Friday, February 10, 2017

From Psara to Thrace

Date: 6pm Saturday, April 22, 1651
Location: Eceabat, Strait of Dardanelles
Weather: a light air, the wind hardly moving, with cool weather and a clear sky. Feels like 10 C (51 F).

The galley starts off towards Mytilene, to return the Vizier; you're informed that you'll be transferred to another ship when you reach that town.  This takes not long; the sea is even and the galley handles the journey smoothly, due to it's size.

It is noon on the 20th when you arrive at the city upon the isle of Lesbos.  The mainland of Anatolia is very close, just four miles away, big and impressive.  Mytilene proper is a fair-sized city, but not quite large enough for a Fochlucan college.  It has about 2000 buildings.

The wind turns, however, to the north, so that the journey north by ship would have to dare the Mytilene Strait beween Lesbos and the mainland potentially at night.  As such, you're put up by the Vizier, and fed to excess, so that you can take a smaller boat the morning of the 21st.  The Vizier finds a good roundship that can manage to take Enrico's horse in comfort.

At nine the morning of the 21st, the wind turns to the east and you start off down the passage.  The wind is not in your favor but a few hours, however, before you find yourself tacking against a north wind.  This proves most difficult and your journey is lengthened and lengthened until, at last, you round the cape and reach the town of Kumkale just before midnight.  There is no proper harbour, so the Captain explains he will put you off with the light.  You sail into Kumkale at about 6:30 am.  It is not a very large place, just 20 buildings near a very large Byzantine ruin, untended for about three hundred years.

Kumkale is on the end of a point and you find yourself wading, with Enrico's horse, through the shallow water to the beach.  The horse has had to swim about fifty yards between the ship and when it could begin to stride along the stony bottom.

You clean up, dry off, eat, enjoy the fact that you haven't had to pay for this last voyage either, then start off for Canakkale, which is about 12 miles to the northeast.  Canakkale is on the Dardanelles; the road is rough and untended.  The weather is dry and somewhat less warm than it has been in the Greek isles ~ note that it has been cool all day.

You reach the town of Canakkale ~ all of 200 buildings ~ at three in the afternoon.  Wanting to get across the strait, and it being cheapest here ~ only a silver piece per leg ~ you wait two hours for passage to Eceabat, on the other side.  Eceabat is just a little larger than Kumkale was, but it has a large dock, which is in a state of continuous loading and unloading.  A fair number of caravans (in Canakkale also) have pitched tents all around the small village, so that there are at least a thousand people wandering.

It is 6 pm, as I said.  There is no where to stay in Eceabat ~ and I need the party to tell me what they want to do from here, so I will stop now.


Enrico Guerriero said...

(Ugh, Blogger ate my comment apparently.)

"I suppose we should camp here, as so many others have done," Enrico says. "Perhaps when we retire we can open an inn here." He smiles.

Ibrahim Bin Yusuf said...

((OOC: Apologies for my absence over the last two days - first I fell ill, then my phone broke, then my car broke when I took it out to get my phone fixed; it has not been a good couple of days. Will read what I've missed and post an actual action ASAP.))

Alexis Smolensk said...

It's okay. The campaign is moving pretty slowly. Kismet is working his job, Sofia is unavailable (and usually is during the weekend). I'm working skeleton hours but I'm hard into my book. All is fine.

Kismet said...

Sounds good for the camping. So suspiciously they seem to be implying I shouldn't go somewhere where the sword could be identified.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I guess I must have missed something.

Kismet and Enrico say that you camp. I was sort of waiting for a third person to chime in, but it has been two days; moreover, camp how? Do you have a tent? Where in relationship to the town?

Are people feeling okay with the campaign?

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

I have been unable to consistently post, or when I have been available to do so I seem to be one of two or three of us active. For that I am sorry. It seems it's been difficult finding a rhythm with playing in the campaign but I still want us to do so very badly. In the past our schedules seemed more compatible and it was easy to post and play. Given that things have maybe changed in our lives, how do we best go about playing now?

Enrico Guerriero said...

We seem to be having a hard time getting into a rhythm, but let's give it some time.

The options would be to camp among all the caravans that surround the village, or to continue until we find a more desolate area and camp there. I suppose it depends on how nervous we are about someone following us to steal the sword (or just all other gear). I suggest as it is 6 p.m. we each take a three-hour shift, 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., on guard duty, and leave at first light.

Enrico Guerriero said...

I don't have a preference, among the caravan or in the wilderness, but either way I think we should have a guard posted.

Kismet said...

Indeed, and do we have tents? I need to check my sheet, but I think the answer is no for myself.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Well, the temperature is cool but not dangerously low for sleeping in blankets. I'm afraid there isn't a tent for sale; you'd have to befriend someone and be invited in (lots of tents being used by caravans).

For posting a guard, check the On Guard rules.

There is no need for apologies. You are right about schedules; I'm all over the place right now, getting barely 15 hours a week with cut hours. It's driving us crazy too.

I only need to touch base now and then and feel reassured that people are content. Do you feel there is a problem with the adventure? Are things moving too slowly narrative-wise? I'm sorry there hasn't been any combat, any experience. I'm trying to get you along geographically, give you latitude to make decisions and plans, but it feels pretty railroaded just now and I'm not liking the train myself. I would rather it didn't feel so much like this; I'm just checking in to be sure that people feel connected.

If the adventure isn't to your liking, just toss the sword into the earth and walk away. We can find something else.

Kismet said...

Honestly after the business trip yesterday I am super pooped.
But I'm still into this. I don't NEED combat, and I think there's something to be said about getting into a rhythm.

When I joined folks were already in a rhythm. That took how long? Months? Over a year? Unless anyone else feels otherwise, I'm fine with continuing at this.

It might just turn out the party is going to go at a slow pace, just so long as there's nobody here who has a problem with that.

I would like to hear what others have to say about tents, and... It looks like the watch plan needs to be adjusted.

Max watch durations:
Fighters, paladins and rangers 3 hours.
Background parents as guards 4 hours.
everyone else... 1 hour.

So between the lot of us we have 8 hours of watch time.

Anyone want to just leave the last couple hours un watched? I feel like thieves are probably going to lean towards opportunistic goes at the latest hours, and maybe case earlier... But I'm no expert.

Enrico Guerriero said...

I'm worried that enough people are interested in us, and/or your talking sword, that we're being watched, and that if we leave a couple hours "unguarded" that's when they'll strike.

Or maybe I'm just paranoid. :)

In any event I propose from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., we do normal camp stuff... eating and drinking, tending to the horses, telling stories. Perhaps one of us dozes off. While we don't have a "guard" per se, we should have enough open eyes that no one will be able to steal Kismet's sword.

From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., Enrico stands guard. From 1 a.m. to 4 a.m., Kismet; then Ibrahim from 4 a.m. to 5 a.m., and Sofia from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. That way everyone more or less gets a few hours of sleep.

I also think we should camp among the caravans, rather than heading farther away from the village... while undoubtedly there may be a thief among them, it's likely an ordinary thief out to steal some coins. I'm more concerned about whoever the Gnomes of Zurich is sending after us, and being alone in the wilderness would make us a more tempting target for them than being camped among a thousand traders, all of whom likely have guards posted.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Ack, stupid math. Enrico would be 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for three hours. So it would have to be normal camp stuff until 10 o'clock.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

I have no problems with the adventure other than wanting more of it, more often but can accept the current pace as our current reality. If we seem to be rushing to the main party and that's making it rail-roady, we can slow down. We can take a more natural pace from here, particularly as we have a problem to resolve. How do we sleep?

Sofia has an 8' square linen tent we can pitch and pile into. She has a woolen blanket for herself to sleep in. I like the idea of staying with the caravans and accept the morning watch as Enrico describes.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

I should also note that I'm hoping/ assuming much of Sofia's gear was at least brought this far by one of the horses. Andrej took both Sofia's and his horse with him. She's got about 100 lbs. of gear labeled "freight". Perhaps in the morning she can see about buying a donkey or pony if need be.

Kismet said...

Yeah I have some freight myself. About 79.45506202 lbs not including the house. But presumably I left that at home.

Wasn't planning on taking a land route any time soon with this character, so there are some essentials missing.

I don't feel railroady, it's a convenient path prone to adventure. Sounds good to me.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Can we assume you go with Enrico's schedule? Can we set that as the regular schedule for nights going forward, so we don't need to suss it out each time?

I can see it well, Enrico wishes good night to everyone, rouses Kismet, sacks in; Kismet wakes Ibrahim who, having gotten 7 hours of sleep (lots!) stretches, keeps a good eye out. He rouses Sofia (who is likely awake already), stays awake and gets his ablutions done. He starts with a few morning duties, Sofia keeps a watch while he does and then everyone else wakes up with the day in gear and less need for watchfulness ~ Kismet and Enrico sleep in until 7 or 8 a.m., wake up, eat what's been made for breakfast and you're on the road by 8:30/9:00. Ten hours on the road gets you to the next camp by 6:30/7:00, giving you two hours to set up, eat and sort yourselves out, before turning in as Enrico says good night.

Alexis Smolensk said...

[Enrico ~ it doesn't matter if others are watching. I've argued for eight years now that the players are entitled to do as they wish; if you guys said, screw this adventure, we don't care, and I say "cool, what do you want to do," it would be a message to the world.

Act as you will. I always have another idea in the back of my head]

Alexis Smolensk said...

A horse will easily carry 100 lbs. Look how big your horse is.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Obviously I vote for my plan as well :)

I'll throw this out there for debate: Should we send our charming Half-Elven Bard around to chat with the various merchants from the caravans, and see if anyone is going our way? Perhaps we can hire ourselves out as guards. If some Gnomish agents are searching for us, four armed travelers on the road by themselves are pretty conspicuous... but as members of a caravan we might pass unnoticed.

On the other hand we might be calling attention to ourselves by asking around, so maybe we just want to keep to ourselves.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

I like the idea of our charming poet laureate making the rounds either way, if he likes. Nice opportunity to "bard" a bit.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I've choked on finishing the bard sage ability outline: but I have finished the "artistry" section; do you want to pick one of the four there, Ibrahim? Conceptualism, Creativity, Performance or Pragmatism?

Kismet said...

Go for it on the barding.

Though I wonder how much anyone would really trust some random folks as guards. I would think most would go for the whole people you know.

Though I guess players hire henchmen all the time so that's a thing. We'd probably end up being hired by someone shady or small time.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You've read my hiring mercenaries page, yes? I had linked it before.

Logically, I'm bound by my own rules, Kismet. IF the merchant can be convinced to interview you (and the bard helps there), then the HAS to roll under their wisdom, and IF successful, HAS to hire you. Those are the rules I wrote. After all, you intend to be honest, right?

Of course, I can't make you be honest; but if you hire someone by the rules I've made, as DM I have the right to have those mercenaries be dishonest. I wouldn't, however, because that would ruin my whole system, it would be cheap DMing and I don't go for that sort of thing. You'd have to mistreat a follower before I'd have a follower hired by these rules break a pledge.

But YOU, a PLAYER, are free to break any pledge you want. And I can't throw you out of my world for that ~ that would be ridiculous. And how much reputation could you lose?

So you see? You're fine.

I hope you appreciate how brilliantly I view these rules I create.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Woah, huge grammatical errors. "then he HAS to roll under his wisdom . . ."

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

You still out there Ibrahim? It's been four days since you said you'd post an action. If you'd rather not, we can move on, but we're willing to give you the opportunity to step into the limelight if you like.

Kismet said...

I plan on honesty.
I also plan on honestly going to a specific destination...

Alexis Smolensk said...

I think the bard plan is out for now.

Would you like to try the plan without the bard?

Kismet said...

I'm perfectly fine with not.

I feel like any one of us could mess it up much more spectacularly than a bard.

With others we might have some cover of being an abnormal number, without others we have the flexibility on our route and decisions.

That said that flexibility could result in more stalls like this...

Let's proceed on and see what awaits us on the road.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

I'm all for proceeding as-is. We have the tent set up, a watch schedule and should have rations enough to make it to Kallipolis. Once there we can augment our supplies as we wish and decide whether we stay on the road or look for sea passage.

Enrico Guerriero said...

Let's proceed.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Ate my post last night.

I agree, please proceed. Where?

Enrico Guerriero said...

We spend the night here, sleeping among the caravans snug in Sofia's tent, with the watch schedule as we discussed.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Good. But for whence are you bound?

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

Kallipolis by road, as before. Once there we make use of the market. I'd like to stay on the road and make for the Black Sea but will consider a sea journey through the Bosporus if the rest of the party prefers that course and we can find passage.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

(OOC: We've all signed on to this accepting that the pace may wane at times and have all expressed a commitment to patience and to one another, and I still feel all of that, but I can't help also feeling frustrated this week. While we've been stuck in camp for several days the other party has conducted several rounds of combat. I don't need combat to feel engaged and interested in things but I do need to see us moving toward something. Other than Ibrahim being MIA, is there something else holding us up? Alexis, is the party seeming indecisive or unclear in our actions and intent? What do we need to chnage to get things moving?)

Alexis Smolensk said...

[You do seem very indecisive. Last I heard, you were debating Varna, Constantinople, somewhere else on the Black Sea, etc.

I can take you to Kallipolis, but if there's no encounter on the way, then that just produces the same question: where next? I can move the game along, but I need people to make concrete plans for long term travel here, so that I can jump forward to the next actual event, rather than the next day.

Add to this that I rarely hear from more than two of you in the same day and Ibrahim is AWOL, I am a bit lost. Phrases like, "Let's proceed" are vague and non-specific. Phrases like, "We go to Kallipolis" are specific and easily acted upon]

Kismet said...

Kallipolis to Varna.

Though the road seems pretty roundabout.
Makes me wonder if we went from Adrianople to Anchialos to Varna if it would be faster.

5 hexes of possibly few or no roads vs, 14ish of a major road.

I think its safe to say Kallipolis to Adrianople for sure though.

Sofia Viktorova Koleva said...

Assuming there is no encounter in the evening, Sofia packs her tent and her belongings and walks toward Kallipolis, hoping the party follows.

Once there, could you please provide the party a market list, Alexis? Once we have supplies we can plan out multiple legs of the journey for you to advance us as far as necessary. Lacking the market list and an opportunity to purchase supplies I've also been at a loss.

Kismet said...

Kismet packs up and accompanies Sofia.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Thank you.

The next post is up.