The beginning - The village elder has a problem.   Posted by Game Master.Group: 0
Game Master
 GM, 20 posts
Sat 4 Dec 2021
at 19:20
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Thistleby is a small village roughly halfway between the city of New Port in the west and Proudfort in the east. It's about 2-3 days ride to New Port. The village is about days march south from the coastline of the Midland Sea and a closest town, Lantern Hill, there.

Terrain here is grassland flats with occasional low hills. Many of the hills have visible remains of old ruins; lost towns, keeps and such. Mostly they are just low stumps of rock, last remains of some old stone structure resisting time and the elements.

Thistleby is protected with a wooden palisade made of timber imported from south, from the northern borders of Wild Wood forests. Buildings are mostly single-storey, combinations of stone blocks, timber and sometimes muck bricks. They style is that of efficiency, not beauty or architecture. In the middle of the village there is a cubic two-storey building made of heavier stone blocks, clearly build on top of some ancient ruin base. It looks like unfinished stone tower and the locals call it mockingly "The Castle". It's the village communal building, in times of crises a mini-keep where the residents can seek safety.

The residents here are humans by majority with healthy mix of wood elfs, gnomes, halflings and an occasional half-orc. Most of them are farmers.

There is enough traffic through the village to support an inn; The Sage & Rose, a small establishment maintained and owned by a halfling female with bright red hair. Her name is Thertina Boulderbough. The inn is the only other two-storey building here in addition to "The Castle".

Our story begins when you have arrived into Thistleby. Perhaps you're travelling and just passing by, perhaps you have relatives or a friends here. Nevertheless, you've traveled for 2 days as a group and thus are acquainted with each other. You arrived here and slept a night in the second floor private rooms of the inn. Now it's the next morning, breakfast time. Noises of somebody cooking, furniture moving and occasional rooster crowing wakes you up.

+++

Feel free to describe your character, their appearance etc. as you do your morning routines and eventually go downstairs for a breakfast where you can have further conversation with each other, expanding further the image of who your travelling companions really are.

Consider the breakfast have been already paid. There are only 3 other patrons in the downstairs common room, all village residents, likely to have a tasty breakfast of the inn before heading into the fields.
Lady Magister
 player, 12 posts
Sat 4 Dec 2021
at 20:56
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Lady Magister made sure that her room was secure before she rested for the night, and when the morning was fresh she was already up and about.  Looking for a place to wash up and get herself ready for the journey ahead leaving this small town and toward Proudfort.

After her daily cleaning she dressed in a very nice looking dress that was in deep blue coloration.  Her hair was loose and falling down her back almost to the lower part of her thighs.  With her small hand crossbow at her side and a dagger or two placed in her boot she then made her way to the area where she could get a decent meal.

She wondered when the rest would be down and she was also wondering what was Jobol doing.  Surely he was still sleeping the day away.  As she took her seat she ordered her morning meal with fresh goat milk.

"Has any of the others come trotting down yet? she asked the innkeeper.
Vander Hickenlooper
 player, 10 posts
 AC-13, PD-13, MD-15
 HP-24/24, R-8, RD-d6+2
Sat 4 Dec 2021
at 21:36
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Vander woke, groaning as some of his clothes and items had taken to floating and orbiting around his sleeping body. "Talking in my sleep...again!" he muttered, annoyed. He gestured and spoke some simple words, and the various objects fell.

He proceeded to wake up and begin his morning routine. Most of which involved cleaning himself normally. Granted on the road he used magic, but he wanted to do some things without it. Besides, he remembered a few times when he was using a cleansing spell and accidentally spoke the word for fire. That had hurt in a place no man wished to burn.

Now cleaned and dressed, he headed downstairs. Unlike most mages, his perfect memory allowed him flawless recall of all his spell books, safety stored away in his mentor's tower. He even created sample pages floating in front of him made of light. It was such a detailed yet obvious illusion he nearly tripped down the stairs. He did managed to catch himself on the railing before breaking his fool neck.

He arrived in the main room, looking about at the others while sniffing for fresh cooked breakfast. Vander looked very much like someone had brought a scarecrow to life, turned it human, and let the ears grow much more than needed. He was not an ugly man, but thin and gangly. Aa a result his clothes hung off him rather than be fitted.

"Ah, my Lady! I see you are up already. Good morn to you! " He said, heading over to Magister. Vander gets a chair, which pulls itself out for him and he paused at stares at it. "I have to stop doing that..." he muttered as he sat down.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:39, Sat 04 Dec 2021.

Game Master
 GM, 23 posts
Sat 4 Dec 2021
at 21:47
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
"Your traveling companions? You're the first, my dear." Thertina smiles warmly to you. She wears simple dark green shirt, brown leather pants and an apron. Her stubborn hair is tied to a tight bun this morning. Lady being an dark elf doesn't seem to matter to her anything. She'll likely seen few of your kind passing through. She turns towards the door at the back leading to the kitchen area. "Eillee! You got the milks yet? If not make a run for them NOW! We have orders incoming! We'll have a rush hour here in a minute!"

"Alright! Alright!" a clear female voice responds to her from the kitchen.

"We'll get the milk to you in moment." She offers another warm smile to Lady Magister.

Seeing the young wizard-type coming downstairs she eyes him from head to toes. "And what would you like to have for a breakfast, young man?"
Logresia Skrieven
 player, 13 posts
 Human Bard
 Music for fun and sparkle
Sat 4 Dec 2021
at 22:28
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
She awakens does Logresia, with a dream of the emperor still gumming her dark eyes together and there is a moment during which she continues returning to sleep but no.  Sleep is over for now although the dream, the dream must be fed.

She dashes cold water against her face and washes the sleep from her eyes as she cleans herself, her olive brown skin shining like sunlight through water on the rocks that line the bed of a babbling brook.  She runs a tortoiseshell comb through her anthracite locks and then stands, taking her oudh in her small hands, holding the neck as she caresses the strings as her first movement of morning.

Now the ballad begins.  Whenever there are dreams, there is always the ballad.  This ballad tells of the Emperor's coming of age.  As a youth he facing death in the form of the diabolist, come to rob the empire of the joys the empire could bring.  The diabolist came to corrupt the youth who would be emperor, but the Emperor's innocence was as bright and clear as the sunlight on midsummer's day and as the Diabolist came to tempt him, the Emperor gazed into those eyes and it was the Diabolist who folded between the ferocity of the youth's innocence.  It was the Diabolist who slunk away, useless and unlamented leaving the Emperor to take the place he deserved.

As the ballad comes to an end, she lets her long thin fingers linger on the strings as if they could absorb the sweetness of the notes and then she makes the bed before descending to where the others are ready for a hearty breakfast.
Lady Magister
 player, 14 posts
 Silver Folk
Sat 4 Dec 2021
at 22:50
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Lady Magister smiled to the innkeeper Thertina as she barked out some orders about fresh milk.  It was always good to have a peaceful morning meal and allow it to settle before all hell breaks out and one needs to fight something or another.

Her eyes watched as Vander came down the stairs and almost fell, which brought a slight giggle out of her.  His innocence was infectious but his carelessness was dangerous.  She watched as the chair moved out for him without being touched.  She could see that he was untrained of his uses of the magic that flows so graciously for those that are able to tap into it.  There was a slight stare upon him as he sat down.

"Yes it is always good to be up early.  Never know what you might miss if you sleep in.  Which I'm sure Jobol is doing at this very moment. she replied.

Then next she watched as Logresia comes down the stairs.
Logresia Skrieven
 player, 14 posts
 Human Bard
 Music for fun and sparkle
Sat 4 Dec 2021
at 23:04
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
22:58, Today: Logresia Skrieven rolled 11 using 1d20+8.
Today, Logresia's playing was not as good as she had hoped and so she managed to gain neither the approval of the Emperor, nor the Diabolist's curse.  Perhaps tomorrow.  Today though, she breathed deep of the smell of breakfast as she descended with style and grace to take her place at the table.

"Good morning, Lady Magister", she said and "Good morning, Vander.  I hope you both slept well."  She smiled to each and sat down asking for... she tossed a coin and then said, "Something with meat for breakfast please, what's the usual in these parts? Bacon? Hunter's Sausage?"

Game Master
 GM, 25 posts
Sat 4 Dec 2021
at 23:23
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
"What's usual? The locals prefer porridge. That's what we prepare and have ready every morning. Other than that - well let me see now..." Thertina starts to count with her fingers. "Bacon with boilded eggs, or boiled eggs with small oat biscuits - Eillee is really good with those... then fresh milks, cow's or goat's..." She pauses. "Then beverages, of course but I wouldn't recommend those for breakfast. That's about it, I'm afraid. We are a small business, you know. What do you fancy, dear?"
Doherti
 player, 14 posts
Sat 4 Dec 2021
at 23:35
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Doherti enters the common room wearing his pack, sword, knife and hatchet on his belt and bow unstrung and stored on the side of the pack along with the arrows. The rucksack is not overly large, but it efficiently packed. There's a hammock in there somewhere, in which he had slept last night and every night where there where two trees close enough together. The innkeeper had a room already set up with hooks for such a purpose, arranged, the party was told, during an earlier visit Doherti had made to the inn. Which was a nice gesture, except that Doherti had never visited this inn before, as far as he could remember.

Doherti tucks into some simple but filling fare, standing as he eats and looking around the room and nodding a good morning to his fellow travelers. He makes the required small talk. It's clear that he's ready to move on - or stay here, or fight a pitched battle, or build a house, or whatever. He's just ready.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:54, Sat 04 Dec 2021.

Vander Hickenlooper
 player, 11 posts
 AC-13, PD-13, MD-15
 HP-24/24, R-8, RD-d6+2
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 02:00
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
In reply to Lady Magister (msg # 6):

"Yes I would like food, Mistresss Thertina, thank you. 3 boiled eggs, and 2 slices of bread." Normally he would boil and toast the food himself, but that was while travelling.

When the Lady spoke of sleep, he nodded. "Indeed what you say about rest is very true. My research often keeps me up when I should be sleeping."

When Logresia and Doherti, he rose to give the proper bows and greetings. He was not sure of ether person station, but he was not one to ignore proper manners. His mentor had trained them into him after all. "Good morn to both of you! Please sit, the Lady and I where about to break our fast."
Logresia Skrieven
 player, 15 posts
 Human Bard
 Music for fun and sparkle
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 07:59
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
"Porridge would be fine thank you Mistress Thertina", said Logresia.  "Morning, Doherti, as Vander says, were about to break fast." She met Vander's bow with a smile and returned it with a curtsey that somehow managed to be gracefully formal and scurrilously bawdy at the same time.
Jobol Harguld
 player, 9 posts
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 09:25
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
"Mistress." the sudden greeting came moments before Jobol himself appeared from out of eyeshot. Had he been there the whole time? Certainly no-one had seen him enter the common room. The malodorous scent that followed him began its insidious infiltration of the immediate area around him as he plonked his rake-thin and twisted body unceremoniously into a chair and barked at the innkeep. "Porridge like the rest of 'em. And eggs. Ale too."

He pushed his hood back to reveal a twisted countenance; ugly enough in both form and expression that even the most saintly might struggle to feel sympathy for the nasty little imp. Scarred and malformed with straggly, patchy hair and beard which were both greasy and matted. His wry grin at Lady Magister did nothing to improve his appearance. "What is your command today, Mistress?"
Game Master
 GM, 26 posts
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 10:41
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Thertina delivers your food after short wait and then moves to clear and clean the other tables, occasionally disappearing into back to the kitchen. The other patrons finish their breakfast and leave, each of them throwing a curious look to your direction, especially towards the disfigured gnome, before they exit.

For few minutes you have privacy. Then a man enters the inn with determined gait. He's dressed in leathers, has a dark blue cape with fur lining on his shoulders. He also carries a heavy sword on his lap. He notices you all and stands there briefly, his eyes washing over frame of Jobol, then that of Doherti, ending up to the Dark Elf and the others sitting together at the table. He approaches the table where most of you sit and clears his throat to get your attention.

"Ahem. I beg your pardon for interrupting your morning so bluntly." He begins with hoarse voice. "I'm Tristan Wheeler and I'm the head of this community. I come to you for asking your help. I know what I'm about to ask can be... bold and intrusive, but I'm out of options. So please, hear me out."

He pauses briefly to see he has your attention.

"We have people gone missing. Disappeared. That's quite unusual and I don't have means or resources to... to try to solve it. Families of the missing ones are afraid, and they look at ME expecting me to do something about it. I'm an old man. My swordsmanship days are over. So I ask you, good folks, would you help us, this village, to find those missing persons, or at least bring knowledge to their families of what might have happened to their loved ones if possible?"

Edit: I should type my NPC names correctly...

This message was last edited by the GM at 13:44, Sun 05 Dec 2021.

Lady Magister
 player, 15 posts
 Silver Folk
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 13:00
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Lady Magister looked at all that was gathering at the table and offered them a greeting, suitable for their station.  She was a Lady of the Court and she knew how to get around in many social gatherings.

When Jobol spoke she wasn't startled but she did wonder how long has he been there or did you just want to give her the impression that he's been there when he just got up. She watched his mannerism at the table and she could see that he didn't wash yet and noticed a few bit of sleep boogers in his eyes.  Letting out a soft sigh she was about to say something when a stranger walked in the inn and then came closer to their table.

She looked him up and down as he perused all at the table.  There wasn't much to see so she continued her meal till he spoke.  Placing the glass of warm milk back on the table she listened and wondered why them. She saw many folks inside earlier for morning feast.

Not one spoke to them but gave them all some strange stares and there was a lot of whispering.

"Greeting Tritan Wheeler.  We are but a lonely traveling group that would need to discuss your towns problem.

Can you allow us that honor?

Vander Hickenlooper
 player, 12 posts
 AC-13, PD-13, MD-15
 HP-24/24, R-8, RD-d6+2
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 14:25
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Vander stayed silent, but listened. All the while thinking what his mentor would say.

"A true Wizard...gets the money up front. And then decides weather or not some fool's errand will get him killed."

His memory was such he could instantly recall any of his teacher's words. He had pointed out he was on his mentor's errand even now. Some matters where best handled by an apprentice and not a master mage. Master Mages tended to be busy, but Vander rather suspected that meant drinking into the night sleeping into the afternoon. Knowing his teacher, the old man was drinking to forget.

Still, the master wizard was not here. The young apprentice was, he he still believed that those with power should help those without. Even if said task might risk death.

"The Lady and I are of one mind on this matter." Vander said, nodding to the man.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:27, Sun 05 Dec 2021.

Logresia Skrieven
 player, 18 posts
 Human Bard
 Music for fun and sparkle
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 14:43
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Logresia smiled a smile like autumn and said, "Of course, the money doesn't have to be money as such, many people don't have any money but they still have interesting errands for us to run.  There has to be something though, something to make it worthwhile."

Logresia has met Lady Magister in the court in question, but who remembers the jester?
Game Master
 GM, 28 posts
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 16:18
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
When Logresia mentions money, Tristan sighs and raises his hand. "I understand I'm asking a lot. You would have to take considerable risks here and such risks should be properly compensated. Yes, I understand that. I see some of you are magic wielding folk and the rest can provide good amount of sharp steel and arrows. I have understanding about these matters, having been an adventurer myself during my prime."

He pauses and looks at each of you in turn, assessing and pondering.

"I can't provide fancy arcane implements that would help you in this task - though I wish that would be the case -  but the community is willing to pay 50 gold pieces for each of you, if you manage to return the six missing residents safely home, or alternatively bring some valid evidence about their fate. Mind you, such wealth is not easily lifted from the people's back who try to make a living here. Yet they put up what they can for their loved ones.

What say you?"

Jobol Harguld
 player, 10 posts
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 16:27
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Jobol ate his eggs and porridge noisily, slurped his ale and wiped his mouth on an already dirty sleeve. At Tristans' request, he suppressed a smirk but refrained from saying anything; such was not his place; he quirked an eyebrow at his Mistress to see what she would say and gave an almost imperceptible nod of approval.

At Logresia's offer of being paid in trade, he couldn't help himself and cackled, his mouth wide enough to reveal crooked, rot-blackened teeth and to amplify the halitosis that was surely the primary source of his lingering, ever-present stench. "No. No. Money will do just fine for me Mizz Minstrel. Don't think yer making any friends either, keeping us all up at night with yer caterwauling." He hawked and almost spat but threw a quick glance at Lady Magister first, thought better of it and swallowed the loogy instead. He washed it down with the last swallow of his ale and called for another.

The horrible dwarfish creature looked squarely at Tristan and nodded. "Sounds a fair price t'me. Ain't my call though. I just work here." His tone was nonchalant and dismissive, the very picture of a working 'yes man'.
Doherti
 player, 15 posts
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 16:59
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
"Time is of the essence," says Doherti, as he sets down the remnants of his meal. "If you take us to where the most recently vanished person was last seen, or known to be, I may be able to start tracking them."
Lady Magister
 player, 16 posts
 Silver Folk
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 17:22
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Lady Magister noticed that the man wasn't willing to give her request the proper respect so she had to wonder was this mission worth her time.  She looked to Jobol and smiled "Oh how you love gold. she said then looked to the others.

If they were willing to ignore the request to speak in private and jump to the first mission asked then she had to wonder why.  Were they all so desperate for gold or to make a name for themselves even if it cost them their lives.

She kept quiet for now and allowed the others to speak.  Seeing that her words fell on death ears.
Logresia Skrieven
 player, 19 posts
 Human Bard
 Music for fun and sparkle
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 17:55
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
Logresia glared at Jobol and said, "Young man, you were down here when I began my caterwauling as you call it.  Any other caterwauling you may have heard was the work of actual cats."

She thought about the amount on offer though.  Fifty gold each was not much if they were to be risking their lives.  If it was all the villagers had and if their case was a good one then perhaps Logresia may be in favour anyway but she moved to sit next to Lady Magister.  "Perhaps," she said quietly, "We should indeed discuss.  I have a feeling that we would wish to help these people, but they cannot afford a decent fee.  Perhaps we could discover an alternative revenue stream while attempting to find the missing people?"
Vander Hickenlooper
 player, 13 posts
 AC-13, PD-13, MD-15
 HP-24/24, R-8, RD-d6+2
Sun 5 Dec 2021
at 18:30
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
"Money and rewards can be decided later. We need to get moving before the trail goes cold. Weather through ritual magics or old fashion tracking and legwork. Time moves against us, yes?" Vander points out.

Granted, it went against everything his mentor had spoken about being a wizard. However, Vander was not secure in a tower able to demand anything he wished from desperate people. He was not that cynical...not yet anyways.
Game Master
 GM, 30 posts
Mon 6 Dec 2021
at 12:11
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
"You'll help us then?" There is a spark of hope in Tristan's eyes upon hearing Vander's words. "The gold will be yours if you can help us. You have my word on that. In addition, I'll personally own a favor to each of you."

Tristan turns his head towards the inn door and shouts:"Morland! You can enter now."

A shabby man enters. He's an older farmer, seems to be a bit afraid. Tall and lanky, the darker skinned man has tired grey eyes and elbow-length, wavy, brown hair. His outfit is that of a common peasant; scruffy, simple clothes. "Sir?"

"Morland here was in the eastern fields with his son Aisaac planting turnips. Morland had to briefly pop in the village. When he returned the boy was gone." Tristan turns back towards you and looks at you each in the eyes. "The boy is just 8 winters old. He's the last one gone missing and the youngest. Morland will take us to the east-fields where there were working at the time of the incident."

The old warrior turns to walk out. "You should probably take what gear you have and if you need anything, I'll see if I can help you with it. I'll wait with Morland outside."

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:22, Mon 06 Dec 2021.

Vander Hickenlooper
 player, 14 posts
 AC-13, PD-13, MD-15
 HP-24/24, R-8, RD-d6+2
Mon 6 Dec 2021
at 12:47
The beginning - The village elder has a problem
In reply to Game Master (msg # 23):

"8 winters!?" Vander said, his face darkening at the idea of a child gone missing. He had seen too much of such things in the times before his mentor began his training. Even as his anger flared, the various cutlery and plates around his person rattles and  moves in ransom fashions, without him touching them.

"I will need something personal of the boy's possessions. The more personal the better." He said, the shocked outrage in his voice clear to eveyone.

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 12:47, Mon 06 Dec 2021.