Thursday, February 23, 2012

Soest the Broken

September 8, 1650, Evening
Weather:  pleasant, with an intermittent drizzle and a gentle breeze

For Ahmet and Lukas, the rain does not diminish.  With winter coming on, the weather is just miserable in the mountains.  For Andrej and Melchior, climbing up to Soest, the mist in the mountains worsens as they pass Hesse, turn at the little Inn on the road and make their way to their destination.

The drizzle in the morning is steady, and intermittent throughout the rest of the day.  The night again was brisk.  There are unmistakable signs of winter coming:  the trees have turned to gold and red, the fields (which the party from Munster sees) are all stubble now, though in a number of places farmers are planting winter potatoes (these were transported from the New World by the druids some five hundred years ago, so they are quite normal to people).

Soest is surrounded by woodland and dumpy hills.  It is quite a large town, with well over 600 buildings and sits on a round, flat plain.  The walls are enormous, with many bastions - but these are shattered and show fire and destruction in many places.  Soest was damaged and ruined by the German War, and there are no signs of reconstruction here (the picture would be old).  Unlike other places you've seen, there is no reconstruction here.  In fact, ruined seige engines, as tall as forty feet, lay wrecked and abandoned.  There are piles of stone at the sides of the road next to broken and destroyed mangonels; rotted timbers; and piles of animal bones next to the town fields.  Grass and grain stubble show that the fields have been planted around these hazards, rather than efforts taken to remove them.


70 comments:

Ahmet said...

Do there appear to be any signs of life inside the town?

Ahmet said...

(I suppose the grain stubble is a sign of life.)

"Perhaps it looks better on the inside," Ahmet says, either being uncharacteristically optimistic or perhaps trying his hand at sarcasm. He continues on the road toward the town.

Lukas said...

"Perhaps." Says Lukas, "My first concern is where we shall be meeting our companions. I trust likely the first inn we see outside town would be it. Assuming once we get close we can distinguish the outside from the inside."

Alexis said...

My apologies. Soest has a population of above 5,000 people. There are many, many people in evidence, moving about, acting in accordance with their daily lives. Only the defenses of the town are in ruins.

Also, I meant to post a pic. I'll adding it now.

Assume that you have altogether come to the Inn of the Spackled Duck, and that you are all present there.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Sorry guys, tough morning)

Andrej seeks out both Ahmet and Ninetoes, embracing his friends fondly and catching them up on what has happened in Munster since they left, including the introduction of the paladin Melchior Morn. He greets Lukas and raises an eyebrow should his profession be made know. "I have some need for a learned man, Lukas. Do you like to travel? Have you ever been to Cumana?"

Introductions being made, and assuming you guys have nothing further to add, let us find a quiet table or room and make some plans?

Lukas said...

Lukas waits to be introduced to his new companions. Then upon introduction greets them with a slight bow. After that he ensures the companions are updated with the latest knowledge.

Of the undead, the secret passage, the giant mink and their trainer, the wagons of bodies and their supposed use and the details of their investigation of the outside of the fortifications. (Not that there was much on the last one, but an assessment might be useful for the outer assault.)

He tries to do all this so not to be overheard of coarse.

Lukas said...

"I have not been there, however in regards to travel I believe it is good for ones perspective to say the least."

Yes we shall find a quiet spot to talk about the above.

(OOC: You beat me by seconds.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Yay, together again!)

Melchior said...

Melchior cordially introduces himself to his new companions, turning on the low-key paladin charm as much as possible, but also focusing on detecting malevolence from all of them.

As the party sits, he flashes his most disarming grin at the barmaid and asks her to make sure we aren't disturbed.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet inquires as to the safety of his cousin and, with a smirk at Ninetoes, the chamber maid.

While discussing the ferocious battle with Nebbles, Ahmet makes sure to show off his new battle scars (and that he is at 12 of 37 HP).

Alexis said...

The barmaid will step away, and a moment later the bartender will approach the table. "Gentlemen. I understand you wish to discuss matters of business in private. I can offer a room for this purpose, if you will consider the mere cost of two gold pieces a worthy price to pay for solitude."

Andrej said...

"It is a fair price to pay."

Let us adjorn to the private room. Andrej pays the two gold.

Andrej said...

Introductions having been made and Ahmet having been assured that his cousin is fine and well, let us get down to business.

1) Great job discovering the caves and a shame about the wagons.

2) I suspect the help you were supposed to find in Soest has arrived (Melchior, our hirelings and me) and do not feel it would bare much fruit to seek out soldiers here... that's got to be what Eberhardt is doing.

3) I think we should high-tail it back to Arnsberg and figure out what happened to those three wagon-loads of bodies.

Andrej said...

One last bit of logistics, Alexis can we assume Andrej can make use of the last two days worth of spells to heal himself so that he has both an aid and CLW to heal Ahmet now?

Andrej said...

to clarify, Andrej has an aid spell from Sunday he would like to have cast on Sunday therefore making both aid and CLW available today for Ahemt.

Alexis said...

Yes, Andrej. I have no trouble with using your back days of healing.

Andrej said...

Excellent! Andrej is now at full and Ahmet receives 16 hp from both an aid and a CLW.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Thanks Andrej!)

Andrej said...

If we are agreed to return to Arnsberg here is what I propose:

Melchior takes the hirelings and hopefully his leftover gold and gets a room at the inn to await word from Hornung. He is new and should therefore go unrecognized. Andrej, Ninetoes, Ahmet and Lukas will establish a camp somewhere in the woods and keep an eye on the secret entrance. Once there we can do some recon and see what's what with the wagons.

Any further ideas? Objections?

Andrej said...

We should resupply, as necessary, here in Soest if able.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: In recognition of real-life issues... maybe we want Nine-toes with the hirelings at the Inn?)

Andrej said...

(OOC: No problem Ahmet. Another day and you'll be at full.)

Andrej said...

(OOC: I thought that myself, Ahmet, for the same practical considerations... but for game considerations was hoping to not relate the appearance of Melchior to the three adventurers who had so recently left)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Oh wait, you're saying Ninetoes in place of Melchior... I see. Perhaps that IS best.)

Lukas said...

I think that's a fair plan. Though would Hornung possibly expect us here? Otherwise why would we meet here rather than there?

Andrej said...

Good point Lukas, and I'm not 100% sure. But I do recall the message saying, essentially, "stay put, explore caves, resupply, beware of women and only come to Soest should you be able."

Given that, I think Hornung prefers we wait there.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: For reference, the message was "Target's whereabouts confirmed. Hold fast. Will arrive in Arnsberg on 12th. Remain, supply yourselves and if possible examine caves in the area. Be wary of women. If possible, make a journey to Soest and secure helpers. Good luck.")

Lukas said...

Ok so we have to be there on the 12th. And our plan is to be there earlier. Are we going to trudge through bad weather again or give it a day?

Ahmet said...

It's already evening... no sense in riding back tonight in the rain and dark, I don't think. Besides, we need to give them time to raise all those corpses. ;)

Andrej said...

Rest tonight (the 8th) and awake tomorrow. Visit market if open. Otherwise, leave for Arnsberg on 9th to arrive by 10th. wait two days there. if possible, learn what happened to three wagon-fulls of bodies.

Lukas said...

Agreed. I'm sure the natives will have noticed the bodies.

Alexis said...

Andrej, being a cleric, can clear up a few things.

First of all, it would be difficult to 'make corpses'; they would have to be buried in unconsecrated ground; imaginably, the ground could be transformed by the opposite of the high level cleric ceremony, consecrate ground ... which would be desecrate ground. However, while this probably would make ghouls, or even ghasts, there'd be no reliable way to control them. They'd literally just go in whatever direction pleased them. So you couldn't practically hold them at your bidding while you waited for an army to appear.

Melchior said...

But an old-fashioned Animate Dead spell would still get you a raft of zombies, wouldn't it? And cast over several days, presumably several rafts worth? Not as effective as ghouls, to be sure, but nasty.

Melchior will stay with the hirelings if necessary, but he'd clearly prefer to accompany the party.

Andrej said...

Thanks Alexis, after re-reading the Undead Beginnings posts yesterday I had some questions that I think you just cleared up. For clarity, though, the bodies could still be animated as zombies, yes?

Andrej said...

(OOC: This time I was the one beaten by seconds :) )

Melchior, you're sticking with us. We can leave Ninetoes at the inn unless he shows up and objects.

Alexis said...

It would be difficult to control so many zombies, however. Lukas can tell you that the number of zombies a mage can control is usually far less (one per level); Andrej can concur.

How do you control 60? Or more?

Lukas said...

You raise them in the gatehouse then open the door when invaders show up. Since they don't need food, they just sit there, make sure no allies get caught in the crossfire and the only targets are the attackers...

Melchior said...

The activity is too odd - there is something going on. Best we just get back to Arnsberg as soon as we can and keep an eye on things. More information will allow us to get a better idea about what his plan is.

Lukas said...

Besides, for all we know he has a whole church full of evil clerics and wizards in his fort.

Lukas said...

err "evil" quotes on that there.

Andrej said...

Agreed. Let's get to sleep and make an early start back to Arnsberg. Think about what you may need to resupply. I'll be looking at our food stores and supplying the party for at least a week.

Lukas said...

Necessary supplies... Mink Boots, Mink Gloves, Nice Hat, Mink Jacket...

Andrej said...

So Alexis, how about a market list for either or both of Soest and Arnsberg?

Alexis said...

I shall provide one this evening. Soest is not a market town, so the only available things will be those at the Grocer and at the Town Market. ("town market" should not be confused with "market town" ... means two different things)

Andrej said...

That works, the grocer and market list is what I'll be interested in for party needs anyway. I'm ready to begin the trip back to Arnsberg when the other guys are, and can make the market purchases in Soest when the list is available.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I'm ready.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Or I guess that should be...)

I'm ready.

Melchior said...

I'm ready as well.

Lukas said...

Ready.

Alexis said...

Last night was a writeoff. You can find two tables for the Grocer and the Town Market added to the post above.

Andrej said...

Thanks Alexis. I'm in the process now of updating our food stores, using money we took from the rat in the apple quarter. I'll let you guys know if I need anything further. We can get it rolling whenever you are ready, Alexis... I might be scarce after 1 PM EST due to a meeting at work, but will try to check in.

Lukas said...

Lukas assists with the shopping (though unnecessary due to hirelings I'm sure) for carrying and conversational purposes with Andrej. He will ask about the interest in Cumana.

Andrej said...

As far as Cumana goes Andrej will remain coy.

"When we settle matters here, I have a proposal to make to the party should they desire an opportunity for travel and adventure."

He does, however, appreciate the conversation. He's never spent much time around magic users and is curious about their training and the nature of their magic.

Alexis said...

Did you want to buy donkeys or horses for your men-at-arms? Your normal travel over a good road is 20 miles per day walking; 40 riding. Over a country road/cart track, its 15 miles per day, 30 riding. This is sometimes slowed by wet weather.

With Joost and Klaas, you won't get to Arnsberg on the 9th as long as they're on foot. But by donkey they can travel 20 miles per day on a bad road, 25 miles a day on a good one.

Alexis said...

It is 20 miles to Arnsberg - one hex.

Andrej said...

Alexis,

Is riding on the cart the same as walking?

I didn't see any livestock on the price lists, how much are we talking for a donkey?

At this point the two players that technically "own" the men-at-arms may be gone for good. Should somebody(ies) in the party take them over?

Ahmet said...

Andrej, Ahmet bought 15 gold worth of provisions (and horsefeed) back in Arnsberg, so we can add that to the lot.

Andrej said...

I just bought a bunch of stuff as well, so give me your list and I'll add it to the cart inventory.

Alexis said...

Ah, I had forgotten the animals weren't on the Soest list. Well, consider it a suggestion for the next time you come to a market town.

Yes, please pluck the data off the other sheets and sort out who runs them. Probably give them to Ahmet and Melchior, as they're the fighters and don't have spell lists to manage.

Alexis said...

Technically, regards the cart; I've been treating it the same as walking, because it is mostly empty. If you were carrying it full, ie more than 1200 lbs, I'd have to half the speed.

I could work out a declining rate of speed for how much was in the cart, but that seems like a lot of bother for not much return.

Andrej said...

Ahmet, you've got seniority so you've got first pick of bootlicks. You should both know that whichever man-at-arms Silvius was running is wearing my chainmail but is otherwise as equipped on Silvius's page. Ninetoes also bought his guy some mail.

Ahmet said...

Give me Ninetoes's guy (Klaas) as I'm holding out hope our monk will return, and I'll be able to give him back. ;)

Andrej said...

Nice choice. Melchior, you've got Joost. Check out Silvius's page for the relevant stats and remember he's also wearing my old chainmail.

Lukas said...

Gah... these unwieldy spell lists... So... Unwieldy

Andrej said...

I think we're ready for the September 9th post. When we get there I'll dispense more healing. Is Ahmet the only injured party member right now?

Lukas said...

During our adventures only Ahmet got injured, I am unaware of Nine-toes's status.

Alexis said...

The next post is up.

Ahmet said...

I believe Nine-toes is down 10 HP from the ghoul attack.

Melchior said...

I only see stats for Silvius, nothing on our boy Joost. Ideas?

Ahmet said...

Here's what Alexis wrote when we picked them up:

I'm going to hand over the characters to you, for attacks, for taking care of their details, hit points and so on, and for generally determining their actions. You're more or less in control - I'll just retain the power of veto for anything you suggest they do which is beyond their willingness. Otherwise, you give the orders.

Joost, man-at-arms, no armor.
proficient in glaive & club.
10 hit points.
21 years old, 5'9", 159 lbs.
Ex-farmer.
12 str, 10 int, 11 wis, 15 con, 12 dex, 8 chr.
Walnut brown eyes, iron grey hair (moderately straight and with thorough greying), caucasian. Presently he's at 9 hit points.

Note that Joost is now wearing chainmail and is armed with a glaive and club, and I'm sure by now is back up to his full complement of HP (10).