IC A Fantasy Trip with The Wyzard

The Wyzard

An overwhelming surplus of diggity
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It's been one month since the creature known as the Mad Stitcher died at your hands, and one could almost believe his death imparted a curse. A roaring downpour turned the town of Edible Fungus into marshland, and the road back washed out even as you traveled it. The carts were lost. The carts were lost, along with much of your supplies. When the party resolved that their next course of action must be to head North, a substantial chunk of their treasure disappeared into thin air. This might somehow be related to Amroce, who is also nowhere to be found. The retainers either abandoned you, or simply because lost in the horrible, week-long storm.

Megara's best efforts couldn't keep Tygier alive, Huckstra found work as a traveling carnival strongman, and some kind of river eel got Shomlie. Only Spurk has stayed loyal through the drastic failure of your fortunes.

However, not all is lost. Your party still has a stash of wealth in their pockets, their weapons, and their knowledge of magic. Your will is undiminished, and the tales of far lands stoke an undiminished flame in your blood. If this broad land has turned dismal and ill-favored, then the far horizon calls!

Seeking after the great City to the North, you have journeyed to the small towns downriver from Veya. No sign of Guild hunters has yet appeared, and so far as you can tell there is no broad call for your capture. A ferry boat took you across the great Veyan river just before sundown, and you have found space in an old, extensive, and ramshackle inn that has seen more prosperous days. The owners seem to be somewhat decayed gentry, given to higher manners and slightly more fastidious cleanliness than is typical. The rooms are kept better than could be expected, and the furnishings are comfortable if well-worn. A great central fireplace is doing a merry job of warming your group, and a faint steam rises from your table as you become gradually less waterlogged under its influence. Even the shadows here seem warm and comfortable.

Perhaps under the influence of this unusual sense of safety, barbarians, merchants, mendicants, and other itinerant persons at other tables speak freely and at boisterous volume.

A man in a ludicrously feathered hat is regaling a group of mercenaries with tales of his time as a pirate based out of Guar. The pirates there, he claims, have no fear of anything but The Worm Ship. It lures sailing men aboard, and strips them to the bone like a mass of ravenous insects. It lurks beneath the waves near the sea coast, and has some secret place where it lairs. The mercenaries are of Nomadic stock, from the plains just north of here. They are clearly convinced he is lying, but find good amusement from his stories of ransoms and plunder anyway. Occasionally one tries to top him with stories of the great beasts of the plains, or the mysterious barrow-complexes that are scattered about them.

Arguing with the bartender is a man in fine gray wool and lizard-skin garments. He is tall and upright, with a braided beard that looks like nothing so much as pillars supporting his jaw. He is dealing in hard liquors and hails down from the icy mountains far up the river, and the man behind the bar is engaged in a vigorous dispute regarding the quality of his wares. It seems that he had unfortunately piloted his barge into Veya the day after several other large shipments of various intoxicants and narcotics had arrived, and the market was thoroughly flooded. His desire to cut his losses in the towns up and downriver from Veya is stymied by a lack of sufficient demand.

A group of freelance pilgrims huddles together under a low part of the ceiling. Their most recent employer was revealed as a charlatan (a fact which was as irrelevant to them as it was unsurprising), but his execution has left them morose, and unemployed. His apocalyptic ramblings were apparently intended to profit him in some manner, but the topic is bringing the pilgrims to heated argument. One faction wishes to unravel the nature of his duplicity so that they can assist their next employer in avoiding an untimely indictment. The other half is sick of the entire matter, wishes to drink and forget about it, and also violently opposes getting closer than arm's-length dealing with professional fanatics.
 

Julius Sleazer

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Gworg the Unwise, Fighting Man

Gworg casts a glance at the pilgrims and strokes his chin briefly before striding over to the mercenaries and the man with the ridiculous chapeau.

"Hail!" he intones in a hearty voice. "I am Gworg, called the Unwise! I have slain goblins and men aplenty, and even a minotaur! I can hurl molotails with practiced ease and debate philosophy on the streets! My bandy-legged gait indicates that I can ride a horse from sunup to sundown, and then dismount and fight all night! I have lost much and won much in my days. If you require further credentials, you have but to ask."

"I could not help but overhearing your talk of mysterious barrow-complexes. I am a man who enjoy loo---er, looking into the histories, myths, and legends of other tribes. What can you tell me of the fabled Nomads of the Northern Plains? What can you tell me of the beasts and barrows of your storied homeland?"
 

Celeste

Not Anymore
Megara, Mystic and Healer

Megara sits quietly, sipping her ale and picking up tidbits of conversation from nearby tables. She has glanced at the pilgrims several times but carefully avoided making eye contact. When Gworg strides over to engage the mercenaries and the self-proclaimed ex-pirate in conversation, she sits back in her chair, a faint smile tugging at the corner of her mouth.

"That's the spirit," she murmurs. "Get them to bragging, and somewhere in amongst all the tall tales we may get lucky enough to find some useful information."
 

Hellzon

Barbarian Illuminati
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Ivan, Sage

The greying sage wanders over to the bar, paying for another mug of ale while quietly listening to the trader. Finally, he remarks. "I have to admit I didn't think it was possible to flood the drug market in Veya. Fascinating place, lived there for a while. Say, how are things nortward these days?"

Spoiler: Show
Let's talk to the drug dealer in crocskin clothes. What can go wrong?
BTW, maybe I've missed something, but which direction of the river is mostly north? It seems to go west and east (turning northeast) on the map, and anyway it doesn't show the direction of flow.
 

The Wyzard

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Gworg the Unwise, Fighting Man

"I could not help but overhearing your talk of mysterious barrow-complexes. I am a man who enjoy loo---er, looking into the histories, myths, and legends of other tribes. What can you tell me of the fabled Nomads of the Northern Plains? What can you tell me of the beasts and barrows of your storied homeland?"
The apparent leader of the mercenaries elbows the man on his left, who immediately launches into discourse. "We are a free race, we roam about our plains and none may gainsay us. Our swords are sharp, our women lithe, and our lizards strong and tenacious. Every invasion of our lands has dissolved like sugar in the rain." He speaks with expansive gestures, and his colleagues guard their mugs from his gesticulations. "There are fearsome beasts on the plain, such as land-serpents, raptors, and sunfish. It is also known for dire wolves to come from nearby forests to seek out our herds, and various predatory or scavenging creatures can harass smaller bands."

"The barrows are simply what they are. There are great earthworks scattered to the east and west of the Great Path a hundred or so miles north of here. We know not their purpose, and we avoid them. Strange tales always surround such things, and a wise man needn't know the truth of them. We have no shortage of land."

Ivan, Sage

The greying sage wanders over to the bar, paying for another mug of ale while quietly listening to the trader. Finally, he remarks. "I have to admit I didn't think it was possible to flood the drug market in Veya. Fascinating place, lived there for a while. Say, how are things nortward these days?"

Spoiler: Show
Let's talk to the drug dealer in crocskin clothes. What can go wrong?
BTW, maybe I've missed something, but which direction of the river is mostly north? It seems to go west and east (turning northeast) on the map, and anyway it doesn't show the direction of flow.
The trader shoots an angry glance at Ivan, and nearly spits, "Well, I didn't see it coming either. The tarn baronies have little great news. A mighty excavation of some kind is being undertaken by the upper barons, but to what end none can say. They have been careful to direct their avalanches down uninhabited mountainsides, but still there is worry. Many of us who are already inclined to travel have taken the opportunity for long trips. Indeed, you may meet my kinsmen if you gad about this region."

Spoiler: Show

The river flows from Northeast to Veya then off to the west. It goes in a more northernly direction as you go upriver, and eventually has its heads in numerous glacial lakes and springs up in a mountain range.
 

Julius Sleazer

Active member
Validated User
The apparent leader of the mercenaries elbows the man on his left, who immediately launches into discourse. "We are a free race, we roam about our plains and none may gainsay us. Our swords are sharp, our women lithe, and our lizards strong and tenacious. Every invasion of our lands has dissolved like sugar in the rain." He speaks with expansive gestures, and his colleagues guard their mugs from his gesticulations. "There are fearsome beasts on the plain, such as land-serpents, raptors, and sunfish. It is also known for dire wolves to come from nearby forests to seek out our herds, and various predatory or scavenging creatures can harass smaller bands."

"The barrows are simply what they are. There are great earthworks scattered to the east and west of the Great Path a hundred or so miles north of here. We know not their purpose, and we avoid them. Strange tales always surround such things, and a wise man needn't know the truth of them. We have no shortage of land."
Gworg the Unwise

"Your suave speech assures me that travelers' tales have not led me astray. Truly the Northern Plains Nomads are a mighty race. I can see that you are doughty fighters all."

"I have but two questions more. Firstly, what is a sunfish? I have faced many strange beasts in my days, such as a demon-possessed relic of the Beforetimes, an acid-spitting slug, and a castle-dwelling tentacled horror. The sunfish, however, remains unknown to me. I seek enlightenment."

"Secondly, would I be correct in assuming that the barrows are not holy relics of your race? Rather, in fact, they are merely unwelcome and dubiously regarded reminders of past ages? No taboos are violated if...archaeologists, say, were to visit them?"
 

The Wyzard

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"The sunfish is..." The man makes gestures as though caressing something relatively spherical a foot or two above the table. "It is like a large bubble, with tentacles hanging down. They are of great size, and float about through the air as though weightless. At times they descend from the clouds and drag their tentacles across the land. They have a mighty poisonous sting, and those touched are dragged slowly up to be, one suspects, devoured. It profits nothing to kill them, and they are best avoided." With a shrug, he continues. "If you can obtain passage to the barrows, you are welcome to do what you like with them."
 

Hellzon

Barbarian Illuminati
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Ivan, drunk sage

"Barons do what they want, eh? At least you don't risk getting buried under rocks out here. The Veyans have other means of burying you. I'm Ivan, by the by. Should I send your regards to your kinsmen if I meet them?"
 

Julius Sleazer

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"The sunfish is..." The man makes gestures as though caressing something relatively spherical a foot or two above the table. "It is like a large bubble, with tentacles hanging down. They are of great size, and float about through the air as though weightless. At times they descend from the clouds and drag their tentacles across the land. They have a mighty poisonous sting, and those touched are dragged slowly up to be, one suspects, devoured. It profits nothing to kill them, and they are best avoided." With a shrug, he continues. "If you can obtain passage to the barrows, you are welcome to do what you like with them."
Gworg the Unwise, Fighting Man

"Regarding the sunfish, I thank you for the information. Moreover, I find that your position regarding human-sunfish interaction is wise and prudent. I myself have slain monsters and men in various attempts to add coins to my purse, but I have never attacked a dangerous beast when there is no gain to be had. Truly, the men of your tribe are possessed of craniums overflowing with sound wisdom and battle-sense."

"As far as the lands to the north, are you familiar with the Bear Mountains? Can you tell me aught of them? And as far as your own people, were I to travel through their lands, is there anything that I should know? Are there matters of protocol of which I should be aware? I hold that it is an ill deed to give offense unintended, and thus I seek to know more of the manners and modes of behavior considered optimal among your honorable tribe."
 

The Wyzard

An overwhelming surplus of diggity
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Ivan, drunk sage

"Barons do what they want, eh? At least you don't risk getting buried under rocks out here. The Veyans have other means of burying you. I'm Ivan, by the by. Should I send your regards to your kinsmen if I meet them?"
The booze-monger grits his teeth. "Do what you will! Now, unless you wish to purchase several crates of the highest quality tonics available, I must be about my business."

Gworg the Unwise, Fighting Man

"Regarding the sunfish, I thank you for the information. Moreover, I find that your position regarding human-sunfish interaction is wise and prudent. I myself have slain monsters and men in various attempts to add coins to my purse, but I have never attacked a dangerous beast when there is no gain to be had. Truly, the men of your tribe are possessed of craniums overflowing with sound wisdom and battle-sense."

"As far as the lands to the north, are you familiar with the Bear Mountains? Can you tell me aught of them? And as far as your own people, were I to travel through their lands, is there anything that I should know? Are there matters of protocol of which I should be aware? I hold that it is an ill deed to give offense unintended, and thus I seek to know more of the manners and modes of behavior considered optimal among your honorable tribe."
A few of the nomads confer briefly. "The bear mountains are beyond our ranging. Travelers from north of the plains have spoken of them, but none of us have seen them ourselves." They make gestures indicating their cups are empty, and look meaningfully to Gworg. "We are not soft city men to be overbound by burdens of etiquette. Hardy men of the outdoors prefer plain speech and unadorned expression. It is traditional to exchange gifts when one is met by another band. Your group is small enough that you may be ignored, but then a chieftain might say that your state of armament makes you worth treating with."
 
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