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CameToPlay
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"Another astute observation, friend Thäoran!" Constantine rumbled, slapping a hand onto the elf's back and shaking his shoulder heartily. "But that is a risk we need taking, I fear. We've run into a fresh trail worsening with this downpour, and should we turn up empty-handed, we will be returning to the village prematurely. Inevitably we will have to go back to Botkinburg for supplies anyways, so I see no need to have our unarmed friends venture out into the wilderness after us when our return to civilization is assured."

He grinned broadly at the group, eyes glittering in the firelight. "Shall we call this our first adventure together then, friends?"



Posted on 2020-12-10 at 22:23:06.

Nomad D2
RDI Fixture
Karma: 51/6
2912 Posts


The hunt begins . . .wait, what?

The party with all of its various new and old members discussed options as the rain came down.  Eventually two plans seemed to emerge. 

First, the Dragonborn’s retainers would head to Botkinburg.  The Ridge had proven to be a place not welcoming to those not fully expecting adventure.  The big metal warrior Steel offered to guide them back.  It seemed likely that being across the river with a formidable warrior for protection they should be able to make it back safely.  There was some discussion of their continuing attempts to gather more information once they were there, but not many were confident they would learn much.  But that didn’t mean they couldn’t try.  For now the retainers sought a brief sleep in the dry corners of the hut while the sleepless warrior stood guard, staring out into the rain.  They would leave at first light.

Second, the other group agreed that they needed to find the goblin’s headquarters.  The problem as all noted was that they had no clue where such a headquarters might be – beyond simply being somewhere on the river.   The only hope for something beyond a search of the entire Ridge seemed to be the goblin that had fled the battle.  All looked out into the rain and knew that tracking the creature would be difficult at best.  Certainly the rain would wash away almost all tracks.  It wasn’t a true downpour, but it was a heavy and steady rain broken periodically by flashes of lighting.

As the group pondered options it was the newly arrived druid Luna that offered a potential solution.  He could shape-change.  Perhaps as a bloodhound he would be able to track the vile creature even in the rain.  Certainly goblins had a strong and rank smell.  But as he looked at the rain he also knew that every rain drop would make his job harder.  A light rain could actually make tracking easier – but this was not a light rain.  After making his suggestion he looked at his new comrades and added another part to the plan.  “If we are going to do this we must go quickly.  More rain will only make my job harder.  No, impossible.  As is I can’t be sure how long I will be able to follow the trail.  But the faster we go the more chance I have.  If you truly wish to find the headquarters, we can’t wait for the dawn or for the rain to stop.  We must pick up our bags and go now.”

The others agreed.  Not happily in most cases, but the truth of what the druid said seemed obvious.  Everyone quickly prepared their goods, picked up their packs and headed out of the hut and towards the battlefield.  Goblin bodies still lay scattered across the road, green blood washed away by the rain.  The other elves in the group quickly pointed out to Luna the direction in which the runaway had fled.  The druid quickly changed into a bloodhound – a large dog that sniffed back and forth across the ground scenting for the track.  It took a moment, but he found a track.  He stopped, looked back at the group and woofed quietly – then sped off down the slope.  The rest of the group quickly went after the druid hound.

The dog scrambled after the scent, hurried on by the urgency of the scent and the knowledge that every moment he delayed increased the chances of the scent being washed away.  Even before he reached the river he had already lost the track twice and had to search in an ever-growing circle to find it again.  The others in the group found themselves almost relieved by these breaks as scrambling through the brush, down the slope and over and around rocks and boulders proved extremely difficult going.  They weren’t 30 feet off the road before the party was covered with scratches and recognizing that sometimes the small size of a goblin might actually be an advantage. 

When he reached the river the hound turned . . . south.  The entire group seemed surprised as the goblin headed down stream and back towards the bridge.  This was the same bridge everyone but the dragonborn had crossed earlier.  As the tracks approached the bridge they appeared to head into the water.  The hound ran back and forth along the shore but could find no track.  After a couple of minutes of this he stopped, stared up at the bridge, and sprinted up to the top of the bridge and down on the other side – there had been no way to go under the bridge without swimming.  On the southern side of the bridge he again ran up and down the river looking for a scent . . . and quickly found it.  Looking back at the party as they straggled across the bridge abutment in the rain he offered up a little bark.  The hound shook the rain off and vent his frustration.  It seemed likely that the goblin had been floating under the bridge even as he had crossed the bridge in the shape of a cat earlier in the night. 

When the others reached the hounds location they didn’t need a bloodhounds nose to know that the goblin had indeed gone this way.  A pair of bootprints were plain in the mud, filled with water from the rain but obvious to all.  The hound moved quickly off downstream.  The goblin seemed to be sticking fairly near the river, but heading down-stream as quickly as it could.  The going was no easier here than it had been on the slope.  Moving as quickly as they could the party frequently had to wade into the water to get around deadfalls and giant rocky obstructions.  At other times they had to climb slopr 50’ or more before coming back down.  This land was not made for a hike. Periodically gullies ran up into the ridge with strong streams of rainwater rushing down them. The hound made progress but as the night progressed he found it harder and harder to keep the trail.  At times he would lose it and have to search for a while before finding it again.  At such times everyone grew anxious, fully aware that such delays only allowed the goblin to extend its lead.

Eventually the hound reached a marshy area and lost the trail completely.  Search as he might he could not find it in the reeds.  After 15 minutes he plunged through the mud to the far side a few hundred yards away and sought the trail on the far side.  As he trotted up and down on the far side with his nose to the ground he suddenly stopped and stuck his nose up in the air.  There was something on the air.  Not the goblin whose scent should be on the turf . . . but smoke.  A growl started in his chest but the druid suppressed it.  He moved quickly through the trees followed quickly by the others.  A few yards south of the marshy area everyone stopped at the same time.  Ahead they could see a flame.  A fire of some sort was less than 100’ in front of them. 

Creeping a few feet forward to see, Hornet peered from behind a tree and saw a sight he had not expected.  There were no goblins, but rather several tall and hairy creatures – bugbears he was sure.  Two sat around a small fire under a large overhanging fir tree apparently trying to stay warm and dry.  About 15’ away from that pair another bugbear seemed to be speaking to a large creature hanging upside down and tied to a branch of the tree.  The creature in question looked to be something long and furry and at Hornet’s best guess was probably a 6 or 7 foot long otter.  Even stranger, Hornet could swear that when the bugbear growled at it that the creature responded.  The otter seemed to be speaking.

 

(OOC:  You can see 3 bugbears.  They are around 70-80’ away from you depending on which one you are speaking to.  The otter-like creature is hanging upside down from a tree – apparently tied up.  The goblin trail disappeared on the other side of a marshy area – several hundred yards behind you.  At the moment the bugbears do not appear to know that you are there.)



Posted on 2020-12-11 at 22:14:51.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 59/18
2560 Posts




  Hornet returned to the others.  "There are bugbears ahead,  Appears to be three of them, two by a fire and one taunting a very large otter strung up in a tree.  Nothing too weird there.  Now, this next part I am not sure I even believe.  When teh bugbear growled at the otter, I assume taking to it but I don't speak bugbear, the otter seemed to talk back, but I don't speak otter either.  The bugbears might be in league with the goblins or at least know where the goblin lair is.  I suggest we attack them while we have surprise using ranged attacks on the fire and hopefully use sleep on the one by the otter so we can question it.  As for the otter, I say we at least keep it alive to see what it is.  I've never seen a talking otter."   



Posted on 2020-12-15 at 18:59:20.

dragon-soul92
RDI Fixture
Karma: 16/1
718 Posts


'You Have My Bow.'

Thäoran took in the scene before him while being careful to remain hidden behind the thick trunk of an ancient pine.

Bugbears. He had encounted such creatures on his patrols with the soldiers under his command back when he was with his fellow elves. Seven feet tall with compact muscles, they could deliver a devastating blow to the unwary. It appeared that these were having otter for supper. The poor creature had been snared and was hanging from the branch of a tree in a net. Thäoran's keen elf ears picked up the sound of...how peculiar. Were the bugbear and otter conversing with one another? He wished to investigate further on this strange scene and when Hornet suggested a plan that involved ranged attacks on the campfire the bugbears were gathered around to surprise the brutes, the elf drew his bow from its buckskin tube and smoothly and silently nocked a swan-fletched arrow.

'You have my bow,' Thäoran nodded to his companion.


Posted on 2020-12-17 at 06:41:38.

TannTalas
Trilogy Master
RDI Staff
Karma: 180/119
6764 Posts


A New Dawn

As Silver watched Steel make his way back to town with the Paladin’s retainers she knew for the time they be apart she would miss him but leaving the retainers to go back on their own without some form of protection was a no go and Steel had volunteered. She knew she’d hook up with her friend again soon enough. Then it was onward to find the Goblin hideout and to remove that cancer from these woods. However they encountered a different force entirely, a unit of Bugbear’s.

Hornet quickly surveyed the Bear’s encampment and returned with his findings.

"There are bugbears ahead, Appears to be three of them, two by a fire and one taunting a very large otter strung up in a tree. Nothing too weird there. Now, this next part I am not sure I even believe. When the bugbear growled at the otter, I assume taking to it but I don't speak bugbear, the otter seemed to talk back, but I don't speak otter either. The bugbears might be in league with the goblins or at least know where the goblin lair is. I suggest we attack them while we have surprise using ranged attacks on the fire and hopefully use sleep on the one by the otter so we can question it. As for the otter, I say we at least keep it alive to see what it is. I've never seen a talking otter."

As Silver listened to Hornet talk she knew what her part in this would be.

“Ok if the rest of you can deal with the Bugbear’s, I’ll rescue the otter and make sure none of the Bear’s kill it.”...............



Posted on 2020-12-17 at 17:20:39.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 59/18
2560 Posts




"Be careful Silver, just because the bugbears have the otter tied up doesn't mean it might not be dangerous."



Posted on 2020-12-17 at 17:55:51.

TannTalas
Trilogy Master
RDI Staff
Karma: 180/119
6764 Posts


hmmm love interest?

"Don't worry Hornet I'll be well aware of it could be other then it looks"

Silver raised her eye at the other Rogue's worry and gave him a slightly mischievious smile.........



Posted on 2020-12-17 at 20:15:08.

CameToPlay
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 19/2
193 Posts




At Hornet's warning, Constantine drew a javelin from the sling on his back, smiling menancingly in the dim light. "Allow me to contribute to the fray. I'll take the one on the left, if you don't mind, friend Thäoran."



Posted on 2020-12-17 at 20:16:00.

Nimu
RDI Fixture
Karma: 64/11
1389 Posts


Poppies! Poppies will make them sleep...

Missiles flew past Soledad towards the bugbears with deadly accuracy. The witch exhaled for two heartbeats and then struck sending a sleeping hex to ensare the beasts. The timing was precise, perfect; just as the arrows bit into bugbear flesh Soledad's spell fell upon them. 

((OOC: Sleep on the bugbears timed to hit them after the arrows do))



Posted on 2020-12-21 at 21:55:54.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 59/18
2560 Posts




Once the plan was final and all were in position, Hornet gave a "hoot".  His bolt flew towards the bugbears and was joined by arrows, javalins and a spell.  With luck the battle would be over before the bugbears were even aware they were under attack.



Posted on 2020-12-22 at 16:15:45.

dragon-soul92
RDI Fixture
Karma: 16/1
718 Posts




With practiced ease, Thäoran drew on his bow with a sure touch, his sharp elf eyes fixed on the brutish beast before him. The tip of his arrow perfectly alligned with the creature's eye. If the arrow struck true, the bolt would impale the fiend's brain and that would be the end of it.

Releaing the bowstring, Thäoran watched as the shaft sliced through the air, never wavering on its course as, with barely a whisper of sound to betray it, it flashed straight towards its target, the swan feathers of the fletching assisting greatly with the shaft's keeness of flight.


Posted on 2020-12-22 at 16:35:37.
Edited on 2020-12-23 at 20:37:13 by dragon-soul92

Hammer
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Karma: 93/24
4352 Posts


Dok Stood Watch

Hornet had relayed to the group that two Bug Bears were by the fire and a third was apparently taunting an Otter that was bound and hanging upside down from a tree limb.

Curiously, the Bug Bear and the Otter seemed to be conversing with one another, but Dok quickly surmised that it was not a pleasant conversation from either party.

Plans were quickly made for a surprise attack, so Dok made a strategic decision to quietly move to a position of seclusion to the far left of his companions, as close to where the Otter was hanging, before they launched their attack.

Dok stood watch on the far left, making sure that there would be no surprise counter-attacks upon his friends, plus being ever vigilant in case any Goblins were also viewing the scene.

The Hill Dwarf Cleric of Helm waited with his battle axe ready, along with a second Spiritual Weapon spell if needed, scanning the surrounding area repeatedly for any signs of unexpected danger



Posted on 2020-12-24 at 12:24:15.

Nomad D2
RDI Fixture
Karma: 51/6
2912 Posts


Arrows in the Night

The group moved to launch their assault on the bugbears.  Two of the creatures were sitting near a fire while the third appeared to be interrogating a very large otter that was clearly bound and hanging from a tree nearby.  The creatures appeared to be focused on their food and the conversation and saw nothing as the group prepared its attack. 

               As one they drew back their bows and prepared their spells.  Hornet aimed at the one on the left and saw his arrow fly through the wet night and smack into the left hand one by the fire.  The creature, caught completely unawares, threw whatever it was eating skyward as it caught itself from being tipped backwards.  At the same moment Thaoran’s arrow smacked into the one on the right causing it to drop its food as well.  Both stood up with a roar as Constantin’s javelin flew past their heads – harmless this time, but it caught their attention.

               Just as the arrows found their mark a sleep spell descended on the creatures and the bugbear on the left was stopped in mid roar, eyes rolling upwards as it fell backwards asleep.  The other two monsters looked at their dozing companion briefly and grabbed weapons – looking for their attackers. 

               Meanwhile Doc moved to the left a bit in the woods – about 30’ to the side and a little forward.  He didn’t think the bugbears had seen him in the chaos of the attack.  Silver moved in the same direction.  Like Doc she was still about 50’ away from the Otter when the creatures roared their challenge.  Meanwhile Luna sat a bit back from the others still in hound shape.  He had no more shape changes left for the day and presumably hoped to keep his shape (about 4 hours left) in case the goblin chase needed to be renewed. 

 

OOC

You got the drop on them and were able to get a free round off.  The situation is:

 

By the Fire:

Bugbear #1  (Left):  took a solid shot and is asleep.

Bugbear #2  (Right):  Minor injury and awake.

 

By the Tree:

Bugbear #3:  Unharmed.

Otter:  Looking around at the action.

 

The Group:

Doc and Soledad about 30’ to the left and forward – about 50’ from the tree/otter/Bugbear #3.  Believe they are unseen.

The rest are grouped together about 70-80’ away.  The tree is closer than the fire.

 



Posted on 2020-12-26 at 20:58:10.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 59/18
2560 Posts




  As usual the plan worked and didn't work.  They had gotten a surprise attack off and scored some good hits but failed to kill any of the bugbears and the most injured one was the victem of the sleep spell.  Hornet shrugged, such is the way of battle plans.  Reloading his crossbow he took aim at the closest bugbear and let loose another bolt.  With luck the enemy might not know exactly where the attack came from and not be able to counterattack.    



Posted on 2020-12-27 at 07:31:05.

CameToPlay
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 19/2
193 Posts


Drats!

A low curse escaped from Constantine as his javelin soared past the bugbears' heads. Thrown weapons were never his strong suit, anyways.

His battleaxe slide out of its sheath easily, coming to rest comfortably in the knight's right hand. He held it at the ready, prepared to defend the elves drawing their bows in case the bugbears - or reinforcements - managed to breach their next volley of arrows.



Posted on 2020-12-27 at 18:52:18.

   


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