Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Afternoon, Hornung's Garden

Thursday, June 5, 1650

The streets are uncommonly filled with soldiers – in some cases, town guardsmen, but more commonly with actual soldiers wearing the livery of Bavaria, dressed in either chain or scale mail (depending upon their importance), and posted at virtually every street corner. The town seems quite oppressed – the people quietly going about their business, very little in the way of smiling faces, no casual gatherings of any kind. While the party moves through the town, they are not harrassed, but it is clear that you are being closely watched by every armed individual you pass.

Hornung dwells in a large house, where Delfig has been before. Upon knocking at the gate, he will recognize a servant whom he may have remembered is named Walter. Walter’s eyes will pop open at the sight of Serafina ... whom he has never seen (saying so) but of whom he has heard a great deal (which he also says).

He shows the party to the garden ... and it is there that Hornung is walking, using a crutch under one arm and doing so with some considerable difficulty. But he does look much healthier, no longer on the edge of death.

Serafina will call, “Eberhardt,” and Hornung will turn, his face turning pale, then filling with amazement and utter joy. He will take one step towards Serafina with the cane, then abandon the cane altogether and take another step – before he can fall, she has reached him, and keeps him from doing so. They embrace, wordlessly, in utter and total love ... there have been no second thoughts, no doubts. He clearly loves her, and she loves him. Even the party members who have developed feelings for her cannot doubt that.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Return to Dachau

Thursday, June 5, 1650

It will require the rest of the day to ride the wagon to Ulm … where the party would, quite probably, wish to stay the night at the Black Bullhead. That being the case, Dietlinde the proprietor will break down in sobs upon learning the death of Jan, whom she was always in love with; she will provide the party with free rooms, will behave very well towards Serafina, but apart from the party she will close the doors of her Inn and expel the other guests. When the party sees her again, she will be dressed in clothes of mourning … the additional clothes suggesting that Dietlinde is a woman of some means.

It will require another full day to travel over the ridge and to reach Augsburg. The journey will be without any notable distraction … the party will rest for the night at the tavern that was mastered by Neil. Again, the story of Jan’s death will darkly hurt the man – though he will not act as strongly as Dietlinde did. He will also provide a night’s free lodging, in respect for the friend the party had.

And so it will be noon on Thursday when the party will come into sight of Dachau … after such a long time.

At the gate, the party will be charged three s.p. each to enter … much higher than they paid on any former occasion. The party will also be warned by the guard that ‘curfew’ will come at seven bells, and that they will want to be sure to be indoors by that time.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Antelope Campaign, To June 1650

The following is a general description of the last three weeks of the campaign – comments on this post are all considered OOC (out of campaign) and anyone may feel free to contribute.

Starting with Monday, May 12, the party was leaving Augsburg on its way from Dachau to Ulm, with the intention of fetching a woman Serefina from a monastery in Sion, a small region in the south part of what would be modern Switzerland. The party consisted of Delfig and Andrej, with NPCs Friar Jan and their servant Emmanuel.

On the way to Ulm, the party encountered a white stag pursued by a wolf; they killed the wolf, but lost sight of the stag. Upon reaching Ulm, they stay the night at the Black Bullhead Inn.  They turned south towards Lindau on Lake Constance, to make their way into the Swiss Confederation ... and discovered that the stag they had seen was following them. They met various people on the route, including a group of criminals, the threat of dangerous humanoids and a boatmaker on his way with his family.

A day north of Lindau, Father Jan attempted to approach the stag, and was attacked; the stag fled, and Jan recovered.

In Lindau, arrangements were made to take a boat on the Rhine River ... the journey was splendid, a little worried with weather, but by various means the party did reach Olten (by leaving the Rhine and ascending the Aar River. In Olten, they discovered a carriage service that would take them to Lausanne, on Lake Geneva.

On the carriage, they met a brother and his sister, M. and Mme. Herieux. He was quite a smooth talking fellow, but his sister never said a word.

Not far into the journey, they passed a fire at an inn near Langenthal, a small town off the main road – Delfig and Andrej, at great threat to their life, were able to save eleven people from the fire ... making them heroes of the town. While the town wanted to celebrate their exploit, Father Jan made plans to continue to Lausanne by carriage. And while M. Herieux made great hay of Delfig and Andrej’s exploit, unbeknowst to the party Herieux’s sister had continued on with Father Jan.

In Langenthal, Delfig and Andrej exposed M. Herieux as a charlatan and possibly a thief, but he escaped. They made all haste, blocked at many turns, in an attempt to warn Father Jan – but found him murdered north of Bern ... quite likely by Mme Herieux.  They learned of the investigation, but there was little they could do.  They mourned in Bern for their friend.

Continuing their journey sorrowfully, they passed through Lausanne and Montreaux. They encountered the player Avel along the way. They left Switzerland and entering the Prince-Bishopric of Sion ... finally reaching the town of Sion at last. Bringing their mission’s purpose to Serefina, they found her quite willing to go with them. They provisioned a carriage that she possessed, and from there made their way over the Furka Pass to the east, and into the eastern Swiss Republic again.

On the Furka Pass they were attacked by a hippogriff, and by chance discovered clues to a treasure – an amulet, a helmet and a coin. Upon descending the pass by the correct road, they reached the little wealthy town of Altdorf – where they heard a tale about the Furka pass which Serefina mistook for an omen.

Once they had reassured her that there was nothing to fear, the party returned through Zug, Zurich and Buchhorn, where they took another road to Ulm.

It was here they encountered the white stag again ... and found that it had a wretched creature riding upon it, invisible to all except Serefina – until Delfig began to play. At that point, everyone seeing the creature, they began to fight it. This brings us up to date.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Afternoon, Combat Upon The Road To Ulm

Tuesday, June 3, 1650

Taking up the combat in the middle ...

Delfig returns to his playing, and sure enough the horrid creature flashes back into visibility.  It has gone off the road, and stands in the woods about ten feet from the road's edge, amid a group of aspen.  It is grasping a tree for support, and will look at its own hand as though to understand that it is visible.

Andrej is slightly closer to it than Serafina, and both have their weapons drawn.  Emmanuel will come scuttling out from beneath the carraige, dragging rope and holding a bag of flour the size of a bread loaf.  Avel, if he is here today, is about twenty five feet behind the creature (in the woods), and up until this time unobserved.  (We may assume he is fighting with himself as to whether to take action or not).

Friday, March 12, 2010

Afternoon, Road North To Ulm

Tuesday, June 3, 1650

The weather continues to be sour, but the except for some drizzle in the morning, it doesn't rain.

The road north from Buchhorn follows a steady climb, and by ten in the morning you pass by Ravensburg, a large, walled town.  Soon after, without being certain when, the countryside begins to look familiar - but it not until you reach Biberach-an-der-Riss that you realize that you're back walking on the road you used to leave Germany.  At some point they joined, but you're not certain when (there are many forks in the road along the way).  You must cross the Riss again, still being 5 c.p. pieces each.  I believe that before you were not charged for the animals ... but the carriage this time will be a 5 s.p.

You recognize the hovel where you stayed last time once you are on the other side, 18 days ago.  It is about one in the afternoon when you leave Biberach behind, and now you find yourself near the place where previously you were concerned about grimlocks.

It is about that time, about two in the afternoon, when the party sees the white stag, certainly the same as before, walk slowly from the woods to stand at the side of the road.  To describe it again: it is quite a large beast, with horns that are, this early in the season, about four points.  It is pale white all over.  At present, it is about forty yards forward of the party.

Serafina will ask, "What is that?"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Evening, Buchhorn

Monday, June 2, 1650

This is presuming that you travel through Sunday (I made sevaral comments about it, and at best got a subtle suggestion from Andrej that you were going to ignore the sabbath – Serafina has no trouble with it). If there’s a change in mind about that, I’ll update this post as necessary.

Through both days it rains fitfully, most of Sunday afternoon and through the night on Sunday.

Through the first day of travelling, five miles from Zug you’ll pass the town of Horgen, before reaching the enormous city of Zurich. This would be the largest city that, quite probably, any member of the party has seen (larger than Munich, even); though when Serafina was a child, she once saw Milan. You can’t begin to estimate the population, but many tens of thousands, certainly. The surrounding environs are filled with manor houses, castle-keeps and blockhouses, not to mention inns and taverns, so there’s no need to pay the gold piece necessary to enter the town unless you wish to explore. It is certainly a place where you might find or learn anything you wish, as Zurich is not only a huge financial capital, but an important scholarly centre, also.

That same day you climb over a series of low hills to the town of Winterthur, where you spend the night (same costs as Zug for entering the town and spending the night). The town is surrounded by a moat and towers, but is neverthless very picturesque. As it is under the nominal authority of Zurich, it has no market, nor does it especially cater to merchants; but the townspeople treat the party well enough.

(OOC: Some Napoleonic buffs might remember the town for an important battle due to take place 249 years in the future).

The second day of travel, you wake to find the surrounding country in fog, which persists for the whole morning.

You find yourself falling in with a group of acrobats who are travelling to Stuttgart; they explain that you need not take the route through Constance, which will be very expensive, but that you can bypass the lake by crossing the Rhine river at Stein – I know the party would deliberate, but as a DM I know nothing will happen, and you will come to the same place either way. Stein is vaguely recognizable ... you passed it when you were travelling down the river on May 18, two weeks and a day ago. 3 c.p. each for yourselves and your two animals will get you ferried across the Rhine. You’ll reach Stein about one in the afternoon. By this time the fog has begun to lift.

From Stein you’re able to find a road to Uberlingen, swinging around the two principal west reaches of Lake Constance, where the country gets a little wild again (for most of two days you will be travelling past small farm after small farm, most of them no larger than 20 to 40 acres in size. Waving to peasants and other travellers has become almost tiresome.

Rain has continued sporadically through the afternoon. You say goodbye to the acrobatic troop at Uberlingen (Delfig will have shared some notes, possibly would have learned how to juggle three balls – roll dex check). From there, five hours on the road will get you to Buchhorn as the sun goes down, about 9 p.m. If you enter the town, it will cost you a s.p. each (it is a Free City), and two s.p. each for the animals ... but the inn where you stay will be the same cost as it was in Zug or Winterthur. The rain has stopped entirely, but the ground throughout is sopping.

The north road will lead the party to Ravensburg and to Ulm; the east road leads to Lindau, the road with which you are familiar – but it would be the longer road home. The north road will meet the road north of Lindau.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sundown, Zug

Saturday, May 31, 1650

Following a winding road out of the principal Alps, the party descends some hundreds of feet along the river valley.  Much of the afternoon is taken with following the edge of an immense, beautiful lake on the west.  Later you will climb out of that valley, then into another where, before nightfall, nine o'clock, you'll finally reach the little town of Zug, upon Lake Zug, below a small mountain rising 1,500 ft. above the town.  A sign on the road pointing at the mountain designates it 'The Zugerberg.'

Zug has a wall, and will cost 5 c.p. each to enter if the party wishes to find a bed for the night; the animals will also cost 5 c.p.  An inn room will be a s.p. each, and stabling for each animal 2 s.p. each.  Travel gets expensive.

Andrej, the party will need to eat a pound and a half of food each, though they might choose to buy food at the Inn (the cost is listed on the Zurich Innkeeper's table (from the file sent last night).  Tomorrow, Sunday, will be a market day, if people would like to buy goods here in Zug, where most everything on the list will be available.  It will take a half day to travel to Zurich, so it would be possible to travel there and still enjoy the market day.
Buying in Zug or Zurich will cost the party half a day's travel.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Afternoon, Altdorf

Saturday, May 31, 1650

With the afternoon, the party gathers together in the common room on the main floor of the Chamois Inn. Andrej explains to the others what he’s heard. Serafina is in her room, by last observation sleeping.

While the difficulty is discussed, I should also bring up the matter that tomorrow is Sunday. What’s more, since today the party is not travelling, if they don’t begin to do so later today, they will heal a hit point, resting. They can also reduce the amount of food they must eat to 1 lb. each.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Daybreak, Altdorf

Saturday, May 31, 1650

As the sun has risen (the mountains hide the true dawn), and Emmanuel is packing the carriage, you discover that Serafina is refusing to go on.

"You do not understand," she explains, when questioned.  She sounds quite controlled, not like last night.  "It is not the thing itself, it has nothing to do with the so-called curse on the treasure.  It is that the story about the girl is clearly related to the objects that Brother Andrej found.  We were destined to find those things, to tell me what I have suspected; that my Eberhardt does not know his own mind.  According to friend Delfig's story, he was bedridden and broken ... this is a sign, not a curse.  It matters not whether we take those relics with us or not, it is that I and this spurned daughter from centuries ago are tied together somehow.  That is why I cannot go."