I01 — In Sickness And In Health
1626, Earth Season
Earth Season, 1626
Played over two sessions. Dagran’s Ford is in the Green Fish Malani lands, while Stone Cup is a Blue Tree Clan village.
Nikolai – Sorceror’s Apprentice
Gricka – Malani Orlanthi
Tathia – Balmyr Healer sent up from Whitewall to fill a spot at a Colymar Temple
Inpira – Malani Babeester Gori
Varkill – Malani Humakti with a hate on for the Colymar
And introducing Rurik, a noble who is late
Varkill, Inpira and Gricka, three warriors, were sent to check on the village of Dagran’s Ford, which had been due to have a tension-easing feast with Stone Cup, a village over the border into Colymar lands. They arrived to smell smoke of pyres, and burning. They all entirely failed to notice the lack of people out at harvest, but did question one person who was, who said it was all a bad business and they should talk to the chief.
They went towards the village – a youthful gate guard let them in and sent for his younger brother to take them to the headman. The younger brother talked about how when he was big he would go kill the Colymar, an ambition with which Varkill agreed. They were greeted at his house by a young women, Kara, who was headman Garasang’s sister. She was obviously exhausted, to the point where Gricka the young Orlanthi warrior tried to sit her down and help her, but as soon as Kara got the weight off her feet, there was a groaning from one of the sleeping alcoves and she had to run to deal with it. Gricka heated up some water to help wash people, and found that the water and food were both only about a day stale – the illness had come on quickly. Even Inpira ‘the Axe’ was helping out. Varkill was naturally of the opinion it was all the fault of the Colymar.
Henka, wife of the slightly ill Brotip, got in the way a bit. Garasang kept on trying to get up, and rather irritated Varkill by using his sword as a crutch, but Kara removed it so at least there was no incident. Garasang was insistent they go to the village of Stone Cup and punish them for the poisoning.
Meanwhile, there were two slightly late arrivals to the game. These were Nikolai, a philosopher of Fire and Girly Screaming, and Tathia, a healer from Whitewall sent up by Jaldis to the Blue Tree village of the Colymar, and travelling through Malani lands to get there. After consideration, Tathia used magic to save the life of Brea, wife of Garasang, who was in the worst condition. Brea, still weak, was no longer in danger of death. The group discussed the facts, deciding that it was probably something that had been eaten or drunk at the feast, but that it was not necessarily a deliberate poisoning. Tathia being able to say it was definitely a disease was helpful there.
The adventurers went off to Stone Cup, where there was an immediate ambush! Cows in the road hid a couple of people hiding in a ditch – they sprang to attack as the adventurers got close. There were two; a man with a pitchfork and a woman wielding a pair of trousers. Varkill shield-barged the woman to the ground, while Inpira cut down the man with a pitchfork, managing not to kill him, but damaging him badly.
Tathia saw to the poor lady with the trousers, who said she just wanted to go home. Nikolai settled down in the road to perform a Reconstruction, getting hauled into a hallucination of fire under his skin and fear. He remembered purple-gold flashes in his vision and a terrible hangover, but could not remember what he had eaten or drunk. The others walked on into the village, where they stopped at the first house that had little smoke in its thatch, and knocked on the door. A small child opened it – her father was ill, and she asked for help. They managed to get Tathia and her charge into the house, so they could both be looked after, although the charge, Pollia, kept complaining she wanted to go home.
Nikolai caught up, and with Varkill went towards the biggest roundhouse. On the way they were suddenly attacked by a woman with a kitchen knife, who ran screaming from her house. Varkill went for the shield barge, knocking the woman out and possibly killing her; Nikolai made sure of it by cutting her throat, which Gricka saw happening. The three of them went on towards the roundhouse, where they were greeted by a very young woman, Voskar… Varkill made sure of his hospitality before stepping over the threshold of an enemy. Inside, there was the smell of fresh corpses and the place was obviously worse off than Dagran’s Ford.
Outside, Tathia and Inpira started to walk Pollia home. Her house was across the main market area of the village, and as they went, the pigs that were lying there got up. Some fled, but several attacked.
Even inside the roundhouse the screams and shouting and oinking could be heard. Everyone piled out, with Gricka being smart enough to close the door behind her. Inpira had been downed by a pig, and Tathia had been wounded but had run in to heal the Babeester Gor. Everyone piled into battle in their own unique fashion – Nikolai called on the power of conflagration and set fire to a pig. Being a long-haired wooly pig, it ran away screaming and on fire.
Rurik, Noble of the Malani Green Fish Clan, came down the road to find bloodstains, unmilked cattle, and then a flaming pig. He killed the poor animal and walked forwards into the chaos that was the pitched pig battle of Stone Cup. Upon triumphing he revealed who he was to less than happy responses from those who knew him, and sent the Humakti warrior to get his horse and close the gate, if the chap didn’t mind. The chap did mind, and furthermore Rurik broke a fingernail in closing the gate.
Tathia managed to go find other people to help, including Talda, whose husband Hent was missing. Talda had plenty of herbal teas and tisanes to drink, which the village healer had given her, denying her other drinks. This meant that she would not be drinking unpurified water from the well, which Tathia had noted had an oily smell to the water. She went to talk to Talda’s neighbour, who was exhausted with an ill husband and mother-in-law, leaving that house just as action around the well got interesting.
Examination of the well with a torch showed a dark shape at the bottom of it. Rurik used the Flight spell to lift it out, and it turned out to be a body. Nikolai showed a suspicious understanding of bruising, examining the hands and fingernails, and finding bruises on the knuckles. Varkill asked exactly where he had been about two days ago, when the body was fresh. At about that point, a strange purple cloud began to surround Inpira; a disease spirit was attacking her. The others rallied around to fight it. Varkill refused to cast True Sword on someone else’s sword, when Rurik asked for it.
Gricka walked around the village, checking with Rune Magic whether there were disease spirits; there were plenty, and they were in people who were ill. She went off to find the healer. Others checked on Offir the farmer and found he had bruises on him too, indicating that he had been fighting, and might have killed Hent. He died before he could be questioned, upsetting Tathia.
People broke the news to Talda that she was a widow, for her husband had been dead two days.. There was a lot of sobbing. Meanwhile Nikolai had been investigating Talda’s teas, and thought he could make something to strengthen people against the sickness. He was wrong, and what he made was some horrible tea, but this did give Tathia the idea and she was more competent. Together they cooked up something that would help.
The healer, Erlestara, was obviously shaky and senile, but trying to do her best. They talked a little with her about the illness, although she was not really up to answering questions.
At the odd howling of an alynx, the group went off to investigate, leaving the tea cooking up. They found the alynx shivering on a granary, and by the foot of another was a dead rat. They opened this one, and inside was a huge purple-gold spirit. It attacked Inpira, and they all fought it, with Varkill ridding himself of his torch by throwing it into the granary, a thing he had been itching to do for some time. After they had defeated it, they had to pull the sick out of the chieftain’s longhouse, and Varkill made very sure of victory by burning the rest of the Colymar Clan’s grain…
A little later, when the ill were safely out of the way, a child who had seen Nikolai slitting a woman’s throat accused him of it. Varkill volunteered that he had been the one to strike her first, and Nikolai’s killing might have been for mercy, and told the boy and Voskar to bring a complaint to Saronil of the Malani, where it would be heard. The group was offered hospitality despite all the problems, as it was dark. The next morning, Tathia walked the fields looking for evidence of disease, but found none. With some of the harvest not yet in, it seemed Stone Cup might have some food, but not enough for the year’s needs.
“<Why are villages allways like this when I visit?>” – Nikolai
“<what, on fire?>” – Gricka
“We may have some patients for you.” – Gricka
“Oh goody!” – Tathia
“In the Colymar Land!” – Varkill. Every time anyone mentions a problem.
“Not always. It can also be, those evil Colymari, Colymari plot, or Colymari evil intentions.” – Varkill corrects the record
“While the clever people are investigating, Tathia will potter around generally using Treat Disease on people and chivvying them gently to get better, right now. Or she’ll be very cross with them.” – Tathia
“Do unmilked cattle count as women in distress?” – Co-GM
“We do in fact have Hit Points for trousers worked out…” – Co-GM
“Colymari are always bad guys” – Varkill
“This is far more interesting than Whitewall, and Jaldis isn’t talking to anyone in That Tone…” – Co-GM
<<quails inwardly at the thought of That Tone>> – Tathia
“Is the Pitchfork guy on the ground and disarmed yet?” – Gricka
“He’s on the ground and dislegged.” – GM
“I’m Inipra the Axe.” – Inpira
“His eyes get REALLY wide.” – GM
“I thought I didn’t have a reputation yet!” – Inpira
“Evil trousers. Vicious trousers! I’ve never seen anything like it.” – Tathia
“She’s coming towards you…” – GM
“OK. Scream like a girl and run away!” – Nikolai
“So are you going to beat up THIS poor woman too?” – GM
“Seems likely…” – Gricka
“Nikolai – any particular way you are going?” – Co-GM
“Surely ‘away’ is the salient point?” – Tathia
“Run back and cut her.” – Nikolai
“Stab her in throat all subtle like.” – Nikolai
<<swears some more>> – Gricka, seeing this
“… I was away for 1 MINUTE!” – Co-GM
“No, Pellia. No, trouser lady. Come sit back down. You’re ill.” – Inpira
“You don’t get to be smug about preparing the corpse that you created…” – Tathia
“I am indeed casting conflagrate on a pig.” – Nikolai
“Because on fire pigs is a great idea.” – Nikolai
“What is that ruckus? I’m trying to have a CONVERSATION here!” – Varkill’s listen check
“Crackling, anyone?” – Tathia
“So instead of rampaging pigs we now fight fanatic berserk flaming pigs…” – Varkill
“You haven’t met the sheep yet!” – Co-GM
“I’m just glad we didn’t try pushing through the cattle.” – Gricka
“Can Tathie have a pig as a pet?” – Tathia
“….” – Co-GM
“There might still be a pair of trousers on the road.” – Gricka
“Heroically not making sound effects…” – Varkill
“Colymar Ho!” – Rurik
“Rude” – Nikolai
“Moooo!” – Colymar
“There might be a few light sources…” – Nikolai, pig arsonist
“It’s not dodging. Because it’s on fire and enraged, and going straight at you.” – GM
“Can I kill someone and steal their rune points?” – Tathia
“Yes, but you have to be not Chalana Arroy.” – Co-GM
“Is he doing any good yet?” – Gricka
“Well, the gate is closed.” – GM
“We’re safe from uncomfortable cattle!” – Gricka
“Even the Colymari would not be stupid enough to poison their own well… I think.” – Varkill
“His hands…” – Philosopher who’s player has studied bodies too much
“You sound suspiciously well-informed Nikolai. Where were YOU during this time?” – Varkill
“I wasn’t HERE.” – Nikolai
“Where WERE you?” – Varkill
“FLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” – Nikolai
“I can’t kill spirits! I’m a thump-monkey!” – Gricka
“Casting True Sword on someone else’s blade. What?” – Varkill
“Talda said her husband has been missing since the feast. There’s a body next to the well.” – GM
“Oh dear…” – Tathia
“I said security, and was told burning is bad…” – Varkill
“Killing someone in anger/drunk isnt secret murder but then he got sick before he woke up. It is Kin-strife however.” – Nikolai
“Oh well, he’s dead now anyway.” – Inpira
“Just the thing to bake pigs on.” – Rurik
“I am going to say something never before uttered here.” – Rurik
“I think a Storm Bull would really help the situation here.” – Rurik
“SOMEWHERE RAJAR CHEERS” – Nikolai
“I am Rurik Broyansson.” – Rurik
“You seem very self-important.” – Healer
“Oh, you can do that. A conflagration would help!” – Co-GM
“I can’t hear anything over the grinding of my teeth.” – Gricka
“The sound is coming from beyond that house.” – Varkill
“Sound?” – Rurik
“Take your helmet off.” – Varkill
“A Colymari granary, and a lit torch. I am so tempted. I am so tempted. But not this time.” – Varkill
“I kind of like the idea of just burning it, just to be sure! Without knowing!” – Varkill
<<sets fire to granary>> – Varkill
“I struck her down.” – Varkill
“I-” – Nikolai
“SHUT UP!… I struck her down…” – Varkill
<<nods>> – Nikolai