I01 — The Gits Of Prax I
1627, Dark Season
Season, Week, Day
Iannic, sister of Toras, Black Rhino Clan, initiate of Babeester Gor
Maalira, cousin to Valseena, Straw Weaver Bison Clan, White Lady
Suuraki, Blue Llama Clan, hunter
Toras, brother of Iannic, Black Rhino Clan, Storm Bull
Valseena, cousin to Maalira, Straw Weaver Bison Clan, Eirithan Healer
Waharon, Sable rider, definitely not a Lunar
Two angry cloud gods
Some very elevated animals
Some very short animals, and their riders, of the bolo lizard tribe
A free condor
Some unimportant Bison Clan People
Some unimportant but chaotic Scorpion Men
A mud spirit
The group made their way into Prax and met up with the Straw Weavers in early Dark Season. Suuraki was tested by the clan for suitability to marry Valseena. One of his rivals, Hafjeer, seemed very serious about what he was doing.
There was a party, during which Valseena noticed that the chief was the one who had ordered the party, but he was not in charge of it. She worked out that Jala, Gallaf’s first wife, had done so, and later, Jala talked to her, asking her to do a favour for the shaman Erhehta, and bring her friends together in the morning to speak with him.
Iannic, meanwhile, simply got drunk and started a fist-fight, attacking her brother Toras and any other comers, and requiring that she be put to ‘rest’ using a befuddle spell1By Maalira, according to the GM’s recollection..
Everyone took turns at singing, but the atmosphere in the Khan’s big tent was just wrong, and nobody was in good voice.2An AMAZING round of fumbles. However, stories were told. Those who were paying attention noticed that there were a lot of stories about how to be a bison, or a Bison Rider.
Morning saw Valseena gather the group and bring them to meet Erhehta, now returned from the dead, and angry about it. He told them that he had been attacked and had to return the insult. His chosen method was trampling the offending shaman with a herd of spirit bison. For this, he needed the things that would make a bison be a bison, which he listed, but not helpfully, adding a lot of asides about how much he liked sand mushroom soup. After revealing that rather gnomicly, he sent the group to Jala for a rather more coherent briefing, mentioning that he’d be busy with the clan, and would try to send along some gifts to help them.
Erhehta required five things to make his bison heavy, sharp, hard, tough, and many. Jala gave them a woven map-bag to help them find a sharpening stone, water from the sacred river to make its hooves as heavy as a charge, graro root (and sand mushrooms), mud to keep flies off and harden the hide, and a blessing of fertility from the Temple of Twins. Valseena knew a bit about that – it was in the hands of the Flower Bison, and was the reason the two clans got along badly.
Jala gave the bag to Valseena, telling the group that it should be carried by a woman, because it was a safe place to carry things inside, but in the end if a man had sworn not to take anything out, he could carry it instead. It should not be hidden, but must not be cut or broken. It was fine to keep it on a mount. Everyone got a lesson in reading the map bag – Valseena knew how to already. Jala, being pragmatic, also gave the group a pot for mud, and a water bottle.
A little talk around the camp gave the group some idea of the sorts of gifts to bring to the Temple. The adventurers set off, following the map. It took them to a complicated, twisted canyon, and partway along one of the many branches, they were challenged by the keeper of the place, on his zebra to prove their manliness in wrestling or drinking or war. He said that even his daughters could out-drink or out-wrestle them.
Toras took up the challenge, and the keeper’s allied spirit demoralised him. Toras sheathed his sword, and Iannic tried to charge at the man and his zebra. The zebra-rider lost control of his mount after cutting through Iannic’s shield and cutting her arm badly, and was lost in the canyons. Iannic also failed to control her mount as her reins hand was hurt, but Maalira ran to heal her. They decided to press on before the keeper of the way returned, and soon found a yurt where a young woman outside fell victim to Waharon’s charming tongue. She was one of the daughters of the way-keeper, whom she named as Huljeem. After a brief bit of flirting she invited them in, and they decided to risk Huljeem’s wrath here rather than risking it in the canyons.
In fact, Huljeem had no wrath at all, and was in a good mood, but still demanded that the heroes prove themselves to him before he would take them to where Storm Bull had sharpened his horns. Waharon lost terribly at wrestling to Amaleen, amusing everyone with exactly how she pinned him. The others were generally beaten at gaming and/or drinking, but put up a good enough showing3GM is unsure who played what and how – please do fill this in if you like. that the Khan agreed they were a worthy group, in particular as he was pretty sure they were on their way to fuck someone up considerably.
The next morning Huljeem took most of the group to the sacred place, telling the women to stay back, and let Toras find a piece of stone from the scarred cliff. Toras let his rhino come with him, and they both chose the same slightly curved bit of rock. Toras sharpened the horns of his helmet, and the rhino’s horn, and then after bidding their host and family farewell, they set off.
They saw clouds fighting that day, and then found themselves in a very thick mist. Suuraki4I think even noticed that it was white beneath them. When they spoke to the cloud, tiny Air Runes formed in it. Toras scared it a lot and it tried to hide behind Maalira and Suuraki. Eventually, with everyone trying to sooth it, the cloud found a place to hide, pouring itself into Valseena’s bag.
With the whiteness gone, they could see they had been moved quite a long way, and were now up at the top of a tall needle of rock far from where they wanted to be. There was a path just big enough to get the animals down very carefully indeed. After some discussion on which way to go, Valseena was able to put them back on the map, and they continued on their path.
It took them a little time to get to the next point on the map, an oasis kept by the bolo lizard tribe. There was a little mutual boasting, but it was a rainy wet day by an oasis and the bolo lizards had a good ambush set up and did not feel like fighting, so there was peace, and people camped at a polite distance from each other. Songs and bits of food were swapped, and the group found graro plants and sand mushrooms.
In the morning there was a baby condor in Valseena’s bag, surprising everyone. The men decided that they should not mess with it, as it was a women’s thing, and Maalira was excused from looking after it, as it ate meat. Iannic, who had metal armour, volunteered to feed it; unknown to her it began to imprint on her as its mother. The best meat they had available was what had been earmarked for gifts for the Temple of Twins.
A journey brought them to the raging Ancestor River, where Valseena easily filled the water bottle, while the others stood guard. Suuraki failed to spot any crocodiles. The water went into the bag, and the group treked up-river, towards the mud, past the salt mine that now had some Bison rider guards.
On the other side of the river, uncrossable where they spotted it, Iannic5I think… spotted scorpion men, and after considering which way to go, Toras decided to press on with the group. They reached where they needed to cross, and Toras urged Tiny the rhino into the flood – the big animal surged through, helped greatly by Valseena following – as she approached the river the waters divided around her.
Toras charged straight across the sacred mud, which flowed off him leaving no stain, in his search for the chaos beings. The others stopped there, with Valseena picking up mud in her hands to scoop it into the pot. She found when she had done so that there was an earthy tattoo on her hand, showing a bison.
Others tried, but could not lift the mud, and found it slipping from their hands, leaving them still clean.6Did anyone else succeed? I think maybe one person did. Iannic sped after her brother, after pausing only briefly.
“How would Erhehta put it?” – Valseena
“You’re going to do this or I’ll kick you into Sun County.” – GM
“Valseena’s a little more tactful than that.” – Valseena
“These trackless wastes aren’t going to stare at themselves.” – Suuraki
“Mess with one Black Rhino, you mess with us all!” – Iannic
“Slow Down, you bastard, we talked about this before!” – attacker, failing a ride roll and riding past the rhinos.
“Slow Down, you bastard, we talked about this before!” – Iannic, to her rhino, having careened past the attacker like ships passing in the night.
“I can hold your animal” – Toras
“That traditional Praxian wrestling song ‘Boom chicka wah wah'” – Suuraki
“He did say his daughters could outwrestle us. I think this one might like you to.”- Toras to Waharon.
“I rolled 69.” – Waharon, ‘wrestling’ with the ‘wrestler’.
“So a very special sort of success.” – GM
“He leaves that straight line hanging.” – GM
“I feel that should be a euphemism” – Iannic
“I’ll finger my earth rune, then I’ll finger my death rune.” – Iannic
“Some people get a good night’s sleep” – GM
“Some people just get a good night.” – omnes
“So now we need to harness it to the yoke?” – Waharon
“It’s really hard to fail that.” – Valseena
“Don’t jinx that.” – Suuraki
“Gesture at the raging Praxian torrent, full of invisible crocodiles.” – Suuraki
“Obelix. NO!!!” – Waharon
“CROCNADO!!!!!” – Iannic
“Should we be seeing Fear (Crocodiles) on Suuraki’s sheet?” – Waharon
“Expect (Crocodiles).” – BleysRex
“Is spirit intimacy a skill?” – Iannic
“Spirit combat, and play to lose.” – GM
“There is a weird stiff feeling in your hand.” – GM
“It’s not fear, exactly. Just there have been a lot of sudden crocodiles.” – Suuraki
“Yes. In this case, no crocs.” – BleysRex
“*that we noticed” – Toras
“Indeed. Suuraki noticed a lot of lack of crocodile.” – BleysRex
- 1By Maalira, according to the GM’s recollection.
- 2An AMAZING round of fumbles.
- 3GM is unsure who played what and how – please do fill this in if you like.
- 4I think
- 5I think…
- 6Did anyone else succeed? I think maybe one person did.