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    Messages in Blacktooth Ridge
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Nomad D2
RDI Fixture
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3026 Posts


The river's edge brings much new information

The party spent a part of the morning discussing plans – some wanted a stealthy approach while at least one wanted a full frontal assault.  But whatever the method, all agreed that they needed to return to the Vargolg if there was to be any chance to rescue the missing twins.  That meant it was time to return to the Hreusen River.  Perhaps the fey Boris would be available, but perhaps not. 

               Hornet took the lead and led the group back through the forests dim light towards the river.  It was impossible to miss – if the party just went East they were assured of running into it eventually.  So even though it was impossible to perfectly follow their path from the night before the group easily found the river.  It took less than two hours to again hear water flowing.  The group moved quickly forward, hoping to see the new state of affairs.  But even before they reached the water the group was surprised when Hornet suddenly held up a fist to bring the group to a halt and call for silence.  Talking could be heard ahead – towards the river.  He wasn’t sure just what was speaking or what they were saying, but it was clear that something was ahead. 

               Again, urging the group to be silent, Hornet moved silently (he hoped!) forward a bit to the edge of the river.  Before he cleared the vegetation it was clear the voices were speaking common and were not goblin in nature.  He could make out words. 

               A female voice spoke quickly but excitedly, “There I was in the woods!  And approaching the river I met you.” 

               She didn’t get any further when a familiar voice interrupted the flow of words.   A voice that could belong to none other than Boris the Otter spoke in his usual rapid fire fashion, “of course!  Of course!  One must always be careful of mages; they always have surprising tricks that can do all sorts of interesting things.  Why, once Boris met one with these weird glasses who . . . well, never mind that, that mage isn’t here, but you are!  And such a you!  It was obvious you weren’t half, and no, I have never heard of a two-thirding but that meant you must be something else!  But I spotted it – the stick, you see, it is a give away for those who know what Boris knows.  And Boris has been to more places than just his river.  But this river is a good place and many people come to it!  Which they should since it is such a fine river!  Like my friends from yesterday who did me a good service – you will like them.  And I can say will, because they are right behind those bushes over there!”

               These words caught Hornet (and the others who had moved closer to listen) off guard and he started when the fey Otter added, “Come forward friends!  There are times to hide in the woods and fog, but the bright light of the morning is not such a time!  Come, come!”  As the group shuffled out into the little cleared area by the river’s edge, they saw Boris waving them forward.  In front of him stood a small, young lady.  She was just under 4’ tall, thin and with long blond hair that was tied up in a topknot.  She appeared very youthful and was dressed in colorful clothes – patches filling in where other colors faded, and tall leather boots covered her feet.  She held a long staff or stick that had a fork in one end and appeared to have a strap across it – almost like a slingshot.  She looked up with a smile at the large group that emerged from the woods.  Boris continued his monologue, “Come!  I would like to introduce you to . . . “and here he indicated the young female in front of him, “this!”  He proclaimed it almost triumphantly! 

**At this point the group will get to meet this new person.  Additional post coming.**

               Having met Boris’ companion the group quickly turned to the otter and asked about the events at the river the night before.  The fog had indeed been the gift of the otter as he said, “You had not managed a great entrance to the door, and it seemed a bit of concealment was called for.  No goblin can find their way in my fog!  And you, young lady,” he looked to Soledad, “your little lights sent them down river to deep water.  A simple thing, those lights, but quite effective when dealing with minds the size of a mussel shell!”  When asked about the events of the rest of the night and so far this morning he had some information.  He passed on the following bits of information:

*The vile creatures had returned to the Vargolg not long after the bush burned out.

*They appeared to have guards watching a bit higher on the ridge near the entrance to the gulley.  But what was going on in the gulley or caves?  He didn’t go there.

*There was much activity this morning as they spent a lot of time hauling dead bodies away.  (You did do something while you were up there, he noted!)  They seem to be taking them a little over a mile downriver – there they were hauling them about half-way up the ridge.  There is a ledge there.  If smells and smoke indicate anything – he believes they are making a huge pyre of the bodies.  When you look up you can see the black smoke curling skyward to the South.  He doesn’t know how many are there – some, they come and go carrying bodies.  Others gather wood.

*He knows of no second entrance to the Vargolg.  He doesn’t believe there is one. 

*There are a couple of goblins along the shore watching the ford – and those on the ridge (2?) likely can see the ford as well.


After a while he finishes with:

“Well, well, it seems I have repaid my debt and then some!  I showed you the location of what you sought and then repaid a rescue with a rescue!  Now you come seeking more information!  Boris knows how to give thanks and he has done so!  But ask much more and you will be in my debt!  A turn of events that would be!  It is good to clear the scales.  And cleared they have been!  But friends you remain.”  He answers your questions willingly enough but it is clear that he has no intention of entering the Vargolg or the Ridge in general. 

 

Overview

It is now a little before noon.  (You woke, talked, walked and then talked with Boris.)  The day is a little overcast, but no rain seems imminent.  You are approximately ¼ mile upstream (North) of the ford.  The burning is a bit over a mile South of the ford. 



Posted on 2022-01-29 at 19:05:50.

Altaira
Resident
Karma: 24/0
361 Posts


Introducing…

The day was heavily overcast, the wind was brisk and cold as it howled over the tops of the mountain range making the treetops bend considerably.  Most of the animals were hunkered down against the weather; birds taken to roost, deer gathered in groups in the thick brush, small ground animals had taken to their dens and burrows.  Nothing moved, except... a small covered form was slowly making its way up the mountainside, picking its way through crevasses, between the trees, moving upwards despite the inclement weather.

The form was covered in a cloak of some kind that made it nigh impossible to determine much about the thing; whether it was man or woman, human, elf, or other.  It kept the cloaked pulled tight about it to protect it and to blend in to its surroundings.   Moving ever upwards until finally it topped a rise and glanced up at its destination.  At that moment, the sun found a small fissure in the cloud cover and struck down in a beam upon the precise location of the traveler.  The sunlight struck the face of the figure, making it shine brightly in the sudden illumination. 

It was a small radiant face that peered from the hood of the cloak, not showing much, a sun weathered face, and sharp blue eyes that gazed up towards the summit of this peak.  A faint smile grew upon the pert lips as it saw its destination so near now.  The rest of the face could not be seen as the cloak still covered the top and sides of its head, and with a faint satisfying snort, the person took off again, moving ever upwards.

The figure continued its journey until finally it stood at the base of a rock-hewn tower that jutted from the mountainside almost at its peak.   Finding a small alcove in the rock face, the figure stepped in out of the worse of the brisk winds.   Once there, the cloak was flung away to lie against the wall, and the ‘figure’ was fully visible.   It was a small female humanoid, looking like a Halfling, only taller, a couple inches short of 4 feet, and slimmer.   It has a human-like face, with sharp deep blue round eyes, and high pointed ears much like an elf; its golden blonde hair was pulled up high into a topknot above its head, and held in place by a simple leather strap.

It wore simple clothing, leather breeches and shirt; though there were places where colorful bits of cloth were adhered to it to patch a tear or just for decoration.  About its person, were an assortment of pouches, bags, etc. of various sizes, though most were small in nature.   The only other items of note were two items made from wood that stuck out from they were tucked in between the body and the small sack slung across its back.  One looked like a small whip with a thin flexible shaft, and a long piece of catgut protruding from the thin end, though what was at the end of that line could not be seen.  The figure reached back, removed the other, and let it rest in her left hand.  It was staff-like and close to 5 feet in length, with a metal spear point on one end, and what looked like a Slingshot on the other. 

Lilly Moonwillow, smiled as she looked about the valley below the mountain before she turned back to kook over the rock-face with a critical eye; after a few moments, she seemed to find something and her smile grew broader.  Reaching into one of her small pouches at her waist, she removed a few small tools and crouched at the face of the wall where it was flat.  Lilly had learned from some old maps, that there was a secret entrance to this Wizard’s abode, and she was determined to find out what it was that the mage thought was so important to lock away way up here in the mountains.

Wizards were strange, she thought so anyway, and they had their secrets; what she could not figure out is why they always insisted on locking them up.  Locks were an abomination, if you did not was people to have access to something, why even put a door there.  It just did not make sense; of course, not a lot of people did make any sense.   She shrugged and then laughed faintly as she hear a tiny click as the lock, concealed in a tiny hole, was released and the wall before her moved slightly to reveal a hidden door.  Yep, no sense at all.

She stowed her tools away, the reaching out pushed the door inward with her right hand.  Seeing nothing but a dim passage ahead, much bigger than it needed to be for her small stature, she stepped inside to see what lay ahead.  

It took some searching, as the passage was dark, and she had to rely primarily on her natural ability to see in dim and dark places, but eventually she came upon another hidden doorway.  Since this passage did not look natural, and it did not have any branches, she assumed it had been made some time back as an escape passage.  Escape? From what? She wondered.  This door was easy to open from this side, as there was a simple lever here that could be triggered from a hidden switch on the other side.   With a click, it opened and pulling upon the door slowly she peered beyond.

Lilly had heard from villagers nearby that a wizard lived here and she had always found them fascinating.  She had encountered them from time to time, and they all seemed so mysterious; this only piqued her curiosity.  They had never found her company appealing to them, and they never let her hang around to see what it was that they did.  She always wanted to know if the stories were real; the wonders that others said they could perform.  Shame, if some of them had taken her up on her desire to travel with them, then she probably would not be here now to check things out for themselves. 

The villagers below did not know much about this Wizard, but he did not seem to bother them, and none of them ever ventured near his mountain retreat.  She on the other hand, was too curious to not check him out when he as so close.  She had climbed up here, having ‘found’ a cloak that would keep her from the worse of the winter storm that was rolling in now.  It was not snowing yet, but it felt like it would at any minute out there.  Therefore, she had struck out as soon as her mind was made up; it was lucky that she happened to find that cloak when she did. 

Now, as she peered into the room from the tunnel, she felt a little let down.  It was a room higher up in the tower no doubt, but it was dull and dingy, and the smell of chemicals burned her nose and eyes.  Shelves lined several walls, all containing dusty books of various sizes, and old moldy looking scrolls.  There were several large wooden tables about the room, all covered with flasks, containing liquids of different colors.  Everything seemed to have no order to them, none that she could make out. 

As Lilly made her way further into the room, her disappointment showed upon her face.  She had been hoping for something wonderful, exciting, something grand, but this was nothing but a dusty old room full of junk.  As she walked about looking hopeful, she did not notice that the sunlight coming through the high windows in two of the walls was starting to fade.  Night was coming early because of the heavy overcast sky outside, but she still had enough light to see the contents of the room.  Unbeknownst to her, small objects here and there on tables, ‘fell’ into her pouches, nothing large, just small items, where her gaze did not even pass.

Lilly was about to give up but noticed that something large rested by one of the solid walls.  It was covered with a large thick black cloth, like huge drapes of some sort. Maybe here was something worth her time.   She reached out with her free hand and tugged at the cloth and it fell away with little effort to lie on the floor.  She gapped in surprise; it was a large oval mirror over 6’ tall set in a wooden frame which held it upright.  Yeah it was just a large mirror, but the thing, which caused her surprise, was that it showed the room behind her, but she could not see herself standing in front of it.

She moved in front of the mirror, raised her hand and waved, but she was not visible.  Feeling no trepidation, she reached out slowly to touch the mirror surface.  As soon as her tiny slender finger touched the ‘glass’ it gave off a blast of energy which flung the tiny figure across the room to bash into a table sending glassware flying to crash noisily to the floor.  Lilly rolled off the table and shook her head, she would probably have a bruise or two from that, but she seemed unharmed.  Her eyes fairly bulged as she looked to the mirror; it still was not showing her, but not it was not showing the room.  It looked like the glass had disappeared, and in its place was an oval of scintillating colors swirling and flashing.  She gapped at colors beyond anything she had ever seen, some of them beyond her ability to comprehend or describe.   Yet beyond the sudden blast at the start, now it was silent as the grave; the swirling colors did not make even the tiniest of noises. She was slowly walking towards it when the silence of the room was suddenly torn asunder by a hideous shriek. 

Lilly whirled and saw a shadowy form of pure blackness was standing in the doorway; she had not heard it open, yet there it stood.  The shadow was tall and humanoid in appearance, but there were no clear features, except for large red glowing eyes that blazed at her.   This thing was probably some type of protector of the Wizard and the noise had alerted it to her presence.  While this thing’s shriek would probably freeze some other beings in fear, she just smiled slightly as the rush of excitement leaped into her heart. 

While she did not usually court violence, it did still cause exhilaration to course through her tiny body.  When the ‘Shadow’ thing leaped forward towards her, she was not there when it arrived.  Leaping to the side, she rolled and used her tiny form to slide beneath a table, which barred the thing from reaching her.  She was not sure, but since the thing held no weapon she could see, it probably would harm her with a simple touch; she had encountered such creatures in the past and knew it was best to keep her distance.

The thing only howled again and moved quickly to move around the table; apparently, it was solid enough, she thought, that it could not pass through solid objects.  This knowledge gave her an advantage, it chased her and she used the tables, and other furniture to keep it out of reach of her.  It only howled in frustration and continued to chase her.   She knew she could not keep that up, and looked about as she kept out of its reach.  She saw that the secret passage had closed since she entered, that left only the windows, too high, or the open doorway.  She considered rolling towards and darting out the door, but she did not know the layout of the tower, and there still might be a wizard here.   There was one other way, if she was right.

Coming out of another diving roll, she saw the ‘mirror’ to her left, she was not sure, but she thought perhaps this might be a better way out.  She had heard of magical portals that wizards used at times, and this to her looked like it just might be the genuine article.  Only one way to find out.  Ducking underneath another lunge at her from the guardian, she took off straight at the ‘portal’ and dove at it with all her strength.  Either she was right and she would come out somewhere else, hopefully outside this tower, or she would crash into a solid surface and be rendered unconscious where the creature would undoubtedly kill her.

With a cry of excitement, Lilly few into the scintillating colors and through them, she experienced a tingling sensation all over her body, before she hit solid ground … somewhere.   She landed hard but absorbed most of the impact with a roll and came to her feet and whirled about to look behind her.  Nothing.  No portal, no guardian creature.  Nothing but a forest, which seemed to be everywhere around her.  She took a slow turn as she became aware that she was not in any forest familiar to her.  The season here was wrong as well, it was not winter here as it was much warmer than where she had been.  She looked up into the forest canopy and could not see much of the sky, but while it was overcast, what light she could see seemed off somehow.  She shrugged, and first looked one way then another; her keen hearing picked up the sound of water somewhere to her left.  She could refill her water bag and then decide where she was going after that.  Perhaps she could see more clearly if it was a river, where she could see the sky and get her bearings.

********************************

Lilly is walking through the woods towards the sound of running water.  Eventually the woods open up and she is confronted by a river.  It is about 60' wide or so (You are a bit upstream of the ford they have been talking about.), seems to be pretty deep here and has a reasonably swift current.  But the river moves along happily and Lily moves forward to fill her water bottle.  When her water bottle is full she pauses, sensing that something is watching her.  She slowly looks up and sees . . .

An 8' long giant otter.  The creature is sitting on some large rocks about 20' away and watching her intently.  She is quite sure it wasn't there when she arrived and she didn't hear it arrive.  As she starts to stand the otter speaks!  "Well, now this really is a curiosity!  Here I was, just being Boris and doing Boris things while enjoying my river and along comes . . . you."  Here he pauses and his nose twitches a bit and he stands a bit taller to pear down at you from various angles.  "But just what does it mean to say that you are you?  At first glance I would have said the you that is you is a halfling you.  But . . ."  And here he shifts around more to get a better look, even moving to the bank and up a log.  "But you are not a halfling!  Not by half!  Or, not by those ears anyway!  And you are a bit more than half a man which means you can't really be just a halfling, can you?  Hmm . . . Are there Two/thirdings where you come from?  Hmmm . . . . This is a puzzle.  And so young looking in your way.  But not . . ." and here he quickly moved within 5' to peer at your face, "no, no, no.  Not young by those eyes.  Well, younger than Boris and younger than many but not, as it were, young.  A youngling.  No."  Hmmm . . . "Actually . . .like a halfling, but not a halling.  Young looking, but not young. And that stick!  A pointy end and a strappy end!  Oh, my!"  The creature practically spun in a circle!  "Yes!  But, what are you doing here?!"  


At this point he paused.  "Well, where are my manners.  And here you are having arrived at my river and all and I haven't even said anything!  Well, I guess I have actually said a lot, but most of that was really just to myself.  I haven't said anything to you!  Welcome to the Hreusen River, the River!  The river of Boris and I am Boris, of course!  Welcome little one!  How did you arrive at Boris river?"


********************************

 

Lilly’s eyes grew wide upon seeing the largest otter she had ever come upon, and that it was talking to her.  She stood up slowly, so as not to startle it, and listened in fascination as it went on … and on… and on.  She opened her mouth a couple of times to respond to its questions, but was cut off as the Otter continued.

Quite a loquacious fellow, she thought.  She continued to smile, and showed no anxiety as it came close and looked her over closely.  She just sat back on a rock on the riverbank, and waited for it to finish.  As she eagerly watched and listened, she thought about how she had encountered a couple talking animals in the past; once a large stag spoke to her and helped her find her way.   Then there was the time that rather nasty ferret lead her into a dungeon, supposedly in search of some fantastic treasure, only to be lead into a trap of the ferret’s master.  She had escaped that time easily, as they did not know whom they had been messing with then.  However, an 8’ talking otter, was a new one for her; one should was determine to cherish.  When it stopped talking, she waited a few seconds to make sure it was not going to start up again before she spoke.

“Well Met there Boris,” she said in greeting with a nod of her head, “it is a pleasure to meet you.  I am Lilly Moonwillow and you are correct, I am not a Halfman, nor a two/thirdling.  Is that even a thing?  Well no matter, I am a Kender, and I find myself wandering in a forest that is strange to me.  Not only do I not recognize the woods, but the light here seems different.” 

As she said that she looked up towards the sky and squinted a little; causing her pert little nose to wrinkle in contemplation.  She shrugged and turned back to the otter.

“Well now,” she continued, “I think I have answered your questions regarding what I am, and now as to how I got here.  That is a tale to tell.”   She smiled and began to tell the large otter, Boris, everything leading up to her arrival here.

*****************************

(OOC: A post to the group will be coming soon!)



Posted on 2022-01-29 at 19:17:35.
Edited on 2022-01-31 at 11:46:25 by Altaira

Altaira
Resident
Karma: 24/0
361 Posts


Continued...

“There I was in the woods!  And approaching the river I met you.”  Lilly said and looked like she was going to continue, but..

        She didn’t get any further when a familiar voice interrupted the flow of words.   A voice that could belong to none other than Boris the Otter spoke in his usual rapid fire fashion, “of course!  Of course!  One must always be careful of mages; they always have surprising tricks that can do all sorts of interesting things.  Why, once Boris met one with these weird glasses who . . . well, never mind that, that mage isn’t here, but you are!  And such a you!  It was obvious you weren’t half, and no, I have never heard of a two-thirding but that meant you must be something else!  But I spotted it – the stick, you see, it is a give away for those who know what Boris knows.  And Boris has been to more places than just his river.  But this river is a good place and many people come to it!  Which they should since it is such a fine river!  Like my friends from yesterday who did me a good service – you will like them.  And I can say will, because they are right behind those bushes over there!”

                “Come forward friends!  There are times to hide in the woods and fog, but the bright light of the morning is not such a time!  Come, come!”  As the group shuffled out into the little cleared area by the river’s edge, they saw Boris waving them forward.  In front of him stood a small, young lady.  She was just under 4’ tall, thin and with long blond hair that was tied up in a topknot.  She appeared very youthful and was dressed in colorful clothes – patches filling in where other colors faded, and tall leather boots covered her feet.  She held a long staff or stick that had a fork in one end and appeared to have a strap across it – almost like a slingshot.  She looked up with a smile at the large group that emerged from the woods.  Boris continued his monologue, “Come!  I would like to introduce you to . . . “and here he indicated the young female in front of him, “this!”  He proclaimed it almost triumphantly!

Lilly had risen to her feet, and turned to look at the ‘group’ of ‘friends’ as Boris called them.  She showed no signs of surprise or apprehension at meeting new people in these strange woods, she only smiled at them as they came out toward Boris and her.

With her Hoopak still in hand, the sharp end resting upon the ground, she bowed with a grand gesture, causing her hair to whip down and back up as she greeted them.

“Well met, Friends of Boris,” she said with a big smile upon her lips, “I am Lilly Moonwillow, at your service.”   She looked upon them and waited to see if they would introduce themselves to her.

After any introductions were complete, she sat back on her rock and watched them discuss things that she knew nothing about; something about Vile creatures, Vargolg, goblins, and more that she did not quite catch, as she was only half listening.  Her mind tended to wander at times, especially if she was not included in the situation at hand.   She was waiting patiently, apparently so she could continue her conversation with Boris, as he seemed a most fascinating creature.  She was not sure if he was actually and Otter or some other magical creature that chose only to appear as an Otter.  Lilly was fascinated to learn the answer to those questions, when she got a chance to ask it.  For now, she watched quietly and waited while Boris and his friends talked.



Posted on 2022-01-31 at 11:47:16.

dragon-soul92
RDI Fixture
Karma: 16/1
826 Posts


A New Ally?

Thäoran approached the little Kender and nodded in greeting.
'Well met indeed, Lilly,' he smiled. 'I am Thäoran Ravenbrook, at your service. I hail from the great forest of ((OOC: Nomad, what's the elven forest called?)). I am an Eldritch Knight and was a General in the elven army, but I secured permission from my queen to set out upon this quest to locate my missing father who was snatched from the edges of the forest while on patrol, presumably by goblins, but I am not completely certain. I only hope that, wherever he may be, life still flows in his veins.' He paused as he briefly and unintentionally dwelled on the dreaded alternitive. Was his father still alive, or...? He shook his head slightly to dispel his dark thoughts and continued: 'Our party is currantly trying to locate two missing young farmers from the village of Botkinburgh,' the elf explained. 'Though, unfortunately, our efforts have not yielded any fruitful results thus far.' He turned back to his companions and said, a hint of concern colouring his voice,

'Boris, my friend, are you certain there isn't any other entrance into the Vargolg at all? Not even a hole or shaft we could get through? Because if not then I am at a loss at how we can proceed. As we all know, our last attempt almost destroyed us all. Yes, we have new allies now, but even with the extra assistance, I highly doubt we can force our way in through the front entrance. It is far too heavily guarded.' An idea suddenly sparked to life in his mind. 'If there are no other entrances, then perhaps we could make our own? Perhaps by tunneling into the Vargolg from the opposite side to the front entrance and boring through the rock?'


Posted on 2022-02-03 at 06:58:42.

Altaira
Resident
Karma: 24/0
361 Posts


Reply to Thäoran

Lilly returned the nod to Thäoran, her topknot hair whipping forward and back quickly.  She smiled and her eyes grew wider in wonder as he spoke of things she knew nothing about, but she took it in as much as she could and remained silent.  She didn’t know what an Eldritch Knight was, and didn’t know the Elven forest of which he spoke.  When he spoke of his missing father, concern clouded her face and her smile faltered when Thäoran paused dwelling on thoughts of his father, her head bowed slightly as she waited for him to continue.  When he did, she perked back up as he spoke of missing young farmers, and some place called Vargolg, and a battle that apparently didn’t go too well, causing their retreat in order to survive.  She did not speak but listened closely anything they said about their journey; she was always intrigued with the adventures of others.  

There had been a time, a few years back, when Lilly had sat in an Inn and listen enraptured by the tales of a Human/Elven Bard as he regaled the patrons of the Inn with his songs and tales, and songs of tales.   The Bard made quite a bit of coin that day; enough to feed him, to stable his horse, and pay for one of the nicest rooms at the Inn.  It was only later, maybe a day or so, when she had stopped on the side of the road to dig a bite of bread from her pack, and found a small handkerchief that she wondered how it got there.  Lilly looked at it, faded white, with blue and red thread embroidering the edges in intricate swirls.  It hit her then, this belonged to the Bard; he had told a tale of a fancy young woman that he had a short dalliance with one night, and how she had given him this very handkerchief to remember her by, and as a promise that he would one day return to her.   She did not know how it had gotten in one of her pouches; he must have dropped it and she picked it up to give back to him, but had simply forgotten.  That seemed to happen quite a bit.  Some times she wondered how anyone had any things as all, since they were always losing them.  She tucked it back into her pouch and promised that she would seek out that Bard to return the cherished gift.  Lilly only hoped that she would remember the Bards name…

She was draw back to the conversation and further introductions of the others.



Posted on 2022-02-04 at 08:07:56.

Jim
Regular Visitor
Karma: 1/0
69 Posts




Evidently uncomfortable by the presence of so many and feeling like a stranger among friends, Uthal steps forward to greet the new folk. He lumbers over slowly with a giants walk, towering over the two of them and slowly bows his head and speaks with a deep and gentle voice, "Night Walker. A pleasure to meet you both." he leans down to offer his wrist to both Boris and Lilly for a warriors hand shake.



Posted on 2022-02-04 at 19:19:20.
Edited on 2022-02-04 at 19:21:57 by Jim

WhomstHasSummonedTom
Veteran Visitor
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125 Posts




The dwarf smiled as he came closer to the newcomer, stroking his well braided beard, his armor, amulet and signet ring shimmering in whatever bits of sun breached the clouds. "Sir Gerdar of the Cordorehk Clan", he bowed courteously and offered his hand to shake, "And while I may one day be Lord Cordorehk, I generally don't mind friends calling me just Gerdar. Or anyone else doing so, at least when excessive formality is not needed."



Posted on 2022-02-05 at 18:18:29.

Altaira
Resident
Karma: 24/0
361 Posts


Introductions continue

Lilly’s eyes widened as she saw a Giant lumbering her way from the newcomers.  She craned her head upwards and smiled at the strange person.  At first she thought it was a very large human, but it’s silvery hair and skin that was a whiter shade of pale than any she had seen before.  It’s skin looked like it had markings, upon it’s face and arms, adding further to the mystery.  Even as it bent down to her and offered it’s hand and spoke it’s greeting, she showed no fear of a being more than 2 times her height.

“Greetings to you Nightwalker,” Lilly’s singsong joyous voice replied, “you certainly are the strangest thing I have beheld in a long time.”  She noticed his large hand held out and, fearing her hand would disappear in such a meaty palm never to be seen again, she grasped his index finger with her small hand and shook it.  “It is a pleasure indeed.”

Next she turned away from the Giant Nightwalker, as she saw a Dwarven warrior bedecked with armor, weapons, and quite a bit of finery, bright amulet and rings, approach her.  She smiled as he introduced himself in an eloquent manner.  She bowed to him with a flourish and then shook his hand with a vigorous shake.  

“My goodness,” she said with a bright smile, “royalty here in this forest.  This is turning out the be a rather interesting day.  I am honored, Sir Gerdar.”



Posted on 2022-02-05 at 19:16:39.
Edited on 2022-02-05 at 19:17:47 by Altaira

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 59/18
2580 Posts




Hornet eyed the newly introduced individual.  There was something about that strange stick she carried.  As the others introduced themselves he pondered.  Then it hit him, she was a Kender.  He had never met one before but he thieves guild told stories of this race and their ability to "find" things.  Being called "kender born" was a complement in his circles.  Of course he would have to keep a close eye on his belongings lest he "leave one" to be fond.  This could be an interesting addition to the group.

"Nice to meet you, my name is Hornet.  You are more than welcome to join our group.  Bending close and said in a whipser he added.  Like you I am a finder of things.  If you happen to find anything and don't know what it is or who it belongs to I may be able to help."  Stepping back he continued. "How did one such as yourself find themselves to be in the forest?" 

BACK TO PLANNING

"Boris has given us good information.  It seems the ford is being watched so that path is dangerous.  Also the ones burning bodies could spot us if we try to use the ford.  I suggest we find a shallow spot in the river and cross up stream of the burning pyre.  Working to gether we can all get across even if some of the taller folks need to aid the shorter ones.  Then we sneak up on the goblinsa the pyre and dispatch them so they cannot raise an alarm.  Next we head down to the ones watching the ford who will not suspect an attack from their own side of the river.  What say the rest of you?"  



Posted on 2022-02-06 at 06:20:33.
Edited on 2022-02-06 at 06:28:46 by Keeper of Dragons

Nimu
RDI Fixture
Karma: 64/11
1404 Posts


To split a river...

Following introductions, Soledad sent Z'zzip back into the fey pocket dimension. The cheery nature of their new found companion had the irascible serpent already whispering about striking and biting, it would take sometime before she could trust the familiar to behave appropriately. Soledad herself found the kender a delight, there was so much mischief wrapped up in Lily's curiosity that the possibilities were truly endless... Any additions to their number would make their assault on the Varlog a better one. Naturally, talk quickly turned to the matter of crossing the river and attack.

Soledad nodded to Hornet, "I agree," the golden witch began, "crossing the river upstream is our best option to avoid being seen. We need to take out not only the watchers on the ford but those on the ridge as well lest they awaken the entire Varlog again. It seems unlikely we will have another chance... Once we find a place to cross, I will magically carve a path for us, then we will decend upon the unsuspecting goblin vermin. Let us go."

((OOC: Soledad will use the Shape Water cantrip to help cross the river, cast twice to affect two 5ft cubes. We'll need to stay close to one another but that should be enough to cross (Uthat may need to crouch). If the water is too deep, she'll use the cantrip to create an ice raft to help the party cross.))

 



Posted on 2022-02-06 at 09:59:58.

Altaira
Resident
Karma: 24/0
361 Posts


A plan forming?

 Lilly bowed her head quickly to the Elf named Hornet, as she had to others when introduced, the extra hair hanging from her Topknot flipping forward and back.  “Very Nice to meet you Hornet,” she replied to him with a big smile upon her lips.  When she leaned close, her smile slipped a little, wondering what was his intent.  Seeing that he only wanted to confer some private information, she leaned her head slightly toward him.  

Hearing him speak of ‘finding things’ her smile returned.  She had not known there were others, outside her own people, who had this strange ability.  She smiled and nodded to his suggestion about coming to him if she did not know what to do with anything she happened to find. 

When asked about how she found herself to be in this forest, she brightened up and began, “Well that is a long tale…”  

Luckily for all of them, another one of the party gave her introduction to Lilly.  This one was a tall elf female who gave off the aura of a wizard of some sort.  The Kender repeated her typical quick bow, and they shared a moment of admirable greetings.   Lilly was fascinated by the tiny serpent creature that seemed to be a companion of the wizard.  But for some unknown reason, the creature seemed to not like Lilly; this was a complete mystery to her.  She was hoping she could converse with the tiny serpent, but soon Soledad sent the creature away to vanish into nothingness.  The kender frowned for a moment, but then the party began to discuss their plans for a return to the battle from which they apparently had escaped.  It sounded like the battle had not gone well.  Lilly listened and drank in every detail she could glean from the conversations between the others.  



Posted on 2022-02-06 at 16:29:09.

TannTalas
Trilogy Master
RDI Staff
Karma: 180/119
6788 Posts


Finally a new post

With the renewed strength given by Dok’s healing, Silver found herself angry. Angry that the group had, had to retreat from the occupants of the cave. Yes there had been Gnolls and Bugbears on top of the Goblins, but Still!

The female half-Elf had to admit, as she took in the newcomer’s, that without the help of the Dwarf and Goliath the outcome of this fight would have been much worse. Brushing herself off as best she could she adjusted her swords and bow once more to better treat her body and moved over to thank the both of them.

I wish to offer my thanks for your help and to welcome you to our group, my name is Silver”

With greetings finally done, and Dok having given her a much needed influx of health, the party begin to move deeper into the woods as they could still make out the light of the burning bush, but just as quickly that became hidden by the trees. Within minutes that seemed like hours the party was free and clear and no longer under pursuit from the denizens of the cave. A place found for a good long rest and with sentry’s out the party did just that.

With everyone healed and rested the talk quickly turned once more to again attempting to rid the woods and cave of it’s dangerous denizens.

Hornet was first to speak, followed by Dok and the rest of the group and it was clear to the Half-Elf Rogue they would be returning to the cave, however for the moment Silver chose to remain quiet as she really had no leaning either way. If the it was decided to return to town or cave she would follow along with the rest, though she did find herself thinking about her gear forged partner. With the choice decided and Hornet once more in the lead the party of seven once more, this time using the river’s edge, once more made their way back towards the cave. Suddenly Hornet held up a fist to bring the group to a halt and call for silence. Talking could be heard ahead – towards the river.

As the party moved forward, yet before clearing the woods, it was clear that their were at least two voices speaking common and clearly without the grunts and rough word revealing them not to be goblin in nature. A little closer and they could make out words.

A unknown female voice spoke quickly but excitedly, “There I was in the woods! And approaching the river I met you.”

Of course! Of course! One must always be careful of mages; they always have surprising tricks that can do all sorts of interesting things. Why, once Boris met one with these weird glasses who . . . well, never mind that, that mage isn’t here, but you are! And such a you! It was obvious you weren’t half, and no, I have never heard of a two-thirding but that meant you must be something else! But I spotted it – the stick, you see, it is a give away for those who know what Boris knows. And Boris has been to more places than just his river. But this river is a good place and many people come to it! Which they should since it is such a fine river! Like my friends from yesterday who did me a good service – you will like them. And I can say will, because they are right behind those bushes over there!”

This second voice clearly of Boris the Otter speaking in his usual rapid fire fashion however Silver had thought at least she and Hornet had been quit getting closer only to be surprised as Boris called for the party to come forth. Thus the party was introduced to Lilly Moonwillow.

Well met, Friends of Boris,I am Lilly Moonwillow, at your service.”

"Hello Lilly I am called Silver, glad to make your acquaintance.” A little bow of the head and her hand extended in greeting Silver made herself known……………….



Posted on 2022-02-07 at 13:43:12.

Keeper of Dragons
Devil's Advocate
Karma: 59/18
2580 Posts




  After much discussion and the laying out of serveral plans it seemed the group settled on a rather unconventional one.  "Soledad will use her magic to form an ice raft.  By covering it with some dirt and branches we will try to make it less slippery then we will drive our daggers or swords into the ice as handles then lay flat to make the raft more stable.  Finally, Uthal will shift into crocodile form, grab the end of the raft in his teeth and use his powerful tail to push it across the river.  Lets get ready to go."   

 



Posted on 2022-02-08 at 11:50:15.

Altaira
Resident
Karma: 24/0
361 Posts


Declaration

“Nice to meet you Silver,” Lilly said as she bowed to the Elf, no not quite an Elf, she detected a bit of something else that smoothed out some of the normal Elvin features.  It mattered not to Lilly, she was only here for adventure, and it seemed like she might have some if she decided to join them in their quest.

She listened to the plan to use magic to create a boat, or raft, of ice and use it to cross the river where their adventure would take them.  By the time they had decided upon the plan, she had made up her mind.

“If you are set upon this adventure,” Lilly said as she stepped forward to stand ‘tall’ before the group, “I would join you, if you would have me along?"



Posted on 2022-02-08 at 17:25:03.

Nomad D2
RDI Fixture
Karma: 53/6
3026 Posts


Ice Boat!

The party greeted Boris and the newcomer.  Time passed as introductions were made and plans discussed.  Hopes of a back door into the Vargolg were dashed quickly by Boris.  Thaoran asked about the possibility of digging their own backdoor, but the otter looked skeptical.  “Dig in?”  he looked quizzically at the elf and all of the others in the group.  “Hmmm.  Unless that Kender has a Xorn or Bullette in one of her pouches I don’t know how you intend to manage that.  The ridge is rock.  Solid rock as far as Boris knows.  But Boris doesn’t swim in rocks and ridges.  Perhaps the elvish knight has abilities Boris isn’t aware of?  Perhaps he is a purple worm in disguise?” 

               The elf could only shake his head at the hopeful otter.  None of the party were tunneling monsters in disguise and, as far as he knew, none had any hidden in their pouches either.  They didn’t even have shovels or picks.  Neither dwarf seemed to think the plan was likely to work without a lot of time and equipment either. 

               Thus, the plan of attack was shelved for the moment and the obstacle of the river was considered.  The waterway that had protected their retreat the night before now blocked their return to the site of the battle.  Walking across was only possible at the ford but according to Boris that was being watched.  That meant a boat of sorts was needed.  It was noted that they were surrounded by the means with which to make a raft as they stood amid a forest.  But Soledad had an option for going more quickly.  After much discussion it was decided that an ice raft was the best method to get across quickly.  With the druid’s ability provide power it should allow them to move across the river. 

               By shaping the ice carefully Soledad quickly made a 10x10x2 raft.  The others quickly moved on and started to try and stick their weapons into the ice to get a better grip.  With an inward grimace of disgust, she waved them off the raft and let the spells go.  It was a good thing it was only a cantrip and she could redo it as needed.  She directed the others to grab some dirt, leaves and thick branches.  Right before she cast the spell the leaves and dirt were tossed onto the water and the branches were stuck into it.  When the water froze all of the objects were frozen into it.  The top of the ice was had a nice gritty lair of dirt and leaves stuck into it making it almost easy to stand upon.  Meanwhile the branches provided an additional anchor for group to hold onto as they crossed.  The witch smiled at her handiwork.  It wouldn’t win any awards for looks, but it should be effective.  Boris actually clapped at the creation. 

               As the group climbed onto the chilly raft Uthal transformed himself into a crocodile.  Pushing ice blocks around was not unknown to the mountain born goliath, but pushing them as a croc?  Interesting times.  As the sun passed its zenith (noon) the ice made its way toward the middle of the river.  The current was faster there than any of them had realized and Uthal was glad the ice block had handholds.  Water washed over the top of the raft getting everyone wet and the raft rocked a bit as the group tried to keep themselves stable.  Silver almost slid off once, but easily kept her grip with the aid of Thaoran.  Boris circled the raft as it crossed as the otter seem amused by the entire endeavor.  The plan was well crafted and the group quickly found themselves climbing onto the far shore.  They were all wet, but also on the far side of the river.  Most wished for a warmer and brighter sun to dry them out, but an overcast summer day would do the trick before long.  Even the chill of the ice wouldn’t last long. 

               Soledad let the spells go and the raft disappeared.  With evidence of their crossing gone the group moved away from the shore to get more cover.  They couldn’t go far as only 25’ or so to the east the ridge started its climb skyward.  Many of them had come down this way before on their first march to the Vargolg.  This side of the river was passable, but uncomfortable. 

               Now the decision needed to be made – how to attack the Vargolg’s goblins for the second time?

 

Overview

You crossed the river about a mile south of the ford/Vargolg.  So from where you are the pyre is a mile north of you.  The Vargolg and the ford is about a mile north of that. 

You don't have much information on exactly what is at the pyre.

You know of at least 4 goblins watching the ford and the entrance to the Vargolg – two near the water and two higher up the ridge. 

 

It is now about one in the afternoon of a cloudy but otherwise nice summer day. 



Posted on 2022-02-08 at 20:34:21.
Edited on 2022-02-10 at 20:35:09 by Nomad D2

   


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