The fame won by the Long Roaders
The fame that all of the Long Roaders share is:
Virtuous of the Long Road; Giantslayer; Marked Man; Savior of Thane Braden; Shadow’s-end; friend of St Berronar; friend of the New Town; friend of Haranshire; Favored of Cloverford; Secret ally of the Inquisitor Marshals; Vindicator.
Cat Weasel, 2nd-tier warlock, whose particular fame is: friend of Elin Barad, minor tier Rumbler, and friend of the One True Faith. Cat has a familiar, a sprite named Distelvolle or Dis for short, who adds a wide range of proficiencies to Cat’s palette. He is a DGA Mooregate member.
Phoenix Pilandaros, 2nd-tier barbarian, whose particular fame is: enemy of Sebek, and friend of the One True Faith. Phoenix is of the Coaster culture, but because he bears the axe Mocair, ancestral Plains weapon, he is keen to be initiated into a Plains tribe. He is a DGA Mooregate member.
Seck Rustrau, 2nd-tier rogue, whose particular fame is: doom of Gleekmound, ear-taker, friend of Elin Barad, enemy of Sebek, and friend of the One True Faith. Seck is his own company but belongs to the DGA Mooregate as well.
Vir Onden, 2nd-tier ranger, whose particular fame is: enemy of Sebek. Vir is part of the ranger conclave stretching across southern and western Trussia, but needs contact with druid convocations to keep advancing in spell lore. He is a DGA Mooregate member.
It is a time for celebrating! In these uncertain times, who knows whether those we bid farewell now, will greet us in the future.
Like the first bud of spring cracking open the gnarled stick of winter, Hagsjaw begins looking towards a new life. Maybe a new name? How about its old name, Oakvale?
And in the old guild building, the Long Roaders sort through a large unclaimed pile of loot, trying to decide whether they must have, or want, or can do without, the season’s collection.
In order of latest first
Icy Strand of the North (item) – Phoenix
Parchment of Rolling (item) – Party Loot but Cat has a scroll case to carry it
Clockwork boots of jumping high or quite long (item) – Cat
Bridle of Control (item) – Cat
Hardened component pouch (non magical) – Cat
Amber Ring of the Rose (ring) – Phoenix
Potion of Animal Friendship (potion) – Phoenix
Both of the Knives of Fenrir (weapon) – Phoenix (already has them)
The Boar’s Charge (armor) – Vir
Rondel daggers (non-magical but offer bonuses) – one each for Phoenix and Vir
Leaf of Colors (item) – Seck
Golden Torc of the Undying Queen (item) – Cat (Schaber’s Ring of Valor kept)
Beast Slayer (weapon) – Jahia
Greywalker’s Sword – Tastra
Bracers of defense+1 – Filigree
Belt of Pankration (item) – sell
Well-made swords and crossbow – sell
Jadeite gaming set – sell
Any excuse will do, and a Festival of the Ides of Alturiak, coinciding with a full moon (the one that the leprechaun has set as the deadline) is a fine one.
Hagsjaw, bedecked with lanterns or candles, looks as good as it can in the circumstances. Its death-trap temple makes for a pretty floating-lantern pond. This or that villager admits they can squeeze out a tune, and a makeshift band forms. Music! Lights! Romance!
Tastra dances with Vir! Gwen dances with Seck! They both dance with Cat! Bayle and Jow Ostler’s son pluck up courage and ask a couple of girls to dance! The goblins caper around, Elderberry tries to teach Filigree how to dance! Elderberry has too much to drink, flirts shamelessly with Filigree, Negus drags her away and kicks her halfling arse.
Cat wanders out of the firelit square, Dis watching out for bogles. There are more creeping back, looking on at the villagers.
A small pale girl-child runs across a glade… her skin seems to shine. Before Cat can kneel she’s gone, but a whisper comes to he and Dis:
“The woodlands thank you, all will be well here.”
Vir feels the same concern. He gathers his bow and walks the circuit. He feels as though he’s being watched from the forest. Bayle, flushed from dancing with an actual girl, decides to cool off by Vir’s side.
“Can you hear that?” he asks, indicating a tree. “It sounds like a woman, singing… well, I dunno, better.”
Phoenix wanders about looking for Ioanna.
“She left with Brecbry… I thought you knew. I’m sorry Phoenix,” Jahia tells him, laying a sympathetic hand on his shoulder.
I use Persuasion, plus the Long Roaders’ d10, as first Cat then Phoenix ask about mounts. The order is relevant, because there’s only one spare horse as such.
Cat: a mediocre result, accepts the gift of Brecbry’s palfrey, which he names Brecbry.
Phoenix: DC20 plus, trades the Long Roaders’ most reliable mule for Jahia’s half-blind – strong but has the staggers – horse.
The strange case of Jahia’s indifference
Something Jahia says about being happy to prepare for Greengrass takes Cat’s feet back to the Brawling Berserker. He finds Vir and Seck there, drinking quietly among the revelry.
“Lads – I just realized Jahia is still planning on a longer time for the campaign – like two months.”
“She hasn’t got two months,” remarks Seck waspishly, “remember what the giant said? Twenty days – a mere two weeks! She was right there, I’m surprised she hasn’t taken it on board… or subtly telling us not to make a fuss.. win or lose though, Jahia is going to be dead within twenty days.”
“…and we’ve dicked around for a couple of those already,” Vir mutters. “Maybe she’s just picking somewhere nice and quiet – as if glory doesn’t really matter that much. No fuss?”
“I might go have a word…” Cat proposes.
Oath of Devotion
Vir maintains his comfy seat, but the other three are now at the stables, speaking to Jahia. They have come to know her quite well.
Cat can see behind her calm expression they story of struggle against ridiculous propositions: her comrades have fallen, she is still here.
Looking about, Jahia relaizes this conversation is about to get important. She proposes gathering Vir and Gwen.
At the slightly cleaner adventurers guild hall, they sit down over drinks – Jahia has gotten a hot one, probably from Gwen.
Appealing to Jahia by referring to Himmelganger’s edict, or the menace of the Bright Lady, produces only a flicker of irritation, swift-smoothed. But she says:
“If all of you tell me this is what you want, then we shall push on.”
The matter is clearly more in their hands than hers: are they prepared for the consequences?
They affirm their purpose!
“Then, let’s talk details,” Jahia says.
Details and equipment montage
Elderberry needs to accompany the party, since only she is proficient with the pennywhistle that puts giant-kind to sleep.
In order to protect Elderberry, Gwen and Tastra at the very least will also be needed – not that Jahia was planning to leave her squire behind! That has to be the protected rearguard.
“I need to talk to a leprechaun – you lads keep planning and send to Grimmsgate for more supplies,” Cat says briskly.
Each player decides how many of their wealth pool to devote to equipping. Those are rolled. Any 6’s are lost as wastage, the rest become a single consolidated equipment pool. No tap-backs or afterthoughts, since all of this is done in great haste.
Equipment pool: 8d6
Notables: Seck is happy to drop to 1d6 wealth. Cat is stingy and sacrifices only 1d6 from his enormous wealth pool. He is on 7d6 wealth.
And from there, riding Brecbry’s former mount with Gray Lady’s saddle, Cat rides. Korva’s sturdy mountain-breed runs with him, on a long trace.
The moon hangs low and full.
“Heh! Travellin alone?”
Cat apologizes and asks: “Could I hold this favor off?”
The leprechaun chuckles and decides on a wee favor on top of this favor.
“No more than a thorn in anyone’s hide,” he smirks. “Be sure to turn up ag’in on any full moon!”
Farewell to Wolf hamlet!
Flint puts up the horses – receiving Korva’s own with an approving look – and promises he’ll look after them until the Long Roaders’ return.
He has a Greater Healing for sale now – Garynn has whipped one up – and has found an oiled-leather weather-cloak for Vir. Cat purchases the former and loads the latter.
Hasvar Taverner and Grienella Brewster and some few other well-wishers wave Cat farewell for now. Korva and his strongest guards raise their arms in salute.
And with that Cat remounts Brecbry and rides swiftly back to Oakvale, arriving before dawn.
Seck has turned in, using the adventurers guild for shelter and his bedroll for comfort.
Gwen wakes him up, she wants to talk about stuff. “I’m all ears,” Seck says unhelpfully. They unsuccessfully talk around, and don’t quite get to, “stuff.”
Vir also turns in after his circuit of the village, deciding not to speak to plants or animals. From what Bayle says, there’s no need for alarm.
Phoenix makes a few friends amongst the hard-drinking Brawling Berserker crowd, mainly loggers, sawyers and trappers.
Cat gives Brecbry a good rub-down and turns in, asleep as soon as his head heads the hay.
Level Nine Gains
Cat – +4 Profiency – gains 5th level slots – Fey patron allows Dominate Person and Seeming to be added – Osuz moves to Rod of the Pact+3 – Schaber’s Ring raises CON by 1, hp may rise accordingly – Dis’ fey sight may confuse at times (6 on d6 for Perception (visual) checks)
Phoenix – +4 Profiency – gains Brutal Critical – rage damage rises to +3. By DM fiat Phoenix is permitted to pick up Instinctive Pounce since it fits with his fast-move style of fighting.
Seck – +4 Profiency – gains Superior Mobility – sneak attack rises to 5d6
Vir – +4 Profiency – gains 1 known spell and two 3rd level slots – Erzlie’s pact allows Haste and Protection from Energy to be added
Minor reminder to Phoenix and Vir: not sure you have registered the benefits of item-linked oaths at lower levels. Mocair: Fanatical Focus; Erzlie: Relentless Avenger.