“So we be heading back now? I suppose that there poison be hurtin’ ye human folk more than it would a dwarf. That horse be looking a bit saggy too. Guess it be a sound idea to head back and make our orders on winter cloths and all that s*** as well.”
Frodrick threw his axe into its straps at his back, and then went to set up his lance in Jargon Hooves’ saddle. While he was at the saddle, he picked through a different side pouch and grabbed a stick of smoked rabbit jerky. Svetlana – gods bless her merry little heart – had made some for the company as an easy trail ration. Some berries and oats were also in the food pouch, but it was running close on empty. Would be best to get back to Oleg’s and restock on food and water too.
Back at the post the following day, Frodrick had made his rounds with the prisoners. He paid particular attention to Stefan and what his progress in the ways of stable boy. It seemed Oleg was keeping him busy, and the place was well organised and clean (or as clean as a place could get in regards to a creature’s lavatory). Frodrick nodded in approval.
“Good work boy.” He muttered. Putting Jargon in the stables, Frodrick made sure to instruct the boy not to touch her – the dwarf planned on taking care of her later once other business was taken care of.
Finding Oleg, he put in his order for a warm WINTER BLANKET and WINTER COAT. “I sure as hell ain’t putting up with that fluffy white stuff anymore! We will be ready next time it comes falling down on our heads!” He declared to no one in particular, though Oleg was the closest one nearby.
A bit confused, Oleg inadvertently inquired “What are you babbling about?” Frodrick gave him an answer in the form of a narrative primarily made of curses towards the surface world’s weather.
When he was done with that he marched on over to Svetlana. “Beggin’ your pardon mam’, but you think you could rustle up some more of that jerky if I got some more rabbits? We will be heading back out in a day or two and our provisions are running low.”
Finding Krii and Miguel, Frodrick took them to one side to inquire about their horses.
“Hey there you two, I was wondering if mayhap you would want me and Stefan there to start working with yer horses. They seem to spook rather easily, and considerin’ the work we be doing, I thought maybe we should work on getting them more tolerant of violence: maybe even get them to fight back a bit! It will take a fair while to get them up to par, but any investment is worth time. As for training price: I would say that up front gold ain’t going to work, but if I be needin’ a favor in the future I will ask it of you later.”
Presuming Svetlana is willing to help with the food rations that we are not actually keeping count of.
Making use of some twine that Svetlana had let the old dwarf borrow, Frodrick was now a fair distance away from the post. He rode out with nothing except a few provisions to help him trap, his axe, his shield, and his sleeping gear. He had gotten Jargon to ride out a fair bit so that he was on the outskirts of the forest. He let his mount rest in the plains while he went a little ways into the wood where he would start laying out traps for rabbits.
I am making the assumption that we get back to Oleg’s about mid-day to late afternoon. After doing a little bit of business, Frodrick rides to the outskirts of the forest to start trapping. The party can tell him how long they plan to stay at the fort – I am guessing a couple days while they recover from poison damage. During this time, Frodrick will be by himself with Jargon Hooves trapping, though if any problems arise (such as wolves) He will get on Jargon and flee back to the post. Any who wish to join him may do so, he can even “teach them” how to trap (AKA make them Aid Another).
Survival flat rolls to gather food per day (use as many as Frodrick is staying out for – I will add mods when I get home)
Posted on 2013-03-25 at 18:30:48.
Edited on 2013-03-27 at 02:56:39 by Shades331
Zeran sighed in relief as they made their way into the fort. "Home sweet home." He commented dryly to himself. Once the wagon was safe and secure he grabbed his kit and slugged his way over to a table giving a nod to their hosts and new friends as he did so. Once seated he sighed, fished out his last three gold coins and handed them to Oleg. "Thanks for placing my order." He smiled slightly, collected his requested goods and some of the scrap and then opened his kit to get to work. He set out the new parts for his weapon and started the tedious process of replacing, inspecting and reassembling his signature weapon with the shiny new pieces that would make his weapon that much deadlier hopefully.
While he was at it he worked on fashioning himself 30 bullets to go with his arsenal feeling much better about his combat situation now. A smile finally back on his face he looked tired, having spent the majority of his time fashioning his gear. He didn't have time for much else during this process but that was fine.
((If Anyone wants to Zeran can chat while he works if not he will yatter to Adela when he gets the chance.))
Krii was in supriseingly good spirits having just been attacked by a spider and took the map from Miguel with a smile and began to look at it, he was just about to give his opionions when Zeran rudely broke in with him comments, Krii shot him a slight glare and put the map away
"Well talk more of this later Miguel it would seem were in a hurry"
Krii made his way back to his still wounded hourse and mounted him making his way back to rejoin with the party
The journy back was no less plesent save for the stinging of his wound but it was nothing compaired to some of the others and would heal fairly fast, once it was healed Krii hoped to venture back out to see Boken whom should be finished with his potions by now. Upon his return he ventured over to Oleg and discussed matters of a winter coat and perhaps a second tent if they were going to be doing more adventureing like that more sleeping arrangements might be a good idea in his mind, once his dealings with Oleg were done he went and found Miguel to discuss the map more and perhaps go have a chat with some of there interned workers. Krii approached Miguel and drew the map from his place in his pocket.
"Miguel my friend as I was going to say before, I dont think well be finding much use from our "friends" here as to the owner of this map if Im reading it right the persons who had it were under the stag lords sted not the departed Kressle none the less they might be able to tell use where we can find this tree -krii jestured to the drawing on the map- they know the area far better then us even Boken or Oleg and Svet might be able to point us in the direction though... provided the other party mentioned in the note on it doesnt know where its hidden there could be quite a substantial treasure there... it takes alot of money to get away from a bandit overlord -krii's tone was much more stern and sullen when he said that and he was glad when Frodric came over -.
Krii looked over to Vilify he had, had the horse for many years now, his Uncle at one point was going to train him before all the event that befell him Krii looked at Frodric a smile returning to his face
"My good sir I would be honored if you would train Vilify, I think giving the circumstances its without a doubt imparitive that we all train as much as possible includeing the horses especially if we intend to keep riding them into combat and with a fee like that theres now way I can say no"
Krii held out his pale hand to the dwarf to shake on the agreement
Oleg's Trading Post
Safe back within the four walls of the fort, nourished by Svetlana's cooking and sheltered from the (now perfectly amiable) weather the party took to resting up to recover their stamina. The Levetons were happy to see their return (even Oleg, who has managed a grudging respect for most members of the party) and hear of the tales of their adventure over the last week and a half. They related the epic of their encounter with the mad hermit Bokken, the perils of mild winter weather, and their heroic attempts at large pest extermination.
The small border fort had its own stories to tell, mostly in the form of a middle-aged man by the name of Jhod Kavken, a hunter and a travelling priest of Erastil. He explained that he had come to the post to offer his services in inexpensive spellcasting and other such services that a priest of hunting/farming/rural civilization might be of use to a party of explorers. The other significant arrival since the party’s last departure came in the form of an official messenger of the mayor, bearing the recognition of the Swordlords for services rendered, accompanied by the posted bounty of four hundred crowns for efforts made to combat banditry in the Greenbelt (see Wanted: Bandits quest).
Despite this reward, however, the post could relate stories coming from a sparse handful of sources that while the banditry near the border had certainly seen a cut in activity, the further south one travelled the more aggressive the bandits were becoming. All travel through the Greenbelt to and from Brevoy was growing nearly more dangerous than it was worth even for the more daring of woodsmen.
The party arrived shortly before supper, so there was yet time to mingle and take care of transactions before then.
When Frodrick mentioned to Oleg the possibility of putting down an order for some winter clothing, the trader admitted that he had noticed the party’s lighter dress, but hadn’t thought much of it at the time since the weather had been so mild until just that one snowfall recently. That said, he suspected it would be necessary sooner or later to pick up some kind of furs, so he put the order in advance, hoping to have the supply rather than need it later. As such there were thick woolen clothes, heavy fur-lined cloaks, and sturdy boots enough for the whole party (-8G each; each weighs 7lbs total, but they’ll stay in storage on the wagon unless explicitly needed anyway, so no matter).
Zeran chatted idly to Adela while she peeled potatoes for the pot. The dark-haired woman had more or less replaced Tanya for Svetlana’s assistant, apparently having more affinity for it than the other woman, who seemed happier working with Oleg and Niko (and, at least according to Oleg, was a sight more useful than the still resentful man, who had to be told in explicit detail what his instructions were or else he might ‘forget’ what his job entailed).
Adela listened to Zeran’s amiable rambling patiently and tolerantly without having much to respond with in kind. She did not seem to resent her part in the conversation, though, despite her flat, impassive expression and unresponsiveness.
Meanwhile Krii and Miguel enlisted the aid of the rest of the prisoners in attempts to further decipher the map. They confirmed that it was probably the plans of one of the Stag Lord’s men, especially given that he had a silver necklace like Happs’ and Krestle’s. They were not able to glean much from the diagram, but they told the two whatever they could guess.
“This here,” Tanya said, pointing to the hill the tree stood upon, “makes me think the loot is probably hidden in the Kamelands. The grasslands up here are too flat to draw something like that, I would think. There are trees all over the whole territory, though. I can’t think where yours might be.” Nikodim lifted his hands in a mock fanfare at the deduction and returned to his own thoughts. Apparently he didn't think crude treasure maps worth his ever valuable time and attention.
“It looks funny, kind of shaped like a claw,” threw in Stefan, trying to pull together clues. Suddenly the thrill of discovery brightened his face. “Hey, what about that big old lightning-blasted tree? It kind of looks like a claw if you come at it from the right angle. Plus it's out in the hills, tallest thing for a good couple miles.”
Luka rubbed his chin. “You may be right—I think I know the one.” He moved to the map. “Not this one here,” he said, pointing to the landmarked tree that the map's original maker thought a useful waypoint, “it's just north of that, somewhere around here. It was struck by lightning or something so it's gone mostly black and split down the middle. Well done, Stefan, for remembering that one.” (Luka indicates the area somewhere around D5/D6 at the northern edge of the Kamelands).
Not long after supper had begun, Jhod attempted to engage Frodrick in a conversation about the rumours he’d heard of lost ruins and treasure populating the Greenbelt. The dwarf didn’t need two eyes to see the older human was building up to something on his mind, so he let the man go on (with or without much response, as you decide fitting).
“Truth be told,” Jhod admitted sheepishly, “there is one particular, uh, rumour that has caught my attention especially. I figured since you’d be spending a fair bit of time exploring this area, you might be able to put it to rest for me.
“You see it seems worship of Erastil is not uncommon in the rural parts of this region, as is often the case in most places—there is something about the teachings of ‘Old Deadeye’ that appeals to small-town folk, lead by example and good deeds and none of this flowery rhetoric stuff.” The man almost lost track of his point, gazing wistfully off.
“But I’m rambling again, I beg your pardon my good fellow. What I’m trying to say is, I’ve heard it said some people seem to think there may be a temple dedicated to Erastil, lost somewhere out there in the Narlmarch Woods. I know these lands are mostly inhospitable save for bandits, but nevertheless there have been attempts to settle these lands in the past, and it would interest me to see if they established any centres of worship when they did, you see.”
“Oh, and I suppose I should mention—it would seem, ah, rumour holds that the temple is guarded by a fierce bear. I suppose I know it sounds strange, but so do most rumours about these areas, hey? Would you keep an eye out for this old priest?”
(Frodrick could tell from the way the man spoke he was a terrible liar, and it would seem at least as bad at attempting to choose his words delicately. If after that you’re tired of reading the words ‘seem’ and ‘rumour’ then I got my point across. You or anyone near you at the table can attempt a Diplomacy check to press the matter.
Also, I think Zeran may be a masochist, consistently choosing the ramble with the NPC least equipped to give him what he needs: attention. Finally I’ll start counting down the days until Bogdan and Vilify make the Handle Animal check to learn war-training.)
--This is the first 9/10ths of the post I was working on. Figured I'd give you something to work with while I went to supper.
Posted on 2013-03-27 at 02:45:03.
Edited on 2013-03-27 at 03:46:25 by Sibelius Eos Owm
It didn't sit well on Frodrick that he was getting lied to his face. The gal this man had, not only in holding something back, but also using age as a reason to not do his own work.
“Ye be sayin’ yer a man o’ Erastil eh? I ain't one much for religion, but I am a bit interested in this god o’ yours.” Frodrick started with an upbeat attitude and open smile (though it was still mostly covered by beard hair), as if he was getting interested in Erastil and his dogma. “Ye say simple folk like him because he has simple laws. I like that too. Especially the part on ‘lead by example’. So if ye be a cleric for him, why ain’t ye be practicing it?” His smile disappeared and he looked rather stern at the cleric. “Ye come in hear askin’ for us to more-or-less find a temple in the middle of bandit and gods know what else infested unmapped territory and say there is monstrous bear guarding it. Then you say to help you cause your old!”
Frodrick, his fists clenched, though he showed no sign of getting physical. “And what’s more, I can tell ye be holdin’ back on something, if not downright lying to me! Right now I gotta say I am not in any mood to be doin’ ye any favors! At least not while your hear lazing about in the safety of or patrons’ walls.”
At this point, Frodrick was wagging his finger in front of the cleric’s nose, ignoring any verbal retorts given to him by the man or anyone else. “You want to see this temple? You come with us! And don’t give me none of that ‘old’ bulls***! You ain't know nothin’ ‘bout age! I be older than you even in relation to our races’ standards, and I be out there exerting myself with no complaint!”
“Cleric of Ol’ Deadeye! Ha! How about you stop saying you’re a worshiper of his, and show us you’re one! Then not only will I oblige you, but will earn a bit o’ dwarven respect, which can’t be won by cheap words. As it stands, I be seeing all these here once-bandits as being higher in my eyes than you! They may have done things in the past, perhaps they even be hating their work. Hell, they were coerced into it as opposed to desiring a change! But I be damned if any one ‘o us says their efforts aren't admirable!”
Presuming that Jhod is defensive, and not willing to apologize or try to reconcile…
The dwarf physically waved Jhod’s retorts away while giving a boisterous “Bah!” Turning around, he looked to Svetlana and Adela and nodded.
“Thank you two for the meal. Now I shall excuse myself – Jargon Hooves needs a proper grooming, and then I need me tobacco. I will be sleeping with the horses tonight: better to sleep with the stench of horse droppings and hay then share a roof with someone who spews religious feces from his mouth!”
Zeran watched as Froderick and Jhod went at it, fingers tented and chin resting lightly on them. He sighed and shook his head waiting until they finished. "Honestly was this really required to be done at dinner time? You." he points at Jhod and frowns. "Don't lie, be direct with us or keep silent I'm less inclined to help some sneaky git who beats around the bush when he has a request. You either tell us what you want or keep it yourself okay? we have a job to do and it is a big one." He turn turns his attention to Froderick. "And you. Seriously? are you so miserable that you can't just put a smile on and deal with him after we are all finished eating and retiring? You couldn't have pulled him aside and chewed him out then? you HAD to do this while we were eating? Why? You know what." Zeran stands and takes a breath to calm himself speaking with closed eyes now to keep himself calm, fingers clenching the table and knuckles white.
"You know what, I'm not going to deal with this. If you want to be an angry grumpy little man then by all means you do so. I don't give a flying rat's ass how old you are, what training you have had, what position you held or once had held. But what I DO care about is how you simply jump to being an angry old dwarf everytime someone says something to you such as this guy. Yeah he isn't doing himself any favors but there are diplomatic ways to handle things or at the very least polite and respectable ways to handle them when you are around others especially our hosts and especially your co-workers. I'm going to go wander around the ramparts for a bit and calm myself. Froderick DO NOT follow after me, I have no doubt you would but if you even get the remote notion to don't." He points to Jhod again and sighs. "And you as well, stay away from me as well we can talk later but right now I'd rather not deal with either of you. F**king ridiculous, ruined my appetite and good mood." He grumbled.
Zeran extracts himself from his seat and gives a look at his open kit with his work half finished inside. "I'll finish my work in the morning." He mutters before nodding to Miguel. "Miguel let me know when we are going to grab the potions tomorrow I'll finish after we are back." He nods to Krii after. "Thank you for taking initiative with the map and I do apologize for being rude earlier I was edgy and it was wrong of me." He pats Kyrie's shoulder and smiles gently. "Get some rest lass, flush that poison from your system we need you and that amazing shovel in full strength." His final goodnight he bows to Adela and Svetlana. "Thank you both for dinner, when my work hasn't got me swamped I will assist with cooking as I enjoy it and could learn a thing or two from you both. For now though I retreat to calm myself down." With that he steps lively away up to the ramparts, to wander around and relax himself.
((If anyone wants to chat with Zeran feel free to he isn't angry and raving, just a bit miffed.))
Those bites were hurting, but well, it wasn't as bad as it could be. At least that's what Kyrie kept telling herself. She could push through it. That stupid barrier was going down.
"Stupid thing. You hear me, I'm going to till your butt if you had one into next year's farmland." She muttered as she bashed the trap door yet again.
Yes, those words were intended for the door. That's just kind of how she is.
(post dead spider)
"Well, that was a bit painful." She chuckled, "Probably one of the nastier bugs I've seen."
Her strength wasn't completely back, but the wounds she received seemed worse. No reason to let it show though. She still stood as strongly as she could. To the observant, however, it was impossible to conceal the fact that she favoured her unwounded side.
(at some uncertain point in time back at the outpost, talking with Oleg)
"Ah, thank you." Kyrie said as she examined the curvature of the weapon, "Sure looks a lot pointier than the ones I'm familiar with. But then, this one is a bit adjusted for use in battle." She gave a smile, "It'll come in handy. Otherwise, it's hard to use the shield with my shovel."
Kyrie was still leaning a bit to one side while she ate. Thankfully, it was fairly easy to disguise as she ate with her left hand, and the bite was on her right side. The stew was lovely and also took her mind off of it.
She paused and rubbed the back of her head a bit as things suddenly got a bit heated. All things considered, it didn't make too much sense to her. Granted, she wasn't religious. Kyrie's parents were, but she didn't particularly 'get' it. Soil she understood. Seeds she understood. Crops she understood. Why did they need to be explained further?
Kyrie shrugged a bit to herself, deciding to let things cool down a bit, before she felt a hand at her shoulder. Glancing up, she saw Zeran pause as he was walking by.
"Get some rest lass, flush that poison from your system we need you and that amazing shovel in full strength."
Kyrie smiled, "I feel fine, really." She chuckled, "I don't think it lasted much longer than the original bite, and I tend to heal fast."
Half lie, but half truth too. She did tend to heal fast; it was just a bit of a lie as to how much she had healed then. Regardless, Kyrie knew one thing. She would be strong. It was always possible that she would need to be.
Jhod turned with glad, expectant eyes as Frodrick began, clearly feeling a receptive audience. His smile gave way to confusion, then darkened into anger when the dwarf accused the cleric of failing in the practice of his duties. Throughout the remainder of Frodrick's tirade, Jhod maintained a white-knuckled grip on his spoon and a hard-clenched jaw. Finally, when Zeran stood up abruptly he looked ready to give up.
The balding cleric stood up quickly. “I am surprised in you, master Redbrew. Surprised that the eldest among your party should also be the most ignorant! Everything you say betrays your foolishness! I am but a hunter and a priest, what would you have me do? You are the adventurers, that is the lot you chose for yourselves!”
The humble cleric had come to lean over the table in his excitement. By now the entire table had stopped eating and was looking at the two old men. Jhod glanced at the others, notably at Oleg and Svetlana. He cast his gaze down, apparently ashamed of his outburst. He returned to his seat.
“The Old Hunter's arrow never misses,” he muttered to himself, like some sort of aphorism.
His face was still stern, but his emotion much more contained. “I admit I have deeply personal reasons for being here that I do not expect you to understand, but my offer to provide whatever healing I can for a reasonable fee stands. It was my hope that, if you happened to see anything resembling the temple I have described while you explore these lands, you would simply inform me and this would not be too much of an imposition on your travels.”
[Space for perhaps a couple short responses, Jhod is not just addressing Frodrick, but he's pretty deflated from the heated discussion, so his contribution to any following conversation will be short.]
Jhod returned to his stew. He took only a couple bites before putting his spoon back down. “I beg your pardon, Svetlana, I seem to have lost my appetite, even for a stew as delicious as this. If I may excuse myself, I believe I have many things to think about before I turn in for the evening; it may be best to get a headstart so I don't lose more sleep than I must.”
Intrigue at the Border Fort -- Double Post for the Win!
Oleg's Trading Post
Over the next several days the group remained at Oleg's to rest and recover their strength. Frodrick spent most of his time out of the fort, gathering fruits and vegetables and trapping animals to add food to Oleg's stores, while Zeran took a couple days to make himself some new ammunition and replace the old, rusted, weathered and beaten pieces of his pistol with portions forged anew.
He replaced the wooden stock of the gun with a new, polished one, fitting on a shining new brass butt to replace the long tarnished old one. The flintlock mechanism itself received premium treatment, with a new flint piece, a replacement frizzen, and all the rusted screws exchanged.
On one of the days, Miguel and Zeran rode out together on a day trip to visit Bokken with a coin-purse from Krii to pay for the life-draining potions he had ordered (-150G). They returned later the same day after an uneventful ride. (They can also take orders for any potions the rest of the group might think of buying, but it sounds I guess like we're good without for now?).
One evening, as Frodrick came round the corner of the stables on his way to relieve himself, one of the ex-bandits bumped into him inadvertently from his blind side. Being the sturdy and stocky dwarf he was, the other practically fell over him without so much as budging his stance.
“Oop—sorry, my apologies,” the prisoner hastily excused and quickly departed from sight before the dwarf could hardly rouse anything more than a complaint about people who don't watch where they're going.
It was only another half a second after the bandit vanished that Frodrick realized that an extra knife had been added to his belt, complete with sheath. He could not think but somehow the bandit—he could not be sure which one in the confusion of the chance encounter, though his memory seemed to favour Adela—had slipped into his belt when they collided.
The dwarf removed the dagger and inspected it. It looked like one of the daggers carried by Kesten's men. If true somebody would be missing this, shortly. There were several questions to be raised, for sure.
-In the to and fro somebody bumps into Frodrick, he doesn't notice who, until he realizes an extra dagger has been added to his belt.
Bogdan & Vilify’s Training: Day 5/21 Matilda's Training: Day 5/21
(Understandably you should have a whole whack of questions concerning the knife, where it came from, how 'Adela' managed to get a hold of it, and possibly most important, what is the purpose of handing it to Frodrick in such a manner? Stayed up extra late for this one, so you know I love you guys (also my way of explaining why the prose ended up as stunted as it did).
I expect to be pretty frantic about essays in the immediate future, but I'll try to keep up in the small hours whenever I can. I've given you something to work over in the meantime, if I can't get more than small posts done over the next little while. If I do have time, though, I'll try to advance the exploration progress even while the knife plot plays out.)
Posted on 2013-03-29 at 09:31:46.
Edited on 2013-03-29 at 23:55:54 by Sibelius Eos Owm
The new mystery presented to Frodrick left him stumped and almost haggard. Perhaps he was reading into the events like he had read into the ones with Jhod – mayhaps he was jumping to conclusions – but it looked like someone was trying to frame him. What was more, it was someone he was vouching for. Frodrick stopped then. “Did I just feel remorse for me words on that windbag cleric?” He shook his head. Now was not the time for that. He needed to get this blade back to whomever it belonged to. And there was going to be no sneaking about it.
Scouring the post, Frodrick looked for Kesten. Was he asleep at this hour, or on duty? Frodrick didn’t know how they divided their shifts, but this was something that needed to be brought to his attention in particular.
Presuming Frodrick finds Kesten, whether he is asleep or awake, Frodrick will talk to him when the guard is fully awake.
“I don’t know the details here, but it seems one o’ your guard’s daggers grew legs and got comfy on my belt tonight.” Frodrick handed Kesten the dagger. “I didn’t get a good look or ear for whom these legs were, but they bumped into me and then the dagger was latched around me belt. I got an Idea who it might be, but I don’t want to go accusing anyone until I got some solid evidence…” (I am going to say that Kesten knows of Frodrick’s outburst on poor ‘old’ Johd) “I seem to have come to understand to hold back me tongue ‘till I know the whole story now. Could ye return that there weapon to its rightful owner and make sure them guards be guarding their own stuff as well as that of others? I got an investigation to undergo.”
As Frodrick walked away, he sighed. What was he going to do? He knew nothing of gathering evidence, questioning people, or any of that stuff. He would need help, but who to turn to? Oleg, the guards, and perhaps even Svetlana would have a extreme bias on almost all the bandits, so they would not be of use in leading out an investigation. And Johd was not someone he could trust at the moment, nor would the priest in turn trust him. So Frodrick would need to turn to one of the other charter members.
Zeran was a good boy, but was better at shootin’ s*** with his gun and hitting on the ladies then being subtle. Kyrie was a great source of inspiration and a beacon of hope in the nature of people, but she would more likely to go on a tangent about carrots and weeding then actually help him in his endeavors. Krii, though rather level headed, none-the-less disturbed the dwarf. There was something about his physical body that seemed off, and his stoic personality at times was as frustrating as Zeran’s overtly emotional character.
Then there was Miguel… well, now that Frodrick thought about it, he would probably be the best to go to in this situation. He was level headed, able to take in several factors and come out with a sound plan. He may be young, but he had a certain wisdom about him that was beyond his years, and he was liked by most everyone in the post. He also seemed to have a knack in a lot of skills that Frodrick didn’t have. It helped that he had a silver tongue too, one which he only used sparingly as opposed to being loose.
Indeed, he would have to go to Miguel about this. If the human would hear him out, perhaps he could help him investigate the issue with him, or at least give him advice on what to do. Frodrick knew that he would have to do something he was absolutely horrible at in any case: be subtle.
After find Miguel, Frodrick took him aside and gave him the story. He then explained what was on his mind.
“I don’t know what to do here. I believe it is Adela, but I ain’t certain about that. I could just accuse her, but what good would that do? Especially if she wasn’t the one? And just giving this story to everyone to hear would only sow distrust among the group for all the one-time bandits. Considerin’ that tensions are high as it is, we can’t be having that! What are your thoughts on this matter boy?”
Presuming Miguel agrees, but little can be done this evening, Frodrick goes to sleep at the stables as per his new habit. It is at this time a scene unfolds within the realm of dreams, or perhaps nightmares.
“LET NOT ONE ‘O THEM SURVIVE THIS DAY KIN!” Frodrick screamed over the clash of steel and burning flames to his fellow dwarven soldiers, “THEY MAY HAVE KILLED OUR KING, BUT THEY AIN’T GOT US TILL EVERY REDBREW BE IN THE HALLS OF OUR ANCESTORS!”
Before a slightly younger Frodrick was a scene of carnage and despair, so the battle cry given by his fellow warriors was less than normal. Many women and children were strewn about the ground, their carcasses being eaten by worgs and goblin dogs. Goblins terrorized the horses, having tied up dwarves to hooked chains and jabbing them into the flanks of noble steeds, leaving those tied to be dragged to death by fleeing equestrians.
This was the surface wing of Clan Redbrew’s city. Most of the complex was subterranean, but this was a particular grand entrance that was used for establishing a type of surface trade with the local halflings as well as any caravans making their way through the ________ Mountains. Frodrick and his crew had hoped to return in time to aid their kinsman in defending their new home, but it was obviously too late. A runner had managed to escape the onslaught and meet Frodrick as he rode in. Their king Rundor Redbrew was dead, assassinated by a goblin wizard who took on the guise of a Halfling ambassador.
And now he fought, but for what? Honor? Revenge? A scream could be hared: it was a young dwarfling, his whiskers just barly proding out of his face. He had a burning leg of a chair in his hand and he was fending off a couple of goblinoids that were about the same size as him. Behind him coward even younger kin. NO! Not for honor! Not for revenge! For others! To protect what I hold dear with all me strength, just like that young one!
Frodrick let out a new battle cry, but this one was with feeling. His scream chimmed through the battlefield like a hammer on an anvil at closing time in a smith. Others heard, and others watched as Frodrick rode forward on Jargon hooves. Watched as he scewerd not one, not two, but three goblins with his enchanted lance. They watched as he jumped from his steed, drawing an axe bestowed to him by his king, and watched as he cleaved the rest of the child-attackers to bits. Frodrick then grabbed Clan Redbrew’s flag, which was attached to a pole on Jargon’s saddle. With gusto he waved it for all to see, screaming with all his breath his late Lord’s name. “REDBREW! RUNDOR REDBREW!”
New emotion run through the battle field, the rest felt his spirit. The tide was turning, even if they were outmatched. Then a smug and sharp voice whispered from behind him.
“Why bother? In the end you have lost.” Frodrick turned to see a goblin, dressed an cloths of high quality and multiple colours. He was adorned with large looped earings, a couple necklaces, and sinister spikes on his fingers. He smiled at Frodrick with a sort of glee one could only see in the most decpicable of creatures. One that not only enjoyed victory, but the suffering it wrought on others. It turned up a claw as it spoke.
“Your king has died by this hand. I used most of the poison on him, but I think there is just enough to break you as well. With the extract of a linorm, it is a magical poison that has the ability to ruin one’s body and make them as clumsy as a new cadet at the sword.”
The goblin couldn’t even finish his monologue. Frodirck was charging him with his axe in hand. The two fought, and in the end Frodrick managed to kill the cur, but not before getting a couple scratches across the cheek. His fortitude held out though, and he needed to be elsewhere. He needed to protect his younger kin.
Racing to the top of the stone palisade. Jargon was below stamping on asailing goblins with gusto, and Frodrick knew she could take care of herself. But as he fought up top, he found something was wrong. His moves became more sluggish, and not because of his old age. It was as if his muscles were forgetting where they were supposed to go. In the end he started to get winded, and then something hard hit him. The goblins had made an improptue trap out of various debris. Over the palisade he went. Crashing through some trees and landing in some bushes. Sight dimmed, and all sound was lost. Much like the rest of his kin.
Frodrick woke up with a start. Staring through his one eye, he scanned the area, and looked at his person to make sure nothing else had made its way onto him since he went to sleep. Nothing new. He leaned back in the straw he was sleeping in, and took a deep breath. Never again. He would stand as a zealous stalwart with this new budding kingdom. Where he had failed with his own kin, he would be sure to prevail with the lesser lived ones. To Protect. That was his one objective.
Slowly and hesitantly, Frodrick settled back into a slumber. One that was without dreams, thankfully.
Whats this? intrigue and suspicion? Mayhap the raven knows more eh?
Zeran was lounging in one of his favorite spots, out of the way and out of sight. It was above the ground some so most wouldn't see him unless it was broad daylight or he hollered for them, but he could see near everything well enough from here. "Hm?" He cocked an eyebrow hearing the gruff dwarf and an apologetic murmur from someone else. He didn't have to move much to get a better view to see what was going down. A figure scurrying away and Froderick looking at one of the guard's daggers. He scratched his chin lightly and remained where he was his thoughts elsewhere at the moment as he muttered. "If I didn't know any better I'd say it was her, she was always sneaky like that." He grinned a bit and shook his head clearing his memories away for the moment.
The dwarf was a good man, and would most likely head right for the guard to return the dagger then proceed on an investigation of his own to try and find the culprit. He had his own suspicions, and his own reservations. He wasn't worried Froderick would come to him for help, he had played his cards right he hoped and would be thought to eccentric or emotional for such things. But he would conduct his own investigation if only for something to do until they departed.
He scratched his chin again, of all the bandits none seemed to likely to try and implicate Froderick but these were former bandits after all. So was he, that was his key here. It wasn't a trump card but it would help somewhat he hoped. For now it was time for sleep, he could have tried to follow the sneaky person but they were long gone best bet was to wait until morning and do some talking to people. Slipping from his perch he struck his route back to bed and smirked slightly before retiring for the night.
Posted on 2013-03-30 at 02:46:38.
Edited on 2013-04-19 at 10:06:54 by Zeakol
Miguel Holmes and Dr. Redbrew are on the case. Feel the intellectual swelter!
The following is the result of a brief RP over Skype, you've not really missed a whole bunch
Frodrick and Miguel began their investigation by seeking out the man whose dagger had been 'misplaced'. Kesten readily directed them to where he stood on guard, his recently returned dagger fastened to his belt.
He was the youngest of the three mercenary guards that had come with Kesten to the post, a guess would probably place him around Miguel's age, in his mid-twenties. Despite his recent embarrasment, he was open enough to discussing his dagger with the two impromptu investigators.
The guard told them that he could not say where or when his dagger was taken from him—up until the moment Kesten had called him to return it to him, he believed that he had stupidly misplaced it somewhere and was looking for it. Now, he says, he'll know better than to carelessly leave his equipment lying around where the bandits can reach.
Frodrick probed him for any impressions at all he may have had, or suspicions about the bandits. To him the lot seemed pretty alright—he wasn't concerned over the lost dagger because the lot seemed more or less content with their situation for the time. Except, of course, for Niko. That man's been a mild nuissance of grumbling and shiftlessness since the day the guards arrived, though he's never stepped obviously out of line.
They thanked the guard for his time—he thanked Frodrick for finding his dagger—and moved on. The sun had gone down not so long ago and the night was still young. The majority of the camp not on duty gathered around the tables between the two main buildings. Tanya and Gavril were betting imaginary funds on the outcomes of arm-wrestling matches, Luka was talking to another of the guards on duty watching over the crowd, and Stefan had slipped away to the stables.
“Arrigh', lad, yer runnin' this show. What do you think? I have a mind to go to the girl and settle this directly, but you're the one with the training for this kind o' work.” Miguel was a Restovian bard to be sure, and whatever his carefree nature might suggest, he was indeed trained in the triune arts of duelling, performance, and intruigue.
The blond man thought for a moment. “I have a plan. You go up to the palisade walk and hide just out of sight. I'll be up in a moment.” With that Miguel left off and casually strolled into the gathering.
Frodrick's good eye could easily keep track of nearly the whole area of the fort before the darkness grew too deep to penetrate, so he had no trouble finding a spot out of sight, though he had to remind himself a couple times that even if he could see as bright as day, he was still hidden.
Miguel entered the area around the tables more or less without comment and sat across from Adela. “Hey, can I interest you in a stroll around the wall?” To anyone listening in, he crafted his request to sound like a casual invitation, perhaps from one from a potential romantic interest, even. Bluff: 18 + 7 = 25
The dark-haired woman glanced at the others and decided she wasn't preoccupied at the moment. She rose to follow Miguel up the ladder leading to the palisade walk.
Miguel started the conversation unassumingly. Their previous chat ended with hardly anything said, merely confirming that they had met—or at least attended the same party—once before.
“So. This is a little ways removed from Cercei's latest fashionable venue.”
Adela snorted despite herself. “Oh gods, does she really still hold those ridiculous parties of hers?”
“They've only gotten worse since, I hear. I don't miss it.”
“That vacuous harpy, that's another thing I don't miss about... before.” Miguel realized she probably wouldn't elaborate anytime soon.
“Heavens know that's exactly the kind of thing my father sent me to Restov to get away from,” the bard reflected. “That's probably why I went in the first place. But no, that wasn't my kind of thing, either.”
“Oh, by the way—,” he transitioned abruptly from reminiscence to present. They had a moment since arrived near where Frodrick had taken up position. “One of the guards seems to have lost a dagger. You haven't seen anything laying around while working with Svetlana, have you?”
Hiding in the darkness, Frodrick could see the woman's manner, already reserved and careful by default, snap tight. She did not answer Miguel for several seconds, and when she did she was choosing her words with great care.
“Well, I think... it will turn up soon enough likely. You should be careful looking for it, though—some of us still miss being free, even if the dwarf's offer is better than most would get in our situation.”
Frodrick realized the care of her words was not as much about constructing a lie as it was intended to pass a message.
“Ah,” said Miguel, “that's helpful to know. I'm sure it will turn up soon, too. If it doesn't, though, would you have any recommendations where to look?”
“I wouldn't know anything, of course, but if you ask me most of this lot are about as subtle as Cercei's gaggle, but it's possible that somebody is doing the thinking while another does the work—people who think highly of themselves tend to be harmless as they are humble, but don't like to risk themselves.”
She turned to the ladder back down. “But speculation is worth more in hot air than in gold, they say. It's late and I have an early rise. Begging your leave, Ser Miguel.”
Miguel let her go and waited for Frodrick to come out of hiding. Trained though he was to work on the level of such political machinations, suspicion wasn't much in his nature. He waited to see if the dwarf's impression of the conversation matched the ideas he was getting.
(For those of you following along at home, if you missed some of the implications thrown around here's a quick-notes version: Adela seems to think the dagger will show up soon (not knowing Frodrick already returned it) but warns that missing daggers might be dangerous in the hands of certain prisoners. When asked which prisoners she declined to name names, but mentioned that most of the bandits are not very good at taking things quietly, but dropped heavy hints about self-important schemers using others to their own benefits
We're not quite finished with the evening scenario, but when Frodrick can get back to me, the next morning's actions can take place.)
Krii spent most of his time at the fort gambling, a trait he had become fairly good at during his stay with his adoptive family. the occasional drink passed his lips. He remained hidden under his cloak most of the time unless he was alone, too many eyes and questions might be raised, though it would seem up till now his unusual appearance had only raised minor concern of his health and the recomendation to get out in the sun more. He kept mostly to the dimly lit areas of the camp setting up a table or spot here or there to gamble with the bandits and alike, dispite his eairler quams with the bandits remaining alive Krii seemed oddly calm and at home around them pehaps just trying to play calm and make the best of a bad situation.
The days and nights seemed to drag on as kriis wounds healed he was slightly disheartened not being able to get out and go to Bokens to get the potions with Zeran and Miguel and upon there return collected his purchased potions storing them carefully but not before examining them in the light and smelling them the familiar odur a refreshing reminder of his Uncles lab. Dinners for the most part were uneventful and things seemed pretty dull all around and Krii was left wanting in his desires to get out and continue the exploration of the lands.
One night out of perhaps desperation or bordem he struck up a conversation with Jhod and tryed to pry more information from him about this temple if for no other reason then idle curiousity, he didnt know if the group would care about the information if any that he gained but atleast his own curiousity may be saited. Krii even went so far as to try and talk with the bandits at verious points but his efforts would be taken more as a shy school boy trying to flirt with a girl more then his actual intent for the most part and any time a conversation was struck it always seemed to end in akward silences that left both parties searching for a way out and Krii longing for the days of getting lost in books studying or on the highway with his adoptive gnomish family waiting for travelers to come along.
This night (present night) was no different and after dinner Krii remained seated at the table shouded in his cloak and playing with his cards yawning occasionally out of bordem.
Owen plays it fast and loose to get things wrapped up with maximum dramatic tension
“We need just a bit more information,” Miguel pondered. They had both come to some of the same conclusions, but the answers weren't all there yet. Technically speaking they needed absolutely no reason to bring down judgement on the person they thought responsible—each of the bandits here lived with a sword over their head kept back only by their good behaviour—but it would do well to get further evidence before rushing into any hasty judgements.
“Let's head to the stables—your laddie may just be able to help us out here.”
The two slipped into the stables where they knew Stefan would be still. This time Frodrick did not deign to hide back to listen in secret. Even if there were a place he could listen in discretely, his presence for this conversation would no doubt be more valuable up front than hidden.
The boy started when Frodrick and Miguel entered. He seemed slightly on edge, but he relaxed a small measure once he saw who had come to visit. It looked like he was merely checking up on the horses before turning in for the night; in the crook of his left arm he carried an empty bucket for filling the water trough, and he held a brush with his right.
“Oh, uh, hello sers. I just wanted to be sure Dandy Girl and Claptrap were settled in for the night.” While Stefan was not yet permitted to touch neither Jargon nor Vilify, he was beginning learning from Oleg how to take care of the remainder of the unclaimed horses until Oleg could sell them. He seemed to be finishing up.
“We won't delay you long, then. We just came to see how you were doing.” Miguel told him. The boy's eyes flicked between the two, a bit wary but not outright suspicious of their motivations.
“That's good to hear.” Miguel didn't want to drive the boy into hiding with excessive probing, so he got directly to the point. Stefan was the youngest of the lot, and unless Miguel missed his guess, the weakest link if there were any secrets being kept among the bandits. He didn't like using his skills this underhandedly, but in the world of intrigue sometimes it was better than the alternative. “So, uh—we hear Niko seems to resent his new place. The story goes he thinks he's better than the rest of us. You wouldn't know anything about that, would you?”
Stefan writhed quietly under his skin. He was quickly beginning to look more uncomfortable with the situation. “Um—.”
Miguel paced conversationally. “You know you don't have to be afraid of him anymore. Frodrick made this promise to all the bandits—but it sounds like Niko doesn't think much of life here.” Miguel stopped to glance at Stefan. The boy's eyes were fixed firmly on Frodrick's boots. “What do you think of life here?”
Stefan managed to glance up once to look Frodrick in the eye. In that single moment the dwarf saw a decision being made.
The boy was the lowest rung on the ladder among the bandits. If there was a plot and he let something slip, he would be quickly punished—but if he didn't say anything, there were others who also held the power to make his life miserable.
His gaze settled on the neutral territory across Frodrick's expansive beard. “Niko, he—uh. He wants me to have make sure we have horses ready for some of us to use. He hasn't said when, but I think he's planning to get away soon. I think he's making Adela get us weapons. I'm sorry, I didn't want to, but I had no choice.”
The three stepped out of the stables together. Niko and Adela sat together at one end of the table. Miguel barely registered that Adela had not turned in yet before things escalated.
Whatever Niko may have seen in their faces, he needed only to glance at Stefan to know the boy had given him up. They had hardly made it halfway across the yard when he leaped up. In a quick motion he lunged for the guard standing hardly a few feet away and tore his short sword out of its sheath and roughly shoved the guard out of the way.
With the other hand he dragged Adela to her feet and held the sword to her body. “Stay back! I know you wouldn't want me to hurt her, now would you?” Nikodim's voice cracked with the edge of a madman driven to the point of desperation. The people sitting at the other table pulled back, shocked by the sudden turn of events. Nobody breathed for a whole second.
Which was plenty of time, in fact. A hand shot out from the shadows by the corner of the main house and grabbed Niko's sword arm, managing to wrench it away from the girl. The rest of Zeran's body followed immediately after, extending his rapier toward the unarmed Niko.
He supposed he could have tried to come up with something witty, but frankly he had acted without preparing a one-liner for the situation, and his mind was still racing to catch up. He was going to turn in some time ago, but when he saw Niko make Adela sit next to him he figured it couldn't hurt to keep watching. Luckily he figured right.
(Took one or two creative liberties, but essays are done now, so the time for this whole shebang has come and gone right back out. You can roleplay out the rest of the encounter pretty well—Niko's got no escape unless he manages to break away from Zeran without a perforated jugular and throws himself over the wall. His best bet would probably to plead mercy from his captors a second time. Feel free, if you like, to include mention of an extra hanging for the next morning in your post—that much can be taken for granted unless Frodrick goes Queen of Hearts on his head tonight.
Barring further unexpected ado, I expect to set this ship sailing full speed ahead as soon as I can start typing the next update. Please do treat Niko to your opinions in the meantime. Frodrick is probably the most relevant mover in this scene, so the spotlight remains pointed roughly in that direction, though commentary is welcome from all corners.)
Zeran couldn't help it but pop one of his trademark grins. From ear to ear almost he looked the picture of enjoyment right now. "Niko Niko, you'll never be able to keep it up like that. How do you expect to please the ladies like that?" His grip never faltered and he pulled Niko right to him making sure he didn't pierce the man, but making sure the point of his tool never left the soft spot leading to his heart. His enjoyment over for the moment he narrowed his eyes still grinning but it looked darker now. "If it were solely up to me I'd have run you through right here and now, I might have been a brigand at some point but I would NEVER threaten a lady's life regardless of her backround. I'll leave what happens to you to the group fool. But I can assure you my vote is to watch you dance. Now be a good chap and don't move." He whistled to the guard who had lost his sword and felt his grin fade on its own accord.
"Secure him and tie him up. Make sure he is under watch, or stuffed away somewhere bound and gagged, if you please my good sir. He was given his chance to work and redeem himself but apparently his pride got in the way." He twirled and sheathed his rapier satisfied Niko was in secure hands he stepped up to Adela and held her shoulders gently meeting her eyes. "You alright lass?" He didn't expect a response and patted her shoulder smiling before she could. "Your strong you'll be fine." He waggled his eyebrows and winked. "Next time we have a party I could use a dance partner." He tossed the idea/hint out there for her turning on his heel and stretching. "Alright I'm to bed myself, lemme know when we hang the idiot or what is to be done with him. You know my vote." With that he strides off to bed a slight spring in his step. He feels eyes watching him and smirks slightly, almost identical to Adela's though hers carries a bit more annoyance with it for various reasons.
((I took the liberty to have her react some, I'll follow up 'in the morning' before we go exploring grasslands if Owen doesn't do it for me on her part.))
Posted on 2013-04-19 at 10:33:03.
Edited on 2013-04-19 at 10:33:30 by Zeakol