Prelude: Nod's Quest.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 16 posts
Tue 28 Jul 2015
at 16:27
Prelude: Nod's Quest
Master Trazen's Tower, Crimson Spire, sprouts out of the foreign quarter like a bloody spear.  It is entirely constructed from Blood Marble, a slightly translucent blood red stone composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals.  The characteristic smoky swirls and veins are pure white, giving the stone the look of magical fire.  From atop Crimson Spire, Absolam sprawls out in all directions, bordered to the south by an expansive, ship filled harbor and five miles of docks.  The rest of the city is enclosed by over fifteen miles of massive stone walls and battlements.  Beyond the walls, suburbs sprawl out as far as the eye can see.  The foreign district is a hodgepodge of different building styles, but the vast majority of the city has very distinctive architecture.  Most low lying buildings have shallow slanted gabled roofs skinned in orange terracotta tiles.  Larger buildings are roofed with domes, some shiny copper, others aged to green, and some gleaming white stone.  Most of the buildings make use of many pillars and are sealed in bright white plaster, and everything seems bright and vibrant in the tropical sun.  The streets, docks, and markets are bustling with activity.  Colorfully dressed people of all races and nationalities are busily conducting there business, and business happens fast in Absolam.  During your time with Master Tarzen you've explored the majority of the city but you haven't ventured out into the Cairnlands.

There you stand side by side with your mentor, Master Trazen, on the uppermost balcony of his tower overlooking the city as the salty sea air fills your nose.  Wearing his characteristic dark grey robes, the elven wizard has long features and pure white hair.  His elven ears are hidden by his large, heavy hood.  "You have come a long way in your wizardry young Nod.  It's time we took a trip.  We will be travelling to the mainland.  I have a quest for you to undertake.  Should you be successful, you'll grow and begin to find out what sort of wizard you are to become"  Never looking directly at you, only staring out over the city, he pauses a moment.  There is a ruined dwarven monestary north of Falcon's Hollow.  My divinations have determined that an ancient evil is stirring in the bowels of that evil place.  You are to assemble a team and investigate Droskar's Crucible.  Put an end to it if you are able, otherwise report back to me what you find.  You'll not need to tell your comrades of your true intensions if you deem it unwise.  There is a plague of sorts spreading among the townsfolk.  You will find a very skilled Herbalist and she will have the recipe for the antidote, although she doesn't know it just yet.  When pressed, she will realize it.  She will need help acquiring the ingredients, one of which is ironbloom mushrooms.  The only place near Falcon's Hollow that one can find these mushrooms will be in Droskar's Crucible.  Prepare yourself, we leave in the morning."

OOC - Feel free to continue to converse with Master Trazen if you wish, or whatever you would like to do.  Don't feel obligated to write long and elaborate posts, but they are fun to write I must say.  Feel free to add details within reason.  The more details the better.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:58, Sun 01 Jan 2017.

Nod
 player, 4 posts
Tue 28 Jul 2015
at 22:35
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
In reply to Dungeon Master (msg # 1):

Master Trazen, I hate to question your authority, but your name...It, well, isn't Tarzen. Perhaps the laboratory accident has left you more shaken than I had first suspected. Additionally, the incoherent babble that characterizes your last soliloquy further confirms my suspicions.Perhaps you had better come back inside and lie down. I'll see about going to one of the local temples and consult a healer.

Knowing the Master has always played his finances very close to the vest, I can't help but wonder if he can manage from day to day without the income he receives from his services of potion creation and other arcane practices.
Master Trazen
 NPC, 1 post
Wed 29 Jul 2015
at 00:48
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Master Trazen becomes silent for a moment...  "That will not be necessary." He pulls back his hood to reveal bandages wrapping his neck and the left side of his face and ear.  "Perhaps you do speak from wisdom young one.  Perhaps I should let you take this journey without me."  He backs a couple steps to an ornate marble bench built into the wall and sits with a thump.  "I will stay and continue to tend after Crimson Spire."  He turns to you and a glint smile comes across his face.  "There is something I haven't told you about the Tower.  It was constructed on an ancient elven ruin."  He places his hand on your shoulder and moves in close.  "Under the foundations, there is a small room containing an aiudara, or elf gate.  It is perhaps the most powerful elf gate in Golarion.  Nobody can ever know of this.  Do you understand?  Only I and three others know of it and know the spells to activate it.  I can use it to send you to an elven glade on the northern border of the Arthfell Forest.  It is not a safe place, but I believe I can give you an edge."

This message was last edited by the player at 00:49, Wed 29 July 2015.

Nod
 player, 6 posts
Wed 29 Jul 2015
at 01:15
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
In reply to Master Trazen (msg # 3):

An Elven gate?

Nod rises to his feet, not taking his eyes off his master and moves toward a huge bookshelf just inside the door. Finally breaking his bewildered gaze from has Master, Nod begins to scan the bookshelf for an ancient tome he had, some months back, perused searching for information on war gates. Once the tome was located, An Exercise in Portals, Gates, and Planar Caravans, Nod takes the heavy tome down and moves it to the desk along the North wall. The book's considerable mass thumps on the tabletop. Preparing to open it, Nod notices the marker ribbon cinched tight against the spine near the back of the book. With a heave, Nod opens the codex to the marked page.Nod sits in astonished silence as he reads the details contained therein.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 20 posts
Wed 29 Jul 2015
at 01:36
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Master Trazen sits back and breathes deeply through his nose and closes his eyes as you rush off, back into the tower.

The text is elegantly written in an ancient style of elven calligraphy and is beautifully illustrated:



OOC - You Learn: The elf gates, or aiudara as the elves call them, are magical transportation gates located in Kyonin and all over the world. They appear as sculpted stone arches, and when activated, instantly transport anyone to another specific elf gate. They are activated using a key, such as a password, a piece of music, a spell, a physical token, or a stellar conjunction. Some of them have multiple keys, each one linked to another specific elf gate. Most elf gate keys have been forgotten over the millennia and, therefore, some elf gates have been abandoned.

Only the first traveller in a group needs a key; the rest can follow to the same destination. Travel through an elf gate is instantaneous, and because of this, the aiudara represent a significant part of the elves' power, as it allows them to move people and goods with incredible speeds across vast distances.

A gate may lead to another specific elf gate, or may be what is known as a “hub”, connecting to a several possible locations. The system of elf gates is sometimes referred to as the aiudara network. Some elves will only use the term aiudara, as they consider the term “elf gate” to be vulgar.

Elf gates do not allow travel between worlds, unlike the incredibly ancient portals which they resemble.

The elf gates are believed to have been created by the legendary elven hero Candlaron the Sculptor. The secret of their creation was lost when Candlaron vanished through a mysterious archway. He also created the Sovyrian Stone, and used the artifact to power all the elf gates.

The elves consider Alseta, goddess of doorways, to be the unofficial patron deity of elf gates.

Nod
 player, 7 posts
Wed 29 Jul 2015
at 02:29
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
In reply to Dungeon Master (msg # 5):

There's...one of these...in the basement?

Nod stands up, and takes a few tenuous steps toward the balcony, each one growing faster with anticipation. Nod collides with the stone railing and doubles over, head first and stretching out as far as he can to get a look at the base of the tower. As reason begins to take hold of his reeling mind once again, Nod feels a bit foolish finding himself gawking downward, half expecting to see a gaping hole in the foundation and an enormous aiudara visible to passersby.
Nod bolts upright once again, and wheels around to face Master Trazen.

Are you quite serious? I got up this morning with plans to clean up the lab, and make a few repairs to the shutter. Assuming you were no worse for wear, I thought I might have even walked the Plaza and picked up a few materials. Instead, you spring the secret of an ancient portal tucked away in a disused scullery chamber, and you want me to port half way across the known world to cure some damned plague?

Nod puts his palm to his forehead and begins to pace in and out of the balcony doorway.

Are you certain this isn't related to your head injury!?
Master Trazen
 NPC, 2 posts
Wed 29 Jul 2015
at 03:17
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Master Trazen chuckles as he rests, eyes closed.  "I couldn't be more certain.  You see there is a reason this is the largest city in the world.  It is the most desirable strategic location.  Hence the ruins all over the island.  Wars have been fought over this island for centuries.  If it were to get out that there was an aiudara under this tower, we would have nothing but trouble on our hands.  That is why we almost never use it.  It would draw to much attention.  That's why I never told you about it.  Plausible deniability."

By now the sun is beginning to set.  You look out across the horizon and see the warm colors forming in the sky.  The sea birds are coming in from their afternoon feedings to roost on the rocky coast.  Lights are beginning to be lit on the city streets as the witching hour sets in.  You can smell the smoky aroma of roasting fish drift up from below as citizens begin cook their evening meals and your stomach starts to rumble.

"I'm afraid you will have to wait until morning to see it.  For now, you should get a full belly and plenty of rest.  Tomorrow will be a big day."

This message was last edited by the player at 18:34, Wed 29 July 2015.

Nod
 player, 8 posts
Wed 29 Jul 2015
at 22:06
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
In reply to Master Trazen (msg # 7):

Nod shakes his head in resignation. Nod approaches the desk and collects the weighty tome, returning to its place on the bookshelf. Nod bids his master good night, and excuses himself. Making his way down stairs to the kitchen, Nod picks over the stores, looking for something palatable, but to no avail. All of the excitement of the pending travel has his stomach in knots. Nod selects a few items that he knows will store and travel well, and fills his robe pockets. Perhaps he will eat something later. Nod returns to his chamber and sits for a long while, deep in thought. The initial shock of all that has happened today is beginning to wear off, and Nod starts to take a more practical approach to the situation. Nod begins going through all the odds and ends he has collected over the last couple years, and sorts out some gear for travel. Nod places the dried fruits and other morsels collected from the kitchen earlier into a leather bag, and places it with his travel clothes. He collects some potentially useful items like string, his stash of coin, a nice hat, comfortable shoes, a wide belt, a bed roll, some rope, a stout dagger, and numerous other tools, and places them in a stack on the chair. A feeling of flush emotion comes over Nod. He stops and leans on the wall momentarily. Thoughts of his departed family flow through him. His last memories of his home, and returning to find it raided. The few things of value left behind my the orcs. His father's shield. Nod kneels at the bedside, and reaches blindly under the bed skirt. His hands brush the heavy metal shape. He grasps the thick metal edge and pulls the shield out from storage. The idea of needing, for even having a use for such a thing for the first time since coming here feels uncomfortable, even alien. Clearly it will come on his impending journey.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 21 posts
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 00:05
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
As you sit on your bed, you find it as difficult to find sleep as it was to find an appetite.  Your mind is swimming with the thought of foreign forests and ruins and darkness.  You envision a mountain towering above many others in the night, white capped glowing in the moonlight, the peak disappears into the darkness of clouds.  You begin to feel weightless and can see the mountain in the distance growing larger as you fly towards it.  As you speed across the landscape you see a large forest to the west. It is long and narrow and you are flying parallel to it.  It eventually tapirs to a point and a green glowing circle can be seen within the forest, almost looking at you like the eye of a snake.  Ahead you see a river crossing before you, wrapping around another great forest that is curled up against sheer cliffs that form the base of the mountain.  As you fly over the river, you look down and see the lantern lights of a village to the east tucked against the northern shore of the river, just before it turns south and flows to the sea.  You zoom over the forest and look down to see trees flying past you in a blur, impossibly fast as the mountain looms before you.  Your eyes are drawn down, and you begin to feel drawn into the darkness between the cliffs of the mountain and the forest.  You begin to feel like you are falling.  Falling into the darkness your eyes begin to adjust and you see you are falling toward a structure.  As it gets larger and larger you feel a dark presence and radiating heat, you smell fire and suit, you hear a low groan like a great furnace, and your eyes burn but you see no smoke.  The ruined building comes into focus just before you crash into it...

And you wake up on your bed, heart pounding, in a cold sweat.  Your lamp has burned nearly out of oil and it as but a faint flame remaining.  You are still in your study robes, but have no idea what time it is...

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:11, Thu 30 July 2015.

Nod
 player, 9 posts
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 01:26
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
In reply to Dungeon Master (msg # 9):

Nod sits up and listens for a moment, still shaken by the night haunt. Sometimes the voices come, but this was different. Not like the waking whispers. The whispers are startling, but they have never made Nod afraid. Not like this dream. So real. Not slides off the bed and strips his study robe. After digging out a night shirt, Nod lays back down and waits patiently to see if sleep will return, hopefully this time more peaceful. His racing mind slows little by little and Nod finds himself drifting off to sleep.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 22 posts
Thu 30 Jul 2015
at 03:11
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
The freshness of morning awakens you.  You managed to get enough sleep you think as you do feel energized though a bit lethargic.  Rubbing the crust from your eyes, you see he early sunlight streaks through the tower at a low angle and hear the sound of sea birds echoes from across the city.  The smell of fresh tea is wafting up from the kitchen and your stomach is grumbling fiercely.

OOC - Please have the equipment and coin sections filled out on your character sheet prior to departing on your trip.  If there is something you want to take with you other than what you can afford with starting character money, run it by me and I'll let you know if it is available.

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:24, Thu 30 July 2015.

Nod
 player, 10 posts
Fri 31 Jul 2015
at 16:54
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod stretches and slides out of bed. He begins to dress in his study robes out of habit, but stops halfway through. Seeing the pile of travel equipment stacked on the chair, Nod slings his study robe to the floor. Nod dressing in travel cloths and stuffs his backpack with his travel gear. The weight on his gear is near the limit of what he can comfortably carry. Tying on the last items, and after picking up his father's shied, Nod catches a glimpse of himself in the dressing mirror. A smirk crosses his face. He heads for the door.
Master Trazen
 NPC, 3 posts
Fri 31 Jul 2015
at 18:56
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
You work your way down to the kitchen where Master Trazen sits sipping on some rose hip tea, made from a native desert rose called the lightning plant by some because the thorns carry a very painful venom.  The tea is quite pungent but gives lots of energy for the day.  Your fox is curled on up on the table next to him and he raises his head as you enter.  "Have a cup.  You'll need it.", he says pouring the red steaming liquid into a cup for you and setting it next to a chair.  "I've prepared you a small care package.  And don't complain.  I'll be fine.  I made five times this much to cover the cost.", gesturing to a green velvet sack on the counter.  You walk over and pick up the sack and it clinks.  "Careful now.  There's three potions of cure light wounds and one of the potions of invisibility, just in case.  Like I said I will not hear a word.  I'm sending you on this mission and I want you to succeed.  I'll not hear another word about it."  The fox lays his head back down and Master Trazen pats his head.
Nod
 player, 11 posts
Sat 1 Aug 2015
at 21:34
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod sits and drinks some tea. So what am I to expect when I arrive on the other side?
Master Trazen
 NPC, 4 posts
Sun 2 Aug 2015
at 00:25
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
"Well you will be in the northern tip of the Arthfell Forest.  I've not spent very much time there.  It is a conifer forest, consisting mostly of ancient fir and pine trees.  You'll not want to spend much time there as ancient forests tend to have all sorts of denizens you'd best avoid.  I suggest you head southeast to get out as quickly as possible.  To the northwest of the elven glade is Moon Silver Pool, and you do not want to go there.  I imagine you'll be out of the forest in a couple of hours and with any luck you'll go unnoticed.  Once clear of the trees you can go straight south and you'll find a road sometime in the afternoon.  From there you should be close to either the Traveller's Stop Inn which is right on the edge of the forest or the town of Olfden further east.  That would be a longer route to Falcon's Hollow but you'll probably be better off on roads than crossing the wild country alone.  Perhaps you can pick up some help along the way.  You will eventually have to head north and cross the Darkmoon Plain and it will be mostly cross country travel."  He turns and looks out the window.  "I suppose we're burning daylight.  Would you like to eat something first or snack along the way?"

This message was last edited by the player at 00:41, Sun 02 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 12 posts
Mon 3 Aug 2015
at 22:16
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod taps his leather snack bag lightly. I have some tid bits tucked away. I think I'm rather get moving. I wager my courage would wane as the day grows older, and the fog of recent sleep would clear my mind. I might decide this wasn't a great idea. Nod snatches an apple from the table and clinches it in his teeth. A noise that says "Shall we?" while your mouth is stuffed with apple comes from Nod, and he points with both hands at the spiral staircase leading down.
Master Trazen
 NPC, 5 posts
Mon 3 Aug 2015
at 23:02
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
"Very well."  He slowly rises from his chair and takes a final sip of his tea.  "Let us begin."  Your fox hops to his feet, leaps to the ground, and with one fluid motion circles your legs and stops to your right.  He looks up at you as if waiting for instruction.

Master Trazen leads you down through the many familiar levels of the tower into the basement where he waves his hand, illuminating white crystals mounted along the walls like braziers.  Passing into the dry food storage space he moves to the center of the room where sacks of rice are stacked in a neat square pile.  He stares at the floor and pauses a moment rubbing his chin.  After several minutes he says, "Ah yes, I remember now..." and clears his throat.

[Language unknown:  "I si ssomho adeeekei, he comsonhis is iliv pecabe rorona ulilho les ur ame."]

The floor under the sacks of rice slides aside as smoothly and silently as a leaf on the water, revealing a stair into darkness.  He smiles at you almost childlike, "And so it opens!"  He continues downward and you see him make another gesture causing more lights to emerge, but the architecture of the room beneath you is very different than the rest of the tower.  It is a circular room of white marble and the walls are exquisitely engraved.  As you follow, you are surprised by the sweet floral fragrance, cool dry air, and you begin to see that the elaborate designs form a mural of planets wrapping around the room.  The planets are of varying sizes and textures, some almost as tall as the room, and some not much larger than a honeydew melon, but all are textured in great detail showing continents with mountains and rivers leading to oceans.  Some look to be waterless deserts, and some are giant balls of clouds.  They are arranged on the walls like pebbles in a stream and magical energy flows around and through them like water, forming swirls and eddies.  The carvings of magical energy all seem to flow from an archway.  The archway is quite simple, five feet wide and about seven feet tall at its apex, and the piece of marble that seals off the passage is perfectly flat and smooth, polished to a mirror finish.

Master Trazen slowly approaches the archway and with a great deal of reverence, places his hand on the stone.  His eyes soften as he smiles as if he were meeting an old friend once again.  "They were crafted with love, and you can be comforted even after all these centuries."  As his hand glides across the surface of the marble, his eyes close and he exhales slowly.  He looks at you.  "Come, it is not often you can commune in such an intimate way with your ancestors."  He takes your hand and gently places your palm on the marble.  You feel the perfect smoothness at first, but then a warmness grows in your chest and you begin to have a feeling you haven't had since you were a child.  Joy and comfort take you and you feel safe and loved just as you had when being held in the loving embrace of your mother.  "See?  Isn't it wonderful?"

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 23:05, Mon 03 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 13 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 00:38
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod notices the clever little fox tagging along, and frees one hand to pull open the belt pouch that Pippish (Pip for short) rides in. Pip lunges up and slumps into the belt pouch. He hangs his front paws over the edge and pushes his nose out from under the flap, in order to sample all of the passing smells.

Nod waits quietly while Master Trazen searches his mind for the spell that opens the portal to the hidden stairs. Nod follow his Master down the stairs and along the strangely adorned hall. His sways from side to side in an attempt to take it all in.

Nod's face lights up as his hands pass along the surface on the marble.
Master Trazen
 NPC, 6 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 01:23
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
"Now, this aiudara is a hub.  It leads to many others.  Each connection is opened by a different key, and the key to the Arthfell glade is a ritual spell."  Like before, he steps back and places his hand on his chin for a long moment.  "You'll want to prepare yourself Nod.  These portals open from both ways.  While the elven glade should be secure, I have no way of knowing for sure.  Many kinds of creatures have the power to pass in and out of elven glades, friend and foe...  I shall begin, please do not disturb me."

He places both hands flat on the marble slab within the archway, closes his eyes, and begins to recite an arcane incantation.  As he speaks the edges of the archway begin to shimmer with blue glowing energy.  The energy slowly grows in intensity until it shines brightly and waves of blue light radiate out into the wall carvings like flames.  His smooth elven voice begins to reverberate as if being amplified by the room itself and the marble slab begins to swirl with blue energy under his hands, displacing the white marble like smoke under glass.  The blue smoky swirls grow larger as they spin slowly pushing away any remnant of marble from within the archway.  Master Trazen's incantation gently softens as the center of the swirling vortex falls away into a lush forest scene.  The glade looks small.  Under the shadows of the menacing forest beyond, ferns, mushrooms, and moss covered stones abound in the inviting little space.  As his incantation comes to an end, his hands fall through the surface, as the physical reality of the wall succumbs to the power of the portal.  Only wisps of blue glowing smoke remain around the edges.  He staggers back a couple of steps and gingerly helps himself to the floor to rest.

"I'm sorry, the spell takes a bit out of me."  He says as he looks through the portal.  The thick moist smell of pine trees and rich forest soil floods into the room and the song of chirping insects and birds fills your ears.  You see a small yellow and black songbird of some sort flutter down to a rock as it looks in curiously.  "The Arthfell is beautiful isn't it?"
Nod
 player, 14 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 01:33
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod brushes his cloak aside, and moves to Master Trazen. Nod takes a knee and waits to see if the Master's intention is to rise immediately or if he is expected to move through the portal due to some as heretofore unknown time limit. While he waits, Nod takes in the sights and sounds of the forest that flood through the portal. Nod checks intently for possible threats.
Master Trazen
 NPC, 7 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 01:40
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
He turns and smiles to you.  "Thank you Nod.  I'm ok."  He accepts your offer to help him to his feet.  As you scan the area, you see no threats.  You begin to hear the sound of moving water through the forest sounds.  "The portal is open and safe to pass when you are ready.", still breathing heavily he is obviously exhausted from the experience.
Nod
 player, 15 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 01:50
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Well, I guess this is it. Nod pauses a bit. I, um...You've taught me so much. Nod kind of snorts a bit as he is interrupted emotionally nervous laughter. I guess I could have learned more. Clearly, If I'd gone to the poetry and composition classes you were so insistent about, maybe I'd have something more clever to say. Nod steadies himself and extends his hand in a gesture of respect and friendship. Just in case, I guess I better say "Goodbye"
Master Trazen
 NPC, 8 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 02:01
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Your old mentor takes your hand.  His grip is weak, but he is in good spirits.  He smiles warmly and his eyes water a bit.  "You have been a wonderful student...  I wouldn't send you on a mission of this magnitude if I didn't have the utmost faith in your potential."  He puts his left hand on your shoulder.  "Teachers always have ideas how they expect a student to grow.  They never consider the student may have a different, better way...  Until we meet again."  He gently releases you and lets his arms fall into his robes.  He looks into the forest.  [Language unknown:  "Tic lehamo esore naplwi ha.  O ofive tackolch i."]  You recall the phrase as an elven blessing.
Nod
 player, 16 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 14:27
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod stiffens and grabs his backpack strap and sword hilt. I'll send word if I can. Farewell. Nod turns and takes a broad step through the portal.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 33 posts
Tue 4 Aug 2015
at 15:10
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
As you approach the portal the thought of stepping into what used to be a marble slab feels awkward, but you muster the courage to step through the archway and it feels surprisingly natural.  You turn to the sound of cascading water and see an oddly shaped stone statue with a waterfall running down it's face into a small pool.  Soft grass and purple flowers provide comfortable footing.  Several small fruit trees grow in the open spaces of the glade, which appears to be about fifty feet across.  The glade is ringed by Paueliel Trees, silver-barked softwoods that grow to immense heights, but never spread to more than a few feet in diameter.  You turn back to see the other side of the aiudara.  It is on a surprisingly simple monolithic stone structure, built in the same style as the statue and other moss covered block structures lying about the glade.  You see Master Trazen through the portal as he raises both hands in the air and drops them quickly.  Suddenly the portal blinks out of existence leaving nothing but a polished grey granite slab in it's place.

In addition to being a protected location for the elf gate, this glade appears to be a rest stop of sorts for travelling elves.  There are comfortable looking stones strewn about for sitting and lying down.  You also see a large slab laying flat in the center of the glade with some sort of carving on it.  A few steps towards the stone sculpture reveals a carved map of the forest and compass rose.  You find it surprising that being in a forest, nothing is covered in leaves or pine needles.


This message was last edited by the GM at 22:21, Tue 04 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 17 posts
Wed 5 Aug 2015
at 01:18
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod blinks hard a few times. He wheels around to see the portal is gone, and turns again in disbelief. He finally draws breath and laughs a little. As he stands there wide eyed and smiling broadly, he suddenly remembers the warning he got from Master Trazen about possible dangers. The grin runs off his face, and the crouches and listens for a long time. Nod stalks his way toward the carved stone map, and begins to study it. Nod attempts to gauge the size of the map, to see it would be of value to make a rubbing or part or all of the carving.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 35 posts
Wed 5 Aug 2015
at 02:22
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
The stone map is to large to make an effective rubbing being about 15 feet across, not to mention all of the moss would soften the paper.  The carving seems to be of the northern half of the Arthfell.  You see the symbol of an aiudara near the eastern edge of the trees and northwest from there about a foot, you see a circular pool.  A large plateau covers the entire bottom half of the map, and leading out of the forest to the east a road follows along the base of the cliffs.  Next to the road at the edge of the forest you see the symbol of a building.  Where the road exits the map to the east, atop the ridge of the plateau you see the symbol of a fortified wall.  Another curious feature of the map is the lupine symbolism utilized throughout the overall design.  The border of the map is decorated with a repeating pattern of a running wolf followed by a serpentine pattern of wolf tracks leading to the elven symbol of the full moon.  Come to think of it, the odd waterfall statue could be a highly stylized wolf.  You begin to see the symbolism repeated on the stone structures all around the glade.

 Just then you hear the howl of wolves off in the distance to the northwest, and Pip whimpers and turns in his belt pouch.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:39, Wed 05 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 18 posts
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 02:30
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod takes a moment and produces a quill, and some parchment to jot down a few notes. Not being much of an artist, he does his best to reproduce the major elements of the mat for navigation purposes. Nod scans the map surface for any written messages or fragments of meaning in the symbols.
Upon hearing the wolf howl, Nod feels for the hilt of his sword, and pulls the family shield around to a defensive position.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 46 posts
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 04:27
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
The howling lasts for less than a minute before being drowned out again by the ambient forest noise.  It seems as though the source of the howling is several miles away at least.  After the tension of the moment subsides, Nod looks at the sketch of the map he scribbled down.  It should suffice if he can maintain his orientation.  Further study of the symbolism used throughout the glade doesn't reveal much more other than in addition to the elven style, the symbols are distinctly druidic.
Nod
 player, 21 posts
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 21:47
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Upon realizing the writing and symbolism is Druidic in nature, and given the importance of maintaining orientation and map quality, Nod takes decisive action. Clutching his father's shield tightly (arcane focus), Nod concentrates intently for several moments, and initiates Heightened Awareness. Once the spell is in full effect, Nod calls upon the voice which, on occasion, gives him guidance in situations just like this. Nod spends the next ten minutes reevaluating the area and checking his map for inadequacies.

OOC Heightened Awareness, Make once a day check for untrained knowledge skill: Local History.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 53 posts
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 22:57
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Through the chittering racket of forest animal sounds the echo of the past creeps into your ears and you begin to hear the familiar disembodied whispers that always accompany unlearned revelations.  Your shadow catches your eye.  It is unusually still and eerily normal, following your movements almost naturally.  Pip begins to stir in his belt pouch.  You pull aside the flap and he leaps to the ground and sits for a moment, scanning the area.  You would normally expect the fox to act, well, more like a fox and start to sniff around and dig up some crickets.  But he sits perfectly still for a minute or so.  He then hops up on the map and begins to look closely at the runes and inscriptions.  He digs and scratches at certain areas, uncovering carvings hidden under ages of moss.  As he moves around the map, you begin to understand.


After about ten minutes, the whispers quiet down and Pip begins to behave normally again.  He bounds over to you and spins around your feet several times, yipping and panting before playfully rolling over on his back and smiling up at you, tongue hanging out as if he were a dog.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:44, Wed 12 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 22 posts
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 23:14
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod steadies himself for a moment, and lets the new found revelations sink in. Nod takes one last look at the map and then he looks to the northwest, remembering Master Trazen's stern warning about the Elves in that direction. Nod checks the sun and makes the determination which way southeast is, and moves off in that direction, making a little clicking sound to entice Pip to follow.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 54 posts
Wed 12 Aug 2015
at 23:39
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Pip flips to his feet in a flash with a single twisting motion.  He wiggles along beside you flipping his tail from side to side.  He tilts his head to the left and looks at you with a cheeky smile as his tongue hangs out the other side of his mouth.  He seems to be in an unusually good mood.  It's how he acts when he's made a new friend, or hasn't seen you in a long while.

The dark mass of the Arthfell Forest looms just beyond the borders of the glade, an ominous wall of unbroken green and shadow.  You step through the edge of the clearing and begin to make your way into the forest.  Looking back, the glade is gone.  All that you see is a dense dark grove of Paueliel trees who's trunks disappear into the dense canopy created by pine trees.

Travel is slow and arduous.  You can barely breathe the thick sappy air that feels slightly acidic in your nose.  The trunks of the massive pines are covered with old jagged undergrowth, brittle, and long since bereft of needles.  It is quite difficult to keep your direction as you pick your winding path through the trees. You are spending much of the way hunched over, you have had to back track more than once, and it's only been forty five minutes...

As you are spending most of your attention trying to avoid getting stabbed by a dried branch or twisting your ankle,  you nearly fall into a large pit.  The hole looks quite new and quite deep.  It is about twenty feet across and the roots of the trees on its edges look freshly uncovered, many fractured or ripped clean off.
Nod
 player, 25 posts
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 00:48
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod catches himself on a low branch, and hangs on with both hands. He looks down, under his left arm to see how deep the hole is. Even before he gets his eyes focused on the bottom, Nod also strains to hear any kind of noise not being made by himself. A particular attention to noises Pip makes are of most interest.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 55 posts
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 02:07
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
As Nod hangs from the tree branch next to the pit, he feels the sharp dried twigs crack and crumble against the tender skin of his wrists causing no small amount of pain.  Even so, he manages to hold perfectly still and listen as he looks intently into the black hole.  Seeing Nod's reaction, Pip follows suit and stands silent, ears up in curiosity.

Through the creeping of tree frogs, the low rumble of flowing rock and mud can be heard from deep within the pit and the soft earth at the bottom heaves and recedes almost as if it were breathing.  The air seems warm rising out of the loose soil and begins to stink of sulfur.
Nod
 player, 26 posts
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 16:16
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod, begins feeling for a foothold. Years of study and tower life has cheated him of climbing experience. Nod does his best to climb out of the precarious situation.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 56 posts
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 20:43
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
The last thing Nod wants is to fall in a sink hole in the middle of this forest all alone.  He stays calm and surveys the situation.  He knows his intellect is his strongest asset, so he plans out his escape route.  One branch at a time, he slowly and methodically rights himself and works his way to safety.
Nod
 player, 27 posts
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 22:59
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Feeling fortunate to have survived this encounter, and grasping a finer appreciation of the forest's hidden dangers, Nod makes his way well clear of this sink hole and begins to plot his course forward. Before pressing on, Nod digs for his rope, and ties one end of the length around his waist. He coils the remainder and loops it over his shoulder. Probably better to be prepared for any future encounters of a sinkhole nature.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 57 posts
Thu 13 Aug 2015
at 23:34
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
After about thirty minutes, the forest opens up a bit giving Nod more room and easier travel.  There is a bit more light filtering down through the canopy, and the sound of the forest begins to change.  Instead of the constant creeks and buzzes of frogs and insects, he begins to hear more twitters and chirps of birds and squirrels.  He feels a gentle breeze wafting in from the south and notice the familiar smoky smell of burning wood.  Looking upwind to the right, he sees the smoldering remnants of a campfire and a ghostly white cloud of smoke trailing off through the trees.  Cryptic white symbols have been painted onto the trees surrounding the small clearing.  They are easily recognizable as druidic symbols.  As Nod approaches, he begins to smell the slightly pungent aroma of bird droppings.  Looking around he now sees black feathers strewn about the periphery of the scene.
Nod
 player, 28 posts
Fri 14 Aug 2015
at 01:49
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod approaches the clearing cautiously. [Language unknown:  "Actait?"] Nod waits and listens for a moment to see if anyone answers.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 58 posts
Fri 14 Aug 2015
at 11:44
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Holding perfectly still, Nod listens intently.  He hears the creeps and chirps of the wildlife in his immediate vicinity.  He hears the occasional pop and crackle from the dying coals of the campfire.  Off in the distance he hears the distintive "Caw Caw" of crows.  But nobody answers.
Nod
 player, 29 posts
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 13:27
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod briefly searches the campsite for evidence of the previous occupants. Specifically looking for mean remnants, discarded supplies, broken tools, etc.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 59 posts
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 14:37
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Sprinkled in a pile next to the campfire, you find a dusting of dried leaves that have a strong floral scent.  Behind a tree, a crude paint brush has been discarded.  It crafted from a broken tree limb and a mop of some sort of fur has been tied to the end.  It is covered in some sort of white paint that smells earthy.
Nod
 player, 30 posts
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 14:52
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Finding nothing physical of value, Nod turns his attention to the mystical energies. Nod concentrates on his vast academic knowledge of spellcasting and magic in various forms. Nod looks at the various bits of evidence and attempts to see if any of these things are the conspicuous spent materials from spellcasting (Spellcraft: my skill =10)
Dungeon Master
 GM, 60 posts
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 15:30
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest


The ceremony conducted here was both conjuration and divination in nature.  Perhaps the black feathers were from creatures summoned?  Either way, this was a very powerful ritual and required several casters working together for it to be successful.  Presumably druids.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:37, Sat 15 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 31 posts
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 14:02
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod jots down a few quick notes, and gathers a sample of the spent components, and wraps them in the folds of a piece of parchment. Nod begins to consider the challenges ahead, and decides he has to move on. Nod makes a clicking sound to get Pip's attention, and moves off to the southeast.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 62 posts
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 17:26
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
After another thirty minutes of travel, the old forest gives way to the young.  Life seems more vibrant here.  The younger trees cannot monopolize the resources like their older counterparts and a wide array of undergrowth plants spread between the trees.  Nod also begins to see evidence of a more diverse animal population as well... including mosquitoes and other biting insects.

Quite irritated an very hungry, he trudges on.  He begins to see the remains of a not so recent logging operation.  Many very large but half rotted stumps dot the landscape.

Finally, another thirty minutes of travel and the forest gives way to rolling prairie.  Nod is bathed in sunlight under a perfectly clear blue sky and the grass roars with chittering and buzzing.  Swarms of bees and butterflies dance over patches of yellow and red and purple wildflowers.  Fly catcher birds dart and dive through the swarms.  Nod finds a great deal of relief to be free of the forest, but what now?

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:48, Sun 16 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 32 posts
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 20:30
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod stretches his arms out to his sides and lets his palms brush the tops of the waving grasses. He smiles as Pip jumps up again and again to briefly see above the grass and makes minor course corrections. Nod checks his bearings, and his crude map to see if he can find a point of reference.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 63 posts
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 20:53
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
The map shoes that there is a road running east and west several miles south of you.  It's not clear how many miles, but on that road near the edge of the forest there is some type of building and quite a bit further to the east along the road is some sort of fort?  The structure near the forest seems closest.  His ultimate goal of Falcon's Hollow Nod knows is to the North but that will be a much longer journey and he still needs to recruit some help for his mission.  A guide to get him across the Darkmoon Plains safely avoiding any geologic mishaps might be a good idea as well.
Nod
 player, 33 posts
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 21:25
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod takes a moment to weigh his options, and decides a snack might help him clear his head. He sits on a large downed tree trunk, and digs for the bag of snacks he put together last night. Nod finds an apple and takes a bit. He picks a small piece of skin and flesh off and offers it it Pip. Nod finishes the apple, and chucks the core into the sinkhole, and listens to see if he can hear it hit the bottom.

Nod gathers himself, and continues south in an attempt to reach the south road, and some sort of civilization.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 67 posts
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 22:35
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod continues his journey southward, with the Arthfell Forest looming to his right.  As he carefully chooses his path, he drags his legs through the hip high grasses and Pip bounds through the prairie to avoid the dense thatch.  He catches up to Nods legs and yips.  Nod instinctively offer his belt pouch and he leaps in and coos with appreciation.


Nod perks his ears when he hears some unusual noise coming from the forest.  The animal sounds he has become used to hearing silence and a strange continuous thrashing sound that seems to cover a wide section of the forest begins to grow, getting louder as if getting closer, and getting closer quickly.  Just as Nod begins to come to terms with the moment, he begins to feel the ground begin to rumble beneath his feet.
Nod
 player, 34 posts
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 00:34
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Before he is even able to identify the danger, Nod decides he doesn't want to face it right here, in this spot. Nod begins to take large leaping steps away from the forest trying to avoid pursuers, and simultaneously spending as little time in contact with the ground as possible, in the even that is decides to go elsewhere.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 68 posts
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 00:53
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod is able to make three great leaps away from the forest when he see's a faint cloud of dust carrying dancing leaves in the air as it rolls out from the trees.  At that very same moment dozens of birds burst from the trees and one deer darts from the forest running full speed.  Nostrils flaring, red crapes cover it's face and shoulders.  Then three more.  Then five.  All different ages and sexes of deer, some having no antlers and others have all different sizes.  They charge directly away from the trees, flying out into the prairie.

The first deer zips passed Nod just to the south and more thrashing and crashing noises rage from the forest.  He also begins to hear growling and snarling noises from within the trees.
Nod
 player, 35 posts
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 01:07
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Survival instinct bleeds directly into Nod's current actions. He takes straight to a flat out run. Nod concentrates on big breaths, looking out for obstacles, and trying to pull his shield free from his back, in the event he has to face whatever is coming from behind him.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 69 posts
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 01:27
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod begins to run as fast as he can away from the trees, but the tall grass slows his progress a bit.  He feels so slow as three more deer fly past him.  Just then, a crashing sound and the rest of the herd, almost a dozen deer emerge from the forest.  They are immediately followed by a pack of wolves.  The wolves appear to be led by a much larger wolf that is covered in rows of large grey spines.  The wolf pack is hot on the tail of the herd of deer, snarling, snapping, and growling at their heels.  Dust is flying and the ground is shaking as this wild chase thunders through the tall grass in Nod's general direction.
Nod
 player, 36 posts
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 01:49
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod knows he's outnumbered and in mortal danger. He figures the best chance is to not be the first thing caught. Nod looks back over his shoulder and tries to estimate the distance between himself, and the slowest of the deer.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 70 posts
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 01:58
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
It appears as though the deer nearest deer to the wolves is about 200 feet away from Nod at the moment that he checks.  That distance is closing about 27 feet per second.

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:26, Tue 18 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 37 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 00:23
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Realizing that all the action is well outside the range of all his remaining spells, Nod, lowers his head and pours the last of his energy into running for his life.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 73 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 01:05
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod feels a burst of energy as he makes his decision.  He focuses on speed, and begins to move a bit more efficiently by hurtling slightly with every few steps to avoid some of the drag caused by the tall grasses that whip and sting even through his clothing.  His only hope is that the wolves hunting prowess pulls through for him.

Five more deer zip passed him and just then he hears a clatter of heavy meaty thumps followed by excited yips, snarls, and growls.  He looks back to see several deer tumbling through the grass, having been tripped into each other.  The wolf pack are on top of their prey instantly, claiming their kill quickly and efficiently.  Their fur bristles and their tails flip as they bite and tear at the fallen deer.  Nod is largely spared the gory scene as it is mostly below the grass line.

As Nod continues to run he see's the enormous dire wolf sitting on his haunches behind his smaller brethren.  It's ears are up and it seems to be watching Nod with mild curiosity as he scampers off through the prairie.  The remainder of the deer still on their feet flash past him, as they do Nod can smell their musty aroma of fur, sweat, blood, and heated breath.  They leave an easier path through the grass, making the running a bit easier.  It crosses Nods mind that at that very moment it could have been him being ripped to shreds.
Nod
 player, 38 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 01:20
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
By this point Nod is nearly spent. He begins to look for someplace he can take refuge. Nod looks for a tree, a ditch, a bluff, a hill, a hole, or anyplace where he can hide and rest.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 74 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 01:39
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
The deer herd regroups as they slow to a trot.  They veer off to the north before disappearing out of sight.  Nod settles down to catch his breath and scans the area looking for some place of refuge.

About one hundred yards to the southeast there's a rocky rise standing atop one of the rolling hills.  Trees are smaller and very sparse in the plains, but scanning the horizon reveals a dozen or more.  There are also areas that look a bit lower, but their view is obstructed by waving grasses.
Nod
 player, 39 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 03:27
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod heads southeast, toward the rocky rise. If nothing else, it may be more defensible.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 75 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 10:50
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod makes his way up the hill and climbs the rocky outcropping.  The top looks something like a prehistoric crown with boulders jutting upwards in a ring, the center soft and grassy.  From here, he has something of a vantage point over the area.  He can see for miles in all directions and Nod is momentarily awed by the beauty of the landscape.  It can be seen from here that the forest line makes an irregular slanting curve that runs from the southwest to the north east.  He thinks he can make out a couple possibly man made structures several miles south of here, and perhaps some cultivated plots of land.  Pip wiggles free of his pouch and finds a shady spot where he begins to pant.  Nod knows he's thirsty.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:30, Wed 19 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 40 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 20:03
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod has had enough excitement for a little while and decides to hide here and rest. He looses his water skin and takes several gulps. Nod pours a small quantity into his hand and offers it to Pip.
Nod monitors any further action in the direction of the wolves and deer.
Nod
 player, 40 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 20:03
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod has had enough excitement for a little while and decides to hide here and rest. He looses his water skin and takes several gulps. Nod pours a small quantity into his hand and offers it to Pip.
Nod monitors any further action in the direction of the wolves and deer.
Nod
 player, 40 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 20:03
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod has had enough excitement for a little while and decides to hide here and rest. He looses his water skin and takes several gulps. Nod pours a small quantity into his hand and offers it to Pip.
Nod monitors any further action in the direction of the wolves and deer.
Nod
 player, 40 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 20:03
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod has had enough excitement for a little while and decides to hide here and rest. He looses his water skin and takes several gulps. Nod pours a small quantity into his hand and offers it to Pip.
Nod monitors any further action in the direction of the wolves and deer.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 76 posts
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 21:25
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod settles down and finds a comfortable place to sit so he can keep an eye to the west and stay mostly out of sight.  He listens to the breeze and the hum of the bees and his heart slowly settles down.  He starts to breathe slower and more deeply and he reflects the mornings events.
Nod
 player, 44 posts
Thu 20 Aug 2015
at 13:56
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Once Nod has his breath back, he sits for just a few more minutes, and then begins to collect his things. Nod hops up, and makes his way down the outcropping. He stays low, and makes his way back into the grasses. Nod peeks over the swaying sea of dried blades on occasion, just to keep an eye on things. He makes his way further south, toward what appeared to be civilization.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 78 posts
Thu 20 Aug 2015
at 17:22
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
After about an hour of travel, Nod approaches the cultivated land before him.  There's a small log cabin and several fields filled with various grains.  A dusty dirt road runs between the fields up to the house.  Nearer the house there are a couple fruit trees and a viny patch growing very large pumpkins.  There appears to be a couple dogs standing under the trees and they are staring in Nod's direction.  He see's no signs of people.
Nod
 player, 46 posts
Thu 20 Aug 2015
at 19:08
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Although Pip is likely fast enough to evade a couple of farm dogs, Nod, thinks it better to avoid getting them riled in the first place. He holds open the large seed sewer's bag (formerly a belt pouch, but the seed sewer's bag has more flavor) and catches Pip mid leap. Nod heads off down the dirt path toward the house. He pulls a couple of small pieces of dried meat from his ration bag, just in case the dogs need a little distraction.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 81 posts
Thu 20 Aug 2015
at 19:58
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Pip hops into his bag, spins around a couple times and pokes his head back out.  His ears at up in alert and he watches the dogs nervously.  The moment Nod sets foot onto the farm road, the two dogs step out into the sun and begin barking.  They appear to be some type of herding breed, pointy ears, curved tails, and they are piebald brown and white.

Nod continues up the road and as he nears the house, Pip pulls back.  The dogs approach, trotting up barking still.  Nod tosses the meat to the dogs and they cautiously take and wander off to enjoy their prize.

He begins to circle around the house.  Its a typical farm house.  There's a pile of neatly chopped fire wood and an axe buried in a stump.  Various farming tools and implements hang from the side of the log cabin.  There is a noticeable absence of horse or wagon.
Nod
 player, 49 posts
Thu 20 Aug 2015
at 23:04
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod moves toward the front of the cabin, taking any opportunity that presents itself to peer into any cracks or windows. He moves to the front door, and gives a polite but firm knock.

"Hello?..." in the common tongue.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:08, Thu 20 Aug 2015.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 84 posts
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 01:10
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod sees no light or motion inside the house.  Soon the dogs are coming around the house wagging their tails in anticipation for more treats.
Nod
 player, 50 posts
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 01:24
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Seeing no one home, Nod makes his way back to the road, and turns east.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 85 posts
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 01:32
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod gets back on the farm road.  The dogs follow him to the edge of the farm and sit, watching him walk away.  This is by far the easiest travel he's had thus far on his journey and he is making much better time.  The road veers south again and after a quarter of a mile or so, a side road runs off to the east where he see's farm house.  There is another homestead a mile or so ahead and to the west.  The main farm road here is obviously heavier traveled and continues south.
Nod
 player, 51 posts
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 02:03
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod decides to check one more farm house for anyone to give him directions. Nod heads east, once again, toward the farm house.
Farmer Jeb
 NPC, 1 post
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 20:06
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
As Nod approaches the farm, he sees a man in a wide straw hat picking tomatoes.  The farmer stands upright and stretches his back.  He removes his hat and scratches his head.  "Ho there master elf.  Don't see yer kind round these parts much.  The names Jeb.  What can I help ya with?"  He tosses Nod a tomato.

This message was last updated by the player at 20:06, Fri 21 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 52 posts
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 14:59
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod catches the tomato, and inspects it briefly. Sorry to bother you, sir, but, as you mentioned, I'm not from these parts, and I'm having a bit of a time finding my way. Could you direct me toward the nearest town where a Elf could get a bottle of wine, and a good night's sleep? No tucks the tomato into his ration bag without looking away from the farmer.
Farmer Jeb
 NPC, 1 post
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 20:04
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
He scratches his chin and looks up...  "Well...  If'n yer lookin' fer a bottle o' wine and a soft bed befer night fall, you'll wanna go to the Traveller's Stop Inn.  That would be straight south till ya hit the trade route, then head west."  He looks Nod up and down.  "You might be in luck.  There's some sort of travelling exhibit goin' on over there.  If'n yer into that sort of thing."  He slaps his hat back on his head and kneels down, going back to work."If'n ya head east, you'll eventually hit Oldfen.  It's a small city and prolly has just about anything else ya might need.  But you'll never make it there by tonight."

This message was last edited by the player at 20:05, Fri 21 Aug 2015.

Nod
 player, 53 posts
Fri 21 Aug 2015
at 23:52
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod listens intently to the directions, and when the man is finished, Nod smiles at him politely. "Kind sir, I am indebted to you. May yours harvest be bountiful" Nod tips his hat, turns, and heads up the farm path back toward the road, headed south.
Farmer Jeb
 NPC, 2 posts
Sat 22 Aug 2015
at 00:11
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
He waves turns back to his work.  "Safe journey master elf."  Nod puts foot to dust and follows the farm road west to the crossroads, and then turns south.

As he travels, Nod feels uplifted to be back in civilized lands.  The first leg of his journey is behind him now and the road before him much safer, for the day at least.  He passes several more farms along the dusty farm road.  Off in the distance he begins to see the plateau that he remembers from the map.  It looks like a rusty red ribbon bordering the entire southern horizon.

After another thirty minutes or so he see's the trade route ahead.  Coming up the road from the west is a man riding a beautiful buff horse.  He has a long bow on his back and a rapier at his side.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 89 posts
Sat 22 Aug 2015
at 02:11
Re: Prelude: Nod's Quest
Nod is but a young apprentice wizard venturing out into the world.  His actions and the actions of his friends, however seemingly insignificant, will shape the fortunes of all of Golarion for good or bad.  The road will not be comfortable.  The road will not be safe.  But the road will reveal if they are destined for greatness or tragedy.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:38, Sat 22 Aug 2015.