Classic Fantasy D&D 5e - Shadow of the Demon (for lack of a better title)
#51
Journey Over The Pass
Weather roll
3 = 3[d20]

Road conditions:
Judgementally / Ugly

The weather is unusually calm as they press south. Nearing the crest of the pass, gusting winds sprayed the snow into their faces, but with warm furs wrapped close, they pressed onward. The winding trail leads past steep mountain sides that stretch to the sky. Pine trees, snow covered meadows, shale cliffs, scrub oak, and rock formations all make up the wild mountains.

On the western side of the mountain, the warmer weather has turned the road into a sinking quagmire of sucking mud. Renchant and Tatyana stay close to each other, having many conversations and helping each other along the treacherous trail.

Any encounters?
(Somewhat Unlikely | 2[d10]) No

Aside from a few refugees keeping their distance, the party doesn’t meet anyone in their travels, and after three days, they make it through the mountains and down into the foothills on the southern side.

Journey to Southmarch
The king's road stretches to the south. With mud-smattered cloaks and mounts, the party presses onward. The further south they travel, the more patrols of armed guards they see paid out of the coffers of the king to keep these roads safe of banditry and other scum. Raena even sees another member of the Royal Rangers heading north passing them in a gallop.

Since these roads are patrolled, I’ll say the likelihood of a dangerous encounter is unlikely. I’ll do three rolls at unlikely each.

(Unlikely | 3[d10]) No

(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

(Unlikely | 1[d10]) No, and...

They stop for a mid afternoon snack on sitting on some boulders atop a nearly bald hill with some scrappy oak trees. Not only do they see more guards patrolling in the distance, but they also see armed formations, entire regiments, heading north and others cutting east towards Kadolan.

“Looks like those that are heading east are heading for the border,” Garvis nods, shielding his eyes and watching ducal banners snapping in the wind and hearing the distant whinneys of horses and catching the glint of afternoon light reflecting off weapons and armor.

“A battle?” Dosaken asks.

Garvis shrugs. “Seems likely unless calmer heads prevail, though from the news we heard, it sounds like Vir’s escape was engineered by Kadolonian agents.”

“With internal help,” Raena reminded them. “Which is what this mission is all about.”

“How much is truth and how much is propaganda, I wonder,” Renchant added, scratching Tatyana’s back. She yawned and settled in against him, cuddling for extra warmth.

“I trust that Captain Ethed was telling us the truth,” Raena said. “He has always been forthright with me.”

“He seemed honest enough,” Renchant said. “He at least believed what he was told by his superiors.”

“What do you mean by that?” Raena asked.

“Raena, my dear, as a soldier, you have the luxury of not having to worry about it,” Renchant said. “After all, Captain Ethed is your military superior, and as a Royal Ranger, you are oathbound to follow orders and to protect the royal family whether those orders are based in truth or not.”

“And?”

“All I’m saying is that we are all but pawns in a larger game played by King Kirat and his kind. They may be telling the truth, they may not. Either way, we’re still only pawns.”

“All shall be revealed in good time,” Kendrock said, standing and then getting into his saddle. “Until then, we have many miles to go ere we reach Southmarch.”

“And many more miles of this punishing road on that torture seat of a saddle,” Tatyana groaned, rubbing her rump. “I’m definitely going to need a massage,” she sighed.

Renchant leaned over and whispered something in her ear.

She reddened and pushed him away playfully. “Not until we’re married, mage. Hands to yourself,” but she gave him a long lingering kiss before settling onto her own saddle.

For ten more days, amist rain and snow and sometimes sun, they followed the southward road, at times camping alongside the road, at others, sleeping in some musty barn or other. The houses grew more numerous, the farms smaller, the communities and towns larger as they approached the current seat of power, the city of Southmarch, the new capital of the Kingdom of Craewen.

The evening of the tenth day at sunset, the sun hit the spires and minarets of Southmarch, turning them to gold. Snow lay piled up in dirty mounds, and the destitute milled about, picking through garbage.

Guards stopped them and began asking their business at the gates, but upon seeing Raena’s crest on her armor, and her unblinking stare, they let the party pass without further issue.

Cobbled streets stretched away into mist, wooden and stone houses two three, sometimes higher, blocked out the sun as they made their way inwards.

Has Raena been to the palace before?

(50/50 | 3[d10]) No

“This way,” Raena said, after asking for directions. “We go to the palace.”

At Southmarch Palace
Is all well at the palace?
(50/50 | 7[d10]) Yes

Security was high but that was to be expected.

What is going on in the city?

I’ll use the MAG:
Crossed blades, circle of magic, a trident, a card, a boot, jelly fish, claws with bubbly stuff (acid?), web, puzzle cube

And some random phrases:
Harm / Art
Break / Trials

Ah-hah. That fits with the last few tiles on the mag I think.

Are the crossed blades a duel?
(50/50 | 6[d10]) Yes, but...

Yes, but it’s more than just a duel.

The city is on a war footing, refugees pouring in. In and around the palace and out on the streets and in neighborhood squares, the constant sound of training and recruitment forging filled the air. Bugles called military units together and vast. They hear the sounds of boots ever marching, soldiers preparing for war.

They’re met by a steward, an older man with silver, shoulder-length hair, and a stately bearing, named Paron. He orders some stable boys to take their mounts. The party is ushered into the palace to rest and recuperate until preparations are finalized for the next leg of their journey.

Are there any problems with the funds they’re promised?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

What about the other items on the MAG results? Is Paron aware of those?
(50/50 | 4[d10]) No

They’re given apartments on the palace grounds itself. The steward brings a small pouch and hands it to Raena.

“I hope you don’t mind platinum. Gold can sometimes be inconveniently heavy, I’ve heard.”

Raena opens the pouch and fingers the platinum. The price seems correct. She hands the pouch to Garvis for him to divy up.

100 platinum pieces (ie 1000 gp) to share amongst the party.

Paron glances out the window and frowns, “I know you’re on a busy errand, but be forewarned that there have been shortages on foodstuffs. Prices are quite high and some goods are simply not available, what with all the refugees and riff raff coming into the city and now the regiments are being formed...”

“And the king and his lady, are they well?” Raena asked.
(Likely | 7[d10]) Yes

“Well enough,” Paron adds. “Very busy of course. There are so many things to see to, especially with war on the horizon. I apologize, I must be about other duties,” he gives a slight bow. “Dinner will be brought up. His Majesty is aware of your assignment and wishes you every success. Please leave as soon as you can resupply.”

Is the palace magically warded against external magical attacks and scrying?
(Somewhat Likely | 5[d10]) Yes, but...

This is the new palace so the wards are not particularly strong yet, as they get up to full strength over time.

I’ll roll up some stuff and reveal it later.

They ate dinner, leftovers, somewhat plain fare for a palace, but better than anything they’ve had on the trail:

Stir-fried flat rice noodles with chestnut, squash blossoms, courgette flowers and sweet pepper on a bed of sliced runner bean and blueberries. Served with poached eggs, sage pie, mild cheddar and anise and shrew soup.
(From http://chaoticshiny.com/mealgen.php)

They had been given a suite of connected rooms on the third story of a huge five story complex. Servants had brought up the meal and had long since gone.

Garvis, Dosaken, and Kendrock sat drinking from large flagons, playing cards and dice. The Dragonborn didn’t have any money so he watched the other two play and gave advice and he became more and more drunk. It seemed he had an insatiable appetite for food and drink and after a while his head was on the table and he snored loudly.

Tatyana and Renchant stayed up late by the fire talking and laughing. Ever since Inolulan, Renchant had begun to teach her the basics of spell casting, and each night by the fire they had practiced reciting the spells and drawing glyphs in the air.

Over the long days of travel, he had explained the basics of harnessing powerful forces that surrounded and imbued the planes of existence.

Is she getting it?
(she’s smart... I’ll say likely)
(Likely | 10[d10]) Yes, and...

And looks like she’s particularly adept at it... well well. Smile
Hopefully Renchant doesn’t get jealous.

“I’m going to turn in now,” Raena said to Renchant and Tatyana. “Don’t stay up too late, we---” she stopped. The young girl had a blue flame dancing on her finger.

“Look!” Tatyana laughed at her with such obvious joy it made Raena smile.

“Well done!” Renchant said, beaming, touching her hand and adding a small fiery unicorn which reared up and chased her bobbing flame. “Very well done indeed,” he mused, leaning back and stroking his beard. “I’ve never seen anyone take to a first spell so readily--aside from myself of course.”

“Of course,” Raena said under her breath.

“It’s amazing!” Tatyana said and the flame jumped to her other palm, the unicorn following. She concentrated and the flame grew to a fist sized ball of fire that flashed out, consuming the unicorn and resulting in a globe of blue light that hovered in front of her.

“You’re first light spell...” Renchant said and shook his head. “Let’s see what else you can do. See if you can freeze the wine pitcher there. The spell is rather simple. It goes like this. Watch closely.”

Raena smiled again at them both. Tatyana had a hand on his knee. Renchant’s face bore the joy of teaching his favorite subject and being in the presence of a beautiful girl. She hoped they wouldn’t do anything foolish.

As an elf, she had been around the world much longer than these short-lived humans. She went to her room and looked at a map the servants had brought her. She sat down and began to study the route and make plans for the next phase of their journey.
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