When I woke up this morning there was a lot of murmuring in our makeshift camp. It turns out that someone was missing – and assumed eaten by spotted lions. For a moment I considered convincing people that they had just deserted us and headed back to the “safety” of Sluice but I decided it would be better to treat this as an object lesson. After a solemn ceremony for the fallen I gathered everyone around and addressed them from the bed of the supply wagon.
“Alright folks, I hate to be a bugaboo here, but can we have a gentlemen’s agreement not to wander away from the group, at night especially, while we’re in the territory of murderous two ton beasts?”
I can’t believe I had to do yet. And yet somehow it’s eminently believable – it’s amazing the things people won’t do without precise instructions. People talk about turkeys drowning when it rains because they look up? That’s an old wives tales – because it actually happens to people. As the group started getting ready to move I gathered my leadership council and presented my idea of trying to kill one of the lions. They weren’t enthused. Which is just like adventurers – they’re murderous savages right up until you need them to be murderous savages.
“What’s the problem, I thought you military types loved going on the offensive.”
Marsh answered “Two crossbows and a sling aren’t going to cut it against a spotted lion. If we try that the lion’s going to charge and we’ll be in real trouble.”
“You’re forgetting about Barjin!” At the sound of his name the disheveled wizard looked up, wild-eyed. “We’ve got a mage, the same firepower as a whole battalion of archers right?”
Barjin looked around as if for help “Um . . .”
“Exactly! We take some potshots at a lion when there’s no others around, it charges us and then ZAP! ZAM! ZOOM! Barjin fries it with a magical bolt of magicalness or transforms it into a sexy lady or something.” I clapped him on the back “Right Barjin ?”
He licked his lips “Well . . .”
“Precisely!” I gave him a companionable shake “He’s raring to have a crack at these dire beasts. Good man, good man! We take out one lion and then the rest of them know not to mess with us. Show them who’s on the top of the food chain.”
They were dubious, but the day I can’t convince some dubious adventurers to risk their lives for little to no gain is the day I poison everyone in their sleep and forge on alone.
In my defense the plan was working great at first.
When we stopped for a mid-day rest we saw a lone spotted lion eyeballing us from a mere hundred yards away. We scanned the area thoroughly and saw no others lions about. Strangely it turned out the best shot of the group wasn’t one of the soldiers or adventurers but one of the civilians – a woman from Travar with a long braid. She had terrible split ends and a about a million flyaways. I signaled to her and she came to my aside, along with half a dozen others who that fashioned slings, as well as the man of the hour Barjin and the rest of the adventurers.
Braids and I both missed on our first shot but it got the lion’s attention – for a split second of awful anticipation we wondered, would it run off or charge?
It let out a roar and charged. Even with several dozen bodies between me and it I was pretty frightened. I’ve been in horrible situations like this a few times since my downfall, I wonder when you stop being terrified. A spotted lion can cover a hundred years with a quickness you wouldn’t believe. But when a spotted lion is bearing down on you you shoot with a quickness you wouldn’t believe also. It was hit several times when Barjin blasted it with fire – and that sent it scrambling away. It was too late though. It was in the “killzone” and we peppered it with stones and bolts until it stopped moving.
At this point I heard the screams. The roar had summoned a second lion and it was rampaging through the procession – the soldiers rushing into its path (even mostly being unarmed) while everyone else stumbled and staggered away. Argo and Arlonni did the bulk of the work slaying it, but not before it killed three people outright and injured several more. There was some recrimination about my decisions but I was able to paper over it pretty easily, and we halted for the day out of respect for the fallen. As we had another solemn ceremony I considered the arithmetic – four people for two spotted lions? That’s a trade you’d make happily if you were the immoral sort.
Funds: 10,258 gold
Inventory: Ring of Many Garments, Bag of Tricks (rust), Cap of Disguise, Secure Pocket, Resplendent Diplomat’s Palette, Secure Paypack, Skeleton Key, Brooch of Shielding, Pouch of Magic Stones, Masterful Grey Gloves, Black Marketers’ Bag, Biting Bracelet (Endless Ammunition), Boots of Escape, Bracers of the Glib Entertainer, Ring of Animal Friendship, +1 Falchion, +1 Greatclub, +2 Commanding Light Crossbow, Headband of Alluring Charisma +2, Manual of Quickness of Action, Bracer of Fire Resistance (10), Spear of Piercing Thunder, Handy Haversack, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Cloak of Resistance +2 (2), Headband of vast intelligence +2 (2), Ring of Feather Falling
Signet ring, noble’s outfit, candlerod (9), masterwork dagger, succubi carving, Domiel family ring, walking stick, masterwork playing cards, spinel and peridot holy symbol of Kralten, diamonds (14), silver crown, waterskins (6), trail rations (7), antitoxin (9), formula book, smelling salts (3), sunrods (3), thieves’ tools, tindertwigs (6), various and sundry inebriants and intoxicants
Potion of Spider Climb, Potion of Eagle’s Splendor, Potion of Jump
Silver ring, gold bracelet, gold and pearl pendant, gold ring, platinum necklace (2), mithril hair clasps (3), 4 small diamonds
Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane,
Piltis Swine, Rince
Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle
the butler , Alice Kinsey , “ Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Claire
Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror,
Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe,
Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni
Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander,
Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother
Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee, Helgan
van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot
Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(Reoccurring), murderous Halfling (Reoccurring)
Graltontown Buildings – Mill