Posted by : David Guyll September 22, 2011

After burying the dead, the caravan continued on its way to South Ledopolos. Rather than "Indiana Jones" the trip, I asked them what their characters would be doing for the day. Beth (aka Maximus) decided to strike up some conversation with the caravan leader, a man named Canth. I played Canth as a similar personality to Maximus; serious and disciplined from living a life of danger running trade goods between cities. She learned some rumors about the Giant's Rib Mountains, as well as the giants from the Silt Sea.

John (aka Branor) did something a bit different, asking if there were any dwarves on the team. I figured, they are going to South Ledopolos, so hell yes. He then asked if they knew his character, to which I decided to give him a chance to improvise, asking, "Do they?" He figured that seeing as his character is a prince of his clan that they should, and I rolled with it, having them be somewhat nervous and offering him some of the "good stuff" that they were packing with them. While he did not learn anything, he got to play his character's social side a bit.

Randy's character is trying to figure out magic as part of her background and goals, so when he asked if she nabbed some of the dray's notes I had him make an Intelligence check because Randy never said he did and I did not think to ask. With a nat 20, I told him that she grabbed a lot of stuff and that she could study it along the way. I had him make a few Arcana checks, and the results indicated that she had determined that the dray was using ritual magic to bind ghosts in order to question them (which Baranus mentioned back in the sewers). Now, I tried to have a nosy half-elf woman badger Sardis about what she was reading, but she rebuffed her, because, well Sardis is not the most social person (or at all).

Just goes to show you that not every NPC is going to get the screen time you had hoped. Maybe I will try a more aggressive approach next time?

Speaking of aggression, Liz really did not have any ideas about what she would be doing, so a botched Insight roll revealed that a small group of men seemed to be ogling her. This made her understandably uncomfortable, so she stuck around Maximus, "just in case". 

With that bit of socialization out of the way a sandstorm picked up, locking them in place for several hours. They made some skill checks to help round up the animals and erect some hasty shelters, so after it blew over everyone was safe and everything was accounted for. With another hour of digging everything out they were able to cover some more ground before they had to make camp for the night. With the possible threat of some of the caravan members going after Jiga, they kept close to each other and decided to keep their own watch. Fortunately, nothing assaulted them except for an adult silk wyrm with a bunch of young in tow.

The young were really just there behind the scenes in order to occupy the rest of the caravan guards and Canth, giving the characters a chance to show how badass they were and level up because I wanted them at 3rd level before they got into South Ledopolos. Plus, I wanted them to actually finish it off given that they got to see one at action in the first session. Once they killed it the surviving young fled, giving the caravan a hefty boost to the food department. Since they killed it so fast none of the guards died (I rolled a save each round), making Canth very pleased (and affecting the bonus he would give them at the end of the trip).

The next day, Liz (aka Jiga) actually asked if the men that were staring at her yesterday were around--probably hoping that they had died--but found out that they had left sometime during the night and were nowhere to be found. Did they get eaten or desert? Eh, time and drama will tell.

The third day they ran into another hitch in the form of a gith raider ambush; they came out of the mountains, raining javelins because the only stat block I had on hand was for the level 4 artillery ones. Had I brought my laptop I would have had access to other stat blocks, or...shit, I should have remembered the pdf on my tablet. Oh well, I will remember next time if I forget to format all the stat blocks. Anyway, the battle was over pretty quickly despite immobilizing javelins. A lot of the guards were wounded, and some were kidnapped by the surviving raiders, so if they act quickly they might be able to save them.

We'll see what happens next week.

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