Chapter 06: Why Can't We All Just 'Get Along'?

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Session Number: 16
Date: Sunday 19 April 2009
Venue: Alain's
PCs & Players:

Emily Ftr2/Rog1 (Tammi) (kills: none)
Enok Rgr3 (Alain) (kills: 1 guard, 2 guards [nonlethal])
Krag Clr3 (Fergus) (kills: 1 horse, 2 guards [nonlethal])
Rowaine Pal3 (Craig) (kills: 1 guard [nonlethal])
Vor-wrek Mnk3 (Densial) (kills: none)
Celestial Dogs CR1/3 (DM) (kills: 1 guard)

XP Awarded: TBC

Tammi finally gets her shit together and gives roleplaying another try.

[Tammi finally had enough time and sorted her rosters out so she didn't have to "work" Sunday nights!! xP]

The party leave the farm and decide upon a circuitous route to avoid as much contact as possible. They head roughly southeast on an arc that takes them on an anticlockwise orbit around the outskirts of Korenheim. Near the southernmost point of their route, heading nearly due east, their path intersects a very old road. Moss and lichen grows through its cobbled surface and it stretches east and west in a straight line, beyond sight. The group take to the road, heading east.

Enok, while scouting the road and its side, notice that none of the undergrowth from either side of what appears at first glance to be an old and overgrown road, actually encroaches. And furthermore the patchy moss and grass sprouting through the cobbles are, in fact, growing on top of the cobbles amongst the dirt and soil that has blown over the road. A quick few scrapes of his boots shows him that all the cobbles making up the road are in fine condition, almost as if they were placed yesterday.

Enok promptly tells the party of this and Krag (with Fergus just waiting for an excuse to use some intelligence) casts Detect Magic and detects strong dweomers centered on the road. Rowaine looks within, trying to sense any evil presence in the area. Her eyes flicker as she detects something untoward - not on the road, but to each side of it. Further concentration reveals eight faint but distinct evil auras at ground level, five to the left of their path and three to the right. Rowaine alerts the others and calls a halt. The presences remain out of sight. Rowaine's talent reveals that they have stopped with the party, and as the party resumes moving, so too do the auras. Comforted slightly that the presences seem to be remaining at bay for the present, the party continues moving east.

Daylight begins to fade as dusk approaches. To the east the party see flickering torchlight about 500 yards distant. As the light slowly moves closer its source is revealed as a torch, mounted aboard a cart drawn by a single horse. Rowaine lights one of her torches in response, holding it high.

As the distance between dwindles, figures become visible. Sitting at the front are the cart's driver and another figure. Four more figures sit behind, two on each side. The figure beside the driver moves as if it had spotted the party and motions to the driver. All but the driver draw blades. The figures at the rear drop to the road and jog beside the cart as the driver urges the horse to a slow trot.

The party moves to the right side of the road in order to give the cart room to pass. In turn, the driver moves the cart to the same side of the road, lining up with the party. Rowaine tells all to move to the other side of the road, and watches steely-eyed as the cart driver again moves in line, bearing down upon the group!

"Right," thinks Rowaine. "They're up to no good." She quickly tells the rest to wait until the last minute and then spring clear of the cart's path. Enok keeps an eye on the cart but trains his bow on the surrounding forest. As he does, his arrow tip and bow hand seem to meet some resistance, as if the air itself was trying to wrench the arrow from his grasp. Enok backs up and his eyes widen as they rest upon the arrow tip, now limned with hoar frost!

As the cart comes closer the driver squints, holds up a hand and reins in his horse. "Jeremy - I think they're human. Go find out what they're about," he says to his companion in front.

Jeremy jumps down, sword drawn. He shouts back confirmation to the driver "Charlie" that the party are indeed human (mostly). The party are allowed to approach Charlie.

Charlie speaks with a Cockney accent. He is rather reserved about his business, only saying that they are "traders", and their destination is Capiscia. He mentions that the road ahead leads to a coastal township called Aghome. He gives some advice for free - "stick to the road, and you'll be right." The party make room for the cart and it rattles by. After it passes, Krag spots a booted foot under a flapping corner of canvas. Its owner appears to still be alive.

"Wait!" Rowaine yells. We don't think kindly of SLAVERS…" She lets the threat hang in the air. The cart speeds up as the occupants ready their weapons again. "We're NOT slavers! Mind your own business!" rebuts Charlie.

Krag Spiritual Weapons the horse, hitting it a glancing blow and spooking it. The horse breaks into a wild run, veering off the road. Enok looses two arrows at the horse, wounding it further. The driver manages to control his animal and the cart abruptly stops.

"What's in the cart?" Krag asks. "Not your business!" The party try to convince the "traders" to explain themselves to their satisfaction. They are not having a bar of it. "What are you - policemen? Be on your way!"

With a flick of the reins Charlie gets the cart underway again. Krag casts another Spiritual Weapon and bashes the poor horse again, killing it.

Densial does a brilliant mime of a horse falling splat on the ground, its legs splayed out :-)

The four guards jump off and form up between the cart and the party. Charlie motions them onward and they engage. Enok changes to sword and dagger and drops the first guard. "Wait!" Rowaine cries. "Everyone STOP! We just want to TALK!" The words are barely out of her mouth when she is struck twice by two guards wielding swords. She adjusts her axe a quarter turn in her hands and whacks the guard with the flat of the blade.

Enok follows Rowaine's lead and switches to nonlethal damage. Rowaine slaps one of her opponents down and Enok drops the driver. Krag reaches down and heals the lethally wounded guard, risking multiple attacks of opportunity. The traders take pause at this… "Prove that you aren't slavers," Krag mumbles. "Prove to us you aren't robbers!" the traders reply. "We'll just keep knocking you out if you don't," says Krag. "WE won't be holding back!" is the reply. Neither side is prepared to give; the battle is rejoined.

Negotiation? Yep, we suck.

Rowaine is hit a fifth time and goes down. Krag (nonlethally) smashes the guard he previously healed and he falls unconscious. Enok takes out the last of the four guards and the remaining trader turns to flee. Krag drops three Celestial Dogs in his path who viciously drag him to his knees. Krag quickly follows and heals the mauled man.


Krag heals Rowaine while Enok investigates the cart. Inside is a woman, gagged and tied by all four limbs to a mattress. Rowaine removes the gag and is about to untie her when Krag stops her short. "Maybe we should figure out why she's tied up," he suggests.

The woman's name is Emily. Her story is that she has been accosted by her father's men, who have been tasked with her capture after she ran away to avoid an arranged marriage. Her story has a certain ring of truth; she recites the names we have overheard with no obvious guile.

Krag initially seems to side with the men; after all, you are supposed to obey your parents, aren't you? Rowaine, disturbed by the sight of a solitary woman powerless against six men, convinces Krag that Emily is of an age where she is able to make her own decisions.

The party decide to wake one of the so-called traders to corroborate Emily's story; Krag heals Jeremy. His story backs up Emily's. He moves to Emily and unties her. Jeremy says that the others, especially Charlie, are dead-set on returning Emily and would not be talked out of their task. Jeremy, on the other hand, seems more empathetic towards Emily's plight; he offers to "give us all a half-day's head start," not waking or untying his companions until Emily and the party have made good their escape.

What a quandary - Enok is all for leaving immediately, whereas Rowaine and Krag believe that the others should be wakened - to dissuade them from pursuit, and so as not to leave them helpless in this eerie, threatening place.

[Craigo] I am slowly discovering two things: (1) Krag is a loose cannon and needs to be managed, or bad stuff will happen! (2) Rowaine is a leader figure in the party and I need to play her as such - even if it does not come easily to me. That's what roleplaying is.

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