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[Taruman, Land of Earth and Sky] Secrets Below

Isida Kep'Tukari

Adventurer
Supporter
Gentlemen, I'd like everyone to choose a color for their speech, and please let it be something that I can read against the dark background. I'll be reserving sandy brown for NPCs. Any player thoughts should go in itallics. Anything having to do with specific out-of-character comments (that don't merit a longer discussion in the OOC thread) should go at the bottom of your post in small size print.

Like so:

"I'm pleased to make your acquaintence, noble travelers," the elf says with a precise tilt of her head, her. "But how can we break bread with you if you do not put down your weapons?"

This is going to be trouble, I can smell it. These orcs would soon as slit our throats as our bread.

OOC: Lirelle keeps her grip on her bow, readying an action to fire if the ogres turn hostile. Longbow ranged attack +6, 1d8+1 damage.
Minus the quote tags of course.

Do feel free to make your descriptions of your character and your character's actions and thoughts as elaborate as you wish. Pretend you're writing a story. You're not going to be stealing anyone's "face time" by taking time to describe things because of the medium we're using, so if you want to get verbose, get verbose!

Heroes of Earth and Sky
Clonz - Dristun Sikun Noba [NG Male Halfling Cleric 4 of Ehlonna]
DwarfLover - Durak Bolgrin [CG Male Dwarf Fighter 4]
cypar7 - Sylarin Farseer [NG Male Human Rogue 4]
Feldegast - Blitzen G Firkinfilcher [NG Male Halfling Rogue 4]
NPC - Lirelle Amakiir - [CG Female Elf Sorcerer 4 with goshawk familiar Sursha]

And now our story begins...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The home of Rudare, treant of Iber, is a grove of young redwoods around a small, crystal-clear spring. Young, that is, only a few hundred feet above your head, rather than the thousands of feet of the elder trees that make up much of Taruman. The ground here is thick with moss and ferns, soft to recline upon. There is not much to complain about in your surroundings, which is probably what Rudare intended. Twice in the last few years you have worked with the treant Rudare, running down a rogue druid who had escaped from the justice of his circle on one occasion, and stalking the source of a plant-blight to a cursed tree watered by the blood of a murder victim in another. Though Rudare was not precisely friendly (he resented having to bring in "fleshies" to accomplish what he could not) he respected your skills.

And here he is again, having sent out a message to meet you at this spring. For him to call upon you again so relatively soon, the need must be dire.

The tall treant rustled his leafy limbs impatiently as you all find a comfortable place to sit, stand, or recline, then draws himself up to his full height. A shaft of errant sun strikes his crown at the right angle, gilding the treant in brass and gold as he begins to speak.

"I have received poor news. Many years ago I spread my seeds far and wide so that they would take root in more distant places. So that they would spread my kind out into the world, as is the duty of my people. This year, the children should have come home. They came from the north, and the west, and the east, but not the south. Ill news has come of the south, says other fleshies I know, of caravans that have disappeared, of travelers that vanish, of animals that are never seen again...

"Of other poor news, I hear of moles and groundhogs leaving their burrows because of strangeness, of trees toppling or dying, of odd things appearing. All in the south. Something strange is happening, and my children have not come home. I ask you, those who have no roots, to go south and find why my children have not come home. I have too many to tend to here to go myself."

The treant pauses and tilts its head to the side.

"Would you do this thing? The seeds of Rudare would be greatful, and I would grant you a growing reward."

OOC: You guys go ahead and describe your character, what he looks like and whatnot, and ask any further questions/make any comments you want/need to. Rudare doesn't necessarily mind questions, and because a treant's mind works differently than a humanoid, sometimes he doesn't think to mention something until you ask him about it.
 

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DwarfLover

First Post
Durak

Well, the old tree has done right by us before, I don't see why we wouldn't help him again, and it doesn't take a mage to figure out that something is wrong with the ground, or under it. Maybe I'll finally get a chance to get out of this fresh air and sunlight for a while.

Durak gets up from the rock he was sitting on, and leans on his shield.

"Well, how far a walk are we talking here Rudare? I haven't traveled much more South from here, what can you tell me of the land?"

OOC:I'll let the real grilling come from the more intellectual characters
 
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Clonz

First Post
Sikun

Of course we will help. Sikun nods in aggreement with Durak. He stands up fixing his cloak so that it hangs freely. We must find what is causing this destruction and save anymore of her children this fate.

What could have caused trees to simply uproot and die? We must be dealing with a prescence most foul. Knowledge nature check (+1) to see if this could be caused by a natural event.

Did your aquaintances say when these atrocities started taking place?

OOC: When Sikun speaks of her, he is referrring to Ehlonna, he chooses not to use her name unless directly praying to her.
 
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Isida Kep'Tukari

Adventurer
Supporter
"Durak, the journey south is a moon's travel by fleshy foot. Sikun, my children should have been back two moons ago, and the strangeness, it is said, started four moons prior. So, the strangeness started at year's turning," Rudare says thoughtfully.

The year's turning for the treant corresponds with the New Moon ceremony for most other races, a time when the dead are remembered, spirits are contacted, and potent magical ceremonies are completed.

Sikun - (highlight to show)
It is certainly possible for trees to just up and die. There are volcanic vents around much of Taruman, and sometimes trees near them do die. It could be a plant-blight, or perhaps the work of some large burrowing creature, or something similar. Or something totally new. But it is certainly within the realm of the natural world for this to happen.
 

cypar7

First Post
Dwarven: We should proceed with haste to discover the cause of the destruction. The sooner we wet our blades in the meat of our enemy to sooner we can drink to victory.

Halfling: We should be cautious and find out more before we rush to aid the forest. We have good information, but more wouldn't hurt. Once we have reached on destination we can use our specialized skills to find answers. Hopefully a settlement will be close so I can be of more help this time.

Added a bit latter in Common: Wait, underground? Nervously. We won't actually be going underground will we?
 
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DwarfLover

First Post
Well, we ain't gettin' nothing done standing around here. Lets get our stuff together and head out.

Durak starts to load Nelsa (his lizard) with his gear,and securing it.
 
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Clonz

First Post
I wonder why Sylarin talks around us sometimes. I suppose he just wants to impress us with his mastery of our own languages. He does make a good point about being careful, though he could spare a few words; I guess they are cheaper spoken than written. It’s curious that Durak ignored him completely and is readying to go. I’d like to get going myself, nothing will be helped if we just sit here.

Sikun smiles, You are certainly right Durak, we should get moving. I’m sure if there is anything else we need to know we will figure it out along the way.
 

Isida Kep'Tukari

Adventurer
Supporter
To Sylarin, Rudare gives a gesture much like a shrug.

"If the problem is underground, then it is underground. That is why I send you instead of going myself" he says evenly. As the others say they are ready, Rudare nods.

"Then it is good, and the bargain is struck. I give to you this, a distant child of mine, so that you might know my children, and they know you. At each sunrise there will be small fruits, which I give you leave to eat. You will find them to be flesh-knitting. Here also I give a map made by another fleshy, a trader, who told me where some of the strangeness was. South of the swamps and into lesser-known territory. May favor come to you," he says, setting down two things for the party. One is a very small apple tree in a stone pot, and the other is a parchment map.

Thusly armed, the group can load what pack animals and mounts they have and begin their journey south. To the south lie some of the larger swamps in Taruman, as well as more volcanic vents and springs. The swamps are called The Sunken Clouds for the heavy vapors that hang over them, and it's not surprising that they are prime places for ambush. There are tall trees even in the Sunken Clouds though, and attacks from above are not unheard of.

From Rudare's grove you head southward, over the small roads, through the towering trees, past the many tiny communities. A few times you pass merchant trains with many large pack lizards carrying their master's goods, or other bands or tradesmen or adventurers on their own private missions. Luck is with you, for you have five days of good weather and relatively clear roads. But it's on the sixth that the dangers of Taruman reassert themselves.

You passed your last merchant train about a day and a half ago, and the morning has been very quiet. Almost too quiet for your liking. Thus it is easy to hear the faint crying ahead. Rounding a corner, you can see a heavy branch, at least a good three feet thick and ten long, has come down across the road, and apparently across a small trader's wagon. A red-haired woman is weaping at the side of the branch, tugging at a fallen form beneath.
 

DwarfLover

First Post
Durak Bolgrin

"You're up Sikun. Looks like there is healing to be done, or a hole to be dug. If it's diggin', don't promise her too much, I got better things to do."

This hag's old man, had better be dead. I don't want to be wasting Sikun's healing on some traveler when we might get into a fight. Speaking of a fight, if this aint a trap, it sure smells like one.
Where is Blitzen! Doesn't he know if I can't see him, I can't keep him out of trouble?


Durak Loosens his axe in his belt and scans the sides of the road.

Spot Skill modifier = -1
 
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cypar7

First Post
Common: Dig? Why not use Nelsa to pull the limb from the wounded? Throw your rope so I can tie one end to the limb while you to tie the other to the saddle, that way you needn't dismount. You can stay alert while and charge if something more happens.

Waits for the rope and looks up to see where the limb came from, was it cut or look natural?

Spot +8
Use Rope +5
 

Isida Kep'Tukari

Adventurer
Supporter
Durak looks around for anything suspicious, but doesn't spy anything too odd. But Sylarin, checking the branch itself, looks upward to see its fate. Upon the stump is sitting small, stumphy little man with skin like bark, shaggy brown hair, seemingly wearing trousers and vest woven of leaves, a stump of a pipe held in his hand that he smokes steadily. The stump of the branch that he's sitting on seems to have broken naturally enough.

Lirelle also looks up at it curiously and furrows her brow. Tapping Dristun's shoulder and subtly pointing, between the two of them they come up with its name.

"It's an oakman, a tree spirit of sorts. They're supposed to be like dryads, and they're very cantankerous," she says softly.

Blitzen really doesn't know a lot about oakmen, but he does know a damsel in distress when he sees one.

Hearing voices behind her, the red-headed woman turns to look at the group. Her face is pale, freckled, and wet with tears, and her brown eyes are trembling and threatening to spill over again at any second.

"Please... please... I didn't mean, please, help us, help Orem," she pleads, tugging at the fallen form under the branch.
 


Clonz

First Post
Sikun walks towards the fallen figure, taking out his healing kit.

By her grace may Orem live. I will help you Miss, let me have a look at Orem.

If no obvious danger (weapons) come his way Sikun kneels next to Orem and checks his wounds, heal skill + 7.

OOC: Ok, Sikun takes the bait let's see how bad this hurts.
 
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Isida Kep'Tukari

Adventurer
Supporter
From Durak's perspective, Orem is trapped beneath the branch and not moving. It's possible he was just knocked out, as there's no obvious pools or blood or missing limbs or whatnot, but it's hard to say at this point. Sikun, being of a more compassionate stripe, walks in to see what's going on.

Kneeling down next to the woman, he sees that while Orem is indeed trapped by the heavy branch, and there's a huge knot on the back of his skull. What can be seen of his bones appears to be unbroken, but the man's still unconscious.

As he breaks out his healer's kit to make a soothing poultice, the oakman speaks.

"I wouldn't be doin' that if I were you. I already cursed him, and do ye want to share in his bad luck?" he saids with a nasty grin, the pipe held in his teeth smoking away furiously."

"It was an accident!" the woman whispers fiercely to Sikun.
 

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DwarfLover

First Post
Unconcerned about the state of the old man, or at least knowing that Sikun can handle a bump to the head, Durak continues to scan the roadside. He takes out a piece of jerky and starts to gnaw on it.


"So, what's it look like Sikun?"


ooc: I assumed Durak was a good ways away from the scene, so unless he really looks he wouldn't be able to spot the oakman.
 

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