Monday, April 19, 2010

Near Sunset, Namata Crossroads

Saturday, June 7, 1650


The party knows well enough to leave very early in the day, before the sun rises. To travel to Mt. Ossa, the party must first travel west, along the road to Larisa, for this road passes through a deep pass that leads from Golos to the plain of Larisa. The road is heavily travelled ... this is one of the principal routes into the heart of Greece, moving traffic towards Trikkala and Epirus. Upon emerging from the pass, the plain is spread out below - the plain beyond is huge, twenty miles in diameter, and is a rich, flat cultivated plain full of orchards, vinyards and pastures. The land is thoroughly irrigated, and heavily populated ... it is possible to see a hundred peasants at a time, nearby, cutting branches, tying vines in the fields or scything out the undergrowth beneath pear and plum trees.

To the east you can see a long ridge extending north and west from Mt. Pilion, which is behind you and to the right. Two little mountains, the names of which you don’t know, rise on your left, to the west. Mt. Ossa is ahead, in the distance, looking quite magnificent. Following the Thessaly road for another ten miles, you turn at the sign that directs you to Mt. Ossa, and through the small village of Melissa. In Melissa the party must stop, and siesta for several hours ... it is just too hot to travel. By four in the afternoon, the sun has moved well past the zenith and the party can advance forward.

Beyond Melissa, the road leads to another village named Namata - where there is a wide irrigation ditch, thirty feet across - and a crossroads, from Larisa to the east, leading through the gap between the aforementioned ridge and Mt. Ossa ... which is now much larger. The immensity of the mountain is stunning - six thousand feet above the party, a huge disc like a shield, ten miles across.

Upon the crossroads there are thirty soldiers, laying about, resting ... apparently waiting for orders. They are gathered together in groups of two to four, eating fruit, cleaning their weapons or their clothing, chatting or sleeping ... there are none sparring. This is now quite late, and the sun will set within ten or twenty minutes - it is quite hot.

What actions might Nasira and Symeon take?

12 comments:

Nasira said...

Do the soldiers look like an official force or garrison? Or are they more a collection of fighting men?

Alexis said...

They are without question a group of state soldiers, all moslems, of the Ottomans. This would be evident from their shields and helmets, and not from their clothing. A soldier's clothing tended to be standard, but without signs or sigils, like the Europeans.

Nasira said...

I am up for pushing on for a while.

Alexis said...

Keeping in mind that in this latitude, when the sun sets, it does so fairly quickly, with a short period of twilight thereafter.

If pushing on, in which direction?

Symeon Kokolas said...

"Let us continue briefly for the village of Ossa, then, and get clear of the crossroads. It is likely we will find who we are looking for between Ossa and Spilia. There is not much time, but even a few minutes would put us a little out of the way of travelers."

Alexis said...

Consider yourselves having reached two miles further along the Ossa-Spilia road, before it gets too dark to pick your way along. Do you plan to rise with the sun, or ahead of it?

Nasira said...

I think we should rise before the sun. "It will certainly be cooler."

Alexis said...

Symeon has made it fairly clear his intentions, so the next morning you can start again.

(OOC: don't take the slow moving campaign too much to heart; these things gather steam, particularly as various elements come together. Rest assured that things are happening. Many of the events that might occur haven't, as the party keeps tossing over opportunities for information I keep offering ... grin ... no worries. I'll get you interested)

Nasira said...

(OOC: Heh, no problem. I think we have to pick our battles carefully.)

Symeon Kokolas said...

(It didn't occur to him that while traveling with a well-dressed Muslim woman, the party would be well-received by local soldiers. I considered it, but he was more likely to follow Nasira's lead.)

Nasira said...

(Hmm, Nasira was all set to follow you, Mr. Charisma)

Alexis said...

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