Author Topic: 04.20.2132 - Southaven  (Read 802 times)

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Offline Dray

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04.20.2132 - Southaven
« on: April 25, 2008, 12:16:07 PM »
04.20.2132 - Southaven

(Continued from 04.16.2132 - "Gone Camping")

Mr. Church’s wagon made it to the end of South Road in only four calendar days, arriving at the southernmost town of Southaven at mid-morning. The merchant also didn’t turn out nearly as bad as Mr. Marks dire warning boded him to be...

The morning after their departure (04.17.2132), without saying much or asking for compensation, he gave both boys enough food to last the entire journey. And although he hadn’t stopped the wagon through the previous night and then the entire first day, he did make reasonable stops during that time for “nature calls”.

(24 miles)

On the first “official” night away from the city, Mr. Church even made the boys and himself a stew over a small campfire and although not a talkative sort, he let the boys alone as Jared retold the story of the Battle of Millenguarde, as told to him by Leslie.

“Girl is a fantastic story-teller,” Jared said to Xavier, his eyes lighting up with a smile in the glow of the campfire. “I won’t be able to do as good a job as she does, but I have heard it enough times now that I don’t think I will miss any of the parts,” Jared had said.

As they went to bed, both boys were shocked when Mr. Church announced that they were already ‘half-way to the Outer-Rim’.

On the second day out (04.18.2132), an unusually warm spring day greeted the trio in the morning. Mr. Church sped the journey up a little and allowed the boys to ride behind him on top of the wagon. Both kids were amazed at how fast, yet smooth riding the big wagon was, and watching the wooded landscape go bye the second day was a blast. Especially for Xavier who hadn’t been away from the city since the mandatory “Outer-Rim School Trip” at age 5.

South Road, along its entire length, was parallel with the slow, northward-moving Appleseed River. The 200 hundred foot wide waterway had cleared its icy cap, as was typical this early in the warm season. Like Clearwater Lake, it had been long ago discovered that the Appleseed was fed not only by the cold run off from the mountains surrounding the kingdom, but more so by a myriad of hot springs from below the earth. This allowed the river to flow easily from Winterfourth (March) to almost mid-FallEnd (November) which was a blessing to all the merchants south of the capital. As this melting permitted trade barges, simple 8’ x 12’ load-bearing skiffs attached tightly together by rope to form larger platforms, to float their weirs to the capital. During the day, Mr. Church passed more than a few wagons pulling the now empty flat skiffs back to the supply merchants in the various villages along South Road. Laying stacked on a wagon flatbed, the skiffs were far less of a burden for the horses to pull back to their respective ports then the trade goods that the skiffs had burdened onto the river.

Xavier was amazed at the never-ending expanse of woodland. Although they passed a few settlements that day, not one of them larger than a village, the landscape was otherwise unbroken of the thick pine. Only the river, which meandered in and out of view at times, gave him a sense of any real distance achieved on their journey.

On that second night however, Mr. Church found a small meadow and detached his four large horses from the wagon to allow them to rest and graze for the night. He made a grand fire and allowed the boys to continue to bunk in the wagon, telling them he preferred to sleep out under stars. He even offered share of his rum with the two young boys as they sat near the campfire. The boys didn’t find Mr. Church to nervous about being out in the open Wildlands even though they both knew they were far closer now to the Outer-Rim then the capital city.

“You both sighted the myriad of patrols in and out of the forests, not to mention the dozens of guard posts we passed along the road. This route is very safe for a reason, it is the lifeblood of the capital,” Mr. Church had explained.

(40 miles)

The driving rain they experienced the next day (04.19.2132) changed Mr. Church’s mood considerably and both boys did everything they could not to make his situation worse. As they sat in the wagon playing cards by lantern-light, they heard Mr. Church cursing the weather as it drove wind and sheets of rain hard against him and his horses. Each time the wagon slowed down both boys would make sure boots were on and they were ready to bolt for the woods should Mr. Church stop for a nature call, lest they anger him with delay.

They could tell that their fantastic distance they had made in short time was incredibly hampered by the rough weather, and they heard him swear about it as he drove the wagon.

Finally, when it had to be sometime around evening, Mr. Church surrendered and stopped the wagon. Neither boy owned a time-piece and had to just assume by the complete lack of light coming in from the small wagon window that the day had passed.

“So what’s the damage?” Xavier asked Jared with a sigh.

Jared, stacking the old cards one last time to put them away, looked at him with a smirk. “You owe me 42 butterbeers. I don’t think I will go thirsty anytime soon.”

After they heard Mr. Church disengage the horses and then work in and around the wagon for almost a hand he popped his head in.

“Meh, I don’t want to get the inside of the wagon all muddy anyway, you boys stay where you are. I set up a tent outside and the horses are under a canopy. Should either of you need to relieve yourselves there is a hooded lantern on the ground just outside here,” he had said and without another word shut the door and retired for the evening.

(48 miles)

Although the typical chill of the summer had returned on the third day (04.20.2132), the sun also made its reappearance, and with it Mr. Church’s mood came back to stable. The two boys rejoined him atop the wagon and watched in anticipation as it crested what Mr. Church had claimed was “the last hill”, revealing the sprawling town of Southaven below.

Southaven was larger than Xavier expected. Jared had kept calling his parent’s hometown “a village”, so Xavier had very little expectation. The town however was sizable in that it was spread out over a great deal of land, its center, a small keep, being on a very large hill. It was in quite the contrast to the huge valley of a city they had left behind however, as there wasn’t a building anywhere that was taller than three stories.

After verifying papers at the guard checkpoint, they passed thru the gate of the “Second Wall” of the town and entered the apple orchard known as Pratt’s Farm. Mr. Church explaining that the huge expanse of land stretched all around the town.

“One man, Mr. Pratt, owns all the land between Second and First Wall,” he had stated in envy.

Many Safe-haven citizens passed bye, merchants, farm laborers, mothers with foodstuffs from the general store, and the like. All of them seemed to be either entering or exiting the town and on their way to and from outskirt villages, and soldiers of course were also everywhere. Xavier did find the fact that no one seemed to recognize Jared a bit strange, as he had expected at least one person to look up and wave.

Another thing Xavier also noted was the very specific dog population. Half the people in town, soldiers and citizens alike, held the leash of a large dog, and there appeared to be only two breed types in town. (OOC: Rottweilers and Shiba Inu).

Offline Chassic

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04.20.2132 - Southaven
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2008, 09:54:49 PM »
"This place smells like apple blossoms and dog shit!" stated Xavier. "I don't know if I should bake a pie or check my boots."

Xavier hoisted his gear up onto his shoulders. He then helped Jared with his own overstuffed pack. "So, this is were you grew up, huh? Bigger than I expected." Xavier started walking. "So, how 'bout you show me around the place, J. If we can't find your dad right away then we're gonna need a place to stay while we look for him. Hey! Where did you used to live? Maybe you've still got some family there ... an aunt or a cousin, maybe?"

Offline Dray

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04.20.2132 - Southaven
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2008, 10:22:38 PM »
Jared looked at Xavier a bit perplexed. “If I had an Aunt or something would I be living in the orphanage?”

Offline Chassic

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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2008, 11:00:21 PM »
"I've got aunts, grandparents, cousins, hell a whole family is out there that wants nothing to do with me. I'm living at the orphanage my entire life. So, yeah, you would be living at the orphanage if you had an aunt 'or something'. Just 'cause they're family doesn't mean they're gonna step up and do what's right. By the way, you are the only 'orphan' I know of who has both folks still living." Xavier was a bit surprised by how irritated he was. Perhaps this whole mission to get back at Jared's dad was just Xavier projecting his feeling about his own family. Maybe Xavier would work on his own problems instead of ... "Ahh, mate it! Never mind. I'm sorry I snipped. So, any idea were your dad might be holed up these days?"

Offline Dray

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« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2008, 11:06:41 PM »
(OOC: Very well played sir, you capture the teenager better than just about anyone.)

Jared looked around to make sure no one was listening. Mr. Church had already waved and moved away on his wagon and the rest of town was attending to its own business.

Nevertheless, he stepped a bit closer to Xavier.

“My parents weren’t very well off since they were members of the resistance,” he offered almost apologetically. “They were renting a house on money my father made as a hand on Pratt’s farm. I highly doubt he is still living there.”

Offline Chassic

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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2008, 11:54:22 AM »
(OOC: Hey, let's not talk about my skills at capturing teenagers. OK!)

"Well, we can check it out at least. Then maybe we'll ask around Pratt's farm. He may still be working there. At the very least maybe someone knows where he is. If all else fails we can just look for the cheapest tavern in town. They probably heard of him."

Offline Dray

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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2008, 08:39:51 PM »
“Yeah, most likely find him in the ‘Last Call’ after dark,” admitted Jared with a bit of shame.

“Xavier, is there a reason we have[/b] to see my father? Why not just skip the whole thing and head straight to the woods?” asked Jared not looking Xavier in the eyes. He then added a bit lamely. “Despite what you said about teaching him a lesson, I wouldn’t want him to stop us from our hunt.”

Offline Chassic

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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2008, 11:51:07 PM »
Xavier stopped and glared at Jared. He waited an uncomfortable amount of time before Jared looked him directly in the eye. "You have to do this," said Xavier. "He is your greatest fear. You just told me you'd rather hunt Karh"Thul than stand up to him. You need to face him. You need to show him that he can't get away with what he's done to you, your mom, and all those others."

Xavier reached out and put a hand on each of his friend's shoulders. "If you can't face your own father you don't stand a chance against a Karh'Thul. I'd rather turn around and walk back to the orphanage than take you out on a hunt if you're not ready for it. We'd both end up dead."

Jared looked down at his feet.

"What do you say, Jared? Do we do this or do we walk home?"

Offline Dray

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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2008, 09:49:20 AM »
Jared shuffled his feet for a few ticks in thought. Xavier sensed a decision and didn’t interrupt him.

Jared looked up, obviously inspired by his older friend‘s speech. “Alright Xavier, let’s go face him,” he said, then wiped a threatening tear from his eye.

Jared took two steps down the road and stopped.
“The house was on the south-side of town, between first and second wall and near the apple warehouse on Pratt’s farm,” he said turning back to him.

And Xavier paused. The new resolution within his young friend’s eyes was exactly what he had wanted to see. But the amount of seething anger behind the resolution was unexpected. Xavier wondered how much hatred his friend had been harboring these past two years.

“My Mom was always on him about his drinking and if it weren’t for her, he never would have been able to stay sober long enough to keep his job…“ Jared said and started walking down the road.

As Xavier ran up to him to walk alongside, Jared continued. “…so again, I will be amazed if he is still working and renting the house. But I guess you are right, might as well start there and then ask around on the farm.”


Offline Chassic

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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2008, 08:39:34 PM »
"You're doing it," exclaimed Xavier. "You're owning your anger. You're taking hold of it and using it instead of hiding it." Xavier paused a tick so Jared could think about what he just said. "Feels good doesn't it? People always tell you nothing good comes from anger. That's 'cause they don't use it. They just bury it or they let it get away from them. They don't temper it with forethought. It's kinda like those chemicals you work with. If you're not careful you could blow yourself and your friend here up. But you are careful, so you can harness that energy into a tool that can destroy your enemies. It's the same with anger."

Xavier walked beside his friend for a while in silence. It seemed Jared was absorbing everything Xavier said. That was good. Xavier couldn't stand his friends mousy demeanor any longer. If things went as planned Jared would be returning to the orphanage a completely different person. He would return as a strong willed, brave, outspoken young warrior ... like Xavier.

The two friends continued walking towards the south side of town, one thinking of what to say to his estranged father ... the other planning where to dump the body.

Offline Dray

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« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2008, 09:28:17 PM »
Don't give in to hate, that leads to the dark side....

Offline Dray

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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2008, 08:00:58 AM »
This thread shall be continued onto a forthcoming Game Session thread...