Ashnabis session 17

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Summary

Session

Session date: August 25, 2019
Fair Cycle date:

Prologue


<AshnabisNarrator> The first major fos crop is starting to come in this year and it promises to be even larger than last year's. As a result, prices in Kaskind have started to drop and the farmers are flush with income, giving the community a festive tone.
<AshnabisNarrator> Some of the locals seem to be benefiting just as much as newcomers, as old lineages expand and build out their longhouses or establish new ones in Kaskind. Of course, you know all too well that that wealth falls only to a select few.
<AshnabisNarrator> But as a result the General has awarded 50 gold horns as a bonus to all you in the land registry. Utus tells you it's so you won't be tempted to take bribes. It occurs to you being bribed not to take bribes is quite a good way to make a living.
<AshnabisNarrator> This morning you awoke to a large, sleek riverboat with black and white chequered sails newly docked just down the shore from Jimba's boat. One can only imagine what lordling or merchant has come to town now, and for what reason.
<AshnabisNarrator> For beneath the facade of new construction and raucous colonists drunk on new wealth and blueberry wine, dark secrets lie waiting to be uncovered.

Veznara and Dezmali discuss the corpseborn and go see Ughiva


<AshnabisNarrator> Veznara, it has been a while since you've spent much time at the temple. Between your work for the land registry and your duties for Princess Galdai you haven't had the time. Still, you like to drop in and see Yena and Dezmali and whoever else is around, when you get the chance.
<AshnabisNarrator> You also have a tricky decision to make - the small pouch that Kida gave you at the prison sits in your possession, waiting for you to decide whether you ought to give it to Ughiva.
<AshnabisNarrator> You head across town to the temple one evening after work, hoping to get some clarity.
* Veznara enters the Temple and immediately goes in search of Hand Dezmali
<AshnabisNarrator> You can find Dezmali at her desk writing something.
* Dezmali smiles as you enter.
* Veznara smiles back
<Dezmali> Veznara, welcome back.
<Veznara> Thank you, Dezmali. I hope everything is well?
<Dezmali> Well enough. I am writing my monthly report home. Which is always a challenge to explain how things work here.
<Veznara> I imagine so!
<Dezmali> And you?
<Veznara> Oh, I have been busy! I was actually hoping to get your advice on a few things, but I can come back later when you're done...
<Dezmali> No, it's fine, how can I help?
<Veznara> Well...
* Veznara quickly looks around to be sure they're alone...
<Veznara> ...a few things have come out of my latest assignment.
<Dezmali> Please, sit. Tell me.
* Veznara nods and has a seat.
<Veznara> Well, I have now been out to Her Imperial Highness' estate.
<Veznara> While I was there, I took the opportunity to check in on the prisoners.
* Dezmali nods.
<Dezmali> And?
<Veznara> The women and men are each kept separately, of course. The women still seemed to be recovering, but I didn't see any evidence of further mistreatment as such.
<Dezmali> That's a relief.
<Veznara> The men... seemed less well off. I think they have been more rebellious, and are perhaps being punished accordingly.
<Dezmali> Hmm.
<Veznara> Some of them were bruised; I am sure they have been beaten.
<Dezmali> Inordinately, would you say?
* Veznara sighs
<Veznara> I don't think any of them had been crippled... I'm really no expert beyond that.
<Dezmali> All right. Anything else?
<Veznara> Yes.
<Veznara> First: when I was tending to the women, one of them greeted me in a very florid manner and approached me. She handed me something, and said "For Ughiva. She will know."
<Veznara> It was this...
* Veznara takes out the pouch and shows it to Dezmali.
* Dezmali takes a look at it.
<Veznara> She was whispering, of course. The guards didn't seem to notice.
* Dezmali opens it up and sees the fos.
<Dezmali> How did she get this, I wonder?
<Veznara> I have no idea. Perhaps she's been hiding it all the way from Taizi.
<Dezmali> That may be the most plausible suggestion.
<Dezmali> So ... you have come here to give it to her? Or to ask me to?
<Veznara> Well, I certainly wouldn't want to do so without your knowledge and permission!
<Veznara> Also, I would like to know what Ughiva is going to do with it.
* Dezmali nods.
<Dezmali> Well, that is much more difficult to know. Even if we asked her, why would she tell us the truth? She may not know what she wants to do with it.
<Dezmali> I think our choice is to give it to her, knowing that she may not do with it what we would wish, or to not give it to her and simply say nothing. It's a risk.
<Veznara> (How much fos is it?)
<Dezmali> (like maybe 6 doses? not a ton)
<Veznara> The sticks are used in divination, so I thought that might be what she uses it for. But of course we can't know, unless she lets us see her use it.
* Dezmali nods.
<Dezmali> I am not a jailer. I do not consider our three guests to be my prisoners. Nor, I think, should you.
<Veznara> So you would not disapprove if I were to pass it on as requested.
<Dezmali> What right do we have to withhold a gift from a loved one?
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Indeed. In that case, I shall pass it on... and perhaps *request
* to be allowed to see what she does with it.
<Veznara> Then, there's the second issue...
* Veznara 's smile fades slowly.
<Dezmali> Oh?
<Veznara> I spoke to Daifan afterward, and she told me some disturbing things.
<Dezmali> What things?
<Veznara> It seems that she actually went to inspect the estate buildings covertly some time ago.
<Veznara> She claims that she was able to sneak into the barracks, and that there she saw a bed with chains, as for torture.
<Veznara> And an observation window looking onto it, and a small room with a desk for taking notes.
<Dezmali> That is upsetting. I don't know what we can do about it, though.
* Dezmali considers.
<Dezmali> Unless you were to find your way in there yourself.
<Veznara> It sounds beyond belief, but Daifan is willing to repeat this story in front of you if required.
<Dezmali> And even if she did, her testimony would not be valued or believed.
<Veznara> And it bothers me, because it fits with the estate staff behaviour - in that they didn't let me into the barracks. The steward had me wait while she summoned the captain to talk to him.
<Veznara> So I do not think they will let me anywhere near there, at least not easily.
<Dezmali> It's not whether I believe her or you do. Daifan is not a person. And the fact that she broke in surreptitiously will not help.
<Veznara> Of course. There is nothing to be done formally, not at this stage.
<Veznara> I will continue to visit the estate, and try to make the staff there more accustomed to my presence.
<Dezmali> Well, then ... thank you for bringing it to my attention. I know you must be conflicted about all of this.
* Veznara frowns
<Veznara> Only in the sense that I'm unhappy to think it may be true. If it is, however, I have no hesitation about saying it must be stopped - even if it is an Imperial Princess behind it.
* Dezmali nods.
<Dezmali> Well, then ... let us go and give Ughiva her gift.
* Veznara nods, and gets up from the chair.
<AshnabisNarrator> The two of you walk down the hall and to the small room where Ughiva stays.
* Dezmali knocks on the door and then opens it.
* AshnabisNarrator is now known as Ughiva
* Ughiva looks up as you enter. She looks well, or better for sure than the last time you saw her. Certainly she's put on weight, but in a way that makes her look more muscular and angled, more full but no less desperately dangerous.
<Ughiva> You're back.
* Ughiva remarks to you.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> Yes. I was able to see the others, briefly.
<Veznara> While I was there, a woman named Kida approached me.
* Ughiva smiles.
<Ughiva> And how is my Kida?
<Veznara> Not living in comfort, obviously. But she didn't seem unwell.
<Veznara> She actually was able to give me something to pass on to you...
* Veznara takes out the pouch, and gives it to Ughiva.
* Ughiva takes it without opening it and smiles.
<Ughiva> Thank you.
<Veznara> You're welcome.
<Veznara> I have to confess, however; I peeked.
* Ughiva nods.
<Ughiva> If you didn't I'd be surprised.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> I take it that Kida has been holding it for you for some time?
<Ughiva> She has.
* Veznara nods
<Ughiva> I wasn't sure she got it off the ship.
<Veznara> Do you know what you will do with it?
<Ughiva> I'll have to think about that.
<Veznara> Well, when you do decide, please let me know. And if you are able to use it to get more information, please share it.
* Ughiva chuckles.
<Ughiva> Thank you for bringing it. I know that must have carried some risk for you.
<Veznara> You're welcome.
<Veznara> Is there anything you would like me to tell Kida the next time I go to the estate?
<Ughiva> No, that won't be necessary.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> Very well. Good day, Ughiva.

Junan's mentor Jaigadu arrives in town


<AshnabisNarrator> Junan, others may have been confused at the arrival of the riverboat at port last night, but you, for one, have more than a passing sense of what it's about.
<AshnabisNarrator> That black and white complex chequered pattern on the sails is one you've seen before - not on a ship, mind you, but on the spine of a bound leather journal. And that journal - the last you saw it - was in the possession of your mentor Jaigadu Akhutergi, in which he made notes on the progress of you, and Lutsi, and others under his tutelage.
<AshnabisNarrator> So while there have been stranger coincidences, and you certainly haven't seen this particular boat before, you have a pretty good sense that Jaigadu is back in town. What he wants, you can't say, but he wouldn't be making his presence known like this if it wasn't serious.
<AshnabisNarrator> You're down that way in the morning and sure enough, you see Jaigadu stepping off on to the docks.
* Junan will wave down and approach Jaigadu
* Jaigadu is a middle-aged man, short but extremely well-muscled, with a black curly beard. He wears a stylish envoy's cap and a tailored suit that appears to be in the latest fashions.
* Jaigadu smiles warmly and comes over and clasps your hands in his.
<Jaigadu> Junan, my kinsman, it has been too long since my eyes met yours.
<Junan> It is good to see you as well, Jaigadu. It's quite the arrival you made.
* Junan eyes the ship
<Jaigadu> You like her? I call her the Longdancer.
<Junan> Trips at sea tend not make me want to dance, but for you it must be different. I do know that trips at sea to make one long for a good drink. May I buy you one?
<Jaigadu> Of course! We have much to talk about.
* Jaigadu walks alongside you to a nearby tavern.
<Jaigadu> How is Utus treating you?
<Junan> The strick taskmaster as always... but the season had been good and with bonuses shared around.
<Junan> as such we best hurry before all the good drink is already purchased
* Jaigadu laughs.
<Junan> how has your journey been... and where?
<Jaigadu> It has been a long one.
* Junan chats as they find a watering hole
<Junan> but not in provence with a ship like that
<Jaigadu> I've been on a Great Tour, an emagafti, around much of Ashnabis. To Charadip and upriver, up to the Choradani outposts.
<Jaigadu> It was time. We have been letting things get out of hand here. To really understand a place you must be in that place.
<Junan> out of hand how? You can at least get decent Daligashi wine here now.
<Jaigadu> Of course! There's so much money here, you can buy almost anything you want.
<Jaigadu> But the problem is that the Choradani can't decide how to run the place. If they wanted to impose real military rule, that would be one thing. Terrifying, awful, but at least you'd know who was in charge.
<Jaigadu> Or they could get out entirely, leave it as an anarchy - at least thing everyone would know that they were on their own.
<Junan> well if they wanted the place to go broke, they could do that
<Jaigadu> Maybe? I'm not sure that's true anymore.
<Junan> if they put it under there rule
<Jaigadu> My time in Charadip has convinced me otherwise.
<Junan> how so... that needs some elaboration
* Junan questions
<Jaigadu> There are so many Basaians there, so many mystics at their new Academy. And they're starting to recruit from other nations now too, not just Basai.
<Jaigadu> We think of fos in terms of money, because it has created so much money. They think of fos in terms of power. Real power, the power to change the fabric of the universe.
* Jaigadu quaffs heavily from his drink.
<Junan> changing the universe isnt going to change the fact that someone has to grow, harvest, and process the fos they use.
<Jaigadu> Of course. They have enough of those there too. It's not just the Academy - it's a whole new colony, a rival to this one. Have you been there?
* Junan shakes his head no
<Junan> I've traveled locally to Kaskind but that's about it since ive been here... not more than a day or two by boat at the most
<Junan> its still plenty of territory
<Jaigadu> Last year, you know, Basai withdrew its people from Kaskind, withdrew from the General's council, and many farmers and others followed them.
<Junan> I was aware, yes
<Jaigadu> Kaskind hardly noticed because there's so much immigration from other places.
<Jaigadu> But imagine, not dozens but hundreds of mystics, with as much fos as they could want.
<Junan> and those Basai still here are trickling away
<Jaigadu> Indeed.
<Jaigadu> And we are partly responsible. The envoys, I mean. I don't think there's a single Basaian envoy left here in the colony.
<Junan> I've seen the power of using fos first hand... that many mystics may get people worried.
* Jaigadu nods.
<Jaigadu> They should be.
<Junan> so that's what you're going to try and do? Bridge things? Smooth the worries? What do the mystics want?
* Junan drinks a little concerned
<Jaigadu> Well the good news is that the mystics don't all agree. But yes, I'm looking to build some bridges.
<Jaigadu> I am going to call a nambimoshe.
<AshnabisNarrator> Junan, you are familiar with the concept, though you've never been to one. A nambimoshe is like a conclave or moot of the envoys of a region, called together in a time of crisis or challenge.
<AshnabisNarrator> To your knowledge, there's never been one in Ashnabis, perhaps unsurprisingly since there are few Aummesh envoys and Ombesh folks have only been here a short while.
<Junan> that serious
* Junan finishes his drink
<Jaigadu> You think I should wait for things to get worse?
<Junan> I was just hoping for some good stories and maybe learn a couple of new songs when you came to town.
<Jaigadu> And you shall have them, of course!
<Jaigadu> The people here have fascinating customs. I'm no historian but it's strange to see the Aummesh as what we might have been, had we gone down their path instead of ours.
<Junan> well, in business, its always good to end the crisis before it begins, why shouldn't it be the same in other things
* Jaigadu nods.
<Jaigadu> I think we have been more complacent here than we should. We've been too happy to let each envoy be their own person, forgetting that we are a family, bound together by our laws and customs and duties.
<Jaigadu> It will be good for me to remind them otherwise.
<Junan> be that as it may, we Envoys, by nature are individualistic and self sufficient, as is required by the vocation.
<Jaigadu> A fair point. But in that case, I need to make it be in their self-interest to participate.
<Junan> Oh I'm sure we can all work towards a comon goal, but we each will tend to do it our own way
<Jaigadu> I have, in my recent travels, acquired some wealth, as you may have noticed.
<Junan> the mystics pay well, then?
<Jaigadu> They do, for the services I provide, absolutely.
<Jaigadu> The knowledge I have of various events and circumstances provides me many opportunities.
<Junan> well then, I'll enjoy the experience of the nambimoshe and wait eagerly for the results
<Junan> on a side note, have you had many encounters with the Hith?
<Jaigadu> I intend at the nambimoshe to devote the bulk of my wealth to building a kelta here, a permanent guild-hall.
<Junan> well that is an investement... and one that will make Kaskind unique in the area
<Jaigadu> In all of Ashnabis, indeed.
<Jaigadu> I want it to rival the finest halls of Omba and Daligash.
<Junan> you really have done well
<Junan> guess that means the drinks are on you
<Jaigadu> I accept that grave responsibility.
* Jaigadu laughs.
* Junan laughs as well
<Jaigadu> But you were asking about the hith? What about them?
<Junan> Its just I've run into the language several times in the area, and I just assume you're quite familar with it
<Jaigadu> I know enough, yes.
<Jaigadu> Anything in particular you want to know?
<Junan> Is there a local teacher you can recommend? I could bother some of my associated at the land registry, but I figure I could pick it up faster from someone who has taught it before.
<Jaigadu> Local as in here in Kaskind? Probably you would know best. I'll think about it.
<Jaigadu> I think it's a skill we'll need to have good control of, as things evolve politically.
<Junan> that I definetly agreee with
<Jaigadu> Well, in any case, I'll need your help with the nambimoshe. You and others, of course.
<Jaigadu> I will be in touch again soon.
<Junan> until then

Shulilae takes Llillilli to have a vision quest


<AshnabisGM> Llillilli, you are aboard the boat, enjoying the last few minutes of half-sleep before dawn. Maybe if you don't open your eyes all the way you won't have to go into the registry this morning. You can only dream.
<AshnabisGM> Your bleary thoughts are interrupted by a familiar voice, you think coming from the docks. It sounds like Shulilae.
* Llillilli sits up.
<Shulilae> Good morning, little one. I have a surprise for you.
* Shulilae calls to you from the shore.
<Llillilli> Oh, hello!
<Llillilli> Should I come ashore?
<Shulilae> Yes, or I can come onto your vessel.
<Llillilli> I'll be right there...
* Llillilli straightens up her slept-in dashi and straps on her pfethes, then comes out onto the dock.
* Shulilae waits for you there.
<Shulilae> I have been thinking, that it is not too long until you will have your pfullaes, and ascend to the whesef grade. I know that you have been impatient for that time, and I think it must almost be here.
<Shulilae> Hillisi and Fifelus report to me that you have made strong progress with them too.
<Llillilli> Really? You think so? And they did?
<Shulilae> Yes, indeed.
* Llillilli is pleased but trying not to get excited...
<Shulilae> So today it is your day for the whelloesi. You should tell Jimba that you will be gone, probably back tomorrow at the latest.
<Llillilli> My... what is that?
* Llillilli frowns.
<Shulilae> Ah - it is a rite of preparation. It is not practiced much anymore. Once every hith child did it, but not so much in recent generations. I'm not sure why - and it is very rarely done with huwhi. But it is an old tradition, with things of value still to teach us. I think you are ready.
<Llillilli> Alright, I'll tell him.
<Shulilae> I will wait for you here.
* Llillilli will go prod Jimba until he's more or less awake, and tell him she's going to be gone.
<Llillilli> Don't do anything stupid while I'm away.
* Llillilli will then go and rejoin Shulilae.
<Shulilae> Good - let us be on our way.
* Shulilae takes you east and south out of Kaskind, down the Maripak along familiar terrain at first. From time to time you see a passing fos farmer stare at you in wonderment, perhaps never having seen a hith before but certainly not one walking alone with a human.
* Llillilli is used to ignoring gawkers.
<AshnabisGM> Eventually they take you to the south, off the river and into the deep swamp. Here, between the Maripak and the Sebor Inlet, the terrain is highly variable and shifting, with few farms. You know roughly where you are still, but you know that less able travellers can get easily disoriented among the willow and cypress emerging from the still pools and reeds.
<AshnabisGM> After a few hours you reach the shores of the Sebor Inlet. Shulilae stops at the shore, sticks their walking stick into the brackish waters as if to test it, then turns to you with a satisfied nod.
<Llillilli> We're here?
<Shulilae> Here is where the whelloesi will take place. Do you know the lloesi?
<Shulilae> I think your word is 'snail'.
* Llillilli nods.
<AshnabisGM> You know that the lloesi is a large, meaty snail with a mottled red-brown shell, that lives in low muddy waters in the swamp, thriving in the salty inlets and estuaries of the Sestapor. It is regarded by humans as inedible and the only thing you've ever heard of it being used for is that its shell can be decorative.
<Llillilli> THe big ones.
<Shulilae> Yes, red and brown, about so big.
<Shulilae> Llillilli, here you will hunt the lloesi. When you have found one, you must eat it by the shore, and then you will wait to see what happens.
<Llillilli> Eat it?
* Llillilli looks at them, frowning slightly.
<Llillilli> Raw?
<Shulilae> Yes.
* Llillilli squares her shoulders.
<Llillilli> Alright...
<Shulilae> Few humans have ever done this. All I can tell you is that the lloesi is not poisonous or dangerous in and of itself. The danger only comes from what you might see.
<Llillilli> Well, it can't be worse than the [psychic moles]...
* Llillilli will carefully wade into the brackish water to look for a lloesi.
* Shulilae settles back under a shady spot to keep an eye on you.
<AshnabisGM> Okay - you can make a Swim check and a Survival check to see how your hunt goes.
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+13
* Lan-werk rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+13 ] getting [ 10 ] which, after the modifier [ 13 ] totals [ 23 ].
<Llillilli> (that's swim)
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+11
* Lan-werk rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+11 ] getting [ 11 ] which, after the modifier [ 11 ] totals [ 22 ].
<Llillilli> (and survival)
<AshnabisGM> Okay, cool.
<AshnabisGM> You wade out into the murky water, diving down to search for a snail that is almost the same colour as the mud that surrounds it, coming up for breath, and then ducking under again to continue your hunt. You do this many times, until finally you are able to find one, grasping it in your fist and rising to the surface in triumph.
* Llillilli will have stripped her dashi off to make for easier swimming
* Llillilli eyes the handful of mollusc as she wades back to shore.
<AshnabisGM> You brush the mud off the mottled gastropod. Part of you knows that snails are creatures of almost pure instinct, but another part wonders whether it knows what is about to happen.
<AshnabisGM> You extract the plum-sized lloesi from its shell.
<Llillilli> (I suppose it's too big to swallow whole)
<AshnabisGM> (it's gonna be chewy, yeah)
* Llillilli holds her breath and tries to get through it as quickly (and tasting it as little) as possible.
<AshnabisGM> You manage to get it down.
<AshnabisGM> For a little while, nothing happens, and you wonder whether whatever Shulilae was talking about doesn't work on humans after all. You sit by the shore and watch the waters of the Tsidul lap against the bank, in and out, in and out.
<AshnabisGM> It is almost mesmerizing, and you find yourself becoming absorbed in the rhythm of the water and land as they come together.
<AshnabisGM> Then you see a figure in a small, low boat paddling up towards the Kaskos. The figure turns left towards you and heads to the bank.
<AshnabisGM> Now that it's closer, you see that it is a dark-skinned woman. You have never seen her before, and yet you have a sense that you have known her all your life.
* Llillilli shields her eyes to watch their approach.
* Shulilae is now known as Woman
* Woman smiles at you warmly as she steps out of her boat and stands at the shore.
<Woman> I've missed you, little one. How is your brother?
<Llillilli> Wh... who are you?
* Llillilli asks, although she knows the answer
<Woman> Do you not recognize me?
<Llillilli> I'm... not sure..
* Llillilli gets to her feet slowly.
<Woman> I carried you as far as I was able. I am sorry I could not go further with you on your journey.
<Llillilli> You are our mother...
* Woman smiles sadly
<Llillilli> WHy are you here now?
<Woman> I traveled to give you a message. It has been a difficult trip, and far too long.
<Woman> But we may see each other again soon enough. Look.
* Llillilli steps closer, frowning.
* Woman waves her hand and the muddy water of the inlet turns completely still as if a mirror. You gaze into it, seeing reflections there.
* Llillilli peers into it.
<AshnabisGM> You see a field littered with broken pfethes, and fires in the distance, which you now see as burning ships. One of them may be Jimba's?
* Llillilli gasps.
<Llillilli> Oh no...
<AshnabisGM> As you watch more closely, you feel yourself slip into the water and into the scene within it.
<AshnabisGM> You feel yourself moving towards the ship as if to see if your family is safe, and then you feel resistance. A strand of seaweed has caught around your ankle and the other end is wrapped tightly around a pfethe stuck in the mud.
<Llillilli> (do I have my own pfethes?)
<AshnabisGM> You do.
* Llillilli cuts the seaweed.
<AshnabisGM> You slice through the heavy strand of seaweed and try to move forward, to reach them, to warn them? You see row upon row of armored warriors in steel moving towards the sea, and you know you will be too late.
<Llillilli> (humans I assume)
* Llillilli screams in frustration as she struggles vainly toward the boat.
<AshnabisGM> You break free, grabbing up the pfethe from the soft earth at the bank to add to your own weapons, and running towards the fray. But you don't know who or what you're supposed to be fighting against, or fighting for - they are all strangers to you.
<Llillilli> JIMBA!
* Llillilli calls out, desperately.
<AshnabisGM> You struggle to the surface and you gasp as you break out of the mirror-like water, calling your brother's name. As you stand there, you see the woman again, but this time lying face down in the mud. You try to look away and then you see that you are holding the pfethe - have you killed her? or are you defending her from an enemy you don't yet know?
<Llillilli> ...
* Llillilli looks from the weapon in her hand to the woman on the ground, and back again...
<AshnabisGM> The water lapping at your skin seems to break you from the vision. It flows once more, and the surface has returned to its usual light choppy waves.
<AshnabisGM> The woman is gone, and you are standing in the muddy water up to your knees.
* Llillilli staggers forward, shaken.
* Woman is now known as Shulilae
* Shulilae comes over to your side, moving cautiously but swiftly.
* Llillilli turns and wades back to shore, ashy and wide eyed.
* Shulilae helps you to shore.
<Shulilae> Here, sit... you have seen something?
<Llillilli> [m] it's not real
<Llillilli> Only a nightmare, isn't it?
<Llillilli> From my own fears.
* Llillilli tries to tell herself.
* Llillilli draws her knees tightly against her chest.
<Shulilae> The vision of the whelloesi can give insight into our own fears or dangers that may come to us in the future. It is meant to indicate what we must overcome when we become adults, and are no longer sheltered by the reeds and roots of the shore.
<Llillilli> I saw a war between the humans and the People.
* Shulilae puts an arm around you and sits beside you.
* Llillilli leans against them, squeezing her eyes shut.
<Shulilae> You are nearly an adult, and these are the fears that come when we can no longer protect our children from knowledge of the world's ways.
* Llillilli nods.
* Llillilli takes some deep breaths to try and calm her racing heart.
<Shulilae> It does not mean that this vision is a true one, that will come to pass as you saw it.
<Llillilli> Right.
<Llillilli> It was the same with the uruun...
<Shulilae> Take time to think on it, on what it may have been trying to tell you, or on what lessons you can take from it. Facing these fears is an important part of becoming whesef.
<Llillilli> I won't soon forget it.
* Shulilae will sit with you and offer quiet comfort until such time as you feel ready to go.

Katenzhi learns that Bivizmi has been killed, then resurrected


<AshnabisGM> Katenzhi, last night your dreams were tortured. It's been a few weeks since the shocked face of Kemiir Yetsner haunted you, but last night served as a reminder that wherever his spirit may be, your own does not rest easy.
<AshnabisGM> You are at the office, trying to stay awake, when someone calls out to you.
<AshnabisGM> It's Besh Furtasu, the young guard at the registry.
<Katenzhi> Hmm?
<Besh> Katenzhi? Someone here to see you.
<Katenzhi> Oh heya Besh. Thanks.
* Katenzhi will get up, yawn, and see who it is.
<AshnabisGM> You can head out to the door to see your unexpected visitor.
<AshnabisGM> The person standing before you isn't familiar, although there's something about her look that seems like you may have seen her before. You realize she looks rather like an older version of Bivizmi.
* Selt is a slim, brown-haired woman in her mid-thirties. She looks pale and her eyes are reddened as if from exhaustion or sorrow.
<Selt> Katenzhi?
<Katenzhi> Hi there. Can I help you?
<Katenzhi> Yeah...
<Selt> I'm so sorry to be the one to tell you this, but my sister Bivizmi has died.
* Selt says quickly, trying to get the words out.
* Katenzhi feels her blood freeze in her veins.
<Katenzhi> What...
* Katenzhi seems unable to form words for a minute.
<Selt> She was killed sometime last night on the Colony Road, walking back from Timiil towards Kaskind. Her body was found by a passer-by early this morning.
<Katenzhi> How... I just saw her a few days ago...
<Selt> I know you were close. She spoke of you as a good friend.
<Katenzhi> Ancestors... I'm sorry...
* Katenzhi feels tears starting to come to her eyes.
* Selt stands there awkwardly, not sure what to do.
<Selt> Our brother Elus is a Voice of the Dead. He has arranged for a shorakash to be performed this evening at the temple. If we are fortunate, she shall rise once more.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> I... I'll come. It's the least I can do.
<Katenzhi> I'm so sorry... for your family.
<Selt> Thank you.
<Selt> Normally only family would attend, but I know you were close with her. If you want to wait outside the temple of the Voice tonight, I'll make sure you find out whether it is her time to join the ancestors or not.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> Thank you.
<Selt> I should go - there are many preparations to make before the ceremony.
<Katenzhi> Are you... are you ok? Is there anything I can do?
<Selt> Do you know of anyone who would have wanted to kill her? If she does not return - or even if she does - we need to discover who did this.
* Katenzhi opens her mouth but hesitates.
<Katenzhi> I don't know. I'll... I'll think about it, but... who would want to hurt her? She's amazing...
<Selt> Yes. She was the best of us, the most talented...
* Selt wipes at her eyes, holding back tears.
* Katenzhi nods, wiping away her own.
<Selt> If you think of anything that might help, please let us know.
<Katenzhi> I will.
* Selt will hurry off, then, presumably to rejoin the rest of her family.
* Katenzhi will stand there for a while before letting someone... anyone... know that she's leaving and heading home to drink and think.
* Katenzhi will try to be relatively sober for the ceremony.
<AshnabisGM> Okay. You can take some time to drink and think in private. That evening you make your way to the temple of the Voice, and station yourself a short distance away, trying to be respectful of the family. The night is illuminated by the light of a full moon, and you can hear the distant sounds of singing and good cheer from the taverns, but here the mood is sombre.
<AshnabisGM> Moths flutter around the temple's lantern, and you can hear the hoarse crow of a bird faintly in the trees.
<AshnabisGM> Can you make a Perception check, please?
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+8
* Lan-werk rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 19 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 27 ].
<AshnabisGM> Okay. You also notice someone lurking in the shadows, perhaps keeping watch on the temple much like you are.
* Katenzhi will move towards them to see if I can see who it is.
<AshnabisGM> You move towards them and they move away, keeping their distance from you.
<AshnabisGM> As you watch this figure, you're briefly distracted by the members of Bivizmi's large family arriving - her four sisters Selt, Sirde, Eltagh and Hamagh joining their brother Elus who is already there as a priest. You also see Peku, the woman you aided only a short while ago, whose farm was overrun by lelesh. You don't think she is a sister of Bivizmi's, so perhaps a cousin or other relative.
<AshnabisGM> The women wear plain greyish-white shawls draped over their heads and around their shoulders, which you know is a sign of mourning for the people of Choradan.
<AshnabisGM> Some of them glance in your direction as they approach, but most barely notice you, being wrapped up in their grief.
* Katenzhi will keep an eye on the lurker, making sure they don't do anything.
<AshnabisGM> The family disappear into the temple. When you look for the lurker, they seem to have disappeared, or at least you can no longer make them out.
<AshnabisGM> You are left alone outside, to contemplate the fleeting nature of life and what person or persons might have wanted Bivizmi dead.
<AshnabisGM> The moon slides behind a cloud, casting a dark shroud over the scene. In your heightened state of nervous energy, each shadow seems to hide a figure watching you, waiting for the right moment to sneak up on you with a knife...
<AshnabisGM> However, for the moment you remain un-shanked.
<AshnabisGM> The time seems to pass slowly. You aren't sure how long it takes, but certainly at least an hour or so, maybe longer, during which you are peering at every shadow and jumping at every noise. Finally you hear the door of the temple open, and the sound of footsteps as the Pindevuzi family emerge.
* Katenzhi looks up expectantly.
<AshnabisGM> You count the women as they come out - holding your breath to know whether there will be five of them, or six...
<AshnabisGM> In the midst of the group you see a familiar figure, wearing a light grey shawl like the others. Bivizmi looks pale but alive.
* Katenzhi lets out a breath and cups her face in her hands out of relief.
<Katenzhi> Thank the ancestors...
* Bivizmi turns and makes eye contact with you before they can lead her away. She seems subdued and shaken, but gives you a smile nevertheless.
* Katenzhi tries hard to smile back reassuringly
* Bivizmi breaks away from her family for a moment, over their protests, to run over to you and give you a hug.
* Katenzhi will run up and embrace her enthusiastically, not caring what anyone else thinks.
<Bivizmi> [w] I can't stay, but I couldn't just leave you standing there without saying something.
<Katenzhi> Oh god... I was so scared you were gone...
<Katenzhi> (Ancestors :P )
<Bivizmi> I was gone, Kat.
<Katenzhi> I mean... you know...
* Bivizmi says grimly
* Bivizmi nods
<Katenzhi> We... need to talk.
<Katenzhi> But not now...
<Bivizmi> I'm glad you came... I... it means a lot to me.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> I couldn't... I had to come.
<Bivizmi> I'll talk to you soon. I need to go with my family now.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> I know.
* Katenzhi holds her for a moment longer.
<Katenzhi> ...and then kisses her.
* Bivizmi is surprised but doesn't pull away immediately
<Bivizmi> I... Kat... I have to go.
* Katenzhi slowly pulls away and lets go.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> I'm sorry...
* Bivizmi heads back to her sisters, looking over her shoulder at you.
* Bivizmi is hurriedly escorted away by her family, who are probably all asking her what just happened there :p
* Katenzhi suddenly feels very alone again.

Jimba helps Jenam become a member of Liraula's crew on the Black Stork


<AshnabisGM> Jimba, since Jenam has apparently decided to take up a life of piracy, you are going to take him to meet Liraula, in the hopes that she will offer him a position in her crew.
* Jenam is nervous about this encounter, although he puts on a decent front.
<Jenam> What's she like? Do you think she'll ask me a bunch of questions?
<Jimba> I'm not sure what the process is, honestly. But she's...well, I'm not sure I can say good people. But fair people, at least.
* Jenam nods
<Jimba> She does right by her crew, and she's not so caught up in the life as some of her competitors, if that makes sense.
<Jenam> Alright.
<Jimba> I mean, she's a pirate, sure, but that mostly means she's basically just a businesswoman in a peculiar line of work.
<Jenam> I guess that's one way to look at it.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> Maybe it's a rougher one than most, but her crews have one of the better reputations, so far as these things go.
<Jenam> Well... I hope she doesn't hate me. I don't know what else I'll do if this doesn't work out.
<Jimba> Hey, we'll figure something out. But maybe that's not the best attitude to go into this with.
<Jimba> I'm sure it will be all right.
* Jimba gives Jenam his best encouraging smile.
* Jenam nods
<Jenam> Thanks :)
<AshnabisGM> You escort Jenam to the Black Stork, which is in port at the moment. The crewmembers on board know you and give you a nod and a wave of greeting as you approach, but eye the stranger with you suspiciously.
* NPC3 is now known as Liraula
* Liraula comes out to meet you at the gangplank. The rings in her ears and the silver clasps that bind her dozens of braids glint in the sun.
<Liraula> Jimba, always a pleasure. What brings you here today?
<Jimba> Business, I suppose, but also the pleasure of your company, as always. Permission to come aboard?
<Liraula> Permission granted for you - who's your friend, though?
<Jimba> This is Jenam Kergoze. He was hoping to talk to you about work, actually.
<Liraula> Very well. Come aboard, both of you, and we'll talk.
* Jimba smiles and steps aboard.
* Jenam follows, trying to act confident and not be intimidated by the ship full of pirates.
* Liraula will take you to her cabin for a business meeting, then.
<Liraula> So, you had business to discuss?
<Jimba> Well, more Jenam does. I'm here to make the introduction and provide moral support.
* Jenam nods
<Liraula> Very well - what did you have to talk about?
* Liraula asks Jenam
<Jenam> I was hoping that you might have an opening in your crew, ma'am. Sir. Captain.
* Liraula suppresses a smile at that.
* Jimba smiles at Liraula behind Jenam's back.
<Liraula> Do you have any sailing experience?
<Jenam> Not really. I mean, I've been on a boat before, but only as a passenger. I'm strong, though, and I can work hard.
<Liraula> Well. There's no place for layabouts in my fleet. If you join, you're going to work, and work hard.
<Jenam> Yes, Captain.
<Liraula> And if you have any qualms about breaking the law, or getting into a fight, you'd best get over them quickly. The only law you need to obey in the Black Stork fleet is mine, and when you're called on to fight, I'm the only thing you should be afraid of.
* Liraula gives her most intimidating stare.
* Jenam nods, only looking a little terrified.
<Liraula> I expect my crew to have one another's backs, just like I look out for them - loyalty and trust are important. They don't know you yet, so you're going to have to earn that trust.
<Jenam> You mean... you'll take me on?
* Liraula nods.
<Liraula> Go on, crewman - get out there and talk to your new mates. They'll put you to work.
<Jenam> Thank you, captain!
<Liraula> Jimba, you stay for a moment, I need a word with you.
* Jimba nods.
* Jimba smiles at Jenam as he leaves.
* Jenam gives you a grateful grin as he heads out of the cabin.
<Jimba> Thank you. This'll mean a lot to him, and to me.
<Jimba> He's had a string of bad luck, but he's not a bad guy.
<Liraula> What's the story with him, that you're sticking your neck out on his behalf?
<Jimba> Eh, he was a farmer out on the North Kaskos, and we got sent to investigate a land claim near there. His neighbor got murdered, and it got more or less pinned on him, but they couldn't make it stick. I don't think he did it, but they called him a thief for taking the dead man's wheelbarrow or some such, so he lost the farm and ended up out of work and unable to find any more.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Liraula> Sounds like a rough deal.
<Jimba> I ran into him in a bar a while after and I felt bad for him.
* Liraula nods
<Jimba> Yeah, pretty sure he was just the fall guy for some folks who wanted his neighbor's land.
<Liraula> Typical.
* Jimba nods.
<Liraula> Well, this is a favour I'm doing for you. I don't really need a new crew member but since he's your friend, I'll find a place for him. But I don't carry dead wood - he'll have to pull his weight around here.
<Jimba> Well, he was farming his own plot, and he's helped me some. He's a good worker, and he's desperate to make a good impression.
* Liraula nods
<Liraula> That's good. But there's something I'd ask of you in return.
<Jimba> Don't know how much of a fighter he is, but he'll manage or he won't.
<Jimba> Oh?
<Liraula> There's going to be a meeting of the envoys - what they call a moot or something like that. I want to know what they're talking about. They don't hold one of these things, calling in envoys from all over, for no reason.
<Liraula> Yeggun has an envoy he'll be bound to send - Wabaan Wartibar. He'll have a say in whatever they're discussing, and I won't. That's troubling me.
<Liraula> I don't have an envoy in my employ, but I understand you have a companion who's an envoy. I want you to use that connection - find out what they're meeting about, and whether it's going to affect the fleet.
<Jimba> Oh, uh, yeah, I think I can manage that. I don't imagine it's some kind of big secret, is it?
<Liraula> From what I know of envoys, they can't take a shit without raising a flag and blowing a trumpet to let everyone know, so probably not.
<Liraula> But what exactly they talk about, that might be more close to the vest.
* Jimba laughs.
* Liraula hands you a purse with a handful of coins in it.
* Jimba raises an eyebrow.
<Jimba> What's this?
<Liraula> If this envoy friend of yours has a weakness for drink, or a soft spot for pretty girls, or pretty boys, use this to show him a good time, soften him up. If the money itself is more likely to sway him, you're free to give it to him directly, as a ... generous contribution from a friend.
<Liraula> Once you have his ear, find out what this moot is about. Put in a good word for us, if you can, or even... well, use your judgment as to how much you can get away with, depending on where his loyalties lie.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Aye aye.
* Jimba winks.
<Liraula> Always a pleasure to do business with you, Jimba.
* Liraula says with a grin.
<Jimba> Likewise, Captain.
<AshnabisGM> As you head off, you can see Jenam has already been put to work by some of the other crew. He gives you a smile and a wave as you depart.
* Jimba will return the wave and the smile.

The escaped corpseborn arrive at Daifan's place seeking shelter


<AshnabisNarrator> Daifan, you are at home after yet another quiet day at the registry. You are sitting by the fire, watching and stirring a simmering pot of stew that Chimi made earlier. Little Shira is lying quietly asleep beside you, where you can keep a watchful eye on her.
<AshnabisNarrator> You feel a rush of air, or perhaps just a chill. The moment passes quickly but you can't help but feel uneasy.
<Daifan> ..
* Daifan will look round, and stir up the fire a bit
<AshnabisNarrator> You definitely hear some voices outside the house.
* Daifan will try and get up quietly, then and see if they can look out without being seen, or at least hear better what's going on
<AshnabisNarrator> You are able to look out, and are startled momentarily.
<Daifan> (where are my roomies?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (out)
<AshnabisNarrator> To your surprise, it is Ughiva, Fuska, and Zarogalo standing outside your house. They look nervously around but otherwise appear to be well.
<Daifan> :o
* Daifan will go to the door then
<Daifan> ...Spoons?
* Jaigadu is now known as Ughiva
<Ughiva> Yes, it's us. We need to come in.
<Daifan> yes,, of course
* Daifan usheres them all inside, and will pick up baby Shira
<AshnabisNarrator> All three of them look well enough. Fuska is definitely more pregnant than when you saw her last, and has been well-fed. Zarogalo still looks rail-thin. Ughiva looks more dangerous, if anything.
<Ughiva> Thank you.
<Daifan> what happened? Why...how are you here?
<Ughiva> We left. It was time.
<Ughiva> I think the priestesses were getting tired of us. Can't blame them.
<Daifan> okay...
<Daifan> what about the others?
<Ughiva> What, you mean the ones the princess imprisoned?
<Daifan> yes.... Sorry I'm just... startled :o
<Ughiva> That's why we came here. I wasn't much use to them holed up in a temple.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> okay
<Ughiva> You've got budal here who have fos. Those are the two things I need.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Yes...
<Ughiva> We were in disguise when we left. No one could have seen us leave the town.
<Daifan> okay, good.
<Daifan> I... had talked to some people, before your people came, and places where you could stay
<Daifan> but for now, just sit, please
* Ughiva sits.
<Ughiva> That's good. Trickle and Munchfang here, what they need is a place to lay low, at least until the baby comes.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I think we can make that happen
* Daifan 's mind is racing
<Daifan> I can help, when its time
<Daifan> With the baby, I mean
<Daifan> And I can take you to the poeple here who have fos
<Ughiva> If you can get me a good quantity of fos, I'll reach out to folks in the prison directly. That should help us a lot.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> how much do you mean?
<Ughiva> I mean ... as much as you can. I don't expect this will be easy.
<Ughiva> I assume that as soon as the princess learns we've left, she'll try to recover us
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> yes
<Daifan> for sure
<Daifan> How did you get away from the Hand?
<Ughiva> We didn't exactly 'get away'.
* Daifan waits for elaboration
<Ughiva> A Hand priestess brought us some fos. I assume she didn't think I was going to use it to draw pretty pictures.
<Daifan> ...who?
<Ughiva> Her name is Veznara. She got the fos from my partner Kida, at the prison.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> okay
* Daifan thinks for a moment
<Daifan> How quickly do we need to move for this?
<Ughiva> Well, Hand Dezmali, who is in charge, will be supportive.
<Ughiva> She's a sid, and one of the decent ones.
<Daifan> yes...
<Ughiva> But as for the rest, it would be naive to think that the other priestesses are going to keep quiet
<Ughiva> Even if Hand Dezmali orders them to, it will get out.
* Daifan nods
<Ughiva> But it was getting obvious that the ruse that this was for our health wasn't going to work any longer. So we needed to move.
<Daifan> yes...
<Daifan> but how much time do you think we have? Days? Hours?
<Ughiva> I would guess days. But maybe not many days.
<Daifan> okay
<Daifan> Tomorrow I can take you to Fleabite and Wetfoot
<Ughiva> All right, who are they?
<Daifan> They are budal here who have their own plantation - They've already offered to help, when we were trying to figure out where we could out you all.... That was before we understood better what was really going on.
* Ughiva nods.
<Daifan> They're our best bet for getting you fos
<Ughiva> And then? Are the budal here really going to mobilize to help my community? Or is it just me?
<Daifan> I think they will. Enough of us, anyway.
<Ughiva> All right.
<Ughiva> You understand that when they discover what I can do, and some of the others a little, that will change things.
<Daifan> They?
<Ughiva> Your government. Your important hedal. The people who always care about us when we get too much.
* Daifan hesitates
<Daifan> ...do you?
<Ughiva> Do I what?
<Daifan> YOu know what happened to your home
* Ughiva nods.
<Ughiva> And yet I would still do it all again. Some of us wouldn't, I know.
<Daifan> I want to help you, but I don't want that to happen here.
<Ughiva> It might. I can't promise you it won't.
* Daifan looks down at Shira
<Ughiva> Your child. I want for her what I want for Fuska's child. Freedom.
<Daifan> I need you to be careful with this.
<Ughiva> I will be as careful as I can be.
<Daifan> ...okay.
<Ughiva> You may think I'm reckless, but I assure you I know the risks I'm asking of others.
* Daifan gives her a hard look (sm)
<AshnabisNarrator> (ok, go ahead)
<Daifan> !roll 1d20+12
* Lan-werk rolls for Daifan: [ 1d20+12 ] getting [ 12 ] which, after the modifier [ 12 ] totals [ 24 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> (she seems to know but not necessarily to care that much about the risks?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (or at least, to think it's worth it? she's hard to read)
* Daifan looks at the other two
<Daifan> What do you think?
<Fuska> Both of us would be dead if not for Ughiva. And our baby.
<Fuska> We're not afraid to fight anymore.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> You can talk to Fleabite and Wetfoot. I'll go with you.
<Ughiva> All right then.
<Daifan> for now, you can stay here. Have some stew. There's not a lot of space, but we can make due.

Solos

Katenzhi goes to talk to Bivizmi about what happened


* Katenzhi will wait two days before forcing herself to walk to Bivizmi's house.
<Bivizmi> (One of her sisters can bring you inside and show you to where Bivizmi is sitting)
* Bivizmi looks fairly pale and tired, but her face brightens to see you arrive.
<Katenzhi> ...hi.
<Bivizmi> hi. It's good to see you.
* Bivizmi says with a slightly nervous smile.
<Katenzhi> I ummm... I'm sorry about... I was just... so happy to see you again.
<Bivizmi> It's okay. Do you want to sit down? There's some tea made if you want any.
* Katenzhi realizes she's still standing and takes a seat.
<Katenzhi> Oh... sure. Thanks.
* Bivizmi will pour you some tea.
<Katenzhi> How are you doing?
<Bivizmi> It's been a weird few days.
* Katenzhi laughs nervously.
<Katenzhi> I guess so.
<Bivizmi> I'm okay I guess. I haven't slept well since... it happened. I feel nervous all the time. But I guess that's normal...
<Katenzhi> I don't really know. I'm not sure there is a "Normal" for this sort of thing. From what I hear it's different for everyone.
* Bivizmi nods
<Katenzhi> Do you remember anything?
* Laris is now known as Curtana
<Bivizmi> Yes... most of it.
<Bivizmi> I was walking home along the Colony Road - I'd been out visiting our claim, looking around, and it was getting dark. I guess I stayed longer than I meant to.
<Bivizmi> I kept thinking I heard someone walking behind me, just off the road maybe, in the trees, but whenever I turned around, I couldn't see anyone.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Bivizmi> Then out of nowhere I was hit from behind with ... it felt like a hammer or something heavy. I fell forward but I managed to get up again, and then someone else hit me from the other side. I could see there were two men, wearing masks or something over their faces. I couldn't see them clearly. I think they snuck up while they were invisible and then attacked.
<Katenzhi> You're sure they were men?
<Bivizmi> Yes, I think so. I fought back but they were too much for me. When I was down, lying in the mud, I heard one of them say something in Aummesh...
* Bivizmi shudders slightly
<Katenzhi> It's ok. I'm so sorry.
<Bivizmi> I think he said "take her head." One of them had a knife at his belt, a big one like people use for cutting brush or something, and I saw him take it out...
<Bivizmi> I must have passed out then.
* Katenzhi feels her stomach turn over.
<Bivizmi> I don't know if something interrupted them, or why they didn't... but I don't think they meant for me to be able to come back. If they'd ... done what they said, then it wouldn't have been possible.
<Katenzhi> It's ok. They didn't. You're here now.
* Bivizmi nods
<Katenzhi> Listen... whoever did it... I'm going to find them. And I'm going to make them pray that they don't come back after I'm done with them.
<Bivizmi> They're dangerous. I don't want you to get hurt.
<Katenzhi> I'm dangerous too.
<Katenzhi> There was someone nosing around at the ceremony. Sticking to the shadows. I couldn't see who it was, but I'm betting it was them or someone in league with them.
* Bivizmi looks concerned
<Katenzhi> I can't prove anything... but I can't help feeling that Usuf has something to do with this.
<Bivizmi> It wasn't him - I mean, I don't think it was. If it was someone he hired, I guess that's possible. But... why would he need to do that? If he wanted to harm me, he could do it with magic, from a distance. Not up close with a hammer.
<Katenzhi> I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong. But he was awfully mad when I wouldn't tell him about our project. If he did this because of me... fuck...
<Katenzhi> I'm so sorry...
* Bivizmi takes your hand
<Bivizmi> It isn't your fault.
* Katenzhi laughs dryly.
<Katenzhi> I'm supposed to be the one comforting you.
* Katenzhi squeezes her hand.
* Bivizmi smiles at that
<Bivizmi> Look, I... I don't know if what happened was because you were upset... I don't expect it to mean anything more than that...
<Katenzhi> I ummm... I don't know... when I saw you I just... I realized that I was so happy you came back and... and what it would have meant if you didn't and...
<Katenzhi> I guess it put some things into persepective.
<Bivizmi> what do you want now?
* Bivizmi asks uncertainly
<Katenzhi> I guess what I want is... to know how you feel.
* Bivizmi considers how to answer that
<Bivizmi> I was so glad to see you - to know that you were okay, and that you cared enough about me to wait out there in the dark to find out what happened.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Bivizmi> Over the past couple of days, I thought a lot about what it meant. I think I half convinced myself it was just that you were glad to see me, and it didn't mean more than that.
<Katenzhi> ...and what if it did?
<Bivizmi> It would have been okay if that was what it was. But now I think ... well, if it did mean more, then how stupid would I have to be to not recognize those feelings for what they are?
<Bivizmi> I do care for you - more than as a friend. I don't have a lot of experience at this sort of thing... but we can try to figure it out together, if you want?
* Bivizmi says nervously
<Katenzhi> I... I do. I don't know what's going to happen and I know I'm not very good with this sort of thing either, but... I'd like to try... if you do.
* Bivizmi smiles
* Bivizmi leans over and gives you a kiss
<Bivizmi> like this?
* Katenzhi puts a hand on her back a bit hesitantly and draws her in.
<Katenzhi> I think... this is a good start...
* Bivizmi nods
* Bivizmi will go over and lock her door to give you two a bit of privacy from any sisters who might be around.