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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:21 pm 
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The road to Stokes' Mountain is steep; it passes through a forest of trees absurdly similar to pines. The narrowness of the path makes it particularly difficult to get the trucks through, but at no point is it exactly impossible to traverse; nonetheless, you are forced to camp for a night in the forest.

Sir Ulath insists on setting up watches; who would like to take which watch?

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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:09 pm 
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Location: Praise be to the sticky elastic bands of the Healing Gauze
Felix and Theresa will take a watch.

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 Post Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:26 pm 
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Arkady cheerfully volunteers for last watch.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:01 am 
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Nate is cool with the middle watch.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:24 am 
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Sir Ulath volunteers for the last watch with Arkady, leaving Roger to take the middle watch with Nate. After supper (Sir Ulath insists that he has a schedule, according to which it was Felix's turn to cook) the group set up their tents and go to sleep, leaving Felix and Theresa on watch.

Felix: Alertness: +2 Sidekick: +4 Roll: +1 Total: +7

Distant howls suggest the presence of wolves in this forest; trees sway and bend in the wind; and at one point, Felix notices Talen leaving his tent to relieve himself. Talen goes back to sleep, the howls stay distant, and the trees continue to rustle; but about three-quarters of the way through Felix's watch, he realises that the rhythmic thumping he hears isn't a particularly percussive tree, but rather a rapidly approaching horse.

It sounds like only one horse, but it's being ridden hard.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:21 pm 
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Felix hands Theresa a pair of night vision goggles and finds a place to catch a gander at the person passing by.

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 Post Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:49 pm 
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The main obstacle to getting a good view of him is all the trees; by the time he's visible, he's close enough to see the glow of the embers of your campfire. He's a single lone man, not wearing armour; he has an amazingly large feather in his cap, and the only visible weapon is the dagger at his belt, though he also has some sort of musical instrument (something similar to a mandolin) strapped to his back. He occasionally glances back, as if fearing pursuit.

When he sees the glowing embers, he reins his horse to a halt. "Ahoy there! Is someone there?"

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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:31 am 
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Arkady gets out of his bedroll with his good friend the sergeant at hand, but for the moment just observes the scene (and the newcomer) as well as the light level allows.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:10 pm 
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The man's head turns sharply to face the sound of movement. He drops off the horse, keeping the reins in one hand - and then leans against horse, letting the exhausted quadruped take his weight. "Please, anyone! I - she needs help! May I approach?"

There's not much light; but his silhouette is clearly identifiable, and he is making absolutely no attempt to hide.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:57 pm 
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Since he's the one who's been localized, Arkady answers: "Come ahead to the fire, if you come in peace. Who is 'she'?" He tosses a handful of fuel on the embers to shed a bit of light on the scene.

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 Post Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:05 pm 
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The man tosses his horses' reins over a handy branch and walks forward into the light. By the firelight, his clothes can for the first time be seen in colour; and though they are currently somewhat sweat-stained, his bright blue and red clothing suggests that he is not often in need of camouflage. His costume, at the very least, suggests some sort of travelling entertainer.

His hands are empty; his dagger remains sheathed at his belt.

His eyes are wild as he stumbles forward, having trouble keeping his footing even on steady ground. "The Count's sister - a woman of impeccable virtue! Please, you must save her! He's locked her in the tower - he's gone completely mad!"

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:08 am 
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"A local Count has gone mad and imprisoned his sister?" Felix asks. "I wouldn't mind providing assistance. Can you tell us more of the situation? Where is this taking place?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 12:47 am 
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The man sways on his feet, almost collapsing - Theresa catches him before he can quite collapse. She helps him to a seated position and give him a drink of water.

"Thank you, m'lady. Stoke's Castle - follow the road - past the cowardly village - to the Castle. The Count's sister - trapped in the Eastern Tower. She must be freed! Nobody - nobody deserves what's happened to her!"

"What's he saying?" asks Theresa.

Arkady attempts a Cold Read of this man's honesty:

Arkady: Empathy +5 Roll: -1 Total: +4 Target: +2

The man certainly believes what he is saying; in fact, he does so with a fervour that is rare to see. To the point that the fervour of his belief in this cause itself becomes suspicious... Arkady gets the distinct impression that, to this man, rescuing the Count's sister is literally more important than his own life. Which is not something one ever expects to see.

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:34 pm 
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Arkady looks at him for a moment, then asks "That sounds bad, but you are as frantic as a father about to lose his only child. Why does this mean so much to you?"

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:06 pm 
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Location: Praise be to the sticky elastic bands of the Healing Gauze
Felix pulls Piper aside

"What are the odds this man's mind has been magically altered? There's always the possibility this is a trap designed for us."

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