A Wyter Shade of Pale

S01 — Session 22

1626, Sea Season

Season, Week, Day

1626, Sea Season, Harmony week Fireday

Dramatis Personae


Varanis daughter of Serzeen, of House Saiciae
Tiwr- Played en Troupe


Irillo Goldentongue
The Grandmother of House Saiciae
Queen Samastina of Nochet
The Almost Seven Samurtrollkin
A Drunk Great Troll


As before, the log will be recounted with extracts from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga, from The Lay of Serala, Lance of the Cold Sun , The Death of Rajar, and NalaTiwrSaga. As with last time there will be extracts from the Sonnets to Varanis. Editorial commentary will be recorded [thus]. Both the {“D”} and “T” voice appear in this selection of extracts.

[Greetings. This is the penultimate lecture of this calendar year. As such it will be a chance for us to reflect on matters before hopefully ending the year on a ‘bang’ next session, with what I promise will be a fascinating session. Before then, however, we have what von Sturm described as ‘a boring bit’. I would suggest, however, that there are some fascinating elements of foreshadowing here, which render us immune to such Teutdroning. Now, as I’m sure you’re aware, I have a doubtful relationship with early Gloranthan archaeology, so I shall put the first quote in purely as a placeholder. This is a Darktongue inscription, found in a dig in Nochet, two centuries ago (although naturally it was not interpreted until the discovery of the Daisetta stone permitted Darktongue to be decyphered). ]

,,Friend1 Again, the term ‘NotUzUs’ is used here (see the findings on Mount Kero Finn) which implies a non-troll band brother or sister. Fox speculates that the slight difference in shading indicates a singular in this case. I concur with that assessment. accompanied Enlo.
Enlo band2It is unclear which trollkin band was founded in this place, however I have chosen to interpret it as related, although the identification of one of the band of heroes as Trollkin is controversial, and even if the Salid mentioned is a Trollkin, it is also debatable whether he is the Salid Lawchallenger about whom extensive literature exists. founded this place.3Garin is much more accepting of this darktongue record, found in a refuse pit with associated char, than with the steles in the same style from Kero Fin.,,

[I’m sure we shall have a lively debate about this at some point. Perhaps at the end, if I am unable to fill the lecture time fully, and am obliged to humour the Dean’s inexplicable dislike for pure pedagogy. Moving on to more reliably attributable works, let us start with NalaTwirSaga.]

“What do you mean I can’t come??”

Tall Unicorn maid
Hiring help in Trollkin bar
Keeps her head Enlo

Enlo promise aid
Their light to Dark night bringing
Salid gaining trust

Great Troll yelling. Fire
Leaping. Wise Nala leaving.
What would an Uzdo?4 This is an interesting pun. This relies on the Uzdo/Uz do homophones, which works in Esrolian, but not Praxian, but also needs an understanding of basic Darktongue. This provides further evidence the author was Esrolian as (1) it’s linguistically simpler, and (2) Esrolians liked that sort of ‘too clever by half’ joke.

[We now move to look at the House Saiciae, as told in Sonnets to Varanis]

Bold Varanis came to Grandmother’s throne
“Grandmother, I now wish it hereby known
That Onjur Eel rides loose in this, our town
He seeks to slay us all, and bring us down

I will ride to see our Queen and bring word
For none can speak and be so clearly heard!
Our friends who rode from ice bound northern lands
Have brought this timely warning to our hands!”

Her Houselady pondered then a brief while.
Spake, “Be then my voice to our Queen, my Chile.
And warn her of this cave troll at her breast
And serve our City, and our tribe, the best!”

Thus like a Wind, the Lady e’er rode on
And to the Orlanth temple she had gone
And there she donned the silks of royal blood
Whilst Berra struggled with her self, in mud5 This throwaway line has caused much debate as to its meaning.
,6Given the prevailing warm climate, genuine mud is unlikely. Alleyn has it as a metaphorical darkness related to the Blue Tree clan’s infamously deadly river. The Chester marginalia has what looks like a fountain to the right hand side of the page, and a fist over a mastery rune to the left..

[Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga gives a little more detail.]

Last Love lay waiting
Laid Berra low by lashing7The Sage Llewun notes that Berra’s reported high understanding of the water Rune makes this a prime candidate for the use of the whip in combat.
Fought fierce with flashing
Fists and love face flying

Temptation tasted then
Tore at The Dagger’s Truth
Bravely Berra Brought
A brief8 Fox’s writings discuss the possible meanings of this Brief in more detail. Does it mean a end which was brief in duration, or brief in time until the end? end to blazing blissful time

[We shall draw a veil over this, and resume at the Royal Palace with The Lay of Serala, Lance of the Cold Sun .]

Serala to the proud and lovely stone-Queen came.
Said, “Thus to you warning I shall give, in Elmal’s name!
Husband to your Earth-Queen thus unto you I show
The inner Truth, which my Cult-mates only and ever do Know.

Your realm stands ever in the danger from a man
Whose blows have struck against Kallyr, and ‘gainst my clan
And thus to you I warning bring, that you may now
With fore-word dodge his treach’rous blow!”

“Great Horse maid”, thus the EarthQueen spake
“Your words are noble, and for your great fame’s sake
I hear them now, and bow before your warlike art
Which binds you close, as kinsfolk to my beating heart!

And so with great Earth magics of my secret own
I throw a divination ‘gainst this threat against my throne
And you shall bring this down against this evil man
And thwart this deep and evil art and subtle plan!”

[ The Death of Rajartells us the result of this divination.]

Lunars forted up
In Public House of past note
Will they let us inn?

{“INN?!?!? That’s a fortified Palazzo!!”}

When we left her, Nala was in Trolltown, with Sid. They eventually found a bar, or at least a trollkin sized shack which doubled as one. There they met with about eight or nine Trollkin, who Sid hired, although not entirely arguing for Irillo and the team, as for ‘good trollkin conditions’. Their plan was slightly interrupted when a drunk Great Troll turned up, and started chanting for trollkin to come out and play. They left through the back door (although a Zorak Zoran trollkin needed persuading to not go out front), and the Troll set the shack on fire, although it was later extinguished to prevent a larger conflagration in the city.

Meanwhile, Berra, Serala and Varanis went to see Grandmother, and Varanis gave a quick overview briefing, while Berra filled in on things she knew about Onjur, including mentioning the Red Earth Esrolians, and how Onjur was fully capable of planning the deaths of just the right people to destabilise the Clans. She gave the example of the clans of the Grazelands. After Grandmother had given a baked clay tablet of introduction to the palace to Varanis, Berra asked for a little political understanding, and talked more freely about what she thought Onjur was doing, including that he had been responsible, or partly responsible, for the ‘bad omen’ in Boldhome. She rather hoped that Onjur had bigger plans than wiping out her group, but also rather hoped that he did not. During this, Granny’s snake crawled over to wrap itself around first Varanis, and then sniff at Berra. Varanis believed it was talking to her.

While Berra, Rajar and Serala were escorting Varanis to the temple of Orlanth, Berra’s Find Enemies spell went off – there was a single person there meaning her harm. It was her old girlfriend Lanasha, still not over her. Blows occured, and then wrestling, and Berra weakened enough to allow Lanasha to kiss her, and kiss back – but then pulled away with some effort and re-iterated her devotion to Humakt over human ties. Lanasha might or might not have been convinced by this. When they left, she was only setting off the Find Enemies feeling half of the time. Varanis changed into her formal silks from her armour in the temple, before heading to the palace, whilst Berra didn’t bother doing much more than dusting herself off a bit.

Queen Samastina listened to Varanis presenting the evidence about Onjur, and decided that while she was in no personal danger, Nochet could be destabilised and this would need to be dealt with. She performed a divination based on knowing his name, and where a black stone cast on her mosaic map of the city turned to white, said the heroes should seek their foe there. Before Berra could panic over knowing where the Iron Lord was and having to deal with him, the command team of general and bodyguards in the room stepped up, and it was agreed by them they would take the Inn, with Varanis invited to bring along a war party. Berra attempted to volunteer but was not invited to speak, and they all left politely.

The group settled down to plan. Dormal revealed that the ‘inn’ they thought they would be attacking was in fact a Palazzo that had used to belong to the Red Earth royal clan, prior to the civil war, when that particular clan lost power and influence (and a lot of people). They made better plans, based on that. Nala and Varanis reported back to Granny, and the snake once more put its tuppence in, with Nala looking at it in the spirit world, and realising it was the Wyter of the Clan, and a really rather powerful spirit.

“Just trolling Berra.” – Berra pretending to be the GM
“Someone has stolen my hummus.” – Dormal
“This is an outrage.” – Dormal
“It was yummy.” – Varanis

“You would say ‘shack’ but that is perhaps overdignifying it.” – GM
“The door is about Duck sized. Sid marches in.” – GM
“I’ll duck… because Duck sized.” – Nala

“Dormal, can you possibly mute?” – Berra
“Crunchy crackers.” – Varanis

“No, is compliment to Trollkin. You said ‘thank you for not hurting me, big troll’.” – Sid
“At least I didn’t call him a mushroom.” – Nala
“… Why? Is good eating on mushroom.” – Sid
“I don’t want to call him a foodstuff.” – Nala
“Is Enlo!” – Sid (Edited to correct my Darktongue)

“Nala is trying very hard not to twitch, but I can’t remember the last time she was without one of the three-pack” – Nala

“♪ You can always go… trolltown ♪” – Dormal
“Trolltown, where they rip your slips…” – Nala

“Waiting for Varanis to speak.” – Berra
*twitch* – Berra

“Berra still looks slightly twitchy about the moment.” – Berra

“Berra looks like she would be saying this differently.” – Berra

“Berra, who knows more details.” – Varanis
“By your leave, madam.” – Berra

“I see everyone’s gone off message already.” – Dormal
“(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻” – Dormal

“…from the assassins liberally distributed around the city.” – Nala

“Plumb those depths!” – Nala

“Ah,the reactionary elder. Another trope for Wiermonken.” – Nala

“I do not doubt your word, Humakti. You may simply be WRONG” – Nala
” – Grandmother
“I’m standing very still right now.” – Varanis

“Do you, great warrior of whom sagas are told…?” – Grandmother
*flat stare, crossed arms* – Berra

“Nuke the city from orbit. It is the only way to be sure” – Nala

“Serala you appear to be sans your Dom” – Nala

“Drat. Granny likes truth. I had such high hopes for her as a character.” – Nala
“No, granny likes HEARING truth.” – GM

“The snake is heavy.” – Varanis

“She beckons to one of her handmaidens. He comes forward.” – GM
“No, that was a ‘she’.” – GM
“I heard he. I write the quotes up.” – Berra

“Without bloodshed? They’ve got to Berra. ….” – Rajar

“I apologise for the sound leaking from the very loud telly behind my back. Apparently asking to have it turned down or close my sister’s door is being mean.” – Nala

“She takes out a wheel between finger and thumb, looks to *Serala*…” – GM
*body language* – Serala
“…and throws it.” – GM
“I’m not catching it.” – Serala

“Berra will pick up the wheel and offer it to Varanis.” – Berra

“Tablet of Introduction.” – Berra

“Should I read this, Grandmother?” – Varanis
*visible wince* – Berra
“It is your letter of introduction to the Queen, dear.” – Grandmother

“Scribes do it with styli.” – Nala

“It is unfashionable to be of the Red Earth.” – Grandmother Saiciae

“If he chases, then that’s good, but I don’t think he will. I hope I’m wrong. Well, for your house, I hope I’m wrong. For my task, I hope I’m right.” – Berra

“I take your point. And wish I did not.” – Grandmother
“But not in the way people usually take Berra’s point” – Nala

“Watching Varanis’ shining armour.” – Serala

“If she happened to die in battle, would her armour need a new owner? Asking for a friend.” – Berra

“…I’ve met Onjur… Is he a larrrrge man?” – Rajar

“Gentlemen! What are you up to?” – GM
“Sense chaos! – Rajar

“Meanwhile, moving right along…” – GM
“He’s determined to get some of his plot tonight, isn’t he?” – Serala

“Irillo didn’t lie much.” – Dormal?
“He lay on the floor.” – Berra

“And we didn’t give Irillo a ton of choice, did we?” – Varanis
“Men don’t get choices in Aesrolia” – Nala

“Are we ready to head to the palace? Is my armour shiny enough? Are my braids tidy?” – Varanis

“I want Skulk Inappropriately skill.” – Nala

“How are you proposing to get to the temple?” – GM
“Skulking.” – Dormal
“Rajar, are you sticking with us?” – Berra

“Something suitable for a gift to Vinga too, whilst at the Temple.” – Varanis

“You are… the Shadow!” – GM
“If you know what evil lurks in the heart of men, don’t forget to write it down.” – Nala
“I’m illiterate!” – Dormal

“Bold, Dormal.” – Varanis
“It is the only font he does, Varanis.” – Nala

“( And if we deal with it first, you still owe us one.)O o . Weasel” – GM

“If you see any of those people, I’ll suggest you keep clear.” – Dormal
“That, from an odd point of view, could be loyalty.” – Berra

“An Uroxi kicking down a door…” – Eurmalite
“Doesn’t really narrow it down for Uroxi.” – Dormal

“Used Horse Buying roll from GM.” – Berra
“Four free horseshoes as SOON as they are invented.” – Berra

“This is Eurmal Lightbringer.” – GM
“Total dick?” – Berra
“No, not a total dick.” – GM
“So he swings both ways?” – Nala

“You could use your Beast rune.” – GM
“Beetle.” – Berra

“Sid clicks down a Lunar on the bar, slides it forward…” – GM
“All the lady trollkins swoon.” – Berra

“One of the trollkin has Death, Disorder, and Darkness runes.” – GM
*cricks fingers* – Berra

“There’s a troll ten feet tall, with a Great Sword, walking along.” – GM
“What a fantastic troll. Great, even!” – Berra

“Eeeeeennlooooooo! Eeeeeeenloooo!!” – Great Troll

“Where/how are you carrying a pouch, naked lady?” – Varanis
“Varanis: Prison pocket.” – Dormal
“Dormal!!” *open mouth* – Varanis
“What, she said she was naked, where else?” – Dormal

“I’m missing my strength characteristic. He’s in a stable.” – Nala
“I’m going to scan too.” – Varanis
“57/65 – Detect Enemies.” – Berra
“And ordinary reflexes too…” – Berra

“You get back safe. Unperforated. Unstabbed.” – GM
“Unfollowed…” – Berra

“Shiny armour. Don’t want to break it.” – Berra
“The question is whether I should come, because it might cause trouble…” – Berra

“Ping ping ping ping ping… Berra. You get to the Temple of Orlanth, and your Detect Enemies is going off. One person, just behind the wall.” – GM
“Assassin. In there. Only one… there is a chance this is Lanasha and she’s only after me.” – Berra

“Varanis. From behind you, you hear a roar of, ‘BERRA JARANG’S DAUGHTER, YOU ABSOLUTE BITCH!'” – GM
“Ah, THAT Lanasha!” – Varanis

“I’m going to hit her back.” – Berra
“Fist is…. a) 60 and b) A very bad word.” – Berra

“Is there a water fountain nearby, because when women are fighting that’s the law.” – Serala
“Or a mud puddle?” – Varanis

“Failed dodge – obviously torn about fighting!” – Berra

“So, it looks like Serala and Berra are ok. Going into the Temple now.” – Varanis

“Then she kisses you.” – GM
*rolls* … “A brief moment of kissing back, and then not.” – Berra

“Try to raise an eyebrow. Which given I have a huge monobrow isn’t going to be successful.” – Rajar

“Wet shift competition!” – Varanis

“Amazing rack.” – Berra

“Which of them is your latest bit?” – Lanasha
“Neither of them. I don’t have any.” – Berra
“Good thing D’Val isn’t here. Dead giveaway.” – Nala

“I’m going to go back…” – Rajar
“This isn’t my latest bit either.” – Berra

“I’m in the Temple and going to the chapel(?) to Vinga to pray and make a sacrifice/donation.” – Varanis
“Because you are sensible.” – Berra

“They are both irritable. Made for each other.” – Nala

“This is going on long enough that I have prayed and now changed. I’m assuming I have a safe place at the Temple to stash my armour?” – Varanis

“Berra’s obviously torn about hurting Lanasha, but after a moment of weakness there’s no more kissing.” – Berra

“You were great. And… the god is a calling.” – Berra

“What is the risk of the fire spreading?” – Varanis
“About 100% if the GM gets going.” – Berra

“Detect Enemies on the way out.” – Berra
“Nothing, except the on-off Lanasha from the Temple. On, off. On, off.” – GM

“Varanis. Naked, for Nala, means ‘without a Tiwr or Zinat’.” – Nala

“Berra moves like an infanteer. Obviously doesn’t want to walk. It’s just marginally better than riding.” – Berra

“Lovely place, Esrolia. Target-rich.” – Nala

“I have a mental image of Varanis and Serala sitting on chairs, and Berra sitting on one and her feet not hitting the floor.” – Nala
“She’s bigger than D’Val. That’s very important to her.” – Berra
“ZINAT is bigger than D’Val.” – Nala

“Perfect child comes to offer me tea!” – Parent
“Whose child was it?” – Nala
“One I stole.” – Parent
“From the waters and the wild?” – Nala
“Someone’s cradle.” – Berra
“Some other bastard had been there first. I got a fairy.” – Berra

“Varanis the QUEEN is your floozy? Points for style, women.” – Nala

“She gives a clap and just about everyone turns instantly and walks out.” – GM
“Berra was just glaring at the attendants when that happens.” – Berra

“Left are: older woman with general air of grandmother, and half a dozen various grandmothers.” – Berra
“Half a dozen various guards” – GM
“Whatevs.” – Berra
“Don’t be agist.” – Berra

“I will take steps.” – Queen Samastina
“Berra grins widely at ‘steps’.” – Berra

“Where is the perfect child making ME tea?” – GM
“She says, send your mug and she’ll fill it and send it back.” – Parent

“Seek your foe here.” – Samastina
“low whistle” – Berra
( Fuuuuuuck. ) O o . – Berra
“One of the stones has turned white.” – GM

“Leave with all due courtesies and respect. Back to temple to change into armour. Then back to update Grandmother.” – Varanis
“Lots of magic, and awkwardly avoiding conversation with Lanasha.” – Berra
“And awkwardly conversing with Lanasha.” – Berra

“May the 1000 Goddesses keep you safe.” – Varanis
“10,000” – GM
“Yes. Just like that.” – Varanis

“Ooooh. Style point: igniting arrows so that only Ash reaches us” – Nala

*comes back to Dormal weaselling* – Berra

“Serala has a lot of watching to do.” – Berra
“Is your plan changing because you are potentially going to be in battle?” – Berra

“So, I am good at talking to people. And spirits. Which is more useful? I might be able to trade heretofor unwritten stories to the Temple.” – Nala

“The General is going to drop into the Clan House to talk about Onjur.” – Berra
“I’m guessing it’s fairly mazy, narrow, ambushy territory.” – Dormal

“We need to fill Grandmother in, so she’s ready for the guests.” – Varanis
“‘fill in’ is bad.” – Berra

“I’m thinking I should call it early…” – GM
“You’ll be awake anyhow right? So I can type at you!” – Berra

“If you are anti-social at any time, type at me.” – Berra

“Berra’s pacing up and down,, checking her sword, checking her armour, checking all of her muscles, repainting her woad Truth sign…” – Berra
“And making sure Rajar’s axes all look good.” – Berra

“Ribbons on the cute axes?” – Nala
“That would look so cool when I throw them” – Rajar

“Polish Fred on the lance, and tell him he’s a great head on a spike but this isn’t the time.” – Berra

“Dormal. Prime Weasel.” – Berra

*closes her eyes, looking pained* – Nala

“I need an axe tattoo.” – Varanis

“It would be a *shame* if he died.” – Grandmother
“I am ashamed to admit I might not cry a lot.” – Mellia
“Just exhaust your rune points BEFORE you get the chance to heal him, huh?” – Berra

“Talktopuss Prime – Dormal.” – Nala

“The tongue will flicker out a few times.” – GM
“I taste of Unicorn.” – Nala

“When your friends have finished getting themselves killed, you may wish to bring any survivors to me.” – Grandmother

“I take it Dormal is nowhere to be found by right minded people”- Mellia
“Well, I’m standing right here, so yes.”- Dormal

“Berra is hurrying along in the corridors just after them.” – Berra
“And they are getting away all the time.” – Berra, SIZ 11

“It may be a shock to Dormal to have been taken quite seriously” – Nala

You missed a call from Rajar.
“?” – Dormal
“??” – GM
“I think Rajar had a pocket malfunction.” – GM
“I did.” – Rajar

“Forgot to say, happy wintholidays and may your saves v. holiday stressors always be critical.” – Nala

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