Too Young to Retire

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
After some of the Southroad Seekers had comfortably retired in Southroad Fair. Merindell and Sheldon accompanied Torvald to the Maldrog city of Bergbaulager. Once there, the big, Norikadian, Dahmre apprenticed himself to his friend, Hanse Anfilshtop, to advance his growing talent for smithing. The two men had been joined by Vadin, another of the Seekers, and met a new friend, Matumbo, a Deviard of all things, while looking to eliminate the threat of the Da'Roneh along the South Road.

During the course of the ensuing battles, Sheldon felt as if his psyche had been tarnished by the events and chose to spend some time alone. Once the men had, again, returned to Southroad Fair. After a week of contemplation, he seemed to be his old, cheerful self. Merindell, in the mean time, had gone to visit Torvald. Upon returning, Merin noticed the change in Sheldon and announced that he was feeling for a new adventure and wanted to head northward to Boga City, having heard so much about it.

OOC: This scenario is designed using TUW gaming system. Characters should be advanced to be starting the adept level of proficiency. Character records are found in the following thread: TUW: Southroad Seekers (OOC, Character Records)

GM: Anyone interested in playing or has questions or wants information on the gaming system, feel free to PM me.
 
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MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Hoping to take a step toward that original dream of some ephemeral idea of greatness, the men pack light and get an early start, bidding farewell to the citizens. It did not seem to bother the men, much, that they lacked any sort of a plan. Sheldon figured something would come along to spark their interest.

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Seven days north of Southroad Fair, which is four days clear of the Piney Wood and into the Southern Plains, One of two ancient stone bridges crosses a branch of the South River. The bridge was built in age gone by a people who no longer existed, due to a foolish war with the gods. There the bridge stood, an icon of the past. A tavern had been constructed the previous year and proved quite successful at such a logical stopping point.

The tavern had been so successful that a community had quickly risen around it and was calling itself Bridgtown. As the two men were enjoying some refreshment, the locals became aware of their identity and approached them with news of a dire event. During the Festival of the Harvest Moon, a child had gone missing. Though this child had been prone to some prankishness, the morning light still gave no sign of her whereabouts. This was three days ago and the mother had become greatly distraught.

The men are asked if they would investigate the incident to see if the girl could be located.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Merin nods in affirmation.

Merin: "Of course we'll help. We're talking about the welfare of a child. There is no other ethical or logical recourse; the girl must be found. And we shall find her. You have my word on this matter."

Merin's inner thoughts: ~I only hope we're in time to find her alive. Three days is a long time for a child to be missing.~
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
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Sheldon nods. He responds to Merindell in Ansylin. "It seems that Centrin will be the more common language of this outpost. Remind me if I forget to translate anything of which you are unsure. We need to start asking questions. At this point we are searching blind. Any ideas?"
 

Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Merin says, "I am pretty comfortable with Centrin, though not quite fluent. I will need a little help from time to time, probably with more complicated contexts.

She disappeared during the Harvest Festival. We should probably start with that. Is there anyone in the town that would have reason to abduct her? Or to cause her harm? Does her family have any known enemies? Rivals? Feuds with other families?

Also, does the child have any favorite places that she likes to play? We should probably search such places for clues, even though she is probably not there; it makes sense that if she slipped away from the festival to play in her favorite spot, someone might have followed her, and used the seclusion of the place as an opportunity."
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Merin says, "I am pretty comfortable with Centrin...
Sheldon nods and speaks quietly. "You need to work with me on Amiradthan, then, when we need to discuss things for ourselves."

...Is there anyone in the town... cause her harm... enemies? Rivals? Feuds..?
"No. No. No. Nothing like that... Sally. I mean, my daughter... Well..."

The barkeep interrupts. He speaks in a calm, deep voice, something expected from a barkeep. "Mary. I'll help you. Let me talk to these men. Mary gets flustered when she is upset and has difficulty speaking."

"The Harvest Festival is a great event. Let me tell you some of it to give perspective. We looked for the girl, by the way. Sally is her name."

"The day stuff does not matter right now. As night falls, most adults come here. The younger children gather in the pumpkin field to tell each other spooky stories. Afterward many of the older children join in on a big game of hide-n-seek. Sally did not return after the game, but she was seen during the stories."

... does the child have any favorite places..."
"We checked all of those. The girl is a bit mischievous, but three days is too long."

Sheldon runs his left hand through his hair pulling it back from his face. "A little mischievous, eh? Did one of the other kids put her up to a dare?"

Sally's mother Mary, leads the men around the developing community to speak with children and other adults. With a bending of mystical waylines to get a better assurance of truth, the men discover that the girl took a dare to go upstream to Mad Michalo's house and take something from his porch. Mad Michalo is a Bajinin who built a fishing camp a bit upstream. He is old enough to have started to develop some insanity, hence the nickname, but he is not known to be violent. The house is easy to find. At night, alone, the girl could have made the walk in about half an hour.

It takes Merindell and Sheldon less time, even with Mary tagging along. Of course, daylight makes it much easier. The house is terrible. It looks old even though it isn't. There is no door and fishing gear hangs about the porch. All is quiet, too quiet. No one is here, and no one is seen nearby on the river. After Mary is told that she should wait back in town, the men move through the house and begin searching farther upstream.

Maybe 100 strides or so from the house, along the river bank, it looks as if a struggle has occurred. There are jackal tracks and the appearance of something being dragged. The men get a very bad feeling. Following the signs another 20 strides or so away from the river, the body of Mad Michalo is discovered, badly mauled by jackals. Local carrion have already found the corpse and the birds spook with the approach of the men. The beetles have to be kicked away. There is no sign of the girl.

"Maybe we missed something. I can't see the man falling to jackals, even if he is a little Bajinin. I think he was already dead when they found him."

OOC: Your character receives 3 DP and improves in Centrin by 1%.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Merin will take a closer look at the corpse, investigating it and the surrounding area thoroughly, walking back and forth around the area, looking for clues and signs as to what actually transpired here, while being careful not to disturb anything.

95 (+25 Luck) = 120.
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Effectiveness: Sociology + Tranquility + d100
Sociology: Mind + Commercial + Knowledge + Mercantile
Tranquility: Essence + Collegiate + Cohesion + post-Collegiate + pre-Enhancement + Adhesion
Merindell: 31 + 65 + 120 = 216
Sheldon: 41 + 42 + 85 = 168
Agreeing that the men might have missed something, the two men begin to examine the scene in earnest. The body of the Bajinin seems to have been dragged to its current resting place by the repeated action of jackals. Afterward, it was knocked around by vultures. Following the drag line back to the kill zone, the men see what they did not during the cursory examination: the booted prints of men.

Gathering what can be discovered of the whole situation, the men discuss their theory. There is sign of the girl climbing the steps to the porch, but no sign of departure. The man has, obviously exited the house from the front and back many time, making a trail rather than prints. The mess in the house seems more than a bad keeper. Someone carelessly perused the house looking for anything useful, not something specific.

Sheldon has a bit better mundane skill, but Merin adds more clarity of mysticism. Here is what is decided: Sally stepped onto the porch but was noticed by Mad Michalo. Someone else approached the house from the back which interrupted the Bajinin dealing with the girl. Upon exiting the back of the house, Michalo was killed and abandoned. The perpetrators evidently entered the house and carried the girl away. The people, and a definitive print indicates Aedmans, all male, moved farther upstream, away from town. The jackals came later, probably from the smell of fresh blood. The stench of fish around the house likely keeps some of the canines close at all times.
OOC: Merindell receives 3 DP and Sheldon improves in Amiradthan by 1%.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Merin notes. "Hmmm. Maybe a raiding party? If they carried the girl away, they may intend to either keep her as a slave, or perhaps sell her. Either way, they have her. And she is likely still alive; we'd have seen her body by now if they had intended to kill her. Let's follow these tracks upstream, and see what comes of it."
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Merin notes. "... Let's follow these tracks upstream, and see what comes of it."
OOC: NOTE:
In future posts, try to elaborate on travel activities, that way more skills can be used that are unrelated to combat. Example: If the tracks fade out, diverge, or enter the water, what then? Reference: A dog on a trail only thinks of the trail. His handler must observe the area to ward against tricks or ambush.

Effectiveness: Sociology + Tranquility + d100
Sociology: Mind + Commercial + Knowledge + Mercantile
Tranquility: Essence + Collegiate + Cohesion + post-Collegiate + pre-Enhancement + Adhesion
Merindell: 31 + 65 + 120 = 216
Sheldon: 41 + 42 + 85 = 168
Waiting until the morrow to be able to leave at first light, the men camp within the cabin, even tidying a few things, involuntarily. The tracks are easy to follow for a time. They follow the river and it appears that the men were running. Once they stopped running, the group spreads out and leaves fewer tracks with their soft-booted feet.

By evening, the light has faded enough to call for a stop. To have traveled such a distance with deliberation seems to indicate that the group his on a mission, not just randomly wandering with a child in tow. Just before making camp, a particular turn in a print makes Merindell think that their quarry may have crossed the river.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Merin says, "If they were there specifically for her, then this plan has long been in the making. They probably waited for the festival to occur before making their move. They knew that people would be less watchful during this time. But I wonder if they were looking for this particular girl, or whether they were there to find any young girl for whatever their purpose is...? That worries me. They will probably stop for the night as well, so we should use that to our advantage. I say we rest only 3 or 4 hours, then adapt our eyes to the darkness, and cross the river. I can affect my own eyes with practiced competence. I will try to do it for you as well. I believe it may be more difficult to do it to others aside from myself, so I will actually touch you, so as to increase the chance of success. What say you to this plan?"
 

MacConnell

Creator of The Untamed Wilds
Effectiveness: Sociology + Tranquility + d100
Sociology: Mind + Commercial + Knowledge + Mercantile
Tranquility: Essence + Collegiate + Cohesion + post-Collegiate + pre-Enhancement + Adhesion
Merindell: 31 + 65 + 120 = 216
Sheldon: 41 + 42 + 85 = 168
Merin says, "If they were there specifically for her, then this plan has long been in the making..."
Sheldon shakes his head and begins speaking in Centrin. "That does not track. That town is so new it is still developing. Other townsfolk would suspect something if there were something special about Mary or Sally. All the townsfolk came from Boga City. Several of the workers are from Southroad Fair."

"They will probably stop for the night as well, so we should use that to our advantage..."
"No need to put ourselves out like that. These people have 3 days head start. We are not likely to catch them before they reach some destination unless they are walking for weeks, which seems unlikely."

"I can affect my own eyes with practiced competence. I will try to do it for you as well..."
"You should no by now, certain things can be done to others and certain things only to oneself. By the change in tracks, I am thinking that this group has slowed, but we could run all day and still not get close enough to see them. What we really need is some higher ground. If they keep following the river, we should get that change in elevation. I have no idea what kind of men we are after, but I am thinking opportunists. There are still some psychotic tribes that eat other people; but if that were the case, why leave the Bajinin?"

After some discussion, it is decided that forced marching or running would cause the two men to arrive in a weaken state, which could prove more than dis-favorable. Taking their rest, or trying to, the two men wake in the middle of the night to something that has only occurred once before during the night, a sense of danger. Having no fire, for one is not needed except for cooking, each man notices that the other is awake. It sounds as if something animalian is circling, afoot. Instinctively, night vision is improved and Merindell is the first to glimpse movement. It appears that some clan of jackals is closing in with malicious intent.

OOC: Each character receives 3 DP. Merindell improves in Centrin proficiency by 1%.
 
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Tellerian Hawke

Defender of Oerth
Merin will suffocate the closest jackal, to make an example of him.

Reaction: 09 (Is that a fumble? Wow. First time I ever rolled that low.)
Suffocate: 79
 

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