Did my previous roll yield anything?
Gigon was too fixated on his examination to take in the sight of the town. Not that there was much to miss. The Gnome didn't look up from this work until the wagon stopped.
It was at this point, he realized just how hungry he really was. Getting out of the wagon, he thanked Bort and headed inside to order whatever hot meal they had available.
Thanks for your patience.
Taking 10 was indeed removed entirely save for the assurance feat.
Gigon takes as much time as he can looking over the wolf on the way back. He also notices that the forest looks healthier once they are in the town proper. The wolf is clearly a regular wolf which has mutated in some way - the issue is with whatever the cause is. Just by looking at the wolf he can't tell.
He does notice that the sickness in the forest is no longer present as the group enters town.
You make your way through the stables where you see a halfling stablehand doing a very thorough job of taking care of the horses. She doesn't look up at you as you pass.
The Feedmill is almost empty - it is a large open gathering space with a bar, adjoining kitchen, and a heavy door leading to the attached general store. The scent in the air is pungent with root vegetables. Tables fill the space which are empty save for a gigantic, brutish man with a sour expression, eating some stew in silence. A nervous-looking goblin appears to be trying to serve him a drink.
From the kitchen you hear enthusiastic, off-key singing.
Finally, the general store door flies open and a brown-haired woman with an efficient manner to her stalks in. She smiles as she sees you all. "I saw the caravan coming in, you must be some of Bort's guests. Please! Welcome to Etran's Folly. My name is Delma and I run the Feedmill, which is owned proper by my father Mayor Targen Fulst. You got any questions about our little town I'm the gal to ask. I assume you all need food and board. Amora is cooking up proper for tonight but there's some turnip stew from yesterday if you're so inclined."
Osveta spares a casual glance as they enter, noting the man and the goblin. And the singing.
”Yes we are and that we do, I’m Osveta. Pleased ta meetcha.” she answers the woman with a smile. ”And anything would be appreciated right now.”
Milo bowed to Delma, "Milo Townsend, at your service! Food and board would be good, as would some ale, if you have any."
Once they had secured accommodations, he spent some more time treating Pollo's nasty acid wound.
Medicine (treat wounds): 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17
Healing: 2d8 ⇒ (6, 5) = 11
When he finished, he returned to the bar area and ordered a drink. He said to the bartender, "Our caravan was attacked by wolves earlier today. Is that common in these parts?"
Pollo accepts the treatment by the halfling, taking in the surrounds as the bandages and poultices are applied. He winces a few times as some of the dead, acid-burned skin is cut away, but tries to hide it.
"Minimal scarring I think." Pollo looks over the man's work approvingly. "Thank you Milo." Pollo expresses his gratitude, but gets caught up before elaborating further. The near death experience has given the young man pause, though he isn't quite sure how to express his thanks beyond just those words.
Maybe some other time on this trip, I can return the favor somehow.
"Pleased to meet you Delma. A room to sleep in when we get to that part will be excellent. Food and Ale to start would be even better." Pollo extends his hand. He listens intently for the answer to Milo's question.
"Rooms it is. It's simple accommodations here but safe and warm. Bort brings passengers along and I imagine he's paying. We'll sort that out later. But for now, a round of our finest turnip ale coming right up!" says Delma with the cheerful polish of a practiced businesswoman. She makes her way to the bar and taps a keg. "Local treat - wary though, it's pretty strong."
She sets the pinkish ale in front of you in some clay mugs. "You can really taste the turnip!"
The warbling singing from the kitchen cuts and a woman bellows. "Oh I've got a right lovely feast for tonight! Bort's in town dontcha know. Turnip stew, turnip surprise, rabbit stuffed with turnip, turnip in a most delicious turnip sauce, and of course sweet turnip porridge!"
Behind you, you see the angry-looking bald man raise a hand as if to backhand the goblin who whimpers and runs away to the kitchen to bring him more food.
Any answer to Milo's comment on the wolf attack?"
Milo sipped the turnip ale, which certainly had an unusual taste. "Wild guess, but I'd say the main crop around here is turnips," he said to his companions. As he nursed his drink, he looked around at the decor and listened in on any conversation that he could overhear.
”It sounds yummy.” Osveta honestly says, not having much taste experience with turnips.
”Something wrong with your food?” she flatly calls out to the angry man after the goblin flees.
On entering the Feedmill and looking around the place, the elf gives the surly human and the goblin trying to wait on him a wary glance before her attention turns to Delma. “Thank you, mistress,” she says with a small smile. “I’m Anghariel. Another of Master Borgith’s passengers, as you’ve correctly deduced. And yes, a room in particular would be wonderful, as well as some hot water with which to wash, if at all possible.”
At the bar, her expression is…neutral as she eyes the mug of turnip ale. Eventually she takes a small sip; to her credit, she is too well-bred to let her dislike of its cloyingly turnip-y flavour show. “It is indeed, ah, pretty strong,” Anghariel says instead. Not wishing to give any offence to Delma, she’ll slowly empty her mug over the course of the next few minutes – though she will also decline any refills politely but firmly.
She can’t help but slightly raise an eyebrow. “Are acid-spitting wolves a regular sight around here, then? Perhaps it’s simply my understanding of ‘testy’ that is wanting,” she adds apologetically.
"Still waiting on the results of that old adage, 'What doesn't kill you makes you stronger', though." Pollo says as he brings his right arm up and flexes his bicep, inspecting it closely before putting it back down with a slightly disapproving scowl on his face.
After holding it for a second he lets loose a wide grin and takes a big pull of turnip ale.
And promptly coughs half of that out onto the bar and his tunic.
"Woah..." he says, desperate to cover up his faux pas, "*Cough* *Wheeze* Ahh... I should really try drinking the ale instead of breathing it... *Cough Cough*" he tries to wipe his face and awkwardly tries to wipe up the mess on the bar.
"So I'm guessing everyone here has a turnip farm, eh? Nothing like a good, hearty root vegetable to survive any kind of growing conditions, right?" He smiles awkwardly.
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Milo replied with a slight grin, "I always knew the saying as: 'That which does not kill us makes us stranger.'"
Aeon Flux: That which does not kill us makes us stranger.
Pollo looks at Milo with a single eyebrow raised, head cocked slightly, then bursts into laughter. He takes another drink from his mug, already forgetting the strange, bitter taste and almost repeats his spitting performance from earlier, but manages to keep it all in.
"Well, I guess it worked then!" he grins.
"Seriously though Delma, no stories of acid spitting wolves out here? Something seems off. Even the plants when we were coming in seemed... sick." he says, leaning forward onto the bar. "Not so much in town here though. Just outside of town is where things start to get weird. What do people around here say about that?"
The goblin races out of the kitchen with some more mugs of ale for all of you. He looks worriedly at Delma. "It's alright Phinick. He's mean but he won't hurt you."
Dejectedly, the little goblin passes the ale over to the large unpleasant man before slinking off.
Delma has the decency to laugh a little. "Acid-spitting wolves? Can't say I've heard of -that-. The wildlife around here can get ornery, I'll admit it. But spitting acid? Oh my no."
She then nods enthusiastically over to Pollo. "Turnips just take to the soil like nothing here. We're properly proud of our turnip crop. Best in Isger! Most other crops just don't take to the soil around here as well and... well, you'd sure be surprised to hear all the things you can do with turnips."
Gigon was a little too occupied with his theories and observations to join in on much of the conversation. At hearing about the soil, he looked up from his meal.
"Really? And has anyone discovered why that might be? Would it be possible for me to take a closer look at the soil the crops grow in?"
“Is there a hunter in town?” Anghariel asks Delma. “Or a druid? Someone skilled in woodcraft we could talk to about this?” She glances over her shoulder, in the direction the caravan came from. “It simply seems to me that you would want to keep an eye on this kind of wildlife, if nothing else.”
Sipping her ale, the scarred elf looks at Gigon with a glint of faint amusement in her eyes. “Do you think those turnips might have any alchemical properties?”
Turning to the Elf, "Doubtful. But there has to be a reason that turnips seem to be the only successful crop. And that is an oddity I would like to investigate."
Finishing his meal Gigon asked Delma, "Would you be so kind as to point me in the direction of one of the farms?"
"How long will we be in town? I guess it might be nice to find something to keep us busy until it's time to shove off." Pollo shrugs his shoulders, eager to help the others find answers to these questions.
Delma frowns, thinking to herself. "Noala is a proper ranger who lives in the area, but haven't seen her for a little while. Reckon she's on a proper hunt. I sell her supplies and we get along, my father doesn't trust her a whit though which complicates things. As for a farm - well they're all around you! If you want to look at the soil that's no harm. Just head out the door on your right and follow the road."
Sparing you not a look, the huge, surly man finishes his turnip ale and stalks out of the Feedmill. You can see the goblin, Finick, breathe a sigh of relief before scurrying in the kitchen to help with something.
@Gigon if your intent is just to take a soil sample you can just do that, it's minutes from the Feedmill to the nearest turnip patch.Let me know what you want to do with it.
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I'm not necessarily taking a soil sample, I just want a closer look. It strikes me as a mystery, and I have to solve it.
Thanking Delma for the information, Gigon leaves a couple of copper on the table and heads out the door indicated.
Coming to the nearest farm, the Gnome calls out, "Excuse me, is anyone around?"
Pollo follows Gigon out the door as well after leaving a few copper on the bar for the food and ale he has drank so far. Instead of following the gnome, he hails the grouchy man that just left.
"Hey? You have a problem with goblins or the food? Me? Goblins make my skin crawl. Seems weird to have one serving food at a bar right? Sorry to interrupt you, you look busy. My name's Pollo. Just passin through though." Pollo extends a hand to the man.
On hearing about the absent ranger, Anghariel lets out a small sigh. “That is unfortunate. I’m sure Noala would want to hear about this…unless she already knows, of course.” The elf drains the rest of her ale and sets the mug on the bar, along with three copper pieces. “Thank you very much! Now, if you’ll excuse me,” she tells Delma Fulst before heading out the door as well.
At least catching up to Gigon doesn’t prove too difficult, with her stride the longer by far. “Not that I mean to distract you from your investigations,” she says to the gnome, “but I believe you wished to speak to me earlier? Before, ah, the wolves attacked.”
While waiting for a response from the farmer, Gigon turned to the Elf, "Ah, yes. As I stated earlier, it's a bit of a personal question about you. So if I'm being too forward, please let me know."
Taking a steadying breath, he asked, "May I possibly inquire how you received those scars?"
She nods slightly, as though she has been expecting the question all along, but doesn’t immediately respond. “I made a grievous mistake,” Anghariel finally admits in a soft voice, slowly rubbing one shoulder and digging her bare toes into the earth. “It was an awful lapse of judgement. I tried to wield magic I thought I’d mastered to…to bring someone back. But it didn’t work. Not as I thought it would. There were…deaths, and I was very badly injured myself.”
The elf hugs herself. “Several healers of considerable skill fought hard to save my life. They did all they could, but these weren’t mundane wounds, you see? The flesh festered and blackened almost as quickly as the healers could work to counter the necrotic fever burning within it.” She gingerly runs her fingers across her temple and cheeks and jaw, tracing the jagged scars marking her otherwise noble features. “I am very fortunate to still have something resembling a face at all – but these deformities, I was told, I’ll carry forever.” After a beat, she gives Gigon a look that is at once steely and despondent. “And while I sometimes try to tell myself otherwise, it is really no less than I deserve.”
Gigon cocked his head slightly, "'Deserve?' That seems a bit harsh. And if you'll pardon me, a load balderdash. I am confident that, given time, I could figure out something to at least lessen those scars."
Despite his words, the Gnomes eyes indicated a level of fear. Fear that he might have stepped way out of line.
TO THE FARM!
Heading out of the Feedmill you step out into the town of Etran's Folly which, according to your precise calculations, is a dump. But it's a nice day and the nearest turnip field is a stone's throw, enough time for the party to discuss some uncomfortable aspects of their past.
The turnip field looks like... well a turnip field. It looks like that there is a new crop coming up, and several of the greens have already been harvested for eating while the roots continue to grow. The farm isn't large, maybe an acre at most. There's no adjoining house. Considering the location of the field, the owner probably lives in town.
Gigon calls out, but doesn't get much in the way of response. It's late in the day and the farmer is probably done for now. You do see a few people going about their business through the town square behind you.
Looking about and not seeing anyone beside Anghariel and himself, the Alchemist knelt and cupped a handful of the soil at the edge of the farm. He crushed it and looked at it very intensely.
Herbalism Lore: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (3) + 6 = 9 To determine if something is wrong with it and possibly if there's anything that can be added to it to make more fertile for other crops.
Probably not with that roll. *smh*
“You were not there,” she tells Gigon, though not angrily or haughtily so. There is only a faint, almost deadened sorrow in her voice. “You didn’t watch it happen; you didn’t hear the screams as they died, the howling of its rage. Of the thing I pulled into the world. And after all of that, it still hurt to watch them put it down at last.” She gently shakes her head. “There are some transgressions that are just about unforgivable.”
Silent for a time. Anghariel looks on as the gnome inspects the soil. “But I have a feeling there is no dissuading you, is there?” she eventually says. “You’ll continue to probe and experiment until you’ve solved whatever issue you’ve put your mind to; not figuring something out is not an option. I know what that is like. I only hope you’ll apply the fruits of your work more wisely than I did.” She very nearly smiles. “So if you think there is something you can do about my scars, I suppose you may as well try. As long as you are quite certain you won’t end up making them any worse.”
Looking up at her with the handful of soil still in his hand the Gnome replied, "I can absolutely promise that I will not make them worse. Although I am certain that I cannot make them go away completely either, just make them.......less."
Turning back to his hand, Gigon opened it and swirled the middle finger of his other hand in the centre of it. After several moments he wiped his hands of the soil and stood up. "I just don't get why turnips specifically would grow well here."
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Ages ago many Turnip Leshies sacrificed themselves to stop a rampaging Red Dragon, here they made their final stand...
The Dragon's name was Etranox, his folly was underestimating the assembled armies of turnips.
After a minute’s consideration, the elf nods. “Very well then, I suppose. Your findings may end up benefiting folk other than myself, after all, and that is something I can hardly argue with.”
On the subject of the local soil’s apparent affinity for a particular kind of root vegetable, she has little more to offer than a polite shrug. “I am honestly more worried about the weird wilderness near this town – acid-spitting wolves are much more likely to kill someone than that turnip ale. Speaking of which, did you learn anything more from examining the carcase?”
Milo walked into the town square and greeted some of the locals. After some small talk, he asked them if they'd noticed any unusual behavior from the local wildlife.
Diplomacy +5 trained
“A pity,” she says, sincerely. “What should be done with it, then? The last thing we want is for it to contaminate this village somehow.”
The Gnome shrugged, "I don't know. Perhaps we can ask to take it along until our next camp where we can properly dispose of it. And by that I mean burn it to ash."
“Burning it would be prudent,” Anghariel agrees. “We may wish to do so sooner rather than later, though, lest we find ourselves forced to talk someone out of turning it into a pelt.”
The soil here is not particularly good, being brown and rocky. The one thing Gigon can tell is although turnips can grow in this soil, it's odd for it or much of anything to thrive in it.
You all make your way back to the Feedmill, which is starting to fill up with people. The staff are bustling to serve out the turnip ales and you see that the caravan crew seem to be done. Delma waves over to you.
"Bort should be here any moment, he asked that a table be saved for all of you with him. Was the farm to your liking?"
Feeling tired, Milo returned to the Feedmill. He expected turnips to feature heavily in the dinner menu, which was OK for now, but would quickly grow tiresome if one had to stay here longer than a day or two. He made his way to their assigned table.
Once he sat down, he observed the people here for dinner, without staring enough to be rude.