Wednesday, April 12, 2017


That evening, still May 1st, as you eat your meals at the inn where you are resting, you will overhear some news that is sweeping the town.  This will be for everyone, regardless of whether you are together or not.  I will allow, however, for you to each sit together by a fire in the same location, suspending the distance you will have to walk as short enough to not risk your healing for the day, so that you may communicate with each other.

A collection of three farmhouses, about three miles south of Stavanger, were attacked and burned at some time between nine a.m. and noon this morning.  Fourteen men, women and children were beaten to death with what seems to have been heavy weapons, probably made of stone judging by the skulls that were split open and the bones that were smashed and broken.  Each body was struck at least a dozen times.  Some were struck so often that the bodies came apart.

The attackers left no footprints, nothing that showed who and what they were.  The bodies were found by a delivery wagon that was there to bring thatch for the repair of one of the houses.  The inhabitants were landholders who owned their own land and were well respected in Stavanger: The Larsen Family, the Mathisen Family and the Rasmussen Family.  Lars Larsen, the eldest son of his family, had been to Christiania and come back as a trained physician three years ago and usually lived in Stavanger.  He was visiting his family last night.

Stavanger is shocked and confused tonight.

In answer to a question below, I've generated a rough map of the area around Stavanger.  One hex equals 6.67 miles.

Disregard the numbers.  They're just notes.

Sorry if it is difficult to read.  Some of the small labelling is in 5 point font.


Lothar Svensson said...

Oh no.


[retrieving jaw from floor]


Whispered to the group, "Do you think it got out?"

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Probably unrelated...(?)

Alexis: Might I know of any other significant settlement in the southern environs of Stavanger? A list of probable targets, as it were?

I'll go ahead and say that I'm not keen on braving a fight at our present (sorry) condition if we can at all help it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Well, Engelhart, regarding fighting, you're surrounded by a town of 9,500. You're probably safe.

It depends on what you think of as a "significant." I have not mapped Stavanger down to the 2-mile hex as yet, for this takes time and it isn't worth it if the party is going to just move on.

Stavanger represents a pretty fair community; there are satellite villages around it, like my expansion of Prizren in this post. I'd rather not give names at this time or even specify location, unless it really matters. Shall we just say east, south and west? If you feel it is really necessary, I will generate a 6-mile hex map.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

No, I meant fighting as in "going out to meet these others".

I certainly don't want you to drill down into gritty hexes on my account, I was just aiming for the raven's eye view. Your answer is elucidating.

Shall we volunteer ourselves into whatever is going to pass for a patrol posse? I mean, once we're healed up. I'm a Stavanger man, it behooves me to at least show up and be counted.

Embla Strand said...

I'll be a couple of days before I'm at fighting trim, but I'm all for helping out when I'm hale. Obviously, no one knows much of anything, but the more intel we get, the better.

Is the apothecary from one of those three families? Related in any way? While I don't think the thing got out, I wonder if there might have been sympathetic vibrations in other barrows.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Sorry, Engelhart, too late. I did some work in that direction already. On the whole, it was probably for the best. See the map on the post above.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You actually have no idea, Embla, who the apothecary is related to.

Pandred said...

If we decide to join up with patrols, I'm game. I've been trying to find a target for this damnable crossbow I keep lugging around for ages now!

Having said that, I'm even MORE game to get back to the barrow. Frankly, if whatever is rampaging through the countryside IS our little friend down there, then we've got our best shot at an even bigger pile of loot.

Having said that, what the hell kind of creature is this thing, that it could climb a dome shaped room and slaughter an entire village? Not gonna lie, I'm really hoping that it's just an unrelated tragedy.

Pandred said...

To continue though, I'm guessing we royally agitated some Druids.

Pass without Trace is a first level spell. We don't know who actually looked for them, so it's actually possible there ARE (or at least, were) traces of the attackers nearby.

Lothar, I'm game to ride along if you want to see what you could pick up.

There's a waystation to the south of us, we can also find out if they know anything.

Alexis, you said three miles south of Stavanger. Is that on the west side of the lake, near our camp (and that trail we never examined), or is it to the east, where we've never been?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Since we have a map, we can identify the farmhouses as down the road (the red line) that leads south, between the road and the sea, about half a hex south of the coast immediately above the town label. A bit south of the yellow hex, where the green hex begins. The dark green are thick forest; the hexes reading 5 and 6 are forest with areas of farm. The very pale green on the right is a tundra/high country adjacent to the mountains in the bottom right. The brighter green areas are farm and forest mixed, the yellow areas more farm than forest.

I'm not happy with the color scheme for this, but that's how it usually goes to start.

I trust the party can see the lake camp and the location of Mimmarudla.

Lothar Svensson said...

Perhaps the beast from beyond the book room didn't get out, but our removing the book from the barrow awakened the frog statue we found in the ravine? The people were smashed as though by "...heavy weapons, probably made of stone..." I cannot help but feel we have roused a vengeful guardian of some kind.

We've got a couple of options in front of us, as far as I can see. One, as Pandred suggested, go back to the barrow and see what's up there and possibly grab some treasure, or possibly fight the big beastie if it is still trapped behind the door. Two, we see if any patrols are going out and offer our aid to them. Three, strike out on our own to try and track down whatever this is, keeping all the sweet, sweet XP for ourselves when we find it (if it doesn't kill us like it did those fourteen farmers). Four, we scarper and hope since we don't have the book anymore the thing(s) don't follow us.

My personal preference is to kit up with our newly acquired wealth (I'm thinking as much armor as we can afford for the men-at-arms at the very least) and see if a patrol is being organized by the town and join them (safety in numbers and all that). If not, my next thought is to go back to the barrow and see 1) if the frog statue is still in the ravine and 2) if whatever is behind Door Number One is still there.

How much armor are the sappers and archers able to wear? They currently have leather, yes?

Pandred said...

I can afford plate, and unless someone presents some compelling reasoning not to get it I intend to acquire and wear plate.

That'll leave me enough for a squire or a teamster or something like that to lug my stuff around, and keep my 5AP.

At this point, I'm waiting for Alexis' confirmation that the sun rises on a new day, and our preparations can begin in earnest.

With another day or two of rest and Engelhart's healing, we'll be ready to bust heads again.

Speaking of healing, I noticed that the price for spellcasting isn't present on your current version of the table, Alexis. How much would the local priest want for a Cure or two, or are those casters occupied with their own obligations?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Be warned, Pandred. I am going to change the encumbrance perameters. I think it is ridiculous to have people moving about as quickly in chain and plate as in leather armor. Clearly, either the limits are simply not vicious enough or there is something fishy in the calculation of the amount of weight that players are carrying. Since I don't consider it to be the latter, though I have checked no one's calculations, I intend to alter the former.

I had formerly balanced the first 40% of the load as the adjustment from full movement to minus 1 movement. Now I will distribute the adjustment equally, 25% weight carried per loss of movement.

Alexis Smolensk said...

There. I've created the new encumbrance calculator and posted it on the wiki:

And if that still permits these excessive movement rates, I'll have to figure out some other adjustment.

The whole point to varied movement is to punish the choice to adopt heavy armor as opposed to being light and flexible. It is part of the game: either you don't move and you're hard to hit, or you move a lot and you're easy to hit. Any other framework is unworkable.

Alexis Smolensk said...

May I presume that the party intends to do nothing else this night but remain at the inn? We can move onto May 2, freely?

Can anyone let me know if they plan to be out and about tomorrow, rather than resting? I'd just like an account of what you'll be doing so I can set up the next post.

Pandred said...

I intended to shop for the Plate and join up with whatever posse forms in Stavanger.

I'm at work now, so checking my new encumbrance is a no-go for a few hours, but realistically that probably just means I'll still just go for however much armor I can get and maintain 4-5 AP.

If the values still bother you, you may consider just having the armor impose an AP penalty by virtue of it's construction, or just increase the weight. I'd be okay with either, and honestly just assumed I had gotten lucky enough on my strength that I was able to avoid the penalty. Since this is clearly unintended then bummer for me, but I won't cry too many tears over it.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

I too am going to do some tooling up on the armour front.

I became confused regarding healing spells, Alexis, I've apparently already cast it twice, once of my own volition (with myself as sole recipient) and the next by your prompt, having been led to think that another day had already elapsed, when actually it hadn't. Kindly disregard the second casting, if you will.

Alexis Smolensk said...


I got confused too, then. I thought the first casting was after the battle in the first chamber, on the 30th of April.

But it does not matter. There is nothing to keep you from casting on the 2nd, so please consider your second cast to count for that date.


Obviously, the rule is going to favor your character. But I was changing it for the game at large, for both parties, as I'm seeing the same issues in the Senex campaign as here. I gave it some time and now with the new adjustment I will give it some time again, to see how it shakes out.

Lothar Svensson said...

I do not wish to leave the inn tonight. I plan to purchase better armor for Bergthora, Valda and Fjall tomorrow (if they can use better armor than they possess, that is) as well as purchase myself some new clothes and boots.

Lothar Svensson said...

[As an aside, I've updated my encumberance calculations based on the new calculator. Oh man, I'm feeling the pinch there. Mission accomplished on my end at least! I guess that's what I get for being a flimsy elf... 18 lbs is the most I can carry without an AP penalty, Leather armor weighs 15 lbs... Yup, I'm definitely going to be slower from now on. ;)]

Embla Strand said...

I will be staying put tonight and tomorrow recuperating.

Petar and Willa are both free to accompany the party wherever they go. Can they wear studded leather armor? If so, I'd like them each to get a set.

[and yowch. I feel the squeeze as well.]

Engelhart Askjellson said...

I'll have to spend at least a couple more nights as well, I'm still 10 hp down (I'd forgotten about the damage point due to the weather), as well as to get the castings needed to bring everyone up to speed.

Pandred said...

Alright, May 2, bring it on!

The sun rises on the armory and our continued adventures!

Alexis Smolensk said...

The next post is up.

Lothar, there is an argument to be made regarding the weight of armor vs. the amount of body that actually needs to be covered. I should make a table comparing different racial types vs. armor weights (though I don't think this will adjust prices, just because I an a terrible skinflint).

Lothar Svensson said...

You know, I wouldn't mind a bit paying more for lighter gear. Campers and NASA do, and for much the same reason...

Alexis Smolensk said...

Very funny.