The Architect of Ruins

Skeletons in the Forest

Session 10

Juli 27, 1066 – The party rested the night in the room with the two coffins and ivory statuettes. From the map of Rasmark and the surrounding area found on the Warlord, Orophin figured that the point marked Nobu Keep is what the catacombs used to be a part of. Further exploration revealed a key found in a trapped coffin and a room with an ellipse shaped map of the stars on the floor.

The star map appears to have hundreds of moving parts. To Kaltes, something was off about the star map, but pinpointing it would probably take a few days of careful study with reliable references. At each 90 degree point, there are pairs of recessed shapes. The ivory wind statuettes with square bases fit perfectly in place. Federin felt some sort of energy flow slightly when he placed them.

The party returned to town with news of defeating the warlord. There was much rejoicing and all the next week people in town treated them like heroes. Men bought them Ale at The Bough and mothers tried introducing their daughters to them for marriage.

Agust 4, 1066 – After resting and recovering from the celebration things start heading back to normal, though people still act quite favorably toward any of the party members.

Kaltes met with Carnum, the wizard he apprenticed under. The old man hinted rather heavy handedly that he wishes that his former student would come by more often and baits him into it by offering some useful things. So when he paid a visit, they chatted a little and Carnum offered to put a sigil (invisible to normal sight) of two dragons circling each other on Kaltes' forehead. The old man told Kaltes this can get him into certain libraries, but the names and locations eluded Carnum at the moment, but he'd be sure to remember them the next time his former student paid him a visit. Carnum also requested that Kaltes look out for Sauls, a student that studied under Carnum at the same time Kaltes did.

Lunnin took a walk to Halfling farms just outside of Rasmark. He bumped into Wella, the Halfling girl they helped free from a cell in Nobu Keep. It seems that a strange human has been wandering around the river near the Halfling farmlands. There was something gloomy about his appearance. Lunnin suggested that Wella keep an eye on this human.

Salen and Kaltes were on their way to the Raven Queen Shrine when they saw two travelers praying at the shrine. From their dress it was obvious the Elf man and Human woman were travelers, but other than a couple of teenagers in Rasmark, Salen and Kaltes were pretty much the only people who visit the Raven Queen Shrine. The two travelers seemed angry. They had seen some skeletons lurking in the forest around Rasmark. It seems they were arguing whether or not to take care of it or continue with their pressing business. The Elf male, Varis, seemed relieved when Salen said he'd would take care of the skeletons.Varis thanked them and said he would return.

Federin seems to have caught the interest of Nicomacheus, another member of the volunteer patrol. Nicomacheus is a human and somewhere in his early twenties. Though he tries to hide it, Federin can sense that Nicomacheus is an experienced warrior, probably moreso than any of the party members. After telling Federin that the skeletons are usually at the end of Briar Fork Road in the copse of oak trees, Nicomacheus began to ask Federin questions about himself.

That night, the party went down Briar Fork Road and saw the skeletons lurking at the edge of the copse of oaks trees. As soon as the party moved toward the forest, the skeletons withdrew into the dark wood. Within a minute of following the skeleton tracks, the party heard the howl of wolves and were attacked by three dire wolves.

After a quick fight where Kaltes managed to keep two of the three at bay long enough to deal with the third, they stepped back out of the forest to take a short rest. The patrol that accompanied them came to stand watch while they did.

Experience:  3,785xp + 460xp = 4,245xp

DM Notes:  I'm planning to add a little more story and non-lethal interaction with NPCs, so having a basic picture of your character in your head would be good.

I'm also thinking of alternatives to spending 15-20 minutes to kill the last two critters from an 8 critter band who've got no shot of winning. It's kind of a drag really. At that point all I'm looking to do is force another healing surge or two to be used. Since they do some damage on their way out, just saying you take care of them doesn't reflect the HP that can be lost during these cleaning up rounds.

What I'm thinking of is at the point the last surviving monsters decide to flee you have the option of letting them go to end combat right there or some sort of group roll if you don't want them to flee. The group roll basically determines how much damage you take in offing the stragglers attempting to flee. That way we take 1 minute instead of 20 minutes wrapping up the inevitable and still factor in the damage that would take place in those rounds. This of course doesn't apply to all combats, just ones where I make this call.

Of course, we could also do it the standard way and just spend the time taking care of the straggler.





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