|Robert Brookes RPG Superstar 2014 Top 32|
It started simply enough.
After departing the primary group of settlers, Dakun, Rogath, Quint, and Doctor Logem set out to follow the trail of the duergar mining wagon back to its source. Having broken off from the settlers in the late afternoon, they had several hours of daylight left even though the sun already was threatening to duck behind the lofty mountains in the west. Unrestricted in movement thanks to not traveling at the speed of the settlers, the four made quick progress across the hills, though within two hours they were already further than the first expedition into the hills had gone.
Neither Dakun nor Rogath recognize the terrain they're headed into, though they are able to maintain the trail of the wagon carved into the ground. Four hours out, just after sundown bathes the new world in a blanket of darkness, the four dwarves discover deeper ruts in the ground that the wagon they were following seems to have broken off from — It's a road.
This dirt road leads northwest in one direction, and directly south in another. The wagon they'd been following looks to have veered off here for reasons unknown, though it looks as though it is frequently traveled by wagons and carts, judging from the amount of wear in the earth. This discovery alone warrants further investigation, and gives the team a better means by which to follow the wagon trail.
<< The Unexplored Hills | Cloudy, Light Breeze, Cool | Night | Wealday, Arodus 11th, 4714 AR >>
They've been traveling four hours since departing from the settlers, and four hours more earlier in the day. By now they're starting to feel weary, but this discovery has given a new sense of intrigue and mystery.
They are not alone.
Rogath, Quint, Logem, and Dakun; please report in and let me know what you plan on doing. You're four hours out from where you started (on the southern edge of the the hex 1 north of the shaded green base hex) and have discovered a road. You can assess that the wagon you are following came from the northwest yet further, but you are uncertain as to how much further. You could force march some, try to get some more distance, or you could perhaps camp nearby for the night.
Let me know your plan.
Dakún paused when they came upon a road. It was a clear sign of infrastructure and settlement in this land and he quickly moved about it, trying to determine whether it had been well maintained or not. They knew that many seasons ago the Ulfen had tried to settle this land as well and it would be good to know whether the road was built fifty years ago or three hundred, as well as who built it.
Dakún Rabbúhamash continued to wear a deep green clothe over most of his face, leaving only his hard eyes visiable beneath. Looking up to his companions he ran his fingers along the grooves and tracks in the road.
"The wagon came from the North, but from what we have seen of the land, following the road South might also provide clues. There might be a settlement at the river or a bridge." Dakún said after no one else spoke.
I would like to make checks to determine how well the road has been maintained, whether it is very old or not, and the origin of the design if possible. Looking for any tracks or clues to the nature of those who move along it. Lastly, using survival to determine future weather patterns.
Craft(Stonemasonry): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Knowledge (Engineering): 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (15) + 6 = 21
Survival tracking: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (19) + 9 = 28
Survival weather: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (10) + 9 = 19
Quint remains quiet for most of the afternoon, not well pleased at having been maneuvered into coming along. He doubted anyone else saw it that way, there was no malicious intent certainly, but he could hardly refuse when it was observed that they were journeying into the territory of the Strix after he'd earlier observed his ability to potentially communicate. Still he nursed his discontent for the afternoon, speaking only to point out something Dakun seemed to have missed along the trail.
When they stumble upon the road he waddles closer to peer at the wagon rutts. He glances at Dakun as he offers his opinion, giving him a slow nod. "Knowing where the mine is would be useful, but not as valuable as knowing if there's a Duergar settlement nearby where we intend to start our own." He half-mutters, though he seems more... distant than annoyed now. "As sore as my feet are from two days of traveling we should push on to the south..." reluctance enters his tone now, followed by a sigh as he stretches his legs and feet, casting his gaze around for anything that might suggest why their dark kin had suddenly left the road at this point. He stoops after a moment to dig his fingers into the road, rubbing the dirt between his fingers before allowing it to fall back to the ground.
Survival (aid Dakun, tracking): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (16) + 2 = 18
Perception: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
Knowledge (dungeoneering): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Anything special about the road? You said it's dirt but anything about it's composition (has it been treated with anything, etc.)
Knowledge (engineering): 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
|Dr. Logem, Ph.Dwarf|
Having volunteered his services this time, Dr. Logem seems almost eager to discover traces of civilization - be it the enigmatic winged men that he has heard about, or these new surface-dwelling Duergar. As the group walks, Dr. Logem keeps up the pace, not leading, due to his relatively poor ability to track, but not lagging behind, either.
Though he had been relatively quiet and focused on his work ever since landing in Arcadia, he seems to have grown excited since embarking on this scouting mission. It has been quite some time since he's survived on little but his wit with a small group of skilled travelling companions - though surely, they are nothing more than distractions fit for sacrifice should he need to flee, their presence seems welcomed at the moment.
With him, Dr. Logem brought many of his alchemical supplies - weapons, tools, remedies - you name it, he likely has a vial or flask of it on him somewhere. However, he keeps his main weapons on a set of bandoliers wrapped around his chest, over his coat. Here, flasks of acid, alchemists fire, even a tanglefoot bag, hang, ready to be used as needed.
Needless to say, the dwarf looks prepared.
As the group stops, finding a road, Dr. Logem looks curiously both ways, remaining quiet as he thinks. He listens to the others’ ideas with quiet contemplation, taking their words and suggestions and deciding on a course of action himself.
After a few moments, he finally speaks up. ”Perhaps we should go north, instead? Surely, the wagon veered off of this road for a reason - perhaps then, their destination was elsewhere? Following it back to its source would not only allow us to know about the deceased in particular, but it would simultaneously allow us to let wherever they came from know that they are dead and that they are being properly buried. Would it not serve us better diplomatically to start off relations thusly?”
He pauses momentarily, stroking his beard in thought, before continuing. ”Either way, I’d be fine with a little bit of forced march - my feet are tired, but this is important. A little foot discomfort will not bother me.”
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
|Robert Brookes RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16|
As Dakun finishes examining the trail, he rubs some of the soil between his fingers and palm, letting it filter back down onto the ground. An assessment of the weather looks favorable for travel, much as the pahmet had presumed over the last few days of trekking. But now the group is put with a choice: Travel south at Quint's recommendation and see the intended destination of the wagon, or travel north at Logem's recommendation to see where it originated from.
The traffic is all from wheeled vehicles, likely wagons, and hoof-marks from oxen or something ox-like that pulls the wagons.
The weather is going to hold for the next week, breezy and cool with intermittent clouds. It will likely rain next week.
Rogath strokes his beard as he considers the road, causing the beads woven into it to clink together softly. "Either their source or their destination would be appropriate places to visit. I am sure that wherever they were going with their cargo, someone would have been expecting it. That being said, I think their source would be a better choice."
He motions off towards the north as he elaborates on his reasoning. "Off that way, we know we're looking for a source of sulfur, and we know that the unfortunate ones left fairly recently." Gesturing towards the other direction, he continues, "That way, we can only assume they would follow the road to the end, and there may be other settlements or turn offs before wherever their destination was, and we would have no way to know exactly where they were going. If Luck is with us, we would find the right destination, but even then, they may not know which two were on their way there. Whereas their source would know exactly who just left."
Having stated his case, the cleric looks up at the stars, then opines that continuing on tonight appeals to him.
Quint frowns as Rogath offers his opinion. "I understand your reasoning Rogath, but I see little benefit in a diplomatic mission to a mine. Even if these Duergar do not remember ancient disagreements and choose not to attack us it is doubtful there is anyone in authority there. We could perhaps obtain some information about their society, but..." he trails off with a shrug "If I cannot convince you however, then I will travel north without complaint."
"I suppose it depends on what our goals are. If our purpose is to establish friendly contact, or whether friendly contact is possible, I would think the mine is a safer option. It's a smaller outpost, we have information relevant to them, and we don't look like a raiding party, since Dwunderbran is not with us. On the other hand," (he suits action to the words with a gesture) "if we wish to establish formal relations, or if we simply wish to see what can be seen, then a city with an authority would be the best bet."
"My inclination is for the mine, but there is validity in seeking out a city as well."
|Dr. Logem, Ph.Dwarf|
"We do not even know where this city is. The duegar left the road - we can't be sure where their route would have taken them. Finding their origin at the mining outpost would also allow us to find out where this city is. Plus.. they would likely have a map. I think that itself would warrant going to this mine, no? We can more easily backtrack to the mine than attempt to guess where the wagon was going.
"Nor where the mine is or if either exist, a road would indicate a destination however." Quint observes sourly " As conjecture and assumptions are all that we have to support either course then I see little worth in continued debate. If the consensuses is to continue backtracking the cart then so be it, but we should be ready for a less than hospitable reception, and hope that we may be pleasantly surprised."
Though Dakún did not want to add unnecessary complication to the task of settling matters, the Pahmet felt that he needed to side with Quint in this differing of opinion. He and Rogath both knew that there was a river to the South somewhere and it seemed likely that this road would lead to it. Evidence of a bridge or a settlement at the river's edge would be most enlightening. This was a clear sign that while a council of advisors was useful, a sole figure with the power of final say was needed.
"We know a river exists to our South and this road may well lead to a settlement that rests on its banks. I cann't say f'r certain what we will find, f'r the road is not readily maintained, indicating that this may be a route o' lesser importance. The ruts and div'ts"Dakún crouched down and ran his fingers along one such rut, then looked both North and South. "indicate the use o' wagons as the main conveyance. We should c'me to a decision soon. The sky looks to shed tears and rain in the quick passing o' six or seven risings o' the sun and I would like to return to the greater expedition bef're that time comes to pass."
He gave an almost sorrowful look to Quint and then addressed the other two companions, only his eyes visible above the emerald green cloth he wore over most of his face. "If neither o' you will alter yur course Southward, I will m've with the rolling o' the stones and decide in fav'r o' a Northward trek."
I'm sure Rob is busy with RPGSS, but we're definitely stuck ourselves.
Rogath continues running his fingers through the beads in his dark beard, making a continuous light tink-ing noise as they bounce off each other. "Clearly, we are at a crossroads figuratively, as well as one literally. We have two choices ahead of us, and good reasons for each." He releases his beard and instead pulls out a now-familiar wooden container from his bag. "Let us ask the cards, and agree to be bound by their decision. If I draw a card of the body (hammers of strength, keys of finesse, or shields of endurance), then we shall journey towards the mine where workers presumably toil away. If I draw a card of the mind (books of learning, stars of divine guidance, or crowns of leaders), then we will turn aside to try and find the city where citizens gather and interact."
By this point, he has removed the cards from their box and is shuffling them together. "What say you?"
Dakún Rabbúhamash thought that method little different than tossing a coin in the air and letting the side that was revealed pick ones fate. It was a method used often by humans he was told, but he had never seen a dwarf resort to such fickle methods. Still perhaps his Gods would intervene and show him the proper path, either through more natural omens or through the drawing of the cards.
"It is a good last res'rt to break this impass but I would first appeal to Torrúg and Grundinnar f'r a sign or an omen to give us the pr'per course bef're resorting to mere chance." There was no insult intended with his words, but the Pahmet had little experience with Harrow cards and was more willing to accept rumbling of the earth or the appearence of a gopher as a proper sign from his gods than the drawing of a card or the flipping of a coin.
Before he would consent to the use of the cards he studied the area, crouched as he was on the old road. His gaze did not fear journeying upward to observe the sky and observed the clouds and whatever birds might sail past. He looked all about, searching for an omen or some form of guidence on the correct path.
Knowledge Religion, searching for Omens: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (18) + 6 = 24
Rogath returns a wry smile to Dakún's skepticism, as if he's encountered this argument before. "Looking for omens around us all well and good, but how do you tell a true sign from one purely concidental? In the lands where Mineko and her followers called home, the Lady I worship is known as the Resplendent Goddess of Fortune. Anything - anything at all unusual - could be a sign of her favor. So how does one tell what's significant?" He gestures towards the deck. "We ask, and in this purest form of chance, She answers."