Shielding Alliance

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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the truth...

Treveylan listens to the pious priest, as well as the Wise Elf, and considers the hardened female warrior’s points before he speaks, “This war party or raiding party was strong and well prepared… they are not merely the mercenary type. They were equipped with 2 giants, the strong arm of the group; as well as 2 bugbears, the quicker and more adept at stealth and close quarters fighting; then there was the mage. They were no run of the mill group… my suspicion would make me believe that they are the raiding party that we have heard about in the past.”

He continues to scan the ground, looking for more tracks, when he speaks again most grimly, “There are only 5 bodies here, I counted 8 to 9 sets of tracks on our way here, we are missing 3 or 4 beings from this party. Grab what you can off the bodies, there are more of our enemies out here. We need to find the rest and stop them as well.” He continues to scan the ground, looking for any sign of the missing…

While he searches, he speaks over his shoulder, “Heading back to Homlett is not an unwise course of action, if, we are only to warn the people there particularly Rufus and Burn, but to stay too long would be folly. I will not stay there for more than a night. I have no idea as to what I may need, though finding a way to communicate with the town would be wise. While we are on it, perhaps we can find a way to make Florent faster AND quieter?? He is too loud for my liking and he readily gives our position away… plus, he slows me down if am tracking.

A strong evil grows in the Temple, that is for certain, delaying too long would be ill advised. I will take us back to Homlett for today, I leave at dawn tomorrow.”

(OOG: dawn of the following day that they return to Homlett)

Florent, ”’Alf Prince, you are letting your arrogance de nobility get in front of you again. ‘Ow you decide you leave tomorrow when you no ‘ear wisdom of group? You no longer believe in power of vote? Majority no compare to royalty?” Turning to Turtle Florent shakes his peach fuzz coated chin, “You take a vow of self-serving now? Convience is no vigilance! I am consistant because confronting evil is main goal, and must be done ASAP. No when we ‘ave new toys. Tuite suite! ‘Old the line used to mean ‘old the line, no chase the evil down when it fits our travel plans. I am glad Furnock ‘as seen greater calling, or at least something close. My vote remains!”

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after battle SOP

So its clear, hopefully we’re still following our usual after combat protocols so we’re not all just standing around jabbing away. What is the most recent such SOP:

1) Turtle and Sulmia take up guarding positions, covering the most likely routes for something to come in

2) Pertinax casts DETECT MAGIC, and then, if possible uses the monacle on whatever could most likely be used by the most people in the group; i.e. boots as opposed to a shield. he also generally tries to identify potions and reads any scrolls

3) Furnock searches any bodies, with Treveylan often helping if there are a lot to go through or there is not time to be thorough and we want a back-up to make sure we don’t miss anything. In the past Furnock would at least Take 10, sometimes 20 if the body/object was clearly importamt enough and could hide something. {in this case the body of the sorcerer} In the dungeon, Treveylan sometimes is checking for secret doorts, so outside I assume he’ll look for tracks.

4) Florent is doing HEAL checks and then casting healing on the most injured person first, working his way up.

5) Didius will probably stand around and make fun of her brother. :P But she can also be another set of eyes. I can’t imagine her going through bodies.

This is what is going on ‘in game’ as the emails are flying.

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Double the elveness, double the snootiness

Didius notices the blood on her otherwise gleaming mithril armor.

“That’s a first. Thank you brother, for the privilege of getting my armor christened on the blades of common bugbear brigands. I must say, you look quite bloodied yourself.”

Surveying the condition of the Shielding Alliance: “Perhaps there is an epic brewing here after all. I rarely get to use my healing touch but it seems like that is about to change too.”

She moves from Sulmia to Turtle to Florent touching each one while singing a lilting Elven song. Her last touch is saved for her brother. It is clear that in spite of their constant ribbing, they share the deep bond that comes from being family.

“I’m glad you are ok, brother.”

“Thank you, sis.”

Pertinax moves to put out the flames remaining from the twin fireballs. He stomps on them.

“Well, it certainly seems like this was the raiding party that attacked the caravans. Like Turtle says, we do need to interrogate the presumed leader of the band. It may just be that they lay here in ambush and wait for any caravan that comes along but there could also be more. Florent, when could you use your spell to communicate with the dead?”

“Since we are closer to Hommlet than to the temple it would make sense to at least make a stopover there. How long we want to wait there would depend on what we hope to accomplish while there. This silver raven Turtle refers to is one of the famous Figurines of Wondrous Power. I do think it would make sense to acquire one as a party item. My guess is that it would cost about 4 thousand gold coins. As to this spell that Turtle refers to I would guess it’s one to transport objects accross great distances. If it is and we can find a spellcaster to cast it for us it would cost about 910 gold coins without taking into account the vagaries of the market.”

“Which items do we hope to sell and what do we hope to acquire? Since we are talking about getting things from either the Gate or Waterdeep then I would presume someone already has something expensive in mind.”

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eyes on the prize

Florent studies the female elf’s healing with great interest. Then turning to the party he shakes his head with conviction. “No again with this go back to ‘Omlette. No, mes amis, no. We ‘ave just seen ‘ow powerful the Temple is coming. As dangerous as this group was, I still think greater danger lies in Temple. I ‘ope we ‘ave no sacrificed many by this delay of chasing after few. They would ‘ave done great danger, oui, but who knows what danger may be erupting from Temple even now. We must go back tout suite. To delay now for silver birds and new stuff is no vigilance of ‘Elm.”

Walking over to the corpse of their leader, Florent says “I think it would be better to ask questions while ‘e was still alive. I can ask ‘im now, but I no think ‘e answer. Maybe tomorrow morning ‘Elm answer my prayers and then I can ask ‘im three questions, but again I think this is no so much a good idea. Delay not worth reward of information. Whoever is still ‘urt I can ‘eal, and then we must go back to the Tempel!”

OOC:I smell a vote coming! Hopefully, even though Luke and Chris won’t be able to play on SUndays, they’ll still control them during the roleplaying debates by e-mail. I’m glad Chris is going it and I hope Luke does the same for Furnock.

IC:

“Well Sister, you may be about to witness one of the most typical things about the Shielding Alliance. We discuss all matters at length and then vote.”

Turtle nods, and interjects, “Sometimes at GREAT length, in keeping with the ethos of Law.” {if Sulmia had actually died, would Florent finally shut up about going back to the temple?}

“In this particular case we have Turtle who suggests we go to town and inform the people there about our findings and in the meantime get new equipment. Then there is the priest of Helm who suggests we go back to the temple.”

“Like he always does,” Turtle mutters.

“Treveylan, what say you? Sulmia? I can see the reason for both courses of action and haven’t decided which one is best. Perhaps either of you can shine new light on the matter at hand.” Turtle looks surprised at this revelation, given the Elf’s statements earlier.

Didius rolls her eyes.”Who speaks like that? Did you learn that at wizard college?”

“Pertinax, will Didius be wanting to join the group so she can take part in votes too? Or is she going to be more of an Honored Guest? If you’d like to join us Didius, its really a formality. You’re more likely to have ‘heated discussions’ over treasure’ with this group than over anything else, but being a full-fledged member has its advantages. Not the least of which is voting against your brother.” Turtle winks.

Didius seems to wiggle one of her long and pointy ears. {no doubt this captures Florent’s interest}

“Thank you, Turtle, for the offer and as tempting as it is to oppose Pertinax at every vote I am here merely as an observer and chronicler.”

OOC:It would also be unfair if I had two votes just because of a feat. Now, where’s Brian? I would have expected Treveylan to have rambled on the subject by now. hey, it won’t. now that its cool again, we all plan on copying you and taking Leadership at 9th level. in fact, our cohorts will have cohorts. i get to finally have that Dwarven ninja sidekick with the glowing numchucks.

Turtle stifles back a laugh. “Fair enough. If you change your mind, please don’t hesitate to say anything. I’m not sure how this chronicling will apply to our spoils of war, but in my book if you’re on our side you’re welcome to an equal share.” OOC: Turtle and the rest wouldn;t know she’s ‘just’ a cohort and being Lawful, would want to figure out how Didius will be included in the functioning of the group.

Furnock is in favor of going back to the temple. The lady elf raises a redness to Furnock’s cheeks. Besides this even the cowardly cannot out run death. No, evil must be stopped. 1 Vote for back to the temple!

OOC: I’ll send Furnock alongThursday. He levelled up last time I played him.

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