Horse Whispering

S02 — Session 50

1627, Earth Season, Death Week, Freeze Day and Waterday

Dramatis Personae




Guards on the walls of Alda Chur
Some unobservant people
Cavalry of varying flavours


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.

In the Esrolian section of Argrath’s camp, Varanis was eating whilst Xenofos hovered, apparently not trusting his liege to do as she promised. Rajar loomed nearby, standing guard. Although Varanis had tried to report to Argrath on their return, he was too busy to see her, again.

It wasn’t long before Valseena arrived, with Suuraki and Berra. The little Humakti was vibrating, while Valseena looked both excited and nervous. Varanis offered them food and encouraged the Eirithan to explain what was going on. She told them about seeing Nala, who was crawling about like an injured crocodile and that the shaman Erhehta had died again. Beyond that, she had Berra explain Venna had asked Valseena to enter Alda Chur to find out what condition the horses were in.

Valseena’s news explained Berra’s excitement. Immediately, people began discussing options for getting into the city. Ideas ranged from smuggling, disguises, and bribery to swimming, climbing, and flying. The Praxians had an idea and went to see Venna again in order to learn who and what was able to enter the city. They learned that single riders were sometimes able to get through the gate, but larger groups had never made it. Valseena, who had had the plan of disguising herself to be less Praxian-looking, asked if she could have robes run up for her.

The plan was that Valseena was to go over the wall, guarded by Berra and Varanis. The others would coordinate distractions to cover both the entrance and exit times. Xenofos attempted to argue, unhappy that the Vingan was entering the city in such a small group and without her armour. But, as she was the most proficient climber and the only one capable of casting Flight, he was firmly overruled.

Berra secretly noted to Rajar that if they could not get out, she would try to put an arrow over the wall, West for the horses being in fine condition, South if they were not. Nobody else got told that.

Well after dark, Xenofos made a mad dash for the city gates, pursued by high llama and bison riders. The intent was to draw the attention of the guards at the gates and walls, making them think that a messenger was attempting to reach them. He used a Light spell on his shield, and shouted for the gates to be opened. The high llamas began to encircle him and with some brilliant riding, Xenofos evaded them though he was forced to ride in the opposite direction. He was “captured” by the bison riders who had been trailing behind.

Meanwhile, Varanis and Berra scaled the wall on the west side, close to the market. There were a couple of guards there, but they didn’t notice the climbers. Once she was secure, Varanis cast a Flight spell on Valseena. The Eirithan discovered that flying is a bit tricky and so Varanis helped to guide her up and over the wall, setting her down carefully in the market, where there were soldiers sleeping rough. As Berra and the Vingan went over the wall on the other side, Varanis made enough noise to attract the attention of one of the guards, but Berra hid so effectively that somehow neither of them was spotted.

Valseena was dressed in the robes and veils of a Sun Domer woman, so that if she was caught, she might pass as an Ernaldan of those people. Varanis was all in dark blues and blacks, including woad covering much of her skin. Berra was in dark clothing and mud. Neither was going to pass for anything other than spies, but thankfully, they were ignored by the few folks who were awake as the three of them scouted around the city.

They toured the city briefly, seeing men everywhere and horses in much of the North-East part, then Valseena decided to try her luck with the horses in the Temple Court. She learned that they had enough (but not plentiful) food, and were in good health, though out of condition for lack of exercise. She attempted to persuade them to stampede, but they were uninterested. The trio found a reasonably safe place to wait until an hour before Yelmrise, which is when they were due to make their escape. It took a few horses, but Valseena was able to startle one into stampeding by telling him there was a lion. There was just enough of a ruckus kicked up that Rajar knew to kick off his own plan.

Rajar led a group of Storm Bulls and Esrolian cavalry at the east walls of the city. They made a spectacular amount of noise and then called for Storm Bull’s holy rage to take over some of the guards on the walls. Storm Bull was mightily pleased, as he granted the magic without taking anything from Rajar. Immediately, those guards turned on their comrades and small-scale chaos began on the wall.

Under the cover of the stampede and the fighting on the far city wall, Varanis cast Flight on Valseena once again and guided the healer up and out of the city to safety as she climbed out herself. Berra and the Vingan made the climb rapidly, ending on the opposite side of the Alda from Valseena, Suuraki, and Xenofos who were waiting for them. After vanishing way over to the west instead of swimming over Berra shouted something impolite towards the walls, explaining to Varanis that she wanted to signal to her friends. Eventually, she cast Flameblade to wave it briefly at the walls, and then vanish. The river proved too strong for them to cross, but Suuraki and another high llama rider forded it and carried the unarmoured warriors back to camp.

The return to Argrath’s camp was swift, with everyone regrouping before Yelmrise. Rajar, the Storm Bulls, and the Esrolian cavalry who had accompanied them were enthusiastically proud of their success. Valseena decided to see Venna right away, going to the Storm Khan’s tent accompanied by most of the others. Venna demanded a report from the Eirithan first – Valseena informed her of all that she’d observed about the horses. Rajar was then praised for his efforts and he and Venna briefly discussed repeating the attack another night. Varanis was permitted to speak, and presented the khan with a few details about the state of the city. When it was Berra’s turn, the little Humakti had observed so much that Venna was impressed despite herself, or possibly just alarmed at her enthusiasm. Valseena was definitely the heroine in Venna’s eyes. Venna gave Rajar rhino kumiss. There was a punch-off of friendship between Rajar and Venna, with Rajar being far too smart to hit hard.

Valseena attempted to return the gold that Venna had given her for the mission. Venna removed about half the coins and handed back the purse. It looked pretty heavy. On their return to camp, Varanis greeted Yelm then went to sleep, still covered in woad. Berra and Xenofos praised the cavalry, and the scholar enjoyed the kumiss given to him by the high llama riders.

“Session 50, guest happy GM who loves you.” – Berra GM
“It is a trap” – Xenofos
“… Yes.” – Berra GM
“Always.” – Varanis

“By “the army” you mean the Esrolians, not the Praxians?” – Varanis

“Berra looks really bouncy.”
“Somebody threw a war and she got invited!” – Rajar

“Just let Fish through and let the smoke settle…” – Xenofos

“Valseena goes to see Venna. Has to wait 10 min. If I tried, it would be hours.” – Varanis

“The Sun County yokels have been described as special…” – Xenofos
“YEP.” – Berra

“She is Eirithan. Not a redheaded idiot.” – Xenofos

“Ignite horsetail would be very wrong.” – Xenofos
“Yes, but funny.” – Berra GM
“Ignite swine?” – Varanis
“YAY!” – Berra GM

“I might get high.” – Varanis
“Well, you’d hope so. Climbing a wall.” – Suuraki

“So it makes sense to disappear into Alda Chur with the info…” – Xenofos

“I do not have armour on so I do not have penalties on move quietly. Because it is lousy.” – Varanis

“There is that one horse that neighs yea… and gets discouraged by nobody else reacting.” – Xenofos

“Happily failed both move quietly and hide while approaching the riverbank.” – Xenofos
“Very stealthily.” – Xenofos

“I’ll get you to roll when I get there, so I can keep track.” – Berra GM
“Maybe you’ll get lucky. (But not with Berra.)” – Berra GM