Add a Journal
Q & A
Welcome to The Chosen's journals. Each character is invited to keep a
journal and write down the thoughts of their characters as they wander
through Nyternia. In addition, the DM has a journal which highlights
each session. The players are:
DM's Journal, session #12
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The party arrived back in Pavalar. Errol was still severely weakened, and had a thought, "You know, Vernon could probably help out here with a lesser restoration. Why don't we see if he's around?" They party agreed that seemed like a good idea, and they went back to the halls which they had just recently left as students.
Vernon greeted them somberly. Over lunch the party described the adventures through Sola and Errol's encounter with the shadows. Vernon explained what he had been up to since the night they last met with Tera.
The next morning he had received a summons to meet with Farlow, a belar professor of theology. Since then he had been spending time going through a number of texts describing the creation of the world, looking for anything interesting or any inconsistancies between the known texts.
Vernon took a look at Errol and said that he could help Errol out, but it would take a night for him to prepare. Errol replied that it was no problem, as the party was trying to gather some information about Pox, and also had a couple of other errands to run before heading out.
Vernon thought that sounded like an interesting diversion, as he bad been busy researching for over a month now with no real break. He said that he was sure he could get permission for a couple days off and would love to come along on this adventure.
"Sure," said Kestrel. "It'll be just like old times!"
The party had discussed the caves on the way back from Sola and agreed that web might be a key spell given that there were potentially many enemies and the caves should provide good anchoring points. That afternoon, Malif went to the mages guild and bought the spell for 150 gold. After the purchase of the magical chain shirt and the gold spent on the riddlemasters, the party was feeling very poor.
Malif went back to his study and was sufficiently skilled to scribe web into his spellbook, though it would take 24 hours.
Meanwhile the rest of the party tried to find more information about Pox. They discovered little new about him, but were able to determine with a great degree of accuracy where the caves he operated out of were.
Malif had finished scribing web, and Errol had been healed to full strength with the help of Vernon. The party set off west on a coastal road that would lead them close to the cave. Trees abounded above the undergrowth off the road. It would be hard to spot anyone who was hidden off the road. The road itself was fairly well maintained, however, and the trip started smoothly.
As they neared the supposed hideout, they decided to head past the area first and see if they could spot anything unusual. Nothing was amiss, however, and they passed where they thought the cave would be without incident. Deciding to travel a little further in case there was a sentry they couldn't see, they came upon a path that intersected the main road and led towards the ocean.
The party attempted to spot a sentry again, but again failed. They traveled about a mile further, and then decided that since it was about noon, this would be a good time to eat. Tidus set out his pots and pans and started cooking. He had resupplied in Pavalar, and made a rabbit stew that tasted marvelous.
After lunch, the party decided that Blink and Vaugner, the two people who could move silently, would scout ahead about 100 feet, while the rest of the party followed. Tidus would stay with the horses. Errol reminded Tidus that if they didn't return after two days, to go back to Pavalar and tell Mortenser what happened. They cut straight across the woods until they reached the cliff face. The cliff face was very steep; it would have been impossible to climb down that section without a lot of rope. Beyond and below the cliff there was about 50' of beach and then ocean.
Blink and Vaugner then signaled that they were going left, back towards the smuggler's cave. They moved along this way, moving silently and hiding, for about 15 minutes when they came upon a wagon trail which opened up to the beach below them.. Drawing a quick mental map, Vaugner noticed that this was still too far to be the same path as the one they saw before. They hiked a little closer back to the main road so they could cross the trail without having to climb down and back up.
They continued with Vaugner and Blink in front and the rest of the party trailing behind. A few minutes later, they saw another wagon trail leading to the beach. Realizing that this road was probably the one that connected the main road with the smuggler's cave, Vaugner motioned that they were going to head back up to the top of the trail in an attempt to find a sentry.
As Blink and Vaugner crept up, they heard nothing aside from the natural sounds of the wildlife around them. All of a sudden, a distinct rustle was heard by both of them. Not sure what was happening, they both stopped and hid.
After about 15 minutes passed, nothing had happened, so Vaugner motioned for Blink to move forward and flank where they thought the noise was coming from. Blink crept forward quietly. When he arrived at the spot, it was pretty clear a humanoid had recently been here but had also left. He was about to call the rest of the party over when suddenly he heard wagons pulling close. Coming from the west, 5 heavily laden wagons turned onto the side road along with 15 men.
After the wagons went by, Blink motioned the rest of the party forward. Vernon looked around for footprints or other tracks and immediately spied a set of human prints. He followed them as they paralleled the side road for several hundred feet before swerving back to the main road.
The party decided to set up a watch to ambush the sentry when it came back. As the minutes turned into hours, no sentry appeared, but the party was patient. Towards dusk, the wagons rumbled by again, again with 15 men but this time with their loads empty.
Night fell, and the party settled in for a fireless night. A thick fog rolled in, and the temperature dropped. Right before the first watch, Errol thought he heard a faint noise. He poked Vaugner, "Hey you silent types, go see if there is anything there."
Vaugner and Blink moved forward, but they could not see nor hear anything unusual. And still, no sentry returned. They returned back to camp, and the night passed uneventfully.
It was past dawn, and no sentry had returned, so the party returned back to the sentry post. Here Vernon used his tracking skills to determine that there were several tracks that led to this spot.
Irritated, Vernon decided to just go to the cliff face and look down. He saw two tunnels at the base of the cliff. Looking carefully, he spotted two sentries, one about 15 feet above each tunnel. He beckoned the party forward. As the party strode forward, Eroll heard a bird call which did not sound natural. Immediately, as if on cue, the two sentries climbed down from their encampments and went inside the tunnels.
The party set up reconnaissance here. They watched for about an hour, and then someone emerged from the tunnel and ran off towards the east, away from the party.
Unsure what to do now, the party sat and mulled over their options. Errol was in favor of just calling the whole thing off, but Blink thought there were still some options worth considering. Eventually, they decided to just head down the trail and see what happened.
They got about three quarters of the way down, when this time Blink heard a bird call which sounded unnatural.
By now the party the party figured out that someone had been watching them. Vernon looked for tracks and easily found fresh tracks. He began following them with the rest of the party following. Soon it became apparent that the tracks were simply going around in circles, almost as if someone were toying with them.
While the party debated about whether to turn back or not, Vernon took off on his own down the trail. Reaching the beach, he followed along the bottom of the cliff to the tunnel. Looking in, he saw a torch about 90 feet into the tunnel. By this time, the party had decided to leave, when they realized Vernon was missing. Shortly, Vernon reappeared and reported his fundings.
"There's no one stopping us from going down there," he said. "I made it all the way to the tunnel and looked in. I bet there is no one in there!"
The others looked doubtful, but they followed Vernon back down to the cave. Looking in again, this time Vernon spotted a figure hiding in the shadows. Seeing that he had been spotted, the figure darted farther into the cave.
The party decided that since nothing bad had happened yet, they would go inside. Vaugner checked for traps, didn't find any, and then promptly tripped over a wire tied to some cans. A loud racket rang out.
"Well, at least it's not like they didn't already know we were coming," Vaugner said. He stepped forward and looked for more traps. All of a sudden 4 crossbow bolts burst from the darkness within. Two of the bolts struck Vaugner as he let out a warning. At Vaugner's urging, Errol starting tapping a melody out on his drums.
Seeing nothing, Vaugner moved in farther. After the initial 90 feet, the tunnel opened up into a large cavern. Vaugner could see four men armed with crossbows in the open shooting at them. In addition, he saw three more men about 60 feet to the right, taking partial cover from a natural cavern as well as a table.
Vaugner took a step back to get out of line of sight of the covered men, and shot an arrow. It flew true, and instantly killed one of the men in front of him.
Three more bolts came flying at Vaugner, one hitting him. Vernon stepped up and healed him. By this time the rest of the party moved up, with Errol keeping rear guard. Blink spotted a figure skulking towards them.
Another one of the crossbowmen fell, and then a flaming sphere erupted onto Kestrel, burning him. By now, six other crossbowmen had circled around and closed in from the rear. Errol gave a shout as six crossbow bolts flew at him, a couple hitting him, and quickly retreated to the middle of the party.
Malif, who had memorized two web spells, now uttered the words to cast his first web. It was centered behind the six crossbowmen and entangled them all. In the meantime, Vaugner killed another crossbowmen, the flaming sphere moved towards Malif, who was able to dodge the sphere.
Kestrel moved forward to trip one of the crossbowman, but instead had to drop his weapon to avoid being tripped himself, then suddenly felt under the grip of a hold person!
Seeing Kestrel paralyzed, the skulky man charged Kestrel. It was clear now from his pock-marked face that this must be the leader, Pox. Kestrel was hard to miss, as Pox hacked at Kestrel. Pox was able to find a particularly weak spot, and Kestrel looked on helplessly as he was paralyzed. At the same time, the three crossbowmen moved forward and shot their crossbows at point blank range. It was obvious from their mannerisms they were thieves, and Kestrel prepared for the worst. Luckily, only one bolt managed to penetrate his armor, though he tried to cry in pain from the shot.
On his turn, Kestrel was able to shake off the effects of the spell. At the same, Blink moved in and attacked Pox, trying to stun him with a solid blow of his fist. Blink's hand blurred and he connected! Pox tried to shake off the blow, but was stunned for a few moments.
Malif was able to spot the cleric and wizard. Though the cleric had moved forward, they were both still within range of another web, so he moved out from next to the sphere and cast the web in between them. The six men at the back were busy trying to get themselves extricated from the web.
Vaugner killed the last crossbowman in the melee to prevent him from flanking for Pox. As Pox recovered from Blink's stunning blow, Blink hit again, and again stunned him. Kestrel moved and drew his greatsword and then tried to hit Pox, but missed. Two of the three thieves which had been holding back now moved in and flanked Vernon on both sides, scoring some relatively minor hits. The third moved in to attack Malif.
The cleric tried to cast a spell, but the webs got in the way and he failed. The party had lost sight of the wizard since the web provided cover for him. This also meant, however, that the flaming sphere which had been annoying the party also winked out of existance.
Again Blink found an opening and struck, and again Pox tried to shake off the stunning effects of Blink's fists, but yet again he succumbed. Vaugner moved in to get his sneak attack damage in, since Pox was stunned, but missed! The two thieves flanking Vernon both missed; the third one attacking Malif hit, but since he was unable to flank Malif, only did minimal damage with his rapier.
Finally Kestrel was able to connect with his sword and fell Pox! Grimly the enemies pressed on, but soon it was over. Malif scored a critical strike with one of his arrows, nearly decapitating one of the thieves, though this was tempered by a critical miss which ended up wounding Kestrel. The remaining two thieves were quickly dispatched.
Seeing all this, the six crossbowmen still trying to break free from the web surrendered, as did the cleric when he was promised not to be hurt or killed.
They found out the cleric's name was Gaspar, who was cooperative and showed them around the cave complex. There were several rooms -- two cargo rooms, one of which was filled with 30 crates of various cloths and the other empty, a room for food, ale, and water, two rooms with beds, a room for trash, and a room for Pox, Gaspar, and the sorcerer.
"You'll never cast the sorcerer, I'm sure. There aren't enough of you and I'm sure he still has his spells," Gaspar said. The party shrugged, as there wasn't much they could do about it.
Pox had carried masterwork longsword as well as a magical buckler. The cleric carried a chain shirt, a masterwork morningstar, and a mundane magical ring, which he claimed was a ring of protection. In addition, three of the thieves had masterwork rapiers. Gaspar informed them that Pox had just paid off some people, so didn't have a lot of gold around. Though Vaugner searched the office and many of the caves for hours, he was only able to find 40 gold.
The party found out from Gaspar that the cloth was the only cargo in the caves, and that a ship would be here later tonight to pick up the crates in exchange for 700 gold. Blink came up with an idea -- since the crates were hard to move, they would pose as the smugglers and sell the crates to the pirates. In return for their help, the party would pay what was left of Pox's group 100 gold.
Gaspar said, "That'll be hard to pull off... if Pox isn't here they will get suspicious. I can probably talk our way through most of it if we can get them onshore, but they won't land unless they see Pox."
At that, Vaugner look a close look at Pox and used his hat of disguise. Instantly, his image transformed into a hideous crater-filled face, and he scowled.
Gaspar started, and then agreed, "Well then, that should work, at least for looking like Pox." He then whispered, out of earshot of the other prisoners, "I'll tell you what... you still won't be able to deal with them without me. Give me 50 gold on top of the 100 gold I have to split and I'll be happy to help you out."
The party agreed, and spent the rest of the day there waiting for the ship. Errol went back to let Tidus know everything was ok. Vaugner searched for hidden doors and places to hide loot.
Near dusk, a ship moved close to shore, and a large raft with two men on it came close to shore. As they saw Pox, then landed on the dock. Gaspar negotiated a price, and the party and they all helped move the crates onto the raft. It took several trips but eventually all the crates were loaded.
While the crates were being loaded Malif approached what appeared to be the leader. He introduced himself as a friend of Pox. The man didn't seem interested in small talk and just gave a slight nod. Undaunted, Malif continued, "I'm helping Pox right now but I sometimes have my own operation running. If I ever have need of something transported, is there any way I could get ahold of you?"
The man looked at Malif appraisingly and was silent for a moment. Finally, he replied, "If you are around these parts, go into one of the rowdier bars and mention that you have a Torintz painting, and you are interested in acquiring more, or information of anyone who knows how you can get one. That'll get our attention."
Malif had no idea what a Torintz was. Errol later told him that it was a human artist of two hundred years ago who had some minorly famous paintings.
Back in Pavalar again, the party discreetly asked around to see if there was a reward for Pox. Vaugner stopped by the thieves guild and ran into Griffon.
"Heya Vaugner, I heard you whacked Pox. Hope he was worth it. Just a friendly tip... Pox wasn't on our payroll and was only paying for us to look the other way, and not for protection. But if he had, then, well, you'd have a problem on your hands, if you know what I mean."
Malif, who was with Vaugner at the time, replied, "Well, maybe you should let us know who is on your payroll so we don't accidently kill them."
"Yeah, that's a good idea," Griffon replied sarcastically, "We'll just open the books just for you. Ha ha." He shrugged. "Anyways, I just thought I'd pass that along... figured you might be able to avoid some trouble that way."
After gathering information, it appeared that Pox was unloved -- no one was offering a reward for his capture or death.
"Ah well," Vaugner said, "At least we aren't as poor now."
And with that, the party went home to catch up with their families and
prepared to leave again the next day.