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  #1  
Unread 20th of October, 2006, 10:44
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JIANGU! Chapter 5, Scene 4 Miao Province

JIANGU! Chapter 5, Scene 4 Miao Province

Setting: Miao Province, 26 miles West and 20 miles North of Shan Mountain, 9th Afternoon of Midsummer, 300th Year of the Monkey

At the far end of the bridge is a weathered sign that says simply "Miao." The same narrow road leads west uphill from the gorge.

After a couple of miles they cross over the range of hills and find themselves in a rugged valley of grain fields and pastures. A small settlement is visible in the distance. Columns of smoke mark the cookfires of other hamlets beyond the horizon. The road continues generally West.

After another hour they reach a substantial village. It lies in a deep narrow valley along a stream that flows southeast, probably to a waterfall into the Grave river.

The steep embankment that leads down to the stream forms a natural barrier around the village. The road winds down the slope, through the village to a fording site, then zigzags back up the far slope. At the top of the slope on either side there are humble guardhouses, each with a watchtower on stilts.

The sentry at the near guardtower notices the henchmen and the golem. He alerts his fellows below, who assemble to block the road a the edge of the slope down. Two younger militia men stand with shield and spear. In front of them an older sergeant with light armor and a sheathed sword raises his hand.

"Pardon, Strangers. What are your names and destination, please? And what the hell is that thing?"


OOC
The heroes have been travelling for six hours today, plus another hour and a half spent at the bridge. The two spearmen and the sentry above are CR 1/2. The sergeant is CR2.
  #2  
Unread 20th of October, 2006, 12:25
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Flarrgj, in a increadible decion of tact in diplomacy, does not reach for his sword, though he does frown slightly at the threat. However, he leaves the talking to someone more adept at it.
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Unread 21st of October, 2006, 01:46
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Not sure if these guards would be able to read were he to present the information in writing, Fugen signs to the halflings that they should tell them that he was an Imperial Courier assigned to deliver the golem to CaoYuan province and that the everyone else was escorts to ensure its safe delivery. Proper introductions of the party members would also be in order, since the man asked for them.

We've no way of knowing how these men are aligned in the current imperial struggle so the less we tell them the better. If they are aligned with one of the heirs or Akiou and know the golem's destination if the Interim government, they may try to impede us. I hope that Linus and Gizerak are cautious enough to keep the information they provide to a minimum.
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Unread 21st of October, 2006, 02:02
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"My companion here is an Imperial Courier. He has been assigned to deliver this golem to the CaoYuan province. I am Linus, an associate of Fugen, and have been along with this mission to ensure safe delivery. This is Kierna, Termix, Flarrgj, Nimdor, and Gizerak. They are also along to provide escort."

Linus points to each party member in turn.
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Unread 21st of October, 2006, 08:02
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Kierna inclines her head cautiously at the sergeant.

I hope we don't have to fight these poor fellows.
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Unread 21st of October, 2006, 08:56
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"My associate here is correct. I am Nimdor Shiha, and my group here is travelling through on imperial business. We merely wish to pass."
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Unread 21st of October, 2006, 09:57
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4:1 Sentries

JIANGU! Chapter 5, Scene 4:1 Sentries

"Imperial Courier? I've heard of them, but never seen one. The emperor doesn't have too many messages for us!"

This draws a laugh from the other sentries.

"We're loyal, though. Heavens bless the Emperor, wherever he may be. Can you prove you're on an Imperial mission? Is it a message for our village?"

The sentry above interrupts.

"Sarge! Did he say the barbarian's name was Fa-ra-aj? That's the one the travelling minstral was singing about. Remember? The rampaging rapist?"

The sergeant takes a step back and looks at Flarrgj. "Is that you? Are you the one that defeated the militia of Shen?"
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Unread 21st of October, 2006, 09:59
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Oh boy, here we go. I knew travelling with him was going to cause trouble. Oh well, he's been nice enough, I guess I'd better stick up for him.

"Well, I've been travelling with him for some time now, and I've yet to see him face off against Shen."
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Last edited by Linklegacy77; 22nd of October, 2006 at 07:07.
  #9  
Unread 21st of October, 2006, 10:45
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Unsure of what Nimdor is trying to pull off with regards to Flarrgj, Fugen keeps as straight a face as possible, hoping that his confusion doesn't show. At the same time he retrieves his badge and dismounts to show it to the guards. Termix has the scroll case with the actual delivery reciept, but Fugen wasn't sure that he wanted him to show it to the guards as Golock had admonished them to keep their mission a secret. If they showed the delivery reciept to every guard post then their mission wouldn't be very secret. As it was, too many people already knew more than Fugen was really comfortable.
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Unread 21st of October, 2006, 16:40
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Flarrgj groans inwardly, almost letting it out loud when he hears the latest development in the already deplorable situation, and leans his head forward so that the hood of his new silken garments will cover his face a tad better, muttering to the guard.

"I am Flarrgj, but i never did such things."

Last edited by Exarzun; 22nd of October, 2006 at 09:11.
  #11  
Unread 23rd of October, 2006, 05:25
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Termix just sits back, and lets the others handle this. I know a lot, but not how to deal with people....especially in situations like this......
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  #12  
Unread 23rd of October, 2006, 12:04
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4:2 The Sergeant

JIANGU! Chapter 5, Scene 4:2 The Sergeant

"So it is the Flarrgj that the minstrel was singing about! Sounds like you gave those Shen bastards what they deserved. They are just lucky the fieldball season was interrupted this year before the tournament, or we would have paid them back for robbing us in the quarterfinals last year, I tell you what."

The sergeant takes a breath and regains his focus.

"So you still haven't told us what brings you to our village, or if you are just passing through. The captain insists that we ask these sorts of questions, I'm afraid."
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Unread 23rd of October, 2006, 22:32
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Nimdor exchanges a glance with Linus and rolls his eyes, then turns back to the guard. "We are just going to pass through I believe."
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Unread 23rd of October, 2006, 23:24
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Linus answers cordially, "As my friend indicates, and I mentioned earlier, we are headed for CaoYuan and are merely passing through."
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Unread 24th of October, 2006, 03:58
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"Do you have any other questions, sergeant? If not we really are in some bit of hurry. Our compliments to your captain for training his men to ask the questions that need asking."

With a bow to the guards, Gizerak waits for them to clear the path so that they may continue.
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Unread 24th of October, 2006, 07:16
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Foolish country bumpkins. Can't even keep track of what they were told not two seconds ago. Just let us pass you fools. This would never happen with guards who had proper imperial training.

While some not so nice thoughts abou the sergeant and his men pass through Fugen's mind, his outer demeanor is calm and patient as he shows the sergeant his badge and then climbs back up into the saddle.
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Unread 24th of October, 2006, 11:54
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4:3 Fork in the Road

JIANGU! Chapter 5, Scene 4:3 Fork in the Road

"We certainly won't obstruct Imperial business." The Sergeant bows and sends his guards back into the building. "If you don't need anything from our village, I will just follow you to make sure you don't have any trouble on your way through."

He follows them as they make their way through the village, across the ford, and up the far slope past the guard house at the opposite end.

Beyond the village, there is a fork in the road. They can either go Northwest of Southwest.



OOC: Oops, I screwed up the previous post. I was trying to get the sergeant to ask if you were going to stop to get anything in the village on your way through, but that's not the way it came out.
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Unread 25th of October, 2006, 00:25
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This doesn't make sense, Fugen thinks as he consults his maps. The information he had indicated that there should be three roads here, one northwest, one southwest, and one just west. Of the three, the party was supposed to choose the middle one, so the fact that there are only two roads is even more vexing than just a simple error on the map.

Signing quickly, Fugen asks Linus to ask the sergeant before he leaves which road was the more direct road to ZhiYi. The map he had wasn't quite right.
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Unread 25th of October, 2006, 00:32
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As they walk through town, Gizerak looks for someplace that he might find a wand that he can use to help him heal the others during combat.
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Unread 25th of October, 2006, 12:05
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4:4 Directions

JIANGU! Chapter 5, Scene 4:4 Directions

As they walked through the village, Gizerak did not see any place that looked like it would carry a magic wand. This is a village of about six hundred residents, and it has very few shops. There is an inn, a blacksmith, a baker, a tanner, and the other usual craft shops. By the bank of the stream there is an open air bazaar where many of the stalls feature trinkets that are magical, or supposedly magical, but nothing that expensive. An apothecary offers healing potions, but no wands.

At the crossroads, the sergeant nods when he hears Linus' translation. "That's right. All the provinces look the same on them big region maps. The left-hand fork here goes down to Miao Town. If you take the right-hand fork, in a mile you'll reach another fork where you can go right to ZuLi province, but you want to go left to the Village of the Five Martyrs. From the Village of the Five Martyrs it is about nine miles to ZhiYi Province. May the Heavens bless your journey."
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Unread 25th of October, 2006, 22:53
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Bowing in thanks to the sergeant when he explains how the roads in this area work, Fugen annotates his map so as to account for the new information.

With all the notes I've made on this map just today I should take up buisness as a map maker!

Taking the lead, Fugen leads the group in the direction that the sergeant had indicated.
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Unread 26th of October, 2006, 03:18
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"Thank you sergeant, my friend here expresses his gratitude."

Taking a quick look to make sure that everyone is moving the same direction, Gizerak follows Fugen's lead and takes the road to the right.
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Unread 26th of October, 2006, 07:42
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Before they leave, Flarrgj hesitates then says to the sergant.

"Please, tell all, i did not do the things they accused me of. Rape and such i mean."
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Unread 26th of October, 2006, 11:37
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4:5 Shrine of the Five Martyrs

JIANGU! Chapter 5, Scene 4:5 Shrine of the Five Martyrs

The sergeant bows nervously and returns to the village.

Following his directions, the henchmen lead the golem northwest, and a mile later they reach a fork in the road. There is a sign nailed to a tree. An arrow points to the right under the word "ZuLi." Another points left under a number five then a skull and crossed bones.

They turn left and go a few more miles until the land rises before them and they start to climb hills. This is rough farm and ranch country. The hamlets are further apart than the ones they passed in QingShan or ZunYan Provinces. The road winds for another six miles before they reach the Village of the Five Martyrs. It is quite a sight.

The road has brought them upstream alongside the same small river that passed through the last village. Here it pours down a tall waterfall. The village stands high on a ridge above the falls. The henchmen must climb a winding path up to the village. It is protected by a steep cliff to the south, the falls to the east, and a wide lake to the north. They can see fishing boats on the lake. A rope hangs across the lake as it narrows near the falls. A ferry is dragged along the rope across the river to the far side.

The road continues west at the top of the cliff. At the intersection with the street that leads into the village, there is a prominent shrine. It is dedicated to the Five Martyrs (whoever that is) with architecture that far surpasses anything in the humble community.

They have arrived at the Village of The Five Martyrs just as the mounts are at the point of exhaustion. The golem is annoyingly oblivious to fatigue.



OOC: The PCs have travelled almost exactly 8 hours.
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Unread 27th of October, 2006, 02:23
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"It seems that our horses are nearly spent for today. Perhaps we should look into finding accomodations? Of course, perhaps we should search out a farm or home on the outskirts in order to avoid too much interaction again."
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