Plotting The Course

Maruc traced his hands over the map. This green area at the bottom looks like Dymrak. These blue lines seem to be rivers. To the upper left is a golden city in the mountains reached by this pass to the south. So by my guess that gateway would be..”

“At Threshold,” finished Miklos. “May we take the tapestry with us Pyotr? It may reveal further clues the closer we get.” Miklos rubbed his eyes and yawned. “I can foresee another river trip coming. Lets hope we get further than last time… Darya where can we catch a northbound boat from?”

Despite the urgency of their mission Miklos felt he could sleep for a week he made his excuses and retired to bed.

“So! It’s off to Threshold, and thence to the Black Peaks,” Stephan proclaimed once the more cerebral of the party had drawn their conclusions.

“And you’ll be able to deliver Nicolai’s ashes.”

“I suppose we are concluding that the reason for the gobo attacks was this tapestry,” he nodded toward the tapestry-turned-map spread out on the table. How can we assure that Golthar will no longer seek it here? Perhaps we should make it well known that the prize has left the Dymrak?”

The dwarf at first had not made any sense of the golden needle work, until Maruc noted that the blue outlined lines were rivers. Then it all came together. Yes. The dwarf pointed to the red pyramid like shape east of the centre. “So that would be the ruins and tower where we lost the Yellow-robed man? Good then, Threshold and then to the Black Peak Mountains.”

He gave a shrug at Stephan’s question. “We could do that. By announcing on our travel away that we have the tapestry or that we destroyed it but know where to go but never openly say what that location is, we become the target and not innocent clansmen here. The yellow-robed man and his minions will be forced to follow us to learn of the location.”

Despite the groups overall weariness, the dwarf urged for leaving no later than mid-day on the morrow. To stay longer would put the people of Sukiskyn at unnecessary risk.

“I think an open assault on us would be likely.” said Maruc, “Especially as we are dealing with a cunning magi. He is likely to divine if we have the information he seeks. I would if I was in his position. What do you think Miklos?”

“It is possible for a powerful mage to divine our whereabouts.” Miklos replied, “I think if we try to shout that we are taking the tapestry it will look like artifice. Better to treat Golthar like he knows what he is doing… it will appeal to his ahhh…vanity. A vain person makes mistakes.”

Stephan eyed Feldard, Maruc and Miklos in turn as they responded to his comment.

“Aye. I suppose he’ll know anyway. Just as long as the attacks in Dymrak end. Then I’m okay. It would be fun, though, to send ‘ol Golthar on a goose chase.”

The fighter smiled and drank; wiped the froth from his lip.

“You know. Send some dummy map southwards or some such.” His brow knitted a bit. “If we draw out on some parchment what’s on this tapestry, do we even need it any longer? Maybe we should destroy it.”

The woodsman was clearly over his depth. He looked like he confused himself with all the pondering.

Ludo shrugged his shoulders, looking at Stephen he said “I don’t think we can in good conscience allow anyone to take the risk of carrying a false map – Golthar I suspect would attack the people carrying that map and would place their lives in danger, the best course of action is the most dangerous, we need to take the map and proceed onto Threshold without delay. Golthar cares nothing for these villages, what he wants is this map. The sooner we leave the better, if only for the safety of these good people” looking at Kuzma”

The good news is now we lead this merry dance, Golthar has no idea where our destination is and what we know so now he has to dance to our tune. He will be more careful in the future, he knows he will need considerable numbers of minions to steal this map from us by force and after the drumming we have given him lately I suspect he will hard pressed to gather the forces to do that – it least for now, so the other way to get this map is by stealth and guile – that is where the greatest danger lies”.

Glancing at Feldard, “I agree with Feldard, we should depart on the morrow, but I think just after dawn and I think Feldard should be the guardian of the map and the needle, Golthar knows that Miklos is the scholarly person of us all and I think that makes him the most likely person that Golthar will focus on to gain the secrets of the map. We cannot risk Golthar getting this map. I am not sure if we still need it, but I suspect we do, it may yet hold secrets”.

A grin spread across Maruc’s face, “Whereas, Ludo. Feldard is a less than scholarly figure? You are too cruel!” Maruc laughed good naturedly. “Either way, I agree the map should travel with us. It may have purposes other than simply showing the way as you suggest. We should package it carefully. It is ancient so a deal of respect is called for. Kuzma do you have a watertight scroll case of a suitable size?”

Hasan finally spoke. “This Golthar will not know where we go, but even without magecraft he will know that Kelvin and High Forge are likely waystations. We should avoid those places, where we will surely be observed. If any of the Sukiskyn know other ways north, they would be valuable guides.”

Stephan responded to Hasan’s request for a guide, “I can lead us. I know a little used trail heading west from here through the Dymrak.” His finger traced the route on the crude tapestry map.

“It leads to well north of Krakatos; south of the Kelvin Barony. We can cross the river and then Duke’s Road and keep going west into the Radlebb Woods for a few leagues before turning north toward Rifllian. We can avoid a river trip. I fear how watched the river will be. It would be a rough, wooded journey. Not many settlements, but not as untamed as the lands from which we just returned.”

“There’s also the matter of the horses. They will fetch a fair price in Riflian, and also may serve the purpose of disguising our true mission. Darya can come with us and return with the proceeds and then we can continue north from Rifllian — on road or not. Then, not many days farther to Threshold. I think the west side of the river may be a route less suspected by our foes.”

Stephan paused. The others seemed a bit taken aback by his verbosity. It must be the ale, Pyotr thought.

“But the river north would be faster and easier in many ways. My point is, I can at least get us to the river. There are places north of Krakatos that will hire out a riverboat.”

“Thank you Stephan.” nodded Miklos, “This we shall do, I agree a boat north of Rifllian seems the most obvious choice. We shall be more exposed, but it will be easiler to see if we are being followed and if we are aware of being followed we can more easily turn the tables and ambush them. We may learn much if we are cunning.”

The joyous feast continued as the adventurers continued to discuss their plans. The evening took on a more exciting tone as everyone now felt that they were part of something larger.

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9 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

9 responses to “Plotting The Course

  1. Please post spells and any other preparations your character is making for the new journey

    1am, Gromdain, the 26th of Thaumont, 1001AC
    Rainy, cool

    Maruc: 10xp+10xp
    Miklos: 10xp+10xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp
    Hasan: 10xp
    Stephan: 10xp+10xp+10xp
    Ludo: 10xp+5xp

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 23,570/24000
    Miklos: 23,600/40000
    Feldard: 23,905/34000
    Hasan: 23,105/32000
    Stephan: 22,900/32000
    Ludo: 22,390/40,000

  2. Stephan

    In tears, Stephan embraced his older brother the night before departure.

    “I shall return, brother. And bring gold to pay for my absence!”

    In the morning, groggy with the after effects of the night’s libations, Stephan gratefully took from the stores of Sukiskyn: hard tack, encrusted cheese, extra water skins, quinoa and dried fruits.

    He checked his armor and clothing, again accepting from his Sukiskyn brethren new trousers and jerkin to wear under his armor. He also took a new quiver to hold his arrows as well as several new arrows to accompany his two enhanced ones. With the help of Stellios, he was able to patch up his boots.

    “You sure you don’t want this new pair here, Stephan. They’re hardly worn,” the old man held the boots in his one hand.

    “Nay, Stellios. But many thanks. My boots are well fitted to my feet now. I do not want to break in new ones for this trip.”

    Once his gear was ready, Stephan assisted the others with gathering food and other supplies. In doing so, he spied a good new length of rope and added it to his pack.

    He then assembled with his mates in the main hall, preparing to depart. The sun was barely breaking through the trees. Darya assured that the travelers had a full belly before heading out. Pyotr was up and lively despite his condition the night before. He appraised his younger brother’s gear then looked closely in his eyes.

    “You look ready, brother. I see our father’s light in your eyes. The strength of our ancestors goes with you and your mighty companions. Halav be with you all.”

  3. Feldard

    Following the decision to head out the next day, the dwarf oddly did not partake of the drink and festivities. Instead he spent his evening sharpening his axe blade as well as those weapons found in the Sukiskyn armoury. They would be battle ready should there be need of them.

    Afterwards the dwarf stayed up late into the night keeping watch along with those already assigned to guard duty.

    In the morning when the Sukiskyn stores were opened to them, he took only the barest of rations that he would need – mainly dried beans, dried fruits, hard tack and clapbread. He refilled his wineskins with wine since he drank that less liberally than he did ale.

    There was no point in his attempting to find other clothing here. Nothing in this place would fit him without major alterations which he did not have time for so he made do with the stained and torn clothes he had on him.

    Feldard hated to make the request for any of the clan’s small store of crossbow bolts but given the fact that his own now were all in need of repair he couldn’t just pass on the opportunity to stock up on even just a few. Once again the Sukiskyn clan were beyond generous with him.

    The dwarf stood stoutly in the main hall as the group gathered to say their farewells. These folk were good people. “Pyotr – May your house stand firm against any who wish your family harm. Darya – May your hearth fire always burn steady and your larder never empty.” He gave a bit of a gruff nod and looked to the others – ready to leave.

  4. Hasan

    Hasan thanked the clan and followed Stephan as the cock crowed a second time. The elf had been ready the first time the bird awakened, but it seemed his companions were reluctant to leave or were troubled rising after the celebratory night. But the elf’s energy was very high. The Radlebb! They were headed back to him home on the morrow, Stephan had said. The elf’s feet nearly leaped off the ground with each step, as the party bade farewell and turned their backs on the foresters.

  5. miklosdostevar

    Miklos helped himself to the stores of dried friuts and an particularly piquant cheese round. he took some flat breads and a wonderfully tender molases smoked ham. The Sukiskym didn’t seem to mind. He finished off with a good bowlfull of pearl barly and split peas – always useful in a stew Kuzma had said.

    The previous evening Miklos had thought long and hard about what the future would hold and how best to prepare. Worst cast was that they were going to be attacked out in the road somewhere or on the river. Therefore an aggressive selection of magic was called for for attack was normally the best form of defence. He decided that his current selection was most appropriate and spent some time revising his magic for the forthcoming journey.

    ***

    The morning beams shone through the damn woodland. it seemed a wonderful day to set off in search of Golthar and the curious land of the worshipers of the Jackal headed god. Miklos waved goodbye to the Sukiskyn and followed Stephan as he lead them down a narrow dear path.

  6. Doug

    “…damn woodland.” ? “Gawd, damn these pit-licking trees! Give me a nice, stony city anytime. No tree. No plants. No green. Stupid woodland.”

  7. Maruc

    DM: there is a 2nd edition AD&D spell Augry. That would be ideal for Maruc right now:

    Augry (Divination)
    Level 2
    Range 0
    Duration special
    Components VSM
    Casting time 2 rounds
    Saving Throw None
    Explanation

    The cleric casting an augury spell seeks to divine whether an action in the immediate future (within 3 turns) will be for the benefit of, or harmful to, the party. The base chance of correctly divining the augry is 70% plus 1% for each level of the casting cleric, i.e. 71% at 1st level, 72% at 2nd, etc. Your referee will determin and adjustments due for the particular conditions of each augry. For example, assume that the party is considering the destruction of a weird seal that closes a portal. Aurgy is used to find the weal or woewill be the ultimate result for the party. The material component for augry is a set of gem inlaid sticks, dragon bones or similar tokens (or tea leaves with a crushed 100gp pearl!).

    Maruc would like to request 2 of these spells from his Immortal. To aid in the party’s search for Golthar.

    Maruc rose from his morning prayer and smiled at Kuzma. “Thank you for joining me.” He said. “I found our ethic conversations illuminating last night. You would have got on well with my Lord Abbot.”

    “What is his name? Perhaps our paths have crossed?” Kuzma asked.

    “My Abbot now resides beside the Avatars of Mighty Halav awaiting his triumphant return. For He is with us, but He is subtle and only us blessed few know the truth. For he sits and abibes his time within the body of Duke Stefan. It is not yet time for him to reveal himself. But when that day comes we must be prepared. We must be pure.” Maruc grinned.

    “I see by your face you find difficulty with this, but fear not. I do not evangelise. I ask only that you do as you have always done. Hold Halav close and he will reveal his thoughts to you.” Maruc though for a while.

    “Kuzma, have you store of Holy Water? I will gladly tithe for it.”
    DM: If Kuzma has any Holy Water that she is perpared to sell to Maruc (Maruc will insist on tithing the appropriate amount and not accept charity) he would like 2-4 vials.

    DM: If you allow Maruc the Augry spell Maruc would also ask Kuzma for a set of Halavistic Aurgy Runes to cast it with.

    Maruc will retain his original spell collection if not permitted Augry.

  8. Maruc

    PS Miklos meant “dawn woodland” !!!!!!

  9. Ludo

    As the evening progressed Ludo sipped on his ale. It was good to be able to have a chance to rest, the travels had been tiring. He contemplated the plan, it seemed good and would in all likelyhood make Golthars job all the more harder. It would be difficult to ambush them in Hasan’s backyard.

    As he sipped his ale, (which was the strongest he had drunk), he observed Stephen laughing with his brother and extended family. There is a lucky man, family to look after and family to watch your back he thought to himself. He envied Stephen at that moment.

    Moving outside he toured around the compound greeting each guard in turn, before he retired for the evening, the day had been long and the ale had taken its toll on him.

    The following morning, Ludo wandered over to the Sukiskyn stores and filled his backpack with what supplies he figured he would need. Salted beef, nuts, dried fruit, a new canteen and some extra arrows.

    As Ludo poked around, Darya came over and presented Ludo with a dark green woollen cloak – “Ludo take this, it will help to keep you warm at night”. Ludo muttered his thanks, but was at a loss to fully give his thanks and gratitude for her gift.

    As the party gathered, he hefted his pack onto his back and went and stood by Miklos, it was time to move on.

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