Drinking Song

S02 — Session 49

1627, Earth Season

Dramatis Personae




King Stark
Some corpses
A unit of Princeros cavalry
King Herrengvot of the Princeros
A magic drinking horn
Rajar’s axe
Varaneva, an Esrolian Babeester Gor
A Lune


As before, the log will be recounted with extracts from Berra JarangsdottiHumaktisaga, NalaTiwrSaga and The Death of Rajar. As with last time there will be extracts from the Sonnets to Varanis, Sonnets in Praise of Xenefos 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.

Varanis realised that she had neglected to tell King Stark of the Tovtaros that the Princeros wanted to borrow his regalia. He rejected this outright, and she admitted that it was a big request and she’d try to negotiate with the Princeros for something more reasonable. Having come to something of an agreement, the party went off to collect the army and make haste for Princeros lands.

As they travelled down a minor road, off Tovtaros lands, Suuraki was out scouting at the front, and saw what looked like a pit trap in the road. Around it were various loops of cord among the trees. There were no clues as to what had prepared them, despite Suuraki, Rajar and Xenofos all looking. The army detoured around it, and sent on towards the road built by Sartar.

Suuraki, Rajar, and Valseena were sent out with scouts to check the road ahead. They reported back that there was a burned wagon and five corpses. Berra coordinated the movement of the army to ensure maximum readiness, as the Praxians investigated the damage. They discovered evidence of Onjur-Eel’s work, in the form of a decent but not perfect imitation of a Praxian spearhead. Rajar could tell that the thread was wrong, even though Suuraki thought it looked like a bison spearhead.

Just as Valseena began to check the bodies over, a large unit of Tarshite cavalry came onto the scene. Suuraki held his dagger-axe ready, and there were therefore three Praxians up amongst the dead when the unit arrived. There was some arguing back and forth about surrender, as the commander wanted them all to give themselves up, and Berra was very tempted because then they would be fed. Varanis walked forward, with the others of her group just behind, but the opposing commander wanted them to surrender their weapons, which they would not do. According to Xenofos, the people looked like Issarian traders out of Boldhome, with perhaps a Humakti bodyguard.

Tensions were high, although now all of the group knew who was to blame. After some calling back and forth about surrender, Berra called the commander an idiot for not realising that the ravens had been there for a while, and this did cause him to pause and think but there was an arrow put just short of her in warning. Varanis managed to talk him round into listening to her, saying that she was there to see the Princeros and naming herself, and a truth-sayer among the cavalry said she was telling the truth.

Varanis suggested that the Tarshite trackers should take a look around to see how recently the army had arrived. The commander was convinced, and one of the trackers agreed with Rajar about the wrongness of the spearhead.

Given how recent the attack was, there was a strong desire to give chase, however, the negotiations had to take priority. Varanis was able to convince the commander to send half of his unit in pursuit, especially after Rajar summarised Onjur’s past actions.

The rest of the unit accompanied Varanis back to Glasswall, where after a little checking it was agreed that the army was there as friends and guests, and all of Varanis’ select group went into the city. Irillo the quartermaster was to be allowed to go into Glasswall in the morning, to trade.

The Princeros king provided them with a small feast, while the bulk of the army camped outside Glasswall. Varanis explained to the king that as she’d feared, his request for the Tovtaros regalia as part of a Heroquest had been rejected. She proposed some alternatives, but the one that gained the king’s attention and approval was her offer to arrange for the Tovtaros bard to compose and perform a praise song for the Princeros king.

After the negotiations were settled, she told him about Onjur and her concern for the Princeros cavalry who had pursued him. Having dealt with him before, she assured the king that he was trouble. She pointed out Rajar, saying that he had very nearly killed Onjur and this impressed the king, as he recognised the name.1Amusingly, Varanis got a critical on Insight Human, immediately followed by Berra and Rajar rolling fumbles and thinking he was entirely unbelieving. Fortunately, the Storm Bull doesn’t have a big ego and he didn’t care. So impressed was he that he signalled his bard to have a song made. Varanis told the king that Rajar was very fond of beer, and soon afterwards a massive drinking horn was brought out and presented to Rajar.

Rajar called on Storm Bull for help2Cast Vigour and began to drink. He drank, and he drank, and he drank.3Passing CONx5, 4, 3, and 2. It rapidly became apparent to some of the party that the horn was magical and the barley wine was not going to run out. Berra warned Rajar, even as she cheered him on. Even after the spell ran out, he kept drinking. The entire hall (barring Berra) fell silent as they watched his feat. He finally stopped, the horn still full, and stood up to salute the King. After that he casually held himself upright with his axe.

The bard stepped forward and began to sing. He sang of Barntar’s bounty and a magical horn that could provide any liquid. He sang of the warrior who fought Onjur-Eel and nearly killed him. There was a translated version of Xenofos’ Lightbringers Lay, and a song in praise of Rajar. Pleased that the bard knew the Rajar song and performed it well, Varanis gave him a ring from her own hand. Valseena performed a Praxian love song, which drew some standard leering and applause. As things became more rowdy, Varanis taught the bard the Rajar and the chicken song. Rajar snapped out of his drunken daze at the chorus and, using his great axe, cleaved a roast chicken in two. And the table beneath the chicken. The king seemed more amused than upset.

The next day, Varanis woke early and went with Berra to salute Yelm to death. Before the Vingan had started, a messenger came running to show them a broken arrow, sent from the army. It looked like it had been broken off to get it out of someone. Varanis saluted the sun very quickly indeed, while Berra went to wake the others, handing Rajar beer. He needed it, having put away about four pints of wine the day before.

On the way out Berra noticed that the pickets were hunkered down in low ground and behind shields. Suuraki and Valseena saw that the brush nearby was flattened, and burned. Valseena also saw a glint of bronze, which she investigated.

At the camp, Sorala reported all that had happened. The army had been attacked, taking shots to the positions of those on guard. The Babeester Gor, Varaneva, had stood up to call on the attackers to show themselves and fight, and got shot. She used a light spell4Presumably Ignite. behind them to mark where they were, and charged. The enemy fled, on horseback. The Babeester Gor stoically accepted Berra’s praise of her actions.

Valseena showed what she had found – a bronze horse-shoe which had moulded bison footprints under it. The tracks around the area were only an hour old, and Berra advised Varanis to set off in pursuit, asking if the cavalry that had escorted them the day before could come as well. King Herrengvot was appalled that his guests had been attacked, and was ready to send the whole army, but Berra told him not to then remembered herself and asked Varanis to tell him not to, and that there were likely to be problems in the area, and that their foe was Onjur. She advised him to send out scouts in the area instead, to find who was watching them.

After some consideration, Berra left the infantry in the charge of the Vingan Sorala, and took the cavalry on at speed. This required her being on Valseena’s bison, after a while. Sorala was given orders to back away as soon as she got suspicious about anything.

Along the attackers’ trail, the scouts came across a dead horse in the road. Approaching carefully, they see that it is wearing three horse shoes identical to the one Valseena found. The Eirithan spotted a glint of red beneath the horse and as she reached for it, both Suuraki and Varanis warned her away. While the cavalry moved on, the Praxians stayed back to deal with the horse. Rajar tied ropes around the corpse and attached it to Vengeance and Calamity. As the bison pulled, the horse shifted off the crystal and a Lune manifested. Rajar cut his bison free and hoofed it, while Berra called for warriors with the Disruption spell to kill the Lune. Rajar outraced the spirit, and it soon died.

After a while it became clear that the enemy force was getting further ahead. Some of the trail was clear enough that it could be seen there were spare horses, less laden. They had remounts. Berra called off the chase, on the grounds they could not catch up without getting far into territory where they could not control the situation. They went back towards the infantry.

As they approached the dead horse, there was a discussion over what to do with the red gem. Surraki suggested putting it into a bag without touching it, and Berra said she would do that – she would not call on people to do what she would not do. In the end he used his dagger-axe to prod it into the bag, and then carried it.

There was debate over whether or not to butcher the horse, with Berra favouring a quick reunification with the infantry and Varanis determined not to waste meat that could feed her troops. Suuraki made quick work of the butchery and they were on their way again soon.

“Nodding without a camera is so useful…” – Xenofos

“Very zen.” – Suuraki

“So, you were making friends and irritating people at the Tovtaros.” – GM
“Apart from the making friends, that sounds like us.” – Valseena

“Varanis, you are starting to work as proper Ernaldan auntie as a matchmaker.” – Xenofos
“Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a coup…” – GM

“It has come to my attention that I may have omitted a detail…” – Varanis

Berra rides beside Xenofos for a bit during the next day, and says, “You’re getting rested for a bit.”
<<raised eyebrows>> – Xenofos
“No need to explain commanders decision, Berra.” – Xenofos
“No need, sure. But you need it, so you should take it. We’ll be getting people used to other voices, and I’m hoping to have time to find out who’s most workable.” – Berra
“Xenofos shrugs, picks up his kithara and starts playing.” – Xenofos

“Calculating… if they hurt my people in error I might have some negotiation power…” – Varanis

“Berra’s probably just being Berra.” – Berra
“She does that.” – Berra

“Don’t fumble, just don’t fumble… I’m just going to check the table.” – Varanis rolls a social skill…

“Give yourself into custody!” – Enemy Commander
“All of us? If we do, can you feed us?” – Berra

“When they say ‘turn the other cheek’ to Humakti, they really shouldn’t. That one’s got a Death Rune on.” – Berra

“Send your chief entertainment adviser, Rajar, to persuade the bard.” – Suuraki
“He specialises in personal injury, but he’ll do entertainment law.” – Suuraki

“”Do you want to make an Insight Human, anyone in the area?” – GM” – Berra
“0-1.” – Varanis
“0-0.” – Berra
“99.” – Rajar

<<Detect Chaos as a vengeance matter.>> – Rajar

“Rajar pauses, mutters a prayer to Storm Bull (which might actually be a Vigour spell) and then goes for it.” – Rajar”

“Regular pass, and I’m quite glad that I passed vigour.” – Rajar

“Interesting, they’ve added some Tarshite geography to this song. It wasn’t in the original, but…” – Xenofos

“I appear to have frozen.” – GM
“You have, but we’re willing to Let It Go.” – Suuraki

“He hit him repeatedly in the head with a mole?” – Varanis
“maul.” – Berra
“He said mole.” – Varanis
“It’s a sort of undead mole.” – Berra

“Fail Scan, pass Battle. Fail Track.” – Berra
“Pass architecture…” – Xenofos

  • 1
    Amusingly, Varanis got a critical on Insight Human, immediately followed by Berra and Rajar rolling fumbles and thinking he was entirely unbelieving. Fortunately, the Storm Bull doesn’t have a big ego and he didn’t care.
  • 2
    Cast Vigour
  • 3
    Passing CONx5, 4, 3, and 2.
  • 4
    Presumably Ignite.