Prelude: Harvest's End

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Tribe of One
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Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Tribe of One »

The long days are past, long nights yet to come. A fey wind blows at the crossroads of seasons, as autumnal lords hold back winter's power ...

The absence of the local lord and the shuttering of his keep have cast an uncharacteristic silence over the lands south of the Weald, but empty seats at the high table cannot slow the march of the seasons. As the long days of summer gave way to autumn's haze, the people of Hirstwall and neighboring villages worked their fields and orchards as they always have, harvesting the fruits of their labor and storing them away for the coming winter, which has been known to turn from mild to monstrous overnight.

The reaping done, the villages gather at the festival downs as they have for generations. Honoring the autumn equinox, the celebration provides a chance to mingle and trade before cold weather makes travel more difficult. The village youth, the festival offers games and competitions, as well as an opportunity to socialize with a larger network of potential friends, suitors and rivals ...

You and your friends were among the contingent from Hirstwall who attended the festival. Walking home under the harvest moon, you regale your fellows with the tales of your exploits as fireflies light your path ...

[Write a short interlude describing something your character did when the villages gathered for the harvest festival. If you need inspiration, feel free to draw a card to determine a theme (see p. 130 of SWADE). When done you can either a) gain a Benny or b) spend a Benny and gain a prize acquired at the festival -- perhaps your character came in first in the festival games and was awarded the Harvest Spear, purchased a strange book from a merchant, or won an over-sized gold coin in a dice game.]

GM Bennies: 8/8

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Vespernys du Lac
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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Vespernys du Lac »


Road from Hirstwall
Round 0

Lady Vespernys du Lac -- or simply Vesper, as she was known her her friends -- was quiet as the party walked back from the harvest festival in Hirstwall. She had been excited to go. It had taken a month to convince her mother to let her. Most everyone in the village who could had gone. When permission had been gotten, Vesper had packed a bag with what she called her secret, a surprisingly light chain shirt, a hooded green cloak, her dagger and longbow and a quiver of arrows. Once they were in Hirstwall, Lady Vesper disappeared into the woods, and a hooded young lad had joined the festivities of the harvest festival.

Vesper did well in the archery competitions, but when the local lord called for the general melee, her mood had darkened, and she had withdrawn from the competitions. It was too soon. Too soon since she had accidentally killed a man in a tourney. She changed back into her dress and acted the proper young lady for the rest of the festival.

Now she was back in her woodsman garb. It was more practicable for travel, especially at night. As the rest of those around her chatted and laughed, Vesper just looked up at the harvest moon and stars.


Parry: 7; Toughness: 8 (3)
Bennies: 4/3
Weapon Specialization (Bow): +2 damage with bows
Heavy Draw: If you don't move in a round, you can do Str+d6 damage with a bow instead of 2d6.

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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Gamil »

Gamil walked behind the others on the road home. He had recorded many of the events of the festival and would be setting them in proper relief when he was no longer on the road.

He had been asked by John Smiles to serve the locally made beer to the festival goers. So he had served beer and traded stories with the visitors to the festival. A festival favorite was the hazelnut and oat stout. Gamil was grateful that John had packed several barrels of it.

It was during a particular rousing tale that Gamil had recieved an odd payment. Hands full of beer mugs, he had not seen the individual who had slipped him a runestone as payment for a mug of homemade brew.

So it was he found himself rubbing the runestone that was in his pocket as the friends walked their way back home.

SPEND a Benny to earn a prize. ACQUIRED a Runestone.

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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Kaya »

The harvest festival was one of the few highlights of the year and drew in folk from the neighbouring villages. Not one for competitions, Kaya bided her friends good luck and instead took to doing what she loved best: dancing.

She twirled and whirled through the crowds, her body moving to the tune of the instruments present and encouraged the few musicians present to play up. As well as the Hirstwall lads, there were young men from the other villages who were captivated by her performance and were soon baying for her attention. She teased them, played hard to get even though she had no real interest in them other than letting them ply her with drink so she could sit with them and listen as they boasted about themselves and their village. She had learned that no matter how embellished it is, there is always a gleam of truth and she could always compare to the rumours that did the rounds in order to determine the actual truth of things.

When nighttime fell and the moon climbed into the sky, Kaya took to dancing once more in front of the bonfire. As the festival was drawing to a close she danced the prastonata, the Vistanni traditional evening dance, as her last performance before heading home with her friends. She half-listened as they regaled everyone with their exploits at the festival, her attention was focused on a curious gold coin she'd received at some point for her performance. It was unlike anything she'd seen before and she wondered where it had come from.

SPEND a Benny; ACQUIRED an Oversized Gold Coin.

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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Jaenelle »

Jaenelle, normally so reserved and quiet (so as to not force others to acknowledge her presence), was actually humming lightly to herself as the group walked home.

While everyone else had been involved in the normal festivities, Jaenelle had participated in her first Festival of Shadows. Everyone knew that the selection of the host village for the Harvest Festival (and, indeed, other events of a similar nature) was a matter of negotiation among the leaders. What few knew is the role the Tenders played in that process.

The village chosen was always one that had seen an upsurge in minor Disquiets--those unsettling sounds and sights that foretold some sort of potential trouble later down the line. The Tenders in each village would assess their current state, and if the situation was serious enough, make a comment to the village leadership (whether lord, mayor or council) to advocate more strongly to be chosen. (Jaenelle wondered to herself, now, if Lord du Lac had ever yet conveyed to Vespernys these customs.)

This year's host village had been plagued by lesser omens of ill fortune--always a serious issue when winter is coming. So the Tender there had made an especially strong appeal, not only to the village's selectmen, but also via direct correspondence with the other Tenders, who then advised their own lords and leaders to go with this choice.

And thus, the Festival of Shadows--while the rest of the populace played games and danced and celebrated, the Tenders would, for one night, act in concert, dashing about and using both mundane and, if they had the gift, magical abilities to help correct the settlement's issues. To the rest of the attendees, it would look (by design) as if the Tenders were being stand-offish or playing macabre games among themselves, which meant they were avoided--which was good, as it meant there would less likely be some sort of alarm that might actually worsen the situation.

Jaenelle had performed her own tasks admirably, in particular driving off a will-o-the-wisp that had been luring the local sheep flocks into the nearby moor to drown. As one of the more magically gifted Tenders in the region (contrary to folklore, many Tenders had little or no magical talent, at all--most of their duties had no need for such), Jaenelle was able to provide services that few could match.

The eldest Tender present traditionally would bestow small tokens to those who had done well, and this year was no exception. Hanging from a leather thong about her neck, Jaenelle now wore an amulet in the shape of a circular disc with a hole in the center, made of cold iron. Etched into the surface of one side was the constellation of Celebran, the Protector; the elder Tender, a man named Cestus van Horn, had told Jaenelle that it was supposed to provide some protection against fey magics. Even if it did no actual warding, just bearing it would mark her as standing out among her peers.
OOC Comments
Spend a benny to get a prize. As for what the amulet does, who knows? Maybe a boost or reroll on resisting Powers used by fey, maybe just a social benefit when dealing with other Tenders.
Human Student of the Dark Arts
OOC Comments
Agility d6, Smarts d10, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Pace: 6/d6; Parry: 5/6; Toughness:7(1)
Skills: Athletics d4, Common Knowledge d6, Notice d8, Persuasion d4, Stealth d4, Occult d8, Research d4, Survival d6, Spellcasting d10, Fighting d6 (+1 w/ Runesword)
Edges: AB: Magic; Trademark Weapon: Runesword
Powers: banish, darksight, protection, boost Fighting/Shooting/Athletics; light
Runesword: Str + d6, may have other properties

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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Neil »

Neil decided to put on two performances for the festival, and he arrived earlier than most to prepare. It would be a test of his prowess with illusion magic, as he would craft each scene himself before the audience. It would be difficult, but Neil was confidant it could be done.

He had bartered with the innkeeper for seating, and set about arranging his space. Neil chose to set up near the food and drink stalls so that the children, and later adults, could get food and drink easily during his shows. This was part of his deal with the innkeeper, and after Neil's preparations were complete, he helped prepare food for the festival (the other part of his deal).

For the children, Neil's first performance was a retelling of one of Hirstwall's heroes who braved the woods to save a young woman from a band of goblins. They stole her away to their den in the woods. After thwarting and ambush, the hero was able to track the goblins to the den. He fought through to find the young woman.

She was restrained beside an elderly goblin. In his hands was a gnarled staff, and he was clearly a shaman for this tribe. He used his magics to subdue the hero, but a pendant the hero wore glowed brightly just as the magic took hold of the hero, shattering the effect.

Delivered safely from what surely would have been his death, the hero struck the surprised shaman down and made short work of the remaining goblins. Returning home triumphantly with, the hero and the young woman were met with a celebratory feast. Later, the two would be happily wed, but their ultimate fate was lost to time...

The performance was a resounding success, but even as the children cheered and clapped for him, Neil collapsed. The effort was more than he had anticipated, and Neil had drawn on more magic than ever before. He was taken to the healer's tent to recover.

Fortunately, rest and a watchful eye were all he needed to recover. He awoke much too late and far too drained for his second show. To his surprise, a pendant lay on the beside table on top of a note.

'That was amazing! My mother told me this same story, and she said it was the tale of how my great grandparents met. This was his pendant, but it just seems like nothing more than a goblin tooth tied to a leather strap. Maybe someone like you with magic can make it work like my great grandfather did. I have left it with the healer for you. Take it and my thanks to you for bringing our family's legend to life!'
Neil Smith
Neil Smith, Self-Taught Mage
Pace: 6(d6); Parry: 5(1); Toughness: 5(1)
Combat-Relevant Edges & Abilities
  • Sense Magic: Gain the detect/conceal arcana power. The detect arcana function (only) may be used at-will, with no PP cost, as an action. (Note: If the character has Sense Magic but lacks Spell Casting, only the detect arcana function is available, and is activated with a Spirit roll.)
Wounds: 0/3; Fatigue: 1/2; PPE: 8/10
Bennies: 1/3; Conviction: 1/1
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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Halt »

Halt had never cared for village festivals. There was rarely much to interest him in them, and far more politicking than he could stomach. Of course, Elwyn loved them, and Halt couldn't deny her the pleasure, so reluctantly, and with only a smallest amount of grumbling, Halt made his way to Hirstwall to meet up with his betrothed and the other to 'enjoy' the festivities.

There were aspects of the festivals he enjoyed of course. The games of skill that anyone could enter - regardless of their station. Of course, the nobles always had the advantage due to superior gear, but they contests themselves were fair, and the common man won as often as not. Halt had performed well in the archery competition, but hadn't been able to match Vesper's skills. She had come a long way from when he had first taught her to string a bow. How she had come so far so fast, Halt could only guess. Of course, he wouldn't let her forget that he trounced her in the mounted archery competition.

That said, about two-thirds of the way through the night, Halt had had about all he could take. After humoring Elwyn with one particularly awkward dance, Halt bid his goodnights to the group and headed back toward the Inn where they had secured lodging for the evening.

It wasn't a particularly long walk, but it took Halt far enough away from the village greens that the din of the celebrations was a muted background noise. Halt sighed in relief as he could once again hear the natural noises of night. Crickets chirping, the scraping of small animals scurrying...

"I'm not intererested... Just let me get back to the festival..." Halt heard the woman's voice coming from a couple of streets over. Normally he'd ignore it but - the last thing he wanted was more people to deal with - but there was a distinct frantic tone to the voice. Halt slipped into an alleyway toward the voice as the conversation continued, the next voice clearly sluring its words

"Awe c'mon. The ponds only a few minutes outshide the wall. It'd be romanshic.. you, me, shkinnydipping in the moonlight.."

"O yeah...real romantic. Me you and your goon squad here."

Halt reaches the street where the voices are. A lean, attractive woman has her back to the wall as one tall bulky fellow leans against in next to her, one arm posted against the wall. The goon squad she referred to must be the 3 men surrounding the two in a loose semi-circle, snickering each other as the conversation goes on.

"Don't worry baby...I'll tell dem not look." He reaches for her arm, ready to lead her to the pond he is talking about but she quickly pulls it away. Anger flares in his eyes as he grabs her forcefully by the arm just below her shoulder. "Now you shee hear!"

Halt steps out from the alley, bow already unslung from his back, but held in one hand at his side. "That's enough!" He shouts, looking as menacing as he can, intentionally sticking to shadows to hide his slight frame.

"What the.." the ringleader jumps, clearly startled. Embarrassed, he quickly turns toward Halt, and the other three instinctively follow suit. Unfortunately, the woman isn't particular smart, and doesn't use the chance to slip away like Halt had intended, but stands gawking and the coming confrontation.

Stupid woman...I can't handle all 4 of them. Get out of here. Of course, saying it out loud would just draw their attention back to her.

"Who do you shink you are!" The harasser says, clearly too inebriated to come up with something wittier.

"The lady clearly has no interest, and it't not hard to see why. Why don't you just move along?"

One of the goons on the side takes a step toward Halt, and Halt nocks and arrow and raises it in a flash. He doesn't draw the string, knowing he can't hold a full draw for very long. 'Never draw until you're sure you want to fire' he had told Vesper..

"O look boys..." the ringleader says in a mocking tone."He's got a bow. Can't shoot us all can he?". He draws a long knife - practically a short sword, with one hand even as he takes a swig from a bottle with his other.

Halt wastes no time. He brings his bow around toward the ringleaders head, draws the the string back to his hear and release the line with a Snap. The arrow flies true, smashing the bottle to pieces and sending the man sprawling to the floor.

"No, I guess I can't. But charge me and swear that Death will get his harvest from at least one of you before the night is over." Halt nocks a second arrow and swivels the bow side to side, pointing at each of the goons in turn.

"Argh, get him boys!" the leaders shouts as he struggles to get his drunken arse to his feet. But his henchmen don't move. In fact, they are backing away slowly. One even flinches when Halts arrow turns in his direction. Noticing the flinch, Halt capitalizes by drawing the string back and grunting in fake effort, at which point to goon turns and runs for.

Idiot. Halt thinks, as the other goons do the same. Turn you can't run from an arrow.... With only the ringleader remaining, Halt lightens his draw and turns his aim in his direction. He doesn't say a thing, but cocks an eyebrow.

The burly man scowls at the woodsman before turning and running off after the others. To his credit, he only stumbles once.

Once he is out of sight, Halt shoulders his bow and walks back the way he came, heading for the Inn. The young woman, runs to catch up to him.

"Thank you so much! Those creeps were disgusting...I dont what I would have done if you hadn't shown up" She says, trying to keep pace with Halts brisk pace.

"What you should have done was get the hell out of there as soon as their attention wasn't on you. Then I wouldn't have had to stuck around to scare them off" Halt says, not turning from his path.

"O..I uh...I didnt even think of that. Are you by any chance heading back to the Trotting Donkey?" Halt sighs internally as she mentions the inn he is staying at.

"Yes" Halt says curtly.

"Good. I really don't want to be out here alone. That's not the first time I've gotten unwanted attention."[/b

Halt stops abruptly and looks the woman up and down. Her dress is anything but modest, showing more than any other woman he has seen at tonight festival, and clinging tightly to what it doesn't show. "You don't say? I can't imagine why." He says in a flat tone.

They walk in silence - at least on Halt's side - back to the Trotting Donkey. When they arrive, the woman pauses in the common room. "Wait here!" she says, and then runs up the stairs without explanation.

When she returns, she hands Halt a small, hand sized carving of a perched falcon, it's wings spread wide in either preparation to take off or the last flaps of landing. In the pace of eyes, it has two small green stones that seem to glow with an inner light, though Halt can't tell if that is just the reflection of the common room's firelight.

"My Pa found it in the field when he was digging up the beets. He had me bring it here to see if I could sell it. None of the jewelers recognized the stones though, and said they were likely worthless, and refused to buy it. It's not worth much,'t yours if you want it."

Halt almost scoffs at the offering but...there is something alluring about the carving that he can't quite place. He places it in his pack with a simple "Thank you" before retiring to his room. He's exhausted but twists and turns for half an hour or so, unable to get the image of the carved falcon out of his mind.
Halt O'Carrick
Bennies: 2 / 3
- 1 with interlude to receive token

Wounds: 0/4
Fatigue: 0/3
Parry: 5
Pace: 6
Toughness: 8(2)

Active Effects:

Notable Edges:
Woodsman: +2 to Survival and STealth in the wilds
Elan: +2 when spending a benny to reroll
Menacing: +2 to intimidation

Notable Hindrances:
Mean: -1 to persuasion
All thumbs: -2 to mechanical/electrical device rolls

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Re: Prelude: Harvest's End

Post by Layna »

Layna skips as she walks, weaving in between her friends as they go.

”It was a lovely festival this year, was it not?” she asks no one in particular.

She smiles and prods her companions for more stories, more details, always deftly dodging questions about exactly what she had been up to the whole time.

”Oh, you all know me. I was stealing sips of ale and eating those little berry cakes that Goodwife Milda always sells.”

She puts her hand in her pocket, which is (naturally) cut open to provide easy access to the sheathed dagger hidden within. The dagger is not her normal, plain grey steel affair, however (that one now resides in her boot). This one is of a shape she hadn’t seen before, with an elegant curve to the blade and a bit of metal at the end that juts back, almost like a little bird’s beak.

It had taken hours, but she had finally caught the merchant unaware and deftly made off with the dagger when he wasn’t looking. Weapons are common enough things at the festival, after all, and who would miss one little blade amongst all the bustle (even one as shiny as this)?
Spend a Benny
Layna has herself a shiny new dagger. I’m not sure exactly what it should do that a regular dagger would not, but it seems the sort of thing she’d steal. Bonus to disarm, maybe? The mechanics aren’t all that important. Benny spent.
Untested Thief
Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 5
Notes/Edges:Curious; Fortune's Favor (+1 Benny/session); Thief
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