Smuggling Hertzmer Option A. Act Crazy

Snowy Footprint -Smuggling Hertzmer Adventure

Welcome back to the next part in this adventure!

Last Thursday, you tried to smuggle a halfling, Hertzmer, out of the country, but three hunters have come upon you in the meadow where you passed Hertzmer to Cam so she can get him to the boarder. The problem? Hertzmer left large, distinctive prints in the frosty grass. You have to do something to hide those prints before the three hunters can see them. Let’s put our crazy faces on and see what happens =) (If you’re interested in reading last week’s post, click here.)

Smuggling Hertzmer Option A. Act Crazy

The hunters are almost close enough now to see the frosty prints. Whether it’s a good idea or not, it’s time to do something.

You grin at them over your shoulder before throwing your hands wide, twisting and flopping down into the cold grass on your back.

Snow Angel - Smuggling Hertzmer Adventure“Weeeeeee!” you squeal as you swing your arms and legs, making a frost angel like all the kids used to do in the snow. The motion brushes the remaining footprints away but you continue flapping your arms and legs while grinning at the three men.

They pause, varying looks of confusion covering their bearded faces.

The closest man, a sun-wrinkled scarecrow of a person, finally steps closer and kicks the sole of your foot. “Stop that now,” he demands.

You scamper to your feet and pivot around to look at the frost angel. “Did it work? Did it work?!” you exclaim. The angel’s wings are perfectly shaped in the crusted grass. However, where the hunter kicked you, there’s a weird smudge. “Ah, man,” you say, pointing at the spot, “gotta try again!” With a couple steps, you clear the disturbed area, twist around and flop onto your back again.

“Hey now,” Scarecrow shouts. “Enough!”

“But it’s got to be perfect or she won’t come!” you swing your arms with more gusto.

One of Scarecrow’s companions leans toward him and whispers none too softly; “Don’t think this one’s right up stairs, if you know what I mean.”

“Who won’t come?” the third hunter, a burly bear of a man wearing a tattered fur jacket, demands while he fingers the axe hanging from his hip.

“The nymph!” you say. “She’s a tricky one, but if you get the frost angel just right, she grants you a wish.”

The hunters trade glances.

“Think I’ve heard of this nymph,” the one man mutters, again none too softly.

Bear smacks him on the arm. “You’ve heard of everything. Doesn’t make it true.”

“Could be true,” Mutters, as you dub the none-too-quiet whisperer/mutter, insists.

The three hunters have now moved to circle you where you lay in the grass, still swinging your arms. While they argue, you chance a glance toward the tree line. Cam and Hertzmer’s faces can just be seen watching from the underbrush. You’re still too close for them to safely move away.

“Awe, man!” you exclaim, interrupting the three hunters. “Look at all the areas you guys have messed up. It’s got to be a pristine meadow for the nymph to show up. Gotta find a new one.” You scramble to your feet and turn as though about to run off.

A beefy hand clamps down on your shoulder. “Where do you think you’re going?” asks Bear.

“The nymph likes certain spots. Pristine spots,” you say pointedly with a look at the meadow. “There’s another one up the hill a ways.”

Scarecrow - Smuggling Hertzmer AdventureScarecrow strokes his beard as he considers this. It takes everything you have not to look toward the trees when he sends a glob of spit flying in that direction from the side of his mouth.

“You’re going to help us find this nymph,” he finally says. “Now lead the way.”

Bear takes his cue and turns you in the direction you were about to run. “No funny stuff,” he says as he gives your shoulder a shove.

You stumble ahead of them, leading the three hunters away from Cam and Hertzmer. Now that you know they’re safe, you start to consider your own situation. You do know a nymph in these woods. She’s a brook naiad and she’s a friend of yours, but she’s not always the most reliable creature. With an impish nature, she’s just as likely to dump water, lots of it, on your head than she is to help you get away from the hunters. At the same time, if her mood’s right, she might wash the hunters downstream too.

Her brook also happens to be in the same direction as the Avalanche Swath, a steeply sided pass that’s well known for snow slides. With the recent snow that’s hit the higher passes, the Swath will be prime for just such a slide. But you typically avoid the place, not because of the snow, but because of the Rock Giants who call the place home.

Do you lead the Hunters to the…

Aa. Nymph?

Or

Ab. The Avalanche Swath?

Leave your vote in the comments below. We’ll return next Thursday with part three of this adventure. For now, thanks for joining the fun!

Blessings,

Jennifer

Smuggling Hertzmer

Frosted Meadow

Welcome back for a brand new adventure =)

Smuggling Hertzmer

Frost layers the bushes and trees and even the long bladed grass in the meadow with a coating of thick white crystals. No breath of wind touches those layered plants and the soft scampering of a squirrel can be heard in the near silence. To most, the early morning stillness hanging over the meadow would appear normal, just like any of a dozen other meadows you might find in the clear rays of morning sun. But this is no normal place. A faint smell, chamomile and lavender, sweetens the frost scent in the air.

“She’s not here,” Hertzmer grumbles at your shoulder. Even though his deep voice is soft, it breaks the silence like the hollow thud of a drum. The squirrel chatters at him in startled agitation.

You shoot a glare his way and then give a long sniff.

He copies your action by breathing deeply through his thick mustache. Perhaps the mustache muffles the scent. It takes him several sniffs to pick up the chamomile and lavender, but then a grin breaks through his bush of a beard.

He almost stands but you catch his arm to remind him to stay put. The chatter of the squirrel has finally stopped and nothing stirred when it burst forth but that does not mean no one is watching.

You know, for one, that Cam is out there somewhere. Until she shows herself, you are to stay hidden.

Finally, after several more nervous minutes of waiting, something moves in the tree line to your left.

A thin figure motions for you to join her with the pre-arranged signal of three fingers against her lips.

You’re not fast enough this time to catch Hertzmer. He bolts toward Cam’s position by the most direct path possible, straight across the frosted meadow. His steps leave large ovals in the otherwise undisturbed grass.

Cam’s original signal turns into a gasp of dismay. Unless the day turns unusually warm, those prints wont disappear for hours. They sit there like beacons for anyone who might happen by, for although Hertzmer’s broad chest and gruff exterior might be deceiving, he’s still a halfling who walks around bare footed. The print of his big toe sticks out like it’s pointing the way.

If anyone sees those, they’re sure to follow Cam and Hertzmer. Like all other halflings, he’s been banned from the country. A person would follow just for the bounty of gold they’d receive when they turned him in to the magistrate.

On all of your dozens of missions to smuggle halflings to safety, you’ve stopped here and let Cam take them the rest of the way to the boarder, but you can’t leave those prints.

Frosted Tree - Smuggling HertzmerWith a dead branch in hand, you begin to dance through the meadow, brushing away both halfling and human prints alike.

“Hey,” shouts an unfamiliar male voice. “What’re you doing there?”

You freeze. Three prints remain in front of you as you look over your shoulder toward the voice. As you do, Cam pulls Hertzmer backward to melt into the tree line.

Three men emerge from the trees across the meadow. They carry that look about them, the frayed clothing and the mismatched weaponry, that warns they’re hunters. Unscrupulous and unshaven, such men will do anything for a bounty.

They walk your way with suspicious expressions. If they get much closer, they’ll see the few remaining prints and be hot on Cam’s trail. Probably after disposing of you because they wouldn’t want to chance you’re a hunter too.

Do you act crazy to distract them or run to mislead them?

A. Act Crazy?

Or

B. Run?

Thank you for joining in this adventure. Leave your vote in the comments below. We’ll return next Thursday to follow whichever option received the most votes =)

Blessings,

Jennifer