Damien - Human (?) Sorcerer (262 points)
Morgan Merkle - Human Mentalist (311 points)
Brother Maurice- Human Initiate of Avandra, the goddess of freedom and luck (161 points)
Sindri Blackshield - Tiefling Knight (312 points)
Virgil the Grim - Human Barbarian-Swashbuckler (318 points)
Day 176 (Cont.):
Amothius 16th, 2526
The Dire Wolves ran out of the undergrowth, and three bit into Sindri's limbs, grappling him but not doing any real damage. Virgil, now a Weapon Master, made a triple Rapid Strike and killed three wolves, including the pack leader, in a single turn, while Damien tried to get away and cast Armour on himself. Morgan took out another, and, with 1/4 of their number gone and leaderless, the wolves retreated into the forest.
By nightfall, the smoke from the forest fires had filled the air, but luckily the party was healthy enough that it didn't affect them much. Virgil continued to fail to find a campsite with shelter, and lost another FP.
The air was poor, but Virgil crit on Weather Sense, so they avoided the worst of it. Late in the day, they arrived at a section of forest that had been completely burned, and saw the brass dragon's metallic scales gleaming in the red, dull sunlight as it rested on a rocky hillside. The party decided to drink their Potions of Fire Resistance before talking to the dragon, just in case, and then walked across the mostly open ground towards it.
On the way, they noticed movement several hundred feet away from the dragon on the hillside, and as they got closer, realized that there were small, reptilian humanoids moving about in between the rocks. Occultism (Draconology) let them know that Kobolds tend to follow dragons around and worship them like gods, so this wasn't too surprising.
They approached the dragon from below, and, when it asked "What gifts have you brought to the mighty Dakrolaen?", Virgil gave it Silmaris, his tempered glass elven longsword, which it lifted magically. The dragon seemed pleased, and they were invited up to where it had been resting. They noticed that there was no hoard here, though there was a wide entrance to a cave.
Morgan took over negotiations, and tried to bribe Dakrolaen into not helping the orcs with $10k worth of gold, which was apparently an insulting amount. He then made an offer of $100k, which it seemed to find agreeable, so long as they could get the money to it before the orcs would require its services. They gave it the remnants of their $30k advance in Virgil's second sack, which it magically moved into the cave, and then retreated to the forest, where Morgan Telesent Hestius, informing him that they needed another $70k for the bribe.
A while later, they got a reply: that was too much money, and they'd have to figure out something else. They debated what to do for a while, but ultimately decided to march back to Carda to get the rest of the money. The burned woods were eerily silent that night, and, other than light coughing from mild smoke inhalation, they were undisturbed.
Amothius 18th, 2526
Around midday, in a part of the forest that was still untouched by the forest fires, the party were ambushed by four acid spiders led by a pair of 4-armed 4-legged spidermen. The spidermen spat out webs to immobilize party members but missed both shots, while the acid spiders attacked from the flanks; Sindri was bitten from behind and would be unable to break free from the deceptively strong spider's bite.
Virgil savagely slashed at a spider, but then dropped his sword, went prone face-down, and was webbed and bitten in place. One of the spidermen repeatedly tried to web Damien, but he continued to dodge thanks largely to Feverish Defence, and the other switched to poking Virgil with its spear. Morgan failed a roll for Pyromania, and started using Pyro Bolt and Mind Blast to great effect; knocking one spider unconscious outright and stunning several others.
Damien cast Lightning at the acid spider close to him, and managed to stun it twice before it regained its feet; meanwhile, Maurice burned through all of his FP healing Sindri, who was still being bitten and melted by the spider's corrosive venom, and only managed to hit it by flailing randomly behind himself.
At one point, somebody asked why the Dragons of Carda were called that, but nobody has Heraldry, and the default failed.
They drank all of their fire resistance potions, but never ended up fighting the dragon, which was kind of a waste.
It's strange that Hestius said that another $70k was too much money; the town of Carda should probably have far more than that.
There was some talk of waiting for the dragon to leave and then robbing it to get the money to bribe it, but they didn't follow up.
Someone brought up a great idea: grind random encounters in the woods, and then, once strong enough, go back and fight the dragon.
Interestingly, Sindri is actually good enough to swing backwards (-5) while grappled (-4) and still be above 9 skill. If he spends 2FP on Flurry of Blows, he can actually Rapid Strike with one of his two attacks as well. I got the backwards penalty wrong (I thought it was -10), and he was STILL above 9 by using Telegraphic Attack.
Changing Posture while grappled shouldn't be free, but Virgil realized that I was giving the same roll for that and Breaking Free, which meant there was no point to not just going for that. I gave a +2 bonus from then on out, but I'm still not sure what the proper rule is.
Damien made a file with a bunch of improvised spells on his phone, but it was too small to read. Woops.
I've been saying that Afflictions with Malediction (mostly Morgan's Mind Blast) are penalized for cover and intervening targets, but it turns out that they're not. It didn't really matter, because he has so much Talent that even with the penalties he'd be breaking the Rule of 16, but still.
1 for minor progress
1 for combat with the dire wolves
MVP went to Sindri for getting a ton of Tactics rerolls and smashing back-spiders