1628, Fire Season, Stasis Week (ish)
Berra (briefly YT)
Maalira (Chalana Arroy)
Xenofos (Flesh Man)
Kraag (troll matriarch)
Konagog & Vonagog
Jar-eel (in multiple roles)
A minor flashback revealed to Xenofos that he was in fact Flesh Man. He met Chalana Arroy, who was a little surprised to remember, or notice, that Flesh Man seemed rather feminine. They moved forward, finding a troll, the leader of the Dark Tribe, who overcome his worry about Chalana Arroy not having enough in the chest department to take them to his matriarch, as they were in need of a healer. Chalana Arroy healed the burns of the trolls, who had been looked on by an angry sun. The Matriarch revealed her name as Kraag, and said a favour was owed, and sent the pair on their way.
Orlanth, Issaries, and Lhankor Mhy were travelling along the road, when they realised there was an ambush up ahead. Orlanth decided that the best solution was to charge ahead to trigger the trap. Vinga called out to challenge Konagog and Vonagog, but said she would only fight the best of them. She taunted until they fought amongst themselves. The victor came forward to challenge her and after a brief exchange of blows, she entranced him, though he responded oddly by fleeing, as did his companions.
As she walked down to Hell, Berra struggled to overcome having just used the Yanafil Tarnils part of her to open the way. She did this by projecting the image of herself as lower class, and rather quacky and feathery. Her odd form of meditation was successful, and she thanked her mentor as she went on. She was sure that her sword was less curved now. Down at the bottom of the steps, Berra saw a figure ahead. She thought about it for a bit, and then quacked. It jumped – it was a child, dressed in red, that Berra recognised as the doorkeeper girl from the Temple of Maran Gor.
The girl said that the mothers had sent her. Berra explained it was very important to rebel and not do what she had been sent for, and asked why Berra was three people. The Humakti correctly guessed that one of them had feathers. Berra said that it was a Heroquest and added the girl was probably dead. When the girl said that the mothers had told her to listen to Berra, she was confused for a moment, but then decided to get her out of the way of the Heroquest by taking her to the correct place, in this case Ty Kora Tek’s house. She asked if the child liked flowers, and said that was a good Vorian thing, then set out to push her way through the resistance to the house of Ty Kora Tek, a place she had visited before. Berra told her what to do if they were in the story of Ty Kora Tek and Voria and Humakt.
In triumph, the trio continued along the path. They encountered Orlanth’s enemy, Shankgaro, whose warriors were engaged in battle with Chaos. Orlanth/Vinga and Issaries joined the fight, whilst Lhankor Mhy recorded everything. Though ultimately victorious, Vinga was badly wounded by a spear through the belly. Shankgaro spoke of a white robed woman who had healed his people.
Flesh Man and Chalana Arroy heard the distant sound of scuttling feet. It was the chief troll, mounted on a giant spider, seeking their aid again. They followed the troll, who led them back to the battle field, saying there were more wounded. Xenofos greeted Varanis, and Orlanth welcomed the strangers she had met on the road. Chalana Arroy laid hands on Orlanth’s wounds and healed him.
Coming to the house of Ty Kora Tek, Berra saw that the woman who was at the door was stately and beautiful and had the remains of red hair on her skull-like face. She was elegant despite being so obviously dead. It was Jar-eel, playing the Goddess of the Dead. They sparred a little over whether Voria was Voria, and Berra sent the girl into the house of Ty Kora Tek and lay down outside. It was not long before she spotted that Ty Kora Tek was showing the young woman, no longer really Voria, a secret – there was a crocodile there. Berra half remembered that there had been a red goddess who took such a secret from Nala, but only when she was already in motion to go to try to eat Voria because this was her kill.
Jar-eel neatly sliced her front leg, so that she fell, and then tried to kiss her on the forehead; Berra attempted to bite her, and forgot her leg was not working, and simply fell helpless into the kiss. The touch opened up her third eye and they were elsewhere, with Jar-eel naked and meditating. She told Berra about the truth within herself, that she was a Humakti who loved, and a rebel, and that there were secrets of rebellion. Berra asked how long she had to think; the answer was an eternity, which was rather different from the answer Harrek had given. Again, Berra refused to take her hand, so Jar-eel clicked her fingers. They were suddenly in the hall of Yelm, watching his killers close in on him. Berra noted that Humakt was not telling her it was an assassination.
Jar-eel noted that the rebels were not fighting for true release, but for reasons like fear, or lust, or ambition. She asked if that was rebellion, and Berra went and picked up a cup and asked if that was the ocean. Even though it was not Magasta’s cup, it was still water – related to the sea and it could be poured in there and make up part of an ocean. Berra drank and then offered it to Jar-eel, who took a sip, and offered her hand again. Berra refused to take it, so Jar-eel put a hand on her shoulder.
Orlanth boasted of his bravery and skill in battle. After listening, Flesh Man castigated Orlanth for bringing Death into the world and killing his father. Everyone else was also horrified in their own degrees.
Chalana Arroy forgot to suggest going with Flesh Man but Xenofos remembered she should and hinted at her.1Xenofos seemed to be a bit confused about something when doing so, looking at Lhankor Mhy with furrowed brow. She then dutifully went and suggested to Orlanth that they go with Flesh Man, who seemed to know a bit about the problem. Orlanth decided that the person who had healed him was a good sort and therefore Flesh Man was also.
Berra found herself in the darkness, watching the gods of the Darkness war against the gods of the Surface. Jar-eel asked if that was Rebellion, and Berra said that spots were not a disease, and that Rebellion was a thing you carry inside yourself. The answer pleased Jar-eel, who nevertheless showed her another thing, the incipient birth of Wakboth, and asked if the Unholy Trio were successful rebels. Berra was confused as to why the question was still being asked. Jar-eel offered her hand once more and Berra offered her own, but only if Jar-eel were to take it in the same way she had wanted Berra to.
They ended up walking along the path of the Red Goddess, with Berra unable to escape Jar-eel’s hand, and not remembering to ask to be released. She saw the imprisonment and release of the Red Goddess, and her meeting with Arachne Solara, and winked at what she thought to be Cragspider. Cragspider might or might not have winked back. Then Jar-eel showed her Nysalor being freed from Gbaji, and opening the Red Goddess’s third eye. While she could not manage to remember those names, Berra had a revelation that her three eyes were an Illusion Rune, and her mind struggled with a lot of new things she could not comprehend.
Berra could still not escape from Jar-eel, whose hand was warm and soft and strong. The demi-goddess showed her the riding of the Sky-bear and Berra was pretty certain that she could defeat even Harrek, but then Jar-eel showed her the Crimson Bat, and while Berra was afraid, and stepped back, she did not flee. Jar-eel’s explanation that I Fought We Won was the same as We Are All Us did not convince her – Berra had very different views about that. Jar-eel said that riding the bat as her steed meant that the Red Goddess denied it to Wakboth, but Berra had run out of words, and Jar-eel left her, with a final caress on the cheek which Berra tried to avoid but could not.
Flesh Man led the way to the Sorcerers’ Town (which was also a place in Carmania and the city of Glamour). There they found Eurmal/Devolin/Dormal about to be executed. The Durulz managed to trick one of the guards into being executed first, but this clearly wouldn’t work a second time. Chalana Arroy attempted to chastise (intimidate) the guards into releasing their prisoner, but they refused. Orlanth added his voice to hers and was rather larger and obviously good at violence. Eurmal was handed over. Once free, Eurmal was bound by Orlanth to aid them. (Eurmal swore with crossed fingers, which no one in the party saw, but somehow everyone guessed at.)
“Just trolling Draznk.” – Salid