1628, Sea Season, Death Week, Wildday
Suuraki and Llama
Some more guards
A man with lightning reflexes
A woman with a vineyard
River Priests (feathered)
Varanis was at the Clearwine White Grape Inn, with Rajar and his Storm Bulls, when there was a loud knocking at the door. Rajar went to answer it, axe in hand. On the other side stood a small female trollkin and a pair of guards, who locked shields against Rajar. The big man cheerfully offered them kumiss, which Sagak accepted and shortly thereafter scampered away with. After a bit of bluster, the guards came in to address Varanis, one keeping his shield between himself and the thane, while the other kept his shield and eyes on Rajar. It was rather impolite, but Varanis treated them courteously anyway. The guards said something about Berra and the others and I don’t remember what, but Varanis called for Rajar, his conscious Storm Bulls, and Maalira to come with her to look into it.
One of the guards cast magic that caused his shield to light the way. The other guard took up the rear, assuring that no one could attack Varanis and her people from behind. They hurried the short distance to where a stream – a new one – was running down the road. A little up’river’, Suuraki sat mounted on his high llama, surrounded by more guards. Within the circle of guards, Valseena bent over an unconscious Berra. Xenofos was arguing for passage with the guards. Water was streaming down the llama’s leg1Ew. to pool around the Humakti and then run away as a stream. This disquieted people for reasons they could not comprehend, save for Nala, who spotted that the water was running uphill, and indeed up a couple of steps.
Maalira immediately went to help Valseena and confirmed that Berra was not injured, but rather drained of spirit. Xenofos explained what had been happening as best he could in the moment. He seemed very concerned that the egg in Suuraki’s bag would hatch a river at any moment. (Or possibly a dragon. Xenofos did not mention a dragon, but he was quite anxious to get moving.) Rajar grew alarmed at this and decided that the egg needed out of the city immediately. Varanis agreed and intimidated the guards into helping instead of hindering this process, including having the inner city gates opened to allow them passage.2Reputation augmenting Intimidate.
As the gates were opened, several of the party heard footsteps coming at them from two different directions and a certain amount of yelling. From behind them, there was a glowing blue man, possibly older, yelling about Lunar magic. He threw a lightning bolt at the river, at which point Varanis asked Maalira to send him to sleep. The healer obeyed and the man fell over with a large clanking of armour. Maalira backtracked to ensure he was unhurt.
Meanwhile, from the other direction, Nameless’ voice rang out, asking about Lunars. When the Humakti came into sight, Varanis rushed to give her a synopsis of current events and to demand her help getting the egg out of the city before Leika had a flood on her hands.
At around this point, Berra came to and immediately demanded her egg. Xenofos refused and things became loud and contentious. Varanis tried to order him to give the egg to Berra and he refused outright. Nameless was losing her temper, and Xenofos would not move uphill, as he had the egg. Berra tried to stop him from going downhill, but even burdened he was able to escape her. Berra demanded the Queen’s justice against a thief. Nameless attempted to turn the whole journey around, but Xenofos refused further. Nameless asked Maalira to solve the matter peacefully, and was slightly surprised when Maalira did so, but without the aid of magic – she managed to talk Berra into letting people leave the city. The streets were surprisingly crowded. Some of the people were ducks; Berra noticed Devolin among them.
Outside, Berra demanded that people stop and talk, but as the water was running downhill, there was now time to do so. Berra wanted to talk to her egg, and said she had hatched it. Xenofos finally handed it over when Berra swore to guard it from breaking with her life. Berra could not manage to talk to it, however. Meanwhile, the gates stayed open for a while. Ducks and humans both arrived, with various people laying claims to the river, for the Ernaldori, the Earth Temple, Orannina, Quackford, and Leika. Berra and Varanis were both pretty sure that Leika could not sit in judgement over herself.
Berra spotted Devolin in the crowd – she was already looking out for him – and told Nameless it would be a personal favour to deal with ‘that bandit’. When Nameless asked for proof, the others could swear to him being a bandit. Weirdly, he disappeared not long afterwards.
Berra was cold and wet and miserable, sitting in a pool of water close to the fire that Nameless had ordered. Leika’s Humakti had also requested blankets and when those arrived, Berra was wrapped in several. Xenofos offered his companion his cloak; she snarled at him a bit before accepting it. Meanwhile, Maalira heated a tea based on spices and seeds (no vegetables!) to help warm Berra from within and Nala baked stones in the embers to wrap in leather. Berra said she was happy to take advice from Nameless, but only for the price of having a well dug in her village.
Suddenly, Rajar spotted a tree moving weirdly not too far downhill from everyone. He charged for it and killed it with a single blow of his mighty axe. Startled, Varanis asked the other Storm Bulls to fetch Rajar and they did, but started to bring the tree back too. Maalira managed to convince them to hold it in place for her so that she could heal it.3Good as new. This won’t come back to haunt us at all.
Berra suggested to her friends that the Duck claim could be accepted in return for them giving up their claim on beak blood money, explaining what that was. Nala Charmed them all and softened them up for Varanis to do the negotiating.4Charm augmented Bargain, both passed. They felt it was a generous idea, although they could not speak for all Ducks.
The gates opened at dawn. After some time, Queen Leika arrived with a significant entourage. Seating herself, the Colymar queen called the Black Spear to her and opened her court of judgement. Varanis presented the case as she knew it and the husband of Orannina failed to persuade.5Varanis got a special on Orate. Rastadath did not. The Earth Temple, represented by Ereneva Chan, was not greatly persuasive but the durulz could really speak.6Ereneva passed Orate, but the dulrulz got a critical. Tororgai was very glib but was speaking for Leika and the Earth Temple and the durulz noted Leika cannot judge her own case, while Varanis also brought up precedent.7Lots of passes on Customs Heortling and Orate. Torograi was outnumbered and wrong. Queen Leika ruled that she cannot judge herself, and saw no reason to bother any other individual.8i.e. Kallyr, though she doesn’t say the name because saying it would mean admitting that Kallyr is her liege.
Leika respectfully dismissed Orannina’s claim – she had already profited from the clearing of the curse. The Colymar queen then promised Berra a well and gave a gold arm-ring to Xenofos. (Xenofos asked Varanis if this was acceptable.) She asked Vareena if this was acceptable and the thane agreed, though she also pointed out that Valseena and Suuraki deserved compensation for their work. Leika gave them 100 L to share. Finally, the queen ruled that the durulz would get their river.
“The trollkin shrinks back. The guards put their shields together.” – GM
“So the same reaction, then.” – Rajar
“Come in for a beer?” – Rajar
“We’re on duty.” – Guard
“So you expect to drink for free?” – Rajar
“There has been some sort of incident.” – GM
“Is it Berra?” – Nala
“Please don’t rob him. I’d have to come back and burn the house down, which would be sad, because I like this place.” – Rajar
“Buy some extra beer because I don’t want to stop now.” – Rajar
“There are fish.” – Berra
“Yes, but I wasn’t telling her that because she didn’t special Scan.” – GM
“I apologise. There are no fish.” – Berra
“One of the guards looks to the others and says, ‘Must be Wildday.'” – GM
“And that was the face I make when I realise that I am trying to drag my computer cursor to my phone…” – Maalira
“Dinosaurporn, GM?” – Xenofos
“Please, not in that yearning tone.” – Berra
“DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” – Varanis
“Do rivers have architecture?” – Nala
“Only when they flow through the step(pe)s.” – Maalira
“99.” – Xenofos rolls listen.
“Berra is murmuring your name.” – GM
“Instantly by her side.” – Xenofos
“Maalira gives Xenofos a slightly grumpy look” – Maalira
“Is that expression Lunar?” – Varanis
“It is a Sartarite expression, meaning your GM was making things up.” – GM
“I’m seeing if I have an Intimidate.” – Nala
“Don’t intimidate Nameless.” – Varanis
“Xenofos is abandoning Berra after first bolt of lightning.” – Xenofos
“We’re going for the gates. Now!” – Rajar
“No, no you’re not.” – Guards
“You’re with me, or you’re against me. Make a choice now.” – Rajar
“Ahem.” – Nameless
“If I grab Berra by a foot, and swing her around my head…” – Rajar
“We can do that, but I’m totally telling on you when she wakes up.” – Maalira
“Rajar is currently resisting the urge to pick up the egg and slam-dunk it on Nameless’s head.” – Rajar
“I’m looking at Xenofos – I want what he’s got.” – Berra
“How many hands has he GOT here?” – Berra re Xenofos
“When I say fuck you, I don’t mean in the way you want me to.” – Berra
<<hopping from foot to foot wondering if she can cast something to calm Berra down>> – Maalira
“No, this egg is not going to go a step further uphill.” – Xenofos
“Xenofos. You made a vow to me.” – Varanis
“Initiate, silence.” – Nameless
“You’re not my Lord.” – Berra
“Maalira’s got a few more grey hairs now.” – Maalira
“Are you content to suspend your legal claim?” – Nameless
“… I don’t think content is the word, but I’ll do it.” – Berra
“Xenofos looks like a mountain was lifted off his shoulders when he gives up the egg.” – Xenofos
“Rajar takes another wine skin off his belt and drinks heavily. He then offers the skin to Varanis and Nameless.” – Rajar
“Out of character lingo trouble there btw. I mixed up laying an egg and hatching it.” – Xenofos
“How do you show your Moon Rune?” – Xenofos
“Well you bend over and….” – Rajar
“I’m assuming that at this point the Humakti are guarding MiniBerra.” – Berra
“I was just about to ask that. This means that baby Berra has the wet nurse, the BG, and an unconscious Storm Bull to look after her….” – Varanis
“Wait, I’m not MiniBerra!” – Berra
“Oh… right. MiniBerra is smaller that Little Berra. For now.” – Varanis
“Temple of Ernalda, sounds like a good thing to me…” – Xenofos
“Animal lore or herd?” – Nala
“Averaged with spirit lore?” – Nala
“For what?” – GM
“Best Praxis?” – Nala
“(sorry)” – Nala
“Who’s got the egg?” – Rajar
“Berra. She’s cuddling it.” – Varanis
“I’m just deciding if I should rugby tackle Berra and ride off to Prax with it.” – Rajar
“Is anyone planning on doing anything tonight?” – GM
“Let me just roll some Passion rolls for Rajar…” – Rajar
“Is there anything you can give me to warm me up?” – Berra
“I’m sure I can think of something.” – Maalira
“…” – Everyone
“NOT LIKE THAT!” – Maalira
“Berra’s chilly.” – Berra
“Xenofos has a warm cloak…” – Xenofos
“Berra has the infamous buffalo skin mumu. It’s a bit stained” – Rajar
“You’re managing to get something warm inside you, Berra.” – GM
“Yeah, where is Xenofos?” – Berra
“Rajar, you see that tree over there?” – GM
“Yes, yes I do.” – Rajar
“It’s moving.” – GM
“Out with the broad axe, and off I go.” – Rajar
“Did the tree miss its dodge?” – Xenofos
*HELPS* – Berra
“I HELPED!” – Berra
“Berra halping again !!” – Xenofos
“I AM SO HELPFUL!” – Berra
“I did.” – Berra
“Hmm, where is the Shit-stirring emoji?” – Berra
“I do mean to make an Oasis.” – Nala
( Slip inside the eye of your mind… ) O o . – GM
“The best part is that Lord Eril will probably hate this.” – Berra
“And then you gave it to… ducks.” – Berra
“Duck-shaped people, yeah.” – Berra
“How would Berra being a dripping puddle be a problem? << Rajar is puzzled” – Rajar
“That’s a great thing right?” – Rajar
“Normal success, so my Orate is now 126…” – Varanis
“Will no one think of the ducklings”? – GM
“Berra’s FAVOURITE bard steps forward…” – GM
“Pants.” – Berra
“Finally failed Charm at the bard. But then again, I’m dressed in a river and looking pretty chilly.” – Berra
*fails Tradetalk roll, asks Rajar why there are two Leika’s sotto voce* – Nala
“We do not choose to bother… any other individual with this matter.” – Leika does not say Kallyr’s name
“We will reward Berra with a well to be sunk in her clan, and the sage with a gold arm-ring.” – Leika
*KERCHING* – Berra
“Does any challenge our ruling?” – Leika
“Nameless takes a half step out from behind the chair.” – GM
- 2Reputation augmenting Intimidate.
- 3Good as new. This won’t come back to haunt us at all.
- 4Charm augmented Bargain, both passed.
- 5Varanis got a special on Orate. Rastadath did not.
- 6Ereneva passed Orate, but the dulrulz got a critical.
- 7Lots of passes on Customs Heortling and Orate. Torograi was outnumbered and wrong.
- 8i.e. Kallyr, though she doesn’t say the name because saying it would mean admitting that Kallyr is her liege.