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Subject: LotFP Weird Corners of the Earth Campaign IC thread [MATURE] rss

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Mercenaries, scholars, spelunkers, no matter the profession, the group known as Unlikely Company takes them all in.

Unlikely Company is a society of sorts, dedicated to explore and plunder all the unknown and enigmatic places and events that hold promise of riches and glory.

It is a very relaxed group, there is no membership fee, and most of it's members have nothing in common whatsoever, but they all share information and team up whenever there is a promising enterprise or adventure.

You belong to that group; following the advice from one of the elder members, Gregor Marks, you arrive at the village of Gnatdamp. It is a village perched along the western bank of the river Ahkyl, a major waterway coursing through Murkmire swamp.

When you arrive, there is a burning of plague victims; such things serve as an excuse for social gatherings, and in just such an occasion, you talk to some of the villagers, gaining interesting clues about potential places to explore.

A robust man with scar across his cheek and funny accent tells you:
Did ya hear about tha place, called tha Grinding Gear? Some guys looking for food and bed went there and never came back! Ya know wha I think, bandits is the cause they did na return.

An impish looking girl with blackened teeth tells you:
That new church northeast is so amazing! They gathered so many riches in just one month, even though it's in conflict with father root's group! I wonder if it's worth paying a visit.

An old lady with a hook for a hand says:
Pst! They say Bloodworth Estate has been empty for many weeks! This is gonna be good for the right kind of folk.

A fat milk maid talks about some strange things:
The sky has gone nuts on the west I tell you, it's all non-stop thunder and lightning over there.

An old man wearing a fisher's cap and a tattered shirt talks to you:
They say they are looking to hire people at Schwarzton, something about missing children and animals.

You may ask more questions about any of the adventure seeds above. What will you do?
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Kris Vanhoyland
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“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” ― H.P. Lovecraft
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An outgoing, burly looking man, Bryce scratches his ragged salt and pepper beard. He's sitting at the docks, looking out over the wide river. Behind him stands a slender looking woman, the hood of her cape pulled up all the way, obscuring her facial features.

"Truly?" He asks the fisherman. "Any idea what has happened with these missing children then, and where is this Schwarzton that you speak off?"
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The old fisherman tells Bryce:
No idea at all, I was told that by a local merchant who sometimes travels there, he is currently selling his wares over there; the town is not far from here, about half a day southeast, just cross the bridge and follow the sign posts.
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Christopher Paul
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Falgos the Dwarf has clearly never seen good days. His clothes are poor, dirty, and ragged. His hair and beard are unkempt, but his spear and shield seem to be battle ready. At the mention of a paying job, he steps up, eyes wide with hunger, You say they're hiring, eh? I've been lookin' fer work! He pulls a flea out of his beard and eats it.

Bob the Beholder, a Magic-User of little renown, chimes in, Agreed, friend, and if we rescue the missing children, the reward might be great indeed! Bob rattles the ax on his belt and sneers at the horizon.
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That seems like two possible votes to go to Scharzton; for the sake of simplicity, if about a day in real time goes by, and 3 out of 5 players decide to go on a particular adventure, that will be the official group decision.
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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Robert Black sighed and shook his head, he wasn't much for playing hero, but it made more sense to stick with these people from the Company than to try another round of escorting merchants. He'd only been paid a pittance by the fellow he escorted to Gnatdamp. "May as well. It could be one of the tykes has wealthy parents. ". He then hawked loudly and spat in the dirt, a bit of the phlegm not quite clearing the big man's bushy beard.

His smaller, shifty eyed man standing at his elbow sneered. "Fat chance, Bobby m'lad. Like as not we'll get done up as kidnappers whilst tryin' to return 'em, or I ain't 'ole Barney Higgins. I'd like to get a look at that estate, me self. What says the rest of ya?", he asked, peering about at the others.
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Bob grins, The estate does sound enticing, but perhaps we can solve this mystery of the children and go there next? I suggest we ask that merchant a few questions before we head out..."

Questions for the Merchant:
"Do you know anything about the missing children from Schwarzton?"
"Is there a reward?"
"Who do we talk to there?"
"Anything else we should know about the area?"


Bob is willing spend up to 3sp, if necessary, to loosen the merchant's lips.
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The fisherman gives Bob a curious look and tells him:
I'm no merchant, the merchant who told me about it is currently at Scharzton. I don't know anything about the incident, and I've never been to the place; the only thing I know is that there are rumors of a diabolic cult over there.

The information given by the fisherman is free on this ocasion.
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Bob reddens and picks a stray hair from his tunic,"Very well. Let's be on our way then."

He thought by "over there" that the merchant was nearby. Also, he has "Sleep" memorized today."
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crunk_posby wrote:

He thought by "over there" that the merchant was nearby. Also, he has "Sleep" memorized today."

Yes, you know how those pesky fishermen from shady towns are with their vague and informal way of talking
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Taffi, a small man even for a halfling, leans to the wall behind him, checking his sword edge. He sucks his lips like he had a pipe. "It is always horrible to hear something happening to children." He spits. "Don't mind the animals, though."

He is interrupted by a man in armor. On his neck there's a holy symbol dangling. It is obvious he is a cleric. "Something foul is afoot. It is our duty, as free men, to save those children."
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I take it the party has decided to travel to Scharzton?
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I suppose so.
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"That seems settled then!" Bryce says loudly, clapping his hands together as he gets up. "Let us see where these poor little children have been whisked off too, so that their fathers can reward us with their silver and their ale, and their mothers with a heartfelt embrace to their ample bosoms!"

After the hooded woman behind him scrapes her throat loudly, Bryce adds, "Fine fine, I'll control myself. But what happened back in Swynetown wasn't my fault damnit!"
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The journey is uneventful, you travel onward, crossing a great bridge made out of wood and stone, following an unkept road with an ocasional sign post that points towards Schwarzton.

As you approach your destination, the road goes upwards slightly, as if you are entering mountain territory. Indeed, you can see some mountains, looming over the now visible town of Schwarzton.

When you arrive, some of the townsfolk gather around you. It is obvious this is a sleepy farming community, and the arrival of new faces awakens their curiosity.

Suddenly, a fat man with a big moustache and long red hair comes from out of the crowd, it seems he is the major of this town, although it is hard to recognize him as such because his attire and disposition is just like that of any other field worker.

He exclaims in an enthusiastic way:
Good heavens, what a capable looking bunch of fellows. Please, tell me you are here to carry out a search for our missing children! We are offering a reward, you know?
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Falgos steps up, "Yes, we 'ave come 'ere for that very reason. Perhaps yeh can tell us what yeh know over a 'earty meal." He rubs his belly and sniffs the air.
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Yes, yes, of course! Follow me, this way!

The mayor and a few of the villagers lead you towards a very old looking tavern; even the straw-roofed houses that flank it look pristine and new in comparisson. He opens the door, mentions some hurried words to a skinny looking cook about how he is paying for a feast, and motions your group and some of the other villagers to a couple of large tables.

The situation is very bad; about 20 days ago, a rock fell from the sky, in a place not far from here, and that is never a good omen. A few days later, one of our horses went missing, then a cow...

Then a dog! One of the villagers chimed in.

...yes, then a dog, then a sheep. But then, the worst happened: two boys an a girl, each on separate days, disappeared as well!! We need you help, we need you to find out who took our children, and our animals, and rescue them if possible. We are not wealthy, but we are willing to pay each of you 40 sp if you can find out what happened, 50 if the children are still alive.
The mayor sulks a bit after that last comment.

An old woman with a worn straw hat suddenly comes from out of the kitchen, serves your food and drink, consisting or roasted pig and cheap ale; and adds the following:
You should visit Johann the blacksmith's father, he knows many things, all sorts of things, like the whereabouts of that evil cult! I bet they took the children.

What will you do, will you visit the blacksmith's father? Will you ask for more details? Will you go out and begin your search on your own?

Or maybe something else?
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Kris Vanhoyland
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"Not to worry good sir, now that we're here everything will sort itself out soon, I promise," Bryce says confidently, and claps the mayor on the shoulder. "If you'll direct us to this Johann, we'll get him to point us to this evil cult and give them a good seeing too!"

The woman accompanying him then asks the mayor in a soft voice, "Exactly where did this sky rock hit the Earth?"
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The rock fell somewhere in the forest; it's a couple of hours southeast from this town, but nobody goes there, it's rumored to be haunted. They say you can hear all sorts of ghastly noises there if you listen carefully. The mayor says, with a worried expression.
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Robert looks grim after the mayor mentions his reward, and spends a few minutes stroking his beard thoughtfully and looking around at the other members of the company. Eventually, he simply shrugs and follows the rest to the tavern, muttering, "I hope the food is good, at least.".

Barnabus, on the other hand, barely conceals a look of disgust. "I can see how this goes. We're like as not to find out that them what's in the cult have been takin' the tykes, and probably that 'tween them and the stone there's some threat to the whole land afoot. An' I suppose we're to be the heroes? Pah! I'm your man in this, lads, but it rubs me the wrong way to go in for so little and mortal peril besides. Mark me. You'll see soon enough I has the right of it.". He seems about to continue when a glare from Robert finally ends the tirade and he settles into a sullen silence.

Turning to the mayor, Robert asks in his bass rumble, "Who are the children's parents? Did anyone see them leave or know what direction they might have gone? What else can you tell us about this cult?".
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The major tells Robert the following:
They went missing at different locations, usually when they were doing simple tasks, fetching water and berries I believe. The girl went missing in the northwestern outskirts of the town, the boys went missing in the eastern part. The last to see them were their parents, they work the fields and sometimes help with masonry repairs.

I don't know much about the cult, but my grandfather told me how they worshipped all sorts of devils and fiendish dragons, they were around for a long time before banishing without a trace. But suddenly there are all these rumors that they came back, that torches have been seen somewhere around town, at different times. Johann's father is quite knowledgeable about this cult business, his uncle used to fight them when he was part of the town watch; sadly he is dead, fell off a wagon and hit his head when he was 72 years old, poor guy didn't deserve that.


The food and drink taste decent enough, it will keep the party nourished for a good while.
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"Do we also get to keep them we find?" Bits of food spill out of Falgos' face as he talks and eats.

Bob chokes a bit on his ale, "I believe he means if we find any treasure belonging to the cultists...

"Er, yeah, but the cows. Chickens, too. Can we keep 'em if we find 'em? Falgos digs his fork into a piece of meat.

Bob is interested in pursuing conversation with the blacksmith after dinner to get more info on the Cultists.

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Taffi is very interested in the food they are offered. He doesn't say anything, just nods every now and then.

"An evil cult!" Lars shouts. "We can't have those lying around. It is an abomination. I promise we'll get the children back, or at least avenge their deaths." As Lars finishes his sentence, he makes a holy mark with his left hand while grabbing his mace with his right.
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The major thinks about things for a bit:
Sure, you may keep whatever you find, we just want our children back. Come, this young lad here will guide you to Johann's house.

After you finish your meal, the kid the major appointed as a guide takes you a few blocks northward, until you arrive at a shaggy, two story house. There is smoke coming out of the chimney, and you can smell hot metal from a behind small workshed beside it.

The kid knocks on the door to the shed: a tall, muscular and a bit dumb looking black haired man comes out. The kid tells him about you, he nods and after waving at your group, the kid departs.

The black haired man is Johann, he invites you into his house, and after some small talk, he says:
Oh, right, you want to hear about the cult, my dad knows about that. Dad? Daaad! DAAAAAD! You've got visitors; he'll be right with us. Daaad! Hurry up!


A few minutes later, an ill-dressed ancient man arrives, his spine curves horribly, and he can only stand upright with the help of a knotty cane. Johann explains the situation to him, and the old man addresses Johann and the group in a pecularly annoying voice:
That’s enough of that shouting! I’m old, not deaf!
Now what do you want…? oh, strangers. What do
you want? Don’t you know how rude it is to visit
unannounced? I see you’re not from around here,
which might explain why you don’t have the good
graces that God gave a worm. Well what do you
want? Spit it out; don’t stand there with a look on
your face like a bee’s just stung your bits.
Spit it out!


Missing young people? Yeah, I heard those
rumors, but I wouldn’t believe them. See,
all those rumors were started by the
shepherds out in the hills, and
I don’t trust those shepherds.
They are not honest men.


If they were, they’d work
their land instead of just
walking all over it. If you
ask me, I think they’re all
just looking for an excuse
to screw sheep all day
long. Awfully suspicious
that these people would
disappear into the hills
with no human companionship,
hmmm? And they get
so jealous when you touch
one of their precious sheep.
Yeah, they’re always
looking to say something
that will distract you
from the truth.


But they say that some
young people have
gone out for strolls into
the hills and have not
come back. Some of the
women around here
just won’t shut up with
their wailing about their
poor Jörg or Cordula
or whatever dumb
shit names people are
giving their kids these
days going missing.
Well if they
are, it’s their own
damn fault!


People their age should be working all day,
not going off for long walks. Certainly not with
members of the opposite sex! My goodness, can
you believe what young people do these days?
In my day we had proper courtship! We’d look
nervously across the crowd at each other during
festivals, and then the man would work up the
courage to go serenade the
young lady underneath
her window one night,
only to find out it’s the
wrong window and
you’ve scared the lass’
younger brother to
death so their father
comes out and kicks the
shit out of you. The
mother gets worried
that her husband’s
almost killed someone so
they take you inside to nurse
you back to health and it’s the
original girl’s ugly-ass sister
that takes care of you and BAM,
you marry that one!

That’s how I met this useless piece
of flesh’s mother, and that’s how it
should be done.”


Johann interrupts:
Daaad! It's kids, the little kids have gone missing.
The old man continues:
Oh shut up boy, you’re the worst
blacksmith alive today, and you know
it. The only reason you have the job
is you’re the only one with arms big
enough around here to use a hammer
at all. But your brain is too small to
learn to do it properly!


The old man suddenly coughs and wheezes, he takes a few minutes to rest.
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Lars gives some water to the old man: "Here, take this. It'll make you feel better."

Taffi is still sucking his lips. "Wow, the people here really love each other!"
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