The Silver Pool Campaign 1.1.8: Please read the first comment (click on View Results) below and THEN choose your preferred action.
Posted by darkstar 12 years ago, closed 12 years ago
Now search the raiders. Gather their weapons and strip them of their belongings. Leave their bodies in the woods and return to the inn as planned. Get medical attention for the wounded, including yourself.
Carry the raiders' bodies, along with their belongings, to the inn to be searched there. Get medical attention for the wounded, including yourself.
Send the wounded of your party back to the inn with the raiders' belongings. The rest -- including yourself, after you bandage your wounds -- will pursue the other raiders and try to eliminate them as a threat, too.
Leave the raiders and their belongings while you quickly bandage your wounds. Then all of you give chase to the fleeing raiders. You can't let any of them get away!
Some other creative approach? (please comment)
The ambush is sprung!
darkstar: Now! You take advantage of the bandit leader's proximity and leap out! Bardo, in mid-turn to look at the rest of his band crossing the ravine, is taken completely by surprise. Hearing the sound of the underbrush as you close the gap, he raises his right hand swiftly, but not before your spear strikes him in the right side of his chest!  
It's a successful hit with your new weapon! With all the weight of your momentum behind it, the spear tip drives through the bandit's boiled leather jerkin and into his flesh. He staggers back as you wrench your spear out for another blow. Before Bardo can back up another step, though, Milo's short sword crashes down on his right shoulder from behind. The blow glances off of the rogue's leather shoulder pauldron, though, doing minimal damage.  
Almost simultaneously with Milo's blow, you see that Bardo's right hand -- obscured from your view in the dark as he was coming up the bank -- holds some kind of weapon. A twanging sound is followed by a thump and a searing pain in your left shoulder - you've been hit! Fortunately, Milo's attack ruined Bardo's aim or you would now be sporting a small crossbow bolt in the middle of your chest instead of in your shoulder.  
Bardo is wounded and off balance, but not undone. He drops the small hand crossbow and swiftly draws his sword as Milo strikes again, slashing downward at Bardo's right arm. The bandit dodges and the slash goes wide, the dark making it hard to fight a man dressed in black!  
"AMBUSH!" the bandit bellows. "TO ME! TO ME!" As coming from a great distance, you can hear the shouts and sounds of struggle from the others around you, your comrades and the other raiders fighting for their lives. But you are only dimly aware of their fighting, your focus taken up by the dark, deadly threat in front of you.  
Before Bardo can ready another blow, you strike again with your spear - a stab at his mid-section - but are parried by the large but dexterous raider. The three of you position yourselves on the path, each feinting in turn. Bardo parries two more stabs from you and another slash from Milo, the clanging of metal on metal ringing out in the night. The rogue is obviously a more skilled fighter than either of you are, but having to fight two of you, and in the dark, is making it hard for him to launch an attack of his own.  
"So, the little peasants are all grown up and in their big breeches now, are they?" he taunts, as you circle each other. "Tell me, peasants, is your corn and cheese worth your lives, tonight?" You can hear the smirk in his voice.  
The pain from the small bolt protruding from your shoulder is beginning to take its toll, every movement causing pain as the bolt shifts in the wound. You realize your left arm is going numb. It chills you to think you are wounded, outmatched and may not be long for this world.  
Suddenly, Bardo utters an arcane phrase and points with his left hand at Milo as a flare of light blooms in your comrade's face. The village elder reels, off balance as he backpedals to avoid the burst of illumination that renders him blind in the night. The light has nearly ruined your night vision, too, so you don't see Bardo until he has closed the distance with you. He follows through with a parry beat at your spear, lunging past your spear tip with a deep sword thrust straight at your head!  
Slowed by your wound and caught up short by Bardo's attack, your defense is almost too late: you bring your spear shaft to graze his blade, just in time to deflect it but minutely. Instead of having your head impaled like a melon on the bandit's sword, you receive a deep gouge on your left cheek.  
But Bardo, for all his skill, has miscalculated. For your greatest expertise is with the bludgeoning staff, not the piercing spear, and your instinct is to fight with the former. Without thinking, you spin away from Bardo's lunge and swing the iron-clad butt of your spear with all of your remaining strength into the side of Bardo's head. The metal tip makes a grisly thunk as it catches the bandit leader in his left temple. He goes down hard in the dirt, in a crumpled heap at your side.  
Breathing raggedly, you and Milo pause a moment to glance at each other in the dimness. You are bleeding badly from your facial wound and your left hand is almost unable to grip your spear because of the growing numbness in your arm. Milo is still staggering a bit from partial blindness but he soon regains composure. You quickly check to confirm the fallen bandit won't be getting up.  
You and Milo look around for the others and can hear the noise of melee dying down and take stock of the field of battle. The other raiders appear to be gone.  
As you gather the members of your party, you learn that five of the raiders have been killed: the scout, the other three who had initially scaled the near bank -- including Bardo -- and another who had climbed the bank just as you sprang the ambush. Evidently, the rest of the raiders must have heard the shouts and struggle and decided they weren't being paid enough to lose their lives in a dark wood of Foxglove village. Thanks to your numerical superiority and the element of surprise, you have lost none of your party, though a few, like yourself, do have some serious wounds.  
The realization that you have won -- and are all still alive -- turns to nervous laughter, then to raucous shouts and then a loud jubilant cheer of victory!
FoolProof: The rest of the campaign and character info can be found HERE.
darkstar: :)
darkstar: Previous episodes and Character Data Sheet in the Silver Pool campaign can be found here.
FoolProof: Didn't this happen last time, too? :)
I vote for option #2.
FoolProof: We don't want to linger here in the dark for fear of a counter attack. Grab the bodies and go. Watch the rear as we go!  
We still have numbers on our side but with our wounded and lack of experience, a full-on confrontation with the brigands would almost be a fair fight - just the type of thing that we're trying to avoid. We would no longer have the element of surprise.  
Make for the town and loot the brigands bodies. Perhaps we can track and pursue the remaining ruffians by daylight tomorrow, with greater numbers and fresh fighters. With archers and overwhelming force, they'd be little match for us.  
For now, we lick our wounds.
FoolProof: Dibs on the crossbow. :)
Search the bodies, take only what's useful, and get on back to the village. Carrying the bodies would make us slow and loud. We need to be fast and quiet. Carrying some extra weapons will be burdensome enough with some of our guys wounded. Why do we need to lug a couple tons of dead meat back, too?
FoolProof: We want what's on them and we also want to get the fzck out of Dodge. How about we take them a ways away, not all the way to town or anything - perhaps just down the road, and search them there.
FoolProof: Oh, and..  
What up on the next installment, D? :)
FoolProof: mp  
Back to the inn...
darkstar: The fighting is over.  
You decide that, with the success of the ambush, there is no need to pursue the remaining raiders. To do so in the dark, moreover, would be very risky, as you could easily rush into an ambush yourselves. It seems better to take the bodies back to the village now for searching and proper burial. Leaving them to rot in the woods would be uncivilized and, what's more, might attract predators to the village. It is also vital to get the wounded among you back to the inn for healing. Your party gathers up the bodies and make the short trip back to the village.  
Once they realize you are not the enemy, your fellow villagers let you inside the inn. The doors are barred again and a quick recounting of the ambush is met with cheers from everyone! The bodies of the fallen raiders are deposited on the sawdust-covered floor and two of the village elders begin searching through their effects. Meanwhile, the wounded of your party are ushered upstairs to the room where Mistress Faye is waiting in an makeshift infirmary.  
A few moments later, you are lying on a simple bed in one of the inn's upper rooms. Mistress Faye lays her hands on your shoulder and face and utters incomprehensible but soothing words. Beneath her touch, the blood from your two wounds is stanched and your flesh knits together. You can still feel pain, but where the open wounds once were, now only angry red welts are turning into scars.  
As Mistress Faye finishes her ministrations and prayer over you, you notice an embroidered pattern on her tunic: a familiar sprig of flowers with white blossoms. "Tree of Sorrow", you say, pointing at the embroidery. You swiftly recount the events related to the sudden zephyr during the ambush that may have helped obscure the enemy scout's sense of smell.  
"Yes," she says, smiling. "It is a plant sacred to My Lady Aldrya. I was praying for your party to be successful tonight. Mayhap The Goddess favored you."  
Mistress Faye hands you a small vial of liquid and directs you to drink it, which you do, noting the warming effect of the minty syrup as it goes down. She cleans the blood from your face, neck and arm and collects your bloodied cloths. As she prepares for the next patient, you thank her and gather your things to vacate the room.  
"Be careful not to overdo it for the next few days," she says. "I've only healed the immediate wounds. Your body still needs to recover from the trauma. So get some rest."  
As you make your way downstairs, you observe the village elders conferring in the main hall. They stand around a trestle table piled high with things taken from the dead raiders. Swords, leather armor, spears, daggers, belt pouches, a pack, a pile of coins and some other effects are the topic of intense discussion.  
"Enough," says Elder Milo, raising his hand for silence. "There is still much to consider and we are not yet through this night of trial. Let us secure these things for now and determine tomorrow what to do with them."  
His advice seems to take some of the tension out of the discussion, to the evident relief of many in the room. Milo tells the others to continue to maintain watch, in case the bandits continue their raid, or decide to take revenge for the ambush. The villagers once more take up their positions as Milo and a few others begin gathering up the items from the table.  
It occurs to you just how long a day it has been for you. You hiked over 20 miles today and then wrapped up with a battle after midnight in which you killed two men and were seriously wounded, yourself. A wave of fatigue hits you and you also realize that Mistress Faye must have given you a sleeping draught. Evidently, she is not taking chances as to whether you will get some rest. To be honest, she needn't have worried.  
Mother Gert, passing through the hall, notices your slumped shoulders and drooping eyelids. Smiling knowingly, she comes alongside you and ushers you to the back storeroom where several sleeping pallets have been arranged. She takes your belongings and sets them next to an empty pallet without a word.  
As she eases you onto the thin, straw-filled tick, your last conscious thoughts are of the scent of a certain night-flowering bloom...
darkstar: You awaken in a nicer bed than a straw tick on the floor. Evidently, someone moved you while you slept into a simple yet comfortable bed in a small room by yourself. The small window shows the pale golden light of early afternoon. You've slept a while, it seems.  
A moment later, a tap comes at the door and it opens to reveal Elder Milo's youngest daughter with a tray of food. With a shy nod and a short curtsy, the 10-year-old waif leaves the tray on the table next to your bed and quietly slips from the room again.  
A half a loaf of barley bread, a bit of cheese and a small cup of milk breaks your fast. You wash it down with the small pitcher of cool water provided. Your hunger satisfied, you tenderly test your wounds. There is a bit of stiffness in your shoulder, but the pain is gone. You can feel the scar on your face, but there, too, no pain remains of the serious gash that was there.  
As you think of how lucky you were to avoid being killed, another knock comes at the door - more robust this time - followed by Elder Milo. He eyes the empty tray.  
"A strong appetite. That's good. I was going to ask how you feel, but an empty plate is probably the best indicator." He sits on the foot of the bed.  
"You'll be glad to know there was no counter-attack last night, " he continues, anticipating your next question. "It seems our ambush worked."  
"And if what I learned from that defector is true - and we have their leader - it's possible," you suggest, "that we've stopped the raids entirely."  
"I hope so," he says, running his hand over his face and letting out a sigh. His red-rimmed eyes suggest he hasn't had much sleep yet, if at all. "But the Elders are still concerned..."  
"Concerned? Why?"  
He reaches into a pocket in his innkeeper's apron and pulls out a small leather-bound sheaf of papers. "This," he says, brandishing the object. "We got it out of that Bardo rogue's pack. It seems to be a ledger. Marked where he paid his henchmen."  
"Why is that a cause for concern?"  
"Take a look," he says, handing the ledger to you. "Look at the first entry."  
You flip back through the small pages outlining weekly wage payments to the raiders. Each one, paid a silver piece for their week's service, is accompanied by the raider's individual mark. You reach the beginning and read the first entry aloud. "30gp, 250sp from M." As its significance begins to dawn on you, Milo gives voice to it.  
"Yes, it appears that Bardo was paid a significant amount of money from this "M.", whoever that is, at the beginning of the raids. He then paid the raiders out of those funds."  
"But...that would mean the raids weren't simply to gain plunder. Bardo was... hired and bankrolled to stage these raids on Foxglove!?"  
Milo nods with another deep sigh and takes the ledger back from you, slipping it back into his pocket.  
"Yes," he says, grimly. "And that means, despite our victory last night, our troubles may just be getting started."
AB: M=Milo  
It's the ONLY logical conclusion.  
Kill 'im.  
Then eat his flesh to gain his powers.
FoolProof: no.
FoolProof: I think we just fzcked with the mob. I regret leaving survivors.
meh. a bunch of hayseed villagers with sh1t on their boots sent them running back to their cave. that's not the mob, it's a bunch of third-rate hired goons.
FoolProof: The mob hires goons.