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 Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold

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Kolson

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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sat 05 Jan 2019, 12:35 am

Zoe shrugs. "I think that should work."

Jojo strokes his chin and then says, "I'm fine with that as well, though I'd leave off the hat. If we both go without, that should give the impression we want."

Zoe claps in joy. "Yay, we are done then. I can't wait to see where Kat and Hunter lived."


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Zeiss

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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sat 05 Jan 2019, 12:39 am

Satisfied that this issue has been resolved, Kat smiles and turns to Zoe. "My family lives in Marl, but my teacher was still in Harken last I saw him. I'll have to visit once we've met Lord Stockmer."
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RorytheRomulan

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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sat 05 Jan 2019, 1:03 am

The girls can be pretty sure that Hunter's blushing a little to hear from one of them that she's interested in meeting his family.

"You mean Robert, right? I hope we get to see him. My aunt and her family run an inn at Harken. I've even met Stockmer a handful of times, during ranger training. He gets along with everyone, but if for some reason we can't get room and board with him, we can check in with my relatives. My aunt would be upset if she heard that I was in town and didn't stop by."
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 7:33 pm

"I think Robert would also be upset," Kathryn says, nodding. "We'll see them as soon as we can."
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Kolson

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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 9:24 pm

"Let's finish breakfast then and make sure this place is as clean as we can make it. Wouldn't want to offend a god."

"Replace any wood we used and refill the supplies and we'll have nothing to be worried about."

"Excellent. Let's get to it then."

Ten minutes later you guys have done just that and are now back on the road. For the next hour you enjoy a pleasant walk. The trees are quickly thinning as you leave the forest, showing signs of being cultivated for lumber by the locals. The sky is overcast for now, but Hunter and Kat both assure the others that it will burn off by midmorning, likely with a light sprinkling at most. In the occasional break in the trees you sight a keep on a hill, Stockmer Keep, getting gradually closer and rising smoke marks the slowly waking village of Harken.

As you round the bend you come to a fork in the road that Ludmilla told you about as you traveled, with the right leading up the hill to the keep and the left leading to the village itself. Just off the road to your left you spy The Silver Nail taphouse. While only a single story, the Nail is nonetheless a tall building and was made to service the travelers coming to the Keep and along the old King's Road. Made from a combination of stone and wood, the old building is well made and lovingly maintained by the owners, human brothers Joff and Tom Newcastle, one of which, Tom is out front right now sweeping the walkway. A stout man of 45 with graying and balding hair, he shouts "Hello, good morning" to you and waves.

Jojo brings the wagon to a halt and says, "Good morning."

Tom's eyes twinkle as he recognizes the ranger sitting in the back of the wagon. "Well, well, a pleasure to see you Ludmilla. You leave with Rangers and return with strangers." He eyes Kat and Hunter, "Though maybe not so strange. You I know," he says, pointing at Hunter,"and you have the look of a local about you," he says, pointing at Kat. When Zoe looks confused he says, "The silver blonde hair is always a giveaway." He raises an eyebrow at Noble, who is cautiously smelling the air but hasn't approached yet. "The rest though, aye, I don't know you."

"Tis a pleasure to see you as well, Tom. There was some trouble down south that these fine folks helped me with."

"A pleasure to meet you Tom. I'm Joshua Jordstad, though my friends call me Jojo."

"Likewise," Tom says with a nod.

Zoe smiles and winks at him. "I'm Zoe, a priestess of Avandra. If you need any help or guidance, please, don't hesitate to ask."

"I wouldn't mind a blessing later when you have some time."  

"Of course!"

Kat:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 10:12 pm

Eni:
 

"Hi, Mr. Newcastle," the silver-haired woman says with a smile. "I'm from Marl, but I don't think we've talked to each other. Maybe you know my father, Gareth Amblecrown?" She straightens her posture. "I'm Ser Kathryn ‘Elwin’ Amblecrown, a Shiere Knight on a quest to break the curse that holds Lady Eninahes of the White Well, daughter of the goddess Sehanine! If you ever need a knight, or know someone who could use some help, don't hesitate to ask me!"

She sounds happy.


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Kolson

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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 10:17 pm

"Well, okay. Wow. Wasn't expecting an introduction like that. And yes, I do know Gareth of Marl. He stops by with the family when they visit their eldest son up in the keep. Fine folks, er, your lordship, ma'am."
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 10:24 pm

"You can just call me Ser Kathryn," she reassures him, a little embarrassed.
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 10:29 pm

"Ser Kathryn likes to keep it simple. On that note, Carlos Jalapeño de Muerta from Mithralfast. At your service, good sir!"
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 10:29 pm

Hunter holds back a chuckle at the grandiose introduction and the look on Tom's face when he receives it.
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 10:45 pm

Tom laughs, "A pleasure to meet you too, senor. Mithralfast you say? I have some lovely Orujo from your homeland if you'd like to swing by later."


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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 10:47 pm

"Chance permitting, i would very much like to." - he smiles back at the taphouse master.
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 10:51 pm

Hunter looks over to Kathryn. "Hey, I didn't know your brother worked for the baron. What's he do?"
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 10:54 pm

"I... didn't know either," she says, her head tilted. "He worked at the farm last time I saw him. But I'm sure he'll explain why he's there once we see him!"

She giggles in anticipation.
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 10:58 pm

"Maybe he got some lessons from Robert." He raises his hand in greeting to Tom. "Hi Tom. How's tricks?"
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 11:02 pm

"Not as much business as I'd like with most of the Rangers down south but otherwise we are doing well, thanks for asking. Joff is currently taking inventory for the new shipment of ale we just got from the Morales. Juan just invented a new kind of pale ale. You should swing by with your uncle later and say hello. It's been too long since we've seen you."
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Sun 06 Jan 2019, 11:06 pm

"Thanks, I think we'll come by later. We were just on our way to the Keep."
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Mon 07 Jan 2019, 12:11 am

"Oh of course. Don't let me keep you. It was a pleasure meeting you all. I hope to see you again soon." He waves to you as Jojo gets Hot Lips moving again and then goes back to sweeping. You guys take the right fork and start the journey up the hill.  

The hill itself is a man-made earthwork, made to act as natural fortress against more mundane attacks from the ground. The road itself moves clockwise around the outer edge of the hill before doubling back and around the keep, gradually ascending while conspicuously exposing any would-be attackers to any defenders above and, eventually, in the keep itself.

As for Stockmer Keep, the outer bailey is comprised of stone and other materials. Whoever did the work knew what they were doing. A single guard is walking along the top and when he spots you blows a horn in a specific pattern, to let those in the keep know that someone is approaching. As you round the castle, you finally see the gate.

Kat:
 

The portcullis is closed and two guards wearing chainmail with closed helmets and armed with halberds stand ready to challenge you. One of them steps forward and says, "Halt! Who goes there?" The voice is young but speaks with authority nonetheless.

Jojo brings the wagon to a halt, hands the reigns to Carlos, and steps into the back of the wagon to help Ludmilla rise and address the guards. "Tis Ludmilla, Bill. Let us in and let Stockmer know that I have news for him. My friends also have business with him, so make sure to let him know he has formal guests."

"What happened to you?"

"Nothing that a bit of rest won't sort out."

"Right." He turns around and calls out, "Open the gate!" The portcullis steadily opens and Bill walks with you into the keep. Once inside he dispatches a lanky teenager with the message for Baron Stockmer. "I've got to get back to my post but I'll leave you with one of my men. John, get over here!"

The guard across the courtyard chatting up a scullery maid, turns around and looks at Bill and the rest of you in surprise. He's a handsome young man in the same armor as the guards but minus the helmet, with straw yellow hair and a mess of freckles. He excuses himself from the conversation, whatever he said causing her to laugh, and walks over to your group. He looks curious about the newcomers until he spots Hunter, whereupon he breaks out into a smile. "Well, well, well, look what the cat dragged in! Cousin, it's been too long!" He clasps Hunter's forearm in greeting and hugs him.

John:
 

Hunter:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Mon 07 Jan 2019, 12:22 am

Eni:
 

Once the group is inside, Kathryn examines her surroundings with interest. She doesn't seem much interested in the architecture of the keep, but its people instead. She eyes every guard and worker she walks by, clearly searching for her brother.
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Mon 07 Jan 2019, 12:23 am

"John? John Howard? Hell yeah it has!" Hunter returns the hug. When he pulls back, he adds, "You're all grown up now, I see."
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Mon 07 Jan 2019, 12:33 am

John is about to reply when his commander clears his throat to remind him of where he is. John snaps to attention and Bill says, "I'm happy for you John, but you do have a job. You'll escort these folks around the keep while they stay here. Got it?"

"Yes sir." John says with way more seriousness than Hunter has ever heard him use before.

"Very good. Wait here until summoned but see to anything they need." To Ludmilla he says, "It's good to have you back ma'am." He walks back to the gate after the ranger nods at him.

Once Bill is out of sight, John goes back to his usual self. "Well you heard the man. I'm yours for the rest of your stay." He looks at the group, lingering a moment on Zoe and Kat. "Hi, I'm John Howard. Nice to meet you all. Any friend of Hunter's is a friend of mine."

Kat doesn't see her brother anywhere among the castle's occupants. Perhaps he works inside?
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Mon 07 Jan 2019, 12:39 am

"Carlos Jalapeño de Muerta the Dwarf." - Carlos adds cheerfully - "I have to add the last bit in case people mistake me for a Gnome. It's very vexing."
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Mon 07 Jan 2019, 12:46 am

John laughs and grasps forearms with Carlos in greeting. "Well met Carlos. I think you and me will get along just fine."
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Mon 07 Jan 2019, 12:49 am

"And I'm Ser Kathryn Elwin Amblecrown," the Nord woman says when the guard turns to her. "But you can just call me Ser Kathryn. Nice to meet you John."
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PostSubject: Re: Prologue: The Barony of Harkenwold   Mon 07 Jan 2019, 12:52 am

At mention of the Ser, he gives her a formal bow and instead of grasping her forearm he kisses her hand lightly. "A pleasure to meet you Ser Katheryn. Welcome to Stockmer Keep." He hesitates a moment and then asks, "You wouldn't happen to be from Marl would you?"

Kat:
 
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