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Thread: Chapter 9: The Xanthar Stronghold

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    Kalthanar says to the group, "I am advancing to the treeline so that I can see the fort and then use the potion."
    Last edited by Spellblade; 06-22-2019 at 12:21 AM.

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    Kalthanar advances north through the foliage making his way to the edge of the forest to observe the fort.

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollStealth - (1d20+20) (4) [24]

    OOC: we still have Pass Without a Trace up.

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    "I am going with you," interjects Alyssa.

    Authentic Forum Dice-rollStealth - (1d20+20) (18) [38]

  4. #124
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    Hrothgar finally rides in to where the rest of the Group and GGs are standing.

    "Well, looks like I missed out on some of the fun.... But I got the runner at least. Took me longer to shut him up than I intended."

    He looks over to where Galmund stands with the GGs that remain. Seeing that some of his men have died he offers a respectful nod.

    "They did not die in vain Galmund. Be assured of that".
    Corn canít expect justice from a court composed of chickens.

  5. #125
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    Hrothgar dismounts and hitches the horse once more... dumping the Orc body with those of the bugbears. He goes over and offers to assist Galmund with his fallen.

    It takes a while but eventually he looks around and asks "Where are Kal and Alyssa?" having only just realized that they are nowhere to be seen.
    Corn canít expect justice from a court composed of chickens.

  6. #126

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    As if in answer to Hrothgar's question, a battle horn is heard to the north, far enough off that the others can tell that it's coming from one of the towers - probably the southeast one. Most shouts are heard from bugbears that scream at something. Vortigern walks over to one of the dead orc bruisers with their massive flails and begins calling on Reorx's blessing to animate one of them into a zombie.

    To the north, Kalthanar and Alyssa sneak to the edge of the treeline. Kalthanar gets closer than his previous reconnaissance, and sees the southern edge of the fort. Of immediate note, no patrols seem to be coming their way in the cleared field, meaning that they are either already in the woods coming towards them, or they are defending their position. Both towers on this side now have four inhabitants each. The southeast one has four bugbears with very large longbows. The southwest one has four orcs. As Kalthanar looks, two ogres are visible above the southern wall. These ogres are somehow outfitted with a makeshift basket. Inside the basket are two orcs with bows each. As he is examining the ogres and what little he can see of the fort from over the wall, he is surprised as an arrow lands in the thicket 5 feet in front of him. Several more fly by him harmlessly, but it's clear that he was spotted by the bugbears in the southeast tower. The orcs are oblivious to Kalthanar despite the many attempts of the bugbears to get the attention of their comrades.

    Kalthanar and Alyssa retreat to safety and regroup with the others.

    By this time, Vortigern's miracle is completed. The orc bruiser rises from the ground slowly, now an animated zombie. In the back of Vortigern's mind, he wasn't sure how his cursed status with Chemosh, the evil god of death (and undead) would effect the creation of a zombie, but at first glance it appears to be functioning okay. Vortigern issues commands, and the zombie complies.

    The others spend their time searching the bodies and tending to wounds. The four Golden Gauntlent members that fell in combat are all dead. The remaining men have a mixture of emotions. Some are ready to leave, while others understand what is at stake here. Galmund does his best to reassure his men and boost morale.

    The other Sentinels check the bodies of the dead. They find little of value on these scouts beyond their weapons. The orc captain had been wearing half plate armor, which bore the markings of the Golden Gauntlet. The various weapons are of good quality, and appear to have been obtained in previous battles. Vort looks at the flails with curiosity but doubts that he could recreate the level of precision that the orcs were wielding them with. As he rises from observing the flails, he notes the zombie has come closer to him and is staring at him. Another swift command sends him away. Vortigern assesses that while the zombie is obeying him, prolonged lapses of commands seem to make the zombie do things other than what he's commanding it to do. He surmises that sleeping or falling unconscious would probably not be best with the zombie around.

    Galmund looks at the group wondering what the plan is now.

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    Vort says, "If Kal or Alyssa was spotted, then maybe they have a wizard on their side--someone with a familiar perhaps? Anyways, do we start picking off the ones in the towers until they send someone out to play, or do I send Bernie, my zombie orc to distract them and we do something else?"

  8. #128
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    Hrothgar offers words of encouragement and praise along with Galmund until he hears Vort's question.

    "We need to keep picking away at their numbers, divide and conquer and all that." He eyes the zombie up with more than a hint of disgust and apprehension.

    "Er, and please keep that thing away from me. I'm not above using it as a distraction, but its still foul magic and I will destroy it if you lose control of it".
    Corn canít expect justice from a court composed of chickens.

  9. Default

    Kalthanar returns to the group, “I think our priority is to discern if another war party has been dispatched and is closing in on our position.” The high elf unstoppers the potion of clairvoyance and drains its contents.

    OCC: put the censer in the middle of the fort. Visuals followed by listening. Kalthanar speaks both orc and goblin.

  10. #130

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    Kalthanar drinks the potion and observes the fort. His vision shows a bugbears and orcs being led by a bugbear headhunter near the central building. The northern towers only have one archer in each of them, but the southern towers have four each. Two ogres guard each east and west entrance with a pile of boulders by their side.

    Kalthanar notes the dwarven heads on pikes surrounding the central building. His view is closer than Vortigern's placement though, and he gets a few more details about the heads. He notes that one of the heads is clearly elven, and after some staring at it, notes it as Theoden Reynorin, one of the original Pathfinders ambushed and killed on the road. Given the head here, it is likely that some portion of this fort was what was patrolling and cutting off Alliance, possibly before they set up residence between Alliance and Xanthar.

    Kalthanar notes quite a few dwarven heads, probably more than 50. There are also at least 30 human heads, likely Golden Gauntlet or caravans that were ambushed. Of note, some of the dwarf heads, possibly a dozen, are beardless. Kalthanar has never seen a beardless dwarf before, so he finds this unusual.

    He switches his focus back to the commanding bugbear and finds that something seems unusual about what he's seeing. He can't place his finger on it, but the orcs and bugbears seem to be avoiding eye contact with him, even as he seems to be issuing orders. Finding this odd, he switches to audio and listens.

    OOC: snippet of what he hears.

    IC:
    Bugbear voice A: "What's happening? Report."
    Bugbear voice B: "Neither the orc patrol or the ambushers have returned. Tregu called out that they were ambushed."
    Bugbear voice C: "Not that we know of. We only saw a few of the human fools."
    Bugbear voice B: "And a lone elf. We shot at him, but he retreated."
    Bugbear voice A: "No, defend your positions for now."

    While he hears general orders and preparations, the conversations that he is hearing are incomplete. Questions are unanswered, and the orcs are sometimes answering questions that aren't being asked. He switches back to visual and again finds the situation strangely odd.

    He surmises that some kind of magic is at work here, but he's not sure what it is. Either it's some kind of illusion or something is simply missing from the assembled conversation.
    Last edited by zebsen; 06-26-2019 at 09:22 PM.

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