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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> Tales of Alder Vale -- Spring
Parent thread: Alder Vale Campaign Q/A
GM for this game: Ayrn
Players for this game: Reralae, Hammer, Astrid, Bodkin
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    Messages in Tales of Alder Vale -- Spring
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Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


Tales of Alder Vale -- Spring

The Tale of Shadow’s Roost
They came for stones but they found doom
A pillar of rocks in wooded gloom

The stones were perfect, square and strong
The masons labored hard and long

They dug their stones, but they found doom
Far above their death did loom

From his roost owl eyes did seek
Shadow came with claw and beak

They stacked their stones, but they found doom
Shadow came to kill and to consume

For perfect stone they were seduced
But fools pass below Shadow’s roost

They found their doom, but wanted stones
Now they lay in piles of bones



[Stonewall Abbey, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, a few days prior...]
A cold wind blew in from the north on the day that the Stone Masons’ wagon train rolled into the Abbey. Whispers circulated that the wagons carried less than half the stone promised from the Murkenhill Quarry. Those working at repairing the northeast corner of the Abbey grumbled at the delays this would cause in restoring the defenses.

It had been during the supper hour that each of you received a summons to meet with the Abbott late that evening in his personal library. Asher, Fenir, Oltovian, Reginald, and Violet – all of you were gathered. The elderly otter barely looked up from the tome he was reading the entire time he talked to you.

“A message had come from the Quarry in the Murkenhill,” Camber began. “Master Tigwyn claims that an ancient evil had returned…the legendary owl, Shadow.”

Each of you had a reaction to this, some a gasp, others a muffled chuckle, but the overtone was obviously one of disbelief. The Legend of Shadow is nothing more than a fairy tale used to scare mole children.

This was silenced quickly enough when the Abbott looked up from his book with stern eyes.

“Only a fool disregards that which seems unbelievable simply because it is unlikely,” Camber said.

His eyes returned to the tome in front of him, as he muttered, “Guardian Bowser has selected you for the task. He said the fresh air would do you all some good. I believe he thinks this little more than the drunken nightmare of Master Tigwyn and his mole masons. He may well be right, but I shall not ignore Foremole’s fear... nor his request. As we saw today, something is disrupting the moles’ labours.”

Sighing a little, the Abbott looks up as if appraising each of you in turn. “You five shall travel to Murkenhill and see if there is any truth to this tale. The wagon train is returning to the quarry in three days. Master Weldon has graciously offered for you to travel with them. I am sending you with a small purse to cover any needs you may have along the way. I trust when you are there you will know what must be done. May the Creator watch over you.”

And with that, you were dismissed to prepare for your journey.

[OOC: The items you have purchased for your characters in what you have gathered in preparation for the journey. In addition, Camber has give you a purse of 25 gold pieces.]

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, mid morning.]
Yesterday, having gathered your gear, you joined the Teamster Weldon, a stout mole with black fur, and his two sons, Aidyn and Dremmon in the Abbey’s courtyard. You were all excited to get outside the walls and see the wilds of the Murkenhill...

“Two days,” Weldon claimed. “And our journey should end with us at the quarry.”

Yesterdays travels had gone smooth enough. Though the wind was still blowing against them from the north, the train made good progress, stopping to camp out near the Murkenhill Forks for the evening.

But then the rain came... in the middle of the night... a cold, driving rain that pelted the canvas covering Master Weldon’s wagons.

Now mid-morning, the train was carrying on through the muddy ruts, making its way to Stormhollow and then onto the Quarry. The Greyshun Woods were bringing to run alongside the road to the left side. Two the right side of the road, fields and farmland rolled along. The lizards, bearing most of the burden, were performing admirably through the storm. Weldon and his sons, on the other hand, grumbled and muttered about the weather, as the cold rain drenched their clothing.

[OOC: And, so begins our adventure together. A little information, and couple of things I need from you:

1) There are 3 wagons in our train: The first one is led by Dremmon. The last one is led by Aidyn. In the middle is Weldon.

2) Things I need from you: Are you staying in the shelter of the wagon? Are you outside getting wet?, Where are you?

3) If you decide to have your character in one of the wagons, your Notice skill will ne trickier to make. If you stay outside, you will need to make a Fortitude check to see if you weather this storm without getting sick. Gliding in this weather would also be difficult for violet.

4) You are welcome to interact with the NPCs,
]



Posted on 2014-01-01 at 07:36:04.
Edited on 2014-01-01 at 07:39:26 by Ayrn

Astrid
RDI Fixture
Karma: 31/3
600 Posts


Take a deep breath and jump ....

Stonewall Abbey, Mid Spring,
Year 54 AR,

a few days prior...

A gust of wind blew into the kitchen, as Fenir ambled through the door. His arms full of fire wood, kicking the door closed with a booted foot. Wadded his way through the kitchen help to unceremoniously drop the load by the hearth. Fenir couldn't help but grin like an idiot as Mistress Olive chided him for tracking mud through the kitchen. Yet in the same breath she also gushed over the size of the armloads i had brought in.

"I haddent ment to bring in so much." Fenir grumbled. taking a look at the heap he'd brought in and the pile which was left beside the hearth.

he often forget how much larger i am then most at the abbey aside from Prioress Noona and a few others.
Olive chuckled and handed Fenir a tart still warm from the oven as she patted his cheek, making Fenir blush through his dark cheek fur.Olive turned and hurried off. complaining that she had asked for an few armloads and now had neigh a cord of fire wood.
It wasn't near that much. fenir thought to himself with a grin. And as Olive had originally set him to fetch fire wood to keep him from eating the tarts (that she had in fact just rewarded him with) Fenir had been trying to haphazardly help with.


Fenir rubbed his hands over the fire warming his cold stiff fingers, haven taken off his wet boots and kicked them into a corner. He relished the warm tiled floor in the kitchen on his bare feet. he hummed a soft tune as he stacked the wood neatly before leaving the kitchen his boots in hand. he held his other hand in his mouth 'licking' the wound Olive had given him swatting his hand with a hard thwak of her omnipresent wooden spoon as he had tried to pilfer another tart. Chuckling as Fenir hurriedly left as Olive threatened to put him to scrubbing pots if he ruined his supper and didnt finish eating his food, all the while chuckling loudly at the 'rotten Imp'.


Fenir crept into the library. Not that he was impressed upon to read, but simply because it was quiet and no one would think to look for him their. Settling in a back corner leaning against a shelf, pulling a tome down he carefully laid it on his chest so that if startled he could at least feighn reading. settling down he napped till supper.


The abbey bell tolled supper hour as Fenir slunk his way from the Library so not to fortell his naping place. but before he could get to the great hall for supper. He was stopped and told that the abbot was summoning him and to hurry. Fenir swallowed hard trying to think what he could have done in the last week which might have angered him or gotten him in trouble...

He hadn't made Florence cry this week. it always made him feel like such a cad, when he made her cry but somehow he always ended up snapping at her and hurting her feelings.
Fenir shrugged, he had been in his share of mischief and tomfoolery.He sighed and headded to the Abbots personal library.

the Abbot Chamber looked up from the tome he was reading if only to make sure we were all present.

I grinned at Oltovian and poked Reginald in the ribs.

“A message had come from the Quarry in the Murkenhill,” Camber began. “Master Tigwyn claims that an ancient evil had returned…the legendary owl, Shadow.” 
I muffled a soft chuckle, though the abbots tone was serious.

This was silenced quickly enough when the Abbott looked up from his book with stern eyes.

“Only a fool disregards that which seems unbelievable simply because it is unlikely,” Camber said.
The abbot quickly set us each to task and dismissed us each with a stippence of coin to aid us if need be. Fenir's stomach growled as he headed for the great hall for supper. Hopping that being delayed that he hadn't missed out on tarts. though he had eaten one earlier Mistress Olives pastries were the best, and one was never enough, at least where he was concerned.


The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks,
Mid Spring, Year 54 AR,

present time, mid morning

Fenir dropped his pack and looked over the items he had unceremoniously crammed into his pack.Though wanting to seem mature and stoic, even he had trouble containing enthusiasm over getting to travel away from the abbey. When Weldon said it would take two days, he could have easily said a week and it wouldn't have dampened Fenir's spirits.


the first day sadly didn't set the course for the trip, though the wind blew coldly it was spring and the winter gale made the remembrance of winter only crispen the air. the party had stopped to camp at the forks to Murkenhill at evening.

Fenir had been curled up in his cloak and blanket propped up against a wagon wheel snoring when the rain had started. none to soon he was wide awake and soaked to the bone as the rain deriged the caravan. Grumbling to himself sniffing softly an wiping my nose on the hem of his tunic.
"it could be worse at least its not snowing...yet." looking up at the sky with a arched eyebrow as if the statement would alone cause the white flakes to appear.
Morning seemed to take forever to break. as the wagons slogged along the tracks.


Posted on 2014-01-02 at 10:58:31.
Edited on 2014-01-02 at 16:55:02 by Astrid

Bodkin
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 5/0
33 Posts


Rain. Rain. Go away!

[Stonewall Abbey, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, a few days prior...]
Asher had just finished his dessert when the summons came and he wondered What could we have possibly done to be summoned by the Abbot this evening? It had been days since he had witnessed any mischief and nearly a week since he has instigated it. Stumped, he was unusually quiet on the way to the Abbot's personal library wondering whodunnit and looking from face to face among his companions for signs of guilt.

He was relieved to find that this didn't seem to be a disciplinary meeting. Asher was attempting to steal a curious peek toward the book the Abbot was looking at when he heard "…the legendary owl, Shadow.” "Gasp!" Enemies on wings are worse than enemies on feet. Asher thought as the old otter eyeballed him.

"All the way to Murkenhill..." Asher muttered to himself with a grin as his mind started to race and he involuntarilly began counting on his fingers, making a mental list of items he needed to pack or buy.

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, mid morning.]
Asher was pleased that he was relatively unwet having slept under a wagon last night in anticipation of the rain. The wind did invade the shelter of the wagon a little and wetted his cloak on the right side. After wringing it out a bit and getting a good morning yawn-stretch-tailfluff he settled back in for a breakfast of nuts and dried berries. Aidyn began preparing the wagon to move as Asher refilled his water bottle from the runnoff. Having delayed the unpleasantness as long as possible, Asher emerged into the awful weather to be dampened all over.

He isn't his normal cheerful, chatty self in the rain. He decides he won't be good company to anyone today and moves to the front of the caravan. He hoped the rain would stop as he pulled his hooded cloak closer. At least, he thought as he eyed the sky, I'll only be drenched for a day.


Posted on 2014-01-02 at 16:02:48.

Reralae
Dire Dust Bunny
Karma: 121/12
1953 Posts


Violet thinks they need more trees along the road

[Stonewall Abbey, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, a few days prior...]
After the meeting, Violet went outside to climb her favourite tree in the orchard, sitting near the top but still shaded by its leaves.

A very different task than gathering or relaying messages, Violet thought, Hmm... this Shadow... maybe it's an owl borrowing the name of a legend?
Violet shifted a bit as she sat, her left paw at her chin in thought while her right subtly holds her shawl in place. It was an unconscious gesture to keep her 'wings' close to her body, folding the membrane slightly behind her left arm, nearly hidden from view.

I don't actually know what a Shadow is either. Violet noted, I mean, an owl is one thing, but for anybeast to be legend, there's definitely a reason for it.
She quickly scrambled down the tree and made her way back into the abbey proper, sniffing the air and ready to track down Machin (not that she expected him to be hard to find). The unmistakeable scent of old parchment greeted her as she carefully opened the library doors, making as little sound as she could. It was a library after all.

Almost surprisingly, Machin was not there at the moment. Maybe getting a snack? Vi thought.

In no rush, Vi made herself comfortable on one of the chairs next to Machin's desk, looking up at the wooden tiled ceiling. Violet pictured the stars in those tiles, testing her memory of not only the stars but navigation by starlight. Suddenly she caught the light scent of a strawberry mint tart, or rather the after-scent of it, as the tart itself was long gone.

"Oh dear, were you waiting long?" Machin asked.

Violet giggled, "Did somebeast have dessert before dinner?"

"Not at all," Machin replied with mock embarrassment, "It was simply a late dessert for lunch."

Violet laughed, "I'll have to remember that." she noted, her eyes sparkling.

"Now then, I presume you weren't waiting here just to tease a librarian," Machin noted, "What can I do for you?"

Violet nodded, "Actually, I was wondering if there was more information on this Shadow figure. I mean, why is this particular owl legendary?" She asked.

((More to come later))


Posted on 2014-01-02 at 17:09:25.
Edited on 2014-01-02 at 17:09:44 by Reralae

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


Machin's response to Violet

"Now then, I presume you weren't waiting here just to tease a librarian," Machin noted, "What can I do for you?"

Violet nodded, "Actually, I was wondering if there was more information on this Shadow figure. I mean, why is this particular owl legendary?" She asked.

Machin’s face grew dark. “So, Master Camber has informed you of your quest.” The aging mouse moved behind his desk and shuffled through some loose sheets of paper. “Here.” He passes Violet a picture.

link
“It is said to be a sketch of the beast,” the mouse squeaked. “He is a creature of legend. His wings are said to be large enough to block out the light of the sun, his talons able to crush rock, his beak capable of swallowing a mole whole. He is the Dark Foe, the Silent Hunter, the Grey Death, ... Shadow.” Machin visibly shudders as he says the name.

“Shadow was already legend by the time I was born, little Violet,” Machin recalled. “His tale was told by parents trying to ensure their children would be home before dark. ‘Careful! You run around after dark and Shadow will get you!.’”

The librarian allowed himself to laugh a little as he gave Violet a wink. “Fairytales, ‘tis all. I’m not sure what the stone masons have troubling them, but the last records we have of any beast called “Shadow” are from before the Abbey was founded. I doubt very much that he would make an appearance now, more than two hundred seasons later.”

Taking the paper from Violet again, Machin seemed to have an afterthought. “Still... owls have been known to live a long time. There was one a grey beast in Skalleren Wood not long ago... she had neared two-hundred forty seasons. Died no more than ten seasons ago... kindly creature, not like most of her kind. If she caught you in her gaze,” Machin’s eyes went wide in recollection. “Her greatness and awe alone could spellbind you. She was magnificent.”

Machin came out of his trance, and gave Violent a crooked smile, “Vain... but almost rightfully so. Honeyed words worked better to keep her in check than anything else.”

“Now, I hope that was helpful for you, Violet.” Machin says, obviously looking to get to his work. “Was there anything else?”



Posted on 2014-01-03 at 04:37:23.

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Wet Wagons Wot

"The safety of Alder Vale
Is ever our goal
As we ride in the wagons
With Weldon the Mole"

[Stonewall Abbey, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, a few days prior...] Oltovian swiftly made his way along the many corridors to the personal library of Abbot Camber, nibbling thoughtfully at the fruit cake he had plucked from the platter, as he rose from the dining table to promptly answer the summons!

Must be something important for Abbot Camber to summon us from supper!
It had been during the supper hour that each of you received a summons to meet with the Abbott late that evening in his personal library. Asher, Fenir, Oltovian, Reginald, and Violet – all of you were gathered. The elderly otter barely looked up from the tome he was reading the entire time he talked to you.

“A message had come from the Quarry in the Murkenhill,” Camber began. “Master Tigwyn claims that an ancient evil had returned…the legendary owl, Shadow.”

An involuntary gasp rose up from the depths of Oltovian's innermost being!

The Talespinner was well versed in the whispers of this all-but-forgotten legend, from a time before the Stonewall Abbey was established in the Alder Vale.

The River Otter kept the information to himself, figuring there was no sense in alarming his comrades unnecessarily. Besides, it was now evident that it would become their destiny to reveal the history, or to make history, while uncovering the hidden mystery that lay before them!

“Only a fool disregards that which seems unbelievable simply because it is unlikely,” Camber said.

His eyes returned to the tome in front of him, as he muttered, “Guardian Bowser has selected you for the task. He said the fresh air would do you all some good. I believe he thinks this little more than the drunken nightmare of Master Tigwyn and his mole masons. He may well be right, but I shall not ignore Foremole’s fear... nor his request. As we saw today, something is disrupting the moles’ labours.”

Sighing a little, the Abbott looks up as if appraising each of you in turn. “You five shall travel to Murkenhill and see if there is any truth to this tale. The wagon train is returning to the quarry in three days. Master Weldon has graciously offered for you to travel with them. I am sending you with a small purse to cover any needs you may have along the way. I trust when you are there you will know what must be done. May the Creator watch over you.”

Oltovian spent his time preparing for this unexpected journey; while composing the following inspirational anthem, as he packed and prepped himself during the allotted time remaining:

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

"To Murkenhill Quarry we go
We will get there either fast or slow
Not quite as swift as a crow
Lizards be pulling wagons dontcha know"

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

"Abbot Camber sent us few
To see if the rumors be true
We be a faithful crew
In all that we say or do"

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

"Asher he be a fine Squirrel Scout
He has plenty of ability without a doubt
To check for signs round about
For anything amiss from bird or trout"

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

"Fenir be a Badger Warrior bold
He comes to the aid of the young and the old
Well able to drive any vermin from the fold
Oh the Tales of Fenir to be told"

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

"Reginald be a Hare Rogue indeed
Able to pinch a harvest or a seed
Blending in with flower or weed
A true help for those in their time of need"

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

"Then there be the Squirrel Scout named Vi
She be well able to fly
From treetop to treetop up high
She be our help whether sunny or cloudy sky"

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

"Oltovian the River Otter be I
Ready to help whether wet or dry
What is with the Rhyme one may cry
I be a Talespinner is why"

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

"So drink hearty your juice or ale
We be champions of the Alder Vale
Forces of Good to prevail
As we journey forth in an Epic Tale"

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, mid morning.] "The safety of Alder Vale
Is ever our goal
As we ride in the wagons
With Weldon the Mole"

"We be going slow
Through the rain dontcha know
Perhaps cause Pogo and Tootsie
May be playing footsie"

"The safety of Alder Vale
Is ever our goal
As we ride in the wagons
With Weldon the Mole"

"Before we get to the quarry of stone
Some may be drenched to the bone
But will lay aside their short misery
To help us all solve the mystery"

"The safety of Alder Vale
Is ever our goal
As we ride in the wagons
With Weldon the Mole"

Hope those were received as words of encouragement by our valiant steeds!
Oltovian leaned forward to shout out a word of encouragement and appreciation to the male and female Lizards, as they steadily pulled the wagon in spite of the rain, ever nearer to their destination, before addressing Weldon the Mole with the following question:

"Well kind sir, what can you tell me about the Murkenhill Quarry and the surrounding lands?

"Perhaps you can fill in the information that I be lacking from the Tomes that I have read and the 'Hare History Tales' that I have heard over the years?"


Posted on 2014-01-03 at 20:12:24.

Reralae
Dire Dust Bunny
Karma: 121/12
1953 Posts


Trees are a squirrel's best friend, maybe?

Violet shook her head, "I think that was everything. Thank you very much." She replied, giving an awkward curtsey. It wasn't that the gesture was awkward to give, but rather that it looked kind of strange, with Violet using her shawl, her left forearm keeping the fabric at her waist while her right paw completed the action, making the lower part of the shawl act as though it were a skirt.

Leaving the gentlemouse to his own duties, Violet quietly left the library. She rubbed the back of her head a bit, silently going through the list of people she should probably talk to before the journey.

Murkenhill... I wonder if we need anything that grows from there. She thought, before deciding to locate Dunstable.

With Violet's paws quietly padding along the abbey halls, she could overhear little bits of conversation around her, but she paid them no heed, focusing on her task of locating the local herbalist.

When she found him, she made sure she wasn't too quiet so that she didn't startle him. That never went over well, especially if he was counting herbs out.

"Hi Dunstable," Violet spoke up, "Seeing as a few of us are heading up towards Murkenhill, was there anything we should keep an eye out for? I know it's still spring so things might not have bloomed quite yet but thought I'd ask."

*** and a bit later ***

There was one last person Violet wanted to see before they left. She carefully made her way to the infirmary. With one ear to the oaken door, she carefully made sure she wasn't disturbing anybeast before she entered. Violet did not like to interrupt.

After entering, Violet fidgeted slightly with the hem of her shawl, "Hi Florence."

Looking up from her parchment, Florence smiled, "So I heard you'll be leaving for a bit?" She asked.

Violet nodded, "Yeah, we're supposed to help the Foreman out. I have to admit it's a fairly different than the messenger duties I usually fulfill." She chuckled, not looking directly at Florence.

"Well, make sure you all look after each other. I'd rather none of you get sick during the trip." Florence said, perhaps a little bit sternly, as a mother would a child.

Violet nodded, "I'll make sure the others know. We'll be back fairly soon, though I don't know how long it takes to quarry a stone?" She rubbed a paw at the back of her head.

Florence laughed, "Don't push yourself too hard either." She warned, "I know you like flying, but I'm still not convinced you're clear for long distance flight."

Violet nodded once more, "I'll be careful." She promised, before making her way to her room.

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, previous night]
What a night it was. The stars were hiding behind the gloomy rain clouds, sharing their tears of life with the world below.

((Assuming there is a single tree for Violet to scamper up to keep lookout from))

I'm sorry in advance, Florence, if I get sick. Violet thought as she climbed a lone tree not far from the road where they were camped, But someone needs to keep lookout, even in this weather.
Once she got up high enough, Violet set herself up against the trunk, trying to keep herself mostly covered by the branches above her, as she kept watch. Yes, they were traveling on the road, and yes, there was no word of foul beasts afoot, but there always needed to be a watch. In addition, if there was a tree nearby, Violet would always nominate herself for the task, even if it wasn't always her watch. It was just good to volunteer.

... I do hope I can weather the weather though. Violet noted, knowing that she wasn't exactly waterproof.

((If there is no such tree for Violet to be lookout from, she stays in the wagon))

[morning]
((If she did stay out, she wrings her shawl out as best as she can before she rejoins the group proper))

Violet really did not like mud. It was one thing to be grounded (uncomfortable but she could live with it), but another entirely to be on ground that wasn't honest with her. As soon as they neared the Greyshun Woods, she scrambled up the first tree and was following beside the group, in the treetops.


Posted on 2014-01-04 at 07:23:39.

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


Weldon's reply to Oltovian

Oltovian leaned forward to shout out a word of encouragement and appreciation to the male and female Lizards, as they steadily pulled the wagon in spite of the rain, ever nearer to their destination, before addressing Weldon the Mole with the following question:

"Well, kind sir, what can you tell me about the Murkenhill Quarry and the surrounding lands?

"Perhaps you can fill in the information that I be lacking from the Tomes that I have read and the 'Hare History Tales' that I have heard over the years?"

“’are ‘istory Tales, eh?” Weldon replied, keeping his eyes on the road ahead. “Hrmp! Lot o’ good that non-sense will do ye,” he mumbled. “Likely filled yer ‘ead all sorts muddly-mush. ‘are 'istory Tales! That’s what they be teaching ye from down at the Abbey these days? Books by 'are-brained authors? Probably got all of the facts wrong then. Hrmp!”

From under his hooded cape, Weldon cast his eyes briefly over Oltovian as though he were assessing the otter. The hood had done little to keep out the driving rain, and the damp, matted fur around the mole’s face made Weldon look even more miserable.

“Let me give ye a true education, lad,” the mole began, turning his eyes back to the road. “We moles ‘ave been ‘round the ‘ills a long time. Why, I can trace my own line back eleven generations, my lads making the line thirteen – the Maker be good. Stormhollow’s been our home all these seasons. And we’ve defended many of them against one horde or another. Fangel the Wildcat, from the summer of 47 – they tell ye about ‘im? – nah, ‘course not. ‘e was a tyrant. The cruel Cat liked to bury ‘is fangs in ‘is enemies’ necks, then watch them bleed out nice and slow. That Wildcat was so crazy, ‘e cut down ‘is own horde just for sport – we didn’t mind that, mind ye... only good rat’s a dead one, am I right? Right?

“”They tell you ‘bout the morning in late fall, 33... or was it 34... hrmp... one year or the other... it doesn’t matter. The masons woke up to find the great brown bear twins, Gunnar and Vidar, ‘ad decided to take up residence in the nearby cave. Those bears gorged themselves on many of our kin before we were able to rally ourselves and defend the Quarry. My grandpapy was lost that day, dashed against the stone walls of the pit by Gunnar, that beast. Rumour ‘as it’s still lumbering ‘bout somewheres north of the ‘ills

“Or, how ‘bout Gratch the Wretched and ‘is band of corsairs that came out the west back in the Spring of 18? Hear ‘bout ‘im? ‘ad my kin working as slaves to build ‘im a fortress just north of ‘ere. Didn’t get far, though. The old masons laid ‘im down a foundation that came crumbling down around ‘is head right after ‘e holed ‘imself up in it. Haha! That’s a good story. Ol’ mole ingenuinity, right?

The mole paused for a moment, a dark seriousness returning to his face. “None of them stories compare to the desolation of Shadow though. He came in soon after the Quarry began operations, ten or so seasons before the Abbey was founded.” Weldon turned his glaze towards Oltovian, his eyes wide, “A more wicked beast does not live ‘mongst us.

“Wings wide enough to block out the light of day. The powerful gusts from those wings are strong enough to knock over a stone wall. ‘is talons can lift boulders. ‘is beak can rend plate mail. Death and destruction follow in ‘is wake. Oh! The Maker be good – we thought ‘im dead, but ‘e was only bidin’ is time, troubling other kind creatures elsewhere, perhaps. But now ‘e’s returned, wanting gold, they say. And if ‘e don’t get ‘is gold, then ‘e’ll be bringing death and destruction once more.

“I haven’t seen ‘im myself. Delivering stone keeps me away from ‘ome more often than not. But the masons tell me it’s ‘im for sure. Shadow’s back.”

OOC:
Note #1: Oltovian has heard the first two tales before in the Hare History Tales. The Tales claim it was in the fall of 33 that the bears took up residence, and that both bears were killed.
Note #2: Oltovian has heard about the broken fortress from the third story, but little else.
Note #3: To the rest of the characters – unless you are riding in the wagon with Oltovian and Weldon, none of you would be able to hear the above stories.



Posted on 2014-01-04 at 08:52:04.
Edited on 2014-01-04 at 08:58:00 by Ayrn

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Enlightening Conversation

Oltovian was enjoying his conversation with Weldon the Mole as the Lizards Pogo and Tootsie continued pulling the wagon along the muddy trail in the face and fury of the driving rain.

His intellect was thrilled by the accounts of the great brown bear twins Gunnar and Vidar, choosing to listen to Weldon, rather than arguing the authentic accounts from his hearing the 'Hare History Tales' over the past several years.

He took mental notes in regards to Fangel the Wildcat as Weldon pontificated from the perspective of Mole History passed down from one generation to the next and so on.

It might prove to serve the Otter well should he be called upon to address the Mole Masons during their sojourn at the Murkenhill Quarry, or have the opportunity to entertain anybeast should the five friends find themselves at an inn in Stormhollow before returning to Stonewell Abbey.

But when Weldon the Mole began his proud pontification in regards to the 'ingenuinity' of the Mole Masons who were enslaved by Gratch the Wretched and his evil band of corsairs, the River Otter paid special attention to the details, making a mental note to remember to keep himself on the positive side of any Mole Masons that the young Talespinner may need to enlist to build a Storyteller’s School at some future date (when he became a full fledged Bard), should Oltovian live long enough to require such an edifice!

Mole Masons could build a magnificent school for students of poetry, music and entertainment. Paying students from round about the Alder Vale would gladly invest a few seasons to learn there!
Oltovian hung upon every word that Weldon the Mole spoke above the sound of the driving rain, soaking in every tidbit of information for future reference when composing ballads and recitations.

The mole paused for a moment, a dark seriousness returning to his face. “None of them stories compare to the desolation of Shadow though. He came in soon after the Quarry began operations, ten or so seasons before the Abbey was founded.” Weldon turned his glaze towards Oltovian, his eyes wide, “A more wicked beast does not live ‘mongst us.

“Wings wide enough to block out the light of day. The powerful gusts from those wings are strong enough to knock over a stone wall. ‘is talons can lift boulders. ‘is beak can rend plate mail. Death and destruction follow in ‘is wake. Oh! The Maker be good – we thought ‘im dead, but ‘e was only bidin’ is time, troubling other kind creatures elsewhere, perhaps. But now ‘e’s returned, wanting gold, they say. And if ‘e don’t get ‘is gold, then ‘e’ll be bringing death and destruction once more.

“I haven’t seen ‘im myself. Delivering stone keeps me away from ‘ome more often than not. But the masons tell me it’s ‘im for sure. Shadow’s back.”

The River Otter let this news sink in and mingle with the information he already knew about Shadow.

"So you have any idea where Shadow may be hiding? Rumors say there is a roost northwest of Stormhollow, a massive nest atop a tall pillar made of natural rock."

Oltovian waited courteously for a proper response, before changing the subject of his questions.

"So where do you deliver stones?"

"What can you tell me about the Murkenhill Quarry and anybeasts who work there?"

"Can you tell me what you know about the loss of production from mining stones over the past few months? Would there be any other plausible explanation, other than the return of Shadow?"

"If my friends and I discover any clues that take us to Stormhollow, what do you know about that region? Are there anybeasts you know that we could trust to help us solve this mystery?"

"What can you tell me about the Murkenhill Fort and the surrounding region? Are there anybeasts there that you know? Would any of them be willing to help us solve this mystery?"

"Have you ever been to Mistmoor?"

"One final question my friend. Is there anybeast who would benefit from the loss of production of mining stones at the Murkenhill Quarry?"


Posted on 2014-01-04 at 21:13:19.

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


Second response to Oltovian

"So you have any idea where Shadow may be hiding? Rumors say there is a roost northwest of Stormhollow, a massive nest atop a tall pillar made of natural rock."
Weldon gave the young otter a queer look, “They tell ye nothin’ back at the Abbey?” Oltovian’s look was all the mole needed to set into another tirade. “Hrmp! Of course, we ‘ave an idea where Shadow is ‘idin’, ‘cept I don’t think I’d call it ‘idin’. The wicked beast be up in ‘is roost, of course, plottin’ and schemin’ the destruction of me and me kin. And it ain’t no rumor either, ‘is roost be easy enough to find. Northwest of the Quarry, maybe a day or so walk. No more. I’m sure someone’s got a map up at the Pit.

“Our problem ain’t that we can’t find ‘im,” Weldon went on, annoyed as a beast with a burr in his fur. “Our problem is that we ain’t been able to kill ‘im. ‘e just keeps comin’ back.”

Oltovian waited courteously for a proper response, before changing the subject of his questions.

"So where do you deliver stones?"

“Eh? What’s that?” Weldon asked. “Where do I deliver stone?” The mole gave Oltovian a sideways glance. “Ye be a curious, young feller, eh?

“Well, me young friend, me and me boys deliver mostly south of the Murkenhill Forks. Rumblewood, Stonewell, and the Abbey.

"What can you tell me about the Murkenhill Quarry and anybeasts who work there?"
“Foremole Tigwyn, I suppose, be the one you’ll be lookin’ to speak with. ‘e runs the operation at the Quarry. Small beast, but stout as a boulder. Split rock as good as anybeast, I’d figure.”

"Can you tell me what you know about the loss of production from mining stones over the past few months? Would there be any other plausible explanation, other than the return of Shadow?"
“Loss of production?” The mole gives Oltovian a queer look, and then speaks somewhat indignantly, “Hrmp! There’s been no loss of production. Except for this trip south, we’ve been exceedin’ our quotas each time. Loss of production! Hrmp!”

Weldon turns his gaze to the sky, “They don’t believe us!” Turning back to Oltovian, he continues, “Are ye not listenin’ to me, lad? I already told you -- Shadow’s back. ‘ow much more explanation did ye be needin’?”

It is obvious that the otter’s question has frustrated the mole as he continues on in silence.

OOC: More to follow shortly... don't post yet


Posted on 2014-01-06 at 05:31:42.

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


Dunstable's reply to Vi

Dunstable had been working at crushing and grinding a white powder mixture with his mortar and pestle. He set the both down when he noticed the little squirrel enter in.

“Ah! My dear, fair Vi!” the rat said pleasantly, washing his hands in the nearby basin and drying them on his apron. “What brings you by this late hour?”

"Hi Dunstable," Violet spoke up, "Seeing as a few of us are heading up towards Murkenhill, was there anything we should keep an eye out for? I know it's still spring so things might not have bloomed quite yet but thought I'd ask."
“Ah, my little dove,” chided Dunstable gently. “There are so many things to be harvested during every season – the Maker be praised. One only needs to know where to look,” he added with a smile.

“Now... Murkenhill, hmm? Let me think...” Dunstable thought reflectively. “Ah, yes! Of course! Usnea!”
Dunstable goes on to give a description of the plant.

OOC:See link here --> link
And, there’s more to post... though I will need to make the update tomorrow night. Sorry, guys!



Posted on 2014-01-06 at 07:01:44.

Ayrn
RDI Fixture
Karma: 122/12
1984 Posts


UPDATE #1

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, late morning.]
The rain begins letting up by late morning until it is little more than a light drizzle. Still, the storm has taken its toll on the two squirrel scouts. For Vi, the cold chill has seemed to sink deep into the marrow of her bones. Asher finds his nose has a steady drip of mucus and catches himself sniffling.

The party is just beginning to stop for a hot lunch, when a band of raccoons emerges from a ditch to the right. While the group of seven are dressed in ragged clothes, they are well armed. The band splits in the three groups:

Group 1 is made of a stout raccoon armed with a wicked battle axe, and two lean raccoons with short bows notched and ready. They are approaching the first cart.

Group 2 is made up a powerfully build raccoon with a massive wooden club, and another raccoon with a short bow ready to fire. They are approaching the last cart.

Group 3 is made of a tall and slender raccoon armed with two short swords and a raccoon armed with his short bow aimed at Weldon.

“Simon Crag,” Weldon nearly spat out the words. “What are ye lot doin’ ‘bout ‘ere. Stirrin’ up trouble, no doubt.”

“You know exac.. exact...,” Simon the Raccoon with the two short swords begins to say as he approaches the middle cart. “exa—aachoo... exactly what we’re doing. We’re lightening your load a little. Gonna help ourselves to some of your provisions and then empty out your coffers. Who are your three friends?”

“Trained scouts from the Abbey,” Weldon said sternly. “Might want to think your plan through again and back away. “

“Haha! Me!” Simon scoffed. “Back down from these three whelps! I don’t think so.”

He paused for a moment, sizing up the wagon train. “But I have thought my plan again,” he said, a sly grin creeping over his face. “I’ll take any gold they got on them too. Haha!”

The other raccoons joined in with their leader in laughing, until Simon let out another loud sneeze. “Let’s go, lads,” Simon said, sniffling. “Hand over yer pouches. Nobeasts gonna get hurt.”

OOC: A couple of notes:

1) The wagons are stopped.
2) Vi has not been spotted yet in the trees
3) I have Asher out walking up front... and he is spotted
4) I have Fenir sitting in the front wagon with Dremmon.
5) I have Oltovian riding beside Weldon in the middle cart.
6) Vi and Asher failed their Fort saves and are developing colds... no game-mechanic effect yet.
7) While you are welcome to fight your way out of this scenario (really, that is a fine option), do not feel like every moment of conflict must be handled with steel and bow.
8 ) Next update will be Thursday, Jan 9, after 5 PM EST. Please have your updates in prior to then.
9) Sorry, I don’t have a battle map. I can say that you are all within striking distance.



Posted on 2014-01-06 at 08:25:46.
Edited on 2014-01-06 at 08:26:50 by Ayrn

Reralae
Dire Dust Bunny
Karma: 121/12
1953 Posts


Timing is important

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, late morning.]
Violet couldn't completely hear everything that was going on along the road, but she knew that brandishing weapons usually went hand in hand with looking for trouble. Clearly, some people considered the wagons easy pickings, which meant they didn't see it was guarded.

Taking advantage of her position, Violet carefully reached over her shoulder to draw Catkin, her willow longbow, keeping her movements slow. They might not have seen her yet, and she wasn't about to give them reason to see her.

Drawing one of her arrows, Violet brings the fletching to Catkin's string, training her aim on the boastful one, the one that was doing all the talking. However, she did not draw the bow to fire just yet. Violet didn't know exactly how long she could hold Catkin back.

If I fire now, it will turn into a mess down there. Violet thought, I need to wait until we're committed to an attack. Otherwise, well, they might cut and run if I take out Mr. Big Mouth and bring their morale down, but it could cause a retaliation, and I don't see anyone ready for that yet. She noted, keeping watch on her friends.

((OOC: Violet is preparing to fire if necessary or given a signal. She knows that with her both hidden and in the treetops, she is in her ideal position, and that it's not a good idea to give herself away just yet.))


Posted on 2014-01-06 at 18:42:10.

Hammer
Extreme Exclaimator!
Karma: 90/24
4114 Posts


Facing the Bandits

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, late morning.]
"The safety of Alder Vale
Is ever our goal
As we ride in the wagons
With Weldon the Mole"

"Before we get to the quarry of stone
Some may be drenched to the bone
But will lay aside their short misery
To help us all solve the mystery"

"The safety of Alder Vale
Is ever our goal
As we ride in the wagons
With Weldon the Mole"

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

"So drink hearty your juice or ale
We be champions of the Alder Vale
Forces of Good to prevail
As we journey forth in an Epic Tale"

"We be making history
To help to solve the mystery
Of something so dark and foul
Reportedly from the Legendary Shadow the Owl"

"But now I sense Death on the Breeze
Invited by Your Sniffly Sneeze
There Be a Curse on Your Ragged Band
Death Be Now Close at Hand"

"So go ahead and Laugh Away
Death Be Stalking You This Day
You Who rely on Deeds of Strife
This Day Death Will Claim Your Life"

"But now I sense Death on the Breeze
Invited by Your Sniffly Sneeze
There Be a Curse on Your Ragged Band
Death Be Now Close at Hand"

"You still have time to Run and Flee
Or You may choose to Stay and See
How Death Appears from the Clouds
Wrapping You in Deathly Shrouds"

"So go ahead and Laugh Some More
I can hear Your Death Knell Roar
I can smell Death Coming Soon
To Claim the Life of a Raccoon"

"You still have time to Run and Flee
Or You may choose to Stay and See
How Death Appears from the Clouds
Wrapping You in Deathly Shrouds"

OOC: Oltovian is relying upon his High Charisma and his Loud Chant to hopefully unnerve the Raccoons, causing them to flee; or at least make them think that he is some sort of Prophetic Seer, which may or may not prolong the conversation and cause the Raccoons to hold off attacking?

Plus this will hopefully give Fenir a Bonus to any Attack he may launch, while buying some time for Violet to do whatever she plans to do to add to the mystic of the Chant and possibly convince the Bandits that Death is indeed Stalking!

Okay, I just read the Post from Reralae, so I trust the loudness of the chant alerts her as well and gives her added info as to how to launch an attack from the treetops.

Meanwhile, the Talespinner is not going for any of his weapons (Darts, Dagger or Rapier) as he is relying upon Violet to have his back so to speak, relying upon his Reflexes (16 Dexterity) and waiting to see how Weldon reacts to the situation, especially from his Chanting!


Posted on 2014-01-06 at 19:25:19.

Bodkin
Occasional Visitor
Karma: 5/0
33 Posts


Bad scout! No acorn!

[The Masons’ Way, northeast of the Murkenhill Forks, Mid Spring, Year 54 AR, present time, late morning.]
Asher, lost in the misery of being wet and cold, should have noticed the raccoon tracks in the mud when they broke for lunch but he was quite busy keeping his nose clean with the sleeve of his tunic. Of course, it was not good manners to wipe one's nose on one's clothing but it was all so wet it didn't matter much.

“Simon Crag,” Weldon nearly spat out the words. “What are ye lot doin’ ‘bout ‘ere. Stirrin’ up trouble, no doubt.”
“You know exac.. exact...,” Simon the Raccoon with the two short swords begins to say as he approaches the middle cart. “exa—aachoo... exactly what we’re doing. We’re lightening your load a little. Gonna help ourselves to some of your provisions and then empty out your coffers. Who are your three friends?”
Three? Good. They haven't spotted Vi. These beasts are just sick and hungry. It'd be a shame to 'harvest their acorns' just because they're desperate. But they don't seem to be giving us much of a choice. Oh, how I hope we're up to the challenge!
“Trained scouts from the Abbey,” Weldon said sternly. “Might want to think your plan through again and back away. “
As soon as the pale squirrel heard Weldon say "Trained scouts" he felt embarrassment welling up inside him at being waylaid like this.

Oltovian's chant cut through the misty air. "But now I sense Death on the Breeze..."
As quickly as his waterlogged paws could move he drew an arrow and nocked it to his bowstring. He knew he must keep to close range because his fletching was soaked and his arrows would be less likely to hit their mark at a distance. He didn't like the idea of killing these poor troublemakers so he focused his instinctive aim on the hands of the raccoon approaching bearing the battleaxe.

OOC:
Asher will not draw back his bow until he is ready to fire. He is a snap-shooter and doesn't spend time at full-draw. At first sign that a skirmish is inevitable, he will fire at the hands of the axe wielding chap in Group 1. Otherwise he will wait to see how things shake out.



Posted on 2014-01-06 at 20:40:46.
Edited on 2014-01-06 at 20:41:11 by Bodkin

   
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