Almaric’s Tale: Lone Stranger
As he rides closer towards the lone figure, Almaric tries to discern anything about the approaching stranger.
[/OOC Basic WIS roll to notice anything pertinent. Rolled d20(7), which is under Almaric’s WIS score of 12.]
Peering at the man (for a man it is indeed), Almaric notes his slow, and somewhat weary pace, and his plain, common-looking, well-worn garb. He does not appear to be wearing armour and carries no weapon other than a simple dagger at his hip. A small sack is slung over his left shoulder. Still, appearances can be deceptive, so the cautious warrior surreptitiously reaches down and loosens the strap on his mace - just in case. Knowing he’s not in the best shape to fight, Almaric readies himself to spur Osgar on to ride past the figure and clock him with the mace if needed.
As the man is almost upon him, the stranger looks up and gives Almaric a small wave of his hand in greeting. “Well met, sir."
He waits until Osgar is alongside him and then continues. "My name is Arronay. I’ve been walking this road for hours, and I’m getting hungry and tired. Would you care to share my meal with me?”
“Well met Arronay, my name is Almaric. Although I am in somewhat of a rush, I could use a break and would be happy to spend a while talking with a fellow traveller.”
He dismounts from his horse, still wary of this stranger but being courteous - his hand never to far from his weapons.
Arronay casts about, looking for a place to sit off the roadside. He indicates a shaded area beneath the branches of a nearby tree and moves towards it, talking as he goes. “You look a little worse for wear my friend, here, let us ease our bones by this tree.”
“Where are you hailing from Arronay, and what makes you travel this road today? Dangerous creatures are roaming around and a single man so simply armed would be an inviting target.”
The man pauses a moment as if considering something before replying. “I am on my way home. I live half a days travel yonder.”, he points along the road past the junction Almaric turned at. “Generally, these roadways are safe, although sometimes it is not unheard of for heavily-armed bandits to prey on innocent travellers.”
Almaric catches Arronay sneaking a glance at the armour and weapons he is sporting, and the fact that Almaric has obviously seen combat recently if the fresh blood spots soaking through his bandages are any indication.
Almaric tethers Osgar to the tree and as the horse begins to graze, he casts his eye around for something to supplement the lunch-fare of his new ‘friend’.
[/OOC Basic Survival roll to see if anything nearby is edible. Needs an 18+, rolls(5) + Proficiency mod(4)=9. FAILURE]
A cursory search of the surroundings fails to provide anything edible to add to the meal, so Almaric produces some of the food he has previously foraged on his travels. It is only a small amount, so it will not impact on his own supplies but at least it is something. The man takes the proffered food and bows his head in thanks as he adds it to the meagre food he has taken from his sack.
Sitting beneath the tree with their shared meal - Arronay’s torn-off hunk of hard bread and chunk of pungent-smelling cheese supplemented by Almaric’s fruit and berries. They both sip from their own waterskins while they chat.
[/OOC Still on his guard, Almaric is wary of any hint of poison or soporifics in the food, but is unable to detect anything (by either small or taste) - the bread is almost entirely tasteless and the cheese is very smelly and sharp-tasting, but surprisingly tasty. Arronay partakes of all the food, without showing any signs of ill-effects.]
During the course of the discussion over lunch, Arronay mentions that he has seen a small force of goblins to the south, apparently heading towards a fort, but they are fairly slow. He hid himself as soon as he saw them and did not seek to follow them once they moved on. He doesn’t know anything about the fort or its troops. He appears to be a simple local labourer and so doesn’t really have anything more to say on the area or its surroundings.
With the meal finished, Almaric makes ready to depart. Arronay looks pained as he struggles to get up, the shade must have chilled his bones and an ache set in. He stretches as he gains his feet and Almaric hears a small popping sound. With a wince of pain, he offers to shake hands goodbye. As Almaric reaches for his hand, Arronay says, “Goodbye, stranger!” and suddenly stabs out at him with a dagger that he seems to have conjured into his hand!
[/OOC Normally I would roll for surprise but both of you have been watching each other too closely. Instead we will shift straight to combat and initiative.
Round 1 initiative rolls: Almaric (11)+1=12, Arronay (17).]
Momentarily caught off-guard, Almaric finds himself unarmed and without the protection of his shield which is currently looped onto his saddle horn. Arronay’s dagger flashes viciously at the young fighter’s throat…
[/OOC Arronay attacks with his dagger. Rolls (12) - Almaric’s base AC(5) = MISS]
…luckily, Almaric’s constant sense of vigilance saves him as he flinches back just in time to avoid having his throat cut! Without even knowing it, his hand has already found the handle of his mace and, grasping it two-handed, he brings it around in a whirling side-swipe towards the head of his treacherous assailant…
[/OOC Almaric needs an 8+. He rolls (20) - **(Arronay’s AC) = CRITICAL HIT!
Critical Hits (House Rule)
If your attack throw is a natural 20, it is automatically a hit. If it would have been a hit even without the “natural 20’s always hit” rule, then it is a critical hit that inflicts maximum damage. Only the weapon’s (or spell’s, if the spell requires an attack throw) normal damage die is maximized, not damage dice from backstabs, the ambush or weapon focus proficiencies, magic items, etc.
Damage from the mace (used 2-handed) is MAX(8) + STR mod.(2) + Fighter mod.(1) = 11 HP… KILLSHOT!!]
…which ends in a tremendous thud, followed instantly by the sound of bones snapping. Arronay’s neck is whipped side-ways into a grotesquely distorted angle and the side of his skull is caved in. Blood spatters across Almaric’s face and Osgar dances a step sideways as he is startled by the sudden noise. After the body slumps to the ground, the area is silent, the action so suddenly started and ended that it is almost as if nature itself was taken by surprise.
Almaric looks down at the body in front of him.
[/OOC WOW. That was… umm… quick.
Along with the usual rolls, etc. I need a special one - a d13]