The cock was crowing loudly into the still morning air as the first rays of sunshine were illuminating Oaks Heart. Several people had showed up at the Bellyfull to see off the loggers and the brave adventures on their journey. The Ol' Crook (never one to miss a money making opportunity) already had the cookfires high and his girls were busy selling fresh biscuits with butter and honey to the crowd. He himself was standing on the stairs holding the leash of two giant dogs(similar to modern day wolf hounds) As the adventures gathered he cleared his throat and said " may i present to you my 2 best friends Muffin and Sprinkles. You lot better take care of them there closer to me than anything else in this world." With that a small tear left his eye as he handed over there leash.
Soon after Finneous approached with a large basket in hand. " Good morning my firends. I've got a few things here that might be usefull." he uncovers the basket and all of you see small vials of a dark green liquid. "These here will help heal you. They won't help alot so when you drink it drink all of it. there is one for each of you. it's not much but that's all i can offer at this time." he then steps away as Whisper steps forward.
"The Militia has asked me to give you these boons with the hope that they will help you. The rumors of the Undead are true you might run into something out there and my men wanted you to be prepared." he then produces 4 silver tipped arrows, 2 silver crossbow bolts, and 3 silver daggers. "May you slay the evil of this land till the creeks run red!" he then salutes you and leaves.
Finneous comes back and says " I almost forgot." He looks to the 2 spellcasters "I'm giving you one each just in case." He hands both of you a red tube. "concentrate on me and say the words anah alon clatu. this will activate the spell and this tube will release a red smoke. I will know when you activate it and we will try to send help if we can at the time. only use this in dire need for as you know our resources are stretched. Thank you for taking on this mission and happy hunting!"
Carus then bellows out" everyone mount up in the wagons it's time to go!"
there are 3 wagons with various tools and supplies loaded there is room for 2 of you to sit in each wagon please go into detail on who is where and which items everyone has equiped.
Morning had come early, and Trillian had been up before the first light. The life of a wizard was not an easy life. It was wrought with study, study, and then more study. He studied his magical tome until the magical weave was fresh upon his mind. With that complete, he went about the task of packing his belongings. All that he owned fit neatly into his backpack. His bulkiest possession was saved for last. He wrapped his spell book in his thick winter blanket and set it gently into his pack. One could never be too careful. He then went downstairs and to the front steps of the Bellyful Inn.
Trillian was amazed at the generosity of the townsfolk. They were truly behind the small group of adventurers and there gifts showed they all wanted the group to be successful in their endeavor.
Anvil Ironfist had been designated the party leader, and it was just last night they had gone over the marching order. Trillian assumed the order would stand even on the wagons. He stood by the center wagon to assist Rat and T'Sal into their seats before moving along to the third wagon to take his seat alone. He didn't mind being alone, in fact he was accustomed to it.
The elf climbed into the wagon and prepared himself for the short journey. He did not expect any trouble in route, but he knew one did not survive by assuming. He opened his belt pouch to make sure the rose petals were still present and intact for his spell casting should he need them.
With everyone ready to go, Trillian readied his shortbow by stringing it and then pulled an arrow from his quiver. His back pack was at his feet, easily accessible and easily picked up should he need to exit the wagon quickly. The elf gave a nod to Anvil that he was ready to go and then one to the wagon driver.
Trillian has selected Sleep as his spell for today. He will try and find a position where he can look towards the front of the wagons and the rear of the pack. If that is not available to him, he will opt for watching the rear with only occasional glances towards the front.
Hingatuli Hammer was pleasantly amazed at how the towns folk had taken to the adventurers and shared what they could as good faith payment for their commitment to aid the fear ridden citizens of Oaks Heart.
Someone had paid for a room for the Dwarven Cleric to spend the night and prepare himself for an early journey into the unknown. Hingatuli gladly accepted the offer so that he could spend some time preparing and consecrating himself before Clangeddin Silverbeard the Dwarven god of War in a time of prayer and meditation long before the first rays of sunlight began illuminating the seemingly sleepy town of Oaks Heart.
"Oh Mighty Clangeddin ... Provide Your Servant the Strength and Courage to Prevail Against the Unknown Enemy ... Guide Me Through the Peril and Turmoil of Fear that Pervades the Countryside ... Grant Me the Means to Defeat Our Unknown Foes ... May My Companions Prove to Be Worthy of Your Favor ... Help Us All to Aid the People of Oaks Heart ... Equip Us with What We Need to Face the Hidden Danger in Their Behalf This Day!"
As the cock was crowing, fresh biscuits with butter and honey were sold to the gathering festive crowd who were wishing the adventurers well on their quest in behalf of the people of Oaks Heart.
Yet another grateful soul bought extra breakfast to present to Hingatuli Hammer before his journey into the crisp morning countryside as a gift of appreciation for his decision to aid the loggers and help remedy the mystery that had befallen the region.
The Dwarf Cleric gladly expressed his appreciation and thanked Clangeddin Silverbeard the Dwarven god of War for the morning bounty that gave Hingatuli Hammer an added purpose and motivation for aiding the loggers and families of Oaks Heart.
Hingatuli grimly munched on his biscuits and washed the tasty morsels down with some fruit nectar that another young lady had presented to him as the Ol' Crook extended the leash of his two giant dogs towards Anvil Ironfist as he cleared his throat and spoke:
"May I present to you my 2 best friends Muffin and Sprinkles. You lot better take care of them. They're closer to me than anything else in this world."
Hingatuli Hammer noticed the small tear in the Ol' Crook's eye and breathed a remembrance to Clangeddin Silverbeard the Dwarven god of War to help the adventurers watch over the two dogs ... and if at all possible ... return them unharmed to their master.
Then he heard Finneous declare, "Good morning my friends. I’ve got a few things here that might be useful. These here will help heal you. They won't help a lot, so when you drink it drink all of it. There is one for each of you. It's not much, but that's all I can offer at this time."
Hingatuli received the small vial of green liquid that was handed to him with a grateful word of thanks to Clangeddin Silverbeard the Dwarven god of War for answering his early morning prayer, then threaded his way through the crowd to stand next to Anvil Ironfist as Whisper stepped forward to announce:
"The Militia has asked me to give you these boons with the hope that they will help you. If the rumors of the Undead are true you might run into something out there and my men wanted you to be prepared."
"May you slay the evil of this land 'til the creeks run red!"
As Whisper saluted the adventurers, Hingatuli Hammer tapped Anvil Ironfist on the arm, looked up into the taller Dwarf fighter's face and declared:
"One or Both of those Silver Crossbow Bolts would be a Good Match for My Heavy Crossbow! As for the Silver Daggers ... Make Sure that Rat and the Lady Get One!"
Hingatuli Hammer took note of the red tubes and instructions that Finneous gave to Trillian and T'Sal ... momentarily pondering what could possibly necessitate sending a red smoke message for assistance ... and what Finneous could possibly do to help?
His contemplative reverie was suddenly broken as Carus bellowed out:
"Everyone mount up in the wagons! It's time to go!"
Hingatuli Hammer made a beeline towards the lead wagon as he shouted to Anvil Ironfist:
"Let Me Ride On the Left Side of the Wagon! My Red Eye Prefers Scouting the Terrain for a Better Shot with My Heavy Crossbow!"
Hingatuli Hammer prefers riding on the left side of the wagon where he can draw a better bead with his Heavy Crossbow! He also prefers riding up front if there is room for the driver to allow him to do so. Otherwise, he would opt for riding in the corner at the back end of the wagon facing the second wagon so he can draw a bead to his left with his Heavy Crossbow in case he notices anything suspicious lurking in that direction!
Posted on 2008-06-26 at 20:30:09.
Edited on 2008-06-26 at 20:41:21 by Hammer
It had been a pretty good night. Rat had no trouble sleeping anywhere, but he could wake and spring in a flash if he heard or felt something. He was quick that way. Last night had been no problem. Before he went to bed, he had zipped over to the local storekeeper and procured some garlic, and had stopped at the Temple and had his small cross hanging on the chain on his neck blessed. He also bagged a bottle of holy water. When they started passing out the silver stuff, and someone said "undead", he knew he had better prepare for all that bad population like werewolves, and vampires, and undead, and ...... "Boy, this is gonna be fun!" he thought!
There was a great hubub in the morning as so many townfolks were there for the sendoff. He was given gratus buscuits and butter for breakfast, (He loved a good buscuit and these were FINE.)He stuffed a couple in his bag for the trip.
The adventuring team was all there plenty early. Rat liked that in a team. This was going to go just swell. As they climbed into the assigned wagons at the proper time, Rat was given a hand up to the wagon by the elf Trillian. (The elf also helped T'sal up, probably just so he could cop a feel?) He seemed like a good type, really. Rat was going to enjoy this ride. Yes he was. He knew he would keep his eyes peeled and his quick senses alert during the travel, but he expected no problem due to the size of the town group combined with the adventurers.
His las thought as he hopped up onto the wagon was "Muffins and Sprinkles?!" Were those war dog names nowadays?" Well, they weren't exactly war dogs, but they sure looked more like a Bowser and a Yellow or a Rin Tin Tin to Rat. Oh, well. Dogs were cool.
T'Sal had been awake before the sun lit up the eastern horizon. She was very excited about the adventure and wanted to make sure she had her chosen spell memorized.
She chose a nice dark grey robe with a dark green hem with a matching belt and put her knee high grey boots on and gathered up her backpack and spell book along with her components and staff and went down to where everyone was gathering.
She was amazed by the hospitality of the townsfolk and was shocked when they gave her 2 vials and the silver dagger. She placed the vials in an easily accessible compartment of her back pack and attached the dagger to her belt.
She allowed Trillian and the halfling, Rat to help her to her seat where she waited for the wagons to start moving.
T'Sal has chosen Magic Missile for her spell.
Posted on 2008-06-27 at 16:12:05.
Edited on 2008-06-27 at 16:15:21 by DeGotti
Everything gets distributed as suggested in the discussion forum.
Bolts - Hammer
Arrows - 2 each for Anvil and ... the elf that can use them, I forget which one.
Daggers to Rat, Trillian and T'Sall.
Dogs - Anvil can take charge of Sprinkles
Hammet to take charge of Muffin. (I thought he might be the second most likely to be in combat, being able to wear armor and such. This is open for debate, but it seemed ok on the other forum.)
Hugs and Kisses were given out to the loggers as the crowd expressed there thanks to the adventures and slow cleared away from the wagons. The lead drover called out"Wagons Forward!" and the journey began. Small children ran along side the wagons untill the pulled out of the large wooden gate. The guards raised fists to the air in salute a gave shouts of encouragement. Sprinkles and Muffin curled up in the back of the lead wagon planning to nap next to there new keepers.
It wasn't long till the landscape gave way to rich farmlands. Carus spoke up with pride in his voice" These here are some of the most fertile fields you'll ever see. Just 8 years ago most of this was still woods. Back breaking work clearing these fields but well worth it."
The pace was slow but still the fields went on for some time before the forest began to surround the road. Everyone is trully amazed at how clean and neat the forest looks. the eye can travel a good distance between the well spaced trees. It's obvious that great pains have been taken to leave the woods in a beautiful state. Carus once again puts voice to it. " I swear our Treesingers the best there is. The forest really gives itself to us. We get all that we need for logs and the forest gets cleared and cleaned not a bad trade i'd say."
Animals of all types can be spotted amongst the foliage. Deer roam freely, birds zip about the branches, rabbits nibble on the undergrowth, a more healthy forest none of you have seen. This continues for some time and puts everyone in a good mood. but alas all things must end.
It starts as a heavyness in the air. Slowly the oppresive feeling give way to an almost tangible feeling of anger."Look off to the southeast and you can see the edge of the blighted lands." announces Carus. Ugly twisted trees arise in the dark shrouded rolling hills. The fetid smell of rotting vegetation asails everyones senses. Muffin and Sprinkles slowly raise up from the back of the wagon, the hair on there backs stand high as low growls leave there throats. The men of the work crew look about nervously as they thumb the weapons. A low hanging dank fog creeps onto the road way obscuring the view as the horses start to prance and toss ther heads sensing the wrongness of the area. Carus clears his throat"Don't envy you lot i must say. Were just on the edge here." as the words leave his lips a loud crack echos in the air as the second wagon comes to a grinding halt. "We've lost a wheel" yells the driver as the other wagons pull to a stop. Before any one can start to react Muffin and Sprinkles growl and howl in to the air as they leap from the wagon and bolt into the woods.
You are currently on a straight length of road approx 300' befor the next curve the road run N to S the wagons are facing S. The woods are tight to the road on the right the woods are fairly clean and rise slowly uphill. To the left where the dogs went the ground radily decends in to a ravine. The ravine is filled with mist which obstructs normal vision. Infravision allows you to see the dogs heading down the ravine as the leave your sight limitations. The pitch of the dogs barking has changed and so has the speed with which they are leaving.
. . .up from his wagon seat with his short bow still in hand. He eyes the direction the dogs were running, but it is not long before they are out of sight. He can still hear them barking, but not even his infravision can pick them out of the mist in the area. Perhaps they went down into the ravine, he thinks to himself. He does a quick scan of the surroundings and makes sure there is no movement towards the wagons from the forest before finally positioning himself facing the ravine.
In a language known only to a few, he says to Rat, "Watch the side opposite the ravine for any movement." He is sure only Rat will know the meaning of his words.
The elf waits in last cart with his bow out and an arrow ready to fly at the first sign of danger. He looks to Anvil and nods that he is ready for action and any commands the party leader may be ready to give.
Trillian will wait in the last wagon with a watchful eye all around. He has his short bow ready and an arrow nocked and will let it fly at the first sign of danger. He will stay atop the wagon for now to gain the height advantage and for a better vantage point to look around.
Hingatuli Hammer slowly nodded his head as the rhythm of the wagon coaxed him into a slumbering state, but with each bump along the trail Hingatuli would snap back to consciousness and focus upon the surroundings as he scratched the head of Muffin thoughtfully.
Suddenly his vision blurred and the sound of a war horn filled Hingatuli's skull as he saw a mass of decaying vegetation covering a steam filled dark hole in the bowels of a broken tree.
Words suddenly invaded Hingatuli's ears and skull, but there was no voice to the words:
"HINGATULI! Know that my eyes are upon you. I see your need and your cause is just. Seek ye this dark forbidden place. It will bring you understanding of what you are now up against. These dark times are just begining for you and your companions, DO NOT FALTER! I will give you the means to overcome if you have the wisdom to apply it. Prove yourself to me."
As Hingatuli Hammer's vision cleared his mind told him that 3 new spells had been received from his time spent in prayer and devotion to Clangeddin Silverbeard the Dwarven god of War much earlier that morning:
1.) magical stone
Then Hingatuli Hammer realized that not only had the wagons ground to a sudden halt, but both Muffin and Sprinkles had bounded away into the foreboding forest and were soon lost to sight and sound, leaving Hingatuli no choice but to obey the voice of his vision!
Without a moment's hesitation Hingatuli Hammer boldly made his way in the direction where the two dogs had disappeared, determined to prove himself to his god of War and determined to Not Falter as the vision voice had decreed only mere moments before!
waits and watches and listens carefully. He particularly keeps an eye across the ravine as Trillion advised. He is ready to act. He awaits the leaders directions. If no actions are directed he will then clim the nearest tree and watch from above with his sling ready.
(Remember now, guys) I am probably away 10 days - guide Rat well.
As the dogs bounded off into the woods, Anvil stood up, bow still in hand.
He saw rat watching the woods and was pleased to see the team at work so quickly. He turned to the leader of the wagons and said, "We need to follow the dogs, if you are attacked yell. Yell loudly. We will return if we can. Give us a short while to find the dogs and return. If we don't we will start our progress from here. I don't think I need to warn you to set guards. Good luck!"
Turning to the group, Anvil said - "I think we all agree we don't want to lose the dogs this quickly. Grab your stuff - and lets see what they have found. Lets go as quickly as we can. It will take them awhile to fix the axel."
The team will head off of after the dogs in double file if possible, single file otherwise. Anvil has his bow out and will head off with an arrow at the ready. (Not a silver arrow.) Anvil also suggests to the rear of the group that they keep an ear out for anything happening back at the wagons.
hears Anvil's directions and trots with the group following the dogs trail. He is ever alert. He will do as directed by the leader or anyone he respects, which is, at the moment, anyone in his group. He will tend to first use a sling which is ever ready, but prefers to swith to his shortsword or the silver dagger - if wereanimal or undead. His blessed cross dangles at his throat. If a battle ensues, he will sneak and go in for backstabs. He is a good sneaker.
Carus gets his men started on the wagon and eyes the woods warily. "Well wait a spell but not long after the wagons fixed. I need to check up on my other workers and they need these supplies. If you make it.....uh I mean when you make it back here if were gone just follow this road it splits in about a mile or so take the right fork and you'll find us. Please get those dogs back I don't want to see my friend grieve." with that he starts yelling out instructions and puts 2 men on watch.
The group heads off into the woods. the dense foliage only allows for single file formation. The fresh trail of the dogs is not to hard to find as you begin your decent into the ravine. the land does get steeper as you go and sharp rocks jut up from the ground like broken teeth. In a matter of minutes the sight and sounds of the wagon train are lost to you as the fetid mist clings to each of you quickly making your clothing damp and rank. you decend a couple of hundred feet into the ravine and finally come to the bottom. a small stream runs a twisted path in front of you. signs of the dogs are readilly visable as well as signs of what they pursue. Footprints of a humanoid are left in the soft ground around the stream. As you follow the trail the sound of the Dogs barking and whining can be heard. Another 20 minutes passes as you struggle with the unforgiving surroundings the sound of the dogs getting closer with every step. Suddenly you come to a small clearing in the brush. and the land gently rises to a small hill. you can see Muffin and Sprinkles running and jumping around the outer edge of a large tree. A strange smell comes to your nostrils as you see the dogs bark and growl but at what you can not tell. The tree appears to be an older oak with large branches full of leaves. a slight movement can be almost seen in the foliage. a spear is stuck head first into the ground underneath the outstretched branches.
The group pauses at the edge of the small clearing and very quickly discusses what the should do. After a couple of brief comments a plan is decided upon and put into action.
The group moves around the edges of the clearing until they have the tree surrounded. In doing so they keep two important things in mind. 1. They generally stand sideways to the tree - so that they can try and keep an eye on the woods behind them. They do not turn their back on the woods. 2. They stay out of "reach" of the branches, to the best of their ability.
Once they have been moved into position, Hammer and Anvil call the dogs to them. Assuming the dogs obey orders, they are told to sit to the side of the dwarves. (Not in their way should something occur.) Anvil calls out in common saying, "We did not mean to have our dogs frighten you. They get excited sometimes. Who are you? Come down so that we can speak."
The team is also attempting to figure out the source of the smell - and exactly what the odor might be. If Anvil gets no response the others will take their turn using the language skills each has available to them. Rat would be the second one to speak as Anvil is guessing the person/thing in the tree (No, Rat, that "thing" comment is not a statement about Halflings...) might be a halfling or something similar.
Specific other things to be noted:
1. Does it seem like there was more than one person/thing in the tree?
2. Is the movement caused by the person presumably in the tree, or is the tree moving of its own accord.
3. This is not a very friendly portion of the woods, nor I believe, a very healthy one. Is this tree healthier than the others around it? Does it not have as dismal a feel? Or is it just like all of the others in this neck of the woods?
The group is around the trees in the same order they were marching in - with Anvil at the far side of the tree. If needed, after Anvil and Rat, they will speak in the same order are they marched. Anvil still has his shield and sword out, although he is trying not to look threatening (while still keeping himself at the ready, of course.)
And now we wait to see if we get a response...
Posted on 2008-07-17 at 03:23:33.
Edited on 2008-07-17 at 03:24:22 by Nomad D2