Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lazaro's Hospitality

October 31, 1650, Friday afternoon

As the party reaches the top of the waterfall, they find themselves in the cleft between two cliffs, facing a remarkable vale, where the stream forms an intimate meadow two hundred yards long and seventy yards wide.  A cascade falls from the mountain, emerging from the sheer wall at the meadow's end.  High above you, a crystal glacier sits atop a cirque, cresting the top of the peak, four thousand feet up.

The stream is deep, five or six feet, but the flow is negligible ... and it has been temporarily dammed to stop the water dropping over the waterfall the party has just climbed up.  Grey-brown grass reaches from either side of the stream up toward sheer sides of rock, hundreds of feet high, embrace the meadow.  Spotted here and there are patches of open, leafless aspen, and there are stakes covering an acre and a half where grapes would be growing in the summertime.  Snow has piled high in places and covers much of the outer meadow.

Between the snow, there are a dozen little houses, in part carved into the sloping edges of the meadow; there are children playing, women working, men repairing the houses, line fishing in the stream and 'guarding' - there are four men posted up high in the rocks with bows, particularly watching the party as they climb up.

There are also two other men, whom the party is introduced to as Maximillian and Mareo.  They are residents of the town of Bozen, for which the party was bound - unarmored, but clearly men of means.  Both are enormous; 6'1", more than 220 lbs.  Maximillian seems wise and aware, and quite likeable at once.  Mareo is clearly protective of the other.

Lazaro tells you you're free to travel where you will.  The river is freed, and you see that there seems to be some mechanism that closes it off.  He tells you that the food is good, the lodgings are fair, and as soon as you find someone to pay your ransom, you'll be freed and all your possessions and horses will be returned to you.

Maximillian and Mareo are waiting for 400 g.p. to be paid by his Maximillian's father's father.  Lazaro tells the party that he's set their ransom at 2,000 g.p. ... and that writing materials will be made available for them to write to whomever they know who can pay it.  Lazaro will give 90 days for the money to arrive, and after that he is sorry, he will have to kill you.

Maximillian did nothing to be here - but Lazaro has a friend, who has a quarrel with Maximillian's grandfather ... and thus the grandson was seized in Bozen and has been held here 22 days.

Lazaro will assign two guards to each of the party, with instructions to beat any of you who attempts to cast a spell.  Maximillian can confirm that these men stay quite conscious and are nearly impossible to get around.

There's more, no doubt, but at this point it will be easier to answer questions.

88 comments:

Alexis said...

Ahmet, if you can confirm you're up a level, you'll find your henchman up here also.

Ahmet said...

"2,000? I thought it was 80 each. That comes to..." Ahmet struggles with his fingers for several moments. "...quite a lot less than 2,000, I think."

He looks to Andrej for confirmation.

Alexis said...

"From you, I want 80; from your family, your friends ... 2,000."

Lukas said...

"Yes, that is the situation. It comes out to 400 a piece. So, I think now we should begin considering our possibilities."

Looking at those observing him.

"Of coarse by possibilities I mean of who has money that cares."

Maximillian said...

Well, would that we met under circumstances of greater fortune. as picturesque as this country is, I have no doubt that you are men accustomed to a more passing experience.

Myself, I have grown weary of this pleasant prison.

Lukas said...

"Then I hope your ransom comes soon. I don't forsee any easy exit to this place."

Maximillian said...

Ah, well. It is not such a long ways to Bozen (I assume we are between Brixen and Clausen), and although perhaps a longer way to return with a ransom, after a score of days in waiting, I fear the outcome might not be as our host had intended.

No, without horses, I have been unable to devise an escape that would not be short lived.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I have indeed leveled up... level 5!)

James C. said...

Andrej takes his friends aside, excepting Maximillian for the moment (sorry chap, no hard feelings eh?)

"Sofia and I can afford to pay our own ransom, here and now, assuming these pirates give us fair value for my gemstones. What of the rest of you?"

Oddbit said...

Lukas looks Andrej square in the eye and says, "I'm concerned about what would happen if we told him HE currently possessed all that amount in full. But if you think we can get away with it I should be able to afford it."

Ahmet said...

"I have maybe half. But as Lukas said, I do not trust this man. First 80, now 400. Whatever we pay, he will ask for more."

Andrej said...

"I agree, it is a risk, but as it is Hadji and his men can already take from us whatever they want, so we must rely on this rogue having some sense of honor. He has been true to his word so far.

If not, who would you write to to come up with 2,000 GP for the party? Hornung and Serafina, maybe, would act on our behalf but they are a long way off and I don't know that I would stake our lives upon that.

Ahmet's people and mine are a world away and mine, at least, likely don't have such means. Lukas, you are from Switzerland yes? It is not too far from here. If there is somebody there who would act on our behalf let us entertain it.

I fear our options are wait and hope on external help, pay our own way or..."

Andrej let's this "or" hang meaningfully, eyeing our nearby captors.

Ahmet said...

"...kill them all and make our escape?" Ahmet adds helpfully.

Lukas said...

"I don't think that likely. Nor wise. I wonder if we wrote an appeal to Hornung he might come and save us as he saved us from the bishop."

Lukas says in a manner so his nearby designated punchers would not understand what he means.

Lukas said...

"Also, while he may be true to his word, what his word has not included has been rather detrimental to our position has it not?"

Maximillian said...

While they are talking, I'd like to observe the sort of work that is being done in the village, especially by the women. I'm thinking that perhaps one of the better-looking ones may need help carrying some firewood. (I do mean that, not being silly.)

After a short while, I will approach the others. Fellow guests, a thought occurs to me, and though I missed some of what you said, words do travel in this pleasant valley . It is clear that you come from the north, and I think that perhaps you should consider the season. (Alexis, please correct me if I'm wrong, I think I'd know this area pretty well) If the pass closes, any benefactor from the north may find they are unable to bring help before our host tires of hospitality.

Maximillian said...

(ugh, anything I wrap in angle brackets gets deleted... there was a meaningful glance at our minders there where i mentioned words travelling)

Lukas said...
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Lukas said...

"I had considered that. I believe our benefactor probably has access to at least one method. In fact, my hope was to count on it."

Lukas said...

Alexis, I had a couple questions in the past about the Mount spell and whether or not I know anything about the origins of those stairs using my architectural knowledge.

I haven't chosen my first level spell yet, and it kind of is depending on the answer to the mount spell.

Maximillian said...

I guess it bears asking: The valley is bounded on three sides by cliffs rising to the mountain. Did the cliff we climbed with the waterfall form the lower end of the valley, or did we emerge from the side? Is the waterfall the only visible point of entry to the valley? Does the glacier extend down to the top of the cliff atop the vale, or is it and the snowpack well removed? I guess I'm only asking that last bit because I'm thinking of someone above the cliffs triggering an avalanche. I guess it wouldn't be avalanche season.

Thanks.

Alexis said...

Catching up.

1) I assumed when Andrej moved the others off to the side, that they actually moved; Lazaro is not worried about you running away or making plans, so he allows you to be somewhat alone. The guards stay within ten feet, however--plenty of time to move in and thump anyone spellcasting, or wave one of the bowmen around to shoot you.

None of them seem to care what you say.

Alexis said...

2) I'm reading at this time that no one has actually offered to pay Lazaro; you've just talked about it.

3) Maximillian is quite right about the passes closing and help from the north having difficulty arriving; wouldn't stop a mage, but even a hippogriff would freeze in that high air.

Alexis said...

5) Lukas, you may assume for the time the mount is in existence, it needs no equipment, nor does it eat. It merely bears you hence. Was that what you wanted to know?

6) The stairs were probably carved by bandits in the time of the Boii prior to their being defeated by Caesar. They've been reworked many times in many ages.

It wouldn't help much if someone knew the lair was here; nothing short of powerful magic would get in - an army could be held down if need be.

Alexis said...

7) The cliffs are a 355 degree bowl, with the last 5 degrees being the slot by which the stream escapes. The glacier is thousands of feet above you, somewhere beyond the top of the cascade that drops into the meadow.

There's no loose snow to make an avalanche; the cirque/glacier is full of ice, not snow. And the shape of the mountain would cause a snowpack to fall elsewhere.

Andrej said...

2) Correct.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet says to his companions:

Even if I could get to my horses, I have no more than half the 480 gold pieces he now demands. As to writing for more -- if I could write -- the only kin I can claim is my cousin Fatima, and she has nothing.

So if my choices are pay now, write for help, or "or", my choice must be "or".

I suggest you three (Lukas, Andrej, and Sofia) pay your own ransoms now and head south before winter closes this place in. Inshallah, we will meet again in Venice.

Andrej said...

"Ahmet, I will offer to pay your ransom. In exchange I ask only one thing. That you listen to me with an open heart and a focused mind for one hour's time."

I mean it. Andrej will hope to convert his friend to Christianity. I'm not going to let you twist, Ahmet, but in return Andrej would naturally want this chance to save his very good friend's soul.

As a player I like how you've characterized Ahemt and dig all of the muslim sayings and friendly jabs at one another, so whether you actually convert is up to you. At some point there might be a needed or wanted spell that only works for Roman Catholics as per Alexis's rules and I'd hate not being able to give it to Ahmet. If playing Ahmet as you have been is that important to you, you should give Andrej his hour then politely decline. On the other hand, this is a very role-playable way for Ahmet to enjoy benefits down the line. Think about it.

Either way, I will ransom you if the party is able to ransom itself. This assumes at least that Andrej gets fair value for the gems and Lukas can cover himself... and between us all we can cover Hichem.

Now, about Maximilian...

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Maybe I should wait until we get out of here before rolling up that henchman, or we'll have to come up with another 480!)

Ahmet looks dubious. "What if I endure you for an hour and then he only gives you 10 coppers for those gems -- how do I get my hour back?"

Andrej said...

"Perhaps it is I who should consider more closely your conversion."

;)

Ahmet said...

Do you have the gems, or are they with the horses?

And what about Hichem?

Maximillian said...

My grandfather may yet come through with my own ransom, or perhaps he may have other ideas on how to resolve the situation. If it comes down to it, I could not ask you to pay my price, and neither I nor Mareo have resources to buy back our own heads for treasure. If the opportunity arose to cheat Lazaro of his bounty, you can be sure I would tie my fortunes to yours, however.

On a practical note, perhaps you should write to your northerly friend, in order to buy yourselves time for negotiation. Lazaro must know the passes will soon close, I wouldn't think he'd expect a miracle.

Andrej said...

I have the gems. Combined they are supposed to be worth about 1700 GP, which is almost enough to cover Sofia, Andrej, Ahmet and Hichem. Ideally Hadji takes these now, saves on feeding and guarding us for 90 days and we go. If not, we still have enough gold between us (Sofia and Andrej) to cover us four, but it would leave us without much left to get to Venice and beyond.

Andrej said...

Maximilian, I have thought also of writing Hornung to buy us some time, but conversely considered offering less than the 480 sooner with the hope Lazar sees the benefit of getting his cash now and accepting.

Of course, all of this assumes that he will honor any deal we strike, but again... it seems we are at his mercy unless Lukas and Ahmet can dig us a long tunnel out of here. Finally, I suppose the more adventurous thing to do would be to spend some time taking stock of the people and the environment here looking for other means of escape, but my gut tells me that won't bear much fruit.

Ahmet said...

Speaking of taking stock and bearing fruit, I was curious to see where Max was headed with his wood-carrying activities ;)

Lukas said...

My curiosity is mostly sated Alexis, the final concern was whether or not I could ride any exotic mounts summoned with the spell. Such as the flying ones. (Not immediately useful of coarse, but it would probably sate my interest in magical beasts for a time.)

Lukas said...

I say, why not, he has our stuff anyway, we could always find out. Lets offer to pay our own ransoms.

Andrej said...

OK, so to recap/ confirm:

Ahmet gives Andrej his hour, which will no doubt result in Ahmet's on-the-spot baptism.

The party asks to see Lazaro and attempts to pay our own ransom.

We figure out what to do about Maximillian.

Ahmet said...

Agreed. Bring me to Jeebus!

Rolling 1D10 for HP: 6

+3 for Constitution = 9

Total HP: 53, current HP: 16

Andrej said...

Andrej's Sermon to the Turk is, of course, for Ahmet's benefit... but it is not a private sermon. Andrej begins right away, blessing some bread and wine from his pack for a mass and then preaching for all nearby to see and hear.

Andrej talks of Abraham, and how all Jews, Christians and Muslims are his children, figuratively if not literally. His eldest son Ishmael would beget the muslims and the word of god would be carried down to their prophet; through the many generations between Abraham and Ishmael to Mohammed. But Ishmael was at first estranged from Abraham, and while his people are God's people just as the Israelites, and all others upon the earth, they are an estranged people.

God's word and work lived in Abraham and lived in his sons too, but none moreso that in Isaac, who would beget all of Israel and in time even Jesus Christ himself.

But Christ is more than a prophet or a saint. He is God's only son, sent to earth to re-unite his people in the One True Way. It is with Jesus's coming that not just Israelites or Ishmaelites may be united in divine grace in time for the promised kingdom of heaven, but that all the people of earth may be so united. God would not let his people suffer in darkness, without his love and without the truth.

But one must reach out and grasp the truth. Submit to it as you submit to the divine will of the One True God. The faithful must keep the faith and the estranged must seek their salvation.

Yadda, yadda, yadda... throw in some fire and brimstone for those refusing the light, a little sermon on the mount and some nice parables and then close...

"So tell me, brothers and sisters, who among the faithful will step forward and receive the sacrament and God's blessing today? Who among the estranged wish to stand in the light and love of Jesus Christ, God Almighty?"

Bring on the bread and wine.

Ahmet said...

Early on in Andrej's sermon, Ahmet tries to ask some questions and voice some objections, but it very quickly becomes clear that he doesn't know much about the Muslim faith, or religion at all, actually. Most of what he believes is a mish-mash of second-hand quotes from the Quran, superstitious nonsense, and Turkish folklore. Eventually he falls silent and just listens.

In the end he does not come forward, but afterward asks Andrej if he can speak with him privately.

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

(deleted the double post)

Maximillian said...

Maximillian listens with interest to the sermon, but will not interject. I find it quite likely that Mareo will already be baptized a catholic, but if not, you're welcome to roll to win him over. He would not resist or counter-argue, being neither bright nor wise, and already steeped in the catholic faith.

Andrej said...

Ahmet has Andrej's undivided attention once the mass is complete.

Sofia takes communion after all others who would like it do so.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: As I understand it, no one enters the game as a confirmed member of any particular faith, it's an in-game decision (and requires a Cleric). If you are baptized as a Catholic, Andrej will be able to cast certain spells on you, like Bless.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Also, changing religion once you've picked one is a very, very bad idea. Ahmet is technically not a Muslim, as he was never, um, I know baptized isn't the right word, but... you know what I mean.)

Maximillian said...

(I wasn't sure, given that Mareo is a Man-at-Arms, not a full charcter... Anyway, he has no objection to being baptized, so let's just assume he was moved by the sermon, rather than breaking out conflict cards. I think I know how I want to play Maximillian, but I'd like to get my boots wet before making that kind of decision for him.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Oh, sorry, thought you were talking about your PC, but now I get it. Dunno how it works with Mareo. At some point we'll have to all get acquainted and introduced!)

Ahmet said...

Once Ahmet and Andrej are alone, the Turk tells the priest a painful story from his childhood involving an Imam's daughter. It's hard to follow as Ahmet keeps jumping back and forth between that story and a gruesome tale about his Uncle Bunyamin, whose remains could only be identified thanks to the fact that he was born without a left pinky finger. "Fortunately it was his left hand that we found," Ahmet says.

Ahmet eventually gets to the point: the Imam betrayed him and had him sent to prison for many years, and since then Ahmet has had no use for clerics of any stripe, thinking them all to be hypocrites and frauds. But he has been impressed these many months by Andrej's kindness, courage, and faith.

"So yes, Father Andrej, I will accept your blessing and, inshallah, I will be an even mightier warrior as a Christian!"

Andrej said...

Wahoo!

"You will be a mighty instrument of Christ, Ahmet. Together, God willing, we will carve a kingdom for His people in the lands of Cumana and beyond."

Alexis said...

(OOC: First day back in harness, first week back; I have a limited time to spend)

The bandits allow Andrej to speak without any restraint, but they keep a close watch on him for spellcasting. (I would like it if, in future, Andrej could ask at the start of a speech under like circumstances if anyone makes a move to stop him - so that I could get it in as a DM. Around a table, this is no problem, but it is dreadfully difficult to interrupt people in the comments section).

Maximillian,

Since Mareo is technically an NPC, and not a 'henchman,' Andrej has to roll 2d6 against his persuasion cards to determine if Mareo is 'moved' or not.

Andrej said...

Sorry Alexis and understood. My hope was to post it early AM Monday and get on with the other stuff, I hadn't considered that anybody might want to stop/ interrupt.

Should I roll a number of 2d6 for anybody close by? Again, Ahmet was the reason for the sermon and mass but Andrej was intentionally casting a wider net. Who beyond Mareo could be affected?

Alexis said...

LOL. All else within range are Roman Catholic. Perhaps that's why they let you continue?

Alexis said...

You might want to wait a bit before actually baptising Ahmet. The usual rule in the old Unearthed Arcana was that Ahmet's next roll would be +1 ... but I am considering giving a +1 to ALL rolls for a period of a day, three days or perhaps a week.

Which would be really interesting, and terribly wasted just now.

Ahmet said...

"...but now is not the time," Ahmet adds to Andrej.

Maximillian said...

(I don't believe Mareo has any cards. As for Maximillian, I'm a bit unclear if he gets all the cards he has the abilities for, or just the top one per stat.)

Andrej said...

wink, wink & nudge, nudge Ahmet.

2d6 roll is a persuasion (+1)modified by piety(+1), beauty (+1), able-bodied(+1), pillager (+1) and land (+1): 14


Next order of business is our ransom. Does anybody have any objection to proceeding directly to Lazaro and negotiating the party's release?

On an obliquely related matter, did anybody notice that today is October 31st in the campaign and does anybody place any particular significance upon this?

Maximillian said...

Not sure if I'm also supposed to roll. Anyway, Mareo's 2d6, with no adjustments: 6

Alexis said...

Mareo doesn't roll in this case, Maximillian. Andrej rolled sufficiently high that Mareo will feel some considerable compulsion ... however, since he is Maximillian's follower, and since Maximillian is a druid (and therefore of the old religion), there ought to be a counter roll ... IF Maximillian is opposed to the idea. Some druids might be, but not PLAYER druids, necessarily. There is no "belief" limitation on druidic spells, so it won't affect Maximillian's effects on Mareo.

I'll get you some cards, Maximillian ... but not today.

Alexis said...

I had mentioned that there was a celebration in Brixen of the "New Year," which begins for some parts of medieval Europe on All Saint's Day, or All Hallows' Day, which would be tomorrow, November 1st. Not all cultures consider Hallowe'en night a night of evil spirits ... that was largely a 19th century invention. The 17th century abstraction is more of the old pagan reflection that comes from its animistic roots--that is, the eve when one's ancestors rose to give their blessing to the living, and be revered and venerated in return.

Alexis said...

Ahmet, when the time does come, I think I'd like to experiment online with a week, to see how that goes.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: I think for a truly conclusive test you really should make it two weeks, or maybe a month? ;)

It sounds like All Hallows' Eve might be a big deal to Maximillian!)

Andrej said...

So the night belongs to Maximilian it would seem. I'm curious to see what that means, if anything.

How about we rest in valley some and acquaint ourselves with one another today and approach Lazaro on the morrow (All Saints Day)?

In the event that we're able to secure our freedom tomorrow, we should have a plan to meet up with Maximilian before we leave if he still awaits word and money from his relations. We could even travel somewhere on his behalf.

Maximillian said...

That's OK, I can look them up on sameuniverse, unless you need to modify the selection. Anyway, no rush; Maximillian will not oppose it.

(I've already given my advice regarding Lazaro regarding delay and negotiation. Yeah, I'll be partying with the spirits tonight!)

Maximillian said...

Thank you for the offer, Andrej. My family and Mareo's are in Bozen, on the main road south (SE to Bozen, past Clausen) I'm sure my grandfather would appreciate any news you could send.

Andrej said...

You're welcome, Maximillian.

Everybody OK with advancing to Nov. 1st in the event that something neat will happen? We also recover hit points & spells with a day's rest.

Andrej and Sofia are in favor.

Ahmet said...

Aye.

Maximillian said...

I guess there is one thing I had hoped to do:

I'd mentioned the activities of the women previously.
This is all rather far-fetched, so I'll outline my plan, instead of roll playing through it, in case Alexis want's to ixnay it out of hand.
The purpose was to find something that could be used as a club, and either make note of it's location for later retrieval, or to stumble/trip while carrying it, so as to drop it in a convenient location. I had planned to do this by finding a good excuse to help out, either with a good-looking woman, or with a particularly old or feeble one.

Andrej said...

I understand and appreciate the enthusiasm, Maximilian, but after our debacle in the pass I want no parts of Lazaro and his band of merry men in another fight.

Alexis said...

I don't want to nix a plan out of hand, but I want to point out that you are ALL being watched very closely; these bandits seem to know what they're doing, and the guards posted beside you don't seem like they would lull easily.

Maximillian's deadline would be up sooner than the party's, and word has been gotten out to his family already ... so his ransom would almost certainly be paid before the rest of the party.

Before I can get to the evening, and the meal that comes beforehand, Lazaro will approach the party and ask them to, right now, begin to write their letters asking for ransom.

Maximillian said...

Yeah, and with everyone disarmed and severely outnumbered, it only gets worse. OK, belay that Alexis. I will just enjoy the evening and await the morn like everyone else.

Andrej said...

Andrej will dictate a letter addressed to Eberhardt Hornung late of Munster Germany, with Lukas to be the scribe or Sofia if he is not willing or unable.

Andrej is clear to indicate Hornung's various titles, particularly his role as heir to Her Ladyship Amalia von Nassau-Dillenburg and what not, and does so loudly as the letter is addressed and dictated.

Honorifics and introductions out of the way, Andrej begins the letter asking after Hornung's health, and that of Serafina's, and hopes they are well and enjoying their marriage, which Andrej had the pleasure and honor to consecrate before God and many important personages in Munster.

Andrej also asks how things are getting on after the crushing and humiliating defeat of the arch-bishop, Hornung's great enemy, with which whose demise Andrej and the companions had the honor of assisting. He expresses our collective hope that things are returning to normal after the campaign.

Finally, Andrej comes around to the point of the letter, that the party has found themselves hostage to one Hadji Lazaro in the Isarco Valley. That after standing against this Lazaro and his band of men, the party was forced to surrender to captivity and humiliation, and that despite Lazaro's actions in delaying his trusted priest and loyal men and women on their appointed task, lazaro has been an honorable and forthright host, demanding only 400 gp for each mamber of the party: Andrej, Lukas, Ahmet, Sofia & Hichem.


The above, laid upon thickly for Hadji's benefit and not Hornungs. Let us see what happens next, I suppose. That is, how does Hadji react when we right to a powerful imperial lord and not an uncle.

Andrej said...

(OOC: "Write" and not "right", of course. I don't know if its age or the proliferation of spell checkers but my grammar and spelling skills continue to decline.)

Maximillian said...

(It was a full moon last night, according to the calculator.)

Andrej said...

(OOC: I consider writing the letter, since Lazaro demanded it, as part of neogtiating the party's release. That is, "Here's our letter and hey, you know I was thinking... rather than send this all the ay to Munich and possibly beyond should Hornung return to Callenburg, and bother such a busy and powerful lord, why not let us settle our ransom right here and now... how about these three gems for all five of us, no hard feelings?" Sorry if that wasn't clear to everybody.)

Alexis said...

Lazaro insists on a rewrite. The price is not "400 gp for each member of the party." It is 2,000 g.p., or no one goes free. He never made any statement regarding dividing the ransom by the number of persons involved. He wishes Andrej to make this clear in the letter.

Alexis said...

(OOC: As Lazaro knows nothing about this 'negotiation' in Andrej's mind, he seems strictly to be interested in the ransom being paid)

Alexis said...

(OOC: As Lazaro knows nothing about this 'negotiation' in Andrej's mind, he seems strictly to be interested in the ransom being paid)

Alexis said...

Sorry, Maximillian ... when you used the moon phase calculator on the sidebar, did you work it out for 1650 and for Milan, Italy?

I get that it should have been the first quarter ... which means I'm still a bit off, but a waxing crescent is closer for October 30 than a full moon.

Andrej said...

Andrej dictates the change.

"How soon will you be sending the letter, Lazaro? Munster is a long way off and winter upon us. Herr Hornung might have already left for Callenburg or God only knows where else. I'd hate for our deaths to have to weigh heavily upon you should 90 days pass without word."

Maximillian said...

(That...is what I thought I did. it was my first time using the calculator, so something may have been off. Ah, just double checked, and you are correct.)

Alexis said...

"Then why write so far, good father? Surely the church in Milan or Venice or Rome would pay a few coins for a stout defender of the faith such as yourself. Why not ask them for the money? They will tell from the letter that it is no lie, and they will pay your way free quickly and at once."

Andrej said...

"But, who would I write to ensure that it reaches the right hands? We are strangers to this land. Perhaps none in Milan, Venice or Rome would have heard of Father Andrej of Cumana."

"There is perhaps another way. I could ransom the party myself, would you but accept the means and source of my payment. We could resolve this today, this every moment, and you could be rid of the rash priest and his companions, and save yourself the cost and trouble of looking after us this winter."

Alexis said...

(OOC: in actual fact, the church would be able to tell from augury or detect lie that the letter written was in fact written by a real catholic cleric in real trouble ... but be that as it may)

"Ah, but Father," says Lazaro, "If I am to let you pay your own ransom, who would know that you were captured? Who would learn that the roads of Tyrol are dangerous with bandits? Who would learn to give money when its asked for, rather than resisting and being held for ransom? How would my reputation spread far and wide through Italy and Germany as a dangerous man, not to be challenged but to be considered important and to be reckoned with? Who?"

He smiles. "You see, Father, I care not a whit for your coin. When I am paid, you will leave WITH your coin, and then you may pay back whomever you wish to call upon. And I shall take the money that I am paid and give it to my men, and to the School of Letters where my daughter attends, and to the Friar that provides solace to the poor in the town of my birth. In the meantime, you shall rest and grow healthy, and perhaps a little wiser, and perhaps even gain a friend you did not realize you could acquire. And all this from a moment of folly, where you needed only to pay a small price and be on your way. Such is hubris, dear Father. Such is hubris."

James C. said...

But why would the church care a whit for the wizard, the Turk and a fledgling monk? And what if the letter instead finds an old crony or ally of the arch- bishop we just helped get disposed? But whatever, I feel like there's but one way out of this and you've just explained it, so here goes:

Andrej instead dictates three letters, one each to the bishops of Milan and Venice and another one to, what the hell, the Pope himself, explaining the party's plight and explain

James C. said...

Ing our plans to establish a mission in Cuman, provided the 2000 gp ransom is paid and we are freed.

Alexis said...

The next post is up; it is a non-adventure post for the moment, as I'd like to have a couple of things sorted out.