We are the Champions

S01 — Session 6

1625, Earth Season


Season, Week, Day

1625: Earth Season, Harmony Week, Windsday


Dramatis Personae

PC

Berra Daughter of Jarang
Nala of the Unicorn Ladies
Tiwr, Unicorn of the Unicorn Ladies Tribe
Rajar son of Ranulph
Mellia
Vestra, Grey Sage

NPC

Jaldis, High Priestess of Chalana Arroy in Whitewall
D’Val the Sword (in letter form)
Eril, Humakt High Sword Lord in Boldhome
Tennebris, High Priest of Orlanth in Boldhome
Kalis, High Priestess of Ernalda in Boldhome
Koraki, Wind Lord
A humorous Chorus of Orlanthi Fyrdsmen



As before, the log will be recounted with extracts from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga, from The Sonnets to Melia, Sweetest of Healers, White Lady of Esrolia, The Death of Rajar , The Sonnets to Vestra, Grey Lady of Wisdom, and NalaTwrSaga. “Insertions will occur” in a cynical or sarcastic voice, best recalled amongst the Unicorns of Prax. Footnotes for the interested are included at the bottom of the extracts. [Editorial comments will be bracketed thus, and there will be more than normal, in the absence of the Q voice for this chapter. See S1, ep 2 for other footnotes related to titles of epic poems.]



Events

[As will be recalled, we left our heroes in Whitewall, after the reconsecration of the temples. The plan at that point was for a trip to Mount Kero Finn, where hopefully mystic visions would inspire them onwards, and perhaps trigger a Lightbringer’s quest, with possible repercussions for Sartar. It is with some surprise, therefore that after a section of the manuscript which is damaged, that Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga picks up with a complete change of plans.]

Sagely spake Sword Berra1 Older versions of the manuscript say ‘Sagely spake sword bearing Berra.’, another example of post-hoc editing of the text, to make it appear prophetic.
Swearing Sword God’s Wisdom
Showed a Wiser Way
To Weary Wights and
Shatter Spirits, Shades
Severing Soul-chains.

Eagerly Eril was engaged
Ears heard words expressed
Chiefs Champion, Humakt was
Cleaver of Coldfolk
Guider to Goodlands
God, and Death’s Guardian.

Silently Sword-Lord listened.
Showed no softness
Wyrd willing, Wyter waking
Would Warrior wills make!
Daughter of Jarang daring
Darkness defying, King denying!
2 This section is unusual. Groupings are normally of 4 or 8 lines, but this pair of 6 line verses suggests disorder and disquiet.

[From a more objective point of view, however, The Sonnets to Vestra give a little more detail. ]

Vestra heard the plan bespoken then
And knew what evils might yet ensue when
A mere ‘nitiate acclaimed the part of Gods
And with another found themselves at odds

Yet one might die, and so the story fail
She’d truth record, but yet her sister pale
Heard this, and reckoned it a thing most ill
She’d heal it, with a Windlord’s silver pill!

[This appears to note that Vestra planned to record what really happened, for good or ill, whilst Melia objected to this misuse of people. 3 It should be noted that the sonnets of the half sisters are never short of praise for one another, and many writers (Wiermonken, most notably) have suggested that the sonnets are part of an orchestrated propaganda campaign on the part of House Saiciae. That said, there are historical artefacts which do relate to both women, and so they cannot be entirely invented for this purpose. Picking up in the The Sonnets to Melia]

Melia saw the boil of fyrdsman fear unfold
He saw himself as not Orlanth, most bold.
He knew he was a plain and simple man,
No coward this, he into battle ran
But saw the limits that the Sage God told
And would his place of simple honour hold.

White Lady knew, and saw his inner fear
Chalana whispered soft balms into her ear
And she to him, thus calmed his fearful doubt
With words most plain, “Lets go and sort this out.”
So him, with Berra, led to where the Wind Lord lay
And bade him save his kinsman on that day!

[The intervention of Koraki (see his own extensive saga entries) is probably a later embroidery- Koraki is such a folk hero as the proud, impetuous, slightly mischievous but noble and changeable Windlord that the temptation to tie him to this saga cycle must have been irresistible4 See any number of Robin Hood or King Arthur or Merlin legends. . Meanwhile, Rajar sought to gather worshippers in his own inimitable style.]

When a Uroxi gathers
Worshippers for Orlanth Rex
He does what he Khan

[The plan and preparation do not entirely please Berra’s companions, as can be seen from both Vestra and Melia’s reactions above. These feeling is continued in the below extract from Melia.]

Her tears for violence yet to come she shed
Her hopes for peaceful battle she had pled.
Yet sword on sword was what must come to be
And she would then neither maimed or slain she’d see.

[And from Vestra}

Her brazen pen was ready, paper taut
She’d write was was, and not what others sought
And thus the truth unto her God would fly
Enshrined in records under Lhankor Mhy!

[And Nalatiwrsaga]

Unicorn lady
Confused at all Sartar Gods
Found less hit than myth

{“Don’t look at me man. You two legs just need an excuse to hit each other.”}

[The ritual must then have begun. The tale picks up in preparation, via Rajar again]

Befuddled Uroxi must
His friend fight, to please his foe
Shed blood for Humakt

[And then let us switch back to Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga]

Trickster God Trying
Taming the Thing
Humakt Heard, horrified
Hailed him and hooked

Sword saved from selfish
Saw his sole service.
Saving his Sovereign
Serving in silence!

Storm King called Kinsman
Killing God Cast him loose.
Storm King called Swordsmen
Sword God slew them swiftly

Storm King came Singly
Sword God unSurrendering
Fought through the Fyrd
Force foundering on Force

Sank they, the Swordsmen
Swore then their soulbond
Rising from riven bodies the Revnant
Ripped from the Right Route to Rest

Lying there listless sword Lady
Licking lips, lifeless lady drew close
Storm Bulls Savagery
Swiftly salvaging, slaying

Victorious, Valiant Humakt’s vestal
Vampire slaying in Vale of Whitewall
Death’s door opening
Down the dead descend

Warrior wielding Wind Tooth,
Worn by Gods5 The reference to Gods in the plural here is intriguing, and certain records of Whitewall exist which show some blurring between the roles of Storm Bull and Humakt in ritual in late 1625. This probably represents a failure to fully understand the Praxian form of the Urox Cult, and some cultural cross contamination. It has sadly not been explored in more detail, but would be a fascinating subject for a postgraduate in search of a thesis! now out wearied!
Sank silent to sod
Silver hand spoke to seal the day!

[Its attribution to Nalatiwrsaga is disputed, but this is the relevant place to put:]

Huntress asks Priestess
“What was their aim and intent?”
“To wave their deaths round.”

[More certainly placed is this extract from the same source, in which Nala and Tiwr ride out to quell their growing distaste for the wiles of civilisation]

Riding, seeking new
Plains and woods to quell an itch.
Lunars should have ducked.

[Vestra comes into her own, with regard to the equipment of the fallen lunars.]

And so the fallen arms and ‘quipment came
To she to whom they hoped would put a name
To foes unseen until they careless played
Too close the blade which countless foes had slay’d

At this time, she was estranged to Lunar tongue
And knew no more than rites of Yelm, the Sun
But calling ‘pon her master, Lhankor Mhy
She called a spirit unto her to hie!

And it did all the secret tale unfold
And of their mistress Great Jar-Eel it told
And it spoke of such a legions might
To stand in Red Moons half chaotic light!

And thus resolved the group of heroes all
To travel then to Kero Finn, the tall
The place of Orlanth’s birth his mothers womb
To help bring Sartar from disorders tomb!

Making use of the delay in Whitewall, Vestra went to search for books. Then to search for what books had been there before (a) Lunars and (b) Undead had spoilt things for everyone. Rapidly realising she was in a One Horse Town whose horse had died less academically gifted area of an Ignorant Hick Kingdom Sartar6Heortland, she nobly went about getting what details she could of what had been there, and possibly adding a few details of what should be there, in order to replace and educate.

In a stunning show of understanding of myth, and ignorance of politics (as well as the plan in question, for much of which planning she had been absent)7This caused some surprise to Berra’s player on realising what people thought they were doing, Berra went to Tennebris, and said, “Uh, we’re doing the wrong [[[Heroquests |Heroquest]]]. We should be doing ‘[[[heroquests:Humakt-the-Champion|Humakt the Champion]]]’ not ‘[[[heroquests:The Lightbringers]]]'”. Surprisingly, Tennebris didn’t punt her into the Holy Country, but instead explained that Berra was thinking too parochially, but if she really wanted to go down that route, she should talk to her own clergy. Berra explained that she was talking to Tennebris because her own clergy didn’t get on with each other, and Tennebris tried not to wrench a muscle laughing.

Mellia was busy with the routine work of the Temple of Chalana Arroy (“Initiate most likely to be trustworthy to be given a position of responsibility and Good Sense, Nochet Great Hospital, 1622 and 1623.”)

Nala spent time contemplating (?)Truth, which she had failed to draw upon, to delineate what it really meant to her. Tiwr spent time contemplating grass, what it meant to him, and his failure to find any fine fillies in Whitewall.

Rajar was just being Rajar. With beer. And carousing. And noise.

So, along Berra went to Eril, to tell him that he, and all the other High and Chief Priests, and the Prince of Sartar were wrong. To give him credit, Eril did not backhand the Initiate directly, but instead instructed her to arrange worshippers for the ritual, and informed her she would be playing the role of Humakt. Berra protested she wasn’t ready, and Eril calmly informed her that the job of a Priest was to stretch his Initiates, so woman-up!

Realising she had just been played, Berra asked Rajar to arrange a congregation (which he did in his usual calm, efficient, and charming manner), and went to protest to D’Val, only to find that D’Val had been sent off on an errand to Duck Point, but had left a message with a child, and a written note, which Berra had to take to Vestra to get read, then burned after reading.

Also upset by this change of events was one of the local Fyrdsmen, who had been nominated by Eril to be Orlanth. Given this myth involves Orlanth and Humakt fighting each other to a standstill over some hours, the Fyrdsman did not fancy his chances, and came to Mellia and Nala to admit this. Mellia, being the sensible one, dragged him over to Koraki, and the ‘Who’s in which helmet’ game was played.

The ritual began, with the Fyrd, playing Orlanth’s thanes cheerfully sabotaging their chances of accidentally harming Berra, using Demoralise, Protection, and Dullblade on themselves (and thankfully one of them had the brains to cast it on Berra, and keep casting it on her!). Berra had no such worries, and dispatched them all, almost cutting off Rajar’s leg in the process, before going lighter on the Fyrdsmen. Tiwr and Mellia, competing in the ‘rolling of the eyes’ contest, provided healing as the Fyrd and Rajar left the arena. Some of the Fyrd managed to win Oscars by taking dives that even Football players would be embarrassed about.

Then Koraki came in, and fought Berra to a standstill (taking his helmet off as he came in, so that he could have his moment of amusement). Berra then expected the ‘Killed’ Fyrd to return, to be the ‘undead’ which Humakt had to guide to the afterlife. Instead, one of the Bloofer ladies materialised, and attempted to rip Berra’s blood from her body. There was a nasty moment, when she realised she really was too tired to get up, and tried to harm the Lady using the power of Humakt, but was unsuccessful. Helpfully, Rajar let Berra in her Humakt role take inspiration from Urox, and Berra Berserked, cheerfully forgetting her tiredness in her enthusiasm to dust the Dancer in Darkness, which she did.

Nala gifted Mellia with Glamour, to increase her chances of dropping the Humakti out of what was, afterall, a Storm Bull induced Berserk frenzy. With no chance of failing, she still somehow failed. As the Wind Lord prepared to deal with the remainder of the Berserk Frenzy, Berra succeeded in dropping herself out of the frenzy, and then passed out.

Nala reported that the spirits of the dead were, indeed, leaving the area, through a gateway.

Rajar attempted to take Berra on a drinking spree to celebrate her Berserk, and surviving it, with Tiwr lending him Glamour to try and convince the killjoys, but wiser head (Mellia) intervened, and persuaded the Bull that the Chalana Temple/Hospital was more appropriate.

Side effects: Temporarily (until next High Holy Day of Humakt): Humakti present at the ritual can buy ‘Berserk’ from Humakt, and Storm Bull present at the ritual can harm Dancers in Darkness by presenting a Death Rune at them, as Humakti normally can and temporarily gain the passion ‘Hate Undead’ at 60. Humakti present at this ritual CANNOT harm Dancers in Darkness by presenting Death Runes until Humakt’s next High Holy Day. If Berserk is bought during this time, once the time limit is passed, it becomes single use (but the Rune Points used to buy it _are_ kept as a Humakt sacrifice). Orlanthi present at the ritual gain a 5% to checks involving dancing, or deception until Humakt’s next High Holy Day.

“There may be a problem. I’m sorry. I’m foisting off a cat that’s trying to eat my ice-cream.”- Rajar

“There are undead to be laid”- Berra
*snrch- Nala

“Now the interesting thing is, as a Humakti, why you bring this to me…” – Tennebris
“Well, you’re the only high-ranking Orlanthi, so you’d have the clout to persuade people. And D’Val and Eril don’t get on very well.” – Berra
“There’s a little twitch at the side of his face as he tries not to have an expression.”- GM

“I understand your thinking, but you have a local solution, for a local problem.” – Tennebris
pause “What is the wider problem?” – Berra
gestures around. “Do you think all this is United? I think of healing all of Sartar.” – Tennebris
prepared to believe – Berra

“You think as I would expect an initiate to think.” – Tennebris
“And I just learned a huge amount about how a Chief Priest thinks.” – Berra

“Would you think of yourself as worthy to be a Rune Lord?” – Eril
“No, my Lord. I am physically strong, but spiritually not so.” – Berra
“And surely it is the duty of the Rune Lords to stretch the initiates in all ways.” – Eril

“Aaah, intrigue. The skill at which I have a negative score.” – Berra

“Pleathe burn after reading.
I am sent to Duck Point on a mission of dubious value. I suspect that this is a personal matter. Try to stay safe. I would encourage you to bear in mind my former advice. I shall hope to see you in Boldhome
D’Val”- D’Val’s letter.

Sooooooooooooo i think I should perform the Drunken Storm bull in a china ship ritual <Drinks>- Rajar

“D’Val has a missive to the foremost bastion…. of the fight… against Delecti.”- Eril
“I don’t even understand all those words, sir.” – Berra

“I wave my axe, tell them they should come along, and it’s all completely voluntary. Gesture wildly with the axe.” – Rajar
“You have managed to persuade much of the fyrd. The village. Some passers-by…” – GM

“It’s something to do with Humakt. And you see, well, I don’t fancy trying to fight Berra.” – Random Orlanthi, explaining the problem with the Heroquest.

“Am I not allowed? I done a wrong thing again?” – Rajar

“Don’t be afraid to go down if you have to. Try not to bloody kill her.” – Orlanthi
“Ohhhh, this could be difficult.” – Rajar

“I very seldom use my shield, so I don’t know what it is…” – Rajar
“That’s what your face is for!” – Tiwr

“13, total.”- Berra, totalling damage to Rajar.
“Oh, that’s gonna hurt in the
right now.” – Tiwr
“I’m walking over and just touching the horn to the arm, and soldering it back on.” – Tiwr

facehoof– Tiwr

Go find the blankie I use on humaktis- Rajar
Does oo have a speshul blankie?- Nala
i do, i tend to put it on passed out humankt types
This happens a lot- Rajar
She has become one with herself!- Tiwr
Awwww. Who is a GOOD Storm Bull? Is it you? Issit oo?- Nala
Huzzzah!!!!! I didnt fuck it up. Huzzah. Beer- Rajar

“Beers on me. Er. on the Windlord, Beer on the posh guy.FREE BEER”- Rajar

“She belongs in a bed with blankets.” – Mellia
“Oh no no no no no – the storm bulls have a ritual for this and it involves a bar.” – Rajar

“Is anyone causing any kind of havoc?” – GM
“Uhhhh, sorry, I don’t know what you mean by not-havoc.” – Rajar

Possibly still drunk
bring beer
have a barrel
and a small cup cos she’s posh- Rajar

“What are you
doing here?”- Mellia
“I come to wait for her to wake from the Blessed Trance of Fight” – Rajar

“So I wake to a snoring storm bull, with his head on my thigh so my leg’s gone numb.” – Berra
“If you’re very lucky, a trickle of vomit!” – Rajar

Berra whimpers a lot, and then drinks, and then asks, “Any dead? What result? Where is my sword?”
Thrust a cup of beer at the warrior. “You live, well done” Beer– Rajar

“I really don’t understand what the Humakti and Orlanthi were doing yesterday.”-Nala
“What was happening was that the Humakti were waving their death signs at each other.” – Kalis
“Oh, I
did know what was going on after all.” – Nala

“My skin is itching after being here for 3 days.”- Nala
“If your skin is dry there are a couple of young men who are simply /divine/ with the massage oil…” Kalis
“No, I mean, I want to go out for a gallop.”- Nala
“Oh, yes, there is simply nothing better than a good gallop.”- Kalis
“I do like to mount Tiwr and just ride…i like to see how long and how hard he can go.” -Nala

“The boys are not going to know what hit them, when you get moving.”- Kalis
“Who do I have to hit?”- Nala

We are going to look DAMN GOOD riding out in the sunrise- Nala
clip clop– Tiwr
effect slightly spoiled by me trying to hold my breath in the lower city- Tiwr

“Want to lay them to rest, want to kill the duck… no that’s Berra.” – Nala
“You are pretty sure they will go along to whatever eternal damnation comes from being Lunars.” – GM

“Look, they aren’t dressed very well, and Lunars are stupid…” – Nala
Dressage pointing.- Tiwr
“Look, there were Lunars on the road. They were headless! They’ve gone.” – Nala
“All three were killed with a single slicing action, with a distinct up angle…” – GM
“They met D’Val.” – Nala

“I think that Rajar’s the sort of person who will put a full fried breakfast down in front of you.” – GM
“Yes!” – Rajar

“The black pudding’s fine, but I think I never want to eat eggs ever again.” – Berra

“I guess the question is, how holy are you feeling today?” – Tiwr
“Punk.”- Nala

“If it were Wyrm’s Friend, I’d be able to read it.” – Vestra
“If we had armour from recently killed members of the Wyrm’s Friends, we’d have bigger problems than that.” – Koraki the Windlord

tries to explain dictionary// – Vestra
“This sounds like a cult secret.” – Koraki the Windlord

“We have an ancient cultural belief about such things. It’s called ‘finders keepers’.”- Koraki

“Word of advice. All sorts of wheels within wheels going on. Don’t care for it much, but I’m going up to Tarsh at some point. It doesn’t matter to me to piss off the locals.” – Koraki

“Join the herd, they said. See the world, they said.” – Tiwr

“We can sell them in Boldhome”- Nala
“Or here”- Tiwr
“We’ll get more for them in Boldhome.”- Nala
“We have to carry them there.”- Tiwr
” They’re not heavy.”- Nala
“Says the one not carrying them.”- Tiwr

“Pack only the vital things. Its two days to Boldholme. so we need 4 barrels of beer. And whatever you lot want”- Rajar

“This may sound strange, but sometimes we have to keep our strength for later. Storm Bull is Wise.”- Berra
“Words NEVER used before.”- GM

“Where’s Mellia? I need someone sensible to convince me not to go thank Eril for giving me that chance.” – Berra
Don’t do that.” – Mellia