All Going South

Session 5-S.1

1629, Fire Season, Disorder Week, up until Waterday of Harmony Week

Dramatis Personae




Chief Priestess of the Bakery (Jonstown)
High Priestess of Ernalda (Jonstown)
A heroic and handsome drake veteran of the wars, Devolin
Sun Lord Ebron
High Priestess of Ernalda (Boldhome)
Luminous Stallion King of Ernalda (Also Boldhome)
Someone horsey
Derret who is definitely not a spy
Some other scribes who are also definitely not spies


Inpira the Axe was contacted by the mistress of the Baker’s Guild, who told her she was ‘late for her meeting with high priestess Ernulsulva’.  The High Priestess asked why Yelmalian temple in Boldhome wanted to speak to Inpira. She told Inpira she wanted to be kept informed and maked it clear whatever favour they wanted, it would be Inpira agreeing, not the Earth Temple. Inpira packed for a journey to Boldhome. It being early Fire Season, she made the journey without incident, but did pay a charity coin to a veteran duck begging on the road. She noticed war preparations going on.

Finarvi and Serala were in Apple Lane. A lay member of Issaries, a cheap herald, arrived with a letter for the Thane. Serala summoned Jorrim to read it, of course. It bore Tennebris’s seal, and was a personal invitation to drink a cup of wine with Lord Tennebris in Boldhome. She decided Finarvi counted as part of her entourage. Finarvi was intrigued by the idea that Lord Tennebris wanted a favour from her.

Varanis was invited to Lord Tennebris’s office for a cup of wine. He warned her she would be asked by the Prince shortly to do a difficult thing. When he mentioned Whitewall and her mind went first to Jaldis, and then to the time the people of Whitewall tried to declare her king of the Volsaxi. Tennebris told her the mission would be to get the tribe to declare for Kallyr. He recommended she take ‘a scribe who knows Boldhome ciphers’. Varanis was disappointed that she would miss the fighting for politicking. Tennebris assured her she was the best choice they had, and that others who also had relationships to Whitewall would be called on. They were to be ready to leave by the end of Godday, when there would be a feast where Varanis was asked to go. Then he slugged back his wine and stoppered the jug1Remembering the absolute bollocking that Berra gave him about daytime drinking..  He noted that the wyter priest Berra would be busy elsewhere, and Lord Eril’s regiment was not available for the South.

Varanis began searching for her cousin Xenofos at the Ulerian temple, and found him straight away, being shown in as Wind Lord Vareena. She told him she needed his services for a trip to Whitewall, and repeated the information from Tennebris, asking him to attend the feast on Godday in order to record what the Prince asked, which would essentially be to convince the Volsaxi to proclaim Kallyr as Prince of Sartar. The Volsaxi had not had a king since Broyan.

Meanwhile, Inpira was staying at the Earth Temple. She visited the Sun Temple where she was kept waiting for a while, but given refreshments. Eventually an Errnaldan escorted her to see Lord Ebron. She was using Ernaldan hand dancing but Inpira could not interpret what she was saying with it. Sun Lord Ebron was not alone but had Kalis there, welded to his side. From the way they interacted, Inpira could tell they were married in some way. He asked to act as bodyguard to his wife’s dear friend – Vareena or Varanis – it being her particular wish that Varanis not be harmed. Naturally, Inpira agreed to this. Kalis pointed out that it was a case of making sure the correct spies were in place, and this way, Kalis had some control over who it was.

A servant led Inpira to Varanis’s house where Varanis and Xenofos were waiting for Serala’s arrival. An axe lady arrived instead. Inpira introduced herself and mentioned that she had been sent by Kalis and Ebron. Varanis invited her in, and Inpira told her the good news about having a bodyguard, mentioning Varanis might have more enemies than she thought. She also remembered to point out (as mentioned by Kalis) that if Varanis did not accept her, someone else would be sent and Kalis would have no control over the situation. Varanis accepted her fate and told Inpira to be ready to travel at the end of the week.

Serala and Finarvi arrived on Wildday and came straight to the house. Varanis nearly tackle-hugged Serala, but after noticing just how pregnant the Grazelander was, opted for a gentle hug instead. Varanis warned Serala that she had a Babeester Gor bodyguard now and asked Serala (and her favourable reputation) to help her with some business in Whitewall.

The grazelanders went up to the palace, with Serala resisting the temptation to ride up there. Finarvi heard the voice of Jandetin, the Luminous Stallion King, and groaned, but at least was prepared for what happened later. Endars was not there to keep a bridle on Jandetin. In the meeting with Tennebris, he asked her to travel to Whitewall to do her best ‘hearts and minds’ campaign as she was already beloved down there. As he put it, pretending to quote someone else, “When you have their balls, their hearts and minds will follow.” Tennebris added the stud fee of a Goldeneye to sweeten the deal. She maked it very clear she was doing this for him and Varanis, and not Kallyr. Something died in his eyes at that. 

Outside someone dressed up in the faked up costume of a Grazelander invited Serala (and Finarvi, sort of) to meet with the Luminous Stallion King. They were taken to Kallyr’s private quarters. Jandetin was his usual self, if currently motivated to actually do politics. He informed the pair that ‘the Ernaldan’ in their marriage was putting her hands in things, and the wanted to know whether Southern Sartar would declare for Kallyr or for Sartar. His advice was, ‘Don’t let it be Argrath,’ and he wanted the Feathered Horse Queen informed ASAP of any news.

Inpira asked ‘the house scribe’ Xenofos to write a message to her Earth temple, saying what the favour was and that Wind Lord Varanis did not want to be guarded. Xenofos then went to the temple to research Whitewall:

Known as Southern Sartar, even when it was made part of Belintar’s 6 kingdoms. Holy country. Heortlanders. Reborn kingdom of Heortland under King Broyan. He called himself king of the Volsaxi but he was a unifying king. But the name Southern Sartar is an anomaly, an oddity.

Kallyr and the siege of Whitewall - she was one of Broyan’s captains, as was Leika. They got along better back then, according to the stories, although there is no record of them being good friends.

On the day of the feast, Xenofos announced Varanis poetically. The Luminous Stallion King tried to say something but Kallyr was in front of him and louder, and greeted her kinswoman. During the feast she spoke to Varanis about inviting the southern Sartar tribes to be invited to partake of the Sartar wyter. Kallyr had Kalis shuffle down and make space for Varanis and Serala.

Finarvi had a seat next to one of the employees of the master of horse. He had ideas of how to improve the grazelander’s herd’s bloodlines, and recited the history of a stallion he had in mind for the aforementioned stud fee. In this area, everyone was sober, but seemed to be enjoying themselves.2Finarvi missed working out they were getting ready to leave the next morning. There was a lot of talk of horses.

Xenofos was asked about poetry by Derret, who claimed to be a scribe, and then asked which ciphers he knew. He managed to indicate that if he knew any, he was not telling. He was also grilled on what he knew about the general political situation to the south.  Derret suggested talking to the Bacofi (Bacon And Coffee) clan first and giving the biggest gifts to them. The largest and best of the Volsaxi clans. “Where they go, most follow.” (This clan is no larger than the Colymar tribe!) The trouble would be the Kultain. They are in and out of Wilmskirk and the Volsaxi and are on the brink of falling apart. A border clan, disbanded by the Lunars and since reformed. Loyal to Broyan, the Kultain controlled the trade road between Wilmskirk and Whitewall, and indeed still do. They are highly independent.

Xenofos was later taken aside to a private room and given the code for communication with Tennebris – not a cipher, but pre-prepared phrases and code words. It was a keyword code, of about a hundred items, arranged as a poem for easy recall.

Inpira the Axe was stationed behind Kalis, and overheard her conversation with Varanis. Kalis asked Serala if everyone was prepared for the birth and all the people who would be flapping around, and offered the use of the Earth Temple. Serala said she did not want her child born in a city. Kalis, native of Nochet, thought that Boldhome barely qualified.

Varanis asked if Kalis truly thought she needed the extra protection from Inpira.  Kalis says it was about spies. “Our long streak of misery in black wanted to station someone’ – she didn’t want Eril to have an excuse to install a Humakti spy, and therefore had added her own before Eril would have the chance. Kalis suggested that Inpira only needed to be a bodyguard while they were in Boldhome, and then changed the subject by flirting fabulously with members of the crowd.

Varanis, seeing Eril was there, tried to sing Berra’s praises, but did so badly. People were kind about it, with the possible exception of Eril, who said nothing but evinced amusement. Shortly after that Kallyr’s bard sang a tale of a Pentan raider who stole a herd of high llamas and drove them halfway across Prax as a test of manhood. It sounded an awful lot like Serala with the name scrubbed off. Xenofos decided it was the same story as the Pentan ghost who rides round on horseback and kills Pol Joni. It was a strange thing to sing at a feast. Finarvi seemed to know what it was about.

The feast wound up. Those who were there were generally eager to take a chunk out of the Lunar empire while it was still reeling. There were various rumours and bits of information and misinformation moving around. Eril is taking Berra away. Rajar is mentioned a few times, talk about the Praxians in town and whether they will support Argrath… People in the room did not seem seem to know Rajar would be sent South, or that Berra had been ordered to stay in Boldhome.

The group was escorted down the steps afterwards, and shown the gift wagon, which would be filled in the morning. Varanis was told to collect it after dawn, and they returned to the house. There was a snoring drake in the middle of Varanis’s bed. It’s Devolin. He gave her the lunar coin3Now clipped. Inpira gave him on the road. For some reason, he did not want to spend the night in the house after learning who the Babeester Gori downstairs was.

Downstairs, Inpira heard the sound of voices, including the veteran duck she had met begging on the road. She grabbed her shield and went to investigate.  Devolin told her Varanis was his Wind Lord. He left via a window when the conversation turned to the subject of violence against Devolins.

Next day, the wagon was collected with its cargo of gifts. It was matched with a couple of guards who would go as far as Whitewall, then turn around and try to catch up with the army.

The wagon was pulled by oxen, so progress was slow. A galloper from Boldhome caught the group on the road – it was a rider from the Yelmalian temple with a letter to Inpira from Lord Ebron – a change of orders, requesting Inpira follow the orders of Lady Serala so long as the orders did not endanger Varanis. Inpira was not consider herself the bodyguard of any single person, but to defend the group. Translation: Serala has an axe lady to order about, so long as she does not tell the axe lady to bodyguard any particular person. 

The group found some space in a caravanserai overnight. An awful lot of people were heading to Boldhome. The next day they reached Wilmskirk, a lovely rebuilt town of artists and craftsmen. Varanis was banned from the Praxian inn and both she and Xenofos were banned from another inn after an incident with dreamroot, but as it was not market day, the group were able to find somewhere to sleep

Session Quotes

  • 1
    Remembering the absolute bollocking that Berra gave him about daytime drinking.
  • 2
    Finarvi missed working out they were getting ready to leave the next morning.
  • 3
    Now clipped.