Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Wilds - Path, No Shrubbery

The relatively fresh trail puts the party on alert. Most of the group want to follow the trail south, away from the bog, but Maro and Saurabh want to check out the northern path too. Dagmarten agrees to go with the pair and they head north. Their plan is to follow it for an hour at most and see what they can see. The others poke around the woods along the edge of the bog and curse the rain while they wait for the trio to come back.
An hour and a half later the scouts return. "The trail ends near a good sized pond," says Maro. "Looks like someone fishes there, we saw more tracks, the same as those on the trail, along the edge of the water. We also found a small fire pit and some fish bones. As best I can tell, there were two of them. There was another trail leading away west from the pond, but it hadn't been used recently."

"I think your first thought might be right Ra├║guey, this looks a lot like what we found near the Jago clan. I'd guess we're going to find people here, somewhere," says Durego.

"We still need to be careful. Just because they're people doesn't mean their friendly," warns Ohwatoo.

"Agreed. But let's not start firing bows at the first thing we see. We'll try to talk first." The cleric hefts his pack. "South?" The others nod, and the group heads south, following, but not on the trail, hoping to avoid any traps or pitfalls that might have been left by the trail-makers. The trail continues generally south for a mile or more, then branches, with one fork going east, the other continuing south. Uninterested in going east, the party follows the south trail.

Another half-mile on Rawon starts pointing things out. Torn up pine needles and broken down brush. Split-hoofed prints in the soft soil, fallen trees cut and stacked, drag marks from a sledge. "We're getting close to something. I'm guessing a settlement. I can't be sure but I think those are hog tracks."

"Maro, you should move to the front," says Ohwatoo. "You're better than any of us at talking with people. Everyone needs to be very careful with their weapons here. We don't want to provoke whoever this is unless absolutely necessary. We don't know how many there are."

With murmurs of agreement all around, Maro takes point, backed by Rawon and Mordikarr, and the group presses on. A short while later the trees begin to thin out, but it's not a natural clearing, someone has clear cut the area. Ahead scattered stumps poke out of the bare earth and low-growing brush. In the center of this extensive open area, a small palisade stands on what could barely be called a hill. A few rough-haired hogs poke and snort their way through the brush nearer the structure, and you can see several people working on something near the entrance to the place. It looks like there might be a garden of sorts there. You can't see within the palisade, but you do notice a single tiny watch platform rising above the wall. It's occupied, and it looks like the watchman has a spear near at hand. The people are too far away to make out any details of appearance or garb.

The trees provide you some minor cover, but if you stay where you are, the watchman is very likely to spot you, if he hasn't already.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: all comments are moderated to block spammers. Please be polite.