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(A) Episode Two: One Ring To Rule Nothing At All

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After completing the first quest since the release of DMO the group of Adventurers has spent their time roaming around Winterhaven. Solitude has left them, preferring to go it alone for a while now that the first quest has been completed and left an open spot in the group. There weren’t many players who had dared to attempt the first quest, they had instead opted to grind random creatures until they reached level 2, which lead to this particular group to gain a small amount of recognition among the other players.

One of the players who had decided to grind to level 2 by killing creatures was the Changeling Assassin Nam. When the group advertised that they were looking for someone to fill in the hole left behind by Solitude’s departure Nam became the person who was eventually chosen as the replacement.

Rumors of a mysterious supergroup who had apparently already managed to reach level 3 circulated around Winterhaven. The names of these members weren’t mentioned by anyone, but they were known as ‘The Golden World.’ No one really knew where that name came from or why people called them that, though.

With one more quest left in their questlog and many other adventures waiting for them it was time for the group of heroes to set out on their second adventure.

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"Welcome to the group, Narn!" Quarius warmly greeted their new team member. "An Assassin on our party will be much better than that spellbook-stealing thief. I'm sure we'll clear the next quest just fine."

 

He took a quick check in his inventory, selecting his spells for the day. "Do you guys have anything left to do in Winterhaven, or shall we go ahead and start the quest?"

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Iris has decided to spice up her persona a little and try out another theme for her outfit, her excuse being her forced stay in the online game. If the young lady's probably going to spend the rest of her life stuck in this digital space, she may as well cozy it up the best she can. Die in style, she reckons.

Using the downtime they were given to tinker with her vanity slots in her equipment window, she managed to somehow edit her outfit into matching teal and orange colours, complete with a silly looking beanie on her head. Doesn't exactly strike fear in her foes; but the rest of the team would probably have that aspect covered already.

"Peace, peace, guys!" Iris uttered as she merged with the waiting team, one hand haphazardly swinging her flail around while her remaining free hand's help up in a matching peace sign. "I'm ready! Bandits this time round, right?"

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"It's Nam, not Narn" Came the changeling's response as she folded her arms. "I'll let you off though. The in-game text always puts the "r" and the "n" too close together and makes it look like an "m". So it's an easy mistake to make. At any rate I'm good to go."

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Amroth nodded at the Nam. "Glad to have you in the group Nam, you may call me Amroth. We've already done the first quest and we sadly can't do it again. Probably to prevent us from spamming the same quest over and over and gaining too much experience without a challenge. So the goblin cave to the north is out, but earlier we've gotten the quest to defeat some bandits to the south east and return some ring. I'm guess we'll head out that way if everyone is done here?"

 

He was still lugging around his greatbow, he loved the damage he could do with the thing, but since he had no inventory space or character slot to spec it to, he needed to carry it with him at all times. Which was quite inconvenient with a bow which was only a hair shorter than himself, yet he could not complain, he was just happy that he had been able to revise his character a bit, hopefully making him more useful to the group. He just hoped that there would be no nasty surprises waiting for them during the next quest.

 

"Let's go, the sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can go home."

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As the group stood, mispronounced each other’s names and discussed their next course of action a child ran up and bumped into Amroth. She quickly took a bow to apologize and ran off once again. It took. In a second it became obvious that the collision was intentional and she had just stolen his pouch with gold coins!

The child quickly ran through the crowded market place, hoping to get out of sight from Amroth and his companions. The crowded streets make it hard for the party to communicate properly and if they wish to pursue the thief they have to do it individually.

[initiative order: Amroth/Iris (21), Quarius (17), Nam (13), Cha’ac (12)
Goal: Catch the thief! Reach 6 successes before 2 failures.
Think of ways to use your skills to catch the thief. Acrobatics and Athletics are examples of key skills that will help.]

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Amroth was confused by the bump and it took him a second to realize the missing weight on his belt, he looked down to see a few cut pieces of leather which used to hold his coinpurse. His eyes opened wide, felt a surge of rage go through him. "The little bitch stole my coinpurse! The whole damn thing!" He screamed, both at disbelieve that it had happened to him, with his high perception and that such a thing was included in this game. It didn't seem fair to have NPCs literally steal money from players.

 

"I'll get that brat and I'll..." He ran after her but was severely slowed down by the crowded street. Looking up he noticed a few barrels standing underneath an open second story window. He figured he could make and ran for the barrels, jumping up, trying to climb up to the flat roof, hoping to get a better view of the street down below.

 

(acrobatics check:

Roll(1d20)+10:
5,+10
Total:15)

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"YOU GUTLESS IMBECILE, WE WORKED OUR BUTTCHEEKS OFF FOR THAT GOLD!" 

 

Iris hollered as Amroth hopped away after the little scamp. She knew better than to try pulling off any athletic stunts ; the hair-raising escape from the mines has more than proved her uselessness when it comes to running.

 

"YOU CAN'T RUN FROM ME, I'VE A +6 IN PERCEPTIONNNNN - "

 

Intimidation:

Roll(1d20)+3:
17,+3
Total:20

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Quarius smirked - he wouldn't have been caught by a simple pickpocketer like that. Since the last time Solitude had stolen his spellbook, he had taken extra precautions - such as keeping it invisible and located at a random position on his body. He intended on inscribing Explosive Runes on the inside once he had some free time. However, the collapsing dungeon had also taught him that it was important not to overspecialize in a death game like DMO, and he had done some stat adjusting, retraining Diplomacy to Acrobatics so that he'd get hit by falling rocks less in the future.

 

It also helped him to track down the girl who stole Amroth's coins. Deftly avoiding the incoming crowd of passers-by, Quarius slipped in between NPCs with a natural body motion that seemed to be propelled by the system, rapidly getting closer to his target.

 

Acrobatics check:

Roll(1d20)+9:
14,+9
Total:23

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"Give me a break..." Nam sighed. What a team she'd picked to join. Who gets robbed by little girls? Well it seemed that Amroth had the right idea, he could be their eyes in the sky.  Nam took to the other side of the street and vaulted up a vendor's stand to reach the rooftops on the other side. If all went to plan they would have aerial advanage from both sides of the steet, while Quarius covered the ground. 

 

Acrobatics Check

Roll(1d20)+11:
8,+11
Total:19
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Cha'ac doesn't bother with any smooth motions or fancy steps. With Iris' yelling opening up the crowd, he plows straight ahead like a walking tank, his massive form scaring off anybody else who hadn't paid heed to the cleric's bellowing. It feels a little odd to be chasing after a little girl like this, though. Did the system target players with random events like this? Would other adventurers have their pockets picked as well? Or was it just a pregenned event to occur after completing the first quest? Well, either way - the little thief would be caught soon enough. Not that hard when everybody gets out of the way to avoid being trampled.

 

Athletics:

Roll(1d20)+8:
14,+8
Total:22

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Amroth ran and jumped over the rooftops following the street, he paid attention to people in the crowd being pushed aside, or jumping in surprise. He couldn't see the girl, but he could see hints of her. After running for a bit he stopped edge of a rooftop, trying to pick up his trail. Suddenly he noticed a few names in the distance, over at the market place, it lasted only a slip second but he could have sworn the name had a 3 in front of it, indicating the player was level 3. The person moved behind a corner before Amroth could see who it was. He grumbled loudly and tried to search the crowd for the little girl again (perception check: total: 14, failed) sadly there was no sight of her to be found. He cursed loudly, someone was going to pay for this.

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"YOU WILL PAY FOR THI- I - I MEAN... I mean.. ahem. WALK DOWN THE PATH OF GOOD AND ... uh. AND THE GODS WILL SMILE UPON YOU. DO NOT BE SWAYED BY THE ALLURE OF MONEY, MY CHILD. YOU DON'T EVEN NEED IT, YOU'RE AN NPC! COme on dawg, I'm losing my voice over here... Money... " 

 

Iris continued ranting, to no avail. The girl's gone. The money's gone. Morale? Gone.

 

Religion:

Roll(1d20)+5:
6,+5
Total:11

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The preteen girl had successfully evaded 5 adventurers, despite all their efforts. Amroth quietly mourned the loss of his gold as Quarius offered to conjure illusionary money if it would make him feel better.

“Another group failed it, I see.â€

“I hope they nerf that challenge soon, I don’t want to lose my money.â€

“It isn’t hard, those guys just sucked.â€

The whispers of the crowd offered them little solace, but at least it confirmed that they weren’t the only one who lost a pouch of gold to the thieving 10-year old. A pop up telling them they had earned 60 XP for partial completion of the challenge wasn’t much of a consolation prize either. How much would they have gotten if they had succeeded?

After picking up Amroth the group moved towards the portal, hoping to catch a ride to the Silver Keep in order to complete their next mission. “Sorry, the portal next to the keep is busted. I can send you to a nearby, but can’t get you closer than that.â€

“So, wanna get ported to the farm or would you rather walk the entire way?â€

[Everyone receives 60XP. Amroth loses all his gold. Need 3 people to either accept or decline the offer.]

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"I feel you bro," Quarius said to Amroth, patting him on the shoulder knowingly. "I feel your pain. If it's any consolation, here's an imaginary 100G for you to hug to sleep at night." He passed the Rogue an illusionary pile of gold created by Prestidigitation.

 

Regarding the imminent issue, he decided that being ported straight into a trap would be favorable to walking. He was not a long-distance walker. "I think we should go to the farm," Quarius voted.

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"Farrrrm." The cleric agreed. "Ain't walking till I get a sweet cloud serpent to ride on. Maybe the farm animals will be more likable than the NPCs we've encountered so far."

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"Anything beats walking" Nam agreed, folding her arms. "So what are we waiting on? Let the archer lick his wounds and we can move on."

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Amroth nodded at his two companions. He was still pissed off at losing his money and really felt like he needed to get his mind from it. "I really just want to go do something already, the sooner we can leave this fucking town. Let's take the teleporter and go to the farm, maybe we'll get lucky and the farm will be under attack from goblins or whatever." He knew he wasn't being really sympathetic at the moment, but he really didn't care much. it was just unfair that he had lost his money, no game did that, and if he had lost it to a player it wasn't so bad, but he had to lose it to a NPC, which meant that his money probably got evaporated with no conceivable way to get it back.

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The group stood on the circle and were swiftly teleported in front of a farmstead. Unlike their previous uses of the teleportation circle there was no hooded figure to greet them.

Looking around they saw several trees, a well, a wooden cart, a house, a storage shed and an outdoor toilet, but the thing that really grabbed their attention was the presence of two armed men looming over the stone fence. Only a few seconds after the party stepped out of the portal one of them shouted: "Seems like we have visitors, boys!"

[initiative: Nam (19) / Cha'ac (17) / Quarius (16) / Guard (13) / Iris (12) / Amroth (9) /  ??? (8) / ??? (7)
Battlefield can we found here. Decide on your initial position inside of the square before the encounter commences.]

 

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"No point standing around with your pants down, boys!" Nam said with a confident smirk, "I guess I'll start the party!"

 

With a burst of speed Nam shot across the field towards the stone fence, leaping through the air attempt a vault over the fence. 

 

[Acrobatics Check for wall scale:

rolling 1d20 + 11
(19)+11 = 30]
 
Success! Nam landed on the other side of the wall with a soft tap on the ground, directly behind one of the armed men. "Sorry for dropping in unannounced!" She said as she drew her daggers. 
 
[use Sly Flourish
 
Attack roll
rolling 1d20 + 11
(8)+11 = 19
 
damage roll
rolling 1d4 + 9
(3)+9= 12
rolling 2d8
(1+2)= 3
 
total = 15]

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Cha'ac whirls his hammer around. Armed men at a farm? Must be thugs, or some other sort of outlaws. Easy enough to deal with. He charges forward at an easy pace - and predictably, they strike. The warden's quick enough to block one blow with his shield, but the other slips into his guard and strikes him savagely. Still, the damage is easy enough to bear, and summoning a crackle of lightning around his hammer, Cha'ac bludgeons the guard that just hit him. The predictable peal of thunder follows, hammering into the face of the guard that Nam just shanked.

 

Guard OA

Roll(1d20)+10:
8,+10
Total:18 Miss

Roll(1d20)+10:
14,+10
Total:24 Hit

 

Roll(1d10)+3:
5,+3
Total:8

 

Cha'ac's actions:

- Mark both guards.

 

- Tempest Assault vs left guard:

 

Roll(1d20)+9:
19,+9
Total:28

 

Roll(1d10)+5:
9,+5
Total:14

 

Right guard takes 3 damage.

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After being struck by both the Rogue and the Warden the Human Guard started bleeding profusely.

 

[Right Guard is Bloodied.]

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As usual, Cha'ac had gone straight into the fight, and together with Nam, the two of them had managed to bloody one of the guards. It seemed like Nam had a very different fighting style from Solitude, despite both of them possessing very similar builds. Quarius had no complaints about the change.

"Don't be shocked by my Arc Lightning!" He shot a bolt of lightning straight at the two soldiers, the spell enhanced in damage because of his new feat, Destructive Wizardry.

Unfortunately, it seemed like his luck had run out, for both bolts of lightning went wide into the air, scattering away a couple of birds in the process.

Roll(1d20)+6:

6,+6

Total:12

Roll(1d20)+6:

5,+6

Total:11

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Both Guards used this Halberds to strike at the opponent standing on their right, but as if in perfect unison both of them managed to miss their marks.

 

[Roll(1d20)+10: 5,+10 Total:15 and Roll(1d20)+10: 5,+10 Total:15]

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Iris moved forward a couple steps, watching the familiar alerts flash in her GUI again. With a simple flourish, she activated her new skill, Astral Seal, and watched the other guard's body light up in response. "This guy over here will be taking a -2 defense reduction till the end of my next turn!" The cleric said, running a finger under the skill description as she read it out. " The next ally who hits it before the end of my next turn will regain hitpoints equal to 2+ my Char modifier! That is to say... +4, I think. Snazzy."

 

Astral Seal

Roll(1d20)+11:
8,+11

Total:19 

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