Author Topic: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square  (Read 7006 times)

TheTick

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Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« on: January 22, 2018, 08:12:10 AM »
The town square of Kassen is unusually quiet as the four chosen to retrieve the flame gather.  High, wispy clouds and a strong wind blowing leaves over the rough stone under your boots are the first signs that summer is giving way to fall.  The noon bells from the temple will be ringing soon, to bring the town forth to begin the ritual.

Go ahead and talk among yourselves.
Babies, chum: tiny, dimpled, fleshy mirrors of our us-ness, that we parents hurl into the future, like leathery footballs of hope. And you've got to get a good spiral on that baby, or evil will make an interception!

Rakeesh

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2018, 10:31:52 AM »
Kirdo was grateful that there was some time left before the ritual formally began. It meant that he could take time making up for lost time-when he woke that morning, a new idea had appeared in his mind for a possible mutagen and wouldn't leave until he'd worked on it. Which meant that he hadn't prepared the various extracts he typically created each day, and although no one expected any real danger it was best to be prepared. So the gnome sat atop his placid pony, Hauler, who remained surprisingly still showing a sign of his good training. A small, portable table stretched from Kirdo's belly to the pony's lower neck, and made a suitable workspace for simple creations such as these. He said quietly, murmuring to himself over one vial and then another, and a few small pouches, before he secured the extracts to his belt carefully. Soon enough he stowed his equipment and looked up at the sky, judging that he hadn't gotten carried away again.

That meant that there was still time for something less pleasant than working on his alchemy-social interaction with strangers. Or almost strangers-he knew Sandy a bit, had worked with the young man and was known to many in Kassen for the time he'd spent passing through the small settlement this past year. But aside from the Silvers, with whom he had a friendly working relationship, he knew almost no one in Kassen well. But there was one member of the group that would be best spoken with, he reasoned, eying the elf? half elf? Kirdo sometimes had difficulty telling at a glance, who he'd been told was a ranger. He had respect for that sort, for their skills in the wilderness, something at which he was still a novice.

"Do you," he coughed and cleared his throat. Too much time mumbling to himself. "Good morning, Mr. Dariel," Kirdo said politely. "Do you know anything of this crypt or its surroundings? From what the Silvers have had to say, I've never been to those parts before."

OOC: When I get home I'll need to make some changes to my character sheet-found a redundancy in my extracts. As for what Kirdo is cooking, he still has a mutagen for constitution, those don't expire. And then he gets 2 extracts/day of which one is a Cure Light Wounds extract and the other is a Targeted Bomb Admixture.

Scott R

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2018, 12:02:03 PM »
"You was never fit for a tailor, All-Saints," Da says.  He coughs, bends low over the fine suit he was putting seams into.  "Knowed it soon as you was old enough to wear long pants.  You got too much of your Ma in your blood, boy.  They chose her to run up to the Everflame, too, you know."

"Aye, Da, you told me." 

"She'd be proud of you.  Man can't do better than that, to have the pride of a good woman."

Off in the kitchen, Sandy hears Zalia, his stepmother, snort.  She doesn’t say anything this time, though— he hears her settle heavily into a chair.  A moment later, he hears the clack and click of her knitting needles and the shuffle of wool yarn being turned into a blanket for his step-brother-to-be.

“Still,” Da says, “it’s a mite silly this whole thing.”

“Eh,” Sandy says, and prepares himself for another lecture.

“No disrespect to your mother, but she always went in for this…sort of romantic flimmflam.  I says to her one day— afore she were chosen ‘course— ‘Ygraine,’ says I, ‘Ygraine, this ritual ain’t nought but foolishness.  Nought but the aldermen trying to fool the young into steadying straight, same as always been done in Kessan.  There’re no gods being prayed at; no offerings given.  Now the gods, them I understand!  Gimme a god and an altar and a cleric, and I’ll pray you a prayer to stand you up!  But this…this is just a foolish walk in the woods to the name of some old soldier man who ain’t never been divine.

“Lo and swear, she jus’ ’bout knocked my head right off my shoulders!” Da cackles.  “Hmmm.  Hmmm.  ’Spect that’s why they chose her.  Keep the rest of the runners in line.  She was good, your mother.  Silly, as I said.  Sometimes.  No disrespect.”

Sandy nods.  He’s two feet from the door.  Two feet and he’d be out and on his way to adulthood. Maybe a day, maybe two…he’d be able to sign his own contracts, make his own deals.  Sandy clears his throat.  “‘Bout time, Da.  I got to run.”

“Kiss your stepmother and your baby brother.  For luck,” Da says.  “‘Spect you believe in that sort of thing.  Your mother’s son, you are.”

“‘Bye, Zalia,” Sandy says.  She waves him away.  No kiss.

Da doesn’t notice, still muttering to himself over the fine suit.

##

Sandy walks the cat road— a line of rooftops running parallel to the street leading to the square in Kassen.  The high facades of the buildings fronting the street hid him from the view of anyone walking below.  Perfect place for someone who could step quiet and agile to make it from one end of Kassen to the other in a short amount of time.  There were a few gaps to be leapt, a few loose slates to avoid, but Sandy had been picking his way over the cat road for ages now.  He hardly had to think about it.

Instead, he thinks on the road to the Everflame, and Kassen’s tomb.  And he thinks beyond that, so his thoughts range wide across the world. 

One day.  Maybe two.

He reaches the end of the cat road before he reaches the end of his thoughts, and reluctantly pulls himself from them to take stock of who’s gathered in the square.  Kirdo, of course— Sandy grins.  It’d be good to work with the gnome for something that wasn’t gold or lumberjack related.  Maybe he could ferret out some of the alchemist’s secrets.   There’s also a half-elf in leather armor, with a couple short swords at his hip, and a longbow on his back.  Sandy doesn’t know his name, but the woman in scale mail armor with the shield and bristling with weapons looks vaguely familiar. 

“You look prepared,” Sandy says to her, as he swings down from the roof.  “Glad you’re on our team.  I’m Sandy Tippenroe.”

Lotofsnow

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2018, 03:00:18 PM »
The girl stands tiptoe upon the third rail of the stable gate. She stretches as tall as possible, her hands braced against the top rail for support. The additional elevation grants a better view of the town square down the street where the party leaving to light the Everflame is expected to gather. The way the girl perches with her long, black hair flying out from her head in the strong wind reminds Maura Zita of a painting of a similar looking bird in the library in Skelt. Some sort of sea-crow, she recalls.

Maura follows the crow-girl's gaze to the square. It seems empty except for the the dust and leaves kicked up by the gusting wind. A quick glance at the sun assures her that she is only slightly early. A figment of doubt begins to rush into her thoughts, but she swiftly dismisses it. Perhaps there is some event prior to the ceremony of which she is unaware. It has been several years since she last walked these streets.

With a silver piece thrown in as incentive, Maura leaves her mule with the crow-girl who also happens to be the stable girl. At first resistant to Maura's quest for feed and a quick but firm brushing (because there is more interesting things to watch and that the amount of care requested was for something as silly as a pack mule), the girl became more interested with the exchange of silver and after catching a peak at the sword and sun on a silver chain hanging from Maura's neck.

The girl is younger than Maura's brother had been, though the age gap could not be significant. In a one or two summers, she would be walking the same steps Maura is, the same steps Ikram would never walk. That realization was the hardest part about this whole endeavor. This year was supposed to be Ikram's year to take the journey to light the Flame. The only reason Maura is even here is because he could not make the trip. He would never travel anywhere again, his final journey having been to the embrace of the gods.

It was a difficult homecoming, Maura considers as she makes her way toward the square, if it could even be called a homecoming. Sure, she lived most of her life in Kassen, but her childhood home is now burnt rubble. Her father is dead. Her brother is dead. Her mother curses at her from where she lies in bed at a friend's home, too injured to stand. Is this even a homecoming anymore?

Maura pauses a moment to collect her thoughts and focus instead on the journey ahead, leaving the past to the past.

"You look prepared!"

The mockery comes from above, tearing Maura from her reverie. All at once, she finds her self both frustrated and angry. She just traveled a week on foot to visit her dead father, visit her dead brother, and find out that she's dead to her own mother. So, no she did not have time to take a bath or polish her mail or kick all the waste from her boots...

The young man smiles at her as he lands. There was something of a youthful cunning in his face, but nothing mocking. Based on his age, he was likely joining on the journey, Maura decided, keenly aware that she will likely be the eldest of the party.

"I'm glad you're on our team. I’m Sandy Tippenroe."

Maura manages a smile back. She hopes it sufficiently hides the mishmash of thoughts colliding in her brain.

"Tippenroe? I am Maura. Maura Zita." It takes only a moment for her thoughts to click,"Tippenroe... you worked a short time on my father's farm five summers back? You were about my brother, Ikram's, age. Your father thought you might take to farming. Did you?"
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 03:02:04 PM by Lotofsnow »

Scott R

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2018, 03:37:18 PM »
Quote
"Tippenroe... you worked a short time on my father's farm five summers back? You were about my brother, Ikram's, age. Your father thought you might take to farming. Did you?"

Sandy scratches his nose. "Ikram, Ikram....hm.  Oh, I think I remember!  There's an old ruin on your property, right?  A broken-down stone wall and a tall chimney?  We used to call that the Icehold Tower because no matter how hot it got during the summer, there was always one corner of the chimney that somehow kept ice in it.  Your da kept threatening to tear it down because Ikram would skiv off to go hide in it."

There was something he was forgetting.  Something that tickled the back of his brain but wouldn't quite flick to the front.  "I'm afraid farming and I didn't agree," Sandy says.  "A bit too much like work."

Lotofsnow

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2018, 03:49:09 PM »
Maura could not hold in a laugh. It felt good to laugh thinking of her father storming in after checking up on afternoon chores, stomping and fuming, "Where has that boy run off to now?" when he knew darn well where that boy "run off to."

"I think the tower was safe as long as Ikram used it as a hideout. That way, at least father had a place to start looking when the chores were not getting done. Without the tower, who could say what trouble he might have encountered?"

Nighthawk

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2018, 10:09:49 PM »
Dariel felt uncomfortable... Despite the time he had spent in Kassen, he couldn't get use to the amount of people that were bustling about on any given day, so many that he had a hard time avoiding what he hated the most: talking awkwardly to strangers.

He was so preoccupied in looking at the people wandering about that he almost didn't even notice Kirdo speaking to him.

"No..." he turned to see the group had become larger, and he wasn't sure exactly who was addressing him.

"I apologize..." he said to the group, not remembering any of their names, his eyes still darting at any other person that walked by. The group seemed to be talking more than he was use to.

"I am Dariel," he continued, not addressing any one person. "I'm unfamiliar with that region, but I'll find where it is we must go. I trust you all can keep up."

Spoiler
Do I know the region?

Scott R

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2018, 06:43:32 AM »
Sandy decides he likes Maura’s laugh.  He laughs along with her.  And doesn’t mention that the chores DID get done even though Ikram hadn’t been the one doing them.  The itch that scrapes the back of his brain is still there— the something he should be seeing that isn’t quite materializing. 

"What have you been up to since then?" Sandy asks. “I didn’t take to farming, but I learned enough to know that scale mail and swords don’t grow from the ground.”

Lotofsnow

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2018, 06:58:57 AM »
Maura shakes her head.

"No, farming did not appeal to me either. Four years ago last spring, I joined the temple of Iomedae in Skelt, much to my father and mother's dismay. It is where I belong. It is where I should be..."

She trails off. Over Sandy's shoulder, she sees that others have arrived at the square. Motioning toward them she says:

"It looks like our party members are gathering. We should join them."

Scott R

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2018, 07:37:54 AM »
Sandy eases over with the rest of the group, giving Kirdo a nod and a grin.  The half-elf was saying something about not knowing where anything was, but being able to find out.

If it's applicable:
Knowledge Local-- +5 1d20+5 : 8 + 5, total 13

Rakeesh

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2018, 08:53:46 AM »
There was a pang of disappointment at Dariel’s reply, not in the half elf but rather that a possible source of information, however minor and easily remedied, didn’t pan out. Kirdo experienced such minor frustrations of simply not knowing so often that it almost didn’t register in his mind, and further was used to misstepping and making new people unsettled or wary. But he knew that this ignorance would only be temporary, and that swiftly rebounded his mood in the gnomish way back to a sort of default semi-mania.

He hopped down off of Hauler with a careful motion, and patted his flank fondly. ‘We can keep up’, he knew. He the moved to more familiar ground, approaching Sandy and...Maura, surely, even a gnome could recognize such a well armed figure in this town by sight. “Good morning, Ms. Maura,” he said, carefully polite in his way with new people. “Sandy,” he smiled with more familiarity, but with some distraction. He was gathering his thoughts and considering his travels through the area, and stories he had heard.

OOC: Knowledge: Local +3
Rolled 1d20+3 : 1 + 3, total 4



Scott R

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2018, 01:29:17 PM »
"If Kirdo and his swayback mule can manage to keep up with you, I suppose I can, too," Sandy says.  "But expect a lot of complaining."

Rakeesh

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2018, 01:38:09 PM »
“Hmph,” Kirdo grunted. Anyone who knew the gnome long knew the pride and attention he lavished on Hauler, and if Kirdo didn’t know Sandy a bit ill-feeling might have taken root at such a remark. “We’ll see what Hauler hauls for you next you’ve a need, All-Saints,” he replied with a sniff.

TheTick

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 01:45:37 PM »
Before Sandy can respond, the bells atop the Temple of Erastil begin tolling their midday song, echoing throughout the quiet town of Kassen. As the peals begin to fade, the first of the townsfolk make their way into the square, dressed in black, as if attending a funeral. They slowly fill the square, moving quietly across the cold, hard ground, their eyes downcast and mournful. After a few moments, a murmur passes through the crowd as it slowly parts to let Mayor Uptal through. He leads the way with a tarnished silver lantern. Behind him, an old pony drags a cart laden with backpacks and supplies.

Once he reaches the center of the crowd, Mayor Uptal stops and calls out to the assembled townsfolk. “Once again the winter winds blow through the Fangwood, marking the end of another harvest. There are wolves in the woods, howling at our walls, and serpents in our shadows, waiting to strike. Just as it was one hundred and seventy-four years ago, when Kassen himself left these walls to protect us, so it is today. Where are the heroes? Where are the brave folk that will venture out to Kassen’s tomb and retrieve the flame to keep this community safe for another winter?”
Babies, chum: tiny, dimpled, fleshy mirrors of our us-ness, that we parents hurl into the future, like leathery footballs of hope. And you've got to get a good spiral on that baby, or evil will make an interception!

Scott R

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Re: Chapter One - Kassen Town Square
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2018, 02:05:08 PM »
The towns turns out to the tolling of bells and dressed in black, with faces downcast, and Mayor Uptal moaning on and on about snakes and wolves.  For a moment, Sandy feels a tingling desire in his belly to laugh.  For just an instant, it's just like Da said: a silly dance, based on nothing but fear and tradition, and no god in all creation could blame him for poking fun.

The instant passes.  These are the people he loves, after all.  These steps, the pomp, ceremony...the ritual of it-- they're important to them.  And so they're important to him, even if he laughs at them.  Just a little bit. 

"Here I am," Sandy says and steps forward.  "All-Saints Tippenroe."