Thursday, 22 January 2015

Tales From the Bounty Board

 June 10, 3430, Age of Kings

It's been a month since the party returned from slaying the goblin shaman Skragg. In that time they've been joined by Broak and Audrey, Ander purchased two war hounds, and they've spent their time doing odd jobs for Albrecht—usually overseeing shipments of ore and making sure they safely reach their destinations.

With some free time on their hands they made their way to Mercenary Square in town to check the postings on the bounty board. They found two that interested them: the city watch had posted a bounty for goblin ears (3 shillings per left ear) to cull some of the goblin activity in the area, and a local nobleman—and rival mining guilder to Albrecht—named Kinnard Adler was looking for two owlbear pelts (150 shillings each). Deciding to use Ander's tracking skill and knowledge of goblin tactics, they decided to travel to a nearby area where the sightings were frequent.

They set out later in the morning with Ander's war hound Ornj, leaving Audrey behind to nurse a wicked mead hangover.

As evening closed in Ander found a trail that was fair teeming (yeah, I went there) with goblin tracks. They concocted a plan to have Grabby act as bait: a clueless halfling traveler, alone in the shadow of the Orespire Mountains. After Ander had brought back some game for a quick meal, they set up Grabby's camp site.

Broak waited nearby in some bushes, while Ander and Boots both took up vantage points in nearby trees, while Grabby sat next to his camp fire and bedroll with Ornj and sang a jaunty tune about how he was all alone and was carry too much gold.

Just as the sun was setting, Ornj perked up, and the sound of something coming towards the clearing could be heard. From their positions, Broak and Grabby couldn't see it, but an owlbear began lumbering out of the forest, drawn by the scent of food and Grabby's song. As it drew closer to the camp site Grabby tried to get some distance and use his sling while Ornj stayed between them. Then, from the trees above, Ander launched arrows at the beast, and Boots fired his crossbow. With the initial ranged attacks done, Broak ran from cover and dove into battle with the owlbear.

Moments later, a second owlbear emerged from the woods to join the melee. During the fray, Ornj was slain by the first owlbear, as Broak pummeled the creature with his warhammer. The warlock managed to strike both owlbears several times with his crossbow as he perched precariously high in a tree, meanwhile the renowned archer Ander missed with arrow after arrow. During the battle Broak was slammed to the ground and knocked unconcious, bleeding badly. But Ander finished the first owlbear off with a well placed shot.

While attempting to balance on a branch and load his crossbow, Boots lost his footing and crashed down through the branches, catching himself halfway down the tree. At this point Grabby, not wanting to go toe-to-toe with the other owlbear, clambered up a nearby tree. As arrows and bolts pelted the beast it continued its attack, violently shaking the tree Boots was in. Once again Boots was falling from his perch, this time landing hard on the ground, where he played dead in hopes that the owlbear would continue his attack against the two remaining threats—and it worked.

 Just as things were looking up for the group (aside from the dying dwarf) Ander lost his footing in his tree and landed on a rocky outcrop, and rolled to the ground, spilling his arrows everywhere (critical fails are a bitch). Now tied to the trunk of the tree, Grabby threw daggers at the owlbear, which eventually drove it off into the woods. Not wanting to let it get away so they could claim the reward for two pelts, Ander had only one arrow he could grab and shoot in time before the beast disappeared into the foliage—which he landed, killing it in its tracks.

After helping Broak recover from his injuries Ander set about skinning and cleaning the owlbear pelts with some help from Broak (giving him advantage on his rolls). They spent several hours through the night skinning the two. The first was done well enough, and the second one...

...was done exceptionally well. Once the task was completed, they set off for Leedshire to claim their reward...

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