Wasp the Heck?

Session S5-S-03

1629, Fire Season, Harmony Week, Fireday

Dramatis Personae




Buzzy thing 1
A drone
Some Very Large Wasps
A shaman, maybe
The Darkness Itself


Dawn was about to break as the group reached the South Wilmskirk Gate. They lacked Varanis, who had been called away to deal with a Court Case as a Wind Lord. At the gate was Mellia, who wanted to talk very seriously to Serala about being careful in her late pregnancy. Serala was of the opinion she was already being careful, by making sure she was on horseback a lot and her spear was sharp. Mellia was unimpressed. She hurried off to get her gear to travel with them, but Thenaya needed her, and sent a message to say Mellia was not coming.

As they waited for the gate to open, they saw the rhino rider Toras, whom they knew, in argument with a guart. Toras was trying to explain that the gate should be opened, and the guards had misunderstood him and thought he was trying to get into the city, when in fact he was trying to get out. Rajar greeted him and the gates opened, thus ending the argument. The group travelled together, as Toras had reason to go South.

As the group rode, and the beautiful rebuilt wagon rolled slowly, they saw something rise up to the East. A little thinking helped them to work out that they were probably looking at Wasps’ Nest. Toras, who was able to make out more, said they were ‘big flappy troll things’. It was agreed that he meant wasps, and his tradetalk was stopping him from communicating that fully.

The wasps, and possible riders, seemed to be spreading out. Finarvi had seen this as a hunting pattern before, and declared they were searching. Serala deployed magic to see what they were looking at, and was certain it was riders on wasps. She sent up Mouse to see what the hawk could see, and everyone who had them got their missile weapons ready. Serala and Mouse spotted that the wasps were starting to circle over a caravan coming from the South.

Serala rode that way, at speed, and everyone else managed to follow. It took some time for Toras to get Tiny lumbering up to speed, so he was somewhat behind. Inpira and Rajar arrived in order, after Serala and before Toras. On the caravan, the group could see Harmony and Illusion runes, and bright if somewhat battered paintwork. Nothing was under attack yet, and Serala pointed out the wasps and asked if the group needed help. The man who had greeted them was nonplussed but the woman by him immediately said yes, and took charge of the thinking1Fail vs Critical.

Serala asked why the group might be followed, and nobody was sure, but the woman pointed out they had just been in that area, or a little South of it. Toras arrived in time to hear the end of the conversation. Meanwhile, wasps were now definitely circling up above. Finarvi shouted up greetings to them[passing Tradetalk and Specialling Sing to be heard, as well as a POW roll for luck over whether there was a decision-maker present.[/footnote], in the clearest Tradetalk he could manage, and to everyone’s surprise one of them peeled off the group and landed. He stayed on his winged mount, but now everyone could see the scale of the wasps and the people on them. They were very short, but human or humanoid.

The one who had landed pointed a spear tipped with a giant wasp sting at Finarvi, and called out in a very buzzy voice that the group was thieves who had taken their thing. The woman back at the caravan said she knew what was wanted, and a merchant had asked them to bring something with them. Finarvi managed to negotiate that the wasps would not attack, but they refused to let the humans handle their stolen goods, and a wave of wasps landed and slowly moved towards the caravans.

In a hurry, the group followed Serala’s advice and unharnessed the oxen, leading the animals to safety and letting the wagons be searched. The wasp riders took out about half a dozen things like hard giant figs, and retreated in a long line of spikiness until they were at a distance to take off, which they did while maintaining their threatening posture until the last moment.

The caravaners introduced tehmselves. The caravan leader was Scarrant, and the woman was his wife, Allia. She reported that a merchant named Gerant, from Wilmskirk, had asked them to bring some olek figs, and part-paid in advance. At that point Allia realised how close she had come to dying, and sat down to have a good cry. Xenofos gave her a therapeutic hug.

Several of the other caravan-goers introduced themselves, and one who was absolutely ancient walked among them all. Scarrant called him ‘Old Honoured One2For GM’s benefit, Berra as GM thinks this man was/is a kitori, which explains a lot about him.‘ and he seemed to have no other name. Rajar helped him to get around, and got a pat on the head from someone who was obviously using the spirit world just to be able to see. As the old honoured one walked among them, he was perhaps nervous or excited, and that was making the rest of the caravan very nervous indeed. Rajar sniffed him for Chaos, but could not find any.

There was some speculation on what the merchant Garant wanted with the figs, which the group decided were likely holding eggs of the next wasp or wasp rider generation. Serala was sure the story did not add up because there would obviously be so much trouble, and what did a merchant want with that sort of trouble?

The old honoured one came to a decision, and gave Scarrant and Allia a significant look, then he clapped his hands and called out for The Black. That made the caravaners nervous, but they also seemed to think it was an honour. Scarrant asked the group if they would like to have their fortunes told. In his ancient reedy voice, the old honoured one told them, “You will see a thing that is true. You may not understand it and it may hurt you. You may be struck down.” After thinking this through, Serala declined. Inpira and Toras accepted swiftly, and Finarvi accepted after checking if he could see Serala’s instead. Rajar thought it sounded like Lunar magic, but still decided to do it.

A black cloth like a ragged, faded Darkness Rune was placed around the old honoured one, and while it looked like a strangely-shaped tent from the outside, the air also seemed cooler around it.

Finarvi stepped in to find that it was cold and a voice similar to the old honoured one’s whispered things of which the main thing he could remember was, “What secrets are in the dark?” and a long pause, and then what was possibly his own voice, “Silence is wise.” He saw the Grazelands, with the Sun and Moon in some form of dance, but it was hard to remember any, let alone make sense of it, explain it, or speak of it. Incoherent parts of it clung to him.

Toras stepped in and found it was very very cold indeed. A voice that was female greeted him in Praxian, and he hailed her. She asked, “Do you have a question or will you leave it to me?” Bravely, or perhaps otherwise, he replied, “I will accept what give.” The voice called him a fool, and something shoved him from behind and he fell, unconscious.

Xenofos entered the tent, where it was entirely, completely dark. His Light rune was burningly cold. A voice he could not place said, “Welcome Seeker of knowledge.” He was polite, and bold enough to ask for a piece of Truth.” Xenofos saw too much, and fell unconscious.3A roll of 12 on that table was not a good roll.

Rajar knew that it was cold and dark. To him, the darkness was almost a friend – it was an eternal shield. A double voice, the shaman-fortune-teller and something else, asked what he wanted, and Rajar replied he wanted to help his people and be their shield. He was a bison ridden by something, distracted by things from side. And then he found his friends on the road ahead, and became Rajar again, dragging them away from the tent, and pushing Finarvi forwards. To Serala, looking from the outside, it had seemed like people were just in a pile towards the ‘back’ of the Darkness Rune, visible on the road.

Xenofos remained unconscious for some time, and the caravaners told the group that he might well be injured. When he woke the Grazelanders were fussing over him, and he had revelation after revelation, knowing how everything was interconnected. He was obviously incapable of interacting in a normal fashion, for a strange madness had taken him. He pointed out that ‘we are all us’. This worried Serala, who recalled being possessed by a Lunar. She felt he should be gagged, but Finarvi would not let that happen. Rajar made very sure that he could not smell Chaos.

The closest place where they could get help for Xenofos was in WIlmskirk, and so they put him into a wagon and took him back there, with Xenofos still babbling and Serala very cross about it. At Wilmskirk the guards wanted their usual bribes but got a tongue-lashing instead, and decided to take it. Serala took Xenofos to the temple of Lhankor Mhy, but the scribe there could not handle being told the whole truth all the time. Healers were called – Mellia attended, and healed Xenofos then left him to sleep.

Toras, Finarvi, and Inpira went looking for the merchant Gerant. The merchant Keninsa, the High priest of Issaries at the market, had some idea of where he might be, and the group could read she was expecting trouble for some reason. Finarvi explained why they were looking for him, and after some considering Keninsa revealed she wanted to ‘do something’ but did not say what. Finarvi suspected she wished to protect him4Fumbled Insight but Toras disagreed.

They stayed that night at the House of Silor, where Mellia was looking after Xenofos. Finarvi noticed that the servants were gossiping less than usual. Eventually he took Mellia to ask Silor about it. Silor was looking after his armour, but after fencing words politely for a while he revealed they knew he was about to do a damned stupid thing, and were worried about him. He had heard about the merchant and was after the man’s handler, not the man himself, and would not be taking bodyguards. Once that mystery was solved, Finarvi stopped worrying, and the group settled down to sleep for the night.

Session Quotes

  • 1
    Fail vs Critical
  • 2
    For GM’s benefit, Berra as GM thinks this man was/is a kitori, which explains a lot about him.
  • 3
    A roll of 12 on that table was not a good roll.
  • 4
    Fumbled Insight