I'll see you all here tomorrow. If I may excuse myself ... Føpé gets up to leave, and collects his bag and crook. Spending one last night with his Gypsy companions will be nice, and perhaps they will have information for him about these other wanderers.
Good idea! Don't blow all your good rolls early, though!
Here is what the leader of your traveling companions tells you; the others in the group have nothing meaningful to add:
As you already know, Føpé, our folk would never beg passersby for coin, or make ourselves nuisances as you describe. We offer stories, theater, and crafts for trade; we have our pride. These travelers the Duchess wants you to visit would not be gypsies like we are. My guess is that they are travelers from far away, or perhaps not "travelers" at all. Perhaps they are precisely where they intended to be, for some purpose I could not guess.
Well then, apparently this heroes feast has come to an abrupt end without fanfare. So be it.
Oh poop. Barnaby says out loud. He then picks up a napkin, dribbles a bit of saliva on it and starts trying fruitlessly to rub the grease stain off the breast of his new red robes. He stares at it, lets out a heavy sigh, picks up his staff and makes his way out the door.
Back at the inn where he has a room for the night, Tulip watches while Barnaby tries to figure out a new spell. With nothing but a few deft twists of the wrist and some complicated crossing of fingers he looks at a pillow lying on the bed on the other side of the room, and tries to launch it violently through the air at the door. Once or twice the corner of the pillow case twitches, but that's as far as he gets. Ah, well, this is what practice is for.
You all gather your traveling equipment and meet the following morning at the appointed hour. You collect the writ - please let me know who gets it - and you make your way to the Delimbiyr Highway. It isn't much of a "highway" at all, of course. It's a narrow dirt track that follows along the Delimbiyr River, which is the principle manner of going up and back from Daggerford to the towns and cities further inland. The thick forests sometimes encroach the road; sometimes they are further back. There are occasional boats passing, but they are well offshore in the wide river.
You are on your way, with your directions being simply that you are going about a half day's march, and you are looking for an encampment on the road.
What is your marching order? You can walk two by two here, if you want. Whatever you give me now for your marching order I will keep using in the future in similar situations - outdoors, on a wide path - until you tell me otherwise.
Føpé moves out ahead of the group, besides not feeling so comfortable in close proximity with the others, he'll take advantage of his time spent in nature to see what stories the forest has to tell him.
If noone objects, Barnaby will take the writ, give it a quick read to see if there’s anything interesting, and then tuck it into an inner pocket of his robes.
Barnaby thinks, “This is just the sort of adventure he’d been hoping for. A band of intrepid heroes on a royal quest against the forces of evil! What luck!”
With a wide grin on his face, Barnaby will sidle up next to Puddin, oblivious to what order the party is traveling in, and launch into an epic monologue describing a story he once read about a band of gypsies that went from town to town stealing people’s babies and replacing them with identical babies.
When the story finally comes to a close, he caps it off with “I don’t seem to remember if that one was a history or a work of fiction though.”
Føpé speaks, again seemingly almost to himself, but as his thoughts progress, he looks over his shoulder to the warrior walking behind him.
I wonder why that Ogre's Bane fellow, so eager to ask the lady if anything was wrong, did not volunteer to join us? Or why the Duchess arranged for us to leave just before midday when it’s a half day walk to our destination, and possible danger?
We have been instructed to avoid violence, but threaten it all the same. I’m not sure that will work.
Perhaps we can turn our expected end-of-day arrival to our advantage. What if we use the cover of dark to scout out their camp and see what we learn? Then, armed with a bit more information, return the next morning in the friendlier light of day.
Føpé is wearing studded leather armor. The handle of his scimitar rises from between his travelers pack and his back. He carries a wooden shield in his left hand, and his shepherd's crook in his right.
There is a grace to the fluidity with which he moves over the wooded path. The discomfort and defensiveness he felt the night before in the dining room have transformed into an optimistic confidence born of a oneness with his surroundings.