormund stood up, grabbing his weapons as he made his way over to Grimfara and Braegar. "We three should go together. It'll be dangerous to separate ourselves any more than we already have; at least as long as we are abandoning the path..." Vormund spoke with urgency, though his tone was slightly quiet. He was deeply embarrassed at having failed to act sooner, and the Dúnedain knew he had to redeem himself by helping Baldor and his comrades as best he could.
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  #52  
Old 06-04-2020, 09:31 AM
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"Ah. I thought you had gone with Solveig and the others..." Said Braegar, blinking away his surprise. Had he really not noticed the ranger was still in the camp the whole while? His skills at remaining unseen must have been better than he thought. "Sorry. Of course, we should stay together. Keep an eye open for signs of spiders. They fear the elf path, but sometimes venture near it just the same."


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Old 06-04-2020, 10:30 PM
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The Long Road
Journey through MirkwoodDestination: The Forest Gate
Approximate Travel Length: 160 miles (9 days travel)
Peril Rating: 3
  • Guide: Solveig
  • Scout: Vormund + Braegar (help action gives advantage)
  • Hunter: Solveig
  • Look-out: Nolmendil + Grimfara or Vidar (help action gives advantage)
Traveled Thus Far: 2 Days - 36 Miles

Vidar was quick to catch up with the others that were tracking their errant employer, having no desire to spend any time in Mirkwood alone, though his dwarven pride would never admit to such a weakness.

Solveig made quick work of following Baldor's tracks, following them to the edge of the stream. There she looked for other tracks, signs that perhaps Baldor was not alone. At least her keen eyes saw only those of the merchant and she could breath at least a little easier knowing he was alone.

Nolmendil agreed with the conclusion of Vidar that Baldor must have drank from the enchanted stream, though the question of why still remained a mystery. As for a cure for the hapless man, none were fully certain if or how that might be obtained, though Nolmendil felt certain he would be able to help in that regard.

Back at the camp, Braegar had learned as much as he was able from Baldor's belongings and from the little information he could gleam from Belgo. Whether it was the elf's urging that he return back to them quickly or the boy's pleas that he help his father, Braegar decided to head back toward the others that were already in pursuit of Baldor. With a quick word, he commanded Shadowmaw to watch over the boy, resting easier knowing that he would not be left alone at the campsite.

Grimfara had trouble relating to the emotional mindset of the distraught boy and took little convincing to return back to the others with Braegar. As they were leaving, the pair nearly tripped over a waking Vormund, who had somehow managed to sleep through all of the evenings excitement. Quick to his feat, Vormund and his two companions made haste into the trees surrounding the campsite in pursuit of their allies.

Solveig was just about to continue following the stream when the others arrived, having moved quickly to catch up with those that had gone ahead. The company reunited, the Barding was quick to follow the trail of the merchant's mad dash through Mirkwood. For several hours the chase endured until finally Solveig suddenly stopped, a perplexed look upon her face. The tracks that had been clear as day to follow had simply vanished before them as though Baldor had simply disappeared into thin air.



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  #54  
Old 06-04-2020, 11:40 PM
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Vormund
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Vormund took a moment to crouch down, flexing his knees as the group stopped to reasses. Quietly, the ranger observed Solveig, whose skill at tracking had proven quite advanced up to this point... and yet Baldor had managed to elude them in his unwell state.

"It’s almost as if he just... flew away." Vormund studied the tracks for a moment before turning toward the others, trying to make sense of it. As his eyes fell upon Brager however... the cogs began to turn.

‘ Keep an eye open for signs of spiders. They fear the elf path, but sometimes venture near it just the same.’

Vormund had heard stories of the giant spiders that had made their home in this forest... to his immense delight, he’s been lucky enough not to run into any on his original trip through Mirkwood, but it looked as if that might change soon.

"He was... lifted off the ground. Pulled away by something." Immediately, Vormund’s hand began to move toward his bow, the dúnedain turning his attention to the trees above them, looking for webs... or the beasts that inhabited them.
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Dice Perception Check (Looking for signs of spiders):
1d20+4 (18)+4 Total = 22
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Old 06-05-2020, 01:09 AM
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Old 06-05-2020, 01:30 AM
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Solveig
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"Something?" Solveig responded. "It would have to be a big 'something', to lift a grown man off his feet against his will." Despite her scepticism, she too I'm presuming that my previous Perception check of 21 would have revealed if there was. Again, I'm just roleplaying this through.scanned the trees for threats. Finding nothing, she shrugged off her backpack and weapons, and began to climb the tallest tree she could find. Despite her armor, she experienced little difficulty. It was if the tree had been made to be climbed. Every time she looked to climb higher, there was another branch right there. And every branch she picked was sound and able to bear her weight.

In no time at all, she reached the upper branches of the trees. Keeping a careful hold of the tapering trunk, Solveig scanned the forest in all directions, looking for anything out of the ordinary.

OOCDue to Known Lands still applying, Solveig has 'expertise' on Perception checks.

 
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Old 06-05-2020, 07:07 AM
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"He was... lifted off the ground. Pulled away by something."

"A good guess," Braegar agreed, as he came to stand beside Vormund, "And one that seems likely to me as well. Though be prepared for surprises that could not be guessed at as well. I doubt even Radagast knows all the secrets that Mirkwood conceals."

He peered up at the dark canopy, trying to will his eyes to pierce the gloom.

When he looked back down, Solveig had already climbed a goodly ways up one of the trees. "Wait... is that wise?" He whispered, though he wasn't sure she heard him. She climbed with a deftness that Braegar could scarcely have believed while wearing so much armor, and soon moved beyond his seeing. He drew his sword from its scabbard, finding himself sorely missing his bow; though in the dark, perhaps it was better he didn't have it.


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Old 06-05-2020, 03:02 PM
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Vormund
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As the ranger’s eyes combed the branches around them, he finally spotted what he’d be looking for... sure enough, webbing seemed to be hanging from one of the lower branches. But it wasn’t attached to anything else, a small, broken clump hanging down toward the forest floor. As Vormund followed it down with his eyes, he caught something ahead that he’d totally missed in his search for the tracks; drag marks.

Making his way over to the edge of the open area, Vormund crouched down and surveyed the ground beneath the broken web. Sure enough.... signs of struggle. And not all together far from where the tracks had ended. In his haste and hindered by darkness, Baldor must have run into the web, getting caught in it and pulling it down. The markings were faint, somewhat obscured by dirt and dust that had likely been kicked up by a struggling Baldor, but the story was clear.

"... Not lifted... dragged." Vormund looked up at the others, pointing down at his findings. "Baldor was caught in a giant spider’s web. Then something dragged him away... likely a spider, but we can’t rule out other beasts. Solveig!" Vormund called up to the woman in the tree, pointing off in the direction of the drag marks. "Can you see anything that way?"

It was unlikely, given the lack of sunlight to illuminate an already very dark forest, that she would be able to glean much from her vantage point. Still, it didn’t hurt to try, and as Vormund waited to hear back, he returned his focus to the new lead.
Actions & RollsVormund attempts you further track Baldor and glean what he can about what might have taken the man.

Survival: 15
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Old 06-05-2020, 04:04 PM
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Vidar
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Vidar looked at the tracks he did not see as if he was picking up on the same thing as the Wanderer. "Right... dragged, was just about to say that." he commented. "At least it is a spider and not something that could fly away with one of us to feed its young." the dwarf commented. "Now let's do what any reasonable dwarf would do and tack this thing down so I can introduce it to me axe." he insisted.

"Which way did it go?"


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Old 06-06-2020, 01:03 AM
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Nolmendil
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To hear that Baldor had been caught in the web of a giant spider and then dragged off to some fetid lair to be devoured by the beast made Nolmendil shiver, the image his mind projected much more vivid than what he would have liked. It was such a pity he had not studied the creatures of Middle Earth as extensively as other subjects like herb-lore or the history of the Eldar and the kingdoms of Men. Still, he was able to recall some information about them from books that mentioned how the beasts had taken over the great forest of his cousins. Hearing the dwarf’s words, the Noldo nodded in agreement. For once he was of one mind with Vidar. What could save Baldor now was courage and the strength of their arms. Only… they should hurry, lest their efforts be in vain.

Looking around to make certain that the creatures had not used Baldor to lure them to an ambush, Nolmendil quickly unshouldered his bow and drew an arrow. "Be careful! The giant spiders of Mirkwood are no mere animals who patiently wait for the unfortunate to find themselves caught in their webs. They are ancient creatures capable of speech and complex thought, relying as much upon cunning as their strength and speed to bring down their enemies and fill their bellies. Their bite is painful but above all you should beware their sticky webs and the poison of their stings, potent enough to paralyze a horse within moments. I know the way to counter it, should misfortune strike, but it would be better if it didn’t come to that. Let us hurry but also keep our eyes open. The creatures often hunt in packs and delight in descending upon their unaware prey from all sides. I fear, our speed and vigilance is Baldor’s only hope."

 
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