Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Return to the Barrow

Date: 12pm Wednesday, April 27, 1650
Location: Stavanger, Rogaland
Weather: a gentle breeze is blowing from the north, from along the coast, with brisk weather.  The clear skies have endured and the sun is out.  Feels like 4.6 C.

With this remarkable improvement in the weather, it is comfortable to walk with coats open and caps doffed, though of course these things are kept close in case something changes.  Because you have now walked the distance between Stavanger and the Barrow before, it will only have taken five hours.

Yet, I don't want to assume that you're not exploring some other part of the wilderness, that you don't take the path north to the lodge for example.  Let me know.

But if you're satisfied to be at the barrow, please assume that you are.


Pandred said...

At some point along our journey, hell, why not the farmhouse-

-When we reach the farmhouse!

Pandred will confer with Engelhart about her desire to formalise her relationship with his god, that his blessing might carry them to victory.

If Engelhart is willing to convert her, that is.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yes. All anyone has to do is kneel and make a formal declaration in front of any cleric of the religion that is wanted.

Embla Strand said...

Farmhouse sounds great.

I also seek Englehart's guidance in formalizing my commitment to Lutheranism.

Alexis Smolensk said...

I don't think it likely he would say no. Just make your declarations to him. He's apparently unable to get online today.

[I had kind of a dead zone of the evening too]

Lothar Svensson said...

When we arrive at the farm house I also kneel before Engelhart, repent of my sinful ways and declare my dedication to God through the Lutheran church.

Pandred said...

Pandred kneels before Engelhart as well, swearing dedication before god and church.

With that all squared up, do the sappers have any ideas on how to get into the Barrow safely, or at least in a way that doesn't require us to move single-file?

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Engelhart, grave and dour, motions his companions into a rough semi-circle.

"My companions, I am much moved".

This is actually a first for me. Nevertheless, I shall endeavour to induct you as best I can".

Drawing upon a waterskin, he speaks the Words and ministers to his fellowship's spiritual well-being.

"I beseech thee, oh Lord, to care for these questing souls, that may they want for nothing while cloistered in thy bosom, and that any hardship they find ultimately prove a stepping stone into Virtue and Salvation".


"It is done."

"Come, let us plumb old stones for wealth, that it might later fuel further good works".

Engelhart bookends the ceremony with an impressive casting of Bless.

Alexis Smolensk said...

It is, indeed, done.

[Engelhart, I'm not sure if its your computer or your phone, but if possible could you desist from putting two lines between your paragraphs? It actually makes it a little annoying to scan down through the comments to see what is happening]

Regarding the sappers:

They hear your tale of descending down into the beetle's lair; they look at the hole and at the surface below, lighting the end of a small twig on fire, lowering it into the hole and then using a cloak (partly held by the others) to blot out the sunlight. Once this is done, examining the space, Bergthora will ask, "Why didn't you just jump in? The surface looks soft enough."

Lothar Svensson said...

"Can we make it quicker to get out of? Also, do you think the floor in the farmhouse might connect to the barrow somehow, and what would it take to get through it?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

Valda will say, "If you're willing to pay for the replacement of my rope, I can make a rope ladder in about twenty minutes. That should make it easy enough to get out ~ Fjall, have you got your spike hammer?"

Fjall will grunt that he has.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Bergthora will go and look at the Farmhouse floor.

Embla Strand said...

"Valda, use mine." I hand her my 50ft length of (hemp) rope.

I then go look through the hole in the top of the barrow and try to see what's there. How thick is the barrow wall at the top?

Alexis Smolensk said...

It is about 30 inches thick.

Bergthora knocks on the pipes with a large stone she gets from the cottage wall, and pronounces that from the sound she does not think that there is a hollow space underneath the floor. "Sounds like there is only rock down there."

Embla Strand said...

"Bergthora, in that case, how long to excavate the pipes?"

OK. Assuming that 30" is consistent (big assumption), we could tunnel through from ground level without too much trouble, I think.

Alexis Smolensk said...

In her opinion, the pipes are tarnished and wouldn't be worth enough coin to excavate them.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Fjall and Valda respond quizzically to Embla's statement. Valda says, "The mound is only 8 feet in the middle, at the highest point; the ground inside the barrow is 15 feet down. This would mean we would have to tunnel at an oblique angle if we wanted to be level with the ground, which itself seems to be limestone. At best we could make a tunnel straight through the barrow that would only be about 5 or 6 feet off the floor, but that would take picks. We did not bring any picks, we did not expect to be chopping our way through stone and mortar."

Fjall, a little more dully, asks, "What's wrong with the hole that's there?"

Pandred said...

Alright. So as long as we've got a moment during the construction of this rope ladder, what order do we want to assemble down there?

I'm currently assuming that I will be jumping down first.

I am suggesting the order be myself, Embla, Lothar, the Sappers, Engelhart, and the Archers.

I save Engelhart the back end because I assume he'll arrive one to three rounds behind the main fighting body, where he can provide healing or just get into the fray as needed.

I leave the archers for last only because I have no idea what they can accomplish. Is the hole wide enough for them to reasonably fire at the beetles down below?

Actually, having asked that question, what can be seen in the barrow right now?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Bergthora will say that she did not see anything, but there was a gentle glow that she could detect under the ground, that somewhat overpowered the twig she lowered.

The archers could fire if a beetle were to step into any of the three hexes directly under the hole.

Could I please get a 2d6 roll for each one of the followers. Please roll and designate which follower got which number.

Lothar Svensson said...

I'll roll my three.

Bergthora: 8
Valda: 10
Fjall: 4

Alexis Smolensk said...

Fjall would like to express his desire to stand up top and watch the entrance way, offering help to anyone who needs to escape. Bergthora and Valda are good with going down.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Engelhart bites his lip pensively.

"Being that these are our fallen comrades down there, it is only fair that I volunteer to be the spearhead."

"God willing, in the shadow of true companions I can well stand. If you'll but cover my steps, I don't believe it to be the Creator's design that these critters lie in wait just so."

[OOC: I'm only just now appreciating the convoy of folks we've brought along... even if some more beetles came to Liverpool, this still ought to be a walk in the cake.]

[OOC: Sorry, Alexis, it is indeed my phone that mangles the formatting in a way that is not always immediately apparent, I shall try to be more careful going forward.]

Pandred said...

If you'd like to take point Engelhart, I won't object. I'd just hate to see one of our duo of survivors get swarmed before we'd gotten both legs in our trousers, so to speak.

Engelhart Askjellson said...

I won't be throwing any rocks, if you know what I'm saying.

Lothar Svensson said...

I think we should be okay as long as we stick together. We should wait at the bottom of the rope for everyone to get down before moving into the dark. And hopefully we're back soon enough that Aleksandra, Rowan and Gudbrand haven't become... restless...

It is our intent to avenge and bury them properly after all...

Alexis Smolensk said...

[Do what you can, Engelhart; it is only that it increases the number of times I have to hit the button to pan down on the very long comment threads.]

The rope ladder is done. Have we settled on Engelhart taking point?

Pandred said...

I'm still good with it.

I want to be sure of my intended armament going down. If I strap my small shield to my arm, am I able to wield the two-handed battleaxe? Or is freeing the secondary hand in this way only for non-combat purposes?

Engelhart Askjellson said...

Very well.

I drop my backpack and remove my coat.

I then descend the rope ladder and stand guard by the entry point, hammer and shield at the ready.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You cannot "strap a shield to your arm" and then expect to have the sort of flexibility needed to swing a battle axe. You'll hit yourself in the face with the edge of your shield when you lift your arm to block an attack.

Excellent, Engelhart.

We are probably going to get started on that combat come Sunday. Tonight I'm going to address other things and Friday-Saturday are my hardest days at work. I'll try to field comments and I may be able to get up the energy to put up a round or two. We'll see.

Pandred said...

Sweet, I figured that's how it would be but it never hurts to check.

I'll take off my cloak and coat, descend the rope ladder after Engelhart and stand in Hex 0808 with my battleaxe at the ready.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Actually, it hurts a great deal to check on things you "figure that's how it will be."

I don't appreciate being forced to write out a comment that responds to a clearly munchkinesque request. Save me the time, huh? If you're in real doubt about something, then ask . . . but if you're just looking to edge me, I'd rather you saved it.

Embla Strand said...

Peta gets a 5, Willa rolls an 8.

I ask Willa to look after the donkey, remove my backpack, coat, and cloak, grab my battleaxe, and descend after Pandred, taking up position in 706.

Embla Strand said...

I also take 1 of my javelins with me. When I arrive at 706, I hold the javelin in my throwing hand and my battleaxe in my left.

Lothar Svensson said...

I will leave my pack, bow, and arrows up top, taking only my quarterstaff down with me. Hopefully I had time to change into my armor while the ladder was being constructed. I take up a position on the front line, shoulder to shoulder with my comrades.

For the record:
Total Clo score - 1.21
Total weight - 123.04 lbs

Embla Strand said...

And I've

CLO: .99
Weight: 48.8lbs
AC 8

Pandred said...

Pandred's got

CLO: 1.40
Carrying: 52.55lbs (5AP)
AC 7 (Studded Leather)

Alexis Smolensk said...

Engelhart, Pandred and Embla,

We're doing the same thing again. If you were just stating your order at going down the rope ladder, I'd be fine with it ~ BUT, you're making a conclusion about what is at the bottom of the ladder, then jumping to tell me what hex you're going to end up in, as though you're all going to jump on down the rope ladder simultaneously, blah blah blah.

This has simply got to STOP.

One round at a time, people. One round at a time.

Engelhart is going first. Engelhart will take one round to drop to the bottom of the ladder. That means Engelhart will have ONE ROUND to see what there is to see before ANYONE else is there!

This means, for game purposes, that other people should not decide where they're going to end up once they're done the ladder until:

1: they are actually down the ladder, and
2: they see what there is to see before taking a position.

Now, I've restrained myself from swearing continuously while I write this post, but I have to tell you all, the resistance to this particular time-frame of movement is really, really beginning to get under my skin. I've talked about it several times, talked about not trying to save time, and here are my words just being ignored.

Come on people.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The next post is up.