After the festivities, Teryll heads back to his room where he checks over his equipment, then carefully repacks for the journey.
As he's working, he considers the people he met that evening.
They seem like good folks. Kern has a good head for politics for picking up that point about the regent. Faerin is quiet, and a bit standoffish but she is taking this seriously. Hal is another serious one, if pessimistic. I won't write anyone off before giving them a chance. Of course, that doesn't mean he's necessarily wrong either. Signy is flighty at best, but seems to mean well. I think I'll need to watch her, and try to guide her if she's doing something foolish.
He finishes with his pack, and swaps to repacking his saddle bags with the remainder of his gear.
I'm not sure of Pyros either, he's pleasant enough, but humility doesn't seem to be a strong point of his. Still, an Aldori swordsman will be of use versus the bandits, and he says that he's got the kind of skills that will help once we establish a settlement, so there's that.
Finished packing, he prepares to sleep. His last words before blowing out the candle are;
"Mighty Erastil, grant us your blessings and let us rise to this challenge, and make something great from these lands."
As the false dawn's light begins to brighten the eastern sky you all arrive at Restov's western gate, ready to travel. Despite the importance of your mission there is no fanfare, no celebration as you quietly depart.
With the thoughts of your investiture banquet and a warm bed now a distant memory you continue to trudge, for over a week now, through the muddy path sometimes known as the South Rostland Road. The "road", a ribbon of dirt at the best of times, is now a quagmire of mud as the spring thaw begins to melt the snows of the departing winter
With mud stained clothes and boots you come over a small hillock and see before you an old wooden fort, typical for it's type. Once one of the many border forts that had guarded Brevoy's southern border, it was abandoned until several months ago when it was chartered to a man named Oleg Leveton and his wife Svetlana to rebuild it into a trading post.
A wooden palisade surrounds a central courtyard and three interior buildings. At each corner of each wall stands a guard tower atop each of which a catapult is mounted, a remnant of the forts former use. A 30' gate, it's doors open wide, pierces the eastern wall of the trading post.
As you approach the gates your eyes are drawn to a man, hammering away at the roof of a building inside the wooden walls. As the man notices your approach, he yells something unintelligible to someone unseen in the courtyard as he hurries down from the roof and disappears into the yard.
Awakening before dawn, Faerin goes through her normal morning meditation, communing with the natural world and the elements, embracing the power of nature. With her power replenished, she sts about mixing a few fresh concoctions, blending various nuts, berries, dried herbs, and other natural ingredients, drawing the natural power within them in the manner she was taught, and adding the innate druidic magic within her to create potion like herbal creations that might assist them.
Packing everything up she gathers her gear leading Azalea, to meet with her new companions. As the ild fort comes into sight, she smiles at the sight of the ivy growing along the parapets, clearly a sign of disuse until recently. No matter how hard civilization pushed into an area, nature always reclaimed her share.
"Looks as if we are expected.” she says quietly to no one in particular.
1st level Spells prepared: Shillelagh, entangle
Concoctions prepared today: Cheetah’s Sprint, Cure Light Wounds, Keen Senses
0-Acid Splash, Mending, Prestidigitation
1-Mage Armor, Magic Missile (Toppling)
(Specialized: Enlarge Person)
As the journey to the trading post wears on, Kern stays relatively quiet, his eyes more on the horizon than local, though he'll respond to conversational openings.
Each night he sets up a pair of tripods, and proceeds to sling a hammock between them, high enough to avoid the melting snows, and then proceeds to liberally use his Mending and Prestidigation magics on his gear to clean and maintain it, and will offer to do the same for the others.
As the party approaches the fort, Kern's focus narrows, and begins scanning the area in earnest.
Despite the harsh conditions, Halden appears to be in much better spirits as the group heads for the trading post. He is more friendly and talkative than he was during the banquet, though he is still evasive if asked about his past or reasons for coming on this expedition. He rides Aster at a slow pace so the unmounted members of the party can catch up. During the evenings, he goes off to do a bit of hunting and foraging to supply the group with food.
When they finally reach the trading post, Halden notes the man's reaction to them. I can't tell if he is excited or scared to see us. Does he think we are here to rob him?
Teryll wakes up while it's still dark, and using a simple spell lights the room enough to wash up and dress. He then says his morning prayers to Erastil, and when finished takes his belongings to the stable, and packs his horse with practiced efficiency. As he leaves the inn, he nibbles on leftover cheese and bread picked up at the feast the previous night. Greeting the others at the gate with a smile, and a nearly visible enthusiam to be starting out.
The week of travel passes quickly enough. Teryll will walk with the unmounted members of the group, and offers the use of his horse to help carry some of their load, or letting them sit on the saddle for a time if they appear tired and not used to all the walking. He wakes up early each morning , so as to ensure his prayers don't delay them, and he takes his turns at the watch or cooking with no complaints. If Hal allows he'll go off hunting with him for safety and the better chance at a sucessful hunt.
Arriving at the trading post, he watches the mans reaction.
"Well. He's either happy to see customers, or he's running for help. Lets be cautious as we enter in case it's the latter. Introductions at spear point are awkward, and we don't want to overreact."
Pyros makes the long walk with good humor, and no worry about his lack of a mount. Each morning, he spends an hour or so practicing with his blade, speaking quiet prayers to Milani as he does so, mostly in Celestial. The response is never so vivid as the night she appeared to him in a dream, but nevertheless he feels the Milanite tattoo on his left arm warm and pulse like a second heartbeat, sometimes the blade in his hand seems to shift slightly of its own acord, improving the angle of his strike. He could even swear the tattoo glows softly, though the light provides no discernable illumination. Or maybe it's all in his head. As they approach, he takes stock of the fort. Pretty standard. No obvious guards. But still... Pyros quickens his pace, and glances over his shoulder toward the others. "We should move faster. If he does think we're foes, we don't want to be in the range of those catapults any longer than necessary."
Signy spends time visiting with each of the other groups of explorers, trying to strike up conversations and make some acquaintances. Because of this, she is the last of her her group to leave in the evening.
It makes no difference for how early she's up the next day though. Excitement and anticipation for the upcoming journey has her out of bed before there is the faintest hint of morning light.
Mud and wet doesn't seem to dim Signy's mood at all. She takes it all in stride as part of the bargain of being in a grand adventure. She finds most everything, no matter how mundane, very interesting. She comments on all the new things she comes across as the group travels. Given the frequency of these comments, it isn't hard to conclude that Signy has spent almost no time in places that aren't cities. She talks about deer, opossums, birds and their calls, moss of unusual colors, and the rushing water of streams. Every time she finds a newest "biggest tree I've ever seen" she stops to walk around it and touch it.
Her always positive comments about nature plus her chatting with the others members of her group add up so that Signy hardly stops talking at all for the first few days.
As she and the other crest the hill, Signy exclaims "a real frontier fort! We've made it!" She doesn't seem concerned the man's reaction could possibly be a negative one. "He's probably hurrying to wash up since he's seen guests are coming." She starts quickly down toward the fort calling out "Hello! Well met Master of the trading post! You have guests and we are so happy to see we've arrived!"
GM: There aren't any results for Signy's diplomacy check for the other table at the banquet? She's just trying to improve attitudes with the other groups.
My apologies I thought we were still waiting for someone to post
As you enter the trading post's courtyard you notice immediately in front of you is an empty, locked, roofed pen surrounded by a wooden fence.
Behind that enclosure you notice three deep pits dug into the ground, with the smell of compost wafting up from within.
To the left what could only be a stable stands with one it's doors ajar.
To the right stands a nondescript wooden building, several faded handbills, nailed to the wall, flap lazily in the breeze.
Between this building and what you assume is the main house a pair of wooden tables and benches flank an open fire pit.
A single story wooden building stands in the northeast corner of the compound. A wooden ladder leans against the side of this building reaching up to the roof's eave.
A man stands, warily in front of this building, his arms crossed, one hand still holding a small hammer. As you take in your surroundings the man clears his throat and in a loud voice says "Welcome, strangers. My name is Oleg Leveton, what can I do for you?"
"My name is Halden Elwood. We are explorers who have been chartered by the Swordlords to explore the Greenbelt. We are here to rest and purchase supplies before we begin our expedition."
"Master Leveton, we have also been tasked by the Swordlords and the Regency to bring some semblance of Law to the area."
"Perhaps we can be of assistance to each other, if you can inform us with your experiences living here and running this post."
With a broad smile Signy strides over to the man, her hand extended to shake his.
"Well met Master Leveton. Yes, we're explorers. Hopefully we can find a nice bed here for a couple of nights, provisions for sale so we can continue on, and some good company for sharing stories."
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24
As the reasons for their visit were well explained by the others, Teryll simply waits his turn to introduce himself. Using the time to glance over the interior of the old fort.
Perception - casual scan for things that might stick out as odd: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (16) + 11 = 27
When his turn comes; "Greetings. I am Teryll Tholor. Pleasure to meet you sir." and will offer Master Leveton hearty handshake in a friendly manner.
Diplomacy - Aid Signy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
Pyros stands silently, an merely meets Oleg's gaze and nods. His sword tells anyone with eyes who he is. He looks around, taking in the former fort Decent work. One wouldn't expect a professional engineer out here yet. For a trader he hasn't done bad at all.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Faerin gives Oleg a polite smile as she studies his reaction to the wealth of introductions, absently reaching up to pat Azalea’s shoulder. ”Faerin Cordova, she says quietly. Please to meet you.”
Sense motive: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23