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Caravan Duty

Kyle Aarons

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You spend a few hours pretending to make repairs. Things seem to be going fine when you hear a wagon coming down the road from the direction of the village. As you all find defensive spots, it comes into view with two copper Dragon Kin on the back who look extremely happy.


One of them shouts out, and for those who cannot understand Vorador translates, "Great work! They bought the deception and we were able to root out the traitor in our midst. The Gnolls' attacked the village thinking we were sending out a decoy to destroy their raiders with all our best guards. We tore them apart thanks to you all. We'll take our people back, and this wagon has eight casks of Dwarven meade and some un-smelted tin ore. It is law quality but it will sell away from here. If you all want to hit the caves now, it has a whole lot less in it and what you find you can keep. Thanks again, OH, and the village elder OK'ed you taking those two boys who can't speak our tongue. The said they wanted to come with you. We'll take real good care of the others for you and keep 'em safe. We even gave them 20 asps each from the spoils so they have some spending money.


Take care and good luck on your hunting down the criminal.

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Zemzelett scrunches up his face.  This was new - it wasn't only him who was considered weak - it was ALL of them.  That thought cheered him up and made him a bit happier.


"Mister Dragon sir," he called out to the Dragonborn in Dwarven.  "We heard prisoners when we were at the pass.  Did the gnolls have any with them?  If they're still in the mines, we could sure use a map or a guide so we can try and save them."

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Vorador translates:


"There were 42 who attacked, 37 of them Gnolls. All are dead. The caves have the prisoners, but we have done what we could to help them, now it is time for anyone in the caves and or mines to help themselves. We have opened the pass with your help and we thank you.

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"I agree.  We should go and help them."  Zemzelett says as he strips off the fine clothing Quelten bought him, and folds it neatly before placing it in his horse's pack.  He starts to equip himself for the upcoming trek.  He holsters his rapier, takes up his crossbow, and shoulders his backpack.  He takes his ten foot pole and give it to Innil to use.  He's heard what almost happened to the Elf Fighter two nights ago, and doesn't want anything of the sort to happen!  


He goes to one of the wagons, rummages through it, and takes out the following items for use in the cave:

  1. Magic Book (illusion)
  2. Spell Scroll: Cloud of Daggers (3), Knock (3), Darkness (3), Darkvision (3)
  3. Magic Potion (divination)
  4. Magic Oil (necromancy) 

Turning his attention to the two boys deposited in their midst, the half-elf bard kneels down and asks them.


"Hello there.  My name is Zemzelett the Acrobatic.  It's very brave of you to want to come with us.  What are your names?" He says this in Sorteth Common, and repeats it in Dwarven and Elvish.



  • Equipped with Rapier, Light Crossbow with 20 bolts, a Viol, and a Dagger
  • Wearing good Studded Leather Armor, the Abjuration Bracelet engraved with a wolf howling at the moon (do I know what it does by now?) around his right wrist, and a signal whistle around his neck
  • In his pocket: Spell Scroll (Cloud of Daggers, Knock, Darkness, Darkvision), 3 pieces of Chalk, and a set of Thieves' Tools
  • In his pouch: A Cracked Pearl, an Obsidian Gem, 26 Ravens, 31 Sparrows, 10 Griffin, 1 Crown, 19 Adders, 15 Vipers, 27 Asps, and 2 Corals
  • In the pack: The Magic Book, the Magic Oil (necromancy), the Magic Potion (divination), a bag of Caltrops, a Disguise Kit, a Dice game set, a Dragonchess game set, a Healer's Kit, a single Daily Ration, a Sack, a Waterskin, and a Whetstone
  • With the mount: Pevel's Diary with 6 pages torn out, a Pouch containing 48 Old Port Guard insignia, a Cracked Mirror, a Letter of Promotion, a set of Travelling Clothes, a set of Fine Clothes, a Bedroll, a bar of Soap, and 2 Sacks.
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Innil takes the pole and leans it against one of the wagons as he gets all his weapons on and arranged how he likes. (two short swords, longbow, quiver with 20 arrows, brace with 8 daggers)


Innil retrieves the pole and walks over to Zem. "Why don't you use this pole and walk beside me. I know what to look for now and you can test it out. Also if we are attacked while making our way down the shaft I want you to drop to the ground on your stomach. It makes a smaller target and," Innil leans over to whisper this part, "you can't slip and fire your crossbow at any body parts. Remember what Quelten told you is correct, we have all had mishaps firing a weapon at some point. If we survive this remind me to tell you about mine."


Loudly to the group, "I'm ready whenever our leader gives the word. Don't forget there could be hobgoblins as well."

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Zemzelett scratches his head and says in a low voice, "I.... um.... it's too heavy for me to carry." he says in a hushed and clearly-embarrassed tone.  Which is plainly true when the weight of his backpack is also considered.


The half-elf does not like to admit his weakness and frailty, but decides to just roll with it since everyone knows about it anyway.

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D'Narenth looks at the retreating townsmen. "Forty-two enemies attacked the town. And you idiots would have had us take that lot on? By ourselves! It is a damn good thing that this 'Ambush the ambushers' ploy worked in reverse. Any other result would have been our death."

The Dragonborn walks over to where Abram and Eghas are. "Now the Copper has said that the 'caves have the prisoners'. It is obvious, that the village considers the captives to be on their own. We are now in a position to assault what is left of this infestation, destroy them and free whomever is left. Taking, as we will, whatever spoils are left."

D'Narenth looks out at everyone. "It may still not be easy, but it is no longer a virtual death sentence to enter the mines and caves. We are far enough away from the caves that the wagons should not be a target, should we leave them here. But unguarded wagons will be ripe for anyone who comes across them. If we are going to assault the caves, then we should hide them the best we can, along with whatever draft animals we leave behind."

D'Narenth points to a copse of trees, slightly downhill. "I suggest we hide them over there. There is some grass for the draft animals to feed upon, if they are hobbled. There looks to be a spring there, so that will provide water for them and us. We can take some small branches and confuse our trail coming back out, so we don't give others a clue that our wagons are there. The only question is, do we attack this evening or wait for the morning?"

D'Narenth then looks directly at Eghas. "You know my feelings about those two." He glances at the two new boys. "Keep a tight leash on them, else they be Dragon food." D'Narenth turns back to Zem. "Little brother, Since it seems no one else wants the longsword, I will take it, if you trust me."

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((OCC Elan'fal takes 1 darkness scroll  1 Magic Potion (divination) and Scroll of Protection from Energy (5)))


Elan'fal walks with Innil but answers to D'Nareth shrugging his shoulders. "Yeah, why not? Sounds like fun. The more the merrier." He then turns to Eghas. "So what's the plan? How do we clean the mines?"

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D'Naranth starts talking to Zemzelett, forcing the half-elf to once again drag Elan'fal along to translate.  If he is to talk with his 'big brother' properly, the bard is going to have to start taking Draconic lessons.


"Oh, that longsword isn't mine, Sir D'Naranth.  You certainly don't have to ask my permission to take it.  Feel free!"


Facing Elan'fal, the bard puffs out his chest.  "I say we hit them fast and hit them hard while they're reeling from the loss.  Why let them rest or escape when we can end their threat once and for all?"

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The young bard opens his mouth to argue, but realizes that Innil could simply choose to ignore his well-reasoned (to him) arguments about why every single object he has placed in his pack is quite important.  Gambling that the elf isn't very observant, the bard nods, goes to his pack animal, and makes a lot of noise by pretending to remove some things in his pack and placing them in the horse's pack.
He returns triumphantly with ten-foot pole strapped to the pack, his back complaining slightly, but he's able to ignore it for now.
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Zemzelett smiles sweetly. "Oh no, Sir Elan'fal. I think I'll need everything I packed in here. Anyway, Innil thinks I can handle it just fine!"


{{OOC: I lied about the weight.  I calculate Zem's current encumbrance to be approx. 45 pounds - he can handle 50 pounds.  It's just that the lead character should be the one tapping with the ten foot pole...}}

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{{OOC: In case you can't tell Innil is trying to make Zem one of the leads to boost his confidence.}}


"Really, Zem, you need all that stuff from Old Port that I know is still in your pack?" Innil starts laughing. "I have a new nickname for you, Packrat!"


Innil claps Zem on the shoulder still laughing and shaking his head.

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"We only have two of those poles, you know," the half-elf points out.  His ears are starting to droop a little after hearing Quelten's suggestion of not being able to lift his own weight (which he can't, he weighs far heavier than 50 pounds).  Hearing this coming from a boy two years younger than him? Huge hit to his ego.


{{OOC: This is how I envision his face looks like: }}


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you move as a group back toward the cave. the two Copper Dragon kin agree to guard your wagons if you are really willing to assault the cave, both hoping you can find a couple of the missing Copper Dragonkin.


as you get closer to the cave entrance you see something you didn't expect to see.


there are four humans standing out front of a small cave just above and to the west of the big entrance. they are forcing a group to haul stuff up a narrow treacherous path toward the top of the rock face. with the four humans are 2 Gnolls at the small entrance and three more at the top of the treacherous path.


the beings they are forcing to carry stuff include at least 2 human females wearing very little, a very young Copper Dragonkin, five younger teens, (they look human, but the rags they are wearing coupled with the distance makes it hard to tell race for certain let alone sex) and four dwarves. all those being forced have to walk with a shuffle since their legs are chained together. this makes the nasty trail even more dangerous for them to walk up and down, especially the trip up since they are all carrying way too much. a careful look by Vorador and D'Narenth reveals at least one body at the base of the rocks with a huge sack lying next to it. Probably a falling victim. (the skin of the captives are very pale as if they have not seen sunlight in way too long and even the young Copper Dragonkin has lost some shine from its scales.


the five Gnolls are similarly equipped. Studded leather, whip, short sword at their sides, a dagger on a boot sheath, small backpacks and a crossbow with a small quiver- probably 10 bolts.


of the four humans watching over this two are in chain shirts, with shields and crossbows. One has a battle axe the other a war hammer both have at least two daggers. large backpacks are leaning against the rock face close to each of them


of the other two, one is in black leather armor, a staff, a small pack, and it looks like there are 8 sheaths built into the armor for daggers.


the last human has much darker skin, not black, but a deep almost bronze. He is wearing Banded Mail, spiked gauntlets, has a shield with a circular figure of a snake eating it's own tail with a pentagram in the middle, has a long sword at his side, a medium sized pack on his back, and is holding a war pick. This guy is also huge, as in 6'6" and 300 lbs of muscle.


this smaller cave is about 15' above the big one and on the steepest slope of the rocks.

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Zemzelett whispers to the party.  "I can cast Faerie Fire first, and the rest of you can attack.  That should make it easier to hit them.  If we take them by surprise, we should be able to drop a few before they can counter."  


"I do not think we can drop that big guy, who I think is their boss.  We should take out the flunkies first."


While the party deliberates, Zemzelett takes some time to study the enemy (Perception Check: 1d20+3):

  • Positioning: How spread out are they?  Can he paint the majority of them in Faerie Fire?
  • Terrain: Is there any cover between the enemy and the party where he can hide behind, to prevent arrows from hitting him?  Are there any choke points which the party's heavy fighters can block?
  • Distance: How far away are the bad guys?  
  • Casters: Are there any enemy spellcasters?  Can he tell what sort of spellcasters they might be?  Wizard, sorcerer, cleric, druid, warlock, or even a bard?
  • Hostages: Do any of the hostages look like they are in any position to fight back, should they be freed?

He also tries to discern what are they doing (Insight Check: 1d20+2).  Are they moving things out of the cave?  Are they just moving the prisoners?

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Quelten took a deep, cleansing breath, then checked his shield.  Ready and able.  Then he checked his weapon, and had a momentary surprise when his hand found the mace instead of his hammer.  Drawing it, he held himself ready.  "Reld and I can keep the big one busy while you guys clean out the trash," he says softly.  "But might I suggest we re-position ourselves before attacking?  I'd much rather have the high ground advantage if we can manage it."

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