Thirteen 2 session 22
Lucas helps Svald come to an agreement with the owlbear spirit. Meanwhile, Skalla does some more explaining to Thekla. She later talks to her mother and aunt about Welumque's expedition for the governor and the opportunities it provides, and lets Hildie in on the plan. HIldie is asked to carry a letter by one of her military friends. Weleumque speaks to her old friend's daughter about the trip. Thekla asks Skalla to deliver a letter for her as well. Meanwhile, Kaarina poaches Pierre from Charlotta's for her own new business.
- Session date: 2022-09-18
- In Game date: following up on the last session (within a day or two)
Lucas helps Svald speak to the Owlbears spirit and they make an arrangement
<Narrator> Lucas, you're able to return to your room at your boarding house and retrieve the materials you need for a ritual to contact Svald's spirit...associate.
<Narrator> Presumably, Svald (as well as Welumque and Yalwa) are waiting when you return.
* Nary will start getting things set up as required
* Nary is now known as Lucas
* Lucas will start getting things set up as required
<Narrator> Ostensibly, this is a relatively simple working as these things go. Are you taking any particular precautions or anything like that?
* Forthright is now known as Welumque
<Lucas> (what do I think are reasonable risks of something like this? I mean, if there's a chance Owlbear Spirit starts raging out, I might ask the others to leave?)
<Narrator> (You wouldn't think so, but you could lay out a circle to contain it just in case, if you like.)
* NPC2 (email@example.com) has joined #thirteen
<Lucas> (hmm. I will not do that, I don't think. It feels like if the spirit decides it wants to leave, circling it in would stop it from leaving, and maybe it seems disrespectful? like if I'm going to a meeting with you but I'm like 'yeah don't mind if I just lock you in this cage, as a precaution' ;)
<Narrator> (Heh, okay, makes sense.)
<Lucas> (I don't inherently distrust it so I will just tell the others that if they want to leave, they can do so.)
<Narrator> Yalwa looks concerned, but will decide to stay.
* Lucas will talk to Svald first too
<Lucas> I don't think this is a danger, but you know the spirit better than I do. If you start to think something is wrong, tell me and I'll take whatever measures needed to help you.
<Lucas> It will be all right.
* Svald nods.
* Lucas takes Svald's hand, comfortingly.
* Svald smiles fleetingly and squeezes your hand
<Lucas> You'll be all right.
* Lucas says with a smile in return, and then will start his ritual.
<Narrator> Lucas, roll Lore, and Svald, roll Will.
<Lucas> !roll 4d3-4
* @Lan-werk rolls for Lucas: [ 4d3-4 ] getting [ 1 3 2 2 ] for a total of [ 8 ] which, after the modifier [ -4 ] totals [ 4 ].
<Svald> !roll 4d3-4
* @Lan-werk rolls for Svald: [ 4d3-4 ] getting [ 3 1 1 2 ] for a total of [ 7 ] which, after the modifier [ -4 ] totals [ 3 ].
<Narrator> Lucas, you use a stone bowl to light a small fire of herbs and waft the smoke over you and Svald. Sitting opposite each other, you slowly drift into trance and find yourselves in a dark, starlit wood. Svald, you recognize the terrain from your previous interaction with the spirit.
* Lucas looks around
<Svald> I've been here before...
<Lucas> A familiar place?
<Svald> The spirit spoke to me here.
* Lucas nods
<Lucas> Owlbear spirit, we want to talk with you.
* Lucas says out loud
<Narrator> For a moment, there's no response, but then you both hear a low hoot nearby, through the trees.
<Svald> It's alright...
<Svald> Just talk, really
<Lucas> We mean no disrespect or harm.
<Narrator> There's no immediate response.
* Svald looks at Lucas kind of helplessly
* Lucas will try to put out more of a ... signal to the spirit. an owlbear signal, if you will.
<Lucas> (just putting out more energy/calling for it)
<Narrator> (Roll Will)
<Lucas> (I don't suppose I could use Rapport? I'm good at Rapport with spirits. but Will is fine if that's what is needed :)
<Narrator> (Oh, yeah, that works)
<Lucas> (using my Spirit Communion stunt)
<Lucas> !roll 4d3-4
* @Lan-werk rolls for Lucas: [ 4d3-4 ] getting [ 3 1 3 1 ] for a total of [ 8 ] which, after the modifier [ -4 ] totals [ 4 ].
<Narrator> There's another hoot, a bit nearer, and, after you hear some movement nearby, the gigantic owlbear will shuffle into the clearing.
* NPC2 is now known as Owlbear
* Owlbear inclines its head towards you both.
<Svald> Thank you...
<Lucas> Yes, thank you
<Lucas> My friend is... willing to work with you.
<Owlbear> And good work we have done.
* Lucas says, glancing at Svald to make sure they're on the same page
* Svald nods.
<Svald> It's only that... we can't do more 'work' if they find me... us.
<Svald> Or if I get hurt doing it...
<Lucas> They need to be a more equal partner in this bond. If they cannot remember what happens, or know when they will be called on, they will be in danger, and so will you.
<Lucas> In return, they can offer you... respect, dedication, companionship. They can work with you if you are willing to work with them.
* Owlbear wuffles.
<Owlbear> What do you propose?
* Lucas looks to Svald
<Svald> If there was even a way that I could remember what happened, like Lucas says...
<Svald> Or know when to expect the change.
<Lucas> A warning of sorts before they will be needed?
<Lucas> an agreement of how often or for how long they'll be called upon?
* Lucas suggests
<Owlbear> And in return?
<Svald> I will be able to help keep our secret. To keep us safe.
<Lucas> You want to be able to hunt for those who have hurt others. We'll make sure you don't get caught.
* Svald nods to Lucas.
* Owlbear wuffles again.
<Lucas> We can help find those people.
<Owlbear> That...could be useful.
<Lucas> Maybe there is a way you and Svald can talk, without my needing to intercede.
<Svald> You spoke to me in a dream before...
<Owlbear> We would need to strengthen our bond to commune more readily.
<Lucas> How would you want to do that?
<Owlbear> (to Svald) We would have to allow each other within.
* Svald nods.
* Lucas feels a minor qualm but this is Svald's call
<Lucas> It's your decision.
* Lucas says to Svald.
<Lucas> You don't have to do it if you don't want to.
<Lucas> but if you think it would be easier to have that communication line open.. it's an option.
<Svald> I'll do it.
* Lucas nods
* Owlbear approaches Svald, towering over them even on all fours.
* Svald 's eyes widen
* Owlbear lowers their head to where their eyes are level with Svald's.
* Owlbear moves their head forward to touch Svald's.
<Narrator> Svald, you have a sensation similar to when you open your consciousness to sense magic, but much, much bigger. It's an overwhelming feeling, but not unpleasant, and you lose yourself in it momentarily.
<Narrator> You both find yourselves once again in Svald's studio. Svald, the colors appear sharper, more vibrant. Lucas, you quickly notice Svald's eyes are no longer their usual pale blue, but instead a deep golden orange.
<Svald> the colours..
* Svald gasps, their eyes wide.
* Lucas smiles a little
* Svald recovers their composure.
<Svald> I think it worked... did it?
* Lucas nods
<Svald> Oh good... Thank you, so much.
<Lucas> Now you're like me. You can talk to the spirit with your own spirit.
<Lucas> Your eyes...
* Svald smiles.
<Svald> Like you...
<Svald> what about them?
<Lucas> They changed. Mine did too, when it happened to me. They're gold coloured now.
<Narrator> (I think we can have Skalla enter this scene if you like, Heather)
<Svald> Oh... that must be why everything looks so different...
Skalla explains more to Thekla
<Narrator> Skalla, the other hunters manage to follow Svald's owlbear trail for a while, but lose it relatively quickly, to much frustration. Thekla trades a few concerned looks with you, but holds her tongue. After you all return to the Jordbrukares', she'll fall in with you to ride back towards the Stormsvallvag estate.
* Skalla nods to her
<Thekla> So...now can you tell me what that was about back there?
<Skalla> To the extent of my understanding.... I can give it a shot
* Thekla nods for you to continue.
<Skalla> (Sorry was looking up a name and then decidng if I wanted to use it ;p)
* Skalla takes a moment to figure out where to start
<Skalla> On our last expedition, towards the end of it - we were travelling with Gillis of the Säteri out to find the Koowäho’ke, who she wanted to try and set up trade with
<Skalla> we ran into a few of their scouts, who asked us if we had run into a missing trapper
<Skalla> we hadn't.
<Skalla> It was soon after that, we were awoken in the middle of the night by an attack on the camp. One of y house guards had been grabbed by something while he was sleeping and dragged off into the woods
<Skalla> Have you ever seen an owlbear?
<Thekla> Once or twice. Hadn't known them to attack people too often, especially without provocation.
* Skalla nods
<Skalla> A few of us went after it, and that's what we saw - what we thought we were facing.
<Skalla> But I put a few solid rounds into it tryng to get it to drop him, and it didnt even seem phase it.
* Thekla frowns.
<Skalla> In the end, Hildie tagged it with her sword, and it didn't like that. but it was the only thing that seemed to hurt it.
<Skalla> It's something she got from her grandmother, very old country - we figured afterwards that it must have been blessed.
<Thekla> So, some kind of spirit or something?
<Skalla> Yes, or something.
<Skalla> We werrn't able to recover the guard, but aother of my poeple had been hurt, so we had to travel slowly and we weren't able to make it to the village before the next night - and we were stalked again
<Skalla> We circled up the wagosn, lit torches, to try and keep it away
<Skalla> Lucas Flood was with us, and by then we had more of a sense of what we were dealing with, so he put up some spirit wards and that sort of thing
<Skalla> Wen we didnt think we could keep ti out longer that way we figured we'd keep it in, and managed to trap it inside the wards instead
<Skalla> In the morning - what we found inside those wards was the missing trapper
<Thekla> A shapeshifter? Like a berserk?
* Skalla nods
<Skalla> She'd been trying to keep away form people, and shes had some kind of talisman she'd gotten from the chrch that helped her keep it under control
<Skalla> but she'd lost that
<Skalla> We eft her with the Koowäho’ke, who knew her, and thought they maight be able to help her.
<Thekla> So, presumably, she's not what happened here, but you think it's related?
<Skalla> I think its... similar, but there's some importnt differences
<Skalla> This thing didn't just go for the first person it encountered that was vulnerable.
<Skalla> It could have dragged someone out of a cabin
<Skalla> It didn't attack the slave woman who is missing, either. Thats'... very different from what we experienced
<Thekla> It still killed someone.
<Skalla> its not ideal.
<Skalla> The trapper wasn't ever conscious of her actions, she never remembered
<Thekla> And you still think it's better we don't track this thing down?
<Skalla> I'm going to go back and consult with peopel I know, like Lucas, who have more experience with these things, to understand what might be different in this case, and try and figure out if there is something we can do to stop it from hapening again.
<Thekla> You'd be taking the law into your own hands, Skalla.
* Skalla makes a face at that
<Skalla> I'm more interested in justice
<Thekla> There is a difference between justice and summary execution.
* Skalla frowns while trying to put together her response.
<Skalla> There's not *laws
* that apply to spirits, and there's no justice in holding people accountable for actions that aren't their own when they have no control. I'm not saying I'm the best person to figure this out - I know that I'm not BUt given everything else that is happening i theb colonies right now, I don't think we need to sart up a public... witch hunt, either. There are people that
<Skalla> I trust to help resolve this in a better way.
<Thekla> There absolutely are laws that apply to spirits, just not mortal ones, but I agree about holding people accountable for actions that aren't their own.
* Thekla frowns.
<Thekla> You truly think you can keep this contained?
<Skalla> I'm pretty confident. I understand the consequences if I'm wrong.
* Thekla sighs.
<Thekla> Okay. I won't say anything, for now.
<Thekla> But this seems like it's dangerous.
<Thekla> Just...I'm here if you need me.
* Skalla huffs in relief
<Skalla> Thanks. I do appreciate that.
<Thekla> Like you said, tensions are high enough right now.
<Thekla> And I don't want to see anything bad happen to...anyone.
* Skalla eyes her at that, but nods
<Skalla> . o O (oh no does she think it's me >.>)
<Narrator> (You can roll Empathy, if you like)
<Skalla> !roll 4d3-8
<Skalla> (lol 0)
<Svald> (you could use an aspect I'm p sure... to Look Out for your People mb)
<Narrator> (She does not count as one of her people, but if you have another aspect to apply, by all means, I'm open to arguments :) )
<Skalla> (its okay, I don't need to use a fate point on windering if Thekla thinks I'm a wer'eowlbear ;)
<Narrator> (Hee, okay)
<Thekla> But you think you have people that can help?
* Skalla says with much more confidence
* Thekla nods.
<Thekla> All right. Be careful, then, and I'm sure I'll see you soon.
* Thekla will turn her horse to head towards her own home, then.
<Skalla> Thank you.
* Skalla will take her own horse home, and then go to check in wih Svald and whoever else is in the studio
Skalla returns from the hunt and explais how it all went
* Skalla knocks
<Svald> ... hello?
<Skalla> just me
<Svald> Oh, come in.
* Skalla will do
<Skalla> Well, everyone is more or less off the scent, but I had to tell Thekla some things to get to to cooperate
* Svald nods but does look a tad worried
<Skalla> she's the only one of the the lot who is a half decent tracker, and she'd have figure it out
<Svald> What did you say?
<Skalla> I told her about what happeed with Maja Verasdottir
<Skalla> I didn't ssay anythig about you
<Skalla> I did tell her I would try my best to see if I can keep from having it happen again.
<Skalla> "He's a fucker who deserved it" wasn't an argument that I could really sell.
<Skalla> So - how are thigs going here?
<Svald> um... good..?
* Svald laughs nervously
* Lucas will go over to Welumque to let them talk.
<Lucas> [q] I think Svald and the owlbear spirit have ... bonded.
<Welumque> [q] How do you mean?
<Lucas> [q] They made a deal. I don't know how it will affect them going forward but they should at least be able to talk with one another.
<Welumque> [q] So there's no possibility of getting it to ... leave?
<Skalla> wait... what hapened to your eyes?
<Skalla> were they like that before?
<Svald> I made a .. pact with the spirit
<Lucas> [q] I think Svald is ok with it staying, they just wanted to have more... say over what it did.
<Skalla> okay - that's good?
<Svald> Now I will be able to know what's going on at least... and maybe in time, it will be easier...
<Welumque> [q] Well, if anyone is good to help them adapt to that ... condition, it would be you, my mem.
* Lucas nods but looks a little uneasy.
<Skalla> so it *could
* happened again.
<Svald> I guess...
<Svald> I didn't see another way.
* Lucas will quietly take out the snake and just see how it's doing in all of this.
* Owlbear is now known as Rattlesnake
<Skalla> I trust you. I'll do my best to keep you safe.
<Skalla> Just.... try to be careful, please?
* Rattlesnake seems a little agitated, but not necessarily upset.
* Lucas will just give it some calming vibes and try to chill, not gonna make a big scene about it with all these folks around.
<Svald> I will...
* Skalla will take that.
Skalla talks to her mother and aunt about Welumque's expedition
<Narrator> (Skalla, when do you want to approach your mom and aunt? Later this same day?)
<Skalla> (ha ha ha sure :D)
* Rattlesnake is now known as Berit
* Thekla (firstname.lastname@example.org) has joined #thirteen
* Thekla is now known as Charlotta
* Berit and Charlotta are talking in your mom's study when you head back into the house eventually.
* Skalla knocks before entering, just as a heads up ;p
<Skalla> Hello Mother, Aunt Charlotta
<Skalla> how is your day going?
<Charlotta> Not busy enough.
<Berit> What happened with the Jordbrukares' overseer?
<Skalla> hah, well, I havd something I wanted to check with the both of you about
<Skalla> Oh him. He got eaten. He probably deserved it.
<Skalla> but - Welumque has asked me to go on an expedition to Talat Kabira
* Charlotta laughs.
* Berit frowns.
<Skalla> She was asked by the governor
<Skalla> to get a sense of how things are going there
<Skalla> and she also invited me to come along
* Berit frowns further and shoots her sister a look.
<Berit> That *is
* a good opportunity, I suppose, but not without its dangers.
* Skalla nods
<Skalla> okay. I'm willing. I woudln't mind getting out of town, honestly.
<Skalla> Always >.>
<Skalla> but let me now what I shoudl take, and if there's anyone in particular to deal with there.... for goods or whatever else.
* Berit looks at her sister again, then back to Skalla.
<Berit> We'll put together some trade goods, but Governor Therasdottir has the right idea. We mostly need to know what's going on. You should take your cousin Hildegaard, at least. After your last trip, I get the sense she wouldn't like you to go without her in any event.
<Charlotta> I have some friends in Talat Kabira you should talk to. They'll have a pretty good idea what's what.
<Skalla> Yes, Hildie's coming... I should probably tell her ;)
* Skalla nods
* Charlotta chuckles at that.
<Berit> You're going to need to stay out of trouble while you're there. Keep as low a profile as you can. We can't afford to spark any conflicts.
<Charlotta> Come now, Berit. Certainly you trust your daughter not to get into anything untoward.
* Berit sighs.
<Skalla> hah. Well. I will do my best.
<Berit> I know. You always do.
Skalla lets Hildie know she's been voluntold, and they talk about Svald
* Skalla will go find her cpusin when she is through
* Hildie will be skulking around the estate, trying to pretend she's not deathly interested in all the goings on with Svald.
* Skalla calls put as she approaches
<Hildie> Cousin. Busy monring, eh?
<Skalla> (calls out)
<Skalla> Thank you for giving me some space.
<Hildie> Anything I should be worried about?
* Skalla sighs
<Skalla> I hope not.
* Hildie quirks an eyebrow.
<Skalla> I just... theree's a lot happening. I get that you mean well but Svald is still pretty scared of you from before so like.... be gentle there, okay?
* Hildie sighs as well.
<Hildie> Yeah... I know.
<Hildie> I'm just concerned.
<Skalla> you're not alone. It's concerning.
<Skalla> But we're getting out of town for a bit which should help
<Hildie> It's my fault this happened...
<Hildie> Where are we going?
* Skalla rolls her eyes at the 'its not my faut'
<Skalla> Talat Kabira
<Hildie> What's in Talat Kabira?
<Skalla> trade, alsoways, but also a better seince of what's happening in Khalijan
* Hildie nods.
<Skalla> (always, gah, and a abetter sense)
<Hildie> When do we leave?
<Skalla> soon, I think
<Skalla> Mother and auth Charlotta are putting together some things. Lucas is coming, and I'd like to take Svald as well
<Skalla> if she is up to it
<Hildie> What about Pierre and Welumque? Are they tagging along this time?
<Skalla> ah, yes, it's Welumque's expedition this time
<Skalla> I don't know abputPierre
<Hildie> I'll round up a few guards for escorts, then and see to getting the wagons ready. Are you sure Svald is ok to travel again?
<Skalla> that's up to them.
<Hildie> What if she comes over all... hooty...
<Skalla> Well, then Lucas will be there and he can help
<Hildie> And if he can't?
<Hildie> I mean, I don't want that to happen, but it's my job to expect the worst.
<Skalla> He did it before
* Hildie nods.
<Hildie> Ok. I'll pack my things again. When they told me I'd be in charge of security for an estate I never imagined it would involve so much travel.
<Skalla> great - I'll see you later, then.
* Hildie gives her cousin a smile
<Narrator> You can both take some time to make preparations for the trip.
Lieutenant Marta Bergen asks HIldie to deliver a message during the trip
<Narrator> Hildie, a message is delivered for you early the next day. It's from a friend of yours, Lieutenant Marta Bergren, who serves at Fastning Irena (the actual fort for which the town is named). She asks if you could meet for lunch at a tavern on the waterfront.
<Hildie> (I assume there is time before we leave?)
<Narrator> (Yeah, i think you have a few days)
* Hildie will head to the tavern to meet her, then.
* Berit will be waiting, currently out of uniform. She about your age, from the old country, with long, braided blond hair and currently clean-shaven.
<Berit> (Ack, forgot to change the name first)
* Berit is now known as Marta
<Hildie> (Heh, I figured ;) )
* Marta will be waiting, currently out of uniform. She about your age, from the old country, with long, braided blond hair and currently clean-shaven.
<Hildie> Marta! Good to see you!
* Marta smiles to see you, and stands to shake your hand.
* Hildie will shake her hand warmly.
<Hildie> It's been a while. How've you been?
<Marta> You as well, Hildie. I feel like we keep missing each other, between patrols and your trade missions.
<Hildie> Yeah, my cousin has been keeping me busy.
<Marta> Well enough. Obviously everyone's a bit on edge.
<Marta> Good busy, at least?
* Hildie shrugs.
<Hildie> Interesting busy. Which is almost as good.
* Marta smiles.
<Marta> Anything interesting at the moment?
<Hildie> Nothing earth shattering. We head out for a trade mission in a few days. The usual. You?
<Marta> General Nylund's keeping us close because of the stuff at Alhusan Al'aswad.
<Hildie> Speaking of, have you heard anything about what's going on up there?
<Marta> It's not as bad as we'd feared, at least. I know the person they've put in charge, a little, and she's kept the violence from spreading so far.
<Marta> I don't actually think it's going to come our way at all, but it might spread north, which would be bad for everyone.
<Hildie> Mmmm. Hopefully it will stay contained. But I guess the general just wants to play it safe.
<Marta> The governor, too.
<Marta> Which is, ah, why I have to confess this isn't entirely just a friendly visit.
<Marta> However much it *is* good to see you.
<Hildie> Here it comes...
* Hildie grins and crosses her arms.
<Marta> Do you think you could deliver a message to a counterpart of mine in Talat Kabira?
* Hildie 's smile fades a little.
<Hildie> ...how did you know we're going to Talat Kabira?
<Marta> The governor has military aides.
<Hildie> Are you working directly for the governor now?
<Marta> I work for the general, who works for the governor.
<Hildie> Fair enough. Sure, I can take a message. Anything for a friend. It's not anything sinister, is it?
* Marta shakes her head.
<Marta> Just some unofficial coordination with our allies.
<Marta> We don't have direct orders from home, yet, and the Thing voted against getting directly involved right now.
<Hildie> The general and governor aren't going to go against their orders, are they?
<Marta> Nobody's doing anything, really. Just...being prepared.
<Hildie> I can get behind that at least. I just hope no one does anything stupid. This whole continent feels like it's sitting on a powder keg since I got here.
* Marta nods.
<Marta> I know what you mean.
<Marta> Something something snakeskin turned into a fuse? There's something there for someone more poetic than me.
* Hildie laughs.
<Hildie> It's a good thing we're soldiers and not poets.
* Marta laughs as well.
<Marta> How's the leg?
<Hildie> It's... better than it was a year ago, but still not near what it was five years ago. On a good day I can almost walk without limping.
<Marta> What about riding?
<Hildie> Riding is fine. I was never great at it, but I've been trying to get better.
<Marta> We can always use more cavaliers.
* Hildie smirks.
<Hildie> Can you picture me in cavalry? I'd get unhorsed at the first gunshot. But maybe some day. I'm still young, as it has been repeatedly pointed out to me lately.
<Marta> It's not a bad thing.
<Hildie> For now I've at least got a job and family here. I guess that's not nothing.
<Hildie> So what's this message and who do I give it to?
* Marta will hand over a sealed letter.
<Marta> This goes to Naqeeb Hamidah Naaji.
* Marta will tell you where to find her.
* Hildie will stick the letter in her coat pocket and get back to chatting about less consequential things, then.
Welumque speaks to Nushetu, daughter of Olpekat, about her upcoming trip
<Narrator> Welumque, Nushetu is the daughter of your friend Olpekat, and the current leader of the Takoong’oto on Sisawinak since her mother left to become a clan elder. She'll come talk to you once she gets wind you're heading out again.
<Welumque> Nushetu, be welcome. Let me just get the tea on.
* Welumque fusses about and does so, while making sure her esteemed guest is comfortable.
<Nushetu> Thank you, kahètët (auntie, essentially. A term of respect and kinship). I brought a pot of soup and some salpon (frybread) for you.
<Welumque> Thank you, the mems will be happy!
* Nushetu smiles.
<Nushetu> I heard you're putting together another trade mission?
<Welumque> Yes, to Talat Kabira.
<Welumque> It's been a long time since I've been up that way.
<Nushetu> This seems like a strange time to head that way.
* Welumque pauses, then nods.
<Welumque> Quite strange.
<Nushetu> Can I ask what prompted this?
* Welumque pauses.
<Welumque> An elder, not of our people, has asked for my help. And I judged it prudent to say yes.
<Nushetu> Not of our people, eh?
<Welumque> Indeed. But an elder whose help might be very useful someday.
* Nushetu regards you a moment.
<Nushetu> Stordam or Mariannas?
* Nushetu nods.
<Welumque> I'm not being asked anything that would put me in danger. No skulking.
<Nushetu> That's how I knew it wasn't the fort. You wouldn't have agreed to something that might blow back on your people.
<Nushetu> And Stordam is a good ally to court. They have less to lose when we get our lands back.
<Welumque> I have been making various Stordammer friends here, not people in real power yet, but people who I think will be on our side, when we need them to be.
<Welumque> Bearing in mind that none of them are Lexkweyok, that is as good as I can ask.
<Nushetu> None of them are Lexkweyok now, at least.
* Welumque laughs.
* Nushetu chuckles along.
<Welumque> That reminds me, I am sending a young person to stay with our people.
<Welumque> A Yoseba woman, enslaved by the Ilhatani, and needing a place away from here.
<Welumque> No doubt her masters will treat this as theft, but there is nothing to be done about that.
* Nushetu huffs dismissively.
<Nushetu> She wouldn't be the first to come to us to escape their captivity. May her feet be swift and her pursuers blind.
<Nushetu> Is there anything we can do to help?
<Welumque> I don't think so. I was going to send her to my clan, as I always have kin coming here for one reason or another.
<Welumque> But if you wanted her to your mother, of course that would be fine too.
<Nushetu> I see no reason to interfere if you already have it taken care of, but we're always ready to help. I wish my mother thought as...broadly as you do.
<Welumque> She is cautious, which I understand. And one missing slave won't incite any attention, but if there were many, and if they all went to one place, well, even the blind Ilhatani would notice.
* Nushetu nods reluctantly.
<Nushetu> They may have trouble holding onto them in any event.
<Welumque> Yes, and that is, I suppose, related to the trip to Talat Kabira.
<Welumque> To know how bad things really are, not just in Sisawinak.
<Nushetu> Makes sense. No one seems to really know what's going on, and there's not a lot of news coming from up north. It has a lot of people spooked.
<Welumque> My goal is to go and be as ordinary and unremarkable as possible.
<Nushetu> Well, luckily we're largely beneath notice, eh?
* Welumque laughs.
<Welumque> In this household we only tell short jokes when the talls aren't about.
<Nushetu> Of course. Otherwise they'd go over their heads.
<Nushetu> In any event, I'm glad you're watching out for us in all these goings on.
<Welumque> I'll keep you apprised if I learn something important.
<Nushetu> I'd appreciate at. Like I said, let me know if there's anything we can do to help. Caution has it's place, but action will need to be taken at some point, I'm sure.
* Welumque nods.
<Welumque> And soon, I'm afraid.
<Nushetu> If it helps, know you are far from standing alone.
<Welumque> It does help.
Thekla asks Skalla to deliver some messages for her as well
<Narrator> Skalla, Thekla Gudinashand will call on you the next morning.
* Nushetu is now known as Thekla
* Skalla is sure we have rooms for this kind of thing and can see her there
<Thekla> Sorry to bother you again so soon. I'm sure you've got a lot going on.
<Skalla> It's no trouble
<Skalla> what's up?
<Thekla> So, you know word travels fast on the island, especially among the Families.
<Thekla> I hear you're headed to Talat Kabira?
<Skalla> yes - that *is* fast! I just started organizing yesterday.
<Thekla> Can I assume this isn't just a trade mission?
<Skalla> I mean... I can't stop you?
* Skalla says with a bit of a shrug
* Thekla gives you a skeptical look.
<Thekla> Fair enough.
<Skalla> why's that?
<Thekla> Well, regardless, it presents an opportunity.
<Thekla> I was hoping you might be willing to take some messages along to some friends up that way.
<Skalla> I can probably do that, though my mother has begged me to stay out of trouble
<Thekla> Well, hopefully this wouldn't get you in trouble. It's not like there's anything offisical.
<Skalla> Good enough. I certainly owe you.
<Thekla> I...am specifically not trying to trade on anything like that.
<Skalla> I wasn't thinking of it as a trade.
<Skalla> More like... a mark of trust? Maybe?
<Thekla> Right, sorry, I just meant...yeah.
<Skalla> it's okay. We're living in intresting times
<Thekla> I trust you, too, and I think we've got a lot of things in common, so...
<Thekla> If this is too much to ask, I completely understand.
* Skalla smiles
<Skalla> It's really not.
* Thekla smiles back.
<Thekla> Thank you.
<Skalla> you're welcome
<Thekla> Do you know when you're leaving?
<Skalla> in the next day or two, I think
<Skalla> It's Welumque's expedition, so we're on her timeline
* Thekla nods.
<Thekla> All right. I'll get you the letters tomorrow, then?
<Skalla> that should be fine
<Thekla> Thanks. I'll see you then.
Kaarina stops in to see Pierre and offers him a new job!
<Narrator> Pierre, Kaarina stops by the cafe that evening, which isn't in itself unusual, as she tends to do that most days now.
* Pierre smiles on seeing her, and goes over to join her as soon as he conveniently can
* Thekla is now known as Kaarina
<Kaarina> Well hello there. How's your day been?
<Pierre> Fine, but it just got better! How about you?
<Kaarina> Pretty good. I had an interesting conversation with Hjalmar today.
<Kaarina> You know how you helped him with his press a little while back? He's thinking of opening his own shop.
<Kaarina> Or, rather, investing in one.
<Kaarina> Him opening his own shop would be...strange.
<Pierre> Oh? And would I happen to know the person in whose shop he'd be investing in?
<Kaarina> You just might...
* Kaarina grins.
* Pierre grins back, but then the grin fades somewhat.
<Pierre> Will he, ah, expect you to print things for him?
<Kaarina> That's kind of the idea, yeah.
<Kaarina> I mean, I'd be printing other things as well, of course.
* Pierre frowns in worry
<Pierre> If anything were traced back to you...
<Kaarina> I'll be careful, Pierre.
<Kaarina> And I was...kind of hoping you might like a job.
<Pierre> Of course. But no matter how careful you are... Oh!
<Pierre> I... well, are you sure? I can do my best to keep the presses running, but I'd have an awful lot to learn about the business.
<Kaarina> Everyone has to start somewhere. I mean, if you prefer it here, I guess I would understand...
<Pierre> Oh, no! I mean, Madame Charlotta has been kind enough, but I never intended to stay here forever. The idea of working with you is... well, um... not at all unappealing.
* Pierre smiles
* Kaarina smiles back.
<Pierre> When would this start?
<Kaarina> In the next few weeks, I think.
<Kaarina> We're still figuring it all out, and obviously there's a lot going on.
<Pierre> Uh... I hate to ask, but how much would I be earning?
* Pierre belated realizes that he has to keep that in mind
<Kaarina> Well, it's skilled labor, even if you're basically starting an apprenticeship, so room, board, and [a decent amount more than you're making at Charlotta's].
<Pierre> Wow! Uh, I mean, those terms are acceptable!
<Pierre> I just hope you don't get sick of seeing too much of me.
* Kaarina leans over to give Pierre a peck on the cheek.
<Kaarina> Do you know if Ms. Charlotta is around?
<Pierre> (Is she?)
<Kaarina> I didn't want to poach you without talking to her.
<Kaarina> (She is, presumably in like her office or similar)
<Pierre> Yes, she's in the office. And yes, it would be nice if I could stay long enough for her to find a replacement... but it sounds like that will work out perfectly with the timing.
<Kaarina> Sounds good! Should we go talk to her?
* Pierre smiles
* Kaarina smiles, stands, and will hold out her hand for Pierre.
* Pierre takes her hand happily
Lucas warns Svald to be careful with their new spirit friend
* Lucas will step aside with Svald when there's a chance for them to talk privately.
* Svald looks at you questioningly.
* Lucas looks sort of troubled.
<Lucas> I wanted to tell you... this happened to me too. Not exactly the same, but similar.
* Lucas tries to think how to continue explaining, but shakes her head.
<Lucas> It wasn't like being taken over. It was like I was... chosen for it. I was special.
* Svald nods slowly.
<Lucas> And maybe that makes a difference, I don't know...
<Svald> Maybe... I do feel like the spirit and I were more... thrown together.
<Lucas> I thought I was doing the right thing. Because I felt like I was... this was my destiny, it was for my people, it was the right thing to do.
<Lucas> But it led me to do things that... that later I saw were wrong.
<Svald> You must have been so young, though...
<Lucas> But I just wanted to say... if you ever feel like the spirit is trying to make you do something that you feel is wrong, you can resist it. And I guess... to keep your own heart true even as you try to follow what it asks of you.
<Svald> I will try not to lose sight of myself. Will you help me?
<Lucas> Of course I will.
* Svald smiles warmly.
* Lucas takes your hands in hers.
* Svald squeezes them :>
<Lucas> I'll always try to help you.
<Svald> Thank you... I'm so glad I met you.
<Lucas> Me too.. If I had known you earlier, maybe things would have been different.
<Svald> Maybe... but we're here together now, at least.
* Lucas shrugs a little, smiling
<Lucas> (like embarrassed)
* Lucas looses your hands, realizing she's still holding them and looking a bit shy.
* Svald blushes, also realizing
<Lucas> Well... that was, um, really all I wanted to say. I don't mean to worry you, spirits are all different, and this is such a different situation.
<Svald> No, I appreciate it.
<Svald> I've never been involved in... anything like this, and you know so much more about spirit magic than I do.
<Lucas> It was what I was trained for, and I guess I'm just glad it can be helpful for you.
<Lucas> I'll let you get back to things...
<Svald> Well, if you ever need to talk to a bear, I can do that...
* Svald laughs self consciously.
* Lucas smiles at that
<Lucas> I hope it will be good to you.
<Lucas> It's kind of like having a relationship - it can be good, or bad.
<Lucas> or both, sometimes, I guess.
<Svald> I wouldn't really know about that...
<Lucas> Me neither I suppose.
<Lucas> Only from my, my former spirit I guess.
* Lucas looks a bit awkward
<Lucas> Is that weird?
<Svald> I couldn't really say!
<Lucas> I knew I was never going to get married to a, a physical person. Because I was already, well, taken. That's what it was seen like, for my people.
* Svald nods.
<Lucas> Anyway... that's in the past now.
<Svald> HOw are things going with your new friend? :>
<Lucas> Okay so far. I guess I'm a little wary, after what happened before, but it seems different to me.
* Svald nods again.
<Svald> That makes sense.
<Lucas> It feels like a more equal relationship so far.
* Lucas smiles slightly
<Lucas> Which is...nicer.
<Svald> I hope mine will be too...
<Lucas> I'll try to make sure it is.
<Lucas> If you need anything, just let me know. I'm here to help.
<Svald> Thank you, again.
<Lucas> You're welcome.
* Lucas will head off, then.
Charles's impromptu ballad of Owlthem:
- Owbearthem, Owlbearthem,
- They're a balance of butch and femme;
- Watch them be
- Munching on an overseer
- Look out! here comes the Owlbear them!
- Are they tough? Listen, Jim,
- They can tear you from limb to limb!
- They are tough! They are strong!
- Don't you get their pronouns wrong.
- Hey there... there goes the Owlbearthem.
- In the liiiiight of day, they appear mild, and meek;
- But when niiiiight holds sway, they sprout claws and a beak!
- Owbearthem, Owlbearthem,
- Fierce non-binary Owlbearthem!
- They have plumes, they have fur,
- But they're neither a him nor her.
- To them, life is just full of gore... ah,
- If you're in Callidora
- Beware the Owlbeartheeemmmm!