Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Wilds - Foot in the Door

The party is trying to negotiate with the locals they've encountered, with limited success.

Maro speaks, “You are a keen observer. No we are not regular traders but traders and explorers. These lands are hostile, your home stands testament to this, any who venture forth into this realm must be prepared as we are for the unexpected. I assure you friend you may be at peace; the lord we represent has no intention to claim your lands nor do we. We wish knowledge and allies which we can trade and be partners with." Maro will pause so this may sink in a little deeper. I now ask to whom am I addressing so as I may call you by your name?"

There is more quiet speech behind the wall, then a faint clun-clunk noise. These quiet sounds are lost on the group at the back, who can barely hear Maro, much less the responses from the village.

"What will happen now?" queries Tesso.

"They'll negotiate. If they agree, we talk and trade maybe, if not, we may fight," answers Raúguey. The big guy's attention wanders, scanning the nearby woods.

"This doesn't look like much of a town," says Jonquil.

Back at the village, several people come out of the gate. The first is a scrawny middle-aged man, dressed in an old chain shirt with an axe looped into his belt. He's followed by a younger man wearing studded leather mail, and a huge woman with long unkempt black hair carrying a thick staff. This trio is followed by two more men armed with bows, and an old woman leaning on a cane. From the behavior of the men, she is clearly someone of importance.

The trio moves forward at a cautious pace to meet the party's envoys. As they approach that loud shrieking cry you heard before is repeated, this time from overhead. In the back group Dagmarten scans the skies, then points. "Eagle, big one." The bird circles high overhead.

The strangers pay no attention. When they get within a few yards of the front group, they stop and the scrawny guy says, "I am Tragor. I lead here. These are Belon and Shelma," he gestures at the man and woman. "You speak of trade but I see no goods." He looks over the trio, frowning as his eyes pass over Mordikarr's gnoll sword and cloak and Maro's gore-stained clothing. Ohwatoo is the most presentable of the three, there are almost no blood stains on his robes. "You look more like bandits and raiders to me. Why should I deal with you?"

Maro studies Tragor, trying to get a read on him, but the guy has a face of stone. "I'd hate to play cards against him," he thinks. He glances at the other man, who shows a mixture of curiosity and dislike, and then at the woman. She seems to be paying no attention, her gaze fixed on... Mordikarr? No, Suren. She's watching the little fisher, who, as usual, is perched on Mordikarr's shoulder. Sensing Maro's gaze she looks his way, dark eyes almost hidden by her hair. Was that a wink?

"Well Tragor, you are right. I am a little embarrassed to say that you have caught us near the end of our latest journey but we offer some goods and trinkets. I believe you will find our services may be of more value to you. We have some special talents among our party that may offer great relief to an outpost such as yours. We also have some sample goods from our home and several from our travels here to show what we can offer. For our part are interested in a pair of shoes for our friend here who has lost his. Our next trip we can bring more with us as we solidify our routes and know what our partners are interested in, and we would not want to you miss out on some nice items that might ease your time out here."

Tragor nods, then takes a few steps back. He and his companions hold a whispered conference, then he turns back, and points to a spot on the edge of the clearing. "You may set camp there, there's water and a fire pit. In one hour, four may come to the gate, unarmed, and bring your goods. We will talk more. Do not harm any creature here. If that does not suit, then you should leave now." He gives each party member another once over, then he and his companions turn and head back to the gate.


OK, you guys need to come up with an actual list of stuff you plan on trading. You (theoretically) know what you're carrying. Here is the list of equipment that's on the mules as I have it. Note that some of you have group gear carried by your character (Raúguey, for example, is carrying the manacles, a hammer, and spikes).

[Long list of gear the party is carrying deleted.]

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