Substantial amounts of trade moves along the rivers and seas of nations. River barges linked together, burdened with coal, lumber and ore from the mountains are poled back upstream with grains, crafts large and small, and fabrics from exotic lands. Smaller caravels and cogs give a wide berth in harbours to carracks heavily laden with silk and cannon alike. For those areas without ready access to wide, slow-moving rivers or the coast however, long caravans of draft animals are urged along by sun-bleached men in wide hats and a reek of tabac about them. Those caravans owned and led by a Grand Company are notable amongst the others, their merchants with heavy golden rings and insincere smiles flanked by vengeful guards with itchy palms and sharp steel. It’s a stunning sight on the Gem Road, one that exemplifies the turning tides of history away from great beasts and the arcane arts towards deeds of man and strength of arms.>Previous Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Open%20Roads%20QuestAs always, we are Tristan Stonyfield, of the Port Josiah Green Stonyfields. It’s always a hassle preparing to move all the creaking, groaning and moaning parts of your own caravan onwards when it’s been sitting for a few days. Oxen taking solace from their burdens are grumpy about being tied back into their yokes as the carters guiding them nurse crippling hangovers in the bright morning sunlight. The guards themselves would exult more in the other’s discomfort if their own armour wasn’t stifling and starting to get warm already. You’ve spent the morning squaring away debts and payments, already beginning to get tired of listening to complaints. Still, business like this helps get your mind off of the niggling doubts about Victor’s entertainers. They haven’t seemed to be too inter-twined with the hated Haradeen, but enough coincidences have turned up to be of note. That promised letter from your cousin Robert about his hunt for rebels may help shed light on the matter. If it does happen to be one of those three letters Tomas divined to arrive in the city of Iskander.[1/3]
>>4778408As you finish writing in The Ledger with your personal shorthand, the sounds of raised voices arguing outside your canvas walls scatter your ruminating thoughts. You used to pray for departure days without incident or arguing once upon a time. Kaspar laughed at it, slapping you on the shoulder with his heavy hand, ignoring your pointed glares. “Come now Tris, a day without an argument is a day without flavour.” You used to envy his easy charm and way with the men that was infectious, until the day a wounded House Guard came back, Kaspar’s limp form on his battered horse. Your youngest sister Nadine insisted that he would show up, bruised and cut up like one of the manor’s cats that went out on the town, a hand behind his head and his damned grin from ear to ear while she beat on his chest in angry tears. She still did of course, but there was no smile on his face or hand ruffling her hair.“...and I tells ye, I don’t care one whit what they say about it. If one, just one, of the oxen goes lame before we get there, with the load that we have on the wagons, any small amount of time we might have saved goes straight into the privy!” It sounds like your head drover Johnny is starting to get a good head of steam on him, nearly as bad as when he heard from Snorri that Red John was causing trouble. Right, the arguing. Should do something about that before it gets worse.>[Surly] “Johnny, I’m the one who made the call. If we can squeeze out another day or two in the city this way, it’ll give me time between the family’s plans to actually do my part. It’s a risk, but a calculated risk that I’m willing to take.” Side with those wanting to speed things along. It’ll be a strain on both man and beast of burden, but it can pay off with that most precious of resources. Time. (Work the animals hard to reach the city in 5.5 days)>[Gregarious] “Miguel and Victor, I understand your concerns. Still, I’m not putting my men, my livestock, and my wares at risk. I trust that I need not remind you who stands to lose the most out of all of us if this venture fails.” Side with those urging caution. It’s still early in the season, with time to spare yet. You don’t have any spare livestock at hand, or men to replace those who could collapse in the heat. There’s a time for risk, and this isn’t it. (Maintain current pace to reach the city in 7 days)>[Pragmatic] “Enough of this. We’ll have this discussion later tonight after you all have a chance to cool down. If we rush into a choice, it’s practically certain to be the wrong one.” Put the discussion off until you break camp on the road. This is a discussion fit to be had far away from prying townie ears, rather than in the open air. Forget the Deeners, if anyone passes this information along to those Capwell scum, it may give them a way to undercut your chances. (Maintain current pace for now until you have a proper talk about it.)>[Write-in?][2/4]
>>4778417>what by the seven merciful winds is this about and what happened last thread? I don’t feel like reading the archivesThis is a quest about mercantile endeavours, trying to gain enough Value and Profit to prove that you are a viable candidate to join a Grand Company. Your House isn’t exactly prosperous or powerful, so you’ll have to bring a substantial Profit home from the lands of Jironth to secure it. Currently, you’re getting ready to depart the “town” of Red Earth for the city of Iskander, one of the last major Lorian settlements you can expect to see for a long time. Last thread opened with a bit of light sparring with the boy, and you wandered into town about he hit you with a low blow. There, you got your fortune read by Tomas, your hired magician. He said there would be three familial letters for you in Iskander; one scolding, one cheerful, and one concerning. It was with this prophecy in your head that you found a supplier, as well as heard some Haradeen in the middle of your accompanying entertainment troupe. A meeting was held and an accord was reached about the prospects of Iskander. You bought some goods, and discovered a man using rigged scales. It was resolved, and you finished the night by watching a historical play put on by Victor’s troupe.>what do we roll for anything? looks complicated.Anytime a roll is called for, it will be a Best of Two 1d100s, with degrees of successes. You currently hold one re-roll to be used at your discretion, and one charge of FATE to avert a Crit-Fail result, or change an opponent’s Crit-Success to a regular Failure. Re-rolls replenish slowly, roughly over the course of a week or when you arrive in a new town. FATE can be restored, but it will take a significant amount of effort to do so, like preventing a catastrophe or stopping a war from breaking out through diplomatic endeavours.>how we doing so far?You’re currently at 1,185.55 Perceived Value (1,510.55 after factoring in your hidden Grey Market Goods). Still fair way from your goal of 1,825.25, but you haven’t reached markets to sell at yet, and it can change after you cross the border, with markets that’ll appreciate your Goods ahead of you. After the deal you struck with Jasper Bassard, you have 10 days of Medium-grade Food, Water and Feed, with have enough coal, metal and beer to last until Iskander proper.[3/4]
>>4778420>is there any pastebins to explain shit?Here they be. They need to be updated for the changes made thus far, but should be ready by the start of the next session.https://pastebin.com/pb8GTem0 Inventory, Stipends, and in-depth Goods and Value of the Caravan.https://pastebin.com/6kC5LrwZ Mechanics of how Value is determined from your Inventory.https://pastebin.com/uJ1WpYNQ Mechanics of how Re-rolls and Fate are used in the Quest.https://pastebin.com/DSJCJFwK In-depth description of how the degrees of success work out, with examples and shit.https://pastebin.com/zg8r18TN Pastebin listing Tristan’s current traits and descriptions as of last thread.Feedback is always welcome, and if you ever have questions about the setting, I’ll answer them with what Tristan knows about the situation.[4/4]
>>4778417>[Gregarious] “Miguel and Victor, I understand your concerns. Still, I’m not putting my men, my livestock, and my wares at risk. I trust that I need not remind you who stands to lose the most out of all of us if this venture fails.” Side with those urging caution. It’s still early in the season, with time to spare yet. You don’t have any spare livestock at hand, or men to replace those who could collapse in the heat. There’s a time for risk, and this isn’t it. (Maintain current pace to reach the city in 7 days)We bought the extra food, so we may as well use it. baka
>>4778417>[Pragmatic] “Enough of this. We’ll have this discussion later tonight after you all have a chance to cool down. If we rush into a choice, it’s practically certain to be the wrong one.” Put the discussion off until you break camp on the road. This is a discussion fit to be had far away from prying townie ears, rather than in the open air. Forget the Deeners, if anyone passes this information along to those Capwell scum, it may give them a way to undercut your chances. (Maintain current pace for now until you have a proper talk about it.)Stow it for later!
>>4778417>>[Pragmatic] “Enough of this. We’ll have this discussion later tonight after you all have a chance to cool down. If we rush into a choice, it’s practically certain to be the wrong one.” Put the discussion off until you break camp on the road. This is a discussion fit to be had far away from prying townie ears, rather than in the open air. Forget the Deeners, if anyone passes this information along to those Capwell scum, it may give them a way to undercut your chances. (Maintain current pace for now until you have a proper talk about it.)welcome weldy love ya
>>4778430>the food we're eating, the water we're drinking, and the feed for your animals are coming out of my pocket. I'm the one who decides how fast we go.>>4778431>>4778450>shut it, this isn't the time or the place.Called, and writing.
>[Pragmatic] action taken.This talk is not good to have in open air with prying ears. Best to head it off at the pass now, and have it again around the campfires later tonight. “Enough of this.” you call down while emerging from the covered wagon. “We’ll have this discussion later tonight after you all have a chance to cool down. If we rush into a choice, it’s practically certain to be the wrong one.” johnny sketches a low bow in response, while Victor and Sooty turn towards you with a mix of expressions on their faces. Sooty is the first to make the mistake of talking back.“Come on Tristan-““That’s Messir Stonyfield when it comes to matters like this, Miguel. As I said, we’ll discuss it tonight, and not a moment sooner.” A faint snappish tone in your interruption brooks no argument from the Meyard smith. It’s a trifling matter to ignore the frustrated twist of his mouth and face-rubbing before turning towards Johnny. “Johnny, are the other wagons ready to roll out soon?”“Aye messir, that lazy devil Red John is just wrapping up helping load Mr. de Soto’s forge. Should be ready to move in about fifteen minutes or so. I’ll send Nathaniel send everything’s ready.” You nod before walking away towards where the guards have been arming up. A puffing Red John, his face now nearly as red as his hair, is crouched over by the forge as you pass the courtyard. Serves him right for causing that trouble earlier on. The old fellow, Samuel, walks over to him with a waterskin as the dulcet sounds of Snorri calling to the men becomes more clear.“Alright Marcel, you’re taking point this time with Hector and Gregory at the lead on foot. Last time Jared took point, he found a fight. Jared, you’re riding rear-watch with Neil and Ryan. Randall, you and Lionel will swap out with Marcel on short rotation to take point as needed. I don’t want you to get complacent out there, that’s how you wind up with dead outriders.”It sounds like she’s arranging positions for the travel. Things will be a bit rough covering all the positions, especially if you pick up the pace. Still, that group of Blackbirds that you’re planning on hiring in Iskander will help fill in the gaps. Especially if you can get another couple riders and some gunners to add some extra ranged firepower. Snorri catches your eyes and calls the men to order. “Stand proud for the Messir!” There’s a firm stomp as boots come down with the butts of halberds. They’re not as well-equipped as the Royal Marines, but at least they’re trying to be as disciplined as them“At ease, and as you were.” The men relax, and Snorri hands over the task of arranging the positions to Lionel before walking up to you. She’s got her bland, working face on, but you can see the faintest glimmer of something in her eyes. Mischief, happiness, or excitement, it’s hard to say.[1/2]
>>4778610“Should be ready to move out soon there, Tris. Lionel’s a capable enough lad, I can trust him to babysit for a while. What can Aunty Snorri do for ya?” You think you can hear a snigger, but it’s hard to place where it came from. Could just be my imagination, but I doubt it.>[Surly] “I’ve had some thoughts about the security that I wanted to run past you. Deficiencies, ways to improve, rotations and the like.” Get her opinion how what you could use to fill in the gaps of manpower when you get to the city. How many more outriders, should we get crossbowmen instead of gunners, how are we going to integrate the Blackbirds so they work well with the men. Logistics talk like this should help fill the time until everything’s ready to leave.>[Gregarious] “You seem in a better mood than usual. Anxious to be on the road?” Have some pleasant small talk while you do a final inspection on everything. Nothing strange about it, she’s your retainer while you’re the head caravanneer. Besides, you might have an opportunity to ask her about something not related to security matters. (Write-in something to ask her about. Rolls may be required depending on how personal the questioning gets.)>[Pragmatic] “How have the men been doing after seeing the Johns and Ryan’s punishments? Do you think they’re going to step out of line again?” She’s the one who’s got her finger on the pulse of the men’s morale. Johnny would be good to ask too, but he’s got a lot on his plate getting everything ready this morning. Plus, he’s a bit too servile, and might leave things out that could cause offence, while Snorri practically revels in offending people. Mainlander people anyways.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4778614>[Pragmatic] “How have the men been doing after seeing the Johns and Ryan’s punishments? Do you think they’re going to step out of line again?” She’s the one who’s got her finger on the pulse of the men’s morale. Johnny would be good to ask too, but he’s got a lot on his plate getting everything ready this morning. Plus, he’s a bit too servile, and might leave things out that could cause offence, while Snorri practically revels in offending people. Mainlander people anyways.
>>4778610>send Nathaniel send everything's ready.That should read "when everything's ready". Mea culpa.
>>4778614>>[Surly] “I’ve had some thoughts about the security that I wanted to run past you. Deficiencies, ways to improve, rotations and the like.” Get her opinion how what you could use to fill in the gaps of manpower when you get to the city. How many more outriders, should we get crossbowmen instead of gunners, how are we going to integrate the Blackbirds so they work well with the men. Logistics talk like this should help fill the time until everything’s ready to leave.We already know morale should be okay. If it isn't, there's ways we can fix it. Defense of the caravan is way more important long-term, because if we mess that up it's not easy to un-mess it up.
>>4778618>how have things been after the three stooges got theirs?>>4778635>talk that shop while you walk that walkLeaving it open for another 15 minutes while I grab something to drink, then rolling to break the tie if it's still there.
>>4778614>[Surly] “I’ve had some thoughts about the security that I wanted to run past you. Deficiencies, ways to improve, rotations and the like.” Get her opinion how what you could use to fill in the gaps of manpower when you get to the city. How many more outriders, should we get crossbowmen instead of gunners, how are we going to integrate the Blackbirds so they work well with the men. Logistics talk like this should help fill the time until everything’s ready to leave.
>>4778618>[Pragmatic]>>4778635>>4778747>[Surly]Called and writing. May be the last update for tonight, today fucking dragged and I don't want to choke to death on my snack and drink by passing out in the middle of typing
>[Surly] action taken.It’s really tempting to ask after the men’s morale or that strange letter you’re sure that you saw her crying over, but discretion is the better part of valour. Reminding her of the men’s failings will get her wound up again, and there’s too many people around to get any kind of an answer to personal questions right now. “I’ve had some thoughts about the security that I wanted to run past you. Deficiencies, ways to improve, rotations and the like.” Her bored looks transitions to one that’s pensive as you walk around the wagons.“Well, you’ve come to the right woman for that Tris. Anything you want to start with?” You spy Hector, the one who did most of the bodyguarding in Angelsfield brushing down one of the rounceys as you consider which to ask first.“Let’s get the deficiencies out of the way first. We can talk about training plans afterwards.”“Right, makes sense to me. So, the Blackbirds use a lot of bills, pike and shot from what I hear. Shoot the other buggers on the field to pieces, use the pike blocks to prevent charges, have the billmen around to deal with lighter bastards, and basically hold ground until the rich buggers who hire them can ride in, pennants streaming the whole way.” She spits on the ground at that, evidently still not fond of knights on horseback. “A bit nasty, especially when the fighting gets intense, but does the job. I heard they have a few crossbowmen and light horse for skirmishing, but the majority of their mercenaries are pike, bills and guns, since they aren’t exactly difficult to re-train. They do a bit of marine work, but for the most part, they prefer the ground.”“So, a mostly infantry-based company. They’ll fit in well enough then, it’s not like we’re moving at a breakneck pace after all. How readily do they part with their skirmishers?”She sucks her teeth before answering. That’s not a great sign. “Weeell, they do section them off if you ask. A bit pricier than the line troopers for sure, but from what I hear, it’s because it takes a while to train them proper. Teaching soldiers how to walk quietly through the woods or ride a horse is a lot harder than teaching them which end of a pike is the stabbing end and how to use a matchlock.” Scratching her nose for a moment, she follows it up with, “Still, if you hire on a handful of the troopies, you should be able to squeak in a few of the skirmishers too without much more cost.”>Gained information about the Blackbirds Mercenary Company. They have comparable equipment to the House Guard, and gained a rough idea of their price for contracts.You sigh a little before asking again. “So, with that in mind, how many of them do you think we should go with?”[1/3]
>>4778886Snorri’s quiet again for a moment as she does a bit of mental arithmetic. “Well, we have a fair amount of halberds, spears and crossbows. No guns, beyond your pistol and Lionel’s carbine.” There’s another short pause before she starts counting off on her fingers. “Pikes are right out, anyone we get into a fight with is going to be too close for them to be any use. Probably pick up a few billmen, to fill out some numbers, and around three or four gunners. Enough to run some mixed volleys with the crossbows, in case whoever shows up has some armour. If we can get two more riders, that’ll help with the communication problems, and help ease up on the horses. I’d say no more than eight mercs altogether though, otherwise it’ll start interfering with cohesion, and they might start getting ideas.”You take the time to withdraw a cigarillo, and light it with one of your lucifers. Hm, getting a bit low. Should get some more from Tomas when I have the time. “Right, that takes care of the deficiencies. How has the training been going?” Snorri’s face sneers a little, but it’s a bit difficult to tell if it’s from the question or the smoke.“They’ve been keeping at it. Shouldn’t need to worry too much about the lads getting soft yet. It’ll be easier to keep them in good form though once we got a few more sword-arms to spare. As for your pet project though sounds like Black John and Ryan haven’t been teaching him the wrong way. Still, he could use someone his size to toss around, there’s only so much you can learn by watching. Hells, given the size of John, even if he were full-grown, Nate there would have a hard time putting his arse in the dust.” She looks over to your left and squints a little. “Speak of the troll, and he shall appear. Nate! How’s your arm?” You folllow her line of sight and see Nathaniel running over to the two of you.“Er, it’s doing alright enough Mrs. Snorri. Messir, Johnny said the oxen are ready to go now.” You nod sagely as Snorri tousles the youngster’s brown hair with a genuine smile on her face.“Very well, let him know that I’ll be there in a moment’s notice.” He runs off, and she sighs a little as she watches him leave.“Shit Tris, he reminds me a little of you, at that age.” You grunt, and she looks at you slyly out of the corner of her eye. “Don’t tell me that you had a bastard on one of your trips out this way.”“No, I haven’t. Hells, given how old he is, I’d have to be... around thirteen or fourteen to have sired him. I would have still been at Liberte.” You give here a swat on the shoulder before walking away, and her mocking voice follows you to the wagons.“I’m not hearing a nooOOOoooo, Tris!” A gale of rough laughter earns her a dirty look while you take up the goadstick from Johnny. A quick command to get their action and two taps on their flanks, and you’re off on the road again.[2/4]
>>4778889>Pick one from each group of options.What are you doing during the day?>[Surly] You want some peace and quiet, away from doing much of anything. Trust in the others to do their jobs, so that you can focus on the smaller things. Mainly lead your own wagon, taking time to train Nathaniel about the finer points of your trade, since he is YOUR apprentice.>[Gregarious] Spend most of your time rotating with the carters on the various wagons. Tending animals is calming work, even if a bit dirty. Plus, they’re at their busiest in this portion the caravan, so they’ll appreciate the extra hands helping out.>[Pragmatic] Take over some of the guard shifts throughout the day. It’ll help ease the security burden right now, and if you’re walking alongside them, they’ll probably be more alert to anything untoward going on. Nobody wants to be the one caught slacking off when the boss is around after all.How are you spending your evenings?>[Surly] You’re more focused on putting out fires and planning ahead than making much conversation on the road for this leg of the journey. Still, you make some time to spare with a couple others. No man is an island, at least not one of your social standing. Pick 2 members from the Roster to have interactions with.>[Gregarious] You’re flitting among the campfires whenever you have a spare moment, making everyone feel a little better. A joke here, some uplifting talk there, with the odd bit of teasing will humanize you in their eyes. Status doesn’t mean much to you on the road, and it’s relieving to not have to be in charge all the time. Spend some time talking to everyone.>[Pragmatic] You’ll focus on hanging around one groups campfires at mealtimes and breaks. Some people might call it picking favourites. You just call it having meaningful conversation. No point in flitting from conversation to conversation like an air-head. Pick one group from the Roster to have interactions with. (Caravan Heads, Carters, Guards, Entertainers.)[3/4]
>>4778893>Roster of MembersHeads of the Caravan>Tristan Stonyfield, Head Caravaneer.>Hildr ‘Snorri’ Gunnarsdotter, Personal Retainer, handles majority of security.>Miguel ‘Sooty’ de Soto, Dwarven trained Blacksmith, handles repairs for vehicles.>Tomas ‘Staff-of-Many-Colours’ Wells, Hired Diviner and Chemist, handles weird shit, medications, and divinations.>Victor Sparrow, Leader of the Soaring Sparrows Troupe, and notable playwright.House Guards>Marcel (Horseman)>Marcus>Jeremy>Gregory>Hector>Jared (H)>‘Black’ John>Lionel (H)>Peter>Carl>Ryan>Bryan>Neil>Thomas>Randall (H)>VincentCarters and Drovers>Johnny, your personal drover>Nathaniel, youngster learning under Johnny>‘Red’ John>Terrance>Manuel>Otto>Wesley>Eric>Robert>David>Samuel>Isaac>CalvinEntertainers>Calvin the Colossus, Strongman>Noah, the Man of Iron, Sword-swallower>Madame Erica, Knife-thrower>Monsigneour Eric, Juggler>Adam, Dancer>Miriam, Dancer>Orville, Professional Clown and animal handler[4/4]That'll have to be it for tonight. Got to prepare to go into the bush for the weekend tomorrow, and make sure I've got everything packed and stowed proper. Next session will be on May 4th at 01:30 UCT like usual. Have a good one, and take care out there!
>>4778893>>[Surly] You want some peace and quiet, away from doing much of anything. Trust in the others to do their jobs, so that you can focus on the smaller things. Mainly lead your own wagon, taking time to train Nathaniel about the finer points of your trade, since he is YOUR apprentice.>[Gregarious] You’re flitting among the campfires whenever you have a spare moment, making everyone feel a little better. A joke here, some uplifting talk there, with the odd bit of teasing will humanize you in their eyes. Status doesn’t mean much to you on the road, and it’s relieving to not have to be in charge all the time. Spend some time talking to everyone.
>>4778893>[Surly] You want some peace and quiet, away from doing much of anything. Trust in the others to do their jobs, so that you can focus on the smaller things. Mainly lead your own wagon, taking time to train Nathaniel about the finer points of your trade, since he is YOUR apprentice.>[Surly] You’re more focused on putting out fires and planning ahead than making much conversation on the road for this leg of the journey. Still, you make some time to spare with a couple others. No man is an island, at least not one of your social standing. Pick 2 members from the Roster to have interactions with.Get Snorri alone and ask about that letter (I see your wink wink nudge nudge QM), then uhhh idk hang out with Johnny. Be a good boss.Thanks for running QM!
>>4778908>>4778920>>4779041>listen, daddy needs some alone time before he needs to go to the corner store for cigarettes>>4778908>be the social butterfly>>4778920>>4779041>be the social recluse, only talking to your servant and bodyguardCalled, and writing. Fucking day went from 'fucking nothing planned' to 'overflowing with shit to do' from the word go. Will be writing up the updates for the pastebins inbetween updates.[/spoiler
>[Surly] day action taken. [Surly] night action taken. People chosen are Snorri and Johnny.As the wagons move away from the sleepy burg of Red Earth and rumble along the Gem Road, you focus on your own priorities on this stretch. If you can’t trust them with the security or to take care of the animals on the way to the second largest port town in Loria, things will only get worse when you cross over into Harade. Alternating between leading Orion and Charlotte and resting while Johnny takes the reins back give you plenty of time to square away the inventory and plan for the road ahead. So, factoring out the exchange in tin and copper for the amount of bronze he produced, Sooty came out ahead. Victor is still paying his way, and that windfall from Red Earth helped take the edge off...It’s not all just writing notes and watching the outriders alternate between ranging ahead and roving back with information. The boy surprised you by saying that he knew a bit of sums and writing while you wrote down an alphabet for him to copy from. “I picked it up a little from when my ma was showing me the books for the farm. Yours is a lot easier to read though Messir, Ma’s was all squiddledy. Almost needed to screw my eyes up to make sense of it.” A quick mental flash of Friar Caim bringing the wooden rule onto your knuckles whenever it was sloppy passes like a dark cloud with a wince that Nathan didn’t pick up on.“Yes, well, I did get proper tutelage for it. If that’s the case, we can move ahead to correcting faults. ‘A readable hand is a hand that pleases the gods with it’s beauty’.” You speak flatly, cutting off the remainder of his favourite saying. An unreadable hand is a hand that deserves to be struck with the god’s displeasure and fury. “Now, show me just how well you can write.”It’s not strictly speaking the worst writing you’ve ever seen. It’s not quite a tangled mass of cobwebs as Tomas’ scrawl, which has more in common with pulled roots than proper letters. Still, it has plenty of room for improvement. “Well, use the wax tablet and practice scribing it down. When you feel it’s adequate, show me and I’ll correct any of the mistakes after I come back in.” This helps pass the time between looking at ox behinds and riders.After the first night stops and the three of you finish dressing down the oxen, you take Johnny aside. “Come, we may as well finish that conversation we had with the others earlier.” He nods as you round up a couple carters and the other heads to discuss the travel plan. Snorri waves it off, citing the need to check the rotations that Lionel had arranged. It took a bit of time to find Victor, but he came of the brush, fussing with his breeches, while you were asking their strongman about his location. Must have been a call of nature. He follows your beckon, and you proceed to a quieter part of the clearing. “Alright, make your cases, both of you.”[1/2]
>>4787487Johnny raises his hand first while Victor and Sooty look at each other, and you incline your head towards him. He clears his throat before talking, the oldest of the three carters Samuel, right. The one who was at sea. nodding along as he speaks. “As you say messir. We should keep the pace we’ve got right now. I know the oxen and the lads are young enough to go the extra miles, but you have to factor in the weight of everything. We’ve been lucky with using the Gem Road to go as fast as we have been. The fact is though, we don’t have any animals to spare. If any of ‘em go down, the riding critters aren’t going to fill in for them worth a damn. Even laying aside the whole strength issue, they don’t know how to work in pairs.”Victor cuts in at that, with a palpable glare of venom from the carters. Right, they’re a proud lot, and probably don’t like the entertainers ‘putting on airs’ when it comes to animals. “I understand that we don’t exactly have the animals to spare though. However, as you said, we are using the Gem Road right now. There should be towns along the way if we need to pick some working animals up. As well, it’s one of the smoothest stretches of road on the continent. If we aren’t going to pick up the pace now, when are we ever? Besides, I have it on good authority from Red John and Manuel that they should be fine with it for this short leg.””The youngest carter is practically bristling in anger as he strides over, prodding Victor in the chest with a jabbing finger. “Listen you tub o’ lard, Red John couldn’t find the bottom of his arse with a map unless you hid some cards under his seat. We feckkin told ya-“ He’s interrupted in turn as Johnny and the old carter grabs his arms and pulls him back from Victor and Sooty.“Come now Cal, don’t fight in front of the messir.” Johnny looks back over to you, a deferent expression on his face while the old fellow is muttering in Cal’s ear. “It’s your call to make messir.”>[Surly] Go with the carters’ plan of reaching Iskander in 6 days from now. No sense in running the risk when you don’t have any animals to spare in case of mishaps.>[Gregarious] Go with the heads’ plan of reaching Iskander in 4.5 days from now. It’s a calculated risk, one that will pay dividends now, giving you some more time in the city to establish connections and source products for the road ahead.>[Pragmatic] Strike a middle path. You’ll give up a rest day, in exchange for maintaining the current pace, to reach Iskander in a little over 5 days from now. It’ll move things along, without placing undue strain on the animals. Hopefully.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4787491>[Pragmatic] Strike a middle path. You’ll give up a rest day, in exchange for maintaining the current pace, to reach Iskander in a little over 5 days from now. It’ll move things along, without placing undue strain on the animals. Hopefully.
>>4787499>take the middle path, so no-ones happy.Called and writing.
>[Pragmatic] action taken.Sighing, you decide to try and strive for a path in-between. “Fine, we’ll give up one of the rest days, but we aren’t speeding up yet. If we had some more oxflesh to spare, sure, I would be alright with increasing the pace by doubling up some of the heavier wagons. However, since we do not, we’ll have to take it easier. It’s not the burning heat of high summer yet, but those days aren’t far off.” Nobody looks pleased at your choice. Victor and Johnny do a better job than Sooty’s visible disheartenment, and ‘Cal’ just spits into the grass as his input on the matter. Still, they choose not to voice more than mild grumblings. “Meeting’s adjourned.”You turn back towards the campfire where one of the men is making pottage. Johnny follows along, after briefly conversing with the other carters. Probably telling them to spread the word among the men. One of the guards ladles you a bowl with a cheerful salute. Must be Peter, to be in that good a mood still. It’s not what you would call appetizing, but it does fill your stomach well enough, even if it is bland. A quick blow to take the steam off, and you start tucking into it while Johnny pulls up alongside you. A few of the guards give him a bit of a glance, but nothing more than that.“Cal and Sam will let the others know about the pace change messir.” There’s still a tenseness to your head drover, one that seems to have not stopped since arriving in Red Earth. You nod in response while he carries on. “Taking out that rest day, we should arrive in the city around evening time by the end of the week.” You’re familiar enough with Johnny to know when he’s pointedly not saying words.“Good. I’ll make sure to send the forward rider to the estate around morning the day before when we see the city’s smoke. Without us slowing him down, he’ll give them enough time to prepare for us. I’ll draft up the letter and seal it tomorrow, it’ll help give the boy practice reading proper script.” Could use some more dill, barely even tasted it over the vegetables.“Aye.” There’s a long, pregnant pause as the two of you enjoy the meal. After rinsing out the bowls and praising Peter on it, even if your heart isn’t entirely in it. There’s a half-moon starting to crest the trees, even though the sun hasn’t completely set yet. Nathan is nowhere to be seen around the wagon, probably getting some night lessons with the two men you assigned. His placid coolness is starting to get under your skin, now that it’s just the two of you.[1/2]
>>4787652>[Surly] Two can play the quiet game. Spend the evening taking care of your equipment and looking over the cart. Nathan’s getting better about it, but you still prefer taking care of your own arms and armour instead of relying on him. Maybe Johnny just needs some space.>[Gregarious] “So, stop me if you’ve heard this one John...” Crack a joke to break the ice between the two of you. He’s one of your most trusted men in the retinue, time to treat him like one. Just because he’s low-born doesn’t mean that he’s a bad man.>[Pragmatic] “Is this about the arguments? Or everything else in Red Earth?” Ask him upfront about what’s bothering him. Bluntly asking like this would be uncouth for most, but you know that politeness is one of the first victims on the roadways.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4787657>[Gregarious] “So, stop me if you’ve heard this one John...” Crack a joke to break the ice between the two of you. He’s one of your most trusted men in the retinue, time to treat him like one. Just because he’s low-born doesn’t mean that he’s a bad man.
>>4787658>>4787711>make with the funny, honeyCalled and writing.
>[Gregarious] action taken.The quiet stretches on longer, with the gree-gree-greep of frogs announcing the sunset chorus. It’s stifling, and you rack your brain for a joke to try and ease the tension. Something not too highbrow, but not so low that he thinks I’m patronizing him. Staring in the distance, one about Leopold the Lesser comes to mind. “Hey John, stop me if you heard this one before.” Johnny gives you a quizzical look as you begin.“So, Leopold the Fifth was walking in Greymount’s castle town, after returning from the eastern front. While walking in the streets there, he found a man who looked nearly identical to himself selling fruit. The king was shocked, because even though the old king had a great many children to which he bore a faint resemblance at best, Leopold looked like a mirror image of the commoner.” Johnny snorts a little at that, interrupting you slightly.“Wouldn’t be hard, the Lecher king was practically everywhere.”“Aye, which is why Leopold was concerned. Another one of his father’s bastards, with claimant to the throne would further divide the empire. So, mustering all of his imperial majesty, King Leopold stood tall at the fruit-seller’s stall. ‘Tell me fruit-seller, did your mother ever perform service at Castle Greymount?’ The fruit-seller furrowed his brow, and then answered him, ‘Nay your Highness, my father has though.’”There’s a faint pause as Johnny works his way through the joke, and then he bursts out in laughter. Wiping a tear from his eye, he’s still chuckling as he responds. “Cor, that’s a good one. Took me a moment to figure it out. Aye, I bet her Royal Majesty got a bit lonely sometime, given the way her man preferred to go a-hunting away from there.” The earlier tenseness is shattered, replaced by that familiarity you’re used to.You give him time to settle down some before talking again. “Glad to be of service John.” He smiles again at that while you plow through the rest of your thought. “Something been bothering you lately? You don’t seem yourself.”Johnny blows out a deep breath, clearly thinking over what to say. “Oh, you know how it is, messir. You get frustrated when things are going rough, and the animals aren’t listening to nothing you say, and try to not let it bother you. Things start going alright again, and then your feckking troublemaker gets in the cack, and you have to make sure the others take the hint. You know how it is.” You nod while he fiddles with the harness.“You’re not happy with the way things have been going, have you?”[1/2]
>>4787750Johnny keeps turning the chains in his hand, ostensibly looking for wear-and-tear while he talks. “Nay, everything has been going alright. Just getting annoyed at stupid bastards doing stupid bastard things. People talking up, putting on airs around us then not showing proper deference when pressed.” Apparently he’s satisfied with looking over the links, and he lets it drop with a bit of a sneer while it jingles. “Bleeding hells, even Nathan’s starting to get that way, focusing more on wrestling with those two meatheads instead of watching over Orry and Char like he should be focused on right now.”>[Surly] “Well, things have been pretty easy so far. It’s nearly a given that they will be relaxed now while they could still enjoy it.” To be honest, the over-familiarity has been grating on you as well. At least they’ll be sure to stop it when you’re at the estate. Your aunt prides herself on manners, and will clamp down hard on people ‘putting on airs’.>[Gregarious] “He’s a young lad, barely even starting to get a beard and chest hair. Of course he would want to learn how to use a sword, I was the same way at that age.” The familiarity has been growing on you, like a moss or a lichen. It’s not exactly like you’re rolling in the mud with the peasantry, but spending a month and a half among the common people with only your cousin’s interaction for high-class society is bound to rub off on you.>[Pragmatic] “I do appreciate everything you and the other carters have been doing Johnny. Without the lot of you, this endeavour would be dead in the water.” Try to puff him back up and show some appreciation. They’ve been remarkably well-behaved, for the most part. Any of the incidents were sorted out among themselves or at minimal cost, a veritable godsend given what you’ve heard from your cousin’s ventures.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4787753Shit, going to have to cut this session a bit shorter than planned. Dad needs a hand moving a cast iron tub from his upstairs bathroom in the morning.Next session will kick off on the 7th at 01:30 UCT like usual. Have a good one, and take care out there!
>>4787753>[Pragmatic] “I do appreciate everything you and the other carters have been doing Johnny. Without the lot of you, this endeavour would be dead in the water.” Try to puff him back up and show some appreciation. They’ve been remarkably well-behaved, for the most part. Any of the incidents were sorted out among themselves or at minimal cost, a veritable godsend given what you’ve heard from your cousin’s ventures.>>4787771No prob, thanks for running.
>>4787753>>[Pragmatic] “I do appreciate everything you and the other carters have been doing Johnny. Without the lot of you, this endeavour would be dead in the water.” Try to puff him back up and show some appreciation. They’ve been remarkably well-behaved, for the most part. Any of the incidents were sorted out among themselves or at minimal cost, a veritable godsend given what you’ve heard from your cousin’s ventures.
Sorry for the long delay tonight everyone, went to take a nap after spending most of the day doing yardwork and working on a roof, and fell asleep instead. Will be sending up two updates today, and having a session when I get back from my parent's farm on the 10th at 02:00 UCT to make up for it. I did get the inventory pastebin cleared up, and up-to-date with what the next update is. Also added in information about travel times, capacities, etc., so that you all can make more informed decisions in the future. I thought it was organized well, but I just kept finding more shit that didn't get dealt with properly. Should probably keep a closer on it going forward.>Inventory, Overheads, and Stipends Pastebin, current as of beginning of Thread 4: https://pastebin.com/pb8GTem0>>4787782>>4787982>nah Johnny, you guys are fucking killing it mateCalled and writing.
>>4793852Does the 175% Profit (1,825.25 Value) count real value or perceived value?
>>4793852Also, seems to me like we cover slightly more ground going Hard+Relaxed (1260 miles) vs. Normal+Normal (1152 miles). Something to keep in mind.
>>4793853It's Real Value, calculated off the Perceived value and Overhead expected for this long of a journey when you stepped off from Port Josiah.The big advantage with starting with Grey Market/Black Market/Contraband Goods is that it gives you an initial leg up on your Profit requirement. The downsides of course is that they can get seized by authorities, get you into legal trouble, "fall off the back of a wagon", etc. If you went with straight up White Market Goods in Thread 1, you'd have more ground to make up, but wouldn't run into any issues from anyone not hideously corrupt. It's much easier to justify seized improperly marked cargo and unstamped alcohol than it is seizing buckets of nails and bags of hops for example.>>4793864I ain't gonna tell y'all how to live your life or what to do Anon. It's your Journey after all, I'm just saying how things go along it.
>[Pragmatic] action taken.To be honest, you aren’t entirely sure how you feel about the growing familiarity between you and everyone in the caravan. It’s ‘Not Done’ to get too attached to ‘The Help’ as your Aunt Carol not-so-subtly puts it after the first couple glasses of wine goes around the dinner table. Still, it’s pleasant to be able to tell a joke that gets actual reactions, as well as not having to fake deep interest in this year’s grape harvest or speculations on potential pork prices next year. The men’s interests regarding grapes and pork are more in line with “How much do I get today?”, and “How much spices did the cook put on it?”, rather than focusing on piglets not yet born and wine not yet fermented. It’s refreshing, like easing into a hot bath after a heavy bout of sparring.“I do appreciate everything you and the other carters have been doing Johnny. Without the lot of you, this endeavour would be dead in the water.” Johnny dismisses it with a pbbbtt and waggle of the hand, much clearer in intent than anyone sitting stiffly in parlours making nice over weak tea.“That’s kind of you to say messir, but we’re just doing our jobs.” He steps away from the rattling chains, brushing his hands off on his breeches. “We’re all in this together, so we all have to pull our own weight. After all, the guards do their fair share, as do you of course, begging your pardon.” he quickly adds as you tilt your head at him a little. You just smile in response.“No harm, no foul Johnny. So long as they don’t get rowdy like the other Johns, we should be fine enough.” He shakes his head before going to check up on the others, and you spend the remainder of the evening stargazing, picking out constellations when they slowly light up the night sky.~~~~~~~~~~The next two days pass by in relative peace. The roads are filling up as you get closer to the city. The guards are a bit more alert, but people give the wagons a wide berth. It’s not worth risking the ire of men in armour with halberds, and the few who don’t take the hint are persuaded to stay away with a bit more force behind it. During a short break for water and food at midday, Sooty told you how much bronze was formed in the stay in Red Earth.>Used 1 day of Coal, .75 Tin, and 5.25 Copper to produce 8 Value in Bronze. Total Profit is +1.5 Value! 9 days of Coal remaining.“Aye messir, it went along well enough. I know it’s not exactly a lot of bronze, but we had both tin and copper to spare, and are probably going to be picking up more coal in the city. May as well get a bit of bronze done up before we need it, eh?” Turning a couple of the ingots in your hand, it seems a fair weight to it. The surface is a bit rough from the mould, but they are usually melted down for use, so it’s not a concern.[1/2]
>>4793941“Yes Miguel, they look quite good. I’ll be sure to talk to you about metal plans when we’re in the estate. That way, we can get it prepared for the road ahead. Keep up the good work.” He takes them back, his face beaming almost brighter than the sunlight off of them as he walks away whistling. You look away from his back, and catch Snorri’s eye while she finishes chewing some dried fruit. She swallows, and shakes her head sadly when you walk over to her.“Not a subtle bone in his body, bless his heart. Damned lucky that he hasn’t been taken for a ride when he got to Port Josiah.” You shrug, taking out a cigarillo from it’s case. Damn, last one. Need to roll more today while Nathaniel is taking up the goad.“I mean, when it comes to bargaining, he can hold his own. It took some effort to talk him down to a reasonable rate, for sure.” You probably still could have gotten it lower if you spent more time on it, but getting a journeyman dwarven-trained smith at that rate was still profitable. “At least he does the job well enough. Can’t ask for much more, really.” Snorri sighs before peeling off another couple slices of dried apple in her pouch.“Aye, fair enough I suppose. Beats some of the travelling smiths we had before.”>[Surly] “Gods, I know. Remember that one from Seal’s Harbour that left with Kaspar? He made the one in Angelsfield look like Saint Reah.” Reflect on things, just spending time visiting and chatting. Snorri’s brash and rough, but good company, if not exactly polite company.>[Gregarious] “Speaking of travelling, have you gotten more letters from home lately? I’ve been meaning to ask before we left home, but things keep getting in the way and distracting me.” Use this opportunity to try to ask her about some personal information that’s been bothering you. Write-in some questions. Depending on the nature of the questioning, Rolls may be Required.>[Pragmatic] “Hey Snorri, I forgot to ask while we were still in town. What projects are you working on right now? If you need more wool, I’ll section some off from the batts for you.” Inquire about what she’s been working on lately. She’s been spinning a lot of wool, more than usual. Almost as much as when she made that baby blanket for your sister.>[Write-in?]Fucking formatting errors.
>>4793942>[Gregarious] “Speaking of travelling, have you gotten more letters from home lately? I’ve been meaning to ask before we left home, but things keep getting in the way and distracting me.” Use this opportunity to try to ask her about some personal information that’s been bothering you. Write-in some questions. Depending on the nature of the questioning, Rolls may be Required.Seriously, what's the deal with the letter she was crying over? You don't mean to insinuate her performance has been impacted-- she's been invaluable over the last few legs, helping with that scammer guy and kicking out those drunks, among other miscellanea-- but you're concerned on a purely personal level, as a friend. Is there anything you can do?Also, what projects are she working on? (If she opens up re: point one, do the two things seem connected to us? If so, use that as a segue)
>>4793976Taking this write-in as starting with a talk about if she got any letters recently, and if she starts to stonewall again, bring up the good work she was doing so far, as well as a personal level of concern. If things go well, probably mention her spinning too.Does that get the gist across for what you were aiming for?
>>4793976>Gregarious Write-in>Roll Required! Target Value is 42. (40 Base, +3 for prior history, +3 for Gregarious, +4 for Indirect write-in, +2 for Winning the Duel (Garland), +0 for Emotional, -3 for Doesn't want to talk about it, -2 for Guarded, -2 for Went Off Alone (Bridge), -3 for ???)You currently have 1 out of 1 re-rolls, and 1 charge of FATE. Send out those 2x 1d100s.
Rolled 38 (1d100)>>4794029
>>4794031If another 5 minutes go without a roll, give it another to get this ball a-moving.
Rolled 37 (1d100)>>4794043I don't want to spend a reroll if this doesn't critfail.
>>4794031>>4794061>Best roll is a 37. -5 from TV. NARROW SUCCESS!Called and writing, probably last one for tonight.
>[Gregarious] action taken with Write-in. Roll is Required to ask about the letter you saw her with around 10 days ago.>Roll Required! Target Value is 42. (40 Base, +3 for prior history, +3 for Gregarious, +4 for Indirect write-in, +2 for Winning the Duel (Garland), +0 for Emotional, -3 for Doesn't want to talk about it, -2 for Guarded, -2 for Went Off Alone (Bridge), -3 for ???)>>4794031>>4794061>Best roll is a 37. -5 from TV. NARROW SUCCESS! You learn why, at the expense of sharing something yourself.Now is about as good a time as any to segue into that letter she was reading in Angelsfield that made her tear up. It’s been niggling at you, and you’d rather find out why sooner instead of later. “Speaking of travelling, have you gotten more letters from home lately? I’ve been meaning to ask before we left home, but things keep getting in the way and distracting me,” you ask in a lackadaisical tone, as if it just occurred to you naturally.Her face immediately sets like stone, not looking directly at you. “Aye, I got one from Finne just before we left home Tris. How about you? Been writing to your mam and da? He’s done good by me, so you’d best be making them worry too much.”You use one of the last lucifers to light the cigarillo. It’s annoying, because you could have used a coal if everyone stopped long enough for a fire, but the couple horseflies buzzing around makes it a priority. “I’m going to let them know when we get to the estate. It’ll give me a reason to avoid talking to the family at least once during our stay if I’m writing. Plus, that way it’s more than a handful of sentences.” She snorts at that while you draw the blessed smoke into your lungs.“Well, don’t put it off too long. Mothers and fathers worry about their children you know. It’ll put their minds at ease.” Her nose wrinkles a little as you exhale, letting it trickle out of your nostrils. “If you’re wondering how to fill the space, just sketch something. Rueben loves those life drawings stuff, and it’s been a while since he went to Iskander.”“I’ll keep that in mind.” You both stand there in silence for a while, watching the rest of the caravan work. Finally, you ask the question that was bothering you in a low tone. “So, what was in that letter from Finne, Snorri?”She tenses, and mumbles back in an acidic tone. “A heaping helping of mind your own Tris.”“Look, Snorri, I haven’t seen you like that in years. Not since Kas went into the waters.” She’s sullen and silent as you continue. “You haven’t let it bother you, and nothing has gone wrong so far. I’m not accusing you of anything, but I am concerned about you. If it’s bad, you can let me know. I’m just worried, because if there’s something I could do about it, I’m not one to shirk my duty. Both as a boss, and as a friend.”[1/2]
>>4794108The silence draws long, long enough for you to finish your smoke. As you stub off the ashes on the heel of your boot, you’re just about to turn away to get back to the wagons when she finally speaks. “Tris, if I tell you, you have to tell me something first. Something you haven’t told anyone, since it’s what you’re asking of me. A fair trade, made in good faith.” She looks at you, her grey eyes like storms on the horizon. “And if I find out you told someone else, both of what you tell me or what I tell you, you’ll regret it.”>[Surly] “May the pikes eat my eyes if I betray your trust.” Spit on the ground, and swear on the old faith and Three Fathers. There’s power in stories, and even if you aren’t particularly pious, you still have superstitions about it. She doesn’t believe in mainlander gods, but swearing on her own will be adequate. [Memories of Liberté]>[Gregarious] “Well, you have the leg up on me about it. Since it was a letter from Finne, would a love story work for you?” Swapping stories is a primary tenet of Kalimdorite faith. Those who speak second get to pick the topic, but those who speak first get to set the terms. She’s not pious in the slightest, but she is no oathbreaker. The iron band on her bicep is proof of that. [Memories of Love Lost].>[Pragmatic] “You know, if it’s that meaningful and painful to you, I’ll drop it. No sense in causing unnecessary grief after all.” Swear on your own name to let her keep her own counsel. Curiousity is a hell of a thing, but there are boundaries you aren’t willing to cross. The scars on your face and the ones on her arms are proof that some things are better left forgotten. [Everyone has a Cross to Bear].>[Write-in?]Leaving this one open, because it’s a vote with some weight behind it. Oaths are not to made lightly between friends, and an oathbreaker is lower than the worms in the dirt.[2/2]
>>4794108>best NOT be making them worry to much.A missed word that dramatically changes the context around the sentence.
>>4794109>[Gregarious] “Well, you have the leg up on me about it. Since it was a letter from Finne, would a love story work for you?” Swapping stories is a primary tenet of Kalimdorite faith. Those who speak second get to pick the topic, but those who speak first get to set the terms. She’s not pious in the slightest, but she is no oathbreaker. The iron band on her bicep is proof of that. [Memories of Love Lost].Finally, waifu lore!
>>4794109>>[Surly] “May the pikes eat my eyes if I betray your trust.” Spit on the ground, and swear on the old faith and Three Fathers. There’s power in stories, and even if you aren’t particularly pious, you still have superstitions about it. She doesn’t believe in mainlander gods, but swearing on her own will be adequate. [Memories of Liberté]
>>4794109>>[Gregarious] “Well, you have the leg up on me about it. Since it was a letter from Finne, would a love story work for you?” Swapping stories is a primary tenet of Kalimdorite faith. Those who speak second get to pick the topic, but those who speak first get to set the terms. She’s not pious in the slightest, but she is no oathbreaker. The iron band on her bicep is proof of that. [Memories of Love Lost].This seems like the least likely thing to become an issue in the future.
>>4794115>>4794428>talk about how you got this scar.>>4794159>talk about how you got these other scars.Called and writing. Running a bit late, because we nearly hit some wildlife on the way back. Avoided it, but had to wait for the herd of elk to finish crossing the road.
>[Gregarious] action takenWithout hesitation, you stare Snorri back in her eyes before answering. “Well, you have the leg up on me about it. We can do a story swap in the Kalimdorite way if you please. Since it was a letter from Finne, would a love story work for you?”“I don’t agree with that mainlander story swapping nonsense. Gives one party all the leverage.” She sneers a little, before spitting between your feet.” We’ll do it elven style. You tell me what happened with you and Miriam, and I’ll tell you what happened depending on how I feel.” She’s clearly trying to bait me into dropping it. You hesitate a little, the memories already starting to creep back in. As the sneer turns a bit triumphant, you spit between her feet, and extend a hand. She seems a bit taken aback, but the sneer turns into a genuine smile as she grips your wrist, and you grasp hers with a squeeze, as the trickle of bad memories rushes into a flood.“Deal.”~~~~~~It was a blazing summer day, with Kaspar having already left on his ill-fated trip. You had a bad feeling about it, but Nadine insisted that he would be fine. “Kas is strong and smart Tris, he’ll come back covered in gilt and ivory.” You tried your best to put aside the worry, throwing yourself into the business prospects with your father. Being subservient to the whims of the Trunk grated, but it was still freer than Liberté Gymnasium. Funny, how a place named after freedom felt so much like a prison.You were courting Miriam for around four months at the time. What was initially cool relations, set up to secure the market on cherry brandy and give the Whitewood’s an opportunity to break into the powder trade, became friendlier. She had a quick wit, and seemed to relish in making you break your cool. While you stumbled through a response to a verbal jab, she’d laugh like tinkling glass bells. The sharp intake of her breath at your, frankly amateurish, poetry sent your heart soaring like an osprey. Both of your parents looked on from a respectful distance with knowing glances, glad that there would be a chance at a happy marriage in it. Most marriages aren’t made with spousal happiness in mind, viewing it as a pleasant bonus rather than the goal.Things were starting to get to the point where the marriage contracts were being drawn up when it happened. You were visiting with a few friends at a public house. The five of you were celebrating the apparent engagement you’d have in the future. It was as you received the third toast that you overheard that bastard Sinclair a few tables over. “Aye, marrying to a damned Whitewood wench.”“What did you say, coward? I could barely hear you squeaking like a churchmouse.” Eric’s poxy face sized you up, as both of your groups of companions tried their best to cool the temperature.[1/3]
>>4799498“I said, if you’d take the pebbles out of your ears Stonyfield, that your woman is used goods. I heard her family broke off her marriage to Bren because he found her lacking enthusiasm in the sheets.” You challenged him to a duel by blades before any of the others could have stopped you, and he gladly accepted, itching to earn favour with his Capwell masters.~~~~~~~~~~“I don’t know why you accepted Tris. Eric didn’t mean his words, there’s no shame in backing down.” Miriam’s cornflower eyes were red-rimmed, and she gripped your forearm pleadingly.“Miriam, I couldn’t let Sinclair get away with what he said. The words he used, talking about you, it was all I could do to not cut him down where he stood.” Her breath hitched in great sobs, and you could feel your heart breaking in two at the sight of it. Still, a man’s word is his bond, and if you relented, it would prove that bastard right.“Still Tris, I beg you. Leave him be, he’s not worth it.” Those were the last words of hers you heard, turning away. The heaving cries and the sound of her chaperone comforting her followed you out of the courtyard, resolve hardening in your chest as you vowed to make Sinclair bleed a drop for every tear she shed over this.Tristan’s still talking in a flat tone, staring into the middle distance, his mind stuck three years in the past. Thin tears are running down his face, unbidden and unnoticed while he recounts the events to Snorri. She lays a comforting arm over his shoulder, silencing the approaching Johnny with a glare that cuts to the bone. As the older carter walks away to let everyone know that the rest is going to be longer than expected, Snorri turns back towards Tristan, trying to catch the flow of words from the man who she knew the father and grandfather of so well.“He got me along the face. Both of the seconds asked if we were done, and I said ‘No.’ He was halfway through turning back to the fight as I got him in the chest. My face was blazing along the nose, and all I could smell or taste was blood. Feeling the breeze through my split lip, I thrust out with the rapier while he was off guard. The surprised look on his face made the whole thing worth it, at least for the moment. I didnt even notice that he had two feet of steel sticking of his back until he collapsed to his knees.”Snorri’s tone is surprisingly soft, at odds with most of the times you heard her speak. “Aye Tris, I remember that much. I thought you were fighting him over a slight against the family. That’s why I gave you so much shit over it. Family is well and good, but murder is murder after all.” You run your hands over your face, feeling a strange dampness on them. Damn it, didn’t even notice that I was crying.[2/3]
>>4799500“Well, after killing Sinclair, Miriam’s family didn’t want anything to do with us. Siding with us in marriage would already cause trouble with the Capwells. Marrying the Stonyfield who killed one of their spawn’s husband would be not just rubbing salt into the wound, but tipping out a jug of acid on top of it.” You reflexively reach for your cigarillos before remembering that you finished the last one before this conversation. While you’re cursing your rotten luck, Snorri talks quietly on your left.“Tris, if I was in your boots, they wouldn’t have even found the body. Of him or his second.” There’s a short pause as the elf gathers her thoughts. “Are you still holding out hope?”>[Surly] “No, those chances are long gone. Still, it hurts deep. I don’t know if it ever will stop hurting.” She’s likely been married off to another promising young man, and you both know that it was set up by the families. Still, you doubt you’ll ever find someone you’ll care for as much again. [Stoneheart]>[Gregarious] “I’d be a damned fool if I did. A fool on the level that would stab a man with a lit fuze next to half a dozen kegs of powder.” It would take a substantial effort to gain her parent’s approval now. Like becoming an associate with the Brazen Cairn Company. [Foolhardy]>[Pragmatic] “No, and it’s high time that I realize that. It’s been three years now. If she still cared for me, it wouldn’t have mattered to her family. I bet that they would have married her off already.” It hurt more than you thought, but you can heal now that the infection has cleared. Scars fade in time, and you’re willing to get cut deep again. [Heart on Your Sleeve]>[Write-in?][3/3]
>>4799502>[Gregarious] “I’d be a damned fool if I did. A fool on the level that would stab a man with a lit fuze next to half a dozen kegs of powder.” It would take a substantial effort to gain her parent’s approval now. Like becoming an associate with the Brazen Cairn Company. [Foolhardy]WAIFU LORE: REVEALEDMOTIVATION: ESTABLISHED
>>4799548>Even now, there is hope for ManCalled, and writing.
>[Gregarious] action taken. [Foolhardy] trait revealed! Tristan is a bit of a sucker when it comes to long odds and storybook endings. Still, it has paid off in the past, and can pay off again in the future, if you make the right calls at the right times.You laugh bitterly, placing the empty case back in your pouch and wiping your face on your sleeve. At least it’s my riding clothes. It’d be a shame if I stained my better clothing. “I’d be a damned fool if I did. A fool on the level that would stab a man with a lit fuze next to half a dozen kegs of powder.” The snuffbox that Miriam gave you as a gift still has some inside. You fetch it out and stare at the carvings while Snorri gives you a punch on the shoulder.“I mean, that was a damned fool thing to do Tris. Reminds me a lot of your granda.” You nod blankly, tipping out a bit of the snuff in the crook of your hand. “Well, it’s fair exchange for what I’m gonna tell ya Tris. How far back do you want me to go?”“As far as you’re willing to say Hildr. It’s up to you to determine how much that was worth.” Her nose wrinkles again, but she relents at your casual usage of her given name. She brushes her left index knuckle against her teeth while you inhale the snuff, the burn taking the last of the sorrow with it.“Well, I guess I’d better give some backstory, since you did too. You know why I gained service with you and yours?” Still sniffling, you set the snuffbox away before answering.“Something about how my grandad saved your life. Father never talked about it much, said it was in the past.” She looks upwards and puffs out her cheeks, blowing air out like a schoolgirl instead of a woman at least six times your age.“Weeell, that’s part of it. Actually, I was sent a-reaving from King Harald. They wanted to send Finne, but I went in his place. His place is at home, fletching arrows and making bows, not loosing them into human torsos, begging your pardon.” You just grunt by way of response as she continues.“Either way, good king Harald Bracken-spar caught a lance to the jaw while we went after the stumpies, and we were taken as bounty. See, the Harrotians have a funny thing about taking prisoners. You either bondage off, or get the hempen dance if you catch my drift.” You nod at her glance, and she scratches her ear. “So, I’m standing there, with a rope around me neck, waiting to visit the three fathers and explain why I didn’t die fighting. As the headsman was oiling the hinges, some brown-hair came striding up out of the crowd. Said I owed him money, and he’d be damned if I went to the dark before paying up.”[1/2]
>>4799728You look over at her, noticing her face getting redder at the embarrassment. “So, with a man in a black hood standing around tit-height, I swore service to your granda for fifty years. They wrapped my arm in an iron bangle, and I walked alongside him for a time.” She’s fiddling with the rusted iron band around her bicep as she talks. “It were a rough few years, in the beginning. I’d threaten to cave his stupid face in, and he’d just laugh in response. Pulled him out of a fire, and the bugger ran his hand up my thigh. Nearly broke all the teeth in his head at that.”You don’t have many memories of your grandfather. A hard man, he was as prone to mirth as a marble statue. The fact that apparently he was a rake is completely at odds with the stern taskmaster with a tight grip on ledgers and scales you recall. “So, how does that factor into the letter?”“I’m getting to that Tris. So, I became bonded with your family because of it. Your da was about to be a man when we got back. That randy bugger of a grandfather says to me ‘Now Snorri, look after me boy. He’s a young man, with all the problems that young man have. Keep him from making mistakes.’ It’d be more sincere if he din’t slap me on the arse when he did it.” She’s fiddling with her beret while the words keep falling out. “Either way, your da is a good man. Do right by him, and make him proud. Now, I have a hank of Finne’s hair. It’s tradition when your love goes a-reaving, that you send something to remember you by.”Snorri withdraws a small canvas pouch from around her neck. You think there’s something else on the chain, that she quickly tucks into her shirt before you get a good look at it. “See, it’s supposed to be good luck. Normally it’s from a woman to her man, but Finne is a good man, who’d stand by me no matter what happens.” She opens up the pouch, and you see three silvery-blonde hairs inside. You’re still looking as she whispers. “You know, you humans still have a bit of magic in your blood. So, while I’m watching over your da in Iskander, I find out there’s a bloke who can cast spells that talk to people far away. Alls I need is a drop of blood, or a few hairs of whoever you want to talk to. He weaves them up in his spell, and you can speak to them as if they’re right in front of you.”“So, if that’s the case, why would you send letters?” Snorri knocks on your head with her knuckles and yells at you with a bit of venom.“Like I said Tris, I need hairs. Hairs that could be used for ill, if someone nasty got a hold of them. I’m lucky I had it with me already in order to use it. So, I send letters there, when I get the chance, and he sends them back, letting me know what’s happening. Why would you think I’d be weepy over some paper nowadays?”>[Why?][2/2]
>>4799733>Assuming makes an ass of you and me, Snorri, and I've made an ass of myself enough already. Just tell the story.It's a delicate topic and anything I can think of seems prone to insult if it's wrong.
>>4799773>damn shorty, I don't know shit. why you acting up like that?Called and writing, probably last update for the night.
>Assuming makes an ass of you and me, Snorri, and I've made an ass of myself enough already. Just tell the story.Rubbing your shoulder where she hit it, you grumble a response back. “Assumptions are for those who pretend to know things. Pretend I’m thick like Black John, and need everything to be spelled out in flaming letters thirty feet tall. With trumpets blaring, and a chorus of heralds announcing it’s arrival.”She goggles at you angrily for a moment, before barking out a sharp laugh. “Well, if that’s the case, I’ll use baby words, just like you were a wee likkle bairn, wrapped in swaddles with mam’s milk on your breath. So, Stanny, when a mummy and a daddy love each other very much-“ You swat her on the shoulder hard, and she just laughs again. “Nay, I’ll tells ya proper. So, I need at least three hairs to talk to Finne through a magi, yeah?” You nod as she holds up three fingers in front of you. “So, I have three hairs, enough for one chat One chat where I can see his face, as well as the faces of my darling children in his home. How many years do I have left in service to you and yours?” You rack your brain, trying to think about how long she has been sworn to your family. It must be getting close to the end of the contract. Otherwise, she wouldn’t be so emotional about it.“Not even the faintest clue Snorri, that was before my time. A couple?” She sighs, and holds up both hands, all the fingers out-stretched.“Ten years, Tris. Ten feckking years, and one chat that isn’t by letter with my husband. Now, and use your brain here, how long do you think it’s been since I talked to him last? Hearing the sounds of my darling husband, my sons calling me mama, and being able to at least coo over them, even if I can’t touch them through the mirror?” You’re starting to feel a yawning gap stretch before you, whistling like the cries of the damned.“At least a year? That’s when you would have been around this area last, when you and Jer went to witness cousin Andrew’s marriage on behalf of the family?” She laughs again, bitter and chilly like the northern winds, flensing you to the core.[1/2]
>>4799970“Try seven years Tris. Seven years, when I was reduced to three hairs.” Snorri takes out the three hairs gingerly, treating them as if they were of golden spider silk, threatening to break in the breeze. “I spent them like a sailor on shore leave once I knew there was a way to talk to my family. Before I knew it, I was counting every hair I had left in my pouch. The last time I talked to Finne properly, my son Olaf was still mad at me. Kaspar was still years away from his kenning. My step-son Lukas had just had a baby girl.” Her voice is cracking with emotion as the words spill out like a shattered jug. “Finne told me he still loved me, despite the crows-feet at my eyes. Said he’d kiss away every last wrinkle until I looked as smooth as a hen’s egg. I told him that you were becoming a man, and that Abraham went into the waters.” Her voice is running faster, and tears begin to glisten at her eyes while the words keep flowing.“I told him that I could only talk to him once more before coming home, and I’d save it for when it counted most. That last letter he gave me said that Olaf finally made peace with my reaving, and was courting a rancher’s daughter. Finally, I might have a grandchild that was mine, instead of Helga’s, may her soul find peace.” She looks up at you, tears running wild like rain from a cloud. “Do you know how hard it is, to see your charge’s children have children of their own, while yours are on the other side of the continent with a whole mountain range in the way?” She starts bawling openly now, and you’re at a loss of what to do.>[Surly] Stay silent, and wrap her in a hug. Words won’t help in this situation, just be there for her while she gets it out of her system. If anyone comes by, persuade them to find something else to do. There’s pressing matters over on the other side of the clearing, move along.>[Gregarious] “Well, I suggest you make it count. After all, we’ll be going that way, and he’ll be at the Kingsmoot, yes?” Try and reassure her with platitudes while she calms down. It’s hard to figure out what to say, but generally positive murmurs should help with it.>[Pragmatic] A crying woman is not a common occurrence in your life. If it’s like whenever your sister’s were like this, letting her cry it out with a few “There there”s and holding a handkerchief out for her should help. Granted, she’s old enough that’s awkward, but this situation of Snorri crying her eyes out on the side of a road with her mule looking at her while chewing it’s cud is about as awkward as it can get.>[Write-in?]That’ll have to be it for tonight. Next session should kick off on the 13th at 01:30 UCT, if everything goes well. Have a good one, and take care out there![2/2]
>>4799972>[Surly] Stay silent, and wrap her in a hug. Words won’t help in this situation, just be there for her while she gets it out of her system. If anyone comes by, persuade them to find something else to do. There’s pressing matters over on the other side of the clearing, move along.snorri still best girl (platonic)maybe we can break her out of the contract early if we make it into the grand company and get our waifu back?
>>4800021>breaking Snorri out of her contract earlySo, technically, Snorri entered an indentureship contract with Abraham all those years ago. In exchange for her life, she owed him fifty years of her own. For humans, that would be a substantial portion of their lifespan, fitting for saving their life from the gallows. Now, given the intricacies of Lorian law, her contract was to Abraham Stonyfield, of the Green Stonyfields. The Green Stonyfields are subservient to the Gray Stonyfields, who themselves are subservient to the Coral Throne (notionally). As such, while Abraham was still alive, he decided how Snorri would spend her service. When Abraham died, her contract passed on to the Grays, as they are further up the chain of responsibility than Abraham’s family. They decided to hand her off to your father, Rueben, because they didn’t know what to do with her. She’s brash, confrontational, vulgar, and prone to violence at a short notice. Not exactly a smooth fit in courtly circles, and bound to cause incidents that they would prefer to avoid.Your father had her alternate between training House Guard, and acting as a bodyguard for his children whenever they left Port Josiah on various ventures. She had trained a lot of the House Guard who went with your cousin Kaspar on his journey, and was talked out of going with him by your mother Annabelle. Your father sent her with you, because Snorri swore that she would see you home, no matter the cost. Even though Rueben is nominally in charge of Snorri’s contract, the contract itself is still held by the Gray Stonyfields. As far as you recall, it’s your uncle Noah, cousin Robert’s father who is in charge of it. Even if you wanted to, he has the final say in the state of her contract until it lapses. Even if she isn’t exactly court material, Snorri has had a lot of practice and experience in training guards, as well as acting in a bodyguard role for people like you who aren’t expecting to brush elbows with high society anytime soon. It would take a lot of persuasion or leverage to get them to let go of her, given the value that she provides to the House's endeavours. Like say, risking losing a way in with a Grand Company, as an example that has no bearing on the quest whatsoever. :^)
>>4800153Oh, damn, so we'd have to pick between best girl (waifu) and best girl (platonic)? That's rough. But I won't put the cart before the horse, here, we still have to get in first!
>>4799972>>[Surly] Stay silent, and wrap her in a hug. Words won’t help in this situation, just be there for her while she gets it out of her system. If anyone comes by, persuade them to find something else to do. There’s pressing matters over on the other side of the clearing, move along.
>>4801731>picking between them.I think you might have misread my poorly-worded spoiler. Having the leverage AS the only young and fit family representative, of either the Gray OR the Green Stonyfields, in a Grand Company would make breaking Snorri's contract early a possibility for Tristan.Right now, your family has very little leverage over the Trunk to get them to do anything that the Trunk doesn't want to do, since it's a junior family on the Branch side of House Stonyfield. A request for releasing a valuable vassal from a binding contract with little financial incentive would require a lot of influence or debt being taken on by your father as it stands right now, since Tristan doesn't hold any substantial assets like businesses, land, or shipping to force them to care about things you care about. Debt that would be crippling in addition to what has already been taken on to make up for your brother Jer's failed ventures, and your sister Jessica's expensive dowry to wed Micheal Osmund.Now, if Tristan has a position as an associate with the Brazen Cairn Company, who run the massive foundries and workshops on the cliffsides of the city of Merone, that changes things. The Brazen Cairn handles around 60% of the Lorian production of corned gunpowder, and the very best bronze cannons in the continent have the telltale cairn of stones trademark on their barrels. Even if it's as a junior member with the Company, having a friendly voice to the family's interests with a massive consumer of bronze, steel, coal, lead, saltpeter, sulphur, and iron is no small matter. Especially because it's extraordinarily difficult for a middling level family like the Stonyfields to get a foot in the door against established rivals like the Berruci or Tyrons who have a firm grasp on a lot of Companies hiring choices. Coming home with a profit margin that cannot be ignored or brushed aside as mere luck will force those rivals to give ground and allow you a place at the table.If the tragedy of cousin Kaspar's death didn't happen, that would have been a less strong and unique position you'd hold if you succeed. You wouldn't be the only one with ties to a Grand Company in the Stonyfields, after all. Also, if it seems contrived, or like the Trunk would still tell you to go pound salt regardless, there was a reason you're aiming for the Brazen Cairn instead of one of the other Companies. Think about exactly WHICH parts of the Stonyfield's assets and income portfolio is under the control of the Grays, and which of them are under the control of the Greens. Politics in Noble Houses don't just stop at inter-House rivalries.
>>4802399Ah, okay, I read it as either "join Company, get prestige, win back waifu (or more likely get tragically rejected at the climax as she turns out to be married or ded)" or "get the chance to join Company, but turn it down to save Snorri instead." But pic related. I'm certainly not complaining.
>>4800021>>4802136>let her cry it out into your chest and shoulders, platonicallyCalled and writing.
>[Surly] action taken.While Snorri heaves big, gross tears, you decide to wrap your arms around her and let her cry it out. It’s more than a little awkward, both in that she’s slightly taller and heavier built than you, and that you’re not entirely sure if you should be patting her on the back or stroking her on the head like when you were comforting your sister in the past. You settle for patting her on the upper back by the shoulder blades, instead of risking pulling on her fishtail braid, or having your other hand get too low and earn you a punch in the kidneys for your effort. A few muffled words work their way out in between sobs.“Soes, I’ll tells Finne that he should be at the moot when we’re in Iskander. That way, I cans tell him, snrrrk, can tell him to get me another hank o’ hair. Then, I can talk to him more often before I get back there.” She continues on in this way for another while, you just mumbling reassurances while the crying eventually slows. The two of you are uninterrupted, although you can swear that some of Victor’s people are talking off to the side. Probably thinking something more salacious is going on than is actually happening between us.Finally, when she seems all cried out, you let her go, passing her the frilly blue handkerchief. She blows her nose loudly, while you look at the wet spot on your shirt. Definitely glad it’s my riding clothes now. She’s still wiping at her face while you fetch out your nicely patterned green handkerchief and hand it over as well. “Here, you can use mine, Snorri. Yours is looking a bit soggy right now.”She sniffles into it, starting to regain her composure. “Is not my fault you mainlander’s hankies aren’t made of thicker material. It’s like they’re just for some maid’s single, dainty tear at moonlight or summat like that.”Chuckling, you jibe her back. “Well, you’re not exactly a demure maiden anymore. Demure maidens don’t have two children of their own, or leap onto well-meaning men on horseback to choke them out.” She swats at you with her hand, throwing the handkerchief at your face. At least she’s bouncing back well.“I can be demure if I need to be! Some of those strumpets at your courts though, if they got on anything other than a broken-down nag to ride, they’d be wringing mud out of those fancy dresses when they get pitched off.” There’s a brief pause, and she leers at you while finishing. “Besides, if you didn’t want to roll in the dirt with me like a peasant, you should’ve stayed on your horse Stanny.”[1/2]
>>4807080You throw your hands up dramatically and pretend to walk away, as she laughs away the last of the sadness. Holding the used handkerchief at a remove, you turn back towards Snorri. “So, are we square?” She nods, packing away her handkerchief and having her face settle back to a neutral state. Other than the tell-tale redness and puffiness around her eyes, she seems more or less normal again.“Aye, we’re square. Remember what I said though. If you squeal-““Yes, I know. I’ll regret it horribly. Same if you tell anyone what I told you.” You extend your hand forwards, and she pulls you into a close embrace and tousles your hair roughly, like a small grandchild being doted on by a loving grandmother.“Aye Tris, don’t worry about that. Aunty Snorri will keep yer secrets, you can believe that.” You swat back at her in turn, and she cackles again while the two of you walk back towards the caravan, “Oi, you lazy sods! Breaks over, hands off cocks and on with socks! It’s a beautiful day, so let’s take advantage of it!”~~~~~~~~~The next day or two pass in relative peace. The caravan stops briefly in a coaching town, letting Victor’s troupe earn some coin and Sooty take a look over the wagons. They seem to holding up well, and none of the animals are having any issues. While everyone else gets ready to break out the tents and bedrolls, you decide that in the morning, you’ll send the runner ahead to warn the family at the estate. Now comes the hard part of deciding who to send.>[Surly] Go yourself, with one of the guards in tow. It’ll be lot harder for them to refuse if you show up in person, and they can’t just snub your guards that way. You’ll have to leave the caravan in the hands of one of the other Heads though. [Pick one Head to take over, and pick one (H) guard to accompany you.]>[Gregarious] Send three guards, as a show of faith. It will leave you a bit undermanned for riders, but it will stress the severity of your message. Besides, you’re two days ride away from a major city. Any bandits operating this close are both obscenely brave and obscenely stupid. [Pick 3 (H) guards to send ahead]>[Pragmatic] Send two guards, enough to ensure that both will be there. If the family raise a stink about lack of deference, you’ll retort with the fact that you only have so many personnel to spare right now. You’d rather have more than one fast horse available to you if things should happen. [Pick 2 (H) guards to send ahead.]>[Write-in?]Current horseman guards are Lionel (Snorri’s second in command), Marcel (You usually commandeer his horse while riding on guard shifts), Randall (Horsey face, seems nervous a lot), and Jared? (Forgettable face, apparently a bit of a rake). Snorri could also go, if she swaps her ill-tempered mule for one of the other’s horse as well. However, Seafoam only lets her ride on his back, and will turn one of the other horseman into a foot guard for now.[2/2]
>>4807082>[Surly] Go yourself, with one of the guards in tow. It’ll be lot harder for them to refuse if you show up in person, and they can’t just snub your guards that way. You’ll have to leave the caravan in the hands of one of the other Heads though. [Pick one Head to take over, and pick one (H) guard to accompany you.]Bring Lionel, put Miguel in charge. Snorri needs a break after that,
>>4807087>[Surly] Go yourself, with one of the guards in tow. It’ll be lot harder for them to refuse if you show up in person, and they can’t just snub your guards that way. You’ll have to leave the caravan in the hands of one of the other Heads though. [Pick one Head to take over, and pick one (H) guard to accompany you.]Lionel, leave Snorri in charge.
>>4807087solid plan, voting for this>>4807082
>>4807087>>4807091>>4807097>do it yourself, with Lionel in tow, and Sooty left in charge>>4807095>do it yourself, with Lionel in tow, and Snorri left in charge.Called, and writing.
>[Surly] action taken.“Er, are you sure about this messir Stonyfield?” You look away from checking over Marcel’s saddle to look past your horse at Miguel. The poor devil looks like a frightened deer, visibly sweating even in the coolness of the morning. “I mean, I don’t know the first thing about driving big wagons, or setting up rotations, or anything else like that!” His usual tenor jumps up a couple bars, and he’s starting to babble a little. You rest a companionable hand on his shoulder.“It’ll be fine Sooty. Johnny will handle any of the stops, and Snorri will keep anyone from getting into trouble. It’s just for today and tomorrow, not the rest of the whole journey. Besides,” and you gesture towards the faintest hint of smoke on the horizon. “It’s not like you can get lost. Just keep going forward, and if the other’s ask you anything, just do what I would do.”“Smoke a big cigar, and glare at them until they go away?” Your hand on his shoulder tightens in a vicegrip that he doesn’t notice in his panic, and the smile on your face becomes a bit more of a grimace. “I don’t smoke though, and some of the carters were poking fun at the way I asked Red John to help load up my wagon.” You squeeze his shoulder again, and he winces before looking at you.“Well then, treat them the same way you treated that smith in Angelsfield if they start acting out. A slight against you while I’m gone is a slight against myself. If they know better, they’ll keep their mouths shut.” Miguel takes a deep, gulping breath, before nodding. You release the deathgrip on his shoulder, and he absentmindedly begins to rub it. “Like I said Miguel, I’m trusting you for a reason. Just listen to Snorri when it comes to any of the guards, and take Johnny’s advice when it comes to taking a break during the day. Alright?” He nods glumly, before walking over to your head drover like a man to the gallows. Lionel sidles up to while you watch him walk away.“They’re going to eat the poor bugger alive.” You take out a freshly rolled cigarillo, and contemplate lighting it. No, I only have the one lucifer to spare. May as well wait until later, and savour it.“Well, it’s his first time as a lead hand. I’d hate to have to find a new smith on short notice if he gives himself an aneurysm.” Lionel just shrugs as the two you mount up and ride away, waving to the front outrider before focusing on the road ahead.[1/2]
>>4807245Lionel is rather quiet, but you don’t mind that. It beats having Randall be a bag of nerves, or Gareth leering at the women you pass by. Marcel wouldn’t be too bad of company either, but you are riding his horse. It’d be a damned fool sight to see two men riding on the same horse, one that you’d never live down if your cousin Andrew is home. Chewing on a bit of dried meat, you take a quick measure of the daylight left. Sun will be setting soon.>[Surly] Ride hard, and arrive at the estate just after sunset. They might be a bit cranky about a late arrival, but you’d rather give them as much time to prepare accommodations as possible. You are bringing a fair amount of people to stay after all.>[Gregarious] Stop for the night at the first village you see, and ride out bright and early in the morning. Showing up with a fresh wash from the basin, and with well-rested horses will make a good impression on your relatives. One that will probably smooth over any rough patches.>[Pragmatic] Ride as late as you can, and camp alongside the road. You’ll still arrive there tomorrow in the mid-morning, early enough to give them a fair amount of advance warning. Enough that it should be minimal grumbling from your aunt, hopefully.>[Write-in?]Your estimate, if nothing goes wrong, is that the caravan will arrive early evening tomorrow. If anything goes wrong, there is still two outriders they can send ahead to let you know.[2/2]
>>4807247>>[Gregarious] Stop for the night at the first village you see, and ride out bright and early in the morning. Showing up with a fresh wash from the basin, and with well-rested horses will make a good impression on your relatives. One that will probably smooth over any rough patches.
>>4807247>[Gregarious] Stop for the night at the first village you see, and ride out bright and early in the morning. Showing up with a fresh wash from the basin, and with well-rested horses will make a good impression on your relatives. One that will probably smooth over any rough patches.
Shit, forgot I had a job interview early in the morning before I go to work on some chimneys. Will have to call this session short. I'll do up another session tomorrow at 01:30 UCT like normal. Don't think I have anything going on the day after, other than driving out to work on my parent's farm again. Have a good one, and take care out there!
>>4807283Shit, good luck. Take care of yourself.
>>4807283Ouch, best of luck OP.
>>4807259>>4807261>>4807264>freshen up, so you don't arrive looking like a sack of smashed assholes.Called and writing. Phone's been blowing up with messages all day, and have to be up at 0 dark thirty in the morning for work. Will try to get this one out and another before collapsing into my bed for sleep so I don't fall off a roof or go into the ditch tomorrow.
>[Gregarious] action taken.You pull up alongside Lionel and motion him to slow down some. As he drops down into a walk, you speak out over the clip-clop, clip-clop of slowing iron-shod hooves. “Lionel, we’re going to stopping at the next inn we see. Rest up well, and then we’ll make for the estate at daybreak.”“Aye messir, sounds like a plan to me” Lionel answers while tipping his helm in a show of deference. The two of you continue onwards in relative silence, accompanied mainly by the buzzing of insects. Most of the working people have a tendency to not look upwards at men on horseback this close to the border. Whether it be from puffed-up young men looking for a fight, or lean soldiers and mercenaries on their way to the front, it’s best not to risk offense by focusing intently on the road. Granted, given the uneasy truce after the last war, it’s more of the former nowadays instead of the latter.The two of you pull up at an inn, a crude depiction of a black charger the only indication of a name for it. While Lionel takes the two horses over to the stables, you walk inside to negotiate rooms for the night. The innkeeper is pigheaded and stubborn, but you still manage to get it for a relatively acceptable rate. I nearly forgot how cheap it is to house only two people and horses. Still, it could be cheaper than that.>Spent .15 Personal Wealth on Good Accommodations for two people and animals for the night! New Personal Wealth is 22.15.Turning over the meagre pile of coins to the innkeeper’s greedy palms, you return back to the stables to help Lionel dress down the horses. He seems a bit taken aback while you pick muck out from between Buttercup’s hooves. “Here, messir, I can take care of that.” You shake you head while winkling out a stubborn clump of something.“It’s fine Lionel. It wouldn’t be right to make you do all the work after riding all day. You haven’t been a squire for a long time, it wouldn’t be right to treat you like one now.” Switching the grip on the pick, the stubborn clump finally is pried loose. Taking the brush out, you clear out the last of the dirt before finishing your thought. “Besides, taking care of the animals was one of the things I miss most before taking up the heavy yoke of leadership.”“Aye, well, if you say so messir.” Lionel seems doubtful, but doesn’t put up much of an argument. The next while passes relatively quick, with only two ticks found between both animals. While the stablehand comes out to spread fodder and water in the troughs, the two of you wash your hands before eating a rather mediocre stew. It’s hot and filling though, even if it is a bit on the stingy side. Lionel begs pardon to go wash off the smell of horses and the road, and you look into your mug of cold water to decide on anything to do tonight.[1/2]
>>4809439>[Surly] Turn it in early, before other people show up. There’s only a common room for sleeping in, and if you want a comfortable bunk, now is the best time to look for one. Early to bed, and early to rise, something something healthy and wise.>[Gregarious] A bath sounds absolutely marvellous. It’ll probably be only in a tub in a communal environment, and likely a bit stingy with the hot water, but it’s still way better than chilly river water filled with frogs and birds.>[Pragmatic] You could try and hustle a few of the patrons staying up in the night. You’re not as much of a gambler as your brother Jer, but you do know when to cut your losses. Besides, if it covers costs, it’ll be like you never even spent the money here, right? Roll Required.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4809441>[Gregarious] A bath sounds absolutely marvellous. It’ll probably be only in a tub in a communal environment, and likely a bit stingy with the hot water, but it’s still way better than chilly river water filled with frogs and birds.might as well get the most benefit from our money
>>4809439>[Gregarious] A bath sounds absolutely marvellous. It’ll probably be only in a tub in a communal environment, and likely a bit stingy with the hot water, but it’s still way better than chilly river water filled with frogs and birds.
>>4809441>[Gregarious] A bath sounds absolutely marvellous. It’ll probably be only in a tub in a communal environment, and likely a bit stingy with the hot water, but it’s still way better than chilly river water filled with frogs and birds.
>>4809441>>[Gregarious] A bath sounds absolutely marvellous. It’ll probably be only in a tub in a communal environment, and likely a bit stingy with the hot water, but it’s still way better than chilly river water filled with frogs and birds.
>>4809444>>4809453>>4809454>>4809480>scrubby scrubby scrub, get yer arse in that tubCalled, and writing. Last update for tonight, because it's around 7 hrs or so to go before I'm supposed to wake up for that shift.
>[Gregarious] action takenYou scratch your nose, idly pausing at the scar at the tip, and feel that tell-tale itch of road dust between the shoulder blades. You know what, that bath idea of his sounds absolutely marvellous. Especially if I can get in before all the hot water gets used up. Slugging down the water, you briefly stop to pick up your things before moving over to the bathing area.It’s surprisingly well furbished for a run-down inn like this. Rather large wooden tubs are set up, with ladles and the assorted hygiene utensils around. Lionel is already stripped down, getting into one of them with a few swears. Must be cold right now. Damn. You test the water in one with your hand, feeling the tell-tale chill of water fresh from the well. At least the water in the nearby jugs is a bit warmer, even if it’s on the tepid side.Taking off your clothes and laying them nearby, you decide to go into the water all at once, to get it over with. Instantly, you feel goosebumps prickle up from your arms and teeth chatter slightly. “Blasted devils!” You can’t help but swear, and hear a faint chuckle from Lionel in the other tub. He’s vigourously running his hand through his hair, trying to rinse most of it out now.“Aye, a mite chilly messir. Must be set up that way to get people in and out.” You pour the icy water over your head, swearing some more as it trickles down your back. Unpleasant memories of Liberté bubble up, and are quickly buried in turn. Rubbing the soap to build up a nice lather, you begin scouring out your pores.“Well, I’m going to get my money’s worth out of it. So long as I don’t get frostbite in the middle of summer first, of course.” That earns you a sharp laugh, and you ladle some of the warmer water over your head. It’s still tepid, but practically scalding in comparison. At least you’re feeling wide awake and alert.“Aye, I don’t doubt that messir. Brings back memories of serving with the engineers. At least I’m not tamping gravel or digging holes anymore.” You numbly nod, while cleaning out underneath your fingernails. “Nowadays, so long as I keep the horses in good form, stay out of trouble, and make sure the lads stay out of trouble, everything’s gravy.”“Yes, well, given the way a few of the others choose to spend their spare time, that sounds like a bit of a chore.” He shrugs by way of response, and the two of you focus on cleaning up properly for the next short while. While inspecting your feet for blisters, there’s another question coming from across the way.[1/2]
>>4809543“So, messir, I know it’s not exactly good manners to pry. Still, Snorri’s kind of been acting different lately. You two wouldn’t happen to be...” He trails off, leaving the question dangling in the air like a gibbet waiting for another victim’s embrace.>[Surly] “No. No we are not.” Shut it down completely, and brook no argument on the matter. Leaving aside the massive age gap and lack of professionalism implied by fraternization, you’re not attracted to women with pointy ears and brawny arms.>[Gregarious] “No, is that what everyone has been implying? If that rumours are starting from that busybody Erica...” You’re not going to let this lie. You want names, so that you can show those rumourmongers the error of their ways in crossing a Stonyfield.>[Pragmatic] “No. You mentioned service in the engineers, correct? Any of the others with experience like that?” Switch topics to give him a chance to maintain face. Besides, if anyone has some expertise in other matters like that, it could be useful to know in a bind.>[Write-in?]Next session will be kicking off on the 17th at 02:00 when I get back home. If anything comes up, I’ll try and let you know when it happens. Have a good one, and take care out there![2/2]
>>4809545>[Pragmatic] “No. You mentioned service in the engineers, correct? Any of the others with experience like that?” Switch topics to give him a chance to maintain face. Besides, if anyone has some expertise in other matters like that, it could be useful to know in a bind.
>>4809545>[Surly] “No. No we are not.” Shut it down completely, and brook no argument on the matter. Leaving aside the massive age gap and lack of professionalism implied by fraternization, you’re not attracted to women with pointy ears and brawny arms.
Hey everyone, just popping in to drop a status update. Still on route to run the session on time tonight,for once, so shouldn't have many concerns on that front. Just wanted to give you all a heads-up that I didn't hit myself with a ricochet while shooting gophers or set all the fields on fire again. If anyone was interested, I can drop off some physical descriptions of people or lore stuff when I get back to the city and have access to my laptop again.
>>4814817I would be interested! Glad to know you're ok OP.
>>4809548>>4810512>time to derail this topic, WITH NO SURVIVORS!>>4809554>do I look like a filthy, degenerate, knife-ear shagger to you Lionel? do I?Called, and writing.>>4815076Alright, will send off some descriptions of the Caravan Heads later. Also updating the Roster inbetween updates too, since Tristan has interacted with enough of the men to have a vague idea of who's who now, somewhat. The fact that it helps me out in keeping track of them too is irrelevant to the point.
>[Pragmatic] action taken.The implication that you were interested in Snorri in that way rubs you the wrong way. Leaving aside the fact that it’s improper to be carnally interested in your retainers, she’s known your family since your own father was scarcely older than Nathaniel. It’d be weird, like being attracted to a toothless crone. Granted, calling her that is a surefire way to become toothless myself. “No. You mentioned service in the engineers, correct? Is there any of the others with experience like that?”Thankfully, Lionel is able to take a hint, and accepts the lifeline you threw handily. Must be why he’s the second in command out of the lot of them. He scratches his scruffy chin a bit before talking. “Well, Carl used to be part of Earl Levitt’s Foot back in the Leaguer wars. Got too old for that infantry nonsense, and kept on as a guard with us because it’s pretty much all he knew. Randy was part of Lord Winslow’s cavalry as a trooper back when the Deeners came around last time. He got stood back down after Harvin’s Pass, and got snatched up by the House when the levies went back home. Pretty sure he stuck around because it’s the only way he can ride something other than a broken-down nag to be honest with you messir.”That about lines up with how old those two are. Carl looks old enough to have been a child when the Crow Tower exploded at the start of the wars with the Harrotians, and those ran for a long time before grinding to a halt at the Haradeen expansion. If Randall was with Winslow’s horse at the Pass, he was part of the mop-up when the Deener’s and Grousers were put to rout. Good to know that there is some more professional man that were sent along with us. “I see. If you were with the engineers, would you have been at the Isle during the siege?”Lionel winces at the mention of the siege, and scrubs his hairy chest with a vehemence you didn’t expect. “Aye, I was. Spent four ruddy months living off of scraps a dog would turn over, listening for miners and hoping the walls held. Tell you what messir, thank the seven winds that the Deener’s ships never heard of marksmanship. So many of those cannonballs fell short that they almost could have walked up to the cliffside on the waste.” He finishes rinsing off, and begs pardon to leave. Must have hit a sore spot. Should probably avoid asking about it in the future.>Learned more about three of the Guards! [Lionel, Randall, and Carl].You finish your bath in relative quiet, and make your way back to the sleeping area. It’s already starting to fill up with travellers, but you manage to find your things and look them over. They look untouched, to your relief, and after tamping the straw pallet into something approaching a proper bedspace, you fall into a heavy, dreamless sleep.[1/2]
>>4815369The two of you ride out early, as soon as daybreak occurs. The horses are a bit recalcitrant to leave this early, but the promises of apples and sugar lumps that you bought from the innkeeper helps persuade them that it’d be better to be awake. The morning passes well, and the brightly painted city walls rise out of the wheatfields by the time you stop for a brief bit of water. Soon, you pass the pile of rocks pulled from the field, and see the road that leads to the family estate. Motioning towards it, the two of you depart the Gem Road for the flagstone roadway.Following the route westerly around an orchard, the stone manor with gray pennants of the Branch lurks like a miser beyond a clump of apple trees being tended to by farmers. The iron-bound gates are drawn shut, a bit strange for the time of day. At your approaching hoofbeats, a hail comes from the gatehouse. “Halt! Who goes there, and state your business!”>[Surly] Stay silent, and let Lionel introduce you to the gatehouse. It’s the ‘proper’ way of doing things, and this section of the family tree is heavy on the pomp and ceremony expected of their social class. May as well indulge them in this farce.>[Gregarious] “Tristan Stonyfield, here to visit my lovely aunt and uncle. Send them my regards when you let them know.” Dial up that charm, even if it’s not necessarily the most ‘proper’ way of doing things. After all, it’s not like your side of the family is expected to be prim and proper all the time.>[Pragmatic] “Tristan Stonyfield, from Port Josiah, accompanied by my bodyguard. I desire entry and an audience with my aunt and uncle.” Introduce yourself and Lionel, and state your business plainly. You’d rather get this dealt with early, and give them as much lead time as possible to get ready for the crowd coming in.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>[Surly] Stay silent, and let Lionel introduce you to the gatehouse. It’s the ‘proper’ way of doing things, and this section of the family tree is heavy on the pomp and ceremony expected of their social class. May as well indulge them in this farce.>>4815372
>>4815372>>[Surly] Stay silent, and let Lionel introduce you to the gatehouse. It’s the ‘proper’ way of doing things, and this section of the family tree is heavy on the pomp and ceremony expected of their social class. May as well indulge them in this farce.
>>4815372>[Surly] Stay silent, and let Lionel introduce you to the gatehouse. It’s the ‘proper’ way of doing things, and this section of the family tree is heavy on the pomp and ceremony expected of their social class. May as well indulge them in this farce.
>>4815441>>4815444>>4815459>go through the whole rigamarole of questions and answersCalled, and writing.
>[Surly] action taken.You’re about ready to call out yourself, before recalling that the Grays stand on ceremony harder than your side of the family does. Catching yourself before you twist in the saddle towards Lionel, you stare directly at the gatehouse while Lionel speaks up from your rear left. “Messir Tristan Stonyfield, of the Port Josiah Stonyfields, has arrived to speak to the master and mistress of the house. Can’t you read heraldry lad?” That barb is a bit uncalled for, but they should have known the family crest from the south, since it’s not that different. That sounds like the gate guard is asking for a thrashing from the master-of-arms.The two of you hear muttering from the gatehouse, and stay there in silence on horseback for what feels like eternity but is likely just a handful of minutes. You finish picking out the scrollwork on the gate before it slowly swings open. The two of you ride in, and a gaggle of servants arrive from the house to take care of the two horses. One of the men, an older fellow that has a snow-white beard doffs his hat and bows deeply as you and Lionel dismount. “Many pardons messir, it’s Nigel’s first day on gate duty. He didn’t mean to cause offence to you and yours.”“Very well, see to it that he doesn’t get too much of a punishment for it. It’s a minor lapse in judgement, and nervousness can cause such things.” If that’s the case, it wouldn’t bother to have him punished too harshly. Otherwise, it’ll likely ruin a perfectly healthy amount of suspicion in a guard. “See to the horses, they’ve had a long ride. Are my aunt and uncle in?”The two rounceys are being led away as the older fellow replaces his hat and stands back up. “Master Arin is currently out hawking with young master Andrew, and mistress Carol is in the rose garden, tending to her flowers. The lady Heather is over at the family crypts, paying her respects for the departed. The master and young master should be back soon, it’s getting close to lunch time after all.”If you leave now, you could try and talk to your uncle, he’s a softer touch than your aunt. It would mean dealing with cousin Drew though, and that’s one cousin you’d rather not see right now. Aunt Carol will be busy with her roses for a while, and interrupting her has gotten you on her sharper side before. Cousin Hettie is a bit timid from what you remember, but you haven’t seen her for the better part of twelve years. People change, Kalimdor knows that you have in that length of time.[1/2]
>>4815507>[Surly] “Where did you say my Uncle was hawking?” Uncle Arin is a bit of a stubborn old goat, but getting to him alone will prove fruitful. Aunt Carol never puts up much of an argument with him when he makes up his mind about something. It would mean dealing with Cousin Drew though, something that always gets under your skin.>[Gregarious] “Where are the crypts located again? It’s been over a decade since I’ve been this way last.” You were always on good terms with Cousin Hettie before you went away to Liberté. She might not be the most high-ranking member of the family here, but she’ll make it easier to persuade either of her parents onto your side.>[Pragmatic] “The rose garden is on the western side, correct? Past the stables?” Aunt Carol is a hard sell, but she does handle all the in-household responsibilities. If she knows about, and agrees with, having your Caravan stay here for the time planned in Iskander, everything will be ready by the time the wagons roll in.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4815509>[Gregarious] “Where are the crypts located again? It’s been over a decade since I’ve been this way last.” You were always on good terms with Cousin Hettie before you went away to Liberté. She might not be the most high-ranking member of the family here, but she’ll make it easier to persuade either of her parents onto your side.
>>4815509>>[Surly] “Where did you say my Uncle was hawking?” Uncle Arin is a bit of a stubborn old goat, but getting to him alone will prove fruitful. Aunt Carol never puts up much of an argument with him when he makes up his mind about something. It would mean dealing with Cousin Drew though, something that always gets under your skin.
So, throwing out those Caravan Head physical descriptions now, in-between the updates.>TristanSlightly shorter than average. Nut-brown skin, similar in shade to a walnut. Dark brown hair, brown eyes. Build is similar to a mix of an old-fashioned fencer and a Olympic wrestler. Light on his feet. Three pale duelist scars on his face. numerous small straight and curved scars over his body. Usually clean-shaven, beard comes in mainly along jawline and sideburns. Can't grow a mustache worth keeping. Wears green, black, and grey clothing for the most part, House Colours. Keeps his hair short on the sides, longer on top, probably can grow a quiff if he tried. No missing digits or body modifications.>SnorriSlightly taller than Tristan, tall for a woman. Blonde hair with grey shooting through it in spots, grey eyes, pale complexion with freckles that barely tans when it doesn't burn. Very muscular upper body, as you'd expect from a competent archer. Looks to be in her late 30s, early 40s. Walks with a quiet step that often surprises people. Lots of small scars, mainly on her arms, with one that looks like teethmarks on her left calf. Three tattoos, a pattern of whorls and dots on her left shoulder, a stylized walrus on her left bicep, and a broken trident on her right bicep. Wears a rusty iron bangle on her left bicep. Usually wears House Colours, with a dull blue beret when she isn't wearing armour. Hair is usually in a messy fishtail braid, with skald beads woven in it near the bottom. Shakes out to between shoulder-blades when worn down.>MiguelTallest of everyone other than Black John. Black hair, swarthy complexion, dark brown eyes. Lanky, farrier's build of corded muscle. Walks loudly, with no pretense of stealth in his body. Young, barely out of his teens. Lots of spark scarring on his forearms and hands, a burn on his left hand from a mistake when he was younger. No body modifications. Doesn't grow facial hair, could grow a fairly thick mustache if he tried. Usually wears a thin tunic and breeches and leather apron while working the forge. Has nicer clothes that don't see much use. Wears a faded orange bandana to keep sparks from going down his shirt front. Hair is messy and thick, probably eats combs when he makes an attempt to tame it.[1/2]
>>4815565>TomasAverage height, around the same height as most of the men. Salt-and-pepper hair that’s more salt than pepper, darker complexion, mossy green eyes. Slightly toned, but has the look of a man put out to pasture. Walks with the assistance of a walking staff, mainly to drum up business. Looks older, like a man leaving his prime, but not elderly. No major scarring or body modifications. A great big bushy beard, with a magnificent mustache. Usually wears a faded aquamarine robe, with a moth-eaten white cloak, big floppy wizard’s hat, and big multi-coloured staff. Hair is around shoulder length, usually wears it down.>VictorSlightly taller than average, not as tall as Miguel. Graying brown hair, gray eyes, lighter complexion. Fat, with enough muscle showing in the limbs to back up his claim of once being an acrobat. Walks with that strangely light step of a fat man who’s graceful, like a balloon tethered to the ground. Looks older, but not as old as Tomas. No major scarring, looks to have pierced ears but doesn’t usually have earrings in. No facial hair, as it would silly with how jowly his chin is. Usually wears a nice, if worn, doublet and hose, with a fancy hat like you’d expect for the leader of an entertainment troupe. Hair is cropped short, has wigs for if he needs to play someone with longer hair. [2/2]Giving it a bit more time before I call it, enough to grab something to drink and eat.
>>4815513>>4815524>>4815570>visit your cousin over where the corpses are at>>4815514>track down the old man and your dirtbag of a cousinCalled and writing, probably the last one for tonight.
>>4815582So what exactly does Tristan dislike about this particular cousin?
>>4815589Cousin Drew is a pompous ass, who thinks his shit don't stink. He tends to look down on Tristan, since Tristan's pretty much the lowest on the totem pole of both sides of the Stonyfield House. It's like that one cousin who you know got everything he ever wanted in life, and thinks it was all on his own merit instead of being born to richer parents than yours. Apparently he's doing well enough with his orchard and vineyard, but given the lands his parent's have to work with, you'd have to be purposely fucking it up to not succeed. He's the type of relative that helps drive Tristan to succeed, by providing the spite-based octane boost when love for waifu and family are running a bit low from over-use. It helps to have multiple sources of motivation after all.
>[Gregarious] action taken.It’s sorely tempting to go track down your uncle, or to brave the lioness’ den to inform your aunt of incoming guests. However, if he’s with cousin Drew, getting uncle Arin to see your side of things will be a hassle. Plus, you could spend hours tramping up and down the countryside trying to find them, and if the caravan arrives before you all get back, everyone will be in for it from your aunt. On the other hand, if you want to talk to aunt Carol, it will be easier if cousin Hettie is with you. Carol is not particularly fond of your side of the family for someone who married into it, but has a soft spot when it comes to her own children. “Where are the crypts again? It’s been over a decade since I’ve been this way last.” The old steward calls forward a young serving girl, and she walks you and Lionel into the northern side of the property.The family’s burial grounds are kept in a secluded area, near where the sacred grove is. Most of the dead here were cremated, set into columbaria instead of being sent out to sea like it’s done in the south. Only a few of the more notable Stonyfields were given the luxury of an embalming and full-sized coffin. A holdover from the eras where raggedy men in tattered robes would make the dead rise to plague the living once again. There hasn’t been a dread necromancer in centuries as far as the histories recall, the last being the Dark Lord Hestromos of the Scorching Wastes in Bisamti. Still, old habits die hard, and Stonyfields die harder than most.As the three of you approach the upper part of the tomb, your cousin Heather walks up the staircase, deep in thought and holding a bouquet of rue. When she sees you, she jumps back in fright, hands flying to her chest and flowers dropping to the floor. “Saints above, you scared the living daylights out of me!”You smile a bit crookedly, and sketch a shallow bow. “Many apologies Hettie, I thought you were still going to be below when we walked in. If I knew you were going to be walking up as we entered, I’d have called out, instead of appearing like the dead arisen.”“Tristan, is that you? Seven winds, it must have been, what, three or four years since I’ve seen you?” Lionel gathers up the fallen flowers for your cousin as Heather reaches out to touch your face. “I’m glad to see that the cut on your face healed well enough.” Right, that slash from Sinclair was just starting to scar over when the funeral happened.“Yes, when Kas went to the waters. That would have been around three and a half years ago. I’m glad to see that you’re finally out of mourning colours, white and red suits you much better than black.” She smiles faintly at that, an air of sadness still about her.[1/2]
>>4815643“I suppose so. I still wish sometimes that he was buried here, but given the time it would have taken to bring him home, it was for the best that he went to sea.” She gestures to the heavy book bound in leather next to the small shrine to the gods. “At least his name is down there. What are you doing in this part of the country?”>[Surly] “I’m on my way to Jironth, on my own journey to sign on with the Brazen Cairn. Didn’t Drew mention it when he came back from Port Josiah earlier in the spring?” If she didn’t know, perhaps he didn’t bother telling the rest of the family. That could be also be a way to shift some blame his way if necessary, too.>[Gregarious] “Well, we were heading this way, and I decided to stop by and see my relatives. It’d be churlish of me not to, after all.” Play it off like it was done on a whim, rather than pressed on by the other Heads and pragmatism. It could provide plausible cover for the short notice as well.>[Pragmatic] “It’s one of the last major stops before we leave Loria. I’d be more surprised if I didn’t stop in to pay my regards.” Make it seem like a break from business as usual and courtesy wrapped into one neat package. It’s the type of thing you’d typically let people know about ahead of time, but you could probably come up with a reason why they weren’t informed about your arrival.>[Write-in?]That’ll have to be it for tonight. Got to wake up early for stuff, and all that jazz. Next session will kick off on the 19th at 01:30 UCT, unless things come up. I’ll try and keep everyone up to date if it goes well. Have a good one, and take care out there![2/2]
>>4815645>[Surly] “I’m on my way to Jironth, on my own journey to sign on with the Brazen Cairn. Didn’t Drew mention it when he came back from Port Josiah earlier in the spring?” If she didn’t know, perhaps he didn’t bother telling the rest of the family. That could be also be a way to shift some blame his way if necessary, too.
>>4815645>>[Pragmatic] “It’s one of the last major stops before we leave Loria. I’d be more surprised if I didn’t stop in to pay my regards.” Make it seem like a break from business as usual and courtesy wrapped into one neat package. It’s the type of thing you’d typically let people know about ahead of time, but you could probably come up with a reason why they weren’t informed about your arrival.
>>4815645>>[Surly] “I’m on my way to Jironth, on my own journey to sign on with the Brazen Cairn. Didn’t Drew mention it when he came back from Port Josiah earlier in the spring?” If she didn’t know, perhaps he didn’t bother telling the rest of the family. That could be also be a way to shift some blame his way if necessary, too.
>>4815645>[Gregarious] “Well, we were heading this way, and I decided to stop by and see my relatives. It’d be churlish of me not to, after all.” Play it off like it was done on a whim, rather than pressed on by the other Heads and pragmatism. It could provide plausible cover for the short notice as well.
Hey everyone, sorry for the lack of news coming up. One of my army friends came into town on short notice for a couple days, and wanted to hang out while we both had the chance to. I'll bash out a session later tonight when he's on the road back out west. Not sure when, but I'll get out three or more updates on it when I can. I'll also send up the updated roster to go with it too, as partial recompense for the late notice.I also finally got my chance to get vaccinated, so haven't exactly been in a writing headspace too. Still not the worst one I ever received though.
>>4815650>>4816263>shit, did Drew not tell y'all that I was heading this way?>>4815668>you think I'd roll on through my senpai's crib, without stopping by to say hi?>>4816271>it's the polite thing to do, and I'm nothing if not polite.Called and writing.
Also, throwing out the updated roster now. Anyone with an ??? is someone you either haven't interacted much with, or don't know much about. You also don't know much about the entertainers, beyond what roles they hold in Victor's troupe.Heads of the caravan>Tristan Stonyfield, Head Caravaneer.>Hildr ‘Snorri’ Gunnarsdotter, Personal Retainer, handles majority of security.>Miguel ‘Sooty’ de Soto, Dwarven trained Blacksmith, handles repairs for vehicles.>Tomas ‘Staff-of-Many-Colours’ Wells, Hired Diviner and Chemist, handles weird shit, medications, and divinations.>Victor Sparrow, Leader of the Soaring Sparrows Troupe, and notable playwright.House Guards>Marcel. (Horseman) Has a mole on his chin, you usually commandeer his Rouncey when taking over a guard role.>Marcus. Waxes his mustache, older than most of the other guards.>Jeremy. Bad beard, like he was interrupted halfway through eating a hedgehog.>Gregory. ???, Apparently gets confused with Hector to you.>Hector. Has a squint, did a lot of the bodyguarding in Angelsfield.>Jared (H) Hard to remember his name with his thick accent. Bit of a troublemaker, apparently, although it's hard to prove anything.>‘Black’ John. Can wrestle, is currently teaching Nathaniel. Fancies himself a ladies man, troublemaker.>Lionel (H) Snorri's second in command. Has a carbine, used to serve with the Royal Engineers.>Peter. Lackadaisical in attitude, generally positive even when things are going to shit.>Carl. The only guard who can cook worth a damn. Used to serve with the Earl Levitt's Foot in the day. Older than most of the other guards.>Ryan. Not related to Bryan. Knows how to grapple.>Bryan. Not related to Ryan. Got into trouble in Red Earth, not sure if he's a troublemaker or was caught up in it.>Neil. Quiet, heavy tabac user. Surly, and has a thick country accent.>Thomas. ???>Randall (H). Buck teeth, horsey face. Seems nervous around Tristan?>Vincent. Has bad breath??[1/2]
>>4821275Carters and Drovers>Johnny. Your personal drover, handles carter duties in your absence.>Nathaniel. Youngster learning under Johnny, learning how to grapple with Black John and Ryan.>‘Red’ John. Gambler, red-haired. Hangs out with Black John a lot. Troublemaker.>Terrance. Always looks slightly constipated.>Manuel. ???, apparently same competency as Red John?>Otto. Seems to cook for the carters. Chews tabac, and tries to avoid notice when possible. Complains more than he should.>Wesley. Looks a lot like Eric, and usually works with him. Polite and deferent, from what you can tell. A sharp dresser.>Eric. Looks a lot like Wesley, and usually works with him. Competent, and polite, from what you can tell.>Robert. ???>David. ???>Samuel. Older fellow. Apparently was on the ships in the day. Tries not to rock the boat, from what you understand.>Isaac. Plays the flute, badly. A bit leery around you, he's driving the ‘special’ wagon.>Calvin. Young, fiery, and argumentive. Seems like he's smarter than the others though.Entertainers>Calvin the Colossus, Strongman>Noah, the Man of Iron, Sword-swallower>Madame Erica, Knife-thrower. A bit of a flirt.>Monsigneour Eric, Juggler>Adam, Dancer>Miriam, Dancer (Possibly working with the Deeners?)>Orville, Professional Clown and animal handler. Seems depressed a lot of the time.[2/2]
>[Surly] action taken.You furrow your brow a little at her apparent surprise from your arrival. I could have sworn that Father told cousin Drew that I was going on my journey this year. You decide to be up-front about it, and lay all your card on the table. “I’m on my way to Jironth, on my own journey to sign on with the Brazen Cairn. Didn’t Drew mention it when he came back from Port Josiah earlier in the spring?”Hettie purses her lips in a moue, and tilts her head quizzically. “Well, he said one of the family was planning on going on a journey for a Grand Company. He never mentioned names though, strangely. The way he was talking about it, Drew made it seem like it was either a pipe dream, or something farther in the future, instead of this year.”You make eye contact with her, your thoughts picking up speed as you talk. If Drew made it seem like it was further off, I could pin any irregularities of scheduling for this on him. “Well, it’s not further on from now, I’ve been gathering up carters and supplies since the winter solstice. It’s a long journey, one that requires a lot of preparation to ensure success.” You sigh dramatically, giving off an air similar to a beleaguered manager, trying to make up for a deficient staff member. “Still, I can understand the discrepancy. It’s rather more in depth to cross the continent rather than taking care of a vineyard or orchard after all.”Heather takes the gathered bundle of flowers from Lionel with a sad smile and inclined head, before turning back towards you. “Well, I’m still glad to see you, Tristan.” She walks beside you, and the three of you walk out of the crypt into the early summer air. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about you going on a journey, but it is a bit thrilling to venture on the open roads.” She looks towards you again with her pale brown eyes. “Still, be careful out there. I’d hate to send another of my kin into the waters.”[1/2]
>>4821314>[Surly] “Well, that won’t be a worry for anyone. After all, I do have a fair amount of the House Guard and Snorri to keep the lot of us safe.” Scoff a little at her worries. You’re competent, and have plenty of personnel around you who are loyal to the finish. You won’t end up like your cousin, swear on the seven winds.>[Gregarious] “Why Hettie, the way you talk, you’d think I was a sibling, instead of a distant cousin on a different branch of the tree entirely.” Rib her a little for her concern. It’s not often someone from the Trunk family cares so much about the Branch. If this keeps up, who knows, she might start caring about every scullery-maid or boot-boy in the town.>[Pragmatic] “I swear to you Hettie, I’ll come home hale and hearty. We can’t afford another Kas, even if I am a pale imitation.” Take her hands in yours, and swear to return home in one piece. She’s a sensitive soul, and probably wouldn’t survive another headstrong young Stonyfield man winding up in the waters before their time.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4821318>[Pragmatic] “I swear to you Hettie, I’ll come home hale and hearty. We can’t afford another Kas, even if I am a pale imitation.” Take her hands in yours, and swear to return home in one piece. She’s a sensitive soul, and probably wouldn’t survive another headstrong young Stonyfield man winding up in the waters before their time.
>>4821352>Damn cos, I ain't gonna go out like a chump, swear on my name and all that good shitCalled and writing.
>[Pragmatic] action taken.The solemn look in Heather’s eyes stir a faint burst of bravado in your chest. Even if Kaspar was the golden child of the family, you still feel like you have a chance to prove yourself to the rest of them. Misfortune happens to us all, not just those on the lower branches. Taking the reins of the moment, you grab both of Hettie’s hands in your own, and meet her gaze. She hitches in a surprised breath, and you answer her question before it even leaves her lips.“I swear to you Hettie, I’ll come home hale and hearty. We can’t afford another Kas, even if I am a pale imitation.” She doesn’t meet your eyes, a faint blush rising in her cheeks. You still try to maintain eye contact with her, and you swear there’s a moistness to her eyes as she searches for a proper response.“Tris, don’t say those things. I know that you’re not exactly as, well, charismatic as Kas.” Her eyes flick back towards you, determined to not shed traitorous tears in front of Lionel and the serving girl, who are both doing credible impressions of people taking a sudden interest in the plants around themselves. “Still, if any of the family can go and come back, I know it’d be you. After all, you did graduate with honours from the gymnasium, and can hold your own in a swordfight.”You look aside and sheepishly cough into your hand, feeling a lingering phantom pain in your dueling scars. “Right, well, it’s not like I’ll be alone after all.” Gesturing towards Lionel, he snaps to attention, trying to hide any discomfort he might have otherwise shown. “We’ve got a fair amount of the House Guard with us, as well as Snorri. I’m in capable hands.” You all start walking towards the rose garden while Hettie speaks up again.“Even so Tris, remember that Kas had House Guard with him too. Please be careful out there.” As your group turns around the corner, you see your aunt Carol trimming a rosebush with a set of pruning shears. She’s wearing somewhat durable gardening clothes, but they have a delicate embroidery on them that betrays her higher station. She doesn’t even look up from the bushes, the shears shik shiking the whole while with a finality to their motions.“Oh, who is supposed to be careful out there, Heather? Did Robert come back with news of those blasted rebels?”[1/2]
>>4821410>[Surly] Remain quiet, and let your cousin Heather broach the topic of your arrival. Some would call it cowardice, if they had never experienced the flensing edge of your aunt’s tongue. It could put a torturer’s caresses to shame.>[Gregarious] “Why auntie, it’s your nephew Tristan. I did run into Robert along the way into town, he might have gotten in a bit over his head.” Mention the fact that you helped cousin Rob at the bridge near Brinsmere. He’s not her child specifically, but he is a rather popular scion of your generation.>[Pragmatic] “Aunt Carol, it’s a pleasure to be in the family’s estate. The roses look to be coming in beautifully this year.” Appeal to her sense of vanity, and gently sidestep your involvement at the bridge. Trying to put her in a better mood may help numb the venom when she finds out that there is more people on the way here later today.[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4821411>[Gregarious] “Why auntie, it’s your nephew Tristan. I did run into Robert along the way into town, he might have gotten in a bit over his head.” Mention the fact that you helped cousin Rob at the bridge near Brinsmere. He’s not her child specifically, but he is a rather popular scion of your generation.
>>4821411>>[Gregarious] “Why auntie, it’s your nephew Tristan. I did run into Robert along the way into town, he might have gotten in a bit over his head.” Mention the fact that you helped cousin Rob at the bridge near Brinsmere. He’s not her child specifically, but he is a rather popular scion of your generation.
>>4821421>>4821423>>4821451>Eh auntie, is me, nephew Tris. Y'know, the one who cut up the Capwell lad three years ago?Called and writing, probably last update for tonight. Late start, plus a few beers and bottle of wine makes me have to conk out a bit sooner than I'd like.
>[Gregarious] action taken.Fighting down a rising wave of trepidation, you decide that boldly striding into the briar patch and grasping the nettle firmly is the best option available to you. “Why auntie, it’s your nephew Tristan.” The faint shik-shik of your aunt’s shears cleave off harsher than expected, and the gently floating petals of a maimed flower lets you know exactly how she’s feeling right now. “I did run into Robert along the way into town, he may have gotten in a bit over his head,” you add in hurriedly, trying to out-run the avalanche of her displeasure.Aunt Carol brushes down the front of her apron, standing up like a warrior strapping on armour and checking over their weaponry before marching to the field of battle. She turns towards you, a haughty chill of contempt radiating outwards, making your fine doublet and hose feel coarse in comparison to her hempen tunic and plain boots. “Is that so? Well, there is a first time for everything.” She wipes off the sap from the shears onto a rag while you scramble for a response. “Tell me, Tristan, how exactly did he get in over his head?”Trying your best to not display weakness, you still wind up twisting your toes inside their boots, thankful that they are impossible to be seen through the thick leather. “He rode ahead of his guards, past our caravan near Brinsmere. When I saw him riding hard, I took one of my men along with me, and came upon Robert fighting a group of what appeared to be Grousers. Naturally, as kith and kin, I rode to his aid, expecting no recompense for the effort.”Aunt Carol’s dark brown eyes, nearly black in shade, meet yours unwaveringly for a time that feels like a short eternity. “Naturally. So, if that’s the case, where is your caravan? From what I heard from Percival, you arrived more or less alone, with just the one guard on horseback. Don’t tell me that Rueben invested so much of his goodwill into yet another failed venture from one of his sons.”[1/2]
>>4821543>[Surly] Grit your teeth, and inform your aunt about the entire debacle at the bridge. Robert begged you not to mention it until his courier arrived with his sealed missive, but your aunt Carol is no fool. This branch of the family lost a lot during the insurrection, and any Grouser sympathizers would have been rooted out a long time ago.>[Gregarious] “It’s hardly a failed venture Aunty. Why, I’ve barely even spent any of my reserve so far, and already have a plan for sweet-talking the elves at the moot when we get to Kingsfall. After all, spice and steel are both in short supply that far north.” Talk up your ventures, in order to try and get your Aunt to see the benefit in your journey, beyond the obvious benefits.>[Pragmatic] “Well, they are currently on route to the city. I thought that Andrew would have mentioned the scale of the journey we’re undertaking. It’s not just Jironth we’re going to, but we’re also making stops throughout Fransica and Meriodor on the return leg as well.” Try and throw cousin Drew under the oxcart. It’s not your fault that he didn’t bother letting the extended family know what’s happening down south.>[Write-in?]All options will result in a Roll, to determine Aunt Carol’s opinion of you and yours, as well as the viability of letting your entire group stay at the estate. Write-ins can sway the DC, as well as applying any knowledge you may have gained thus far. Leaving this one open for a while, next session will likely kick off on the 24th at 01:30 UCT. This weekend sounds like it’s going to be really busy, but if it winds up being nothing at all going on, I might bump it up a day or so earlier. Have a good one, and take care out there![2/2]
>>4821544>[Pragmatic] “Well, they are currently on route to the city. I thought that Andrew would have mentioned the scale of the journey we’re undertaking. It’s not just Jironth we’re going to, but we’re also making stops throughout Fransica and Meriodor on the return leg as well.” Try and throw cousin Drew under the oxcart. It’s not your fault that he didn’t bother letting the extended family know what’s happening down south.Add-ins: "I suppose I can't fault him for that though, running the vineyard and the orchard must be hard work." (Gives him a facesaving out for later, also given our aunt dotes on her children I'd doubt purely trying to throw him under the cart will fly)"As for what Cousin Robert and I discovered near Brinsmere, I would prefer to discuss it over lunch if you wouldn't mind. I'm sure Uncle Arin would be keen to hear the news as well."
>>4821544>>[Pragmatic] “Well, they are currently on route to the city. I thought that Andrew would have mentioned the scale of the journey we’re undertaking. It’s not just Jironth we’re going to, but we’re also making stops throughout Fransica and Meriodor on the return leg as well.” Try and throw cousin Drew under the oxcart. It’s not your fault that he didn’t bother letting the extended family know what’s happening down south.Add-ins:>"Cousin Robert's lucky that I was there with my House Guard. The rebels had him three against one. If not for us he may have ended up like Kas. He and I will likely both have a lot more to tell you over lunch with you and Uncle Arin.">"I suppose I can't fault him for that though, running the vineyard and the orchard must be hard work. I'm still surprised he didn't tell you though, I am planning to sign on with the Brazen Cairn.">"I wanted to ride ahead to inform you that the caravan would be passing through your estate, and considering that Drew didn't inform you and the guard at the gate was on his first shift, I'm glad that I did. Even Heather was surprised to see me."
Well, the family's farm got hit real bad with a surprise spring storm, complete with snow, freezing rain and high winds. Going to have to help them take down fallen/snapped-off treetops off some of the buildings and equipment. Session is going to be pushed back by a day, to 01:30 UCT on the 25th.Can't write up updates until I get back, so I attached a picture of Snorri's walrus tattoo I sketched up while out here, as partial recompense. Will probably do up another drawing or two for the quest while I'm here, not like there's much to do at night with the power cutting in and out around hereKnew I shouldn't have said jack shit about this weekend looking calmer than usual. Fucking Curse and fucking climate change.
>>4825731Sorry to hear about the farm and thanks for letting us know. That's a very cool tattoo! I forgot the elves were Nordic, honestly, but with a name like Gunnarsdotter it makes perfect sense.
Today and yesterday were complete dogshit. Did get a rough drawing of the Stonyfield coat of arms for the Green branch done up though. The Grays have the green and gray inverted, with a mossy boulder split on a dead field, and the Greens have a clean boulder snapped on a live field. Will probably elaborate on it more when I have access to my notes to avoid misinformation behind it.While double-checking the family motto in a previous thread, I re-read that exchange with Robert. He was headed to Port Josiah when you saw him outside of Angelsfield. Even not slowed down with wagons and oxen, two weeks isn't exactly time to get there and back. Just thought I'd let you know, since >>4822124 and >>4821814 were entertaing the thought of inviting him to lunch with your aunt and uncle. Just a bit of food for thought, is all.I mean, lying to her about it is still an option, of course. Just might be a bit damning when he doesn't show up for lunch. That's also the last freebie for advice, fyi. Any further missteps in the future will be taken as is. Don't say I never warned ya.
>>4829837Aaaand, it dropped the image. Fucking mobile networks.
>>4829837Oof. Un-+1ing that part, then.
>>4829837Thanks for the heads up, QM!>>4821814Changing >"Cousin Robert's lucky that I was there with my House Guard. The rebels had him three against one. If not for us he may have ended up like Kas. He and I will likely both have a lot more to tell you over lunch with you and Uncle Arin."To>"Cousin Robert's lucky that I was there with my House Guard. The rebels had him three against one. If not for us he may have ended up like Kas. I'll have more to say over lunch with you and Uncle Arin."We'll leave it open ended this. There's definitely details we can talk about, but as Robert said, it's best if we didn't say too much, as it could lead to the rebels going underground rather than being rooted out.
Made it back safely, food shown up, and booze is being consumed. Quest is a go!>>4821564>>4821814>>4822124>they're already on the way auntie, I told Drew.>>4821564>also, Drew is busy with his apples and shit, I'm crossing the whole fecking continent with thirty-odd dudes and wagons and shit, no biggie.>also also, Robbie found some shit, I'll tell ya over lunch.>>4821814>also also also, I came ahead, like a prudent nephew, to let you know in advance. damn, your guards could use some more training though, even Hettie was surprised to see me.>>4829854>>4829887>also also also also, Robbie's showing up for lunch too. Woops, forgot he's on route to Port Josiah. Ixnay on that, but I fought three rebels off of him, swear on me mum.>Roll Required! Target Value is 41. (40 Base, +4 for [Pragmatic], +6 for Agreeable write-ins, +3 for House business (Caravan), +4 for Helping the Trunk (Robert), +2 for Appeal to Vanity (Asked her instead of Uncle Arin), +3 for Obeying Protocol x3, +4 for Cousin Heather's aid, +0 for Well-Dressed, -5 for Aunt Carol's Cynic trait, -3 for Lower Social Standing, -3 for Presumptuous Favour, -4 for Disparaging Her Children x1 , -2 for Dislikes Green Stonyfields, -3 for Indebted Father, -1 for Disobeyed Protocol x1, -2 for ???, -2 for [Does not Suffer Fools])You currently have 1 Re-roll in reserve, and 1 charge of FATE. Give me those sweet, sweet 2x 1d100s.
Rolled 74 (1d100)>>4831785guaranteed win
Rolled 22 (1d100)>>4831785Watch THIS
>>4831825>>4831821>Best result is a 22! -19 from TV, NARROW SUCCESS!>>4831821Can choose to re-roll for a different potential result, but going to start writing in around 3 minutes from now otherwise.
>>4831832I'm fine with this outcome.
>No spendy re-roll yet.Writing for NARROW SUCCESS then.
>[Pragmatic] action taken, with Write-ins.>Roll Required! Target Value is 41. (40 Base, +4 for [Pragmatic], +6 for Agreeable write-ins, +3 for House business (Caravan), +4 for Helping the Trunk (Robert), +2 for Appeal to Vanity (Asked her instead of Uncle Arin), +3 for Obeying Protocol x3, +4 for Cousin Heather's aid, +0 for Well-Dressed, -5 for Aunt Carol's [Cynic] trait, -3 for Lower Social Standing, -3 for Presumptuous Favour, -4 for Disparaging Her Children x1 , -2 for Dislikes Green Stonyfields, -3 for Indebted Father, -1 for Disobeyed Protocol x1, -2 for ???, -2 for [Does not Suffer Fools])>>4831825>>4831821>Best result is a 22! -19 from TV, NARROW SUCCESS! You aren’t immediately turned away, and Aunt Carol will not argue against housing your Caravan for the stay in Iskander.Thinking fast, you rack you brain for things that would earn you favour with Aunt Carol. “Well, they are currently on route to the City, Auntie. I could have sworn that Father told cousin Drew before he came back this way. Of course, working the orchard and vineyard is taxing on even the best of us, given the rash of cutworm that’s been spreading like wildfire up the coast,” you hurriedly add in when you see the flash of displeasure in her eyes.“Yes Tristan, it’s a nuisance to say the least. Much like unexpected guests on your doorstep, with friends on the way.” Aunt Carol casually sets the well-worn shears aside, and takes off her gloves with the same distaste as if she was disposing of dead mice.Before you open your mouth wider in order to insert your foot further, Heather comes to your rescue. “Mother, honestly! Andrew didn’t even tell me about it, saying it was a pipe dream or something in the distant future. Tris is trying for the Brazen Cairn Company, you know how much that’ll help the family’s prospects. He’s even going all the way to Jironth from what I hear, and the long way around on the way back.”Carol’s face softens slightly, going from granite to limestone as she genteelly sighs. “Yes Heather, I am aware. Still, it’s not my call to make. That would be the purview of your father when he returns from his hunt.” There’s a distant horn call, likely signalling your Uncle’s success. She turns back towards you imperiously, her haughtiness back to it’s full display. “Would you be joining us for lunch, Tristan? Percival informed me that would be roasted rabbit with capers, from Arin’s last round of falconry.”You sweep off your hat and sketch a deep bow, practically feeling the brush of the grass on your hair. “I would be delighted to, Aunt Carol.” It rankles to show deference like this, but if it prevents further hassles, it’s to borne with dignity and poise. “Besides, it would be a more appropriate setting for the news I have about Robert. Farther from prying ears and the like.” She nods blandly, and dismisses the lot of you to go prepare for the meal.[1/2]
>>4831961You and Lionel are ushered aside, while your aunt gets changed into more appropriate clothing, and your uncle arrives back to the estate. Your guard seems to pick up on your annoyed mood, choosing to give off a stoic impression as best as he is able. The serving girl vanished into a side passage the moment she realized you were going to be talking to the mistress of the house, and currently there is a maid dusting in the small sitting room the two of you are occupying near the dining hall. It’s when you’re running through your pitch again that you hear the door open to your right.“Tristan, good to see you, my boy! A wee little birdie told me that you helped fight off some brigands on the Gem Road, eh? Good lad!” The booming voice of your Uncle Arin presages his approach into the room.“Father, please, you’re still wearing your hunting leathers. Mother would be upset if she knew you were going to be wearing that to lunch.” The plaintive voice of your least favourite cousin assaults your ears while Lionel stiffens to attention with a sharp salute.>[Surly] “Uncle Arin, cousin Drew. A pleasure to see you. How was the hunt?” Deflect away from the questioning by asking pleasantries. There’s plenty of time for that around the table, not here where gossipy maids can hear.>[Gregarious] “Worse than brigands, uncles. Grousers, to their eternal shame.” Greet your uncle Arin warmly, you know he loves to hear about manly matters like this. Drew might not like it, but he can sit and spin as far as you’re concerned.>[Pragmatic] “Honestly uncle, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds. Andrew, good to see you. How has your orchard been faring with that cutworm infestation?” Sidestep the matter by bringing up Drew’s ventures. Getting him off-balance with a sudden burst of interest in his affairs could help you pin the short notice on him if you get it early.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4831962>[Pragmatic] “Honestly uncle, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds. Andrew, good to see you. How has your orchard been faring with that cutworm infestation?” Sidestep the matter by bringing up Drew’s ventures. Getting him off-balance with a sudden burst of interest in his affairs could help you pin the short notice on him if you get it early.This, but don't downplay our daring escapades, just make a comment about it being too long of a story for now or wanting to save it for dinner or whatnot.
>>4831962>>4831970+1 to this
>>4831970>>4831972>>4831975>>4831976>nah nuncle, too long to chat about just right now. so Drew, heard ya got worms on your stuff and shit.Pretty unanimous, Called and writing.
>[Pragmatic Write-in] action taken.It’s tempting to talk up the fight at the bridge, but you’re loathe to mention rebels when servants are around. Can’t always tell who supports the Grousers until the blade is already at your sleeping neck after all. “Honestly uncle, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds, even if it is a longer story. Plus, it’s not like I was alone, Robert and one of my outriders were there as well.” You look aside from Arin towards your cousin. Seven winds, he still is favouring that ridiculous moustache. “Andrew, good to see you. How has your orchard been faring with that cutworm infestation?”Drew looks taken aback, quickly stifling his shock under his usual veneer of arrogance. “Tristan, same towards you. We managed to get it under control, thankfully. The head gardener came up with the most cunning of poisons for them. Something to do with distilled tabac, and monkshood. Doesn’t affect the grapes at all, thankfully.” The oily tone in his voice grates, while Uncle Arin motions to Lionel, setting him at ease.“At ease, my good fellow. No need to go all parade formal, when we’re inside my house, and me in my hunting clothes.” Lionel seems slightly out of sorts while uncle Arin lays a heavy arm around your shoulder. “Tris, honestly, if you get Drew talking about his precious plants, we’ll be here listening to chatter about grafting this and cultivating that until suppertime at the earliest. Let’s head on in before it gets cold, eh?” Andrew sputters a bit, while the maid scrambles to open the door ahead of you. “Carol, love of my life, we’ve returned!”Heather is still wearing the clothes she was in the tomb with, sitting to the right of what you presume to be aunt Carol’s chair at the head of the oaken table. Aunt Carol herself has chosen to wear a rather chaste red and black dress, with a white embroidered wimple as accessory. You see a faint expression of exasperation flash across her face when she walks towards your group, before she applies a sunny smile, one that doesn’t quite reach the harsh flint of her brown eyes. “Darling husband, I’m so happy to see you. I pray that you were successful in your hunt.”Arin lets out a deep booming laugh, as he kisses her on the cheek and motions everyone towards the table. “Aye, a lovely brace of hares, courtesy of Belial. I think I’ve got him where I want in the training now, he’s been remarkably well-behaved.”“That’s excellent news dear. I’ll be sure to pass on the news to the falconer. I heard from Percival that his fingers are well on the mend now, so he should be back to work in the near future.” There’s a bit more warmth in her expression as she hugs cousin Drew after your uncle hugs Hettie. “Andrew, I hope you had success as well.”[1/2]
>>4832157“Yes Mother. Ingrid is doing fine, although she still gets aggressive when you go to take the quarry. She should break out of it soon enough.” Lionel takes up position with the other guards at the edge of the room, trying his best to be unobtrusive. As you settle down into a position next to Heather, as befits your lower status, Drew calls your attention back across the table towards him. “So, Tristan, how has things been on the Gem Road? I thought you were leaving later in the year, the way Uncle Rueben talked about it.”>[Surly] “Things have gone well enough. A few minor incidents here and there, but nothing much that has been out of scope thus far.” Let the rest of the family talk about their things for the most part. Honestly, not much has happened so far, and if they think things are getting dicey, they might have cold feet about the whole thing. Best to let them direct the flow of conversation.>[Gregarious] “Well, we’ve had our fair share of excitement. A duel of honour, some minor disputes, and the whole bridge incident with cousin Robert. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure.” Play up the more exciting parts of the journey. Even if the more genteel members don’t approve, Uncle Arin laps up hot-blooded things like that like it was water.>[Pragmatic] “No, in fact, we left a little later than I would have preferred, honestly. It’s an ordeal managing that much personnel, and it’s a long way to Jironth. I hope we manage to avoid the fall storms in the Merakash Mountains despite the delays.” Focus the talk more towards how much effort this venture is. Much more than spritzing worms with poison or getting a falcon to stoop on some unsuspecting hares.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4832159>[Surly] “Things have gone well enough. A few minor incidents here and there, but nothing much that has been out of scope thus far.” Let the rest of the family talk about their things for the most part. Honestly, not much has happened so far, and if they think things are getting dicey, they might have cold feet about the whole thing. Best to let them direct the flow of conversation.But mention the bridge incident (and how well we handled it) for Uncle Arin's sake. Leave the duel and the rest of it out.
>>4832159>>[Surly] “Things have gone well enough. A few minor incidents here and there, but nothing much that has been out of scope thus far.” Let the rest of the family talk about their things for the most part. Honestly, not much has happened so far, and if they think things are getting dicey, they might have cold feet about the whole thing. Best to let them direct the flow of conversation.Have a bunch of small talk first, then launch into the meaty topics.
Forgot to mention about the lore behind the Stonyfield Coat of Arms, and why it's a cracked boulder on a field. Gonna toss it in now, while I'm waiting on votes.The Stonyfields are around a mid-tier Noble family in terms of lineage. Around when the Coral Throne was being established, with King Bruce Marlow subjugating all the petty kingdoms around what became Loria, he appointed some of his more capable lieutenants to nobility. Orlando Stonyfield was a brilliant tactician, but terrible when it came to peacetime matters. The other families had a better head when it came to cropland, and snapped up a lot of the valuable farmland and shores.Orlando chose the Golden Spur, a barren, rocky shore filled with razor-sharp shoals, and not a flat stretch of land bigger than a house. Some say it was because it was supremely defensible, others less charitable said it was because he though hard lands produce hard soldiers. When the Berucci made comment about how he expected to raise grain or feed his horses on rocks and sand, he simply said, "We shall endure."Of course, Stonyfield holdings have expanded further from that wind-blasted, salt-encrusted seascape at the Spur all the way to the Shattered Inlet and even a few distant claims on the Isle of Storms in the centuries since, but that stubbornness and refusal to accept charity runs deep in a lot of the Stonyfields to this day. The fact that those scattered rocky expanses attract plenty of seabirds to deposit precious guano for both fertilizer and the production of powder is beside the point, and nothing the other families would have expected until the secrets of gunpowder were pried from cold, dead dwarven fingers.
>>4832190>forgot Marlow's titleDamnation, it was Bruce Marlow the Brave, since he was reputed to have wrestled an ogre to death over a dispute about a magical sword made of coral. May or may not have actually happened, it's rude to question royalty's right to rule. Rude enough that you may just dance the hempen jig for your impertinence.
>>4832164>>4832176>small talk, with a brief mention of the bridge incident since that's what they seem interested inCalled and writing, probably last update for the night. Gonna see how I feel after it's done up.
>[Surly] action taken, with a mention of the Bridge incident.You shrug insouciantly before answering Drew’s question. “Things have gone well enough, as you could expect along the highway in Loria. A few minor incidents here and there, but nothing much that has been out of scope thus far. Granted, it’s a bit out of the wheelhouse to stamp out sabotage, but if they raise their stinking heads out of their foxholes, the gentle caress of the sabre is better than the alternative.” Uncle Arin seems utterly enthralled, but his expression changes sharply with a jolt. Aunt Carol likely gave him a crack in the shins for it.“Yes, an alternative not exactly suitable for the dinner table. I heard that Snorri was attached to your group. How has she been taking to the southern air?” Aunt Carol is not-so-subtly trying to steer the conversation away from fighting, and on to more personal matters. Heather perks up at the mention of the scarred and taciturn elf, more than you’d expect. Right, she always looked up to Snorri. Something about how it was like seeing a heroine straight out of the storybooks, hunting all manner of beasts to find a worthy husband.“Yes, she’s currently watching over the rest of the men while they’re on the way here. I can trust them in her hands, she’s making sure that Miguel doesn’t lead them astray.” A few servants bring out fresh buns, steam still curling out from them when you break them open. “Has anything interesting come up in Iskander recently? All the news we’ve gotten down south is old, and it would be nice to hear if anything has come up.”Hettie interjects before Drew has a chance to get his words out. “Well, Prince Theodore is supposed to be in the city on his return from del Sol. Apparently he’s brought out the whole wagon train, that proposal the king made must have gone through. Not a moment too soon, it’s not like he’s getting much younger these days. Hopefully they have a few heirs, we don’t want a revival of the War of Peonies here after all.”Andrew takes this moment to jump on the matter of heirs with altogether too much gusto for your liking. “Say Tristan, have you been spoken for yet? I know Rueben mentioned that things fell through with the Whitewood girl. Said that it was complicated, with a whole bunch of things happening.” All four head snap over to you with a laser focus. It’s disconcertingly like being the one crab caught in-between four herons wading in the mud banks.[1/2] Fucking formatting errors, swer on the rotted dicks of the damned.
>>4832305>[Surly] “No. So, down to business. My caravan was staying in the city for four days, and I was wondering if we’d be able to quarter here for that time.” Get down to brass tacks, and see what the family wants in exchange for staying here. Best to get it out of the way now.>[Gregarious] “Yes, far too complicated to be talked about over lunch. So, I was taking a shift from the guards to cut them some slack, bless their souls...” Casually sidestep the questions about your relationship with Miriam, by segueing into a tale of derring-do and rescue, preventing the destruction of a major throughfare on the Gem Road with shot and rapier.>[Pragmatic] “Honestly Drew, I never asked you about that falling out you had with the Tyron girl. Pray excuse me when I don’t feel like talking about my own failed forays in love.” Try to take the high ground against your cousin. It won’t win you any favours with your aunt, but he did fire the first salvo. This is the best time as any to try to undermine any attempts he’d have against having your caravan stay here.>[Write-in?]This will have to be the last update for tonight. I’m still doing alright, but I do still have obligations to meet in the morning. Next update will be on the 27th at 01:30 UCT. Have a good one, and take care out there![2/2]
>>4832307>>[Gregarious] “Yes, far too complicated to be talked about over lunch. So, I was taking a shift from the guards to cut them some slack, bless their souls...” Casually sidestep the questions about your relationship with Miriam, by segueing into a tale of derring-do and rescue, preventing the destruction of a major throughfare on the Gem Road with shot and rapier.Thanks for running, QM!
>>4832307>[Surly] “No. So, down to business. My caravan was staying in the city for four days, and I was wondering if we’d be able to quarter here for that time.” Get down to brass tacks, and see what the family wants in exchange for staying here. Best to get it out of the way now.
Hey everyone, I'm going to have to push the session back until tomorrow. Completely forgot that it was supposed to run today, and double-booked my time to see my niece for the first time. She was born in the middle of the pandemic, and finally got vaccinated enough to feel comfortable being around her with my brother and his wife. That, and a medical exam for potential Gainful Employment tomorrow morning will make it so that it'll be a short session tonight regardless. Will be running from 01:30 UCT until I pass out then, probably around 6 hrs total. Have a good one, and take care out there!
>>4832307>[Gregarious] “Yes, far too complicated to be talked about over lunch. So, I was taking a shift from the guards to cut them some slack, bless their souls...” Casually sidestep the questions about your relationship with Miriam, by segueing into a tale of derring-do and rescue, preventing the destruction of a major throughfare on the Gem Road with shot and rapier.Thanks for running, man! Have a good day with the senpai and good luck on the exam!
>>4832703>>4836360>hey, enough talk about old stuff. so, we rolled up on these fools...>>4832942>lets get down to business to defeat, The Huns!Called and writing.
>[Gregarious] action taken.Frankly, you’re a little offended at Drew’s naked play to try and put you off your track. Best not to show it though, keep that in mind if he tries anything later on. “Yes, far too complicated to be discussed over a meal.” You see the servants come in, carrying trays of what appears to be roasted rabbit with capers and a red sauce. “So, I was taking a shift from the guards to cut them some slack, bless their souls...”The rabbit was tender, and the capers perfectly braised in the tomato and pepper-based sauce. You pause in mid-anecdote to compliment the chef, and Aunt Carol waves it off mildly. It’s always difficult to read her, but she seems to be somewhat more interested than usual about the story. Probably because it involved the Trunk. Hettie looks worried, and Drew has a strange expression, almost as if he was envious. Uncle Arin is of course utterly enthralled, his rabbit going cold on the plate while you talk about seeing Blondie run into the riverbed.“Aye, give them a healthy dose of lead and steel, and those cowards break like dried straw. When your father and I went to hunt down the saboteurs at the Spur, they had a bit more spine in them.” Uncle Arin sniffs disgustedly at the lack of moral courage in the modern rebel, pausing in the faint diagram he made you set up on the table with condiment pots and cutlery. “The way these ones acted, it’s like seeing a young gobbler try and pretend to have any nerve in it.”“Yes, well, he didn’t run that far, Uncle. He was biding his time under the bridge, while the three of us forced his fellows to surrender. Robert told us, after we had gotten the others to drop arms, at they had plotted to blow up the bridge.” Everyone seems taken aback at that, Hettie likely for a more humane reason, while Carol and Drew seem more angry at the sheer gall of them doing that close to home. “Naturally, since he was in no shape to fight much further, I went down there myself to winkle him out.”Drew’s face twists a little, while Arin nods sagely. “Aye, that’d be the call to make. If he stood his ground down there, the treasonous dog, Rob was already in a rough patch. I don’t mean to smear your man either, of course, but you’d want a strong arm and a cool head down below. A personal touch, to make sure it all went well. So, what happened next?”You push around the last caper on the plate, leaving enough of a morsel to not be rude, despite still feeling hungry. At least around the men, you can always be assured of seconds, instead of insisting that you’re full when you aren’t. “Well, I ran down there. The coward decided to try and take us all with him into the waters. A throw of the dagger and stab in the shoulder changed his mind, and when we got back up with the others, the rest of Rob’s troopers and Snorri arrived. The rest is rather boring, frankly.”[1/2]
>>4838228Your Uncle nods in commiseration, and remembers the food in front of him. While he starts eating, Aunt carol dabs politely at her lips with a napkin before talking. “Well, that was an interesting story. I’ll have to ask Robert about it more thoroughly when he comes back this way. A shame that he’s headed down the coast, so it’ll be old news by then, but at least you acquitted yourself well, nephew.” It’s a bit odd, hearing a degree of warmth towards you in her voice, but it’s welcome. “So, to business then. How long were you planning on repaying us for our generosity for the next few days?”>[Surly] “Well, my success is the House’s success. I could stand to take on more debt, if that is what you demand of me.” Take on some Debt to cover expenses while staying here. It’ll have to be repaid when you return, with interest, but it’s not an immediate toll on your finances. Add on Debt to your Profit Requirement, with Degrees of Success determining the rate of exchange.>[Gregarious] “Favours are worth favours after all. If someone is holding a function to celebrate Prince Theodore’s proposal, perhaps I could serve as an honour guard for my dear cousin?” It galls you to be begging for scraps like this, but providing them an Honour Guard with yourself and a few of your own guards could help act as payment. It’ll be a boring, itchy, dull affair, but making nice and showing deference will help them out, without substantially increasing your financial burdens.>[Pragmatic] “I’ll bring even more of the family’s produce of wine, brandy, and dried fruit than what I am already. A rising tide raises all ships, after all.” The easiest way for them to loosen their purse-strings for you to loosen your own. Pay your way by spending Wealth, both on accommodations and additional White Market Goods. It’ll take up a lot of your remaining space that you were planning on filling up with metal, but getting their support will help now. Besides, premium alcohol can always find buyers along the way.>[Write-in?][2/2]
>>4838229>[Gregarious] “Favours are worth favours after all. If someone is holding a function to celebrate Prince Theodore’s proposal, perhaps I could serve as an honour guard for my dear cousin?” It galls you to be begging for scraps like this, but providing them an Honour Guard with yourself and a few of your own guards could help act as payment. It’ll be a boring, itchy, dull affair, but making nice and showing deference will help them out, without substantially increasing your financial burdens.Let's think long-term.
>>4838229>>[Gregarious] “Favours are worth favours after all. If someone is holding a function to celebrate Prince Theodore’s proposal, perhaps I could serve as an honour guard for my dear cousin?” It galls you to be begging for scraps like this, but providing them an Honour Guard with yourself and a few of your own guards could help act as payment. It’ll be a boring, itchy, dull affair, but making nice and showing deference will help them out, without substantially increasing your financial burdens.
>>4838238>>4838266>how bout I take ya baby gurl to the ball, so you don't have to spring for security?>Roll Required! Target Value is 40 (Base 40, +4 for [Gregarious], +4 for Helping the Trunk (Robert), +2 for Obeying Protocol x2, +2 for Appeal to Vanity (Arin), +2 for Well-Dressed, +2 for [Duelist's Scars], +4 for Hettie's Help, +0 for Aunt Carol's Approval, -0 for Uncle Arin's [Gregarious] trait,-3 for Lower Social Standing, -3 for Presumptuous Favour, -4 for Cousin Drew's Disapproval, -3 for Indebted Father, -2 for ???, -3 for [Proud])Send out those dice.
>>4838331Shit, forgot to mention. You have 1 out of 1 Re-rolls, and 1 charge of FATE. Head's not entirely in the game, my bad.
Rolled 5 (1d40)>>4838331
>>4838356Doesn't count, needs to be 1d100s breh.
Rolled 71 (1d100)>>4838331
Rolled 13 (1d100)>>4838331>>4838366I'm retarded, excuse me.
>>4838380Nice save. I don't think we need a reroll, considering this.
>>4838371>>4838380>Best roll is a 13! TV is 40. GOOD SUCCESS! You manage to keep the rate to around normal for a coaching Inn, in exchange for one Social Engagement in return.Called and writing, unless either of you feel like re-rolling it for a better result.
>[Gregarious] action taken.>Roll Required! Target Value is 40 (Base 40, +4 for [Gregarious], +4 for Helping the Trunk (Robert), +2 for Obeying Protocol x2, +2 for Appeal to Vanity (Arin), +2 for Well-Dressed, +2 for [Duelist's Scars], +4 for Hettie's Help, +0 for Aunt Carol's Approval, -0 for Uncle Arin's [Gregarious] trait,-3 for Lower Social Standing, -3 for Presumptuous Favour, -4 for Cousin Drew's Disapproval, -3 for Indebted Father, -2 for Capwell Party, -3 for [Proud])>>4838371>>4838380>Best roll is a 13! TV is 40. GOOD SUCCESS! You manage to keep the rate to around normal for a coaching Inn, in exchange for one Social Engagement in return.You briefly entertain the thought of taking on more debt or offering to carry more of the Trunk’s goods with you on the way to Jironth, but you brush those thoughts aside. They stand heavily on pride and decorum. Quibbling about costs are for the lower classes, and I’m not sure if I have the room to carry enough of the House goods there. Besides, it’ll be Trunk goods going instead of ours at that rate, and they’ll try to claim the credit. “Well, favours are worth favours after all. If someone is holding a function to celebrate Prince Theodore’s proposal, perhaps I could serve as an honour guard for my dear cousin?”“What, are you implying that our own men aren’t up to the task, Tristan?” Drew chimes in with a dirty smirk, clearly thinking he has the upper hand on you. Poor cousin Drew, so eager to send good money after bad. You do your best to hide your pity for him, and are prepared to retort when your aunt sighs deeply, clearly disappointed in her eldest.“Andrew, honestly, Tristan has House Guard accompanying him. Where do you think our men get trained properly? If anything, it’s him holding up his duty as the junior branch to offer security for Heather.” She looks over to Uncle Arin stroking his beard deep in thought. “Besides dearest, he did also bring that wretched woman with him from Port Josiah. The two of them, with a few others should be ample support.”Heather takes the moment to twist in her seat to turn pleading eyes and clasped hands over to her father. “Oh, please Father? Could Tris and Snorri come with me to Tabitha’s party? It’d be so lovely to see her again, and he’s a great duelist. If anyone tries to act improper, I’m sure that Tris will win the fight. He did beat nearly everyone he came across down south.”Andrew takes a desperate last gamble, clearly surprised that Aunt Carol didn’t dismiss you like she does to most of the Green Stonyfields. “Father, please. Tabitha always invites a lot of Capwells to her events. You know how they view the Greens, given all that bad blood down south.” Uncle Arin’s hands move up to his temples, and rub them in circular motions as he makes up his mind. For a long pause, you’re half-expecting to be sent away, when he finally comes to a conclusion.[1/3]
>>4838530“Tristan, my boy, so long as you don’t cause any further trouble with the Capwells at that engagement, you can stay. Have your man talk with Percival when they arrive, so we can sort out sleeping arrangements and stable space for the lot of them.” Andrew stands up at once, his hands slapping onto the table.“But Father-“ He’s cut off with a wave of the hand from Arin, and a venomous glare from Aunt Carol. Apparently there are limits to a mother’s love after all.“Enough, I’ve made up my mind.” You stand up at that declaration, and bow as deep as you can. You can practically hear the tiredness in Arin’s voice. “Tristan, stand up lad. It’s family after all, and family takes care of its own. Just don’t cause any problems with the Capwells, understood?” Your uncle’s usual cheerful expression has switched over a placid neutrality, with the deep undercurrent of restrained violence common to the menfolk. You grasp his forearm, and shake on the matter.“Have no worries, uncle. Family takes care of its own after all, and we’ll be on our best behaviour.”>Gained Excellent Accommodations for the four days you will be in Iskander. Total Wealth spent is 10 (2.5 per Day). You have a private and secure room to conduct business in, and there is enough security around that your men will only have to conduct minimal patrols and animal care. Morale rises to [Very Good Spirits]! You owe the Trunk a Social Engagement on the Second Evening. Total Caravan Wealth is 284.65.The rest of the afternoon passes in a blur. In-between looking over the rooms where everyone is going to be staying and talking with the stablemaster to ensure that there’s enough lodgings for all the livestock, the sun passes overhead from its zenith to its nadir. It’s getting rather close to nightfall, when you finally hear the hail from the gate. “Ho there! State your name and business!” You step out onto the wall, and gesture the guards to open the gate when you see Johnny leading the wagon train towards the estate’s gates.[2/3]
>>4838531>[Surly] They took longer than you were expecting getting here. It must not have been terribly serious, since they didn’t send a rider, but you’d better get down there and get a status update from everybody. Some would call it being a mother-hen, you prefer protecting your investment.>[Gregarious] Invite the Heads to supper with the Trunk. Let the men take care of everything else, having the Heads show up to supper tonight will help prove that it’s not a fool’s errand you’re on. You’ll make sure to give them time to freshen up though, of course. No need to show up reeking of tabac and oxen.>[Pragmatic] Take everyone important on a grand tour, and show them where they’ll be sleeping and where everything is. It’s a bit of a confusing layout, and you’d rather them not tramp into parts where they aren’t supposed to. Plus, it could give you a chance to firmly impress on them the importance of protocol here.>[Write-in?][3/3]
>>4838533>[Gregarious] Invite the Heads to supper with the Trunk. Let the men take care of everything else, having the Heads show up to supper tonight will help prove that it’s not a fool’s errand you’re on. You’ll make sure to give them time to freshen up though, of course. No need to show up reeking of tabac and oxen.Give them a rundown on protocol before they get to the table, though.
>>4838533>>[Gregarious] Invite the Heads to supper with the Trunk. Let the men take care of everything else, having the Heads show up to supper tonight will help prove that it’s not a fool’s errand you’re on. You’ll make sure to give them time to freshen up though, of course. No need to show up reeking of tabac and oxen.
>>4838559>>4838597>yo guys, we're gonna have supper with my auntie and uncle. don't fuck this up, and here's how you don't fuck it up.Called and writing.
>[Gregarious] action taken.As the wagons start trundling through the open gate, the young guard makes one of the worst decisions he did yet today. He makes the mistake of asking Snorri if everything is on the level with the caravan. The sheer deluge of swearing and threats wash over him like a tidal wave pulling errant swimmers out to the shark-filled depths. You sidestep the hurricane of derision and mockery to sidle over to where Miguel is looking wan and pale at the lead with Johnny.“There there man, we all made it here in one piece. Good work catching that wheel cracking before it snapped all the way through and gave way.” Johnny’s patting Sooty on the shoulder amiably while he catches your eye. “Speaking of, evening messir Stonyfield. A couple small delays, but nothing too serious. Miguel here,” and he slaps the tall Meyard man on the back with a meaty thud, “caught one of the wheels on the rearmost wagon coming apart. Looks like one of the rims was a bit too thin for the weight, and starting to break up under the strain. Still though, we caught the blighter before it could have caused any issue.” Right, that’s the special wagon. Explaining the powder mixed in with the honey would be a bit of an issue, or the tabac in the statuettes.You look up to the taller man with a cheerful cast to your face. Given the way he’s looking, he could use a bit of support. “Well done Miguel. Scrubbing honey and shattered porcelain out of the floorboards would have been a nightmare. How was your first time in charge?” Sooty winces hard before running his hands through his thick black hair.“Honestly messir, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be. Still, I’d appreciate it if I could stick to just working the metal or repairs. I don’t think I’m cut out for this whole leading a bunch of folks yet.” Miguel fusses with his bandanna a little before he evidently remembers something. “Oh, I nearly forgot, we should probably look at getting a carpenter. I’m no wood butcher, and if our wagons get bashed up, it’d probably be better to have someone who can nail planks together without splitting them to do it.”“I’ll take that under consideration. Now Miguel, I suggest getting cleaned up quickly. I’m planning on having the heads meet up with my family, so that they can see that it’s a serious venture.” Miguel looks sick again, and you try your best to reassure him. “Don’t worry Sooty, I’ll be sure to tell everyone how to act, so you don’t cause offence.”“R-right you are messir. If you excuse me, I better make sure Juan and Isabel get looked after properly. They don’t much like taking direction from anyone who isn’t me.” Miguel tugs on his forelock in a measure of deference and flees towards the wagons with almost indecent haste. Johnny looks at his back with you.[1/2]
>>4838685“He din’t do too bad messir, honest. Listened to what we said, and stuck firm with what we said. He’s a good lad, if a bit on the skittish side. Probably will come to his own after having a few apprentices of his own, that always seems to build up the confidence in a man.”You take the time to fish out a cigarillo from your case, and get ready to light it off of one of the lanterns as night begins to draw in. “Aye, I was the same way once. Still, we all grow into the role eventually. Just, some do it faster than others.” A faint sizzle as it’s lit, and you let out a slow ring of smoke to mingle and dance in the early summer air. You won’t have much time to yourself in Iskander, so you may as well take it while it’s offered.>End of Thread 4! You have a place to stay for the next four days, a Social Engagement to look forward (dread?) to, and haven’t made your relatives angry yet. All in all, things could be worse.I’ll call this thread to a close, since it’s on page 10, we’re at a convenient stopping point, and I’m headed out of town again for the weekend. I’ll probably fire up Thread 5 on June 1st at 01:30 UCT. I’ll probably phone-post some over the weekend, if the mobile networks aren’t shot to shit.>What do you like? What could be improved? How was your first brush in the Quest with the Trunk, and the higher echelons of society? Who do you think is going to cause the problems in Iskander?I’m not sure how much time I’ll have until my job training kicks off, but when it does, I’ll have to put Open Roads on hiatus until it’s done due to scheduling stuff. I’m working on a one-shot to help tide you all over in-between, so look out for Homesteader: Aftermath when it comes online. It’ll be a Weird West style quest, with a lot of traditional artwork I’m doing up for it. Hope you all will enjoy it, have a good one, and take care out there![2/2]
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/4778408/Archived it, before I forget and we have a repeat of Into the Wilderness #2. Vote as you will, I ain't your real dad and can't tell ya shit.
>>4838688Cheers OP, thanks for running! The heart-to-heart with Snorri was wholesome/10. Uncle Arin is based.Is there any particular reason Drew doesn't like us, and vice versa?
>>4838852>why Drew no like us and we no like him?Well, he did used to torment you when you were a young, sensitive lad who liked being around animals. Having three years, four inches, and fifteen pounds on you made it difficult for you to stop him for the longest time. After coming back home from five years at Liberté, he made the mistake of trying to get physical, confident he could still take you. Planting him on his ass and nearly dislocating his shoulder put paid to that line of thinking. Afterwards, it's just little things that add up for your mutual distaste, like gently drifting snow building up for an avalanche.There's just some family that you can't help but hate, no matter what you or they do.