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Quest against the Darkmaster (PbP)

OOC - well yes the other option was to have them always disagree and let Kal Windhammer be the tie-breaker always (which could still happen).

Leofred (who knows nothing of what came before) rises and returns to the Elf-Captain/Guard who had escorted him.  Presumably he soon discovers the reason for the gathering, whereupon he would ask elves he meets and the two other delegates who spoke about what has been going on.

Gyantwaka - with Mab's going to her husband now standing alone with Kal, glances at the dwarf and shrugs.  To Kal he asks, " Did any of the orcs or other foes found ride wolves" - wondering if these are the barrow-defilers as well.

If Gyantwaka does have two weeks on his own, he  would search for healing herbs  - wandering away from whatever constitutes an elven settlement (his default action when having any downtime unless he has a full kit using his Nature Skill 55, Healing Hands bonus +10, and if in Wild +10 from Strider).  If need be we can roll his Cultures (+15) to see if he knows whether the Elves would object to this/to go where they would not object - he would never harvest enough to damage a plant/its future propagation but as a Leshak he doesn't view lands as "owned".  If any plants he found were obviously tended by someone he would not harvest them, though he might seek out whoever tended them to converse about useful herbs.

Generally, if any elves are going hunting and would like a companion he would join them to assist putting food on the table.

 

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Gabe Dybing

OOC: Also, if “firepower” is a consideration, we don’t require fully built characters, but PCs also can command lieutenants or retainers. It can get pretty muddy in play, so I like to abstract conflicts involving small parties. We can discuss it.

For now, your characters are free to explore Elvendale. In what activities do they engage over the coming two weeks?

Gyantwaka makes the acquaintance of Uirebon, a male Elf ranger, who is pleased to conduct Gyantwaka about the forests and ensure that he does not harvest anything that is protected.

Mechanically, he will try to assist in foraging by making a roll of his own (which is quite formidable).

Kal turns to Gyantwaka's question,"I encountered no wolves within the woods, singly or ridden, and Trolls would be to large to ride. Unfortunate turn of events, but perhaps we can talk some more later."

Kal heads out to get cleaned up, rest and fed. He has spent months on the road and if he is about to be stuck for fourteen days then at least he can get back some of what he lost. He will also stop by any armament merchant to find what can be sought. He is in need of a proper helmet.

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Gabe Dybing

Gyantwaka nods.  Resting and food sound good and perhaps there is a stream nearby to refresh in.

On meeting Uirebon, he accepts the offer of aid gladly. His activities are as above - offering to hunt or otherwise support community he is staying in, searching for healing herbs.  If a particular sort is in season he would focus on those.  He has a "bundle of healing herbs" as starting kit.  I assume is this a standard "clotting herb" (substitute for healer's kit etc. in treating bleeding wounds) and he would be looking for some "mending herbs", and after that more "clotting herb" to try to make a healing salve (have to start building up that Herbarium).

If he manages above average success hunting, he will try to trade resulting skins or meat for a leather bracers, or even a jerkin (being Wealth 0 a jerkin is beyond his means ordinarily and bracers are something he has to barter for as their Fare = Wealth).

Hopefully the elves understand Leshak habits and don't take affront at the fact he prefers to sleep outdoors with the open sky overhead, not liking enclosed spaces of artificial floors and ceilings (his nature is to seek always to be in nature and avoid anything that cuts him off from the Spirits).

Leofred follows his typical routine - see to his horse's stabling, and take him out for a ride daily, find a hot bath and a good meal.  He too would be looking for an armourer or marketplace where he might pick up a metal helm, greaves and or gauntlets (all Fare 1 and within his Wealth 2 means).  If he sees the dwarf while about that task, he will introduce himself and ask the dwarf's opinion of all this and if Kal knows why the Elf King would fasten so quickly on treachery in the elf messenger's death rather than simply a surprise attack on the road.  "There are more bandits on the roads this year, and stupidly vicious ones at that - you can only rob a dead merchant once."

Otherwise, Leofred would tend to socialize with what he thinks to be noble elves on his rides or otherwise (his Charisma is +40 and if it seems useful he will try to convince someone he's a worthy guest/trustworthy fellow).  When riding and out and about generally he would not be wearing his armour, just his arming sword at his side.

If Leofred has heard of any particularly famous or inspiring sights here in Elvendale he would make a point of trying to see them (you don't go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower etc.)

OOC - I will make any rolls or trust GM to as needed, re abstracting conflict sure I'm open to whatever works for PBM, or arranging a short 'live chat' for the odd 'action scene' (I don't really have the opening to block off a weekly 2-3 stretch for an online game right now).

OOC: Oh, don’t worry. I have no interest in resolving any of this outside of a PbP format. I happen to know that Carl likewise has no opportunities for real time gaming.

Let’s do it this way. Elvendale is rich with materials and artisans, so you can acquire anything for which you have adequate Wealth. I’ll likewise allow any Trade to take place without any oversight on my part.

Uirebon is a particularly competent guide, and the season is fortunate/bounteous. Gyantwaka receives a +40 bonus to his first foraging attempt (an exceptional result from Uirebon coupled with the natural bounty of the elven glade) and a +10 bonus (natural bounty) for subsequent rolls for separate herbs

P.S. Please disregard Oberon’s talk of “treachery.” I had meant use of the word to refer to a strike to the back, treacherous conduct: not allowing a man to face his foe and receive a fighting chance.

[ooc - rolls and math follow, herbs named for Herbarium purpose, all subject to GM review/approval]

Gyantwaka harvests, two herbs, suitable to conserve for later use: blueheart root (clotting herb) with the aid of Uirebon and by his own skill some oelthar leaf (mending herb).  In other activity, he is a successful hunter contributing to the community enough meat and skins to barter for a leather jerkin.

[His skill is Nature +55 +10 Healing Hands bonus, so +65, he wants herbs to conserve so has a -30 modifier, and rolls with +40, +10, +10, +10 otherwise; I'm assuming he spends 2/3 of his time hunting to be of use and barter results and 1/3 searching for herbs, from p.207 one check per day noting the rule about harvesting same area for same herb - about 4 days of herb searching with some moving around time.  I'm assuming rolls are Standard challenge, his herb search Nature rolls are Success 103 (28+65+40-30), Success 138 (93+65+10-30), Failure 61 (16+65+10-30) and Failure 70 (25+65+10-30).  His hunting roll is Success with 157 (96+60 skill) - that's enough to feed a party so I'm assuming enough to support himself and barter rest - what he hunted up under Hunting skill looks like "meal normal" Fare 1 so he barters it for Leather Jerkin Fare 1]

[added - for Herbarium purposes is this Woodland, Summer?]

Leofred ponders the Elf King's words and comes to a better understanding of them, which is a relief.  He acquires his additional armour above (all Fare 1).  Expecting to eventually travel and not sure it will be by roads (where all welcome a Guardian of the Evening Star) he also picks up a week of preserved rations and a pony as a pack animal (Fare 1).

[OOC, you mentioned supplemental NPC's, I admit these two are pretty much all I can run. Though if some firepower needed, Leofred would not recruit elves, but in Mannish lands might call up aid such as those of his order do at times.  In another game I ran, different system, there was the "Serjeant Balthus" card - player invoke to say how the Serjeant distracted a foe to give bonus to your attack or intervened to help you evade an attack, except the Serjeant only acts once an exchange and on chaos stars [it was warhammer] he gets injured etc., perhaps in this system on a 'doubles roll' being about 10% of the time which thinking about it is probably not often enough - point also being only PC's really roll - a foe gets taken down "with NPC's help" not
"by the NPC" as PC's are the stars of show and "last to fall"]

Aegras’ son’s remains are brought in stately progression from Southwatch to Elvendale, where the body lies in state, in the center of the community, for an entire fortnight. During that time, the young warrior is surrounded by growing things. All day and all night the folk of the Dale gather about the corpse. Songs are sung, tales are told, wine is tasted, and many a sweet-smelling herb is burned.

After two weeks, the body still remarkably uncorrupted, which is common for Elven kind, the slain warrior is borne deep into the forest, where it is interred beneath a raised root of his ancient Family Tree. There he is left, uncovered, to sleep forever, to mingle his substance with the family roots.

Mab said a fortnight would pass before the matter of the Shadow would be addressed again, but yet another week goes by as the funeral feast stretches for days, and many an elegy is given.

At last, Gyantwaka and Kal again are summoned to Mab’s chambers. This time Oberon likewise is present, and Aegras, and Leofred as consultant.

”We have three clues before us,” says Mab, “four blades plundered from ancient tombs, captive Dwarves competent and metal-craft, and a young Elf slain before he could deliver summons to Southwatch. There is a tale here and a quest. Please, guests and friends, tell me what it is.”

Gyantwaka is no great speaker and holds back any thoughts he has to hear first what others say.

[Having had another week, he would have continued looking for healing herbs, spending time to to got a different area and make two more rolls, success and failure - 100[55+10-30+65] and 60[15+same], one more dose of bluehart clotting root].

Leofred, who has during the added time tried to befriend a local enough to translate the beautiful funeral dirges for him, speaks, "I have heard the evils told of before I arrived. Of these the most recent is the slaying of the mourned elf messenger. Unless other messengers I have been waylaid, there must be a special purpose in this and I fear this means something is afoot in the Southwatch's region. If Southwatch had responded to the inquiry, I am not privy to all it would have related but believe the growth of banditry that seeks to suppress trade and travel by making would-be travelers fear for their lives would have been at least part of such a report.  If this banditry is part of a grander plan, it must be to cut off travel and communications.  Perhaps there is some evil in the towns or settlements travel would otherwise spread word about, and word of which is to be kept from spreading by this suppression of travel.  Were I to advise my own order, it would be to ride a circuit of these lands to see what it is that word is being kept from spreading about."

[OOC I don't know what the geography of things is, but the marshes and barrows Gyantwaka spoke of would perhaps be near such a circuit]