Chapter 5 (Autumn 1013): Into Galloway

Thadeus looks like a regular traveller, in woolen pants, long tunic and cloak. Only his staff is slightly unusual, with its flattened top end and its silver-mounted clear glass.

Ealhstan left Clover with the mules and is dressed in traveling clothes, like Thadeus, more a townsperson than a noble if the quality is anything to judge by.

Before the peasants get close, Ealhstan points toward the graves and asks, "Sickness?"

Thadeus remains silent for the moment, choked up by anger and memories as he looks at the ruined homes, destroyed by supernatural forces under the control of the Diedne.

Since only Thadeus and Ealhstan said they approached, I assumed that threatening Gifts and weapons were kept a little in the background for the time being.

«War!» answers the peasant. «Warlocks from Galloway Hill.»

“Ah! Yes, of course,” and Ealhstan glances at the burnt and destroyed cottages closer to the center of the village. “What could they possibly want with the destruction of a village?”

[OOC: let me know if you’d like a guile roll for this feigning of ignorance.]

Yeah, guile roll is good. It takes only a 6+ to make the right impression, but 9+ to get through a few more exchanges, and 12+ for a longer conversation.

«This time?» He eyes Ealhtstan suspiciously. «We were caught in the crossfire. They came for the English wizards, staying a little too near us.» He pauses before he asks, «and what brings you here?»

"Warlocks from Galloway? English wizards? Tough place you live in, friend," says Thadeus. "Anyone else still living here anymore? We were just making our way north, and thought this was a good place to cross the river."

He shakes his head, "That a lot of graves out there. Hope you didn't lose too many family."

«It has been tough indeed,» they confirm, «and many good men and women have been lost. I hope we have seen the worst of it now. Word is that many warlocks have fallen too, and the rest fled. The English wizards went after them, after they lost one of their own. I don't think anyone won. I think they just destroyed each other. Just as well. I never trusted those English wizards either.»¹

«Crossing the river will cause you no trouble up here. Plenty of fords. It is not like downriver where you may even have to pay a ferry man to take you across.»

¹ EDITed to add missing text


"Have they been back? Those warlock and wizards, I mean? We were thinking of setting up camp and rest our horses a bit. Journey's been hard on them. And us as well, who don't have horses. Wouldn't want to pick a dangerous spot."

«This is the most quiet place on Earth. Nobody pays much attention to two lone peasants. The last we heard was lord Fergus¹ marching on the warlocks, but even that was before we sowed the fields in Spring, and it was at least two days West of us.»

¹ Area Lore: Loch Leglean 9+ or AL: Scottish Lowlands 6+ to recognise the name.