PM Plot: Ezra's Golden Parachute

From Tenebrae
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The word came down through backward channels for those of you on the streets, a friend of a friend setting up the job on whispered reputation from shady tavern rowdies. Or from the small notice placed in the corner of the board at the Explorer's Guild, the one that read "Bounty sought on fugitive criminal. Hefty sums for experienced professionals with discretion. Ask for Silas at the Vigilant Blade Arms Shop." The rumors of work for professional magi also spreads amongst the more adventurous and 'field-oriented' of the arcanely inclined that work is available.

No matter the path, the destination all ends up with you quickly established with a meeting that evening at the backroom of a small concert hall, once used to store chairs and spare instruments, now quickly turned into a conference room with the addition of a long table and 8 chairs. 3 are occupied when you arrive. To the left sits a stout dwarf with a well manicured beard with all sorts of gold and precious stone beadwork woven into it, but otherwise simple but clean and well tailed clothing. The middle hosts an excessively thin and gaunt half-elf, spectacles purchased precariously on his nose. The last is a plump and matronly woman in a somber but expensive dress of fine silk. Perhaps lower nobility or an extremely successful mercantile class?

Each of you are gestured to come inside by the lady on the right, then ushered to sit down. "Evening, gentle...folk. Have a seat. Time of is of the essence on this issue, so we can't waste a moment. Our names are unimportant, but we each represent mercantile and economic interests in this area. Lucrative interests. And we have a job for you. Legitimate, of course." The aging matron greets you, matter of factly.

Spike stares at the wide away of chairs as she enters. She doesn't ask names. Doesn't ask details. Just stares at the wide array of chairs,"It's a trap! My chairfoes have ambushed me! I surrender."

Mab has buffed her blunderbuss to a brilliant shine. She's put on her best outfit, gathered her satchel of supplies, made sure that nothing in her lab is likely to explode in the next few days, and has then set out for the meet. Somewhat unused to such events, the blue-haired goblin has settled as comfortably as she can into an oversized chair, simply nods her understanding to the woman... and squints at Spike. If time is of such drastic essence, there's no need to complicate matters further with speech or introductions right now!

Ducking through the doorway, Alteri's pale eyes take stock of the room and its occupants. A woman of few words, she simply nods a silent greeting to the trio. By her martial mode of dress, it can be easily discerned that she was one of those who saw the notice at the Guild.

Spotting the staring Spike, she attempts a comforting pat on the War Golem's shoulder. "Promise the chairs will behave." Whether that will be true, well, we shall have to see. Polished boots scuffing the floorboards, she strides to take a chair, unobstrusively shifting it so she gets full view of the entire room, also nodding to the already arrived Mab.

Sharna is keeping pointedly AWAY from the war golem as she enters the room, as if fearing the insanity may somehow spread. Unheeding of the evil of the chairs, she saunters over, taking a sideways seat in one, her legs crossing at the knees with only a soft creak of protest from her armor. The rest of the adventurers get a nod. "Good to be here." she says, a small, business-like smile on her lips. Her elbow rests lightly on the table's surface. "What can we do for you?" she asks, gaze flicking across the employers.

Azog ducks into the room and bows his head in greeting. At the offer of seating, he attempts to make use of one of the chairs, his bulk settling in despite the addition of heavy armor. It's not great for the chair, but ... He looks around to the others, then turns to listen to these erstwhile patrons.

The three eye Spike a moment and confer amongst each other in a few hushed whispers before the dwarf on the right grudingly uses a pole nearby amongst the stacked crates to slide Spike's chair out of the way in some effort to soothe the automaton. The half elf in the middle nods to the noble matron and hefts a small satchel up. He produces a small painting, the oak frame covered in a bit of dust, a well-worn leatherbound book, and a profesional looking pencil set. The panting it offered to whomever ever will take it.

Looking upon it reveals a middle aged gnome with salt and pepper hair and a pinched face, in a stoic pose. It looks like it came from someone's mantle. For the more social and mercantile of some of you, the ones that tend to handle party chores such as taking the loot to be appraised and counting out the split, recognize as being familiar. "Ezra Chiselworth." The matron names him. "He is one the premiere appraisers of gems, magical items, art objects, and precious metals. Until yesterday, he was the man to see about appraising and finding a buyer for anything you adventuring sorts manage to procure. Yesterday, we discovered that he had conspired with dozens of jewelers, artificers, pawnbrokers, and others to misvalue and embezzle thousands of crowns worth of coin, gems, and magic items. He slipped the grip of the watch and we want you to track him down and return him and the stolen goods."

Spike looks mildly mollified when efforts are made to calm her. Attention returning to the business at hand, she wonders,"Does it matter whether he's exceptionally flat or not?"

Mab can't help but smirk as the situation is laid bare. Though she does give each of her companions a nod in turn, the goblin is more amused by the apparent untrustworthiness of this erstwhile appraiser. "He sounds like a clever man to have gotten away with so much." She says, cheerfully. "And if he's got a lot of magical items on hand, tracking him down could be next to impossible. Do you have any leads? He could be anywhere from Charn to Clockwork Point by now, if he's got the right connections and the right preparations."

Sharna studies the painting for a moment before handing it off to the next adventurer to see. "Mm-hmm." More a noise than a word, really. She nods. "Well, then. We'll need a list of the goods and whatever leads you have to find this man." she asks, politely and sweetly. She is assuming, of course, that they do have leads, and that the adventurers are not expected to comb the city looking for a lone gnome.

Azog eyes the strange golem as well, then shrugs. So many strange things in this city. And ... as he listens to the explanation of why we're here, he nods slowly. "So much wealth," he says in Dran-accented Tradespeak. "If he has left tracks, I can spot them," he adds. He probably means it only in the literal sense, though he seems heavily armed and armored for an outdoorsman.

Alteri's eyes grow glacial. This is personal! "Daring, isn't he?" She works to keep her voice light, though a hint of a growl still manages to steal its way through to the surface. And truly, it is a dare, what with all the powerful adventurers about who might take offense at the gnome's specific slice of the crime-pie. Since others have asked the most pertinent questions, the Eldanar subsides, though from her glowering expression, it does not bode well for the criminal in question if she were to get her hands on him. Accepting the portrait, she transfers her glower to the study of it.

"Apparently once he became a trusted figure, he exploited the lack of appraisal skills amongst...your profession." The dwarf replies with equal parts dourness and sarcarsm. The half-elf shoots the dwarf a withering glance, then turns the floor back to the aging noblewoman. "Our own resources have been playing cat and mouse with him since yesterday. The trail went cold last evening, so we resorted to coercing a local wizard of some power to help us in the endeavor. He expended his divinatory magicks not long ago and now retires to replenish himself for the journey head. Somehow, the gnome has fled into the Mythwood in an attempt to escape into Myrrish territories. The last known point that Ezra could be tracked was here. Near this small lake." The half-elf opens the leatherbound book and withdraws a detailed map of Alexandros and the surrounding territories, marking the gnome just a day's travel into the Mythwood near a small pond on one of the main trails that heads west to Rosalia and Sendor. "If you accept, you have until dawn to prepare." The pencil case and a sheet of folded blank parchment produced from the book is pushed across the table. "Determine what you will need for the travels and we will provide what we reasonably can. The bounty will be 100 crowns each, along with possible bonuses for discretion. I'm sure much of his stolen treasure is undocumented and I think all parties can be made happy by this?"

Spike ponders this,"So... we squish the gnome, grab the treasure, bring back what's on the list, and divvy up everything else. Okay! But I want hazard pay if we meet dastardly chairs on the way." Riiiight.

Mab actually laughs at the pseudo-accusation. The goblin shrugs her shoulders, her good humor apparently entirely undiminished. "Not many of us have a head for gold and for the manipulation of reality on a fundamental level, it is true." She says, as she hops up from the chair, and adjusts her blunderbuss to be more comfortable. "I'm happy with the money. I'm afraid divination isn't my particular field of study." She brushes the glass baubles in one ear, making them jangle pleasingly, "But I look forward to working with these fine men and women regardless~." And that bright goblin smile is turned on her gathered compatriots.

"He exploited trust, as well, good master." Drier than a Veyshanti desert, Alteri counters the dour dwarf in an urbane drawl. "You say to return him. Do you mean alive? How, ah," she glances a moment to Spike, "squished, is he allowed to be?" The Highborn has no plans to be bloodthirsty, but who knows how enthusiastic the rest of the party may be. She quirks a faint almost-smile to Mab, her version of a friendly grin, really.

Azog grunts at the lack of appraisal skills among adventurers, though Spike gets a particularly puzzled look before the orc shakes his head ruefully. "Maybe we'll exploit his lack of cutting people in half skills." He looks over the map thoughtfully, to familiarize himself with the lay of the terrain. "Good," he says at last. "I will help bring this one to justice," he says slowly, nodding in affirmation to Mab, though Alteri's comment draws a snort of amusement. "I will not kill him if he surrenders. If he gives fight, I will fight him. Then ... we shall see."

"Alive would be preferred," The dwarf speaks up, cut off by the half-elf, "But dead would dissapointing, but acceptable." The matron takes her turn and steeples her fingers, "Then it is agreed? Meet here again at the crack of dawn. Our wizard will teleport you to the last known area and provide as much support as reasonably able. After two days, we have the wizard find you and bring you back once you recover the stolen goods and subdued Mr. Chiselworth."

Uncoiling her legs and rising from the chair slightly to have a glance at the map, Sharna gives a small nod. "Very well. We shall see what we can do for you." the part-elven girl says, her smile remaining plastered on her face in spite of the sort-of-insult. A glance at Azog - and a pointed grin is given to the orc, not at all friendly. "If our employers prefer the man be brought back alive, well. That is what they will get, if at all possible." That's what we are getting paid for, that grin says.

Spike crosses her arms for a moment to think, then nods slowly,"Fine. As unsquished as we can possibly make him." Then she sticks out one of her big spikey paws for a handshake from one of the employers.

Mab nods her head, "We'll see what we can do, I suppose. That's all that we can do!" She claps her hands together, and works a kink out of her shoulder. "Well. I'll be off then. Things I could be prodding in the lab until it is time to go, unless any of you want to talk strategy before we head off into the unknown?"

You colloborate quickly and write your requests down, then are swiftly ushered out of the concert hall, now shut down in the dead of night. The crack of dawn finds you back at the hall, joined by only the half-elf and a positively stereotypical old wizard, complete with a long flowing grey beard and a pointy hat. And he's not even wearing it ironically like those hipsters upstarts that hang around the Academy of Sages these days. His eyes are bloodshot and he sounds as grumpy as he looks. "Hurry up with it, this is no hour for wizardry. This is the time proper folks should be getting their rest." He opens the door and steps out onto the stage, where several large suitcases, carpet bags, and satchels wait. "Golem, you stay out here. You'll rupture a bag. The rest of you hold your breath and climb into that carpet bag or the grey suitcase. Try not to jostle around or tear anything. I'm not getting my credit extended near enough to go jaunting into the Astral after you."

Saddlebags thrown over both her shoulders, Alteri walks over to peer uncertainly down into both containers. Seeming to get a grip of herself, she does her best to squish her bedroll close to herself, takes a deep breath and steps into the carpet bag.

Mab can appreciate class when she sees it, and it is quite obvious to her that the wizard assisting them is clearly a man of taste. She is dressed much as before, clean pressed clothes, hair carefully styled, she refuses to let the early hour get her down. "Thank you for this, I'll do my best not to cause undue hassle." She says, with a respectful curtsy (even if she isn't wearing a skirt, how do human customs work?) to the elder wizard, before she ducks into the transportation herself.

Spike eyeballs the wizards, then says argumentatively,"No, YOU stay out here." She DOES however folow the wizard's directions anyway, though she can't help but observe,"You like chairs? No... I bet you're an ottoman lover. Good ottoman-respecting blood in your background, I suspect." She whips out a brightly colored cape to tie around her neck, then puts her fists on her hips,"Ready."

Sharna glances at the suitcase. At the bag. At the wizard. And again at the containers. "... Seriously?" the woman asks, jaw a little slack. She looks just like she feels - like someone who's being reminded just why they're not a big fan of wizards. Muttering something that sounds like (flowery) obscenities in Sildanyari, she goes about doing as asked. Gingerly. She doesn't trust those things.

Azog arrives, bright and alert at this dark hour. Of course the dark isn't much of an impediment for him. He leads his hairy horse in, and looks honestly surprised at what he sees. "This city surprises me more each day," he admits dryly as he joins the group, saddlebags packed, a cosh in his swordbelt along with the more lethal toys he normally carries. His horse is stoic, but Azog laughs after a moment. "Sometimes people say foolish things to make others laugh. Sometimes ... people say foolish things, and it turns out they're not foolish." But he gets into ... a bag? Really? He does his best.

Horses are loaded with gear and saddles, and those besides spike get to enjoy the comforts of the inside of a bag of holding. Which in this case, happenes to look like a flat black void with starry sparkles and motes denoting the tenebrous and mutable 'edges' of the bag's capacity. The air is stale and smells of hay, salt, ginger, cinammon, and other spices. Seems these were cargo bags for this mercant-mage at some point. Once you are all loaded, the bags are closed and loaded on the horses, whom's reigns are handed off to Spike. A few spoken intonations (after nodding grudgingly to Mab and eyeballing Spike like a mental patient.) and Spike, the wizard, and the horses find themselves at the edge of a game trail that overlooks a scenic pond, surrounded by trees and plantlife, yellowing and preparing for the fall. The rest of you get a quick breath of fresh air as each of the bags open, replacing the stale breath with a brisk breeze of an autumn forest. The aging wizard (We'll call him Larry) sighs and leans against a tree, lighting his pipe as he adjusts to the dawn sun shining his eyes. "Hurry it up, I've got a warm bed still waiting for me."

Mab emerges from the bag with a spring in her step. There's just something *bracing* about being thrust into the unknown and trying to remember not to exhale because doing so may see your guts ejected through various orifices. Really helps to focus the mind. "Wonderful trip!" She chirps, as she gets her bearings. "Looks like it is going to be a beautiful day as well! I have a good feeling about this."

Sharna spends her time inside the bag, well, staring at it. It's not every day you see a void-space packed inside a mundane-looking container. She is, however, very happy when it is reopened and climbs out of it with haste, taking a deep breath of the fresh air, finding she likes forests much better when they come immediatelly after a trip in a musty-smelling bag of holding. She dusts herself off, absently, pulling the hood of her cloak over her head and rubbing her gloved hands together.

"PAUGH!" Blowing out her held breath, Alteri gasps the fresh forest air with relief. It appears she was in the bag that once carried pepper amongst its number of spices. Eyes red and tearing, she tosses her bags out to the side before clambering out with haste. Between mighty sneezes, she tries to coax her also sneezing mare out. In the end, she gives up and has to climb back in, and half-heft, half-push her stubborn mount out. "G'wan, Stupid, git!" Hurururumphing in affront, the blindfolded roan clatters to a stop a few paces away, tossing her mane and just being generally unhappy with everything.

She doesn't need a horse. She's a golem. She's big. She's heavy. But there's a big ugly conjured black warhorse waiting for her. She approaches it,"HAIL AND WELL MET, EQUINE FRIEND." She tells the others,"You have do to this with a certain expertise." She adresses the horse,"YOU SHALL BEAR ME TO MY DESTINATION, LOYAL STEED." The horse eyes her dubiously, and sidesteps a few times. When she approaches anyway, and swings a leg over it, one might almost swear the horse cringed and grunted. But horses don't do that... right? It's sort of like watching a toy rocking horse carrying a mountain. A mountain covered in spikes. She unlimbers her big-ass spear, raises her shield, and then says,"Away, Champion! To danger and glory!" The horse takes a creaky step, then looks at the wizard with a horsey look that almost says: 'You can't be serious.'

Azog climbs out of his bag with a look of chagrin, though he muses, "I suppose it wasn't all that bad." Perhaps he didn't know how close to horrible death he was! He looks around the area, looking at the trail and the pond thoughtfully for a moment before he grabs his horse's bridle and checks the animal out to make sure the horse is okay as well. When he's satisfied with the horse's condition, he takes another look at the terrain, orienting himself. "You said this was the last place he was seen?" he asks. "Or near here?"

<OOC> Azog says, "I suppose I use survival to check for tracks? Any chance of taking 10?"

"He seems like a nice man." Mab says, as she hauls herself up onto the back of a pony. She's not much of a rider, but she's fairly light and nimble, so this isn't the worst thing in the world for her. She smiles to the others, then, and claps her hands. "Well! This *is* exciting! You folk lead the way, I'll follow and work on the proper spells to stop you all dying a horrible death from." She glances at the lake. "Nature, I suppose."

Giving the conjured steed a friendly pat on the neck (and getting a rather disinterested look in return), Sharna does a full turn to take in their surroundings. "Well. I suppose we ought to get to work." she decides, leaving the horse to contentedly sift through the grass and leaves for something not dry whilst she begins sweeping the area for tracks or other signs where their quarry might've went.

Still giving the occasional residual sneeze, Alteri works on getting her packs settled onto Stupid's back. The roan tries to sidestep away from the burdens, causing the Eldanar to swat a blue-ticked bum. "Quit *HACHOO!* that, you big *SNIFF* baby." Giving Stupid's tack a final once over, the female fighter finally finds a kerchief to honk her red nose into. Sharna's words spur her on and she mounts up one-handed, still rubbing vigourously at her nose.

<OOC> Owen says, "Alright! Survival for those looking for tracks. Notice to start searching around for clues."

<OOC> Spike assists on Alteri-perception.

GAME: Spike rolls perception: (7)+0: 7

<OOC> Spike FAILS.

<OOC> Azog says, "Is there a command to take 10, or do I have to roll?"

<OOC> Sharna says, "As above, I'll look for tracks with Perception! I believe that is still allowed in PF (but can't follow them with Perc, just find 'em)."

<OOC> Owen says, "You can just take 10. What's your modifier and end result?"

<OOC> Azog says, "+8, so 18"

<OOC> Alteri offers AA for Azog's survival, if possible.

<OOC> Sharna says, "Oh, take 10 allowed? In that case, I'll Take 10 on Perception for 21."

<OOC> Owen says, "Sure, Alteri."

GAME: Alteri rolls Survival: (19)+6: 25

<OOC> Spike will attempt to assist on Survival as well! :D

GAME: Spike rolls survival: (1)+0: 1

<OOC> Mab will keep Detect Magic active, just in case he's leaving a trail of magical breadcrumbs or similar.

<OOC> Owen says, "Yeah. Azog and Alteri and Azog, You find the tracks pretty easily before Spike stomps into them. D: But they are not subtle at all. It looks like one small horse or a pony that was fairly lightly loaded but moving at a steady gallop along the trail. Sharna, you find a pretty fresh paper wrap by the bank of the pond. It smells like it held a simple lunch ration. Not quite trail rations, but the D&D equivelant of a Lunchable. An paper wrapped small loaf of bread, wedge of cheese, and bit of salt pork or beef jerky. Judging by the lack of rain or mud on it, and the lingering smell of the cheese and sausage in this one, it has to be less than a half day old. Mab, your detect magic, after getting the magic of other folks out of the way picks up traces of it running along the trail, just barely perceptible. Like several faint signatures of minor magic having been here hours ago, their combined traces leaving a signature of magic that is barely dying."

Spike tramples all over the tracks with her ill-controlled, utterly irritated hourse,"THIS IS HELPING."

Consulting with the large Yrch, Alteri splits the area to scan with him. Enough time has passed that she no longer looks like she's suffering from a cold, merely that she has been crying her eyes out recently. Even so, she manages to keep her eyes peeled. Spike's enthusiasm is appreciated, though she winces each time the golem stomps over a track. At least they spot them before the stompings.

Azog looks over the tracks with a practiced and thoughtful eye, grunting in the affirmative as Alteri catches a couple things he missed. "He went this way, fairly qucikly," he tells the others, then mounts up, his horse to pursue, pulling his shield around once he's mounted, and taking the reins in his shieldhand. He nudges the horse into motion, to lead the way.

After a cursory examination of their surroundings, Sharna picks up a tiny piece of paper wrap from the ground - just in time, too, forced to lean back so as to avoid Spike as the golem thunders past. She brings the paper to her nose, giving a small, careful sniff. "Seems fairly fresh." she says, waving it to indicate it. "We're not too far behind at all. Half a day, maybe." And with that, she's hopping adroitly into the saddle of her chosen conjured steed, apparently ready to leave.

Mab mutters under her breath, "Detecticus Abnormalius." And her eyes glow a bright and shining emerald green. "He's still got the goods with him." She calls to the people ahead of her, as she tries to spur her pony to follow along with them. "We should hurry though, he's got a definite lead on us."

As you saddle up and ride, the conjured steeds creepily trotting together in perfect unison. The dawn turns to morning turns to noon. You find yourself deep into the Mythwood, on a trail barely wide enough for barely two riders or a small cart to transverse. Despite the quick pace to wring as much use as possible from the animals and to catch up, the trackers amongst you notice one disturbing fact. The tracks indicate the pony never dropped it's speed. Though the more astute and skilled woodsman amongst you notice that twice the horse tracks suddenly stop, replaced with another set of horse tracks that appear out of nowhere, with two small footprints in between them. along with drag marks from what appear to be several sacks or saddlebags.

Continuing further into the day, you break for a quick lunch and debate what what your next move is...

Azog notes the abnormality with the tracks, grunts, and turns to ask Alteri, "Do you think he's conjuring fresh mounts, to keep this pace?"

Nibbling on a piece of spiced bear whilst she waters her mount, Alteri grunts in agreement to Azog, "Was my thought," she mutters once she's done with her mouthful. "Mayhaps tying the pace down to our flesh and bone mounts wasn't the best idea." she concludes ruefully.

<OOC> Owen says, "And since we're moving along. Who is on point/what's the general marching order? You can ride two abreast along the trail easily."

<Discussion omitted.>

<OOC> Owen says, "So Azog-Spike, Sharna-Mab, then Alteri taking up the rear."

Spike eyeballs the horse, eventually fed up with its trotting. She hops down, stowing her spear and tells it,"No. Now. You watch, and follow. This is how it is done." When it's time to run, she'll have a panting horse trailing behind her with murder in its eyes,"See! You just run forever across the land! It is much quicker this way, and not as boring!" Yep. That's a big spikey golem with a big steel shield on its arm charging down the road with a cape fluttering behind it like a maypole.

The pace picks back up quickly after the quick lunch and the gnome fugitive shows no signs of stopping. At least for the next few hours. As you press further west, you run into hilly terrain, frought with undergrowth. The sounds of the wild forest echo all around you in all directions. You are just a few short hours from making camp. At least, if pursuing your quarry wasn't on the agenda. But as the two point-men/women/robots crest a steep hill, they look down up on the trail that continues on for several paces before it stops in a small clearing, the campfires, litter, and notches in the tree indicating it has been used as a campsite by dozens over the years. And right now, there is an Owlbear camping there. Or rather, tearing into several saddlebags, devouring the contents of several of the waxpaper bundles. Both distracted, you surprise each other and time hangs motionless for just a brief moment while the rest of the party gets a peek for themselves. The owlbear sniffs and looks up, then hoot-roars at the assembled adventurers, hackles and plumage rising! WHAT DO YOU DO?

<OOC> Owen says, "Looks like it's time for inits!"

===== Current Initiative Order =========
 23                  Owly
 20                  Mab
 18                  Sharna
 11                  Alteri
 7                   Spike
 7                   Azog

<OOC> Owen says, "Spike, you get the Owlbear lovin."

<OOC> Owen says, "It'll be a bite this round since I gotta look up grapple/grab rules. I am rusty."

<OOC> Owen says, "Charge!"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+10: (18)+10: 28

GAME: Owen rolls 1d6+4: (4)+4: 8

<OOC> Spike says, "So, six."

The owlbear doesn't waste any time. It lurches and charges up the hill, sinking it's massive beak into one of Spike's pauldron/shoulder plates and crinkling it with the force of the bite!

<OOC> Owen says, "Mab!"

<OOC> Mab says, "I'm going to make Spike BIG. Because that seems like a helpful thing to do."

<OOC> Owen says, "Aight. That'll happen on your round next action."

GAME: Mab casts Enlarge Person.

Mab draws a small pouch from the inside of her vest, and clears her throat, "Stay calm! Spikius emboldinus, biggius smashius!" She throws the pouch open, and iron filings coalesce into a large 'plus' sign over the top of Spike's head. There does not seem to be any other immediate effect...

<OOC> Owen says, "Sharna!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "I'm gonna attempt a Fast Dismount to begin with!"

GAME: Sharna rolls Ride: (1)+5: 6

<OOC> Sharna says, "Move action spent dismounting, then."

<OOC> Sharna says, "Second move to move behind owly into flank position and draw shortswords, action over. :("

<OOC> Owen says, "You'll have to end up in difficult terrain from the brush off the trail or tumble through owly's square to get behind him. WHich is doable, of course."

<OOC> Sharna says, "Then I'll just make way over there normally and end up halfway please."

Sharna tries to hop adroitly off the magic-created horse. It would have worked, too, if only her foot didn't get caught in the stirrup. Cursing up a storm into her chin, the woman frees herself of the saddle, but it takes a few moments. Flicking her blades into her hands, she darts forwards, aiming to creep up behind the big, scary monster while it is distracted by the golem. The undergrowth trips her up something awful, and her efforts only take her part of the way there.

<OOC> Owen says, "Alteri!"

<OOC> Alteri will try a fast dismount as well.

GAME: Alteri rolls Ride: (4)+8: 12

<OOC> Alteri says, "Dismounting normally then. Can she make it to where Spike is? If not, she gets to where Mab is and readys a PA if something gets in range?"

<OOC> Owen says, "So same as Sharna, Alt? Move to dismount, then move to melee? You could flank with Sharna with a move, standing in the underbrush. Right now it's owly taking up two squares of trail, then spike to the left, azog to the right (stuck in the middle with you)."

<OOC> Owen says, "So moving to melee/sharna flank or move to Mab are viable after spending the move to dismount."

<OOC> Alteri says, "Ah I see. Alteri flanks with Sharna then."

Somewhat gobsmacked by the sight of the owlbear stuffing its face with travel rations and now with bits of Spike, Alteri's dismount is less than graceful too. Caught by the underbrush, she mutters her own curses whilst drawing her bastard blade, working to get into a flanking position with Sharna. "Gods send this one doesn't have friends..." she murmurs in a half-prayer.

<OOC> Owen says, "Aight. Pose it! Spike"

<OOC> Owen says, "wwsd what would spike do"

<OOC> Spike says, "I am not big yet. So I five foot adjust right up into his bidness, and flail around with my powerful power attack of spikiness."

<OOC> Owen says, "Aight. Roll the bones!"

GAME: Spike rolls melee: (11)+7: 18

<OOC> Owen says, "That'll hit!"

GAME: Spike rolls 1d6+6: (6)+6: 12

<OOC> Spike says, "Screw you owlbear."

<OOC> Owen says, "You gouge it up real good like."

Spike does not like being bitten and having her pretty armor dented,"I DO NOT LIKE BEING BITTEN AND HAVING MY PRETTY ARMOR DENTED." She abandons whatever pretense was left to her, and slams the side of her spiked body into the thing, driving those large spikes deep into its flesh. She pulls away with a twisting, ripping motion, bringing bits of owlbear with her,"You take some, I take some! New game!"

<OOC> Azog says, "Where am I in relation to it? Can I do a normal dismount without drawing an AoO? Can I dismount into melee range, or will I need to move?"

<OOC> Owen says, "It's right in front of you in melee range. Dismounting doesn't draw an AoA. Since you are at the top of the hill, you get the +1 superior position bonus to hit."

<OOC> Azog says, "Woot. I'll dismount and take a swing."

GAME: Azog rolls 1d20+9: (1)+9: 10

Azog is too concerned with the trail, it seems, because when the party sights an owlbear, Azog rides another couple steps even after it charges Spike. Way to not pay attention. Azog slides out of the saddle, drawing his pretty sword clumsily as he tries to catch up with events, and ... if that's a swing, he probably doesn't belong here and should go back to play swords. He growls with rage as he tries to get his head back in the game.

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay, I guess it will claw/claw Spike and Bite at Azog?"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+8: (9)+8: 17

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+8: (4)+8: 12

<OOC> Spike says, "Miss, miss."

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+8: (5)+8: 13

The owlbear thrashes and shrieks in pain, rearing up on it's hind legs to slam it's might back down on Spike and Azog to silence them once and for all. But it's claws and beak find nothing but empty air as it flails and snaps, warding off errant weapon blows and dropping back to all fours.

<OOC> Owen says, "Mab! Spike is big! What now?"

<OOC> Mab says, "I will try to punch it with my mind! (telekinetic fist)"

<OOC> Owen says, "Aight. Roll the bones!"

GAME: Mab rolls 1d20+1: (11)+1: 12

<OOC> Owen says, "That'll hit. Roll the bones!"

GAME: Mab rolls 1d4+1: (4)+1: 5

<OOC> Owen says, "You tear a chunk out of it. It looks more knackered, but still pissed and upright!"

Mab is quietly pleased that her growth spell takes hold of the wargolem... because she's never tried to cast it on one before, and you never really know how these things will go until you try. As Spike grows and grows, however, she takes the opportunity to draw her fist back, and the little goblin thrusts it forwards at the air. Which obligingly ripples, and smacks the owlbear straight between the eyes with a *CRACK*.

<OOC> Owen says, "Sharna!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "I spend mah move to get to it and then there is joy and flanking and STAB."

<OOC> Owen says, "You are in difficult terrain, but Alteri has set you up the flank already by going to the other side of the trail opposite you!"

<OOC> Owen says, "So you can full attack and start working the ribs!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "Ooh. How kind of her. FULL ATTACK."

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d20+2+5+1-2+2: (15)+2+5+1+-2+2: 23

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d20+2+5+1-2+2: (13)+2+5+1+-2+2: 21

<OOC> Owen says, "Hits."

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d6+2+2d6: (5)+2+(4): 11

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d6+1+2d6: (1)+1+(2): 4

<OOC> Owen says, "You shiv it good like. It's starting to slow down signifigantly, but it's not dead yet."

Grinning wildly over the back of the owlbear at Alteri, Sharna flips the two swords in her hands so their tips point towards the ground, ducking and scissoring them across the strange beast's belly. The thick fur doesn't save it from the blows entirely - dark blood begins to stain its shaggy coat from the twin wounds.

<OOC> Owen says, "Alteri!"

<OOC> Alteri says, "I charge the remaining bit, use flankage and PA it in the fase."

<OOC> Owen says, "Well, I had assumed you was flanking already, so no charge. :("

<OOC> Owen says, "But you do got flank."

<OOC> Alteri says, "Ah okay!"

GAME: Alteri rolls 1d20+10+2: (2)+10+2: 14

<OOC> Owen says, "You can't penetrate it's thick, furry-feathery, poop-and-mud caked hide with your weapon. D:"

Doing her best to keep level with the nimbler rogue, Alteri finds her much longer weapon being foiled by the underbrush and the creature's own natural defenses. Instead of Sharna's stiletto stabs, the Eldanar attempts a heavy swing. No cigar. She manages to carve off pieces of dried birdbear poop and hey, a feather souvenir! A low growl of frustration escapes her lips.

<OOC> Owen says, "Spike. You are long and strong."

<OOC> Owen says, "Are you ready to get some friction on?"

<OOC> Spike says, "Owen, what would be funnier? Owlbear wrestling, or owlbear stomping?"

<OOC> Owen says, "Wrestling, but only if you...You know what? There's an antique rocking chair sitting on the campsite, amongst several other discarded boxes and bags."

<OOC> Owen says, "It rocks...ominously."

GAME: Spike rolls cmb+2+2+2: (20)+7+2+2+2: 33

<OOC> Spike says, "He's prone, I'm sure. :)"

<OOC> Owen says, "You do. The owlbear is shoved to the ground mercilessly as Spike stomps over it to get at the chair."

Spike smacks one metallic fist into the other as she feels herself growing,"Now you see my true might, you owl-faced bear-like creature. Quiver in fear as-" And then she sees a battered rocking chair as she grows over its head, rocking gently in the breeze. One can actually SEE her eyes glowing red. With a roar, she runs forward, shoving the owlbear to the ground and stepping all over its face as if it weren't even there,"Run! I'll save you my friends!" She charges forward, to splinter and do battle with the vicious rocking chair.

<OOC> Owen says, "Azog!"

<OOC> Azog says, "I'll take a hack at the (prone?) owlbear."

<OOC> Owen says, "Alright, roll it!"

GAME: Azog rolls 1d20+9: (20)+9: 29

GAME: Azog rolls 1d20+9: (4)+9: 13

<OOC> Owen says, "Crit."

<OOC> Owen says, "On account of proneness."

GAME: Azog rolls 2d10+10: (7)+10: 17

<OOC> Owen says, "You split it's head clean open as it struggles to climb to it's feet!"

Azog is able to recover his wits, and when Spike charges the rocking chair, Azog takes advantage of the bowled over owlbear's surprise to drive his blade down through its owly head in a splatter of blood and bone and beak.

Mab watches Spike charge the dastardly chair, and adjusts her glasses smoothly. "Just as planned." The Goblin wizard states, after Azog finishes the thing off. Because naturally, this was all according to her grand scheme. You just can't argue with results!

Spike continues thrashing around on the wreckage of the rocking chair. Sort of like watching a great wyrm red dragon go to town on a village full of level one commoners. "RAAAAR!"

Azog cleans his blade off on the monster's hide, then sheaths his blade, going back to his horse, who stood there calmly the whole time. He tries to avoid looking at Spike, though he does look over the other remains of the campsite. "Could these have been left by the person we're following?" he wonders aloud.

Sharna takes a moment to wipe the thing's filthy blood from her weapons before sheathing them, turning her gaze in the direction of the camp Spike is now demolishing. She winces, cringing a little. "It's dead! The chair's dead! You can stop now!" she shouts over.

As you survey the damage and calm the...much less frightened than they ought to be magically conjured steeds, the camp site looks like a dump. Of things that most wouldn't throw away. Two large saddles bags are torn open, containing extra provisions, empty water skins, rope, leather straps, and other useful but non-essential gear. Worn old shirts, paintings, fine books, sentimental mementos, pipe tobaco, a shattered rocking chair, an urn of ashes, and a large sack of copper trade bars are strewn across the ground, along with other bric-a-brac.

<OOC> Owen says, "Trackers I needs survival. Velmas, I need a Notice. :D"

<OOC> Owen says, "Err. Perception."

GAME: Azog rolls survival: (8)+8: 16

<OOC> Mab says, "Can I be a special snowflake and use detect magic and appraise for 'anything worth grabbing'?"

Spike finally rolls to a stop, panting, covered in scraps of her chairfoe (and owlbear) as she towers over it. Then she turns her key eyes to helping people search for crap.

Alteri huffs out a breath, looking mighty displeased with herself. Glaring at Melyndra, she hmphs, "That lecture wasn't personal, cease with this pouting." After this odd address directed at her blade, she slams it back home across her back. Glancing to ensure Stupid remained where she left her, the female fighter tramps through the brush to inspect what which Azog is musing at. "'Tis on the trail we were following..." she offers, but not making any calls until all have had time to study the site.

GAME: Spike rolls perception: (11)+0: 11

GAME: Alteri rolls Survival: (16)+6: 22

GAME: Sharna rolls Perception: (19)+11: 30

<OOC> Owen says, "Alteri/Azog. You find the tracks continue on. This time only no hoof prints. Just one pair of fairly deep small footprints, like that of a halfling/gnome or a child, at a walking pace. Sharna! You find a blackened, burnt out oak wand and a small vial tossed in the underbrush. Mab! The vial and wand have traces of magic on them. Faint!"

Spike points as the others find important things,"I found bear-owl poop!"

<OOC> Owen says, "2 Spellcraft checks, Mab. To identify the remains of the wand and last couple dregs of potion left in the vial."

GAME: Mab rolls spellcraft: (8)+13: 21

GAME: Mab rolls spellcraft: (8)+13: 21

<OOC> Owen says, "An expended Wand of Mount, and a drank potion of Lesser Restoration/"

Azog scratches his chin as he looks over the tracks and the debris. "It seems our culprit went on afoot," he says after some thought. "Is this his loot?" He gestures to the stuff the owlbear was going through. "Some travelling gear, but also ... things that adventurers might've sold to a buyer of stuff?"

Sharna takes to snooping around the campsite with haste. As she passes by a patch of low-growing bushes, she stops, bending down and retrieving a small, ornate-looking stick and a vial, the contents of which have been drained already. She holds them up, grinning proudly. "I figure these are in your area of expertise." the half-elf girl says as she strides to Mab, presenting the two items to the spectacles-wearing goblin girl.

Alteri exchanges glances with Azog, a dark brow lifted as if to say, Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Giving a low whistle, she calls Stupid over. "He ran out of mount conjurations, I do believe." Casting her eye over the debris the orc gestures at, she nods, "Makes sense. The depth of those footprints seem to indicate either a very fat person, or one burdened muchly."

Mab stretches on the back of her horse, apparently quite happy with how all this went. A dangerous creature dispatched, and she didn't even get scratched! And as far as she can tell, Spike seems happy despite the chewing she took. "Lets see." She replies to Azog, making her eyes glow bright all over again to see if there's any evidence of the magic having stopped here... when she sees the wand and the vial, she nods absently. Plucking them up, she scrutinizes each in turn. "A Wand of Mount that is out of charges, and the remains of a potion of Lesser Restoration." She says, tucking the ruined items away in her satchel, because you never know when they'll come in handy. "I believe that your hypothesis has been proven correct, Miss." She calls over to Alteri, at the revelation.

Spike walks up with some of her 'findings' on the end of a stick she apparently found in the woods,"I have found evidence that there may be a bear-owl nearby." Like, perhaps, the one they just killed. She just hates being the only one with nothing to show off. What she is showing off this time? Owlbear poop on a stick.

Sharna glances Spike's way a second... then leans towards Mab. "Do war golems have an 'off' button?" she whispers, low, in the gob's floppy green ear, never taking her eyes off Spike.

Turning, Alteri regards the blue-haired goblin calling over to her. Her other brow joins its kin as she approaches Sharna and Mab to take a closer look at the items found. "Huh, what do you know." Popping her neck and rolling her shoulders, the Eldanar does a tiny bit of stretching prior to frog-leaping up to settle back onto Stupid. "Looks like we might have a chance to catch up, afterall. Shall we?" Spike's find, she peers concernly at, "Another of them?" A quick look around from the higher vantage point of her mount's back is made.

You saddle back up...most of you at least. And off you ride again. The tracks go on this way for another mile or two, before the addition of a cylindrical spot parallel to the right track and several wood shavings indicates your quarry cut a a sapling down to use as a walking stick. You ride well into the night, your trail illuminated by whatever light you can muster along with the light of the moon. You finally stop to take a few hours of sleep lest your horses die or you find yourselves confronting this white collar criminal too saddle weary to fight. But you find his campsite. Scraps of hardtack and jerky replace the bundle-lunches left behind.

At first light, the horses have gone, leaving you on foot. But with so much ground gained against such a slow, burdened target, you should catch up some time today, provided the little bugger has no tricks up his sleeve. The hilly terrain continues, with the forest sporadically thinning to a leaf-covered forest floor with open space under the decaying tree canopy to thick gobbets of underbrush and rocky outcroppings.

You progress on for several hours, and then you spot it. A fresh cigar butt thrown on the trail. It's still warm.

<OOC> Owen says, "Perception checks, plz."

GAME: Spike rolls perception: (15)+0: 15

GAME: Azog rolls perception: (10)+0: 10

GAME: Sharna rolls Perception: (6)+11: 17

GAME: Mab rolls perception: (19)+4: 23

GAME: Alteri rolls perception: (13)+5: 18

Mab gives a little smirk to Sharna. "You'd have to ask an artificer I suspect." She replies, "I think that'd be far too easy, though."

And then there is traveling. So much traveling. More, in fact, than the goblin has ever done in a single stretch before. It makes her grumpy and irritable.

Her brow furrows after the cigar butt is spotted, and she huffs. Something is definitely off here, and she comes to a halt. Muttering to herself, her eyes yet again go bright green, and she starts to peer around the area in turn. "I'm certain something is watching us." She grumbles, wishing she could be more specific.

Azog doesn't find the nighttime slows him much, tracking by darkvision as easily as by sunlight. He is at home in the outdoors, and when we decide to stop for the night, he'll prepare the campsite, make use of the terrain to get some shelter, and generally be outdoorsy.

In the morning, he will continue to ride, even when the others' conjured mounts have gone, so that his pace in heavy armor doesn't slow the group. Azog pauses as the cigar butt is spotted, and though he doesn't see anything, he wonders, "Could that have been left for us to find? Is it part of a trap, then?"

Spike meanwhile has taken to sweeping her cape left and right. Woosh. Woosh. Woosh. And also swinging her 'sword' around (read: stick with owlbear poop on it). "And so the daring heroes ventured forth, intent on slaying the evil- Oooh, smokables!"

At Mab's warning, Sharna's hands move in that slow, casual fashion to rest on the pommels of her twin swords. Wary, but doing her best not to betray it. "It's probably nothing." she notes, shrugging. She's clearly not convinced.

Something. Not the most descriptive, but most definitely better than nothing at all. Alteri is on foot, giving Stupid a rest after such a long day of travel. She has practiced enough, at least, to not slow the group down despite being armoured. Ground tethering the mare at Mab's initial discovery, the Eldanar immediately draws her blade. Indeed, she will take no chances after their encounter with the owlbear. As per her job to be rearguard, she turns that her back is to the rest, checking for possible eyes behind them.

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay. Another round of perception checks as we FF a little bit."

GAME: Spike rolls perception: (2)+0: 2

GAME: Mab rolls perception: (18)+4: 22

GAME: Azog rolls perception: (4)+0: 4

GAME: Sharna rolls Perception: (2)+11: 13

GAME: Alteri rolls perception: (12)+5: 17

Heeding Mab's warning (Possibly. Spike.) you move forward, ready to be ambushed by this vicious murder-gnome at any minute. Or at least spook him from his hiding place so he can be chased down. Another half mile, and you find yourselves facing the most classic (cliche) of adventurer set-pieces. THe rope bridge.

You crest the hill and spot the bridge just 30 yards off on a gentle slope downwards before it drops off into a small limestone canyon. 20 feet away, the fissure stops and cliff continues on slightly uphill, with thick underbrush on both sides. The sound of rushing rapids gurgles below. Somewhere nearby, a crow caws. The wind blows through the trees, plucking out leaves and making the branches rustle, and the rope bridge, a wooden planked affair built to take the weight of pack mules and horses (hopefully), sways gently. If there was going to be an ambush, this would be the perfect place.

GAME: Mab rolls 1d6: (2): 2

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+7: (5)+7: 12

GAME: Mab used a Scroll of sleep.

As the group approaches the bridge, Mab withdraws a slender scroll from inside her pack. She unravels it, relying on the fact that she's in the middle of the group to hide her actions. The scroll turns into a variety of feathers, which float down over the far bush. When there's no immediate response, she hrms. "That either worked, or it did not. Either way, there's someone over there."

Mab's spell doesn't cause any bushes to start snoring, but it does illicit a voice coming from the left side of the bushes. "Knock it off with the spells. I got scrolls and wands and I know how to use them! Don't come any closer!" Squeaks the possibly familiar voice of the formerly esteemed Ezra Chiselworth.

Azog rides towards the bridge, next to Spike at the head of the group. He grunts as the target pops up, nodding slowly to Mab. "Not a hundred percent effective," he states solemnly, not slacking his pace. Indeed, he gives the horse a nudge in the ribs to hurry it towards the bridge, lifting up his tower shield to give him full cover against anything the fugutive might hurl his way. Well, except magic and things.

And the voice confirms what Mab says quite handily. Being the stuffy Highborn sort, Alteri leaves her mare behind and steps forward. Chin lifting, she calls back across the ravine, "Master Chiselworth, I presume? You may have many trinkets but we have many arms and legs. I offer you a chance to hand yourself in and no harm shall come to you."

===== Current Initiative Order =========
 23                  Sharna
 19                  Azog
 19                  Mab
 17                  Ezra
 13                  Alteri
 11                  Spike

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay, Sharna! You up!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "Well, our cover is totally blown. Can I get to the other side of the bridge in one round's actions?"

<OOC> Owen says, "Possibly. It's 90ft to the bridge from the hill, downhill. Then 20ft across the bridge. You can run, but I will require some acrobatics to make sure you keep your balance and don't sprawl out in a tumble."

<OOC> Sharna says, "Wow. Okay, hypothetical situation - if he cuts the bridge's ropes, is there another way to keep chasing him down available or are we stuck facing off right here right now?"

<OOC> Owen says, "Call it DC 9. 0 + 5 (Full Speed Run) + 2 (Slightly Rough Dirt Terrain) + 2 (Slight downward slope)."

<OOC> Owen says, "Jumping 20ft, or getting over to the other cliff face and climbing up. There are roots and vines growing along the cliff face."

<OOC> Sharna says, "Hm. I'll actually delay to see if my companions (who are faster to react than he is) make it."

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay. Mab!"

<OOC> Mab says, "Helpfully, having pointed out it is my turn... I'm going to hold action because I'm too cowardly to try and run across a bridge ._."

<OOC> Azog says, "So, it's DC9 acrobatics to run across, or DC20 to clear it in a jump?"

<OOC> Owen says, "Yeah. Using your ride modifier or the horse's acro modifier, whichever is lower."

<OOC> Azog says, "OK. It's got a base dex 14, so +2 for that, and it's heavy template, so +2 to the roll?"

<OOC> Owen says, "Well, no problem for the acrobatics, since you can't fail it. Now, the ride check."

<OOC> Azog says, "What's the ride check for, again? And any mods?"

<OOC> Owen says, "The jump across. You gotta use the lower modifier. Your ride or the horses. And the horse gets pretty decent bonuses with the speed and run feat, etc. Still seems kinda crappy with all that momentum built up. So call it a ride check with a +2 circumstance bonus."

<OOC> Azog says, "Ah."

GAME: Azog rolls ride+2: (16)+8+2: 26

<OOC> Owen says, "You ace that shit. It looks totally bad-ass."

<OOC> Owen says, "You do land in a pile a underbrush(difficult terrain), but it's just that one square. Make me a perception check, Azog!"

<OOC> Azog says, "How close does my full move get me to the gnome?"

GAME: Azog rolls perception: (11)+0: 11

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+5: (12)+5: 17

<OOC> Owen says, "Right next to where you heard the voice, but you don't see him underfoot or anythign."

Azog looks left and right at his companions, then at the bridge, and at the bush over there where it seems like the bad guy came from. The bridge looks sturdy enough ... well, damn. He nudges his horse in the ribs, urging it on hard, hard, hard, and it hits that bridge at a run, and before he knows it, he's across, ready to lop the head off that little bugger .... only where is he? "Surrender now, or die!" he bellows, perhaps a little late.

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+7: (6)+7: 13

<OOC> Owen says, "That hit your touch Ac, zog?"

<OOC> Sharna says, "Oh! I stop my delay now that I'm not doomed to being alone over there and take the run. No jumping, though, just across the bridge all lithe and light-like. If I might?"

<OOC> Owen says, "Sure, just make an acrobatics check DC 9 to not go ass-over-teakettle with the full run."

<OOC> Azog says, "Yep, I think. +2 for dex is all I get for touch, I think."

GAME: Owen rolls 2d6: (8): 8

<OOC> Sharna can't fail DC 9 Acro:

GAME: Sharna rolls Acrobatics: (1)+11: 12

<OOC> Owen says, "Aight. Just pose it then!"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+18: (18)+18: 36

Seeing Azog vault across the chasm on his horse has Sharna stare. "Wow." she says, shaking her head, as if unsure she just saw that happen. And then she, herself, breaks into a run towards the other side. She trips. A -lot-. It's really quite unlike her. But it doesn't slow her down the least, tumbling and hopping back onto her feet each time, and soon enough, she's across as well, huffing, puffing and peering about for their target.

As Azog amazingly arcs, arcanely augmented appraisers act! To the bushes to Azog's right, there is a rustle as the bedraggled gnome criminal Ezra bursts forth and points his fist at Azog. "Blathering Blatherskites!" And with that nostalgia-infused command word. The ram-headed steel ring glows and flickers, a ghostly ram like figure of force projecting from it as it. The ram slams into Azog and sends him hurtling backwards off his horse, luckily hard enough to launch him off his steed and back across the chasm onto the side he just left, his armor crumpled from the force.

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay. Ezra is now visible for those on hold."

===== Current Initiative Order =========
 20                  Mab
 19                  Sharna
 19                  Azog
 17                  Ezra
 13                  Alteri
 11                  Spike

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay. Unless Mab wants to come off delay/hold and act, I guess we'll move to Alteri."

<OOC> Owen says, "Aight. Since I kinda moved ahead already. We can have your attack/standard action go to a move to stand up from getting bull rushed by Ezra's ring of the ram so you will be upright when it comes back to your turn?"

<OOC> Azog says, "Sure, that's fine."

<OOC> Owen says, "Well, we'll get to Mab when she wakes up. Alteri?"

<OOC> Alteri says, "The bridge is 90ft away. Alteri will doublemove 60ft to get closer."

<OOC> Owen says, "Alright. You hustle and slide down the trail. Go ahead and pose it. Spike?"

Trying to keep up with her much swifter comrades, Alteri immediately hightails it down the slope, her eye kept constantly on where she heard the voice emit from. And good thing too, for she manages to catch sight of the gnome using an arcane object on Azog. She winces at the crunching sound the orc makes. "Resisting arrest," she says to herself, hurrying and if managing to reach Azog, checks on him. "You all right?"

GAME: Spike rolls intimidate+4: (13)+6+4: 23

Spike goes rolling almost unconcernedly down the hill as she begins calling out to the gnome,"You may have noticed, I am quite a bit larger than you! Some relevant statistics which you might want to consider while you think about surrendering: I weigh a quarter of a ton. My skin is hard adamantine. I'm covered in spikes and torn up portions of owl bears. I just ran over a bear-owl-creature. I am much larger than you. And I find you extremely irritating for punching my friend. You should, for your own good, reach the logical conclusion. Before /I/ reach /you/. Or else."

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+1: (5)+1: 6

MabAUTOPILOT takes the trail well traveled, now rutted up and pounded by the feet of Spike, Alteri, and Sharna and the hooves of Azog's horse. She cautiously moves to take cover, then again to take cover at the edge of the cliff behind one of the anchor posts supporting the bridge on her side. She readies a gob of grease and shapes it along with several arcane gestures and intonations into a spell, causing the ground below and behind the gnome's feet to become slick. Ezra takes a step backwards and tumbles to the ground, coating his back with the slimy oil.

<OOC> Owen says, "Sharna!"

<OOC> Owen says, "You are like 5ft away from Ezra, who is mucking aroudn in all the grease and whatnot."

<OOC> Sharna says, "Not wanting to be thrown in the chasm by his magic ring of doom, I'll move so that my back is away from it fully, drawing my saps in the move. And ready an action to brain him when he either tries to do something funny with magicz or tries to move in the grease."

<OOC> Owen says, "Alright. Pose it. :D"

It is not the blades that Sharna flips into her hands, but the pair of trusty blackjacks, sauntering so her back isn't to the extremely dangerous pit. She flips them, staring the fallen gnome down, ready to whack him at a moment's notice at the sign of any funny business. "You're a reasonable man. Listen to the crazy golem and just give up, hmm?" she croons.

<OOC> Owen says, "Azog! You are 10ft to the left of the bridge. So to get in melee reach with the little gnome, you need to move 35ft. 30ft if you got a reach weapon."

<OOC> Owen says, "Incidentally, the chasm is kinda all Butch and Sundance. About 30ft down then you get white water rapids with lots of rocks and all that."

<OOC> Azog says, "I will doublemove, which gives me 40, and if I can move to where Sharna will get flanking when he tries something, I will do that"

<OOC> Owen says, "You can, but you'll be in the grease."

<OOC> Azog says, "Anywhere non-greasy to stand?"

<OOC> Owen says, "There are spots next to Sharna that are non-greasy and in reach of Ez, but nothing directly across from her."

Azog grimaces as no sooner than he heroicly rides across the bridge he's slammed back to the far side, breastplate dented and ribs hurting. He pulls himself to his feet, nodding to Alteri about being OK, and bellows an Yrch warcry. Hustling across the bridge on foot this time, he finds the gnome in the middle of a sticky, slippery mess, and winds up going around the mess to approach the little rat.

<OOC> Owen says, "Ezra is reaching to a belt pouch! Sharna, commencing clubbing!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "Hokay."

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d20+2+5: (17)+2+5: 24

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d6+2: (3)+2: 5

<OOC> Sharna says, "He takes that much nonlethal."

<OOC> Owen says, "You club him in the arm as he pulls out a small fuzzy ball from the rust colored pouch and tries to throw it toward you and Azog. Let's see where it goes flying!"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d12: (4): 4

<OOC> Owen says, "Or no, that'd be 3 o'clock. This would the right of Azog, i guess."

GAME: Owen rolls 1d100: (34): 34

<OOC> Owen says, "The suddenly appeared wolf will attack Azog!"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+2: (12)+2: 14

<OOC> Owen says, "The wolf tears at your clothing/armor, but accomplishes little else. Okay, Now ezra gonna scramble to his feets. Make your AoO's, you two."

GAME: Azog rolls 1d20+8: (6)+8: 14

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d20+2+5: (2)+2+5: 9

<OOC> Owen says, "Azog, you hit. Sharna, you miss as your sap's blow is absorbed by a shimmering force armor (Mage Armor)."

GAME: Azog rolls 1d10+5: (1)+5: 6

<OOC> Owen says, "You give him a good poke in the leg as he stands up."

"YEARGH!" Ezra cries as his arm is hammered with the blackjack, the freshly produced fuzzy ball dropping from his tiny fingers from the shock. The tiny thing lands next to the Yrch warrior and in a puff of smoke, dissappears. It is replaced with a snarling timber wolf, that starts to attack and tear at the warrior. Meanwhile, the gnome tries to clamber to his feet, barely avoiding getting brained once more, but does suffer a vicious stab in the calf by Azog in an opportune moment. "I'll split it!" The gnome cries. "Just let me go!"

<OOC> Owen says, "Alteri!"

<OOC> Alteri says, "I doublemove again, hoping the bridge doesn't collapse under meh. To a spot to hopefully give someone flank on gnome or wolf."

<OOC> Owen says, "You can move in to flank the wolf with Azog, yessum. Pose it!"

"Resisting arrest most violently," Alteri appears to be taking mental account of all of the gnome's building list of crimes. Not that her feet remain idle while she does so. Pausing just a moment to ensure the bridge takes her weight, her long legs eat up the distance and she pounds across to skid to a stop by the wolf. Her sword is already out and she prepares to menace what is menacing Azog.

<OOC> Owen says, "Spike!"

<OOC> Spike says, "Anybody ever seen what happens when an adamantine-bodied war golem fails an acrobatics check?"

GAME: Spike rolls acrobatics+1: (9)+-4+1: 6

<OOC> Owen says, "Kay....Spike. High or low?"

<OOC> Spike says, "Low. :)"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d100: (37): 37

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay. You don't go plummeting off into the river. You stumble and go all barrel rolling/snowballing down the hill. Tuck and roll! The bridge supports sort of whip-launch across the chasm (breaking the support posts on the other side), possibly hitting 1) Sharna, 2) Azog, 3)Wolf, 4) Alteri."

GAME: Owen rolls 1d4: (1): 1

<OOC> Owen says, "Sharna! Reflex save!"

GAME: Sharna rolls Reflex: (3)+8: 11

GAME: Owen rolls 3d6: (14): 14

GAME: Owen rolls 2D6: (6): 6

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay. That concludes your action, Spike. You are next to Sharna, prone. And crumpled and with all sorts of wood chips and whatnot smashed into you. Sharna you get smacked real good and hard by Spike as she goes flipping through the air."

Spike is now waving her hands as she's calling out,"Hey, guys! Wait for me! I wanna punch him to-OOF!" She trips, going down. And then a curious thing happens. Trying to avoid being damaged by her fall, she tucks, and rolls.... And keeps rolling. In fact, she looks a little like some sort of spikey cannon ball. When the bridge sling-shots her, shattering its own posts, she looks even more like a spikey canonball. Finally, Sharna's constant attempts to keep distance from Spike prove prophetic as the big spikey war golem goes sailing through the air, clipping Sharna pretty hard. As she untucks from her canonball, she has time to wave to Sharna as she passes, before thudding into the ground in a poof of dirt, dust, wood chips, and Gods know what else with an ear-splitting sound of shrieking metal and splintering wood. She is silent for a brief moment. Then. "Ow."

<OOC> Owen says, "Mab is going to use her TK fist on the wolf!"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d20+1: (4)+1: 5

<OOC> Owen says, "And her aim gets thrown off by the exploding, whirling, spinny-cam maelstrom that is Spike and all the debris flying through the air with her. :("

<OOC> Owen says, "Sharna!"

<OOC> Sharna says, "I'm totally boggled by the positioning, so I'll ready action, yeah."

"You know, I'm tempted." Sharna whispers to the fraudulent gnome, her lips pursing rather cutely. "But they wouldn't approve." she finishes, quietly, a miniscule, almost imperceptible dip of her head indicating the other adventurers. "Sorry."

And then, well, then her eyes widen and she's -mangled- by a flying Spike. "You're supposed to be on my side!!" she shrieks at the golem, forcing herself to whip her gaze back to the gnome as she flips the blackjack in her hand. "Be sensible. Do you WANT the golem getting its hands on you?" she tells Ezra.

<OOC> Owen says, "Azog!"

<OOC> Azog says, "I'm gonna swing, darnit. He's got tooo many HP. He'll be more amenable to persuasion if we can fix that."

<OOC> Owen says, "Alright. Roll it!"

<OOC> Azog says, "I have flanking, you said?"

<OOC> Azog says, "Or, no, on the wolf. I'm attacking the gnome."

GAME: Azog rolls 1d20+8: (17)+8: 25

<OOC> Owen says, "That hits. Roll it."

GAME: Azog rolls 1d10+5: (8)+5: 13

<OOC> Owen says, "You get him good. He's barely up at this point."

Azog had tried to prevent the little pest from getting up, but there's a wolf gnawing on his greaves, and it kept him from getting his shoulder behind the swing, resulting in a less than devastating poke in his leg. He can do better, oh yes he can! He ignores the wolf now, it's not nearly as dangerous as this little gnome! Snarling defiance as Spike comes tumbling through and plowing into Sharna, Azog brings his blade across in a flat arc, slashing the gnome deeply, steel biting into flesh, leaving a deep slash.

From a battered satchel, Ezra produces a twisted looking thick wand of some bizarre wood with a lacquer that gives off a rainbow in an oil puddle type sheen. It twists and curves wildly before it comes to a platinum cap bearing the face of the Coyote! that point relatively straight from where the gnome grips it. He points it at the prone Spike and shrieks, "BACK ALL OFF! OR SO HELP ME THE GOLEM GETS IT!" He slowly takes a step backward...

<OOC> Owen says, "Do you take your readied action? He is taking a 5ft step back."

<OOC> Sharna says, "The golem gets it? Isn't this a good thing? I will take my attack. :("

<OOC> Owen says, "Kay, it'll go simultaneously for lulz. Make your attack!"

GAME: Owen rolls 1d100: (54): 54

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d20+2+5: (17)+2+5: 24

<OOC> Sharna says, "He FF?"

<OOC> Owen says, "He is since he moved."

GAME: Sharna rolls 1d6+2+2d6: (4)+2+(11): 17

<OOC> Sharna says, "That much nonlethal."

"... Really? The golem gets it? Really?" that's Sharna, setting her hands on her hips briefly. She's battered and bleeding -because- of the golem! And with that, the blackjack gives a loving kiss to the side of Ezra's head. THUNK.

<OOC> Owen says, "Okay. Just before Sharna cold-cocks him and knocks him unconscious, Ezra activates the Rod with a mighty "DURP" command word. Black inky darkness drips from the wand before it shoots past the War Golem, narrowly missing her. It goes on for a few feet, before it explodes in a cloud of utter blackness, enveloping you all! D:"

<OOC> Owen says, "That was a suck result. I wanted elephants or lightning bolts. Or somebody to turn to stone. :("

Spike sits up, as if she were never in danger at all, and reaches out. Pop. The gnome goes into the sack she brought, rather unceremoniously, and declaims to Sharna as if everything were fine,"Hey guys, I got him!"

Azog eyes the sacked gnome, and recalls his own recent time in a bag of holding. "Make sure he doesn't suffocate," he suggests, then thinks again, and says, "But first, make sure he isn't carrying any more magic stuff. If he does wake up, we don't want him armed and dangerous." He looks around at the greasy ground, the bridge, and his horse (which gives him a reproachful look). "Let's get back."

The embezzler captured with no loss of life (minus that wolf and the bridge), you search him over. A handy haversack and a backpack of holding bulge with goods, along with several ledgers and accounts and the bare essentials of traveling supplies. The bean counters will sort it out in the end (assuming you don't pocket something for yourselves. Talk it out with whirl, it's above my paygrade), and the indignant gagged cries of Ezra sound ever so sweet as you wait for Larry the Merchant Wizard to pick you up. One bag of holding trip later, you find yourselves back in Alexandria, triumphant!

The End!