Kelan looked up at the sound of the cart and was momentarily sweat blinded. He wiped his eyes in time to see Jessa jump down from the driver’s seat.
“Ho!” she cried with a grin.
“Greetings” replied Kelan sourly. “You took your sweet time getting back.”
“Is that fair?” she said with her fists on her hips. “After all, it was your lousy planning that made the trip back to Tashal necessary!”
Kelan sighed. “You’re right, of course. I’m sorry. It’s been a very long, very hot day, and I’m not thinking straight.”
He walked across the the cart, a massive four wheeled affair pulled by six sturdy oxen. He peered under the canvas cover sheet.
“So, did you manage to get everything we…I mean I…forgot?”
Jessa came up to his side and put her hand on his shoulder.
“No” she said softly. “There simply wasn’t enough money to buy it all. I saved where I could by buying used and old equipment, some of which we’ll have to fix ourselves. I was able to save quite a bit that way, but there were some things that just were so expensive that we could not afford them. I’m sorry.”
Kelan turn to Jessa urgently. “You did get the items I said were critical, though, didn’t you?”
She shook her head sadly. “Not all of them, Kelan. They simply were not available…at any price.”
Kelan groaned. “If we don’t have all of those things, it will be years before this manor will be financially independent. We may not survive the winter.”
Jessa looked up into Kelan’s stricken face and said “Yes we will, my brother. You and I, and all the people we convinced to come with us, we will survive and we will prosper. You’ll think of a way. You always do!”
Her tone was full of pride, and her face shone with affection and confidence, but Kelan didn’t…couldn’t feel that way.
Establishing a new manor, especially one that is cut from wilderness is a daunting exercise, and an enterprise worthy of inclusion into a campaign. It could be the starting point of the campaign, or even its focus. Alternatively, it could be just a sidebar to an ongoing campaign; a reward for services rendered to a noble of high station, say.
But what kinds of things would a GM have to consider when planning such a campaign piece? After all, it’s not like any of us have any pioneering experience, even if our lineage includes such people. Of course, we can always conduct research and I think that would be vital to the success of any such campaign. But just by applying some common sense to the question, we might be able to have a fair stab at answering the following question:
“What equipment and skills would be needed to establish a new manor in the wilderness, say, on the western bank of the Kald River?”