Codex II-Chapter 3

This page is part of the campaign story. << Previous Chapter | Next Chapter >>

Orensland was up bright and early. He was softly whistling to himself as he waited outside the keep, the sun rising. Ranna came out, followed by her new master. Rynn was still rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

“You’re up early,” the ranger said.

“Couldn’t sleep.”

“Yeah, well, Ranna wants to be out and about.” The ranger yawned. “I suppose I feel rested enough.”

“Good.”

Aranda was up already, and the villagers all pitched in to supply a good meal for the heroes. A large table was set up, used only for grand occasions, Aranda assured them. Accolades were made especially to Kyrnyn, who had so decisively and clearly conquered his demons, and to the end of the ettin. Kyrnyn spent a few minutes at the newly erected graves, praying over the dead. Amara reported that he had spent a good hour in prayer at the shrine before falling asleep.

As the breakfast meal concluded, Malwick stumbled towards all of them. His eyes were bloodshot, and he was clearly a little unsteady on his feet.

A smile split Orensland’s face. It had worked.

Eryx (DM)
Only Orensland knows what's actually going on, but the rest of you can roll knowledge checks to determine if your characters can figure it out. Rynn and Khaska get a +2 to their rolls for actually having watched the goblins directly after imbibing the red leaf.

What do you want to do? Since I'm sitting right next to Crosis (yay for family vacations!) he'll get to post first, which is good. Since he knows what's going on, he'll be the first to react.

And FYI, I will, since I'm, as previously mentioned, on vacation, not be posting until after I return. Next Wednesday is the earliest I will post the next part.

Crosis

Orensland? Absolutely, wickedly overjoyed.

Knowing that Malwick is probably susceptible to suggestions at this point, I figure we should just try to get out of this whole mess. Orensland would try to persuade Malwick into letting Amara leave- he's probably not feeling the greatest after his lovely narcotic night. Maybe persuading him that travelling to Lord Yellman's isn't worth the effort? Plus he'll have more friends for letting Amara go? Plus his reputation would be further tarnished if Yellman disagreed with him? Just a few ideas. I can't think of anything else we'd try to get out of him at this stage aside from leaving.

It's my vote we start heading to Hammerdine- Orensland still has a rotting head in his bag he's ready to be rid of. Even he gets tired of that sort of thing after a while.

Sayyadina
At this point, Amara doesn't much care what's inflicting misery and embarrassment on Malwick as long as something is; she'd probably raise an eyebrow at Orensland's grin and smile in approval. She'd be just as happy not to go back with everyone if others can persuade Malwick to stop being stubborn, but she herself doesn't really feel like provoking him much more right now. Unless he starts the snippiness, of course—then she'll happily join in. :D Hammerdine sounds good to me.

Also—prepare a read magic spell? Really? Do I look like that elven twerp from Hammerdine? Hand me the spellbook/scrolls and I'll take a look. :) Assuming Amara's free to examine the items, she'll also cast a detect magic spell on whatever else was found.

BlackWolf
What kind of sorcery is this that allows her to avoid preparing spells? =D

  • General knowledge check to see if Rynn realizes what's wrong with Malwick: 19 (rolled 16 + 1 INT + 2 bonus)

If he realizes what's wrong with Malwick, he won't say anything. But later he'll pull Orensland aside and mention that such a tactic could have made matters worse, no matter how much Malwick may have 'deserved' it.

Rynn feels like everything will work out if they're patient. He'll reassure the others, especially Amara, if they seem upset or anxious. Hopefully we can convince Malwick to drop the charges. But if not, Rynn is happy to accompany those traveling to Lord Yellman or just wait it out in Newkeep. He has no preference and will defer to what the rest of the party decides.

Khaska

Knowledge check: 6 = 2 + 2 (int) + 2 (bonus)

So… that's abysmal. I'm guessing Khaska woke up drowsy or something, and doesn't even look at Malwick? XD Either way, if later he finds or figures out (through conversation, or when they appear in court, or whenever) what's going on, Orensland will need to get ready for a stern reprimand. Khaska thinks that they have a good enough chance to get off without much ado that taking chances like that could significantly harm their opportunities - let alone their reputation with Lord Yellman and anyone with whom he associates! Maybe Orensland is used to running with the sketchy crowd, but Khaska wants nothing to do with it.

Khaska would also be willing to travel to see Lord Yellman, to be of whatever service needed in the court.

DeltaWolf

Knowlage check: 4 (3+1 Mod) That is probably for the best!

On the one hand Jenika wants Malwick to just drop the charges, on the other hand she feels she must respect the local law. The net result is that she will do nothing, just hope. But she will not allow anyone to forcibly free Amara.

“Did you sleep well, Malwick?” he asked, completely straight-faced. The constable looked around, realizing that he was late. The rest of the party was already through most of their meals, and Kyrnyn and Sir Nicholas were also at the table.

“I felt rested when I woke up,” he said. There was a place between Kyrnyn and Sir Nicholas, and the constable sat between them, coughing and wiping at his eyes.

Orensland was content to let things go for a little while. Malwick was groggy and kept wiping at wet, bloodshot eyes. Aranda put up some token resistance to Amara’s arrest, but the constable overrode the elder with a single snappy remark, and she didn’t push. The rogue did notice that the elder woman kept pushing food in front of Amara, and the sorceress ate until she had to wave another plate away. The others all seemed slightly resigned to a forced trip to Hillsdale, but Orensland knew that Malwick was likely primed for some suggestion. As Malwick downed another glass of water, the rogue looked up at him. “So, we still going to go allll the way down to Hillsdale?”

“That’s the notion.”

“Is it really worth all that trouble?” Khaska reached over to put a hand on Orensland’s arm, but the rogue gently pushed the cleric’s hand aside and leaned forward. “You know that Lord Yellman is probably just going to let her go anyway. Why make the trip if you’re just going to embarrass yourself?”

Malwick looked at Orensland with bloodshot eyes. “What are you saying?”

The rogue shrugged. “Just that I think you have little chance of winning a case against my friend, and that you'll look silly, and will probably not have as many friends when you're done.” He shrugged again. “That’s all.” He stood up. “I guess I’d better be getting my stuff. I’d like to be done with this business so we can all,” he paused behind Amara and rested his hands on her shoulders, “be on our way to Hammerdine by the end of the day.” He moved to leave. The rest of the party, and Aranda, were watching him. As he moved off, Amara looked at him, and he noticed that she had a bit of a smirk on her face.

He did not notice that Rynn’s expression had gone flat, the corners of his mouth barely turning down. Ranna noticed, however, and nuzzled closer to her master from her spot on the bench next to him, licking up at his hand.

Malwick was staring at his plate, still sniffing occasionally from his watering eyes. He looked up at Orensland, who was moving towards the door. The rogue paused. “Yes.”

“You really think I’ll look silly?”

“What do you think?” the rogue asked mildly.

“Malwick,” Aranda jumped in, reaching at the constable’s hand from where she sat next to him. “Just let her go. Nobody was hurt. It does seem foolish to me.”

The constable seemed conflicted, and also quite miserable, still wiping at his eyes and coughing occasionally. It almost made Orensland feel bad for a moment. But the moment passed.

Malwick sighed. “Okay. You’re unarrested.”

Orensland straightened with a big grin on his face. “Excellent!”

“Thank you,” said Amara, giving Malwick a smile.

“You are a kind and just man,” Kyrnyn said. “You will do well protecting these people.”

Malwick didn’t quite seem to know what to do next, so Orensland thought they should get on their way. He didn’t want to give the redleaf a chance to wear off.

“I think we should head to Hammerdine!” he said.

Rynn stood, his hand scratching Ranna’s head. “We should send a message to Lord Yellman, informing him of our success.”

Kyrnyn stood. “I would gladly take such a message to Lord Yellman. It is the least I can do, and you good heroes should be on your way to Hammerdine.”

“He did say he would be able to make this worth our time,” Orensland said.

“I was wondering when you were going to bring that up,” Jenika said.

“Hey. I think about other things. Occasionally I try to help my friends out as well.” He looked right at Amara.

The sorceress stood up. “And your friends are most appreciative of it.”

Khaska turned to Kyrnyn. “I will write a message to Lord Yellman, if you will deliver it.”

“I will deliver your message.”

“And I will accompany him to Hillsdale,” Sir Nicholas said. “Lord Yellman asked that I returned when I was finished, but then I will return to my chapter house and send word to the Hammerdine chapter of the Knights about our doings. Now that the ettin has been slain and the gnomes have left, there is not much reason for me to stay.”

"The gnomes left?" asked Rynn.

The Knight nodded. "By the time I got to the ruins, they had left. There was evidence of their camp, but that was all. I reported back to Lord, and he sent me here to see if I could be of assistance with the ettin."

“And where will you go after Hillsdale,” Khaska asked Kyrnyn.

The cleric paused. “Honestly, I hadn’t given it much thought. My heart longs to worship in the Cathedral of Thakillestra the Gold again, in Sethrayin. It is where I was first anointed a cleric of Heironeous many years ago, and I would speak with the elders of the church there. Perhaps I will go there.” He looked over at Restik. “Though I intend no disrespect. Praying in the shrine was a most fulfilling experience last night.” He shrugged. “I imagine after talking with Lord Yellman, I will make my way up there, to tell my tale and see what the elders would have me do.”

“And your trip to Sethrayin will take you through Hammerdine?” asked Orensland.

“Yes. I imagine I could try to get work with traders or maybe book passage on a skyship headed there. The lands between Hammerdine and Sethrayin are not easily traveled.”

“Good! So, you could find us and bring us any reward that Lord Yellman has for us?” The rogue had a big grin on his face, and his head was slightly cocked to the side.

The cleric smiled. “Yes. I could do that.”

Eryx (DM)
So, Malwick is going to let you go. Kyrnyn is happy to go take your note to Lord Yellman, and would be able to catch up with you in Hammerdine with any reward money from Lord Yellman. Or, you could go back to Hillsdale and report yourselves. Either way, Kyrnyn and Sir Nicholas will be headed that way to report on the goings on up here, and in Kyrnyn’s place, to apologize and make amends as he can.

Basically, don’t worry about any reward money. You’ll get it in Hammerdine.

If you asked Sir Nicholas about the gnomes, he has no further information. By the time he got to the ruins, they were gone. With a sky ship, it’s impossible to track them.

Now that Malwick has let her go, Amara is able to examine the treasures. It looks like the scrolls are 3 Scrolls of Charm Person, and Stondylus’ spellbook has 64 legible pages. The statue of Boccob is not magic. If you want me to roll appraise checks for it, let me know. I’ve retconned the above part, and apologize for inadvertently insulting Amara for implying that she’s like that “elven twerp from Hammerdine.” :)

Also, I’m looking for a bit of feedback on this Codex (which is rapidly coming to a close). I more or less completely adapted it from this premade adventure,

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/oa/20000901a

and would like an email or something, if you like, about how well or poorly you think I adapted it. I’ve already discussed it with BlackWolf, and he gave me some good pointers on things I could have handled differently.

Anyway, my DMing questions aside, what will the party do next?

Thevarou
Khaska is eager to get on the way to Hammerdine, so he’s in favor of not backtracking to Hillsdale but instead sending a letter back to Lord Yellman to inform him of the happenings and results. The experiences he has had so far have been significantly different from anything he has ever lived before, witnessing several wholly new cultures at work. He is still unaccustomed to not being around his own people, and often pays attention to how they treat him – impressed when it is just the same as with other races, and not surprised when it’s not. *While he has externally maintained his composure, his encounters with elements that heretofore have been foreign and unknown, even mythical, have primed in his mind all the old tales and songs involving the lands to the North, the Dark Times, Markus, the Knights of the Silver Dragons, Tawru, Hammerdine – and he internally heady with the prospect of seeing such places. A bit of apprehension accompanies him at all times and keeps him under control, but it does not quell –and it even enhances – his excitement.

Another thing that will add to the conflicting emotions swimming about inside him is a Maha'i ceremonial necessity: while he had received permission to pursue the meaning of his first vision, he has yet to contact his superiors – the elders of the seminary he attended in Jevereshk, and which are the leaders of the transitional ‘clan’ he joined while a student there – to notify them of his further adventures. Given that he will be far from their consultation, he needs to write a letter asking for a special dispensation that would make certain legally that his actions are not to reflect on the seminary’s reputation. This means that he will once more be alone to a high degree, a prospect both empowering and daunting – though, for Khaska, it is more of the latter.

He’ll try to appraise the statue as well, though he will ask others to verify.

BlackWolf
Rynn is ready to head to Hammerdine. Given the circumstances, he feels that it would be best to leave sooner than later. But there's plenty of time for Khaska's letters to be written first.

Once they reach the big city, Rynn is hoping that they'll stop for a little while. He's anxious to try out his new tools in crafting a shortbow. And if the reward money is sufficient, he'll want to make some purchases too.

Beyond that, Rynn has no plans and no real goals. He won't want to stay in Hammerdine too long — the call of the wild draws him — but he's eager to help his new friends in whatever matters they might pursue.

Oh, and do we have an estimate of how long it will take to get to Hammerdine? Rynn will ask if anyone knows.

Thevarou
Oh, and just to clarify - only the letter to Lord Yellman would need to be composed before leaving. The other Khaska will probably write en route to Hammerdine, perhaps as they camp at night - after all, there will always be people leaving Hammerdine that will pass by Jevereshk, while Khaska (and I) is sure that no one's travelling from Newkeep or Hillsdale into the Wastes anytime soon, or that they could conveniently meet. I included the detail for purpose of conversations and storytelling. :)

Eryx
Travel from Newkeep to Hammerdine will take at least two weeks. On the world map, you are barely out of the wastes, really. So you'll have plenty of time to do things like train with Rana, write a letter or … talk amongst yourselves! Also, I made a small adjustment to the Knights of the Silver Dragons page and I would like some input on what the honorific title of the dragonriders should be.

Crosis

To Hammerdine!

As for what we do when we get there, the money is a big deal to Orensland. Orensland is feeling that his loot continues to exceed the weight and bulk that he prefers. Assuming we get enough money, he would like to buy a Heward's Handy Haversack. Then he doesn't have to worry about such tedious matters.

His original intentions in travelling to Hammerdine primarily involved… figuring out what to do from there. He never had actual business to attend to in Hammerdine. Hence, his association with the travelling group is beyond what he could have hoped for- he has always been care-free about his travels, and will go wherever the group travels to after. It's too much fun to give up.

And Eryx, we talked about Orensland's possibly picking up potionmaking of sorts, what with it's fun characteristics. I wait on your decision for that, but it seems Hammerdine would be the place to start.

…and what's with the confrontation between Rynn and Orensland? I was getting excited for that!

Sayyadina
Hammerdine sounds wonderful. Amara also has a vested interest in resolving the various rewards that the group has been promised, although she wouldn't be nearly as open about that as Orensland. When there, Amara wants to search for any libraries of magic or other sorcerers. In addition, she wants to learn more about the Knights (and if at all possible, meet more of their dragons). She's definitely interested in trying to acquire a circlet of persuasion and/or cloak of charisma if the rewards are sufficient to cover that.

When you say there are 64 legible pages, does that mean 64 pages inscribed with spells? If so, she'd like to use read magic to take a look—although spellbooks aren't really her thing, there well may be other mages in Hammerdine willing to buy it. Amara would also try to appraise the statue (and the spellbook, if it's not 64 blank pages).

BlackWolf
Yes, if Rynn did pick up on Orensland's tactic, he'll mention it while they travel. He won't get angry per se, and he's glad that it worked. But still it was an unnecessary gamble — from Rynn's point of view anyway.

As suggested, Rynn will work on training Ranna. Here are a couple of skill checks for good measure:

  • Handle Animal: 20 (rolled 14 + 6 bonus)
  • Survival: 21 (rolled 13 + 8 bonus)

Eryx (DM)
Can you roll one more survival check? (One for each week is my arbitrary distinction.) Also, there will be inns and things along the way. Will you be staying in those as a group, or will you be "camping" for lack of a better term.

Sayyadina
Amara will always vote for comfort. XD

BlackWolf
No problem.

  • Survival: 17 (rolled 9 + 8 bonus)

Rynn typically camps while traveling in the wild, but he certainly wouldn't mind the occasional inn.

DeltaWolf

Jenika is ok with what ever the group wants to do.

Orensland smiled. “Then I think we should head north. Sir Reitman did invite us to come by. I’d love to meet and talk more formally with a Dragonrider.”

Sir Nicholas’ jaw dropped open. “Sir Reitman invited you personally?” He looked at the group.

Rynn nodded. “We met him in the Wastes. He was tracking someone very dangerous, and came to our outpost, which had just been attacked the night before.”

The Knight straightened. “It has been an honor to fight by your sides. Please convey my respect and best wishes to Dragonrider Reitman.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” Amara snickered. “We’ll tell him you’re doing a good job.”

Jenika shot the sorceress a glance, but the Knight seemed to slump a little. Orensland put his hand on the Knight’s shoulder as he slipped by. “We’ll tell him so because you are doing a good job.”

“Your arrival was most timely,” said Khaska. “And your battle prowess was most welcome in fighting the ettin.” Sir Nicholas smiled a little, and he seemed slightly cheered.

Orensland seemed anxious to leave, and he kind of hurried them all as they prepared to leave. In an hour or so, though, they were on the road. Jenika and Amara took the lead, and Khaska moved up to walk with them. The Maha’i was clearly becoming more comfortable being with the women. Rynn smiled as he carried Ranna. Orensland was leading their horse. As the three in front rounded a bend, Rynn put out a hand to Orensland, and pulled on his sleeve to stop him.

The rogue turned. “Yes?”

“I’m glad it worked.” The ranger’s flat face showed that he was quite serious, and Orensland immediately knew what “it” was. “But such a tactic could have made matters much worse, not matter how much Malwick deserved it. Lord Yellman would have voted in our favor.”

Orensland shrugged. “He deserved it, and no harm done. Those in power should be helpful. Otherwise, what are they good for?” The rogue turned and continued on the path, the horse following.

Rynn was absentmindedly scratching Ranna’s head. “He’s trouble, but a good kind of trouble, right girl?” Then the ranger followed his friends. Hammerdine awaited.

Eryx (DM)
This will end Codex II. We’ll pick it up at Codex III now.

This page is part of the campaign story. << Previous Chapter | Next Chapter >>