Friday, December 14, 2012

The Isarco Road

October 31, 1650, Friday morning

Weather: with chilly temperatures and cloudy conditions, with a gentle breeze

It has not snowed or rained in three days, but the weather itself is still fairly unpleasant in the morning. The party is high in the mountains and moving along a road that weaves along the Isarco, then moves along the side of the mountain as the Isarco drops away into a wide, though fairly deep gorge.



You're curling along a bend in the road under the mountain, where there is a drop on your right and a steep rise on your left. Ahead of you, trees are clustered below the slope. Two fellows with maces rise from where they've been sitting below the trees, and menacingly walk into the middle of the road, facing the party.

The party is walking their horses.

The tan/pink is the roadbed; the dark yellow is a 30 degree slope; the orange band is a 45 degree slope; the red area is effectively impassable without actually climbing down a various 60-80 degree slope. The dark grey is a 45-degree slope up. The black is cliff face.

33 comments:

Lukas said...

Lukas looks uphill, downhill and behind at this point for any other menacing folks.

Alexis said...

There are plenty of places where menacing folks may be at, but for the present you don't see anyone else.

Lukas said...

I'm at the back guys, and I don't intend to do anything intimidating till we know what's up.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I tried to get those to be spruce trees ... but the whole appearance seems a bit too summery. I should have gone with more gray. Try to remember its Halloween).

The nearer of the two men, 20' or four hexes from Ahmet, shouts "HO!"

Andrej said...

Alexis, is Sofia somewhere behind Lukas, off-map or just forgotten?

Andrej stops and draws his mace. "Ho yourselves!"

Lukas said...

Remember, if we capture one we can make them take us to their camp where they keep their stuff.

Just saying.

Andrej said...

Noted and agreed. Keep that sleep spell handy. :)

Alexis said...

Oh, just forgotten.

Let's say she's behind Lukas, bringing up the rear. Otherwise I'll have to enlarge the map.

Alexis said...

The man will say, "Sheathe your weapon, Father. We want no trouble with you."

The tone of his voice indicates clearly he's ready to bring trouble.

Lukas said...

For the record this is the perfect place for a military grade ambush, and they would have executed it perfectly if they were waiting on the other side of the bend... Although I don't know how much of that is dependent on modern military weapons.

Andrej said...

(OOC: This strikes me as the perfect place for any grade of ambush.)

Sofia draws two daggers, one in each hand, and keeps a sharp eye out behind the party. "Keep your eyes peeled across to gorge, Lukas. Hichem, eyes up above."

Andrej, "I'll do no such thing, stranger, until you've stood aside to give the lord 20 Hail Mary's and me a great, big kiss on the ass."

Lukas said...

No chance they were guarding against bandit activity I guess.

Lukas considers how well he can manage two horses AND combat right now.

Alexis said...

The man laughs at Andrej's remark.

"Hah ah!" he says. "I was only going to ask for your pouches, but I'll take a weapon from each of you for that!"

Andrej said...

"Cheeky, this one is aye Ahmet? Feeling in a kind mood we'll give you one last chance to stand aside and save your skins, stranger, begging the lord's eternal and infinite mercy and grace in the process."

Just killing time until Ahmet checks in and goes "turkish killing machine" for us.

Lukas said...

Alright, I'm curious, from a spellcaster and normal fighting perspective, how does managing two or even one horse effect my combat ability?

Can I manage both with one hand? Can I cast with one hand and horses in the other?
Can I fight with darts in one hand?
What can I expect the horses to do within reason if I release them and fight?

Alexis said...

Horses are notoriously skittish.

In the recent film, The Mill And The Cross, the director took it upon himself to reproduce Breugel's painting, The Way To Calvary ... which includes a number of horses. Try as they might, the actors could not keep the horses from moving. The people in the shots are still as mannequins, but the riders are helpless to keep their horses from moving, even where they are no where near the other players.

On the other hand, letting go of the horse will not cause it to take off. Horses will tend to stand where they are, unless they see food, in which case they'll move towards it. Unless there's a loud shout, battle, etc., in which case the horses will completely ruin any spells, probably even if you do let go of them (they tend to move in your way).

You have to sheathe your darts to cast.

Alexis said...

"HAIL!" yells the maceman across the ravine.

Six longbowmen step out from across the ravine. Without refreshing the map for the moment, two step out from from the furthest pair of trees; two step out from the next furthest pair; and two step out from the far bend, near the place where the far path goes off map.

"They're all crack bowmen," says the maceman. "And none of us here want any trouble. It's a fair day; its Hallow's Eve; there ain't a soldier within a league for both Bozen and Brixen are in high festival. Let's have a toll for the road and we'll let you on your way."

Lukas said...

Looks like I'm not casting unless I can reasonably get away from my horses.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I'm going to be hung up for most of the afternoon. I'll poke around in about an hour, if I get the chance).

Andrej said...

Lacking our spells somewhat limits our chances. I think we should await Ahmet's input before proceeding.

Ahmet said...

Sorry... tomorrow will be a much better day for me.

Ahmet, always eager for a fight, grins at the mace men. He turns to Andrej and Lukas, dropping his to tone to a level hopefully only they can hear.

"What will it be, gentlemen? Blood or gold?"

Lukas said...

I'm pretty sure anything I can hear, they can here. So it's just you and Andrej.

Furthermore, I think Andrej has already chosen both.

Alexis said...

"Come on, c'mon, make up your minds! You'll spend as much money on your coffins anyhow! I only ask as much as you'd spend on a nice dippin' bowl for baby's heads, father. 80 g.p. each, and a weapon, and you'll be on your way!"

Andrej said...

"We'll keep the gold, though you may have the weapons."

Andrej moves toward the men.

:)

Lukas said...

I guess Lukas will move to hold the horses in one hand and draw a dart.

Ahmet said...

Are the tree hexes impassable terrain, or can we stand under them?

In other words, if Andrej moves forward 3 hexes, will that "block out" Ahmet from reaching the men?

Alexis said...

You can move under the trees. The hexes with the actual trees in them, however, are -2 to hit due to the trunks.

Before anything can happen, I need an initiative. Lukas can roll a d6 this time around.

Also, I've started using THACO for hitting purposes. Ahmet's THACO is 17. Lukas's THACO is 19. Andrej's THACO is 18. Sofia and Hichem both have a THACO of 20.

Lukas said...

d6: 5

Andrej said...

(OOC: Madness! you're one step away from ascending armor class. ;) )

Alexis said...

(OOC: I don't know 'ascending AC.' I'm not really changing the to hit tables from the book; offline, I'm running a party with 30+ people in it; had to start using THACO cause it was taking too long to look things up, and my crack memory is going!)

The party wins initiative. I'll rework the map, get Sofia on it ... but it will take time, I've got a 90 minute meeting starting in 15 and so I'll be out for most of the day.

Andrej said...

I'll check in every so often. Basically, Andrej is moving 3 hexes forward, leaving his horse as-is. His shield on his right arm and his footman's mace in his left hand.

Sofia is still keeping an eye out behind but has sheathed her daggers to get a handle on her two horses. She yells to Hichem to likewise ensure he has control of his two horses.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet moves 3 hexes forward with Andrej, shield on his left arm and scimitar in his right hand.

Alexis said...

Please, let's discount the movements you've just described. Put them on the new post, where there are numbers again.

The new post is up.