Ashnabis session 26

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Summary

Session

Session date: February 2, 2020
Fair Cycle date:

Prologue


<AshnabisGM> Normally, around this time in Kerai, the farmers' minds turn to the fall fos crop. It's the end of the dry season, and many spend their time looking at the cloudless skies, wondering when the west wind will bring stormclouds and with it, lifegiving rain.
<AshnabisGM> https://open.spotify.com/track/4g4fyziPzbFrWanepDpoOz?si=yQVbmaU0Sx2lZITIp8CYNg
<AshnabisGM> The reckoners in this area sometimes recount the story of the Cracked Seasons, a time from before even the eldest locals were born when the rains never came, and the crops failed for three straight years.
<AshnabisGM> And so even the fos farmers are thinking of the other crops they might plant, because all the Source in the world doesn't help a starving family.
<AshnabisGM> But it's hard to think of all that, with other things ongoing.
<AshnabisGM> You've returned from your secret excursion to the town of Pashas, where you gathered information on the community, met with Aptan Gadali who provided information on Yeggun's mystical associate Obin, and enabled the escape of the hithkindred Liwhis Heptachei, who returned with you to Kaskind.
<AshnabisGM> You have filed your report with Utus and the General, and now the fate of the island of Ruur is momentarily out of your hands. You hope that war can be averted but the prospect that Basai and the pirates are in league together does not bode well.
<AshnabisGM> Too, you have the matter of the mystic princess Galdai Ebesnata, whose corpseborn prisoners are apparently subject to cruelties even beyond those a non-person deserves. Is there any hope that you might help resolve the situation?

The group meet to make plans about rescuing Galdai's prisoners


<AshnabisGM> Your small group has decided to meet jointly to coordinate a plan. Daifan has brought you all together to meet a friend, to share information, and to conspire against one of the most powerful women in the Imperial successor states.
<AshnabisGM> You gather at dusk on the Menagerie as it rocks gently. The animals are all resting quietly aboveboard as you head belowdecks.
* Daifan brought the monkey who has been really clingy since they were gone for a few days
* Daifan 's friend who is present is a tall, slender man with brown hair tied back in a simple knot, dressed in plain clothing such as a servant might wear.
<Daifan> Thank you all for coming...
<Daifan> I think I have talked to you all about the situation, wth the Cospseborn who were brought here to act as...well, as slaves, and worse, for Galdai Ebesnata
* Llillilli grunts and makes a face.
<Daifan> This has gone on for too long, already, and things, from all I have heard, are getting worse.
<Daifan> So.... it cant continue like this.
<Daifan> I asked you all to come because you agree with this sentiment, at least, or have said you would help, or have already.
<Llillilli> What do you need.
<Daifan> I want to get them away from her, soon, and make it difficult for her to take them back, or replace them
<Llillilli> Yes. How.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> We will discuss that but I want to make sure that everyone here is willing to help still, and to what extent
* Daifan looks at Veznara
* Veznara grimaces
<Llillilli> Whatever you need.
* Llillilli shrugs.
<Daifan> YOu have already put yourself in a difficult position to help these people... and thank you
* Veznara shrugs
* Daifan smiles at Llillilli, but returns their attention to Veznara
* Llillilli raises an eyebrow at that
<Veznara> I only wish to do what is right.
<Kennesaw> I'll do whatever needs to be done.
<Katenzhi> Whatever it is it's probably less risky than dealing with my parents right now so I'm in.
* Kennesaw is now known as Jimba
<Kemai> We won't ask you to go against your beliefs or do more than you're willing to do.
* Kemai says to Veznara in particular, but really to everyone.
<Veznara> We still need to confirm some of these rumors. I was thinking, Daifan, that I could bring you along on my next visit as an "assistant" to tend to the prisoners directly.
* Daifan frowns
<Daifan> They're not rumours.
<Veznara> That could let you talk to them - something I've not been able to do so far - while I keep the attention of the guards and other staff.
<Jimba> Is there something that needs to be confirmed that would justify what is being done?
<Kemai> It doesn't hurt to do one more... scouting mission, before we take action.
<Kemai> It can help us better prepare in a variety of ways.
<Jimba> Because otherwise it's just letting people sufferz isn't i
<Jimba> it?
<Kemai> If it can be done within the next few days? I don't want to wait too long.
* Daifan lokos at Veznara
<Daifan> woudl taht be enough time?
<Daifan> ti receive your confirmation?
<Veznara> Yes. My next scheduled visit is two days from now. I could move it up if this is very urgent, but that would be noticed.
* Kemai nods
<Veznara> I'm very aware of each day that passes, however.
<Daifan> Two days should be okay?
<Kemai> I think that is reasonable. It will take us a little while to make our plans in any case - and I think some of us might need to talk to others who could potentially be involved, or help.
* Daifan nods
<Veznara> So Daifan, you will come with me?
<Veznara> If you speak with the prisoners directly that will give you a better picture, I think. And allow you to coordinate with them.
<Daifan> Yes.
<Kemai> Hand Veznara, I appreciate that you're in a difficult situation. If you want to leave so as to not hear the details of what we might be planning - so that you can't be forced to reveal them, or have to lie about your level of awareness, that would be understandable.
* Daifan nods
* Veznara frowns, but nods
<Daifan> I think it might be best.... if you are willing to trust us.
<Daifan> I don't want to place you in undue danger, but when we were thinking about this arlier..
* Daifan looks to Kemai
<Veznara> I... fear that might be best as well. I would strongly, strongly caution you against certain approaches.
<Veznara> The Princess is powerful for reasons far beyond her title...
<Daifan> Yes, we realize this
<Kemai> Rest assured that our primary goal is saving the prisoners, with as little risk to any of them, or us, as is possible.
* Veznara frowns, but nods again.
<Veznara> You will manage without harm to *anyone
* on the estate, I hope. If the Ancestors are kind.
<Kemai> I hope that too.
<Veznara> In any case... I will leave you to your deliberations.
<Daifan> Thank you.
* Veznara rises and takes her leave.
* Daifan waits until she has gone
<Daifan> our thought is to have Veznara keep galdai preoccupied while the rest strike
* Kemai nods
<Jimba> That sounds promising.
<Kemai> I think the best course of action will be to wait until after dark - if there is a plausible reason for Veznara to remain at the house until after nightfall - and a few of us sneak in to free the prisoners while others keep watch or cause distractions as needed.
<Llillilli> What's 'strike' mean here
<Kemai> There are guards, but not many, as I understand.
<Daifan> I think magical and ...social? coersion are as effective :|
<Daifan> plus, these people don't know where they can go that is safe
<Jimba> And our plan in regards to the guards is...?
<Daifan> well. That is what we are here to figure out.
<Kemai> I think we subdue them quietly. Either magically, or, if that fails, physically.
* Daifan nods
<Jimba> Are they armed? Armored?
<Daifan> armed yes, armoured, not physically that I recall, or not strongy
<Daifan> these are soecifics I can learn when I go with Veznara
<Katenzhi> What's gonna happen to the prisoners once we get them out? Do we know if they have any way of magically tracking them?
<Katenzhi> It's no good to get them out if they just get captured again the next day
<Daifan> We will take them to Banei. I have been making arrangements there to have a place to keep them, and hide them
<Jimba> Forgive me, but isn't that going to be one of the first places they look?
<Daifan> part of this plan will need to involve making it difficult in other ways for her to get them back
<Daifan> that depends on how this is seen.
* Daifan looks at Junan
<Kemai> She might, but there are a large number of them. Even if she can track them, it would take time and energy to do so. And as Daifan said, there might be other ways to make it ... socially or even legally difficult for her to regain them.
<Daifan> yes
* Katenzhi nods.
<Kemai> I work at the fort, and I can say that there are already those there who are aware, at some level, of her activities. If more information comes to light, they might be able to cause her sufficient embarassment or inconvenience that she decides this is too troublesome to pursue.
<Jimba> Okay.
<Jimba> Like Kat was saying, I just want to make sure they *stay
* free.
<Kemai> Another option is to involve the mystics in Charadip. The princess is a mystic, although not closely affiliated with them as I understand, but they still might be able to apply pressure to her.
<Kemai> On that subject, I can say that for the past several days, General Ghurtai has been hosting an unusual guest in quarters near her own, in the fort.
<Junan> oh?
<Daifan> it could draw her into a broader political web that would make it awkward for her to pursue her own interests, at least
* Daifan looks to kemai though because this is new to them also
<Kemai> This woman's name is Widiil Laulida. A local woman in Charadip, trained as a reckoner, but then was one of the earliest folks recruited by the mystics to be trained in their arts.
<Kemai> Now, she uses her experience and knowledge of the community and her respected position to recruit local youth to the Academy, mainly up the coast in communities around Charadip, but also here. Or at least, she did.
<Kemai> I am not supposed to possess the knowledge of her presence here in Kaskind. It's not quite a secret, but it is certainly privileged information, known only to a select few high-ranking officials.
<Junan> considering recent events, I can understand why.
<Kemai> If she has turned to the Choradani side, or perhaps is having doubts, we may be able to use her, at least as a source of information, if not as a reliable support.
<Kemai> If there were someone of appropriate status and skill to approach her discreetly, we might have an opportunity to gain considerable information not otherwise available.
* Kemai says with a smile to Junan.
<Daifan> and...use her to bring pressure on the princess?
<Junan> or information to give the appearance of pressure, I would think.
<Kemai> Maybe. Or find out what she might know about how the Academy already views the princess's activities - how much do they know, and are there those who disapprove? Is there a way to use this against her?
<Llillilli> What if she's here because the Academy is interested in this work.
* Daifan nods
<Kemai> Then that would also be useful to know, I suppose. But if she was interested in the princess's work, coming to the General would be an odd way to find out about it.
<Daifan> I think if that were the case, she woudl not be staying secretly with the General
* Daifan nods, then smiles to Kemai
<Kemai> It might give us information about whether this is even a feasible way to leverage her - if it won't work, then it's best we know that too.
<Kemai> Are you willing to try and talk with her?
* Kemai asks Junan
<Junan> I can do that
<Daifan> thank you.
* Daifan also smiles at Junan fondly :3
<Kemai> All right. and Daifan, I think you were intending to talk to the folks who had already made their escape? Perhaps see if any of them want to assist in this plan, or have other ideas?
<Daifan> yes
<Daifan> if they help, they will need fos. And possibly we can help them also by distrubuting fos to those on the inside...
<Junan> so the narrative were trying to lay out is that the her prisoners fled/escaped due to the unsavoury treatment, with magical assistance...
<Kemai> A good supply of fos would be helpful, to be sure.
* Kemai nods to Junan.
<Junan> and the princess is letting them slip away because if she hunts them too hard it would confirm the rumors, or risk crossing those who provided magical aid.
<Katenzhi> Well, I can get fos pretty easy.
<Kemai> One difficulty is that corpseborn can't testify. We could try to prosecute her for this, but without a non-Corpseborn witness who could testify to what happened, it would be challenging. But - there are other ways to make life legally... inconvenient for her. If her land claim were to suddenly be challenged, for instance.
* Daifan nods
<Kemai> And, while Banei is a first stopping place, if we need to, we can try to get them further away. But we'll see if that's necessary.
<Daifan> Maybe Veznara might have ideas abotu who might witness.... though I believe she is very careful about the selection of her staff.
* Kemai nods
<Kemai> It's worth considering - another good reason not to murder the guards if we don't have to >.>
<Kemai> They might be valuable witnesses.
<Jimba> Still worth pursuing, I suppose.
<Daifan> but a land challenge.... that is something we could handle I think?
* Daifan nods
* Jimba nods.
<Kemai> All right. Let's meet again in a few days, after Daifan and Veznara have been out to the plantation, and we can proceed from there.
<Junan> a land challenge isn't going to be easy or cheap.
* Kemai nods to that.
<Daifan> we could, thtough the ofice, make an argument that she has not been using the land for the purpose it was claimed for
<Jimba> That's workable.
<Jimba> I can look into that.
<Kemai> And it might be possible to get help in that regard from people at the fort who are unimpressed with this situation and would like to see it resolved, but aren't quite willing to go so far as to threaten her or attack her directly.
<Katenzhi> How much fos will we need for your friends?
<Kemai> Legal machinations that give everyone plausible deniability are ideal.
<Daifan> as much as we can get without attracting attention
* Daifan nods to Kemai
<Katenzhi> I'll see what I can do.
<Junan> here again the tensions with the mystics could work for us
* Junan says referring ot Kemai's comment
* Kemai nods
<Kemai> And, whatever we do, we don't attack her directly. Not only is it probably suicidal, but it's counterproductive. Targeting her or her family makes us the bad guys, at least in the eyes of the local authorities, and risks bringing unwanted enmity from Taizi as well.
<Junan> although I imagine the locals themselves probably wouldnt care too much
* Jimba nods.
* Daifan nods but still looks a little disgruntled about it
<Junan> One of my biggest worries about all of this is how personnally invested the princess is in her "work"
<Kemai> She's clearly gone to a huge amount of effort and potentially years of planning to get to this point. She won't likely drop it easily.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> The hops is that we can create a situation where if she does anything, we can go after her more directly
<Daifan> or someone else can
<Daifan> if she becomes careless, or desperate, or just angry...
<Junan> people don't react well, or rationally, when they take it personnally
<Daifan> yes.
<Daifan> I hope she does something phenomenally stupid and gets what she deserves. >.>
<Kemai> We can hope. There are other forms of punishment than what can be enforced by the law.
<Jimba> I with Daifan on that.
* Kemai says with a smile.
* Daifan nods
<Junan> be careful what you wish for. She can do some real damage by doing something stupid.
<Daifan> Mmhmm.
<Daifan> anyway - I think for now we have gone as far as wel can.
<Kemai> Let's regroup in a few days. We can make further plans then, depending on what we might have learned in that time.
<Daifan> Llillilli has been out to the compound with me once before though - before they came
<Junan> I agree. Thanks everyone for this wonderful conversation.
<Daifan> Thank all of you. Your supposrt means so much to me.
* Daifan says with very genuine emotion
<Junan> And everything we said was all a joke right? nobody is taking it serious, right?
* Junan gives a big dramatic wink
* Jimba laughs
<Kemai> If anyone asks, certainly.
<Daifan> of course
* Daifan smiles slyly
* Llillilli gives him a somewhat confused look
<Llillilli> Oh... kay?
<Llillilli> Yes, a joke.
* Daifan smiles at her
<Junan> I take by Jimba's laughter he agrees. You too Katenzhi, right?
<Katenzhi> I don't even remember what we were talking about. Too much fos, maybe.
<Daifan> perfect.
<Junan> I agree
<Junan> !roll 1d20+13
* Lan-werk rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+13 ] getting [ 1 ] which, after the modifier [ 13 ] totals [ 14 ].

Katenzhi and Bivizmi interview Oignestros to farm their special fos


<@Ashnabis_Narrator> Katenzhi, you have been busy on missions recently, and have had little time to think about your own ventures and opportunities. And with your recent meeting on the boat regarding Daifan's plan, you have reason to think you may be occupied once again, soon enough.
<@Ashnabis_Narrator> But today, Bivizmi has asked you to come over to discuss your joint business venture. She's been out of sorts ever since her murder, and this is a welcome change of topic.
<@Ashnabis_Narrator> You head over to the Pindevuzi fos-works where Bivizmi awaits you.
* Katenzhi will head to Bivizmi's work area then.
* Bivizmi seems tired, with dark circles under her eyes that suggest she's still not sleeping well, but she smiles to see you.
<Bivizmi> Hi there :)
<Katenzhi> Hey :)
<Katenzhi> How are you feeling?
<Bivizmi> Oh, I had another bad dream last night.
* Bivizmi says with a slight shrug.
* Katenzhi frowns.
<Bivizmi> A little dark-haired girl, playing in a persimmon tree, turns to me and tells me to stay away, and her voice just goes right through me. I don't know how to explain why it was so creepy, but there was no sleeping after I woke up from that one.
* Katenzhi puts a hand on her arm.
* Bivizmi takes your hand.
<Katenzhi> I'm sorry.
<Bivizmi> I'll be okay.
<Bivizmi> I've been thinking about our claim. I don't think either one of us is in a place to do any real farming there. I didn't come here to be a farmer, and neither did you.
<Bivizmi> So I've been thinking of people we could hire, to do that work for us.
<Katenzhi> It would need to be people we could trust.
* Bivizmi nods
<Bivizmi> Yes, and people who we think would be safe out there too.
<Katenzhi> And we'd need the money to pay them until the first harvest at least.
* Bivizmi nods
<Bivizmi> At least a basic amount, enough to live on - we can always give them a cut once the harvest comes in and we have buyers.
<Katenzhi> Did you have anyone in mind?
<Bivizmi> I made a list. I talked to three people who are interested, told them just enough to spark their curiosity. But I wanted you to have some input as well.
* Katenzhi smiles.
<Bivizmi> They're all people I've done some business with in the past, so I think they'd be trustworthy.
<Katenzhi> You are such an overacheiver. It's part of what I love about you.
* Bivizmi blushes, smiling.
<Bivizmi> First is Lekiil Wartibar. He's a local, lives near Timiil, has lots of family around the area. Really good fos farmer, I figure also the least likely to arouse suspicion because he's local. I like him, tiny little friendly guy, impossible to hate.
<Bivizmi> I guess the risk would be that a local who knows lots of folks, who knows how long it would be before everyone knows what we're up to? I don't know how fast word might get around, even if he doesn't tell them outright.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Bivizmi> Second is a Choradani fellow, Ezlo Fadushas. Lives up north of Kaskind, in Uzino, used to farm a lot up there and sell to us Pindevuzis. Lately though he's been complaining that his plot is no good and he's looking for something new. No family I know of, a little bit of an older guy, good, reliable sort.
<Bivizmi> He'd be a reliable choice, good farmer, a known quantity, longstanding connection to my family. He doesn't know the locals, and doesn't know Aummesh too well, I bet.
<Bivizmi> Third is a giant of a man, local, but not Aummesh. From one of the old Hrofnand tribes, name is, well, I can't pronounce it right, but ... Oignestros? A foot taller than either one of us, and just massive, big heavy beard. He'd probably scare off anyone who came trying to attack him. Woodsman, knows everything about herbs, plants, all that.
<Bivizmi> He actually knows a little about the pale oracle. Didn't know it was for fos, but he knows the plant. No risk of him spilling our secrets - who would he even tell? And I'm sure he knows enough about the locals to stay out of trouble.
<Katenzhi> Hmmm... I'm just wondering how they'd take to him being there.
<Bivizmi> He's around in the area pretty often, I imagine they're used to seeing him now and then.
<Katenzhi> Then I say we go with him. Sounds like he'll keep to himself and dissuade everyone else from prying.
<Katenzhi> Plus he sounds like he knows the land the best.
<Bivizmi> Okay, want to go meet him? We can talk to him and make up our minds then.
<Katenzhi> Sure, sounds good.
<Katenzhi> Where does he live?
<Bivizmi> In some weird little moss hut out in the swamp.
<Katenzhi> I like him already!
* Bivizmi smiles at that
* Bivizmi will lead the way to Oignestros's hut, a strange round structure made of stones and moss and peat.
* AshnabisGM is now known as Oignestros
<Bivizmi> Hello?
* Bivizmi calls out to let him know we're here.
* Oignestros emerges from his hut, his head ducking down as he comes out. He is truly a giant man, almost seven feet tall, and extremely rotund. He must weigh as much as four ordinary men. He is wearing an outfit of dark leather skins with tassels and feathers, and a snakeskin sash.
<Oignestros> Ennnh? Who comes a-calling?
* Oignestros booms out.
<Bivizmi> It's Bivizmi and this is my friend, Katenzhi. Can we talk?
<Katenzhi> Ummm... Hello there!
<Oignestros> Hoho! Welcome to house belonging Oignestros!
<Bivizmi> Thank you.
* Oignestros speaks Ombesh with you, presumably knowing that Bivizmi's Aummesh is poor.
<Oignestros> What brings you a-walking today?
<Katenzhi> We were hoping to talk to you about about a job.
<Bivizmi> You remember we talked before about the plant, the pale root?
<Oignestros> Mmmm. Was hoping you a-bringing rain. But yes, I remember.
<Bivizmi> We want to grow more of it, but we are not farmers. We hoped you could help us by working the land to make it grow more.
<Bivizmi> We can pay you for your efforts.
<Oignestros> Mmmm. I know the flower, could farm it plentiful.
<Katenzhi> That's great!
* Bivizmi nods
<Katenzhi> Would you be willing to help us, then?
<Oignestros> My folk know it well, but not to eat. Grows in the shadow of the [unknown word], yes?
<Bivizmi> The persimmon tree?
* Bivizmi guesses
* Oignestros shrugs his giant shoulders.
<Oignestros> Not know that word, but yes, in the shadow of the tree.
<Katenzhi> That sounds like it, yeah. What do your folk know about it?
<Oignestros> We never eat it, but pick the flowers.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Oignestros> But it is kin to fos, we know that.
<Oignestros> You are a-wishing that I live there? Or stay here, and just work there?
<Bivizmi> Would it be trouble for you to live there?
<Oignestros> What would the neighbours think?
* Katenzhi laughs
<Bivizmi> They know you, yes? You can be friendly with them?
<Oignestros> Yes, I can be kind to the little folk.
<Bivizmi> If it would not cause you trouble, it would be good for you to live there - keep watch on the land.
<Oignestros> I can be a good neighbour, then, too.
<Katenzhi> I'm sure the neighbors wouldn't cause you any trouble.
<Bivizmi> What would you need from us to get started? When the rains come it would be good to be prepared.
<Oignestros> Money, new tools, peat for a new hut. More money. Not cheap, farming.
* Bivizmi nods
<Katenzhi> We'll see about getting all of that ready then.
<Bivizmi> When the harvest is ready we can give you more, but we'll make sure we get enough for you to set up.
* Oignestros considers, then nods.
* Bivizmi offers her hand to shake.
* Oignestros shakes his head.
<Oignestros> To bind the deal, we must drink!
* Oignestros squeezes into his hut and emerges a moment later with a flask.
<Bivizmi> Oh... okay :)
<Oignestros> [Unknown word.] Good for heart.
* Katenzhi will try to repeat the word and probably fail.
* Oignestros laughs.
* Katenzhi will take the flask and give it a swig.
<Oignestros> You speak my tongue as if you have had too much [unknown word] already, Gadengji!
<Oignestros> (would you like to make a Con check to keep it down?)
<Katenzhi> (Straight con or fort save?)
<Oignestros> (straight con)
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+4
* Lan-werk rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 6 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 10 ].
<Katenzhi> (Yeesh)
<Oignestros> See, your heart, it races now, yes?
<Katenzhi> ...it... wow...
* Bivizmi will accept the flask and take a (somewhat wary) drink.
* Oignestros laughs as you struggle with it.
<Katenzhi> What is in that?
<Oignestros> Blood and fire.
* Oignestros smiles.
<Katenzhi> Yeah, that sounds about right...
<Bivizmi> It has some zing.
* Oignestros takes a great swig himself.
<Oignestros> Good word, your people have, zing!
<Bivizmi> We look forward to working with you. We'll get the supplies you need as soon as possible.
<Oignestros> We are bound, then. So may the gods watch over our pledge.
* Bivizmi says with a grin.
<Katenzhi> Thanks. And thank you for the... blood and fire.
* Oignestros laughs.
<Oignestros> You will not thank me later!
* Oignestros remarks with a twinkle in his eye.
* Katenzhi laughs, although a bit nervously this time.

Junan meets with Widiil, a mystic from Charadip now at the Fort


<AshnabisGM> Junan, for centuries, it has been the role of envoys to go into dangerous places under the protection of an unwritten code protecting you from harm.
<AshnabisGM> Yet here you are in Fort Kaskind, one of the most well-defended parts of the whole Ashnabis territory, feeling distinctly uneasy. You come to seek out this Widiil Laulida, to see if there is some way to benefit from her presence here.
<AshnabisGM> At least you have your hat.
<Junan> (hats are cool)
<AshnabisGM> You have relative freedom to go where you wish, as an envoy, within reason, anywhere in the fort.
<Junan> (I'm assuming Daifan or Kemai slipped me directions so I have some idea where I'm going?)
<@Ashnabis_Narrator> (seems reasonable, yeah, Kemai can have given you a heads up)
<AshnabisGM> Kemai told you she is staying near the General's quarters, and you can find your way fairly readily, and can even ask others for directions. After all, you could have a very important message to deliver!
<Junan> (and is some ways I do)
<AshnabisGM> Eventually you reach a door that seems to be where the newcomer is staying.
* Junan will go up confidently and knock
* Widiil opens the door a crack.
<Widiil> Yes?
<Junan> Hello
* Junan gives a warm smile
<Widiil> Can I help you?
<Junan> I'm Junan Ghez. I'm looking for Widiil Laulida. Is that you?
<Widiil> It is.
<Junan> Excellent. I would like to take up a few moments of your time with a quick conversation, if that was agreeable to yourself.
<Widiil> (make a Diplomacy check)
<Junan> !roll 1d20+17
* Lan-werk rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+17 ] getting [ 14 ] which, after the modifier [ 17 ] totals [ 31 ].
* Widiil opens the door wider.
<Widiil> All right, come in.
* Widiil is a small, thin dark-skinned woman, perhaps around forty, with her hair in tight complex black braids across her scalp. She is wearing a blue dashi with a woven black and grey pattern around the waist and collar.
<Junan> thank you
* Widiil closes the door behind you.
<Widiil> I wasn't expecting an envoy. But then, I suppose, one never knows when to expect one of your folk at the door.
<Widiil> I apologize for my rudeness earlier, I am not widely known to be here.
<Junan> I understand your discretion and I have no intention of bringing any undue attention to you.
<Junan> these are some trying times, with events at Ruur and all
<Widiil> Indeed.
<Widiil> So now I will admit to a deep curiosity as for the reason for your visit, Junan Ghez.
<Junan> It is related somewhat to those events on Ruur that bring me to you, and rumors locally.
<Junan> I do need to have a few points clarified for myself before continuing.
<Widiil> All right...
<Junan> You being in the fort is hushed. Are you here as an official agent of Charadip or as your own person?
<Widiil> I am here of my own volition.
<Junan> good
<Junan> yourself and the local mystics have good relations? You get along?
<Junan> I'll be honest in saying I've met very few mystics.
<Widiil> My job is to recruit new mystics for the Academy. I could not do that job well if I did not get along with other mystics.
<Junan> I expect you've probably met them all, being your job.
<Junan> the local ones, I mean.
<Widiil> Yes, I expect so, excepting those newly arrived.
<Junan> What of Princess Galdai? She is somewaht newly arrived.
* Widiil laughs.
<Widiil> Oh yes, we all know the Princess.
<Widiil> Are you sent by her?
<Junan> Alas no... I knew she was known, but you all knowing her wasn't exactly what I was expecting
* Junan shrugs
<Widiil> Well, she is an Imperial Princess, at least in the stylings of Taizi. And a powerful member of our order, albeit one trained by a master and not at an Academy.
<Junan> I've never had the pleasure of meeting her in person.
<Widiil> Nor have I ... although I *have
* met her in person.
* Junan nods
<Junan> She did bring in some unusual workers for her estate. Quite an uncommon sight for Kaskind.
<Widiil> Oh? What is this concerning?
<Junan> Rumors and perspective.
<Widiil> All right, I'm intrigued. But you'll need to be more clear.
<Junan> Rumors of efforts being taken with her unusual estate workers, magical efforts. Perspective on what other mystics think on such efforts.
<Junan> Again as far has been told to be, its just rumors.
<Widiil> I'll confess that I don't know anything about workers on her estate. As you noted, matters going on at Ruur have occupied much of our attention at the Academy.
<Junan> I'll be direct. The Princess brought in a shipful of corpseborn prisoners to work on her estate. That in itself is very strange.
<Widiil> That is strange. Why not simply rent bubun?
<Junan> I agree. Its not like she couldnt afford them.
<Widiil> But you said 'magical efforts'.
<Junan> the rumor I speak of is magical efforts, experiments I suppose you could call it, being done on these "workers"... as to what ends I would have no concept.
<Widiil> I ... had not heard that.
<Junan> I could consult with some of the local mystics, but I doubt they would offer an opinion, for a variety of reasons.
<Widiil> Princess Galdai is not much beloved of the Academy - not that at Zhardif, nor indeed any of the Academies, including the First Academy in Dundures, as I understand.
<Widiil> One of such stature in her nation, it is too easy to abuse such power, or to regard oneself as greater than the Source.
<Widiil> When the fos was all under my Order's control, before your folk came here to my land, that was one thing. But now, the risk is great, not only from manifests, but those mystics who fail to properly place themselves under our jurisdiction.
<Junan> And that is what I'm look for from you. Perspective.
<Widiil> All right, you have it, then.
<Junan> thank you
<Widiil> But if I were you, I would not meddle with her affairs.
<Widiil> Not if you, or whatever master you serve, would live.
<Junan> I have no intention of personally meddling in her affairs.
<Widiil> If you wish my Academy to do so, I am afraid it shall be some time before I return there. Perhaps a very long time indeed.
<Junan> I have means of passing a message along if I need to, have no worry. I assume you have nothing to be passed along to the Academy.
<Widiil> Nothing, no.
<Junan> I recently returned from Ruur. If you have any questions, I can do my best to answer them. A thank you for your candor.
* Widiil shakes her head.
<Widiil> I know all I need to of affairs in that place. Remember that I have sight beyond that of ordinary folk.
<Widiil> Just know that not all of my Order are of one mind and voice.
<Junan> thank you for your time, and I will keep what you said in mind.
* Widiil nods.
<Widiil> Go, then, Junan Ghez, envoy without message. Here, take a coin.
* Widiil tosses you a gold horn.

Veznara and Daifan visit Galdai's estate


<@Ashnabis_Narrator> Okay, on to Veznara and Daifan.
<@Ashnabis_Narrator> Veznara, you can pay one of your regular visits to Galdai's plantation, this time bringing Daifan as your 'assistant'. You have heard disturbing stories of what has been going on here, and want to try and confirm or deny them.
<@Ashnabis_Narrator> You are able to see as you approach that a new building has been constructed since last you looked, evidently an additional cabin for the corpseborn workers.
* Daifan will dress down and try to seem extremely inobtrusive and unremarkable
<Veznara> If the women are pregnant, I will avoid saying anything for now unless I have to.
<Veznara> It's probably best if they don't realize I've noticed. Though they must know I will, sooner or later...
* Daifan nods
<@Ashnabis_Narrator> A guard escorts you up to the main residence. Daifan is expected to wait outside, while you are invited in to be received by the lady of the house.
* Veznara enters, and prepares to conduct her normal duties.
* Bivizmi is now known as Ziftu
* Ziftu comes downstairs to greet you after a short while. She wears a pale blue silk dress decorated with purple flowers, and has her hair braided.
<Ziftu> Good day, Hand Veznara. I'm afraid my grandmother is unwell today, so she asked me to greet you.
* Veznara smiles in greeting
* Veznara stops smiling at this news
<Daifan> (Am I with her currently?)
<Veznara> Oh, I am sorry to hear she is unwell.
<@Ashnabis_Narrator> (as noted, you are expected to wait outside)
* Daifan will be out of the way but trying to pay attention to everything and the place, etc)
<Daifan> (derp, missed it)
<Veznara> Is there anything I can do to help?
<@Ashnabis_Narrator> (maybe you can wait in the entryway or whatever. but not in the main part of the house.)
<Ziftu> No, I don't think it's anything you can help with. She just needs to rest for our trip. We're going home for a few days, for my cousin Azola's wedding. It's exciting, I haven't been back to see my family in ages!
<Veznara> Oh, how nice! My congratulations to your respected cousin - wonderful news. And a wonderful opportunity to see your family again too, of course.
* Ziftu nods
<Ziftu> We leave tomorrow. I can hardly wait - I'm going to eat raspberry crushed ice and get to go shopping for new clothes, and maybe my parents will bring some young gentlemen to meet me...
* Veznara smiles again at her obvious enthusiasm
<Veznara> That sounds wonderful. Just what you need, I think.
<Veznara> I hope you have a very pleasant time.
* Ziftu nods, smiling.
<Veznara> Will you both be away long?
<Ziftu> Five days, was what Grandmother said. I hope maybe we can stay a little longer...
<Veznara> Perhaps. I expect she too may miss the comforts of civilization more than she realizes...
<Veznara> In any case, it is wise for her to rest before such a long journey. And I'm sure you have much to prepare as well.
<Ziftu> Yes, I do. I'm sorry not to be able to stay longer. Is there anything I can do for you before we go?
<Veznara> Oh - no, thank you. I shall simply continue with the rest of my routine.
<Veznara> I shall pray to the Ancestors that you may both have a safe and pleasant journey, Lady Ziftu.
<Ziftu> Thank you, Hand Veznara. I'll see you after we get back :)
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> I shall look forward to it - you will have to tell me everything! :)
<Veznara> By your leave then. Safe travels!
<Ziftu> I will! And thank you.
* Veznara smiles as they part, and goes to join Daifan for the next stage of the visit. As they proceed, she speaks quietly to Daifan...
* Daifan has been waiting outside, trying tojust get a sense of the layout and stuff, maybe doing a but of unobtrusvive 'pacing'
<Veznara> Normally the first part of the visit would take longer... but it appears Her Imperial Highness is resting.
* Daifan raises their eyebrows curiuosly
<Veznara> I've just learned that she is leaving tomorrow, and will be away at a family event for the next five days.
<Daifan> is she ill?
* Daifan nods
<Veznara> Just resting for the upcoming journey.
<Daifan> Mmmhmm. INteresting...
<Veznara> In any case, these are the cabins. That one is new...
<Daifan> So now we go to see the compound? >.>
* Daifan nods
<Veznara> I think the others are as you saw them before, though only by night
<Daifan> (does it have windows :p)
<AshnabisGM> The new building is small but well-built, and does not have any windows.
* Daifan frowns
<Veznara> The guard captain is called Mukhesh Ortezhi.
* Daifan nods, though is not sure how they can use that
<Veznara> Neither he nor the steward Endu Engevaze like having me poke about, but they must tolerate it to some extent, at least.
<Veznara> Anyway, here we are.
* Endu greets you at the main women's building.
<Veznara> Hello, Endu. I trust you are well?
* Endu is a long-haired woman of middle years, rail-thin, but possessed of a no-nonsense bearing that suggests she gets her way more often than not.
* Daifan has brought their healer's kit as a prop
<Endu> Hand Veznara. Yes, all is well. And I see you've brought ... a servant.
<Daifan> (well also potentially to use, but like, mostly as a prop ;)
* Daifan will preswent as neutral-meek
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Yes. Happily, as I am being given more responsibilities, I also have access to more resources.
<Endu> How wonderful for you. So where will we be starting today?
<Veznara> I trust all it well here? The estate seems to be expanding - I do not remember that building from my last visit.
<Endu> Yes, all is well. We have also had access to more resources to provide for our charges.
<Veznara> Good. I am glad to see the estate prosper.
<Veznara> Well, let us proceed...
<Veznara> (Whatever I usually start with, I guess?)
<Veznara> (When we get to the women I do want to run interference a bit to give Daifan plenty of time to interact with them unobtrusively.)
* Daifan can assist and step in if I think Veznara is beisng incompetent at health checks
<AshnabisGM> You can inspect the men's house uneventfully, and then you go to the women's house. Endu mostly stays out of your way.
<Veznara> (And I have something specific to discuss with Endu as a cover, if need be.)
<AshnabisGM> You do a head count and note that two of the women are missing.
<Veznara> (How are the ones who are still there?)
<AshnabisGM> The women who are remaining seem all right (given that they are prisoners) - they mostly seem to have gained weight and the conditions are clean. No sign of obvious disease.
<Veznara> (What about signs of, you know, being-with-child-ness? )
* Daifan will casualy distribute some contraceptive medicines and such. health tonics :V (but I'll tell them what they are really)
<AshnabisGM> You don't see any signs of that.
* Daifan will see if they can talk quietly to the women and maybe figure out which one is Kida, if she is here
* Veznara will give Daifan as many opportunities to speak with them as she can, and eventually go to talk to Endu while Daifan continues
<AshnabisGM> Daifan, one of the women will point to another woman, over towards the far end of the building.
* Daifan murmurs their thanks and will casualy make their way down to her
* Ziftu is now known as Kida
* Daifan is going to keep this conversation quiet but also not wrrite out every time ;)
<Daifan> Kida?
<Kida> yes?
* Daifan says as she examines her
* Kida is thin but seems otherwise healthy. Her light brown hair is cut short but growing out a bit.
<Daifan> I've been in touch with Spoons. She's okay, as are the others.
* Kida looks relieved.
<Kida> They're safe?
<Daifan> Yes.
<Daifan> We're gong to try and get all of you out of here. Maybe in the next few days, as the princess will be away
* Kida starts crying, but tries to hide it so that the others don't notice.
<Daifan> anything you can tell me about what is hapening here will help
<Kida> oh.. thank you...
* Daifan will try and cover for her, and squeeze her hand
<Daifan> Please. We don't have much time.
<Daifan> do you know what is in the new building?
<Kida> the pregnant women. they separate them out once they know they're knocked up >.>
<Daifan> Mmhmm. here.
* Daifan will give her some 'tonic' also
* Kida takes it.
<Daifan> This should help.... prevent that >.>
* Kida nods
<Daifan> if we can see them today... >.>
<Kida> if you're going to try and break us out, you'll need to get the men too... all three buildings.
<Daifan> Yes, we know.
* Kida nods
<Daifan> we won't leave anyone behind.
<Kida> it isn't their fault. I mean... I don't think anyone wanted this.
<Daifan> no. She's a powerful mystic who likes to mess with people's heads. No one wanted this. But.... will if it be better to keep them away from the women, after?
<Kida> what should I tell them? should I tell them at all?
<Daifan> Tel them to be ready. We will try and bring fos.
* Kida nods
<Kida> once they're away from her, it usually wears off. the ... messing with their heads, I mean.
<Daifan> Yes.... but it can still be difficult to bear, being made to act against your will....
* Kida nods
<Kida> we'll do what we need to, to get out of here.
* Daifan is so fierecly fierecly angry
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Is there anythign you would liek tme to tell spoons, from you, or the others?
<Daifan> Or... any advice, perhaps to help her.... focus her passion >.>
<Kida> just that I love her. And that... once we get out of this, we'll be together again, and things will get better.
* Daifan smiles at that
<Daifan> okay. I have to move on.
* Kida nods
<Kida> Thank you.
<Daifan> you've all been so strong.
* Daifan squeezes her hand again
* Kida squeezes back
<Daifan> soon.
* Daifan will pass along something a little stronger than contraceptives to the women who are pregnant, if we have the chance to see them, and tell them to be careful.
* Veznara approaches and gestures imperiously for Daifan to follow (well, maybe not *imperiously*. Wordlessly, though.)
* Daifan can fall into their role
<Endu> Is something amiss, Hand Veznara?
<Veznara> (Should we do this separately in another channel, to keep the two conversations from getting really confusing? :P )
<Veznara> (I'm in gnomeland ... )
<Endu> Is everything acceptable?
<Veznara> Well, there was something I did want to ask for your help with. First, though, as to these unfortunates, it seems to me that one or two of them are not present.
<Veznara> Are they elsewhere at the moment?
<Endu> Yes, those are in the new building.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> Ah, I see. I shall have to add it to my roster, then.
<Veznara> As to the other matter...
<Endu> Very well.
<Endu> Yes?
<Veznara> As you may have noticed, I have not pressed Captain Ortezhi about participating in services.
<Endu> I had noticed.
<Veznara> I realize that guards are often, shall we say, not as observant of religion as I might prefer.
<Veznara> However, I have not forgotten him or his men entirely. And I would like to raise the subject of holding services for them.
<Veznara> They are, after all, the ones who must deal with the unfortunates here most directly.
<Endu> All right ... you would like me to raise this with Her Highness, then?
<Veznara> No, I had not thought to trouble her with such a matter directly. I was hoping rather that you could advise me on how to approach the Captain myself.
<Veznara> I would rather have him consent to this freely, than do it only because he is ordered to do so.
<Endu> I would ... hmmm. No, I would not approach him. He is, as you say, not the most religious of folks. And, well, frankly, he is a stranger to you, more or less.
* Veznara nods
<Endu> I could perhaps raise the issue in a way that would be acceptable to everyone?
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> I was just about to ask if you would be willing and able to do just that. I'm sure you would be an excellent intermediary.
<Veznara> Will he be *very* resistant to the idea, do you think?
<Endu> He would be resistant to you suggesting it, but I think that he will be amenable to it, if I suggest it.
<Endu> He may or may not attend personally, but he wouldn't stand in the way of the other staff being there. And who knows? He may even show up.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> Thank you. I hope he will come; but if not, his staff should at least have the option.
<Endu> Shall I escort you to the new building, then? Your, ahhh, colleague is a healer and I know she will want to see the two over there.
<Veznara> Yes, please.
* Veznara follows Endu to the new cabin.
* Daifan trails along behind
* Endu leads you over in that direction, somewhat nervously.
<AshnabisGM> The new building seems to be of very solid construction, like the others, but smaller.
* Endu pulls out her keys and unlocks the door and then opens it for you.
<Veznara> (So designed for just these two? Or perhaps more, in time?)
<AshnabisGM> (it would be big enough for five or six you think, given that they can pack them in)
* Daifan will follow eznara in
* Veznara does enter, and looks around
* Daifan also, but without makig a grand show, and will go over to one of the women
<AshnabisGM> The one-room building is quite like the others, but there are actual beds, and the room is rather cleaner and better-kept than the others. There are two women, one young, tall, and rail-think, and the other a tiny woman, perhaps in her thirties.
<Veznara> (Are either of them visibly pregnant?)
<AshnabisGM> If you were passing them on the street you don't know that you would guess that they're pregnant, but looking at them with that in mind, yes, they very well could be.
<Daifan> Hello... I'm here to help with your routine examination.
* Daifan says to them quietly
<Daifan> We were told that you are both pregnant
* Veznara goes about conducting her usual business of praying to the Ancestors...
* AshnabisGM is now known as Tall_Woman
<Veznara> (I mean, is Endu still standing by the door watching us?)
* Tall_Woman nods.
<Tall_Woman> (yup, of course she is)
<Veznara> (So I'll just go about business as usual, then, while Daifan conducts examinations at the appropriate juncture.)
* Daifan can perform a general physical examination if allowed, and ask the pertinent questions about how long, what are the signs etc
<Tall_Woman> (you can make a Heal check)
* Daifan rolls [ 1d20+14 ] getting [ 4 ] which, after the modifier [ 14 ] totals [ 18 ]
<Daifan> (ennnh)
<Daifan> (not the worst)
<Tall_Woman> (they seem fine, I mean, you can tell they're both pregnant, a few months along, hard to tell more specifically than that, and generally well-cared for. Hard to say whether it's better than the other prisoners, but not worse)
<Tall_Woman> Do you know where my sister Fuska is?
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> safe and well
* Veznara can run interference by asking Endu about the upcoming wedding that Galdai and Ziftu are going to, if need be
<Tall_Woman> Oh, thank you.
* Daifan gives her a quick encouraging smile
<Daifan> you will not be abandonded here, either...
<Daifan> ...do you want to keep these babies?
<Tall_Woman> <q, Sardesh> No gift abides, sent with the tides.
<Tall_Woman> That's not our place to say.
* Daifan smiles a bit tightly
<Daifan> Mmmhmmm.
* Endu chats with Veznara about the wedding.
<Daifan> leave it to fate then, if you like.
* Daifan will slip her some... herbs
<Daifan> (slight of hand?)
<Endu> Do you know the Princess Azola, who is the reason for Her Highness' trip?
<Tall_Woman> (sure, make a roll)
<Veznara> (Do I? I imagine I might - Knowledge: Nobility?)
<Endu> (make a roll)
* Daifan rolls [ 1d20+9 ] getting [ 10 ] which, after the modifier [ 9 ] totals [ 19 ]
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 9 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 16 ].
<Endu> (Veznara, the name is familiar, since she's a member of the Imperial family but other than that, you don't know much)
<Veznara> Not much, I'm afraid. I didn't even realize that Her Highness was getting married so soon!
<Veznara> Who is the lucky groom?
<Endu> It's easy to miss out on what's happening at home, being here among the Osnabi.
* Veznara grimaces
<Veznara> Yes, I'm afraid so. So many important events going on...
<Veznara> My family sends me letters, of course, but that still can't cover everything. Not in a timely way.
<Veznara> But I suppose this marital alliance must have been arranged some time ago?
<Endu> Yes, of course. His name is Shondol, I believe, the son of one of the better-known Daligashi senators.
* Tall_Woman is now known as Bekh
<Bekh> Thank you. I'm Bekh. That's Iruva.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> They call me Smiles
* Daifan glances back to see how occupied Veznara has Endu
<Veznara> A Daligashi senator? So someone from outside Taizi? What an exceptional honour for them!
<Daifan> can you tell me - I've heard some very fucked up things are happening here...
<Endu> !roll 1d20+4
* Daifan rolls for Endu: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 9 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 13 ].
* Bekh simply nods quietly.
<Daifan> :|
<Veznara> The wedding will be at home, however? Lady Ziftu did say she was looking forward to seeing her family again.
<Bekh> They bring us together for this purpose.
<Daifan> >:|
* Daifan nods
<Endu> Oh yes, of course. I'm sure it's about a trade deal that the boy's father wants to seal with the emperor, or some such thing.
<Daifan> We will end it, I promise.
<Veznara> Ah. Well, I hope it will be a successful marriage. Lady Ziftu is looking forward to the event itself, I could tell. :)
<Endu> It is very hard on her, being here, with no real friends or companions befitting her station.
* Daifan will wrap up the examination and return to Veznara
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> She takes it as well as she could, I think. But I'm sure this will be a very welcome excursion for her.
<Veznara> I'm certain she'll have many stories to tell when she returns.
* Endu smiles.
* Daifan waits patiently for the chitchat to end
<Endu> You have a good heart, Hand Veznara. They are lucky to have you, both of them.
<Veznara> Thank you, Endu. I hope I serve them and the Ancestors well.
<Veznara> In any case, it appears we are done here for today...
<Veznara> Thank you for your help. And for agreeing to talk to the Captain on my behalf!
* Endu nods.
<Endu> You're welcome.
* Veznara will allow them to be escorted off the estate, then, and once she and Daifan are safely away will get the story...
<Veznara> So... how were they?
* Daifan is a sea of calm covering an ocean of rage
<Daifan> Healthy, physically.
<Daifan> or - healhy *enough*
<Daifan> but the story they told me confirms everything I have feared is happening here.
* Veznara frowns
<Veznara> I am sorry.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Then you will help us?
<Veznara> It does appear that the Princess and her granddaughter will be away for the next few days, though.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> that would be perfect.
<Veznara> What would you have me do?
<Daifan> can you do something to draw off any other staff and guards?
<Veznara> I don't know. As you may have heard, I was talking to Endu about holding services for the guards.
<Veznara> But that may not be of any use. I'm guessing that any escape attempt might happen at night?
<Daifan> if there is a better opportunity at another time, it wouldn't have to
<Veznara> If the alarm is raised at any point, I'm sure the guards would still respond. If it happens while they're at a service, that might delay their reaction; but not by much.
<Veznara> They also may not attend in the first place.
* Daifan nods
<Veznara> At least we had a chance to see the new cabin, and you had a chance to see the whole place by daylight.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> yes. Thank you.
<Veznara> You're welcome. I hope you can use that to get them out of there.
<Veznara> Now that you've come with me this time, I can bring you again, I think.
<Daifan> we will figure it out.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> if there is cause, yes.
<Veznara> That may be a problem if the escape happens, though.
<Daifan> I understand the risk.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> For now, I suppose you should talk to the others and decide whether you can take advantage of this trip.
<Daifan> Yes. We will let you know if there is anything further you can do.... if you are willing.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> I have to admit, I prefer plausible deniability. But do let me know...
<Daifan> we will give you what we can.
<Veznara> If there's nothing I can do, then it's probably better that I know as little as possible.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Yes, I agree.
<Veznara> If the Princess suspects someone else, I may still have influence with her afterwards.
<Veznara> Enough perhaps to encourage her to drop the matter. I hope.
<Daifan> it would be beneficial - and of course the temple has full plausible deniablity, so she can take it up with your superiors if she has concerns, and be reassured.
<Veznara> These pregnancies...
* Veznara frowns
<Veznara> Horrible, that they were forced.
* Daifan nods, anger flashing briefly in their eyes
* Daifan is now known as Korivan
* Veznara continues walking in silence, brooding, until they reach Kaskind once more...

Jimba has a meal with Liraula and Bohin


<@Ashnabis_Narrator> Jimba, having successfully made contact with Aptan in Pashas, you return to Liraula in order to give her an update about her nephew.
* Liraula is having a meal at the Moon and Dagger with her husband, Bohin.
<Liraula> Jimba - glad to see you! Want some rice and beans with prawns? It's not as bad as usual, has a good spicy kick to it today.
<Jimba> I never say no to food. :)
* Liraula will call for another bowl of the dish for you, then.
* Jimba will take a seat.
<Liraula> So, did you get to see Aptan? How was he? Did he seem well?
<Jimba> He seemed to be doing all right.
<Liraula> That's a relief.
* Bohin eats his stew wordlessly for now.
<Jimba> I offered to get him out, but he said he was good where he was.
<Liraula> Well... I suppose he knows best. I worry for him, even so.
<Bohin> Well, give the fool credit for bravery, at least.
<Liraula> He thinks his pretty face can get him out of any trouble. Maybe he's even right, hah.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> I mean, mine's gotten me out of a lot. :)
* Liraula chuckles at that.
<Liraula> Wait until you're my age, it doesn't work nearly as well then ;)
* Bohin laughs.
<Bohin> Your deep antiquity never bothered me any, my dear.
<Liraula> Oh, well, that's good, because you're stuck with me now.
<Bohin> You are a year older than me, after all.
<Liraula> Yes... clearly I was robbing the cradle :)
<Bohin> And literally, you robbing the grave.
* Bohin laughs at his own morbid joke.
* Liraula smirks
* Jimba chuckles.
<Bohin> Glad to hear that Aptan is well, though.
<Liraula> How were things on Ruur, otherwise?
<Jimba> Bad, honestly.
* Liraula 's smile vanishes as she listens.
<Jimba> I have an inkling of what Shotser's up to, but I still think he's an idiot.
<Liraula> Oh?
<Liraula> What are you thinking he's up to?
<Jimba> He's trying to rile up the hith against Kaskind.
<Jimba> In a particularly vile manner.
* Liraula frowns.
<Jimba> But I think he underestimates the hith's political sophistication.
<Bohin> Why would he possibly want to do that?
<Jimba> Because he's not entirely the one calling the shots.
<Jimba> I mean, he is, so far as his people go, but he's allying with folks up north.
<Liraula> folks up north?
<Jimba> Charadip.
<Liraula> The mystics?
<Jimba> Looks that way.
<Bohin> I'll bet my grandfather's left ear he wants to become one. Always had an interest.
<Liraula> What does he get out of that, though?
<Jimba> Business.
<Jimba> And a fight between the hith and Kaskind only helps Charadip.
<Jimba> And if he's making friends with them...
<Liraula> Well. They don't have any interest in Ruur, you can't grow fos there. Maybe that's what he gets in exchange.
<Bohin> Idiot. We didn't survive by making enemies of the People.
<Bohin> I'd expect that of imperials, but not Yeggun.
<Liraula> no. I don't think that'll work out how he hopes.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> Like I said.
<Bohin> Well, that's something.
* Bohin shakes his head.
<Jimba> He's in deeper than he realizes/
<Jimba> And it's going to be bad, one way or another.
<Bohin> And bring the rest of us down with him.
<Liraula> All of this is bad for business :p
* Bohin spits on the floor.
<Jimba> Don't have to tell me.
* Liraula sighs
<Bohin> So, in other news.
<Bohin> I wondered if knew anything more about what was happening with this ... stone prince? The one who might you be my family's ancestor, if what they're saying is true?
<Jimba> Uh, last I heard, they spoke to him and I think he's staying here.
<Jimba> What were you wanting to know?
<Bohin> They spoke to ... the stone prince? or the iron knight?
<Jimba> Sorry, the iron knight.
<Jimba> I misspoke.
<Bohin> I know very well where the iron knight is, in an Imperial temple entertaining your priests.
<Bohin> I want him back too.
<Jimba> Hey now, I wouldn't say they're *my* priests.
<Bohin> I'm sorry, Jimba, that was uncalled for. But you know what I mean.
<Bohin> I'd be curious to see it - him. The Lentu family never had any real ancestors, not that anyone knew of. If it turns out we did, that would be a big change for us.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> I can try to talk to someone who can talk to someone, but I don't have a lot of pull here.
<Bohin> I'm used to Lentus being treated like shit. Shit on by my own people, shit on by Imperials, we're pretty used to it. Now it seems we're maybe better than you all?
* Bohin laughs.
<Bohin> Anyway, I know what you're saying. It's not your place to intervene. But anything you can do would help.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> I'll do everything I can, Bohin.
<Liraula> He's got all wrapped up in this idea of having a big important ancestor - he's going to be insufferable if it turns out to be true ;)
* Jimba smiles wider.
<Jimba> Well, he may be justified. ;)
<Bohin> One's got my first name, the other's got my family name.
<Bohin> People have built empires on less. Just ask the Pretender in Taizi.
<Liraula> They knew that someday they'd have a descendent worthy to carry on their illustrious line ;)
* Jimba laughs.
<Bohin> Ah, I'm under no illusions. I'm just a retired old sailor. But I got future generations to think about.
* Jimba nods.

Lllillilli talks to Liwhis about Yeggun's intentions and what he will do next


<@Ashnabis_Narrator> Llillilli, uncertain where else you could take Liwhis that would be safe, you brought him to Thelef's family's lineage house.
<Llillilli> (ok)
<@Ashnabis_Narrator> He has been recovering there for a few days, enough time to be up and moving about after his ordeal.
<@Ashnabis_Narrator> While you are not exactly sentimental, he is a huwhi and your responsibility and so you feel that you should check in on him.
* Llillilli will come around the inlaws' then!
* Liwhis smiles when he sees you.
<Liwhis> Hello. I was wondering if you might come by today.
<Llillilli> Are you feeling better?
<Liwhis> I am, yes. Thank you, again, for rescuing me.
<Llillilli> Couldn't leave you there.
* Llillilli shrugs.
<Liwhis> You could have. Another might have. After ... well, after everything.
<Liwhis> I have to tell you, although I think you know, that it was Silloeth and I who put that hole in your boat.
<Llillilli> Yes. I did suspect.
<Llillilli> But I understood. In a way.
<Llillilli> I wouldn't want us in Pfaeshes either.
<Liwhis> And when we spoke last, you had not yet undergone your pfullaes, you were my junior. I was rude to you. And I didn't know, or understand, who you were.
* Llillilli shrugs.
<Llillilli> Lots of people are rude to me
<Liwhis> I don't pretend I'm a good person. I'm mostly an asshole. But you saved my life, you and your kin.
<Llillilli> Well. Many people would also say that of me.
* Llillilli shrugs again.
<Liwhis> Why were you back in Pfaeshes?
<Llillilli> Because of what happened with the pirates.
<Llillilli> To try and find out more about what was going on.
<Llillilli> And I wanted to bring Whellae home.
<Liwhis> Ah, that makes sense.
* Liwhis says, apparently to the last part.
<Liwhis> Why do you care what Yeggun is doing though?
<Llillilli> We... well I think he is trying to provoke the people to war.
<Llillilli> I don't know what he thinks he is going to gain by it.
<Llillilli> It's going to be awful.
<Liwhis> He is, and he will. King Whuthe will have to do it, or else the solars won't support them any longer.
* Llillilli sighs.
<Llillilli> That's what I was afraid of.
<Llillilli> :(
<Liwhis> Thelef should be safe enough, though.
<Liwhis> I can't imagine him having to lead People in battle unless things are very dire.
<Llillilli> I suppose not...
* Llillilli frowns, thinking of her dreams...
<Llillilli> Still I wonder what it will mean, for people like us.
<Liwhis> Once I'm well enough, I may need to return to Sulise. To fight against humans, if need be.
* Llillilli nods sadly.
<Liwhis> Would you, if the king called you to do so?
<Llillilli> I hope I will not have to make that choice.
<Llillilli> A choice between two families...
* Liwhis seems pensive.
<Liwhis> Is it true what they say? That at your pfullaes you experienced a selleluf?
* Llillilli nods.
<Liwhis> I didn't think that was possible?
<Llillilli> That's what everyone says.
* Liwhis shrugs.
<Liwhis> The solars will figure it out, I suppose.
<Llillilli> I guess so.
<Liwhis> I've never had much interest in religious stuff.
* Llillilli snorts.
<Llillilli> Me neither.
<Llillilli> Although the People's ways made more sense to me than the Corps.
<Liwhis> I've never paid much attention to either, but ... yeah.
<Liwhis> I don't think I'll be able to go back home till this is all done.
<Llillilli> That's probably true. I'm sorry.
<Liwhis> Yeggun and the Cormorant seemed to be settling in for a long stay. Not going anywhere anytime soon.
<Llillilli> Not by choice anyway
* Liwhis nods.
<Liwhis> Well ... Thelef's family has been very kind.
<Llillilli> I hope they haven't been too.... much.
<Liwhis> They've been fine. You married well.
* Llillilli chuckles dryly.
<Llillilli> Thanks?
<Llillilli> Is there anything you need that I could help with?
<Liwhis> No, I'm fine. You've done so much already.
<Llillilli> Alright. Well, I will tell you if I have any news.
<Liwhis> Thank you, Llillilli.
<Llillilli> Be well, Liwhis.

Daifan confers with Ughiva about their plans


<AshnabisGM> Daifan, this plan is possibly the most dangerous thing you've ever contrived, and that's saying something. It's not typical for you to be in charge of anything, much less anything involving hedal. But here you are.
<AshnabisGM> Ughiva's hidden strengths and unknown powers may be a tremendous asset in the event that things go wrong - and even if they go well. So you set out to talk to her to make sure she's onboard with your plan - rather than her own.
* Ughiva has been pacing in the storage warehouse so much that she's worn a trail into the dirt floor. She looks happy to see you nonetheless
<Daifan> Hi Spoons. I have some news.
<Ughiva> Good news?
<Daifan> Yes.
<Daifan> Or at least, encouraging.
* Ughiva perks up.
<Ughiva> Well?
* Daifan considers
<Daifan> It comes on the heels of bad news.
<Daifan> But the important part is that we have a plan to remove the others to safety, and to keep the Princess from coming after them
<Ughiva> All right ... what do I need to do?
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I think it will be reassuring to the others to see you. Soem of them are.... very distressed, because of the things they have gone through.
<Ughiva> Stop dancing around it. What is the bad news and what is the encouraging part?
<Daifan> SOme of the women are pregnant.
<Ughiva> ... all right.
<Daifan> She's been using some kind of mind control on them...
<Daifan> everything I'd feared, in any case.
<Ughiva> Kida?
<Daifan> I saw her. She was relieved to hear you are safe.
<Daifan> She is healthy, at least. And no, not pregnant.
* Ughiva relaxes ... a little.
<Daifan> I told her.... we woudl be coming for them.
<Daifan> The princess will be out of town, soon.
<Ughiva> Oh? Got scared and run back to her cousin the Pretender?
* Daifan shrugs
<Daifan> I think she has to go to a wedding
* Daifan says dryly
<Ughiva> So we strike then?
<Daifan> yes.
<Daifan> Our goal is solely to remove the prisoners at this time
* Ughiva nods.
<Daifan> To prevent relatiation from other fronts
<Ughiva> Probably not ideal to kill all the staff.
<Daifan> mmmhmmm
<Daifan> if nothing else, they are our best shot at having any witnesses who might be willing to speak agaist her...
<Ughiva> But if they're loyal, we may not have any choice but to kill anyone who stands in our way
* Daifan shrugs
<Daifan> It's possible, but it shoudn't be our aim. I'd rather see if we can just slip them away quietly and be gone before ny alarm is raised...
<Daifan> it will make everything else easier.
<Ughiva> My heart does not want to agree, but of course you are right.
<Ughiva> So what's the plan?
<Daifan> We are.... working on finalizing details, now that we are more sure of our opportunity.
<Daifan> Woudl you come and meet with the others?
<Ughiva> What others? Who stands with us?
<Daifan> Several of them are hedal but they are people that I trust.
<Ughiva> Is the priest among them?
<Daifan> Veznara?
<Ughiva> Yes, her.
<Daifan> She's....tangentially involved. It is better for her not to know details.
<Daifan> But she is the one that got me into the compound, and who discovered that the princess will be away.
<Daifan> why?
<Ughiva> Do you trust her?
<Daifan> I trust her in some contexts.
* Ughiva nods.
<Ughiva> In this context?
<Daifan> I don't think she will betray us, but I don't think she feels strongly committed to action.
<Daifan> She woudl rather conntinue to wait and see how bad things get :p
* Ughiva laughs.
<Ughiva> Typical.
<Daifan> mmhmmm.
* Daifan shrugs
<Ughiva> I like her well enough. For a hedal noblewoman.
<Daifan> I don't know. Maybe her last trip there was enough to settle it for her.
<Ughiva> I just wanted to know where you stood.
<Daifan> on her?
<Ughiva> Yes.
* Daifan nods.
<Daifan> Well.
<Ughiva> Who else? What assets do we have?
<Daifan> A manifest, an envoy...
<Daifan> another haren who works at the fort.... they are who learned of you in the first place
<Daifan> some other hedal who can fight - they're siblings, and friends of mine.
<Daifan> plus people in Banei that you know already
<Daifan> Katenzhi said she can get us... a lot of fos.
<Ughiva> Katenzhi is a hedal manifest?
<Daifan> yes.
<Daifan> She and her cousin are traders, so they have good connections
* Ughiva nods.
<Daifan> JImba is who I got the fos for you from, before
<Ughiva> What do you need me to do then?
<Daifan> Kat is only one person. I'm concerned about what kinds of magical protections... and coersions... she'll have left in place if she knows she will be away.
* Ughiva nods.
<Ughiva> She is powerful. But she won't be expecting our collective power.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I don't know how powerful you are together.... I'd wondered if it woudl be possible to create a large enough illusion to make it look like everything was as it should be....
<Ughiva> No illusion is perfect, but ... it may be possible. The trouble is that I do not know exactly what it's supposed to appear like.
<Daifan> Hmm.
<Daifan> well. We can discuss that more with the others.
<Ughiva> When we get them back, then what? We bring them back to Banei and hope no one cares too much?
<Daifan> This is where the hedal are useful - People at the fort know what she is doing, but we can give them what they need to put pressure on her to keep her from retaliating
<Ughiva> If you say so. In my experience, hedal are not to be trusted to help us unless it aids their own goals.
* Daifan smiles
<Daifan> for the people at the fort - the idea is to arrange that.
<Daifan> there's some politics with the mystics up the river...
<Daifan> it's useful.
* Ughiva nods.
<Ughiva> Turn them against one another, they will pay less attention to us.
<Daifan> That is the hope.
<Daifan> For now we can take people to Banei, and from there we can make other plans if we need to.
<Ughiva> All right then.
* Ughiva smiles.
<Ughiva> Together we will bring an end to this.
* Daifan smiles also.
<Daifan> Yes. I'll come to you when we're making our final plans.
<Ughiva> Thank you.