RED OAK: Beyond the Mirror

Longman's hex-based exploration PBP campaign

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Post Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:34 pm

Saturday September 6th. Carr's Farm to Red Oak in a coach in the afternoon.

It has been some time since the party were last here. The place is not swarming with soldiers as you feared, because it turns out most of the army are all in Boldenwald.

The elves are avoided somewhat, as normal, but not attacked or provoked. Kilian and Bruce get some friendly welcome, but there are comments from guys in the Red Oak Tavern, such as: "It is Sir Bors and his men that have been bringing back the goblin heads, and not you folk, who are just lining your own purses, are you not? I'm not saying you aren't good people, but maybe you should be joining forces with the army, and not going your own way?"

That's the general mood.

Talin makes his way to the meeting with Emlin, who is pretending to be displeased, although you can tell he is very happy to see you.


"Last time we spoke, I told you that you were to report back to me after each journey into the forest. Yet, I know that in the middle of August, you made your way back into this town, to buy food rations I am told, and you did not come to see me. And your elvish friends have been sending letters to people in Brant, but you did not send any word to me. So everything I know that has happened has been through Coll and the rest, that went with you to Cyn Dol.

I am wondering if you, Talin of Red Oak, want to be part of the Rangers any more? I am happy to discharge you of service, with honor. But if you are to continue working under me, you must report, and do my bidding. And that is, to lead men on the north side of the River Swell, an area that has been opened up by Sir Bors' men. And not to be pursuing these solo missions of yours to the south of the Swell, which you say is a very dangerous area, and which I know hardly anything about.

Don't think I am not happy to see you. I thought you were all dead. I just need to know where your allegiance truly lies, my friend."


IN OTHER NEWS

The Nisha were beaten by the Rangers in Cyn Dol after you left and several arrests were made. One of these has been hung for banditry, the other is still in custody. The only Nisha base you know (outside of the forest) is now in the lawless town of Bowen, well south of Cyn Dol. Wen the Thief eventually recovered from being paralysed by the runes on the lock (after about 5 more days) but the experience was still not enough to put him on 2nd level.

Prester Will, who you once suspected of being a Nisha, has suffered a stroke while delivering a particularly vehement sermon. Of course, no one knows what a stroke is, so people think he has been hit with a fairy bolt. He is in the local hospice, drooling. There are many mutterings about people bringing back evil magic from across the river, but these are directed at the army as much as you. The junior priest has taken over, which is working out well.

The army (Marshall Stack and about 40 soldiers) have indeed claimed much territory in the section of the map to the north of the Swell, and beaten the skull goblins in numerous fights. The skull goblins are now off the map. The ROR have been sending men to patrol the area to make sure there are no other threats. The beginning of a small town is being constructed on the coast there. The resettlement of Boldenwald is beginning here, as it is in many places up and down the river...

The soldiers + ROR still haven't gotten into the dungeon beneath the watchtower, though. You suspect it is wizard locked.

Emlin doesn't really know that much about what the army have been finding in there. Apparently when they raided one of the goblin bases, there was some texts found, and a helmet covered in runes, too. But you'd have to go and talk to Corporal Dunn about that. He's an army officer stationed in town.

Anna's dad being a jerk as usual. Talin still swooned after by half the girls in the village including the innkeeper's ugly daughter. Overcast and chilly. So, situation all normal in that regard.
Woe
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Re: RED OAK: Beyond the Mirror

Post Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:54 pm

(not forgotten -- just need to read up and figure out how Talin forgot to report in last time)
Freya HP 24/24 AC 16 (17 two weapons)
Kilian HP 20/20 AC 19 (18 no shield)
Talin HP 29 AC 16
Tiana HP 11 AC 12 SP 8/8
Fido HP 9/9 AC 16
Anna HP 12/12 AC 15 (19 defensively)
Bruce HP 20/20 AC 16 (15 no shield)

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Longman
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Re: RED OAK: Beyond the Mirror

Post Wed Apr 20, 2016 3:58 am

I think you just went in to get rations, and forgot.

Anyway, it's not that important. The main point is, the political situation in the town has shifted, and he is asking you to take up other duties. Even if you had reported in August, it would not have made that much difference. The average towns-person sees the goblins as the priority threat and your largely unknown involvement in a larger plot involving the Old Man, nisha et al, is not really on people's radar. In a way, he's just doing his job.

By the way - Abigal is with you, in mouse form. She's in Tiana's pocket most of the time. She can't go to Brant because Ilcruthy shape-changers can't go too far from their place of origin. But, she has spotted at least two magical items in Red Oak.

I'll tell you about those once the RP with Emlin is done.
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Re: RED OAK: Beyond the Mirror

Post Wed Apr 20, 2016 1:18 pm

Kilian and Bruce get some friendly welcome, but there are comments from guys in the Red Oak Tavern, such as: "It is Sir Bors and his men that have been bringing back the goblin heads, and not you folk, who are just lining your own purses, are you not? I'm not saying you aren't good people, but maybe you should be joining forces with the army, and not going your own way?"
"Ye want 'eads? Fine. I'll bring ye 'eads. 'ow much ye willing to pay per 'ead? I'll dump de whole lot of them at ye doorstep next time." Kilian throws back at him. Talin tries to calm him down, but Kilian (being a dwarf and all) takes a bit of time to burn off steam. "No, boy, obviously there be a bounty on 'eads now. I wish I knew dat before stickin' up that patrol on der pikes. Woulda saved me a 'ole lot of work, especially wit de worg 'eads." Eventually, a beer arrives and Kilian moves to other things, but with a final comment back to the original sayer: "Just 'emember boy, ye want dead goblies? I'll bring ye dead goblies." And with a sly smile, he adds, "Or if ye brave enough, ye can come out with us next time and get ye own heads."

-----

Talin completely misses that Emlin is only faking being displeased. His face turns ashen. "No sir, sorry sir, it's not like that. The rangers is my home, my family. I'd never leave the rangers, not on my own. Please don't kick me out, sir." He clearly doesn't know that Emlin isn't feeling that unhappy.

(At this point, Emlin says enough to clear up Talin's worries, or at least enough where Kilian catches on it was meant as a minor rebuke.)

"I'm sorry. It won't happen again."

Kilian gets out of his chair by the fire to interrupt the blubbery with all the grace of a bullnosed mountain goat. "Emlin, I'ma gonna give ye dis report now 'cuz 'e got lots to cover, and ye need a durro (thorough) 'eport dis time. 'e found an ancient human city up der in de mountains. At least, I'm pretty sure of it. Oh damn, Tiana has our maps. 'ere boy, get me de map and I'll show ye what we've been up to." Talin goes to retrieve Emlin's RoR map. In the meantime, Kilian gives Emlin something between an eyeroll and a wink. He goes back to retrieve his beer and pipe, then meets Talin at the table.

"Al'ight. Der was a Nisha outpost 'ere, 'bout six Nisha in a fortified treehouse. Yes, 'e killd 'em all. But de interestin' ding is, 'e found a woman who was convertin' to Nishadilism, or whatever ye wan' ta call it. Dey gave 'er somefinn to dink and said it'd take a few days to catch effect. She was later kill'd in de mountains but de Nisha are clearly recruitin' new 'embers fer infiltratin' ye towns so ye can't interregate 'er directly, but we kin prolly give ye more intel on dat in de more detailed report later. Not shure how ye are enshurin' ye town walls are strong, as we dwarves like ta say." Kilian pauses a moment to ensure Emlin understands what he's saying: the Nisha are recruiting rascals from Red Oak and converting them into Nisha. Once Emlin gives a clue he understands the gravity of that statement, Kilin takes another swag from his beer then continues.

"So after clearin' de outpost and gettin' de girl some help, 'e got up to 'ere and 'ere. Ye remember how we putzed around this area? We found an old fort, dunno what it be called now or den."

Talin interrupts. "Malagosbe?"

Kilian sighs. "Fine, okay, 'e haf a d'eory. An uncorrobberated d'eory. Just like I had a d'eory once about young boys not interrupting their elders." He glares at Talin, obviously amused at Talin. He collects his thoughts then turns back to the elder ranger.

"Dat fort had an squad of gobblies and dem gump creatures we be telling ye about earlier. Yes, had. Diffent tribe dan da other gobbies too. Dey be dead now, all dem." Because Kilian hasn't yet completely let go of MacGregor's comment in the inn, he adds: "Had I known dat One-Eye MacGreggie and da odder 'umans were collectin' bounties on gobblie heads, I'da brought back souvineers for dem. About a dozen dah first time, and some worgs. Dat Freya, she is a crack shot at 'er bow. Talin and Anna ain't so bad either, fer being kids and all. Ye rangers would do well, getting some tact-tah-kel trainin' from dem. But dem gumps..." Kilian shudders. "Ye not seen any about here, have ye? Good. Der shriek can scare dah wits out of ye."

"'e 'iked up to 'ere to rest after sum of da battles, and 'e met dese 'eird dog-men. Dey dah ones who murdered dat Jane. I'm not shure da reason but dey clearly 'ere targeting 'er. Dey dinna speak dwarvish or da odder civilised tongues. 'e left afta dat. Dere be too many for us to meet with justice. Den." Kilian clearly hasn't come to peace Jane's death yet. He looks away for a few moments, then shakes his head and takes another gulp of beer.

"No matter fur now. So afta clearin' out da fort of da gobbies and gumps... inside dis fort, der was a wizard-locked door similar to what got Wen in ($town). At least, it was all run'd up before Tiana opened it. Yep, she did. And dat... dat be where the real story starts."

Kilian pauses for dramatic effect, primping his beard and huffing on his pipe until Emlin is about to speak. He starts up again with gusto, but a lower voice than before. "'e 'ent into da mountain, Emlin. De old roads, like ye hear about in the older stories. 'ell... ye'da heared about dem if ye were a dwarf. I dunno ackually wot ye 'umans teach of ye history. Blast furnaces, must I do everything meself?"

He finds an unused parchment and a piece of charcoal, then starts sketching out the interior. "'ere, a standard entry 'eading down to a stone door. A bit of elf magick, and de door opens. On the other side, ne'er used for centuries. Ye can see from de unsettled dust, ye know. There, we found a skelie all trapped out like nobility. Oh no, we didn't touch it but when we tried to cross dis bridge, der be golems with wicked plazmuh javelins. Ye nay 'eard of plazmuh? It be like water, or meybe more like jelly, but fiery. It splashes on ye and explodes and just 'eally bad stuff. After many a pitched battle, 'e defeated dem golems and 'ent 'ere." (more scribbling on the map)

Without realizing he used the line already, he'll switch to a conspiratorial tone. "And dat be where the real story begins." He furiously and unknowingly waggles his eyebrows.

Talin interrupts. "Kilian, you forgot about the giant worms."

Kilian glares Talin for the interruption, though it's not sure whether it's because of interrupting Kilian's dramatic monologue or just his train of thought. "Yes yes fine, giant 'erms capable of devouring a dwarf 'ole. Also dead 'erms. Now can I continue? Good.." Once again, the dwarf turns back to Emlin.

"Teleporters. 'e found a magic door from 'ere to de unknown. Damn I wish Tiana's maps were 'ere." Kilian scribbles on another part of the parchment. "'e found a 'ay to get from here, to 'ere. Now 'ere, dere be gobbies, and at least one mebee two tribes of dem. And dey got worgs too. 'e avoided dem mostly wit made de hike to da stars 'ard." Emlin gets a confused look on his face, so Kilian explains this part further. "See, de elves wanted to go look at de stars so Tiana could figure out where 'e were, but dem gobbies were all over the two floors above us. Bruce and I wanted to go down deeper but nay, de girls wouldn't have naught of it."

Kilian wistfully sighs, then continues. "Anyway, dem gobbies and der traps keeped us from gettin' to de outside. Even de secret passages were trapped, wit magic like what Wen caught. And I dink dey got ogres too. Some things big folk but 'e dinna stay to get stewed. Talin 'ere bugged out to let y'all knew what 'e had found, despite the lot of us wantin' to xplor downnards. Yea, even de elves cuz of Tiana's mapmaking loves. 'e clearly 'eren't gettin to da stars. Tiana even got all excited about wanting to map dah whole complex. 'e be here reportin' instead of more monsta spyin' only 'cuz of dat boy 'anting to tell ye wot's we learnt about dem gobbies and shapeshifters."

Kilian finishes off the rest of the beer, then looks at Talin. "And dat, boy, is 'ow ye give a quick 'eport."

----------------------
Tiana will write an encoded letter for Ember with a similar update, but with more succinctness, more details, better grammar, and written with elvish moon runes. She also notes that she hasn't seen a reply yet from either Ember or her father, and expects to be back in Brant within the month.
Last edited by Woe on Mon May 23, 2016 10:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Freya HP 24/24 AC 16 (17 two weapons)
Kilian HP 20/20 AC 19 (18 no shield)
Talin HP 29 AC 16
Tiana HP 11 AC 12 SP 8/8
Fido HP 9/9 AC 16
Anna HP 12/12 AC 15 (19 defensively)
Bruce HP 20/20 AC 16 (15 no shield)

Red Oak map
Red Oak loot
Woe
Posts: 3953
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:45 pm

Re: RED OAK: Beyond the Mirror

Post Mon May 23, 2016 10:31 pm

IN OTHER NEWS
The Nisha were beaten by the Rangers in Cyn Dol after you left and several arrests were made. One of these has been hung for banditry, the other is still in custody. The only Nisha base you know (outside of the forest) is now in the lawless town of Bowen, well south of Cyn Dol. Wen the Thief eventually recovered from being paralysed by the runes on the lock (after about 5 more days) but the experience was still not enough to put him on 2nd level.
Tiana (and possibly Anna?) will want to check in on Wen to get a firsthand report of the event, how he felt, his recovery, etc.
Prester Will, who you once suspected of being a Nisha, has suffered a stroke while delivering a particularly vehement sermon. Of course, no one knows what a stroke is, so people think he has been hit with a fairy bolt. He is in the local hospice, drooling. There are many mutterings about people bringing back evil magic from across the river, but these are directed at the army as much as you. The junior priest has taken over, which is working out well.
Obviously my suspicions were right. ;) Kilian and Talin will stop in to see Vicar Christopher, pay his respects to the late Prester Will, and generally try to learn something about the sermon content and how Prester is recovering.
The army (Marshall Stack and about 40 soldiers) have indeed claimed much territory in the section of the map to the north of the Swell, and beaten the skull goblins in numerous fights. The skull goblins are now off the map. The ROR have been sending men to patrol the area to make sure there are no other threats. The beginning of a small town is being constructed on the coast there. The resettlement of Boldenwald is beginning here, as it is in many places up and down the river...
Now this I'd like to hear more about. Not just the small town but also other such settlements spreading up. That'd be a great place to offload some goods, search for nisha, or pick up a nefarious spy with only DM-aware intents. :O
The soldiers + ROR still haven't gotten into the dungeon beneath the watchtower, though. You suspect it is wizard locked.
This one I'd like to know a bit more about as well. I don't think the party could sneak in there, break into the dungeon, and go spelunking without being noticed. It's tempting to try though!
Emlin doesn't really know that much about what the army have been finding in there. Apparently when they raided one of the goblin bases, there was some texts found, and a helmet covered in runes, too. But you'd have to go and talk to Corporal Dunn about that. He's an army officer stationed in town.
Corporal Dunn is on the list of people to talk to. Chances are, it'd be Kilian and Talin again. We should sort out Emlin's orders for Talin though, since the human city is a huge lead and it'd be a shame to go to waste.
Anna's dad being a jerk as usual. Talin still swooned after by half the girls in the village including the innkeeper's ugly daughter. Overcast and chilly. So, situation all normal in that regard.
Hmm... what to do about Anna's father? Talin has no idea, so he'll bring it up with Coll. :D
Freya HP 24/24 AC 16 (17 two weapons)
Kilian HP 20/20 AC 19 (18 no shield)
Talin HP 29 AC 16
Tiana HP 11 AC 12 SP 8/8
Fido HP 9/9 AC 16
Anna HP 12/12 AC 15 (19 defensively)
Bruce HP 20/20 AC 16 (15 no shield)

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Longman
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Re: RED OAK: Beyond the Mirror

Post Mon May 23, 2016 11:35 pm

Gosh.

And I thought I wrote wall of text! Bonus xp for RP, fer shure.

Will be back to move things on, once I get my head around all of that.
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Re: RED OAK: Beyond the Mirror

Post Tue May 24, 2016 6:24 pm

I'm dealing with your first post first. I'll get back to the other one later.

Emlin has an initial interview with Talin, in which the dwarf is not present. During this meeting, Emlin has said that Talin must stop his activities south of the Swell, and sign up to missions on the north of that river. Talin has agreed, I believe.

Later, Kilian joins them for a drink or six, and that is when he delivers his giant ramble. The effect of this on Emlin is not quite as desired. Emlin sees no reason at all why Talin would continue to be involved in such activities, which sound increasingly like dwarf and elf business in the mountains, and nothing to do with making Boldenwald ready for human habitation.

The only exception is the Nisha. Emlin is clearly quite upset to discover that the lycanthropes have been actively recruiting people, and could still be infiltrating the towns around Red Oak without anyone realising.

Talin, will you have a word to the bandit we have in captivity? He might be able to tell you more. And also...is there any magic that your friends have which might detect these infiltrators? I don't want anyone in the Church to know this but...between the three of us, I'd turn a blind eye to some magic being used, if it could help us track down these wretches.

There is no word of any actual bounty on goblin heads. But Old One Eye MacGregor - aka "Never Wrong Neville MacGregor" will happily keep arguing with Kilian all night.

No point bragging about all the heads we can't see, is there? Bring some back, like the Knights did. And I would happily join you, but my knees are playing up what with the cold weather coming on.

The situation in the Red Oak tavern is progressing this way (Kilian, Talin, Emlin, MacGregor, many others), when into the bar walks Anna's father.

Hey! he yells out to Talin. Where's my money? My daughter's been gone for weeks! How am I supposed to cope without her? You give me my money right now! You made a deal!
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Re: RED OAK: Beyond the Mirror

Post Thu May 26, 2016 1:18 am

Longman wrote: Talin, will you have a word to the bandit we have in captivity? He might be able to tell you more. And also...is there any magic that your friends have which might detect these infiltrators? I don't want anyone in the Church to know this but...between the three of us, I'd turn a blind eye to some magic being used, if it could help us track down these wretches.
"I'll see what I can do. Maybe the elves know more. I do recall Jane saying they are especially edgy near the full moon. That's when they transform, and the first few times are painful. If you're suspicious of anyone, watch their behavior near the full moon."

(should do that probably around the same time as checking out the corporal, correct?)

No point bragging about all the heads we can't see, is there? Bring some back, like the Knights did. And I would happily join you, but my knees are playing up what with the cold weather coming on.
Kilian shrewdly agrees with MacGregor. "'appily. I'd like to know just 'ow much ye be payin' before I deliver da goods. Jus' bein' a good merchant and all..."
The situation in the Red Oak tavern is progressing this way (Kilian, Talin, Emlin, MacGregor, many others), when into the bar walks Anna's father.
Hey! he yells out to Talin. Where's my money? My daughter's been gone for weeks! How am I supposed to cope without her? You give me my money right now! You made a deal!
"You're right, I did. Here you go. Sixteen gold pieces for sixteen days, as agreed to."

At some point, maybe Coll has some sage fatherly advice what to do with this sonofa...
Freya HP 24/24 AC 16 (17 two weapons)
Kilian HP 20/20 AC 19 (18 no shield)
Talin HP 29 AC 16
Tiana HP 11 AC 12 SP 8/8
Fido HP 9/9 AC 16
Anna HP 12/12 AC 15 (19 defensively)
Bruce HP 20/20 AC 16 (15 no shield)

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Bar Scene

Post Thu May 26, 2016 6:34 pm

MacGregor: Oh. I'd not be paying. I just want to see the proof of all your bragging.
Barkeep Mosely: Well, I would. 5 gold for a goblin, more like 10 for something bigger. I'd love to have more of the critters heads up om the walls.


Ann's Da pockets the money as fast as possible and then goes to buy a drink. After that he comes back and says:

But, it wan't sixteen days, was it? She's been gone for ages! So where's the rest?

OOC - In truth, I don't know how long it has been since Anna got paid. Is it only 16 days
Woe
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Re: RED OAK: Beyond the Mirror

Post Thu May 26, 2016 6:51 pm

I think it was only 16 days since they left. Talin meant to pay the fair amount. Game time slowed down immensely once they hit the dungeon.
Freya HP 24/24 AC 16 (17 two weapons)
Kilian HP 20/20 AC 19 (18 no shield)
Talin HP 29 AC 16
Tiana HP 11 AC 12 SP 8/8
Fido HP 9/9 AC 16
Anna HP 12/12 AC 15 (19 defensively)
Bruce HP 20/20 AC 16 (15 no shield)

Red Oak map
Red Oak loot
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