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Old 09-12-2019, 10:54 AM   #91
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 23 (2019-09-03)

Thoughts on January 7th

Expecting to remain at the guildhall for the unforeseeable future, Olivia and I had no rush to go exploring. We might as well stay in bed until Karita-time, and join the rest of the crew at breakfast.

The building wrapped around an inner garden, and Ilzo tried to find his way out there, so he could work out before eating. He lost his way, and was brought to Lady Karita’s room where the servant explained that he wasn’t allowed to go exploring on his own.

After breakfast, the receptionist took us on a tour of the facilities. Some areas were still off-limits to us, but Ilzo and I were relieved to hear that we were allowed to practice in the garden. In fact, other members of the guild used it to practice, too. In the basement, the guild performed various experiments. Not really my cup of tea, so I didn’t pay much attention to what was said there. We learned that the guild’s name was Umber Guild of Knowledge, and they had filled their space with not very interesting stuff, such as a library and a study hall. Lady Karita lighted up when she learned that she’d be granted access to those rooms. I yawned and caressed Olivia’s bottom while the others stared wide-eyed at the vast repository of documents.

During the tour, we encountered several guild members, mostly humans, but also some gnomes and dwarves, and a couple of fungoids. Ilzo and I got our fair share of looks; he was a rarity, a red-eyed tower of muscle; I was a celebrity, and provocatively sensuous. The receptionist ended the tour by telling us we had an appointment with the guild’s second in command, Snurre Skjenkheim, at five o’clock, suggesting we take dinner before going to see him.

Ilzo was to be kept away from visitors to the guild, and Lady Karita explained that he wasn’t aggressive, but unfamiliar with our culture. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra headed for the library, but suggested I go train with Ilzo, so we went outside to practice. Olivia tagged along. There were other people in the garden already, some were lifting weights and some were dueling with wooden practice weapons.

I tied a rope between two poles and started warming up. Ilzo picked up a practice sword and asked the others present if any of them were strong enough to challenge him. He got no takers, so eventually he came over to me and asked if I’d fight him. I suggested we try a bit of wrestling, as I wasn’t too keen on being smacked around, even with practice weapons. We agreed on a few simple rules, and then Ilzo attacked. I grabbed his arm and used his momentum to toss him to the ground, winning the first bout. He was a little more cautious after that, and won the next round. “Best of three, before I go back to the rope?” I asked. He won the third bout easily. I hadn’t really expected to win any of them, but the element of surprise proved powerful. He had never seen me use non-lethal techniques before.

Seeing that the orc behaved himself according to the rules, the others there warmed up a little towards him, and Ilzo wrestled most of them. I practiced on the rope and told everyone that I’d be putting on a show later.

After lunch, Olivia and I went back to our room, and I had a bath. Olivia offered to give me a backrub, and we had a nice chat while she straddled me on the bed, kneading muscles I didn’t know were stiff until she loosened them. After a while, I twisted around onto my back, and conversation ceased.

The crew went to see Snurre Skjenkheim after dinner. He turned out to be one of the two men who had met us at the warehouse, the one who did most of the talking while the elderly fellow analyzed artifacts. Now, he introduced himself formally and welcomed us to the guildhall. He also named his companion from the warehouse, Varian Snarr, and told us we should take the remaining two artifacts to his laboratory in the basement after the meeting.

I learned that the deal Va’lyndra and Lady Karita had made with the guild before our expedition would grant us an interview with the sponsors. Master Skjenkheim wanted us to pose any questions to him first. I was under the impression that the artifacts would enable us to contact the gods, and asked how we could contact them if we gave up the artifacts. He had no answer to that question; I should ask the sponsors. The guild researched the artifacts, but only the sponsors knew why. Va’lyndra let slip that she had spilled the details of our dream vision to the guild, who in turn had informed the sponsors and piqued their interest in us.

Master Skjenkheim disclosed that the guild had done some investigation on our behalf, and had discovered who was responsible for the massacre at the hamlet outside Urdon. If we were to deliver the culprit to the authorities in Urdon, their attitude towards us would improve, and the ban might be lifted. Va’lyndra pointed out that only Lady Karita and I had been part of the adventuring party at the time; she and Ilzo had joined us later, so they had nothing unspoken with Urdon. However, both Lady Karita and I wanted to resolve the issue, and I demanded to know more about who had organized the massacre.

The guild had discovered that one of the four branches of the Church, the Inquisition, was behind the massacre. Vice-Captain Gardan Vidkun had been in charge of the operation, and had brought elite soldiers from Surd, back east, to murder the entire hamlet. Master Skjenkheim didn’t have all the details of the investigation, but we could contact one of his agents in Surd for more information on Vice-Captain Vidkun.

The guild leader was curious about Ilzo and asked us about him, why we picked up an orc on our travels. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra explained that we found him sleeping in a ditch, and that he followed us when we rode along. We taught him our language so we could ask him why. Master Skjenkheim expressed a desire to learn about orc culture from Ilzo. My mind drifted off; I don’t know for how long.

“If I want to set up a show while we wait for the sponsors, how do I go about it?” The guild leader ignored my question as Lady Karita queried when the sponsors would arrive. She learned that it could be up to two weeks. Master Skjenkheim excused himself and left for another meeting.

Well, since the guild clearly had no opinion on my show, I traversed the halls and corridors of the three-story building and told everyone I met that I was going to set up a performance at the common room later this evening. Va’lyndra and Lady Karita went to see Varian Snarr about the last artifacts. Ilzo left to have an afternoon practice in the garden.

Most of the guild and all of my friends came to see the show. I balanced on a rope I had tied between two pillars and had a great time. The audience cheered at my stunts and everything was right in the world.
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 09-12-2019, 11:05 AM   #92
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 23 (2019-09-03)

Thoughts on January 8th

Gentle caresses pulled me slowly out of my slumber, and I reciprocated as soon as my head cleared enough to apprehend Olivia’s desire. We stayed in bed for quite a while. Lady Karita gets up late anyway, and there was no rush to go anywhere, do anything.

A servant waited outside the room when we came out and informed me that I’d be escorted to a meeting room after breakfast. After a quick meal with our friends, we learned that they had been summoned, too. Olivia returned to our room; she had some chores to do.

Two soldiers guarded the door, but made no attempt to bar our entry to the meeting room. Va’lyndra yawned. Is she having trouble sleeping again? Two more soldiers waited inside, clearly escorting the two finely dressed human gentlemen who rose to greet us. One was middle-aged, well-built and with a neatly trimmed beard. The other was younger, a slender specimen in his twenties or thirties. The young man invited us to sit, and we all took places at the table. Servants appeared with tea and cookies.

Without naming names, the gentlemen revealed that they represented the guild’s most important sponsor. They commented that one of the four who received the dream visions had passed away, and that we had picked up an orc instead. “Where did you come from?” I asked them; they had arrived thirteen days earlier than I had expected them to. They deflected, answering that they belong to a small group of people who try to enforce the will of Chaos. They made a point of explaining that they served the dragon Chaos, not the phenomenon. “But where did you come from? You showed up early,” I asked again. “It has to do with security, not showing up when we’re expected.”

As if we didn’t know already, they explained that the world was out of balance, tilting towards Order. The Church and the serals, otherworldly beings with much influence over the Church, were imposing Order on the world. They revealed some new information too: There is a cult that tries to save the situation by spreading chaos. The sponsors denied direct involvement with the cult, although the cult hadn’t caused much mayhem yet. They expected them to become more active soon. On the other side of the field, the Church was constantly trying to increase order, but not so fast that the dragon god would notice it and unleash its wrath.

Lady Karita asked the sponsors what their little group were doing to promote chaos. As disciples of Chaos, they were loath to organize anything, but they shared information with those they found worthy and hoped that would be enough.

We learned some history of the world from the sponsors. The elf-like race that had inhabited these parts millennia ago were called night elves, and were in fact the ancestors of today’s elves. For some reason, demons started appearing around the night elves, and it didn’t take long for the elves’ very existence to become threatened. Someone performed a magic ritual, lifting whatever curse lay upon the elves, altering their genetic traits in the process. The remaining elves fled from their old homelands, through the orcs’ territories and over the sea to what we know as the Old World. Under the onslaught of elves and demons, the once-proud orcish nation was broken. Many of the current inhabitants of those lands, like goblins and trolls, are mutated descendants of the ancient demons.

The elves were known to have brought their knowledge with them when they emigrated, and the sponsors suspect that we might be able to find a trove of old tomes and manuscripts in the Old World. They had no leads as to where such a trove would be located, so unless we accidentally discover some clues, we won’t be crossing the sea. Some powerful people back there would prefer it if I remained in the New World, and I don’t want to antagonize them unless I have to. I have no hope that Duchess Anemeata of Toram will ever forget that she found me on her wedding night, stark naked and trying to mount her new husband.

Lady Karita inquired whether the sponsors knew what knowledge the Church possessed. According to the gentlemen, most people who work for the Church don’t know about the world being out of balance; it’s imprinted on them that chaos is bad, and that they should oppose it.

The conversation moved to another subject: Do we trust Ilzo? I declared that he’s proven himself a splendid fellow, a tireless and loyal addition to our crew. Lady Karita asked him why he decided to follow us, when we stumbled upon him. Ilzo had tried to explain before, but had since then learned a lot more of our language, so it would be easier to explain now. He expounded on his earlier statement; Useo the Strong, his god, had spoken to him in his sleep and decreed that he should follow and protect us. After Ilzo’s explanation, the sponsors revealed another name for Useo, but I didn’t pay enough attention to remember it.

The sponsors gave us some new information about the various races. The serals had performed a similar ritual as the one the night elves had used, on some human nobles, who then became the first high humans. As a result of this ritual, high humans are genetically aligned with Order, just as elves and a few minor races are aligned with Chaos. Fungoids are aligned with Order, just like high humans, but everyone else is unaligned. Va’lyndra asked if a gene-altering ritual would work on the serals, but the sponsors believed it wouldn’t.
The younger gentleman looked at me curiously. “Can I cast a spell on you?” I recoiled, toppling my chair as I assumed a defensive posture. He promised it wasn’t dangerous, but I was still skeptical and asked if I could talk it over with Olivia first. I couldn’t. If I left the room, I wouldn’t be admitted again. However, Lady Karita claimed that Olivia would want me to submit to the spell. That wasn’t what I had imagined she would say, but Lady Karita wouldn’t lie, would she? I accepted.
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 09-12-2019, 11:13 AM   #93
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 23 (2019-09-03)

Thoughts on January 8th, continued

I righted the chair and sat down. Every fiber of my being tried to resist the blow that I knew would come. The young man waved his hands and uttered a few unpronounceable syllables. I felt nothing, but he claimed the spell had worked, and that he had discovered that I was affiliated with Chaos. Va’lyndra asked if it was possible to have children with demons. “Only some of them,” he replied. I sensed that Ilzo wasn’t quite up to speed, and explained to him that he wouldn’t be able to mate with male demons. For some reason Va’lyndra declared that the only reason I hadn’t been with child yet, was because I hadn’t tried hard enough. From anyone else, that could have been a joke, but she was as dead serious as she always is, so I disagreed: “If I had the potential to become pregnant, it would have happened long ago.”

I was thankful when the sponsors changed the subject again. The only non-magical way to make chaos on a sufficiently large scale to restore balance would be a civil war. That didn’t sound very tempting. It will have to be magic, and I will have to overcome my aversion for it. At least if anyone’s going to be casting spells on me. I don’t mind magic items, and it’s all right for Va’lyndra to do her thing, but I have bad memories of a certain wizard casting spells directly on me. Va’lyndra wanted to know where we could learn more about the necessary ritual. The sponsors advised us to seek out the cult if we couldn’t track down the ancient elven knowledge and suggested we find someone who could help us make contact with the gods. Ilzo thought maybe he could do it if he held his god’s artifact in one hand while arm-wrestling with the other. We were warned that the Church considers it heresy to contact the gods that way. With artifacts, that is. The sponsors made no comment about the arm-wrestling. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra revealed that we had sold all the artifacts, so it wouldn’t be a problem.

“How do we contact the cult, then?” I wondered out loud. I got no answer but to figure it out on my own, although they revealed that there are cultists in Tamburin. I don’t think we want to go there, though. Only ordinary humans are allowed there, so neither Lady Karita, Va’lyndra nor Ilzo would be free to accompany Olivia and me.

When the sponsors revealed the existence of a book about the night elves’ script, located in the library of the knowledge guild, Lady Karita and Va’lyndra were intrigued. They’ve been trying to figure out the script since we first encountered it down the mines, months ago.

Wrapping up, the sponsors asked if we had any more questions for them. “Yes, where did you come from?” I demanded for the third time. It had to be Garuk, or perhaps a mansion in the vicinity, for they had appeared very quickly. They explained that their location was a secret, and wouldn’t say more on the topic. On their way out, the sponsors made a vague promise that if we proved capable, they might possibly be able to grant us access to the artifacts we needed.

Well, what now? Lady Karita wanted to clear up the Urdon mess, and I agreed. Va’lyndra expressed a desire to study the magic bottle we found in the hydra temple. The sponsors turned around and offered to have it analyzed for us by tomorrow. I bet it’s because they want to know its properties, not because they want to help us.

Now that we had had the meeting with the sponsors, we could leave the building again, but Lady Karita insisted I go nowhere alone. I suggested that she and Va’lyndra could study the book about the elven script, and I could go shopping with Olivia.

We all went to Lady Karita’s room and split the profits from the expedition. I think I need to get another purse for Olivia to store all the gold coins. She and I decided long ago that it would be wisest to leave our reserve with her. I would only waste it.

We decided to kidnap the inquisitor and deliver him to Urdon, but didn’t start planning the operation yet. We needed to contact the agent in Surd for more information first.

After lunch, Olivia and I went out to do some shopping. Most of my wardrobe had started to get a little tight, and Olivia had worn out some of her clothes as well. Va’lyndra came along to chaperone us.

We went from store to store. Most of what I needed was available off the rack, although some fitting was required. I sold the pretty ball gown that I’d only used once. I also paid a seamstress to refit my fancy acrobatics outfit, the one I had used in the shows last autumn. I asked to have everything delivered to the Red Mansion, as I expected to return there soon.

With all the clothes that had to be tried on, I barely had time to stop by the weaponsmith, but I needn’t have bothered. My armor won’t be finished until tomorrow anyway.

There are plenty of errands I need to run before we can leave town. I have to get my new bow, see the leatherworker about a new purse and an outfit that Va’lyndra compared to a horse’s harness, restock lamp oil, renew the adventurers’ guild membership and get more healing potions – Olivia wants more salves, as they are easier to apply to unconscious patients. Then I have to think of my career; I need to put on shows, and I want to track down Varek Mountlake, my old director whom I regret leaving. And I’m going to see a hair dresser and a manicurist. I feel I can afford that luxury, and I’m going to bring Olivia. She deserves the pampering; the last three months have been an ordeal.
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 09-23-2019, 10:42 AM   #94
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 24 (2019-09-14)

Thoughts on January 9th

A loud argument in the hall woke us this morning. I dressed and went out to see what was going on. Ilzo was trying to seize a wooden box from a servant, who steadfastly refused to let him have it. The servant explained to me that the box was for us, but he wasn’t permitted to give it to Ilzo, because someone needed to sign for it, and Ilzo couldn’t read or write. I signed with my stage name, putting little hearts above the “i”s in “Vishi”, and while Ilzo took the box, I received the note and key that came with it. The note was from the sponsors, who had analyzed the magic bottle. I read that the bottle would summon a very dangerous monster when opened or broken, and that the box shouldn’t be opened anywhere near human habitation.

I told Ilzo to put the box down and opened it with the key. The bottle was wrapped in thick cloth, but the box was otherwise empty. We locked it again and put it in my room, then went to have breakfast.

Va’lyndra and Lady Karita failed to make an appearance before the rest of us finished eating, so I asked Ilzo if he wanted to tag along when Olivia and I went shopping. He remembered that Lady Karita didn’t want me to go off on my own, and thought that Olivia was unlikely to interfere if I should do something stupid, so he came with us. I wrote a note for Lady Karita: “I’m going shopping with Olivia and Ilzo. We’re returning, sometime. Also, there’s a box in my room that you can check out if you want. It’s on the dresser.” I signed the note, stuffed it under Lady Karita’s door, and off we went.

Olivia and I got our horses and Ilzo jogged alongside. Our first stop was the Green Digging Wurm Inn, the first inn down the mines. We let the guards at the checkpoint look through our stuff, and Ilzo asked why there were so many guards there. Was there something valuable in these caves? I didn’t care to explain about taxes and politics, so I just said that yes, this is where we became rich.

I backflipped my way in to the common room of the inn and struck a pose. With everyone’s attention focused on me, I asked for the adventurer who was selling a used reflex bow. He wasn’t there, but another adventurer had noticed my companions and asked incredulously if I had tamed an orc. I proclaimed that when one is as fabulous as I am, there’s no limit to what one can achieve.

The innkeeper explained that the bow seller was out, but that he had permission to conduct the sales that the adventurer had announced. I paid more than twice as much for my new bow compared to what I had paid for the old one, but thought it was a reasonable price, considering the governor’s tax on valuables going through the checkpoint. We took lunch at the inn before returning to Garuk.

Our next stop was at the Adventurers’ Guild, where we met Lady Karita. She had done some shopping herself today, and had learned that Tamburin had invaded the northern part of Virendia. Far to the south, Fort Glory was skirmishing with the armies of the undead.

I renewed my guild membership and asked if anyone was interested in buying my old bow, but I got no takers. Lady Karita asked the guild leader if Ilzo could join. The guild had no policy against orcs, so Ilzo paid the membership fee, too.

Lady Karita came with us when we left the guildhall. I retrieved my newly repaired leather armor from the weaponsmith, and sold my old bow to him. Lady Karita spent the time teaching Ilzo how one behaves in civilized society. She also suggested that he should get a bath.

At the leatherworker’s shop, Olivia bought another pouch. We’re so rich, we need three pouches to keep all our coins in. I handed in my “costume” which needed to be expanded; it was getting a little tight. Alfrey was loath to speak in front of the others, but whispered that I should come back at nine o’clock so I could report. As soon as we left the shop, I told Lady Karita what he had said. She offered to come along, but I claimed I could manage on my own.

Then we returned to the Adventurers’ Guild so we could buy the healing potions we forgot to acquire when we were there a short while ago.

We went to the Merchants’ Guild where I looked up my good friend Henry Toyler. I asked if he knew the whereabouts of Varek Mountlake, my old director. Sadly, he didn’t know anything about the man. It had been a long shot, but I recalled that Varek had been a merchant before he started organizing shows for me, and thought perhaps he was affiliated with the guild here.

I didn’t know how long we were remaining in Garuk before leaving for Surd, but Lady Karita said we were staying a couple of days, at least. Henry agreed to coordinate a couple of performances for me, one tomorrow evening, and one the next night. He would send the details to me at the Red Mansion. I didn’t think the knowledge guild would like if I made it known I was staying there. All my new clothes would be arriving at the Red Mansion, too, as soon as they were done.

We had dinner at the knowledge guild, and then I told Lady Karita that I was going back to the leatherworker. She decided to join me, and Ilzo came too. Olivia sensed trouble and remained at the guild. I asked Lady Karita and Ilzo to wait outside while I went in to report, but the lady insisted on going inside to cancel my deal with him.

She said something in orcish as we all went inside. Ilzo bared his fangs and loomed menacingly over us while Lady Karita explained to the poor leatherworker that she took a dim view of him interfering in her private affairs, and so long as I traveled with her, I was forbidden to report to him. We left him trembling.

I insisted that I hadn’t been about to tell any of her secrets to the leatherworker, but Lady Karita claimed that I wasn’t very good at judging what needed to be kept under wraps. She made me promise to tell her if the leatherworker or any of his accomplices contacted me again.

On the way back to the guild, Lady Karita told Ilzo that she had refilled her opium stash, and if he wanted to, he could join her for a smoke tonight.

The receptionist at the guild told us that other guests were expected, and if we could be so kind, please vacate the rooms tomorrow. I was already planning to check out, but it would be a minor inconvenience for Lady Karita, if she was going to study there.
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 09-23-2019, 10:56 AM   #95
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 24 (2019-09-14)

Thoughts on January 10th

Everyone packed up and left for the Red Mansion Inn, except for Va’lyndra, who elected to remain at the student dormitory. The innkeeper at the Red Mansion had a note for me when I arrived. Henry Toyler had arranged for performances at six o’clock tonight and tomorrow night, and wanted me to meet him at the venue to go over a few things.

I refilled the oil skins with lamp oil at the market before meeting my merchant friend. I stayed at the venue for the rest of the day, directing riggers and practicing. Ilzo practiced too, and he wasn’t hopeless; in time, I might let him join the show. Olivia and he helped out with the preparations, and were awarded free entrance to the show. Va’lyndra came to see the performance, but Lady Karita had returned to the knowledge guild to study ancient elvish. The show went reasonably well; it’s been months since I’ve had this large an audience, and I felt a little out of touch. The crowd loved me, though.

Thoughts on January 11th

Ilzo went shopping with Lady Karita today. She doesn’t want him to go alone either. I agree he’s a little rough around the edges and unfamiliar with our culture, so it’s good for him to have someone to go out with and learn from.

Kine had a stash of goods stored at a warehouse, and Lady Karita, her owner, spent most of the day selling that and the two oxen, Ferdinand and Dagros. She kept a few things that we could use, as well as those magic items we’ve acquired during our adventuring career that Kine had been in charge of until she passed away, and which we couldn’t sell easily. When we split the profits, Olivia’s and my share was two healing potions and one hundred and fifty gold pieces, a staggering amount.

I fetched my kinky leather outfit from Alfrey Kansh, and he made no attempt to interrogate me. Then I went to prepare for the evening performance.

The show was a resounding success, and I surprised myself with being satisfied with how I had executed all the stunts; I couldn’t point to anything that could have gone better. Henry paid me my salary, five gold pieces, which is huge, for two days’ work, but small change compared to my adventuring income. He told me he had been contacted by some nobles, who wanted me to come and do a private show at their mansion. I asked Lady Karita if it was all right if we postpone our departure, and she acquiesced. She wanted to come to the performance and hobnob with the other nobles and see if she could pick up news of the world. I handed the money over to Olivia, and we returned to the Red Mansion to celebrate. I danced for her until I had no more clothes on, and then we went to bed.

Thoughts on January 12th

Lady Karita reconnected with her sword trainer and brought Ilzo along, so he could learn how to behave like a proper guard. The words “house training” were mentioned, but not in Ilzo’s hearing, although he may not comprehend the insinuation. I never saw Va’lyndra today, and assumed she was studying. I spent the day with Olivia, practicing balance on top of a precarious tower of furniture we built in our room. I made an appearance in the common room in the evening, to the delight of all the other guests.

Thoughts on January 13th

It is truly wonderful to be back in town. Being cold and wet, and finding pine needles in my underwear are among my least favorite things in the world. Nature is fine to look at, from a distance, but actually experiencing it up close … that’s for other people, like Va’lyndra and Ilzo. I need an audience.

We crammed a lot into the first days in Garuk, but now I’ve had the time to relax. Olivia and I visited a hairdresser and a manicurist today, but apart from that, we just relaxed in each other’s company. I didn’t bother to tell Lady Karita about our little outing; I know how to keep a secret even without her or Va’lyndra hovering over me.

Thoughts on January 14th

One day of rest and relaxation has to be enough. I won’t become the greatest acrobat in the world if I just sit on my butt. I practiced for a while in our room, but when I needed more space, we went downstairs to the common room. The staff didn’t mind that we moved some tables to make a runway. I entertained them with somersaults, backflips and cartwheels until word spread and the room became too crowded. Then I did a balancing act on a table. Olivia must have noticed I was getting hungry, for she ordered dinner brought up to our room and dragged me away.

Thoughts on January 15th

I spent the day at the inn, practicing and performing. I want to hone my skills for when I’m going to perform for the Surnheims at their mansion. Olivia kept me out of mischief.

Lady Karita took Ilzo to the horse market where they purchased a warhorse and a draft horse. I heard Ilzo had trouble deciding which to ride and which to load up with his stuff. They paid an exorbitant price for the warhorse, so it must have some quality I can’t see. Ilzo has tried riding only once before. It will be interesting to see how he does when we go to Surd. It’s nearly a two-week journey. If he doesn’t figure out riding on his own, I’ll see if I can help him. I’m not very good at explaining stuff, but I’m an excellent rider.

Thoughts on January 16th

After breakfast, Olivia and I sat down and considered tomorrow’s performance. We went through the semblance of a plan I had worked out during the last week and scrapped most of it as Olivia recalled my past successes and failures. Then we made a new plan, and I spent the rest of the day in rehearsal. I don’t have a head for this kind of things; this is why I’m looking for Varek. He was a fantastic director.

Thoughts on January 17th

Olivia and I headed out to the Surnheim manor after breakfast to prepare for the show. Lady Karita arrived later, with the other guests. The show went well, but I miss Varek. I’m sure it would have gone even better had he prepared it.

Lady Karita mingled with the other nobles and gatherer information. She told Olivia and me what she had learned when we rode back to Garuk, late at night. The Garuk nobility worried about the possibility of an attack from Tamburin, who might be coming over the mountains during the winter. The nobles wished for the railway builders to pick up the pace so that troops and supplies can be brought swiftly from Surd. Garuk is very much an outpost on the frontier, an enclave in the wilderness. Hopefully, Virendia’s allies will come to their support. Their own forces are already fully committed to defending against the two-pronged attack from Tamburin.

Lady Karita also learned that the ruling family of Urdon, Sidel, has lost face in the aftermath of the massacre, and that the Church has gained much influence there. Although I strongly dislike Fidel, the Sidel scion who hired us for the investigation that ultimately led to the massacre, I hope our plot to kidnap the high inquisitor succeeds in restoring their family honor and influence. Anything to bring down the Church.
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 09-23-2019, 11:10 AM   #96
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 24 (2019-09-14)

Thoughts on January 18th

While I was preoccupied with the shows, someone had arranged for a ship to take us down the coast to Urdon, and we boarded after a late breakfast. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra brought out their books, and I took that as a signal that it was study time. I practiced acrobatics, of course, and had great fun in the riggings. The view from on top of the mast was incredible. I only wish Olivia had the stomach to join me up there. And the skills, I guess; it wasn’t an easy climb, nor was it child’s play to keep steady on the swaying mast.

Thoughts on January 19th

I had another day of fun in the heights, and watched the sunset with Olivia; I was sitting on the railing and she was holding me so I wouldn’t fall in the water. There’s nothing wrong with my balance, but I appreciated her enveloping arms, so I said nothing. We remained there until a whiff of Lady Karita’s smoke hinted that it was time to go to bed. “I’m going to make you squeal,” I promised Olivia in a hushed voice. “You’ll do no such thing,” snapped Lady Karita out of the darkness. Something in her voice made me think that doing one night of abstinence would be prudent.

Thoughts on January 20th

I was pleasuring Olivia this morning when Lady Karita shrieked my name. Fearing serious repercussions if we kept going, we aborted our quest for ecstasy, got dressed and went up on deck. Olivia dictated exercises for me, trying to get my mind off what I was denied. When Lady Karita came up, she upbraided me thoroughly for disturbing her sleep. She was in a really bad mood all day.

We disembarked an hour south of Urdon and made camp. Everyone tiptoed around Lady Karita, and I made no overtures towards Olivia; we didn’t even fully undress for bed.

Thoughts on January 21st

I was pretty desperate this morning, but Olivia didn’t want to risk bothering Lady Karita while she was in this foul temper, so I got nowhere with her. I wouldn’t dream of forcing myself on her, and I still had enough clarity of mind not to try to seduce Ilzo.

We traveled east. Ilzo handled his horse well enough, so we didn’t lose time because of him. Nobody was in the mood to speak, so we rode in silence. At lunch, Lady Karita made a racist comment about elves, and Va’lyndra got mad, yelling back profanities and demeaning high humans. It nearly came to blows, but they were level-headed enough to keep the altercation verbal only. They calmed down by evening.

By bedtime, I had had all the abstinence I could handle. Olivia recognized the signs and took me to bed, Lady Karita be damned. The high human, fortunately, had gotten over whatever had riled her up in the first place, and didn’t interrupt.

Thoughts on January 22nd

For some reason, we decided to camp outside, even though we were going to pass the occasional inn during our journey back east. As usual, we have a night watch, and as usual Olivia and I get the last watch. I must admit that I didn’t pay very much attention to our surroundings; what Olivia had hidden under her dress was much more enticing.

There is a road that goes all the way from Urdon to Surd, so unless we get snowed in, we should be able to make great speed. The first part of the road goes through the so-called Bewitched Forest, near the northern edge of it. We’ve encountered a variety of hazards in these woods before, but saw none today; I guess we’re too close to civilization. When we leave the forest in a day or two, we just have to cross the Grand Plains, and then we’ll arrive at Surd.

Now that Lady Karita’s mood is back to normal, it’s possible to have a pleasant ride.

Thoughts on January 23rd

We had another pleasant ride, today. I practiced balance while we traveled and steadied myself on Olivia during breaks.

Thoughts on January 24th

This was yet another uneventful day of traveling. I guess I should be thankful, as the alternative would be some kind of unpleasantness bursting out of the shrubbery or sneaking into our tents at night.

Thoughts on January 25th

We left the Bewitched Forest behind this morning. The Grand Plains spread out before us, and it looked like we should be able to see all the way to Surd. When Olivia and I journeyed west last year, we went by river barge on the Grand River most of the way. We met Magnar and Kine on that barge. We only knew them for a few months, but we became good friends. I miss them. Adventuring is dangerous business.

Thoughts on January 26th

The monotony of the Grand Plains made my mind wander. The sponsors had said that unlike most humans, I was affiliated with Chaos. I wondered if that is what caused my condition, this urge to explore every new pair of trousers I encounter. Or maybe my condition and the lifestyle that came with it was the reason I became affiliated with Chaos. The sponsors hadn’t specified how long I had been chaotic. I pondered this conundrum for most of the day. Olivia had no insights, but compared my enigma to the chicken-and-egg riddle. I had no solution for that either.

Thoughts on January 27th

We came to a cross in the road and turned east, having traveled generally north-easterly so far. The road going north-west led to the Iron Mountains, where Tamburin had invaded with their western army.

Thoughts on January 28th

Va’lyndra was up and about when Ilzo woke Olivia and me for our watch early this morning. I suspect she’s having trouble sleeping again. It’s not our fault; any noise coming from our tent has long subsided when her watch is over and it’s time for her to go to sleep. We do try to keep it down, though. Lady Karita’s tent, although on the other side of the camp, isn’t that far off.

Thoughts on January 29th

Va’lyndra was red around the eyes this morning. I guess she didn’t get much sleep last night. When we set off, I tried to be a little more alert than usual, in case Va’lyndra yawned and missed something. My resolve lasted for about half an hour. Then I started acrobatics practice.

Thoughts on January 30th

We got off to a late start this morning, as we didn’t want to wake Va’lyndra, who finally seemed to get a good night’s sleep again. I performed for Olivia, Ilzo and Lady Karita, and when Va’lyndra got up, for her too. Some people heading in the other direction stopped to watch as well.
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 09-23-2019, 11:27 AM   #97
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 24 (2019-09-14)

Thoughts on January 31st

After a long day of travel, we could see the lights from Surd in the distance. We checked into an inn in a small farming village to acclimatize ourselves to civilized living again. I made an entrance, of course, showing off my acrobatics skills. The innkeeper asked if I was willing to perform in exchange for free room and board for me and Olivia. I shook his hand and set to work while the others settled in. I would have performed for free, but it’s nice to be appreciated. I expect him to make a profit from increased beer sales; the place was pretty crowded when I finally turned in.

Thoughts on February 1st

We arrived in Surd in the afternoon. I caused quite a stir when we entered the city, standing on the saddle, showing the townspeople I had arrived. A warm glow suffused my heart whenever I heard my name in the crowd. I even set the gate guards talking when we passed them.

We had received contact information for the knowledge guild agent, Luffe Olafson, who had lodgings at Beach Street. We decided to settle in before reaching out to him. Olivia and I had passed through Surd on our way to Urdon, but Lady Karita was familiar with the city, and had made a rough sketch of it before we arrived. Wanting to remain anonymous, she took us to the upper-class district instead of the nobles’ district, and to the Seagull and Goose Inn. Lady Karita explained to Ilzo, very diplomatically, that he wasn’t allowed to go off on his own while we’re in Surd.

I made my acrobatic entrance, of course, and struck a deal with the innkeeper for free room and board. Our rooms here were as fine as the finest Garuk has to offer, and my suite had a separate servant’s room, not that Olivia would spend much time there. The inn was nearly as fancy as the House of the Rose back in Toram, where Olivia and I declared our love for each other for the first time.

Thinking of how I had welcomed Olivia to womanhood in the House of the Rose made me feel romantic, so when Lady Karita and Va’lyndra went to a bathing house, taking Ilzo along as their guard, I opted to have a bathtub brought up to our room. After a prolonged bath with Olivia, I returned to the common room where I did my duty and performed contortion, balancing on a chair on top of a table.

The others were in a queer mood when they arrived at the beginning of my performance. After the show, Lady Karita explained that Ilzo had gotten in a fight with some other guards at the bathing house.

Thoughts on February 2nd

Apparently, Ilzo had broken an arm and crushed someone’s hope of future offspring, and the local law had decided to keep him, and by extension Lady Karita and the rest of us, under surveillance until the matter could be resolved. When Ilzo had forced his way into the women’s dressing room, following where Lady Karita and Va’lyndra had gone previously, its half-naked occupants hadn’t been pleased at all. The noble ladies saw little appeal in the huge brute clad in bone armor, and their shrieks summoned Lady Karita and Va’lyndra, who had to talk fast to keep him out of jail.

Ilzo offered to find something heavy to throw on the guard watching the inn from across the street, but Lady Karita stomped on his line of thinking. We would just have to lay low. Even though Olivia and I hadn’t been at the bathing house, we had made no secret of the fact that we traveled with the others, so we had to remain inconspicuous. That is, we shouldn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

I started looking for a promotor for my shows. If I was really lucky, I’d find Varek Mountlake or someone who knew how I could get in touch with him. Olivia claimed to have chores at the inn, but I suspect she wanted to rest after nearly two weeks of travel, not traipsing about the city all day. I didn’t find anyone to help with my shows, but on the other hand, I only had sex with one guy, so the day wasn’t a complete disaster. I confessed to Olivia the moment I got back to the Seagull and Goose. She wasn’t too surprised, although she had naturally wished that I had managed to keep my pants on the whole day.

I took a bath, had dinner with the crew and performed in the common room. As long as I impress the innkeeper and draw crowds, I don’t have to pay for staying here.

Thoughts on February 3rd

Lady Karita received a letter this morning, politely suggesting that she visit the guard captain’s office to resolve the Ilzo issue. I went to look for a promotor again.

When we all met for dinner, Lady Karita told us she had to pay a fine, and she expected Ilzo to reimburse her. My jaw dropped when I heard the amount, but Ilzo paid up readily; he received a fair share of the reward for the last quest, so he can afford it. I’m just not used to dealing with such sums. According to Olivia, we could have paid it several times over, but still! It was a staggering amount. I had my own good news to share: I had found someone who could help me set up shows, and I had agreed to meet him later to discuss details, once I know how long I’m staying in Surd. I had an extra piece of good news for Olivia, that I didn’t care to share with the others. We celebrated privately, terminating my day-long celibacy before I went downstairs to perform.
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 10-11-2019, 05:17 PM   #98
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 25 (2019-10-06)

Thoughts on February 4th

I asked Ilzo if he wanted to join me for an acrobatics training session. With a strong man like him, imagine what lifting and throwing stunts I can add to my show! He agreed, so when Lady Karita and Va’lyndra went to meet the knowledge guild contact, Luffe Olavsson, the two of us headed out to the back yard to practice. Olivia came outside to keep an eye on things. She doesn’t trust Ilzo.

Lady Karita and Va’lyndra met Luffe at his home, a run-down shelter he shared with many others in the poor part of town, and took him to an inn where they could get a private room. They didn’t give me many details of his investigation of Vice-Captain Gardan Vidkun of the Inquisition, presumably so I could focus on the show I was putting on soon. Lady Karita wondered how long I needed to prepare for the show, and how long it would run. Based on past experiences, I told her a week of promoting, rigging and practicing, and then one show each afternoon for another week. While Ilzo and I prepared for the shows, the others would hatch a plan for kidnapping the inquisitor. I have a few ideas, but Olivia wouldn’t like any of them, so I kept my thoughts to myself.

The others tossed out some ideas, but none of them seemed wise to me. Va’lyndra wanted to enclose him in wood and Ilzo pressed for an ambush in the darkness of the slums. I figured it would be simpler to use ropes to tie him up, once we got him, and said as much. I’m a master of bondage, due to a colorful past, so I was confident he wouldn’t get out of my knots. As for Ilzo’s plan, how would we lure him to the ambush site? More information gathering was required, and Lady Karita and Va’lyndra would take care of that. I had a show to put on in the common room, so Olivia and I left the others to their plotting.

Thoughts on February 5th

Ilzo and I practiced in the Seagull and Goose’s back yard again, under the watchful eye of my sweetheart.

Va’lyndra went to spy on the inquisitor. Luffe had provided us with his home and work address, both at the heavily guarded Grand Cathedral district. He had also told Lady Karita and Va’lyndra that the inquisitor often went out to conduct investigations all over town, and Va’lyndra hoped to trail him. She never saw him.

Lady Karita took over the stakeout in the afternoon, and had more luck. She followed the inquisitor to the nobles’ district and back. He wore a large sword on his back and was escorted by two elite halberdiers in heavy armor.

After our practice session, I went to see Knutbernt Jokkeson, who would be promoting and preparing my shows. Ilzo was curious and asked if he could come along. I had nothing to hide, so I didn’t mind the company. Knutbernt agreed with the estimation I had given Lady Karita yesterday. There would be one show each afternoon from the 12th to the 18th. He would hire workers to set up a stage on the large town square, and it would be ready in three days.

I drew a customarily large crowd when I performed at the inn again. Olivia and I have free room and board as long as the crowds are large enough to suit the innkeeper. He doesn’t complain, but the serving maids might; they barely have room to move around the room.

Thoughts on February 6th

Ilzo and I had another practice session, today. After a while, Ilzo asked if I wanted to come with him and explore the city. I told him we had to practice together, if he wanted to come on stage with me, but I also explained that he’s only part of some of my routines. Some, like tight-rope walking and contortion, are solo acts, so when it was time for me to practice those, I let him go.

I didn’t see him again until evening. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra had followed the inquisitor again, and spotted Ilzo looking bewildered and lost. And alone, which he wasn’t supposed to be. Lady Karita brought him back to the inn while Va’lyndra made sure the inquisitor went home.

We had another planning session when Va’lyndra returned. An ambush outside the city would make for an easier get-away, but the inquisitor was likely to bring more guards. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra had learned that one of his current investigations concerned the disappearance of three seemingly unrelated people; the only thing they had in common was that there were mystical runes painted on the floor, walls and ceiling of their bedrooms. Lady Karita and Va’lyndra endeavored to discover more about these disappearances, so that we can fake one and lure Vice-Captain Vidkun into an ambush. I excused myself to go perform.

Thoughts on February 7th

We kept to our routines, today. Ilzo and I practiced, and the others kept an eye on their respective targets: Lady Karita and Va’lyndra spied on the inquisitor; Olivia watched where Ilzo put his hands.

Thoughts on February 8th

Va’lyndra supplied Luffe with the money he needed to acquire the things we needed for the job: A horse to carry our victim, in case he didn’t bring one or it got injured, leather armor for Ilzo (his bone armor is quite conspicuous, and we plan to leave the escort alive, but tied up), disguises and masks, food, rope and green paint for the mystical symbols. We leave the shopping to Luffe to distance ourselves from the whole affair.

The plan is to find a small village outside Surd where Va’lyndra will stage a disappearance from the inn, leaving behind green paint in her room, and possibly some blood. Then we will ambush the inquisitor when he comes to investigate.

Thoughts on February 9th

Ilzo, Va’lyndra and Lady Karita left town to find a suitable ambush site. They considered taking Olivia with them, but in the end, she remained with me, to keep me out of trouble. I have this tendency to stray when I don’t get any for a while, and they were likely going to spend one or two nights away. We don’t want any complications on a sensitive job like this.

A thought struck me almost as soon as they left. Wouldn’t it be easier to ambush the inquisitor’s party when they slept? The Grand Cathedral district was so heavily guarded that we had rejected the idea of sneaking in there at night and abducting him, but on the road, in a camp or at an inn…?

Olivia and I stayed in our room most of the day. That was fun. I squeezed in some practice, too, and of course performed in the evening.

Thoughts on February 10th

Olivia and I enjoyed ourselves at the Seagull and Goose today, too, but we also checked out the stage in the square. The others returned in the afternoon, and I explained my idea. Lady Karita wasn’t convinced. She thought they were likely to sleep among civilian innocents, and that thing about complications came up again…

Thoughts on February 11th

Ilzo and I practiced in the back yard again. It’s a bit chilly outside, but there’s not enough room under the ceiling for him to throw me around inside. Olivia chaperoned, as usual.

Lady Karita and Va’lyndra visited Luffe. He had purchased most of the supplies we had ordered, but because of the war, the price of horses has gone up, and he couldn’t afford one after buying the rest of the stuff. Va’lyndra gave him more money.
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 10-11-2019, 05:27 PM   #99
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 25 (2019-10-06)

Thoughts on February 12th

Today was the first performance on the big stage. It went reasonably well. Ilzo didn’t make a fool of himself, not that I would have let him near the stage if I thought there was the slightest chance of him messing up completely. I had to tell him how to lift and throw me a few times, but I don’t think the audience noticed.

I was a little tired when I returned from the show, but I did my duty in the common room after sitting down for a chat with Lady Karita. She had taken the day off to enjoy city life. Still undercover, she didn’t go to the nobles’ district, but she learned a few tidbits anyway. Most importantly, an army is on its way north towards Surd, allied reinforcements for the war against Tamburin. I hope the soldiers move on quickly. If they stay, Vice-Captain Vidkun might bring a larger escort into our little ambush.

Thoughts on February 13th

I went to the merchants’ guild this morning, asking about Varek Mountlake. I flirted outrageously, but could report to Olivia afterwards that I hadn’t had to go beyond vague promises to obtain the information I wanted. It turned out Varek has settled in Kardia, the neighboring colony to the south. It’s no more than a city state, really, even in the old world. It shouldn’t take more than three or four days to get there. I look forward to finally tracking down my old director. They didn’t specify where in Kardia he was located, so I assumed he would be in Valaria, the only real city.

I talked to Lady Karita about going south after the run of shows. I argued that it would be good to put some distance between ourselves and Surd, at least in people’s minds, before springing the ambush. She agreed that was a good idea, or at least didn’t want to risk me going off on my own.

I had my two shows in the afternoon and evening, and was glad to jump into bed with Olivia afterwards.

Thoughts on February 14th

I was preoccupied with my performances, and took no notice of whether Lady Karita and Va’lyndra resumed their investigations.

Thoughts on February 15th

I rehearsed with Ilzo in the morning and spent the rest of the time before the shows with Olivia. I love her so much! She is so supportive of my activities as an acrobat. And as an adventurer, come to think of it. Dangerous business, that. It scares her, sometimes, but that makes me feel even braver.

I aced today’s performances. Ilzo didn’t do too bad either.

Thoughts on February 16th

There were two more performances today. I simply love performing. Why can’t I do this all the time? Oh, that’s right. I’m chosen to save the world.

Thoughts on February 17th

I’m having the time of my life. I do two shows per day and get to spend the rest of my time with Olivia. And Ilzo, I guess, at least during morning practice.

Thoughts on February 18th

Today’s shows were the last, and I carried with me a sad feeling all day. Olivia temporarily relieved the sadness, but it came back as soon as I started thinking about the shows, and I had to focus on them. The last performance is in a way the most important one. After the big show on the outdoor stage, I announced that I would do one more show, at the Seagull and Goose in the evening. As if the common room wouldn’t be packed enough.

Thoughts on February 19th

I exchanged goodbyes with the staff at the Seagull and Goose and did a small contortion act in the saddle as we rode off. We headed south towards Kardia. I think Ilzo had a dream last night. He spoke about the importance of the length of the grass when we were going to do the ambush. Not much snow has fallen, so the brown-yellow grass was still visible all over.

Thoughts on February 20th

We continued our southward journey on roads devoid of snow. Is this winter milder than earlier winters, or are my memories wrong? The main road between Surd and Valaria is heavily traveled, but Lady Karita assured me that they had found a more desolate place for the ambush.

Kardian border guards halted our progress for a moment, but Lady Karita claimed we had nothing to declare, and they let us pass.

Thoughts on February 21st

Coming north was a troop of thirty heavily armed riders, and Ilzo’s curiosity flared up. Lady Karita prevented him from challenging them to any kind of foolishness, and explained that they were knights from the Holy Alliance, a vanguard of the reinforcements from Virendia’s allies. “They are our friends,” she told Ilzo. “We’re not going to fight them.”

We had Valaria in sight when the sun approached the horizon, so we decided to press on, rather than go look for an inn outside the city. The townsfolk recognized me as soon as Lightfoot’s hooves rang on the cobblestones. Standing on the saddle, I was drawing their eyes before they could see my face. My fans asked if I was going to put on a show for them, and I replied that of course I would. A glare from Lady Karita made me think I’d better just stick with performing at the inn.

Speaking of inns, the first one we found looked decent enough, but not quite up to the same standard as the Seagull and Goose or the Red Mansion. I proposed we look for somewhere better. Asking around, we were guided to a district with houses for hire, with servants and everything a girl can ask for. Except for a common room in which to perform. “Out of the question,” I declared, and the search went on. Eventually, we found a place that suited my demands.

It was getting late, so after a quick word with the innkeeper, I left the unpacking to Olivia and began performing. After the show, I told the patrons that I would be performing here just once more, tomorrow night, before moving on, so they should spread the word. I hope it spreads to those people we met on the streets.
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 10-11-2019, 05:37 PM   #100
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Trondheim, Norway
Default Session 25 (2019-10-06)

Thoughts on February 22nd

Wanting to talk to Lady Karita at breakfast, I cunningly persuaded Olivia to remain in bed for a while longer this morning. I was confident that Varek Mountlake worked at the merchants’ guild here, and I suspected that Lady Karita would want to supervise my conversation with him. I invited Olivia to come, too, for she has known Varek as long as I have. They didn’t have much in common besides me, but they’d been on friendly terms, and I didn’t want to deprive Olivia of the chance to see a familiar face. On the road, those are far between.

The merchants’ guildhall was grandiose, palatial even. A world-renowned performer, and accompanied by a high human, I had no trouble gaining admittance and was quickly showed to Varek’s office in the entertainment department. His face lit up when he saw me, and gave me a bear hug. There was nothing romantic about it; Olivia had made it clear to the whole troupe that I belonged to her.

We chatted for a little while about this and that; I told him I had taken up adventuring, he told me he had married and had a little one on the way. Then I remembered my manners and introduced him to Lady Karita. Varek bowed and invited us to go somewhere for drinks or a meal, but Lady Karita declined, so he sent his assistant for some refreshments instead while we sat down.

I explained why we had come. Traveling with Lady Karita and the crew, I felt something was lacking in the shows I put on between adventures. Things had been better when Varek was there to manage the shows. I’d had a small hope that he would drop whatever he was doing here and come on the road with me, but hearing that he had a family, I settled for some sage advice. Unfortunately, most of it was incompatible with an adventurer’s schedule, but I tried to remember as much of it as possible. I confessed that I had obligations as an adventurer that needed to be taken care of before I could focus on my career again, but promised that when the time came, I would look him up again.

I had let slip that we had just come from Surd, and Lady Karita led him to believe that we were continuing southward tomorrow. Nobody should know we were planning on returning to Surd. I told Varek that I would be performing at the inn this evening, and that I’d be thrilled to meet his wife. He promised they’d be there and we said our goodbyes.

I turned in the door. “Do you think I should get an instructor?” The flatterer told me he knew of nobody who was more skilled at acrobatics than me. But both he and Lady Karita suggested hiring a choreographer, when I join a troupe again.

I outdid myself at the show, and sat down with Lady Karita and Varek and his wife afterwards, for a chat. The wife was frigidly polite towards me. She didn’t know about Olivia and me, so naturally she was suspicious when I sashayed back into her husband’s life. I would like to blame it on the hormones of the soon-to-be mother – she looked nearly overdue – but I know what effect I have on men and how their ladyfolk react to that. Lady Karita’s presence warranted civil behavior and prevented a flare-up, and the ever-perceptive Olivia came over and hinted to me that it was time to go to bed. I wisely refrained from hugging Varek, placing my arm around Olivia’s waist instead, and sincerely wished the wedded pair much happiness and joy.

Thoughts on February 23rd

We left through the south gate and looped through the hills around the city. We decided to travel off-road on our way back north, so we won’t be recognized.

Thoughts on February 24th

We traveled across winter-fallow fields, keeping our distance from farms and villages. I was sure we’d be spotted, so I refrained from doing acrobatics in the saddle. Being seen isn’t a disaster, as long as we aren’t identified.

Thoughts on February 25th

Not doing acrobatics gets boring quickly. But I just have to bear it. Just in case, I instructed Olivia to keep an eye on me and remind me not to do anything other people can’t do. We rode side by side all day, whispering, and she had no trouble keeping my mind off acrobatics. If anyone else had heard our private conversation, their ears would have burned. As for me, I had to get some privacy with Olivia as soon as our tent was erected. She certainly roused my hunger, talking the way she did.

Thoughts on February 26th

We arrived at the ambush site unseen. Va’lyndra, Ilzo and Lady Karita had scouted out a nice out-of-the-way place where we could erect our tents nearby. Ilzo dug a wide but shallow hole where we confined the horses so they wouldn’t be visible from afar. Va’lyndra camouflaged the camp with a little help from Olivia. Ilzo inspected their work, but wasn’t impressed. Va’lyndra convinced him it was adequate, though. Then she left to receive the latest news from Luffe in the city, being the only one except for Olivia who doesn’t stick out in the crowd. She would also get some heavy rope for a trap the others had planned. I helped with the preparation of the trap. Eventually it’s going to be trip wires across the road, but for now, it was only short, sturdy poles beaten into the ground. Lady Karita kept watch, alerting us workers when someone approached so we could go and hide.

Thoughts on February 27th

With Va’lyndra gone, Lady Karita had to take a turn of the night watch, but fortunately, she made no fuss about it, and the night passed uneventfully. We stayed in camp for the most part, today. A thought occurred to me: We have gone to great lengths to disguise ourselves, and have even acquired a new suit of armor for Ilzo, complete with a full helm so his orc face wouldn’t be visible. However, we hadn’t thought about the weapons we’re going to use. Ilzo uses a naginata called Surkalpi, and while it’s an uncommon weapon type, it’s hardly unique, so unless he activates the light spell, it won’t be immediately recognizable. My long knife, Scorchmark, also looks quite ordinary, but flames burst from the blade when I hit something with it, clearly marking it as magical. Not to speak of the fact that it comes flying back to my hand if I drop or throw it. And then there is Lady Karita’s longsword, fine enough for a king’s regalia.

I decided to wait for Va’lyndra before voicing my concern about the weapons, but she didn’t return until evening, and by then, I had forgotten all about it. Listening to Olivia’s breathing, I hear she’s fallen asleep, so I’ll have to remember it myself; I don’t want to wake her up.
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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