Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday 4 July 1280, Early Morning (Abbot Cuthbert, Setting out for the Grove)

An Absent Companion

As you eat your breakfast, you notice Gaven is not present. When you ask Sal about him, he tells you Gaven went to the temple alone for morning prayers before the rest of you arose.


Gaven's Visit to the Church
(OOC: the "you" in this section refers only to Gaven, of course)

As the duties of the Servants of the Light require them to get up only at sunrise, you are uncertain whether you will find anyone at the Temple at such an early hour. However, when you arrive you find the front door to the Temple unlocked, though the hall is empty of worshippers. The Temple's white walls, its cleanliness and freshness, make you feel at home. You kneel not long in silent prayer before you hear quiet footsteps enter the chapel behind you.

Closing your meditation, you stand and face an elderly, white-haired cleric who greets you and presents himself as the Abbot Cuthbert.

"How good it is to meet one of the militant order, young Gaven! As you surely know, we here in Fairbrook are mainly healers repairing the damage of chaos. However, we hold in the highest regard those of your order who pursue and defeat chaos at its sources."

When you speak of Elsie and Bill, the cleric shakes his head sadly. "These are grave times," he says. "Though I have not been there, I have heard of this grove. Often have I warned the young people of Fairbrook about the dangers of courting far from the eyes of parents."

"I have no advice to give you in such a quest, but I can offer you this." Abbot Cuthbert reaches into his robe and withdraws a small vial filled with a pale blue liquid. "It is not magical," he quickly adds, anticipating your query. "However, this draught calms broken nerves and eases emotional suffering. If your two young people are the victims of any grave fear – and for their sake I hope not – this may be of use. May the Light shine on your endeavor and help you to find those two young souls."


Breakfast at the Red Tankard

"Shall we head towards this 'Lover's Grove' then?" Oloc asks. "I think an early start would be a good idea. After the information we received last night it would appear that more is afoot than I first expected."

"I am in agreement with Oloc, something is remiss," says Varros. "In addition to generating goodwill amongst these townsfolk, 500 coin would be a substantial addition to our funds. Onward."

Having finished rubbing lineament into his bow flexible Duran adds: "I agree it sounds like our course should be to 'Lover's Grove,' as soon as we are all assembled we should leave. It seems it might be better to investigate this place in the day light."

The group is nearly finished breakfast, when Gaven returns. The sky is starting to brighten, and it promises to be a clear warm day. Gaven sits at the table to quickly take his breakfast. "I agree, we should head for 'Lover's Grove' to investigate."


Setting Out

You pack your gear and make for the north gate, reaching it as the sun rises to the level of the rooftops. Passing the watchtower, you advance northward up the Woodfield Road. You march a half mile along the road, and you easily spot the grove on a low, gently sloped hill to your right, just as the young man in the Red Tankard had described.

From the road you can see that the grove consists of an apple orchard with trees originally planted in straight lines along the slopes. At the top of the hill, through a gap in the trees, you can see the remains of a farmhouse, whose roof is mostly collapsed. Many of the trees still bear apples, but it is clear that the orchard hasn't been tended in at least a generation. The time is roughly seven o'clock in the morning, and the sun shines brightly on the east side of the hill.


OOC: Actions?

If there's any last-minute gear you'd like to buy, just let me know. We'll just say you swing by the general store on your way to the gate.

Also, from the PCs' point of view, only Gaven knows about the vial, unless he chooses to tell the group (which he can easily do on the march to the Grove if he wishes).  

Since I started you guys so late in the first in-game day, I won't charge you the cost of living for that day. Cost of living calculations will start with the current date of 4 July, the first full in-game day (if you end up coming back to town to spend the night).

Lastly, I've added sunrise and sunset times, by month, to the West Kingdom Info Page (in the section on Calendar and Moon Cycles).


  1. Gaven - cleric

    On the journey to the grove, Gaven relays his conversation with the abbot to the party and ends with, "it seems we should take care. There are strange happenings about that grove."

    As the group approaches their destination, Gaven asks, "Shall we head straight for farmhouse, or would one of you like to scout about first?," He points to his plate armor, "I would make a less than ideal scout."

    Gaven observes the edge of the orchard looking for prints in the ground or marks on the trees and for any trees that look different from the rest (dead or dying).

    OOC: I think we should split the cost to buy some adventuring supplies for Ollie to carry - shovel, hammer and spikes, crowbar, rope and the like.

    1. OOC: Regarding the equipment, you guys are more than welcome to do that. The current suggested list:

      shovel (5gp)
      hammer (2gp)
      twelve spikes (1gp)
      crowbar (5gp)
      50' hemp rope (1gp)

      would come to a total of 14 gp which, divided four ways, would come to:

      3 gp, 5 sp each.

      If everyone agrees, I'll add those items to what Ollie is carrying, and you can subtract the coin from your character sheets. If there's any other item you want to add to the list, just give a shout.

    2. ooc: Oloc's sheet is updated.

  2. Oloc leans on his staff as he looks up the hill. "I won't stop any of you if you wish to scout ahead, but perhaps we should go up as a group. Strength in numbers and all that."

    Oloc will also take some apples (those looking ready for plucking of course) to add to his pack when the group heads up to the farmhouse.

    ooc: Oloc has some coin that he will (begrudgingly) contribute to the gear!

    1. Though some of the apples look a bit past their prime, there are indeed plenty of others that look quite good.

  3. Duran - Fighter

    As they approach the grove Duran adjusts his gear on his back and strings his bow. He finishes and as he pulls an arrow from his quiver he says to his companions, "I agree with Oloc we should stick together but there is no reason why we shouldn't ready ourselves for whatever may lie ahead." Then notching his arrow and readying himself he continues forward towards the farm house keeping his sense aware for anything out of the ordinary.

    ooc: The gear sounds good to me, maybe add a couple torches. I will deduct the current cost from my sheet.

    1. There are currently 18 torches carried by the party (each one burns for one hour). You guys can either just go with those or pick up some more if you wish.

  4. Varros - Fighter

    Varros unsheathes his sword and tests it's keen edge with his thumb. "Let us take our time and approach the farmhouse as one. Perhaps we can see inside or find an alternate entry if we search it's perimeter methodically." Pausing briefly he goes on to say "I for one have, shall we say, been the victim of an unscrupulous ambush before... Mayhaps we may find some clue as to whether our missing lass has been here as well."

    Ooc: I would like to search for alternate entryways and anything out of the ordinary on the farmhouse exterior and property.

    Oloc: I agree with the supply expenditure as well and suggest purchasing the ubiquitous ten foot pole as well. Bard, if you could provide us a final tally that would be wonderful.

    1. I meant OOC, not Oloc. Damn spellcheck.

    2. LOL: no worries with the spellcheck. :)

      The ten-foot pole normally runs 1 gp, but I'll say the store owner cuts you guys a deal for buying some "bulk dungeoneering supplies," and he'll toss in the pole for a mere 8 sp.

      That would bring everyone's total to 3 gp, 7 sp
      (or simply an additional 2 sp if you've already subtracted the 3 gp, 5 sp I posted earlier).

      I'll add all the equipment to Ollie's list -- everyone agreed to the initial 3 gp, 5 sp. If anyone objects to the extra 2 sp for the pole, let me know and I'll remove it from Ollie's list.

    3. Also, did you guys want to pick up more torches beyond the 18 you currently have?

  5. Also, one other thing, it might be good for me to know what kind of marching order or formation you'd like to adopt, just generally, when advancing in an open area like this, as well as a typical marching order for narrower confines (marching along roads, down dungeon corridors, etc.).

    Maybe the first to respond to this comment can propose something, and the others can accept it or modify it?

  6. Hirelings first! But you already knew that right? Beyond that I suggest Gaven and myself in the vanguard so Duran can utilize his bow. Of course our resident wizard should hand back at all cost. Probably not a problem based on his track record so far. Lol. Jk Oloc! We expect that of wizards!

    1. No need to twist Oloc's arm about being in the second rank. He is definitely a "right behind you guys!" kinda guy!

  7. I agree to the proposed marching order and I subtracted the 3.8 go from my total.

    1. The proposed marching order sounds good to me as well as the pole.

  8. Excellent! Stan is willing to be in the front rank as long as at least one of you is right there beside him. Stan is also less likely to lose his nerve and flee if his flanks are protected. Ollie, of course, will refuse to be in the front line, and will only fight in desperate self-defense.

    So if I've understood correctly, we'd be looking at something like this, which should work for spaces 10' wide or wider:

    Front Rank: Gaven---Stan---Varros
    Second Rank: Duran---Ollie---Oloc

    Just for reference, when a combat situation occurs, and prior to the groups engaging in melee, Duran can shoot over/between members of the front rank with no danger (i.e., they crouch, scrunch aside, etc. as needed for him to get off his two shots). This assumes either that the party has initiative, or else that the other side has initiative but does not close to melee in the first round. Otherwise, once melee is engaged, the book rule for shooting into melee (p. 31 "Missile Attack") comes into play.