[pnpgm] Game Update #151 - File #1054 - Death by Pitchfork

Scott Adams longshotgm at netzero.com
Thu Feb 17 18:52:52 CET 2011

  HT Alias/Player          Character Name    Type    Status/Notes  Sex
  -- -----------------------------------------------------------------
  R1.John Haight...........Arawn.............Druid  .Normal/Alfar  Ma
  ??.Chris Wells...........Ben'dar...........Warrior.Normal/Human  Ma
  R4.Tom Corckett..........Caladan...........Wizard  Normal/Human  Ma
  W2.Marcel Liberty........Chion.............Sailor..Normal/Human  Ma
  W3.Ryan Torres...........Farseeker.........Warrior.Normal/Human  Ma
  --.Tobie Bonahoom........Fremea............Sidh....Normal/Faerry Fe
  R2.Mark Murtha...........Kell..............Trader..Normal/Human..Ma
  R1.David Sanders.........Kiet.Sunan........Acrobat Normal/Human  Ma
  R4.J H Hooten............Raban.Usherwood...Bard....Normal/Human..Ma
  W2.Robert Maxwell........Strie'bog.........Bard....Normal/Human..Ma
  W4.Wout Broere...........Unali.............Ninja...Normal/Human  Fe
  R1 John.Stowman..........Will..............Hunter..Normal/Human..Ma
  R4.Alex Koponen..........Z'leyra...........Healer..Normal/Human  Fe
  R1 NPC...................Zhou Kiwat........Noble...Normal/Human..Ma
     Animals: Corona [Eagle] Z'leyra, Tef'wo (Horse) Ben'dar, 

     Game Web Site - http://www.furvert.net/longshotgm/pbem/index.htm
     Public posts/actions to pnpgm at abroere.xs4all.nl (mailing list)
     Private emails (not public actions) to longshotgm at netzero.com
     Game Update #151 in sequence (file #1054)      
     Admin Notes: None. 

        From Z'leyra: [Re: Actions]
          Z'leyra suggests "Let us continue without using magic until...

          Till then she plans to continue making wooden fighting daggers
          in her spare time. She will be using her survival skills to help
          make sure that the party isn't ambushed. She wil also try to make
          sure that she gets enough sleep. (Starting a major combat without
          being rested is not conducive to winning.)
        GM: Ack.  Will consider that woodcarving or the related skill you
            have.  Will note it below but won't be able to figure out the
            effect till later (ie how many made, skill change as I have to
            research the time to build rules and such again).  

        From Kiet: [Re: Actions]
          I gotta say that was one of the funniest posts I have ever
          seen.....Giddyap!  LOL!!!
          [Re: Will]'s post]
          Kiet will decline using the spell for now.  He sensed uneasiness
          from the rest of his companions, and had some himself.  He was
          asking for input from the group over the usefullness of casting
          it, but heard little.
        GM: Ack.  Its a bad time for input.  At least 4 have gone on
            vacation recently so have been distracted. 

        From Kell: [Re: Actions]                                        
          Ha'Kell has been normal over the last three days for the...
          Ha'Kell looks to Caladan with his piercing blue eyes, "Good...

          [More to come.  Out of time for this right now.]
        GM: Ack. 

     [New Stuff]

         [Augado 7th, 1634TH]
         [Location: Middle Katai Plains] 
         [          Mountains west of Pamau]

         [Time: 8:12pm]

           Tonight around camp while some continue their Vong attack and
         defense skills, the party talks more on the use of magic.

           Everyone knows how Kiet feels about the magic.  Most see magic
         as a need not as a must do every day.  Need for the situation but
         not a must do everyday to become the greatest ever.  Especially
         in this land where magic is so forbidden it is more dangerous
         than in other lands.

           Zhou nods, "I'm new to this whole saving the world thing. I
         don't know how long it normally might take to rid the world
         of a strange creature race and their base.  So I hope the
         trip back up to the Lands yields a quick attack on the Vong so
         you can move out of Katai safely without a big chase."

           Z'leyra suggests "Let us continue without using magic until we
         are less than a day from initiating combat if we choose. Then let
         Chion or Will fetch our magic items. Then, if the Katai military
         sends a force they will hopefully be too late to stop us and may
         even be in time to help."

           Ha'Kell has been normal over the last three days for the half-elf,
         meaning talkative and friendly with anyone who wants to chat.
         Squirt is a favorite topic he brings up and anyone listening
         notices he misses the little furry critter with red eyes.  This is
         the longest that Squirt has been apart since he was born, and he
         can be somewhat mischeieous with anyone but Kell.  Maybe the people
         watching him still have a house, hopefully.

           That night in camp, preparing for combat practice Kell opens one
         of his packs on one of his pack horses.  Taking out a long item,
         he carefully unwraps it, revealing a somewhat plain looking but
         well worn large sword.  A bastard sword some know, whilst some just
         see a bigger sword than usual.  He carefully places the wrapping
         back on the pack horse and begins to clean and oil it.  Once it
         shines to his satisfaction, he straps the sword onto his back then
         joins in the combat practice.

           As the practice progresses people can tell he's better with the
         larger sword than any of his other weapons, even his favorite
         spears and tulwar. During a break he says, "A good friend taught
         me how to use this and gave it to me back at home.  It's old and
         plain looking, but he knows its long history and thought I should
         have it.  I wish he were here now.  He might even be a near match
         for Farseeker!" grinning at the big man; wondering how that fight
         may progress were it to ever happen.

           As practice starts again Kell finishes with "I save this for
         special occasions.  This is one of them."  Brandishing it and
         practicing both single handed with his shield, and two handed
         usage of the weapon.

           Farseeker grins and extends his hand to request the sword but
         Kell notices he doesn't ask.  Kell isn't used to this custom but
         he knows that most warriors love to inspect other people's gear.
         As the women say boys and their toys.  Kell shrugs slightly
         and hands the sword to Farseeker.

           Farseeker nods and waves the sword back and forth to feel its
         weight and balance.  He moves the sword around in his hand to
         see both sides of the blade and then examines the hilt.  "A fine
         blade.  Most Ba'ru craftsman are highly skilled.  I tend to
         prefer these heavy weapons as you know.  Light things like tiny
         sticks you call daggers are too fragile for me.  Give me a nice
         decent thick blade for cutting a person in half."  After he
         waves it back and forth a few more times he hands it back to the

           Most have seen Farseeker use his Great Sword in just about
         every fight.  But some have seen him occasionally use his Battle
         and Throwing axes.  Recently in the carnival action he used his
         Throwing axe at least once.  His sword even has a broadsword and
         he has been known to use lance and pikes.

           Caladan mentions the idea of taking down a Vong Flyer.

           Ha'Kell looks to Caladan with his piercing blue eyes, "Good
         idea.  I can summon a variety of things that may work, including
         Air Elementals and Jinn, but I don't know any spells strong enough
         to directly do that. Perhaps my Whirlwind, but I doubt it's strong
         enough.  Maybe if we merely point them into the ground, they'll
         drive themselves down and crash?" Taking a drink of wine and a
         nibble of food, "I was planning to summon two, maybe three, Living
         Earth Elementals.  They should be both a great distraction and a
         great frontal assault.  The way I account balances, each of them
         will occupy several Vong.  And attract the bugs, hopefully, that
         will just either burrow into earth or bounce off them.  Those bugs 
         I don't think can impact living earth.  Being nearly pure magic I
         bet the Vong go nearly berserk after them, leaving us more free."
         "Whilst we don't have two hundred lancers," glancing at Kiet, "they
         will help tremendously.  Have you seen what one can do, let alone
         two or three?"

           Caladan nods, "I don't know about those elemntal things.  But
         it could work or backfire.  Those living earths might think the
         Vong have some new animal from their Shapers and feel confident
         in their attacks to us?"


         [Augado 8th, 1634TH]
         [Location: Middle Katai Plains] 
         [          Mountains west of Pamau]

         [Time: 11:49am]

           Zhou suggests going to the farm for a quick intelligence
         gathering operation and maybe some food.

           Unali: "Seems like a plan. Let's ride to the farm and see who
         is living here so far away from normal roads. Although we should
         watch out, because I wouldn't be surprised if the Vong came by
         here as well. And even if they did not, someone so far out from
         the city might not give us the warmest welcome."

           A few minutes later, the small group separates from the main
         group and heads down the slope.  The others take a slightly
         different direction toward a more secluded light wooded area.
         The mountain is medium sized and there are about 4 other mountains
         around the small valley where this farm is.  Up till now the
         terrain has been brown mostly with light vegetation.  But once
         the small group rides down cautiously the green colors begin to
         splay out in full glory.  It looks like there are many bushes
         of berries of various kinds.  Many of the bushes seem to be
         plucked already but some berries or what might be grapes remain.

           Below some couple hundred feet below is a sprawling farm.  A
         large field about the size of a medium to large farm is seen.
         It looks to be tracked and plowed.  On the other side of the
         farm are a large thicket of trees that lead through the winding
         square looking mini valley.  From this distance and with Fremea's
         report this is the only homestead in the valley it seems.  Unali
         knows in a Empire this size land is a hard to obtain thing for
         most commoners.  Much of the population is known to seek sheltered
         rural areas far away from cities for their land.  This farm seems
         to be such a place.  Unali knows also these secluded lands could
         see generations of people live and die here without even knowing
         how the other half - the Empire lives or dies.  These places seem
         to be self sufficient and thus the farmers do not to visit a place
         like Pamau.  Farseeker points to the left maybe half a mile
         away from the plowed field looks to be what might be a small
         stream or creek.  It is hard to see clearly but the glare from
         what must be water glints through the trees.

           On the right side or east side of the valley were a couple of
         structures.  A large brown barn is seen a bit south of the main
         house.  The main house is a single story plain home that looks
         to have maybe a half dozen rooms from the size of it.  Around
         the farm in various places are small animals from chickens to
         a cow in the grass to a bunch of penned in pigs.  A brown
         dog chases another dog in the grass.  But at this point there
         are no people seen.

           Zhou, Unali, Farseeker and Will ride down to the bottom of the
         slope and head toward the buildings.  From this side they slowly
         creep up first to the barn from the rear.  Not wanting to scare
         people Zhou decides the group should walk since it might be less

           As the group walks along the side of the barn a noise is heard
         from inside.  A few moments later it is heard again but from
         the thick wood it is hard to tell.  AS the group gets to the
         front of the barn they hear a voice. "...stop you filthy beast!
         It hurts!"

           Unali draws her daggers by reflex and Farseeker places hand
         on sword.  Zhou waves for calmness and the group approaches the
         large barn door. The female voice speaks again, "you shouldn't
         do this!  The pain..move-"

           Unali and Farseeker rips the door open and lunges in to see
         what vile Vong torture is being done.  But that's when a sound
         comes floating forward. "Moooooo!"

           The group stops in mild shock as they see two cows and a small
         girl about 20 feet away.  The girl is about 12 or 13 and sitting
         on some stool.  She is dressed in drabby clothing and her right
         hand is on the cow's utter trying to milk it into a wooden bucket.
         Her left hand is on the cow's rear right leg and trying to budge
         it.  There is another cow behind her but this one has its rear
         toward the girl and its large tail keeps whipping her head.  It
         soon becomes clear the cow's weight is on the poor girls foot
         and hurting her.

           "What? Who?" The girl tries to stand but soon realizes her
         foot is still caught and she falls toward the back of the cow
         she was fondling.  Unali sheathes her dagger.  Farseeker rushes
         over and pushes the cow away but it takes a few large grunts
         from the stubborn overweight cow to finally move.

           Suddenly from behind the group a male voice is heard. "Stop
         right there!"  The group turns or peers from inside the barn
         to see a older adult male with slight graying hair maybe in his
         late 40s or early 50s.  He stands only 5 foot 5 and is typical
         Katai farm body stock and frame.  He is holding a large pitchfork.

           From inside Farseeker notices the pitchfork and mumbles in
         Marentian. "Scary.  Farmer with pitchfork.  Should we surrender
         now?"  It is clear his sarcasm is in play.  But he speaks from
         experience with so many farmers in the past and their encounters.
         Farseeker can even recall that one time with Trembyl and those
         two farm girls the hay loft.  A foot chase, torn clothing and
         three holes in the illusionist's behind made it clear to avoid
         such encounters in the future.

           Zhou speaks, "we are sorry to alarm you.  We are on a hunting
         trip and found this quaint valley.  We seek to parlay and to
         meet new friends."

           The farmer frowns, "we don't take kindly to strangers here."

           Zhou nods to Will, "my guide says this area had great deer
         and we wanted to see if this was your land in the area." He
         waves a hand to indicate not just the valley but the area as
         a whole. "We seek permission to continue or if not we will
         leave the area.  We didn't mean to intrude."

           The girl hops out of the barn on her sore foot and whispers
         to her dad about being helped.

           The farmer watches the group and notices the large blade on
         Farseeker's belt. "That blade ain't for hunting."

           "My guard only.  My wife here needs protection from all the
         foul men in the cities...the dirty cities."  He adds the word
         dirty in an attempt to gleam some kinship.

           "This farm is mine but the valley and area is not.  You may
         hunt if you wish just don't over hunt." The farmer lowers his
         pointy tool and wipes his forehead with a dirty hand.

           "We will not.  In fact we only need a rabbit or two just
         for our small group here."  Zhou bows in thanks not wanting
         to show his noble title as it would intimidate the man but
         he clearly still shows a role of higher status than a common

           Soon the farmer through simple Katai hospitality is forced to
         invite the group in for lunch.  The wife a small women herself
         is finishing a meal that looks to be a mix of vegetable soup,
         bread and a small chunk of what must have been a rabbit or some
         other small animal.  The meat isn't enough so the party feigns
         more interest in the soup so not to take away from the family.

           Soon the group begins to talk.  Zhou learns the family has
         lived here for four generations and only visits Pamau maybe
         once a year.  Unali suspects they don't even pay taxes and
         so gets away with that like so many others in rural areas.

           The Girl asks many questions of the outside world mainly
         of Pamau and what all is going on.  Unali tries to answer her
         questions but has a hard time keeping up with the questions.
         Her mother finally stops the girl from nagging Unali.

           Once the meal is over, Zhou sits back and scans the small
         quaint home. "A good life you have here.  I am from a far
         land and it is bustle and hustle."

           With a bit of a suspicious look the farmer nods, "we try.
         We don't keep up with the hubbub of the city nor care to.
         That life is not ours."

           "Have you noticed any...strange things in the area lately?"
         Zhou asks without preface which makes Unali cringe slightly.

           "Like what?" The mother asks as she draws her arms around
         her chest in possible confusion or fear?

           "?Strange animals or things in the sky.  We were riding a
         day ago and this large thing was in the sky.  It almost looked
         like a flying boulder!" He laughs to show his disbelief in such

           The mother quickly grabs the dish and places them in the small
         wooden sink.  "No." The farmer says.  He scans the group once
         more.  "We stick to our own here.  We have no such time for
         heretic nonsense or new city wonders."

           Zhou nods and realizes the man must think the Flyer is some
         magic thing or a new city device?  So they must not be aware
         of the Vong.  He then asks. "Have you heard of a mountain called
         Rising Mount? How about a place called Shun Needles?"

           Farseeker glances to Zhou in confusion.  But Zhou knows what
         he is doing by asking about a rock formation called the needles
         he heard others talk about in the tavern.  It seems to be
         spires of rock some 50-70 feet up and only about 10 feet wide
         as if fingers or smoke stacks.  Of course it happens to be
         a few hundred miles away but the farmers may not know this.

           "the needles are far away from here.  Never seen them.
         Rising Mount?  Never heard the term.  We stick to ourselves here."
         The farmer repeats.

           Zhou asks Unali to pull the marked map of the area where
         the Brain was noted.  Zhou splays it on the table and indicates
         the general area which is still a day or two away.  "We seek
         this area since we hear of a mine in the area I wish to help
         buy to give some locals jobs.  Do you know of any special places
         or mountains in this area?"

           The man shakes his head and pushes the map away.  "I don't
         read that nonsense.  The nearest mine is a silver mine maybe
         150 miles from here.  If you heard of a mine closer they might
         have sold you a bald fox."

           Bald fox?  Zhou considers that then realizes he means a good
         find but likely a waste of the fur for other things.  Zhou
         soon realizes the man like the vast majority in the Empire must
         not be educated or can't even read.  Zhou looks to the others
         to see if they have anything to add?

         Actions? Comments?

         Next Update...Monday....

         GM: Was going to a bit more but last minute invite to see
             a movie with friend so got home late.  Monday we'll leave
             the farm and head a day ahead from this point.   Final
             deadline for below approaching. 

         GM: Skill training - [4 days - Aug 6-9th]
             [Deadline: 2/18 - Midnight EST]

             Ben'dar   -        [None - Now Npc]
             Chion     -        [None - Now Npc]
             Strie'bog -        [None - Now Npc]
             Arawn     -  [Sword-10 Points +1 EL]
             Caladan   -  [Mountain Survival - 6 Points - +1 EL]
             Farseeker -  [Katai Language - Maxed, Donaran R&W - 6 points]
             Kiet      -  [Horsemanship - 8 points - Learning still]
             Unali     -  [HtH-2 points, Mountain Survival-6 points]
             Will      -  [Tulwar-8 points - Still learning]
             Zhou      -  [Sword training  - 8 points]
             Fremea    -  [Herbalist - 8 points - +2 EL]
             Z'leyra   -  [Woodcarving - Full days]
             Raban     -  [Horsemanship-10 points]
             Kell      -*          None listed

         GM: Magic/Energy/Health Status - By Aug 10th unless magic used

                             Energy       Mana     Health
             Arawn     -      100%        100%     100%
             Ben'dar   -      100%         --      100%
             Caladan   -      100%        100%     100%
             Chion     -      100%        100%     100%
             Farseeker -      100%         --      100%
             Kell      -      100%        100%     100%
             Kiet      -      100%        100%     100%
             Strie'bog -      100%        100%     100%
             Unali     -      100%         --      100%
             Will      -      100%        100%     100%
             Zhou      -      100%         --      100%
             Fremea    -      100%        100%     100%
             Z'leyra   -
             Raban     -

             * If Blank I have to figure it out this weekend and it could
               change with spells one may cast.  Will update the above
               for next update. 

         GM: Travel estimate -

             Party speed         : 21 MR due to slowest horse.
             Total distance to go: 98 miles

             Augado  6th - 7:30am-7:30pm - 21 miles
             Augado  7th - 6:00am-7:30pm - 24 miles
             Augado  8th - 6:00am-7:30pm - 24 miles
             Augado  9th - 6:00am-7:30pm - 24 miles
             Augado 10th - 6:00am-c9:00am-  5 miles [estimated]

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