Thursday, March 5, 2009

Campaign: The Journey West

Ells leads the party through the town, past the fortress on your right and through the west gate--which is a good deal smaller than the rather impressive North or South gates. Your feet fall onto a narrow road, barely wide enough for a wagon, with the Asper river on your left and a series of cow and sheep pastures on your right. You note that, while the Asper is perhaps twenty yards across as it passes through the town, where both sides of the river have been embraced by stone walls, here before the river enters the town it is much wider, somewhat shallow and grown with reeds. Numerous sand bars follow its banks and from place to place there are deep ruts crossing the road where for centuries cattle have been led from the pasture to the water.

The day grows warmer by ten bells (you can hear the distant toll of the bells of Dachau for a good four miles), and to keep from growing very uncomfortable you will need to doff your cloaks. I cannot remember if anyone has a hat, but if they do, it is greatly appreciated.

You have walked a good five miles to reach a small stone marker describing the distance rising two feet on the side of the road. Peasants are rare, and there are no travellers approaching along the road. Over that distance you have seen many farms growing rye and other crops, mixed with pasture land. Now and then there are streams, with bridges and guards asking for tolls, but Ells demonstrates a patch of embroidered cloth and metal baubles and you’re exempted from paying. Increasingly, both sides of the road have grown thick with a mixture of elm and pine trees, with small forested patches falling into darkness on the side opposite the river. From time to time, where you have climbed a low rise in the road, fifty or a hundred feet, you’ve been able to see extensive, forest-covered foothills to the south, perhaps forty or fifty miles away, and purple mountains beyond that; even at a distance of eighty miles, they look impressive, with glaciers visible on their high slopes.

At the marker, Ells will point at a much narrower track, hardly wide enough for a cart, which will climb the isolated hill group rising three hundred feet on your right, perhaps a mile away. Almost at once as you leave the main road, you find yourself passing through a forest. The track crosses, then recrosses a stream as you begin to climb. There are no longer any farms, nor inhabitants to be seen. The cart track is in quite good condition, and shows signs of being maintained.

What preparations do you care to make?

23 comments:

Anshelm Helbelinc said...

OOC: Assuming we were able to outfit ourselves with weapons and armor before we left town!

"Ells, how far are we from the silversmith's home?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I do not have a hat and after removing my cloak, I will continue onwards.

Does Ells say anything?

(OOC - that's a really good question about our stuff. If we're staying in common areas, then I would have all of my equipment with me. I assumed this, but given we're not FtF, I'll just state it explicitly)

After crossing the stream, I will find a convenient tree and stash my pack behind it. I'll have my lyre hanging under my left arm, as I fight with my right. I'll hold my crossbow in my hand with a bolt notched.

"How far are we from the smith's?" I'll ask Ells.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

I'll mention to the other men - "If any of you have missle weapons, perhaps we should form two groups and check out things ahead, evenly dividing up our long range weapons?"

Anshelm Helbelinc said...

"A good idea," says Anshelm. He scabbards his sword and pulls his sling from his belt pouch.

Josef Mieszko said...

I'll have my sling ready and two lead bullets in my off hand.
Let's stop here for a moment - leaving the packs behind with non-essentials is a good idea.
"Ells. Does the smith have guards?"

Josef Mieszko said...

Or even perhaps stay in the trees and observe the place, to try to assess how to approach this.
We don;t know if its a hovel or a manor house. You'd think that a silversmith might take some steps to guard his raw-materials if not his finished products...

Alexis said...

Anshelm,

Whatever weapons and equipment you already own, you have them with you.

Ells doesn’t understand “distance.” He points ahead and says “tere.”

Delfig,

Ells finds it difficult to speak, so he will answer in one or two words when asked, but will not speak for pleasure’s sake.

Ells will discourage you from stashing your stuff. “Beets,” he says. Further inquiry on the meaning of this will only cause Ells to repeat more emphatically, “Beets!”

Josef,

Ells will shake his head at your question.

Overall, the deadfall and the thickness of the forest makes it difficult to move through…if you were to do so, you would make much more noise than you would along the cart track.

Josef Mieszko said...

should we just walk to his front door and tell him he must leave? no.
"Ells - why don't you and Tiberius and I go try to convince him that he must go - while you others circle around and set his place on fire or somesuch..."
(just making suggestions...)

Josef Mieszko said...

I'll keep my pack on me

Josef Mieszko said...

ooc: Kasimir - are you present?

Anshelm Helbelinc said...

Anshelm takes Josef aside. "I'm not sure if Ells could convince the smith; it rather seems he'd end up confusing the man! What does he mean by 'beets,' anyway?"

Not that his confusion about "beets" keeps him from picking up his gear again!

Anshelm then says to the group that he can attempt to scout ahead, but can't guarantee he won't be seen, especially as the woods aren't conducive to stealthy movement.

"Then again, p'raps it's best to take a direct approach, eh?"

Josef Mieszko said...

"Maybe the beets of this wood are baby goblins that steal unattended goods...
"Could dig one up and see...
I approach Ells.
"what's the beets hundemann?"

Josef Mieszko said...

I think that the stealthiest of us should go up the path and try to see what's what up ahead.
I'm not sure that I can count myself among the stealthiest present today...

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Delfig picks his pack back up. "Could mean bats, could mean beasts."

"Although large, I could attempt to sneak quietly forward. I can try to be quiet."

Alexis said...

Ells, as I said, is unable to explain what he means by "beets."

It seems to be self-evident to him.

Alexis said...

Ready to go forward? I'll publish the next post when I get three answers "Yes."

Josef Mieszko said...

I'll watch anyone's pack that goes ahead if they need to lighten up.

Kazimir said...

Kazimir is present. His sling is ready with a stone in it.

(OOC: Ready to proceed)

Anshelm Helbelinc said...

"Well, if you'll watch, Josef, I'll leave my backpack."

To Delfig: "We can scout ahead together, perhaps splitting to either side of the home when we approach it, eh?"

A sudden inspiration: "I think it's 'Beasts' he's trying to say, maybe."

Josef Mieszko said...

I'll shift my sling to off-hand and pull my mace from my belt

'if you encounter trouble - yell and we'll come - or if we hear a the hue of guards.
'you should hear nothing from us back here.'

Josef Mieszko said...

a concensus then? (w/o the 3 yeses...)
that delfig and anshelm stelth-up forward to scout while me, kazimir & tiberius stay behind...

Alexis said...

Well, all right. Kazimir and Anshelm go forward, possibly with Delfig. Comments continued on the next post.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

yes, I'm moving ahead.