Chapter 2 - Parte 2 - Tendrils of Evil
Team Human have strong suspicions against the Merrifoots, but all attempts at magical meddling with any of the family results in stern telling off by the Mayor. Halflings prize their privacy and if you can't keep that nosy swarthy bastad from prying into our minds then please be on your way!
Ok, no more magical prying...Team Human fall back to good olde skills of detection and producing some solid evidence to back up their suspicions. 8-)
Brother Kelly asks the Mayor what the weather forecast is for tonight? Calm. And the moon? Waning? Right. The four humans, the four lawful humans
- Quentin Nibble-Pibbly - LG - Check
- Brother Kelly - LG - Check
- Tekcos Tik - LG - Check
- Star Chaos-Destroyer - LN - Check
feel they are honour bound to at least try and protect the Halflings this night as opposed to riding hard for the safety of Greyhawk.
They formulate the plan, a watch on the beachfront, at the spot with the boat furrow. Prayers are made and weapons made ready. The Halflings and the Mayor are inspired by this act of bravery and proffer the assistance of 8 of their stoutest fighters..'to stand the watch with you'.
The assistance, as meagre as it may be is gratefully accepted by the Paladin. So 4 Humans and 8 Halflings to test their mettle against the evil that roams in the night, an evil that has no name...
*a tear rolling down the pump wrinkled cheek of Mother Dirkwood Littlelegs*
The watch site defenses are carefully prepared. Brother Kelly inscribed wards and gylphs of terrible power in a 30 foot circle around the camp fire. Only the utterance of the command word 'Elmshire' will ensure safe passage across these wards.
A handy stack of wood is chopped and readied to ensure the campfire will burn brightly all through the night. The halflings have brought copious amounts of food and drink to keep the winter's cold at bay during the long, dark hours of the vigil.
Meanwhile, Team DemiHuman part company with the River Gypsies at the mouth of the river. Disembarked on the eastern bank, the cart riding fellows follow the contours of the shoreline towards Elmshire.
Can you guess whats gonna happen yet? 8-)
It's nearing 10pm, the first of the watches is about to being. The first on watch will be Starfast Chaos-Destroyer together with 2 of the hobbits.
The hobbit soldiery is drawn from all the major Hobbit families of Elmshire, there are 2 Littlelegs, 2 ShortShanks, a Carmudgeon, 2 Merrifoots and 1 Proudhair. So a full representation. It just gets gets you there doesn't it... 8-)
By this time, the Hobbit Winter Stew(tm) that some of the hobbits have been "preparing" is ready, indeed "finally" ready for consumption. It is at this time that Team Watch hear the tell tale sounds of a cart approaching the site from an westerly direction. Weapons are readied and the watchers peer out into the darkness for any sign of malign intent.
A overpowering smell of garlic wafts towards them. All hear the bowstring of Starfast Chaos-Destroyer's longbow pull taut, the crosshairs of his bow sight the familiar face of Durkwood Littlelegs seated on a cart. The bowstring tightens some more. 8-)
After a brief interlude both groups realise whos who and tension eases. Team Cart are allowed into the protected area (using the command word) and two groups eye each other up. Team Nacht Der Vampyre look mighty fine in their thick cloaks and repeating crossbows.
So seen any Vampires yet? inquires Ulrich. Team Human all shakes their heads. What? Not even a small one? asks the Bard. More shaking of heads. What about him? as two fully loaded crossbows are brought to bear in Teckos Tik's direction.
Just what by the nine hells are you doing!, exclaims Brother Kelly, that ton of garlic you've consumed has clearly idled your tiny minds!
Show us your neck *weirdo* command Ulrich and Caerendil in Tekcos's direction. Tekcos somewhat perturbed by two fulled armed repeating xbows being pointed in his direction teleports behind the pair and then telekinetically pins the Bard to the sand.
Ah Ha! shouts Ulrich, he's turned to mist! he's a vampire! as the Dwarf swings around frantically looking for any sign of the vanished Psioncist. He spies Tekcos behind him and brings the Xbow to bear.
Tekcos telekintically grabs holds of the Xbow and wrenches it away from Ulrich's grasping hands.
Brother Kelly strides between the pair and exclaims that no one is to shoot anyone until some explanations have been made. Ulrich and Caerendil state that Tekcos has been bitten and thus a vampyre, Tekcos exposes his neck to show otherwise. Ah, state the Vampire Hunters.
Goodness confirmed Plan Watch on the Beach is re-initiated. But not before a bowl of Halfling Winter Stew, which thanks to the distraction, is even more ready. All the party gratefully accept a bowl as halflings are renown for their cooking prowess (mostly).
Brother Kelly, Starfast and Tekcos find the Stew adequate if somewhat bland. Baron Quentin finds it tasty but only has 1 bowlful. Ulrich, Caerendil and the 2 hobbits woof down as much as their allowed to...they just yum it up 8-)
One halfling then proffers a tankard of Halfling Winter Brew to one and all. To keep out the night's chill. Ulrich, Caerendil and the 2 hobbits accept without hesitation and sink a few pints. The lawful group (strangely Brother Kelly, Starfast and Tekcos refuse as they don't want to drink on duty!!!).
The Paladin has already fallen asleep as this point and the group assume he's done so as his is the last watch as he's getting his sleep in. Everyone then not on watch goes to sleep too.
Watch 1, Starfast, +3 on his staying awake roll as it's only between 10-12pm ..so even a girl could do this. Luckly, Starfast stays awake, as do both Merrifoot Hobbits. Nothing unnatural happens during watch 1.
Watch 2, Tekcos, +1 on his staying awake roll as it's between 12pm-2am and most girls can do this. Tekcos stays awake! But none of Hobbit sentries due for this watch stir from their bedding. Tekcos taking pity on the poor mites leaves them sleeping. Nothing unnatural happens during watch 2.
Watch 3, Brother Kelly, Grave yard Shift 2am - 4am Lonely, cold and a beeatch to stay awake. Only 1 of the Hobbit Sentries stirs to stand the watch with Brother Kelly, a Proudhair who stirs the fire and then puts on a pot of coffee to provide some succour.
The 2 hours pass without incident, Brother Kelly yawns and awaits Baron Quentin to stir and relieve him on watch. 15mins goes by and the unusually tardy Baron Quentin remains firmed bedded on his sleeping mat. Brother Kelly finally moves away from his watch position and gives the Paladin a firm shake. Baron Quentin still fails to stir.
Sighing, Brother Kelly decides to maintain his watch and let the obviously exhausted knight sleep until morning. He goes to move back towards his original watch position. As he passes the halfling sentry he is offered a cup of steaming coffee. The Priest gratefully accepts the cup and sipping it gingerly he returns to his original position.
He spies a vessel moving towards them on the lake...keep a wary eye on the boat the Priest takes another small sip from his cup. He notices that the coffee has a rather acrid and metallic twang to it...his knowledge of herbalism provides Brother Kelly with the answer to this peculiarity.
He lifts his gaze from the cup to the halfling tending the coffee pot and spies him looking furtively in his direction...their eyes meet...the halfling jumps to his feet and sprints into the trees, heading towards Elmshire, 2 other "sleeping" halfling forms also rise up and attempt to high tail it away.
BBBBZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZT!!!!!! the Wards at the rear of the camp are triggered incinerating one of the fleeing hobbits into black ash. The 2 others, the Proudhair and 1 Merrifoot dodge the blast of electrical energy and make the tree line.
Brother Kelly draws his weapons and checks on the incoming vessel, it's some sort of barge with about 6 figures on it's deck.