Natural Tendencies

S01 — Session 43

1626, Fire Season, Illusion Week


Fire Season, Illusion Week, Clayday to Fireday


Dramatis Personae

PC

Berra
Dormal
Irillo
Mellia
Nala and Tiwr
Rajar
Varanis
Xenofos

NPC

Silor Tamainsson
A host of Tribal and Clan leaders
Salid the sniveller
Eril
Eril again, in a different guise
Kallyr ( [https:blogs.ucl.ac.uk/museums/2013/07/12/bentham-present-but-not-voting/ present but not voting] )
Tennebris, Chief Priest of Orlanth in Boldhome
Beneva, High Healer of Boldhome
D’Val the Sword

Events

As before, the log will be recounted with extracts from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga, NalaTiwrSaga and The Death of Rajar. There will be extracts from the Sonnets to Varanis, Sonnets in Praise of Xenofos and The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia. There will be reference to the Accounts of the Travels of Irillo Goldentongue. Editorial commentary will be recorded [thus]. The {“D”} voice appears.

[The bringing of the Cross to Wilmskirk and Boldhome was not without its alarms. First of all, a messenger brought news of the death of Kallyr. The result for Varanis was to make her immediate magical heir to Sartar, without preparation.]

She vowed t’avenge her kin, with words that burned with fire,
To strike out at her killers with a rage that would not tire.
Preserving then the throne against all hell and mortal strife
That Kallyr might return to it when reuinited with her life

[And we will see later how that went. Here, two threads of narrative are overlapping, and while the Death of Kallyr is important, we are also following The Death of Rajar and his many, many deeds before that happened.]

I only hired him.
I didn’t tell him ‘touch Death’.
Don’t be Cross with me!

1Spurious Rajar:

If pockets had been
Invented in this era
I could go through his.


{“So. Proud.”}

[As for the rest of that tale, we know that the Cross came to Boldhome, and indeed this event is recorded in Temple Records. It is also recorded in NalaTiwrSaga, in the Love of Ikadz, Hate of Eril section, from which we take this:]

{“Do not ask for credit, as a betrayal often offends.”}

Knowing you want death,
knowing you want its respite,
why would I grant it?

[It is, indeed, a good question. Five hundred words on why Death should be granted in Late Bronze Age Glorantha, Sartar area. And here is Death, in a loud glory, and a brief mention. Rajar and Berra JarangsdottiHumaktiSaga.]

To summon up rage
Must be done with due honour
To Storm Bull’s hot air

Dire duty done
Onward drew Dagger

[We know that High Sword Eril of the Boldhome Humaki was replaced pro tem, at this point, although records are sketchy. We know he was ‘unable to fulfil his duties’ but we do not know why. Much speculation has wasted much ink. Our best clue is from Mellia.]

So into Death’s cold hall she walked with loving eyes set soft.
No fear was in her of the ending, for she saw it oft
Upon the field of battle and the birthing bed,
And as a Mercy Lady her white robes were often red.

Still lay the Sword of Humakt on a bloodied couch of oak,
Within his room austere and deathly, on a gore-drenched cloak
All cut about with many wounds that tore the surface skin
And dying slowly from the blow that cut away his sin.

Within delirium of pain he spoke of secrets deep
Of knowledge that would blast one who could not a secret keep
But Mellia calmed him as she would for any patient there,
And Eril slept beneath her knife and lived beneath her care.

[And thus we return to the beginning – the news of the death of Kallyr. Of all those who reacted to it, Xenofos was the most closely related, by Clan and oath.]

So often thoughtful ere the battle call should sound
He cast aside the stupor that is in the Library found.
First to rally to her side lest danger at her spring,
He earned the seat of knowledge then when Varanis formed her ring.
Stout through the night he guarded her as foes came in to see
If she had weakness but the Scribe was armed most faithfully.

[And let us see if we can get Professor Tomm back after his extraordinary computer problems last week. Professor, are you there?]

[“Ah yes, yes, I am. I’m sorry for last week. It appears that a wild boar released by animal rights activists dug up and ate the fibre bundle. What are the chances? Now, we have reached the end of what is known as the ‘Erillo Cycle’. The Accounts are their usual concise self, and are best seen as a means of confirmation of other sources. Let us consider this entry.”]

Free from my mind.
Am I changed?
A love grows. A darkness within, but also an understanding of his code.
A respect for Humakt. So different from my own Way.
Such dedication- to carve a difference into yourself for the good of Sartar.
I would not have the Will.
I admire him, and dislike him both.
But I can keep the balance and harmony in my mind.


The morning of Clayday dawned wet and drizzly. Various things happened to slow them down (see log list below), but eventually, our heroes were on the road to Boldhome, by way of Wilmskirk. Conveniently, Silor Cracks-Rock and a large number of his best friends, all heavily armed, happened to be riding to Wilmskirk too. Silor’s men acted as outriders and a serious guard for Silor, who travelled just behind the wagon carrying the relics.

Along the way, a messenger intercepted them with an urgent message from Boldhome for Silor. Kallyr had died, according to rumour. Silor shared this dire news with Irillo, who told everyone in the party in his own time.

They travelled on to Wilmskirk, their mission now more urgent. Arrival in Wilmskirk was in the late afternoon. They sought a place to stay the night, but a lot of inns had no vacancy signs. Eventually they were settled at the Praxian inn known to them already. While Berra guarded the relics, others had various activities (temple visits, shady doings, and the like). In the morning Rajar recruited a couple of Humakti to help guard the relic, but unfortunately one of them died immediately, as he was curious about what was in the wagon, and touched it. Varanis recruited a few more, but this did make a scene.

Irillo spoke for Silor in court for the blow the Chief had accidentally struck Mellia, but he was found to be responsible and told to take a donation to a shrine of her choice, on foot. Eventually, the party continued to Boldhome. They might have been followed by some of Silor’s men, but if so, it was surely a coincidence. Just as much of a coincidence was the scouting party who had swept the road in front of them.

On Windsday morning they arrived in Boldhome barely ahead of Prince Kallyr’s party. Rushing to get the relic to the Temple of Humakt, the party was stalled when Irillo was sucked into a Heroquest again, with a number of familiar looking faces who all seemed to be Eurmali. This one saw Erillo/Humakt horribly tortured2Oh no. No no no. That is not just inaccurate, that is wrong! It is like the time I had to purify that poor grey sage who could not punctuate. And these are not footnotes, they are corrections.

Eril was guilty, and he was burdened. He could not pass on to reward or his just punishment yet. He was impure.

For those who, vainly, idolise him, let me list his impurities. I
assure you these are only the most// egregious.

He did not keep a promise to his Regiment. He had pride in the wrong things. He had committed murder. He loved, desperately, with a flame that burned for someone who is not his God. He would have preferred her over others, if she were in danger. He despised his own father. He was afraid to die with his work undone. He had pain for his family, despite being cast out. He had uncompleted ambitions. He had Hope.

I don’t think you understand what it is to bear love for such poor men. by the loving hands of Ikadz and barely saved by Chalana Arroy. Rajar the Eurmalite broke free before he was likewise tortured.3Sigh.

Erillo, it seems, had a passenger in the form of a demon who took over his body after a brief spiritual struggle. There was a great spirit battle, the highlight of which was a giant Uroxi spirit who played bounce with Irillo’s body. Mellia dismissed the spirit and Irillo fell to the ground to be saved by his armour. Rajar put him into a wrestling hold. Berra knew she could harm the Demon inside Irillo with her fireblade, but it would hurt him too. She challenged the demon to single combat and for some reason, it agreed and exited Irillo to fight the Humakti. Irillo was in terrible shape, in spite of healing by Mellia, and had a wound that would not heal. As soon as his body was vacated, Rajar scooped him up and carried him to the market, followed by Dormal, to get him behind wardings. The fight was a near thing and Berra looked outmatched, but she won and cut it to pieces, with her fireblade. The quest ended to reveal our heroes nearly at the temple of Humakt.

The Humakti would not allow the relic wagon into the grounds, but kept it outside. Mellia was called on to heal a gravely injured4pure Eril within the Temple of Humakt, although no reason was given to the others. Eventually a yard was found for them nearby. It was around this time that Kallyr’s procession entered the gates and went straight up to the Palace. Nala and Tiwr rushed to the Palace, only to be turned away. Rajar took up a place at the palace gates to guard for a time. Xenofos and Varanis snuck in the back way.

Varanis managed to score a meeting with her Prince, who was sadly looking very dead and was therefore very uncommunicative. She left a message with Koraki as to where the Palace could find her, then she and Xenofos left. Finding Rajar, they updated him. Dormal nipped off to report the happenings to Roka, and returned to offer Irillo one of his healing potions. The healing caused him great pain as his magical wound kept ripping itself open. Dormal took Irillo along to the White Ladies. Rajar came back from being on guard, could not find Irillo, and went to his Temple. Varanis and Xenofos decamped to the White Grape. Nala badgered the Temple of Humakt into sending Mellia to the Palace, which D’Val would not do until Beneva turned up in person, when Tiwr sent a message. Beneva told Mellia that she had tried resurrection repeatedly, but some foul Lunar magic had hidden Kallyr’s spirit. Berra kept standing guard. Dormal lurked where the wild weasels go and came in to the White Grape late at night.


“Have dice. Have beer. Have D’Val Mug.” – GM

“There is a wagon that Berra is walking alongside. Yamia is not invited.” – GM

“The thing is that Calamity is quite sure-footed.” – Rajar
“Not when she’s attached to Billy, she’s not.” – GM

“Slight complication…” – Irillo, of Kallyr’s death

“There are all sorts of political complications.” – Irillo
“One catastrophe at a time.” – Dormal

“Is Leika likely to kill her?” – Irillo
“No, she’s more likely to try to marry her.” – Berra
@@*@@horrified look@@*@@ – Varanis

“Varanis just became the most eligible bachelor in Sartar.” – Berra
“I mean, she’s got good legs, but I wouldn’t….” – Irillo
“I would.” – Berra

“Maybe we’ll have refutation or resurrection by then.” – Irillo
“Whaaa?” – Berra
“Re-fu-tation.” – Irillo
@@*@@blank look@@*@@ – Berra

“Varanis.” – Irillo
“Yes?” – Varanis
“Um.” – Irillo

“So… it appears that Kallyr may be dead.” – Irillo
….
“Am I sitting?” – Varanis

“I still don’t know if Silor knows who I am.” – Varanis
“He plays his knucklebones really close to his chest.” – GM

“I’m just going to… oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.” – Rajar
“The Humakti falls down dead…” – GM
“Rajar picks over his gear.” – Rajar

“Is Berra actually giggling?” – Varanis
“No, the GM is giggling. That’s different.” – GM/Berra

“Do we need more guards?” – Varanis, looking around
“I hired a couple, one broke.” – Rajar

“Of course, nothing could go wrong in my absence… WHAT, IN THE NAME OF ISSARIES’ WRINKLY COIN PURSE…?” – Irillo

“Of course it’s about to rain, it’s Sartar and it’s not raining.” – Irillo

“You don’t rip all the skin off the sheep at once.” – Dormal

“If I’m still at the front, I’m not sure I’d have noticed Berra flinch.” – Varanis

“Are you still interested in becoming richer?” – Eril
“Everyone should have a hobby.” – Roka

“You mean I look tired and should rest?” – Eril
“Everyone rests in the end.” – Ikadz

“He did not keep a promise to his Regiment. He has pride in the wrong things. He has committed murder. He loves, desperately, with a flame that burns for someone who is not his God. He would prefer her over others, if she were in danger. He despises his own father. He is afraid to die with his work undone. He has pain for his family, despite being cast out. He has uncompleted ambitions. He has Hope.” – GM

“Let me see if I can get this off. I should be able to.” – Mellia

“Please, Gentleman, Ladies, have I been aggressive?” – ‘Eril’
“…. YES.” – Nala

“You probably don’t want either Rajar or the demon to have a love potion, Irillo.” – Varanis

“Wait, Irillo has a permanent wound???” – Varanis
“Mebbbeee.” – GM

“Let me just roll to try to fail honour… Damn, passed.” – Nala

“In future times, she will be known as Berra the Blurt” – Nala

“Varanis does the only things she can. Watch, pray, and send by-standers away.” – Varanis

“That broke up. Was that wound done to Berra or by Berra?” – Varanis
“Nobody spoiler Varanis!” – GM
@@*@@whistles@@*@@ – Nala
@@*@@middle finger to every camera in turn@@*@@ – Varanis

“What in HELL?” – Humakti guards
“Yes.” – more than one person.

“D’Val. Kallyr needs Mellia.” – Nala
“The Duck says, “The Temple needth her too.” Small and determined, he looks up at her.” – GM
“I understand. But,” voice drops very dramatically, “only Mellia can call the Prince. The Head of the temple has tried.” – Nala
“She’th operating. Can’t be disturbed.” – GM

“What species am I currently?” – Irillo
“Well, you look human. Do you want me to check under the covers?” – Dormal

“D’Val, if I get the head of Chalana Arroy to swap in, is that okay? We’re against time with her.” – Nala
“The High Sword was emphatic. Only the lady Mellia.” – GM

“Your loyalty to the Temple is noteworthy, and has been. Your loyalty to the Prince?” – Nala
“D’Val raises a ducky eyebrow – the only one you can see.” – GM

“Nalan levels a stare downwards.” – Nala
“He levels his stare straight ahead, at her midriff.” – GM

“Shall I inform the palace the Swords deny them?” – Nala
“Silence.” – GM
“(Thilenth.)” – GM

“My boy, may I just say how pleased we are with your scholarly approach?” – LM Chief Priest
“Aaah, that is a bit surprising but I am happy to hear it.” – Xenofos

“I missed what he said!” – Varanis
“They would like money and patronage, please.” – GM
“She’s not dead yet! Oh shit. She is.” – Varanis
“And to promote Xenofos to Rune Master ASAP if he would just do them a little favour.” – GM