The Saga of Gerwin - Episode 2 (Treachery in the Trees)

Death prevailled in the wastes of the desert, this was probably a lesson Gerwin was learning along this path. Although she had suspected this scene yards away before it was even clear what might be lying in the dust and the cart was barely distinguishable she now found herself full of nausea. She eyes the scene for a possible peril, but what ever did this probably had moved on already. The hand of a more sophisticated race had been at hand, no creature of the wild would have caused such mess, or at least Gerwin thought so. Why else would the woman lay bare of her clothes and in such violation to her body? Also it was not probable that a animal had such precise acuraccy to ones head specially not a blunt one. The soldiers were the least of her concerns, they were used to such task and know what awaited them. None the less she was reminded of Joachim and tears came to her eyes.

After she had stopped weeping searching comfort by the horses neck, stroking it regularly as she dried her eyes. As she had regained herself she proceeds to searching the caravan of merchants as she supposed, how else would they be able to afford a armed guard and have such a cart? Most peasants travelled light and would probably not venture these ways. On the other hand merchants or supply caravans were found almost everywhere. She recalled Joachim talk about escorting one to icy deserted lands in the day only that some wizard could conjure up his experiments of probably vile necromancy without harm to civilisation.

She proceeds methodically searching the bodies for signs of life first. As she is unsuccessful and moves through the gore she throws up twice, being careful enough not to do such near the bodies. She leaves no corner spared and searches pockets and the interior of every robe in disregard of the fact that her husband might consider her pillaging as a act of evil, for her it was a simple rule of nature: They surely needed it no more then she did. After she has finished this she piles the bodies one next to the other dragging them through the dirt into the shade of the burned out cart which she had inspected prior for any items that might have survived the fires. As she finishes her job she searches for a blanked of sorts and in the lack of such simply proceeds to her own ritual as before. Picking up dust from the ground and scattering it over the bodies in respect and memory of this tragic happening. The weapons still stuck in the corpses were previously removed and what she did not need she simply left next to the "grave" she had planned out.

Take 20 on search= 23 and
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 19 (Total = 24)
Dice Roll:
d20 Results: 9 (Total = 14)

The corpse of the woman proves to be as empty of loot as it is of life, and all you find on the body are a few blood-stained coppers, some dried fruits and legumes, and a thin necklace made of interlaced twigs.
The old man, judging from his possessions, was the owner of the caravan. He wears a thin green headband, now soaked in his blood, and a single metallic earring hangs from his left ear.
In his left hand he clutches a small bronze dagger, its end broken and shattered, the hilt's yellow mixed cruelly with the blood's red. In his right hand, nothing, the fist clenched in anger, or perhaps in defense. He wears a tattered brown overcoat over a plain leather tunic, thickened with extra padding, its partial sleeves fluffed with the material.
In its front pockets you find a small roll of parchment, a handful of dried fruits and salted meats, and an odd round object, seemingly made out of gold, its top covered in lines and numbers.
In the inside pocket of the tunic, you uncover a small children's doll, its fabric badly torn and the body ruffled by age. A stack of thin flexible twigs is also pulled from within the tunic pocket, and further searching reveals nothing on the man's body.
Among the various pockets in his pants and tunic, you gather up 48 gold coins, 34 silvers, and eight coppers.

You make your way over to the two fallen soldiers, their features dark in countenance, obscured by blood and dirt. The first one you examine was clearly felled by a blade, his entire left side sliced open. His face is bruised and dirty, and his right leg is splayed awkwardly.
The man's right hand clutches tightly to a metal shield, arrows sticking out of it like needles on a pine tree. In his left hand, nothing, the entire length missing up to the elbow.
What's left of his chainmail armor seems to be in good condition, and might be salvageable. In the single pocket in his pants, you find two gold coins and fourteen coppers, as well as a small waterskin.

His companion lays next to him, face-up in the ground...or it would be face-up, had the poor man's head been present. He wields a large sword in his right hand, a small metallic shield strapped to his left. Unlike the other man's blade, this one is sharp and intact, its length soaked in a foul bluish liquid.
He wears thick steel armor over a thick black tunic, both intact and bloody. In the pockets of the tunic, fourteen gold and three silver coins, a small pouch of rations in his pants.

Your inspection of the corpses complete, you begin the task of piling the bodies together. Though the old man and the woman pose no problem, the soldiers are a bigger challenge, due to their thick armor and larger mass.

The day is hot and the work is tiring, both physically and mentally, and you still have the cart and its contents to examine...

Gerwin loots the woman for her blood-stained coppers and the few food she finds she keeps the thin necklace made of interlaced twigs. There is no formal reason. It would just seem the right thing to do. She might even run across some relative and inform him. It was not her fault but she might as well pay a service for the looting she was doing.

The owner she enlightens only from his parchment, food, coins, the golden circular object, the doll she stores next to the necklace, perhaps this was father and daughter, or a couple. Love was a strange thing not caring for age. And in death all looked the same.

From the two soldiers she salvages the waterskin and all the money, the armor would be of use but she would never be able to carry it in case her horse was lost so it was not an option, the other she thinks might be one of the attackers. She takes his blade and sheds it carefully not to loose any of the oil on it. It was a reasonable thought it might be helpful in a perilous situation again the coins are welcome and the rations stored.

As she has aligned all four bodies in front to the wagon it is not time to inspect this sight. She moves carefully not to leave anything out of sight. She looks at the sun moving now and then. She would not like to spend her night to near of this place but what could she do. She thought it wise not to leave anything unsearched due to her current situation. She had no idea of what might come next. Food was always welcome and any tool for her future would provide security. She takes her time to brows through the remaining wares, not to miss anything of value or importance. As she moves through the ashes her back hurts and she feels the pain of an unprotected skin in direct sunlight. She might not be far of getting a sunburn she thinks. Now and then she takes a sip of the water and checks on her horse sharing her drink. She would probably have enough for one more day or two now with the new-found water.

This is a rough resume of what she takes(please correct if needed):
-Twig neclace
-Thin flexible twigs
-Odd golden object
-4c (few coppers on woman)
-Embebed Blade
-Rations x4 (2.5 in balck robed soldier + dry fruits etc. on merchants)

Looting the cart and its contents proves much easier than looting the corpses, and is finished much quicker.
Several of the caravan's bundles contain rations, foodstuffs, and spare flasks, as well as a couple of full waterskins among the mess. Though each bundle is carefully packed, none of them bear any insignia or markings.
In another area, several crates of clothing sit mostly intact on the ground, a couple of shirt sleeves poking through cracks in the wood. Though the lids are still closed, the cracked wood does not look too sturdy, and you could probably crack the crates without much trouble.

The remaining crates and cloth bundles contain various weapons, armaments, and miscellaneous military equipment. One of the bundles holds nearly a dozen daggers, all of varying color, design, and length. Several other packages contain arrows, bolts, and sling stones, the bolts having broken through in the battle, now spread all around.

A closer examination of the cart's remains reveals several more copper coins around the area, and you scavenge a couple more silvers from underneath the crates. From the burnt cart, you manage to pluck a pair of longswords, plain in design but sharp of edge. Though they have become dirty and blackened from the fire, they are otherwise undamaged. Likely, these were backup weapons in case of attack, though they obviously were of no help in this particular situation. A small buckler lies among the remains as well, its wooden edges partially burned.

Your scavenging of the cart and corpses complete, you look up to the sky, wiping your brow of beady sweat. A couple of hours have passed, and the sun has begun its gradual decline towards nothingness.

Ahead, past the remains of the caravan, the path continues on into the woods, a faint hint of shimmering blue on the horizon.

Gerwin takes enough food for a week with her leaving the rest were it is. Then she stores the dozen daggers in her belt. She did not know what they did but eventually they were blessed or even cast a spell upon to aid in combat. She takes some sling stones, and searches for a club that might be enhanced like the daggers since it was her weapon of training in the first place, although she still preferred her sickle keeping out a look for one two but not expecting to find it. Securing the buckler around her arm she peeks for the horizon. It was time to part. The new found coins stored as well she is ready to go.

It was a hot day, and she had lost much time in this part but she had no time to loose. Gerwin realised that this attack was most likely to have been of some wild beast as none of the merchandise seemed to be taken. But it would not justify why the corpses were mainly intact. Perhaps a act of vengeance of some rich man? Or perhaps a natural accident. But it seemed not likely. The thought of a dragon occurs more then once in her mind. But she does rather not think about it. In any case she prays to some entity she does not believe in that what ever this was she will not stumble across it.

The two black blades tied to her mounts saddle she then rides on. They would be of no practical interest since she did not like to use such weapon in particular, but they were likely to scare of anyone of lesser skill or some respect. It was time to enter the woods... she had had it with the desert where she had only found death and decay in her path as well as some unfriendly spiders.

so again:
-2 Silvers
-7 coppers
-12 unided daggers
-two longsword
-sling stones

As you gather the bundled weapons from the cart, you feel something pulsing on your chest. Looking down, you see the Necklace of Eclipse vibrating of its own accord, a soft white glow oozing outwards from it. The necklace's round form then changes, elongating and folding over itself to form the shape of a scroll. It pulsates strongly for several more seconds, before slowing down and reverting to its original round form.

Riding on, you find the road through the woods unusually serene and quiet. Few creatures present themselves in the trees surrounding Gerwin, and fewer still make noise. The path winds on further still, and after a couple of hours have passed you come upon a small clearing in the forest.
On your right, a small pond shimmers in the sunlight, its clear blue water sparkling and alive with movement. Just beside the pond, a small wooden bench of the same wood as the trees around it, its top, handles, and sides curved beautifully downward toward the pond.
On your left, a goodly-sized log cabin, complete with a wide porch, a sleepy smokestack, and a set of what appear to be swinging saloon-style doors.

Pleased by the newfound shelter of the trees Gerwin nags on the events past this day. The pendant had changed to a scroll and she did not know what to think of it. Had it been activated by something she had carried? Was it an indicator to something hidden she had left behind? Would it eventually turn into the scroll like image she had seen but not yet touched? What should she do if this happened again? What would happen if she used it in the wrong place and what was the right place to use it in? A array of unanswered questions that brought up only more questions.

Gerwin was on another plain as she reached the cabin next to the lake. This sure was a beautiful place to live she now realised. Next to the water, in the forest not far from the desert. It were so many elements joining. This was her thought as she got of her horse and walked towards the wooden door she knocked on only moments later.

She expected someone to be around. She hoped someone was around that was, she did not want to travel any further and forgetting any caution that she should have had, still a bit absent and ignorant of the missing wild life she should have been expecting, she know stood there waiting for reply.

Approaching the house, Gerwin knocks hesitantly, awaiting some sort of response from within. Several moments pass, and the door swings inward, revealing the inside of the cabin. Wide and homey-looking, the home features a prominent fireplace on its left wall, several logs roasting lazily at the moment, a faint whisp of smoke wafting up.
All around, bookshelves line the walls, every tome visibly clean and seemingly well-maintained. The floor is bare wood, just like the chairs, desks, and table. You'd guess-timate the whole cabin to be only the size of a large double, or perhaps even a small triple, at a standard inn.

Amongst it all, a black-haired beauty, standing tall and looking at you curiously. Wearing barely enough to cover herself proper, her attire flaunts the odd markings on her belly, accentuates the necklace around her neck, and gives her an appearance remarkably like most common street courtesans.
In her left hand she holds a long staff, simple in design yet careful in cut.

"Well, stranger...welcome!" she says, smiling broadly. "And who might you be?"

Gerwin is surprised and does not try to hide it at all. Her face is a open book to one who knows how to read it and the cryptic there in is a common one at the moment. She lets the question sink into her mind before she replies. "My name is Gerwin but there are those who call me after my husbands family name Laross. I myself am a traveller in search for a uncertain goal. As knowledge one might easily rationalize this goal, but it is not that simple a task nor is it possible to bind it down to just that word." Gerwin lets her information float in the air, she was telling much more then she should and intended to tell any stranger, all the same she knew that no harm would be done since she was of no importance, but to herself and her husband. She then goes on.

"I travelled across the desert for many weeks before I found a place of rest and enlightenment, with my husband by my side. Then it was time to part. I became a nomad through the desert once more. I came across death, despair and decadence. Saw vile doings by nature and man or other civilised kind. Saw the beauty behind the overgrowing weight of life. It may have been a two days ride or a month's journey, I do not recall for what I experienced was indeed to much to describe in a lifetime. So I now arrive at your home looking for shelter for the night, perhaps some company to share experiences even tales and the answer of one question..." Gerwin smirks knowingly that she had spoken in a rather fashioned way, in a way her husband would have dreamt of speaking she happily added in her thought. then continued.

"And who might you be?"

"You seem rather well-spoken for a desert wanderer, girl," the woman replies.
"Welcome to my little piece of forest," she adds with a smile.

"My name is Adiari, and as you might imagine, I follow the druidic ways of my ancestors, living in harmony with nature and all her children."
"If you speak the truth, lass, you may surely stay the night."

Looking around her small cottage, Adiari's eyes track across the floor, looking for a suitable resting place for her new guest.
"Hmmm...I'm afraid there's little room in here, but I can set you up with a fine spot just outside."

"...if you don't mind sleeping outdoors, that is?" she adds, glancing at you curiously.


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