Shielding Alliance

In the hall of the Mountain King
list of magical things laying around

Here is the list of Statues and their respective loot (with magical aura):

Beholder Tube (Minor Abjuration); inside tube (Minor Abjuration) Blue Dragon Box (Moderate Conjuration) filled with gems Fire Giant Spear (Minor Transmutation) Manticore Crossbow (Moderate Transmutation) Medusa Cloak of Resistance + 5 Mummy Staff (Moderate Abjuration) and vial (no magic) Ogre Mage Pendant (Moderate Evocation) Rakshasa Ring (Moderate Divination) Wight Urn (no magic); inside Urn (Faint Conjuration)

BRIAN: So as you can see…. we have a ton of gear we have left behind, and may have given up to the Temple of Evil…

ROBERTO: Interesting. Another thing it could be is some form of complex puzzle. Maybe we need to take the things in an order and if we don’t some creatures come to life or some such. That would explain why such a nice cloak would be just hanging on a statue. The other possibility is that it’s a real medusa who happened to have a cloak of resistance who then got turned to stone somehow but the cloak resisted the effect.

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Bookeeping, Shielding Alliance style

OOC; the Cloak of Arachnida (Tarantula model) was not part of the spoils, but rather a discounted (by 2,000) item that Meelub had. In game, all this discussion occurs in the evening so that cloak is not his just yet. Also, Turtle had asked Pertinax to explain to Furnock why getting the hand crossbow would be an excellent idea.

Turtle raises a cup of water towards the Elf and then at Treveylan. “A fine piece of math you two. Let’s me focus on the fighting.” Draining the cup. “So the human sword goes onto the pile with the bracers, the dagger, funny walking shoes, etc. I do say that a missile-shooting, wall crawling, Furnock could really give us a tactical advantage. Frilly shirt or not.” A wink in the rogue’s direction.

“But I don’t advise keeping that other cloak.” Poking the garb from the medusa statue with a salad fork. “It is too powerful an item to be found so easily. Why would it be left out in the open, unguarded? Why wasn’t it at least worn by the enemy?” She shakes her head. “I’m not an expert in magic but any means, but it seems far too easy won.” She looks around for agreement. “Just as the side of good advances truth, evil uses deception as a weapon. Wisdom says this item is a trick at best. A trap at worst.” She throws her fork at it. “Burns should look at it before one of us puts it on. After Helm, caution is an adventurer’s best friend.”

Florent’s eyes grow large once again at the prospect of his debts being paid off and actually receiving a share of treasure again: “Oh mon Dieu! Praise be to ‘Elm! But no, gold is no why I adventure. I ‘ave come to believe that ‘Elm will provide all I need through doing ‘is will. I will live on spoils of Tempel, and blessings of ‘Elm. Speaking of ‘Elms blessings, I ‘ave ‘eard of blessing to make shield sacred. Mine already glows and seems to give me extra divine power to turn undead, but the more blessings the better, say moi. [OOG: I get a +2 bonus to turn already, but to be honest I can’t remember what its from, or if I ever knew. Check with DM] Other than blessings of ‘Elm, and respectful tithing to ‘Elm, I ‘ave no need of my share of gold. Give it back to party for group or individual use. When I find another gift of ‘Elm in Tempel like my trusty ring and pretty cloak, you can count my party contribution against what I would owe for claiming treasure.”

Looking off towards the direction of the Temple Florent frowns, “Let us no delay, though. I concede that we are stronger for ‘aving returned to ‘Omlette, but I ‘ave no doubt Tempel is stronger aussi. We must go back toute suite!”

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The human steel is alright but it is no match for the Fine Elven Steel.
in character discussion about findings and a recap

Looking over the spreadsheet that Treveylan has provided, Turtle nods, mulling over the list. “Well Pertinax, will you still want to use this ‘shoddy’ human longsword, or add it on the sell pile so we can get 4,157.5 gp and you can continue with your Elven birthright?’ A quick smile.

Pertinax takes a sip from his goblet of wine. “Indeed, Turtle. While I may have come to appreciate the pragmatic value of human instruments I rarely find myself close enough to an enemy to use this finely crafted human sword, thanks to the shield wall. I believe it is best to sell it so we can get enchantments that we may use.”

Flipping over a coin. Turtle asks, “I still do not understand what the Calimshan figure the dead sorcerer told us of has to do with all of this. Or what question that woman’s cleric asked of him. I would think any caravan with 200 people would be more willing to share, particularly after the gifts of wine and that worthless necklace.” A wink at Treveylan. “Thoughts?”

“You mean Tharizdun, god of Madness? Or the Pasha of <insert>? This is strange indeed but we won’t be able to solve this particular puzzle unless we find more pieces in the Temple.”

Didius also sips from a goblet of wine. It seems like she is not quite comfortable yet with the group or is far less gregarious than most bards seem to be. “I am composing a ballad, or at first I thought that would be enough to cover the exploits of my dear brother. After spending just one day with all of you I can already tell this will be an expansive work. Probably more than one.”

She then rests both elbows on the table and leans forward.”Perhaps you can share with me your adventures so far?”

OOC:Don’t. Just let me know what you do not share. In the meantime here is an OOC recap for the benefit of Chris and Luke. Treveylan could not find any evidence of the missing hijackers. After cataloguing the loot Treveylan did find a bag with something squirming inside. Inside the bag were three sets of shoes that walk in pairs and leave deep tracks. These were the missing cultists. Since going back on the road would speed us up we decided to head towards Hommlet, spend the night there and then head back to the Temple. We were carrying the sorcerer’s body back with us for Florent to use his spell on. One the way we noticed a caravan heading towards us. The majority of the party hid behind the tree line and Treveylan skulked closer. Sharp eyes on the caravan noticed the half-elf being all sneaky-like. So he steps out and it turns out that this is a merchant caravan from Baldur’s Gate carrying the very succesful Lady Safeton. They stopped and we came out, leaving the body behind, to chat for a while (two hours, and I’m sure Florent was sulking the whole time). Treveylan gives Lady Safeton some gifts to soften her up for some future project or something. First, he gives her some wine from the evil temple. So far so good. Then he pulls out the necklace with fire rubies, while Pertinax is busy weezing behind the trees, and gives it to her. Granted, Pertinax thought it was worthless and gaudy but the last time he thought a piece of jewelry was worthless it turned that that humans value gaudiness and big ass jewels, which these ones were. OOG knowledge, it was worth 4700 gp. Treveylan thinks it was worth the price to build good will with the Lady.

Anyway, back to the story, the caravan moved on and we had to camp because we were exhausted. Nothing happens and we move on to town were the first visit is to Rufus and Burne followed promptly by a visit to Meelaub. Meelaub has some nice stuff in stock, including a fantastic Periapt of Health +6. Big pimping with a spinning rim and everything. So, we were discussing what to do with the swag. Pertinax is in favor of using whatever party funds we have undivided right now to acquire said Periapt and give it to the party tank. Others think it might be best to just divide treasure as usual and each one get what they need. We do have some very nice and pricy items in a cloak of resistance +5 and a ring of evasion. With Dan’s blessing I may try to set a market price on the animated shoes using the guidelines in the DMG.

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$ stuff

also it does not include the Myriad spells (from scrolls) that Pertinax has on his elvishness.

SMGthere is a list somewhere right? anyone have a ballpark figure?

Brian, thanks for doing the lists. For the record, I was able to see the screenshot. :) It seems like we’ll definitely sell one of the hand crossbows and leather armor, the dagger, both bracers, and eventually the 2-handed flail. This is 20,431.

For the record, Furnock bought one of the Leather Armor +2’s already, so that needs to be taken off and the corresponding gold added to the party trough.

Man, selling stuff for 50% off blows! What was the deal Meelab made with us for higher? Anyone have that?

Money-wise, I’m thinking it makes sense to keep either the Ring of Evasion or the Cloak of Resistance, but not both.

BRIAN: Well… for Pertinax’s amount of Spells he has “held onto” I would guess a few Thousand in the till… some of them are pretty expensive spells…

And I listed ALL items for everyone to see what was happening… that way it does not come as any surprise to anyone.

I left all of the items in for simple calculation purposes… nothing more.

And if I recall, there was not really any deal for higher priced items. We could sell things at 60% for things 3,000gp and lower (and buy at 40%?? though I may most likely be wrong on the buy aspect)

ROBERTO: > Man, selling stuff for 50% off blows! What was the> deal Meelab made > with us for higher? Anyone have that?

Indeed. I’m glad Treveylan is on the case.

Money-wise, I’m thinking it makes sense to keep either the Ring of Evasion or the Cloak of Resistance, but not both.

I’m not so sure. It really depends on if anyone is interested. Pertinax, for example, is very interested in the cloak. The ring is a very, very nice magical item and it might make more sense to hold on to this items now. Getting them at 50% value could be too hard to pass up even if you end up in debt.

Another thing is that I really think that Preiapth of Health +6 is a very worthwhile item. I think we should attempt to get it and then give it to one of the tanks, probably Turtle because she is always in the front line.

With expensive items liek that pooling resources is the only way we’ll be able to get them for now.

More ROBERTO: I made some adjustments to the spreadsheet that Brian sent out with the loot. The price for the ring of command and for the shoes is included in this one, plus the cloak of arachnida. I also made the assumption that the flail is +1. If it’s not we can adjust this easily.

His Elvenness has learned something from the Boy of Helm and has decided to take on heavy debt if no one else wants to stake a claim on the cloak of resistance or the ring of evasion. He will owe the party quite a bit as you can see from the spreadsheet. Furnock would have gotten some debt too but since Florent finally had some gold he paid back the remainder of his debt and Furnock was able to pocket some gold because of it. The final cash amounts to Florent, Sulmia, Turtle and Treveylan include Florent’s debt payment.

So, Sulmia kept the boots and got 5019 in cash equivalent to spend. Turtle and Treveylan kept nothing and have 11951.4 to spend in gold equivalent. Florent has 5629.8 to spend after paying his debt and keeping the cloak of protection. Furnock kept the armor, crossbow, cloak of arachnida and ring of command and has 1030.5 to spend on a new frilly shirt. Pertinax kept the cloak of protection +5, ring of evasion, the spell scrolls and now owes 11397.1 to the other 5 party members. He is going to sell his current cloak of protection +1 to be able to get some gold to eat and to transcribe spells to his spellbook. He now has another mouth to feed.

ROBERTO via Recalculating the recalculation: sans couverture For the time being let’s not count the cloak from the medusa (sounds much more ominous that cloak of resistance +5) which no one is going to don for now until we figure this out better. I also took out the cloak of arachnida, which it turns out we do not have (silly me).

Without the cloak of resistance Pertinax’s debt is much lower and as such the hit on everyone else’s pocket is smaller. Florent can still clear his debt and has some gold left to tithe and eat and such (4057 gp). Sulmia has 3406 gp and 3 sp to spend (she made out like a bandit with those fantastic boots). The Half-Blood Prince (henceforth known as HBP) and Turtle actually end up with about the same amount of gold as before because Pertinax’s debt was keeping them down. 11406.3 for each. Furnock now has 4188.8 for his frilly shirt, booze and the kind of women Florent wishes he was getting it on with. Not enough for that cloak of tarantula he had his eye on though.

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decisions, decisions

{trying to do the recap in game}

Turtle looks over the suit of +2 leather armor that Furnock bought for 2,000 gp. “About time you got something to protect those frilly shirts.” She winks at him. “Now all you have to do is get some practice in with that pea shooter,” gesturing to the +2 hand crossbow that Furnock was considering after Pertinax’s advice. “Although that discounted spider cloak that Meelub wanted to sell on the cheap could pass as fur, and it would be neat to walk around on the ceilings eh?” She swigs some water with her breakfast. “The spider cloak was 12,000, which is 2,000 less than it normally goes for. Thanks to the several small pearls we bought, the Power of Power, and the Monacle, we now know what we have found so far.” Turning to Treveylan. “I will let our resident quartermaster fill us in with what we have.”

OOC: So the vote was to head back to town?

Either Furnock is getting better at speaking or everyone else is getting better at understanding him, its hard to tell. ” Spider cloak you say, that sounds like a must have. Just so long as it doesn’t clash with the rest of my wardrobe. I AM a winter; blacks, whites and dark colors please and NO pastels. Pastels turn me all prunny. I really am no good with crossbows, they are just SO tiresome.

(poking a stick at the “Cloak of Resistance +5” on the table) “Pertinax, you had said some tactical stuff to him before about why using the hand crossbow would be ideal. Something about ‘sneak attack’ and an ‘Izzi’, whatever that is.” Dropping the stick. “It may be superstitious of me, but I suggest that this cloak from the medusae statue be sold.”

LUKE OOC: So the vote was to head back to town? ROBERTO OOC: The vote was that since town was sort of on the way we would stop there for a night. I’ll write a recap later.

STEVE OOC: Just a thought, but the bard naturally lends herself to ‘story-telling’/re-capping. I think it’d be a new spin on ‘re-caps’ if we try to do all the re-cpaping in-game through conversation or other, ‘hey, this is happening’ action. Through these clues, MIA gamers can piece together what happened

Pertinax, “I take it you are keeping the enchanted leather amrmor? Good choice. You can always dye it black and have the frills from your shirt come up around the collar and through the sleeves.”

“Also, the crossbow is smaller than the one you are carrying. I don’t think you have tried one of these.”

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"and then you could enlarge it during combat"

I had sent Chris an email with the subject, an item with Floren’t name on it>

VARIABLE SHIELD: A variable shield, normally a +1 small steel shield, can change its size on mental command. As a standard action, the shield can shrink or grow from a buckler to a tower shield. All the rules for carrying items with shields apply to the new shield size (see Armor Descriptions in Chapter 7 of the PHB). You cannot use a weapon in your hand if you’re carrying a large or tower shield. Characters not proficient in shields take an addiitonal -2 armor check penalty during the following round if the variable shield’s size changes during combat.

Caster Level 5th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, enlarge; Market Price: 6,560 gp; Cost to Create: 3,360 gp + 257 gp. From Arms & Equipment Guide page 95.

Sooo, it would let you ignore the shield penalties for most of the time, and then you could enlarge it during combat.

SMG

To which CHRIS replied:

if it were in game: Turtle says “and then you could enlarge it during combat.”

Florent replies, “No Non, mon cheri. I already pay good money for one of these ‘codpiece of prowess’, an only got chafing and rash. I now stick with wisdom from Swordcoast, “It’s not the size of the ship, its the motion of the ocean.” Besides, with me, it is no combat. It is sweet, sweet, vous les vous couchez avec moi…”

Too good to pass up.

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flying sparks

willing to take risk of sacrificing ourselves for the sake of the weak. ‘Elm can give you a girdle of faith, Turtel, to chase away your fears. Open youself to ‘is embrace.” Florent spreads his arms wide with a big grin and sincere glow.

Turtle sighs audibly, shrugs and leans forward to briefly hug the grinning cleric. After a few moments of contact that the boy seems to obviously enjoy, she pulls away, then recites, ‘Care for your weapons so that they may perform their duties when called upon.’ This is yet another duty of those who follow The Vigilant One.” She readies a shield with a practiced motion. “Helm provides his followers foremost with the wisdom to prepare for battles- ‘Anticipate attacks and be ready,’ Florent,” is another response. “I have never heard any official dictates about ‘crushing evil,’ while I quote His beliefs almost exactly.” She shakes another finger at him. “And I hardly think it is fair to call me a coward or imply as such- I’m usually the first in a room and the last one out. I will not apologize for wanting to be adequately prepared before we face a slime demon, nor consider it ‘pragmatic’ to report in to the village and make them aware of the danger.” More finger wagging. “This has nothing to do with my being female or any feminine side. I dare say I’ve brought down more evil doers than you have, so maybe being a lady is a good thing, eh Sulmia?” A rare smile towards the group’s other woman.

“I believe Helm looks after those who look after themselves. He is not going to drop magical aid into the Temple; we either take it from their forces or buy it ourselves. If we buy it ourselves, we can get what we want, whereas if we rely solely on what our enemies have, we have no sure way of getting what we genuinely need; the evil is not going have magic that is for good.” Clearing her throat, “Finally, I am not in agreement that the Temple automatically grows more powerful just over time. Like any organization they have to get continually find supplies and this requires manpower, effort, and gold. I believe it is raiding parties like this one,” jerking a thumb in the direction of a headless giant, “that are the literal arms of the Temple. Without them, the Temple stagnates, growing weaker over time, not stronger.”

Turtle: Blah blah blah, blah blah blah, blah blah blah…..”Finally, I am not in agreement that the Temple automatically grows more powerful just over time. Like any organization they have to get continually find supplies and this requires manpower, effort, and gold. I believe it is raiding parties like this one,” jerking a thumb in the direction of a headless giant, “that are the literal arms of the Temple. Without them, the Temple stagnates, growing weaker over time, not stronger.”

Florent eyes revert from being glassed over and perks up with this last thought. “Turtel, je regret, you ‘ave a point ‘ere. I ‘ave no thought about ‘ow the raids sustain the Tempel. I still think ‘eart is more important to cut out that cutting off arms, but you surprise me with your womanly wisdom. I still say Tempel is right next step, but I go with vote of majority.”

OOG: If you game tonight have fun and send good re-caps!

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I pity the fool

Turtle shakes her head sadly, a look of pity on her face. “I am not sure what you are trying to prove or who you are trying to impress Shield Brother, but you are not being realistic here.” Gesturing to a still-bleeding Sulmia and grimacing as her smooshed arm moves; “Look around you cleric. This damage is all from just a raiding party. And yet they almost finished us off even though we had the element of surprise and they were not in the Temple. We got lucky, and if it weren’t for a quick-thinking Furnock {a bow in the rogue’s direction} we’d have been done for.” She cradles her wounded arm.

“If we do not temper your fanaticisim Florent, it will be the death of us all.”

Stepping towards him. “You ignore key tenents from the Watcher’s teachings; ‘Know your foes.’ Pointing to the sorcerer’s corpse. “This one could tell as much, yet you would have us leave it.” Another step towards the cleric. “You ignore the Watcher’s main goals in favor of your own. ‘Protect the weak, poor, and do not not sacrifice them for yourself or for others.’ Shaking a finger at Florent. “Leaving these monsters to do what they planned would not only have been wrong, but evil. Even as we sit here trying to remind you of the basic duty to Hommlett, others of their ilk slip away.” Another step. “Stand, wait, and watch carefully.” You have ignored signs that there is something beyond even what we thought- see those small crossbows the bugbears have? Those are not of their race, so where did they come from? Who is really behind all this? Do you even care?”

A final step, so that she is but a hands-breath away. “Careful planning always defeats rushed actions in the end.” She raises her voice, turning around, and enunicating clearly so that the entire group can hear. “Careful planning…ALWAYS…defeats rushed actions…in the end.” Her injured arm falls.

“This needs to not be about any of us, or any personal obsessions. “If we fall, Hommlett surely falls, and with it, perhaps far more.” Sitting down to collect her breath. “There is nothing in Helm’s dogma about hurriedly chasing evil down- that is more along the lines of Tyr. There is however, something in the name ‘Shielding Alliance’ and I would suggest to you all that we not forget who we are protecting.”

Motioning towards Treveylan. “If you can follow these other tracks, at least some of us we should set out quickly for them, for that is our true duty.”

Florent does his best to maintain eye contact with Turtle, and not let his gaze drop to her chest. But at this close proximity it is difficult for the teen wunderkind. “I am amazed that the women are drawn to me like this, always wanting to get closer. I just ‘ave to figure out why they are so angry so often.” Florent puts a comforting hand on Turtle’s shoulder. “It is OK to be afraid, Turtel. I was once scared like you. You no ‘ave faith to draw on, though I am glad to ‘ear you are seeking the wisdom of ‘Elm. You no ‘ave to ‘ide behind words of ‘careful planning’. They make no sense coming from you anyway, so it is better to admit your feminine side is showing through your shields. After all, if you truly understand goals of ‘Elm, you would no pretend to ‘ave best interests of weak in mind when your main goal for returning to ‘Omlette is to trade in loot for more spikes. If you ‘ad faith you would know ‘Elm provides what we need most (Florent holds up his prized ring and semi-tainted cloak of protection). We ‘ave indulged you chasing after this tangent party when we know where ‘eart of evil lies. Oui, we do small good, but ‘ow much greater evil ‘ave we allowed to grow? ‘Ow many more innocents die through our inaction if we delay on three day, or longer, trip to town? What we really accomplish with such a trip other than allaying your fears for little longer? Grace of ‘Elm ‘ave ‘ealing to make party like new, so no ‘ide behind your wounds. Dictates of ‘Elm are clear in face of such great evil. Crush it with mighty ‘and of ‘Elm! No dance around skirts and run back to town every few days. Pragmatism too easily shields for cowardice. No sacrificing the weak for sake of protecting ourselves means we must be willing to take risk of sacrificing ourselves for the sake of the weak. ‘Elm can give you a girdle of faith, Turtel, to chase away your fears. Open youself to ‘is embrace.” Florent spreads his arms wide with a big grin and sincere glow.

OOG: Lets see the sparks fly now!

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yet another vote

Didius carefully plucks the strings on her lute and strikes a minor, somewhat dissonant chord.

“Drama! This is very entertaining. I thought I was going to be bored following Pertinax around but I was, happily, very wrong. My head is bursting with ideas for verses describing the Shielding Alliance!”

Pertinax fumbles around his pouch for the magical monocle.

“I already used the divinatory charge today. I will have to wait until tomorrow.”

With that he moves towards the items Furnock and Treveylan now doubt have identified as valuable and casts the common cantrip that reveals magical auras.

“It would seem to me that we are going to move right away. Florent, as usual, wants to head straight back. Furnock, surprisingly, wants to do the same. Treveylan wants to travel as quickly as we can to Hommlet and rest there to return to the temple first thing in the morning. Turtle wants to also return to Hommlet and at least spend some time there. Sulmia has been very quiet. Treveylan, my vote is conditional on some information. If Hommlet is somewhat on the way I would like to stop there, rest for the night, impart whatever information we can and order supplies, and then head right back to the temple. If it’s not on the way then I vote we head right back and rest on the way.”

OOC:I’m guessing only Dan can answer since my memory of the map shows Hommlet a bit to the side.

Turning to Pertinax, “I agree with you. If we are closer to the Temple, then it is there that we return to immediately. But more importantly is the current issue above all else… the 3 – 4 missing individuals from this raiding party. When I was tracking them here, there were 8 – 9 sets of foot prints. I only count 5 bodies; 2 Giants, 2 Bugbears, 1 mage…. 5, not 8 or 9. There is still some of them out there… I think we try to find them and dispatch of them as well. But then that is my own opinion…,” he continues to scan the ground for more sets of footprints.

As he is moving around scanning the ground, he leaves no tracks, no indication that he has been through the area…

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I got your Kudos right here

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Worried that I’ve either mis-filed or lost an email. Chris had made a ‘nazis bombing pearl harbor-animal house refernce’ that I thought I had included in the relevant section. (the part where we went after one of the temple’s raiding parties against the wishes of Florent and it had proven successful in several ways; see below)

On 6/6/06, Christopher Hood <chris_hood5> wrote:

Sub-plot schmub-plot.  Florent and Chris still think chasing after the raiding party was a big mistake.  No kudos for you!

Yes, stupid defeating the monsters kidnapping villagers to be sacrificed.

Stupid stopping something that we’d have to fight at one point anyways, probably while trapped and soon-to-be surrounded by re-inforcements.

Stupid winning some much-needed treasure.

Stupid extra 750 xp EACH for completing the story award.

Stupid opportunity to get more information.

Stupi…

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