Something in the Woods

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Log Info

  • Title: Something in the Woods
  • GM: Riptide
  • Place: Somewhere in Alexandros
  • Summary: Fidget, Reithak, Theadosia, Tlanexhuani, and Ulthan find what's kidnapping the sheep from the village of Vale in the Heartlands of Alexandros: a group of skulks. They're quickly dispatched, however!

Somewhere in Alexandros, mid-day.

The cusp of summer in the lands surrounding the city of Alexandria is supposed to be warm, sunny, and with a cool wind on the breeze. But apparently, today didn't get that memo, because the light of Daeus in the sky is hidden behind by grey clouds, and the breeze is something that has the slight biting promise of rain if those clouds in the sky turn a darker shade. It's a grumpy sort of weather to be in on a Guild assignment, but that's what brings you and your allies out to this local patch of woods, which are as green as can be and as fresh-smelling in the cloudy day's air as one could hope to find. Again, it'd be nice--if it didn't look like it was about to rain and all of that dirt under the boots wasn't about to turn into mud.

The Guild report about this mission is relatively brief. A local village by the name of Vale is having trouble with something that keeps popping out of the woods and abducting sheep. Strangely, only sheep. Nothing but sheep. "I guess whatever's grabbing them is really wild about wool," one villager offered over a pair of knitting needles when your group stopped in to ask for directions.

But you've been pointed to an abandoned cave in the area, a natural formation that's typically home to bears in the winter--and who-knows-what in the warmer months. It's in the woods and that's where the villagers think these sheep-kidnappers might be.

GAME: Ulthan rolls survival: (7)+5: 12
GAME: Theadosia rolls survival: (13)+6: 19
GAME: Fidget casts Detect Magic. Caster Level: 3 DC: 14

Tlanexhuani is pleased to be out and about in the weather, which seems pleasant enought for him. Maybe a bit cool, but damp is much more dry than rain. The aged bluescale is less pleased about sheep.. or that they seem to go missing so often. He moves, long form hunched forward over the crystal-tipped spear that serves as a walking stick more often than not.

"Sheep favorite in thiss land. This one watched for sheep-takerss before..." He pauses to rub at his chin with claws. "Or was goatss? Are many creaturess kept that can be prey, ssa?" Sheep, goats, cows, chickens, dogs, cats... Too many to keep track of. And now they are at a cave, which could be home to some other strange animal.

"Odds are better they want the meat than the wool, but I guess we'll find out!" Fidget says cheerfully, closing her hands in a sphere, and then producing a small, simple sheep sculpture to give to the villager. "Bet we're back before that disapears." She grins and follows the others out into the field, trailing after the tracker's lead.

GAME: Fidget casts Prestidigitation. Caster Level: 3 DC: 14

Theadosia seems to be super excited to be here. Along the way, when she heard that there would be heading to a cave, she expressed the sentiment, "A CAVE! Boy howdy, if that ain't the cat's pajamas! Ya reckon we'll find some orcs? My Da always said orcs in a cave is the best startin' mission fer a would-be adventurer!"

As they near the cave, her excitement increases, and she already has her sword and shield out. Judging by the tracks that Ulthan spots, the country girl only gets more excited, "Ohhhhh... It might be orcs in a cave! Ya think it is? Oh, is this excitin'!"

Although the forest is slightly unfamiliar terrain for Ulthan, he still keeps his eyes oppen on the way towards the cave, to see if there are any fresh treacks. With help from Theadosia, the tall lady in armor, they spot a trail. The tracks aren't quite clear, but they do appear humanoid, maybe even human, but not quite?

Ulthan brings his heavy flail to ready from the looped sling he carries it on when travelling, looking at the cave entrance warily, recalling the time he earned the name for his trusted weapon, Bear Breaker.

GAME: Fidget casts Mage Armor. Caster Level: 3 DC: 15

Reithak is as relaxed as can be about such things, at least given the circumstances of being out here. The large egalrin stretches and adjusts their equipment. "Yeah, it's a farmer's job to keep a lot of animals like those safe for everything people need. Those folks back in Vale are relying on those sheep for their livelihood. Best get to the bottom of this before it gets worse, you no?"

The egalrin audibly sighs and smooths down a few feathers. "I wouldn't get too excited about it being oruchs dear, that's just a mess of bad news if it's the case. Trading the suffering one one for another is never a good trade, even if one group is stealing them. Not to mention if whatever's in there is intelligent, then it's going to be defending the place something fierce. Still, nothing we can't handle, you know?"

GAME: Fidget rolls perception: (4)+5: 9
GAME: Ulthan rolls perception: (10)+6: 16
GAME: Tlanexhuani rolls perception: (3)+9: 12
GAME: Theadosia rolls perception: (17)+2: 19
GAME: Reithak rolls perception: (10)+11: 21

Theadosia gives a sheepish smile as she responds, "Ah, sorry. Didn't mean no offense. Sometimes, I juss run at the mouth. I am juss really excited is all. 'sma first mission an' all, an' I wanna do good."

Unfortunately, the travel up to the mouth of the cave reveals that a grisly fate has befallen the sheep indeed. There's skinned pieces of sheep with the wool still hanging off the flesh that dangles from the branches of the trees. Apparently they hadn't come for the wool but for the meat.

Before the group makes it up to the mouth of the cave, however, there's a distinct and loud snap of a branch from behind a nearby tree.

Tlanexhuani blinks slowly and looks to the very excited Theadosia. "Orcs? What is orcs? Is dangerous?" He then looks to the others, snout dipping at Reithak. "Ssa, get sheep. Not need orcs, not get orcs." Tlanexhuanit remains hopeful as they approach the cave. That is, until he sees (and smells) the unfortunate sheep, then hears the snapping of branches nearby. "Be wary..."

GAME: Fidget rolls stealth: (14)+10: 24

Ulthan moves ahead, keeping track of the general direction from where the crack sounded, his flail moved high and ready for rapid action.

At the sound of a potential threat, Fidget scoots over towards the treeline, letting other members of the group take the direct route, she peeks around a tree and slowly approaches the noise, keeping a low, quiet profile as she does so, with one hand extended to protect herself with magic if needs be, while the barely visible shimmer of her Mage Armour makes her feel a little safer, she'd rather not be the target in the first place.

Theadosia 'snaps' to attention when she hears the breaking twig, and her enthusiasm vanishes into a stern determination. Readying her shield in front of her, she makes her way toward the direction the sound originated from. She moves forward with the chink of armor, prepared for whatever may appear from behind the tree, be it orc or owl.

"Orcs, Oruch? Have you never met any before?" Reithak wonders of the nearby blue makari. "They're people like you or I, honestly, probably closer to I." They begin to explain for a moment. "They're working through their past just like us egalrin, and sometimes they don't want to let go of it."

And further explanation is cut short by noises in the forest. The egalrin peers in the direction of the noise, and draws their rapier, keeping it at the ready. "Best to make sure we aren't getting ambushed before we even reach the cave." She whispers to the others before heading into the treeline. "I'll sweep around through the trees to see what's going on."

Orcs? Owls? No. The creature hiding behind the tree that Ulthan and Theadosia approach--the one that had snapped a branch on the ground--is a pale, gray-skinned thing. It has a shortsword drawn and ready that looks like it might have been looted from an traveling merchant or an adventurer, and a collection of rough, self-made daggers hangs off a strip of sheepskin that's been carved for the purpose.

Whatever it is, it snarls at Reithak, who has the clearest visual on it.

GAME: Riptide rolls 1d20+2: (8)+2: 10
GAME: Riptide rolls 1d20+2: (14)+2: 16
GAME: Riptide rolls 1d6: (5): 5

Two more of these strange creatures emerge from the cover of the trees. One of them comes from the opposite direction of the one that was spotted, snarling as it makes its way over to Theadosia and strikes against her, but its sword doesn't find purchase in her armor.

Ulthan is not quite as lucky. The one who emerges from the trees gets a solid blow on him, drawing first blood.

GAME: Theadosia rolls weapon2: (18)+6: 24
GAME: Theadosia rolls damage2: aliased to 1d8+3: (8)+3: 11

Theadosia hears the clang as the creature's shortsword bounces harmlessly off her back, and she spins on her heel, bringing her longsword down at an angle. She aims for the meeting point of shoulder and neck, but the creature is decidedly shorter than herself, so she ends up getting a solid blow to the head instead.

She brings her shield up to receive a counter as she shoots some sound advice to her ally next to her, ulthak, "Aim for the head! Their heads are squishy an' stuff!" Super helpful advice.

GAME: Tlanexhuani activates his Titan Armor, gaining: +4 Str
GAME: Tlanexhuani rolls weapon3: (14)+9: 23
GAME: Tlanexhuani rolls damage3: aliased to 1d8+6: (7)+6: 13

Tlanexhuani is not sure if these are orcs, but he does know they are appearing and stabbing at his peers. He has a soft spot for minding little ones, which technically includes anyone smaller than himself. With a snort, he touches a claw to his chest, imparting a spark from his blood that propagates through the bronze plates with a ripple.

He then steps forward next to Theadosia as he pulls the smith's hammer from his waist. "No!" he scolds the... whatever it is with a hammer blow. The thing listens, though it's by falling down.

GAME: Riptide rolls 1d20+2: (19)+2: 21
GAME: Riptide rolls 1d20+2: (8)+2: 10
GAME: Riptide rolls 1d6: (5): 5

The creature that Reithak's spotted decides to take care of the immediate opposition. It snarls and goes for the egalrin, catching the bird on her wing. This draws blood as successfully as its ally had done to Ulthan.

GAME: Reithak rolls 1d20+4: (15)+4: 19
GAME: Reithak rolls 1d6+3: (2)+3: 5

Well, it seemed things weren't actually in the cave, if the nasty wound on their wing was anything to go by. "Just one over here for the moment, but watch your surroundings!" The egalrin warns as they step back and thrust down, piercing one of the creature's shoulders with the blade shimmering with an unnatural warm glow.

GAME: Ulthan rolls weapon3+2: (7)+6+2: 15
GAME: Ulthan rolls damage3: aliased to 1d10+4: (4)+4: 8
GAME: Ulthan rolls kloc: aliased to knowledge/local: (18)+4: 22

Ulthan grunts as he feels the shortsword bite into his side, then he makes an another, annoyed grunt as these things register and connect to what he knows. "Skulks, frigging skulks... Not oo brighgt, and... "punctuaing his utterance with a hard shove of his flail's haft, using it like a blunt spear to knock the one facing him rigth in middle of its face, smashing flesh. "Not too sturdy for a pack of sneak-thiefs and ambush killers."

GAME: Riptide rolls 1d20+2: (20)+2: 22
GAME: Riptide rolls 1d20+2: (12)+2: 14
GAME: Riptide rolls 1d6: (1): 1

Like the just-identified skulks are objecting to Ulthan's characterization of their ability in combat, one more slinks out from the woods and swipes at Ulthan. It's only a glancing blow, however, more like a bloodied cat-scratch than a grievous wound.

GAME: Fidget casts Magic Missile. Caster Level: 3 DC: 15
GAME: Fidget rolls 2d4+2: (7)+2: 9

Peeking her head for a second around the tree to spot the skulk nearest, Fidget frowns - they didn't even talk before the violence, Fidget weaves glowing white symbols in the air which coalesce into two orbs of magical power, and with a gesture, she sends them flying towards the creature and leaving streaks in the air behind, dancing around the head of a teammate to slam into the skulk.

GAME: Riptide rolls 1d20+2: (1)+2: 3 (EPIC FAIL)

One of the two skulks on Ulthan tries to swipe at him again, but swings far too wide. It growls in utter frustration at its own failure considering its previous attack on the courier-adventurer was successful.

GAME: Theadosia rolls weapon2: (20)+6: 26 (THREAT)
GAME: Theadosia rolls weapon2: (11)+6: 17
GAME: Theadosia rolls damage2+damage2: aliased to 1d8+3+1d8+3: (3)+3+(3)+3: 12

Theadosia shuffles quickly into the tree cover in hopes to, potentially, flank the group of skulks working on Ulthan, but as she maneuvers through the trees, she comes across another one who is picking on her birb frien. Not cricket, "Playin' through, pardon!" She shouts as she cleaves the skulk's head clean off, clearing a path for more carnage to occur.

GAME: Tlanexhuani rolls weapon3: (4)+9: 13
GAME: Tlanexhuani rolls damage3: aliased to 1d8+6: (8)+6: 14

Now there's a bit of a split, but one is two-to-one in their favor and one is the same against Ulthan. Theadosia looks to make that two-to-two-halves immediately... so he steps up alongside Ulthan. "Begone little... sheep-stealer things!" That's for the skulks, not Ulthan, as is the heavy swing of hammer.

GAME: Reithak rolls 1d20+6: (11)+6: 17
GAME: Reithak rolls 1d6+3: (2)+3: 5

"Thanks for that!" The egalrin calls out as the skulk in front goes tumbling, leaving the space open to duck around Theodesia and towards the remaining foes. another lunge with the rapier pierces the Skulks arm, before flicking away to slice at a few muscles on the way out.

GAME: Ulthan rolls weapon3: (4)+6: 10
GAME: Ulthan rolls weapon3: (8)+6: 14
GAME: Ulthan rolls damage3: aliased to 1d10+4: (7)+4: 11

Ulthan swings the lower end of his flail's haft like a short quarterstaff, smashing it solidly into the sternum of the skulk that had cut him few seconds ago, then barging past the dropping humanoid to step behind the one remaining standing.

GAME: Riptide rolls 1d20+2: (20)+2: 22
GAME: Riptide rolls 1d20+2: (10)+2: 12
GAME: Riptide rolls 1d6: (4): 4

Ulthan's attack is met with the one remaining skulk bringing down its sword to bear into the courier as revenge for its fallen ally, snarling all the while. It's bloodied, battered, and almost hardly standing, but it will not go without a fight.

(Fidget activates pearl of power and casts magic missile)
GAME: Fidget rolls 2d4+2: (6)+2: 8

Eeping at the close swing on Ulthan, Fidget hops out of cover to send a few more missiles flying at the last remaining Skulk, before it can wind up for another hit, and they send it flying back into the grass with a pair of thuds.

Theadosia lets out a hoot, "Now that's what I am TALKIN' 'bout, y'all! No 'oorooks' or nuthin', but we got ourselves a right 'n proper throw down and we're the ones still standin'! Y'all did great!" She quickly cleans the blood off her sword before putting it back in her sheath.

Ulthan shifts his flail down and then goes over his scrapes quickly, checking if there is anything urgent, but after a quick check doesn't reveal any serious bleeding or dangerous-feeling cuts, he pokes at the nearest skulk.

Ulthan says, “These are looters, ambush predators... We got lucky that one of them wasn't up to their usual level. They could have snuck upon us all unseen... It would ahve been harder fight then, I reckon.”

The last creature for now falls, and the egalrin settles down to take a look around. "Seems we're okay, at least for the moment." Reithak sighs, pulling out a bandage and working on wrapping up their wound. "All these feathers, and the dang thing had to hit somewhere that draws blood." They grumble. "But I'll be alright. How about all of you? Ulthan over there isn't looking too hot, you need some healing?"

Theadosia frowns as she pads her pack, "Aw, heck'n'stuff. I didn't bring no potions 'r a med kit or nuthin. 'Pologies. I'm usually more prepared than this. Sorry, y'all."

She turns to Ulthan, "Ah, well, we coulda gotten ambushed, but we didn't. It's good 'n all to try to be prepared 'n stuff, but after it's all over, you can take 5 on those laurels for a sec, ya know?"

Ulthan shrugs as he checks the cuts. "They'll heal, at least I am not drenched in acid, this time."

Ulthan gets some bandages from his pack and wraps them over the cut to his side so it won't get aggravated later.

GAME: Reithak casts Cure Light Wounds. Caster Level: 2 DC: 13
GAME: Reithak rolls 1d8+2: (2)+2: 4

"Ah, don't worry about it miss, the threat's passed for now, better to save those potions for when you really need them and I'm not around." The egalrin chuckles as they pull out a small circle from beneath their jacket and twirl it around on one finger. "Appreciate the stoicism big guy, but I'm offering and I'm not tracking you down if that gets infected. With how those things are living, I'm not taking any chances." They continue, patting Ulthan on a shoulder, and quickly mending the worst of their wounds. "So, hopefully we got to the bottom of this, and Vale won't need to worry about them stealing any more of their livestock. Let's check the cave to see if there are any sheep left alive, then head back to report in. Sound good? Sounds good to me."

"Are you all okay?" Fidget asks, creeping out of the treeline with trepidation now the clamor of combat has come down. Seeing them brush off the wounds as minor, she nods "Okay - I guess we should go find out what's inside the cave now? Yeah. Let's find out if there are any sheep left, or if they all got eaten." she agrees, and joins the group.

The cave is easy enough to search--even if the contents aren't easy to look at. There's blood, flesh, and bones strewn about the cave. But there's no traps and there's no one hiding out within it. There's also only evidence of four skulks, which matches up with the ones the group had seen. Unfortunately, there aren't any sheep left alive, but the people of Vale will at least be somewhat comforted by the fact that there's not going to be any more sheep--or things besides sheep--stolen from their sleepy little village.

The weapons all appear to be either self-made or looted from travelers, merchants, or others beyond those descriptions. The swords are certainly manufactured by somewhat skilled hands, but the daggers tend to be on the rougher side. Either way, they're easily gathered and distributed back to the village or to the Guild.

It's a successful assignment, and that's a victory in a profession where such a thing can sometimes be hard to find.


Map link!

Swordswoman icon is Theadosia, flail icon is Ulthan, hammer icon is Tlanex, goblin icon is Fidget, bird icon is Reithak.