The Mistmarches

Escaping from 'Home'

and finally sleeping in a comfortable, clean bed

Session Summary
The team learned a lot while stealthily escaping the great forest. First, the girl sees herself as an outcast now and, when presented with the great inconsistencies of what she believed versus what she saw behind the wall, she is willing enough to work with them for mutual benefit. It seems that each extended family group is ruled by or somehow answerable to a mated pair of snake people, who periodically bestow ‘gifts’ and offer the most fervent and favored followers the chance to ‘ascend,’ although it’s not clear what either of those mean other than a person goes behind the wall and might or might not come back. Some of those who receive ‘gifts,’ she says, do return; others do not. She does not understand.

The team was able to make good their escape, despite being noticed and pursued by some of the locals, and were also able to evade any Beast Men that were lurking in the jungle. Dragging theirselves home in sorry, haggard shape, they reported what they’d found to their camp commander, were fed, and went to sleep. On the next day, after a good breakfast and baths and getting on some clean, more comfortable clothes, they spent hours providing detailed reports of everything they saw and did, with Ti’ un Ril’s maps and notes providing key information and facts.

Ahtur, the camp commander, informed them at day’s end that they’d all have a week’s local leave – which means that they’d be able to have the next 7 days off, barring emergencies, and requiring that they stay in the local area. This is received as a welcome relief, as it will give everyone time to recover from what was a very taxing 8-day mission. At the end of that week, the team serves on garrison duty for about a month, training, instructing others in turn, and briefing several high-ranking Scout and Army personnel who come by the camp for that purpose. No one is taking their information or news lightly.

Thus, it is about 6 weeks between the end of this first mission and the beginning of the next, meaning that it is winter when the team is preparing to depart for their next patrol, which will be described in a separate post.

What do you think would happen to the girl? She’d be treated well and would be interviewed, too, but what do you think she’d do or would be done with her?

Moving Forward
In addition to benefits gained from reaching 4th level, during the time off everyone can choose one downtime activity to pursue, from the list below.

  1. Heal Corruption – DC13 WIS to remove 2 Shadow points. Roll this at the table next time we meet. This reflects spending time relaxing, training, and getting back to yourself by focusing on the things you value and the good you seek to do.
  2. Meet Patron – what with all the brass you’re talking to about your mission, one of you might impress someone influential person and earn an ally. If you choose this you and I will flesh it out, and this person will become helpful down the road.
  3. Research Lore – DC15 Knowledge (Something) roll to investigate something of interest and value, with a successful roll earning you three questions answered about it from me. If you an idea of something that you’d like to see happening in the world or story, this could be an opportunity to insert it into the game.

Go ahead and choose which of those you want and state as much in the Comments on this post so everyone can see it. I’ll write another post that will serve as your pre-mission brief for the next session.

Comments

Out of curiosity… What if one wanted to become an adventurer instead and set off on his own? How would one go about resigning from the Scouts?

Escaping from 'Home'
 

Meta
That’s a good question, and one I’d not considered. Do you think, given the training that you received, that you’d have contracted with them for a period of time? It’s not as if they’ve given you equipment or things to keep, and if you were unwilling to do the job as they wanted it done I don’t think they’d try to force you to continue doing it.

Is this a curiosity question or are you thinking of doing that?

Escaping from 'Home'
 

Genji will practice his storytelling abilities with the brass and around the barracks, illustrating (maybe slightly embellishing) their adventures using magical illusions to envoke the desired responses of shock and surprise where he wants it. His stories focus on the heroism of his companions, so as to not sound arrogant.

Also, Genji will spend most of his spare time with the girl, learning her language, and trying to understand her culture. He does not want harm to befall her people, and wants to eventually return to her home to free the rest of her people from the snake’s control – whether they can ever be convinced of their influence or not. He’d rather they be free and blame him for the death of their spirits than be slaves to them.

Escaping from 'Home'
 

Sarick woke the following morning from a fitful sleep drenched in sweat, images of pitched desperate battle dancing through his mind. He could not make out the faces, the location, it was as if it were all shrouded in a fog. The final scene was etched in his mind’s eye like the pitted mars on the helmet he had retrieved, the scene of a figure dripping with hate and malevolence walking among the dead and dying Rangers. As the malignant creature reached each warrior, it knelt down and began by placing the right hand on their body as white light seemed to be absorbed, the figure flinched then placed it left on the body and seemed to be replacing it with a black viscous. Finally, as the figure raised it’s sinister hand and seemed to flick it as one might flick the gore off a blade, it stood and began to come into focus as its arms raised and laid it’s head back in an exultant wail. As it’s head lolled forward the face was almost perceivable, but the cold eyes of death seemed to look into Sarick’s soul. That image felt etched, no burned on him as if the branding iron. He immediately stood, donned his trews, and boots, grabbed up the helmet and walked out into the cold gray morning.

There were few awake this hour, and those that were he ignored. The door to the smithy was open, and the fires had begun the stoking process for today’s work. The shop was a meager affair, well, a meager affair when compared to the vast shops he had grown up working in and around. He inspected the tools, looking for what he needed caring not for what the blacksmith might say. He set to work, scrubbing the helmet, working off the grime of the ages.

Escaping from 'Home'
 

The Blacksmith, Farris, had indeed shared displeasure at Sarick invading the workspace without even a ask, but he seemed to appreciate the fevered pitch the young man worked at restoring such an old piece of junk. By the end of the first day it was well into the Evening when Sarick made his way to the common hall for some stew, and as he slurped at the bowl, he scratched out a request to his Father. He listed out the tools he would need for the work ahead, and asked they be sent with haste.

It was the third day that Sarick realized the helmet could not handle the full restoration process as he punched through one of the heavily pitted spots. With a heavy sigh, he at least decided to remove the rust and restore the heraldry. He hearkened back to a time when he was 13, and was tasked similarly to restore a piece recovered from another battlefield. He had asked, nay pestered his trainer to give him something to challenge him. He had envisioned being assigned a masterpiece work, instead he was felt like he was given an old piece of junk. That work had started out slow for his heart was not in it, but as the steel began to show through there was admiration that came with it and each day seemed to uncover a more of it’s treasure. Similarly, the helmet was beginning to show it’s once original luster, and he had actually uncovered the Smithy’s mark, it was uncommonly long for a Smith’s Mark, Klssnbrg…

Escaping from 'Home'
 

By the end of the week, Sarick was completing the cleaning of the old helmet, and had delivered the tools to Farris. He was not sure what to do with the piece but it seemed as though it needed to be sent to the capitol with at least the short story surrounding it. He requested a meeting with Ahtur to see if this were a possibility.

The morning of the second week, Sarick reluctantly dawned his armor once again. His hands, arms, hell his whole upper body still ached from the tedious work. He walked out to the training field to join the others for sparring practice, sword and shield in hand and performed his stretches. Just as he was settling into his routines, one of the fresh Scouts was watching him. He finished his flourish, and stretched a little as he walked over to the young man. “Shall we go a round or two?” The look on the Scout’s face was eager but reluctant, Sarick stowed the waster in his belt, and thrust his hand forward “I don’t believe we have met, I am Sarick.” The young man, awkwardly shook his hand and informed him his name was Randall, but they called him Ferret on account of… well he explained he wasn’t quite sure. Sarick smiled, and squared off. Taking it slow they went several rounds, each time Sarick stopping to provide guidance and encouragement.

As he finished his last bit of advice, he realized that Brody was standing there watching the exchange. At that moment, that single moment, looking at Brody’s sneering face, the rat-like nose, he was not sure where it came from but Sarick felt an ember welling up inside of him. He nodded and began to walk off as he heard the calling, mocking laughter of the self absorbed Scout. “Come on now, aint you got time for the rest of us, great swordmaster? World traveler? Surely you’re not afraid, I mean, you’ve been beyond the cliffs! Stealing little girls…” Calculations were running through Sarick’s head as he made the poor decision to stop, turn heel, and march forward to Brody. He saluted him with his wooden waster without saying a word as the two began circling each other like an animal stalking it’s prey. Brody had two things going for him, he was fast, and he had a mouth like a viper. Between the florentine twinned short swords, and the running of the venomous slurs, he could get an opponent going. It was about the third turn when Brody lunged, hacking his left blade down on Sarick’s longsword effectively pinning it and coming around with a wide swift arc of the right hand to smack Sarick on the back of the head. “Oh, that must have hurt, need to be a little faster there. Sorry, Sorrick” drawing out the sarcastic name. Sarick shook it off and walked around with the sting smarting on the back of his head but more importantly the embers becoming more of a campfire. What the hell was he doing? He clacked his blade on his shin then squared off once again. This time he charged, shoving his shield into Brody’s right shoulder blunting it’s movements as his longsword came in to drive his left blade out but instead met air as the left blade came up under his shield and he felt pressure on his groin. Sarick disengaged as Brody continued “I think you should go back to the blacksmith’s shop as you’re not doing too well out here little buddy”. Sarick walked slowly over to the waster stand and replaced the wooden practice sword as he calmly began walking back to Brody, this time he drew his long sword and imagined the five tribesman that had chased him the week before. As if a practiced routine, he clacked his shin guard twice and spread his arms and in a threatening tone a little louder than the practice field deserved “Come on then Brody, let’s settle this!” as he crouched into a high guard and stared down his opponent. Brody chuckled and handed his short sword wasters to Reg before drawing his live blades and grinning from ear to ear. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time…” drawing out the last words like one might savor the bite of a tasty steak. Sarick watched, and pivoted as Brody tested his defenses, pushing in left, right, but Sarick did not attack. The crowd had begun to gather as it was not allowed to draw steel on the training field, but no one was stopping them. Brody had begun the whirlwind motion of two spinning blades and had nicked Sarick here and there. The rage was welling like a bonfire as Sarick stared at Brody, “Is that blood I see, look who drew first blood” Brody mocked as he came in again with another whirlwind of motion. This time Sarick sidestepped hard to Brody’s left and chopped down hard on his left shoulder and was rewarded with a cry of sheer pain as the long sword bit into the flesh rendering the shoulder useless. Sarick was in the moment though, and swung down to clip the left calf as blood exploded and Brody fell to a knee, then Sarick spun shoving his shield into his right armpit punch him in the nose and was towering over him continuning his assault as he felt strong hands pulling him off of Brody. Sarick almost wheeled to continue the assault but as he spun he saw Ti standing back off with his hands up in the air. Korrigan and Genji watched as well not sure what to make of it and Sarick turned to look at his work. Brody was laying ont he ground wailing like a banshee, bleeding into the training ground as Sarick flicked the blood off his blade unsure what was to happen next…

Escaping from 'Home'
 

WALL OF TEXT, text, text ;-)

Sarick is working on removing the Shadow

Escaping from 'Home'
 

Working on removing Shadow by beating up fellow Rangers! Ha! Okay, cool. I’ll respond to the wall o’ text later today. It seems that Genji is interested in finding a patron – correct me if I’m wrong – and working with the girl to learn more of her language.

Escaping from 'Home'
 

True! I figure he was still in the process of working to remove it and Brody had it coming.

Escaping from 'Home'
 

Note: the recovered helm does bear the oldest known mark of the Klaussenberg Smithy, the oldest armorer in the realm and long a producer of fine armor and arms in Misthaven. The helm has an additional mark on the inside, which might, given research, indicate who the owner was.

Escaping from 'Home'
 

In response to the Brody beatdown…

Scouts on guard duty and others rush forward to block Sarick and Brody from each other, and moments later some call for help for the wounded trooper. Many look shocked, while murmurs of “he had it coming” and “what got into Sarick?” ripple across the crowd.

The duty officer arrives and has a pair of guards escort Sarick to the commander’s office, while others scouts are collared by a few of the camp guards to provide statements. Brody is helped up and taken to the infirmary for treatment of his bloody, but not life-threatening wound.

After an investigation by the camp commander, it is determined that both men acted unprofessionally and were in violation of several service regulations, earning both of them two days in the stockade and a week of extra duty, along with forfeiture of a week’s pay. Considering that Sarick could have shattered the mouth’s shoulder, this punishment is pretty lenient.

Brody, for his part, smolders with anger, although his reputation at the camp, already shaky, is shot by the episode. He’s seen as an instigator and self-serving mouth, and after his week of extra duty he is suddenly removed from his team and put on “temporary” garrison duty – which means he’ll be cleaning the yard and commodes while others do the real work. This is temporary, of course…but without an expiration date.

Escaping from 'Home'
 

The girl stays at the camp during the team’s downtime, and Genji is able to achieve a working knowledge of her language – enough to communicate slowly over somewhat difficult topics, or more naturally over simple things. She picks up Common at a comparable pace, and so the two of them are able to communicate pretty efficiently within a month.

She is unwilling to leave the camp with anyone but the team, although it’s clear that the commander would very much like her to go to Misthaven with some government officials to be interviewed by some higher-ups. Her status is still up in the air when the next mission briefing comes down the line.

Escaping from 'Home'
 

Makes sense, and based on the way I am interpreting “Shadow” his is kind of Prideful, so I could see it playing out that way.

Escaping from 'Home'
 

Agreed. And while the commander is pissed off and will not tolerate crap like that, the general sense around the camp is that Brody did have it coming – although maybe not to the point of drawing blood with a blade.

Escaping from 'Home'
 

I spread rumors that the girl has magical ability and she is teaching Genji the ways of her people. I also mention that her people take touching as an insult that could prove deadly.

That should keep the drunks away.

Escaping from 'Home'
pik

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