Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Bozen, Christmas Eve

Dec 24, 1650, Wednesday night
Weather: with chilly temperatures and steady flakes, and a moderate breeze

The temperature has improved considerably as you have descended further still in to the city of Bozen. The city is enormous, with thousands of buildings literally filling the valley as it spreads out from the circle of mountains to the north. It is an intense, highly cosmopolitan city, comparable in size to most everywhere the party has been - except that Andrej has seen Frankfurt, and that is truly gigantic.

Nowhere in Italy is Christmas celebrated on a greater scale than in Bolzano. The German population has lit candles everywhere, so that an unfathomed glow has wrapped the city in it bosom, making it almost as if it where day. The glow is visible for miles off, but this does not truly impress until the city itself is viewed.

Maximilian points out the rich houses upon the distant slopes to the right, reaching into the hill known as Rentsch. The poor live in the lowlands stretching out to the left, an area known as Fago, and above it the health resort taking advantage of natural springs, called the Gries.

Inside the town there is a fair ongoing - and I'm afraid I failed to send a list of goods last night, so take it for granted you can shop to your heart's content on Christmas day (the town is NOT closed).

The Inn, which as I say Maximillian can lead you to, has all your goods, and has been instructed to give you space in the common room - which will cost you 10 c.p. each, per night. There's no private lodging anywhere in the city, probably not until the night after Christmas.

There's plenty of lager at 12 c.p. a glass, roast beef at 16 s.p. for 20 oz., loaves of bread for 3 c.p. and whole chickens for 6 s.p. There are even single oysters for 11 s.p. Fresh trout will cost 2 g.p. and a fresh mackeral, 3 g.p.

The stable will continue to watch your horses until the morning of the 26th for no charge, but Enrico's warhorse will be 27 c.p. a night for feeding and stabling.

UPDATE:

Andrej's reading ability thus far:


Lower Valley of the Po:


111 comments:

Ahmet said...

All along the ride, Enrico, Tazio, and Carlito pepper Ahmet with questions -- about Turkey, about Egypt, about Jerusalem; about Prester John and the Great Khan and the Elves of Finland; about the great battles he has fought in, the monsters he has slain, the dungeons he has delved.

Ahmet regards their incessant questions with a stony silence and smoldering glower that only makes them all the more interested and eager to remain in his company.

Upon arrival in the city, the boys -- and they really are boys, Enrico the youngest being barely 15 -- also find space in the common area, as it happens sacking down right next to the laconic Turk.

It seems he now has an entourage.

Maximillian said...

(Alexis, my intention was to bring the party to my family's residence, if that makes sense to Maximillian, but I don't know anything about them, other than that you described me as looking well-off, and my grandfather having resources to pay a ransom. I don't expect anything of my family other than lodging, but I would feel it necessary to thank my grandfather. We can gloss over it if that's easier, the point is to tie up loose ends, not to create a plot hook if t wasn't already there.)

Maximillian said...

If my family would be unable to host such a crowd, I will make my excuses and join them by myself. Mareo will likewise seek to spend the night with his family.

If we split up like this, I suggest we meet after the mass in the morning, at the entrance to the cathedral. Say at noon.

Andrej said...

Andrej and Sofia bed down in the common area after a substantial meal. Andrej purchases a whole chicken, a loaf of bread, several oysters and many glasses of lager. Sofia partakes in the repast with the exception of the lager, choosing to drink water if the innkeeper will spare some.

We look forward to attending the mass on Christmas day and make plans to meet Maximillian there as described above.

Lukas said...

Water? that stuff will kill you.

Lukas having taken to Hichem apparently will pay for lager, roast beef, bread, and mackeral for the both of them.

He will also look forwards to a proper ceremony in a cathedral.

Alexis said...

Maximillian,

Having more of your character actually on line would be helpful. I don't have your background with me at the moment - I don't even remember what your father does for a living. Could you fill me in?

Maximillian said...

Sorry, I'll get it up there eventually.

Father's profession is prospector,
Raised by mother and father. With maternal grandfather, paternal grandmother & grandfather, 6 sisters

Mareo's family think's he'll come to no good, (treats with apathy) but his father was a blacksmith, and he was raised by mother and father. With maternal grandfather, 2 brothers.

Alexis said...

Given that background,

When Maximillian takes his friends - those who are willing to go - around the family's house, he encounters a momentary friendliness from his mother for being alive; but his grandfather, who paid, is abrupt, cold, says he always expected you to get into that kind of trouble. "And now you want to bring your friends in, I suppose, to scatter more of the family's wealth? Is that it?"

Alexis said...

(OOC: You know, Maximillian, unlike real life you're allowed to draw you club and kill your family)

Andrej, I have added your reading success to the main post.

Maximillian said...

That's about the reception I expected ;) No need for violence as yet.

I'm not up for composing dialog at the moment, but I brush off the old man's concerns over a few more gold blithly, explaining that these people shared my fate, and making grandiose promises to repay him my ransom. If he continues to object, I'll draw him aside, and explain the reason for my coming as soon as possible was to explain the reason for my kidnapping -- having to do with the grudge held by the friend of Lazaro against him -- and the details about his refuge.

Either way, I will give him that information before I part company in the morning. I will also let my mother know that I will be gone for a long time.

Andrej said...

Nice! Andrej is moving right along.

I'm in favor of suspending instruction and resuming our quickened pace to Venice at this point. I assume,though, that once we're at sea either in Venice or later in Fiume we'll have ample time and opportunity for daily study. Agreed?

Lukas said...

Lukas is fine with the comforts of the inn. He is quick at this point to ensure his books are in good condition however.

Maximillian said...

At this point I'd like to make three knowledge checks; first to see if I know anything about the economy / main commercial activities in Venice (the city). I took "Earth & Sky" as my initial field of study, but I did not take geography as a specialty.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet (and his ducklings) also remain at the Inn.

I'm all for moving on to Venice. The only market shopping Ahmet would like to do is replace anything in our bags that would have spoiled over the last two months.

Andrej said...

I will be doing some shopping and holy reflection on the 25th before we leave, so maybe leave the morning of the 26th?

Lukas, not sure if you noticed but Hichem has a weapon proficiency with hand scythe but does not yet posses one. They have been lacking in the markets so far, now might be a good time to try buying one.

Lukas said...

Good idea. Also, did you have his HP Andrej?

I will definitely be visiting the Cathedral, from an architectural as well as religious standpoint.

Andrej said...

Sorry Lukas, meant to comment when you originally asked. No, I never got a hit point total for Hichem. Or, if I did I somehow didn't document it. Sorry, I'm sure Alexis has it, though.

Alexis said...

(OOC: lol ... when have you ever known a parent willing to be 'taken aside' Maximillian?)

Maximillian,

They won't throw you out, but they won't provide any lodging for your friends. Your grandfather seems to know all about the situation already, and he really doesn't care if you tell anyone you're leaving town or not. "If you could go without falling afield of bandits, all the better," he says.

Alexis said...

Andrej,

Quite probably yes, once at sea.

All the party's equipment, as well as Lukas' books, are in excellent condition. Nothing has been touched.

Trade and economics require mercantilism, and do not fall under the heading of geography, as they do in the modern world. If you want to check something you know about, Maximillian, roll a % die and attach the result to the question.

Alexis said...

Ah, yes, admittedly your food is gone. Thank you Ahmet, I hadn't considered that. Please assume you have no food whatsoever, including spirits, amid your belongings.

Hichem has 7 hit points.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: You're welcome, everyone!)

Alexis said...

(OOC: sooner or later someone was going to mention your food, Ahmet)

Andrej said...

Food is only a spell-casting away for this group thanks to chef Andrej, and at 10 lbs. per level I think I can still feed our small horde. I forget, Alexis, it's been so long... is it 1 lb a day at rest, 2 lbs a day traveling and 3 lbs a day if in combat?

Assuming I have consumption correct above, just buy some back-up stores and grain for the horses when the markets are open.

Alexis said...

Yes the weights are correct, Andrej.

Maximillian said...

Heh, good point.

Very well, I thought that was the likely case re Geography. I rolled an 8 for my d%, so I guess it's a moot point now.

The next order of business is less sensitive: during character generation I mused that I probably would have traveled the region somewhat, perhaps as far as Venice once, but you didn't respond to that. I intend to apply my local knowledge to suggest the following route, but want to confirm whether I think that's a good idea, or indeed know what I'm talking about.
From Bozen south to Trent, then east to Tezze, where they will cross the border into Venice. From there, if they desire to go to Venice city, we will continue south along the river past Cismoor to Bassano. Otherwise, if they wish to avoid Venice, they will turn northeast to Feltri, and follow the Piave river South East past Querro as far as San Michel. I'm certain Maximillian doesn't know anything about the region of Trevisani West of San Michelle, other than perhaps the names of some cities in that region.

Lukas said...

Well then food and feed is of interest in the near future.

Alexis said...

Maximillian,

There's no reason to conclude that you have been anywhere except the nearby hills. Medieval people did not commonly travel; I only describe a party character travelling when their place of birth is somewhere clearly a long way from where they are found at the beginning of first level. Since you are a local boy, you don't get that benefit.

There is no significant town called "Tezze" in my world, nor Cismoor, nor Querro nor San Michel ... at least, not by those names. Trevisani doesn't exist as a region, either. You've been reading late 18th century maps.

From your geography, your best recommendation would be to avoid Venice, since you must get on a boat to go there, and the horses would need to be transported thusly, from one boat to another, etc. The best routes would be Chioggia or Commachio.

Maximillian said...

That's what I was looking for; confirmation of what I do and do not know. It's a bit awkward when my character knows something I don't, so I did my best to cross-reference the maps with wikipedia to determine what existed in 1650, but obviously that's not infallible. Sometimes I just had to guess based on size in 1799.

I don't want to step on your toes or give out info Maximillian wouldn't, which is why I've been pussyfooting around all these questions.

Thanks.

Lukas said...

I just want to confirm we have not seen prices yet.

Lukas said...

I'm going to buy some perfume, check to see if any of the books available are architecturally related, get a sack of apples, horse feed, wine and some bacon.

Yes Andrej you should take offense I am bolstering your food supply.

Should I get a non-military hand scythe? That just sounds like a bad idea.

Alexis said...

I don't know who did, or did not get the equipment list. I trust most of you did.

Lukas, there is no "military" version of the hand scythe. The tool is the weapon.

It must be said that while Andrej can produce food, it would in some degree be fairly plain. It is produced in a ready-to-eat form, and since Clerics are well-known for their dour, anti-fun conditioning, it shouldn't be assumed that the spell produces anything remarkably tasty. It just makes solid, practical food.

Andrej said...

"... Clerics are well-known for their dour, anti-fun conditioning..."

Hey! Whatever, buy your cursed apples. I hope they have worms in them. ;)

Alexis, you probably sent the equipment sheet to my home e-mail, which means I can't access it here at work. Provided I can make my equipment selections tonight, though, I'm ready to move on to Venice now.

Andrej said...

Or, I should say, move on to Christmas Day.

Maximillian said...

Received. If you want, I can forward the list. I updated my inventory to reflect the purchase of a bit for Mareo's light warhorse and post it shortly.
I guess the horse needs hitpoints and morale. Mareo has "Associates start with a morale of 12" but I'm not sure if that applies to horses. The horse is now named Moroder.

Alexis said...

In recognition of Maximillian's geographical skill, I've added a map to the main post. You can use it to describe your strategy for travel. Please note that Bozen appears top centre of the map, and that the road on the right edge of the map is close to reaching Triest, and that the map edge is alternately 40 (high, dangerous road) or 80 (low, safer road) miles from Fiume.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Also ... I've done some reading, and wikipedia travel describes modern Bolzano - Bozen - as 'the Christmas Capital of Italy.'

Since fairs ran mostly on holy days in those times, I'm going to rule that EVERYTHING is available. So if there is anything on the equipment list that isn't showing as available, I'll let each person in the party - four, that is - buy ONE. I'll have to look up the price here)

Andrej said...

No need to forward, Maximillian, I prefer to not get campaign stuff at my work e-mail.

When I can shop I'll limit my purchases to foodstuffs and maybe a pole-arm for Sofia for her next weapon proficiency.

Given the time of year, I vote the low-road.

Alexis said...

(OOC: High Road! More bandits! More ............ bandits!)

Andrej said...

OOC: Lazaro was a nice chap after all, but I think I've had my fill of bandits for a while. ;)

Lukas said...

So that scroll making book... ;)

Just saying, it's ON the list...

Lukas said...

Oh and High or Low, I could go either way. If we encounter bandits, perhaps we may pay the toll...

Andrej said...

Are you fishing for a Christmas present Lukas? How much was it? We can go halfsies again if it doesn't break the bank.

Maximillian said...

Or perhaps we may extract revenge...

(ooc: OK, I posted my inventories. Those of you who have been doing this a while, is there a way to make a tabular layout without tweaking the html? Is there a way to apply css (a global style) to your site? Thanks)

Andrej said...

(OOC: I keep a separate character sheet in excel and copy/ paste into blog to update. When updating, switch your view to "html" from "compose" and you can delete the tables more easily. If you delete th eold and then paste the new in "compose" mode the html gets messy and you end up creating all kinds of white space.)

Maximillian said...

I'll try that, thanks.

Alexis said...

Sorry, Lukas. Is the book you're referring to there, or do you need a price for it? And can you be more specific as to which book you mean?

There are three books for magic making, right?

Lukas said...

Leomund's Incantations of the Written Word is not listed as available, but it is on the list. Since we have a special offer for the market day of one of something not available I was interested in that being my one of something.

(As a side note we have Tobin's Materials and Measures, and still need the above and Six Degrees of Ink: A Master Mixer's Manual.)

I can understand if you would like to make this an exception to the one of anything on the list rule.

Ahmet said...

Time for a horse inventory!

We have:
Ahmet - two horses
Enrico - one horse
Tazio - walking
Carlito - walking
Andrej - one horse*
Sofia - one horse*
Lukas - two horses
Hichem - walking?
Maximillian - walking?
Mareo - walking?

*I think Andrej had two, but gave one to Sofia.

Correct?

Maximillian said...

Maximillian & Mareo have a horse between them (Technically, it's Mareo's)

Don't forget the sleigh! (Unless that was just paid passage.)

Ahmet said...

I assumed the sleigh (and driver) were more or less a taxi service that has moved on to other passengers.

Andrej said...

Andrej and Sofia each have 2 horses, for a total of 4. Hichem was recently riding one of them.

Alexis said...

Leomund's Incantations runs at 646 g.p. Six Degrees of Ink runs at 878 g.p.

The sleigh was in the possession of the driver; it belongs to the town of Brixen.

Maximillian said...

I selected a warhorse because there were no riding horses available, but it really put strain on my purse. If there was a riding horse available, and it was possible to go back on that decision, I would. If not, I understand and am ready to advance to the next day.

Alexis said...

A riding horse will cost you 57 g.p., Maximillian.

Lukas said...

I can get either myself and not break the bank, assuming I can exchange the two gems I have.

Alexis said...

I'll let you make the exchange, Lukas.

Lukas said...

Well if we're going to be in a position of one horse per person, I have settled on the mount spell. Assuming we do no more than 20 hours of traveling per day, I can ride the conjured mount, and two others can ride my real ones.

Lukas said...

Thank you Alexis, I will be getting Six Degrees of Ink then if you don't mind me changing at the last moment.

Maximillian said...

Thanks Alexis. That still doesn't leave me enough for a tent, but I can at least get Mareo a coat and a blanket.

How are we for tent space? I could chip in if we need another.

Ahmet said...

OK, so:

Ahmet - two horses
Enrico - one horse
Tazio - walking
Carlito - walking
Andrej - two horses
Sofia - two horses
Lukas - mount spell + two horses
Hichem - walking
Maximillian - walking
Mareo - one horse

We have a total of 10 horses (and one mount spell) for 10 people. So Lukas can save his spell and we each ride one horse; or Lukas uses his mount spell and we have one extra horse.

Either way, we won't be able to ride quite as fast as we were when we had two horses per person, but at least we still have enough mounts to go around.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet has one tent and Andrej has two (square 8' linen). I believe Alexis had ruled that each could sleep four people, so we're OK in the tent department.

Ahmet said...

Just out of curiosity, Alexis, how much for a watertight container of some sort?

Alexis said...

What sort of watertight container? A bottle? A bathtub? A brewing vat?

Ahmet said...

A bag large enough to store a tinderbox.

Alexis said...

Get the cowhide scroll case, with lacing hardened leather cap, for 3 s.p. It's waterproof, big enough for your tinderbox, and other things besides. 10 inches deep and about 2 and a half inches wide.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I feel like a salesman)

Alexis said...

(OOC: I feel like a salesman)

Ahmet said...

Did we pay 80 g.p. each to Lazaro, or was that forgiven?

Andrej said...

Sofia purchases: a glaive, 2 dozen biscuits, 2.2 lbs. of raisins, 4 lbs. of jerky, 40 lbs. of horsefeed

Andrej purchases: 2 dozen biscuits, filled his skin w/ wine, 2.2 lbs. of raisins, 4 lbs. of jerky, 40 lbs. of horse feed

Alexis said...

The 80 g.p. each wasn't forgiven, just increased to 2,000 for the party.

(OOC: Not a good day at all. I'll have to wait awhile before I can check in again. Please talk about your intended journey to Fiume. By major road, minor road, boat, etc.)

Maximillian said...

All roads lead through Trent, at the least. From there we can discuss / ask whether to take the long road around, through Verona, or take the pass SE more directly towards the sea.

Of course, I have no idea how directly we'll find passage, and it seems a lot less risky than trying a land route. I forget, did anyone have business before fiume? Was the plan to visit your holdings afterward or go directly to Ahmet's homeland?

Andrej said...

So first thing's first, we get to Venice and see about our back rent for the island.

Once that's settled, I'm all for looking into boat passage to Fiume. But with ten passengers and as many horses the costs might be prohibitive. Thoughts?

Maximillian said...

True. I have little money to my name. Finding who owes you money may prove to be an adventure itself ;)

Andrej said...

Max, here's the breakdown as I see it:

Venice first, see about our rent money from the island

Venice to Fiume, where Andrej must colect 3,000 gp and see about our boat passage et...

Fiume to the Greek Isles, to survey our land

Greek Islse to Constantinople then on to Anatolia to see about Ahemt's family mine

Once things are settled in Anatolia, off to the Crimea where Anrej and Sofia hope to found a mission with the party's help.

Andrej said...

As to our immediate future, how about leaving on the 26th for:

Trient to Verona to Vicenza to, what, Mestre for a boat to Venice?

Maximillian said...

This starry-eyed fellow has been dreaming of seeing the world, and can now barely contain his excitement at the prospect of finally leaving, so I'll let you determine how you want to approach the rent thing and the route.

I'll reserve some gold to pay for tolls etc, but I may have to borrow some money to pay for passage.

I think Venice is at war with the Ottomans, something to consider.

Alexis said...

For the record, since its Italy, every hex has a secondary, and probably a fairly principle road. So you don't have to follow the red lines; those are the major trade routes.

Other roads will tend to be good, provided the elevation on the map shows green. The brown hexes will be rougher. So not all roads in fact lead to Trent.

Andrej said...

(OOC: Are you still trying to waylay us with bandits again! :) )

I'm still good sticking with the main trade route. We should expect the best and safest roads this way. I know typically adventurers such as us might want to seek out the less traveled roads, but Andrej needs to be in Trieste by Feb. 7th.


Andrej said...

Sorry, Fiume. It is James who was once in Trieste.

Maximillian said...

Andrej, how else am I going to pay for ship passage ;)

OK, not _all_ roads... My recommendation is still to go to trent, then cut SE (toward Vicenze), as it is a few days shorter (in theory.) If it were summer, I might try going straight for feltre, but I think you're right that we don't want to brave the Mountains this time of year. Again, I'll follow where you lead for now, as I'm still wet behind the ears.

Ahmet said...

Our original plan (at least I thought) was to sell our horses just before boarding the ship, and buying new ones when we reach Anatolia.

Ahmet buys: A cowhide scroll case; a moneybelt; 28 days of horsefeed; 20 ounces of dried apples; 6 pounds of beef jerky; 2 pounds of potatoes; 2 pounds of salt; and a 9-pound bag of groundnuts. He also buys a new footman's pick to replace the one taken by Lazaro.

I didn't buy anything "off the list", so if you guys want something eclectic, let me know and I'll buy it for you at only a 10 percent mark-up!

Andrej said...

Yeah, about selling the horses... I think Alexis alluded to both missing out on an eventual morale bonus the longer we kept these and the possible scarcity of buying them and saddles in Anatolia, so I think I was leaning back toward keeping them, but we can decide once we know cost.

Forget to mention Sofia also bought a silvered dagger to replace the one lost to Lazaro.

Ahmet said...

OK. With that in mind, we may want to take a least one less traveled road in the hope of slaying a dragon or rescuing a maiden or some other job that pays well. ;)

Andrej said...

Ahmet, you forget perhaps that we may have some rent money coming to us and Andrej's 3,000 gp in Fiume can be used to pay our entire fare provided the party commits to working toward the establishment of the mission, so we could be coming into some money soon.

That said, should a damsel or a dragon present itself...

Lukas said...

Run like hell itself is chasing us?

Andrej said...

Amen to that, brother.

Maximillian said...

Mareo says, wide-eyed, "Wow... Do dragons really exist? Have you seen one???"

Alexis said...

You guys choked and pleaded off on the last dragon I gave you ...

Ahmet said...

The heads of Enrico, Tazio, and Carlito pop up from somewhere, mouths agape and eyes wide as they listen eagerly for the answer.

"Of course they do and of course we have," Ahmet says. "A white one. Bigger than a sambuk he was, and fond of kobold flesh."

Andrej said...

"And beer, if I recall correctly. We gave it all that lovely German beer."

Alexis said...

Maximillian and Ahmet,

I don't have any problem with Mareo's last words, nor Tazio and Carlito joining in earlier with Enrico, but ... please both of you remember these are NPCs, and not henchmen. Just as no one in the party speaks for Hichem - who likes being quiet - you're not really supposed to speak for the others.

Enrico and Sofia are different. They're henchmen (henchpeople?)

Andrej said...

One man's choked and pleaded is another man's tactical negotiation.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: What you call choking, we call diplomacy!)

Maximillian said...

Maximillian Claps Mareo on the back. Hah! How about that?? Someday we too will drink with a dragon!"

Alexis said...

(OOC: grumble, grumble, grumble, pussies, grumble ...)

Ahmet said...

Ha!

Andrej said...

(OOC: after ill-fated Andrej-led and Ahmet-approved frontal assualts on the archbishp's gate and the bandits, we should be lucky that the party doesn't cower at all but kobolds at this point. The sweetspot must be somewhere between Andre/ Ahmet's wild abandon and Lukas's caution. Perhaps Maximillian will help us find it.)

Maximillian said...

(OOC: Noted, Alexis. Actually, I was wondering if they counted as premature followers, or just as hirelings. Can they gain experience? I guess I owe him for a couple of month's pay while we were in the mountain.)

Maximillian said...

(Andrej: Doubt it;)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Wonderful, Max, you'll fit right in. Sorry Lukas.)

Alexis said...

They can gain experience, but it is difficult. I will keep track of it.

Alexis said...

Can we settle that the party has left Bozen on the 26th? Can we presume they go through Trient, Verona, Vicenza, Padua and Chioggia. That you intend to take a barge from Chioggia to Venice.

If the party can agree on these aspects, the we can move forward.

Ahmet said...

Ready.

Maximillian said...

I'll go along with what the rest decide.

James C. said...

Let's roll.

Lukas said...

Let's go!

Maximillian said...

I've got Neil Young queued up.

Alexis said...

Okay, all. I'm getting there. Give me a bit longer.

Ahmet said...

It's a quasi-holiday in the U.S. of A. but I am here today.

Andrej said...

Also here and also ready to play. Whenever you can Alexis. Work happens.

Alexis said...

The next post is up!