Indecisive party. Impatient GM. The dice decide.
Start Date: November 12, year of the Badger, morning
Start Status: Go west or south, no west. I SAID SOUTH. Fine, west it is.
Start Location: Tragor's Hold
After book-ending a full day's trading with two quiet nights outside Tragor's Hold, the party is finally ready to depart for Blackpool Maze. Only the route is in question. [See OOC addendum for trade results] The party is evenly split between those that want to choose the better known southern path versus those who want to head west into new territory and see if there are any other ruins there. The party's old map seems to hint at other sites, and other treasures in that direction. The beasts are packed, breakfast is eaten, all that remains is the direction.
"FINE!" shouts Raúguey. "If no one can decide, I'LL decide." He digs into his pocket and pulls out the old gold coin he found in the well in Blackpool, his good luck piece. "Heads we go south, mountains we go west!" He flips the coin and lets it fall to the barren earth of the camp site. Sunlight glints off three peaks.
"West it is then," says Rawon, sealing the deal with a swing from his flask. He waves to the villagers harvesting the last potatoes and squash from the beds outside the palisade, and starts down the trail Tragor indicated would lead to the grassy plain northwest of the hold.
"I got a bad feeling about this," mutters Durego as he takes his place in the marching order. There are various other grumbles and complaints as the party gets moving, but everyone seems happy to be moving again. The trail leads northwest, skirting along the edge of swampy ground, before the trees thin and the trail disappears into a grassy plain extending north and west. The party turns west and follows the grass. Low tree covered hills peek above the horizon north and south as the party moves, but the party makes about 15 miles before hills appear ahead. The cloudy skies hasten night's approach, so the party makes camp in a sheltered depression, surrounded by faded green grass. The only point of interest spotted during the day's travels was a skittish herd of plains antelope and a muddy watering hold surrounded by hoof-prints.
[November 13] Blustery, cloudy weather greets the party the next morning, and Dagmarten continues to mutter about rain ahead. With the prospect of tougher travel ahead, the party gets an early start and heads toward the western hills. After crossing four or six more miles of plain the party hits the wooded hills and the going gets tougher. They've only made a handful of miles when they break for lunch. After a quick meal...
GZZZZ BRAAAAAP CLICK Due to technical difficulties, this reality stream has been terminated. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical.
Oops. It seems the site I use for mapping software is down hard, so I can't access a new section of the world map. That kind of makes the path forward tough. :) The party is currently in hex 16,46. I'll update the map shortly.
... the party moves on at a slow pace, covering eight
or so miles in the afternoon. Nightfall finds them in pine-covered hills
at a dry camp beneath cloudy skies.
[November 14] The wind. It
wakes everyone up well before dawn. The constant rushing sound is only
broken by the occasional *crack* or *snap* of breaking branches and
falling limbs. Fire is impossible and probably dangerous. No one can
sleep so the group packs up and pushes on westward, faces and hands
slashed by flailing branches and pine needles. The mules are... unhappy.
Progress is slow, but shortly before noon (or at least that's what you
think, thick clouds obscure the sky), Mordiarr calls a halt. When the
others ask why, he points. A handful of familiar flagstones, barely
visible beneath the thick carpet of pine needles, form a scattered line
running more or less east to west. "I think we find road again."
The party's offer:
20 woodworking / farm tools
5 each axes, long swords, and short sword
5 longbows and 5 quivers of arrows
3 3-gallon barrels of assorted liquor
15 high quality furs, mostly mink and fox
10 good furs, beaver and marten
15 good hides, elk and deer
6 bundles of assorted herbs
4 pairs of well-made moccasins.
2 smoked hams and some fresh vegetables (15 days fresh food)
This seems a fair offer. Tragor has more goods to trade (mostly furs), and drives a pretty hard bargain, but he is free with gifts of food and drink while you stay here, so you feel it's a good deal. The hunters are very happy with the bows and arrows, and the tools, particularly the farm implements, were well received. The liquor, of course, was a hit, but the swords received only a lukewarm response.
I'll assume this deal is done unless someone complains. I'll update the spreadsheet to reflect this deal tomorrow.
In a side conversation, Belon does mention a small group of traders passed this way six or eight weeks ago. They had traded foodstuffs for furs.
The villagers do not add much you didn't already know to your local area map. They had told you most of what they knew last time. They do point out a couple trails that lead in directions you're interested in, and mention a fairly large west-running plains area splits the two swamps west and north of the village. None of the villagers, aside from the bee boys, are interested in going on an extended winter journey with the party.
End Date: November 13, year of the Badger, midday.
End Status: Too bad it's Thursday
End Location: West of Tragor's Hold