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 Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones

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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:34 pm

(Oh, I hadn't forgotten about looting Berbollyn. Just waiting for the right time, that's all. Wink )

(Karnoz pays 5 Gold.)

"Oh...indeed, friend!" the farmer stammered. "I'll get the halfling fellow to Trock Reik sooner than soon, or my name's not Orsi Balikok. Son! Home! We've a journey ahead and we'll need our horse...."

Once alone with the fallen halfling on the wagon, Karnoz rifled through pockets and pouches, wondering what he might find on Berbollyn's cooled carcass. And his hands did not come up empty.


(Karnoz - Appraise check (DC 15 for the whole lot): Success (23))

(From Berbollyn's corpse Karnoz has taken a garnet-studded maplewood scroll case (empty, but worth 120 Gold), a square-cut moss agate gemstone (worth 11 Gold), a halfling-sized breastplate under Berbollyn's traveller clothes (which didn't do him much good but is worth as much as any ordinary breastplate), a halfling-sized pair of cuffed and folded deerskin boots with rose quartz cuff studs and aglets (worth 40 Gold), a silver flask filled with vodka (the flask is worth 5 Gold, but no one's going to buy the vodka unless they're desperate for a drink...), one flask of alchemist's fire and a silver dagger.)

Content with his findings, Karnoz clambered into the wagon's teamster seat and took up the donkey's reins. The road back to Trock Reik would be a much easier road with a wagon and a beast of burden. The sun behind him cast long shadows over the road as he whipped the reins and drove the donkey onward.


(Karnoz receives 250 Experience for recovering the wagon.)


(Random Encounter check: Oops)
(Dice flurry waived.)

Drawing near the crossroads, something felt intangibly wrong with the air. And Karnoz realized this scant seconds before the evergreen bushes flanking the eastward road at the crossroads began to tremble and...cackle.

"Ah, a fair, fat turkey strapped for the pluckin'!" beamed the limp-legged scoundrel who leaped from the heart of the northernmost bush, his human thews gripping a well-planed and iron-capped quarterstaff to his breast. "Donkey...wagon...why, a dandy sort this fella is, eh?"

"Indeed," cooed the half-elf emerging from her own hiding place, skinning a sharp shortsword from its scabbard with a wicked hiss. "The band'll be pleased to have a new wagon in the purse. Hand over all of your goods and valuables, stranger. You're walkin' to town from here."




Highwaymen


Karnoz >
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GoldenDrakon
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:53 am

Karnoz looked about him, seemingly looking for help, but in actuality scanning the foliage around him. He looked back towards the two highwaymen and set the wagon brake.

These two were either fools, or they had backup hiding nearby. In any case, neither bandit had a range weapon with them. That might give Karnoz a slight edge in a fight.

Without saying a word, the rogue snatched his shortbow and snapped off the first arrow towards his attackers.


**(The fight)**
If I detect another person, especially if one has a bow, then drop off the opposite side of the wagon, (blocking their shot) and fire at whichever highwayman is in front of me. If it is just these two, then stay on the wagon and force them to come to me. Attack the male first if there is an option.
If there is a new bandit on both sides, drop off the left and attack that new bandit first (Quick draw and point blank shot.)

That should do for starters.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 08, 2010 6:19 am

(Karnoz - untrained Spot check (DC ??): Automatic Failure (Natural 1))

Karnoz's gaze pierced brush and shrub and tall grass--and took measure of the tree aside him--but found nothing. Confident that no other highwaymen were present, he drew his shortbow and nocked an arrow, much to the alarm of his accosters.

"'e's havin' a go at us!" roared the thuggish male, rearing back behind with his quarterstaff and hurling himself into a bold charge. With a dismissive and overly confident shrug, his cohort flipped the blade in her hands and followed suit.


Highwayman (Init 17) > Moving up alongside the wagon to attack Karnoz from below (Double Move)
Highwaywoman (Init 10) > Double-Moving to the donkey, attempting to leap onto its back
Karnoz (Init 8 ) > Shortbow attack on the Highwayman



Certain that the rough-looking man was the more experienced of the two, Karnoz readied his arrow and took aim. The highwayman was swifter than he looked, however, and was swatting at the wagon's gunwales by the time the arrow left its bowstrong.


(Karnoz - Point-Blank shortbow attack on Highwayman (AC 13): Hit (13))
(Highwayman takes 6 Damage.)

The arrow found its nest deep between trapezius and clavicle, scratching the bone as it sunk into the meat of the robber's body, briefly buckling the knees under him.

"GRAAHHH!!! I'll bind yeh to a tree wit' yer own guts!" snarled the injured bandit, wildly swatting at the air as his comrade drew near.


(Highwaywoman - Jump check (DC 15): Success (21))

"HYAAH!" yelled the half-elf as her feet left the ground mid-stride. The donkey protested with a yowl and a buck as she gripped the wagon yoke on the beast's shoulders and, with a one-armed swing, propelled herself to land in a straddle across that same back. Weighed with the wagon as it was, the donkey could not revolt too strongly as the bandit, seated backwards on the burden beast, inched her way along the beast's back towards Karnoz. The short sword crossed from left hand to right hand again, licking the breeze in anticipation of blood to come.




Karnoz (Init 23) > 5' move south and shortbow attack on Highwaywoman
Highwaywoman (Init 22) > 5' move and short sword attack on Karnoz
Highwayman (Init 13) > Quarterstaff attack on Karnoz
Donkey (Init 5) > Not much...lurch, yank the wagon a little, maybe bolt if it fails a Will save....


Last edited by The House of Ainsley on Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:17 am

Karnoz slid back away from the male. With his quarterstaff, the bandit might still be able to poke at him, but he was at the disadvantage being on the ground. He also hoped that between his limp, and his newly aquired shoulder injury, he might be slowed trying to climb into the wagon.

Now at the far side of the bench seat, Karnoz knocked a new arrow. A nimble move the female had made, yes, but now straddling the mule, she had surrenderred some of her mobility. Tugging the arrow back, Karnoz sighted the arrow at the female then just as quickly, let fly as the face of the male lumbered up into view.


**(Hopefully I can catch the male as he climbs aboard and with luck, he will be flatfooted as he climbs aboard, or at least be forced to jump off the wagon.)**

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:50 am

The gnarled highwayman's quarterstaff hammered the wagon's gunwales uselessly as Karnoz darted away across the teamster seat. "Hey, come back 'ere!" snapped the bloodied robber, growing miffed. "I'm not done beatin' yeh stupid yet!"


(Karnoz - Point-Blank shortbow attack on Highwaywoman (Flatfooted AC 12): Hit (19))
(Highwaywoman takes 3 Damage.)

(Highwaywoman - Shortsword attack on Karnoz (AC 14): Missed (13))

With a dauntless snapshot the arrow sunk obliquely into the robber's left forearm, raised in a feeble effort to shield herself. Yelping with the sharp, shooting pain she planted a hobnailed heel harshly into the donkey's rump, propelling herself upward with an unbalanced thrust of her blade. A swat with the back of Karnoz's hand scarcely dismissed the thrust, and the highway robber scrabbled forward after him.


(Donkey - Will Save (DC 10): Success (11))

"Rrrrrrreeeerrrrr..." the donkey growled, disturbed with all the pawing and shuffling and heel-digging across its back and hindquarters. But stoically the donkey kept its calm and would not bolt and run.

...at least, not yet.




Highwayman (Init 17)> Climbing aboard the wagon
Karnoz (Init 15)> Smacking the highwaywoman with the shortbow
Highwaywoman (Init 5)> Stabbing at Karnoz again
Donkey (Init 5)> Standing there as a battle rages across his back, trying not to run....


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:04 am

The bow was now becoming a liability in such close quarters, becoming too time consuming to draw, knock and fire an arrow. Karnoz was quite skilled at 'snapping a shot on the move' but for now, he had an opponent aboard and one trying to come aboard. With a growl, Karnoz gripped the bow like a staff and stepped forward, trying the strike the female with the 'flat' of the bow. With any luck, even if no damage was done, Karnoz hoped to shove her backwards and tumble off the wagon before she could get her feet properly under her again.

**(if the opportunity presents itself, drop the bow and draw my daggers)**

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:15 am

(Don't forget that Karnoz has the Quick Draw Feat, though...so if he wants to switch from shortbow to dagger (or to either drop the bow or switch it to his off-hand while drawing the dagger with his swordhand), the action is counted as a free action and happens more or less instantly.)
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:17 am

The House of Ainsley wrote:
(Don't forget that Karnoz has the Quick Draw Feat, though...so if he wants to switch from shortbow to dagger, the action is counted as a free action and happens more or less instantly.)


Give her the thump and a shove, then switch.

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"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:43 am

(Bah...my edits are too slow.)

(Karnoz - Improvised trip attack on Highwaywoman (Flatfooted Touch AC 10): Hit (22))
(Karnoz - Strength check: 19)
(Highwaywoman - Dexterity check: 9)

(Karnoz wins.)
(The highwaywoman falls off the donkey, takes 1 Damage from the fall and is now Prone.)

(Donkey - Will Save (DC 10): Success (17))

The bowshaft caught the hinge of the half-elf's jaw soundly and kept pushing, shoving her off-balance and an inch too far over the donkey's side. With a fearful wail she kept rolling off of the beast's back and flopped to the earth with a jarring thud, spitting and cursing as she lay there disoriented. The donkey snorted and clopped a step rightward, relieved of its pest.


(Karnoz - Attack of Opportunity on Highwayman (Flatfooted AC 12): Hit (17))
(Highwayman takes 3 Damage.)

A thundering hand clapped down on the seat, bearing the leering bandit up onto the wagon with a fierce push from the legs. "A feisty fella you are, droppin' Belandra like YAGGH!"

The scarlet slash across his cheek had earned his undivided attention. Karnoz's dagger had already been bared and hungry for his arrival, its forward edge and tip slicked with fresh scarlet.

"Oooh, Oily Tetrov's gonna 'ave hisself a purse stitched from yoor hide, dog!" the robber again threatened, his eyes flaring with ire for his silent foe. The quarterstaff snapped into both of his hands and began circling between the two, as the battered accomplice struggled to her footing behind and below.




Highwayman (Init 16)> Quarterstaff attack on Karnoz
Karnoz (Init 13)> Dual-wielded dagger attacks on the highwayman
Highwaywoman (Init 12)> Getting back to her feet
Donkey> Just stands there for the moment


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 08, 2010 9:17 am

Karnoz said nothing and let the robber's feeble words flit past him. His mouth was giving him more than enough information and Karnoz had no intention of giving back anything other than a lesson in humility, even if he might never actually benifit from it.

He simply reached down to his belt and drew a second dagger with his free hand before launching himself at the male bandit, hoping to dispatch him before his partner recovered.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:30 am

(Note: Two-weapon fighting does carry some stiff Attack penalties for those not familiar with such a mode of fighting; these penalties can be alleviated by possessing the Ambidexterity Feat and/or the Two-Weapon Fighting Feat. Presently, Karnoz has neither, but he may attempt to dual-wield his daggers anyway; it's still an extra attack per round, and he might just get lucky....)

(On second thought, after rolling the next round (in which Karnoz didn't do nearly as well as he's been doing), I decided that it would probably be more sporting to post the official table of two-weapon fighting penalties. Normal bonuses (Strength, Dexterity (where applicable), Base Attack Bonus, masterwork or enchanted weapons, etc.) still apply in addition to these penalties, thus offsetting them to an extent.)


Circumstances Primary Hand / Off Hand Attack Penalties

Normal penalties: -6 / -10

Off-hand weapon is light: -4 / -8

Ambidexterity feat: -6 / -6

Two-Weapon Fighting feat -4 / -8

Light off-hand weapon +
Ambidexterity feat: -4 / -4

Light off-hand weapon +
Two-Weapon Fighting feat: -2 / -6

Ambidexterity + Two-Weapon
Fighting feats: -4 / -4

Ambidexterity + Two-Weapon
Fighting + light off-hand
weapon: -2 / -2


(Any weapon which is one or more Size categories smaller than the maximal size which a creature can wield with one hand is considered a light weapon. Humans, elves and dwarves are Medium-sized creatures. As such, they need two hands to wield any Large weapon, such as a halberd or a greatsword. (Huge weapons--such as a greatsword forged for a frost giant--or larger cannot be wielded at all, or at least not without magical aid.) But they only need one hand to wield a Medium weapon, such as a longsword or a club. Anything smaller than that would also be wielded with one hand yet would be considered a light weapon; shortswords are Small and daggers are Tiny, so both would be considered light weapons in the hands of a Medium creature. However, a Medium weapon would hence be considered a light weapon in the hands of a Large or larger creature, such as an ogre.)

(So Karnoz, having neither Ambidexterity nor Two-Weapon Fighting yet armed with a light off-hand weapon, would attack at a -4 penalty for his main dagger and a -8 penalty for his off-hand dagger. Do you still want to continue with the two-dagger attack this round?)


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:38 am

Really? Tha's a change from previous rules too where it was just a -4 for the off hand... Disreguard the second dagger and have at him with the one.

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"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:31 am

(Highwayman - Quarterstaff attack on Karnoz (AC 14): Critical Hit (Natural 20; Threat Roll: 22))
(Karnoz takes 10 Damage; 24 Hit Points remain.)

The robber was not particularly skilled with his weapon of choice, but even a novice lands a telling strike from time to time.

With his short blade in hand, Karnoz did a capable job of defending his upper quarters from attack. But it was not these which the highwayman attacked; seeing a vulnerability below the belt, the robber whipped his quarterstaff by the end, slamming the opposing iron cap deep into the meat of Karnoz's inner thigh. The aspiring assassin's entire right leg went numb in that moment, and he limped half a step back as the highwayman leaned forth, grinning like a jackal.


(Karnoz - Dagger attack on Highwayman (AC 13): Hit (17))
(Highwayman takes 5 Damage.)

But one bruised femoral artery need not constitute a defeat. Whatever it was in Karnoz's mind that hungered to see his assailants dead before him blossomed with ire in that moment as well.

The vindictive dagger's steel sang a wicked song against bone and enamel. The predatory smile quickly fell from the robber's face, washed away in a deep slash, a curtain of dribbling blood and a nettling haze of agony. From forehead to chin the highwayman's face had been cloven, and the scarlet ichor stung at the left eye which he had come within half an inch of losing. From the sundered and protesting muscles of his dagger-split lips the robber howled a howl of anguish as he surrendered his half-step advance, giving the edge again to his would-be victim.

"Damn the bastard's eyes..." the accomplice cursed as she rolled onto her rump, then sprung back to her feet with a push from the ground. Quickly seeking out and taking up her shortsword, she beheld her cohort's badly wounded state and wondered if she could spare him from a bloody defeat this time....


(The Highwaywoman is no longer Prone.)

Highwayman (Init 15)> Another quarterstaff attack on Karnoz
Karnoz (Init 14)> Point-blank dagger throw at Highwayman
Highwaywoman (Init 10)> Moving around the wagon and stabbing at Karnoz, if possible


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:52 am

Karnoz resisted the urge to slap his free hand over his brused thigh, refusing to show weakness or give any indication to these...amatures, that he was actually hurt. Inwardly, he snarled at them, calculating his next move even as he noted the female returning to the fight. He had been lucky so far, but he did not want to be fighting two opponents while balancing on a beer wagon..

This fight needed to end and soon.

Karnoz pivoted, hopefully keeping the man between himself and the woman for as long as possible to foil her possible rentry into the battle. As the bloodied man came forward, seeking to strike him again, Karnoz curled his wrist inward before snapping it back out again and letting the dagger fly. With a little luck and skill, the wounded man would catch the flung dagger...in his gut and thet might be the end of him. That would greatly benifit him, having only one to deal with.

Even as the dagger flew from his fingertips, a new one was plucked out of the folds of his clothing to replace it. Knives held a special favor to Karnoz and he was deadly accurate with them, as so many had learned in the past.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:58 pm

(Highwayman - Quarterstaff attack on Karnoz (AC 14): Hit (18))
(Karnoz takes 3 Damage; 21 Hit Points remain.)

As Karnoz moved across the wagon, the highwayman moved with him, swinging and swatting at any perceived opening. One such opening was true, and one such swat with the quarterstaff was true as well. And somewhere under his cloak and black tunic, another bruise began to spread over Karnoz's ribs.


(Highwayman - Attack of Opportunity on Karnoz (AC 14): Missed (10))
(Karnoz - Point-blank thrown dagger attack on Highwayman (AC 13): Critical Hit (Natural 19; Threat Roll: 15))

(Highwayman takes 12 Damage and is now Dying.)

But it would be the robber's last blow. At such close range Karnoz was almost certain to hit his mark, and hit it he did. With the dagger's blade flipped and caught between Karnoz's fingers, his forearm raced in a blinding figure-eight motion between the two, punctuated with a wet thunk.

Karnoz had aimed his throw for his assailant's belly, but he missed...and struck about four inches higher. The dagger had plunged an inch shy of its hilt into the meaty, narrow space between xyphisternum and ribcage. The blood came from the wound not as dribbling drops but as a leaping, pulsing stream, spraying across the dagger's body and spitting onto the wagon's wares.

The wooden quarterstaff audibly creaked in the robber's fists, rigidly clenched as a powerful coldness raced through his veins. The wine kegs, in their turn, groaned as the dying highwayman's mass fell from his stance on the teamster seat and collapsed across them with a pained wail.

"Borskas!" his accomplice screeched at seeing him fall. The life of a criminal is a paranoid thing, and few highwaymen have anyone whom they could truly call a friend. But it seemed that such a bond existed between these two robbers, for her anger guided her charge around the wagon. If she was too late to save her friend, she would be content to avenge him.


(Highwaywoman - Shortsword attack on Karnoz (AC 14): Missed (10))

"Die, damn you!" she barked with a flurry of slashes at Karnoz's legs. But her furious licks with the blade kissed only the air; her lightfooted foe easily jumped this way and that, anticipating and evading her every move. His hand glid lightly along the median between his tunic and his belt, and another dagger seemed to sprout from his palm, replacing its predecessor.

The robber woman's vengeance would not come easily...if indeed it would come at all.




Karnoz (Init 24)>
Highwaywoman (Init 11)> Shortsword attack on Karnoz
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:10 pm

"If this fool had cracked any of those kegs..." he thought, concerned not at all for the life blood of a fellow human being dribbling out from around his knife.

He did not have long to consider it anyway as he nimblly hopped up and away from the shortsword blade as is swished by.

Now this woman was at the disadvantage, and Karnoz was more than willing to take advantage of it. Fair fights were for rubes and over-confident fools, and Karnoz was no fool.

Sliding back a step to the far side of the wagon, he placed himself out of reach to the woman, just as he had done for the man a few moments before. Now the woman would either have to climb the wagon or strike at him from a poor angle, but Karnoz had no such disadvantage. In fact, this was an excellent position for him as the first of many, many such knives were flung with deadly intent at the second bandit.

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Sun Feb 21, 2010 1:52 pm

(The bad news is that the wagon and its gunwale completely obscure the lower half of the highwaywoman's body, and 1/2 cover gives a +4 bonus to Armor Class against ranged weapons. The good news, of course, is that the wagon also blocks her movement, and Karnoz can--and will--completely nullify her attack simply by taking a couple of steps backward. And climbing into the wagon after Karnoz will not only leave her effectively Flatfooted for one round but will also provoke an Attack of Opportunity from Karnoz as well. So unless she does something crazy, Karnoz will have her at a profound disadvantage.)


(Karnoz takes a 5-foot move away from Highwaywoman, out of her melee range with no way to easily move after him. Highwaywoman's attack is nullified.)
(Karnoz - Point-blank dagger throw at Highwaywoman (AC 18): Hit (27))
(Highwaywoman takes 3 Damage.)

Another sharp screech scratched the winds as Karnoz darted back to the far edge of the wagon and hurled another blade, which cut a deep groove through her shoulder muscles as it passed. Successful criminals are a clever and crafty lot, and the brigand-woman strove to be no exception. Her anger grew more polluted with reason as the fringes of her mind slowly came to grasp the depth of her predicament...and then, a glimmer of recent recollection, followed with a realization clad in dreadful cunning. And her brief, rightward leer towards the beast yoked to the wagon was enough to inform Karnoz that her knavish intentions were far from good news.




Karnoz (Init 6)> 5' move and Sneak Attack from the Highwaywoman's flank
Highwaywoman (Init 5)> Move and shortsword attack on the donkey


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:14 pm

Ah the poor donkey... not that Karnoz really cared about the beast. It wasn't his donkey after all, but he did need the damn thing to pull the wagon. Fact was that Karnos thought that attacking the donkey was a good plan....about five minutes ago.

Now, the fool was looking to strike more out of anger than reason or so he guessed by the many tells her features and frustration hinted at. And so, she turned towards the poor, dumb beast, raising her little sword in preperation to strike....

...and presented her back to Karnoz.

Ever the opportunist, Karnoz slid his foot forward, positioning himself to give the best target available and with his ever present knife in hand, sought to match blade tip with spinal tip with the flick of his wrist.

**(if I have to, I can jump down from the wagon to gain her back, (tumble) but I'd rather keep my advantaged position on the wagon if I can)**

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:05 am

(Karnoz - Dagger Sneak Attack on Highwaywoman (AC 14): Missed (8 ))

As the surviving robber lunged for the mule, Karnoz skipped across the barrels and stabbed at her spine as she passed. But she leaned a tad too far forward as she lunged, and his swing pierced naught but the breeze.

"Watch your footing, Jack!" the highwaywoman cackled as she swung her blade at the donkey's rump. If suddenly wounded, a donkey could very well bolt and run. And Karnoz would very suddenly find himself a passenger on a wagon gone out of control...that is, if he could remain on the wagon at all.


(Highwaywoman - Shortsword Sneak Attack on Donkey (Flatfooted AC 12): Missed (4))
(Donkey - Kick attacks on Highwaywoman (AC 14): Missed (12), Missed (7))

But the battle and its clamor had already made the loaned donkey quite irritable. It turned its thick head aside, watching the woman as she trotted at him, and clopped to its left as the blade descended, eluding harm with hardly an effort. The wagon rocked and turned slightly as the beast then reared its hindquarters and retaliated.

It was the highwaywoman's turn to dodge a wicked blow. With only one eye to watch its attacker from that arc, the donkey aimed its kicks poorly, and a step backward carried her back out of striking distance. The twin hooves bucked, kicked and returned to earth, and the donkey did not avert its wary stare.

Donkeys had long held a reputation for stupidity and foolishness, but at least this beast of burden could recognize an enemy when it saw one.


(Highwayman - Stabilize check: 8)
(The Highwayman descends to -10 Hit Points and is now Dead.)

Karnoz recognized the squicking and splattering wet noises under his heels as that of blood, a growing puddle of it spreading across the floor of the wagon bed. Between the fallen highwayman's tongue and palate came forth a sound not unlike a liquid snore...a death rattle by any other name.




Highwaywoman (Init 19)>
Donkey (Init 15)>
Karnoz (Init 8 )>
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:28 am

Karnoz, knelt, partly to keep his balance and partly to jump if the situation called for it. The battle was growing irritating for him. Not because of the give and take that was combat, or the injuries he has suffered, nor even for the fact that the woman still lived despite his latest attepts otherwise. That his newfound 'golden opportunity' to walk right into the Bard and Fox, not to mention nearly half a dozen other targets of opportunity, was in jepordy because of the oafish attempts of two twits skulking on the side of the road.

With a curse, Karnoz flipped the dagger in his hand and flung it at the woman while her attention was still centered on the donkey. With any luck, she would be quickly reminded that discression might have been the better part of valor this day.


*(If possible, see if I can get a shot at her flank or back while she's preoccupied with the donkey. One good, solid hit and this fight may very well be over.)**

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:47 am

(Hmm...if Karnoz is right next to her at the wagon's gunwales, I'd have to say that that's close enough to eliminate the highwaywoman's cover bonus; once he's leaning over the gunwales, there's not much that the wagon can do to shield her. Of course, she'd still be able to wheel around with an AoO if Karnoz is close enough--she hasn't forgotten that he's there, after all--but because Karnoz is attacking from her flank, she'd still be unable to guard her vital points all that effectively and his dagger throw would thus still be considered a Sneak Attack. How's that sound?)


(Highwaywoman - Shortsword attack on Donkey (Flatfooted AC 12): Hit (19))
(Donkey takes 4 Damage.)
(Donkey - Will Save (DC 14): Success (14))


(Donkey - Two hoof attacks on Highwaywoman (AC 14): Missed (9), Hit (18))
(Highwaywoman takes 2 Damage.)

The donkey bared its teeth with a pained and deafening bray, born from a fresh, blood-weeping slash newly formed across its right buttock and hip.

But the half-elf's strike did not go unpunished. Again did the beast's hindquarters buck up from the earth, and a loud impact against bone pealed. The highwaywoman fell back, cradling the meat of her battered forearm. But then the shadow of a man rose over her, rearing back like a scorpion. Less of wit and more of reflex, the half-elf quietly swung from the race, hoping that her blade would return with scarlet flecks and dribbles.


(Highwaywoman - Attack of Opportunity on Karnoz (AC 14): Missed (9))
(Karnoz - Thrown dagger Sneak Attack on Highwaywoman (AC 14): Hit (17))

(Highwaywoman takes 17 Damage and is now Dying.)

In a split-second the dagger darted from Karnoz's hand to bury itself in the woman's back, near her spine. A loud wail born from her pain and her fear echoed from the surrounding woodlands, and the shortsword fell away to the crudely paved road as she curled on the road, writhing and breathing with panic as she feebly grasped at life.


(Karnoz has defeated the two highwaymen. 1,250 Experience is awarded.)

Limping as he clambered down from the wagon to check on his subdued foe, Karnoz found himself cursing her slain accomplice. His thigh still ached deeply from the quarterstaff's most solid blow, and he would not be surprised if the pain persisted for three days after...at least.


Karnoz >
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:51 pm

The woman swayed for a brief moment, then toppled over. The donkey, praise be to whatever god was pathetic enough to count donkeys among its congregation, stayed fast and true despite the wound.

Karnoz made sure the wagon brake was still secure, then hopped off the wagon. Cautiously, he walked up to the where the woman lay, kicking the short sword out of reach before bending down to retrieve his dagger. Almost as an afterthought, he used his boot to shove the woman over, so that she looked up at him from where she lay.

"Pathetic." he crooned, looking impassively down at her and clearly making no attempt to either save her life or end it quickly. "Had you and your oafish accomplice actually had any brains, I might have been in trouble. What? Was your whole plan anything more than; 'There's one, let's jump out and get him?' Sad really, but then again, sometimes one must seperate the wheat from the chaff, no?"

He limped forward, finally indulging his aching hip with a quick rub from his free hand, althoigh this other still held the bloody dagger.
"A decient shot, your partner gave me, "he acknowledged. "before I killed him anyway. At least he had the deciency to expire in the back of the wagon. Makes it easier to load you both up before I sell your corpses to the city guard. A thousand coin, can you believe that? Such a price for such garbage, eh?"
He indulged another rub of his hip. "Hurts like a sonofabitch..." he said, then stepped down onto the woman's ruined forearm, pressing down onto the wounded extremity with much of his own weight. "But not as much as this does I'd wager."

"He let loose, stepping to her other side and kneeling down next to her head, his free hand slapping over her mouth as Karnoz shhoshed at her, as if she were an infant in a crib.

"Do you know what it is that separates a professional killer like me, from riff-raff like you?" he asked, first tapping his own chest with the tip if the dagger, then indicating her as she lay there.

"Style." he concluded.

"And for your final lesson; Do you know what they call a flock of ravens my dear?" he again crooned, setting the point of his dagger beneath the soft pallet under her chin.

"A murder." And with that, Karnoz pushed the dagger blade up until the blade was halted by the crosspiece pressing against the woman's chin.

**(Search both bodies for anything and everything worth anything. They cost me some blood and sweat, they'd better make it worth while. I will also search the area where they were hiding in case they have a hidey hole for any possible loot or supplies. Retrieve my daggers, load up the woman and anything else, clean up if possible and inspect the wagon cargo to make sure it's intact. Once everything's settled head towards farmer what's-his-name's place. With any luck, he may not have left yet and it'll be a good place to get set up at.)**

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:46 am

Even as she expired, the half-elven bandit held Karnoz in a furious glare, indignant with her defeat and the doom it brought her. She mouthed an evident curse at him as the dagger was driven in, but she no longer had the breath for words.

Before long, two more bodies were placed into the wagon and secured next to Berbollyn's cold form. Karnoz examined the donkey's wound, and a deep and wicked wound it was; the guards would not be pleased to have their beast returned to them harmed, but the two slain bandits would provide all the explanation Karnoz needed.

It was fortunate that none of the casks had been damaged or broken in the fray; the oak, maple and redwood used in their fabrication had proven to be sturdy and durable enough to escape the clash intact. Turning from the wagon and the donkey, he looked over the surrounding acre. The day grew nearer to night, and Karnoz could safely wager that he was not the first traveller to be beset by these two robbers that day...but he had certainly proven to be the last.


(Karnoz's actions have allowed him to progress down his path while remaining true to his character; 100 Experience is awarded.)


(Karnoz - Search check (DC 15): Success (20))

(Karnoz has recovered all of his daggers.)

The bandits had concealed themselves behind a large shrub and a bush; though searching these plants yielded nothing, Karnoz's eyes came to rest on a small boulder beneath the tree just north of the road. The earth at the boulder's far side had been recently disturbed--multiple times, from the look of things--and lifting the boulder by the edge revealed a hollow beneath, hastily dug by hands large and smaller...the work of no fewer than two people.

With his free hand Karnoz reached into the hollow and pulled out a simply crafted leather satchel, held together with crude stitching and an iron clasp. The clasp was not rusted and the leather had not been fouled by mud or rainwater, so the satchel had obviously not been under the boulder for long.


(Karnoz has found a large crude satchel containing 6 Gold, 8 Silver, 52 Copper, a used whetstone, three identical potions (cork-stoppered brown glass bottles containing pink liquid with what appear to be pieces of bay leaves mixed in), four simple crystal vials (stoppered and filled with a thick orange liquid with fumes which sting Karnoz's eyes when the stoppers are removed), a spellbook with a rune-branded deerskin cover (with only the first ten pages used; Karnoz can't decipher the text, but it appears to be magic formulas for spells, and the wizard who owned the spellbook may have been a mere apprentice), three pairs of leather boots (various makes and styles, one of them buckled and another hobnailed), a simple aqua satin dress (with a rip in the left shoulder strap), a copper ring and a fancy tin hairpin. It seems that this satchel contains the bandits' "earnings" for that day.)

(On the highwayman, Karnoz finds a small backpack containing a day's worth of rations (dried pork, dried apple slices and hardtack), 18 Gold, a brass and crystal magnifying glass (useful for using Appraise checks on certain items, such as gems), an acorn-cut banded agate gem, and a bundle of spikes, pins, tin wire and rope lengths (apparently the makings of a snare trap, which can easily be assembled and set with the Craft: Trapmaking skill)...in addition to the bandit's leather armor, quarterstaff and clothing, of course. The highwayman's left shoulder also sports a black tattoo of a sword crossed with a shepherd's crook; somehow, it seems vaguely familiar....)

(On the woman, Karnoz finds a hip sack containing another day's worth of rations (identical to the first), 30 Gold, 113 Silver, a deep red shimmering potion (in a red glass bottle and cork stopper, with two wizard runes etched into the glass on one side), and 3 white glass flasks of pure water (stoppered with hard wax stoppers pressed with the stamp of the god St. Cuthbert...probably holy water)...in addition to her hide armor, shortsword and clothes. She has no brands or tattoos anywhere on her body, as far as Karnoz can see.)



(Karnoz - multiple Appraise checks...)

(Used spellbook: Impossible; Karnoz would need the Decipher Script skill in order to determine which spells are in the spellbook, and an Appraise check from there could help him discern the spellbook's total value and find the best buyer for it.)

(Three leather boots (DC 10): Success (14) - Each pair is worth 2 Gold; he can expect 1 Gold for each pawned pair.)

(Aqua satin dress (DC 12): Success (14) - The satin's quality is excellent and the dress, though simple of style and torn (apparently during the robbery attempt) is well-tailored, easily worth 40 Gold. As always, merchants will probably offer around half of that price for the dress; haggle if you can.)

(Copper ring (DC 12, +2 to check for magnifying glass): Success (23) - The ring's inside is inlaid with a thin band of electrum and is worth 60 Gold.)

(Fancy tin hairpin (DC 12, +2 to check for magnifying glass): Success (17) - The comb is of a rather elaborate style with plenty of etched swirls and patterns...12 Gold in value. It's not much, but some peasant woman might have saved her coin for months or even years to buy this....)

(Banded agate gem (DC 15, +2 to check for magnifying glass): Success (20) - Karnoz can be certain that, with its cut and quality, the agate is valued at 10 Gold.)


All in all, it was not too bad a pile of loot for two run-of-the-mill highway robbers. The magnifying glass had proven to be handy; surely the robbers had previously found use for it in evaluating the fruits of their predations. But perhaps the time had come for the lens to serve another master.


(Karnoz - Alchemy check (DC 20): Failure (14))

Karnoz could not be entirely certain, but the four vials of orange liquid appeared to be a sort of aqua regia...a potent acid, by any other name. He was able to determine this much with a few drops dribbled onto the local stones and flora, but he could discern nothing more than this.


(As you can expect, the four flasks of acid may be thrown as grenade weapons or poured onto objects to damage or destroy them; if thrown, a direct hit will inflict the most damage (1d6 Acid Damage), with 1 Acid Damage to anything standing within 5 feet of the burst; in addition, objects within the splash radius--including those worn or carried by creatures--may be damaged by the acid as well.)

(Unfortunately, Karnoz is unable to determine what the three pink potions or the shimmering red potion may be...at least, not yet. Once he has found a more suitable place where he can spread out his things and get to work, he can run out and buy or gather whatever powders, salts, bases, metals and other substances he needs to test the potions without wasting more than a few drops of each. With his Alchemy skill and procured alchemical materials which amount to a cost of 1 Gold per attempt, Karnoz may attempt to identify each potion against a Difficulty Class of 25; alternately, he may Take 20--that is, spend 20 minutes on each identifying attempt and make the Alchemy check as if he had rolled a 20, which between his Alchemy and his Intelligence will completely assure a successful identification--but doing so will cost 20 Gold worth of alchemy materials instead. The three pink potions are identical enough where one successful Alchemy check will identify all three of them; a separate successful attempt will be needed to identify the shimmering red potion.)

Before long, the dusk-shrouded form of the farmhouse rose to greet Karnoz and his beast. No one milled around outside at that hour; the doors were shut, the windows were shuttered, and firelight flickered through the cracks and jambs. Somewhere inside, shepherd pipes played a jaunty tune to wile away the late hours of the day.


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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:19 am

Karnoz pondered to himself while he lumped the valuables into his newly aquired satchel. The days rations told Karnoz that these two were pretty much on their own for the day but that Tetrov's band was surely camped nearby. That they had hard tack rations suggested that it was not based in the city, probably down river somewhere.

It also suggested that Kurvoss and Trock Reik were even worse off for security than he had first thought. That these two idiots had managed to bring in this amount from simple highway robbery peaked his interest. Perhaps when all was said and done, Karnoz himself might need to indulge in a little roadside frolicking, but that was for later. He had more lucrative and productive business opportunities right now. Sure plucking the occasional chicken or fleecing a sheep now and then was all well and fun, but to dedicate even one full day for road pickings was time he could not afford.

Karnoz made ready to depart, tucking the snare, book, potions and short sword into the secret compartment in the wagon. He also took a moment to remove the bandit's armor, considering that this too, might fetch a price when he visits the tanner. With his preperations done, Karnoz returned to the wagon and made his way back to the farm.

It was getting dark when he finally arrived, and Karnoz had a thought that the city might very well secure the gates after nightfall. He might be stuck at this crappy little farm for the night. He was curious if his little lackey had actually headed off right away with his son in tow.... or if he had left his wife alone.

Stowing his tell-tale red mask, he approached the cabin and knocked on the front door.

**(I should be able to bluff my way in if the father is not home, 'I'm the one whose paying your husband' 'I got jumped by bandits' and the like.)**

_________________
"I can fire your blood with passion or leave you sick with bile and revulsion. I raise heroes from the masses and send them to lay low kings and warlords. I will take you to exotic, far-away places, only to leave you in darkness and dispair. I can show you wonderous treasures beyond your wildest dreams, and terrors to freeze your soul."

"Who am I? I'm your StoryTeller."
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PostSubject: Re: Chapter Zero: New Gold for Old Bones   Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:16 am

(The highways of Former Karkova--except for those in the immediate vicinities of the major cities--have indeed been completely unpatrolled ever since the tsar fell, his army was broken and his heirs were put to the sword. Trock Reik's patrols reach far short of the crossroads, allowing Oily Tetrov's gang and rogue highwaymen to prey at will outside of that range. Of course, Oily Tetrov does not approve of lone robbers operating in "his" territory--and any who encounter him and his gang are posed with the usual "join us or die" dilemna--so if anyone's patrolling the roadways outside Trock Reik's reach, it's the criminals; they might protect travellers from small goblin raids or the occasional lone ogre, but it will certainly cost the travellers everything they're carrying...a small price to pay for such "protection," surely. So all in all, travellers who travel Former Karkova's roadways in small numbers or without suitably menacing guards do so at their own risk...as a number of less-than-numerous and less-than-formidable travellers who happened across Karnoz's very recent enemies learned to their expense.)

(As for Trock Reik, there are a few ways to enter the city after nightfall:)
1) Though the northwest gate (near the Krvavny Mec Tavern) and the southeast gate (near the Lamptower Inn) are closed and secured after nightfall, the southwest gate of Trock Reik (nearest the Minister's Alehouse) remains open at all hours, with additional guards posted--including a spellcaster or two--at the gate during the hours of darkness. This allows teams of guardsmen to return from late-hour patrols and respond to exterior threats against the city, permits refuge for travellers (admittedly foolish or unprepared for travelling after nightfall) who may be fleeing from bandits or monsters, and permits emergency travel to or from nearby Kurvoss, a tradition which may have had its roots in the years when Kurvoss was constantly threatened with pillage and destruction by Vorog the Embattled. As long as Karnoz doesn't look or act like any sort of threat, he can just walk right in through the southwest gate (after a brief once-over from the guards, of course); the gate's watchtower has a guard captain on duty after dark, and he or she is authorized to dispense bounties for any wanted criminals brought through the gate (save for exceptionally notorious criminals with exceptionally large bounties; these must be taken directly to the city's burgomaster during his hours of duty).

2) Trock Reik's walls are roughly eight to twelve feet tall and fashioned from reinforced oakwood beams and cross supports with a stone foundation, and with an incomplete ring of abatises to break up mounted charges. They're good for impeding massed raids or stopping anything shorter and weaker than a fire giant, but they certainly won't keep out a lone rogue with a good rope, some Climb skill and a minimal quantity of determination.

3) And, of course, a boat or a competent swimmer can enter Trock Reik from the water. Massed swimmers or boats will likely draw the attention of the City Watch, but a lone swimmer who wished to enter the city undetected could go the "Navy SEAL" route and enter the city limits submerged via the rivers, bobbing up for air occasionally. The Watch does keep a few large dinghies moored along the Zelezo Kanvica River as well as a number of nets long enough to span the rivers from wall end to wall end, in case the guards wish to restrict entry to the city by water, but these are rarely deployed...and a strong swimmer with a dagger could cut through the nets and elude the boats anyway. But for those who don't mind a frisk and a few questions from the City Watch, paddling in on a rowboat will do just fine.


(There may be other ways to enter Trock Reik at night as well, but these are beyond either Karnoz's knowledge or Karnoz's present capabilities.)

(Anyway, on with the post.)
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