(How long have we been walking? Does it seems we are nearing the camp, or was the “one hour walk” just another fantasy of Rutger?)
(The opressive nature of the mist and the general growing fatigue make it feel a lot longer, but the walk is really only about an hour. I’ll give Gert a chance to ask any more questions before moving on to your arrival at the camp.)
“Ah, it’s a pity. You’d think after the help you’ve been the locals would give you a chance. I guess some people just need something to be afraid of. But it’s good to know that the money is good. Thanks you for the heads up.”
Gert gives the chest a little nudge and jokes “Even if there is a beast hanging around I’d think we could just drop this here chest on it. Be heavy enough to sort out anything surely.”
(Happy to carry on to camp.)
Ranging ahead of the column, Else sees a great grey lake ahead, stretching out towards the horizon, the far shore hidden in the falling light. The Verfelfluss runs north from the waterbody, and there is a promontory resting between a sweeping bay of the lake and the river bank. On this sizable spit of land the camp is located.
A collection of caravans and a number of tents are clustered around ordered piles of timber abd bricks. Many of the wagons are obviously Strigany, with a semi-cylindrical shape covered in tiles. Three other dwellings jump out in particular. One is a large tent drapped in the blue and yellow heraldry of Ubersreik and the blue and silver of the Jungfreuds. On the opposite side of the camp is an opulent and stately wooden wagon, made more impressive by the surrounding old and worn Strigany caravans. Between the wagon and tent is an elevated wooden platform with a small tent by the side. The figure of a dwarf can just be made out, puffing on a pipe.
The area around the camp is dotted with shrubs and rock outcrops, drifts of mist clinging to sodden looking earth. A small stone circle made from imposing black rocks catch the eye, causing an involuntary shudder as something chills your spine.
It does not exactly look like a welcoming place to spend the night, but with darkness closing in, there is little alternative other than roughing it, which holds even less appeal.
(Anyone can make a Difficult (-10) Perception test as they get closer to the camp)
Meinrad perception :
d100: 87 vs Perception 16 (26 - 10)
Meinrad is so happy to finally arrive that barely even notice the beauty of the place. He’s looking for a place to a)put down his crate; b)sleep for the night.
(not sure what my perception is but pretty sure that’s a failure!)
Else is tires after ranging ahead, peering into the fog for danger. She’ll be glad when she can rest her head
Meinrad, you notice that Rutger’s attitude of upbeat confidence vanishes as he nears the camp, his previously ever present smile slipping.
The Strigany start to deposit their loads, then head off towards their caravans. Reiko carefully leads Vadoma to one of the Strigany tents, but calls out to Gert “Boatman, come and share our fire; bring your friends too.”
Rutger however quickly directs you towards the dwarf. “Thulgrim, I say there, Thulgrim!” he calls out. The Dwarf has long black and a wide bristly beard, and wears a grubby set of overalls, puffing away on a long pipe. His face darkens as he notices Rutger approach, but he jumps down from his platform and wanders over.
He puffs a cloud of thick tarry smoke at Rutger. “Back so soon, Manling?”
Rutger splutters and coughs at the smoke. “Well, yes… ah… well, we had a bit of a… mishap… on the river. These kind people proved very useful in the event… I was hoping we could sort them out with a little compensation. Further, I have hired them to do some of the tasks around the camp. You know the ones. The matters the Strigany are… well… reluctant to do.”
He fishes about inside his jerkin and removes a large brass key chain from around his neck. “Perhaps you could take the chest to Stiegler’s caravan and sort out some silver for them?”
Meinrad will put on a smile.
“Happy to be of service, always a pleasure to help. I’m Meinrad, and I’m ready for action, after bed of course.”
Gert rolling perception cause why not.
d100: 92 vs perception 27 (37 - 10)
(Clearly you are all exhausted).
Thulgrim’s brow furrows, a little surprised.
“You don’t want to be paid now? Fine by me” and he turns away to return to his tent and his pipe.
Meinrad follows in the tent. “Sorry, I’ve not been clear. Payment now would be great.”
“Also, I think we were promised gold coins and not silver, if I’ve understood correctly”
Gert is starting to regret his decision to offer help carry this stupid unmarked heavy boring box that’s probably full of gold he can’t get to. The lights from camp lift his spirits, but they drop again as the state of the camp and accomodations become obvious.
“Thank you! We’ll be there shortly.” Gert replies gratefully.
Gert keeps quiet during the conversation between Rutger and Thulgrim, but as he turns away Gert will speak up in alarm. “Oh, he doesn’t speak for all of us. Show me where to take the chest and we can sort it out now. I believe Rutgar mentioned a gold coin? Then we can tackle these other tasks in the morning, if they can wait.”
(The stone circle mentioned earlier, where is it? Just outside camp, or more central?)
(Thank you for reminding me to include these!)
The camp is loacted where ‘Black Stones’ are marked on the map.
"A gold coin each was it?” Thulgrim looks at Rutger, who nods in confirmation.
“Obviously Stiegler will need to be consulted first,” Rutger stammers, “…and with the loss of the barge she may not be forthcoming… but I will wear her down in the end, and you will get paid your due. But first I need some rest.” Rutger takes his leave, and Thulgrim glares at his back as he goes, before beckoning you all to follow with the chest.
Else casts a wary eye towards the stone circle before strolling over to the dwarf.
“We certainly expect to get paid and we’ll certainly have no talk of silver. Gold was promised and gold will be delivered.”
“Take it up with Stiegler” mutters Thulgrim “I’m the foreman, not the paymaster.”
(sorry that should have been earlier but I got interrupted by the puppy!)
“Apologies Master Thulgrim, I meant no disrespect but I believe in people keeping their promises. What can you tell me about this Stiegler? Rutger doesn’t seem confident they will pay what has been promised”