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 #16
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The party had traveled back to Tallo yesterday, and attended the awards ceremony last night. A bard wrote down the details of the parties' adventures and promised to write a song about it. Jay's father, who had been at the starting banquet, was not available for the ceremony, so their trophies were presented to them by Jay.
They were now eating lunch in the royal kitchen. "I'm not at all surprised you guys won, actually," Jay said. "It sounds like you guys work well together and you're all pretty bright. I wish I could have gone on the hunt; it sounded like a lot of fun.
"I'm a bit envious of the freedom you guys have," she said not for the first time. "Still, I think I have the ability to change a lot of things here. People have gotten too complacent with the status quo, and money drives things too much here instead of talent. It'll have to be gradual, but I think in 10 years we'll be much more efficient."
They made more small talk as they finished lunch. A page came in and whispered something to Jay. Jay made a frown and whispered something back to the page, who nodded and then left.
"What was that about?" asked Vaugner, who had used his rogue skills to overhear much of the conversation.
"It's very vexing. There is a bandit named Bruté who has been leading a group and detaining caravans north of Tallo. Usually he just stops them and asks a few questions, and then lets the caravan go. But occassionally, items have been stolen and once there was blood spilled.
"The annoying part is that he keeps his camp only a day or two north of Tallo, usually. But every time we send a comapny to arrest him, he somehow knows about it and is gone before we get there. We have a leak in the castle somewhere, but so far we haven't found out who it is, and we've employed a wide range of magic as well as regular investigating.
"A patrol recently found signs of him in a valley north of Tallo, and while I'm sure once the information goes up the chain of command and someone sends a company after him, he'll be long gone, I'm hoping to make some inroads in finding out who the spy is."
"You know," said Kestrel, "we might be able to help you out here. We could go to the valley and capture him well before your patrols could even organize themselves to leave."
"Ah, the life of adventurers," Jay replied. "It must be nice to just decide to do that. If you are serious, I would be very grateful as he is a political thorn in my side."
"Sure, we'd be happy to help out," said Malif.
Jay called a messenger and directed him to tell the captain of the patrol to delay filing his report until the next day. "That should give you enough time to get him, I think," she told the party.
Jay sighed and said wistfully, "This sounds like a lot of fun. I wish I could go with you..."
"You know, if you want to come along, we'd be happy to have you. We even have a way to disguise you if necessary," said Malif, pointing to Vaugner's hat of disguise.
"Really? Hrm let me think for a second," Jay said. As she thought she absently played with a small silver necklace depicting a silver squirrel finly engraved.
"This is about the only time I could escape and not be noticed, since the winter session of senate just closed and everyone is on vacation for two weeks. I could say that I have some material I want to study and I need to stay in my room and not be disturbed."
Jay grew more excited as she spoke. "Give me two hours and meet me in the stables. I need to take care of some things but I should be able to find a way to get out here without being noticed."
Two hours passed, and when the party arrived at the stables Jay was waiting for them. She dug around one of the stalls and emerged with a bag.
"Ugh, this is heavy! And how do you make it not chaff?" Jay said as she put on a masterly crafted chain shirt.
"Do you know how to use that morningstar?" Kestrel asked.
"Yeah, I took some lessons back in school but I've never actually had to use it against a live person. But don't worry about me, I can stay out of danger," she said as she inspected her bedroll, a change of clothes, some food and water and other items she thought she might need.
The party and Jay saddled up. Vaugner lent his hat of disguise to Jay for the ride out.
"How exactly does this work?" Jay asked.
"Well, it makes a visual illusion of whatever you want, but if someone actually touches you, it might not feel right. So whatever you envision yourself as, it should probably have chain mail."
"Whatever I want? Can I change genders?"
"Sure, as long as it's around you're same size. Just concentrate on what you to be and then say 'Vesto'."
Jay giggled and then thought for a second. Jay invoked the command word and morphed into a likeness of Brock.
"Brock!?!" Blink cried. "Why Brock? He's such a... um..."
"Hi Blink, I bet I know more about fighting than you," Jay said in her best Brock imitation. "You don't even have a weapon, and you call yourself an adventurer.
"But anyways, I thought I'd have a little fun. Oh come on, you think it's funny too, admit it!"
The party headed out. With the hat of disguise they escaped Tallo without being questioned. Since Bruté was a day away, towards nightfall they found a nice campsite and made dinner. Tidus, as usual, cooked a superb meal. While the party had been on the hunt, he had made friends with several of the cooks in the keep, and he had access to some rare herbs which were only available in the surrounding area.
"Wow, this chicken is better than some I've had in the royal kitchen," Jay said. Several of the party members had wondered how well the princess would fare in the outdoors, sleeping on the ground facing the stars.
Spotting the looks as she laid out her bedroll, she laughed and said, "Oh come on. I wasn't always a princess. You guys never even knew when we were in school that I was anything but a normal person. I bet I'm less of a pain than Errol was the first time he slept out."
"What!?!" Errol exclaimed indignantly.
"I seem to recall once in school when you complained because our teacher had run out of the nice paper and our homework assignments were given out on normal paper Errol.
"Anyways, aside from the chain shirt, this has been great so far. I'm really glad you guys let me come with you."
After traveling for half the day, the party neared the valley where Bruté was camped. The road they were on wasn't a main road, but was still in good repair. The terrain surrounding the road had been sparely populated with trees in the morning, but as they neared the valley, the tree density grew. Rabar, Malif's falcon familiar, had scouted ahead and warned Malif there was a guard hiding in a tree off the road.
The party decided to ambush the lookout. Vaugner circled around the left, and Blink circled around on the right. Both tried to move silently, but they were given away by the many twigs and leaves on the ground.
The lookout heard the steps and jumped out of the tree when he saw he was outnumbered. He sprinted into the woods, grabbing something out of his pocket as he ran. Seeing the lookout run, Blink shouted to the rest of party, which had stayed back to remain hidden, and sprinted forward. Vaugner also ran forward and pulled out his bow. Unfortunately, he had to correct his balance as he shot, and the arrow went wide.
The lookout kept sprinting, but Blink was almost upon him. Vaugner moved forward again and lined up another shot as the rest of the party spurred their horses into a gallop along the road. Vaugner's shot hit the lookout and he fell, unconscious.
Vernon came up and stabilized the guard, and Vaugner bound his hands and feet with rope. Vernon then cast cure light wounds and the revived him. Malif used his skill in intimidation to convince the lookout to talk to them.
From him, they learned that Bruté was camped in a clearing surrounded by forest on three sides and the road on the other. In addition to Bruté, there was a monk who was commanding most of the troops. The troops consisted of six novices who had just started being mercenaries and four veterans who had enough training to be specialized with a weapon.
In addition, Bruté had at his disposal a cleric, a sorcerer, and two lieutenant fighters who were sometimes in camp and other times running errands. Lastly, Bruté had taken on a novice wizard, who was more of a nuisance than a threat.
They also asked him about how he communicated with the camp. The lookout responded, "I have these magical leaves. Any time someone comes along this road I'm supposed to crush one. If they look like a threat, I crush another one a minute later. I'm not supposed to leave my post unless I'm discovered."
The party asked some more questions, but learned nothing useful. Errol then started talking to the lookout. Using great skill, he gradually calmed the guard and then bluffed him into thinking the party wasn't a threat. Vaugner untied the ropes, and Errol started playing his drums to fascinate the lookout. He left a suggestion to the guard that he should ignore the party and go back to his hiding place as if nothing had happened.
The guard walked back to his hiding place and hid in the trees. The party looked after him for a minute and then continued down the road. Malif again sent Rabab aloft to find the encampment. Rabab quickly found it and returned to Malif with the news. Using this information, the party dismounted a few minutes away from the camp and left Tidus to tend to the horses.
Walking through the forested region, the party was able to sneak up to the edge of the clearing without being seen.
There were three tents lined in an L about 60 feet apart from each other. In the middle there was a campfire. Completing a square with the three tents was a monk giving a speech to four rows of three men. The monk was dressed in dark green leather pants and a matching shirt, with no visible weapons. Each of the men listening to him had on a chain shirt, shield, and long sword. Several of the men carried long bows.
Eavesdropping, they heard bits and pieces of the speech. In essense, the monk was reminding the warriors that they were not to provoke violence if at possible and they wanted to avoid provoking the government enough to cause a confrontation.
The party saw the close configuration of men, and quickly decided to fireball the men while they had a chance. Blink and Vaugner moved away about 50 feet to better flank the opponents, and Malif lit off a fireball.
The fireball hit dead center, killing four men instantly. The rest were able to partially avoid the blows. Vaugner shot an arrow at the monk and missed. Blink sprang into one of the fighters, trying to trip him, but failed and was tripped in turn. Kestrel moved up to create a front line. Errol hit four of the fighters with a sound burst that stunned most of them. The party had caught the enemy by surprise, but as they started to react, they knew their task was going to become harder.
Two of the fighters were able to move before Malif's second fireball went off, but not far enough to avoid the blast. The second blast finished off two more men, and the other six looked fairly singed.
Vaugner shot off two arrows at a fighter, seriously wounding him, while Blink stood up and attacked the nearest fighter, but he missed.
The monk shouted something unintelligible; a few seconds later a wizard ran out of a far tent and began casting a spell. As the monk moved towards the wizard, the wizard finished casting enlarge person and touched the monk. Now twice his height, the monk moved forward to engage Kestrel in a rage, easily hitting Kestrel through his armor. The monk also yelled out, "Bruté, I think we might need your help out here!"
A sorcerer and cleric also emerged from the tent. The sorcerer cast flaming sphere on Kestrel, but he was able to move out of the way. The cleric cast hold person on Blink which held fast.
Errol again sound blasted the four fighters, including the ones nearest Blink, but the one closest to Blink wasn't stunned.
One of the elite fighters moved towards Blink while the other attacked Kestrel, missing him. Vaugner and Malif shot four arrows which killed the sorcerer and wizard.
Kestrel attacked the monk, hitting both times, but the monk still seemed healthy. The monks return flurry of blows seriously wounded Kestrel, and he yelled, "Um Bruté, I think we might need your help out here!"
The enemy cleric ran up to heal the monk with a cure moderate wounds and Bruté emerged from the tent. Bruté was dressed in a flowing black robe with a hood that hid most of his features. His face was visible, however, and the party instantly realized it was Burton.
The fighter closest to Blink sensed his opportunity and coup de graced Blink, killing him instantly.
Burton surveyed the scene and said, "Bah, I know of this group. They should be no problem... their monk is already dead! I am waiting for an important message and cannot be interrupted. Deal with these people yourself; they shouldn't pose much of a problem." With that said, he went back into the tent.
Errol again sonic bursted several fighters while Vernon cast calm emotions on the monk trying to both figure out how the monk could rage as well as counteract it. The spell had no effect on the monk.
Malif and Vaugner turned their attention to the cleric, and were able to kill him between the two of them. The fighter in melee with Kestrel missed, but both the monk and Kestrel hit each other with their attackes. Vernon healed Kestrel with a cure moderate wounds and Errol cast a cure light wounds on Kestrel. Jay, sensing Kestrel was in trouble ran up and also cast a cure light wounds.
Malif and Vaugner decided that shooting arrows at a monk was probably suboptimal, and targetted the elite fighter meleeing Kestrel instead. They shot four arrows at him, and three hit.
The fighter hit Kestrel again, and Kestrel and the monk again exchanged blows. "How tough is this monk?" Kestrel wondered. He knew he had done enough damage to have killed himself one and a half times over.
Out of second circle spells, Vernon healed Kestrel with a cure light wounds as did Jay. Errol succeeded in immobilizing the elite fighter with a Tasha's Hideous Laughter.
The other fighters, which had mostly been put out of action by the sonic bursts and calming emotions, were now able to advance towards the party.
Realizing the situation was starting to look grim, Malif and Vaugner signaled to retreat into the woods, where a well-placed web should even the odds. They each shot an arrow and retreated into the woods. Vaugner's arrow killed a fighter which was in range of Vernon, while Malif's arrow hit well enough to put another fighter onto his last legs.
Though the party had killed many of the enemy, there still remained the monk; two elite fighters, one of which was tasha'd; and two veteren fighters, one of which was almost dead.
Kestrel withdrew to avoid causing any attacks of opportunity. The almost-dead fighter moved up and took a swing at Vernon, but missed him. Errol cast Tasha's hideous laughter on the other elite fighter, also incapacitating him. The other veteren fighter charged recklessly into Kestrel, using the power of his charge to make his weapon more potent. The charge caught Kestrel off-guard, and the fighter saw his opening. A critical hit for maximum damage killed Kestrel outright.
It was clear the monk thought the party was on its last legs, and the party wondered if this was the end of them all, but the monk yelled out, "Bruté, I need your help. The clerics dead, most of the troops are dead, and I'm going to be dead in about twelve seconds when my rage ends if I don't get some healing."
With that, the monk retreated back towards the tent. The party finished off the remaining two veteren fighters and the mostly incapacitated laughing elite fighters. Vaugner snuck a peek into the tent the monk had disappeared into but it was empty.
The party collected the dead party members and loot. All of the troops, even the rookies, were outfitted in masterwork chain shirts. Each of the veteren and elite warriors had a masterwork long sword and bow. They also found two magical rings, one of them true, the other mundane.
"Wow, they seem well-outfitted," said Jay. "The quality of equipment is a lot better than I would have expected."
Solemnly the gathered the dead party members and equipment onto the
horses and rode back towards Tallo.