Jul 14th, 2018
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  1. RYUUTAMA - ADV2 PART1.txt
  3. Creeping in like a konekogoblin, the morning fog lays over Sewold like a blanket. Thick and heavy, anybody who is used to living in the seaside town would be aware of this year-round weather phenomenon, and would surely remember to close their windows in the evening. However, not everybody in Sewold is a time-tested veteran of the atrocious weather.
  5. Noah stirs in his bed, hair dotted with droplets of mist, groaning as he rolls over... and into a thick puddle of morning dew. Like a cat, the boy is up in a flash, clutching his blanket to himself and shivering, "W-w-w-what happened?! I opened the window to let the smell out, and..." Dismally, the young man looks around his room in a daze. Somebody down below had been drinking far too much, and the smell had mingled with the barely asleep Noah. He opened the window to savor the air, and fell asleep, before...
  7. Noah: "Well, what's done is done, I guess," Noah grumbles, running a hand through his damp hair. "I guess I'll save on washing my face." Rubbing what remains of his sleep out of his eyes, Noah pulls himself up and changes into his traveller's clothes, pulling his scarf tight and adjusting his bag before heading downstairs.
  9. To say the place has been ransacked would be... nice. Chairs have been upended, fresh straw has been put onto the floor, and there's plenty of people trying to prepare for the rest of the day. Among them, looking significantly better than our traveler, is Ridget Shalley.
  11. Ridget flashes an eye towards the stairs as the young man descended. Already finished with the food that was on her plate, she is nursing a cup of warmed cider. She gives him a chance to look around, before waving him over from her table. "You look like something the cat dragged in. How'd you manage that?"
  13. Moving to join Ridget, Noah takes a seat opposite the merchant and shakes his head, reaching up to rub his temple, "I opened the window last night when I was half asleep, but forgot to close it. Do you know what was causing that... smell?"
  15. Ridget tilts her head and ponders on her mug before letting out a guffaw, "Oh, you must've meant the Barley Brothers."
  17. Noah: KNOWLEDGE OF TRADITION rolling 2d6(5+4)= 9
  19. Noah hesitates, waving over the waitress. "... You don't mean, the traveling monks that drink, drink, preach and drink more, do you? Those 'barley brothers'?" His mind goes back, back to Newgrene, remembering the last time the small sect of farmer-god-worshiping priests visited his village. His head, and his nose, would never forget the smell of booze, a smell that took the tiny tavern a week to properly "lose".
  21. Ridget covers her mouth to hide her teeth as she laughs, "The very same. I'm surprised you'd know of them, seeing as you forgot all about Riehill just over the way."
  23. "Some things you never forget," Noah groans, before placing an order with the sandy-haired waitress and paying her 3 Sil for breakfast. "In any case, you look like you slept well, Still think you need an escort to Riehill?"
  25. The woman nods, "Sleeping well in town is all well and good, but the Gods know that sleeping on the roads is a different story. I'm still looking to hire you and your friend, if you're up for it."
  27. Noah nods, thanking the waitress when she arrives with his food. "I'm up for it. I'll have to speak with Kather, since she's a member of the Hunter's Guild in town. I'm not sure there's much business out by Riehill, especially if I couldn't remember it off the top of my head."
  29. Ridget lets the boy get in a few mouthfuls of food, watching him wolf it down like a child. "Careful, don't try to bite off more than you can chew." She chuckles at the look Noah gives her, sipping at her cider, "Well, in any case, I'd like to get headed out before noon, since we have about three days of travel ahead of us. That should be enough time for you to get enough food supplies for yourself, same for your friend."
  31. Swallowing carefully and chasing it with the cup of milk the waitress brought him, Noah nods. "Sounds like a plan then." He covers his mouth, dropping his fork on his plate when he's done. "I'll be able to find you here then, when I'm ready?" At Ridget's nod, he smiles and stands, "Alright then. Don't leave without me!"
  33. Ridget grins, "Wouldn't even dream about it." She watches as the boy bounds through the door, leaning back in her chair. "It'd be a pretty lonely walk if I did," she murmurs over her mug, losing herself in thought.
  35. Stepping out of the Inn and into the street, Noah is initially surprised by all the activity. Merchants and laborers heading to the docks, huntsmen and loggers heading out of the massive gates to earn their daily bread, and in the center of it all, a straw-haired boy from up North. "I never imagined it'd be this busy," he murmurs to himself, before setting off to find the Hunter's Guild.
  37. Following the reverse of the directions he took to the Pilgrim's Candle, Noah finds himself under the wooden monster sign and the Hunter's Guild soon enough. There's a steady flow of people into the building, and Noah slips in with the rest, between what looked like an ex-lumberjack and perhaps a Valkyrie? Noah doesn't pause to look too hard, filing into the building.
  39. Inside the Hunting guild, the building is humming with activity. There's several people at the front table, negotiating with an increasingly severe looking Master Sige and middle-aged woman with brown hair. To the left and right of the front desk, there's two bulletin boards with papers tacked on. Every so often, a paper gets torn off and taken to the front desk, and a haggling match ensures.
  41. Noah frowns, caught up in all the different outfits and armors of the people within, "How am I supposed to find Kather in this?
  43. His answer responds for him, "Noah! Hey! Farm Boy, over here!" An energetic girl's voice clamors in his ear, and when he turns, there she is.
  45. Kather was sitting, now standing, at a small table to the side. Decked out in her leather armor with her blue cape over her shoulder, she's waving frantically at her target.
  47. Noah scowls just so as he approaches her table, "Noah. My name's Noah. Gods, you yelled it at me when I was leaving last night."
  49. The girl tilts her head to the side, "Did I? Well, anyways, I didn't forget your name! But it's a nickname, right? A Nickname!"
  51. "Do you call the guild master "Old Man" as a nickname then? Kind of a bland imagination for nicknames, don't you think?" Noah quips.
  53. Ridget shakes her head, "Nah, he'd tan my hide if I called him that, if I let him tan it anyways. What, are you better at nicknames? What would you call me then?" Ridget fires back, grinning like a cat.
  55. Noah rubs his chin, feigning deep thought, "Perhaps I'd call you.... "Miss Direction?" Complete with a snap, and a snigger from a nearby table.
  57. The girl frowns, "How do you figure?" Seems that the joke went so far over her head it left a trail in the clouds.
  59. It's Noah's turn to shake his head this time, "Never mind. Remember how I said I wanted to find work last night? Well, work found me." Noah explains the situation and circumstances to Ridget, who, sitting down, listens with her arms crossed and her eyes closed. When it's all done...
  61. "An escort mission, huh?" Kather makes a pained expression, "I'm more of a 'hit things until they stop fighting back' mission person."
  63. Noah coughs, "Like a kidnapper?"
  65. "Not like a kidnapper! I'm a hunter! Hun-ter!" Ridget shouts back, tapping the pommel of her sword against the table. "Besides, Riehill, there's not really much to do in Riehill, is there?"
  67. Noah shrugs, "Well, according to Mrs.Shalley, there's a festival going on there in a week. That'll probably be fun, although, money-wise... well, who knows, maybe they need an extra guard for the festival?"
  69. Ridget weighs the possibilities, before sighing, "Well, there's not much I was doing down here besides working for peanuts, and it's not like I'm going away forever. And I owe you for yesterday, I guess." She sheepishly scratches the back of her neck, before offering her other hand, "Alright Noah. You've got my sword."
  71. Grinning, the boy takes her hand and shakes on it, "Thanks Kather. I was going to say 'I owe you one', but I guess I'm in the clear for that now."
  73. Ridget snickers, "Don't get too cocky there, or you'll end up like that cockatrice last night." She croons, sitting up and looking excited, "That was a good one! That was funny!"
  75. Noah laughs it off, "Sure, if you say so. I'm going to go shopping to make sure I'm ready, wanna come with?"
  77. The girl nods, "Wait up for me!" Standing and checking her backs, she jogs to catch up with the boy, already slipping out of the guild and into the street.
  79. Noah browses the market, discovering that he and Kather are already pretty ready to head out food-wise. However, he takes the time to buy a sunhat and a hiking staff, "Since Riehill sounds like it's going to be hot and all."
  81. When the two have finished their shopping, it's approaching late morning, but Noah and Kather part, agreeing to meet up at the Eastern gate to leave. Kather goes to get her final things and inform Master Sige of her destination, while Noah spends 2Sil to see the letter to his mother sent before returning to the Pilgrim's Candle.
  83. Noah enters only to be directed outside, and when he goes around the back, discovers a modest stable! And there's Ridget, double-checking all of the items that are strapped to a patiently waiting mule. As the young man rounds the corner, she looks up.
  85. Ridget nods, "There you are. I like the new hat. Did you manage to convince your friend?" She turns her eyes back to her animal, soothing the mule as she adjusts several bags.
  87. "Sure did. She's waiting for us at the Eastern exit, or that's where we planned to meet up. Her name's Kather, red-haired girl with a blue cape. She's pretty hard to miss, although she's probably easy to lose," Noah laughs to himself.
  89. Ridget raises an eyebrow, "Well, I hope you're ready to keep an eye on her then." She takes the mule by the guiding lines and draws him out, "Let's get on going then!"
  91. The two make their way through the busy marketplace, avoiding the main thoroughfares to reach the Eastern Gate with considerably more ease, although it does require some more wrangling on Ridget's part. Before long they catch Kather' chatting up one of the city guards.
  93. Noah raises his voice, "Oi, Miss Direction!" He sniggers as Kather turns on cue, earning a curious look from Ridget and the guard, "Mrs. Shalley, this is Kather of Dawic. Kather, this is-"
  95. "Ridget Shalley," Ridget answers, offering her hand out to the enthusiastic Kather. "You're from Dawic then? I don't think I've ever been through there, how far is it?"
  97. Kather laughs a little, "Don't worry, most people don't go to Dawic unless they gotta. I'll just keep putting it farther if I can." She looks between the two of them, "So, if Noah's been straight with me, we're your escort to Riehill then?"
  99. Ridget covers her mouth as Noah protests Kather's implication, "That's exactly it. I'm looking forward to you two seeing me to Riehill safely."
  101. Noah scowls, but before he can talk...
  103. The Guard Kather was talking with clears his throat, "I"m sorry, you said you're going to Riehill? I should give you a warning, there's been a letter of warning from there. With the Pirate activity, there's worries that an increased bandit presence will be along the route."
  105. The party takes in his words somberly, before Kather pipes up, "Well, if they're only coming out when the Pirates are here, then they're probably too chicken-skinned to pose a real threat. Besides, you've seen my credentials, Monster Hunter!"
  107. The others have a little laugh at her expense to her protests, but Ridget raises her hand, "Thank you, but I've got to see these items delivered to Riehill before the festival, or I'm working on a loss, and that's actually a fate worse than death. Are there any caravans moving out?" When the guard shakes his head, Ridget nods, "In that case, if you two don't mind, we'll roll the dice."
  109. Noah puffs up and nods in return, "It'll take more than some two-bit robber to scare me off." He draws himself up, adjusting his brand new sunhat, and follows Ridget out of the gate.
  111. Falling into a cadence, the three new party members leave Sewold behind them, going east, to Riehill!
  113. GM: ==========
  115. As they go forth, the sky is a murky and curdled grey, burgeoning with storm clouds. The route east is early marked with a road that goes from cobbles, to a sand path outlined with wooden stakes, until it finally breaks into a well trodden foot and wagon path. Stretching out from Sewold are farmsteads, currently being run and worked by farmhands and oxen, before later giving way to the grassland of the expanse between Sewold and the Silver Peak Forest.
  119. With Sewald behind them, the three make the beginning of their journey in relative silence. There's some polite talk between Ridget and Kather, but Noah is too busy trying to shake the cobwebs out of his head. It's only when he walks into Kather's outstretched arm that he snaps out of it, "What, why'd you stop?"
  121. Kather shakes her head to silence him, "Shush for a moment." Her hand goes to her sword as she directs his attention up the road.
  123. Noah glances up, scowling... and quickly dials that back.
  125. Up ahead, two men in ragged clothing are waiting for them. One is carrying a bow, aimed right at them, the other one is carrying a club. The first one speaks up, "Now, don't you try to be a hero. We've got another two men with us, behind you."
  127. Noah risks a look back, and catches another ruffian, maybe twenty feet behind them. "I can count one."
  129. Ridget murmurs, "I don't think they're telling the truth. It's just three of them."
  131. "Oi! Quit yer whispering!" The man approaches them, swinging his bludgeon back and forth. "Now, I ain't no murderer, so we're going to give you an option. You can drop everything value, and keep going. Issa, issa tax." He snickers darkly.
  133. Kather shouts back, "How are we supposed to trust you that you'll let us go?! If there's four of you, there's no way we'll have you beat."
  135. The man grins, "Well, I guess you'll just have to take our word for it then, won't you?" He brandishes his club, "So toss your sword to the side, and make it quick, before my friend over there puts a feather in your chest."
  137. Noah watches as Kather draws her sword with a determination he's starting to recognize, before jumping to the side to draw his bow. Ignoring the bandit's shouts, he draws an arrow!
  139. Cherem (GM): =====
  141. Kather is the first up, darting towards the closest Bandit with a roar, "You brigand! I'll make sure you pick your targets better, if I'm not your last!" When the bandit swings his bludgeon at her in a panic, she expertly knocks it aside and hits him hard enough to make him see stars!
  143. Noah nocks his bow and turns his attention to the bandit with the bow! Glancing at the bandit, he's hiding behind a tree, and when Noah fires, his shot goes wide! Damn!
  145. Ridget draws a handaxe from somewhere in her robes and turns to face the bandit behind them. kneeling to grab a stone, she hurls the rock at him, sending him off-balance before she takes a skillful swing! However, to dodge the bandit's own club, she has to leave him with only a tiny wound on the arm.
  147. In the flurry of activity, the ruffians launch their counter-attack! The most skillful, clearly the leader, swings at Kather! But in an excellent parry, she knocks his club away, dropping into an attack stance! The second hoodlum fires an arrow in panic and misses Noah, and the final just can't get Ridget to hold still for his own club!
  149. Kather lets out a roar, "Your last mistake, was trying to take on me!" And with that her blade arcs, and the bandit desperately tries to get his weapon back in time to block her, but he's sent spinning, spinning, and down to the ground with a smashing slash!
  151. Noah draws another arrow, this time lifting it and letting his mind's eye guide him! The bandit, the tree he's hiding behind, they're as separate as sky and earth, and the arrow strikes true, causing the bandit to yelp in pain!
  153. Ridget behind them dodges one particularly nasty swing, and counters perfectly! Her axe digs up and to the side, catching the bandit square in the chest! He reels, stumbling back and holding his weapon in front of him, his spare hand clutching the wound in his chest.
  155. As the leader falls, the other two hoodlums are clearly shaken! The first misses his shot against Noah, and the "ambusher" can barely swing his club at Ridget!
  157. Kather takes advantage of the lull to jump into combat with the Archer engaging Noah, "Go back and help Ridget! I've got this one!" And to go with her claim, Kather's sword swings down and catches the bandit in the same arm that the arrow caught him in!
  159. Noah takes Kather's advice without question, turning and aiming at the man! It's not even a moment before the man realizes that he's in the boy's sights, but it's too late! And a feather sprouts from his leg!
  161. Ridget approaches him and flips her axe around to the blunt end. "It's a shame, if you had just picked up an honest life, this wouldn't have happened to you. Unless, of course, one of your friends decided to rob you instead." Before the man an register confusion, anger, remorse, the axe comes knock, knocking the man flat on his back, out cold.
  163. Despite his comrades falling, or perhaps because of it, the final bandit takes a deep breath and screams out! His sudden lunge takes kather by surprise, and he drives a cutting knife into her arm!
  165. Kather hisses in pain, some of the cutting nullified by her armor, but the lion's share cutting through. And as she takes the hit, she drops her sword, knife lodged in her arm's gauntlet, bandit desperately trying to pull it free, and swings with her hips! Her mailed fist slams into the man, sending him bowling back and throwing up before passing out with a rattle. A brief, panting moment later, Kather wrenches the knife out, tossing it to the side with frustration. "I need a bandage"
  167. Noah goes to ruffle in his bag for something to stop the bleeding, but Ridget beats him to the punch. "You need more than just a bandage. Hold out your arm."
  169. Kather does as commanded after sitting against the tree, taking her sword in her non-stabbed hand.
  171. Ridget takes the bleeding arm and runs her hand over it. "With the power given by men to Dragons, be healed." She murmurs and incantation, and the wound knits itself together, although it's still a pretty painful-looking bruise. "Sorry I can't do much else, but it'll stop the bleeding at least."
  173. Kather shakes her head, "No, I appreciate it, thanks!" She grins, tapping her arm and wincing slightly, "See, good as new! Now..." And with that, she stands and starts inspecting the passed-out hoodlums.
  175. Noah can't contain himself anymore and blurts out, "That was magic, wasn't it? Where did you learn that? How did you use it? Does it really tire you out like people say? Does it actually cost your life, like, it costs blood to use?"
  177. Ridget laughs a little, wiping the stains of Kather's blood on a napkin she produces, "I'll answer them in the order you asked, pay attention now. Yes, Picked it up, It's complicated, Yes, absolutely not." And she grins, adjusting her black and grey hair as Noah staggers.
  179. Noah shakes his head, "You mean you just picked it up? Like, from a book?" Glancing back at the bandit behind them, he looks back at her, "And that guy, you were fighting him toe-to toe, but he's almost twice your size! Where did you learn to fight like that? Are you really a merchant?"
  181. Ridget covers her mouth to laugh as she goes to collect her mule, who ran a little bit away from the fighting, "You're just a fountain of questions, aren't you? Didn't your mother keep some secrets from you?"
  183. Noah glowers as Kather laughs from her task, crossing his arms, "Maybe stuff like where she hid the sugar she bought from the market, but nothing like that. My mom's a nice, quiet lady..." He frowns, his throat slightly tightening.
  185. Kather clicks her tongue, "Hey, none of that. Looks like these guys had nothing on them, even the weapons are too shoddy to take with us. Let's just leave them, the guards or a monster will come and wake them up eventually." She stands up from the last one and rolls her shoulders. "Onward!"
  187. Cherem (GM): =====
  189. With Ridget leading the way, the party advances further to the east. As they advance, the grassland starts to make way for small bundles of adventurous trees, but lurking among them, the mist starts rolling in, thick and heavy.
  191. Noah grumbles, adjusting his hat when a few drops of drizzle hit his nose, "Isn't it a little too late in the day for this kind of fog?"
  193. Ridget shakes her head in response, but Kather's the one who answers, "Well, it would be anywhere else, but we're getting closer and closer to the Silver Peak Forest."
  195. Noah glances back to look at the rearguard, "What does that have to do with it?"
  197. Ridget clears her throat, "The name isn't just because Riehill's surrounding mountains peek over it, but because the fog and clouds break against them and descend into the forest, where the trees break through it, but all anybody else can see is the Silver wall of fog ahead of them." She glances back at an intrigued Noah and a disturbed Kather, "do you know how to get though the forest?"
  199. Noah: KNOWLEDGE OF TRADITION rolling 2d6(6+3)= 9
  201. Noah nods, "Of course! The forests in this region are home to Myconids! They leave trails through the forest to mark their territory, and the animals and smart humans leave their mushrooms alone. You follow the twinkling ones, and you'll eventually find your way out!"
  203. Kather frowns, "Myconids, you mean the mushroom people?"
  205. Ridget nods, "The very same, good answer! It's pretty much correct, although, if you follow just the twinkling mushrooms, you might end up leaving the way you came in! There's actually a pattern to where they plant their mushrooms, and with them you can find out which direction you're heading!"
  207. Kather coos in surprise, "I'll have to remember that one! It'll keep me from getting lost in the woods!"
  209. Noah sniggers, "The only problem is, there have to be Myconoids living in the area who will show you the way out."
  211. Ridget waves her hand, "Well, we'll cross that bridge, or path, when we come to it. We're going to break for camp when we reach the edge of the forest: we'll have crossed enough ground that even if we take a long Myconid trail, we'll reach Riehill in two more days."
  213. As the sun rises (presumably) and falls (presumably), the clouds keep rolling in, resulting in a brief, hectic little shower. It's not long after that the party reaches the edge of the forest, when grassland gives to endless waves of trees. The Silver Peak Forest is swelling with fog, where tree trunks and boughs shimmer and fade in and out of focus. The Branches of the pine trees are coated with a bluish-silver frost along the edges, giving their green silhouettes a slight blur amongst the fog.
  215. Ridget claps her hands as they find a suitable spot. "Alright! I'm going to start preparing the campsite. Noah, you're going to help me. Kather, you're a hunter, right?"
  217. Kather nods eagerly, drawing a small sling, not big enough for combat but small enough for game, "I can read your mind!"
  219. Noah stifles a laugh as Ridget smiles, "Well, I can't fault you for enthusiasm. Just remember, don't kill any more than we can eat, and remember to thank the forest for it afterwards. The trees here might not look like they care, but the forest's dragon and it's caretakers do."
  221. Noah frowns as Kather bounds off, turning his attention to Ridget, "You said the forest's dragon cares? I figure the caretakers are the Myconoids, but a dragon? You've seen the forest's dragon?"
  223. Ridget shrugs, "You don't need to see the Forest's Dragons to know they're there. I mean, look up there." She directs their attention to the whirling and bubbling clouds, pointing out one pocket in particular that is increasingly active. "See, there's probably one or two dragons, the ones causing this whole mess. I don't need to see them, but I can see the signs of their passing." Returning to clearing up the campsite, she continues, "Besides, the Myconoids aren't the only caretakers of the forest. You never know what's hiding out there, and better to leave a good impression, right?"
  225. Noah stays watching the clouds for a little while longer, watching as the pocket Ridget pointed out whirls and dips across the sky. At one point, he almost imagines seeing a kindly face peering out right back at him, but when he blinks, it's gone. Shaking his head, Noah returns to earth, "I guess you're right. Better to be good guests in the end."
  227. While the two are busy cleaning up and setting up camp, Kather tries to make herself useful out in the forest. However, nothing seems to be eager to be roasted on a spit or boiled in a pot, and she returns empty-handed.
  229. Kather smiles crestfallen, "Sorry, I wasn't able to find anything." She starts to sulk, crossing her arms, "It's so frustrating! We're in the forest! There should be at least squirrels!"
  231. Ridget nods a little, rubbing her chin as she sits on a stump, long-abandoned by the tree that it once supported. "It is rather curious."
  233. Kather clicks her tongue, "Normally that'd make me assume that something scared them off, something bigger than humans, since they usually come back after... humans... come... back...." her voice trails off, and the three companions each look in different directions, into the forest's milky grey gloom.
  235. Noah clears his throat, soliciting a jump from Kather and a look from Ridget, "Well, I'll get a fire started then, and we'll play rock-paper-scissors for who takes what watch!"
  237. Cherem (GM): Kather, Noah, Ridget
  239. As the night winds down that the three share dinner over the fire, the sun dips below the horizon, and the forest positively lights up with activity. There's owls hooting, the sounds of little critters ("If Only I'd've gone now!" Kather moans), and just generally a very camping feel to the journey so far.
  241. Ridget is the first to go to sleep, ducking out early and slipping into her sleeping bag beside her mule. Not soon after, Noah joins her, laying down for a nap as Kather tends the fire. Another day, another adventure.
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