DM: So, you were following Twig and the unnamed kapikula the the area north of Calabash to do some scribing of livestock.
DM: Any preparations? You see that this part of the tent-town has a lot of corrals and paddocks.
Sent at 6:23 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi has completed all the preparations she’s able to – access to spell component pouch, rolled up pants legs, scribal armor. She’s ready.
Sent at 6:24 PM on Wednesday
DM: The kapikula heads to the closest pen. It has hogs in it and the smell is pretty bad. There are a few half-orcs there and some humans. Twig follows closely.
Rue: Tanzi wrinkles her nose and steps after, eyes on the ground.
DM: There are a lot of droppings, even outside the pens. The ground is all pretty trampled around here.
Sent at 6:27 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Just watch,” hisses Twig as you get there. You see he’s already written the date at the top of his paper, and the name of the pen. The kapikula monotones his disinterested questions…
“Seller?” “Mrog of Three Hills,” says the half-orc with the nicest jerkin.
Sent at 6:30 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Buyer?” “Rillshire Farms,” answers one of the humans with odd facial hair, “Hoho Mustachio, representative.”
DM: Twig quickly writes these things down on the paper, spacing the categories apart in some way he measures with his hand.
Sent at 6:32 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi watches the process with faint interest, and breathes shallowly through her mouth to avoid smelling pig. Or half-orc.
DM: They go through the details of the sale. The exact products: hogs, the price: 10 gold a head. One of the half-orcs is leering at you. His clothing is quite stained with muck. You hope it’s muck.
Sent at 6:34 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi avoids eye contact with the leerer. Are there any piglets around, or only full-grown oinking slabs of bacon?
Sent at 6:35 PM on Wednesday
DM: Only big hogs. After you’ve looked for a bit, Twig is tapping you on the shoulder and handing you the paper. “Well, go on,” he says with a smirk. The paper has two columns headed “Buyer notes” and “Seller notes” and you see Mrog and one of Mustachio’s lackeys heading to the pen gate.
Sent at 6:37 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi takes the paper gingerly between thumb and forefinger. “You are vengeful” she mutters. She walks towards the pen gate.
Sent at 6:40 PM on Wednesday
DM: Well, it’s almost impossible to watch where you step in there as it’s all pretty much covered. The half-orc and the human tour the pen and double-check the count, sometimes asking you to make notes like, “one with missing ear, one has mange, etc.” It’s pretty amiable but smelly. Twenty minutes later you’re headed out of there to the next pen.
Sent at 6:42 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi endeavors to take perfect notes. Also, she makes certain to look as miserable as possible, especially when Twig is close enough to appreciate her suffering.
DM: He chuckles and seems quite proud of himself. You note that your writing is much clearer than his.
Sent at 6:44 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi doesn’t reveal how smug she is about this.
Except with one little smirk.
Sent at 6:45 PM on Wednesday
DM: He doesn’t seem to notice. He’s gloating. The kapikula says, “Send your boy to the administrative offices with this.” He has marked the bill of sale with his ring and handed it back to Twig.
Rue: Tanzi frowns.
DM: “Boy!” calls Twig. Sand, who is nearby, approaches. The kapikula is headed to the next pen of llamas.
Sent at 6:48 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi’s expression brightens a little at the sight of the llamas. She gives a rueful smile and a slight shrug to Sand. “Enjoy the fresh air.”
Sent at 6:51 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Take this to window marked ‘livestock’ on the square side of the big building at the market, Boy” says Twig. Sand takes the paper and looks hesitantly at you and then Twig and then you.
Rue: “I’m sure you’ll find your way there and back without any trouble, Sand.”
DM: He looks upset. “Z…” he whispers, “This one does not know letters.”
Sent at 6:54 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi turns her back to Twig to look for the word livestock on the paper that Sand has. If it’s on there, she traces a faint line under it.
DM: Sure, it’s there.
“Can’t read?” laughs Twig.
Sent at 7:00 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi ignores him and whispers, “Just match it up. Like landmarks…a forest, or the sky over mountains. A lightning blasted tree with a root to the right,” she taps the L. “That’s the first clue.”
Sent at 7:02 PM on Wednesday
DM: “Hurry up!” snaps the kapikula and Twig hurries over. Sand glumly looks down at the paper but then trots off back towards the marketplace.
Sent at 7:04 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi follows Twig.
Sent at 7:05 PM on Wednesday
DM: The morning goes similarly… llamas, cattle, goats, more hogs, sheep, even more hogs. Twig always hands over the task of inspecting the animals to you. Sand seems to have found somewhere to deliver these papers as he keeps returning empty-handed for the next one.
Once, there is a dispute over sheep and the kapikula himself needed to go into the pen and was quite annoyed about it.
Rue: What do llamas sell for?
DM: 20 gold.
Is Tanzi in the market?
Sent at 7:11 PM on Wednesday
Rue: For llamas? Or do you mean ‘has she returned to the marketplace’?
DM: Is she interested in buying a llama?
Rue: Of course.
She doesn’t announce so, though. She pays the most attention during the llama inspection, so that she can learn strengths and flaws of llama-kind.
Sent at 7:13 PM on Wednesday
DM: It seems they are bought for their fleece. You get towards noon and are just finishing up a bill of sale of goats. (Give me a Spot roll.)
Sent at 7:14 PM on Wednesday
DM: While you were getting the kapikula’s attention for his seal, you somehow must have upset the ink bottle. It’s spilled all over the sheet.
Rue: Tanzi’s face turns bright red, and she stares at the paper in horror.
She turns away so the kapikula can’t notice it right away.
DM: “Idiot,” says the kapikula. “Redo it, quickly! I am taking my siesta.”
Rue: Tanzi nods.
DM: Twig tut-tuts at your side. “Got to be more careful, Z.”
Rue: She looks at Twig’s face. “I’ll take care of this. Don’t worry.” She forces a smile.
DM: “Potago will take that ink out of your pay,” he adds. “I can lend you mine if you send the boy back for more.”
Sent at 7:18 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I happen to own a supply of ink,” Tanzi replies. “But your generosity is noted.”
Sent at 7:20 PM on Wednesday
DM: He scowls at that. “Yeah, well. I’m takin’ my siesta. Be at the next pen in an hour.”
Rue: “Enjoy the shade.” The minute he’s out of sight, Tanzi looks for a semi-secluded space to try a magic trick.
Sent at 7:22 PM on Wednesday
DM: Easy enough, just around the side of a high-walled pen. Sand follows you.
Sent at 7:23 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “Well, at least some good has come of today.” Tanzi grins. “I’m going to try an experiment.”
Sent at 7:25 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Casting prestidigitation, Tanzi fixes the proper contents of the paper in her mind, and tries to clean away all extra ink.
Sent at 7:26 PM on Wednesday
DM: (Hmmm… I’m thinking this doesn’t count as “cleaning” since ti’s ink on paper, which is kind of normal. You could have wanted it to look like that.)
Sent at 7:29 PM on Wednesday
Rue: (That’s a good point.)
Sent at 7:31 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi frowns at the lack of effect. “Well, I suppose I can scribble this out in an hour. Would you like me to chill some water for you, or make your beef jerky taste like oranges?”
Sent at 7:33 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand says, “Can Z magic make the pearl come to this one?”
Rue: Tanzi shakes her head, but says, “Yes. Only Z’s magic takes a long time to do that…maybe even many moons.”
DM: (Make an Int roll to see how well you remember what was on the sheet, by the way)
DM: It’s no problem for you to redo the sheet. It only takes 20 minutes or so. Did you want to do anything else during the break?
Sent at 7:36 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Yes. She uses the remaining time on her cantrip to clean her boots, even though they’ll just get soiled again.
DM: No problem. Do you report back to the kapikula?
Rue: If the hour hasn’t elapsed.
DM: I meant at the time you were supposed to be at the next pen.
Sent at 7:40 PM on Wednesday
Rue: No, then. She’s assuming he’ll be at the next pen.
Sent at 7:41 PM on Wednesday
DM: Yes. He’s impressed by your work. “Good memory. This one is better than the last,” he comments and seals the paper which Sand takes off with. Twig scowls.
Sent at 7:43 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi raises a brow at Twig’s expression, and smiles sweetly. “I told you not to fret,” she says.
Sent at 7:44 PM on Wednesday
DM: “You can do the next one… the whole thing,” he grumbles and folds up his board.
Rue: “Such trust…will surely be rewarded.”
Sent at 7:46 PM on Wednesday
DM: The afternoon is mostly larger animals – horses and cattle. Things go smoothly until you come to a corral of horses. A sallow-skinned human in voluminous robes is arguing with three seedy-looking men and a female half-elf, all in black leather armor. Twig slows his steps on the approach.
Rue: Tanzi sneaks a look at Twig’s expression, and tries to gauge his attitude.
DM: (Sense motive?)
Rue: (something that could use ranks…9)
DM: You’re not sure but he seems apprehensive. “I gotta take a break. You handle this, Z,” he says.
Rue: “Of course. I’ll make you proud, Teweg.”
Sent at 7:51 PM on Wednesday
DM: He doesn’t even seem to notice your dig as he’s slipping away behind a cart full of hay.
Sent at 7:52 PM on Wednesday
Rue: When they get closer to the conflict, Tanzi looks for tattoos or anything else that might denote a gang affiliation.
DM: You walk up and at the sight of the kapikula, the black-clad folk leave, but you overhear the man in the robes saying, “Ridiculous. Ridiculous!”
You didn’t notice anything particular. They all wore black studded leather.
Rue: Tanzi looks at the horses. Do any of them have brands, or identifying marks?
Sent at 7:56 PM on Wednesday
DM: Not that you can tell. These are big horses though… three-year-olds bred for battle. The other party arrives, a blond northwoman and a red-headed northman.
Rue: Okay. Tanzi stops speculating and performs her job.
Sent at 7:58 PM on Wednesday
DM: These are expensive horses. 150 gold each. They are in one of the shoddier looking paddocks, though. When it comes time to inspect them, both northerners and the sallow-skinned man in the robes go in. All three seem quite knowledgable about horses and spend a great deal of time looking at each one of the dozen.
(Spot roll please)
Rue: (Ten again.)
(that’s three sixes in a row for spot checks, I think.)
DM: Suddenly you hear a great BANG, perhaps several in succession, depending upon your Fortitude save.
Rue: (crap. 4)
Sent at 8:02 PM on Wednesday
DM: You are deafened. But all around you is in a panic. The horses are rearing and running in terror in different directions. The northerners and the robed man and his assistants try to get out of the trampling and get the horses under control again. It’s a very dangerous spot you are in. What do you do?
Rue: Tanzi waves her arms in the air in an attempt to look big as she tries to escape certain death.
DM: Staying put?
Sent at 8:05 PM on Wednesday
Rue: No. Hustling towards the fence, provided the horses aren’t hugging the fence as they panic. How many horses are in this pen.
DM: About twelve or so. They are large and it’s hard to see where they are going. They aren’t acting in a pattern. (Reflex save to avoid a horse about to ride you down)
(unless I’m encumbered)
DM: Despite the scribe board, you keep your feet and make it to a fence. It’s harder to maneuver with it.
Rue: Is it possible to squeeze through the fence, or does she have to climb it?
DM: Either one will be a little tough. Escape Artist vs. Climb.
Sent at 8:10 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Is the fence comprised of round rails, flat slats, or what?
DM: Triangular slats of thick wood though something strong might break through it. It’s about 5 feet high with 8 slats.
Sent at 8:12 PM on Wednesday
Rue: (I’m having trouble visualizing this, but Tanzi will definitely attempt escape artist. Str vs dex is always an easy choice for her. Roll – fourteen.)
DM: You weren’t able to get through on your first try. A horse is charging at you but misses you with its raised hoof.
You’ve got like a 9-inch wide space to slide between.
(I need to take my dinner break)
Rue: (Okay. Enjoy.)
Sent at 8:15 PM on Wednesday
DM: (just about ready)
Sent at 9:02 PM on Wednesday
DM: Have you formulated a plan?
Rue: Yes. A brilliant plan.
DM: Climb through the fence again?
Rue: Abandoning any attempt to squeeze out of the fence, Tanzi makes her way along the fence, heading towards the gate, with the hope that either her arm-waving technique will cause the horses to avoid her, or the horse experts will be able to get their beasts under control.
DM: (give me an intimidate roll)
Sent at 9:12 PM on Wednesday
DM: You do pretty well and turned one horse away but there is another rearing and snorting near the gate.
Sent at 9:13 PM on Wednesday
Rue: In a sudden change of tactics, Tanzi lowers her hands and extends them, speaking in a calm voice as she carefully approaches the horse, “Don’t kill me, mighty horse, I’m not a threat,” and so on.
Sent at 9:15 PM on Wednesday
DM: (ok Handle Animal is a trained-only kill but I’ll let you make a charisma roll)
Rue: (Twenty modified)
DM: Despite not being able to hear yourself the horse seems to and stops its rearing and you can make your way to it or past it. Where to?
Rue: To the gate. To the horse if it still blocks the gate.
DM: You can get to the gate and get out.
Rue: Tanzi scurries out, only checking on the progress within the pen when she’s assured of her personal safety.
Sent at 9:20 PM on Wednesday
DM: Well, there are less horses in the pen than before. You see some broken cross-bars. The sallow-faced merchant has a gash on his head and he is covered in mud and dirt. The two northerners are trying to herd the remaining horses to the non-broken part and you see other workers chasing after the fled horses. Lastly, you see one young boy has been trampled and isn’t moving.
Sent at 9:22 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Which part of the pen is the young boy in? Are there still horses near him?
Sent at 9:24 PM on Wednesday
DM: He’s near where the fence is broken. There are no horses there now.
The kapikula is trying to talk to you.
Rue: Tanzi politely says, “Excuse me. I can’t hear you.” Then she hurries back into the pen and over to the injured/dead boy.
DM: (Heal check?)
Rue: (untrained, 15)
DM: (You can do that untrained.)
DM: You provide first aid and stop the boy from bleeding to death which he was very close to doing. Well done!
Rue: Has anyone claimed the child, and does it seem like he requires further, more professional healing?
DM: The sallow-faced merchant staggers over. He has a worried expression and is talking to you.
Rue: Tanzi taps her ear and says, “I can’t hear anything.”
DM: He nods, but seems in a daze… but he sees the boy is alive and is visibly relieved.
Rue: “I’ll come back and check on the boy, later,” she says. Then she looks over her shoulder to see if the kapikula is angry.
Sent at 9:32 PM on Wednesday
DM: He has more of a tired and annoyed expression. He’s gesturing for you come.
Rue: She hurries over to him.
Sent at 9:33 PM on Wednesday
DM: As you go by, the nothernman stops you.
Rue: Tanzi looks at him with apprehension.
DM: He tears the bill of sale off your board and calls something to the merchant by the boy. Then he tears it up.
Sent at 9:35 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi watches this, then scoots around the northman and leaves the pen.
Sent at 9:37 PM on Wednesday
DM: The merchant starts yelling something at the northman and the two of them argue. But the kapikula shrugs and moves on to the next pen. Sand comes running up. He starts talking to you.
Sent at 9:39 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I still can’t hear anything,” she says tersely. “Which makes me a pretty useless scribe.”
DM: Sand asks you a question.
Rue: Tanzi sighs.
Sent at 9:41 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I’m just going to answer, ‘yes, I do like mango flavored ice,’ despite the fact that I didn’t hear your question, and have no idea what you asked.”
DM: He seems confused and then holds his hand up to a flat level above both your heads and asks again, looking back and forth for something.
Rue: “Are you taller than me…? Yes. Or are you talking about someone else who is taller than us both?”
Sent at 9:44 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand puts his face into a lazy eyed scowl, and folds his arms and looks superior.
DM: Sand nods vigorously… then looks around with his hands up, questioningly. Then he makes a gesture as if writing.
Sent at 9:46 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “I don’t know, unless he’s crouching behind the hay cart. But yeah…he should show up to write now…his reputation is as much on the line as mine.”
Sent at 9:47 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand says something and then runs off.
Rue: Tanzi hurries after the kapikula.
Sent at 9:48 PM on Wednesday
DM: He’s at another horse pen. Large draft horses. He’s impatient for you to start.
Sent at 9:50 PM on Wednesday
Rue: “As I mentioned before, my hearing has not returned. The boy has run to fetch my associate, and will surely return with him promptly. I ask for your forbearance in the meantime, keeping in mind that the presence of a runner has surely already given you an advantage over other kapikula who have only the assistance of a scribe.”
Sent at 9:52 PM on Wednesday
DM: The kapikula responds angrily, affronted, then remembers that you cannot hear him. He then speaks to the waiting merchants, sometimes angrily gesturing in your direction.
Rue: Tanzi waits passively, disguising her annoyance.
DM: After a few minutes Sand returns, Twig in tow. The kapikula turns his anger on Twig who gives you a hateful look.
Sent at 9:55 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi smiles her thanks to Sand, and pays no heed to Twig’s expression.
DM: Twig gets to work and Sand says something to you and then takes your hand.
Rue: “What?” she says, looking at him. “Have we been dismissed?”
DM: He’s pulling at your hand and gesturing at Twig and then pointing in the way he’s pulling at you.
Rue: “Okay, let’s go.” Tanzi doesn’t resist, but follows, holding her head to one side and tugging on an earlobe.
Sent at 10:00 PM on Wednesday
DM: He heads back into the city but then goes a different way than you’ve been before. He seems to be looking for a particular building.
Rue: Tanzi hums a funeral dirge as they walk, becoming more melancholy with each note she doesn’t hear.
Sent at 10:02 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand seems to have spotted an ominously dilapidated building with a low brick fence. He opens the gate and heads in, gesturing for you to follow. (Spot roll.)
Sent at 10:04 PM on Wednesday
DM: OK. Follow?
Rue: “Are you taking me to the knackers, Sand. Seems a little premature, but a useless scribe is in the same category as a useless horse.” She follows.
Sent at 10:06 PM on Wednesday
DM: As you go through the gate and Sand is halfway to the door, three dogs come around the corner of the building and two head straight for Sand and one for you. If you could hear, you would know they are barking and growling.
Rue: “The animals in this city…” Tanzi prepares to defend herself against the dogs.
DM: You were missed by a nasty bite but Sand was bit very hard on the leg. (Initiative)
Sent at 10:09 PM on Wednesday
DM: OK. Sand was taken flatfooted and the dogs are flanking him but you see his features transform, as if all the frustration he has been feeling is manifested in primal power and he lashes out at a dog with his staff…
... but misses twice.
Sent at 10:13 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Okay. Tanzi concentrates on defending herself against the dog while she draws her dagger.
DM: You can use your movement action to draw it. Do you want to attack it with the dagger? It charged you so it is more vulnerable this round. Or did you want to be fully defensive?
Or you could “fight defensively.”
Rue: (isn’t fight defensively a full round action?)
DM: No, standard action. So is total defense.
Rue: Tanzi fights defensively. And reluctantly.
DM: OK, attack with a -4 and +2 to your AC.
These dogs seem very aggressive and nasty.
Rue: And ineptly. (0 on the attack roll)
DM: That… let me check… misses.
Sand rolled two 3s on his go.
DM: OK… dogs.
Sent at 10:18 PM on Wednesday
DM: Sand is bit twice as he doesn’t seem to be defending himself very well. He is quite bloodied and barely on his feet.
You are bitten as well, for 3 points.
It’s next round and he’s still trying to fight but he’s shouting at you.
You aren’t far from the gate.
Sent at 10:21 PM on Wednesday
DM: He spins his staff at the same dog, misses it but is then able to knock it out with a hard blow to its head.
Rue: Tanzi doesn’t flee, but tries again to attack her canine opponent. ( – 2)
DM: He moves 5 feet back towards Tanzi.
(-2) was your attack?
Rue: (make that -4)
DM: It can’t be that low, can it?
Oh yeah, maybe.
Rue: (well, if my low str gives a neg 2, and fighting defensively gives a neg 2…)
DM: fighting defensively is a -4 for +2 AC
So.. -6 total for your attack bonus?
You’ll only hit on a 20.
Rue: (well, I just keep sinking deeper, but maybe it’s my math. I rolled a 2.)
DM: Miss. Do you want to get out of the gate?
Sent at 10:26 PM on Wednesday
DM: OK. You are both bitten. Sand seems conscious only by force of will. You took 5 points though.
That knocks you out.
(We should have gone toad hunting.)
DM: If you could see, you would see Sand knock the remaining dog on you out and then move to your side.
(dog on him, I mean)
Give me a Fortitude save, please
DM: OK. You bleed to -2.
Miraculously the last dog misses Sand.
And he knocks it out on his next go and then pulls you out of the gate.
Rue: Leaving a trail of Tanzi blood.
DM: Fort save?
DM: Sand is carrying you and yelling for help as he cannot administer First Aid while raging but when his rage ends, he will be unconscious too. He has 5 rounds left.
Give me 5 Fort saves, just for laughs.
Rue: (2, 14, 14, 9, 6)
DM: ugh. really? You need a 15.
Rue: (That high…no luck)
DM: OK. The good news is, you wake up.
Rue: And the bad?
DM: Let’s save that for next session.
Rue: Okay… though the suspense may kill me. I’ll let that be on your conscience.
DM: Just for laughs, give me two more Fort saves, if Sand’s crying for help hadn’t worked and the person hadn’t rolled their Heal check.
Rue: (4, 13) Um…who is laughing?
DM: Not me. Wow, you would have bled to death.
Sent at 10:36 PM on Wednesday
DM: The really good news is that you will wake up 2nd level.
Rue: Yes. Savaged by dogs…I just want to know why Sand decided it was a good idea to visit this building…
DM: Yes, the dog encounter and the horse combined take you to 1200 xp.
Rue: cheers wildly
DM: But the person who saved you was a wight.
And drains a level.
DM: Just kidding.
Rue: You are mean to me. So very, very mean.
DM: What? You’re second level and you haven’t even gotten a positive number on an attack roll.
Rue: Tanzi is not a fighter.
Rue: That’s why Sand makes such a good friend…even though he nearly killed her.
DM: wait til you find out what he was up to
DM: want to roll your hit points?
You can reroll a 1 or 2.
Rue: You’re being cruel, keeping secrets like that…
Rerolling the two, I get a four.
DM: well done
Tanzi lives to die another day. Sand also levels, right?
He rolled a 10 on hp
DM: Figure out your new spells…
Oddly enough, now Sand can’t get flanked by dogs… they were almost his undoing
maybe he should learn Handle Animal
Sent at 10:45 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Tanzi gets two new spells! Bolt of Total Annihilation and Polymorph Anything. Awesome huh?
DM: Those are in one of the books I don’t own, right?
Rue: No. I made them up.
DM: That’s fine.
Sent at 10:48 PM on Wednesday
Rue: In all seriousness, Tanzi’s going to learn Mage Armor and…oh, I don’t know.
Sent at 10:49 PM on Wednesday
Rue: Comprehend Languages.
Sent at 10:52 PM on Wednesday
Rue: It’s good to know what people are saying…or, if someone is say, deaf, it’s good to know what someone has written.
Sent at 10:54 PM on Wednesday
good vs. dogs
Rue: What are the chances of us running into another pack of dogs…
DM: though your bad spot roll didn’t see the small “Do not enter. Attack dogs” sign.. Sand saw it but can’t read.
Tanzi wants to teach Sand to read.
DM: Sand wants to use his skill points to Jump.
Rue: Waste of resources. D is for dog, R is for Run, F is for faster…
Crossroads of Fate
Horseplay and Dog Food
DM: So, you were following Twig and the unnamed kapikula the the area north of Calabash to do some scribing of livestock.