GM RelicBlackOUT's - Reign of Winter

Game Master RelicBlackOUT

RoW Maps (Google Slides)
RoW Journal (Google Doc)
RoW Loot (Google Sheets)

Map of Heldren

Marching Order & Night Watch:

Single File
Kriemhild - Mia - Krokod - Horn - Linge - Kessir

Side by Side
Kriemhild - Mia
Horn - Krokod
Linge - Kessir

Night Watch

Night Watch:
20:00 - 24:00: Linge/Horn & Mia
24:00 - 04:00: Kriemhild
04:00 - 08:00: Krokod & Kessir


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Is that what you really want to do?

Welcome players to the Reign of Winter adventure path! Please dot and delete, then head on over to the discussion page. Once everyone has checked in we will kick off our adventure.


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Is that what you really want to do?

Wealday, Erastus 2nd, 4713

The sleepy village of Heldren has rarely seen so much excitement or concern. Hunters from the nearby Border Wood speak of unnaturally cold weather at the height of summer that descended on the forest just days ago. Heavy snow followed, and those who returned spoke of an uneasy presence in the woods, as well as new, dangerous predators. No one knows what this event means, but the town’s soothsayer, Old Mother Theodora, claims dark times lie ahead.

As if in proof of that dire prophecy, a badly wounded mercenary arrived in town yesterday, claiming to be a bodyguard of Lady Argentea Malassene. He told the village council that the noblewoman’s escort came under attack by bandits and strange, wintry creatures near the edge of the Border Wood. He alone escaped, and Lady Argentea was dragged away into the forest. Now the townsfolk cast fearful eyes toward the snowy forest, worried what else might emerge to threaten their peaceful village.

It's midday of what would normally be an exciting day for the people of Heldren. Tomorrow is Archerfeast, a holiday of the god Erastil, which would normally see the town square bustling with every member of the community and those from the surrounding countryside preparing for contest of skill. Contest of archery, tracking, and field dressing that would see the winner talking home the coveted Rack of Elk Antlers trophy home..

As you walk around the square or eat lunch at the Silver Stout, you hear various rumors among the people:
“It’s unseasonably cold for midsummer, there is snow even in the Border Wood!”
“The snow is magic! It must the Qadiran must have a hand to play in it!”
Old Man Dansby speaks his mind; “Someone keeps stealing from the fields. Well, the portion that hasn’t died from the icy frost.” His farm lies closest to the Border Wood.

What is your character doing, where are they going this midday? Give me a Diplomacy or Knowledge Local check, whichever is higher. Please.


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Female Rge rnds 4/7 Half Orc Bloodrider/Primalist 1 non Rage: HP:13/13 AC:16/15/11 Fort:4 Ref:1 Will:-1 CMD:15

diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (1) + 5 = 6 Oh hell yes!

Ah! I have seen through the quadiran antics! Almost certainly they seek to use the fact that a deity of the sun can also withdraw the sun so to speak! I effing bet that effing Zaarida is behind this! QUADIRANS EVERYWHERE! I need to bide my time to unveil their act! They will slip up!

Dark thoughts are cursing to Kriemhilds mind as she racks her brain as to what could have caused this while lugging a very heavy oak back to town!


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Two shaggy mules plod their way forwards into the village, pulling behind them a small two-wheeled cart. The woman at their reins, an elven woman, though not one that your typical Taldan would have seen the likes of before. Her skin is a grey-blue shade and covered in swirling tattoos, giving her quite the exotic and barbarous look. The fact that she's wearing a mighty polar bear's hide as a cloak doesn't help her image any better either, only adding to the rugged picture that she paints. Inside the cart seems to be travellers supplies, feed hay for the shaggy mules and scarce else.

The woman at the reins would lightly tug to slow the beasts down, before eventually coming to a halt in front of an and stables which had a sign that read Silver Stoat. Hopping off, the mystery woman would then flag down the woman who ran the place (Sophia Imirras).

"I was hoping to house my beasts here for the night, it's been a long journey from Opparos*." the elf begins to explain, her accent lilting and rather tonal. "I'm only here for the night, next I'm off to Qadira."

*Lumivartalvae will keep saying place names slightly wrong this game, as I think the language barrier thing is funny lol.

The traveler would help to unbridle her beasts and get them situated, then sling her backpack out of the cart and onto her back with a heave. All the while, the mystery elf would loft questions about the area, and the situation of the eastern border.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8


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Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1

Diplomacy (untrained) 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

Krokod was cooking at the Stoat. WAS being the operative word. All this talk of snow and the unusual cold had him in a SOUR mood, and when someone complained about his berry mash pie, well...

"Oh come on, Kale! I'm Sorry I told Ozzo he had the brain of a pickled pignut ... that crust was perfect and.."

But nope. He's off duty until he cools off.

Outside of the Stoat, he mutters and fumes. And should he look at the stable, he stares at the newcomer.


Krokod Firetongue wrote:
Outside of the Stoat, he mutters and fumes. And should he look at the stable, he stares at the newcomer.

As a hunter, one develops a sense for when you're being watched. That tingling feeling on the back of your neck. Turning from the stable, the elven woman sees the auburn haired man guilty of the staring. She looks over her shoulder a moment, as if he might be looking at someone else, then turns to look back.

"Hello." she intones from the barn door, inclining a nod his direction. The man looked furious, and she didn't need to press a stranger, especially since she'd just arrived. Instead she deigned to then simply say "Good morning?"


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Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1
"Golden Arrow" wrote:
Krokod Firetongue wrote:
Outside of the Stoat, he mutters and fumes. And should he look at the stable, he stares at the newcomer.

As a hunter, one develops a sense for when you're being watched. That tingling feeling on the back of your neck. Turning from the stable, the elven woman sees the auburn haired man guilty of the staring. She looks over her shoulder a moment, as if he might be looking at someone else, then turns to look back.

"Hello." she intones from the barn door, inclining a nod his direction. The man looked furious, and she didn't need to press a stranger, especially since she'd just arrived. Instead she deigned to then simply say "Good morning?"

Krokod eyes her outfit, particularly the polar bear cloak Brown Bear Good. White Bear BAD. it's his inner child trying to take over his skull and head south.

But he looks less angry and for a moment much more cautious. Then he tries to school his features period. Easy. Easy. She's an elf. Most of THEM look human. Yes. It's good. It's all good. Play it cool. Act like a local.

Untrained Bluff to use Taldor accent 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (1) + 3 = 4

It is, to say, fooling no one "Shewt fire, missy, welcome to Hellduraaan."

The hell was that sound that just came out of my mouth????

Clearly the young man is NERVOUS .


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Krokod Firetongue wrote:

It is, to say, fooling no one "Shewt fire, missy, welcome to Hellduraaan."

The hell was that sound that just came out of my mouth????

Clearly the young man is NERVOUS.

Sense Motive, but like cmon: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (19) + 2 = 21

Blinking a moment at the rather... interesting, uh, joke? a moment, the elven woman offers a polite smile. "Thank you. You wouldn't happen to be a local, are you?" At this point she would just glaze past whatever that was, for that man's dignity's sake.

Looking about at the townsfolk going about their business, they seemed tense about something. Maybe this man knew something.

"Are things well here? The people walk as if on eggshells." The elf would pull her hood down, which given the fact that it was a bear's maw, looked like she was being regurgitated. Still, with her hood down, the elven woman's pale blonde hair was in full display, and looked in dire need of washing.


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Female Human (Ulfen), NG Arctic Druid (1), HP 9/9, AC 15/ T 13/ FF 12/ CMB:+0/ CMD: 13/ Fort: +3/ Ref: +2/ Will: +5/ Ini +2 / Perception +7 / Speed 30 feet (Encumbered: 20 ft)/ Spells 1st 2/2/ Active conditions: none

Linge wakes up early in the morning, just before the clock tower of Heldren strikes five. All is yet quiet, and now would be the moment to dress up, light a candle, and open the door before Horn scratches him in his impatience to be fed. It was rare to catch him snoozing.

She would make breakfast for the both of them, before putting on his armour, then hers, and lead him deep into the Border Woods. Depending on her tasks of the day, he would either stay in the forest and hunt while she walked to the apothecary to assist Tessaraea with her work, or follow her and frolick while she looked for all the medicinal herbs she might need - natural anesthetics, painkillers, emetics, narcotics....

It had been a while since that peaceful routine was shaken. She had been one of the first to notice that the weather was changing. Birds in the woods had went quiet. Insects went to sleep as the temperature dropped. It had been harder and harder to find Tessaraea's herbs, hidden deeper ands further still into the woods each day. Soon, she spent nights in the forest.

Then, in the middle of summer, the snow had begun to fall - and stay.

And now, this soldier - this wounded man, found alone, speaking of bandits, of winged creatures. She had returned to Heldren just in time to hear the news. Was it delirium?

There was a more important question to answer. Setting her candle on the kitchen table, Linge sat down, and assessed the state of her living room. The deep claw marks on her wooden floor. Furniture pushed back to make enough room for a creature the size of a very large dog to walk around without breaking anything. Ranna's old mattress, pushed back against a wall - and, sitting on it, a white bear cub staring back at her expectantly, waiting for his meal. "What am I going to do with you today," Linge sighed.

It was impossible to leave him out alone in the Border Woods today, not with dangerous creatures roaming around and Kessir and his bowmen getting ready for the festivities in Erastil's honour. Impossible also to leave him locked up in the house - he would destroy everything out of frustration, boredom or panic before she got back. If she left him in the garden, he would escape, and terrify the villagers once more. She served him one of her last large steaks, makes herself a bowl of porridge, and thought some more.

There was only one solution, really, but he wouldn't like it. On the edge of the Border Woods, about a mile from Heldren, Kessir had shown her an abandoned hunter's shack. It could be locked from the outside, and although Horn was not stupid, he never could resist a batch of her honey biscuits. It wasn't too far from the village, where beasts and thugs would hesitate to dwell, away from where the wounded man was found. He would be safe.

"I'm sorry," she said, hating the whiny twang of her own voice when he was supposed to be the one who was a baby. From within the shack, Horn suddenly looked up from the pouch filled with biscuits, locking eyes with her. His confused expression was not unlike one of betrayal. "I'll only be away for a few hours. I promise."

The bar went down with a heart-breaking thud. Though she walked away briskly, Horn's increasingly desperate bellowing followed her for a long time. Linge wiped off her tears before they could freeze in her eyelashes.

Archerfeast had never held much interest for her, and today, there were more urgent matters to attend to. She would have to see if the wounded man's state had improved.

Linge wasn't in the habit of peppering Tessaraea with questions as soon as she had crossed the threshold of the apocathery's shop, but the two women had rarely found themselves with a man bleeding from battle wounds on their hands. Today was not a normal day, and she was agitated.

"How is he?" she whispers hurriedly. Never before has she shown up to work at six - and never before has Tessaraea been up and working so early. "Have we learned anything about Lady Argentea's whereabouts?"

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19 Spending the morning doing her job as a healer! Rolling Diplomacy to see what additional information she might have heard since the man's arrival to Heldren the day before


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Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1
"Golden Arrow wrote:

Blinking a moment at the rather... interesting, uh, joke? a moment, the elven woman offers a polite smile. "Thank you. You wouldn't happen to be a local, are you?" At this point she would just glaze past whatever that was, for that man's dignity's sake.

Looking about at the townsfolk going about their business, they seemed tense about something. Maybe this man knew something.

"Are things well here? The people walk as if on eggshells." The elf would pull her hood down, which given the fact that it was a bear's maw, looked like she was being regurgitated. Still, with her hood down, the elven woman's pale blonde hair was in full display, and looked in dire need of washing.

Well, now that I've cast my dignity aside anyway. He shakes his head [B]"Unnatural weather has set everyone on edge so I'm afraid you're not seeing us at our best. My name is Krokod" He's been in this town for six years so the accent from his past life is slight, but it is there to those who know what to listen for "Some noble woman is said to be missing too. Due to 'wintry' creatures. You can see why you might get the side eye."


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Krokod Firetongue wrote:
"Unnatural weather has set everyone on edge so I'm afraid you're not seeing us at our best. My name is Krokod"

Quirking a brow at the mention of unnatural weather, she couldn't help but look up at the sky and think.

Aegirran*, your sons blow mischief down south.

*Aegirran is husband to Skode, and it is said that their three sons blow the biting cold winds.

Placing a hand over her heart and bowing her head as Krokod introduces himself, she would in turn say "You may call me Golden Arrow, Krokod of Heldren."

Krokod Firetongue wrote:
"Some noble woman is said to be missing too. Due to 'wintry' creatures. You can see why you might get the side eye."

Golden Arrow tilts her head at this, frowning slightly. First the winds, and now beasts out of their natural habitat? His comment about how people may be distrustful may explain his starring earlier. "Hmm..." The elf begins, rubbing her chin. "Have you heard what kind of wintry creature? To have such in a place as this, where grapes and olives are grown... is indeed unnatural."

She had intended to hunt next in Qadira, hoping to see the challenges of hunting in the sands. Now, however, with these rumors of arctic-type beasts in the Inner Sea? That's the greater test.

I will find these beasts, and I WILL slay them. All for your glory, Skode. This I vow.

Golden Arrow looks then to the sun, smiling briefly.


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Female Rge rnds 4/7 Half Orc Bloodrider/Primalist 1 non Rage: HP:13/13 AC:16/15/11 Fort:4 Ref:1 Will:-1 CMD:15

A bit of a crashing sound is heard a slight distance away followed by colorfull swearing.

perception DC15:

Qlippoth beneath bugger my barely existing lovelive, why the f!$* is there an icepatch! Ah f%@@ my log is rolling away from me! By Gorrums mighty brass balls!

strength to catch log: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16

GOT IT!

A pretty large woman carrying a tree log in a vaguely wheelbarrow like contraption, with part of the log resting on her shoulder, arrives.

She has a hefty looking Bardiche slung over her shoulder, and a battleaxe at her belt.

Hi Krokod, hoi newcomer? I heard there are bandits somehwere? Just need to deliver that f%##ing log then ill get moi gear an get ready for some foiting. Effing bandits. the women remarks in passing before doing a double take on Golden arrows polar bear coat.
Wait what did you do with Horn he is my friend and drinking buddy! She snarls as claws extend from her finger tips and she raises the log she is carrying as a very large club threatening golden arrow

Ah nah, must have gibbed another polar bear, Horn is too smol to have been that. If you see a polar beer cub, I mean polar bear cub here, dont f*#+ing kill it!
She lowers the tree log back into its original position.


Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1
Quote:
Placing a hand over her heart and bowing her head as Krokod introduces himself, she would in turn say "You may call me Golden Arrow, Krokod of Heldren."

"Interesting name, Nice to meet you, Golden." I think.

Quote:
Golden Arrow tilts her head at this, frowning slightly. First the winds, and now beasts out of their natural habitat? His comment about how people may be distrustful may explain his starring earlier. "Hmm..." The elf begins, rubbing her chin. "Have you heard what kind of wintry creature? To have such in a place as this, where grapes and olives are grown... is indeed unnatural."

He shakes his head "Sorry. I ... haven't had a good day myself and if anyone knows what 'type' of wintry creature it was, I hadn't heard. I..."

Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10

Quote:

"Hi Krokod, hoi newcomer? I heard there are bandits somehwere? Just need to deliver that f+%+ing log then ill get moi gear an get ready for some foiting. Effing bandits." the women remarks in passing before doing a double take on Golden arrows polar bear coat.

"Wait what did you do with Horn he is my friend and drinking buddy!" She snarls as claws extend from her finger tips and she raises the log she is carrying as a very large club threatening golden arrow

"Ah nah, must have gibbed another polar bear, Horn is too smol to have been that. If you see a polar beer cub, I mean polar bear cub here, dont f@&&ing kill it! " She lowers the tree log back into its original position.

"Hoi, Kriemhild, this is Golden Arrow. We just met, but I don't think she's a bandit." Krokod says "Golden Arrow, this is Kriemhild, member of the town militia, music enthusiast, and Xanthipee's dragon"

"Bandits eh ? I'm afraid I'm behind on the news I...well, the snow makes me surly." He admits.Indeed, Kriemhild can tell the normally easy going/outgoing cook is not at his best. He's not exaggerating about the snow.


Kriemhild Stridsdottir wrote:

Hi Krokod, hoi newcomer? I heard there are bandits somehwere? Just need to deliver that f#!@ing log then ill get moi gear an get ready for some foiting. Effing bandits. the women remarks in passing before doing a double take on Golden arrows polar bear coat.

Wait what did you do with Horn he is my friend and drinking buddy! She snarls as claws extend from her finger tips and she raises the log she is carrying as a very large club threatening golden arrow

Golden Arrow tenses as the Half-Orc hefts the log as a weapon, instinctively reaching for her bow. The manner in which the half-orc woman was able to move the timber with ease wouldn't speak well to her chances in a fight at this range. Luckily, the half-orc deflates a moment as they go on to say...

Kriemhild Stridsdottir wrote:
Ah nah, must have gibbed another polar bear, Horn is too smol to have been that. If you see a polar beer cub, I mean polar bear cub here, dont f!*@ing kill it! She lowers the tree log back into its original position.

Horn? Apparently someone around here has a white bear cub, though unlikely to be a polar bear. Then again, with other wintry beasts being sighted recently, it wouldn't be out of the question. "I hadn't the intention of hunting a cub, there's hardly any glory in it. Not to worry, who ever, or whatever Horn is, they'll be safe from my hand."

Krokod Firetongue wrote:

"Hoi, Kriemhild, this is Golden Arrow. We just met, but I don't think she's a bandit." Krokod says "Golden Arrow, this is Kriemhild, member of the town militia, music enthusiast, and Xanthipee's dragon"

"Bandits eh ? I'm afraid I'm behind on the news I...well, the snow makes me surly." He admits.Indeed, Kriemhild can tell the normally easy going/outgoing cook is not at his best. He's not exaggerating about the snow.

With Krokod of Heldren introducing her to the Half-Orc, Golden Arrow releases her hand from her bow. "And you'd be right to assume I'm no bandit. Far from it. I'm a pilgrim, on a religious walkabout." Golden Arrow would tap the holy symbol that made the brass clasp of her cloak; the face of the brass clasps were embossed with a depiction of a swift sunset over a glacial ocean. "I'm of a mind that the Horizon Huntress means for me to stick around."

The Elf would nod, once more taking an appraisal of the town. Golden Arrow would then reassess both Kriemhild and Krokod, making an appraisal of their usefulness in a hunt. The Orc for certain was formidable. The Auburn haired man... it was yet to be seen.


Female Rge rnds 4/7 Half Orc Bloodrider/Primalist 1 non Rage: HP:13/13 AC:16/15/11 Fort:4 Ref:1 Will:-1 CMD:15

Horizon huntress? Whos that if you dont mind answering? I am mostly a Gorrumite, unless I am dating then I am Callistrian, and when I am partying its Cayden. Never saw a reason to commit to just one god.
The Half Orc asks with an interested expression.

I heard that there is a Desnan sect that sees her as a huntress because she travels a lot and slaughtered a hunt associated demonlord or something, but your symbol got no butterflies on it so it cant be her roight?


Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1

"Oh, a pilgrimage," Krokod scratches his head "Well, the only holy place we have of around here that I know of is the Temple of Erastil. Elder Natharen Safander runs it with his wife's help, The more he talks about things besides the snow the more relaxed he gets, "Kessir helps a lot there. Good shot, Kessir. Anyway the place isn't just for Old Deadeye despite it's name. Folks worship Abadar, Gozreh, Pharasma, and even Sarenrae there too and there's a small shrine for each within. Nothing fancy."
At Kriemhild's comment about how she's Callistrian when she's dating, a dozen jokes come to mind. Only to of them, tops, safe to utter outloud. More seriously, he shares a similiar view on gods in that he never saw a reason to serve just one. Well, it's barely lip service though he means it respectfully. Whatever God keeps the Winter at witches at bay I suppose


Is that what you really want to do?

Wealday, Erastus 2nd, 4713

Golden Arrow, Krokod & Kriemhild:
As Golden Arrow pulls up to the Livery Stable trying to flag down whoever is at work in the back, a female answers as Golden Arrow explains her situation; “One moment!” and you can hear the sound of her struggling with a horse.

At this moment Krokod exits the Stoat and sees an unexpected sight. As the two begin to have a slight awkward chat, that thankfully course corrects, a young human woman appears brushing her hands off on her apron; “Sorry about that, this weather has all the animals acting strange…” Not trying to act taken back by the newcomer, she introduces herself; “I am Sophia, I run the Livery Stables.” looked to the two shaggy mules, Sophia smiles; “I can tell these two won’t cause me any troubles.” She says as she begins to allow the mules to get to know her before taking them off; “One night? That’s 5 silver each. That includes feed, water, and…” looking at the shaggy mules; “a good brushing. Are you staying at the Silver Stoat? If so, I’ll have you take this wooden nickel to give to the Garimos.”

Anyone from Heldren:

Sophia and the Garimos have an agreement to offer a discount when someone uses both the Livery Stables and the Silver Stoat (for meals).

Once everything is settled between Sophia and Golden Arrow, she takes the silver and hands Golden Arrow the wooden nickel then leads the mules to the stables. It’s at that moment where Krokod’s comment of Due to ‘wintry’ creatures. You can see why oyu might get the side eye. that Golden Arrow realizes that even though the villagers are wearing leathers and wool clothing on this cool day, it is of browns, blacks, and greens in coloring.

As Kriemhild joins the conversation, the three of you see the people around The Lady in the Town Square begin covering their carts of goods with a blanket and either head home or to the Stout for a meal.

Linge:
As Linge goes about her morning, she overhears a conversation between two merchants setting up their carts: “Did you hear? Caleb’s (local farmer) son took ill a few days ago after falling through the ice over at Wishbone Creek. The boy said he spotted a white stag in the forest, talking! Jon took off after it to follow it and fell through.”

“Sounds like you’re listening to all the rumors you can. At your rate you’ll be out following in Dryden Kepp’s footsteps trying to track down the giant white weasel on High Ridge in the forest.” chuckling to herself; “thankfully no one paid him any mind. I just hope he doesn’t get himself killed heading off to trap it to prove himself right.”

Eventually Linge makes her way to Willowbark Apothecary. Tessaraea Willowbark looks up from her notes, as she enters. Tessaraea rubs her eyes as one would who has spent their early hours looking through possible remedies for the man’s frostbitten fingers and nose; “I don’t understand, there has never been this cold of winter… let alone a summer.” lowering her voice; “He is probably going to lose some of his fingers.”

Setting her book down she invites Linge to sit across from her as she begins to pour a cup of tea and begins mixing in fresh herbs for a tea. “He is sleeping, but he woke up in a fit and I was able to talk to him and calm him down before he fell back asleep. Yuln oerstag is his name. He is from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings and was hired as a mercenary to help guard the Lady’s caravan. I’ve never been there but those Ulfen’s are proud people and won’t take kindly to learning that he might lose some fingers.”

Elder (Natharen) Safander wasn’t able to help him, Erastil willing, it seems that only time will tell.”

“That close to the Border Woods and the High Sentinels (Locals would know they are a group of rangers who live in the woods) weren’t able to keep the bandit activity curbed. They’re doing a poor job if brigands could attack a well-armed caravan and abduct Lady Argentea.”

What is your character doing and where are they going with this new information?


Female Rge rnds 4/7 Half Orc Bloodrider/Primalist 1 non Rage: HP:13/13 AC:16/15/11 Fort:4 Ref:1 Will:-1 CMD:15

I am gonna deposit mah log, and grab my kit and armor, meet you at the lady in 10 minutes Kriemhild announces, does exactly what she says and reappears 10 minutes later, clad in cold weather clothing and scale armor.
Her Bardiche in hand, a battleaxe in her belt, a shield around her back and 2 heavy throwing spears to round things up. Her Rucksack, slung under the shield, seems heavy but she doesnt seem to care much.

So, some idiot is running after a dire weasel, we lost contact with the sentinels and a well armed caravan got hit and abducted? Yikes. Who is up for some adventuring?
She seems pretty sanguine about things


Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1

"The Stoat and Stables help each other get business, Golden Arrow. You use one, you get a discount on the other. That kind of thing. Show that to them inside if that's your plan."

He watches Kriemhild head off. He sighs "Pardon me, Golden Arrow. I don't know what's going on today but I think I Should get some of my gear as well." He has no armor, but a weapon or two might come in handy should fire fail. I am NOT part of the guard. But Kriemhild might need help. Maybe we'll find Mia and she'll want a distraction? "Anyway, that statue is the lady they're talking about. Lots of theories on who it is based on; maybe the founder of Heldren or some ancient, forgotten Taldan noblewoman or even a mysterious fey forest goddess." A beat "Last year someone put a large funny hat on her. It was hilarious, but they took it down."

Anyway, he heads out as well, and returns QUICKLY...
He does get some gear , and returns. Morningstar at his side, Light crossbow at his back

Quote:

So, some idiot is running after a dire weasel, we lost contact with the sentinels and a well armed caravan got hit and abducted? Yikes. Who is up for some adventuring?

She seems pretty sanguine about things

"Well, normally I'd be working at the Stoat myself but I got told to take the day off and cool down so I suppose I could help if you like."


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Female Changeling Magus (Bladebound/Hexcrafter) 1 HP: -2/12, NL:0 | AC: 17/12/15 | R: +2, F: +2, W: +2 (+2 v. Death Effects) | Perc: +0 (Darkvision 60ft.), Init: +2 | Arrows: 18 | Vulnerabilities: Cold Iron (+1 to damage rolls)

Finally got a post up. Thank you for your patience. Hope the method of preparing spells is cool.

Knowledge(Local, untrained): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15

Morning
Mia wakes shivering. She wraps the blankets tighter around herself as she lights a fire in the small hearth of her single-room cottage. The morning dawns like most in summer, early, but the chill is all too much like winter. As she opens her spellbook, she grimaces. She'd have burned the thing, but she forgot about it for a few years, and it is too useful now, especially when she keeps feeling that something is watching her from the shadows. She sighs and starts the rituals, pulling thin strips of parchment and a quill from her satchel as she begins to study the arcane text open to the first of several spells she needs to ready. The chants do not seem so unnatural to her now, she notices with dismay as she begins to write the runes that would infuse the power she wields into the parchment. They'd be wrapped around her forearms, as they always had been over the past year hidden by the leather cuffs she wears.

The Lady
A morning spent on the verge of shivering, despite what the small fire could do, drove Mia to buy some warmer clothing. They didn't fit her well, but they were warm, and she wouldn't have to walk around town wrapped in a blanket. Her belly rumbled as she looked at the last few coins in her purse. They'd pay for a meal and something warm at the Silver Stoat, at least. As she walks, she hears talk from the other townsfolk, a noble lady missing, strange animals walking the woods, Ice on the creek and mill pond, and on and on the rumors go.

By the time she reaches The Lady and sees Kriemhild, Krokod, and some strange newcomer, her appetite and worry seem to be feeding off each other.

"Um, H-hello. Are you going somewhere," she asks as she sees the three of them outfitted for something.


Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1
Mia Curseborn wrote:

The Lady
A morning spent on the verge of shivering, despite what the small fire could do, drove Mia to buy some warmer clothing. They didn't fit her well, but they were warm, and she wouldn't have to walk around town wrapped in a blanket. Her belly rumbled as she looked at the last few coins in her purse. They'd pay for a meal and something warm at the Silver Stoat, at least. As she walks, she hears talk from the other townsfolk, a noble lady missing, strange animals walking the woods, Ice on the creek and mill pond, and on and on the rumors go.

By the time she reaches The Lady and sees Kriemhild, Krokod, and some strange newcomer, her appetite and worry seem to be feeding off each other.

"Um, H-hello. Are you going somewhere," she asks as she sees the three of them outfitted for something.

"Hey, Mia! How fare you? And... I'm not sure. Kriemhild is talking about an adventure? Some lady maybe missing? And I've been in a bad mood so I'm considering it to see where it goes. Oh, this is Golden Arrow, she just came into town. She's on a pilgrimage. Golden Arrow, this is Mia. A friend of mine."


Female Changeling Magus (Bladebound/Hexcrafter) 1 HP: -2/12, NL:0 | AC: 17/12/15 | R: +2, F: +2, W: +2 (+2 v. Death Effects) | Perc: +0 (Darkvision 60ft.), Init: +2 | Arrows: 18 | Vulnerabilities: Cold Iron (+1 to damage rolls)

"Coldly,"Mia says when asked how she fares. She raises an eyebrow as Krokod confirms that the missing noblewoman isn't just a tall tale, but her surprise doubles as she takes a good look at Golden Arrow for the first time. A hunter she must be, Mia thinks.

"A pleasure, Golden Arrow," she greets the newcomer, only partly stumbling over the unusual name. "Well, I can't make them golden, but if you need arrows, I'm your gal," she adds with a chuckle and a smile that fade into an awkward grimace after a moment.

"Th-that was funnier in my head," she mutters as she looks away and tries to disappear into the too long scarf she wears.


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Female Human (Ulfen), NG Arctic Druid (1), HP 9/9, AC 15/ T 13/ FF 12/ CMB:+0/ CMD: 13/ Fort: +3/ Ref: +2/ Will: +5/ Ini +2 / Perception +7 / Speed 30 feet (Encumbered: 20 ft)/ Spells 1st 2/2/ Active conditions: none

With a sigh, Linge slumps back in her chair upon hearing the ghastly news. "No, he will not take kindly to that. Not if he can't hold a sword again." Or anything, for that matter, she adds silently. There were better ways of making a living, she thought, than swinging a weapon at people -but a mutilated hand would set him at a disadvantage for all. She could only hope the frostbite wouldn't cost him a thumb, or most of his fingers.

That an Ulfen man from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings should end up in Heldren, though, definitely piqued her curiosity. She would have thought Ranna, herself and Krokod would have been the only ones -well, and Kriemhild too, but from what she had once explained to her around a pint, her ending up in Heldren had been a little bit of an accident. She had said something about an exclusively Ulfen military corps in Oppara, though, and perhaps that explained how Yuln would end up so far south. But Linge hadn't talked to Kriemhild in quite a long time, and was reluctant to ask her for more information now.

The pints had been altogether a bad idea, and one she firmly refused to remember.

"Do you think there's something magical about this winter? Thank you," Linge gladly accepts a cup of herbal tea from Tessaraea. Her morning porridge already seems like a distant memory in this chill, and she curls her fingers around her cup to warm them. "If even Mr. Safander couldn't help him... Or has necrosis already settled in? Perhaps I should check on him when he has woken up," Linge keeps her voice low. Under no circumstances could patients overhear what the healers had to say about them -especially when the prognostic didn't look good.


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Female Rge rnds 4/7 Half Orc Bloodrider/Primalist 1 non Rage: HP:13/13 AC:16/15/11 Fort:4 Ref:1 Will:-1 CMD:15

Hi Mia! The Half Orc waves

Arrows are good, axes are better! I wonder why nobody ever put axe heads to arrows, wouldnt that do more damage? Oh right, I remember you told me it would not be...

Hairdodynamic! Yes?

int check DC10 or Mia:

You are pretty sure she means aerodynamic. Kriemhild has been a constant source of highly impractical ideas on how to make more destructive arrows. I mean, having arrows that are driven by explosions underneath them, and then also explode on impact? Straight up shooting Goblins at enemies? That sounds incredibly risky and frankly quite mad, it couldnt possible work! Axe arrows are rather tame as far as Kriemhildian ideas for "Funnier archery" go.


Kriemhild Stridsdottir wrote:

Horizon huntress? Whos that if you dont mind answering? I am mostly a Gorrumite, unless I am dating then I am Callistrian, and when I am partying its Cayden. Never saw a reason to commit to just one god.

...
I heard that there is a Desnan sect that sees her as a huntress because she travels a lot and slaughtered a hunt associated demonlord or something, but your symbol got no butterflies on it so it cant be her roight?

Golden Arrow isn't surprised they've not heard of Skode, given that her own family's religious following is even fringe for the Ilverani. Still, she can't help but offer a slight laugh at the Orc's view on things, however utilitarian it seems. "Skode, or the Horizon Huntress is one of many of my ancestor's Gods. A smaller faith, from a place far at the top of the world."

Krokod Firetongue wrote:

"Well, the only holy place we have of around here that I know of is the Temple of Erastil. Elder Natharen Safander runs it with his wife's help."

...
"Kessir helps a lot there. Good shot, Kessir. Anyway the place isn't just for Old Deadeye despite it's name. Folks worship Abadar, Gozreh, Pharasma, and even Sarenrae there too and there's a small shrine for each within. Nothing fancy."

At the mention of a Temple to Erastil, Golden Arrow nods her head approvingly, though she knows of him by another name. "Ah, Estig the Hunter* is well spoken of. I'll be sure to visit his shrine, to pay respects."

*The aspect of Erastil, as known by the Giants

GM wrote:

As Golden Arrow pulls up to the Livery Stable trying to flag down whoever is at work in the back, a female answers as Golden Arrow explains her situation; “One moment!” and you can hear the sound of her struggling with a horse.

At this moment Krokod exits the Stoat and sees an unexpected sight. As the two begin to have a slight awkward chat, that thankfully course corrects, a young human woman appears brushing her hands off on her apron; “Sorry about that, this weather has all the animals acting strange…” Not trying to act taken back by the newcomer, she introduces herself; “I am Sophia, I run the Livery Stables.” looked to the two shaggy mules, Sophia smiles; “I can tell these two won’t cause me any troubles.” She says as she begins to allow the mules to get to know her before taking them off; “One night? That’s 5 silver each. That includes feed, water, and…” looking at the shaggy mules; “a good brushing. Are you staying at the Silver Stoat? If so, I’ll have you take this wooden nickel to give to the Garimos.”

Turning back to speak with Sophia, Golden Arrow rushes back over. "Don't hold yourself responsible for the weather, if we played in those matters we'd be Gods, not women." The elf offered a genuine smile, then nodded a greeting after Sophia introduced herself. "You may calle me Golden Arrow. As for these two old men, this ones Einari," Golden Arrow gives one of the mules a long stroke on his neck then looks to the other. "... and this one's called Eero. A brushing would be wonderful for them." Taking a moment to dig into her coin purse, Golden Arrow notes that she's hardly got two coins to clink together. Still, she fishes out 1 gold piece and hands it over, then takes the wooden 'nickel'.

"I thank you, Sophia."

Rejoining the group, a new arrival had joined up. A young woman with black hair and the mis-matched eyes. Krokod introduces them, and Golden Arrow once more places a hand on her heart, nodding her head. Must be some cultural thing.

Mia Curseborn wrote:

"A pleasure, Golden Arrow," she greets the newcomer, only partly stumbling over the unusual name. "Well, I can't make them golden, but if you need arrows, I'm your gal," she adds with a chuckle and a smile that fade into an awkward grimace after a moment.

"Th-that was funnier in my head," she mutters as she looks away and tries to disappear into the too long scarf she wears.

A slight laugh at first, the Elven woman says with a smile "Golden, flint, steel, or wooden, a well made arrow still takes down the prey. I'll keep it in mind, Mia the Fletcher. And from what I'm hearing, there are many a cause to fire arrows in these parts. Dangerous beasts, banditry..." Golden Arrow sort of trails off, looking about town once more, finally taking note of the statue Krokod mentioned.

She wracks her brain for any recognition of the figure.
Knowledge:Religion: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25


Female Rge rnds 4/7 Half Orc Bloodrider/Primalist 1 non Rage: HP:13/13 AC:16/15/11 Fort:4 Ref:1 Will:-1 CMD:15

Interesting gesture, Gorrumite way of saying friendly "hello" is this She bangs her ham sized fist on her scale armor, which doesnt actually makes that much sound

Its more aggresively unstealthy if you are wearing plate armor, which I cant afford yet sadly! Meanwhile Caydens way of hello is!

She phantomimes a tankard and make a toast, the motion looks like a salute in a way.

And if I do the Callistrian greeting I get yelled at for public indecency, FOR THE THIRD TIME THIS MONTH! So I wont! Seriously, just because I like to work out top less, humorless sun-o-holic t!$$


Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1
Quote:
"Coldly,"Mia says when asked how she fares.

A look of sympathy for Mia there.

Quote:
"Th-that was funnier in my head," she mutters as she looks away and tries to disappear into the too long scarf she wears.

Though he smiles a bit as Mia's attempt to be witty doesn't live up to her own expectation not that I can mock given my own weird moment

The update on Skode gets his attention, the 'top of the world' confirms somethings. It's Summer, in Taldor. Why is winter and it's signs here? Something feels wrong. I can feel it in my bones.

Quote:
And if I do the Callistrian greeting I get yelled at for public indecency, FOR THE THIRD TIME THIS MONTH! So I wont! Seriously, just because I like to work out top less, humorless....

"Does Xanthippe ever work out with you in similar style? Just..curious." Boyishly hopeful


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Is that what you really want to do?

@Mia With your Knowledge Local check, you would know of the information that was shared between the two merchants at the square. No one made it to 20+ so all of the lore/gather information is out.

Also, apologies. We currently have two timelines happening. Linge is originally earlier than the group gathering outside of the stables and now the Lady. I am going to slide Linge’s morning duties to have taken more time and having her arrive at the Willowbark Apothecary closer to midday. This way everything is happening at the same time and everyone can cross paths easier.

Wealday, Erastus 2nd, 4713

Linge @ Willowbark Apothecary
Despite the situation at hand, the two sat and enjoyed their spiced tea. As she waits for the herbs to seep, Linge smelt familiar herbs that Tessaraea used. Once that Linge herself probably picked in her trips to the Border Woods.

With a sip Tessaraea shrugged; “I don’t know. There are those who are powerful in their abilities, but why here? It would seem to be a waste of time and energy. Though, if you’d listen to Old Mother Theodora you’d hear a different tale I’m sure.” she said dismissively.

Sipping her tea she listens to the patient sleeping. “Only time and rest will tell how he will heal.” As Tessaraea looks out the window; “It’s still early and he is resting. There isn’t much to do here, I’m going to keep researching ways to being color back to his fingers. Why don’t you go and see if there has been any more information brought in from the woods. Once he is awake” nodding towards the sick room; “I will be sure to keep him awake for questions.”

Setting her tea down she moves to open the book once again. You know that as an elf, Tessaraea doesn’t have the same sense of urgency that a human would have when it comes to healing people. With hundreds of years to live, they can tend to let the body heal itself naturally with aid of what nature provides.

@ The Lady

Golden Arrow:

From your Knowledge Religion check: As you look at this statue, something in your mind is pulling at you. It is very familiar. Either in something you have seen in your pilgrimage, or a story you have heard of old.
More to be revealed

As this small band has begun to collect, you all know that there was a mercenary that arrived yesterday, and his caravan was attacked at the edge of the Border Wood. You know that you could easily follow the trail that would lead you there to investigate. You also know that this mercenary is being treated at Willowbark Apothecary if you wanted try and talk to him, or Thessarea herself, or any more clues.

Krokod’s thoughts of the weather could also lead him to head off to speak to Old Mother Theodora who took this weather as an ill omen of dark times ahead.

What is it your character wants to do? Where do they want to go?


Female Rge rnds 4/7 Half Orc Bloodrider/Primalist 1 non Rage: HP:13/13 AC:16/15/11 Fort:4 Ref:1 Will:-1 CMD:15
Krokod wrote:


Does Xanthippe ever work out with you in similar style? Just..curious." Boyishly hopeful

Yes! When I am doing hunting training that is composed of identifying, detecting and smacking peekers with the holy stick of boinking! But if you train really hard and impress her, she may allow you to participate! Blindfolded obviously!

The half orc announces
bluff: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (18) + 5 = 23

sense motive DC23:

She is pulling your leg

Lets make sure we get paid something! Plate armor aint buying itself! To the major? Kriemhild proposes


Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1

Given he'd need a Sense Motive Roll higher than he could make with a 20, I'll pass on the roll ;)

He nods . Already he can imagine how painful a bonk might be. "So the rumors ARE true" Sagely.

He contemplates if he should go to Theodora or not. He does not like going to the woman, though he is respectful.

Fortunately, Kriemhild has another idea

Quote:
Lets make sure we get paid something! Plate armor aint buying itself! To the major? Kriemhild proposes

"I think I like that better than seeing Old Mother Theodora" He admits, "Though she might know something about this cold weather."


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Female Human (Ulfen), NG Arctic Druid (1), HP 9/9, AC 15/ T 13/ FF 12/ CMB:+0/ CMD: 13/ Fort: +3/ Ref: +2/ Will: +5/ Ini +2 / Perception +7 / Speed 30 feet (Encumbered: 20 ft)/ Spells 1st 2/2/ Active conditions: none

I wouldn't want time to be out of joints because of me! :') We'll just say Linge has missed her alarm clock this morning or something - or that she had to pick up a few herbs for Tessaraea before locking Horn up and meeting with the apothecary.

Linge has worked with Tessaraea long enough to know when she is being dismissed. There was no need to ask the elf if she needed any help. If she did, she would have said.

She takes some time to finish her tea, unwilling to go back into the bitter cold just yet, while the elf flickers through one of the huge leather books she uses to scrupulously lists all of the remedies she has come across in her lifetime. It is somewhat reassuring to know that you can live so long and learn that much, and still not quite remember all that you have seen. Perhaps elves had to deal with their memory failing them a lot more than humans. Linge wondered how many times someone who has lived through centuries would experience deja vu, have the name of a former school friend on the tip of their tongue, or spend frustrated hours trying to remember how many eggs were needed for that one recipe they had definitely known by heart...

She knew that Tessaraea didn't mind having her sitting quietly in a corner, but the silence had definitely went a little awkward. There was only so many times one could blow on a steaming hot cup of tea to save face before it got a little exasperating, and at last Linge gave up, and swallowed the rest of her drink with a grimace. The tea burned her throat as it went down. Tessaraea didn't look up. Face successfully saved.

"I'll come back later," Linge put her cloak back on with some relief. When lost in her thoughts, Tessaraea could go on for hours without speaking, and hardly moved. It made at least a positive impact on people : no matter how bad the weather or how serious their illness, they were always glad to see themselves out. "Call me back if he... Wakes up, before I'm here." She knew she wouldn't do it unless the man suddenly went into septic shock- but it felt nice to say it.

When Linge stepped out of the apothecary, it was still unnaturally cold. She breathed out a small cloud of steam, and shivered. People around her were busying themselves with getting the Archerfeast ready, while she stood in front of Tessaraea's shop, feeling quite stupid and useless. She didn't know where to start.

There was Horn. She would have liked to see Horn.

Her attention was finally drawn to loud chatter coming from the front of the Stoat. As she got closer, she saw a small gathering of people she recognised. Kriemhild (and at that, her face fell), Krokod... And even Mia.

How strange. She couldn't remember the last time she had seen all three together.

There was an abandoned cart in front of the tavern. One that belonged to the mercenaries? And in front of the Lady, a woman, turning her back on Linge, with a big, fluffy coat and a weird-looking hood-

Linge froze, and did a double take. She went very pale.

Suddenly, she rushed forward, and almost ran to the woman, grabbing her by the shoulder. "Excuse me-" she paused. Her eyes hadn't tricked her. Up close, the woman's hood was definitely bigger than Horn's head. Words failed her, and Linge felt her cheeks flush pure red. But still, she had to say something. "Where did you find this?" she stammered.


Female Changeling Magus (Bladebound/Hexcrafter) 1 HP: -2/12, NL:0 | AC: 17/12/15 | R: +2, F: +2, W: +2 (+2 v. Death Effects) | Perc: +0 (Darkvision 60ft.), Init: +2 | Arrows: 18 | Vulnerabilities: Cold Iron (+1 to damage rolls)

I'm making an assumption (dangerous things, I know ;P ) here that Mia's craft skill in leatherworking would let her know how long it'd take for Golden Arrow to cure a hide to use as a fur cloak. I (the player) know that it's probably on the order of a few days, at least. If I'm in error, well, wouldn't be the first time and we can chalk it up to Mia not being very wise.

Mia gives both Krokod and Kriemhild a sharp look as she mentions Xanthippe's (probably) imaginary workout routine.

"Rumors? What rumors," she asks both of them.

The talk of coin, however, is more to her liking.

"Are you planning on heading out as soon as you're done talking to the Mayor," she asks as Linge walks up to the group. Her question has he giving Golden Arrow a second look. Guessing Linge's worries, Mia tries to reassure her.

"It's not Horn," she tells Linge. "Not unless she's able to control time. She couldn't have had enough time to make a cloak out of him between the time I was feeding-- I mean when I saw him eating some elderberry pies last night and now."

She looks away from the taller woman, her pale cheeks reddening and the expression of someone hoping desperately that she hadn't just let a secret loose in a moment of bad judgement.


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The Statue of the Woman looked so damn familiar, but every name escaped her. Damn. Still, as she was pondering the details trying to drum up anything, a hand grasps her shoulder and a voice called out saying...

Linge Hagebak wrote:
Suddenly, she rushed forward, and almost ran to the woman, grabbing her by the shoulder. "Excuse me-" she paused. Her eyes hadn't tricked her. Up close, the woman's hood was definitely bigger than Horn's head. Words failed her, and Linge felt her cheeks flush pure red. But still, she had to say something. "Where did you find this?" she stammered.

Golden Arrow turned, only to see the worried eyes of a young Ulfen woman staring at her cloak, and demanding to know where she got it. That makes two people now...

Mia Curseborn wrote:
"It's not Horn," she tells Linge. "Not unless she's able to control time. She couldn't have had enough time to make a cloak out of him between the time I was feeding-- I mean when I saw him eating some elderberry pies last night and now."

Ah. Horn. This must be it's master, I take it. Clearing her throat and gingerly peeling Linge's fingers from her shoulder, the Ilverani elf cooly explains, "Ah. This is the second time I've heard someone share their alarm about a cub named Horn. Indeed, this is not them, to be sure." Golden Arrow would take a step back from Linge, then continue. "As for the where, very far from here. The Erutaki call it the Tashen Yakuta, a great ice sheet on the Shining Sea. Him and I were in a game of life and death, I happened to win." The Elf said this last part matter of factly, not sounding too boastful.

Humming a sigh, "Though, that was nearly 25 years ago. He's been keeping me warm ever since." As if to punctuate the story, Golden Arrow pulled the hood back up over her head, the great polar bear's maw standing tall above them all now.


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LG Human Inquisitor (Spellbreaker) of Erastil 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15) | CMB: +1, CMD: 14 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +3 +1 trait bonus vs spells, SLAs, and SU abilities of evil arcane spellcasters | Init: +3 | Perc: +6 Sense Mot: +7 | Speed 30ft | Active conditions: N/A |

Local is technically high due to my -1 on CHA but I’m not trained so…
Diplomacy: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8

There was definitely an energy in Heldren on this Wealday. Kessir had felt it from the moment he first woke early that morning. He had pulled on a clean change of clothes followed by the dusty-brown scale armor. Specks of rust had started to form on some of the small plates and he knew he would either get it taken care of or work toward buying a replacement. Kessir fastened his quiver to one hip, his sickle to the other then whispered a prayer to Erastil.

“Elk Father, please allow me the wisdom to know when I am not wise. I ask that you watch over my mother and father as they surely have joined you in the Summerlands. I pray that please guide my words as well as my arrow.” Kessir stood with his head bowed for a few moments before slipping his longbow over one shoulder. He made sure the cot was tidy, grabbed his spear and headed outside.

He felt off, Kessir, sporting his entire arsenal of gear but, tomorrow was Archerfeast and he wanted to win the archery contest this year. Maybe if the other contestants saw him in his full getup it might get in their heads a bit. Plus, and Kessir did his best to tell himself this, with the strange goings-on in the forest, it just made sense to be prepared.

Kessir made a loop around the perimeter of Heldren before making his way just beyond the treeline of the forest…
Survival: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
and returned around midday with nothing to show for it.

A small congregation had formed outside of the Stoat and in the middle stood a stranger. It would seem lunch would have to wait. Kessir held his hand out to greet the elven woman as he approached the group.

“Well, shoot, welcome to Heldren,” Kessir said with a smile. “I see you've met our town welcoming party. Name's Kessir. And you are?”


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Female Human (Ulfen), NG Arctic Druid (1), HP 9/9, AC 15/ T 13/ FF 12/ CMB:+0/ CMD: 13/ Fort: +3/ Ref: +2/ Will: +5/ Ini +2 / Perception +7 / Speed 30 feet (Encumbered: 20 ft)/ Spells 1st 2/2/ Active conditions: none
Kessir Laeva wrote:

Local is technically high due to my -1 on CHA but I’m not trained so…

Diplomacy: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (9) - 1 = 8

Nooo Kessir you were our only hope! :(

Mia Curseborn wrote:
"It's not Horn," she tells Linge. "Not unless she's able to control time. She couldn't have had enough time to make a cloak out of him between the time I was feeding-- I mean when I saw him eating some elderberry pies last night and now."

"I can see that," Linge retorts with some difficulty, her cheeks still flushed. Her Skald accent always gets stronger when she experienced strong emotions.

Mia's words finally seem to hit, and she jumps. "What do you mean, you saw him eating pies yesterday night? He was home by eight-" Linge suddenly clamps her mouth shut. S!*+. No one in Heldren was supposed to know that. "... Before I brought him back to the forest," she lies.

Golden Arrow wrote:
"The Erutaki call it the Tashen Yakuta, a great ice sheet on the Shining Sea. Him and I were in a game of life and death, I happened to win. Though, that was nearly 25 years ago. He's been keeping me warm ever since."

Linge eyes the foreign woman warily, and chooses her words carefully. "So... It's not a habit then?" she asks, looking pointedly at the different animal body parts adorning her armour.

The more she studies at the elven hunter, the more she finds odd things about her. Her bluish skin, which is almost painful to look at, reminds Linge of some of the worst cases of hypothermia she has seen -yet the woman looks nothing if not serene and healthy. She is covered head to toe in strange tattoos that look neither elven nor Ulfen. "Are you one of Lady Argentea's guards too?" she asks on the off chance she might be another mercenary, just as Kessir catches up with the group to shake the woman's hand.


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Female Rge rnds 4/7 Half Orc Bloodrider/Primalist 1 non Rage: HP:13/13 AC:16/15/11 Fort:4 Ref:1 Will:-1 CMD:15
Mia Curseborn wrote:


Mia gives both Krokod and Kriemhild a sharp look as she mentions Xanthippe's (probably) imaginary workout routine.

"Rumors? What rumors," she asks both of them.

The shirtless training session obviously! Look, its great for getting resistance against cold climates! And for intuitively knowing when you are being watched! Kriemhild keeps her spiel up.


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Is that what you really want to do?
Mia Curseborn wrote:
Mia's craft skill in leatherworking would let her know how long it'd take for Golden Arrow to cure a hide to use as a fur cloak.

I think this is a fair assumption. I have 0 ranks/experience with leather working and know it takes longer than a day to cure a hide, especially one that size.

Wealday, Erastus 2nd, 4713

Kessir’s Walk
You begin to make the journey that you have taken many times before, to the Border Woods. As you make your way towards the tree line you decide to take the quickest route, which is off the main road and through the farms to the West/Southwest.

Though shorter, it is still a 4-mile walk. You quickly discover how bitter cold it is becoming. You also take note on that as you get closer to the woods the snow begins and steadily becomes a heavier snowfall, and heavier underfoot. You also can see that if you were to cut straight south that the winter weather becomes worse. Something you have never seen in Heldren.

At The Lady Please continue any RP (I love it), I am just nudging things forward.
What started off as two people introducing themselves has now become six in talks of heading off for adventure. But not before Kriemhild suggest going to speak to mayor Councilor, Ionnia Teppen.

Though it is midday, you all would have seen council members heading to the Town Hall (4 on the Heldren Map). It would be safe to assume that they are meeting to discuss yesterday’s guest.

Walking into the Town Hall, you feel the warm welcome of the fires that are in the fireplaces that flank the ends of the hall. There is a group of nine sitting around a table in a discussion as you enter. Councilor Ionnia Teppen looks up from the conversation with eyes that question who has just entered. You also notice Elder Natharen Safander along with other farmers and villagers.

The Councilor, with a wave of her hand, ends the discussion and stands; “Are you in need of help? We are discussing” and she pauses as she sees the unfamiliar face in the group. Looking to Elder Safander; “I thought the Ulfen said he was the only survivor?” turning to the six of you, but turning her eyes to Golden Arrow; “We have not met. I am Councilor Ionia Teppen. At the risk of assumptions and being blunt, were you a mercenary on the caravan too?”

All of those around the table turn, seated, to wait for a response.

What does your character want to do?


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Female Changeling Magus (Bladebound/Hexcrafter) 1 HP: -2/12, NL:0 | AC: 17/12/15 | R: +2, F: +2, W: +2 (+2 v. Death Effects) | Perc: +0 (Darkvision 60ft.), Init: +2 | Arrows: 18 | Vulnerabilities: Cold Iron (+1 to damage rolls)

Spoilering stuff to help keep things straight.

Rumors of Toplessness are greatly exaggerated:

Kriemhild Stridsdottir wrote:
The shirtless training session obviously! Look, its great for getting resistance against cold climates! And for intuitively knowing when you are being watched! Kriemhild keeps her spiel up.

Mia eyes Kriemhild suspiciously, having been taken in by her before.

"Th-this isn't like the time you tried teaching me that secret, sacred dance of Desna last year, is it," she asks.


Of Bears and Pastries:

Linge Hagebak wrote:
Mia's words finally seem to hit, and she jumps. "What do you mean, you saw him eating pies yesterday night? He was home by eight-" Linge suddenly clamps her mouth shut. S%#+. No one in Heldren was supposed to know that. "... Before I brought him back to the forest," she lies.

"I-it was a little before that," Mia explains, and tries to remember if she got all of the jam cleaned off Horn or not before he trundled off.


Meeting Kessir:

Mia sighs in relief as Kessir starts to introduce himself. She hopes that his arrival will distract Linge from inquiring more about how Horn came upon a stash of pastries the bowyer had saved for him.

Townhall:

Mia waits for Golden Arrow to introduce herself and Kriemhild to explain why they are here. Her belly grumbles in complaint at the lack of a hot meal, and she hopes that no one can hear it.


Female Rge rnds 4/7 Half Orc Bloodrider/Primalist 1 non Rage: HP:13/13 AC:16/15/11 Fort:4 Ref:1 Will:-1 CMD:15

They way I see it Lady Ionia, the weather is f+@#ed up, strange things have been sighted, and a caravan got raided. Something is f+&+ed up, and our options are to go hull down and send for aid, or to do some recon in force and figure out what is going on. Kriemhild speaks, utterly matter of factly and without her habitual mirth

I doubt the weather phenomenon is local, so it will affect more then just Heldern, meaning that higher ups will be swamped by pleas for help and assistance. From all corners of the realm. She continues

Now, if I was a higherup, I would likely direct reserves where the request is more substantial then like "Help Help its icey and there are spooky rumors of winter beasts" and more like "We have captured bandits associated with a strange cult of, I dont know, f&#*ing Koscthschie or whatever Ice based evil thing is responsible, who are ready to be interrogated, we also have these evil cultist plans written in a strange language and need a codebreaker." She pauses after offering quite the stream of conciousness

The latter hints at solutions, Taldane military doctrine says that you use reserves to improve success, not to reinforce failure, and is far likely to get us assistance. So, a recon in force is called for? And since, according to paragraph 19-12-A of Taldane common law, village councils that utilize mercenaries in terms of approaching non-political-emergencies are entitled to be reimbursed for incurred costs from their local lieges according to standard mercenary wages adjusted for inflation, we may all as well get a bit richer by claiming to be mercenaries, not militias, which alas is a beurocratic neccessity since militias cannot be employed to combat supernatural threats in an offensive manner.
She finishes

And nobody, councillor, will bat the slightest eyelid if you take some kickbacks from that, as long as we get paid well enough.
She thinks

sleight of hand: 1d20 - 3 ⇒ (13) - 3 = 10

perception DC10:

Kriemhild is reading from a cheatsheet reading "paragraph 19-12-A", militias arent allowed to scout, gieb money cuka blyad you get it back from the boss anyways.

diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (16) + 5 = 21


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Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1

Earlier RP:

When Linge shows up , Krokod starts to greet her but then she wants to know about Golden Arrow's Cloak
And he gets kind of caught in the story. It's an intriguing thing to imagine.
NOT as intriguing as this work out claim that apparently all the women of the village are invited to. For a moment he regrets none of his magic allows him to disguise himself as the opposite gender. Then he chuckles. Jokes aside he wouldn't want to lose the trust of his friends. My magic has gone as far as it's likely to go, and that's fine by me.
"Hey, Mia. Rumors are kind of all over the place and I'm not sure what's true or not myself" He admits.
Then Horn gets accursed of pie theft, and Krokod says "Suddenly somethings make so much sense. Then again, at least Horn appreciates a good pie." Still a bit cranky about Ozzo's earlier insults of his Mashberry Pie.
"Hey, Kessir. This is Golden Arrow, a pilgrim of ..Skode? I think? Golden Arrow, this is Kessir, best shot of my generation around here, and I've put coin on him winning the next archery contest."

When they meet the councilor and the others, Krokod is respectful. Used to being the outspoken one, he's ready to make introductions then... well, Hurricane Kriemhild takes charge! Or at least front and center
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19

Did she prep reading notes?

In for a copper, in for a platinum, as the old saying goes, "Something IS very wrong with this snow though. It's more than freak weather.. .it makes me. . edgy." It reminds me of some place that is safely safely far away but I won't get into that "But I think she has the right of it. I can help, this village is my home. So, if there's a way we CAN help?" He offers feeling a bit silly yet meaning it very sincerely.


LG Human Inquisitor (Spellbreaker) of Erastil 1 | HP: 10/10 | AC: 18, T: 13, FF: 15) | CMB: +1, CMD: 14 | F: +3, R: +3, W: +3 +1 trait bonus vs spells, SLAs, and SU abilities of evil arcane spellcasters | Init: +3 | Perc: +6 Sense Mot: +7 | Speed 30ft | Active conditions: N/A |

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (8) + 6 = 14
“There’s wisdom in what Kriemhild speaks…somehow,” Kessir said from the back of the group. “We’re two days into Erastus July’s equivalent and there’s so much snowfall happening in the forest that I wouldn’t blame someone for thinking it’s the winter solstice.”

Krokod Firetongue wrote:
"But I think she has the right of it. I can help, this village is my home. So, if there's a way we CAN help?" He offers feeling a bit silly yet meaning it very sincerely.

At that, Kessir took a step in front of the blue elf, whether it was purposeful or a subconscious gesture would be hard to tell. “Yes, this is our home. If there is going to be some sort of expedition to find the root of all this, I ask that the elders allow those of us with more able bodies a chance to be a part of it.”


Female Human (Ulfen), NG Arctic Druid (1), HP 9/9, AC 15/ T 13/ FF 12/ CMB:+0/ CMD: 13/ Fort: +3/ Ref: +2/ Will: +5/ Ini +2 / Perception +7 / Speed 30 feet (Encumbered: 20 ft)/ Spells 1st 2/2/ Active conditions: none

Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19

Linge silently cringes through Kriemhild's boastful speech, punctuated with more swear words than she is comfortable with. And were those notes?!

The young woman clears her throat. All of the council members turn their eyes on her. She wishes the floor would swallow her whole. There's an uncomfortable pause before she manages to squeak: "Sorry..."

"We don't know yet if Mr. Oerstag was the only one to survive the attack. He is still very weak. And possibly... feverish. Um. I will ask him when he wakes up."

"I think it's more urgent to find what's left of his caravan, or what's the word carriage? Means of transportation? Has it been located yet?" I'll let the GM roll a Diplomacy check if needed.


Is that what you really want to do?

Wealday, Erastus 2nd, 4713

The Town Hall
Councilor Ionnia begins to raise an eyebrow as Kriemhild begins. With each profane word that spills from her mouth the eyebrow raises; “Kreimhild, you’d do well in life to learn to keep some language in the fields or trenches.” Pulling her eyes from the half-orcs hidden notes; “But, there is some wisdom in what you say.”

Not being dismissive, Councilor Ionnia turns back to the other council members; “Sending for aid and not knowing if the roads are blocked could hurt the village. The Ulfen mercenary would know what it is like outside of our borders.”

Looking towards Linge; “Linge, do you think you could press Tessaraea to use some of her herbs to wake the Ulfen up? He would be able to answer what the weather was like traveling from Zimar.”

Looking from the familiar faces of those she has watched come to age to adulthood, Councilor Ionnia nods; “It’s inevitable for those whom we watched being weaned from your mothers apron strings, to taking their place in Heldren. It’s sad to see it happen this way.”

Brushing a stray hair out of her face and placing it behind her ear; “We have not sent anyone to check on the attack site. Kriemhild, even with your best attempts, you know we have no real militia. You can only train a farmer to do so much. It would be best if you were to go and see what you can find from what remains of the caravan, clues to who or what did this. Might be best to talk to the Ulfen, once he is awake. He would know best what exactly happened. I would also talk to Dansby. His farm is the closest to the Border Woods, and has been impacted the greatest.”

Looking among the other councilors at the table, Ionnia continues; “We don’t have any real way to compensate you that doesn’t seem disrespectful. But, if this cold doesn’t end soon it will ruin this year’s crop and cause Heldren to face an even harder true winter season and spring ahead.”

Elder Natharen Safander stands; "I will accompany them to Willowbark Apothecary and see what aid I can be with Tessaraea." looking to the group; "and Linge."

What does your character want to do?

GM Screen (no peeking):

Ionnia Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26


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Female Rge rnds 4/7 Half Orc Bloodrider/Primalist 1 non Rage: HP:13/13 AC:16/15/11 Fort:4 Ref:1 Will:-1 CMD:15

inside Kriemhilds mind:

Kriemhilds definition of good leadership:
Vostroyan charge

Are you expecting me to namedrop a demonlord without insulting them? Effing peacelanders.

Kriemhilds decides to magnanimously ignore the retort.

To the apothecary then


Female Changeling Magus (Bladebound/Hexcrafter) 1 HP: -2/12, NL:0 | AC: 17/12/15 | R: +2, F: +2, W: +2 (+2 v. Death Effects) | Perc: +0 (Darkvision 60ft.), Init: +2 | Arrows: 18 | Vulnerabilities: Cold Iron (+1 to damage rolls)

Earlier (Responding to Krokod):

"Yes, lots of rumors seem to be flying about like bees tending the flowers," Mia says as she pouts, not convinced in the slightest that the rumors she's heard around town are the ones that Krokod were referring to. No, not convinced at all given Kriemhild's reply.

The moment passes, though, and they head off to the meeting hall for the village's council after more introductions are made.

The Council Meeting
Mia winces in sympathy as Linge draws attention to herself. She wouldn't have been so brave, but it appears the young druid has more pluck than she does. I wish I could be more like her or Kriemhild, or Xanthippe. They have it together, unlike me, Mia thinks to herself.

As the meeting comes to a close, sadly without offer of payment or other compensation for investigating the strange goings on, though the stakes are made much clearer and more stark, Mia gets Kriemhild's attention.

"I'll meet you all at Tessaraea's. I've a few things to take care of and gather if we're going out into the woods," she tells the half-orc warrioress in a quiet voice, trying not to draw attention to herself.

GM, could you tell me what 2 gold and 4 silver gets Mia as far as a hot meal and a warm drink from the Silver Stoat and rations for the excursion into the woods? She's going to go grab some things from her home: armor, sword (After thinking on it, carrying the sword would have been overkill in the village, so she just has her dagger), spellbook, blanket and bedroll after getting something to eat and meet the others at the apothecary.


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Kessir Laeva wrote:
“Well, shoot, welcome to Heldren,” Kessir said with a smile. “I see you've met our town welcoming party. Name's Kessir. And you are?”

Feeling like the most popular oddity at a freakshow, Golden Arrow forced another friendly, albeit now tight-lipped smile. "Golden Arrow, a pleasure."

Linge Hagebak wrote:

Linge eyes the foreign woman warily, and chooses her words carefully. "So... It's not a habit then?" she asks, looking pointedly at the different animal body parts adorning her armour.

The more she studies at the elven hunter, the more she finds odd things about her. Her bluish skin, which is almost painful to look at, reminds Linge of some of the worst cases of hypothermia she has seen -yet the woman looks nothing if not serene and healthy. She is covered head to toe in strange tattoos that look neither elven nor Ulfen. "Are you one of Lady Argentea's guards too?" she asks on the off chance she might be another mercenary, just as Kessir catches up with the group to shake the woman's hand.

Feeling the appraising eyes sweeping over her, Golden Arrow tilts her head at the Ulfen lass, saying "Hm? Habit? I am called by my Goddess to hunt dangerous beasts that threaten our communities. I wear their hides as proof of my triumph, and as tribute to Her." Well, mostly. Her belt was just a nice fishing holiday, but even hunters on a holy quest need vacations too. Then answering the second query, Golden Arrow said "I presume this is that missing noblewoman people have been talking about? No. I've no connection to that either."

-------------
Now at Townhall with the others, Golden Arrow stands near the rear of the group, being an outsider she didn't think that she'd be recognized to speak in this chamber. Lo and behold though, the Councilwoman addressed her right away, saying
GM wrote:
Looking to Elder Safander; “I thought the Ulfen said he was the only survivor?” turning to the six of you, but turning her eyes to Golden Arrow; “We have not met. I am Councilor Ionia Teppen. At the risk of assumptions and being blunt, were you a mercenary on the caravan too?”

Stepping forward and placing a hand over her heart once again, she bowed slightly saying. "I am Golden Arrow, daughter of Shining Spear. I've been traveling south for some time, Councilor. All this business and strange happenings in your quiet hamlet is all news to me, madame. So to answer your question, I owe no allegiance to, or know the whereabouts of this missing Lady Argentea." With that she bows a little more, then slips back to the rear of the crowd.

She listens to the great string of obscenities come from the Orc's mouth, interspersed with a whole lot of sense. Golden Arrow nods along, keeping quiet all the while. The Elf also peers to look at Linge as she explains that she'd been taking care of one of the mercenary survivors. A healer, eh? Good to know. Golden Arrow had already decided that this whole mess was a sign from on High, and she's resigned herself to be along for the ride. After all, the Horizon Huntress could be testing her here.


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Male (3 out of 4 first level spells left) Human (Irrisien) Sorcerer (Fire)- 1/HP: 6/8, AC 11 (t 11, ff 10); F: +1, R: +1, W: +3; Perc +1//Init: +1

Mia's pout was to no avail, but Krokod did look sympathetic

********
At the meeting, Krokod snaps his fingers "We should see if we could find some winter clothes if we're going into the snow. Been so long I forgot..." And he shakes his head . Then he sees the others are ready to go to the apothecary.

He nods to Mia "See you there."


Female Human (Ulfen), NG Arctic Druid (1), HP 9/9, AC 15/ T 13/ FF 12/ CMB:+0/ CMD: 13/ Fort: +3/ Ref: +2/ Will: +5/ Ini +2 / Perception +7 / Speed 30 feet (Encumbered: 20 ft)/ Spells 1st 2/2/ Active conditions: none
Golden Arrow wrote:
"Hm? Habit? I am called by my Goddess to hunt dangerous beasts that threaten our communities. I wear their hides as proof of my triumph, and as tribute to Her."

Linge stares at the elf, horrified and speechless. "Well, if you see a bear cub wearing an armour walking around," she finally says. "He's not a danger to this community. Just don't kill him for your Goddess. He won't make for a very good triumph."

----------

GM RelicBlackOUT wrote:
“Linge, do you think you could press Tessaraea to use some of her herbs to wake the Ulfen up? He would be able to answer what the weather was like traveling from Zimar.”

Linge makes a face. "I could try," she answers cautiously, unwilling to share her thoughts in front of a judgmental crowd.

After the group walks out of the city hall, she catches up with Natharen. "I went to see Tessaraea not even an hour ago," she explains. "I don't know if Mr. Oerstag has woken up yet, but you know how she gets when people insist." Unless the town councillor showed up at the apothecary's shop with a miracle cure for frostbite, Tessaraea was likely to greet any interruptions of her work with pursed lips and annoyance.

"She told me you have examined him already. What did you find? I heard he's in a really bad shape." Theological differences notwithstanding, Linge knew Natharen to be a competent healer and a decent man. If even he couldn't bring Yuln back on his feet, something was indeed wrong. Again, maybe a Diplomacy roll?


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Is that what you really want to do?

@Info the locals would know: At the Stoat you can get a bowl of hearty stew or humble pie for 3 sp, or some of Menander’s famous venison flank steak for 5 sp, all meals come with a mug of ale. Or you can try out a mug of the tavern’s signature brew, Three Devil Ale, which is brewed in-house using imported Chelish hops for 1 sp.

Wealday, Erastus 2nd, 4713

The Town Hall
“Welcome Golden Arrow, daughter of Shining Spear. My apologies for being so direct. I pray you’d understand my lack of formality.” She sighs as she squeezes the bridge of her nose, showing a slight level of worry. “If you stop by the general store, I remember seeing a few outfits left over from a harsh winter from a few years ago. If you speak to Vivialla and tell her I sent you the council can cover the cost of those outfits.” (They have 5 cold-weather outfits in stock in the general store. Be sure to take note of the bonus you’d receive from the outfit.)

“When you find anything out, please report back to the council. Take caution when talking to others. We don’t need rumors to grow beyond where they currently are.”

Natharen makes his way out with Linge; “I have healed him to the best of my abilities. When Erastil’s energies flowed through me I could tell that his mortal wounds were gone, but some damage to the flesh can only take time. Outside of Regeneration that is.” Once outside Natharen addresses the whole group. “If you’d like, I can head to Willowbark Apothecary and speak to Tessaraea that Ionnia is wanting him awaken. That will give her time to get him up and you all to gather what you’d need and go where you’d need to go.”

What does your character want to do?


Female Changeling Magus (Bladebound/Hexcrafter) 1 HP: -2/12, NL:0 | AC: 17/12/15 | R: +2, F: +2, W: +2 (+2 v. Death Effects) | Perc: +0 (Darkvision 60ft.), Init: +2 | Arrows: 18 | Vulnerabilities: Cold Iron (+1 to damage rolls)

GM:

So here's what I would like Mia to do. She'll run by the Stoat and get a humble pie and a mug of ale. After wolfing the food down, she'll head over to wherever she can get trail rations and grab 4 days' worth. That should come out to 2 gp and 3 sp by my math, leaving Mia with 1 sp to her name. Once she's secured provisions, she'll run home, get everything packed and don her armor before rushing over to Willowbark Apothecary to meet the others with everything but her tools.

After grabbing a warm meal and some trail rations, and looking forlornly at the sole surviving silver piece in her purse for a moment, Mia hurries home and packs everything she thinks she might need. After about ten minutes she has everything ready to go and her chain shirt on under the warmer clothing she'd bought earlier, something she might have held off on if she'd known that the council would be reimbursing her. She shakes the thought away and starts to put on the backpack when her eyes spot the satchel that holds her spellbook and the components she needs for casting. She stares at them for a long time, as s jumble of thoughts and emotions war in her mind.

At Willowbark Apothecary
As she had told Kriemhild, Mia meets the others at the apothecary. She's carrying a bow, a quiver full of arrows, a sword, a pack, and a satchel that appears to have a book and several small compartments in it. Her cheeks are flushed, and her breath steams in the cold air as she catches her breath from her haste to catch up.

"I-I'm sorry I'm late. It took longer than I thought to get everything," she apologizes.

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