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Veteran Visitor
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111 Posts

Old Hangman’s Tree - What could go wrong?

20 gp for a days work. Not too bad!
Uthal takes the 20 gp offered by the Captain and when we return to the Fainting Goat, as we perch at out table, he takes his share (4gp) and passes the remaining around to Soldad, Gerdar, D'Harum and Fenris.

Uthal agrees to join the continued expedition to capture the remaining bandits. He notes Soledad's frustration. "Might as well start at the old Hangman’s Tree. There is only the four of us. I can shroud us in a shadow's veil (Pass Without Trace) upon approach. It might keep us hidden while we look around."

He stands and loads his pack onto his back and picks up his staff. "We should leave at first light. I will tell the Captain" and he marches off to inform Captain Rambolt of our decision before returning to retire for the night.

He returns to the table in the morning.

Posted on 2023-08-21 at 05:46:19.
Edited on 2023-08-23 at 02:46:32 by Jim

Nomad D2
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Karma: 55/6
3140 Posts

The deep, dark woods

After only a little discussion it was clear that everyone in the group was in favor of going after the bandits.  As the night lengthened Uthal brought the news to Captain Ramboldt, D’Harum entertained the crowd and Fenris, Soledad and Gerdar sat quietly and watched the inns patrons.  Eventually all took a rest so that they were ready to meet up again at first light.

               Early the following morning the group was ready to leave.  (No horse and cart this time – I am assuming they were returned to the guards and your security deposit was returned.)   It felt much like it had two days before as the group left town by the Field Gate.  They passed through the surrounding towns and passed into the woods.  The road passed through the edges of the wood keeping the river to the right.  About 15 miles along the group came to the place where they had been attacked two days previously.  Most of the signs of combat were hard to spot unless you knew what to look for except for the 40’ burned zone from the fireball which was hard to miss. 

               Assuming the group was headed towards the Hangman’s Tree this was the place to leave the road.  (I am assuming this but your posts seemed to indicate it even if it wasn’t directly stated.  If you prefer the other possible location, the Konigsqueren stream crosses the road about 8 miles further along.)  You can see the small hill/rock that the bandit leader had used to stand on and make his demands before being engulfed in Soledad’s nasty cloud.  Looking further back in the woods you can now tell that there was a line of small hills leading away from the road and the river.  At least you think there is.  The tall trees of the Barren Woods made it hard to see much of anything.  There was this first hill and then it seemed things tended uphill a bit.  Standing back on the other side of the road and trying to get a broader view didn’t do much good either.  Captain Ramboldt had said that there was a line of small hills here that extended back and about 5 miles in you would find the hill with the Hangman’s Tree. 


Overview and What Comes Next

At this point I do need more information from the group.  You are about to head off into the woods.  Please consider the following:

  1. Marching order in the woods. Single file is probably necessary.
  2. I assume you will try to stick along the side of the line of hills to follow it back. North side or south side?  Is there anything else you want to do or consider as you go back?
  3. Visibility is limited in an old forest. Is there anything you want to do to make sure you don’t miss the Hangman’s Tree?  Five miles was an approximate and most people wouldn’t know exactly when they hit 5 miles anyway.
  4. Are you taking any precautions along the walk or when you get close?
  5. The hideout is near the hill with the Hangman’s Tree, but you don’t know much more than that. I wouldn’t take the next post much past your first bit of new information but how do you want to react if you find anything? 


In general, the more specific you can be the easier it makes my job.  I can also take the next post a bit further the more I know.  FYI – the spell Pass Without a Trace was mentioned.  It lasts 1 hour.  If the tree is about where it is expected, it will take at least 2 hours to get there – possibly closer to 3 since you are travelling through woods and rugged terrain with no path.  Given that, when would you want to cast it?  Also, it gives you advantages on stealth checks – but if you are not trying to be stealthy its uses are more limited.  It would increase the odds of not being seen but not eliminate the chance.  Trying to be stealthy as you move is possible but would cut your movement speed in half.  If you wish to do so – at what point in the journey would you begin this?  The spell does prevent you from being tracked if that becomes an issue. 


I will try and post a map tomorrow – I can’t do it today.  Really, no map is needed for this stage – it is just heading back into the woods so please don’t wait for a map to post. 

Posted on 2023-08-22 at 18:40:25.

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111 Posts

Any local wildlife?

At the Fainting Goat...
When D'Harum refuses her share of coin... Uthal insists the monk take what is hers, "Take it. It is yours." D'Harum, you can do what you like with your coin. Uthal, does not want what is not his.
ooc: I have updated my previous post to reflect our 5 person party (4gp each). Uthal has no wish to be Master of Coin for the group. As no one had claimed what we earned, I grabbed it.

Early in the morning, Uthal met with the party, Ready to head out.
ooc: I have updated Uthal's prepared spells.

When we come to the place we were attacked... Uthal stops and looks carefully around the area.
ooc: DM, Is there any wildlife around? (Survival or Perception check?) He is looking for something like a hawk, or small to medium bird or birds close by. But he will look for ground dwelling creatures as well.

Uthal crouches down and rummages around in the dirt with his fingers. Foraging for a couple of worms. When he finds some he holds them toward a couple of the nearby birds, casting 'Animal Friendship' at 2nd level, he speaks gently to them, coaxing them with a tasty morsel.

If successful he casts 'Speak with Animals', "Greetings, Friends." He asks them what they may have seen in the area, about the people that may be nearby, about the old hangman's tree and the bandits. What have they seen and what do they know?"

Posted on 2023-08-23 at 05:24:44.
Edited on 2023-08-25 at 22:28:55 by Jim

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As they arrive at the place of the attack, Gerdar readies his axe and looks around into the forest in case there were anyone hiding out there.


(What do my dwarf eyes see?)

Posted on 2023-08-25 at 05:28:18.

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404 Posts

Along for the ride.

After enduring Uthal’s insistence that she take her share, D’harem took the coins and gave out most of it to needy people she encountered.  Even going out onto the street and giving some to people there.  She did this quickly,and moved on before people would get too expressive of there thanks.  She didn't do this for praise, she did it to help the less fortunate.  She kept just enough to buy some food, and a few other small items she might need to replace.

Moving out the next day, she followed along the group and kept alert.  When they arrived at the area of attack, she walked around the area and looked for anything that seemed out of place.  The Monk didn’t have any of the skills, or magic abilities the others would use to probe the area for clues, so she just used the senses available to her; she look, listened, and even smelled.  She took her time in this and only stopped if she found something, or the others were ready to move out.

(OOC: She will again follow the groups lead and remain observant and alert)

Posted on 2023-08-30 at 18:09:36.

Nomad D2
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3140 Posts

The little bird says "tweet"

While his companions looked for signs of activity and kept watch, Uthal decided to try and find out what the animals of the area had to say.  With the benefit of a few worms and a Animal Friendship spell he made friends with a small songbird that was flitting around the roadway.  Followed up with Speak with Animals and the druid had a tiny source of information on the woods.

               Urging his new friend to tell him if anyone had been by here recently he got a lilting and sing-song list of different passersby:  Squirrels (many times and so chatty!), Crows (annoying and arrogant), the whole neighborhood of birds (including brother Bobin, Sister twig, and his six nieces and nephews – Flit, Whit, Little Knit, Dewey, Bewey and Oswald), a scary snake (ugly and it tried to eat Dewey!), some big hairy things pulling tipped over trees (horses with wagons?) accompanied by some people and last night there were some wolves. (They don’t bother little birds but that deer sure ran quickly.  So did the wolves.)  There was also reference to some animals on the river and the presence of bugs and worms. 

               Even with the benefit of the spell the conversation took some interpretation.  After some conversation and probing questions, it appeared that it had been a pretty normal last day in the woods.  The only activity by bigger people or creatures appeared to have been the two caravans you already knew about and the wolves.  Frustratingly little birds don’t have the greatest memories and the helpful bird couldn’t remember anything prior to about the last 24 hours.  But in that time, nobody had returned to the site of the battle. 

Posted on 2023-09-10 at 15:11:22.

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Why not just try?

"Thank you, Little friend!" Uthal tells the songbird, "I would like to ask you, may I borrow your wings and eyes for a short time?
Should the small creature agree (hopefully, it is charmed by the 'Animal Friendship' spell), Uthal will cast 'Beast Sense". On his knees, his eyes roll back in his head so that only the whites can be seen while he takes the creature's body. Flying in the little bird as high up for a good look around and far as he can (toward the direction we think is the hangman's tree).

Posted on 2023-09-25 at 02:19:22.

Nomad D2
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3140 Posts

What does the bird see?

(Charmed doesn't give you any real control over a creature - it just means they can't attack you and that you have advantage on interactions with them.  Sice you can speak with animals for a little while this gives you a chance to encourage the bird to fly where you want but you can't be confident about what it will end up doing.)  

After thanking his new little friend for the information Uthal cast Beast Sense on the creature and encouraged it to fly toward's where the Hangman Tree was likely to be.  At first the bird circled his head a few times, flitting from branch to branch.  Clearly the river's edge was its home and flying deeper into the woods was not a normal thing for the bird to do.  But with a little more encouragement the bird zipped up above the trees and flew away from the river while unwittingly carrying the druid's sense as a passenger.  

The trip was a bit disorienting for the big man. Little Tweety did not seem to feel the need to fly directly towards its target but rather flitted from tree to tree taking in the sights and looking for bugs.  At times Uthal wasn't sure if the bird remembered its mission but gradually it made its way westward.  The first thing that Uthal noticed was that the line of hills that they had been told to expect was exactly where it was supposed to be.  At first there were barely noticable bumps in the hilltops but gradually it became clear that a line of gradually rising hills was marching away from the river.  They were not big, but they were there. 

After flying for sometime (it was very hard for the druid to estimate distances "as the bird flies") he could see a hill rise in front of him that rose above the trees.  As they approached it was clear that an old tree stood out on the hilltop.  From a distance it looked large and dead.  There was no foliage left on the tree despite the presence of leaves on all of the other trees in the woods.  As the druid squinted through the birds eyes he thought he might be seeing some things dangling from the branches . . . were they  . . .?  He couldn't quite tell when all of a sudden the bird sqeeked and dove for the branches below.  A dark shadow crossed over head as a group of crows swarmed around.  The little brd zipped through the branches below and immediately headed back towards the river and home.  Clearly it wanted nothing to do with the crows.  



You did not gain perfect knowledge but you did learn that the hills do go away from the river in a line.  A tree does sit on top of a hill and might be a dead Hangman's Tree but Uthal coulgn't be sure.  The arrival of the crows prevented confirmation of the tree or scouting of where the bandits might be located.  Tweety is not willing to go back after his enounter with the mean crows.  




Posted on 2023-10-10 at 17:55:12.


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