Scribal Error

S02 — Session 48

1627, Earth Season, second half of Harmony Week

Dramatis Personae


Rajar the Drooling


A goose
Arim, Yinkini
Vostor, son of the King
King Stark of the Tovtaros
That Humakti, you know, Yarantor maybe?


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.

Xenofos departed the camp a few days after the death of the prisoner, taking with him five cavalry guards, a mixture of Greens and Racers. They were heading to see the King of the Tovtaros. The rest of the group, not long afterwards, was called in to see Argrath, who got Venna and Varanis to shake hands, even if they were not entirely brought together. Venna apologised for some of what she had done, Varanis for none of it.1Varanis and her Air rune… Venna tried to crush Varanis’ hand, and Varanis just smiled at her.

As Argrath had asked if Varanis had anything else that she regretted, Berra piped up saying she did; she should have stopped the Storm Bull. When Argrath said she could not have time with him on a casual basis, she made it official and challenged the Storm Bull, letting Argrath know that if he insisted on first blood with blunt weapons, she’d take it further.

Xenofos and the troop he was riding with encountered a chevaux de frise2A tree with some bloody great swords hammered through it. behind which were guards who challenged them and asked their errand. Xenofos said he wanted to see the king of Tovtaros on an errand for Varanis of Saiciae. After saying that he had news of a patrol that the Tovtaros would have been missing and requesting hospitality for his guards but not for himself until the king had heard what he had to say, he was told to wait and a messenger was sent to the Ironspike village.

Back at the encampment, on their way back to the Esrolian camp, Rajar3Still INT 3 spotted a goose and gave chase. Berra tried to drag him back, but was far too small, and just got dragged along, hauled with him. She promised him food, which got his attention off the goose. Valseena and Berra both saw a Morokanth eying Rajar up. Valseena noticed he seemed to be looking for brands, so began talking to Rajar like they were both just people. Berra did a bit of glaring at the Morokanth and Valseena informed him that Rajar was her brother-in-law.

Valseena and Suuraki took care of Rajar for the next few days, with the help of the Straw Weavers. He recovered and asked for his weapons and armour; Valseena checked he knew who he was, and then helped him into them. She and Suuraki explained what they knew, and sent to the Esrolian camp to say he was ready. Berra set off to see him at a run, and gave him an explanation of what had happened; he seemed to get it.

Xenofos and his guard entered the Tovtaros village under heavy escort. Before entering the king’s hall, the guards were given food and drink as tokens of hospitality. The local Humakti Lord asked if the scribe intended to leave himself out of the hospitality. Xenofos mentioned in passing that the king was unlikely to like what he had to say, but he should be free to decide after hearing what Xenofos had to say. The Humakti said this was Xenofos’ own funeral and led them in. In the hall, King Stark received Xenofos and his entourage with evident suspicion. The king did not like Xenofos telling him they had clashed with his patrol on his land and taken prisoners. He liked it even less when Xenofos asked if he was aware his advisor had been tainted by Chaos, citing the Orlanthi challenge to Chaos. Xenofos accepted the king’s word on not knowing, but infuriated him by not accepting that the accusation of Chaos was false. Trying to organize his thoughts by relying on Truth failed on this day. When he tried to explain the murder of the advisor and Varanis’ offer of restitution, Xenofos stumbled on his words because of the shame he felt at the breach of hospitality that he and Varanis were guilty of4At least, in his head.. The king was even more furious, would not listen to him state his case but threw him in a cell. Luckily his guard remembered they were protected by hospitality and let this happen without resistance.

As soon as Rajar was recovered, the rest of the group set off, with the army, to go check that Xenofos was alright, and to continue their negotiations. After some discussion, they did not take the prisoners; Rajar was in favour of having some throats they could threaten to cut, while Berra said she would refuse to give that order, and would prefer not to have people kept in the lines when she wanted to concentrate on the fighting, not the keeping of prisoners.

As the army neared the Tovtaros territory, several people noticed that they were being watched. Berra noted they were being herded towards a choke point. It seemed likely that the ambushers were few in number and after a brief discussion about how to capture them, the talk turned to whether to spring their trap or to attack early. Varanis decided to invite them out for a discussion. After she promised them safety, their leader, Arim, emerged and a diplomatic conversation was had. There was the sound of a zebra – or a horse – galloping away to take a message.

Arim told them something of the situation; Xenofos had been taken prisoner, but his friends had not, after asking for hospitality for his associates, then making an accusation of Chaos-loving against the King, who had been blood-brothers with the assassinated Lunar. People thought the King had gone too far, Arim said. Berra took Varanis aside to ask if there might be a chance of getting people to rebel, given this abuse of a herald, and potential loving of Chaos. She checked if Arim could hear their private conversation; he could and mentioned that there were oaths and stuff, so there was not going to be a rebellion.

As the man in charge of the nearest Tovtaros fortification, he offered hospitality to the army. Varanis accepted and the army proceeded through the choke point to the relative safety of the fort to wait for a reply to the messages that had been sent onwards; one from the ambush spot warning of trouble, and one to ask for hospitality. This was Berra’s solution to not wanting to leave the army behind, despite Arim advising Varanis to do so.5It is like a security blanket for Berra. The group decided that they would try to have Suuraki call his Spirit of Law. They talked about hospitality, and whether a Storm Bull could take it knowing there might be Chaos, but they agreed that if there was it was Rajar’s duty to fight it. Berra decided that was not an assassination, because they were not planning to lie, only to fight if there was Chaos present, as everyone would be bound to.

Arim was able to tell Varanis some of what happened to Xenofos. For a long time he remained both part of and apart from the conversation, but it became clear that he was at least a little sympathetic towards their cause. The group talked about why Xenofos had done what he had done. Then the cavalry came back, to report that Xenofos had simply lost his mind! They told much the same story as Arim, but in more detail. Xenofos had refused hospitality, so that the King could make up his mind about whether to give him freedom.

The response from King Stark to the presence of the Esrolian army was to send an army of his own, led by his son, Vostor. Arim went out to negotiate, making sure there were no accidents, and then Vostor came in to say he had been sent to offer battle, but found that the army had been offered hospitality. So, they went up towards Ironspike, leaving the troops behind them, but taking Varaneva as a bodyguard for Varanis.

The trip to Ironspike and the king’s fortress outside it was uneventful. Welcomed courteously by King Stark, the party accepted his hospitality. They were given food and wine, and Stark asked how it was with Varanis; she was very polite about it, enough to count as praise for what was not up to Esrolian standards. Then Stark mentioned how she was the diplomatic one, and the hot-headed one had been sent as the herald. This began talks, with Varanis saying that there was evidence of Chaos, and Stark being not pleased.

The Vingan asked if Suuraki could summon a Spirit of Law, which Stark initially refused. He wanted proof that his blood-brother had been Chaos-tainted first. Rajar was able to swear in front of the King’s Humakti bodyguard6A High Sword, no less… that Urox had blessed his holy rage in a way that only happened when Chaos was present. This seemed to be enough to satisfy the king. He had his people gather within reason, sensibly refusing to strip the walls of defenses. Suuraki summoned the spirit, which left for Snakepipe Hollow after finding no Chaos to fight at Ironspike Fort.

This meant that negotiations could begin in earnest. Varanis explained that she was seeking allies for Argrath against Harvar Ironfist, in Alda Chur. She offered to return his warriors without claiming the ransoms in order to facilitate an alliance. They talked about the weregild of the dead, with both agreeing that it need not be paid for the Lunar. Somehow, Varanis managed to persuade the King to give up Xenofos in exchange for not paying the weregild on the dead men.7The GM was tired, and may have slipped up here, and we are perfectly alright with taking advantage of that.,8And somehow Varanis’ player talked herself into believing that this made perfect sense when she proposed it and doesn’t want to argue with anyone after the fact.

Stark returned Xenofos to Varanis after offering to beat the scholar for his insolence. Varanis said that she would deal with her cousin personally. Xenofos, looking a little scruffy but otherwise well, was delivered and all were given a place to retire for the time being. Berra and Xenofos started a whispered argument, but it did not get far.

Stark did not wish to be the only tribe rising, but was pleased when Varanis said the Princeros would rise. Varanis named their price – the use of the Regalia in a Heroquest putting right the fact that the Princeros had had to pay tribute to Harvar. Stark wanted that sweetened, and mentioned he had a daughter who was unmarried. Varanis mentioned a few possibilities for husbands, including finding a Praxian, and the King said that if Argrath was free, that would be wonderful… but at close of play the likelihood was that it would be the Princeros who supplied a noble or royal.

“Fortunately I was berserk when they cast (Mindblast) so I didn’t notice.” – Rajar

“Tarsh is that not the new Saiciae lands?” – Xenofos
“Nope.” – Berra
“Look, Argrath has it!” – Berra
“Shiny!” – Berra
“I don’t particularly care what Mirava wants.” – Varanis

“So, we’re going to have to go up there in enough force to get people back alive – this time we’re taking the other Praxians too, and everyone knows to be careful, and this time we’ll have a leader of scouts who isn’t Xenofos.” – Berra

“I want you to know I hate that I can’t do that. But we’ll wait for Rajar to be ready. No point going off without the heavy.” – Berra
“We have one of him.” – Berra

“Somehow I do not like the sound of Ironspike right now…” – Xenofos

“What is your STR SIZ, Rajar?” – Berra
“Oh dear.” – Also Berra

“GM passes Imitate Tapir.” – Xenofos

“Varanis is fussing over food supplies, giving her own food to others, and trying not to look like she’s doing any of that.” – Varanis

“Your brain returns.” – GM
“Kill it with beer!” – Suuraki

“Would you like to make an intelligence roll?” – GM
“Rajar sometimes finds its best not to.” – Rajar

“As soon as Varanis gets word that Rajar is himself, she commands that they pack up the army.” – Varanis
“Time to get moving.” – Varanis

“Where is the iron-sword-wielding dead person?” – Rajar

“Kinky preference for mallards?” – Xenofos
“It’s the tail feathers.” – Berra

“Set dagger-axe to stun.” – Suuraki

“If you have such a ridiculously high honor score…” – GM

“Praxians, there is the sound of a receding galloping zebra. Varanis… there is the sound of a galloping receding horse.” – GM

“Your sage went in saying the guy had it coming.” – Arim
“Twat.” – Berra

“”Rajar. Beer me.”” – Varanis

“We have one bunch of dangerous Lunatics on one side and… King Kallyr on the other.” – Arim the Yinkini
<<proud perking up>> – Berra

“You judge them as you find them. You’ve got to here on the frontiers.” – Arim
“What about the back ears?” – Valseena
“Oh, that’s a sign of Chaos.” – Suuraki

“Father sent me here to offer you battle. I understand you’ve accepted hospitality.” – Vostor, son of the King

“When you say you’re not bringing the mouthy vingan?” – GM
“I mean the other one, not me!” – Varanis

“Is everything topsy-turvy in Esrolia? By tradition the diplomatic one is the herald, and the hot-headed one is the Orlanthi.” – Stark

“My daughter’s unmarried.” – Stark
“Good news, Xenofos!” – Suuraki

Berra gives Xenofos a mutter. “You idiot.”
Tired Xenofos answers quietly “Is the prisoner you guarded alive, Humakti?”
“Which one?” She looks confused.
He shakes his head. “Nevermind.”
“Because if you’re looking for knowledge I can tell you, but if you’re asking a question you know the answer to, then you might wanna consider doing that after we’re safely back.” Berra looks straight ahead.
“It would be unjust to chide you for negligence when I had made myself unable to defend him. Forget I said anything.” The scholar is looking at the rest of the crew and ignoring Berra.

  • 1
    Varanis and her Air rune…
  • 2
    A tree with some bloody great swords hammered through it.
  • 3
    Still INT 3
  • 4
    At least, in his head.
  • 5
    It is like a security blanket for Berra.
  • 6
    A High Sword, no less…
  • 7
    The GM was tired, and may have slipped up here, and we are perfectly alright with taking advantage of that.
  • 8
    And somehow Varanis’ player talked herself into believing that this made perfect sense when she proposed it and doesn’t want to argue with anyone after the fact.