On the path, before the yawning wood, there stood a sign.
A crooked, nailed-together affair assembled from three planks and a rotting post. Covered in the crusty lime of lichen and dry bird droppings.
Down the path, from a sunny wheatgrass field, gained a sound of horseshoes. Two sets, and a jangle of spurs. Someone whistled. The steps slowed, stopped by the sign.
Two cutters in leather and dusty riding-cloaks peered, frowning at the sign. One scratched his unshaven chin. The other mouthed, frowned. She spoke. "'Bratton's Wood. Schedule 3 Forbidden Forest," she said, haltingly. "Passage unsafe between seven and sunrise." She raised an eyebrow, looked at her friend. "Forbidden forest?"
The scruffy man frowned, rummaged in his coat. A silver pocket watch glittered in the late-day sun. "Cor. Bloody twenty minutes till seven," he said, curling his lip, stuffed the watch away. "I know the lay of these parts: We'll never make it to Dunnoch in time, if we turn round now."
His companion stared into the trees, squinting. Black, drooping boughs of closely-packed firs. A floor of needles, pathless, full of white mushrooms. An owl called from the precocious twilight, within. "Ya' reckon," she said. "Tha' it's actually forbidden? Monsters, n' all? Or is it forbidden fer, like…" she waved a hand, made a face. "Tax reasons, or somut?"
"Nah, it's actually forbidden, so far's I recall," the man said, unhappily.
"Only now ya're remembering it's forbidden?" scoffed the woman. "After we com'all this way?"
"Guess I misjudged the time."
"Well why's it so bad, huh? Wha's keepin' us from sprintin' through in time fer supper?"
He looked her in the eye, raised his eyebrows. "Massacre of the Hogshead was fought here, you know?" he shifted in his saddle. "During the Boundary Skirmishes of 223. Bad affair." He shook his head. "Baron Eaverson sent in a fair bit of an army to route the Lothrheimers and reclaim the goods they'd been stealing from travelers, keepin' them in here. Problem was, he never realised why the Lothrheimer's decided to put up in here at all: The bogs."
He scratched his chin, made a profound wag of his chin. "Bogs, deep in the trees. Had paths in 'em since the Dark Ages, all built up with field stones so they didn't flood." He raised his eyebrows. "Naturally, the Baron's men took the paths. Found out too late the Lothrheimers'd sapped 'em, months ago. You see, nitroglycerin explosives were quite new, at the time. Baron's men got blown to bits and scattered in the bog. And the Lothrheimers let it be their burial place."
"So?" said his companion. She craned her head, watched the sun begin to set over the treetops.
"So, they're still in there, the Baron's men. Sleepin' in the mud. Plagued."
"Oh." She shivered, averted her eyes from the trees.
"N' I hear the grues slinks around a bit after nightfall. Find new beds."
"Well, guess Dunnoch's gonna wait." The woman patted her horse, turned to go. "Bloody forbidden forest."
"Hey, how you know summuch about that wood, anyway?"
"Ach, simple, I guess." Said the man. "I know the lands round Dunnoch pretty well, though it's been a while."
He grinned. "I was born there, after all."
The following is a mechanic from the Incunabuli Playtest:
If at any point a Lore topic becomes relevant but a character does not know it, they may choose to recollect it.
To recollect a topic, a character must reasonably possess some proximity to it. It must plausibly relate to their sort, species, background, culture, land of origin, or other experience that might provide range of knowledge.
If so, they may immediately learn up to 4 levels of Lore in the topic. They must spend XP to do so, as normal, and may apply any discount furnished by their Intellect.
The GM may offer characters the opportunity to recollect a topic if it becomes pertinent.
I have long searched for some method of making lore/knowledge skills functional. Recollection is part of my dual solution.
It's an exceedingly simple one: Allow characters to retroactively gain lore topics/skills they might logically already have. In my system, skills are gained by spending XP, and the convenience of recollection comes at a cost.
Lore Firlund, Lore North, or relevant 1 or above:
Level 4 or above:
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