While Jelly, Beatdown, Eru, and Vaelin were off househunting, Evan and Cyd were tasked with taking Frank the half-giant to the University, where he planned on presenting his research on the red kobolds of Xen’drik and getting his book published.
I tasked Frank’s original player, Dan (aka Autumnschild) to run Evan and Cyd though a skill challenge involving something that happens on the way to the university. Beyond that, I gave him little to no guidance. It’s best just to let his evil mind come up with things on its own.
Here’s what happened:
As you walk down the impressive streets and avenues of Sharn, a group of about 30 men (farmers and day-laborers by the looks of them) mutter angrily to themselves and stare you down as you approach.
The doors and windows of the surrounding buildings begin slamming shut, and nervous mothers drag their overly-curious children away from the developing scene.
A man selling choice cuts of meat stops shouting his daily specials, and hurriedly pulls his cart into a nearby alley.
Perception Checks! Cyd succeeds, Evan fails.
Begin Skill Challenge 1
Rules: 3 successes before 3 failures
These are the skills that you can use in this Skill Challenge: 1) Diplomacy 2) Religion 3) Nature 4) Intimidate
You notice that they are all glaring at Frank, of all things!
Farmers are worried that Frank will sleep with all their daughters.
Their leader says to you: “Us farmers are worried that Frank will sleep with all our daughters!”
Cyd: Can I use my knowledge of religion to determine the likely religion of the farmers?
You can, you can also make a religion check to attempt to convince them that he is a holy man and would not commit such wanton acts.
Cyd: I attempt to do so.
Religion Check: Roll 7 + Skill 12 = 19
As this information comes to light, discussion begins to make its way through the mob. Weapons are slightly lowered, and two of the men in the back sheepishly walk away. One of them mutters “this is the worst angry mob we’ve had since the cake incident.” However there are still 28 angry farmers blocking your way further down the street.
One of them in the back, a badly beat up half-elf by the looks of him, hurls a rock at you. Make an acrobatics check.
Cyd tries to duck out of the way: Acrobatics: Roll 13 + Skill 4 = 17
Oh, it just missed you! As the rock flies past you the crowd sounds like it’s getting angry again.
Farmers are worried he’ll eat all their animals. Their leader, after consulting with his compatriots, says to you “Well… what about the animals? We heard tell he’s going to eat every last one of our flocks, herds, and gaggles!”
Cyd looks to Evan for help…
Evan speaks to the mob in an attempt to calm them down. “Now, hold on. Does he really look like he could eat that much? At any rate, aren’t you being unreasonable? I mean, he only just got into town. Why would even think he’d do those things?”
Diplomacy Check: Roll:18 + Skill: 2 = 20.
Five more farmers wander off, content that their womenfolk, and animalfolk are not in danger of being taken advantage of (or worse!). Suddenly, a group of young women run up to Frank and ask him a bunch of inane questions, and giggle.
Girl 1: “Mr. Frank? If I may be so bold as to call you Frank, what brings you all the way out to Sharn? It wouldn’t have anything to do with you looking for a new lady friend after your fiancée tragically took her own life, would it?”
Girl 2: “You know, Daisy?”
Frank’s shoulders slump for a moment as his eyes begin to water, and he whispers “Daisy…”
The girls all swoon, and sigh and attempt to comfort the half giant with reassuring pats on the hand.
Recovering his composure, Frank says “I’m just here to publish the book I wrote. Do you know how hard it is to write a book when you’re in the jungle? Hell, sometimes it’s so dark you have to rely on burning twigs for light. Say… Twiglight is not a bad name for my book!”
The girls are VERY excited about this “Twiglight.” “Twiglight!” “How romantic.” “Oh I can’t wait to own my own copy of Twiglight!” “I want two copies!”
At this the farmers are worried that if his book is published, their wives and daughters will make them buy it, and that in-and-of-itself would bankrupt them.
Their leader says to you ” At this, we farmers are worried that if his book is published, our wives and daughters will make us buy it, and that in-and-of-itself would bankrupt us!
Cyd: I attempt to use my knowledge of nature to convince them they will have a bumper crop this year and don’t need to worry about the relatively small expenditure on a book.
Nature Check: roll 11 + skill 6 = 17
Oh no, that’s a miss!
As you explain to them about their crops, you fudge the math a bit, and they think you’re not being entirely honest. The mob is getting angrier!
Evan attempts to calm the crowd again with diplomacy. “I’m sure if you ask Frank, he’ll gladly give promotional copies of Twiglight to his adoring fans. He seems like that type of guy. They’ll get their books with sparkly kobolds, Frank will get free publicity, and you guys will have to pay nothing. It’s a good deal I think.”
Diplomacy Check: Roll:16 + Skill:2 = 18
Success, on the dot!
The angry mob is no longer angry! In fact it’s no longer a mob! Having been placated by your assurances, they part and go about their business. Some even come forward to thank Frank and ask him to stop by sometime for dinner, but you can tell they’re just being polite and they don’t really intend for him to act on the invitation. As shutters open (and the meat man pushes his cart back to his corner, shouting about his choice cuts), the beat up half-elf still stands before you.
“Lousy mob,” he mutters.
Oh Snap! Acrobatics Checks!
Evan’s Acrobatics Check: Roll:12 + Skill:12 = 24
Cyd’s Acrobatics Check: Roll 18 + Skill 4 = 22
You both dodge the small daggers he threw at you. One hits Frank solid in the gut, but Frank seems less bothered by that than he does by the man who threw them.
“I must help this man” says Frank, his eyes glazing over in his usual Frankish way.
The half-elf is taken a-back by this. Now he’s insulting your collective mothers! His taunts and jabs concern Frank, who is determined to have a chat with this poor soul that clearly needs his help.
The half elf takes off running “STAY BACK YOU GIANT FREAK!”, he screams. Meanwhile, Frank is in hot pursuit shouting “Wait! Pelor loves all creatures, come back!”
Do you follow?
Evan: “Damn. I had better get paid for this somehow.” Evan mumbles and glances over at Cyd. “I’m going after them. We are supposed to get him to the University.” With that, Evan dashes off after Frank.
Cyd: Cyd pauses for a moment and silently ponders the situation. He then pursues the others as gingerly as possible.
This is a new Skill Challenge, Congrats on passing the first one!
These are the skills that you can use in this Skill Challenge: Endurance, Streetwise, Athletics, and Acrobatics.
As the two of you take off after Frank, you see a glass merchant is absentmindedly pushing his cart (full of mirrors and glass unicorns) directly in front of your path! You’re running at break-neck speed! What do you do?
Evan attempts to avoid the cart with Acrobatics.
Acrobatics Check: Roll:13 + Skill:12 = 25
You leap over the cart like a gazelle, and as you do so, a flock of doves appears out of no where and flys with you, teasing at your bootstraps as if suggesting that if you really wanted to, you could fly away with them.
A single tear falls from the awe inspired merchant as he stops to watch your graceful leap.
Cyd, there’s a cart at a dead stop in front of you and it’s full of mirrors and unicorns.
Cyd uses his athletic prowess to attempt a high-jump over the cart.
Athletics Check: Roll 10 + Skill 6 = 16
You catch your foot on the roof of the cart, transmutting a number of glass unicorns on shelves into glass shards on the ground. The merchant is angrily shouting at you as you run on by. He’s also angrily shouting for guards!
Ahead of you, you see the beat up half elf start to climb up the facade of a building! Frank, surprisingly enough, is following him up the wall!
As you get to the base of the building, Frank is just about to clear the roofline.
Behind you is an angry merchant. To your left is an alley way (roughly in the direction the half elf was heading). To your right there is a drunk asleep against some boxes Ahead of you is the facade of a building, full of makeshift handholds in the way of freezes, window frames, and cracks.
Cyd: I attempt to climb the facade!
Athletics Check: Roll 4 + Skill 6 = 10
Evan: If it can accommodate more than one person, I will also try to climb the facade.
Athletics Check: Roll:11 + Skill:10 = 21
Cyd, it’s just not your day. You leap at a shuttered window with the intent of getting purchase and climbing up it, but these shutters open in! You leap through into a bathroom window. A woman of middle class is screeching at you to get out from the watery confines of her bathtub. You hear the sound of guard whistles outside.
Evan, you jump on to an adjacent shuttered window (which opens out) and begin to make your way up the wall. You are halfway to the roof by the time you hear the poor woman’s screeching, and the whistles of the guards from behind you.
Looking back it appears to be a lone patrolman, no older than 20. His outfit seems a bit baggy on him, and he is blowing his whistle frantically, almost as if it was the only thing he was ever taught to do.
Cyd, you can attempt to get out and climb the wall again (at a minus 2 penalty to your Athletics check) or you can get out and try to hide with the bum (stealth [bonus skill check!]), another option is to get out and run down the alley way! Of course you could try to stay and strike up a conversation with the naked woman and the guard. That might work
Evan thinks: “Damn. I feel bad for Cyd, but he’s less likely to get into serious trouble than I would if I were to get caught.
Ignoring the guard, I continue to climb the facade and rushing to catch up to Frank as soon as I possibly can.
Evan, you make it to the roof and you see Frank leap to the adjacent roof top in pursuit of the half-elf. As Frank leaps, the catwalk he was standing on breaks off the building, and goes crashing to the ground!
If you want to leap across, you’ll have to back up to the other end of the roof and make a mad dash for it!
Cyd: I apologize to the bathing woman, and feign averting my eyes from her body, but I sneak a peek as I jump out the window and run down the alley. I attempt to outdistance the guard and keep up with the others using my endurance.
Endurance Check: Roll 14 + Skill 6 = 20
Evan: I back up to the end of the roof and dash across the roof for a running start to attempt to clear the gap between roofs.
Acrobatics Check: Roll:9 + Skill:12 = 21
You push yourself harder than you have in recent memory, and you leap out the window! You run through the guard, and as he goes down, he blows one last whistle before the wind is knocked out of him by the ground.
Running through the alley, you look up every now and again and see the half-elf and Frank leap from rooftop to rooftop.
You’ve gotten ahead of them! You can see a break in the rooftops, and the half-elf will have to come down near where you’re standing!
Behind you is the alley you ran through. Ahead of you is a big open square. To the left of you is a large haystack. To your right is one of those miniature ponies (I love those little guys) happily making his way to the haystack, a nametag on him reads ‘Gingermittens’.
You run like a madman, your heart pounding in your chest, and you leap! As you leap, that same flock of doves appears. They coo to you ‘You can do it, Evan’ ‘Her grace will guide you if your aim is true’. You get a bit of an updraft and you land smack dab in the middle of the next rooftop!
You continue to chase Frank and the half-elf, and you notice a break in the roofline ahead.
You’re about to catch up to Frank!
Cyd: I strategically position myself next to the haystack, expecting that the half-elf will use it to break his fall. I shoo Gingermittens away, for fear of him being crushed by the falling half-elf or worse, Frank.
Your shooing makes Gingermittens sad. The miniature pony cries miniature pony tears, and slumps off in the direction you shooed him. As you watch the pony you hear a WHUMP.
In the haystack next to you is the half-elf, who is surprised to see you. He looks past you and says ‘OHGOD’ at the rapidly approaching shadow.
Above you is the sound of wooshing and a shout of “PELOR!”
Cyd’s Acrobatics Check: Roll 7 + Skill 4 = 11
Evan bears down on Frank and the half-elf. When he gets close enough, he yells for the half-elf to stop.
The half-elf dives off the side of the building. Frank stands there for a sec. As you come up to him, you realize he’s muttering a prayer with his eyes closed tight. Then, he does a cannonball right off the ledge! As he goes down he shouts “PELOR!”
You also see a sad miniature pony slumping away from the scene.
The wooshing sound ends in a THUD as Frank lands butt first in the hay. There’s a rather sickening crunch from somewhere within the haystack, and the air is filled with the smell of oxidized blood.
Evan, you deftly make your way down the wall and stand there with Cyd and stare at Frank as he gets up and dusts himself off.
“Well, Frank says. “He’s beyond my help now. Maybe it’s for the best.” He pulls a small dagger from his belly, and then heals the wound.
A sharp whistle sounds from the beyond the courtyard and a contingency of guards in bright gleaming armor walks in a determined fashion towards you.
“I wonder if we can talk our way out of this.” Evan mutters as he scans the alley for potential exits in case one is needed.
This is a new Skill Challenge, Congrats on passing the second one!
These are the skills that you can use in this Skill Challenge: History, Intimidate, Insight, Bluff, and Diplomacy.
Guards approach, and their captain speaks to you thusly:
“All right, what’s all this then? I’ve heard tell of the three of you causing a mob, aggravated assault on a merchant, breaking and entering, disturbing the peace, jumping off rooftops, startling women in the tub, assaulting guards, unauthorized release of doves, and upsetting our district mascot, Gingermittens!”
At the mention of Gingermittens, some of the guards rest their hands on their sword scabbards and mutter derisively.
What do you do?
“Since we aren’t in the wrong here, the truth should suffice.” Evan uses Diplomacy to attempt to talk their way out of this situation.
“About the mob, that wasn’t our doing. We were simply escorting out friend here to the University so that he can begin the process of publishing his new book. We were accosted simply walking down the street. We managed to disperse the mob without any violence except on the part of one member of the mob who then attacked us with throwing knives. Our friend gave chance and to prevent any further problems, we followed. What happened after were simply accidents and misunderstandings. And we are terribly sorry about Gingermittens. We were only worrying for his safety as I’m sure you all are.”
Evan’s Diplomacy Check: Roll:14 + Skill:3 = 17
Cyd: Further, I use my knowledge of local laws to defend our actions as legal.
History Check: Roll 20! + Skill 12 = 32
As you say all your words, you certainly seem to be swaying the guards, until an updraft from the alley way gives them the smell of blood. They see a red stream trickling its way into a puddle from under the haystack.
“What’s THIS? MURDER?!”
Uh oh, act fast!
Evan: “Oh that, that isn’t anything. Our friend here, just had an… accident of the bowels. He ate something unfortunate and it isn’t pretty too look at.” bluffs Evan.
Bluff Check: Roll:19 + Skill:3 = 22
As Evan says that, Frank rips with a rather rancorous blast from his backside. The two guards closest to you look pale.
Emergency Endurance checks!
Evan’s Endurance Check: Roll:15 + Skill:3 = 18
Evan you manage to hold your breath long enough not to suffer the brunt of Frank’s gas. The two guards in front of you faint, and two others rush to their aid!
As if to dot the exclamation point, Evan then points to blood stains (that are no doubt there from crushing the half-elf) that are on the backend of Frank’s pants. “See, I told you so. You don’t want to look at it if you can’t even stand the smell.”
Oh god, I’m sorry Cyd, I missed your history check. For that, I will assume you made your Endurance check and didn’t pass out from Frank’s gas.
Your history check works flawlessly! You remind them that a number of the illegal acts they mentioned (such as jumping off rooftops, startling women in the tub, unauthorized release of doves, and upsetting a district mascot) have long since been revoked and no longer carry any legal penalty.
“Yes well… even so… uh…”
The guards huddle up and discuss what to do next. As they do so, Cyd and Evan you hear the sound of contented munching! As you both glance behind you, you see Gingermittens happily chewing on the half-exposed corpse of the half-elf!
You better do something quick, or the guards will see!
Evan quickly whispers to Frank, “Sorry about this.”
Evan quickly trips Frank attempting to him down onto the haypile, covering the corpse and hopefully scaring Gingermittens away from the pile.
Stealth Check: Roll:17 + Skill:16 = 33
Without calling attention to yourself, you swoop your leg behind Frank’s knee, and he falls! The corpse is covered, and Gingermittens is startled away with a miniture neigh! As he runs off, he knocks into a cart full of miniature wooden logs! As the miniature wooden logs spill about the square, people trip and fall in a hilarious fashion. The guards run off to help the people and wrangle Gingermittens.
As you help up Frank, and dust him off, he looks across the far side of the square.
“Oh look!”, he exclaims “It’s the University Library!” And he hurries off.
“Thanks friends! I’ll never forget your help, Cyd and… that other guy!”
With that he’s gone.
Congrats, you’ve finished all three skill challenges, and you can now head back to find your compatriots!