Thursday, October 20, 2011

Starting towards Engelke

Friday, August 15, 1650


Weather: pleasant, cloudy

You experience one of the first beautiful autumn sun rises of the year, with clouds in the east turning pink before the sun climbs above the horizon.  The sky is full of big puffy clouds.  The temperature is a bit cool, but it promises to be a fairly nice day.

The road south of Cuxhaven is being used more than most times of the year, as farmers bring in crops of wheat and oats from the soggy farms south of town.  The party finds the road on either side mixed with marshes, small ponds, cattails and much long grass, and to get around the carts its necessary to get off your horses and walk them.

After about two miles the carts thin out and you find you can ride most of the time.  The Holsteiners are unusually light on their feet, and you discover much to your surprise that your asses hardly feel a thing - you find you must comment upon it, as without knowing it you've been given horses which are actually famous for not causing a sore ass after much riding.  With a little experimentation from the fighters, you find the horses are quick to step up the pace, and extraordinarily easy to turn left or right, or come to a quick stop.  The monk and the cleric find it somewhat more difficult to perform these motions, but the fighters have no difficulty, and even find they must cavort a little from pleasure.

You see the barn come up on the right, following a long steady climb onto a low ridge.  It is completely wrecked, and painted a faded blue.  All looks quiet.  There is no horse tied up outside, nor any sign of a person being here.

179 comments:

Ahmet said...

Can I make a circuit around the barn to see what's behind/near it?

Alexis said...

The grass is fairly heavy, but yes, you can make a complete circuit. From the back side you can see between the slats and into the barn.

There appears to be no one here.

Silvius Volundr said...

On the chance that this Victor has been compromised, Silvius will ride just past the barn, remaining on the road, and take up a watch with shield and spear. He remains mounted.

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes will wait for Silvius to make contact with Victor, or vice versa. He watches in all directions, leery of ambush.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet rides back to Andrej and Nine-toes, roughly reining his horse to a stop in front of them.

"It appears to be empty, but who knows what lurks inside."

He looks back at the barn, looking for any movement inside, then continues.

"Silvius should go inside, but not alone. But one of us should remain out here with the horses."

Nine-toes said...

"I wonder if our friend may have eavesdropped on our conversation at the inn and soured of doing business with us."

Nine-toes said...

"I will load the crossbow and watch the horses."

Silvius Volundr said...

Hearing this, Silvius dismounts and plants his spear. He slings his shield over the horn of his sadddle and checks the hammers in his belt before starting for the barn.

"Will you join me, Andrej?"

Nine-toes said...

Sorry, should have said Ninetoes dismounts first. He will dismount after loading the crossbow so that he may fire it should the need arise. Once the crossbow is loaded, he will keep one hand on the crossbow and tether the horses if possible, or hold the reigns if not.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet will remain mounted. If he's a sufficiently skilled rider, he'll hold his scimitar in his right hand and his shield on his left arm, the reins in his left hand.

If Nine-toes intends to remain more or less on the road in front of the barn (watching the pair as they enter), Ahmet will ride to a point where he is at a 90 degree angle from Nine-toes, so he can see the front and back of the barn as well.


. \ . . ===== . . .
. / . . | b | . . .
. \ . . | a | . . .
9toes . { r | . . .
. \ . . | n | . . .
. / . . ===== . . .
. \ . . . . . . . .
. / . . ahmet . . .

Fancy eh?

Alexis said...

Nine-toes, you can't load a crossbow while mounted. It's too big and you have to put a foot in the stirrup.

Ahmet is sufficiently skilled to hold scimitar and shield while riding, so long as its a small shield (didn't go look). Blogger printed a lot of gobbledegook - don't know what it means.

Silvius, regardless of whether or not Andrej joins you, you see no one in the barn.

Alexis said...

Oh. Seeing it in this format, and not the comments page in blogger, gobbledegook makes more sense.

Ahmet said...

It's a large shield. I'll leave it on my back.

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: that was some van gogh shit there Ahmet. Nicely done!)

Seeing no sign of Victor, Silvius will have a look around. He will probe the ground for hollow sounds, look to the rafters and generally inspect the insides for signs that Victor may have been here. He will, in particular, look for a note or message.

Nine-toes said...

"Looks like we are out a fare. No doubt it is for the best, and the matter has settled itself."

Silvius Volundr said...

If Silvius finds nothing out of the ordinary, he will concur with Ninetoes and make his way back to his mount.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet will remain at his position until all are remounted, then rejoin the group.

Nine-toes said...

Having a disquieting thought, Ninetoes begins examining the cart very thoroughly to ensure nothing has been added to its contents while we were unawares. He checks his bag, checks the food stores, checks under the cart - tries to be as thorough as possible.

Silvius Volundr said...

Good thinking, Ninetoes.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Sorry guys, held up)

Andrej would have accompanied Silvius to the barn and wonders if his infravision revealed anything amiss amidst the shadowy corners.

Alexis said...

There's a flimsy ladder to the collapsed loft, Silvius, and upon the only beam that is still supporting part of the roof you'll find a fairly crude carving of a crowned sea lion holding a trident.

Alexis said...

Nothing appears out of the ordinary, Nine-toes.

(OOC: Too bad though, a Midnight Express gambit would have been good here. I wish I'd thought of that. But I'll stay honest)

Alexis said...

Afraid not, Andrej.

Andrej said...

Want to investigate the carving, Silvius?

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Given the description of the flimsy ladder and single beam, this might be a job for a monk...)

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: having a Lovecraft Moment)

Silvius scurried up the flimsy ladder until he eyes the carving. Is it a message? Is it a cursed totem worshipped by some long forgotten foul race?

(OOC: Alexis, not sure how big this thing is...)

If it can be carried, Silvius will gently pick it up and take it down the laddder, showing it to Andrej.

Andrej said...

Good point Ahmet.

Silvius Volundr said...

Scrap the showing it to Andrej.just read that post.

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes will gladly climb the ladder if anyone points out to him that there is a ladder, or a carving. (Assuming the ladder is not already climbed.)

Andrej said...

Assuming Silvius has not climbed the ladder already, Andrej calls for Ninetoes to do so.

Andrej said...

Also having a Lovecraft moment, Andrej will cast detect malevlonce and face first the crudely carved icon and then do a sweep of the area.

Alexis said...

Silvius,

The carving is about three inches high. The pillar it is inscribed upon is six inches square and 18 feet high, reaching from the floor to the roof.

There is no malevolence in the barn.

Andrej said...

While the spell is still active Andrej will step beyond the barn, assuming Ninetoes is now stepping in and do a circuit of the area surrounding the barn.

Nine-toes said...

I'll climb the ladder to poke at the carving, looking for a message, secret panel, etc.

Does the carving have any significance to us?

Alexis said...

It appears to be only a sigil, of meaning to someone, but having no existence other than a carving on a post.

Andrej, a tour around the barn identifies no malevolence within the spell range.

Silvius Volundr said...

Ohhhhhhh!

I thought it was a carved statuette!

In that case, I will relay this information to my party.

"Perhaps it means something. Maybe Victor could not meet us and instead left a sign. Any o' you recall a 'Inn of the Sea Lion King' or something along tjose lines?"

Andrej said...

Andrej shall approach Ahmet & describe the symbol he saw while in the barn. "Your thoughts, Ahmet?"

Silvius Volundr said...

"Pax in Bello?"

Ahmet said...

"I know not what the symbol you describe represents. As for this Victor..."

Ahmet shrugs.

"I think perhaps this was intended to be an ambush for Silvius and Ninetoes and their crabslayer gold, but the highwaymen fled when they saw they were accompanied by the two of us, Brother Andrej." He winks.

Alexis said...

Andrej's specialties tell him that the details show that the image is not only that of a Sea Lion, but specifically is drawn to be that of Clocus, who was the legendary sea lion encountered by the Spanish Main off the island of Jamaica a century ago.

Silvius Volundr said...

Alexis, how fresh is the carving? Recent or old?

Alexis said...

The carving appears to be about a year old ... good question!

Andrej said...

"Hmmm... perhaps. We are quite mighty." Claps his comrade on the shoulder before nudging his mount away and toward where the cart is parked.

Unless Nine-Toes and Silvius uncover something in the barn, Andrej makes ready to depart: checking on all of the horses, conferring with Emmanuel on how bets to pilot the cart over the next stretch of road, generally hoping that the weather holds.

Andrej said...

Whoops... just read the above. Andrej will relay that information to his companions.

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: rats...thought I was onto something there. For fun, Google Pax In Bello, boys and check out the first wiki. Scroll down to "religious sects" and prepare for a "WTF moment".)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet shrugs with little interest at this new information. "Let's ride on. We can make inquiries about this strange symbol in Engelke, if it still troubles you."

Nine-toes said...

That was a saying of Oliver Cromwell, and Victor was described as having a sort of English accent.

Would the English have any interests in this region?

Alexis said...

I shall tell you, Silvius, the image is quite similar; but there's no reason in the world why Silvius the fighter would know of it.

Andrej said...

"Could be our friend is smuggling items from or to the New World, based on the origin of the sigil if my interpretation is correct. As for England, that could be anybody's guess. The meat of the crab we caught for Gerhardt was bound for England, if I remember it correctly. That's not necessarily a connection."

Alexis said...

I have one call to ride on. Others?

Nine-toes said...

Ride on

Silvius Volundr said...

It is also the mantra of the Osbourne Family, whose crest is a sealion holding a trident.

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - I thought the mantra of the Osbourne family was: "I bit the head off of what?" or "Sharon!")

Andrej said...

(OOC: ozzy, ozzy, ozzy)

"I say we do a search of the area, to see if this Victor is amidst the grasses somewhere with a knife between his shoulders. Let us take several minutes more to so so, all four while Emmanuel looks after the horses and cart. Then ride on. What say you?"

Silvius Volundr said...

(Yes, that should have been OOC)

Ride on!

Nine-toes said...

"Very well." Ninetoes beats the grass with his staff as he searches for any sign of Victor.

Andrej said...

Seeing the Ninetoes agrees Andrej likewise begins searching another area far off from Nine-Toes, using his staff to prod and poke the grass and bushes.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius aids on the search, using his spear.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet heaves an exasperated sigh, rolls his eyes, clucks his tongue, folds his arms, and finds other ways to express his displeasure, but eventually he joins the others in searching the tall grass.

He rides out in a wide circle around the barn, occasionally reaching down to slash with his scimitar at a particularly tall stand of grass to see if anything lies beneath.

Andrej said...

Alexis, have we seen the symbol of the sealion before? Perhaps in Cuxhaven?

Lacking the revelation of anything further, Andrej will be ready to depart and to keep and eye out for the symbol as we travel.

"We must agree upon which road to take to Engelke. I prefer moving through Bremen, but avoiding the city, looking to cross the Weser downstream from the city and make our way to Oldenburg."

Silvius Volundr said...

"Through Bremen it is then."

Nine-toes said...

I will leave the interpretation of maps to my betters.

Ninetoes saddles up to leave.

Ahmet said...

I don't have a preference, so Bremen it is... assuming our search turns up nothing, of course.

Alexis said...

Having accomplished sufficient damage to the grass, with now experience rewarded, I shall presume a continued journey forward.

Is the party going to Bremen, or attempting to cross the Weser at some point below? If the latter, the party must specify moving off the road and into the small hamlets and thorps along the river, looking for a means to cross.

Otherwise, I will assume you discount this possibility.

As you get five miles south of Cuxhaven, and noon approaches, the weather improves; it remains cloudy, but the temperature is pleasant and you find yourselves removing some clothing for comfort. Those riding in armor feel a little sweaty.

(GCI: for future reference - and this will be expanded upon - I have used fahrenheit for the temperature guage for the sake of my American friends. 41-50 degrees is "brisk"; 51-60 degrees is "cool"; 61-70 degrees is "pleasant"; and 71-80 degrees is "warm." I shall add more if they become relevant)

Silvius Volundr said...

If we take the Thorpe and hamlet way, will our cart make it? I would think not.

Andrej said...

Feel free to use Celsius as you wish (celsius degrees * 1.8 plus 32, friends)

We will be looking for a means to cross the Weser downstream from the city.

I know you don't care much for marching orders, Alexis, but I'd still like Nine-Toes, Silvius and Emmanuel upon the cart to "lead" the party as we travel as they look more "German" and therefore will stand out less than Ahmet and I, who will try to hang back as we travel. I'd like our first impression to anybody we may meet upon the road to be as positive as possible, given recent political events.

Andrej said...

They must use carts in the thorpes and hamlets.

Alexis said...

Of course they do; where on earth does the rye and oats come from?

If you find a ferry, it should be large enough for horses and cart; but ferries work and don't work, depending on the weather, their success and how nastily the river flooded this past year.

It will slow you down if you look for a ferry.

Andrej said...

Also, if questioned I see no reason to wander far from the truth. We travel to Engelke, seeking news of our good friend Robert Lebeau, whom we hope to find there or in France. We know him from our brief time spent upon the sea.

Silvius Volundr said...

I will take point, per Andrej's suggestion.

(OOC: I'm good with C too.. but I live in AZ. 80 isn't "warm"....and yes, I am sporting chainmail as I write this. Mithril.)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Niiiice. I've always preferred the adamantine mail. Favors my complexion, I'm told)

Andrej said...

Guys I'm still in favor of avoiding Bremen if possible and don't mind the slow-down. There must be a ferry across somewhere.

Alexis said...

(OOC: 80 very often isn't 'warm,' I agree. But in describing every 10-degree period above 80 I start to run out of adjectives ... and besides, a bathtub full of 80-degree water isn't warm at all. It's all subjective anyway, so please accept the label as a label so you can assess the temperature without my needing to give it as a number that hasn't been invented yet).

Alexis said...

Can I get a definite answer from the party on ferry or Bremen?

Silvius Volundr said...

"Warm"works!

I vote to find a ferry

Alexis said...

(OOC: forgive me, fellows, and please believe me when I say I have no expectations that anyone here would move forward on the idea, but I would enjoy any feedback on my proposal yesterday, or the continuation of same today. The idea occurred to me just yesterday morning, while working, and was not in my mind prior to then; its only connection to my desire to play D&D online again would be that this autumn I have generally felt a reduction in real releases for my natural creativity. Does anyone have any thoughts to share?)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Which proposal? I seem to have missed something.)

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - Hey, you put the effort in, sounds like people are willing to compensate you for it, why not? Free enterprise. I have no input on marketing unless you want the ramblings of a Philosophy/Creative Writing major on marketing. I would be curious if it would be possible for you to break the materials down into individual sales at a smaller price point each. I don't know if your work would lend itself to that approach. From your descriptions of how inter-related some charts are, it could be an all-or-nothing proposal in granting people access to your work.)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Oh, that proposal. I think you'll get some interest in the form of blog posts, and might make a sale or two but that's about it. While the work is valuable in its own right and in terms of effort and quality no doubt worth it, I'm afraid my sense is that most people aren't interested in running the "real world" so the impressive maps are of limited actual use and the trade system therefore of limited use to most as-is, off-the-shelf. The best DMs are inveterate tinkerers, and you are probably among the best of the best, Alexis. I might be your biggest fan. I'm certainly one of the most vocal. I might consider spending the $100 to just peek under the hood of what you've got, but the idea of understanding it well enough to then turn around and try to reapply to my campaign world... .

If you could generalize the trade system well enough that users would only have to input their own data into your model, I think you'd be on to something. If you could then figure out how to host that somewhere vs. offering to dump a bunch of files on people I think you might have the basis of a subscription service. It all strikes me as way more complicated and requiring a lot more effort, time and upfront expense than the Conflict! cards, though. What a brilliant fucking tool kit it could be, though.

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - From Andrej's comments, I'm reminded of talk I've heard about Tekkmel - basically that it's brilliant but only its creator could ever hope to run the thing. Granted, there is a small society of people trying to preserve the original materials of the Tekumel campaign setting long after the creator's death, but few ever dare try to DM it. I am sure you will find "The Empire of the Petal Throne" a (very) poor comparison to your work, but I can think of no other example that even approaches at least the scale with which you work.)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Ideally and from an entirely commercial perspective, what happens here is somebody decides to pay you for all of this to use in a video game. If all it costs them is $100, though... you may want to put in place some limits or see an IP expert before you take the plunge you've already taken.)

Silvius Volundr said...

I emailed you on this this morning. I am interested.

I agree with some of Andrej's comments, unfortunately- you will likely get many nibbles, but fewer bites. Just the nature of people.

For my own part, i am looking to see under the hood as well. I am not a particularly creative DM and taking systems like this and tinkering with them has worked well for me in the past to enhance my game world.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Thank you fellows; the most valuable currency to me at the moment is knowledge)

I've only heard from one of you; where you wind up the evening of the 15th (the date is wrong at the moment, but I will fix) depends on this decision.

Silvius Volundr said...

Find a ferry near the hamlets!

Andrej said...

Find a ferry along the river. (Sorry, though my intentions were clear above.)

Nine-toes said...

I don't have a dog in the ferry/Bremen hunt. I am currently trying to get things squared away before I leave for the weekend. Ninetoes will follow the pack.

Silvius Volundr said...

Speaking of which, Ninetoes, my wardog, Loki will be ordered to ride in the cart.

Andrej said...

Please ensure Loki doesn't eat our foodstuffs and/ or Emmanuel.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I agree with Andrej's comments... while many people may be interested in the process of creating a game world from the real world, I don't know how many will be interested in the resulting world you have created -- they will want to create their own, even if we are talking about the same general time period.)

Ahmet said...

Sounds like we're looking for a ferry.

Alexis said...

Trying to get this in before Nine-toes goes.

With the afternoon passing, the day is middling warm, still blue sky and clouds, a very good travelling day all around.

However, there is a feeling that you have of someone following you. There is no one there; a glimpse, perhaps, of something you can't see. A party member falls back and looks and finds nothing. The wagon generally slows you up, so there could be someone moving amidst the trees, possible as you continue to follow a ridge and the ground all around is quite dry.

You luck out and find a ferry at the third hamlet you try, but it is just before evening. The man there tells you he would be happy to take you across first thing in the morning. There are only ten or so huts around, so there is nowhere special to sleep. You bed down as normal, with Emmanuel readying camp, cooking, the rest of you repairing or fixing bits of metal that have been strained through the day and relaxing the horses.

Nine-toes said...

Could the dog track our follower? Just a thought.

If we're camping for the night, Ninetoes volunteers for first watch.

Ahmet said...

I ask this ferryman how many times he will cross tomorrow, how long it takes between each ferry crossing, if there are any other ferries around.

(OOC: I'm trying to determine how easy or difficult it will be for our pursuer, if there is one, to follow us across... and how much of a headstart we would have on him, if he had to wait for the same ferry to return to take him across.)

Alexis said...

(GCI: Speaking of the dog; all your animals have a morale of '9,' unless one of you has some trait that adjusts that downwards or upwards. This is the number on 2d6 that must be rolled in order to give any 'special' order to your animal apart from simply moving along with you - which the dog and horses have been trained to do.

Nine-toes can therefore try to get the dog to track, if he succeeds in rolling a '9' or better.)

Nine-toes said...

'6'

Hopefully Loki doesn't bite my hand off.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius will take Loki, as well as his full accompaniment of weaponry and armor to go look for our pursuer. Hopefully this dog with a +2 nose will pick up the scent of a fresh, Englishman.

Andrej said...

I have such a special trait, +2. Unfortunately I believe that is offset my Ahmet's.

As a general rule I think Andrej should take a watch when the moon has set, getting the most out of his infravision while you puny humans won't have to squint and suffer in the dark. Is moonset something we'd generally be aware of each day, Alexis?

Alexis said...

The ferryman will cross but once tomorrow - he will go across empty, then spend all day loading up his ferry with grains and produce from across the river, to bring back and offload them to wagons bound for Bremen. Those wagons from today just left.

At some point in the conversation it occurs to you that you crossed the frontier into 'Swedish lands' without being met by a patrol or crossing any evident border.

Alexis said...

I should add that you are about 20 miles south of Cuxhaven now, and that the ferry actually sits upon the estuary of the river, which is subject to tides as well. The tide will come in at 8 a.m., whereupon you can cross.

It's no good to try and cross at low tide, you learn; the Weser is too large, and you'd only find yourselves and your wagon mired in the mud next to the waterflow.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I do have a morale penalty of +2 for animals, but would that apply to Loki?)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Er, I know Loki is an animal, but I mean to say, he's not my dog and I'm not the one giving him the order.)

Andrej said...

No rush as far as crossing goes. Andrej rests, prepares to eat (I'll deduct stores, no bacon for Ahmet) and otherwise holds the camp down and awaits his turn at the watch tonight. Good luck hunting, gents.

Ahmet said...

I ask the ferryman if someone wanted to cross later in the day tomorrow -- say, an hour or two after we cross -- where will he likely go to find passage?

Alexis said...

Sorry, misunderstood, I thought it was Nine-toes' dog.

Could Silvius roll 2d6? I am unclear where the +2 comes from.

Ahmet's penalty does not apply to Loki. However, Ahmet's horse has a morale of 11.

Alexis said...

As night falls, and the evening is as warm as the day, you hear a sound of someone calling - weakly - for help.

Silvius Volundr said...

2d6=6

Sorry, the +2 was me being a smartass.

Where does the cry come from? The hamlet, the ferryman or thw woods?

Andrej said...

We all hear it? Andrej tries to Ascertain where the sound originates, leaving the camp behind as necessary to do so.

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes will follow Andrej, staff in hand.

Ahmet said...

"Wait, Andrej -- let's not all run off into the darkness looking for faint voices."

(OOC: Is Silvius still here with Loki, or did we hear the voice after he departed?)

Andrej said...

Hearing Ahmet's caution, Andrej will stay within sight of the camp. Where is Silvius and Loki?

Alexis said...

You all hear it. As Andrej and Nine-toes hear Ahmet's warning from behind them, ahead they can see a man prone on the ground, and a second man trying to wrestle something from the prone man's body ... fighting to get it over the man's arms.

Alexis said...

(GCI: just as a note about the animals; Ahmet's penalty is the initial morale being 2 points higher, and NOT a modifier that applies to future rolls. So the morale of the horse is 11, and the die are rolled without modifiers - must beat 11 on 2d6 to overcome the animal's morale)

Nine-toes said...

"You there! That's hardly conduct befitting of the Master! Unhand that man!"

Andrej said...

"You there, stop it." Andrej approaches at a trot, weapons still at my belt and not drawn.

Andrej said...

(GCI: So my horses, in turn, would have a morale of 7 then?)

Alexis said...

The man, a good 60 feet away, succeeds in freeing whatever it was, turns to run, gets his feet caught in it, and then flees leaving it behind.

As Andrej and Nine-toes run up, it appears to be a satchel with a chain strap, the links an inch across.

Silvius Volundr said...

I assume that I am patrolling and not on the scene

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes will take after the assailant.

Andrej said...

Andrej will see to the fallen man, but motion to Ninetoes to retrieve the satchel, "Here fellow, let me help you up. What manner of thief was that?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet will remain in the camp with Emmanuel. He draws his scimitar and looks about suspiciously.

Nine-toes said...

Hearing that Andrej does not follow, Ninetoes returns to the fallen man and examines the satchel.

Alexis said...

Silvius will arrive from the left, the opposite direction that Nine-toes goes, to follow the assailant.

Andrej, even in the darkness you can see that the man is wet with blood, and quite a lot of it. He's unarmored and he's been stabbed in the side.

Nine-toes returns, having decided not to follow the other.

Andrej said...

Is the man conscious?

"Ninetoes, shoulder that load (the satchel) and help me get this man to camp, please."

Providing Ninetoes agrees and complies, we make our way back to the camp where Andrej will seek to bind the man's wounds using either his clothing if it is suitable, or bits from my spare blanket in the saddlebags.

Andrej said...

(OOC: I'll be offline for a bit)

Nine-toes said...

Ninetoes shoulders the pack and helps carry the injured man to camp.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius is in hot pursuit, dropping his shield to shed weight. As Loki is a trained wardog, I send him after the assailant with the command to attack.

"Foos, Loki!"

Alexis said...

The injured man is dying. Attempting to move him will cause him severe pain.

The satchel weighs about twenty pounds, though it looks as if there's nothing in it.

Loki licks Silvius' hand eagerly (have to wait until tomorrow to try it's morale again).

Silvius finds nothing but bushes. He begins to worry about someone stepping out and putting a dagger in his back.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Alas, I'm gone for an hour. Hoped to get farther, but c'est la vie.

Nine-toes, let us know if we're good playing in your absence, and we'll move forward a bit more tomorrow.

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - feel free to move things along. Have a good weekend all.

Silvius Volundr said...

(Have a good weekend!)

Got some training to do...Silvius will return to camp after recovering his shield. He tells Loki together some good sleep, because tomorrow the hammer falls.

Ahmet said...

Once Silvius returns, Ahmet tells him to keep a watch before going to sleep. "This could be a diversion," he says, warning both Silvius and Emmanuel. "Look sharp."

He joins Andrej and Ninetoes. "Andrej, can you heal this man?"

Ahmet said...

While Andrej is attempting to heal the man (or not), Ahmet kneels next to him and tries his best bedside manner.

"You have been murdered, friend," he says somberly. "But do not fail in your mission. Tell us, what is in this satchel? Where should we take it?"

Silvius Volundr said...

(OOC: You are a regular Nurse Nightingale, Ahmet! Nice bedside manner!)

Andrej said...

Andrej notes the concern and sensitivity shown here by his large, brave friend. Perhaps not such a hard case after all? What a wonderful Catholic he will make someday!

Andrej heals the poor stranger d4+4= 5 hp.

Alexis said...

I am late to this party.

Andrej, the man is unfortunately dying. He simply hasn't expired yet. He struggles to tell you something ... but he simply doesn't get it out before he dies. Andrej would get a sense that it was useless to cast the spell - assume it wasn't.

The satchel, upon examination, has a padlock. A brass plate which fixes the rings that are locked together has the initials E.H.S. engraved upon it.

Rolling for Nine-toes to open the lock in his absence, I get a 65, which fails.

When Silvius returns to find the dead man, he recognizes him immediately as Victor.

Silvius Volundr said...

"Now that is a shame," Silvius mutters in between breaths. "So what you reckon, Ahmet? Was that a routine cutpurse who got desperate or were it an assassin?"

Andrej said...

"As was my suspicion, Silvius, when the man came upon us on the road. I further suspect that should we continue to be followed, and I have no doubt that we will, it will be whomever stuck poor Victor here."

Alexis, is there hallowed ground nearby?

Andrej said...

Also, Andrej shall examine the body and whatever other personal effects Victor may have had, looking for some clue as to his mission.

Silvius Volundr said...

We need to consider whether we should try to take this satchel and find "E.H.S" or break it open and see what's inside.

Alexis said...

Andrej, being that you're next to a hamlet, I think I have to answer yes.

An examination of the body turns up the usual things, a pouch with 37 s.p. and 18 c.p., a pair of low cowhide boots, two belts, a dagger, a nice wool doublet dyed green, a water flask tied to one of the belts (holding 8 oz.), a silver necklace, a tinderbox, a pair of kidskin gauntlets tucked into his belt, a rather worn robe, breeches and cloak, and a bandanna around his neck.

There is a second pouch that you find that has seven silver coins in it that you see were minted in Ireland.

You find a key.

And you find a bit of paper, folded twice, which has an address: 10 Amrunstrasse.

Silvius Volundr said...

"Andrej, care to see if that key unlocks the satchel?"

Alexis, can we have Ninetoes check the satchel and lock for traps?

Alexis said...

As it happens, the key does not unlock the satchel. It is not even the same kind of key, and so does not fit in the lock.

Andrej said...

Does it look like a house key?

Alexis said...

Even stretching the knowledge of Nine-toes, none of you is really an expert on keys, and house keys are not - at this time - really in existence. Usually padlocks were used on doors just as on trunks or gates.

Andrej said...

Unless there's a reasonable objection, Andrej will take the silver chain and the key, hanging the latter upon the former and tucking both underneath his hauberk. The note with the address, which he can't read, he'll hand off to whomever can. The gloves, the dagger and the coins he will collect and consider payment to the party for Victor's proper burial.

44 silver (7 of which irish)
18 copper
waterflask
kidskin gauntlets

Handing Emmanuel one of the spades from the cart and taking the other himself he leads the way to the hamlet's cemetery, if it is in sight, and prepares for the burial ceremony. If not in sight he begins knocking on doors.

"Could two of you others bring the body?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet sighs. "Fool, if you'd arrived at the barn on time, perhaps you could have avoided this fate."

As the others mull over the key, Ahmet takes the two pouches of coins and the folded piece of paper. The rest he leaves with the body.

"Well," he says after a moment, "I suppose we should also take this necklace. It might be some kind of clue."

That also goes for the wool doublet -- it might have some kind of symbol or insignia on it. And if not, well, does it have very much blood on it? Because it is a nice shade of green.

Ahmet also takes the dagger in case that has some kind of clue on the hilt.

And why let a perfectly good tinderbox go to waste?

Andrej said...

lol: take what you will, Ahmet, but I've got the key already for safekeeping.

Alexis said...

As it happens, I don't think anyone in the party can actually read, not even Emmanuel. Still, I think it likely the party would know it was a street address, even if they couldn't pronounce the letters.

A man named Jakob you rouse from one of the houses nods and shows you where you can bury the body. He remarks that they haven't had a killing on the road in two years, not since the end of the war.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Ah, too slow. Well, I still call dibs on the tinderbox and the doublet!)

Andrej said...

"I think green favors you, turk."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet wraps the body in the worn cloak, throws it over his shoulder in what will eventually be known as a fireman's carry, and follows Andrej to the burial site.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius will take up Victor's feet, looking to Ahmet to collect his shoulders si they can carry the body.

"The note sounds like an address, Andrej. Perhaps we can look it up in Bremen, should we make it there."

Alexis said...

Presume that Andrej's call comes first before Ahmet's on the items; Andrej will have to be asked to give over the things he's taken first.

Quite a bit of blood on the doublet - and there's a tear in the back where the dagger went in. Still, cleaned magically, and repaired, it looks quite fine.

Alexis said...

If you cross the river on the ferry in the morning, Silvius, you'll be on the other side of the river from Bremen.

Andrej said...

Andrej will hand over, without question, any item taken save the key and chain. If you're really hard over on having those I suppose I don't really object either, but I have already tucked them away.

Andrej said...

"Bremen, or did you mean Engelke? Victor wanted not parts of Bremen as you told it, Silvius."

Silvius Volundr said...

I mispoke, sorry Gents.

Andrej said...

Once at the graveyard, Andrej will take what assistance there is to be had from Emmanuel, Silvius and Ahmet in the burial of Victor.

Once done I recommend that we double up on the watches tonight, gents, and always keep the satchel near at hand.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet makes sure the doublet has no insignia -- such as the one described as being found in the barn -- or other identifying mark that might be of interest. If none, he'll leave it with the body. Probably wouldn't fit him anyway.

He'll ask Andrej for the dagger, checking that too for any kind of symbol. But once he's done checking he'll stick it down his left boot.

The two pouches and their coins, the necklace, waterflask, gloves, key and paper can stay with Andrej.

He brings the tinderbox back to camp and puts it with his other gear.

Silvius Volundr said...

Silvius will help with the burial and then keep the fiesta watch if that is our next piece of business.

Silvius Volundr said...

"First", not "fiesta".

Alexis said...

There is no insignia on the doublet.

The body is buried; Andrej I presume says a few words over it. Jakob the villager marks it with a stone and promises to have the local vicar come within a week or two to secure any details.

The night passes without incident. The weather holds, and its a pleasant and peaceful night with a gentle breeze blowing from the sea.

Silvius Volundr said...

In the morning, Silvius feeds the horses, sparing Emmanuel the task. He also feeds Loki some of the bacon from his pack.

"So do we find the ferryman, then?"

Ahmet said...

"Aye, off to the ferryman."

While we're waiting for said ferryman...

Is the satchel's unusual weight due its construction (as if it were made or accented with a heavy material), or does it feel more like there's something heavy inside an otherwise normal bag?

Alexis said...

(OOC: What a day. Easier next week though)

Silvius, I'll generate the weather and write a new post for Saturday morning, which will be the 16th.

Any last details here, go ahead, but it will probably take me a couple of hours to get the next post up. (OOC: That should lose us Andrej, probably, and maybe someone else. Sigh. Friday afternoon.)

Alexis said...

Ahmet,

The bag's weight is most definitely not on account of the bag, which as I said is fashioned from leather.

Silvius Volundr said...

I look forward to the next post!

(OOC: from this upcoming Wednesday until the following Wednesday, my schedule will be weird. I may not miss a post, or I may he jammed up. We shall see. Just wanted to give you guys a heads up)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: We can't open it because it is locked, but we do not have the key, correct?)

Alexis said...

Yes, that's right Ahmet.

Andrej said...

(OOC: I'll be around for another hour or so, otherwise will talk to you all on Monday)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet draws Victor's dagger from his left boot, and touches the tip to the padlock.

"I do not know much about locks," he says, doing his best imitation of a thief picking a lock. To no avail, of course.

Then he moves the dagger down to the side of the satchel, the point pressed against the leather.

"But I do know how to cut through leather. What say you gentlemen? Do you want to know what Victor died trying to protect?"

Andrej said...

(OOC: ooooooooh, the tempation is almost unbearable!)

"Victor mentioned payment upon escorting he and his package. We have the package and the address. But if we cut it open..."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet thinks for a moment, the dagger point playing over the leather. "We could always say it was slashed by the attacker."

But then he hrumphs and slides the dagger back into his boot. "We can decide later. For now, it's best to hurry to the other side before Victor's attacker finds the courage to attack again."

Andrej said...

Before we move on to the next game day, Andrej would like to cast detect magic upon the satchel (as well as Victor's other items that were recovered)

Alexis said...

There is no magic detected.

Alexis said...

(OOC: With the projected absence of Andrej, and Nine-toes being gone, and my afternoon standing up like soup on a pizza board, we'll call it for the day. I'll write the next post when I'm next able, which is probably going to be tomorrow now)

Silvius Volundr said...

Have a great weekend, guys.

Nine-toes said...

(OOC - hey all, I'm back.)

Alexis said...

Me too, I'm back also. Give me a few minutes, and I'll start the post in the morning.