1206 Spring - A Giant Problem

His face goes from cautious to excited to cautious again in a couple of seconds.

"I'll tell, but... are you sure you can manage it? You are not the first one to ask about it. The other one never came back."

"Anyway... I saw it twice. The first time was just a few days after Christmas, maybe two miles south from here. I was returning home after visiting my father in Buezherach (OOC: modern day Büsserach). Twice your size. It was dragging... something. I was too far, but I swear it looked... human. It went towards the mountains."

The man gets pale just from remembering.

"There were a few missing sheeps over the next days. People were afraid of wolves, but I don't think no wolf did it, not after that."

"With the weather getting warmer I thought everything had passed, but then I saw it again in the beginning of the month. It was at dusk. Not far from ere I first saw it, east of where a fir was struck by lightning in the road. Maybe the light was playing tricks at me, but I could swear ir became larger over the winter."

"Since then I haven't visited my old Pa no more. Some people here think I was drunk. They would also drink if they saw a giant dragging a man as you would drag a rabbit!"

Dagny shrugs, "Not like you have anything to lose from us trying to hunt it down. And my master has... resources others don't."

"What other? And when?"

"Could you lead us where you saw it? I'm sure my master will pay you for your help." Dagny isn't the best person to give directions to, or relate them to someone else. (OOC Poor Sense of Direction)

"An armored man. It was around the days we killed Belchior - don't give me that look, Belchior was a pig - so that would be at the middle of February. Had a family crest in his shield, I think from one of the local noble families. Said he was questing for glory. If he has not fled, then I don't think he is questing anymore."

This goes quickly towards a place the man didn't expect neither wanted. It takes some effort for him to agree, and then some more when he follows Dagny and meets Wolfgang.

OOC: I think a Leadership roll is required to convince him, either from Dagny or Wolfgang. Since this is just asking for guidance to a place not much far, it isn't that hard (but Wolfgang does have the Blatant Gift, so... maybe Dagny should be the one to roll).

Dagny isn't much of a sweet talker or leader, but she tries to convince the man to lead them there. Failing that, she hopes that he can at least explain to Gwyneth where the place is.

(Pre -1 + Leadership 0 + die roll 8 = 7. Making good rolls today.)

This is enough... that is, until he meets Wolfgang (applying a small penalty due to the Blatant Gift, the man would need to walk besides the magus after all). Even with the magus staying behind while Dagny talks, no amount of cajoling or threat suffices to dispel the man's worries about Wolfgang's "sketchy vibe". All you get from him is the general direction, distance and a few more landmarks of the place before he quickly returns to his home. On the plus side, this means that it will be easier for Kiefskala to help with the hunt.

"Two miles south, going towards Buezherach. If we reach the road we can look for the fir struck by lightning and go from there. We should go quickly, it seems it's about to rain." says Gwyneth.

@Plot_Device do you want to lead? It would be a Per+Hunt (+3 due to your Area Lore roll, -3 because I just used a random weather table and rolled a sudden, heavy downpour, which makes it harder to see) to find it's tracks/lair. If you chose to wait until the rain stops it's just the +3 from your Area Lore.
Your total will define how much time you take to find your quarry (it's just a matter of time... assuming you are looking at the right place).
I'll also need an EF: 9 Stamina + Athletics check for the party to know if anyone is fatigued when you find it (@Arthur, would you roll for the grogs?).

Note that you won't be fighting as soon as you find it... unless you really want to. Or if you botch the hunt. I strongly advise you against botching the hunt. XD

It's mostly mountainous terrain. If Kiefskala helps you get a +1 on the roll (Dagny and Gwyneth can't help without a score in Hunt), but this might increase the rumors about dragons/monsters in this area.

Dagny: Sta 3 + Athletics 0 + die roll 9 = 12 success
Gwyneth: Sta 1 + Athletics 0 + die roll 6 = 7 fail

As they take shelter from the downpour under an overhang, Gwyneth mocks Dagny a bit about the villager's refusal to lead them directly. "That could have gone a bit better. You should have paid him to lead us before he saw master Wolfgang. That way if he'd wanted to back out of the deal he would have had to give back the money. People don't like doing that."

"If you're so wise and smart about dung-shovelers," replies Dagny, scoffing, "next time you be the one to go ask around. We'll see how that does."

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Wolfgang prefers to find shelter and wait out the rain, before they continue. He enjoys chatting with the grogs, vaguely wishing that he'd enchanted a more complete link to his familiar as he waits in boredom for the rain to stop.

"You're right about the money, but if he came with us it would make things awkward when it came to fighting. This result is just fine." he comments.

When the weather lets up, he leads the way south.

[to confirm, we are hunting the giant, not the armored man, Wolfgang isn't interested in meeting the armored man.

Per Hunt with bonus: 1D10+6 = [9]+6 = 15

Stam Athletics: 1D10+3 = [4]+3 = 7

It takes most of the day for the rain to diminish, and it soon becomes clear that it won't go completely away. After taking shelter (maybe returning to the covenant, if so desired) you awake in the following morning to an overcast sky. Occasional sprinkles still shower you now and then as you search for tracks around the area indicated by the villager, but not to the point of impeding your vision.

It doesn't take long for you to find traces of the passage of a large bipedal creature. If there was any doubt of it being a giant, this dispels it. Following it's path through the mud is even easier then what it should be, and it takes you no more than 30 minutes of trekking towards the southeast through the mountains for you to ascertain that you are in this creature's territory. However, as you approach, something preoccupies you: you eventually identify two sets of tracks, and you can see that humanoid creatures of different sizes left each of them (in game terms, a +3 and a +4 creature).

To make things worse, the uneven path took it's tool on both Wolfgang and Gwyneth. As the woman complains, Dagny takes the chance for a little payback:

"Not so wise now? Would you rather go back to the dung-shoveler and ask for an ointment for your feet?"

She stops as soon as she notices that Wolfgang is also a bit weary.

"What now, boss? We make shelter for the night and jump at them with the first sunlight?"

[What time of day is it?]

(OOC: Assuming you begin your search as soon as the following day started, a couple of hours before midday. Around 10h.)

Wolfgang says, "Let's find a clearing, take a short rest, have a bit of a snack, and see if Kiefskala comes to see us. We'll press on once we've gathered ourselves a bit. I'll share my parma with you both, so my armor of light won't bother you."

Wolfgang does as he said, and after they have rested a bit, he lights a fire, and puts a little salt meat on it to burn, hoping the smell will attract the giants. He and the grogs will hide at the edge of the clearing, and wait.

OOC: I'm waiting for some feedback from @Reminiscent about inserting his companion in the story at this point. I'll try to follow up with the story tomorrow.

Also, just to be sure of Wolfgang's intentions: I'm imagining a long term fatigue for him and Dagny after 3~4h trekking through mountain and mud, but Plot, since you mentioned a short rest it seems you were thinking short term? (It was my mistake, I didn't make it clear.)
I'd accept an explanation on why the activity wasn't that arduous (and therefore, no long-term fatigue).

I won't argue with long-term fatigue, just didn't know that's what you meant. He will still rest a little while in the hope that Kiefskala will come to him.

OOC: Does this means Wolfgang will power through the fatigue and act now (well, after Kiefskala joins)? You can always rest a bit more and recover. It's a matter of delaying an extra day and losing a bit of initiative (things might changein a few hours).

Kiefskala has been keeping in touch with the group, and through the first hour of your rest he (she? it?) finds them in the clearing.

It's hard to keep quiet when you know there is a couple of giants not that far away from your group. For some, the excitement is to much. For others, it's the apprehension.

The hours go by slowly.

You wait.

This seems like it's going to be a long-term stake out, so I'd propose a Sta+Stealth roll (the worst part is going to be enduring the physical discomfort). Wolfgang can roll for Dagny and Gwyneth (as if he were the vanguard of a group), but Kiefskala is just to big to hide with them: he will need to roll for himself. He is also easier to spot due to his size, unless he gets a bit further inside the woods (and miss the first round or two of action).

[OOC: well he's just got 1 level so he's still at -0 right? -0 he will power through, and even if it gets up to -1, that's manageable.

Kiefskala is a he.

Once he shows up, Wolfgang will stop waiting and go on the move.]

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You have one hour, maybe, before midday. As far as you can tell there are no recent tracks going down the mountains, so the giants should be there. You move slowly (I assume?), trying to avoid being seen.

"I wasn't expecting two" says Dagny.

"They aren't expecting us four either", Gwyneth says back, bow in hand.

OOC: Assuming you are trying to be sneaky, that would be Dex+Stealth (as before, Wolfgang can lead the roll, and Kiefskala rolls alone). We will also need a Per+Awareness.

Is Wolfgang going with clear killing intent? In other words, if a giant notices him will it immediately identify the group as a threat? (If yes, but trying to hide it, I'll also need a Pre+Guile).

I don't know how obvious killing intent is, but Wolfgang certainly has it. He doesn't expect to need to trick the giants, he may have a brief conversation with them, if it's possible without endangering himself, but he's expecting them to just come after him and then he'll attack.

He will tell Kiefskala to lurk in the trees, and attack if he commands it, and warn Dagny and Gwyneth that if he shouts Helios they should look away.

Then they will head off.

Stealth for Wolfgang: 1D10+2 = [9]+2 = 11

Perception + Awareness for Wolfgang: 1D10+5 = [3]+5 = 8

Stealth for Kiefskala: 1D10+5 = [4]+5 = 9


OOC: gave up on extending your parma to the grogs?

As you go up the mountain, you smell smoke. In a couple of minutes you find the giants, seated besides a huge campfire. One uses a boulder as a bench, and the other what seems to be the remains of a thick stone wall. Here and there you notice small details of what could have been an old castle many decades ago, already lost to time.

Neither giant seems to have noticed your group approaching. The largest one must be at least 15ft tall when standing. It's hair is brown and messy, and it's poorly dressed in animal skyn, leaving it's breasts bare. It's a female. The other one seems younger, no much more than 10ft tall. It has blue eyes and an equally messy hair, and it's weaving tree bark into some kind of bag or basket. Besides the female you see a cudgel that seems to be made of an entire tree, leaning into a rock. Behind her, a small pile of bones.

They talk between themselves in gutural voices, High German with a thick, thick accent that you can't really place. Small talk about the heavy rain on the previous day, but maybe they leave to hunt again when sunny. Almost no meat left.

From the campfire, besides smoke, you also smell something being cooked which is neither beef nor pork...

For a moment, Wolfgang pauses, seeing a mother and child. Then he remembers the fierce giants of the north, and he smells the smell of meat that should not be eaten. He kicks himself, mentally, for not having a better means of communicating with his familiar.

He taps Gwyneth on the shoulder, and points toward the edge of the forest, where she can find concealment to support him with her bow, then he quietly steps near to Dagny, standing next to her, not behind; resting a hand on her shoulder, and giving Gwyneth a moment to get into position.

Then he suddenly shouts, in Latin, "Kief, poison them! Take the child! Helios!" And a moment later he is shouting words of magic, casting spells, sapping the magic power of the larger giant. He prepares to defend himself from the giantess' first rush, the Mien spell on his lips.

[Hah, you saw my draft - I intended to share Parma but I was thinking about whether it would protect from Mien of Helios (which it probably wouldn't). But I should have done it anyway, if you don't mind, I would like to say he did share it. Which means the three of us have effect Parma's of 2.

Multi-casting (2) Sap the Griffon's Strength.

Sap the Griffon's Strength 1 | 1d10+37 ⇒ 45

Sap the Griffon's Strength 2 | 1d10+37 ⇒ 41

If the giant attacks, Fast-casting Mien of Helios to hopefully blind her, and try to get out of the way (Dagny should know to do the same, this is his usual tactic; and they both know not to look at him).

Fast-cast init | 1d10+3 ⇒ 10

Mien of Helios with fast-cast penalty | 1d10+17 ⇒ 20

Not sure if you want me to control my familiar or not. Wolfgang's intention is that he will breathe a cloud of poison into the clearing, then latch onto the younger giant and constrict/eat him.

Kiefskala doesn't have to roll, he just creates a cloud of poison in the area around the two giants. He probably can't also attack this turn, but he can move in closer.

Poisonous Breath , 0 points, Init –3, Auram, Penetration 10
The linnorm can breathe a cloud of black smoke five paces across that affects victims with a contact poison (Ease Factor 9, inflicts an Incapacitating wound).

Probably not needed yet if we've got the drop on them, but if you want basic init rolls:

Wolfgang init | 1d10+1 ⇒ 4
Kiefskala init | 1d10-2 ⇒ 3