G01 — Session 9
1626, Earth Season
Earth Season, Early, approaching Mid.
Ivalla and Uhnta
Some Troll Guardstrolls
A troll Innkeeper
An audience of cheering trolls
An audience of well armed and armoured trolls
A Mistress Race Queen
His Magnificence the Luminous Stallion King, Huzzah!
White-eye the Troll
Back at the guest mushroom, the group slept most of the day. They were woken in the evening by a great commotion of chanting and grinding outside. Peering through a window, they saw hundreds of Enlo dragging a monstrous net down the street and singing. Garzack arrived and explained the fishery had caught a giant crocodile.
At that point, several large trolls on giant beetles arrived and accused Garzack of breaking the rules by letting humans into Crabtown before they had passed the tests. The lead troll insisted the party pass the test immediately as the Queen wanted to see them. Jeepol spoke up, saying he had passed the test many years ago, but the troll stated that as the rest of the party were not of his family, they still had to take the test.
Jeepol looked grim, and warned them all not to let the trolls serve them powsey.
The trolls took the party to a hut labelled ‘Grog Shop’ and ushered them inside, where six barrels were laid out in a row. They were told the rite of passage to enter Crabtown was to finish three drinks chosen from the barrels. They could choose one drink, the big troll would choose one, and one drink would be chosen by an onlooker, of which there were many. Any number of them could drink.
The six barrels were labelled Erosian Ouzo, Drive Careful wine, Old Rotgut, Skullbuster, Rainbow Delight, and Powsey. Jorrim recognised the wine and Skullbuster and whispered what the effects were to the others.
Serala stepped forward and chose Skullbuster. She chugged a stein of it down to a round of applause from the audience. A clay-based being in the corner offered to sell them information, but the barman said this was not according to the rules. The being also bet against Serala, and Jorrim took up the bet and made some bolgs.
Finarvi volunteered to go next, and the big troll served him a mug of Powsey. Finarvi gamely started drinking the fizzy, acidic brew, making it most of the way through before passing out. Luckily, Serala was ready and caught him and the mug. Ivalla healed him enough to finish the powsey to a huge round of applause and cheering from the trollkin.
Jeepol stepped forward, stated he wasn’t part of the group so he would be the third chooser. This caused some shouting but was not against the rules, and so it was allowed. He chose Rainbow Delight and as he passed the mug to Jorrim whispered not to drink it when it was purple. Jorrim took the mug, watched the drink slowly changing colour and waxed lyrical about the way each colour smelled and looked. Yellow smelled lemony, red briny, and purple was caustic like lye. He stalled until it turned yellow again and began drinking, finding it chewy. Red was liquid and savoury. He got two thirds through before it started to change colour, so he paused and talked some more until it turned yellow again.
The large troll announced the group were now Trollfriends and welcome in Crabtown. He led them and Garzack through town past a giant crabshell temple to a great crystal building, where the humans were given black cloth bags to wear over their heads. They were led by trollkin into the presence of the Queen, where the bags were removed. Serala bowed to the Troll Queen and introduced the party.
The Troll Queen stated the omens showed the time of the Hero Wars was here, the End Times, when Chaos must be slain. She said that though Kallyr’s funeral pyre burned, Kallyr herself was not in the Wonderplace. She would walk again, and wanted to know what Serala thought of Kallyr. Serala told her Kallyr was honourable and would seek to atone for any wrongs in her past. When the Queen asked about Serala’s own Queen, Serala spoke with devotion and loyalty.
The Troll Mistress gave Serala a small package to give to the Feathered Horse Queen as a gift of friendship between two queens, and stated she would once more become Queen of Dragon Pass, as had her predecessors. She wanted friendship between their people to fight chaos. Serala agreed and vowed to carry the gift to her Queen.
They were dismissed, and once outside again, Jorrim noticed a hawk circling in the sky, the same kind of hawk as Serala’s. Serala recognised it as her brother’s hawk, and Jorrim suggested they note its direction. The bird flew North-East.
Garzack treated the party to a meal at Gobbleguts restaurant to celebrate, with Serala taking the vegetarian options and Jorrim trying jellied herdman. Halfway through, they were disturbed by the sound of more troops moving in the street outside. Finding a full army mustering, the party retrieved their horses to go after them. They headed North, the way Endars’ hawk went.
On a plain outside Crabtown, the troll army formed up against a force of Grazelander cavalry that had invaded Troll lands. Serala forged through the Troll lines to speak with the Grazelanders while the rest of the party talked the Troll generals into waiting for a parley.
Serala rode out to greet a small band of mounted warriors led by the Luminous Stallion King, intent on rescuing Serala from the trolls. At the rear of the small group was Endars, trying hard not to facepalm. Serala took the LSK by the arm and suggested discussing strategy with Endars. They agreed to ask the trolls for permission to pass through their land to attack the Lunars from the rear.
The Trolls and LSK negotiated passage through Troll lands and stole a march on the Lunars, reaching Ironspike by dawn. Serala and Endars worked out a plan to attack the Lunar baggage trains and harry their Pentian raiders, to bottle up the Lunars around Alda Chur. Then, if they could persuade Herengvot to turn his weapons on the Lunars, Sartar’s army would be free liberate Alda Chur. It was clear they needed the glass wand urgently. The party picked up more bags of apples on the way for Trollkin One and headed back to Crabtown.
Jorrim, Finarvi and Serala made their way to White-eye’s place with the apples, to find Trollkin One bruised, despondent and tied up, and White-eye sitting next to him. Jorrim and Finarvi dodged out of sight down an alley but Serala froze as the delayed effects of a stein’s worth of Skullbuster started to make themselves felt. Finarvi decided to brazen it out, walked up to White-eye and introduced themselves as traders and trollfriends. White-eye was unimpressed, but invited them into his hut where he pointed to all his belongings, told them they were his and to not take any of it, and that he would fight them if he tried.
Finarvi listened, feigning polite incomprehension at the suggestion they were thieves, and explained their Queen would marry soon and they were looking for a suitable wedding gift. They could offer many things in trade for the right piece. White-eye seemed mollified by this, stated he had been told the wand had been a wedding gift once, and he wanted a supply of fresh fruit and vegetables delivered to him for two years in return. Finarvi agreed, and when White-eye insisted he wanted them to swear an oath, Jorrim stepped in and mentioned the Humakti trolls. He got Garzack to arrange the oath-swearing and White-eye handed the glass wand to Finarvi.
Finarvi and Garzack finalised their own trade agreement, securing a new source of luxury goods for Nochet, knocking thousands of miles off the journey of the existing trade route to the Lunar Empire and potentially depriving the Lunars of a fair bit of Esrolian wealth.
Before they left Crabtown, Serala commissioned Jorrim to write a letter.
“Giant crocodiles! They sometimes fall from the sky river.” – Garzack
“Are you very certain they’re not baby dragons?” – Finarvi
“No, those are dragonnewts, they’re not good eating. And if you eat them, sometimes they come back later and complain.” – Garzack
“Which is bad form!” – Garzack
“Garrrzack! You break rules! Am impressed.” – Dark Troll
“You have guests, small humans, in Crabtown. But you have not had them pass the tests. This is against the rules. Normally I would kill you all, but you are a lucky Garzack!” – Troll
“So it’s too late to marry Jeepol, right?” – Jorrim
“I’d hoped to get away with a small fight, but it’s worse than that. They’re taking us… to the pub.” – Jeepol.
“Don’t let them serve you powsey.” – Jeepol
“Piquant. I could get a taste for this.” – Finarvi, drinking the powsey.
“The trolls are impressed. You managed to drink a mug of powsey and only passed out once.” – GM
“The omens are written large in the sky, and in the trollkin’s entrails.” – Mistress Troll
“She is not dead. She is not in the wonderplace. She will walk again.” – Mistress Troll
“Go. Go with your friends. Unless… you wish to make an error of judgement?” – Dark Troll
“I’ll step between Arim and the Troll.” – Jorrim
Jorrim notices something in the sky. “Is that a crocodile? Is it a falling crocodile?” – Jorrim
“Jorrim, I hate it when you’re logical!” – Serala
“I’m sorry. I’ll attempt to be more masculine in future.” – Jorrim
“My taste buds just crawled out and strangled me. I’m dead now.” – Jorrim
“You hear drums. Lots of them. Beating.” – GM
“Sorry, that’s my keyboard” – Jorrim’s player.
“Fear not, my lady! We are here to rescue you!” – LSK
“Please don’t.” – Serala
“He’s smarter than he acts.” – Jorrim
“Oh, we know. But he’s going to so much trouble to act dumb that it’s only polite to pretend to believe it.” – Serala
“What are you doing?” – GM
“I suppose we need to blag it, don’t we?” – Finarvi