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+ THE ADVENTURERS +
+ Epic V +
+ Many of the locations, non-player characters, spells, and other +
+ terms used in these stories are the property of Wizards of the Coast +
+ which has in no way endorsed or authorized their use. Any such +
+ property contained within these stories are not representative of +
+ Wizards of the Coast in any fashion. +
+ The player characters depicted in these stories are copyright +
+ 1991-2005 by Thomas A. Miller. Any resemblance to any persons +
+ or characters either real or fictional is utterly coincidental. +
+ Copying and/or distribution of these stories is permissible under +
+ the sole condition that no money is made in the process. In that +
+ case, I hope you enjoy them! +
+ Daffodil 11th level human druidess of Obad-Hai +
+ Halbarad 15th level human ranger of Elhonna +
+ Peyote 12th/12th level half-elven fighter/druid of Obad-Hai +
+ Rillen 18th level human warrior monk +
+ Songa 13th level human huntress +
+ Eyer 13th/16th level wood elven fighter/acrobat +
+ Leila 12th/12th level female grey elven warrior/mage +
+ Kiel Morgan 14th level human warrior +
+ Og 16th level dwarven warrior +
+ Relmar 18th level human high priest of Pelor +
+ Thorlok 11th level human war-mage +
+ Validor 11th level human wizard (sage/astrologer) +
+ Date: 7/5/580 C.Y. (Common Year) +
+ Time: morning +
+ Place: the unknown eastern reaches of the Solnor Ocean +
+ Climate: cool +
+ "It's not good, but it's the best we've got." +
+ - from _Damnation Alley_ +
CMXIV. Starting Over
The better part of a day has passed since the _Odyssey_ crashed and
broke up on the sandy shores of some lost landmass in the uncharted
eastern region of the Solnor Ocean.
Kiel Morgan: Let's summarize the situation...everything we know about
The captain was speaking to his chosen audience of eleven people, all
of whom were gathered in a makeshift tent as far away from the beach as
possible without actually entering the jungle. This group consisted of
five adventurers from one group (Halbarad, Rillen and Songa, Peyote and
Daffodil) and two from another (Eyer and Relmar) plus the four highest-
ranking crew members from the ruined ship (Leila, Validor, Thorlok, and
Kiel: We're shipwrecked on an island - or perhaps a continent, though
we don't yet know - which seems to lie completely within a mild but
effective anti-magic barrier.
Thorlok: (muttering) "Mild" is not the word I'd use...
Peyote: I hear you, man.
Kiel: Additionally, we've learned that any wood that comes in contact
with the ocean water within this barrier begins to disintegrate, such
that it's soft and weak within minutes, and eaten away entirely in a
matter of hours. This effect isn't "contagious" - it doesn't spread
from "bad" wood to "good" wood. Tests have shown that it's simply a
side-effect of physical contact with the ocean water. Thus, we have
quite a bit of scrap wood salvaged from the _Odyssey_, which we can
use to build shelter and fortifications. That process is now in the
early stages, with the goal of having a defensible shelter up within
a week. As for other "plant-derived" material such as boots, pants,
cloth, and the like...they do _not_ appear to suffer this effect from
the ocean water here. It's only the wood we have to worry about.
Peyote: Heh heh.
Kiel: We were able to unload all of the ship's supplies - everything
we had - and this is one bit of really good news. With a slight bit
of rationing, we should be able to feed the several hundred people
who are now under our care.
Rillen: What about the long-term issues? We'll have to hunt new food,
for one thing.
Leila: Or grow it.
Peyote: (pales) That's almost...cannibalism!
Halbarad: Water will be a major concern, too.
Kiel: (puts his hands up) Yes, yes. I've thought about all of this,
and come up with a master plan which contains three general phases.
The first priority should be the short-term things: building shelter,
setting up defenses, taking stock of supplies. We're well on our way
with these sorts of things. The second priority involves the longer-
term issues such as establishing a real, replenishable food supply,
exploring and mapping the nearby jungle, and building a functional new
society here. The third priority includes the "optional" things, like
charting the entire landmass we're on to determine its true size and
Halbarad: That's not optional.
Kiel: (nods) Perhaps not, but it does rank second to securing the
overall safety of the men, women, and children who comprise our group
Halbarad: Very well.
Kiel: Also in the third phase would be tasks like determining exactly
what that anti-magical barrier is and who put it there, and why...a
more solid understanding of what's in the ocean water and why/how it
eats wood...and possible options for escaping this place.
Relmar: None of this will be easy, especially given the fact that all
of us priests cannot communicate with our deities at all.
Validor: And we wizards can't use any of our spells.
Kiel: I understand. We'll have to do the best we can. I'm proposing
that we split ourselves - the twelve of us, as well as the overall
crew and colonists - into smaller groups, each with specific tasks.
Halbarad: Such as...?
Kiel: You, Halbarad, will be tasked with determining the best way to
explore the surrounding area. Then, you'll organize the rangers and
begin those explorations. Your team will report its findings to the
cartographers, who will gradually construct a master map. Naturally,
you'll need assistance out in the jungles, which I think would be a
job well-matched to the skills of Rillen and Songa.
Halbarad: (nods to Songa, who nods back)
Kiel: You'll have the secondary mission of finding fresh water, which
we'll need pretty quickly, and hunting live game, which we can use to
augment our existing food supply. We don't know when or if we'll see
a winter here, but it's best to get whatever food we can, while we can.
Halbarad: That makes sense.
Kiel: Relmar, you'll assemble the dozen priests we have, while Leila
will co-ordinate the efforts of the dozen magi present. The focus
of this group will be to try and solve the problems inherent in our
environment here: the anti-magic barrier and the wood-consuming ocean
water. Even without spells, these two groups should have a detailed
set of skills and knowledge to apply toward these problems. Validor,
you'll also be assigned to this team, as your skills with astrology
and all things waterborne can surely aid them. Round up the pair of
alchemists who came on this voyage and coordinate their efforts.
Relmar: It shall be done.
Leila: Yes...if these mysteries can be solved, we'll solve them.
Kiel: Og, you'll be in charge of all security and defense issues, and
Eyer will assist you. Your mission will be to build fortifications
and assess our weapons, including all the catapults and ballistae we
salvaged from the _Odyssey_. In addition to commanding the hundred
warriors we had on board, you'll also use the skilled laborers, such
as stonemasons and carpenters, as needed for the fortification of our
Eyer: (wondering how many of the warriors can be counted as truly
skilled archers, and how long it will take him to train some people
to fashion bows and arrows)
Kiel: Thorlok, you may be without magic at the moment, but you have
extensive knowledge of warfare, so I want you to split your time
between Og's tasks and Leila's group of wizards.
Thorlok: No problem.
Kiel: Peyote and Daffodil, you'll be in charge of all things having to
do with plants and plant life. Your main charge is to start planting
gardens and train some people, so that we have that additional source
of food. Your second charge is to begin cataloging the flora on this
island. We have several herbalists and gardeners on this voyage, so
they'll report to you.
Peyote: You can count on me, captain-dude.
Daffodil: (already eager to get out into the jungle and see what sort
of plant life grows there)
Kiel: As for me...much as I'd like to explore the jungle too, my value
lies here, in camp. I'll remain here, overseeing the laborers and
smiths as they survey the terrain, choose a location, clear land, and
start building whatever sorts of structures are feasible given the
terrain, climate, etc. I'll also have to deal with the assignments
for the tanners, tailors, cooks, and so forth..as well as coming up
with work for the unskilled, such as some wives and all children.
Peyote: (to Daffodil) Intense, huh?
Kiel: Overall, we _are_ in a bad situation - but this is a group of
colonists, mostly, who got on that ship with the intention of going
to a new land and colonizing it. We're not doing that on the most
ideal of terms, but the basic mission remains the same - and we've
got the right people, the right supplies, and the right motivation
to meet the challenges ahead...meet them, and triumph over them!
notes: It's actually quite refreshing to deal with a different sort
of adventure, after all the complicated chaos and politics of the last
major arc. It's safe to say that we'll be with this group through at
least April and May 2006.
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