"Sighs, but we shouldn't just do the easy jobs, we need to challenge ourselves. I think the ruins are our best bet because it is a single creature either some beast, a dragon, or if we are lucky no creature at all, I think we should give this a path a chance. How are we supposed to become better than we are if we don't try that which is hard? Also if worst comes to worsted and it a dragon we might not have to fight it. I might be able to make a deal with it. Also what is the worst thing that could happen, whatever is in there will try to eat us?" Lionel persists. "Maybe it fate that we are all here together, on this exact day, and have been presented with this option," Lionel continued.
Thoughts on Programming, Number 55: Design of both hardware and software must be considered when doing the system design. -Proceedings of the IEEE, 2/78, p.167
Good points, all around, to be sure, everyone. Let me see if I can sum up, and add my thoughts.
1 - closest: possible orc invasion of town, worried about by farmers, though tongue-in-cheek (hopefully), some think the orcs might run the town better. Obviously these do present a real threat to anyone venturing very far outside of town, which threatens some of the town's land trade and through traffic, and the feeling of a possible invasion makes this perhaps even more pressing than if it were simply some bandits. "A bowshot" from the town to the treeline is not nearly far enough for the townsfolk to be safe, as it doesn't take an Elf to cover that distance in a matter of minutes - hopefully the town at least has advance sentries posted to give warning.
2 - 1.5 days ride SE of town: "haunted" ruins, possibly with magical item, maybe guarded by monster, likely a large, capable one if that, if there is one at all. This could mean a useful and powerful artifact for the more magically inclined of our group, or something valuable to be pawned off if need be. The downside is there may be nothing there, or worse, nothing PLUS a dangerous creature, let's not talk about Dragons - good Lionel's knowledge of Draconic is a good Plan C but there is nothing to say that such a creature may be in a talking mood. There is perhaps good reason there are STILL rumors that there are valuable things in the ruins, would-be treasure seekers may not return.
3 - 20 gold for each orc head brought in, which ties back with option 1 above. Although I find the idea of bringing back "heads" primitive, sometimes that is how things must be done to drive a point home and for proof, and though some of us are part orc, although not given the equality the rest of you enjoy, we are civilized and I feel that dangerous barbarians that have proven to want nothing more than to wreak havoc, roaming the settled areas, is a justifiable reason for this option, should it be chosen.
4 - 8 days ride north through orc filled forest: the town of Nevestral is looking for volunteers to find the orc stronghold. Notice unless we find out different, this is to FIND the stronghold, not assault it - perhaps a scouting mission? The only hesitation is what if the stronghold is not far outside the town and we may be passing it up and it could take I don't know how many days to find it, crawling around in the orc-filled hills.
5 - A caravan to Nevestral is making ready to depart and looking for caravan guards for protection against such orcs as mentioned above in option 4, plus willing to pay 100 gold each up front and 100 when we get to the town, which makes them a rich group indeed, and it might not hurt to prove ourselves to such wealthy fellows - plus we would have potentially at least a little more protection on the road, be doing a good service, and getting paid for our troubles if we were to decide to go north anyway.
6 and 7 - a river to the east of town and a ferry and riverboat dock to the south provide a couple of additional places to investigate, and while those sound much more relaxed and safe, there don't appear to be too many brave souls in town willing to step up and face the other dangers, and we might be leaving the folk to an orc horde or who knows what.
Plan A: Overall, if we choose to be more altruistic, protection of the town, orc heads for proof of our deeds and gold, and locating the stronghold would seem to be the option - hoping that we could simply present the location, if found, to Nevestra's council without needing to speak with them first; we would then have taken care of options 1, 3 and 4. Risk wise to us, it will depend on the resistance encountered, and the more objectives we attempt to accomplish, the more chance there is of encounters that may exceed our abilities, especially if not able to rest and regroup properly, therefore this could prove to be the most risky.
Plan B: If we were to concern ourselves more with our own benefit, the orc heads still are on the table, pardon the pun, as is the caravan ride, and even it may be carrying something important enough to help against the orcs, plus we'll then be in Nevestra, though without a previously discovered location to the stronghold. This would allow us to purse, maybe two objectives at most. This would seem less risky than Plan A, but maybe not by much, if Nevestra is actively looking for mercenaries, they must be exceptionally worried about orc activity, so there could be even more near that town, not to mention on the way there.
Plan C: Plus the least concerned at all with the welfare of the town are the ruins, unless there be something there that can be used against the horde, which is possible though I feel not likely. To me it seems to be the least of our options, as we have no proof any treasure lies inside, though also no proof there is a guardian, which at best, means we would simply waste three days wandering out there and back, unscathed. Potentially, this could involve absolutely none, or unthinkably high risk, which doesn't seem like the possible benefits outweigh the possible negatives. Plus, there is no pressing need to venture here, as I doubt any other band of explorers are suddenly going to manage to ransack the ruins any time soon, taking any valuables out from under us.
What thoughts do the rest of you have, what say you?
Edited: jpatt on 5th Nov, 2009 - 9:14pm
I was surprised by so much detail our fearless leader has given us and yet he cannot cook, ashame! What a disappointment for the male species.
Having sufficently huffed and puffed I think that fighting the orcs around the forests will help us to be close to the town in case we need to heal up and also make us heroes at the same time. If the people are so angry at how security is being handled maybe we can take it over and make a pretty penny out of it at the same time.
20gps a head is like sure money. We could bring in a few heads and get some more equipment. Go back like better equipped and then get even more heads and you know repeat the whole process until we got what we need. I like the idea of being close to the town too. If we're like voting then I'll go with plan B.
About the dragon language thing. Most dragons are pretty bright and know several languages including common. Plus like most dragons have their minds made up about what they want to do whether you speak in their language or not.
"True, but I have learned that in actual conversation it is always a bonus to know the other person's or creature's language. That is part of the reason I learned Draconic is for my eventual goal of becoming a dragon rider, and because of my great respect for dragons."
Like I said before, I think Plan B is our the best bet. Also I wasn't just talking about dragons, learning another races language is helpful in having a good first impression and improves relationship with that race. In our travels this will be very important.
Edited: Thomaslee on 6th Nov, 2009 - 7:19pm