D&D - Eastern Heartlands - Road to Scardale

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D&D - Eastern Heartlands - Road to Scardale

Post by ^^Truth on 9th January 2008, 7:49 am

The weather has hardly picked itself up or giving a moment or two of respite and as you all finally make you way from Hullack Forest, the tradional border of Cormyrean lands, the vicious, brutal trek that still awaits you all becomes ever-more apparent. Ahead lay the dreaded Thunder Peaks.

The journey so-far has been rather rough and ready with the only real rest available at the two towns so along the main road towards the Dalelands and Scardale itself.

Eveningstar was a sore sight, acres and acres of fertile farmland razed and trampled down by the almost constant goblinoid and orcish raiding parties that sought to prosper at the fate of the towns inhabitants. The result was that the croplands had little chance of surviving the bitter winter and those farmsteads and croplands that did survive barely provided enough food for the hungry and often wounded townsfolk.

Arabel was little better, the goblinoid and orcish occupation obvious all around the once mighty city, yet as was the rebuilding project. A lot of it was still under construction and many areas closed for passersby like yourselves. The stay was brief, the surviving inns overcrowded beyond comfort and thus the road provided a better option.

The trip to Hullack Forest was quiet and uneventful, the trip through, whilst appearing ready to burst into action at a moments notice, was at least uneventful. The howls and goblinoid wardrums beat enough that dusk and dawn could eventually be judged by the start and stop of the intimidating racket.


Last edited by on 9th January 2008, 9:56 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: D&D - Eastern Heartlands - Road to Scardale

Post by ^^Truth on 9th January 2008, 8:35 am

It's half a day of travel, through funneled biting winds that, as night begins to fall, the fires and lanterns of a Cormyrean watch post pierce through the incoming darkness and like moths to flames you all trudge onwards hoping for at least one night of reprieve before attempting the treachous trek ahead.

The three-story structure ahead is a stoney-white, wrapped in old vinery and snow capped. A great fire burns underneath the sheltered top, creating a beacon point for the lost, or an attractive propersition to the ravenous monsters that surely roam the mountain range.

Calls and cries echo out as you approach, warning you that the building is indeed a guard post and is maned by the purple dragons of Cormyr, it's not long before many of the lanterns on the upper balcony levels are trained upon you all that calls of "Olore! Olore!" begin to ring out.

As you approach you witnesses perhaps ten men watching from the frozen upper balconies, their heavy crossbows sheathed, yet undoubtedly ready. A small spiked stone-wall and iron grating surrounds the guard post. Through the iron grating a frozen and unshaven purple dragon coldly asks your business in a manner that appears that you're all going to be turnt away from the warmth and safety within.

Yet after a brief chat with Johan, who informs the man of whom he is and where he's going, along with why, the man eventually unbolts the gate and lets you all inside.

Around in a frozen courtyard, soliders sit huddled around fires, they look downtrodden, miserable and maybe even on edge of rebellion. Needless to say the conditions look less than hospitable.

However, you're all shown in to the safety of the stone walls for a small charge and provided with hot stew and warm ales, whilst sat in front of a roaring fire place which helps amazingly to restore a little moral back in to your bones.

After supper, whilst you're all lazily warming yourselves and drying your clothing a middle aged bearded man sits with you all. He wears the uniform of a purple dragon and the many stars attached to his left shoulder mark him as someone of note, probably the man incharge of this watch station.

Short, unkept brown hair, a brown beard and a patch over his right eye, he introduces himself as watch sergant Thomas. He inquires about your destination and route, then listens for a while, seemingly happy to listen and sit with you all for a moment or two.

"The Thunder Peaks are a nightmare this time of year.." he dutifully informs you all.

"The rain has been heavier than usual, it's quite flooded in many places so I'm aware, although that is probably good for you all, since the snow hasn't had much chance to settle.. normally the peaks would be uncrossable this time of year, but apart from sodden boots and soggy socks, it's open" he informs, sipping at a strong spirit from a tankard.

"If you still want to cross and don't want to wait the winter out, for who knows how the weather will change and it's at least a two-day across the peaks themselves - and an unpleasant two-day at that - then I can at least offer you some options to traverse the mountain range.."

"You can take the normal route, the road, as I said though, it's rather flooded down there, it' the normal trade route and only takes two days, but with that brings it's own problems. The mountain range is as infested with goblinoid and orcish tribes as usual and they regularly patrol and attempt to raid that road trying to catch merchants and travellers to and from Cormyr and Sembia unawares.. and more often than not, they succeed.. being winter and with the usual amount of less travellers, they tend to get a little more riled, attacking what they can usually, so be warned of that."

"Then, there's an overhead pass we cut through for military use ages ago, it's a quick journey, only a day infact which will save you some time and keep you away from the worst of the weather. However last I knew a family of ogres moved along the pass, which was deemed to troublesome to remove by someone higher-up then me, hence it's not been used for sometime.. might be that they've moved away or frozen to death, I wouldn't know, but it's worth mentioning them I think"

"There's also a longer-journey and it's not a nice one, the area it crosses is almost unhabitable, which keeps away lurking monsters usually, however the journey that way takes about four days and whilst you pretty much never have to worry about things creeping up on your whilst you're sleeping, the weather itself is a real danger, but if you're hardly types, that maybe an idea.."

"Then there's one last place, it's an underground route actually, an old dwarven mining network, been closed for decades and no one really goes there. I've been told the mine network is infested with undead, which could be a real problem, but I'd imagine it keeps you out of the weather and I know there's an exit on the otherside of the mountain. I mention this because a group of adventurers actually asked about and headed in there a couple of ten-day ago.. could be that they've cleared out the majority, probably the treasures too, who knows, thought I'd mention it mind you"

"Two things you might want to consider. If you take the old military road and there is indeed ogres there and you clean them out, send message back if you can, I'm sure someone will reward you for reopening it.. probably not a good idea to lie about it though, someone will end up checking."

"Secondly, there's a particular troublesome group of hobgoblins roaming the normal road led by a real big one with red hair, Wzanap I think he's called. If you happened to cross them, well, there's a reward for wiping them out from Lord Ulath of Highmoon, I think it's a couple of thousand gold dragoons, so a fair penny for anyone brave enough, I believe he wanted Wzanap's head as proof"

"Regardless, we can sell you a little map of the Thunder Peaks for three coppers if you'd like and I'll get someone to mark on the different routes for free"

With that, Thomas sits back and has another sip from his tankard, looking from you all to the fire and warming his hands.
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Re: D&D - Eastern Heartlands - Road to Scardale

Post by illumination on 11th January 2008, 5:23 am

Eithne sits crosslegged, hands thrust forward dangerously close to the blaze, and listens to the old soldiers news. When he finishes, she looks up with a glimmer of excitment in her eyes and moves her gaze around each of the party for a moment.

'Me thanks for thy news Sergant, we will be needin' advisors as canny as thee. All the ways through the Thunder Peaks ye've described 'ave their merits, yet the fool in me is enticed towards the most risky of 'em. The way into the mountain, beneath the rock. I be an adventurer foremost, and im thinkin' why toil over the mountain, when ye can stoll though it!'

Eithne grins with her customary enthusiasm and wriggles a few inches away from the blaze when the ends of her battered breeches begin to smoke.

'Does one of ye number happen to 'ave a lute Sergant?'
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Re: D&D - Eastern Heartlands - Road to Scardale

Post by #1! on 11th January 2008, 7:08 am

Videl rubs his chin in thought while the military man lists of the possible routes, occassionally glancing at his travelling companions to gauge their reactions.

"Friends, we are presented with a plethora of options. Oh, so many to choose. Regardless, I would caution against the path that leads to the lands plagued by a hostile climate. True, there may be few fiends and monstrosities, but what few that may reside there will be fearsome indeed."

He pauses, coughling lightly, before continuing.

"Assuming that the tunnel path is large enough to accomidate pack animals, or at least friend Johan's horse, I would agree with friend Eithne's suggestion of taking the path beneath the mountain. It isn't as fast a journey as going above the mountain, but it is by no means much slower, I would assume. And, hopefully, many of the hostile beings along the way will have been dealt with by the previous travellers. It would seem that it is the safest path to take."

Videl smiles brightly at everyone and reaches for a waterskin, relaxing a bit by the fire.
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Re: D&D - Eastern Heartlands - Road to Scardale

Post by ^^Truth on 11th January 2008, 7:48 am

Johan nods occasionally whilst listening, then eventually nods full on as Sergant Thomas finishes and sits back.

He takes a brief moment listening to you both say your piece, before yet again nodding.

"I happen to agree with you both actually, although share similiar concerns to Videl.." he says as he takes his scarf from by the fire place, sniffs it and then wraps it around his neck.

"If my steed and the pack animals can indeed venture down this old mine shaft, or whatever it maybe, then I am happy to do this, although lack of light will be a problem for us I am sure."

"To be honest, most of the prospects appeal to me, but perhaps at this rate we maybe able to rid the world of some undead upon our journey, although paying a visit to the goblinoid bandits on the road would also be worthy."

"Regardless, I agree that we should at least visit this old mine and see if the conditions are suitable for us and so then, I believe that it is decided."
he says pouring himself another goblet of wine and resting back in his seat, closing his eyes.

--

Sergant Thomas nods, "Then, I shall get one of my men to fetch a map for you all and mark on the locations tomorrow morn, so that you all at least have an idea of where you're going and I wish you all the best if I do not see you in the mean time." he says picking himself up from his seat.

"Sweet water and light laughter.. I believe it goes" he says with an incline of his head, using the old elven farewell, before heading back out of the room and up a set of spiral stairs.
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Re: D&D - Eastern Heartlands - Road to Scardale

Post by ^^Truth on 15th January 2008, 7:29 am

--

You are all tired, both physically and mentally after escaping the dwarven tunnels, yet fear of what maybe following you helps you all push on through the exhaustion, darkness and bitter cold.

Two days of travel brings you all both closer to your destination, Highmoon and futher from your recent place of torment. It's still cold, although the weather does appear to be improving at any rate. Tonight isn't as cold as it's been for what seems like almost an eternity.

You all sit around a warming fire that Kithan got going, he now currently tends to the pack animals, shooting worried glances to both Videl's and Mobius' mules and keeping away from them.

To be continued.
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