S. H. O. P. P. I. N. G. They’re Shopping.

S01 — Session 8

1625, Earth Season

Season, Week, Day

Earth Season, Harmony Week, Godday
Earth Season, Death Week, Freezeday and Waterday


Dramatis Personae


Berra Daughter of Jarang
Nala of the Unicorn Ladies
Tiwr (played en-troupe)
Rajar son of Ranulph


Irena- Redsmith and Initiate of Issaries, Boldhome
Irillo Jasilsson- Initiate of Issaries Goldentongue, and Merchant Adventurer
The Barman of the Broken Jug, Wilmskirk
Naril, Master of the Horses to the Prince of Sartar
Harmast, High Priest of Storm Bull in Boldhome
The Iron Lord (Name unknown)- Presumed Sword of Humakt and Blacksmith.
4 Bandits of a spectrum of misfortune
A comedic chorus of guards

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. {insertions} will occur in another cynical or sarcastic voice, whose precise nature is unclear, but may prove identifiable with future work1 Whilst some of the comments of the ‘D Voice’ may sound like the ‘Q Voice’, and indeed sometimes strikingly similar to the ‘T Voice’, the context indicates it is a separate interlocutor who has opted to step outside the heroic narrative. . Footnotes for the interested are included at the bottom of the extracts. [Editorial comments will be bracketed thus.]

[Our tale picks up this time with _The Lay of Serala_, who describes the hero’s reaction to Boldhome.]

Sartar’s city before her lay a-dreaming,
The light upon the gold of pennants gleaming.
Serala saw the lures of the Princes stronghold clearly
And let her lonely path draw her nearly
To the halls of comfort, and held herself apart
For twas the plains, not the city filled her heart!
And so, undaunted by the chilling cold, or pervasive damp
Our Lance Queen made her Feathered Camp2 This is an extremely interesting passage, as it is the first foreshadowing of the return of Serala to the Household of the Feathered Queen. !

[It should not be forgotten that Berra had been left behind- her encounter with D’Val in Duck Point is referenced in a fragment of what is thought to be Devevalsaga, although the accuracy of that identification is debatable]

Humakt’s Dagger departed Deveval
Durulz danger dared
Family’s feathers flying
Facing fortunes fight!
3 That so little of this Saga has survived is frustrating in the extreme, as we have so few sources for Durulz culture in this time period, and mostly D’Val appears only as a Deus ex Quackina in other Heroes saga, filtered through the understanding (or lack thereof) of other species.

[Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga picks up the narrative on her travel back towards Wilmskirk.]

Striking self in brow saying
I see what saying said!
Call of Cloacasans quacked
Clearing mind, quickly rode Berra!4 The C/Q alliteration in this segment gives valuable clues about pronunciation.

Wisely seeking Wilmskirk’s wine
Went Berra from the West
Sword seen with no sorrow
Swiftly served and in solitude seated!5 The gift of quiet to an ascetic is clearly a sign of great respect to Berra. It is unclear what Berra did to be afforded such a sign of honour in Wilmskirk. Future finds may clarify this intriguing point.

Berra to Boldhome began
Bereft of company, but brave
Bandits beset her but
Bereft of bladecraft, vanquished and beaten!

Guilty Gold-givers they
To grant good gifts!
She saving souls
Swiftly slicing safety for sinners!

Berra at Boldhome bade
Guard-blades to bid welcome
Ransomed ruffians ridding of
Ruined reputation as raiders!

[ But the other heroes had clearly not been idle- as witness The Death of Rajar and NalaTiwrSaga ]

{“Odd behaviour, if you ask me.”}

Ernalda Beautious
For armour shopping went she
Issaries, cash first.

Rajar for votive
Offering idol- caused
Altaring arming

{“But why would you drink OUTSIDE the City?”}

[The Lay of Serala also reports this period as being of great significance to the later actions of the Hero.]

As Serala lay a-dreaming, the God descended
As acknowledgement of horses mended
Or as it seemed to her in vision creeping
That slid into her mind whilst sleeping

She saw and felt as t’were her, the Gods travail
As He fought the monsters dark, and tormenters pale
She knew the God’s sweet, noble, loyalty fine
And through her veins it flowed like strongest wine

And so her friends found her, and never kenned
That her will was strengthened, as if newly penned
By Lhankor’s pen, or forged afresh by ‘Elmal’s nobl’st hand
They merely saw the sweet eyed horses ’bout her stand.

[The last word, also on an equine note should be left with NalaTiwrSaga ]

Three mares lie in foal
A Unicorn forgetful
Stud-ied ignorance!

Berra travelled back from Duck Point, stopping at Wilmskirk, where she went to the same bar. The barman opted to give her a private room, rather than have trouble, and thus was able to profit from both her, and from the people she almost got into a fight with last time. She then headed on towards Boldhome. En-route a bandit jumped out from the bushes, before realising that the solitary woman riding along the road was wearing Humakti runes. He backtracked, but she did not, and he quickly ended up offering ransom. At this point. his 3 friends in the woods opted to help him with arrows, into Berra’s horse, which was unhappy as a result, and –ran– hobbled some distance away. Berra ran into the woods, and discussed matters with the remaining three bandits, one of whom totally lost his head, another became halfway armless, and the third surrendered for ransom. Whilst this was going on, Bandit 1 had scarpered.

She headed with her two surviving prisoners to Boldhome, surprisingly encountering little further resistance.

Meanwhile, in the big city, the rest of the party had been going shopping, preparing for the long journey, a fact which had not gone unnoticed to Dormal, a –fugitive– tourist from Esrolia–n “Justice”–, who had –fled– travelled to Sartar to –escape enemies who wanted to kill him– admire the Spire of the Great Temple of Orlanth, which is several metres high. Dormal found that a few other Esrolians from his Clan were up at the palace, but were buying things in the town. He recognised the names from recent ballads which he’d heard, and correctly placed their genre as “Propaganda to make our Clan look really awesome”, a popular type of song in Esrolia. He also encounters Irillo, another Esrolian, but one doing a half hearted job at appearing more Heortling, for trading purposes. He was planning a caravan north and west, to Tarsh, to make lots of money, and Dormal offered himself as a guard.

Aside from their equipment shopping, Rajar had a statue made of Storm Bull as a votive offering, which he took to the shrine to offer. Expecting politics as to whether it got placed, he was somewhat surprised to find himself challenged to an arm wrestling contest instead. As he won, the statue was placed, and everyone was happy.

Nala meanwhile checks out the Ernaldan temple, in the absence of Kalis, and has herself blessed by the Chief Priestess, for reasons best known to that lady. She also finds out, up at the palace, from Naril that a ‘Happy Event’ is anticipated- three mares from the herd which Tiwr drunkenly joined are now in foal.

Berra and her “companions” arrived, pausing at the camp just outside the gates where Serala and Rajar were avoiding the stresses of Big City living. Serala was unimpressed at Berra’s attempts at horse healing, and dropped Rune Magic on making sure the job was done properly- Yelmalio having an affinity for the job in equines.

Whilst Rajar and Berra left her holding the fort on their quest for BEER, Serala had a dream- she was Yelmalio, in his guise as Elmal, the Loyal Thane of Orlanth, holding the fort against the attacks of Chaos, and the blandishments of more subtle Chaos. Understanding this as a sign from her God, she is a bit spaced out, not helped by the fact that ‘the tears of her tribe’, which heal Elmal in the myth appear to be the slobber of her horses nuzzling her.

Rajar and Berra fall to drinking in the same bar Dormal is staying in, and somehow all three of them end up at the camp outside the gates, where Dormal finds out that whilst guests of the Prince get the gates opened for them after dark, he doesn’t, so has an uncomfortable night.

Armour and equipment collected, the party plan to make way with Irillo, at least to begin with, as additional muscle, and for company.

“423. Even if the rules allow it, I cannot play a duck.” – Dormal, from internet list

“…have prepped fumble tables…” – Nala

“I just used it for a cheap joke, that’s all. I don’t have much budget.” – SeNala

“Did you bring enough shortbread to share?” – Nala
*nods* – GM in different county

“No, there’s a hard thing in the way.” – Nala
“Sorry, let me rearrange myself.” – GM

“For completely reasonable misunderstandings that will eventually die down, I have been forced to leave Nochet.” – Dormal

“I come from a /short/ line of warrior philosophers, so…” – Dormal

“Feel free to roll extremely well.” – GM
“02” – Dormal

“They are clearly good songs.” – GM, of his own poetry
“In character it’s not my own poetry, it’s Qidane’s, so I am allowed to praise it. So there. That tol’t you, Berra.” – GM

“Wear a fake moustache!” – Nala

“Nochet is the greatest city in the world. Just like Rome, and Lutetia.” – GM

“They are speaking Heortling LOUDLY AND SLOWLY AT YOU, instead of doing the civilised thing of letting you speak Esrolian LOUDLY AND SLOWLY AT THEM.” – GM

“Dormal: OMG I have seen a plot hook. Must wait 2 days then run away!” – Berra

“Is the GM still breaking up for everyone else, or are we just lucky?” – Serala

“Berra.” – GM
*unmutes* – Berra
“No, Dormal is back…” – GM
*mutes* – Berra

“We could not split the party tonight!” – Serala
“I don’t understand. Don’t split the…” – Rajar

“I think I’ll have another beer.” – Rajar

“I think I’ll start GMing with the advantage of an empty bladder.” – GM
*stares into space briefly* – GM
“That’s better.” – GM

“I can only buff by licking. It’s the rules.” – Tiwr, per Berra

Human armour? ewww. I’ll have bronze.” – Tiwr, per Dormal

“… thonging?” – Berra

“We used to do re-enactment. I’ve strapped and tied Rajar every which way…” – Serala
“…should I rephrase that?” – Serala

Suggested names for horses:
“Horsy?” – Rajar
“Splat.” – Berra
“Glue.” – Dormal

“You’re both the evil twin.” – Berra

“He needs beer.” – Berra
“Truth Y” – Rajar

“We’ll, I’m very sorry, but I wasn’t the one who mated with them.” – Nala

“Hello, I’d like a statue for Storm Bull’s greater glory, and you’re going to sell it to me at a very reasonable price, AREN’T YOU?” – Rajar

“SENSE CHAOS” – Dormal

“I do the Berra Dismount.” – Berra
“SPLAT” – Rajar
“It’s ok, her face broke her fall.” – Dormal

“BERSERK” – Dormal
“NO.” – Berra
“Oh go on ya no ya want to use the power of STORM BULL” – Rajar

“You might want to try to dodge the Critical.” – GM

“Someone had picked up a arrow, it turned out to be a sharp from the previous demo and assumed it was a blunt and put it into my friends shield. We all were very surprised. and then there was shouting. MUCH SHOUTING and we all stopped the battle and then there was blame and pointing.” – Rajar

“18 to… right arm.” – Berra

“The quality of bandits hereabouts…” – Berra

“18 to head…” – Berra
*everyone thinks of D’Val*
“You have learned so much.”- GM

“YOU don’t look hurt.” – Serala
“The horse is not a Humakti.” – Berra


“I accidentally failed to kill some bandits on the way here. I’m afraid I earned ransom. I’ll do better next time.” – Berra
*looks a bit surprised, hands over beer* – Rajar

“I accepted ransom to get onto the next fight, and then I was in the middle of some more fighting.” *takes scale tankard of beer* – Berra

“Oh, and Serala has my horse again.” – Berra

“The mushroom is very large.” – Nala fails at Tradetalk

“Dormal. You get back to your inn, and there are a couple of people there. Back table.” – GM
“Anyone I know? That sort of person?” – Dormal
“You’d hope not. Berra and Rajar, describe yourselves?” – GM

“You, over here, more beer!!!” – Rajar

“Padding. Wool. Rope. The knowledge we cannot really fly even if the wind spirits tell us we can. What more do we need?” – Berra
“Exactly! So it’ll all be good!” – Rajar

“No undead hordes from the nearby marsh? How was Duckland?” – Rajar
“Oh, no. Lots of ducks. And some terrible moments. I worked out on the way here what Quackie Quackie was.” – Berra
*shudder* – Berra
*drink* – Rajar

*chugs back whole cup* – Berra
<there is another way to drink?> – Rajar

*splorts* – Berra
“Oh…. Humakt. I just realised what that duck was offering me, too.” – Berra
*stares into space briefly, horrified* – Berra
*DRINK* – Rajar

“Embarrassing social situation:
*Berserk* – Berra???

“I’m picturing a giant foam hand. With Storm Bull #1 on it.” – Dormal

“I have dreamed of a sword.” – Berra
“That is as it should be.” – Iron Lord

“Be a master of the sword, be a leader of men, be acceptable to the god.” – Iron Lord

“I’m going to magic it up and boost my chances as much as I can. Maybe even more than I need, because I love Humakt.” – Berra
“Pass. Humakt can keep the change.” – Berra

“Mules are OK. It’s not their fault.” – Serala

“The knowledge of mule-hinny breeding in this group is above average!” – Nala

“I lied, there has been a 3rd gen hybrid.” – Dormer keeps on googling mules

“a Mammoth jenny’s valuable breeding time to producing sterile hinny hybrids, when Mammoth jennies are in high demand to produce fertile purebred Mammoth foals.[citation needed]” – Dormer
“… MAMMOTH.” – Berra
“Billy, you’re dumped.” – Berra

“Bisocorn? As opposed to bisoquorn, which would be a VERY LARGE MUSHROOM.” – Nala

“Tiwr, love, MUST you snore?” – Nala