Friday, October 17, 2014

Wilds - Chaotic Updates

This is a loong, potentially boring post covering the stuff going on in town. It's much less structured than the typical turn, because it's basically my accumulated responses to the ongoing Q&A / activities of the players as they deal with logistics and such. Read on if that's of interest. If not, here is an unrelated picture from an old post:

Cheery Eh?
OK, on with the stuff. Prepare for a lack of editing!

OK, here's the cash breakdown:
  • Full share: 230 GP
  • Half share: 115 GP
Gorvil, Jonquil, and Saurabh get half shares, as do Locky's family and Tesso. The rest get full shares. There are about 260 GP in gems that can be allocated to treasure if someone wants to claim them, otherwise, we'll assume you liquidated and sold them.

The furs were worth about 400 GP, and the spices about 20 GP.
Raúguey keeps his lucky gold piece.
Here's the revised group loot list. I've tried to clarify the listings

Magic Items
  • (M) short sword with shimmering yellow blade
  • (M) a thin, featureless wand made from some smooth tan material
  • (M) A leather-bound book - Spellbook
  • (M) A potion of sweet water in a metal vial with a crystal stopper 2 doses
  • (M) 1 potion of diminution in a clay vial 2 doses
  • (M) Six chalk-like sticks - drawing / animation effect - Durego
  • (M) An ornate silver mirror. The back is decorated with a smiling face with huge eyes. - Rawon
  • (M) wolf's head mail - +1 armor, +2 save vs fear/charm effects - Raúguey
  • (M) 1 scroll two MU spells: Protection from Evil, Grasping Hand - Maro
  • (M) Magic scroll in case, Ward Against Magic
  • (M) Dwarf Kettle - Durego
  • (M) 2 wooden vials full of a Burning Ichor FIRE WEAPONS!
    • 1 vial Rawon (1 doses)
    • 1 vial Ingvild (2 doses)
  • (M) 9 magic silver arrows, possibly created by Sigmonst the Frail
    • 5 Rawon
    • 4 Maro
  • (M) 1 battered brass ring - magic - Ingvild
  • (M) 1 odd-looking amulet - magic, inscribed with ancient and unreadable Ssarasssian - Ohwatoo
  • vision enhancement
  • hypnotism
  • ritual required to activate
  • (M) 1 Sword of Bees - Raúguey
Weird Items
  • The metal rod, tube, and cap (key for spires)
  • 2 stone spheres, green, yellow
  • 3 stone pyramids, blue, orange, brown
  • 4 stone cubes, white, red, blue, green
  • Ohwatoo key, green sphere, red cube, brown pyramid (the combination home)
  • Maro yellow sphere, green cube, orange pyramid
  • Rawon blue cube, blue pyramid, white pyramid
Mundane Items
  • 1 map, possibly of Stonefinger and Blackpool Maze - Ohwatoo
  • 1 steel medallion of Highcliff Keep - Maro (see Turn 29)
  • 1 Gold coin of unknown vintage, marked with a man's head on one face, three peaks on the other. It also has a tiny fox head engraved below the head, perhaps a year marker? - Raúguey
  • A piece of vellum with the following written in Goblin (crude writing):
    • Four go to dawn.
    • Five go to dark.
    • Seven remain.

Afternoon arrival in Auslaug gives people time to clean up, replace their tattered clothing, and get themselves settled in their chosen inns and the camp on Hake's farm. Most gravitate to the Stag, but Durego and Ohwatoo hit the Black Tree. Surprisingly there is space available. After cleaning up and resupplying the party scarcely recognize each other. Clean-shaven Tesso is the real surprise, the foot-long beard was getting pretty gnarly. He is extremely happy to be home, and offers to buy dinner and ale for the party at the Green Hill. After dinner the party gets down to drinking and celebrating, and there are several toasts offered to those who are stuck in the field (though they have fresh hot food and good ale at least).

There are some initial suspicious and wary looks directed at the party when they arrive, but better dressed and clean, they are soon accepted, especially when several locals recognize them as the folk that cleared the Cold Caves. During the evening's festivities, more than a few rumors circulate....

There's war in the southeast. Definitely. The princes of Gorsebonn are at it again. No fighting has reached Hembard Wilds, but it's only a matter of time. There are already refugees showing up to the southeast, and Judge Gara has been busy dealing with petty thievery and ruffians.

The Judge has been hiring on temporary escorts when he travels the roads, including an unlikely pair of mercenaries from the south, a dwarf and a half-elf of all things. Strange partners, and from the south. Who knows if they can be trusted? The half-elf wears a holy symbol of Erlinga though, and the Judge seems to think highly of them.

Several major grain shipments, destined for East Gorsebonn merchants, have been confiscated by Lord Thambar. Could it be he's choosing sides? Did someone miss a payment? Is he preparing for a siege?

Now that the Cold Caves are clear again, maybe Lord Thambar will authorize new freeholds along the Westwalk. There' some good timber over there. Me? Oh I wouldn't go, but maybe some of these refugees would want the chance at a fresh start, instead of skulking in the south woods.

Those escorts? Why they're staying right here at the Green Hill. Been keeping a low profile, so I don't think they're troublemakers, but they have been watching newcomers. And asking about the lands out west.

That boat still at the dock? Yeah? Strange ones there. Out of the south, but haven't seen anyone get off or on except for the guy with the sword. Yeah it's flying a South Gorsebonn flag. Wonder if someone's making a deal with Lord Thambar? Captain Detwood has been on the docks a lot lately.

Double drills for the militia these last couple weeks. With the harvest mostly done, it's keeping everyone busy. The practice field is a muddy mess now. Lord Thambar himself was drilling the troops for a while. He's been scarce lately though. Some say he rode away south to scout the border.

Refugees? Yeah, they're coming up the river. Some are OK I guess, but others... I don't know. Been some sheep and cattle going missing and serfs from another lord always spell trouble.

The keep? They've been locked up tight since this mess started. Be on your best behavior if you're seeking an audience there. Some of those refugees tried to force their way in a week ago. It didn't end well. If it clears tomorrow you'll see the heads.

It was a good harvest, wasn't it? Glad most of it's done now. With this rain, it'll be hard to get the last bit done. I just hope we're not expected to feed all the strangers who are about.

And so the evening goes. There's drinking, dancing, wine, and women for those that go looking, and pure drinking for those who go with Rawon. The elf has amazing capacity. By the time the taverns close down and the curfew begins, everyone is tipsy, drunk, or smashed, except for the lonely souls at the campsite, who are mostly bored.

Who's staying where? For those that haven't specified, I'm picking based on past visits to town.

Durego - The Black Tree Tavern (assuming space available)
Ohwatoo - The Black Tree Tavern (assuming space available)
Raúguey - The Stag
Rawon - The Stag
Mordikarr - Camping in the field
Maro - Camping in the field
Ingvild - The Stag


Gorvil - The Black Tree Tavern (with Durego)
Jonquil - The Black Tree Tavern (assuming space is available)
Saurabh - The Stag (initially, then family)


Dagmarten - The Stag
Tesso - The Stag

And then there was this bit from the players (see, chaotic)... A dwarf and half-elf approach, challenging Rawon and Raúguey to a drinking and arm-wrestling contest (respectively)...

The crowd quiets as the wrestlers and drinkers settle into their respective contests. The elf and dwarf begin, trading mug for mug, turning the empties upside down on the table to keep count. Early on Rawon has the edge, effortlessly draining a trio of mugs, all the while keeping a smile on his face. Both pause for a moment, when a shout from the far end of the table starts the wrestlers in their first bout. Both contestants push hard and fast, but neither gains quick advantage. Finally, the half-elf manages to twist Raúguey's wrist just enough to weaken his position. He slowly pushes the big guys' hand to the table. With a shrug, Rawon picks up a newly filled mug, and drains it.

"Do you see that?" whispers Jonquil to Ohwatoo. The mage shakes his head. "Rawon slowed on that one. Could he be reaching his limit?" Perhaps the servant is right, Rawon's hand does seem a bit unsteady when he puts mug to table. The next couple mugs are smooth sailing though, for both parties. Someone calls for more pitchers, and the next round appears, a paler brew, or is that cider? Both Rawon and the dwarf eye the new drink with suspicion.

Another shout starts the second arm-wrestling bout. This time Grendor wins the first push, but Raúguey holds off the rush. The two struggle, arms locked, frozen, then slowly, ever so slowly, Raúguey recovers an inch, then two. It's a slow motion effort, but eventually he slams the half-elf's hand down. Both release their grasps and shake off the tension and fatigue, while the elf and dwarf kill another pair of pitchers. Rawon is definitely struggling now, the hard cider, fresh and sharp, adding to his already significant load. He finishes off the pitcher, but there is sweat on his brow. The dwarf is flushed and leaning a bit in his chair, but he chugs through the pitcher without a problem.

The next round is something new, clear and fiery liquor and a half-dozen shot glasses, delivered with a knowing grin by the barkeep. The contestants eye this new arrival with uncertainty, but Strom shrugs and pours his first shot. The pair drink the first together, and both blink and flush as the liquor goes down their throats. "What the devil is that!?" cries the dwarf.

"We call that Auslaug Fire, a local concoction. It has a kick!" says the barkeep. The farmers and laborers all laugh. Most have likely fallen victim to the Fire at least once in their lives.

A final shout starts the third and final wrestling match. Grendor grabs an early lead again, but Raúguey has the better position. Ignoring the twinges in his wrist and elbow he levers the half-elf's hand over and down!

"Two to one, Raúguey wins!" calls out Gorvil.

The contest is about over at the far end of the table too. On the fifth shot, Rawon slides the empty glass to the side, then slides out of his chair, blissful expression on his face. "That's the problem with elves," mutters Strom. "No bottom to em." He grins, tosses off one more shot to prove he's actually won, stands, staggers, and sits back down. He tosses a handful of coin on the table. "Buy a couple more rounds for the house," he says, then, "Think I'll just rest a minute," he mutters, listing to the left against a pillar.

The Next Day

After the festivities of the night before, some of the group is slow to start the next day. Saurabh and Durego, both fairly sober individuals, get to business first, visiting Kramo's to sell trinkets and gems; the local tanner (the one that did the bear hide for you), to sell the furs; and stopping off at the general store to try and sell the spices.

When Maro arrives at the Stag, ready to go attempt an audience with Thambar, he's disappointed to find most of the party still abed, except for Tesso, who is quietly eating breakfast in the corner. When he hears the story of last night's celebrations, the elf shakes his head. "Not the best way to get things done," he says. He joins the man at the table, and, as agreed by the group, offers him a job as camp guard. Tesso seems interested, but he wants to give it some thought. He's been gone for ten weeks or more, right now a clean bed and good food is his first priority.

Finally Ohwatoo arrives from the Black Tree, and the others stumble down the stairs (well, most of the others). More food, more muttered conversation. Ohwatoo shares his impressions of the two strangers, wonder if they might be worthy additions to the party. Maro's patience finally ends, and he rises. "Let's go. We need to try and see Thambar. We can't waste all day waiting for Durego. I'm sure Ohwatoo wants to get back to identifying magic for us."

Maro, Ohwatoo, Tesso, and Jonquil head for the keep. As they wind their way up the steep road that leads to the outer wall, Jonquil points. "Guess they weren't kidding about the heads eh?"

There are eight tarred heads on spikes at the top of the wall. Behind them, several guards peer out between the merlons. Maro also notices something else, the gates are shut. "I don't like the look of that," he says. When the group gets to the far side of the little bridge that crosses the chasm in front of the main gate, one of the guards calls out, "Halt! State your business!"

"I am Maro Revane, these are my companions, Ohwatoo, Tesso, and Jonquil. We seek audience with Lord Thambar, concerning the survey party he dispatched to the west some months ago, and other events in the territories beyond his western border."

There's a pause, as two of the guards confer, then one disappears while the other calls down. "Send one across the bridge to the postern gate, unarmed mind you! You can speak to the captain. The rest keep your distance!"

"I don't like that," whispers Ohwatoo. "Do you think we're in trouble?"

Tesso shrugs, "Maybe they're just being cautious. I mean..." he gestures at the heads. "They have reason."

"I'll go," says Maro, handing his sword to Tesso. The elf crosses the bridge while the others move back to a rocky outcropping and find seats on the stones. They watch as Maro is searched by two guards, then taken in through the postern gate. Time passes.

Tesso and Jonquil are just starting to tell jokes about packing a picnic lunch when Maro reappears. "Uh oh. That didn't go well," says Ohwatoo as the elf gets closer, sour scowl on his face. "What happened?"

"They kept me waiting for half an hour, then one of Lord Thambar's councilors, one those lordlings from the feast we attended, came down. He said Lord Thambar was closeted with the captain, Judge Gara, and the mayor, occupied with matters of state and the border situation. He did not have time to deal with... how did he put it? Those who have already caused enough trouble for the present."

"I guess word has reached the keep from the Leatherfoots," says Ohwatoo.

Maro nods. "When I asked when Lord Thambar might be able to receive us, he suggested we submit a formal petition for an audience. The smug jerk."

"As Durego would say, I have a bad feeling about this," says Ohwatoo. "If the Judge is involved, that could mean charges are being prepared. We need to tell the others. Isn't Gara of Durego's order? Maybe he can find out something. We need to tell the others about this."

The others agree, and quickly head back to town, stopping at the three inns to round up the others before hiring a private room at the Stag to discuss things...


Durego and Saurabh have liquidated all goods, as discussed. If anyone wants gems for personal treasure, speak up, or they're gone.

Tesso has been offered a position. He's asked for a day or two to think about it. He also returned Raúguey's banded armor.

Resupply and Restock

I strongly recommend everyone take a look at the group supply and their own gear and see if you have duplicates you can eliminate. If you have group gear on your character sheet, please be sure you remove it if the group sells it off. 

More gear stuff here.

It's now the afternoon of September 26th.

General notes on item availability:

There's no such thing as Greek fire. Oil burns two rounds for 2d6/1d6. For this game, that's enough.

Magic items are very rare in the marketplace. There are occasional merchants from the south who have items for sale, and you might get the occasional potion, but that's about it. Last time, people spent between 500 and 3000 gold to obtain these rare items. Why is it hard to buy magic? The point of adventuring is to find cool stuff like magic items.

Buying large numbers of weapons may draw official attention as in, "are you arming a hostile force beyond the border?"

I am *happy* to help deal with details on supplies / materials / loads, etc., but the party members need to take the initiative and declare their intentions.

I updated the sheet, dividing out new vs. existing items, and adding some rows. If you edit. please mark new items as indicated. If you decide to sell something off, let me know so I can push those funds somewhere. Your current expenditures are about 500 GP.

Other stuff:

There are two folk in town who have expressed interest in joining your party, maybe you want to do something about that? Note that more people means more food needed.

Identification of magic items. Who is doing it? When? Where? Which? Note that Identify knocks Ohwatoo out cold, so I'm sure he'd be grateful if someone would stay with him while he's helpless.

You should figure out what, if anything, you're going to do concerning Lord Thambar. Repeat your attempt to contact him directly? Send a written report? Nothing?

You have a portion of gold to send to Locky's family. How are you doing that?

Side activities: So far this is what I've heard.
- Durego - visit local church, donate to several local needy families, pray, gear repair
- Gorvil - find training for combat skills
- Mordikarr - staying in camp
- Maro - spending time in camp as needed
- Ingvild - buy some practice locks, check docks
- General - purchase tools / weapons for trade, or not. Deliver notes.
Please correct / expand as needed.

On with stuff!

Rumors of Cathrist - The wizard rules Islerkanne, a mighty fortress-city on the island of the same name. Cathrist is old, perhaps too old. His name appears in texts written more than 100 years ago. The ruling families of East / South Gorsebonn both court his favor because he usually turns the tides of their regular border wars and flare-ups. Travel to Islerkanne involves crossing Lake Havaar, a huge body of water that lies on the borders of East and South Gorsebonn.

Travel Time - The round trip distance to BPM is about 360 miles assuming you use the spires. That's about 3 weeks of travel at heavily loaded mule / dwarf speeds. Just for your consideration.

Weather - Autumn is here. The weather in this area is similar to North / South Carolina, but the higher / northern elevations are regularly hit with cold air from the north. The really big mountains up north are snow-covered year round. The 26th and 27th were pretty much perfect fall days, but everyone knows that can change quickly.

Jago Clan - Though you didn't make a great impression with these folk, they are out near BPM, and may be willing to trade if you approach them with some interesting goods. Just thought I'd remind you they're there.

September 26th - Activities

Note some of this is based on individual activities. I've consolidated some of this to the group.

That afternoon Ohwatoo spends his time composing a letter to Lord Thambar, using Maro's room at the Green Hill. He also writes a bit for Tesso concerning the survey party's demise. By dinner time several party members (those not passed out drunk or off wenching) meet at the Green Hill for dinner, approve the letter Ohwatoo has written, and agree to send it to the keep the next morning.

Grendor and Strom join the party for dinner, and talk turns to the groups upcoming expedition. Both men express interest in joining the party. [Expand upon this as you will].

After dinner Maro and Ohwatoo head up to Maro's room to identify items. Ohwatoo decides to give the wand a try, Maro the yellow bladed sword. As usual this knocks Ohwatoo out for a full day.

Note that I wrote this up before Ohwatoo's last message, so Ohwatoo's ID is out of order.

  • Wand - Has a summoning enchantment of some kind.
  • Sword - Has a base combat enchantment.
Note that as usual, Identify results may not be complete.

Wizards: let me know how many more attempts at Identify on which items you want to do. You have several days. You can also do spellbook work, spell exchange, etc., but that does take time. [Frank already provided this in his last message]

For the others, the night winds down with celebration and relaxation. Tomorrow's another day. Dagmarten is notably missing, and Ingvild mentions that he was going to keep Mordikarr company at camp.

September 27th - Activities

Raúguey and Jonquil agree to watch over Ohwatoo while Maro and Tesso return to the keep to deliver the letter. Saurabh takes his leave, heading home to visit family (farmers well away from Auslaug to the north). Rawon takes his usual position at the bar in the Stag. Ingvild, Durego, and Gorvil go shopping, making broad inquiries about magical goods, potions, or exceptional gear that might be available.

The shoppers discover...
  • Lorsun has a fine silver dagger for sale, and a well-made long sword, but neither are magical.
  • Lorsun himself mentions that Granny Smikken has brewed up a fresh batch of her cure-all remedy. It goes fast, so the party better act quickly if they want some.
  • Perquip's has a fair stock of mundane goods, as usual. Perquip seems a bit more cantankerous than usual.
  • Ingvild mentions locks to Lorsun, and the elf actually has a couple old things in a box he rescued from a barn. He'll sell them cheap (3 assorted locks 15 GP). They'll need a bit of oil and cleaning, but should prove to be useful for practice.
  • Poking around the market, the group sees there are plenty of dried supplies available. Thambar hasn't bought them all yet.
  • Mules are a different story. Initial inquiries find none for sale.
  • They do hear a rumor that the strange ship on the dock may actually be a traveling merchant.
  • The fur trader is definitely interested in more furs, though he admits he will have a hard time moving large numbers of high-value furs due to the war down south. Farmers want deer hide and such, rugged stuff, but lower value.
  • The smithy is very busy forging spears and blades for Lord Thambar, supplementing the keep's own weapon smith.
  • So far as the shoppers can tell, there is no one in town who practices enchantment.
Before rejoining the others, the shoppers take a walk around the dock area. The boat, a single masted sailing vessel with a broad beam and an enclosed cabin at the rear, is actually moored off the docks, 20 yards into the stream. There are several sailors on deck, and Gorvil points out a pair of crossbows hanging from the mast. "Ready for trouble," mutters Durego. The ship is flying a South Gorsebonn flag, and another below it, perhaps a personal banner? None recognize the second flag.

Maro and Tesso deliver their letter into the hands of the guard. As before the keep is locked down and there is no warm welcome for the heroes of the Cold Caves. They wait around to see if there is an immediate response, then head back to town. Maro relieves Raúguey and Tesso joins Rawon at the Stag. Maro spends the rest of the day working on spells.

Gorvil and Jonquil spend the afternoon on the militia drill field, practicing with sword and spear. Both are pleased with their work, and find they are holding their own against the rank and file farmers and laborers that make up the bulk of the force.

That evening the recovered Ohwatoo and Maro join the others for dinner. Maro suggests someone should relieve Mordikarr at camp so he can purchase any goods he needs for the upcoming trip.

Annnnnd. That's it!
I just scrolled back over this message after posting. HOLY CRAP that's long.


  1. Loong... but much appreciated. So very entertaining. How much gold to purchase one of the newcomer slots? :P btw.. Granny Smikken's link gave a 404.

    1. Well, one newcomer is a second character for Maro's player, the other is for someone I've gamed with for (ahem) 30+ years. :)

      Thanks for the heads up on the link, it was a leftover from TiddlyWiki.

    2. OH.. 30+ years is all? I'll have that ... in ... 30+ years. :| Ok. Got to get in at the ground floor then. Anyone need a hireling? Will work for quarter share! :D


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