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  #136  
Old 03-12-2019, 06:37 PM
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Shelley AddisonThough Bellamy says nothing her eyes light up with intense interest as Shelley passes her Spireling Harrud's gift. She accepts the book with some gravity, giving the Spireling a nod of thanks. Though she is tempted, she slips the book into her pack making a mental note to flip through it later. There were still preparations to be done before they departed for Westrunn - but she was excited to see what a man like the Spireling of Whispers thought was worth learning.

As Shelley stands, signalling the end of the meeting, Doc bids her a business-like farewell. "Spireling. We'll send word once we've reached the walls of Westrunn."
Final PreparationsThe stablemaster was surprised to find the town doctor, of all people, at his doorstep just moments after he'd opened the stables and small storefront for business. The half-orc was a cantankerous sort, as her kind tended to be, and word had it she worked closely for...the old man was too scared to even think it. Fortunately he remained strong and healthy even in his ripe age and was able to keep a wide berth of her. And even more fortunately she seemed to have little interest in the way of animals.

Yet here she was and Ye Gods! she already glowered with impatience.

"Aye miss, good da- The stablemaster managed before the half-orc cut him off."

"You're late. And I'm busy. Show me your beasts," She said brusquely. The rest of their business was done in the same brisk manner, which the old stablemaster was thankful for. The sooner she got out, the better. She stank of blood and violence and he was old enough to know those things never waited in the wings for long.

He had no idea what she was looking for and she seemed to be in no mood to enlighten him so he showed her many of his finer horses. Most she gave little reaction to beyond drilling him with questions about the creatures' medical history. She hardly seem to give them a look. Finally, they got to his current problem child - a leggy grey stallion of a hard, southern breed. His left ear was missing its top half - shorn off by some predator which had allowed the old man to procure him at a discount. He wish that he hand't though. Whatever misfortune the young beast had suffered had turned him into a biting, surly sonofa-

"I'll take him," Doc said suddenly, jolting the man upright.

"Aye! Very good miss! His name's-" Bellamy waves her hand to cut him off.

"His name is Ninazu," She says.


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  #137  
Old 03-15-2019, 04:01 PM
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Stilben, the 21st day of FessuranWith preparations finally made, the party assembles outside the Stuck in the Muck Tavern and Inn. The sun is still low across the water in the eastern sky, just now starting to burn off the nightly mists from the harbor. Ames Cuellar and Addison Shelley approach, walking slowly across the boards of the wharf. She greets the group politely, looking at the new travel gear and clothing assembled between them. Her eyes linger on Bellamy’s newly silvered hammer. "It is a different company that I see off today from when you first assembled." She touches Alys’ forearm. "And I don’t mean only by composition. A little coin, a little victory in the face of death, and you look a proper crew." She smiles. "I had procured a cart and horse for your travel, but it seems that Hassud had another vehicle in mind."

Shelley leads you all across the street to the tavern’s stables and coach house. She nods to Ames, who pulls open the large wooden door. Inside, standing docilely as the stable boys fit the huge harness, is an immense cow! Standing seven feet high at the shoulder, her head lifts to nearly ten feet at the newcomers’ approach. Large horns extend sideways out from her head, nearly three feet, before curving slightly forward. Her short, brown and white fur does not conceal the masses of rippling muscle that constitute her two-and-a-half ton body. One of her massive legs shifts slightly in anticipation as a stable boy cinches a strap.

Stepping past the enormous beast of the Dividing Plains, her burden comes clearly into view. Her thick collar is harnessed to two shafts, which run back to form a single tongue connecting to the steering tree of a large merchant’s traveling wagon, underneath the driver’s bench. The vehicle bed sits over two feet off the ground on iron-bound wheels of thick wood. Fully enclosed with walls and an arched, wooden roof, the vehicle is more of a mobile house than a wagon. A small metal stove pipe on top hints at the interior accommodations. The door stands open on the side, a wooden step placed on the ground for access. Inside, a hanging lantern illuminates the cabin. A stove does indeed sit against the far wall, near a desk with a flat table top and a stool. Cupboards and shelves and hooks hanging cookware line the interior, save for where the small windows are set. Against the back, two bunks run the width of the interior, one above the other, both with privacy curtains tied back against the walls.

Ames shakes his head and spits. Shelley smiles. "This vehicle was recently donated to the Clasp. I believe the former owner runs a profitable trading guild in Westruun. He also sleeps with the wife of an official who can revoke the guild’s permissions to operate. He apparently decided that Hassud’s discretion in the matter was worth more than his traveling wagon." Looking around to each of the company she asks, "So, who’s driving?"

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Last edited by 4eyedBadger; 03-15-2019 at 09:09 PM.
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  #138  
Old 03-17-2019, 04:48 AM
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The Silvercut RoadwaySeveral folk of Stilben turn to look at the large plainscow and wagon making their way down the Market Street toward the west side of the city. The loud and steady Clop Clop of her hooves on the stone serve as warning to those ahead. Fishmongers and grocers pushing carts grudgingly yield to the side of the road.

A cluster of Waterwatch watch the wagon go by. It’s the day shift now, and these are veterans of the force. Their sergeant’s eyes move from the wagon to the two riders accompanying it; Cyprian with his cowled hood, and Bellamy with her blood-stained shield and silvered hammer. But the soldiers say nothing and do not challenge the passage of the company.

The wide Market Street continues through the merchant district, where the townhouses and small estates of more successful businessmen line the street. Confire looks to his left. Meela and Flora live two blocks to the south. Not that he expects to see them walking the streets this early in the morning.

The cluster of buildings around them starts to dwindle as the group makes their way to the outskirts of town. The last building is a small outpost for the guard. A squad watches their approach. Their captain is a man of about 30 years, with a blonde mustache. He takes the wagon deed and Hassud’s letter with a skeptical look at the passengers. One of the young soldiers behind him makes a joke; something about a whore in a wedding dress, before the captain silences him with a harsh look that promises punishment. After reviewing the papers, the captain passes them back. He waves the wagon and riders along dismissively before turning his attention back to his squad.

The stone-paved Market Street gives way to the dirt of the Silvercut Roadway as it heads west through the K’Tawl Swamp. The sounds and smells of the city are replaced by the earthy decay and wilderness of the dense wetlands. The swamp is quieter in the day than at night, but that only serves to make the occasional shriek of a monkey or splash in the water that much more pronounced. There are a few wet places on the road where some aquatic beasts apparently crossed during the night.

The plainscow needs very little direction from the reins. She has made this journey several times over the years and seems suddenly more comfortable back in her element. She plods along, dragging the wagon westward at a steady pace. Near noon, a rare, dry clearing alongside the Silvercut comes into view. Seemingly by habit, the large beast pulls the wagon onto the flat space and waits, turning her head to see who will unhitch her so she can graze.

After the midday break, there is some traffic on the road. Just a couple of carts loaded with produce from the plains headed for Stilben. The drivers of the carts look just as dull as the horses drawing them. They offer no greetings as they pass.

The sun is low in the west when the wagon emerges from the dense swamp. After so long under the thick canopy, the suddenly vast horizon is striking. From here, the entire northwest is grassland. The stalks of wheat and grass sway in the late-summer breeze, undulating like waves across the rolling hills. To the far north, the grassland abuts the mighty Summit Peaks, their peaks bathing in the last light of the day. To the west and southwest, nameless hills run all the way to the Owlset Bay of the Lucidian Ocean.

The plainscow quickens her step. Another half hour’s travel brings them to a sharp bend in the Silvercut, where it turns north to skirt the Summit Peaks. Here, on the west side of the road, the grasses have been cropped by grazing animals. Small streams crisscross the grass. Already, a few traveling peddlers and merchants have set up camp in the area. The spot is popular for overnighting, as it is a day’s travel to and from Stilben. The plainscow pulls the large wagon to an area near a stream and stops, turning her massive horned head again to see who will tend to her. She gives out a short, deep grunt to make sure she is not forgotten.

Dusk settles over the land. Walking around the campsite, Bellamy sees a few old trails heading west from the Silvercut, toward the hills a few miles off. Her eyes follow those overgrown paths and scan the shadowy mounds as the breeze blows her hair across her face. Somewhere in those dark hills, amongst the old and gnarled oaks, is Mother Lucinda’s orphanage.

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Last edited by 4eyedBadger; 03-17-2019 at 06:16 AM.
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  #139  
Old 03-18-2019, 06:42 AM
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Ronald ‘One-Bone’ Devyn
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It is with a heavy heart that Ron shoulders his newly bought equipment and heads to the Muck to meet the others early in the day. He can feel the gaze of several store owners he’s interacted with in the past as he passes the stores with a backpack and a traveling cloak, Ronda resting easily on his shoulder. Although they hide it well, he’s sure they aren’t too sad to see the enforcer with a reputation for bone-breaking leave town. Unlike Ron, they probably hope that once he leaves, he’ll be gone for good.

He nods at the others, chewing on a loaf of freshly baked spiced bread dipped in honey as he arrives. Can’t go walking on an empty stomach. Shelley is there, but he avoids her. She might still be mad at him, so he makes sure not to give her another reason to lash out. He does stare at the overgrown cow that’s being fitted with a harness a little too long, mouth slightly agape. That’s a really, really big cow. Kind of stupid-looking but if it can pull a wagon like that it must be strong. Ron slowly approaches the beast, not touching it at first but then finally putting his hand on its shoulder. It feels warm, the fur course against his calloused fingers, heavy muscles noticeable under the skin. “What’s it called?” he asks the stable boy, as he tosses his backpack into the wagon.

Ron doesn’t volunteer to do the driving. He has no experience with wagons. At most, he’s driven wheelbarrows with loot through the city in the darkness after a particularly profitable burglary, but this is very much new to him. He walks alongside the wagon, Ronda over his shoulder, taking in the scenery as they leave the city, ignoring the guards as they jest about the motley crew. Words don’t hurt him. As Stilben is slowly lost in the distance, Ron constantly looks back, wondering if he’ll ever see his home town again.

His spirits are lifted somewhat after eating lunch at midday, thoughts of Stilben and his future forgotten for now as he takes in the scenery and listens to the others chatter. When the sun is nearing the horizon, the cow clearly knows the best way to stop since it pulls the wagon off the road and onto a field that’s clearly a popular stopping point for travelers. Ron helps collect firewood and building a fire. He even loads some dry wood onto the wagon for later. It will help to have dry wood if they’ll have to make camp in the rain in the future.

He tosses his bedroll under the wagon. It seems like a practical place for him to sleep. The wagon will give him shelter and even hide him from prying eyes in the dark, and he’ll be close if someone wants to try something in the night. The enforcer doesn’t offer to cook dinner. Nobody sane would want him to try his hand at preparing food.

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  #140  
Old 03-18-2019, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by kymrel
Ron slowly approaches the beast, not touching it at first but then finally putting his hand on its shoulder. It feels warm, the fur course against his calloused fingers, heavy muscles noticeable under the skin. “What’s it called?” he asks the stable boy...
The boy had looked confused at Ron’s question. "It’s called a cow," he had answered, wondering how such an old person could not know that.

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  #141  
Old 03-18-2019, 10:27 AM
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Ada
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Ada spent much of the first day guiding the wagon, deep in thought. She was glad that they were moving forward, but apprehensive about their task. So far, the scales of fate have tipped in our favor.. but only slightly. We'll need more of that same luck in the future I'd wager.

Later in the day, she chatted a bit walking alongside Ron, reassuring the stout man that there were plenty of excellent things to see to the west. The vast expanses of the Dividing Plain, the deep woodlands of Torian and the Bramblewood, and the great port city of Emon, her home. The descriptions seemed to overwhelm the man a bit, so she brought it back to the here and now. As they broke through the canopies of the K'Tawl, Ada pointed to the Summit Peaks to the north, which stabbed skyward unerringly under the deep purples of the dusky sky. "Just wait until dawn, it's quite a sight."

As they stopped for the evening, Ada loosened their "guide's" harness and patted the plainscow on the back. "Thank you sweet thing. We can be sure of our path with you here." She reached into her bag on the wagon and pulled out a handful of grains from her brewing supplies. She had plenty of extra, and wouldn't miss a few handfuls. Holding it out, the cow munched readily at the easily-digestible coarse flour. "Rest up, tomorrow will be a long one." She looked out due west, watching the plains-grasses shift under a light, cool breeze.

Breaking out her pack keg, Ada gestured to anyone interested for the usual gulp of barleywine after a long day. She grinned at Alys and tipped her mug as if to say "and you too if you want it." She's a tough one. Young, but just about the same age as when I started getting into it with the powers-that-be.. Her mind went to Lord Rassier for a moment, and she drowned the thought in a drink.

Taking a swig of the boozy brew, she noticed it still holding its flavor after so many days. Must be the higher alcohol preserving the taste.. not a bad one for a long trek. She scratched some notes next to her recipe as the others fell out around the campsite.



 
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  #142  
Old 03-18-2019, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 4eyedBadger View Post
The boy had looked confused at Ron’s question. "It’s called a cow," he had answered, wondering how such an old person could not know that.
Ron isn't sure if the boy is trying to be smart or if he genuinely didn't understand the question. He resists the urge to backhand the lad across the stable, but gets right up into his face, dropping Ronda from his shoulder, holding the hammer with one hand at his side. "A name, boy," he growls, in a tone that tends to get merchants to pay a little extra for protection that month. "Does the cow have a name?"
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  #143  
Old 03-18-2019, 11:38 AM
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"A name, boy," he growls, in a tone that tends to get merchants to pay a little extra for protection that month. "Does the cow have a name?"
The boy winced, suddenly realizing his peril. Sometimes it just didn’t pay to open your mouth. He should have just shrugged and looked away. "Oh...oh...I, uh, don’t rightly know, sir. I just been callin’ her ‘girl’. She seems to like it well enough." The boy grabbed his brush and scurried away to the other side of the wagon.
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:40 AM
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Talia
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Talia is sitting high up on the wagon next to where the driver sits before they even leave the stable.

Hearing the young boy's comment back to Ron when asked the cow's name, she laughs outloud from her perch, and it takes quite a bit for her to finally stop even chuckling. She holds up hands in surrender to any look from Ron.

As they pause to leave the city and smiles and bows at the comments and jeers from her spot next to Ada atop the wagon.
As soon as they clear the gate she says to Ada, "I was going to say that he should know as his mother wore a dress on her wedding day, but I feel like we will come back here soon, so... y'know."

Talia used the time to slip back into the wagon or ride alongside Ada throughout the journey. Once she even got on to ride on the back of the plain's cow if it let her.

Setting up camp, she somehow knew just when Ada was tasting her brew and was there with a mug and a smile.


 
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:21 AM
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Alys
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Alys woke up the day they were scheduled to leave before dawn, body tingling with nervous energy. She. Was. Ready! So ready to be gone, so much more prepared than she was for her last journey. She'd spent what little sleep she'd had dreaming of the adventure and the danger. So she was up before dawn, Meris still snoring away. She gathered her gear, some of it from the original journey from Drynna, most of it cobbled together over the past few days in Stilben. Short sword, daggers, bedroll, food, water...my ring.... Everything was in order, so Alys slipped the bag over her shoulder and slipped out of the window. She whispered one last "Goodbye, Mer," without turning around, then whistled her way down to the meeting spot. It was freeing. And terrifying.

Alys found herself beaming with pride during Shelley's send-off. She finally had a place, a purse, and a goal. Things were looking up. She was even acknowledged, however briefly, by Shelley. The reveal of the wagon was even more amazing, and as soon as the coast was clear Alys bounced aboard to explore it. Such a step up from walking....

The journey proper extinguished a bit of her excitement. Alys had crossed the Swamp before, on her way to Stilben, but that had been a fraught, harrowing experience. Meris, Emmet, and Alys had been lucky to escape with their lives. This? Was not, so much. She spent most of the journey walking alongside the wagon, or climbing on it, or jumping too it and from it, burning her boredom away with some acrobatics. She also spent examining her new companions. Talia, she'd felt some kinship for already; they were both small, light, and quick on their feet, so she spent a bit of the day pestering her about the knife trick.

The cowled guy was, frankly, a bit intimidating, and Alys stayed clear. She spent some of that time covertly examining Ron, who seemed to be holding up a lot better than she'd expected. For the rest of the day, well, she bothered Confire. The crotchety spell-slinger was the reason she was here in the first place, really, so she spent the day prying.

"So...what's with the magic?" she hadn't seen much, but his seemed especially weird.

"Uh. So. How'd you lose the, y'know...." She accompanied it by pulling her hand inside her sleeve...though she didn't really expect much of an answer to that one.

"What's with that book?" He'd read from it during the meeting, about the tablet, and Alys wasn't sure it was any safer to carry around than that creepy relic.

She was quick to retreat if necessary, but she always found her way back to bother him.

The end of the day was a welcome relief to the boredom of the walk. She felt a little tired, and would probably be a little sore tomorrow. Stilben hadn't been easy, but it had left her a bit out of shape for long journeys. As they got the camp set up, though, and Ada tipped her mug? Well, that was an invitation she'd more than happily accept, and she was right behind Talia after fishing out a mug of her own, grinning widely. "Thanks! Nothing like some, uh...of this...after a long day on the road, right?"
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Old 03-19-2019, 03:32 AM
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Bellamy bids Shelley a curt farewell, mounting Ninazu with a none too graceful sequence of movements. Finally, after some time, she makes it atop the back of the beast's back and setting off after the wagon as it slowly begins to move away. The horse is willful, often tugging at his reins and lurching with threats of mutiny, but Doc manages to strong-arm the creature into following her directions. She makes quite a sight mounted and on the road draws queer and wary looks from the passing moments. At moments she is tempted to activate her cowl and hide behind her illusion, but doesn't. Let them be wary, she tells herself. It is better out here to be left alone.

As they ride the half-orc's mood seems to darken. No words pass between her and her crew, but they know by now when the medic was even more prickly than usual. Finally as they come to their destination for the night she dismounts and looks out over the hills. The landscape was familiar and chilling. She was fearful and hid it with rage.

Let her come, she thinks to herself, fingering the silver hammer on her belt all while feeling a childlike terror creeping in her gut. Let her come.

As the sun begins to fall in the sky, she ties Ninazu near the plainscow, retrieving some feed for the horse from the saddlebags strapped to his back. He eats greedily, if slow, seeming content to graze while she makes her way inside. In the light of the inner wagon she
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d4t 3 Running Total = 6
begins to read the book, The Opened Eye: Techniques and Methods of Observation and Study, that the Spireling had sent to her as a means of distracting herself from the sounds of ravens in the distance. When she finds herself wavering she brings two fingers to her temple and uses a simple blood magic technique to sharpen her mind. "Focus."



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Old 03-19-2019, 05:50 PM
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Confire held his head high as he followed the others to the stable to be confronted by the plainscow and wagon.

"We... we need to travel with that?" he mumbled uneasily, not at all comfortable with the big bovine. As Shelley led them around to look in the wagon he gave the animal a very wide berth and then hurried inside the wagon. This... this was nice. Okay, he could put up with the beast if it meant that he wouldn’t be sleeping on the hard ground.

As they set out on the journey he was quiet and introspective. He thought about his family, and if he would ever see them again, and whether he should tell any of his companions what Dispater had revealed to him about what they would face. But his thoughts whirled from one subject to another and he never really found a resolution.

He settled into a stool at the desk in the back and unrolled the scroll that they had found, then placed the edge of his book on the far corner to stop it from rolling back up. If anyone came in to suggest he walk or, gods forbid, suggest he handle the cow, he would have a ready excuse. And then he brooded some more. But after some time he started to notice some patterns in the strange glyphs on the scroll and flicked through his book to see if he could match anything. It was slow-going and soon his eyes, back and head were aching, so when Alys first came in to talk to him he gave her short shrift.

"What’s with my magic?! What an idiotic question! It’s magic! It’s supposed to be mysterious, don’t you know that? That’s why it takes so much study to decipher." when she went back outside he felt bad for shouting at her; she really was a sweet kid, and she had saved Meela when he was away so he really should try harder. He stood and stretched his back, made a meal of the trail food he had brought (and grumbled a bit that Shelley hadn’t warned them that they would have a kitchen, basic as it may be), and then got back to work.

The next time Alys came in he was more than ready for a break and welcomed the distraction. And then she asked how he’d lost his hand. He grinned, eyes wide, and waved the stump in front of her nose.

"Ah, this. A grave injustice it was. Taken by decree of the law for want of the real criminal. But that Dhogol, perhaps you met him during your time in Stilben, he’s a mean one and takes every opportunity to remind me that he took it. It wouldn’t surprise me if he had my hand, and many others probably, displayed somewhere prominent in his home. But he’ll get his, oh yes. People like that never prosper long. Eventually their own nature catches up with them."

Finally she asked him about his book and he sat on the stool absently stroking its pages as he thought how to answer.

"I’m not what you would call a classic wizard. But that’s a good thing. If you’ve ever met a wizard," which Confire himself hadn’t, but he had talked to several people in taverns with plenty to say about them so he considered himself well acquainted with the subject, "you’d notice they all have their heads stuck up their own arses. This guy we’re going to meet in Westruun, I’ll wager he’s like that, convinced of his own superiority just because he’s learned some big words. Well I don’t know all the big words that they know, but I understand power about as well as anyone. True power is getting people to do things for you, and best if they don’t know you did it. That’s what these wizards don’t understand as they lock themselves away in their towers; no matter what they may discover about the cosmos, or about how the ether interacts with the world, it doesn’t really matter except if you can make it do something down here in the dirt, in the real world with the likes of us. What’s the point of knowing the secrets of the multiverse if you need a servant to wipe yer arse? Huh?"

As they stopped for the evening he descended the steps from the wagon, a little unsteadily, and joined the others at the campfire, which he lit with a casual wave. He looked around at the scenery a little surprised; he had heard of mountains of course, but actually seeing them right there in front of them was strange. And the seemingly endless grassland stretching away like a particularly tame sea made him feel slightly sick; such expanses should be moving and shimmering, not static. He kept finding himself staring at it, watching a particular hill for minutes at a time as though expecting it to roll towards him. But as always Ada’s excellent barleywine helped to make everything feel better.

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Old 03-20-2019, 03:11 AM
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The Dividing PlainsThe swamp is still close. Just a couple hundred feet to the east, the tangled foliage and dark waters are visible. The familiar sounds carry across the intervening grass; distant shrieks and howls and screams. Bellamy has the midnight watch. Maybe it’s the wind, but some of those screams seem to be carrying from the hills, rather than the K’Tawl. She lies awake long after Confire and Ada relieve her, still hearing the echoes of wailing.

Dawn finally breaks. Despite the Stilben shrine’s name, the first light of the morning actually falls on the rocky tops of the Summit Peaks, like floating islands of light, thousands of feet above the dark lands below.

After breakfast, the wagon is packed and Girl is hitched to it. She is patient as her masters work the unfamiliar tack, her big brown eyes watching them dully as they pass in front of her. At Ada’s command, she sets off north on the Silvercut.

The day passes much as the previous one had. The swamp remains visible far off to the right. The grasslands open up even more of the western horizon as the nameless hills fall away to the south. Late in the afternoon, dark clouds march in from the sea in ranks, like the Stormlord’s own army. Intermittent rains turn to a steady deluge, and the road becomes muddy. Girl maintains a steady pace, however, only having to work a little harder to roll the iron-bound wheels through the sludgy course. Watching her, Ada realizes just how strong the beast is. The large wagon is actually not a heavy load for her, and the inclement weather is just an uncomfortable inconvenience.

By the time evening falls, the storm is raging in force. Lightning strikes light up the plains to the west every few seconds. The company finds another well-worn camping area, with discarded tarps and a broken wagon wheel lying in the grass. The ash of fire pits has been soaked by the rain.

Whoever the previous master of this wagon was, they certainly prepared for bad weather. In a trunk on the back of the wagon, Cyprian finds a large oilcloth tarp with brass grommets, stakes, and lines. Some greenwood poles are lashed to the roof. After a little examination, Talia finds hooks under the roof eave on the door side that match the spacing of the grommets on the tarp. A few minutes of staking and lashing is all that’s required to extend the tarp out from the wagon and create a large covered porch.

Not long after the party finishes setting up, a horse drawing a canvas-covered wagon can be seen coming from the other direction through the storm. As it approaches nearer, the middle-aged driver tips his wide-brimmed hat and calls over, "Helluva blow tonight, isn’t it?" The teenage boy sitting on the bench next to him doesn’t look over. He just shakes some water off his poncho.

The covered wagon pulls off the road a respectful distance away and they begin to set up camp. A third person, a woman who had obviously been in the back, can be seen moving about the camp in the lantern light. When they’re done setting up, the man walks over with his disinterested son trailing after him. "I’m Owin. This is m’boy, Kimb. I hope you folks don’t mind us settin’ up nearby." He has two large bottles, one in each hand. He passes one to Ron, and starts to hand the other to Alys until he sees how young she is. So he gives it to Cyprian instead. The label has a simple drawing of a cyclops and the words “One-Eyed Jack” printed across it. "Brought you some honey-mead. Our family label. If you like it, I got some cases to sell." After a few pleasantries, Owin tips his cap and he and Kimb head back over to their camp.

The night is long. Gusts of wind shake the wagon and blow rain in sideways under the tarp. The storm finally breaks shortly after midnight. By the time Ada and Confire get up for the final watch, it’s fairly calm. The smell of wet earth fills their nostrils as they take their watch.

An hour passes...

The horses notice it first. Ninazu begins stamping at the ground and snorting. Cyprian’s mount does the same a few seconds later, sniffing at the air as her eyes go wide. They both swing around and move as much as their picket lines allow. Ada is on her feet immediately, scanning the tall grasses in the dark pre-dawn morning. Clouds still cover the moon and there is very little light. Confire scans the area, his hell-blessed eyes penetrating deeper into the fields than the cleric’s, but he sees nothing either.

Tense seconds pass. Ada is about to wake the group when the distinct smell of decay reaches her nose. She spins to look upwind just as the screaming starts! From Owin’s camp, male and female screams of surprise, horror, pain, and dying!

It’s over quickly. Ada knows she could never have closed the distance in time to save them anyway. As her companions rouse to arms around her, the Dawnfather’s emissary strains to see in the darkness. Silhouetted dimly against the dark horizon is a massive, writhing shape. It’s coming toward them, and the stench of death grows stronger. The horses panic, straining at their tethers. Girl, with the communal instincts of a herd animal, lets out a long, warning bellow and stamps at the wet earth.

Confire can see it now. Bodies. Scores of dead bodies in a writhing, twisting mound ten feet tall. Rolling, crawling, shambling toward them in a mass, the bodies in front folding over as the ones behind clamber to be first to the new victims. Bones snap and limbs reach forward in anticipation of their meal. Snarling faces appear, and then are swallowed up into the undead mass as others climb over. Orcs, humans, animals; even a headless and decaying centaur struggle forward toward Confire and his company. And behind them, stumbling in the wake of the main entity, come the bodies of Owin and Kimb!



OOCI’ve been so excited for this! It’s like a giant undead flesh tumbleweed, picking up bodies as it tumbled across the Dividing Plains! Someone forgot to sanctify a mass grave somewhere back west and you all are paying the price! Be careful! This thing is pretty deadly.

Okay, the Corpse Mound is about a hundred feet away at the nearby camp. It's going on an Initiative of 11. If you beat that, go ahead and act. The screams of your neighbors certainly woke the entire group so everyone is up.

Last edited by 4eyedBadger; 03-20-2019 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 10:34 AM
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Ada
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Ada barely has to say a thing before her companions are on their feet and picking up weaponry. The screaming cuts through the cold, wet night air. She can see the outline in the darkness, with terrifying cracking and flesh sounds reaching her ears with each passing moment.

Initiative - 18Reacting swiftly, the priest swings her shield up and grasps her brass lamp tightly. Let your light be with us.. "Someone pull the animals away if you can!" she shouted. Still not able to see the shapes clearly, Ada Move minimum close enough to catch all enemies in 20 ft. cube of Faerie Fire.trots forward while sending her newly refreshed divine reserves to her lamp.

Shield forward and holding her focus aloft, Ada caused a Cast Faerie Fireburst of brilliant light to explode in front of the shapes, 20 ft. cube is illuminated and enemies make DC14 Dex save or be cast in light (advantage on all attacks vs. creature!)illuminating them in the pre-dawn murk.




 


 
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Old 03-20-2019, 12:03 PM
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The Dividing PlainsAs Ada charges in front of her companions and raises her holy lamp, there is a flash of the Dawnfather’s light in the tall grass ahead. Owin’s dead body flares and is illuminated brightly, casting an eerie glow on the mound of corpses and his undead son!

OOCOwin failed his save vs Faerie Fire. Kimb and the Mound saved, but Owin casts light in a 10 foot radius so they can be targeted without disadvantage in the darkness. Attacks against Owin have Advantage.

Ron isn’t sure how long it would take to hitch Girl up to the wagon. It took a while yesterday, but they’d never done it before. He can try it, of course. He saw how it was done.


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