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Chapter 2 - The Fortress

Nov 16, 2015 4:41 am

As the caravan clatters down the trail the hobgoblin guards that now flank the caravan joke loudly in goblin. At least, you assume they are from the way the keep laughing about something. The rest of the way, other than this guard switch, was fairly uneventful.

Soon, after making the trek the rest of the way around the large mountain that dominates much of this island, you see the trail leads to a long bridge to a very large and foreboding looking fortress. bugbears, hobgoblins, and a few orcs stand sentinel on the bridge and in the guard towers watching the front wall. As you near the gates there is more goblin chatter from the guards here and the guards from the caravan. Soon there is the large thudding of giant chain links winding as the massive doors into the fortress rise up and the carts are led into the main courtyard and off to some stables on the west wall.

GM. For navigational purposes the wall with the main entrance will be considered south.

The goblins take the first covered wagon off to another location, but the one your party is in is brought into the stable with the other carts and the door is closed and locked behind you. There is on covered wagon left in here, and the two wagons loaded with supplies. Aelar's troupe is in here somewhere, it's time to bust them out.
Nov 16, 2015 1:55 pm
Aelar crawls out of his concealment carefully, making sure that there is no one there to see him. After emerging from the wagon he takes a few minutes to search the wagons, hoping to find something that may be helpful in rescuing his troupe. He attempts to be very quiet in his searching so no one outside will hear him.

Is there any way to see outside of this enclosure without actually going out?


Perception to search - (1d20+2)

( 5 ) + 2 = 7

Stealth [Advantage] - (1d20+5, 1d20+5)

1d20+5 - ( 12 ) + 5 = 17

1d20+5 - ( 20 ) + 5 = 25

Nov 16, 2015 2:59 pm
As you search a round you find gaps enough in the wooden construction of this stables area to be able to see out. You see all manner of creature out and about doing various tasks. Just generally milling about in the courtyard outside. In the carts it seems most of the supplies are basic short swords, battered shields, salt beef and other rations. There is some leather hides and torches as well.

Inside the stables with you now are the two wagons and one covered wagon. The covered wagon isn't like one you are used to seeing. Instead of treated canvas covering it in a big arch, it seems more to have a large wood box covering it. The back is locked with a large iron lock, and on the sides are small slits in the wood. Even with dark vision the angle of these slots makes it hard to actually see in to the wagon.

GM. I'm going to go ahead and say that the trip in was a long rest worth of time. So everyone is full up on their stuff.
Nov 16, 2015 3:14 pm
Aelar takes out his new set of thieve's tools, hoping to be able to open the lock on the boxed-in wagon. Aelar will keep trying for a couple of minutes if he can't get it open at first.

Not sure how many times you'll let me try, this seems to vary by DM. I'll add a couple more rolls in case you'll let me try a couple of times.
Last edited November 16, 2015 3:16 pm, a total of 2 times


Thieve's Tools - (1d20+3)

( 10 ) + 3 = 13

Thieve's Tools - (1d20+3)

( 17 ) + 3 = 20

Thieve's Tools - (1d20+3)

( 15 ) + 3 = 18

Nov 16, 2015 3:48 pm
After a few minutes it seems like the lock may be too much for you to work out. Given another minute however you are able to pop the lock and remove it.

Given the situation I would say you have a chance to try at it a few times so the extra roll did it. It was a hard (DC 20) lock to pick. You just barely got it on the second try.

[handing note to Aelar]
PhantomNimbus sent a note to Naatkinson
Nov 16, 2015 3:51 pm
Aelar is filled with anger at what he sees. He motions for them to remain silent as he quietly calls his companions over to she them what he's seen.
You find a the back is filled with bound and gagged forms of people. Most in only rags at this point. They look frightened to see the door open. Some try and shy towards the back to the best of their abilities, but with how many people are crammed into this space it seems difficult even for basic movement.
After his companions have seen he quietly asks them, "What should we do? We can't just leave them here, and if we release them they will just be captured again."
Nov 16, 2015 5:30 pm
"Arm them?" I offer hopefully. Seems like the sort of thing people do in a situation like this, although now that I've said it out loud I am filled with doubt. "Perhaps we should leave them be for now?"
Last edited November 16, 2015 5:30 pm, a total of 1 time
Nov 16, 2015 8:39 pm
Speaking in elvish Ütés says "Let's get them unbound and see what we can find as far as rations for them."

"I wonder if any of the these folks would be able to defend themselves even if they were armed.?" she wonders as she looks over the hostages.


Perception - (1d20+4)

( 4 ) + 4 = 8

Nov 16, 2015 8:42 pm
Aelar will calmly approach the poeple with his hands in plain sight, trying not to frighten them, "Don't worry, I won't hurt you. We're here to help you. I'm going to cut your bindings if you sit still, and please, be quiet."

Aelar slowly draws out one of his daggers, as to appear nonthreatening, and will start cutting bonds.


Persuasion - (1d20+3)

( 18 ) + 3 = 21

Nov 16, 2015 8:46 pm
Ütés will look about for some rations and when she find them she'll bring them over to the hostages.
Nov 16, 2015 8:58 pm
Utes initial glance at the people turns up about what any of you may be thinking. These people don't look very well equipped to handle themselves.

As Aelar draws his dagger the people wince back instinctively, but calm as he speaks. The first to be unbound grabs his sore and worn wrists where the restraints were. He is an older looking gentleman, and thanks you profusely, though he seems unsure of what to do now.

As you release more there seems to be about 15 people that were crammed in the space to maybe seat 8 comfortably. 12 uncomfortably. They seem to be various races, ages, but as you question them all one thing becomes apparent. They are all bards of different merit. Though not in the same respect as Aelar, these musicians seem to have come from all over Faerun. Some had only been in this caravan for a few days, some have been captured for months.

As you listen to the stories of the people, giving what rations you can to those who seem the most hungry, you start to hear a remarkably similar story. One that you yourselves know a little too well. A strange caravan would come into town and a few robed people would take up residence in the local tavern. Usually about a night later there would be a strange event. Out of nowhere people would suddenly start attacking and killing local patrons in the tavern. A few of the hostages said they had seen these individuals ingesting some sort of strange dark liquid.

These stories always seem to end the same. These bards, minstrels, and singers would flee for their lives and be captured as they fled. They would be taken and tossed into one of these carts and hauled off as the tavern became a scene of horror and slaughter. No one would even notice their disappearance because there were so many bodies found, most were just assumed dead.

Some, who had been on this caravan the longest said these were the lucky ones, that got captured. Sometimes the tavern massacres resulted in no remaining life to steal. At that point the caravan just moved on to the next town.
Nov 17, 2015 3:40 pm
Aelar shakes with rage, more determined than ever to make these horrible people pay, "They will not get away with this, we will make them pay. I think that you should stay in here until we find a good way to get you out of here, if you left now, like this you'd just be recaptured and put under heavier guard."
Nov 17, 2015 4:04 pm
"For months?" Ütés asks one of the bards. "I know this might be hard to talk about, but the more you can tell us about what they've been doing with you for all of this time, the more likely we'll be able to help end all of this."

She looks towards the understandably upset Aelar and in elvish adds, "And we will end all of this!"
Nov 17, 2015 4:38 pm
A woman steps forward up to Ütés. You can see in her face she was probably an extremely beautiful singer. However, her features are sunken from malnutrition. She is covered in dirt and filth. Her frame is bent and sickly looking. Her hair is matted with, who knows what. She speaks and her voice comes out weak and it wavers as she speaks, holding back tears.

I...I may be one of the earliest. What the others say is true. I've lost track of the time we spent in there. I could only try my best to count the days as the light that seeped into the slits on the side. They took me and have had me bound in there since. I can't remember how many times we had stopped, we had more, but some died along the way. It would sometimes be a day or two before the smell made them realize someone inside had died, even then they may not remove them right away, she stops abruptly, no longer able to restrain herself and starts crying. One of the other women comes to comfort her and takes up the story.

We've only been given enough food to not die...for the most part. The robed people, the ones who had that black stuff the people drank. They left the caravan just before we departed by boat to this place. There were more humans before then. On the boat the goblins took over driving the carts. We could hear much of the talking before, we simply could do nothing about it. In one town there was once a man that opened the back of the cart. He was trying to help us I think..., she stops and looks down at the ground for a moment, They slit his throat, and we all had to watch as he died. They there his body in with us until we were out of town.

As you hear more the stories are all equally grim and disturbing. Torture, abuse, and the women on this caravan were often taken advantage of during the trip. It was all most of these people could do just to live to this point. Though many had at points wished for death.
Nov 18, 2015 1:59 am
"How does this happen, out here? And why?" Their stories are so terrible, surely they can't be true? I turn towards Crolwell to see if he has anything to say. He may be a strange man, but he always seems to know more than he's telling.
Nov 18, 2015 3:30 am
Crolwell remains silent. This entire ordeal is souring his mood. He became an entertainer for the people's smile. He thought he was done with these things. A grim determination flows through him, something he has rarely ever felt. He grasps the handle of his Fluba and looks toward Xadira and screams within his own mind, but it does not come from his mouth. Yes? This is what he wants? The vile criminal. If there is one thing I can do, and I swear to you this, I will outplay the Bard and his tune will be left only as an infamous smudge in history.
And with that Crolwell feels the fire die as quickly as it entered. "Hmmm? What? I mean, perhaps we can do a little ditty. You do realize I absolutely love those things, especially...". He rambles on, unintelligably answering a question he didn't really hear.
Last edited November 18, 2015 3:31 am, a total of 1 time
Nov 18, 2015 3:37 am
Also if I haven't already said it, or if people have used the last one, you all have an inspiration point. Fantastic RP.
Nov 18, 2015 9:38 pm
Aelar has never been more angry. Hearing of these atrocities sickens him, and he says to the captives, "Wait here, and be silent. We will come back, and we will free you, but we have some things to take care of first."
Nov 18, 2015 10:37 pm
"I think we need to find one of these robed people and have a talk." Ütés says to the others as she moves towards the door of the stable. Inspecting the area around the door and the door itself she tries to find someway to peek outside.


Investigation - (1d20+2)

( 6 ) + 2 = 8

Nov 18, 2015 10:44 pm
"That's an excellent idea! Perhaps we can convince them to let these people go?" I nod vigorously.
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