[DW] The Goblin Hole OOG

edited October 2012 in Out-Of-Game
This is a land with many tongues, and every place or personage of importance is given equally many names. But in the north there is a place that, by any name, is a land of the dead. That land is ruled by he who was once no doubt a man, but who is now a king, the King of Death, the Horned King, the Dragon Killer.

He straddles the lines between this world and the other, stealing strength from each, and he has so lived for hundreds of years. He is now said to be a monstrous figure, skeletal, made and armed and armored of metal, rags, and bone. He wears a mask that is a human skull, and he is crowned with teeth and dry antlers. The earth groans and cracks where he walks, and living things recoil.

The Horned King steals the hearts of unborn children, causing them to be born dead, yet grow into warriors and serve him unswervingly. They are all appetite, they have no voice nor conscience, they kill and devour and don't ever relent. Only bodily destruction harms them; they never die.

He steals also treasures, not only gold and jewels but all things of advantage to men. Time was, we had harps that played themselves, cauldrons that filled themselves with food, looms that wove themselves, horses who ran on the wind, birds who spoke. Harpers, wild children, and the wise could take the forms of animals, speak with the ancestors, and see the future. But long ago, by craft and deceit, those treasures and arts were taken, one by one, and jealously hidden away.

In this way, the King of Death laid siege to these lands for a hundred years, never quite conquering but never quite defeated.

But then came the sons of the Empire-Across-The-Sea, sailing in ships of white and black. They carried with them strange signs and strange treasures, and they also carried with them their gods. They made common cause with the people of this land, and they drove the Horned King back to his first holdings, deep in the north ... but he still could not be thrown down.

And so, in consultation with their priests, the sons of the Empire built the wall, Laug's Wall, and they prayed before it and wrote signs upon it, and bound the Dragon Killer to remain beyond it. Or so they claimed. It is for this reason that, of the several Imperial gods, none has been able to claim hearts in this land so well as Laug.
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Comments

  • edited October 2012
    @ALL

    Something important has been stolen away. What is it? A precious treasure? A merchant, traveling between steadings? More and more of the steading's livestock? A child? A family?

    Who's idea was it to go after the thieves, anyway?

    And this is a completely innocent question, but what - if anything - are you carrying that is made of iron?
  • edited October 2012
    @BRANDON

    The stolen thing was taken almost without a trace, but Brandon, you have nonetheless managed to track the thieves up into the hills. This is dense, rugged terrain. The forest grows so thick, the sun rarely reaches the forest floor, and it is always cool, humid, and dim. What isn't so heavily forested is simply rocky. Shale, hematite, and granite formations burst through the forest floor, and sarsen stones are scattered along the faces of the hills, creating rough travel and lots of hiding places.

    There are caves too, all through here, and it is understood that at least a few of the hills are s
  • @BUCAN

    Bucan, the nearest steading of significance is named Knock, named after these very hills (the old word for a hill, especially a hollow hill, is cnoc). It's the seat of a king, more or less. Really, the "king" here is just a local chief, and the steading is simply a town on a trade road with a barely inhabited hill fort a short way off. So a very small kingdom. But it is moderately prosperous, and it is generally a safe place.

    Oh, and there's a guildhall up in the hill fort, a merchant's guild. Knock is a bit of a way station for merchants of the road.

    So what are they saying around town, about the theft? Who has been putting about that there will be a reward for the safe return of, ah, whatever was stolen? Whoever it is, the reward will be generous, but only as measured by that person's means.

    Is there a shrine to Laug in Knock (or in the fort), or is it a town still fully steeped in the old ways? How far north from here is Laug's Wall?

    Now that you're here, what is the very last sign of civilization that you saw while coming up into these hills?
  • edited October 2012
    @TIERNON

    Where have you been living? It seems like you might be living, well, right around here, up in these hills. Convenient caves scattered about, strong ties to the other world, not too far from a safe town ... does that sound about right?

    In any case, what have you been doing for a place of power, such as you need to perform ritual magic? How is the place marked: a stone table, a ring of menhirs, something else? Who else, what druid or ogre or goblin, also makes use that place of power? Do they have to ask your permission to access it, or do you have to ask theirs?

    This chase after thieves (or kidnappers, as the case may be), it doesn't really seem to be exactly your bag. Well, I suppose you are a fairly benevolent fellow, but all the same. Who do you know who was affected by the theft, and why does that so particularly draw you into this?

    If sorely pressed, you believe that you could beg a brief period of hospitality and protection from one of the fairy lords of the hollow hills ... some ogre, dwarf, or goblin. Who is it, and where can their home or hall be found?

    Beyond that, do you have friends in the hills? A woodcutter or hermit? Or someone (or something) more peculiar?
  • Posted By: Michael LoySomething important has been stolen away. What is it? A precious treasure? A merchant, traveling between steadings? More and more of the steading's livestock? A child? A family?
    My vote: a merchant's shipment. The merchant's body was gone too, suggesting he was taken prisoner- or worse.
    And this is a completely innocent question, but what - if anything - are you carrying that is made of iron?
    The head of Bucan's mace is shod in iron, and there's an iron rim on his otherwise wooden shield.
    So what are they saying around town, about the theft? Who has been putting about that there will be a reward for the safe return of, ah, whatever was stolen? Whoever it is, the reward will be generous, but only as measured by that person's means.
    I imagine it contained some of the iron Knock needs so badly. The blacksmith is most upset, but it was the merchants' guild that arranged the shipment and it is they who can afford to offer a reward.
    Is there a shrine to Laug in Knock (or in the fort), or is it a town still fully steeped in the old ways? How far north from here is Laug's Wall?
    A token shrine- an etched stone with some small offerings before it. The old ways are strong here, possibly fueled by the presence of those hills and the strange things that happen there. There is no permanent priest of Laug, but Knock isn't very far from Bucan's home so he is a regular visitor. Knock is, say, five days' travel from the Wall?
    Now that you're here, what is the very last sign of civilization that you saw while coming up into these hills?
    The last valley had an earth mound in it. It was overgrown, and its purpose unclear- a defensive structure? A burial site? But it was too symmetrical to have been natural.

    Living civilization? A hunter's cottage overlooking the trail. Nobody was home.


  • Something important has been stolen away. What is it? A precious treasure? A merchant, traveling between steadings? More and more of the steading's livestock? A child? A family?
    I like the abducted child. It makes me think of Unseelie pilfering a child and leaving a changeling behind. I always thought it'd be cool to have a campaign setting where the standard monsters, goblins and orcs and etc., were replaced by fae counterparts. Some sort of Alfar-esque creature stands in for the orcs, the goblins are replaced by redcaps, and so on.
    Who's idea was it to go after the thieves, anyway?
    I swear to every god this is the last time I let Brandon drag me into a wild goose chase.
    And this is a completely innocent question, but what - if anything - are you carrying that is made of iron?
    Assuming that iron is the standard material for weapons and armor around here, Castor is literally covered in the stuff. His chainmail and helm are made out of it. Not his falchion, however, that's bronze.
  • edited October 2012
    Brandon roped me into this too.

    I actually like the abducted merchant better than the child. I might also know the Elderly Wise Woman of the nearby village--she consults me once in a while and understands the Unseelie touch.

    I carry an iron medallion, which I use in some rituals, in a roughspun pouch. The stuff is nasty and gives me a rash.

    I live in a cave in the area and near the last town on the frontier. I have an agreement with an ogre to share the use of a ring of stones(The Bluestone Ring) outside his grotto. Somehow, I'm more attuned to it than he is and he needs me to get a good connection with the Other World power, but he's bigger and nastier so we trade access to the stones for access to the power.

    Brandon roped me into this chase. It's hard for me to turn down requests from people who seem to like me, even if they can't tell that. I have also met the merchant or the child--again, they were willing to talk with me, so I'm interested in their survival.

    Oh the Ogre of the Bluestone Ring would shelter me if the threat wasn't too big.

    - Tiernon (Alan)
  • edited October 2012
    If there was a merchant, he wasn't necessarily alone. He could be a family man, a son or two coming along to learn the trade and help load and unload, all of them missing?

    You know the steadings around here, Bucan. Whether iron's been stolen or not, where does it usually come from? This is bog iron, you can dig it up out of marshes in rough, ugly chunks. What steading does business in the stuff, mining it, gathering it, whatever the word would be?
  • Posted By: Michael LoyIf there was a merchant, he wasn't necessarily alone. He could be a family man, a son or two coming along to learn the trade and help load and unload, all of them missing?
    Sounds good to me.

    I also didn't answer the question about whose idea this was. Concensus seems to be "Brandon" so I'll go with that, though Bucan didn't need much convincing. Brandon has probably been a recurring ally to Bucan.
    You know the steadings around here, Bucan. Whether iron's been stolen or not, where does it usually come from? This is bog iron, you can dig it up out of marshes in rough, ugly chunks. What steading does business in the stuff, mining it, gathering it, whatever the word would be?
    Across the river, and say twenty kilometres down it, there's a steading, Ocan- a labor camp, really- at the edge of a great marsh fed by the river. There's a pub and inn for merchants passing through, whether by river or by road, a few houses and the rest is workers' shacks.
  • edited October 2012
    Castor:
    I swear to every god this is the last time I let Brandon drag me into a wild goose chase.
    Tiernon:
    Brandon roped me into this too.
    Yeah!
    I think I was talking to Bucan, who was concerned for the safety of the missing people (I also like the merchant family but just a stolen child is fine too). I had travelled here with Castor – heading the same way, basically – and I know hes as good a fighter as you can find, so I decided we could do it and went and told whoever issued the reward. I haven't had second thoughts, but I imagine the threat of breaking one's word (which I effectively gave without their permission) has influenced at least Castor to go along with it. The chief or merchant expects me, Bucan and Castor to follow through – Tiernon was recruited later and I don't think the steading holds much value in his promises anyway.
    Anyway, Brandon, you've been tracking those thieves for a little while now. What have you noticed? Who (or what) do you think they are? From wandering 'round these parts, what have you heard about them? Is it properly "thieves", or just a single "thief"?
    I've found pieces of flint and suspect that they come from stone trolls – very compact creatures of about human height. I've seen stone trolls occasionally in the mountains, but always at a distance and they always quickly disappear, blending into the mountainside. If they're entirely made out of rock or just wear a stony hide I don't know, but there's something among the thieves that drops a trail of small stony flakes when it moves.
    And do you have friends in these hills, men or fairies or spirits?
    I know a lonesome woodcutter named Ottar – I watched his cottage once for a few days when he had to go into town for new iron tools. I think he makes that trip every five years or something, or whenever he gets the opportunity.

    I've also had a run-in with some bandits, when I was accompanying a druid who was looking for a certain tree he'd heard of. It was some mystical tree that bore fruit even in winter, so we were up there right after the first snow had fallen. We were caught by the bandits, they took pretty much everything we had and kept us prisoners in their little cavern for a few days before they turned south and left us to freeze to death. The druid thought us lost and said his only chance now was to find the magic tree, so he disappeared into the forest. Keira, who had run away when I was caught, found me and we made it back to Knock. I might be able to find that bandit hideout again, but I think they come back there for the warmer seasons so I haven't dared. They did almost get me killed, and they might recognise me.

    Oh, iron: the head of my spear is iron. The arrows I carry are really scrounged, so I guess some are iron-tipped, some bronze? Maybe a detail or two in my adventuring gear, like a climbing spike or something.
  • So, let's do the iron shipment. There was a barge coming up the river from Ocan, manned by a river trader, who in turn was accompanied by his young son (and apprentice) on one of the boy's first journeys. It was loaded down with bog iron, which looks like pitted, rusty rocks for the most part ... you smelt it down, and it gives you decent iron that often has a certain degree of resistance to rusting. There might've been as much as a couple tons of the stuff.

    They never made it up to Knock, though, and when someone took a coracle down to check, they found the barge sunken a few bends down the river, just a couple hours from town. There was no sign of the iron, no sign of the trader and his son, either.

    Brandon and Bucan got to talking, and then the guildhouse put up a bounty of sorts and Brandon rounded up Castor. It sounds like Tiernon got pulled in later, maybe when Brandon realized that the trail was heading up into the hills? And now you've gone down the river, rooted around, and tracked the thieves (rock trolls?) up into the hills.

    Question: That's a lot of iron. Do you have a plan on the table for if you do find it? How're you going to get it back to town? Did you look for hirelings before going up into the hills?
  • Oh, prepare spells, those of you who need to prepare spells.
  • Magic missile
    Contact spirits
  • I for one didn't think of looking for hirelings. Unless someone else says they did, I think we went out to find out what happened, to bring back the merchants and whereabouts of the iron. It can't be too far off since the thieves apparently got it away, so we'll get back to Knock and find people when it comes to that.
  • The thieves had some way of hauling it around. I'm betting we can just use that and save on hireling expenses. Granted, my luck has not been amazing since arriving in Caledonia.
  • Bucan will prepare Bless & Cure Light Wounds.
  • Alright, then! Everyone sounds confident. Oh, I should be clear that the reward is for the return of the iron, not the return of the trader. He was an independent river trader; the guild struck a deal with him because it would be easier to bring the iron up the river than to deliver it by land.

    Any non-spiritual reward for saving the humans is currently speculative.

    I'll hopefully begin this evening, but it might have to be pushed back. Monday, at the latest.
  • Fair. I will actually be in Montreal this weekend, so Monday would work fine.
  • I'm sorry, I should ahve done this before, but how do dice work? I see people rolling, but no rolls seem to have actually got a result yet? Was that comment of yours based on the fact that Bucan missed (because I couldn't see his result)?

    And to roll, do I write # and then dice(2d6+stat), like #DiceRoller(2d6+1)
    or what?
  • You have it right. Mouse over the dice text, and the result should appear. You can then also click and hold on the result for a short menu of options.

    Also, you all may roll on your own. Unless you're not sure if you're making a move, just go ahead and roll for whatever move you think you're doing. If I have to stop you or something, I'll just do that. It'll basically halve the speed of the game if you always wait for me to say, hey, that's hack and slash, that's defy danger.
  • Ah, mousover. Now I get it.

    Re: rolling on our own: sounds good. On the same terms, if I say clearly what I intend to do but I'm unsure what move it is, you can assume I'm fine with you typing in the roll (if you can be bothered to look up my stats). In other words if I way I want to do something regardless of what move you judge it to be, I mean it. I don't know if that needed saying, but anyway.
  • Sure, though I very rarely do that. Maybe two or three times, ever. But we'll see if it comes up.
  • As a reminder, you mark xp whenever you miss a roll. You probably want to track xp in your character thread (if you look around the other games here, you'll see people have various ways of doing that), and when I'm playing I clearly note in my posts whenever I've marked xp. That way if I lose track, it's easy to go back and figure out where I am.

    You level up to second level when you hit ... 7 xp? Weird.
  • Personally, I'd say we could stand to pull back the throttle on the leveling in the game. In the section on hacking the game they basically come out and say that XP accumulation is probably the very first thing you'll want to hack, and the rate of progress is breakneck as written.

    Although, how fast it goes will also kind of depend on how we define a "session" on Snail's Pace.
  • edited October 2012
    Play-by-post is slow. There's no point in slowing it down further ... it's not like we'll ever hit 10th level, as is.
  • Again, you can bookmark the tag if you think you'll have trouble keeping track of threads. Just stick it in your bookmarks bar or something, you can use it just like you would a board link in a conventional forum - the Vanilla system here is flexible like that.
  • Dialogue is way tricky, I'm not used to having to make the call about how much to say. If I do describe Brandon talking and you decide that you'd like to interrupt him after half his line, do so. I for one am okay with "You never had time for that last sentence" – it's my loss if you get to react based on what Brandon would have said.
  • I'm guessing some of you might want a few more lines with Gaston, but other than that I'm fine with drifting into a scene ending summary if you guys want to, zooming out on how and where to go on from here.
  • These dice seem to have a high seed. Usually seed weirdness doesn't matter too much because the bad guys use the same dice, but in DW the bad guys hardly ever get to use dice at all.
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