BIG TROUBLE IN ORLANE!
DISCLAIMER: WARNING!! This game may have adult content, please be forewarned before reading further. Thank you.
Having spent the last day or so in an excited search for equipment the day had finally arrived. The culmination of all of your hard work, study, sweat and tears. Adventure had finally come! You are hard working farmers, hearty miners, dedicated scribes, roguish scoundrels, freed slaves and hired thugs no longer. You are adventurers! You are out now to find your way in the lands. To make your mark on the world and push on to fame and fortune. Malark the Magnificent! Justinal the Wise! Lorenar the Slick! Were these not the great champions and heroes of the lands? Why couldn't it be us? It could be, and everyone has to start somewhere..
You just didn't think somewhere would be so damn wet and dirty! Those that traveled far had finally arrived in the town of Hochoch, although most of you were from the surrounding area. The search for equipment had been painless as the town has no end of supplies for adventurers. As a matter of fact this seemed to be an adventurer's haven! Parties leave towards the mountains or the Dim Forest nearly daily and the bustle of activity is almost overwhelming. A steady rain seemed to always permeate the area and the locals don't seem to notice. After a very few stops at a few of the local inns, you realize that adventure isn't really that hard to find. The problem is, everyone wanted experience.. Slaying dragons? Umm no. Killing powerful lich's? Not quite yet. And the thought of fighting a gaggle of beholders made you more queasy than you thought. There had to be something.. So the local inn keep smiled and pointed you to a small post outside of the inn.
For those that couldn't read the innkeeper came out and read the missive for them. The message read.. "Adventurer's needed for an investigation of the nearby town of Orlane. Possible danger, low pay. Assemble at town hall an hour before sunset on the 3rd." Signed, Balarok Hallfar.
That was tonight!! So your gear was picked up and everything that you could think of was purchased for an adventure and you found yourself shuffled by the local magistrate into a large and sturdy meeting room inside of the town all. The room was filling up and there looked to be about twenty adventurers or so crammed into seats or sitting on crates in corners throughout the area. Everyone looked very young! Gnomes, dwarves, humans, elves, and half-elves saturated the room. I even thought I spotted an orc for a second, but it was just a very ugly human. There was no ale, no spread of food. No welcome. This was the bottom of the adventurer scale, but you had to start somewhere.. right?
A very fat human in fine clothing stepped to the front of the room. There was a lectern set up and he stood behind it and banged a small hammer once before clearing his throat and speaking. "Thank you for coming! My name is Balarok Hallfar. I am a merchant of some worth that works out of the great city of Hookhill. I am going to be speaking for quite some time, so please pay attention. If you are interested in this adventure you will be paid 50 gp each plus any treasure you find on your journey's." At this more than a few of the obviously seasoned adventurers got up and left and I wondered if I should do the same. But I saw there were still quite a few people left so I decided to stay.
The rotund man began to speak, "As you all know the border between Gran March and the Kingdom of Keoland has been a peaceful one for many years. In the western section of this frontier, the stagnant bogs and slime-coated pools of the Rushmoors occupy much of an otherwise fertile plain. To the north of the marsh, the dark recesses of the Dim Forest cause even the most stalwart travelers think twice before entering among the tall trunks and dangling tendrils of moss."
Motioning for a stool he moves it to the side and sits heavily upon it, "Only a few years ago, a group of adventurers opened a small caravan track through the previously untraveled Dim Forest. This track connects the town of Hochoch with Gran March’s thriving capital of Hookhill. The track cuts through a narrow finger of the forest, and traders have to take precautions against the marauding creatures there. Ogres and goblins have been reported, often in large and bloodthirsty bands, and only lucky or well-armed caravans can expect to make the journey in safety."
He takes a long pull of a flask that magically appeared into his hand and continues.. "There is a town called Orlane that is close to this caravan route and is especially significant to me. Orlane itself was founded nearly a generation ago, when explorers from Hochoch reported that the land between the Rushmoors and the Dim Forest seemed to be extremely fertile. Soon after the arrival of the first farmers, a temple to the chaotic good goddess of agriculture, Merikka, was erected, and thus the village of Orlane was born. The land here proved to be very rich, often producing crops half again as large as those grown in more mundane soil. Orlane quickly grew into a thriving community of 300 people."
Pointing towards the adventurers he nods, "Yes that is why it is important to me, I am a merchant that has traded with Orlane for many, many years. Occasionally, the settlers were harassed by bands of humanoids from the forest, or strange, scaly creatures from the swamp. These farmers were hardy folk, however, and were not intimidated by a few raids. Instead, they organized a well trained militia to meet the assaults of the monsters with cold steel. The humanoids soon learned that Orlane was a village best left alone."
Taking another pull he continues.. "Throughout the past year, the population of Orlane has undergone a steady decline. Many farmers have packed their possessions and, for unknown reasons, migrated to other, less fertile areas. Some homes have simply been found abandoned, with food on the table or crops unharvested in the field. No explanation has ever been offered for these strange disappearances. Sometimes the families have returned in a week or two, and other times they have never been heard from again."
Getting a serious look on his face he says, "Orlane's occupants were always a serious but friendly lot. This has changed and they have become very suspicious of just about anything, and who could blame them? Something sinister is at work in Orlane and that is where you come in my mighty adventurers. For those that wish to partake in this endeavor, gold is not the only rewards! Do not these people deserve to live in peace? You would be doing the lands a great service by finding out what is behind this dastardly problem."
Standing he holds up a rolled parchment. "This is a map of Orlane, at least the most recent I could gather. It shows the route to get to Orlane which is 2 days journey east of here, just to the north of the Rushmoors and just to the south of the needle of Dim Forest that the caravan track runs through. Let there be caution, because the Dim Forest and the Rushmoors are no jokes fellows. As you well have heard and know they are filled with peril. Go to Orlane. Learn of the evil that has come upon this good town and get to the source and eliminate it. That is the task I put forth to you, young adventurers. Will you partake?"
At this a few servants come in carrying small bags with jingling coins in them to set at the merchants podium. "This is half the money, 25 GP. The other half will be given when you come back with the job well done. The map is here on the podium, also I have a map of the town direct for everyone. Once the group gets together and decides who will be going, I will pass along your gold to use as you will. I will be offering you as well a cart with a donkey to carry items or whatever you wish. Horses would be a burden in these environs so walking it is. You leave at dawn tomorrow morning at the outskirts of Hochoch! Good luck to you all!"
The group of adventurers all bustle at once. Some leave with mumblings of swamps and forests and others linger and stay, watching the others as they decide what to do. You have already made up your mind. You will go, be it for the unknown treasure, the championing of the good people of Orlane, or simply the adventure of it all, it was time to make your mark on the world!
Alrighty then! Time to introduce yourself. The room you are is a typical large conference hall. There are small benches where people can sit, but no refreshments or anything of that nature. I am going to assume after you all introduce yourself that lodgings are taken care of and we will start the next post the following morning outside of Hochoch. The map of Orlane and the map of the area where you will be able to get to Orlane is posted in the Q&A Thread. Things that I will need that you can post in the Q&A forum as a group: An outdoor marching order, a double file indoor marching order, a single file indoor marching order. You may also discuss amongst yourselves how you want to do camp guards as you will be sleeping over nights outdoors. If you have question for me OUT OF GAME please post in the Q&A thread. This thread should ONLY be for Role-playing purposes! Have fun..
Posted on 2008-03-18 at 03:13:57.
Edited on 2008-03-18 at 03:14:34 by Tripwire
A large, dark figure steps out of the shadows once the group disperses. He is wet but does not attempt to dry himself. Something about his demeanor makes people who notice him uneasy. Perhaps it's his unyielding grip on his battle-axe with what appears to be a crudely painted red skull on the head.
Or perhaps the slightly Humanoid features of his slanted brow and wide, protruding jaw, his mop-like hair concealing sunken shadowy eyes. Or the intense way that he seems to stare about three feet past those he makes eye-contact with (a rare, but inevitable event). As he approaches Balarok of Hookhill, he makes a futile attempt to look less threatening by resting his weathered axe high upon his shoulder. "Deathstalker the Second," he says, staring through him with sunken, yellow eyes, "I'm in."
Deathstalker the Fighter accepts the job and joins the party
Gunther the Paladin Intro First posted in Q&A Thread
Gunther had gathered his belongings and staked out a position in the furthest corner of the room where he could quietly pray and observe the assorted cast of characters who were assembling to hear the offer of adventure from the merchant Balarok Hallfar.
Gunther studied each adventurer, mentally taking notes of his observations that would possibly make the difference between life or death once the party had embarked upon their quest.
The Paladin listened intently as Balarok Hallfar made his plea, which was worded more as a declaration to those assembled.
Gunther took note of the seasoned veterans who scowled at the prospect of receiving a mere 50 gold as payment for their services, but the Paladin was unmoved in his resolve to become a member of the party being assembled to investigate the strange happenings in Orlane.
The young Paladin whispered another prayer to his God while the merchant Balarok Hallfar continued describing the situation, climaxed by the declaration of a half payment in gold before the adventurers departed at first light on the morrow with the promise of the balance payment being made upon completion of the quest.
Gunther tucked his bag of newly bought figs inside his tunic and selected his blow gun and a few darts as he rose to walk across the room to the podium to declare his registration.
Halfway across the room the young Paladin paused, leveling his gaze at the remaining adventurers in the room, raised his blow gun to his lips momentarily, then pointed his blow gun towards his belongings in the far corner of the room, sending the message to any thieves in the group that it was much healthier to forage for unattended items elsewhere.
Gunther strode to the podium and in a soft spoken voice meant only for the merchant Balarok Hallfar to hear, declared his intention to join the party that was assembling for the adventure to Orlane.
Upon being handed his 25 gold, the young Paladin selected 5 Gold and instructed the merchant to forward the tithe to a local priest of God.
The merchant protested that the 5 gold was twice the tithe necessary, but Gunther stared him in the eyes and cooly stated that the payment was 50 gold and that Gunther is a Man of Faith who expects to return for the balance of the payment, plus whatever treasure he is able to carry.
Besides, as a Man of Faith, the young Paladin had long ago learned the importance of paying his tithes in advance as a faith tithe for protection against the unseen forces of evil that were sure to be assembled against the gathering party of adventurers, plus to receive the fullness of the blessings of his God during the course of the adventure as he expected by faith to be rewarded with untold treasures for his obedience to his God in the matter of tithing.
As Gunther made his way back across the room to his belongings, he noticed an Elven Ranger [Kyuss Crimsonmoon] and he instinctively withdrew his bag of figs from his tunic and offered the Elf a taste while speaking a few words in an Elvish tongue, then nodded and proceeded to his seat in the far corner of the room.
A few steps further the young Paladin noticed a Dwarf Fighter [Doogan Ironfist] and extended the bag of figs as he gazed intently at the Dwarf Fighter, then with a nod Gunther made his way back to his seat without any further interaction of offering any figs to any other adventurer.
Gunther sat down and put his blow gun in its place as the young Paladin observed who would remain in the room to answer the call to adventure and possibly formulate a plan together before the adventurers retired for the night.
As Gunther surveyed the room once more he noticed the Dwarf Fighter [Doogan Ironfist] eyeing him with a suspicious gaze, but the young Paladin merely raised his Battle Axe with his left hand towards Doogan Ironfist as a sign of respect and nodded to the Dwarf Fighter once again before turning his attention to other matters at hand.
Kitai listened to the merchant with baited breath. A mere two weeks after arriving in Hochoch from 18 months at sea here was the chance he had been waiting for..... ADVENTURE!!!
Kitai tried to look calm and collected as he made his way to the the table. He eyed the rest of the room trying to mark those who might join the quest to help the villagers.
Despite being a High Elf , Kitai bucked the traditional haughty values that most of his kind displayed. Years serving on a merchant vessel had made him more accepting of other races and their values .... It had also sparked his thirst for adventure and knowledge leading him to this very moment.
Kitai expressed his desire to help , pocketed the 25 gp, and retreated back to his table waiting to see who else would be going ....
Posted on 2008-03-18 at 14:40:11.
Edited on 2008-03-19 at 18:40:33 by Floyd
Though not entirely uncomfortable in town settings, Valerus much perferred the outdoors this crowded meeting room he now found himself in. The call for adventure was answered by many, and he liked the diversity he was seeing in the room. Elves, dwarves, halflings, and some he was not quite sure about were all gathered together in a nice balance. He liked balance.
Upon listening to Balarok Hallfar's proposal, Valerus pondered all of the possibilities of this adventure. It would be a dangerous endeavor, but it appeared that some great malady had befallen the little village of Orlane. The young man wanted to help! It was a pity for such a bontiful farmland to fall into disuse at the current troubles. True, every harvest only put more coin into Balarok Hallfar's purse, but Valerus thought of all the good those crops performed for the good people of the surrounding communities. Plus, every harvest was a testimony to Beory, the Oerth Mother.
The young man surveyed the room after he had made up his mind to join in this little adventure. The pay was of no consequence to him. He liked to live off the land and enjoy the blessings of the Oerth Mother. However, he could look at a few of the adventures that were gathered and realize they were only here for the gold coins. The diversity he so enjoyed was plain for all to see, but how well would they meld together for the task at hand.
He noticed a human in the corner of the room offering a prayer to some higher power. He had the look of a holy man, but this was off-set by the battle axe he carried. He would soon get to know the warrior because he had agreed to join the adventure. Others of note were an elf that had the look of outdoors about him. While it was true all elves valued nature much more than their human counterparts, this one was different. He had the look of a guardian, one who would go out of his way to protect the Nature that Valerus held so dear. He noticed a few of the others too, but he would have plenty of time as they traveled the next few days to make the proper acquaintances.
It was now his turn to stand before Balarok Hallfar and sign on for the adventure. He walked to the podium and bowed to the rotund man, "I'll happily offer my services." Hallfar gave him little more than an agreeing nod and then pushed a bag of coins to Valerus. The young man was unsure of what buy with so much coin, but took the bag anyway. Who knew what dangers would be before him, and he thought perhaps it could be of some use.
Sentinel The Small was not happy. "What is this godforsaken weather", he thought. "I hate it when my leather gets wet; kinda shrinks up on me. Oh, well - that's another reason for an adventure. A little exercise would drop a few pounds, and even a tight leather would fit well." He stepped up to the table, behind some fancy-dancy elf, to accept his bag of coins from Balarok. Being a halfling meant that he barely could reach over the table, but he WAS quick. He grabbed the jingling bag and stepped lightly over to a lone chair to count the coins and to watch who else he might be adventuring with. he hoped that at least a couple of those "big guys" would be in the party plus somebody or somebodies who could heal. He knew his contribution was not going to be magic or might, but his lockpicking, pickpocketing and climbing skills were terrific. A good thief was hard to find, especially one who was a true neutral. He chuckled to himself as he thought what his father had said to him some years ago ..... "True Neutral - does that mean we steal from BOTH the rich and the poor?".
He smiled as he saw that really big and ugly guy sign up, but he was most intrigued by the only gnome in the room. He had never met a gnome before, so he siidled on over and introduced himself. "Well met, gnome; I am Sentinel The Small. What name is yours?"
*So, the experienced won't go for 50 GP? I'll take anything I can get now* thought the young halfling woman. During her short life span she'd never seen 50 GP at once, and longed for times to do such a thing. Most of her life was living hand to mouth, and danger was nothing she feared at the present time. It was nearly two days since she had last eaten, and the grumble in her stomach was motive enough to go and pocket the 25 GP in a pouch.
She was un-nerved at first, hearing of how people were dissapearing in the city, and what evil that might be happening within each homestead. Even more un-nerving was the first person who volunteered for the journey, Deathstalker the Second. Anyone with death in their name was suspect but his demeanor was somewhat intense but purposeful. The second person to announce his intentions, Gunther, provided some comfort but was somewhat discomforting being rooted in the ways of Goodness. Being a thief by nature could cause some problems with him. Kitai the Mage was a comforting figure even though being an Elf. There was also an unnamed person who was unnamed, but seemed well enough.
But then there was another Halfling that walked up, Sentinel the Small. He obviously carried himself like a thief, which might cause some problems if he wasn't honorable to the trade. Not knowing if he would break the unspoken code of a thief would be something to overcome in the days. At least she woudln't be the only one being scrutinized, or scrutinizing.
She stood up from her seat and walked calmly in front of the group who remained in the room and proclaimed, "I will be willing to join the party to investigate the happenings in Orlane. I am Haiden Hawes, at your service, Balarok."
Haiden approaches the table to claim her 25gp and awaits the group's forming and planning
Kyuss CrimsoonMoon was in a great mood. The beautiful weather had revived him like nothing could. Most people hate the rain but as a ranger Kyuss had come to love it. It was part of nature and all its grandness.
Fresh from the road and newly arrived in the town of Hochoch Kyuss went looking for a nice fire and something to eat. Not really at home in cities or towns he kept to himself. Lots of eye drifted his way. Not that there was anything strange about him. It was the way he moved that made people watch him. He seemed to glide across the ground barely touching it. Even in the rain and mud you couldnt tell that he had passed unless you had seen him.
Noting a crowd of people around the Inn, he slipped around the side of the building to hear what was going on. None in the crowd noticed him as he listned to what was read. When the innkeeper finished Kyuss went looking for the town hall. Sunset was approaching and he wanted to know what was going on.
Upon entering the hall he scanned the room looking for a place where he could be out of the way and by himself as he listened to what was to come. Finding a empty corner he drifter over to it and leaned back against the wall into a shadow to observe all in the room.
The room was packed with all sorts. Warriors loud and proud, a few devote looking folk, more then a few seedier types. Not really the type of people he would normally associate with but if the cause was right he could make do.
A very fat man stepped to the front of the room and started to speak. When the man who turned out to be Balarok Hallfar finished speaking Kyuss had made up his mind. Good land was being wasted and people were suffering in his mind there was no choice. Driftig like a wraith from his corner he approached Hallfar. He quietly stated his intentions, collected his gold and drifted back to his corner to see who his travelling companions would be.
Kyuss CrimsonMoon joins the party heading to Orlane
Stings placed himself in the corner and leaned against the wall as the fat man began to speak. He stood and watched the all of the other people in the room. He picked out the easy marks and the people to stay away from like his mentor Scales taught him to do. He reached down into black leather armor and fingered one of his hidden custom made throwing daggers as the one named Deathstalker II boomed his acceptance of the quest.
Adventure, gold & treasure! This is what Stings had been craving all his life! He waited until the room was almost empty tho to make his claim of the 25 GP's.
He walked over to where the rest of the party was assembling and nodded to each of them. He then sat down and began to memorize each of their faces and any other distinguishable features.
Gunther returned to his seat and placed his Blowgun next to his Heavy Crossbow. The young man who had just turned 17 years of age looked to be much older. He stood 6’3”, weighed 170 lbs, sporting jet-black hair that freely cascaded beyond his shoulders when he did not have his locks tied back in a pony tail. His blue eyes protruded from rugged features honed by his years of training and he would be strikingly handsome with a shave and a proper haircut were he to so choose; especially with the appropriate clothing for one of his noble station that he inherited from the lineage of his forefathers. His boyish face was hidden by a full manly beard and his slender, athletic body was deeply tanned from his years of regular and disciplined training outdoors. His deep blue eyes at times glowed like twin sapphires.
The young Paladin checked his gear once again as various adventurers debated within their hearts and minds about joining the party to liberate Orlane from the unknown evil. His Chainmail armor was secure along with his Medium Shield that bore the crest of a golden eagle against a green background with a red lightning bolt held in its beak. His Broadsword and War Hammer thirsted for the taste of battle against evildoers. Their time would come soon enough from the sound of things.
Deathstalker II looked to be a mean fighter with that eerie Battle Axe and one who could be counted on to stand against the evil opposition when others would flee the scene of battle. Gunther gave a word of thanks to his God for this good fortune.
Gunther could sense that the High Elf known as Kitai the Mage was someone who would also be good to have in a struggle of good against evil. Another prayer of thanks was offered to his God as the young Paladin sat brooding and watching who else would make a move to commit to the adventure to Orlane.
A curious character walking with a spear to register for the party had the aura of being at one with nature while possessing the ability to tap into some great hidden power that would be his to command and wield in behalf of the good of the party. Gunther offered yet another prayer of thanks to his God.
The Halfling that scurried up to the table for the bag of Gold was not one that the young Paladin would have chosen for a companion in the coming battle against the forces of evil, but Gunther had learned long ago in his short life that his God was an expert at arranging circumstances utilizing the smallest and strangest of beings to solve the greatest of problems. By faith Gunther breathed another prayer of thanks to his God.
Yet another Halfling that seemed to have spent her time on the seedier side of the street announced her intentions to join the growing party to investigate the strange happenings in Orlane. Gunther took another step of faith in his prayer of thanksgiving to his God, but he also breathed his concern that the adventurers needed more than just thieves or scoundrels to liberate the village from whatever evil had befallen the farm folk.
A few moments later Gunther experienced a greater peace as the Elven Ranger he had greeted with his bag of figs had also approached the podium and registered for the party to liberate Orlane of whatever evil had befallen the village. A joyful praise of thanksgiving welled up within the young Paladin as he expressed his gratitude to his God.
That peace and joy would have to sustain the young Paladin for the moment as yet another Thief type made his way to collect the bag of Gold offered by Balarok Hallfar for any adventurer brave enough to investigate the mystery that had befallen the farming village of Orlane.
Gunther would need more guidance from his God and the young Paladin began to fervently pray to his God that men of strength and character would step forward to enhance the capabilities of the adventurers preparing to journey to Orlane.
Gunther renewed his resolve before his God to continue to quietly watch and pray as the remaining candidates took their time to make their decisions to either walk away or join the party, knowing that his years of training would soon be put to the test.
The young Paladin patiently waits for the opportunity to plan strategy with the company of adventurers once the roster has been determined from among the remaining characters in the room .....
Posted on 2008-03-18 at 22:37:44.
Edited on 2008-03-18 at 22:38:42 by Hammer
Oriel Blackmoon sat at the back of the meeting hall and listened to the presentation about the dangers in Orlane. He had only arrived in town the day before. He looked the part of a ranger - being about 6' tall and looking strong and fit. Not the bulging muscles of a town guard, but rather the trim look of one used to hard work and travel. As he sat in the back of the room he allowed himself to blend into his surroundings. He didn't stand out, but that didn't bother him at all.
The mission was an easy sell. He was looking for some adventure and some work. But he had also gotten into this whole adventure business because he had seen first-hand that there were problems in the world. And here was a problem that he could help solve. It was exactly the sort of mission he was looking for.
But despite his early resolve to join the group, Oriel held back and watched. The merchant, in particular, drew his attention. It was a good thing he was doing in sponsoring this group - but Oriel was well aware that merchants did not get to be wealthy by doing things for the benefit of others. He expected him to be honorable enough to make the second payment, a good name was important to a merchant, but that didn't mean he didn't expect to see a lot of profit if the group was successful. Hopefully this would be a trip that would benefit the town, the adventurers and the merchant.
The other adventurers appeared to be a mixed lot - which was probably a good thing. The big paladin and the Deathstalker fellow looked like they would be good in a fight. He wondered which would end up being more awkward, the ones scowl and stare or the others devotion? At least with paladins one usually knew where you stood. And he was likely to want to help the village as much as get some gold - a goal the ranger appreciated. Another ranger and what appeared to be a druid? That could only be good. All in all, the group looked to be a nice mix, although he was hoping to see one of the clerics in the room step up.
After watching for awhile, Oriel stood up and strode forward. "Oriel Blackmoon - I'll sign on for this trip." He received his 25gp and headed over towards the other ranger. He didn't know any of these folks yet, but he wanted to before he headed off into the wilds with them.
He was familiar with forests, in fact he liked them, but had spent less time in swamps - he wanted to know more about the slimes and such supposedly in this fen. Who better to ask than another ranger and a druid? It was time to start making plans...
A stout dwarf makes his way out the crowd. Standing just under 4’ tall, his body width almost matches his height. He is now standing in the middle of the room. His massive arms hang down crossed. His left forearm bares a tattoo of an axe while his right arm bares the tattoo of a hammer. The two tattoos appear to have been drawn to represent a crossed axe and hammer. His red hair is cut very short with 4 long thin braids. His beard for some odd reason is also cut very short. His Chainmail looks worn. A shield and battle axe are strapped to his back. A war hammer and hand axe are secured to his belt. His voice is deep though you can hear some youth in his voice.
“I gladly accept. Let it be known that I will be up front during battle. Stay clear of my vertical blades once the battle begins. My fellow Clansmen, Elkin Hemrock will accept as well. He has been delayed due to matters from our deity. He will be ready by sunset. Now, my throat is feeling dry. I’m off to see what kind of ale Hochoch has to offer.
The dwarf takes two pouches of gold and exits. On his way out he looks back in and says……..
“If anyone wishes to join me, the first round is on me.”
Doogan accepts the offer for Elkin and himself. He makes his way to a local pub to sample some ale. After a few drinks and stories, he finds some lodging and retires for the night.
Posted on 2008-03-19 at 00:42:58.
Edited on 2008-03-19 at 02:09:27 by Elephant
Fandil arrived at the meeting place just as some rotund man began to speak. Trying to get into the room proved to be a challenge, Fandil weaseled and pushed his way past all of the wannabe adventurers and moved to the front of the room. He chuckled to himself as he sat down and looked to the back of the room. Along the entire back wall and both corners was packed with people of all shapes and sizes, but the one thing they all had in common was none of them wanted to move to the front of the room. Fandil thought to himself, “I can see getting a table with my back to the wall will be nigh on impossible with this group”.
He barely heard anything the fat man was saying as he categorized each and everyone of the possible volunteers. There looked to be close to thirty people interested in the allure of a fast fifty gold, but he also knew when it came time to sign on a good number of them would amble back to the ale house and tell tales of adventures missed or imagined. What seemed to distress Fandil the most was the lack of any real people present. The closest he found were a couple shady looking fur-foots, and gruff looking long-beard. This was going to start out as a real challenge being surrounded by elitist elves, half-breed bastards and a bunch of nose-picking humans. “Oh well I can always stick close to the long-beard,” Fandil decided. He continued to size up the party as they moved forward to sign up. “Fur-foots are not to bad as long as you watch your belongings, and I did see one of them half-breeds picking at an instrument,” he thought to himself.
Fandil walked up to the table and signed the document and accepted the sizable bag of gold. He quickly put the money in his travel satchel and secured the tie straps. He could’ve sworn that both the Halflings were staring as he put his money away. He found his way back to his seat and continued to make mental notes of those that signed up. One in particular seemed to intrigue him the most. He was a big human and by all the kneeling and praying, he was sure this adventurer had aspirations of being a holy knight, of course the double armful of weapons made it easy to determine he was not a cleric. Fandil had watched as he offered figs to numerous strangers, some taking one and some refusing. What was amusing to the gnome was the thought of this huge human trying to get out of all that armor every hour or so to relieve all those figs he ate.
Still deep in thought, Fandil was startled by a scruffy Halfling sticking out his hand and introducing himself. He had caught the name Sentinel as he automatically accepted the handshake.
“Well met master Sentinel, I am known as Fandil,” he offered as they firmly grasped hands. “I can only guess, but it looks to me as though I am in the presence a fine coinsures of antiquities and rare treasures”.
“Aye that be me. I have never heard it call that before but I like it. And you have the look of a finger-waggler. At least I hope you are a powerful mage, if not someone is going to whup ya up pretty bad walking around in that fancy dress,” Sentinel chuckled and gave a good natured wink.
“Robe damn it!!!! Why must I have to explain each and every time, casters need freedom of movement and tight clothes bind us and restrict our connection with the magical weave,” Fandil ranted until he caught Sentinel bent over in hysterics. Fandil new he had been bated and figured this Halfling might be worth getting to know better.
Looking to the east the sun was just rising and it looked to be a great day! No rain for one and the birds were out singing and the bustling activity of the town was already in full swing. Outside the gates a small flat cart pulled by a small donkey stood aside the road as the group of adventurers gathered for the journey eastward. Some threw their heavy packs on top of the cart and tied them down, while others preferred to tough it out and carry their packs for themselves. A few sacks of grain and a feed bag were on top of the cart as well. The road east was actually very well traveled and fairly smooth. Potholes here and there were the norm and everything seemed to be going TOO smoothly. Ahh well, who's to complain? Once everyone was accounted for the excitement built a bit and everyone seemed to watch everyone else. Finally the elf Kyuss moved over and smoothed the hair around the donkeys bridle and whispered something to it quietly. The donkey immediately started pulling and the group was off!
The day wore on without incident, there was a slight steady westerly wind but no foul weather to speak of. A great river was passed quickly right outside of the town, the cart's wheels clapping against an extremely sturdy bride, and the trip continued on. The donkey never protested, no one slipped or fell, no problems at all! The road simply kept going straight eastward. There was no sign of the Dim Forest to the north or any swampy area at all to the south. So far so good. Sundown came quicker than anyone had thought. A few of the group wanted to continue on a bit longer but the consensus was to break camp and rest. Some of the adventurers had not walked that far in quite some time and began to remove boots and sandles, inspecting blistered feet and talking quietly amongst yourselves.
Oriel took down a local deer with his bow. A small animal, but one that would fill bellies and get some good spirit and camaraderie going throughout the night. Everyone was tired and started drifting into their bedrolls quickly. Around midnight it started getting cloudy and a slight drizzle began. The night went on without incident and the party was once again packed and off at the first sign of morning light.
Eastward bound once more and everyone was starting to get bored. The drizzle hadn't stopped but wasn't that bad, a light rain at the worst of times and nothing at the best. In the far distance to the north and east an ominous haze seemed to come into view. The far far edges of the dim forest seem to be a palpable darkness that no one seemed to want anything to do with. It was hard to believe that someone had carved a path through the finger of that forest towards Hookhill. Most of the group was glad they wouldn't have to go anywhere near the dreaded place.
The ground started to soften up and the soil became literally teaming with life and fullness. The druid Valerus whistled softly to himself as he knelt and ran some of it between his fingers. Rich indeed. The smell of the Rushmoors began to hit the group every now and again as an easterly breeze picked up. Too far from the road now and the footing became less firm and swampy patches and areas could be seen off in the distance to the south. Another night was spent without any incident and the following morning the rain continued to spray everyone lightly. The group pulled their cloaks tighter and trudged on. They didn't have to go far as soon the scout pointed ahead.
After nearly two full days travel the group could see far in the distance a village or town. This was their destination! They had made it to Orlane! It was within sight up ahead. A small creek makes its way beside the road and heads directly into town where at the center it looks like a small lake has formed. As you near the town you see rich prosperous farmland, pastures with goats and cows and grain as far as the eye can see north and south.
A cluster of trees and buildings become more visible the closer you get as well as a large dominating structure in the back of the town which could only be the temple. At the outskirts of Orlane, a large grove of elms is visible to the left, while several sturdy wooden buildings border the road to the right.
As the group winds its way into the town proper to the left is a house and barn that are both clean, whitewashed wooden
buildings. Several cows chew their cud just outside the barn. Three little girls playing in the yard of the house stop to gawk at your group as you get closer. An older girl just wandered out the door to the house and with a startled look at the group quickly rushes the three little ones inside the house and slams the door. At the sound of the slam a man of middling years and in farmer's garb walks out of the barn and looks in your direction with a worried look on his face.
To the right side of the road you see a small wooden house surrounded by attractive flower gardens, with a small well built barn beyond. A teenage girl is churning butter on the porch, but as she sees your group she quickly runs into the house. The door slams shuts quickly and for a moment you can see shadowy forms visible behind closed curtains.
The party pulls to a halt just before entering town and the group gathers together to discuss what to do..
And away we go! You have arrived from the West of town (with the road heading towards Hochoch. The first building with the large barn and the whitewashed buildings is #4 on your map. The right side with the small wooden house and barn is #1 on your map.
The party huddled close together to decide what the next course of action should be. Along the way, Valerus had shown some familiarity with the territory and had shared with all his knowledge of farming communities. The group had listened intently on their two day travel, but now they were standing at the entrance and the locals seemed wary of their new visitors. If the party was going to get to the bottom of the strange happenings in Orlane, it was going to take a bit of tact so they did not frighten the already suspicious people in the community.
Upon the seeing the adventurers, many had rushed into their homes. A lone gentleman stood outside of a barn with a worrisome look upon his face. Perhaps he could enlighten them concerning the problems of the area.
"I think we need to proceed with caution," Valerus said to the group. "These people are going through a difficult time, and we do not need to complicate it further." The party nodded in agreement. "Perhaps a show of good faith to them would be the right course."
With that, Valerus suggested Gunther, Oriel, Sentinal, and Fandil go and speak with the gentleman. "Sir Paladin, your kind are known as protectors thoughout many lands, so you are our best representative. Would you be so kind to speak with him? Offer him our comfort and protection while gleaning what you can of the current situation."
Valerus looked to the other three companions that would accompany Gunther. "As Gunther comforts the farmer, be on the look out for anything out of the ordinary. The rest of us will wait here until you return, and then we will plan our next course of action."
Valerus will wait with the rest of the party, scanning any nearby fields and houses for anything peculiar. He will wait until Gunther and his group return before moving on.
Posted on 2008-03-20 at 17:12:43.
Edited on 2008-03-20 at 17:13:40 by Darque