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Ashes, all [closed]

mips42

Villager
The Past
It's been 1000 years since the collapse of Amric, the great empire. Theirs was a time of prosperity, enlightenment and equality for most. Sadly, as such thing often are, it was also a time of crime, greed and corruption. The great empire spanned nearly the entire continent and had lasted for hundreds of years. It died in a few, short days in violence and fire. The legends say that the flames in some areas reached thousands of feet into the air, lighting the night sky, and the heat could be felt for miles in any direction.
Once the fires burnt out, there followed years of struggling just to survive as the smoke and ash nearly blotted out the sun. It was during this time that the creatures of legend returned. Goblins, orcs, and other even more evil creatures came from wherever they'd been hiding and nearly wiped out the more goodly races. Good was on the brink of extinction. But they survived by banding together. Humans, Elves, Dwarves and Halflings, along with other goodly races, banded together in ways that they had never had to before in small city states, viciously defended from the encroaching hoards.
Gradually they fought back the monsters and established small duchies, principalities and feifdoms emerged from the city-states of the past, ruled by the whoever could hold power.

The Present
The Dukedom of Gravos, ruled by Grieve Declan, is a medium sized dukedom located on the east coast of the continent. It is a somewhat vibrant state, having access to minor mineral deposits, logging, farming, and several seaports, the major of which is Ertham. Lately, though, Gravos has been in tense negotiations with their western neighbors, Pienn, over mineral rights in the central Palach mountains. There's even been talk that, if an accord cannot be reached, Gravos may wage war on Pienn and attempt to annex them by force.
As if that weren't enough, there have been recent reports that monstrous forces, Goblins, orcs, Kobolds and more, have been seen in force in the wilder parts of the duchy, prompting many to urge Grieve to break off negotiations with Pienn and focus, instead, on the monster problem.

Herons' Hollow
The town of Heron's Hollow sits on the river Llem and is run by Townmaster Evendur, a tall, dark-skinned Chondathan. Heron's hollow is, primarily, a trade town. Sending food from the surrounding farms, as well as raw lumber and a few metal goods up and down the river by barge and to the outlying hamlets by wagon. Heron's hold boasts a standing watch of twenty, arranged into 4 'hands' of five. Each pair reports to an 'Arm' who, in turn, reports to the Townmaster.
Heron's Hollow also is home to the Church of the Seven Stones, a massive stone building that allows worship of any of the goodly gods and is overseen by Anastrianna Siannodel, a High Elf that has been the matriarch of the church as long as anyone can remember. She stands nearly six feet tall with bronzed skin and coppry hair.
There are many merchants, including smiths, coopers, brewers, and bakers as well as commoners and farmers who frequent Herons' Hollow; not to mention the barge captains and crew, that make Herons' Hollow busy for a medium sized town. One of the more popular gathering places is a local pub called 'The Rusty Hen', which features a very good local brew and some of the best food in town. It is run by Alton and Cora Thorngage, a Halfling couple who are always happy to see regulars.
The town offers a open air market twice per month.

Lately there has been more goods, particularly raw ore, timbers and food, passing up and down the river. Rumors abound as to why this might be. Every speculation, from expansion of the Duchy to a influx of new residents to preparing for war are discussed and debated at length. Coupled with the reports of the tense negotiations with Pienn and the increased reports of monster activity, including reports of Goblins, orcs and worse, Herons' Hollow is a town on edge.
With the exception of Bree, and possibly Ashurn, you've all been in town for about 2-3 weeks, doing odd jobs and getting by as best you can.
[sblock] I encourage you all to give details on what you may have been doing during your time in Herons' Hollow and to find ways for your characters to cross paths. Have fun and be creative! Don't worry about making up names or places, it's all good.[/sblock]
 
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PierceSG

Villager
"Well, hope this is far enough.", as Ashurn mutters to himself. "Been on the run for a week now, haven't seen them since. Let's hope I've lost them. *Sigh*"

Ashurn steps into the town of Heron's Hollow, "A busy town. Great. Should be easy to keep low here. Maybe a job or two as well, the coin pouch is getting a little too light."

"Now, I should probably go around the town looking for work.", Ashurn starts heading to the bounty board by the militia building and plans to visit the church as well before going to the local tavern to look for a place to rest and maybe some information on the recent happenings of the country. As Ashurn has been on the run, seeking refuge from places to places, he hadn't had the time to get himself updated on recent events.


http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?356981-Ashes-all&p=6349516&viewfull=1#post6349516 Ashurn Greyrat's character sheet.
 
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dream66_

Registered User
Bree clapped her hands as she came into the room. "Alright Soldiers, good work, back on duty at first light, but before that... It seems Nym here owes us all a round." she ribbed the elf about his earlier bet.

A soft chuckle from the assembled members of the hand as they hang their weapons in the watch house.

As Bree steps out the door she turns to say "But lets hustle, last one to the tavern buys the second round."

"Wait just a minute here!" shouts Roberc the halfling.
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
Lester holds his letter open to read in one hand why he idly picks at a half-finished plate of food on the table in front of him. As alone as the tavern can afford, off in a corner. Tomorrow should be the last of next to last day he must spend in Heron's Hollow, then there was a modest but reputable library he wished to investigate a couple of towns away.

The mage drops the letter onto the able, wipes his hands together and on the sides of his robes, then pulls up the left sleeve. Having used up his last scrap of parchment for the time being his arm becomes his parchment as he grabs his quill and scribbles down some thoughts that had just seized him on his bare skin.

Occupied like this, he probably does not even notice anyone else in particular who comes in.

Until quite recently the apprentice of a respected member of the College of Wizards, Lester has been in recent months investigated the mystery promised by a letter he had received from another college member, Viarmon Tresqet, a friend of his former master Saulgar Crezdym. One particularly worrisome fact: Viarmon Tresqet was, on good authority, dead.

Lester was in Heron's Hollow to seek the guidance of a local loremonger, Toulka Fermir, and do examine the private collections of several other residents. Toulka had been most helpful in that regard, as Lester lacks any kind of social grace or leverage with which he might otherwise gained access to residents' homes. The research might have proceeded more quickly but a man had to eat. Even with his meagre magical talents Lester was able to find a few jobs to pay the tab of the tavern where he had been staying. This tavern.
 

Kobold Stew

Adventurer
At the other end of the small tavern's main room, sits a copper-skined elf, with his feet up on a second chair. There's a few empty glasses in front of him, but it's not clear that he's been drinking.

There's a small alms box on the table with him, and a candle stub, but it's not lit right now. Over the course of the past hour or two he's been joined by various individuals, none of whom look any more respectable than he does. Though each one earns a slightly disapproving look from Cora Thorngage the proprietress, she's not overly concerned since it was she who allowed him this table in the first place.

This table is the Mission, as the priest calls it. And he's happy to talk to anyone who comes by, offer them guidance and a prayer if they want it, though to the deeply devout, his liturgy feels a bit weak. He'll pray to any god you choose on your behalf, and the casual feel lacks the formality that many crave form the church, but offers instead an accessibility.

The priest himself is a good listener. He'll ask a few questions, and listen to what you have to say, often matching your toe or your fervour with his own. There are reasons for this behaviour, but not ones he volunteers. He talks to many travellers, as well as to those who work in the guard, and the local merchants.

The elf looks humble, and for the most part he's relaxed. His name is Heron, and he's been here for several weeks. He laughs at the similarity between the name of this small town and his own, and if asked about it, he'll imply that he helped found the town over a century ago, and he wanted to come back to see how it was doing. That's probably a joke, but elves aren't especially known for their jests.
 

Kobold Stew

Adventurer
Noticing Lester, Heron realizes that here is one person who has not spoken to him, even though he is apparently staying here at the Rusty Hen. he makes a decision.

Heron reaches into the alms box and grabs enough to buy a drink. He stands, stretching his legs, and reveals the holy symbol -- a cord of twisted metal, that might be an abstract representation of lightning or of bundled wheat -- dangling from his belt, next to the scabbard that carries the short and unadorned blade he carries.

He goes to the bar, and orders a drink of whatever the lone figure in the corner has been drinking, and takes it over to him. "My name's Heron. You look like you might need to talk to someone," he suggests, putting the drink down. "You're welcome to join me at the Mission, if you like." He indicates his table with his eyes. "If not, I understand. Be well."
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
Poof! Lester's train of thought evaporates and he justs sits there, still, for a stunned moment. "I-I am feeling a bit parched, thanks," he stammers, taking the mug. "Lester. I do need to talk to someone. But I do not know who it is. I am reasonably certain it is not you though, no offence." The mage blinks. "N-not that that means I could not use a break."

Suddenly in a flurry Lester clears up his materials and stuffs them into various pockets and his pack. Then it occurs to him: "The Mission?" Despite the relative handicap of been near-completely oblivious, he did eventually notice the elf sitting at the same table day after day. That was not what he was referring to, was it?
 

mips42

Villager
Ashurn
[sblock]
Checking the bounty board, you are relieved to not see your face plastered there and happy to see that there are several roughly-written postings for general labor, mostly around the dock areas.
It's easy enough to find work, though most of it is hard, physical, dirty jobs. Your time is spent loading and unloading barges as well as working general repairs on nets.
During this time, you've managed to meet and become at least casual friends with several of the local merchants and the other dock/barge workers. Time away from the docks is mostly spent either helping out around town or in your room ad Flanigans, a local flophouse. It's not pretty, put it's pest free and cheap.
After work one night, one of your cohorts, a lean, whipcord strong human by the name of Dendrik says in his thick accent 'you spend too much time looking at board and in widow Flaniagan's larder, my friend. You need drink. Tonight, we go to Rusty Hen. You see what real food and drink are like!' He lets out ahearty laugh and smacks your shoulder in a friendly way.
[/sblock]
Bree
[sblock]
Your hand trailing in your wake, you stride from the barracks into The Rusty Hen where you see Cora Thorngage who immediately squares off against you, her stout, 3 foot body blocking your path. 'AHA!' She says, her rosy smile full, 'Back to break more tables? Not tonight, Bree! Even if you are the watch!' With that, she laughs, runs up to you and hugs your leg (not for the first time). 'Sit! I'll bring you ales and some bread. Fresh apple pie today, straight from Farmer Stegs orchard today!'
[/sblock]
Lester
[sblock]
The private collections of the hollow turned out to be meager at best. While there were a few pieces that dated back a hundred years or so, nothing could be verified as from the time of Amric, which would be a true find.
Toulka the sage was helpful and seemed almost charmed by your social awkwardness and could only give general information but did say that, as it was a sea port, Crown Point might be a better place to start looking for who, or what, might have caused Viarmons' death.
In the Hen, a server comes up to see you picking at the plate "Is it not good? Not right? I'll fix it!' He grabs for the plate just as you turn back from making notes on your arm and you just miss clocking him right in the face with your elbow.
He dances out of the way and you see a copper skinned elf standing at your side, he says "My name's Heron. You look like you might need to talk to someone. You're welcome to join me at the Mission, if you like." He indicates his table with his eyes. "If not, I understand. Be well."
[sblock]
So liam is now Lester? okay.
[/sblock]
[/sblock]

Heron
[sblock]
Cora seems consternated that Heron has been parked at a table for four, but no-one else seems to want to stay at the table for more than a few minutes. She almost seems glad that you've gotten up, until she sees that you've left your candles there, indicating your return.
[sblock]
Holding service in a pub? Love it!
[/sblock]
[/sblock]

The Hen is busy with patrons and staff bustling about. Everyone seems to be talking and you can easily pick up bits here and there talking about the trade talks with Pienn, the recent increase in monsterous activity nearby, the increased trade up and down the river and many other subjects.
Cora and Alton bustle about taking and filling orders, each plate looking and smelling like works of delicious art.

As all are tucking into your meals of choice, you hear from outside the sound of the bells of The Seven Stone ringing. At this, all of the patrons go quiet as there are only two times that the bells ring: one, at times of funerals and, two, when the Townmaster calls an assembly. Neither has happened in a month or more.
Alton shouts across the pub 'must bee a meeting. Let's go see what he wants, then meet back here for pie. We trust ya all to come back. Don't be abusin' it!'

With a quiet murmur, everyone exits and makes there way to the large courtyard in front of The Seven Stones, where a bench and a table have been made into a hasty stage which Townmaster Evendur stands upon. Even in the waning light you can see that is face is drawn and a look of worry is set heavily upon it. 'Good people of Herons' hold, he begins,'I am sorry to draw you out at this hour but there is dire news.
'Earlier today, a man, a runner, arrived at our east gate battered, exhausted and dirty. With the ministrations of the Seven, he was able to tell us that Crown Point has been attacked by an unknown, monstrous force. Unfortunately, we do not know how many or who may be injured or worse. I have sent a bird to the Melinar to get this information to the Duke. I have not yet received a reply, however I feel confident that he would do as I am about to.
'First, I ask you, all of you, to take whatever you can spare, whether it be food, clothes, blankets or anything else to Wagonmaster Petros so that they can be carted to Crown point as soon as possible.
'Second, I ask that anyone who feels that they may be able to help with the rebuilding to come to the town hall so that efforts may be coordinated.
'Third, I must ask that everyone be exceedingly careful outside of town. I have asked Denrik the smith and both Arms to draw up plans for a militia. Hopefully it will not be necessary, but we can no longer ignore the threats in our own back yard.
'And, finally, I would ask all of you to hold the people of Crown Point in your prayers to whatever Gods you may hold in your hearts. Thank you.'

The crowd is subdued and more sombre heading back towards the Hen. Any of you can easily pick up refrains of 'those poor people', 'about time for a militia' and 'the Duke'll have to send soldiers now'.

The four of you stand in the courtyard, the last to head back to the Hen.

Great job creating stuff, guys/gals. I don't know how you all feel but I *like* it when I get to contribute to the world.
 

PierceSG

Villager
With a half-eaten pie in his hand and a mouthful of pie, Ashurn turns around and took a look at the other three people who also stayed behind.

With some effort, Ashurn swallows the pie in his mouth and managed to squeeze out an awkward greeting, "Hi. I'm Ashurn. Nice to meet you...". And proceed to chomp down the rest of the pie.
 

Kobold Stew

Adventurer
"Heron," says the coppery elf in the dark robe. Hands in his pockets, he leans against one of th enlarge stones that are arranged through the assembly area. He looks round at the others.

He nods his head towards another in the group.
"Lester here and I were just introducing ourselves at the pub. I'm thinking of going to see what they're saying at the town hall," he adds. "See what I maybe can do. Any one else interested in coming? If the deal's no good, you can always volunteer for the militia later. "

He turns to Bree, whom he has not yet met. "Maybe some of us already have?"
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
Lester's shoulders sag. "There were research materials that I need in Crown Point," he says dejectedly. "If they have been overrun I may never figure this thing out..."
 

dream66_

Registered User
Bree listens to the announcement, first with shock, then worry, then determination on her face. The moment it is over she turns to the members of her hand. "Roberc, you're mother has all those blankets right? Go get those, Dorna, gather what supplies we can stand to spare.... And then some... I'll check with the Arm, see what our orders are going forward."

Even as she speakers the members of her hand are rushing off to get to work.

It's at this moment she notices Heron speaking to her. "I am Hand Bree Windrivver, thank you for volunteering, your help will be greatly appriciated, you'll need to head down to the town hall to receive orders though, I have not been assigned to militia command."
 

Kobold Stew

Adventurer
"Not sure I have volunteered yet," Heron says, a little surprised at both the rudeness and presumption of the militia person Bree. In the time he's been running the mission two of the members of this particular maniple have come to talk to him at the Mission. Roberc only came the once, but Miri has been visiting him at the end of almost every shift, in which time Heron has heard about the workload and pressures associated with serving in the militia in this small town. No doubt this one barking orders is feeling the same pressures.

Bree seems distracted, and not interested in going to the town hall, so Heron looks to the others, and then begins wandering down, hoping some will follow him.
 

Kaodi

Adventurer
Lester follows Heron, because that is what Lester does most of the time: he follows. Not a man of great magnetism, this mage is.
 

dream66_

Registered User
Bree sees the others walk away and Ashurn still remaining behind.

"You look like you've got a strong arm and a good back. Come on I'll talk with you down to the town hall, I need to see my Arm to get my orders anyway, and we could certainly use more like you."

She slaps the human on the back and begins to walk toward the town hall.
 

mips42

Villager
After making a brief stop to square up with Alton, you head over to the town hall. Before you even enter you can hear the sound of raised voices.
Bree immediately recognizes the sound of Arm Declans' bellow.
 

Kobold Stew

Adventurer
Heron slinks in, his hands still in his pockets. He knows the others have also come this way, and he raises his chin to Lester, inviting him to come with him.

Heron listens to what is being said, but as he does so he also positions himself next to a woman he finds attractive, someone who is standing by herself. "What've we missed?" he whispers to her.
 

mips42

Villager
In the interest of moving thing along
'Nothing much,' Bree says. 'Just Declan shouting his head off about something or other'. With that, she lead the small group into the town hall.
'... can't just do whatever you want, Evendur! You're not Duke!'
"Trust me, Declan, I know that. But what would you have me do?"
'Wait for the reply! This way, you've stuck your neck out for a bunch of rabble!'
'Those "rabble" are our charges, Declan. You should know that by now. I'm already seen as week and slow to act, this way i've garnered a little time.
'Ah. Hand Bree. I thought I might see you here. We'll finish our "chat" later, Declan.
'
Declan, red in face, stomps out of the room and, a moment later, you hear a resounding 'boom' as the front door slams shut.
Townmaster Evendur shakes his head and sighs. It is only then that you see a small Halfling in the corner, looking on in wonder. 'Pay him no heed, Penton. He has a slight temper.
He turns then to Bree 'I see you've brought some people with you, good! Everyone,' he motions to the halfling, 'this is Penton, one of a few, shall we say, investigators that I've had scouting the perimeter for the last few hours. He comes well regarded.
'What can I do for all of you?
'
 

dream66_

Registered User
Bree salutes the Arm, "Looking for my orders, Sir. I assume you will be sending my Hand to . I have them already getting things read."

She points to the others,

"These others here, I think they are here to volunteer for one thing or another."
 

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