Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 128/12 2054 Posts
+veg is +veg even if we don't eat it right away
Kyrie wandered over to the group after carefully closing the door to Zeran's room, careful to not wake him.
Kyrie nodded to no one in particular as she considered the options. On the one hand, that mass of a weed could mean more trouble but at the same time, if her wounds were any indication, they were in no state to deal with that threat as it was. The only thing they could do was to pass out adviseries for other people in the area.
"And even if we don't need it now, chances are we will need it at some point. I think we should look into that map, can't use harvest if you didn't pick it after all. Not to mention, if we leave it too long, someone else may wander along and pick it." Kyrie nodded.
Left unspoken was that she wasn't sure if she would be able to go with them, depending on how quickly they left. Zeran still needed looking after if he was to have the best chance to heal. She wasn't doing too well herself, but well, there was no reason to bring it up. Kyrie didn't like to admit it to begin with.
Oleg's Trading Post
South Brevic Borderlands
For four days Kyrie slowly nursed herself back to full health through a combination of complete bedrest and scarcely a couple hours a day spent being a poor patient an insisting on getting up to do something. This mostly consisted of her humble attempts to start a garden for the trading post.
Finally on the morning of the fourteenth, with the exception of some residual soreness and tenderness, Kyrie was fully combat ready, or at least perfectly healthy for some exploration.
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: D7, D6 +50XP Each
Swinging a wide route away from the forest and the lands immediately surrounding, the Greenbelt Party travelled past Boken's hut to the last remaining area of the grasslands not fully mapped and explored. Hardly anything happened over the three days worthy of interest, with the possible exception of a wyvern seen flying out over the distant east, far beyond the beuaurocrat-defined borders of the Greenbelt, and Kryie's continued recovery.
With the complete area of the grasslands explored, it was time to get to work on the meat of the region, the large area dominated by hills on one side and forest on the other. Travel would be slightly slower than it had been up to this point, but also the mysteries, danger, and rewards would be magnified, if the abundant rumours and tales about this region held any truth.
Hoping to begin with rewards, the party kept a weather eye out for the sight of a large, lightning-blasted tree shaped like a claw as they travelled west. Luck would have it that they encountered barely any troublesome resistance to their exploratoration.
Not that the lack of hostility did much to put the group off their guard. The encounter with the shambler had shown them if nothing else, this land could very suddenly turn lethal regardless of appearances—though even on that note, the appearances of the Kamelands proved different from the usual fare.
Dotting the undulating hills, the great kames, the large boulders and chunks of stone strewn about as if left on the plain by giants, served to remind the party of the supernatural tales of fae magics and eldritch minds. It hardly helped matters that from the crest of every hill the party could see the miles-wide half-patterns seemingly formed by the supposedly random placement of the stones, pushing the idea that the great stones were not left by nature or chance, but by the design of some creature or creatures slightly futher into credibility.
These thoughts slowly faded as the first, then the second day went on without problems. If there was indeed anything ancient and mysterious going on in the region, it seemed content to allow the travellers to come and go as they pleased, and certainly the bandits had not seemed unduly harassed by forgotten and ancient entities.
Forgotten Cache; Hex D6
Finally the sight of a tall, lightning-blasted oak tree, dead where it stood split nearly all the way down the middle but still standing tall like a black claw distracted the party from whatever thoughts they may have had concerning unusual rock formations.
Following the bloody 'x' on the map, they searched around the base of the tree for signs of disturbance, and sure enough Frodrick's keen survival instincts noted a patch of earth that had been overturned and since settled.
Kyrie's shovel proved useful not only as a tool of battle in loosening the overturned soil. The map did not indicate what the treasure cache was contained in, so they worked gingerly with the shovel so as not to smash anything fragile with its blade.
After only about 10 minutes of work, the earth gave up its bounty—a heavy, dirt-caked leather cloak wrapped into a bundle. Unrolling, they discovered what kind of treasure the bandit's lover had deemed valueable enough to make a living together with.
Inside was a masterwork dagger, a wand of unknown providence, a bright silver ring, and a book filled with the kind of jabber that typically indicated magic, or perhaps advanced mathematics. The legibility was made worse by moderate water damage probably the result of rain or snowmelt seeping into the pages. Nevertheless, what precious few pages remained intact could yet be worth something to somebody who knew their value.
-Silver Ring (unappraised)
(Ladies and gentlemen, you have located the loot. As the adjectives in the parentheses indicate, a number of these objects have unknown properties and/or gold values, the exact nature of which can be ascertained through a number of means I'm just looking up now.
(Those with access to the detect magic spell and a few rounds of spare time can identify that none of the dagger, ring, or book are magical. Those who are also trained in the spellcraft skill may take an educated guess as to the function of the wand. Those with spellcraft can also make an attempt to decipher the contents of the spellbook, namely the five mostly undamaged pages. Finally anyone trained in appraise can attempt to work out a rough price for the ring [or just accept whatever Oleg pays you for it when you sell it to him]. Oh, and the read magic spell could do up the spellbook no hassle, if anyone has it)
(Oh yeah, and it may be worth noting that the silver ring doesn't actually match the description of Svetlana's missing wedding ring, either)
Mapping & Exploration
Hexes: D6+25XP Each
Once again (again) Frodrick proved that his age had not dulled his mind or his senses when he spotted a sharp crag jutting out of the side of a hill with an almost invisibly overgrown crack. Further exploration revealed that the crack—easily wide enough to walk into forwards—led down into a cave. Twenty feet into the cave the walls opened up into a fair sized cavern, the far wall of which sparkled yellow in the light of Miguel's magic. While no one in the party was experienced in mineral deposits, to the layman the cave wall appeared to glitter with gold (and hopefully not some other shiny yellow rock such as pyrite).
Seeing the glimmering mineral, Frodrick took the back of his axe and gently used it as a makeshift pick. “I’m gonin’ to grab some of this here stuff and bring it back to Mr. Leveton. He is sure to know if tis worth anythin’ at all, seeing as he is a traders man after all!” After getting a small chunk of the mineral in question, Frodrick placed it in his gold pouch.
After having spent most of the day looking around the area of the cave, Frodrick made a proposition for the group.
“Our stock is still fairly good, and we be out here anyways. I suggest we look into the rest of the hills areas. Less likely hood of getting caught by surprise from any predators or bandits in the area, and we will need to come back here at some point anyway. If we head east a bit then go south for a few miles then back up North West we can chart a hefty section of the green belt in relative safety. Then if we haven’t seen no action, and we still have the stock to push on, we can enter the forest where we met the bandits and do a few rounds in there.”
From D1 > E6 > E7 > F6 > F5 > E5
Then back to Olegs OR:
From E5 > D4 > C4 > C3 > C5 then go to Oleg’s.
D4 – C3 might take more time because of river running through them. Or maybe half time because we do all of D4 (east side then west side), then go chart off southern end of C4 and C3, then do northern half of C3 and C4.
Posted on 2013-07-26 at 16:58:14.
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 128/12 2054 Posts
Sampling the Shinies
Years of digging up vegetables proved to be fruitful yet again as Kyrie was able to use her shovel to gently sift through the ground below the tree.
Kyrie tilted her head as the contents of the stash was revealed. Why would someone bury a book? Books were supposed to be kept in libraries. It's not like you could bury a book and then grow a book tree. The same could be said about the stick, although she surmised that it was possible for a stick to grow into a stick tree. Most trees could provide sticks after all. Still, at least there was something shiny in the stash, that could perhaps be set aside as a part of rainy day funds.
"If it's anything like a vegetable, the market price for the ring might change with who is buying and time of year?" Kyrie suggested, "Or wait... that affects vegetables because you sell many at once, this is only one thing..." She rubbed the back of her head sheepishly and fell quiet.
Kyrie nodded at Frodrick as he grabbed a sample, "That's a good idea. We should also probably ask if he knows if this particular part of the land is known about, since if it's already owned then I think we'd need to try and buy it from whoever has rights to it? I know we're mapping it out to be claimed as part of the whole, but that doesn't mean it's not already someone else's. Even if the paper means we would get it outright, it would be nice to reimburse the previous owner if there is one."
She paused, "Although, we don't know that for sure..." Kyrie looked around a bit along the walls and the ground, "Should we try to find any signs of someone digging here? Or tools. That could let us know if, at the very least, someone's been here before us."
"I think we should continue with these hills as well," Kyrie nodded, "Plus if we didn't go to this side of our map, then we'd have to come back here anyway. It'd be like skipping the left row of tilled soil when planting, you'd go across the field and then have to go back to the first side to get it done."
(I don't think D1 is the hex you mean there, but I'm opting for that one, getting the edge hexes and doubling back)
Krii eairgly awiated as Kyrie dug up the treasures form the ground. As the earth yeilded its goods his heart sank slightly at the sight of the meiger possessions that it held, a soft sigh escaped from his lips as he took a step away from the group to streach and crack his neck, he turned back for only a moment and noticed the book that had been pulled out of the earth. He paused in thought if it was anything like the books his uncle had there was no telling the power that could be held within... though he knew there was a chance he wouldnt be able to use the knowledge within anyway but he had to try and hope.
He spoke brifly to the group about it then began his translations of the book things were slow at first and he often found himselfs bashing his head agenst the book as if beating it with his mind would somehow unlock its secrets at one point he had considered lighting it on fire untill it talked.. he quickly came to his sences realizing books dont actually speak to people, and sure enough slowly but surely he was able to gleam spells from its pages though as he feard none of them were of any use to him, he begrunginly pressed on to continue his translations. He didnt look up from the book much aside from to look around at the area or when any of the group members called attention to something, untill the group eventually came to a cave.
After taking in his fill of the gleaming walls he moved over to Frodric who was discussing there next move
"I agree with ya this trip has been yielded to little to not atleast map out a bit more of our surroundings that is one of our main purposes of bein out here"
Zeran chewed on a piece of food left over from his last meal looking dazed as he sat on the wagon. "Just keep me pointed where we need to go. I'm not to keen to divert from the rest of ya. Hopefully that gold shiny crap yields some result and isn't fool's gold. Though, fake gold does have its uses..." He mused giving his chin a scratch then shaking his head. "Eh pay me no mind, just thinkin' all this travel and wilderness has me relaxed when I'm not sick as a dog, or we are beset by giant spiders, or living shrubs, or zombie rat things, or evil light orbs. All in all, pretty good right now." Zeran chuckled to himself honestly not noticing if anyone had paid him any attention when he started to ramble, he was used to that.
Happy birthday my old friend (you should not look up this song if you're not feeling good)
Exploration & Mapping
Frodrick stashed the glittering rock in his pack and the group made camp at the top of the hill. The sky was perfectly clear that night, revealing a huge heavenly vault of the spring constellations. Kyrie realized with perhaps a small pang that back home Planting Week had already come and gone almost two weeks ago. It was amazing how quickly an epic adventure could drag one away from normal life. Her parents would be finished with most of the spring planting already.
The clear weather lasted into the next day as the sky offered no veil from the beating sun. While it was never truly hot, the temperature rose unseasonably. Trees were few and far between on the open hills, and those that could provide shelter were often hardly covered in fresh spring buds.
There was one tree that was the exception, however. Visible from several miles away a massive sycamore tree rose out of the landscape, clearly the same tree as the landmark displayed on the map. This huge grey tree showed no signs of spring renewal as the party mapped out the area around it.
As the Greenbelt Party drew steadily closer to the tree in their exploration and mapping, Krii looked up from his second straight day of frustration trying to identify the function of the last spell in the book. He slid the tome back into one of his saddlebags for the third time that day when a sudden memory stuck him.
While playing cards back at Oleg's post, he had heard one of the trappers speaking of a nest of some small, violent kind of creature or another living in the hills around a large tree. While this was certainly not the only tree in the hills that could be described as 'large', it was by far the best qualifier for that tag. According to the rumour, the creatures were no where near the scale of threat that the bandit presence was, but they were still annoying, so Krii figured he had best keep an eye open for anything.
Naturally, it was not long before anything happened. Krii's memory helped him place the word that had been used to describe the creatures when he saw the corpses—mites. At the time he had been imagining some form of large vermin, but seeing the blue bodies and grotesque, bulbous heads, he realized his error. Though he didn't know anything about them, he had heard them spoken of by the gnomes on occasion.
The black scaly bodies on the other side of the small skirmish—also stripped down of whatever gear the looters deemed worth taking—were more easily recognisable to anyone who knew the stories of the common 'wild' races; small reptilian creatures called kobolds.
The dead were five in total, three of the black-scaled kobolds and two of the blue-skinned mites. Any other combatants must have looted the bodies and fled for their respective holes to prepare for revenge for their fallen.
That night while on watch Krii could have sworn he'd spotted several pint-sized figures scrabbling through the tall grass two hilltops over in the dim moonlight. Besides that isolated incident, however, yet another uneventful night came and passed.
(In the meantime, yet another birthday has come and gone. Happy celebrations one and all birthday boys on yet another year of life and adventuring and not yet being dead!)
(I'm currently assuming Krii has told the party at some point across the day of his suspicions about the area and isn't actually keeping it entirely to himself until we accidentally run pelvis-first into a warband or something. That said, I left the details of when he felt this information might be pertinent to the party's interest mostly up to him.)
(Oh, and you have one more day left of travel before this hex is explored, I just wanted to give you a chance to see if you have any reactions to this nonsense before finishing exploring and moving on)
Posted on 2013-07-29 at 23:51:52.
Edited on 2013-07-31 at 07:02:23 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Based on a real animal that went extinct sometime in the early 20th C
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: E6 +25XP Each
The party finished with their mappind and decided to turn back for Oleg's to check their earnings and regroup. A couple times more over the next day they found small battle sites like the first, with the largest sites to the south. Differing numbers of grubby blue mite and sooty kobold dead on either side of each conflict, though if anyone was keeping track, the losses tended to be heavier if only by one body on the kobold side.
Travel back to Oleg's was steady and largely as dull as the trip had been thus far. Next to nothing disturbed their adventures save for the continued heat wave bringing unseasonably warm weather, bordering on balmy summer temperatures for most the ride back.
They marched until the hills returned to the gentler grasslands to the north. The party was a few miles from Oleg's post, the border fort's rooftops visible on the horizon, when the lethargy broke.
A group of about five or six men and woman had surrounded something on the plain. They carried pitchforks and lit torches, with some kind of wild animal trapped unseen between their jostling legs. They were playing it careful and every time the creature snapped at one side they backed off.
The stand off broke away in a sudden burst of energy as the creature, a canine animal resembling a large dog or wolf with a long, prehensile tail, jumped surprisingly high onto one of it's captors and leapt over him. The animal broke into a loping run for the cover of the forest—and the returning Greenbelt Party—with the farmers in close pursuit.
Standing four foot tall at the shoulder with eight feet of body length, from nose to the tip of its long, thin tail, the thylacine, boogeyman of farming communities wherever they lived, ran toward the party. Though easy to mistake for a wolf at a distance, its the thylacine's body was too catlike and it's tawny fur cross with black stripes down it's back from up close and even closer as it approached.
At a distance of about a dozen yards (let's call that 35' or 7 spaces) it froze, trying to determine which way to dart around the party to its salvation.
“Kill the beast!”
The pursuing farmers called for its death. It was clear both parties had been at this cat and mouse for a while and stamina was beginning to run down for both sides.
Posted on 2013-07-31 at 06:11:17.
Edited on 2013-07-31 at 07:02:46 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Zeran blinked, watching this beast he had never seen before charge at them more then a little concerned. One hand shot to his pistol ready to draw it. "Uh, ladies and gentlemen, what the hell do we do?" He asked, honestly a bit at a loss right now. Not many things charged a party of four unless it knew it could take them or it required help. The farmers also were a bit disconcerting, had the beast truly wronged them? What was the wrong? How long had both groups been chasing one another? He wasn't going to try and take the lead this time lacking the knowledge for either account and he was feeling pretty lazy at the moment to.
Posted on 2013-08-06 at 22:14:29.
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 128/12 2054 Posts
Difference between urban legend and truth
Kyrie scratched at her head, "That thing kind of looks familiar. I mean, I don't think I remember actually seeing any of those things before. But still... I would have thought it'd be... bigger and maybe... um... more..." She scratched at her head, "Well, more. I mean the stories would have you believe more."
Kyrie tilted her head, to get a better look at the thing.
"So, why exactly has there is there so much trouble? Has it actually killed someone? If not, well, it doesn't feel any different than a lone fox or wolf." Kyrie asked openly, scratching at the back of her head.
I know it's short, it wasn't supposed to be a week in waiting
The unholy terror of children's nightmares paused for a moment, wary. It snorted under Kyrie's intent stare and broke for the forest behind the cart, mildly startling Krii's (now battle-hardened) horse as it fled for the safety of the trees.
The small gaggle of farmers groaned at the sight of their quarry's final escape. The group was very haggard and sweaty. One young woman, now that the company had come to failure, cradled a bleeding arm staining the sleeve with her other arm. Despite her wounds, she as with much of the group seemed mostly to be fatigued and angry rather than injured.
One man took steps in the direction of the wagon until he was standing coincidentally just a few paces away from where the thylacine stood moments before. “You let the damned beast get away!” He pointed at the wagon in general. His eyes glowered seeking out to meet some kind of leader among the group. “We could have rid ourselves of the menace if you'd done aught but sit on your asses!”
“We could have rid ourselves of the menace if you’d done aught but sit on your asses!”
Frodrick was rather surprised by the outburst of the farmers. True they had just given chase to what would be considered a cat-dog, and so might have been caught up in the thrill of the hunt, but to show such disrespect to strangers was beyond the dwarf’s comprehension. This place was full of bandits, thieves, and cut-throats; and for these folk to NOT presume that a group of well-armed folk could be among that type was a very dangerous assumption.
The dwarven knight decided a response was nessecary. “Ye ain’t seen a dwarf I presume, and if ye had, I be guessing ye ain’t spoke to one before. Callin’ or insinuatin’ that he be lazy or useless is like spitting in his face. I’ll let it slide this once, but place me or my fightin’ companions’ honor into question again and I might have to challenge you to a dual of fisticuffs.”
“Now as fer not taking the axe to a wounded beast: we have encountered beasties in this here Greenbelt, but in all cases the creatures started a fight with us. We ain’t the ones to just go about killing every critter that creeps into our line o’ sight. Either it’s gotta start a fight with us, or a reward has to be posted. In this case, neither had been brought to our attention.”
“So if ye be needin a hunt, bring it to Oleg’s attention. We might be able to get around to it, or perhaps one of the hunters/trappers could get this creature for you. But as it is, be of with ye!”
Hostile stand off, egos checked, peaceful if grudging resolution.
Oleg's Trading Post
South Brevic Borderlands
The farmer who had spoken stood mouth agape, stunned into silence to hear himself rebuked as if he were an distempered infant. It took him until the end of Frodrick's speech to remember to shut his gob. Before he could work himself up to a coherent response, one of the other men took him aside.
“That hellbeast killed almost half a dozen head of our livestock, and you can be sure it knows just where to get more the next time it gets hungry.” The bleeding woman glanced to the forest as she spoke. “The next time you see that monster, or any like it, you'd best kill it while you have the chance, or you may come to regret it.”
(with that an assuming no further conversation)
The group of farmers turned for their fields and families, likely those furthest outlying at the southernmost reaches of Brevoy.
The remainder of the trip back to Oleg's, perched on the horizon from where the encounter took place, barely stretched another hour. As usual the post owners were pleased to see the company return—this time a few days early, contrary to the half a week waiting and wondering last time.
“You'll have to forgive our enthusiasm,” Svetlana explained, “Since you drove off the bandits, not much happens out here besides the usual traffic in and out of the Narlmarches. It's good and peaceful, but it leaves the mind plenty of time to wander while working, and with these reports that the bandits have been getting more active to the south, it's easy to start worrying. It seems the lot of you have left an impression on this sleepy ol' trading post and though Oleg won't admit it, we hope to see you stick around long enough to do some good with this mission of yours.”
(So.... where to next, ladies and gentlemen?)
Posted on 2013-08-22 at 20:25:27.
Reralae Dreamer of Bladesong Karma: 128/12 2054 Posts
Livestock != lives of people. Argument = Invalidated
"It also knows now that doing that made a whole pack of angry individuals chase after it, rather keen on spilling its blood." Kyrie noted, "It might think that coming back won't be worth it the next time." She paused, "It's not that we don't want to help people in need, but really, I don't think any of you needed help." She looks at each of them, and pulls out her shovel.
"I don't carry this spade just for gardening, though I do enjoy it; it has seen me through a number of battles as well. I was, and still am, a farmer like you. Don't think little of your own tools, or the arms that wield them."
"Yes, it has killed, but by what you said, it has only killed livestock. I'm not trying to make the damage less, but you should count your blessings - you all survive with families intact. That might have not been the case, particularly when you chose to give chase and attack, but that is what you chose, and you succeeded in driving it away without any casualties. We have all had set backs in the years before, whether by disease or drought, and I know how that feels. At the very least, I can help you get through this one."
With that she offers coinage to the closest farmer, "I don't know who I should give these to but please share. I know coins aren't life; they can't bring back the ones killed, but I hope they help you with a stronger start after what happened."
The words of Svetlana intrigues Frodrick. From the sounds of it, rogues were starting to become more active in the south. That meant fighting could be in the near future.
“Perhaps we should quiet our neighbors to the south then eh? Let them know whos boss of this here wood. I say we take the rest of the day off, get our supplies and gear prepared, then head of to the find us some more bandits!”