Thursday, April 20, 2017

Approached by the Followers

It is a new day, May the 4th, a Wednesday.  There is a very gentle breeze blowing out of the south, virtually no clouds in the sky and the weather is brisk.  That is to say, the sort of weather where you can feel the cold against your face, that it is bracing a bit, but certainly not "cold" and unpleasant.  An hour of casually standing around in such weather will start to make a person feel chilled, but it is extremely pleasant working weather, as a little bit of energy spent will bring the body up to room temperature.

The followers ~ exempting Howell ~ will approach Embla and Lothar and express their desire to come clean about the barrow.  They're not saying they will quit if the party refuses, but they may feel a desire to excuse themselves from further service after their month is done.  They also express that they will not betray the party on their own, but this whole situation makes them very uncomfortable.

What do you intend to do today?  It is presently 9 am.

41 comments:

Lothar Svensson said...

I believe our plan is to find the Burghermeister, tell him something, and then head to the barrow to attempt to put an end to all this.

While I don't relish the thought of spending the rest of my days rotting in a dungeon or on a gibbet, I feel as though we ought to come clean. And even if we don't tell him (does he have a name? Burghermeister is a bit of a handful to type) absolutely everything about what we've done, whatever we do tell him will have to account for the fact that we sold a book to the apothecary. I believe in this instance as much forthrightness as we can muster is our best option. Hedging or obfuscating our role will likely only cast a pall on our protestations of innocence.

But I suppose I'm getting ahead of myself. I start asking around town to see if we can figure out where the Burghermeister is so we can "join up".

(and by join up I mean that's what I'll tell anyone who wants to know why I'm asking, not because I want to do anything other than talk to him, and then move on to the barrow)

Something just occurred to me: what sort of fellow is the Burghermeister? Does he have any particular reputation around town as being particularly cruel, business-savvy, or generous?

Pandred said...

Damn hired help, having their damn consciences and their damn opinions!

All I want to know is whether I can wear my Studded Leather on the road in case we're attacked, or if I'm going to be taking travel damage for it.

Whatever we do, I'm bringing back a new frog-leather cape!

Alexis Smolensk said...

We'll call the burghermeister Nils Torvald. Like all politicians, he's gregarious; but you don't know him, so I can't really answer that question.

Your studded leather acts as a chausses for CLO purposes; it should only give you trouble if the weather gets warmer than pleasant. Pleasant weather will be hard on CLO during combat. Warmer than pleasant will really be felt.



Lothar Svensson said...

Any word about town as to where Nils might be, either now or later today? I doubt we'll be able to catch him if he's on the move, but if we know where he's planning to be we might be able to meet him there.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Asking around, Lothar will discover that Torvald, the Prince and the Captain of the Guard in Verdalen, to the south, where there are barracks and a guard tower for the county, are in a closed session with the aldermen of the city to discuss the crisis. Torvald and the Prince returned from the farm where the murders occurred on the 1st late last night.

Embla Strand said...

Let's see if we can talk to Torvald. I concur with the hirelings.

Pandred said...

In the future my vetting process for hirelings will come with a questionaire.

Item One: Can you keep a secret to save your life?

Item Two: No really, CAN you?

Alexis Smolensk said...

They SAID they'd keep your secret. Sheesh!

Lothar Svensson said...

So it looks like the guys in charge of defense are some 16 miles off, but there is a road straight to them. With a donkey we can make 40 miles per day on a road or through cropland, so getting to them shouldn't be a problem so long as the weather holds.

Let me see if I've got the situation correct in my head: Lothar and Embla (along with the hirelings, Petar, Willa, Bergthora, Fjall, and Valda) think the best idea is to come clean (more or less). Pandred and Engelhart think the best idea is to hide as much as possible our involvement with the appearance of the frog-men. The whole party, however, agrees that we ought to go to Torvald (or the Prince, or to the Captain of the Guard), and tell him... something.

Is that all correct?

Embla Strand said...

I believe so.

Pandred said...

Sounds about right.

Although, I know the donkey can go 40 miles, but that still leaves half a dozen of us to walk. Pretty sure we can still make it, but it's going to be a one-way trip for the day.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Have we checked the encumbrance on our beast of burden? I intend to saddle it with some ~40 lbs. of weight and I wasn't the only one.

Other than that, it's a five-point cure on Embla, as stated earlier, and I've bought three days' worth of rations, though it seems advisable that we have more between us.

Embla Strand said...

Our donkey can handle another ~70lbs. Since I can also handle donkeys, getting another might be a good idea.

I'll handle that.

Embla Strand said...

Can you let me know what you are putting on our donkeys?

Also, I need a name for the second donkey. The first one is named Imha.

Pandred said...

I'll just put my Plate Mail on the second donkey. It's 45 lbs.

I'll also pick up some rations for myself and Howell, which I'll have him carry.

Lothar Svensson said...

I've got 98 lbs to put on the donkeys, half of which is food, in a backpack and in some sacks.

Perhaps we might call the second donkey Dimo?

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Well, le'see:

I'll saddle it with my brand new maul & banded mail armour. That's 43 pounds right there, so that I've got my full AP complement going, I think I'll also hold on to my leather armour (someone, such as one of the archers, can instead make a switch with me for Studded Leather?), to account for surprises on the road.

Alexis Smolensk said...

[sorry I'm late]

The old players handbook has a donkey's weight load at 200 lbs, a number I've used for ages. According to this site on donkeys, the amount is between 88 and 176 lbs. We'll say 150 and use that number going forward.

Donkeys can be hitched side by side or end to end.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Lothar, while I mentioned who Torvald was meeting with, I did not actually say they were IN Verdalen. They're in Stavanger, right now.

I would like it if the party could get a consensus together on what to say, who to say it to and how to approach that person in order to convey the information. You might want to consider addressing someone of lower responsibility initially, rather than trying to go directly to the top, as you don't specifically know anyone. I could make it easy and have you go to Engelhart's grandfather, but I think he will bow out if approached, and that Engelhart knows this.

You might want to pick a specific spokesperson for the actual "story" you intend to tell, since you've said you're not coming clean. I will need to hear your story to judge how others will react to it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

[Can I just add that, although it will be difficult to step forward, that too is part of the game here. There are other kinds of bravery than just facing bugs and frogs]

Pandred said...

Alright.

Lothar has made it clear he doesn't know what to say, and he shouldn't have to figure it out. It's Engelhart and I who are expressing hesitation.

Unfortunately, I don't have a goddamn clue what to say either. Spent a good deal of time on it, and I can't think of any way to phrase this that doesn't fall apart at the first sign of probing questions, nevermind a "Detect Bullshit" spell.

So as far as I can see it, there is no choice but to hope that displaying earnestness will give us something like mercy. We cracked open the barrow, stole some pagan garbage, and now the forces of darkness have come to call. We only just learned the attacks could be related to our spelunking, and boy howdy would we like to exact some good ol' fashioned Crusadery vengeance.

If the above paragraph is any indication, I should not be group spokesperson in this endeavor. Let's get this debacle over and done with, and let me get some dents in my new armor.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Do you want help?

Embla Strand said...

Folks: I thought donkeys could carry a LOT more than they can. We may need to get a third or fourth donkey - I can carry Engelhart's or Pandred's stuff, but not both and certainly not Lothar's on my two.

Would we be able to get a cart to the barrow? That may be more efficient than getting an extensive pack train.

As the half-orc with 9 Charisma, I also should probably not be the person to represent the party. I also feel like rather than going straight to Torvald, we should inquire at his place for an audience about the present threat and work our way up the ladder (if only I had access to my Guile abilities!).

I feel like we could say something like this:
We ventured into Mimmarudla to claim it for the glory of God, removing the false idols and profane texts within. There appear to have been some beasts sealed within the barrow who did not take kindly to our intrusion - within the barrow, we encountered creatures similar to the ones described in the attacks. We feel terrible that this tragedy has occurred and that our actions somehow led to these beasts' release, and would gladly lead you and your men to the barrow and assist you in clearing it of these creatures once and for all.

Sound good?

Embla Strand said...

Also, how much can our followers carry?

Pandred said...

Your version sounds good Em. Lothar's 17 CHA should probably be the one to say it. Engelhart would be doing us a real favor by hanging around to show how much our God approves of our plundering.

I will purchase a two-wheeled cart and harness for one animal right now.

That's just about it for my remaining funds.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Go right ahead, I'll back you on this. This has gone on long enough and more than run its course.

Lothar Svensson said...

So I think the apothecary might be a good spokesman for us to start out with. He seems to be a reasonably wealthy man in town, and in a unique position to verify portions of our story.

How's this as a speech for him:
"Good sir, I believe the recent attacks may be connected somehow with the tome we recently sold you. If you could vouch for us to obtain entrance to the council now ongoing, we have information that may prove vital to stopping the threat now menacing our fair city. You see, we fought some creatures that greatly resemble the recent descriptions of the attackers after we found the book. Though we left none alive, it seems that some fell magic is connected with that place or that book, and we wish to do all in our power to see it stopped."

Alexis, is the apothecary available and able to be the representative we need?

Alexis Smolensk said...

You'll have to go around and ask.

Alexis Smolensk said...

[I will need to take today and tomorrow off; I'm having back problems today and am finding it hard to sit in a chair, probably just the way I've slept. And I have a very, very good chance at having work by late tomorrow afternoon. It is looking good]

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Break a leg, Alexis.

Embla Strand said...

Take your time, and I hope everything goes well!

Alexis Smolensk said...

[The good news is that I have work in a bakery. The bad news is that it's 20 hours a week, cut into five four-hour shifts, with a 3-hr round trip commute. For minimum wage. That is how bad it is getting around here.

I'm not that happy about it; but it will serve to keep my stuff in storage for the time being without my losing it. I have other possible jobs in the wings, so I may not be at the bakery long. In any case, it is certainly a temporary situation, one that I will make the best of.

The schedule is 2pm to 6pm EST, but I'll be out of the house between 12:30 and 7:30 from Sunday to Thursday ~ the exact time that I've been using to run the campaign.

I can't say what's going to happen. I'm sure we'll be moving along slowly for awhile, until I can improve this with a much better cooking job closer to home. Don't expect too much from me this week, as I'm going to be adapting to this change. I will check the blog every morning and every evening, however, before and after the shift, keeping the game moving]

Pandred said...

(No worries, I'll find a way to forgive this dereliction of duty. Good luck finding something better, and hopefully the bakery remains enjoyable for the duration of your stay.)

Lothar Svensson said...

[I'm back now, at least... Had a hell of a weekend traveling, with three kids across three states and a tire with a busted sidewall making a surprise guest appearance, and then one of my kids in the hospital all day yesterday (he's fine, they were removing a cyst from near his eye that they wanted him to be asleep for, but doctors always seem to be running late).]

[Glad to hear about a stabilization in your financial situation, hopefully things continue to improve for you from here]

I go to seek out the Apothecary, anyone who wishes to join me may.

Embla Strand said...

I go with Lothar.

Alexis Smolensk said...

[gawd, I missed Lothar's comment completely. Thank you Lothar, and all of you, for your patience this week]

You find the door of the Apothecary locked, but you can hear movement behind the door; Embla can identify someone talking to themself; but the words are unclear.

Embla Strand said...

Are there any windows through which I might be able to see something? If I press my ear against the door, can I hear well enough to glean something from what is being spoken?

[Hrm. Maybe the apothecary did it!]

Lothar Svensson said...

What kind of building is it? Is it a row house kind of thing, freestanding? Can we easily get to the back of it or to an alternate entrance?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Being Stavanger, the houses are arranged as blocks, with flat, outer fronts in a circle, sharing a private yard on their backsides. So there isn't even an alley that leads to the center of the shared court.

Um, anyone want to knock on the door? I had said that it wasn't open, but being the 17th century there isn't an "open" sign. You try the door and it doesn't work. I'm sorry I wasn't clearer about that.

Lothar Svensson said...

I knock on the door, and call out, "[Apothecary's name - omit if unknown], are you in there? I'd like to talk to you about a book I sold you the other day."

Alexis Smolensk said...

See the new post.