Game Thread II. Adventures "Up the River" - Page 5 - RPG Crossing
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  #61  
Old Apr 18th, 2011, 09:07 AM
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Wet and shivering, the boys retrace the creature's steps all the way back to the Archeebald bridge. Through the blowing snow they can see the white shape they spotted from the water, when they first saw "Aldus" below the bridge. It looked like a bag from the canoe, but now on foot, both Dan and Silas can see it's a tightly-wound bundle -- a cocoon of sorts, the kind a spider might place its prey in.

For a moment, the friends look at each other, not really wanting to go any closer. Then another low moan echoes from below the stone span -- and the white shape moves slightly. "Heee...lpppp," a hoarse voice wails. Without another word Dan cuts through the sticky bindings with his dagger, and Silas helps rip them from the person trapped inside. With a great gasp, a woman's head appears, slimed and red from exposure, but she's alive -- albeit terrified.

Past middle-aged, the woman's hair is streaked with gray, and her face has an aristocratic look to it. Gasping for the fresher air outside the cocoon, she breathes, "You... you saved me! What happened?" Then a look of panic descends upon her: "The beast... where is it!? We have to flee!"

Last edited by mountainbound; Apr 18th, 2011 at 09:37 AM.
  #62  
Old Apr 24th, 2011, 07:51 PM
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Silas watched, dumbfounded as Dan cut the cocoon with his dagger. Well, cut was a relative term. To Silas' eyes it seemed more like he sawed it open, the dagger rasping through the woven strands like he was cutting hempen cordage. Silas' teeth chattered in the cold. His brown battered armor was soaked, and the clammy insides chaffed at his legs. He hurt. He hurt everywhere. Acid burns, cuts, bumps, bruises. The cold. The bloody, murdering cold. The slight breeze along the river felt as if it bore spears that lanced bare flesh wherever it was exposed. Wherever his clothes were wet, the wind burned. The now stiffining leather seemed a hot iron on his skin.

Silas gingerly tucked his wounded right hand under his ampit in an effort to keep it warm. He did the same with his left, giving the effect that he was hugging himself as he hunched and shivered. He made a half-hearted effort to stop his teeth from chattering, but the even that small effort was too much.

Silas started when he saw a woman emerge from the cocoon. A bloody woman! Burn me! He jumped when her gratitude turned to sudden fear. "The beast....where is it! We have to flee!" The sound of her high, frightened voice rang along the cold, still riverbank and jolted Silas' mind out of his misery. Unthinking he moved to put his wounded right hand on her shoulder, but she flinched at the sight of it. Silas pulled it back under his arms. "It's done. In the river, he grunted, gesturing with his head towards the river. Bloody hell he was cold. It was hard to talk. Bloody teeth wanted to keep on chattering. When he finally got the words out, they were broken, almost gasped. "We've got to get out of here. Cold. Bloody freeze if we stand here. Archeebald." With that he turned around and began marching back towards their gods forsaken, dung-ridden, rickety, worthless bloody excuse of a flaming canoe.

Last edited by Krimchee; Apr 24th, 2011 at 07:58 PM.
  #63  
Old May 1st, 2011, 09:00 PM
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Silas begins walking toward the canoe, but Dan stands with an apprehensive look on his face, staring down at the frightened woman. Hesitantly the wizard helps her to rise, perhaps fearing to touch someone so defiled by the creature. He soon forgets his revulsion when he finds that she's as poorly dressed as any of them. "I'm Dan, that's my friend Silas. He's right. You have nothing more to worry about. We... we killed the beast."

Somewhat comforted by Dan's words, the woman says, "I'm Edith. Edith Sommers. My husband will be looking for me." Seeing Dan's non-reaction to her name, she adds, "My husband... the mayor of Archeebald."

By this time, Silas has made it to the canoe and is fighting against the wind to get the snow-laden vessel back in the water. The shivering woman continues, "I don't know why you are out on the Yakawanna, but if you are headed to Archeebald, it's better to follow yonder path from the bridge, than take the river."

With a yell, Dan calls Silas back, and briefly explains this new revelation to his friend. In a few moments, the boys are helping Edith up the steep, icy hill beside the Archeebald bridge and then onto a wide track. Not surprisingly, the hamlet isn't far. Dan casts a hesitant glance back at his brother's canoe, sitting abandoned on the icy banks of the river -- with the wine and their prized centipede plates in it. But according to the mayor's wife, the road was the fastest way, and they were all past endurance with the cold.

The boys help Edith walk through the storm, wincing as the bitter wind blasts them in the face. It isn't long before they see buildings take shape out of the snow, and a high wall looms up ahead. The guard at the gate gives a shout when he recognizes Mrs. Sommers, and things become a blur for Dan and Silas after that. Armed men, politicians and onlookers all crowd around. Questions whir about in the air thicker than the blowing snow. "Who are you!?" "What happened!?" "How did you find Lady Sommers!?" "Where did you come from!?" "Where is the constable!?"

Edith says a breathless word to the well-dressed man fawning over her before the guardhouse, and he silences the throng shouting for answers. The boys are soon taken to the mayor's own home, handed mugs of brandy, given thick blankets, and set in warm chairs before a hearth. After some time, men begin coming and going into different chambers, giving Dan and Silas sidelong glances. The boys don't give their suspicious looks much thought -- the fatigue and frostbite were slowly being drowned by brandy, and it felt good to forget, for a moment, the cares of the world.

After perhaps an hour, the Mayor himself returns, politely refilling the mugs. "I am Lawrence Sommers, Mayor of Archeebald. You have my sincere gratitude for saving my dear Edith. We have had many queer incidents over the past several months, but her abduction two days ago was the hardest." At that point, three men enter the room respectfully, woolen hats in their hands. They take places by the wall on either side of the main door to the room. Two of them look like guards, wearing swords and some kind of uniform with pins on their cloaks. Their clothes resemble the garb that "Aldus" was wearing, before he began to change.

One of the armed men looks over Dan and Silas, then gives a meaningful nod at the Mayor, as though something was confirmed. The third man, however, seems almost as out of place there as the two "heroes" from Leyman's Hollow. He's young, perhaps a year or two older than the boys. He has a sun-weathered look about him, with straight dark hair reaching down to his homespun animal pelt clothing.

Lawrence says to Silas and Dan, "Now, let's hear your story. Who are you? What were you doing out in the storm? Edith says you found her beneath the bridge on the outskirts of town. You're in no danger now," he seems to look long and hard at Silas when he says this. "But I want the truth. Who are you and what happened?" As he speaks, he motions to the oddly dressed man waiting along the wall. Perhaps a healer of some sort, the long-haired man quietly begins asking Dan a few questions about his wounds, leaving Silas to speak to the Mayor for them.
DM's NotePlease include a Diplomacy check with your post.

Last edited by mountainbound; May 2nd, 2011 at 08:44 AM.
  #64  
Old May 4th, 2011, 08:10 PM
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Silas licked his lips with nervousness. He didn't like that bit about not being in danger now. Not one bit. He eyed the "guards" at the door. He didn't like what he saw. Not good odds. Not good odds at all if it comes to that. Swirling his brandy around the base of the mug, he noted how some of it held to the smooth inside, and dripped down in tiny rivulets when he stopped. He took a long pull off the mug. Gods but that's good. It was very probable these men knew all about what'd happened in The Hollow. He was a little fuzzy from the grog. He'd just been starting to feel warm and fuzzy too. Now, looking at the familiar uniforms, he felt a chill. He wanted to curse. He drained his glass again. For courage, he thought. He felt like an injured buck, surrounded by wolves. But there was nothing for it.

"We're on our way from Leman's Hollow, Silas began, trying to seem confident. Best stick to the truth here, he thought, They seem to know much already. He intentionally didn't tell his name though. Not telling was not the same as lying. "We were on our way here to deliver a bit of Dan's father's wine, and to sell some crawler plates." All true too, he thought. Silas paused to take another shwaggle of brandy, only to realize that his mug was empty. He set it down on the table with regret, folding his hands in his lap. He made a conscious effort not to wring them. "Which are all still in the canoe, by the way. It was either abandon them or freeze to bloody death. Silas looked up at the men around him, reminding himself of where he was. Watch your bloody language fool or they'll flaming hang you by your flaming innerds. "As we came down the bridge, there was a thing. It was like a crawler but not. It stood on two legs. It was under the bridge when we passed. It was about to make a meal out of your lady-wife, sir. Silas paused, looking up at the mayor. After a moment, he looked back down towards his feet. Gods do I sound like a flaming half-wit. They must think me mad. He continuted anyway. "I'd fought crawlers before, but this.... Silas shivered. But this was unlike anything I'd ever seen sir, and not in a good way. So I took aim and shot. Thought that'd be the end. Silas shook his head, his shoulders shaking with rueful laughter at himself. "But is wasn't no flame...I mean it wasn't meek as a deer sir. So after getting soaked to the skin, and seared by its spittle, we managed to wound the thing enough to kick it into the river. And here we are sir. I'm just happy we made it out with our hides."

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