Thank you, Mister Fireshade. Agreed, Proudstump has always been a bit odd, and I'll see if we can assemble a weekly patrol just to check on things down there and make sure he's not up to anything unusual.
I appreciate the information, and if anything else should come to mind on your end that I should know, please come and see me. He stands, offering his hand to conclude the business. And...vice versa, if I hear more of any disturbances from the Marsh, I will keep your team in the loop.
Ben opens the note, and reveals some interesting reading....
See Player Handout 1 above!
Grabbing a fist full of chicken and thrusting it into his mouth, Gruhx looks over at the mithril tube. "HRumph. Wafth ish ish?"
Shoveling another helping by the fist full in, he munches away noisily. "IShfit gud shhturff?"
Oren returns the man's handshake, agreeing that he would do so before heading out to meet the others at the Rusty Dragon.
"What did you find, Beni," he asks, noticing the sheet of paper that the young man is reading intently.
I'll split up the money in the loot sheet.
Without really understanding boundaries, Madir looks over Ben's shoulder and reads with him.
Well, yes I - She suddenly grows concerned, and reaches out for the letter. Reading quickly, she seems unusually serious, so much so that the often aloof Shalelu even comes closer, tilting her head as if wondering what this news may be.
She looks up sharply, her eyes narrowing. Where did you find this, again?
After you tell her the tale again, she reexamines the letter, then puts it down and puts a hand to her head, propping it up from the tables surface with an elbow.
Rokuro...Rokuro Kaijitsu was my grandfather. That means that this letter was intended for my father, Lonjiku Kaijitsu. I...I've never seen this, or heard of it. What do you know of this Brinewall? I know little, save that it exists, and is reportedly cursed.
"Bine-phwaph?" sputters Gruhx through a mouthful. Swallowing quickly, he raises his hand for a moment before blurting, "Dat what use ter make pickles!"
Having just walked in, Oren looks at the others questioningly. "Step back a minute. What's everyone talking about? Brinewall? Can't say that I've ever heard of it." He sees the paper that Ameiko took from Beniamir and begs the question again, "Where did that come from?"
"From that cool weapon you got from the skeleton! Hey, so that undead guy knows you, Ameiko! Well, knew your grandad I guess."
"So your family's from, uhhh, far away? What's this box the letter's talking about? Where is Brinewall, anyway?"
Ameiko furrows her brow. Yes...it seems that way, or the undead guy had stolen the sword from someone. My family was not from around here...indeed. I was never close to my father, and my mother died when I was quite young. My brother didn't speak much of father, since they'd had a falling about long ago. They're all gone now...
She seems to regret the momentary sign of weakness. Brinewall isn't far - about two weeks by caravan, I'd imagine. It's to the north.
Oren takes a moment to go over the letter watching Ameiko as she tells her story. "Sorry to hear about your family, Amei. I know a little about that. I was estranged from my people for the circumstances of my birth." He rolls up the letter once more as he finishes, "If this is something important to you, we can certainly look into it. As far as I'm concerned, you're just as much family to me as Shae."
Madir nods. "As do I. I was unwanted. But family is more than just blood. Oren is right. I would like to help as well."
Ben nods at Oren and Madir before addressing Ameiko again.
"...So, if I follow, your family was on the run from something, and had something super secret in a basement or vault or something in this Brinewall place. That's pretty cool! Aren't you curious what it is?"
Ameiko sniffs, then sets the letter down. Thanks, fellas' And...now that I know about it, I'm not sure how I could stop thinking about it. To think that I be able to know more about them, about...well, me - this could very well change what I know about my life.
She suddenly narrows her eyes, and looks around the Rusty Dragon. Her eyes lock on Sandru, the caravan runner, and she says in a low voice. I have some...things...to figure out. She turns back to the table. Can you meet me back here tomorrow night? I'm sure you have some business about town, but if you could I would appreciate it.
Oren nods affirmative, "You do what needs doing. We'll be here. Right, Gruhx!" The dwarf gives what would normally be a shoulder chuck to the Trox' nearby ankle.
"Woah, really! You're actually going? I'm in! I've been itching to get out of town again, actually. And if not by ship, a caravan ride could be a ton of fun. Sandru's always talking about life on the road, eh Sandru? I'd be super helpful, just ask Shalelu and Koya!"
Okay to fast forward!
Perfectly good to fastforward here
Other than maybe to dole out loot, I think we're good to move on.
You have the night and next morning and early afternoon in Sandpoint to do whatever you like, then you gather at the Rusty Dragon once again the next night. When you go in, you note that Ameiko seems to nearly be holding court. She has a corner table, and gathered around her are Sandru, the caravan master, Shalelu, and Koya, the old cleric of Desna....and the adoptive mother of both Eli and Gruhx. Eli is there as well, and is shaking his head in disapproval.
Ameiko waves you over, and asks you to gather around. She has a map out on the table, showing a route along the Lost Coast Road to the north...and to Brinewall. Ameiko's eyes flash with excitement.
Please, come over here! I've been looking over the route to the north...it's not far!
Sandru raises an eyebrow as he looks up at you. Ameiko...this ragtag bunch is coming? I'm suddenly...not too sure of this.
Ameiko looks at Sandru as if surprised, then looks up at you. Well...yes...aren't you?
Oren greets everyone as he takes a place at the table. He takes a few moments to look over the map (Knowledge (geography): 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21).
"Of course I'm coming. I said I would, didn't I? If there's something at this Brinewall, then we'll find it."
"Yes." Madir responds simply.
He can't quite show it but he's somewhat excited, in part because a caravan traveling through the wilderness is quite a bit closer to his comfort zone than Sandpoint is.
Ameiko smiles at Oren, then nods at Madir. I'll be going as well. Shalelu stands up from the corner, and puts a hand on Ameiko's shoulder as reassurance.
As am I. The words come from the old woman seated across from Ameiko - Koya. Eli begins shaking his head again. No, boy...I'll not hear of that. Ameiko needs her friends in these times, and I have been festering here on my backside for far too long.
Oren can see that the trip will head up the Lost Coast Road, passing through Galduria and Wolf's Ear then cutting through the northeastern reach of Churlwood, to eventually reach the town of Roderick's Cove. There's a small village at the base of the Brinewall fortification that goes by the same name.
"I'm coming too," Tallvar chimes in after a moment's hesitation. "No way am I letting you solve this without me." He flashes a smile in Ameiko's direction before turning to look down at the map.
Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25 Woo!
"Brinewall, Brinewall..." Tallvar scratches his head. "I think I've read about Brinewall before. Or heard stories, maybe. I think its last commander's name was Andril Kortun, if that means anything to any of you. It was destroyed on the first of Sarenith in 4687. No one's really sure what it was that did it, though." He pauses and looks back at Ameiko. "Wouldn't that have been just a couple days after that letter was dated?"
A bit slow on the uptake, Gruhx mumbles "Brinewall be place..."
With a smile, he adds "Me go too."
'Brother goin, friends goin, 'course Gruhx go too. Deys needen Gruhx ta look after 'em.'
Eli sneers, and stands up. I won't be a part of this. He turns to point a finger at Koya. If you have a death wish, then I don't share it. My calling is to a different place...I wish you the best, but I can't be a part of your travelling off to your doom. He looks at Gruhx. Take care of her, big guy. Then Eli walks out of the inn. And of the GM's care.
Score! Nice one Tallvar!
Ameiko furrows her brow and reexamines the letter. Y...yes, you're right. I wonder what that could mean.. If anything, her interest is piqued even further by this, and she stands abruptly. Then, we go...and we leave first thing in the morning. Sandru, you'll have the startup funds you need. Please coordinate with Tallvar and the others to organize this expedition.
Once decisions have been made, Madir moves out to inform the two animals of their next stop.
You all gather back outside of the Rusty Dragon and are greeted by quite the crowd. Ameiko has always been a popular figure in Sandpoint, and her departure from the town will change many things within it. She leaves her manor house and the Rusty Dragon in good care, but that doesn't keep her from rushing about, asking questions about things that she knew full well were being handled. Her employees take it well, smiling and reassuring even as they roll their eyes at her last minute instructions.
Shalelu stands a bit away from the group, her eyes on the horizon. Most leave her be, claiming not to know of her strange ranger powers of divination. Those closer to her know that she just has little tolerance for crowds.
Gruhx leads Koya to the wagons, with her slapping at his big arms when he tries to help her walk or steady her. Would you stop, boy! I'm old, yes, but I'm not dying! Sniffing, she walks a bit ahead of the Trox, her steps sure and strong.
Sandru is there with the Varisian brothers, checking the wagons, loading last minute supplies, and in general being the surly caravan master that really wasn't a personality that suited him. Often, he'd scold just to joke a minute later. Still, everything comes together nicely, mostly through the very singular focus of Ameiko. She comes over to you as the final preparations are made. Thank you...all of you, for undertaking this. I know that this could be a dangerous trip, and I hope you know I don't take this assistance lightly. You're at quite the risk, taking this trip with me. She smiles. I thank you all.
Soon after, you leave the town of Sandpoint, bound for adventure perhaps, or at least the open road. Koya seems thrilled by the change of scenery, Sandru seems like the worrisome caravan master who has sunk his funds into this venture, and Shalelu watches everything
1d100 ⇒ 53
This close to Sandpoint, the day goes without any issues, save for each of you getting used to being in this cramped space together. Still along the Lost Coast Road, the sky begins to darken on your first night.
Feel free to RP anything - day or night, as we go. Otherwise, I'm going to roll for encounters as needed, and of course will be the NPCs;)
Standing next to Shalelu, watching the general hubbub going on, Oren can't help but marvel at the sense of community he can feel in the air. It could almost be overwhelming to his psychic senses if it weren't for the training that was drilled into his head at a young age. Despite that, though, he can't help be feel a little of the infectious energy seep into him. This must be what it feels like to belong. To be a part of something bigger than yourself. This is something that I have been missing.
After Ameiko's brief speech, the caravan begins the start of it's long journey. Oren hops onto the back of one of the wagons, knowing that his dwarven legs can't keep up with the faster vehicles very easily. Better to save his energy for when his scouting skills will become of use, though he does spend some time walking with Shale off and on.
At the end of the first day, Oren helps to secure an appropriate location for camp, then busies himself with getting things secured for the night. He also volunteers to help hunt for food, if need be.
Shalelu nods. It would be about time to see if you can get anything larger than a rabbit out here. Her delivery is characteristically dry, and Sandru chuckles from where he and the Varisian brothers are brushing down the horses.
Not acknowledging it the laughter, Shalelu continues. Oren shall be hunting tonight, then perhaps some others can give it a try. She looks at Ben and Madir in turn, then looks up to Gruhx and shakes her head. Sorry, big guy - you don't exactly look very stealthy.
"I kin sneak when need." he declares indignantly. Looking around for a tree, he scurries behind a sappling...that stops at his waste and closes his eyes. "See?! I is inn-visbly! No kin see Gruhx."
Only managing to stay still for a few moments, he makes himself busy picking up the heavier stuff and arranging it around the campsite. All the while, his eyes never leave Koya but for a second or two.
Once, he swears he saw her stumble and rushes over to steady her...grabbing her arm with his pair of smaller limbs. "Yous is k?"
Madir remains silent throughout Ameiko's speech and continues to be quiet unless spoken to as the trip starts. For the most part, he walks along with the caravan with White, while Black circles them, the latter of which may appear unintentionally quite ominous.
When Shalelu mentions hunt, Madir nods. "I will gladly do what I can."
Tallvar spends the first part of the journey quietly. Idly stroking Ember's fur, he watches Sandpoint intently as it recedes into the distance and finally fades from view entirely. Though he finally had the adventure he'd always wanted -- and with Ameiko, at that -- the young half-elf finds himself filled with a bittersweet sensation as he leaves behind the only home he's ever known.
When the caravan stops for the evening, Tallvar tries to find some way to make himself useful, be it in carrying water, piling wood, or especially inspecting the wagons' condition. Not gonna have any wear on them after one day, but it doesn't hurt to get in the habit of doing this. Once he finishes with whatever chores he can help with, Tallvar finds himself a comfortable spot and begins idly whittling away at a small piece of wood he finds nearby. He hums a tune softly as he works, and often he stops to look around and watch other members of the caravan.
He perks up when he hears the others discuss hunting. "If you wanted a little company on your hunt, I'm sure Ember could help," he offers with a smile and a gesture to the fox lying at his feet. He taps one finger to his nose. "She can probably smell prey better than most of us." The creature responds to this idea with a huff and a look at Tallvar. "Oh, what? he responds. "You could even find your own dinner out there, too. You know, like a fox." He laughs lightly and pokes her, eliciting another sigh.
@GM: I also have a conversation Tallvar likely would have had with his mother early that morning or the night before, but I'm not sure if you would want to do that here or via PM, if at all. Don't want to clutter up the thread too much if it can be avoided.
Tallvar, feel free to do that here in the thread, but put it in a spoiler so anyone who doesn't want to read it can avoid it. Thanks!
Shalelu smiles at the offers of help. Sure...we can make a bit of a game of it. Go on, you guys, and see what you can find.
So...if you want to hunt, give me some opposed survival rolls to determine who comes back with the best catch. Whomever has an animal with them gets a +2
Koya frowns at her giant protector. Gruhx, please...you're making a fool of me. Get your...mitts off of me. She swats at his hand, though she sighs and smiles after. This is good for me, son...this open air... She takes a deep breath and sighs. ...it is what I needed.
A game, huh? Oren thinks to himself, remembering similar games that were played when he was first learning to survive in this wilderness.
The dwarf nod in acceptance and makes his way out into the woods to hunt.
Survival: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
"Game or not, I will simply do my best." He heads off in the opposite direction to Oren, allowing both of them to hunt unbothered by the other.
Survival: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 7 + 2 = 14
Even with the help of animals, Madir can't seem to match Oren's particular skills out here on the open road. Oren comes back with a brace of rabbits, but Madir only comes back a stringy one that seems to have had a bit of trouble finding any veggies to chew on.
Shalelu smiles and nods. Well done, Oren. Madir, I think there are some things that Oren and I could teach you, given time. And...we've a bit of it here on this trip.
So, for the night, any ideas for watch? I can just roll for encounters and allocate, if you like.
Oren can take any watch, but would probably be best suited for a time when he can take advantage of his Darkvision.
Madir nods. "I will gladly learn anything you have to teach me."
Madir can take watch anytime as well.
Day 2/16. Let me know if you had something to increase your speed in that build - I may have missed it.
What today brings: 1d100 ⇒ 39
The day dawns, progresses, then falls with no issues - a clear day of travel. Sandru seems overly happy at the very quiet nature of the trip so far, though he still has some concerns.
Tomorrow, we'll be working our way in between forests...if we're bound for trouble, it may be then. Be ready everyone.
The base speed of an un-upgraded caravan is 32, but the upgrades have boosted it to 40.
Oren easily starts to fall into a rhythm of familiarity as the second day winds to a close. He is reminded, however, that the likelihood of it remaining that way is not very high.
"Right,"he replies to Sandru."We'll be sure to keep our eyes peeled for trouble."
The night passes without mishap - just friends both old and new, telling stories, sharing misadventures, and everyone enjoying some fresh game from the hunters in lieu of the simple rations that they felt obligated to bring.
Roll: 1d100 ⇒ 15
As Sandru predicted, you do indeed pass in between two large, forested areas by mid-morning. The trees sway in a slight breeze, but are mostly silent. White and Ember stare into their depths, dreaming of the succulent feasts they could find within those natural borders.
Sandru seems quite on edge as he eyes the woods on either side.
Perception Oren: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (10) + 7 = 17
Perception Madir: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6
Perception Tallvar: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (15) + 8 = 23
Perception Gruhx: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7
Perception White: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21
Perception Black: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
White's a lady :)
If possible, Madir will gesture for the caravan to stop. "White's sensing danger."
Responding to Madir's instincts and those of his tiger, Oren motions for the caravan to stop and hops off, looking and listening for whatever triggered the animal's senses. He pulls his newly-forged pick from the loop at his belt into his hand.
Turning look at his companions, Trox pulls a skillet from his pack. Scanning their surroundings, he waits for a clear direction.