Dark Paths 38.1

Dark Paths of Riddleport
Session 38.1

Bodi Takes a Morning Stroll

Session Summary

Bodi awoke early from a tender dream to see the face of Eärwen above him. He assumed it was just the continuation of the previous dream, but it was in fact real. Eärwen was smiling though she was fully armed and armored and prepared for war. “Care to join me for a stroll through the forest this morning? There were some reports of activity in the woods around the city. Thought we could take out some of the opposition before the real fun starts. And if we don’t find any Drow, well, it’ll be a nice early morning stroll.” She winks at him.

Bodi blinked  himself awake.   Wow.  He was pleasantly surprised.   Not completely surprised, but definitely a bit.   He knew he had a way with women, but usually after a few weeks he got bored and moved on.  But this was an elven woman, and one of quality.  He liked this.    A chance to continue to prove himself, and not to mention it would get him a chance to study the elves techniques and tactics.    Bodi also relished any opportunity to get in better with Eärwen.

Bodi smiled at Eärwen and pulled himself up.  “That sounds like a wonderful plan to me…..but I sure as hell didn’t get near enough sleep sugar.   I may have incredible ‘stamina’, but I can’t pull the short stint that you elven kind can.”

Bodi slowly pulled himself out of his blanket.   He stretched out his arms and started to dress himself.   As he started to get  his leather armor together he looked at Eärwen.  “So doll, maybe you can teach me some of these stealthy ways of your people.    Any advantage we can gain on the Drow will be useful, and I have a score to settle with your grumpy Captain.”

Bodi then strapped on his rapier, main-gauche, throwing knives and cloak.   He made sure he would travel light.  a waterskin, his elven rope, maybe 1 days worth of meals.   He would ask to secure the rest of his belongings here in camp as he made his way out with Eärwen.

“Okay gorgeous…...let’s grab a quick meal and I will be ready to hunt some drow with you…”

Eärwen giggles and hands him a small parcel. “Eat this, it will sustain you,” she whispers in the darkness before dawn. Bodi looks down and sees a wide leaf wrapped around something that feels a bit like a piece of bread. He unwrapps it and sees a small cake of bread with lumps that must be nuts or dried fruits. “Waybread. It’s not too bad, and it will sustain you for the day.” Bodi looks at the small loaf in his hands and wonders how this small thing will fill his growling belly.

He quickly scarfs the thing down and marvels at its complex textures and tastes. He feels a warm, full sensation coming from his insides and washes it down with a swig from a waterskin and follows Eärwen out into the chilly predawn air. “There are several groups out and about this morning setting up various positions. The main attack, which you and your band will lead, is set to start when the sun’s first rays strike the highest point of Celwynvian. Our job is to make sure there are no obstacles or foes in between the main battle group and the city. I have some intelligence that points to something or someone in the forest near the entrance to the city. There were some lights and strange sounds observed and I was asked to go check it out. I have a unit of hunters to accompany us, though they will spread out through the forest nearby.”

Noticing Bodi squinting in the darkness as they make their way through the camp, Eärwen stops, “Here, come close, I can help you with that,” she mutters something quietly and passes her hand in front of Bodi’s face. Immediately he can see as if it were midday under a bright sun. “You will be able to see as long as there is at least some light, even the light of a candle or the stars is enough. In complete darkness though, you will not be able to see.”

The two leave the camp, Bodi notes that Eärwen nods to several nearby Elven hunters that immediately grab their gear and head into the forest. Bodi watches Eärwen move through the forest with ease despite the fact that she is wearing heavy armor and carrying a good sized shield. She does not make a sound. Try as he might, Bodi just cannot keep his footfalls as quiet.

Bodi does his best to keep up with Eärwen.   He is pleasantly surprised that many of the elves here and under her watch are at least cooperative and one or two were even nearly friendly with him.   “Maybe they’re not all as bad as I first suspected.”   Bodi thought to himself as they made their way through the forest.

Try as he may, Bodi just couldn’t match the light footwork of the elven hunters.   He did his best to mimic their movements, and he thought that while he may not be close to their skill, he was improving at least by his own standards.     He worried a little that perhaps he may be a detriment to the hunting party, but quickly dismissed that thought.    If that were the case, Eärwen would not have invited him to help.

Bodi made sure that he was travelling light, blades sheathed but also ready.   he decided that while they walked it would be good for him to at least have a throwing knife at hand in case he had to throw one.     

The scene
Occasionally as they would move through the forest, Eärwen would look back at him to make sure that he was keeping up.    With the gift of night-vision she had granted him, he was able to make out her smile whenever she looked at him, as well as the warmth in her cheeks as she blushed when she did such.     Yes, he thought to himself….he could win the fight or die in battle, but he definitely had a great night and was ready to meet what fate would throw at him.

The sound of rushing water and early morning insects nearly drown out Eärwen’s whisper to stop. “Look, up ahead. There. Do you see that light?” She crouched and pointed ahead. Bodi peered through the forest and could barely see the faint glimmer of what might be a fire. Spotting fires in the dark was easier when it was actually dark, he thought. He quickly surveyed the area. Between them and the fire was a small stream rushing through a gully. The path they were following led to a short swinging bridge about 30 feet away. Off to their left, some dark gray stone rose up out of the ground. The sounds of a waterfall could be heard from that direction as the stream pours over the top edge of this escarpment and into the gully. The trees are thicker over near where the fire could be seen and just past the stream sits the ruins of some type of small structure.  “Let’g go check it out!” the female Elf warrior whispers as she moves forward along the path.

Bodi and Eärwen approach the bridge
Bodi picks up his pace a tad.  Excitement builds inside of him as he anticipates not only action, adventure and danger, but also a chance to further prove himself to Eärwen and the other elven warriors.   His group was to lead the main charge.  He fully expected that they were being used more as arrow fodder, but they had survived other ambushes before and this time he expected they were being set up.    Besides, another chance to impress Eärwen possibly meant another night of heavenly bliss with a beautiful Elven female.

Bodi followed Eärwen along the trail doing his best to step in her tracks and minimize any sounds he would create while he moved.    “I’m right with ya doll, let’s go.”

The lithe Elf maiden moves up the path quickly yet silently. Bodi follows her to some rocks on this side of the stream. Bodi can see the hanging wooden bridge just ahead on his right. To his left, the stream falls down in a small waterfall. Just past the bridge he can see the outline of some circular stone structure, only a few feet high at its tallest point, maybe 10 feet across. Possibly the base of a ruined tower or something, he was not sure. Further on, the path twisted through some trees before reaching the spot where the fire could be seen.

Bodi makes his way up towards the hanging bridge with Eärwen. Bodi whispers to Eärwen, “I would think that any sentries would be able to spot or hear us crossing the bridge, but I wonder if they would be watching that path off towards our right? I am assuming that if there are drow out there, they would be able to see as well as we can now. Either that or we try to cross the bridge unseen or underneath it and get to that section of the ruins. What do you think?”

As Bodi waits for her answer he adds, “Oh and by the way, can you tell me how to say ‘What the hell is that?’ in elvish or drow?” As she goes to respond to him, Bodi can not help but notice the slightly confused look upon her face. He smiles a wry grin at her and says, “Trust me….”

With that, Bodi and Eärwen make their way around the trail to where there is a small ford across the stream. As they make their way to the stream, trying to be stealthy, Eärwen slipped coming down the bank and knocked a large stone loose that made a splash into the water.  

Bodi froze. He waited a few seconds, and then could hear some odd chanting coming from the woods in the direction of the fire light he could make out. As he waited, they heard the sound of something starting to crash through the trees. Bodi then figured he best get out and draw its attention and see if he could allow Eärwen a chance to outflank it. As Bodi climbed out of the stream he saw a putrid shambling mass coming towards him. It was one of the “disgusting” demonic creatures the drow had summoned before. He assumed a summoner may be near, but for now there was a threat coming towards him.    

Bodi ran to his left, towards the east, trying to gain some purchase or angle around the foundation of a ruined tower. As he reached the ruined tower, Bodi readied a large throwing knife. He didn’t expect it to hurt the creature, but he figured it was worth a shot anyway. The creature charged in and paused for a moment, as it gurgled and hurled forth a blast of noxious vapors from a rancid spittle. As the spit hit the ground, it created a rather large cloud of sickening vapors. The fumes from the noxious cloud made Bodi ill in the stomach, and he had to fight back waves of nausea that hampered his combat abilities. The creature continued to close distance and Bodi hurled his knife at the creature.  Though his aim was true, the knife bounced harmlessly off the thick hide of the fiend.

Bodi then backed up and drew out his enchanted rapier and swung at the beast. His first slash was deflected by the creature’s powerful limbs. It lashed out at him with deadly claws, but Bodi managed to parry blows away with his blade as well as dodging others strikes against him.

The creature continued to press the attack. As Bodi tried to maneuver around the creature, Eärwen started to make her way up the bank and around to flank the beast. Bodi then tried a different tactic and slashed at the creatures legs. Bodi was too fast and the creature took a bad wound on its side and it fell over. Eärwen was going to finish the beast but failed to do such.  Bodi moved to attempt to intercept a second such demonic beast that was closing in as he and Eärwen fought the first demon.  As the second creature neared the fight, it also spewed forth a noxious cloud of vapors, overlapping the previous cloud from the first demon.   The creature moved in and Bodi quickly reversed his flow of movement.   

Doubling back through the vaporous clouds, Bodi brought his rapier into a slicing charge.  As a second such strike from Bodi put the initial demonic beast down for good. The creature “popped” and flashed and was no longer to be seen.

The next creature moved in to strike at Eärwen and had her on the defensive.   Bodi moved back to engage the creature, hoping that they could flank this beast as well.   The creature struck out with its claws, Eärwen’s armor protecting her from most of the damage.    Bodi again went for the creature’s legs and cut it down in a heroic charge taking him around to its flank.    The beast yelled out in pain, and while it was busy trying to fend off Eärwen, Bodi again struck a ‘killing’ blow, forcing this creature to also be banished back from whence it came.

As Bodi and Eärwen fought the “disgusting” demons, a third such beast came charging out from the woodline.   This one was much larger, muscular and stocky in build, brandishing a pole arm and a goat-shaped head with horns.   

The charging goat-like demon slammed into Eärwen who was again protected by her armor from most of the pain.   Bodi stepped up to engage the creature in close combat.    Pole-arm vs. rapier, strength vs. style.   Bodi was in a tough fight.    The goat-demon slammed into him with its pole-arm and Bodi managed to parry the blow, but nearly lost his grip on his weapon as it strained under the force of the impact.

Having to readjust his grip on his blade, Bodi moved around the creature tactically, trying to gain position on it and prepared to strike again.   As Bodi continued to try to strike at the beast with his blade.    As Bodi engaged the creature, Eärwen was going for a killing shot, attempting to take the beast out with a strike to the neck.   

As the beast defended itself, a drow summoner started to make his presence known.    Bodi had taken a shot or 2 now from the beast, who was much more skilled and stronger than the previous 2 assailants.   Bodi did his best to defend himself, but took a few hits along the way.    

Bodi tried to press the attack.  As the summoner appeared, Bodi contemplated rushing over towards him to engage him and shut him down, but it didn’t matter by that time.   The other elves that were travelling with Bodi and Eärwen had arrived, and no sooner had the summoner appeared, the elven warriors fired off a volley of arrows, and many struck him true.  As the elven archers fired upon the drown summoner, Eärwen scored a killing blow upon the goad-headed demon. The drow summoner was impaled by multiple arrow hits, thus neutralizing any further threats.     Bodi took a moment to evaluate the situation and let it all sink in to him.  After a moment, Bodi thought to head over to make sure that the drow summoner was dead and also to see if he may have possessed anything of value.    Bodi also wanted to view the camp to see if there was anything else there of any use to him or his friends.

As Bodi and Eärwen cautiously made their way toward the fallen drow summoner the other elven archers moved into covering positions.   Bodi cleaned off his blade from the ichor from the two demonic fiends he cut down.    He spoke softly to Eärwen, “Well that was a bit of surprise for a sentry, but we now secured this position.   At least with you as a witness, you can confirm with Kaerishiel that I am up on him by 2 kills. That should get him nice and fired up for the upcoming fight.”   Bodi just chuckled to himself as he examined the downed drow sorcerer.

After the everything was said and done and the area secured, Eärwen smiles at Bodi then approaches him, “Yes, 2 kills for you, that is confirmed.” She then pulls him close and kisses him hard on the lips. “Now lets finish scouting this area and get back to camp and get this battle going on!”

“Right you are!” Bodi exclaimed and as he moved to recover his throwing knives, they regrouped with the rest of the elven scout team.     They made their way back to the camp to rejoin the others.     Elven healers tended to Bodi’s wounds.  Bodi and Eärwen shared one more last kiss before splitting up again to get ready for the battle to come.


This "session" was a short side trek designed to give some extra playing time to those who wanted it during a bit of a slow spot in the campaign (due to my hectic party schedule in October and November). It was played out as a combination of play by post continuing story like we often do and a one-on-one live session in Roll20. This was my first real test run of using Roll20 as a GM and I liked it. Our group is making the switch over to Roll20 from MapTool due to some Java issues one of the players is having. We have played using MapTool for about 5 years now, and it's sad to see it go, but I think it's time to move on. I have been playing in a great Roll20 GURPS campaign run by +Christian Blouin revolving around a group of Dwarves from Erebor on a mission to retake the Mines of Moria in the 4th Age of Middle Earth. It has worked well and I felt comfortable making the leap.

As usual for a continuing story, my text is BOLD and Mike's text is normal font.

Cast of Characters: 

Bodil "Bodi" Jantzen - suave and smooth swordsman played by +Mike Biancone 
and +Jason Woollard as the DM

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