In The Deep Midwinter
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Aug. 1, 2021, 11 a.m.
Outside Amber - Mystery Fog near Mysterious Fog - In a cold climate
Comments and Log
The fountain's chilling effect has ebbed and flowed over the past few days. It has been cool up to the edges of the square, or deadly-cold only where the water is, but it has never completely warmed up. It seems, slowly, like more heat is creeping into the system - it no longer freezes gin toddy. But it most certainly is not in any way *hot*. Unlike the weather, which is a balmy summer day today.
Dirk is looking at the trump that caused all of this and sighs. "What the hell, people?" He paces around a bit.
Amy has been continuing to keep the hospital running, but every time she passes the fountain, she stops to glare at it. Which she is doing as she arrives, stifling a yawn, just in time to hear Dirk's comment. "Good question, Dirk," she calls out with some amusement.
Danielle carries a stack of books and wears a frown "I'm running out of books. there has to be something. Somewhere in this partial city that tells me what the ice mages are trying to say. i'm just assuming they may be ice mages based on circumstantial evidence, mind
Danielle rolls with advantage -1 at difficulty 15, using no talents or gifts.
The result is a failure.
Amethyst rolls with advantage -1 at difficulty 15, using no talents or gifts.
The result is a success.
There is definitely a lot to be fascinated by. The cold of the air makes white drifts in the air that melt as they are blow away, and it is definitely a beautiful sight. However, there are other things worth looking at. For example, there is a window filled with white fog, on the far side of the square, visible to Amethys for a moment before it seems to be just a normal window again.
Dirk rolls with advantage 0 at difficulty 15, using no talents or gifts and spending will.
The result is a success.
Gavin rolls with advantage 0 at difficulty 15, using notice.
The result is a failure.
To Dirk, any sudden change is a slightly different one. The day smells like ozone. He knows the smell of a storm.
Amy glances over towards the window, and frowns. "Is that - did you see the white fog in that wind- no never mind, it's gone," Amy says with a shake of her head.
Dirk inhales and says "Shit." He keeps inhaling. "Storm incoming."
Gavin had been distracted by something, more likely day dreaming. It happens, but at Amy's annoyance at something. He jostles from whatever imaginary Kingdom he's in to look at her, "Hmm?"
The fountain blorps out a little frozen water, like a really disappointing slush puppy machine.
Danielle stows all the books in her satchel. Despite the fact that they have been little use in her present task. she still doesn't want them spoiled by the weather approaching. she draws the hood of cloak'
The dance of snowflakes continues. And then from down the street, just like last time this happened, a cold wind blows. It comes from the direction of the gate.
Amy pauses, staring at the direction the breeze comes from, though she doesn't see anything. Other than the snow, and the cold, and "Oh. Here we go again?" she asks, quizzically. "If I say I have a bad feeling about this, will you all laugh at me?"
Dirk says "Nope." He draws his sword and stares towards the gate.
Gavin looks at Amy, "No." He looks at the fountain blurping up the ice. "Have we checked in on the unicorn worshipers and their water works?" H elooks at Dirk's trump, "What is that?"
The wind seems to chuckle, although it is perhaps not answering Amy's question. It is simply carrying the sound of falling water with it.
Danielle smirks "No i would look at you and nod vigorously" she follows the wind in the gate
"Damn. That's not what I hoped you were all going to say," Amy replies worriedly.
Dirk says "I was using this Trump when the freeze happened? I can try again?"
The wind drops to a whisper, but the temperature drops as well, and then up the road comes a sledge, an honest to goodness sledge drawn by a horse with six legs and thick, shaggy fur.
"What's a trump?" Then Gavin turns to look at the sleigh coming their way. "Well at least it's not the Kings coach." Then he ambles out in front. He holds up a hand and calls out, "Who goes there?"
Amy stares as the cold freeze gets colder. She's remarkably unaffected by it today, for some reason. She stares though as the six legged horse and the sledge seem to be approaching them. "Looks like we have company," she says, in case anyone hasn't noticed yet.
Dirk walks close and startsvt
The cold air divides around Gavin, curls around the others, and the horse plods up to him and stops just as it seems he might have to choose between getting out of the way and getting trampled. It looks at him with blue eyes under brown shaggy fur, moving its head from side to side.
Dirk walks close to Amy and starts to bounce a little.
The sledge if full of boxes and bags.
In fact, the sledge is so full of boxes and bags that there is no room for anyone IN it. It's just... a sledge of stuff. And a norormal horse. Like normal, but with extra middle.
Danielle hms " Can't particularly say I've got a way with animals, but if someone can keep him still we can get a look at the cargo
Amy looks at Dirk. "Hold up for a moment," she says. She drifts forward as the horse stops in front of Gavin. "Hello there, horse. Not sure if you have a name, but have you brought us gifts? And what is the price for them?" she asks.
As the Horse doesn't seem content to stop for Gavin, nothing ever is. He narrows his eyes and then the horse comes to a stop. Gavin steps up and reaches up to pat and pet the horse on the neck if it will let him. "Aye, good Horsie."
Dirk pulls a pirate and climbs into the sledge to see what's inside. "I promise I won't kill anyone yet. "
The horse lets Gavin pat it. Under the fur, it is warm-blooded. There is a LOT of fur, though. It leans into him for scritches.
On the sledge, Dirk can see that the bags and boxes are tied down, and in many cases iced into position.
Dirk says, "We have boxes and bags that are iced in or tied down.""
Gavin reaches up to scrith the horse and even get between the eyes, "Does anyone have an apple, carrot, or sugar cubes?" Hey the horse ain't biting and ain't raring. "Yeah who ever put it there probably didn't want it fooled with."
The horse stamps a middle foot, and nudges Gavin with its head.
Danielle hms "Where's a fire mage when you need one. I don't have any on me, but it's good idea "she looks to gavin "Think your sword can make headway with those ropes
Dirk says "I am a pirate, so screw that. Wealth redistribution sounds good."
The Horse didn't answer Amy so she turns to the fountain. "If we guess wrong, I'm sorry," she says, making sure her voice carries. "I am assuming this is a gift to us?"
The fountain splutters icy water, directly after Amy stops talking.
Dirk says, "Want me to try a different Trump?"
Amy puts her hands on her hips. "is that a yes or a no?" she asks, sounding a bit exasperated, but also, despite not wanting to be, a bit amused.
Gavin looks to Amy, "Where is that Firemage? He's always wanting to set things on fire." He continues to give the horse petting, "Can you take over on this so I can go cut ropes." He shrugs.
"Maybe not just yet, Dirk?" Amy adds.
The horse nibbles at Gavin's hair, more with lips than teeth.
Dirk nods and is waiting for Gavin to come along.
"The apple eating one could be also useful," Amy observes. She comes over to the horse, reaching out a hand to see if the horse will let her pet it. Cautiously.
No fingers get snapped at. The horse moves half a step to rub against Gavin more efficiently.
Danielle hms at Gavin "He likes you" She looks around for a produce stall or fire mage
Gavin finds himself being loved on by the horse, "Amy, could you just take my blade?" He laughs, "You're a friendly sort aren't you? Do you have a name?"
There are a few stalls at the edge of the market, and one is a butcher's. They have a fire there - the weather in the square has been oddly cool whenever the wind changed, after all.
The hororse scratches its face against Gavin's.
Amy blinks, and changes course to get Gavin's sword, so he at least has both hands free. "Should I be jealous?" she teases lightly.
Danielle goes over to the butcher's stall "Hi, i know this request is a bit odd but can I compensate you fore use of a torch and perhaps a cleaver"
"I don't think so my love. I'm just giving a pirate a chance to do his pirating by distracting the horse. Though the Pirate may be confused cause we're on land and not acting hastily to remove the crates." Gavin says as he continues to give the horse playful scritches and pettings. "Though I'm becoming more and more curious if this horse is more than cart trained."
The man, a unicornian worshipper, says, "Of course, sister. I know you, even if you do not yet bear the blessed mark." He hands over a knife after wiping it on his apron. "I can get a lantern, but I'm afraid no torches..."
Dirk is starting to move the presents from the sledge.
Much of the ice is soldly solid still, but Dirk can move bags, although one rips and cascades yellowish gems all over the place. Now there is a different problem - there are faceted gems about the size of peas all over the place.
Danielle takes the lantern and the lantern "My thanks, brother" she responds in kind before moving towards the sled and holding the lantern near to see if it can melt the ice
Dirk smiles. "cool."
The lantern's slight heat is no match for the cold ice, although here and there the fuzz on the white body of the sledge is starting to shrivel up. Under the white it looks like there is a bony material, not wood.
The maybe-cart-trained horse nudges Gavin again, and begins to snuffle at him. It is probably sniffing him over for treats.
Amy holds the sword, but she decides to go about this a little differently. She moves towards the sledge, pulling her will together, and suggesting to the ice, "Please melt."
Amethyst rolls with advantage 1 at difficulty 20, using occult, pattern initiate and spending will.
The result is a success.
The ice is certainly meltable... Maybe it is even melting because of Amethyst. Maybe it is melting because it is a sunny day outside the circle of cold. But it is melting. The tiny extra light from Danielle's lantern is not what is making the sledge look yellowish. It is made of ivory.
As the horse sniffs at him, Gavin sighs, "Fine. Fine. You can hve my lunch." He says reaching down to the pouch on his belt. Then produces a cloth and unwraps it to produce the heel of one of Martha's loves of bread." He breaks off a chunk to feed the horse.
Danielle nods "My word. Perhaps we should get some fine things from the palace to place on the sled. return gifts in kind. I don't know"
The horse noses past the chunk for the whole heel of bread. Smart horse.
Danielle looks on the sled for any sign of a note
There is no sign of one, but there are dozens of unopened boxes, and the sledge has engraved decoration here and there, which is familiar and yet untranslatable.
Amy watches the horse go for the food, and she ahas. "So that's why it's snuggling up to you, Gavin." That said, she feels a bit tired, from trying to melt ice with her mind. Did it work? Did it not? Who knows for sure? But there's definitely a slight wilting to Amy now. "That's a good thought, Danielle. But I don't know what sort of things they might want."
She wrinkles her nose briefly, and then Amy says, "Also, we need to pick up these things - before someone trips on them."
Of course, Amethyst cannot see it clearly from her angle, but it is the ice closest to her that has melted most. So maybe what she was doing worked.
Gavin watches his lunch disappear, "Hey I was going to eat that. I was trying to share. You're a greedy one." Gavin laughs and just feeds the horse what little he has left. "Where you heading fella?" There's a scritch or two.
Dirk is still poking at bags and boxes.
Danielle hms "i have no idea. I just want to clearly communicate it was noy our intent to steal but receive with grace. The contents should give a clue as to what they place value on" She bends to pick up and examine some of the stones in question
The horse scritches back, and stamps a foot, and... drops horse-poo behind it. Horses gonna horse.
Dirk cuts open another bag.
Hopefully nobody is directly behind the horse. Ick. Amy sees if she can start taking the boxes off, where the ice has melted most.
Dirk can find... riches. The cheapest thing he can see is pyrite, but that is stacked with real gold ore, a thick vein crumbled up to fit into the bag. Things that are probably zirconias. Pale jade. The boxes hold jars of vodka mixed with herbs. Polished petrified rock. This is mineral riches. No food, little drink. Rock Oil.
Gavin's a knight, he's use to horses gonna horse. "Anything of use or of note back there." He looks to Amethyst, "Just don't tell me that's why you snuggle up to me too." He looks around, "So are we letting the horse go, or can I keep it. We have a stable."
Dirk says "These are material goods."
One of the boxes has tiny gold bars. One has ingots of tin. One has what might be borax, in lumps. Material goods, indeed.
"It's totally not," Amy replies with a laugh. "If it were, I'd snuggle up to Martha. She cooks better." She too looks at things, and then she shrugs. "I think we have some time to think about what to send?" she offers. "And for now, it looks like we've a horse to take care of, and a new sledge?"
Dirk takes gold and pockets it before jumping down. "weird."
Gavin takes the horse by the lead, "Come on buddy, we'll find you some food. I'm sure there are some oats or barely we can spare." He looks at Dirk. "This is not the weirdest thing to happen around here by far."
"Well, the good news is we have some time," Amy says. "And I do think this is weird, but there are a number of weird things going on. Maybe we can figure it out." She turns to head towards that building where she saw the white fog, curiously.
Dirk NODS. "indeed."
Gavin falls quiet as it becomes Curious and curiouser.
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