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ashnabis session logs
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Summary

Session

Prologue


<AshnabisNarrator> There is an old Aummesh folk song, sung sometimes still today by the old men on the verandas along the riverside in Timiil:
<AshnabisNarrator> https://open.spotify.com/track/7ER4MtqejQWoUPTWmm7ERx
<AshnabisNarrator> In Etsmaal, by the Sebor's still waters / the lilypads dance at dawn; As toads hop, and turtles linger / awaiting midday slumber.
<AshnabisNarrator> Here it is Etsmaal, but in the Omban states, the month is Shosolda, the first really warm and dry month, where the planting is finished but before the harvest for most of the crops. Here in Ashnabis, the newcomers are busy at work and play.
<AshnabisNarrator> Like toads hopping among the lilypads, this has become a month of mating and heartbreak, as newcomers find new partners and new freedom here in Kaskind. Some of you, too, have such partnerships to ponder.
* Kennesaw is now known as Jimba
<AshnabisNarrator> The commotion caused by the arrival of the Pinnacle three days ago, with its cargo of Taizian corpseborn prisoners, has already been forgotten by many. Such is the way of things in the Territory, where novelty is so commonplace as to render the concept meaningless.
<AshnabisNarrator> But you have not forgotten, of course, nor the pale oracle growing by the persimmons, in the shade of strange temples. But like the turtle, you linger, waiting ...

Llillilli finds out Shulilae and Helithae are expecting


<AshnabisNarrator> Llillilli, it is hard to say how you are feeling right now. Your meeting with Thelef's relatives went ... well enough? Your expectations had been set so very low that you can hardly feel ashamed at mediocrity.
<AshnabisNarrator> You have yet to hear anything from them, although Thelef was by the boat yesterday as if to reassure you that no news is typical of this place, where decisions are slow and ponderous sometimes but surely not made rashly, either way.
<AshnabisNarrator> In the meantime, you have been delaying in telling Shulilae and Helithae the 'happy news', perhaps because you were half-sure the Aanilaus family would never have you and this would save you the embarrassment. But now you have been invited over for tea with the two of them.
<AshnabisNarrator> You head over to their small cottage by the seashore, which seems none the worse for wear after Thethu's work here last month.
<Llillilli> (this isn't the one with jimba and kat I guess)
<AshnabisGM> (since we have no Kat, no. another time :)
* Llillilli is punctual as always.
* Shulilae 's dark red skin has a glossy look, as though freshly molted.
* Helithae 's normally slender form is more round than usual, with a distinct outward curve to their waist.
<Llillilli> owo
* Llillilli looks the same as always :v
* Llillilli has her dashi tied up between her legs, bare chested, with her hair in a wrap. She is carrying her two pfethes with her.
<Shulilae> Ah, hello, little one. You are looking ... fit. You have been practicing.
<Llillilli> Yes. You both look well also.
* Helithae looks pleased
<Helithae> We have some news - we are with hoele.
* Helithae says, patting their stomach.
<Llillilli> Oh, congratulations!
<Helithae> It is early still, so we do not celebrate yet, but thank you.
<Shulilae> Yes, thank you. It was both an easy and a hard decision.
<Helithae> It will be three months until I lay the clutch and then five more months before any of them may hatch, if we are fortunate.
* Llillilli nods.
<Helithae> Often only one from a group will hatch.
<Llillilli> :/
<Shulilae> Oh no, little one, that is cause for joy not sadness.
<Shulilae> How would we ever care for so many?
<Llillilli> I guess... How many is many?
<Helithae> Yes - if I had 6 or 7 hifis at once, we could not take care of them all.
<Llillilli> Oh. That is a lot. :o
<Helithae> Most often one, sometimes two, very very rarely, three might hatch. More than three is ... something from a legend, perhaps :)
<Shulilae> I suppose we are a little worried because we are not using the egg tenders in Sulise, but nurturing them on their own, as in the old days. But Helithae tells me not to worry so much, so I do not.
<Helithae> We will manage.
<Llillilli> I'm sure you'll be great parents
<Shulilae> Well, we have many skills that would help us.
* Shulilae sets about preparing the tea.
<Llillilli> I have some news too. Maybe you heard already.
<Shulilae> Oh?
<Helithae> what news is it? We have been preoccupied of late, I admit, so we have not been out as much.
<Llillilli> Thelef's human family was bothering him to get married.
<Llillilli> So we are
<Llillilli> Probably, anyway.
<Shulilae> You are ... what?
* Helithae 's eyes widen
<Llillilli> It's not like that.
<Llillilli> I'm just helping a friend.
<Llillilli> I know I'm too young to... lay eggs.
<Helithae> How interesting! Thelef is an important huwhi, it is a good match.
<Shulilae> Thelef is indeed important at the court at Sulise.
<Helithae> We know that you are ... physically mature, by the standards of humans. Even if our people still see you as young, it is not entirely the same as if a juvenile were to want to marry.
<Llillilli> Oh good. I was ... I don't know, worried you wouldn't approve.
<Shulilae> Approve? That is not, well, I don't know what to say to that.
<Shulilae> It is not our place to approve or disapprove.
<Helithae> We can offer guidance and advice, but you will swim in your own current.
<Helithae> Are you pleased with this match?
<Llillilli> Well, it's important to me, what you guys think
<Llillilli> Sure.
<Shulilae> Was this your idea or Thelef's?
<Llillilli> Well... sort of both
<Llillilli> I said he should just find someone he didn't hate and marry them
<Llillilli> And then he came back a while later and decided he didn't hate *me*, so
<Shulilae> So this is to solve a problem with Thelef's human family?
<Llillilli> Yeah.
<Shulilae> Curious.
<Helithae> A good mate is a companion and provides support and comfort. I hope that you and Thelef can be such companions for each other.
* Helithae says, giving Shuliae a little affectionate nuzzle.
<Shulilae> That is true. I have been very fortunate.
<Llillilli> Well. I would be lucky to have that...
* Llillilli says awkwardly
<Shulilae> Because you are not yet of the whesef, I would imagine it will be some time before Thelef can present you to the court.
<Shulilae> But when that happens, that will be a change.
<Llillilli> Who knows when that would even be though.
<Llillilli> Years maybe.
<Llillilli> ¬_¬
<Shulilae> Well, perhaps not that long. But yes, some time, little one.
<Helithae> Yes. After that, it might be that it will mean you need to attend at the court more often, if his presence is needed there. He has strong support from King Whuthe and his partner could likewise be a prominent figure.
<Llillilli> So you're saying... I have to get *way
* better with the pfethe.
<Helithae> It is something to consider as you go forward, what role you want to play in the complications of the court.
* Helithae gives a little hiss of laughter.
<Helithae> I hope you will not need it, but it could not hurt!
<Shulilae> There is a reason we live here in Kaskind, after all.
<Llillilli> Yeah I'm not really interested in politics...
<Llillilli> I guess I'd just help Thelef.
<Llillilli> or at least try not to get him in trouble :p
<Helithae> He can likely advise you on that better than we could - he spends much time there and is no doubt more familiar with all the shifting sands of the factions there.
* Llillilli nods.
<Shulilae> Given what happened at Hefeth's pfullaes, you might also expect some more, ah, expressions of concern.
<Shulilae> But I'm sure Thelef has thought of that.
<Helithae> What sort of ceremony do humans have for a marriage? Would we be able to attend?
<Llillilli> Of course, you're my family
<Llillilli> I'm starting to think it might be bigger than I realized at first
<Llillilli> Thelef's family are...
<Llillilli> Well, tradition seems very important to them
<Llillilli> SO there's probably going to be a bunch of them
<Llillilli> and I just have you guys, and Kat and Jimba.
<Helithae> we would be honoured to be there
<Shulilae> Yes, of course, we would be there.
<Shulilae> When is it?
<Llillilli> They probably won't let me invite Daifan >:(
<Shulilae> Why not?
<Llillilli> Because her mother died.
<Llillilli> Isn't that idiotic??
<Helithae> that is a strange custom.
<Shulilae> Ah, the corpseborn. Yes, it is strange. Not so unfamiliar, alas.
<Llillilli> she's ... my only human friend really
<Llillilli> >:(
<Helithae> How do they know that a human is corpseborn? can they smell it?
<Llillilli> I don't know. They never smelled it on me
<Llillilli> The only reason Jimba and I aren't in Banei with her is our aunt lied, to everyone, and there was no priest at our birth.
<Shulilae> Well ... I think you can find a way to invite her, little one. You're very clever.
<Helithae> It seems like it only exists to make some excuse for some humans to put themselves above other humans.
<Llillilli> Maybe...
<Llillilli> Probably.
* Helithae pats you on the shoulder.
<Helithae> Well, I hope it is a good match with Thelef, and that you will be content. And we will be glad to go as part of your family to the ceremony.
<Llillilli> Thanks :>
<Shulilae> We wish you all the best, little one.
<Helithae> Now not so little, perhaps :3

Dezmali gives Veznara an assignment to check on Lady Galdai


<AshnabisNarrator> Veznara, things have most certainly not been normal at the temple, with the arrival of the three corpseborn being held here at Dezmali's assistance for healing and care, after they had arrived malnourished from aboard the Pinnacle prison ship.
<AshnabisNarrator> While their compatriots have been shuffled up to Galdai Ebesnata's country plantation, they're here - under bubun guard, and under Dezmali's personal care and attention.
<AshnabisNarrator> Throughout history, the temples of the Voice but especially of the Hand have served as sanctuary for those seeking refuge for political reasons, for instance. But the last time this was an issue in the Omban states, to your knowledge, was during the Bone War in which the Kingdom of Sharai seceded from Omba herself, more than a decade before your birth.
<AshnabisNarrator> This feels a little like that, although you're not sure quite why that should be. Certainly, Princess Galdai is a controversial figure, but why these three corpseborn should have attracted so much attention is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps one whose nature is about to be revealed ...
<AshnabisNarrator> You are at the temple one evening when Dezmali comes to speak to you.
* Shulilae is now known as Dezmali
* Dezmali wears her robes, accented by a pale blue sash. Her short curly hair is held back from her thin face with a ribbon of a similar shade.
<Dezmali> Veznara. I'm glad you're still here. I have been hoping to speak with you.
<Veznara> Oh?
<Dezmali> Yes, I need your particular skills for an important task.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> I am at your service, of course!
<Dezmali> Come to my office, we'll speak there.
* Veznara nods and follows Dezmali to her office
* Dezmali leads you down the hall and into a room guarded by two bubun.
<Dezmali> How have you been?
<Veznara> Well, thank you!
<Veznara> Voice Gili came to see me the other day, asking about the temples...
<Dezmali> Ah, yes. Well, that will have to wait.
<Dezmali> I wish to speak to you about our new ... guests.
* Veznara tilts her head to one side
<Veznara> Oh?
<Veznara> The ones who were retained from Princess Galdai?
<Dezmali> Yes, that is one way to put it.
<Veznara> I imagine she may want to claim them soon?
<Dezmali> Hmm, why do you imagine that?
<Veznara> Well, my understanding is that she met the ship that brought them. Were they sent here at her command?
<Dezmali> No.
<Dezmali> The night the Pinnacle arrived, I met with Galdai herself. As you say, she had come to the port to meet the Imperial ship and as they were offloading, I was awakened and went down to meet her there.
<Dezmali> It is because of that conversation with her that we have even the three guests that we do.
<Veznara> What did she say?
<Dezmali> She said they were prisoners, that they were convicted under Imperial law, and that their sentence was to labour on her plantation. That is not my place to adjudicate.
<Dezmali> But when there is suffering, we have a duty to alleviate that suffering.
<Veznara> And these three were brought here instead because they were ill.
* Dezmali nods.
<Dezmali> It was clear that they needed care, and I felt it was our obligation to require it. And so I spoke to Galdai to insist, and made it clear that her refusal would be very unwelcome. But even so, she was reluctant, which perplexes me.
<Veznara> Hmmm.
<Veznara> There is... a resident of Banei, on my team at the registry.
<Dezmali> Daifan.
<Veznara> Yes!
<Dezmali> I spoke to her yesterday. Very clever, that one.
* Veznara grimaces
<Veznara> Indeed.
<Dezmali> Is something wrong about her?
<Veznara> She asked me to find out more about those three when they arrived; but she asked me about the Princess a while before that.
<Dezmali> I see.
<Dezmali> And what did you tell her?
<Veznara> Well, she said she wondered what it was like to work for the Princess, because she knew of others who might need good work.
<Dezmali> I see.
<Veznara> I told her I had little idea of the inner workings of the Princess' household, but that she could ask another resident of Banei,
<Veznara> One who I knew worked for the Princess, having seen her there.
* Dezmali nods.
<Dezmali> All right.
<Veznara> As for the three, I told Daifan that they'd been brought here for treatment, having been afflicted with some ailments on the voyage, and were being well treated.
<Dezmali> Well, that is true enough.
<Dezmali> Mostly they are malnourished, and the pregnant one has been very sick throughout the long sea voyage, which doesn't help.
<Dezmali> But they are certainly in no condition to work on a plantation right now. And though they are prisoners, convicted of 'witchcraft', they pose no apparent danger. We feed them, heal them, and when they're well enough, we return them to her.
<Veznara> Hmmm. Daifan did ask about the specific charge.
<Veznara> Do we know what "witchcraft" means, here?
<Dezmali> Not precisely, no. But it appears that all of the prisoners came from the community of Gagambor, which I don't know of, somewhere in Taizi, and that they had access to fos and were engaged in its regular use.
<Veznara> (Does that mean anything to me?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (no, although you could look it up on a map later)
<Veznara> I see. All from the same community?
<Dezmali> Yes. And importantly, it seems that not all of the convicts were transported here. Many were simply executed.
<Dezmali> Which, of course, is your Emperor's privilege. But still, a fact of interest.
<Veznara> So you would like to find out more about the situation, and how it came about.
<Dezmali> Yes ... but not only that.
<Veznara> Yes?
<Dezmali> I am appointing you to serve Lady Galdai, in charge of her personal pastoral care. I believe your common heritage and your family's dignity make you exceptionally well-suited for this role.
* Veznara smiles wryly
<Veznara> Of course - it shall be an honour to discharge such a duty.
<Veznara> It means I will have to attend her in various places, of course, wherever she may be.
<Veznara> Including her plantation, from time to time?
<Veznara> Though I do not think she often visits it in person.
<Dezmali> Yes, well, of course, you can only be there occasionally, but yes, you are authorized to visit her at her home in Kaskind, or at the plantation, as required for the discharge of these duties.
<Veznara> And should I ask her specifically about this situation? Or simply observe as much as I can?
<Dezmali> Obviously you will exercise discretion to not cause her any undue concern. And to not reveal to her that your principal concern is with the dozens of corpseborn prisoners, rather than her own personal wellbeing.
<Veznara> May I ask... when you say you had to press Princess Galdai to get her to leave the three in our charge, how did that conversation go?
<Veznara> You say she was "reluctant". But defensive? Impatient?
<Dezmali> A little of both, I suppose. She tried to claim that the prisoners were dangerous. She tried to claim Imperial privilege. She suggested that the three were malingering, which at best seems to be true of perhaps one of them. Eventually she saw that I would not relent, which I think surprised her, but she had no real choice. She can ill afford to offend us.
<Veznara> Will it raise her suspicions that I've been appointed to attend her so soon afterward? No, I'm sure it will. The real question is, how much?
<Dezmali> A great deal, I would hope. Being observed is one way to ensure her good future behaviour towards her charges. They may not be people, but they do have feelings, hopes, loves, and that is our highest obligation.
<Veznara> Yes, of course.
* Dezmali pauses, as if thinking of saying more.
<Veznara> Yes?
<Dezmali> Did you know that my parents were corpseborn?
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> I had heard you were adopted by Corpseborn, yes.
<Dezmali> I don't make a secret of the fact, which offends some, who, I think, would like to imagine that babies just appear out of nowhere to live at the major temples back home.
<Dezmali> I was raised in Azhbaru, in the old quarter of the Imperial City of Omba itself, among the Hand, in perhaps the oldest temple still in active use. As a girl, I knew myself to be an orphan, but I later learned that I am, in fact, what the corpseborn call a sid, a child born to a living corpseborn mother, exchanged as part of what we call the tide. Our motherless children to them, their
<Dezmali> children to us. In and out.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> I will find out what I can, Dezmali. If the Princess is mistreating them, I will let you know, and we can put a stop to it.
<Dezmali> Have you had much experience with the corpseborn, Veznara?
<Veznara> No. I think Daifan is perhaps the first one I've really spoken to very much.
<Dezmali> I would imagine the elite in Taizi, as in Omba, are more likely to have bubun servants than corpseborn.
<Veznara> (Do we?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (yup)
<Veznara> Yes, for the most part. I was a bit surprised when I realized that Princess Galdai employed a corpseborn, actually, now that you mention it.
<Dezmali> Hmm. I hadn't thought about that but it is odd, I suppose.
<Veznara> I expect that is how Daifan heard about all this.
<Dezmali> When I was young, I found the corpseborn repugnant. Just because that was what we all absorbed, I suppose. We saw them as beggars and prostitutes and shit-sweepers.
<Veznara> I'm sure that changed.
<Dezmali> Twice, in fact. When I learned I was the daughter of corpseborn, I came to view the whole institution and the tide of babies as repugnant, that we could ever ask parents to discard their child the way I was.
<Dezmali> And now, having cared for them at home and here, I have again changed my views.
<Dezmali> The corpseborn are part of our society, but they would not choose to be us, if they could. But they also know that to continue to exist, they need the tide, which goes out just as surely as it comes in.
* Veznara frowns
<Dezmali> That is why I am assigning you this task.
<Veznara> Well, I can't say that I'm pleased at how Daifan seems to have manipulated this situation.
<Veznara> But I can understand.
<Dezmali> Hmm. Is that what happened? I don't suppose so. But in any case. Our obligation is to care for these corpseborn, the three we have, and the forty-seven we do not. As corpseborn, if not as people.
<Dezmali> That is why this business with Galdai worries me - that your beloved Emperor simply seems to have defined a whole town as criminal, killed many, sent the here as prisoners, and we are expected to simply accept that. That is not how we treat our corpseborn.
<Veznara> If I may, I would like to talk to our three guests to try to get a better idea of what happened from their perspective.
<Veznara> They may not want to talk to me; but at least I can try.
<Dezmali> Yes, I will allow that. And I do not think they will be reluctant. The couple, Fuska and Zarogalo, especially. They've been through so much.
* Veznara nods
<Dezmali> The third, Ughiva, is more ... feisty.
<Dezmali> But talk to her as she will allow.
<Veznara> Feisty? Oh dear.
<Veznara> I will try, nonetheless.
* Veznara stands
<Dezmali> Thank you, Veznara. I appreciate that this is a weighty task, but one for which you're well-prepared and capable.
<Veznara> I will do my best, Dezmali. As you say, it is our obligation. May the Ancestors aid me in carrying it out.

Jimba meets with Dekhesh about trade


<@AshnabisGM> Jimba, the life of a riverfolk pirate isn't all that it's cracked up to be, at least not when you have a day job. There's a lot to do and not nearly as much time as you might like to get out hunting.
<@AshnabisGM> Jenam has been crashing at your boat regularly since you invited him, too.
<@AshnabisGM> But you have noticed random Aummesh folks giving you a happy smile and a nod over the past couple of weeks, as if they know who you are. The problem is that now you're not sure whether they're Black Stork folks or members of the Aanilaus lineage - and that's a mistake you probably don't want to make.
<@AshnabisGM> Regardless of the cause, could it be that you're becoming ... notable?
<Jimba> (Yay...I think.)
<@AshnabisGM> Early one morning you're the first one awake, and are doing your morning chores aboard the boat when you see someone approaching. But this one is definitely not Aummesh, neither pirate nor noble.
* Helithae is now known as Dekhesh
* Dekhesh is tall and lithe, dressed in a faded green linen shirt and a pair of tan trousers with patched knees. His golden-brown hair is tied in a complex knot to one side of his head, and he has striking green eyes.
<Dekhesh> Good morning - are you Jimba?
<Jimba> I am indeed. And you are?
<Dekhesh> I'm Dekhesh, Daifan's friend. I understand you are a trader who might be interested in doing business?
<Jimba> Oh, yes!
<Jimba> (Is everyone else still asleep?)
<@AshnabisGM> (yes)
<Jimba> You hungry? Let me buy you breakfast and we can talk. No need to wake everyone up.
<Dekhesh> Sure, that would be great :)
* Jimba will disembark and offer his hand.
<Jimba> Nice to meet you.
* Dekhesh is momentarily surprised, but will shake your hand in return.
* Jimba smiles.
<Dekhesh> You as well. Daifan's told me a fair bit about you.
<Jimba> All good, I hope.
* Jimba will lead the way towards breakfast.
<Dekhesh> Well, I hear you treat corpseborn fairly, so that's a promising start.
<Jimba> Well, I do my best. I seem to screw up the specifics now and again.
<Dekhesh> It's probably a lot to absorb, when you're observing the community from outside. Me, I just appreciate if someone makes an effort.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> So, how do you know Daifan? I know Banei isn't big...
<Dekhesh> And I admit we do our best to make things confusing :)
<Jimba> Well, probably best that way. Don't want to give too much away.
<Dekhesh> oh... well, I try to get to know most newcomers to the town, if I can. Daifan and I sort of hit it off.
<Jimba> Banei welcoming committee, huh?
<Dekhesh> you could say that. some people probably wish I'd be a bit less welcoming :)
<Jimba> Well that just seems downright unneighborly.
<Dekhesh> It's complicated. Some people want to keep a balance between newcomers and those who've always been here, not to overwhelm what's already been put in place here.
* Dekhesh shrugs
<Dekhesh> I can understand that, but I think we all need to stick together - and the more of us, the harder we are to ignore.
<Jimba> Well, I guess I can see that.
<Jimba> The balance thing, I mean.
* Dekhesh nods
<Jimba> I also happen to agree with your assessment.
<Jimba> Kind of Kaskind in microcosm.
* Dekhesh nods to that
<Jimba> Which, honestly, is sort of why I mentioned trade to Daifan.
<Dekhesh> It's rare to find a merchant from outside our community who's willing to do business with our people.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> We all need to stick together, like you said.
* Dekhesh smiles
<Dekhesh> True, but you probably also want to turn a profit. Which depends on a few conditions, I suspect.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Well, I'd like a profit, but I definitely want to be fair with my prices.
<Dekhesh> Like people being willing to buy your goods - which means not knowing they come from corpseborn craftspeople or hunters or farmers.
<Jimba> Right.
<Jimba> I've got contacts I can filter through, and, for that matter, do enough business I don't think it's likely people are going to get too curious.
<Dekhesh> So you have a ... what's the polite way to say this? a good cover story for where you'll say you've obtained these things?
<Jimba> Well, if we're being honest here, I deal with some of the outlying Aummesh communities when my job takes me that way, I deal with all kind of folk in town...Black Stork, Ivory Knives, whoever's selling or buying.
<Dekhesh> Ah, well. Then I guess you have plenty of practice at explaining how something fell off the back of a wagon :)
* Jimba smiles and shrugs.
<Jimba> I try to be fair. Doesn't always allow me to be completely honest.
<Dekhesh> I like a business partner with some experience of how the world works. It's refreshing :)
<Jimba> Well, my family and I are still getting our feet wet in Kaskind, but I think I've got the lay of the land.
<Jimba> Might have mixed my metaphors, there, but you understand.
* Dekhesh smiles
<Dekhesh> the land is mostly pretty wet here anyway :)
<Jimba> I was about to say. :)
<Dekhesh> I do have one other question.
<Jimba> Ask away.
<Dekhesh> Well - of course trading for coin is always useful. We can use money to get things we'd have a hard time making ourselves. But there's one thing we could really use that money can't buy.
<Jimba> Oh?
* Jimba raises an eyebrow.
<Dekhesh> Weapons.
* Dekhesh says, lowering his voice slightly.
* Jimba frowns.
<Jimba> What sort of weapons? I'm assuming you don't just mean hunting bows or spears, huh?
<Dekhesh> Right. We can make spears and clubs pretty easily. But ~technically~ it's illegal for us to carry weapons. I mean.. people look the other way at a knife, or a walking stick that could turn into a staff. But I'm interested in something with a little more heft to it.
<Jimba> You're talking military-type weapons, then. Swords and the like?
<Dekhesh> If you can get them. Better quality bows and arrows, too, maybe?
<Jimba> I might could manage that.
<Jimba> It'd take some time to accumulate in any numbers.
<Jimba> Gotta be careful with this sort of thing.
* Dekhesh nods
<Dekhesh> Of course. And I don't want to get you in trouble. Gathering a few at a time is fine.
<Jimba> Is this for defense or...maybe better I don't know.
<Dekhesh> Self-defense is important for our community.
* Dekhesh says innocently
<Jimba> I can imagine, and you have a little better opportunity out here.
<Dekhesh> This is truly the land of opportunity :)
* Jimba grins.
* Dekhesh says with a smile and a wink.
<Jimba> If you don't mind my asking, do you have people who know how to use those sort of things? Not usually being allowed to have them and all.
<Dekhesh> Well, a bow's a bow, isn't it? We have hunters, so hopefully they can pick up one and figure it out. Swords, I admit might be more of a challenge, but we'll figure it out.
<Jimba> Well, I know a little bit. I could show you a thing or two, maybe.
<Dekhesh> that'd be most welcome :)
<Jimba> So, given that you seem to know most folks in Banei, any idea what sort of goods you might have to trade?
<Dekhesh> Absolutely. We have hunters and fishers, so the usual types of things like furs, meat, fish, when there's a surplus over what we need. Farmers grow food, as well as fos - again, some of it we keep for ourselves, but any excess we'd be interested in trading.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Sounds good. Any craftsfolk, that sort of thing? I might be able to get them a better price for their goods.
<Dekhesh> We have craftspeople - I know of weavers, spinners, people making clothing and shoes and things like baskets and hats that just about everyone uses. We can cut trees for lumber, and we have carpenters who can make that wood into items.
<Jimba> Excellent. I think this could be good all around. :)
<Dekhesh> I look forward to a prosperous business relationship, then :)
* Dekhesh will have breakfast with you and you can chat further if you want.
<Jimba> (Sounds good :))

Kirikha visits Junan, upset about her engagement


<AshnabisNarrator> Junan, your plans with Lutsi are starting to take shape. At the very least, there is an agreement in place for the pearl, and then beyond that, who knows? You will need to sort out a lot of things before an expedition will be possible, and those things take time.
<AshnabisNarrator> In the meantime, you have plenty of other things on your mind to occupy you, whether at work or home, to keep the dreams of massive wealth at bay.
<AshnabisNarrator> You are at home one evening when there is a rapid knocking at your door.
* Junan stops tuning his lute and will go open the door
<AshnabisNarrator> You open the door and see that it is Kirikha.
* Dezmali is now known as Kirikha
* Kirikha 's curly hair is tied back in a bun, but a few strands are loose and frizzy. She wears a burnt orange tunic and a dark brown wrapped skirt with a pattern of glistening bronze stripes. She looks upset.
<Junan> Kirikha, this is unexpected. What's happened?
<Kirikha> Junan ... can I come in?
* Junan will step aside and let her enter
<Junan> of course
* Kirikha comes in and sort of looks around.
<Junan> Would you like to sit? Do you need a drink?
<Kirikha> Ah, sure. Wine?
* Junan will clean some laundry off the one chair in the room
* Kirikha sits.
<Kirikha> I have some news. I've been contracted to be married.
* Junan will grab a pair of cups from a small chest and go to work on opening the bottle on his desk
* Kirikha sobs, then breaks out into tears.
<Junan> I had heard
<Kirikha> You ... did?
* Kirikha says through more tears.
* Junan will pour her a cup and hand it to her
* Kirikha takes it in shaky hands and starts drinking.
<Junan> I had a meeting with the Senator. Funa Ildondi was there.
<Junan> It came up in the polite chit-chat
<Kirikha> Ah, I see.
<Kirikha> I'm so angry at myself. I'm so weak. Father makes all these arrangements and he trots me out like I'm an antique vase to be put on display for these *boys*.
* Junan sits on the floor in front of her, his own cup in hand
<Junan> I meant to ask you how you felt about the whole thing, but I think its obvious
* Kirikha sobs.
<Kirikha> And this one is the youngest of all. He can't be older than … twelve, thirteen?
<Junan> I barely met him, but I don't disagree, he did seem really young
* Junan will take her hand
<Kirikha> Fivis is an ass. I just wish someone would stab him in the back and dump him in the swamp. But Father would just find another one, either a child or an old man, to marry me off to.
<Junan> So what is it you want to do?
<Kirikha> Do I have any choice?
<Junan> you always have a choice... its dealing with the consequences that can be rough.
* Kirikha drinks some more wine.
<Kirikha> I don't usually drink much, except when I'm with you.
<Junan> I'm such a bad influence
<Kirikha> It's not the boy's fault. I know that. It's my father. It's always my father.
<Junan> You don't have to sell his lackings to me... I already appreciate them
<Kirikha> He's never trusted me. You know, he doesn't come from money originally - his mother, my grandmother, became wealthy in the theatre.
* Junan will kneel so he is facing her
<Kirikha> He was born out of wedlock - he thinks I don't know, but my grandmother told me. My grandfather, where we get our name from, was the second husband.
<Junan> Ugh... can't deal with it so he schemes to improve his own standings through you
<Kirikha> And then there's the whole business with my mother.
<Junan> what business is that?
* Kirikha sobs.
<Kirikha> They divorced because she cheated on him. And he's convinced that I'm like her, because ... I look like her, I guess?
<Kirikha> I don't know, because I'm not allowed to see her. I send her letters, but that's all.
<Junan> I've dealt with my own family bullshit... but this is punitive.
<Junan> Where is she now? Can you go and see her?
<Kirikha> She lives on her lineage estate outside of Lunduso. I mean ... I could go there if I just left. But no, not really.
<AshnabisNarrator> (for the record that's the biggest city in Daligash, it's probably 500 miles away overland)
<Junan> (I was trying to place it... I've probably been there)
<AshnabisNarrator> (almost certainly)
<Junan> There are worse places to go, if that's what you want...
<Kirikha> It's not. Not really. I enjoy working for the Senator. And I think he's sympathetic. But Kivis' mother is in his circle. And Father, of course.
<Junan> I know you like working at Ghendalt's shop
* Kirikha nods.
<Kirikha> And I don't have any money to travel, not of my own.
<Junan> I want to help you Kirikha... I'm just not sure what I can do to help you keep everything you want.
<Junan> I know I would miss you if you weren't here, but that's doesn't really matter
* Kirikha nods sadly.
<Kirikha> I guess not.
* Kirikha finishes her wine.
<Kirikha> Maybe if we could ask the Senator for his help. He's the one person my father would have to listen to.
<Junan> Thats a possiblity... it cant hurt.
<Kirikha> Would you help me with that?
<Junan> Yes, of course I'll help you
* Kirikha smiles.
<Kirikha> You're so kind.
* Kirikha leans over and kisses you.
* Junan kisses her back

Daifan talks with Nezha about Galdai's plans


<@AshnabisGM> Daifan, you know in your gut that you're doing what you can to help the budal out at Galdai's prison colony, and the three at the temple in Kaskind. The fact that there seem to be allies out there to help you lightens your spirit too. But you can't help feeling anxious at the prospect of what could be going on out there.
<@AshnabisGM> About the only thing to keep you well and truly distracted is little baby Shira, who still doesn't do much of anything but whatever it is she does, she surely is cute doing it. In your precious free moments you use her little gassy half-smile to keep you whole.
<Daifan> :3
<@AshnabisGM> You've just finished putting her down to sleep one evening (Spider and Sheepstealer are out having some grown-up time alone) when there is a quiet knock at your door.
* Daifan tried not to neglet lil' asshole though, who is used to having mopre oif my attention, so she doesn't get jealous :3
* Daifan will answer, monkey on their shoulder
<Daifan> hello?
<@AshnabisGM> Lil asshole will accept your attention graciously :3
* Dekhesh is now known as Nezha
* Nezha is wearing in a simple brown dress with a pattern of overlapping patches at the neckline, belted with a sturdy leather belt. Her mousy brown hair is braided in a single plait.
<Nezha> Oh, hello Daifan - I was hoping to find you here.
<Daifan> Nezha, hey - wanna come in?
* Nezha steps inside
<Nezha> Is your monkey friendly? :3
<Daifan> I just put down the little goat and was going to make some tea.
* Nezha asks, eyeing it
<Daifan> very :)
<Daifan> you can pet her, she's very soft
* Nezha reaches out cautiously and will pet her.
<Nezha> Aww... she's lovely.
<Nezha> I hope I'm not intruding. I wanted to keep you informed about how things are going...
<Daifan> No, please do!
* Daifan will gesture for her to sit, and will start getting stuff together for tea
<Daifan> (for two ;)
* Nezha will have a seat.
<Nezha> How are you doing?
<Daifan> Keeping busy, mostly...
* Nezha nods
<Daifan> getting out a little. You?
<Nezha> Oh, it's been very busy at Lady Galdai's plantation. There seems to be always something I need to do.
* Daifan nods
<Nezha> The new arrivals are getting settled in.
<Daifan> I've been to see the ones at the temple. well, one of them, at least.
<Nezha> How are they?
<Daifan> The one I talked to, Ughiva... I only talked to her with hand Dezmali there, so I don't know her ludu, she seemed okay. I little thin, but I guess they all must be. Ther other two are a couple, and the woman is pregnant. the Hands are taking care of her. I guess her boyfriend gave up most of his food for them, so he was pretty sick too
<Nezha> Oh :/
<Nezha> Are they going to recover?
<Daifan> I think Ughiva is like their aizeron.
* Daifan nods
<Nezha> That's good.
<Nezha> There's one of the ones at the plantation who asked about Ughiva. Or Spoons, she called her too. Maybe I can get word to her that she's okay.
<Daifan> yes. She's interesting. She has a girlfriend in the others, a woman named Kida? Apparenly she's very beautifulz
<Daifan> that's probably her.
* Nezha nods
<Daifan> Spoons said to let her know she's okay.\
<Nezha> I haven't had very much chance to talk to them - Lady Galdai is keeping me busy. But I can try to get word to her.
<Daifan> I betb she's trying to keep you away form them >.>
<Daifan> has she been out there much?
<Nezha> She's been out there since they arrived, making sure everything goes smoothly.
<Daifan> Hmm, I bet >.>
<Daifan> Have you been out there at all?
<Nezha> I go out each day to get any instructions from Lady Galdai, but most of the tasks she's had me doing have been things back at her home in town, or errands that will take me to different places.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Have you seen the building there, the one with no windows, then?
<Nezha> Yes, I've seen it, but I haven't been inside.
<Daifan> :I
<Daifan> It's a place set up for.... "reasearch". The real reason she wants these people.
* Nezha frowns
<Daifan> there's a room for taking notes, and for observationh, and one to chain people to the bed so they're helpless.
<Nezha> Lady Galdai does a great deal of magical research. It's her main interest. Sometimes she has me help her with it, but I don't like it.
* Daifan nods
<Nezha> Magic makes me nervous.
<Daifan> Yes... I am afraid that she might try and rope you into this, becauyse that seems like the sort of thing she would do >:|
<Daifan> I thought you used magic?
<Nezha> I can, a little, but I only do small things.
* Daifan thinks about Katehzhi, and nods
<Nezha> I mean trying to do bigger magic - that's what can be scary.
<Daifan> yeah
<Daifan> well
<Daifan> these people... have you heard any of their story?
<Nezha> I've only seen them briefly - right when they first arrived, she had me there to help with getting them organized into where they were going to sleep and eat and so forth. Since then I haven't had much of a chance to talk with them, although I see them occasionally when I'm there. Some of them have been working in the fos fields but ...
* Nezha hesitates like she isn't sure of what she's about to say
<Daifan> it's okay
<Nezha> they don't seem like they're working very hard. I mean, they do work, but it isn't like they're out there from dawn until dusk or anything. It's really quite minimal work, if you ask me.
* Daifan nods
<Nezha> Maybe there isn't enough to keep them all busy yet, it's early in the season, and some are probably still recovering from the journey...
* Nezha says uncertainly
<Daifan> well, I wouldn't be inclined to do my best if I werre them either... but I know that's not really wehy they are here.
<Daifan> they were using fos in their aizer
<Nezha> It does seem more like a token effort to keep them occupied. ah, visibly occupied, I mean >.>
<Daifan> that's why they were all taken.... these are just the ones that weren't executed :|
<Nezha> :(
<Nezha> Only the women, and a few men.
<Daifan> yeah :/
<Daifan> they don't know about the kids, but the rest.... :/
<Nezha> where would they have even gotten fos back home? it's very costly there, even with new sources coming in from Ashnabis.
* Nezha wonders
<Daifan> I don't know. I'm not sure it matters.
<Nezha> That's one of the main reasons Lady Galdai wanted to come here - having so much more fos, so readily available.
<Daifan> I think she just wants to know what they were doing, but really the person to find that out from isn't there. That doesn't mean they won't try.
<Nezha> You think she wants to learn how they were using fos? like that they were doing something different or special with it?
<Daifan> yes.
* Nezha considers that
<Nezha> Why would she need so many of them for that purpose? She could learn from one or two who were skilled, if that was her aim.
<Daifan> I don't know. Leverage?
<Daifan> I'm sure they woudln't be eager to help
<Nezha> She can convince people... she's very skilled at magic that manipulates people's minds, so they'll do what she wants >.>
<Daifan> ugh.
<Nezha> I mean, I don't think you are necessarily wrong. She might have an interest in that, she's interested in many types of magic, and if this was a previously unknown one, that would certainly attract her attention. But I just don't think that can be all of it :/
<Daifan> I hadn't really thought about it, but you're right.
* Nezha sips her tea
<Nezha> My mother ... she was Lady Galdai's apprentice. After she died having me, Lady Galdai took me in because... I guess she felt responsible, or charitably towards me or something. I've lived with her my entire life. I know her about as well as anyone, I suppose.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> what do you think, then?
<Nezha> She doesn't do anything without careful planning, or without a very good reason. Every step she's taken here - from the time she learned about these prisoners to the present - has not been careless or accidental.
* Daifan nods
<Nezha> She would have requested the specific distribution of prisoners she received - mainly adult women, a few men. That means there's something she needs that division for. It isn't working in fields.
<Daifan> I can't think of anything....goood.... she might want more women for.
<Daifan> ...and no haren.
<Nezha> No, no haren, no elders, no children.
* Daifan wishes they were drinking something stronger than tea
<Daifan> ...yet.
* Nezha nods slowly.
* Daifan looks visibly pale
* Daifan will get up and go find a bottle of whatever liquir they had for takeaway at the mudbug last week
* Daifan will pour a generous splash into each of our cups
<Nezha> ... thank you.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I... shoudl talk to the Hand more. Because if this is true.... the woman they have...
<Daifan> :|
<Nezha> the one who is pregnant?
<Daifan> yes
<Nezha> Lady Galdai did express concern to have them quickly reunited with their companions.
<Daifan> maybe I'm wrong
* Daifan nods
<Nezha> If her ambition does involve... reproduction.... then it takes time. At least nine months :p
* Daifan nods.
<Nezha> At least that means there is time to find a solution.
<Daifan> I mean, I woudln't have thought she'd need to have them sleep separately is that was her aim but that just....makes everything... worse.
<Nezha> >.>
<Nezha> If she has specific ... intentions for ... breeding plans... then maybe having them separated allows her more control over that.
* Daifan tries not to let their imagination run to wild with the notion of a room where someone who is chained to a bed in the power of someone who's good at controlling people's minds
* Nezha says slowly
<Daifan> Mmhmm.
* Daifan takes a deep breath to steady themself
<Daifan> We can't... can't let that happen.
* Nezha shakes her head, but is still lost in thought
<Nezha> Why Corpseborn, then? Only because she can get away with using them for this purpose? Their babies would be given to the church, normally. It wouldn't be like she could keep them there.
<Daifan> let me know if she starts setting up a nursery
* Daifan says darkly
* Nezha nods, looking alarmed.
<Daifan> ...that was... half a joke. Sorry -_-
<Daifan> but anything else you can find out, or anything else you think of.... let me know? I'll see if I can talk to the others more.
<Nezha> I'll see what more I can learn. And I'll try to get to talk to more of the new arrivals.
<Daifan> thank you. Let them knoiw the others are okay, and that they have friends here who want to help them.
<Nezha> I will. Thank you.
<Daifan> and... be careful, okay?
<Nezha> I'll try.
* Daifan will let her have some monkey snuggles for emotional support, and also a hug before she goes
* Nezha will hug back, a bit tentatively but warming up gradually, before slipping away.

Junan meets Daivoz at a tavern


<Forthright> Junan, people around town have been saying that the Esteemed Clam is a nice place to have a drink, a little more high-end than some of your usual dives, seafood and nice wine. More importantly, they seem to be willing to let you play there. For a nice place it's a little bit empty, though - maybe could use a bit more atmosphere.
* Forthright is now known as AshnabisNarrator
<Junan> (or there is a lack of money or taste for a place like this? who knows?)
<AshnabisNarrator> You're playing a few tunes to a lackluster audience when someone shouts out 'Play the Maid from Maruma!'
<Junan> I wasn't expecting such a request, but who am I to deny my audience
* Junan picks out a few notes as a lead in, and starts to play in ernest
<AshnabisNarrator> (sure, make a Perform roll, why not)
<Junan> !roll 1d20+12
* Lan-werk rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+12 ] getting [ 6 ] which, after the modifier [ 12 ] totals [ 18 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> Well, it isn't your best, but seeing as it was a random request, not too shabby. There is some enthusiasm from the crowd.
<AshnabisNarrator> After you finish up, you're enjoying a plate of local fish and a nice Basaian white wine when someone comes up to you.
<AshnabisNarrator> You see that it's Daivoz Ghezifrugu, the arbitrator at the land registry.
* AshnabisNarrator is now known as Daivoz
<Daivoz> Junan! Haven't seen you in here before.
<Junan> Daivoz. Good to see you as well. It's my first time here. Place is a little less lively than I'm used to, but I'm working on it.
<Daivoz> I didn't know you played the lute. But I guess, how would I?
<Junan> Its not like there is time for a jaunty song at the office
<Junan> you come here often?
<Daivoz> Sure, all the time. Sorry about my buddy heckling you earlier.
<Daivoz> Back home, The Maid from Maruma is one of those things that everyone plays in every bar, every night.
<Junan> no worries... sometimes the easiest way to feel out a crowd is if they just tell you what they want
<Junan> but if you are truely sorry, you could buy me a drink.
<Daivoz> Right. Hey now here! One more for my friend with the lute and the hat, and one for me!
<Junan> a true appreciator of the arts
* Daivoz laughs.
<Daivoz> Well, it's nice to hear anything around here. Things haven't been the same since last year.
<Junan> what happened last year? Someone break a string?
<Daivoz> In a manner of speaking. Old owner left when Basai and Choradan got in some sort of squabble and the Basaians all went up the coast to Charadip, where the new Academy is.
<Daivoz> This place used to be all Basaians, and I guess it still is, mostly - just that no one really knows what to do with the place now that half the old clientele is gone.
<Junan> I couldnt imagine why anywone would get in a squable with the Choradans.
* Daivoz laughs.
<Junan> too bad, the wine is good, and the fish isn't bad either
<Daivoz> I mean they've only been pretending to war with Daligash for what, fifty years now?
<Junan> bah, its just a scheme by the arms dealers to keep business good
<Junan> and mercenaries for about six countries employed
<Daivoz> That seems about right.
* Daivoz says, as your drinks arrive.
<Junan> so they built a new Academy way out here?
<Daivoz> Yeah, I mean, the thing is that the fos up there is supposed to be good, and the mystics don't need a huge fort to keep the place safe.
<Daivoz> I mean, don't ask me, I've never touched the stuff.
<Junan> neither have I partaked... and I don't see myself doing so anytime soon
<Daivoz> But half of the Basaians here are here because they have some kinsman who's a mystic who came to Kaskind looking for their fix and even if they don't, they know someone who does. End result: empty bar.
<Junan> thats a loss.
<Daivoz> It is.
<Daivoz> I half expect that I'm going to lose my job sometime this year.
<Junan> and then you'll be gone to the new Academy as well? Who would they replace you with? Arbitrator are better if they are seen as neutral.
<Daivoz> I don't know. Another reckoner, I guess. I just know there have been some rumblings about getting rid of all the Basaians working at the Fort.
<Junan> that must have been quite a squabble
* Junan shakes his head
<Daivoz> I guess. I don't know all the details. People say that the sentinels are afraid that with all the fos here, Basai was going to get too powerful. But that doesn't seem right. That will happen, now just in two colonies instead of one.
<Junan> yeah, I have to agree. I really haven't been keeping up to much on colony politics, despite recommendations of others.
<Daivoz> Anyway, we didn't come here to talk about politics. Especially since we don't know anything. How are things with you?
* Daivoz takes a drink.
<Junan> Oh, I'm trapped in pits created of my own desires, so I come out and play to take my mind off things.
* Daivoz laughs.
<Daivoz> I'm with you there, brother.
<Junan> I could be happy, with some nice young girl, enchanted by a quick and lively tune... but oh no... I have to make things difficult
* Junan strums a few cords
<Daivoz> Oh? Got your eye on someone in the office perhaps? That hithkindred lady seems like she would be some fun if she didn't kill you first.
* Junan chuckles
<Junan> You would always know when the deathblow was coming... she'd be sure to tell you.
* Daivoz laughs.
<Junan> I've been advised its not good to mix work and romance
<Junan> not that it's stopped me in the past
* Daivoz laughs a little louder, perhaps too loudly.
<Daivoz> I hear you. I have ... well, uhh ... I shouldn't say anything.
<Junan> bah, just out with it... you could be gone tomorrow
<Daivoz> You know Besh, that new guard they hired?
<Junan> I do know her, yes.
<Daivoz> So, yeah. For about three months now.
<Daivoz> I know she's a bit young, but hey, like you say, a nice young girl is just the thing sometimes.
<Junan> well, well, I would have never expected that
<Daivoz> I know. Well, what can I say? I mean, it's just a fling, nothing serious, right?
* Junan picks a few notes of "Silk Road"
<Junan> what am I to say? I'm not walking the road of moral virtue.
<Junan> try not to hurt her.
<Daivoz> All I will say is this: whatever you've heard, I didn't have anything to do with getting her hired. Honestly, she's Choradani, those folks just walk into jobs at the Fort.
<Junan> that is true enough
<Daivoz> I promise when it ends - and I mean, it will end, at some point - I'll remember what it was like to be eighteen and in love, and not thirty-seven and moderately jaded.
<Junan> I'll remember you said that. Though I'm here to forget about such worries with some music... any other requests?
<Daivoz> Ah, sure ... do you know Little Jackal?
<Daivoz> (https://open.spotify.com/track/1n0MsfcryTjWFYnQdfKpt1?si=RBfX8vBtTQezA_7uq_PGMA)
<Junan> If I don't I'm sure I know something close
* Junan starts to play

Bivizmi and Katenzhi scheme about the pale oracle


<AshnabisNarrator> Katenzhi, things have been pretty quiet for you at the boat. Jimba's been busy with all his dealings with the Black Stork Armada and pretending to be lineage elder for Llillilli's betrothal. And Llillilli is the one actually getting married! In comparison, your life is easy and free, nothing could possibly go wrong...
<AshnabisNarrator> You are coming out of the office after work one day when you see Bivizmi Pindevuzi standing behind a crowd of bubun who are waiting to be employed in the construction around the fort. She motions for you to come over to her.
* Katenzhi will mosey between the shuffling bubun and greet her.
<Katenzhi> Hey, I was hoping you'd be around.
<Bivizmi> Hey! Uh, great, cause here I am.
<Bivizmi> What's up?
<Katenzhi> Did you tell Fuvas Khundoki about the pale oracle? Because Usuf and her cornered me to interrogate me about it.
<Katenzhi> I don't think they know the details but they know you're up to something.
<Bivizmi> Oh, uhh, yeah, probably I did. She's a friend, kind of. Frequent customer. Usuf, you say?
<Katenzhi> Yeah, he seemed real interested in it. I didn't tell him anything. I may have... told him to go fuck an anthill. Not in so many words, but I think he got the idea.
<Bivizmi> I mean I didn't tell a lot of people. I'm not stupid.
<Bivizmi> But I mean ... check it out ...
* Bivizmi pulls out a small wooden case from a satchel and opens it up just a crack, so you can see a number of fine white clay vials.
<Katenzhi> Is that...?
* Bivizmi smiles broadly.
<Katenzhi> So you made it out there?
* Bivizmi nods.
* Katenzhi grins.
<Bivizmi> It wasn't that hard to find. I can read a map.
<Katenzhi> Here I was thinking it was gonna take an expedition.
<Bivizmi> Well, I mean, I was careful. The plot of land you guys checked out, though, that's not the motherlode.
<Katenzhi> Oh?
<Bivizmi> Over by that temple , by a grove of persimmon trees ... there's a ton of the stuff.
* Katenzhi \s grin falters a bit.
<Katenzhi> By the temple?
<Bivizmi> Yeah, you know.
<Katenzhi> Yeah, kind of. I know a bunch of people have been asking around about that place. It's not really my area, but I'd be careful if you're gonna be anywhere near there.
<Bivizmi> Sure, I mean, I get it, the locals aren't going to be happy about someone hanging around.
<Bivizmi> But just think about it ... I mean, to grow this stuff, maybe commercially. Do you even think the locals know what it really is, or maybe they just let it grow wild there and the moles eat it.
<Katenzhi> I have no idea. They must know something about what it does, right?
<Katenzhi> Did you get enough for growing purposes?
<Bivizmi> No, not really. And this stuff is rare enough that I don't think it grows just anywhere. Probably something about the soil and moisture level in that area.
<Katenzhi> Hmmm... that will make it harder to mass produce.
<Bivizmi> So I was thinking, maybe the best bet is to make a claim on some of the nearby lands. Or maybe even the lands the locals are living on.
<Katenzhi> That's gonna be hard. A lot of that land is claimed by the fort.
<Bivizmi> Sure, sure.
<Katenzhi> And I mean... I don't want to kick anyone off land they're already living on.
<Katenzhi> Maybe some of the nearby parts, but we'd need to see if the conditions are the same there.
<Bivizmi> Well, sure, but I mean, we don't need it all, just the part where the pale oracle is growing.
<Bivizmi> Or maybe, I don't know, there's a third plot next to that, one we could claim.
<Katenzhi> Hmmm
<Bivizmi> Look, here's the way to think about this. You think the pale oracle is going to remain a secret?
<Bivizmi> Someone is going to figure it out, and then it's going to be produced and sold. Might as well be us. I know preparing the stuff isn't your thing but I'm prepared to cut you in. Honestly that might be better to have your name on the claim - if it's a Pindevuzi claim then the Pindevuzi lineage is going to start asserting its rights.
<Katenzhi> I know. And I agree with you. I just want to be careful about it.
<Bivizmi> All right, that's fair.
<Katenzhi> Is the rest of your family gonna give you a rpoblem with it if you're doing this on your own?
<Bivizmi> Yeah ... yeah.
* Bivizmi says somewhat dejectedly.
<Katenzhi> :/
<Katenzhi> Are you prepared for that?
<Bivizmi> They know I'm the most talented but because I'm the youngest one here the decisions get made without me. So maybe it's time.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> Can you promise me we can do this without kicking anyone off their land? Without taking advantage of the locals?
<Bivizmi> We can do this without kicking anyone off their land. I agree.
<Bivizmi> But everything in business is about taking advantage of someone.
* Katenzhi frowns a bit but considers.
<Katenzhi> So say we make a claim. Then what? What's step two? I'm not a gardener. I don't know soil from sewage.
<Bivizmi> Well that's my job. I know plants. And then, we can hire people to work the land.
<Katenzhi> So I put my name on the claim and you run the operation?
<Bivizmi> Sure, that definitely works. And then we enter into a contract to share the revenues.
<Katenzhi> What's the split? Don't get me wrong, I trust you, but it's better to settle that up front.
<Bivizmi> Well... half and half?
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> Ok. If I'm gonna do this I need to talk to my family. Anything I put my name on reflects on them. If they agree... then we'll put in the paperwork as soon as possible. Hopefully tomorrow.
<Bivizmi> Of course. I understand. Thankfully your family seems maybe more normal about these things.
<Katenzhi> My family has been called a lot of things. I'm not sure normal is one of them.
<Katenzhi> But they are pretty reasonable.
* Katenzhi grins.
<Katenzhi> Most of the time.
<Bivizmi> This is going to be so much fun.

Solos

Jimba and Katenzhi make plans


<Katenzhi> I'm guesing Jimba will be around the boat in the evening? Kat can talk to him when she gets back from meeting with Bivizmi.
<Jimba> Works for me
<Katenzhi> cool
* Jimba will be playing with Washteppo and the dogs.
* Katenzhi will head up the plank.
<Katenzhi> Jimba! Good, you're home!
<Jimba> Heya Kat.
<Katenzhi> How are the kids?
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> Tiring themselves out, thank goodness.
<Katenzhi> heh
<Jimba> What've you been up to?
<Katenzhi> I just got back fromm talking to Bivizmi. Remember how she wanted to go out and investigate the Pale Oracle?
<Jimba> Yeah, I remember.
<Katenzhi> Well, she decided she couldn't wait and she went out there herself. Came back with a bunch of samples. And, since it's her, a scheme.
<Jimba> Oh?
<Katenzhi> She wants to put a claim on one of the nearby parcels of land and start growing it there. Something about the soil being better out there for it. She says if I put a claim on the land she'll take care of the growing and we'll split the profits. She's trying to get out from underneath her family's control some and this would be a good way to do that.
<Katenzhi> But I wanted to get your advise on it, since it would be in my name.
<Jimba> Oh!
<Jimba> Hmm.
<Jimba> Why in your name and not hers?
<Katenzhi> Because if it's in hers then it's in her family's, which means they can try to muscle in on it.
<Jimba> Ah, okay, that makes sense.
<Katenzhi> I mean, this is kind of what we came out here for, right? To try to break into the fos business? This is a whole new market.
<Katenzhi> We'll be the first ones in.
<Jimba> Oh, yeah, I think it's a good idea, provisionally.
<Katenzhi> And I made her promise we wouldn't be kicking anyone off their land or anything.
<Katenzhi> So hopefully Llillilli won't be too mad.
<Jimba> Well, that was the 'provisionally' right there, so I think that upgrades it to just good idea.
* Katenzhi grins.
<Katenzhi> And if worse comes to worst it's in my name so I can just shut everything down if something goes wrong.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Do you think it's possible to get a claim? What about the "lighthouse"?
<Katenzhi> I'll have to look in the morning. She said there's a third parcel nearby that's currently unclaimed and uninhabited but I'll double check the records.
<Jimba> Well, if we have a parcel, then we may have a stake and some leverage to try to keep things amicable.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> So I should go for it?
<Jimba> Yeah, absolutely. It might take us a little bit to get the money together for supplies.
<Jimba> But the land won't be going anywhere.
<Katenzhi> Yeah, true, but the important thing is we'll have the claim.
<Jimba> Best to get the claim now and work towards production.
<Katenzhi> Yeah, before someone else gets it.
<Jimba> There might already be some growing wild on it, even.
<Katenzhi> That's the hope. If not we can hopefully get some from the people there.
<Katenzhi> At elast enough to start a first planting
<Jimba> We could take a trip down to scout it out, maybe get some more for your friend to start generating some interest.
<Katenzhi> Maybe. She's already produced some samples. I imagine she wants to start shopping them around.
<Jimba> *nod*
<Jimba> I imagine the market for this could be pretty lucrative.
<Katenzhi> That's the hope.
* Katenzhi is grinning happily.
<Jimba> Things are looking up.
<Jimba> So long as we can keep a steady course, I think we're on our way.
<Katenzhi> Man, it feels good to be finally getting somewhere. With any luck all the white waters are behind us now.
<Katenzhi> :)

Veznara meets with Fuska and Zarogalo


* Veznara goes to find the corpseborn patients Fuska, Zarogalo, and Ughive.
<AshnabisNarrator> All right, they are being kept in two rooms currently vacant, one with the couple, and Ughiva in a room on her own.
* Veznara goes to see the couple first
* AshnabisNarrator is now known as Fuska
* Fuska is a fair-skinned thin woman perhaps around your age, with very short-cropped brown hair and a plain white dashi. You've heard that she's pregnant but it's hard to tell.
* Zarogalo is an extraordinarily thin man, of darker complexion, also wearing a plain dashi with no adornment.
<Fuska> Yes?
<Veznara> Hello. You are Fuska and Zarogalo?
<Veznara> I am Hand Veznara.
<Fuska> We are.
<Veznara> I hope you are both feeling better since you first arrived?
<Zarogalo> Yes, a little.
<Fuska> We're doing well enough, considering.
<Veznara> Good, I'm glad to hear it.
<Veznara> Hand Dezmali has asked me to... well, to look into your situation a bit.
<Fuska> All right. We already spoke to her.
<Veznara> Yes. I understand that you all arrived on this ship from the same community in Taizi?
<Fuska> Yes, that's right.
<Fuska> Your town nearby is called Gagambor.
<Veznara> Can you tell me more about how that happened? I have heard that you were all accused of "witchcraft", but I don't know what that's supposed to mean.
<Zarogalo> It means we were using fos.
<Veznara> I see. But were you using it to do something wrong?
<Fuska> Not the way you mean that.
<Veznara> Please, tell me about it.
<Fuska> We could use it to change our appearance. That scared them, I think.
<Veznara> How did they find out?
<Fuska> We don't know. Probably a [word you don't understand and didn't quite catch].
<Veznara> Sorry?
<Veznara> Could you repeat that?
<Zarogalo> Someone in our community betrayed us, we think.
<Veznara> And were all of you doing this?
<Fuska> Not everyone in our town, no. But enough. All the ones who were sent here were using it.
<Veznara> I see.
<Veznara> How did you get the fos, though? That seems like rather a lot.
<Fuska> What does it matter?
<Fuska> We're not going to tell you anything that could get someone else in trouble.
<Veznara> I'm not trying to get anyone in trouble - if anything, it's the opposite.
<Veznara> Dezmali wants to be sure that you and the people you came here with are not mistreated.
<Fuska> All right.
<Veznara> At least, to the extent that it is within our power to prevent it.
<Fuska> We had a supplier.
* Veznara waits to see if more is forthcoming...
<Fuska> (doesn't seem to be)
<Veznara> I see.
<Veznara> The fact that you were sent here is... well, it's unusual. Do you know anything about how that came about?
<Veznara> Were you offered a choice between this and a different punishment, for example?
<Zarogalo> No. The punishment was death for all of us, originally.
* Fuska nods.
<Fuska> We're not sure how we were spared.
<Veznara> I see. I expect it was the Princess' intervention, but I don't know for sure.
<Zarogalo> Or why so few men were spared.
<Veznara> (Is he putting emphasis on "men", as in males?)
<Zarogalo> (seems to be)
<Veznara> I'm afraid I don't know that either.
<Veznara> What are the other people in the group like? Mostly women, I take it... of a certain age?
* Fuska nods.
<Fuska> Fifty adult women, ten adult men, none too old or young.
<Zarogalo>
Pardon me, Hand Veznara, but what are you actually here to help us with?
<Veznara> As I say, Dezmali wants to be sure that none of you are mistreated.
<Zarogalo>
Then shouldn't you be speaking to this Princess instead of us?
<Veznara> I will be. But I wanted to hear about things from your perspective too.
<Fuska> We don't mean to seem ungrateful.
<Fuska> My partner gave up all his food, for weeks, when I was at my worst, to keep us alive ... and the child I carry.
* Veznara nods
<Fuska> He nearly died, for a child to be given to you.
<Veznara> For a child to be cared for. That was very noble of him.
<Veznara> And the child *will* be cared for, you can rest assured of that.
<Fuska> I believe you.
<Veznara> I know you have both been through a great deal.
<Veznara> I should let you rest.
<Veznara> Before I go, though, is there anything else you can tell me?
* Fuska considers.
<Veznara> There may not be... I just want to be sure I have any background information that may help.
<Fuska> If you get a chance to see the others, wherever they're being kept, tell them we're well.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> Anybody in particular?
<Fuska> No, just all of them. They'll all talk to one another.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> Alright then. If I get a chance, I will let one of them know.
<Veznara> I will leave you to rest.
<Fuska> Thank you, Hand Veznara.
<Veznara> You are welcome, Fuska, Zarogalo. I will do my best to help.
<Veznara> (So I can do the feisty one another time, if you need a break or somebody else wants a go...)
<Fuska> (well it's almost 5pm!)

Daifan also meets with the corpseborn refugees


* Daifan will go back to the temple and see if they can talk to he... refugees? on their own :x
* Fuska and Zarogalo can be talked to, with Hand Dezmali's permission (which she'll give).
* Daifan will knock if they're not announced
<Fuska> Come in?
* Daifan will come in
<Daifan> Hello...
<Daifan> I'm Smiles - I'm from the aizer here
* Fuska is sitting up in bed, while her partner lies back, seemingly still too weak to rise.
<Fuska> oh... it's good to see another budal.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Yes, I wanted to make sure you knew we were here, to help as much as wel can.
* Fuska nods
<Fuska> Do you know about the others? How they're doing?
<Daifan> a little bit.
<Daifan> There's a budal names wolf who works for the person thev've been sent to, and she's trying to keep an eye out.
<Daifan> The old bitch is keeping hwer away from them as much as she can, but she's been able to talk to them a little
<Fuska> :/
<Daifan> they're okay for now, anyway. Working in the fields just enough to make it look liekl maybe that's really why they're here.
<Daifan> I'm sure they're all a little weak after the trip... how are you both doing?
<Fuska> We're recovering... they have been taking good care of us here, and making sure we get food but not too quickly. They said after being starved for months, we need to build up gradually and not eat too much all at once or it could be harmful.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> (I assume that seems reasonable to me but I can roll for it if you like ;p)
<Fuska> (it seems reasonable to you)
<Daifan> yes, that's true
<Fuska> They feed us five or six little meals a day, mostly things like soups and porridge, that are easy on the stomach. I feel better - Trickle is having a harder time, but I think he's feeling a bit better too.
* Fuska glances to her partner, who nods.
<Daifan> that's good. And yes - that's what I would do.
<Zarogalo> A bit. I still feel like I can hardly stand, but it's better than it was a few days ago.
<Daifan> Hand Dezmali will keep you both here and take care of you as long as you need.
<Daifan> may I, though?
* Fuska nods
* Daifan will come over just to chek him over if they can :x
<Daifan> !roll 1d20+10
* @Lan-werk rolls for Daifan: [ 1d20+10 ] getting [ 14 ] which, after the modifier [ 10 ] totals [ 24 ].
* Zarogalo is very thin and weak, but you think he should recover with time. his quiet voice seems unrelated to his current state of starvation.
<Daifan> (I am sure he's got great care but it will make me feel better to be sure they haven't mnissed anything ;p)
<Daifan> You'll be okay.
* Zarogalo must have been very strong and hearty to start with, to have survived as well as he did.
<Daifan> you're tough
* Daifan says with a little smile
* Zarogalo sort of smiles at that
<Daifan> even if you don't feel it right now.
<Daifan> A pretty good catch.
<Zarogalo> Strongest man in our aizer... used to be able to lift a girl on each arm :)
* Daifan says to Fuska
<Fuska> pft, like you had a girl on each arm to lift :)
* Fuska says with a gentle smile
<Daifan> strong enough to do it, sense enough not to try?
* Zarogalo nods
<Daifan> have you been able to see Spoons?
<Fuska> I saw her a little, yesterday. Only for a short time, they didn't want to tire us out I guess.
* Daifan nods
<Fuska> She seems ... well, like her usual self, more or less.
<Daifan> I've been to see her once - has she been able to tell you anything?
<Fuska> that this princess whatever who has our people is dangerous and powerful.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> that's true
<Daifan> she is a princess, and a powerful mystic. Spoons didn't seem to concerned when I talked to her, but maybe that was just bravado?
<Fuska> why does she need us? couldn't she get bubun to work her fields if that's what she needs?
* Daifan looks grim
<Daifan> She's interested in magic
<Fuska> oh yes... Spoons is very good at never showing when she's upset or afraid. But I've known her too long to be fooled.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I wondered.
<Daifan> but yes. It's definitely a cover.
<Fuska> :/
<Fuska> a cover for what?
* Daifan shakes their head
<Daifan> nothing good, but we're still trying to figure it out
<Fuska> are the others in danger?
<Daifan> I would.... stay here as long as you can.
<Daifan> Not immediately.
* Fuska looks worried, but nods
<Daifan> As long as someone is keeping an eye on her, I think they're okay.
<Daifan> We want to see if we can get you all to Toadtown.
<Fuska> I just want to see them again... we've been through so much and lost so many, I don't know what I would do if we lost them too.
* Fuska says, her voice wavering
* Zarogalo puts his hand on her arm
<Zarogalo> we came this far, we will manage
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> You all have friends here.
<Daifan> we will do anything we can
<Fuska> on the ship, people wondered if maybe we were being taken for a brothel, or something like that... why they took mostly women, and none of the young or old ... but I think it's worse than that, isn't it?
<Daifan> :|
<Daifan> I....think so.
* Fuska closes her eyes, tears seeping from underneath her tightly squeezed lids.
<Fuska> whatever we can do to help... we aren't strong right now, but we'll do anything we can.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Mmhmm.
<Daifan> If you can tell me more avbout your magic..... mayeb we can find a way to use that.
<Fuska> well... I was never very good at it, but Ughiva was very strong. She could do lots of things.
* Daifan nods
<Fuska> She could... mm, I don't know how to explain it exactly. If something was going to go bad, she could make it turn better. Changing fate.
* Daifan nods
<Fuska> And if a group of us were to take fos together, it could make her stronger.
<Daifan> hmm. I wondered... she said something about all of you being together.
<Daifan> "in your power"
* Fuska nods
<Daifan> maybe there is a way to use that, then.
<Daifan> Did you have processed fos?
* Fuska nods
<Daifan> alright. I'll think about what we can do with that.
<Daifan> Is there anything else I might be able to do for you?
<Fuska> Only if you have a chance to talk to the others... there is one named Bekh, she's my little sister.
<Fuska> If you can let her know I'm all right...?
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I'll try to pass that along.
<Daifan> I'll come back and check on you all when I can.
<Fuska> thank you, Smiles
* Zarogalo nods his thanks as well
<Daifan> Of course - you're very welcome.
* Daifan will smile again and take their leave