Banished

Skirmishes
Magic items and magic traps

Using the familiars to deliver messages to Varric, he changed his direction to intercept the scout heading for the camp and Mira. Back at the lodge Soul finish her current project of paper work and leaped at the chance for action, so she took off north meeting up with Varric later that night. Gepav, Quara and Rupert headed out north west to capture a scout for information. Erky began building a watch tower and generally fortifying the lodge for the inevitable fight.

That evening the villagers had little to celebrate, all but one of the main fighters had left. Erky’s presence held them together, he kept them motivated and focused. The evening report from the familiars confirmed the parties assumptions. Routine continued as normal except for the few that had build a simple sail raft so that Acula could follow after Lia and get her back up river quickly.

The morning report held no change, and Erky got the villagers to start a routine day, even sending workers to do logging and Quarrying. He assigned his builders to fortifying and improving the lodge, adding bunk beds and creating more personal space. But as normal and routine as this day began he knew something had gone wrong when he hear a piercing sound and saw a red light trailing up into the air from the north.

Varric and Soul had set out early and cautiously, remaining close to each out but finding their own path north. Near mid day Soul was attacked without warning, collapsing as two arrows struck her. Varric was successfully hidden from the scout who was now approaching his fallen comrade. Carefully he planned his attack and mere moments after his arrow took flight he had move and hidden again.

The scout was surprised and staggered by the impact of Varric’s arrow but still standing. Not seeing the Varric he withdrew and dropped two small statues. The two gold lion statues grew larger and morphed into real live lions. Varric saw the lions and knew his hiding was over, he quickly scrambled up a tree and took aim at the scout hoping that without him the magic of lions might fade. His arrow flew straight and true taking the scout in the chest. The scout fell but now the lions turned their hungry eyes on Varric.

Varric out number, out match in speed and with Soul bleeding out thought it might have been a mistake to attack with so few. But then the bushes beside one of the lions parted and a wolf darted out and attack the lion. The wolf was wearing armour and bags, Mira had also appeared pouring a potion down Soul’s throat while pulling out the arrows. Varric was relieved for the support, when the other lion jumped up the tree and clawed at him nearly making him fall. Soul rose to her feet gathering up Skewer her custom weapon and joined the fight.

The lions though tough had no tactics without their masters commands, quick fell to their opponents. As they would have died if alive they changed back into small golden statues, which Varric picked up. With the fight of Soul stood over the unconscious scout was without a word finished the man. As the blessing of her dark pact washed over her she was disturbed as the amulet on the scouts chest exploded with light.

This light then shot up into the sky releasing a loud piercing sound and trailing red light. Gepav, Quara, Rupert and even Lia far to the south, could see and hear this signal. Each having mixed thoughts and feeling as to what this meant but with the familiars running between the groups carrying messages they expected a report around mid day.

Mira explained to Varric in elvish that the top scouts always had at least two magic items, the amulet and a combat aid. The amulet was just as it appeared a signal that a scout had died or had his amulet removed, but they were simple devices anyone with arcane knowledge and basic magical control could attune to the device and remove it. This didn’t please Varric as their whole plan was to draw the bandits attention away from this area.

As Varric contemplated how to fix this problem, Mira suggested that they just make it look like he had been killed by the Elves. It was uncommon for them to leave the deep forest but it did happen. Mira help Varric and Soul strip the corpse and she let them take all they wanted and put the rest in the bags on her wolf. She said she would setup the rest, clear tracks and setup a trail to the deep forest, Varric and Soul thanked her and headed south. Erky‘s familiar found them shortly after they left the scene, Soul ever prepared with pen and paper already had a detailed report prepared. Erky’s familiar was a hawk and easily took the scroll and flew south ahead of them.

That evening the familiars really got a work out as messages were taken back and forth collecting data and relating the altered plans. Lia was left out so far to the south, only the next day when the new plan was finalise and Varric and Soul had returned was a familiar sent south to inform her of the altered plan.

The familiar had brought Lia a small bag in which sat two golden lion statues and a message. The message told her what the lions where, loyal servants of the one who summoned them, and that she was now to head to the south most ruins and intercept the scout there. She was not to kill him instead use the lions and her wild shape to intimidate and chase him off. Gepav, Quara and Rupert now figured that their target was going to be moving towards that signal and so changed their direction to compensate but otherwise little had changed other then Quara needing to remove the amulet.

The ambush of Gepav, Quara and Rupert was so perfectly handled it was over in the blink of an eye. Quara true understood the simplicity of the magical amulet, she had only ever know magic items made by gnome master artisans and this one in comparison was a six year old painting quality. With the amulet removed, the scout stripped of weapons and tied up it was time for an interrogation.

Once the scout was awake Rupert got his attention by slicing of a toe and saying, “Now that I have your attention, I have some questions to ask.” The information gained related mostly to location, entrances of the bandits camp and to the numbers there in. Housed up the mountain side the bandits had a ancient dwarf fort, long abandoned but still standing strong. Only one entrance was known the front gate, a second may have existed in the past as a tunnel leading into the mountain. This had either collapsed over time or been collapsed by the dwarf before they left. Gepav didn’t like this either the dwarf were incompetent, unlikely he thought, or there was something in the mountain that drove the dwarfs out.

The scout spoke of their numbers say that forty four remained in the fort, with thirty horses that were used when they raided the goblins or groups like theirs that survived long enough to get setup. The bandit lead by Skull Crunch and his four lieutenants, Mara Starag a female human wizard, Hama Jassan a female human rogue, Blath Windriver a male human dark pal, Barakas Art a male Tiefling Barbarian.

Rupert asked about what kind of response they should expect from the bandit should they not return or if they did with a location. The scout said a raiding party would be sent in either case, about twenty five strong and on horses, being lead by two or three lieutenants. Rupert made a little count thinking each lieutenant probably lead eight to ten people with a few scouts. To have any chance against such odds they needed to have a fort of their own and better trained fighters.

The short of it all was they needed time, winter storms would force the bandits to stay bunkered in but the storms might be several days or a few weeks away. Hopefully their plans would work and buy them this time. Rupert changed his line of questioning and began asking about the type of society they lived under. Turns out it was food and merit based, those who worked guard duty, joined raids, or performed a service for the leaders got food and equipment. Since only enough food for one person was given there were no children as they didn’t work hard enough and where generally thrown out to die. Those few that had tried working to feed their kid starved themselves and performed poorly getting themself thrown out with their children.

Feeling that they had learned enough and with no questions coming from his companions Rupert swiftly slit the scouts throat and recovered the rope binding him. A report of the information was sent back to the lodge and they head off home.

This information caused Erky to redesign once again, he decided to expand the lodge to twice the side and add arrow slits more outside walls, ditches and spikes. He also finalized his design and placement of the forge, but this was put at back of the list in favour for the fortifications. He also wanted to use the heat from the forge as a under floor heating for the lodge and he need tunnels dug for such. Though his plans and builds were presiding nicely the villagers were losing heart and even Erky’s best efforts made little difference, hopefully when the others returned the spirits would rise.

The weather turned bad that day driving a chill into Gepav, Quara and Rupert slowing their return, but Lia soldier on. Lia now on land was pushing the limits of her wild shape and endurance to make it to the ruins before he scout heading there left. Arriving late evening Lia had time to rest and recover before she entered battle the next morning. She was easily able to find the scout as he move quickly about the ruins looking for signs of disruption.

Lia let out a roar using magic to get the scouts attention, once he turn she released the lion statues and changed shape herself. The scout was thoroughly intimidated and as Lia expected he grabbed an object from his pouch and threw it at the ground. But she didn’t expect it to summon a such a gargantuan creature, as a roc formed before her eyes. Lia felt completely out match until the scout climbed onto its back and order it to fly home.

Lia knew her plan was to intimidated and let him go but if he was flying he was unlikely to not see the lodge from the air. This aerial advantage had been theirs alone until now, she quickly changed form and gave chase as she launched an arrow after the escaping scout. This struck home but the scout still clung to the roc, the roc was fast and Lia was at a disadvantage as she fired her next shot this one struck too but still the scout held on.

Lia drew another arrow and what she knew was her last chance before the roc and scout were completely out of range. Feeling the wind on her face, studying the movement of the roc, she breathed carefully and focused on the scouts back. She released a shot that would make Varric jealous, she heard sound thud as the arrow near when through the scout and into the roc. A few moments later the scout was tumbling from the roc’s back and falling towards the ground. With another thud the scout hit the ground and the amulet broke and activated it’s signal.

When the second signal when up many thought Lia had been careless but the Roc was so big it too could be seen beside the streaming red light. It continued on its ordered journey and flew across the valley towards the north east mountains to the bandits fort. The roc flew straight over Gepav, Quara and Rupert, giving them pause as to how they were going to it and even if Lia had survived. But the Roc pasted over without so much as a downward glance.

The rest of the day was filled with hurried travel, the true power of the bandits had been revealed and the distractions had been laid. Now they needed to get cover as a storm rolled in slowing Gepav, Quara and Rupert but putting wind into Lia‘s and Acula’s sail as they had met at the coast and where now heading up stream.

They all arrived the late next day, Glad to see that Lia had survived but also that the feather tokens that had summon the roc made the creature nearly useless in a fight. The limited magic was designed for intimidation and transport only, Erky explained as he examined the two tokens Lia had pull off the corpse. Erky was asked if he knew how to make such items, he responded with a yes though like all other times he tried to recall the exact methods his mind shifts to another subject.

Erky had been studying, trying to research and recall his training from the gnome academy but like this time it always shifts away. Erky finally realises that there must be a magical block within his mind preventing him from recalling. With everyone back and thing looking good on the distractions he turned his focus inward seeking the cracks and loose threads within his mind. Late that night he found one, with a tug and a punch the cracks shatter and the strings unravelled. His mind began unlocking like a clockwork safe, but at the same time a trap build into the magic activated.

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Bison Hunt
Cloudy with a chance of bandits

With the storm over a renewed fire burned in the party, though the villagers were disheartened the party pressed on organizing and ordering routine tasks to resume and the greater plans for the village to begin. Erky and Gepav lay out their plans for the construction of the lodge. Gepav planned to dig into the hill and support an upper area of the lodge while creating a sizable storage area. Erky had designed a watchtower, sleeping quarters, dinning and cooking areas. The outsides had plans for stables, animal pens, even a small moat and defensive wall were in his mind.

Lia, Rupert, the newly recovered Varric and Lia’s apprentices headed out with the hunters not to kill but to gather livestock. Varric in his element quickly and easily track down a brood of wild chickens, with help from the others gathered them up and bagged them. This trip finished far faster than expected, they were back before mid-morning, and so after giving Erky a new task of building a coop they headed out again, this time looking for useful plants. The hunt for plants was not so easy and took the rest of the day, but was very fruitful as almost all of the desired planets were found in useful quantities.

Returning to the lodge Rupert could see that the villagers where lacking enthusiasm, with help from the others he laid out the plans and goal to try to inspire the villagers. This along with the magic users displays for entertainment, a warm fire and room to move their morale seemed to rise if just a little. The hope in everyone’s eyes failed to mask the apprehension over many trials that they knew where yet to come. However, after hard work and a fruitful day, sleep came easily and everyone had an uneventful night.

Much like the last morning the party jumped to work with the villagers slightly more enthusiastic following behind. Erky seeing that finishing the lodge might boost morale and that there was a large supply of logs, pulled workers from the logging teams to finish the lodge today. Varric had a plan to gather a small herd of bison before they all disappeared into the Elves forest; he gathered the others to help him. Erky refused, as he wanted to make sure today the lodge was finished. Gepav seeing that the store area was well on its way and that Erky was still there to supervise felt he needed to vent so he decided to go. Soul simply dismissed the idea as she finally got Erky to build her a table and chair, as she wanted to work on ‘paperwork’. The others accepted readily, itchy for action.

Varric took the lead and headed south trying to find a trail to follow, he found one early morning but it was hours old and with a brief look at Gepav he knew the beasts would certainly be in the Elves forest by the time they caught them. He moved on confident there would be others, near midday he is rewarded discovering a trail only minutes old. Using care and cunning the party spent some time to encircle the herd before they attacked.

Less than half an hour from the Elves forest they did not want the herd to scare and run, even the fleet footed Elves would not be able to keep up. The plan began with Lia revealing herself to the front of the herd and unleashed a magically enhanced roar as she shape changed into a bear. The herd unnerved by these sights and sounds turned away from the forest and ran straight into a trap held by Gepav, Acule and Winter. Needing to remove all but one male bison Lia, Rupert and Varric attacked before the first bison reached the trap. Lia charged forward as arrows flew over her head from Rupert and Varric.

The bison did not go down easy, thick hides and large bodies they took the hits before turning to attack to escape the trap. Gepav, Acule and Winter stood shoulder to shoulder as the herd tried to trample them but a hastily built mount with spikes slowed the normally unstoppable herd giving them the chance to throw their strength in to halt the herd. However successful, Gepav ended up under a cow and Winter was badly gored by a bull.

Quara observed the fight and carefully selected a weakened bull, bending magic to her command she assaulted the bulls mind and just barely succeeded in forcing it to sleep. Stepping forward to further confuse the cows to prevent them running, she knew that they needed to weaken the cows for her to put them down and she took the party so.

Gepav and Acule had little time to hear this as Winter lay bleeding near them. Gepav threw off the cow and jumped on the bull that had gored Winter while Acule pulled her back while flowing magic in to close her wound. Gepav having successfully pulled the bulls attention was gored himself, but he was a trained fighter he was not going down as easily as he twirled his flail and stood his ground.

Half of the cows saw an opening and broke free of the trap, Acula tried to chase them down but quickly found himself out paced. Lia and Gepav stood face to face with a bull as they got support fromRupert’s and Varric’s arrows, Winter and Quara used area effect magic to weaken the cows. Gepav having taken multiple hits fell unconscious as Lia finished the bull she had been fighting, and the archer support changed targets dropping the last bull. These created another opening and the remaining cow charge through it. Now weakened enough, Quara was able to drop three into magical slumber before they got away.

Winter treated Gepav’s wounds enough to recover his consciousness, and they stopped to see their work. Three cows and a bull alive and two dead bulls, a good take they thought. Quickly they tied the animals to prevent escape and harvested the meat and skins. Lia and her apprentices guided the animal towards the bear cave now being used as a quarry. Varric and the others headed back to the village to inform Erky of another project, a gate for the cave then pens for later.

Erky took this, as always, ‘Challenge accepted’, the gate was half done by the time Lia arrived. The lodge now complete and the successful capture of the bison raised the villagers’ moral, small victories but it was enough. The villagers took to evening routine with joy, one even stepping forward demanding a forge. She announced that she was the daughter of a blacksmith and felt she could take up such duties for this village. Erky’s mind instantly began planning where and how to build and run the forge, as Inge Smith spoke of her abilities and her father’s teachings.

Contrary to the previous night, the morning brought impending doom. The morning watch on the north side was startled as an arrow flew across the river and thudded into the wall beside him. He sounded an alarm but never saw the attacker or any more arrows. The arrow held a message written in elegant and flowing elvish which Lia recognised as Mira’s writing. It simply said, “Five scouts have been deployed.”

This early morning wakeup call was a reminder that the wilderness and weather was not the greatest threat in this valley. The bandits knew they were in the valley and they had probably guessed that their first attackers where all dead. The party began making plans hoping to use winters bad weather as a shield to buy more time before a large scale assault could be launched they made plans to either distract the scouts or eliminate them.

Erky and Quara released their familiars to the skies to find the scouts. Varric crossed the river and headed north west to try intercepting at least one scout. Lia had a more elaborate plan to head south to the coast to set a large fire and attract the scouts away from their position. To make it to the coast before the scouts she needed a boat or raft, Erky grabbed his best workers and began building. Lia’s plan was to head down river first as fast as possible then sail up river and there burn the raft in a large smoky fire. Then moving in the surf and using shape changed form to head back to river mouth where her apprentices should be with another boat to be used to return up stream.

At midday the familiars returned with the report of the scouts, three had been found one was at one of the three know destroyed villages, the second scout was heading for another such village, but the third was heading straight for Bear Hill Village. Erky quickly deduced that he was likely to be following Mira’s trail and that if Mira was heading straight back she was on a collision course with that scout.

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Bear Hill Village
A new Home

The adventure continues with a routine start, with a waypoint selected, the hunting party heads out, carts are loaded and the party moves out. As they were entering the woods the ranger, Varric, was full of confidence about finding a clear path the night before. Fate it seems has a sense of humour, Varric was barely able to open his eyes let alone lead the carts. An unknown illness had downed the ranger. With little other choice Lia put her natural instincts for nature to work and lead the party through.

During the trip as instructed any animal corpses found where collected and then purified by Lia and her apprentice, Acula. But today there was an excessive amount prompting an investigation as to how they died. Each had claw marks but none had died from them, all had died from some illness that had spread from the scratches. Searching the ground the party found tracks of small bipedal-clawed creatures numbering at least six.

As the hunters returned with a poor catch, a plan for a more fortified camp was put into place. The hunters head out once again to find a suitable place to camp, after about two hours a location was selected and the carts and an additional log were rolled into place. Being very cautious the night watch’s where doubled in size from the normal two to four.

Aside from the extra watch’s the evening was routine with training and testing to find those that held skill or potential. Several of the commoners were showing ability in various areas, some showed proficiency and others need more work. Sleep came uneasy as the woods fell silent and a feeling of being watched surrounded the party.

It was near midnight when the watch spotted movement and called a warning, Soul was on this watch and knew the moment she saw them what they were. Manes, the lower form of demon kind. This knowledge brought many disturbing thoughts but for now there was enemies to deal with. The manes moved from cover and charged from all directions.

Well prepared and ready the party fire arrows and magic dropping many, several that remain impaled themselves on crude wood stakes place around the camp, two quickly fell to the Soul’s dancing blade. But still two made it past the defensive line, pouncing on one of the commoners before he had been able to rise to his feet he crumbled and quickly fell unconscious. The second attacked one of the cart horses the creature, not trained for battle of conflict, would have bolted but for the ropes that tied it to a log.

Fast as the fight had begun it was over, the two remaining fiends where overrun and destroyed before anyone else was injured. This was fortunate as the scratches on the commoner and horse where already spreading and inflicting more damage. Lia and Acula worked frantically to save the victims, glad that not more had been affected. After several minutes the disease had stopped spreading and the wounds could be clean and treated.

Soul came to explain her thoughts on the fiends. Manes as the lowest form of demon neither had the power nor generally the desire to enter the mortal plane, they where always minions of higher powered beings. Their presence here meant such a being was here or had been here recently. She did not blatantly say that such a being was probably far beyond their ability to even flee from let alone fight.

The rest of the night was uneventful but Lia and Acula had to keep a close eye on the two injured. Morning came and a routine start to the day began. This day proceeded as the most routine, Hunter when out, a safe path was found for the carts, even when it came time to ford the last river it was found quickly and with ease. But once across the river a discussion had to be made, where to setup and start their new home.
Based on information gathered from Mira and their own experiences they felt the need to select a defensive position. This prompted a search for the tallest hill, which was about six hours travel southeast away from the river and very close to the Elves forest. For these two reasons it was rejected, the river was the only good source of water and the Elves wouldn’t like such closeness.

Lia recalled seeing a navigation kit in the tools cart, this had a small spyglass allowing a better view at the distant terrain. Looking up and down the river for the most suitable location Lia spotted one up stream. After showing the others a site was chosen, only three hours travel and probably the same from the Elves forest.

Once at the hill several plans began spinning out from everyone about how to develop this hill, Gepav and Rupert put their skills in organising people to work to unload the carts and place them on the very top on the hill. Tents and beds being set on a lower and longer part, even a crude platform was built in a tree on the top for a watch post. A few ropes and a piece of wood put to use as a swing that the kids where delighted to play with. A routine even ended a routine day.

Four people were on the watches this night, probably the new routine. But this proved a good change as only one heard the approach of a large bear. The lookout heard the bear and after spotting it went to Lia to get advice as to the next course of action. Lia told him to awake everyone, the bear was territorial and they were in his territory, it was either they kill him or he would continuously inconvenience them.

The bear was still unaware of its peril when it was set upon, it barely got the chance to roar before it fell to the onslaught of magic and arrows. As the party set about harvesting their latest kill a decision was made that had been bouncing around all evening. What to name this hill and thus the village, and so “Bear Hill Village” was established on “Bear Hill”.

The first morning on the hill had the first feel of routine, hunters and gathers heading out, lookouts taking up positions. But many plans where being made, the coming of winter put off plans for individual houses and so a single large building was envisioned. Nearby was a large supply of trees, with the remaining commoners and the now empty carts a logging party headed out to get the needed wood. Gepav curious about the bear set out to track down its home.

Gepav found that the bear had been living in a cave a little further up stream, and thought it was a perfect place to get stones to help with the building. He quickly headed back and gathered some strong workers and tools before returning to the cave to start carving stone blocks. His natural knowledge and military training made it quick and easy to show these commoners how it was done. When they finished they were all tired and decided not to take the stone back but wait until tomorrow when the carts would be available.

Aside from simple resource gathering a small amount of action came to Lia, who found a lone bison and thought she could take it alone. She attacked the creature with arrows and harpoon, trying to save her magic, but this didn’t end well and the bison trampled her into unconsciousness. It might have been the end for her had not Acula been out with her.

He heard the fight and had reached the top of a small rise just as Lia fell. A quick flick of the wrist and conjured fire brought down the injured beast. Acula having exhausted his magic quickly tended Lia’s wounds and carried her back, where he gave the location of the bison for other to go collect. Lia awoke shortly after being returned, feeling foolish and embarrassed she used magic to resource herself and get back to work.

The day preceded without further incident, and ended with the new routine, training and four guards on each watch. The morning also begin with routine, but also most everyone noticed the clouds on the horizon. Lia studied the clouds carefully and concluded they had only this one day before it hit and it was probably the signal storm that would start a drastic change of weather. Many plans had to be modified to this new threat.

Erky who had been leading the logging and building teams had a four day plan for the structure, day one gathered wood complete, day two build walls, days three and four building roof. With this storm hitting tonight and the possibility of it not stopping for days he instead pulled more workers and went for a third of walls and roof using the tents to cover the hole left.

With the new deadline many others headed out for a final few things, six piglet’s, two bee hives, more logs, also after searching the remaining vegetables a few carrots and potatoes where put aside to using in farming when winter ended. Surviving the winter with what food remained was not possible, only three days worth was left but Lia and Acula were capable of using magic to feed most with good berries. Hardly ideal but it would suffice in keeping people alive and increase current food reserves to last twenty days.

The storm rolled in late evening bringing a swift drop in temperature and the general mood. The cramped quarters, limited food, freezing winds and sleet made spirits low. Lia had seen no end to the storm before it had hit and had given no say as to when it might end. In an attempt to distract people from the dismal environment intensive training was started.

Dawn brought little end to the storm, but the limited light that pierced the clouds allowed for train to continue. Forcing people to move was key as there was no room for a fire and only by doing something could people remain warm. Lia tested and drilled many in the nature and flow of her magic but few showed any talent, natural magic was not a common gift only one showed signs of progress but not as Lia might have thought.

A human namedWinter Sleet had a command of magic that Lia didn’t known, but Lia and Acula intended to instruct her until they had results. Gepav not one for sitting still and frustrated over his failed artistry attempts was the first to brave the storm. He only went to the side of the hill and decided to dig a tunnel. After quickly building a crude shelter he began to make head way despite the cold and wet, and soon found he had help from others that wanted to escape the cramped building and move more freely. With the day quickly blurring into night the storm continued to rage, but Lia felt confident that it was breaking bringing hope back to all eyes.

That night with a fevered determination Winter practiced and called until magic flowed. Hard work not talent brought magic to her, though there as something else there something beyond the natural magic Lia channeled so freely. Winter had favour not with nature but from a power beyond this world, Lia was not devoted to any one god but as a former sailor knew of many chants and blessings but never had she felt more than a mere fleeting presence of magic in them. This time she knew it was there, Winter had called and a god had answered.

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Day 1
4 days in

The adventure begins with the characters enjoying a carriage ride in a carriage with no windows or portholes. Quara and Lia are bound and not fully conscious along with a handful of other commoners. Conversation is slim mostly getting names and why they were here. The ride ends after a few hours and the carriage doors open to two armed guards ordering the passengers out, at this same moment those that were bound seemed to fully recover though still bound.

Over forty citizens of the empire are lined up in a small clearing facing a line of four carriages. Each carriage having a magically enhanced repeating ballista manned and pointed at the citizens. One of the guards stand on top of one of the carriages, produces a scroll and reads its contents. Once he’s finished reading the scroll ignites and burns to ash in a brief few seconds, only Quara has the state of mind to realize a spell was just cast upon them. The guards immediately drop their guard and begin securing the carriages for travel; the bonds upon several citizens also fall off and crumble to dust at the same time.

As the guards left, the group turned and spotted two wagons left for them. Lia not one to be shaken by such sudden turns of events nimbly jumped up onto one ready to go. The carts where not empty as she had thought, one was filled with tools, books and a few weapons the other held food and water. A map had also been left showing little more of the valley than what could be seen from where they now stood.

An estimation of the rations and a count of the people was made and this found that in three to four days the supplies ran out. And the first order of business was organizing teams, Varric quickly found and tested five candidates for a hunting party, Quara selected five to gather food as the carts moved, Lia got two to drive the carts and those left where given lookout duty. A discussion took place as to a destination, they decided to head east along the mountain towards the forest.

Varric and the hunting party headed out at a hustle to hunt, and the carts moved toward the first agreed waypoint. This day proved to be a huge success of both the hunters and the gatherers and they easily collected more than enough food to feed everyone. But as they neared the waypoint Lia and several lookouts spotted an ambush ahead and called a holt. This caused the bandits to step forward and demand that they hand over the carts, this caused Lia to leapt forward conjuring fire into her hands demanding their equipment. A brief but fierce battle ensued.

Itchy on the trigger the bandits fired the first volley, Erky too busy working away crafting didn’t see the bolt until it was in his chest. The hunting party had quickly lined up with Gepav and Varric but when Erky and one of them fell before they had even drawn an arrow, defeat was in their eyes. Lia staggered by bolts that had struck her would have none of that. She rushed over to the fallen hunter after casually throwing her conjured fire at the bandits. Natural magic flowed like water as she pulled the bolt free and the wound on the hunter closed behind it. With the command voice expected of a first mate she order the hunter to his feet. Steeled by this the hunters and Varric notched and loosed, Quara bent magic to her command and a stream of fire shot from her finger.

Near half the bandits fell to this onslaught, of those remaining only two managed to reload their crossbows the others broke or jammed due to poor quality, they instead drew sword and formed up to charge. The crossbows fired in a panic and missed. A second volley of magic and arrows dropped the remaining crossbow men, Gepav stepped forward spinning his flail and calling a challenge. Two Bandits beaten lost their morale and tried to run only to be brought down by arrow and magic. The last charged at Gepav only to shatter his sword on his armor, only having a brief moment to stare at is ruined sword before Gepav crushed his skull.

Little was learned about these bandits, except they were poorly equiped and working for someone’s approval. Many of their weapons had broken in the fight but Erky announced that he could repair them and so all was collected. Several of the hunters after the morale boost of the victorious fight felt they could work independently and thus increase the chances of a good catch, Varric agreed. Gepav felt it necessary to train the commoners to fight and began training them with the newly acquired weapons.

The night moved uneventfully, and in the early moving a ford was easily found in the river and the party moved off, this time the hunting party broke up and only one remained with Varric. Hunting this day was very slim, perhaps the smell of the half dozen dead bandits had scared the prey off. Lia and the lookouts spotted a person following them several times throughout the day, but too far to the north to successfully rush. When Varric returned his trainee was finally confident enough to head out of his own, so Varric decided that after tomorrows hunt he would try circling around to get at this follower. The other hunters came back feeling very triumphant, as they had brought down a buffalo, though impressive there was less useful meat on it than the smaller deer Varric had brought in. Lia was approached that night by a wood elf commoner who had felt the flow of her magic and wanted to know more of such things, Lia thought it would be a good idea to have an apprentice and agreed to teach the elf.

The next day proceeded in much the same manner, another buffalo was found but as the hunter couldn’t find any support he felt it better to not try alone and returned empty handed. Varric after a successful hunt slipped away from the group and circled around behind their follower who was spotted once again toward the mountain. Varric caught the scout off guard and brought him down before he even knew what was happening. Returning to the convoy with the scout over his shoulders quickly stripped and tied he was revived and interrogated viciously. The scout was openly defiant at first but one broken leg later, courtesy of the former pirate Lia, he sang like a bird.

He spoke of a the Bandit city in the mountains lead by a person called Skull Crunch, based out of an ancient dwarf outpost. These bandits survived by raiding the goblin clans that lived in the hills to the west, they avoid the forests for fear of the elves and the far southwest where ogres had been sighted. He also told of how they sent new recruits out to raid new arrivals like them. His final piece of information was about how in the middle of summer centaurs entered the valley from the southeast and hunted for a month before returning south.

A brief discussion was taken as what to do with this man, Lia having dealt with scum much of her life saw that this man would slip out into the night and slit a few throats on his was out if they allowed him to stay and heal. And so without much thought she slit his throat and left him behind.

The fourth day began with new hope, peace with the elves and shelter near their forest. The hunting parties fanned out and the carts started out, but very early in the days travel Lia and the lookouts once more spotted someone following them. This time there was two, one was an animal, a wolf, and the other one Lia felt was elven. Hope for a peaceful encounter Lia called out in elvish a sign of peace and a request for contact. Hope briefly fell and an arrow whistled through the air but it fell very short and was clearly a signal arrow with a note attached.

The note was written in elegant and flowing elvish simply read “Only you.” Lia approached unarmed to find she was correct as she met with the female wood elf scout Mira. Mira gave them praise for the defeat of the bandits, and warned them off seeking the elves, as they would see them as only more bandits and without even a word they would all be killed. She suggested that they move to a place a little away from the forest and be conservative of the number of trees they felled; proved by their action that they are different from the bandits. She then offered to go keep an eye on the bandits for them for they will certainly miss their men before long, but since none had lived she guessed about a week before they were even missed. Lia offered Mira a place to stay if she even needs it. Mira smiled and said she would take up on that sometime.

The new path chosen the hunters had little difficulty tracking down the new waypoint spot and learned of the information that had changed the path. Now entering into a forest Varric knew he could lead a path so they were not slowed, if it had not been for the carts. He still knew he could move them through without any chance of damage or bogging though it meant two days until reaching Mira’s suggested location. With the promise of only a week before the bandits start looking for them and the approaching winter, time was short but gifts were still to be had. That night Lia drilled her apprentice hard and brought results, the magic flow from the elf, Lia thought “A Natural.”

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Welcome to your campaign!
A blog for your campaign

Wondering how to get started? Here are a few tips:

1. Invite your players

Invite them with either their email address or their Obsidian Portal username.

2. Edit your home page

Make a few changes to the home page and give people an idea of what your campaign is about. That will let people know you’re serious and not just playing with the system.

3. Choose a theme

If you want to set a specific mood for your campaign, we have several backgrounds to choose from. Accentuate it by creating a top banner image.

4. Create some NPCs

Characters form the core of every campaign, so take a few minutes to list out the major NPCs in your campaign.

A quick tip: The “+” icon in the top right of every section is how to add a new item, whether it’s a new character or adventure log post, or anything else.

5. Write your first Adventure Log post

The adventure log is where you list the sessions and adventures your party has been on, but for now, we suggest doing a very light “story so far” post. Just give a brief overview of what the party has done up to this point. After each future session, create a new post detailing that night’s adventures.

One final tip: Don’t stress about making your Obsidian Portal campaign look perfect. Instead, just make it work for you and your group. If everyone is having fun, then you’re using Obsidian Portal exactly as it was designed, even if your adventure log isn’t always up to date or your characters don’t all have portrait pictures.

That’s it! The rest is up to your and your players.

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