Monday, May 15, 2017

The Colony - Turn 12 - Road Trip

The party switches things up and heads into the great outdoors. They hope to earn some quick cash and, hopefully, determine the fate of Maarek's and Kessel's parents. They, along with several other workers from Oakfell, vanished into the woods several months ago.

Start Date: July 21, 1027, Morning
Start Status: Road Trip
Start Location: The White Tulip

The Turn

At the White Tulip: Smoke, Rennard, Shade, Zenobe, Mendel, One-eye, Maarek, Javiera, Hagan

Exploring the Wilderness: Xon, Adrienne, Nogg, Aaron, Brigg, Candle, Kessel, Sim, Jinx

Early the next morning, Xon, Rennard, Aaron, and Adrienne head up Hillside Avenue to High Point and the nearby military barracks. Their intent is to secure an exploration and mapping contract for the area along the northern coast. Hopefully, they'll also be able to determine what happened to the colonists that went missing from the Oakfell lumber camp. The military quarter next to High Point is a walled compound with several guarded gates. When Xon inquires, a guard directs him to a brick building outside the wall, the administrative offices.

After killing some time outside waiting for the offices to open, the party meets with a sleepy-looking lieutenant Valdea Durhel. She asks a few questions about the group's qualifications and has Aaron sketch a quick map of the port area to test his skills. The result seems to please her and she outlines the job, pay, and potential bonuses.
The party's assigned area is east and north of Oakfell and Vinehold to the coast
Party must produce an accurate map and a written report of notable features
Lump sum payment of 25 gold per day for up to 7 days (paid on map/report delivery)
Ink, parchment, and quills provided
Mineral resources, hardwood forests, or arable land earn a bonus based on potential value of the discovery
Valuables recovered during the survey are property of the party and gate taxes are waived
The terms are not particularly generous, but money is money. The group's representatives accept the deal. They receive a writ that outlines their duties and gives them the right to cross private lands in pursuit of their goal. She also writes a requisition for mapping supplies and tells the party they can draw them from the quartermaster downstairs. Before the party departs, Rennard asks Durhel about Jinel Vine. The lieutenant suggests the group pays a visit to the estate at Vinehold to inform lady Vine about their mission. It's not officially required but may smooth the way.

By the time the envoys get back at the White Tulip, those remaining behind have established a rotating watch to ensure the hostel remains secure. As an extra precaution, Javiera also cast arcane lock on the grate leading into the Old City. Brigg tried to interest people in a trip down the well, but no one really seems interested. The explorers prepare their backpacks and make last minute purchases. Everyone is finally ready to head out just before noon.

The Colony - One Mile Hexes
The trip to Vinehold runs through a mix of lightly wooded hills and open fields. Small farms dot the flatter terrain, while herds of sheep and goats roam the higher elevations. It's a hot and sticky two-hour walk to reach the tilled fields that surround Vinehold. The farms appear prosperous and well tended, and Vinehold itself is a busy place, boasting several warehouses, a sawmill and a smeltery. From the sawdust and rock debris scattered about, it looks like the warehouses are used to store lumber, ore and processed metal. An actual tavern occupied by a handful of dirty miners faces a small general store in the village square, and a large manor house stands on a rounded hill to the northeast. Grape arbors and trellises covered in hop plants flank the road leading to the estate.

"Maybe some of us should wait here while two or three go speak with the lady," suggests Sim.

"Good idea," says Xon. "I'll be in the bar."

"Don't drink too much. We want to get to Oakfell tonight at the latest." Aaron dusts off the worst of the road dust and starts up the hill. Adrienne and Candle follow. The rest join Xon in the bar or rest in the shade of a huge elm in the town square.

Aaron, Adrienne and Candle are met at the manor house gate by a pair of guards wearing wine-colored cloaks decorated with a grape cluster. They ask to see lady Vine. The guards say she's busy, but the military writ gets them an audience with the manor's steward, Warten Tun.

When the trio meets Tun, he immediately tells them the Silverstream contract is no longer available and starts to walk out of the room. Aaron quickly explains that they have other business. After hearing the party's plans and carefully examining the writ, Tun tells the party that the lady is unavailable at the moment. He will draft a letter to the foreman at Oakfell authorizing the group to stay there as needed. When Adrienne mentions the people that went missing a few months back, Tun indicates the lady would be most grateful for any information about those lost, gratitude that might extend to a small reward. Adrienne expresses confidence that the group will find something, and the trio takes their leave.

After a quick bite to eat, the group heads to Oakfell. The road east is a bit rougher, winding through scrubby hills before entering the deeper forest beyond. The group reaches Oakfell in the afternoon and delivers the letter from Tun to Bino Offut, the foreman. He sets the group up in a large tent but has little time to talk. The loggers are busy loading several wagons with freshly cut logs.

OOC: I will update the map with some hex coordinates to help with route planning. The group should come up with a marching order and watches.

End Date: July 21, 1027, Afternoon
End Status: I'm a lumberjack...
End Location: Oakfell camp

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