The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Torendil scoffs a bit at the stories of Sir Laurens--knights were all well and good, but when was the last time he had warped reality to his will?--but still, it was a good sign. There was civilization, even out in this backwater, and the knight's entourage probably made this little town one of the best defended in the area. That was something.

    He orders a stiff drink and sits down with the others outside. Most of what he expected to hear would be the usual inane small-town gossip, but there may be some useful information he could pick up. Besides, these kinds of folk tended to be mistrustful of mages, he'd learned the hard way, and so best to stick close to the people who were not complete strangers, at least.
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  2. - Top - End - #92
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Albrecht looks at Carl's wounds. "I've always known you folk were tougher than you look... the Duke never met halflings until he came to these lands. But he knows there's good and bad halflings, just like men. The ones that stood with us during the siege were braver than half the men of the southern ranges... there's a community of them at Bremcote castle, and there's halfling farms all across the south valley. The ones that live in the forest... well, they fell under the influence of some bad sorts. They were raiding our lands. Along with men, as well. His lordship had to put a stop to that. Pushed down into the woods, forced the villagers there to bend the knee. Stralwald (E20), they call it. They've accepted his rulership, as well they should, since he's brought law and order to them. There are a few other halfling communities around. The village of Appledel (I22) has a fine market. It's down where the river enters Tammuz Canyon. Ah, Sir Denis took a stone to the side during the fighting, he certainly had some strong words to say while his ribs were healing. I haven't asked Sir Laurens' views on halflings, but I know he enjoys the venison pie. As for the other folk... the Dwarves mostly keep to the mountains in the east. I know they have some mines in the valleys, but none serve Lord Bremcote. You can find their stonework all over, though. There is also an Elven woman who works for the Duke at Castle Bremcote. She's the stablemistress. Breeds the finest horses outside of Bretonnia, I'm told."

    "Orcs are all over these lands, the scum. Duke Bremcote came here during the troubles, about 30 years ago. As a young man. Orcs had overrun this valley, and were raiding everywhere. Lord Bremcote drove them off, the big battle at Boneyard Pass. Killed thousands, including their leaders. A terrible battle, but necessary. We... he... reclaimed this valley. He's been the strong shield of these realms, protecting them against the orcs ever since. They make raids here occasionally, and his lordship tries to make sure that none return alive. He also raids their lands to keep them off balance. "

    "Head injury? Hmm, let me take a look at that. I've seen terrible head wounds where the man would be up and running a weak later, and ones that looked minor, and yet... well. Do you see any strange lights when you blink? Do you smell sounds? Feel dizzy? Let me check..." he pulls back her hair and examines the bruising. "As long as the swelling is on the outside of the skull, you should be OK. If it's on the inside... well, I've never tried trepanning before. To remove the excess yellow bile from the brain is tricky. I remember my uncle tried it once, but, ah, the patient died."

    Spoiler: Alyssa
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    You recover (1d10)[7] wounds.

  3. - Top - End - #93
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Gabriele was not the sort of person to get overly excited about nobles doing what they ought to be doing anyway, but at least this Bremcote was the type of noble that protected people. To Severin, 'My Grandma said she came through here once. Said it was safer to assume there are always Orcs out there somewhere.'

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Flumph

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    Severin

    "Sounds like an upright fella, this Duke of yours. Maybe we should pay Castle Bremcote a visit when you're healed up," he says to Carl. "Could be we've got kinfolk there."

    "Sounds like a wise woman, yer grandma," he replies to Gabriele. "She travel a lot?"

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Carl

    Quote Originally Posted by rax View Post
    Severin

    "Sounds like an upright fella, this Duke of yours. Maybe we should pay Castle Bremcote a visit when you're healed up," he says to Carl. "Could be we've got kinfolk there."

    "Sounds like a wise woman, yer grandma," he replies to Gabriele. "She travel a lot?"
    Carl smiled and nodded, then winced. Though he felt better he was still a long way from hale and hearty.

    'I agree. I know how to make venison pie if it helps, but I might be better suited to helping keep out the orcs with this.' He pats the handgun slung across his back. It isn't really oversized but on a halfling it looks big. Turning to the surgeon he offered his hand. 'Thank you for your fine work Herr Stangel. I'm Carl Greenarrow, late of Von Kreidel's Marksmen.'

    Stepping aside to allow Alyssa through he gives the human woman a sympathetic smile. 'I guess you have the good luck to have a thick skull, right Alyssa?'

  6. - Top - End - #96
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by rax View Post
    "Sounds like a wise woman, yer grandma," he replies to Gabriele. "She travel a lot?"
    'She did. Came up from Estalia originally. She taught me how to shoot.'

    She pats her bow, 'On that, my quiver is running a bit low after the mutants. I suppose the ones I shot didn't want to give the arrows back. Maybe there's a place here to pick up supplies.'

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Once the surgeon finishes treating the group, he smiles. "Yes, the craftsmen here help keep his lordship supplied with arrows. They are usually plentiful in these lands. His lordship does not approve of gunpowder weapons, so I suspect that it will be very hard to find additional powder while you are here. Something to keep in mind. Now, if you excuse me..." he beckons over the next patient, an old woman.

    Watching the surgeon treat his patients is about the most exciting thing happening in town, so there are a number of gawkers. The tavern is doing good business. Linus rents one of the inn's private rooms to rest in, as the muleskinners see to the mules. Clark wanders off, muttering about visiting the widow Beaumont, while the guards begin drinking their pay. Bernice beckons you over. She doles out 6 gold crowns to everyone. "Your wages, plus a bonus. If you are still interested, we're heading down to Castle Bremcote, hopefully we can set up shop there. Same wages, 1 crown per week, plus expenses. Probably will rest here a few days, though."

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Alyssa listens to Albrecht's musing as he looks at Carl's and her wounds, then nods to Carl and says, with a weak laugh, "Thinner than I'd like." She pauses for a minute, then says thoughtfully, "I think I need to meet with Duke Bremcote. I'd like to get to know him and his court better."

  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Flumph

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    Severin

    "She taught you well then," Severin compliments Gabriele.

    "Much obliged, Miss Bernice, and I'll be happy to ride with you to Castle Bremcote as well. Do you know it well?"

  10. - Top - End - #100
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Gabriele will thank Bernice and pocket the money in the inside of her cloak. She was uncomfortable having this much money on her at one time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ionbound View Post
    "I think I need to meet with Duke Bremcote. I'd like to get to know him and his court better."
    She is frankly impressed by Alyssa's confidence. 'Might as well see what one of the bigger towns looks likes.' At the moment one place seemed as good as another. 'Would this Duke have any reason to employ us?'

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Bernice laughs at that. "I never left Altdorf until two months ago. Our shop started to fall apart a few years back. After mother died... well, father's heart wasn't really in the business anymore. I was still too young, and... well, we decided to make a clean break of it. Go far away, start anew, away from creditors and taxmen and gangers, and other scum of the earth... maybe the borderlands wasn't the best choice, but here we are? So I don't know this duke or his castle at all. If there's a town, there's people who need to buy and sell, and maybe we can make a go of it there... I hope. A real duke back in the Empire wouldn't give us a second look, but down here? Who knows... A chance to meet one of his kids and we just got here. You go meet with him. I'm going to take a bath and put on some clean clothes so I can make a good impression. Tell me what you think of him before I go talk to him."

  12. - Top - End - #102
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    'There's too many people in Altdorf. I don't know how anyone lives there.' Gabriele had briefly passed through it on the way south.

    On the idea of changing she'll look down at her own travel stained clothes, 'If we have to clean up first someone else should probably do the talking.'

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    The others seemed intent on meeting the duke, and Torendil didn't think this was a bad idea. It seemed like the duke was fairly competent, so he should have a decent handle on what is going on. Maybe he'd even be willing to hire on a court wizard. Perhaps he should have asked the surgeon how this Duke Bremcote felt about mages, or elves for that matter. They'd find out soon enough.

    Torendil also gave his dusty robes an annoyed glance. "I would also prefer a chance to clean up both my clothing and myself. Country rubes such as this might not care much about appearances, but noblemen tend to. I suppose the inn offers bathing facilities, at least?" He had nothing more than a simple travelling robe, but perhaps he could make himself halfway presentable.
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  14. - Top - End - #104
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Torendril asks the innkeeper for a bath. The innkeeper grunts, "1 silver. The young lady's in there now, so you'll wait yer turn. I run a respectable establishment, y'hear?" Once Bernice is done, a servant shows him to a small room off the kitchen with a large tub full of water. Severin goes to the well in the center of town, draws a bucket of cool, clean water and splashes the travel dust off. Once everyone feels cleaner, the party heads towards the bailey. It is built on top of a large mound of earth. Stone stairs fixed in the sides are overwatched by the bailey's towers. At the top of the hill is a gate set into a curtain wall. The guards wave you in. The doc sent word ahead, apparently.

    Once inside there is a bare training yard. A few spectators, soldiers, camp followers, servants, are watching two knights sparring. Wearing expensive full plate, the courtyard rings with the sound of their sword-play. After a few minutes, a servant carefully approaches, and tries to attract their attention. The knights stop sparring, and bow to each other. They pull of their helms. Two healthy-looking young men, hair cut short in the knightly style. One straw, the other reddish. The man with the red hair approaches. "Ah, you brave fellows! The travellers attacked by mutants. Terrible, terrible. Tell me, when and where did it happen? Are you all right? How many mutants were there? Foul cretins. By my honor, I will avenge Master Beaumont!" The words all jumble out in a haste. "Forgive me, I am Sir Laurens Bremcote. This is my friend, Sir Patrocles Leclair. It is my duty, my knightly charge to defend these lands!"

  15. - Top - End - #105
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    Carl

    Carl bowed - then winced. Even with Albrecht's ministrations it would take time before the halfling soldier was hale and hearty. Still, he wanted to make a good impression.

    'An honour to meet you noble knights. I am Carl Greenarrow, late of the Emperor's armies. The mutants attacked us two days south of "Sweetwater Springs", but we managed to fight them off, with injuries and losses I fear.'

  16. - Top - End - #106
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Gabriele will let others bathe first if they wanted. As long as someone was capable of making a good impression it didn't really matter what she looked like. She hadn't really had the chance to get a good bath since that place in Wissenland though. She was honestly curious to see what this Bremcote was really like, but even if the reality was less impressive then the Doctor had made it sound, it would be better to be on good terms with the local lord.

    Gabriele will bow awkwardly. Mam had been around and tried to teach her some things. 'Gabriele, late of Ostland. We chased them into the desert afterwards to get one of our people back. Maybe they're living out there somehow.' Leclair, was that Bretonnian?

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Flumph

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    Severin

    "Severin Cinderhill of the Imperial Messengers' Guild. Recently...retired, m'lord. And may I say, Carl and Gabriele are much too modest. Their archery was instrumental in driving off the bandits."

  18. - Top - End - #108
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Sir Laurens nods gravely at your tale. "Those badlands are empty for good reason. If those mutants are there, they must be passing through. Can't let them get too far a head start. Aye, archery is good for driving off the foe, but you need cold steel and a lance charge to bring the battle home, eh? We will avenge the deaths of your comrades. I want you to guide me to where you fought them off first thing tomorrow." He turns to Sir Leclair. "Can't let my brother take all the glory, eh? We leave after break-fast."

  19. - Top - End - #109
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by rax View Post
    Severin
    "Carl and Gabriele are much too modest. Their archery was instrumental in driving off the bandits."
    Gabriele looks embarrassed at this praise. 'I've seen worse.'

    'Should be easy enough to follow their trail as long as the weather holds.' Hunting down the remaining mutants wasn't the worst idea. If they hungry enough they'd only attack someone else. As long as she and the others had some more experienced fighters to stand behind.

  20. - Top - End - #110
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    "Excellent! My guards and I will leave first thing in the morning. You all can guide us there so we can slay this menace. Meet us at the main gate just after breaking your fast. You are dismissed," says the knight, waving you off. "Sir Leclair, looks like we see battle tomorrow! Have the men rest up, don't let them get too drunk."

  21. - Top - End - #111
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    Gabriele will wait until the two knights were out of earshot before asking, 'I figured them owing us a favour might be a good idea, but is everyone ok with coming along?' She was aware that some of them had been hurt worse in the ambush then others.

    Later she'll look into stocking up on arrows before taking that bath. If one was available she'll try and buy a room for the night. While she is comfortable sleeping outdoors, it's been a while, and she would be stupid not to take advantage of a decent bed if she could find one.

  22. - Top - End - #112
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Torendil isn't sure whether he's more miffed or relieved that no one paid him any particular mind. The knight's abrupt dismissal, as if they were some... peasants rankled, but he didn't press the issue. At least Sir Laurens seemed eager to deal with the problem personally--that was better than some nobles he'd seen.

    "I do not see why not," he responds to Gabriele. "Though we do not know exactly where the creatures came from. I suppose we could lead them as far as where we tracked that party which had captured Bernice..." He scowls at the prospect of trekking through the desert once more.
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  23. - Top - End - #113
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    Flumph

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    "We should be alright," Severin chuckles. "Sir Laurens requested that we guide him and his men to where we fought them mutants, he didn't say anything about us fighting them again. So we take him where he wants to go and then let the professionals handle the problem."

    Severin too does his best to find a decent room for the night. Best to be well rested for tomorrow's business.

  24. - Top - End - #114
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    Alyssa bows respectfully to the knights, and adds, "Do you hold a court, sir? I was hoping to offer my aid there. My skills are not in combat so much as they are in aiding your administration."

    As they return, Alyssa replies to Gabriele, "I'd like to avoid taking another club to the head...I'm not a good fighter, either. I hope there's something I can do for them other than going out and hunting mutants."

  25. - Top - End - #115
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Gabriele is honestly curious about what Alyssa was even doing in the Border Princes. Her accent sounded like she came from money, and if that was true, why leave it to start again. Still, Gabriele had hardly been open about her own reason for coming south.

    'I'm not great with a sword either, but I know to avoid a fair fight if I can help it. If there's anything bigger then a goblin out there we should probably keep it as far away from us as possible.'

  26. - Top - End - #116
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    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Before they leave, Sir Leclair sneers at Alyssa. "I'm sure you can find someone to serve under." Sir Laurens shakes his head at that, and says, "I have all the servants that I need. I suppose you can ask my father's servants if they need help? There's always work for willing hands. Scribes, stewards, and the like. Never fear, though. You'll have two knights and a dozen guards with you on the morrow."

    The afternoon is wearing on. The village begins bustling as farmers and herders return from the fields, heading home for dinner and a few drinks. A few dusty stalls and a general store sport some meager wares, if anyone needs to stock up on supplies. Arrows are easy enough to find, of course. A few craftsmen harvest reeds from the river to turn into arrows for the Duke's archers. Back at the inn, it is 10s for a private room, and 5p to sleep on the floor after the patrons clear out of the common room. "There's only two private rooms left, squire" grunts the innkeeper as he mentions this. The common room is filled with locals. The elf and the halflings get a few sidelong glances, but the locals mostly keep to themselves, and the room empties out a few hours after sunset.

  27. - Top - End - #117
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    Alyssa's smile cracks slightly as the knights mention servitude and she replies, in an ever-so-slightly strained tone of voice, "Thank you. And I am sure with your company we'll be safe in the wilds." With that, she respectfully takes her leave.

  28. - Top - End - #118
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    Gabriele's eyes will narrow at Leclair's comment but knows better then to say anything. This was the sort of thing she expected from most of the nobility. Away from the knights she'll say quietly to Alyssa, 'Maybe a mutant will get him.'

    Later she'll pay for the other private room as the common room was far too full. In her experience not everyone was trustworthy in a place like this.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Expenses using book prices
    10 s - for the room
    2 p - 3 Ales for light drinking
    4 s - 20 arrows


  29. - Top - End - #119
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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Torendil seems a little annoyed that there are only two private rooms left and they will likely have to share rooms. Still, there would be a roof over their heads--a marked improvement over the past few weeks. He makes sure they have the other room reserved, nurses a single ale while keeping mostly to himself, and goes to bed early. He won't necessarily suggest that they share rooms, but won't balk if someone else makes the suggestion, either.

    He approaches the halflings, who had already reserved the first room. He screwed up his face a little--begging favors wasn't exactly something he was used to. "Is there any chance..." He stopped, grimacing. "Might I share a space in your room? I will pay my share." He pushes five silver coins across the table at Severin.


    EDIT: I'm a bit late revising this, since the GM has already moved us along, but there you go.
    Last edited by rs2excelsior; 2018-12-13 at 10:11 AM.
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  30. - Top - End - #120
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    This elicits a thin smile from Alyssa, even as she shakes her head, "Perhaps. Still, a grim thing to hope for."

    When they return to the Inn, Alyssa glaces at Gabriele as she buys a private room and asks quietly, "Would you mind sharing? I...Don't like the look of this common room very much."

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