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Old 09-24-2020, 09:49 AM   #191
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 44 (2020-09-13)

Thoughts on January 9th

The sky had turned gray last evening, and today it started snowing, slowly but steadily. Va’lyndra used every break in the journey to make snowshoes. By evening, she had equipped herself, Leopold and Toril.

Thoughts on January 10th

The snow kept falling, and we kept walking. Trond, Petter, Klara, Kalle and Olivia got their snowshoes as soon as Va’lyndra had them ready.

Thoughts on January 11th

We had another day of hunting today. Ilzo and I borrowed snowshoes from Trond and Klara, as they stayed in camp, guarding our gear with Toril and Valuk. Va’lyndra made the last needed pairs during the day.

Thoughts on January 12th

I felt like Va’lyndra had punished me for being the quickest on my feet by making my snowshoes last, but Olivia thought that was nonsense. As Va’lyndra couldn’t work on more than one pair of snowshoes at a time, someone had to get theirs last. I should see it as a compliment, that Va’lyndra thought that I was so quick and agile that I could handle deeper snow than the others before needing snowshoes. I nodded agreement. Olivia has a knack for making me see things the right way. Anyway, with snowshoes for everyone, it didn’t matter as much that it was snowing most of the day.

Thoughts on January 13th

We continued north today. The snowshoes didn’t seem to increase our speed at all, which annoyed me. I wanted to get back to Urdon where I could perform again, before an actual crowd in a comfortable setting. I get to do some tumbling to entertain the others when we take a break, but it’s not the same.

Thoughts on January 14th

Va’lyndra explained to me that the purpose of the snowshoes wasn’t to pick up the pace, but instead to prevent us from going more slowly. I felt rather stupid.

Thoughts on January 15th

Today was hunting day. Olivia and I hadn’t had much luck until we found a small cave under the root of a fallen tree and rested there for a time. While it was dry and sheltered, it was as icy cold as outside, so we only undressed as much as was needed to get down to business. The break did us good, for we managed to find and shoot a variety of small game afterwards.

Thoughts on January 16th

We should reach the Silent Lake soon. Maybe we can hail a ship bound for Urdon?

Thoughts on January 17th

I threw a snowball at Olivia while we were walking, meaning to hit her hood, but she turned to see why I was lagging behind, so I hit her square in the face instead. The look of disappointment in her eyes made me feel small. I apologized immediately, of course, and tried to make it up to her by helping out with her chores when we made camp. She snapped that was doing fine on her own and chased me off to bed.

Olivia followed a few minutes later. “I’m sorry, Mattea! It’s just this miserable, never-ending trudge through the snow that has gotten to me. You looked so heartbroken when I shouted at you. Can you forgive me?” I nodded, and she continued, “Maybe you can make me forget the cold?”

Thoughts on January 18th

“Mattea? You do love me, right?” Olivia asked, worry tingeing her voice. She had slowed down a little, giving us a twenty-meter gap up to Klara and Kalle. “You don’t just keep me around for easy snacking when you get hungry?” My jaw dropped. “How can you say that?! I love you more than anything in this world! You’re kind and compassionate as well as gentle and affectionate. You’re so loveable, so loving, I’m glad I found you before anyone else did. I won’t claim that your presence isn’t convenient when I get in the mood, for it’s delightfully uncomplicated to be in this relationship we share, at least compared to how messy it would have been without you. And I’m not talking about how you keep our room tidy. Or our tent, or our stuff. I don’t thank you enough for it.” I jumped in front of her, twisting to face her. She stopped walking. I tilted my head up and touched my lips lightly to hers. Olivia responded for a few seconds, then pulled back. “Oh, Sweetie! I know that you love me. It’s just this melancholy that has been weighing on me, lately. I’m not really comfortable out here in the wilds, where there are goblins and boogeymen and even worse things that want to kill us. And we’ve been out here for a month and a half. I very much look forward to the safety of civilization. And the possibility of locking our door when we don’t want to be disturbed.” Olivia looked over my head and got a panicked look in her face. I turned around, my hand reaching instinctively for Scorchmark. The others had vanished from sight. Their footprints were easy enough to follow, though. I took Olivia’s saddlebags and piled them on top of mine. That left her only with her backpack. “Care for a quick jaunt?”

It didn’t take long to catch up with the others, and I gave back Olivia’s saddlebags so they wouldn’t be jealous of her light load. Being within earshot of the others put a damper on the conversation. Olivia couldn’t have kept up the pace while talking anyway, but I promised her we’d talk in the evening.

Once we’d had our evening meal and all the chores were done, Olivia and I retreated to the relative privacy of our tent. It was the worst kept secret in the camp what usually happened in there, but tonight we just talked. We kept our voices down so we wouldn’t disturb our companions. We undressed as usual, climbing in between our thick furs and embracing each other. Then we talked about the future. We talked about joining a troupe of traveling performers again. I would be the star, the main attraction, of course, and Olivia would dispense medicine, treating sickness and injury wherever we went. Winnie Wik, our juggler friend, had been trying to get together a new troupe after Varek’s Wanderers disbanded over two years ago. Maybe we could find her and see how she was doing. Perhaps she had convinced Kallan and Jusiel, the elven animal trainers, to join her new troupe? Our best bet was likely to look up Varek Mountlake himself; our former director had settled down and started a family, so it shouldn’t be hard to locate him again.

Or perhaps we should return to the Old World? We both have family there. I haven’t seen my little sister Nelietta since she was a toddler. If we travel as fast as we can, we might be able to find her before she turns six this summer. I was only sixteen when I ran away from the troupe my family was part of, and an only child at the time, so I was ecstatic to discover that I had a little sister when our paths crossed by coincidence, two years later. Maybe I have more brothers or sisters that I don’t know about?

Olivia’s family should be easier to locate than mine, who could be anywhere with the troupe. Olivia’s father was a cobbler in Toram, and her mother used to help out around the shop when she wasn’t busy with Olivia and her six older siblings. Olivia took me to visit her parents one day, while I was living with Duke Leonard and she was a servant at the mansion. We didn’t tell them of our relationship, because Olivia thought they wouldn’t understand. One of her brothers worked in the cobbler’s shop at the time, but he was out when we visited, so I didn’t get to meet him. Olivia’s other siblings hadn’t moved far, but they had their own families. I told Olivia I would love to meet them all, some day. I just had to save the world first.

Thoughts on January 19th

Va’lyndra woke us as usual for our morning watch, and I acknowledged that we were awake and on our way. Olivia put her hands on my chest to prevent me from sitting up. Her face was turned towards Va’lyndra, and I understood that she waited for footsteps to recede. “You need to come before you can go,” she informed me in a low voice. “You haven’t gotten any since the evening before last, and I need you focused today.” She put one hand over my mouth and slid the other in the other direction. “Please be quiet, and forgive me for being hasty, but I don’t think Va’lyndra will appreciate having to wait. I’ll make it up to you tonight.” I can’t have been very quiet, unless Va’lyndra had another reason for giving us a flat stare before disappearing into her own place.

Around midday, Va’lyndra found sleigh tracks in the snow, heading north towards the Silent Lake. That made her want to make one for us. Urdon wasn’t that far away, so I asked if it was worth it to stop now, just to build a sleigh. Va’lyndra gave me an annoyed look and explained that she would do it when we were camping. We came within sight of the Silent Lake in the afternoon and saw that it was frozen.
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
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:03 AM   #192
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 44 (2020-09-13)

Thoughts on January 20th

Our food supplies were large enough that we had felt we could postpone yesterday’s hunt and follow the sleigh tracks instead. It should be less than a week before we reached Urdon. We didn’t have quite enough food to get there, so we needed to hunt for one more day.

Thoughts on January 21st

The road was invisible under all the snow, but we knew where it was, paralleling the shoreline. Ilzo decided to take a short detour out onto the lake to test the ice. He jumped up and down, but the ice was so thick that it could as well be solid all the way down to the bottom.

Thoughts on January 22nd

The occasional farmstead was visible from far off due to the thin plumes of smoke rising from their chimneys. Olivia’s melancholy, or what had remained of it after our long talk in bed a few days ago, vanished during the day. We were back in civilized lands, and would soon enjoy the comforts of the Golden Swan.

Thoughts on January 23rd

Olivia and I weren’t the only ones who appreciated that this tiresome journey neared its end. The mood was one of anticipation and happiness, boosted whenever we passed signs of habitation. We agreed to stay away from people until we reached the knowledge guild, for we carried a vast fortune in stolen relics, not to mention all the gold from my performances. They had really paid off. Toril said that it was because we had funded the shows ourselves, so we didn’t have any backers to share the revenues with.

Thoughts on January 24th

I overheard Va’lyndra and Leopold discussing one of the artifacts, a balance scale with a silvery lump on one side and a purple one on the other. They thought it somehow represented the balance in the world between order and chaos. Va’lyndra brought up the visions she and I had shared with Lady Karita and Kine. Each vision had been preceded by a purple or silvery sheen. I supposed one color represented order, the other chaos, but if Va’lyndra and Leopold knew which was which, they didn’t say while I was listening.

Thoughts on January 25th

We finally arrived at the knowledge guild! Its secret location in the forest outside Urdon didn’t seem so secret anymore, for the tramped-down path from the main road was clearly visible in the snow. A guard stood outside the palisaded compound, and Leopold walked right up to him and said hello. The guard asked what our errand was. He didn’t recognize any of us – except me, obviously – even though several of us were regular visitors. He had to be new. Va’lyndra took offense and harangued the poor fellow until he admitted us. Ilzo asked us if he could break Valuk’s arm now that we had arrived. The answer was a resounding no.

We stopped to talk when we got inside. Leopold started babbling about the arrow-through-a-disc artifact he had been studying for most of the journey. He said the script on the disc told him exactly where he was. Really useful…

I dragged Olivia along to say hello to our horses in the stable when Leopold pulled out the big words, like “coordinate system” and “multi-dimensional”. The guild had put our horses to use. That was good; it wouldn’t have been healthy for them to stay locked up since we left three months ago. We petted the horses for a couple of minutes. Then I noticed the ladder leading up to the hay loft. I looked meaningfully at Olivia, then at the ladder. Then Va’lyndra walked in and wanted us to come with her.

Va’lyndra brought us to Leopold and Ilzo who were waiting in a shed. She said we needed to discuss which artifacts to keep, and which to hand over to the knowledge guild. Leopold wanted to retain the arrow, and Ilzo wanted both Gromsh statuettes. Va’lyndra suggested I take the statuette of the love god. At first, I thought why in the world would I want that, but then I thought it might not be so bad an idea after all. Maybe it could bless the love Olivia and I share?

Va’lyndra told us she and Leopold had let Walter look at all the statuettes. He was able to identify which gods most of them belonged to. One, depicting a silver torch, he called an abomination. We interpreted that to mean that it belonged to the god of death, the arch enemy of the god of undeath that Walter worshipped. We discussed whether to keep the balance scale, but didn’t come to a conclusion, for we couldn’t see any practical use for it.

The guild leader, Wilhelm Surre, summoned us, and we went to meet him in the headquarter building. He offered us sleeping accommodations, but I said I wanted to go to Urdon, where I could perform. Leopold, of all people, suggested that I set up a performance here instead. Master Surre told me that was all right.

We were shown to another building where there were guest rooms. Olivia and I got a room to ourselves, in fact, Va’lyndra insisted. We retrieved all our things from storage and returned to find a bathtub waiting for us; a servant would make sure to clean all the clothes we had traveled with. My performance costume was still reasonably clean. I hadn’t used it since the first show in Landfall, but I put it on after Olivia and I had taken our bath.

Everyone went to the main building to have dinner, even Valuk. I told everyone that I was going to perform later in the evening. Master Surre joined us while we were eating. He said that we should take care of business in the morning, and just enjoy ourselves tonight. He was very pleased that we had brought back all his subordinates alive.

The guild master told us what had happened since we disappeared into the wilderness. Landfall had been invaded by the allied forces, as we had expected. The army had continued inland towards Red Mines. He didn’t know what they would do once that city fell. From the south came rumors that the undead nation had capitulated. Earlier, it had only been an armistice.

Va’lyndra asked about Zalek, and Master Surre lowered his voice to say that Zalek was currently moving around; he didn’t know exactly where the undead priest was at the moment. The knowledge guild cooperated closely with Zalek, but the guild master wasn’t directly involved, so he couldn’t supply us with much detail right then.

Returning to world events, we learned that there had been an influx of immigrants from the Old World. Most had settled down on the east coast, but a few had made their way across the plains to Urdon. The Church had called a special council, where new laws and regulations were to be discussed, about slavery, immigration and the southern capitulation. Garuk is still occupied by Tamburin, and the merchant guild sends food by sleigh, since the Silent Lake was frozen and ships were out of the question. As a last item of interest, word had come all the way from Landfall about my amazing performances there. That really made my day!

Once the food had had some time to settle, I began my show. While I was dancing on a table, Ilzo walked over to Valuk and grabbed his arm. Valuk howled with pain when Ilzo started breaking it. Leopold shouted for Ilzo to stop, and everyone’s attention turned away from me. I stopped what I was doing and tapped my foot impatiently. Ilzo broke Valuk’s elbow out of joint and made him pass out. Va’lyndra yelled at Ilzo, telling him he should have waited to harm the Tamburin soldier until after we had interrogated him.

Guards took Ilzo out, and the orc went with them calmly. Va’lyndra examined Valuk and discovered that he had died from the shock. Olivia looked at him and concurred. Va’lyndra and Leopold explained to Master Surre that Valuk had been a Blackguard in Landfall, a prisoner we had brought along. I screamed with anger and dragged Olivia out to get some comfort. Ilzo had ruined my show!
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
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:16 AM   #193
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 44 (2020-09-13)

Thoughts on January 26th

Ilzo was still locked up this morning, so he didn’t join the rest of us for breakfast. Master Surre arranged to meet with us after the meal, in a storage building, and asked Va’lyndra who would be joining the meeting. She said it would only be her, Leopold, Olivia and me.

We fetched our artifacts and met up at the storage building. Leopold brought Walter, the talking skull. Actually, Zalek had performed a ritual over the head before we left here three months ago, giving Walter muscles, tendons, skin and hair. When I looked at him now, he was slightly discolored, and I imagined that he was starting to smell.

Varian Snarr was at the meeting, in addition to the guild master, and I asked if he was going to identify the artifacts for us – he had done so before. He promised to do an initial identification, at least. We put everything on the table, except for the one that Va’lyndra had sealed up because it was too dangerous. That would be identified later, at a safer location.

Varian looked over the artifacts. Olivia and I stood at a safe distance, fondling each other’s bottoms while pretending nothing of the sort was going on. When Varian finished, he whispered something to Master Surre, who proposed to make an approximate valuation of the relics. Va’lyndra told him there were a few artifacts that we wished to keep, maybe as many as seven, but there were a couple that we didn’t know whether would be useful for us yet. Master Surre said that if we sold all the relics to the guild, we’d get three hundred thousand, but if we were keeping some … he said something mathematical that I didn’t comprehend. He added that he was skeptical about letting us keep so many artifacts.

However, before we agreed to a price, Master Surre wanted to raise another topic. He asked Va’lyndra if she wanted a promotion. She said she did. The two of them went outside to talk. My hand found its way back to Olivia’s backside. When they returned, Master Surre said that he wanted to give Va’lyndra a task. He asked Varian to leave, and Va’lyndra dismissed Leopold. Olivia and I stood in our corner being inconspicuous, so maybe she failed to recall our presence.

Master Surre explained that he suspected one of the guild members, a dwarf named Anita, of being a spy. She had taken a lot of time off from guild activities, sometimes disappearing for weeks before returning. After one such disappearance, she had come back with a wounded leg. The guild had observed her in the company of several unidentified persons, and we got detailed descriptions for all three of them.

Va’lyndra needed to find out if Anita was a danger to the guild, and received permission to deal with her as she wished. This being a knowledge guild, everything needed to be documented. We got Anita’s description as well, and learned that she was an educated woman. She often took rooms at the Hammer and the Hen in Urdon, an inn of decent enough quality, if not something I usually frequented.

I let Va’lyndra know that if she wanted my help for this mission, I expected her to take care of the paperwork. Master Surre asked if Va’lyndra had any objections to the guild watching over the artifacts while we performed this investigation. She didn’t mind. Master Surre wished us good luck and said that we could retrieve Ilzo from the lockup.

We fetched Leopold and Ilzo. I told the orc that the next time he sabotaged one of my performances, I would make sure he rotted in jail. We went to Va’lyndra’s room and discussed how much to pay our companions from the trip to Landfall. Kalle had an agreement with us already. He had helped out with the break-in at the relic vault, which was far more dangerous than what he originally signed up for with the knowledge guild. For his assistance, we owed him one hundred and fifty gold, which was five percent of the value of the loot. Leopold suggested that we share the treasure from the ruined village equally among everyone who was there. That would be three gold pieces for each of us. We also decided to give Toril a ten gold bonus, since she had done such a wonderful job with setting up my performances. In addition, the guild would pay whatever salaries and bonuses each of the members was due.

I asked Va’lyndra if she intended to include Ilzo and Leopold in her quest to catch the spy. She gave me one of her stares, before turning to Ilzo and telling him that he wasn’t allowed to learn who the spy was, because he wasn’t going to ruin everything by talking to her. Turning back to me, Va’lyndra said that we were going to solve this by me performing. That sounded sensible. We should all play to our strengths. I didn’t see quite how acrobatic shows could unveil a spy, but I trusted Va’lyndra to have a plan.

We paid off Klara, Kalle, Trond, Toril and Petter, and said our goodbyes. We fetched our horses and rode off towards Urdon. The guard post outside town waved us by as soon as I took off my helmet and said that I was going to perform.

We checked into the Golden Swan, the best inn in town, and I asked if they had missed me. Everyone was happy to see me, and the innkeeper sent someone outside to hang up my sign. I got a free room, of course, with the understanding that I drew customers to the inn. That shouldn’t prove too difficult.

Once everyone had gotten settled, we gathered in Va’lyndra’s room to talk. I suggested holding such an amazing show that when everyone in town came to see me, the others could break into the spy’s room at her inn and snoop around. Va’lyndra nodded and smiled. Contrary to what she had said at the knowledge guild, she described the spy and her contacts to Leopold and Ilzo. She explained that our goal was to ascertain whether the spy was actually a spy.

Va’lyndra and Leopold left to check out the Hammer and the Hen, while I took Olivia and Ilzo along to promote my show. I had Ilzo throw me up in the air, so people far up the street could see me somersaulting.

While we were having dinner, a parcel arrived for Ilzo from the knowledge guild. It was his bone armor, which they had repaired for him! After the meal, Va’lyndra returned to the Hammer and the Hen, but Leopold remained. I asked if they had found out anything. He admitted to having insulted the innkeeper there. That explained why Va’lyndra left alone. “Look on the bright side,” I told the gnome. “You can watch my show tonight!”
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
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Old 09-24-2020, 10:32 AM   #194
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 44 (2020-09-13)

Thoughts on January 27th

I visited the adventurer’s guild with Olivia and Ilzo, and paid my membership fee for January and February. We learned that many adventurers had retired after the rush to explore the mines outside Garuk. Most of the people at the guildhall were new.

Ilzo wanted to check out his arena, so he left Olivia and me alone. I didn’t mind that at all, and suggested that we went back to the inn to relax after our tedious trek. We met Ilzo at lunch, and he told us the arena was finished, and that he had hired a town crier to proclaim it. I told him he was going about it the wrong way. First, he had to have a show – or a competition, I conceded – planned, and then he could announce it. The props for the show or competition had to be ready, too.

In the afternoon, I continued promoting myself in the streets, before meeting everyone for dinner at the Golden Swan. Va’lyndra informed the rest of us that she had been around town investigating. She had decided to move to the Hammer and the Hen, so she could more easily keep an eye on the place. Leopold told us he was moving back to the knowledge guild to do research in their library.

Thoughts on January 28th

I decided to order a new wooden frame for my performances. The one I used in Landfall had been left behind, as it was too heavy to bring along for the long trip home. Olivia suggested getting two, so I could throw myself between them. I gave her a kiss, and then we went to find a carpenter.

Thoughts on January 29th

Anita showed up at the Hammer and the Hen today, accompanied by one of her known associates, a human man around forty, a fighting man with axe and shield. They heard I was in town and talked about coming to my show tonight. Va’lyndra came to tell me. My plan worked! I wondered for a moment what her plan could have been, but Va’lyndra spoke before I could ask. She wanted me to talk to Anita’s companion, and find out as much I could about him. Olivia thought that she should help me. I gave her a hug. What would be better to loosen a man’s tongue than one pretty woman? Two pretty women!

I made my performance as planned. I made sure to send sexy looks at Anita’s friend so he’d stick around for a chat afterwards. When I made my bows, Olivia hurried up to me and took my arm. “Remember that we’re going to talk to that guy,” she whispered in my ear. I thought she emphasized the word “talk”, but there was no need; I remembered my task.

Olivia let me take the lead, choosing a seat so I was between her and him, while still holding on to my arm. She’s really uncomfortable around men. I gave the man a look that said that it was him I wanted. Anita took the clue, stood up, shook my hand in congratulations for a marvelous performance, then found somewhere else to sit.

The man bought Olivia and me beer and introduced himself as Valle. He told us he used to be an adventurer in his youth, before hiring on to a ship, but he had recently taken up adventuring again. We bonded over being adventurers. While he was talking, I thought he was looking nervously at Olivia from time to time. I turned my head once, but she was beaming so warmly that I figured Valle had been looking at someone else. I tried asking about Valle’s friend, “the dwarf lady”, was she an adventurer, too? I said I didn’t want to come between them if they were together. Valle didn’t want to talk about her. I whispered to Olivia to ask if there was anything else we should ask about, but she just shook her head slightly. Valle looked over at Anita, and stood up. It was nice to talk to us, but he had to go. I thanked him for the chat and for coming to see my show, and let him know he was more than welcome to come back for another performance. He asked how long I was staying in Urdon. I didn’t know; when a suitable quest fell into my lap, I’d probably head out. We shook hands, then Olivia and I went to bed. She was unexpectedly eager to get me between her legs tonight, and repaid the favor with equal vigor. I found it strange, but didn’t complain.

Thoughts on January 30th

The carpenter’s apprentice came to the Golden Swan to tell me my racks were finished. Ilzo had left the inn early, so Olivia and I carried them out to the arena ourselves. They were quite heavy, around a hundred pounds each, and the snow didn’t make it easier, even with snowshoes. What was usually a five-minute walk took around half an hour, but we got there eventually, and set it up.

I tried the racks and discovered that it was too cold to use them now, at least for more than a few minutes. It just wouldn’t be the same when I was packed inside heavy winter clothes. Besides, the spectators would freeze to death. We dismantled the apparatus and discovered that the shed that we had had built was too small to fit the six-meter-long logs inside, so we returned to Urdon and bought a tarp. We wrapped the logs in the tarp and left it behind the shed. The removable parts were put in a corner inside.

We met Ilzo back at the inn. He had found someone to organize Gromsh’s Trials for him, a merchant guild associate named Petrus Gjellheim. They had even written a contract. It probably contained nothing but legal speech, so I didn’t care to read it. Ilzo said there would be a Trial each month, on the eighteenth. He had paid Petrus an insane sum of gold to take care of everything.

Va’lyndra showed up while we were talking, and we went up to our room so we could talk privately. I sensed that Olivia didn’t like Ilzo coming along, but I followed Va’lyndra’s lead, and she included him in the invitation. Olivia and I shared a suite, so it wasn’t as if we were allowing them inside our bedroom.

Va’lyndra wanted to know what we had learned yesterday. I told everything Valle had said, and asked what she and Leopold had found out when they broke into Anita’s room. It turned out that Va’lyndra hadn’t fetched Leopold from the knowledge guild, and broke in on her own. She had found many documents in a locked drawer. I told her I wasn’t any good with such things, but hoped that she could learn something from them. Va’lyndra had wisely left everything as she found it, including a crossbow trap pointing at the door.

Ilzo showed her his contract, and she read through it. She commented that there was no specification of how to share the earnings from the competitions, the Trials. Ilzo didn’t seem to understand. In his mind, the Trials were a tribute to his god. Why should anyone earn anything? Well, apart from the prize money for the winners. He asked Va’lyndra if she could make a wooden column for him to place a Gromsh statuette on top of, in a way that nobody could steal it. I told him it was incredibly risky to put one of the artifacts on public display. What if a priest or a mage came by and noticed it was magical?

I asked Va’lyndra what we were going to do about Anita. Va’lyndra didn’t reveal any concrete plans, and was going to return to the Hammer and the Hen to spy some more. Maybe she hadn’t made up her mind, yet. She did tell us that Anita worked for the prosperous dwarf family Grubb. Their main business was in clothing, primarily back on the east coast. I had never heard of them before, but Olivia thought they were relatives of a warrior clan in the Old World. Since Va’lyndra didn’t have any tasks for us, I declared that I was going to continue with my performances here at the Golden Swan.
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
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Old 10-01-2020, 01:47 PM   #195
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 45 (2020-09-27)

Thoughts on January 31st

Ilzo was looking pensive this morning. I asked him about it, and he told me Gromsh wanted a bigger arena with more activities. What he had planned so far was good, but the god of strength wanted more.

Olivia, Ilzo and I rode out to the knowledge guild in the forest outside Urdon. Ilzo mumbled that he was going to ask Leopold about apples, so Olivia and I said good luck and went to find Master Surre. If we stayed out of Ilzo’s business, hopefully he’d stay out of ours. Master Surre was in his office. I asked if there were anyone at the guild who could teach Olivia more about medicine. I smiled prettily and got three names: Ragnar, a dwarf who knew how to treat animals, Bella, a human knowledgeable about poisons, and Egil, another human, who was particularly adept at diagnosing illnesses.

Naturally, we sought out the woman first, but it turned out she was in Urdon at the moment, so we looked in on the others. Ragnar was also in Urdon, but we found Egil in his office, treating a man with a small cut on his arm. Egil was prodding the wound with a small needle, which looked suspect to me, but the patient wasn’t complaining much, so I guess it was all right. I asked if Egil could give Olivia some instructions; she would love to learn about diagnosing. Egil looked at us both and smiled reassuringly. He could take some time off to teach her. We agreed on a price.

I asked Olivia if she wanted me to come and escort her back to Urdon in the evenings. Even if the area around Urdon is nominally pacified, it’s still not safe to travel alone, at least unless one carries weapons and is trained to use them. I was sure we would be allowed to stay at the guild’s compound, but I had performances at the Golden Swan that I had promised to do, so remaining was out of the question. Olivia chose not to risk me being alone at night, for we both knew that I would find company elsewhere if she didn’t provide.

Before we said our goodbyes, I mentioned that I was going to have a chat with Leopold and then I would head back to Urdon to see if I could find an expert archer who might teach me something. I had discovered a technique that allowed me to draw and shoot arrows no more than a second apart, but it was difficult, and I was certain there had to be a trick to it, some way of doing it more smoothly. A teacher might know other ways to improve my shooting, too.

After looking around for a while, I discovered that Va’lyndra, Leopold and Ilzo had gone to town, so I headed that way. I rode up to the adventurer’s guild and asked around for a better archer than me, but nobody present claimed to be, and the people I talked to couldn’t think of anyone either. I realized eventually that the stars weren’t aligned for a successful search today, so I returned to the inn.

I talked to the innkeeper while I was having lunch, and asked where I could set up for a slack-rope performance. I fetched my rope and began practicing as soon as I finished the meal. A couple of hours later, a man walked in and handed me a letter. It was an invitation from Karl Morgenstern, Lady Karita’s cousin, who had come to Urdon and wanted the whole team to visit him the day after tomorrow, at four o’clock. When I reread the letter, I realized the tone was that of a summons. It wasn’t just a social call, then.

It was about time to fetch Olivia, so I had Marvin saddled again and returned to the knowledge guild. The ride took about half an hour each direction. By chance, I spotted Va’lyndra, Leopold and Ilzo having dinner while I was at the guild compound, so I gave them the letter from Lord Karl.

Olivia and I had dinner together at the Golden Swan, and then we went up to our room so I could prepare for the show. I changed into my costume and brought the rope back downstairs. Ilzo walked in the door while I was performing, but we didn’t talk after the show; Olivia whisked me away.

Thoughts on February 1st

“Is someone knocking on our door?” came Olivia’s muffled voice from under the blanket. “Gah! No! Keep going,” I instructed her. “There is someone out there,” Olivia insisted, but I replied, “It’s not important! Don’t stop!” We spent the morning in bed.

When we finally got down to breakfast, the innkeeper gave us a message from Ilzo. He had gone to the Hammer and the Hen. Darn! He was going to do something stupid! Breakfast had to wait; Olivia and I hurried over to the other inn. We didn’t recognize anyone in the common room, so I asked the dwarf maid behind the bar if there had been an orc there. It turned out Ilzo had made a fool of himself again, and I promised to yell at him.

Since we hadn’t eaten yet, Olivia and I ordered breakfast. Just as we were sitting down, Leopold staggered in, completely out of breath. I asked what Ilzo had gotten himself mixed up in this time, but Leopold informed us that Va’lyndra had found out that someone planned to ambush Anita, the dwarf spy we were investigating, and they had shadowed Anita’s assailants and saved her. After the fracas, Leopold had given first aid to a passerby who had taken one of Va’lyndra’s ice daggers by accident, while the others disappeared, presumably to the knowledge guild.

I asked Leopold if he could ask Walter about the love god, since I was keeping that artifact. Leopold couldn’t make any promises, for Walter disliked talking about other gods than Carnus.

Early in the morning, Leopold had visited a silversmith, and had ordered a lump of silver for one of his experiments. He told the smith to deliver it to me at the Golden Swan, since I was much easier to find. The knowledge guild, where Leopold was staying, didn’t appreciate unfamiliar visitors.

We finished our meal and returned to the Golden Swan. Olivia and I grabbed our gear, and we saddled Lightfoot for Leopold, since he had walked to Urdon this morning. Olivia and I rode Snowflake and Marvin, and we headed for the knowledge guild.

On the way, it suddenly struck me as strange that they had decided to help the spy. Leopold explained that they had found out she wasn’t a spy after all. He and Va’lyndra had broken into her room again and discovered that she was the heiress to the clothing business that we had learned about already, and that someone was trying to prevent her from claiming her inheritance. In the ambush this morning, Leopold and the others had captured the dwarf woman who gave the orders; the others had been human thugs.

When we got to the compound in the woods, Ilzo, Va’lyndra, Anita and Valle were locking the captive inside a cell. Leopold told Va’lyndra that he was uncertain whether the person she shot was going to survive. Va’lyndra thought that none of them should go into town for a while. Leopold repeated that he was expecting a silver delivery, but that was no problem since I could move about freely. Anita suggested that we talk to Master Surre, and she asked Valle to keep an eye on the prisoner.
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
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Old 10-01-2020, 01:56 PM   #196
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 45 (2020-09-27)

In Master Surre’s office, Va’lyndra explained that she, Ilzo and Leopold had rescued Anita from the ambush. It was clear to me that Master Surre was aware of the operation already. I complained about being the only one who wasn’t. If I’d been looped in, maybe that civilian hadn’t been hurt? Ilzo claimed to have knocked on our door to fetch me this morning. I tried not to blush when I insisted that he couldn’t have knocked very hard. His timing couldn’t have been more wrong. If I hadn’t been about to come, I would have come. Probably. I didn’t embarrass Olivia by saying any of this out loud, of course.

Master Surre considered it troublesome that Va’lyndra might have killed someone, even though Leopold injected that he had bandaged the poor soul. Master Surre said it was bad that Va’lyndra had used magic to harm a member of the public. Really bad! He, Va’lyndra and Leopold discussed how to spin the story to lay blame elsewhere. I realized that I didn’t want to be part of this, so Olivia and I excused ourselves. I reminded Leopold to talk to Walter about the artifact.

We had some time before Olivia’s appointment with Egil, so we went for a walk, ending up in the stables, where we talked for a bit while petting our horses. On a whim, I jumped and grabbed the edge of the hayloft and pulled myself up. I looked around. There was plenty of hay, and … “Hey, Olivia, you’ve got to see this!” Olivia climbed the ladder and joined me. She looked around, confused. “What?” “There’s nobody here but us …”

We plucked hay from each other’s hair before going to lunch. We met the others in the dining hall and Va’lyndra told me we had to speak privately after the meal.

In Leopold’s room, Va’lyndra said that we would get three thousand gold pieces for all the artifacts, less three hundred for each one we keep. Even I was able to calculate that the numbers didn’t match up. There were twenty artifacts. It made more sense when Va’lyndra explained that the guild had invested in these artifacts, with spies and money. I didn’t think it made complete sense, even then, but what do I know? I can tell a gold coin from a silver or a copper, but that’s the extent of my financial understanding.

We discussed again which artifacts to keep. Ilzo, of course, wanted the Gromsh statuettes. Leopold wanted to study a couple, the arrow-through-a-disk and the balance scale, but he said he didn’t need to lug them around. Va’lyndra said that the guild could sell them to us later, or buy them from us if we decided we had no use for them.

I asked Leopold if he had talked to Walter about the love god. He hadn’t, so he did now. Walter said he didn’t know much about the love god, except for their name, which was Sulla. He thought Zalek might know more. I said we should look up Zalek as soon as possible, for Walter was beginning to reek, and it was unbearable to be around him while he rotted away. Walter countered that it was unbearable to listen to certain people at night, and often other times of day, too. I felt like punching him, but restrained myself.

Olivia said she had to go to Egil, but I could tell she was uncomfortable with the topic. The rest of us continued the discussion for quite a while. We finally decided to keep the two artifacts that Leopold was studying, as well as a statuette resembling a tree, which symbolized Va’lyndra’s god, Elendus, and the statuette depicting the love god. If I remembered correctly, it was a smaller replica of one of the statues we saw in Sulla’s temple, a double-gendered elf with three faces, one aroused, one euphorically happy, and one angry. Ilzo could buy the Gromsh statuettes later, when he acquired followers for his god who could guard them for him. He already carries one around. Leopold said that we didn’t have to take the balance scale with us, as long as someone here studied it, but Va’lyndra insisted.

Va’lyndra told me that she got the promotion, even though she messed up at the ambush. I congratulated her. She also told me an “official” version of what happened when Anita was attacked, which I should tell if anyone asked. I thought the best way for me to deal with questioners would be to refer them to her. After all, I wasn’t there, and have only the word of the others to tell me what happened.

I was eager to get my statuette immediately, but Va’lyndra had a couple of warnings first: Don’t let outsiders see it, and don’t lose it. Gotcha! We met Master Surre and took possession of our artifacts again; the knowledge guild had guarded them while we investigated Anita. Then we split the profits from our expedition. I told the others that now that I was rich, I could go to the adventurer’s guild and restock potions. I memorized what the others wanted me to buy for them.

I saddled Marvin and Lightfoot and rode back to Urdon. Leopold had his own pony at the knowledge guild, so he didn’t need to borrow Lightfoot anymore. I stabled the horses, put away the Sulla statuette, and walked over to the adventurer’s guild with an empty backpack and two pouches filled with gold.

I was really looking forward to tonight. When I escorted Olivia back from the knowledge guild, I told her the statuette gave me a tingling sensation when I touched it. Olivia thought I was imagining things, that touching it just brought back memories of what we had done in Sulla’s temple, but I was convinced Sulla was speaking to me.

Dinner was ready as soon as we stepped inside the Golden Swan. Then we went upstairs so I could change into my costume. “Oh, dear!” Olivia exclaimed when she saw what I had brought back from my shopping spree: A potion of major healing (I already had one for speedy recovery during combat, but having one in reserve wouldn’t hurt), two potions of battle, two potions of fetching and carrying, two potions of invulnerability, two potions of keen sight (I didn’t have much use for one, but two taken together would let me see invisible things), one potion of magic resistance, two potions of speed (they’re really cheap) and two potions of water-walking. “Those in that bag over there are for the others,” I explained. “Well, at least you didn’t buy any more of the regular healing potions. We have over fifty of those!” I could tell Olivia was disappointed that I had gone shopping without talking to her first, but she said it was all right, that we would probably find a use for the potions, and if not, we should count ourselves lucky that we hadn’t stumbled across situations where they’d be useful.

I performed on the slack rope again, and then Olivia and I returned to our room. I put the statuette on the dresser and spoke a short prayer to it before going to bed. I had no idea of what to say to appease the love god, but hoped that my intentions would be understood and appreciated. “O Sulla! My name is Maystatea Viashniskaya, and this is Olivia Wikt. We love each other and hope that you will bless our love. Since you are the love god and all. That’s what you do, right? I hope you don’t mind that we went on like rabbits in your temple earlier, but it just felt right, you know? Anyway, we’re going to make love now. If you can see us, please don’t say anything so Olivia can hear. She’d die from embarrassment.”
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
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Old 10-01-2020, 02:05 PM   #197
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 45 (2020-09-27)

Thoughts on February 2nd

When I woke up, I got the sensation that I had dreamt something important, but I couldn’t recall what. I suspected the dream of being slightly erotic, but that wouldn’t in itself make it stand out. I asked Olivia, but she couldn’t remember dreaming anything in particular, and she didn’t have the feeling I had, of something barely out of my grasp.

“Do you remember writing a poem for me?” Olivia asked. “It wasn’t very good, was it?” I asked dejectedly. Olivia agreed, “No, not really, but the intention was good, and that’s what was important. I love you for trying, though. And I decided to return the favor, sometime. I’ve been working on this for a while now, and I think maybe it’s finished. It’s called ‘The Eagle Soars’ and goes like this:

The eagle soars above me;
I struggle through the snow.
Don't know why it would love me,
I'm just a little doe.

The eagle soars in splendor
so high up in the sky.
My vigilant defender,
I always have its eye.

The eagle soars, it's viewing
each minuscule event.
It senses my undoing:
A bear has caught my scent!

The eagle soars repeated,
its beak and talons red.
It still is undefeated;
the bear is left for dead.

The eagle soars forever,
its words are carved in stone.
It promises that never
shall I be left alone.

So, what do you think, Mattea?” Olivia asked nervously. I had no words that could sufficiently express what I felt. So, I kissed her. The poem was about us, about me protecting her! She had described me as an eagle, soaring majestically through the air, but when I was done thanking her, she was soaring, too.

After breakfast, Olivia and I walked over to Karl Morgenstern’s mansion. His wife opened when I knocked on the door, and I asked if she knew whether Olivia had to be there at the afternoon meeting we had been summoned for. She called inside to relay my question, and it turned out it wasn’t crucial for Olivia to be present. That was good. She could go and study with Egil, then.

We returned to the Golden Swan and had some fun before Olivia pulled a book out of her backpack and said she had to study. I frowned at her, but she was so cute sitting there reading, and this was her calling, so I couldn’t complain. Instead, I practiced balance on one of the bedposts.

We headed out to the knowledge guild. Olivia went to meet Egil, and I dropped off the potions I had bought for the others. I cited the cost of each potion, and filled my pouch with gold. I would hand it over to Olivia tonight. Truly, it was wisest to leave the money in her care. She lets me keep some spending money, a few copper and silver coins, but honestly, I often leave it at the inn when I go out, unless I plan to do some minor purchases that I’ve already cleared with her.

I returned to Urdon and the Golden Swan, and practiced in the common room. A man walked in and asked if he could shake my hand. I told him of course he could, I’d do anything for a fan! The fellow explained that he had a delivery for Leopold Nobus, so I asked if he was the silversmith. He was. He handed me a small pouch with a lump of silver inside. I thanked him and said I would pass it on as soon as I saw Leopold again.

I met Leopold, Va’lyndra and Ilzo outside Lord Karl’s mansion. The butler opened when we knocked and wished us welcome. He showed us to the living room, where the master of the house was seated and waiting. Lord Karl told us to join him, so we sat down. Fruit and tea were served.

Lord Karl asked if we had anything to do with yesterday’s brawl. I told him I was at the Golden Swan at the time, and Olivia could corroborate. Leopold opened his mouth, but Va’lyndra jumped in and told the story they had agreed upon. Lord Karl informed us that three persons had been arrested after the incident.

Lord Karl wanted to know who among us “ran the show”. Ilzo said it was me, but Leopold indicated Va’lyndra, and I agreed with the gnome. Leopold explained that Va’lyndra had enough rank in her guild to get important information related to the quests we undertook.

The powers that be, back east in Surd, were concerned with events in this region. Lord Karl warned us that it was cultist activities that worried the authorities so. Sooner or later, someone would step up and “deal with it”. Lord Karl wanted us to procure evidence of the Serals so he could show it to his superiors. We have about a year on us, give or take a few months.

When it was time to go, I invited our host and his family to my shows, as they had moved back to Urdon. Lord Karl didn’t seem too eager. He had a question for us, to which he didn’t want a reply; he wanted us to think on it: Where have all the slaves gone?

We began walking up the street, towards the Golden Swan. We didn’t get much time to ponder his question before Fidel Sidel was striding determinedly towards us, wearing full uniform. He had brought guards, too. I supposed the prisoners he had taken after yesterday’s ambush had spilled the beans on Va’lyndra and the others. Crap! Hopefully, Ilzo wouldn’t do anything stupid.
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
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:14 AM   #198
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 46 (2020-10-04)

Thoughts on February 2nd (continued)

Fidel Sidel and his guards stopped in front of us, and the lordling spoke Ilzo’s, Leopold’s and Va’lyndra’s names. I felt overlooked until he completed his sentence, telling them that they were under arrest, suspected of assault. Then I just felt relief. I told him I had nothing to do with that, and I’d just be on my way. Fidel said that was fine, so I invited him to come to my show tonight. Leopold asked me to alert Master Surre about the arrest.

I hurried back to the Golden Swan. At the stables, I asked for Marvin to be saddled, then I dashed up to my room, dressed for travel, which consisted of putting on armor, bow and quiver in addition to the knife I wear at my hip at all times except during performances, and ran back down. Marvin was ready, so I pecked the stable boy’s cheek and leapt into the saddle.

I found Master Surre in his office at the knowledge guild and informed him of recent events. He was disappointed that the others had gone in to Urdon after he had told them not to, but he hoped they were able to talk their way out of the trouble that had caused them. I wasn’t certain they could. Had it just been Va’lyndra, that would be one thing, but Leopold has difficulties straying from the truth, and Ilzo is erratic, to say the least. Master Surre charged me with finding out how things went in Urdon.

Olivia’s lesson dragged out, and she told me to go ahead and get to town so I wouldn’t miss my performance. She promised to find someone who could escort her to the Golden Swan.

Ilzo, Va’lyndra and Leopold were waiting for me at the inn when I got back. They told me they had been released, even though Ilzo had been caught lying and had been fined for it. They had to promise to alert the guards whenever they witnessed a crime. I ran up to my room to get changed, and began my performance.

My friends found someone to talk to during the show, an older man and a younger. Olivia came in the door halfway through the show, and Va’lyndra waved her over. I joined them after my finale, and began saying good night, but Va’lyndra bade me sit. I didn’t want to sit; I wanted Olivia, but my lover asked if I had eaten, which reminded me of how hungry I was. Olivia ordered dinner for the two of us, and one of the strangers talked to the innkeeper, who raised his voice and told everyone that the show was over, and the common room closed.

Va’lyndra said we should stay and talk, so I greeted the two strangers, who said they were happy to see me again. I didn’t recall meeting them before, so I assumed they were fans, but it turned out we had met at the knowledge guild in Garuk. They were the sponsors we had met there.

Leopold tried to dismiss Olivia, but she said it was up to me whether we remained or not. I asked the sponsors why they were here. They wouldn’t answer, saying something about alignment and that I could go to bed if I wanted to. I looked at Olivia, who didn’t seem ready for bed quite yet, so we remained at the table.

As the discussion progressed, I got more and more infuriated with their unwillingness to answer our questions plainly. They told Leopold that he was part of history, not simply an observer. They told Ilzo they were pleased with the way he expressed himself. He should continue doing so, but they warned him not to make enemies, at least not the wrong ones. Ilzo had ordered a small barrel of ale, and worked hard on draining it. The sponsors told Va’lyndra that Umber – the knowledge guild – was a means to an end, not itself the goal.

The talk turned to gods and their artifacts, and most of it was too complicated for me. I suddenly interrupted with a question of whether the two of them were shapeshifters. Va’lyndra stared at me. What a strange thing to be asking! I defended myself with being Chaotic. The sponsors, like always, wouldn’t answer directly, but told me I should be able to figure out the answer for myself. Va’lyndra added that even she was able to change shapes, holding up her hand and moving it back and forth. If that was supposed to be a magic spell, it clearly failed. Va’lyndra claimed it was possible to turn oneself to water or fire. Fire was understandable, but I winced. It would be both painful and lethal. Va’lyndra claimed it was possible to turn back as well. So, she was talking about magic. I told her all this thinking gave me a headache.

I felt there was something important I should remain for, but I was really keen on going to bed with Olivia. Now that we had finished our dinner, we had started caressing each other, out of sight under the table. The sponsors asked what our plans were. Leopold said he was going to study our artifacts. Va’lyndra said we might find out about divine magic from the Church, but Leopold told her they didn’t do magic, and reminded us that Solus didn’t have anything to do with the Serals, according to the chaos elf in the woods. Ilzo wanted to find a Seral and capture it. I remembered fighting Serals in the dream vision, and I thought Ilzo could defeat one in single combat. Va’lyndra offered that the god of dimensions might know where to find one. The sponsors thought that we needed to torture the Seral if we wanted to get information out of it. Leopold gave an example of how one could torture a nature demon by burning the surrounding forest.

The sponsors were so vague and elusive that it boiled over for Ilzo and me. We began discussing, in their hearing, if we should tie them up and keep them prisoner until they gave satisfactory answers. Leopold thought this was the pinnacle of rudeness, and the sponsors took the hint and left. Va’lyndra followed, but it was clear she didn’t want them to notice her. I decided to shadow her, in case she needed help.

The sponsors left Urdon, handing over a pouch to the guards at the gate. I moved up to Va’lyndra, who did a spell dance and turned herself into a water elemental. It wasn’t as cold out as it had been only a week or so ago, but I still warned her not to remain in that shape until she froze to ice. It was clear she wanted to follow the sponsors, but I wore only my sparkly costume, so I was already feeling the chill. I headed back to the Golden Swan.

Ilzo and Leopold were alone in the common room. I assumed that Olivia had gone up to our room, so I followed. I said a prayer to Sulla, the god of love, and then we went to bed.

Thoughts on February 3rd

I dreamt again last night, but still couldn’t remember what. That was annoying. After breakfast, Olivia and I headed out and found a jeweler. We purchased eighty gems, more portable wealth than coins. Olivia handled the bargaining, and I don’t know if it helped that the jeweler kept glancing at me while they haggled. We ended up paying eight hundred and eight gold pieces for all the gems. Afterwards, Olivia said that she would have had to have worked twenty years at the duke’s mansion to earn that much money. I told her I hoped the jeweler was discreet. I wouldn’t want it known how filthy rich we were.

We rode out to the knowledge guild so Olivia could have her diagnostics lesson. I chose not to go back to Urdon, and practiced archery and acrobatics outside the compound instead. When Olivia and I rode back to town in the evening, I told her I considered writing a letter to Varek Mountlake, to ask if he knew the whereabouts of our other friends from the troupe we had toured with before we decided to go adventuring. Olivia pointed out that being adventurers, we weren’t likely to stay put long enough for a reply to arrive. It would be better to look him up the next time we were back east.

Thoughts on February 4th

Olivia and I went shopping today! She needed new clothes, to go with her new persona, the no-longer-a-servant. We spent a few hours browsing, and she had ordered a complete wardrobe, including two sets of winter clothes and an outfit suitable for her medical profession, by the time we had to leave for her lesson.

Thoughts on February 5th

I dropped by the adventurer’s guild after escorting Olivia to her lesson, and lo and behold, I found someone who could teach me more about archery! His name was Martin Dunne, a rather good-looking human in his late thirties. I promised myself not to jump him. I love Olivia and only her.

Thoughts on February 6th

Fidel Sidel sent a message that it was all right for Ilzo, Leopold and Va’lyndra to leave town if they wished. They decided to go out on a short expedition to research how the balance scale artifact behaved in different locations. Olivia and I had commitments in Urdon, so we chose not to go with them. I imagined it would be dull beyond belief anyway, and if any dangers cropped up this close to Urdon, Ilzo should be able to deal with it without my help.

Thoughts on February 7th

Olivia had finished her training with Egil, and we looked up Ragnar, the dwarven veterinary, here in Urdon. He was glad to teach her about animal medicine, for a fee, of course. I practiced archery with Martin, for the third day in a row without trying to get into his pants.

Thoughts on February 8th

At breakfast, Olivia told me a rumor she heard yesterday. Apparently, a new law had been enacted, which mandated branding of slaves, so they couldn’t hide among free folk.

Thoughts on February 9th

Olivia and I went about our daily routines, and in the evening, we celebrated my five-day not-sleeping-with-handsome-Martin anniversary. I still pray to Sulla before we go to bed, even though it doesn’t give me anything, except for the irritation of not remembering what I dreamt.
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
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:28 AM   #199
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 46 (2020-10-04)

Thoughts on February 10th

Ilzo, Va’lyndra and Leopold returned to Urdon today, and we gathered in Olivia’s and my suite at the Golden Swan after my evening performance. The experiment had showed that there was more Chaos outside civilized areas and more Order within. Ilzo had picked up his bone armor from a craftsman when they got back, and he proudly displayed that he’d had the armor covered with gold. There was also a red hand-print on the breastplate, which I assumed symbolized Gromsh, the orc god of strength.

Va’lyndra told me that the sponsors had transformed into wolves outside town, the night she followed them after our meeting. She wanted to know how I’d known of their capabilities. I told her the sponsors had reminded me of that figure we met in the dream vision, who was only willing to answer one question from each of us, and Olivia hadn’t even gotten to ask! He had said that he was part of an organization of shapeshifters, and I had guessed that the sponsors were also members, since they had been equally difficult conversation partners.

Thoughts on February 11th

Today was my last day of archery tutelage under Martin. There was a lot I could practice on my own, but I felt that I had gotten all I wanted out of him, at least for the time being.

Olivia told me at dinner that she had overheard someone talking about the possibility of taking ship from here to another place than Garuk. I suspected that of being the haven I had learned about earlier.

Everyone gathered in our rooms after my performance. Leopold wanted to go to Surd to continue his research there. He had presumably read all the books in the library at the knowledge guild here. We discussed how to get there. A riverboat was the first suggestion. I said we needed to get one that was large enough for us to bring our horses. On second thoughts, I preferred to ride. Our last voyage had left a bad taste in my mouth, figuratively speaking.

Leopold said that when we got to Surd, he would try to smuggle the balance scale artifact into the largest church there, to see how that registered. Ilzo and I had several suggestions as to how he could accomplish that, but Leopold and Va’lyndra convinced us they weren’t any good.

We agreed to remain in Urdon until Ilzo had had his first tournament, which was set to the eighteenth, one week from now. The event would be held in a warehouse at the harbor, since it was still too cold to have it outdoors.

Thoughts on February 12th

I stayed at the inn most of the day, except for walking Olivia to her appointment with Ragnar, and fetching her in the afternoon. Heavy sleet fell from dark clouds, so it wasn’t tempting to go out more than necessary. I spent the day practicing acrobatics, both in my room and in the common room.

Thoughts on February 13th

Leopold informed us he had made queries about riverboats, but I managed to convince him and the others that it would be best if we went overland, by horse.

Thoughts on February 14th

Olivia’s week with Ragnar was up, so we looked up Bella, the poisoner. She agreed to teach Olivia until our planned departure for Surd. I was a little concerned about the topic for these lessons, but Olivia assured me that she only wanted to learn how to counteract poisons.

Thoughts on February 15th

I finally remembered upon waking what I’ve been dreaming since I started praying before Sulla’s statuette. When I told Olivia, she got worried, but I didn’t quite know what to think, myself. If Sulla was trying to tell me something, I didn’t get the message.

I was living in a village, where I earned my keep as a prostitute. I felt no shame about it, nor regret whenever a customer became violent. I didn’t even care much when the blacksmith gave me a real thrashing. After a while, soldiers arrived at the village and treated everyone like dirt, ordering people around and generally making a nuisance. When the soldiers went to sleep, my customers killed them. The sheriff, one of my regulars, told the rest of the villagers in the morning that demons had come and killed the soldiers.

We spent some more time in bed, and I got Olivia to forget about the brutality of the dream with gentle caresses that turned into tender lovemaking. The rest of the day passed without incident, as Olivia studied medicine with Bella, and I practiced and performed acrobatics.

Thoughts on February 16th

Last night, the dream changed. Perhaps it was because I had finally remembered Sulla’s cryptic message, or perhaps the divinity had something else to tell me. I understood this no more than the previous dream.

I lived in the same village as in the last dream, but this time, I was married and pregnant. My husband and I had a good life together, and we had two children by the time the soldiers arrived. The outsiders killed anyone who resisted, and my husband and I tried to flee. My husband escaped with our children, but I was caught. I was crucified; the soldiers drove thick iron spikes though my wrists and ankles. The executioner approached, his huge, shining sword drawn. The blade was etched with a peculiar snake sigil, and I could see my own reflection in the metal: I was a succubus, with bat-like wings, pointy ears and sharp teeth which I bared with scorn. I died, and woke screaming.

This wasn’t the kind of dream I had hoped for. I told Olivia about the nightmare and asked if we should discuss it with the others. She thought that was wise. Perhaps, if I could understand the messages Sulla was sending, they wouldn’t take the form of nightmares. Even more than yesterday morning, we had need of a distraction, so Olivia was nearly late for her lesson.

Everyone met up in the evening, and I described my dreams, noticing that Olivia left the room, clearly uncomfortable with the subject. Ilzo thought the dreams were supposed to explain something, but he didn’t know what. Leopold asked Va’lyndra if she’d had any strange dreams since taking possession of the Elendus statuette. She hadn’t, but she thought she was sleeping better, although she claimed that was because she was staying in a different inn than me. I frowned at her. Olivia and I weren’t that noisy, were we?

Thoughts on February 17th

I couldn’t recall what I dreamt last night, and found myself pleased. I decided to celebrate with Olivia, again making her nearly miss her lesson. I heard a rumor later about a half-ogre throwing gold around. That had to be Ilzo. He’s certainly burning through his wealth as if there’s no tomorrow.

Thoughts on February 18th

Today was Ilzo’s tournament, so I went to watch while Olivia was at her lesson. Ilzo wore his gilded bone armor and pranced around. He didn’t compete, but the winners of each event would get a chance against him to possibly double their prize winnings. Va’lyndra joined the competition, winning the leg wrestling event, but Ilzo defeated her easily in the champion test, like he did with all the other champions. I considered joining the broad and high jump events, but this was Ilzo’s day, so I decided to be nice and let him shine.

I had my own show in the evening, and got my chance to brandish my resplendency. Olivia took me upstairs afterwards and tripped me onto the bed. I performed again. Once Olivia had her breath back, she told me she had pondered my dreams. She believed the dreams meant something about us; they had to do with who I am, she said, and Olivia was quick to point out that no matter who I turned out to be, she would love me. She wanted to find someone who could help me interpret the dreams, someone sympathetic to our situation. “Who should that be?” I asked. Olivia suggested Va’lyndra. “But I talked to Va’lyndra and the others about this last night, and she didn’t know anything then. However, Ilzo said …” I trailed off, seeing Olivia grimace at the mention of the brute. Perhaps we could track down Zalek and ask him, not necessarily about the dreams directly, but he should possess knowledge about Sulla.
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
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