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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:43 pm 
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Location: Yes.
Arkady nods to Talen. "Thanks. Well, it is something to talk about later. It sounds like we need to go find out how badly we got robbed for that map."

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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:10 pm 
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Location: Praise be to the sticky elastic bands of the Healing Gauze
"Sounds like a plan," Felix nods.

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:03 am 
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So, you head off in the direction of the mapped iron mine. It takes a couple of days to get your trucks through the forest surrounding Stoke's Castle, but once you're on what can be called 'roads' with a straight face you make much better progress.

You shortly reach a small village, on one side of a gorge. On the far side of the gorge, up a mountain, is the iron mine. If there were decent roads, it would be less than an hour away.

There are not decent roads. There is a rickety wooden bridge which looks safe to cross on foot, but not with the full weight of a truck. Beyond it, a steep and narrow path heads up the mountain, in the direction of the mine. Getting reliable transport for anything heavy to and from this place is clearly going to be quite a job.

The village also contains a number of Elene peasants, going about their daily business. There's even a blacksmith there, shoeing a horse outside his shop.

How Badly You Got Robbed #1: No decent roads to the mine

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:22 pm 
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Location: Praise be to the sticky elastic bands of the Healing Gauze
"Well, let's hike up there, see what's what."

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Arkady looks up the slope, then at the village. "Before we are climbing, we should probably ask the locals if it is infested with blood bees or such like."

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:14 pm 
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"Aye, probably a good idea, that."

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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:03 am 
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You find a group of elderly men sitting on a bench, watching the world go by, and ask them about the old mine.

"That old place?" asks the first man. "My grandfather was one of the miners there!"

"Mined out, wasn't it?" asks the second.

"That's right," says the third man. "Just a cave now. Some sort of wild beast has likely moved in."

"I've heard it's not safe," offers the fourth old man, "on account of the roof's about ready to collapse."

How Badly You Got Robbed #2: Mined out (to the limits of Elene mining technology)
How Badly You Got Robbed #3: Possible wild beast lair?
How Badly You Got Robbed #4: Structurally unsound mine?

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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:05 pm 
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Arkady asks the men: "Where was the ore from that mine smelted? Down here in the village?"

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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:33 pm 
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"Seems like we've wasted our time, there's no way we can commit the resources to get this thing up and functional."

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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 3:57 pm 
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Arkady grins and turns to Felix. "I once heard a story about a copper mine that had terrible copper because there was too much gold in it. Where ever they smelted the ore there will be a hill of already broken up rock; let's see if it is useful."

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 Post Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:13 pm 
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"Good idea."

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:35 am 
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"Down here? No, I don't think it was," says the first man.

"Wasn't the smelting down right outside the mine?" asks the second.

"Yes, the old Baron said he wasn't going to cart useless piles of rocks any further than he needed to," adds the third. "He had them smelted right there and then."

"Place is a ruin now, of course," adds the fourth. "You won't find anything useful there, just piles of rock."

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:18 am 
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Arkady nods to the men. "Thank you, fellows. You have been generous with your time." Then he turns to the others. "I think we should be taking a walk now."

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:08 am 
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And so you begin winding your way up the path. Or, more accurately, the lack-of-path - there is a clear route up the mountain, but it's somewhat overgrown most of the way up.

However, a few bushes do little to deter your progress, and you eventually reach the vicinity of the mine. Mindful of the possibility of some wild creature living in the mine, you stop a good distance away to consider your options.

From where you are, you can see the abandoned mine itself - a hole, dug into the side of a cliff. The interior is dark. To the left of the mine is a ruined building - possibly where the smelting was once done. Nearby is a rather large heap of broken-down rock.

It also looks like there might also be a somewhat wider path, going down the other side of the mountain - though you cant see very far down it from here.

Which would you like to approach first?

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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:32 am 
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Location: Currently on expedition.
Nate pulls out a set of binoculars and surveys the land ahead. Specifically he's looking for any signs of large animal life, like flattened grass, knocked over saplings, or fresh scrapes and torn branches on larger trees.

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