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3/08/2014 12:20 am  #1


This year is Fish

Here's the intro I sent my players for tomorrow (thanks to Blackadder23 for the place names and setting [and scenarios!] I will be shamelessly ripping off):

It's toward the end of year 3 of the Celestial Cycle, year of the Fish/Renaissance. At this point, there are about eight hours of light each day.

______________________________
The Bat year, when the weak red sun of Hyperborea never lifts above the Black Gulf that rims the world, happened for you all as childhood was ending. Your youth was a time of terrors in the darkness, of the weak finding protection with the strong or disappearing into the relentless night. That's when you all entered training, so that even if the sun stayed forever beneath the edge of the world, you would have the power to confront whatever happened. Finally, your training is complete, and as light returns to the world, you are ready to set out in it, seek your fortune, carve a measure of comfort and wealth from the cold world before the light fails forever--or cut it away from those that have it. Somewhere there is wine and warmth and danger to warm the blood--and it's time to find it.
 The world is changed. What had been dark and forbidding gullies When the sun was hidden and the wolves howled somewhere under the sullen, comfortless light of ruddy Saturn and the feeble stars, you made your way in fear past stygian, forbidding ravines choked with ice and cracking with strange sounds and the echoes of a world slipping back into blind, weak slumber. Now those gullies are rushing with water from the melting ice, and the mountains are gathering their white arms closer, as if to fend off the coming summer or to hold closer their ancient secrets under their brooding brows. Life is returning, the cry of hawks, the herds of aurochs in the water meadows. Muscle and sinew and blood are crying out that the light is here, that it is time to wrest what you can from the dying world while you are young and strong! Let the old fear the coming darkness. Now is the time of youth.

But the world is ancient and hides its riches behind strange hungers, plans that know no human logic, curses from the beyond the nighted gulfs of time--curses that were blessings in the ultramondane antilanguage that first uttered them under alien suns.

And so you ready yourself to meet it with steel and fire and magic and--most of all--will.

______________________________ 
Your characters all decide to meet in Hawkford, the town in the orbit of which you all grew up in various farms, thorps, and tiny hamlets (or anyone who wants can be from Hawkford itself). It is one of the settlements of the Gal Hills, a predominantly Keltish land of independent fiefdoms and  settlements. "These fertile hills and grasslands bloom with heather, sedge, and poppies. Many Keltic towns and villages are spread about the Gal Hills, though none number more than 1,800 inhabitants. Each settlement has its own blood king (chieftain), some of whom claim (through dubious lineages) to be the rightful Over-King. The druids are the spiritual leaders of the Gal Hills Kelts, but to many outsiders their religion is held in low esteem. Standing stones (menhirs), henges, and ancient barrows are spaced throughout the Gal Hills, and these are regarded with uniform reverence, clan conflicts notwithstanding.
The people of the Gal Hills raise sheep for food and clothing. To this end they manufacture and export a large amount of clothing to other towns and cities, such as Khromarium. This industry goes through the Keltic city of Gal, though the roads betwixt the Gal Hills and Gal can be treacherous: The more successful their clothing industry, the more sheep they raise. The more sheep they raise, the more predators are lured, including all manner of lion, tiger, bear, and wolf; too, giant wolf spiders are thoroughly reviled."

You arrange to meet in Hawkford and convert the gold coins you have managed to scrounge through the years of your training into gear that will help you survive. Though you intend more than just survival. You will make your name part of the will of the world.

And starwipe!

Last edited by Handy Haversack (3/27/2014 4:59 pm)

 

3/08/2014 6:23 am  #2


Re: This year is Fish

Nice!  I would definitely want to game here given the intro!  Keep us updated.

Morgan


“How can I wear the harness of toil
And sweat at the daily round,
While in my soul forever
The drums of Pictdom sound?” 
 

3/08/2014 12:51 pm  #3


Re: This year is Fish

Very nice introduction! I think your players are in for a wild ride!


ravengodgames.blogspot.com ~ cartography, writing, game design
Author, Forgotten Fane of the Coiled Goddess
 

3/08/2014 7:32 pm  #4


Re: This year is Fish

[First session done! A wild ride indeed.]
Em:
Demostrate Agauedoros (Amazon Pyromancer, N)
Jamie:
Euthymios (Kimmerian Cataphract, N)
J:
Comhan Macc Scannlan (Keltic Fighter, N)
Audgisl Liknmunarson (Viking Shaman [bear], N)
Ross:
Nausa (Esquimaux Illusionist, N [F--- Y'all])
NPC (shared):
Siomha Inghean Niall (Keltic Ranger, CG)

The six companions met in the open-air bazaar of Hawkford and spent the day dodging oxen and mammoths and haggling with merchants as they equipped themselves for their adventures. As they short day wore on, they realized that the last two of their number, Harlan the young Druid and Ottvar, a newly fledged magician, were not going to meet them. Those two were supposed to have walked from the outlying thorp where they (along with Nausa and Euthymios) had grown up, though only Harlan and Nausa had been there much lately. The stables of Euthymios' master were in Hawkford, and the strange old mage under whom Ottvar studied was tucked under a lonely ridge hard against the wild hills.

Finally, decked with gear and new weapons, they set out along the tracks to the farming communities, hoping to find out what had happened to the pair. They had all decided together to strike out for fortune, to use the lengthening days to put leagues between them and the small farms and hamlets of Hawkford. Harlan had been eager to visit other druidic groups and see how the faith fared beyond Gal. All were nervous about what could have kept them from the rendezvous.

After an hour's walk past the rich farms and pastures of Hawkford, they had almost reached the thorp. The track passed a rocky hill surrounded by dense woods out of which a small stream flowed, now murmurous in the fading rufous light where for years it had been ice-bound and grim. Grim, though was the sight on the road. Six strange dogs were worrying a human body, tearing  chunks of flesh from it and growling at one another as they fought over choice morsels. From fifty feet away, it was clear that the body wore the light blue robes of a young druid. The strange hounds sighted the party and howled in anger. Their bodies were lean and arched, fangs protruding from gaunt muzzles. The hounds charged the party, who responded with a storm of missiles. Audgisl's bola tangled the legs of one creature, casting it onto the packed dirt of the road, where an arrow from Euthymios transfixed its throat. Calm Siomha drew her bead on one beast; when it bucked and howled as Nausa's sling bullet glanced off its haunch, she fired, and her arrow buried itself in the beast's chest. Its momentum carried it another dozen feet before it flipped over, leaking gore onto the hard earth. But then the other hounds were among the party, teeth ripping and tearing, their strange shrill howls sounding from their narrow frames. One leaped upon Demostrate, bearing the pyromancer to the ground. Her head struck with the sound of kindling snapping, and she was still and pale as the beast prepared to reap its bloody harvest.

The other hounds were leaping among the party, who dropped their bows and slings and drew their new steel weapons. Comhan laid about him with his great sword, and his first blow neatly cut in half one of the hounds--rather, messily cut it in half, as great gouts of viscera splashed across the savage fight. Euthymios' massive war hammer was not fast enough to clip one of the leaping beasts. Nausa and Siomha fought shoulder to shoulder, but their weapons fouled as they both lashed at one of the beasts, which leaped past axe and staff to bear Nausa to the ground. The Esquimaux's ribs cracked, and he felt consciousness slip away as the hound dodged around his body to escape the Keltic ranger's axe.

Finally, Euthymios smashed the hound that faced him, cracking its spine. He ignored the whines of the dying beast as he angled to help Siomha save the fallen Esquimaux. Comhan and Audgisl combined to kill another hound, but neither could reach the fallen pyromancer as the hound began to savage her, shredding her vermilion robes as it sought the meat beneath.

Only two of the beasts remained, and they sought to drag their fallen prizes with them and escape into the woods. Grimly, the fighters closed around them, axe, hammer, sword, and spear lashing out, and the hounds' blood flowed, drenching their prizes. Panting, with the effort from the brief, savage fight, those who remained standing locked eyes. Euthymios's Kimmerian accent, still strange to the Kelts, made his voice sound even more harsh than his panting breath as he took in the bloody scene. "Bad dogs, no?"

Last edited by Handy Haversack (3/08/2014 7:42 pm)

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3/08/2014 8:31 pm  #5


Re: This year is Fish

Audgisl assessed the two fallen companions. Demostrate seemed in worse shape. He believed she was stable and in no danger, but the blow to her head had been severe. The bite wounds on her body were strange. Where the strange hounds' teeth had broken skin, the surrounding flesh was grey and brittle. He felt carefully around the wounds, seeking through the pyromancer's weak pulse for the deeper pulse of the world and any sign in it of the corruption, poison, magic. He was not sure. It was no venom, he thought, no natural source that soured these wounds. He wondered how they would heal. He realized, too, that all those who had been bitten shared the same mark. He turned to the fallen Esquimaux, whose tough little body seemed less savaged. The shaman began to growl deep in his throat. He pulled forward the cowl of his bearskin cloak, dropping his mind into bearthought, bearmind. He began to bind the Esquimeaux's wounds as the bear would cleanse its own. Snow. Thick, rough tongue with the tang of blood still strong upon it. The world's pulse, felt, measure, matched, and bound to the Esquimeaux's body in thick bandages and guttural, growling words.

As the shaman worked, the others looked at the body of their fallen friend. The hounds had only recently found their feast. Some flesh had been torn from Harlan's face, and one hound had unearthed the rich treasue of his entrails. But little blood flowed from those wounds. Instead, they realized, several deep stab wounds marked their friend's body. He had not been killed by dogs, no matter how strange. This was the work of men. And of the young magician Ottvar there was no sign.

Siomha began to slowly circle the bloody confusion, her eyes fixed on the hard surface of the road. It yielded few clues, but when she made her way off the track, the softer loam showed footprints, man-sized but indistinct, leading into the dense woods at the base of the hill. She told the others what she had seen. "Viking!" snapped Comhan. "We have a goal. Get the little man up." The timbre of Augdisl's keening growl grew deeper, pulsing faster through his throat. With fierce care, he grasped the Esquimaux's shoulders, bent him back against the earth, and then yanked forward. Gasping and cursing, Nausa awoke and staggered to his feet. Without a word of thanks to the shaman, he took in the scene, his eyes rising to the hill. "They went there? Then let us follow and kill the bastards."

With Comhan carrying the unconscious Demostrate and Euthymios bearing Harlan's corpse, the group followed Siomha through the trees. The trail led her to the base of the hill, where a large boulder concealed but did not fully block a cave. They could see that it stretched under the hill, disappearing quickly as the ruddy and fading sunlight faltered in the subterranean gloom. The tracks led within.

They debated fiercely. Nausa wanted to take Demostrate and Harlan on to the thorp, leave them with one of their families, and return. Euthymios insisted that Ottvar might be captive and that time was of the essence. He wanted to hide the unconscious and the dead alike and press on while the trail was fresh. Comhan and Augdisl agreed first with one and then with the other. And then again. And again. And, actually, yet again. Nausa finally gave up in disgust. Siomha concealed Demostrate carefully, tucking her body into a fork in one of the trees. Harlan they left on the ground to distract any predators that might come along. In a strange way, it was caring. These were friendships forged in the year of darkness. Euthymios pointed out that at least they hadn't tied the rope around Demostrate's neck. She'd thank them later. With all care taken, then, they lit torches and entered the cave.

The passage was cramped and dark, water dripping down the dark stone. Their breath began to mist in the yellow torch light. Comhan took the lead so he would have room to swing his sword should anything come upon them. Behind him, Euthymios and Augdsil marched, hammer and spear ready. Nausa and the ranger brought up the rear. Almost immediately, the narrow cavern twisted to the right, and a swift, shallow stream crossed it, doubtless the same one that was bridged by the cart track they had just left. It flowed out of the cave wall to their left and ducked back under the stone to their right, a foot deep and six across, dark and murmurous in the still air of the cave. They crossed it and followed three sets of watery tracks around a sharp curve. Here the passage forked, left and right. The trail led right, but the wet marks dwindled and disappeared after only a few more yards. Nonetheless, they followed the right fork. The passage bent again and debouched into a larger cavern, the roof stretching away away into the darkness. At their feet a pit or sinkhole had opened, dropping twenty feet to a stone floor littered with boulders. A narrow ledge on the left skirted the pit. Across the cavern, they could see that the narrow passage continued. The party peered into the pit, searching for any sign of another passage or tracks. Nausa suggested that they climb down, but Euthymios insisted that it was foolish to do so when the trail continued in front. With no compelling reason to scale the slimy pit walls, they skirted it and pressed deeper under the hill.

In the next bend of the passage, Comhan hissed a warning and brought the party up short. He pointed at the ceiling. A mere yard or two above the flickering torches, clinging to the rocky roof, four horrid creatures clung. Each looked like a demented mixture of bird and bat, hanging from the roof from attenuated, wasted looking legs. Wrapped around the cubit-long bodies were fleshy wings of red and blue. Worst, from each creature's batlike face, a long, wicked proboscis dangled obscenely. Here in the darkness they slept away the day, waiting for night to emerge and hunt. In whispers and gestures the party debated, Nausa urging that they kill the filthy things. He wanted to move down the tunnel, cast darkness upon the nest, make a disturbance, and then smite the creatures as they emerged. Euthymios insisted on pressing on, ignoring creatures that offered no immediate threat. Again, the Kimmerian carried the day, and the party pressed on.

The passage pushed deeper into the hill and then twisted violently twice. It opened after the second turn into a slightly wider cavern, narrowing again on the far side and pressing deeper into the hill. Here the floor changed from stone and mud to thick, coarse sand. Nausa advanced carefully, pressing his quarterstaff into the sand to see if it was safe to cross. It seemed firm enough to him, but to those who lived here, it must have been much more permeable. As the Esquimeaux turned to make his whispered report, the sand behind him erupted, showering the party with grit. From a hidden burrow, spiders the size of ponies suddenly charged. The shocked party fumbled for their weapons, dumbfounded--and then doubly so when two more of the beasts charged from the shadowy roof, racing down the walls to strike from the other side!

 

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3/08/2014 9:09 pm  #6


Re: This year is Fish

The dropped torches threw insane shadows on the walls as the nightmarish creatures attacked the stunned group. In seconds, Nausa was again on the ground, his body convulsing, foam pouring from his mouth and blood from his neck as a spider's venom coursed through him. Augdisl staggered, bleeding, wracked by pain from the venom. He sought the bearmind, sought to drop his human thoughts and be the great wandering spirit, the claw in the darkness, the drop of blood suspended from the fang. But the huge spiders were all around him, buffeting his frail human body, a chaos of legs and bodies. He struck, pinning a spider's leg to the floor with his short spear, and Euthymios was beside him, his war hammer crushing the beast, spraying stinging ichor around the cavern. Comhan swung his great sword in a low deadly, arc, neatly lopping off all eight ends of a spider's legs. As the monstrosity collapsed on its abdomen, its mandibles straining toward the Kelt, he swung again, and two spider halves fell apart in two directions. Siomha could find no place for her axe to land. The spiders' horrid carapaces buffeted her, seeming to emerge like solidifying chunks of darkness. The shadows spun and danced around her, chitinous legs thrust and bent and slashed at her, knocking her to her knees. She tried to rise, tried to get her legs beneath her. Something pushed her down, something was above her head, a solid mass, as if the cavern's gloom had hardened, had sprouted coarse fur, had come for her from the black nightmare of the earth. She tried to turn, but spider legs were all around her, pinning her, holding her almost gently as the bulk above her heaved, turned, lowered itself, and the blindly churning mandibles of the spider were in front of her eyes, clamping around her, and the jaws behind them open, fangs, bloody in the torch light, filling her vision with blood and terrible light and then terrible darkness.

Augdisl reeled against Comhan and found strength in the doughty giant Kelt. Together they braced a spider, which lashed out at the fighter. Comhan dodged back, and Augdisl once again pinned a leg to the sand, allowing Comhan to bring his great sword around, a flashing arc that plunged through the spider and threw a shower of sand into the fountain of blood. Euthymios, untouched, unhurt, faced the other spider alone, blocking its lunges with his hammer, waiting until the beast stumbled, when he whirled, bringing the hammer up, up into the thing's abdomen, lifting the horrid thing off the floor with the force of the blow. It fell, and it rose no more.

Augdisl ran to the fallen Esquimaux, tearing bandages from his pack, crooning softly. His mind raced with thought, human thought, human caring for another human. It kept him from the bearmind. He could not find that fierce stillness, the unthoughtful aloneness of bearthought. But he did his best to bind the little man's wounds, calm his tremors. He looked up at the panting fighters, who had checked on Siomha and found that she lived still, though he pallor didn't look at all good. The three who were left were stunned. It had been less than a minute since the spiders had erupted through the sand. And then they heard the flap of wings, the shrill cries of awakened scavengers. Every action under the dying sun or the secret earth echoes forward and backward in time. Every choice leads to its consequence. Every move made by a human in Hyperborea is echoed, countered, augmented among the crystal spheres of alien time. And when you choose not to kill a sleeping monster, later it will wake. And it will find you. Shrilling their sick hunting call, the bat things erupted into the room.

They lashed through the air, attacking the living, the unconscious, and the freshly dead with equal fervor. Euthymios could not bring his war hammer to bear before one had struck him in the neck, its long beak or nose seeming to quiver and worm its way under his skin. Shuddering in horror, he dropped his hammer and reached for the creature, yanking it off his body in a spray of his own blood. Gagging in revulsion, he twisted his hands, the thews in his arms straining for a moment, and then the creature ripped, tore in half, and he tossed the shredded abomination to the ground. He looked around him. It was chaos. One of the horrors had latched onto a fallen spider, sucking ichor greedily from a crack in the thing's chiton. Another had found the shaman, who was reeling about, trying to pull it from him. Euthymios could see the thing swell as it sucked the tall Viking's blood. Comhan, after much agonizing, had realized that a two-handed sword was not the best weapon for the situation. He drew a dagger, timed the dive of another creature, and spitted it as it came. Even as he did, another latched on to him. Dropping the dagger, he desperately reached behind his head, trying to tear the thing off. Euthymios leapt toward Augdisl. The Viking's fevered clutch was growing weaker, slipping off the scaly skin of the swelling creature attached to his chest. Even as Euthymios reached them and pulled it off, the Viking shaman collapsed to the ground. Cursing, Euthymios tore the thing in half, and Augdisl's blood geysered out of it, a warm arterial spray. Comhan finally tore the creature on his back off, tossed it in the air, and, as it sought purchase with its wings, grabbed it by the feet and smashed it into the wall. Euthymios had regained his hammer, and with a final blow, he smashed the last of the creatures, mixing it with the gelling chunks of spider that spread across the floor.

The two warriors looked at each other. Finally, the Kelt growled, "I think the little Esquimeaux was right. We should retreat."

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3/08/2014 9:44 pm  #7


Re: This year is Fish

Before leaving, they dug through the sand of the cavern's floor and unearthed a chest, old but solid, coated in the calcified droppings of the giant spiders. Working in shifts, they ferried their unconscious companions out of the caverns and into the open air, along with the chest. Leaving the wounded Kelt to guard them, Euthymios hustled back to the road and into the tiny hamlet where he had grown up. He hailed a farmer and offered the old Kelt a gold coin (liberated from Demostrate's purse) a gold coin for the hire of his cart, horse, and self for a couple of hours. Soon the wounded were bedded down on hay in his parents' barn. The cataphract and the Keltic fighter pried open the chest and found it was full of old copper coins, bearing the mark of some forgotten Keltic kinglet. As the night wore on, they counted them: five thousands. Worth a hundred gold in the market of Hawkford. It was something, at least.

The next day, leaving the wounded under the care of Euthymios' mother, they set off to the sacred valley of the druids, where ancient menhirs loomed out of the fog, bearing Harlan's body. Here, farmers and acolytes were driving a mixed herd of sheep, goats, and calves into a pen. Other druids were constructing a cage of withes, building a huge frame. The Kimmerian did not follow the local faith, but Comhan did. He knew the signs of preparation for the coming sacrifice three nights hence at the fullness of the moon Phobos: a wicker man, a living cage of fire.

All conversation ceased as they carried their grisly burden toward the standing stones. Fionnhbar, the head of the local druid church, emerged as if from the mists and moved toward them. "You carry what does not belong to you," the man, who seemed at moments ancient, at moments sinewy and powerful as any warrior. "Tell me, why do you bear this, which in life was pledged to us"

The two warriors told their story to the druid, Euthymios calling on the stories he had heard knights tell in the stables after a day of drills. He summoned the terrors of battle, the pathos of loss, the sad trickle of blood on the uncaring earth. Even this powerful druid, versed in life and death and those states that surpass them both, could not help but be moved by the youth's tale. "He was precious to me," the druid said, "one for whom I had great hopes. This tale has more to it than has been told. And more blood is owed than what has been given."

Silently, acolytes in blue robes bore away Harlan's body, Fionnhbar turned to the young warriors. "Here this," the druid said. "I would know who did this. And I would have my vengeance. Bring him to me, and I will grant each of you 250 gold coins to further your careers." That's horse money! Euthymios breathlessly thought, though it is true that in this sphere most thoughts are breathless.

Comhan cleared his throat, "Um, elder, do you--does it matter if he's alive or dead?"

The druid fixed the young fighter with his unwavering stare. "If you have to kill him, then you have to. Bring me his head and his organs of generation. There is use I can make of those. But if you can take him alive . . . I would find ways to appreciate such a gift."

Vaguely reassured and also disturbed, the two warriors returned to the thorp to see to the healing of their friends.

Five days later, the companions were once again in fighting trim, aided by the Augdisl the shaman's bear trance once he had awakened. Weapons sharpened and polished, they returned to the cave. Lighting torches, they walked in, silent and grim. What was there to say? It was the day the wicker man would be lighted. The screams of animals and condemned thralls would sound across the druids' valley. Fire would claim its sacrifice for Cerunnos, for the old gods of these hills. It was a day of reckoning. And for Harlan, for Ottvar, for the blood they had all spilled, it was time for vengeance.

     Thread Starter
 

3/09/2014 6:49 am  #8


Re: This year is Fish

Fun reads! I know writing those up is tough work, but keep at it. I like having mine even though they were a chore to write sometimes.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/09/2014 10:36 am  #9


Re: This year is Fish

Chainsaw wrote:

Fun reads! I know writing those up is tough work, but keep at it. I like having mine even though they were a chore to write sometimes.

I know. I had forgotten how much effort they take. One of my players says he will help, too, though. I at least wanted to capture our first session. Here's some more:

Torches lit, the group retraced its steps through the caverns, skirting the pit and crossing the sand-floored cavern still littered with the bodies of the spiders, though the corpses bat-bird things were gone. Soon they reached another fork and followed it to the right. It opened into a larger cavern and then narrowed again. As they rounded a curve, Comhan brought the group up short with a sudden gesture. Around the slick stone corner four rats, huge, the size of dogs, were snuffling through the thin, stripped bones of the bat things. Comhan made a silent count, and then he, Euthymios, and Siomha leaped around the corner, weapons flashing through the flickering air. In seconds, all four rats were dead and bleeding on the hard stone. Things were going a little bit better this time.

They pressed on, following the narrow cavern around another bend. It opened again into a large chamber. On the far wall, a pool of clear water welled from subterranean sources. Ten feet deep, thirty feet across, and forty feet long, its far end emptied into the stream they had crossed near the cave mouth. Their torch light showed that the pool was far from empty. Two giant crabs, their shells casting back strange reflections cruised through the water. They rose to the surface, their stalked eyes seeming to follow the party with alien intent. Nausa hissed in dismay. It was to escape servitude to the crab-men of the Striped Gulf that had driven his people to these Keltic hills, where the toiled for a race that seemed almost as alien. To the Esquimeaux of the far archipelagoes, the giant crabs were sacred, second only to the crab men. Nausa hated them.

As they passed carefully through the echoing cavern, they realized something else was in the pool. A skeleton, surely some long-lost adventurer, now thickly calicified and barely recgnizable, rose from the pool's bottom. In its hand was a long sword, untouched by rust or minerals, shewing a dim blue glow in the water even through torch light. Clearly, they would have to deal with this situation. After a whispered conference, Euthmyios stripped off his armor and weapons. Before settling in the Gal hills, his father had been a sailor, plying the coastal routes from Kromarium to Gal. After finally buying his own ship, his dreams ground to kindling on the rocks of the Gal coast. He took his family inland, far from the sea. But Euthymios remembered the skills he had learned there. He was confident he could quickly retrieve the blade if the others could distract the crabs. "Should we tie a rope to you?" Nausa asked. Naked and shining like a god of the sea, Euthymios laughed. "Just do your part, Esquimeaux. I shall do mine."

And Nausa had a part to play. Comhan and Augdisl reentered the cavern, dragging the bodies of two of the giant rats. Despite the giant Kelt's insistence that rat made good eating and that everyone should try the dish his mother made, the party had other plans for the corpses. (The dark years, thought Siomha, this is what they do to us.) With a running start, Comhan and Siomha heaved one rat far out into the dark water. The crabs scattered to the far side of the pool, hiding under its rocky lip as the rat corpse, trailing a streamer of greasy blood, began to slowly bob back to the surface. Nausa and Euthymios approached the pool from opposite sides. Then the crabs, moving through the water in a flash of color, converged on the rat. Nausa made his mystic passes in the air, croaked strange words, and a fan of colored light leaped from his hands into the water, bathing the crabs in alien hues. One immediately sank through the water, but the other, enraged, charged through the water, leaping onto the shore next to the Esquimeaux as Comhan and Siomha raced to his side. Across the pool, Euthymios dived in and began swimming strongly for the calcified skeleton.

The giant crab proved much harder to injure than the rats had been, its shell turning aside blade and shaft. But the fighters had it flanked, leaving open only a retreat back into the water. Euthymios reached the skeleton, and strained his shining muscles as he gripped the sword's hilt. The ancient bones in their sheath of crumbling rock shattered, and he had his prize--which immediately tugged him downward. Swimming now as best he could, he made for the lip of the pool. The others were still finding it hard to penetrate the crab's defense, and Comhan and Siomha bore wounds from the thing's massive pincers. Then Demostrate called out to Helios, and an arrow of flame flashed from her fingers to the crab, fire coruscating over its shell. The fight began to make everyone hungry. She was also the only one to see, as Euthymios reached the pool's edge, that the second crab had shaken off the effects of Nausa's spell just in time to see the young cataphract pull himself from the water. It streaked upward in pursuit, and Demostrate called out a warning. Euthymios raced away from the water, trying to get back to the pile of his weapons, but the crab was upon him. He dodged its rending claw, but the second one was there, smashing into his head, sending him senseless to the cavern floor. Demostrate agonized. If she charged the thing, she did not know how long she could last, and then the party would have two corpses rather than one. But Siomha's axe had smashed in the head of the first crab, and now she, Comhan, and Nausa raced across the cavern, howling savagely. The giant creature barely had time to turn to face them before they had smashed it into tavern snacks.

Augdisl knelt next to the fallen cataphract and entered the bearmind, probing gently at the young man's skull. As he did so, Comhan hefted the long sword, still glowing a strange dim blue. "Yes," the giant Kelt said, "I'd say it's definitely going better this time." Coming to his senses, Euthymios muttered, "Then you take point from here on."
 

Last edited by Handy Haversack (3/27/2014 5:05 pm)

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3/10/2014 3:35 pm  #10


Re: This year is Fish

Very nice!  Feel free to "rip off" anything you like.


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

3/10/2014 3:48 pm  #11


Re: This year is Fish

Blackadder23 wrote:

Very nice!  Feel free to "rip off" anything you like.

Thanks, Blackadder! You were an inspiration. And, of course, a souce of ill-gotten gain. Your group better get to the Black Fief soon because my players are already curious!
 

     Thread Starter
 

3/10/2014 5:07 pm  #12


Re: This year is Fish

With Euthymios now bearing the strange new sword, they formed their march once again and pressed on into the tunnel that continued from the left wall of the cavern with the pool. It ran straight and true for several dozen yards and then connected with the passage near the cave entrance. They had come in a circle. After a few minutes of cursing various things--Euthymios, the delay as they healed; Nausa, their refusal to explore the pit in the first place; Comhan, the world, the dying sun, and simply on general principle--they went back to the pit. Nausa produced a rope ladder from his pack. He explained that the market had had only silk rope or rope ladders, no regular rope.

"That's not so," Euthymios said. "I have hemp rope; here it is, in my pack."

"I have it, too," Comhan agreed.

"And I," from Siomha.

"It was right above the silk rope. You just had to look up. Why were you drinking before we went to the bazaar?"

"Esquimeaux no care!" barked the stout illusionist, and they secured the rope ladder with spikes and descended twenty feet to the pit's floor. Here they saw a passage, hidden by the overhanging ledge, that led into the hill. Muttering variously, they formed up and set off.

The passage shortly debouched into a larger cavern, bones scattered across the floor. Desultorily cracking and sucking on these dessicated treasures were two creatures out of nightmare. Each stood the height of a man, but gaunt and pale as the bones at their feet. Red-rimmed eyes leered out of huge sockets, and forked black tongues flashed past fleshless lips. From the elbow joints of their corpselike but sinewy arms, spikes of wet bone projected, jagged and stark in the torch light. The two beasts caught sight of the party and howlng in greed and infernal hunger.

Fighter, cataphract and ranger pressed deeper into the chamber to set a fighting line, and Nausa's voice hummed and echoed in his stout frame. Around the creatures the light seemed to collapse, the torch light dimming and then falling, as if crushed from the stale cave air. A globe of darkness eclipsed the far side of the cave, but it was too late--the creatures had already charged. Both threw themselves at Comhan, jaws snapping as they sought his throat. In their depraved eagerness, though, each got in the other's way, and the giant Kelt ducked under their charge and beheaded one with his great sword as they sought to check their fall. Then the other fighters closed in, and seconds later both creatures were dead, black ichor staining the dark stone and blooming like corpse flowers on the scattered bones.

     Thread Starter
 

3/10/2014 6:36 pm  #13


Re: This year is Fish

Nervously, they pushed through the darkness that Nausa had summoned. As their faces emerged from the utter black, they were shocked to see lamp light pouring down a short passage. After traversing the magical dark, the lamp light burned like iron in the forge. Cautiously, they pressed on. The passage opened into a furnished cavern. A hammock hung from the ceiling, and a table and chairs were pressed against one wall. The light came from a lantern, and as their eyes adjusted they saw that the place was almost homelike. Except for one thing: on the floor beneath the hammock, jammed against one of the cavern's walls and struggling with leather bonds around his wrists was Ottvar, the young magician who had been missing since Harlan was killed. "Gulfs of night!" he cried. "Where have you been?"

Euthymios and Nausa advanced on the bound man while the rest of the group fanned out cautiously. "Leave him tied!" barked the Esquimeaux. "We don't know what happened. And I don't trust him."

"What can he do," the Kimmerian asked. "We will untie him and see what we see."

"Of course! Gods of fire and bone, what's wrong with you all? It's me! Tell me now, did you find Harlan? Did he live? Damn them, damn them!" Ottvar continued to struggle against his bonds even as Euthymios reached him. "Ah, sweet freedom!" he called as he worked his hands free, "That took all I had." He turned to meet the gaze of each member of the party. "Harlan is dead, is he not? I knew it for a mortal wound. And do you suspect me? I was with him--we were coming to meet you. But it was not I who killed him, no! It was those whom he sought to serve with his very life--the druids!"

This shocked them all. The druids were powerful and mysterious, true, but Harlan had been a golden child among them, as Fionnhbar had said, destined for great things. Someone was lying, and Euthymios, caught between the ancient might and wisdom of the druid and someone he had known most of his life, knew not whom to believe. He and Nausa questioned Ottvar while the others began to search the room, Siomha keeping watch down the passage. Ottvar claimed that he and Harlan had been hurrying to meet the others in Hawkford when three druids emerged from the woods. Harlan moved aside and spoke to them, growing angrier and angrier with what he heard. Finally, he cursed and moved away, shaking off the hands that sought to restrain him--and then those hands drew blades, and the steel, dull red in the wan sunlight, bit deep into Harlan's body, spilling his life in seconds. Before Ottvar could reach his friend, a blow to the head had felled him, and he woke here. For the first few days a druid had guarded him closely, and the ghoulish creatures they called the fendark lurked just beyond the lantern light. Then, at last, the druid's patience had worn thin. From then on, a druid came but once a day to feed Ottvar and give him water and relief. Otherwise, he was left bound.

Nausa listened to this tale with undisguised contempt. He spat when Ottvar finished. "He lies. Here he sits, pink in the cheek and fat as an autumn bear. Why did they hold him? Why did they not kill him? Who could find use for him alive that he would not serve as well dead? Why have they not bound him in their barbaric wooden man and set the flame of their superstition to him? Let me have him. I will find the truth."

Euthymios hesitated. The others displayed what they had found--a pouch with 70 gold coins of Gal city, and another with three black onyx gems had been tossed onto the hammock. Provisions of cheese and hard bread, dried fruit, salt meat--all much finer than the iron rations the companions carried. A folded parchment was on the table. A fine leather cloak and matching black leather gloves hung on a spur of stone.

"What then, Ottvar? Why would thre druids kill Harlan? He was one of them, was he not--deep in their mysteries and trained by their toil and treasure. Could you hear aught of what they said?"

"I know not--only that long has my master suspected the druids of the valley as more than they appear--servants of some other master, darker and unknown. Why indeed? We knew Harlan, knew him pure and dedicated. Perhaps they feared he would betray them to the king when he found out the truth."

"Frozen balls and blubber!" Nausa exploded. "I'll not listen to his lies more. Turn the fop over to me. I will show him a master he can fear!"

"Wait, Nausa," Euthymios insisted. "We must think. We should take him to the king to guard and ask that the druids be called to answer his charges. Someone is lying, and I know not who."

"I know! It's Ottvar the snake. What did your master teach you under the black hills, Ottvar? What webs has that spider spun? You want a little light let in, you green bloat, and a knife to let it in with."

Ottvar cursed, and Euthymios held his hands up to stop the argument, but Nausa stepped inside his guard, kicking savagely at Ottvar's groin. The magician twisted aside, whirled on the Esquimeaux with hatred naked on his face. "Kneel!" he shouted, hos voice echoing with dark power, seeming to shrink the cavern's yellow light in on itself. Helplessly, Nausa knelt. The others gaped in helpless surprise as Ottvar slipped a dagger from behind his back and jammed it into Euthymios' flank, he whirled back, grabbed the kneeling Esquimeaux by the hair, and pressed the blade against his throat. "Now stay where you are, friends, or I'll send this scum back to his demon-loving ancestors."

Siomha, Comhan, Demostrate, and Audgisl looked at one another, shrugged, and charged.

     Thread Starter
 

3/10/2014 7:02 pm  #14


Re: This year is Fish

Before Ottvar could even drive the dagger home, they were on him, and he was dodging desperately away from their weapons. Seconds later, he was stretched senseless on the cavern floor, laid low by Nausa's quarterstaff as he heaved himself away from Siomha's axe. Euthymios pulled his hemp rope from his pack and began to bind the magician, but Nausa intervented. He sliced Ottvar's leather tunic away and cast it aside. A black hand bloomed over Ottvar's heart like a flower made of endless night. "Necromancer!" Demostrate hissed. "He was no magician."

"Esquimeaux don't care," Nausa said, "But I told you he was lying."

While the others secured Ottvar and began slapping the necromancer awake, Demostrate gathered what they had found. Flames danced in her eyes as she summoned the fire sight. She cast her gaze over the items, waiting for the flare of enchantment. The sword they had pulled from the pool, unsurprisingly, revealed a dweomer, but so did the leather thongs that had bound Ottvar's wrist. It had seemed too easy for him to escape--and conveniently timed--they agreed. But how the things were supposed to function they could not tell. Then Euthymios remembered Ottvar's words as he approached--"Sweet freedom"--and moments later he was free.

Ottvar was awake now, but he still kept his secrets, revealing only threats. "I am the tip of the spear," he hissed at Euthymios, "and the shaft that follows is black and hard."

"Shut your mouth!" snapped Nausa.

"He was talking about the shaft," Euthymios said.

"I am an instrument of the coming dark. You think the year has turned, that spring has come. But there is but one truth, and it is death. I am its tool, the flaw in the steel, the crack in the wall, the break in the bone."

"Then it sounds like death is even worse at shopping than Nausa."

"Fools. I am the first blink before the endless sleep. If you kill me, I shall be there waiting for you when you die. In this world you can run, but you will all come to the last gulf in the end. And I shall be there."

"Ottvar, cease your prattle. We're not going to kill you. We're going to give you to the druids and let them pen you with the rest of the animals and give you to their god. That's for Harlan. And we'll see about your great master then."

Ottvar quailed before this threat, his resolve shaken. "I can make you wealthy," he insisted. "There is great honor in serving the coming night."

"You keep your honor in your bung hole, Ottvar," Nausa growled, "And every day you befoul the waters of the world with it. I might even watch the deer lovers' bon fire if they are going to roast you."

Audgisl spoke for the first time. "Tell us how the thongs work, Ottvar, and we will give you a clean death."

The necromancer stared into the shaman's eyes until the wild, unhuman lights there made him bow his head. "Do you swear, Augdisl?"

"A clean death, Ottvar. It is the best that you can hope for now."

The necromancer nodded and told them: "You say 'get a rope' to bind, and 'sweet freedom' to loose. Now--give me my death. I have told you what I know."

Without a word, Comhan swung his great sword in a low arc, and the necromancer's head flew across the room, his blood fountaining to the low ceiling.

"Frozen balls and seal guts," Nausa growled. "That was easier than he deserved. I'm going to cut off the other parts the druid wanted. This scum owes me that much joy."

     Thread Starter
 

3/10/2014 7:26 pm  #15


Re: This year is Fish

Euthymios and Comhan left the others at Nausa's and went to the druid's valley. The wicker man loomed in the fog, and a great fire burned nearby. From within the wooden effigy, the panicked cries of men and beasts sounded thinly, smothered and thinned by the smoke, the fog, the chanting of druid and commoner. Many from the farming thorps and Hawkford gathered here. The warriors moved carefully to the front, and soon Fionnhbad materialized from the mist. Comhan wordlessly bassed him a sack crusted with blood. The druid nodded and signaled to an apprentice, who bore the grisy prize off toward the effigy. When the druid turned back to the young fighters, they related all they had learned from Ottvar.

"You have done well for us. Harlan will be avenged. This explains much about the Magician of the Black Hill. Long have we sought to understand why our eyes could not see there." He looked at the two. "He had drawn the veil. Natural sight cannot lift it." The young fighters shivered in the chill fog.

Two young druids bore coffers to them and placed them on the ground. "Your reward, and I thank you," said Fionnhbar. "Stay for our rites, if you please to see them. The Horned One is near. We send these lives across the barrier between worlds, that we might know it is no barrier at all."

"Stay, Kimmerian!" Comhan said. "See at last how my people worship."

The cataphract agreed, and the druid nodded. "And it may be," he told them, "that we will have more that you can do for us. We shall find you should that prove true."

The next evening, all the companions were assembled in the common room of The Tarnish in Hawkford. Euthymios had bought a fine war horse with the druid's gold and named it Landboat to honor his father. Comhan preened in new armor. Nausa and Demostrate visibly flinched whenever the potboys and barmaids shouted or slammed tankards on the wooden tables. "Tell me again," Euthymios said, "Why you want to leave town so quickly."

"We knew you two had some coin coming from the druid," Nausa growled, "So the shaman, the fire witch, and I split the gold and gems we took from that spider. I ... found a way to spend my share. From what I remember, I ended up cloaking myself in the form of the king's son. I came to my senses in the yard of the Great Hall. I was already shouting, so I kept it up:

"'Lord of pigs and goat humpers! King of the toppling midden! Come meet your better! Come make recompense to the gods for this heap of dung you call yours!'

"This seemed to stir up the hall. The guards surrounded me, but since I wore the princelet's face, they were too shocked to do anything, the scum. But then the clown himself opened a shutter and called out, 'Father, if I were to insult you, I wouldn't choose the land that will be mine as my subject. I know you well, and there are many an other thing I could choose.' Whelp!

"But even still they were confused, and I ran into the darkness. Well, I cast darkness upon them, and then ran off in that. At least I think I did. I can't remember any spells, at any rate.

"Still. It's not like there are that many illusionists around. I think even as pig-brained a dung lord as this tit of a king might be able to figure out it was me." Nausa shrugged. "Besides. I don't have any money left. We should earn."

Demostrate signaled for wine, but she agreeed. She had a few coins still in her purse, but she had accepted an invitation to the pig races the night before. The pigs were dice, and the race had gone against her. "He's right. Let us make some coin."

     Thread Starter
 

3/10/2014 10:19 pm  #16


Re: This year is Fish

The next morning, the group was hunched over warm beer with pork jerky in it, a staple at The Tarnish. Euthymios and Comhan told the others that the druid Fionnhbar had not only mentioned that he might have work for them but also had told them a tale of possible profit in the far reaches of Gal:

Blackadder23 wrote:

"Six months ago young Lady Rhiannon the Fair was wed against her will to Lord Llewellyn the Bloody-Minded, who had lately accepted the Black Fief on a drunken dare. One month ago Lord Llewellyn was killed in a hunting accident, and Lady Rhiannon inherited the accursed lands. Now she is marked for death in less than a year. Rather than surrender to merry-making or madness as most heirs have, Rhiannon has chosen to invite adventurers from all over Hyperborea to the Keltic town of Greenlee and her brooding hill fort of Caer Carneddau. This has a two-fold purpose: to push back against the bandits and monsters that have come to threaten the Black Fief over years of uncertain rulership, and to seek some way to exorcise the curse that hangs over her lands. Anyone who finds a way to lift the curse has been promised a rich reward. If no solution can be found, in eight months Lady Rhiannon's cairn will join the hundred others that encircle Caer Carneddau... the latest victim of the Black Fief."

"So," Comhan told the others. "There's that. But it's pretty far away, more than a hundred miles toward the coast. And only Euthymios here has a horse. And no one else has any coin left."

"No," Siomha said, "I have my share of the 5,000 coppers, which I kept instead of taking the loot from under your eyes while you and Euthymios were splitting a private payment of your own. I have thirty gold coins. Perhaps I shall buy a mammoth. Or an Atlantean sky chariot. Or the Black Gulf itself."

"Listen, Siomha," Euthymios began, "Mistakes were made, certes, but I think you can agree that your moral code could lead to no other result. In fact, if you really think about it--"

The door to The Tarnish slammed open, and two fierce-looking Kelts in livery entered, surveyed the room, and then gestured behind them. A moment later, a well-dressed man, florid and flushed with good living, entered. He approached the table, removed kid-skin gloves. None of the companions spoke. Finally, the man said, "Well. Perhaps you know me. I believe you to be the group that recently brought that young necromancer to justice. You have done good work. I am Fergus Nine-Fingers. I come to you on a matter of urgency. My daughter has been taken, my Fiona. She went berry picking this morn, and she was snatched away! I need you to find the creature responsible and bring me his head! If you can return Fiona, all to the good. But justice must be served!"

Having delivered himself of his speech, Fergus stood back, awaiting response.

"Well, sirrah, um, goodman, sire, um Nine-Fingers, do you know who might have done this? Do you have any, um, enemies?" asked Euthymios.

"Enemies? I did not make my wealth by making enemies. The House of Nine has served Hawkford for generations, making wealth for the king! Who would wish me ill? I am a man of import!"

Nausa, counting, pounced: "House of Nine! But you say you are Fergus Nine-Fingers!"

The rich man blew out his breath. "If you must know, my wife is an Amazon. We took each other's names and combined them. My daughter is Fiona Nine-Fingers, and it is her kidnaper whose head I want to see before me! Do it, and a thousand gold kings are yours. I shall seek you here each morrow. Strike now, though, lest the miscreant escape."

With a curt nod, he departed, Euthymios saying to his back, "Aye, sir, sirrah, um, good my lord, verily and--oh, fine."

One of Fergus's bodyguards dropped a parchment on the table. "A map. Shows where she was picking berries. Do as the man wants, lest you find yourselves in trouble." He, too, turned and left The Tarnish.

Demostrate reached for the parchment. "When do we start? There's a pig race tonight that I'd like to see."

     Thread Starter
 

3/11/2014 10:55 am  #17


Re: This year is Fish

That's awesome.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png
 I can't wait to hear your explanation of why the Black Fief kills its owners (assuming your players take the bait).


Michael Sipe 1979-2018
Rest in peace, brother.
 

3/11/2014 11:48 am  #18


Re: This year is Fish

Blackadder23 wrote:

That's awesome.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/smile.png
 I can't wait to hear your explanation of why the Black Fief kills its owners (assuming your players take the bait).

Yeah, me neither! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/worried.png


Thanks! You were a huge help in all of this.

The cavern mini-adventure itself was one of the winners of the 2012 One-Page Dungeon Contest (linky-linky), and if anyone knows this Jason Shaffer, please tell him it was a total success.

The magic sword they found has no bonuses, Its enchantment allows classes who do not have long sword as a favored weapon to use it without a to-hit penalty. The *players* think that means it can also be used against monsters that require magic to be hit. Only time will tell . . .

The tense thongs that they got from Ottvar are as described, a minor magic item mainly intended for the Chewbacca maneuver. Or I suppose one could think of other uses where a safe word is important, but ours is a family game.

I think monster XP ended up around 60 per PC (~480/6). Euthymios and Comhan each got XP for the payment from the druid. Audgisl, Demostrate, and Nausa split the ~150 they got from Ottvar. Nausa's and Demostrate's players decided to roll on Colin Chapman's unbelievably cool Drunken Debauchery table. Which, for the record, as soon as I found that, I knew my players were going to love this game, especially those two. Nausa rolled that he blew 90 percent of his money and offended a local noble. Thus, the little story at the end. Demostrate rolled that she lost 40 percent of her wealth on dice. But her player, Emily, has loved pig races ever since we put some in our AD&D game (where she won money). So that's how, with a few simple adjustments, it came to be that "dice" in the Gal Hills are called "pigs." They got XP for the money they lost, of course.

Euthymios and Comhan split the 5,000 CP with Siomha. Big of them, no? So she ended up with 30 XP for treasure. The life of an NPC.

No cleric. No thief. Nothing could possiblye go wrong.

Oh, and before the Year of the Bat, The Tarnish was known as The Shining Tankard. The sign got rather beat to hell over the intervening years, and the name went from The Shining Tankard to The Tarnished Tankard to The Tarnish.
 

     Thread Starter
 

3/24/2014 7:06 pm  #19


Re: This year is Fish

The party:
Demostrate Agauedoros (Amazon Pyromancer, N)
Euthymios (Kimmerian Cataphract, N)
Comhan Macc Scannlan (Keltic Fighter, N)
Audgisl Liknmunarson (Viking Shaman [bear], N)
Nausa (Esquimaux Illusionist, N [f*** Y'all])
Siomha Inghean Niall (Keltic Ranger, CG)

I. WISDOM AND FOLLY

When the head of the House of Nine and his men had left the Tarnish, the party realized that Brocc, the Tarnish's surly keeper, had been talking at (not to) someone for some time. They saw him restrainedly but firmly walking a young druid in the light-blue robes of an acolyte across the common room and moving him out the door.

"No, brother, I told you I don't want your wisdom berries, and nor do my custom!" The big man was growling but trying to growl politely. "People are trying to drink here, man! They don't want wisdom. Now go back to your grove and give your berries to the rabbits!" He propelled the druid out the door and shut it firmly. "Damn druids don't understand what goes on in-of-doors!" he growled at the staring party.

The party asked Brocc if he had seen that particular druid before, and the big innkeep admitted he hadn't. The man had been hanging around and offering "wisdom berries" to anyone who would take them, promising that they would grant peace and long life to the faithful. "I'll sacrifice to Yoon-Deh, may she green the black world, as soon as the next Kelt, but I won't have her druids in here bothering the morning drinkers! This is my busy time." The party let that pass, but Comhan and Audgisl ran outside to see if they could find the druid. He had disappeared, and no one nearby admitted to having seen him.

Leaving that minor mystery aside, the adventurers gathered their gear and set off to find the daughter of Fergus of the House of Nine. They moved through the muddy streets of Hawkford to the northern gate. The guards there, a surly and shiftless lot at the best of time, bristled and glared as the party approached. Their corporal, a large Kelt running to fat, held up an imperious hand. "You lot are always coming and going, armed and armored and not asking so much as a by-your-leave. Where in the Black Gulf are you going now?"

"By your leave?" Nausa ventured helpfully.

"Shut your mouth, slant eyes!" the guard snapped, and the party hissed through their teeth. "We are watching you, daemon wizard. You want working on. Seems you have trouble keeping a civil tongue in your mouth these nights--maybe you don't need a tongue at all!"

"If I have offended in some way--" the Esquimeaux began, but the guard cut him off.

"You offend me with your crab face, slant eyes!"

Euthymios rode forward on Landboat, and Nausa had to move backward to keep from being stepped on by the warhorse. Euthymios leaned down and soothed the seething guard as best he could, assuring him that they were going about the business of an important citizen of Hawkford who would not want them delayed or, especially, detained. Spitting curses, he let the party leave but watched them carefully as they set off north of town.

It was not hard to find the berry patch where Fiona Nine-Fingers had last been seen. A pail half full of berries still sat near a small stream that flowed south toward town. Siomha looked over the ground and found two set of tracks leading north, upstream. There was no sign of violence, no indication that the girl had been grabbed or dragged. Unsure what this might mean, they set off, following the stream north for several miles through thick pine woods. Siomha traced the footprints until the forest ended, and the party saw the source of the stream. Ahead, a steep-sided valley cut between two low, rocky hills. From one of these, waterfall emerged from a cave halfway up the slope. It plunged thirty feet to a steep gorge, and the water tumbled down that rocky course to a pool at the base of the hill. From here the stream flowed, entering the pine woods where the party stood.

Siomha moved in widening circles and came back shaking her head. "They went through here, but the ground is too hard. I cannot be sure whether they went between the hills or possibly climbed to that cave. Neither seems like a good choice for a young town girl, though."

"We're not being paid to teach her good sense," Comhan growled. "Just to behead whomever she's with. Let's get in that cave and start chopping up those who need chopping."

 

     Thread Starter
 

3/24/2014 8:13 pm  #20


Re: This year is Fish

This is great stuff. Just started reading it. It sounds like an amazing campaign.

 

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