Monday, April 8, 2013

The Wilds - Roads and Ruins

Last turn the party found an abandoned road running past a ruined church where a battle of some sort took place long ago. After regrouping and reconnoitering the ruin, they're headed west along the road...

Start Date: July 8, year of the Badger, late morning
Start Status: Onward!
Start Location: Dead Cat Spring

The Turn

After an hour of work packing up the camp and loading the mules, the party heads south for the ruins and the roadway. The weather remains pleasantly cool, but Dagmarten mutters something about rain in a few days. It's slow going until you break out of the trees and into the open meadows, where you make better time. With better sight lines the party spreads out, with Ohwatoo, Jonquil, Gorvil, and Nissa sticking close to the center with the mules and the others exploring to the left and right flanks as you go. It's mid-afternoon when you reach the old church site and discover the biggest flaw in the plan. Water. There's none here, and after trek here, you're carried supply is somewhat depleted.

Maro suggests starting a group westward with the mules to look for water and a camp site away from the graveyard and battle site, while Durego and Dagmarten stay behind with some of the others to bless the battle site and do a more thorough exploration of the ruins. This plan meets with general approval, so Grit, Gorvil, Jonquil, Saurabh, Urúvion, and Rawon head west with the mules, leaving the others to explore and take care of priestly duties. The group agrees to travel no more than three hours west and to mark the spot if they leave the road.

When the laggards catch up to the point team, it's near dark. They find their companions camped just off the road in a little glen about twelve miles west of the ruin. There's a small (very small) pond amid some marshy ground at the north end of the depression, and plenty of grass for the mules, who are happily cropping away. To the west, a line of trees marks the edge of more woods. Half-mile to the northwest a massive, lightning-struck elm stands alone like a solitary sentinel.

The two groups compare notes over a late meal. "We figured this was a good place to stop, but Urúvion and I scouted ahead a ways. The road heads into the trees you can just see away west. We followed it another four miles or so and found a little side branch leading to a big pit in the hills. I guess it was an old quarry. Did you find anything further at the ruin?"

Locky replies, "Not much. The priests blessed the site, and we poked around, but there was nothing much to see. Ohwatoo thinks some of the skeletons were from something bigger than men, eight or nine feet tall he says."

"Yes, based on the length of some of the bigger bones, using human proportions as a baseline of course, some of the creatures were much too large to be human. If my calculations are correct, and I *am* one of the smartest people in the world you know, I estimate the largest was about nine feet tall."

"That's what I said," mutters Locky.

"So ogres maybe, or something worse." Grit scowls, staring at the kits, who are out in the grass with Maro, well away from the fire.

"If it makes you feel better, based on the condition of the bones and the rust on what remains of the weapons we found, that fight was over long ago. Many years have passed since it happened..." Ohwatoo trails off, lost in thought.

"Tell them about the graveyard!" says Dagmarten.

Ohwatoo blinks and speaks again, "Ah, yes. We did find something interesting there. Most of the markers were wood, but we did find one stone marker that was still legible, or at least partially legible. I took a rubbing and managed to decipher a name: Brekke."

"Brekke short for Brekkevale maybe?"

"Perhaps, but Brekkevale was named by Irvil Brekke, the first settler there. I'm guessing one of his relatives is buried in that graveyard. Brekkevale was settled about eighty years ago. I'd guess those ruins were built around that time."

There's more discussion about the quarry and the graveyard, but it amounts to naught. The group discusses the plan for the next day, and decides to press on westward so long as the road holds out. [This camp site is on the south edge of 17,14, more or less at the half-way mark along the edge.] With that it's time for sleep.

It's late, so late it's early. Only a few embers remain of the scant campfire, and Ingvild is about to add some of the last bits of wood you scavenged when sudden noise, a cry or howl, it's hard to say, draws the watch's attention west and north to the edge of the woods. The slim moon provides little illumination, but everyone can see the faint glow of torchlight, and sharp-eyed Nissa whispers "Shapes in the trees, running. Eight or more. There's one ahead of the others. Too dark to see who or what they are though."

Another howling cry pierces the silence, and Grit grumbles something in his sleep. One of the mules snorts uneasily. "Do we wake the others?" whispers Raúguey.

OOC: The disturbance is about two miles away, west-northwest of your camp. You can't really make out much more detail, but it appears the group is generally moving east, and carrying three or four torches. Your camp is in a little dell, so if you choose to hunker down the whole mess could simply pass you by.

End Date: July 9, year of the Badger, before dawn
End Status: Who's that?
End Location: On the road west of the church ruin

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