IC DnD 5e: Far from Home

Cale Knight

Eight Bits
Validated User
Middlebrook is a quaint little town, full of quaint little buildings and broad, clean (and quaint) streets. It’s the kind of town where every windowsill seems to have either a pie or a loaf of bread cooling on it. The kind of town where it’s not strange to see someone burst into song while sweeping the storefront, and it’s not strange to see other folks join in.

It’s also the location of The Land’s yearly spring festival, celebrating the end of the inevitably mild winter and the beginning of the inevitably abundant planting season. People from all over descend on the town, filling every spare bedroom and hayloft. Every roof is strewn with brightly colored tents and sleeping bags, as are several fields just outside the town limits.

All in all, it’s a lovely week and one that people look forward to every year. There are treats to eat, games to play, and lots of pretty girls and boys from whom to steal kisses.

But this spring, the festival is a little bit different. This spring, the mighty construction project that’s been sprawled along The Wall for so many generations has all but reached the top. It has been decided, after something like a decade of debate, that lots would be drawn from among all the able-bodied citizens of The Land. The chosen would go up and over, and they would see what there is to see. Those who had worked on the construction thought they had earned the right to be first over. Those who feared for themselves or their children wanted nothing to do with random chance. It was the perfect compromise - one that pleased exactly nobody.

Today is the last day of the festival, and the drawing will happen just before the enormous, communal meal that marks its official end. The chosen citizens will climb up and look over in the morning. Or, at least, they’ll begin their climb. The scaffolding itself, a precarious collection of planks and ropes and ladders and platforms and even towers all anchored into the strange stone of the unyielding and eternal barricade, is as tall as The Wall itself. From the ground, its details dwindle into obscurity for even the sharpest-eyed citizen. Those brave few who have been working at its highest reaches have reported that the trip can take several days in each direction, even for those familiar with its pathways. Or perhaps they’ve been exaggerating its precariousness in an attempt to keep its lofty peaks to themselves.

But that’s tomorrow. Today, there are treats to eat, games to play, and friends to connect with. The air electric with anticipation in a way that the sleepy Land has rarely seen. It has made for a thrilling spring festival.

OOC: Everyone is present at the festival, though how you’re feeling about it is up to you! Each of you should post a kind of introduction of your character, what they’re doing, and telling us what you’ve been up to this week. You can engage directly with other characters or you can decide to go off and do something on your own, which I will respond to. The prologue will be a little free-form, and my intention is for it to take only as long as is interesting.

Some potential thoughts to weave into your opening post(s) - these are suggestions, not homework:
Spoiler: Show

How do you feel about the construction project?
How do you feel about the casting of lots?
Do you normally come to the spring festival, or are you only here because of the drawing?
Today is the last day of the festival - what have you gotten into during the week?
What’s one source of friction between you and another party member?
What was one goal you had last year, and did you complete it?
What was one difficulty you experienced last year, and did you overcome it?
What’s one goal you have for the coming year, and how do you feel about your chances?
 

Stormraven

Mystical Atheist
Validated User
Elaine walks through the fair as she usually does when it runs, with her lute playing a jaunty air she made up herself. She's not as good at music as she is at the wire, but music lets her look for pretty girls and sometimes get kisses from them. In fact, she's got such a pretty on her arm - so to speak - even now, a fresh faced famer's daughter delighting in doing something she'd never think to in her own village.

As Elaine walks, it's hard to pretend not to notice the wall. Still, she manages. The coming drawing has brought more to the town than before, so she's delighted with that, but more, she wonders what's over on the other side.

She catches her companion's arms and twirls in delight at everything to come, ending the twirl with a very public kiss, much to the girl's secret delight, though her face is flaming.
"Last day of fair, Mari. You'll return to Winat, and I'll continue on my way. Unless, of course, either of us is chosen." She pats the girl's behind and skips on with her, playing forgotten. "I'd like to be chosen, though I know you fear the thought, either for myself or worse for you. There's just too much to see, pretty one, too much to do. The Land is - enclosed."

The conversation is one she's shared with Mari before over the last couple of days. And with other girls, either earlier in this fair, or at others. Some of her friends have taken her to task - for 'philandering', but she never promises more than a day or two of music and acrobatics, and a night or two of fun. Eyes twinkling, she sweeps Mari into a dance.
"True enough, it's large - I could spend years of my life exploring it, but I don't need to. There's nothing we don't know about it except for that. I tell you true my delicious morsel, chosen or not, I will one day cross it."
 

TrumpetDC

Riskable #6
RPGnet Member
Validated User
While others have come to Middlebrook for celebration, for Jonquil, it's time to work. She has set up shop with her mother at a stall at the faire for all of the attendees from remote corners of The Land to record their yearly milestones in the official records. Despite writing nearly non-stop for hours, she is enjoying herself nearly as much as the citizens out on the street. This is the year that she has finally been trusted to write directly into The Grand Ledger rather than just assisting her mother, and this honor has filled her with pride.

From time to time, she takes a moment from her duties as a scribe's apprentice to stand outside and stare at the stairs leading up the side of the wall. She knows that she has the resources to find out the answer to just about any question in the Land which greatly contrasts with the questions she has about what's on the other side of the wall. For the past year, she has combed through The Grand Ledger and other old records and has found nothing about The Wall other than its use as a convenient measuring point. She has spoken to many of the scaffolding's builders to copy down their aspirations for their building project, and through several interviews estimated the number of steps from the ground to the top.

She realizes the chances for her to be chosen are slim, but she knows that she will be the first to record what the first people to see the other side of the wall come back to share.

Not everything has been work or wondering about the wall, though. She has work that she has completed for some old friends that she looks forward to sharing. On the first day of the festival, she delivered a bright red pigment to a family of potters and later a detailed family tree to the woman who taught her and many other of the region's children. She still has a few projects to deliver. With the end of the festival approaching, she hopes to see everyone.
 

Potted Plant

Power Flower
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Cat had woken early to prepare for the big day and the drawing of lots. Today, some lucky people would get chosen to go look over The Wall! She dearly wished she would be one of them. If not, she’d just have to try and not let her disappointment show and be happy for those who got to go. The casting of the lots was bound to be exciting no matter how it turned out.

The only thing Cat did not like about the casting was all the complaining about it. Some people were complaining because they thought they should be the first ones having been involved with the building. Other people were complaining because they wanted nothing to do with the project. But it was not just about the people living in The Land today! The construction had been started so long ago that pretty much everyone had an ancestor involved in the project. It was a communal project, it was not just about who had or hadn’t contributed recently. Involving all the people in the casting of lots was the only fair way. Cat had not been shy about sharing her opinion, which had resulted in a number of arguments over the week, so the festival had not been quite as fun as usually. She made a point of trying to attend every year. Not just for the fun events and delicacies, but because during the spring festival the town was so packed that it felt like a big city from the stories. You could almost imagine being in a story yourself.

But the arguments were a minor matter, really. Overall, it had been a fun week. Games and contests, music and plays, and lots of good eating. And the last day usually had extra fun events. Sure, this year there was the casting of lots, but there were bound to be more minor happenings too. Cat washed quickly, ate breakfast and put on her prettiest dress – a white one with flower embroidery and frills at neck and sleeves. But she wore her work boots and clothes under it, just like she usually did. Then she dug into her purse for a mirror, brush, comb and a make up kit. Positioning the mirror so she could see herself without holding it, she started to brush her hair and apply some light make up. Got to look extra pretty for the special day.

Cat contemplated whether she should wear the dress for the climb if she got selected to go. Perhaps it was not a good idea. Some parts were really old and others were rather amateurishly built, with more enthusiasm than skill. Sure, the construction had been checked by experts and repairs made where necessary, so it should not be actually dangerous, but there were still a lot of things that might tear a dress. She’d wear something pretty, but not her best dress. If it got torn, it would take quite a while before she could afford to have it repaired. Smiling, Cat experimentally opened her new parasol. She had blown her meagre savings on it, saving from her earnings like a miser for most of the past year in order to afford it for the festival. But it had been worth it. The parasol was just so ladylike.

Closing the parasol again Cat thought that at least she had one success story for the past year. Other matters had not gone that well. Cat was not used to being outclassed physically. And then Constantin came along. Back in the day when he joined Cat’s circle of friends, she had been happy about it – more friends is more fun, after all. But after a while she noticed that he was consistently outperforming her and it started to rankle her. It’s not that Cat disliked him, but perhaps she had started to see him as a bit of a rival. A friendly rival. She had become determined that she’d beat him yet. And in retrospect, maybe that determination had turned just a tiniest bit into obsession last year. Cat wondered whether she had started to annoy Constantin with her constant challenges to arm wrestle or race across the village green or whatever came to mind. And her determination did not carry through. He was always just a little bit stronger, just a little bit faster…

Oh well, new spring, new beginnings. She would ease up a bit about the physical contests. But she’d definitely win him one day. Maybe next year. No one can win all the time.


Cat started packing a picnic basket with various foodstuffs she had purchased over the week. White bread, a roll of cheese, smoked ham, various pastries, fried turnips, candied apples, a jar of cloudberry jam, and a couple of bottles of mild strawberry wine with wooden cups. And a blanket to cover it all. Enough for her, her friends, and anyone who might come over, because if there is one good way to meet new people, it is a picnic during the spring festival!

Her preparations done, Cat skipped along to find her friends.

OOC: Well, that turned out lengthy. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to address everything in one post. As a summary:

How do you feel about the construction project?
- It is a communal effort that involves all of us in some fashion.
How do you feel about the casting of lots?
- Since the project involves us all and our ancestors too, that is the only fair way to choose.
Do you normally come to the spring festival?
- Oh yes.
Today is the last day of the festival - what have you gotten into during the week?
- Having two things – arguments and fun.
What’s one source of friction between you and another party member?
- Constantin’s physical superiority grates on Cat, even if it mostly in a “I’ll beat him yet” fashion.
What was one goal you had last year, and did you complete it?
- Save for a parasol, which succeeded.
What was one difficulty you experienced last year, and did you overcome it?
- Cat became focused – perhaps too focused – on beating Constantin in a physical contest. She failed to do so, but realized that her behavior was getting into “not fun anymore” territory and resolved to ease up.
What’s one goal you have for the coming year, and how do you feel about your chances?
- Cat is still determined to outdo Constantin, and optimistic that she will.

So basically, when thinking about the possible source of friction I thought that Cat is used to being the “star athlete” and might see Constantin as something of a rival after ending up in second place one time too many, and built the difficulty and coming goal on that. If this feels too focused or otherwise not ok, I can change it.
 
Last edited:

Jive Professor

Trying to fly
Validated User
fla-ZOOOOOOZ-ah

"Looking for enlightenment? A sense of purpose? Your place in the world?"

fla-ZOOOOOOZ-ah

"The join the Band of the Hand, where we seek to better ourselves in The Land."

fla-ZOOOOOOZ-ah

"No prior temple experience required. Sign up now for a lifetime of achieving inner peace."

fla-ZOOOOOOZ-ah

Anik hated the fair. Every year with this! Standing out in the hot sun, blaring on the over-sized party blower in between repeated, monotonous calls for new people to join the temple. He could be out doing... anything. Really, anything! Physical training, handling his chores around the temple, sneaking a quick read from ancient texts, or doing cartwheels across rooftops. But here he was having to shill in the middle of all the fun at the fair. He had been doing it all week long, with hardly a chance to sneak over to Miss Yoliru's booth and eat some of the wonderfully fried and expressly forbidden foods.

But Anik did his job anyway, and without complaining. "Neek," his sister had chided him this morning while he had been complaining, "you know the temple needs to bring in new adherents. You signed up at a fair too, remember." She was right of course. So he sighed and started his spiel again.

His eye wandered to the construction project as he numbly recited the words. Like everything else in his life, it left him torn; for his entire life it had been a constant, building but always there. Now it was almost complete. The thought of going over the wall terrified him - that much unknown just beyond it... and yet the thought of scaling it excited him. Anik imagined all the fun he could have flipping and jumping and climbing that network of bizarre girders, overhangs, and support beams. The thought of being chosen was more frightening than anything. Having to leave his home, his family, and his friends behind...

Actually, maybe shilling at the fair wasn't so bad. He thought, and suddenly recited it again with more vigor.

He had seen Elaine here and there, passing through singing her songs as free as a bird. He envied her, getting to enjoy the fair as she pleased. Just like when we were kids he mused, just before one of the temple elders caught him trailing off in thought and scolded him to get back to the routine. It was tough getting used to the higher level of scrutiny he was under, but since he had made Rank 3 Palm last fall he had been under more pressure to excel. The hardest part was mastering the elemental shaping. Anik was preeeeetty sure he'd made that candle flame move once, but then the window had been open. The elders said it would come with time, but he wondered...

Still, Anik was certain he could achieve the body focus mastery. He had always been agile, more comfortable spiraling through the air than standing still on the ground, and he knew he'd make a difference there. He smiled to himself.

Then returned to the routine.

fla-ZOOOOOOZ-ah

"Looking for enlightenment? A sen..."
 

Potted Plant

Power Flower
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Considering that she could easily carry a log over her shoulder, Cat was not a large person. In fact, at 5.1” and 125 lbs. she was small enough that she had difficulty finding her friends in the crowd where most people towered over her.

“Elaine?” Cat occasionally called out, standing on tiptoe in an attempt to see over the heads of people. “Constantin?” Anik would have been easy to find at the temple stand, but if she chatted him up while he was doing his temple duties, she would get him in trouble with the elders. Again.

Cat made a rather pretty sight in her dress, with a picnic basket on one hand and the parasol on the other, keeping the sun from her face, light blue eyes and luxurious, very dark brown hair. Cat kept her hair long at the back but cut it at finger’s length at the front so it wouldn’t get in the way when she worked in the woods with her dad.

“Catherine!” A voice called out. Cat turned to look who it was. None of her friends called her by her full name. “Bertrand,” she said, recognizing the baker’s son from a village some distance from her home, with a pair of his friends in tow. Bertrand was about a head taller than Cat, a couple of years older than the 18 year old girl, and much wider, being rather overweight. Although there was a good bit of muscle under his fat too.

“Call me Bertie,” Bertrand said. “Are you all by yourself? You could come and hang out with us.”

“No thanks, Bertrand. I am trying to find my friends. Have you seen them?”

“No,” Bertrand said, stepping in front of Cat. “But I could be your friend too.” Leaning closer, he asked: “How about a little kiss? It is the spring festifal!”

Cat took a step backwards. The way Bertrand’s breath smelled, she wondered if he had cleaned his teeth all week. There was a heavy stench of alcohol too, of the cheap but strong variety. Apparently Bertrand and his friends had started the final day celebrations early, and with something more potent than mild wine. No wonder he was acting so bold.

“I am not going to start kissing with you. It would ruin my make up.” Cat moved to go around Bertrand and continue on her way. “Now if you will-“

Bertrand moved to block her path. “Come on, just a quick one. Don’t be so uptight.” Getting out a bottle, he popped it open and offered it to Cat. “Maybe you need to get in the festive mood. Have a sip of this.”

Cat felt her temper begin to flare up, but forced herself to remain calm. If she started kicking Bertrand around like a pigskin ball that he resembled, right in the middle of the festival crowd, she might not ruin just his day. Besides, she might tip over her basket, or get her dress or parasol dirty. But she no longer felt like remaining polite.

“I am not going to drink that rotgut! It reeks! And so does your breath! Now will you kindly leave me alone and let me pass!

A bit taken aback, Bertrand put the bottle away, but then grinned and leaned closer to Cat. “You seem to have your hands full. So if you are not going to give me a kiss, maybe I will just steal one from you.”

OOC: Setting up a possible chance encounter there, along with providing a physical description of Cat. Fin does not have many pre-existing connections, right? Saving the cute tiny girl from a big mean bully boy would definitely make a positive first impression. And gain an invitation to picnic.

I mean, Bertrand may be in danger of turning into pâté (ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste), but it looks like Cat is in need of rescuing :p
 
Last edited:

Mr Adventurer

More Daring Than That
Validated User
Constantin moves through the light crowds, head and shoulders above most of the people there. The sounds and sights flow around him, but his gaze keeps returning to the Wall, and the scaffold. Last year, he'd found himself accidentally leading a team of people - young men and women like himself - who'd blazed a trail to the top of the scaffolding. Tired from the climb with the heavy materials, they'd added as much as they safely could before being driven back down by running out of rations - and spare planks. It was Constantin's seventh time climbing the scaffold.

He'd been at the top of the construction last year. Looking at it now, he felt a thrill deep in his belly, and knew that this year, he'd stand on top of the Wall itself.

His master didn't approve, of course, but Constantin was such a diligent student in other ways, and so helpful in ways beyond that, that the poor cleric really didn't have the leverage to get him to forget all about the Wall, the climb, and what might lay beyond.

Tearing his attention away, he greets a few people as he walks on. The people who's stalls he helped to erect, who's wagons he helped fix, who's wares he helped carry, all offer him a cheery wave that he returns with genuine pleasure.

"Luis, hello! Your pots look fine in the light of the day, don't they? Marcia, I've been passing the word around about your axe-sharpening business! Frans, that smells divine - you'll definitely be seeing me again!"

He catches sight of Jonquil as she hurries along with the sheaf of projects to deliver under her arm, and he waves and calls out, "Oh! Hey! Jonquil!" he jogs to catch up, his voice dropping lower, "Sorry, I know you're working. But I wondered if I could pick your brains later - you've looked at all the records of the construction that's happened so far, right? Maybe you've got some tips for me? Hey, I can help you with the deliveries first, if you like." He glances away as he asks his favour. He knows he can't guarantee being picked in the draw. But he's asking anyway.

Sounds of raised voices make him look over for a moment.

Spoiler: Show
OOC: If Jonquil is good at insight, she might think something is up about Constantin's request. He's planning something.

I've added that last line in in case Fin doesn't get involved in Cat's confrontation. Forcing bullies to back off is Constantin's bag, so it might be a nice story beat if Fin doesn't arrive for Constantin to do so. I don't mind.
 

Potted Plant

Power Flower
RPGnet Member
Validated User
OOC: Even if Fin steps up to protect Cat, there is still a good opportunity for Constantin, and maybe even Dierk to get involved as well. Bertrand had friends with him, probably as drunk as he is, and they might decide to back him in a confrontation. So the others might intervene to keep Bertrand's friends from trying anything unfair.
 

Shokubai

Registered User
Validated User
Eat, Work, Sleep and repeat. This was the order of things every day Fin could recall. For his part in this cycle of life on the farm Fin was proud. He was happy to carry on the family business and now, as he was truly becoming a man, was proud that he could take much of the burden of running the farm and tending the livestock off of his family.

The spring festival in Middlebrook was always a good time and a break from the tedium on the farm. There were always temporary shops selling unique crafts and items. The girls were also out in their finery, doing their best to be seen by the eligible young men. Fin hadn't been to the festival in a few years. The day to day of life here just didn't leave much free time for goofing around. It wasn't until a visitor, a man who had lived near and worked on the wall, came looking for a place to stay during the festival a bit closer to town, that Fin learned of the lottery. At first Fin didn't believe the man but his parents confirmed that a constable had come and took a census of sorts. "Who else lives with you..." his mother recalled that she and Fin's father had hesitated a moment before answering that their son also lived there. They tried to reassure Fin now that there was little chance he would be chosen and so just never thought to mention it to him. Fin was not angry, more curious, at the idea of the lottery. It simply didn't occur to most people to ever go beyond their community. Whats outside was of no consequence. The idea that people were being chosen to leave brought thoughts of another life that Fin had never had before. He would have to go and see this lottery in person.

The festival was alive with energy. There were more people packed into every empty space in the town center than Fin had ever seen before. Conversations heard in passing were wildly different from each other. Some talked of hypocrisy and danger. Others talked as if they simply knew there was nothing to go see, and still others could barely contain their excitement at the prospect of leaving all they have ever known. Fin was steady. He was neither excited nor fearful about it. Maybe he had simply made up his mind that he wouldn't possibly be chosen...a random weed in a field of grass. He would take this break from the farm for what it was worth. These two days were his and the farm would be there on his return...his mother had insisted as much!

Through the crowded street Fin spied the small form of a girl he knew. Her name was Cat and he always took a moment to talk with her on his weekly visit to town for supplies or trips to market if she was around. As he neared he could see she had her hands full with another young man. Even as unworldly as he was Fin could see she wanted none of his advances. He paused a moment to she if she was going to kick the snot out of him herself...he had seen her do it before. No, she wouldn't want her cloths ruined with some boys blood. With a few quick long strides Fin inserted himself between Bertrand and Cat "Hey Cat! How are you? Its great to see you". He stood like a great ogre facing the diminutive Cat though the huge grin on his face told another story, his back was to Bertrand ignoring his existence. He could feel Bertrands rage building as he stared a hole in his back. Fin knew Bertrands next choice could be a poor one. Cat just smiled and grabbed Fin's hand and the two walked away, neither turning back to see the blood red anger on Bertrand's face as he slinked away cursing and muttering under his breath.

Later Cat introduced her friends to Fin, some of whom Fin had seen or met briefly before. On this night Fin was one of the gang. It was a refreshing respite from the farm.

OOC:
I chose to answer these as an ooc rather than in story.
How do you feel about the construction project? Fin's day to day life has put him behind a wall of his own making. He simply has little reason to be concerned with the affairs outside the operation of his family farm.
How do you feel about the casting of lots? He is piqued about the idea of expanding his world but holds no confidence or hope in being chosen.
Do you normally come to the spring festival, or are you only here because of the drawing? He would have come as a you kid/teen but now with a larger roll on the farm has not been in a few years. Now he comes for the lotter.
Today is the last day of the festival - what have you gotten into during the week? Fin has enjoyed lots and lots of food, not a glutton but a big boy has to eat and this festival offers a smorgasbord of creative and tasty new food experiences. He also has enjoyed some dancing and talked with a few young ladies and familiar faces but his thoughts are fixed on the farm and the lottery and the dichotomy of life afterwords.
What’s one source of friction between you and another party member? @Potted Plant I'm going to play on Cat's narrative. During the first day at festival Fin had seen Cat whom he has know loosely over through the years. She was one of the few people who Fin sought out when he came to town and had done so since they were kids. Perhaps there is an unspoken attraction here.
What was one goal you had last year, and did you complete it? Take over more of the farm to help my family and I succeeded.
What was one difficulty you experienced last year, and did you overcome it? Saved our best Milking cow "Millie" from a breach birth. The calf could not be saved but Millie is doing fine.
What’s one goal you have for the coming year, and how do you feel about your chances? Fin's goal is simple. Keep the farm going another year. His goal is the same every year. Will the lottery change that.


Potted Plant
 
Last edited:

Potted Plant

Power Flower
RPGnet Member
Validated User
”Thanks,” Cat says to Fin as they walk away, leaving the embarrassed Bertrand behind. “He was really getting on my nerves. That is what a drink too strong does to you. He is usually not that much of an ass. Well, he is an ass, but not quite that much.”

“Do you want to come to a picnic? I have plenty in my basket, and you just saved me. I just need to find my friends first. Elaine and Constantin and Anik when he gets some time off from temple stuff. And anyone they want to invite. And other people too, if I see some familiar faces. The more the merrier. I just wish I was as tall as you…”

Cat gets a mischievous glint in her eye. “Say, what do you think of carrying me on your shoulder? You are pretty strong, and I don’t weigh that much. I bet that that way, even if I don’t see familiar people, they will see me. We could just invite anyone familiar we see to a picnic, including any friends of yours.”

OOC: Unspoken attraction? Oh dear, Fin would be the second one to crush on Cat. And Cat probably keeps obliviously friendzoning everyone… Drama! :D


OOC: EDIT: Hmm... Perhaps Bertrand and his friends start planning a revenge attack on Cat and Fin, and Constantin puts a swift stop to that?
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom