Shielding Alliance

Turtle makes a suggestion

“I miss you, my shield sister, Turtell. I prefer fighting on one front, eef possible. What else can we do for better beating monsters when we return toute suite al la Temple Elemental?”

Turtle rubs a bruised forearm, looking thoughtful. “I, too, missed the Steel Wall, both here and back when I was trying to holding the door from those gnolls…” (she lets the statement hang out there before continuing)

“My suggestion is that we stick with three, set rotations. The first for exploring the Temple, the second for when we fight, and the third for when we’re sleeping. As far as a plan, I think until we’ve either learned more about whats going on or have found more treasure, we stay. Explore as much as we can, and then retreat to rest.” (she turns to face towards the tower) “I’d like to go back and clear out that initial area we went to. I know the room with the bodies will certainly be…unpleasant, but I possess the fortitude to clean it out.” (looking a little embarassed about saying that, she hurries on) “Moreover, it is outside the walls, letting us sleep somewhat easier. It has an exit for escape and is defensible. While I’m sure the bodies might have since attracted something, it is likely to be a worthy test before we face the Temple clerics.” >(she stretches her shield arm) >”Finally, there are techniques for working together as a group that I have heard about. Basically practicing various techniques as a team so that we all benefit from the effort.” (she shrugs and returns to looking at the tower)

I am no so sure about the tower for place to rest. Even eef you get rid of bodies, the fluids have soaked stones by now. I agree eet is more defensible, but eef I cannot rest because of smell then advantage is lost. For fighting, I agree that sometimes on two fronts is unavoidable, but eef we are closer together it would be easier to ‘eal and aid each other. But would this make us more vulnerable to, ‘ow you say, ball of fire?”

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Vive, no Mort!

Pardon Moi,

“Eet is no so difficult decision pour moi, when eet comes to resting and fighting prudently and no resting and dieing foolishly. ‘Elm calls for protection, oui, but for using all of our gifts to the fullest as well. Better to live long and protect for many years than die before completing our first mission.” Leaning closer he says to Trevelyan and Pertinax, “And there is no way in ‘ell I am dying a virgin!” Blushing and realizing he’s said too much, he quickly recovers, “Besides, we ‘ave to get our skinny ami ‘ere to make it to 900 years, don’t forget!” He laughs with excessive enthusiasm and nervous energy.

“As far as catching a cleric, this will be tres difficile. I especially think ‘Lareth the no so beautiful’ will no so much be cooperative.” Again with the nervous laughter. “Mostly I see chaos ‘ere. You are sure they even have plan beyond just being very bad?”

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...or maybe not

You all speak of leaving, and sleeping, but there is more that is happening here than any of us assumed. We cannot leave, yet we are not equipped well enough to fight what may come… (the statement hangs openly to emphasize its’ point)

Pertinax, “Treveylan, you have a gift. The gift to confound me with words. Are you saying that you wish to push on or to rest in the woods or tower and then come back?” not see that we have done poorly thus far. As Pertinax made mention… no matter how hard you prepare for something, your plans could easily be changed… and quickly. We have done well thus far and seem to be doing the right thing by cleansing the temple of these evil scum… but yet, there has been no true indication to their cause, or purpose. We seem to merely be cleaving through their minions, but have found no true reasoning behind their madness.

While we could discuss tactics and how to better fight, I do

Thus far we have fought gnolls, bugbears, ghouls, ghasts, humans and numerous skeletons… some more monstrous than others… but still. There is a Harpy… as Pertinax tells me… though I cannot recall it. We have much to be wary of, if something swayed me so easily… though I have one request. Perhaps, we do not kill them all? Perhaps when, and if, we fight the clerics… we keep one alive? Question him… try to discern the logic and reasoning behind this temple?

It is merely a suggestion… I will do whatever the group decides…

Pertinax, “That is a worthwhile idea. I could try to make them go to sleep, but weak-willed creatures fall prey to my enchantment first and usually these clerics are difficult to ensorcell.”

I am not sure which is the wiser course… pushing on seems wise, as it keeps the enemy on their heels. While resting, be it in the tower or the woods, would be wise for us… however it puts us on our heels… as our enemy has time to regroup and prepare for our return…

I am lost at how to decide which action would be better… while each path seems to have it’s benefits, there is no doubt the negative aspect of each choice as well. Which is the lesser of the two evils, is a mystery…. again… I will go whichever route the group decides… I am ready to fight, but without Florent’s healing, we will be dead soon enough…

Decisions are at times most difficult when one must decide whose life is more important… ours? Or those we try to extinguish?

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rest stop

“It is good to see you are well, my human friend. While your life is incomprehensibly short to begin with, it would indeed be a terrible tragedy if foul undead cut it even shorter before we fulfill our promise.”

The elf then looks at the females.

“How are you both doing? Sulmia, it would appear that you are grieviously wounded, much like Turtle was before. Perhaps it is time to take a brief respite from this wretched place. I would think that the wilderness around here might serve us well, since we have the good Treveylan to guide us. I could use some time to regain some of my High Elven Magic too.”

“Merci pour your concern, Pertinax. I know it is ‘ard for you elves to understand ‘ow I am so much stronger than you at only 18 years, but you will ‘iit man’ood soon too. Eef you turned your devotions to ‘Elm, then you would find the strength of the protector too.

I am all for resting as well. I can ‘eal those in need eef I ‘ave time to pray and meditate on the graces of mon dieu. Also, I welcome advice about dealing with the undead and dangers we face in the temple. I am no so much experienced with this, as you may ‘ave noticed from my almost dying. (Insert nervous laugh here). I miss you, my shield sister, Turtell. I prefer fighting on one front, eef possible. What else can we do for better beating monsters when we return toute suite al la Temple Elemental?”

[Pertinax]

The elf chuckles good-naturedly.

“I like that. Hopefully, in the 900 years that I have to look forward to, I can aspire to be as strong and as effective with a flail as you are. Alas, I think it might not be in the bones for me as perfecting High Elven Magic requires all of my attention.”

Then to the rest.

“I highly recommend resting at this point. I have very little magic left and I think Florent is in similar shape. There is no point in pushing again. There is wisdom in talking about how to become better as a group. I don’t know what we could have done differently in this last situation that would have radically altered the outcome. We can attempt to keep our enemies on one side but sometimes it is inevitable to have to fight on two fronts.”

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Mon Dieu

”’Elm be praised. Mes Amis, that was a battle incroyable. Did you see the power of ‘Elm over those undead? They were blasted into dust with ‘is power invoked.” Florent stares down at the glowing holy symbol on his dented shield in admiration and growing faith. “And even when my mortal strength failed and I was lying at ‘Elm’s doorstep, ‘e still found a way to protect ‘is faithful. Merci Beacoup for the ‘ealing potion downTreyvelan, by the way, and for pouring down my shattered jaw and throat, Pertinax. You were the vessels of ‘Elm’s power, and saved my life. It is a bit scary ‘ow quickly I can be reduced to a broken and bleeding pile of metal and bones, though.” A shadow of fear comes across his eyes, quickly replaced by the feverish light of faith. “Mon Dieu, you are powerful. Mon cheri, Sulmia, and Turtle, say to me what ‘appened at the other end of the corrider. I ‘ear screams and fear it was you, mi amour, I mean, my friend. Did you face the skeletons as well?”

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BIG recap

OOC:Last night was a blast! Thanks to the host, as usual, for allowing us in his house and taking us to another world for a few hours of camaraderie and righteous bloodshedding. Thanks to Steve for the delicious, organically-grown, antibiotic-free, pure-grain-fed chicken wings (mmmmm… wings). Thanks to Brian for showing up and being his usual sunny self (I keed, I keed… no, really, Brian seemed to be in a good mood).

For the benefit of THE Luke and THE Chris (who is probably at the beach gawking at bikinied babes as we speak) here is a little recap from the point of view of a xenophobic, uppity, aloof and arrogant elf (are there any other kind?).

IC: ‘I have been feeling strange for a few hours’ thought the rail thin and pale elf. ‘It’s almost as if I wasn’t myself.’

The smell of rotting flesh brought him back from his brief internal soliloquy. A procession of humanoids, bearing an unfamiliar standard, was entering the temple while the band lurked amidst the liquefying and bloating bodies of their previous victims. This tower would be an easily defensible position from which to attack them, but only if we could draw them out here.

Turtle kept pushing us to seize the element of surprise and our relative health instead of letting the newcomers prepare for us when they saw the carnage we left in the dungeons beneath the temple. Furnock was asked to serve as bait, drawing the temple dwellers into the open field where they could be peppered with arrows from the murder holes in the tower. “I’m not going out there by myself!” quipped the human. “Well, I think we should rest and regain magic” said Sulmia in her twang which always seems to bring the Helmite cleric from his occasional stupor. “Oui! Suhlmia speaks wisdom. We should rest and allow Helm to return his blessings to me.”

In spite of the reticence, Turtle was able to convince the foolhardy band to just go out and be aggressive with the newcomers. With Treveylan (OOC:that’s mr TreveyHlan to you) at the point the small team set out from the tower with the hopes of shooting temple dwellers with arrows. They encountered no resistance and were able to follow footsteps down towards the eastern side of the temple and the stairs going down. Furnock took his usual position as trap finder, magical eyepieces dangling from his nose.

It then dawned on the party that one of their presumed advantages, being able to shoot arrows at the enemies on an open field, was lost in the dungeons. So they decided to head back and down again through the familiar passages into a room in which they could rest and reverie, thus regaining spells and divine favors. Initially the room that served as a jail for the captured villagers was considered but it was deemed a death trap due to the one and only exit. The party decided to quickly investigate the southern passage and found two long-abandoned armories, which would serve as places to rest. Pertinax quickly entered his reverie and Florent took off his armor and went to sleep. The rest decided to investigate a bit and could hear orcish voices down a corridor. Furnock’s magically enhanced stealth skills allowed him to move without raising the alarm and informed everyone of his discovery. Watch turns wre determined and a handful of hours went by without incident. Helm bestowed his blessings on Florent and Pertinax studied his mostly empty, ornate, leather-bound spellbook.

With Furnock, Turtle and Treveylan spearheading the incursion, the party prepared to delve deeper into this den of depravity and walking death. A battle erupted between the previously heard orcs and the front line of Turtle and Treveylan, with Furnock lurking in the shadows waiting for his opportunity to strike. Various orcs stepped forward and engaged Turtle while Treveylan shot his bow over her. From a passageway that bisected the positions of Furnock, Turtle, Treveylan and Sulmia from the location of Pertinax and Florent came four undead flesh-eating abominations. Florent quickly called upon the might of Helm and the ghouls, sensing the positive emanations from the cleric, quickly left the fray but not before Sulmia was able to stab one of them twice.

The undead menace averted the six companions huddled and set out to mow down the orcs, which were now reinforced by gnoll archers. Arrows and javelins whistled back and forth, sometimes finding flesh. Furnock used his magical blade, Turtle bashed, Florent moved to the front lines and swung his flail, Treveylan and Sulmia repeatedly cocked and released their bow strings and Pertinax intoned arcane words of power and gestures that released hidden energies in the environment. One powerful gnoll used his flail to part Turtle from one of her shields. While this was happening a distressed human stumbled out of a door further north, to be quickly grabbed and pulled back by a hulking bugbear.

Once the forces in the first hallway were defeated (after a brief scare in which Sulmia learned the finer points of coup-de-grace technique) Treveylan and a suddenly very brave Furnock followed the bugbear. Treveylan quickly returned to where the rest of the party could see him with a look of concern. Where was Furnock? What was inside the door? We will find out soon enough.

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group huddle

Mes Amis,

We ‘ave much to congratulate ourselves on. ‘Elm would be proud of such “Tour de Force”. I am concern for ‘ow much we face, and ‘ow close we come to facing real danger. Sulmia, mon cheri, you are most brave as well as tres belle. ‘Owever, when we call “old the line”, we mean stay behind shield brethren and kill tings from there. As follower of ‘Elm, I would never rest if I fail to protect such a strong and beautiful madamoiselle as yourself. Furnock, I am most impressed with ‘ow quick you move. You are even more agile and steathly than moi. For you, you can be in front of line, as long as you are close for jumping back. Some’ow my conscience not so much be troubled if something ‘appen to you.

So what we think of the many bad men carrying evil banner into temple? I am tinking they are no followers of ‘Elm. Do we ‘ave plan? After I receive blessings from ‘Elm upon resting, I can sneak in and spy on bad men for group. I am very sneaky when needed, no?

Furnock says:

Cheers lads we made it out a hairy spot. Whats the split on the baubles we knicked? Should we leg it back to Hommlet to get the new gear the caravans should be bringing? Or should we keep after the black hearted bastards? I’m parched after that smoke filled tunnel, lets get us something to drink, aye? I could also do with a cup o’ dice to help recoup what I owe that stuffy elf-fellow, bloody ponce

“I think we should sneak around and see what they are up to… if we let them get away from us. we may not be able to follow them. Did you notice that they a horrific standard?? A skull pierced with a spear… I am not to believe they are probably of good intent here, though I am sure that most things we find are not or will not be.

We will waste a lot of time sleeping, and I do not think we will find a suitable place to gain any rest here… if we can, we should face them now, and thwart whatever evil purpose they have come here for. Keep a prisoner and take them back to Nulb, or to the priests in Homlett…”

We need to press on… they are here for some foul purpose for what we do not know.. and any information obtained would be more that what we know now… nothing.

You want me sneak back into Temple? With protection of ‘Elm I move like strong wind. ‘Alf elf, I agree that great evil grows ‘ere, but protection also requires prudence. Eef we rest I can pray for more ‘ealing, which you may have noticed was greatly needed. One rest will no delay us too much, but trip to ‘Omlett and back is too much, I agree.

I say rest and return to Temple. Wisdom of ‘Elm shall guide.

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numeric recap

Pertinax had a good night: besides the obvious SOP > of Mage Armor, using light on a pebble to illuminate > a hall, sleep on 2 gnolls, magic missles > expeditiously, cats grace to help with his ray > shots- missed with 1, hit with the other; “Trevalyn, > just hold them off for 1 more round! {misisng} OK, 1 > MORE round!” using the pearl to recover sleep and > slept 2 more gnolls, which we cou de grahed.

Good! Sounds pretty much like what I would have done. The Cat’s Grace is indeed for improving his chances of landing rays. I’m thinking of making Pertinax a ray kind of guy, hence the feats.

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cashing in

“Aye… you seem not to know nothing of your needs ay?? Well here might be some suggestions for you Priest… perhaps healing potions and kits… in case we need you to help us on the field of battle. There are many things that would help you along your journeys…. I myself am interested in a backpack that makes my gear light to carry, as most of my abilities depend on my need to move quickly…

Also, the O’Mordhan Elves from the woods of Gwynneth use to carry about fabulous quivers that would allow them to store their bows, spears, arrows, and staffs quite easily… they knew how to travel quickly and lightly… I would like to see if one of those could be obtained…

I suspect that these fantastic items may cost me my complete share… but tis only a small price to pay for better gear I suppose… that is where I lay with my desires, or wants to spend me money.”

“Non. Pardon Moi. Let me say you this. I no want the staff, unless the group wants me to keep it for strategy or something. I have never heard of prayer beads. Perhaps the church of ‘Elm will teach me of these things when I rise as a cleric. As for how we divide the loot, say me what the options are and what we could get. For me, I am appy with my new armor and flail, and no need anything else. I give money to another player to buy something, or if we divide I spend some and I give rest away.”

OOG: I agree that table game time is precious, and wouldn’t want to spend an extended session on dialogue without rolling the dice a few times. My suggestion is that we move the discussion along in character through e-mail role play. That way we can have decided what we want to do and move on by Sunday. Hopefully the role playing e-mail will keep us from meta-gaming.

In case Florent speak is unclear, he has the flexibilty of ignorance. If we decide to split the loot, he will buy some things and give the rest away. If we pool the money, he’ll give his share away and maybe next time he’ll know what he wants. Option 3 would be to split the money, and then those who want to spend it can, and those who want to pool it can with a smaller side pot.

“Back in Elversult we believe that a strong army is one where everyone is capable and no one is indispensable. For if too much power is concentrated on one individual, and that individual falls, the fight is lost.

At the same time each one of us will learn, with experience, how to improve oneself. As such I suggest we divide the gold and allow each one to spend his share as he sees fit. If certain people wish to enter into an agreement and pool their resources I wish you the wisdom to make the arrangement work.

Florent, if you do not want the staff then it appears to me that the decision is made. It should be sold for gold.

I myself, fancy a headband of clarity or intellect to boost my not-insignificant understanding of the arcane gestures and words by which with Art I liberate the power of the Weave. I also need gold to procure the inks and materials to write the new arcanist formulas that we find in my Faerin-parma.”

[OOG: he is referring to the Heward’s Handy Haversack and the Quiver of Ehlonna]

Pertinax offers guidance to Furnock. “Furnock, I have seen gloves, fashionable amongst those that prize quickness, stealth and manual deftness, that replicate the effects of a spell which many humans call ‘Cat’s grace’. Perhaps you should look into such a thing. Of course, enchanted steel is always useful and might cost less gold than the gloves I mentioned.”

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sudden fortune

One of the advantages of playing a wet behind the ears 18 year old is that it is natural for him to be foolish and naive, which covers for the guy behind the character sheet being foolish and naive as well.

OOG: I’ve never had this much gold in a campaign, and don’t even know where to look for a list of cool stuff.

In game: Florent has never seen this much gold before, and doesn’t even know where to look for a list of cool stuff. He is thrilled with his new armor, and his new and improved flail which already is working out well. (He hasn’t hit a companion in at least a couple days.) Being an impressionable young lad, he can be swayed by arguments, as well as the church of Helm. His main goal is to live out his new vocation as a protector of Helm and root out this evil. He would gladly give up the rest of his share for a good cause, or an item that would help the team. If the group cannot agree on an item, he heard someone mention a pearl of power that could restore a spell once a day, which sounded great. Other than that he is likely to be foolish with his gold. A wiser young lad would send funds home to his folks to help them out and help him save. Florent may instead try to use his gold to make up for his poor charisma and lack of charm with the ladies. Or he might be swayed by his new found faith and give it all to the church.

OOG: I am going with the ignorance is bliss route. Florent can be talked into just about anything. (In fact, his new armor seems to be sending him some dark thoughts and vibes, but that just might be the puberty hormones.) He is not attached to the staff of Striking, and probably is rather afraid of it, so unless the group wants him to keep it in times of need, he’ll hand it over. As a character, Florent is balancing a high wisdom with the foolishness of youth and an over active sex drive. Right now ignorance/youth is winning. In fact there were a couple sweet looking lanterns he had his eye on…

As Chris the gamer, I want the process to be fair and agreeable. I think it makes sense for us to agree on a process in general, and vote if needed. But when it gets down to actual picking out items, talking about big purchases, and advanced planning I think we should do that in character. Otherwise it feels too much like metagaming. As far as roleplaying this out we can at least start over e-mail and gear up for Sunday.

Florent exclaims: “Mon Dieu, look at all this gold. OOO LA LA, I am tres rich. Um, Sulmia, do you ave any sisters, by chance?”

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