From Mulliganshire to first airship encounter and / or Overlord assault
Wuulfram, as he introduces himself, is a Dwarf like any other as appearances go: Thick, stocky, gruff, solid upon the ground and carrying a pack as large as he himself. His long braided hair is thick and iron gray, much like his beard. Unlike most Dwarves however, he has excellent complexion, perfect strong teeth (one gold), and does not reek of ale. This Dwarf could nearly be described as charismatic and charming… He is also tastefully dressed in a fine yet understated woolen kilt of yellow, green, and charcoal gray with tall tassled wool socks and high laced sandals. About his neck is a simple, delicate silvery chain which disappears into more gray hair beneath his off white linen shirt.
Wuulfram begs transport to wherever you are going, explaining that the day’s events have both caused his own welcome to expire along with the two dozen barbarians and a handful of villagers, and provided him with just the alternative to staying that he needed. Otherwise, he continues, he might just end up killing the rest of the villagers himself – whether out of eventual self defense or having to continue drinking their sour beer for the rest of Winter, which like everything else, carries the stink of seaweed and fish.
Having said all that he will for now, he offers a jug of fine spirits to everyone, supposing that’s more valuable than gold just now as it is in fact his last…
Duresh would have to roll a Will saving throw of DC 25 to resist that offer.
As the six of you and your new passenger, Wuulfram, pile into Duresh’s skycab, it seems as though every resident of Mulliganshire came out to either glower or stare in amazement at the strange ship. It hums with life as the reddish dragonshard begins to glow brightly, awakening the elemental essence bound to the ship, and a large wooden fan mounted on the aft begins to spin rapidly. The brilliant light spreads along metallic traces running along the undersides of the railings and keel, seemingly buoying the ship on a finite sea of luminosity beneath it.
Duresh eases a large lever forward- slightly- and the skycab lurches upward with an intense pulse of light. He spins a bronze rudder-wheel and the thing twists about, and tips forward, picking up speed when he tilts the wheel column away from him. The fan whirs impossibly fast. Looking out the portals and out from the observation deck as you balance yourselves against the unfamiliar motion, you see the township grow smaller and more distant, ultimately disappearing from sight alltogether and already fading from memory.
Dwarves must roll Will saving throws DC 15 or be shaken by the experience of leaving the actual ground…
At first there is a sense of wonderment at sailing the sky. Hundreds and hundreds of feet below, the waters of Lake Galifar stir into tiny whitecaps in the rising wind. Flocks of birds zig and zag as one, keeping a healthy distance. Far to the East, the shore becomes a white plain stretching on until it meets the sky. To the West, the shore becomes vast snowy forests which rise abruptly into high mountains. To the South, as Duresh’s ship completes its journey across the water, the land before you becomes an endless ripple of tree-studded rolling hills with creeks and occasional farmhouses with windmills.
- – – – Wuulfram speaks as the party enjoys a meal and drinks – – – -
- – – – An entire day, night, and day passes in travel this way – – – -
Before you, in your general direction of travel, it becomes apparent that where you are going, the cold and snow does not rule the land so much as it did in the North. Toward this Winter day’s end, green once again shows itself, but no roads or townships seem apparent, only a great high mesa rising in the distance ringed with ominous clouds. Rain seems to be falling heavily there, and a comparatively warm moist wind now begins to buffet the ship turbulently. Flashes of lightning become visible as the ship approaches the edge of the storm, and the wind seems to briefly take the shape of funneling smoke here and there.
The weather formation is incredibly vast and dusk will be upon the land and sky soon. Duresh now faces a choice: attempt to fly straight through the storm quickly as possible, fly high over the storm at great risk, fly around the storm at the cost of much time if possible, find a ‘safe’ place to land the ship and wait out the storm.
Upon closer inspection he craggy mesa top appears to have a multitude of gaps that have been worn into it either by wind or water. They are certainly being worn by both at this very moment. However, these fissures running through the mesa promise the best shelter, or at least a degree of cover.
(spyglass +10 circumstance bonus, or close up) As you scout the area, the indirect flicker of firelight upon stone becomes visible upon rounding a turn in evidence of a sheltered cleft or possibly a cavern. The rain becomes very heavy now and Duresh is highly concerned about his ship taking a pounding in the wind (again!) or being struck by lightning. This may be your only chance to find safe haven…
- * * The shallow- yet, dry- cavern is currently shelter to several fur-clad humanoids of various kinds busily sharpening weapons and maintaining equipment. The speak together in some whispy tongue which combines sign and sound imitation… with them is a Centaur, and a great boar with yellowing tusks and coarse, silvery hair on its back. Present are a Wood Elf (4Sct), an Orc (5Dru), an Half-Orc (3Sorc 2Rng), an Human (4Clr), an Halfling (5Brb), and a Centaur (3Ftr).
All are Gatekeepers, on a hunt for outsiders rumored to be around the mesa. Talk of offworlder xenophobia may emanate from the cavern… Boasts of their last victory over some abberations may also be overheard… They are arrogant and unfriendly initially but anything can change… They may well react with hostility toward Duresh and Edingroth… Malone simply doesn’t “smell right” to the Halfling Barbarian… They are Neutrally aligned and may be persuaded, reasoned, bluffed, or otherwise bought into sharing their shelter… Their natural suspicion will be much more difficult to overcome…
The Orcish Druid is, in fact, the party leader here. A DC 15 Diplomacy Check results in Neutral Stance A DC 25 Diplomacy Check results in Friendly A DC 40 Diplomacy Check results in Helpful
For Each Successful Check of 15 Stance improves by one step… Failure by 10, 15, or 20 respectively worsens the NPC’s attitude by one step… Failure by 5, 10, or 15 respectively is equal to No Change. In the case of actual bargaining, different rules may apply. At Hostile, they demand the PC’s leave or be forcefully ejected.
Modifiers: The PCs offer something of value +5 (or better) The PCs offer help, food, or healing +5 The PCs are simpering or appear weak -5 The PCs appear strong and confident +5 The PCs appear overconfident -5 The PCs appear threatening -10 The PCs ask politely +5 The PCs are humble but not inferior +5 The PCs seem demanding -10 The PCs sneak in and are noticed first -10 The PCs send in only one representative +5 The Spokesperson is Duresh or Edingroth -10 The Spokesperson is Dragimlin or Yendor nil The Spokesperson is Hargoth of Noldurun +10 (first check only) The PCs offer help in their quest +5 (although it will be refused) The PCs attempt to pique their curiosity +5 The PCs are caught in a lie -10 The PCs offer a trade +5 (regardless of acceptance)