The Bard was full of new songs (or new to me, maybe they are old songs in this land) and I was enjoying the distraction of learning new melodies and lyrics, but Jeremiah’s behavior crossed a line.
“Jerimiah, don’t stare at the Lady, that is rude”. At least, I thought she was a lady. She was vaguely attractive, although I had never seen someone who grew horns like that. They did wrap attractively around her head….
Jeremiah stuck his tongue out at me and ran away, but at least he stopped ogling. The lad had to learn some lessons on manners if he was going to improve his lot in the world.
Beth moved over and took the lady’s order, and I returned back to the music, pondering a cleric lady who wore scale mail and grew horns.
At the pause of the music, I overhear Aaron talking with the newcomer and turn to notice the newcomer moved from the bar to the table. Sigh. Horned ones going to keep together, I suppose.
Jeremiah brought me over a piece of polished granite, and I gave him kudos for such a lovely find. I fondle the carnelian in my pocket and remember. Brave Actions. Brave Actions.
I moved over to the table where they sat and we discussed the whims of the Gods and how we came to be trapped in this game. Gehanna, as I learned her name was seemed to have a death wish. She talked frequently of seeking death and helping others to death.
Just as the conversation was getting involving, the door burst open and a portly gentleman burst through the doors screaming for Fred, complaining that he was slacking on his job and for help finding his family.
Fred tries to calm down Pocko, the portly gentleman. But Pocko was overwrought, screaming about the paw prints and boot prints and his horse that was slaughtered.
Fred sighed and said to no one in general: “I think I am going to need some help on this one.”
Why is it always children? There is no way I can not help to rescue small children. Gehanna seems content to let them fall to the whims of wild and awful creatures of evil that roam this land.
Fred decides it is too late to go out tonight, and calls for volunteers to help investigate in the morning. I volunteer to assist.
My attention is drawn in when the bard spins a singing tale of Patrick’s Mine and the riches found there.
From the song, I glean that Patrick’s Mine is up in the mountains. Patrick braved elements and was the pioneer of mining in this place. It was, however a Tragedy: As he returned , he was accosted and fought off bandits before returning to the city. He proceeded to spend all his money and became mad. Sadly, the tail of too many not mentally prepared for the abounding riches of the earth.
The bard winds down for the evening and I head up to bed, to get refreshed for the morning. In a dangerous land like this, I would likely need all the strength I can muster.
Morning dawns and we gather in the great room, organizing a search party.
Fred seems to think that some creature called a High- Eena is involved, but when he explained they were like dogs, I had my doubts about how a dog could chase off a family.
Aaron negotiates with Beth to deposit coin for the use of 2 horses. She has no short horses like my land uses, so I will ride along with someone.
Fred’s horse is a tattered old nag, matching his owner in being faded at the edges. Getting up on the horse with Aaron, I nearly fall and have to throw myself across the saddle and grab onto the edges. This horse is wider and taller than any I have every seated on.
Pocko rides ahead, to see if perhaps his family had headed to the far pasture in search of him.
We approach a worn looking farmstead. Empty roads are in front and behind us as we stop at a creek to water the horses.
The little farmyard looked pretty typical for a rancher- Barn, house, lots of cattle in the distance. Fred Dismounts in the first patch of grass and starts to look around.
Gehanna tells us she was here the day before. At that point, it looked like the family had been gone more than 24 hours, less than 48. Only paw prints were on the ground last time, so the boot prints are probably hers. Fred confirms that the prints match High- Eenas, and that they sometimes eat humans. Gehanna looks around and finds a root cellar built into the side of a small hill.
Investigation shows 10X20 room, large for a root cellar and growing mushrooms. Old Collapsed tunnel wall at the back, and I can smell the cold underground air rising out. But a loud cry- Blaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh coming from the barn area, startles me from my yearning to be underground and I rush over to investigate.
Walking into the barn, I see Snorc leaning over a billy goat, his face filled with blood. “You did not have to kill it .. are you eating it?”
“It charged me and was going to kill me”, he replies. I just shake my head. I never heard of a killer billy goat before- this seems like another over-reaction of violence from the half-orc. I still did not really trust him.
Snorc comes back from washing his face in the creek pool and tells us that there are tracks for 5 or 6 beasts. 2 different kinds of big footprints, 6 individuals of other kind. Other prints are people like prints with claws on the front toes. Gehanna is pretty sure that these are juveniles.. which is a disturbing thought.
Since there is/Was a Billy, we deduce there should be other goats, and ride out to the pasture looking for them.
On the ride, we talk more about the state of the house- Dishes and Food on the table not old. Like preparing a meal for dinner, but then left. so odd,
We find goats out beyond the fencerow- or at least pieces of them. Something had been grabbing and gnawing on these goats wild and rough.
We head back and out the pathway to the east where we find Fred asleep under the apple tree, sleeping off his last round of drinks. We keep going and see another farm house so we head that way.
There are sheep everywhere on the farm. Weaving in and out are dogs with the sheep. some boys are out with the animals.
One of the boys approaches us, and we have a chat about the missing family. He suspects Hootie. Hootie – (sounds like goblins to me) that ride large dogs. Live to the North, near the mountains. Sometimes steal small children/babies. What a land to raise a family!
Mr Gregor- the owner and sheep farmer. lost his wife to a Hootie, apparently. He recently went with the shipment of wool and will be gone for days.
We head back to the farmstead, lock horses in the barn. Head to the house.
Fireflies in the field.. lovely evening in this land, if it were not for the lurking evil everywhere. . Aaron goes to wake up Fred and bring him up to the house to … sleep.
We ask Fred about Hootie and he tells us that they are Evil creatures that come down from the mountains. Sometimes take hostages and steal babies right from your house.
I have the 2nd watch – injured cow comes home. There was another active attack in the pasture again.
Next morning, after explaining to the rest off our motley group that there might be fresh tracks and more information in the field, they agree to Track back for a while.. keep trailing the footprints and signs of disturbance back.
Fred is anxious to return to town, we want to continue on. We all push Push onward for several rounds and I spot a shack out of the corner of my eye. Hear snoring and start over that way.
I am completely Surprised by a large dog that attacks me.
I strike back, but the surprise has me off balance and I Missed. In the missing, I see that this is no dog, more like a large wolf.
Fred pulls out sword that glows and the wolves back off.. speaking Orcish – “Ah Palladin, we will eventually gnaw on your flesh”. Yes, I said that the wolves spoke. And spoke Orcish. Sigh. The violence and evil of Orcs would follow me all of my days, I suppose.
What looks like a Juvenile Orc Emerges to stand beside the Wolf.
Sudden flash of light and heat to all enemies as Gehanna cries “Burn, Bastards”
Swing my battle Axe, with a follow in the other hand with my light hammer.
Aaron fires arrow into Orc who is herding the wife and two kids away and he falls over.
Necrotic damage from Gehanna –takes down another Orc “Embrace Death” with a loud booming voice.
Rush the wolf to my left and split his skull with my battleaxe, knocking him over
Aaron sends a guided bolt to the other juvenile Orc… dead.
Last wolf runs away.
G Q inscribed on back of Pendant that GeHanna finds on the necrotic body, along with a bag of Gold.
Hands us 12 gold each.
Continued from: Week one
Note from the Player and not the Character: Zoom seems to be working well for this round of adventure and storytelling, with a newly added remote character (Gehanna), but I need to add an additional camera that shoots directly on the white board map on the table for now… or else work another remote collaborative mapping solution.
I look forward to comments/commentary on the storyline from any other character/players on this adventure, or any solutions you are using for remote collaborative table Top RPG.
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