Wolf at the Door

S02 — Session 55

1627, Earth Season


Late in Earth Season


Dramatis Personae

PC

Berra
Irillo
Lenta
Maalira
Varanis


NPC

Events

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.


Irillo arrived unannounced, with a significant caravan of heavily laden mules. They’d been supplied by Silor and Thenaya. There were no marks of previous ownership on them, indicating that while they might have fallen off the back of a mule train, Silor was innocent of theft. He began setting up on Dogva’s invitation. Venlar interrupted him to talk to him happily about what he had been sent. There was not yet a house to put it in, but Thenaya had sent his furniture. There was however a barn that was hardly haunted at all. Irillo was unimpressed that Venlar was not taking care of his cousin Mellia, by leaving her furniture in a place haunted by a poltergeist, but Venlar countered that he was making his mother feel useful by adopting all of the furniture.

Irillo felt this was appropriate given that the poltergeist was, as Venlar pointed out, an apparently valued member of the clan. He noted that if the furniture was damaged, then Venlar could bring a suit against the poltergeist. Venlar went away to consider this.

Berra came onto the scene, looking determinedly innocent. She asked Lenta for a favour. Lenta said she felt she owed one to Berra, which confused the young Humakti, who decided to shelve the notion of asking, as the favour was happening. She needed Ernalda to help bless her fields.

Lenta was unsure if she would suffice, as she knew the Esrolian ways, but Berra was sure that Ernalda was always Ernalda, and she would explain the methods on the way there. She went off to find an Orlanth. That was, of course, Varanis.

Varanis greeted her cousin, but he rapidly got caught up in his patter, appealing to the purse-holders of the clan. Noticing Salid, Varanis went to greet him and was intercepted by Berra. The little Humakti asked Varanis to be Orlanth to Lenta’s Ernalda for a fertility ritual for one of Berra’s hides. Varanis agreed without argument.1Berra didn’t notice that Varanis was being particularly conciliatory, as though she feels guilty about something. Varanis noticed at this point that Berra had a duckling hiding under her cloak, but did not say anything, as Berra was not mentioning it.

Varanis then approached Salid to welcome him and offered him some food. He gave her a gift of honeyed locust in exchange and then offered one to Berra too. She shared some of her jerky with him and asked him to be part of the ritual as well. There was a suggestion that Salid and Varanis might need to wrestle, which seemed to amuse the Vingan. Salid noticed the two ducklings that Berra was hiding, as his Darksense allowed him to see in a limited way through the clothes to the delicious things she was hiding. The next person Berra corralled was Irillo, asking him for Salid’s help and suggesting he’d like to come as well. After saying that she didn’t think the ritual would be dangerous, Berra decided that it would be wise to invite Maalira along too. After consideration, Maalira decided that if the group were going anywhere that was probably not dangerous, they definitely needed her.2What was up with Berra’s Truth Rune?

Varanis asked about armour and then went to fetch hers and painted her face runes for good measure. Irillo elected to bring his armour with him, but not to wear it. He packed up most of his gear so that people could3Cat types: 999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999want it overnight, and set off with the others, taking only two mules of high quality gear that Berra suggested.

It was an odd party of Issaries, Chalana Arroy, Humakt, Ernalda, and her husband-protectors that left the village to head for the hide. While they were travelling, Varanis kept staring at Berra’s chest, as Berra tried to explain the ritual. There were occasional quiet quacking sounds. Finally she asked why the Humakti was carrying a duckling around. Berra pulled down her top to reveal a very cute looking pair. Of ducklings. She was taking them back home after the ritual, but wanted them to be there for it, as she had seen a bad omen. She was sure it was not a problem, as it had not been over her lands, and all that was needed was to make sure the hide was blessed so as to see off any problems of war – it had been a Humakti omen of crows and ravens fighting, and the ducklings had seen it too.4Two dark bodies had fallen from the sky, but she did not know if they were crows or ravens. She had been telling them stories about D’Val and they had followed her. Their names were Ifgiy and Mifgiy.5Cat interjects: WQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQQ1

Varanis told them stories about Berra, especially the ones that made her sound heroic, though she also told them that Berra was a duck too6A thing that they already knew, and were happy about, as D’Val had chosen her and that she was still learning how to swim.7This part confused them a bit. However, they were very chatty once they were no longer hiding, and Varanis and Maalira offered to help carry them. Unfortunately, Maalira got her tradetalk wrong, and they understood that she would be selling them to trolls. Ifgiy went with Varanis, and Mifgiy stayed with Berra, as he had been very impressed by the tales of her.

When they came to the farmhouse, they were met by Barntal, Berra’s tenant. He fed Lenta (and the others, but mainly Lenta) and thanked her in advance for the ritual she would lead. When she was ready to begin, Ernalda decreed that she required Orlanth beside her as they walked the perimeter. Barntar followed with Chalana Arroy, trailed by Argan Argar. Issaries took up rear guard. As they left, he saw Berra reaching for her kohl and brushes.8Cat: frrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrcr He and Maalira heard Berra telling the duckling that no, he was not allowed sacred Humakt make-up, although only Irillo understood the Heortling.9And it seemed that Mifgiy got his way, because when Maalira saw him later, he had his beak painted.

There was a brief delay at the start as Lenta struggled with being an Esrolian Ernalda in Sartar, but Orlanth sang and Ernalda danced and the ritual came together as it was meant to. Where Ernalda walked, the grass grew just a little greener. Just outside the field boundaries, in the edges of the forest, Humakt followed, sword-dancing his protection round the outside. Only Irillo noticed him at first. He also noticed a slightly incongruous duckling following Humakt. Irillo put a handful of silver into his fist, to be able to face Death as an Issarian, should it come to that.

About an hour into the walk, Salid noticed that there was something going on in the woods, and put his pike down. Varanis spotted it too! A flaming sword and Humakt having all the fun. Orlanth decided to help him, just in case10Glory hog!, and handed her dagger to little Ifgiy, instructing the duckling to protect Ernalda. Ifgiy, weighed down by the dagger, promised to do so with her life. Orlanth took off at a jog, followed by Salid. Irillo noticed as they were running that there was a figure leaving. It looked big and bulky, maybe hairy. He made sure that he had a weapon to hand once more, in this case his sword. Meanwhile, Lenta and Maalira had just about noticed that people had left.

Varanis and Salid probably would not have even noticed Mifgiy, except that he was yelling something about Berra being attacked11“THEY KILLED BERRA!” as he bolted past them, towards the others. Varanis broke into a run.

Mifgiy arrived, shouting that Berra was dead and Maalira needed to help. This was a little confusing, but he set off back up towards Berra without answering any of the pertinent questions like ‘what the hell?’ which this sparked in Maalira. Lenta, keeping an eye on her husband, decided that to keep the ritual going, she would have to continue as if she were in charge and solve it. She declared that the husbands were in trouble, and ran that way. Ifgiy followed. Barntal sensibly just let go of Maalira’s arm so she could run. Irillo cast Mobility on Maalira, who accelerated across the ground. He then trotted on at his own speed, on the very reasonable basis that if Berra, Varanis and Salid could not deal with a thing, he did not want to arrive there quickly.

Salid and the Vingan found Berra’s crumpled body in the woods, barely breathing. Berra had a massive claw mark over her face and the back of her head, big enough to crack her skull. Varanis yelled for Maalira and then attempted to heal her friend.12Passed First Aid for triage, but failed the Heal spell. Maalira arrived a moment later and brought with her Chalana Arroy’s healing, bringing Berra back from the point of death. Berra had a slightly confused tale of a man who had been poaching, and had then grown thick fur. Her sword had bounced off his hide. She was very angry and shouty about Telmori in general. Irillo reminded her of the last time they had seen Telmori – after a while she complained that if she did not fight people wrote songs about her being a coward, which she hated. Orlanth sympathised with his brother Humakt over that. However, as Humakt she then did not speak until Ernalda invited her to, being careful not to ruin the ritual by bursting in on it. Ifgiy and Mifgiy were in favour of hunting the Telmori. Mifgiy’s kohl Death Rune was very cute.

Varanis wondered if he might be a Telmori and Berra agreed that it was possible. Orlanth was overcome with the urge to defend his brother and go charging off after the Telmori, but Ernalda put her foot down firmly. Prideful Air met implacable Earth and it is not entirely clear who won. Although Ernalda eventually allowed Orlanth to choose and Orlanth chose hunting the Telmori, it did not happen13There might have been more than one Telmori, and Varanis remembered just how brutal it could be to try to wound them. Neither she nor Berra were afraid, of course. But they did have others to protect. and instead, everyone returned to the farmhouse to make plans, completing the ritual.

There was a discussion of what to do, and Berra suggested leaving the farmhouse for the night, because if there was only one Telmori it would not attack, but if there were many they might come for vengeance. They agreed, deciding to return Ifgiy and Mifgiy to their family, so that they could bravely guard the settlement. Thus, they took Barntal with them, travelling as soon as they could secure the place, and found the way to a tiny, secret duck village.

Along the way, Maalira was certain she saw a werewolf following them, even when Berra walked around it, telling her it was a bush. She was certain she had seen it move. Berra cut the bush in half with a flaming sword, and Maalira gaped because she had been so sure. The Humakti had, as far as those paying more attention could tell, cast Rune Magic, and was leading them by paths that were set up so that they could see the way behind them. Ifgiy and Mifgiy knew the way very well.

The duck village, a place of a lot of mud, and some houses on stilts was silent as they rode in, and then all at once two people spoke, one rushing forward to scold the missing ducklings, and another coming forward to ask what Irillo had for sale. Hospitality was offered once Berra spoke for the people with her, and the biggest house available was cleaned out, and blankets put over the huge nest there. It was still rather too small for all of them, although Ifgiy helpfully pointed out that it was best if everyone slept on top of each other. Berra volunteered to guard the village, and Irillo slept by the mules, with Salid guarding there. There was then room for Varanis, Lenta, and Maalira to snuggle up together in the nest.14It was not made clear how the snuggling went.

Irillo did some trading the next day,15Berra advised him that the community was very poor and offered to help cover costs if he would sell things to them cheaply. and the ducks put together rafts to take them, and then their animals, back to a landing place down by the village.

Berra and Varanis noticed that they had been followed by the two determined ducklings, who made their way home after being caught. Ifgiy never did return the Vingan’s dagger, but thankfully, neither did she try swimming with it.

Venlar greeted them on their return to Blue Tree. He looked somewhat harried and awkward, with baby Tamakt in his arms. He passed the baby off to Irillo. Some stuff was said but Varanis missed it because she was too busy connecting dots and finally realising that Tamakt was Irillo’s. Others heard Venlar’s explanation that he was not going to move with the child, so he had been stuck for some time, and some good-natured questions about the baby clothes that Irillo had. He was relieved that his mother was not sending them as a hint to him. Yamia was off losing at sparring practice again and Venlar and Varanis decided that this was a good time for Orlanthi drinking and they went into the hall together.

Varanis, rather drunk, later asked Irillo if Serzeen knew. He said she did now. On further questioning about some rather private parts, he said that Serzeen read slowly.

Later investigation around the farmhouse found many large wolf-prints, but the livestock, which Barntal had released, was all fine, and got rounded up.


“Just trolling Draznk.” – Salid