Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"   Posted by Director.Group: 0
Ylva
 player, 173 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Sat 1 Jul 2017
at 13:18
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Ylva scoffed in response, spreading out all four of her arms as she replied.

- "I look Haedrasian to you?"

She chin-motioned at Serevan, still held in the man's grasp with a dagger to his throat, patting the hare-skins she had stitched together into a vest of sorts.

- "Ask him. We spend tenday on road. I see fruit, wild plant, small animals. Plenty of food, rich land. You think all food come from market and then complain it not roll into mouth when yawn. It there, just need reach out and get it."

She shrugged, and crossed her arms again, one of her free hands resting on the hilt of her club. Being born with four arms was something she had not regretted.

- "If we come for you, we would offer something not horse. Horse faster than foot. You take all horse, we reach nearest village in day, two-day? You three long gone, know enough to keep hidden too. Cross border, no more dog problem, yes? Out-ride any messenger too."
Serevan Tarsus
 player, 77 posts
 Repentant apostate
Sun 9 Jul 2017
at 22:20
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Dimly, over the pounding of blood in his ears frantically trying to ensure it didn't leak out of his neck in a few moments, Serevan heard Ylva speaking. But the blade had a way of focusing attention to a point even finer than its own.

For all his meekness and weak-willed indecisiveness, Serevan had been trained in the templarate. Even as an underscribe, that meant he knew the martial forms, and had practised them under the fists and rods of Haederas' harsh taskmasters. Ezer's Wheel, this one was called; ensure you had a tight grip on your aggressor, pivot your shoulder thusly, take his weight (such little weight...) through your hips like so – turn – and throw!

With an explosion of force, Serevan spun in place, pinning the knife-arm of the man who held him to prevent it making the throat-slitting blow and using the spindly limb to hurl the man bodily into the wall. “Hae-druh!” he yelled out of habit, exhaling in time with the clumsy but forceful throw, unexpected muscles bulging along his arms and striping his back through his wet cassock.

OOC: Strength +6, Unarmed Combat +3, +1D ad (surprise!), -1D disad (can't see adversary). Serevan Tarsus rolled 8 using 9+2d6-2d6.  Judo throw!
Director
 GM, 365 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Sat 15 Jul 2017
at 16:15
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
In later days Serevan would wish he could have seen the look of shock on the face of his assailant as, while the echoes of high mighty roar still reverberated off the confines of the cave, this seemingly slight and unassuming acolyte they had thought easy prey, hefted the Irian's frail frame over his shoulder, and in a feat of faltering footwork but with a show of titanic strength hurled him across the sandy floor and sent him skidding nearly to Ylva's feet.

The woman had opened her mouth to answer the giantess, but so taken aback was she that she abandoned whatever cutting jibe had awaited on her tongue, and instead darted back into a low crouch pulling a crude flint knife from within her rags. Her companion did likewise, while Serevan's erstwhile captor, sparing a look of terror at the towering Kardesian tribeswoman, rolled sideways onto his hands and knees. His own knife remained in his hand, though the price of keeping hold on it was a nick on his upper arm that began sluggishly oozing blood.

Now that he was revealed in the weak light of the storm his shadow - just the rags on his back and the knife, seemingly floating unsupported in the empty air, spoke to his true-blooded heritage, though the striking indigo tattoos that must cover his face and arms were all but lost under a thick layer of grime. He hissed through filthy teeth, daring Ylva and Servius with the savage light in his shadowed eyes.

OOC: The first Irian Robber is on his knees within reach of Ylva and Servius, perhaps ten feet deeper into the cave is Serevan, and then the two at the rear of the cave, a further fifteen feet beyond Serevan are ready. Solomon is still outside with the horses. On his knees is a potential source of advantage that can be leveraged against the first robber (but not disadvantage for him), Ready is a source of potential advantage for the other two. All three now feel threatened, which will be a source of disadvantage for any attempts to pacify them. You have light at your backs and R1 and R2 are still in the shadows, which might also be a disadvantage to navigate as well.
Solomon Osgayne
 NPC, 79 posts
Sat 15 Jul 2017
at 16:22
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
From the mouth of the cave the rasp of metal on metal announced Solomon taking his slender blade from its sheath. "It would seem" he drawled, but there was a gravel in his tone that warned he was ready to use the weapon "that whatever bargain was offered. A bargain to which I did not accede." He shot a look at Ylva's powerful back "Is moot. And I for one do not intend to go back out into that storm to seek new shelter."

Though it went unspoken, it seemed clear that he was equally unwilling to share the cave with the knife-wielding robbers. Not with them living at least.
Ylva
 player, 174 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Mon 17 Jul 2017
at 10:40
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
With the third robber on his knees in front of her, Ylva reacted quickly. She reached out to him to pin him to the ground, four arms against two, so that Serevan would not find himself surrounded attempting to rejoin them: Even weak opponents could present a danger when they managed to surround a stronger one.

- "Then seem we need to re-talk terms."

The Irian, weakened from hunger and on his knees as he was, presented no more a challenge to her than a child would have.

12:38, Today: Ylva rolled 18 using 6+3d6-d6.  Strength + Unarmed + Opponent on knees + Four arms against two - standard d6 disadvantage.
Servius Caelinus Germanus
 player, 82 posts
 Haederas Sanguinis
 Semper Fideles
Sun 23 Jul 2017
at 23:27
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Servius had remained quiet and watchful up until the festivities started.  He wasn't quite in his element here; though on the brim of violence was getting much closer to his forte.  Knowing that he wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed nor the most politically savvy of persons (or even of the group he found himself in), the grizzled legionnaire had let the others bumble about for a bit.  Perhaps none of them was really geared for hostage negotiations.

It wasn't lost on him that there was another subtext here that eluded him.  All he knew was that one of his charges was being threatened.  By peoples that shared his racial heritage; presumably avowed members of the Empire that he'd so diligently protected.  People, that he, in theory, was sworn to protect.  It was difficult to suss out the truth of it.

But violence was not difficult to suss out.  It never seemed to be difficult whenever Servius was around.  For good or for ill.

Yet Servius' face remained impassive.  Even as the stout, wasp-waisted pugio was freed from its leathery sheathe.  Brandishing the weapon brought little joy to the scarred veteran's features.  As a cenarch, Servius had worn the Face of Haederas as all leaders of one hundred men did.  But the retired legionnaire no longer wore the gold-gilded armour plate.  But that was not because he was retired.  Servius had stopped wearing the Face long before his tenure as cenarch was up; he stopped wearing it because, he no longer needed to.  Truth be told, the Face of Haederas was a simple affectation that all cenarchs might use at the beginning, but rarely - if ever - needed at that end of their tenure.  The cold, calculating, and impassive visage of Dihv-Imperator was known to all; and probably best to rising leaders of His Legions.  In many ways, they had internalized it; they lived it.

The thickly-muscled, dark skin of the elder landsman rippled lightly as he strode further into the cave.  With Ylva on top of leader, Servius moved to interpose himself between Severan and the other two figures he could seen silhouetted in the dark reaches of the cave.  His voice was clear, even above the funneled din of the storm outside the cave mouth, "It should not have come to this.  However, this man's life is forfeit in attacking the acolyte.  My charge."  His tone was commanding and cold, but the latter was not from the chill in the evening air, "Who amongst you is left to speak."  His gleaming dagger was held at the ready, even two men were unlikely to take Servius, a veteran of the marshlands of Drax, once he was aware of them.  His last word was meant to bring forth the truth of the matter.  Those that did not wish to die now that blood had been drawn needed to speak.

Or forever hold their peace on the matter.  Quite literally, if it once again came to violence.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:14, Thu 10 Aug 2017.

Serevan Tarsus
 player, 80 posts
 Repentant apostate
Wed 26 Jul 2017
at 22:31
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
“W - ”

The words caught in Serevan's throat as he shuffled towards Servius. The energy of survival-urge had given way to the numbness of relief and fear in his extremities, and he reached up to massage his thankfully unslit throat with insensate fingers, helping his voice rise.

“Wait.”

Squinting in the dark, trying to count the number of emaciated Irians and mark their positions, the underscribe reached out and placed a restraining hand on Servius' blade-arm. What a piteous sight they made! To think, he had fled the temple to seek shelter in an irinos...

“No man should go hungry in the divh-emperor's embrace.” The thin rasp of Serevan's voice found strength and surety as he spoke, turning his head to look between the three wretches and his companions. “As missionaries of His will, we must also be agents of His largess. And his mercy. Stay your knife, I pray you. What we have, we should share. If w are to bear the light of the temple to the north, we must shine it at home, too.”

OOC: Attempting to call on moral authority to direct his companions to be nice. Forceful +1, Religion +4, Ad: token priest of the group +2D6, Wayward Son -2. Serevan Tarsus rolled 14 using 3+3d6-1d6.  Can't we all just get along?

Good score, but when composing a response or counter-roll remember that... well, you've met Serevan. Feel free to pile on those Ad dice because you known he's a fairly weak-willed, vacillating, deprecated member of the clergy with all the theopolitical cachet of a small dog that peed in the holy water font.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:00, Thu 27 July 2017.

Ylva
 player, 176 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Tue 1 Aug 2017
at 15:18
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Ylva smirked. Had it been her intention to kill these three she would have brought her cudgel to bear on them, but instead she had chosen to pin her opponent to the ground so thoroughly he could scarcely move. She turned to look at him, though her words were loud enough to be heard by the remaining two as well.

- "You hear that? You have choice: He make offer, you choose how say 'yes'. Can make funny voice, if want."

She sent Serevan a wide grin, waiting to see what kind of offer he would be demanding of them. Whether they lived or died during a fight was all the same to her, but once they surrendered it would be a different thing.
Solomon Osgayne
 NPC, 80 posts
Sun 13 Aug 2017
at 05:07
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Solomon stared down his delicate nose at the Irians in the shadows, and raised an eyebrow at Serevan. "Are we really to deal with these robbers? They'll just go on to turn those crude blades on travellers less able to defend themselves." He considered the prospect with an expression of distaste before shaking his head, sending droplets flying from his luxurious hair. "Then again, perhaps turning them out into that storm will see to them without our soiling our hands." A sheet of lightening tore across the sky, shadowing his features for a moment and punctuating his words. A moment later a crack of thunder shook the cave.
Servius Caelinus Germanus
 player, 84 posts
 Haederas Sanguinis
 Semper Fideles
Mon 14 Aug 2017
at 17:16
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Servius bristled slightly at the touch of the Irian acolyte on his shoulder.  Luckily, it was the 'safe' one that he'd be trained along with his legion brothers as a common signal in close quarters.  Otherwise, it was possible that Severan would not have his hand still attached to his forearm.  But once the slight twitch subsided, the grizzled veteran stood stock still.  His gaze never wavered from the forms at the back of the cave.

"Should any harm you, acolyte." he stated simply, "The Dihv will have his due."  Which strangely, might also encompass Severan himself in some way - as the young Irian had now taken charge of the other refugees.  Offering his countenance for theirs.  As a commander, the words were simply, carried a weight with them; a hefty menace that was not easily shaken.  The young priest may be calling for mercy, but mostly Servius had seen the War Dihv's face of doom.

Still, the thickly-muscled, retired legionnaire simply stood waiting for the shadows in the dark to reveal themselves; he could display enough mercy (as much as it might be - associating with them, might be a death sentence anywya) ... for now.  "You should step into the Light now..." he ordered the ones further back in the cave.  He was being figurative, of course.  For while there might be more shaded moonlight where he was standing, it was hardly 'lit'.



[OOC:  10:12, Today: Servius Caelinus Germanus rolled 8 using 2d6-2.  Willful(+2)/Resolve(3): Mercy from the War Dihv?

Not really pushing it.  Servius really suspects that all Severan is doing in treating with them is signing these people's death warrant (by storm, if we turn them out like Solomon suggests - or by torturequestioning when our chasers come through) ...]

Director
 GM, 371 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Tue 15 Aug 2017
at 16:02
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Unused to the frail limbs of starved southerners, Ylva pressed down on the felled robber with crushing force, the shoulders giving a fibrous pop under her might, and the chest sagging dangerously. With no desire to drive her foe into the dust of the earth she loosened her grip, but the harm was likely done. The man let out a breath all tattered whimper.

The pair at the back of the cave meanwhile stiffened their postures (though the missionaries would have sworn impossible had they not seen it) like sparring cats as they listened to these fearful intruders discuss their fates with a casual certainty.

The woman's eyes darted warily from Solomon to Servius to the mammoth shape of Ylva pinioning her fellow with mountainous force. "You let us go. Now." she said, a rasp of desperate hope in her throat. She turned to Severan
Serevan Tarsus
 player, 85 posts
 Repentant apostate
Sat 19 Aug 2017
at 22:38
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Serevan tilted his head and gave Ylva the side-eye at her words. Who would have thought the four-armed giantess had a sense of humour? Though he was less surprised it was such a strange and savage one. Turned back to the skeletal Irian wretches he swallowed, feeling the cold edge of the blade still against his throat in his mind.

He flinched at the tone of the woman's voice, pricked by indignation at her ingratitude; rebuked by her accurate view of the small mercy he was in truth doing them. “Yes. We will let them – let you go,” he said, dividing his words between Solomon and the refugees. Serevan turned and made his squelching, dripping way back to the stolen horses and rumaged in their backpacks. He produced three wrapped bundles of rations – pottage-cakes and dried apple slices, by the feel of them – and held them in his hands, moving to stand hunched over next to the entrance.

When (and if) the refugees took up their offer to escape he held the rations up for them to take. “May the divh-of-the-heavens' wrath fall light on your backs, and his stars light your way ere morn,” Serevan said quietly to them. He didn't think any of his companions understood Irian, but he avoided the name of their god in any case, unless it stood out like a blasphemous thorn to the ear.
Director
 GM, 377 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Fri 25 Aug 2017
at 10:47
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Warily the pair at the rear of the cave stepped into the wan light toward the cave mouth, attention arrested entirely by the warrior and his as yet unbared weapon. Once they came level with Ylva they could not contain themselves, and they made a dash past Solomon and out into the storm. The slapping of their unclad feet in flight lingered only moments after all sight of them was swallowed by the inky blackness of the distance.

"Aramnut! Dralsa!" the prone man called out after his fellows voice ringing with desperation, but his cry failed before the final syllable and instead he wept silently in the dust where Ylva held him.

Another lightening strike revealed no sign of the fleeing robbers - fear and frail limbs lending them haste beyond that of any sane man.
Solomon Osgayne
 NPC, 81 posts
Fri 25 Aug 2017
at 10:51
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Solomon regarded the middle distance distastefully before wiping at his already ruinous tunic as if the robbers pushing past him had somehow soiled it further (a feat nigh impossible at this point). Satisfied they were gone the looked back at the prone man. "The barbarians of the south truly are an uncivil folk." he observed dryly. "First they waylay men in their own lands, and then they leave their trash lying about as they go."

The cold in the young templar's voice was somehow deeper than even that of the night.

This message was last edited by the player at 10:52, Fri 25 Aug 2017.

Ylva
 player, 182 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Fri 25 Aug 2017
at 18:25
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Upon seeing the other two flee, Ylva shrugged. Lifting the man effortlessly, she set him down in a seated position before taking a look at his shoulders, to see the extent of the damage she had inflicted while she held him pinned down.

- "Okay, let look at shoulder. Try relax."

Her reaction was quite the opposite of Solomon's: They had surrendered, and as per the Karda that made them part of her new tribe as well. She gave a dismissing motion towards the cave entrance.

- "They chose flee. Maybe fight other day, maybe not. Only they know value of their Karda."

Believing that with that, she had explained everything, she continued inspecting the man's wounds. She wasn't particularly good at it -- her specialty was inflicting them after all -- but she did her best.

20:24, Today: Ylva rolled 1 using 2+d6-d6 with rolls of 5,6.  Healing roll for Ylva on Irian (Perceptive + Healing).
Servius Caelinus Germanus
 player, 86 posts
 Haederas Sanguinis
 Semper Fideles
Fri 8 Sep 2017
at 17:13
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Servius watched the pair of slink away along the sides of the cave towards the opening.  Part of him bristled at the slight; that they didn't trust him or his companions word.  However, the grizzled veteran was pragmatic as well.  He'd likely to the same in similar circumstances; he and his companions had done enough casual damage.  And no matter how ill-advised and premature the action, the trio of Irians had threatened Severan and the others; trust (and distrust) went both ways.

Of course, consigning the emaciated trio to the storm could well be a death sentence for them.  If Ylva didn't kill them first (whether with her considerable strength or her attempted ministrations), but Servius kept silence as the large, four-armed Kardan worked.  He could hardly do better with his limited knowledge of triage and human anatomy.  The retired legionnaire was far better at dismantling people than putting them back together.  The latter was much more under the purvey of the Dihv and those closer to those aspects of him.

Still, he made no move to bar the displaced duo from leaving.  Servius did prompt his Irian charge, "Perhaps, Acolyte, with your more intimate knowledge of Irian anatomy, you are best suited to succor this man's ails?"  His mien was more than a touch haughty (though he'd likely just call it 'distant'), but since Serevan had offered his countenance as proxy, it seemed only fitting to the legionnaire.  Well, that and Ylva might still be slowly killing the man while trying to heal him; and though he loved irony as much as the next man, Servius was pretty sure that their group slowly torturing this Irian (would-be) bandit wasn't in the Dihv's plan.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:48, Sun 15 Oct 2017.

Serevan Tarsus
 player, 89 posts
 Repentant apostate
Sun 8 Oct 2017
at 21:25
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Serevan shook his head as the Irians fled the cave with all haste. He was equal parts bemused and dismayed that they were so frightened they would not stop to take the proffered food, despite their clear dire need. He tucked the packages of rations back into the saddlebags of their ill-gotten steeds.

He turned back to watch Ylva attempt to treat the wounded man, surprised by the deftness and relative gentleness of her four arms. He reached up, absently, and scratched at the mesh of unfilled tattoo-lines that crossed his face, seeing the similarity of the designs on the wounded man's visage. When Servius made his suggestion he jerked his hand away and bristled at the comparison – the accusation that had haunted him all his life – but could not find an appropriate reply to spit back.

Instead, Serevan made his way cautiously over to Ylva and the Irian, crouching next to them. “I was trained as a scribe, not a physic,” he said dubiously, lightly prodding at the man's shoulder. “Is it broken? Disjointed?” he asked Ylva. Not that it would make a difference; the only thing he was vaguely aware of is that a broken limb should be bound and a dislocated one popped back in. Back on the farm, a lame horse would be put down. He glanced at the flint knife discarded by one of the Irians uneasily, in case someone suggested that.

OOC: Clever -1, Wayward Son +2, -1D (a muddy hole makes a poor operating table). 10:23, Today: Serevan Tarsus rolled -4 using 1+1d6-2d6 ((2,4,3)).

*winces* That will certainly make things better. Also, I love that I can turn Servius' racist assumption into a mechanical bonus by invoking my Wayward Son trait.

Servius Caelinus Germanus
 player, 90 posts
 Haederas Sanguinis
 Semper Fideles
Wed 18 Oct 2017
at 20:26
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Servius' lips were pressed thin at his Irian's extremely tentative attempted diagnosis.  A far cry from what the grizzled veteran had hope would be the outcome of his investigation.  But, the young acolyte was right.  None among them was a physic.  And the patient's condition seemed to be getting worse by the minute.  Servius had not stomach for the medical profession.  His understanding of anatomy ended with the proper methods of perforation with resepct to bodily organs and their displacement in the body.

"On the farm," he noted with some resignation, "a lame horse would be put down, for they could not be stopped from attempting to walk and injuring themselves further."  His thick, calloused hand rested easily upon the pommel of his stout pugio.  "And on the battlefield, the enemy would not be given the chance to recover, while a downed ally more often than not would never have the chance by that same enemy."

"But, this man is neither livestock on a farm nor one of the fallen on the battlefield." the retired legionnaire stated flatly, "Do we treat with him?  Or kill him?  Turning him out to the storm in his condition is more cruel than simply slitting his throat and being done with it."  He needed to know how the wind blew with his companions.  The man was in a bad way, potentially being made worse by their ministrations.  They themselves were fugatives with little means to get better aid or even find someone else to treat the man.

Sometimes mercy was the lesser of two evils...
Ylva
 player, 183 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Thu 19 Oct 2017
at 08:04
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Ylva half-shrugged in response, watching Serevan work on the Irian.

- "Horses no talk... We ask him. We treat wounds, but need leave after storm clear. Life, death, his life his choice."

To her, the matter was fairly simple. He had surrendered, therefore acknowledging that the group's Karda was superior to his own, which in turn no longer made him an enemy. Still, they couldn't bring him with them, nor could they afford to spend too much time bogged down here: If he chose to live she would see to it that he had some rations and a dagger of some kind, but if he chose death over the possibility of slow starvation she would not fault him either. The choice, as far as she was concerned, was the Irian's.
Director
 GM, 383 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Thu 19 Oct 2017
at 23:56
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Serevan's cursory examination showed little of real concern about the frail Irian, who merely slumped in resigned silence, his lips scarcely moving in what might well be silent prayer, and his breath coming in jerky rushes. He was malnourished certainly, severely so, but doubtless he was better off than his fellows who had ventured out into the storm.

Still, the man had tried to open his throat once, and sharing the cave with him in slumber seemed foolhardy.

Outside a swarm of storm ghosts, now airborne, no longer hunched but long and radiant and resplendent serpents of voltaic ecstasy swept past as if in joyous punctuation of the tempest's peril.
Serevan Tarsus
 player, 90 posts
 Repentant apostate
Sun 29 Oct 2017
at 00:03
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Serevan continued to mislike the looks Servius gave him; judgemental and expectant of something that Serevan was not sure he was capable of giving. Expectations that made him feel resentful. By contrast, Ylva's words had a clarity and practicality to them that offered a moral refuge, as much as this muddy hole had offered a physical one from the storm.

“Yes,” Serevan declared with more firmness than he felt. “The choice is his. Listen to me, prole,” the underscribe said, lowering himself into a crouch before the miserable Irian. “We lack the skills to treat your wound or the resources to help you. And given that you held a knife to my throat...” he stopped, frowned, and changed conversational tack. “You may remain here in this shelter until the storm passes or until dawn – or you may put your fate in your god's hands and brave the storm in search of your companions. Who left you behind,” he added reflectively, marvelling at the sheer wretchedness of the man's predicament. It reminded him of poor choices and unpleasant dilemmas in his own life, where there were no good options.

“What is it to be?”

This message was last edited by the player at 07:22, Wed 08 Nov 2017.

Director
 GM, 385 posts
 To the north my children,
 your destiny awaits!
Tue 28 Nov 2017
at 06:26
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
The skeletal bundle of rags simply gave a groan in response, and curled awkwardly up on himself. Serevan couldn't help but be put in mind of a dead caterpillar, all curled in on itself and shrunk hollow. This man could be no threat, even were he still armed. He was broken. Broken in body, spirit, and the young missionary wondered perhaps even mind. And there but for the grace of Haederas, in the most literal sense, went they.

Bedding down the foursome found what comfort they could, huddling together on the merely damp loam at the cavern's raised back. If the lack of incline suggested a burrow rather than a cave, the storm at least promised that the digger of the cave would not return until morning at the earliest, if it survived the night without its shelter.

The saddle bags of the stolen horses disgorged already-sodden blankets and a little hard bread and dried meat, but so soaked through were the companions already from their flight, that covering was welcome. Clustered close enough to feel one another shiver (save for the huntress Ylva who seemed accustomed to such adversity) they spent a miserable night listening to the sky vent its fury, dozing when their exhaustion outweighed their discomfort.



When the sun finally rose the storm was toothless enough to show wan daylight, and the companions rose stiffly, still chilled to the bone, their clothes clinging with freezing water and filthy with mud. A cursory investigation showed one of the horses had gone mad with fear, choking on its own harness in an effort to escape. The rest clustered, flanks steaming, ears low and eyes wide and fearful, all warning that it would be some time before they could be trusted to ride.

The Irian lay motionless where he had the night before, chest still, eyes staring but unseeing, even more frail and sunken in death than he had been in life. Whether Ylva's attempted ministrations or (more likely) a harsh night for a man already skirting the borders of the shadow world had ended him his pain was over. Death elementals, fat and sickly yellow-white, writhed maggot-like in the wake of his departed soul.

OOC: You now all have the Bone Tired temporary trait (aka Status) until you have a comfortable night, a hot meal, and a long rest. It will generally be a source of physical Disadvantage. Everyone except Ylva also has the Chill Status (which will generally be a Disadvantage when resisting future damage, illness etc) for the next few days. If you want to avoid adopting either you can make a roll vs 10 to do so, or offer another Disadvantage or the destruction of some gear (but it has to be stuff you'll miss).

Serevan, if you want to adopt a Status around your reaction to the dead Irian there's a Hero Point in it for you.

I'll just remind you guys, since we're moving slow, that the next destination was Imali. You're just outside Vantinius, with Avion being a little under a day away by road, more with the horses in this state, and Imali another good day's travel past that. If you want to try to calm the horses to have them travel normally the Difficulty is 8, otherwise you can just let them slow you down or abandon them and go back to walking (though you did just get them). Make any posts you'd like, reassert any plans you think I've forgotten, I'll be moving you to the next encounter Monday (04-12-17) afternoon (NZ time).

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:23, Tue 28 Nov 2017.

Serevan Tarsus
 player, 91 posts
 Repentant apostate
Wed 29 Nov 2017
at 21:20
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Dawn found Serevan enacting a task of pure Sisyphean futility.

He had found the scapular of a kine somewhere in the hollow, and knelt on the floor of the gully outside, using it as a crude adze to scrape a trench into the earth. The rain and sopping wet soil of their hiding place meant that for every ten strokes he made, nine immediately slopped back into the hole. Come first light, he had only a foot deep hole to show for his backbreaking efforts, but nevertheless into this shallow trench he dragged the body of the Irian man. Pushing the wet dirt over the top of him, Serevan was less able to offer a grave than a pool of mud to rot in. He did not say any final words; he had no stomach to commend the man to Irik's care, and a prayer to Haederas seemed disingenuous.

The task done, Serevan crawled back into the hole and lay down, soaking wet, numb and exhausted. He did not look at his companions, let alone speak to them, and seemed to have succumbed to mute despondency.

OOC: I'll take Mute Despondency for one, Bob.
Ylva
 player, 184 posts
 Barbarus hic ego sum
 quia non intelligor illis
Mon 4 Dec 2017
at 02:24
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Used to less adverse sleeping places, Ylva had taken to a more or less dry section of the cave to sleep in, motioning for the others to join her there for shared warmth. While she kept her clothing on -- for they had managed to reach the cave relatively dry, and whatever dampness they had carried in with them had been gone by the time the dangers presented by the possibility of the Irians' return enough to focus on sleep -- it still did little in the way of warmth aside from adding a layer through which warmth could be at least somewhat retained.

Those that would take her up on her offer would find a large arm or two pressing them against her, holding the ends of a blanket to join the huddle. As was expected, perhaps, Ylva wasn't exactly prudish in terms of mixed sleeping places, and her height compared to the others meant having their heads resting against her chest, or her chest pressing into their backs, which she seemed to neither commented on nor care about as little as the scent coming off of her. Given the likelyhood of battle at any time and the omnipresent cold in the North, most Kardes practically lived in their armors, and she was no exception despite the much warmer temperatures common to Haedrasia.

When she awoke the next day, she cracked a couple of stiff joints in her shoulders -- twice as many as a normal man -- noticing Serevan had woken before her. The broken Irian was gone, and for the night they had spent in the cave Serevan's clothing was remarkably wet, so she figured the two details to be related. Smirking, she motioned to the entrance of the cave with her chin.

- "Ylva know you Haedrasian like bath, but that take it a bit far, Serevan Tarsus."

This message was last edited by the player at 02:25, Mon 04 Dec 2017.

Servius Caelinus Germanus
 player, 91 posts
 Haederas Sanguinis
 Semper Fideles
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 01:06
Re: Chapter 1 (1.0) "The Journey North"
Servius shivered slightly and pulled his damp cloak around his body in an attempt to keep warm.  This was the part of travelling that he disliked; and the lack of fire didn't help.  He'd suffered through similar conditions in the Drak swamps.  But he'd also been a much younger man then.  His joints had creaked far less then.

The retired legionnaire checked his shame at the cave entrance and huddled close up to Ylva, wondering idly if her four arms helped her dissipate or retain heat better.  It didn't matter, he and the large Kardas woman would have a better chance at remaining warm through the night together than apart.  It wasn't anything romantic or sexual; it was simple survival at this point.  And Servius was a survivor - all of his battle scars were proof enough of that.

The grizzled veteran cracked an eye open and raised an eyebrown when his Irian companion had shuffled away into the pouring rain with the recently-expired man (or what was left of the man).  He exhaled slowly, seeing the slightly crazed glint in the young acolyte's eye.  Servius wasn't about to mess with that.  It wasn't his place.  Well, that and he wasn't going to move from his spot.

Once awake he did try to calm the horses down.  The night's activity had unsettled them (as it had all of them), but they needed their mounts to be able to make headway.  He ignored the young Irian who'd adopted a fetal position.  And the four-armed woman, who was attempting levity at the young acolyte's expense.  "We need to go." Servius noted simply, trying not to let the weariness creep into his voice, "And soon."  It's not like they needed to pack up much.  And there was no food...



[OOC:  Trying to resist the chill and calm some horses, even...

  17:04, Today: Servius Caelinus Germanus rolled 4 using 2d6.  Fending off the tiredness:  2d6-7 + 4 (Endurance) +3 (Stamina)
  17:01, Today: Servius Caelinus Germanus rolled 10 using 2d6-1.  Animal Handling:  Calming Horses:  2d6-7 +4 (Bravery) +2 (Animal Handling).

Tired.  Bone-tired, but at least the horses will us get moving.  Should have built a frickin' fire...:D]