Back on the trail

Geographically, Perearth is a world with some remarkable similarities to our own. But the similarities end there.
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Back on the trail

Post by patransom » Wed May 16, 2007 12:12 pm

[Apologies, I completely forgot to validate yesterday. To answer your questions about going faster: you are already moving at regular speed, rather than half speed for optimum tracking. Moving any faster (even hustling for just an hour a day) would make it very possible to lose the trail. Your base speed is limited by the loads carried and armor worn by Yasmin, Sunny, Jericho, and the pack mule. I looked at the numbers, and it doesn't look like there's any way to redistribute the load enough to bring you all up to 30'. Your only option to speed up would be to go on forced march, which gives you possible nonlethal damage and fatigue. Let me know if you want to start doing forced marches after this validation. Lyondel won't let you do it in the forest, since he has to find the shortcuts -- which speed you up a lot.]

Lyondel agrees to guide you through the forest, after sending his two companions on their way back home. With his help, you are able to move much more quickly through the forest [full speed, rather than half for being in the forest]. Bram also finds his assistance helpful in continuing to follow the orc tracks.

Still, after following the trail for the rest of the day and the full day after, you are still in the forest. It is morning of the fifth day out from Durham before you emerge, just to the east of Sterling.

From the distance, Sterling looks almost exactly like Durham, a small town surrounding a stone keep. You can see a large column of smoke rising from near the keep. The tracks turn toward Sterling here, heading toward one of the bridges that cross the river into town.

Lyondel takes his leave of you here, saying, "That smoke does not look good. I hope nothing is wrong. Best of luck on your quest. I must return home to make sure preparations are in order if, as you say, the orcs have returned from the west." He disappears back into the forest.

Assuming you continue to follow the tracks, you find it quite apparent that the orcs stopped about halfway to the bridge to make camp. Bram points out that there are a very large number of footprints around the camp. He believes the orcs were joined by a larger group here. From the campsite, most of the tracks lead toward the bridge into Sterling town.
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Post by Tech Trooper » Wed May 16, 2007 12:52 pm

"I guess our path leads to Sterling then?" Yasmin asks the others.
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Post by klakxor » Wed May 16, 2007 1:56 pm

"If we are in luck, they may have been stopped or at least slowed at Sterling. Pray be that they were stopped and that smoke is just a bonfire. But I think we should definately head into Sterling."

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Post by Icthius » Thu May 17, 2007 12:28 pm

Tears are visible in Jase's otherwise vacant eyes. After a few moments of staring into the distance, perhaps remembering some long-gone tragedy, he seems to 'snap back' to reality and hefts his axe. His voice is smaller than usual, but gains strength as he speaks. "If blood has been spilt by orcs, be assured that they will pay in kind this day!" Without further pause he drudges at a steady pace straight for Sterling.

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Post by tdsprouse » Thu May 17, 2007 2:24 pm

"We should quickly find out what happened, and perhaps see about trading in this fine mule for a horse, and get horses for the rest of us as well. We need to catch up to those orcs, though now that their number has doubled, we will be in for a fight when do."



Bram trots ahead looking for signs of the orcs passage into town. He is heading for the smoke.[/b]
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Post by Icefire » Thu May 17, 2007 7:51 pm

Tana nods and continues on. "Let us be on our way."
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Post by Sunbolt » Thu May 17, 2007 9:14 pm

tdsprouse wrote:"We should quickly find out what happened, and perhaps see about trading in this fine mule for a horse, and get horses for the rest of us as well. We need to catch up to those orcs, though now that their number has doubled, we will be in for a fight when do."



Bram trots ahead looking for signs of the orcs passage into town. He is heading for the smoke.[/b]
"Agreed. Riding would make more speed... But let's remember to be smart about this. Fighting the whole army will get us dead fast. I did a play about a man who took on an entire army once with just a handful of soldiers, though. He hit them from secret, and then ran away before they could figure out what was wrong, time and again until the odds were better. He fought smart and fast. Not our usual way, perhaps, but enough to win the day.
"Our orders aren't to defeat them, but to find out who and where they are, and what they're about. We might be able to do a sneak in rescue operation and then report back with the information or send the information first, and then try the rescue... if we succeed, the horses would make good our escape. If not, at least the information is in the hands of those who will best use it to defeat this threat."

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Post by Jayel » Fri May 18, 2007 1:52 pm

"I pray that smoke is an everyday occurance. I agree with Sunny and we should take caution in our approach of Sterling in case the town is under attack."
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Post by patransom » Fri May 18, 2007 5:31 pm

After crossing the bridge that leads into Sterling, the terrain is no longer grassy, but cobbled. However, Bram can still find the tracks. He notes that a small group of footprints (although still larger than the group you were following through the forest) turns south, heading away from town along the river. A much, much larger group of footprints continues into the town. You see no citizens moving about the town and can't yet see the source of the smoke, as it is on the other side of the keep.
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Post by Icefire » Fri May 18, 2007 6:16 pm

"Bram can you tell which way the women were taken?" Tana asks.
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Post by tdsprouse » Fri May 18, 2007 6:31 pm

"I cant tell for sure, but I would guess they were taken with the smaller group to the south. I still think we should head into town and see if we can get 8 or 9 horses, and find out what happened here. We might lose a couple hours at most, but we should be able to make that up quickly if we had horses."

"Although, if we run into trouble in there, who knows what will happen."
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Post by Sunbolt » Sun May 20, 2007 6:34 am

"There's no better chance for a rescue than now, I'd say. IF we wait for the larger group to return, we'll never get to them.

"Our own numbers aren't large, but two of us could go in stealthily and get the horses and avoid the orcs, while Bram could lead the rest to the smaller group and a chance to save Bronwyn and the others."

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Post by tdsprouse » Sun May 20, 2007 4:19 pm

I like that idea! I wonder if the orcs we've been tracking waited a bit for the larger group? We may have made up ground. What say the rest of you?
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Post by klakxor » Sun May 20, 2007 4:59 pm

"Although I do not like the idea of splitting up, perhaps we can make up time that way. I am with you guys. Who would we send in. I am not stealthy enough to get the horses, nor do I have the experience riding to bring more back."

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Post by Tech Trooper » Mon May 21, 2007 9:52 am

"I agree that we should stay on our mission. If Bram is confident the prisoners are with the smaller group then that is where we should go with all due haste." Yasmin replies.
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Post by Icthius » Mon May 21, 2007 10:46 am

"I...might be able to get in without the sif-damned orcs noticing. But what about all those people?"

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Post by patransom » Tue May 22, 2007 1:18 pm

The party stands for a few minutes and discusses it's options: into Sterling or following the trail of the smaller group heading along the river? Or split up to do both?

As the discussion continues, a slight breeze wafts some of the smoke from beyond the keep in your direction. To Jase, at least, the smell is familiar: burning flesh.

[I'll need a decision about which way you want to go. If you want to split up, that's fine. Just make it clear which group your character is going with. It is highly unlikely anyone other than Bram will be able to follow the trail of the orcs, though.]
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Post by Icthius » Tue May 22, 2007 2:13 pm

"That smell...it's flesh. Burning flesh. Whatever we're doing we must do it quickly!"

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Post by Tech Trooper » Tue May 22, 2007 2:24 pm

Yasmin seems torn in her duty. "I accepted this quest to find the kidnapped women but my sworn duty as a paladin of the realm cannot let me ignore the possibility of innocent people being killed. I must know what is happening in Sterling before I continue on. If I must go alone I understand and will do my best to catch with you later."
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Post by tdsprouse » Tue May 22, 2007 7:35 pm

"I will Lead some of you south, the rest should see what you can find out about whats happening here and get the horses, you should be able to catch up pretty quickly when your done here.

If its all the same to you guys, i would like to quickly locate, then sneak up on the group to the south and do some recon.

I hate splitting up, but itlooks like we have two things that cant be ignored."


Bram takes a few steps south, following the tracks with his eyes, then looking toward the horizon. Does he see any dust clouds or anything?
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Post by klakxor » Tue May 22, 2007 9:19 pm

"I will head south with Bram."

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Post by Icefire » Wed May 23, 2007 12:18 am

"I will continue south," Tana offers.
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Post by Jayel » Wed May 23, 2007 3:51 pm

"I too cannot ignore what seams to be happening in Sterling. I will accompany Yasmin to the town and although I am not as skilled on a horse, I hope to be of some assistance in quickly acquiring horses for the group."
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Post by Sunbolt » Wed May 23, 2007 10:15 pm

Yasmin, you're going to be needed more to the south. A battle in Sterling will end badly, and if the flesh is already aflame, you're not going to be able to do anything now anyway. Let me go with Kolan, we'll get the story and the horses. I can ride, and might even be able to handle an extra horse or two... We'll catch up in no time... just have an escape route ready, in case we have orcs following.... It would be best not to lead the orcs right to you, which is to say if we have them following - we'll send you a message, and then meet somewhere else so we're not leading the orcs directly into you and pinning us between two sets...

If we can get out stealthily - we'll meet with you to the south, if we can not we'll send the message for you to set up an ambush and meet at that rise.

-- he points to place everyone can see, well on the way towards the small band. --

In either case, let's hope we don't bring the entire orc army on our heels.

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Post by Tech Trooper » Thu May 24, 2007 8:26 am

Yasmin thinks for a moment and then says, "Well I do not want to be the cause of our mission failing and I know I am the best person to go sneaking around Sterling. So I will trust that you both can investigate the situation and if anyone can be helped there you will do your best to see justice done. I will go with the rest of the group to the South..... and pray for your safe return to us. Good luck."
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Post by Icthius » Thu May 24, 2007 9:05 am

"And as for myself, where would I be most useful? Running to the south or hiding from my enemies." Jase is obviously disturbed and does not like either option, though it is also obvious he has acquiesced to the group's logic in the tactic.

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Post by klakxor » Thu May 24, 2007 11:23 am

"Jase, I believe you would be most useful in keeping Sunny and Kolan safe. We are tracking to the south until we get the whole group, at least that is what I believe. At least heading to Sterling might give you the opportunity to kill some."

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Post by Jayel » Thu May 24, 2007 3:37 pm

Icthius wrote:".... though it is also obvious he has acquiesced to the group's logic in the tactic.
/ooc Does Jase know the meaing of the word acquiesced?
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Post by Icthius » Fri May 25, 2007 9:26 am

ooc: No, but you do ;)

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