Silver Pool Campaign, Episode 1.3.8: Please read the first comment (click on View Results) below and THEN choose your preferred action.
Posted by darkstar 11 years ago, closed 11 years ago
Cast a Light cantrip on a small stick to illuminate the immediate area. Search the body and scan for other evidence around it. You may be able to find out more information.
Bury him and his belongings as best you can and then move back to the path. Continue onward to locate the wasp hive.
Return to the path and continue onward to locate the wasp hive. You can deal with the dead body later.
Some other creative option? (please comment)
Tree of Sorrow
darkstar: You slowly motion for your comrades to follow you as you step silently off of the path. Treading softly along a narrow animal track, you follow the aroma of the night-blooming Tree of Sorrow jasmine, its heady scent growing in intensity the further you move away from the main trail.  
After perhaps ten minutes of stealthily making your way through the underbrush between tall trees, you begin to smell another odor overlaying the jasmine scent. A sickly smell of decay wafts on the breeze as well, mixing with the floral scent. You move on and the smell of decay grows into the unmistakable stench of rotting flesh. An animal has died nearby, recently.  
Pushing your way softly past a hemlock shrub, you come, at last, to the Tree of Sorrow. Sitting in a pool of moonlight shining through the treetops, the shrub stands perhaps six feet tall. Its many greenish-gray branches bear hundreds of aromatic flowers, the source of the heady aroma you smell. And there, laying in front of the shrub, is the source of the other, much less pleasant smell: a corpse, its bones reflecting pale in the moon's glow.  
Gasps from your comrades as they draw abreast of you and see the body, curled up in a fetal position with its arms over its head. A cursory examination tells you the corpse was human and has probably been dead a couple of weeks, but it's hard to tell because the flesh has been stripped away, leaving bone exposed. You surmise the time of death within the past couple of weeks because what used to be fine clothes and boots are not rotted away, yet. Further probing reveals a chain mail shirt beneath the cloak, a dagger and a longsword, each in a well-oiled scabbard, and a beltpouch still intact. Gold glints from the bony hand and from around the neck. It's too dark to do a better job of examination than this.  
As you brush your hands on your trousers to get rid of any corruption from the decaying body, you stand and assess the situation. You share your thoughts with your comrades in a low whisper.  
"Obviously, the man wasn't waylaid here, since he still has his valuables. By the looks of his clothing and jewelry, he was well-to-do. The clothes aren't rotted away yet, so I suspect he's only been here two or three weeks. The flesh has been picked away from his exposed hands and face, but it appears that the flesh under his mail shirt hasn't been so thoroughly removed. " You scan the ground for other signs. "I could probably track his last steps and get some idea of how he got here, but not in this darkness."  
"What do you think killed him?" asks Aelric.  
"I don't know," you respond. "But off-hand, the signs point to the wasps. It looks like he somehow got to this part of the 'Weald and then maybe was attacked by the wasps. Perhaps he was on the path in the daylight, when they are more active. "  
"Then he ran into the woods trying to escape them," adds Dan, "until he was overcome. That would explain his arms raised up over his head."  
You nod agreement. "It seems possible. I imagine he must have been in a maddened state, being stung repeatedly by giant wasps, running through the woods, so desperate to get away from them that he never even drew a weapon." You look from the pathetic figure huddled on the ground to the Tree of Sorrows. "And he ran here to die, just before this tree..."  
Your comrades are silent, until finally Martelo steps forward. "What do we do with him, now?" he asks. Moonlight reflects off of his sword blade as he uses it to prod gingerly at the dead man's robe.
darkstar: Previous episodes and character data sheet here.  
All welcome to participate, regardless of whether you've voted in earlier episodes.
he's dead...
smith: So he's not going anywhere. I say we dispatch the hive, and carefully. His arms above his head does not make his death by wasps a sure thing. Clearly this tree or fungus or something else can be protecting itself somehow.  
After we cleared the hive, come back and deal with the body. We need to do a thorough inspection for traps.  
And I don't think we should just go digging around in ground being inhabited by eons-old fungus that we're trying to protect.  
darkstar: Done!