Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Freezing on the Brenner Pass

October 27, 1650, Monday afternoon
Weather: with icy temperatures and clear conditions, with a fresh breeze.

Brenner pass is above 4,000 feet, so it takes a good while to make your way there--particularly as conditions frustrate some of your movements.  You have to dismount and walk your horses, which proves somewhat difficult given the climb and that you're all leading two horses apiece.

Saturday morning proves to be quite frosty, with a little bit of ice on the rims of your bottles, plus hoarfrost upon the rocks.  It's somewhat worrying, and the party cannot help but question the wisdom of going forward.

As the afternoon begins, the weather is clear and there is a gentle breeze blowing at your backs ... but with a strange, unexpected rush, you feel this tremendous warm front roll down from the mountains above you - the Stupai Alps on your right, the Zillertal on your left, bringing  both warm conditions and a high, wild wind.   The effect is somewhat concerning - the wind puts whole trees in motion, driving them until they seem ready to uproot and dance - and the party decides, before losing a horse or slipping off a poor footing into a gulley, to cease their travels and settle down.  Finding a glade of high spruce trees and the crest of a ridge for a natural windbreak, the party finds the weather almost uncomfortably warm, stripping down to their shirts and enjoying the sight of the wind as it tears through the forests and across the open meadows, turning them like the sea.

It is not to last, however, for more than a few hours.  The warm air strikes against the cold front across the valley, and as night falls and as the temperature turns brisk the party finds itself in a deluge of steady showers.  The wind disappears and the sky drops a quarter-inch of rain, washing down the valley.  The ridge gives a cascade of water after the first half an hour, driving the party wet and weary to another place, gathering pots and tools and horses with them, slogging through mud to their ankles until at last they settle again on stony, drained ground between trees.  Teeth chattering, freezing, wet to the bone, the party pitches their tents and goes to bed without supper.

Outside, the temperature continues to fall until the rain turns to snow, then at last ceases, leaving a mere dusting upon the ground.  However, by the time the sun rises - a cold and damp party, having gotten little or no sleep at all, huddled against hope to warm up - to a crystal clear, icy day.  The temperature is well below freezing, and most of the water is scummed with ice, the rocks rimed over.  The wood the party might use to build a fire is logged and wet, but by this point some sort of fire is needed, else the party will catch their death of cold.

159 comments:

Lukas said...

Lukas encourages the party to gather wood anyhow. Perhaps a Dry spell could dry out some wood, then maybe the fire could be used to help dry out some more?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet gathers wood, perhaps with the help of Hichem.

Alexis said...

Gathering wood is no trouble. The dry cantrip would do some to dry out at least enough wood to burn.

There's something else you have to think of, however, to get a fire started (at least, I don't want to give it to you the idea in my head).

Lukas said...

So let's see here, fuel check, oxygen I really hope so... Shelter, I guess that's something we haven't asked about, and tinderbox, kept in my inventory, that is unless someone has something less consumable to use.

James C. said...

I'd say we've got what we need… at the risk of missing something obvious out here in front of ghd entire Internet.

Hichem assists Ahmet while Andrej and Sofia look after the party's horses.

Ahmet said...

Let's just be sure we're not going to set the trees above us on fire, or cause an avalanche of melting snow.

Can we pretend Janos helped us build a fire before he went MIA? :)

Alexis said...

No, I've got to rule that he's stayed in Innsbruck for his own reasons.

Someone mentioned the tinderbox ... that's good enough for me. Naturally, you'd check inside, and find out your tinder is useless.

Ahmet said...

Has someone been pissing in the tinderbox?

Andrej said...

Does this go for all of our tinderboxes? What about the one Andrej had placed in a water-proof seal-skin bag? OK, so I don't really have a water-proof, seal-skin bag... but each of Andrej, Sofia & Hichem have tinderboxes in their backpacks. These useless too? If so, is it due to wetness or something else?

Ahmet said...

Alas, Ahmet has no tinderbox.

He glares at the wood in an attempt to set it alight with naught but his white-hot rage.

Andrej said...

(OOC: My last reply in the previous blog post asked several questions regarding the new spell descriptions. Have you read these and are mulling over the replies or did you miss them, Alexis?)

Alexis said...

If you had a sealskin bag, how does the tinder get air enough to keep burning?

Yes, everyone's tinder box is screwed. Damp, wetness, terrible rain, coupled with the unfortunate cold.

Andrej, I missed them this morning. I'll answer them on the other post.


Andrej said...

I wouldn't light it in the bag, of course. You did say the rain and snow had abated above, yes?

Alexis said...

Now, correct me if I'm wrong. A "tinder box" is a small box which contains a small charcoal from the previous fire, not a little snap gadget that creates a spark.

I used to think it was the latter, once upon a time, but I had a player decades ago that corrected me.

Andrej said...

tinder to me has always been dry material such as grass, bark & wood shavings that easily ignite. A tinder box would contain the above plus a flint & steel. I had never considered a warm charcoal as part of the kit, though assuming you lit a fire every night that wouldn't be a bad idea... except today. :)

Andrej said...

add dry leaves and frayed strands of hemp rope to the list of tinder; which I've personally used with a flint and knife blade when either canoeing or backpacking as a younger man.

Ahmet said...

I'm assuming you could keep said box in a waterproof bag... you'd just take it out of the bag before you used it.

Alexis said...

Very well, I don't want to drag this out any more.

Let's take Andrej's description with Ahmet's adjoiner and let's make the point that said dry leaves and strands of hemp rope ARE wet...

If - and this is something I'll have Hichem suggest - you're going to use a "dry" cantrip, please place tinderbox, flint and steel inside the area of effect.

It's actually quite nice to work these minor things out ... and at any rate, I don't want the party getting too relaxed in what turned out to be an awful spate of weather. T'were best for me to annoy a little, to settle in the mood, nyet?

Andrej said...

Completely agree. The way I've always run it as DM, a tinderbox needs to be replenished after every use, which is easy enough when the weather is good, but a few days of straight rain and lacking a dry cantrip can put a little discomfort into my runnings as well. If nothing else, the magic users have to consider using thier burning hands or other such fire spells.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet needs to work on his white-hot glare... or buy a tinderbox and a waterproof bag.

Alexis said...

Arguably, you used one yesterday during the morning; perhaps in the afternoon before it rained and you changed camp; probably not after you settled, but that leaves one tinder box left.

Which, if you're wise, you refill with the dried items after the cantrip.

My next question; it is morning; you're about 2,900 feet up. The pass is a few miles +1,600 feet ahead of you.

The day is clear and damn cold (icy = teens) and as the fire has only just been lit, about everything you have is soaking wet/stiff with cold, all your clothes included.

Alexis said...

(OOC: just had a few ideas for cantrips; ones that warms/cools things 30 degrees; something that creates a household object of clay or wood no larger than a cubic foot; one that creates a piece of ordinary furniture, suitable for one person, that lasts as long as the caster continues to touch it).

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I really like the furniture one. "Where's my chair? Ah yes...")

So it seems our choices are to lose a day drying out and hope for better weather tomorrow, with the knowledge that every day we spend up here pushes us closer to the real hell of winter...

...or push ahead and hope we reach the next suitable camp before we all freeze to death.

Any estimate on how long it would take to reach the next pass (to cover the "a few miles and +1,600 feet") -- could we, say, dry out for the morning, and hike in the afternoon, or do we know from our prior experience up here that it will likely take a full day to travel that distance?

Lukas said...

(OOC: I like the last one, stepladder anyone? Bed? Rocking chair? Oooh! Cabinet! For hiding in a room with furniture but not enough good hiding furniture.

Though I think there is a warm one already, I have it, but I don't think it is good enough to dry things out really.

I also like the second one. Pretty close to wrap though. I guess there's always the int check to explain why someone wouldn't use the clay/wood one.)

Anyhow...

Lukas will gather all the goods to be dried into one place. Then casts the cantrip. Currently this appears to be firewood, all the tinderboxes stuffed with as much tinder as they can hold, and tinder for the fire we're making now. Which I'm fairly certain is stretching the spell to it's limits.

Lukas said...

I guess I shouldn't have taken 8+ minutes to post...

Alexis said...

Off-hand guess, half the day to climb as much as you can see, leading horses and so on. Not everything needs to be dried out, but some of it, definitely. I'm already going to have everyone roll to see if they've caught anything.

Lukas said...

Yeah, if the spell were powerful enough I would have just dried everyone, but I'm pretty sure it's about one person sized at best.

Alexis said...

(OOC: ah, then wouldn't need a new warm, perhaps a definition. Wouldn't actually dry, just make it not-frozen.

Household objects: mug, spoon, butterknife, bowl, plate, jug, bottle OR stopper, wooden candlestick, snuffer, etc. The household objects/furniture would both be legerdemain, which needs more since I'm going to eliminate 'change' ... it has always been too poorly defined)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I'm trying to come up with ways to use these cantrips on offense, but short of making an impromptu club out of a conjured stool...

I'm assuming the 30 degrees warmer/colder would only apply to inanimate objects, 'cause that would have real potential as a combat spell!)

Alexis said...

Yes, you can pretty much be sure that since its a cantrip, it has highly limited combat effect. The warm would be against inanimate objects, and the chair used as a club would probably do 1d3 and shatter on its first use.

Alexis said...

Any further action here? Describe what you want to dry? Everything?

Lukas said...

Alright, looks like firewood, tinder, tinderboxes and the site of the fire.

The spell effects 1 cubic yard. I don't think anyone can curl up into that with all those things in there.

Lukas said...

Lukas drys the above using the dry spell and positive thinking.

Alexis said...

Oh, I had meant dry once the fire was going. I accept your aforestated cantrip use.

Andrej said...

Andrej dries the clothes he's wearing as he wears them(fur coat, chausses, etc) though removes his armor. If he can manage before noon, when I recommend we break camp, he'll dry his spare clothes he has packed as well.

Sofia likewise dries herself and her worn clothes by huddling close to the fire.

Ditto for Hichem.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet follows Andrej's example.

Alexis said...

I need to get a confirmation from Lukas also.

Lukas said...

Lukas get's close to the fire and dry himself and his clothes off. He also will try and dry off his pack and the burlap sack and it's contents (the metal box).

As a side note in case it matters, and since we are in the mountains it MAY be helpful. I have a pocket telescope and hand compass.

Alexis said...

Would you care to use either, Lukas?

Would everyone, Sofia and Hichem included, roll a d20.

Ahmet, if you could please roll for yourself and Hichem this time around, while Andrej rolls for himself and Sofia.

There is an adjustment for hypothermia.

Lukas said...

d20: 19

Well then...



I would like to use the telescope any time we have a nice vista. Partially out of curiosity on the region, partially to scope out the route ahead.

Anytime we stop I would like to look at the hand compass. Once again, curiosity, I mean we have a sun for verifying direction.

Lukas said...

Though now that I think about it, we may not at times. Perhaps if we get lost it may be of assistance for minimizing the effects.

Alexis said...

I described the path ahead generally, so ... you are in a patch of spruce, but its a short walk to where you can get some water from a stream, and there you can see the roadway as it curves up between open woodland and pastures.

There are a few manor farms, though you cannot tell if they're occupied. You do pick out a small hamlet on the opposite slope, a thousand feet up and a good three miles away, line of sight. Might be six or seven huts there.

Higher still, above even where you'd guess the shoulders of the mountains obscure the pass itself, the trees are a thick carpet on the mountain sides going up until about 5,500 feet. At the very bottom edge of this treeline, again possibly three miles away but lower than the village, there are a group of people clustered around what appears to be a large, off-white object.

You count perhaps 8 or 10 individuals.

Andrej said...

Are we seeing this last things with the naked eye or is Lukas spying this through his glass? If the former, get a closer look Lukas.

Andrej d20: 18
Sofia d20: 10

Ahmet said...

Ahmet: 13
Hichem: 7

Alexis said...

These are things Lukas is seeing with his glass.

With a -4 to the player's constitutions, Sofia and Ahmet are the only ones to roll successfully; however, Andrej, Lukas and Hichem have all developed quite unpleasant head-colds.

They will want to get rest sometime soon; there will be additional rolls for each day out, subject to the weather's modifier, to see if their simple malady turns to something worse.

(I did have a druid die of pneumonia once).

Ahmet said...

Can we reach the object and its attendants before nightfall?

Ahmet said...

(OOC: "There are a group of people clustered around what appears to be a large, off-white object."

Now I can't get this scene out of my head...)

Alexis said...

I would imagine you all have a turn at the glass.

They are apparently moving this object, but with tremendous difficulty. Andrej reports perhaps twenty people. Ahmet says he can see a half dozen in higher meadow ... and finally Sofia points out three on horseback at least half a mile from the object, poised to be looking in that direction on an overlooking ridge ... perhaps two and a half miles away.

These are all maybe 500 feet higher than you, so not nearly as far or as high as the pass.

Alexis said...

(OOC: thanks guys, not a bad first day back; I'll check the blog in the morning - for now I'm going to call my participation for the day)

Lukas said...

Is there any chance that it looks like they're moving a millstone?

Alright, guess we should not die of stupidity and find some kind of reasonable shelter.

Andrej said...

How about we push on through the pass and find an inn on the other side?

Ahmet said...

I would rather make for the village, but if we're not going to make it before it gets too dark and cold, we could take refuge in one of these manor farms. I call dibs on the farmer's daughter!

Ahmet said...

That is to say I am agreeing with Andrej, my first choice is to push on through the pass toward the village (hamlet) -- but if that's not feasible, then we can hunker down here for the night.

Alexis said...

Lukas,

It looks to be about the size of a millstone for a pretty large mill - perhaps 12, 14 feet in diameter. But it isn't dull like rock, and the object seems to gather a bit of luster in the sun from moment to moment ... not precisely shiny, but a bit brighter now and then.

Ahmet,

You could make the high hamlet (six buildings, far from a village) today, certainly. You could make it around the hills in sight today, without question. This hamlet is NOT on the road to the pass ... it is just high above the opposite side of the valley, a thousand feet above you.

I'm remiss in not saying that the top of the pass is clearly not in sight - judging from the distant peaks, you'd guess it at 6 to 8 miles away. You can see the way to the pass, but you can't see the pass itself.

Ahmet said...

Ah, I see, I thought it was a hamlet on the other side of the pass, not above us.

Thoughts?

Andrej said...

I'd like to make it through the pass with all haste and convalesce on the other side of the Alps.

Alexis said...

Mount up?

Ahmet said...

Let's go.

Lukas said...

Nothing ventured nothing gained. Here's hope the venturing doesn't gain the pneumonia.

Alexis said...

Then you load your camp up, things reasonably dry, half the party sniffling and blowing their noses ... and it becomes clearer that the troop of men is moving an enormous box down the valley.

As the party starts to lead their horses, the crew is struggling with a steep slope about 50 feet above the road ... the box is on wheels, and seems ready to break loose at any moment. There are four ropes, and a dozen men on each rope, as they try to lower the package towards the road.

It seems wise not to walk underneath it. You take note that the nobles have moved down towards the road also, and are about a hundred yards to your right.

Andrej said...

Let's wait and see what happens, taking a position safely away from the box without joining the nobles.

Lukas said...

"If there is not a spell to make such things lighter for a time, it makes me think there should be."

Lukas comments as he observes the operation.

Alexis said...

As the party backs off the road, something in the box lets loose with a loud, uncomfortable howl ... not like anything any of you have heard.

It shakes several of the people hauling on the ropes, but they continue to lower it to the road.

One of the nobles breaks off and rides towards the party.

Lukas said...

"It appears we are worthy of note. I hope they are friendly."

Andrej said...

"I've never known such men to be friendly, per se. I just hope he doesn't want too much from us."

Coughing, Andrej then hocks a loogie and spits it unceremoniously to the ground beside him.

Alexis said...

Alone, a well-dressed Tyrolian - predominantly Italian style - pounds up upon his horse and draws in the reigns about ten yards from you. He doffs his hat, holds it respectfully to his shoulder and replaces it on his head. "Hail, travellers, this fine winter's morning."

Andrej said...

He seems foppish, perhaps you should handle this Lukas. ;)

Lukas said...

"Compared to yesterday it is indeed fine." Lukas says with a sniffle as he pulls his otter skin coat closer around himself.

"My name is Lukas, it is good to speak to a friendly face." He presumes, "It seems you have a bit of a project being attended to. How far has that been hauled?"

Alexis said...

In strength, voice, nature and composure, he seems nothing like foppish - extraordinarily gentlemanly, yes.

"You do seem the worse for wear for last night," he remarks. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Friedrich Viverach of Skofja Loka, second son to, and boil on the ass of, my father the Baron. My companions have asked me if you and your companions - the father exempted, of course - would be interested in obtaining a little coin."

Lukas said...

"I never object to hearing out a proposal. We do have a schedule and were hoping to clear the pass before the weather turns however."

Lukas replies as diplomatically as he can.

(OOC: Hey, while I like style as much as the next mage I have no shortage of physical traits, it's just sitting next to a half orc and a Turkish death machine makes me a tad less impressive.)

Alexis said...

"Well you see," says Friedrich. "You did ask about the crate. Little prize, you might say." The crate roars again. "Caught the little beastie night before last. Meant to bring it down the other side of the mountain, but the weather last night ... sort of put us off our track. Now we're over here, not near fit-out to drag the thing up and over the pass. So it behooves one of us to make our way alone to friends we have in Berchem - that's in Italy - to perhaps gain some other means to bring the thing over before the pass is closed."

Alexis said...

(OOC: I think I will generally be ending the day's running at 2pm each day; it is a way of managing my time. Go ahead and comment - I will address matters probably come Monday)

Lukas said...

I presume then the intent is that we take a message to Italy then. With all haste?

How's that compared to the route I guess I'm wondering. Now where is that map...

Alexis said...

"Alas, I cannot go myself," says Friedrich. "But perhaps, you would be willing to accompany my companion, Gino, to that city."

Lukas said...

Lukas looks to his companions, "I believe I should consult my companions and their schedule. I think we may be passing close to Italy, but I'm not sure how it will effect our schedule."

Alexis said...

"For where are you bound, good sir?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet half-listens to the conversation as he watches the box.

Lukas said...

"Currently, Venice. I am unaware if that is close, but it is also not my business that is so time sensitive."

(OOC: Thanks to Travel Details & Puzzles post I can easily find that map and consider our route again.)

Alexis said...

"Ah, but the road to Berchem would be a mere bagatelle!" says Friedrich. "We would be happy to pay you ... uh, a fee of sorts. Call it an upfront price for expenses."

Lukas said...

Lukas smiles, "Don't worry I understand such arrangements. It seems a simple enough task..."

Lukas looks to his companions, then peers at Friedrich's companion to investigate any notable traits...

Are we looking at a fat man in impractical clothing who is going to complain the whole way, or is it too far to tell?

Alexis said...

The fellow that Friedrich indicates is quite stout and rather rotund, if not actually fat. Approximately five-foot-five and some 280 lbs., at least.

Friedrich does admit that, for the uninitiated, Gino can be something less than good company.

Lukas said...

Lukas jokes, "I hope initiation doesn't take long. How long do you figure you have till assistance will arrive too late? We were worried we wouldn't make the pass as it was, let alone after making the trip to Italy and back."

Alexis said...

"Oh, you shouldn't have to travel back. Gino can have our friends as company then. Just get him into Italy, that will be enough. Only ..."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet looks back at the man for his caveat.

Alexis said...

Don't know what that means, Ahmet. Looking to buy something?

Lukas said...

I believe he is trying to discover what comes after 'Only...' using only his intimidating glare. Or eyes, or glance or something.

Ahmet said...

Yes, precisely... what comes after "only..."?

Alexis said...

Ah, I didn't know who he met by "the man."

"Well," says Friedrich. "We can't exactly trust Gino with money; so we can provide you with 500 g.p. for his expenses. If you get him to Berchem, they can provide you with another 500. In the meantime, you'll have to pay to keep Gino fed and so on."


Lukas said...

Lukas takes some time to consider how many days they have ahead of themselves...

One day into the alps from Innsbruck, figure with the new guy travel at half rate, What 15 days?
Assume he's going to want only the fanciest lodgings and food, we're looking at what, 20 gold a day? meaning it costs 300? Assuming he doesn't have a retinue? Is that a good, high, or low estimate?

Ahmet said...

Or we could just ride a few days, cut his throat, and pocket the 500 gold.

What?

Lukas said...

I think the ire of nobles would be bad. Just saying, they know where our rent is collected. Or will with a few Augaries.

Ahmet said...

Party pooper ;)

Are we going to ask him what's in the box?

Lukas said...

I'm more worried about what's on the other horse. We don't have to tow the box with us for multiple days...

Lukas said...

Though I guess we don't HAVE to tow the noble either.

Ahmet said...

Is 15 days a good estimate for how long it will take to get to Berchem?

Is the only "cargo" we are bringing Berchem and his horse? Does he have a retinue of hangers-on? Baggage? Camping equipment? A tinder box in a sealskin bag? ;)

Alexis said...

"No, just him and his horse," answers Friedrich.

As it happens, you've been misunderstanding Freidrich all this time, thinking he's been saying "Berchem" when in fact he's been saying "Berghem." It's just his accent.

"It's quite close to Milan,"It shouldn't take you more than 4 or 5 days."

Ahmet said...

"So, Friedrich," Ahmet says, leaning forward in the saddle and giving a sly glance to either side, "what's in the box?"

Lukas said...

Is Andrej out for a while? I wouldn't mind having his input as to whether or not we want someone tagging along.

I say why not, we're adventurer's right? They say money, we say jump. Regardless of whether that was even part of the job.

Ahmet said...

I'm not sold on taking him.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Sorry I've been scarce fellas, battling real life a bit this week)

Yeah, I'm not sold on taking fatty either... not for 1000 gp if he's going to eat and drink through half of it. Lukas should apologize and admit that our pressing business requires us to move at a breakneck pace through all weather (Andrej coughs to accentuate this) and that we could not offer the comfort necessary to so fine a personage.

Ahmet said...

...but I still want to know what's in the box.

Alexis said...

"In the box? Oh, well ... it's sort of a pet for the Duke of Florence."

Lukas said...

Lukas smiles, "A fine gift I'm sure." Glancing at his companions he takes in their general attitude, "However I'm afraid as you can already probably tell, we are setting a pace that puts us through conditions I don't believe would be appropriate or appealing.

We have already pushed through one snow storm, and I'm certain our pace and tolerance for poor weather would not match your companion's traveling expectations.

However if berghem is really so close to our route, perhaps we could take a written letter or message to your friends so that you can still get the aid necessary to transport the gift?"

Lukas glances back to discern his companion's response to the suggestion.

"I would not like to leave you stranded in the pass, but I think we could make much better time with our current traveling party and the father's business is quite pressing."

Andrej said...

Andrej nods his assent, "Yes, we'd be happy to divert from our intended course of straight to Venice, but must make all haste through the pass. Though I must say I'm unfamiliar with Berghem... is it also called by Bergamo?"

Alexis said...

(OOC: It won't be called Bergamo for a century or two; it still retains its Lombard German name)

"Perhaps a thousand gold pieces up front?" says Friedrich. "I couldn't offer you more than the 500 at the completion - I don't believe Gino's brother could reasonably pay more than that. But I can offer a thousand."

Andrej said...

(OOC: Got it, Alexis. Could only find a mention of Berghem in the Netherlands. Thanks.)

Andrej shoots his companions a brief look conveying "he really wants to rid himself of Gino, yes?"

Sofia guffaws openly. A thousand gold pieces to escort a man and his horse!

"Perhaps we should confer privately, sir. Just for a moment if you would excuse us, please."

Taking his friends aside, Andrej confers...

I have no doubt Gino will be an incredible pain in the ass and we'll earn every bit of that 1500 GP. But it is 1500 GP. Perhaps we should do it? What's the worst that could happen?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet hmms thoughtfully as he ponders the worst that could happen.

"He's a werewolf?"

Lukas said...

I believe he would only offer more if he were an irritating dolt. My concern is that he is not only irritating and difficult to travel with, but also a thief.

Remember he could not trust the man with the money directly. Between us group and the man, I have a feeling they would believe the one with social status unless they were familiar with the noble.

Andrej said...

Andrej hmms thoughtfully and replies "Then I suppose we'd be justified in slitting his throat and taking the gold."

Andrej winks, then sizing up his friend offers an explaination for certainty "That was a joke, Ahmet."

Andrej said...

I'm willing to risk either of thievery or lycanthropy... it's the irritating dolt part that has me most worried. ;)

Lukas said...

Well, I think we should play some afflicting the lord's representative guilt before we go, but I wouldn't be opposed to taking him so long as Ahmet is sure to stay VERY close to our valuables.

Ahmet said...

So what's the decision? Take him?

Ahmet said...

"A sort of pet, eh?" Ahmet hmms. "The sort he's not likely to play with, I take it."

Lukas said...

What do you bet later we are captured by the Duke and fed to his pet...

I say we take him at the new price.

Andrej said...

Let's take him. Let's get that gold. Let's find out what's in the box.

Consider us in agreement on all points above, Alexis, and proceed accordingly.

Alexis said...

"Excellent!" exclaims Friedrich. He reaches into his inside doublet pocket and produces a long chain with a pendant. "Which one of you will wear this?"

Andrej said...

"I'm afraid that when it comes to adornment and embellishment there is only place upon my person for the roman cross; as in my heart the Lord and King Jesus Christ reigns supreme and singly. Lukas, you're the fashionable sort however..."

; )

Lukas said...

"I must admit the obvious apprehension at the idea of wearing said pendant until an explanation is given. Perhaps you could elaborate."

Lukas replies simply.

Alexis said...

"Well," says Friedrich; "I have no desire to mislead anyone. You're strangers to us and, well, you can't always trust a stranger.

"It's not that we think you'll harm Gino, you understand ... Gino's quite safe with anyone, really. It's just that, hm, we've lost him before, and he can be devilishly difficult to find again.

"So, as a bit of insurance ... my fellow Clarence - he's the other in our trio - has put a bit of a glyph of warding on this chain that will, unfortunately, go off in eight days."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet snorts dismissively.

Lukas said...

"Was this before you left that the glyph was placed?" Says Lukas as he takes a single step backwards from the time bomb aka the other shoe.

Alexis said...

"No, actually," says Friedrich. "Clarence did it just before I rode over here."

Ahmet said...

"So why not put the pendant on Gino?"

Lukas said...

Lukas nods, "It would probably be adequate incentive for him to reach his destination."

Alexis said...

"Knowing the situation better, we've thought this through. Shall one of you wear the pendant or no? Would more coin encourage you?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet politely declines.

He mutters to his comrades, "Let's leave this glyph, this gold, and this Gino and make for Venice. I do not trust this... sorcery."

Alexis said...

"Very well. 1,500 gold up front!"

Lukas said...

"Gino is starting to not be worth all the gold you could carry sir, I do not want my life dependent on someone who sounds so unreliable. I am sorry I must leave you with him. As I said, I would take a message if you truly need assistance with the gift, but it seems you just want to rid yourself of this man. Thank you for your offer and take care with that amulet."

Andrej said...

Sofia steps forward, "I'll wear the pendant, but in return I get 500 gp and the rest of the party splits the 1,000gp.

Andrej shrugs, "As you wish. Gentlemen?"

Ahmet said...

Ahmet barks out a laugh.

"I thought she took a vow of poverty!"

Lukas said...

"Doesn't mean she cannot donate the proceeds. Besides, did she SAY she took one?"

Lukas looks at Sophia,

"Provided five days from now till we arrive we ride on opposite sides of the road."

James C. said...

"She didn't and agreed."

Sophia steps forward to receive both the pendant and the party's gold.

Andrej says a prayer.

Ahmet said...

Before the exchange can take place, Ahmet says, "and we're still to receive 500 gold upon delivery, yes?"

Ahmet said...

He then looks at Lukas. "And then in eight days this, ah, glyph... hatches?"

He grumbles. "Another mouth to feed!"

Andrej said...

"Ah, Ahmet you heathenish bastard. You're the living end!"

Lukas said...

"The glyph explodes."

Alexis said...

Friedrich hands Sofia the necklace, his face the very substance of apologetic. He confirms with Ahmet that 500 g.p. upon arrival will be given. "The glyph will, I'm afraid, cause a most distressing flame."

Alexis said...

Does Sofia put it on?

Andrej said...

"What keeps me from taking this off when you and Clarence are out of sight?" Sofia asks Friedrich.

Alexis said...

"Oh, didn't I explain? If you take it off, it causes the same effect."

Andrej said...

"And what, precisely, is the mechanism for avoiding this effect?"

Alexis said...

Friedrich laughs. "You don't really expect me to answer that, do you? Gino's brother will take care of it."

Andrej said...

"I'm not putting this on until I get some assurance Gino's brother is capable of getting it off."

Andrej said...

"Without blowing me up, that is."

Lukas said...

(OOC: Ah... The 10ft pole... That should totally be a cantrip.)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet urges Andrej, once again, that they leave this behind and ride for Venice.

"Tell your girl that far greater riches await us than 500 gold pieces, and let's be off!"

Alexis said...

"Ah, very well," says Friedrich to Sofia. "Methinks my gold would reassure you ... but my companions and I shall ride into Innsbruck and see whom we may find there. I wish you and your friends a good day, Madam."

Andrej said...

"Best of luck, Friedrich."

Let's be off.

Andrej said...

As the party moves away, Sofia quietly addresses Lukas.

"Wizard. Call me anybody's girl again and I'll skewer you." She says this pleasantly, with a warm smile, so that anybody other than Lukas might think she were complimenting him on his hat or remarking upon the improved weather.

;)

Lukas said...

Lukas shrugs and travels on for a bit before consulting his companions. "I found it most suspicious that a letter would not be acceptable but parting with his companion would. Furthermore, I guess we are not resting in town tonight."

Lukas said...

(OOC: I am not aware when Lukas said this.)

Andrej said...

"Aye, Lukas. My sense, though, is that Friedrich mostly wanted to be rid of Gino and the message was a convenience or a contrivance. It could be he was playing us false, and had more sinister designs, but alas I suppose it matters little now."

Lukas said...

(OOC: Ah there we go... 'Ahmet said...

Ahmet urges Andrej, once again, that they leave this behind and ride for Venice.

"Tell your girl that far greater riches await us than 500 gold pieces, and let's be off!"')

Andrej said...

Whoops, I see now that was Ahmet. Sorry Lukas. Perhaps Sofia would not have been as careless as her player, and the DM will rule that the message was delivered to the mighty turk. :)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet smiles pleasantly to Sofia.

"A thousand pardons, boy. I have not looked under your robe and should not have assumed."

Lukas said...

Lukas to Andrej, "I'm so glad Sofia seems to be getting along with Ahmet. He seems a bit rough for the uninitiated."

Alexis said...

I will so rule.

I'll get up the next post; I'm going to be presuming that you continue over the pass and to the other side, and thence on your way to Venice. I will continue the description until the next thing that needs the party's notice happens.

Andrej said...

Sofia stammers a bit, narrows her eyes and mutters an old Bulgarian wives' curse before trotting her horse ahead of the party.

Andrej nods to Lukas, "Indeed."

Alexis said...

This is continued on the next post.