Ashnabis session 6
Session date: March 10, 2019
Fair Cycle date: Khurar, I.E. 765
<AshnabisNarrator> Around this time each year, toward the middle of Khurar, the banks of the North Kaskos, known to the locals as Maripak, the 'little snake', regularly overflow as the rains overwhelm its capacity.
<AshnabisNarrator> For as long as the river has existed, this has not been a problem, but now with the river snaking through the center of Kaskind itself, it poses a difficulty for the new colonists.
<AshnabisNarrator> To the southwest, the mighty Kaskos itself flows down to Timiil with unusual force as the rains have been relentless. The locals seem unfazed, but even so, you've heard reports that lumber for shoring up the stilts of the riverside longhouses is in short supply.
<AshnabisNarrator> A big ship from Omba arrived two days ago, carrying colonists and merchants. The motherland herself may be but a shadow of her once unquestioned imperium but judging from the number of embroidered robes being hastily tailored into makeshift dashis, you think there must be some life in her yet.
<AshnabisNarrator> Surprising to some of you who have been here a while is the large number of young children coming here as colonists with their parents. The territorial government must be keeping the peace well enough to allay parental fears - or else the value of fos must be too tempting.
<AshnabisNarrator> For now, these new arrivals will mostly have to make do in waterlogged tents until the rains let up enough to allow house construction to begin in earnest. One hopes that they have made some arrangements in advance, or else the summer is going to be hot and chaotic indeed.
<AshnabisNarrator> You hear word at work that a sentence has been passed in the case of the murder of Ilben Zhuldofi. Being unable to prove who murdered him, with Jenam Kergoze continuing to protest his innocence while under the power of the reckoners, they have instead elected to punish Kergoze for the theft of certain goods from Zhuldofi's property, a crime for which he cannot proclaim innocence.
<AshnabisNarrator> A heavy fine of 100 horns has been imposed on Jenam, which will likely mean he must sell his farm in order to pay the debt. But he has at least escaped a more severe punishment.
Katenzhi and Jimba visit the Yetsner longhouse to apologize
<AshnabisNarrator> (all right, first up: Jimba and Katenzhi)
<AshnabisNarrator> Katenzhi, apparently a string of beads is not the cure for the dark sensation that you are a thoughtless murderer. Maybe it helps though?
<Katenzhi> (The jury is still out)
<AshnabisNarrator> By this point you've gone over last week's events in your head a thousand times, and every time it ends in a flash of lightning and a black mark atop the astonished head of Kemiir Yetsner before he crumples to the ground, a charred wreck.
<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba has done his best to keep you in good spirits, and to manage the impact of your actions on others. He's made an arrangement for you to visit Gelidaur, elder of the Yetsner, to see if you can start to atone.
<AshnabisNarrator> Gelidaur is, as you are led to understand, the second-oldest resident of the Territory, second only to his wife, Etsuka, with whom he lives in a small cabin adjacent to the Yetsner longhouse in Timiil.
<AshnabisNarrator> The two of you head over along the Colony Road one morning in order to see what can be done.
<AshnabisNarrator> (you can have any advance chat among the two of you at this point if you want/need)
<Jimba> (I'd be happy to, but I don't want to hold up game or anything with chatter)
<AshnabisNarrator> (no worries, just checking, nothing necessary here)
* Katenzhi will be sullen and withdrawn, probably feeling sick the whole way
* Jimba would just be trying to keep Katenzhi from freaking out too much.
<AshnabisNarrator> The Yetsner longhouse comes into view as you turn the bend into Timiil. As it lies right against the Kaskos itself, workers from the lineage are busy on the roof and the supports.
<AshnabisNarrator> The Yetsners are one of the largest lineages in the territory, though not the wealthiest or most powerful. The lineage house shows signs of its great age.
<AshnabisNarrator> Right against it is a small cottage, which if anything looks even older. A couple of small girls, half a dozen years at most, are planting flowers along one side. They stare at you as you come near, and then scurry off.
* Jimba waves and smiles politely.
* Katenzhi will hang back a moment.
<Katenzhi> Jimba... are you sure this is a good idea...
<AshnabisNarrator> This humble home is where the colony's two elders make their home together, as they have for (you understand it) over seventy years.
* Jimba stops with her.
<Jimba> Is it a good idea? Yes. Is it a terribly fun or easy to endure idea? Not at all.
* Katenzhi sighs and fiddles with her alligator-tooth necklace.
<Jimba> I'm not saying it's going to be a lark, but I'll be there with you.
<Jimba> This is the right thing to do.
* Katenzhi nods reluctantly.
* Katenzhi will walk up to the cottage and knock.
<AshnabisNarrator> There is some shuffling around and eventually the door opens to reveal an extremely elderly man.
* Gelidaur is an extremely old man, possibly the oldest you've ever seen, probably close to 100. His face is a maze of wrinkles, and he has only a few wisps of white hair remaining. Despite that, he still has sharp eyes and an unbent back.
<Katenzhi> ...Hello. Are you Gelidaur of the Yetsner?
<Gelidaur> I am, and you are?
<Katenzhi> I am Khatenzhi of the Ghugife.
<Gelidaur> Ohh, oho! Yes, yes, I've been wondering when you'd show yourself.
<Gelidaur> And this one?
* Gelidaur darts his head in the direction of Jimba.
<Jimba> Jimba of the Ghughife, sir.
<Katenzhi> My cousin.
<Gelidaur> Ah yes, you are the one who went to the Lentu.
* Jimba nods.
<Gelidaur> Well, would you care to do this here, or at the longhouse in the presence of my many angry grandchildren?
* Katenzhi looks at Jimba briefly.
* Jimba gives a small smile.
<Jimba> Whichever you think is best, sir.
<Gelidaur> Come in, then.
* Gelidaur opens the door all the way.
<Katenzhi> Thank you.
<Gelidaur> Etsuka, we have guests!
* Gelidaur calls back.
* Katenzhi will enter and look around cautiously.
* Etsuka is an equally old woman, missing most of her teeth, and seemingly quite frail, propped up in her seat with pillows. She has a few thin braids of white hair and wears a pale blue shawl.
* Gelidaur walks with great deftness for one so elderly, and without any support. He goes over to his wife and pours her some tea, with a honey candy at the bottom for sweetness.
* Jimba will give an appropriate greeting to Etsuka as he enters.
* Katenzhi will follow Jimba's greeting.
<Etsuka> what do they want?
* Etsuka asks her husband
<Gelidaur> They're here to beg for my mercy, love. Is one sweet enough for you in your tea? Do you need anything else?
* Etsuka sips the tea and nods
<Etsuka> this is good, but you could put another brick in the fire - this one warming my feet has gone cold.
<Gelidaur> Yes, of course, love.
* Gelidaur strides over to the fire and puts another brick in.
* Gelidaur points at Jimba.
<Gelidaur> You, remind me in a few minutes to take that out.
<Jimba> Yes sir.
* Gelidaur nods.
<Gelidaur> Now, sit.
* Gelidaur waves at some chairs that are neatly arranged over to one side.
* Jimba will do so.
* Katenzhi will sit.
<Gelidaur> The Yetsner recognizes Katenzhi and Jimba of the Ghughife into this court. May no blood be shed while we stand together in peace.
* Etsuka sips her tea
<AshnabisNarrator> As he sits himself, you do see a long knife at his belt, with signs of many years of frequent use.
<Gelidaur> Now, on to the business.
<Gelidaur> At the longhouse my kin and my kin's kin have told me many tales of what happened the day that my grandson was killed ... by you.
<Gelidaur> But now I would like to hear it once more.
* Gelidaur looks expectantly at Katenzhi and sips a cup of tea.
<Katenzhi> Well sir...
<Katenzhi> Fono Serpeng and Bohin Lentu came to our land registry to settle a dispute about the grazing rights of their sheep and crossing Fono's lands. We went with Fono to take a look at his land and... assess the complaint. While there we were accosted by Boradein, Kemiir and some others. There were words exchanged. Our envoy Junan tried to keep the peace, but they weren't having it. One of them... Kemiir... attacked me with a club. I...
<Katenzhi> responded on intinct. With a spell.
<Katenzhi> It was raining... I called down lightning.
<Katenzhi> It was excessive. I regret it. But sir...
<Gelidaur> Yes, but what?
<Katenzhi> I'm not here to beg for your mercy. I'm here to apologize and to try to set things right. It there are consequences, I'm prepared to accept them. If you need penance from me, then you'll have it. I just want this to stop. I don't want more bloodshed because of me.
<Gelidaur> Hmmm. And what are you forgetting?
* Katenzhi tilts her head at him.
<Gelidaur> No, not you, him.
<Gelidaur> Etsuka, what's the boy forgetting?
<Jimba> I'm sorry?
<Gelidaur> What are you forgetting?
<Etsuka> The brick.
<Jimba> Oh, I suppose it has been long enough.
<Gelidaur> Yes, yes, the brick, you see, young people, always distracted.
* Gelidaur goes over and gets the brick for Etsuka.
<Etsuka> Thank you, love.
<Gelidaur> Distraction is the root of wickedness, not an evil heart. You set your mind aside for one moment ... and the consequences are dire.
<Jimba> My apologies, sir, madam.
<Gelidaur> Here, the consequence might have been that my house burned down, or at least my dear Etsuka's tootsies.
* Gelidaur says, using an unfamiliar Aummesh slang word that you presume means 'tootsies'.
<Etsuka> Young people have so many different impulses fighting within them. They burn with them, or let themselves be consumed.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Gelidaur> You say that Kemiir attacked you with a club before you did your spell. Do you know what Boradein tells me?
<Katenzhi> No, sir.
<Jimba> Presumably something more defensible?
* Gelidaur laughs.
<Gelidaur> Etsuka, do you remember what the last young boy, the Lentu boy said?
<Etsuka> Oh.. he said that they provoked them into a fight. They had only meant to give Fono a talking to, not start a brawl. But they did come armed with clubs and axes, to a talk.
<Jimba> Also armored.
<Jimba> If it makes a difference.
<Etsuka> And as for this young man here, I don't think he had truly forgotten, my love. He may not have known the right length of time for the brick to stay in the fire, or may have wanted to wait for us to finish speaking in order to be polite. Ignorance of consequences is different than malice.
<Gelidaur> Hmm. Hmmm.
* Jimba smiles at her.
<Jimba> No, in truth, I was wrapped up in this. My apologies, again.
<Jimba> To the previous point, Kemiir showed up in armor, despite his group outnumbering Fono, well, all of them to one.
<Gelidaur> You know, Katenzhi of the Ghughife, that there are many around here who would see your people driven from this land. Our laws and ways are old. I lived here for eighty years before any Ombesh folks ever came here ... except Umba of course. I had been the Yetsner for twenty years by that time.
<Jimba> That seems like he was expecting trouble.
<Gelidaur> There are some who would see an attack on agents of Fort Kaskind as justified no matter what the cause.
<Gelidaur> And some who would see Fono's arrogance and intransigence as evidence of an attitude of Omban superiority.
* Jimba will stifle a response and let Katenzhi answer for herself.
<Katenzhi> I can't imagine you are one of those, sir.
<Gelidaur> No? You didn't know me in my youth. I imagine I might have acted very much as Kemiir did.
<Etsuka> You were quite hot-headed, love.
* Etsuka agrees with a toothless smile
<Gelidaur> You married me nonetheless.
<Etsuka> Yes, well, we were both rather foolish, perhaps :)
* Jimba smiles at that.
<Gelidaur> I have spoken to the reckoners of my people, for a consultation on matters of customary law.
<Gelidaur> Hiskhobal of the Wartibar tells me that when one is attacked that retribution in kind is permitted.
<Gelidaur> I take his words as the foundation for what I say next.
<Gelidaur> As the ninth Yetsner, I find myself thinking to my ancestors who governed this lineage before me. We know that heat is the folly of youth. And regrettable as it is, I can find no fault in one who defends herself against deadly force.
<Gelidaur> I shall instruct my many descendants that there shall be no retribution against Katenzhi of the Ghughife or any other person.
* Katenzhi lets out her breath.
* Katenzhi didn't realize she'd been holding it.
<Katenzhi> Thank you...
<Gelidaur> Kemiir has gone to join the ancestors. In death, perhaps he will come to the peace that eluded him in life.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Thank you, sir, and our apologies and condolences again. I am sorry things happened the way they did.
<Gelidaur> I urge you, nonetheless, to stay well away from the Yetsner clan. I would not want any further ... consequences.
* Jimba nods.
<Katenzhi> Yes. Of course.
<Gelidaur> Very well. The Yetsner has spoken.
* Katenzhi will nod, feeling a bit light headed.
<Gelidaur> This gathering is ended.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> We don't want to take up any more of your time in this moment of grief.
<Jimba> Thank you for your judgment, and your hospitality.
<Katenzhi> Thank you, sir. I... I hope that the future is good to you and your family.
* Gelidaur smiles.
<Gelidaur> Thank you for your kind words. Hear that, Etsuka? She wishes us a good future.
* Gelidaur cackles.
<Gelidaur> What's left of it anyway!
* Katenzhi can't help but smile slightly at that.
* Jimba smiles at that.
<Gelidaur> Go, now, with the blessings of the hearth. May it keep you warm in these chill days.
<Katenzhi> And you, sir. Take care.
<Jimba> When some youngster doesn't forget about it, anyway.
Ommas approaches them after they leave
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You head out to the road past the Yetsner longhouse.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> (both of you make a Perception roll)
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+6
* Daifan rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+6 ] getting [ 1 ] which, after the modifier [ 6 ] totals [ 7 ].
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 18 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 23 ].
<Jimba> (Head on a swivel, that Jimba)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Jimba, as you are leaving, you see a familiar face standing perhaps twenty yards away, sort of halfheartedly trying to hide behind a bush.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> It's one of the group that came with Boradein, the youngest of the bunch.
* Ommas wears a green striped dashi and a rather awestruck expression. His wavy hair looks freshly washed and he looks a bit peaked still, as though he's been ill, or at least not eating much.
* Ommas is looking right at Katenzhi.
* Ommas freezes, as if unsure what to do.
<Jimba> It's all right.
* Katenzhi looks up at Jimba's voice.
* Jimba will motion for him to come over.
* Jimba tries to look non-threatening.
* Ommas slowly comes out from behind the tree/bush
* Katenzhi turns to where he's motioning to and is surprised to see Ommas there.
* Ommas considers fleeing, but then reconsiders and takes a step or two towards you.
<Ommas> I don't intend you any harm.
* Ommas says, not sounding confident that he could cause you harm if he wanted to.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> Ummm... us either.
<Jimba> What she said.
<Ommas> My name is Ommas Tsauter.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Jimba Ghughife.
<Katenzhi> Katenzhi Ghughife.
<Jimba> You were there the other day.
* Ommas nods.
<Katenzhi> I'm... sorry for what happened.
<Ommas> Kemiir was an asshole. Boradein should have known that would happen.
<Ommas> I shouldn't have gone with him, but I wanted to prove my valor.
<Katenzhi> You're a manifest, aren't you?
<Jimba> Maybe not the best way to do that, five guys threatening a single father.
<Ommas> Well ... sure. But Fono shouldn't have kept the children away from their grandmother. That's not right.
<Ommas> And that land is our land to use, by ancient custom.
<Jimba> Well, we're working on all that. But I keep coming back to five on one. With clubs. And spells.
* Jimba nods to Ommas at the last.
<Ommas> Attempted spells, anyway.
<Katenzhi> Look, we don't want any more trouble...
<Ommas> I ... never had any training.
<Ommas> I'm not a manifest. But you are.
<Jimba> Maybe that should change.
* Ommas nods.
<Jimba> Kat, you gotta know people, right?
<Ommas> I'd like to get training, someday.
<Katenzhi> It's... dangerous. Unpredictable.
<Katenzhi> You saw what happened the other day.
<Ommas> It was ... amazing.
* Ommas says with awe in his voice.
* Jimba manages to turn to the side when he smiles at that so the kid doesn't see.
<Katenzhi> You're not at all fazed by the fact that one of your kinsmen was killed?
<Ommas> He wasn't my kinsman. Just a friend of Boradein. An idiot.
<Ommas> My mother is the sister of Tusommi Lentu. So I suppose I am the cousin of Fono's children.
<Katenzhi> Why do you want to learn to be a manifest?
* Ommas looks at you with confusion.
<Ommas> Why wouldn't I?
* Katenzhi looks at Ommas appraisingly.
<Katenzhi> Do you know the Red Stump? In town?
* Ommas nods.
<Katenzhi> Be there the day after tomorrow. Around lunchtime. I'll introduce you to someone who may be able to help you.
<Ommas> All right.
<Ommas> I'll be there.
<Katenzhi> I guess it's better to have you trained than doing it on your own like me. I've seen how that ends up.
<Katenzhi> And I know I'd never be able to talk you out of it.
* Ommas smiles broadly.
<Ommas> You don't know me yet. But you're right.
* Jimba smiles at that.
<Katenzhi> I don't know you, but you want to be a manifest. That means you're crazy and stubborn. Like me.
* Jimba grins wider.
<Jimba> All right, now. We should be going, and you probably don't want to be seen with us around here for the time being.
<Ommas> Ahh ... yes, that is probably true. Some of my kin might not be too happy.
* Jimba nods.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> See you soon.
* Jimba will wait until Ommas leaves, and they continue on their way, to say, "That was nice of you."
<Katenzhi> That has yet to be seen.
<Katenzhi> But maybe if I'd had training earlier... we wouldn't be here.
<Jimba> Whether it will turn out well may be yet to be seen, but it was still nice.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> Maybe something good will come out of all this.
* Katenzhi will nod, but seems unconvinced.
Veznara and Yena talk to Elukir about the Sashnir heresy
<@AshnabisGM> Veznara, you have been helping out more than usual at the temple of late. With the heavy rains comes the need for manual labour to prevent flooding, so the more senior priestesses are occupied managing the bubun for more than is usual. You don't mind the quiet so much, but it does get a little lonely.
<@AshnabisGM> One evening, when the rains are a little lighter than usual and most of the work for the day is done, Yena comes in just as you are about to leave for the day.
<Veznara> Hello, Yena!
* Yena is wearing a pale pink cloak over her shoulders, and has her dark hair tied in a crown of braids.
<Yena> Good evening, Veznara, how are you doing?
<Veznara> Oh, I'm alright, thank you! It's been busy.
* Yena nods
<Yena> Now, don't be angry at me...
* Yena begins
* Veznara raises her eyebrows
<Yena> After we talked about this business with the Sashnir and all of that, I know you said to keep it quiet.
<Veznara> But you've told someone something?
<Yena> But I have a cousin, Elukir, who is the head priest of the Voice in Timiil, and I thought, who might know more about this than him? And he's my cousin, so I know he won't go spreading it around that we talked to him.
* Veznara purses her lips for a moment, then nods.
<Yena> I did talk to him, and he agreed that he would talk to you - if you want to, that is.
<Veznara> Oh, yes! I'm sure that could be very helpful.
<Veznara> And you are confident he won't spread it any further.
<Yena> Oh, no, I don't think he would.
<Yena> We could walk over there now, if you have time?
<Veznara> Certainly! Just give me a few minutes to finish up what I'm doing...
<Yena> Of course - I'll just wait for you.
<Veznara> Thank you. I won't be but a moment...
* Veznara finishes up what she is doing, then puts on her cloak and joins Yena.
<@AshnabisGM> You and Yena can make the walk over to Timiil in the evening, while the rain is light, and make your way to the temple of the Voice there. It is an old building, not very fancy or elegant, but rich with tradition. As you go inside, you can see the boxes containing the remains of many generations of ancestors lining the walls.
* Elukir is completing some rituals of tending to the dead, but when he sees you will come over and greet you, giving Yena a hug.
* Elukir is a priest in his early 30s, with dark brown skin and black dreadlocks that hang to his shoulders. He bears a certain resemblance to Yena, with similar brown eyes and high cheekbones.
<Elukir> Good evening - I take it you are Hand Veznara?
<Veznara> Good evening, Voice Elukir. Yes, I am. Thank you for receiving me.
* Veznara says in a politely friendly tone
<Elukir> Of course. My cousin told me that you had some questions that perhaps I could shed some light on. Would you like to come have a cup of tea while we discuss this?
<Veznara> Yes, thank you!
* Elukir will bring you back to his quarters, adjoining the main temple, and prepare you some tea.
<Elukir> This also has the advantage of being rather more private, as I believe the matters you want to talk about can be quite dangerous to discuss too openly.
* Elukir says as he offers you and Yena a cup of the hot, bitter brew.
<Veznara> Dangerous? I hope not!
<Elukir> I'm afraid so.
<Veznara> I realized that it involves local sensitivities... but dangerous? It is serious enough that some would harm me for asking?
<Elukir> The Sashnir do not deal warmly with people who seek to reveal their private matters.
<Elukir> Let me tell you what I know...
<Elukir> Around ten years ago, I was working in the temple late in the evening when a young woman came in. I recognized her as Kuga Sashnir, but she had no ancestors here, as they were at her home temple. I was only a young priest then, and didn't know what she might want, but I could tell she was very upset.
<Elukir> She spoke to me of her desire to leave that temple and come here, which of course she was always free to do. But she spoke of one of her uncles, Ragamen, the high priest at the Sashnir temple, and his older brother Bakkus, in... disturbing ways.
* Veznara listens with rapt attention
<Veznara> Disturbing ways?
<Elukir> At first I thought she was saying that they were - well, you know, interfering with her, bodily. I'm afraid such things do happen, of course, although they are horrible.
<Elukir> But eventually, after much hesitation, it came out that she was under the impression that they were engaged in some sort of heresy.
<Elukir> To my great shame, I told her that everything would be all right, that she would always be welcome here, and that I would look into it right away. I thought surely it could not be as bad as all that. I should have taken her more seriously.
<Elukir> The next day, her headless corpse was found on the Colony Road. Her head has never been found.
<Veznara> (Sense Motive roll - he is telling the truth?)
<Elukir> (sure, you can roll)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+8
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 14 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 22 ].
<Elukir> (you think he is deadly serious)
<Veznara> That is...
<Veznara> Did she say anything specific about the nature of this alleged heresy?
<Elukir> She was reluctant to speak about it. I only know that she felt whatever practices they were engaged in at her home temple were not proper.
<Elukir> I think the fact that she did not tell me more than that is very possibly the reason I'm still alive.
<Veznara> That... seems possible. :O
<Veznara> I understand that the Sashnir were granted some sort of dispensation to worship in their own way, in their own temple, some time back?
<Elukir> Someone was willing to kill her to keep her from talking - and to remove her head so that even after death, she could not betray their secrets.
<Veznara> How horrible! :O
<Elukir> Something like that, yes - I don't know if there was a formal grant or anything like that, but it was just known that they always had their own temple and own priests from within their family. It isn't only Sashnirs, of course, and not every Sashnir attends there - there are others who have married into the family who worship with them, and some who are from their lineage who do not.
<Veznara> I understood that the location of this temple is known. Does the Voice monitor their activities at all?
<Elukir> Monitor? No, nothing like that. I know roughly where it is, but I've never been out that way. After what happened to Kuga, I admit I've been inclined to leave them to their business.
<Elukir> so you can see why I caution you about investigating into this matter more deeply.
<Veznara> Yes. I had no idea!
<Veznara> If I may ask, did you ever warn Voice Tegus about this? Or did you think it best not to mention it at all?
<Elukir> I did not. At the time I was too shaken to tell anyone about my encounter with her prior to her death.
<Veznara> I can certainly see why! I'm grateful to you for telling me about it now.
<Elukir> Well, I care about my cousin, and don't want to see her, or her friends, get into trouble.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Thank you.
<Elukir> Of course. Please feel free to visit any time. We should build stronger ties between the temples in Timiil and those in Kaskind.
<Veznara> Oh, about the Sashnir... do you know of any specific members of the lineage? I'm interested in a Lesimir or Leshmir Sashnir.
<Veznara> No, Lesmidus. That was it.
* Elukir considers for a moment, then shakes his head
<Elukir> I'm afraid I don't know that name. It's no one I've heard of.
<Veznara> I also had a religious question about the saglikom.
<Veznara> If it's turned the other way, does that have any particular significance? As though to keep things in rather than ward against the outside, I mean.
<Elukir> You mean like turned upside down?
<Veznara> No, I mean on the inside of the temple rather than the outside.
<Elukir> ah... I haven't seen that done before, but if I did see such a thing, I would presume that it was meant to keep ill-fortune within the building - not to follow the residents to a new dwelling, for instance.
<Veznara> I see.
<Elukir> Maybe if there had been a sickness there, or some other tragedy - a fire, or death of several family members.
<Veznara> . o O (Or to keep something horrible in...)
<Veznara> What about persimmons? Do they have any particular local significance that you know of?
* Elukir shakes his head to that.
<Veznara> Well, I had no idea this was so serious. I thank you very much for the warning, Voice Elukir.
<Elukir> Of course. Take care, and have a safe walk back to your home temple.
<Veznara> Thank you.
* Veznara walks back with Yena, deep in thought
<@AshnabisGM> You can set off on the road, but it's hard not to imagine a young woman being killed there ten years ago.
<Veznara> Thank you for arranging that, Yena.
<Veznara> I'm very disturbed, though. :/
<Veznara> What could they possibly be doing that is so terrible it would be worth killing to hide it? :O
Junan learns of a mysterious treasure on an island from Lutsi
<@AshnabisGM> Junan, you are having a drink one evening at the Red Stump, taking the opportunity to relax and listen to Mang perform a few songs, when your friend Lutsi comes into the tavern and, spotting you there, waves and comes over to join you.
* Lutsi is a bit younger than you, around 16 or so, short and skinny, with a long braid of dark hair. He has a pattern of blue-black dots and lines tattooed on his chin and forehead, and his ears are pierced with thick plugs of ivory that stretch them to a larger size.
* Lutsi wears a skirt made of sewn leather strips that reaches about to his knees, and a too-large linen shirt of a more Choradani style, with the sleeves rolled up, revealing more tattoos at his wrists.
<Lutsi> Junan, just who I was hoping to see :)
<Junan> Hey Lutsi, come for a drink?
<Lutsi> Yes, but also to tell you an exciting story!
* Lutsi sits down across from you
<Junan> sounds good on both parts
* Lutsi takes off his envoy hat and sets it down for a bit, ordering a drink before he begins his tale.
<Junan> although, I can't imagine something exciting happening when its still so wet
<Lutsi> Hah, well, it didn't happen here.
* Lutsi switches to speaking in Tzameddi
<Lutsi> No one will understand us if I talk this way, and once I tell you more, you'll see why I want to keep this secret.
* Junan raises an eyebrow and gives a slight incredulous look
* Junan will respond in Tzameddi
<Junan> if you insist
<Lutsi> I was travelling recently with a merchant ship out of Basai - they were trading with my mother's people on their voyage around the peninsula, and wanted a translator with them.
<Junan> that sounds entirely... mundane
<Lutsi> Yes, that part is nothing special.
<Lutsi> We had stopped at a small village in a cove, trading their goods for seal furs and ivory from the locals, and from them I heard a story of an island in Nimneha Bay - a strange place, always shrouded in fog.
<Lutsi> They called it Sednidze - Island of Mist.
<Junan> Its hard to believe but its sounds like you found a place where the weather is just as bad as here
<Lutsi> The young people of this village considered it a test of bravery to visit this island. They think it's cursed, infested with bad spirits.
<Lutsi> And of course, even to approach it is very dangerous, with the fog and rocks.
<Lutsi> As it happened, a small group of the young villagers were heading out to go set foot on this land, challenge the spirits and show their bravery. My people can be foolhardy at times.
<Lutsi> But they mentioned that for those brave enough to set foot on the island, there is treasure there. And the merchants were interested when I told them this, and instructed that I go with them to see what was there.
<Junan> you sure they weren't just pranking you?
<Lutsi> I wasn't sure if they were or not. But the people paying me thought it was worth investigating - not enough to go themselves, though, of course.
* Lutsi says with a shrug.
<Junan> so you went to fog island
<Lutsi> I did. We went at low tide, as they seemed to think that was the best time to approach, in a small hide boat.
<Lutsi> It was treacherous - I thought several times that we might have to turn back, or be dashed on the rocks.
<Lutsi> But with their skill as sailors, we made it ashore. It's an eerie place, inhabited only by sea birds as far as I could tell, but many thousands of them.
<Lutsi> If there are truly evil spirits there, I didn't see them, although the Tzameddi youths did a little ritual when we reached shore that they said was intended to keep them away, so who knows? Maybe they were right, and it worked.
<Lutsi> Then they wanted to show me this treasure. But they warned me it was dangerous to reach.
<Junan> or maybe its just an island with bad weather and lots of sea birds due to its rocky coastline?
<Lutsi> Maybe. They are quite superstitious.
<Junan> treasure was up a climb on the wet rocks, perhaps?
<Lutsi> I had to reach a cavern on a cliff, that would be covered with water if the tide was higher, and descend into it. It was dark, and with the sound of the sea roaring beneath me, it was frightening.
<Lutsi> But I lit a lamp once I was inside, and then I saw ... they had not lied about the treasure.
<Junan> so what was it? coins? gems?
<Lutsi> Strange items, not the sort of things the Tzameddi make themselves - carvings of stone and vessels of painted pottery and, yes, some that were coins and more unusual things - some of it was below the water level but I could see it there.
<Lutsi> I didn't have much time, with the tide coming back in, but I took one thing as proof.
<Lutsi> Then I told the merchants, once we got back, that the savages' idea of treasure was a bunch of pretty shells. I knew if they learned of this, they would go back and take it for themselves.
<Lutsi> And I decided, if anyone was going to take it, it would be me :D
<Junan> ambitious, I like it.
<Junan> so what was your prize?
<Lutsi> But of course, I would need some help. I couldn't do it on my own.
* Lutsi reaches into a pouch at his waist and, looking around to make sure no one is watching, pulls out a small box which he sets in front of you. The box just looks like a regular wooden box, nothing special.
<Junan> uh... I don't think that box is gonna draw you lots of attention
<Lutsi> Take a look inside.
<Junan> be warned, if a frog or some other slimy animal jumps out at me, I will shoot you with my bow
* Lutsi laughs.
<Junan> I just had this shirt laundered
* Junan will take the box and crack it open to see the contents
<@AshnabisGM> Inside you can see the gleam of a pale blue pearl, set in a necklace of some sort of dark wood, like ebony.
<Junan> (I ever see/here of anything like it?)
<@AshnabisGM> (do you have Appraise or something that might help?)
<Junan> (I do)
<@AshnabisGM> (you can roll that, then)
<Junan> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 7 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 12 ].
<@AshnabisGM> (not really, it doesn't look like a familiar style like you would see back home or anything.)
<Junan> I prefer a bronze setting myself, but that may just be familial bias
<Lutsi> I was hoping maybe your friend who's the scholar might know more about it.
* Junan closes the box and gives it back
<Lutsi> maybe even he'd pay money for it, hm?
<Junan> Ghendalt? Oh i'm sure he could appraise it for you and give you something for it
<Lutsi> maybe if he's interested, he'd be willing to finance a whole expedition to go back there.
<Lutsi> there's a lot more where this came from
<Junan> (do I think Lutsi believes what he is saying?)
<Junan> (that there is lots more?)
<Lutsi> (he seems sincere - ambitious, and maybe overconfident, but sincere)
<Junan> This is what I can do, I can either bring the box to Golden and see what he thinks, or I can make arrangements for you to talk to him... the second may or may not happen quickly, depending on how busy he is.
<Junan> your choice
* Lutsi considers that for a moment
<Lutsi> Well, I trusted you enough to tell you the story. I guess I can trust you to take it and show it to him.
* Lutsi shoves the box back across the table to you.
<Lutsi> It's not like I don't know where you find you if you double-cross me.
<Junan> not planing on going anywhere
* Lutsi says with a smile that shows a couple of teeth filed to points.
* Junan will pocket the box
<Lutsi> good, then we have a deal. I'll be waiting to hear what he has to say.
* Junan switches back to Ombesh
<Junan> I think what we really need now is refills
* Junan looks at his empty mug
<Lutsi> Great idea! All that talking has given me a thirst. Two more!
* Lutsi calls to the bartender.
Llillilli attends Hefeth's elevation to the next age grade and fends off an attack
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Llillilli, the rain doesn't bother you the way it does other people, so much. More rain means more people staying indoors, and fewer people engaging in idle chitchat. Definitely fewer people filing land claims and complaints.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> So it's a bit of a surprise when, one day when you're at the office, doing whatever pointless thing you would normally do, you have a visitor. It is Thelef Aanilaus.
<Llillilli> (lemme look that up)
* Thelef is a tall, slender man in his mid twenties, handsome and dark-complexioned, with straight black hair tied back in a knot at the nape of his neck. He wears a simple light brown dashi and has a pattern of wavy stripes painted across his shoulders in green pigment.
* Thelef smiles warmly.
* Llillilli is looking at maps or something.
<Thelef> Llillilli, I'm glad I could find you here.
<Llillilli> Is something wrong?
<Thelef> No, not at all.
<Llillilli> What is it then?
<Thelef> I was hoping that you would be free tomorrow for a ceremony.
* Llillilli perks up with interest.
<Llillilli> What kind of ceremony?
<Thelef> Hefeth of the Wartibar, who is known to you I believe, is ascending to the whesef age-grade.
<Thelef> Some of us are gathering tomorrow to witness his ascension to that rank.
<Llillilli> Oh, sure.
<Llillilli> I can come.
<Thelef> I know that Hefeth would want his brothers and sisters around him, as many as can come. I am his ... sponsor, his host for the event. I also want you to meet Laelaesi, the solar who will be conducting it.
<Llillilli> (is this my first time going to one of these things?)
<Thelef> Meet me at the north edge of town along the Colony Road tomorrow, a couple hours before noon, which is when the ceremony will take place.
<Llillilli> Alright... thanks for inviting me.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> (you would have been to your own naming / elevation to the sese age-grade, which took place in the hith capital city of Sulise. But otherwise, yes.)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The next day, you come at the appointed time. Thelef is waiting for you there.
<Llillilli> Am I late?
* Thelef smiles.
<Thelef> Not at all.
<Thelef> We have lots of time. It's not too far to walk.
* Llillilli nods.
<Llillilli> I've never been to any of these except my own.
* Thelef nods.
<Llillilli> Is there anything I'm supposed to do? Or... not?
<Thelef> You're there as a witness and an observer. Nothing more, today. Because you are still sese, you are ...well, a child, capable of mental and physical action but not anything more advanced.
<Thelef> Today Hefeth rises to the rank of whesef which means that he is seen as adult, sexually mature. He will earn the right to be treated as adult by all other hith.
<Thelef> It's good to see you, Llillilli. How have you been?
* Llillilli shrugs. F
<Llillilli> Just working.
<Llillilli> Helping Shulilae fix their house.
<Llillilli> You know, whatever.
* Thelef nods.
<Thelef> I heard about that.
<Thelef> Shulilae and Helithae are good people. Good sponsors and supporters of the community. It's a shame.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The ceremony takes place along the shores of Nimneha Bay north and west of Kaskind. Most of the gathered group consists of hithkindred from Timiil or Kaskind, with a few hith among the group. Off the path heading towards the village of Shuggep, along the rocky coast, a circle of carved stones, each perhaps knee-high, sits almost unnoticed until you are upon it.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You are not the first to arrive by any means. Aside from Hefeth, of course, and Thelef who accompanied you here, Shulilae and Helithae are here, although they are standing a way back of the main gathered group. You see the hithkindred Hillisi and their partner, the hith Fifelus, have come from Timiil where they keep a cottage.
* Lutsi is now known as Hefeth
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Among those you don't know, the one who stands out the most is an extremely old solar, recognizable as of the lihesethi, or sunset grade, by the two rows of rigid crests along their back, neck, and head. The only other lihesethi you have ever met is the King.
* Laelaesi is a hith of the lihesethi grade, the most senior rank, as indicated by their double row of crests. They have predominantly blue skin, with a mottled patch of red across their belly and legs.
* Laelaesi wears an elegant cape finely woven of reeds, as well as a copper disc at their throat that marks them out as a solar.
<Thelef> Come, let me introduce you to Laelaesi.
* Thelef brings you over to the elder.
* Llillilli tries not to stare at the awesome crests.
<Thelef> Laelaesi, I present to you sese Llillilli, of Kaskind.
* Laelaesi turns to greet you.
<Llillilli> (how should I address them?)
<Laelaesi> Llillilli, your name is known to us. We are honoured to have you here to support your friend.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> (just by first name, or as Solar)
<Llillilli> It's my honor to meet you, Solar.
<Laelaesi> You were presented to the king last year, is it not so?
<Llillilli> Yes, that's right.
<Laelaesi> Ambassador Thelef has spoken of you very highly. Welcome to the ascension ceremony.
<Llillilli> Oh... thank you.
* Llillilli raises her eyebrows in mild surprise.
<Laelaesi> I'm sure that Hefeth would be glad for you to greet them before the ceremony begins. I must go prepare now.
<Llillilli> Of course...
* Hefeth is a stout, sturdy young man of around twenty or so, with short wavy dark hair and medium brown skin. He has a broad, flat nose and wide smile, clearly nervous and excited.
* Thelef heads over to chat with Fifelus and Hillisi while you do so.
* Llillilli wanders over to pay her respects or whatever...
<Hefeth> Hello, Llillilli, thank you for coming :)
<Llillilli> uh, yeah.
<Hefeth> Thank you. It'll be your turn soon, I'm sure :)
<Llillilli> yeah, I guess. I hope.
<Llillilli> How long did it take you?
<Hefeth> About three years.
<Hefeth> It's weird, I don't know if I feel like an adult, but I guess if they think I'm ready, then I'll have to be ready.
<Llillilli> Three years...
<Hefeth> But everyone goes at their own pace. Maybe it'll be faster for you.
* Hefeth says, trying to be encouraging
<Hefeth> I think, after this, I'm going to get marks tattooed on - not just paint, but something more permanent.
<Hefeth> To show who I really am.
<Llillilli> That'll be nice...
<Llillilli> WHat're you going to get?
<Hefeth> Well, as part of the ceremony Laelaesi will paint a pattern on me, and I want to get something that looks like that. It might take a while to complete, if it's big, but I can take my time.
* Llillilli nods.
* Laelaesi comes over and calls Hefeth into the circle for the ceremony to begin.
<Hefeth> It really means a lot to me that you came. We can talk more afterwards :)
* Hefeth says, glancing over and going to take up his place.
* Laelaesi stands in the center of the circle, next to Hefeth. The rest of you stand each on one of the stones, looking down on him.
<Laelaesi> We gather here today beneath the midday sun to bear witness by the heart and skin and spine and lungs to Hefeth, hatched and spawned and raised under sunlight and deep waters. May sun shine on this day.
* Laelaesi waves a hand, and the area around you all is bathed in daylight, although rain continues to fall. A domed rainbow surrounds you.
<Laelaesi> Just as the deity's light is split into its six constituent colors, so are we bound sixfold in the paths of our lives. Hefeth stands today to take the third step.
<Laelaesi> As eggs we lay in the sun to hatch, and as infants we play in the sun. We find our path following Its Light, and now we come to lay our own eggs, to contribute to the furtherance of the next generation.
* Laelaesi lays their hands on Hefeth's eyes.
<Laelaesi> The first, eyes opening.
* Laelaesi takes their hands and grasps Hefeth's.
<Laelaesi> The second, hands grasping.
* Laelaesi grasps Hefeth between the legs and presses firmly.
<Laelaesi> The third, eggs laying.
<Laelaesi> Now the sun strikes at you, a reminder of its power.
* Laelaesi extends a hand to Hefeth's chest. As they touch it, Hefeth winces and goes pale.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> (Llillilli, you can make a Perception check, please?)
<Laelaesi> And now draw back your own strength from the sun.
* Laelaesi withdraws their hand and Hefeth touches their chest with his own hand.
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 20 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 27 ].
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Llillilli, out of the water, you see something out of the corner of your eye. It is a hith approaching with some stealth, rapidly.
* Llillilli frowns...
<Llillilli> (is thelef near me?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> (on another one of these stones, could be next to you, but several feet away for sure)
* Llillilli looks around anxiously... She doesn't want to get in trouble for disrupting the ceremony, but...
* AshnabisGM is now known as Thethu
* @Thethu is a hith of whesef grade, adult but not an elder. They are dark blue with a pattern of light blue stripes on their shoulders and back, and also wear the copper disc of a solar.
* @Thethu stands as they reach the circle and shouts, interrupting the ceremony.
<@Thethu> I, Thethu of Greenrock-by-coral, come to protest this outrage! The unhatched deserve our pity, not our secrets!
<@Thethu> Deviants and heretics and hairspawn, gathered together for a mockery, and we claim to be a proud people? What gives you the right?
* Llillilli scowls.
* @Thethu tries to get inside the circle, hands raised
* Thelef tries to get in their way but is on the other side of the circle.
<Llillilli> (am I close enough to try and stop them?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> (yeah, you could try)
* Llillilli will try to get in their way, then.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> As you get in the way Thethu reaches out to strike you.
* Llillilli throws out her hands to block their path.
<@Thethu> !roll 1d20+4
* Daifan rolls for Thethu: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 16 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 20 ].
<Ashnabis_Narrator> OK, Llillilli, make a CMD roll
<Ashnabis_Narrator> or wait, no, there's no roll
<Ashnabis_Narrator> never mind
<Llillilli> (well if they have to beat my cmd i'm hit)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> what's your CMD, 10 + BAB + Str + Dex
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Thethu touches you.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Fort save, please, DC
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 8 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 13 ].
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The nimbus of light around you becomes searingly hot. You find yourself blinded with white light, completely unable to see, and dazzled.
* Llillilli cries out in alarm!
<Ashnabis_Narrator> It's a little hard for you to tell what happens next but there are a number of hith and hithkindred coming in your direction.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You hear a lot of commotion and Thethu continues to shout invectives at all of you.
* Llillilli stumbles backward, mostly concerned with getting out of the way now, clutching her face.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Someone grabs you and pulls you out of the stone circle gently.
<Thelef> It's me, it's me.
* Llillilli tries not to trip.
<Thelef> You've been hit with the sun's disdain, that's all.
<Thelef> It'll be fine.
<Llillilli> WHat is happening? I can't- I can't see anything...
<Llillilli> Will it go away?
* Thelef pulls you out of the circle and into the rain and cloud. You can start to see a little bit.
<Thelef> Yes, it'll be fine.
<Llillilli> WHere's Hefeth?
<Llillilli> And Thethu...
<Thelef> Laelaesi is with him, he'll be fine too.
<Llillilli> Did they hurt him?
<Thelef> Thethu wouldn't dare touch a lihesethi solar.
<Thelef> They were going to but you got in the way.
* Thelef sounds like he might be smiling.
<Llillilli> Is it ruined? The ceremony?
<Thelef> Hillisi and Fifelus are taking care of Thethu.
<Thelef> They won't be bothering us any more.
<Llillilli> What happened?
<Thelef> You got in the way and prevented them from subverting the ceremony.
<Thelef> If Hefeth had been hit by the sun's disdain, we couldn't have continued today.
<Llillilli> Well... that's good then.
<Llillilli> For Hefeth.
* Llillilli rubs her eyes.
<Thelef> As it is ... I'm afraid you can't go back in the circle or you'll be in agony.
<Thelef> I'll stay here with you while Laelaesi finishes up.
<Llillilli> You don't have to.
* Llillilli tucks her knees up against her chest.
<Thelef> No but I will.
<Thelef> You've made some powerful friends, and at least one powerful enemy today. But more friends than enemies, I think.
<Llillilli> They already hated me. :/
<Llillilli> They broke Shulilae's house because of me.
<Thelef> And Hefeth ... but yes.
<Thelef> That's true. There would be no point in lying about that, that's why they did it.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Hillisi and Fifelus are taking Thethu ... somewhere. Hefeth and Laelaesi are alarmed but otherwise fine, and the ceremony can recommence. Out of the bright sunlight, you can see somewhat, but you can't look at the stone circle, still bathed in light.
* Llillilli just stares at her knees instead.
<Laelaesi> Hefeth, you have drawn the sun back into you, its divine touch within you.
<Laelaesi> These marks you bear attest to your adulthood. You are now whesef, adult, and bear the responsibilities of that rank. To participate in social life, to take a partner, and to bear children, these are now yours to take on.
<Laelaesi> We here gathered ... on this most unusual day ... acknowledge your new burdens.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The ceremony ends with a minimum of fanfare, and the nimbus of light fades.
Ufrim visits Daifan to tell them about baby Shira's importance
<@AshnabisGM> Daifan, the last few days have seemed endless, both for good and for ill. Your sleep has been interrupted regularly, and you have learned more about milking goats than you had ever hoped to. Fortunately, there is relative harmony among the adults in the house.
<@AshnabisGM> You are just about to doze off for what you hope, probably fruitlessly, will be a long nap, when there is a sharp rapping at the door.
<Daifan> who's there?
* Daifan will call out before actually getting up
<Ufrim> It's Ufrim, I was hoping to see the new baby - and have a chance to talk to you.
<Daifan> Oh, just a minute...
<Daifan> (where is Shira?)
<Daifan> (I assume lots of people have come by to see her)
<@AshnabisGM> Let's say she's with Chimi, who is doing some work, or trying to at least. Idovo is out fishing.
* Daifan will straighten out their clothes and go answer the door
* Ufrim is a very tall, slim man in his late twenties, with springy dark brown curls and a parti-colored robe of rust and goldenrod. He has to duck slightly as he comes in your door with a hopeful smile.
<Daifan> Hey Bigmouth
* @Chimi comes in with the baby tied in a sling, to see who is here.
* Daifan says with a yawn
<Daifan> he wated to see our new little Goat
* Daifan says to her
<Ufrim> I did... Sorry if I'm interrupting.
<@Chimi> It's all right, it's not like we get much rest at the moment anyway.
* Daifan nods
<Ufrim> Congratulations on your new family member.
* @Chimi will bring her over closer so he can have a look at her.
<Ufrim> She's lovely :3
<Daifan> she is...
<Ufrim> And, I believe, very special.
<Daifan> Of course she is. She has the best parents in town,
* @Chimi frowns slightly
<@Chimi> She's very special to us... but I'm guessing you don't just mean in that way.
<Ufrim> Would it be alright if I sit down, and tell you more about what I mean?
* Daifan crosses heir arms and looks to Chimi
* @Chimi shrugs
<@Chimi> I suppose so.
<Ufrim> Thank you - I promise it'll be brief.
* Daifan will sit back down on thier bedding, and gesture for him to have a seat
* Ufrim will have a seat, and Chimi will as well.
<Ufrim> You probably know already that I have been contacted by a saint, a corpseborn saint... That I came here with the intent of finding him.
<Daifan> Yes, I've heard this...
<Ufrim> His name is Khozra. Khozra Ula, I should say.
* @Chimi nods, listening
<Daifan> (does that ring any bells at all?)
<@Chimi> (no, no reason it would. other than that 'Ula' is 'saint', so basically he's just saying 'Saint Khozra'.)
<Daifan> did he have something to say about her?
<Ufrim> Yes, he did.
* Ufrim pauses, trying to consider how best to explain this.
<Ufrim> He can speak through me because I am his descendant. His corpseborn descendant. And so is this child. She will also have his voice speak through her, when she's old enough.
<Daifan> ...HOw do you mean, decendant?
<Ufrim> Well, I don't know exactly how she would be descended from him. But I believe that it must be a linear descent, passed from parent to child over the generations.
<Ufrim> But for most of them, they can't hear him, because they aren't corpseborn.
<Ufrim> That now there is another is... remarkable, and valuable.
<Daifan> I dont see how you can be any kind of relative of hers...
<Ufrim> Let me tell you what I know about Khozra Ula's life. There are many unanswered questions, but I believe it's true.
<Daifan> Go ahead...
<Ufrim> He was born in Daligash, some four centuries ago. He grew to adulthood there, and must have had a child, or children, but of course, being corpseborn, he would likely never have known them. Truthfully, being a man, he could easily not have known them >.>
<Ufrim> He came to Ashnabis as part of the military invasion - he was a scout or something of that nature. We make good scouts, as it happens, and nobody worries too much if they lose a few.
* Daifan nods
<Ufrim> While here, he presumably must have sired another child or children, with a local woman. That would be who little Shira must be descended from, as I descend from the family line in Daligash.
<Ufrim> He was killed on a scouting mission, somewhere in the swamp, his body remaining unrecovered and undisturbed for these past centuries, only able to communicate with perhaps a single descendant per generation, if that. There have been others before me, I believe, but never two at the same time, and that's very important.
<Daifan> I suppose that is... not completely implausible
<Daifan> What does he want?
* @Chimi listens, also looking somewhat skeptical, but nods
<Ufrim> Foremost, for his body to be recovered, so it can be properly venerated. More important than that, however, is that his power, his very existence, is a blessing - there has been no other corpseborn saint, and the church teaches that such an occurrence shouldn't be possible.
<Ufrim> He shows the way, a promise for hope for the future, that we can be raised up.
<@Chimi> So, isn't that a threat to the church? If you're trying to show that they're wrong...
<Daifan> mmhmm.. some blessing. The church would call it heresy even if you coudl find him.
* Daifan nods to Chimi.
<Daifan> What is should mean and how they would see it.... two very different things
<Ufrim> I believe that he will help guide us on a difficult path - we will persevere even if there is opposition to the truth we bring.
<@Chimi> What does any of this mean for Shira, though? Is she in danger?
* @Chimi holds her closer.
<Daifan> If your saint can't leave her alone until she is old enough to understand and make decisions for her self, it doesn;t say much for the kind of guidance he has to offer
<Daifan> She's just a baby.
<Ufrim> She's just a baby, but a very special one. As she grows older, I believe that Khozra Ula will be able to communicate through her. This is extremely important, because when he speaks through me, I can't ask him questions in return. But if there are two of us, we can actually communicate with one another, back and forth. I can learn more about what he requires from us, where to find him...
<Ufrim> it may take years, but I will be patient.
<Daifan> Thank you for telling us this - it is good to know if she comes to us with questions...when she is older, about this...saint communicating with her. If he does.
* @Chimi nods
<@Chimi> Right, well, I appreciate the visit, and thank you for your message, but right now, she's a baby and can't help you. She doesn't know anything about any of this, and she won't until she's much older, if I have anything to say about it.
* Daifan nods to Chimi
<Ufrim> Alright - but it may not be under your control. If anything strange happens with her, please, I am willing to help as best as I can. She's my best hope for finding him.
* Daifan nods
<Ufrim> I'll leave you now - thank you for your time. She's beautiful, and you're very fortunate to have her.
<Daifan> I understand that. But she is a baby, and a child, and if she needs help that is one thing, but if you bring her further into this of your own accord.... Well I would not do that, if you ever want this saint found
* Ufrim nods
* Ufrim will take his leave.
<@Chimi> here, she's sleeping... do you want to take her for that nap?
<@Chimi> maybe I can get some sewing done.
* Daifan will take her and see if they can settle down together :x
* @Chimi passes the baby over to you, sleeping contentedly and totally undisturbed by your recent visitor.
Daifan talks to their housemates about Ufrim's visit and the incoming corpseborn
<Daifan> talking to my housemates
<@Curtana> okay, when do you want this to be?
<Daifan> mmmm, dunno, though I think as more and more ships start arriving Daifan is getting antsy, so probably they wouldn't leave it too long The baby kind of upended thigs or I may have done it sooner :x
<@Curtana> okay. but after ufrim's visit?
* Idovo will bring home a couple of fish that evening, showing some improvement in his skill, or luck.
<Idovo> hey, the mighty provider returns :)
<Daifan> very nice
* Daifan says, sitting up groggily from their nap
<Idovo> you look like you got some rest, at least
<Daifan> mmm, a little
<Daifan> My mind keeps turning over things
<Idovo> what's bothering you? other than this little destroyer of sleep :3
<Daifan> But Shira's been a sweetheart
* Idovo says, picking up Shira, who is stirring from her nap
<Daifan> oh... different things
* Idovo balances her carefully with his good arm
<Daifan> We had a visit today from Big Mouth
* Daifan will take the fish from him and see about cleaning them
<Daifan> He wanted to see her
<Idovo> really? okay, that's friendly of him I guess...
<Daifan> which fine everyone does...
<Daifan> But he said she is related to this Saint he is trying to find :|
* Idovo looks puzzled.
<Daifan> and he wants her to help him find it, Him. :p
<Idovo> Well... she's a baby, so he might have to wait a bit on that. You can't even find your own toes reliably yet, can you? :3
* Idovo says to Shira, who gurgles
* Daifan smiles at that
<Daifan> yes, but I don't want him.. bothering her, as she grows up. Or telling stories about her to people.
<Idovo> well... we can't control what he believes, or even what he tells people. But if he tries to bother her, we can sure stop that.
<Daifan> if he does, I'll dump his body somewhere in the swamp with the alleged ancesor he is so desperate to find >:|
<Idovo> that seems like a measured and reasonable reaction.
<Daifan> I dno't want him, or anyone else, putting things in her head
<Daifan> if it turns out that she does have some connection.... then we deal wih that, and maybe he will be useful.
<Idovo> He might just be crazy.
<Daifan> even if he isn't, its dangerous.
<Daifan> even if he is right and can prove it is true... well who knows if this is really the first time its happened, right?
<Idovo> yeah, I have no idea.
<Daifan> I am sure the corps would be very measured and reasonable too.
<Daifan> having all their ideas about us upended
<Daifan> I don't even know if it makes sense, what he says saints can do.
<Idovo> Yeah, I have no idea. They have magic powers and can talk to people, that's all I really know.
<Idovo> Ambai Ula was the big one I ever heard about, back home. She was in the Voice temple at Kindalto, and they'd have big gatherings for people to talk to her on special occasions.
<Idovo> But it's not like I went :p
<Daifan> (have I heard of her?)
<Daifan> (I mean I assume so, at least in passing, since thats where I'm from :x)
<Idovo> (yeah, I'm sure the name rings a bell, but like him, you probably didn't pay too much attention since it wasn't really relevant to you)
* Daifan just nods
<Daifan> Maybe I'll ask Hand Veznara...
* Idovo nods
* Daifan sighs
<Daifan> there was another thing...
* Daifan calls out, to see if she is around
* Chimi comes in from outside.
<Chimi> Yes? Oh, you're home - fish for dinner?
<Idovo> yes, but this time they're those big orangey ones, not the little ones with all the bones.
* Chimi nods with approval
<Daifan> we should figure out some different ways to cook them too
<Chimi> I've seen some people wrap them in big leaves and put them in the coals of a fire to cook that way.
<Daifan> or some different things to go with them
<Daifan> that could be good
<Idovo> oh yeah, I got these too.
<Daifan> we'd need the right leaves, but I can probably find some... or ask Moss
* Idovo gestures to his pouch, which he can't open because he's holding a baby and only has one hand
* Daifan will let Chimi do the honours then ;p
* Chimi sighs and will get whatever it is out of the pouch
<Chimi> Oh... some of these yellow fruits, they call them suncherries. those could be good with fish, maybe?
<Chimi> well, we can try it
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I wanted to ask you about something, though
* Chimi tries one of the suncherries, making a face at the tartness.
<Chimi> maybe once they're cooked they'll be better...
<Daifan> I don't remember if I mentioned this before... I meant to, but with our little goat I don't think I did
<Daifan> I don't want to spread this around very tmuch though, not yet
* Chimi nods, listening
<Daifan> There is a woman in town... a Taizi princess, I guess, who has a lot of land. She's an old bitch as far as I can tell.
<Chimi> sounds lovely
<Daifan> I haven't met her, and I don't think I want to
<Daifan> oh wait for it
<Daifan> She doesn't want to pay for bubun to work her fields
<Daifan> I don't know if she is cheap or just doens't liek the hand, or what
<Chimi> ah, yes, I'm sure that's a great hardship when you're fantastically rich.
<Daifan> Instead.... she is bringing in budal to do it, from Taizi.
<Daifan> Criminals... People who would have been executed otherwise. In theory.
* Chimi frowns
<Chimi> How many?
<Daifan> I don't know.... a lot. I heard somewhere between 50 to 100
<Chimi> that's a lot :o
<Daifan> it is
<Daifan> so, she wants to keep them on her lands
<Daifan> she is building some kind of barracks for them to live
<Chimi> where would they even get that many corpseborn criminals at once? I mean... they'd have to either have stored them up for ages, or ... I don't know what. Raided an entire village and decided they were all criminals?
<Daifan> Probably more like that
<Chimi> When you were in prison, I mean, how many others were there like you?
* Idovo considers
<Daifan> No so many.... and that was Kindalto. Taizi is not Daligash
<Idovo> Maybe half a dozen? I mean... over the course of the time I was there, they came and went. But never fifty at once :o
<Idovo> or a hundred, I mean, that's crazy numbers.
<Daifan> I suspect they will be looking for 'criminals' for this princess, yes >.>
<Daifan> so imagine that
<Chimi> No, I know things might be different in Taizi, but still - that's just a huge amount. Maybe they got the numbers wrong, whoever you heard this from? Or maybe... yeah, like you said. These are people arrested on trumped up charges :/
<Daifan> imagine that... make you stole a sheep. And suddenly something that mmm, maybe bad, now they are saying you coudl be executed
<Daifan> or, you could come here and work in the fields
<Daifan> I don't know what thier sentences will be, if they will ever have a chance to be free. Bubun only serve seven years
* Daifan says darkly
<Daifan> but you know, work them until they fall apart
<Daifan> But all of that, and they wouldnt be allowed to live with other budal, if she has her way.
<Daifan> that is not good.... not for them, and not for the rest of us either
<Daifan> if people start to think this is okay
<Chimi> they'd have to live there, on her farm or whatever?
<Daifan> that is how it looks right now, yes
<Daifan> under her control, with no ties to anyone else
<Daifan> It's awful.
* Idovo frowns
<Daifan> I want to.... find a way for them to be able to come here, instead
<Daifan> I think it is the only thing to make things better that can be done now.
<Chimi> How do you think that'll work?
<Daifan> well... I don't know
<Daifan> If she doesn't have anywhere to put them though... then where else could they go? >.>
<Daifan> but it would be a burden for Banei
<Daifan> even twenty people all at once woudl be difficult for the town.
<Chimi> it would be a challenge, yes. But hopefully not a burden. More people would be a good thing here, if they're welcomed into the community.
<Chimi> we'd just have to find a way to help them get established.
<Daifan> That is why I wanted to ask you.... because I know what it was like for me when I came, but you deal with more newcomers
<Daifan> I can't even think of what all they might need, to start to consider how we could provide it
<Daifan> and how.
<Daifan> I mean, and who - who might be able to help
* Daifan rubs their forehead
<Chimi> I'd have to think about it. If there really were a hundred, let's say, thinking about the biggest possible number... that would be half the population of the town. Each household would need to take in at least one or two, for a bit, until they got houses built for them and had places to stay.
* Daifan nods
<Chimi> Useir would be thrilled, I'm sure :/
<Daifan> oh she will hate it
<Chimi> But maybe Adachu and Labu could help? Even if it was just to put up some kind of temporary structure for them, like a big barn or even tents or something, it would take money, and they have that.
<Daifan> I would like to think she would see why it is important but...
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I wondered about asking them
<Daifan> I don't know them well
<Daifan> and also....
<Daifan> this si not something that is really a public knowledge yet
<Daifan> let alone any.... changes to the current plans :p
* Chimi nods
<Chimi> well... I don't know them *that* well either, but I don't think they're as stuck up as people say. They just got lucky, and they've taken advantage of that, there's nothing wrong with that.
* Daifan nods
<Chimi> I've made some clothes for Labu.
<Chimi> So I have some contact with her, occasionally.
<Daifan> that's good to know
<Daifan> I want to prepare.... but not to look too prepaerd.
<Daifan> I don't know how to manage that
<Chimi> that's tricky
* Daifan considers
<Daifan> maybe it would work just to let news get around that they are coming here, but not that they are supposed to stay on her land
<Daifan> maybe that would be okay... if really no one can say they expected any different when they herd about it
<Chimi> and maybe... if the newcomers in Kaskind get settled quickly, people here could buy up those tents once they're not using them anymore, and have them on hand in case? I don't know how to get the people in Kaskind into houses more quickly, though.
<Daifan> oh, that is a good thought
<Daifan> I don't know when these poeple will be coming - for the planting season I expect
<Chimi> I guess it would take good weather, first of all :/
* Daifan nods
* Idovo bounces Shira, who is starting to fuss
<Daifan> that is probably beyond our control
<Idovo> I think she's getting hungry. Is there milk ready?
<Chimi> Yes, that was what I was doing outside before you got home. It's over here.
<Daifan> mmm... I can warm some up
<Daifan> oh, okay, never mind!
* Chimi nods, gesturing to the bucket she has.
<Chimi> (had, rather. I'm sure she hasn't been holding it this entire time)
* Daifan can prep some for the little one :x
* Chimi can make fish with suncherries for dinner, and they actually do taste pretty good when cooked - nicely tart and sour, but not too bad.
Daifan asks Veznara about saints
* Veznara is in the map room, looking over maps of the area where they found the temple
* Daifan will drift in and peer at the map, seeing if they can figure out what you are looking at
* Veznara looks up
<Daifan> I'm sorry Hand Veznara, I ddn't mean to disturb you
<Veznara> Daifan. No, that's alright.
<Daifan> What are you looking at?
<Veznara> I was just looking at what maps we have of the area where we found that temple.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> is it on there?
* Daifan looks to see if they can figure it out
* Veznara points at the area
<Veznara> It was around here. There isn't much detail, but I will be putting it on future maps, I suppose.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> actually, that makes me think of a question I had... not about this temple, though
<Daifan> What do saints do?
<Daifan> Someone was talking about them... but it isn't something I've paid much attention to before
<Veznara> Oh. Well, do you know what a saint is - how sainthood is determined?
<Daifan> I know they're... special ancestors. They can communicate more without the Voice?
<Veznara> Yes, exactly. Usually this happens in the form of visions to their own descendants.
<Veznara> I say 'usually' - but of course, it's actually very rare.
<Veznara> How did the topic come up?
* Veznara is curious
<Daifan> well, that is what someone was saying they could do, but I didnt know if that was right
<Daifan> Are there any saints associated with the lineages here?
<Veznara> (K: Religion roll? Or more K: Local? Or a bit of both? :P )
<@Curtana> (yeah, k:religion I guess makes most sense)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+10
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+10 ] getting [ 10 ] which, after the modifier [ 10 ] totals [ 20 ].
<@Curtana> (You know there are no saints at the temples in Timiil or Kaskind, anyway. Beyond that, you're not sure.)
<Veznara> (But any names of saints that would be associated with Ashnabis?)
<Veznara> Well, I'm still learning about the area. However, I"m reasonably certain that there is no Ula at either of the Voice temples at present.
<@Curtana> (Probably there have been some, over the entire course of history here. But none presently in any of the temples that you're familiar with. Either maybe they were moved elsewhere or lost to the mists of history)
<Veznara> Their bodies are incorruptible, so they appear quite different from other Ancestors.
* Daifan nods
<Veznara> However, the Voice is especially careful with them. They do not grant access to them easily, if at all.
<Daifan> what are you supposed to do for them?
<Veznara> Do for them?
<Daifan> Well if they send visions, is it because they want things?
<Daifan> Do they just get... bored? Lonely?
<Veznara> I... I don't know.
<Veznara> I suppose they might.
<Veznara> Unlike other Ancestors, they are known to learn of events after their passing.
<Veznara> This is really more the province of the Voice.
<Daifan> well otherwise they wouldn't know they had decendants I supose :p
<Veznara> That would make sense, yes.
<Veznara> But who has been contacted by a saint?
<Daifan> Well, the only Voice I know is much less personable than you, unless I want to ask about horses.
<Veznara> I'm happy to help, but my knowledge is limited compared to theirs.
<Daifan> well, it is just curiousity anyway.
<Daifan> it is hardly vital for me to kow these things
<Veznara> But something prompted the question, surely. Do you know someone who thinks he or she has been contacted by a saint?
<Daifan> It just came up with one of my housemates... there was one back home, but we realized we didn't know anything about them.
<Veznara> Oh. I see.
* Veznara says distractedly
<Daifan> Ambai Ula?
* Daifan shrugs
<Daifan> what is it?
<Veznara> (Religion roll? :D )
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+10
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+10 ] getting [ 7 ] which, after the modifier [ 10 ] totals [ 17 ].
<@Curtana> (She's a saint in Daligash somewhere, well-known for an annual festival they hold to celebrate her)
<Veznara> Oh. Yes. Ambai Ula is a saint in Daligash. She is particularly revered there.
<Veznara> Oh, of course!
<Daifan> yes, there was always a big party, every year
<Daifan> of course what?
* Veznara focuses on Daifan
<Veznara> Jimba! Jimba's vision at the temple!
<Daifan> You think that came from a saint?
<Veznara> That would explain it! :O
<Daifan> ..a Gughife saint?
* Daifan asks, sounding dubious
<Daifan> or...from that temple?
<Veznara> Well, you know him better than I. Does he have Ashnabis background?
<Daifan> I think he grew up here, but his lineages if from... choradan
<Daifan> not Kaskind, but... somewhere on the coast?
<Veznara> Choradan is close, though. Very close.
<Veznara> And that temple appeared to be ancient.
<Daifan> but then why not Katenzhi or Llillilli?
<Daifan> they're all the same lineage
<Daifan> can saints send visions to people who aren't of their lineage?
<Veznara> When they are close enough, perhaps.
<Daifan> then...maybe they were close?
<Daifan> but we looked all through that place. UNless they were in the water? Or not in the temple at all?
<Veznara> Maybe. There was that sunken area that we weren't able to get to.
<Veznara> Oh, why didn't I see it before?
* Veznara looks at Daifan appraisingly
* Daifan blinks
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+8
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 1 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 9 ].
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+8
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 6 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 14 ].
<lan_phone> !roll 1d20+8
* Daifan rolls for lan_phone: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 18 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 27 ].
<Daifan> what is it, Hand?
<Veznara> Daifan, did you bring this up on purpose, so I would develop this theory without your suggesting it directly?
* Daifan blinks again.
<Daifan> ...I did not, but perhaps it is fate at work.
* Daifan seems surprised
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Well, it doesn't matter.
<Veznara> This is an idea that seem worth pursuing.
<Veznara> I think we should both keep it quiet, though.
<Veznara> Very quiet.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I understand
<Daifan> If there are undeclared saints here, it would be... messy >.>
<Veznara> Yes, exactly.
<Veznara> Let us both keep silent about it. For now, at least.
<Daifan> well... I hope we have little more to do with that place.
<Daifan> I'll let you return to your maps, though. Thank you.
<Veznara> Thank *you*, Daifan.
* Daifan will slip off :3
* Veznara quickly rolls up the maps and puts them away, then leaves for the Temple of the Hand...
Veznara talks to Dezmali about saints and other matters of interest
* Veznara goes in search of Dezmali at the Temple
* Dezmali is inspecting the temple bubun in the courtyard when you find her.
<Veznara> Hand Dezmali. I wonder, may I speak to you at your convenience?
<Dezmali> Ah, Veznara. Yes, of course. Just one moment.
* Veznara waits patiently
* Dezmali looks them over, brushes one off.
<Dezmali> Yes, these are fine. Lead them away.
* Dezmali remarks to another priestess.
<Dezmali> Now, you wanted to speak?
<Veznara> Yes. Though perhaps it would be better in your office?
<Dezmali> Of course. Walk with me.
<Dezmali> How have you been?
<Veznara> Well, thank you! I'm feeling a bit more at home than I was when I first arrived.
<Dezmali> That's good. The rains here are rather intimidating at first. The home countries have fierce storms, but not so unrelenting.
<Dezmali> My first rainy season, I felt like I was just always going to be wet from now on.
<Veznara> Yes, it has been an adjustment! Well, I'm still adjusting, really.
<Veznara> But adjusting.
<Dezmali> And your job? You're not finding it dull I hope?
* Veznara grimaces
That's one of the things I wanted to talk to you about.
<Dezmali> Oh, all right. Here we are.
* Dezmali commands the bubun guards aside and enters her well-appointed office.
<Dezmali> Now, how can I help you?
* Dezmali says, sitting.
<Veznara> Well, there were a few thing. I did want to mention what happened at work, and also to update you on the other matter.
<Dezmali> All right ... what happened at work?
<Veznara> There was an incident. We were sent to investigate a claim at a local farm, owned by an Ombesh man, Fono Serpeng.
<Veznara> He'd been having trouble with his Aummesh in-laws, the Lentu.
<Veznara> His wife died recently, and it seems part of the resentment is because Fono brought her here, rather than to Timiil.
<Dezmali> Ahh, yes.
<Dezmali> I think that was her vessel in the courtyard just now.
<Dezmali> Not that we are supposed to mind such things.
<Veznara> Ah. I hear she died in childbirth.
<Dezmali> Ahh, I see. And the child?
<Veznara> It did not come to us, so I expect it must have gone to the Temple in Timiil.
* Dezmali nods.
<Veznara> So what should have been a time of great happiness has become a time of great sorrow for all of them. :(
<Veznara> Anyway: while we were there, a group of young toughs from the Lentu came with the intention of harassing Fono.
<Dezmali> Because ...?
<Dezmali> Because we have his wife's vessel?
<Veznara> Oh, no! That is a side issue. It seems there has been friction for some time, and in his grief Fono was refusing them access to a goat path on his land.
<Dezmali> All right.
<Veznara> So that was why they had come, to try to intimidate him into letting them use it.
<Veznara> They freed his goats from a pen, and were armed.
<Veznara> Unfortunately, a fight broke out... and one of them was killed.
<Dezmali> Ah, that is unfortunate.
<Veznara> Yes. It was in self-defense, but I obviously it may make the situation worse.
<Veznara> The boy who was killed was not of the Lentu. He was a friend of theirs from another lineage... the Yetsner, I think?
<Dezmali> Hmm, all right. I can't keep all the Aummesh lineages straight. Yena has tried to teach me, but they don't attend services here so I hardly have reason to need to know.
<Veznara> Perhaps I should ask her about it at some point. I still don't have a good handle on the local lineages either.
<Veznara> I don't like the fact that this has drawn yet another of them into the matter.
<Dezmali> All right ... Veznara I don't mean to rush you, but ... what does this have to do with us?
<Veznara> Nothing, I hope. I thought you should know about the death in case it's going to have further implications for our presence here, though.
<Dezmali> All right. As long as you weren't ... the one doing the killing?
<Veznara> Oh, no! It was... someone else.
<Dezmali> Well, it sounds like you were in the right. That man had every right to his land and you were there defending yourselves, and presumably him.
<Dezmali> There are always Aummesh who will be upset that we're here, but there are a lot of them who are thrilled at all the new opportunities.
<Veznara> I will try not to worry too much about it, then, and only mention it again if there are more problems because of it.
<Veznara> On to the other matter...
<Dezmali> This place has become so much more vibrant in the ten years I've been here - I can't wait to see what it'll be like in the future. I know that must sound odd, but I am very optimistic about the future of the terrritory.
<Dezmali> Oh yes, you mentioned another matter.
<Dezmali> What is that?
<Veznara> The Temple in the marshes.
<Dezmali> Ah, yes.
<Veznara> I've had a thought, and I wanted to ask what you think of it.
<Veznara> What if that temple is the resting place of an undeclared Aummesh saint?
<Dezmali> Ahhhhh, well, that would be very surprising if it were so! Do you think it might be?
<Veznara> Well, don't know if Voice Tegus mentioned it when he spoke to you; but during the night one of our team members had a vision. A woman came, and warned him away.
<Dezmali> Yes, certainly.
<Dezmali> But an abandoned saint is a very serious matter, if that is what you are suggesting. The Aummesh may sometimes seem uncouth to us but they are not savages!
<Veznara> Yet it seems they have an important secret they are trying to hide.
<Dezmali> They being ... whom?
<Veznara> The Sashnir. I have been told that a woman, Kuga Sashnir, was found dead on the Colony Road ten years ago.
<Veznara> Her head had been removed from her body.
<Dezmali> Oh ... yes, I remember that. It happened just a few weeks after I arrived.
<Dezmali> I was just an initiate at the time.
<Veznara> It must have caused a lot of consternation.
<Veznara> If that's the right word.
<Dezmali> Yes although I don't know how much, really. I was so new here, I was just in shock over everything
<Veznara> Well, I believe it may have been done to ensure that she could not betray her family's secrets.
<Dezmali> All right.
* Dezmali shifts uneasily in her seat.
<Veznara> It is terrible, I know.
<Dezmali> In putting you on this task, Veznara, I had hoped to discover some sort of historical mystery that would keep you out of trouble.
<Dezmali> I had not expected murder and Aummesh politics.
<Dezmali> Perhaps I should have.
<Veznara> It may not be as bad as that. But having found that temple...
<Veznara> Would an undeclared Aummesh saint be serious enough for them to kill to conceal it?
<Dezmali> I suppose ... the idea of an undeclared saint is very strange.
<Dezmali> Normally a saint in a community is cause for rejoicing, something to be remembered over the generations, the centuries.
<Veznara> I keep thinking of the saglikom being on the inside, to keep something in. What if it isn't exactly a saint, but something else?
<Dezmali> Hmmm. I wonder.
* Dezmali considers.
<Dezmali> I don't know. I don't know enough about saglikoms. They are the practice here, but not, as I understand it, elsewhere.
<Veznara> The illusion that others in my team experienced... it was the sort of chaotic effect a haunt might produce.
<Veznara> But Erku and I were both quite certain it was not a haunt.
<Dezmali> Well, I trust you.
<Dezmali> What I would wonder is, could it have been done by a person, using magic?
<Dezmali> Either by someone unseen to your group ... or potentially, by a member of your group. Not to be overly suspicious.
<Veznara> Yes, it is something that could be achieved by magic.
<Veznara> I don't know if it could have been anyone in the group. I'll have to think about that, unpleasant a prospect though it is.
<Veznara> I thought that if anything, it would be a magic placed by the Sashnir to defend the place, though.
<Dezmali> That could be. Though that raises the question of what they were defending, at an abandoned temple.
<Veznara> At this point, we can only speculate.
* Veznara sighs
<Dezmali> So what comes next, in your historical investigation? Or are you finished?
<Veznara> That's for you to say! If you're asking whether I've exhausted all avenues of investigation, though, I think there may be more.
<Veznara> I spoke to the Stoneguard Ikhavor the other day to try and get some information about local practices; but I didn't want to let her know about the Temple, in case Voice Tegus had not mentioned it to her.
<Veznara> Would it be significant if he had not, do you think?
<Dezmali> I don't claim to know the thoughts of our counterparts. I don't know what they say at the temples in Taizi, but home in Omba they would say "The Hand and Voice are rarely of the same Mind."
<Veznara> Well, I think there are still some possibilities there. And I haven't had a chance yet to suggest this theory to Yena - I came to you first.
<Dezmali> All right. Well ... I will authorize you to continue to investigate. But Veznara ... I meant what I said earlier.
<Dezmali> I had you do this to keep you out of trouble, not to get you in more trouble.
<Dezmali> If there is anything that suggests that you are putting yourself in any danger in this, you need to cease, immediately.
<Veznara> I'll be careful.
* Veznara sighs
<Veznara> I'm sorry, Dezmali. I wanted to bring you useful information, not new worries or fears.
<Dezmali> No, I appreciate it.
<Veznara> Well, I'll try to find out what I can, without letting anybody know that I'm looking.
<Dezmali> I'm glad. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
* Veznara nods, and takes her leave
Daifan asks Llillilli about poking around the estate of Galdai Ebesnata
* Daifan will approach Llillilli as we are heading out of work for the day
<Daifan> may I speak with you for a moment? I have a private matter I wanted to ask you about.
<Daifan> thank you
<Llillilli> How private?
<Daifan> Very private.
<Daifan> though I don't mind if your family overhears... I think that would be alright.
<Llillilli> The boat, then?
* Daifan considers, then nods
<Daifan> I will meet you there.
* Llillilli will head home, then.
* Daifan will also hed there, but not with her, and will try to be discrete about acually going to/on the boat and staying out of sight while they are there :p
* Daifan will let Llillilli know they are there though ;p
* Daifan will slip inside
- Daifan will look to see if Katenzhi or Jimba are here, but they appear not to be :V
<Daifan> Thank you.
<Llillilli> Is everything alright?
<Daifan> well...that is difficult to say.
<Daifan> There is no emergency, but there are some things that are very concerning to me, and I was helping you might be able to help me.
<Llillilli> What things?
<Daifan> Well... before I tell you that, I should say... they are not things that shoudl be made widely known.
<Llillilli> Why not?
<Daifan> because it could make it more difficult to fix some of these things in a way that will not see anyone hurt. or put into a worse position.
<Llillilli> I don't really understand without knowing what this is about.
<Daifan> I know.
* Llillilli scratches her head.
<Daifan> It is a little complicated.
<Daifan> There is a landowner here who wants to use Corpseborn to work on her plantation
<Llillilli> Is that... good or bad?
<Daifan> it could have been a good thing, if it was honest paying work, but it is not.
* Llillilli pulls her headband off and puffs out her hair
<Daifan> she is a noble, very rich. Her home country is sending her people for this - people who they have rounded up as criminals, who would otherwise be executed.
* Llillilli repeats, narrowing her eyes.
<Daifan> But it is more likely that they want to make her happy, so crimes that might not be so bad will have more severe punishments.
<Daifan> maybe some of them will be dangerous people... but certainly not all of them.
<Llillilli> Real criminals, or like that man who will lose his land over that thing with the pond?
<Daifan> I think, more like that.
<Llillilli> It figures.
* Llillilli snorts.
<Llillilli> So they are making a prison camp, full of slaves.
* Daifan blinks
<Llillilli> People are disgusting.
<Daifan> I think the best thing for these people would be if they are ale to come and live in Banei
<Llillilli> That's where you live?
<Daifan> not in this camp she is building
* Daifan nods
<Llillilli> What do the other people in Banei think
<Daifan> I'm working on that. It could be a lot of people to add all at once.
<Daifan> so we woudl need to be ready.
<Daifan> and like every other place here, sometimes there are tensions between the aummesh and newcomers....and this would be a lot of newcomers.
<Daifan> it would be bad for Banei to let this camp be.
<Daifan> it woudl set a bad precedent, for how people can use and treat us.
<Daifan> that is what I think, anyway.
<Llillilli> So... what's to be done about it?
* Llillilli asks slowly.
<Daifan> I don't have very definite information about all of this yet, though, to figure out what to do. I want to go and see the camp that is being built, but it will mean sneaking on to this woman's lands
<Llillilli> Oh, okay.
<Llillilli> Are you good at that?
<Daifan> I'm pretty good at it, better if I'm not wearing my armour
<Daifan> BUt I would rather not do it alone
<Daifan> Would you help me with that?
* Llillilli considers briefly.
<Llillilli> What's this lady's name?
<Daifan> Galdai Ebesnata. She is a princess from Taizi.
<Llillilli> Like Veznara.
<Daifan> Veznara is not a princess, as far as I know...
<Llillilli> Well, obviously.
<Daifan> but yes it is the same country
<Daifan> I'm going to see if I can find out a little bit more first
<Daifan> but I would like to do this soon.
<Llillilli> I don't have much of a social life.
<Llillilli> So whenever you want is fine.
* Llillilli shrugs.
<Daifan> thank you. I will let you know, then.
* Llillilli nods.
<Llillilli> Does anyone else know?
<Llillilli> I mean, people I know.
<Daifan> no, not yet.
<Llillilli> You said it's alright if Jimba knows...
<Daifan> yes, but it is important not to spread it too far, for now.
<Daifan> I don't want them to expect....trouble
<Llillilli> I understand.
<Daifan> and I don't want anything worse to happen to these people, if officially their crimes could be punished by execution
<Daifan> but yes... I think your family would understand that
<Llillilli> I think so too.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I would be happy to speak to them if they want to know more
* Llillilli nods back.
<Llillilli> DO you want them to come?
* Llillilli asks, uncertain.
<Daifan> mmm maybe not for this?
<Daifan> I don't want too many people
<Daifan> Katenzhi is... not subtle >.>
* Llillilli snorts.
<Llillilli> No she is not.
<Llillilli> And she drinks a lot.
<Daifan> lots of people do
<Llillilli> I guess.
<Llillilli> But it doesn't help with the subtle.
<Daifan> very true
* Daifan smiles
Veznara talks to Asaizi about prominent figures at the fort
* Veznara goes to the gates of Fort Kaskind, and asks to see Hand Asaizi Zaltintivrez at her convenience
<Asaizi> (the guard goes off and returns a short time later, and then escorts you to the small temple inside the fort where Asaizi is often found)
* Asaizi appears after a time.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Hand Asaizi, how are you?
<Asaizi> Hand Veznara. I apologize, I had not expected you. You ... do not have an appointment, do you?
<Veznara> Oh, no. I hope I'm not interrupting anything? I can come back at your convenience if you're busy.
<Asaizi> No, that's fine. Come in. What can I do for you?
* Asaizi asks, still seeming a bit wary.
<Veznara> Thank you. Really, though, I can come back later if it's any trouble. I just wanted to ask you for a little help getting settled in.
<Asaizi> How can I help with that?
<Veznara> I was hoping you could help me get a better sense of some of the people I may be working with here. I know I was introduced to them all when I first arrived, but that was really too short to get to know them as well as I probably should - including you!
<Asaizi> Oh, all right. Well, I'm happy to help if I can.
<Veznara> (Did I even get a tour of the mini-Temple when I was here?)
<Asaizi> I'm from Choradan originally - most of the senior staff here are. I came here several years ago, as General Ghurtai was setting things up around here. For the most part, we all serve at the General's pleasure.
<Asaizi> (maybe? it's just a small little temple)
<Asaizi> Was there something in particular you'd like me to tell you about?
<Veznara> Well, I was called here with my team the other day to testify in front of the Magistrate Oskor Vostizi.
<Asaizi> Ah. I trust you were well-treated, though?
<Veznara> It was very formal, though.
* Asaizi nods.
<Veznara> He seemed very professional.
<Asaizi> Oskor is ... yes, very professional.
<Veznara> (Can I Sense Motive to figure out what her hesitation may signify there? :P )
<Asaizi> (sure, go ahead, surely a high level Hand doesn't have a huge Bluff and a super-high Charisma)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+8
<Veznara> (Nothing's happening! :( )
<Asaizi> (ah we lack a Heather)
<Asaizi> (no rolls are possible because she controls the script, I think)
<Veznara> (Meh, never mind.)
<Veznara> Has he also been here since the beginning?
<Asaizi> Not the beginning. Most of us haven't been here since the *beginning*. But several years, yes.
<Veznara> About as long as you have, then.
<Asaizi> Yes, that's right.
<Veznara> (btw, I take it this kind of meeting isn't secret, right? The contents may be, but the fact that we met wouldn't be?)
<Asaizi> (right, not a secret)
<Veznara> (Kind of late to be asking now... :P but I figure news of the murder has gotten out)
<Veznara> There was also a woman in attendance, Mura of the Gaflikhori. She is an advisor to the General?
<Asaizi> Yes, of a sort. She's a sort of investigator. Hasmalan, I think, definitely not Choradani.
<Asaizi> At one point she was training to be one of us. However, she's not religious at all any more. Perhaps even more than that.
<Veznara> Oh dear. Was that by her choice?
<Asaizi> I don't know all the details.
<Asaizi> It's probably wrong of me to have said as much as I have.
<Veznara> Oh, I will keep it to myself.
<Veznara> I imagine I may have to work with her in the future, possibly. Do you have a sense of what she's like?
<Asaizi> Very smart. Quick witted. But not unkind, for the most part.
<Veznara> And she doesn't resent the Hand, I hope? She simply ended up on another path.
<Asaizi> I couldn't speak to what she thinks on the matter.
<Veznara> As long as she's always treated you with courtesy, I imagine I can expect the same.
<Asaizi> I imagine that's so.
<Veznara> That's good. As I say, I can see how I might end up working with her or testifying before her again at some point.
<Veznara> There was someone else, too. Kikhash of the Urdondu, the head of diplomatic affairs?
<Asaizi> Yes, that's right. Daligashi, I think of very low birth but now very well-connected. He used to be a sentinel, in his youth, but now is a very powerful envoy.
<Veznara> I understand that his presence wasn't actually required - normally he isn't someone I'd be dealing with?
<Asaizi> I couldn't say.
<Asaizi> He does handle all sorts of diplomatic and official matters.
<Veznara> Yes, it must be a broad portfolio!
<Asaizi> Yes, I'm sure.
<Veznara> I think that's it for everyone in that particular hearing. On the way out, I also met Lieutenant Tiz Chomakosh - she wanted to talk to me and our Envoy about another case.
* Asaizi nods.
<Asaizi> Tiz is very good friends with the general, and with me. She comes here regularly.
<Asaizi> She's known the general since they were children, I think.
<Veznara> She's also been here for the same amount of time, then?
<Asaizi> Yes. Many of the military staff have been at the Fort the longest.
<Veznara> That would make sense! And she's a devout follower?
<Asaizi> Oh yes.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Well, that's good!
<Veznara> . I think the particular matter she was asking us about has been dealt with, but I'm sure we may work with her again on others.
* Asaizi nods.
<Veznara> Anyway, those are the people I've interacted with so far.
<Asaizi> Well, Hand Veznara, unless you have any further questions, I probably should return to my duties.
<Veznara> Just whether there other people you think I may meet here through my work at the Registry?
<Asaizi> I'm sure there are ... but you'd be best to ask Commissioner Utus about that, I would think.
<Veznara> I shall do that, then.
<Veznara> Thank you so much for your time, Hand Asaizi - doubly so since I came upon you unannounced!
<Veznara> I'm sorry, I hadn't even thought of it. In the future, I will set up an appointment ahead of time.
* Asaizi smiles.
<Asaizi> You are always welcome here. This temple is also your home.
* Veznara smiles back
<Veznara> Thank you.
<Veznara> I'll leave you to your duties, then.
* Veznara says her goodbyes, and takes her leave
<Veznara> . o O (Well, she seems to be careful of what she says.)
<Veznara> . o O (She probably is wary of me because I'm Taizi, and Zeba is critical of the General.)
<Veznara> . o O (Or maybe she's just naturally discreet? Or both...)
Thelef checks in on Llillilli and she suggests fake marriage as a solution to his problems
* Thelef comes by the boat the evening after the ceremony.
* Llillilli is sitting on the deck.
<Llillilli> I'm here.
<Thelef> Hey. How you doing? Can I come on board?
<Llillilli> Better now that it's getting dark.
* Llillilli grumbles.
* Thelef clambers up deftly.
<Llillilli> How is Hefeth?
<Thelef> He's well. A little shaken up by the whole thing. I tried to explain to him that it's not about him personally, but it's hard to not take that sort of thing personally.
<Llillilli> What happened to Thethu then?
<Thelef> Fifelus escorted him back to Sulise. Made sure he didn't get any new ideas.
<Thelef> There, well, there won't be much that Whuthe will do
<Llillilli> No, huh.
<Thelef> They may be king but they are very careful to not interfere with human affairs.
<Thelef> And they have the solars to think about.
<Llillilli> This counts as that I guess.
<Thelef> ... It's complicated, but you deserve to know what's going on.
* Llillilli is sitting with her legs hanging out over the side of the boat.
<Thelef> It will affect you soon enough.
<Llillilli> Go on.
* Llillilli sighs.
<Thelef> Whuthe is a great leader. They've worked hard to rule in a way that is fair, and engages with humans respectfully, if cautiously.
<Thelef> I have my position at court because Whuthe sees that the hithkindred have value to him. That may sound, I don't know, crass, but it makes a lot of sense. Whuthe respects us.
<Thelef> But the solars, especially Thethu, but behind Thethu is Fellis, at least nominally, don't see it that way.
<Thelef> They see it more as an ... infestation?
<Llillilli> All the solars?
* Llillilli asks glumly.
<Thelef> No, not all of them.
<Thelef> Laelaesi, who is the most senior, is friendly to us. That's why they were doing the ceremony.
<Thelef> But they're of the lihesethi grade, the sunset. Their time to rule is gone.
<Thelef> Now Fellis is in charge, and they're much more powerful, really. Very dangerous.
<Llillilli> So that's bad. For us.
<Thelef> Well. Fellis tolerates us because they need Whuthe. But they also tolerate solars like Thethu who would take direct action against us.
* Llillilli leans on the bottom bar of the railing, resting her chin on her hands.
<Thelef> It's especially hard for Hillisi and Fifelus. Their relationship, it's seen as unnatural.
<Llillilli> By the solars? Or everyone?
<Thelef> By a lot of hith, and a lot of humans.
* Llillilli grunts.
<Thelef> I think, when it was just the Aummesh here, we weren't seen as a threat or a problem. But now with all these ships and armies and factions of Ombesh, and people are scared.
<Llillilli> It is a lot of people.
* Llillilli thinks of the ship full of corpseborn Daifan told her about :x
<Llillilli> I don't like most of them either.
<Thelef> I mean, Hillisi and Hefeth and I are all Aummesh. And you are ... sort of? But now there are others, new people who find out about hith, and want to join our ranks.
<Thelef> And there's people like me, and like Shulilae, who encourage that.
<Llillilli> I sure don't think of myself as Ombesh.
<Thelef> So we get targeted. And in time, you will probably get targeted too. Not that ... well, of course you were struck, but you weren't the target. In a way, neither was Hefeth. Really it was me.
<Thelef> Well, me and Hillisi and Fifelus and Shulilae and anyone who would promote more hithkindred.
<Thelef> An age grade ceremony, it is particularly meaningful to hith. So to do one for us, it's particularly galling to Thethu and their ilk.
<Llillilli> I guess that makes sense.
<Llillilli> So you think it'll get worse.
<Thelef> I'm afraid so.
<Thelef> I know, Llillilli, I know when you chose this path, it was like an escape from the sorts of things you found most awful about human societies.
<Thelef> But hith society has its own customs and practices and conflicts and tensions. This choice, it's not a simple one.
<Llillilli> I know. I guess.
<Thelef> At least you don't have meddling aunts trying to marry you off. Do you?
<Llillilli> I don't think they really care what I do, now that I'm gone.
* Llillilli shrugs.
* Thelef smiles.
<Thelef> Me, I apparently have half a dozen eligible Ombesh noblewomen interested in me.
<Llillilli> That's rough.
<Thelef> Well you know, my family is sort of one of the noble families here, I mean ... not really. Aummesh don't really have nobility. But ... important.
<Thelef> And I'm an eligible young man of the right birth, so there are lots of Ombesh nobles looking to get their daughters into this family so their grandchildren will be eligible for their share of lineage lands.
<Thelef> I've had to develop ... strategies.
<Llillilli> What, like go out with men?
* Thelef laughs.
<Thelef> Not yet, though I've thought about it. But that wouldn't stop them.
<Llillilli> What then?
<Thelef> Well ...
* Thelef blushes.
<Thelef> People believe all kinds of things about the hith, you understand.
* Llillilli blinks at him, not really following.
<Thelef> And hithkindred, well, people see us as deviants. So, I don't discourage that idea.
<Thelef> I keep a pet salamander and have been known to ... stroke her fondly, when I need to run people off.
<Thelef> I know I shouldn't encourage them to think these things.
* Llillilli 's eyes widen.
<Thelef> You must think I'm awful.
<Llillilli> Pff. No.
<Llillilli> I just wouldn't have thought of it.
<Thelef> It won't work forever. My family is very insistent.
<Llillilli> They can't *make* you marry somebody.
<Thelef> That's what my friends tell me.
<Llillilli> Well? Can they?
<Thelef> They can't actually force me, no.
<Thelef> But lineages here are big and powerful and almost everyone I knew growing up is linked in a network of different ties.
<Thelef> It's not as easy as just saying no. At least, not if I want to keep my ties to my family.
<Thelef> You're lucky in that respect, too, that your family is small and the ones you have here seem to understand you a bit.
<Llillilli> The ones I have here are the only ones I have.
<Llillilli> If they love you why would they make you do something that made you unhappy.
<Thelef> Because the Aanilaus family is proud, and because people have political ambitions.
<Thelef> And one of the ways that a family makes itself important is by making good connections.
<Llillilli> It makes my head hurt.
<Thelef> Some of them they put in front of me are so young ... fourteen, fifteen ...
* Thelef shakes his head.
<Thelef> And then I try to defend humans to my hith friends, but that kind of thing ... I mean, the hith don't get married or reproduce until they're fully adult, whesef
<Llillilli> Maybe you could just find someone you don't hate to get them off your back
<Thelef> I don't know.
<Thelef> That might work, or it might just make it worse, if I chose my own wife.
<Llillilli> Well what can they do, once it's done.
<Llillilli> I don't know.
<Llillilli> I don't know about any of this stuff. You probably shouldn't listen to me.
* Llillilli sighs.
<Thelef> No, I appreciate it. You have an outsider's view on all this.
<Thelef> I shouldn't be bothering you with it. I came here to help you, to talk to you about yesterday, not to dump all my problems on you.
<Llillilli> An outsider, yep.
<Llillilli> It's fine.
<Thelef> Look, I'll keep you updated on anything going on with the solars. In the meantime ... you might think about going to Hillisi and Fifelus, for weapons training.
<Thelef> I hate to think about it, but ... you should be better with that pfethe than you are already. Just in case.
<Llillilli> Alright, I will.
<Thelef> And, you know, if you have any questions or anything, well, ask Shulilae, but I'm here too.
<Llillilli> Thanks, Thelef.
<Thelef> Take care, Llillilli.
<Llillilli> You too.
<Llillilli> Watch out for... women I guess
* Thelef laughs.
<Thelef> I'll try.
* Thelef disembarks and heads off into the evening.
Llillilli and Jimba commiserate about feeling like outsiders
* Jimba will go find Llillilli below deck.
<Jimba> Back from the hith thing?
* Llillilli grunts something that might be assent.
<Jimba> How, uh, how was it?
<Llillilli> ... could have gone better
* Llillilli rubs her eyes with the heels of her palms.
<Jimba> You all right?
<Jimba> Something in your eyes?
<Llillilli> ... the sun's disdain
<Jimba> That...sounds vaguely familiar.
<Jimba> What does it mean?
<Llillilli> ... it's, I don't know, like a spell.
<Llillilli> The light hurts my eyes.
<Jimba> Oh, crap. Are you all right? It's not permanent, is it?
* Jimba will move to look at Llillilli's eyes.
<Llillilli> ... They say it'll go away.
* Jimba sighs with relief.
<Jimba> Did something happen at the ceremony?
<Llillilli> ... Yeah
<Jimba> "The sun's disdain." A hith did this?
<Llillilli> ... Yeah.
<Llillilli> A solar.
<Llillilli> They think... they think we're an abomination I guess. Unhatched... hairbeasts or something.
* Llillilli leans forward with her elbows on her knees, hands hanging in front of her.
<Jimba> Well, I am pretty hairy, so that is a point.
* Jimba tries for levity, poorly.
<Jimba> But, I mean, that's got to be only a few of them, right? You've got plenty of friends among them.
<Llillilli> It's the solars.
<Llillilli> Well except Laelaesi.
<Llillilli> But they're old.
<Jimba> A different generation, then. Figures they wouldn't take to new things, like us.
<Jimba> The sun will set on them soon enough.
<Llillilli> No, the one who attacked us is the younger.
<Llillilli> Laelaesi is older. Sunset.
<Jimba> Well, then, they're just an asshole.
<Jimba> The younger, I mean.
<Llillilli> If you say so.
<Jimba> What would you call a human who hates hith just for being hith?
<Llillilli> A bigot.
* Jimba shrugs in a manner to communicate "Well, there you go."
<Llillilli> I'm not a hith though, am I.
<Llillilli> And they think I don't belong.
<Llillilli> Thelef said I should practice more with the pfethe.
<Llillilli> BEcause it will get worse.
<Jimba> I'm saying, the hith belong here just as much as we do, and you can belong there just as much as they do. If some of them think differently, they're a bigot.
* Jimba frowns.
<Jimba> Well, things do seem to be getting more dangerous in general around here. It couldn't hurt.
* Llillilli shrugs.
<Jimba> Are you regretting coming to Kaskind?
* Jimba says after a moment.
<Jimba> Thank goodness. I don't know how I'd manage without someone I trust to watch my back.
<Llillilli> I wouldn't leave you alone.
<Jimba> And, when it comes down to it, I trust you. And Kat, when she's sober.
<Jimba> I know.
<Jimba> I just...it means a lot to me that you came with me, but I also...feel like I took you away from a place you had made for yourself.
<Jimba> I know it's...messier here.
<Llillilli> Shulilae is here.
<Llillilli> And it's messy everywhere.
* Jimba nods agreement.
<Jimba> That's true.
<Jimba> I wish I had something better to tell you. I think things will get better, but they might get worse before they do.
<Jimba> I don't imagine there's anything I can do to help with the hith, huh? I'm not even *huwhi* like you.
* Llillilli sighs.
<Llillilli> Not really.
<Llillilli> They just... don't think we have any business. Learning their ways.
<Jimba> Them, the Aummesh, individual lineages...it's a popular opinion around here.
<Jimba> I kind of feel like you being able to learn their ways qualifies you for learning them.
<Jimba> Especially as you've found people to teach you.
<Llillilli> I'm not really Ombesh. I'm not really Aummesh. And I'm not really hith.
<Jimba> I know the feeling.
<Jimba> That's not true.
<Jimba> Maybe we don't have *a* people, but we *do* have people.
<Jimba> Each other, Kat, you have Shulilae and Helithae.
<Jimba> Daifan's becoming a friend, it seems like.
<Llillilli> Yeah... I like her
* Jimba smiles and shrugs.
<Jimba> We make our own place, our own people.
<Llillilli> Maybe you do.
<Llillilli> I don't really... people
<Jimba> Well, you'll always have a place wherever I am, if you want it.
<Jimba> And you people fine, with the right people.
<Jimba> Persons. Whatever.
<Jimba> I feel like we're barreling towards a linguistic misunderstanding using 'people' so much.
* Jimba grins.
<Jimba> Okay, well, that deck isn't going to scrub itself. I *guess* you don't need to help, being solar-ically disdained and all.
<Llillilli> I'm not the one who craps all over it.
* Jimba will give Llillilli a quick side hug as he gets up.
* Jimba laughs.
<Jimba> Fair enough.
<Jimba> I'll get started on dinner when I'm done. Get some rest.
* Jimba will take one more surreptitious appraising look from the door, then leave Llillilli alone.
Llillilli goes for training with Fifelus and Hillisi
<Fifelus> (OK, the two of them have a cozy little hut lying right on the coast just outside of Timiil. You see them at the shore, lifting and moving rocks.
* Llillilli wanders down to the shore. She has brought her pfethes and armor with her.
<Llillilli> (what are they doing with the rocks?)
* Fifelus is a short hith but quite muscular, red with broad horizontal green bands across their shoulders and back.
* Hillisi is human, built more thinly, average height and dark skin with dark wavy hair, maybe in his late thirties, you'd guess?
<Fifelus> (you don't know - they seem to be picking them up and throwing them around?)
* Fifelus spots you first.
<Fifelus> Hello, sister!
* Fifelus calls out
* Llillilli waves
* Llillilli walks a bit closer.
* Hillisi puts down his rock.
<Hillisi> Lllillilli. You're up and around. That's good.
<Llillilli> What are you doing with the rocks?
* Fifelus laughs.
<Fifelus> Well, when we started, we were looking for crabs.
<Fifelus> We got distracted.
<Hillisi> Maybe *you* got distracted. I want crab for dinner.
<Llillilli> Oh, okay.
* Llillilli clearly does not get it
<Fifelus> You seem to have come prepared for battle. That's a good sign.
<Llillilli> Thelef said I need more training.
<Llillilli> Because of what happened.
<Llillilli> He said I should ask you.
<Hillisi> He chose ... wisely. You probably do need more training.
<Fifelus> Be kind, big penguin. She's been through a lot.
<Llillilli> Yeah I know. Being a dumb kid and all.
<Fifelus> What Hillisi means to say, I'm sure, is that there is battle ahead. And we were very impressed by your actions the other day.
<Llillilli> All I did was get hit.
<Hillisi> What I mean to say is that you were brave, and no doubt your bravery has earned you their ire.
<Llillilli> More of it
<Fifelus> Well ... little sister, you need to understand that you are stepping into a long history here. We can definitely train you - Hillisi especially, has many hidden talents. Why ... well.
* Hillisi coughs.
<Fifelus> We can give you the training you need.
<Fifelus> But the price may be too high.
<Llillilli> You want money?
* Llillilli frowns quizzically.
<Hillisi> Turtle, don't be obtuse with her.
* Fifelus laughs.
<Fifelus> No, not money.
<Fifelus> I just mean that, if it were known that you were training with a couple of fishaeshi ... well, you already have one mentor who isn't much liked, do you want two more?
<Hillisi> There is a stigma, associated with us, is what they mean.
<Llillilli> Well, they think we're all fishaeshi, don't they. I don't care about that.
* Hillisi nods approvingly.
<Llillilli> And Shulilae... They don't like them *because* of me and Hefeth.
* Hillisi looks at you, then shrugs.
<Hillisi> All right, you've made your case.
<Fifelus> What we can teach you, Llillilli, is very dangerous. Used poorly, you can harm yourself grievously.
<Llillilli> That's true for any weapon.
<Hillisi> Especially for the pfethe though. Especially for humans with the pfethe.
<Llillilli> How so?
<Hillisi> We're not so used to drawing out fefoe as the hith. And the pfethe is just that: a tool for draining energy from the living.
<Hillisi> It's a weapon not designed for our hands. But ... well worth learning.
* Fifelus nods vigorously.
<Fifelus> Hillisi's not being melodramatic ... well, not especially, for him.
<Llillilli> I thought I was doing alright with it...
<Hillisi> For a novice.
<Hillisi> You are only at the beginning.
<Fifelus> Be kind, eyebrows!
<Fifelus> What you've learned is the very basic elements. To use the weapon as a human would use it.
<Fifelus> And that's natural. You're human.
<Llillilli> So everyone keeps reminding me.
<Fifelus> Pfethe, you understand, means thorn.
<Fifelus> And a warrior, or pfethus, is like, a thorn-bearer. But the thorn can bite the wielder.
<Hillisi> Twenty years ago, I was you, little sister.
<Hillisi> I'm sure you can learn.
<Fifelus> Of course. But first you have to set aside the idea that the pfethe is a spear. It's a thorn - part of a living thing, and you're going to make it part of your body, part of a living system.
* Llillilli says slowly, with a look of determination.
<Hillisi> The pfethe becomes an organ of sensation as well as destruction.
<Fifelus> You'll learn over time. Hillisi, when I started training him, didn't know anything. But now he's probably better than me .. well, as good as me. But *not* at rock-throwing.
* Hillisi chuckles.
<Hillisi> A human is always at a handicap relative to a hith. We can't draw out fefoe as quickly or readily. But you will learn, if you have patience.
<Llillilli> How much patience?
* Fifelus breathes out quickly, the hith equivalent of a sigh.
<Fifelus> Humans ...
<Hillisi> It won't happen overnight. The first thing we need to do is to teach you that a pfethe is not like any other weapon you've used.
<Hillisi> What else do you have that you fight with?
<Llillilli> Me? I mean...
<Llillilli> I have a hunting knife.
<Llillilli> I don't really... fight with it.
* Hillisi nods.
<Hillisi> See that you don't. You'll disrupt the training.
<Hillisi> Honestly you should avoid tools as well. Shovels, picks, hoes, poles, that kind of thing.
* Llillilli frowns, clearly lost.
<Hillisi> A weapon is a tool. A pfethe is not.
<Llillilli> I'm not supposed to use tools?
<Llillilli> At all?
<Fifelus> It was adorable, when I trained Hillisi, I convinced him to eat with his hands for a month.
<Fifelus> That was ... unnecessary.
<Llillilli> You're making fun of me.
* Llillilli says it as an observation.
<Hillisi> Yes, they are.
<Hillisi> But it's true, sort of. Just ... you need to put yourself in the mindset where things that could remind you of a pfethe, or that you would wield like a pfethe, don't interfere.
<Fifelus> All right, then. You came today ready to train?
* Llillilli says grimly.
<Fifelus> All right, let's go up behind the house then. Can't have you falling on these rocks. There's some great mud up behind the place where you can fall as often as you like.
* Fifelus and Hillisi take you up and give you a good workout, which is surprisingly painful for training, but they do treat you to a crab dinner afterwards.
* Llillilli limps home afterward.
Nezha updates Daifan about the prisoners
* Daifan can stop by with little Shira - everyone wants to see the baby, right? >.>
<Nezha> (eee magic baby!)
* Daifan will knock
* Nezha answers the door.
<Nezha> Oh, hello! And ... hello, little one!
* Nezha smiles warmly.
<Daifan> I wanted to stop in and catch up on some things.... but also bring Shira around so she can meet more people :3
<Nezha> How very exciting! Shira, welcome!
<Nezha> How is everybody adjusting?
<Daifan> well... there is a lot to learn.
<Daifan> We are all managing with less sleep, but that's just how it is. She is worth it.
<Nezha> You're very lucky to have three sets of eyes to watch her.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> yes, we all get a bit more rest that way
<Daifan> Spider and I can still work okay
<Daifan> Sheepstealer has been taking her fishing... so I think she will grow up to be a daddy's girl
<Daifan> but it is very early to say, isn't it?
* Daifan asks her
<Nezha> I suppose so.
<Daifan> (I meant Shira ;p)
* Daifan looks up at Nezha and smiles though
<Daifan> woud you like to hold her?
<Nezha> Could I?
* Nezha reaches out to take the baby!
* Daifan will pass her over
<Daifan> you just have to promise to give her back ^_^
* Nezha makes no promises!
* Daifan knows they'll get her back once she gets stinky or fussy, so that's okay ^-^
<Nezha> Well, come on in, then! Would you like some tea?
<Daifan> tea would be lovely, thank you. I can even make it, since your hands are full now.
<Nezha> All right, thank you.
* Daifan can get the water started and locate some cups for now
<Daifan> how have you been?
<Nezha> I've been well. Busy.
<Daifan> aren't we always...
* Nezha cuddles little Shira.
<Nezha> Yes but sometimes we are busy with very cute things!
<Daifan> so cute
<Daifan> do you think you would ever try for one of your own?
* Daifan asks, genuinely curious
<Nezha> Oh, ahhh ... I don't know about that. It doesn't seem wise.
* Nezha says a little wistfully.
<Daifan> how do you mean?
<Nezha> Well ... to try to raise a baby alone.
<Daifan> Well, what about not alone?
<Nezha> Well, I don't know. Who knows what could happen?
<Daifan> many things, many things...
<Daifan> Back home, I had a cousin, Hopper, and he and his partner wanted a baby, but of course the hand would not be likely to hand one off to two men. So they foudn two girls who wanted a babye
<Daifan> and the four fo them ended up raising two little girls together :x
<Nezha> Well, I would think about it if the circumstances are right.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> the other thing to do is find some housemates and convince them to get one
<Nezha> I'm not sure Lady Galdai would be too happy about it. She might fire me.
<Daifan> ahh yes
<Daifan> Well, woudl she need to know? >.>
<Nezha> Well, no, but she would probably figure it out eventually. She's rather clever.
<Daifan> ahh, that is too bad
<Daifan> Well, you are welcome to come and cuddle this little one as much as you like. I want her to have people all over Banei, not just here
<Nezha> That's wise.
<Daifan> or mayebe Vaski all over Toadtown :3
<Nezha> That would make Prickles happy, anyway.
<Daifan> hah, maybe >.>
<Daifan> I think she is mad that we have her >.>
* Nezha sighs.
<Nezha> She's the aizeron, you know, just ... not used to so many of us, breaking up how things used to be.
<Daifan> Yes, we could not....meet what she thought woud be appropriate ...qualifications... for her to speak to the Hand for us....
<Daifan> so we went to Timiil ourselves
<Nezha> I don't know how things used to work before here, when it was just the Aummesh.
<Daifan> me either
<Daifan> but there are, I think, better ways to build this place up :|
<Daifan> plus... well. maybe there will be even more of us soon.
* Nezha sighs heavily.
<Nezha> Yes. Quite soon, I think.
<Daifan> ...how soon?
* Daifan looks concerned
<Nezha> Sometime next month I think.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> do you know anything more?
<Nezha> Well, they are building those, those lodgings or whatever they are, on the grounds.
<Nezha> I told you that right?
<Nezha> They aren't very secure looking ... if the budal who are coming are meant to be criminals.
* Daifan says dubiously
<Daifan> can you tell me where they are?
<Nezha> I mean, like you were saying, they may not be *criminals*. But they are definitely prisoners.
<Daifan> When the workemn are there?
* Daifan nods
<Nezha> What do you mean?
<Daifan> or whosever is building them >.>
<Daifan> I would like to go see for myself. Maybe I can uderstand better how many will come...
<Daifan> also if I can say more then it might be easier to find help for them
<Nezha> Be careful, Smiles.
<Nezha> Galdai is a very serious person.
<Daifan> I understand that.
<Nezha> That envoy from the fort was here last week and I think they were talking about them.
* Daifan nods
<Nezha> Lady Galdai was talking about prisoners, and a place, I don't know it, Gagambor?
<Nezha> It sounded like all the budal are coming from the same place?
<Daifan> (Have I ever heard of it?)
<Daifan> well. I will see what I can find out about this place as well
<Nezha> I have to ask ... why are you asking me these questions?
<Daifan> I want to try and help them, that's why, and I cant do that if I don't know anything.
<Daifan> But I don't want to put anyone at risk
* Nezha nods.
<Daifan> So maybe I should stop bothering you about it, and we can just play with this little one and have some nice tea. :|
* Nezha smiles.
<Nezha> Just promise me you won't do anything stupid.
<Daifan> That is not my intention.
<Daifan> . o O (Not that I have a great track record -_-)
<Daifan> but people who make the worst decisions often don't see it at the time... so we will see :p
* Nezha smiles.
<Nezha> That's certainly true.
<Daifan> I promise I will try not to do anything stupid.
<Nezha> Do you hear that Shira? Daifan promises to try to not be stupid. Yes, that's right? Do you believe that? You don't know, because you're just a baby!
* Daifan chuckles at that
Daifan confers with Balinteze about the corpseborn prisoners
* Daifan keeps their head down inside the fort and will try and loiter someplace they think they might be able to find Kemai >.>
* Balinteze always seems to know when you're loitering, and soon enough shuffles over in your direction, in the guise of an elderly lady. You recognize them only because they've used this one before.
<Balinteze> Oh hello there, young lady. Say, do you know the way to the Eyes of Morud?
<Daifan> Of course Ma'am, this way...
* Balinteze seems very spry for an elder ...
<Balinteze> Oh, thank you, thank you.
* Daifan will lead this lady of of prying eyes, anyway >.>
<Balinteze> You seem nervous. You don't need to be. No one ever pays any attention.
<Daifan> Oh... its only a little that.
<Daifan> Though I don't like bothering you at work.
* Balinteze smiles.
<Daifan> partly its just because I'm tired -_-
<Balinteze> A new baby will do that to you.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> there is another thing though
* Balinteze perks up.
<Daifan> Do you know anythig about Gagambor?
<Balinteze> It's a town. In western Taizi.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Are there many budal there?
<Balinteze> In the town? No ... but I think there is an aizer nearby. I forget what it's called, if I ever knew.
<Daifan> well. Maybe not for much longer. I hear it is full of criminals >:|
<Balinteze> Hmm. That is interesting.
<Daifan> that is not how I would put it.
<Balinteze> Disconcerting, then?
<Daifan> yes, maybe
<Daifan> concerning, at least.
<Daifan> it is all a lot to think about, or deal with
<Balinteze> Where did you hear this?
<Daifan> is it better for you to know or not know? >.>
<Balinteze> It's always better for me to know.
* Daifan sighs
<Daifan> Of course you woudl say that >.>
<Daifan> From Wolf, who heard Lady Galdai and Envoy Kikhash speaking about it.
* Balinteze rubs their eyes.
<Daifan> you'll smudge your makeup.
<Balinteze> All right. Well. Let's assume that Wolf heard right. And let's assume it's true.
<Daifan> she said they woudl be coming in the next month sometime.
<Balinteze> What would it mean, that the new budal are from Gagambor? Maybe there's a new jail there I don't know about, or a fort, where they were being held? Hmmm.
<Daifan> or not.
<Balinteze> Or maybe there's been some sort of uprising there? That would create a lot of 'criminals'.
<Balinteze> But that would be very dangerous.
<Daifan> well, we'll know soon enough
<Daifan> She said the structures did not look very secure for housing rea criminals
* Balinteze nods.
<Daifan> I will go take... a careful look >.>
<Balinteze> Hmm. You sure about that?
<Balinteze> You understand that Galdai Ebesnata is not only the cousin of the Emperor himself, but a powerful mystic in her own right?
* Daifan sighs
<Balinteze> All right then. Don't get caught.
<Daifan> She is powerful and dangerous, I know.
<Daifan> I won't.
<Daifan> She can't be allowed to just do this, though, no matter who she is.
<Balinteze> I don't disagree with you.
<Balinteze> I just don't want you to die.
<Daifan> I'll do my best not to :p
* Daifan hugs their chest
<Balinteze> I am thinking maybe I will ... send a message back home, see what I can find out.
<Daifan> do you have any better ideas?
<Daifan> Please dont get yourself in trouble.
<Daifan> There is probablyb not time, anyway.
<Balinteze> Before they arrive? Probably not. But they're going to be here a long time.
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> And if it's really urgent, I have ... urgent means.
* Balinteze smiles knowingly.
<Daifan> I think it is better if you don't.
<Daifan> at least,,, not yet
<Daifan> like you say. They will be here for a while
<Balinteze> I know a lot more about these people than you do. Don't worry about me. I won't say I'm invincible but ... I don't know how to end that sentence in a way that doesn't make me sound like an asshole.
* Daifan looks dubious
<Balinteze> I won't do anything that will put you in danger.
<Daifan> I don't want to put *you* in danger.
<Daifan> invincible or not
<Balinteze> I appreciate your concern.
<Balinteze> It's adorable.
<Daifan> I think that is more likely, no matter what you say.
* Daifan rolls their eyes
<Daifan> I should go
<Balinteze> Probably. I'll find you if I learn anything.
<Daifan> thank you.
* Daifan will slip back out of the fort and try not to get too upset over things :|