Revenge is served watered down and on the rocks? No wonder they say its overrated.
Nettles' Crossing – Shrike River
For a long moment Zeran thought the revenant that was Nettles once wouldn't respond. He glared balefully at the once-pirate through sunken, milky white eyes, though he got the sense that the hatred he saw there was more of a general-purpose kind than a personal thing.
“The Stag Lord thinks he owns this land. Pretends he's a noble lord like they got up north. No one owns this land and no one owns me. He demanded payment. I refused.”
Nettles turned to the lone rope spanning the river, shifting his footing standing on nothing just beneath the surface of the water. “He came back at night. Ordered his men to burn down my hut with their arrows. Killed my hounds. Destroyed my bridge. The cold sucked the wind from my lungs.”
He turned back downstream and started sinking back into the river. “Bring me the Stag Lord. Throw his body into the river—anywhere along the Shrike will do.”
Presuming no one interrupts him for further questioning (and you're welcome to try), the corpse of few words disappears beneath the river again, near the area of the rocks and debris.
(New Quest Added! Check back to the (still somewhat outdated) Quests & News section of the Q&A to see)
Posted on 2013-09-12 at 21:33:44.
Edited on 2013-09-12 at 21:34:28 by Sibelius Eos Owm
I really love the way these random encounters just lined up perfectly. Seriously.
Exploration & Mapping
Hexes: +--XP Each
After leaving Nettles' crossing the party continued south along the river to map the last section of this part of the region. The next day, as hot and clear as every day had been so far, they continued to work their way south by the river, making their slow course around the massive tree now just to the northwest, according to the landmark on their map.
(5th) Miguel 8/9 –
The heat wave, now growing into near two weeks and the grass now grown dry and crunched beneath their horses' feet, having sprung up so soon with the year's early spring. Desnus was supposed to be a month of wet, rainy weather according to popular belief, so the uncomfortable heat already by midday was unusual. Frodrick made mental note to build the fire with extra caution so as not to start a conflagration.
Midday also saw the return of the miniature battlefields like they had seen by the great sycamore. Their first encounter saw three of the black-scaled kobolds dead next to two of the ugly blue mites, still identifiable depite the advanced state of decay, exacerbated by the heat and rife with flies. Like before their bodies were stripped of useful possessions and left where they died.
Each member of the Greenbelt party quietly noted to keep an extra level of care. While every day in this wilderness could turn dangerous, they were now travelling through—ostensibly—occupied territory. Not that they had ever yet managed to lay eyes on a single live member of either warring race.
Hex F6 - Shrike River
The party camped near the river their first night to refill their waterskins and freshen up in the pleasantly cool stream. The last weeks had been hot and the last few days in particular had been sweaty work.
Valen, the youngest surviving member of the Krii family as far as he knew, took the first watch. As he held watch the warmth of the night brought him memories of his past, unbidden.
It had been a warm night and an early spring in Ustalav that night, when his old life was destroyed by the hunters. Could have already been fourteen years? Well, of course, time among the gnomes did tend to fly. Krii wondered briefly which part of his life had a greater influence on his developing psyche? But pah, such thoughts were overly sentimental, which was not his style.
The small dark figure slipped out of the river onto the bank with impressive stealth. Unfortunately for it, Krii was not relying on his hearing to detect enemies approaching from the darkness—his eyes were more than adequate for that task. The tiny reptilian moved around the edge of the camp, keeping away from the light of the fire, eyes carefully scanning the sleeping occupants for something.
A kobold. After watching a few seconds Krii determined the creature was a lone kobold, probably with the same sooty-black scales and ash grey underbelly as the bodies they had seen, though until it came closer to the light that would be impossible to determine. It (for with such reptiles, biological sex was not easy to distinguish) glanced at him, but he kept his face impassive, pretending he hadn't seen it yet.
Ordinarily Krii would have woken the rest of his fellows and called the attack the moment he saw the camp was being watched by some creature with dubious designs, but this one had come alone. Kobolds were known for their numbers and cowardice in fighting larger folk. It was not here for a fight, he reasoned, and any alarm would have it run away before anyone could even stir.
Miguel's bedroll was probably the furthest from the fire, and the kobold seemed to have decided on its target. Krii waited until the kobold was distracted sneaking up to Miguel before he acted. He slipped quietly out of its field of vision as it was assessing the bard's possessions.
The kobold considered each of the bard's tools. The sword was way too big to be of any use to anyone. The mandolin would break after just one mite skull crushed, even if it got that far. There was something, however, that could be very useful.
The kobold carefully slipped Miguel's unused potion vial out of his belt, but at that same moment it noticed the watchman was no longer in his place. Before it could turn or jump or flee, Krii seized it's scaly wrist holding the potion. The kobold gave a shrill cry of indignation as it struggled feebly to free its arm. He lifted the small creature bodily from the ground, earning himself a weak and misaimed kick at his shin.
“That'll be enough out of you,” Krii said, loudly enough to wake the sleepers, if the kobold's snarling and yapping had somehow failed.
“Suck eggs!” the kobold managed in broken Taldane as the party rose.
(I swear, you have just as much chance of an encounter every day you explore as you do at night, but you just keep getting night encounters XD)
Posted on 2013-09-15 at 20:08:06.
Edited on 2013-09-15 at 20:10:34 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Zeran grumbled as he rubbed sleep from his eyes. "Why the hells, is it always the middle of the damn night." He grumped fumbling for his gun but not as quickly as he normally would, Krii's tone and manner of addressing their interlopers hadn't sparked the 'we're under attack' bells. "What in blazes is?- A kobold. A single, kobold." He looked less unimpressed and more baffled.
"Oi, you little lizard, dragon, thing I'd suggest you stop trying to get yourself free otherwise we will have to kill you understand? You're stealing from us so you're lucky we don't do so. How about instead you sit down and explain yourself. Namely why the hell you thought it was a good idea to try and steal from a group of people armed and bigger then you, by yourself." Zeran barked, not to threatened by the beast but he kept his 'wand' in sight for the lizard to detract from it fleeing hopefully, since running doesn't do to well when something can hit you from afar.
Damn, midnight encounters make for lack of beauty sleep later
Kyrie yawned as she stirred from her slumber. The words that roused her didn't immediately bring her to full awareness. It wasn't a shout. That meant it probably wasn't too bad. Still, she needed to wake up. Kyrie grabbed the shovel beside her and stabbed it into the ground as she sat up, using it as leverage to bring herself to her full (not very impressive) height.
"Yeesh, even we didn't need to wake up so early. Unless we were farming nightshade or something." She yawned, "Oh, wait, nightshade doesn't need to be harvested at night. Or did it?" Kyrie blinked, "... I actually don't know what night shade is. Oh well. Guess I heard the word somewhere." She shrugged, moving forward and wearing her armour (she had no problems sleeping in it it seemed).
Moving up to beside Zeran and the kobold she stared it down. Well, more accurately she was trying to figure out what the critter was. Kyrie was pretty certain she had never seen something like it before.
"Hand caught on the cookie jar?" She noted, "Some farmers can get rather intense about lost crops and lost equipment." She left the spade casually on her shoulder, "I think you should think about a different job."
Posted on 2013-09-15 at 23:12:46.
Edited on 2013-09-15 at 23:14:05 by Reralae
Viewer Gender Confusion. More clothing would be more helpful (see: pink bow, or no pink bow?)
“Put! Poro! Down!” The kobold cried in a shrill, yapping voice.
Zeran rose to his feet, drawing his gun. “Oi, you, little lizard-dragon thing.”
The kobold paid him no mind.
Zeran cocked his weapon audibly on an empty barrel and pointed it at 'Poro'. That got its attention and the small scaly creature dropped limp in Krii's grip, watching the pistol in Zeran's hands. It was naked save for a belt with a small sword—barely a dagger in tallfolk hands—though this state of undress was not unusual given reptilian anatomy.
“I'd suggest you stop trying to get yourself free otherwise we will have to kill you understand? You're stealing from us so you're lucky we don't do so. How about instead you sit down and explain yourself—.”
“Would if could.” Poro grumbled quietly, still hanging more than four feet off the ground.
Zeran let the muttering go. “—Namely why the hell you thought it was a good idea to try and steal from a group of people armed and bigger then you, by yourself.”
As the rest took their places, including Kyrie's shovel perhaps twice the kobold's length snout to tail, Krii set the 20-30lb kobold down on the ground, but kept a firm grip on its arm.
“Poro see fire, use river to sneak close. Only one guard and many treasures. Potion is good for kobolds in battle, Poro knows. But guard is tricksy and sees like kobold. Guard catch Poro with potion.” Speaking of which, the kobold opened its claw and dropped the potion, as if to procclaim innocence.
Posted on 2013-09-16 at 21:35:46.
Edited on 2013-09-16 at 21:36:19 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Frodrick stroked his beared as the kobold spoke. He had not met many in his life, but he did know of their race. They were by no means a paragon race in regards to scruples and or surface-dweller codes, they were hard working and usually kept their promises when they gave their word.
What also piqued Frodrick's interest was the mention of using the potion in battle. If their was one thing kobolds were renowned for it was cowardice - they were a weaker race that had managed to survive by quick reproduction cycles and laying traps as opposed to assaults.
"Ye say ye be needing that there potion fer fightin'. What de ye mean by that? I know enough 'bout kobolds to think that rather odd. Might it have to do with o' mites that are with yer own carcasses? The big blue heads?"
Zeran raised an eyebrow as Poro spoke, setting his weapon back into his holster to show he wasn't going to maim the little kobold. He looked between Froderick and the kobold and shrugged. He waited and listened, making mental note of what was exchanged, things were getting interesting. He understood the creature's motives for such and since it had stopped fighting and was co-operating instead he let the attempted robbery slide, slightly only.
At the mention of the 'blue-head mites' Poro's gaze snapped up to meet Frodrick's eye with hatred.
"Yes. Vile mites. Evil mites. Sootscale tribe making war with mites. They take sacred statue. Three times! Tartuk say we must make war or god Sharptooth gets displeased. Many dead already."
After the brief bout of intensity, Poro let her gaze fall to the ground, but kept the sullen glare.
"Kobold warriors fight with numbers, but sometimes numbers not enough. Potion make warriors strong."
(Also, upon Shades' comment, I am adding a miniscule detail to Poro's design--nubby horns similar to that of the poros depicted. It is not uncommon for kobolds to have horns or frills or such on their heads, so it is not a significant detail to have overlooked. Also, NSFW warning on that one link he posted XD)
Posted on 2013-09-17 at 17:11:19.
Edited on 2013-09-17 at 17:14:30 by Sibelius Eos Owm
"A war? How large are we talking about here?" Kyrie asked, her gaze shifting to the others a moment, "And what's a mite?" She asked.
Kyrie rubbed the back of her head absently with her free hand. She wasn't entirely sure what was going on here, but it seemed as though the lil critter wasn't being evil, just desperate. Desperate enough to attempt to rob a well armed group. Alone.
"Were you with others? What happened to them?" Kyrie asked suddenly, wondering why the lil one was alone in the first place.
"Yes war, kobolds be fighting big war. Three moons before, vile mites stole kobold sacred statue. Kobolds fight hard and win statue back, but mites steal again! Second war kobolds lose many, but again return statue. Tartuk says Sharptooth is pleased warriors fight so hard, and will reward kobolds for bravery."
The little kobold's yapping grew with intensity with every iteration. "Evil mites steal statue third time and this time no chances says Tartuk. Sootscale tribe must destroy mite tribe for good!"
Poro practically shouted the last words, then paused to breathe finally.
"Chief Sootscale very worried. Say kobolds might not win third time. Say Tartuk kill most of tribe already."
At these last words the kobold went wide-eyed and suddenly clapped its free hand over its snout in alarm, as if worried someone might here such blasphemous words spoken.
Posted on 2013-09-19 at 17:34:42.
Edited on 2013-09-19 at 17:35:40 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Kyrie putting two and two together. Is it 4? Probably close enough.
Kyrie blinked twice, taking in what had just been said and considering it, her face a bit grim.
"There's no fault in being honest here." Kyrie said, "I think that explains a few things." She looked up at the others, "There was a report about the kobolds being a bit troublesome lately to their neighbours, right? Now we know why. If things are that desperate..." She left it at that.
"I won't speak for everyone, but how about instead of going back with something temporary, would you accept if I went with you? Having more allies would probably lead to a more likely turnaround than a drink." Kyrie gave a gentle smile at the little critter.
Posted on 2013-09-20 at 05:14:33.
Edited on 2013-09-20 at 05:14:48 by Reralae
"I won't speak for everyone, but how about instead of going back with something temporary, would you accept if I went with you? Having more allies would probably lead to a more likely turnaround than a drink."
The Dwarf shook his head. "We cant be helpin' every creature that pops its head outta the ground with a problem. Next thing you know: we will be needin' to help trolls and dragons. I say we let the thing go and go our own way. No sense in going to a kobold kingdom: they would just as easily use us for food or slaves if they had the oppertunity to do so."
"Now perhaps we could get some information from her and finish off them mites. 'The enemy o' my enemy' and all that. We finish off a pestalence that is already weak from fighting kobolds, and the kobolds settle down some. But to go to the Kobolds with aid seems to make no sense to me. We be in the greenbelt wilderness, and each has to take care of his own. Maybe once we get a foothold in the area we can be more neighborly, but as is my council is stay away from the lil' scallywags."
Krii held his tongue for a bit before finally speaking in reply to Frodric and Kyrie were discussing
"The main goal of this party it to bring civilization to a otherwise uncivilized land, our duty is to the people first not the flora and fauna, in all honesty the people see these Kobolds as a pest ready to be exterminated but that's to Grumbles here we now have a bit more incite into why this may be, as Frodric has suggested perhaps with we remove the cause of there unease the Kobolds may settle, however... if they don't then they are as much or enemy as any bandit, or terror this land has to offer, we cant let personal feeling getting in the way of what we have been essentially hired to do hard as it may be."
"Oh, I didn't quite mean going to their village." Kyrie noted, rubbing the back of her head sheepishly, "I mean, I wouldn't do that. Not like I gave any reason for them to trust me either." She shrugged, "I more meant getting directions to where the mites were coming from." She clarified, "Since it sounds like those are the real source of the disturbances over here."
Miguel picked up his potion from the ground and put it back in his belt. Wouldn't be good to go losing that. The others talked with the kobold for a little while and he just listened, trying to paint a picture of its motives. Soon the others began discussing among themselves.
He turned to Poro. “Where do the mites reside? So far all we've seen are the bodies from your war.”
(Assuming Poro tells him, and it's nearby)
Miguel turned to the rest of the group. “Let's not get ahead of ourselves,” he told the others. “We can assume the kobolds are badly weakened by this war, and would not be in the position to attack a new enemy immediately.”
“Besides, there's no need to put ourselves at the mercy of the kobolds. This mite den doesn't sound too far away. I think it couldn't hurt to remove the threat of the mites and maybe make friends in the process. We can worry about what the kobolds do later, if they prove unwilling to cooperate. Personally, I think the little guys are adorable.” He looked down at Poro. “Or girls... I don't know.”