[Upkeep need to deduct 16sp for men-at-arms. 4sp for PCs to stay at the Inn.]
Arden and Corwin go to the Trader to purchase mounts.
Does he have enough riding horses (needing 12)? No, but he has some mules. I randomly roll for 4 mules. Therefore Arden will bargin for 8 riding horses and 4 mules. Thane wants a mule anyway. Total cost will be (8 riding horses x 40sp and 4 mules x 10) total 360sp. Arden will let Corwin haggle with the trader. Corwin makes his merchant roll. Result=8 I figure that 7=success. Corwin will be able to get a little better deal on the mounts. Random roll= 30% off. So all the mounts will cost 252sp. Not bad.
Corwin does not get a discount on the tack (saddle, bit and bridle, saddle bags). Arden buys some tack for each mount. Check if there are any used tack? FU die=1, Result is “No, and” I interpret this as no used tack here and prices are higher than normal by 30%. 10sp for bit and bridle, 5sp for saddle, and 10sp for saddlebags. Arden will buy 12 saddles and 12 bit/bridles. Cost will be 180sp plus 30% for total of 334sp. 4 saddle bags, total 44sp. Altogether the mounts and gear are 630sp. Arden makes arrangement for payment. Approximately 158sp per PC for this.
Thane buys another flask of dwarven brandy for 5sp. Thane makes 5 more caltrops at the blacksmith’s shop.
Martin, Arden, and Catamont take a ride into Coot’s Mill to scout an area for the church.
The people of the small village are wary of the cleric, but Arden’s charisma wins the day. He tells of some of the exploits of Martin in the Caves of Chaos. Also Catamont is no stranger here. He is greeted by some of the villagers. The three spend time looking over the village and having a drink at the run down tavern. It is more of a lean-to than a building–tent roof and slab boards for a bar. The ale isn’t bad but could be better. Martin decides that a brief visit is enough for the moment. He will return later to discuss building a church.
Corwin seeks out Florian the elf, to meet regarding spells. Florian appears aloof and busy. Corwin gets to the point and asks if Florian would allow him to learn a spell or two from his spellbook. Florian tells Corwin that he has no time to for an apprentice, but will ask for some minor magic item found in the Caves, a potion, or a scroll for access to his spells. In addition, Corwin shall loan his spellbook for the same duration as he has use of Florian’s. Corwin reluctantly agrees. He produces his Firebolt scroll and also remembers that he has a potion yet to be identified. Florian opts to take the Firebolt scroll.
They conclude their meeting with intention to begin spell research in the next few days.
[Deduct 20sp for men-at-arms and PCs room and board]
Rolled dilemma die. Result=1
I roll on a random city encouner chart [Dungeons and Digressions] Result= a palm reader offers to read someone’s palm for a ‘discount’.
The morning breakfast at the tavern is quite good. The party shares a tray of eggs, thick slices of ham, and warm buttered bread. Washing this down with ale.
A strange woman approaches their table and asks if anyone would care to have their fortune told. She starts to ask Corwin, but notices he has the look of a magician and instead looks towards the dwarf. Thane agrees and holds out his calloused palm. Roll=11, the women smiles and says that great fortune awaits Thane in the near future. She sees a hay cart in her vision [random roll of Rory’s Story Cubes] and tells Thane that this may be important. Arden chuckles, Martin retreats back to his ham and eggs. Thane thanks the woman and gives her a silver piece!
Today the company will ride out to survey the countryside on their horses.
Martin is the hunter of the group and leads them due North for the morning. North of the Keep they find a logging trail that heads into the woods. Following this into the woods for about a mile. Suddenly arrows fire out of the forest!
Corwin is hit (a critical) for double damage. He takes 6 points! Yowzah! He spends 1 luck point to take the hit roll down to 11 and spare him the crit. He still takes 2 points.
Arden is hit with a 12! Another critical! He is struck in the leg (-1 to hit for remainder of the battle). Thane is also hit for 2 points. Martin tells the company to move ahead to get out of the ambush. No other arrows are fired at the group as they gallop along the logging trail.
They come to a logging camp. In it are 7 woodsmen. Instead of working, they are clustered around a couple wagons. Axes and crossbows in hand. They aim their weapons at the company, but lower them when Arden calls out to them. They’ve been under attack from an unseen enemy in the forest all morning. The attack happened after one of the woodsmen cut down a copper skinned tree. It wasn’t much more than a sapling, but he thought it looked unique so he chopped it down and brought it back to the camp. None of the men are dead but several have been wounded by arrows.
Question-are any hurt seriously? Yes, but stable.
Martin brews some healing tea (3 doses for the three injured men and tends to their wounds. Thane and Corwin look at the tree the woodsman brought back to camp. Corwin is not certain about it, but Thane has seen one before. It is a species of tree that is considered sacred to the elves. Thane doesn’t know the elven name, but recognizes it all the same. [Thane made is Int roll, Corwin no.]
Some of the older woodsmen had a bad feeling about the tree when the younger man brought it back into camp. The PCs decide to have the young woodsman bring the tree back to where he cut it accompanied by the four PCs. As they reach the place where it was cut, they hear a voice in the woods calling out to them. A wood elf appears from behind a tree. He tells them that he and his companions will no longer fire upon the humans. The woodsman is nervous. The elves tell him to leave it lay here where it was cut and to tell the other woodsmen not to disturb it. One final thing, they will send scouts into the forest and watch to see if the young woodsman ever picks up an axe again. If he touches a woodsman’s axe ever again, they will cut him down just as he has done to their sacred tree. [It looks like the man will need to find a new job.]
Thane offers some consolation to the lad. “Don’t feel bad, the elves don’t care for us dwarves much either. Have you ever considered mining?”
The men return to the camp unharmed.
At the camp, the woodsmen discuss the situation. The foreman tells the young woodsman that he will be hauling timber by wagon instead of cutting.
The rest of the day goes on uneventful and the company returns to the Keep for the evening.
Note–this was an interesting side adventure. I rolled a random encounter when playing and used the Pits & Perils wilderness encounter list. Elf came up and I wanted it to be something with the potential for conflict. I liked how it turned out. The PCs used their INT ability to glean some clues about the tree. It was a fitting end of the conflict, in my opinion, and fun to solo play.
More to come….