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@ Modoc - a small light flares up in the smoke from what has to have been a tindertwig and not long after the dull glow of first one and then two lanterns spring up. The large man chuckles at something and then the two disappear into the smoke.
@ Lathar - You round a small hill and though some brush just in time to see two distant lanterns disappear into heavy smoke.
@ Lathar - wisps of smoke are trailing all through the woods by now and you thought you heard the faint muttering of someone talking to the north west. You haven't seen any clue to Modoc's whereabouts in while.
@ Modoc - You slip around a hillock and angle ahead of the two men. Ahead the smoke becomes much denser making sight beyond 60' or so almost impossible. It would seem as if they will be going straight into the smoke.
Modoc - No need for you to run. That was just for Lathar to catch up.
@ Modoc - You're next hiding spot has a much better vantage and you can pick out a couple of things about these men. The one doing all the talking is brawny with a thick head of hair. The other man is a bit older with just a ring of hair above his ears...he's about your age actually... and sits stooped in the saddle chewing what you think has to be tobacco. You can see the handles of picks and shovels on their horses and the smell of smoke is getting heavier.
@ Lathar - You make good time despite having to stop and catch your breath back beside an dried out creek bed. You saw the men crest a ridge about 200 yards from you. The faint smell of smoke is on the air.
@ Lathar - you just need to Run to catch up. Give me 3 Con checks (plusses of you have Endurance or some such)
@ Modoc - as you hide in some brush a the top of the ridge the men come riding by on their horses. They're muttering to each other but you cant make out what they are saying or their intentions at this point. You have a good vantage and will be able to watch them from here for a minute or so.
DM Roll-1: 1d20 ⇒ 19
@ Lathar - You follow the trail with ease and even spot what has to be one of Modoc's bootprints crossing the horse's trail. You can also tell that you are losing ground on them...probably because theyre on horse back...
Survival DC 11 to stay on the horse's trail.
@ Modoc - Your old bones dont fail you now and you hustle down the creek bed and up a ridge. After your lungs catch up with themselves and your heart stops thundering you can just make out the clink of horse tack coming around the bend. You can also smell the faint odor of smoke on the slight breeze that's making it way from the north...
Dm Roll-1: 1d20 ⇒ 20
@ Modoc - you gain the ridge well ahead of your quarry and wait. You lose sight of them for some time and realize they have deviated from where you thought theyd go...they obviously dont know the area as well as you do...and catch a glimpse of them cresting a ridge to the north about 200 yards away.
Geography DC 18:
You have a better idea of where they're headed now and realize again that you all miscalculated just how far the meteorite went over the farm. There's a creek bed to the west that will probably get you around them...if you hurry.
@ Lathar - Between the barely adequate track following skills you have and you're excellent vision you are able to continue following the men's horses. Good thing they're well ahead of you as you've tripped over a root here and there and snapped a branch to boot. There's still no sign of Modoc.
Survival DC 12 to stay on the horse's trail.
@ Modoc - Your experience on the farm has taught you that you never know when game might appear so you tend to keep your bow close.
DM Roll-1: 1d20 ⇒ 7
One of the men stops apparently in alarm but he quickly dismisses any paranoia to "...probably another damn squirrel. Damn I'm getting jumpy Threm. You think that guy saw us?.."
Modoc's knowledge of this particular area is getting better and better as these men are headed right through where you set your traps a few weeks ago. You know of small ridge containing a copse of brush at the top where you can get a good view of them and will be able to hear more of their convo...if they keep talking.
Another Stealth and Perception roll
@ Lathar - you wait nervously what you think is the allotted time bu tis actually a bit less and head off in the direction you saw Modoc disappear.
Survival DC 12:
You cant Modoc's trail...he's just too wood crafty...but the men's horses left quite a few clumps of dirt turned over.
You get into the woods and realize that you have no idea which way any of them went. Roll another Survival DC 14 to read the above spoiler
DM Roll-1: 1d20 ⇒ 5
The men keep heading in the same direction although it looks as if they've altered their course to hit the tree line earlier.
Perception DC 15:
Now that you've got a good eye on the travelers you can see that at least one of them keeps looking towards the farm but it doesn't look as if they've seen you two behind the barn.
Knowledge/Local DC 12:
You know from the meeting with the Constable that they are trespassing and should've sought your permission to pass through what is now your property.
Another muggy, bug swarming night on the range followed by a sticky morning that promises rain at some point.
Perception DC 18:
During your morning chores you spot two figures on horses riding through your property. They are ways out on the North western corner.
If you pass the Perception check - Survial DC 20:
It would seem that they are headed towards the area where the meteor went the other night.
Working together definitely makes the task easier and you figure by the end of the day you have about a cord of unsplit logs cut to 4' and 5' lengths. The sun is falling fast towards the top of the treeline and the animals need tending to but otherwise it looks like another quiet night.
Perception DC 14:
You havent heard the howls of wolves near the homestead in days.
You two take off in what you can only assume was the nick of time and race into the front yard, over the fence and about a stones throw before the excitement wears off and reason tells you that you are indeed safe. The shooting star races well above you're beloved house and streaks towards the forested hills to the North West.
Mornings grow more humid and turn into long days as the days become hotter and turn into the insect song filled nights. Days turn into weeks and the weather is as fickle a b#@&! as she ever was. Progress being the priority, the two of you have reason to be proud of the work you've gotten accomplished in the last month despite lack of skill in such areas.
Lathar finished up the chicken coop with some wood found behind the barn. The chickens, happier than ever; are producing an egg or two a day each. There just enough wood left over to finish up the fence repairs. Between the goat and cow it doesn't take long before the fenced in area begins to look like a manicured lawn...might have to let them out to a larger area before too awful long...and are giving steady, healthy tasting milk.
Modoc works hard getting two whole acres plowed and ready for seed. Stalking the area at dusk and early morning he has had some measure of luck hunting felling plenty of rabbits and a couple of possums. He's seen no wolf tacks nor heard any howls late at night when they are most abundant...could they really be gone?..
Between the two of you, you're little garden got planted and is showing a few sprouts! The dog days of summer are upon you and the wise will keep in mind that winter is ever getting closer.
Modoc - the goat butts you more playfully this time and doesn't try to sneak up on you to do it. You see Lathar heading back to the house from the shed.
Lathar - the chicken probably earlier this day so is still edible...if cooked properly. On the way back to the house you see your partner playing with the goat in the yard.
Lather - With no coop in the yard the chickens have been 'cooped' up in the barn. You do find four brown eggs amongst the moldy straw and one of the six hens dead.
Handle Animal DC 6:
You realize that you haven't fed the fowls since getting to the homestead! O.O
Modoc - Even with no fresh game for supper the sight of the farm even in the dark reminds you that you will never really be empty handed again. You clear the fence and find the animals seem to being doing well and grunt at your appearance.
The goat makes a not so friendly charge at you when you turn your back! You are just able to get out of the way.
Failed Perception check:
You take a hard shot to the hind end as the goat makes his case for king of the hill known!
DM Roll: 1d20 ⇒ 17
Modoc - Your hunters instincts are on point. The turkey is grazing, is neither moving away or coming closer and is unaware of you. It did stop eating for a second but it was looking the opposite way of you when it did. You were able to move closer and the bird is now just 70' away.
You make your way around what you think is your property line...does anyone have the map?..You find a nice sized pond fed by a small creek in the north east. Its not too far from the homestead but is still too cold for swimming but you both heard the splash and saw the ripples of what had to be a large fish jumping. The day is sunny with just a passing cloud or two and you can see trees and shrubs beginning to bloom with fresh growth. Birds chirp, squirrels chitter and many a rabbit bolts in front of your path. You make it back in sight of the cabin about an hour before dusk.
The new day dawns sunny and somewhat warmer than it has been with a slight breeze. A good sign indeed.
@ Lathar - all is quiet on the homestead.
@ Modoc - you wake a bit cramped from the unusual sleeping position. The trap you reset the night before is gone and there appears to be some discolored dirt scattered about where it was. You'll have to climb down and get closer to determine more.
when you do -
Perception DC 10:
Theres no doubting that the trap turned to rust over night and is being scattered by the breeze. Another hour and there would be no trace of it left.
@ Lathar - Sue grumbles and moos a bit until you get going and start filling a pail then she calms down quite a bit and even nudges yo with her head when you go to wakl away. You do indeed get two pails out of her. A quick look around the yard and everything looks exactly like you left it. Crafting the temporary bee box takes up the rest of your day and you can tell it will need more work. Craft check please next time you work on it. You fall alseep in the chair once again...
@ Modoc - The afternoon and evening roll on and nothing happens beyond maybe an appreciation for how quiet it is out here. The weather stays pleasant and night falls. You finally succumb to sleep strapped securely in the tree.
Perception DC 12:
You hear wolves howl far in the distance...in the mountains perhaps?..
Perception DC 20:
You snap awake at the very clear sound of a twig snapping near you. Congrats! Make a second perception check.
DM Rolls: 1d20 ⇒ 3
@ Lathar - you make good time getting home and are reasonably assured you can find your way back with little trouble. The house and yard are quiet except for an uncomfortable cow who is mooing and stomping her hooves as the bees buzz with quite a bit of aggression in the bag.
@ Modoc - not long after Lathar leaves the forest returns to its natural sounds of squirrels running through the trees and birds chirping and singing. Your secure in the tree and settle in for the afternoon.