Campaign of the Month: March 2009

Denizens of the Nentir Vale

A Meeting With Sir Keegan

After much debate, and the very real threat of Barrick’s battleaxe, Splug agreed to be bound to Felsmon, and to lead the party to a hidden crypt in the keep. With the defeat of the torture chamber guards, each of the adventurers felt energized and could feel new powers flowing through them. Healed, and ready to test their newly found skills and powers the group decided to explore the rest of the keep.

Silently, the party crept out of the torture chamber, pausing only to close the door leading to the goblin barracks. Splug led the brave adventurers past the entrance to the keep, skirting the now obvious rat pit in the middle of the decrepit foyer. On the opposite side of the entry chamber a stone stairway ran down and away. The stairway was lacking any upkeep, but then with goblins occupying the keep, the stalwart warriors were not surprised. What was surprising was the 10-foot wide chasm spanning the stairway, preventing any forward motion.

“Look, over there,” Skamos pointed to the floor on the other side of the gap. Peering into the darkness Z’alden recognized the shape, “It’s a wooden ladder, probably used to bridge the gap.” “But,” Felsmon pointed out, “It is over there and we are over here.” Tira smiled; she was aware that her training had finally manifested itself in the form of a power and she was eager to attempt her first real teleportation. With the rest of the group watching, Tira closed her eyes and concentrated. Her form shimmered briefly then suddenly she was standing on the far side of the pit. Quickly she moved the ladder to bridge the gap and motioned for the party members to cross. One by one the members of the rag tag band of adventurers roped up and tried to nimbly cross the old ladder. Skamos and Felsmon crossed without incident, but poor little Splug slipped and fell between two rungs. If not for the rope the little goblin would have become an experiment in gravity. Barrick pulled Splug back to the ladder and the sobered goblin crawled his way along the remainder of the makeshift bridge. Barrick was the last to cross, but the sweat from the scared Splug has greased a rung, Barrick slipped and pendulumed into the far wall. Unhurt, the party reassembled, pulled the ladder back and continued down the stairs.

Hearing some noise from a room at the bottom of the stairs, Splug explained, “That is the treasure dump.” Skamos deftly peered around the corner into the room and reported back, “It looks like a mining area, there are three goblins digging and what appears to be two large dogs, but dogs with scaly hides. The room consists of a sunken floor, and a few large pillars, about 15 feet above ground, each accessible by ladders or planks set up as walkways.” Tira spoke up, “I think we should take them.” Z’alden agreed, “We do not want any goblins left to be able to sneak up behind us later.” Discussing their options, the team decided to rush in, pull the two accessible planks, and then pick off the creatures one by one.

Barrick and Felsmon charged into the room and grabbed the planks. As expected, the goblins were surprised by the rushed attack, but the guard drakes, as they were, were not so easily ambushed. Having picked up on Barrick’s sweaty dwarf scent, the dog beings were on the move as the party entered the room. Luckily for the intrepid explorers, the drakes were both on the lower level and Tira and Skamos were each able to fire off a magical bolt before the dogs could reach the ramp leading to the party. Now fully aware of the intruders, the goblins dropped their rusty pick axes and each pulled retrieved and loaded a crossbow. “Blast!” muttered Barrick, “I hate crossbows.” Not more than a few seconds after muttering those fateful words did a crossbow bolt snake across the room, finding its way through a crack in Barrick’s armour, piercing his arm. A bit stunned, Barrick then retreated to pull out the bolt and keep an eye on Splug whilst the others readied themselves for a quick and easy battle.

Felsmon moved in front of Tira to take the brunt of the charge of the first dog-drake-thing bounding up the wooden ramp. “It’s just a scaly mangy mutt,” Felsmon uttered stepping forward, marking the beast and swinging his sword. As if in response to the insult, the drake lunged forward and bit through the knee joint in Felsmon’s armour, inflicting a deep bloody wound.

Realizing the battle was not going to be the simple target shooting practice they had anticipated, a new strategy was quickly formed; Skamos, Z’alden and Tira moved back toward the entrance of the room, taking cover behind the walls of the hallway. Barrick released the rope that was holding Splug, and charged the remaining drake, inflicting a deep would and simultaneously pushing it off the pillar. He then dropped a plank bridge back into place and charged across to try and interfere with the crossbow of one of the goblins. Z’alden returned fire with his crossbow, and soon bolts and magic missiles were flying back and forth across the room. Felsmon dispatched the beast at the top of the ramp and marked the second fell creature as his next target.

When reduced to one, the final goblin, all hope lost and being chased down by Barrick wielding plank bridges, tried unsuccessfully to hold off the attackers from atop a rock pillar on the far side of the room. With his demise, the room fell silent, save for the heavy breathing of the standing fighters.

The group quickly searched the room, the ‘treasure dump,’ as Splug had referred to it, but it appeared that naught but a few gold pieces was to be found. Z’alden, however, was fortunate to spy a filthy, scum-covered symbol of Bahamut. Cleaning it off, he could feel divine power radiating from it, and put it on his chest as his new holy symbol. A holy artifact was not exactly the pile of gold that Splug had implied. Turning on the little goblin, the truth was quickly wrung out, “When I said, ‘dump’, I meant dump.” “Throw him into the stairway chasm,” Tira suggested to her companions, but Barrick pointed out that Splug could have left during the battle, but stayed with the group. Tira and Skamos still did not trust the goblin runt, but the remainder of the party convinced them to allow Splug to continue with the group, unfettered, and even equipped with a worn and nicked short sword.

Leaving the corpse-laden so-called treasure room, Splug informed the party that the next leg of their quest led through a closed door. Skamos easily opened the door and examined the interior of the room, with less sound than the beat of a dragon’s heart. Behind the door a rough hallway continued for a ways, then abruptly narrowed and became strewn with rubble. Peering into the narrow darkness, Skamos reported a pool of water off to one side of the ruined passageway. Fearing the worst, the hardy gang tied themselves together and attempted to pass the leaking pool as stealthily as possible. The wall on the other side of the pool appeared to be solid rock, but Splug claimed to be able to open a secret door in the wall. Whilst Splug was busy working on the hidden lock, Z’alden noticed bubbles starting to form in the pool. “Hurry up!” he cautioned the clumsy goblin. Even as Splug doubled his efforts, the bubbles in the pool doubled. “Got it!” Splug gleefully chortled as a slab of rock slid to one side. The party quickly moved to pass through the door, with scant thought to what lay beyond. Without warning a glowing blue tentacle breached the surface of the now roiling pool. Skamos tried to blast it, but to no avail. Several more tentacles broke the surface and strained for the party as they struggled to push through the narrow doorway. One tentacle whipped and a jelly like substance splattered onto Felsmon, burning any exposed skin. With a dive, Felsmon and Z’alden leapt through the doorway, and Barrick helped slide the door shut moments before a tentacle could reach through.

The small chamber was empty and the party was again able to catch their breath before continuing through the only option available to them, a second rough rock door on the far side of the little room. This second door opened into what appeared to be a crypt, and even though a layer of dust on the floor indicated that no one had passed by in quite some time, two braziers were burning brightly on the corners of the sarcophagus in the center of the room.

Z’alden read aloud the inscription on the wall, “Here lies Sir Keegan, …” Before he could continue, the lid of the coffin exploded upwards, sending spall throughout the room. A ghostly form stirred and a skeletal paladin rose slowly to an upright position, appearing to stand between the braziers. “I hate spirits,” muttered Barrick. The apparition spoke in a voice that sounded of dry bones clattering, “I am Sir Keegan, I have been charged with protecting this keep, and repelling all those who seek the entrance to elsewhere.”

Turning his bony form toward Z’alden, Sir Keegan continued, “Who are you, and why are you here?” Z’alden stepped forward boldly and answered truthfully, “I am a faithful servant of Bahamut, we are not to open the rift, but to attempt to seal it, preventing the spill of evil from one realm into ours.” The shadow of Sir Keegan seemed pleased with that answer. Thinking they had earned safe passage through the room Skamos started moving toward the double doors at the other end of the room. Sir Keegan quickly turned to face Skamos, “And why are you here, are you also a servant of Bahamut?”

One by one Sir Keegan questioned each member of the party, with the single exception of Splug. Each party member did their best to answer truthfully, all except for Tira; rather than admitting her motives for the quest leaned more for the blood and treasure than for any higher good, she concocted a story about her grandfather once working in the keep. Sir Keegan laughed at her attempt, “Ha! I know every person that ever worked here. You lie.” But, strangely, he did not question Tira further. Z’alden said, “Can you offer us any aid in our quest to seal the rift?” Sir Keegan, looking forlorn, nodded, called Felsmon forward, and said, ” I can only offer a few small gifts.” He reached across the tomb and handed his sword, Aecris, to Felsmon. Felmson could sense the sword had magical powers, adding to his own considerable abilities. Returning his gaze to Z’alden, Sir Keegan spoke one more time, “Go. Go forward and do what you can to stop the flow of evil. In the next room you will find several statues of Bahamut, take them with haste. Go.” Question as the party would, no more would the specter of Sir Keegan speak.

Passing through the doors, two small altars to Bahamut flanked the party, immediately followed by ten non-moving skeletal figures lining the walls. “I hate skeletons,” muttered Barrick. Z’alden and Felsmon knelt and searched the two alters. Z’alden quickly found a hidden chamber, containing three small statues of Bahamut. Despite Z’alden’s instructions, Felsmon could not locate the hidden catch to open the other compartment. Z’alden moved and quickly retrieved three more statuettes. Sensing some use for the statuettes, the party divided them, one per person, including one for Splug. Z’alden stepped forward into the room, holding the statue high in front of him. Two skeletons on the wall animated and stepped forward, but did not attack. Cautiously the other party members followed Z’alden’s example and walked slowly through the center of the room. The skeletons all came to life, and closed in behind the adventurers, but made no attempt at attack or hinder.

Barrick used his dagger to lift the lock bar on the other side of the double door; the party quickly passed through and locked the door behind them, keeping the skeleton crew on the other side. “Whew, out of danger,” Skamos said. “Not quite, my good wizard,” Tira said, pointing into the room in which they had just entered. Five flesh dripping zombies stood against the wall. To one side the room exited into a hallway, but instead of the rough stone tiled flooring found throughout most of the rest of the keep, glowing crimson symbols covered a 10’x10’ area of the hall. Immediately past the pulsing runes was a large bloodstain, next to a set of massive double doors, followed by another 10’ patch of glowing crimson markings.

Like the skeletons in the previous room, the zombies were motionless. Hoping for the best, the party asked Splug to walk across the glowing floor. Splug shrugged and calmly strode across the tiles. Anxiously the group watched the zombies, and tried to sense any disturbances in the air, but nothing stirred. Confidently Skamos stepped onto the glowing rune, but the instant his foot contacted the floor a groaning sound, like many voices all calling out in the darkness, came not only from the zombies in the room, but from down the hall, past the other runed tiles.

“I hate zombies,” Barrick muttered, fearing the worst for another fight with the undead. But the zombies turned out to be much easier than expected. Z’alden gleefully called out his undead spell, and radiant energy from other spells quickly dispatched not only the five zombies in the room, but the five amassing down the hallway.

Alone again, the group stood facing the heavy double doors. They looked from one another, until Skamos said, “Let’s do this.” Nodding, Barrick and Felsmon tried to open the door, but could not get the massive timbers to budge. No physical attempts were able to open the door; in the end Z’alden decided to use his Knock scroll. Setting out the needed ingredients, he read from the scroll, then dropped a powder into a small metal bowl of liquid. Energy leapt from the concoction, infusing the door; the door swung open, and a cold wind blew across the party.

A wide stairway descended past the doors, turning downward in a large spiral. Cautiously the group dropped down to the lower level of the keep, coming at last to another set of doors. Listening at the door, a few voices could be heard on the other side.

The party silently paused, each member ensuring they had all appropriate powers and weapons at the ready…

Keep-Level1

Comments

Out-of-character:

Experience Points... total is 2380, or 476 each

  • Splug questioning & wheedling – 500 xp
  • Treasure dump – 3 goblin sharpshooters, 2 guard drakes – 625 xp
  • Sir Keegan skill challenge – 875 xp
  • Door to 2nd level – 10 Zombie Rotters – 380 xp

Treasure

  • Sir Keegan’s sword Aecris… +1 Magic Longsword of Staggering
    • +1 to attack & damage
    • Critical hit: +1d6 damage and target knocked prone.
    • Property: When you use a power with the weapon keyword that slides a target, you add +1 to the number of squares the target slides.
    • Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when you hit – slide the target 1 square.
  • +1 Bahamut Symbol of Battle
    • +1 to attack & damage when using this symbol
    • Critical hit: +1d8 damage
    • Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when you hit with an attack using this symbol – deal an extra 1d10 damage.
  • 6 Magical Statues of Bahamut – power unknown!

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Wow… we picked up some very nice items! Did we do a check of the Bahamut statues? They obviously let us pass through the skeletons, but is there something more? DM, can Skamos do an “arcana” check on one of them now? He just rolled a 15, honest! His arcana is +11, so that makes it 26.

Regarding strategy for the impending big battle, what do you think we will encounter? Lots of undead to be turned? What’s the plan if the room is big without the ability to limit the number of attackers (such as is the case in corridors)? I always expect area-effect attacks, but I think spreading out in a big room with multiple attackers is certain death. I’m not afraid to retreat a bit, especially if it means drawing the enemy onto the stairs so that the number of attackers is limited and our attacks are more focused. The curve in the stairwell can give us an advantage. As per usual, Skamos will stealthily creep ahead of the group to scope out the battlefield. Let’s hope that all the 20’s from last time haven’t reached Skamos’ quota.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

With regards to undead, Z’alden can only do that Turn Undead trick once per encounter. I am expecting several undead, lots more of the goblins, plus another big guy (was that a Hobgoblin or a bugbear?), plus Kalarel.

I agree with dredmuns that getting too separated is certain death, while being two close makes it easy for the whole group to take mucho damage from a good area attack.

I was wondering what our possible first set of ready actions might be? If there are more of these drake guard dogs, we want to get them taken out pretty quickly.

If they have ranged attacks, Barrick’s move of going toe to toe with that far crossbow goblin was brilliant.

Another tactic thought was to fight in a group of 2 and a group of three to allow flanking for combat advantage. The main problem is that most of Tira’s, Z’alden’s, and Skamos’ good powers are range. Skamos needs to be protected somewhat, since he has only 3 healing surges left. If a range-user, say Tira, was paired with Felsmon fighting an adjacent goblin, and Felsmon Divine Challenged the goblin, would the goblin take damage if he attacked Tira while she used a range power? So, one “formation” would be Felsmon and Tira working together and Barrick, Z’alden, and Skamos working together. Instead of flanking, Z’alden could be striking the bad guy with lance of faith from a square away and giving Barrick +1 most rounds or using Sacred Flame and giving Skamos +3 temporary hit points.

Another idea was to have Z’alden, Felsmon, and Barrick form a front line, maybe separated by 1 or 2 squares, perhaps in triangle shape (think the offensive line forming the pocket in football). Then Skamos and Tira would be in the QB position in the “pocket” using their range powers to the enemies unpleasant surprise. If Felsmon is at the top of the triangle, and Divine Challenges a baddie in between him and Z’alden, then Z’alden could still use some range powers.

If we go with groups, Felsmon, with his 2 daily heals per day, should be in the group of 2, probably, while Z’alden is in the group of 3 with 3 heals for the encounter (by using 1 daily), plus 1 for himself from the Dwarven magic armor. Ideally, after some damage has been taken by 1-3 members of the party who are at a distance of 3 squares or less from Z’alden, he can simultaneously heal them all 8 hit points with Beacon of Hope.

What I don’t know is how to stay together and yet be not very susceptible to area attacks. Ah, risk/reward!

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Keeping together in 1 or 2 groups is a good idea. Depending on the formation of the foes, if we can use our encounter area powers quickly that might help things. I think we need to talk and agree on the order of foe dispersal, when it fits the battle.

Speaking of powers, I had forgotten this: I think all our magic items have daily powers associated with them. For every milestone we earn, not only do we get an action point, but we earn another use of a magic item daily power. So far in the keep we have passed 2 milestones, that means up to 3 uses of your magic item’s daily power (depending on any already spent). Tira does not have any magic items, so this does not apply to her yet. Oh excuse me, that grumbling was my stomach. :)

I really do not have a feel for what we will encounter next. It could be the final large room, with Kalarel, an alter, and demons aplenty, or it could be another level, similar to the one we just explored, with many smaller rooms and passage ways. And we have to remember we left a barrick full of goblins on the first level that could come up behind us at any moment if an alarm is sounded.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

I was just thinking that when we come out of the keep, alive, saviors of the Vale, and very rich, the top of the group expenses (off the top) should be magic items for Tira and Barrick. How about we then spend, after that for armor and weapons upkeep and components for rituals. Then, other group-empowering expenses. And then treasure is divided.

Of course, the cart in the front of the horse looks good. I didn’t know about the “daily” powers being additive with milestones. That is huge. The Dwarven armor has a “daily” healing for Z’alden. That means he has 3 self-heals in the suit, plus 3 for the group, 1 of which heals all allies within three 3 squares (burst 3).

If the bend around the stairs doesn’t have Kalarel, the demons, goblins, undead, and maybe Ninaran the half-elf whatever-she-is, then it is something sufficiently complicated that we couldn’t contemplate playing it in less than an hour.

I like the idea of trying to use the encounter area powers that don’t discriminate friend and foe pretty early in a big fight if the enemy is within range and groupable.

The things that we haven’t made much use of are: cover and charging. Barrick made a great charge and bull rush with his great strength and made very effective use of the terrain. Felsmon can also bull rush effectively with his strength and his sword can slide a foe once-per-day.

Sidenote: In an area attack, one makes separate attack rolls for each target but they all receive the same damage roll. What happens if one attack roll is critical? Do they all get the max damage? 2nd sidenote: Does a charge bonus apply only to the use of melee weapon? Would it also apply to a close blast like Tira’s?

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Correction. The NPC guide says Ninaran is an Elven hunter. Not good. Sounds like an evil ranger, maybe.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

I probably should not mention this, but according to the Player’s Handbook, page 226, an item’s daily powers can only be used once per day. Namely, even if an item has two daily powers, only one can be used per day. One would need two different magical items to use two “magic item daily powers”. Dang it. However, there is something about using healing surges to recharge an item. Can anyone make sense of that paragraph (PH p. 226)?

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Bummer, but dredmuns, you are correct. I misread that. Each milestone does indeed grant you an extra use of a magic item, and as our characters mostly only have one magic item each, I discounted the one per day limit. But the rules do say, ”... any magic item daily power that you have not already used this day.” So, to use Z’alden as the example, since he is the only character to have multiple magic items: without milestones Z’alden can either use either drwarven armour heal or bahamut symbol damage. With one milestone, Z’alden can use each once. More than one milestone does not grant additional uses of either. The rest of us, with only one magic item (or none) can only use one magic item spell per day, regardless of milestones. Oh well. It was a nice thought whilst it lasted.

The rules do say you can spend a healing surge to renew a magic item’s daily power, but I think the limit of the number of magic daily powers you can use still applies. One per day, plus milestones. Thus Z’alden, after earning a milestone, could spend a healing surge to recharge his drwarven armour and use it to cast a 2nd healing surge. Skamos could recharge his staff of war mage by spending a healing surge and use it again with a milestone.

This phrase, PHB p226, bothers me, “As with daily powers provided by your class, there is a limit to the number of magic item daily powers you can use on any given day.” It then goes on to say that you can only use one magic item daily power per day, regardless of how many you have available. Is this the way the class daily powers are supposed to be as well? Everything else I can find says each class daily power can be used once per day.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Well, darn it. Unfortunately, I think even SirEdward’s observation that you can spend a healing surge to renew a magic item’s daily power is only true for items that have the Healing Surge keyword next to Power, such as Bloodcut Armor on pg 227. Oh, well. Z’alden is most thankful to have 2 magic items and have to worry about these problems! So, since we have been through 3 encounters since he picked up the Bahamut Symbol of Battle, both its daily power and the Dwarven Armor’s daily heal are available to him. But once each is used, an extended rest is needed.

That last bit on PHB 226 “As with daily powers provided by your class…” isn’t as bad as you might think. Each class can only have so many daily powers per level depending on choices. That is all that I read there. For example, a 1st level cleric cannot have more than 1 daily power and a 2nd level cleric cannot have more than 2 daily powers. A 1-10 level character cannot have more than 1 magic item daily power.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Wow, I totally misunderstood that whole section the first time I read it. Zplayer, you are correct about the healing surge power regeneration of magic items.

That line I quoted on PHB226 says ”... number of … powers you can use on a given day,” it was the ‘use’ that worried me. But if all agree that it means we can use every one of our daily class powers every day, then so be it.

Zplayer, what are you counting as encounters? You said we went through 3 since you picked up the Bahamut Symbol in the treasure dump. There was the tentacled thing in the pool, and the zombies. Are you counting Sir Keegan or the non-attacking skeletons? Either way, 2 or 3, that still gives Z’alden a milestone to be able to use both magic item powers.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

I definitely agree we can use all class daily powers every day!

Since we got XP for talking to Sir Keegan, I thought that was an encounter. I would not count the skeletons as a separate encounter since there wasn’t a few minutes break. We took a few minutes in between the skeletons and the zombies coming alive. The exact count will matter more if the next thing that happens isn’t Kalarel and cohorts. DM, would you clarify our encounter count?

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Sounds like everyone has figured out the daily powers & magic items. SirEdward & zplayer’s final conclusions sound correct.

In the last session, there were 4 encounters total – Splug, treasure dump, Sir Keegan, and the zombies. The blue tentacle thing didn’t count (brave brave Sir Robin!) and neither did the skeletons.

So, since the beginning of the dungeon, you have had 6 encounters: * Entrance with goblins, Torture chamber, Splug, treasure dump, Sir Keegan, and the zombies.

This gives you 3 milestones, which equates to 3 action points (minus what you’ve used), and 3 bonus magic-item daily powers.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

For the next “big” encounter, Z’alden and Felsmon both have a daily healing that takes no healing surges from the healed recipient. Felsmon’s is only good for 1 character, while Z’alden’s is a 7X7 area (burst 3). Skamos is down to 3 healing surges left, how are the others? Z’alden still has 7 healing surges remaining. Did Skamos add in an additional healing surge when you leveled up? —As always, keeping the party healthy, happy, and ready to kick evil bootie!

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

DM, were any of the characters able to learn anything more about the Bahamut statues? Skamos had made an arcana check :-)

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

The Bahamut statues are around 3 inches tall, and appear to be made of silver and platinum. The dragon’s eyes are tiny red gems.

Skamos recognizes several glyphs etched onto the bottom of the statues. They appear to be glyphs of protection. Skamos conjectures that carrying a statue may provide some resistance to the rift’s evil influence.

You notice that Splug appears to be quite nervous going down the stairs…

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Z’alden says,”Splug, why are so nervous? You said that you had never been down here before. What are you afraid of?”

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Splug splutters, “Oooo… this is where the skeletons and the hobgobs come from. Many hobgobs! And worse creatures! I do not know even what they are. But we hear things. Sometimes we shove prisoners down the stairs. They do not come back, except perhaps as skeletons! Hard to recognize them…”

“I have been down here once. On a dare. But the hobgobs threatened to feed me to their pet! I fled.”

Splug shakes his head. “Not easy being a goblin…”

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

” Hey Splug what species is the “pet” and what powers does it have? Can you discribe what it looks like?

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

“Splug, how much have you seen of the level; is it one big cavern, or a series of rooms and passageways, similar to above?”

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Skamos’ tail shifts back and forth slowly, almost in a serpentine fashion as he stares intently upon Splug, keen to the nuances in the creature’s answer.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Splug glances nervously at Felsmon, Tira, and Skamos. “Well… I didn’t get a good look around. I saw a large cage with something in it. The hobgobs were feeding chickens to it. It was too dark to see into the cage.”

“Not a large cavern – I saw many rooms and passageways. There were horrible noises…moaning, banging, slithering. Then they dragged me back upstairs. That’s all I know.”

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Z’alden listens with interest, then moves closer to the door to use his Perception (+9) to see if he can hear anything beyond.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Z’alden, you hear a sudden loud CRASH, followed by several shouts, and perhaps even some guttural laughs. You can’t make out any of the words, but it is clearly some sort of humanoid speech.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

After relaying this event to other five, Z’alden turns to Splug, “Splug, would the Hobgobs or someone else be playing games of some sort that would make a crash just beyond? Would the players be Hobgobs or something else? What might they be playing? How many Hobgobs or these other players have you seen done here together at one time?

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

In this calm before the approaching fray, Skamos withdraws his mind from the current and in a calm states, “Engage people with what they expect; it is what they are able to discern and confirms their projections. It settles them into predictable patterns of response, occupying their minds while you wait for the extraordinary moment — that which they cannot anticipate. So said an ancient master.” He ponders a bit more in quiet and then the movement of his tail indicates his returned focus to the matters at hand.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Splug turns to Skamos with a strange look – “You know the writings of Tzugrot Moonclaw?”

He intones, “Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace; divinely mysterious, he is inaudible. Thus he is master of his enemy’s fate.”

Then he gives a wicked goblin grin – “Bah, Tzugrot Moonclaw does not translate well into Common. You should read it in the original Goblin.”

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Tira shakes her head slightly. “Tzugrot Moonclaw also said, ‘It is best to win without fighting,’ but where is the fun in that. We can sit and discuss Moonclaw’s Art of War later, for now I just want to know what is on the other side of this door, and how we can kill it.” She pauses, “Although I suppose if we can win the fight using insubstantial, inaudible, unpredictable methods, that could be almost as enjoyable.” She looks down the shaft of her wand and grins.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 
“Tira, Tira”, Skamos teasingly sighs, “Cheers to the barbarian in you!” He laughs with an artificially deep belly laugh and mimicking the thick accent of an ancient tongue of man lets out, “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women.” He looks back at Tira with a wicked grin, red eyes glowing with ambiguous Tiefling humor.

“Now Splug”, Skamos inquires, “you have studied Tzugrot Moonclaw?”

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Z’alden eyes twinkle. “Tira, even Moonclaw was not a bore. He also said He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious. I, myself, am more concerned with victory than what is best. Maybe best is understood differently in the goblin, Splug? “

Z’alden says further, “I also want to know about when he cannot fight. Splug, do you expect hobgoblins made those crashing sounds? What could they be doing? What else might be with them?”

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

“Bah!” splurts Splug. “You won’t get far without the passphrase.”

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

*Splug!!!!!!!!!!!!! Give me the passphrase now or else!!!!!!Felsmon uses intimidate ( with +11 )and rolls a 17 + 11 = 28 yeah!

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Skamos plays the good cop and tells Splug about how nice it would be to talk more of Tzugrot sometime, but that it would not be possible unless Felsmon’s temper is abated.

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Splug sneers at Felsmon – “Your intimidation won’t help you, cause I don’t know the passphrase. You think they give it out to all the riff-raff who live upstairs?”

Splug sits down on the stairs, pulls out an unidentifiable hunk of meat, and starts gnawing on it. “Buuuurrrrppp!”

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
 

Z’alden smiles most diplomatically (Diplom +5),”Splug, I realize you may not know the passphrase for certain, but surely a sharp-eared and sharp-witted goblin like yourself has overheard the phrase being used carelessly. Maybe it is `Balgron is a troll’? Perhaps something would help jog your memory in a way that Felsmon’s temper flaring could not? Or maybe you know who does know it. Allies share this sort of information.”

A Meeting With Sir Keegan
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