Perched at the edge of civilized lands, the small town of Falcon’s Hollow has always had to rely on itself to solve its problems. Meanwhile, the uncaring lumber barons squeeze the common folk for every last copper, deaf to their pleas. Now the hacking coughs of the sick are heard throughout town. The plague has come to Falcon’s Hollow and the town’s leaders can’t be bothered to stop it.
Here is our gameplay-thread. Let´s assume, that each one of you has a relative or friend in Falcon´s Hollow, that suffers from blacksour, a disease that appeared recently. You traveled there to find a cure for your friend/relative and right now visit a herbalist-store named "Roots and Remedies". Just create your own hook to get things going...
Creeping ivy and full window boxes cover the façade of the rugged-looking, two-story shop bearing the faded sign “Roots and Remedies.” A line of twenty-some somber townsfolk—some with pale, wheezing children, others seeming to be precipitously near tears—stretches from the open door.
Such a long line of waiting people? Can´t anybody get them some chairs? Standing that long must be straining...
With these words, the chubby wizard takes place on his carried folding-chair. A small monkey climbs with a drowsy gaze on its face into his lap and takes a nap there.
I wonder if they have a remedy for Verthel´s disease in there... If they have, maybe it´s already sold-out...
|Ki Anom Suroto|
A strangely dark "halfling" rides into town taking in the place as has wooly "dog" trots down the the middle of the road pausing to smell a scent here and there. Seeing the line at Roots and Remedies the small man looks less than pleased. I'll catch the Plague myself if I were to wait in that line all day. he thinks to himself. My "father's" friend Thomas sure looked sick though. I just have to help him. I do home they have something to help[i/]
Ki ties up his mount well away from the line of sick people and removes a cloth from a saddlebag. As he walks towards the line he ties the cloth over his mouth and nose so that he breaths through it. [i]Likely will not help a bit. he thinks as he joins the line behind a pump man in a chair. Looking at the man he asks with concern You are not sick are you? And then Is that a monkey? I thought it a small dog at first.
No, not at all, thanks for asking! I hope, you aren´t sick either. This here is Snorey, my little helper and good friend! I dubbed him so, because drowsiness is his second name - always sleeping that cute little rascal! My name is Bollon and how do you like being called?
The bearded face seems for a moment a bit displeased.
Oh, excuse me...
Bollon opens his pack and gets a fluffy downs-pillow out of it. He puts it on his folding-chair.
Yes! That is much better! There is power in tranquility, no?
|Ki Anom Suroto|
Me. Friends call me Ki. And no. Not sick at all, yet. I hope to stay that way. He reaches out a timid hand towards Snorey as if to pet the creature. May I? Oh, he is not sick is he? Ki pulls back his hand unsure now. I have heard this shop might have something for what is going around. If not a cure, at least something for the symptoms, right? A friend of the family has come down with it and, well, I was sent to see if I could help out. Seems there is a near outbreak of it up these parts.
After a moment Ki observes This line is not moving at all. Have you had a look inside? He stands on his tip toes trying to peer into the shop. This won't do. It just wont do. He looks a little perplexed, as if he is tempted to do something but is thinking better of it, at least for now.
Oh, he isn´t sick at all. It seems to me, that this disease only affects human beings. Snorey likes being petted pretty much, so feel free to do him the favor.
My brother Verthel got infected and that´s why we´re here after all. I guess, the two of us have heard the same rumors, Ki.
As a short time has passed, Bollon wonders:
Are you sure, you want to stand there all the time? Maybe a bit of relaxing would do you good?
|Ki Anom Suroto|
A Dwarf approaches the end of the line wearing a worn leather smiths apron with a hammer embossed on the front. His long red hair is pulled up into a single topknot, his beard split into two thick braids adorned with several metal and stone beads.
He takes note of the queue length and furls his bushy brow and lets out a slightly frustrated sigh.
Waitin' long? he asks in the direction of the last few in line as he clasps his hands high above his head stretching his shoulders and back grunting slightly as he does.
Kestrel looks around the town, trying to take stock of the place she has just arrived. She snaps her cloak a few times to shake out the trail dust, and takes a moment to adjust her load. The old hermit said that they should have what she needed here; something to treat the illness that was slowly killing her.
The town did not look like much... Falcon's Hollow... The name had potential at least. Maybe it was a sign of good luck.
She was still not sure what made her decide to check out that old cabin; perhaps the look of having been maintained until recently, but then abandoned in the near past. The roof was unmended and looked like it would leak, the garden looked past harvesting time, but the plants were still in the ground, and overgrown with weeds. Whatever led her there, she was glad she had gone, since the woman was bedridden and might have died without a little simple care. Some food, some washing, and a little mending, and she would be alright for a few days until she got back with the medicine. The woman said she felt she could last that long.
Kestrel stood taking stock of the shops and houses, until she spotted the one she was looking for, "Roots and Remedies." A line of people stretched out of the small building, and some of them looked sick. One was holding a monkey.
A monkey? And who, or what, is that with him? A black-skinned gnome? Hmm. Well, whatever this strange crew is here for, it's none of my business.
Kestrel ignored the line and strode up to the door of the shop. She excused herself in order to squeeze past the people standing in the doorway, ignoring their dirty looks. Once in the shop, she takes a look around to find the proprietor and ask about this medicine.
To those observing, a young woman approaches the store, looking around and studying the town for a moment, before heading towards the shop. She briefly eyes the monkey, and looks the Wayang up and down with a curious glance. She is short and slim, and covered with trail dust. She is carrying an array of gear that makes her look like a woodswoman of some sort, but one that is ready for trouble as she wears a chain shirt, carries a longbow, and has a large axe strapped to her back. Strangest though is that she appears to have deep blue feathers growing from her ears that sweep up to an elf-like peak. Though her hood is drawn up, more feathers can be briefly glimpsed throughout her hair. After looking things over for a moment, she ignores the line, and shoulders her way into the shop and disappears.
Smith, yes but not of this town. Uncle and I came down from Taggoret collectin' resources. Stopped in to sleep and gather supplies 'fore headin' back up an now he's fallen ill. This blasted bug is evadin' all help I tried with Torag's aid, I jus can't put the life back in him. He says shaking his head.
He rubs his eyes, bloodshot from lack of sleep, covers his mouth as a yawn forms and shakes it off.
Whoo! Shoulda brought 'nother pot o' coffee along.
He pats his hand on his breeches and extends it out for a shake.
Thorid. I'm guessin' yer here ta see about a cure fer someone too. An' given' ye asked if I'm the smith ye're passin' through as well, eh?
He suddenly realizes there's a monkey snuggled up to the man. Hah! Yer babie's a bit fuzzier than ye! He muses.
A tall lumberjack steps into Kestrel´s way. Where do you think you´re goin´? What´s wrong with you? Wait at the end of the queue like we all do FOR NEARLY AN HOUR!
That must be quite straining for you. I can very well understand your situation. My brother has fallen ill, too. I can tell you: Arcane magic was of no help either.
Seeing the dwarf´s apparent lack of sleep:
Maybe you need some, sleep? If you like, I can get you some medicine, too. We don´t have to wait both in this queue, do we?
@Thorid: Maybe you don´t want to agree to this, because it would hinder your entry into the story. But the comment seemed just so plausible to me considering Bollon´s alignment and background.
...and my name is Bollon. Yes, me, my brother and little Snorey here came with our waggon to this place.
At the comment about the 'baby', Bollon laughs heartily:
Hahahaha! Until now, nobody took Snorey for a baby, but I guess, one cannot be sure. No, Snorey is a magic-infused monkey. He is my little friend and helper. I would call him servant, too, but he is much to lazy for that.
Heal: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
"I didn't come here to wait in a line, I came her to ask after this herbalist. If you have all been waiting as long as you say, perhaps I can find out what the delay is, or perhaps render her some assistance that will allow everyone to be seen faster, yes? Now, you will excuse me."
Kestrel does not wait for a response, as it was a statement and not a question.
If he moves to block her, she will take advantage of her small size to duck and slip past him into the hut.
Acrobatics to move through a threatened square: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19. She won't be trying anything fancy, just weaving past him.
I appreciate the offer, Mr Bollon but I'll not put ye out. And t'be honest I need s'me fresh air... and patience. He grumbles the last words of the statement.
Oh and 'course I've not mistaken Mr Snorey fer a human tot. 'twas just ta add some light fun. He catches a glimpse of the queue jumping ahead.
Eghh, seems 'nother soul be short of patience. He nods in the direction of Kestrel as she darts around the lumberjack. Hope that one's not stirrin' up fire ants. Got bigger stones to shape, no time ta try make peace on this line.
Thorid crosses his arms across his chest and watches to see what happens next, shaking his head disapprovingly.
The lumberjack barks at the rest of the line:
Let tha woman through! Sure she´ll help Laurel gettin´ more medicine!
as displays and workspaces. In the shop’s rear, a rail-thin woman with severe-looking spectacles and hair pulled back tightly busies herself between an overpacked rack of herbs, a table covered in stray powders and
measuring equipment, and a pot loudly bubbling over with thick gray froth. Over the din of her work and without looking up, the woman impatiently shouts, And what’s your problem?
It seems that the brazen girl made it into the hut without being chased down by the poor people in the queue...
Maybe she is right not waiting here outside. Why does it take so damn long? Can´t be that difficult to distribute some medicine to peasants and lumberjacks, can it?
Thorid shrugs 'spose if the folks been here longer 'n me don't have a problem with 'er...
Thorid bends down and picks up a stone. Gently tossing it in the air and catching it over and over to pass the time.
Poor luck, this. Been in town only three days and the illness struck hard. Suppose' ta be returnin' ta Taggoret two days from now but need ta get Uncle Ulrock back healthy an' be sure he's not contiguous. He catches the stone and holds it in his hand realizing he's been fidgeting.
Mr Bollon, how long've you been in Falcon's Hollow?
"Mostly waiting. It seems the people here are very frustrated. I met someone in need in a cottage nearby; she seems to have come down with some sickness. From the sound of it, there are others here who have the same illness. I came here to get medicines for her, to try and cure her. With all these people here and the line moving so slowly, I wonder, have you run into difficulty curing this illness? If you are running short of any of your herbs, I might be able to help find them in the woods hereabouts."
|Ki Anom Suroto|
Ki listens to the dwarf and human talk for a bid, mostly to pass the time. Not polite to cut in line like that. he comments to no one in particular. Would not go over back home at the Hill. he finishes.
At a pause in the conversation Ki interjects All these people, all sick of the same thing. I wonder what they have in common? It the sickness spreading person to person? If so we are in danger just being in town. But it could be some other source. The water supply? A common food? Any thoughts?
I´ve been here only a few days either. I just told my brother, that I wanted to rest a bit here as to gather strength for the upcoming journey... Bad luck on both of us, he?
Sounds all possible. Maybe that apothecary knows more?
Ah, finally, the queue moves a bit... I guess it won´t take longer than half an hour from now on...
Thanks a lot, you seem to be sent by Sarenrae herself! Indeed I am lacking a few ingredients. But collecting them could be harmful. Well, I mean, you look able-bodied and all that, but I fear, that it is too much to ask from a single person what I require. Maybe you could gather some like-minded folks to help? Maybe some of those lumberjacks out in the queue there?
"Why would gathering herbs be dangerous, or is it more than mere plants that we'll be after? The people out there are getting frustrated; is the reason for the delay a lack of ingredients? If so, you should say something to them. Desperation and disappointment can cause people to great lengths."
The overworked herbalist looks a bit annoyed for a moment. I am frustrated, too. I do what I can to help, but nothing really seems to cure that cursed Blackscour. For the moment, I can only alleviate some of the symptoms of the disease, to ease peoples´ suffering. So I looked into an old book my grandmother gave me. It tells of three very rare herbs that grow at strange and isolated places. That´s why I think it will be dangerous. The Vale isn´t for those soft of heart. If we don´t try this, people might not only be disappointed, they will die. So please, I really think that we need all help we can get!"
"Hmm. I was only here to do someone a favour... I don't really even know her. I was willing to gather herbs for you in the forest, but even then, I was hoping to get a little pay out of it. What you're suggesting sounds more like a quest than an errand. What kind of pay would me and this crew of volunteers get? Either from you, or the townspeople? Is there a Lord here who would pay, or a Shire Reeve maybe?"
A tall, lightly-dressed man with a fair complexion and a permanent soft smile affixed to his face approaches the queue.
"You're all wating to come inside the Roots and Remedies?" he asks no-one in particular. Realizing this might have been a stupid thing to say aloud, he picks up a string of grass and puts it in his mouth, sitting down right there on the earth, looking quite relaxed.
“Pay you!? I’ll pay you in…! Well, I suppose I’m not doing all this for free either. If nothing else, this whole thing’s been good for business. Sadly, there is no one taking responsibility for this whole mess, neither a lord nor a reeve. How about this, you come back with everything I need to brew the medicine and I’ll cut you in: 150 gold for you and anyone also helping together. Fair?
The queue is getting shorter by the minute. There are only a few people left in front of you.
"I suppose it will have to do." Kestrel extends her hand in order to shake on the deal. "If you could gather up the names and descriptions of the herbs you are looking for, as well as the environments or places that they are likely to be found, I will see if I can't find some other volunteers."
Kestrel readjusts her hood to minimize the view of her feathered hair. Great, speech time. Not a great way to keep people from noticing you...
She steps out of the herb shop and addresses the folks in line, "Hey, ah, folks, people? I've been talking to the herbalist here, and she said that she doesn't have the herbs that are needed to cure this disease. All she can do so far is to make some remedies that make you feel a bit better while your body tries its best to recover. However, she says that she knows of some rare ingredients that might be able to make a cure; a real cure, something that will help everyone who is sick, and make sure no one else dies from it. She says that these herbs are in some remote places, and that they are not the safest areas to travel. I'm a Ranger, a wilderness guide, and I think that with a little help, I can get there, but I could use the help of some other blades and bows in case there is trouble on the way. The herbalist says that she'll pay for the help, and you'll be helping all the sick people in this village besides. Any volunteers?"
Bollon, clearly not amused about his little friend, states annoyed: Oh boy! What do you do there? Have you lost your mind? We are not the right people for this kind of task! I´m pretty sure, there are professionals around to do this kind of... adventures! He stresses the last word with a little bit of contempt.
Guard? Guard? Can anybody please help this well-trained wilderness-guide?
As only a few respond to Kestrels asking, Bollon looks a bit angry for a moment and steps forward. Damn you Verthel! Why have you gotten sick? Why?
He turns to Kestrel.
I have neither bow nor blade, but my brother is sick and I guess, I have to deserve my rest in the following days. Do you accept claws, teeth and spells as a help on your quest?
Bollon seems to feel uncomfortable just at the thought of walking such a long distance.
Yeeeessss, I have boots... but walking eight hours a day? Do you know how easily one gets blisters at the feet from things like this? Maybe I will ride half of the time and walk the other half. That way, my caboose and my feet share the encumbrance...
With acted anger, he turns to Snorey: I should have got myself a fine horse instead of you. Would have alleviated the journey and it surely would not have drawn me into this...
Nevertheless friend Kestrel - You´ve got my spells and extraplanar creatures on your side.
I was waiting for Ki to volunteer before moving on, but I'll go ahead since DB is getting antsy.
"Well, that makes three..." she hears the monkey snoring and leans out to one side to catch a glimpse of the lump of fur in Bollon's hood. "Er, three and a half. Lets head in and see if the apothecary has figured out where we need to go."
Aye, no sense standin' about. Let's find out what's needed an get started 'fore this sick gets worse.
Thorid joins the group headed into the herbalist shop, extending his hand he introduces himself to all he has not yet met. Thorid Bofack, servant of Torag, the forge father. I'm prepared ta lend any assistance I can.
"I think the questions should be pretty self explanatory; you said that there is a recipe you know that may cure this disease, and that the ingredients are rare, and you need us to gather them. So, what are the ingredients you need us to gather, what to they look like and how can we be sure to identify them, and where are they likely to be found?"
Thorid scratches his beard and raises his hand. An' the quantity. Be a shame ta go out collectin' herbs an' return with too little. I ain't much good with plants but should we try ta bring back seeds or dig up a plant, roots 'n all so ya can plant it in yer garden?
|Ki Anom Suroto|
Ki seems to snap out of a daze finally and takes in the scene. What?
theline still not moving. This will never do. Once he understands that a group is going out to help gather the proper herbs he is all for it. Count me in, of course. Anything to speed up getting an antidote for my father's friend. And I am packed and ready to move. Just let me fetch my mount.