Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk.   Posted by DM Shard.Group: archive 1
DM Shard
 GM, 106 posts
Tue 14 Feb 2017
at 04:28
Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
26 Eleint
Location: Bryn Shander to Targos to Termalaine

Arnan, Kira, and Thane elect to depart Bryn Shander with Hengar, bidding farewell to the companions they befriended on the caravan up from Luskan. Hengar suggests, barring any major delays, it should take about three days to reach his tribe's camp, which lies some 20 miles north of Kelvin's Cairn.

Light flurries swirl about the adventurers as they make their way north from Bryn Shander, following a worn track to the town of Targos, the only other walled town in all of Ten Towns. Targos rises from the southern banks of Maer Dualdon, the smallest of the three lakes which yield all the regions wealth. It only takes a couple of hours to reach Targos and Maer Dualdon, but rather than heading into the town, Hengar leads the party on a trail along the lake's southeast banks. From this vantage point, the group spies a large fleet of fishing vessels on the lake, most of these belonging to Targos, which boasts the biggest fleet in all Ten Towns.

Hengar keeps a brisk pace and reaches the picturesque village of Termalaine at nightfall, which unfurls from the banks of Maer Dualdon in long, broad avenues dotted with trees. Though daylight fades quickly as the group strolls into the village, the party cannot help but notice that many buildings feature intricate braid-work carved into their wood frames and doors, while scrimshaw ornaments and windchimes hang in their windows.

Hengar suggests the party find accomodations at The Eastside, the only inn in town.

"An honest man named Clyde and his servant Marta will see to our needs. This will be the last civilization we will see before striking out across the tundra tomorrow," he says.

The skies overhead have grown more leaden as the hours have passed and the winds have begun to pick up. Daylight is now but the faintest of slivers on the horizon. Travel was easy today, tomorrow will likely prove to be much more challenging once the conveniences of a marked trail are lost.

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:25, Wed 15 Feb.

Thane Harkensen
 player, 48 posts
 Human Fighter/Soldier
 AC:18; HP:13/13; PP:13
Thu 16 Feb 2017
at 03:01
Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
Thane handled the trek to Termalaine just as he had handled the caravan journey from Luskan to Bryn Shander.  No complaints, walking or trudging steadily toward the destination.  However, he was a bit more vocal in this much smaller group than either Arnan or Kira recalled him being in the previous journey.

"So, Hengar," he asked in a particularly talkative moment when the trail was slightly easier than it had been.  "Why'd you come by yourself to Bryn Shander?  Didn't you say you'd come against the wishes of your tribe?  I wonder if they're gonna be mad with you when you get back, with us coming with you.  Unless maybe you have some special standing with your people?  I don't know much about your folk, just hearsay I guess, but I heard enough to respect 'em.  I just hope we don't cause any trouble is all."

He kept up that kind of exploratory banter most of the way, indicating that he was highly curious about what kind of people the Tribe of the Elk really were.

When the group reached Termalaine, Thane acceded to Hengar's suggestion.  "I'm right famished again!" he exclaimed, obviously looking forward to a hot meal.  His tone indicated he wasn't looking forward to the hot-food deprivations of the tundra journey coming up in the morning.

"Right, then.  Onwards to The Eastside?"
Arnan Aldwynne
 player, 81 posts
 Human Scout/Archer
 AC:14/16; HP:12/12; PP:14
Thu 16 Feb 2017
at 04:49
Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
Arnan functioned as an outlier during the foursome's trek to Termalaine, primarily moving from flank to flank, but also spending some time trailing along behind the others, so he had little opportunity to to speak with any of his traveling companions.

Once the little group reached the village, he asked, "So, Hengar -- since we will be heading out across the tundra tomorrow, have you had an opportunity to consider Thane's earlier question about our purchasing tents for the more . . . challenging portion of the trip?"
Kira
 player, 56 posts
 Human Rogue
 AC:14; HP: 9/9; PP: 16
Thu 16 Feb 2017
at 16:06
Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
Kira also wasn't one to complain and there were even times they would note her looking around with a smile on her face.  Now and then they'd also spot her catching snowflakes on her tongue.  In spite of a youthful demeanor, she kept a sharp eye out for any trouble as she carefully tread along the path.

When they reached the town, her eyes lit up again as she looked at the windchimes and other intricate things on the houses.  Thane's exclamation about being famished brought a chuckle from the petite woman.  "I had some fruit I'da shared," she said to the big man, holding out an apple.

Arnan asked again about tents and she chewed on her bottom lip, a thoughtful expression forming.  "I've been thinking about that a bit.  We could dig down a way into the snow.  It would at least break the wind but it would still be cold, even if we bunched up together."

"A fire would help but there might not be enough wood or other things to use.  A tent would trap our body heat so if we can get one, it would probably be best.  I was also thinking we might need snowshoes so we don't have plow our way through which would wear us out quickly."


She paused then, her fingers on the ivory scrimshaw pendant.  "We might also want to use rope to tie ourselves to each other.  That way if the snow is blowing hard we won't lose each other and if someone slips or falls into a hole we can pull them out."
Hengar Aensvaard
 NPC, 13 posts
 Tribe of the Elk
Fri 17 Feb 2017
at 07:13
Re: Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
Thane Harkensen:
"So, Hengar," he asked in a particularly talkative moment when the trail was slightly easier than it had been.  "Why'd you come by yourself to Bryn Shander?  Didn't you say you'd come against the wishes of your tribe?  I wonder if they're gonna be mad with you when you get back, with us coming with you.  Unless maybe you have some special standing with your people?  I don't know much about your folk, just hearsay I guess, but I heard enough to respect 'em.  I just hope we don't cause any trouble is all."


Hengar reflects on Thane's question for several moments before offering a guarded response.

"There are some among my tribe who wish to stick to the old ways of self-reliance, free from the influence of the world of those who dwell behind walls. Very powerful, influential people. Elders. Our Shaman"

"For them, there is no challenge in which allies are needed. Even the deeds of heroes like Wulfgar Dragonsbane, the Elk King who slew the dragon Icingdeath, and along with elf, dwarf and halfling companions saved Ten Towns from the army of Akar Kessell at the Battle of Icewind Dale...these, in the minds of many of my kin, give strength to their resolve to stick to the old ways of self-reliance and loyalty to clan alone."

Pausing a moment, "I came with the blessing of my King, Jarund Elkhart, so any ill will would be misplaced. King Elkhardt is a just king and his word is respected. You will not be harmed by my kin, on this I vow."

Hengar then says he had hoped to bring allies with magical ability back to his people, but understands the others did not wish to come and is happy for those who did.

On the subject of tents and other travel provisions, Hengar suggests he has all the supplies they will need to cross the tundra. "But, you may bring spares, if you wish."

OOC: We can assume you all have appropriate gear for crossing the tundra (i.e., snow shoes, wool socks and gloves, blankets, etc. You may annotate your character sheets with whatever you think you need.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:16, Fri 17 Feb.

Arnan Aldwynne
 player, 82 posts
 Human Scout/Archer
 AC:14/16; HP:12/12; PP:14
Sat 18 Feb 2017
at 16:48
Re: Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
In reply to Hengar Aensvaard (msg # 5):

"Mayhaps none of your people will raise their hands agains us, but it sounds as if not everyone will be all that pleased to see us," Arnan replied to Hengar's comments, flashing a rueful smile that let the barbarian know that he understood how difficult it must have been for a prideful people to ask for aid from those who looked down their noses as those who lived as the Tribe of the Elk did.

"But good-hearted allies such as we three can be of real assistance in a time of great danger, and hopefully your people will come to realize that. Speaking for myself, I shall try to be mindful of the concerns of those who do not exactly welcome us with open arms, so as not to wound their pride any more than was already done by going outside the tribe to request aid."

"It was good that this was discussed beforehand, so that I do not unknowlingly step on any toes by my actions when we reach your winter camp."

"And from a more practical standpoint, 'tis good to know that you have the winter-gear that we might need. As you well know, those who do not respect Nature -- and who are not prepared for Her worst, especially this time of year -- oft pay a heavy price. Losing fingers and toes to the cold might be the least of our worries."

DM Shard
 GM, 112 posts
Sun 19 Feb 2017
at 05:54
Re: Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
The party has little difficulty securing accomodations and a warm meal at the Eastside. As it turns out, they are the only foreign guests at the small inn and Clyde and his young servant girl, Marta, are delighted for their patronage. A small clientel of locals dines with the adventurers, these folk are friendly, good-natured and quite welcoming of the adventurers. Each seems to be genuinely interested in the adventurers and, if allowed, pass the evening chatting with each in turn.

From the locals, the party learns of no love lost between the people of Targos and Termalaine. To hear the locals tell it, the fishermen of Targos are quite rude and can be counted on to: cross lines, obstruct movement across the water, scare promising fish schools away and steal catches!

Interjecting in this airing of grievances, Clyde, the inn's proprietor, asks the adventurers if they happened to come across any of the strange new ore he has heard about. "Some braggart from Lonelywood came through about a week ago saying he picked some of this black ice up in Bryn Shander. Sounds to me like a hoax, but you never know..."
Thane Harkensen
 player, 49 posts
 Human Fighter/Soldier
 AC:18; HP:13/13; PP:13
Mon 20 Feb 2017
at 15:00
Re: Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
In reply to Hengar Aensvaard (msg # 5):

"I don't intend to make trouble with your people," Thane said in echo of Arnan's sentiments about tribal relations.  "And it is good you have plenty of cold weather supplies.  Perhaps one more tent would be good, since we are of mixed company," he continued with a nod of the head towards Kira.  He stewed on Hengar's other thoughts while they made way towards the Eastside.  The tribal shaman being so set against outside assistance might prove to be a lingering problem.

Inside, Thane greatly enjoyed the warmth of the physical setting as well as that of the people.  He ate with gusto and listened to their tales about the locale with interest.  He even shared some similar tales from Luskan and news from the coast which the Termalainians probably did not know about.

"Yeah, we heard about that black ice on our way up here," he volunteered.  "We traveled with a female dwarf who's kin are up in Kelvin's Cairn.  Apparently they've found a vein of it.  What's so special about the stuff, I wonder?"
DM Shard
 GM, 114 posts
Mon 20 Feb 2017
at 15:42
Re: Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
Thane Harkensen:
"Yeah, we heard about that black ice on our way up here," he volunteered.  "We traveled with a female dwarf who's kin are up in Kelvin's Cairn.  Apparently they've found a vein of it.  What's so special about the stuff, I wonder?"


Clyde shrugs his shoulders while shaking his head from side to side, "I don't know, but those who've seen and held the stuff get a far off look in their eyes when they talk about it."

"Like Gold fever. And there aint be much gold come from Kelvin's Cairn."
Kira
 player, 57 posts
 Human Rogue
 AC:14; HP: 9/9; PP: 16
Mon 20 Feb 2017
at 15:54
Re: Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
Kira gave Thane a bemused but almost irritated glance.  "You wanna make me a little icicle?" she asked him with a jaunty tone.  "The whole point of trapping body heat is to keep warm I'm not gonna put out much all on my own.  Don't think of me as a girl.  Not like I'm gonna get nekkid on a frozen tundra," she quipped.

While sitting near the fireplace in the tavern, she happily chatted with people and told what little she knew of current events elsewhere.  She thank them for the news (aka gossip) they gave.  When talked turned to the black ice, she let the others talk though she was listening intently.  She'd touched quite a few shinies in her life but nothing made her act the way this man said people did who have touched the stone or gem or whatever the substance.
Arnan Aldwynne
 player, 83 posts
 Human Scout/Archer
 AC:14/16; HP:12/12; PP:14
Mon 20 Feb 2017
at 17:02
Re: Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
In reply to Kira (msg # 10):

"I dunno," Arnan replied to Kira's remarks with a straight face, "I have heard it said on good authority that if there is a girl present, sleeping naked in with her in the same sleeping bag is the very best way to preserve body heat."

"Just sayin'."

Thane Harkensen
 player, 50 posts
 Human Fighter/Soldier
 AC:18; HP:13/13; PP:13
Tue 21 Feb 2017
at 02:03
Re: Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
"That's just downright odd," Thane opined by way of reply to Clyde.  "Seems to me that's some stuff I wouldn't want to touch with a ten-foot pole, if it means I'd be losing my mind to go get me more and more of it," he added with a smirk.  Maybe it was a Luskan figure of speech?

Then he laughed with mirth at Kira's comment about turning into an icicle and Arnan's quick-witted retort.  "You're gonna have to do that with her," he rejoined, eyeing Arnan with playful accusation, "'cause I sure as scurvy won't be climbin' into no sleepy-sack butt naked with you!"

"You all seem like very nice folk," he complimented Clyde and his daughter.  "Even to a Luskaner like me.  You been having any trouble with Luskan folk lately?  Folks in Bryn Shander are dealing with some ruffians from down there, got themselves a protection racket going or somesuch nonsense.  Causin' quite a stir if I understand it right.  Idiot scum."
DM Shard
 GM, 117 posts
Tue 21 Feb 2017
at 07:05
Re: Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
Thane Harkensen:
"You all seem like very nice folk," he complimented Clyde and his daughter.  "Even to a Luskaner like me.  You been having any trouble with Luskan folk lately?  Folks in Bryn Shander are dealing with some ruffians from down there, got themselves a protection racket going or somesuch nonsense.  Causin' quite a stir if I understand it right.  Idiot scum."


Clyde says not many outsiders end up in Termalaine, so news from other towns is hard to come by and locals are appreciative of whatever they can get.

"Can't say that I have had any issue with Luskans, but then again, I haven't really been looking for it either!" he says with a smile. He then states he appreciates the heads up and will be on the look-out should any Luskan thugs makes their way to Termalaine, "as unlikely as that may be."

Though he never comes outright and says it, the party does piece together through their interactions that the serving girl is probably not Clyde's daughter. She always refers to him as "Mister Clyde", "Master" or "Sir" and never any paternal endearment.
Kira
 player, 58 posts
 Human Rogue
 AC:14; HP: 9/9; PP: 16
Tue 21 Feb 2017
at 13:27
Re: Chapter 2: The Tribe of the Elk
Kira's lips twitched as Arnan made his statement and then she dissolved into a snicker with Thane's response, turning her gaze to Thane.  "Well there goes my sweet dreams," she snarked, eyes sparkling with mischief.  Both guys received a sassy wink.  Poor Hengar.  Saddled with nonmagicky lewd outsiders, she thought to herself.

When they were speaking to Clyde, she nodded along with the information they passed on about Bryn Shander.  "Not all of us from Luskan are bad but yeah, there's a batch from there makin' things mad for the folk," she stated, feeling a need to defend herself and Thane.  Of course there was a time she wouldn't have been able to defend herself.