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Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

This is where all of the medieval Domus role-plays are archived.
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Landrav
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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Landrav » Wed Jun 08, 2011 5:40 pm

The barkeep eyed the coin briefly, then casually draped his cloth over it. He leaned toward Natsuki on one elbow and said, "There's been a lot of suspicious activity going on around here in the past few months. The one who was murdered--he claimed to be a member of some archaeology society. He's been digging around in the hills about a mile north of here. He found lots of little trinkets and sent them back to their warehouse in town every few days. But last week there was a big commotion up there. They put something big onto their wagons and sent it to the warehouse. But the next day, the archaeologist was found murdered in camp, and all his workers missing. Nobody was terribly upset, since they were all from north of the mountains. And nobody really felt comfortable having them around, you know?"

He picked up the cloth, deftly pocketing the coin in the process. "Anyway, the last two workers cleared out the warehouse and are headed north with the caravan you'll be on. You should be passing fairly close to the site. I doubt Alphonse will want to slow down just for some sight-seeing, but you could probably take some mounts over to the site and catch up with the caravan later."

Natsuki noticed the ferret from earlier leaving the inn. Perhaps she should speak to this Alphonse about joining the caravan.

* * *

Eric had managed to catch a few snippets of the fox's conversation, thanks to his advantageous seat by the fire, though most of it had been lost in his trance. The fresh air was invigorating, however, and soon the ferret was back to full alertness.

It was easy to find Louis. The dog was at the center of the commotion, yipping at wagon drivers who were too slow in getting in line. The wolf and the coyote from earlier were here, too. They were standing around watching the scene in confusion.

"What is it? What?!" Louis snapped as Eric walked over and caught his attention. "Oh, it's you. Haven't those two half-wits found you all a ride yet?" He put a paw to his forehead and sighed. "All right, I'll go talk to the lumber merchant. He's run with us many times and will likely give you a ride." He plucked an extra coin from Eric's bag and tossed the remainder back to the ferret. "For the driver," he said and walked over to where the specified wagon driver was waiting patiently. After a moment, Louis handed over some money and resumed barking orders at the few wagons that hadn't lined up yet. The driver looked over at Eric and the two younger canines and smiled as he waved them over.

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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Asyriel » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:39 pm

Natsuki nodded to the barkeep. "I see...thank you" she replied "I should probably get going if I want to join the caravan before it heads out" with that, she turned and headed for the door. She wanted to try to get some specifics from the barkeep, but knew she didn't have the time for it. she frowned a little in frustration of the time constraints as she stepped out into the daylight. the blinked a couple times in the bright light while here eyes adjusted, and headed off toward the caravan, hoping to find Alphonse. As she walked he kept a leisurely pace, and kept her ears tuned to those around her never sure if she might be able to pick out any useful information in passing.

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Ash-the-Coyote
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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Ash-the-Coyote » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:18 pm

Ash looked up from the small mound of belongings he had dumped onto the ground beside a fallen log, disturbed from his rummaging by the loud conversation between Louis and the ferret. He quickly stuffed the various maps, writing utensils, measuring tools and papers back into his haversack, trotting briskly toward the lumber merchant. He waved at the driver as he approached, taking his backpacks and traveling bags off his back and shoulders.
"So just throw this stuff on wherever it fits?" he asked tentatively.
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Raze
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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Raze » Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:38 pm

Raoul looked at the two dogs that Louis referred to. He wondered what the archaeologist had been looking for and what the two dogs had been doing at the dig site, he planned to ask Louis or one of the wagon drivers about the archaeologist later. He walked over to the waving merchant and the coyote. "So are you the one we will be riding with?" he asked and returned the smile to the merchant.
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Landrav
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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Landrav » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:35 pm

Natsuki found Alphonse with no trouble. The St. Bernard stood atop the supply wagon, surveying the now-organized wagon train that stretched out a good distance across the open area on the edge of town that served as a staging area. He was bellowing out last-minute instructions before the caravan began its journey. Natsuki was waiting for a chance to speak with him when she felt a tug at her sleeve.

"Can I help you, ma'am?"

She looked down to find a short corgi holding a clipboard and looking at her expectantly. He hastily introduced himself as Louis, assistant wagon master. Natsuki started to speak, but he cut her off. "No, no time for that now. The caravan is ready to move out! I'll skip the usual warnings and formalities and get to the point: if you're going, sign this and pay up. If not, get out of the way or you'll be run over!"

A big shape thumped to the ground behind Natsuki, and she turned to see Alphonse standing there with a smile. "I'm sorry if my assistant seems iritable," Alphonse said, "but he is correct; we are preparing to leave. If you wish to join us, you are welcome."

~ ~ ~

The lumber merchant welcomed his new passengers warmly and jumped down to help with their gear. He was an Airedale with a copious beard and a bright, friendly look in his eye. "Name's Barth! I've been running lumber up here for near on five years now. Seein' as there's not much produced up here but what they mine out of the ground, I'm usually pretty empty on the ride back."

Barth leaped up on the wagon and offered a paw to help up the passengers. "Louis already made the arrangements, so you don't have to worry about anything. My regular partner got laid up sick before we came south, so I'll be glad to have the company anyway. So, what are your names? And what compels you to join the rest of us crazies making the last crossing?"

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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Asyriel » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:48 am

Natsuki took the clipboard from Luis, and was about to say something when Alphonse showed up. She smiled, and nodded "thank you" she said as she signed the paper, and dug into a pouch at her belt for payment. "if you don't mind my asking.." she said as she pulled coins from the pouch "how fast will the caravan be moving, and how close dose our path take us to the area that archeologist was digging in?" She paused thoughtfully for a moment before handing the payment to Louis "and is there any trouble to expect besides the weather?" she asked before looking around to see if anybody in the line stood out as possibly the ones transporting whatever was found at the dig site. She snapped her attention back to the wagon master as another thought came to her "oh, hey...do you offer anything for passengers who can double as guards?" she asked "I'm also a musician" she added, figuring that it couldn't hurt to try for a bit of a discount, the worst they would probably do was tell her no.

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Landrav
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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Landrav » Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:41 pm

Alphonse considered Natsuki's questions. "Well, we usually manage 10 miles per day--15 over flatter ground. The archaeologist's camp is maybe a mile or so off our route. I'm told there isn't much to see at the ruins, but if you would like to go, I can lend you one of the spare mounts we bring along. Now that you mention it, maybe the other travelers would like to see the dig site as well. I will mention it to them after we are underway."

Louis interrupted, saying, "Sir, it's past time to move out!"

"Then I'll let you get the caravan started, Louis," Alphonse said. The corgi's ears perked up, and he hopped up on the supply wagon to shout the order.

"My apologies," Alphonse said. "At any rate, we shouldn't be expecting too much danger, especially down here in the foothills. Snow is the worst of our worries, and that isn't supposed to come for two weeks. By that time we should be moving into Lourdes and out of the worst passes. A lot of people think that the mountains are teeming with bandits, but in truth they are rare. Wolf attacks are more common than bandits, and I've only experienced that one in all my years running the mountains."

"As far as guards, we don't normally hire specifically for that job. Most of the wagon drivers are pretty handy in a fight. If we do run into trouble, though, we would be able to show some...gratitude." He gave her a wink.

Alphonse pointed Natsuki in the direction of the lumber merchant's wagon, where she would be riding for the trip. "You will find Mr. Barth very agreeable company. The other passengers, you will have to see for yourself. Now, if you will excuse me, I must see to business."

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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Asyriel » Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:24 pm

"that would be wonderful, thank you" Natsuki replied to the offer of a mount to use to travel to the dig site. She nodded in reply to the travel speed, and expected conditions on the route. "I will make myself as useful as possible should we run into trouble" she said with a grin. "thank you" she said as Alphonse directed her toward the lumber merchant's wagon, and headed off. She headed to the lumber merchant's wagon. "Mr. Barth?" she asked the driver of the wagon with a friendly smile as she held out a paw to shake. "I hope you enjoy music..."

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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Raze » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:20 am

Raoul smiled at the warmly welcome that Barth made, "Nice to meet you, Barth," he said as he found a place to put his bag on the wagon. Raoul grabbed Barths paw as he pulled himself up, "Thank you for the help, my name is Raoul." He took a seat next to Barth and was about to ask him if he knew anything about archaeologist or the two dogs that had been there with him when a fox came up, Raoul waited for them to introduce themselves before he did.
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Tal_os
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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Tal_os » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:20 am

(Sorry for the long wait, I've been busy preparing for my vacation. It starts tomorrow, and I won't be back until next weekend. I'll probably rejoin then, depending on how much has happened.)

Before he departed for the lumber wagon, Eric sought out Louis for the last time, catching him once he was done talking to Natsuki. He approached the corgi quickly, handing him a gold coin. “You’ve been very helpful throughout all this. I wanted to thank you for your assistance before we left.” With that he turned and re-entered the crowd, keeping an eye out for the lumber merchant.

Once he saw the cart he would be riding in, the ferret made his way towards it, taking note of the other furs that would be traveling with him. He paid close attention when they introduced themselves. If he was going to be riding with them, he should know their names. To his annoyance the front seat was already taken, so he unceremoniously threw his pack in the back, returning to the front to meet the fur who would be their driver. “Hello Mr. Barth, I’m Eric. I’ve been assigned to your cart.” When another fur arrived, Eric quickly excused himself, assuming that the wagon driver would be busy getting everyone settled in. He climbed into the back, settling down next to his bag, quietly watching the final preparations for the convoy’s departure.

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Landrav
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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Landrav » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:31 pm

Alphonse finished rounding up all the wagon drivers and gave the order to move out. For the effort of getting everyone organized, it was a bit anticlimactic to see the wagons slowly lurch in to motion one by one. The steady pace set by the lead wagon, however, gave a sense of commencement for their journey ahead. Barth's wagon was roomy and comfortable. Each traveler found a place in the wagon. Ash curled up in a corner, Eric rested against the sidewall of the wagon bed, Natsuki lounged while playing a lighthearted traveling song, and Raoul sat up front with Barth.

"Sure, I've heard some rumors about that archaeologist," the merchant confirmed, "but I don't know much about the man or his crew. Seems that they were digging in a place that the locals regard with some superstition. Something to do with a burial site or something like that. Not that they would ever admit it, of course. But otherwise I only know that those two hauling his wagons are mean. Do your best to stay away from them!"

The caravan quickly cleared the town. As soon as it had, Alphonse guided his mount back along the wagon train to keep pace with Barth's wagon. He addressed the entire group. "It seems we will be passing near an archaeological site today. The lovely lady asked me earlier if there might be time for a quick tour, and I realized that I myself had never seen the place. Any of you who wishes to accompany me may make use of one of our spare mounts." Alphonse gestured to the front of the caravan and said that he would return with as many animals as required. He waited patiently for the travelers to make up their minds.

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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Asyriel » Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:23 am

Natsuki immediately perked up "yes. I would love to go" she replied enthusiastically. She had been wondering about the site, and what had been found there ever since she heard the rumors in town. She was now getting her chance to go check it out, and see what she could find out there. She made a mental note that she still needed to find the wagons hauling away whatever had been in town and see if she could find out what had been found at the site. "Do you know anything about the site, or the archeologist, or what they found there?" Natsuki asked Alphonse as she got herself prepared to go to the dig site.

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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Tal_os » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:46 am

It was a relief when the wagons finally got underway. Eric was happy to see the town go, and now that he was on his way home his mood started to pick up, albeit not by much. As they pulled away, Eric listened to Barth in a disinterested manner, paying attention more out of boredom than anything else. The bit about the two unpleasant wagon drivers caught his attention, but only for a second. He resolved to follow Barth’s recommendation to avoid them and didn’t dwell on them any longer.

Eric passed most of the trip in a trance-like state, somewhere between alertness and full sleep. When Alphonse’s voice shook him out of his half-slumber, he became aware for the first time how stiff his limbs were. At that moment, a ride anywhere sounded good. He spared a moment to wonder why Natsuki was interested in the site in the first place, before dismissing it from his mind. He could ask her later. After a final moment of consideration, he spoke up. “Getting out of this cart sounds excellent. Er…no offense, Mr. Barth.” He rose into a crouch, preparing to clamber off the wagon when the horses were brought around.

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Landrav
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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Landrav » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:30 pm

The two travelers mounted up and left the other riders lounging in the wagon. With a quick kick of his spurs, Alphonse led the group off from the wagon train at an angle to the left. The large canine looked as if he might break the legs of his mount the way he bounced on the animal's back, but the steed was strong and healthy and so carried Alphonse confidently. They cut between several tall hills and wound along a trail that looked as if it were used frequently, but not heavily.

As they rode, Natsuki began to feel something a bit... off. The surroundings seemed just a bit duller, and the cold wind just a bit sharper. She almost imagined some other faint sound on the breeze, but the whistling wind picked up and flapped her coat about her awkwardly. Whatever it was was lost, if it was even there at all to begin with.

Eric took more notice of the direction they traveled. Due west. With some quick calculations, he figured that they could spend a good hour or two exploring the ruins and still angle back to the caravan mid-afternoon--well before dark. He made a note to keep watch of the time, however, since night falls much earlier and much quicker on the eastern slopes of mountains. A chill wind cut through the depression the path followed, and he wondered if it might be doubly true of this location.

Alphonse called out, "Here we are! The Ruins of Traverse." He swept his arm out as they rounded a bend in the path and emerged at the top of a modest bluff. A gash of a ravine split the ground before them. The group could make out a switchback path that led down their side of the ravine to a place where there were obvious signs of digging. The rocky soil was scooped away at the bottom of the far side of the ravine. Stone structures poked out of the exposed hillside, some of them intact but most just a tumble of rock. The looser gravel and dirt on the high part of the ravine was held back with a system of retaining walls and wooden braces. Here and there, a weathered stone pillar lay toppled in the middle of the ravine.

"Not much to look at," Alphonse commented, "but it's a bit of excitement we probably won't be able to enjoy later on." He turned his mount a bit to look back at them. "We can ride along the top of the ridge and get a good view of the ruins overall, or we could take the path down and explore a bit. To be honest, I'd be more comfortable staying out of the ravine. Not that I believe the ghost stories, of course, but help would be long coming if we were to get stuck down there. Still, I will leave the decision up to you." He waited expectantly.

---

Natsuki earns 8 experience.
Eric earns 2 experience.

Plenty of opportunities coming up for experience, so don't despair when I roll poorly for you guys to notice things along the trail or similar events.

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Re: Mountain Crossing (open to first 4)

Post by Asyriel » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:25 pm

Natsuki shuddered at the wind, and the feeling she was getting almost made her want to stay on the ridge, but her desire to know what had happened, and what the ruins were won out.

She eyed the valley for a moment as she thought, trying to decide just what she wanted to do. The ruins weren't much to look at, but there was something about them, and the situation that she couldn't deny. she looked at Alphonse "well, I would like to go down there, and see what I can...perhaps, if you're worried about something happening, someone can stay up here at the ridge, and the others can head down to the ruins" she suggested

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