Friday, August 17, 2012

Crossroads North of Hildesheim

October 12, 1650, Sunday night
Weather: with brisk temperatures and overcast conditions, with a calm air.

It is not long again before you catch up with Ruiz, who is also heading south.  You may spare him a few words, you may not; he does not seem especially talkative, and answers cryptically to any questions.  One gets the sense that he is landless, and probably drifting south to avoid the winter.

The party continues through mixed forest and cropland, steadily approaching the Salzgitter Hills to the south, with rise 800 feet above the plateau.  They extend far to the east, as far as you can see.  The crossroads you reach are at the edge of them.  All day you've seen fields covered with the dead leaves of beet plants, or the stubble from wheat. 

You chance to see a sign that Andrej missed before, probably because it is posted so that travellers from the south might miss it.  The sign states that the Holle Saltbaths may be found by taking a minor west road, which departs from the crossroads.  The road is in poor shape, without many stones, and would necessitate travelling almost single file between the dense poplar forest.

It gets dark as you reach the crossroads, and the drizzle finally gives up.  Again, you eat what Andrej has left, and the party settles in to camp.  Another group of men are settled along the road, nearby (perhaps 30 yards).  They are travelling north, with plans to reach Luneburg before Friday.  They describe themselves as laborers who have been employed in Heilingenstadt, where they have been rebuilding the town cathedral for the past two seasons.  They will winter in Luneburg with their families before returning south.

Ahmet, you discretely separate yourself from your camp, well after nightfall, to relieve yourself of some water - taking your sword with you, naturally.  I'm afraid you're not armored.  You comfortably pass what you must, but as you turn to return to the camp, you hear the definite snuffling of a large beast, no more than 10 feet to your right.

The camp with the others is 50 feet away, and you can hear them chattering pleasantly that the food had better get better - good meat isn't that expensive.

96 comments:

Ahmet said...

Ahmet draws Dilmek as quietly as possible, and tries to get a look at what he's up against.

Alexis said...

Could be a pig ... could be a boar. Hard to tell.

Ahmet said...

Pork... why did it have to be pork?

Ahmet faces the critter (or where he thinks it is, anyway), but attempts to slowly back away toward the camp.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Ahhhh, reminds me of my days fighting warthogs with Delfig. This trip through Germany truly is a trip down memory lane)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Keeps coming up on my encounters list.

Sorry I'm just screwed, guys. You know how it is getting out before vacation)

Andrej said...

(OOC: No worries. I'm about done for the day myself. If we're still good to go next week I'll check back in on Monday morning. Have a good weekend all)

Lukas said...

(OOC: Good weekend to you too.)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Hey fellas, hope all is going well. I'm good to go for today and most of the week, but will not be able to play at all tomorrow due to work commitments.)

Alexis said...

(OOC: Let me organize myself for a bit, an hour or so, then we'll get started today)

Alexis said...

Very well. To reprise. Ahmet makes to move back towards the camp, as he said.

At this point, the dark figure bursts from the bushes at him.

Andrej said...

Is the party aware of the bursting forth and what not?

Alexis said...

It is fifty feet away, but yes, they probably hear something. This would not be enough to make them do more than stand up and take notice.

Ahmet, for the moment, will have to be alone. Even as Lukas or Janos takes notice (bearing magic or bow enabling rapid aid), neither can make heads nor tail of what has caused the noise.

Lukas said...

Don't worry, it's probably nothing.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet barks out, "Halt! Who goes there?"

(OOC: It wasn't a cliche in 1650...)

Alexis said...

No, probably was not a cliche.

Sorry, I don't think I was descriptive enough.

Something which has been snorting, which is clearly not human - in that the sound is coming from below Ahmet, breaks from the bushes AT him. It is up to you if you want to change your reaction ... but I do not think Ahmet in this situation would think it was something that would answer a question.

Ahmet said...

(Ah, I see... I assumed a dark figure was a person.)

Ahmet slashes at the pig.

To hit: 14
Damage: 9

Alexis said...

And whatever it is, dies.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet picks it up and carries it back to the campfire, so he can see what he killed.

Alexis said...

It can't be picked up. It weighs perhaps 200 lbs.

It is a pig. Not a boar ... an ordinary domesticated pig.

Ahmet said...

Ut-oh... hopefully some farmer won't come looking for it.

Better destroy the evidence!

Ahmet walks to camp and tells the others that there's fresh pork nearby -- he won't be eating any of it, but he'll help carry it back.

Andrej said...

Does anybody know how to cure or prepare meat? Janos?

Lukas said...

I have salt!

That's about it I think.

If I have interpreted what Alexis has posted in the past correctly, I think we should have a basic idea of cooking it, I don't know if we would have an idea about preserving it.

Alexis said...

You can certainly cook it, can't preserve it.

Does anyone go to fetch the pig? I only have that Ahmet came to get help.

Andrej said...

I'll go help. We can stick this thing on a spit and roas it over night. If some farmer comes looking for his pig, though, we should probably apologize and pay whatever its worth.

Alexis said...

Then if you go with Ahmet, as you haul the pig back to the camp, the group of laborers will get interested and two of them will start to approach.

Andrej said...

I'll listen to what the two have to say.

Alexis said...

They don't come right up to you. They stop about halfway and talk to each other; its clear they're talking about the party.

The pig's carcass is resting next to the fire now, no?

Ahmet said...

If they get within combat range before speaking, Ahmet drops the pig and turns to face them.

Andrej said...

Sure, near to the fire. Andrej is looking about for some promising sticks/ fallen branches to set up a spit.

Ahmet said...

Ah, OK.

Ahmet looks to Andrej. "Should we approach them before Lukas devours the swine?"

Alexis said...

You hear a voice coming from the woods, small and faint. "Zhukor! Come here Zhukor!"

Lukas said...

You're just jealous because I knew it was nothing.

Perhaps we should see about apologizing BEFORE cooking? Might come off as a bit more sincere.

I assume I was informed the story of the large fearsome beast direct from Ahmet.

Lukas will approach the laborers with a question, "Do you know who owns this pig? It seems our strong hearted warrior was surprised and acted on instinct." He pauses for a moment and considers, "Let me just say do not try and sneak up on him at night."

Lukas said...

Well shit, it has a name. THAT is bad news... I would like to undo the question asking from my last post, but keep the comments to my companions.

Alexis said...

Lukas is walking towards the laborers when he hears the voice.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I told you to destroy the evidence. Eat faster, Christians!)

Andrej said...

Hearing the faint voice, Andrej resigns himself to paying probably twice what the pig is worth. And the turk doesn't even eat pork!

Alexis said...

(OOC: going to take a quick shower; be back in 10 minutes)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Ahmet has post-traumatic stress disorder.)

Alexis said...

A figure emerges from the woods, calling Zhukor's name. In the firelight, distant and hard to see, it yet appears to be a young girl.

The figure stops when it sees the men on the road.

Andrej said...

Sofia approaches the figure.

Lukas said...

It may not be the most important thing to make friends, but it might make the night go better to not make enemies.

I guess Lukas will try and find the source of the shouting for 'Zhukor' perhaps yelling for the person themselves. Probably something like 'Hello!' or 'Over Here!' and then hopefully intercepting them before they get to the pig.

Lukas will gladly be the one to break the bad news, rather than the baby eater or the gruff Turk.

Lukas said...

Once again, too slow... Perhaps I will follow behind Sofia.

Lukas said...

Probably distant a bit due to the fact I first headed towards the laborers.

Alexis said...

The girl will approach a little bit more towards the fire. Sofia and Lukas can see her looking at the pig's carcass. "Zhukor?"

Andrej said...

Andrej motions to Lukas, encouraging the mage to speak with the laborers as initially planned.

Andrej said...

Sofia approaches and bends down so that she is at the girl's level, "I am Sofia."

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Should I attempt CPR?)

Alexis said...

Sofia has to get closer first.

They're about 25 feet apart. The girl is about 14. She is not looking at Sofia, but at the dead pig.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Yes. I rather like the idea of you kissing the pig.)

Andrej said...

Then Sofia will walk toward the girl, trying to look reasuring, and call out. "Hello, there. I am Sofia."

Alexis said...

The girl ignores her. "ZHUKOR!" she screams, as she realizes the pig is dead.

Andrej said...

If Andrej found any sticks to use as a spit, he discreetly lays these aside now.

Sofia, continues to approach the girl. "It was an accident. Zhukor burst from the woods and startled him." pointing to Ahemt. "We meant no harm."

Alexis said...

"YOU KILLED MY PIG!" The girl screams at Sofia.

Ahmet said...

Sofia, you snitch!

Andrej said...

Sofia bites her tongue, wanting to say again that it was not her but the turk, but chooses not to. "We are sorry."

Andrej said...

(OOC: lol)

Andrej said...

Andrej leans closer to Ahmet, "A good pig was fetching 2 gp at the Lubek market." Then nudges the hot-blooded turk while offering a helpless shrug, "these things happen."

Alexis said...

(OOC: I rolled randomly to see who this would happen to - the only one that was really safe was Janos. He'd have recognized it wasn't a boar from the sound)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet shrugs and whispers back to Andrej, "I'm just glad I slew the pig and not the little girl.

"Do you people truly keep these filthy animals as pets? It's bad enough you eat them!"

Andrej said...

"Thank god it wasn't the girl that burst forth." Andrej adds in what appears to be either earnestness or a deadpan.

Alexis said...

The girl is obviously crying. She quivers her chin at Sofia and Lukas.

One of the laborers gets close enough to Ahmet and Andrej to speak. "I guess you shouldn't have poached that pig," he says.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Beat me to it, Ahmet)

"Pets? I was the one collecting wood for spit."

Sofia, if within earshot, rolls her eyes.

Andrej said...

Sofia bends down toward the child. "There, there my dear. These things happen. Zukhor is now in a better place. Was he your pig? Your father's or mother's?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet stands and glowers at the man. "Poached? You would accuse me of poaching? A 200-pound creature charged at me in the dark of night. I reacted as any man would. I would not eat the flesh of this foul beast! If you want it, or she does, take it."

Alexis said...

"DON'T TOUCH ME!" screams the girl, backing away as though Sofia means to kill her.

She then makes a break for the woods.

Andrej said...

Andrej gives the laborer a look of warning, then puts a hand upon his friend's shoulder and says loud enough for all to hear "It was an accident, that is all. There was no intent at wrongdoing."

Andrej said...

Sofia gives Lukas a helpless look then calls after the girl "Wait! Don't go off alone into the night!"

Alexis said...

A second laborer has joined the first, and says. "Yes I'm sure you were really frightened when it waddled its fat carcass towards your sword."

"Did the color pink scare you?" asks the first.

Andrej said...

Quietly to Ahmet alone "Be calm, let the swine's be the only blood spilled tonight."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet, ignoring Andrej's wise counsel, walks up to the first man, almost close enough to bump chests.

"Yes," he says in a conspiratorial whisper.

"All manner of things scare me. And when I get scared, bad things happen."

He stares hard at the man.

"As a matter of fact, I'm feeling a little scared right now."

Alexis said...

Yes, that is certainly what we'd call an intimidation.

You get a +1 bonus for your time in prison - shall we agree that you've used that card? Any other cards you'd like to add?

Roll 2d6 for each laborer, Ahmet, after telling me what bonuses you want to use.

Andrej said...

Ignoring? I thought threatening WAS calm for Ahmet. The pig, for instance, never got threatened. ;)

Ahmet said...

I believe I can only use the Convicted card as defense?

I'll shoot the wad and play Pillager (+1) and Able-Bodied (+1). My Land card doesn't work if we're more than 100 miles from our land, and my other three cards (Once Convicted, Fortitude, and Hardened Adventurer) are all Defense cards.

OK, here we go.

Laborer #1: 10+2=12
Laborer #2: 6+2=8

Win some, lose some?

Ahmet said...

(OOC: For the record, I did try to parley with the pig. ;)

Alexis said...

(OOC: getting the convicted card mixed up with cold-blooded)

The one laborer whom Ahmet succeeded against, will pull the other one away. "Come on, Hans ... he'll get his."

What do Sofia and Lukas do?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet stands there watching until they're back to their own camp, then returns to Andrej and the pig.

Alexis said...

Good. Let's leave it there. What the party does next, we'll pick it up Wednesday morning.

Lukas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ahmet said...

As to what we do next, I'm of two minds:

1) It appears the child has run off and I'm not sure we'd be able to find her now. But assuming we were able to find her, we could give her parents some money -- and perhaps 2 g.p. directly to the child to buy a new pig with -- and offer to solemnly bury the pig with a bonafide priest in attendance.

or

2) Have a community pig roast to make amends with the laborers.

or

3) We could re-enact our swamp creature attack and force march out of this crazy place.

Lukas said...

You forgot 4.

Offer up Ahmet as sacrifice, eye for an eye. However, he has to jump out of the darkness unarmed versus the armed girl, the victor leaving alive.

Ahmet said...

I'm down for #4!

Lukas said...

I guess Lukas would walk purposefully towards where the girl went. Not run, not chase, but walk purposefully. He will however say before leaving, "I best make sure she doesn't get into trouble. And if she's going home, talk to her parents."

Andrej said...

Sofia follows the girl.

Andrej sticks with Ahmet and wonders what to do with the pig carcass sitting by the fire.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet painstakingly cleans and oils Dilmek, to remove any trace of the foul beast from the blessed blade.

Alexis said...

I'm not sure if Lukas goes after Sofia ... but Sofia following the girl can hear her up ahead, rushing through the trees.

In time, Sofia will come through the growth and see a largish hamlet, perhaps thirty houses surrounding a small green circle. This is where the girl has run. Some are sitting outside their homes smoking, and to these the girl rushes forward to speak.

I'll continue this on the next post.

(OOC: However ... I pray you do not judge me too harshly. I have an opportunity to play golf today and I'm going to take it. I am the worst golf player in the world, but I love the game)

Andrej said...

(OOC: There is no judging here in the circle of trust ;) Enjoy your day out.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Good luck or at least have fun!)

Lukas said...

(OOC: There is judging. If you are not wearing excessive amounts of plaid while golfing, I will hold it against you. Also one of those dingle ball hats would also earn bonus points.)

Ahmet said...

Working out how much weight I'm distributing between the horses... how much does a coin weigh?

Andrej said...

I believe the rule is 4 coins weigh an ounce, so coin total divided by 4 divided by 16 gets you weight in lbs.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Did not wear plaid at all.

I don't own any plaid.

I'm getting up another post to refresh the comments section and continue from what Sonia (and Lukas) see. I did not get an answer from Lukas if he's following her.

Whatever is in the next post, there can be no response from Ahmet or Andrej until they're informed by Sonia (and possibly Lukas))

Alexis said...

Sorry, that's Sofia, not Sonia.

She's new.

Lukas said...

Lukas will follow. Two strong men can handle a few laborers...

Alexis said...

The next post is up. I do not think it will be long before Andrej and Ahmet can comment ... but initially, I only need an action from Lukas and Sofia.

Lukas said...

(OOC: I've decided that I need to get some plaid myself. But that is due to the fact a certain employer of mine happens to wear a lot of it.)

Alexis said...

(OOC: I managed to score 129 ... which is phenomenal for me)