915 AD - The Voyage Starts

[They] "transport beaver hides, the pelts of the black fox and swords from the farthest reaches of the Saqaliba to the Sea of Rum [i.e., the Black Sea]. The ruler of Rum [i.e., the Byzantine Empire] takes a tithe of them. If they wish, they go to the Tnys river [i.e., "Tanais", the Greek name of the Don River], Yitil [i.e., Itil, the ancient name of the Volga], or Tin [variously identified as Don or Seversky Donets], the River of the Saqaliba. They travel to Khamlij, the city of the Khazars whose ruler takes a tithe of them. Then they betake themselves to the Sea of Jurjan [Caspian Sea] and they alight on whichever of its shores they wish. ... Sometimes, they carry their goods from Jurjan by camel to Baghdad. Saqlab slaves translate for them. They claim that they are Christians and pay the jizya."

885-886, Ibn Khordadbeh writing about the Rus merchants who brought goods from Northern Europe and Northwestern Russia to Baghdad

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915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby ghill » Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:41 am

The air of Seeburg is filled with noise, even above the cry of the seagulls the shouts of ship's captains call for missing crew, Locals sing bawdy songs as they work loading ships, smooth-talking merchants haggle over food and crews pay. Seeburg's wharves are choked with strange boats with strange crews and stranger cargoes, taking on food and water, selling off goods and slaves.

The Petrel rocks on the tide, she boasts new oars and a new sail, they say Taavetti "The Foreigner" spent the winter embroidering a seagull upon it with the hair of drowned men to make sure their breath always fills its sails even when the wind does not. The boat is freshly painted and freshly provisioned, lean and sleek as a racing dog and with white doves gleaming white at prow and stern. It is, without doubt, a beautiful ship.

She is a ship fit for high deeds and heroes’ songs. Says Olaf the Golden apparently to the air "her new crew are perhaps not quite of that calibre. Now climb aboard, stow your chests and grab an oar"

OOC:   Take this opportunity to introduce yourselves once you have completed your character in the other thread.

Everyone has agreed to share the boat's fate for a year, everyone mans an oar, those who are bringing goods to trade get food but are not paid, those who are working crew get food and are paid (300 pennies) at both ends of the voyage. It takes approximately a year to sail/row/portage the boat from Seeburg to the Southern Sea.  
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Starspawn338 » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:07 am

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Garpur walks down the wharf marveling at all the sights and sounds. He's never seen this many people crammed together in one place before and he feels a rush of exhilaration as he realizes that he's about to embark on a voyage to seek his destiny. He didn't carry the same feelings as he traveled south that he has now. Maybe it's the excitement or maybe it's uncertainty but he feels a lump in his throat as he arrives before the Petrel. Taking a moment, he breathes deeply and swallows before he steps aboard.

"Garpur Varn here. Are any of these seats taken?"
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby ghill » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:47 pm

Garpur notices as does everyone else boarding that old hands seem to have chosen benches forwards of the boat. One of the other crewmen motions to the empty benches. First to come, first to take.
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:05 am

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Aethelwulf Ironhead strides aboard the ship and takes the nearest available seat, stowing his gear beneath the bench and taking up an oar in his mighty arms. He enjoys working with his hands, and while this duty does not have intricacy of forge-work, it is something that is well within his capabilities.
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby HelplessBystander » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:47 pm

Gandalf Gosta Gustafson sets down his staff and possessions in his quarters as he stepped forward with a friendly smile. “Good morrow to thee, fellow passengers. Perchance I would introduce meself? Gandalf Gustafson, a trader, pleased to meet you all.”
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Starspawn338 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:48 am

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Garpur picks a spot in the center of the boat and slides his travelers pack under the bench. He watches as others get on the boat, nodding in the direction of the strong man. As the second man introduces himself, Garpur responds, "I'm Garpur."
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:15 am

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"Aethelwulf Ironhead," says Aethelwulf with a grunt. "Blacksmith."
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Cotton » Thu Feb 15, 2018 6:04 am

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Valbrand Sokkolfsson takes in the familiar sights of the start of the trading season, hardly able to believe that this year he would be one of those departing Seeburg. He boards the Petrel trying, and failing, to contain his excitement. After stowing his possessions he takes up a seat and an oar and says, to anyone willing to listen, "Greetings, I'm called Valbrand. Valbrand Sokkolfsson, soon to be the topic of many great songs."
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Starspawn338 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:16 am

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Well met Aethelwulf and Valbrand. May we find adventures on this boat worthy of song!
Garpur smiles warmly and grabs his oar. I am ready!
Then impulsively, he throws back his head and yells. Do you hear me Odin. I am ready!
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby HelplessBystander » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:31 pm

“I do not think Odin would appreciate a man yelling his name before the ship even started sailing.” Gandalf said, sharing a smile as gripped his oars with as much strength as he could muster.
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby ghill » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:28 pm

With only a few words spoken among the rest of the crew the Petrel moves out into the river and almost immediately the work of rowing falls upon your shoulders and the rest of that day as the others following are lost in a haze of rowing, of wood creaking, the water slapping against the sides of the boats as she cuts through the water. Each day ends as the sun starts to settle on the western horizon with Olaf ordering Hurun Afdedson the ship's Pilot to bring her to shore. Once the petrel is safe alongside the bank, a fire is made and everyone can take time to stretch, relax and eat. Questions are asked, stories and jokes are told. A watch is posted and everyone sleeps the sleep of those who have carved an honest day's work.

From time to time the journey is broken as Olaf brings the petrel ashore at one of the small villages which dot the shore. Belonging to no land or lord these are meagre places small fishermen's huts squatting in the loops of the river or on small islands, hovels made of wattle where the locals share the space with their livestock. Here Olaf trades small useful things fresh fish or mutton, perhaps a jug of milk.

For those who have rowed before this part of the journey is a time to remind unused muscles of old habits to harden the hands and break in the shoulders for those of you unused to such work it is a time for chaffed arses and blistered hands, of clouds of midges and days of fog which breaks only to reveal an unbroken wall of trees.

It is several hours before Sundown on the It is on the sixth day when Olaf calls to Hurun to bring the Petrel towards the Eastern bank. You drag the boat from the water by the prow rope and then start the process of making camp when Olaf walks over.

"We are supposed to be meeting Guyer Sawface here, he has furs and Amber to be sold in the South. I want the four of you to walk up the trail a ways and see if you can find him. He is one to please himself and even if we were supposed to meet here it would not surprise me if he has camped inland rather than be troubled by the midges"
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:39 am

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Aethelwulf nods. "Right," he says. "We'll go look for him."
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Starspawn338 » Fri Feb 16, 2018 4:26 am

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Holding an oar for the better part of a week keeps his fingers in a natural curl so as Garpur picks up his spear it settles easily in his palm. He winces slightly as he tightens his grip, the dull ache reminding him of his recent labor. But despite the pain and weariness, he can relate to Olaf's observation.

If Guyer's found a place without these damnable midges, I'm all for meeting him there. Garpur laughs roughly and slings his pack over his shoulder. Should we bring him back here or just find him and come back?
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Cotton » Fri Feb 16, 2018 8:05 am

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Valbrand gathers up his spear as well. Happy to have gotten out of having to set up camp, and happier still for something exciting to finally be happening. He slaps Garpur affably on the shoulder, "Aye captain, we'll find your man. And bring him back as well."
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby ghill » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:21 am

"Well, we won't leave until the morning so it depends on whether you and he can get back, safely before dark." says Olaf considering "if you can't make sure you are back here as soon after sunup as possible. I don't want to waste a days rowing waiting for you"
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:04 am

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Aethelwulf nods, a man of few words. He wouldn't mind getting away from the accursed midges either.
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Starspawn338 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:39 am

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"Right. Best get moving. The sun won't wait for us."

Garpur
walks away from the shore, looking for the trail.
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Cotton » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:30 am

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Valbrand follows his purposeful companions using his spear as a walking stick.
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby ghill » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:13 pm

You have not walked far down the trail before all trace of the river is lost to you. The for the next hour trail rises and falls as it weaves its way into the hills. At some points the trees are so dense that it seems like twilight beneath their canopy. It is as the trail twists around a huge oak that you come across a body lying in the middle of the trail.

OOC:   Can I have straight LUCK roll from everyone. And a Spot Hidden.  
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Re: 915 AD - The Voyage Starts

Postby Starspawn338 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:34 pm

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Spoiler:
Luck Roll 65
Starspawn338 rolled 1d100:
19

Spot Hidden 50
Starspawn338 rolled 1d100:
50

Garpur stops as he rounds the oak tree.
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