Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others.   Posted by Grey Wyrm.Group: 0
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 4 posts
Tue 26 Mar 2019
at 14:12
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
Ricky is in the tavern, alone for once, when he is approached by one of the local merchants in Hardby.

"Mister Aramis, sir? I'm Tommas Broadbend - most just call me Tom the tailor. I was asking around and one of the guys over at the bar said you'd be the most likely one in here who might know who can help me. It's about my wife, sir. She went on a sort of pilgrimage a week ago with a visiting priest of Fharlanghn and half a dozen other local folk. They were going to the Shrine of Two Horizons, about two days walk east of here in the hills of the Abbor-Alz. They should have been back two days ago, sir, but there's been no sign of them yet. I'm worried something dreadful has happened to my Elspeth, sir. Do you know anyone who could be trusted to go find her and bring her safe home again for me? I'm not a rich man but I can offer a reward of 100 gold for her safe return, or 50 gold for proof of whatever's happened to her."
Ricky Aramis
 player, 4 posts
 Human Bard
Tue 26 Mar 2019
at 16:58
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
Ricky will take all this in and will offer Tom his warmest smile.

"Master Tom, firstly let me assure you, the priests of Farlanghn have a reputation as some of the most savvy guides in Greyhawk, there's is the god of the road after all! I have no doubt that your dear Elspeth has simply been delayed, mayhaps by the weather or devotion to their god. However I know a pair of devout warrior priests who are in dire need of distraction who can escort me and my piqued curiosity to the shrine of Two Horizons. Now friend Tom, allow me to buy you a drink to toast your ladies safe return."

Ricky will share a pint of mead with Tom and while they drink will get as many specific details about the path the group would have taken as Tom can provide. He will then head for the clergy housing of the temple of Pelor. It will take little time for him to convince David that this is fated and as soon as David's in, John's in too. The three will go together to seek permission from the twins direct superior and assuming that he gives his blessing they will go and find their friend Luc.

Luc acts his normal nonchalant self though he is surprisingly quick to agree to come along. When they gather at dawn the following day he will surprise the others with a sack containing twenty days rations - enough to get the group there and back again. As the four have dreamed since their teens of high adventures each has slowly gathered together everything they would need and they now stand on the road outside the clergy house, armed, armored and flushed with excitement at the prospect of adventure!

This message was last edited by the player at 17:02, Tue 26 Mar 2019.

Grey Wyrm
 GM, 6 posts
Wed 27 Mar 2019
at 14:08
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
Tom was more than happy to tell Ricky everything he knew about the pilgrimage. The priest of Fharlanghan was an old man, a human, called Dormin Dust-Strider, who has passed through Hardby every second year for as long as anyone can remember.

The other pilgrims were all locals. One young lad called Wilf who is a fisherman's son. Two other middle-aged housewives - Dora Bett and Belise Lavidad, both friends of Elspeth's. Two elderly sisters - Carla and Martha Mulgiffin - both spinsters who eke out a living as seamstresses, sometimes working for Tom. And old Jack Hatchett, a retired smuggler. Smugglers, of course, are common enough in Hardby to be considered a perfectly reasonable career choice by most of the townsfolk.

Tom even helps Ricky draw up a very crude map of the route the pilgrimage was expected to take to reach the Shrine. Basically straight along the northern foothills of the Abbor-Alz past the first four major peaks - you can see the first three on the horizon from Hardby - then southeast into the Abbor-Alz. The Shrine of Two Horizons is at the peak of the fifth mountain. The name refers to the view north across the Domain of Greyhawk and Duchy of Urnst, and south across the Bright Lands. Some folk argue it should be called Three Horizons, not two, because the Domain and the Duchy are separated by the Cairn Hills stretching northward from that point, but the priests of Fharlanghn insist on that name.

Getting permission for the Gordon brothers to go turns out to be all too easy. Their superior is Father Carl Mulgiffin and the two elderly sisters are his great aunts. He is not thrilled that they had gone off on a pilgrimage for another faith but is more than happy for Ox and Bull to go and bring them safely home again.

-----------

The morning is cool but clear and promises good weather for walking. There will be a number of small farms among the foothills on the first day's travel, so there is the question whether you want to make the small detours to visit and ask questions along the way, or take the shortest route straight to the Shrine. It would mean three days travel visiting farms along the way, and probably more comfortable nights, versus two days walking and camping rough of the more direct route.
Ox Gordon
 player, 2 posts
 Human cleric of Pelor
Wed 27 Mar 2019
at 14:59
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
The group reasons that the best course is to take the direct, two day route to the shrine. If the pilgrims had trouble along the way it is hoped that the party will see it from the road and if the trouble was at shrine it's best to get there as quickly as possible. If they come across the pilgrims along the way, brilliant, if not they will take the longer route back, inquiring at each farm.
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 7 posts
Thu 28 Mar 2019
at 15:03
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
You see signs of six different farms or small settlements off to the north of your path during the first day of travel but you don't meet anyone or encounter anything hostile during the day.

As dusk approaches you find a small spring that provides a small but steady flow of fresh water. Even to the untrained eye it is clear that this spot has been used as a campsite before, and fairly recently too. There is a small outcrop of three 10-foot boulders in a line north-south about 10 feet south of the spring and the land slopes fairly gently down towards the north. It looks like people have previously camped at the base of the boulders which at least provide a bit of a windbreak. The hillside is generally quite dry and barren with very little vegetation apart from a low grass and a few small bushes scattered across the hillside. The weather is still fine and there will be moonlight tonight.

Assuming you plan to camp here too, what arrangements do you plan to make for tonight?
Luc Fromage
 player, 4 posts
 Human Wizard
Thu 28 Mar 2019
at 15:46
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
After a solid day of walking in fine conditions without seeing sign of trouble the groups morale is very high. The brothers will insist that as they expect to be camping at the shrine the following night that for one night they go without a fire and that they refill their water skins from prayer summoned water rather than trusting the spring. They all stay up chatting though bull convinces Ox to turn in early. The brothers decide to each take watch that night and this way Ox will get a decent rest before being roused for the second watch. The group decide to sleep sheltered by the boulders, however whoever is currently on watch will be twenty feet away from the group using the second biggest bush to conceal their outline. All four have a crossbow and a melee weapon within easy reach, just in case.
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 8 posts
Fri 29 Mar 2019
at 14:40
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
The night grows chilly but passes fairly quietly, apart from a distant howling of wolves sometime after midnight. There is occasionally a bit of movement around the spring as various birds and small animals visit briefly to drink the water. Just as the skyline starts to lighten with the first signs of dawn Ox hears something larger approaching. He can just make out a darker shape silhouetted against the moonlit landscape about 30 feet away from the spring, approaching from the west, basically along the same path that the group had followed to the spring. The shape looks to be about 4 to 5 feet tall and 5 or 6 feet long and its footsteps have the dull thud of a hard object against the ground.

OOC: The moonlight counts as low light conditions. For creatures without low light vision this means other creatures have the benefits of concealment (eg. 20% miss chance).
Ox Gordon
 player, 3 posts
 Human cleric of Pelor
Fri 29 Mar 2019
at 16:19
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
Dashing 20ft to his friends Ox will place himself and his shield between them and the creature and as he comes to a halt will attempt to kick dirt over his friends. Calling upon Pelor he will cast bless upon the party and with mace in hand will then state "Hail traveler, halt and be recognized!"
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 9 posts
Sat 30 Mar 2019
at 11:22
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
The dark shape doesn't halt. It brays loudly and races away into the darkness. The sound is very much like a horse's hooves galloping away.
Ox Gordon
 player, 4 posts
 Human cleric of Pelor
Sat 30 Mar 2019
at 21:36
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
Ox will kneel where he was standing, carefully listening to the darkness. If anyone else was woken by the dirt or declaration he will explain that a horse like creature had approached the spring but appears to have been scared away.

If nothing happens before his bless fades he will return to his post and await the dawn.
Grey Wyrm
 GM, 10 posts
Sun 31 Mar 2019
at 02:49
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
Everyone was woken by Ox's warning and the shower of dirt that accompanied it. Bull is the only one that managed to get back to sleep again as the other two had already had the best part of a full night's sleep.

Less than half an hour later the light of dawn grows strong enough for you to see the night's unwelcome visitor more clearly. About 120 feet away to the west a solitary mule stands waiting, clearly ready to gallop away at any sign of a threat but probably thirsty enough to wait around until it can safely approach the spring again. A short length of rope is looped round its neck and trails on the ground between its legs.
Luc Fromage
 player, 5 posts
 Human Wizard
Sun 31 Mar 2019
at 03:54
Chapter 1 - In the footsteps of others
As soon as it's light enough to identify the mule the whole group will become quite excited about it. After a brief discussion on how useful a mule would be Luc and Ricky will both volunteer to try to enchant it. They will agree that Luc's sleep spell is less likely scare it away then Ricky's music so, in the least threatening way he can manage Luc will attempt to cast sleep on the mule.

DC 14 will save please :)