Wednesday 27 November 2013

WB1, Session 1: The Caravan to Pflenzen

(I’ll be using a standard Gregorian calendar to keep things simple.)

Session 1: "The Caravan to Pflenzen"
Monday 23rd, February 1001 AC

It was early morning and the caravan was getting ready to depart. the Hognisson brothers (Jonas and Hinrik), a young woman (Heindina) and two guards were loading the last crates up the carts when the first travelling companions arrived. Greeted by Jonas, Urist, Danik, Serrin and Grom quickly introduced themselves.

  • The brothers do this trip every year, usually they are the first on the road as soon as it becomes practicable.
  • This time they carry tools, weapons and armors for the militia as well as some salt and other good from the south.

The journey would take about a week explained Jonas, and after a short discussion with Grand Knight Brander Krugert, the party learned that they would be escorted by about 100 men of the 5th lance until the Crossing, at which point the Order’s men would keep pushing west toward Grauenberg where they would join the 3rd Western Division. The caravan meanwhile would go North along a small trail, before finally reaching Pflenzen a few days later.

  • the Order of Vanya keeps a rotation of troops every year. The lance was heading to Grauenberg to relieve some men there.

The first day of travel was slow but uneventful. The skies were clear but the winter had been harsh and longer than usual, keeping the western road lightly snowed. For the first evening, the party accepted Jonas’ offer to share a meal together, Grom sharing his forage of the day with the cook Heindina, while Serrin did a quick check of the area before, feeling secure, returning to his companions.

The second day was also calm and the caravan companions used this quiet time to get to know each other. When evening came, camp was organized, ration eaten and soon everyone was sound asleep.

On the third day, by midday, they reached the Crossing. After a short farewell by Knight Commander Krugert, the Order’s troops left the caravan, heading west to their post. From then on, the travelling companions would have to fend for themselves.

The trail north to Pflenzen was a good representation of the Northern regions of the Territories. Small trail, packed with snow, temperature getting colder and wild untamed lands on both sides. Early afternoon, While Grom and Jonas were discussing a potential fishing stop along the frozen Lorelei river, Urist and Serrin heard a distant howl. The party then decided to push on, Urist, Serrin and Grom on watch and as the evening came, Grom finally discerned that the howling was a bit east of the group, closing…

At Urist’s advice, the camp was kept small, with carts close by. After a short meal, Serrin took first watch and Grom was busy howling to the winds, as if trying to reply to what he had heard.

A small hour passed when Serrin heard something move near a cart. Serrin and Grom immediately went to investigate, on their guard and soon, battle erupted! Wolves, in poor shape and crazed by hunger, soon surrounded the camp, prowling in the darkness of the night. One tried to crawl on a cart where Heindina was sleeping but Serrin was there fast, slashing deep into his flank. Urist, awakened by Heindina’s cry for help, killed the beast with a quick radiant flame. After that, it was a matter of finding the wolves and avoid being surrounded. Danik stayed near the safety of the fire, calling out warnings to others and slinging bullets. Grom started snarling and growling at a couple others, which resulted in one, confused and surprised, running away. Serrin, Urist and the two guards took care of two wolves threatening the horses. Finally, one leaped toward Danik, but was quickly dispatched by Grom and his spear...and then the night was silent again.

The rest of the night was uneasy for everyone. Grom took some time to skin the dead wolves as best as he could but the pelts were damaged and in poor condition, resulting in little value. He did good work of whatever little meat there was however. Danik, still shaken, stayed up all night was others dozed on and off until morning.

On the 4th day, clouds from the northwest brought with them a colder day and a chilling wind. It had snowed lightly during the night. After half a day of travel, the group stopped at the sight of a large group with carts and mounts, ahead of them far on the horizon. Soon, a small group was slowly walking toward them.

To Jonas horror, it soon became clear that these were all orcs and goblins though they seem to be wanting to avoid any problem. While a little pack of goblins, wild and excited, started going about the carts, trying to poke the horses and the crates, was kept at bay by Serrin, Danik and Urist, Grom and the orc chief were talking a bit ahead in Orcish.

  • The horde was of the “Stone Paws”, apparently from further North into the Mengul Mountains.
  • They were migrating south, far from a “Rock God” that was apparently angry and coughing.

About ten minutes later, with the main horde having crossed the trail and heading west, the orc chief and his minions left the caravan. Relieved at this turn of event, the group resumed their march north along the trail.

After an uneventful evening, they caravan finally reached Pflenzen on the next morning. There the caravan bade the adventurers farewell and the party had to go through a guard post at the gates before being let inside.

  • Jonas and his brother will be staying a couple days in Pflenzen to unload, take some orders and the like. Then they’ll head back to Freiburg.
  • There are apparently two main mines in the region. The Silver Deep mine, to the east, and another called the Cold Heart mines, apparently ran by dwarves.
  • The guards at the gate were checking for rebels of some kind.
  • The guards also indicated that the best place to find work was the Barrack and see with Sigur Rafnasson, apparently their militia captain.
  • Urist learned from the guards that the ore caravan from the mines should arrive any day now and that the only dwarf in the village otherwise was Old Randers, the smith.
Once inside, the party was assailed by a group of young children, begging for money, offering to be guides. After Grom distributed some wolf meat, and Serrin a couple coppers, the children ran off. The party then settled at the Odin’s Beard inn, and took some time to arrange lodging, bathing and a good meal.

After some discussion, Urist went to their room to find some peace and quiet, preparing a small praying shrine to his god.

Danik went out to report for duty at the keep and after a short audience with Governor Ott Longreach, a strong Heldaner in his 50s, was ordered to report to the barracks for his assignment.

Serrin and Grom went to the barracks meanwhile and met with Knight Banneret Mandred Kriburg, a strong Hattian knight of the Order of Vanya, apparently in charge. After a small business discussion, Serrin received various bounties and other work offers and the two decided to head back to the inn before taking any decision.

  • From Danik, apparently the governor needs muscle and has asked the Order for reinforcements but to no effect so far.
  • From Serrin and Grom, the region is apparently troubled by many things, including snow goblins roaming the land, packs of wild animals getting bold after the harsh winter, the son of the old governor none to pleased by Ott Longreach rise to power and the death of his father, and the ore caravan from the Cold heart mines being late.

Here are the bounties Serrin found:

And so it is now mid afternoon and the party is sharing a drink at the Odin’s Beard inn, discussing what they learned and what the next step should be...

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