Chapter 1: Taxes and Death.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
Enrei Omal'i
 player, 408 posts
 Break arm with bare hands
 "No super powers"
Wed 5 Aug 2015
at 20:44
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to GM (msg # 851):

"No, is not rain.  Is sea," Enrei shakes his head at Arule's suggestion, "The man came out of sea, and he was all wet, like when you come out of sea, but I do not know if he is First Man."  Enrei's gaze grows distant and the others are almost sure they can hear the sound of the distant millstone echo in the open air as he puzzles over whatever ambiguity he's talking about.
Titus Blackwell
 player, 638 posts
 Taken to Oz
 Titus + Uldaf = BFF!
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 01:17
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Enrei Omal'i (msg # 852):

What did he say to you?
Enrei Omal'i
 player, 409 posts
 Break arm with bare hands
 "No super powers"
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 03:08
Re: Chapter 1
"Nothing, he just touch me," Enrei replies, reaching one hand out toward Titus to illustrate, "Then I was wet."
GM
 GM, 637 posts
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 14:32
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Enrei Omal'i (msg # 854):

Arule is clearly lost.

"Did this HAPPEN to you or is this a dream?"
Enrei Omal'i
 player, 411 posts
 Break arm with bare hands
 "No super powers"
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 15:15
Re: Chapter 1
Enrei points to Arule and waggles his finger as if to say "that's a good question" but after a moment of consideration, he suffices with, "Yes."
GM
 GM, 638 posts
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 15:44
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Enrei Omal'i (msg # 856):

Arule looks questioningly at Brennan, hoping for some clarification.

Godrick pretends not to be listening.
Brennan Otthild
 player, 475 posts
 Heed this simple truth:
 You've never been awake
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 16:19
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to GM (msg # 857):

"We've all had strange dreams lately," Brennan says after a moment. "But I am unable to peer into the dreams of others. It is possible something from beyond the Dream had a message for you. Perhaps you will learn more after another night's sleep."

He glances at Arule.

"One thing's for certain: He certainly didn't drench HIMSELF with seawater... where would he have gotten it?"
Uldaf Asbjorn
 player, 438 posts
 Situational Cannibal
 Ally to Animals
Thu 6 Aug 2015
at 18:11
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Brennan Otthild (msg # 858):

A sleepy Uldaf awakes, clearly fatigued from the night's events, and completely uninterested in the latest scooby mystery of why Enrei is wet

I'm going on patrol to ensure we've no more magic in the woods..


Ulgle soars off..
GM
 GM, 639 posts
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 18:04
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Uldaf Asbjorn (msg # 859):

Above

Transforming into an eagle (assumed to be out of sight while off to relieve himself) Uldaf is able to get a clear view of the surroundings.

Beyond the borders of the small mill town, all is serene.  Swooping over the location of the enemy camp from the night before, there is no sign of the survivors, though the corpse of the man you slew remains.

Beyond a few elk and rabbits, there are no large animals or anything else of note.

Far to the west, the road you were on widens and becomes more and more regular.  At the limits of an eagle's vision, the first signs of larger civilization can be seen, marking the town where you are to meet with Flynn.

At Breakfast

Arule screws up his face.

"Seawater from a dream?  This is truly an auspicious thing."

He looks closely at Enrei.  "Are you certain it is seawater?  I've never been to the shore, but I know it is far away."
Enrei Omal'i
 player, 412 posts
 Break arm with bare hands
 "No super powers"
Fri 7 Aug 2015
at 18:22
Re: Chapter 1
Enrei squeezes his sodden braids and sticks a finger in his mouth.  After a moment of consideration he pulls it out and jabs a different finger on the same hand into Arule's mouth, "Yes, it is sea," he remarks as he shares the taste of brine.
Brennan Otthild
 player, 476 posts
 Heed this simple truth:
 You've never been awake
Mon 10 Aug 2015
at 13:58
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Enrei Omal'i (msg # 861):

"We should make haste toward our rendezvous, collect our payment, and then plan what to do next in the relative comfort of a village hearth."
GM
 GM, 640 posts
Mon 10 Aug 2015
at 23:37
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Brennan Otthild (msg # 862):

"For once," Godrick notes with a sniff, "You lot are talking sense".
Titus Blackwell
 player, 639 posts
 Taken to Oz
 Titus + Uldaf = BFF!
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 00:16
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to GM (msg # 863):

Knowing he is not getting paid Titus shrugs lazily

I'll keep up with them, we'll see what happens when we get to the inn.  Besides I need a bigger crowd so I can make something.

Uldaf Asbjorn
 player, 439 posts
 Situational Cannibal
 Ally to Animals
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 15:30
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Titus Blackwell (msg # 864):

Ulgle lands behind the mill and easily shifts back into a more bipedal form.

Coast is clear heading west.
Enrei Omal'i
 player, 413 posts
 Break arm with bare hands
 "No super powers"
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 15:43
Re: Chapter 1
"We are near coast?" Enrei responds to Uldaf's report, "There will be sea for you!" he slaps Arule on the back gleefully.
GM
 GM, 641 posts
Tue 11 Aug 2015
at 23:39
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Enrei Omal'i (msg # 866):

Godrick has, by this point, learned to ignore everything Enrei says and to meet everything Uldaf says with a queer squint of the eyes.

"On the road again," he announces, clapping his hands and wincing at the pain in his injured arm.

Arule shoves one last heel of bread into his mouth and hoists himself up carefully with his sword.  Lump hops to cleaning what's left and hoisting his ponderous pack atop his crooked spine.

Your group receives a few smiles and waves from the miller's men, but see nary a sight of the man as you move down the dusty road to the west.

Almost immediately you come upon a fork in the road, one branch leading west and the other north.  Godrick does not slow for an instant, pressing west toward Thorngate and waiting there, Flynn.

The trip is largely uneventful.  The road slopes gradually down for many miles before leveling out.  To either side are fields of gently rolling hills covered in scrubby grass and low bushes.  You make good time but don't seem to make any headway on reducing the seeming massiveness of the mountains looming to the east.

It is several hours into the journey before Arule ventures to inquire about the two horses and the unconscious man you seem to have acquired.  Godrick immediately huffs loudly, as if hearing the answer would only make things worse, and Arule allows the question to drop, instead turning the conversation to stories of how Belarius, knowing God's will, leveled the bulk of the oppressive mountains into fertile farmlands for the use of mankind.

You rest only once, consuming the balance of your rations and water, then press on toward the town you can already see indications of in the distance.  First it is the gentle haze of hundreds of cookfires, next the occasional hoofprint, wooden cross or odd pile of stones beside the road.

At long last, when the sun is already on its descent in the West, you come up on a low hill and see  the town of Thorngate.

The town gets its name from an enormous patch of thorny black bushes that grow thickly on the leeward side of a long boggy pond.   Assuming this natural barrier to be sufficient, the town is walled only on the remaining three sides with walls twenty feet high made of thick logs backed by piles of packed earth.  Along the tops, crenelations of mortared stone provide cover for sentries.  Of the town within you cannot see from a distance, but the rising smoke indicates a dense bustle of activity.

The farmland circling Thorngate appears to be primarily fruit trees and some grains.  Those familiar with this part of the world recognize apple, pear and fig trees being tended by local farmers.

The bog too is a buzz of activity as men wearing nothing but thick loincloths wade into the muck and haul out great buckets of it which are hauled off on the backs of children into the town for some purpose.

There is little traffic on the road you walk, apart from farmers hauling their wares in from the orchards and fields, but there is a great deal of activity going on between the main gate of the city wall and a large hill some mile away from it.  A train of empty horse-drawn wagons moves toward the hill, and a similar train of laden ones returns.

Before you reach the first thin fences and upright posts that mark the border of this or that farmer's land, you must pass a small cluster of soldiers who seem to have made semi-permanent camp beside the road.  They have a full fire pit with a ring of stones, metal spit and large pot over it, a number of small tents and a box latrine.  A half dozen or so young soldiers stand up solemnly as you approach and you see the King's crest flash on their cloaks.

They scrutinize you closely, but make no move to hinder your approach.  They nod you past without incident, then sit down again slowly and return to their vigil.

As you draw closer to Thorngate, there is a queer smell in the air that you cannot quite place, thought it is soon overcome by the usual city smells: sweat, urine, animals and smoke.


Small wood and straw huts surround the town walls and these appear to be mostly poor farmers and lower tradesmen.  The walls are heavily manned by both King's men and what you assume are the city's watch.  They keep a sharp lookout, but do not stop or question you.

Once through the walls you are finally into the city proper.  Here the architecture is quite different as the vast majority of the buildings look to be constructed from grey brick slabs topped with reeds and wood.  Most are only a story, though some rise to two or three.  The buildings are packed tightly together at odd angles and the streets are narrow, making navigation difficult.  Added to this is the mad buzz of activity associated with a larger town: peddlers selling fruit, women selling themselves, children chasing dogs and picking purses, back-alley alchemists hocking potions, lads in clean leather falling over one another to catch the eye of girls in pretty dresses, horses, farmers, etc.

Suffice to say, it's a jumbled mess to those who aren't familiar with it.  From the look on Godrick's face, he's not familiar with it.
Enrei Omal'i
 player, 414 posts
 Break arm with bare hands
 "No super powers"
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 01:09
Re: Chapter 1
Enrei looks at the bustle of the town with a smile.  Most port towns had as much bustle, and the sight of it all from a safe distance is familiar to him, "Where do we meet mister Flynn?" he inquires to the company at large, having no better idea on how to pierce the mass of the town than Godrick does.
Brennan Otthild
 player, 477 posts
 Heed this simple truth:
 You've never been awake
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 15:15
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Enrei Omal'i (msg # 868):

"Tavern and Inn, likely. Let's start looking around for a place to stay and inquire about other passers-by."
Titus Blackwell
 player, 640 posts
 Taken to Oz
 Titus + Uldaf = BFF!
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 16:05
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Brennan Otthild (msg # 869):

Ahhh this is more like it.

an inn and an appreciative audience will do nicely.


Titus moves with a definite bounce in his step.
Enrei Omal'i
 player, 415 posts
 Break arm with bare hands
 "No super powers"
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 18:07
Re: Chapter 1
"Oh, tavern!  Very fun," Enrei replies to Brennan before following Titus excitedly.
Brennan Otthild
 player, 480 posts
 Heed this simple truth:
 You've never been awake
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 12:22
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Enrei Omal'i (msg # 871):

"Very fun, indeed," Brennan says with a smile. "And that's something we need. A little relaxation will do us all a world of good."

He glances around for signs of shopkeepers, merchants, or wandering peddlers.

"How are we doing on money? We'll need to resupply things like herbs, bandages, thread, and the like before we head out again, and Flynn's not likely to subsidize the costs. Though we should certainly ask..."
GM
 GM, 644 posts
Fri 14 Aug 2015
at 13:39
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Brennan Otthild (msg # 872):

In standard custom, the larger shops are labeled with hanging, protruding or standing signs showing the common symbols:

anvil for blacksmith, ring for goldsmith, cow for butcher, loaf for baker, mug for tavern, mortar and pestle for alchemist, horse for tannery, etc.

Fresh produce and fruit is largely bought from stalls or piles on blankets as the farmers bring it in.  There are also numerous locals here and there with small cookfires or spits selling meat skewers, small pies, bread with bits of apple and meat cooked into them, stew, etc.

Titus strides into the first building with a mug hanging over the door.  It's a large two-story affair of gray brick.  Inside he finds the welcoming smells of beer and grease and the welcoming eyes of people who have yet to see his spectacle.  This place appears to have rooms to lease, food and drink to sell and even a small stage of wood above the packed stray on the floors.

It does not, however, have Flynn, Elsa or anyone else you recognize.  However, when Titus inquires after Flynn from the man serving drinks, it turns out Flynn left a message to meet him in the "Bone Bowl".  Titus is told that this is a drinking establishment on the thornward side of town and is told what to look for to find it.
Brennan Otthild
 player, 481 posts
 Heed this simple truth:
 You've never been awake
Fri 14 Aug 2015
at 14:17
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to GM (msg # 873):

"Well then... the Bone Bowl it is."
Uldaf Asbjorn
 player, 441 posts
 Situational Cannibal
 Ally to Animals
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 13:25
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Brennan Otthild (msg # 874):

Bone bowl? Now that sounds like my type of establishment.

Truly, do your cities contain establishments where a man may eat the meat of his foe from the skull of the fallen?

I hadn't given you imperials credit for acknowledging mountain delicacies. Perhaps there are more pleasant surprises to be had while we're in this town.


With a sudden look of glee on his face

I hope they have sheepface!
Titus Blackwell
 player, 642 posts
 Taken to Oz
 Titus + Uldaf = BFF!
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 13:29
Re: Chapter 1
In reply to Brennan Otthild (msg # 874):

Titus shoulders his lute case significantly at the barman and leans forward.  He spends a few minutes flattering the inn and talking about how good the stage is clearly angling for an offer to play the night.  He slips in rather casually

What kind of place is the bone bowl?  Should we keep a guard up in there?  I mean there are inns

He gestures grandiosely

and there are inns

Pointing at the floor.