Sunday, August 26, 2012

Journey to Brilidien: Travok

Perhaps Reuven's character summary says it all:

Travok. Dwarf. Axe-swinger. 

You'd think that a simple character like that wouldn't have much to say/do in a skill challenge. Well, you would be WRONG. Here is Reuven's epic response to Mac's challenge:

"Well, glad to finally be rid of that", grumbled Travok, squishing the last swamp-muck from his boots during a quick break, then setting out again with his companions. 

It seemed like days, walking through the bog. But at least he wasn't the one who had to be sociable with lizards. "Maybe there's something to that Bishop guy. The paladin may believe in the wrong god, but really, wandering the country, does that really matter? His heart's definitely in the right place, even if I don't always agree," he thought to himself.

What a mismatched crew Travok found himself caught up in. Everyone always jokes about adventurers being a mixed bag, but really: a dwarf, a powerful bear-morpher, a gnome who rides a dragonfly (that doesn't look a thing like a dragon), the aforementioned paladin -- but at least he doesn't doesn't feel like he has to watch his back with them, unlike that last band. It's kind of a shame that Holgrim had to be taken care of that way...

Brilidien. "I wonder what kind of danger there is? What is so urgent to go the weeks of travel north?" he thinks. Looking around, it seems the travel is taking a toll on his friends, who all seem lost in thought, or in that nebulous zone where the body moves on autopilot, but the brain blanks out.

"Friends?" He seemed a bit surprised that's the word that came to describe the fellow travelers. But then, with a wry smile hidden under the heavy red beard, seems content with that word, knowing, for the moment, it will stay his secret. "At least the turnips were good."

Suddenly the sound of a scuffle snaps Travok out of his musings. In a terse motion, he snaps his fingers, getting his friends out of their thoughts and back to now. Holding up a finger, the gesture recognized by all, the party walks more cautiously, not knowing what to expect, trying to head anything distinct in the voices. 

Finding a boulder to hide behind, they peer out and see bandits accosting a farmer. His wagon has been flipped, goods spilled across the road. The farmer and her husband are on their knees, begging for mercy. Just as one bandit raises his hand, cutlass brandished high in the air ("cutlass? what are pirates doing so far inland?").... 

The party storms from behind the boulder, running full bore at the bandits. The robbers, realizing the futility of trying to stave off the band instead of just having an easy mark of farmers, turn tail and run into the woods. 

Obviously word had gotten out about the vicious axe of Travok, but maybe having a bear by his side helped. 

While Valna roared to make sure the bandits didn't think again about recouping and trying again after a moment to gather themselves, the paladin helped heal the wounds to the couple and the gnome cast some sort of illusion to help them calm down. And since the sky is growing darker, it seems that camp will be made on the field nearby. 

Which left Travok. 

Travok's good at one thing. Killing. Too bad the bandits ran. He ponders the scene for a moment, and helps gather up some of the goods, while puzzling the real test, flipping and repairing the wagon. Group combined, flipping should be no problem. Valna and Travok can surely hold the axle up while the wheel is put on, but the wheel... 

All those years working in the forges suddenly kicked in. Travok opens his adventurer's kit, fishes out the flint and a sunrod. After wandering back to camp with a handful of tinder and dragging a couple of logs, he sets to work. 

Fortunately, most of the wheel is okay, a spoke, the rim, and re-rounding. Using a large rock by the campsite as an anvil, Travok heats on a fire then pounds into shape the iron from the sunrod to be the spoke. (The gold head was snapped off to prevent the light from spilling everywhere.) 

In the twilight, sparks from the impact flew, making an impressive sight, harkening Travok back to those younger days in the forges, learning the fine craft he's using now. Who knew the same deadly rough hands could have such finesse with tools too? 

Flipping the wheel on it's side, spoke locked into the mortising, the main part of the wood rim was reshaped using the axehead to wheedle off teeny slivers of wood. The old wheel rim was then pounded back into roundness and remounted to the wheel. 

He sets a piece of rope aside to lock the wheel to the axle at the hub. "I guess we'll find out tomorrow if it worked, " as he trundles off to join the others by the fire. 

Dungeoneering: 21 (or, rather, forge-oneering)

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