Warrick glances behind them as the others pull short. Indeed, his own mount was not making the time he would haave liked, or could likely have coaxed from his own personal steed. He glances over at Niketsu before reigning in to keep pace with those struggling. We'll go easier on them for an hour or so. Let them get a second wind before the final push to the tower.
Meridian slows to keep pace beside Natalya, giving her mount an appraising look.
Can the mounts that have slowed be coaxed into greater speed, or are we stuck moving slower?
there are a couple options that you have meridian. 1) if anyone has the weave renew, they can cast upon the horses and the horses will be able to keep pace. 2) make another ride check DC 25 to push the horses through exhaustion and have them run until they topple over, dead. You can get a bonus to this check if you use a weapon, making the horse more afraid of you than its exhaustion.
I think it is more or less up to the Aes Sedai and whether or not they have renew. Having the horses keel over dead, perhaps before reaching our destination, would kinda defeat the purpose. ;) Besides, I don't think all of us can make that dc without a great deal of luck or a hefty bonus for using the 'whip'.
I had not gotten around to choosing my weaves sorry, and I had been waiting for Natalya, as I didn't think I had taken the Healing talent. Now, I look at my stats and I see that I did take healing after all. Whoops. I think it is likely that I will have Refresh. I will try to get my known weaves finalized asap.
"I can Renew the horses. Natalya? Will you link with me?"
Linking in a two person circle acts as a +1 Angreal, and does not cost Natalya Sedai any of her weave slots. If she brings her Angreal into the circle, we'll be able to weave at +4 levels, meaning I can max out Renew, weaving it at level 4, using level 0 slots. Natalya should be able to learn the weave as a Cross-Talent weave as well.
Niketsu dismounts and reaches up for a moment to hold Natalya's hand. Both women relax for a moment and a look of distant calm comes over them. Niketsu then goes around to each of the horses, and lays her hands on them. She closes her eyes, concentrating for a few seconds, then moving on to the next.
The horses all instantly perk up, snorting and stamping as though they are fresh from the stables.
"We can go now. We must be careful though. I have washed away the sensations of wariness from the animals, but if we push them too hard, they might still be injured. Let's carry on."
Niketsu swings back into the saddle and kicks her warhorse into action.
As his horse perks up suddenly and prances a little, Davor bites back an oath and looks at the Aes Sedai. He was never comfortable around channelers. He didn't like things that he wasn't able to see or understand.
He gave the Aes Sedai a considering look. THank you he murmured and proded the horse onward settling into a steady pace that wouldn't kill the animal. He will speed up if others do so.
its about 100 miles from Barsine to the Hill tower. Its doable, but you pretty much have to abandon the horse at the end of the ride, cuz it takes up to 3 days for the horse to recover.
Riding as fast as you feel you can, the journey to the tower takes until the sun is just touching the horizon to the west. Riding up a long inclined hill, you can just make out the top of the tower. A large fire is already lit, blazing forth and casting back the nights advance for a little while.
Horses begining to wheeze from the exertion, you crest the hill and spy the fortified tower nestled into the crook of a mountain side.
Stone walls just out from the natural formation to surround the forward section. Torches already blaze at regular intervals, and guards pace the battlements as they guard the fortress. The single gate stands tall, doors shut and locked tight.
Pausing momentarily, Warrick pulls out a torch and lights it; its light shines upon you all, making you all stand out as friend.
As you ride to the gates, a horn picks up, and then another, as you approach, proclaiming the joy of guests approaching. The gates swing wide and allow you entry into the fortification.
A single woman steps out from the guard house, nods at everyone and asks simply
so what brings you to my tower? in a voice that would be found in any pleasure house in the world
Meeting a strange woman at what is supposed to be a military base is odd enough, but the fact that she talks in such an odd manner and the fact that she came to the gate, rather than a soldier is passing strange. Niketsu eyes the stranger warily, looking for more signs of anything out of place, and embraces the source.
Until this mission is finished, we should assume anyone could be a darkfriend...
perception: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (20) + 15 = 35
Davor manages a flourishing bow while sitting on a horse, slightly regretting that his cloak is in the saddlebags. He looks at the woman trying to remember her being mentioned somewhere.
Knowledge (local)1d20 + 13 ⇒ (2) + 13 = 15
Is 15 enough for him to know?
We are weary travelers, my lady, here on a mission from the Homeland guard, just as my lovely companion mentioned. We were wondering of we could spend the night here, and change our horses for fresh ones in the morning.
Meridian slips the hood off his head, and when he puts his hands back down, they just happen to land very close to the hilts of his weapons.
Your intense scrutiny of the woman is noticed, and the woman suddenly spins, showing off her figure to the men. But all that can be seen, aside from a heavy bosum, is hidden by the plate and chain that she wears with familiar ease.
Like what you see, lads? perhaps when you come back, we could have a go of it. Perhaps some of you would like to play strip arm wrestling, eh? She finishes flexing her arms, showing off a large bulge in the bicep area, letting you know that she has definitely been stationed at the front lines for a while.
Laughing, she continues, Names Miere, and I am commander of this fortress. Alot of people take me for being the commanders wife, but that is not so. So you make mention that you are on official business for the homeland guard. Well, come in and get your fill of supplies, food, and whatever else you need. I pray to the light that whatever business you are on with the guard turns out alright.
turning, she shouts out, her voice bellowing from her throat with suprising authority, echoing off of the walls and surrounding mountains. Bors! get out here and see to their horses!
Tandem sits in silence through most of the exchange, though anyone paying any attention would notice him attempting to see through Miere's armor. After Miere shouts at her troops, Tandem laughs, much louder than he usually would, and says "Maybe I will take you up on that arm wrestling, my lady." With a wide grin he continues, "It's not often you meet a woman in control of a so many military men. Usually it's only there wives who can command them that way."
Niketsu dismounts from her horse and leads it into the fort. When Bors comes forward, she hands off the mount to him with instructions to brush him down fully, and to give him oats, not a cheaper corn, and include fruit or vegetables with his feed.
She eyes the courtyard fully, trying to fill her mind with every detail, from how defensible the fort is, the state of readiness of the troops, as well as the look in their eyes; are any acting oddly, or providing any hint of betrayal or ambush.
Perception: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (7) + 16 = 23
Warrick hands off his own horse to Bors, and takes note of where the stable lies, should he need to look over the remounts before they set off again.
Turning to one of the off duty soldiers, he asks where the mess-hall is before appearing at Niketsu's side once more. How long do you intend to remain here? His eyes follow hers, taking in the same details.
Perception: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (14) + 12 = 26
Miere turns and winks at Tandem Perhaps later, strong man!
Bors leads the horses into the stables, while you follow Miere into the mess hall, and up to the dispensary station.
Grab a bowl, fill up, and have a seat at the head table. Enjoy the hospitality of this fortress for those who walk in the light.
Meridian paces beside Natalya Sedai and seats himself next to her. When he sits, he does so in a way that will allow him to be on his feet instantly if any emergency should arise.
The evening dinner is one without flair, as is common in the military lifestyle. A couple of men walk about, talking to everyone, telling jokes, a soldiers wife stands up and sings to a table of men and women, and the mummer of low voices barely echo in the hall.
As you eat and get your fill, you see a flurry of activity at the entrance. Men, and women, gather around the door, the noise slowly building from talking to cheers. shouts of Play my lover is a bawdy girl, my wife is plain, tell the tale of Brigette silverbow and her heroics fighting off the Forsaken and juggle swords, knives, bowls!.
As you begin to stand up, a lone man pushes through the crowd, heading towards the head table. His colorful patchwork cloak sets him apart from the usual soldiers, for no soldier would wear this loud cloak on duty.
He is a gleeman.
A smile creases across Miere's face. Maddy, what a pleasent surprise! I wasn't expecting you till spring! What brings you to these parts so soon
Smiling in return, Maddy the gleeman steps up and, in a forward move, kisses her infront of everyone. I missed you. what other reason is there?
bowing to everyone at the table, he intones in a musical voice Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Maddy, the Gleeman. I can sing till your heartstrings weep, tell tales to steel the most cowardly of man, and juggle to makes the kids laugh. I tell jokes, compose sonets, write plays, sing songs, and make an excellent lover he says with a glance at Miere.
Despite it's simplicity Tandem is enjoying his meal. Certainly not the best food I've ever had, but I've had worse and it's been a long day. With the appearance of the gleeman though, a wide smile stretches across Tandem's face as he glances over at Davor. "Well we all know how much you enjoy a good entertainer, Dav." Tandem then gives Davor a wink to let him know that he is merely fooling with him.
Stepping away from Meire, Maddy turns and pauses, looking at each of you. A long moment passes as he appears to be studying you. With a sudden bow, he speaks
I apologize for my staring. I just wasnt expecting to see the honored Homeland guard up here. For me to perform to legends such as yourself is the greatest gift of my life.
Stretching out his arm to grab at a goblet, you see a strange looking bracelet latched around his wrist. It is a strange black color, light the color you see at night with your eyes open, locked in a closet. Looking closer at it, you see that there is a shape to it, a form. It is the shape of a spider, with 4 legs on each side wrapping around his arm and locking tight on the other side.
Raising the glass high, he nods in recognition of the toast. thank you, my lords and ladies he says as he starts to take a long pull of wine.
Now, i think tonight, in honor of the homeland guard here, i will tell a tale of bravery, of honor, of cowardice and regret, of love unfullfilled. I shall tell the tale of Sir Angelbar.
Roars emerge from the regular soldiers stationed at the fortress as they recognize the tale; it is a much loved tale in Barsine. It is the story of a man who meets with a lady while on his way to begin training for battle for a lord of long ago, for a war that has been lost to time.
During the first act, the man meets the lady whilest requesting a dry spot to sleep at a secluded farm. That night the lady sneaks out and lays with the man, igniting their love for each other to the highest possible.
The second act starts with the lady asking her love to stay with her forever, to live the life of a farmer. The man cannot, as he must see to his training for his lord. The lady, heartbroken, banishes him from her sight. The man travels to the lords castle and begins his training. The act finishes with the lady giving birth to their child.
The third act starts with the man aged, a knight and commander on the field, leading his men to victory. One of the men catches his eye, his style and grace with the sword singling him out to become a future blademaster. The Knight takes the lad under his wing and teaches him. The bond develops like father and son. On the last battle that finishes the war, The knight and squire charge into a breach to push the destroy the enemy. The young man pushes the Knight out of the way and takes a spear to his side, his lifeblood pouring out of him. Carrying the lad to the field nurse, the Knight himself is shocked to see his love, the lady with whom he had laid with all those years ago. The lady begins to cry, morning for the loss of their son. The knight, stricken with the greastest of grief, kneels down and from his soul, cries out to whomever could hear to heal his son. A dark man with fires for eyes appears, and grants the Knight his boon. Yet, no deed comes for free. The son stands up, a pallor over him, his eyes removed, his armor converted into the blackest of night. His heron marked blade now twisted into something sinister. The blade strikes down his mother, and almost his father. The knight, years of experience keeping him alive, can barely hold off the attacks. The battle culminates with the creature driving its fell blade into the Knights chest.
and as the knight sat upon the ground, sword planted in his chest, the man with his eyes on fire leaned down and said Behold the creature your request has given. Born out of love, twisted by grief, and now, blind to love, and forever tormented by your grief. Honor your son, and love him forever, yet know that he will forever despise you and your kind. The knight, his grief subdued, looks fully upon the thing he has wrought. A cry escapes him, and he turns away, denying his former son his love
a single note hangs in the air as the gleeman stands, all eyes on him, mouths open, silence louder than the note.
Davor turns to Tandem You do know that i do enjoy a good performance Tandem, especialy by a good gleeman, he smiles at him and raises his cup, showing that he understood the jest as a friendly poke.
He then studies the man's performance with a careful yet unnasuming eye of one fascinated with a performance.
Bluff check 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (15) + 13 = 28
He do be good. Really good. I do can match his performance, but on a good day.I be wondering, how does his voice be so resounding in this hall, it was not been made to be acoustic i do think. he thinks, trying to notice something about the man that would give away his secret.
Perception check 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29
He then jumps up from his chair, clapping loudly, a beaming smile on his face.
A drink for the gleeman! This performance do be worth at least a gold crown i do say! If i did have one, i would do give it to you, but as it be now, wine that not be mine must suffice.
He brings the pitcher to the gleeman and insists to pour wine, or something stronger in his cup, a drink of his own choosing. He also uses the time to study the man's bracelet. And tries to remember if he has ever heard or read about it.
Perception check 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (1) + 10 = 11
Knowledge history or local 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (7) + 12 = 19
Weavesight: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Tandem joins in clapping with Davor and says "Why don't you have him join us here Davor, so he can relax after putting on such a fine performance? If that would be alright with our lady host?"
Seeing the odd bracelet, Niketsu scans her memory for where she might have seen or heard of such a thing.
Kn: Arcana: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (18) + 11 = 29
Kn: Age of Legends: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Kn: History 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
Kn: Local1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
kn: Nobility1d20 + 6 ⇒ (19) + 6 = 25
Perception: 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (13) + 16 = 29
listening to the gleemans tale, Natalya can't help but view it with suspicion.
sense motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (3) + 13 = 16
knowledge (age of legends): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
There's something wrong with this, why would he choose that tale? Wasn't that story used to keep soldiers faithful to their wives?
Warrick catches sight of the strange bracelet as Maddy raises his arms in dramatic emphasis to a line during the performance. His brows draw down as he tries to recall anything of the like. A black spider is rather dark and uncharacteristic talisman for a gleeman. I wonder what it signifies, if anything..
K Nobility: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (17) + 3 = 20
K Nature (to determine if the spider is of a particular type)1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
K Blight (because, hey, you never know...) 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
skill check results:
age of legends: nothing comes to mind, although it was said the Forsaken Moghedian favored the nickname "the spider", and was said to act as a spider, with her network of spies.
Arcana: nothing comes to mind
History: see age of legends
Local: just local gossip about large spiders devouring people in their sleep. Just foolish nonsense
Nobility: no known nobles in the area have the spider as their banner animal.
Nature: its based off of the brown recluse spider.
blight: Some parts of the blight have spiders this large, and even larger. This particular spider is one that has been known to sneak into camps at night, inject a venom that numbs the affected area, and then the spider proceeds to lays its eggs inside. 21 days later, the host screams in pain as the spiders inside hatch and begin to feed upon the host from within.