16th of Spark(note -- click on graphics for larger image)
"You all owe me a debt because I saved your lives when your ships foundered in the storms. Well I've decided how you can repay your debts." said Abelard de Amber as he addressed the group of adventurers.
"To my left is Zilwen, a young centaur kidnapped by his family's enemies. He managed to escape by triggering a teleport; and eventually he found his way here.
(note -- Abelard is in red with his back to you, Zilwen is the centaur, Helga is the large lady in red, Nikos is in brown with the crested helm, Glenrick is in orange, Yobella in yellow and white, and Jack is in dark colors with the two pack mules, Agatehead and Brambles.)
I would ask that you escort him back to his family. They live somewhere on the Glow-Worm Steppes, near The Lake of the Crown Beast. Now you must go overland because Zilwen's family suffers under a curse . . . whenever any of them travel on salt water, they never set hoof on land again."
"You come from many different backgrounds and speak many different languages . . . but that is only good, for you must journey a long way and will undoubtedly come across many different cultures . . . so a wide range of knowledge is a good thing.
"I know that you have very little money . . . and I'm sorry that I cannot add to it. However I am giving you two pack mules, Brambles and Agatehead, to carry your supplies. Nevertheless, I suspect that you may have to stop and work from time to time in order to be able to further this quest."
"I ask you now to each pledge yourselves to this task." And so each of the five adventurers swore an oath upon their honors.
"Good. I fear that I cannot aid you with information about the lands that you must travel through since I've lived all my life within a few miles of here."
"I do, however, have this map which a traveller left with my grandfather's father. And while it lacks detail (and much may have changed in the intervening years), hopefully it may help give you some idea as to what course you choose to take."
(note -- red arrow on far northwest coast shows starting point; red question mark indicates their goal.)
"One final word of warning. At some point in your journey it is possible that the enemies of Zilwen's family will learn of your quest. Therefor, the closer you get to his homeland, the more dangerous your journey may become. Take care, my friends, I will bid you farewell now for I do not rise early and the stars tell me that you had best begin your task before the sun rises on the morrow."
After bidding Abelard good night, the six questors examined the map and debated various paths. The Dark Woods contained the Elven town of Breem . . . which was said to inhabited by friendly wood elves. It also sheltered a coastal village called Fairlea . . . perhaps that would be the best way to go since they might not be able to locate Breem.
On the other hand, while a longer journey, looping northeast around the Dark Woods might allow them a better chance to get to know each other. And there was a town, Garthain, some 15 miles due north of Abelard's tower . . . perhaps it would be wise to visit there and see if they could find a guide.
After discussing it (Mythic throw of 91. emphatic "NO" on going through the Dark Woods), Zilwen insisted on avoiding the woods for now. "We need an easy trek to start with so that we can learn to work together. We will have to take to the woods at some point, but let us start in the open."
Discussion then centered on whether or not to go to Garthain or to just follow the border of the woods. Nikos opined that even if they didn't find a guide, they might pick up some supplies that Abelard hadn't been able to provide.
(Mythic throw of 33, YES on going to Garthain first -- resulting in a random event -- NPC Action -- take, mundane).
17th of Spark (early morning)
Arising early, the party had finished loading the first pack mule, Agatehead and were almost through loading Brambles when suddenly the first mule took off, headed for the coast. Zilwen was the only one fast enough to catch Agatehead; and grabbing the halter, brought the mule to a stop . . . but only after Agatehead had managed to lose a good portion of what had been packed . . . and, of course, he then dug in his four feet refusing to move.
By the time all of the lost items had been recovered, and the mule re-packed, the sun was well up and they were late getting away. They would have to push it if they were to reach Garthain before dark . . . and tempers were already a bit frayed.
(to be continued . . . )
CHAOS RATING -- 5
- Agatehead (mule)
- Brambles (mule)
Old CHARACTERS & NPCs:
Abelard de Amber
Escort Zilwen Home
Zilwen's Aversion to Forests
For some reason I was sure that they would be going through the woods -- but Mythic said otherwise. Then I expected them to circle the forest -- whoops, wrong again (and I nearly missed catching the "doubles" for the random event; but finally did remember.)