Summer 1246 - A friendly visit.

At Marcellus proding, the large, balding man recovers his wits. His eyes focus on the young mage, and he replies, with a familiar hoarse voice that Marcellus had almost forgotten

Marcellus? Haye. We were... We spent the night hat that town. Villager ripped hus... We went walking to handorra. Heverything was fine... Hyes, hi remember. We were walking halong the river, and hi was speaking hof fishes when these guys went hout of the woods. Hasked for hour valuables. Master laughed, hand began to cast, hand hone hof these guys, he just fired han harrow hat him. Master was wounded, hand hi was so hafraid, hi charged them, but hanother hone fired hat me, hand then the rest just clubbed be, hand that's hall hi remember.

He spits some blood.

Marcellus is a bit worried for Gregor -- spitting blood may be a very bad sign. But he is even more worried about Regulus, who has never been good at handling mundanes in the first place.

"Do you remember how many of them there was?"

Once Gregor answers, Marcellus says, "We must go and rescue Regulus. Time is of the essence, and too much of it has passed already. Menaut and Bernat, we will have to find them. We travel downriver along the road and find tracks. There must be blood where the fight took place."

"Gregor, you are wounded and cannot travel with us. Remain here and rest, we will come back soon. We will leave you with food and drink. Stay hidden here."

Hit happened so quickly. They went hout like they were waiting for hus, we were surprised. But there was honly two with harrows hand... two more, hi think, with clubs

After Marcellus has told Gregor to stay and rest
Don't worry habout me, hi will be fine. Just leave me some food, hand hi will be fine. Hi've got the river nearby hif I want water, hi can get to hit hif hi need. Just find hout the master. He may be ha powerful wizard, but he's not has tough has me.

Oooh! Marcellus is good at tracking! As are his grogs!
Maybe, alone, Bernat would have failed. But between the 3 of you?
You quickly find out where Regulus as wounded, where the brigands waited, and the path they took through the forest. It is apparent that they carried regulus with them, which impede them enough that skilled hunters such as yourselves can follow their tracks.

Interesting, note Bernat.
Look, my lord. Little scraps of food left, no fecal matter, no place to rest easily. These bandits didn't spend a long time waiting for your friend. This means they knew they were coming. My guess is that either they look out for travelers who stop at La Cordina, or they have informants there.

Yep, Marcellus is a decent tracker. Bernat trained both Menaut and Marcellus, so he's much better.

Marcellus nods at Bernat's comments. "Let us try to keep at least one alive, if possible. We will want answers."

Before they follow the tracks into the forest, Marcellus casts Doublet of Impenetrable Silk on both himself and his grogs, as well as Wizard's Sidestep on himself. He reminds his grogs that he will not be quite where he appears to be.

Menaut will take point with his sword and shield in hand, with Bernat following with his bow ready and Marcellus closing the way. They will be careful for possible ambushes.


You have no trouble following the traces through the forest.
It takes some time, obviously, and you're nearing noon when Bernat signals you to stop, and signal a point before you, and his ear.

You don't see anything yet, but you hear human voices.
Obviously, you're far enough that, unless they have sentries, and good ones at that, you're probably undetected.

With hand signs, Marcellus directs Bernat to sneak closer so he can take a look and report back on what he sees. Menaut and Marcellus will wait where they are and be ready to reinforce the older grog should he be detected.

For reference, consider that you have skill 0 with a few XP in Bernat Sign Language.

Bernat delicately drops his bow and arrows, and skulks towards the voices.
Despite all the time you've know him, Bernat still manages to surprise you. The scout moves with uncanny stealth, moving between the trees without making a sound, and soon disappearing to even your trained eyes.

The conversation keeps going, without any trace that bernat has been spotted.
If he had been seen, there would have been some noise, surely, but he is taking his time, which ain't comforting.

You are almost beginning to worry when the elder scout seemingly materializes next to you, almost making you gasp. You know he likes this, this is is way to keeping you on edge, but still!!!

3 fingers. He seizes his bow, and shows 2 fingers. Then a stick, 3 fingers again.
He then points to marcellus, and goes all ¯\ :frowning_face:

I was thinking they are probably more used to communicating by signs, as Bernat is the one who trained both Marcellus and Menaut in Survival, Stealth and Hunt.

Marcellus understands this to mean that there are three of the bandits -- two with bows and clubs, as well as one with a only a club. No sign of Regulus.

the magus points to his hear with a questionning look, wondering if Bernat was able to understand what the men were discussing, perhaps providing them a clue of Regulus' wherabouts.

If not, then we will need to capture at least one of the men to interrogate him. He and the grogs are to move around the camp and position themselves for a surprise attack, using an initial round or two of missiles (arrows, sling stones and Wielding the Invisible Sling) to soften up the brigands before the grogs use their shields to subdue them into surrender. The plan is outlined with a combination of signs and quickly (but silently) scratching movements on the ground. Bernat is to take point and select a point of attack.

(My reasoning: You have no special language skill.
Skill 0 is "point and grunt".
Skill 1 is basic questions/answers.
I settled for "skill 0 with a few free xp", which allows simple words.
I was tempted to give you free skill 1, but this would have applied in other contexts, which seem wrong. But things like "hold", "shush", "x people" are, IMO, within the realm of skill 0+, and look like the level of skill you would probably have.
If you disagree, I'm still on the fence on this, so please, speak up)

Bernat is, again ¯\ :frowning_face:

There's a small flaws with your plan, and Marcellus knows it.

He's about as stealthy as I, meaning, not at all.
So while Bernat, and probably Menaut, can certainly approach the camp like 13th century ninjas, Marcellus risks being noticed, which would spoil the surprise.

Now, they are making some noise, and you've got the cover of the forest, so you've got that going, but are you willing to take the risk?

Alternative: Since it makes sense, you may preemptively use some post-adventure XP to "retcon" Marcellus, giving him stealth 1 with a speciality of your choice.

Marcellus can also stay in place for a few minutes until Bernat and Menaut move into place, then approach carelessly from his current position to attract the attention of the brigands, coupounding the effect of surprise when the grogs attack from a different angle.

With Wizard's Sidestep, Marcellus should be safe from any immediate attack by the brigands. Bernat may not like it, but Marcellus will insist (without making noise).

As for the language question, I'm just saying that any signs for moving, including going around, would probably be part of their shared repertoire of Hunting skills.

The grogs get into position safely. Not the same place each, obviously. This is something you've practiced before: attack from many fronts, in order to confuse the defenders and leave yourselves less open to retribution.

After a little while, Marcellus casts his spell without trouble. He then gets into position, as silently as he can.

Once he comes near the camp, it becomes clear to him that the discussion between the bandits as escalated to the point they aren't paying attention at all. From his position, he sees 3 men: 2 standing, arguing loudly, and one sitting on a stone, sharpening his knife. Near them, the entrance to a cave. No sign of Marcellus.
This looks like a place they've used before: Remains of a fire, and I don't know how to say in in english, but they've built things out of wood in order to cook and protect themselves from the elements.

A young, scrawny man: I told you he's a wizord! Didn't you see the winds oround him? We should leave him alone and flee before he colls up some deemon!
An older man, a cocky air to him Awww, you're just afraid of your shadow. Even if he is a wizard, he's unable to hurt anyone now. And he must be rich, right? Wizards have gold, enough to get us out of this place

You don't have much time before your spell expire. From where you are, you may signal Menaut, which will signal Bernat in turn. Attack, hold? What do you do?

(Sorry, left my notes at home, I don't remember their names and exact description, expect some slight retcon. About language, I agree. AFAICT, this is "skill 0 with points". Look at the corebook, skill 1 is already more, IMO)

OOC Wizard's Sidestep has a duration of Sun. It was cast when Marcellus and the group first set off in the woods to follow the tracks, at the same time as Doublet of Impenetrable Silk for everyone. So unless the sun is about to set (we are in summer, so that would be quite late in the day) we should be fine. Regardless, this shouldn't take long.

"You should have known better than to interfere with a wizard, louts! Now you will pay the price!" Marcellus calls out in a loud voice as he steps into the clearing. Then he casts Wielding the Invisible Sling with Loud Voice and Exagarated Gestures, sending a stone at the older man.

(Let me know if there are enough dice rolls from previously to cover casting my spell, its damage roll, and the grogs' attacks.)

Marcellus is assuming that Regulus is within the cave, probably bound and unconscious. He will still try to keep at least one of the bandits alive. Probably not the older man. He assesses the more dangerous as the silent one, and expects the young scrawny one to flee or surrender at the first opportunity.

Sorry, you are perfectly right. Thanks for catching this. Let's chalk that to me hurrying up :smiley:

To clarify, not that this is important: When I said older, I meant older than the first one. They are all quite young, the oldest, looking in his 30-40, being the men sitting.

Marcellus cast his spell without any trouble, his voice and gestures helping him gather the requisite energy. The stone flies, and strikes the man violently in the head, sending him spinning.

The surprise is complete, and the brigands are caught flat-footed when the grogs launch their arrows.
The cocky guy, already chocked by Marcellus's stone, is trying to regain his footing when he takes an arrow to the guts and collapses. Not so cocky now.
The oldest one barely has the time to raises his knife when a thrown stone strikes it, doing an ugly sound as the bones break under the impact. He screams, in a mixture of pain, surprise and anger.

Amidst this devastation, the youngest ends up standing alone. But he quickly gathers his wits, and throws himself to the ground, arms raised to display his empty hands.
Mercy, mercy! Wee didn't knew he was a wizord, Aye promise! Mercy, for the love of god!

Looks like Marcellus assessment was spot on! :smiley:

(I still have some dices, and I don't know how fast you'll burn through them, so better have too much than be found lacking. Whenever you can, send me another 20)

Dice: 4, 0, 2, 7, 2, 3, 2, 3, 5, 4, 9, 3, 2, 2, 5, 5, 1, 0, 7, 4

Menaut hangs his sling on his belt and takes out his sword and approaches carefully, ready if the two wounded men decide they have some fight left to them. Bernat has another arrow on his bowstring, nocked but not drawn back yet. He provides cover for the younger grog.

Marcellus, for his part, remains where he is. With a growl, he says, "Throw down your weapons and yield, or die now. Menaut, tie them up. If one of them resists, kill him."

Assuming they do indeed yield and are secured, Marcellus will direct Menaut to watch over the prisoners as Bernat and Marcellus investigate the cave, hoping to find Regulus alive.

The younger guy, who's not wounded, is actually trying really hard to not frighten the grog and make certain he is complying, so that goes nicely.

The once-cocky is lying, hands on his guts, bleeing from the head. If he's faking it, he's a very convincing actor. He proves a little difficult to tie up, but only because he's hurting too much to comply easily.

When he sees the sling, the third guy throws a murderous glance at Menaut, but he drops his knife nonetheless. Given the state of his arm, it would have been of little use, anyway.

Once this is done, Marcellus and bernat enter the cave. It's clearly been used as a living place by the bandits.
They don't have to go far before they find an unconscious Regulus, a frightened young woman clinging to him.

"Peace. We are here to rescue my friend. You as well, if you were their captive. The brigands are under guard outside now. My name is Marcellus." Marcellus is aware that his Gift means the young woman will probably not believe him, or think ill of him, but he hopes that his actions will prove his good will.

Bernat approaches the unconscious magus, after handing his bow to Marcellus to hold for him. He is looking for injuries, free him if he is bound, and otherwise assess his condition.

The woman clings to Regulus, looking warily at Marcellus. She's small, blonde, a little stocky, and looks like a peasant, aged enough to be a mother of several kids (around 30).
Now that he's seeing this, Marcellus realizes that the other brigands didn't look like soldiers either, more like a bunch of weekend warriors.

She recoils when Bernat approaches, but the grogs opens his hands in a peaceful gesture, and she relaxes a little, letting him inspect Regulus.
It takes a while, because he's really careful with his moves.
It's a nasty wound, but, with the kind of care available to you, he'll leave. He only took an arrow, but it was a good shot, or a lucky one, and he lost too much blood. Someone tried to help him, but I'll need to go over the wound again.

"The best place to treat him would be at the... at home. Do you think he's stable enough to travel? If we carry him on a stretcher or a cart? We could also send one of you back to... home... for a healer."

Turning to the woman, Marcellus asks, as gently as he can, "Who are you? How did you happen to be here?"

Hum... Yes, a stretcher will be fine. I did my share of them back in the day, and we have blankets. Give me some time, and I'll make one, no trouble.

The woman look at marcellus, the fear still there in her eyes.

My name is Isabelle. I am the sister to Bernardo. Small guy out there, the... unpleasant one? Please, don't hurt me, I have nothing to do with this, he just dragged me there to make cooking for him and his pals. I didn't hurt your friend. Actually, I don't think they wanted to, either. We are just small folks, even if they think they can live as lords.

As far as you can tell, she is quite sincere. She is clearly afraid of you, too much to think of any lie.

(I am assuming that Regulus is not conscious at the moment.)

Marcellus tries to reassure the woman a little, although his words probably come out as pretty blunt, "I am sorry that you were mixed up in this situation, Isabelle. We have no intention of harming you. But your brother and his friends attacked and severely hurt my friend here, as well as his servant, whom they left for dead.

Turning to Bernat, he asks, "Do you think it safe to leave him inside while we prepare to carry him back? I can put together a stretcher. But we will need to decide what to do with the men out there."

(I'm assuming that they will go out after that. How we proceed from there depends on Isabelle's reaction and the condition+attitude of the wounded.)