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    Default Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    The Green Belt

    The sun is hot and the road dry and dusty as you make your way on the last leg of your journey towards Oleg's trading post. There is however a cool breeze to relieve the worst of the summer heat, and in these last few days you find yourself in the company of others like yourself, adventurers similarly charged with the settling of the Stolen Lands, and each of you carrying a nearly identical Writ of Exploration:

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    "Be it so known that the bearer of this charter has been charged by the Swordlords of Restov, acting upon the greater good and authority vested within them by the office of the Regent of the Dragonscale Throne, has granted the right of exploration and travel within the wilderness region known as the Greenbelt. Exploration should be limited to an area no further than thirty-six miles east and west and sixty miles south of Oleg’s Trading Post. The carrier of this charter should also strive against banditry and other unlawful behavior to be encountered. The punishment for unrepentant banditry remains, as always, execution by sword or rope. So witnessed on this 24th day of Calistril, under watchful eye of the Lordship of Restov and authority granted by Lord Aoleski Surtova, current regent of the Dragonscale Throne."


    Having carried out most of the journey thus far in silence, Oleg's Trading Post is now rearing up on the horizon, a small wooden structure set amongst the low hills. Just beyond it to the west is the hazy green of the thickly forested Narlmarches, and to the South-East, the rolling highlands of the Kamelands. Though the haze of the heat and the dust of the road do not allow you to observe them in much detail, it is clear why the rugged wilderness before you is known as The Green Belt, for it's lush and verdant landscape is quite pleasing to the eye, and understandably a tempting area for settlement by the Riverlords. Before any such attempts however, it is up to you and your companions to see to it they are tamed and cleared of the monsters and bandits which are known to inhabit them, and discover what mysteries may yet remain from those who've yet tried and failed to tame these lands before.
    Last edited by ChaosLord29; 2012-07-17 at 01:06 PM.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Lady Kit of House Medyved was having a grand old time. Dust and dirt caked her leather boots and greaves, a testament to her journey. Her black hair blows free in the wind, with holy symbols of Erastil and holly weaved throughout.

    She walks with a jolly jaunt, alternately using her unstrung longbow as a walking stick and hefting it over her shoulder. She glances to her left, looking over her fellow travelers.

    With a smile on her pale face, she gives a wave and asks, "So what brings you folks down this dusty road?"
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Tharas, as usual, treads along in silence. His heavily veiled face, hooded cloak and tight-fitting leather armour leaves nothing of him visible but his strangely coloured eyes. He watches the horizon warily and often scans the area for any sign of pursuit or ambush, a habit which makes him look constantly nervous, or at least as much so as it can considering the fact that none of his features can be seen.

    Also as usual, he bluntly ignores the Lady Medyved's personal query. When he speaks, it is in a harsh rhasp. "We appear to have arrived at the structure mentioned in our charter. Shall I scout the location on my own, or will we investigate in force?" The question is addressed at nobody in particular, and you get the sense that Tharas has no particular preference either way.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Talo had been atop his horse most of the trip, and has spent at least half of it riding ahead of the group. But his intentions are comes back each time with small game and a saddlebag stuffed with berries, which he shares with those who would rather not eat only rations. He doesn't say much at first, content to whisper a empty words of "good boy," and "there you go" to his horse, which he has introduced as Ned. It's possible he doesn't quite know what to make of his companions, but is friendly enough to ask their names. When Lady Kit asks her question, he laughs and looks towards the groundIsn't much more in this life I'm fit to do but ride out wild places. And I've got an old score to settle down this way.. Noticing the symbol she wears, he smiles and seems a little more comfortable. " Erastil's faithful have been good to me. But I don't take you for a village priest. What brings you on an expedition like this?"


    Indeed, the caution extends to any passing traveler and as they get deeper into the back country, it seems like he finds a way to ride off whenever anyone outside the group is encountered.

    When the group first came in site of the Green Belt, he did start talking, "Would you look at that? I can't say I've seen much of the world, but there's little more beautiful than this. He canters ahead a ways, then doubles back around, smiling with what looks like both relief and maybe even happiness. When Tharas asks about scouting out the Trading Post, he chuckles. "I think it's safe to say Oleg won't be hurting you. But I'll ride ahead with you if you've got a hunch." He seemed to find the exotic man interesting and a little scary, and was keen to hear what he had to say.

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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    The little gnome with the shockingly green hair keeps her legs pumping furiously to keep up with the group. Her hustling and bustling is accompanied by a small symphony of clinking vials from the bandoleer she wears, making her into something akin to a living wind chime. Periodically while walking she will seem to spot something off the path and go darting towards it, dropping down into a squat to further investigate. More often than not she comes back to the group chewing on whatever it was she found, sometimes stuffing the collected stuffs into one of her many pouches. "Fascinating!" seems to be her favorite phrase, which she mutters quietly to herself while chewing on her finds.

    She gives Lady Kit (and indeed everyone else at any point) a warm smile when they turn their attention towards her. "Many believe this land holds the secret to our fey origins. I for one am fascinated (there it is again) by the concept. Who knows what kind of effect the closeness of the planes has had on the local plants and animals. All manner of alchemical reagents are just waiting for me to find them! Just imagine the creatures we could encounter? Isn't it exciting?"

    The little gnome is rapidly working herself into a state of hyperactive giddiness. She seems to realize this fairly quickly and starts taking deep, calming breaths, adjusting her glasses and once again flashing her warm smile. She turns to Talo as he offers some berries and takes a full person-sized helping. "Oh! These are delightful. Say, how are you with plants? I've been trying to find some Herbasculus and Maiden's Veil for my potions, but I don't see ANY around here..."

    OOC: Plant names completely made up. I can substitute actual alchemical reagents if you'd prefer.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Kit frowns briefly at the dour, wrapped-up man, but turns her attention to Tharas and his offered berries. She takes several and resumes her long stride, laughing at his comment. "I'm certainly no priest, you can be sure of that. I'm with his church as it were, but I'm out here for my own sake and the sake of my father. I will admit, it's got a special sort of beautiful to it."

    She grins down at the little gnome trotting along side her, "It certainly is fascinating. My family and I have always had a good rapport with the fey and we have all manner of fey near my home. Once we've made good on this charter, I'll make sure you get a look around. It's always nice to have bright folk such as yourself around."
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Sprig blushes at Kit's comment. "My master did say that I have a knack for potions and formulae. It just comes naturally, really. My parents are both very smart and they passed it right on down to me. Not my siblings, though. I'm afraid they just don't have the mental faculties to comprehend how different magical phenomenon interact with one another. It really is quite fascinating..."

    The little alchemist trails off into a small lecture about the properties of common alchemical ingredients and how they mix with one another. She is clearly quite intelligent, but lacking in a some very basic common sense. At the very least, she seems to have completely missed Lady Kit's implications with the word "bright."
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Tharas watches the armoured non-priest-woman and the little Gnome alchemist talk with vague interest mixed with the smallest hint of annoyance, though he does make a mental note to himself to speak with her about his own dabblings in herbalism, passed down from the shaman of his village. Perhaps some sort of arrangement can be reached... Later. For now, he focuses on the task at hand and replies to Talo. "I have no particular concerns about this place, but assuming that a location is safe before you have secured it is folly. This place could easily have been raided and despoiled since the last news reached our employers." He coughs, hoping to end the Gnome's lecture, then quickly gives up. "If we're going, we had best go. If there is anyone in there with good ears, they will hear this chattering before long."
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Kit nods as Tharas explains his reasoning, "This is wild country, true, although I can't imagine an attack would come this close to the trading post. If you're concerned, however, by all means lead the way. It will be good to have a bed again.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    The large orc woman had been quiet for most of the trip as she marched alongside the others.
    She had declined when Talo had offered berries.
    "As for me, I'm here for the challenge and the glory." Rashka replies to Kit's question. "And I agree with our friend, it is better to be safe than sorry."
    Last edited by Sriseru; 2012-07-17 at 01:52 PM.

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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Riding her elk, Renna remains quiet for as long as possible. She just returns blank stares and questions race through her mind as she watches the group members.

    When the question of scouting arives, she just nods, before continueing on with the others.
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Talo smiles in agreement as Kit offers her appreciation for the scenery. He seems to be getting more comfortable as the others share their aspiration with him (well, all but the mysterious woman with the elk.)

    But when Talo hears Kit and Sprig going on about the fay, his face whitens noticeably. It seems like some deep and uncomfortable contortion is occurring within him as he opens his mouth, closes it again, swallows hard, and finally speaks in a flat tone, "I know plants well enough. Maiden's Vail grows like summer corn near the riverbeds. Herbascalus isn't easy to find, but I've heard Turtle Bush roots will do for for most of the same things. Tell you what. You teach me a thing or two about the fay and I'll tell you all I can about the plants in these parts. Deal?"

    Not giving her a chance to respond, he heads up front, then stops. Looking first to the trading post, then back to the party, he offers, "If there has been an attack, I'd be a sad man to hear it. But Tharas, you may be right. If you do want to head out to scout, I'll keep enough distance to let you do so, but not so much I can't gallop in to ruin the day of any of the rotten bastards that might have gotten it in them to attack a peaceful place like this."

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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    "It's a deal! Turtle Bush does have similar properties. It is equivalent for most mundane concoctions, but as a reagent? Hmmm, I'll have to do some significant testing, possibly on humanoid subjects. Herbasculus is crucial in for the base of any curative mixture. Could Turtle Bush have the same retentive qualities to serve as a substitute? Fascinating..." Sprig quickly becomes lost in her own thoughts, going so far as to stumble over a large stone in the road, completely oblivious to the world around her as her mind races.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Tharas inclines his hooded head, eyes closing for a moment. "Very well. I am glad you agree with the need for caution. I will return as soon as I am certain what awaits us ahead." His voice remains harsh, but the wheezing rasp is less pronounced now. Perhaps he only needed a few moments to warm up unused vocal cords.

    Without another word Tharas abandons the path, pulls his brown cloak tight around him and advances towards the post, expertly creeping along from one covered viewpoint to the next. He is quickly lost to the sight of all but the keenest eyes, and eventually even to those. As he moves closer he keeps a watchful eye (and ears) on his surroundings, looking for any sign that this place is anything but the peaceful trading post he was led to suspect.

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    Yeah, I know we won't find anything wrong here, but Tharas is exceedingly paranoid when approaching new settlements for obvious reasons.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    As Tharas makes his stealthy approach towards the outpost, it's long abandoned status grows apparent to his sharp eyes. The 10ft palisade walls are made of thick timber, but rife with moss and lichen, as well as creeping brush and vines which have begun to sprung up along the base of the walls. The four corner watchtowers are set slightly higher and each boast a mounted ballista, but it is soon obvious to him that these engines of war have not seen action in a long, long time and are in a state of blatant disrepair. There are areas of the outer wall which bear the evidence of some attempts at repair work, particularly the gate seems to be in surprisingly good condition compared to the rest of the fort, the wooden gate being made of sturdy, fresh cut planks.

    The gate however is open at the moment and no guards stand on the walls. A scattering of wooden buildings is just visible as he approaches, but there is a lack of cover between his current hiding spot and the gate. He could use the opportunity while the walls are empty to quickly make it inside to take a closer look or take the opportunity to report back to the others.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Slightly relieved by the normalcy of the structure, Tharas contemplates heading back but decides to take a closer look first. He breaks cover for a moment to sprint to the wall, cloak streaming behind him, then under cover of it moves to the open gate where he peeks inside, looking for any signs of a large group of people waiting within. If he doesn't find anything of the sort, he'll return to his new companions and inform them of his findings.
    Last edited by DaedalusMkV; 2012-07-17 at 11:07 PM.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Tharas's brief glance into the interior courtyard of Oleg's Trading post gives him a good view of the buildings inside, but he also takes note that there doesn't appear to be anyone visible. There is a small fire burning in a pit near what look to be living and sleeping quarters, and he can just barely make out voices coming from within the further of the two buildings on the right side of the compound. It's faint, but it could very well be shouting coming from within. A final glance at the gate itself shows shows evidence that it looks as though some other persons arrived shortly ahead of his own group of travelers. Between three and five people, no more than 5 or 10 minutes ago.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Content that no deadly ambush appears to have been set just yet, Tharas returns to the road and heads back to meet up with the others.

    When he arrives, he states calmly, "The area appears to be safe, largely, but we do not appear to be the first travelers to arrive here. I spotted signs of another group slightly smaller than our own. I advise caution as we enter the post, at least until we confirm who else is here. There appeared to be some sort of heated argument going on in the main structure. There was no sign of anyone outside so I suspect all of the individuals, as well as the people we are here to meet, are inside that primary structure." It's by far the longest statement you've ever heard him make, despite the terseness of his delivery.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    "Well then, if there's no chance of us being butchered by beastly brutes, let us be off! Wouldn't want any other group to take the last beds, now would we?" Kit begins to stride off towards the trading post.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Renna breaks a faint smile at Kit's light hearthness. But at Tharas mentioning the tracks she studies them for a moment. Then she looks around the group.

    "Any of you skilled with tracks? While my omens tell me of many things. Things that are already real in this world can tell a great deal more. You'd do well to investigate these clues. They could be potential allies or enemies. This balance will always be there, but making sure you know which scale you are facing is good for your personal balance. The one concerning your life and death.", Renna says to none in particular.

    She then continues like nothing happened. Seemingly lost in thought once again.
    Last edited by Moranica; 2012-07-18 at 03:29 PM.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Sprig comes to from her mental labors and hears talk of tracks. "It's a trading post, correct? I'd hope there are tracks, otherwise there's nothing to trade! Let's get in there; I need a place to set up my experiments."
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Rashka crosses her arms.
    "I'm not particularly good with tracks." She shakes her head. "Never mind, let's just head inside. Though, we should stay on guard until any suspicion, or lack there of, has been confirmed."

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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Talo listens carefully to the report, though chuckles at the mention of an argument within. When Renna mentions tracks, he says "I can track well enough. Animals mostly, though men aren't much different." He looses her on the discussion of omens, however. He spurs Ned onward to catch up with Kit, "I say we press on, and get these on a good fire" he pats the dead rabbits strung up on his saddlebag, "or whoever is waiting in there will start to smell them."

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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Tharas waits a moment as the others go on ahead, and quietly grunts. "So quick to seek fleeting comforts. At least the Orc has good habits, so I won't have to keep them from killing themselves all on my own..." He grumbles quietly to himself, then hurries to catch up.
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Rashka marches along with the others, cautious and alert to any potential danger.

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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    It doesn't take your party long to make the final stretch to Oleg's, moving as you do along the path, rather than Tharas's more stealthy approach. The structure appears much as Tharas's described, it's walls only 10ft high and in what no one would describe as pristine condition. The main wooden gate is raised and their doesn't appear to be anyone inside, but you can now get a good look at the layout of the courtyard. To the left there is a stable, mostly built of new timber, and of surprising craftsmanship compared to the rest of the outpost. Directly across from the gate is a small shed or storage area of some kind, and next to it in the right hand corner opposite the gate is a sturdy looking wooden building, again with the signs of a good amount of repair work. Immediately to your right is a low, long building which you guess to be a bunkhouse of some kind, and between it and the larger building is a fire pit and a pair of rough hewn wooden tables and benches.


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    I'm going to need perception checks from everyone, and Stealth checks from anyone who would like to remain unnoticed.
    Last edited by ChaosLord29; 2012-07-19 at 01:03 PM.
    Favorite Things Mr. Welch can't do during an RPG:
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    • Collateral Damage Man is not an appropriate concept for a super hero.
    • No longer allowed to recreate the Death Star Trench Run out of genre.
    • When accepting a challenge for a duel, I must allow the other guy time to find a pistol.
    • Check the door means to listen at it, not put several rounds through it.
    • We will not implement any plan that includes the words "And hope they miss a lot"

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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Shooting around annoyed looks, Renna keeps quiet. Obviously, she feels like shouting is below her standards. Normally, she would send out Tnam in such a predicament, but she isn't quite ready to introduce him to the group, and with this many groupmembers, there's bound to be another solution to this.

    What she does though, is get of the elk she was riding, and whispers something to it, before it darts off to graze.
    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Still on her guard, Rashka looks around a bit at the trading post, but otherwise remains silent.

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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Talo keeps his distance as the group enters, rather than taking the front position, reasoning that he'll be able to close the gap on horseback in case of danger. He keenly peers across into the fort.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ChaosLord29's Avatar

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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Kingmaker Chapter I: Stolen Lands (ChaosLord29)

    Voices can be heard by all of you to be emanating from within the larger building off to the right (A6), clearly quite loud and engaged in some sort of heated discussion or argument. There is a brief shriek (perhaps by a woman?) and then the voices go silent for a moment.

    Talo can make out the tracks that Thara's spoke of, but is unable to determine the exact number of the party who entered prior to them, figuring it to be no less than three and no more than six.
    Favorite Things Mr. Welch can't do during an RPG:
    • My monk's lips must be in sync.
    • Collateral Damage Man is not an appropriate concept for a super hero.
    • No longer allowed to recreate the Death Star Trench Run out of genre.
    • When accepting a challenge for a duel, I must allow the other guy time to find a pistol.
    • Check the door means to listen at it, not put several rounds through it.
    • We will not implement any plan that includes the words "And hope they miss a lot"

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