under the hill
chapter three: lock and load, part 4

Session Start: Thu Sep 21 20:10:11 2006
*** Now talking in #greyhawk
*** Jared has joined #greyhawk
*** CrazyJack has joined #greyhawk
<CrazyJack> howdy all
<Jared> Hi, Scott!
<CrazyJack> how goes?
<Jared> John's afk a sec. I'm typing slowly cuz I sliced my left thumb and have a huge bandage on it.
<DM> Good evening!
<Jared> Great! And you?
<CrazyJack> ouch.. how did you do that?
<CrazyJack> thx for the pic john, you're right, i look too happy to be a barbarian.. hehe
<Jared> cutting a tomato!
<CrazyJack> attack of the killer tomatoes!
<Jared> A barbarian that has everything would be happy, no?
<Jared> :-)
<CrazyJack> well i suppose if he had enough to plunder
<Jared> It was just rare that they got everything arranged just right, so they didn't often smile. Or they had no teeth.
<CrazyJack> lol
<DM> Scott, what is best in life?
<CrazyJack> what do you mean?
<Jared> "Crush your enemies..."
<Jared> "See them driven before you..."
<Jared> "And hear the lamentation of the women!"
<DM> There will be a test.
<Jared> (From Conan the Barbarian, when he is asked what is good in life.)
<CrazyJack> lol.. i havent seen conan in years and years
<DM> And when Crom asks you about the Riddle of Steel, what will you answer?
<CrazyJack> ummm
<Jared> Oh, he will laugh at me and cast me out of Valhalla!
<CrazyJack> run like hell
<DM> Work on it.
<CrazyJack> hehe
<Jared> Or I could always say, "Flesh. Flesh is stronger than steel."
<Jared> LOL!!!
<DM> I love that movie, as lousy as it is.
* Jared has watched Conan as many times as John has watched The Wrath of Khan.
<CrazyJack> i will have to brush up on it before next dragoncon
<DM> Flesh is NOT stronger than steel.  Didn't you see the end of the movie?
<Jared> "But what is steel, compared to the hand that wields it?"
<Jared> I have written more lines of code to that soundtrack than anything else.
<DM> You know, that's what Thulsa Doom said...about an hour before Conan cut him open with a sword.
*** Dania has joined #greyhawk
<Jared> LOL!!!!
<Jared> Hi, Gina!
<Dania> Hello. Already got the boys to bed! Yay!
<Jared> Well, I thought ol' James Earl was right.
<Jared> Hurray!
<Jared> James Earl made a pretty convincing argument that flesh was stronger than steel, or so I thought.
<CrazyJack> hiya gina
<DM> He was right that flesh is strong...but Conan found his own answer, and was just a bit stronger.
<DM> Good evening, Gina.
<Dania> Hello!
<Jared> Maybe Conan's answer is that you need flesh AND steel to cut off the bad guy's head.
<Jared> And a brain.
<CrazyJack> hehe
<DM> We're tutoring Scott through Barbarian 101.
<Dania> Ah....I see.
<CrazyJack> yes i am sadly deficient
<Jared> Remedial Conan is the first lesson.
<Dania> Enlightenment through Illiteracy?
<Jared> Exactly!
<Jared> He was a darn good barbarian at Dragon*Con.
<Dania> I bet he was.
<DM> Ah, but Conan was a Hyborian Age Renaissance man.
<Dania> DId he wear a chainmail loincloth?
<Jared> He had real bones tied to his costume, even.
<Dania> Cool.
<Jared> No, he was more of a cold weather barbarian, I think.
<Dania> Ah....and the bones, human?
<Jared> I was afraid to ask, Gina.
<CrazyJack> i would have been more authentic if debi had let me drag her around by her hair tho.. cant figure why she wouldnt go for that
<Dania> Ah, I understand.
<DM> I think he was one of those laid-back barbarians, from the land of parrots where only the drinks are frozen.
<Dania> ooooh, frozen drinks!
<Jared> That's why, then. Those barbarians aren't into the hair-dragging thing, maybe.
<CrazyJack> yes a jimmy buffetarian
<Dania> Actually, when I was in Toronto with my friend Kisten, we had a lot of wine one night and then some really strong irish coffee and I was hammered for the first time in many years....it was fun.
<DM> You went just in time, I guess.
<Dania> our husbands thought that we were plotting against them.
<CrazyJack> lol
<Dania> We so were not!
<CrazyJack> of course you were.. admit it
<Dania> Ok, maybe a little.
<Dania> But they totally deserve it.
<CrazyJack> hehe
<Jared> Gina, have you tried Avon FanLit?
<Jared> It's a weekly writing round robin, voted on by the community. Highly addictive.
<Dania> Oh, I'll have to take a look.
<Dania> In my spare time.....
<Jared> http://avon.fanlit.com/home.htm
<Jared> If you can write a 1,500-word scene, you have an entry! (That's about 6 pages, double-spaced, Courier.)
<Jared> I wrote a science fiction time travel and a plain Regency. The genre's Regency, but that didn't stop a lot of people from getting really creative with it.
<Jared> One of my friends submitted a Regency Star Trek story that everyone ADORED.
<Dania> LOL!
<Dania> Regency Star Trek....now there's an underused genre!
<Jared> Tomorrow we find out what the next chapter's requirements are.
<Jared> LOL!
<Jared> It was wonderful. She had Spock's way of speaking just right.
<CrazyJack> fascinating
<Jared> heh
<DM> Melissa had said she might be a few minutes late.
<CrazyJack> ok
<DM> I'll remind you guys now that I'm giving you twelve more character points.  Don't worry about them now, but before we play next, go ahead and buff up your characters.
<CrazyJack> woot!
<Jared> neat!
<Jared> Sorry if I'm a little slow or quiet tonight -- this bandage on my thumb is majorly in my way.
<Jared> (cut my thumb on a tomato earlier, Gina)
<Dania> Ow.
<Dania> Aren't tomatoes round?
<Dania> with no pointy bits?
<CrazyJack> lol
<DM> lol
<Jared> hmm...you do have a point
<Jared> there was a disagreement, and things got ugly
<DM> *Ninja* tomatoes.
<Jared> and it used my own weapon against me
<DM> Flesh: stronger than steel, but softer than fruit.
*** China has joined #greyhawk
<DM> Hey!  Melissa's here!
<CrazyJack> hiya melissa
<Jared> Hi, Melissa!
<DM> (and Melissa, I just reminded everyone that y'all get twelve character points to spend before we next meet.)
<DM> We start with a little flashback...
<DM> .
<DM> .
<DM> April, 192
<DM> Cratersville
<DM> The smithy of Master Erik
<DM> .
<DM> .
*** MasterErik has joined #greyhawk
<DM> Master Erik sits at a table with Jared, by candlelight.  Erik is putting his signature to some important paper.  There is a bottle of wine on the rough wooden table, and a mug.
<MasterErik> “Gimme a minute.  Dot the 'i'.  There.  Done.”
* MasterErik looks up at Jared, squinting in the low light. The afternoon heat is fading as he pushes the paper across the table.
<MasterErik> “I've called you 'boy' for the last time, then.”
<Jared> “Master?”
* MasterErik shakes his head.
<MasterErik> “And you need not call me master.”
* MasterErik reaches his right hand across the table.
<MasterErik> “You are Jared, Journeyman smith.”
* Jared shakes his hand, awed.
<Jared> “Thank you, Mas--. Umm...what do I call you, then?”
<MasterErik> “Erik will do.  Just don't let the other 'prentices pick up the habit.”
* Jared smothers a laugh.
* MasterErik reaches for the bottle of wine next to him.
<Jared> “Thank you, Erik. 'Tis an honor. I had not thought it would come so soon. I hoped, of course, but...”
* MasterErik clears his throat.
<MasterErik> “Since man put hammer and tongs to iron, the master has taken the 'prentice and taught him.  When the learning's over, the man shares a drink with the man.”
* MasterErik appears to be recalling an old ritual.
* Jared looks surprised.
* MasterErik uncorks the bottle, and pours into a single cup.
* MasterErik raises the cup.
* Jared is watching.
<MasterErik> “To fire and the metal, to the bellows, the quench and the spirit.  The smith puts his hands to 'em all.”
* MasterErik drinks from the cup.
<MasterErik> “The Goddess gave the smithy to man, and the smith offers his work to the Goddess.”
* MasterErik offers the cup to Jared.
<MasterErik> “I pass the elements to you, 'prentice-no-more.”
* Jared takes the cup and drinks from it
<Jared> “I am honored by your trust in me, Erik.”
<MasterErik> “Remember the cup and the elements, when I'm gone.  One day you'll do this for the next generation.”
<Jared> “I will. But may we have many more years together. I enjoy working with you.”
* MasterErik wipes his mouth on his sleeve.
* MasterErik nods.
<MasterErik> “Been good.  Be better still.”
* MasterErik stands.
<MasterErik> “Don't let the wine go to waste.”
* Jared puts down the cup.
<Jared> “Oh. Okay!”
* MasterErik smiles.
* Jared picks up the cup and almost drains it, then pours a drop on the floor, murmuring something to himself as he does so.
* MasterErik nods, observing.
* MasterErik crosses himself.
<MasterErik> “Then, Jared, don't be in too big a hurry to move on.  We've prospered with you here.  You'll be paid in coin, and have your own work to do.”
<Jared> “Oh, I have no intention of leaving. There is much to keep me here.”
* Jared blushes a little.
* MasterErik winks.
<MasterErik> “Smoke ha’n't robbed me of sight nor smell.”
<Jared> “I will welcome any new responsibility you think I am ready for.”
* Jared chuckles.
<MasterErik> “We'll be getting more work in soon.  Very soon.  The King himself has us set to work on spears and swords.”
<Jared> “Why? War is coming?”
* MasterErik snorts.
<MasterErik> “War's always comin'.  That's what kings are for, sure as smoke from green wood.”
* Jared rolls his eyes.
<MasterErik> “So I need you sharp.”
* Jared raises an eyebrow.
<Jared> “Sir?”
<MasterErik> “If you'n Laurie plan on settling, you'll have my blessing.”
* Jared is listening.
<MasterErik> “You'll make friends in the business, just like I did.  Already are.  Your work’s clean.”
<Jared> “Thank you, sir. I want everything to be right before I make an offer.”
* MasterErik nods.
<MasterErik> “If you honor her, that's good enough for now.  Take a little time.”
* Jared nods.
<Jared> “Is there any danger? From all this unrest?”
<MasterErik> “'Lainie's got supper near ready. Let's talk later.”
<Jared> “Yes, sir.  And thank you again, Mas-- I mean, Erik.”
<MasterErik> “Just keep your eyes open...Jared.”
<Jared> “Oh, I will.  I will.”
* MasterErik claps Jared on the shoulder, and urges him to the door.
* Jared heads out.
*** MasterErik has left #greyhawk
<DM> .
<DM> .
<DM> .
<DM> July, 192
<DM> Sanctuary
<DM> Sunrise
<DM> You are all gathered outside the convent, between it and the guest house.  The steel door to the armory stands before you, where you're expected.
* Dania moves forward, knocking at the door, trying to appear as if she's not at all nervous.
<Jared> “Let's get equipped.”
<CrazyJack> (afk a sec)
<DM> A panel slides aside, and two eyes look out.
*** SisterUrsula has joined #greyhawk
<Dania> “Sister, you were expecting us?”
<SisterUrsula> “Yeah.  Come in, Sister.”
* Dania smiles and moves inside, expecting that the others will follow.
<DM> The door swings open, outward, and dim electric light can be seen within.
* China hesitates a moment, takes a deep breath, and moves with the others.
* SisterUrsula is a forty-something woman in the gray robe of the Sisterhood. A matching veil hides her face—and her deformity--below her eyes.  Her light brown hair is pulled back into a horsetail.
<DM> There are racks of equipment.  There is a strong smell...a strange one.
<Jared> (of what?)
<DM> (an oily smell you’ve not encountered, Jared)
<DM> The racks hold wooden and metal boxes, some with wires dangling out.  There are gun racks, too.
<DM> 1d20
* DMhelper throws the bones for DM (1d20) and gets 5.
<Jared> “What else do we need?”
* CrazyJack cries out.
<CrazyJack> "Jameson, take the left flank!"
* Jared looks at Jack.
* Dania looks over at Jack.
<Jared> “Uh-oh.”
* Jared moves closer to Jack, very slowly.
<CrazyJack> "Roberts, you and Neil take the right!"
* SisterUrsula pauses, then steps between Jack and the gun racks, her hand near a holstered pistol.
<Jared> (LOL!!!!!)
<Jared> “Jack.  Umm...’dude’."
<DM> [lol]
* Jared whispers to Dania.
<Jared> "That is the right thing to call him, yes?"
* CrazyJack stares blankly at Jared for a moment.
<CrazyJack> “Huh?”
* Jared says in a stronger voice, "Dude. You're not in NOM anymore."
* Jared shoots a look at Dania.
<DM> [lol...you guys're killin' me]
* Dania moves closer, careful not to touch anything on the racks.
<CrazyJack> “No need to shout, man!  I know that.”
<Dania> “Jack.  These things, they remind you of the jungle, don't they?”
* Dania 's voice is gentle.
* Jared blinks.
* SisterUrsula 's hand slides away from her holster.
<CrazyJack> “Yeah.  Kinda.”
<Dania> “You were speaking to 'Roberts’ and ‘Neil' who were to take the right ‘flank’, and ‘Jameson’, who was to take the left.
* CrazyJack looks at Dania.
<CrazyJack> "Huh?  Oh.  My platoon buddies."
* CrazyJack goes over and inspects the guns.
* Jared heads over to the guns, but slowly, so as not to alarm Jack.
<DM> Jack steps around the watchful Ursula to stand before a rack of very old rifles.
* CrazyJack peruses the rifles.
<CrazyJack> (or should i say rifles through the rifles)
<Jared> (heh!)
* CrazyJack hoists one up and checks the straightness of the barrel, then checks the chamber to see if it is loaded.
* Dania looks at the rifles too, taking a step back.
<Dania> (BRB must let doggie out)
* CrazyJack begins humming a tune...
<DM> Jack holds a charcoal-gray military rifle of the Ancients.  Its finish is chipped in places, and the stock is pitted with age.
<CrazyJack> "Bang-bang, Maxwell's silver hammer came down upon her head..."
<Jared> “A silver hammer?”
<CrazyJack> “Oh…just a song.”
<Jared> “It sounds...violent?”
* China eyes them all oddly.
* CrazyJack smiles.
<CrazyJack> "Yes, it was."
<DM> The handguard, triangular in cross-section, fits Jack’s grip as though it were made for him.  He seems to know which end is which, and places the butt against his armpit.
* China moves to investigate some other weapons in the racks.
<Jared> “Will these weapons be effective, where we are going?”
<Dania> “Sister Ursula, do we have ammunition for this weapon?  I think it would serve Jack well.”
* SisterUrsula nods, uncertainly.
<Dania> “I'd prefer a nice sharp knife or short sword, myself.”
<CrazyJack> “Fits like a glove.”
<SisterUrsula> “Uh...the Mother didn't say...”
<Dania> “I will be responsible for him.  I cannot take him defenseless into the places we're going.”
<SisterUrsula> “Well, he is to have a rifle.  He can have the ammo *outside* the gates.”
<Dania> “Agreed.”
<SisterUrsula> “I'll have to dig out a magazine.”
<Jared> “Will it be effective against Them, I wonder.”
* Dania whispers to Sister Ursula.
<Dania> “I will need some extra, plain ammunition for my weapon.”
* Dania pats her pocket.
* CrazyJack checks to see if the safety is on.
<DM> [The safety is on, and there is no chambered round.  There’s no magazine, though, and you don’t see any around you, Jack.]
* SisterUrsula raises an eyebrow at Dania.
<SisterUrsula> “Why?  What do you have?”
* Dania pulls out the small handgun.
* Jared looks at Dania oddly.
<Dania> “Just in case.  I hope not to have to use it.”
* SisterUrsula’s eyes widen as she recognizes the pistol.
<SisterUrsula> “That's Isolde's!”
* Jared is listening quite interestedly to this exchange.
<Dania> “She knew that I was going wandering, and she wanted to be sure that I was defended.”
<SisterUrsula> “Ah.  I get it.”
* SisterUrsula nods.
<Dania> “She’s ever had a soft spot for me, and I think she's more worried than she'd care to say about my leaving.”
* SisterUrsula unsnaps her holster, and pulls out her own pistol slowly, eyeing Jack.
<SisterUrsula> “Well, you might as well have this clip.”
<Dania> “Thank you, Sister.”
* Dania smiles weakly.
<DM> Jack is looking intently at his new weapon.
<Dania> “I was so anxious to Wander, and now I'm afraid to leave the safety of the walls.  I guess I'm not as brave as I thought I was.
<Jared> “We will be all right, Dania. We have to be.”
<Dania> “Of course we will.”
*SisterUrsula grunts beneath her veil.
<SisterUrsula> “Please do, Journeyman.  Dania.”
* SisterUrsula ejects a magazine from her pistol, which resembles Dania's.
<Dania> (Derned secret rolls)
* SisterUrsula hands the magazine to Dania.
* Dania takes the magazine, and puts it into a special pocket in her pack.
<Dania> “I think we're near ready to go, then.  Least as close as we come.  Anyone else have need of ammo or weapon?  Now's the time to speak.”
<Jared> “I'm all set.”
* China blows the dust off a few bladed weapons, and looks to Sister Ursula as if for permission to examine them.
* SisterUrsula gives China a long look, then nods.
<CrazyJack> “Any ammo for this bad boy, sister?”
* SisterUrsula looks oddly at Jack.
<SisterUrsula> “You’ll be given it.  Outside.”
* CrazyJack nods.
<CrazyJack> “What about oil?  Got any?  This baby needs some TLC, y’know?
<Dania> “Of course. Sister, I can get that; I know where it is.”
<Jared> “There must be some here.”
* Jared starts looking around for oil.
* Dania moves to a cabinet to get gun maintenance supplies.
* SisterUrsula nods at Jack, and reaches--slowly--for the butt of the rifle.  She taps it.
<SisterUrsula> “In there.”
* Dania turns back with a small box.
<Dania> “A cleaning and maintenance kit.”
<DM> "GA NA GU" is printed in very faded black letters on the small, scratched dark-green box.
* Dania hands it to Jack.
* CrazyJack jerks the rifle away from Sister Ursula with a frown, and looks at the butt end.
* CrazyJack opens the butt end of the rifle and removes a cleaning kit.
<CrazyJack> “Heh.  Beautiful, man.”
<Dania> “Hmm.  Never noticed this label before. Oh, well.  So, what does ‘Ga Na Gu’ mean in your time, Jack?”
<DM> [Secret INT feat roll, please, Jack.]
* China takes down a short sword and examines it.
<CrazyJack> “Uh, like, absolutely nothing, sister.  Maybe it’s the language of, like, furry green men?”
<Dania> “Really?  Oh.”
<Jared> “Ga Nah Goo?”
<Dania> “No, look, it’s on the box.”
* CrazyJack looks.
* Jared scratches his head.
<CrazyJack> “Beats the hell outta me.”
<Dania> So, are we ready to venture forth, then?
<DM> You may all make secret INT feat rolls.  Jared's already done his.
* SisterUrsula looks anxious to get the strangers out of her armory.
<Dania> “There are letters missing.  Maybe it will give me something to figure out during the evenings.”
<DM> Sister Ursula is the one, by the way, who brought in the wounded dog last night.
<Dania> “Sister, we are going now.  We'll leave you to your solitude.”
* Dania moves over and smiles at the woman.
<Dania> “Wish me luck.”
<SisterUrsula> “Always, Sister.  Goddess keep you.”
<Jared> “How is the dog, Sister?”
 * SisterUrsula looks at Jared.
<SisterUrsula> “Zee will be fine, Ja--Journeyman.  Thank you.”
<Jared> “Good. I am glad to hear it.”
* SisterUrsula removes the grey veil covering the lower half of her face, turning away from most of the group, and gives Dania the Sisterly kiss.
* Dania embraces her, and returns the sisterly kiss.
<Jared> (oh lordy!)
<Dania> “National Guard!”
* Dania says as she steps back.
<Dania> “That's what it should say.  I don't know what ‘GA’ is, though.”
<CrazyJack> “That's, like, Georgia.”
<Jared> “What was the National Guard?  And Georgia?”
* SisterUrsula keeps her back to the group as she readjusts her veil.
<Jared> “Truly, these must have belonged to the Ancients.”
<CrazyJack> “Like California.  Another state.”
* SisterUrsula nods.
<Dania> “Yes, the Ancients’ name for this place was Georgia.  And near Cratersville was once a huge city, called Atlanta.  It was said to be a wondrous place of towers and light.”
<DM> People who travel south to lake country speak of ruins on the horizon where the Ancient city stood.  Atlanta is considered an unlucky place, even centuries after the Flame Deluge.
<Dania> “It is sad to think of all those marvels destroyed.  But we should go.”
* SisterUrsula is putting some small boxes and pieces of metal into a sack.
<Dania> “I'll see you again, Sister.”
* Jared hoists his pack.
* SisterUrsula speaks over her shoulder.
<SisterUrsula> “I'll see you out front.”
* Dania adjusts her pack.
<Dania> “Out front.  Jared, why don't you go and get the food from Sister Anne?  She likes you better than nearly anyone else.  We'll meet you outside.”
* CrazyJack carries his M-16, cradling it like a baby.
<Jared> “Will do.”
* Jared heads out to see Sister Anne.
* Dania moves behind the others, shooing the men out, sending Jared to the Guesthouse and leading jack and china to the gates.
<Dania> “You know, you and Jared are the first men who have set foot into the convent in years.  Even Kormack isn't allowed inside the convent proper.”  
* CrazyJack grins at Dania.
<CrazyJack> “Well, I feel special now, sister.”
<DM> Within a couple of minutes, Sister Ursula rushes out of the front door to meet you at the gates.  Jared has returned from the guest house--where he found Kormack already gone--with a few days’ supply of food: fresh (unleavened) bread and jerky.  It will be uninteresting fare, but will keep body and soul together.  You also are equipped with canteens of water distilled here at Sanctuary.  Overhead, a few thin clouds are pink with the dawn.  It’s going to be another hot one.
* Dania pulls a travel veil up, covering the lower half of her face for modesty.
<DM> A Sister on the wall calls out, "Gate!" in a bored voice.
* Dania stands, waiting, shifting nervously from one foot to the other.
<DM> The gates begin to swing open, revealing the sun on the horizon in the east.
<Dania> “’And the sun rose again over the shattered land, and the survivors shed tears over what their hands had wrought’.”
* SisterUrsula waits for a long, respectful moment after Sister Dania speaks, then offers the sack not to Dania, but to Jared.
<SisterUrsula> “Keep it until you're out of sight, Journeyman.”
* Jared takes the sack, and nods to Ursula.
<Dania> “Well then. China, you ready?  Jack, Jared?”
<Jared> “As ready as I will get.  I want to get going.”
* China nods
<Dania> “We'd best go, then.”
* SisterUrsula turns as Dania steps outside.
<SisterUrsula> “Bless you, Sister, and keep you.  Come back safe.”
<Dania> “Thank you. I'll try.”
* Dania pulls out Kormack's map.
* SisterUrsula faces Jack and Jared.
<SisterUrsula> “Keep him safe.”
* CrazyJack nods with a grunt.
<DM> Kormack's crude map directs you roughly east along the King's Road (which terminates here at Sanctuary).  You will be passing south of the town of Cratersville, where King Henry rules, eventually to meet the High Road of the Ancients that runs toward fabled Atlanta.
* Dania moves off in that direction, happy to at least be following the road.
* Jared heads off down the road.
*** SisterUrsula has left #greyhawk
<Jared> “Want me to go first?”
<Dania> “Yes, that might be good.”
* Dania smiles under her veil.
<DM> There is a whirring in the air of insects, and the occasional caw of the crows who often visit the walls.  Sanctuary is otherwise quiet for several moments.  Then, sound of a choir rises in song, ever more faintly, as the group begins the long walk east.
* CrazyJack looks around to see where the singing is coming from.
Two Sisters on the wall raise rifles in salute as you depart, and wave farewell.  The gates begin to close, orange in the early morning sun.
* China pulls her goggles down and her hood up.
* Jared is keeping his eyes on his surroundings as he walks, but hums a little tune under his breath.  It’s a counter-melody to the Sisters’ song.
* Dania returns the Warden Sisters’ wave.
<Dania> “The sisters are singing.”
<DM> The singing is indeed coming from Sanctuary, as the Sisters greet the dawn and say farewell to the terrors of the night.
<Jared> “What does their song mean?”
<Dania> “It thanks the Goddess for bringing us safely from the dark of night into a new day.”
* Jared begins humming again.
<Dania> “Each day is full of promise, and we must do all we can to be worthy of the light.”
<CrazyJack> What's so bad about the dark?”
<Dania> “The things that lurk in it.”
<CrazyJack> “I find light highly overrated.”
<DM> [lol]
* China grins at Jack.
* Jared laughs.
<Dania> “There are frightening things in the dark, both the real darkness and the darkness of our own souls.”
<CrazyJack> “Yeah, but if there was light you'd actually see them.  Ain’t that right, sister?”
<Dania> “Only in the light can we see that which is true and real.”
<Jared> “So it's better to be in the dark and not know.  Is that what you're saying, Jack?
<CrazyJack> “That's what I'm saying, brother.”
<DM> [lol]
<Dania> “I'd rather know.”
* CrazyJack looks down at his feet, at his weapon, then at the terrain.
<Jared> “Okay.  I think there are times I might not want to know, either.  Unfortunately, I think we're headed somewhere that we're going to see a few things we haven't ever seen.  Good, bad, I don't know.”
<DM> The morning sun illuminates the barren landscape around Sanctuary.  The road is packed and rutted dirt here, but it will turn to cobblestones closer to Cratersville.  The green fields and trees west of Sanctuary lie behind you.  There are hills to the north, above which can be seen smoke from the town.  The hills to the south, east and west are nearly bare, the few trees mostly higher up.
<Dania> “I've rarely been this far from Sanctuary before.  Never without one of the Sisters.”
<CrazyJack> “We're, like, kinda exposed to incoming.  Watch careful.”
<Jared> “Incoming what?”
* CrazyJack nods at Jared.
<CrazyJack> “Unfriendly fire, bro, unfriendly fire.  ‘Mama told me not to go’.”
<Jared> “Fire can be unfriendly.  But it also warms a dark, cold night.”
<CrazyJack> “Like, deep, man!”
<Jared> “You are afraid of fire.  Here?”
* Jared motions around him.
* China keeps alert to the area around them, very alert.
<CrazyJack> “Like, y’never know who's lurking behind a tree, y’know.  Like me.  Got you in the crosshairs...”
<Jared> “But fire--would it lurk behind a tree?  Fire would sweep across the grass, catching everything in its path on fire.”
<CrazyJack> “Position is everything.”
<Jared> “You are fire?  This is a different fire from any I have experienced, but if you believe we are in danger, I will certainly keep watch.”
<CrazyJack> “Like, I know how to burn, bro.”
* Jared smiles.
<Jared> “Should we douse our clothes, just in case?”
<CrazyJack> “’I am fire.  I am steel.  I am mean!’  Heh-heh.”  
<Jared> “Okay.”
* Jared begins humming to himself again.
<Jared> “So what do we think we will find first?”
* Jared shoots a look at Jack.
<Dania> “I don't know.  And, Jack, nothing I've seen in you has been particularly mean.”
<CrazyJack> “What are we, like, looking for?”
* CrazyJack starts singing under his breath.
<CrazyJack> "Wishful...sinful…"
<Jared> “If you all get tired, there's a good place to stop, about three hours ahead.  A nice flat rock, some shade.  Nice stream nearby.”
<CrazyJack> “Those pills they give me work, then, I guess.”
* Dania walks along calmly in her shapeless travel clothes, her bright hair covered by a hood and her face veiled.
<Dania> “Well, we shall see where we end up.  I've a feeling what we're seeking will find us eventually.”
* CrazyJack walks hurriedly, eyes scanning the terrain constantly, and his rifle held at the ready.
<DM> The only trees in sight are atop the hills, and on the horizon ahead.  There are many behind you, on the western slope beyond Sanctuary, where the Sisters grow a few crops.  In this dry territory, there is also the occasional grove where underground water makes it possible.
* CrazyJack  does a 360 every now and then, checking the surrounding terrain.
<DM> over the next two hours, it grows very warm: July heat before the August rains.  A few hawks can be seen wheeling far above the east road before you, perhaps two miles away.  Each of you has felt the need to sip at the pure water the Sisters prepared for you.
* Jared mops his brow.
<Jared> (Why'd you have to make it Georgia summer, John?!  Don't DMs control the weather??!)   :-)
<DM> [Georgia summer without much of an ozone layer, at 400 ppm of CO2.]
<Jared> “Good to keep an eye out, Jack.  Never know what's out here.”
* Jared points to the hawks.
<Jared> “Wonder what's up ahead?”
* CrazyJack turns to see what Jared is pointing at.
<Jared> “Those hawks.”
<DM> It may not be roadkill in front of you--only a couple of hawks circling as yet.
<Jared> “China?  Dania?  Anything we need to be worried about?”
* CrazyJack crouches down low to the ground but keeps moving
<Dania> “I dont think so.”
* Dania continues walking east to see what has fallen.
* China looks, shielding her goggled eyes to see better.
<DM> The only sounds are of your boots in the dust and the occasional buzzing of insects.  The breeze fails to keep you cool.
* China shakes her head.
<China> “I can't see anything.”
<DM> After a few more minutes, it appears to you that the hawks are keeping ahead of you, also moving east into the mid-morning sun.  There are now three of them.
<Jared> “Huh”.
* CrazyJack slimgs his rifle over his shoulder.  Hgrabs a handful of dirt and spits into it a few times, then smears it all over his face and arms, in the manner of the wild men of the hills who resist the King’s rule.
* Jared looks oddly at Jack.
<Jared> “What do the legends say of hawks, Dania?”
* Dania thinks.
<Dania> “I think that what they are interested in is farther ahead.”
<Jared> “There will be a stream near that rock I mentioned, if you need to wash all of that off later, Jack.”
<CrazyJack> “Like, why would I do that?”
<DM> After nearly three hours of travel, the sun is blazing over you, and you can see that perhaps a half-dozen hawks are circling over the rest stop ahead.
<CrazyJack> “Man, and I thought ‘Nam was hot.”
<DM> There is a wagon stopped, facing you, a few hundred yards ahead, to the right (your right) among a lot of trees and grass.  There is a broad, flat rock that provides even more shade.  A simple wooden bridge is visible just beyond.
<Jared> “Oh.  Why are they hovering there?”
<China> “Jared, may I see the bag Ursula gave you for a moment?”
* Jared hands the bag to China.
<Jared> (are the hawks over the wagon or near it?)
<DM> [far overhead]
* China digs into the bag carefully.  There is a muted clank of metal on metal within.
* CrazyJack hits the deck and spies on the wagon lying on his belly.
<Jared> “You may want to pass it to Jack next, China.”
* Dania walks toward the wagon, calling to any occupants.
<DM> There are people lying down in the shade, not far from the wagon.
<Dania> “Hello?”
* CrazyJack motions for Dania to get down.
<Dania> “Do you mind sharing the shade with weary travelers?”
<DM> The wagon is large and red, and is familiar to a couple of you.
* CrazyJack stage-whispers to Dania from his prone position.
<CrazyJack> "They could be VC!  I mean, like, unfriendlies!"
<DM> [lol]
* China closes the bag, and moves to investigate the area with the rest
<Jared> “They may be dead.”
<Dania> “No, they're players!”
<Jared> “Hey....I know these guys.  The Jongleurs.”
<Jared> “They're the Jongleurs...traveling players.”
<CrazyJack> “Players?  Dead?  Like, is it Jerry Garcia?”
<DM> [lol]
* Jared draws his sword, and moves slowly forward.
* Dania smiles and moves forward to see them.
* CrazyJack gets up, and follows Jared, his rifle at the ready.
<DM> You are still a few hundred yards away from the wagon.  You can see that people there are moving, apparently alive.
* China looks carefully at the wagon.
<China> (any more folks in it?)
<Jared> “Why are the hawks hovering?”
* Jared puts his sword away.
<Dania> “Maybe they're trained?”
<Jared> “Oh!  That had not occurred to me.”
<DM> The hawks wheel freely above.  There are six of them.
* CrazyJack looks at the birds.
<CrazyJack> "Trained falcons…like, far out."
<DM> [hawks are likely to take an interest in anything out here that is moving slowly or lying down]
* Jared calls out, "Hello!!"
* CrazyJack scans the camp intently
<DM> There is a near-instant reaction.  A couple of heads in the shade turn your way. 
<CrazyJack> “We've come to liberate you!  You can thank us later!”
<DM> Who's got weapons out?
<CrazyJack> (i do)
<Dania> (I don't.)
<Jared> “Oh, I think they don't need any help, Jack.”
* Dania moves forward.
<Jared> (I don't)
* China has the bag.
<CrazyJack> (it's not like i can stick an m16 in my pocket ya know)
<DM> You are still nearly two hundred yards away.  Yelling is recommended.
<China> ((it would have to be a very deeeeeeep pocket))
<CrazyJack> (lol)
<DM> Two figures in the shade stand up.  Male and female.  They seem to be straining to see you.
* Dania walks forward more quickly, eager to see these famous people!
* China seems to sink deeper into the shaded hood of her cloak as they approach the group of players
<DM> The male figure holds something up to his face.
<DM> Range: 150 yards now.
* China watches the area closely.
* Jared waves a hand in a friendly gesture.
<DM> The male and female figure wave in your direction.  The male calls something out over his shoulder.
<Jared> “I think they're ‘friendly’, Jack.”
<DM> Three more figures dash up to the couple.  They came from the streambed.
* CrazyJack nods, and whispers to himself.
<CrazyJack> "Good thing for them."
<Jared> “I have seen them before. They are not bad people.”
<Dania> “Jack, put the rifle down, or make it less threatening.  Maybe over your shoulder, or something.  You are showing poor manners.”
<Jared> “They're tough travelers, so they worry about robbers, I am sure.”
<CrazyJack> “Huh?   Oh.”
* CrazyJack slings the M-16 over his shoulder.
<Dania> “Thank you.”
<DM> Three figures disappear behind the wagon.
<Dania> (Acck.....its ten already!)
<CrazyJack> (time sure flies!)
<DM> The male seems to be looking intently at you, holding something up to his face.  He calls something over his shoulder, then waves again in your direction.
<Jared> (Do we know what kind of thing it might be?)
<DM> [You can’t see from here, but he is mostly holding it with both hands.]
<Jared> Why are they disappearing like that?
* Dania smiles and moves forward, wondering what these folk could possibly want with us!
<DM> As you approach, five figures come out to greet you.
<DM> And I think we end it here tonight!
<CrazyJack> sounds good
<Dania> OK.
<Dania> Two weeks, then?
<CrazyJack> thx john :-)
<China> good session -- thanks john
<Dania> thank you John, this was great!
<China> and all
<Dania> next time I might even be able to type.
<China> lol
<Jared> Take care, y'all!
<CrazyJack> cya on wednesday!
<Jared> Me too. I won't have a big bandage on my thumb!
<Dania> Night!
<DM> I couldn't type tonight, either.  Been too long.  Shall we try real hard to meet again in two weeks?
<CrazyJack> two weeks sounds good
<China> yes yes
<DM> Will send y'all an e-mail.
<CrazyJack> ok.. have a good weekend all
*** Dania has quit IRC
<DM> Good night!
*** CrazyJack has quit IRC
<China> nighters
*** Jared has quit IRC
*** DM has quit IRC
*** Disconnected
Session Close: Thu Sep 21 23:12:30 2006


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