1628, Fire Season, Stasis Week (ish)
High Priestess of Maran Gor
In the temple of Maran Gor, Varanis and Xenofos were fed different meals. Hers was pulses and beef, while his was chicken and walnuts. (There was probably something cultic about this.) Xenofos also visited the mules and found them well cared for. It was also hinted to him he would not be taking them out for a ride.
Elsewhere, Berra received word from Eril that she should go in search of the missing Esrolians. She was able to find Maalira and Irillo and persuade them to come with her, leaving a message for the others. Irillo left his caravan with Salid and brought out the armour he rarely wore. He did, however, pack a small pouch of saffron so that he would have something to trade. On their way back, they had a discussion with Endars’ cavalry about their journey, in which he pointed out that they hadn’t managed to lure any Lunars into following them and Berra mentioned that she was missing a couple of people who might have been taken captive. She asked if he fancied bringing his Grazelanders to the Temple to help dig out some entrenched Lunars, but he said he’d need to ask his queen.
Varanis and Xenofos discussed her plan to fly them both out of the temple. The scholar convinced his cousin that it would be unwise to go traipsing off into unfamiliar wilds without mounts or supplies. They agreed instead that it would be useful to try to learn what was planned for them and to see what freedoms they had. They asked to speak to an initiate and Varanis asked about walking in the fresh air. The woman said she’d need to consult with a priestess and before long, they were escorted deep into the depths of the temple. There they were introduced to someone who was clearly the High Priestess.
The Priestess referred to Varanis as the pawn of Saiciae, Kallyr, Argrath, and now Onjur. She also indicated that Varanis was a prisoner of the latter. When the Vingan asked about being allowed out for Air and Movement, it was suggested that flight would be dishonourable. The Priestess communicated with her goddess and the Divination revealed where the corpse of the last mask of the emperor resided in Hell. There was also a threat made about not disappointing her (but I’m uncertain if that came from the priestess or the goddess). She offered Varanis the opportunity to inhale the gases from the chasm below her, but the Vingan refused on the grounds that she would need to be Orlanth. Xenofos, however, took her up on the offer and went on a very bad trip.
Irillo, Maalira, and Berra found their way to the temple with little difficulty. They were met by a young girl who guided them, asking if they were there to meet with the thane and the scholar. She couldn’t or wouldn’t answer their questions, but was willing to take the trio to meet the others.
The reunion got off to a loud start, with Berra losing her temper quickly and calling Varanis a coward, when the Vingan revealed she intended to do the HeroQuest. This led to Varanis responding with predictable rage. What could have escalated into a spectacular argument was quelled when they became distracted by strange harp music and Xenofos’ absence. They followed his footsteps down the hall and discovered him standing in a doorway, staring within at the harpist. She was a woman of great beauty and a compelling presence. Her fingers danced over the harp and her twin scimitars rested on the bed behind her. Jar-eel greeted them, saying that they knew her grand-nephew.
Berra argued with her and the Razoress offered a duel if the Humakti wished it. Varanis swore and left with a “hell no!” while Maalira coaxed Xenofos from the room. Berra hung back a moment to be sure that Xenofos was gone, and asked Jar-eel to do her the service of fucking off – Jar-eel played several variatios of that on the harp. Varanis gathered the bags she had packed for herself and Xenofos and was ready to go the moment the others caught up. Xenofos tried to pick the tune Jar-Eel had been playing earlier -and failed. Others told him to stop and pack his kithara, before Varanis stormed down a hall, determined to find them a path out of the temple.
“Just trolling Draznk.” – Salid