Thursday, March 12, 2009

Campaign: A Walk in the Country

Delfig, Kazimir and Josef have more than a little trouble crossing the countryside to the north side of Dachau. They soon discover that it is impossible to avoid detection—the country is too thick with farmers, herders, laborers working on rock walls or woodcutters. But they soon discover that these villeins have little interest in them. What they don’t encounter is a patrol, or a gameskeeper, or anyone in authority at all.

But the ground is soggy from yesterday’s rain, and more than once they must leap a wall to find themselves up to their ankles in sodden ground. More than once they find they must edge around the mucky edges of a soft-soiled pond to reach ground which can again be walked on easily. Each time they poke into a forest, from which they can see a keep or a blockhouse a mile or so away, they find what with crossing gulleys or following gulleys, they seem to get turned around again and again, until they can reach the copse’s edge and regain their bearings.

At last the twilight comes, and they are still some goodly distance from their destination, uncertain how far. With the sun falls the temperature, which freshens following the summery day, turning cool, and finally quite brisk. In spite of having no intentions of starting a fire, it soon becomes apparent that without one, the group will freeze to death with damp feet and little clothing beyond a cloak to comfort them.

Has anyone means to light a fire?

26 comments:

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - OK, boys... time to make a duff bed of some sort (think of a mound of leaves - even wet - will give us some protection from the ground), make as warm of a tube as possible and start learning to spoon with your fellow man! At least that's what I learned in survival school last year. Desert cold is NOT fun)

Alexis said...

Well, it's not a desert. But it is early May.

Kazimir said...

Kazimir doesn't have the means to light a fire.

Are there any farms nearby? Alexis, you mentioned that the countryside was full of people laboring.

Kazimir says to Delfig, "Perhaps we could give a few coins to a farmer if he'd let us sleep in his barn. Hay and dung would still be better than this, hey?"

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

"Perhaps, we can try. Worse comes to worse, we collect as many leaves and sticks as we can to build up shelter from the wind and ground, and we sleep together side by side to keep warm."

Alexis said...

Kazimir,

Any significant farms will be clustered around mills at the base of a castle or keep, as that was the feudal norm. Isolated farms like that of Meyer were quite rare, as the country was not generally safe. Meyer being a free person paying rent was also fairly unusual.

Entering a hamlet near a keep would risk encountering the local Reeve.

All,

I asked, does anyone have the means to create a fire. Because if you don't, I'm going to start rolling health effects.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

[OOC - we can't look at Josef's CRS to know if he has a flint/steel. I don't have a spell to make fire. What would we know about the possible ill effects of "encountering the local Reeve"?]

Alexis said...

Delfig and Kazimir,

Josef must be separated from you for the present, examining something (peeing, possibly) in the bushes.

A Reeve would wonder why you're there, what's your purpose, why are you not on the road, how much money might you have in your pockets, how are you at repairing roofs since the keep needs some work done...things like that.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

[OOC - So it's not instant death or dismemberment...

Is there a keep/hamlet that we can see or remember passing by within the last say 30 minutes?]

Kazimir said...

(OOC- let's make with the bed building, then! A fire might attract the Reeve, and Kazimir doesn't do roofs.)

Kazimir said...

(OOC- would you rather do that, instead?)

Alexis said...

Kazimir,

Don't leap to too many conclusions. It is extraordinarily unlikely that, here, a fire would attract a reeve. He would be no more anxious to investigate a random fire than you would be--as he would have to load up with twenty men, in case you were bandits. It gets exhausting readying twenty men to dig out every random cotter in the woods.

Delfig,

Yes, there is a hamlet perhaps a half mile away.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - Kazimir - see your email.)

Kazimir said...

"Well, what say you?"

Alexis said...

It's getting awfully cold. Kazimir has spent so many years sleeping on the street in cold weather, he can endure it fine, but Delfig is a little soft to such things. Probably wishing for a few moments at least that the bed in his father's house wasn't so bad.

You can try piling the leaves, as you said. So far, Delfig has experienced no poor effects, but his fingers are numb, which worries him.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(OOC - Kazimir, I've tried emailing you, so if you're waiting for me to lead, then here we go.)

"Kazimir (and Josef) - let's go back to the hamlet we saw a little ways back. Worst case is we're turned away, and we're no better off. We might be able to earn a corner out of the elements in exchange for work or a song. "

Delfig will turn around and head back in the direction that he remembers seeing the hamlet.

Kazimir said...

Kazimir nods his agreement and gathers his things.

Alexis said...

You'll make your way down to a narrow track between fields, long after dark; you can see ahead of you a cluster of small buildings, perhaps thirty in number, beside a running stream about twelve feet across. There is a flour mill at the front of the village, the wheel turning weakly in the water (it is nothing like the quality affair on the Meyer Homestead).

Not a light shows in the village. On a hill, a quarter mile away, you can dimly see a tower surrounded by a curtain wall, and the dim twinkle of torches burning atop it.

Josef Mieszko said...

ok - no means for fire - but I've got a compass and a tent(!)

Josef Mieszko said...

I think that we're going to go among the buildings to determine whether any of them of better constructions than the others (are they all shacks? are any larger than the rest or of different construction? is there a church? are lights visible in the buildings as we arrpoach (under doorways or between shutters)? Is there a common-green or a well?

"watch out for dogs..."

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

(Josef, please wait a sec before posting. We hadn't agreed yet. We need to tell Alexis HOW we're doing this and what we're looking for. And please don't talk while we're sneaking... LOL)

Josef Mieszko said...

(yes - sorry.)

Alexis said...

Delfig,

Not to worry, he's only scoping out the hamlet, he hasn't committed to anything yet.

Josef,

You hear no dogs. The houses are built into the side of the hill next to the creek, and generally have turf roofs, in some cases the turf extending right out from the hillside. They all look in about equal condition, none of it excessively poor--they're not shacks, precisely, which would suggest sides and corners that don't fit together, but hovels, in that they are built of low-cost materials and are fairly small.

All three of you get the sudden sensation that something is immediately present, perhaps ten or twenty feet away, and breathing regularly. But a quick scan around reveals nothing.

Josef Mieszko said...

I'll heft my pack off my shoulder to retrieve my mace while looking around more carfully, specifically, say, in the direction from which we came.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Delfig is going to retreat quietly, as noiselessly as possible, away from the now-arming Josef and the noise, shaking his head.

Alexis said...

Today is not working out well; I'll have to leave it as a cliffhanger.

Apologies.

Delfig Kôlhupfer said...

Today is not working out well; I'll have to leave it as a cliffhanger. You have no idea how true that is!

No sweat. Hope you get it worked out.