Better late than never. The party's being a bit slow on decisions, possibly from too much ale on their recent visit to town. We'll be sending in ninjas shortly to get things moving. Since the cast is ever-changing, I've included the current roster, watches, and marching orders in this turn for those playing along at home.
Start Date: October 15, afternoon
Start Status: Camping is fun
Start Location: FOB1
After viewing the damage in and around the camp site at FOB1, the party begins a seemingly interminable debate over what to do next. Stay, clean up, and reestablish the base. Find a new base (north, south, east, or west). Move to vault hill, attack the Nest. Head through the spire to Blackpool Maze. The discussion goes on for quite a while. QUITE a while.
Finally, the party decides that staying here is too risky, and that an attack on the Nest doesn't accomplish a lot. They head northeast, toward the marked tree, to see if they can find a better camp site, and to check out the tree using the magical mirror that reveals invisible objects. The sun is already well-west by the time they set out on a winding course through the woods.
It takes several hours to reach the tree, the sun is almost down when they arrive. The party is not that familiar with this area, and the woods all look alike. While the elves go to pay their respects, Mordikarr and Raúguey start circling, looking for water or a place to camp.
Twenty minutes later the group regathers. "See anything?" asks Ingvild.
Rawon shakes his head. "Just the same mark we saw before. I didn't feel anything from the tree either. Did you Maro?"
"No. Did you find any place to camp?"
"No water nearby. We'll need to move if we want to find a spring tonight," answers Raúguey.
"Let's head southeast. At the very least we know there's a spring in that direction. We may not reach it tonight, but maybe we'll find something along the way," says Rawon.
"We'll need to stop soon. The mules are about done in," says Jonquil. "We've been marching for a long time."
As the party marches the sun sets, and the party pulls out various light stones. Travel is slow, the mules (and some party members) are increasingly reluctant to move. Luckily, the group finds a small spring, a trickle really, flowing out of a rocky ridge. The ridge top is relatively flat and sheltered by several huge oaks. "I think this is the best we're going to do tonight," says Durego. "Time to stop."
The others agree. While some unburden the mules, others go to check the spring. "Water's good but not much flow. Raúguey and Dagmarten are trying to dam up the outflow to make a pool," says Ingvild when he rejoins the others atop the hill, adding an armload of dead wood to the small pile already gathered. With the mules tended, the firewood gathered, and the party fed, the group beds down for the night. It passes without incident.
[Oct 16] The party is slow to rise the next morning, worn out after yesterday's heavy-duty hiking. The mules are looking pretty ragged, as are several party members. When Maro and Durego start to discuss the day's trip to the Spire and beyond to retrieve Locky's body, there's general agreement from the others, but the Jonquil, Gorvil, and Tesso are not happy to be left behind, especially when Saurabh announces he's going with the main party. "You expect us to stand watch, and deal with the animals, and pack away all this extraneous junk you decided to drag along?" exclaims Gorvil. "You have a pretty d* high opinion of our abilities and a low opinion of our value, don't you?"
Jonquil just stalks over to the mules and begins leading them down to the improvised watering hole, after a moment, Gorvil joins him. Tesso continues to sharpen his sword.
"Well that's not good," whispers Maro, but the others pay no heed to the servant's grumbles. They're packing up a couple day's food, and hoisting packs, ready to head out while the nice weather holds. The last thing the group sees as they march through the woods is the Tesso standing atop the hill, watching the other two water the mules.
It's an hour's hike to get out of the woods, then another hour and a half to reach the spire. Grendor and Strom are fascinated by the structure, and amazed when Ohwatoo opens the door in the side. Everyone crowds in, and Ohwatoo sets the controls for the heart of Blackpool. The others in the know try to hide what he's doing from the newcomers, but it's hard to cover all the angles — the pair gets a general idea of what's going on. They're still surprised when they step out into the swampy woods near the Maze. "Where else do those things go?" asks Grendor.
"Lots of places. We've only just peeked out at the ones we've tested," answers Dagmarten.
"Wait!" calls Mordikarr, halting the group while most are inside the structure. He stoops near the entrance, then points. "Tracks. Many tracks. Some very old. Some new. No like these tracks," he points to the soggy ground around the entrance, where even the least woodwise eyes can see the many deep pit-like marks on the ground. "No see tracks like these before. Old ones, maybe Gola-ka, maybe dog heads. These, Not like other tracks."
The older tracks are weeks-old, rain-washed and obscured by fallen leaves. It's impossible to tell numbers. The newer tracks, deep pit-like marks, are thick around the spire, and several groups lead off into or out of the woods (there's no way to tell direction of travel). These tracks are a couple days old at most. Some go / come from northeast, others south.
Note that Ohwatoo did try the mirror on the other magic items in the party's possession back in town. He did not discover any other details.
Group discussions: Things have gotten bogged down a bit lately. It feels like people are getting stuck on long term plans and only interested in throwing out ideas. That's fine, but we also need to get a consensus to move things forward. That means players need to express agreement when a plan is a close match to their desires. Let's plan on another turn Thursday and get back on schedule!
And yes, the hirelings *are* concerned about getting left alone for extended periods. They're three people trying to maintain a 24 hour watch, tend beasts, improve camp, and hide away close to a ton of supplies. How would you feel about that?
End Date: October 16, late morning
End Status: Tracks.
End Location: Blackpool Spire
Marching Order (servants march with their leader)
Front: Rawon, Mordikarr
Front of Middle: Strom, Ingvild, Maro
Middle Middle: Ohwatoo (Jonquil - with 2 mules)
Front of Back: Dagmarten, Raúguey (Saurabh - with 1 mule), Grendor
Back: Durego (Gorvil - with 2 mules), Tesso
Front: Raúguey, Grendor
Second: Strom, Ingvild
Third: Dagmarten, Durego
Fourth: Maro, Ohwatoo
Last: Mordikarr, Rawon
1 - Raúguey (Saurabh), Strom (infravision)
2 - Ingvild, Maro (infravision)
3 - Durego (Gorvil), Grendor (infravision)
4 - Ohwatoo (Jonquil), Mordikarr (owl vision)
5 - Tesso, Dagmarten, Rawon (infravision - had sufficient time to sleep off the drunk)
Durego Van - 4th Cleric (Hasuden)
Ohwatoo - 3rd Magic-User (Hasuden)
Raúguey Downs - 3rd Fighter (Hasuden)
Rawon - 3rd Wood Elf
Mordikarr - 3rd Beastmaster
Maro Revane - 2nd High Elf
Ingvild - 4th Thief (Toresden)
Grendor - 3rd Fighter (Half-elf)
Strom Aksbreaker - 3rd Fighter (Dwarf)
Gorvil - 1st fighter - Durego Van
Jonquil - 1st fighter - Ohwatoo
Saurabh - 1st cleric - Raúguey
Tesso - 1st fighter - NPC
Dagmarten - 3rd Cleric (Toresden) - NPC
Jedit the lynx kit: Seared and drained by wisp-things.
Lockwood "Locky" Leatherfoot - 3rd Halfling: Crushed by a zombie slug.
Nissa Revane - 2nd High Elf: Eaten by a giant bug.
Grit Seventoes - 2nd Dwarf: Eaten by a giant bug. And spit out.
Urúvion - 2nd Wood Elf: A victim of his own curiosity, and a fire trap.