Bare-axed Naked

S01 — Session 28

1626, Sea Season


Season, Week, Day

1626, Sea Season, Stasis Week, Windsday to Wildday

Dramatis Personae

PC

Berra
Dormal
Rajar
Serala
Mellia
Nala
Xenofos
Varanis
Finarvi

NPC

A selection of village folk with debts that death did not entirely cancel
A willing, winsome, winning carl’s daughter, Matila
Farnan, a differently generous and vitally challenged carl
A bucket
Irillo
Gis, Village Lawspeaker
Doa (who isn’t DOA, no matter how much autocarrot insists)
Less than no Koraki
A selection of honest village folk, drunk on Dormal’s dime
Haralis, Wyter Priest (but not chief) of the Blue Tree Clan
A Blue Tree which shall remain nameless (to the uninitiated)
A gift-box of rather runny peasants

Events

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, and also The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia, additionally, we will be seeing the Sonnets in Praise of Xenofos and from The Lays of Finarvi. There will be brief reference to the Accounts of the Travels of Irillo Goldentongue. Editorial commentary will be recorded [thus]. Both the {“D”} and “T” voice appear in this selection of extracts.

[“A short lecture today, you’ll be pleased to hear. But there is plenty of space for reflection despite that. I like to think of it as a pleasing character piece before we get back to the constant stream of heroism- even the supernatural threat of Farnan is light in relation to what is before and to come. A period of ‘comic relief’, if you will. So, let us start with The Lays of Finarvi before moving straight on to Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga“]

Running languid o'er the curvテΛd em'rald hill
Fair Finarvi saw a maiden fair, who asked him if he will
Run with her through the mossy dells and o'er the swelling mounds
To course with her, in pursuit, less like men, than hounds

They ran, like wind, like Orlanth, like the men of old
And rested them at least, in such a pleasant leafy fold
His destination, it was hers, and both their triumph found
As the horns of vic'try at their hunting sound!

[“I shall not comment further on this extract, other than to note a hero in the 1640s with the patronimic ‘Finarvisson1 The erotic elements to life in these sagas is worth reflecting on briefly- this is part of their charm, as we see the whole of human life laid out… so to speak. For example, considering Pseudo-Varanis,

Let her kiss me with the kisses of her mouth –
her lips taste of wine and honey.
Silky skin carries the scent of spring,
dizzying the senses.
Whispered words of longing – Hush. Don’t hurry.
Let Kalis bring you to her chambers.


As the lotus blossom opens to the sun,
so does my beloved to candlelight.
I gaze upon her beauty with covetous eyes,
her perfume swallowing my senses.
She brings me to her banquet hall.
Her hold over me is devastating.
Strengthen me with dates,
refresh me with peaches,
For I am faint with love
. Moving on, as indicated….”]

Ghost Graced gift
Given to Good Berra
Words whispered in woodenhalls
‘ware the Wight

Boldly braving barrow-wight,
Sword bearing Berra2 Some have suggested (See von Sturm) that the implication here is that the sword is bringing Berra, not Berra, bearing a sword. Given some of von Sturm’s more esoteric theories, not too much weight should be put to this.
, 3 Unusually given their history, it is Alleyn who is the strongest supporter of von Sturm’s position here, citing that indeed Death brought the Humakti here, for to a Humakti, Death and the Sword are identically one. brought Bright-lady and
Proud Praxian to pacify
Pale piercer of shade.

Giving to Ghost the gift of
Gladly going to Law
Fae Farnan foully
Refused fair faithful offer

[“NalaTiwrSaga gives more details of this. This would suggest that Berra lost to the ghost, but Nala saved her.”]

Sad loyal maiden
nearly falls to ghostly foe;
almost a relief.

[“This is aided by The Sonnets to Mellia which records,”]

When the battle goes ill for the Humakt
Fair Mel’ia holds ever true to her pact
And sleep heals the ravelled sleeve of torn minds
In her balmy embrace, the sweet one binds

[“Although not recorded clearly, in other sources, it would appear that Xenofos and Rajar had joined the trio, as we find Sonnets in Praise of Xenofos and The Death of Rajar making comments in their own idioms.”]

Coming o’er the hill with the barbari’n
Xenofos saw Humakti draw sword on
White Lady standing unarmテΛd and alone
When sweet Mell’ia struck her down as from a throne

After the battle
Berra was all unknowning of
What had possessed her

[“It would seem that some self reflection occured, for what is often recorded as ‘Pseudo-Nala’ has the following stanza,”]

Talks to mad Berra
of persistent self-doubt;
of hero-mother.
4 I have my own reasons for believing the pseudo to be a misidentification, hence its inclusion in the main body of the lecture here. The reasoning is too long and tedious to go into here, but relies heavily on the work of Mowbray.

[“We now move on to the initiation stanzae. Now, these are limited in size and number, perhaps reflecting the ‘mystery’ element of cultic practice. Nonetheless, they also provide an important element of ‘belonging’ to our group, albeit not all participated. It would appear that Xenofos, in particular chose not to participate, but also pledged his sword to Varanis, his kinswoman.”]

“No Sartarite I, instead do I stand
A proud Saiciae, with sword in my hand.
To you do I offer , cousin of mine
From cedarn valleys5 Clearly an Esrolian reference to hillsides of pine”

“Cousin, right gladly I accept your blade
Though through the gore of the Empire we wade
I shall not then fail thee, oh swordsworn man
And reward you I shall, when you need, and I can!”

[“Other views can be seen in others of the group.”]

Risks inherent in joining clan:
I'm a trader, not a warrior.
I see no place for trading or negotiation in the seasons to come.
This is not my place. Or rather, all places are mine.

{“There’s going to be a WAR! Why on earth would I be there?”}

“I wasn’t asked. RACISTS!”

[However, let us start with Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga‘s account, before moving on.]

Woad and Wyter welcoming
Dagger Washed with Water
Lost loyal lady
Led back to family lands

[“A similar message seems to have taken the others- the grazelanders in especial being granted a vision of more horses, than they expected.”]

The Blue Tree to her then granted a vision serene,
To the edge of the Tula her eyesight had seen
All the horses at pasture, a boon to her eyes noble blue
And a home had she gathered, afresh and anew!

[“Varanis and Rajar, however, appear to have had different experiences.”]

Varanis then stepp’d to the edge of the tree
And the Tula laid out, before her she see [“sic”]
From the edge of one snow armoured mountain
To em’rald valleys of the creek’s flood plain

“Do you take this, Thane, to guard and to hold?
As the Heroes yet will, and the Gods did of old?
Will ye care for th’ folk who live in this place
Will ye hold gainst lunar sword, and troll’s mace?”

The heroine wavered not the least whit
Though many would have paused just a bit
“I will! To the end of my life, my last breath!
I serve it in life, and save it in death!”

Rajar joins a Clan
Led by Urox, Chaos foe!
There is Chaos. Go!

Uroxi always
Are fully dressed if you are
prone to axing me.

[“We shall end with another extract from the Lays of Finarvi.”]

At the gift of Wyter sweet, the Praxian hero vanishéd
The heroes disputed there- they would follow where he led.
And so they rode out, Chaos seeking out that very day
Finarvi rode, Varanis Fair fast following in a special way.

Berra had introduced Finarvi and Serala to the horse herds, and Finarvi had run with the villagers while Serala rode. Finarvi caught the eye of a young woman despite the language barrier, and she gave him a quick lesson on Heortling customs.

In an uncomfortable fit of charm, Berra went around the village smiling, and chatting with people, and finding out more about the haunted hide of land, discovering that Farnan, the ghost, had been a miser in life, and was hanging around because he felt people owed him money. Berra discussed settling the matter in court, but ran up against the fundamental prejudice against sharing any building with an undead lich from beyond the gates of Death. Meanwhile, Nala took a more direct approach and sneaked out to take a look, in that special sense of sneaking, meaning to kick a wooden bucket across a farmyard. Disapproving the ghost appeared, and invited her to pay for the damage, and also explained that he was there because people in the village owed him money. Berra and Nala compared notes, met up with Mellia, and decided the truth was somewhere in between, then set out to offer Farnan money, to buy the debts off him. Unfortunately, Berra’s initial offer was insultingly low, and he attacked. Nala rapidly joined the spirit combat, but Farnan proved a surprisingly tenacious opponent, briefly possessing the Humakti.

At roughly this point, Xenofos and Rajar came over the hill, just in time to see Farnan/Berra draw his/her sword, and to see Mellia cast sleep. This deposited the spirit back out in the spirit world, where Nala sent it on its way to its eternal rest. Sadly, Xenofos was less than impressed at Berra drawing on a Healer…. but Rajar knew the traditional response to an unconscious warrior was beer.

Varanis approached Gis, to find out whether Leika Blackspear would object to the landgift, and Gis repeated that Kallyr had the right to do what she had done. With this in mind, Varanis decided to join the Clan. Mellia, Serala, Rajar, and Finarvi decided to join also, and Berra finally got to do her joining properly. Xenofos did not, but decided to offer his sword to Varanis in personal fealty.

This done, the five joiners (and Berra) bathed in the ice cold river, and then came up the cliff to the sacred tree. Each in turn was anointed by the priest with their runes, in special woad. Then they were sent forward, to embrace the tree.

Each in turn had a vision, seeing the Tula, and being accepted. Rajar, however, saw a darkness, off at the edge of the Tula, and launched himself at it. From the point of view of everyone else, Rajar vanished, teleported off to where he needed to be, naked, save for his axe. He scented Chaos around him, and found a croft, where the inhabitants were not so much dead as liquefied. The woods were filled with dead animals and birds. With time, and effort, and without touching anything awful, he set the croft on fire, and thought about what to do next. Meanwhile, the rest had ridden to the rescue. Ridden apart from Berra and after a spectacularly impressive dismount, Varanis, who ran on foot alongside. They met up with Rajar, and began to make their plans to confront the Chaos all around them, worried by the Disease Spirits that Nala and Mellia saw flitting through the woods.

++++ Notable Moments and Quotes


“I’m not cruel. I leave that to other people.” – Serala
“I volunteer!” – Berra

“There are enti0re.” – Rajar
“as3m0” – Rajar
“sorry cat typing” – Rajar

“Yes. I want to someone to make me a plate Curaiss as frankly they don’t come off the shelf at SIZ 19.” – Rajar

“Dormal takes the shortest path to dishonour…” – Berra

“NALA KICKED THE BUCKET” – Dormal
“Aye, you’ll be paying for that bucket.” – Farnan

“Finarvi, Serala. You get to see something amazing. Berra, being charming!” – GM
“Berra talking baby talk is my brainwrench.” – Nala

“Have you considered taking the dead man to Court?” – Berra
“He’s DEAD!” – Villager

“Humakti for one should know that dead are dead.” – Xenofos
“Yep.” – Berra
“And if they are moving Humakti should stop it” – Xenofos
“Totally. But the way to do it might not be by violence.” – Berra
“What?!?!” – Xenofos

“So no plot, just faking connection problem?” – Xenofos
“He does that a lot.” – Berra

“Finarvi, there’s a pretty young horse-runner who’d like to see how far you can run. Maybe over that way…” – Berra
“Just ignore me rolling dice.” – Berra
“That didn’t sound sinister at all…” – Finarvi

“I mean, you don’t speak her language, but you can SPEAK HER LANGUAGE.” – Berra
“Ah, gurning her way over the language barrier. I can relate.” – Finarvi
“She’s hoping you will.” – Berra

“THIS IS VITALISM” – Dormal

“Do you want to make a charm roll?” – GM
“Yes, yes I do!” – Nala

“Local Girl says her name is Matila, to Serala, and is her cousin a man-lover because he doesn’t seem to be getting the hint.” – Berra

“Rajar is a Sex machine. See this Keg of Power I carry strapped to my chest……………………….” – Rajar
“The keg of power may have slipped” – Rajar

“Are Humakti normally this tolerant of ghosts?” – Dormal
“Isn’t YOU BELONG DEAD kind of their bag?” – Dormal

“Berra is taking a beating!” – Varanis
“And Dormal isn’t even there to look.” – Berra
“Humakti taking on a ghost – excellent.” – Xenofos

“There’s a little blur inside the spirit….” – Berra
“That might be Berra….” – Berra

“One MP!” – Nala

“HURRAH! Grab my axe – and a mug – and head off after them. If I can find a really big mug, that’ll be helpful.” – Rajar

“The assassin is down?” – Xenofos

“Are you alright, love?” – Rajar
“Was that to Mellia or Berra?” – ???
“Berra is not someone I’d call love, as I’d like to keep my hand.” – Rajar

“She was attacking You Mellia?” – Xenofos
“Here, hold my beer.” – Rajar
“Serala is drinking the beer. But that’s fine, because there is more beer!” – Rajar

“It can’t have been Berra. Mellia is still alive.” – Berra

“Sniff Berra!” – Rajar
“I have a ritual for this. She’ll wake up to a beer.” – Rajar
“Or in this case Perry which is like beer with teeth.” – Rajar

“You’re not dead so she didn’t want to kill you soft boy.” – Rajar

“Mellia pointed at you and told you to go to sleep. I find this is the sign of a true warrior.” – Rajar

“There was no blood when I arrived. And none when I left either.” – Rajar

“Everytime Nala gets into Mushrooms in Tradetalk, Irillo dies a little inside.” – GM
“#winningatlife” – Nala
“#losingatIrillo” – Nala

“The Prince has acted within her rights.” – Gis the Lawgiver
“AND THAT IS ALL HE IS SAYING.” – Berra
“DO I HAVE TO SPELL THIS OUT FOR YOU?” – Gis repeats himself a lot

“Right. Everyone who has a problem line up over there….” – Rajar

“Although Lord Lhankor Mhy gives the ability to make windows into men’s minds, I have chosen not to use that ability with the Queen of the Colymar.” – Gis

“Rajar ain’t going nowhere. For a start he’d have to get up.” – Rajar

“My Bad Decision sense is tingling.” – Dormal
“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat no bad decision was made drubnkingf theuis lovely beer with teeth erveryu” – Rajar

“So cold You don’t need woad” – Xenofos
“The whole jumping in the river thing – is there a dress code?” – Varanis

“Did you say tree?” – Rajar
“<sniff the tree>” – Rajar

“This is a nice community. Finarvi is in.” – Finarvi
“Yay! We went swimming. White shift contest.” – Varanis
“((Even if there is tree sex involved))” – Serala

“You mean take off my armour?” – Rajar
“Rajar looks…. scary in the white shift.” – Varanis
“Rajar can be naked.” – Berra
“Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot NAKED IT IS” – Rajar
“HUZZAH!” – Berra

“Rajar is buffed, but not buff.” – Berra

“Rajar. … Riiiight at the south edge there is a root that just looks twisted and wrong.” – GM
“SNIFF IT! SNIFF THE ROOT!” – Rajar
“And the tree says, ‘Someone has poisoned the root water.'” – GM
“Right, well that’s easily fixed! Grab an axe! Cut that bit of the root off! RAAAR!!!!!” – Rajar

“One minute you are cuddling a tree. The next you are on a mountainside.” – GM
“Stand astride the mountainside, looking awesome!” – Rajar

“He is not in the nude, he has an axe.” – Xenofos

“You’re in the nude, with an axe.” – Berra
“HURRAH!” – Rajar
“He is a storm bull. If they had calendars it would be Tuesday.” – Dormal

“I can’t help noticing it is 22:00 and we are not in Clearwine.” – Nala

“Stride, stride, stride! Naked as the day I was born!” – Rajar
“This axe is mine and I love it and I’m happy to be here naked with it!” – Rajar

“I’ve dropped the dice under the table and now I’ve got cats helping me!” – Rajar
“Regular failure, which is… NOOOOo, CAT!” – Rajar

“Making your sense Chaos roll three times is going to ruin your street cred.” – Nala
“It’s alright, no-one was there to see it.” – Dormal

“There is much Chaos.” – GM
“Aaaah! Wield my axe, charge in!” Rajar
“Lance first.” – Xenofos

“Torch the place. Only thing to do.” – Rajar
“With an axe in the nude?” – Xenofos
“Bow and stick.” – Berra
“An hour later…” – Xenofos

“Heeey, would you like to roll sense Chaos?” – GM
“I would love to roll Sense Chaos. It’s what I live for! OMG I made it twice in one night!” – Rajar

“This is too big a job for a single Uroxi.” – GM
“Pause. Look shocked.” – Rajar

“So, did anyone remember Rajar’s armour?” – GM
“Serala was only told to get horses.” – Serala

“Well, I suppose they can’t help that it’s ugly.” – Nala, blinking at Naked Rajar

“I wish you guys could see him right now.” – Serala
“You painted him in woad, no?” – Xenofos

“Stand akimbo with axe above his head!” – Berra
“Please tell me he’s not live role-playing this.” – GM
“I’m going to take my shirt off, just to get in character. ” – Rajar
“COME! THERE ARE MANY CHAOS THINGS TO KILL AND BURN!” – Rajar

“I’m not going pantsless. Not for you, GM.” – Rajar

“Who’m I gonna snuggle with then, damn you?” – Serala
“You’ll wake up in Dormal’s arms.” – Nala
“I’d prefer to wake up in Serala’s arms.” – Varanis
“You’re likely to be waking up in Mellia’s arms. She’s the one with resurrrect.” – Mellia