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  #46  
Old Jul 25th, 2014, 09:05 AM
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I watch the halfings and nod in acknowledgement when they introduce themselves.

Pearl offers to take me to Bofgrim. "If you'd like to go now, I can. If you'd rather give me directions and stay with your friends, I could also go by myself."
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  #47  
Old Jul 26th, 2014, 03:15 PM
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"No, that's alright. I'll lead you." Pearl turns and is about to start walking when Violet reaches out to grab her sleeve. Pearl turns back to face the other woman, putting a gentle hand on her forearm. "What?"

Violet lets go of Pearl and ducks into the shed for a second, returning with an unlit torch. "It'll be dark soon," she says quietly as she hands it over.

"Thank you, Violet. That's good thinking. Now, you two get back home, get some rest. Miss Pegason and I will be seeing Bofgrim."

She gestures at you to follow as she takes off down the road again. Pearl's gait seems a little more lively at first, but before long she has slowed down again--in fact she seems more exhausted than she has been all day. The Greenlock fields are not far, maybe twenty minutes walk at your usual pace, but it takes closer to fourty minutes. By this time the light is all but faded, although for you this simply means that the color is gradually fading from the world. The shapes remain as clear as ever to your eyes.

So as Pearl leans against the fence and begins trying to light her torch with trembling hands, you can already see the man in the field, hacking down wheat with a battleaxe of all things. Perhaps it is because the scythes and sickles used by the rest of the village are too small for his meaty hands. Although it's hard to see detail at this distance, the man is too large by far to be a halfling, though by your estimation he is still quite a bit smaller than you. Well, shorter anyway; he is heavy set with broad, powerful shoulders and thick limbs.

Soon Pearl gets the torch lit and holds it above her head. "Bofgrim!" she shouts, though her voice is rather hoarse.

The man looks up from his work, but his eyes fix immediately on you. "Behind you!" he calls back in a booming voice.

Pearl glances back, somewhat startled, but seeing only you she turns back to the field. Bofgrim is already running towards the two of you as quickly as his stocky legs will carry him. "She's a d--" Pearl's words dissolve into a rasp, and with the hand not holding the torch she reaches up to stroke her throat. You hear her swallow before continuing, a bit more quietly, "She's a druid. She's hear to help us."

By this point Bofgrim is quite a bit closer, close enough to make out at least some of what Pearl's saying it seems. "What did you say? She's going to help us?" He breaks his run and falls into a more comfortable walking speed, slinging the axe over his shoulder as he approaches. As he draws closer, you can see that his hair and beard, which appear short at first glance, are elaborately braided to keep them from hanging down past his shoulders. The actual length of his hair must be extraordinary.
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  #48  
Old Jul 26th, 2014, 07:13 PM
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I stand and follow Pearl. As the light fades her steps become more uncertain, and it takes me a moment to remember why. She's quite insistent on showing me everywhere today, considering her condition. Just stubborness, or another reason? Maybe she doesn't fully trust me and thinks I need an escort in her town.

Then we stop for Pearl to light the torch Violet gave her. I look at the man in the field, presumably Bofgrim, while she's busy. He doesn't appear to be a halfling. Could be a human but more likely dwarf; it's hard to tell in this light.

Then he charges at me. This is far from the first time a humanoid has attacked me on sight, of course. While travelling I routinely prepare spells for stopping attackers without harming them. I get ready to cast Entangle. Then I notice Pearl is trying to calm him down. I wait to see if she succeeds before doing anything. This reaction was probably why she wanted to come with me.

He slings his axe over his shoulder, disarming himself. It's probably best now to avoid looking like a threat and discourage him from attacking again. This comes at a little cost to my ability to fight him off if he does attack, though. I release my spell component pouch, hold my quarterstaff with both hands, and lean heavily on it to emphasize that I'm using it as a walking stick rather than a weapon.

"What did you say? She's going to help us?" Bofgrim asks.

I consider whether to talk or to let Pearl introduce me again. This time I decide to speak for myself. "Good evening, mister Bofgrim. I am the druid Kristhana Pegason. I am hoping to help with the plague your town has been facing lately. Miss Pearl said you had some ideas about the cause of it, so she suggested I talk with you." I'm still watching for more signs of violence, but I try to put serenity and goodwill into my words. Pearl didn't quite suggest talking with Bofgrim, but flattery sometimes helps people like me better.
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  #49  
Old Jul 26th, 2014, 08:03 PM
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Bofgrim doesn't seem particularly swayed by your show of peace or your flattery, but it doesn't look like he's going to be taking the axe out any time soon either. "Did she? I rather doubt that, miss Bracegirdle here being so dismissive of my ideas."

"Well maybe if you had better ideas I would give them more consideration,"
says Pearl. Then she sighs. "But, we're not making any progress with the water, so why don't you tell her about your earth curse or whatever it is."

"Not a curse,"
Bofgrim says, "a contamination." He turns to you and steps closer; as he approaches the torch and color returns to him, you can see that he has the distinct ruddy complexion of a dwarf. "I think there's some kind of fumes seeping up out of the ground, something we can't see or smell. There's all kinds of noxious gases under the earth, you see, and they can get caught up in these pockets. Entire caves full! Then maybe there's a minor seismological event, or an overly ambitious burrowing animal, or an unlucky digger, to cause a crack or a shift or a cave-in, and that gas starts leaking out. Now of course, I'm made of hardier stuff than the locals, so it hasn't gotten to me yet. Maybe it never will. But as for everyone else, well not counting Alton, as for everyone else they can't not breath the stuff so they're just getting worse and worse."

"Only we're not getting worse!"
says Pearl, clearly agitated. "Everyone's stopped getting worse. Well, everyone who took my advice and started boiling their water has stopped getting worse."

Bofgrim shrugs. "Those might not actually be connected. Maybe all the gas has already escaped? If that's the case, it's done all the damage it can do. Bit of a relief to think of it like that, but it doesn't really help with the recovery... do you think you can help, Pegason?"
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  #50  
Old Jul 26th, 2014, 08:27 PM
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I think Bofgrim is being brusque, but if I reading him correctly that's not so bad. I listen to them argue about whose theory is better. But before I feel the need to intervene, Bofgrim is giving his idea.

Noxious fumes from underground do exist. This sounds like a possibility. Bofgrim and Pearl argue some more, then Bofgrim asks if I can help.

"I might be able to help seal cracks in the earth. Do you know where they are? I believe this town has a cleric; has he used magic to look for poisonous gases? I might be able to help a little with recovery as well; there's a spell I'd like to try out tomorrow. It's different enough from basic healing magic that it might have an effect, but I can't promise anything."

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  #51  
Old Aug 5th, 2014, 04:44 PM
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Bofgrim looks a little confused. "I don't know where you heard that there's a cleric about, but the only person in Silverton knows any magic is Alton Greenlock. This plot of land here belongs to the Greenlocks, as a matter of fact, not that Alton does any work here--not since he was a boy, I hear. I would have dragged him out here and put him to work, but considering that there's more liquor in his veins than in a cask of brandy I don't think any good can come from giving him a sickle. Anyway, I haven't found any cracks, but then again I haven't really been looking. I've been trying to help out with the fields. It's hard work, hard work for anyone I should say but especially for me since I'm not exactly a farmer and, to be honest, I don't have much of a clue what I'm doing out here."

"You're doing fine, Bofgrim,"
says Pearl. "And we're all really glad that you're willing to put your work on hold to help out like this."

"It's really nothing. I mean, it's not as though the silver is going to wither away without someone to mine it. It'll be there when we've gotten through this, right?"
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  #52  
Old Aug 5th, 2014, 10:04 PM
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I've misunderstood something. Bofgrim already doesn't like me and this can't help him think well of me. Oh well. Before I can interject, Pearl and Bofgrim are already discussing his work here. I don't know what to say about any of this townsfolk drama about drunkards and hard work and silver mines. Instead I bluntly return to the topic of investigating the plague.

"If I don't know where to start looking for cracks, searching will take a long time. I think it would be better to dedicate a whole day to the task than to start this late in the evening. For now I should buy meat for my dog and get to sleep. Where would be a good place to do these things?" Poor Hrr. We've been tracking around all day and I haven't had a chance to feed her beyond the Goodberry she rejected.
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  #53  
Old Aug 16th, 2014, 12:49 AM
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"Well, the tavern's got a spare room they rent to travelers sometimes," says Pearl, "but the owners aren't really in any condition to have a guest over."

"Stay with me,"
suggests Bofgrim. "It's probably the only house big enough that you can feel comfortable anyway, although I can't promise it won't be cramped. As for meat... to be honest we're just about out, I think."

"Sorry,"
says Pearl. "We are kind of low on food, you know... I'll look around, see what I can find. Uh, does your dog like crayfish? I might be able to find some in the creek..."
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  #54  
Old Aug 16th, 2014, 11:07 PM
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The humanoids talk quickly and it takes me some time to join the conversation.

"Thank you for the offer, Mister Bofgrim. Shall I go home with you when you're done here?

"Crayfish would be excellent. Hrr can make do with a mix of plant foods and crayfish for now, until I have time to hunt for her."


I don't know how long Bofgrim is planning to stay out. Perhaps I should offer to help with my scimitar? I wouldn't really know what I was doing, but he says he doesn't either.
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  #55  
Old Aug 26th, 2014, 09:08 PM
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"Oh, I think I'm ready to call it a night," says Bofgrim. "But if you two would help gather up the wheat so we can take it to storage, I'd appreciate it." He begins to gather up armfuls of fallen plants and dump them in a nearby wagon. Pearl climbs over the fence and begins darting around underfoot, grabbing bits that he's missed.
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  #56  
Old Aug 26th, 2014, 10:54 PM
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I set my staff down and join in. With my darkvision it's easy to see where wheat has fallen. When we're done I'll collect my staff and follow Bofgrim home.
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Old Aug 28th, 2014, 05:54 PM
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With the three of you, it doesn't take that long to gather the fallen wheat and load it into the cart. The trip to the storage area is quite a bit longer, but thankfully you don't spend much time unloading. Bofgrim seems content to simply upend the cart and pour its contents on the floor, and although Pearl is clearly annoyed by this haphazard treatment of the grain, she doesn't say anything about it. Perhaps she is tired as well. Once the storage building is locked up, she parts ways with you and Bofgrim.

Bofgrim leads you to his house, which isn't actually much bigger than the halflings', but the scale of the doors, windows and furniture is at least more comfotable. Bofgrim opens the front door, then turns to face you. "You'll be leaving your dog and your weapons outside, of course." His tone is not obviously hostile, but it is very firm.
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  #58  
Old Aug 28th, 2014, 09:26 PM
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We're so busy there's no time to get food for Hrr, and then we're at Bofgrim's house.

Leave my weapons outside? Well, thieves and assailants are probably as weak from illness as everyone else. Bofgrim doesn't fully trust me, so I need to work hard at obeying and making sure he can't misinterpret what I do. I place my backpack and staff against the outer wall, and take off my breastplate and set it with them. I cuddle with Hrr, pet her, and offer her a Goodberry from my pouch. She refused one earlier, but she's hungrier now.

If she accepts, I praise her, pet her, and order her to Stay outside. She's too tired to Guard all night and needs her sleep.
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Old Sep 4th, 2014, 10:59 PM
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Hrr is not enthusiastic about the berry, but it seems her growling stomach makes a persuasive argument and she accepts. It may not taste good, but it is instantly filling; combined with your praise, she is in a very good mood. She lays down contentedly in front of the door.

When you step inside the house, Bofgrim is waiting by the door. He nods at you, though what he means to convey by this is not really clear. "Since you're my guest, you're welcome to the bed. It might be a tight fit though, so if you find you're more comfortable on the floor then I'll get you some blankets to lay on."
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Old Sep 5th, 2014, 09:37 PM
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Hrr taken care of, I head inside. Bofgrim offers me the bed, so I lay down and examine it. It's too short for me to lie down without curling up, and too narrow for me to curl up comfortably. "Thank you for offering me the bed, but I think the floor would suit me better. As a travelling adventurer I have much experience sleeping on the ground. Blankets would be welcome."

After Bofgrim helps me get set up I go to sleep. Tomorrow I'll have new things to try. Maybe I can find that Alton fellow and pay him to be useful.
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