The Logs of the TDFS Tindome
We consider trying to make the ship invisible. Teller asks, "Away?" We explain that we want it to appear to be "away." Since we are not prepared to make the ship invisible, Bay makes a note. Teller offers to stay behind to protect the ship. We decline his offer. It would be good to be able to secure the ship, so Bay makes another note. The captain directs us to bring some provisions as well as our weapons.
Sam apologetically admits she does not have much in the way of provisions or weapons. We assure her that she may share our food, and we have provided her with a sturdy staff weapon. We start off, headed over the shoulder of the island, keeping in the cover of the forest. The cover is not as heavy as a jungle, nor is it as multi-leveled as a rain forest. There are palm trees near the beach, and more temperate trees as we work our way inland.
The captain spots a track through the woods. Mandorak wonders aloud who or what uses it, but then spots a bare footprint in the damp soil. It belongs to a large person. He sends a second sight forward along the path, but sees nothing of interest. We hear the hoots to strange birds. Eric, who has the gift of Anticipation, has a bad feeling about our path. Mandorek uses his second sight to look around, but sees nothing.
Even so, we are not entirely surprised when we find ourselves surrounded by brown faces, with young men, dressed for the (warm) weather, in the trail before and behind us. They have bows, with arrows pointing at us. They are twenty-five feet away from us.
The captain steps forward. "Hello."
Their possible leader cocks his head, but doesn't answer.
"We're travelers. We're looking for someone." There is no response. Eric tries a few other languages (Latin and German), but there is still no reaction, beyond a re-aiming of an arrow or two. Teller tries Mindspeech: Hello.
The fellow looks startled, looks around, and babbles in a language none of us recognize. There is rustling in the bushes to our sides. The men behind us disappear; others appear in our front.
Teller suggests that we offer them something, such as food. The captain slowly and carefully lowers his pack, and pulls out some lembas bread. He unwraps it and offers it to these locals. Teller pulls out some fruit, eats a bit as he walks forward, and offers it to the bowmen. The captain sits down, smiles, and continues to offer the lembas. Everyone else sits down too. We hear more rustling to our sides. Mandorak and Teller spot one youth squatting in a bush, partially dressed in vegatation, very close to the captain.
He stands up, and we can see he is carrying a large, shiny knife. The captain keeps smiling, and offering. The fellow with the knife snatches up some of the lembas. He tries it, then chatters at the others. They nibble at the lembas bread as well. Others maintain their cover against us. The chattering becomes more extensive. An elder appears. He is given some of the lembas bread. There is more chattering, and the elder nods his head. He steps forward, and speaks demandingly to the captain. The captain, in the patois of Lanthil, addresses the elder, and explains that he is being polite, and offers more lembas. The bread and Teller's apple are taken up. There is scurrying around, and some of us are offered leaf-wrapped things (warm) and small earthenware pots.
In Teller's pot there are grainy things. He tries them. It might be corn meal and ground nuts; it tastes a little sweet. Teller smiles. In the leaf are several mooshed slices of fruit, some with their pebbly skin still left on the outside. Teller makes the yummy sound: "mmmm."
The chattering continues. Eric thinks he recognizes something as the Latin, "where are you going?" He replies in Latin, "we are going to that camp." The local explains, "No, you not there wanting to go. A bad place being." Eric explains, "We are looking for people, her (points) brother, who are in captivity there." "Mal, bad place. A bad place for Philius to being in." Eric asks if they can help. "My peoples have very much trouble to problems of captivity, problems with plantings. Is Brother captive with a boat?" Eric says that we know he is in the town. The elder points across the volcano, and says, "Town, far, far away." He points back the way we came. "Wrong way. Many plantings being bad in the way." Eric asks about going the other way around. "Long, long way. Not so much planting, but much rocks (hills)." Eric asks for a recommendation about the best path.
The elder looks at us all and says, "No, no. Town is too many. All bad." Eric asks if anyone can guide us. "Many bad plantings. Must fix bad plantings." Mandorak has Eric ask to be shown these… bad plantings. The elder steps over to the set of three archers, and they talk among themselves. They urge us to follow them, which we try to do quietly. We are critiqued as we move, and we do actually become quieter. We are taken up on the slopes of the mountain, and come out over a valley. Before us, in the valley, we see cultivated fields, with roads and buildings, and people working in the fields. Those people are kin to our companions, but dressed in cloth, less well fed, and less happy. This is probably due to the large, ugly mis-colored creatures with long arms and longer whips, sprinkled in significant plenitude.
"Bad plantings." He gestures. "Our captives." Other bowmen emerge from the woods.
Mandorak sends his second sight into one of the adobe buildings. One of the buildings is guarded by more of the orcish creatures, dressed in more "regular" clothes. In the main building, his viewpoint shows him the large hall of a hacienda, with several people and one orc, dressed like the others, with a knife and many gold earrings, and sitting down. The head human is also sitting down, with a fancy shirt, wearing many rings, and with long hair. Many of the standing men look like high-level lackeys. Another man, sitting down, is engaged in cheerful conversation with the human and the orc. He is not dressed as well, but he does have a lot of gaudy jewelry and several weapons, scabbards, knives, and a pistol. There are some locals, again dressed in woven clothing. One is carrying a tray; another, a young woman, is sitting to one side, and looking uncomfortable.
Mandorak describes, in Earthron, what he has seen. The elder, listening carefully, says, "You, say again." The dwarf does. "The woman: describe." Mandorak sends his viewpoint closer, looking for details. Eric starts a sketch, and modifies it to Mandorak's description. Eric gives it to the elder, who looks very troubled.
"Maybe Jakar Toka." [Which the GM's notes have spelled as "Jaqartoqa". But since the Indians don't have a written language, that's really no more canonical than the party's spelling. /s/ JLB]
"Who is she?"
"Granddaughter's sister – sister's granddaughter. Jakar Toka."
"Well, can we do something to get her out? Free her?"
"Need to free all of them. That is best. Free some, punish others."
"How many of the trolls, orcs, whatever-you-call them, are there?"
"Three, maybe four double-hands."
"Forty. Let's watch. Make plans."
"Watch, plan, is three days."
"Do the orcs all eat together?"
"No. One double-hand of guards always."
"Ten. That improves the odds. Can we poison them?" Mandorak asks Finwe, who replies, "That would be nasty. It would work."
"Boat tomorrow comes. Jakar Toka take away."
"Oh, so we don't have much time to plan. Do you have a plan to get in and out?"
"You have poison?"
"No, we weren't planning on… any of this."
"With reedmen, not to see."
"Can we do this to the sentries at night."
"Hard to see. Do in double hand of heartbeats."
"How many reedmen?"
"One, two double hands."
"Guards fall, others come."
"Can we sneak into the barracks and kill the sleeping orcs, then take out the sentries."
"Orcs, good ears. Was thing that."
"What was your plan?"
"Was thinking hand of reedmen into… bakars? ("Barracks.") barracks. Big risk. Not sure. Have hunting men, watching. I come, many, much distance. Find Jakar Toka. Watch. Many plan, not good plan. Boat men with stick weapons."
"Guns?" We draw pictures. "Like. Different."
"In the morning?"
"Has now. In big house." Eric: "What if we set fire to one of the house, create a distraction?"
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