[Closed Roleplay] Caravan to Avermore
We’ve been having a lot of fun over at The Arcanist’s Mill and the roleplaying community has exploded. There are now more people than ever who are interested in fleshing out their characters. While the Tavern is free for all to join, and anyone is welcome - this is something different.
The Caravan to Avermore is a ‘closed roleplay’ where we invite people to join in. We will all work together to form a story, much like a television series, only the players control the characters and decide the direction of the story. If you would like to roleplay, please join The Arcanist’s Mill - it is very welcoming and free for anyone to join.
This is a story set in the world of Fractured, including Beastmen from the planet Arboreus. It is set on the human planet of Syndesia and follows on from the Arcanist’s Mill as the characters travel from the town of Kuasrine to Avermore. An 'event' will occur every Friday that the characters will need to react to.
We hope you enjoy and follow along. This should be fun.
Glim’s Mercenaries embark on a mission to Avermore, a major coastal human city. Word has spread that a rogue faction calling themselves the Outer Regions Alliance has taken the city in an armed revolt. Glim, his mercenaries and companions have been tasked with providing escort to a caravan of merchants and travellers who are making their way to the city. With them they have supplies for the families there, and there is talk of meeting a contact who is organising the resistance in the city.
The caravan is the flagship trading convoy of the The Rhila Trading Company. The merchants affectionately refer to it as “The Rhila.” It is said that Rhila means ‘journey’ and was the name of one of the merchant’s children. At the top of the caravan is a long, red flag that spreads the length of the Rhila. The caravan is lead by a merchant known only as Ruve, a member of the Rhila Trading Company. He is the man who has hired Glim and his mercenaries. Glim and Ruve have agreed a sum of nine hundred and fifty gold for the successful escort of the caravan to Avermore.
The Rhila is travelling on foot, lead by a pack of elk and large draft horses. There are seven wagons in total, with more than a hundred people. The caravan is made up of a mixture of wagons bearing goods and carriages to eat and sleep. You get a sense that they are mostly tired. The journey has been long and will be longer still. Morale is low, and some of the travelers appear slightly desperate and terrified after the run-in with the arachnid which resulted in the loss of their last escort. It carries various wines, spirits, gemstones, food and supplies intended for Avermore. Ruve’s own personal bodyguard maintains a watchful gaze over one wagon bolted shut that Ruve insists should not be opened.
The Rhila will travel to many locales before reaching its destination. One of the most treacherous is the Frigid Mountains, though it will be some time as the caravan moves much slower than a smaller band of mercenaries could.
After you rendezvous with the caravan, Ruve introduces you to the variety of people who have called the caravan home on its long journey.
Seryn the caravan master is a femme fatale looking for drinking companions and storytellers. She’s taking special care to avoid thieves, ancient ruins and cursed places along the way. She carries extravagant jewels, silks and a superbly crafted sword. She appears to come from a foreign land and her accent is incredibly charming. After some small talk she suggests that she is planning revenge on a band of mercenaries she encountered years ago.
Phorud the cook greets you with a hearty handshake, but you get the sense that he is looking for someone more important to talk to. He carries a wooden spoon and is wearing a grease smeared apron with a crooked smile. He’s always up for a good joke or story, but his own are either very crass or boring. He laughs heartily all the same.
Ora, Ruve’s bodyguard is a stoic veteran of war. She works for steady pay, probably much more than any of the travelers on the caravan could afford. She carries two swords on her back and looks capable of wielding both. She’s most often seen with a deck of cards, either playing alone or with others.
Imri the animal handler has been exiled from her land. She is a personal friend of Seryn’s. She’s fond of riddles and she travels with an owl perched on her shoulder. Her wide smile hides a sad story.
Irumac the guide is a strange hermit looking to fill his purse with gold. He carries an unusual map, which doesn’t seem to have any actual bearing on the route the caravan is taking yet he consults it with every major decision. He smells foul, and it’s best to talk more than a foot away from him.
Pharla, one of the Rhila Trading Company’s merchants is a member of a prominent family of Avermore and seeks someone to identify a mysterious artefact she picked up a few moons ago. She carries several inventories and invoices. She will trade water, provisions and other goods.
Jasoendes or 'Jaso', is a pilgrim who enjoyed stopping by the Old Academy of Kuasrine. He’s looking for someone to have a good time with. He carries a small marble statuette of a swan, a family heirloom and is looking for an old friend along the path. He brandishes a flute and threatens to play it the next time the caravan makes camp.
Osse is an enterprising trader from the Rhila Trading Company and a good friend to Ruve. He’s quiet, but from the jingle of coins each time he rustles his long leather jacket you can tell he has the best merchandise. He’s willing to purchase all types of goods and in his pocket he carries a letter that certain people in Avermore would pay dearly to read, or destroy.
Gori the hunter has an awkward gait, and simply wants to have a drink and rest. He carries several morsels of animal feed, a worn axe and a well-used fishing line.
Arshalu is an older woman clutching a young child. Her eyes beg you not to ask questions, but will gladly talk of times long gone.
These characters are free for people to use in any way, from dialogue to actions to further the story.
“You can’t tow that wagon with the caravan,” bellows the caravan master.
“Why, what’s wrong with it.” The Chadra mercenary Ixuo taps the wooden frame of the wagon the mercenaries had been using to haul their supplies. It creaks under the weight. “This is our wagon, I’m not trusting you or your men with our gear.”
“It’ll slow us down, you Chadra dolt,” the caravan master shakes her head dismissively and grimaces, “those wheels aren’t even attached properly. What did you use? A bloody fork?”
Nearby, the merchant master Ruve and Glim are standing by Ruve's private wagon.
“I see your men are getting acquainted with the crew, Sir Glim” says Ruve to the Nheedra with a politician’s smile. “Or would you prefer, Mr. Burrows? Seryn, the caravan master, says she is happy with the arrangement. She’ll take some getting used to but she was the best I could afford.”
From Ruve’s private wagon, a small goblin wanders out with a box in its hand. She approaches the two men, dressed in human clothes. “Gold,” she says in a squeaky voice.
Ruve doesn’t appear to see the absurdity of the encounter. “Ah, thank you, Freab,” he smiles and introduces the goblin with an outstretched hand. “This is my personal assistant, Freab,” he says. “I rescued her from her life in the Wuotong Hills and she has served me since.” Freab presents Glim with the box she's carrying.
“Four hundred and seventy five gold coins,” says Ruve, “as agreed, you will receive the rest when we reach Avermore.”
“What’s in the box?”
Phorud the cook has been watching the conjurer Malyvern since he arrived, late and hungover. The mage has somehow evaded helping the others pack their gear and has been stashing away various boxes on the caravan.
“Better you don’t know,” says Malyvern, though the jingle of bottles filled with liquid gives him away.
“I’m not letting you put that on our caravan without checking what’s inside first,” says Phorud. “The Trading Company has strict rules.”
“How about I share some with you tonight?” says the mage. Phorud pauses, but can’t keep a straight face and he let’s out a hearty laugh.
“Aye that’ll about do,” the cook smiles. “Grog we’ve got is ‘arsh anyhow.”
Malyvern looks up at Kuasrine as the mercenaries pack their gear on to the caravan. The Old Academy sits above, nestled in the trees. The waterfalls to the east continue to rush down over the town, and the frigid mountains lie far to the west. Their peak is only just visible through the clouds.
It was nice being outside after the last few days cooped up in the Tavern. Breathing in the morning air, crisp with frost, Mimi looked around at their new travelling companions, The Rhila Trading Company. It reminded her of a beehive, everyone had their purpose, everyone knew exactly what they had to do, and all of them centered by the caravan master, Seryn. Seryn was amazing to watch, she seemed to be aware of everything that was happening, looking over her caravan with pride and casting our party some clearly dubious glances, Glim knows what he is about, she things Seryn will see.
"Well don't you just look like you fell out of the wrong tree?"
Mimi turns toward the friendly voice, a small smile already turning up the corners of her mouth. She is greeted by a young woman leading one of the cart horses, a small owl nestled into her neck.
"I'm Imri, I look after the horses and such for Rhila."
"Mimi, I'm travelling with Glim and his mercenaries."
Imri looked Mimi up and down taking note of her simple, worn robe and her cautious manner, "I hope you don't mind me sayin', but I didn't take you for a mercenary."
"I'm learning to be a healer." Mimi said softly ducking her head.
"Well, good luck Mimi. I have to get this great lug ready." she said, slapping the horses flank in good spirits, "I look forward to getting to know you on the road."
Mimi nodded and smiled in reply, watching Imri walk away, and suddenly found herself feeling uneasy, as though she was being watched. Shaking it off, Mimi walked back to their cart to put the last of her supplies away. I guess this is it. We should be off before the day is out.
Glim graciously takes the box from the Goblin, eyes wide in amazement. 'The world these days gets stranger and stranger.'
"It's Barrows, like a grave. But, aye, the lads'll get to know the going ons and they'll learn their place quick enough."
Glimheim looks back at his men, bumbling and arguing between themselves and the caravaners. 'They never change.' He thinks to himself, smiling slightly. 'Our wagon is getting old, had the damned thing from the start. Not once has it failed me.'
Telwath was wearing more or less what he had in the tavern. A leather kilt to hold his various bags of herbs and potions, a cloak clasped over a bare chest, and a rough, wooden staff to his hand.
Looking about, he strides towards Mimi, dippignh is ehad to her. "I, listened." he admits with a small hint of a shame. "You're studying healing and medicine arts?" He glances about, eyes curiously following Gori as the hunter finds a wagon to lean against. Returning his gaze to the Erwydra, he smiles. "We didn't have so much time to talk in the tavern."
Smiling at the wolf-kin, Mimi replied "True, you seemed occupied with the demons at the bar for most of it, I'd never seen a demon before then."
Telwath grinned toothishly, extending his hand which Mimi took eagerly in greeting.
"Did you study healing on Arboreus? I must admit, I wasn't expecting to find one of your kind following this path, the only Udoadra I have met have been fighters or merchants, more interested in cunning trade than helping others - no offense intended of course."
"We should all aid others, whatever path we choose." Telwath answers with a nod, firmly clasping Mimi's hand and elbow. "And, I was one of those who studied and learned, yes. Most though, they're Erwydra such as yourself. I was the only Udoadra my tutor had. But my family, they have all been warriors and scouts." He chuckles. "I think I was more of a rebellious youth then anything terribly profound when I chose to study healing and druidism. And now I find myself a druid myself, and, travelling. The latter of which I didn't expect." He pauses. "It was my first time too." He admits. "but I realized.. we need to learn them, their ways. And as I said to the one there. We're all creature of our own natures. It's just to be hoped humans turn more to what we promote then to what they offer."
"Oh, that's beautiful!" Mimi beamed at Telwath, happy to have found another beast-kin who shared her passion for helping others, "Glim certainly looks more relaxed now we're far from the tavern!"
Looking towards their wagon Mimi is happy to see Glim watching over his men, a look of stern pride in his eyes.
"Where are Malyvern and Rikki? Did they sleep in?" Looking around Mimi sees Malyvern near one of the trading companies wagons talking to a tall, dark haired man and looking a little worse for wear, ok, so where's Rikki?
( @DocBilbo )
"Rikki." Telwath hums in thought. "I don't think I've met her just yet. You'll introduce us if she's awake?" He smiles, running a claw over one of his tattoos. "No demons out here, I'm hoping. Other threats, but, we're well protected." He pauses.
"Still, I may scout when we're a little further from the city. And,. if there is danger." He offers Mimi a studying look. "How advanced are your studies? We'd do a lot more to support the others if we're able to work in tandem."
“Barrows,” Ruve says apologetically to Glim and departs with a smile.
Ruve's bodyguard Ora is leaning on the merchant master's private carriage. She silently maintains an attentive glare at Glim.
“Are you sure you can trust them,” she says as Ruve approaches, just loud enough for the Nheedra to hear. Ruve nods.
Seryn is generally attending to the caravan, rigging the wagons and carriages ready to be set off. With ease, she glides between the various sections attaching ropes and pulleys all the while barking orders at the crew. She will run along the top of the carriages, and occasionally swing down on to the ground to lend a hand to anybody who might be struggling. She wears her hair in a ponytail and her gloves are a worn and faded grey.
“Not that one,” Seryn shouts from atop one of the merchant’s wagons, “keep the food supplies near the front. Somebody get that damn Chadra to move his busted gear out of the way.”
The mercenary company’s wagon has been parked defiantly at the tip of the caravan and Ixuo is refusing to budge. His arms are crossed, and he towers over the humans who have gathered to plead reason with him.
“Fixed this damn wagon up myself,” says Ixuo. “We hauled this thing through the mountains. She’s tough.” He rocks the wagon back and forth, obnoxiously demonstrating that the wheels are in working order, though they are clearly off-kilter and the balance of the wagon sends some of the gear toppling to one side.
Not content with the carriage he has been assigned, Malyvern has begun to barter with the families of the merchants who ride near the back of the caravan. He can be seen conjuring various shades of demons to scare and delight the travelers, hoping to earn their favour with his parlour tricks so that they might accept him amongst them.
Glim ignores Ora's worrying question to Ruve. 'I like this one.' He thinks to himself. 'You don't live this long in this trade without being wary.'
Glim looks up the column at Ixuo and shakes his head smiling. He makes his way over to the Chadra, strolling in his long, slow, prideful gait.
"Ixuo, our wagon is part of the crew aye. But, we need to have it at the back, or it'll slow us down. And the longer we're on this road the more chance she'll break down." The Nheedra says sympathetically. To be totally honest it hurts Glimheim to say it.
Cronykil gave up haggling with the young street vendor, grumbled and begrudgingly paid her for the waterskin, cured boar meat and wheel of goats cheese tucked under one arm. After glancing around fervently, he relaxed as he spied his new companions. Good, they hadn't left without him. He tucked the provisions away in his makeshift bag, rearranged his bead covered sash to make himself presentable and ambled over to the wagons, nodding to the large Nheedra in greeting.
"A fine day for a long constitutional." He said, lifting a large paw to shade his eyes from the sun and looking back along the line of wagons, wagoneers and their teams. A stern looking woman in armour standing further down the column, made eye contact, unnerving him slightly. He grinned. She had to have a story or two to tell.
"How fare you, Glim?"
“I fare well, brother.” ‘Brother.. How long had it been since he’d had the pleasure of greeting another Nheedra. Too long.’
“If you need help carrying those items, just look to Spot and Dot.”
Glim points his thumb at the two Udoadra twins bickering once more, still not talking though.
“Although of you need help now, it’s no bother to me, Lad.”
Ixuo had been busying himself with the wagon as Cronykil approached. He motions to Dot and Spot to lend their assistance and gestures to the arriving Nheedra with a welcoming wave. Wiping the sweat from his brow, the chadra approaches Glim and Cronykil with a tired look.
“We’ll get that wagon moved as soon as possible boss,” he says to Glim, shaking his head. His voice growls deeply as he talks.
Ixuo nods earnestly to Cronykil.
"Welcome friend, I trust the journey from Arboreus wasn't too treacherous."
"Thanks" he said, handing his bag to Dot and Spot and winking at the pair.
"It's been a few years since I've been out this way. Last time I passed through we weren't exactly welcomed with open arms. Some of those farmsteaders don't take too kindly to our folk being on the roads,we should beware lingering in one place too long. A handful of disgruntled peasants may not look much, but their arrows sting."
He ran a paw through the scar along his right side, remembering the torches filling the night sky with burning embers and the hunters shooting arrows into the undergrowth where he had taken refuge.
"I hope we can pass in peace now. Anyway, at least this time I'm in good company." He roared with a grin. He noticed others were arriving in ones and twos. They'd be moving out soon.
"I'm going to see who else is about. Just shout if you need me."
With a final nod he clasped the Nheedra's preferred paw in a warrior's embrace, tapped Ixuo on the shoulder and headed off down the column.
It sure was good to see kin in a place like this.
Ixuo bids farewell to Cronykil. “It’s good for us all to stick together in a place like this,” he says to Glim. “This planet is more unforgiving than I imagined. And it’s not just the vermin, but the humans too." He looks dismissively at the crew of the Rhila, Seryn in particular. "‘Don’t do this, don’t kill that’, will it be like this all the way to Avermore?”
Imri, the caravan’s animal handler yells out to the Beast-kin as she approaches on top of one of the draft horses.
“Hey there, looks like you could use a hand," she says with a smile and throws a rope to the Chadra. “Attach it to the wagon, I'll pull it to the back over by the crew and the rest of your friends.”
Ixuo accepts the offer with a shrug. Didn’t feel like carting that thing over there by myself, he thinks. He nods appreciatively and attaches the rope to the wagon.
“Looks pretty beat up but she’ll make it,” Imri says with a wink.
“Imri!” shouts Seryn, who appears from the noise and commotion with a hammer in her hand. “Once you’re done with that bring the horses to a starting position. We’re just about ready to leave.”
“Aye aye,” says Imri and she gallops away with a wave and the wagon in tow.
Seryn approaches Glim and Ixuo with a smile.
“Few know the true Imri,” she says, “but she’s a charismatic and generous girl. Loyal to a fault. Don’t get me wrong, she can be difficult at times, ‘specially if you get in the way of her animals but I know I can count on her.”
She pauses for a moment and momentarily seems to lose focus.
“Ah, I’m sorry,” she says. Seryn shakes her head and removes one of her gloves to greet Glim. “Seryn. I’m making sure this hunk a’ junk don’t break down ‘till we get to Avermore. Ruve mentioned we’d be having Beastmen guard us. Can’t say I’m not relieved, the last lot he hired got all chewed up, lost some of the goods as we made it out."
"Just so long as you stick to my rules,” she warns and eyes Ixuo before turning to Glim. “Talk me through how you and your men will keep us safe out there, it’s a large perimeter to cover. Families are near the back, food’s up front where I can keep an eye on it.”
Taking Seryn's hand in a greeting embrace he begins to explain his plan.
"It's a pleasure, Seryn. My names Glimheim, though you can call me Glim.
After looking at the sheer size of the area we'll have to protect, I've decided that we cannot have stationary sentries, we'll need to keep them rotating the whole time. Although I myself will be up the front with Ixuo here the whole time, and my lieutenant, Phargought will be at the back the whole time.
My men are armed with close quarter weapons, with the exception of the twins and their javelins so if we feel the need is necessary I'm sure you could spare some hunting bows for the sake of protection, granted we'll need some practice."
Glim pauses for a moment to catch a breath and think over his plan some more
"Phargought will have a horn, as will Ixuo, for the sake of signalling either end of the column if need be. If you have any suggestions I would respect your opinion."
Seryn smiles sincerely. “I’m glad we have professionals this time. You’ll want to speak with our guide Irumac about the route, there are a couple’a bottlenecks along the way. Our hunter Gori can help you with bows, and he knows the terrain extremely well.” She dusts her hands, and pulls out a small bottle of whiskey to calm her nerves.
“That should be it,” Seryn says and bids a farewell wave to the beast-kin. She climbs on top of the foremost carriage and stands next to Imri who is sitting at the front holding the horses’ reins.
“Owayou!” shouts Seryn as she hoists the long red flag above the caravan bearing the insignia of the Rhila Trading Company. She rallies the men and cries out,
“And we’re off to-!”
She’s cut short by a sudden thunder of explosions.
Bang. Bang. BANG BANG.
All eyes are on the sky as explosions rip upwards and blast into giant cylindrical fragments of various colours. They whizz and pop, flit, hurtle, whirl and whoosh into the air with deafening cannon-fire like sounds.
The horses are startled and Imri rushes to calm them, but not before they gallop a few feet away.
“What the hell-” Seryn shouts, angrily.
At the far back, there are cries and shouts as Malyvern rushes down the column towards the Beast-kin. The fireworks continue to pop and clap and the caravan crew scramble to secure the animals.
“Damn,” says Malyvern, clutching his collar in embarrassment. “They weren’t supposed to go off until we reached Avermore.”
The pops and bangs die down, and Seryn re-announces that the caravan is away. She casts an angry glare at the mage. Malyvern moves to walk with Mimi and Telwath as the mercenaries file around the perimeter. Ixuo and Glim are at the front, Phargought is at the back as per Glim's instruction. Ixuo sounds off with his horn as the carriages begin to move.
The carriages and wagons of the Rhila file off and depart from Kuasrine, they are heading west towards the Frigid mountains.
How embarrassing Mimi chuckled to herself looking at Malyvern, this certainly wont be a dull journey.
Casting one last look back toward the town in search of Rikki, Mimi turns and follows Telwath and Malyvern. "They look different, don't you think?" she asked Malyvern, gesturing towards Glim and his beast-kin, "They seemed relaxed before but now it's like they have a purpose, they look like they have a lot of pride in their work."
Malyvern nodded in agreement and opened his mouth to answer but a final POP from the wagon cut him short and he sighed instead.
"They were beautiful fireworks, Malyvern." Mimi said and trotted a little to catch up with Telwath.
Telwath winces, rubbing at his ears after the fireworks subside and moves to follow along with the caravans. He glances at Mimi, still pondering about the combination of their skills, but holds his silence for now, the Erwydra seeming to choose not to speak of it.