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DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Ragnar

The cold and the dampness reminded him of home. Such weather had a way of weeding the strong from the weak. He thought his companions could manage the weather, so he didn't have to worry about them. A little complaining didn't bother him any. It was the way of men. Ragnar, though, he had no reason to complain.

"This is good weather. It makes you tough and prepares you for the cold of winter."

Later on when Gang brought up the ripping of hearts out of bodies, Ragnar spoke up,

"Who ever it is that tears the hearts out of men seems to me to be in league with some wizard. The murders stink of the foul stench of sorcery. We need to be ready for wizard tricks. Bastards like that never fight fair."

When night approached, Ragnar looked at the village and the evergreens and makes up his mind as to where he would want to spend the night.

"I will go to that village. I've spent many a night on the cold ground and will endure it if I have to, but if I don't then I will not. I'll spend my night at an inn. What about the rest of you?"

DocBubonic fucked around with this message at Jan 14, 2015 around 18:48

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chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Totach Redmane

"Is it even a question?" Totach asked rhetorically. "I prefer heat to cold. That inn looks to have plenty."

Beardless
Aug 12, 2011

I am Centurion Titus Polonius. And the only trouble I've had is that nobody seem to realize that I'm their superior officer.

Alhert Lorimer

Alhert gazes around him, reveling in the feel of the quiet woods. In his youth he had traveled several times to Cimmeria, working as a guard for traders, and it was a pleasure to be back in the north again. As they neared Icewater, Alhert nodded at Ragnar's comments. "I agree. No reason not to push on and have a comfprtable bed. Well, a comfortable spot on the floor by the hearth perhaps."

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."



Rohan

"Strength of spirit will do no good if the flesh becomes frostbitten, and it would be inadvisable for us to split up, anyway. I shall join you at the inn." Rohan is unlikely to admit it, but the chill was beginning to become bothersome. Clearly, he'll need to train more to better endure the harsh climate.

Twobirds
Oct 17, 2000

He's just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife.

Dinosaur Gum

Dawa

Dawa seems at home on the road between the trees, his eyes sliding over their towering forms without his step missing a beat. He has a constant half-smile, even as the group crowds into a lean-to or navigates a ioce-choked mud stream. The cold gets to him, he has to admit, but it seems to serve only to make him more bright in the eye and eager to travel. While he might prefer warmer climes, it's clear he prefers the outdoors.

"Wizards, perhaps," he says to Ragnar. "Or someone who imagines they're wizards. Wizards usually have a reason for cutting out body parts, so we might not know what they're up to, but I would expect some foul magic to follow in their wake. Haven't heard anything like that, so far."

The village is, Dawa had to admit, at least a promise of hot food and a fire. His eyes still wander to the forest shrouded by the darkness looming above the village like the black walls of a cook-pot.

OOC: Is there enough light to check out the village at all? Can I walk to one end then the other before going to the inn, just to get a sense of their prosperity and relationship to the forest?

El Spamo
Aug 21, 2003



Icewater Village - Dawa

Though the sun has set, the hours of dusk are long in the northern lands. The forest has been cleared back from the village edge some distance to make room for yards where lumber and logs are stacked. Walking into town, you pass several large stacks bundled up and ready for a merchant caravan to collect and haul to market. The Icewater river runs along the edge of the town, and it's frigid waters power a sawmill that rough cuts the massive logs into usable lengths.

Dawa continues along the main road through the middle of the town, while the rest turn for the warmth of the inn. Next to the inn is are what pass for residences in the town built out of the massive timbers harvested from the surrounding forests. A short distance down the road is the smithy of the town. Inside you can hear the clanging of hammers as the smith works into the night. A general store sits opposite of the smithy, and just a bit further down the street ends the cluster of buildings offering services to the community. Beyond are a few more homes, then land cleared of forest for a scant hundred yards to the treeline. Dirt paths lead off of the main road to sheds and homes and footprints are still visible despite the falling snow. The main road itself narrows at the far end, becoming a track the width of a wagon that leads off into the forest.

Icewater Village - Inn

The other five warriors make haste towards the warmth of the Inn, seeking refuge from the cold. Even the hardest northman will not pass up the warmth of a fire on a cold night. The Inn is a large, single story building built of the same massive timbers and beams cut by the loggers. It's rough but sturdy, clearly a labor of love by the locals to build a comfortable place to gather. The one large room is dominated on one end by a huge hearth, and a rack of ale casks on the other.
The five stand confronted by a room half-full of off-duty workers who are taking their meal and drink after a cold working day. All turn to look at the newcomers. Visitors are not common this time of year.

"Come in, come in!" says a red-faced man wearing an apron who fairly rolls his way over to the group. "Welcome to my home. Don't mind them, what brings you here by night? Be you merchants?"

OOC: Dawa, you can break off and explore the village. Let's say you've got the short side of an hour to poke around before it gets DARK dark. Feel free to take creative license with the scenery if the mood strikes you.

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Ragnar

"We are merely travelers through this area." Ragnar steps into the building and shakes the snow off his cloak. "We have need of food and shelter. Tomorrow we shall be moving on to our destination."

Ragnar then looks down at the man to see if he has any more questions.

Twobirds
Oct 17, 2000

He's just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife.

Dinosaur Gum

Dawa

"Hello?" Dawa says, sticking his head into the blacksmith's shack. Part of the wall was removed to allow for more air, even in conditions like these - better cold than dead of fumes and bad air. The smith, like most, is single-minded in his task, eyes stuck to the cherry red piece he was beating. "Ah, yes," Dawa says. He bows his head curtly. "My companions and I just arrived in town. I was seeing what I could in the light remaining. You are still busy, I take it? We had heard some nasty business is here as well."

OOC: Fairly fresh wagon tracks into the woods?

El Spamo
Aug 21, 2003



Icewater - Smithy

The smith looks up from his work and frowns deeply. "Yes, I am busy. What do you want?" he says, and bends back to his work. The iron is shoved back into the furnace, and he turns on Dawa. "Nasty business? You had best not be bringing any into our town, we've got enough trouble as it is."

Icewater - Inn

The innkeeper opens his arm broadly. "We have plenty of both! Uh, it is five pennies for a place near the fire, another five for a cot. Dinner is four, but if you want all three I'll make it twelve."

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Totach Redmane

Totach grins. He easily has enough money to splurge on space for a night.

"I'll take the full package for twelve, if you don't mind." He digs into his belt pouches for the necessary coinage; he only keeps a few dozen close at hand, with his bag holding the rest.

Beardless
Aug 12, 2011

I am Centurion Titus Polonius. And the only trouble I've had is that nobody seem to realize that I'm their superior officer.

Alhert Lorimer

Alherts steps into the inn, and greets the innkeeper. <Cimmerian> Hail, friend. I'll take a spot by the hearht, and dinner as well. I'd also be grateful for a cup of mead. He fishes out 9 pennies and hands them over.

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Ragnar

"A warm spot by the fire and mead sound good. I'll take some food as well good man." Ragnar gives the man fifteen pennies and moves to the fire place. As he warmed up his hands at the fire, he tells the man,

"Keep the extra and make sure the mead isn't watered down."

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."



Rohan

"Dinner and a spot by the fire is all I will need, thank you." Rohan produces nine coins, placing them with the rest of the party's payments. He's spent many a cold night asleep on the floor in front of a warm fireplace, and has come to find a sort of home-like comfort in it. He would often use the relaxing atmosphere to meditate and center his mind, as it can be difficult to maintain a tranquil state of mind in the chaotic northern countries.

Twobirds
Oct 17, 2000

He's just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife.

Dinosaur Gum

Dawa

Dawa grins like it was the funniest joke he's ever heard. He waggles his hands in front of him to show off how far from the truth the smith's comment was. "No, fairly sure I'd be sawn in half lengthwise and pounded into the frozen riverbank if I did that. We had hoped to be solving problems, not making them. Would appreciate it if you kept us on the right track, if you can spare a moment, since you're obviously got your troubles on your mind."

El Spamo
Aug 21, 2003



Icewater - Smithy

The smith does not return Dawa's grin, instead continuing to glower at him. "You'd be lucky if that's all that happened to you. A dozen and more of the folk of this town have had their hearts torn out. Something foul is out there in the deep woods. Witchery." He spits on the ground. "Bandits plague the trails and tracks west of here along the river. West, I tell you! What sense does that make? There's naught but simple farmers and trappers out there, what madness drives a bandit to rob such poor folk?" He shakes his head.

"The right track for you boy would be to turn yourself around at first light and go back from where you came."

Icewater - Inn

The keeper takes the money and provides the goods purchased. Cots for those who paid, and food and mead. The fire in the inn is large and promises a warm if simple night of rest.

The people gathered in the inn do not move to make conversation. In fact, despite the innkeeper's upbeat greeting, the rest of the crowd looks worn and tired. Their gazes are suspicious and conversation is hushed. They keep to their cliques and keep a wary eye on the company.

OOC: Dawa continues to chat with a blacksmith, the rest of you can start a conversation if you'd like or default to pass the night uneventfully.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Totach Redmane

Totach sits on his simple cot as he digs into his pottage. It's a simple meal typical of Cimmerian cuisine, a mash of the local staple crops with a little butter and chunks of meat. Filling, if not exactly high culture.

"I have a feeling they don't trust us," he mutters to Alhert.

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Ragnar

"They see us coming into their town and they're hating that they're not us. It is the plight of the common man." Ragnar continues to drink his mead.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Totach Redmane

"It's not that, I don't think" Totach replies as he absentmindedly swirls his pottage around with his wooden spoon. "They don't know who's killing them and probably don't know why. They might suspect us."

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Ragnar

"Suspect us? If I were killing them, then they would know I did it. I would not act like a coward, attacking in the night. Ragnar of Vanaheim does not engage in such base actions. I am a warrior and hide nothing. My aim is true and my maul is mighty!" Ragnar looks around the room to see if any of the villagers wished to argue with him.

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Totach Redmane

Totach becomes much more busy digging through his meal.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."



Rohan

As Rohan eats quietly, he raises an eyebrow at Ragnar. "I do not believe your boasting of martial prowess will do much to reassure the townsfolk. Perhaps when morning arrives, hopefully without incident, we shall find ourselves a little more trusted."

Twobirds
Oct 17, 2000

He's just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife.

Dinosaur Gum

Dawa

"Hunger, or fear would drive them," Dawa says. "The cold leads many to madness. But we suspect sorcery as well, no bandit carves the hearts from his victim, only their purse. I don't think any of us are going to wander away, friend. We came to stop the man or beast doing this, and aim to do so. I know we are foreign folk leaving our tracks in your fresh-fallen snow, and you are free to let us dash ourselves against a vile foe. But offer some news or information if you can, and we will be out of your hair in the same amount of time. That's all I meant to ask for." Dawa shrugs, and bows stiffly again. "I've distracted you long enough. I'll see you tomorrow, and it won't be as I follow my tracks out of town. Farewell."

Dawa heads to the inn, wondering why he seemed to get so poetic sometimes. He was here for gold, though his blood did boil at hearing bandits were attacking farmers in the wildlands. They lived among the land, finding peace that some peoples never did, and here they were being hunted for it.

Bah. The cold was making him delirious. Some stew-soaked-bread would do his gut some good.

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Gang Wei

He is the last (save Dawa) to arrive in the tavern as the rest are settling in. Where he was (or perhaps, he was there all along?) remains unclear, but the elusive fellow made himself known by saying, "I am knife merchant. Sell knives, point first, to people with coin," he says affably to the nearest villager with a sage nod. He unwraps his bundled scarves and spare clothes, airing out a bit. At Ragnar's outburst, he is quick to reply: "Vanir. Your Hand-half knows we are coming? I expected grand feast for heroes," he says.

"Innmaster. You know this man? Truan? We solve problems for him and your ilk," he said, rapidly switching conversation tacks. "Many knives solve many problems. Matters of coin, safety, medicine, heart problems," he concludes. "Solve murder problems."

OOC: I'll use Observation-13 to get a general read on the room. Why are they so tired and gloomy? Because of the murder things? Also, any specific reactions to namedropping Truan - I will try and Fast Talk-12 to pry something out of the innkeep.

El Spamo
Aug 21, 2003



Icewater - Inn

The crowd shrinks back from the giant Vanir. None seem too eager to rise to confront him. One man stands to speak. He is older, bearded with a haunted look.

"You speak of killing, warrior. We've seen enough killings of late. A wise man would go back from whence he came, lest he join the ranks of the dead."

Before Ragnar can respond, Gang breaks into the conversation. The old man turns to the Khitai. "We've no coin for mercenaries. Not enough to pay for what you would face in the wilds." As he says this, another man reaches and grabs his arm. The old villager looks down to see him give his head a small shake. He looks back up at Gang and scowls before sitting back down.

The innkeeper hustles over with a horn of mead which he shoves into Gang's hand. "Please, peace travellers!" At the mention of Truan Half-hand, he narrows his eyes. "You are friends of Truan? He is known in these parts. A rich old man who spends his time hunting from his lodge. His coin spends as well as any other, and he is welcome here. What business do you have with him?" He pales at the mention of murder problems. He looks nervously at the other villagers who had just spoken.

"I'm sorry, what money we have is spent on fortifying the village. Even that... You have heard of the terror that stalks our village? You are not the first. Other friends of Truan have already passed through, two of them. Warriors like yourselves. We have not heard from them in days."

The conversation is interrupted again by Dawa walking into the room. The innkeeper moves to him to take his money and bring him food.


Observation: 3d6 14
The patrons' discomfort is obvious, but the why is not clear. Other than unexplained and terrifying murders plaguing their village and armed outsiders streaming through.
Fast talk: 3d6 10
Namedrop successful, seems you got him talking.

Beardless
Aug 12, 2011

I am Centurion Titus Polonius. And the only trouble I've had is that nobody seem to realize that I'm their superior officer.

Alhert Lorimer

Alherts stands, and addresses the crowd. <Cimmerian>"Ragnar and I are old friends of Truan's. We received a message from him, asking for help. We have come, along with our companions, to put an end to the troubles that plague this place. Can anyone here give details about the killings? Is there a particular area that the bodies have been found?"

aldantefax
Oct 10, 2007

ALWAYS BE MECHFISHIN'

Gang Wei

"Yesss," he says in approval. "Tell me more of woes. Two warriors," he mulls over this new libation given to him. "Vanir. Your ears work? Two warriors, before us. Halved Hand does not trust in your prowess? Never met him."

Twobirds
Oct 17, 2000

He's just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife.

Dinosaur Gum

Dawa

Dawa hands over a few of his precious pennies for the bowl of stew with entirely too much turnip in it. He ignores the stares and sits with his new companions. With a forced smile and a mouthful of stew, he murmurs, "We're not riling up the locals are we?"

OOC: My internet had become really flaky, so I may not be able to post a lot for a few days. Sorry!

El Spamo
Aug 21, 2003



Icewater - Inn

The innkeeper nods his head at Dawa, then pulls a seat close to Alhert. <Cimmerian>:"I'm not surprised that Truan has brought fortune-hunters to his side, he has told us many tales already of his exploits to the south. If he seeks to do something about the murders of late, he hasn't shared that with us. We haven't seen him in some time. The other warriors who passed through claimed to be his friends, just as you have. I did not doubt them."

He takes a swing from his wooden mug.

"What details do you need? Men have been slain in a fashion that no mere bandit would take pains to do. If they were merely stabbed and robbed, we would have already formed a hunting party and purged them from the hills. We've done as much before. But these... these stink of foul witchcraft. Their hearts were gone. Gone! Carved out of their chests, no doubt still beating. Their face were cut. Strange symbols. Like worms or snakes. Their guts... They've shown up on the banks of the river more than anywhere else, some have washed down into the village itself. Whoever, whatever has done this must have thrown their corpses into the Icewater. When they're found elsewhere... what do I know of the motivations of fiends?

At that, he drains his mug.

OOC: Dawa, no worries!

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Totach Redmane

Totach easily slips into Cimmerian, albeit with an Argossean accent. <Cimmerian> How many have been killed, and over what period of time? It's, uh, an average of how many have died over time? We should know how swift the slaughter is, what scale they're killing at.

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Ragnar

"So only an old man has the courage to speak his mind? No wonder Half-hand sought me out." He looks over to Gang.

"Perhaps Half-hand worried I wouldn't come. It has been some time since I last saw him and he no doubt called in all his favors to help deal with this menace. Too bad they came before I did. No doubt they found a fight that was too much for them. Good thing I have arrived to take care of this menace before Half-hand sends anyone else to deal with this evil."

Beardless
Aug 12, 2011

I am Centurion Titus Polonius. And the only trouble I've had is that nobody seem to realize that I'm their superior officer.

Alhert Lorimer

Akherts narrows his eyes at the innkeepers mention of the cuts made in the victims faces. <Cimmerian>Aye, it does seem like some kind of sorcery. You say that the... carvings in the face resembled serpents? Mitra save us, have the coils of the vile Set come this far north?

El Spamo
Aug 21, 2003



Icewater - Inn

At the mention of Set, it is clear who is eavesdropping. A half-dozen signs to ward off evil are suddenly made, and noses find themselves deeply thrust into drinks.

"Have a care Vanir, friend of Truan. Go and find him, he's west of here. Maybe your blood will sate the witches and we'll see no more death." pipes up a younger man.

The innkeeper shakes his head and sighs. <Cimmerian>"More than a dozen, that I can say. Simply put, we are being slaughtered like sheep. I do not wish to speak further on this. It is time to bank the fire, take your cots if you bought one. I am going home."

The fire is lowered and the coals arranged to keep warmth through the night. Some of the villagers go to their own dwellings, while others curl up on the ground by the fireplace. The cots here are simple crafts but give comfort through the night. In the morning, the group gathers their belongings and steps out into the chill air. The sky is overcast, setting a gloomy mood to the day. At least the cold has frozen the slush, so travel may be drier today.

According to Truan's letter and the comments in the inn, the lodge is west of town past the blacksmith and general store.

OOC: Okie doke, moving right along. Ragnar, nobody's going to pick a fight with you (sorry) but feel free to throw some barbarian bravado around if you care to. Truan's lodge is the next stop (obviously), but if anyone wants to visit the store, blacksmith, or go/do somewhere/something unexpected you're all standing in front of the Inn.

Twobirds
Oct 17, 2000

He's just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife.

Dinosaur Gum

Dawa

Dawa only grunts through the conversation, not catching much of anything given it's in Cimmerian. He sleeps fitfully, the smell of people and burnt food sticking in his nostrils. Still, warmth is hard to reject after the days of trudging through slush and bracing one's self against a cold wind.

In the morning, he gnaws on the rind of bread as he looks out at the village. It was quite stale, but it felt good to have something in his gut as the sun rose in his sky. "I have no business in town. Should we get started?"

chitoryu12
Apr 23, 2014

Goodness no, now that wouldn't do at all!


Totach Redmane

Totach wraps his cloak around himself, a sheet of brown wool disguising his weapons from view. "I'm ready to set off if you are."

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."



Rohan

After finishing his meal, Rohan meditates for a while before peacefully drifting off to sleep next to the fire. When he wakes up, he heads outside to perform his morning meditations in the bracing cold, before heading back inside. Not needing to eat, he simply sits down with his companions, nodding in greeting. "We should head out at first opportunity. The sooner we arrive at our destination, the sooner we can put a stop to this violence."

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Ragnar

Having his fill of meat and mead, Ragnar slept like the dead. When morning arrived, he took a while to wake up. After eating some breakfast, he made his way outside. Grabbing a handful of snow he rubbed it in his face. As the snow melted and ran down his face he found himself a little more awake.

"On ward to Half-hand." Ragnar announced to his companions.

El Spamo
Aug 21, 2003



Truan's Lodge

The village of Icewater falls away behind quickly as the band sets out towards Truan's lodge. The directions on the letter are clear, and the weather stays cold and constant. The small logging road is apparent after passing by a small farm, Plummer's farm, where little activity can be seen at all. Only a lonely wisp of smoke rises from a single chimney gives hint to any sign of life on the desolate farm. The road itself barely rates the name, mostly just a track between trees and across meadows. Prints in the snow hold a layer of fresh powder, a telling sign that there has not been much traffic on these roads at all in the past few days.

An hour up the logging road, deep in the forest, the unmistakable sign of Half-hand's lodge appears. A pillar of stacked antlers stands practically in the middle of the road, with a banner hanging limply in the still air. Half-hand's banner. To the left of it are two smaller markers flanking the head of a footpath leading over a small rise. A hundred yards later, the band stands atop looking down at a clearing with a log-built lodge crouched in the middle. Smaller out-buildings can be seen nearby, and the roof of another building can be seen down the hill a ways beyond the lodge.

No smoke rises from the chimneys, and the snow from yesterday's storm is undisturbed by the foot of man.



OOC: Alhert and Gang tag along. Don't worry, there'll be action very soon!

DocBubonic
Mar 11, 2003

Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis

Ragnar

As he came into sight of Half-hand's cabin, Ragnar decided it would be best to announce their arrival. Truan might be hidden and ready to ambush the mysterious attackers and if that was the case, then it was best to let him know the group were friends and not foes.

"Hail Truan Half-hand! It is I, Ragnar the Vanir! I got your message and came to aid you!" After he finished calling for Truan, he realized that something was wrong with the situation. It looked as though Half-hand wasn't at home.

Twobirds
Oct 17, 2000

He's just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife.

Dinosaur Gum

Dawa

Feeling oddly nervous, Dawa unshoulders his bow and plucks at the string, looking around. "Your friend is a very heavy sleeper, maybe?" he asks Ragnar.

OOC: Per 14, anything seem particularly off?

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EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."



Rohan

Adopting a defensive stance, Rohan gestures towards the chimneys. "No fires burn. In this weather, it suggests that your friend may be in danger, Ragnar. I suggest we use caution, and keep our weapons drawn, lest we find ourselves taken unawares by an assailant."

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