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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    The older man rises and extends his hand to the cleric. "Ahh, pardon me for not even noticing you. I seem to have gotten rather consumed by the weight of this potential mission."

    He remains standing, now properly focused on Threshkor. "Well, I'm not sure we need so much help guiding our souls through this world, at least not yet, but we definitely could use someone with the capabilities I expect you have," he says with an audible scratch to his now rather stubbled chin. He glances back to Wrench as he examines the map, and adds almost absently, "Our fine warforged does what he can to keep us sewn together, but it's not his specialty."

    His eyes snap back to your face with a decided shift from thoughtful blank to clearly amiable smile. "So, beyond consulting our spirits, what other sorts of divine works can you offer? Oh, and don't misunderstand, you're more than welcome to join us; I just prefer to take stock of our resources before we need them. And we'll discuss ongoing compensation a bit later; we're nothing if not equitable."

    OOC (Threshkor)
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    I don't see your age on your character sheet, so I dunno which side of Cecil's age you're on. Please add it to your sheet. I assumed you're not a geezer like ol' Gray. ;)

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Butch

    Butch raises an eyebrow at the map with a skeptical look on his face. "Sir, you DO realize that..." He stop abruptly casting a furtive glance around. He pokes his head out the door looking for eavesdroppers and when satisfied, closes the door behind him. Bringing everyone close, he whispers. "Sir, clearly we're being set up for an espionage mission. With all these vague rumors and no specific request for aid nor specified reward, the Lord is baiting us into a deniable asset role. If we're caught we'll be on our own because they can't risk a confirmed breach of treaty." Butch stands back up and speaks out loudly. "Sir, I am a loyal guard and Brelander. My position is by your side. Should you choose to accept this mission, I will do my best to make sure it is successful. This mission will require other specialty equipment and I am uncertain how much of a head start the enemy has."

  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Wrench

    Wrench looks confused when Cecil mentions that the information wasn't coming from Graywall. "I thought you said it was the Graywall watch that spotted the ship. Why would the watch be so far out from Graywall?"

    He doesn't say much in response to Butch's observations. They make sense, but they don't seem to bother the warforged.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Butch

    Butch studies the map and then starts making some comments. "Wow, I didn't realize the trade road was so close. I guess that explains why the shipments have slowed down from Shavalant, they're getting their supplies from the trade road. That's gonna make the Orcbone/Shavalant spur pointless. Strangling Shavalant like that is just going to force more people into banditry." Butch grumbles under his breath.

    Butch points at the border line. "See that line? On the map? That's all it is, a line. Map makers like lines but truth be told, the real border is the trade road. Countries may have wars and sabotage each other but you just don't mess with the Houses. So, yea, that area between the official border and the trade road is gonna be a no-man's land. Same goes for all of the Graywalls. Either side can claim those mountains all they like but unless you got boots on the ground to control it, its all bluster. So don't be fooled about that line, if it went down in the mountains, its fair game for anyone."

    Butch puts his parted fingers to the map marking off steps. "OK first step is getting to the trade road. As I figure it, we could make a bee line for it, travel very light and push hard at the end of the day to make it there in one day. Or we keep some gear, travel at a reasonable pace and hit the road in two days. The mule would be handy to carry our gear. I'm in favour of the second option since we're headed closer to Droaam territory and I'd like to keep my armour on."

    "Once we reach the trade road, we can arrange for a coach to take us most of the way. Probably two, since we'll need the extra room for equipment. That means selling off the mule when we get there. So expect some time spent negotiating and arranging passage. Oh yea, we'll probably need some travel papers, but I'm sure the Lord can arrange that. By coach we're looking at about three days travel to reach this spot." Butch points to the road due east of the crash site. "Now we could hike that distance instead, but that would take closer to eight days, but we'd be relatively safe traveling with the caravans."

    Butch nods and then continues, "From there, we're looking at a five day hike across trackless hills before we can make base camp. Unless there's some sort of signal or some means of specifically finding the ship, we could be searching the mountains for weeks without finding anything."

    Butch runs the numbers through his head, "So that's at least ten days and about fifteen days if we hike the whole way. And that's after we're all sorted out here in Orcbone."

    Butch refers back to the map, "Looks to be about a nine day hike from Graywall if they push straight through. Plus they already have a couple days head start on us. If I were Graywall, my troops would already be at the foot of the mountains."

    Butch seems frustrated. "I think you'll have to teleport us there Mr. Cecil."

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    At Wrench's query, Cecil shrugs and offers matter-of-factly, "I'm not sure. That's what I gathered from what little information Lord ir'Tajar was willing to let loose." He seemed almost as bewildered as Wrench would if the warforged could be bewildered.

    Butch suddenly became anxious and went through certain peculiar rituals before leaning in to whisper to Cecil. His gaze unfocused a bit as he listened. On parting, and after Butch's subsequent staged melodrama, the older man said, "The ship is said to have landed in our territory, so no treaty I know of will be breached. Your observations are valid, though, but I prefer to believe whatever machinations are involved are necessary. If so, this must indeed be an important task."

    The others appeared to be thinking on the situation, but, unsurprisingly, none moreso than Butch. He launched into his trademark flurry of open cogitation, weighing this or that option, baring his precocious grasp of strategic planning. As seems to often be the case, most of it appeared to have gone unheard, at least until the end.

    Cecil suddenly laughed freely.

    With tears forming at the corners of his eyes, Cecil calmed to a trailing chuckle and said with a broad grin, "Me? No, m'boy, I'm afraid not. That is reserved for far greater scions of the House than me. Instead, why don't we all just go see the commander? He requested I broach the subject of this mission to you, and return within the hour. We might as well see what further details he's willing to provide now that we're all aware of the basic situation."

    Cecil rises from the lonely chair and begins to remove the random weights from the corners of the map, stopping after the first one. "Before that, though, I want to know what you think so far? I'd rather not get into ir'Tajar's office only to find my fellows are divided already. And though I believe this job to be worth our while, I refuse to bend to the commander's whim if the rest of you are keen on another direction. I prefer we stand together."
    Last edited by Velvet Elvis; 2007-07-24 at 04:18 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Wrench

    "No need to ask me. I've said I stand with you, Sir."
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  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Butch

    "I've voiced my concerns, Sir. I only ask that you keep them in mind when you speak with Lord ir'Tajar again."
    Last edited by Citizen Joe; 2007-07-24 at 08:54 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Threshkor

    {OOC- Sorry for not posting earlier. Threshkor is 21, a little old for the standard adventurer.}

    In response to Cecil's question Threshkor states..
    "I, my friend have very little to offer, but through me, with the help of the Sovereign Host, I have a variety of spells, you could say that do have a restoring affect upon people and animals alike."
    Last edited by Slash_712; 2007-07-24 at 09:55 PM.
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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Cecil nods and smiles in obvious satisfaction, then completes the task of rolling the map parchment back into its case. With it in hand, he says, "Alright men, let's go find out what this is all about."

    He leads you out of his room, allowing Butch to close the door as the last one into the hall. Without further conversation, he leads you out into the central yard and around towards the main tower and in through the heavy, darkwood double doors. There are a number of guardsmen in half-plate, bearing their halberds at attention as you pass, despite your not being in the company of any obvious military escort. Much as before, you travel up the winding inner stairs in the pale reddish glow of everbright crystals, and on down the hallway the stairs land into.

    Unlike earlier, there is only a guardsman much like those down below, standing vigil outside the Lord's office.

    Cecil stops before him and says, "Cecil d'Orien to see Lord ir'Tajar. I'm...we're...expected." Even before he finishes his short introduction, the guard shoots a gloved hand to the door's latch and and steps inside, leaving the door open to its full extent. Depending on where you've stopped, you can hear and possibly see the guard announcing the arrival of "Cecil d'Orien and his entourage."

    The guard's head nods toward an unseen part of the room, and he then turns to nod toward Cecil before stepping back out of the way.

    Cecil turns to you, and says, "Follow me," just before stepping inside.

    You all enter in a small group to see exactly what your earlier memory provides. The large table, the map upon its surface, and, of course, the pair of dramatic tapestries. This time, however, there are several high-backed, darkly-stained chairs aligned near the table, clearly shifted from their normal position against the wall.

    ir'Tajar stands beside the table with one splay-fingered hand resting on the map's edge. His position places him directly across from the empty chairs.

    In a deep and appropriately commanding voice, he says to Cecil, "Come forward and take a seat. I trust you've explained the basics to your men?" ir'Tajar's piercing eyes continue to focus his words upon Cecil as the man takes one of the seats before the huge table.

    "Yes, sir, I have." He pauses to allow the rest of you to take your seats.

    "Excellent! I'm glad to say my confidence in you was not misplaced." He seems genuinely pleased, though he makes only a minor show of it.

    ir'Tajar leans forward to pull open a narrow drawer located under the table's edge, out of which he produces a document complete with a smooth, empty circle of sealing-wax at the lower right. He slides it across the desk toward Cecil, but the script is clear and large enough for all of you to read it with little trouble.

    The various blocks of text boil down to a contractual agreement to find and recover certain documents known to have been aboard the airship you're already well aware of.

    The bulk of the central part of the document is built from the same sort of jargonized officialese most of you have seen at one point or another in the past. None of you come across anything overtly suspicious in your cursory reading. You do, however, note with some amount of relief, that you are clearly sanctioned as adjunct agents of Breland's military, and personally within the scope of ir'Tajar's command.

    Next is a description and likely location of the object of your mission: a sheaf of documents that are expected to be within either a small leather satchel or a small wooden box probably located somewhere in or near the ship's main cabin. The sheaf is expected to be sealed with both official Breland and official House Lyrandar seals, and these seals will confidently identify the correct documents.

    It goes on to mention that if the documents are not present where expected, you are to perform a thorough search of the general area before considering returning empty-handed. If you discover that the documents are in the possession of some other agency, you are to retrieve them, using all reasonable means.

    Further, if you find evidence that the pilot had survived the landing, as with the documents, you are expected to perform a thorough search and rescue attempt in an effort to locate and return with him to Orcbone.

    The document's lower half is a short group of clauses more clearly defining your authorizations which include full permission to defend yourselves against any agency that, in any way, moves to or has positioned itself to hinder your task or withdrawal. More importantly, the same set of conditions are stated allowing you to openly engage "if you feel sufficient threat." Apparently, functionally, you are given what amounts to carte blanche to remove anyone that gets in your way, as long as you can reasonably support a claim that you were under threat.

    Below the block of clauses is an open section, to the right of which is the unstamped wax seal, ringed with a flat, purple ribbon.

    As you reach the end of the last line of script, Lord ir'Tajar pushes forward a small tray upon which sits a single quill pen, a full inkwell and a simple, much-used blotter, currently lying on its side.

    The commander says nothing, but his expression clearly indicates he wishes to see the contract signed.

  10. - Top - End - #250
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    Butch

    Butch covers the inkwell with his hand and reviews the document intently. He murmurs to himself repeatedly as he reaches certain interesting point, nodding in some cases, frowning in others. With his hand still covering the inkwell, he leans over to whisper some advise to Cecil, "Sir, there is no mention of compensation or financial backing for this mission. As this contract stands, you'd have to sponsor the whole mission with no stipulated reward. Also, I'm concerned about the priorities. Would it be preferable to destroy the package to letting it fall into enemy hands? Where does the pilot fit in, relative to the package?"

  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Lord ir'Tajar, a mere seven feet, or so, away watches and waits patiently. Or had been, so far. When Butch leans over to whisper to Cecil, he sparks to life.

    "Come now, you can all read, can't you? What's the hold up? We have several deadlines to consider and no time to waste over minor details. If any of you have questions, speak up--to me, if you don't mind--and we'll have them dealt with in no time. I assure you, there's nothing in that contract to be concerned with. It is a standard military adjunct contract augmented with a few details relevant to the task. Sign or don't, but let's get a move on; there's more information to be given or a replacement crew to be found." He seems mildly exasperated, or just intently impatient at this point. Or perhaps waiting on others, civilians at that, isn't something he's interested in doing.

    "Which is it going to be?" he asks pointedly as the fingers of one hand begin to drum upon the edge of the map. The tap-tap-tap across the thick paper seems to emulate the kind of pace ir'Tajar expects.

  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Threshkor

    Looking at Cecil, Threshkor is confused about what to do as he is rather new to this kind of thing.
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  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Butch

    Butch sits back up, removing his hand from the inkwell. Turning the contract to face Lord ir'Tajar, he slides it to the lord. "Sir, we work for Mr. Cecil, and by extension the House Orien. Although I am a loyal Brelander, I am not in his majesty's service. To that end, this mission does not seem to imperil my beloved Breland, and it would seem to concern the House Lyrandar moreso than Orien. Thus, we could not count on financial backing for this expedition. Likewise, I found no mention of compensation in that contract. That contract would oathbind us to the recovery of your documents with only our own assets and no indication of reward for our efforts."

  14. - Top - End - #254
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    ir'Tajar looks blankly at Butch for a moment before something akin to an amused sneer cracks his lips apart.

    The commander asks, apparently rhetorically, "Do you see conspiracy in everything, young man?" He draws one of the heavy chairs from its place along the wall, and takes a seat opposite you. "If we deemed this a situation purely in House Lyrandar's sphere of interest, we would not be speaking about it," he snipes, shaking his head in what may or may not be mock disappointment.

    Dismissing any potential retort with a wave of his hand, he moves on. "I would have hoped the fact that Breland requested your aid would be enough, but I see you may hold her less dear than you claim. So be it. I remain confident that you," and now he looks to Cecil, "are capable of the task. We prefer a team that is not so obviously attached to the armed services in the off chance an issue arises with Droaamite troops, elsewise, I would have immediately assigned this key duty to some of our own men."

    He pulls the contract to his side of the table, and reaches to grab the tray as well. "Alright, I'll address your concerns about compensation. I should have guessed that would be an issue." He takes up the quill, inks it, and begins writing at the bottom, to the left of the signing area. As he does, he recites the words, "Successful recovery of said documents will earn the undersigned compensation of," he pauses a moment, his head lolling a bit from side to side as he considers a figure. "4,500 golden galifars (or letter of credit). 1,000 added for recovery of the pilot, alive." He pauses again, this time looking up, not bothering to suppress a smirk. "Or do you require more to aid your beloved Breland? Oh, and necessary equipment will be dealt with by our quartermaster--at no cost to you. However, you would be kind to return that which you do not utilize or lose."

    He remains looking across to the lot of you, clearly waiting on agreement to the terms of compensation, before continuing.

    Cecil seems a tad uncomfortable under ir'Tajar's glare, and says, "That...well, that would seem fair. What do the rest of you think?"
    Last edited by Velvet Elvis; 2007-07-28 at 08:38 PM.

  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Butch

    Butch restrains a smug smirk at ir'Tajar's mention of the Droaamite troops. When Cecil asks, Butch nods his agreement.
    Last edited by Citizen Joe; 2007-07-30 at 01:17 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Nodding, he looks to Cecil. "Cecil d'Orien, do you then speak for your men to agree with the stipulations of this contract?"

    Cecil forces a wan smile, and adds a nod to his words, "Yes, I believe we are all in agreement on this." The reply was curt, as if he still felt uncomfortable, but was a bit less than willing to challenge ir'Tajar's patience. That he didn't force the issue at least implies he felt it was a minor detail, not worth further concern.

    "Excellent. Let me ink in this addenda and it will be ready for your signatures," he says as the quill begins to nod and turn in a mirror image of the letters being written. The sound of the pen's skritch as it loses its last drab of ink almost seems to illuminate the vague impatience of the man holding it. He dips the nib again and finalizes the contract, tossing the pen into the tray, causing a small blob of blank ink to arc onto the map's surface. He pays it no attention as he grabs the blotter, rocks it twice from side to side, and returns it to the tray.

    When he looks up, he appears a slight bit haggard as if the ordeal of managing such clerical details was uncomfortably beneath him. A pair of quick gestures later has the contract and the tray of writing implements on your side of the broad table.

    "Cecil, I would have you sign first as the recognized authority of your band of men. The others may sign in whatever order they see fit, however, it is traditional that the names of your subordinates be placed slightly to the right and in smaller script than yours, so the relationship is even more clear." The words seemed unpracticed, but were not offered aggressively. It seemed it was, indeed, only tradition, and ir'Tajar is, as a long-standing military man, quite likely a man that honors tradition.

    Cecil nods graciously and takes up the pen. Angling the contract appropriately, he re-inks and lays down his signature in bold, large script as requested by ir'Tajar. He then hands the pen off to Butch and rises from his seat, waving Wrench and Threshkor to come closer to play their part in the ritual.

    Lord ir'Tajar watches placidly, now having reclined a bit in his seat. His visage was mostly inscrutable, but he seemed pleased that the drudgery of paperwork was nearly complete.
    Last edited by Velvet Elvis; 2007-07-30 at 01:09 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Butch

    Butch confirms the numbers and then signs under Cecil's signature. Turning the quill and document over to the others, he asks Cecil, "Sir, might I refer to the map. I'd like to make some notes with Lord ir'Tajar's assistance."

    Butch then refers to Lord ir'Tajar, "Sir, if you might assist with that wondrous map of yours... I should like to make some notes on estimated travel times to various locations. First of all, are there any trails or roads between Orcbone and the Orien trade road at the tip of the Graywalls. Next, I'd like to estimate the distances that we could travel both by horse or on foot. If we're following your scouting trails, I'd like to confirm some locations to make safe camps."

    Butch starts planning out the mission on the table. "Alright, as I see it there are three phases to this expedition. First, we need to get to the trade road just north of the Graywalls. Once there, we can reprovision and possibly get some more first hand knowledge. I reckon it will take two days if we use those magebred horses. We'll need a couple of your scouts, sir. I think there's a redhead rookie that wants to prove himself, but I'd like to see a scout with us to keep us on path. Once we reach the trade road, your scouts can form up with a resupply caravan to return to Orcbone."

    Trying to judge ir'Tajar's expression, Butch proposes a different tact. "A second option would be traveling light with mules to take up the extra weight. I estimate about five days to reach the trade road with that method. It would give the Droaamites a larger head start and would present a larger risk being out in the wild. This is why I'd like to know the safe scouting camps."

    Butch pauses at this point before continuing with phase two.

  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Azmirith accepts the quill and quickly jots his name below Butch's, handing the pen to Wrench and stepping back out of the way.

    ir'Tajar presses his open palm toward Butch in a gesture to belay the questions. "As I've stated, this is an important recovery, and we have various resources set aside for unusual cases. You'll not have to worry about reaching the general location soon enough. I'll speak more on that when everyone signs and we can dispense entirely with the paperwork."

    Wrench and Threshkor, in turn, follow suit and sign below the ones before them. ir'Tajar applies the blotter once more, removes the tray to the drawer, and reviews the contract. As his eyes scan to the bottom, he nods. From elsewhere in the drawer, he produces a round stamp, which he applies to the contract's empty wax seal. Tossing it back into the drawer, he rolls the parchment into a tube, seals it and drops it into the drawer before closing it.

    "Alright, now that preliminaries are dealt with, I'm going to give you the rest of the information," he says, rising to his feet and using a fingertip to daub away the partly evaporated blob of ink upon the map. "Reserve your questions and comments until I am finished."

    "First off, I'm sure Cecil told you that we'd gained this intelligence through some relaying of information out of Graywall. That's not precisely true. We employ agents that monitor traffic along the trade route as it nears the northern foothills of the Graywall mountains. The information we gather there is not exclusive, but we have an agreement that certain sorts of information are not re-sold for a period of five days. Thus, we have about two and a half days leeway before the reports are dispersed to other parties in the area--and that means the Droaamite out of Graywall, at the very least." He pauses and sweeps his hand along the technical borderline splitting the Graywalls.

    "Once you're here," a finger indicates a point along the Orien trade road, nearly due west of Castle Arakhain as it jogs from south to southeast, "you'll cross overland into the foothills and then into the low slopes where you should begin to get enough information on the terrain to deduce the most likely route through the passes. If we're lucky, the ship went down closer to the eastern mouth than otherwise, but that's a best case and we aren't gambling on it."

    At this point he stands and folds his arms, beginning to pace slowly from side to side along the edge of the table. "Now, what we know of the terrain in that section of the mountains is limited. However, the reconnaissance reports I've been able to dig up indicate the area is reasonably stable, though it is marked by crevasses, sand pits and other mostly mundane features. We suspect there are also extensive cave systems in the vicinity of the pass, but are unsure of their content. Presumably indiginous creatures and such. You should have no trouble with them. However, we cannot forget the agency that brought down that ship. It is possible they have acquired the documents, and possibly the pilot, as well, and have already fled the area. We have to hope they will have remained for some reason, or that they were unable to reach the ship." He exhales loudly and scratches his chin.

    "In any event, you have your dispensations to apply force as needed. If the documents remain there, you are to retrieve them in whatever sane manner is necessary." Turning to Cecil, he specifies a bit further. "As defined leader of this team, you will be responsible for determining what is necessary to carry out the mission. Though it is of great importance that the documents be retrieved, you are not to take unnecessary risks. I'll leave it to you to determine the meaning of that, when you are in the field."

    Cecil nods with a somber look upon his face, likely realizing the import of the words. A failed mission may fall on his shoulders alone if he is deemed to have been too meek. The responsibility of balancing the mission's goal against the safety of his team, had already begun to weigh on him.

    Lord ir'Tajar unfolds his arms and leans forward to place both hands upon the edge of the table, gauging the expressions upon each of your faces. There's a barely visible quarter-smile when he passes across the warforged. His eyes return momentarily to Butch, and he adds, "Young man, you may stow your concerns about traveling times and stopping points until you are exiting the Graywalls."

    Now to the lot of you he clarifies. "Due to the consideration of time on this matter, and the general importance of the mission, we have called in a few favors to expedite things. You will be teleported from the fort to a point just east of the Orien trade road, as indicated earlier. This will grant you nearly the entire two and a half day edge on any others that might arrive in hopes of capitalizing on the downed ship's cargo and materials. Use it wisely, as others will likely be pushing hard to be the first to find the wreck." He straightens to full height and finalizes his briefing. "You will not be taking mounts beyond the lower slopes, however, the quartermaster will provide you with an alternative to carrying your gear on your own backs. When you arrive at the rest stop you may borrow light horses from the stable located there. Provide the stablemaster the word, 'Kytrogul,' and he will see to it. The horses you will be given can be discarded at the low slopes and they will return on their own once you send them on their way. They are not suited to the terrain there, so don't take them any further than the stablemaster indicates."

    A quick swipe of an open palm displaces the faint beads of sweat from his forehead across his head, as if it were needed to recall the remaining details. "Once you have the documents and, hopefully, the pilot, you are to make your way back to the trade road where we will have moved another man into position with extra light horses. He will recognize you, and you will recognize him by virtue of the fact that all the extra horses are roans, and his is a sable black. Once this contact is made, he will send word to us instantly informing us of the results of your search. He will then lead you towards and along one of our more direct north-south patrol trails leading back here. We will also be sending an escort to meet you approximately halfway."

    Having apparently finished, he retrieves a pitcher and a tray of glasses from a heretofore uninvolved sideboard, and places it on the table, to the right of the map's edge. He pours himself a glass of what appears to be water, and indicates that you may all do the same, if you wish.

    Retaking his seat, he finally opens himself to your questions. "Now you may inquire on the details, but make them brief; this has already taken too long."

  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Cecil

    The Gray looks ready to leave right now, but he stands patiently in case his men have questions.
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    Butch

    Butch sits in stunned silence as his entire concept of speed and resource management collapses to the might of magic.

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    Wrench

    "I understand the mission, Sir. I have only one question. The return-escort we meet at the halfway point... How will we recognize them from a potential ambush? I assume another code word?"
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  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Threshkor

    Threshkor hangs out at the back of the room waiting for the rest of the group as he is prepared to follow them. It appears as though he is meditating right now.
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  23. - Top - End - #263
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    "As I said before, you will know our man by the fact his horse is black while the others are roans. If you wish you may feel free to ask to see his personal identification papers marking him as a Breelish soldier. He will have a full description of your party and should be able to identify you on sight but don't be offended if he asks to see your papers as well. Any other questions?" The lord waits a few more moments for anyone else to speak up and ask questions. When no one speaks up or moves he rises from his chair and places the glass of water down on the table. "Alright, since all of your questions have been answered and the papers signed, I will send the teleporter to meet you outside the quartermaster's office. Make your preparations quickly as i want you to be gone within the hour. You are dismissed."

  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Butch

    That snapped Butch out of his shock. He pops up to his feet quickly and then snaps up a hearty salute. "Yes, Sir!"

    By the time he reaches the door, you can tell he's back to his calculations, muttering something under his breath and wiggling his finger as if counting things off on a piece of slate.

    ... Back at the barracks, Butch lays out all the gear on a couple of bunks, organizing it and prepping the saddles. The collection is quite large:
    Butch's backpack
    pouch with 10 lbs of trail rations
    bedroll
    flint/steel
    50' coil of rope
    2 sunrods
    4 waterskins presumably filled with water
    1 winter blanket
    2 tents
    a small bundle of firewood
    2 buckets, one of them has roughly six pounds of trail rations inside
    1 pack saddle
    Butch's prized military saddle
    Butch's bow
    3 quivers of arrows
    Butch's chainmail armour
    Butch's scythe
    Butch's flail
    Butch's sickle
    a shovel
    a honing stone

    Butch reads over his traveling papers one more time before tucking them into his vest pocket. "OK, we're definitely short on rations and assuming you guys have your own canteens, we'll be able to carry about eighteen gallons... which is about four and a half days worth. Is anyone skilled at finding water?"

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Cecil

    Cecil looks at Butch with amusement in his eyes. "Not to dash your hopes and planning dreams away, my quartermastering friend," he says, "But I believe our good spiritual counselor is more than capable of supplying us with all the water we'll need."

    He looks at Threshkor. "That's right, isn't it, Threshkor?" He looks almost unsure. "I haven't run into a true cleric since the war," he adds, then mutters "leastaways not one serving the Host."
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    Threshkor

    "Mr. Cecil is correct. I can provide some water for our journey, but I will probably need to ask for the power to create some for the trip"

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  27. - Top - End - #267
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    Butch

    Butch hangs his head low and sighs as his grasp on reality trembles before the might of magic.

    He looks up again, "OK what about food? Can anyone magick up some food? I got enough for four days but a hardy breakfast can take us through the first day. I reckon the first day we can push hard until the sun hits the peaks, then we make camp. It will get dark fast behind the mountain shadow. Then we can press on at first light and go as far as the horses can take us the following day. Probably reach the lower slopes by midmorning and turn back the horses. Then lets call it a week of searching and the return trip... I'd say three days to walk back, maybe four. So that's like ten or eleven days for four men. Can you make that much?"

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    Cecil

    "Yes, Mr. Butch, I do believe you have food well in hand." He smirks. "I mean, I'm sure there IS some sort of magic that could conjure us a feast, but it's probably something that requires permits. You know how it goes."

    He grins.

    "Plus, it would take all the fun out of cooking, I imagine."
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  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Butch

    "Cooking!?" Butch exclaims, "But we don't have nearly enough wood for that. That's maybe a day's worth... well maybe if we only keep a fire for cooking."

    Scratching his head and fretting he goes on. "Make sure everyone has a winter blanket. I heard it can be cold in the mountains."

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    The quartermaster smiles at Butch as he makes the pile. He nods at Cecil and chimes in. "Not a bad start, and I'm sure you'll find that most things are edible enough when burned to a crisp. Might I suggest a few other items that I already got prepared when I heard you're headed to the Greywalls. You're gonna need these."

    With that he flips out two leather backpacks with brass buckles that appear to have been well used but well cared for. He flings them down onto a nearby table as if they were empty, but they manage to land with a loud thud. Seeing Butch's reaction he smiles. "I know what your thinking boy, but these babies can hold all that stuff you got there and more. Watch." He opens a pocket on the side of the backpack that looks like it should be able to hold a small waterskin. He reaches inside and pulls out a heavy box with both hands. Then another. And then another. Finally he pulls out a smaller box with only one hand. He give Butch a smug smile after he's finished. "Pretty neat huh? I've loaded up both side pockets to capacity, but the main backpack can still hold twice as much as these combined. These babies here are priceless if you need 'em." He opens the large box by lifting the lid off of it. Inside is a wide array of spikes and leather. He lifts each piece out as he describes them.

    "This here is your main harness. It goes around both legs like so. Make sure you place the straps right so they don't ride up and pinch your legs. These go over the tip of your boots and you can use the spikes to dig into the wall or mountain for a better grip. The spikes on the gloves are smaller so that they don't hurt your gripping ability. These are called pitons. Use the hammer to pound them into the wall and then loop the rope through like so. This should help you climb up any surface you can find. Just be sure you take your time and drive the pitons in all the way. You don't want to have them come loose." After demonstrating how to use the kit, he places each piece back in the box and places all three boxes back into the sided pocket. As he places the smaller box into the pouch he adds "This kit has your standard trauma tools needed to stabilize any wounds you might receive. I understand some of you have served in the war, so you should be familiar with this kit already. The other pouch has a 150ft silk rope with a grappling hook already attached at one end. Both packs have been loaded the same way. You can stow your rations and whatever else you need in the main pack."

    He then throws three more backpacks onto the table. These are made of thick cloth instead of leather and seem to be fairly new. "Nothing special about these packs, but you can load up some heavy gear in 'em and let the forged carry it for ya. If ya need anything else, now's the time to ask. Looks like your rail's about to leave the station."

    As he speaks, a large, overweight man lumbers into the room. The man wipes the sweat from his forehead with the silken sleeve of his shirt. You can't help but smell the man as he reeks of sweat covered by layers of oils and perfumes. He gives the quartermaster a nod as he pauses to catch his breath. Reaching inside the pocket of his free flowing trousers he grabs a large handkerchief and dabs his forehead once again. The light reflects of a large signet ring on his finger, clearly identifying him as a member of House Orien. "Is everything ready to go?"

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