Sergi whispers to Ramon and hopefully Clybe would here, "if you have the letter from the courier, show it too them maybe we can get in. Another idea is go back to Penwich and get the cleric to authenticate your identity and show the guards our good intentions"
Last Edit: Aug 28, 2014 9:25:44 GMT -6 by dtspurrier
"Good sir, I do apologize for our appearance. We have been on the road for more than a day and not had a chance to make ourselves more presentable. We judged the urgency of our quest more important than the hazard of a bath. However, Clybe and I, Ramon, are priests of the Temple of Heavenly Virtues. We would gladly confirm our identities in any way you judge sufficient. On the other hand," Ramon's voice did not change though his tack did, "you could risk embarrassing her Ladyship by alienating two clerics of the Church."
Axen did not like the belligerence of the guards at all. People who were overly proud of their position bothered him deeply. If he were by himself, he would climb a tree and start chucking apples at the men ... but he was in a group and this did not seem like a wise course of action. Still, he became very mindful of the presence of the sword at his hip... just in case.
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 29, 2014 8:20:24 GMT -6
Turn 16 for Sergi, Ramon, Axen, Clybe (Koldo, Aingeru):
"Oh, well..." the guardsman stammered. "That's different then, isn't it? I mean, if it's church business. Wait here and I will see if you can be admitted."
The rest of the guards watched the six adventurers closely while they waited for...oh, about five or six minutes.
Someone emerged from the manor house to greet them, but it was not Dame Eulalia Avella. He was a clean-shaven man with an uncovered head and prematurely white hair. He wore a red hooded cloak over a blue robe and a sword at his side.
"I greet you, strangers," the man said coldly. "I am the reeve of the village. Any business you have with our lady you can conduct through me. I also understand there is a priest among you? I will grant an audience with the Dame of Avella to one priest alone."
Clybe spoke up. "There are actually two priests, my friend," gesturing at himself and Ramon. "Let us confer for a moment to see which one might go with you."
Clybe takes Ramon aside for a moment. "I think I should speak to the Dame as I seem to have a knack for building rapport... at least, most of the time. Perhaps you could do some planning with the others, both in the event of my success and my failure. What do you think?"
Clybe wanted to be the one to speak to the Dame as that would make him the "face" of the party in her eyes and the person she would credit with most of the success, giving him another valuable connection among the landed gentry. The Dame was yet another piece in his bigger plans for the future.
Axen sat on a high branch and munched on an apple, watching the conversations below. He whistled to Koldo below and tossed him down an apple as well, then followed that with a few more for the rest of the party.
"That seems fine," was all Ramon said to Clybe's suggestion. Clybe and Axen were as much a part of this quest as he was and if either of them wanted to take some responsibility Ramon was happy to share it.
"Oh, and if things go well see if you can get us a place to sleep, I think Koldo and Aingeru will appreciate the break to their feet."
Ramon turned to reply to Sergi's seeming non sequiter, or, perhaps, it had somehow grown out of the group's need to introduce itself to the guards. Nonetheless, Ramon voiced his confusion, "Well, Sergi, we are just a bunch of guys doing a job. As much as I have enjoyed everyone's company so far and look forward to a successful expedition, I am not prepared to declare this an 'adventuring group.' We have yet to really see if this group will stand up to the tests we are sure to face. If it makes you feel better you can think of us as 'Guys Doing a Job' though that might be too homo-centric, so I'd keep it to yourself."
Post by dtspurrier on Sept 2, 2014 12:51:47 GMT -6
Sergi nods at Ramon's logic, it made sense this group is not proven. He says, "you are correct with your reasoning. Besides Guys doing a job is a bad name for a group. " He waits to see how Clybe does with getting in to see the noblewoman.
Axen enjoyed the banter about the group name from his perch in the tree. After hearing Ramon's comment, he said, "I don't know about that. .. Axen's Adventurers has a pretty good ring to it, you gotta admit, Ramon."
Post by scottenkainen on Jul 16, 2015 8:44:47 GMT -6
Day 11/turn 5 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato):
Ramon recalled that there was no road straight back to Verbobonc. Indeed, they would initially be following the road west to Etterboek, the way Cayetano had gone, until the road forked and they could head north to Verbobonc. It was 28 miles from here to Verbobonc by road -- so they had best start right away.
Despite Fortunato's apologies for jesting, he actually did move very quickly on foot and Ramon and Koldo were hard-pressed to keep up with him. Rather than call it a race, Fortunato now referred to it as "scouting ahead" when he'd wander 10-30 yards ahead of his comrades.
After an hour, it started to rain. No freshening summer shower was this; it was a hard, pelting rain.
After just an hour more (at which point, everyone was drenched), Ramon realized they were approaching the spot where they had been attacked by fairies for approaching too near their fairy ring. There was no sign of a glow in the grass today.
"I do not want to run into those fairies again," Koldo said, as he must have realized the same thing. "Did you run afoul of fairies on your way here?"
"You forget that we traveled much slower off-road and skipped Penwich and Avella entirely!" Fortunato shouted back from 10 yards ahead. "We met no fairies -- though I have heard that the pixies in this area can be aggressive!"
Ramon spoke loudly so that the pixies might overhear him if they were hiding nearby, "We did have a regrettable run-in with the fairies. Really a bad case of misunderstanding. I hope they will just let us pass through as we have no desire to disturb them. Even so, Ramon kept his shield at the ready and was prepared to drop the lead of his ass and bring forth his mace if trouble did reveal itself.
Post by scottenkainen on Jul 20, 2015 12:51:15 GMT -6
Day 11/turn 6 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato):
Luckily, the pixies never showed themselves, though whether that was because of Ramon shouting his case or other circumstances was unknown.
They passed the hamlet where Ramon and Koldo had spent the night before reaching Penwich on that first day out from Verbobonc. It was clear now that they could have reached Penwich in one day had they pressed on past dusk.
It continued to rain, which made the trip horrible. After what seemed like endless hours, the three adventurers finally reached the farmhouse at the halfway point to the city. This was where the arsonists were supposed to have met up after burning the orphanage a week and a half ago. The farmhouse was no longer under guard by soldiers and, indeed, looked deserted. Or at least it did until a horse wandered out from behind the side of the house. It was missing its rider -- but it was clearly Cayetano's horse.
Post by scottenkainen on Jul 24, 2015 10:07:58 GMT -6
Day 11/turn 6 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato):
Fortunato slunk off one way while Ramon and Koldo went around the other. Cayetano's horse was wandering free, with no sign of Cayetano in the overgrown yard on the side of the house. Behind the house, however...they found the body of a dead pixie. Not far from the back door of the house, which was hanging ajar.
"Allow me..." Fortunato whispered, and he moved quietly inside. A long, tense moment later, the silence was broken by a shout of alarm, followed by Fortunato's "Cayetano, it's you!"
A moment after that, Fortunato dragged Cayetano by the arm back outside. "What's the matter with you, startling us like that?" Fortunato asked.
"And what happened here?" Koldo asked, pointing to the pixie. Ramon had given the pixie a quick examination and found his leather jerkin -- and the flesh beneath -- was torn through in several places by large bite marks.
"I don't know about that part," Cayetano said, "but I found him in front of the house earlier and moved the little guy back here while I tried to figure out what to do with him. Then I went inside to find answers and found signs of a battle. And you should see what I found down in the cellar -- looks like an abandoned shrine!"
"Wait," Fortunato said. "We already have a mission: to reach Verbobonc as quickly as we can. We can't afford to become sidetracked here. The others plan to set a more leisurely pace tomorrow...perhaps we can leave them a message somehow to come investigate this place...?"
Ramon made a closer examination to the bite marks, comparing them in size and shape to the dog bites he had seen in the past as a healer's helper in the monastery hospital. Then he turned to Fortunato's point, "We must be sure this place does not pose a threat to our friends. To leave it unsearched would be akin to leaving a trap unstrung for them to find on their own. Koldo, you and Fortunato should search the upper floor. Cayetano, take me to the shrine please. Everyone call out if there is trouble or you find something interesting."
As Ramon followed Cayetano, he took note of the man's clothes, did they show signs of unusual damage? Did they match the clothes he had worn on his previous day's departure?
Post by scottenkainen on Jul 28, 2015 9:39:09 GMT -6
Day 11/turn 7 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato, Cayetano):
It had been earlier the same day that Cayetano had set out, so he'd only had a couple hours' head start on Ramon and the other two. His clothes and appearance all seemed the same as he had been before, though he had some smeared blood on the front of his plain tabard that was not there before, which he explained as being the pixie's.
The pixie's wounds could possibly have come from a small, but remarkably vicious dog.
The house was searched from top to bottom, with Ramon and Cayetano starting at the bottom. The entire cellar was all one big stone chamber, supported by pillars. The corners of the chamber were filled with webs. The place smelled of an unpleasant order coming from incense that had been burnt in urns here some time ago -- it must have positively reeked when it was freshly burnt. There were stone pews facing an altar block, stained with blood from a battle that had occurred here. There were numerous crossbow bolts, scraps of chainmail and leather armor, a sundered shield...and picked-clean bones scattered around the battle site.
Behind the altar block was the image of a flaming eye painted on the back wall in bright colors, with the black silhouette of a spider rising out of it. The block itself was cloven in half and revealed a hollow cubical space that had been hidden inside. Investigating the hollow space, Ramon found it was filled with large egg sacs that some monstrous mother-creature had birthed here.
Ramon and Cayetano backed out and rendezvoused with the others. Koldo and Fortunato reported that the rest of the farmhouse was deserted. They discussed what to do next, but all seemed agreed that those egg sacs had to burn...
Post by scottenkainen on Jul 28, 2015 10:37:39 GMT -6
Day 12/turn 2a for Axen, Clybe, (Gratien, Kepa, Daphne, Jean-Marie):
The adventurers were 10 minutes out from Penwich on the Viscount's Road, when Axen noticed a cloud in the sky that, to his mind, seemed shaped like a dragon. Hopefully, it did not bode as any sort of ill omen. He debated internally on whether to even bother mentioning it to the others.
As they prepared to set a torch to those egg sacs, Ramon and the others checked the dark shrine's corners, burning all the webs they could reach and ready if something large and dangerous showed itself. Then Ramon volunteered to set the torch to the eggs. He set the others to keep watch in case there was some hidden threat. After that he took a scrap of stone and scratched away at the painting of the eye and spider on the wall.
When all that was done he and the others departed the farmhouse and continued on to Verbobonc.
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 3, 2015 10:05:43 GMT -6
Day 11/turn 8 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato, Cayetano):
It was a laborious process, but Ramon felt confident it was time well-spent defacing that blasphemous painting. There were no spiders in the webs they burnt, but the webs seemed, upon close inspection, to be fresh webs, recently spun. But the webs were gone now, as were the egg sacs.
"To Verbobonc!" Fortunato said when they were done.
"On to Etterboek for me still," Cayetano said, "but I can ride with you a ways further."
And he did, until the next crossroads. Here, Cayetano said good-bye again and headed west, while the others rode north, bound for home.
"I've been thinking..." Koldo said at last. "Where do you suppose the spiders went?"
Ramon looked uncomfortable, "I had hoped no one would bring that up. Maybe they were killed by the guards when they raided that place. Either way, we spent enough time on that problem for now. As St. Cuthbert teaches, 'We will always have more worries than hands and eyes to deal with them.'"
With that bit of wisdom, Ramon clicked his teeth to Bartolomeo and he and the ass picked up their pace a bit. Verbobonc City and its troubles would not wait long for their arrival.
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 4, 2015 11:55:25 GMT -6
Day 11/turn 9 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato):
The cool front that had come with yesterday's rain was passing already and the return of summer's heat was not welcome news for Ramon in his heavy armor. He was especially thankful to not be walking, as he had taking this trip in the other direction!
They had passed scattered farms ever since the abandoned farmhouse, but now, as dusk was settling, they reached a hamlet-sized suburb south of Verbobonc, thick with farms. All seemed peaceful here.
"Should we stop and ask these farmers for news, or press on?" Koldo asked.
Post by scottenkainen on Aug 5, 2015 9:23:37 GMT -6
Day 11/turn 10 for Ramon, (Koldo, Fortunato):
Perceiving no danger from farmers (and to appear less threatening to strangers), the three men split up and tried different doors.
Ramon was met by a young farmer who seemed indifferent about Ramon, but watched the sky warily as he spoke. "It's been quiet, the past two days," the farmer said, "but no one ever found and killed the dragon that attacked the city, that I know of. That means it's still out there somewhere. Everyone is pretty worried."
Koldo and Fortunato returned to Ramon with similar stories.