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Old 04-19-2020, 09:32 AM
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Chapter 1: Don't Leave the Path



Chapter 1: Don't Leave the Path






Part 1: Where Rivers Run with Gold




Saving Baldur

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Baldor
Spring was well underway as Baldor, his son, and caravan of four heavy-laden ponies and guards made their way west on the path that led from old Lake-town into the forest. This path is now mostly overgrown – few people pass this way now, as the site of the town was moved after the death of the dragon.

Three of the guards, friends it seemed, kept mostly to themselves and had the habit of keeping their hoods pulled over their heads, covering much of their faces. Despite this, they seemed well enough equipped to serve their role as guards, that is, until as one, they drew swords and bore down on Baldor.

To his credit, he managed to grasp a large branch from beside the path and wack one of the men across the face, leaving a large welt. "Belgo, run. Find help", he yelled, unsure how many of his guards had turned on him. As he stood with his back to a tree and a heavy branch in his hand, the three treacherous caravan guards surround him with drawn swords.

The biggest of the trio turns to the rest of the caravan guards (that's you) and shouts, "Be off! This is none of your business! This bastard cheated us and we're going to take what is due!"



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Belgo
Braegar is in the countryside near the Long Lake, returning from a previous journey. The ruins of the old Lake-town are visible in the water. Blackened poles poke out like ribs, and when the water is very, very still, one can sometimes spot the bones of Smaug the Dreadful. Sometimes gemstones from the dragon’s fabled diamond waistcoat wash up on the shore.

He hears someone running, and shouts of "help! help!" . A young boy about ten years old bursts out of the rushes ahead of him. The boy spots the man and runs towards him, waving his arms. Tears run down his cheeks.

"Help! Please help! My father – his guards – they’re going to kill him! We’re going to Mirkwood and they’re going to kill him! He told me to run! Find help! Help!"

Belgo’s words tumble out in a terrified flood. From what Braegar can piece together of the story: The boy's father Baldor is a merchant of Dale. He has a caravan of trade goods, and intended to bring it across Mirkwood. He hired eight guards for protection, but some/all (this was unclear) of the guards have now turned on him. The caravan is nearby – if he hurries, he can rescue Baldor.



GM NotesEveryone please roll initiative. Swords have been drawn, but combat has not technically begun. Just want to get that out of the way in case it is.

Everyone but Vidar notices that the three shady guards had been trying to nonchalantly make their way closer to Baldor. We are going to operate as though we are in combat to more easily manage time. For all intents and purposes, we will consider this a surprise round. Everyone but Vidar may take the usual actions.

Last edited by Silent Rain; 04-24-2020 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 04-24-2020, 06:59 PM
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Solveig
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As the caravan left Esgaroth - Lake-town, as some called it - Solveig felt her entire body relax. Even though the town had been completely rebuilt after Smaug's death, it still felt enough like the Esgaroth of her childhood that staying there made her feel anxious. She was forever looking up at the sky, and when she slept there her dreams were filled with fire.

No, the road was her home now, and she was glad of it. The Wilderland was beautiful. Perilous, yes, but beautiful too. Even the Long Marshes through which they currently trudged. Sometimes it was hard to see anything except the mud and fog, but if you could look past that there was surprising beauty. A brightly coloured tree frog. A wading bird watching carefully, then taking to wing as the caravan got too close.

Grinning, Solveig led the caravan westward towards Mirkwood.



When three of the caravan guards turned on Baldor, Solveig was not surprised. She had wondered whether to talk to the merchant about the trio's chequered past, but he didn't have any particular reason to trust her over any of the other guards. She hadn't worked for him before. So she kept her mouth closed and her eyes open.

When the three ruffians drew their weapons, Solveig drew her broadsword and readied her shield. And when their leader warned the other caravan guards not to interfere, Solveig responded coolly. "Jonar, if you had a grievance with the merchant you should've taken it up with a magistrate. I'm not going to let you murder him."

She spared a quick glance at Grimfara. By the look of battle-lust on his face, he didn't seem to be with the three ruffians. Giving her shield two taps of her broadsword to get his attention, she Normal movement speed only. 'Charged' just sounds better. charged the nearest of the ruffians.

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Old 04-24-2020, 07:01 PM
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The Caravan
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Grimfara was enjoying the leisurely walk. It had been some time since he had left the dwelling Beorn and visited the outer realms. He forgot what beauties existed in the world.
Different trees, plants, even the landscape changed as he went further out. He had never been to the east side of Mirkwood and planned to take in every precious moment. Of course he still had a job to do.

Tasked with protecting the caravan of a prominent business man, Grimfara was ready for the challenge. He was up late the previous night going through all his gear, sharpening his axes, polishing his warhammer. He was giddy at the thought of getting into battle once more. Living in the Beorn's realm he found acceptance and understanding. But for the most part there was not much in terms of battle. Everything was quite orderly and few would challenge the customs in fear of enraging the beornings. This was something that left a whole in the man, something that craved the thrill of battle.

The further they traveled from the town the quicker it became overgrown and slowed their pace. It mattered not to Grimfara as he helped to clear particularly difficult sections with his axes. After some time he began to notice something odd as he looked back at the group. 3 of the guards had begun to break rank and move on Baldor, the man he was tasked to protect. He couldn't be sure but something didn't set well with him. Even if others were not as disciplined surely they knew not to break rank. Without raising a fuss he began to holster and tuck away his axes, prepping to grab his great axe, Reaper. If there was trouble he wanted to be ready.

As sure as it was day, it wasn't moments later before the caravan came to a halt when one a ruckus occurred form behind. As he turned he saw the merchants son run off into the woods. One of the guards yelled at the group,

"Be off! This is none of your business! This bastard cheated us and we're going to take what is due!"

Grimfara smiled at the words the man had said. It seemed he would get to settle some of his blood lust sooner rather than later. "I think you are making a mistake little men." He faced them dead on, "I was hired to protect that man," He pointed at Baldor with Reaper, the large great axe extended his arm quite far, "And I intend to do that." With his blood racing he leaned back and gave a battle cry before charging in.

He closed the space between him and the nearest guard within moments. His legs pumping and his arms tightening as he hoisted his great axein the air. With one fell swoop it came crashing down on the guard.
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Old 04-25-2020, 04:09 AM
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Nolmendil
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How does that hobbit traveling song goes, the one that Bilbo was so fond of?, pondered Nolmendil as he walked behind the caravan of his friend.

"The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can…"

The song was simple and lacked the intricacies and musicality of Eldar poetry, but it was catching, served its purpose by making the journey more enjoyable and the Noldo found himself softly singing it again and again. It felt good stretching his legs and breathing the clear air of the countryside, away from the noise of the civilization of men. Living in the Dale or rebuilt Esgaroth had been a new experience for the high elf. The cities of men were loud, dirty and offensive to the natural world, the buildings more practical than beautiful, the roads cutting indiscriminately through field and forest. And yet they were also places of passion and life, love and laughter, merry songs and generous hospitality, places Nolmendil had come to respect and in some cases even love in the short time he had spent living among men. Unlike the Eldar, men were above all else diverse, both coward and brave, greedy and generous, self-serving and noble. The good existed with the bad and even the wise could not know for sure which path a man would walk in his short life. This uncertainty both frightened and fascinated the Noldo, who was trying hard to understand this world that was completely alien to him.

One of those who were willing to share the secrets of the world of men with the Eldar was the merchant Baldor. He was a kind and generous man, at least as far as the Noldo was concerned, quick to laugh, tell a joke or share his pipeweed. It was Baldor who had asked Nolmendil to join him in his journey through Mirkwood, hoping that his presence would pacify Thranduil’s wood elves should they halt their caravan to ask for a tolling fee or seek to have first pick of Baldor’s goods. Though the Sindar and the men of the Dale were officially allies, king Thranduil’s love of gold was well known and Baldor was afraid that greed could cloud his good sense. Nolmendil was sure that his friend exaggerated but he too was eager to venture into the Mirkwood to look for rare herbs and roots. Now that the Necromancer has been driven away, light started to penetrate the gloominess of Mirkwood and the forest had become more generous for those that knew where to look.

The sweet smells of spring and the vibrant colors of a multitude of wildflowers beckoned the companions to go forward and Nolmendil passed his time enjoying the beauty of nature, looking around for plants that could prove useful and secretly glancing at the dwarf who was walking beside him. If men were strange to the Noldo, dwarves were a true mystery. He would gladly have spoken to the dwarf named Vidar had he not been afraid that he would in turn react rudely, hostile even. There was bad blood between the Eldar and Durin’s folk ever since Thingol’s murder and the sack of Doriath. Such terrible crimes could not be forgotten and many elves referred to these events of the elder days as if they were still festering wounds, unable to heal. The Battle of the Five Armies and the cooperation of elves, men and dwarves in their victory over the Shadow had offered some hope, but dwarves were known to hold grudges for countless generations and Nolmendil feared that an enmity that had lasted for millennia could not be so easily forgotten. Perhaps their journey would grant them the opportunity to learn the heart and mind of each other.

So lost was Nolmendil in thought, pondering the misdeeds of the past and the need for all free folk to unite against the Enemy that he failed to notice the suspicious actions of the three guards. It was only when he saw them approaching the merchant that he knew that something was wrong, their accusations and threats exposing the caravan and its master to danger long before they reached Mirkwood. The woman called Solveig and the Beorning Grimfara were quick to act in defense of the one who had hired their services, the Barding’s blade drawing blood and seriously wounding one of the turn-coats. The healer in Nolmendil was shocked by the blood spilt without an attempt to resolve things peacefully, but he also understood that speed was of the essence. To waste time would be to leave his friend at the mercy of three armed men that were obviously prepared to go to great lengths to obtain what they thought was their due.

"Vidar, Baldor is in danger!" The dwarf seemed determined not to let anyone of ill intent approach the caravan and had not paid attention to the actions of his fellow guards. "Three of the men he has hired have turned against him. We must do something!" Running towards his friend, his hands held before him in a gesture of good-will, Nolmendil tried to reason with them. "Friends, please, there are better ways to resolve differences. Violence only invites more violence and those fell by the blade have no need for gold or silver. Lower your weapons, Solveig, Grimfara, you too, and let me take care of the wound your friend has sustained. Give Baldor a chance to respond to your accusations and offer proper compensation. Even all of the treasures of the King under the Mountain cannot restore a life lost."

 
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Old 04-25-2020, 09:46 AM
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Braegar
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At the edge of the Long Lake, near the ruins of old Esgaroth, the wind sighed across the water, making the reflected sunlight glitter like the dragons fabled gemstones. The sweetgrass and wildflowers that grew around the Long Marshes gave the air a pleasing fragrance. Braegar sat nestled in the crook of a gnarled old oak, resting his weary legs. On a root of the tree, he laid out a cloth with a crust of cram (a Dalish waybread) and a wedge of cheese. He cut a sliver of cheese off with his dagger and popped it into his mouth along with the cram. Resting his head against the tree, he closed his eyes and chewed slowly. It was the last of his provisions and he wanted to enjoy it. Though the cram was a bit stale, the cheese had a peculiar tang to it that he quite liked.

He heard a high pitched whining sound from over his left shoulder before something warm and slimy wormed up the side of his face and into his ear. "Yaagh!" He exclaimed. Jerking away, he bumped his head on the tree and knocked the wedge of cheese to the ground with his knee.
An enormous shaggy grey wolfhound with black fur all around his muzzle, went bounding across from Braegar's left to where the cheese had fallen on his right. Braegar knew that it was all over and he never stood a chance. Before he could even finish getting to his feet, the great hound was already happily licking his chops and the cheese nowhere to be seen. "You Great, Stupid, Throw rug!" he cried, rubbing a spot on his head, "That was all there was left!" Fuming, Braegar bent and picked up a stick from the ground and raised it above his head as though to beat the dog about the flank. But the huge beast just bounce from side to side, tail wagging madly, as though they were playing some fantastic game. Grumbling, Braegar broke the stick in his hands and tossed both ends aside. The dog snatched up one of the broken sticks and started shaking it about.
As his ire abated, Braegar couldn't help it, he started laughing. "Haha... you... Damn it, Shadowmaw, you know what cheese does to you and I'm the one who has to live with you!"

He went back to the tree and knelt down over his pack, which was leaning against the trunk. "Here, have something to wash it down, your breath is foul." He retrieved a small tin bowl, unfastened the water skin from his belt, and poured clean water into the bowl. Shadowmaw began lapping it up and the bowl was empty almost as soon as it was set down. Braegar brought the skin to his lips and drained what remained of its contents.

Shadowmaw perked up his ears and turned to face the east, a subtle tension in his body. Braegar quieted himself and went still, and a few heartbeats later a boy emerged from the wood, harried on by some misfortune. His hands were skinned up from where he had fallen running through the undergrowth. The boy espied Braegar and ran to him. In a near panic, he begged him to help his father, a merchant, who had been ensnared by the treachery of his own men. 'Eight guards, and perhaps all had turned on the man?' Braegar thought as he listened to the boy ramble, trying to explain his plight. 'If this is so, he is likely dead already.' "If your father can be helped I will help him." He promised the boy.
He blew out a shrill whistle; the command for shadowmaw to follow, and took his bow in hand. "Take me to them," he said, and hoped the boy wasn't just leading him into some kind of trap.

It was not as far away as Braegar had first guessed. Angry shouts and the sounds of battle were upon there air, and as they drew near, Braegar told the boy to hide. "If things take an ill turn, fly to Lake-Town."

Braegar and his hound ran; Shadowmaw took the lead, seeming to already know where to go. The trees parted and they came to an old trail, upon which were eight figures; most were on their feet but one lay on the ground, blood spilling into the earth. A tall, black-bearded warrior loomed over the dying man and looked to be deciding where next to burry his ax. A woman too stood beside the warrior; fair of skin and hair, dressed in fine raiment. She was well armed and armored and her sword was bloodied. Two men were menacing an older fellow, who was trying to fend them off with a large branch. A lordly, dark-haired elf held out his hands in a placating gesture and seemed to be trying to calm the others. A dwarf stood nearest to Braegar, but a bit out of the way of the others and seemed caught off guard.

Shadowmaw darted forward and let out a series of vicious barks. Braegar nocked an arrow to his bowstring, but did not point it at anyone yet. "What's this orc-work?" he cried, loud enough that he was sure everyone there could hear.




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Last edited by Helvorix; 04-27-2020 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:29 PM
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Vormund
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Vormund sniffed the air, the thick and earthy scent harkening back to his last trek through Mirkwood. It had already been the better part of a decade since the ranger had made the journey east, following whispers of upcoming conflict... and yet here now, it almost felt like yesterday. Mirkwood had that sort of presence though, he supposed. Something lasting and eternal that, once touched, never fully left you.

Admittedly, the ranger had not really expected to be walking amongst its dense and towering trees again; in his mind, the eventual trip home would have taken him south, toward the Gap of Rohan, and away from Mirkwood completely. Not that he was upset about the change of plans. On the contrary, he'd felt a great surge of joy at the prospect of coming back... though even he wasn't particularly sure why. There were of course the stories surrounding the great forest... the sinister history of evil that had corrupted it in ways still felt rippling through to the current day. To that end, Vormund felt some trepidation as he led the humble caravan at a distance, eyes peeled for signs of danger.

But there was more to this place than danger, or corruption. There was life too, if you looked hard enough. Deep down, Vormund very much looked forward to the prospect of encountering the elves of Mirkwood, and having an opportunity to learn of their culture, and foster good fortune. Nolmendil, who hailed from Rivendell, had been the first elf the ranger had ever met, and in their short time, Vormund had not yet taken the opportunity to engage him in real discussion. There was perhaps part of him that feared dishonoring himself or the elf with his own ignorance, but questions populated the man's mind, and he had resolved to try and befriend the elf before their journey had reached its completion.

Reflecting on potential topics of conversation, Vormund's concentration was broken by the sound of shouting... not up ahead, but behind him, amongst the guards of the caravan.

"Be off! This is none of your business! This bastard cheated us and we're going to take what is due!"

Bow at the ready, Vormund whirled around and darted toward the conflict. Rapidly closing the distance, he was just in time to see Grimfara strike the first blow, though it was obvious from his words what was going on. Bow raised, Vormund nocked an arrow and lined up a shot, pausing for only a moment.

"I'd recommend you listen to Nolmendil. We will not turn on our charge... nor do we wish to kill you. There is a non-lethal solution to all this... so let's talk."

Actions & RollsSurprise Round

Vormund attempts to convince the men to stand down and talk.
Persuasion Check: 21

Initiative: 20.
Movement: 30 feet left
Action: Prepared Action: Vormund will fire on the first guard that moves to attack Baldor or the party.
- Attack: 25 (Critical Hit)
- Damage: 13 piercing

Bonus Action:
Reaction:
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Old 04-26-2020, 09:05 AM
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Saving Baldor

Within seconds of drawing steel, Baldor's guards were on the traitors, slicing down one of them with two quick strikes from Solveig and Grimfara.

"Argh," the largest of the three bandits yelled as he turned back toward the guards that were now surrounding the pair of remaining bandits.

Nolmendil stepped forward, attempting to offer words of wisdom and to diffuse the situation peacefully. Vormund also chimed in, encouraging the pair to listen to the elf's words.

The larger bandit licked his lips as he looked around at those surrounding him, perhaps realizing only now how poorly conceived their plan was. "All right, ok, fine," Jonar, the largest of the bunch said, sheathing his sword. "We're uh, just going to go our merry way. No harm, no foul. Besides," he said with a smile, "you won't always be so well protected, Baldor." With that, he and Kelmund, the other remaining bandit, quickly begin to make their way into the surrounding forest.


GM NotesOnce I know if everyone will allow the pair to slip into the woods, I will continue with Baldor's reaction. It seems that we may not need one just yet, but I have included the battle tracker so you can see how this will be presented going forward.

Last edited by Silent Rain; 04-26-2020 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 04-26-2020, 10:05 AM
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Solveig
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Solveig glared at Jonar. "You're a fool," she said. "Life on the road is dangerous enough without treachery like this. And it has cost you your friend's life. A high price indeed." She looked down sadly at the man she had slain. She had done what was necessary, but she was not pleased to have done it. She had figured she would have to fight goblins or spiders or some other enemy of the free peoples. To have killed one of her own people, even one such as this... that was not an auspicious start to the expedition. And now they would be three guards down. "Go then. Go. But don't let me find you in Dale or Lake-town when I return, or I'll see King Bard and the Master learn of your actions today. Do you suppose they will be as merciful, given your past misdeeds?"

As Jonar and Kelmund fled the scene of their treachery, Solveig looked over at Nolmendil. "I don't suppose there's anything that can be done for this one?" She gestured down at Finnar, lifeless at her feet. Even as she spoke, Medicine check 21she knew there was very little to be done for him. Still, if anyone could save Finnar, it would be the elf. The Firstborn had gifts beyond the understanding of the mortal races.

She looked over at Vormund. "Shall we follow the other two a little, to make sure there's no further treachery? It'll give Nolmendil time to work."

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Old 04-26-2020, 12:27 PM
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Braegar
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Hearing the exchange between the north-woman and the two men, Braegar had enough sense to guess at what happened. Only a handful of guards must have turned bandit and the rest took exception to their treachery. It was clear also, that the man who lay dead or dying was with the brigands. "Calm, Shadow." He said in a soft voice to his hound; who, taking his master's example, relaxed his aggrieve posture but did not completely let down his guard.

Braegar put away his weapon and started to walk slowly toward the company, Shadowmaw following close behind him. He put his hands out to his sides as he approached, palms upturned so as all could see he intended no mischief. "Are you the merchant Baldor?" He said, as he passed the ponies and came within a stone's throw of the two fighters and the elder man.

He could see clearly now the dead man on the ground. 'As young as I, he seems; Perhaps younger.' Braegar thought with a grimace. 'Unhappy fool, His companions left him in the dirt without so much as a glance back. Had he no one to miss him?'


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Last edited by Helvorix; 04-26-2020 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 04-26-2020, 04:59 PM
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Vormund
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As Vormund watched the two men scurry off, Solveig's called his name, and he lowered his weapon, turning to survey the current circumstances.

"... certainly, whatever can be done for the man." Truthfully, one look at the traitorous guard was enough for Vormund to confirm that it was too late, but perhaps the elf had methods of healing beyond his understanding. Still, he wasn't expecting Nolmendil to pull any miracles.

At Solveig's suggestion of pursuit, he glanced back toward the figures retreating into the forest. "They would be foolish to attack us again... unless they have more allies. But if they do, why not plan an ambush?" Vormund scratched his chin. No denying that what the pair and their dead companion lacked in timing and strategy, they made up for in confidence. "... alright. But not too far."

Giving Solveig a curt nod, he rounded the group and made for the brigands' escape route. Before he could continue though, the sound of another's approach drew the ranger's attention, and he turned to see a young man with a dog walking toward them.

"I take it Belgo went to you for help... where is the boy?" Though his arrow remained nocked and ready, Vormund kept his bow pointed down, wishing not to alarm the new arrival as he looked around for Baldor's son.
Actions & RollsVormund begins tracking the guards.

Survival Check: 14
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:36 PM
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Nolmendil
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The elf hurried to the man that had been cut down but the sight of his wound and the lifeless face staring motionless at the heavens, left no hope that even a healer as skilled as Lord Elrond could accomplish something here. To save someone’s life was one thing, to bring someone back from the dead quite another.

Nolmendil sighed deeply, having witnessed once more how quickly a life could be lost and how impossible it was to bring it back. A greedy heart was an ill advisor and a drawn sword could cut both ways as this poor man had experienced. Closing the man’s dead eyes, the elf looked sorrowfully at Solveig. "I am afraid no amount of healing skill can repair the damage that’s been done." There was no accusation in his voice, for even though she was the one to have dealt the deadly blow, it was the unfortunate man who had first threatened Baldor and the people loyal to him with violence. "We must at least burry him."

Turning to Vormund, the scholar offered a sad smile. "Thank you, Dúnedain. Through your timely intervention lives were spared. I would wish that the two of them reconsidered their ways, though Jonar’s words haven’t given me good reason to hope that this will be the case."

Determined to do what he could to at least properly bury the fallen bandit, Nolmendil looked around for a shovel or another appropriate tool as he approached Baldor. The merchant still seemed to be in a state of shock. "Are you all right, friend? Drink something, you will feel better." As the elf offered his friend his waterskin, he asked in a voice so soft that the rest would not hear him. "Was there any truth in their accusations?"

 
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Old 04-26-2020, 09:59 PM
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The Caravan
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Grimfara was almost disappointed at how quickly the first man went down. Granted he had the help of Solveig who now seemed to be struggling with the fate of the traitor.
He gently put his hand on her shoulder and said in a hushed voice, "From where I come, that was a righteous death. He brought it on himself." he finished his words letting a breath out of his nose. As she began to speak to the guards, Grimfara stared them down holding his weapon in both hands, ready to act should the need arise.

While Vormund began to track the guards, Grimfara looked over the others in the group. He had not spent anytime getting to know them as they were of little interest to him. Now they had proven themselves worthy of at least learning their names. The Elf man went to see if the guard was truly gone or if something could be done. In his experience he knew there was no helping him and thought the man a fool. This quickly changed when he heard him confront the merchant.

"Was there any truth in their accusations?"

This filled Grimfara with anger as he remembers what the bandits had spoken in the first place. He was an honorable man and would not tolerate being hired by someone who was a thief. He almost lost himself in a fit of fury when he notice a man who was not with them originally. The hooded man was of no interest, but the hound was. Grimfara's face lit up like a child getting a present on their birthday. He immediately puts away his axe and goes up to the puppy and tries to pet it.
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Old 04-27-2020, 05:53 AM
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Braegar
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"Belgo. Is that his name?" Said Braegar, a shadow of a smile flitting across his face, "He was in such a state that he'd forgotten to mention it. He is safe, hidden nearby." He lowered his hands, relaxing his stance a bit. "I am called the Road Watcher by some among my folk, but my friends call me Braegar; I'm a Warden of Woodland Hall. Belgo told me his father was a merchant of Dale called Baldor, and that he was imperiled by his own men. But from what I've seen, the danger was less great than it had seemed to him; presuming this is Baldor?" He gestured toward the older man.

The bearded axman moved toward Breagar unexpectedly, and at first, Baegar misinterpreted it as aggression. Shadowmaw, sensing his master's unease, placed himself between the woodman and the larger man, letting out a low warning growl. But the warrior put away his ax; and seeing his warm expression, Braegar followed his gaze down to his hound.

A wide grin spread across Braegar's face; he touched his hound's shoulder, and the tension in Shadowmaw's Body instantly relaxed. "Slowly," said Braegar, addressing the man, "let him get your sent." Shadowmaw's ears went back as the warrior reached out his hand. The hound sniffed at it cautiously and liked it once before letting him scratch him behind the ear. "Careful, he's a cheese thief."


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Old 04-27-2020, 09:23 AM
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Vidar
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The dwarf known as Vidar felt his heavy boot crunch the dirt on the road beneath him as he quietly followed behind the last mule in the caravan he had been hired to protect. The softening dirt beneath his foot gave way with a slight crunch that reminded the long bearded dwarf of the approach of spring. Vidar had spent more time on the road than not and could often judge the season by the feel of sand, dirt, and stone beneath the foot of his boot. It wasn't the life he preferred, but it was the one he had been set on since his father had become uncontent with their home in the Iron Hills. It seemed the older dwarf would not be settled until all the ancestral homes were returned to the dwarves, only then would the elder dwarf not be able to lecture about how there was always going to be something to take their homes from them. Despite the defeat of Smaug it was still true that there seemed to always be something whether dragon, orc, or Balgrog that had it out for his people.

That is why Vidar had made a home of the road. He was an ever aware moving target prepared not to let a single thing sneak up on him. The dwarf had taken position at the back of the caravan because he knew he could trust himself not to let anything sneak up from behind as they made their way down the road. Constantly he kept his eyes outward looking for danger both fore and aft.

"Baldor has nothing to fear while I'm on watch. I have the eyes of an eagle, nothing shall slip by our defenses while I protect our flank!" he told the others as he once again looked behind the caravan for any danger.

Suddenly a moment is lost as the caravan comes to a halt while Vidar turns back toward the front. He sees everyone rush forward as three of the guards turn on their employer. Quickly one is dispatched before the others back down, but not before making a threat to finish the job.

Vidar approaches and calls out to the others. "What is the meaning of this? You can't leave me out of all of the fun!" he yells in anger. "Wait those aren't bandits.... " the dwarf said with a huff. "Jonar you coward I'll make sure ye never be workin this route again! Don't ye dare let me be finding ye anywhere near Baldor or I'll be makin ye shoulders lonely fer yer head!"

As the bandits took off he turned his attention toward the elf who had arrived from the wood. "Great another elf... and this one likes to collect little children." he said suspiciously. "Best ye be bringin us the boy while Baldor here answers a few questions." he agreed.

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Old 04-27-2020, 10:42 AM
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Solveig
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Grimfara laid a gentle hand on her shoulder. "From where I come, that was a righteous death. He brought it on himself," he said.

Solveig knew he meant well, but she couldn't help the bitterness in her voice. "It was a stupid death, is what it was. But I thank you for your words." She carefully cleaned her broadsword and returned it to its scabbard. "I'll be fine."

When Vormund left the camp, she followed. "Hold up!" she called out to the Dunedan, and jogged up beside him. For a while they followed the trail of Jonar and Kelmund in companionable silence. Survival check 23It was easy enough; the pair had absolutely no wood craft. But so absorbed in her tracking was she, that she didn't notice the pair of egrets until she was almost upon them. They burst out of the reeds and noisily took to the sky, startling her.

Embarrassed at her own mistake, and still upset at having had to kill Finnar, Stealth check 7Solveig launched into a lengthy bout of cursing. She turned to Vormund. "What are we doing? We'll never see those two again. We should go back to the others, and head on our way." She desperately wanted to put the whole incident behind her.

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