The Beginning of the Mend

Session S.5-S-04

1629, Fire Season, Harmony Week, Wildday to Death week Freezeday

Dramatis Personae




Haralast, Orlanthi ruler of Whitewall
His wife Raldina, Priestess of Ernalda
Adnew, head of Humakti Temple
Also Jaldis
Storm Voice Tergan
Tarakar Volsaxi
Some boys who like horses
Grignos the Ulerian
Some zebra riders who dislike being spotted
Light Son Goluder
Lord Gerint, trade lord


Varanis caught up with the group at Silor’s house, and the group swapped news a little. It turned out Devolin was scamming people with an illegal lottery (using stolen goods) in her name, and she was angry at him, but at least nobody had been killed. Along the way they stopped at a caravanserai for the night. Some of them noticed that the money had been spread too thinly there, with paint replaced by whitewash, and carving doing for other decoration. However, when Finarvi watched to see if Rajar was ripped off by the proprietor, he was not. The place was good value, but the finances were a little strained. They spent a safe night there and travelled on up to Whitewall. The journey was uneventful.

Whitewall looked more like an ex slum and less like a current slum. It had a wooden wall with a gate that lead up to the central city, and a big enclosure there, and then various other gates down into the main city itself. The top had four temples, now mostly rebuilt, and some newish noble dwellings. There was no permanent marketplace, but there was an area where one could be set up, and plenty of grazing land for the small horse herd up there. The gates has big Air and Movement Runes on them.

Varanis introduced herself and the party. The guards bowed, recognising several people. They sent off to call for the ruler, and the group was invited to come inside and meet him.

Whitewall was notable in having no Orlanth Rex overseeing the tribes, which would have been unthinkable in Sartar. Rather, the tribal confederacy and allies at Whitewall were ruled by Haralast, who nominally commanded all of Heortland. Fortunately nobody had pressed that issue.

Haralast was the Wind Lord of Orlanth Adventurous, and was married to Raldina, the Priestess of Ernalda. Both, along with Storm Voice Tergan and Tarakar Volsaxi, greeted Varanis. She was invited to talk. The city and its politics was not so strange when the Volsaxi themselves were considered – they were Air-aligned as Sartar was, but were a tribal confederation at heart. They had been such a large tribe they fell apart, but had a shared heritage. Adnew Humakti and Jaldis of the Healer’s Temple were not present, which was not particularly odd as they could be considered non-political.

Serala stayed outside to see to the horses, and assessed the battleworthiness of the town while she was at it – the guards on the walls seemed to be a decent fyrd, but also seemed to be the only warriors. They were low on experienced professionals.

Those in the private discussion noted that Haralast did not start until the Storm Voice and Tarakar were present1Intrigue FTW. It was pretty obviously an opportunity for Varanis to persuade and make a speech. She set out Kallyr’s position, and her hope to unite across Dragon Pass to push out the Lunars for good. Haralast was not sure he was hearing what he wanted to hear, but the clarification – that Kallyr wanted the Heortlings to be part of the grand community of Sartar, yeased the tension – they had been waiting for that, and wanted to hear it. Varanis told them about the gifts from Kallyr to help the reluctant decide.

Haralast said it should be a joint venture – she and they should present a joint argument to the tribes. He offered them a place to sleep for the night, and his2Apparently his but in fact nobody’s save his shrine’s. Eurmali piped up to say that they could go do their spying around town now. He was mostly ignored.

Everyone explored the town a bit, with Xenofos working out where the Ulerian bathhouse was. Rajar spied zebra markings and headed in that direction, finding zebra riders and a Sable, on an open space in the city. They were not wearing White Bull markings, and there was no reason for them to be here unless setting up for a raid or stealing something. They greeted each other according to tradition, however.

They seemed unhappy that Rajar had worked out they were setting up for a raid, but did talk to him, claiming to be lost. They came down from Wilmskirk to see what this place was like. Rajar said it was all soft country to raid, and they asked for an easy mark. Instead, he Rajar offered them some coin if they were not in a rush, along with some subtle threads. Once they accepted the nearly-a-retainer he rodes off around the corner, then waited out of sight and did his best to listen. It seemed their plan had been put on hold for a few days, as far as he could make out.

Xenofos paid High Healer Jaldis a visit. The temple of Chalana Arroy was still small, but is being used more efficiently than it had been last time he came, and everything was running well. He asked how harmonious/disharmonious people in the city were, but she told him to tell her – he had been there. Xenofos told her the town seemed to be thriving, and he could not see if the surroundings did. Jaldis revealed the past few seasons had been good, and things were tough but there was hope. She poured him some wine, being as friendly as a High Priestess should be, and suggested he took a tour of the countryside. Some of the tribes were lacking in harmony, regardless of fertility, as she put it. Xenofos tried to say he was not a political man, to the High Priestess that he was visiting. He was told Jaldis did not believe him, in a way that said he was incompetent rather than lying. She did give him the rundown on the Sylangi and Kultain problem – there were two wyters where there should be one. The tribes had united and then pulled apart. The Sylangi had the more warlike wyter. The Kultain’s raven clan were (amazingly) the level-headed ones, Jaldis noted. She then asked to see Varanis. Xenofos says she might be busy, aware that Varanis hated Jaldis and Jaldis knew this.

Serala and Finarvi went to check out the local herd. They were well cared for, but not impressive. The pair were eyeballed by the local horse-spotters –  a pair of 13 year old boys. Serala formally greeted them and won them over as they’d never been treated with such respect. She told them it was a fine herd, which as she liked horses so much was subjectively if not objectively true. They tell her which belonged to Haralast etc – these were just ordinary workbeasts, possibly better trained than most, as they would come when called. Serala whistleed for Pag, and the group’s herd appeared, with Charity the bison in tow. They talked horse for a while, and the young people said that life was better now. After a couple of clacks passed their way, they parted company.

Inpira went to talk to Raldina, who was meditating but willing to talk. Inpira mentioned how serious Kallyr was about the offer, and how the wagon was full of good gifts. Haralast had had them taken into the temple. Raldina said she did not think there would be bad news, but she would like to make the roads safer so that women could travel alone. If Heortland were part of in Sartar, trade would improve and they would be safer from raiders and bandits. Raldina was certain there were multiple bandit groups in the area right now.  If the group were to deal with any of these groups, in Kallyr’s name or Vareena’s, it would help the cause and make the roads safer. The conversation had never happened, however, as Haralast could be seen to ask for help. 

People headed down to the Ulerian Temple for cleaning up properly, and chatter. Xenofos did not join them directly, but went and cut wood for the temple first. Inpira filled in the group that they could get the backing of earth temple3Which they actually already have… if they did something about local bandits, but not to embarrass Haralast by mentioning the problem.  Rajar said he might have found some muscle in town that could help, and pointed out the group could fight them, or we could recruit them and build a small army. 

Xenofos was chopping wood for Ulerian temple when he was addressed by the slinky young man Grignos, who asked him he was the Ulerian from Boldhome. Grignos how things were ‘up there’, and started chopping wood along with Xenofos. Xenofos told him the army in Boldhome is marching again. G noted he meant up here – the top of the hill in Whitewall. The temple was a bit cut off down the hill. Xenefos thought for a little and decided he had chopped enough wood, and want to bathe himself, without divulging anything to Grignos, despite an open offer to visit through any of the Temple’s doors.

Clean and dressed up, they headed to the evening’s feast. The food was good, but not planned for showing off richness.  Varanis dressed to do honour but not embarrass. Xenofos did not do a wonderful job of singing an introduction, so Haralast covered for him by working the intro into his greeting. The group thus noticed he did not have a bard.

Everyone, including Rajar, got to be at the High Table, but there were several tables with the heads elevated. Trader-prince Gerid of the Bacofi was present, to talk to Finarvi, and Serala to a Sun Dome Yelmalian of high rank. Xenofos was next to Varanis, with Rajar between a pair of pretty young ladies. He was on his best behaviour, trying not to spill beer on anyone. Inpira got to stand behind Varanis as a guard. She could therefore look over the whole room to see everything.

Lord Gerid gave Finarvi a run down on the trade routes hereabout. Finarvi asked about trade challenges, how the roads were, what improvements he’d like to see. The answer was swift enough – a king to ensure the King’s Road worked magically would be a priority, and Gerid was sure the Volsaxi were in favour of that. They might even want the road extended, and certainly there should be mutual agreement on taxation, when as part of Sartar they could have a say in the matter.

Serala discovered the Light Sun was from a Sun Dome she had not visited yet, but which technically at least was set over the Sun Dome in Boldhome. She found out where the original Sartar Sun Dome was, and reminded herself of the politics about it. Light Son Goluder chatted quite interestedly with Serala, asking about her journey. He had not heard of the Llama TWOCing. 

Serala told him about the bandits, and invited him to come along and help. He was highly interested, as he was looking to extend the Sun Dome’s patrols down here but that would be expensive. He stressed they would be no threat here. Serala said she was no good at politics and he should talk to her girlfriend. So, they talked about horses instead. 

Rajar is managing to almost charm one of the ladies beside him, and had them both flirting lightly with him.

Varanis did not have to talk to Jaldis, as she was put between Haralast and Raldina. Looking down at the hall, it seemed to everyone who had a good view that someone had set up the tables to avoid conflict. The hatreds were old and familiar and nobody was surprised or outraged to find each other there.

Notes that Xenofos might take: 

  • Volsaxi: Ring of Three – Tarakar, Honrid, and Belfora – live in one of the big houses up here at the top. 
  • Bacofi: trader-prince Gerid. King Flurdan. 
  • Olontongi: many arguments. Astforth, Hendaffa, Oralost – all with different points of view. About 3 ‘clans’ based on who follows each. 
  • Kurtali: King Meren, Queen Gidala 
  • Sylangi/Kultain: Hot Mess. Sylangi have Hendrik Cold-blood-killer, vs the Barancha and Algerad/his wife Ernalvra. 
  • Garanvuli of Backmarsh are expert smugglers. Headed by King V’rutha.

Varanis sang the song of how Rajar and co did a heroquest here and stopped the zombies. She made it about how they prepare the way for good things to happen. The people seemed accepting of the idea of change. After the sitting-down and eating, Varanis asked Haralast about whether it would help to have a tribal King. He revealed he had wanted to bring that up. They had not had a king test since King Broyan. He had some ideas how it could be done, but Haralast did not feel he wanted to be the King. Currently the group was holding together as a land of many tribes but things were slipping, and someone would have to prove they were Vingkot. He noted that Leika and Kallyr would probably know how it was done.

Varanis and Haralast glad-handed the feast and charmed people. Varanis told the Humakti about the Hero Eril.

A few ideas were thrown around:

  • A heroquest to find Vingkot in the God Plane – anyone who succeeded would prove they were king of Heortland. 
  • Rajar asks who their greatest living hero/rune lord of this tribe is. Trouble is, they are all very dead. Broyan and his army all died overnight. There is a whole haunted battlefield and everything. The bronze is just sitting out there, slowly turning green.
  • Discussion: This means a heroquest, to find a king candidate. Research, heroquest, Shaman (ask ancestors for descendant).
  • There is a Yelmalian ritual about Ernalda choosing her husband from suitors (Yelmalio vs Orlanth). So a series of public contests might be a good bet with this bunch.
  • We need to do research. There’s no decent scriptorium here. Xenofos would need to go to Jonstown at least, Nochet, or Boldhome.

Session Quotes

  • 1
    Intrigue FTW
  • 2
    Apparently his but in fact nobody’s save his shrine’s.
  • 3
    Which they actually already have…