BluddGrinn the Grim had silently wished for a better view of the entertainment near the mast, but had resigned himself to take a seat on the deck and listen to the oratory, while watching those comrades who were also watching with their backs turned towards the left railing.
Suddenly he had a view of the entire deck and it was not a pretty sight, as bolts and arrows claimed the lives of several of his Crimson Crusader comrades. Only 8 of the adventurers remained alive and Rhiannon the Monk was in need of healing and restorative attention.
However, it was clear to him that the Human Shaman Tohmaz was already approaching their wounded human comrade, so the dwarf decided to turn his attention elsewhere if his abilities were not drastically needed at the moment to aid the wounded Monk.
He noted how Karvilo reacted to the surprise attack and decided that he would make an exception regarding his perception of elves, for it was well apparent that given a different set of circumstances, the Ranger would prove to be a welcome ally against any further transgressors.
The Dwarf Cleric positioned himself near where the Halfling Fighter was being assisted by the Half Orc Barbarian. BluddGrinn would not be caught unawares a second time if the corpses of the dead Crimson Crusaders were somehow mysteriously brought back to an undead state of reanimated life by some unseen wizard or worse.
He noted how the Barbarian showed signs of compassion towards the Halfling Fighter as Trossach assisted Drogo out from under the weight of the burly fighter that had fallen over the top of the halfling. He had been amused a short while before and quite interested in how the halfling would deal with the taunts and boasts of the over sized human. He was sure that this Drogo Tulk of the Short Swords would prove to be a valuable ally when the remaining Crimson Crusaders would venture forth into the unknown along the Black Tooth Ridge and wherever else their journey would take them.
BluddGrinn waited to see if his assistance was required to cast a First Aid spell to stop the bleeding of the wounded Monk, or if a Cure Light Wounds spell would be necessary, but he had been studying the Shaman known as Tohmaz and the Dwarf deferred to the Human unless called upon for any assistance.
So he turned his attention back to the Half Orc Barbarian Trossach and watched him survey the scene of the carnage, then stare intently into the darkness beyond the west bank with his bow ready to fell any humanoid or monster that dared betray its position in the moonlit darkness.
After the Ruby River Boat had sailed a distance without any further signs of possible peril, he cautiously approached the fallen body of the burly huge human fighter, noting the black lightning bolt insignias on the bolts and arrows protruding from his body.
BluddGrinn was satisfied upon further observation that the bolts and arrows were not fired from his hated enemies the orcs. He was also quite certain that no goblin or hobgoblin had been among the attackers. The overkill of the huge burly human fighter bore the distinct marks of being targeted by deranged evil humans, who BluddGrinn suspected were sending an unorthodox message to spread fear among the ranks of the Crimson Crusaders and the peoples of Botkinburg.
The Dwarf Cleric was not so convinced that the Curse of the Crimson Crusaders was a curse at all, but merely the machinations of a deeper, darker evil that sought to spread fear and discord among the ranks of any race seeking to oppose the taint of evil emanating from the Black Tooth Ridge or The Barren Wood or anywhere beyond the borders of New Aenochia.
BluddGrinn decided to keep his musings to himself until he could decide upon a proper course of action once he had more time to evaluate the potential of his remaining companions and had the proper time to consult his deity Steel the Dwarven God of War when time and space allowed him to do so.
After studying Trossach the Barbarian for several more minutes, making sure that the dead corpses on the deck remained dead, BluddGrinn cautiously approached Trossach and bellowed what the cleric perceived to be a friendly greeting in the aftermath of the deadly rain of bolts and arrows.
"I Hate Orcs!"
"I Believe You Do Too!"
"That Should Make Us Allies!"
BluddGrinn stands ready for a response from Trossach and anyone else who hates orcs for that matter. He is willing to assist Rhiannon if invited to help her, but the cleric is still a bit wary of the dead corpses strewn about the deck of the boat. He does not want to be guilty of being unprepared if the dead bodies rise up to attack the surviving members of the Crimson Crusaders!
As it had become his way on the boat Tohmaz sat leaning against the mast in quiet meditation. Since he had finished his training to be a Shaman he had wondered the forests, helping those in need and looking for the sign that he had found the clan he would serve.
It was their way that the Goddess placed you where you should be. Fate had pointed him to the darkened lands of his ancestors to make them safe for his people to return; this boat and these people were the means to get him there. Tohmaz thanked his Goddess for the honor to go and help clean her lands. Tohmaz felt he was sent to serve his Goddess and would not have a clan of his own to serve.
The sudden screams of the dying shock him out of his meditation. As Tohmaz opened his eyes the sight sudden death was all around him.
He had not heard the whoosh of the barrage of arrows and bolts that swept the life from more than half of the Crusaders that stood around the boat.
Bodies lay still on the deck as death had come quick and silent.
Across the deck in front of him Tohmaz saw the Female Fighter calling for help. The Amazon had taken an arrow in her left shoulder and the fighter was holding the Amazon’s right arm were blood was flowing from another wound.
Not hesitating Tohmaz was moving to aid the warrior.
“Sister, let me aid you, the Earth Mother will guide me. Lay still so the arrow in your shoulder doesn’t move hurting you more.”
Turning to the Fighter, Tohmaz grabbed her hands clamped them over the arm wound.
“Hold that cut closed tightly and lift her arm, it will slow the bleeding.”
Tohmaz pulled his sheath knife as he turned to the nearest fallen Crusader, he quickly sliced through the man’s shirt, cutting strips of cloth. He also cut the mans thick leather belt and slid it out from under him.
Folding some of the cloth he made a pad, moving the Fighters hand he placed the pad over the arm wound and using other strips he wrapped and tied off the bandage.
“Keep holding tight to the wound, it will soon slow it’s bleeding.”
Turning to the Amazon he said,
“The arrow in your shoulder has gone deep , had it gone through it would be simple to remove, we could break off the tip and slide the shaft out easily. I must pull it back through where it had entered and the head may grab flesh and yield slowly. I wish you to bite this leather belt, place your mind above the pain and concentrate on biting through the leather.”
As the warrior braced herself Tohmaz placed his foot against her shoulder and grabbed tightly around the shaft of the arrow. Then with a strong hard steady pull Tohmaz could feel the arrow give as it moved toward him.
He could tell by the feel that there was no barb on the arrowhead and the arrow slide out of the wound.
Dropping the arrow Tohmaz grabbed another strip of cloth and quickly folded and pad.
He press the pad against the hole left by the arrow and reddened quickly from the bleed flowing from the wound.
As Tohmaz uses other strips to wrap the shoulder and hold the pad to the wound he calls upon Atire to help him as he cast a spell of First Aid to the bandages (0 First Aid is Bandages bleeding wound) to help slow the bleeding.
“Sister, rest now while I help the others attend to fallen. You are hurt badly and it will take time for these wounds to heal on their own. When I return I will tell you of a Ceremony that can heal your wounds in this evening, but you must be willing to help me Honor the Earth Mother in a Rain Dance. In return the Earth Mother will heal wounds as we dance. It will not be easy for we have to dance long into the night, but if you should weaken I am sure there are those here that will stand with you so you can complete the dance.
"Good Lady, please see to this warrior's comfort so she may gain strength for the dance." Tohmaz suspects that the female is a Rogue, he saw her lift the purses from the two fallen males that had been flirting with her. Perhaps helping her avoid temptation would keep her in a better light for while with the other Crusades.
And with that Tohmaz leaves to help the survivors attend the dead. They should be given last rites so that their souls may return to the Earth Mother and their bodies released to the elements.
Posted on 2010-11-23 at 05:38:19.
Edited on 2010-11-27 at 16:12:40 by Odyson
The Dwarf's shout was not what the big barbarian had been expecting. He had seen him before, quietly watching the action on the ship, and had assumed that he wasn't sure how to fit into the group. When he saw the dwarf approach he thought he must wish to discuss the attack.
But the shouted greeting could hardly be described as "discussion." Trossach smiled. The dwarf, it would seem, would not have an easy social life. If, indeed, he had any concept of how people interacted. Well, perhaps he wouldn't be the only outcast in this group. Better stick together...
"Orcs? I don't think this attack was done by orcs, but indeed I do hunt them. All the Crusaders onboard this ship will hopefully be allies in that quest."
While continuing to keep his eyes on the woods arround them, Trossach nodded his head towards the dwarf in a friendly greeting. "I am Trossach Graystone, once of the Balliquois Tribe. I am here to hunt whatever darkness stalks these lands and welcome your fiendship."
Posted on 2010-11-23 at 17:18:57.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Rhiannon had plenty of time to meditate and practice while on board the Crimson River Boat. While on watch she was strictly attentive to the passing scenes. Her mind and senses focused on her task. Time enough for her own thoughts when she was done with her watch. Even then, most of the time she spent on deck practicing her skills and meditate, that serve as her rest period.
Her exercises took to distinct forms but the second part might not be recognizable as exercise and she went through exercised that used her own body against itself but that was only about a third of her exercises the rest was both much more physical to the normal observer. One third was with various weapons, the other without weapons. She use one of the grain sacks for weight and for punching or a thick coil of rope. She also climbed the lines or the edge of the riverboat. Leaping and jumping from one place to another.—mainly to practice balance and agility and her tumbling.
She had receives some looks from the other Crusaders, those that were unpaired she though saw her as a possible female. True she was female and would never deny it. But the attentions of some few males on her part were totally ignored. She was neither looking for a pillow friend or a mare. There was not one here that spark in interest in her. Besides she had a mission, or rather a quest for retribution of those who had killed her sister Amazons as they traveled to the horse fairs in the south to sell their culls of their herd—those horses that did not measure up to Amazon standards of excellence, just as they did the males of their clan and tribe. One the best were allowed to breed. Even those were often far superior to the ones to be doing in the more southern lands. The clan had been invite to bring their horses south to a large horse fair by a trader.
Because it was the time for the clan to move most of the warriors and herders were needed to move the heard and the people. For that reason Rhiannon who was sixteen was allowed to travel with the to go to the horse fairs, even though she had not yet stood before the Priestess at the Harvest Festival of the Great Goddess. They had done so before many time—not her of course because she was just 16 though and waiting for enough. Using the secret pass through the mountain they finally reached the south plains and went to meet at the prearranged locations. The whole thing was a set up-they traders wanted to steal their horse and the Amazons as slaves to be sold in the south. The Amazons fought back many were killed and a small number were finally taken as slaves, manacled and chained and ships down river.
Rhiannon’s life changed dramatically after that. She would have denied that possibility to anyone who would have asked her such a question before this occurred. At that time she little knew or expected how much it could change or would change.
The days and nights passed aboard the Crimson River Boat passed uneventfully and it seemed that the previous difficulties were not going to occur on this trip. That was until they almost reached their destination they were attack and her first indication was an arrow driven deeply to her shoulder with an explosion of pa. She tried to fight through the pain to rise up and move to defend the ship, but before she could even could even stand she was hit again thins time taken another arrow to her stomach. It double her up her vision swam while dhe tried ot put in practice techniques she had be taught to focus on what needed to be done now and put to the aide all that interfered with her ability to fight now. It was over quickly with many dead and dying before she could do much more about anything.
A human in robes called Tonmaz , whom Rhiannon had met casually on board had heard a shaman came to her aid. .” “The arrow in your shoulder has gone deep , had it gone through it would be simple to remove, we could break off the tip and slide the shaft out easily. I must pull it back through where it had entered and the head may grab flesh and yield slowly. I wish you to bite this leather belt, place your mind above the pain and concentrate on biting through the leather.” .”
Tohmaz placed his foot against her shoulder and grabbed tightly around the shaft of the arrow. Thiannon bit down hard on the leather belt and the extraction process hut as much coming out as going in. With a strong steady the shaman pulled arrow out. He began to bandage her wound.. Rhiannon spit our the leather belt and took a long camning breath.
Tohmaz uses other strips to wrap the shoulder and hold the pad to the wound he calls upon hia gos most likely Rhiannon though
“Sister, rest now while I help the others and attend to fallen. You are hurt badly and it will take time for these wounds to heal on their own. When I return I will tell you of a Ceremony that can heal your wounds in this evening, but you must be willing to help me Honor the Earth Mother in a Rain Dance. In return the Earth Mother will heal wounds as we dance. It will not be easy for we have to dance long into the night, but if you should weaken I am sure there are those here that will stand with you so you can complete the dance.”
"Good Lady, please see to this warrior's comfort so she may gain strength for the dance.”
Leaving the Amazon with the female Fighter Tohmas went to where to remaining survivors had gathered.
“My friends there is something wrong with this attack. They have only fired on us once and it would appear there were many of them. They should have been easily able to pin us down with many attacks. Either they feared to reveal their position or they have other plans. I fear there may be dark magic that could turn our fallen comrades against us. We need to free the souls of these warriors and inter their remains to the river. From there it would be difficult for the evil to use their mortal coil. “
“Master Halfing, Master Elve and Mistress Bard if you would prepare their bodies by removing the instruments of their death and remove their weapons. We need to save those arrows as proof of the attack and perhaps the town could use the weapons.”
“Good Cleric if you would honor them for their bravery for joining this Crusades , I will ask Earth Mother to receive back the life she has given. “
Then Tohmas turned to the Half-Orc,
“Brother, your great strength and gentle hands would serve to help these warriors pass from this place to the gentle sleep of the flowing river.”
Hoping the survivors would agree Tohmas moved the side of the young lovers to start his prayers to Atira.
Posted on 2010-11-27 at 00:48:52.
Edited on 2010-11-27 at 01:01:58 by Odyson
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Rhiannon had to remain still while the other survivors took care of themselves and prepared the dead. Had it been absolutely necessary fo rher to help she owuld have made the effot--taken the risk but as it was she did not have too. To move would have stressed bandaged wounds. She crossed her legs and went through her calming exercises. Meditating took her mind off her pain.
After the shaman suggested he help bury the dead in the river, Trossach nodded his assent. "If we are afraid of them returning as zombies, should the bodies be bound and weighted before being sent to the water? If so, do we have rope and weights? This is a ship, it ought to have rope, and perhaps a few extra scraps of non-magical armor unless the ship is carrying balast?"
If the others agree to this idea, Trossach sets out finding the tools of his new trade and begins burying their former shipmates.
Unincluded from the shamans plans that meant Brenys could relax sitting down, fiddling with her new found coins. Maybe her actions of stealng were not accepted amongst these brave heroes. Well she was no brave hero she had no choice to be there andwanted to make the best out of an awful situation.
Studying everyone curiously, they all were busy with their assignments and it appeared the shaman had become the leader of this group of valiant crusaders. Brenys was happy with this though had no thoughts to follow the shaman directly she was her own woman and that was how it would stay.
BluddGrinn the Grim kept a wary eye on the dead bodies of the mortally wounded humans. Trossach Graystone had acknowledged his greeting, such as it was from a dwarf who had spent most of his life beneath the Aratock Mountains, so BluddGrinn decided to engage the Barbarian in conversation while making sure the dead humans did not rise again to plague the survivors.
"I Hate Orcs!
Orcs killed my parents!
Orcs killed many of my kinsmen beneath the Aratock Mountains where we fought them for countless years with no knowledge of what was happening on the surface world above us!
During those long years I have personally encountered UnDead at least 5 times. The first time was against dwarf skeletons that an evil dwarf cleric had animated to guard a treasure trove that belonged to our clan.
That was a creepy battle against our own fallen forefathers. That was about the time that The Tinker joined up with our group. He taught me many things about Steel the Dwarven God of War and I watched him turn the UnDead and save us from the axes of our own skeleton kind that the evil cleric had animated to guard that gold.
Our blades were able to prevail against the skeletal blades of our dwarven forefathers and I learned a great lesson that day. So much so that I began to hang around The Tinker as much as possible to learn from his teachings.
Orc Zombies were another matter entirely.
I Hate Orcs!
I Hate Orc Skeletons More!
I Hate Orc Zombies Even More!
A few years later we encountered some Orc Skeletons that were sent to attack our war party by an Orc Shaman. Before they got to us there was a war party of orcs and goblins that tried to ambush us, but a different group of Orc Zombies showed up and started attacking anything living that had the misfortune of crossing their paths!
They would shamble about and gang up as a group to subdue one or more unfortunate souls and devour the living flesh of their victims. That kept the orcs and goblins busy while we fought against the Orc Skeletons blade against blade.
Again it was The Tinker that was able to turn some of those UnDead Orc Skeletons and we managed to hack them to pieces with our axes until they could move no more! Those other Orc Skeletons that did not get turned away gave us quite a battle, but we managed to eliminate them without many losses from our own war party.
By that time the Orc Zombies had feasted upon the living remains of the orcs and goblinoids that had been waiting to ambush us from a secluded cavern off to our right. I do not know where those Orc Zombies came from, but the screams of terror from the orcs and goblins as they were devoured still haunt my memory from time to time.
The Tinker was able to turn those Orc Zombies, but not before their rotting stench filled the cavern where we were fighting for our very lives! Some of us had succeeded in hacking and skewering those Orc Zombies without any of us being harmed, but that seemed to be a combination of mere luck and desperation to keep those Orc Zombies from grabbing and biting into our quivering living flesh.
But the sneakiest and nastiest UnDead that we ever encountered beneath the Aratock Mountains were the Human Zombies and Human Skeletons. They would just lay there in crumpled heaps like relics from a battle lost. They did not seem to move, nor did they seem to stir themselves.
We could kick them and poke them with our weapons, but they just lay there inert and seemingly nothing more than rotting human remains that had the misfortune of seeking dwarven gold deep beneath the Aratock Mountains and meeting only an untimely death.
Then when we would least suspect it, those rotting corpses and skeletal remains would suddenly and unexpectedly come to life, seeking to either slay or devour any living thing in their paths!
The most unnerving thing about confronting those UnDead Humans was that the 3 different times we encountered such monstrosities, it took different periods of time before they decided to attack us.
Not to mention that The Tinker was ironically absent on some other quest in behalf of our clan all 3 of those times!
I think the first time we encountered any UnDead Humans it took about 15 or 20 minutes before they shambled themselves together for an attack against us. In fact, we were debating about how to bury them and where to bury them. We were trying to decide if they should be buried under a pile of rocks, or buried in the ground of a secluded cavern. Even then we could not decide if they should be buried as individuals or as one big group.
So we debated amongst ourselves until one of the lookouts shouted out an alarm and we barely managed to subdue those UnDead Human Skeletons and Human Zombies.
The second time was a few years later and almost similar in many ways, but it took about 45 minutes to an hour before those UnDead Humans arose to take us by surprise. You would have thought that we would have learned from the last time. But in between those years we had discovered several groups of slain humans that did not rise up against us when we had let our guard down.
Dwarves can be very contentious among themselves, especially when seeking gold or craving something to eat with a hearty ale to wash it down. Even in the deep catacombs beneath the Aratock Mountains. We would brew our ales and the aromas would attract orcs and other vermin, including humans, so we laid many a trap for an unsuspecting foe!
There was yet another time when we encountered a group of UnDead Humans, but that time was after a long hard rigorous battle against a war party of Those Hated Orcs!
We fought our way into a large cavern that rivaled some of the great banquet halls that our dwarven kind have carved out of solid rock, or hewn from the natural creations of rock formations deep within the earth beneath the Aratock Mountains.
There were several humans laying about all hacked and splattered in various forms of decay with bands of orcs and goblins feasting and rejoicing over memories of past battles and pillages.
We crept our way into that cavern and used those dead, decaying bodies of the humans as cover and camoflage, sometimes lying there for hours before venturing closer to take our hated foes by surprise!
Almost half a day or more was spent getting ourselves into position to take them by surprise. As our foes feasted and drank themselves silly, we bided our time and then sprang upon them with all the ferocity of dwarven clans seeking revenge for past wrongs at the hands of these foes!
We battled for nearly three quarters of an hour, but finally managed to overcome our opponents who had out numbered us by a count of 10 to 1.
Then we settled in for the night in a nearby cave, far enough from the stench of the battle, although we ourselves were covered with the stink of our fallen foes!
Almost 3 hours passed before those UnDead Humans began shambling their way towards our haven. Once again our battle blades proved more than enough against such UnDead Human monstrosities, but the experience of that final encounter has made me quite wary of the sudden and unexpected appearances of UnDead Humans.
Now this being a fresh kill and upon the surface of this world, albeit in a Ruby River Boat on the Hruesen River, there may be stranger doings taking place than what I encountered with my dwarven brethren underground in those days gone by!
There May Or May Not Be A Real Curse Upon The Crimson Crusaders!
But Dead Humans Make Me Uncomfortable!
Dead Humans Make Me Quite Wary!
Throw Their Dead Bodies Over The Rail Into The River I Say!"
BluddGrinn the Grim begins dragging the body of the nearest dead human towards the back of the boat, keeping a wary eye upon the human corpses strewn about the deck of the Ruby River Boat.
He also notices the Shaman attending to the wounded Monk along with the Rogue, but his concerns about the possibility of the dead humans rising up against the survivors are his main priority.
BluddGrinn will assist the Shaman by casting a Cure Light Wounds spell upon Rhiannon prior to the Rain Dance to help give her the needed added strength to dance with the Shaman, once the dead bodies have been thrown into the river and the possible threat of UnDead Humans has been swept away from the remaining Crimson Crusaders!
The Bent Hook or Ortolf's House of Sludge
May 7, 30awd (After Winter Dark)
The Curse of the Crimson Crusaders was apparently spreading to the ranks of the Gold and Emerald Crusaders. Earlier in the dark hours before the dawn of day, as the surviving Crimson Crusaders drew ever nearer to their destination, they noticed dead bodies floating in the Hruesen River with the same black lightning bolt shafts protruding from their carcasses.
After hearing BluddGrinn the Grim tell his tales of encountering UnDead Dwarves, Orcs and Humans underground beneath the Aratock Mountains, then watching the Dwarf Cleric drag one of the mortally wounded crusaders to the back of the boat to throw him overboard, the remaining Crimson Crusaders (other than the wounded Rhiannon who needed to rest herself before joining the Shaman in a Rain Dance to completely restore her health) hastily stripped the corpses of any items of value that could be put to good use in defending Botkinburg from the evil taint suffocating its borders.
Once those bodies had been dumped overboard, after the War Cleric took a few moments to honor their bravery for joining the Crimson Crusaders in defiance of the rumored Curse of the Crimson Crusaders, while Tohmaz the Shaman symbolically freed each of their spirits to the next life; BluddGrinn turned his attention to Rhiannon as Tohmaz prepared her for the Rain Dance.
Casting a Cure Light Wounds spell upon Rhiannon, the Dwarf War Cleric succeeded in restoring 6 hit points of health to the Monk, aiding her physical ability to join the Shaman Tohmaz in the Rain Dance for the next 2 hours.
Some chose to join in the dance, while others were content to watch the ceremony while keeping a sharp lookout for any more unexpected attacks from unknown assailants.
After the Rain Dance was successfully concluded with the full restoration of Rhiannon and her abilities returned in sharp focus, the Ruby River Boat soon passed under the shadow of the jagged ridges of the now infamous Black Tooth Ridge, but only the sense of a foul taint on the far eastern shore and beyond amongst the hidden crags and fissures could be discerned by the most focused of the adventurers.
There was no sign of life or any discernible movement, only the certain promise of death to those foolish unfortunates who dared to enter those dark foreboding shadows unprepared; those who would be found lacking the grit and tools to overcome any malicious adversaries or predators lurking about in the dark environs of the Black Tooth Ridge.
Turning their eyes from the Black Tooth Ridge, the Crimson Crusaders could see the majestic square stone tower known as The Keep of Botkinburg with its 4 bartizans (turrets built for lookouts and defense) at each corner of the roof pointing towards the heavens.
The Botkin family banner unfurled proudly atop the 50 foot high roof, its purple over red with eagle claws visible for miles around, a welcome greeting to weary travellers, or a marked target for the possible day when unknown armies might gather to invade Botkinburg and the lands beyond.
Soon the town came into view with its quaint buildings and farm houses. The Chancel Temple was an impressive sight as the river turned westward where the Woodsmen rambling house and series of sheds came into view, followed by the Fisher home, then The Oak Grove and Shrine atop a shallow sloping hill, then a Tinker's Caravan at the base of the hill on the Oak Grove.
Next to come into view was the old Fisherman house that was hanging halfway into the water with a boat tied to the windowsill. The only part of the house still out of the river was the front porch. A curious looking old man sitting on top of the roof was fishing with a long pole and line with a bobber.
The old man scratched at his beard intently, glaring and muttering unintelligibly at the group of Crimson Crusaders who were looking back at him from the deck of the Ruby River Boat as it slowly made its way to the nearby Boat Ramp. As they passed by he pointed to the Black Tooth Ridge and shook his fist in the air and shouted something unintelligible.
The Boat Ramp was merely an old wooden bridge, whose remnants jutted out into the river about 15 feet. Usually the area was a haven for other local fishermen, but today the arrival of the 3 river boats and their newly recruited crusaders had postponed any attempt at fishing.
West of The Boat Ramp was a newer building that housed the Gold Crusaders who were sworn to protect the town of Botkinburg, comfortably housing 100 of these elite defenders. Their duty was to patrol the perimeters of the town and the outlying areas for as great a distance as deemed necessary.
It was here that the Gold River Boat was moored and unloading the precious cargo that was magically stored beneath the deck of the boat.
Although 12 of the Gold Crusaders recruits had been struck dead by the black lightning bolts and arrows during their journey up river, the 28 surviving new recruits were already inside their barracks receiving instructions and their payment of 50 gold coins. Each recruit was a Fighter who would be assigned with 3 other Gold Crusaders veterans to patrol the outskirts of Botkinburg, while the other remaining veterans were across the Hruesen River on special assignments to defend the city.
The Emerald River Boat had already arrived in plenty of time for its new recruits to receive word that they were to divide into 4 groups and begin a search patrol of The Barren Wood between Asperdi and Botkinburg to ensure the safety of the merchant wagons along the trail.
They were currently assembled at the other end of town at The Butcher Shoppe to receive generous portions of fresh meat to take on their journey. Ordinarily they would have been allowed to refresh themselves for a few days, but repeated reports of mysterious incidents happening in the woods all along the wagon trail between Asperdi and Botkinburg may be threatening the safety of The Realm.
These new Emerald Crusader recruits had decided to carry their 50 gold coins on patrol with them until their arrival in Asperdi where most have contacts who will either safeguard their small treasure or send the coins to their families. Ironically, the 4 groups were comprised of 6 Rangers and 1 Cleric (each serving a different deity) having also lost 12 of their original members to the bolts and arrows of the mysterious black lightning assailants.
After docking at the Boat Ramp, the surviving Crimson Crusaders were escorted by four members of the personal guard of the Lady Marchessa Fabressa into the center of town past the House of D'Amter on the west side of the lane and the Farrier a bit further south on the east side, before arriving at The Bent Hook located on the west side of the lane across from a Farmer house.
The Crimson Crusaders were escorted into The Bent Hook without much fanfare, save for a bit of curiosity from some of the people from the town bold enough to look upon or draw near to this new group of so-called cursed crusaders.
Once inside The Bent Hook the adventurers were escorted to the main table in the center of the common room where the owner Ortolf Heimpel is entertaining a group of five Botkinburg dignitaries who are waiting to talk with the newly arrived Crimson Crusaders.
These dignitaries include: Wymon Whitefoot (Eva Whitefoot's father) representing the Halfling Community; Hermannus Tersteeg a plump, middle aged human cleric who oversees The Chancel temple where the many gods whom the locals (and other travellers) worship are paid homage; Aaron von Bedering the sheriff appointed by the Botkins;
The fourth dignitary is Baron Volkmar Botkin, a young man in the prime of his life who is more than willing to entertain visitors of some reknown, but he considers the tales of evil doings and evil creatures along the Black Tooth Ridge to be 'the fears of old wives and tales of peasants'; and the stunningly glamorous Lady Marchessa Fabressa.
The Lady Marchessa Fabressa was sent by the Empress Pryzmira as an envoy to reside in The Keep with the Botkins to assess any and all threats to the northern borders of The Realm of New Aenochia. Her consort Gideon also served as her eyes and ears to report any devious activity to the Empress.
As the newly arrived Crimson Crusaders entered the common room the five dignitaries rose to their feet, seemingly almost as one entity; as the Lady Marchessa Fabressa greeted them and bid them to sit down at a nearby table. Her immediate perception of this new group of Crimson Crusaders was an instantaneous knowing that they would be a force capable of disrupting and possibly destroying the growing taint of evil that was spreading throughout the Black Tooth Ridge and quite possibly The Barren Wood.
After the formal introductions were made, the Lady Marchessa Fabressa got right down to business as she addressed the 8 surviving Crimson Crusaders:
"By now I am sure that you are well aware that 12 Gold and 12 Emerald Crusaders recruits were also ambushed and killed by the same type of bolts and arrows with the Black Lightning Bolts insignias etched on their shafts.
This is the first time that the same number of recruits from each of the 3 river boats have been eliminated before reaching Botkinburg. This does not bode well for the safety of The Realm.
In fact, we have already dispatched the 4 groups of 7 Emerald Crusaders newly arrived recruits to search The Barren Wood for any rumored threats; especially these mysterious Black Lightning Bolts, of whom we know next to nothing about, save for their Black Lightning bolts and arrows that have slain other adventurers throughout The Barren Wood over the past several weeks.
You may have noticed the new barracks to the west of the Boat Ramp when you arrived this morning. That barracks is able to house 100 Gold Crusaders, but with the 28 new recruits added to the 12 veterans currently guarding the boundaries of Botkinburg, we only have 40 Gold Crusaders to protect our fair city presently.
50 more Gold Crusaders were dispatched across the Hruesen River to fight against the notorious band of Red Caps raiders who have been plaguing our borders.
These are nasty and vile goblin raiders we call Red Caps or Rottenkips. They wear Red Skull Caps and have been raiding wealthier towns and trade routs for the past decade. Now they are plaguing the borders of Botkinburg and the very Realm itself.
They have a frightful reputation and their very name seems to strike fear into the hearts of most of the men of this region. They are led by the horrid Grallkrug or 'The Rottenkip' as he is most commonly referred to by his frightful minions.
It is reported that The Rottenkip, or Grallkrug, is not even in the area at the present time; but his lieutenant Marglerod, with a countless contingent of vile goblins under his command, is roaming freely about The Black Tooth Ridge and raiding our borders at will.
The beautiful young Molkin twins were abducted about 2 weeks ago on the outskirts of town while tending cattle. We dispatched some 20 Gold Crusaders to rescue them, but they have not been heard from since.
Another 10 were sent out a few days later and then another 10 Gold Crusaders, but there are still reports of goblin raiders being sighted across the river and no sign of any of our Gold Crusaders.
Then 2 days ago a beautiful young maiden from a newly arrived wagon from The Tinker's Caravan disappeared in the middle of the night without a trace. Some of the townspeople thought they heard screams from across the river, but they may only have heard the sounds of night owls.
So we sent another company of 10 Gold Crusaders to find her, but there has been no trace of either the young maiden or the 10 Gold Crusaders send to find her. We cannot afford to send any more Gold Crusaders across the river to either search for the young women or to fight against the Red Caps.
Which brings us to the problem as to what to do with you 8 newly arrived Crimson Crusaders?
Most of the people of Botkinburg have become convinced that the Curse of the Crimson Crusaders will soon spread throughout The Realm, unless you 8 are able to penetrate The Black Tooth Ridge and turn the tide of this evil taint emanating from across the Hruesen River.
There is unknown trouble in The Barren Wood, but hopefully the remaining Emerald and Gold Crusaders can protect Botkinburg while you 8 new recruits prove to the townspeople that this curse is but a mere rumor.
We can see that the 8 of you are far different from any of the other recruits who joined the ranks of the ill fated Crimson Crusaders this past year. In fact, there is a Halfling among you that the local Halfling Community is convinced is the Halfling of Legend foretold of in their prophecies.
But that remains to be seen. What we do need at the moment is for the 8 of you to spend the next 8 days in Botkinburg to prepare to penetrate The Black Tooth Ridge and prove that this so-called Curse of the Crimson Crusaders is but mere fiction spread by the taint of evil threatening The Realm.
Although many of the townspeople are convinced of the reality of this so-called curse, they are also convinced that a blessing will be invoked upon them if they aid you in your quest.
I implore you Crimson Crusaders to wander about our fair city for the next 8 days, talk to the townspeople, let them get to know you, or at least get used to your presence in this city before you embark on your quest.
You are welcome to take lodging in a room here at The Bent Hook, or you are welcome to be graciously housed in The Halfling Community if you prefer to be accomodated in a more suitable fashion outdoors in preparation for your journey.
Arrangements have been made for your 100 gold coins to be placed in safe keeping at either The Keep where your money will be stored in your name by my personal guards, or you can keep your gold deposited at The Halfling Community, which is surrounded by a wall of thorns 10 feet high and 10 feet thick. The choice is yours to make freely.
Two wagons are being prepared for your journey. One wagon to haul back any gold or other treasure that you may find in The Black Tooth Ridge and the other wagon to carry as many weapons and supplies as you decide are necessary for your quest.
Just let my stewards know what you require for your journey and we will accommodate your requests. We also have some items to give each of you to aid you in your quest.
My charge to you in the name of the Empress Pryzmira is that you eliminate all hostiles that you encounter in The Black Tooth Ridge and that you bring back a wagon load of treasure to help the Empress Pryzmira finance the war against the evil taint encroaching upon the borders of The Realm.
All you will be required to do is to bring 20 per cent of any treasure you find to me personally to donate to the cause of the Empress Pryzmira; which leaves each of you Crimson Crusaders a hefty 10 per cent each to deposit for your personal gain either at The Keep or The Halfling Community.
The wagon drivers can help themselves to all the treasure they can carry on their persons as payment for their services, as are each of you free to carry more treasure for yourselves, in addition to the 10 per cent cut from the treasure loaded on the wagon that you bring back to Botkinburg.
A Halfling couple who are refugees from somewhere in the Aratock Mountains have volunteered their services to drive the treasure wagon. Their names are MyrLavNaz and DorSylBra. Peculiar names for halflings to be sure, but they are not from around here and are grateful for the opportunity to help haul any treasure that would benefit the community that took them in when driven far from their home by some nameless terror stalking their land.
Tirten Shodfoot the Butcher is the only dwarf of permanent residence here in Botkinburg. We are sure that he can be persuaded to drive the other wagon full of weapons and provisions that you 8 may require. The lure of all the gold and treasure that he can possibly carry should be enough incentive for Tirten to join your quest and help protect the halflings and the treasure wagon we are sending with you to The Black Tooth Ridge.
Now there is one other task that we must implore you to undertake on your journey to The Black Tooth Ridge to eliminate any and all hostiles you may encounter that may threaten the safety of Botkinburg.
You must find Kruggle the Ogre and either persuade him to fight against the Red Skulls, or eliminate this dangerous creature with extreme prejudice. Kruggle has a taste for pig and has been raiding our farms and stealing hogs to satisfy his monstrous desires.
Kruggle has been seen on numerous occasions fighting the goblin raiders across the Hruesen River. If you can somehow befriend Kruggle and persuade the Ogre to patrol the opposite shore of the river and help protect Botkinburg against the Red Caps, then we will provide Kruggle with plenty of pig as payment for his services.
But if you fail to persuade the Ogre to help us, then you must eliminate Kruggle, because this dangerous creature poses too great a threat to the safety of the people of Botkinburg.
You should have enough time left today to walk over to The Chancel with my stewards to receive your gift from the temple priests to aid you in your upcoming quest 9 days from today. Then you will proceed to the House of D'Amter which is a house of healing to receive another gift to aid you.
Finally you will go to The Swilling Swan which is a small brew house and bar built into the side of Bafler Hill where the halflings of Botkinburg congregate to enjoy their fine wines. There are plenty of tables located outside to accommodate human patrons.
There you will be presented with yet another gift to aid you in your quest into The Black Tooth Ridge. This will give you the opportunity to decide if you would like to be housed in either The Halfling Community or here at The Bent Hook.
Now before you go to The Chancel, please help yourselves to the complimentary breakfast courtesy of the people of Botkinburg that has been prepared in your honor. This will give you the opportunity to get to know one another better, as you will soon be fighting side by side as Crimson Crusaders.
If you have any questions about what I have presented to you this morning, then please feel free to ask any of us here for any further explanation. We will gladly do so for the greater good of Botkinburg, The Realm of New Aenochia and the Empress Pryzmira."
A generous portion of breads, honey, meats, vegetables, eggs and other dairy products are soon placed before The Crimson Crusaders, along with some choice fruits and juices. Sludge or other ales are also available for the asking. Soon the barriers begin to break down between each of the 8 Crimson Crusaders as they dine together, making conversation and asking any questions that may come to their minds in this relaxed atmosphere.
NOTE FROM THE CASTLE KEEPER
This is your golden opportunity for more Role Play and conversational reflections and asking any questions of your new employers.
This is also a Golden Opportunity to do some Back Posting reflections on what transpired during the last hours on the river, throwing the dead human bodies into the river, your participation or reaction to the Rain Dance, plus your impressions of The Black Tooth Ridge, Botkinburg and what you have heard from the Lady Marchessa Fabressa.
You Do Gain Experience Points From Your Written Posts!
Posted on 2010-11-29 at 14:15:49.
Edited on 2010-11-29 at 14:16:51 by Hammer
CASTLE KEEPER Botkinburg Information Over Breakfast
A Few Things Learned About Botkinburg During Breakfast
Botkinburg is located deep in the Barren Wood on a rise over looking a bend in the Hruesen River. Much of the land surrounding the town has been cleared of trees and now serves as pasture and farmland for row crops.
A road leads to Botkinburg from the south and another less travelled road heads off to the north. The town consists of small wooden and stone houses with thatched and shingled roofs. These are clumped around a large stone keep located on the highest point of the rise.
Botkinburg is mostly inhabited by humans but has a sizable halfling population who live close to one another around several large hills on the west side of the village. They interact freely with the rest of Botkinburg's population, though they are viewed with caution and circumspection by some of the human members of the community.
Botkinburg is not a wealthy community. Its inhabitants are mostly farmers or fishermen with a few skilled tradesmen amongst them. It is self sufficient, though trades with other communities for rare foodstuffs or manufactured goods in exchange for salted fish, lumber and dairy products.
Every month during the summer an open market is held at the Oak Grove, a sacred place near the town's square. This usually attracts several outsiders pawning their wares. Other than this, most commerce and trade is conducted between families and individuals and is generally in the form of barter rather than with coins.
The closest Botkinburg has to a store is the Bent Hook, a local tavern. The proprietor stocks a small amount of items imported from the wealthier communities to the south and north which the locals may find useful.
The days of most in Botkinburg are spent in the pastures, on the river, or in gardens with the crops. The pastures have a mixture of sheep and dairy cattle grazing in them during the day. These are brought in every evening and taken out every morning to the cacophonous sound of cow and sheep bells, bleating sheep, mewing cows, barking herd dogs and the calls of herdsmen. Crops are plentiful and cheaply purchased as most have full larders.
Most in the community worship at the Chancel, a temple devoted to the many deities who watch over the lands of man and halfling, fertility, herding, or harvest and the Hruesen River in particular. Rituals and devotionals to the deities are held on numerous occasions and often accompanied by large communal gatherings during which beer and food are plentiful and served freely.
On other occasions, fasting and abstinence are called for. Most of the farmers and fishermen as well as the halflings, also worship at the Oak Grove, a shrine serving the deities of the sun and moon, plentitude and harvest and the fairy queen.
There are many rituals the people of Botkinburg follow on a daily basis to keep the evil spirits away and mollify the various fay that still reside in the surrounding forests.
There are well over 300 people living in Botkinburg with an additional well over 50 halflings. Unless noted otherwise, all the human inhabitants of Botkinburg are treated as humans. In times of conflict, a militia can be called up. It consists of nearly 30 adult humans.
Area 1. The Bent Hook or Ortolf's House of Sludge
The Bent Hook, locally known as Ortolf's House of Sludge, is the only tavern in Botkinburg owned (but not operated) by Ortolf Heimpel. His sons and daughters, their spouses and children manage the establishment while Ortolf entertains guests and townspeople as he consumes ale and mutton.
The Bent Hook serves as the community's gathering place and Town Hall. The main building is a large, square two story establishment with a stone facing on the lower floor and wooden plank facing for the upper floor.
The roof is made of red slate and steeply pitched to accommodate heavy snows during winter and has a cluster of chimneys and heating pipes poking out of it. The rear of the Bent Hook has a single floored wood planked rear attachment that houses the kitchen and storerooms. Behind the tavern is a large yard, enclosed by a stout stone wall and fence, with a barn and stables at one end and the Heimpel's house at the other.
The door to the common room is almost always open. The room is spacious though the paneling of the interior is so darkly stained from years of collected smoke and grime that it is dark and, without the glow of friendly fires, lanterns or candles, can be brooding or oppressive.
Aside from the large table in the center of the room, there are many other tables and chairs of all shapes and sizes haphazardly scattered about the room and two large stone faced fireplaces at either end of the room. A staircase leads up to the second floor of the establishment while two large oaken doors open on to the brewery and the kitchen beyond.
The second floor is a series of rooms for let. The largest is a common room where several coppers gives one a place to sleep on the floor for the evening. There are 6 other rooms for let at 1sp at night, each essentially the same. These rooms contain four large oak beds that nearly fill up the entire space, a single table and one trunk. A bucket, towel and pan of water is provided for guests to relieve or refresh themselves during the night and are set outside the door to be disposed of by one of the servers.
The Bent Hook is also known as Ortolf's House of Sludge, due to the dark brown, near black brew officially called Kaiseren Bock or the Kings Brew. Its dark and vicious nature eventually became known as River Sludge or just Sludge.
The food served consists mainly of the take from the river which is served fried, broiled, boiled, stewed, grilled and even raw. Meats like cattle and poultry are more expensive. Locally grown vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, spinach, cabbage and legume such as pinto beans, lima beans and red beans augment those meals.
A full meal costs as little as 1sp. Soups and breads are cheaper while more elaborate meals can cost 1gp. The beer is cheap, costing 5cp a tankard.
The common room is almost full and a few guests are staying at The Bent Hook and talk of the strange happenings on the outskirts of town are often exaggerated, although goblin raiders and other more horrid creatures have been seen stealing cattle and pigs.
Some people as well as the Gold and Emerald Crusaders have gone missing in the past few months and there is talk of the return of the Wood Witch who haunts the area with her evil magics deep in The Barren Wood.
The Curse of the Crimson Crusaders is foremost in everyone's minds of late and the people fear that the curse will come upon them if the Crimson Crusaders remain in town for much more than 2 or 3 weeks at a time, but conversely the people are convinced that a blessing upon them will be invoked if they aid or help any Crimson Crusader at any time. Area 2. The Keep
The Keep is an impressive large square tower with a bartizan (turret for defense) at each corner of the roof. The tower is made entirely of stone and has three floors and a cellar beneath it. It is about 50 feet tall at the roof's peak.
The Botkin family banner, purple over red with eagle claws, tops the keep and is visible for miles around. There is one entry to the Keep on its west side and facing the river. The large oaken doors to the Keep have a smaller inset door that is usually open and guarded by several men-at-arms.
The Keep houses the Botkin family and all their retainers, including Volkmar Botkin and his grandfather Clement. The Lady Marchessa Fabressa and her retainers, including her consort Gideon when he is in Botkinburg, are guests at The Keep because of the social and political importance of entertaining one of the highest ranking emissaries of the Empress Pryzmira.
Area 3. The Chancel
This is a temple where the many gods, whom the locals worships, are paid homage to. It is a large wooden structure with several floors and two tall, thin towers rising from its center. Most of the inhabitants have helped construct one portion or another of this temple, and the town considers it, collectively, their own. The Chancel is overseen by Hermannus Tersteeg and his followers.
Area 4. The Oak Grove and Shrine
Off the town square is a large and sloping hill upon the top of which is a tremendous oak. The ground about the base of the hill is well worn and dusty from many years of use during festivals and markets. The upper portion of the hill is covered in thick and verdant green grass and flowers, all year round, despite any weather. The oak is likewise festooned with bright green leaves year round.
The Great Oak is a holy place where many come to offer worship to the deities of the sun, moon and harvest. There is no cleric or druid which watches over the tree, but many travel to Botkinburg to worship here. The Great Oak is covered in many glyphs that have been seared into its bark. They were placed there by the servants of Mordius, the Lady of the Forests, many centuries ago when the tree acted as a receptacle for the deity's will.
Area 5. Tinker's Caravan
The area at the base of the hill on the Oak Grove is used as the town market or gathering place for festivals. There are 3 wagons drawn up and several families of tinkers are here now. They travel far and wide through the region and collect and sell all manner of items.
Area 6. House of D'Amter
This is the home of Lars and Gisela Haffner, devotees to the deity of healing and curing. They live in a large single story wood framed house with an attached barn. Above the front door is a lintel with a carving of an owl and an inscription on it, 'With my hands, I bring life.' A small smokehouse is located in their backyard along with several milk cows. Their dog, a large white mastiff, lingers in front of the house and barks loudly when anyone approaches.
Area 7. Butcher
Tirten Shodfoot is the only dwarf of permanent residence in Botkinburg. Long ostracized from his kin in the Aneer'rafe Hills for theft, he came to Botkinburg to avoid contact with other dwarves. In this, he has been fairly successful. He took up butchery. He is of very ill temperament, treating other dwarves especially poorly but performs his tasks dutifully and with great professionalism yet with grumbles and complaints all the while.
Area 8. Two Story Farmhouse
This is the home of the Schuler's. Fritz and his wife Lisa live here with their 6 children, all of whom are under the age of 15. Fritz has a large two story, wood framed house and barn. The family lives on the upper floor with the lower floor acting as a barn. Fritz is an affable person but his wife is more like a shrew, constantly complaining about Fritz's laziness.
Area 9. Farm House
A dairy farmer lives here. He and his only son spend much time hunting for food while the wife spends most of her time tending to the few cows they have.
Area 10. Old Man Nester's
Nester is one of the few remaining inhabitants of Botkinburg who can remember when the town was first being settled. He is in his late 90s and usually sits on the front porch of his house whittling away at a stick. He is still spry enough to tend his chickens and gather some food but mostly his neighbors care for him, insuring he is well fed and has enough fire wood during the winter. If Nester is not on his front porch or in his house, he is likely at the Chancel praying, resting or chatting with Hermannus or at the Bent Hook drinking Sludge.
Area 11. Sheriff
This is the office of the sheriff and jail. It is a small wooden structure with several cells along its backside. The current sheriff, Aaron von Bedering spends most of the day here but lives on the outskirts of the town.
Area 12. Farrier
Greden Merkmen hunts the entire range of the Hruesen River looking for beaver, fox or other animals whose hide brings a fair value in Ludensheim or Botkinburg. He is a quiet man and keeps to himself and as such, has earned the distrust of his neighbors and fellow townspeople.
Area 13. Blacksmith
Darmek Veldenman is a general purpose blacksmith and not highly trained in weapons making or armor repair. He can do general repairs on weapons and armor. He is also capable of making all manner of other goods commonly found in farming communities though.
Area 14. Woodsmen
This rambling house and series of sheds belong to 6 brothers who are carpenters and woodsmen. They are a jovial lot who drink too much and work too little. None of them farm and only exchange firewood, cut wood and services for food or other needs. They are often found at Ortolf's House of Sludge drinking long into the evening.
Area 15. Farmer
This family spends most of their time working the garden in the rear of their house and tending several milk cows. They have been here for several generations. The father is not fond of strangers and tries not to have dealings with them. His son and daughter both work in The Keep as cooks part of each day.
The head of the household, Mertin von Stock, is rumored to have a secret past as he is getting on in years and occasionally hints at his secret past. His wife died after the birth of their second child.
Area 16. Farmer
This narrow two story building is home to a friendly and affable family of 10. Well fed, the Keller's have several dozen dairy cows. Much of their time is spent milking the cows and preparing cheeses which they sell locally and send to markets in larger cities once every 3 months. Lately the roads have become unsafe and journeys often postponed or abandoned.
Area 17. Fisher
This fisherman lives with his 2 surviving daughters. He rarely fishes and spends most of his time at the bar drinking away his daughters' catch. The daughters, Gisella and Nina, are very familiar with the river and truly dislike their father.
Area 18. Fisherman
The house of Grunald Horfane hangs halfway into the water. He has a boat attached to his windowsill and spends most of his time on his front porch, the only part still out of the water. The house was built some time ago on the side of a steep hill on the banks of the Hruesen River. Over time it has slowly slid halfway into the water. Oblivious to the eventual collapse of his house, Grunald continues living here, often fishing from atop his roof.
Area 19. Boat Ramp
This was once a wooden bridge, whose remnants jut out into the river about 15 feet. Many of the fishermen gather here in the morning and afternoon before and after fishing. They discuss the days catch, mend nets and sell fish.
Bafler Hill, The Halfling Quarter
Area 20. The Swilling Swan
The Swilling Swan is a small brew house and bar built into the side of Bafler Hill. It is almost exclusively frequented by the halflings in Botkinburg as it is built only to accommodate people of their size. However, some of the humans do gather outside at several tables to partake of the good halfling wines the brew master concocts.
This is usually a jovial place as the owner, Megarin Paracook does this for fun rather than for a living. Megarin lives nearby with a large family of 9. They spend much of the year tending their crops and raising sheep.
Area 21. Carpenter
This is the home of the halfling Befren Needlemire, a carpenter by trade and farmer by necessity.
Area 22. Farmer
Edward Hale raises a few cattle but mostly tends to a large variety of crops in an expansive garden. He has a family of 8 and lives in a two story wood framed farmhouse. Part of the first floor is reserved for a barn.
Area 23. Fisher
This halfling family lives in a small burrow located on top of the hill. Their home is warm and cozy, filled with old furniture and many rugs and carpets. Mrs. Mar Eldon runs the household. Her husband drowned in the river some years ago, a happenstance she talks about constantly, particularly at The Swilling Swan where she spends a good deal of time tipping back mugs of brew.
Area 24. Farmer
Another of the halfling farm families in town and an exception to the general industriousness of that community. This man, Barstow Frizzyfoot, has many children and a large wife whom he calls “BT” but Barstow has never revealed what the initials stand for, though he is often found in The Swilling Swan drinking brew and laughing to himself, all the while muttering “BT” over and over again.
Area 25. Farmer
This family of halfling woodsmen, the Shipps, live in a one story building near the other burrows. They spend much of their time in the woods cutting and hauling wood. They also have a sawmill near their house where they cut and prepare wood for sale and make barrels and boxes as well as furniture and other objects.
Area 26. The Gold Crusaders Barracks
Recently built barracks located in the northwest area of town next to the Hruesen River that holds up to 100 Gold Crusaders who are commissioned to protect Botkinburg. Groups of various sizes are daily and nightly patrolling the north, east, west and south borders of the town and have been sent across the river to the Black Tooth Ridge areas on occasion, as well as into the Barren Wood. Most of the weapons and armor that have been shipped on the 3 river boats are stored and distributed from these barracks.
Area 27. The Halfling Community
A rather new community on the west side of Baffler Hill and below ground, protected by a hedge of thorns 10 feet high and 10 feet thick where most of the halflings have been gathering and preparing for an expected war against the taint encroaching the land from the Black Tooth Ridge and beyond. No one really knows how well fortified this community has become, as Wymon Whitefoot has sent messengers to gather weapons, a few magic items and recruit halfling fighters for the expected war.
Posted on 2010-11-29 at 14:24:22.
Edited on 2010-12-11 at 16:36:26 by Hammer
The story the cleric told rang true to the feeling that Tohmaz sensed after the attack.
It speared the crusaders to complete the task of burying the fallen.
So with respect and hast the six of them gathered the items of value or possible harm.
The Half-Orc had found enough rope about the deck to bind the bodies and one by one he slipped the remains over the side.
As the last body was dropped into the river Tohmaz called out to Atira ,
” Madre Terra di ricevere i vostri figli. Benvenuto tua casa i bambini.”(Mother Earth to receive your children. Welcome your children home.)
After the last of the fallen Crusaders had been interred, Tohmaz turned to the Cleric,
“ Let us attend to the living.”
Tohmaz return to the Amazon.
As Tohmaz approached the Warrior Monk he dropped to one knee and addreesed her.
“Sister, forgive me my rudeness and haste of my earlier actions.
I am Tohmaz Goodwood, Shaman of the “Wimachtendienk”.
I have called upon the Earth Mother “Atira” to aide me in your care.
Through her blessings your wounds may be completely healed, you will need to join me a Ceremony of her Cleansing Tears.
Some think of this as a Rain Dance because it may bring Atira tears from the sky but that is only when she is called to heal the land or beasts.
To heal the children of earth we make the tears, combining her water and your blood.“
(OOC: I assume that the Monk consents to the Ceremony, Bri I leave it as open as possible for you to add your post and comments.)
Tohmaz checks the bandage and cuts away a small bloody piece.
Going to his pack he brings to a small decorated bowl, place the bandage in the and fills the bowl with water.
“Arise Warrior and follow me in the trail of Atira’s tears that falls from this bowl. But once we start you must finish or the healing will not be complete.”
Turning to the others Tohmaz says,
“ Any may join in the dance and to give aide is a blessing.”
With that Tohmaz started move rhythmically in wide circle around the deck, sprinkling the blooded water as if they were the tears of Atira.
In clear baritone voice he began to chant.
Terra Madre diffondere le tue lacrime su questo uno dei vostri figli.
Pulisce il vostro bambino. Guarisci il tuo bambino.
Pulisce il vostro bambino. Guarisci il tuo bambino.
Terra Madre diffondere le tue lacrime su questo uno dei vostri figli.
Pulisce il vostro bambino. Guarisci il tuo bambino.
Pulisce il vostro bambino. Guarisci il tuo bambino. (Earth Mother , spread your tears on this one of your children.)
(Cleans your child. Heal your child.)
The ceremony continued for two hour and the strain made the dance difficult for the Monk.
The arrow to her shoulder had done much damage both going and coming out.
Such a shot would not had seemed to be bad for she was strong and fit, but evil or bad luck had caused it to cut flesh, veins and bone.
So as the dance continued, Tohmaz saw members of the survivors step forward and aide as they could, and he watched the monk grow stronger as they neared the end of the dance.
Had he found his clan?
Posted on 2010-11-30 at 18:05:11.
Edited on 2010-11-30 at 18:09:12 by Odyson
Drogo Tulk had listened intently to the War Cleric as he did his best to clean his blood soiled tunic, making certain that his twin short sword blades were not tainted by the blood of a fallen comrade, no matter how obnoxious the huge burly fighter had been.
He was glad to know that someone else among the survivors had some experience with UnDead attacking an unsuspecting group, for the Halfling Fighter was certain that before the expedition into The Black Tooth Ridge came to a successful conclusion, there would probably be some UnDead opposing the quest of The Crimson Crusaders.
Drogo remembered how he first encountered some UnDead Goblins that were terrorizing the Kellerwald Forest near the Sword Studio of Preston Tallfellow. Drogo and some other young fighters were called upon to investigate some disturbing rumors that were spreading fear among the people of the Kellerwald.
An evil cleric was raising an army of UnDead to invade various settlements throughout the Kellerwald, but fortunately Drogo and the small band of fighters were able to use their sword skills and their faith in Preston Tallfellow to prevail against the skeletons and zombies they encountered.
After reporting back to the Sword Studio, Drogo and a larger band of fighters accompanied 3 of the clerics to confront the source of the evil encroaching upon the settlements of the Kellerwald.
The evil cleric was subdued and isolated by the 3 clerics, while Drogo and the other fighters gained valuable experience fighting against his UnDead Minions in the Kellerwald. Once the evil cleric was isolated, the 3 clerics were able to dispose of the remaining UnDead Goblins.
Although Drogo had not encountered any UnDead Humans, the Halfling Fighter took heed to what BluddGrinn was saying and made a mental note that he would endeavor to befriend the Dwarf Cleric and do his best to remain close to BluddGrinn and protect the War Cleric with his twin short swords in case any UnDead were lurking about in The Black Tooth Ridge, or anywhere else The Crimson Crusaders would venture to complete their quest in behalf of the Empress Pryzmira.
As Drogo followed after BluddGrinn to assist the War Cleric in disposing of the body he was dragging towards the back of the boat, the Halfling Fighter heard the Shaman say, ““Master Halfing, Master Elve and Mistress Bard if you would prepare their bodies by removing the instruments of their death and remove their weapons. We need to save those arrows as proof of the attack and perhaps the town could use the weapons.”
Drogo would do as requested by the Human Shaman, but first he would assist the War Cleric and hopefully begin to build a bond of friendship with him, while doing as the Shaman had spoken.
The Halfling Fighter hoped to make friends of the 4 surviving Human Crimson Crusaders, but he realized the importance of bonding with the Dwarf, Elf and Half Orc so none of them would feel isolated due to their diverse heritages.
As BluddGrinn the Grim dragged the body of the nearest dead human towards the back of the boat, the Dwarven War Cleric kept a wary eye upon the human corpses strewn about the deck of the Ruby River Boat.
He heard the Human Shaman call out to the remaining Crimson Crusaders to set about certain tasks, himself included, as the Halfling Fighter came to assist him. BluddGrinn welcomed the assistance and noted how friendly, able and helpful this Drogo Tulk of the Short Swords was proving to be.
BluddGrinn was a bit amused at how the Human Shaman seemed to be taking charge of things, possibly trying to assert himself as leader of the group. The Tinker had lectured BluddGrinn many times about the ways of different kinds of humans, but the War Cleric was glad to get a first hand look at how such humans reacted in a crisis.
Perhaps this was because humans had a shorter life span than dwarves and elves, making their lives a bit more urgent to make their mark on the history of the world before they passed on to the next life?
Even this young Halfling Fighter could possibly outlive these humans by a few more years if he were stout hearted and able to use his strong sword arms to keep from getting killed in the service of the Empress Pryzmira as a Crimson Crusader.
BluddGrinn noticed the Human Bard and the confidence with which she carried herself about the task at hand. The War Cleric knew instinctively that there was more to her than met the eye. He had been captivated by her oratory the previous night, noting that this was a Warrior Born who served a Great War Deity. Perhaps with the passage of time she would emerge as a worthy leader of the Crimson Crusaders who would lead them all into the very jaws of death and battle glory?
The words of the Shaman rung in the War Cleric's ears, "Master Halfing, Master Elve and Mistress Bard if you would prepare their bodies by removing the instruments of their death and remove their weapons. We need to save those arrows as proof of the attack and perhaps the town could use the weapons."
"Good Cleric if you would honor them for their bravery for joining this Crusades, I will ask Earth Mother to receive back the life she has given."
BluddGrinn paused at the back of the boat as Drogo removed the death shafts from the lifeless corpse and then collected any weapon or armor that would prove useful in Botkinburg, before uttering a brief prayer to honor the dead crusader.
"May Your Chosen Deity Honor Your Entrance to the Great Hall of Warriors for Your Bravery in Joining the Ranks of The Crimson Crusaders in Defiance of the So-Called Curse of the Crimson Crusaders!"
He then waited for the Shaman to speak his peace to the departed soul, then made way for the Half Orc Barbarian to bind the corpse and throw him into the Hruesen River, ridding the surviving Crimson Crusaders of any potential conflict against a former comrade.
BluddGrinn accompanied the Halfling Fighter, the Elf Ranger, the Half Orc Barbarian and the Human Bard as each Crimson Crusader did their part in ridding the Ruby River Boat of any potential Zombie threat. The War Cleric spoke the same solemn eulogy over each fallen crusader and the Human Shaman called upon his deity Atira before each corpse was thrown into the river to complete the cycle of life.
BluddGrinn took a few moments to speak privately to Drogo Tulk, assuring the Halfling Fighter that in the days ahead the War Cleric would welcome his short swords to fight with him side by side to rid The Realm of New Aenochia of the taint of evil that the War Cleric could almost taste in the air.
BluddGrinn will assist the Shaman by casting a Cure Light Wounds spell upon Rhiannon prior to the Rain Dance to help give her the needed added strength to dance with the Shaman, along with any of the remaining Crimson Crusaders who choose to join the Dance!
Drogo Tulk of the Short Swords was thankful that the War Cleric had welcomed his twin short swords and genuinely looked forward to fighting alongside the Halfling Fighter no matter what dangers were to confront this company of Crimson Crusaders in service to the Empress Pryzmira.
The Halfling Fighter went about the task at hand of respectfully relieving their fallen comrades of any useful weapons or armor that could be brought to Botkinburg to aid the townspeople.
His thoughts were ever turning to the beautiful Eva Whitefoot, who had sent a plea for help to her cousin at the Preston Tallfellow Sword Studio, thoughts becoming more troubled as he wondered if her life were in danger from the mysterious assailants that had attacked the Ruby River Boat.
Perhaps more ominous or threatening forces were poised to invade Botkinburg and the Halfling Community where Eva Whitefoot awaited the arrival of someone from the Sword Studio to aid the Halflings, secretly hoping that Eva felt as strongly about him as he was now feeling for her.
Shaking off such thoughts of terror and unrequited love, knowing that above all else Drogo Tulk of the Short Swords was on his personal quest to find the perfect sword in worship to Preston Tallfellow, which seemed to be in perfect harmony for his serving the Empress Pryzmira as a Crimson Crusader.
Drogo made an extra effort to approach the Half Orc Barbarian and pledge his twin short swords to help assist the Barbarian should they ever encounter a danger or a foe that threatened the life of the Barbarian or any of the other Crimson Crusaders.
Just looking at the size and demeanor of Trossach made Drogo wonder if the Barbarian would ever need his assistance for anything in the time of battle, but the Halfling Fighter thought it best to solidify their friendship, especially since it was the Barbarian who had 'rescued' the Halfling Fighter when he was pinned under the bulk of the huge burly human fighter whose carcass was dripping blood profusely upon the Halfling Fighter mere seconds after the surprise attack of bolts and arrows.
Drogo made certain that the Elf Ranger Karvilo the Unseen was approached with his utmost courtesy of one swordsman to another. Drogo had great respect for any man or woman, no matter what their deity or nationality, who could appreciate a fine blade and wield such a weapon with finesse.
Any person displaying an appreciation for and an authority with a blade was someone that Drogo Tulk of the Short Swords would make it a point to befriend, or at least try to talk to in hopes of learning some finer point of wielding a blade that may have escaped his notice at the Sword Studio.
Drogo had not had much contact with Elves, certainly not to the point of being able to call one a close friend, so the Halfling Fighter sought to befriend Karvilo, knowing that such a friendship would assure him the confidence of having his back covered by a fine swordsman in the heat of battle.
So it was that Drogo Tulk of the Short Swords offered Karvilo the Unseen the service of his twin blades should they ever be needed in the heat of battle once the war party of Crimson Crusaders began their quest to relieve The Realm of New Aeonochia of the oppressive taint of evil emanating from The Black Tooth Ridge and the northern borders beyond Botkinburg.