Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Presentation & Celebration in Cuxhaven

Wednesday afternoon, August 13, 1650

However unhappy they may be about it, the Mayor Johann Helksmueller stands Silvius and Nine-toes upon a platform and gives a speech about their bravery; their strength; the boldness with which they tackled adversity; their special nature and unusual grasp of a desperate situation; their sacrifice of time and effort to do good things for the people of Cuxhaven; their adventurous defense of the lighthouse that keeps ships safe and capital flowing into the hands of every person there; their quiet, reserved attitudes towards accomplishing this heroic task; their simple people-loving habits; their rustic, unassuming appearance, without pretense, without holding themselves to be better than other people, for after all they are only people like the good people of Cuxhaven; their love of Cuxhaven; their at-first refusal of this honor, wishing only to do their duty to the town without seeking glory; their exhortations of the mayor that the reward be small and that it should not weigh heavy upon the town; and finally, at last, the truth about these men, that they expressed a wish for nothing more than that the town should prosper, that the town should present itself well in the world, and that the people of the town should want for nothing, that they should have everything bestowed upon them, that the very simple matters of life be obtained by all, the food on their tables, the tools of their trade, the nets, the ropes, the hulls of their boats, and God willing, all these things come without trial and storm, without the wave that destroys, without the bitterness of war or famine, without pestilence, without the death of our loved ones, or the cries of our children - ending with, "All these things these men, these steadfast defenders of the city, these happy fellows who have the blessing of their friends and followers, these blessed souls, wish upon you, people of Cuxhaven.  Let us honor them in our hearts and with our good wishes."

Whereupon the crowd bursts into considerable applause, mostly from the opportunity to do something after the mayor has gone on and on - and on - and Silvius and Nine-toes are presented with two pouches of gold, and with two beautiful warhorses, which are startling examples of the Holsteiner breed of light horses.  The town applauds some more, and Silvius and Nine-toes are led down into the crowd, where they are thanked and their hands shaken and offers of drink and food, and an Innkeeper named Erwin insists they must come for dinner, and half the town as well, with Andrej and Ahmet peacefully coming along, watching this whole spectacle.  And somehow the Mayor has conveniently disappeared, and the town's guard also.

And after dinner and food and feeling full and a night's rest in the Inn, the party finds that four horses together have been placed in the Inn's stable, and that Erwin has been given a box with a key from the mayor, and that in that small iron box are two more pouches of gold, with small tags that say 'Ahmet' and 'Andrej.'

98 comments:

Alexis said...

Because the horses and the gold has come due to the events on Neuwark, it is added to your experience. You each have a pouch of 80 g.p.; you each have a light war horse (you can look on line at Holsteiners to see what your horse generally looks like - dark, stocky, heavy shoulders, etcetera).

Together that makes 113 x.p. for Silvius and Nine-toes, and 124 x.p. for Ahmet and Andrej, adjusting for 10% bonus.

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: those are fine looking horses!)

Did the horses come with tack, or do we need to buy saddles and bags and such, Alexis?

"Twas quite a speech last night. I'm not certain that I believe half of it to he true, though."

Alexis said...

Ah yes, forgot to say so. The horses come with a saddle, saddle blanket, a bit & bridle.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet laughs. "Half is a good deal more than I'm used to from ones such as he. But we were rewarded handsomely and I won't fault him for that."

Silvius Volundr said...

Can I name it?

Alexis said...

It's your horse, Silvius.

Nine-toes said...

Whoo hoo! Ima gonna buy saddle bags for it.

Of course, now we have to feed and stable two more horses.... Guess we better get rich!

Am I even able to ride the horse? I know only fighters can fight on them, but can I go at more than a trot without falling off?

"Andrej, will you look at it! You know how to ride, will you teach me? Right now?"

"Would it... would it ill befit a man to, say, give a name to the horse, do you think?"

Nine-toes said...

"What say we have a race to see which one is fastest? Nevermind, no sense breaking my neck the day I get the horse."

Silvius Volundr said...

"I shall give you a chance to win back your silver, Ninetoes, though I like not your odds. 'Slippy' here looks fast as a chicken."

Silvius will buy saddlebags too.

(OOC: "chicken" was rolled randomly....I think it does Silvius' justice though.)

Andrej said...

"A handsome reward indeed. Here is to the mayor and the fine people of Cuxhaven. And of course, to the two heroes of Neuwark." Andrej winks at this last, quaffing whatever beverage is at hand.

Should we assume that the reward given covers the sighting of the wreck, Alexis? Other than mentioning it to the mayor, we never went further with it.

Alexis said...

I do not recall you actually mentioning it to the mayor, Andrej. If you did, I missed it.

No, this is separate, a bonus for the crab. If you did tell the mayor about the ship, the location of the ship will need to be confirmed before the bounty can be paid.

Andrej said...

How does the town or the City of Hamburg go about confirming the wreck?

Alexis said...

You will have to tell them where it is; they go out and see it; if its there, presumably, they pay you.

Nine-toes said...

Do we have precise coordinates to give them for the location? Will they believe the explanation about the illusion?

Andrej said...

Got it.

I gave the mayor a general indication of where the wreck was (2 miles off the coast of Scarhorn and also mentioned the invisibility in the other post. What more should we share with the town other then a more precise location? I so far haven't mentioned what the wreck is (though Terrell knows) nor have we told anybody about the ghost of LeBeau. Any opinions?

Nine-toes said...

Perhaps we should say the wreck was looted when we found it and is haunted (true enough) and leave it at that. Anyone brave enough to board the vessel can say hello to LeBeau.

We might want to leave before they confirm the site, in which case, we might trust Gerhard to hold our payment for us.

Ahmet said...

Do we have to wait until Sunday for the market to open? I'd like to buy saddlebags, feed, etc.

Silvius Volundr said...

The sand bar was called " Hook's Bar".

Alexis said...

They'll send a mage to find the wreck, and overcome the invisibility; they'll also interview Terrell to find the location. Point in fact, Silvius, it was not on Hook's Bar; that bar is known about, whereas the bar that held the ship was hidden.

As I said before, being in this part of the world, the market is open daily; it is only in certain Catholic areas that the market is open only on Sundays.

Andrej said...

I like Nine-Toes's idea about what to explain. I'm sure Terrell can give precise instructions on how to find the wreck or show anybody if that's what's required. I'm also fine with giving Terrell an equal share of the reward if you guys are. Perhaps we should proceed with all of the above if all are in agreement, and then decide whether to wait for payment or come back for it based on how things unfold.

Alexis said...

Let me know what you're doing after you buy equipment/feed. There's details about how much a horse needs to eat in addition to grass at the side of roads, also depending on how much work the horse is doing ... but I don't have access to that information right now. I shall post something about it this evening.

Nine-toes said...

I am in agreement about giving Terrell a share. He helped a lot (he actually knows how to use a sextant!). And it's a difference of 5 gp to each of us - 25 4 ways or 20 5 ways.

Ninetoes heads for market to pick up saddle bags and feed.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet says to Ninetoes, "I'll join you. I have need of saddlebags, feed and" -- he and his horse eye each other suspiciously -- "a whip."

Andrej said...

A day of horse feed is 4 c.p. and weighs 1.9 pounds. We currently have 5 days of feed left, but this is for our Percheron Jan. a burlap sack can hold about 20 lbs, so can take on 10 days of supplemental feed. If we each buy a full sack for our horses and a sack to carry it in, that would be 41 cp for feed and the sack and weighs about 20 lbs. total, which we can haul in the cart. In town we can stable and feed the horses at the inn (7 c.p. per day total).

Andrej will be buying a full sack as above plus filling the sack of the Percheron, 61 cp total.

Nine-toes said...

I bought 14 days worth and stuffed it in the saddle bags (assuming that will work)

Ahmet said...

I'll subscribe to the Andrej plan (10 days of horsefeed in a burlap sack for 41 coppers).

However, I don't see a whip or saddlebags listed?

Andrej said...

Alexis, Andrej would like to dispatch Emmanuel to accompany the others to market for the feed above, as he has no need for additional saddle bags (already owning a set).

He will instead seek out Terrell, the mayor or whomever else and make official our report on the wreck, having Terrell explain the location while Andrej explains the invisibility and its haunted nature. Andrej will also try to ascertain about how long the party will have to wait to receive the reward.

I say we leave on the day that payment is made to us, assuming it does not take too long.

Alexis said...

At the market, there will be a certain amount of recognition of Nine-toes and Silvius, with questions, praise, general assorted picking of their minds and so on.

Nine-toes, what with one thing or another, one of the belt pouches on your belt (and I'm afraid you can't really keep six full ones there, though you don't need six to cover the coin you have) happens to go missing. With it, about 25 g.p. and the change from buying the saddle bags - which I calculate is 6 s.p. and 40 c.p.

Apparently, the cutpurse got clean away with it. You look around the market but see absolutely no one you could possibly respect.

Nine-toes said...

Only 4 (now 3) were on my belt, is that okay?

Alexis said...

Ahmet,

I see a cat-o-nine tails for 6 s.p. at the leather worker's, and both saddle bags large and small there as well (11 g.p. and 8 g.p. respectively).

Andrej,

Terrell will go to the Town Hall to tell them, and looks forward to the reward. He suspects it might be a month before the city of Hamburg gets around to properly determining the location of the wreck, since they have to convince some mage to do it for them, and the wheels of bureaucracy. He himself may leave town by them, but he will talk to his uncle about vouchsafing the money for you, if you do leave for Emden as you and companions spoke about on the boat coming back.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius brags about the Crab Cracking at every occasion. He buys large saddlebags, feed, a saltlick, gives his share of reward to Terrell (5gp?) and then buys a WARDOG. Yeah, you heard me...

(OOC: well played with the whip, Ahmet!)

Alexis said...

Yes, since you don't need the space that they all offer. I typically assume a belt can reasonably be expected to carry about 10 lbs. comfortably, or up to 4 or 5 objects. There are about 64 g.p. per pound; four pouches would carry 320, or about 5 pounds of coin ... so it this case it would be the discomfort of things hanging all over the place while trying to, say, climb walls and stuff.

You have weapons on your belt too, right?

Alexis said...

It occurs to Silvius that the people of the town of Hamburg might be astounded now to find that he's such a hero, since they all thought he would come to no good.

Nine-toes said...

Just the crossbow. The staff I carry as a walking stick.

Ahmet said...

Can I request a bullwhip instead of a cat-o-nine-tails?

Then I think we're ready to roll!

Alexis said...

I'll create a bullwhip for the future, if I remember it; for the present, assume it is unavailable.

Nine-toes said...

Is there any chance Ahmet, Silvius or Emmanuel noticed the theft, since we were all together.

Also, is there any reason only I was targetted? Do I look richer, comparing myself to the others?

Nine-toes said...

Nevermind, I suppose only Silvius and I were recognized from the ceremony, so they wouldn't know Ahmet got gold as well.

Alexis said...

Totally got away clean.

You just happened to be the unlucky one, as far as you can tell Nine-toes.

Ahmet said...

I'll take the cat-o-nine-tails then...

Anything else we need to do in Cuxhaven?

Nine-toes said...

Find the thieves guild and pay them out. But that is a personal agenda and will have to wait another day. They are on my list. Hopefully I can get a skeleton key from them first.

Andrej said...

"I am ready and anxious to be off to Emden."

Alexis, Whatever time Andrej has left in the day while the others are at the market will be spent a) inquiring as to best route to Emden if traveling by horse and cart and b) beginning with Gerhardt, finding out if there is any need for hauling goods between here and there or back. I'd like to journey both ways with a full cart. Helps to feed the ponies, it does.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I'm surprised I got so little reaction from Nine-toes; apparently people get robbed all the time. It was so slick...the thief rolled a '1' on a % roll to succeed at pick-pocketing. I was all ready to have a chase through the town!)

Andrej, you can see from the map that there are no first rate roads overland from Cuxhaven. You more or less have to go through the Swedish territories or made a wide swing around Bremen through Luneburg and Calenburg, which are off the bottom of the map. The elevation map shows that the hex east of Cuxhaven and the hex south of Cuxhaven both have a 0, or sea-level elevation ... which means they are subject to flooding during rains, made worse when the tides are high - one reason there are no stone roads to Bremen.

There is a road, not shown on the map, that is a bit better than a cart track ... its an earthen road that now and then a layer of gravel and stones has been dropped into it, particular over the squidgy parts when they occur, randomly, over the length of the road. You should have no trouble if the weather remains dry, and it is, after all, August.

The chief obstacle is the Weser river flowing into the North Sea down from Bremen - that wide blue line not going through Hamburg. Getting across that without having to go all the way to Bremen will require being ferried, possibly by someone with a boat. There won't be a ford, the river is deep and wide.

At Bremen, of course, you can pick up the road going through Oldenburg and Leer, or perhaps work your way down to Oldenburg overland if you get across the Weser before you get to Bremen.

I'm going to start playing my rough-travel-causes damage system in a few days, so be warned that the trip may get unpleasant.

Isn't travel fun?

Ahmet said...

Hm... the low road through Calenburg or the high road through Bremen?

Any particular reason to discount going through the Swedish territories?

Alexis said...

Now, regarding Gerhard; he does not trade fish outside of Cuxhaven; he sells it here and delivers some of his take to a partner in Hamburg. He hasn't any idea what they might need in Emden.

Generally speaking, Cuxhaven is a little bit closer to the vast interior of Bohemia, so anything that is inherently Bohemian will do better in Emden. But by ship the two of them are very close together, and they have very similar economies, so the difference in trade will be minimal.

Alexis said...

More like the low road through Bremen lands ...

Only that you may be pressed and pushed about what you're carrying, and taxed, and harrassed for being foreigners, and because there's a bit of a civil war going on in Bremen city itself. But only a bit of one.

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - What can I do? The dice are what they are. If the thief made his roll, I am satisfied as a player. Ninetoes is guessing that the Cuxhaven constabulary wouldn't be able to apprehend a thief he never even saw.)

Alexis said...

Silvius will be loading up his new horse, fitting the saddle bags on it, more or less alone in the stable of the Inn where he stayed last night at Erwin's expense ... and another fellow comes to look over his horse, and remarks casually, "You're going to Emden, are you?"

Andrej said...

Emden is near to Leer and Engelke, yes? Along the coast? I assumed near/ upon Ems river and near or along the coast, but I guess never confirmed with you.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius casts a glance at his new, hugely muscled and intimidating dog to see how he reacts to the stranger as he replies.

"Believe we are. You know it well?"

Alexis said...

Andrej,

Sometimes, it is very, very difficult to be in both the 17th century and the 21st century at the same time.

'Emden' IS 'Engelke.' A bit of cognitive dissonance there on my part.

I'll be referring to it as Engelke from now on.

Alexis said...

"Not especially," the stranger tells Silvius. "I have business partners there."

Andrej said...

I understand Alexis, no worries.

Silvius Volundr said...

"Business partners. An' what's your craft, sir?"

Alexis said...

"Tis a strange one," he answers. "One for which the materials cost dear, for which there are few buyers and for which the having is rarely treasured."

Alexis said...

The stranger has an odd, difficult to identify accent. You would almost think he was English, but that the words do not leave his mouth in at all the same pace.

Andrej said...

Alexis, the cart track you described leads directly from Cuxhaven to Engelke?

Alexis said...

The cobblestone road leads to Bremen; if you can cross the Weser below Bremen, that is before you reach Bremen, you will probably find another cobblestone road or cart track that will take you to Oldenburg.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius laughs and nods knowingly to hide the fact that he is but slightly sharper than the hammers shoved into his belt. He reaches for a large word.

"Intriguing," smiling to himself at his correct pronunciation. "Is there message I can carry to your partners for ye, or perhaps deed what needs carrying out... Seeing as we are going that way?"

Alexis said...

"I would go with you," says the stranger. "With the agreement that we will not travel through Bremen nor over no unnecessary border, and that we will avoid guards where we can. For all this I will pay you and your friends fifty gold now, and two hundred gold upon the completion of our journey."

Silvius Volundr said...

"Intriguing." Silvius finds himself liking this word more and more.

"Meet me in the inn in two hours time. I shall confer with my comrades and give you an answer then."

(OOC: boys?)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Can we assume we have all regrouped to discuss?)

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: As an aside, Alexis, I also thought that the cutpurse was long gone as well and that Ninetoes discovered the loss well after the fact.)

Andrej said...

(OOC: me too, but as Andrej was not present during the robbery, though, so I wouldn't have responded either way)

Andrej said...

Assuming we're all together and at the inn now.
1) I'd like to know what our mysterious stranger is transporting and
2) sounds like his best bet would be a sea voyage
3) Does he need to avoid the city of Bremen or the whole duchy?

Silvius Volundr said...

I didn't even get his name! I heard "blah, blah, blah, 250gp"

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: Cuxhaven has more hooks than a Hellraiser movie)

Nine-toes said...

"Come, Andrej, where's your sense of adventure! You wanted to transport goods - you didn't specify they couldn't be a person or that they had to be legal!

"In all earnestness, caution is best. If he is willing to pay us $250 gold just to transport him, likely he is not willing to divest what he carries. I for one would be satisfied if he were at least willing to attest that his ends were not nefarious. Would we like our own errand to known to the public as well? Mystery is the stuff of adventure, so long as it be on the up and up."

Alexis said...

(OOC: distractions, distractions)

In answer to your suggestion, Silvius, you'll be told there's a sway-backed barn three miles south of town on the Bremen road; it has been painted blue and the paint is mostly gone now. He gives his name as Victor and says he will meet you there tomorrow (which by now is would be the 15th, as the Mayor honored Silvius and Nine-toes on the afternoon of the 13th), if you accept. If he sees you stay on the road and ride by, he will assume you do not accept.

The party can now be considered together and able to talk; call it the evening of the 14th.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Silvius is right about the cutpurse; I just hoped for a little swearing!)

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - Ninetoes can only bear so much disappointment before he becomes complacent. He's still reeling from the loss of crab's eggs.)

Ahmet said...

"He's smuggling something... or someone," Ahmet says, rubbing his chin. "And why approach a stranger in a stable, rather than the mercenary's guild? How many guards would 250 gold buy from them?"

Ahmet shakes his head. "I'm suspicious of men who speak in riddles." Because I don't understand them, Ahmet doesn't need to add. "I want him to tell us, plainly, what it is he is transporting. There are some things just I won't do... for 250 gold."

Nine-toes said...

"Ahmet, what about our own mission? Would you disclose to the stranger that we seek a map to a cursed jewel? Such a thing is not illegal, but secrecy is still prudent, is it not?"

"And if he were to lie and say his purpose is not nefarious (without disclosing what he carries) could he not lie about what his cargo is as well? If we do not trust him with one, then why trust him with the other?"

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: oh, there was swearing. Along with some, " glad that wasn't me")

Alexis said...

(GCI: To the best of my knowledge, there is no value in crab eggs. Marine eggs in the giant class in general, for that matter; as an afficianado of caviar, I would imagine the caviar from giant sturgeons would be awful and not worth eating, since they just wouldn't gestate properly.)

(OOC: Just for the record, I seriously considered having the Hamburg guards find the lost treasure of 'Odd Sven Svenson' in the bottom of the crab's lagoon, but I decided against that plotline early last week ... when you didn't go look, however, I was very tempted to resurrect it again just to make the party feel awful. I have restrained that urge, but thought that since the egg-thing keeps getting brought up, I'd mention it)

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - you would have been within your rights, anything could have been there. We just didn't look.)

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: from now on, Silvius will start strip mining places we visit.....f-ING odd scent svenson.)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet scowls at Nine-toes. "No, I wouldn't tell this stranger of our mission -- but I'm not looking to hire him."

He pauses for a moment, then tries another tack. "Surely there's something that, if you knew he was transporting it, you would want no part of the job. Some... abducted child or accursed artifact or the finger bones of one of your revered saints. Wouldn't you rather know now, rather than discover it on the road when surrounded by this man's enemies?"

Ahmet said...

(OOC: If you saw Alexis's post on the matter, yes, I am indeed one of those cynical players!)

Nine-toes said...

"Perhaps my use of the word 'nefarious' is too broad. If he were base enough to kidnap children, I would want no part of it."

"But how are we to know what he carries? If he be desperate enough to break the law, what chance is there he will speak truly of his errand? We either trust his word or we don't (and I do not yet rule out distrust). And if he gave his word his errand was not evil, would you not accept that? If not, then he has no place with us."

Ahmet said...

"What man would admit to doing evil? Even if he had a mewling infant in a burlap sack, he would find a way to justify it in his own mind."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet pauses, and then adds: "I'm not necessarily opposed to this job, whatever it is. I just think it is wiser to know what it is we're guarding... and who we're guarding it from."

Andrej said...

"My sense of adventure is intact, not to worry. Avoiding a city of angry, sword-toting Protestants is not necessarily nefarious, and while I value our right to privacy on the matter of what brings us to Engelke, Ahmet is right... we are not seeking his partnership but he ours. As partners I would know what awaits us should we be stopped. We put him in no danger by giving him a ride. Do you see the distinction, Nine-Toes? It can't hurt to ask on the 'morrow, for I propose we meet this man. we can decide ultimately then whether to take him up on the offer. He described his activity obliquely to you. If we are serious enough to stop and parley some more and then perhaps he will be willing to reveal more, eh?"

Andrej and Emmanuel will eat well this night, supping on reindeer steaks and goblets of wine (45 silver including a night's private lodging)

Andrej said...

A final point of clarity, I apologize if you covered this and I missed it Alexis, but Victor needs to avoid just the city of Bremen, or the whole duchy?

Nine-toes said...

"Then we shall ask, and see how he answers."

Ninetoes will eat lobster. 2 gp, 3 sp (private room). "May as well enjoy the wealth now as it may be stolen on the morrow."

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius will bathe, havee his clothes laundered and down 2pints of ale along with a roast chicken that he will share with Loki, his hardened, bloodthirsty canine companion.

He sleeps in an ordinary room with said animal.

Andrej said...

(OOC: You guys ever actually eat reindeer? It's delicious. Not quite as gamey and more tender than venison. I must state, though, that the reindeer I ate was farm-bred and the venison always shot in the wild.)

Andrej said...

Andrej raises an eyebrow at the name of the dog, but makes no comment.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet will get a private room and share it with a chicken. Wink, wink.

What? No, you freaks... a roasted chicken.

Wink, wink!

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: you guys are killing me, and no Ahmet, never had reindeer.)

Alexis said...

Andrej,

You can't tell what Victor needs or does not need; you were not there, and if Victor did not explain himself any further to Silvius, he cannot now explain himself further to you. You have only what Silvius remembers, which is what I wrote further up.

(OOC: I'm Canadian, so of course I've eaten reindeer. We call it 'caribou.'

We also call chickens 'nighttime lovers' but it has nothing to do with nothing you're not thinking about)

Silvius Volundr said...

Let's meet Victor tomorrow. We will then decide on the spot whether to do business with him.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Sorry fellows, that's it for me. And I've found out that I am hooped for the whole day tomorrow. We'll have to collect this on Thursday. I presume you'll load up in the morning on the 15th, and I'll begin the post with your reaching the point of meeting (if you do ... heh heh heh ...)

Andrej said...

(OOC: I'll be touch and go myself on Thursday, but otherwise it sounds like a plan. I'll be online when I can.)

Andrej said...

I'm online and should be more available than anticipated for today.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Just trying to get my shit together. I'll have the new post up in a little bit)

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - I'll be here today, gone tomorrow all day. Going to Minneapolis with the missus to visit friends.

Got a cat named Sammi yesterday, which we've decided is short for 'Samurai.'"

Silvius Volundr said...

Awesome, Ninetoes.