Meinrad will follow along to the bank and try to find his bearing, check if his matches are still functional, and orient himself. How much off course does it seems we are?
“With Sigmar’s aid, I fear no Beast, madam.” Else walks over to Rutger. “It looks like the job of guarding starts now, with all your supplies on the riverbank. I’ll go take a look around and make sure we’re not in immediate danger.” As Else stalks off the boat, she pauses and turns back to Rutger. “I don’t suppose you have any dry gunpowder and shot to spare?”
(Whether he does or not, Else will go to the bank and start ranging around up to 500m, if possible, from the camp)
Gert will get stuck into unloading the cargo until a more long term plan has been decided upon. He’s somewhat reluctant to leave the boat, but see it is clearly necessary. Without a chart or a short walk around he’s at a bit of a loss for where they are or what direction the settlements are in.
Now they’re off the boat he’s happy to leave the next bit up to the shepherd and the mercenary.
(Hopefully ‘strong back’ will help unload the cargo a bit faster.)
Meinrad, you quickly get your bearings from the direction and height of the sunlight. By your reckoning, the barge is exactly where expected. The river is flowing south to north, exactly as you’d expect the Verfelfluss to be from what you know of the route. There is simply as islet in the middle of the waterway. The barge was piloted down one side where the river becomes shallower, rather than down the other (presumably deeper) channel. The pilot had clearly lost focus worrying about the portents of doom being uttered by Vadoma, which Else’s reaction had served to reinforce. Your matches seem fine.
(Any thoughts to what Meinrad might like to do to help?)
Given sufficient time and with the lack of pressure, Else manages to sort out her pair of pistols. Rutger is impressed with her initiative “Yes, very good! We can never to be careful!” Rutger seems very upbeat and enthused despite the disaster. The Strigany also seem to appreciate her presence in guarding the operation, concentrating more thoroughly on the task at hand rather than glancing nervously over their shoulders the whole time.
Gert’s parctical help is once again greatly appreciated, and his strong back is commented on by the Strigany as he helps speed the unloading. It is quickly obviosu that afr mor cargo would have been lost or damaged if he hadn’t spent the time rebalancing the load earlier. The usually very suspicious Strigany are now completely welcoming of his company, part of which is also rubbing off onto Else and Meinrad by association. During the unloading, Gert obeserves Rutger watching from the bank as Reiko directs two crewmen to carry a very heavy and solid looking chest out of his cabin to the shore.
Depending on the time of day, I think Meinrad will use some of his experience living in the wilderness to find place to camp/rest and starts looking for food sources. If possible, he would like to enroll a few strigany to come help him for a bit; especially if he has to set up camp.
Do I have any idea what we can expect to find around here, or threat we may face?
Here’s Meinrad’s Outdoor Survival roll if needed :
d100: 22 vs 40
There are a few hours until darkness, but starting a fire using some scrap wood is still a good idea, allowing everyone to dry out a little, as even those who did not fall into the water still got thoroughly soaked as water lapped across the deck. The surrounding area is marshy fenland, and a fog bank is rising. Not far from where the cargo is being piled is a worn track that skirts the riverbank, generally following the course of the Verfelfluss south.
Just as you are thinking about heading out for food, Rutger speaks up. “By Sigmar’s grace! That could have been a lot worse, eh? Now, I know this looks bad, but I don’t think this is as serious a setback as you might think. We will just head back to camp and fetch Thulgrim, it’s no more than an hour away. He’ll know how best to patch the old girl up.”
He gestures expansively at the boat, just as the keel finally snaps under the strain of the current with a wrenching crack. Parts of the hull quickly start to get pulled away from the frame, and badly painted wood start to drift away downstream. Rutger pauses for a moment at the unexpected turn of events, but doesn’t seem daunted by this further setback.
“Ah! Well… never mind it. Ranald gives with one hand and takes with the other. I’m sure good fortune is right around the next bend! You know… I am sorry to have to stretch the bounds of our contract, but it looks like instead of my barge carrying you, you’ll have to help us carry our goods back to camp! But for folks like you, people with a bit of gumption, I’m sure that’s no trouble. It’s only a short trip and with everything else you’ve done for me today maybe there’ll be a gold coin in it for you?”
A gold coin ? I’m not sure I’ve had that many money in my life…
“Sir, I would be happy to carry your goods to camp. Do you think we could still go before the night ?”
“Certainly!” Rutger responds, then looks around at the piled up cargo. “Everything has been recovered that was possible, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to delay.”
Could we try to build a chariot or something like that to ease the transport ? Also, is Vadoma able to walk for an hour in this enviromnent ?
After resting by the fire Vadoma seems okay, but if you are concerned for her welfare, the real question would be what is better - an hour of travel to a camp where there are tents, supplies are others to help, or staying out in the wilds for a night with none of these things?
None of you are skilled enough to even beign to attempt manufacturing wheels or axels, and even if you had the skills and tools, it would take longer than an hour to build such things.
However, a bit of common sense in lashing a few spars together can quickly make a tarvois to be pulled along, or a stretcher of some sort to carry the cargo more easily. From the amount of cargo and the number of people available, Rutger’s suggestion is not blind optimism; lugging the cargo for an hour seems reasonable, albeit hard work.
“Maybe I should scout ahead, make sure we’re not heading into any trouble”
While Else starts scouting ahead, Meinrad will begin to carry cargo (hopefully not by himself, but he’ll get the crew started) in the directions of the camp.
“That’s the spirit Meinrad!” beams Rutger "I bet a shepherd knows a thing or two about dragging awkward burdens around. Did you have a sheepdog? A past business partner swore that there is no finer sheepdog than the Bretonnian Blue. He had it in his head that there was a fortune to be made in getting the breed established in the Empire, but of course the Bretonnians jealously guarded their dogs. I was convinced enough to finance some of his initial discussions with nobles over the borders, but he disappeared, presumed to have fallen foul of goblins or bandits in the Grey Mountains.”
The Strigany grumble and cast resentful looks at Rutger, but they begin to heft loads onto backs ready for the onward journey. Reiko stands awhile looking at the wreck of his barge whilst everyone starts getting prepared, and Vadoma is back to praying to her ancestors to grant them safe passage.
“Ah sadly sir, Sheepdog were way to expensive for my family. But my dad spent a lot of his time training one of his goose to shepherd the sheep. Did not worked as well as he thought, but he was very proud.”
“A trained goose for herding sheep? Well I never! Absolutely fascinating.”
Meinrad raises an eyebrow
“Yes… yes! Amazing indeed! You know, my old man taught me a few thing or two. You said you will need wool right? And if you need wool, you’d need sheep. And I don’t need to tell you that with sheep you need sheepdog. Or maybe a sheepgoose with the right trainer eh? If you’re interested you could let me some money and I’ll find you a good trainable goose, and come right back to you with it! As soon as you do not need us anymore of course. Think of how much money you’d save, and how known you would become!”
Else heads down the track, one pistol in hand, scanning the area keenly. She’ll head no more than about half a mile ahead of the group.
“First thing first, we have to finish our mill, but I like the way you think Meinrad. Your friend Else is very driven isn’t she?” he remarks, watching her stalk ahead of the group.
“That she is ! Makes me feel safe ! Sigmar seems to be on her side.”