Tall Tanner's Story
With blood on you hands and your fathers axe over you back you head towards the forest. The sound of a crowed can be heard from behind you heading towards your home. You reach the edge of the woods and turn to see a great fire erupt in the distance, you home is lost and there is no turning back.
Phineus is dead by your hands and you know his father will not relent in finding you. You turn and head into the forest.
You only make it a short way in when you hear the sound of dogs and horses gaining on your locations. You can put the sounds to be just outside the forest entrance, only 50-100 metres from you position. It sounds busy although you can not make out the size of the following group especially in you toxic state.
What do you do?
Rurik knows well the rumours of ghosts in the forest. But he knows that going back means trial and probably death. Not to mention the further shame brought to his fathers name, he just couldn’t face it. So he decides to head into the forest on a diagonal direction moving a little further in and then skirting around the edge about 250 metres in. Looking for a place to hide, (like an animal burrow perhaps? )
By the way, Rurik believes the rumour that Robyn a ghost, some sort of dark spirit that leads a hoard of spirits.
(What’s your stealth and Survival skills)
Staggering from the alcohol, trudging through the trees you find a nook in a tree just big enough for you to squeeze into but unfortunately you axe will not. The sound of the hunting party is gaining ground, you can almost feel the dogs breath on your neck
Haha. Stealth bonus is -2, Survival is +6, if you want rolls they are Stealth = 3, Survival = 16. (If not just ignore that.) Not wanting to abandon his ancestral weapon, Rurik decides to throw caution to the wind. He jumps out of the root he was trying to squeeze into and yells in the direction of his perusers " Ya won’t catch me alive, I’d rather take me chances wit the ghosts than be caught by you lot. And Robyn’s ghosts take ye souls if ya try an follow me!" and he high tales it in the direction of the deeper forest as fast as he can run.
As you turn to run one of the dogs leaps, you manage to hack it down before it lands a bite. The other dog slips past as your axe cleaves the first and bites your leg. With a swift thrust of the axe you manage to detach it by removing its head.
You run as fast as you can away limping and bleeding. Crossbows can be heard twanging in the distance behind. As you stumble into a tree one hits it just to the side of you head.
(What is your perception,know(nature), You wont need to roll, I will make assumptions based on you bonuses)
Perception +6, Knowledge Nature +1(untrained).
It was the only bolt that hit close. Also by the nature of the shot that it was made without a target. You hear the pursuers but the seem to no long give chase. They quieten down and all that can be heard is the haunting noises of the living forest. Owls hoot, insects chirp, in the distance the sound of a wolf call out. There is no way to go back but now you are in the forest. You are used to being able to control situations with a fist. But ghost, you cant hit them. They find a way to get inside you to haunt you.
The forest is closing in on you. You are constricted. You close your eyes and will yourself sober. Your body responds but your are tire and need to rest. That wolf calls again, what if its calling the ghosts? Maybe they are around, hiding.
Ok Rurik is terrified of ghosts, cause like you say he’s a burly guy and fists don’t work on ghosts. But he’s also got his wits. So trembling a little Rurik uses his survival skills to find badger tracks (survival 6) if he finds any he’ll follow them back to the burrow and settle in for the night and hope the ghosts just think he’s a badger :)
Although the night has not been kind to you, you do manage to find a sunken part of the ground with enough shelter to hide you from the elements and hopefully enough to to hide you from the ghosts.
In the morning you wake, the night over but now you are lost in the forest with no idea of direction. You step out from you hole to find a carcase of an animal just out side. Although it is slightly mangled it looks as if there is enough meat on it to stop you stomach from grumbling. As you wait for the meat you see a small figure standing several metres away. It is small with animal fur draped over it. It doesn’t seem to move as if it is dead. There is a look about it that you find peculiar then you realise, it’s a goblin!
Rurik stands up and brandishing his axe threateningly (intimidate is -1(crappy cha)) he says “oi goblin state yer business or clear off!”
You reach for you axe and stand calling out to nothing. The figure has gone. A chill runs over you spine.
Rurik walks over to the place where the goblin was. (Very nervous now) muttering to himself “Mmm ruddy goblins poppin up n disapeerin mutter mutter mutter” he checks out the area, trying to find some way to prove that the goblin wasn’t a ghost. Meanwhile checking over his shoulder and all around constantly. “ruddy ghosts cant ever stay away in the bloody daytime mutter mutter mutter”. Perception +6.
you walk over to were you saw the goblin and look around. There are no tracks or anything. You fuss around for a bit and disturb a badger collecting food that rears up at you and already on edge from the ghost sighting you jump with a startle.
You finish your meal and head deeper into the jungle. You get the sense someone is watching you but you see no one around. You know you are heading west but that is as far as you know. Every tree looks the same.
You can make out two directions. Going more south it seams that the trees are thicker and movement would be easy. the more northern way is the opposite. There is a mangle of vines and large trees letting little to no light through the branches.
Rurik will go the easier south route for now.
You walk for over a day. Finding pieces to eat as you go. As you travel you see things in the corner of you eye and when you turn to look there is nothing there of a bird or animal bounds away.
As you turn to try and catch the image again, you see something, a human, leaning against a tree. He is clutching his leg which looks to be bleeding. He doesn’t seem to have noticed you yet.
Ok Rurik has a heart attack, and then he’ll cautiously approach the man. And while still a few yards away he says “hey do you need some help?” ( All the while expecting the man to become a ghost and kill him)
“Oh, well, I have been better!” he says through his clenched teeth. He does try to smile as he talks. "You would happen to know a bit about fixing this up would you? (heal?) “What’s your name my dwarvern friend? I am Bill, I would bow but…” he gestures to his leg. “what are you doing in the forest? What do you do for a living?”
“Me, I was doing a spot of hunting for food and this damn buck ripped right into my leg.”
Rurik will take a couple of steps closer and says " I’m not much good at fixin wounds but I’ll help you get anywhere you want. My names Rurik as for a living my Dad had me set on bein a Tanner but I never got the hang of it. What’s your name?"
“Will, my fine fellow. Well if you wouldn’t mind it will be a bit of a hike with my leg but I sure would appreciate the help. "
You help him up and you both start walking. “So a Tanner huh? Well you have the build of a fighter I didn’t know tanning was such a straining job. I would say I have skinned a few animals in my time. Is that what you are doing in the forest, looking for hide?”
“Well, you could say I’m looking to hide. You see I’m really just passing through the forest, after a disagreement I had back in Kerfall. It’s not safe in the forest you know with the ghosts of Robyn flyin about and eatin anyone who ventures far in.
“I never was much good at tanning, but I do like a good fight. I got a warriors heritage you see. Fiery blood in my veins.”
“hmm, no doubt there.”
“Well I do appreciate your help and well, to tell the truth I am not one to follow the rules of the Duke myself. I am going to let you on in a little secret. There isn’t any ghost of Robyn although I am glad to know that the legacy of us and Robyn do play a discord to the fact.”
As you walk, you start to notice a clearing. Amongst the space seem to be tents and people. It is a small community hidden amongst the covers of the forest.
“Come, my not so tall, tanner friend. Welcome to my home.”
Tall pauses mid stride and takes in the clearing. Absent mindedly in a soft voice (though loud enough to be heard by his companion) the words “No… ghosts?” escape his lips as realisation of what he’s looking at slowly dawns on him.
With a laugh, Will directs you towards one of the only wooden structures. “Tuk” he calls out, “I wouldn’t mind your assistance.”
You see a Large round man step out from the hut looking over his shoulder yelling back “you can scrub harder then that ya Lazy good for …… Will, what have you done to your self?”
“A bit of a graze that cant be fix by your fine self.” As Tuk gets closer you smell the all to familiar smell of stale beer. He bends down, has a look at the wound. “I will just get me mendin’ kit, back in a bit.” and wanders back in side.
Rurik looks up at Will and says “Will, I have no where else to go, what can one do to become a member of this band?” “I’m wanted in Kerfall, the mayor will never stop huntin my skin, damn these fist o mine”
“We are not heathens. You are welcome but trust has to be earned, maybe some of the tanning skill, regardless how little” he says with a smile, " can be put to some use. Maybe you can show your skills in other areas."
Tuk had returned and started to clean the wound, with ale. “The stuff of gods” he remarked with a wink in your direction.
Every now and then he and Will have a banter when Tuk would dig the needle in a bit deeper or such.“AAH!, the buck didn’t cut me deep then you are going!!” “Stop ya whining, lucky it wasn’t your pretty face or you would be totally useless!”
Tuk greets you properly and then asks you to take “his royal highness” back to his hut.
Walking back to the trees it is then when you seem to be going no where that the village is mainly in the trees. The bottom of the huts are well camouflage amongst the forest canopy.
Will takes his bow, aims and hits something up the tree. a knotted rope falls to the ground. “I might need some help, how are you with heights?”
He asks you to climb the rope then help pull him up.
Rurik tests the strength of the rope and then climbs up +3 then waits for will to grab a hold and tries to pull him up. Str +2
“Thank you, You can rest over there. I would be careful though, you are welcome by me but the other folk don’t trust strangers and we seem to be acquiring a few lately so mind your manners around these good folk. We’ll see you on the morrow.”
The night is a better one then you have had in these forest when it comes to sleeping. The next morning you head to the open area to find a very big person waiting for you. The hint of Green skin points towards a orc heritage. “Some call me little when in fact I am not. I think they make fun of my size, give me a funny name. I don’t mind but I will call you Tall. Will told me you are a tanner from Kerfell, that makes a funny name, right? Tall Tanner. He also say that your a not a good tanner at all so that would make it funny, we call you Tall but your not and Tanner but your not. HA, Tall Tanner.”
" I am Jon."
Jon shows you around the grounds, introduces you to everyone and soon people are calling you by your adopted name. Jon show you were the tanning happens and introduces you to Gloria, the tanner. Gloria is a rough woman, although human if a little more short she could pass as a brazen battle dwarf from the highlands. As the day progresses though and many spoiled hides from your tender she angrily pushes you out of her tent.
“Get out you useless dwarf. JON! take him away, give him a axe because I think he would be better at destroying things!” and with a huff leaves you standing with Jon.
“told you I wasn’t any good!”
Jon laughs deep. “Ok, I think I have something that is more to your liking.”
He takes you to an area were some men are fighting, shooting bows and other training. “This is a skill you know right?”
He throws you a club “Hit me, if you can!”
You charge at the big man swinging wildly with the club, each time Jon deflects the blow with his own. “Ha, not so good after all!”
Anger stirs with in you and you thrash with the club more but Jon is concentrating more to avoid these blows. Finally he steps in to one of your swings, catches the club and punches you in the face with his fist. You stager back from the blow, out of breath. “It seems you do have some fuel for your fire. If only you could swing better.”
Over a few weeks Jon runs you through weapon technique and how to fight. You learn quickly and start to master you attacks and to channel your rage. Jon things it is interesting when you temper and believe that this could help you in your battles.
You come to a point when Jon thinks you are ready. "You have learnt well Tall Tanner. Robyn will require your strength. We do not fight for just fun. We help people. We take from the Duke. He sometimes sends people to this forest. We stop them. We give to the people what we take. "
“We give what we take back to the people who need it. Some are poor, we help them. Robyn says that our way is changing. I am not sure what is meant by that but I think your help will be need. You are hard but I think are good. Now lets visit Tuk, it’s time to drink!”
Well I can drink to that Jon, here’s to life after death! (referring to the fact that if he’d been caught in Kerfall he probably would have been given the death sentence).