If noone objects, Barnaby will take the writ, give it a quick read to see if there’s anything interesting, and then tuck it into an inner pocket of his robes.
Barnaby thinks, “This is just the sort of adventure he’d been hoping for. A band of intrepid heroes on a royal quest against the forces of evil! What luck!”
With a wide grin on his face, Barnaby will sidle up next to Puddin, oblivious to what order the party is traveling in, and launch into an epic monologue describing a story he once read about a band of gypsies that went from town to town stealing people’s babies and replacing them with identical babies.
When the story finally comes to a close, he caps it off with “I don’t seem to remember if that one was a history or a work of fiction though.”
Aye, I too remember the tale...it's told well in my home city of Waterdeep as a way to control the gypsy population. Are you familiar with Waterdeep? Unlike our fancy halfling friend here, I'd take the cobblestones and dark alleys of the city over these forest and opens roads any day. Speaking of which, are you up for a fun little game as we travel with our "Fopey" friend?
Føpé speaks, again seemingly almost to himself, but as his thoughts progress, he looks over his shoulder to the warrior walking behind him.
I wonder why that Ogre's Bane fellow, so eager to ask the lady if anything was wrong, did not volunteer to join us? Or why the Duchess arranged for us to leave just before midday when it’s a half day walk to our destination, and possible danger?
We have been instructed to avoid violence, but threaten it all the same. I’m not sure that will work.
“Aye, most interesting observations, I had wondered the same, and why hire strangers when she has a strong city guard at her disposal. Your idea to do nighttime recon has merit”
Kifs great axe is slung over his shoulder ready for action in a moments notice. He looks over at Barnaby chattering at Puddin and smiles to himself, glad Barnaby has another target for his stories
You may recall that the Duchess did not decide to enlist her guests to help her until after Bartholo and Thia were gone from the dinner party. Whether you think the Duchess's decision to speak up late in the dinner or not was feigned, and she deliberately waited until after some of her guests had gone, is of course up to you. Your interpretation of her actions may be affected by whatever you might have learned with your insight checks. Or not; it's up to you.
Well, you can go back and read the posts yourself. But her response to him at the time was non-committal, and I did intend for you all to see that she was not comfortable with something. I wrote it that way on purpose. It was not until after he left that she talked about it. Again, I'm not trying to influence anything here. Just in case the timing in the conversation matters to the discussion, I wanted to revisit it. What you make of it is up to you. I also urge you to consider the result of your Insight checks, though you are not bound by them, and they also may or may not affect how you talk to the other members of the party.
The hour is about 4:00. It is late in the afternoon; not yet early evening. The sunshine slips through the forest ceiling and dapples the road in front of you in shafts of sunlight. It is a beautiful late fall day on the Sword Coast.
As you walk through the woods, you hear a shifting in the brush ahead of you and a small bear cub tumbles downhill and onto the path before you.
Some of you know know already what danger that may bring, and there's no need to roll a Nature or Survival check, because you all discover the bad news at the same time. Bellowing and charging from the forest in front of you is an angry, massive brown bear! Go here, launch "Ben's Game," and roll initiative there.
After Barnaby's presentation, a thick fog appears and envelops the party.
Ok, we are back at the top of the initiative order. Kif and Fope, it's your turn, followed by the bear cub. You can both say what you would like to do, and I will resolve any inconsistencies in some sensible way. Feel free to use conditionals. That will sometimes help.
Keep dice and dialogue here. Sorry for the confusion!
The fog is now defined, with reference to its size in the rules. This is not a very fast party; don't forget to consider your speed before moving yourself.
Puddin, if you decide to run first, you have to take the disengage action, or risk an attack from the bear. Once you've taken that action, you can take your move without the bear getting an attack of opportunity. If that's what you want to do.