Part 1: Trouble at Oleg's

 
Part 1: Trouble at Oleg's

The road South of Restov takes you through farming fields and small sleepy communities, word has it that Oleg's trading post is a little off the edge of the not so secure southern borders of Rostland (and thus Brevoy) the trek itself takes several days making any return trip not as easy if one would want to return for supplies or any other reason.

Up ahead in the distance the wooden palisade of the fort is seen, the long trip shouldn't be much farther and the prospect of a hopefully comfortable bed was in sight.

As you get closer you see that the fort has a 20ft wooden watchtower in each of its corners, each armed with a run-downed catapult, the main gate lies open and stepping out to greet you comes a comely middle-aged woman, her blonde hair is clasped by a simple brooch and smiles at you warmly as she waves at you to come in.

"Welcome travelers, we've been anxiously expecting you, me and my husband are so glad that you've come to help us, it had been a while since the last time we sent word for help"

As you enter the fort into the Market yard you spot two tables near the fire pit are used to display wares and serve food, something smells delicious.

Inside the fort to the left you see some stables, only a lanky horse currently stands there all by itself. A two storied guest house is at your right with a middle-aged man currently hard at work apparently fixing a leak or maybe twenty, he doesn't bother to look at any of you as you enter cursing loudly while he focuses on his work. Up ahead the main hall from where the woman emerged lies with the door open.


An Extremely Tall Chap named Magnolia

Magnolia leaned up against the wall of Oleg's trading post and sighed in deep relief. Was this what adventuring was about? Endless walking? Didn't the poets, who wrote those magnificent stories, realize that no one made shoes adequate for a life of adventurous walking? And sandals were right out.

Magnolia plopped down and pulled off his sandals. Both of his feet were swollen from walking and would probably need several days (or pints of alcohol) to heal. He slapped the two sandals on each other and looked at the rest of the party. Most were riding mules or a cart, but a few had horses of their own (or dogs). In truth, Magnolia had taken a chance now and then to ride, but in general he walked. Magnolia firmly believed in foot-fitness, and the ability to call upon one's feet when things went bad. There were not going to be any barbarians to ride around here,... probably.

He watched as his companions entered the fort. Some of them he already liked. Skapti was an invitation to excitement, which had both good and bad points. The bad was he invited excitement. The good was that he was usually the target and Magnolia could safely watch from a front row position. The others were interesting in their own ways, though he avoided the woman Zarina like she had the plague. He was constantly afraid she'd ask him for hair styling tips and how to make horn-hair. So far, the only vague answer Magnolia had involved tree sap and a bit of tar. He wasn't sure she'd buy it.

Magnolia stood up and followed the others into Oleg's trading post. He wondered for a second if they had ale that tasted better than the stuff the Halfling liked to drink.





Itomo

Itomo smiles as the small fortified outpost comes into sight. The prospect of an actual bed is very exciting, and maybe if he's lucky some food. His stomach grumbles in agreement, even on half-rations he had run out of food last night, this morning's breakfast was some of Ferber's oats in boiled water, leaving little for the big red horse.

Riding near the front of the group atop Ferber, Itomo is one of the first to greet the woman who waves them in. He dismounts and bows slightly before her. "Good afternoon mistress, your tall walls and open gate are a most welcome sight. I am Itomo Baerford." His nose twitches at the smell of fresh bread wafting out of the main hall but his smile falters a bit when he sees how small the outpost really is, He doubts very much that there is space for them all. Then something the goodmistress said snaps him back to focus. "Did you say you were expecting us? And help you? Whats this all about. I don't mean we wouldn't help you of course we will, but this is the first I have heard about your need for assistance."

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Missoi makes his way into the fort with the others, glad to have arrived at their destination. He had enjoyed the trip, and the opportunity to get to know the others, even if he had done so more through observation than conversation. Walking through the gate slightly behind Itomo, he hears both the woman's greeting and the rogue's reply, and rejoins, "Yes madam, we must admit to being ignorant of any request for help. Even so, I'm sure myself and my friends here would be glad to offer it if you'll tell us what the concern is." Unconsciously, the half-elf's hands tightened their grip on the polearm he had been using as a walking stick.



Zarina Ka'thar

Cantering in from the back astride her gray stallion, scarves snapping behind her, the Varisian oracle guides her mount towards the trading post. As the walls come into her view, the watchtowers catch her attention. Bringing Askari to a halt, Zarina cranes her neck to see within and frowns slightly at the sight of the catapults, the reality of their situation suddenly hitting home. A movement just at the periphery of her vision makes her turn. Spotting Magnolia limping in through the gates, the healer in her quickly dismisses her concerns as she clicks her tongue to urge the gray to walk alongside the horned wizard.

"Magnolia," she begins softly as she looks down at him, all too aware of the wizard's attempts to avoid being in her company for too long. Still, Zarina is determined to help, particularly now that she notices how swollen the wizard's feet are. "You should try to sit and put your feet up to ease the swelling." Mentally running through various forms of treatment, the oracle decides on a suggestion that involves the least help from her considering how touchy Magnolia seems to be around her. "Once we get inside, you can alternately soak them in bowls of hot and cold water. I could help you, if you'd like." She then nods her head pleasantly, leaving him to consider her offer in peace.

Without much help from her, Askari seeks out the company of Ferber, Itomo's horse. "Thank the Starsong, we have arrived." Having ridden for days, Zarina is more than happy to finally stop. Keeping a firm grip on the reins, she swings her right leg over the gray's rump and dismounts. Tired legs and a sore backside prevent her from being as graceful as she normally would be. The petite Varisian leans forward slightly and rubs her thighs, if only to give her hands something to do to prevent her from rubbing her backside. None of it prevents her from giving the comely woman a warm, if tired, smile. "A good day to you, mistress," she bows her head politely. "I am Zarina Ka'thar and I am sure I will not be alone when I say that the sight of your post is a happy one, indeed. And something smells absolutely wonderful."

She looks around for the source of the mouth watering aroma. Only then does she notice the tension in Missoi and Itomo. "Is something amiss?" she asks quietly.



Missoi leans in to fill Zarina in. "In greeting us, the woman made mention that they had sent requests for help up north; we're currently trying to ascertain what the source of the request was."



Dog points, even before the Trading Post comes into sight. Skapti's reassuring hand quiets the dog, only until they get close. Skapti eyes the fort distrustfully, but allows himself to be carried along by Dog's motion and the flow of the others.

Dog, eager to make a new friend, rushes up to the woman and begins to sniff. Skapti, riding on Dog's back, is uncomfortably close(for the lady) and at eye-level. Skapti grins. "Skapti here to help. Is good at helping. Help eat food, help drink ale."



Zarina Ka'thar

"Oh well then we must give aid, of course," the oracle replies readily. "Perhaps it was Desna's way to send us here just as help was needed."

Zarina then notices Skapti and Dog and has to stifle an unwanted giggle that seems to bubble up whenever the feisty halfling was around. Sympathizing with the woman, she comments, "Well, at least he expressed a willingness to help."


Oleg climbs down the almost repaired roof, the man is sweating profusely and greets you with a simple but gruff nod as he walks towards his wife. Oleg stares at the halfling and dog in a suspicious manner.

Svetlana seems confused as you mention that you didn't know about their need for help and Oleg lifts his arms in anger and despair before turning back heading towards the main hall muttering something in the vein of "I knew it! god damn... mumble mumble..."

Svetlana in a lot more comprehensive tone exclaims "We'll you see, we've sent word several times to the north asking for help, patrols, guards or anyone to lend us some protection" you sense she is preoccupied as she swallows hard. Calling back to her husband "Come Oleg! these people say they're willing to help! let's at least tell them of our plight" the man stops but still mumbles something under his breath.

Svetlana turns back to you and she explains " You see... we've been harassed by bandits these past few months, they've been coming month after month asking for most of our earnings issuing... threats if we don't do as they ask" Svetlana looks down in shame before continuing "We've been forced to comply and even though I've asked my husband for us to just leave, the stubborn man just won't!" she looks back at Oleg in anger, then back at you pleading "maybe you could... help us?"


Missoi's eyes narrow as the woman describes her situation. Sounds like the actions of cowards. Out loud he says, "We would be happy to help, madam. The initial intent of our trip is to address this bandit problem; we only weren't told about your situation specifically. Do you have any idea when they plan to return for more tribute? We could easily stay and prepare to confront them."

Already, Missoi is wondering about the size and preparedness of the bandit troupe, considering various options and the strategic value of various positions in the fort.





 

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