Warg and Peace

S01 — Session 26

1626, Sea Season

Season, Week, Day

1626, Sea Season, Fertility Week, Fireday to Godday

Dramatis Personae


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


Tennebris, Chief Priest of Orlanth at Boldhome
Beneva, High Priestess of Chalana Arroy at Boldhome
Eril, High Sword of Humakt at Boldhome
Kalis, High Priestess of Ernalda at Boldhome
Harmast, High Khan of Storm Bull at Boldhome
The Ironlord
D’Val the Sword
Precisely no Koraki
And Reintroducing
Kallyr Starbrow, Prince of Sartar


As before, the log will be recounted with extracts 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, importantly, The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia, additionally, we will be seeing the Sonnets in Praise of Xenofos. Editorial commentary will be recorded [thus]. The {“D”} voice will appear in this selection of extracts. Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga has importance also.

[Good morning. Garin. Professor. You know me. And now I know you. I have read your words on the change of tense in Varanis. Every. Single. One.

I am bored with reciting poetry, and therefore you will be reciting it. Those of you who do not read school communications may be surprised by this. I have the read receipts, which count as one course credit each. It is a requirement of this course that you read communications from your professor. However, I have volunteers for each of the segments, so if you paused in horror just then, relax.

First, The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia.]

Within the Precinct of Palatial Star
Sweet Mellia heard the calling from afar1von Sturm notes here the debt in Coleridge to this work,
“And through this tumult, Kublai heard from far”
By Orlanth sent, through Tennebris of fame
To beg that Mellia take another name
And in the white-robed tenderness she own’d
Her power was to the HeroQuest then loaned
She sighed and promised in her voice repose
Would woken be, and Kallyr ‘scape her foes.

{‘Oh, we’re making it better by doing exactly the same thing again, are we? Sure, why not.’}

[Thank you. Ten points for … no, you are all too young for me to make that reference at you. But we have another volunteer, and another volunteer – Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga]

Small Sword swiftly
Her Self-name sounded
Volunteered vanquishment
Death-Vale reeve of verity

Would wax and wane
As wolf with Wyrd
To Honour’s Tenet
Humakt’s Terror-Trial

Told Tennebris truly
To take heart
She could take Quest
Coughing up Kallyr

[And there we understand that they will be taking up the interrupted quest. This is less explicit in Mellia, although calling from afar is a phrase used in the Great Call to Quest, of course. A brief break, then, with NalaTiwrSaga.]

Sacred Earth held Air
Within Boldhome lay Kalis
Nala spoke her words

The Lunar Spy
And Varanis, and the Box
And all airful pride

[It’s notable that NalaTiwrSaga should pause to discuss this while the great turning point of the Sea Season is upon us. Note it, and we’ll move on to more of Berra.]

Dashed Dagger Deathward
D’Val found drawing
Stone on sword
Sitting in silent study

Berra brave bowed
Beauty to the Beast2As Charrington has it:

Serious question, centred on sex
Rumoured reputation ruined
instead, initiateship. No impure proposal
imputed to sword. So it goes.

Quick quoth to Quilled one3Queried quill-man quickly quacked up
Claiming Humakt’s Quest

Embassy to Eril made
Elocution errors evaded4Probably an allusion to the infamous, ‘USE SHORTER BLOODY WORDS PLEASE, SIR’ moment.
High Sword had
More Humanity in Humakt5It is unclear from context whether Humakt is the god, or his representative in the Temple

Cleansed in cold clods
Came to cave of craftsman
Blacksmith beat Berra
Into Brute empty Beast

[I like the accent. Maybe a bit less leaning on the quacking, though. So we have the Heroquest, and we have the wolf, and we have Chalana Arroy. And now, we have the odd case of Sonnets to Varanis – a Vingan, guarding over our Vingan Voria. Little enough to say, but of course this extract needs no explanation.]

She strode within the frescoed palace walls,
Her armour sounded in the echoing halls,
Til in the chamber of the prince she stood
Her heart aflood that she could do no good.
While others in her care6Maximillian 17 has ‘others found by chance’. would stand forth now
To wake Kallyr, the Prince with Star in brow.

[And back, as you knew we must, to Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga.]

Woman-child went walking
Wolf within woods
Swallowed Separated substance
Sealing out Soul
Healer hurried from home
Heard Humakt’s howls
Caught Kallyr’s crying
Called to cross Humakt

{‘Well, I’m glad I won’t have to do anything there. WHAT THE SWIVE?’}

[And, there being no surprises there, on to The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia.]

She walked the wood and sought the Trickster out7Notably, Chalana Arroy here seeks, rather than simply finding, Eurmal. The deliberate action is at odds with many of the tellings of the story, but appropriate to add a note of urgency to a Quest that might otherwise have stretched for days or weeks, given the patience of the Wolf at the Door.
The law of Death and Honour’s Pride to flout
A trick of lies she needed to give aid
And so it happens she and Eurmal trade
Her help she never would withdraw of course
But sometimes was it given him with pauc-
iity of patience, figured in a sigh
Or sadness gleaming from her lovely eye
And now he told her how to trick the Truth
And open up his hungry throat to ruth
With berries and with flame and with a kiss
(And Mellia adroitly dodged from his.)

[And… Well, what can we say about this quest? It’s well known, in many ways, but here is a detail not often played out. Laknhor Mhy knows his vegetation, and perhaps the merest thought of him was enough to bring him within the quest, given the power of those involved. Sonnets in Praise of Xenofos.]

Sorry…. Got a cough. Can I have some water? I was feeling fine when I volunteered. Right. Got it.
The hero Xenofos his god portrayed
For Lhankor Mhy gives ever learning’s aid
And civilised and bearded walked the dell
And catalogued the leaves and flowers that fell
And wondered why they turned to red and brown
And was the swirls of air they tumbled down
When into his calm mind there came a call
And Lhankor Mhy looked upward from the fall

{whisper in the back row. “What clues does this fragment of old X does to tie it to others? And what would a supposed follower of truth have in tricking another follower of truth anyways? I think Garin is just making things up as she goes.” }

{‘That sword-in-the-mud Humakt can’t see the woods for the… woods’}

[And if Lhankor Mhy were not enough, we have … well The Lay of Serala, Lance of the Cold Sun is, as I have mentioned, not my favourite historical reference. Nevertheless, records indicate that one Serala Grazelander was rewarded handsomely for taking part in a Heroquest at this time. Those who question the archaeology of the records may of course examine this in their own time. Serala.]

She threw the proud guards into blank disarray
When in the halls the Cold Lance strode by hot-lit day
And mounted guard by Kallyr in her silk-lined cot
Declaring she’d not move ’til Prince Starbrow slept not
And there she stayed unmoving on eternal guard
Her eyes like fire, her arm as blackest iron hard
Until she felt the Quest would acted be in vain
Then sudden vanished she into the Hero Plane
In silver rimed her eyes were and in bronze and gold
To rival and extinguish great heroes brave and bold
And to Chalana Arroy and the wand’ring Lhankor Myte
She sent an arrow, whispering in heated flight

[This implies a lot about the gift of fire, and whether it was truly stolen – a thousand words on the implications, on my desk within three days, please. And we are nearly done with the Quest, although this week’s double lesson will allow us to continue until lunch. We shall go on with The Sonnets to Mellia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia. Of course we will.]

And in his stomach dark there were two stars,
One on a brow, and one which burned to chars
The pouch that held it, and pale Voria’s heart
By trickery was warmed, and seemed to start,
And berries reddened lips, and then a breath
Of life was what she gave to challenge Death.
So Humakt’s honour opened up his jaws,
And he gave up his claim to Mellia’s cause.
Bold Kallyr woke within the White Robe’s shield,
For Mellia’d caused the rav’nous wolf to yield.

[I am fond of The Death of Rajar, and as we had nobody willing to volunteer for such a short segment, I’ll give it to you.]

Comfort in a cup
Reassuringly re-al8Probably not a play on words with ‘Royal’, but please do keep on writing those monographs
And holy to boot

Someone waking up
The holy sleep has left them?
Ritual for that!

[Earlier, I am sure you will recall, NalaTiwrSaga left her talking with Kalis on a box. With Kalis, we find her again.]

Generous spirits
Guardians at the Hero Gate
Tired, they sank to Earth

[And finally, you may wish to know that one of the purported fragments of Devevalsaga is dated to this moment.]

Dull Deveval Dagger
Durulz soon discovered
Hiding hunger-hurt
In heightened hastening

Serala and Nala, having ridden hard, reach Boldhome.

No, wait, rewind a bit. Just past Whitewall, our heroes….

No, I was right the first time. Sorry about that. Serala and Nala, having ridden Pag and Tiwr hard and fast and exhausted Nala’s and Tiwr’s magic points in an effort to get the potential Lunar info to Tenebris in as timely a fashion as possible, say hello to Harel and fall over into respective collapsed heaps. A couple of hours later, Serala skulks off to guard and update the comatose prince, just in case she could hear. Nala, meanwhile, accosts Tenebris and points out that Varanis is is or has been under the probable influence of Lunar magic, which she is carrying upon her person. Tenebris says he has no time for that, because he has to do a long list of precisely three things which seemingly include defeating the Lunars and having Kalis9Possibly Kallyr – Ed. take the credit, for some reason. Tenebris may be buttering his bread on both sides.

Yes, that is a euphemism. Barely.

Not getting any joy of the Chief Priest, Nala decides to feed Varanis to the witch-priestess Kalis. Kalis, as ever, is warm-hearted and accommodating. Plans are planned.

When the others arrive, Tenebris tells a select band of them that they should all take part in the Voria ritual, as hubris had been the downfall of the Lightbringers ritual, and anyhow, if this one went tits up the PCs were way more expendable. Berra Out-volunteers Eril and the other duck10The Eril is Multiple Ducks theory raises its feathered head once more., D’Val, and, after a confession of interest (and a payment for his time) to D’Val11Cries of horror! Nobody disappointed when confusion cleared up! and an immediate confession to Eril, she runs away to the blind blacksmith to have him hammer her into the shape of a wolf, which confuses the holy hell (words chosen advisedly) out of the real wolf in town.

The ritual starts. Serala in there by default, no one having told her she will be pulled into the ritual willy-nilly. Xenofos is also there, and a very confused and imperceptive Varanis, who got clean with Kalis after having been very dirty, and having failed currently to be under the influence of anything but a fade to black. No one has bothered telling Nala she is needed, so Kalis bops her onna head with a magic potion and tells her to stand around without her body and watch. There are no walls in the spirit world, so she should see Onjur coming, if she can distinguish him from all the other sources of POW with exclamation points over their heads.

The ritual starts. Mellia and Berra/Humakt, having studied hard, get the ritual off to a great start. Things go a little skee-wiff as it transpires nobody has bothered telling Dormal/Eurmal what the script *is*. But eventually, after getting advice from him, and a last-minute substitution by the coach of Yelmalio and Lhankor Mhy for Ernalda, both of whom agree tricking Humakt is trending, and that truth, frankly, is for the birds, Mellia jumps down Humakt’s throat and rescues the prince, and they run off hand in hand. Meanwhile Varanis is so stunned by the sudden girl on girl under wolf action of Mellia and Kallyr and Berra that she forgets to stand guard at all, so it is fortunate that Onjur, in a somewhat shocking dereliction of duty, fails to show up, although Kalis beats up a Lunar shaman at the gates before Nala gets there, and the thing about making sure Kalis gets credit starts making a little sense.

Rajar persuades The now-awake Kallyr that she is indeed home and the PCs are not Lunars by the simple expedient of cheering her arrival home and offering beer. Is there any problem that can’t solve? Butt of Malmesey for Onjur, perhaps?

And there was much rejoicing.

“The box may or may not be sorcerous.” – Nala
“Forget about the box. There is nothing special about the box.” – Varanis

“You’re called to the Palace…” – GM
“HUAAAAzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzH BRING BEER!” – Rajar

“Berra Jarang’s Daughter…” – Tennebris
“I volunteer.” – Berra

“Haven’t heard you at all” – Dormal
“Bother. Because I said some REALLY funny things.” – Berra
“Now you’re just lying.” – GM

“You are completely silent.” – Serala
“Other than your expression, which speaks volumes.” – Serala

“There is no emanation from Varanis’ sack.” – GM

“Humakti mystery: No, the old dog didn’t go to a nice farm up river.” – Dormal
“Come let me show you the back of the barn, a sacred place for my cult.” – Rajar

“D’Val volunteered. And then the High Sword volunteered…” – Tennebris

*Kalis happens to Varanis*
“Another one rides the bus.” – Nala

“It wasn’t the pillar, and unless she’s left the box elsewhere, it currently isn’t and may not have been the box. She simply was that stupid….” – Nala

“Am I right in thinking you’d believe sexual relations between ducks and humans inappropriate?” – Berra
*group explodes*
“SHE WENT THERE!” – Nala (and other people)

“Is she muted?” – Group-typing
“No, I haven’t muted here.” – GM
“OK, I may have muted everyone.” – GM

“<<spend some coin getting the skalds to sing our songs. And that nasty limerick about Eril>>” – Rajar

“Peg by the door. Grey cloak.” – Iron Lord
“‘Hmm… Hind legs the wrong shape.’ And he hits you in the leg with a hammer.” – GM

“Snout? – Berra” – Nala
“‘Snowt to worry about” – Nala

“Oh, I’ve been hit before. Does it hurt?” – Berra
“… No…” – GM

“I shall now communicate through howling.” – Berra

“Berra is a tame wolf.” – Varanis
“Dog.” – Dormal

“THAT WAY. I should go that way. I have that sacred thing to do.” – Berra the Wolf

“Let me know when I’m done worshipping.” – Dormal
“Now you’re stealing things.” – Serala

“Just feels like we’re trying to fix the previous fuck-up by doing exactly the same thing.” – Dormal

“Arooooo!” – Berra

“Why am I suddenly more nervous than before we went into the Tower?” – Varanis
“Because now you can fail for other people.” – Berra

“I rolled 99!” – Varanis
“Where’s Berra?” – Varanis

“The wolf jumps up on the bed…” – GM
“And lies on Kallyr.” – Berra

“Sniff the wolf.” – Rajar
“Which end are you sniffing?” – Serala

“Chalana Arroy is coming along…” – GM
“Just act casual. I haven’t done anything she knows about.” – Dormal

“You’ve agreed to help me trick Humakt, because everyone will starve if…” – Chalana Arroy
“You had me at ‘trick Humakt’.” – Dormal

“Do I actually think I’m the god, or am I me playing the god right now?” – Dormal
“Yes.” – GM

“Berries could work, but I could do her make-up.” – Eurmal
“For the make-up to work, you’d have to get swallowed by Humakt.” – Chalana Arroy
“Berries! Berries sound awesome!” – Eurmal

*grrrrrrr* – Berra

“I think we should keep Truth out of it.” – LHANKOR FRIGGING MHY

“Serala is also generally checking on everyone. But not crossing paths with Varanis. Because MegaSulk.” – Serala

“Chalana eye for the dead guy.” – Dormal

*Mellia kisses Kallyr*
“Kiss the girl!” – Varanis
“Take a sketch” – Rajar

“Beer and meat. With fingers.” – Berra
“But not eating fingers. Suddenly that’s bad.” – Berra

“I need to check my eyes. Anybody have a mirror?” – Dormal
“Yes. Of course I do.” – Varanis

“If you want to complain about a Humakti in a loincloth I think I made my position clear.” – Berra

“The CA Medical Association says blackmail is hazardous to your health.” – Berra

“I have one or two other things that may have higher priority,” Tennebris says with a chill in his voice.
“Higher priority than a sorcerous box?” Nala sounds frustrated.
Varanis frantically shaking her head and making lots of hand signs in the background. Typed comment: “Forget about the box. There’s nothing special about the box.” Of course, Varanis doesn’t even know that this conversation is happening, so everyone simply ignores her.

“…unless I’d arranged to have you all killed,” Tennebris, in response to Nala complaining about the perfectly reasonable behaviour of the Saiciae cousins from Nochet.
Rajar in the background muttering “They probably sleep with each other.”

“HUAAAAzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzH BRING BEER” Rajar the Snuggle Bunny

“Ever her cousin Irillo says she’s a right stupid bitch,” says Nala, making nasty remarks about poor, innocent Varanis.

Some kind of sneakiness ensues and the GM tells Serala that she is “permitted in to do that thing.”

“I’m not coming. I’m not being summoned by anyone. They can naff right off.” Serala, in response to being summoned by Tenebris.
“Right, Serala, you can add a tick to Disorder.” GM

“Am I in here?” Berra
“You are Everywhere.” Serala

“I have to comment that Xenofos is a man with an Epic Beard.” Serala

“Don’t make me snort my water!” Serala
“Quick Fetch me Something-on-a-stick” Rajar (ever sympathetic to the things going on around him)
Servants: “Beer and food FAST”

“I’m just trying to get it up for you.” Nala in response to something…

“Varanis, do you have leopard skin on your legs?” GM
Followed by flash of leopard skin legs (Varanis) and bare legs (Tom) and lots of panicky noises (everyone else).
“If it’s any consolation, I checked how my pj shorts were sitting before I did that.” GM

“There is no emanation from Varanis’ sack,” GM, with a straight face.

After Varanis sensibly enquires about a bath and is horrifically told there isn’t one, Rajar offers helpfully: “There’s a river.” Varanis isn’t interested in the river, though Xenofos contemplates it briefly.
“The river? No! I went through puberty backwards. Don’t do that!” Dormal

“She’s drooling a little bit,” GM
“What is with this drool?” Nala
“It’s the GM,” Serala, matter of factly.

“Am I right in thinking you’d believe sexual relations between ducks and humans inappropriate?” Berra to D’Val.
D’Val gently breaks her heart (because no one remembers exactly what he said, but he’s a good duck and we know he let her down gently).
“You can’t trust people who talk about sex with ducks,” Nala proclaims.

“Aaah, dagger of Humakt, was it…” Eril

“I catch Mellia as she falls,” says Varanis. “I don’t catch Dormal.”
“Cold bitch,” comments Nala.

“He has a sword up his rectum about rules,” says Dormal/Eurmal re: Humakt.

“Do I know I’m me playing the god or do I think I’m actually the god?” Dormal asks. “Yes,” the GM answers.

“Berries could work, but I could do her make-up.” Eurmal/Dormal
“For the make-up to work you’d have to get swallowed by Humakt,” Mellia/Chalana Aroy replies.
“Berries. Berries sound awesome,” Dormal/Eurmal responds quickly.

“ARROW! At this time, you are allowed arrows. You’re in luck! (And if very lucky you may keep those too…) Because you can WIN!… no, wait. You gave it away. Damnit.

“Can we find berries…” Chalana Arroy
“With my plant lore, we probably can…” Lhankor Mhy

“I think we should keep Truth out of it.” LHANKOR FRIGGING MHY

“Mellia and Humakt up in a … tree?”
“I’ve heard of quackie quackie, but this is perverse!” Dormal?
“Just MOSTLY dead.”

“Just remember that the Gloranthan Medical Association says that blackmail is hazardous to your health,” states Mellia firmly.

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