1223.4 Don't Forget the Blacksmith of Brandywine

Walking out the open doorway to the steading into the courtyard the smoke has cleared, and the large pigs are exhausted and lying on their sides, as far away from the flames that are still burning. Marcus clears the flames away, and indicates everyone should go through and cross over into the forest. As Marcus leaves crosses the fence line he's suddenly engulfed in flames, and a giant man-shape made of rock and eyes the color of lava comes into view, literally breathing fire onto Marcus. "Is that the best you've got?" he cries out and begins running in a direction parallel to the stream, keeping the rest of the party out of view. Five other giants, similar in appearance to the ones they've already faced (not fire giants) come pouring out of the steading, and form up around the fire giant, and they take off pursuing Marcus.

Jurgen says, "The giant can penetrate 8 magnitudes of Ignem resistance." He says as if from experience, and holds up his left hand which has three fingers fused together. It would seem Master Marcus is leading them on a merry chaseway from us, on purpose. Does he have reason to think you'd be ill-equipped to assist him? I can tell you for certain we cannot stand up to the Fire Giant."

Fiona freezes in place as this tableau unfolds, barely breathing until the giants and their prey are out of sight.

Wilhelm instinctively reaches for an arrow until he realizes that it would do no good against a giant made of stone. He listens intently until he can no longer hear them, then nods at Fiona.

[color=blue]"Let's go," Fiona says, ignoring Jurgen's question. [color=blue]"He'll catch up to us soon enough. Wilhelm, can you find the way back all right?"

Wilhelm takes a quick look around, a smile on his face as he feels at home again. [color=green]"I believe so," he says. ((Would it be Hunt or Survival? If Hunt: Per 2 + Hunt 3 + Ways of the Forest 3 + die roll of 3 = 11. If Survival: Int 0 + Survival 6 + Ways of the Forest 3 + die roll of 3 = 12.))

Willhelm leads everyone through the forest with ease. However, they can't get through the entire forest before it gets dark.

[color=blue]"Dammit!" Fiona says in Gaelic when it becomes evident that they're going to have to pitch camp in the woods. She calls a halt when there's still enough light to see.

[color=blue]"Okay, looks like we're going to have to call it a night soon. Wilhelm, find us a good, safe place to camp. I think it's best if we don't have a fire, don't want to give our location away in case they're still looking for us, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are. Wilhelm, Jehanne, Falko, you're splitting sentry duty. If you see or hear anything, wake the other grogs and me. Hopefully, it will be a quiet night."

Wilhelm tries to find a good campsite: Int 0 + Survival 6 + Ways of the Forest 3 + die roll of 8 = 17.

((How are we fixed for food?))

Once we pitch camp, Fiona will spont Circle of Beast Warding around the campsite. CT is Sta 3 + Re 5 + An 7 + Aura 10 + die roll of 0 (botch check comes up 3) = 25, halved is 12, vs. a spell level of 5.

As sundown hits, she will perform her Parma Magica ritual where she can keep an eye on Jurgen and Captivius, then lay down and try to get to sleep.

Jurgen offers to cast a spell on the blankets to keep people warm without the fire. There is enough food to get back if they get back in the next two or three nights. Two extra mouths to feed makes it necessary to stretch the meals, but no one should be dangerously underfed, or even enough to incur any negatives.

[color=blue]"Thank you," Fiona says, then wraps the blanket around her and settles in. She's going to try to lay where she can see the other two, without being obvious about it.

Shouldn't be a problem...as near as I can tell, it took us about a day and a half or two days to get from the Blacksmith's to the structure. And if worse comes to worst, we can have Wilhelm and the others keep an eye out and either hunt something small toward sundown, or gather stuff to eat along the way.

Jehanne and Falko draw straws for watches. Unless Wilhelm objects, he can have the last shift; Falko gets stuck with the middle of the night, and Jehanne sets himself up as the first watchman.
((Does Fiona re-embiggen the grogs? And Falko has a light wound that Marcus cast Bind Wound on, but that's expired now too I imagine.))

((In the magic realm durations greater than Diameter are effectively a year.))

((Ah, ok. Well, if there's any way to re-embiggen Falko's sword before all the cantrip-callers go to sleep, he'd be a happier fella.))

((My math shows it's a Level 25 spont. Fiona's MuTe is Sta 3 + Mu 16 + Te 5 + Aura 10 = 34 + die roll, halved. So, maybe 20. Sorry.))

During the final watch the smell of smoke becomes rather noticeable. A few moments later, smoke begins wafting into the campsite.

Wilhelm looks around, straining his senses to determine where the smoke is coming from as he wakes Falke, Jehanne, and Fiona.

Looking is Per 2 + Awareness (In the forest) 4 + Keen Vision 3 + Ways of the Forest 3 + die roll of 5 = 17.

Hearing is Per 2 + Awareness (in the forest) 4 + Sharp Ears 3 + Ways of the Forest 3 + die roll of 3 = 15.

As he's nudging the others awake, he's stringing his bow. Once they've been awakened, he grabs his quiver and slings it over his shoulder, then grabs an arrow.

By the time everyone is awake...smoke is billowing into the campsite. It's a tell-tale smell of a burning forest. Visibility is quickly dropping.

The two shield grogs secure their weapons and armor and hastily start to gather everything they can from the campsite before the danger grows too severe. Jehanne occasionally tries to breathe through a fold in his cloak when he has a hand free. Falko, if the view through the thickening smoke can be trusted, has a stupid grin on his face.

As the realization of what's going on sinks in, Wilhelm looks despondent, almost as though he were about to cry.

Fiona looks around quickly to make sure everyone's up and ready to go. [color=blue]"Wilhelm, we have to get going. Can you find our way back to the blacksmith's?"

Wilhelm blinks the tears away and looks at Fiona, then nods decisively. ((Int 0 + Survival 6 + Ways of the Forest 3 + die roll of 6 = 15.))

[color=blue]"Good lad," she says as she claps a hand on his shoulder, then addresses everyone.

[color=blue]"Let's go, we probably won't have much time. Does anyone have any spells to keep the fire and smoke away from us or some other useful spells?"

((I'm reading the description of Intuition of the Forest, which Fiona has formulaically (I really need to review my character sheets more often). Would the spell give her anything useful as far as getting us back to the Blacksmith and avoid the hotspots and the fire, or would it more likely just give her unending screams of pain?))

((Had Marcus ever rejoined us?))

((Whoops. No, he hadn't. I'll fix it.))

No, but it's not hard, you'll go up to the ridge line and then follow the pastoral road back to the Blacksmith's cottage. You can make it sometime after the second day. The rest of the trip goes without incident, but Marcus never does catch up to the party by the time they get to the Blacksmith's residence.

Fiona spends the rest of the trip with her head on a swivel, looking for Marcus. She pauses when they reach the Blacksmith's door, looking around one last time for him before she knocks on the door. [color=blue]"Do you see him anywhere?" she asks Wilhelm.

Wilhelm takes a good look around ((Per 2 + Awareness 3 + Keen Vision 3 + die roll of 7 = 15 (or 19, if this is close enough to count as "in the forest" for his Awareness specialization and Ways of the Forest virtue).

No sign of Marcus and it looks as if the entire forest is on fire based on the amount of smoke.