Smoke on the Water

S02 — Session 16

1626, Earth Season, Stasis Week, Godday

Dramatis Personae




Lenta Hulta
Agri Hulta
An unnamed but psychotic killer who should have been tied up better than that
No, not Berra. Why would you think that?
Some Ducks
A host of spearmen
Some of whom are definitely the Royal Guard
Priestess Raisin of the Hospital
Initiate Janina, dispenser of handkerchiefs
Some Zorak Zoran Worshippers of the Royal Guard
A Babeester Gor Hulta with a bad temper
Lord Kesten Hulta having another bad day
Queen Samastina
Nobody else important


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 Xenofos 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.

[[ Guten Tag, Einmal wieder. This will be our final common session with the Esrolian fragments.
I will return to my studies of The Siren stele and doctor Tomm will continue your education.
We shall begin with a fragment – locate the style and references and try to connect this with one of our protagonists.]]

Spring was brought back,
sweet bough of gentle violets,
by tender touch, of white Chalana
Brought back from the Hungry Wolf,
carried by the Vrok of Yelm

[[ a liturgic text, ja, with reference to change of the seasons, nicht war.
Let us go further.]]

Far from the desert she tread,
separated from her pack,
defying fires of Lodril,
reunited relit sons of Ash

[[ A bit surprising in urban Esrolian context. References must be to Caladralanders known for their volcanic associations, present in TA Nochet in significant numbers as evidenced by remains of typical pottery urns. Now who is she, and the pack.]]

Pyre was lit for the living, short end to short one
Magasta claimed tribute, liegelady lifted her back

[[And again everyone knows the story, nicht war, so why bother naming any characters in the poem. That will be your task. Try also to give approximation of age and culture of the skald.]]

[[ And the ‘accounts’ for once with monetary notations]]

Debit: two (2) wheels
Credit: One armour, scale, bronze, minus one greave; one warrior
Saldo: -1 wheel, 1 friend

[[ Analyze and return your work to dr. Tomm.]]

Aroused from slumber by harmonious call, she answered Samastina’s bidding,
listened calmly to accusation false, with her deeds proved them wrong,
so judged by mighty Queen, with Grace forgoing vengeance,
carrying home houses hostage

[[ Ja, who is she now. By now you should know. The story is referred to in the Hungarian edition of Esrolian tales that is in your edited reading list. Check there, identify the houses and compare this telling with evidence of later events.]]

Our story picks up in the warehouse. Mellia and Berra were making their way down the stairs, with Agri Hulta, who was carrying Lenta. Mellia demanded urgent transport to the Great Hospital so they loaded everyone into the reed boats and made for the docks to avoid the choke point at the Harst Gate. Nala reconnected with them en route. As they neared the place where Tiwr and Zinat waited on shore, they noticed an unexpected gathering of armed troops. Nala continued to shore to collect her pack, while the rest of the party made for a different landing place.

Tiwr and Zinat had been confined. As Nala tried to free them, a Royal Guard dared to place a hand on her. She, having no idea it was a Royal guard, loudly expressed her displeasure. Tiwr decided that was his cue to free himself. The pack made their escape with little effort and much speed, making good use of mobility spells. They made for the Great Hospital with great haste.

Berra had arranged the boats so that Mellia was with Lenta, and she was with the prisoner, and was calling decisions for the landing. Between dropping off Nala and landing the larger group, she noticed that the prisoner’s hand was free, or coming free, and she leapt on him, and he fought her from his position in the bottom of the boat. She managed to get in a decent punch, but he brought a magical weapon around to hit her in the leg, burning her, himself, and the boat. The ducks went overboard, and he could not keep hold of Berra, who managed to throw herself into the water and cling onto the boat until she was rescued. Varanis and Xenofos came back for her, and Irillo talked the Ducks in his boat into helping for a lot of money. They helped her to get to a boat that was not burning, and on her request started taking the armour off her to put it into the boat, dropping some on the way through a miscommunication. Berra then got into the boat, realised how badly hurt she was, and got patched up by Varanis.

The rest of the party landed relatively unnoticed near the Fish Market, although there were spears there too, and made their way as swiftly as possible through backstreets to the Hospital. Mellia made sure that Lenta received immediate care. Lenta came round for long enough to talk to Varanis and be beautifully heartbroken about her kidnapper not having been the Vingan.

No one seemed particularly inclined to leave Lenta, a fact that led to a certain amount of displeasure from the High Healer in residence. Berra refused to leave, cutting herself on the cheek in order to become a patient. Her irrational behaviour clearly suggested that she was unwell and she was put to sleep. Varanis pointed out that she was still injured and therefore needed to stay with Lenta. She too was sent to sleep and later woke in a different room. Xenofos seems to have also taken a wee nap, whether he wanted to or not. Irillo went in search of Serzeen, but was not permitted to see her. Agri, who was also injured, was ushered out of the room. Nala maintained vigil outside of Lenta’s room, whilst Tiwr went to work helping around the Hospital in exchange for a token payment, as was his wont.

At some point, Irillo found his way to the front steps where he encountered a group of Zorak Zorani guards, sent by Queen Samastina, being offered consolation by the Hanky Lady, Janina. They were there to invite Varanis to attend the Queen. Irillo sought out his cousin and the others – everyone was awake and, apart from Lenta, lucid. Varanis strode confidently out to meet the guards, secure in her knowledge that she was innocent of what the Hulta accused. A palanquin was summoned for Lenta and once she was loaded in, everyone made their way to the royal palace. The Zorak Zorani attempted to needle Berra, and Berra sniped at them in return, coming out ahead with the aid of Irillo, but ultimately being unable to finish up, because they were guards.

Meanwhile, Dormal was hauled out of his cell at the House of Hulta by a Babeester Gor axe maiden, who threatened to send him back to his house as less of a man before Kesten interrupted to say that was a bad idea. He was taken to the palace in the middle of a set of Hulta guards.

At the palace, they were shown to the Queen’s Justice Chamber, rather than the throne room. Nala and her pack were left a little away from the action rather than bringing in a war unicorn to the room. On the Queen’s order, Kesten Hulta spoke the accusations against Varanis. Irillo attempted to add some clarification to Kesten’s story and found himself escorted out of the room. Varanis denied all charges and offered to take oaths before any Humakti and Lhankor Mytes the queen requested. The queen ruled that this wasn’t necessary, after Lenta and Agri added their stories to the mix. She dismissed everyone, informing them that the House of Hulta would return the hostage given by Saiciae – that is, Dormal. Samastina noted that as Lenta had been returned by the group, there would be no feud. She expected to hear nothing further about the quarrel between their two houses.

The Queen noted her displeasure at the duel planned within the city of Nochet, but did note that it had been Separated. That is, a Humakti had cut out the area. At that point, Berra apologised loudly and told Kesten she had spoken in haste. The Queen reprimanded her, and Berra explained she had wanted to make the apology very loud so everyone heard about it, and then wisely shut up.

Dormal walked back to Saiciae with the group, as did Nala and her pack. On the way, Berra filled in what he had missed, rather grudgingly.

“… …” – Irillo
“So the other thing I can now lipread is, ‘testing, testing’.” – Berra

“You might also take some of his weapons away at the same time.” – GM
“I thought I might go for ‘all of them’. If that’s alright with you.” – Irillo

“You don’t need to tie him up. He won’t get far on foot.” – Dormal

“I feel like we may need to declare war on the water. It keeps taking our stuff.” – Varanis

“Has anyone actually checked that it is Lenta?” – Dormal
“Yes.” – Berra
“Or are we operating on a 1 illusion max assumption.” – Dormal
“Because Berra’s PLAYER thinks like you.” – Berra

“He’s very strict about morals that are not his own.” – Nala

“‘SHUT UP SHORTY!’ … that feels so strange.” – Berra

“Berra is shouting a LOT. Most of it is ‘ow’.” – Berra

“Is he on fire too?” – Berra
“I HOPE he is on fire.” – Berra

“There’s a lot of white smoke coming up from the boat…” – GM
“This is one hell of a time to elect a Pope.” – Dormal

“Do any of the Ducks have extinguish?” – Irillo
“Ecthtinguishth.” – Dormal
“No duck ever has that spell, for cultural reasons.” – Dormal

“I’ll ask the Ducks to go in towards the…” – Irillo, all at sea
“…metal-clad idiot…” – Berra

“You have ducks disrobing you under the water.” – GM
“This has always been a dream of mine.” – Berra

“They’re a bit distracted by the horny horse.” – GM
“…” – Berra, previously accused of duck porn

“The Humakti might have a Greave-ance.” – GM
@@*@@glares@@*@@ – Humakti with a missing greave.

“Oh, did you lose someone?” – Nala
“Yes, we lost most of the prisoner.” – Berra

“Because things Xenofos writes never go wrong.” – Berra
“To be fair, he never reads anything, anyway” – Nala

“We’ve rescued Lenta from her kidnappers and are at the Great Hospital.” – Varanis
(Hey, is there Ransom for 2 nobles?) o . Irillo

“‘From Varanis Saiciae to house Hulta, I and my companions have rescued the missing lady Lenta and lord Agri, who are now at Great hospital. Please send someone to the Hospital. Varanis Saiciae, Xenofos wrote on dictation’?” – Xenofos

(as he leaves) O (She is TOTALLY unfit to be an aristocratic lady in this city) o . – Irillo
(Was Lenta… dropped on her head as a child?) o . – Dormal
(Put your ovaries away.) o . – Berra
(oh good gods, she’s an adult?!) o . – Nala

“Cau…tious. Sounds like Air… Rune? No.” – Nala” – Berra

“Escort out anyone who is not a patient.” – Priestess
“Berra pulls a dagger along her face. ‘I am a patient now.'”

“How is Xenofos reacting to Berra and Varanis being put to sleep?” – Varanis
“… He’s been put to sleep as well, after objecting over Berra.” – GM/Xenofos

“I thought it was the men who were supposed to be overemotional and dramatic” – Irillo
“What? It was the logical step!” – Berra

“Rock a by, airhead, on the tree top….” – Nala

“Are you Lord Irillo Saiciae?” – Royal Guard
“I have the honour to be Irillo Lightbringer.” – Varanis

“Hey Berra there are some ZZ worshippers with a message.” – Dormal

“I will take my harmonious ass…” – Irillo
“It’s mules for Issaries. Half-asses.” – Dormal

“It is the same with the Lord of Murder and Hate. What he promises, he delivers.” – Zorak Zorani Royal Guard
(Yes, but when Issaries delivers, he expects to get PAID.) o . Irillo

“… and the Lead Lord ran away.” – Berra in front of Zorak Zorani guards
“Death Lord.” – Irillo
“Sorry. The Death Lord ran away.” – Berra

“There are earth runes, and death runes, and about half the amount of axes Rajar carries.” – GM
“So a lot of axes.” – Varanis

“Nasty little weasel.” – Babeester Gori holding Dormal’s cheeks
“Pleaved kto makge your aqguaintance.” – Dormal

“She was seen getting into the palanquin with Lenta.” – Kesten
“Damn. I liked Kesten” – Nala
“This is when Berra looks at Kesten with only a touch of pity.” – Berra

“Your Majesty, my Humakti kinswoman is neither craven nor dishonourable.” – Varanis

‘Twas down by Humakti’s dark hall that she offered fight
And the moon and the stars they were shining;
The moon shone its rays on her locks of auburn hair
And she swore she’d with sword fight for her honor.

Chorus : Craven is the raven that in from Sartar flew
And dull is the sword of her honor
Muddy is the water that flows from Lyksos
But her word is weaker than any

Come over the hills, you craven Sartar lass
Comer over the hills to your fighting;
You choose the flight, Raven, and I’ll make the vow
And you’ll bring your own shame forever

It’s not for her fighting that Varanis pains
It’s not for her fight The fifth is stained,
“Tis all for the loss of her craven Sartar heart
That their shame is burning forever.