1628, Sea Season, Death Week, Fireday and Wildday Eve
Varanis (first part of session)
A dead ringer for Samastina of Nochet
Sagak the Trollkin
The group took a small sub-group to the palace; Suuraki and Valseena, who had never been before, Xenofos as a herald, and Berra as a bodyguard. Rajar and his storm bulls stayed away because they were not court types, and the Humakti were escorts up to the palace only. Xenofos announced the arrival of Thane Vareena. They were not taken up the more obvious killing corridor, but instead up a private way with many doors that unlocked, some of which were set in and indeed made of stone.
Leika welcomed Varanis and baby Berra instantly, with some surprising language, as she acknowledged the baby and said, ‘Long may we remain fruitful,’ and other such things. Larger Berra translated for the Praxians. Varanis carefully calibrated her bow to be a half step below Leika on the precedence chart.
After that was over, there was a court session, and Berra was polite as ever to the bard Torograi.1Passed yet another Charm. She’s still acting exactly as she should. Xenofos and Varanis noticed someone who looked a hell of a lot like Queen Samastina of Nochet, on the arm of an Orlanthi of the court. A woman came to beg Leika to tell the White Ladies to check again for disease in her house, because people were going mad. Leika volunteered the wisdom of the Nochet scribe Xenofos to deal with it. They agreed to that, and a feast began. Varanis was put up at Leika’s right hand, with Berra joining her to stand behind. Nameless, doing the same thing for Leika, told Berra she didn’t need to be there. Varanis cheerfully lied and said Berra was oathbound, and Berra said she did not need to have a need to be there. The talk at the top table was political as well as polite, with Varanis picking up on how there was absolutely no mention of Kallyr at all.
Down where the Praxians were, the woman who had been assigned to Xenofos’ aid was seated with the others, and explained how people who stayed in her house slowly went mad. Clearwine was poured for everyone, and the woman, a wine-maker, clearly knew her stuff. Xenofos could tell that the wine was high quality, but the wine-maker, Orannina, said she had better at home. Everyone was polite, although Varanis was a little Esrolian in style.
Music was called for, and Torograi sang a song of a brave warrior who fought beside Harrek, a woman who was far braver than others, because she had none of his advantages, yet fought just as hard. Berra turned a bright pink. The next song was no better – it was about how a brave Humakti and her companions drove the Lunars out of Nochet, where they had snuck, dragonlike. Berra managed to pull herself together, but asked Varanis to send a message to Valseena asking her to sing something instead. The song went down well, and Leika sent a silver-chased copper arm-ring down to her as a reward. With the arm-ring came a small note on parchment, which Valseena asked Xenofos to read.
It said, ‘ask her to sing the one about the warrior who killed the death-battle beast’ and all Xenofos could tell was that it was not Varanis’ handwriting. Nevertheless, he did that, and Valseena sang the story of the time the Eternal Battle had come down to fight, and Berra had taken on a dragon. She extemporised as she sang, and Torograi translated into Heortling. Afterwards, Leika asked Nameless if the singer had believed it, and Nameless said yes; when Leika asked Berra if it was true the Humakti pointed out that there had been plenty of targets around and she hadn’t felt she was being greedy. Leika gave her a silver arm-ring, and then checked with Varanis if it was alright to give gifts to the entourage; Varanis said this was good, as they deserved such things.
After that, they went back to the White Grape near where Orannina lived. It was unclear whether she owned it or not. She explained further about the house – several people had lived there, but over the course of time, probably since Dragonrise, all had gone mad. On hearing that people got afflicted with nightmares, Berra immediately volunteered to go there; others felt they could do the same, even though it was late at night.
The group went over to the house, meeting the local trollkin Sagak on the way – she seemed to be part of the neighbourhood, possibly a local guard. Berra fed her spiced jerky, and then when Sagak said it burned like the sun, gave her some less spicy stuff too. The house was boarded up, windows and door, and nothing could be seen within. They approached with their usual caution, but Berra was certain she sensed an assassin atop the walls. After some time, and some Rune magic from her, it was clear she was wrong. Nobody could see any incoming problems. Nevertheless, Varanis went back to the inn, to check on Rajar and probably worry about her friends. After that, they gathered around the house once more.
Xenofos cast Detect Magic, and the top of the house lit up like a sun, despite the presence of the walls. Sagak disappeared impressively fast. The guards spotted the problem from the walls and shouted down, and people shouted up that they were there with permission. Nobody managed to convince them of this. Berra went to get Orannina; by the time she got back, the guards were down there, and fortunately Orannina was believed and recognised. While she was away, the others tried the door, but even Suuraki and Xenofos together could not open it.
When Berra added her weight to Suuraki’s they managed it, and plunged through the disintegrating door, into water beyond. It was up to Suuraki’s thighs and Berra’s waist, and it took them a moment to realise they could just stand up. It was up to Suuraki’s thighs and Berra’s waist. They spent a short while just marvelling at the fact that they were in a house full of water, while outside the others watched a stream emerging from the broken door. Berra cast river-eyes and Xenofos cast lantern on his shield. There was slime all over the floor, and up the walls, deeper at the bottom.
Berra and Suuraki could hear water trickling, and they explored the house to look for it, with Xenofos and Valseena coming in behind. They soon found a ladder leading upwards, which Suuraki tested for strength. While looking around he spotted fish in the water – they looked a lot like trout.
There was a lot of talk about who should go up first, because Xenofos had been given the task, but was not a warrior. Berra finally went up, peering into the loft space, and clutching her sword. She used Fireblade to bring light to the situation, and saw a blue-black egg about the size of her head, in a pool of water. Valseena came up, with Xenofos passing a torch to her when she was partway up, and Berra taking it; the ladder was very slippery. Then they gathered around the egg, marvelling and being very confused.
Xenofos dipped his finger in the pool of water around the egg, and tasted it, finding it was fresh water. Berra cast a shield on him, and he used his magic on the egg, analysing it; he learned two facts – that it would hatch a river if unharmed, and a dragon if it was damaged. The others noticed him reacting strongly, but he did not reveal this to them directly.
Shortly after that, with Berra stepping closer to look, the others managed to resist something that it was doing, but it took a chunk out of her spirit, and she fell unconscious into the water. The water started flowing towards her, and there was more of it now. It pooled around her, and when they lifted her up, even tried to reach up in the air to get her. Some flowed away, but it always started off trying to get to her. Suuraki asked Valseena to go tell Orannina what was going on, and Xenofos noted that there was a possibility of a dragon being birthed instead of a river. This did not go well, with Orannina terrified and calling for her husband to armour up. Suuraki started enlarging the window so they could get Berra out, as they did not trust the ladder with her weight and someone else’s.
Xenofos asked more of the Lord of Knowledge, getting the history of the item – he saw it born to a dragonewt and worshipped and carried around, and then ambushed by Lunars. It was stolen and hidden in the thatch of the house, and after a while the thatch rotted and it fell onto the floor and started hatching.
They decided to get the egg out of the way as fast as possible, but Xenofos noted that the gates would still be shut. They decided to get Berra out anyhow, and threw the matresses from the loft room out of the window to make a soft landing, then slide and lowered her down to them, after sending Valseena down to heal her on landing if she was hurt – she landed and flopped and hurt her hand a little, but nothing that a minor bit of magic couldn’t deal with.
Suuraki went to get his llama saddled up, so that Xenofos could pass the egg out – they did not want to take that down the ladder either. About the time he got back, the guards arrived to find out what was going on now, and where this damned river had come from. The truthful explanation did not go down too well, but it was the only one the group had.
“We do have Varanis on a timer, so we should get to it…” – GM
“…” – Berra
“I’m from Prax. We always have inner trackless wastes.” Suuraki
“Rajar, we’re leaving you behind because your Storm Bulls smell.” – Berra
“Of alcohol.” – Varanis
“Well Duh.” – Rajar
“And herd beasts” – GM
*surprisingly good aurochs horn noises* – GM
“Berra’s looking around like a) this place matters to her and b) this place is one she might one day have to roll over.” – Berra
“OK. Football-toss the baby back to the wet-nurse.” – Varanis
“Your presence here is not required, you know.” – Nameless
*fails truthrune* – Varanis “She’s oathbound. I need her.” – Varanis
“I don’t have to be required to go where I need to be.” – Berra
“He’s below the salt?” – Varanis
“Well, he’s not a mover and shaker, you see… More one who’s moved and shaken.” – GM
“Like a salt ce-” – Berra
“Like the salt.” – Suuraki
“Sorry, Suuraki. You.” – Berra
“They’re pouring you a urine-coloured drink…” – GM
“Does it smell like urine?” – Valseena
“No.” – GM
“Then I’m going to go with the assumption it’s not urine.” – Valseena
“We’re from Prax. It wouldn’t be the worst thing we’ve drunk.” – Suuraki
“That too.” – Valseena
“Talk of the victory at Alda Chur, and stabilisation of relations with Argrath, and the weather, and omens, and the crops – and never a mention of Kallyr. At all.” – GM
“.. Yet again I have passed Charm while speaking to the bard.” – Berra
“You get this magnificent song about what it must be like to fight at the side of Harrek…” – GM
*fails Death* – Berra
*blushes* – Berra
“He can’t have me, but he knows he can touch my skin through the armour.” – Berra
“THEN you get a fairly standard regaling of … no, he can’t sing that one, it would be politically embarrassing…” – GM
“Oh yes, how a brave Humakti and her companions drove the Lunars out of Nochet, where they had dragonlike snuck…” – GM
“I will have to track down Xenofos.” – Valseena
“He’s sitting next to us.” – Suuraki
“It doesn’t need much tracking down.” – Valseena
“So, is the Luminous Stallion King as handsome as they say?” – Leika
“He certainly thinks he is.” – Varanis
“Roooooar” – Rajar
“I think I hear Rajar. Is he… wrestling?” – Berra
“House looks pretty sturdy…” – Xenofos
“That just makes it a challenge.” – Berra
“Don’t eat this. Eat me.” – Berra
“That was actually an OOC language fumble.” – Berra
“Alright. Have some of this. It’s jerky for wusses.” – Berra
“I suspect that Xenofos gets a feeling about it.” – Berra
“It’s moooore than a feeeling.” – GM
*sun comes out* – GM
*dust cloud settles in wake of trollkin* – GM
“It’s okay, the queen says we can be here!” – Berra
“We are not invading!” – Suuraki
“Are you saying that with a thick Praxian accent?” – GM
“It’s the only accent I have!” – Suuraki
“The queen told them to investigate this cursed house.” – Orannina
“Well….. keep the lightshow down.” – Guard
“Someone’s been hoarding water.” – Berra
“In Sartar?” – Suuraki
“Are you tasting it?” – GM
“Yeah.” – Xenofos
“Left alone to hatch, this will release a river. Destroyed before hatching, it will release a dragon.” – GM
“First one!” – Suuraki
“Can everyone make me a POW vs POW against 15.” – GM
“Fumble!” – Berra
“Well, the good news is she’s never going to run out of water.” – Suuraki
“It’ll make it tricky for her to guard Varanis. She can’t go into rivers because of crocodiles…” – Suuraki
“Could you go an tell the woman who owns here that there’s a magic egg here and it’s giving birth to a stream?” – Suuraki
“River. Unless it’s a dragon.” – Xenofos
“Yuk! What did you do?” – Valseena
*unconscious impression* – Berra
“So, we need to hang her out to dry.” – Xenofos
“I’m sure that Leika will do that.” – GM
“When a mummy river and a daddy dragonewt love each other very much…” – Berra makes san rolls…
“Am unconscious so go on without me.” – Berra
“Have you tried turning it off and on again?” – Suuraki
“Well, I’m unconscious…” – Berra
“Torograi is going to have the BEST time.” – Berra
“I mixed up Dragonkill and Dragonrise in my question I suppose. I was really surprised to hear Lunars catching the egg.” – Xenofos
“I expected the story to start when it was already in Clearwine.” – Xenofos
“Any number of us could be arrested, imprisoned, lauded… just don’t put Berra in a cellar.” – Berra