"Given me a bow is like throwin arrows by hand at tha targets!"
"We all knows Rhasadilara ken do tha most good wit tha bow, an tha arrows, hopes do I tha animal bane is not needed tah parley wit animals."
was unaware of the beer conection in your area! Thought it was a good call though ;)
"Mayhap an investment in yer brewery, what needs has yah?"
"I had hoped tah order some scrolls once I gets a list an a bit o gold together."
Tatzlwyrm? I'm assuming that's some sort of strange dragon variant I've never heard of. Wonder if it's got some sort of breath weapon? Anyway, Lothar is going to talk to Rhasa and see if she can assist him in shaving his head. He'll be doing the actual shaving, he just needs her to help him make sure he gets all of his hair. From this point on, the magician will keep his head clean-shaven. Monk training (in his case, ninja training) has something to do with it, but the main reason will be the black porcelain mask that he's going have made that will completely cover his face and head. It will be the first of many once I get a mold cast (and find out how much it will cost to make). How long have we been gone? I kind of lost track and was wondering if our orders have come in yet?
After the telling of tales and sharing of food and drink, Gorguk will inquire quietly for Oleg to follow him outside where he can show the deceased to him without raising much of a ruckus. Do you know who this man is and where he came from? We found him trapped in his own deadfall with no indication of who he is. If you knew of him or his family I would write a letter explaining his outcome and wish them my regrets on the passing of a family member. If you don't know who he is, then I will go off a ways and do a quick burial out on the plains.
If Oleg does not know who he is Gorguk will slip out and dig a shallow grave and place the man inside. May whatever god you worship take you and be at peace. If Oleg does know then Gorguk will write the letter accordingly.
Done talking about the deceased, Gorguk will sit quietly to the side composing a couple of letters. The first letter is to Ralu his mentor as stated previously. The second will be to the Swordlords explaining the details of the arrangement with the kobolds and the treaty we have with them. Along with the bulk of the letter to the Swordlords will be a minor update on how the rest of the exploration process has gone and the success thus far: almost a quarter of the chartered lands explored and tamed, successful contact with kobolds, elimination of mites, and taming of the forests.
If Cal didn't put a feat into weapon focus crossbow I would have him use the MW longbow. As it is, I don't think any of us can use it. Rhasa and I have 1 already and no one else is proficient with it. Gorguk will still offer it to Cal afterwards however. Who knows, maybe Megan will let you trade the feat out.
As it is a gift from Vekkel, Gorguk will graciously accept the bow and arrows. Thank you kind sir. The gift is much appreciated. I wish we could do something for your leg though as it feels we have only completed half the job. We will put this bow to good use in defending this land and protecting those that live in it peacefully. Gorguk will then hand 5 of the arrows to Rhasa keeping 1 for himself just in case. These arrows will be a major help in keeping the wilds at bay. rhasa here is the best shot of all of us and so I think she would put them to best use.
If Oleg thinks the ordered supplies will be here shortly, then Gorguk is okay to stay a couple of days to rest and resupply before we head out. During that time Gorgukwill continue to train Cal's horse and teach Lothar about horsemanship.
For the record, in Rhasa's cart, she has a spare longbow and arrows already, so we could carry this one until we were in a situation where we needed more long-range attackers and just get the extra bows out then. I got it thinking that someone could sunder her regular bow and then she'd be hurting if she was built totally around the bow.
Noting the animal bane arrows in her character sheet.
After Lothar finishes telling the tale of their latest adventures, Calinder finds a quiet place to sit down and add any notes to his journal that he thought of while listening to Lothar. He then excuses himself and goes to finds a place to rest.
In the morning he arises and prepares for the day with meditation and prayer, thanking Erastil for their safe return and success. Afterwards he goes to get something to eat and find out what everyone is doing after a good rest.
Oleg says that he's expecting a caravan any day now and that your orders ought to be on it.
As for the body... "That's Breeg Orlivanch. Used to come by here to trade furs and hides, but nobody cared for him much. Some folks take to the trapper's life because they don't care for the company of others, but I always reckoned Breeg took to it because nobody cared for HIS company. Nasty piece of work, I'm afraid. Unfortunately he never spoke of family or friends so I cannot tell you if there is anyone who will miss him or mourn his passing."
As for the level-up: that's your Christmas present :)
Thank you Oleg, for the information. I will go bury him so he can be at least be at peace.
In the morning,gorguk wakes early after not having to post a watch in the relative comforts of Oleg's trading post. Durok can be seen by those looking outside of the palisade walls running and jumping in the spring air. Beside Durok, you can see Gorguk riding upon Cal's horse. The horse responds even so easily to Gorguk's command as he foolows Durok. After watching them for a moment, you aren't sure anymore if it is Gorguk training or Durok leading Cal's horse. It seems that the bond between Gorguk and Durok manifests itself again.
Handle Animal1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Still fine with waiting until our shipment comes in.Gorguk will continue training Cal's horse in the meantime.
Rhasa, seeing Gorguk head out to bury the trapper and surmising his intent, grabs up another shovel and accompanies him.
She will watch him work with the two horses and follow suit with Sunset, but her intention is to practice guiding him with her knees while she practices firing her bow from horseback. Not sure this is something she will follow up on, but seems like a reasonable thing to investigate.
Handle Animal 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Megan: Sorry, did I spoil the surprise? I always have had trouble keeping from peeking under the Christmas tree...
As Gorguk leads Calinder's horse out to train it further, Calinder finds a nice spot outside the trading post walls to sit and watch. As he does so he sketches a picture of Gorguk on his horse being lead by Durok, or so it seemed.
He then does a sketch of Rhasa on Sunset, guiding the horse with her knees and attempting to shoot objects with her bow while riding.
He then finishes some notes in his journal and then just sits and enjoys sitting in the sunshine.
Coming in from his daily exercises with Durok, Gorguk stops to wash the sweat off of himself before heading to find Oleg. Seeing the man still making repairs on the palisade and the buildings within, Gorguk admires how the man always stays busy and productive. It almost makes Gorguk embarassed to be sitting here for the next couple of days till the shipment comes in. Approaching slowly as to nt disturb the man, Gorguk finally catches him when he takes a break. Master Oleg, I woud like to talk to you reguarding a couple purchases if I may. There are 2 items that I would like you to order for me. The first is a travel anvil. The second is a set of MW artisan smith tools. I have found the need to craft some armament for my steed Durok. I know I could probably order it custome made, but I feel I would enjoy the labor of creating a unique piece of armor for him. Please include such items in your next order and let me know what the cost of the items are. Thank you for your time.
Oleg listens to your requests, Gorguk.
"Might you be interested in setting up a forge here?" he enquires. "With your group working at taming the area, I expect we will have more people through - whatever I may think of the peace and quiet! - so it would make sense to attract crafters of all sorts. Sinon seems settled now, intending to establish a permanent brew-house, and a smithy would be useful as well."
Then his attention is caught by something in the distance, behind you.
"Ah. Horsemen and wagons... that must be the caravan. Hopefully they will have the things that you and your friends ordered previously. I must warn Svetlana that there will be extra mouths to feed. Perhaps your Dyfrig can be prevailed upon to help..."
Rhasadilara remains outside the palisade when Gorguk goes back in. Seeing the wagons in the distance, she turns Sunset in order to study them, stowing her bow while she watches and waits.
It doesn't occur to her to let the folks within know the caravan is coming as she detects no threat. When they approach close enough and she is sure they have noticed her, she raises a hand in greeting, but remains where she is, watching, until they enter the post. She's too far from the road to have a proper conversation, and she's not so inclined at the moment anyway, so the most she will give in response to any shouted questions is a nod or to point. If she can't respond thusly, she won't respond at all.
She will trot Sunset over to join the rearguard as they enter the structure, sparing them a nod if they bother to greet her. She's just not feeling like small talk today.
Yes I am sure that Dyfrig would be willing to showcase his talents. Although, I don't think he is good competition compared to your wife. That being said though he has had to do a mostly campfire cooking without the proper amenities a good kitchen would have. As far as a forge itself is concerned, I have not thought that far into the future. Granted if we could find a good source of iron nearby that would limit the need to ship the ore here would help, but right now I am thinking more of a trevel sized anvil that I can use to make a couple of pieces of armor and be able to fix items on the march. Depending on how well that goes, I may look into expanding my craft or take on an aprentice that would take over. That is far ahead though my friend and in a quieter time. May we reach that end some day and look back and smile on all that we have done in our lives. Do you need the gold upfront now? I believe that we still have a credit with you should you need it before the anvil and tools come in. Speaking of which, we have this axe that we would like to sell you if you have the gold. If not, you can just increase our store credit. But I take you from your work. You must have lots to do to prepare for the caravan. Is there anything I can do to help until they come in?
Gorguk will use Gorguk's 30gp credit and pay the rest himself once he knows the cost. I looked it up and the items are around 60gp plus whatever Oleg charges extra. The anvil in the APG list 1 price for all sizes of anvil thoughs.
When the caravan enters, Gorguk will look for anyone who does not appear to be directly hired by the caravan owner. He is hoping that a letter from the Swordlords accompany the caravan further detailing the exact extent of authority that the Wardens of the Green have if locals or others question us. I know we have the right to stop banditry and tame the wilderness, but other legal matters that might arise beyond that...such as an unclaimed abandoned gold mine that the Wardens know about. If it appears that a person is with the caravan, Gorguk will not approach and let the gentleman/woman approach him. Gorguk will then give the letter to the currier to send back to Father Ralu and the Swordlords.
"I feel new enrgies seekin direction wit in me, How would yah all feels wit a witch brand upon yah. It would allow me tah heal an hex yah across tha lands beyond mah reach now an beyond mah sight. I am graspin tha option but shall not take it unless yah are willin?"
IC discussion see OOC thread for detail.
Calinder while sitting and enjoying the day, watches as Gorguk ends his training and enters the trading post. Calinder continues watching Rhasa practice until he see that something has caught her attention.
Looking in the direction that she is facing he sees a cloud of dust being stirred up. Calinder then stands and walks towards the entrance of the trading post and climbs up to the walkway around the inside of the fort walls via the closest stairway or ladder.
He then moves to a vantage point where he can watch both Rhasadilara and the caravan. Once he sees that it is the caravan, he shouts down to those in the trading post, "Looks like the caravan is coming in!"
Once the caravan comes in, Calinder joins the others. At Barnabus' question about having a hex placed on him that could be activated from a long distance he say, "Barnabus, I could see some advantage to that, but something in me also hesitates at the prospect. Although with having my own healing ability, I feel that I would not have a need for the option you offer. The others though may feel that it would be a good precaution to take, especially if we get separated."
"I have a question though, how would you know to activate the hex if you can't see the person and know not their needs at the time?"
"Unless we were using the mental communication link, like when we were facing the mites. That could be one way I guess. It's an interesting idea and I look forward to what the other think about it."
The caravan master is a lean, balding human dressed in serviceable dun clothing with a large knife at his belt. He spots Rhasadilara, and waves in a friendly manner but does not pause in his progress towards Oleg's.
Behind him, there are half-a-dozen mounted men, 20 pack mules and two stout wagons. As you can imagine, the compound is pretty busy (and noisy!) once that lot is inside.
Oleg comes out to greet them, and soon introductions are made. The caravan master is called Samlor Hil-Sampt... and yes, he does have some items for you...
sorry - completely lost track as Burton & South Derbyshire College just rang to ask me to a job interview!!!
Until approached, Gorguk will hang back and let Oleg run the show with the caravan and the gentleman. He will stay close enough though to try to hear any conversation being said. Not trying to intrude just listening if there is any talk of the Wardens or Swordlords.
take 10 if able, if not perception 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (11) - 1 = 10
"Barnabus, I could see some advantage to that, but something in me also hesitates at the prospect. Although with having my own healing ability, I feel that I would not have a need for the option you offer. The others though may feel that it would be a good precaution to take, especially if we get separated."
"I have a question though, how would you know to activate the hex if you can't see the person and know not their needs at the time?"
"Unless we were using the mental communication link, like when we were facing the mites. That could be one way I guess. It's an interesting idea and I look forward to what the other think about it."
"Tis more options tha jus tha healin tis any hex I have, tha scar is not permanent either....tis at a range o one mile! think o tha!
Tis a spell tha I would get a scroll fer tha would let me know all yer healths at once....."
Barnabus is facinated by the idea of the whole thing....
Lothar cautiously slipped outside to see what the commotion was all about, concerned that the Stag Lord had launched some sort of pre-emptive strike against the Wardens. Even after Oleg declared the caravan and its leader safe, the magician did not lower his guard for some time, keeping watch on the workers as they went about their duties until he was satisfied they posed no real danger to the trading post or his companions.
The sooner they went after the Stag Lord, the better.
Lothar will check to see if his order is in. If it is, then it will be added to his gear. The items, for convenience, are:
* monk's robes;
* cold-iron short sword;
* cold-iron shuriken (10 total);
* the surujin (kusarigama);
* and a weapon cord
He'll also put in another order for monk's robes but something a little more insulated (similar to what Sajan is wearing in the Jade Regent AP; though it'll probably be called a cold weather outfit [8 gp; 7 lbs.] Lothar will also use his store credit to put in for the mask he's wanting (finally caught the price in a friend's copy of the Adventurer's Armory - 1 sp to 50 gp depending on how elaborate and complex btw - [11 gp; 1 lb.]); he'll also put in for two wrist sheathes - 1 normal (for his shuriken) and 1 spring-loaded (for the flash bombs and smoke pellets he'll eventually be using) [1 gp & 5 gp respectively] and a leather glove with powdered lead sewn into a special pouch covering the knuckles, the backs of the fingers and the back of the hand aka a cestus (actually a weighted-knuckle glove but it'll do for now) [5 gp; 1 lb.] That should use up all of Lothar's store credit.
Lothar, your order is here and complete - Samlor Hil-Sampt seeks you out personally to hand over the items. (And thanks for the list - saved me the trouble of going back pages and pages to find out what you wanted!)
Gorguk, you are able to lurk and listen... except then Oleg spots you and calls you over to join in the conversation!
Samlor does bear a letter from the Swordlords, who thank you for your efforts so far in claiming and pacifying this area for them, and authorising you to continue in your efforts. They are pretty vague about just what you may do, and gloss over any justification for their own claims in the matter!
The interview is for January, and another invitation came by e-mail yesterday whilst I was out... one of dearly beloved's clients lost all connectivity, and as he's in the distribution business this set him in a bit of a panic. So I took him over there (he doesn't drive) & we sorted it out. Paid for Christmas dinner! But kept me from coming online.
Why hello Samlor. Nice to meet you. I thank you for bringing such important news from the Swordlords. If you are returning that way, would you be so kind as to return this letter to them. I also have a letter that I would like delivered to Father Ralu. I undersatnd if it would cost a little extra to see it personally delivered. In the meantime, please come and rest from your journey. Much has been done and there is much to do but that will come.
After graciously accepting his order, Lothar made his way over to the stable and carefully unwrapped the package in his possession. The magician knelt onto the hay and set what he held down before him, taking stock of the contents: a fresh set of robes, a shortsword and 10 throwing spikes forged from cold iron. But the true prize was the final item that lay within. After storing the other items, the Vudran took the weapon in hand and left the stable to exit the trading post. Once outside, Lothar took the weapon, the surujin and used its sharp edge to shave away his snow-white mane, singing lightly to himself in his native tongue as went about his work. Once his hair was shorn down to a crew cut, the magician produced a vile smelling alchemical paste and using the surujin's blade, applied it to his head. The paste was cold as it sat on his skin but that soon gave way to a slight warmth as the chemicals it contained ate away at the hair that remained. Lothar did not wish to leave the concoction in place for too long, lest it burn him and damage the skin of his scalp. Lothar poured the contents of his waterskin over first his head and then his hands to remove the concoction as well as the last of his hair. When he was done, the Vudran lightly ran a hand over his head, checking the success of his deed. Satisfied that it was completely clean-shaven, he wiped down the blade of his weapon and began to examine it, checking its heft and balance.
When he was done, Lothar put the weapon through its paces, the surujin snaking out this way and that, the blade slicing through the air as the magician rapidly wrapped and unwrapped the chain around torso, legs, neck and even his elbows. As with the training tool before, Lothar began to twist and flick the fast moving weapon, adjusting it while it unwrapped, to make go even faster. He then increased the level of difficulty even further by leaping into the air to perform spins and kicks in addition to what he was doing previously, something Lothar had held back from trying with the training tool. It was a display of coordination married with skill, technique, and concentration.
It was, in a word, glorious.
When Lothar was done, a content smile played across his face as he looked down at the weapon in his hands. His ability to change his body's position efficiently, something that required the integration of isolated movement skills through a combination of balance, coordination, speed, reflexes, strength, endurance and stamina, had improved dramatically through his time here in the Greenbelt.
Lothar gave thanks to Irori, the Master of Masters, for the physical gifts he had received and strengthened his resolve in regards to the mission that the Wardens of the Green were undertaking. As he gathered the rest of his things and began to make his way back into the courtyard of the trading post, the magician began to feel the weight of exhaustion brought on by his exertions. Yet in light of what he learned, the Vudran did not seem to mind.
Rhasa watches the magician leave with the unusual device in his hand, but she recognized the look on his face and decides to give him his privacy.
It is with some surprise (and a faint smile) that she notes the bare scalp when he returns into the trading post. She leans forward to whisper something to Sunset, causing the horse to nod and snort. He can't have understood that. Right? She forgets about Lothar's new hairstyle for a moment while she regards her horse...
Nice, Lothar. I love the imagery you conjure up with your posts.
Barnabus watched Lothar shave his head and then go into his new routine and training. Now looking at Lothar he realized they could almost be mistaken for brothers. One Brother working so hard to be unlike the other, emphasizing the differences over the similarities.
Barnabus looked closely at Lothar taking in the man's face and features, it was true they did indeed have similar features, Lothar's prominent forehead in full view and Barnabus's same forehead hidden beneath his hair.
Barnabus not knowing his true family at all, knowing only the hags of the hooktongue was curious......
"Tell me again where you are from....do all there have such features as yours?"
A youngster, horse-boy in Samlor's caravan, has also crept out and watches wide-eyed as Lothar practices.
"Wow," he says when you are done. "How long did it take to learn that? Would you teach me? Please..."
Gorguk, Samlor is content to bear your letters. No charge for the Swordlord one, and if you will pay 1sp he will guarantee to place Father Ralu's letter in the priest's very hands. He'd also like your assurance that should the Stolen Lands be opened to settlement, the Guardians would take a favourable view of his application to become official mail-carrier!
Rhasadilara, Sunset looks straight at you... and winks! You've never, ever seen a horse do that before.
To the young boy:
The magician considered his words carefully before giving a response, It took a short time to learn, but a lifetime to master. My art is still not all that it could be, but if you wish to learn what I know, then I will teach you. Provided, of course, that it is your master's wish for you to learn.
He smiled as he gently tousled the young boy's hair. What is your name, young one?
To Barnabus after Lothar is done conversing with the kid:
Lothar was not sure how to respond to Barnabus's question. This was the first time the enigmatic witch had made such an inquiry and in the magician's mind, it was totally unexpected. As with the young boy, the Vudran took great care with formulating his response, Though I have lived most of my life on the island of Jalmeray that sits in the Obari Ocean, I was conceived in Brevoy. Once I was given to the care of the monks, concerns about my heritage had no place in their world. That is not to say that the initiates were higher minded. I remember being teased a great deal because I did not look as others do.
Talking about his childhood brought back unwanted memories of being teased by many of the the other initiates. Lothar closed his eyes and settled his mind against the intrusion. After a short pause, the magician continued: So to answer your question, no, not all on Jalmeray have features as I do. I am considered to be what you might call 'exotic.' If you were to travel there, I'd daresay that you would be considered such as well.
Calinder composes a letter to be sent back to the temple of Erastil that he was raised in. He doesn't go into a lot of detail as the letter would end up being the thickness of his journal. He does however tell them about the shrine that was found and their experience with the old cleric that served there.
He then approaches Samlor and asks him to also deliver his letter, and pays him for his service.
Calindor also take some time while they are resting to create a couple more scrolls.
He prepares a scroll of Cure Moderate Wounds and Magic Weapon, both at his current level.
Calinder then checks with Oleg and Samlor to see if they have more parchment and ink that would allow him to keep creating more scrolls. If they do not have what he needs, he will order it.
Rhasa will spend some time cleaning up the bear traps that the party collected before bringing them to Oleg to see if he would be willing to offer them for sale. If he's loathe to do so, she will inquire with Samlor to find out if he will take them back with him to sell there. She would expect him to take a cut of the sale, of course.
Well now Samlor, I do not know what the fates or the future has in store. Right now I can tell you we have been authorized to cleanse the area of bandits and tame the wilderness. Your guess is as good as mine as to what will become after that. It does seem as if something would occur with that land, but how much of a role the Wardens will have that is yet to be decided. That being said, I will agree to at least look favorably upon you if a position such as you stated is needed and let you know of the opportunity. Beyond that, I can not promise anything else. Thank you for your support and willingness to deliver the letter. Here is the payment you requested and if Father Ralu should wish to join you travelling back here, I will pay you for the inconvenience and cost that would entail. Gorguk will give Samlor a gp in advance if Father Ralu is coming back with him. The rest will be paid later.
The youth says his name is Seth, and that he is an orphan who has been entrusted to Samlor as an apprentice. He will, of course, ask his master's permission to study with Lothar... but would really like to do so. He scampers off.
Calinder, Samlor can provide you with parchment aplenty, but has no ink beyond common black... not really the calibre needed for magical work. He will attempt to get some next time he sees a suitable outlet, or even a magician who may have some to spare.
Rhasadilara, Oleg is content to put the traps in store, to sell on to any trappers who may require them. "Most trappers hereabouts know how to use them properly," he says, "And if I hear that any does not, his business is no longer welcome here now that some measure of law is being applied to the land."
Gorguk, Samlor is happy with what you say, and will bring Father Ralu or another priest if possible.
That night, Svetland and Dyfrig produce a mighty feast. Roast pigmeat, moonradish mash, baked potatoes and carrots with an onion gravy, followed by berry pies and a cake.
Barnabus levitates high atop Olegs with two slices of berry pie.....
He calls out loudly into the evening air
"Come and get it!
He does all this with the young lad Seth and whomever else watching....
He leaves the plates for later cackles widly and then leaps from the heights....
He plummets 10 feet and then slows to a drift to the ground....
Flight hex selected, and Baranbus is now leveled!
On vacation posting spotty til monday
Rhasa smiles at Oleg's remarks and gives him a bow. Quietly, she says, "Well and wisely said, my friend. Knowing that you will disburse them responsibly, I happily give them to you. Please put an profit that you feel inclined to share on account for the Wardens and keep the rest for improvements here at the trading post."
She turns toward the door, but stops to favor him with a rare smile, "It has been some time where I felt that there was a place I could relax and rest myself. This has become such a place, and I thank you for it." She heads out into the sunlight and disappears for the afternoon.
"Thank you Samlor, I'll take 20 sheets of parchment if you have that many. How much do you want for the parchment?"
"And if you can find some quality ink for me, I would greatly appreciate your efforts."
Then when Barnabus announces that dinner is ready by flying in the air above the outpost, Calinder smiles and says, "I'll be right there!"
After washing up, Lothar makes his way inside after Barnabus' unusual display and call to dinner. Once inside, the magician takes his place and eats well, sampling nearly everything made by Svetlana and Dyfrig's hard work (the sole exception being the roast pigmeat). And though the food was indeed the best he'd had in sometime, the Vudran found that what enjoyed most of all was that he was able to the share in the moment with friends that were both good and true.
Moments like this did not happen all that often, but it was especially true for those like the Wardens, those that spent their lives seeking adventure. Lothar smiled and raised a cup to all that had gathered at the feast, wishing them good fortune, good health, and long life.
assuming that the moonradish mash is a drink as opposed to something like mashed potatoes, but if its not then he'll still raise a toast for the occasion.
How often have I sat in the company of friends to enjoy a meal like this without there being some underlying reason other than to celebrate? Less than 5 I would bet as I can only remember 2 off the top of my head. Rhasa with her quiet yet self-assured manner. Lothar with his strife for perfection. Barnabus with his unique perspective on life and wisdom. Cal with whom I share a kindred spirit in Erastil yet he is wise beyond my ability to comprehend most times. And finally myself...the 'leader' of this group of equals. Were it not for each and everyone of them I would be nothing right now. We are truly a group whose sum is more that each of us. And yet I feel that right now we have barely tapped into the potential that eachof us has. Why Barnabus showed us just now his ability to float high in the air. When did he manage to figure that trick out. I know that if it wasn't for Cal, I would never have learned that I had been blessed with the gift of magic to aid myself and my companions. In fact I feel a closer bond to Cal than I do to Father Ralu. Father Ralu will always be close and dear to me as he was the one who took me in and started the process of changing me from who I was to who I am becoming. I hope that Cal and him get along and that they do not have any conflict between them.
Why even Rhasa has helped my development of who I am, another who is gifted in the way of horsemanship. Even though she may not knowit, but I have learned a few things from observing her and the way she rides as well. Her use of the bow while mounted is impressive. I wonder if she has noticed the difference in Durok while we were outside this morning. If so she hasn't said anything. It was startling for me at first as well. When I went to harness Cal's mount, I saw that Durok was changed again. His saddle and harness needed to be adjusted. He was taller and broader as well. When I sat with him last night briefly before heading to bed, I did not notice the change. It must have happened during the night. He looks every bit the mighty steed that I know he is. I never doubted when Father Ralu gave him to me, but I was concerned if he could handle the rigors of the wild. Now I don't even have those conce... What did Lothar just say?
Cheers. Gorguk raises his glass of water as he catches the end of Lothar's toast. Gorguk will focus back on the meal and not on his reveries of the day. There will be enough time for that later. Now is a time to celebrate the life that each has and the joy that we can share it together. Who nows what the new day will bring. Enjoy this one now as much as we can. This last part Gorguk says outloud with realizing it, but no matter. He is surrounded by friends.
That night, he will spend the night with Durok. Not because he has to as there is not enough room in the bunkhouse, but he wants to spend the time with his closest companion of all so far.
Merry Christmas again everyone.
REady to roll out in the morning if everyone else is. Where to go? Clear out the top rows of hexes by heading west? B2, A2, A3, B3, C3?
The drink served with dinner is mostly Sinon's ale, although Oleg has a couple of bottles of wine and Samlor's caravan brought some fresh oranges for those who prefer non-alcoholic beveridges. The moonradish mash is akin to mashed potatoes, done with cream and very tasty. Meat-eaters find it convenient to mop up the gravy as well :)
Durok himself seems aware of his changed state, and appears to be admiring as much as he can see... stretching out his legs in turn, and swishing his tail. His eyes too seem brighter and more wise as he gazes back at Gorguk.
Samlor has a quiet word with Lothar. Certainly while they are here, Seth may exercise with the magician for as long as he is not a nuisance, but if he shows promise, might Lothar be interested in taking him on as an apprentice? While a model of diligence, hard-working, cheerful and obedient, it is becoming clear to Samlor that the boy is not particularly interested in commerce, so if he would prefer another path and have a willing master, Samlor would feel that his duties to the boy's orphanage discharged...
As Lothar listened to Samlor concerning the boy Seth, he was experiencing a bit of déjà vu. The memory was of the first day he was allowed to witness the physical training that was part of the monastic regimen for the Monastery of Untwisting Iron, where he was to begin his advanced studies. Though the lords of House Orlovsky had sent him to the Houses to learn specifically at that most prestigious of the three monasteries, Iron Grand Master Rajni Asaya had other ideas. Let his forging begin with the flame and wind. Only if his mettle does not crack shall we be the hammer that shapes the blade and tempers its edge.
It had been the right call. The hot working of the Unblinking Flame and Unfolding Wind had indeed purified his form so that he could undertake the advanced training methods of the Untwisting Iron. But Lothar understood that while the methods of the Iron Grand Master's school were effective, they would have made him more rigid in his outlook. With the other sects, he had been able to develop in a manner that was consistent yet enabled him to grow in a way that expanded his mind and spirit as well. In witnessing what he would be going through, Lothar was left with a great spiritual awakening that were he to undertake the of Path of Iron, he would lose far more than he would have gained. His focus would have become too narrow, his edge dulled. There would be no further growth of his self, only stagnation.
His teachers were not disappointed with his choice. Lothar understood now that they had known it too. And though the other initiates would ridicule him for his choice to remain with the Unfolding Wind, Lothar had come to understand what they did not. That in not advancing onward, he had taken his first true step onto the Path of Perfection.
I will do what I can to temper Seth's mettle with the time that I have. I cannot tell you how far he will develop under my guidance, but it is my hope that the boy will be able to do as I have done: find his own path, his own way. That is all that I can offer him.
But there is another issue that I would discuss with you, caravan master. I do not know your political leanings, Samlor, but you strike me as a man that knows which way the wind is blowing. That kind of knowledge would be valuable to the Wardens of the Green. After all, knowing how to predict changes in the weather patterns will enable us to be prepared should the climate become inhospitable to those that care about these lands. And it would be mutually beneficial for you as well, especially if you are discreet in garnering this knowledge. How much so is a matter that can be discussed later with the rest of the Wardens if the idea is to your liking. I'm not sure what the Lord Regent of Brevoy had in mind when he gave the Wardens our charter, nor am I sure what will be done once we fulfill the obligation that comes with it. All I have are suspicions and they lead to a political inevitability that we're taking the first steps in establishing a Brevic presence in this frontier that could possibly lead to annexation of the Greenlands. And while the Greenlands would benefit from the imposition of order, I think that given the turmoil within Brevoy, the people here would truly suffer. Nobles seeking to gain glory and honor for the betterment of their House have no business trying to govern these lands. The Greenlands deserve better and so do its people. It is the Wardens sworn duty to see that they do.
Rhasa sips at a glass of wine during the dinner, but primarily drinks water. In response to Lothar's toast, however, she raises the flute of wine and nods.
She spends most of her time watching the others and their interactions. It is so much simpler in the woods. I have so much to learn.
Samlor listens to what Lothar has to say.
"For myself, I believe in self-determination and hard work; each individual being responsible for himself and yet keeping an eye out for those who are struggling, for it is the duty of those who prosper to aid those who find difficulty. The self-serving have no place, however, for whilst each must stand by his own efforts, those efforts must not be to the detriment of others. Tnus in trading, I seek deals which are fair to all, and leave all parties satisfied with the result, with their coin or goods as appropriate. In taking on the care of young Seth it is the same, his good is paramount. I had hoped for someone who might grow into a valuable assistant and perhaps successor, but while - as I said before - he works hard and cheerfully at any task he is given, that essential spark of commerce is not there. I would not force him to remain in trade if that is not his true path..."
He paused for a sip of ale.
"I shall certainly keep my eyes and ears open in my travels, although I fear that there are many of the self-important 'nobles' who show nothing but distain for those who labour with hand and mind to make their place in the world... they don't tend to confide in what they'd term a 'mere trader' as they presume to impose on others."
"Aye tha lad appears happy wit Lothar, seems I should offer yah recompense for bringin tha lad. I doubt Lothar would think o payin yah fer yer trouble an needin tah hire on a nother lad."
offers forth a few gold coins....
"Tha magic has found newness within me. I can float upwards an can fall slowly unharmed, I sense in tha future I might learn tah fly though I am content wit tha these abilities. Methinks I shall learn tah play wit tha forest sprites should we ever find any!"
Calinder listens to the conversations while the group eats. He is thoughtful at the conversation between Lothar and Samlor concerning the boy Seth.
As toasts are offered and fine words said about the Wardens and their acquaintances that share this meal with them, Calinder offers up silent thanks for what has been bestowed on him and the others.
As Barnabus speaks about his new talents, Calinder wonders with what new talents and abilities will Erastil bless him with in the future both near and far. One thing is for sure, Calinder realizes that he has come to appreciate this life of traveling and seeing the world. It was not long ago that his greatest hope was to study the world through scouring and study of ancient tomes of history and lore. This however makes the world so much more real and exciting. Calinder is now fairly certain that he would never again be satisfied with a life of 'poking' through ancient tomes alone.
After the meal is complete, Calinder thanks Svetlana and Dyfrig for their work in preparing such a feast for them.
That evening Calinder finds a quiet place on the battlements above the outpost and performs his meditations and prayers for the end of the day. As he does so he realizes that wisdom with out intelligence is useless, for one must know when your wisdom is of value, and knowledge without wisdom is likewise useless as you must be wise enough to use your intelligence in the proper ways. As Calinder ponders this he realizes that he has increased his own knowledge, and that hopefully one day his knowledge and wisdom will reflect and equal one another.
As Calinder then asks for and receives his spells and powers from Erastil for the coming day, Calinder realizes that his ability has expanded and he can know more spells at a time, and is thankful for his new abilities.
In the morning as they arise and Gorguk begins a discussion of where to explore next, Calinder is smiling and ready to go see more of the world. And as each of the Wardens arise and join the discussion Calinder greets them with a warm and friendly, "Good Morning."
Rhasa raises an eyebrow at the cleric's warm greeting. "And a good morning to you, Brother Calinder. You appear... more confident than usual this morning. It is always good to see you smile."
In response to Gorguk's request for input about where to explore next, she offers, "Gorguk, I'm happy to wander wherever the charter directs us and Wardens choose to go, but I wonder if we should not be considering the bandits. Eventually, they will hear of us. I would rather provide them with a nasty surprise than receive one from them. Right now, we know next to nothing about them, including exactly where they lair. We should try to remedy that."
Overhearing the others' mention that Seth might apprentice to Lothar, Rhasa speaks to her partner out of the boy's hearing. "Many great men become better than they were by instructing another. It causes them to look at themselves differently, for good or ill. I am sure that you will use it well." She looks at the boy before adding, "As a fellow Warden, I have no concern with your bringing the lad along and would share responsibility in his training. If he is to accompany the Wardens, he needs to know woodcraft. If we are in a fight, he needs to be able to protect himself and contribute to our defense. Until he is ready to use what you teach him against one that would kill him, he can aid me in spotting targets and perhaps fire a bow of his own. If you decide to take him on."
The magician turned to regard his partner with a look that could only be described as mischievous. Children bring out aspects of ourselves that we seldom think we have. At least, that's what my teacher always said. Do not worry, Rhasadilara. Though Seth is indeed to become my apprentice, he will not be accompanying us, as the danger that our journey represents would make such an endeavor an exercise in vanity on my part. He paused and ran a hand along his scalp, chuckled, then continued: No, for the present, he will continue with Samlor on his rounds. Once we have settled this business with the Stag Lord, I will see to his training in the proper manner. And as to your offer to help, I graciously accept. He then winked and said In fact, you can help me now.
With that, Lothar took his partner by the hand and led her over to Seth. After making introductions and explain the situation to the young man, the magician began with what training he could. Nothing physical to start with. He started with mental exercises, explaining that Seth needed to be mindful of the moment without judgement or attachment in any way. The attitude was that things and circumstances are what they are and nothing more. There was no good or evil, positive or negative, that all things served a purpose. Once developed, this state of mindfulness would extend mental awareness, enabling a clarity of focus that would be vital when the physical aspect of his training began.
Once he was sure that Seth understood what he'd been told, Lothar tousled the young boy's hair and fondly bid him a safe journey before making his way back to the others. Only when he realized that he still held his partner's hand did he let it go, the beginning of a slight blush apparent on both his cheeks and the top of his head.
As Lothar and Rhasa move away discussing Seth and his training, Calinder walks up to Gorguk and says, "I think she may be right my friend, I believe that we could really use some more information on the bandits and this mysterious leader of theirs, this Stag Lord. But I believe the rest will follow where ever you lead us, as I certainly will."