Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-20-2020, 12:31 PM   #21
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 14 (2020-02-16)

12th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

The captain told me we’d arrive in Sam this evening, having passed Byblos yesterday. I replied that this was good, but gave him a sad sigh. We broke the fast with soup, again.

I received instruction in how to handle the ship from the captain. I pretended to be fascinated and even shouted at Lunari: “Look! I’m steering the ship!” The captain explained the difference between a ship and a boat. Boats like this travel on the river, while ships are at sea.

Lunari asked if the boat could go as far as Guling, but the captain declined. He didn’t want to try to traverse the boggy delta in the south. I assume he has business upriver as well.

I had lunch with Xipil who had had ample time to think and asked me how the bounty hunting business worked. I explained while we ate, and then I brushed my teeth, and we prayed a little before I returned to the captain’s side.

When it was time to disembark, the captain gave me a gold coin, presumably for the rowboat that he had taken possession of. He also exclaimed that it had been a pleasure to have me on board and that I was more than welcome back. I thanked him for the journey and called him an angel. “A Mhalak?” he responded, eyes beaming with rapture. Thinking quickly, I said yes. We walked down the gangplank, and I heard him tell the crew how I had called him a Mhalak. Lunari asked me how he could experience such a mood, and I told him to find religion.

The docks are a short walk away from Sam proper, although the distance between has long since been filled with buildings. I showed the way up towards the city, while telling Lunari about the horrible side effects of crow’s toes. In Grogg’s hearing, of course, and Lunari chimed in, until he discovered a brothel. Xipil and I agreed to meet him and Grogg for breakfast at the Lazy Hound Inn tomorrow. Anyone could show them the way, once they got up to the old town. Grogg asked if Xipil and I could take their luggage. We glared at him until he realized his stupidity. His load probably weighs more than Lunari, Xipil and me put together.

Xipil and I walked on, and soon arrived at the office. I took him around to the back entrance. It didn’t feel right to return through the public front office of the bounty hunters, not when I was coming back from a holy quest.

The building houses many people, almost like an inn. I was welcomed back by old acquaintances and got rooms for us. Xipil wanted a room of his own, and had to pay one silver piece for it. I got my old room back, happy that it was available, and retrieved my meagre belongings from storage. We left our packs in our rooms and went downstairs to the temple in the cellar.

It had been a long time since I washed properly, so we took our time cleansing ourselves. Inside the chapel room, we found Rhuk and two others, and I beamed at her. I thought I’d seen one of the others before, and they looked to be from the Farmers’ Republic. Rhuk introduced them as Nils and Lise, and asked about Xipil. I let him explain who he was and how he had come to the faith.

I consulted Rhuk regarding the prophet in the south, and she was very suspicious about him. There would be a Meet tomorrow night, she revealed, so I could hope for more advice then. I also told her about Batto and his soldiers. Rhuk warned me not to poke my hand inside that hornets’ nest.

Xipil and I wished the others good night and returned upstairs. He asked me if it was possible to get up on the roof. I said that shouldn’t be a problem; the window on his room could be opened. We left our dirty clothes to be washed, and entered our rooms. I brushed my teeth and went to bed.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.


13th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

I woke up, feeling fresh and restored. It was good to be home again! I brought my blades down to the back yard for a practice session. It’s been over a month since I used my knives. Other believers practiced as well, and I greeted both old friends and new. Xipil arrived after a while, and I suggested we should head over to the Lazy Hound, but he wanted to shoot some targets with his bow and arrow first.

Lunari and Grogg had already eaten when we met them, so I ordered breakfast for Xipil and myself, indicating that Lunari would pay. I told the others there were quite a few things I needed to take care of now that I’ve come home, so they could spend the day resting if they wished. As I had some free time this morning, I offered to show everyone the sights of Sam. They took me up on it, but Lunari wanted to see my tongue first. I refused.

I started the tour by showing Lunari where all the whorehouses are located. That should keep him occupied and out of my hair. Lunari asked what I knew about trade to Guling – is there any lucrative merchandise he can buy cheaply here and sell when we get there? I had to admit I didn’t know much about trade, but we talked to a fellow who claimed that timber would fetch a good price in Guling.

Sam’s not a rich city, and definitely not known for its public displays of art. I showed Lunari that there are wealthier parts of the city, but those communities are gated and guarded, and he wasn’t allowed inside without an appointment. Grogg was tall enough to look over the wall, but the guards didn’t like that he did so, and asked us to go away. Grogg muttered that he didn’t see anything interesting inside anyway.

Xipil wanted to visit the temple district. I explained that we didn’t have one, as such. The temples in Sam were more scattered than they are in some other cities. I took them to the Mitra temple first, and Lunari asked if there was a pleasure cult somewhere. I told him there was, but I didn’t want to take him there, because I didn’t know if he’d come out again. Instead, I brought them to the Anati temple. A statue of a nude woman decorated a fountain in front of the temple to the goddess of cleanliness. Anati is depicted with clothes in the Prince’s Cities for some reason, where Lunari and Grogg live, and Lunari in particular couldn’t keep his eyes off her.

It was time to eat, so we found a restaurant nearby that served fish, vegetables and wine for lunch. Lunari kept staring at the Anati statue up the street, and Xipil asked if there was anything that could get them chased out of town. I repeated that they shouldn’t mention the Farmers’ Republic, otherwise the laws are mostly similar to those of the Prince’s Cities, as far as I know.

Xipil and I left the others; there was talk of them visiting the Anati bathhouse. We had another practice session in the back yard, although I spent much of the time talking to friends. I learned that we Ashtarites have increased our presence in Talan, so if I hadn’t had anything else to do, I might have gone there.

We had dinner in-house and I kept socializing while we ate. I retrieved the head in the sculpture Lunari had made, and brought Xipil to the chapel. We weren’t the only ones to arrive early for the Meet. I wondered if it was proper to bring a head inside the depiction of another’s head and prayed for guidance. You told me clearly that it wouldn’t do, so Xipil and I left.

We found an axe in the workshop and destroyed Lunari’s artwork. Time had taken a toll on the head inside, even packed in salt, and it was a mushy lump that I dropped into a leather bag and brought back to the chapel. This time, we only washed our feet and hands (and Xipil’s tail). We had, after all, done a thorough cleansing not half an hour ago.

I told my story at the Meet. A woman sniffed with disdain when I mentioned the Mhalak, Mitra’s messenger. I quite understood. After the formal part of the Meet, people drifted into groups to talk or pray, as they wished. The priest beckoned me to approach, and I instructed Xipil not to follow. I didn’t know if we would go to a place someone of Xipil’s low rank shouldn’t see, but we just found privacy in a side corridor. The priest warned me that the Mhalak has been observed near Guling. I gave him the severed head, which he promptly passed to someone of lower rank to deal with.

Rhuk was at the Meet, too, and offered to bring my party to Ur on her cart. I repeated that one of my companions was a troll, in case she had forgotten, but she said her cart would be empty but for passengers, so it wouldn’t be a problem. I had already arranged to meet Grogg and Lunari at the Lazy Hound around breakfast time tomorrow, and told Rhuk that we should be able to leave around midday. I talked to more friends, glad to be home.

Xipil asked what I thought about individuals who don’t go to You when they die, like Grogg’s ghostly raven. I told him of my deep distrust of such people (and birds). You are the Keeper of Death’s Door, I explained, and without Your blessing, we can’t hope for a good afterlife. Xipil wanted to know if I knew of any way to send such individuals to You. I didn’t, so I asked the priest. He said You would grant me knowledge when You found that I was ready. I turned to Xipil and translated that low-ranking people like us weren’t trusted to know. Xipil remained in the chapel to meditate when I went to bed.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 12:36 PM   #22
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 14 (2020-02-16)

14th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

I had breakfast with Rhuk and picked her brains for local news. She disclosed that Guling and the Farmers’ Republic had entered into a secret alliance, which concerned her deeply. This may bring unwanted attention from the other noble houses. She had also heard rumors about wild orcs supplying the slave uprising. I knew that the Farmers’ Republic welcomed escaped slaves, and asked if she knew whether they had a hand in coordinating the uprising. She hadn’t heard anything of the sort, and thought it unlikely. But it wasn’t impossible.

I knocked on Xipil’s door so we could go to the Lazy Hound, but he wasn’t in. I found him in the chapel, still meditating. It was still early, so Xipil ate at the inn while we waited for Lunari and Grogg to come downstairs. I started to worry after a while, and asked the staff about the elf and the troll. For two copper pieces, I learned that their luggage was still in their rooms, but they hadn’t spent the night there.

Xipil stayed in case they should make an appearance, and I returned briefly to the office to delay Rhuk’s departure. As he hadn’t had any sleep last night, Xipil lay down on a bench in the common room to get some rest when I got back.

Lunari arrived an hour or so later, having spent the night in a brothel. He had expected Grogg to be here, as the troll had left the whorehouse before him. I roused Xipil and said we had to go out and search for Grogg. I valued Rhuk too much to disrespect her time, so I sent a street urchin to the office with a message that she should come by the Lazy Hound when she left town, and if I wasn’t there, she should leave without us.

Xipil, Lunari and I split up to search for Grogg. I asked around, describing Grogg to various people whom I knew paid attention to the goings-on of Sam, and eventually bumped into Lunari again, who had tried to track Grogg from the brothel. We spotted our lost companion on the docks a short while later. I called out to him from a distance, and Grogg berated me for scaring off the raven. Lunari pointed out that the raven was inside him, and I urged them to hurry back to the inn with me.

Xipil was already there, as was a message from Rhuk, informing me that she was waiting at the office. Lunari paid for the rooms while Grogg retrieved their packs. We found Rhuk asleep in the office, for she planned to drive into the night. She had another passenger, a young man named Talo who had come to the temple a few years ago. We knew each other already, so I made introductions.

Rhuk fetched a small leather bag, and we were off. It was too small to hold a head, but I knew enough not to ask its contents. To the guards at the city gate, she said she only carried passengers, no cargo. We made a brief stop once we were out in the open, to erect a shade above the cart. It can get hot in the stony desert between Sam and Ur.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2020, 08:21 AM   #23
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 15 (2020-02-23)

14th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412 (continued)

Lunari noticed two Amrosh soldiers watching us from a hundred meters away, and started walking towards them while I was helping Rhuk set up the canopy for the cart. Grogg followed him. Lunari talked with them for a few minutes before coming back. I asked what they had discussed, and Lunari told us they had “investigated the conditions towards Ur”, and warned him not to check into any inns on the way there. Rhuk snorted. We both knew that the inns held no danger. There were two inns, just before and after a cross in the road, the Cross Lodge and the Bizarre Bean, and Rhuk intended to stop at the Cross Lodge. Because of our late start, it would be dark when we arrived, but that should present no difficulties, for the Cross Lodge was run by a family of Ashtarites, a couple with two teenage children. The owner of the Bean was a good friend of Rhuk’s, and affiliated with the Farmers’ Republic. Hilde shouldn’t be a danger to us, either. The next inn, once we truly entered the stone desert, was the Watering Hole. Both Rhuk and I have been there several times, and couldn’t figure out why we should stay away from there. Recalling that Batto had recognized me somehow, I lay down in the cart, hiding behind Grogg while we passed the Amrosh soldiers so they wouldn’t get a good look at me.

Xipil asked me if it was all right for him to ask Rhuk about the grey men they met in the crater. I told him to go ahead. His culture must be very peculiar, for he seems extraordinarily careful not to offend anyone. From his description of the grey men, Rhuk recognized them, but only as figures of stories and legends, and called them “dead men” and “ghost men”. Lunari wanted to know what my religion thought about undead. “Sacrilege!” I responded. “But what if those you kill come back to haunt you?” he wanted to know. I told him they didn’t, for whenever I take a life, I send the soul to You.

The cart wheeled on. Lunari recounted the places he’d visited, and complained that it’s so expensive to travel in Arland, what with all the toll posts. Speaking of which, Rhuk asked if he could pay when we reached the next one. Lunari agreed to pay for his party, including me as his guide, but not Rhuk or Talo.

The toll post was crowded with Loyalist soldiers. Rhuk told them she only carried passengers, and that we were going to Ur. We paid the required price, but I got the impression that they held us back so the wagon in front of us could get a head start. I found it very suspicious, and thought to myself that I wanted to overtake that wagon to see why, but then I noticed that the wagon behind us was held back too, once they let us proceed. Rhuk grumbled about the Loyalists having a toll post here. It was harassment, and they only pretended to protect the road! Lunari thought they were looking for someone, which apparently wasn’t any of us.

Lunari commented on the terrain. The sharp distinction between swamps on the left side of the road and stony desert on the right seemed unnatural to him. He wondered what kind of city Ur might be, and I explained that it was a small one, located in an oasis in the desert. Ratanu, the god of laws and philosophy, has a large temple there that has mostly fallen out of use.

After a couple of hours, we left the swamp behind. Talo engaged Grogg in conversation, but needed some time to get the troll to open up. Lunari wasn’t as heroic in Grogg’s version of the story of Gromgar.

Rhuk pointed out that there was less traffic on the road than usual, which played into Lunari’s concern for the warning about the inns. I repeated that there was no danger from the staff at the Cross Lodge and promised to question them about it. Lunari declared that he was going to lock the door to his room. I teased him, asking if he was afraid that I’d come for a late-night visit. In that case, he said with a meaningful look at me, he didn’t have to lock up. I responded that while I thought of him as a decent enough fellow, I just didn’t find myself drawn to him in that way.

The sun went down and the sky darkened. Lunari had us stop and remove the canopy so he could watch the stars. He pointed out his star sign, the Fox, which Xipil knew under the name of the Slurping Toad. Elves are mystically connected to their star signs. We stayed longer than necessary while Lunari and Xipil did their stargazing, and they had apparently seen enough, for they lay down to sleep when we continued, as did Talo.

Suddenly, Grogg started sniffing in the air. He had caught the wind of something he couldn’t quite identify the source of, it seemed, for he smelled the rest of us. “Yuk, soap!” he deduced when he pulled in my scent. I asked what he was doing, and he told me he smelled a burnt odor. I tried to detect what he had, but smelled nothing out of the ordinary. “Kraa, kraa! Where’s the fire?” he asked his spirit raven. Rhuk looked at him with disgust and I nodded agreement. Unseen wings flapped in the air and faded as the raven scouted ahead. “Grogg, now that it’s gone, know that this is a messenger you can’t trust,” Rhuk told the troll, “You need to think for yourself.” Grogg retorted that if he was thinking for himself, he didn’t have to listen to her either. Rhuk agreed, but Grogg made a badly veiled threat. He doesn’t like it when people speak ill of the raven.

Twenty minutes passed in silence and then the raven returned. Grogg watched it through the magic ring, and the raven gave him something, which he poked at Lunari’s neck. Lunari woke, screaming in pain, for the something was a hot piece of burnt wood. Lunari examined the wood and determined it had been a part of a plank of decent quality, so it wasn’t likely retrieved from a campfire. I suspected that the Cross Lodge had burned down, for that’s the nearest building in the area. It’s a good twenty-minute walk from there to the Bizarre Bean. Rhuk declared that she was convinced the inn still stood, but I knew her well enough to recognize signs of distress. Grogg and Lunari tried to get information out of the raven, but it only replied “Kraa!” Xipil asked what we should do if the inn had burned down, and I responded calmly that we’d just move on to the Bean and stay there.

Xipil jumped off the cart and ran forward, saying he could smell burning. Rhuk sped up the cart with a curse, and Grogg grabbed Xipil and put him back inside when we passed him. Lunari expressed concern for the cart, going this fast in the dark, but Rhuk told him it’s her wagon. “Shut up and hold on!” Talo nearly fell off when we made a sharp turn, but Grogg caught him in time. Abruptly, Rhuk turned the cart off the road and leapt off, running towards the Cross Lodge. I followed at once, but Talo took the time to unfasten the lantern from the cart.

The Cross Lodge lay in ruins, thin plumes of smoke still rising from charred timbers. It must have burned down last night. I started searching for bones among the ruins, hoping to find none. Rhuk fell on her knees, bursting into tears. She knew the family that ran this place much better than I did. I tried telling Talo to shine his lantern where I was searching, but he kept running back to Rhuk. Lunari lighted another lantern and searched for tracks with Grogg and Xipil.

Xipil found tracks of four horses that had been present recently. They hadn’t stayed long, and had fancy shoes, so they weren’t owned by the proprietors. I suspected the arsonists had ridden them.

I discovered the charred remains of the inn’s cat in the food cellar, and Rhuk told me the daughter of the house had been very attached to it. I paused my search to listen to Rhuk’s stories about the people who used to live here. Lunari seemed cold and uncaring, and went to sleep on the cart, but I started digging up the chapel afterwards, with Xipil’s help. Rhuk came over to lend a hand once she calmed down. We discovered human bones, and it became obvious that the poor family had perished.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2020, 08:30 AM   #24
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 15 (2020-02-23)

I asked Xipil, Rhuk and Talo if they believed the Bizarre Bean still stood, but they were all uncertain. Rhuk told Talo to go back to Sam to tell what had happened here, but just then, we heard two horses approach, and turned off the lanterns. Someone called out, and Grogg answered. A rider dismounted to tell Grogg that we shouldn’t be here; something’s beginning.

It was clear that the riders were the Amrosh soldiers Lunari and Grogg had talked to earlier today, and Grogg asked if they were Nightriders, which they confirmed. Grogg also asked them for crow’s toes. I rolled my eyes in the darkness. The soldiers said he could get it in Guling, and I heard disapproval in their voices before they left.

Rhuk insisted that we needed to get going, and asked if I thought we should go through the Farmers’ Republic. That wouldn’t get her to Ur; she might have to go all the way to Guling with us before turning back east. I said I wanted to stop by the Bizarre Bean to find out if Hilde knew what had happened here or if that inn had been burned down, too.

On our way there, we spotted riders with torches, but they were heading away from us. Rhuk thought those riders were chasing the Amrosh soldiers, for Nightriders don’t use torches. The hunters might be coming from the inn, so we stopped the cart once we saw lights from the building, and Xipil and I scouted ahead. Talo returned towards Sam.

There was a torch at the road and two guards, also with torches, at the door. Xipil and I crept closer, taking care to stay out of the torchlight. The guards wore regular clothing over their armor, but I thought they looked like Loyalists. Three tents were erected behind the inn, so Xipil and I went to check them out. The largest tent held horses, one had an empty wagon, and the smallest tent contained a few wooden boxes. Xipil studied the ground outside the tents and recognized the fancy horseshoes from the Cross Lodge.

Peeks inside the windows without shutters told us nothing. Xipil tried picking the lock on the unguarded back door, but his dagger got stuck between the door and the jamb. It took some time to get it loose without making noise, and while he was working, a rider approached carrying a torch, so we assumed it was another Loyalist. The rider aimed for the guards in front of the building, and I went around the corner to listen. I recognized the Loyalist greeting, clearing the last vestiges of doubt from my mind.

The guards wanted to know how “it” had gone. The newcomer sounded like an officer, and told them that they had chased away the Nightriders. They talked for a little while, and from what they said, I estimated that they were around twenty people, including six people on guard, four of whom must be inside the inn. The officer went to put up his horse in the tent, so I returned to Xipil, who had managed to open the kitchen door. We slipped inside before the officer could spot us.

It was completely dark in the kitchen, and Xipil and I cautiously navigated our way to the other door, which I knew led to the common room. The kitchen seemed remarkably uncluttered, which led me to believe Hilde wasn’t in charge anymore. She had to be dead, captured or evicted. We heard scraping of chairs on the floor when the four guards in the common room saluted the officer. When he sent two of them off to bed, I was tempted to go inside to kill the others, but as they might be looking in the direction of the kitchen door, I deemed it too risky to try.

Xipil and I returned outside and checked out the tents more carefully. Using a knife, I managed to remove a bolt from one of the wheels of the wagon, but the others were fastened too hard to remove without making noise. Xipil opened one of the three boxes in the smallest tent and discovered it was full of crossbow bolts. He suggested burning them all, but a fire would be noticed too soon. I preferred to do sabotage that wouldn’t be discovered until morning.

I went inside the largest tent to steal the horses. With the officer’s horse, there were four of them. My plan was to remove them one by one to a safe distance, and then bring all four in a large circle around the inn and back to Rhuk and the others. Unfortunately for me, the horses became upset when I entered. I tried to slit their throats before they could whinny, but only managed to graze one of them before they erupted in wild panic. I hadn’t poisoned the blade, so the horse should live. I rushed outside and got Xipil to follow me into the darkness before the soldiers came running.

When we got back to where we had left the cart, only Lunari remained, and he made as if to light his lantern, but I stopped him. Hadn’t he heard the commotion? Lunari told us that Rhuk had started the cart back towards the cross in the road, intending to head for the Farmers’ Republic, but without the lantern, how could we find our friends? I told him to relax and follow me.

We found Rhuk and Grogg with the cart a little later. I told them what Xipil and I had discovered, and Lunari thought the Loyalists were intending to invade the Farmers’ Republic. Rhuk suspected that the Loyalists had uncovered the alliance between the Republic and the Aldera family of Guling. Rhuk told everyone that it’s possible to get to Guling through the Farmers’ Republic, but the way is a closely guarded secret.

We stopped after a while, and Rhuk waved the lantern. Another light responded from up ahead, and we were good to go. Behind a rampart stood farmers with weapons and armor. Rhuk and I talked with them, and alluded to the disturbances north of here. It seemed they already knew. Rhuk told them that she sought someone named Ander. “It’s not my place to prevent you,” the leader sighed. Who could this Ander be? He seemed like an outcast.

We moved on, and I noticed that there were fences, ramparts and ditches all over the place. It should be easy to defend this place if and when the Loyalists decide to intrude. It was getting really late, so we stopped at an empty house, clearly meant for this purpose. Rhuk ordered Xipil to take the first watch, then turned in. Xipil asked me how long he should watch. I guessed that sunrise was just about three hours from now, and we agreed that watches of one hour would suit.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.

Lunari woke me some time later, and I woke Grogg when my watch was done. I had to explain that he should wake the rest of us if someone approached, before I could go back to sleep.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2020, 08:40 AM   #25
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 15 (2020-02-23)

15th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

Rhuk made vegetable soup for breakfast. Some of our party were pretty fed up with soup from the boat ride, so we spiced it up with some travel rations. “Welcome to the Republic,” Rhuk announced.

Lunari had entertained himself by decorating the cart with calligraphy while we traveled, yesterday. All the writing was in the elven script, Lithin, but Rhuk understood what it said and asked him not to write any more on the cart. She didn’t translate, but told me privately that it was all toilet humor, and he apparently had a fascination for my derriere. I didn’t know whether to be offended or to be pleased to have discovered a weapon against him.

People worked the fields and mostly ignored us as we traveled south. We passed a couple of villages and some minor streams, before arriving at a village on the bank of a larger river in the evening. Rhuk stopped the cart outside the village and bade us wait for her while she entered the houses.

I washed the horse blood off my knife while we waited. Grogg called me “Nurkia” and “snake woman,” but I told him I would ignore him unless he used my actual name. He called me “Nuur-Karif,” and we had a pleasant conversation.

Rhuk returned and told us we had to leave the cart for the next leg of our journey, so we went a little distance back, to a farm where they knew her. There were both orcs and humans there, and Lunari talked to one of the orcs, but seemed to insult him, for he spat contemptuously on the ground and started walking away. That set Grogg off, and he dragged back the orc to apologize to Lunari, who wisely defused the situation diplomatically.

We had grilled vegetables for dinner, and then we returned to the village. Rhuk told us to wait by an apple tree. The look she gave me warned me that she didn’t know how long we had to wait, but there was no hint of danger in her eyes, so I settled down calmly. Lunari pulled out a bottle of liquor and told dirty jokes to Grogg. I tried to ignore them, but it wasn’t easy. At least my name wasn’t mentioned.

Rhuk returned with at lantern and a big grin, after dark. She also brought a man named Ander, who would be taking us further, while Rhuk tried to find her own way to Ur. I gave Rhuk Your signal and pointed discretely at Ander. She nodded, so I knew he was trustworthy. Ander was around thirty years of age and carried a rope around his waist. I wished Rhuk good luck and we went our separate ways.

Ander wordlessly led the way towards the village, but soon turned towards a river channel where he jumped in. The water didn’t reach much higher than his knees. The rest of us followed him into the water and then along the maze of channels for about a quarter of an hour.

We arrived at some ferns, which Ander pushed aside, revealing a wooden door. Ander entered, and I followed. Grogg was skeptical of the small, dark space, but Ander insisted, with gestures and a syllable. Once everyone was inside, he went back outside, leaving us with a short command: “Sleep!” Xipil followed to study the stars. Ander watched him impatiently. Lunari asked me who we were hiding from. I told him I didn’t know, but now that we’re in their land, we have to do what they tell us. Xipil came back inside after a while, and Ander closed the door.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.


16th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

When I woke up this morning, the only light was a glimmering strip above the door. I expected Ander to arrive with our marching orders soon, but felt at peace in this underground lair, so I lay back down to meditate. Lunari wasn’t quite as patient, and retrieved his violin, about which Grogg and Xipil protested loudly after a few strokes of the bow, so he packed it down again and went to peek outside.

Ander arrived after a couple of hours, tossing a sack inside with a single word, “Food!” I opened the sack and distributed grilled fish and vegetables. Lunari asked Ander why we’re sneaking around, but got no reply beyond a queer stare. “Is there no road we can take instead of trudging through the channel?” the elf continued. Ander counted on his fingers: “Raft, kill, Guling.” Xipil asked me if I knew what he meant, but I wasn’t certain, so I said nothing. The tranquility that had settled on me replaced the desire for knowledge. What comes, comes. Lunari suspected that someone would try to kill us if we took a raft to Guling.

We followed Ander a short distance to a raft, where the channel connected to the main river. He gave Grogg and Xipil a pole each, and the three of them pushed us over the river. On the other side, Ander nudged Grogg ashore and gave him the end of a rope and instructed him to pull. And Grogg ran. Until there was no more land; then he continued into the water. Lunari told him to get onboard as it would be more efficient if he took a pole and pushed.

Now that everyone was awake, nobody protested when Lunari took out his violin again. He played and sang, and I enjoyed the entertainment, feeling like a noble since everyone else was working. Ander had another sack of food which he shared out at mealtimes.

We stopped when it was getting dark, at another hidden room in the end of a small channel, similar to the room we stayed in last night. We entered, and Ander closed us in. Grogg was hungry, so he found travel rations in one of his large sacks. Xipil went back outside, presumably to look at the stars. When he returned, he told me that he got the feeling that something has to die tomorrow. He mentioned that he was sitting on the ground at the time, making the sensation more trustworthy. I sat down to pray, for I thought there was something You wanted me to hear. I prayed for two full hours, but got no answer. That made me anxious.

I noticed Xipil was meditating when I was about to turn in. He has told me to wake him if he sits too long, so I prodded him. He seemed woozy, so I asked if he was all right. He was not. He felt sick, and told me that something bestial and something with ugly teeth was on an island, and they were going to die. I asked if his vision had indicated that we should intervene in some way, but he didn’t know. I’ve heard that people who get visions when they’re not ready for the experience, often get stressed out or worried. I asked Xipil if he felt anything like that, but he claimed he didn’t, he only felt like he was going to sick up. I suggested that we should try to get some sleep. Most likely, he’d feel better in the morning.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2020, 08:49 AM   #26
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 15 (2020-02-23)

17th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

Lunari opened the door to let in the morning light. With a good night’s sleep behind him, Xipil felt better, and his vision was clearer. The bestial being had four legs. The other thing was larger and had either bad teeth or dark eyes; there seemed to be some vagueness remaining, after all. They both had to die, though. Ander came with food while we were talking, and we left after a quick bite. Grogg, Xipil and Ander picked up the poles again, and pushed the raft back into the river and then south.

Grogg and Lunari talked to the raven, who failed to answer in the affirmative when they asked if Lunari was kind. We were moving towards an area with fewer farms and villages, so not many people were in a position to observe their odd behavior.

Just after lunch, Ander directed the raft towards land. There were many bushes on this river island, so we couldn’t see very far. Ander tied the raft to one bush and went to sleep under another. Xipil and I went to scout the island while Grogg and Lunari sat down to smoke. Eels frolicked along the shoreline, and Xipil asked what to think about them; they did resemble snakes, after all. I wasn’t certain what to respond, so I put my hand into the water among them. The eels ignored me, which could mean that they’re related to snakes.

Grogg arrived to tell Xipil that Kraa, the spirit raven, said he shouldn’t meditate without stars in sight. Did he come just to relate that piece of information? I refrained from telling Xipil not to listen to the unholy vermin, making a mental note to remind him later, when Grogg wasn’t around. Xipil asked Grogg if he could borrow the magic ring, so he could have a look around the island with it.

Ander woke up after an hour or so and was staring out at the river when I returned. Lunari had provided him with tobacco. Xipil failed to find anything magical with the ring and returned it to Grogg, then he tried to catch some fish. He had caught three when Ander thought it was time to depart.

Ander didn’t want us to go very fast now, watching the surroundings keenly. He directed us up a branch of the river. Lunari started telling Grogg a joke, but Ander hushed him. The side river forked again and Ander pointed at the end of the long, narrow island ahead of us. He looked nervously around, catching everyone’s attention. “Kill!” He pointed at the island again. I rubbed my hands in anticipation and rummaged in my backpack for the medicine kit. Lunari asked me if I knew what this was all about. I was convinced that You had marked whatever inhabited this island for death, but I didn’t know the specifics, so I kept my mouth shut. In retrospect, I should have said something, but how could I know that Lunari would turn out to be such a wuss?

Xipil removed his cloak and strung his bow. I prepared all my knives with poison, ritually biting each of the blades when I replaced them carefully in their sheaths. Lunari withdrew to the other side of the raft. It seemed I had instilled in him a proper sense of respect for the holy venom. It was no mere belladonna I was smearing on the sharp steel.

Xipil, Grogg, Lunari and I moved ashore and tied a rope between the raft and a bush. Xipil got my permission to scout ahead. His camouflage skin made him all but invisible among the vegetation. Lunari protested that he didn’t want to be a part of this, killing just because Ander said so, and started wading back to the raft. Ander pushed the raft away from land, as far as it could go without cutting the rope, so Lunari had to swim to get on board again.

We heard barking in the distance, and Xipil returned. I felt a little disappointed. Dogs?! I suggested that we wait for them and kill them when they arrived, and thought that Lunari would come ashore now; certainly, he couldn’t have qualms about killing a few mad dogs? Lunari disabused me of that notion, shouting that we should get on the raft. Ander hushed him again and prepared throwing knives.

I spotted the dogs when they were about thirty meters away. Xipil aimed his bow at one of them, but Grogg squinted at the vegetation, for he hadn’t seen the dogs yet. I drew two blades, one long knife and one throwing knife, and nodded towards the dogs so Grogg could see. The dogs continued towards us, still barking, and I took aim at one of them. There were two dogs, I could see now. One of them sped up, but the other started dancing around. I thought the behavior was peculiar, until I realized that the dogs were trained. Grogg held his maul at the ready, but the dogs turned around. An arrow from Xipil’s bow took one of them in the flank, but it kept running. More barking came from the distance.

Grogg rushed ahead, and I followed, although he has longer legs than I have and soon put some distance between us. Two orcs approached with two more dogs. Grogg stopped to shout something in the troll language, allowing me to catch up with him. The orcs howled back at him and picked up the pace, axes raised. Xipil put an arrow through the leather armor of one of them. Grogg prepared to strike, but they were still a couple of seconds away, which allowed me to take aim at the uninjured one while sending a silent prayer to You: “O Ashtar, Keeper of Death’s Door! Let Your humble servant send these orcs to You!” No countermanding of the kill order arrived, so the orcs would die.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2020, 09:01 AM   #27
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 15 (2020-02-23)

The first orc reached Grogg and parried the maul. His counterattack missed the troll. As did my knife when I hurled it at the orc. The dogs tried to surround Grogg and me, clearly intending to attack from behind. Grogg smacked the orc backwards with a wet thump to the chest, but he came forward again to attack; Grogg retreated out of the way of the axe, however.

I pulled my other long knife and prepared to defend. One of the dogs launched itself at my side, but I whirled around and parried, the poisoned blade scratching the dog’s face. The dog was dead when it landed.

Grogg gave the orc another solid smash, but took a blow from the axe in return. The second orc swung at the troll, too, but missed. I ran over to the closest orc, but missed with both knives. Grogg stomped heavily on the dog that was nibbling on his leg.

The orc didn’t have room to swing his axe at me, so he headbutted me instead. That hurt a lot, even through the hidden cloth armor covering my torso. The other orc moved after the retreating troll. I prepared to dodge, and moved close to the orc to prevent him from using the axe. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a dog with an arrow in its side tried to limp around to my back. Grogg landed another hit on his orc, who refused to go down. My orc dropped his axe and tackled me to the ground, the unexpected maneuver taking me completely by surprise. He landed on top of me. Desperate to finish the orc before the dogs could get at me, I tried to skewer the orc’s neck from both sides, but the shock of having the air knocked out of my lungs caused me to fail spectacularly; I strained my left arm and lost the grip on the knife in my right hand.

Grogg finally sent his opponent crashing to the ground, and I heard a whimper as he stepped on another dog. The orc on top of me tried to break my nose with his forehead, but my bad luck had run its course, and he missed. I chomped on his throat, extending my fangs and injecting venom. The orc shuddered and died. I pushed him off me with my good hand and heard a splash. Ander had jumped into the water to save Xipil from drowning; the lizard man had retreated into the water to escape the dogs, but his injuries caused him to faint.

I picked up the knife I had dropped and stood up. Grogg felled one of the dogs with his throwing axe, and then there was only one dog still standing; Lunari chased it through the shrubbery. Lunari ran supernaturally fast and stabbed the dog with his spear. I sheathed one of my knives; my left arm was useless at the moment. I looked for the knife I threw at the orc at the beginning of the combat.

Just as I was picking it up, Lunari turned around and came back to Grogg and me, calling in a low voice that there were more foes. A shriek of pain followed him. I sheathed the knife, and Grogg told me to move, for I was between him and the sound. I retreated towards him while aiming at the female orc who came out of the forest. She was frothing at the mouth, and her eyes were just as bloodshot as her fallen friends’ had been. Grogg threw his hatchet, and it stuck in her chest. I flipped my knife at her throat, and she crashed lifelessly into Grogg. Ander put his arms up in celebration and declared “Guling!”

I retrieved my knife, watching Ander run to give first aid to Xipil, who was lying on the raft. I determined that the orcs must have used some kind of drug to drive them into such a frothing frenzy. They had also filed their teeth, which might have impressed someone else. I agreed with Lunari and Grogg that the dogs had to be trained to hunt and attack humans.

Ander seemed to have Xipil’s wounds under control, so I offered my services to Grogg, who was staggering towards the raft. He refused, which I respected. I washed the orc blood off my face. I didn’t bother to get my mirror to have a look, but I must have been quite the sight.

Xipil was unconscious, and Grogg and I clearly injured, so Ander gave Lunari a pole, but he threw it in the water. Ander used his own pole to get it back, and tried handing it to Lunari again, but I grabbed hold of it with my good hand. Grogg decided that Lunari needed no protection, and stuck his magic needle into his own neck. He fell asleep immediately.

When Xipil woke a minute or two later, I made a comment to him that I don’t care for men who can’t handle their poles. Lunari protested wildly at the insinuation, and complained again about having to kill someone. I ignored him. He hadn’t attacked anyone, let alone injured or killed them. A fleeing dog didn’t count, rabid or not.

Once my left arm had rested for a bit, I regained the use of it. With two hands, I was more effective at helping Ander push the raft. The sun was setting when we returned to the main river, and I saluted the dying day, in Your honor. Ander pointed questioningly at the needle in Grogg’s neck, but Lunari forbade me from telling him about it, so I just had to say that everything would be all right. The needle purportedly has healing powers, but it didn’t save Kraa from dying. I’m not sure I believe Lunari’s claims, although Xipil has confirmed them.

Proper medicine was what Xipil needed. We landed near an orchard, and Ander instructed us to wait before walking into the night. I grabbed a handful of soil from the orchard, and asked Lunari to confirm that he was uninjured. He lifted his shirt and told me he had strained a muscle when skewering the dog. He still was the halest among us, so I asked him to spit into my hand. I mixed the spittle with the dirt in my other hand and sat down to work on Xipil. The healthy saliva replaced Xipil’s injured fluids when I massaged the skin around his wounds with my dirt. Xipil told me things had maybe gone more smoothly, had Rhuk prepared us – that is to say, Lunari – about what was going to happen. But I don’t think Rhuk knew.

Ander returned and took us to a small cottage. Lunari expressed worry that there might be angry orcs in there, but I took Xipil inside and confirmed that it was safe. Grogg got his needle back from Lunari and lay down, sticking it into his neck again. Ander produced some food, and told us, “Eat, sleep, Guling!” Then we went outside and closed the door. Xipil told Lunari that the more cooperative he was, the sooner we’d get to Guling. He tried to entice Lunari with the promise of “party-elves”.

I ate and pretended to go to sleep, but actually, I lay down to pray, asking You for fresh venom in my glands. After an hour, I could spit some poison into the little vial. After four hours, the vial was as full as it could be, but I still needed another hour to restore the glands, so they’d be ready for use again.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 02:30 PM   #28
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 16 (2020-03-08)

18th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

Grogg woke me to ask how to get high on God. Light was streaming through the windows, but I rolled over and told him grumpily to go back to bed. Lunari brought Xipil and Grogg outside. How thoughtful of him. Unless they were going to discuss secrets, in which case I’d rather they did it in my hearing.

Ander shook my shoulder carefully some time later. “Guling!” he declared. I got up and we joined the others in the sun. Xipil was concerned that the orcs might not be dead, and wanted to go back to check. Admittedly, I had been swept up in the others’ rush to get away, but two of the orcs has tasted my venom, and those two absolutely wouldn’t be getting up again. The third one, I was uncertain about. Grogg had landed at least three solid blows on him, so I was pretty certain he was dead, too. Ander was satisfied with our work on that island, and in the end, that was what mattered.

To my surprise, Ander didn’t lead us back to the raft; he took us in the other direction. I pulled him aside. Lunari tried to listen in, but Xipil prevented him. I asked Ander who or what had sent us to the island to kill the orcs. Of course, I was already convinced that ultimately, it was You who had issued the kill order, but I wanted to know more, if only to stop Lunari’s complaining. I failed to get anything out of Ander, though. He only replied “Kill!” and “Guling!”

After a couple of minutes, we arrived at a clearing in the orchard, with a few, small buildings. A dwarf was sitting on the steps before one of the houses, merrily playing a mouth harp. Next to him stood a half-elf, who Lunari and Grogg knew from before; Lunari called him Lunas. There were two humans there as well. I guessed they were hunters from their attire, and they seemed like unimportant underlings from the way Lunas ignored them.

Lunas tried talking Lunari into coming to the Evening Fort outside Guling to take missions for his family. That made him a scion of the Aldera family, I thought to myself. Lunari told the half-elf that we were already on our way there.

It didn’t matter that Ander wasn’t very talkative, for it became clear that Lunas and his crew of hunters had been chasing a band of outlaws, including the orcs we killed and a troll that Keri, the dwarf, shot through the eye with his crossbow. Ander must have made an agreement with Lunas or his representative, to have us help with the orcs in return for transportation to Guling.

Keri seemed half drunk, but roused when Lunas asked if he was ready to go. He went inside to get his pack and said goodbye to whoever was in there. Lunas asked Lunari what he’d been up to lately. Had he saved any more nobles? It turned out Lunas was one of those who Grogg and Lunari had saved from Gromgar and his orcs. Lunari was uncharacteristically vague about his exploits, but said he was ready to go on another adventure. Lunas needed half an hour to get ready himself; we were going to take a raft through the swampy delta for a couple of days, before taking their boat upriver towards Guling. I sat down in the shade, leaning against one of the houses, trying to get some more sleep.

Grogg picked me up when it was time to go. I pretended to sleep; I once heard the expression, “Fake it till you make it,” and I gave it a try. Kraa stood on Grogg’s shoulder, uncomfortably close to my head, but I tried to ignore the spirit raven. Suddenly, Grogg tilted my head down, for someone to take a look at my face. I prepared to burst into action, but then a woman’s voice said one of Your prayers over me. My hand twitched in Your greeting, and I felt the woman put something down my dress, between my breasts. She whispered in my ear, “For those who won’t die.”

I woke at the river bank, to the sound of Keri’s mouth harp and Lunari’s violin. Grogg told Lunari that a woman had come and touched me “inside the shirt” and gave him money. “Did you pimp out Nuur-Karif?” Lunari exclaimed skeptically. He lowered his voice and explained to Grogg what a pimp was. “I only got one copper,” Grogg muttered defensively.

Lunas asked who the best rafters were among us, and Xipil volunteered for pole duty. I told the noble that Grogg was very strong and very capable, so he got a pole, too. This raft was slightly smaller than the one we used earlier, and floated treacherously low in the water, once everyone was aboard. I was sure we were going to get our feet wet.

Lunas asked Lunari how he had ended up here, in the middle of nowhere. Lunari explained that he received Lunas’s letter in Blekborg and decided to make the trek. He regaled how the Loyalists forced us to go through the Farmers’ Republic. “Loyalists! Hah, Betrayers are more like it!” Lunas interjected. I noticed that Lunari mixed up the Cross Lodge and the Bizarre Bean, but I didn’t bother to correct him. Lunas told Keri that “they” had set things in motion already, as if the dwarf couldn’t easily hear what Lunari was saying. Lunas said we had to get back to civilization as soon as possible; he needed to get the word out.

Grogg asked if the Betrayers and the Nightriders were one and the same, but Lunas and Lunari explained that the Betrayers, or Loyalists, depending on your point of view, were the Larma family and their adherents, while the Nightriders were elite cavalry from Amrosh’s ranks.

I stood in a corner with my back turned to the others, and fished out what the woman had stuffed into my cleavage. It was a small vial of yellowish liquid. I opened and sniffed it, identifying the liquid as holy venom. I have my own, of course, but the effect of this one might be wildly different, although the end result should be the same: Death. I suddenly regretted pretending to sleep, earlier. I very much wished to talk to the unseen, unnamed woman who had given me this gift, as precious as a piece of her soul, but I feared my path wouldn’t take me anywhere near her again.

Lunas and Lunari entertained themselves by comparing prostitution in different parts of the world. Lunas claimed that all the whores in Guling do it completely voluntarily. I found that hard to believe. Grogg told a story about Lunari being thrown out of a brothel in Sam, causing Lunas to bend over double with laughter.

We went ashore to have lunch. Lunari mentioned that he could make some more room for us on the raft if he had some timber to work with. There were two large, half-rotten logs lying in the water, and Grogg swam out to retrieve them. Lunas asked again about how we came to the Farmers’ Republic, and Lunari told him that I’m their guide, although we hired Rhuk in Sam, who knew plenty of people around here. Lunari mentioned that I’m an Ashtarite, and that Rhuk may be one, too. Three Fork-Tongues may have been too many to contemplate, for he said nothing about Xipil. Lunas claimed that he doesn’t care what people believe, but tried to question me about my faith anyway. I pulled an Ander, clamming up.

Lunari and Grogg went to work on the raft; Lunari used magic to attach the two logs to the raft while Grogg lifted it up. The raft rode slightly higher in the water when we continued. Grogg reeked of swamp from his swim, but that only made his scent fade into the background. Lunas told us about the public bath in a park in Guling, which we may want to visit when we get there.

Lunas continued his questioning, this time he wanted to know if I had been in the Republic before. I saw no reason to lie, and answered affirmatively. Lunas said he would like to hire all four of us, and for some of the tasks, having someone with knowledge of the area would come in handy.

Lunari was talking with Keri about taking lives. The dwarf claimed he was good at it, but that’s why he’s drinking. Lunari tried to find out more about the orcs we killed, but didn’t get much out of Keri that we hadn’t already learned. The dwarf went off on a tangent, saying that the Bush Rangers are solid people who pay a dear price to keep the Republic safe. That was a name I hadn’t heard before. Lunari produced a bottle of wine and shared it with Keri, and the topic changed to a discussion about alcoholic beverages. Keri preferred stout dwarven ale, the stronger, the better, and he made the strongest himself.

We put ashore when it was time to go to sleep. We’ve left the agricultural landscape behind us, and thinking back, I could only recall seeing three other people while we traveled, all fishermen. I erected my tent on a dry piece of land and had a bit of food before retiring. Xipil scraped at the tent flaps and asked if he could come inside. He wanted to know what the woman had wanted, earlier. I showed him the vial she gifted me, and retrieved the vial with my own venom, saying it was similar to that. I made sure not to say anything incriminating; the fabric of the tent only gave an illusion of privacy, after all. I showed Xipil my teeth and tapped on a fang with my nail, in case he didn’t understand my vague words. We prayed together before he left me to sleep.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 03-17-2020 at 11:44 AM.
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 02:40 PM   #29
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 16 (2020-03-08)

19th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

The others let me be a little longer this morning, allowing me to catch up on my sleep. When I got up, Lunari was telling Grogg that someone at the Evening Fort would like to say hello to Kraa. Grogg exclaimed that it smelled of horse. He seemed a little off, and Xipil asked if he’d had enough sleep. Lunas was impatient to move out, so I hurriedly packed down my tent. Lunari told Grogg to start poling. The troll was still standing on dry land when he made the motions with the pole, making it clear to everyone that he wasn’t in the best of shapes. Lunari got him aboard the raft, and Keri took Grogg’s pole.

Lunari tried getting Grogg to sing with him, but Lunas stopped them. Talking was fine, but loud noises should be avoided; danger lurked in the swamps. Lunari and Lunas discussed the Farmers’ Republic, and I listened with half an ear in case Lunas provided information that was new to me. He didn’t.

We had lunch on shore, and were about to board again when Grogg suddenly threw his sack into the water. I jumped after it, but didn’t get hold of it in the murky water. Xipil dived in, too, and caught it. The sack was too heavy for him to get up on his own, so I helped him get it back on the raft. Lunari instructed us to empty the sack and dry off the contents, all the while Grogg raved about horses surrounding us. Lunari gave him a pipeful of tobacco.

The sack had held Grogg’s travel rations, and Xipil convinced Lunari to work the pole while he tried to catch some fish. Grogg’s food had suddenly become a lot less tempting to eat, although it still seemed edible.

Lunari wanted to give up after only half an hour. I commented that I thought he could keep his pole going for fifteen hours. That was his other pole, he explained, the fun one. I encouraged him to go back to work, and discovered that it was only his attitude that had grown tired. As long as I distracted him from that, he was able to put in a good day’s work.

When we stopped in the evening, Lunari complained about his arm hurting, so I gave it a massage. I pitched my tent and slipped inside to finally change out of my dress, which was only damp by now. Lunari watched my little red dress intently, hoping for a wardrobe malfunction. He offered me a pipe of tobacco, when he and Lunas started smoking, but I told him they should enjoy the tobacco themselves and not waste it on me. Keri didn’t smoke either, stating that his only vice was ale. We talked for a while before I retired.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.


20th of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

Xipil caught fish for breakfast. It was only a couple of hours before we’d reach their boat, according to Lunas, who thought we’d have reached it yesterday, if it hadn’t been for Grogg’s … condition.

Grogg felt better today, so he and Keri took the poles while Xipil fished. The lizard man caught an eel and asked me what he should do with it. I told him to release it. The next fish he got was also an eel, which he promptly released, but then he caught a non-snake-like fish. He had just reeled it in and put it away when we caught sight of Magda, Lunas’s boat. It was much smaller than the river boat we took from Sulla to Sam, but then, its only crew was Keri and Lunas himself.

While the rest of us “admired” Magda, Lunari spotted a pair of large, predatory eyes on land. Nobody else could see what was hiding in the bushes, but Lunari told Grogg to load his crossbow, just in case. Suddenly, Lunas realized what it must be, and told Grogg and Keri to push us to shore, as fast as possible. “It’s much more dangerous in the water!” he explained hurriedly.

We got ashore, and Keri started tying the raft to a bush, but Lunas told us to get away from the water. Something large dove into the river, further up. We spread out among the bushes, between five and ten meters from the water. Keri started loading his crossbow. Lunari threw himself to the ground so he could operate the large crossbow Grogg had loaded for him, watching for the beast to emerge from the river. I calmly put down my backpack, opened it, and retrieved the medicine kit. With practiced hands, I unwrapped the leather roll and took out the vial with my venom. I drew one of my long knives, smeared poison on its tip, and put the blade in my mouth, before drawing the other long knife. Lunas instructed us not to go nearer the water.

I was poisoning my other blade when two huge paws seized hold of the raft and pulled it under. Then the beast burst out of the water, holding the raft in front of itself like a shield. It hurled the raft towards Lunari and me, and the elf retreated, but I saw that it would fall short.

Grogg attacked with his maul, but the beast evaded the attack. Keri fired, but missed, throwing dwarven curses at the creature instead. I stoppered the poison vial, and slid it into my belt pouch. The beast lashed out with a paw at Grogg, who retreated into a bush and lost his balance. Xipil put an arrow in the beast’s side. Lunas, weaving and dancing in front of the beast, sword in hand, called out for someone to get behind the beast to flank it. Grogg smacked the beast, crippling its foreleg, and Lunas swung his sword, but missed.

The beast lunged at Lunas, but Grogg moved between them, powerful teeth sinking into his leg. The beast started dragging Grogg towards the water, but Grogg struck its back with his maul, forcing it to the ground. Keri dropped his crossbow and surged forward. I rushed to the beast’s side and attacked its neck, missing with one blade and failing to penetrate its thick skin with the other.

Grogg dropped his club and seized the jaws of the beast to pull them apart. I stuck a poisoned blade into the beast’s left eye, penetrating deep. It was Grogg who brought it down, but I made sure it would never get up again. The troll tore open the maw, releasing his foot. I uttered a prayer of thanks as I studied the beast; it looked like a wolf-and-cat hybrid with lizard-like skin and webbed paws. I licked off the knives and sheathed them. Lunari fired his crossbow at the raft.

Grogg drew his hatchet and cut his way into the beast’s chest, extracting the heart. I thought he was going to eat it, but he declared that he was burning the evil. We built a fire and Grogg put the heart there. We left it while it was still burning; the foul stench was unbearable.

We boarded Magda, and Lunas suggested that Xipil and Grogg take one shift, and he and Keri the other, so we could travel night and day. This beast wasn’t the only danger in the swamp, so it was wise to keep moving. I sat down to meditate, occasionally spitting droplets of venom into the small glass vial. Grogg and Xipil lay down to rest, so they’d be ready for the second shift. I played moklatar with Lunari the rest of the day.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 03-17-2020 at 11:44 AM.
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2020, 02:46 PM   #30
coronatiger
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 16 (2020-03-08)

21st of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

I was enjoying my breakfast when Lunas approached me with a serious look on his face. He needed to know if I held loyalties to any of the noble houses. “Of course not,” I responded quickly, eyeing him like I almost took offense at the question. “Why do you ask?” “So that our cooperation will be trouble-free,” he responded. I told him that the Loyalists had most likely killed everyone in a family I cared about, and a partnership with him could give me the opportunity to pay them back.

We discussed the King’s illness and lack of an apparent heir. Lunas was concerned for the King and hoped he’d get better soon. Talk drifted to Lunas’s family. I already knew who his father was, of course. Who hasn’t heard about Madan Aldera? It isn’t like in the Prince’s Cities, where they have more noble families than they have subjects. Here in Arland, we only have seven noble families. I’m not closely acquainted with any of them, but everyone knows the names of the family heads. Turns out Lunas has a brother, Mir, and a sister, Isa.

Lunari mentioned a group of travelers from the Prince’s Cities, who had left for Guling two or three months ago. Had Lunas heard about them? From Lunari’s tone of voice, it seemed to me that they had vanished, or at least not returned when they were supposed to, and that he had an interest in locating them. Lunas had indeed heard about them, and even knew that they had continued north from Guling, but we had to talk to others in the city to learn more. He hadn’t had anything to do with them.

The river forked and rejoined many times during the day, and I was glad to have Lunas and Keri there; without them, we’d have gotten lost for sure.

Xipil and Grogg had stayed up last night to handle the boat, and slept through most of the day. Xipil told me he was feeling stressed, and thought it was a consequence of meditating under the stars. He wanted to know if I had noticed anything out of the ordinary while he meditated, which I hadn’t. I gave him a massage to ease his tension.

Lunas informed us that the navigation tonight would be difficult, so he’d take another shift along with Keri. I suggested that one of them could go to sleep; they didn’t both have to navigate, surely. It turned out that Lunas was the navigator, and he claimed it didn’t matter if Keri had no sleep tonight.

Grogg wasn’t feeling tired, as he had just slept, so he took out his embroidery. I shook my head, brushed my teeth and went to bed. That’s a peculiar hobby for a brutish, clumsy troll.

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.


22nd of Mitra’s Second Month, year 412

O Ashtar, Mother of Snakes, Keeper of Death’s Door, hear my confession!

We were approaching a village when I woke up this morning. Lunari complained about aches from his hard labor earlier and asked for a massage. I told him to lie down on his stomach. He didn’t see my dress slide up my legs when I straddled him and set to work. I didn’t have time for much before it was time to go ashore, though.

The villagers recognized Lunas and helped us moor Magda to the docks. Lunas told us we had to split up for a while, but he’d meet us again in Guling. He told us about a house on the other side of the village where we could get transport.

Our motley party drew some looks when we passed through the village. I knocked on the door to the house Lunas had described. A man opened, and I smiled winsomely, making a good first impression that only improved when I explained that Lunas Aldera had sent us. We got invitations for soup while they prepared a cart for us. The village lying off the main trade route, I could see the fellow struggled not to ask how we’d come to be there. He and I had an impromptu competition of who could be the politest.

Two farm boys were called in to drive the cart. Lunari wondered what we should do to pass the time, and I requested the violin. I should have known better. His most innocuous lyrics were about him waking up with a woman who was prettier the night before.

We stopped outside an inn when it was time to get some food. Only the large, middle-aged woman who ran the place was present. She served our meal, and Lunari decided to pay for dinner for the farm boys, too, who took seats at another table. The proprietress asked if we were staying the night, but we chose to go on. The boys were willing to drive through the night, and anyway, it wasn’t dark yet.

The ride was a little bumpy, and I found it difficult to brush my teeth while we were driving. With time and care, however, I got it done. One can’t let a little discomfort get in the way of one’s dental hygiene!

O Ashtar! I surrender my life to Your coils. Take me while I sleep, or grant me another day in Your service, as You will.
__________________
You don't need to spend 100 CP on Status 5 [25] and Multimillionaire [75] to feel like a princess, when Delusion [-10] will do.

Character sheet: Google Drive link (See this thread for details.)

Campaign logs: Chaotic Pioneering / Confessions of a Forked Tongue

Last edited by coronatiger; 03-17-2020 at 11:45 AM.
coronatiger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
campaign log

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:36 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.