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Champions of the Empire
Yrmen Desert - Turn 1.8 - Through the Sandswater Sea; The Cliffs of Kori-Dan - Turn 2.1 - Level 6
With the Sun Dragon fully provisioned, Captain Wells sets sail as soon as the group returns from the Acrobatic Challenge. The next city along the east coast of the Sandswater Sea is about 500 miles to the north. It is a much smaller city named Anbar. The group did not learn of any challenge obelisks in Anbar but they want to stop anyway just in case there is one there that they have not heard about. With good winds, the Sun Dragon should arrive in about 4 days or so. However, unfavorable winds hamper them for the first day and a half before finally shifting to a more favorable quarter and the Sun Dragon arrives in Anbar on Eleasias 16 (8/16), five days after setting out from Luxor. Other than the unfavorable winds, the weather was relatively pleasant for the journey, though a bit on the hot side.
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Even more so than Luxor, Anbar shows signs of impending war. A troop ship is anchored in the harbor. The troops from the ship can be seen fortifying the town against attack from the eastern deserts where distant mountains can be seen. The colors are those of Luxor whom the group understands is the capital of a vast republic that stretches to the northern extremes of the Sandswater Sea, but only on the eastern coast.
Derrick, Nurel, Darius and a few other members of the group disembark and head into town to see what they can learn.
GM: Anyone entering the town that wants to learn information, go ahead and send a Luck roll and an Information Please roll for each topic that you want to find out about. If you are trying to be sneaky about it (i.e., you don't want the question to be obvious) use Subtle Extraction (Conversation skill) instead of Information Please.
GM: Suggested topics to learn about include challenge obelisks and information about the impending war with the desert barbarians.
NUREL: He goes out into town to ferret out information on both obelisks and the possible impending conflict.
NUREL: 2 luck rolls [rolled 52 vs. LUCK 18, 3x roll] [rolled 43 vs. LUCK 18, 3x roll]
Obelisks subtle extraction roll of [rolled -17 (Absolute Failure)]
Conflict subtle extraction roll of [rolled 105 (Near Success)]
GM: Nurel's learns nothing of the obelisks and only rumors and stories about the conflict. He hears people say that barbarian army can't be killed - that the dead men will rise up and continue to fight. He also learns that all of the scouts that were sent to scout out the barbarian army were capture and beheaded and that their heads were mounted on stakes as a warning to others. As a side note, Nurel also discovers that the military is looking for mercenaries or adventurers who are willing to scout out the barbarian army and return with reliable information.
TEBRAK:. Sweet! Looks like Nurel just discovered the previously unknown obelisk of the continuum transfunctioner. It is a very mysterious and powerful device and it's mystery is only exceeded by it's power!
DARIUS: Darius will see what he can learn, though he is not particularly skilled at this piece, he will still inquire with more respectable members of the community such as merchants and scholarly types if he encounters any.
Challenge Obelisks [rolled 41 vs. LUCK 17, 3x roll], Information Please [rolled 15 (Failure)]
Impending War [rolled 40 vs. LUCK 17, 3x roll], Information Please [rolled 36 (Failure)]
GM: Darius learns nothing of significance.
DELANA: Delana will also see what she can learn.
DELANA: Obelisks information [rolled 28 vs. LUCK 17, 2x roll], Subtle Extraction [rolled 58 (Failure)]
DELANA: Impending War [rolled 19 vs. LUCK 17, 2x roll], Subtle Extraction [rolled 73 (Failure)]
GM: Delana learns nothing of significance.
DERRICK (OOC): I am still laid up, please make all relevant rolls for me. (I can't even view my character sheet easily on this laptop since the COTE server hates me now and won't respond to the [me] command.) I am not super subtle though so I guess I have to take my chances on the Information Please route. Please remember to give me the benefit of my Fascinate roll, it may help me find someone useful to talk to. Far more likely than my crappy Luck stat.
GM: Can you remind me what the Fascinate roll is?
DERRICK (OOC): A bonus effect of superhuman Charisma. I think it was 10% chance of any given person being 'charmed' by me, though it doesn't really state how much time or exposure / interaction is required. My understanding is that it's pretty quick but doesn't work on significant people (so some guard, maybe, but not the Captain of the Guard unless he's also peripheral to the plot). I thought you knew because I kept mentioning, like when Nurel and I went out in the rowboats to make friends and recruit crew.
GM: Ah yes, it temporarily slipped my mind. :) Unfortunately it doesn't help much in this case. The Luck rolls are to see if you managed to talk to anyone with specific knowledge of what you are looking for. The Charm ability would then make them likely to provide more information. In this case, you learned all you can from the guy with the obelisk information but never managed to find anyone with specific knowledge of the war with the barbarians. I will say that you certainly talked to people who you thought should have such knowledge, such as soldiers. sergeants and officers, but none of them knew much (with the 9x roll Luck roll).
DERRICK (GM): As you wish. My reasoning was that it might assist or completely bypass the Luck roll because Bob my new best friend says something like, "No, no, sorry milord I don' know nuthin' bout tha'... but you know who WOULD know if anyone did? Madame Susie over at the brothel! She hears everythin' 'round here..." Of course Derrick would never choose to seek out a brothel to gather intel, but with this little push he might get Bob to introduce him...
GM: I took that into account by being a little more lenient on the Luck roll but with a 9x Luck roll, it wasn't enough to make a difference.
DERRICK: Obelisks rolls: Luck [rolled 17 vs. LUCK 10, 2x roll], Information Please [rolled 113 (Success)]
DERRICK: War rolls: Luck [rolled 85 vs. LUCK 10, 9x roll], Information Please [rolled 131 (Success)]
GM: Derrick confirms that there are no obelisks in the vicinity of Anbar. He also confirms that are are obelisks near Dairut, Kafr Saeed and Pramayama. The person he talks to has been to Dairut and describes the obelisk there. From the description, Derrick believes it may be a Streetwise challenge.
DARIUS: Darius sees no reason to linger and we should continue on with our journey.
The group departs Anbar later the same day and continues north in the Sun Dragon. A couple of hours later, a squall kicks up and a heavy rain falls for about 30 minutes. During this time, the wind shifts and is now blowing from the north very strongly. The seas become more uncertain as the night time hours pass. The sky is overcast in the morning and the wind is still strong out of the north. Captain Wells is unable to navigate by the stars or sun due to the overcast but his dead reckoning estimate is that they are making a maximum of about a mile an hour. Over the course of the night, he doubts that they made much more than 10 miles north. The visibility occasionally increases enough for him to see the distant shore.
Unfortunately, the poor weather is not quick in passing. For the next several days, the same weather pattern holds. It is only about 150 miles from Anbar to Dairut but five days later, they have not yet arrived. It is not until late on the sixth day, still under stormy skies, that Captain Wells finally sails the Sun Dragon into Dairut.
Soldiers on the docks challenge the ship as she closes. The Captain calls back that this is the Sun Dragon from Luxor eventually bound for Pramayama. The ship is allowed to moor but is then searched. Only when no signs of barbarian scouts or other nefarious activity is found is the crew cleared to leave the ship. By that time it is well after dark.
The group has no trouble locating the obelisk based on information that Derrick learned in Anbar. It is visible from the dock. Too visible, in fact.
GM: Let me know if the group wants to undertake the Streetwise challenge. The only person in the group with Streetwise skill is Nurel and his level is Skilled (ranks 6 to 9).
DELANA: Delana will spend some time that evening and the next morning seeing what she can learn about the war with the Thunish barbarians.
DELANA TECH: Luck [rolled 74 vs. LUCK 17, 5x roll], Subtle Extraction [rolled 126 (Success)]