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The Voyage of the Sonnenaufgang

TRAVEL SCENE (ALTDORF TO NEHREN)

Arwin Unterberg travels from Altdorf to Nuln with a group of halflings who turn out to be more than they initially appear.

NPCs

  • Claus Lietgeb - Human envoy of Reikland
  • Anna and Frank (Stu) Appleseed - A halfling couple, excellent chefs, Stu nicknamed for his stews.
  • Guido - A halfling entertainer, who tells 'tall tales... for short people'. Also an envoy to the Mootland.
  • Miranda - A halfling cook/bodyguard
  • Guv - Hisme Stoutheart, travelling incognito back to the Mootland after participating in the election of Karl Franz.

Other Lore

  • Sonnenaufgang - the barge they travelled on, very well staffed.

Miscellanea

  • Sonnenaufgang means 'Sunrise'. 'The Voyage of the Dawn Treader' is from the 'Chronicles of Narnia' by C.S. Lewis.
  • Minor corrections have been made to the text below from the original, but it faithfully tells the narrative.

Alinar (Robby): ------------------------ Scene Start ------------------------ (When posting actions, please describe what you want to do (so I can understand your intent), and how you want to achieve it (your approach) where relevant, to allow me to resolve them. With that, you will never need to ask to roll a check; if a roll is needed I will ask you for it)

(Ext. Altdorf waterfront, day)

The waterfront stretches before you, a seething maelstrom of noise, vessels, people and goods from all over the Empire and beyond. Along various piers, which stretch out into the distance, you see barges and vessels which could provide you transport on the first leg of your journey to Nuln. All around, gangs of Stevedores clear their own paths through the crowds, brooking no interference in their loading and unloading of cargo - boxes, crates, barrels and containers of all shapes and sizes get moved to the next stage of their journey. (What would you like to do?)

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): Arwin, in no particular hurry, would make his way carefully through the crowded dock area with Runor, with the intent upon seeking a reputable passenger vessel travelling southward to Nuln and beyond. He would spend time attempting to gauge how seaworthy the vessel seemed by looking at its general maintanance and take note of the dispositions of any crew he might see above deck, to see if they were reputable

Alinar (Robby): At a few points along the front there are men standing on box podiums with crowds around them, shouting out information about where crews are needed and where ships and boats are going, and you manage to pick out calls for Nuln easily enough. Getting to where they indicate is something of a battle, jostling your way through the crowds, but you pick your way through eventually. At one point near your destination, you pass what you initially thought was some sort of oasis of calm next to one of the riverfront warehouses, but it briefly reveals itself to be perhaps 20 halflings in a group, before they are lost again as the crowds close around them again after you pass. Arriving at the indicated piers, there are a variety of vessels which appear they could be headed in your direction, but not all of them would normally take passengers. You look for ones which might have some free berths, and after looking over several which you dismiss for the disreputable appearance of the crew or vessel, a well-to-do merchant river barge, which obviously also takes passengers, catches your eye as being promising. You see a very well dressed man, with an ogre - dressed surprisingly smartly (for an ogre; it's all relative) - as some kind of guard, by the gangplank. The man appears to be looking out at the crowds, somewhat impatiently.

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): Arwin and Runor would approach the gangplank, Arwin calling out to the well dressed man as he gets closer Good day Arwin says simply, noting the impatience in the man's face and being fairly decent at social cues I'm seeking passage from here to Nuln and further... by chance might this be your vessel? It seems as if there may be some free space within. Arwin eyes the Ogre as nonchalantly as he may, though he'd never seen one in person before

Alinar (Robby): Mine? No, though I am... He gives you a brief look of appraisal, dressed a cut above the norm as you are, and Runor, and immediately recognises nobility Forgive me, Claus Lietgeb at your service, I am currently awaiting a large party of travellers and we may well have space for a group such as yourselves. The 'Sonnenaufgang' he indicates the barge is indeed headed for Nuln, and shall be departing as soon as they arrive, which should be any minute. He glances back towards the front again. Another couple of reasonably dressed Townsfolk approach, ask 'Passage to Nuln?', but are told 'No room' by Claus. Polite and obviously used to passing time in more polite conversation, he asks I will not be taking the trip myself, but you mentioned an onward journey?

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): Arwin nods simply A pleasure Herr Lietgeb, Arwin Unterberg, Scion of my house, and Lord of Blackstone Keep... which is on the outskirts of Nehren, in Wissenland... that would be our final destination. The man seemed polite enough, Arwin considered only briefly whether a few coins would move things along, (bribery), but decided against it and went for a more tactful way As a banner house to Baroness von Mecklenberg and a man of honor, I and my family would be thankful should you alleviate any travel inconveniences by ensuring we have a spot within the group travelling... as I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to have paying patrons... Arwin paused momentarily Is the group you're looking for, a large group of halflings?

Alinar (Robby): Taken completely by surprise How...? But recovers quickly Yes, actually, it is, on their way back to the Mootland. A slight sense of suspicion How did you know?

(They halfling group is quite close by, really only just through the crowd at the end of the pier, FYI)

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): Arwin, quick with social cues, noted the look of suspicion. Arwin raised a brow I pay attention Herr Leitgeb. Judging by the size of the vessel, you mentioned a large group, yet there might be room for my party, and I recall seeing a large group of halflings not far from here... Arwin indicated the Ogre standing by I'm sure your man there might be able to detect a gap somewhere over he points in the general direction where he saw them there. I could send my own man if you like to retrieve them... it's the least I could do for offering a place and I'm sure everyone would prefer to be underway. Arwin would wait to see what Herr Leitgeb would want

Alinar (Robby): He looks briefly himself in the direction you indicate, gives you another appraising look, and a nod Yes, if you could bring them to us, that would be very much appreciated and you can all be on your way. Ask for Anna and Frank Appleseed, and tell them Herr Leitgeb has the ingredients ready for their journey.

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): Arwin nodded Anna and Frank Appleseed he repeated to himself quietly Very well then. Arwin was about to send Runor himself and wait with Claus, but thought better of it as Runor wasn't very tall and Arwin would likely be better able to both see and make his way there easily. Both men left to find the group, Runor calling out as they would hopefully approach Appleseed... Anna and Frank! Appleseed...

Alinar (Robby): You make your way back through the crowds to where the group were.... and still are, now sat down with baskets opened, and a variety of sandwiches, cold meats, fruit and other foodstuffs being passed around. In the middle of all this chaos, they're... having a picnic. As they hear their names called, a couple get up to greet you I'm Anna the lady says And I'm Frank, but you can call me Stu. Can we help you? he asks, while munching on some sort of meat pie. Both are... maybe middle ages for halflings? Fairly healthily built, with bright eyes, and very obviously a couple as they hold hands even while talking to you

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): Arwin sighed inwardly, how grand and metropolitant it would have been to have a halfling on staff, but he didn't regret the choices he'd made in his recent hiring of employees. Arwin responds A pleasure Anna... Stu... I'm Arwin Unterberg of House Unterberg, while inquiring as to a spot on the Sonnenaufgang, I met with a Claus Leitgeb... who is apparently waiting for your party, he said the ingredients are ready for your journey and the boat is ready to depart. I informed him of your whereabouts and offered to guide you and yours to the boat, but I see you are all in the midst of a midday feast... Arwin smiled Let us hope the boat does not leave without us he grinned

Alinar (Robby): Ah, yes... we were just on our way... but were struggling to get through the crowds... says Stu And then Miranda suggested we stop to catch our breath... and Guido thought it would be a good idea to have some refreshment... for some energy before we set out again. continued Anna, looking at Stu and then you, smiling as if that's the most obvious and natural thing. There's no guile in them at all Come on then, we're pretty much done here, let's pack up and be on our way calls one of the older halflings from the back, to a chorus half made up of 'awww', and half of 'yes Guv'. In surprisingly short order the group are packed, gathered and follow you back to the Sonnenaufgang, where Claus thanks you, greets Anna and Stu, and tells them again that they have everything they need. And with no more than the usual cost of travel (which is a normal part of your living expenses) you are invited to board the vessel. (Any last things you wish to do before you depart?)

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): (I have everything I need... and can afford lol... I'm good to go)

Arwin was pleasant with the halflings, remembering their names and their roles as much as could be expected, guiding them back, paying the expenses and boarding the vessel

Alinar (Robby): (On board the Sonnenaufgang)

Once on board, you realise it's actually very pleasantly decked out for its passengers. The crew seem very professional and good at what they do, (although you may not have much experience to compare it with, it probably seems more than you might have expected). As the Huffer pilots the barge out into the Reik, you join the mix of vessels in their own jostling on the river: from small local ferries and fishing boats, through to merchant convoys from Marienburg, to great Empire Wolfships and War galleys. And so begins your long journey towards Nuln. You are invited to join the halflings as the only other passengers, and from the first meal you have on board it becomes apparent that Anna and Stu are very, very good cooks. You reflect again on what might have been... and maybe one day, if, or hopefully when, you were to extend your staff... Their meals are a hit with the crew too, who they are happy to cook for; they simply seem to take great delight in cooking - and eating - their food. And care deeply for each other too, and their family, some of whom travel with them.

Of the other halflings, Guido is an entertainer, and regails you with what he jokingly calls 'tall tales... for short people...' which always gets a laugh and people join in with the end part, obviously his catchphrase. Miranda is quiet, observant, and very deft at slicing meats or peeling fruits at the table. And the one referred to as 'Guv' can often be seen snoozing on the aft deck through the days, with a fishing line tied to his toe; his catches end up as part of the evening meals prepared by the Appleseeds. The Captain mostly keeps to himself, hardly needing to order his crew who get on with the tasks at hand under the minimal guidance of the Bosun. The cargo, you gather, is trade goods from Altdorf, as well as quantities of spices, herbs etc., and various exotic foodstuffs which the Appleseeds are taking to the Moot. (Is there anything particular you want to do as you travel, which will take maybe 3 weeks?)

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): Arwin would over the course of three weeks, make conversation with several of the halflings, befriending them, and complimenting their skill, whether in entertainment or cooking, particularly the latter, and if possible would try to weedle out of them the recipes for a few of his favorite meals that were cooked during the journey, that he might relay it to his own cook... informing them of his intention and saying how the few good meals would remind him of their journey together. If possible, he would spend the time trying to listen and learn their own language and/or dialect and would also ask why they travelled in such a large group for cargo

Alinar (Robby): (You can track 3 weeks exposure of Mootish for your Linguistics Talent. Roll Intuition)

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): (crit sux plus 3 SL)

Alinar (Robby): Anna and Stu - you soon realise is his nickname for his signature 'Stew' dish - are happy to write out a couple of recipes for you, one which you really liked but which would have slightly harder to obtain ingredients/spices, and another - one of Stu's stews - which they think you will enjoy made from foods easily sourced from your home. They came as a group to Altdorf a few weeks ago, to enjoy and be part of the festivities around the selection of the new Emperor. When that's mentioned, there's a moment of awkwardness that perhaps someone has said something they shouldn't, before Guido breaks it with another tall tale. You were aware of briefly exchanged looks between him, Miranda and the Guv, but after that instant it's brushed off, all is well again and the journey continues pleasantly. As you travel, you are aware again of the professionalism of the boatmen, and also note that the great Wolfship and one... no, two Imperial galleys are... while also travelling towards Nuln, which might not be out of the ordinary, are also pretty much keeping the same sort of speed as you, never too far away.

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): (interesting, i'm gonna have to think this one through a moment)

(the look was between Guido, Miranda and Guv, but not Anna and Stu?)

Alinar (Robby): (You brain whirrs, halflings, came to Altdorf for the election, now returning, well protected... Yes, the Guv, an older quite rotund halfling, who very much enjoys his good food, and Miranda, who seems far more adept with knives than might be normal for a cook, and Guido. But they didn't seem too worried about it, it was more a few of the other halflings that were worries they said something. Anna and Stu were not really involved. And while the two of them are fairly central to the group, thinking back you do get the sense that the highest respect is actually towards Guv)

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): (yeah i remember that from the docks)

(things are starting to fit into place)

One late evening, toward the end of their first leg of the journey, Arwin speaks to Runor quietly in Khazalid while in their private cabin I'm not sure if you've noticed Runor, but our ship is not only well maintained and staffed, but we seem to have an imperial escort. I wasn't sure at first, but as the days have passed by, I'm more certain. At first, I thought, perhaps the cargo is so precious that it must be guarded and ofcourse Nuln does deal in things such as gunpowder and such, then I remember to last night when people were talking about coming for the elections... I think the cargo is certainly being escorted, but its not gunpowder or precious spices, it's a particular person. Arwin chuckled to himself We're likely on one of the safest ships in the river right now... or the most unsafe. I guess it depends on the viewpoint. Now I understand the suspicion in Leitgeb's words when I mentioned the halfling group. Arwin paused a long moment, Runor not being much of a conversationalist, Arwin spoke again As tomorrow is our last day on this stint of the journey, I think I may try my hand or toe as it were in fishing with "Guv" and thank him for permitting me to accompany him on this journey, all low key ofcourse... what do you think Run Runor began to snore

(omg I totally know what my intentions are now)

(this actually totally makes sense, just need the chance to talk to the Guv)

Alinar (Robby): You ponder thoughts of gems and trade, with what possibilities might open up, if Guv is who you strongly suspect he is. However, on reflection, you don't have a gem mine yet - you're headed back to try and clear it out, then see how well you can develop it. So you don't have gems to trade immediately. But... in terms of opening a dialogue for the future... you intuit that probably Guido might be the one to talk to. Guv has come across as more interested in food, fishing, and Guido's tales than any evening talk of politics or trade

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): The following morning, Arwin finds a casual opportunity to speak to Guido in confidence, initially on the premise of entertainment and his satires, turning the conversation toward political satire, then with emphasized words and body language, Arwin would inform Guido of House Unterberg's role in supplying the barley and hops for the town of Nehren, and of his own venture in reopening the Blackstone Mine and how it would be "so great" if he were able to open trade dialogue with someone like Hisme Stoutheart, trading rare spices for gems in the future. He would also casually mention how safe and professional this ship was and how it almost seemed like they were being escorted

Alinar (Robby): Guido smiles, knowing they'd been 'made', but playing along with 'how great' something like that could be. He thanks you again for coming personally to find them at the docks - not many nobles would - and that if your ventures with the mine are as successful as you hope then he would be fairly sure that you could do trade with the Moot. Whilst not actually promising anything or explicitly confirming who anyone is, he gives the impression that it's definitely something you could follow up on once the mine is up and running. (Anything else before you arrive in Nuln?)

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): (nope that's all, and certainly more than i could hope for, this is certainly the thing an up-and-coming noble would be trying for, political and trade ties)

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): (ponders an arranged marraige between myself and a halfling... would the kid be called a 3 quarter)

Alinar (Robby): You arrive in Nuln and your suspicions are confirmed when a human dignitary, accompanied by a group of halflings in Mootland regalia. The man starts to greet Guv with 'Elder...', to which Guv simply replies 'Humans and their obsessions with titles. Such a bother.' as he walks off to join the halfling retinue. Guido wishes you the best, and Anna gives you a hamper for your ongoing journey. Which is quite dull in comparison. Another barge to Pfeildorf, another again to Heisenburg. From there, you catch a row boat on the last leg towards home. The hamper is full of more delicious foodstuffs, with a few preserves, jams and the like.

(Feel free to make one last post/response/thought, and then I will draw your scene to a close)

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): (what's a hamper?) Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): (some kind of snack?) Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): (oh a basket of food)

Alinar (Robby): (It's a basket which you'd fill with different types of food - yes)

Arwin Unterberg (Garrett): As Arwin steps off the rowboat, and his foot hits the land of his birth, he feels a sense that all is finally going the right way. He didn't want to relate it directly to his father's death, but perhaps it was that he was nolonger under his shadow and finally able to do things for himself, without reprisal or ridicule, to work for the good of House Unterberg... to help rebuild its name and status within the empire.

(all done, thank you for the travel scene, not the sort of travel scene i was expecting, it was better)

Alinar (Robby): ------------------------ Scene End ------------------------

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