Ashnabis session 1

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The group visit the farm of Ilben Zhuldofi to investigate whether he has abandoned his claim or not, on behalf of Zefa of the Teltai. They inquire with Ilben's neighbour Jenam Kergoze about Ilben's whereabouts, and then continue to the farm, where they are attacked by bogwiggles at the river's edge. They find the farm vacant and locate Ilben's body in a pond on the property.


Session date: Dec. 9, 2018
Fair Cycle date: Fikho, I.E. 765


<Ashnabis_Narrator> The sun shines bright at your backs as you look out across Nimneha Bay on this spring morning. Rain will surely come later, but for now, you are content to bask in the growing warmth, an hour past dawn. Your destination today is Fort Kaskind, the center of Ombesh civilization in the once-wild, still hardly-tamed land of Ashnabis.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Five thousand souls live here in the town of Kaskind itself, including all of you, gathered around the good harbour and high ground, while all around you lies the eldritch and daunting Sestapor Swamp, home of Aummesh fishers, hunters, foragers and pirates... and worse.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The Fort is the jewel of the town, established here fifteen years ago by the Choradani, where the course of the North Kaskos river meets the bay. Its purpose: to ensure order at a time of great chaos, brought on by the booming production and trade of the purplish root known as fos.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> No mere vegetable, fos is the only known way for humans to tap into the Source of the Universe, to alter the contours of reality, if only for a time, through what is known in vulgar speech as magic. The discovery of Ashnabi fos here, after centuries of declining and weakening crops far to the north in Basai, has brought dramatic change not only to this region, but to the entire known world.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The six of you, each in your own way and for your own reasons, have come to be employed by the Land Registry at Fort Kaskind. The pay is decent, and being attached to the fort gives you at least nominal access to the halls of local power. General Ghurtai, the military commander of the fort and governor of the Kaskind Territory, is no autocrat, but no one is confused about who’s in charge.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The Registry is responsible for handling land claims, resolving disputes between claimants, keeping and maintaining up to date maps and guides to the Territory’s lands as well as those lands outside the immediate area. As agents, you are expected to be flexible, handling crises and challenges that might emerge, which are all too common in a time when fos is plentiful and law is not.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The land registry itself is a low one-story wooden building with a long reed and thatched roof with a wide overhang. It’s not fancy - the structure was erected around six years ago, before which time the fort itself handled these sorts of issues directly when necessary. You head in, eager to see what fresh wonders lie ahead.

The group meet with Utus and receive an assignment

<Ashnabis_Narrator> You come into the commissioner’s office, where Utus is seated behind his simple desk, really more of a table. Next to him is the registrar, Ifral Zamurg. And seated across from them is a woman you don’t recognize, presumably a client.
<Utus> Good morning, agents. Please come in and have a seat.
* Utus waves to Daifan, in the direction of a seat in the corner.
* Utus is a slender, fit middle-aged clean-shaven man with curly dark hair. He wears a dark green robe with a wide embroidered fringe at the bottom, as well as a brown cloak held together with a clasp of green beads. Atop his head sits his envoy’s black and white cap, which you’ve never seen him wearing before while at the registry.
* Ifral is a short, gaunt man around thirty, dressed in a Choradani blue-green riding jacket and narrow pants, with a black leather belt decorated with blue vumuri spiral shells, a sign of his aristocratic rank. As usual, he seems very tired. He is sitting at the table, with several books and papers at hand.
* Jimba will take a seat.
* Daifan will sit where directed - in the corner unobtrusively
* Junan will lounge in a chair
<Utus> I would like you to meet Zefa of the Teltai. She has paid the fees to have us investigate a land claim. Please pay her close attention.
* Veznara nods, and moves to a seat.
* Llillilli stands behind Jimba.
<Utus> Zefa, perhaps you would care to explain to these folks what the situation is?
* NPC2 is now known as Zefa
* Jimba turns to regard the client.
* Zefa is a light-skinned, fair-haired woman, perhaps between thirty and forty. She is wearing loose white cotton pants, a purplish patterned short dress overtop it, and a purple and white hip scarf around her waist, fastened with what appears to be a ruby clasp or similar stone. She is wearing the black-and-white cap of the envoy, perhaps suggesting why Utus is similarly attired.
<Zefa> Good morning.
* Zefa greets you politely
* Utus settles in, taking a sip from a ceramic mug with decorative feet.
<Veznara> Good morning.
<Jimba> (Ombesh?)
* Zefa is speaking Ombesh, yes.
<Junan> good morning to you as well
<Jimba> (likewise Ombesh) Good morning.
* Katenzhi nods in greeting.
* Veznara is a tall, stately looking young woman with dark skin. She is dressed in high-quality scholar's clothes, with a few pieces of jewelry.
<Zefa> To begin with, I should say that I'm a merchant who travels up and down the North Kaskos quite often, transporting trade goods by boat.
<Zefa> There is a particular plot of land, near a curve in the river, that is held by a farmer by the name of - what did you say his name was?
* Zefa asks Utus
<Utus> Ilben Zhuldofi.
<Jimba> (Does that name mean anything to us?)
<Utus> Originally from Basai, came here several years ago and staked his claim, and has been working this plot ever since.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You can roll K: Local if you have it. Also Junan, you can roll Perception.
* Daifan is a pretty dressed somewhat similarly to Zefa... a short dress over lose cotton pants, but these are made of strips of complimentary prints
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 17 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 24 ].
<Junan> !roll 1d20+4
* Daifan rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 7 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 11 ].
<Junan> (that was perception)
<Junan> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 1 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 6 ].
<Junan> (K-Local)
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 10 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 15 ].
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Junan, she's an envoy - envoys generally don't forget things like names. If she was told his name and didn't remember it, that would be weird, so probably she's making a deliberate show of making Utus tell you, like it's beneath her or something.
<Lan_phone> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Lan_phone: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 8 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 13 ].
<Daifan> (K: local)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Jimba, you think you somewhat recognize the name - he's a farmer along the river, as stated. Keeps to himself mainly, you don't know him well. You do know the general location of his farm. The rest of you have no idea.
* Llillilli shrugs.
<Utus> Having paid the requisite fees, Zefa has requested an investigation on the claim to be launched immediately, to see if it should be revoked and reapportioned.
<Jimba> What's the problem?
<Katenzhi> Any reason to think it should?
<Llillilli> Why would it be revoked?
<Zefa> The last three trips I've made, I have seen no signs of activity at his farm. On the most recent one, indeed, it appeared to be quite overgrown, as though untended.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> I guess that shouldn't be too hard to verify.
* Daifan has warm brown skin and dark eyes, and is dressed somewhat similarly to Zefa... a short dress over lose cotton pants, but these are made of strips of complimentary prints. Daifan's hair is covered by a scarf, and is also wearing a long sleeveles vest with some patchwork diamonds over the chest (belatedly)
<Utus> Well, I hope not. But of course there are many reasons why a plot of land might not be tended, not all of them warranting revoking the claim entirely.
<Veznara> If I may, Envoy, Commissioner: how long a period of time has it been? Three trips over...
<Utus> Over a period of several months, is that right Zefa?
<Zefa> I make the journey about once a month, so for three months I have not seen him or any activity at his farm.
<Utus> Of course there are innocuous reasons why he might not be tending the land. It's possible he has abandoned his claim. But as I'm sure you're aware, there are also many more troubling reasons why he might no longer be present.
<Jimba> Right.
* Llillilli is a freckled, dark skinned girl; slight, wiry and on the short side. She is wearing a dark orange dashi as pants, with no top. She is quite flat-chested. Her hair is locced and points back from her head like spines, held back from her face by a wide yellow headband.
<Utus> Pirates, raiders, natural disaster, fire, attack by beasts ... something more sinister ...
* Utus enumerates the reasons on his hand, leaving the rest to your imagination.
<Utus> We don't have any particular reason to suspect Aummesh dissenters are working the ordinary farmers of the North Kaskos, but there are enough of them out there.
<Veznara> May we see the maps of the area?
<Utus> Certainly. Ifral?
* Ifral produces a map of this general area of the river, showing all the plots of land along it. As it's an area not too far from the town, it has been heavily settled by farmers and nearly all the good locations are occupied.
* Ifral points to one, indicating Ilben's claim.
<Veznara> (Are there other claims surrounding his?)
* Junan hums a tune to himself as he glances over the map
<Utus> The area in question is just a couple miles to the east of the area of the Territory proper.
* Katenzhi is a large, confident-looking woman. She wears cotton pants and a tight top that seems more a necessity than even a passing nod towards modesty. Her clothes are plain and functional though she does have a nose ring, several ear piercings, and assorted jewelry on her wrists and ankles.
<Ifral> His nearest neighbour is here - another farmer named Jenam Kergoze.
* Daifan sorts of peers from where they are sitting, but doesn't really have a good view :p
* Ifral points to a plot slightly closer to the town - you would need to pass by it in order to reach Ilben's farm.
<Katenzhi> We can check in with them on the way.
<Katenzhi> See if they've seen him lately
* Jimba is a tall, wiry dark-skinned man. He is wearing a red patterned dashi as pants. His black hair is close-cut, his beard likewise.
<Utus> I agree, very sensible, Katenzhi.
<Veznara> Were there any problems with the claim when it was first registered?
<Jimba> (How long a trip is it?)
<Utus> There weren't any problems listed on the notes. Those were early days for this office - I had just taken the position, and I don't recall much about it, and nothing about him.
<Ifral> Nothing indicated in our records - I wasn't working here then, but there was nothing noted about any particular hazards or dangers there, beyond the ordinary of course.
<Veznara> And the claim was not contested by anyone, I take it.
<Veznara> (Can I notice anything of particular interest on the map? :D )
<Utus> Not at the time. It is a nice plot - a good landing spot for boats, with good access.
<Utus> Now, Zefa's challenge, if held up, obviously would free us up to reapportion it to her, if warranted.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Jimba, the trip would be perhaps half a day by boat, if there were no complications.
<Utus> Any more questions?
<Ashnabis_Narrator> It's upstream so it takes a bit longer to get there than to get back.
<Katenzhi> Sounds straightforward.
<Veznara> (Would that half day include stopping by the neighbour?)
* Veznara nods
* Junan is slim and tall, just under 6' with short cropped black hair and brown eyes. He is dressed in a comfortable and functional cotton pants and a tunic. A chain with a bronze pendent is the only jewely he is sporting today.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> No, if you stop somewhere that would add to the time. But you need to go by the neighbour's farm anyway. If you stop or how long you stop for is up to you.
<Jimba> Should be relatively quick. We could be back tomorrow if things go well, more likely the next day if there are complications.
<Utus> All right, then.
<Utus> Zefa, thank you for coming in. We'll look into this immediately.
<Utus> You are all dismissed.
<Zefa> Thank you very much.
* Jimba nods politely at the three of them and makes his way out.
<Junan> Job is a job
* Daifan will slip out once we are dismissed
<Llillilli> Yup
* Junan pulls himself out of his seat and makes his way out
<Jimba> Seems simple enough. How soon can people be ready and meet us at the docks?
* Veznara rises and nods to the Commissioner and Envoy, then goes to join the others
<Llillilli> Well I live there.
* Daifan will wait outside for other people so we can make plans or, more likely, they can just tell me what to do
<Llillilli> All my stuff is already there
<Junan> So how far is it?
<Llillilli> So, very soon
<Junan> by boat I mean?
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Sorry, didn't get your question earlier Veznara - no, you didn't notice anything especially noteworthy about the maps.
* Jimba gives Llillilli a -_- look.
<Llillilli> what
* Jimba laughs.
* Katenzhi rolls her eyes.
* Utus is now known as Ashnabis_Assistant
* Daifan looks between them, feeling as though they are missing something, but shrugs
<Daifan> My things are here.
<Veznara> Well, it sounds like something untoward may have happened.
<Llillilli> Maybe they just died
<Katenzhi> Those aren't mutually exclusive.
<Junan> got lost, fell in a hole, came into money and left?
<Junan> why guess?
<Llillilli> Why not
<Jimba> We have a half a day to pass, anyway.
<Daifan> ...You have a boat, then?
<Llillilli> Yup.
<Jimba> We have a boat, yes.
* Daifan nods
<Veznara> I suppose we should collect supplies and be on our way, then.
* Jimba gestures to include Kantezhi and Llillilli.
<Jimba> Say, an hour? Is that enough time for people to get their things and meet up at the docks?
<Jimba> We're at [insert directions here].
* Daifan nods

The group travel upriver towards the farm

<Ashnabis_Narrator> Okay - you can go gather up any supplies you want to bring, and meet back at the docks as directed.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> (someone want to describe what the boat looks like?)
<Veznara> (So food, bedroll, etc.)
* Junan shows up with his gear, wearing his hat this time
<Katenzhi> (Something like this, I believe we said replica-of-a-roman-wine-boat-stella-noviomagi-or-star-of-neumagen-neumagen-dhron-moselle-rhineland-palatinate-publicground-X7XG3P.jpg)
<Jimba> (More like Omaha0006.JPG)
<Jimba> (This is an actual keelboat, which is what we bought)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> cool
* Veznara returns with some rations, a bedroll, and in traveler's clothes.
* Llillilli is on the boat leaning out over the railing, waiting
* Veznara also has writing/mapmaking materials
* Katenzhi joins Llillilli, now wearing her armor.
<Katenzhi> So what do you think? Miss Envoy took him out for his claim?
<Llillilli> Nah
* Jimba is also wearing his hat now, a wide-brimmed straw one. He has on his padded tunic, essentially a reinforced Choradani jacket
<Llillilli> Well.
<Katenzhi> Wanna bet?
<Llillilli> I dunno. didn't do it herself.
<Llillilli> Too prissy.
<Jimba> She wouldn't have us look into it if she did.
<Jimba> I think.
<Llillilli> I feel underdressed.
* Jimba will wave to the folks who don't live/work on the boat.
<Junan> I think your dressed fine
<Katenzhi> She would have to if she wanted to get the claim.
* Daifan will show up in about an hour with a few things, but having swapped the cloth vest for a bulkier ones made of scraps of leather that probably more or less functions as basic armor.
<Llillilli> Oh, okay
* Junan has his chain shirt on, bow and quiver on his back, and his lute
<Veznara> I hardly think an Envoy would do such a thing.
* Veznara says sternly
<Llillilli> People do all kinda things
<Katenzhi> They're still human.
<Jimba> Lot of money in fos. People have done crazier things.
<Veznara> If she did, it is for us to find out.
<Llillilli> Yeah
<Llillilli> that's literally the job
<Llillilli> that they're paying us
<Llillilli> to do
<Llillilli> I'm getting my armor now.
<Daifan> ...may I come aboard?
<Llillilli> Sure man fill your boots
* Katenzhi waves Daifan up
<Jimba> Oh, yes, sorry
<Jimba> Everyone, welcome aboard.
* Llillilli disappears into the cabin part.
<Junan> be quite a journey if you made half of us walk
* Llillilli comes out soon after wearing lamellar armour made of a translucent, yellowish material.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Once all of you are aboard, you can set off up the river, and continue your conversation as you travel.
* Daifan will board, assuming she isn't in the way of anyone else coming on ;p
<Katenzhi> We'll throw you a line and let you follow along behind ;)
* Junan sets his pack in a nice spot to make comfortable seating spot
<Jimba> I thought about seeing if I could do that with Washteppo, but she's too small, I think.
<Veznara> What of the wildlife here? I assume the farmer could have fallen victim to an animal attack...
* Daifan glances up at Katehzhi's 'joke' but says nothing
<Junan> Who is Wahteppo?
* Daifan will find somewhere out of the way to be, not knowing any of these poeple well
* Jimba points to a covered part of the deck where a baby hippo is dozing.
<Daifan> o_O
* Llillilli drifts to the edge of the group.
<Katenzhi> Excuse my cousin. He has a thing for strays.
<Junan> Now thats unexpected
<Jimba> Don't worry about her. She's a people person at heart.
<Junan> And so's that shirt? What is that made out of?
<Llillilli> (me?)
* Junan says to Llililli
<Llillilli> Lithus
<Llillilli> My friends made it.
<Junan> Can I touch it?
* Katenzhi laughs
<Llillilli> ... No
* Llillilli moves closer to the railing.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You travel up the winding North Kaskos, which the locals call Maripak. It is not the fastest route to get to the main branch of the Kaskos river, due to its meandering course, but it is well-travelled and populated due to its proximity to the town and to good land for growing fos.
* Daifan waits to see if anyone else is going to ask the 'obvious' question
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Although you’re travelling upstream, the swampy river is deeper in this rainy spring season, and you find the rowing not too difficult. You pass by great cypress trees, their root systems extended almost into your path, drinking the watercourse and proudly proclaiming their age.
* Llillilli lurks near Daifan
* Daifan is not sure what to make of that
<Daifan> ....what is Lithus?
* Daifan will ask, if no one else will :x
<Llillilli> Oh... it's...
<Llillilli> the Hith make it.
* Jimba will mostly be working the rudder, though he's happy to switch off to row if Llillilli or Katenzhi wants to take over.
<Daifan> oh.
<Llillilli> They excrete it from their pores.
* Katenzhi will man the sails
<Daifan> Ahh.. okay @_@
<Daifan> ....Your friends are Hith?
<Llillilli> Yeah.
* Daifan nods.
* Junan will idly play some tunes on his lute while we travel, and offer everyone a swig from his skin, which he filled at the Red Stump on the way to the boat
<Daifan> (Everyone? >.>)
<Llillilli> You're Daifan right
* Katenzhi will eagerly accept.
<Daifan> (I mean if it is a general offer, I will just assume it does not apply to me)
* Daifan nods
<Junan> (I wouldnt stop you if you picked it up after someone set it down)
<Llillilli> You're pretty.
<Llillilli> You should roll up your pants though. They'll get dirty in the swamp.
<Daifan> I will.
* Llillilli nods.
<Daifan> . o O (they'll get dirty anyway)
<Daifan> YOu are... Lilili? Everyone say it differently.
<Llillilli> Llillilli.
<Daifan> ...
* Llillilli says it softer and breathier
<Daifan> I have not heard a name like that before...
<Llillilli> It is a hith name.
<Daifan> From your friends?
<Llillilli> Yes.
* Daifan nods
<Llillilli> My family. Apart from Jimba.
* Daifan looks at Jimba
<Llillilli> And Katenzhi
<Daifan> are you all cousins?
<Llillilli> JImba is my brother.
<Llillilli> Twin. I'm older.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Whose boat is this? All of yours?
<Llillilli> No, I just live here.
<Llillilli> It belongs to Jimba and Katenzhi.
* Daifan nods again
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Every now and again on your journey, you pass by a small dock or section of cleared land. There are no real roads or paths here in the swamp, so the river serves as the conduit by which those who would seek their fortune in fos make their way to and from Kaskind, or even, to the east, to the Kaskos River itself and trade routes home. No one comes out to greet you or even investigate who you are, though, though whether out of fear or indifference you cannot say.
<Jimba> (Is that normal?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The birdsong of gulls and warblers pierces the canopy overhead, and every so often a shoebill or egret flies across your path, almost daring you to race. It’s cloudy and warm, with occasional periods of rain, not unusual for the early spring season.
<Veznara> (Who knows? This is our first mission! :D )
* Daifan watches all the birds and swamp animals :3
<Jimba> (But not the first time on the river for some of us)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Yup, pretty normal. When traders come along this route they might stop at specific places where they know they're likely to get buyers from among the local farmers, but unless you stop, they probably are not going to come out and wave at you just for fun or something.
<Jimba> (gotcha)
<Katenzhi> (Is there any other boat traffic?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You might occasionally get a curious kid who watches you from the bank, if they're bored ;)
* Jimba will wave.
<Veznara> So, ah... Lily?
<Veznara> I believe you said you know this area?
* Llillilli ignores or doesn't hear you
<Ashnabis_Narrator> There is light boat traffic, Katenzhi - you probably pass a handful other boats on your way, some small rafts or skiffs that the locals use to get around, maybe one or two larger vessels that belong to traders.
<Veznara> I said, I believe you're familiar with this area?
<Llillilli> (are you like, obviously talking to me)
<Veznara> (Yes)
<Llillilli> Are you talking to me?
<Veznara> Yes.
<Llillilli> My name's not Lily
<Veznara> Ah. My mistake, evidently. Could you repeat it for me, then?
<Llillilli> Llillilli.
<Veznara> Llillilli.
<Llillilli> Yes.
* Veznara repeats carefully.
<Veznara> Very well then. Llillilli, are you familiar with this area?
<Llillilli> Yes.
<Veznara> What sort of wildlife is there? Could the farmer have been attacked by an animal?
<Llillilli> Probably
<Llillilli> There's always slurks.
<Llillilli> And hippos are mean as anything.
<Llillilli> Snakes too.
<Katenzhi> And other things.
<Llillilli> So many things.
<Veznara> No doubt.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> As you converse, a gator slides off the bank and into the river with a slight splash, as a reminder of the dangers that lurk out in the swamp.
* Katenzhi lifts up her gator-tooth necklace.
* Katenzhi jangles it slightly
* Katenzhi grins
* Jimba 's dogs will watch the gator but not move from where they are near him.
* Junan plays, drinks, and dozes as the boat moves up river
* Daifan listen to the miusic but won't contaminate your delicious looking liquor ;p
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Fortunately the gator seems inclined to get out of your way, swimming away from the boat.
<Veznara> So will we pay a call on the neighbour first, or go to investigate directly?
<Jimba> Neighbor is on the way, and it doesn't sound like timing is an issue.
* Daifan nods
<Katenzhi> Might as well stop
<Jimba> And it could give us a clue what to expect.
<Veznara> Perhaps. I find it a little strange that *he* wasn't the one to bring this to the office's attention...
<Veznara> Wouldn't he have noticed when his neighbour went missing for three months?
<Jimba> (How big were the individual land claims?)
<Katenzhi> Not if the gator ate him too.
<Jimba> Depends. Maybe they weren't friendly.
<Jimba> You can go a long time not seeing other people out here.
<Ashnabis_Assistant> (the claims are like, a few acres each)

The group arrive at the farm of Jenam Kergoze

<Ashnabis_Narrator> After a while, you arrive at the plot indicated on the map to belong to one Jenam Kergoze, formerly of Basai, who has occupied this area for around a year. You can see through the vegetation that he has set up a small, not-too-productive fos plot close to the water, behind which is a food garden and then a small simple hut.
* Junan yawns
* Jimba will get the boat situated.
* Junan stands stretches, makes sure his Envoy hat is straight
* Ifral is now known as Jenam
<Junan> Lets go see what he knows
<Jimba> Well, time to earn those tusks.
* Llillilli straps her pfethes on.
<Junan> (is there a dock?)
* Katenzhi will hop down and help off anyone who doesn't have their river-legs.
* Jimba will grab his machete and shield, and get into his armor, just in case.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> There is not a formal dock here, you can basically tie up to a nearby tree.
<Katenzhi> (Including offering a hand to Daifan)
* Daifan will stay on the boat for now, while were talking to this guy
<Junan> We're here to talk to this fellow, not assult him
* Llillilli hops out and helps with tying the boat up.
* Veznara will gracefull accept Katenzhi's help
<Daifan> ...I can wait here.
* Katenzhi shrugs.
<Katenzhi> Suit yourself.
<Jimba> Come to that, I'll mind the boat for now.
<Llillilli> you miss the part about dangerous animals and stuff?
* Jimba nods towards Llillilli.
* Junan will get off the boat himself and make his way towards the hut
<Jimba> What she said.
* Katenzhi looks up at Jimba.
<Jimba> What?
<Katenzhi> You seriously want me to do the talking here?
* Jimba points at Junan.
<Jimba> He's an envoy. Presumably he knows what he's doing.
* Jenam is working in his vegetable garden, but stands up when you disembark and will come over in your direction to greet you.
<Llillilli> Watch out for snakes
* Veznara comes with Junan
* Llillilli grins
* Katenzhi shrugs again.
<Katenzhi> Alrighty.
* Jenam is a young man in his mid-twenties, dressed only in a plain cotton dashi brought up between his legs, tied around his waist with a simple belt. He wears his brown beard long and his hair short-cropped.
<Jenam> Good morning, travelers, what can I do for you?
<Junan> Greetings! Would you be Jenam Kergoze?
* Jimba will keep an eye on things from the boat.
* Jenam asks with a smile - he seems friendly
* Llillilli keeps an eye out for animals etc.
* Junan smiles back
* Veznara nods
<Jenam> I am. Is there some message, Envoy?
* Jenam seems a bit surprised but not displeased to see you here - it's probably the most exciting thing that's happened in days ;)
<Junan> For yourself, no, I am afraid. We were looking for your neighbour Ilben Zhuldofi. Have you seen or heard from him?
* Jenam frowns slightly.
<Jenam> Ilben keeps to himself, doesn't much care for visitors. The last time I went over there was ... hm, I guess about a month ago? I was planning a trip into Kaskind and decided to ask if he needed anything. It's the neighbourly thing to do, right?
<Junan> but of course
<Junan> I take it he didn't appreciate the courtousy?
<Jenam> Well, I checked around but didn't see him anywhere. I didn't think it was right to go into his home, but I did knock and called out his name, but got no answer.
<Veznara> (Sense motive?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> (you can roll)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 7 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 14 ].
<Ashnabis_Narrator> !roll 1d20+4
* Daifan rolls for Ashnabis_Narrator: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 10 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 14 ].
* Jenam appears to be honest and inclined to be helpful to you.
<Junan> His loss really.
* Jenam chuckles at that
<Jenam> Well, yes, we don't get so many visitors out here - and not always such friendly ones :)
<Junan> So how was he, the last time you did actually see him?
* Jenam thinks back.
<Jenam> I've really only met him about three or four times - I've been here for about a year, but like I said, he isn't very welcoming. When I first arrived, I introduced myself, and then after that, I stopped in a few times to borrow something or ask his advice, as he's been farming here much longer than I have, but he never seemed too glad to see me. The last time I saw him was about four months ago, when I asked to borrow his wheelbarrow and he said no.
<Junan> Some people take to likin' bein' by themselves sometimes out here
* Jenam nods
<Junan> maybe a little too much
<Junan> Thank's for taking the time to talk to me. I know there is never enough time for all the work to be done
<Jenam> I don't mind it, but I do try to get into town every once in a while, just for socializing. It gets pretty boring out here if you don't go anywhere.
* Katenzhi glances around the area while everyone else is talking, seeing if anything appears odd or out of place.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Katenzhi, you can make a Perception roll
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 7 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 12 ].
<Junan> Well if you do make it to town, I sometimes play at the Red Stump. Their drink is good too.
<Junan> I'm Junan, Junan Ghez
<Jenam> Maybe next time I'm there, I'll look you up :)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Katenzhi, you don't see anything out of the ordinary.
<Junan> I think you would enjoy it
<Junan> We'll let you be now
<Junan> Thanks again
<Jenam> No trouble - perhaps I'll see you again, next time I'm in town ;)
* Junan will head back to the boat
* Katenzhi will raise a hand in parting and nod to the farmer as she leaves.
* Veznara will once again accompany him!
* Katenzhi will help people back on the boat if they need it.
* Veznara once again accepts the help
* Llillilli climbs up
<Junan> helps to have a couple of pretty ladies beside me when talkin'. I'll have to remember that in the future
* Veznara raises an eyebrow
* Katenzhi laughs.
* Daifan looks up
<Jimba> Any news?
<Veznara> Well, he seemed honest enough to me.
<Junan> hasn't seen him in months... stopped by a month ago and nobody was home
<Katenzhi> Nothin. He hasn't seen him in a month or more.
<Llillilli> Junan says Veznara and Katenzhi are pretty
* Jimba looks Katenzhi up and down critically.
<Jimba> Eh.
<Katenzhi> Pretty sure he meant you two.
<Jimba> :p
<Jimba> Yes, Junan, clear it up for us. Who is pretty again?
<Katenzhi> Not that I don't have my charms.
* Katenzhi spits over the side of the boat
* Jimba bats his eyelashes.
<Daifan> . o O (me ;p)
* Junan laughs
* Jimba will head back to the rudder after poling away from the shore.
<Junan> Why Jimba... didn't you know that you truely are the prettiest... I mean everyone hear knows it
* Daifan smirks at that
<Jimba> Now you're just lying to get in good with the ship's captain.
<Junan> so stop making all these ladies jealous
* Llillilli wrinkles her nose.
<Jimba> But I'll allow it. ;)
<Katenzhi> Heh

Jimba and Daifan wait on the boat

<Jimba> You didn't want to go with?
<Daifan> Me?
<Jimba> Yeah.
<Daifan> I didn't think it would help.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> Suit yourself.
<Daifan> ...
<Jimba> So, how'd you get in with the Land Office?
<Daifan> I needed a job. I heard they had hired other corpseborn...
* Daifan shrugs
* Jimba nods.
<Daifan> ...Why are you working there, if you and your cousin have your own boat?
<Jimba> It's a steady job, and we're still getting to know people. We haven't been in Kaskind long, and the Land Office lets us meet a lot of people we could work with.
<Jimba> She knows about magic, Llillilli and I are river rats, and she's good with the hith.
<Daifan> Hmm. They might not like you much, though, if they have problesm with their claims.
* Daifan nods
<Jimba> Not all our work is contentious.
<Jimba> But I take your point.
* Llillilli ( has joined #gnomeland
* ChanServ sets mode: +o Llillilli
<Jimba> Have you been working there long? We've only been with them for a little while.
<Daifan> Not long, no.
<Jimba> How're you liking it so far?
<Daifan> They have not asked me to deal with clients directly before
<Jimba> Oh?
<Jimba> What do they usually have you do?
<Daifan> I assume there are enough of the rest of you
<Jimba> The rest of us?
<Daifan> Who are less offensive.
<Jimba> Oh.
<Daifan> Mostly so far, cleaning and ther things like that
* Jimba looks a bit upset at that characterization.
<Jimba> Well, at least you got to get out of the Office, then.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> This is more interesting... I haven't been on the river since I came here
<Jimba> Really? It's fantastic. I was more used to open ocean, but it's nice. Pretty, and more manageable. It only takes a few of us to handle the boat on the river.
<Jimba> Maybe this is will be the first of many jobs like this, and you'll get more of a chance to see it.
<Daifan> maybe... if it goes well.
<Jimba> It's one missing farmer. I'm sure we'll be fine.
* Daifan nods
<Jimba> Are you new to Ashnabis? Please don't take this as a criticism, but you don't seem like a local.
<Daifan> I've been here for a few months.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Wh...oh, folks are back.
<Jimba> Gotta make ready to shove off again.
* Jimba smiles.
* Daifan nods

The group reach Ilben's farm and are attacked by bogwiggles

<Ashnabis_Narrator> It doesn't take too long to reach Ilben's farm once you leave Jenam's - it's just a short distance up the river.
<Veznara> (What do we see as we approach? Is it obviously overgrown?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You land at a simple, ill-maintained dock at the south shore of the river. You can see what someone might see in this plot - the riverbank is solid and there is little large vegetation immediately in your way, making a fine place for a riverside waystation, perhaps even a tavern like those some of you know well in the Aummesh town of Timiil.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The fos in the area is quite overgrown, not showing signs of having been harvested or even weeded recently.
<Jimba> That's unusual.
<Veznara> I can see why Zefa is interested... this looks like a good claim.
* Daifan nods
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You can tie down the keelboat with little difficulty to the dock. The property lies flat for the first forty yards or so, then slowly rises to a crest. The map indicates that atop the crest will be Ilben’s house and a freshwater pond, although you can't see those yet.
* Junan will strink his bow
* Jimba will do likewise.
* Katenzhi grabs her fos pouch from her belt.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> And we'll move over to roll20 as you disembark, so you can show me what order you're going in.
* Daifan is apparenlty unarmed, which is, well, the law sp there you have it
* Veznara has no bow, but her hand does drop near the sling on her belt...
<Veznara> Perhaps the best trackers among us should go first?
<Llillilli> Yeah.
* Katenzhi will move out to the lead then
* Llillilli moves up to the front of the group.
* Llillilli looks for tracks, human or animal
* Jimba will do the same.
* Daifan will hang back and give people their space
* Daifan will have a look around though
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Junan, you do notice some tracks in the mud near the riverside, and down towards that kind of inlet/little pond at the bottom of the map, like large two-footed prints plus some kind of dragging tail or eel-like body, perhaps. And at that, several creatures appear out of the muddy shallows to attack you.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Three creatures are upon you, looking like giant, dog-sized grey tadpoles with a pair of legs emerging just behind their heads, large bulbous eyes, jagged fangs, and long finned tails. They look very hungry!

[Daifan is attacked first, and quickly falls to the creatures' bites. Junan attacks with his bow, Llillilli with her pfethe, Jimba with his machete (and dogs), and Veznara with her sling. Katenzhi casts color spray at the creatures, stunning one of them. She then tries to chill touch the remaining one, but fails and illuminates the area with a spray of blue sparkles instead. Jimba takes up a defensive position over the fallen Daifan, while Llillilli moves to stabilize them. At last the creatures are defeated.]

* Jimba turns to Llillilli.
<Jimba> Are you all right?
* Daifan is unconscious but stable, lying on the ground
* Jimba will move so he's not still standing over Daifan.
<Katenzhi> That could have gone better...
* Veznara goes over to Daifan and Llillilli
<Veznara> Do we have any bandages?
<Jimba> (Dangit, meant to talk to Hazel about going in on a healer's kit)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> We can say you did, if you both agree on that. It would make sense to have it on the boat.
* Daifan has one, ironically, probably in a pocket, but whatever ;)
<Junan> what are these things?
* Junan prods one with his boot
<Llillilli> (do I have any idea?)
<Katenzhi> They look like giant tadpoles. I hope that's not actually the case.
* Veznara will fetch the medical supplies, but let someone with better Heal skill administer them if need be.
<Katenzhi> Because if it is, I don't want to see momma.
<Veznara> I suppose we should check where they came from.
<Veznara> Carefully.
<Ashnabis_Assistant> (anyone with knowledge:nature can make a check)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You can make a k: nature check to identify them
<Llillilli> (pff I don't have that... only local and survuval :/)
<Jimba> (oh, heh, no)
<Jimba> (Yeah, same)
<Veznara> (Well don't look at me! City girl, here...)
<Llillilli> (I only have so many skill points ;_;)
<Veznara> (There are never enough. :( )
<Llillilli> I'm going to go find this guy's corpse
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Well, whatever they are, they probably would not be living here if there was activity here - they might have moved into the area recently, so to speak.
<Veznara> (What about Knowedge (History) - have there been tales of these things? :D )
<Ashnabis_Assistant> nope
<Junan> (would the skins be worth anything?)
<Ashnabis_Assistant> (you can make Survival, at a penalty)
<Jimba> Llillilli, wait up.
<Jimba> Let's get them on the boat, first, then go as a group.
<Veznara> Yes.
<Veznara> (Where did they come from, again? That curved bay south of where we're moored?)
<Katenzhi> Yeah, there could be more of those things
<Ashnabis_Narrator> yes
<Ashnabis_Narrator> it's more of a little pond, but yes
* Jimba will move Daifan to the small cabin on the boat.
<Llillilli> alright
<Jimba> (carefully)
* Llillilli helps you carry Daifan
<Ashnabis_Assistant> (if anyone has survival and wants to make a check to know what these are, i'll allow that at a penalty)
<Llillilli> (cool)
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+6
* Daifan rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+6 ] getting [ 12 ] which, after the modifier [ 6 ] totals [ 18 ].
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+3
* Daifan rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+3 ] getting [ 12 ] which, after the modifier [ 3 ] totals [ 15 ].
<Junan> !roll 1d20+4
* Daifan rolls for Junan: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 15 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 19 ].
<Jimba> (and whatever penalty)
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+8
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 19 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 27 ].
<Ashnabis_Assistant> everyone's got survival
<Jimba> (nice!)
* Veznara doesn't have proficiency, so I guess I can't try
<Ashnabis_Assistant> But only Llillilli has heard of these things. Shulilae showed you a dessicated one once.
<Ashnabis_Assistant> They're called, in common Ombesh parlance, bogwiggles.
<Ashnabis_Assistant> This is their adult form.
<Llillilli> Bogwiggles
<Jimba> Bogwiggles.
<Llillilli> Huh.
<Jimba> That's a hell of a name.
<Llillilli> I didn't make it up
<Ashnabis_Narrator> If someone wants to try healing Daifan to restore some HP, they can make a heal check and use 2 uses of the healer's kit.
<Jimba> *shrug*
<Ashnabis_Assistant> Of course, in Hithaeli they have a beautiful name. Not that they care.
<Llillilli> (sure, I'll try)
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+8
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 10 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 18 ].
<Jimba> Oh [bogwiggles in Hithaeli]. That sounds much better.
<Veznara> Are they tadpoles, as they appear to be? Or are they full grown?
<Llillilli> That's their adult form.
<Ashnabis_Assistant> The kit gives you a bonus of +2
<Llillilli> (I included it)
<Veznara> They don't get bigger, then. Good. :/
<Llillilli> (my heal is a 6)
<Jimba> (Treat deadly wounds also takes an hour)
<Jimba> (Someone could aid another if they're trained, right?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> yes
<Ashnabis_Narrator> you could try to aid her
<Ashnabis_Narrator> well, or, *someone
* could.
<Ashnabis_Assistant> if someone else has heal, but I think the only one who has it is Daifan
<Llillilli> (butts xD)
<Katenzhi> (not it)
<Veznara> (I'm *going
* to take it. Some day.)
<Jimba> (Yeah, no, totally not trained)
* Llillilli does what she can, anyway :/
<Ashnabis_Assistant> (OK, Daifan seems to be resting comfortably, at least)
<Veznara> Let's look at their lair, first.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You bandage up Daifan but she remains unconscious for now.
<Veznara> I'm afraid that may be where we'll find Ilben Zhuldofi.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> All right, you want to investigate their puddle?
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You can make perception checks to look around there.
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 3 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 10 ].
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+4
* Daifan rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 2 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 6 ].
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+6
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+6 ] getting [ 17 ] which, after the modifier [ 6 ] totals [ 23 ].
<Veznara> Pffft.
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+5
* Daifan rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+5 ] getting [ 4 ] which, after the modifier [ 5 ] totals [ 9 ].
<Llillilli> (Kat continues to roll like a champ)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Llillilli, you poke around in the mud and find some of what look like bogwiggle eggs, but no sign of other bogwiggles, or of a dead body.
<Llillilli> nothing but eggs
<Llillilli> let's go up to the house.
<Jimba> Eggs, you say?
<Jimba> Right, the house.
<Veznara> We should do something about them before they hatch.
* Llillilli shrugs
* Katenzhi will poke at one with her spear.
<Jimba> (Are they edible?)
* Llillilli goes up to the house.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> They're kind of like frog eggs - gelatinous and plentiful.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> probably not delicious, though.

They investigate the farm house and pond

* Jimba will accompany his sister.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You walk up towards Ilben’s house. It shows no signs of having been inhabited lately, and there is no scent of fire to suggest that he has been active here at all. The fos patch which extends from the house towards the pond is rather overgrown with weeds, as is the small garden where he was growing spindly gourds.
* Llillilli opens the door
<Llillilli> (or I try to anyway)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Yes, you can open it. I don't imagine most people have locks out here, maybe a bar to put across the door in the event of an attack, but not a lot of concern for theft.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> In any case, it is not barred.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Inside the house, everything looks more or less in order - there are no signs that he left with any possessions, as most of the things you would expect in such a home are to be found. Several spears and a bow sit alongside one wall. A slow dripping leak in the roof beats a slow rhythm against the floor, where, judging by the condition of the floorboards, it has been unattended for quite some time.
* Llillilli looks for a dead body >.>
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You can roll Perception to search around the house.
<Jimba> !roll 1d20+4
* Daifan rolls for Jimba: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 19 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 23 ].
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 16 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 23 ].
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+6
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+6 ] getting [ 16 ] which, after the modifier [ 6 ] totals [ 22 ].
<Jimba> (Oh, *now
* we notice things)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Looking around, you do think a few things are missing. Such as presumably he must have had a cooking pot - there's a hook for one over the fire, but no pot. There's a knife sharpener but no knives. Just little things like that.
<Llillilli> Looks like he left but he was planning to come back?
<Jimba> Accident out somewhere?
<Veznara> (So it looks like he may have gone on a trip?)
* Katenzhi will start clearing out the nest while people search the house.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> But other things like clothing, linens, other personal possessions, that's been left
* Katenzhi will also keep a lookout
<Llillilli> Huh.
<Jimba> Must've been somewhere close.
* Llillilli will look for a trail outside... Like a path he might have used regularly ?
<Jimba> And he mustn't have thought he was in much danger.
<Veznara> I suppose it's too late to track... but we could at least search the area.
* Jimba nods towards the weapons.
<Llillilli> (other than to the water where we just came from)
* Jimba will grab some of the clothes on the off chance the dogs can get a scent off them.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Llillilli, when you look outside, you can see a well-worn path back and forth to a pond, presumably where he got his source of water for drinking, cooking, etc.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The pond is quite still. Strikingly, there is a low, thin layer of mist extending a few inches from the surface, across most of the area. There is no fog or mist visible elsewhere in the area.
<Llillilli> Look at that.
* Jimba follows her gaze.
* Llillilli points it out to Jimba
<Jimba> Huh.
<Jimba> That's...odd.
* Llillilli approaches it.
<Jimba> Be careful.
* Jimba follows her.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The mist drifts lightly above the surface, lingering in that one spot, not drifting away.
<Veznara> What would cause this?
* Llillilli takes out her pole and unfolds it.
<Llillilli> (I'm gonna poke it with this stick)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Veznara, you can roll Perception if you want
* Jimba gets ready to jump in and help if there's danger.
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 11 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 18 ].
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Veznara, you believe this unnatural mist indicates the presence of a haunt.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Llillilli, you can poke the water with the stick.
<Veznara> Wait...
<Veznara> There is a haunt here.
<Llillilli> What's that mean
* Veznara approaches cautiously, and tries to sense more
* Llillilli pulls her pole out of the water
<Veznara> A spirit is responsible for this mist.
<Llillilli> Oh. sure.
* Llillilli folds the pole back up and stashes it in her backpack.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Veznara, you can use your Hallow power to try and neutralize the haunt. It doesn't get rid of it permanently, but it will go away for a bit.
<Jimba> Okay, this is definitely not my area of expertise.
<Jimba> (What's the form of address for a Hand?)
* Veznara pauses, then closes her eyes
<Veznara> (w) O First Ancestors, cleanse this place of this malevolent presence...
<Veznara> (w) Help any unquiet spirit here find rest, if only for a short while
<Ashnabis_Narrator> (You can address priests as Hand [Name] or Voice [Name])
<Ashnabis_Narrator> (if you're being formal ;)
* Jimba will step back, still wary.
<Llillilli> Maybe he's in this pond
<Llillilli> MAybe he drowned
<Ashnabis_Assistant> (ok you can roll damage)
<Veznara> !roll 1d6
* Daifan rolls for Veznara: [ 1d6 ] getting [ 6 ].
<Veznara> (Yes! :D )
<Ashnabis_Narrator> The mist clears and dissappears, at least for the moment.
* Llillilli is gonna take a look in the pond.
<Junan> nice trick
<Veznara> (Can we now see what it was hovering above?)
* Llillilli wades out into the water with her pole.
<Veznara> It is not a trick.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Llillilli, you can wade into the water and poke around with your pole.
<Llillilli> (any corpses in here? any floaty boys?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You step into the water, which despite being found in a swamp, is only slightly cloudy - it runs to about six feet in depth at the centre, no deeper. As you reach around, your hand strikes something hard.
* Llillilli pulls it out.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Like a wooden handle, you think.
<Jimba> What is that?
<Ashnabis_Narrator> With some effort, you pull it free - it's a pitchfork. It also was holding something down...
<Llillilli> oh here we go
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Pulling the pitchfork out, you see a large, bloated body emerge from the water, dressed in what seems to have been a brownish tunic and trousers. The body appears to have been male - it is largely bald but has a thick black beard - and was large in stature.
<Llillilli> one dead farmer, coming up
<Jimba> Nice work.
<Veznara> And not by an accident.
<Jimba> Neighbor, you think?
* Llillilli drags the body to the edge of the pond.
<Llillilli> Is the wheelbarrow still here?
<Junan> I didnt get the pitchfork to the back kinda vibe from him
<Veznara> Good question.
<Veznara> No, nor did I. But that may be because he is a skilled dissembler.
<Junan> (feeling not vibe)
<Veznara> We should see whether there's a pitchfork missing here, first, I suppose.
<Jimba> No real way to know how many he had.
<Junan> (is there a wheelbarrow still here?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> It appears that Ilben stored some of his tools under a sort of overhang, just to keep them out of the rain. You do not see a wheelbarrow or a pitchfork there, although there are some other things like a hoe, a machete, some buckets, etc.
<Veznara> Would he have needed a pitchfork?
* Llillilli shrugs
<Jimba> Well, he currently has one more than he needs.
<Veznara> (Were there other neighbours?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> I will note, just in general, that you aren't required to be detectives, just land claim agents. You technically have done your task of confirming the claim is ... no longer tended. You can take the body back to the town, that would be appropriate, and bring it to the Voice there.
<Jimba> Well, I guess we pack him up and head home?
<Ashnabis_Narrator> If you believe a crime was committed, that would be up to the Sentinels to investigate further.
<Veznara> (OK.)
<Jimba> I can go get some canvas from the boat.
<Veznara> I suppose so.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> And, of course, the Voice can always talk to him to see what he has to say for himself.
* Veznara will conduct any appropriate death ritual she should.
<Junan> (so does this make this land unclaimed until the other claim is finalized?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Yes. Land here isn't "owned" in the sense of being able to pass it along to your children/heirs.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> If he is dead, then the claim is vacated and someone else can claim it. Potentially someone could squat on it, but if they do so without a proper claim, they'll be in some trouble.
<Veznara> The Envoy Zefa will be pleased, I imagine.
<Junan> I guess
<Veznara> I would like to investigate this further... but that is beyond our purview.
<Veznara> Better to leave it to the Sentinels and the Voice.
<Jimba> Well, you're welcome to be the one to take the body over to the Voice.
<Veznara> We should. And without letting Jenam Kergoze know we've found it, I think.
<Llillilli> Who?
<Junan> the neighbour
<Veznara> (Would there be any documentation in the house that we should bring back with us? Or is that all at the office anyway?)
<Llillilli> Oh right.
<Veznara> Yes, him.
<Veznara> He is not necessarily the murderer, but he's a natural suspect.
<Veznara> (I take it the body looks about 3 months dead?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> It definitely looks like it's been in the water for a lengthy period of time. Not just a few weeks.
<Veznara> And Ilben Zhuldofi must be put to rest.
<Jimba> Here's hoping the canvas works all right. This guy looks like he might go in a bucket.
<Veznara> What I have been able to do for him now is but temporary.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> And no, there isn't really any documentation you would need to bring - he would have had a proper document for his claim, but that would also be duplicated back at the office I assume.
<Jimba> I'm sure someone will be able to put him to rest.
<Veznara> Treat him gently, please! He is one of the Ancestors now.
* Junan will look at the fos garden and pull out his sickle
* Veznara raises an eyebrow
<Veznara> I suppose you can, if you like. But Zefa will know we've been here.
<Junan> Even more reason to then
<Jimba> Yeah, but she won't know what was here and what wasn't.
<Jimba> Also, it's kind of unclaimed until they process hers.
<Junan> I agree
<Jimba> We'll just take a little. Katenzhi should at least get to replace what she used on the [h]bogwiggles.
<Veznara> I suppose so. That doesn't seem unreasonable.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Katenzhi can sample a little, that seems okay.
<Junan> (so pull, chop, pile)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Yes, you can gather up some fos to take back with you.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Was there anything else you wanted to do here? Destroy some eggs? Or just head back with the body and the fos?
<Jimba> Katenzhi already destroyed the eggs earlier.
<Veznara> (Nah, I think we're done!)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> oh okay, I missed that
<Junan> (yeah, farming is hard work... not what I signed up for)
<Daifan> (I hope someone will tell me what happened later whe I wake up ad we're half way bck to town or whatever :x)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> You can make your way back to town and ... what will you do with Daifan, at that point?
<Daifan> (Or yeah I mht not even be awake by that point)
<Junan> (wasnt someone treating wounds on the way back?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Llillilli could try some more I guess? she didn't manage the first time :/ it's a pretty hard check.
<Llillilli> (I'll try)
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+8
* Daifan rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 20 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 28 ].
<Ashnabis_Narrator> okay
<Ashnabis_Narrator> nice!
<Daifan> (well!)
<Llillilli> (that seems promising)
<Veznara> (I'll take note of the position of the pitchfork when we found it, btw, in case that's signficant for determining the height of the person who used it or anything.)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> that means you can heal her for 1 point and add your Wis bonus, whatever that might be
<Llillilli> 2
<Ashnabis_Narrator> so you can heal her for 3, which I think brings her to conscious, at zero?
<Daifan> (Cool)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> conscious but not really up and at 'em
<Ashnabis_Narrator> So Daifan will at least be awake enough to give instructions on where to bring them.
<Daifan> (That is a great question though, unless I have someone I can stay in town...)
* Junan plays and drinks on the way back
<Llillilli> (you can stay on the boat until you can walk or whatever)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> With a full night's rest, you can heal 1 point, and further healing efforts can be made the next day.
* Daifan will be pretty withdrawn
<Daifan> (Can I assist in healchecks on myself?)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> Veznara, you can bring the body to the priests of the Voice, who will solemnly thank you for bringing it to them.
* Daifan seems relieved when it becomes clear that llillilli is the one who was taking care of them
<Jimba> (Seems like you should be able to)
<Ashnabis_Narrator> And I assume someone will go tell the Land Registry about your findings.
<Jimba> I can do that.
<Ashnabis_Narrator> And get your fos checked out.
<Junan> (of course)
<Junan> (that too)
<Veznara> I'll explain the circumstances to the Voice, and report to the Land Registry too.
<Veznara> And get myself healed at some point. :P


Daifan rests and recovers on Jimba's boat

* Daifan is laid up wherever in the little cabin or wherever that you put them
* Jimba will knock on the door on his own boat.
<Jimba> Hey, you awake it there? I brought you some food and water.
<Daifan> Yes... thank you...
* Jimba will enter with a plate of food probably bought from a street vendor near/on the docks, a pitcher of water, and a cup.
<Jimba> Thought you might be hungry.
* Jimba will offer Daifan the plate.
* Daifan winces a a bit, sitting up carefully
<Jimba> Oh, be careful. Llillilli will kill me if you undo her work.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> You have been very kind...
<Daifan> all of you.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> No problem. Folks have to take care of each other.
<Jimba> Here more than most places.
<Daifan> That is true.... though some would draw their circles tighter
* Daifan says, with a weak/nervous smile
<Jimba> Some people are idiots.
<Daifan> if you say so.
<Jimba> Llillilli, Katenzhi and me don't really have folks here, so I figure we might as well help where we can.
* Daifan nods
* Daifan doens't really know what to say to that
<Llillilli> hey.
* Llillilli comes in
<Llillilli> You better not be bothering her
* Daifan looks up.
<Daifan> I'm all right
<Llillilli> Hm.
<Jimba> I'm not bothering her! I brought her food.
<Jimba> I mean, I can leave if you need to rest.
<Jimba> I just wanted to check in.
<Llillilli> Food is good.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> yes. Thank you. YOu didn't have to...
<Jimba> Well, I did kind of jinx us by saying the job would go smoothly.
<Jimba> Llillilli patched you up, so I thought, hey, food. That's a good thing.
<Jimba> Did you get any? I left some up top.
* Jimba says to Llillilli.
<Llillilli> Yeah I did
* Daifan 's eyes go a little wide when they realize that you are sharing food rather than just got food for them, but isn't atcually sure which is weirder
<Jimba> What?
<Daifan> ...
<Daifan> Do you not have corpseborn where you are from?
* Llillilli snorts
<Llillilli> you could say that
* Llillilli glances at Jimba in case she said too much
* Daifan looks between the siblings
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> I don't care if you don't.
<Daifan> ...Are you.. tetem?
<Llillilli> Don't worry about it
* Daifan asks very cautiously
<Llillilli> I don't know what that is
<Daifan> ...nevermind
<Llillilli> No, what is it?
* Llillilli is curious
* Daifan just shakes their head.
<Jimba> Is that...Ombesh? I don't know that word.
<Llillilli> I speak Ombesh, that's not Ombesh
<Jimba> I speak Ombesh, too, but we don't know every word of every language we speak.
<Llillilli> Well I know a lot!
<Daifan> please just forget I asked
* Llillilli bickers
* Daifan sinks down a little, and winces
<Jimba> Oh, maybe we should let you eat and rest some more.
<Daifan> ...thank you.
<Llillilli> you're welcome
<Llillilli> I'm gonna find out what that means though
<Jimba> I'll leave you to it. Feel better.
* Llillilli goes out
<Jimba> [quiety] She really got the short end of the stick this job.
* Daifan will eat delicious delicious street food that they coudl never probably buy for themself
<Jimba> [q] She's gonna be okay, right?
<Llillilli> Oh yeah she'll be fine
<Jimba> She said this was her first job out in the field. Sucks she took a [bogwiggle] to the face.
<Llillilli> if anyone gives her trouble i'll stab them.
<Jimba> I'll make sure Katenzhi and the dogs don't bother her.
* Llillilli nods.

Daifan and Katenzhi talk on the boat

<Katenzhi> Should we say it's a day or two later so you're starting to mend?
<Katenzhi> Maybe feeling well enough to come out on deck?
* Daifan is resting but awake the next day, knowing that theyb robably *could
* leave but tht it would be better to get more rest while they can, but also antsy about being here an no one knowing where they are
<Daifan> (If I'm well enough to come out on deck, I'm probably leaving)
<Daifan> (But yeah, a day later is good - defintely more alter and probably bored :p)
<Katenzhi> (Ok, I'll just come check on you then :) )
* Katenzhi knocks on the door to the storage room where we have you set up.
<Daifan> (alert)
<Katenzhi> You decent?
<Daifan> ...
<Daifan> yes.
* Katenzhi will open the door and poke her head in.
<Katenzhi> Hey there. You look like you're doing a little better.
* Daifan nods
* Katenzhi comes inside and shuts the door to keep the light and noise out
<Daifan> Yes... I will be gone soon.
<Katenzhi> You're welcome here as long as you need to stay. You got folks waiting on you?
* Daifan looks concerned when you say that, but nods
<Katenzhi> Well, if you need anything... us to get a message or something, I can do that.
<Daifan> It is kind of you to offer, but you should not.
* Katenzhi looks genuinely confused.
<Katenzhi> Why not?
* Daifan just looks bewildered
<Daifan> Because they are also corpseborn
* Katenzhi laughs.
<Katenzhi> Girl, I talk to whoever I wanna talk to, corpseborn or not.
<Daifan> ...
<Daifan> But you will be tainted.
* Katenzhi leans against a stack of crates and crosses her arms.
<Katenzhi> Hell, I'm more likely to taint them.
<Katenzhi> You guys sure do things different where you're from, huh?
<Daifan> ...
<Daifan> YOu have not been here long, have you?
<Daifan> That is how things are here, in Ashnabis.
<Katenzhi> Well, among some folk maybe.
<Daifan> ...
<Daifan> Most folk.
<Katenzhi> Not the ones I care to associate with.
<Daifan> ....then you should leave here.
<Daifan> No one will trade with you.
* Katenzhi shrugs.
<Katenzhi> I seem to get by just fine.
<Daifan> Then you have been lucky... but that will run out.
* Katenzhi considers you for a moment.
<Katenzhi> Maybe.
<Katenzhi> Anyway, I'm glad you're doing better.
<Daifan> thank you.
<Katenzhi> You need anything? Water? Food? Something stronger?
* Daifan shakes their head
* Katenzhi nods.
<Daifan> ....where did you come from?
* Daifan asks, cautiously, still trying to understand what is up with you people
<Katenzhi> Choradan originally. But we came down here to escape the war. Well, one of the wars. Settled down south along the coast. Little town called Ratsla.
<Katenzhi> You?
<Daifan> ...I'm from Daligash.
<Katenzhi> Ahhhh... CIty girl.
* Katenzhi grins
<Katenzhi> We came down here when I was super young. I don't really remember much about Choradan, honestly.
<Katenzhi> Just fighting.
* Daifan nods
<Katenzhi> Out on the water it don't matter as much who you are. Matters more what you can do.
<Daifan> do you know many corpseborn?
* Daifan asks cautiously
<Katenzhi> ... a few.
<Daifan> mmhmm.
<Katenzhi> Anyway, I should let you rest.
* Daifan nods
<Katenzhi> Sorry to bother you.
<Daifan> It is no trouble, thank you.
<Katenzhi> Let me know if you need anything.
* Katenzhi turns to head out.
* Daifan nods but tbh will... not do that >.>

Daifan returns home and is cared for by Chimi and Idovo

<Chimi> (So you want to walk to her work? By the time you get there you'd be basically home anyway)
<Daifan> (Well, if it is closer to go home then I might just go home, but I thought she worked in Ashnabis proper)
<Chimi> (no she's in Banei, which is the corpseborn town)
<Daifan> (well then I'll just head home then, yeah, unless there is anyone else I know who would be closer and easy to find)
<Chimi> (okay)
<Chimi> (then I might need Idovo too, sec)
* Daifan will take their time and try not to overdo it
<Chimi> (really just Balinteze would be easier to find, but they are in the fort usually so it's more of a production)
<Daifan> (yeah, do not want more attention, so unless I know when they would be leaving, for sure, then I'll just go home and take it slow)
<Chimi> (okay)
* Chimi and Idovo will both get up when you arrive at home, looking worried.
* Daifan would not turn down assistance from other corpseborn, but will otherwise try not to draw attention to themself in any way :p
<Chimi> (There might be another corpseborn or two on the road, so you might be able to get help for part of your trip at least)
<Chimi> Where have you been? :o
<Daifan> Oh hey...
<Daifan> Oh you know, thought I'd take a stroll through the swamp and try to make friends wth the local fauna...
<Idovo> We thought you were d- uhhhh...
* Idovo stops when Chimi elbows him
<Daifan> dancing?
* Daifan gives him a wry look, leaning in the doorway
<Idovo> Deee....ciding not to come back and abandon us forever ;)
* Idovo corrects himself
<Daifan> I had a deeelighful time on my first 'mission' with work...
<Daifan> that's all.
* Chimi comes over to help you to a seat.
<Idovo> What happened?
* Daifan will greatfull accept her aid
<Daifan> Some of the hedal I work with, I guess, have a ship, and we were sent upriver to check on someone's claim
<Chimi> Don't just stand there, get them a drink and some food :p
* Chimi says to her boyfriend, who nods and will do as he's told, while listening to your story
<Daifan> we got off the boat and we were attacked by.... bogwiggles?
<Daifan> It was all very fast
<Idovo> What's a bogwiggle?
* Daifan makes a face
<Daifan> very pleasant little creatures
<Daifan> liek giant tadpoles with teeth
<Chimi> Ugh!
<Daifan> they attach their tongues to you, and , eugh, yes
<Idovo> Kinky
<Daifan> They came from a pond near where I was standing... I don't remember very much.
<Daifan> One of the hedal took care of me.
<Idovo> That's strange.
<Daifan> She's alright.... one of those poeple who want to be hith
<Chimi> Oh yes... them. Well they're pretty strange to begin with.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> She has a brother and a cousin... they're the ones who have the boat.
<Daifan> It was very strange, like none of them understood, or cared about zhospe
<Idovo> Are they not from around here?
<Daifan> They gave me their food, and kept me there...
<Daifan> no
<Daifan> From Kaskind, but a small place, I guess
* Chimi frowns a little
<Daifan> I don' think they'd *really* seen many corpseborn.
* Daifan frowns
* Idovo comes back over with a drink and a bowl of mashed vegetables topped with some slivers of fish.
<Idovo> Hey, look at that, I caught that myself ;)
<Chimi> He hasn't shut up about it. Catch one fish and you think you're a miracle worker.
<Idovo> I'm a provider, is what I am.
<Chimi> Yeah, well, provide a bit more than one fish and we'll see.
<Daifan> its a good start
<Daifan> now do it again
<Idovo> With my bad hand, there's only so much I can do. Fishing's about my speed, though.
* Daifan nudges him with thier good foot
<Daifan> mmhmm
<Daifan> lookout for bogwiggles ;p
* Daifan will eat their food ravenously, anyway
<Idovo> Nah, I'm getting it figured out. I set some traps for those water-bug things, and I'll check those tomorrow and see what we got.
<Chimi> Crawfish.
* Chimi says
<Daifan> mudbugs
<Idovo> That's them.
<Chimi> I agree the fish was nice :3
* Chimi says, softening a little.
<Daifan> it was very good
<Daifan> Just what I needed
* Daifan says, as some of their colour is starting to return after the long trek home
<Idovo> Well, I gotta look out for my vaski :)
* Idovo comes over and pats you on the head, ruffling your hair a bit.
* Daifan smiles a bit, then sighs
<Daifan> I don't know what hapened to my scarf... I liked that one
<Chimi> They pay you at this job, right? You could get a new one.
<Daifan> yes...
<Daifan> that's the idea, anyway
<Chimi> ... are you going back?
* Chimi asks, hearing the uncertainty in your voice
<Daifan> It is good money. It's something different....
<Daifan> it's not just cleanig up garbage.
<Idovo> well ... money's not everything. If you aren't sure about it, you don't have to do it. Especially not after getting almost eaten by bogsquiggles :p
<Daifan> I think I need a few days before I even *can
* go back,
* Chimi nods
<Chimi> We'll take care of you.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I know :3
<Daifan> It is good to be home.
<Chimi> how about you take our bed and have a rest for a bit.
<Daifan> ...maybe for just a little >.>
* Daifan says, after considering refusing
<Idovo> We'll kick you out when we're ready to sleep, we promise.
<Daifan> Sleep, un huh, sure hun ;)
<Idovo> well I *did
* catch a fish today ^-^
* Daifan chuckles a little
<Daifan> you do need to be encouraged, I'm sure
* Chimi rolls her eyes a bit, but smiles
<Daifan> thanks
* Daifan says more sincerely, and will get up carefully to go lay down
* Chimi and Idovo will give you some uninterrupted time to rest.

Junan has some drinks with Zoshu at the Red Stump and Jimba joins them there

* Junan will wander into the Red Stump, dumping his gear on a corner table
* Junan sits his Envoy hat on the top of the pile and looks for his friends
* Zoshu can be found at the Red Stump, as usual. He is wearing yellow pants, a little too short for his enormous lanky frame, a grey-green tunic, and a wide belt with a bronze buckle.
* Zoshu waves over to you as he spots you enter.
<Junan> Zoshu! its been a long day! Share a mug with me
<Zoshu> Sure, are you buying? Grandmother doesn't put up with me drinking for free.
<Junan> whats the point of being a Ghez if I can't buy a few drinks for my friends
* Zoshu laughs.
<Zoshu> Ukhinum might be around later. I think he's at the harbour haggling over supplies.
<Junan> who knows, if he haggles enough, he might be thirsty... but probably not
<Zoshu> So how have you been?
* Junan pulls the lute from the gear and fishes a cloth out to wipe the travel grime from it
<Junan> How? Fine enough. Got to take a leisurly trip up river for the Land Registry.
<Zoshu> Oh?
<Junan> Weather was a bit wet. Named dropped this place to a prospector... so don't be thinking I dont appreciate the fine business you have here
* Junan will test the tune while taking a drink
<Zoshu> It's the swamp. Tends to be wet.
* Junan rolls his eyes at the comment
<Zoshu> But thanks for promoting the Stump.
<Junan> can't have you failing? Where would I drink?
<Zoshu> well exactly. I mean, there's all kinds of pissholes in Timiil but I wouldn't drink Aummesh beer if you paid me.
<Junan> and thats saying something coming from a Dirdukh
<Zoshu> Hey, I'll have you know that I am a gentleman of discernment and taste.
<Junan> you hang with me... I'm not sure if that confirms or discredits your statement
* Junan ponders
* Junan then drinks deep
<Zoshu> Probably a little of both. On the one hand, you're an envoy. On the other hand, I've met you.
* Junan accompanies his laugh with a strum
<Zoshu> So how are things upriver?
<Junan> I need to replace a few arrows if that says something
<Zoshu> You don't seem any the worse for wear.
<Junan> the point of having a bow is to keep the nasties away from you
<Junan> ever heard of a bogwiggle?
<Zoshu> Nope, what's that?
<Junan> seen a tadpol thats halfway to a frog?
<Zoshu> yeah, I guess so
<Junan> picture that... but dog sized with fangs
<Zoshu> Delightful.
<Junan> yeah, the corpseborn with us took a few bits... she did not look good
<Junan> (bites)
<Zoshu> Huh, they let corpseborn go with you?
* Junan shrugs
<Junan> always some jobs you just don't want to do, even in the swamp, so why not?
<Zoshu> I suppose so. Grandmother and Aunt Kifa would have a fit if we ever let them in the Stump.
<Zoshu> I don't care I guess. But it wouldn't be good for business.
<Zoshu> One touched me on the leg once and I got a bruise there that didn't go away for weeks.
<Junan> well this place is small minded
* Zoshu nods.
<Zoshu> That's so.
<Junan> and that story is so not true
<Zoshu> Is so! I grant you that I may also have fallen down the day before.
<Junan> ah the truth comes out
<Zoshu> All I'm saying is, everyone should be careful because who knows what they might do to you if they decided to look at you funny.
<Junan> I was sorry to see her hurt, she was pretty
<Zoshu> Well don't go getting any ideas. I heard one time about ... well, never mind.
* Junan laughs again
<Junan> I really lucked with the crew I got
* Zoshu sips his drink.
<Junan> there is me, the boat pilot, Jimba, and the rest are girls
<Zoshu> Do they always put you with the same group?
<Junan> and Jimba is like related to a couple of them
<Junan> we did the job, so I imagine they'll keep us together for a bit
<Junan> its not like the Land Registry is overflowing with manpower
<Zoshu> Well like I say the corpseborn lady can't come here unless she wants Grandmother to beat her with a stick. But any of the others can come by.
<Junan> your place your rules
<Junan> back to the girls...
<Junan> another one, Llillilli, she had this weird armor
<Zoshu> sorry, you must have been burping when you said her name, I didn't catch that.
<Junan> its Hith, as far as I can tell...Llillilli
* Junan says it slower
<Zoshu> Ohhh, one of those. Well, that's cool.
<Zoshu> They don't come here much but I've met a couple of those guys, they're pretty normal once you get to know them.
<Junan> she had this armor that was this clear yellowish material
<Junan> I've never seen anything like it before
<Zoshu> Huh, never heard of that.
<Zoshu> Must be a hith thing.
<Junan> Lithus she called it... from her friends... so yeah must be hith
<Junan> she was all kinda serious all the time
<Junan> I'll try and bring them all by sometime
<Zoshu> Well, hmm. Maybe something happened to her when she was a kid. I dunno.
<Zoshu> We can see if we can get Ukhinum to actually talk to them.
<Junan> that would be fun
<Zoshu> Usually Shorty just blushes as red as his hair.
<Junan> of the other two, Katenzhi, Jimba's cousin, is magic user... she spelled one of the bogwiggles... knocked it right out
<Zoshu> Have you ever tried it, magic I mean?
<Junan> me?
<Zoshu> Yeah, you.
<Junan> Seems like too much effort to me
<Junan> or at least too much thinking
* Junan lifts his mug
<Junan> this is all I need to change the world
<Zoshu> I knew a kid, back home, who tried it and all her teeth fell out when the spell went wrong.
<Junan> fortunately Katenzhi likes the brew... I gave her a taste from my skin, so I'm sure she'd be thrilled to meet you and Ukhinum
<Zoshu> Sounds good, seriously bring your friends by anytime.
<Junan> and that is why I don't do spells
<Junan> I like my teeth
* Junan smiles
<Junan> just wouldnt be the same made of wood
<Zoshu> Nope.
<Junan> ~beware the girl with teeth of wood~
<Junan> ~a spell she said, that was no good~
<Zoshu> ... what rhymes with 'splinter'?
<Junan> ~while the teeth they do fit her~
<Junan> ~a kiss can leave a splinter~
<Zoshu> Hmmm ... needs some work.
<Junan> I never claimed to be a writer
* Junan picks a few notes of a favourite bar ditty
* Jimba will enter the tavern and take a look around.
* Junan will break from playing long enough to wave Jimba over
* Jimba will head that way and take a seat.
* Junan is seated at a corner table with his beanpole of a friend
<Jimba> Though I'd take you up on that invitation.
* Jimba will offer hand to Junan's friend.
<Junan> Jimba this is my good friend Zoshu. He helps make the brew and is grandson of the owner
<Jimba> Ghughife Jimba.
<Jimba> Nice to meet you.
<Jimba> Oh, so he gets the praise or blame?
* Zoshu is an incredibly thin guy, fair skin and with green eyes.
<Junan> praise for now... blame maybe later
<Zoshu> Hi, I'm Zoshu Dirdukh. Welcome to the Red Stump. The Dirdukh lineage has been crafting the finest beers in Daligash for four generations and now we're proud to bring our trade here.
<Zoshu> You're one of Junan's friends from the land office place?
* Jimba nods.
* Junan nimbly extracts himself from the bench while still playing
<Junan> I'll get a round
<Junan> while you two make introductions
<Jimba> Just got back from a bit of a hairy trip.
<Zoshu> Heard a bit about that. Giant tadpoles, who knew there was such a thing?
<Jimba> All kinds of stuff out there in the swamps.
<Jimba> Wasn't the worst of it, really.
<Jimba> Well, maybe that depends on which of us you talk to.
<Jimba> Daifan probably would say they were.
<Zoshu> You mean there was worse?
<Jimba> Dead body. The guy we were sent to check up on, someone killed him and dumped him in his little pond.
* Junan returns with a fresh drinks
<Zoshu> Huh. So you guys had to bring it back and everything?
* Jimba nods.
<Junan> well the last girl I hadn't had a chance yet to mention is a priestess of the Hand
<Zoshu> May he rest with the ancestors.
* Zoshu says reverently.
* Jimba will echo that and take a drink.
<Jimba> She's taking care of it, or taking him to people who can.
<Zoshu> You have a priestess working for the land office?
<Junan> yeah, who knew
<Junan> her name's Veznara
<Jimba> She seemed nice enough.
<Zoshu> I mean, I guess priestesses can do anything. You hear about the place in Zhumne?
<Zoshu> (that's the village a couple miles east of here, run by the Hand, with like 80% bubun)
<Junan> nope never heard of it
* Junan says straight faced
<Jimba> What about it?
<Zoshu> Turns out there's a priestess there who runs a brothel ... where all the whores are bubun.
<Junan> thats can't be true
<Zoshu> Why not?
<Junan> who would pay for that?
<Zoshu> I'm just saying I heard it was true.
<Jimba> That sounds...really creepy.
<Zoshu> And that it's disgusting.
<Jimba> There's no way they're allowed to do that.
<Junan> doesnt a priestess have to direct the bubun or something? Or do they just lay there?
<Junan> any which way you put it, its all wrong
<Zoshu> They can follow instructions. So you tell them to fight, they fight. You tell them to fuck, I guess they do that too.
<Jimba> But, like, they're someone's family.
<Zoshu> well everyone's someone's family. A whore is someone's family.
<Jimba> Working a field or even fighting is one thing, but...ugh.
<Zoshu> Maybe they're orphans or criminals or something.
<Jimba> Theoretically, a whore has a choice. I mean, not always, but, like, more than a bubun has.
<Junan> perfect for Ukhinum... he wouldn't have to talk
<Zoshu> Eugggh ....
* Zoshu takes a drink, as if that will help.
<Jimba> Well, maybe Veznara will come get a drink here sometime, and you can ask her all about it. -_-
<Junan> Can you even imagine her face just mentioning it?
<Zoshu> Zhumne in general is a creepy place. I went there with a couple of barrels a few months ago and the whole place is full of bubun. Like, they're everywhere you go.
<Jimba> Pretty sure that's why it's, you know, *over there*.
<Junan> better them doing the farming than me, is all I have to say about that
<Jimba> I'll drink to that.
<Zoshu> They don't care whether they get wet, so they're out there in the fields, squishing and sloshing away.
<Junan> and I like my girls warm, smiling, and ticklish... all things bubuns are not
* Zoshu laughs.
* Junan drinks
<Zoshu> So Jimba, the Ghughifes, where are your kin from?
<Jimba> Choradan, originally, but I don't remember it. My family came here right after Llillilli and I were born.
<Jimba> Well, not here here. South of here.
<Zoshu> Oh, well, we forgive you, in that case.
<Junan> not everyone from Choradan is a horrible person Zoshu
<Jimba> I take it I'm missing something?
<Junan> Daligash and Choradan do not have a warm history
<Zoshu> Well, I just mean that between attacking us back home in Daligash, and bossing us around here in town, Choradanis aren't our favourite people.
<Zoshu> But like I say, we won't hold that against you cause you don't even remember the place.
* Zoshu smiles.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Zoshu> And your sister is the one who's the hith friend, or whatever?
<Jimba> You could say that, yeah. [Hithkindred], she'd say, probably.
<Zoshu> Cool, neat.
<Jimba> She lived with a community of them before we came here.
<Zoshu> Do, uh, hithkindred like to drink? She should come by sometime.
* Junan plucks a drinking tune
<Jimba> I might could drag her along. She's not really a people person.
<Jimba> My cousin Katenzhi would like this place, though.
<Zoshu> I heard that if hith drink alcohol they get dried out.
<Junan> I stand by my previous assessments Zoshu
<Jimba> Previous assessments?
<Junan> Jimba, your sister is really serious. Does she ever unwind or relax?
<Jimba> And I'm like 95% sure that alcohol thing isn't true.
<Jimba> She her own way, in her own time.
<Jimba> She just...doesn't trust easily.
<Jimba> Not a bad trait, sometimes, but not exactly one that'll make you quick friends.
<Zoshu> Sounds like my aunt Kifa.
* Zoshu looks about to make sure he's out of earshot.
* Jimba smiles at that.
<Junan> I would not go that far
<Jimba> I'm assuming your aunt doesn't carry a pair of spears she's willing to use when people annoy her. ;)
<Junan> Kifa just spears you with her aura of hate
<Zoshu> [q] Yeah, Aunt Kifa pretty much hates everybody.
<Jimba> Well, I'm sure dealing with drunks all the time keeps it well-honed.
* Zoshu laughs.
<Junan> Fortunately I carry her one true love
* Junan jingles his coin pouch
<Zoshu> That is the truth.
* Jimba laughs.
<Jimba> Bound to make anyone more friendly, that.
<Zoshu> I think she was betrothed, once. She never talks about the old days though.
<Jimba> Aww, that's sad.
<Jimba> Is that before she came out to Kaskind?
* Junan changes his tune to a Taizi ballad
<Zoshu> Oh yeah, years and years before that even, long before I was born.
<Zoshu> She's got to be, hmm, almost seventy. She's a few years younger than Grandmother.
<Jimba> How long has your family been here?
<Zoshu> We all came out here, uhh, nine years ago, maybe eight, I forget exactly, after Grandfather died.
<Zoshu> He wasn't really one of us, of course, I mean, of course he wasn't a Dirdukh. Grandmother got it in her head that Kaskind needed a good beer of its own, so here we are, representing the family line.
<Junan> and I for one appreciate you're families efforts for being here
<Jimba> Likewise.
* Jimba takes another drink.
<Jimba> And you, Junan? What brought you out to Kaskind?
<Junan> why the drink of course!
* Jimba rolls his eyes and smiles.
* Zoshu laughs, and drinks some more.
<Junan> and hopes of making my own forture.
<Jimba> Ah, now that I can understand.
* Junan drinks deep
<Junan> Its funny though... this is far from Daligash, but its so Daligash
<Junan> I could have gone farther
* Junan switches to a Enskrai travel tune
<Jimba> How do you mean?
<Junan> what's the Daligash here? The factions, the money, the old rivalries... they're here too.
<Junan> just not as out front about it
* Jimba nods.
<Junan> I could have gone someplace completely different... but this seems far enough but close enough to home
<Jimba> Were you looking for someplace different?
<Junan> I think I was looking for away
<Jimba> I can understand that, too.
* Jimba takes a long drink.
<Junan> here I get away, but also get the perks of the Ghez name
* Junan drinks
* Junan goes back to playing a local drinking song
<Zoshu> Well we take good care of you here.
<Junan> you here for the fortune too Jimba?
<Junan> or the hopes of it?
<Jimba> Hopes is about it for now.
<Jimba> I've got a ship, and a steady job. That'll do for the time being.
<Junan> and you have drink!
<Junan> all you need now is someone to keep the sheets warm at night
<Zoshu> No shortage of that sort of thing around here.
<Junan> oh how I hate to be cold
<Jimba> Heh, yeah, I guess so.
<Jimba> Not much chance of that here, though I get your meaning.
* Junan laughs

Llillilli talks to Whellae about Corpseborn things

<Llillilli> (is Ruur the kind of place I can go or would she have to be in town for me to meet up with her?)
* Whellae can be found out on the island of Ruur, in the town of Pashas where she lives. You can get Jimba to whip you out there pretty easily it's about 6-7 miles away from Kaskind.
<Llillilli> (noice)
* Llillilli will see if she is home then
<Whellae> (Pashas, or Pfaaeshes, is a community of around 300 or so, give or take. It is not a welcoming place to most visitors, being constructed explicitly for hith and their hithkindred / hith-oriented human allies. Because you're known to be a hithkindred that's fine though.)
<Llillilli> (yuss)
* Whellae can be found tending to a weir along the rocky north coast of the island.
* Whellae is a solidly built woman with dark complexion and straight dark hair cut very short for pragmatic reasons.
* Whellae looks up as you approach. It's hard to judge her expression.
<Llillilli> Hi.
* Whellae smiles.
<Whellae> (we will presume this is all in Hithaeli hereafter, too lazy to write [h] every time)
<Llillilli> (yeah)
<Whellae> Ah ... hello, sister Llillilli. I wasn't expecting you. But now that you are here the sun shines a little brighter.
<Llillilli> (what does she do here anyway?)
<Llillilli> (is she HK now? my list didn't say)
<Whellae> (she's a fisher, or at least, that's what she does right now. Most people in Pashas do)
<Whellae> (you don't know formally, but ... yes)
<Llillilli> (are there any humans around rn)
<Whellae> (just you)
<Llillilli> (good)
<Llillilli> How's the catch?
<Whellae> Ahh, not bad, today. I'm tending this weir for someone else, actually, one of the People, not a human.
* Llillilli nods.
<Whellae> A lot of the folks here have been spending more time at the court than would be usual. I don't know why.
<Llillilli> Hm.
<Llillilli> (have I heard anything from my allies about something going on?)
<Llillilli> Since when?
<Whellae> (nope, haven't heard anything)
<Whellae> The last month or so, I guess. I try not to intrude. I was wondering if it was related to why you were here, and I was going to ask you.
<Llillilli> No. I don't know anything.
* Llillilli shrugs.
<Llillilli> I'm between jobs.
<Llillilli> ANd something was bothering me. A question.
<Whellae> Oh, how rude of me. Would you care for some dulse tea?
<Llillilli> Thanks.
<Llillilli> (mmmm, salty)
<Llillilli> (*hork*)
* Whellae leads you back to her modest home, a structure of flat stones with lithus mortar, and gets to work on the delicious beverage of your people :)
<Whellae> You said you have a question.
<Llillilli> Yes.
<Llillilli> On our last job they sent a girl, Daifan.
<Llillilli> (ugh the dog wants out, again. brb)
<Llillilli> She's corpseborn.
<Llillilli> (do the hith even have a word for that)
<Whellae> (nope)
<Llillilli> SHe asked me something and I didn't understand the word.
<Whellae> All right.
<Llillilli> SHe asked if I was tetem. What is that? Do you know?
<Whellae> (not sure if you can roll me a SM in here)
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+2
<Llillilli> (nope)
* Whellae looks down, then up again, pausing before speaking.
<Llillilli> (idk if you believe me but I used a die roller and I got a nat 20)
<Whellae> (would you have told Whellae anything about your background / family stuff? I'm guessing no)
<Llillilli> (actually I probably would because I would think I could trust her)
<Whellae> (ok cool)
<Llillilli> (really the only reason I keep it a secret is Jimba)
<Whellae> Ahh ... she wants to know if you are corpseborn but pretending not to be.
<Llillilli> Oh, is that all.
<Whellae> It is ... well. It is not nothing, to be tetem.
<Llillilli> Is that what she would call you?
<Whellae> She ... might? Probably not though.
<Llillilli> Am I?
* Llillilli tilts her head, frowning.
<Whellae> Ahh ... no?
<Llillilli> No.
* Whellae doesn't seem quite sure.
<Llillilli> Hm.
<Whellae> Well ... this is what I think.
<Whellae> And you understand I hope that just because I think it doesn't make it what everyone would say.
<Llillilli> Yes.
<Whellae> Tetem is like, you are wearing a different skin. That you are trying to tell people that you are not corpseborn. Perhaps to marry, or to have a different job, or just to escape from being thought of as corpseborn.
<Whellae> For me, you know ... I don't like people to think of me as corpseborn. So I guess I am tetem. But if someone asks me, I would tell them.
<Llillilli> I don't care what people think of me.
<Llillilli> But I care what they think of Jimba.
<Whellae> I have chosen the sun's rays over the ash that I would have become. So for me, being with the People is a ... positive choice?
<Llillilli> Of course it is.
<Whellae> It is not denying what I was, or what I am, just being something else, or something that I hope to be.
<Whellae> I don't know, maybe I am not saying it right, I'm not always good with my words.
<Llillilli> Well, neither am I.
<Llillilli> I think I understand.
<Whellae> But you, I do not think ... well, I don't want to cause you any offense, sister, but ... most corpseborn would not agree that you are corpseborn. Or they would not know.
<Llillilli> It doesn't offend me.
<Whellae> I don't know what happened at your first dawn, with you and Jimba.
<Llillilli> Because I think it's nonsense
<Llillilli> Our mother died. What else is there to say.
<Llillilli> Our aunt took us. SHe lied to others.
<Whellae> If your mother did die before the first light, and they chose to keep you nonetheless, that may have seemed like an act of kindness but ... corpseborn would not see it that way.
<Llillilli> Why?
<Whellae> They would see it as denying you and Jimba the opportunity to be part of the community.
<Whellae> And that if it were ever found out ... the Hand would be upset, it would upset the social order in your lineage ... it would just be a problem.
<Llillilli> But they are outcasts. Daifan is afraid to talk to us. How is that an opportunity?
<Llillilli> The social order should be upset. It doesn't make any sense.
<Whellae> ... I agree with you, sister. That's why I left. I'm just saying how other corpseborn, people who live their whole lives in the community, would probably see it.
<Whellae> I don't want to upset the corpseborn. I just want to live my life.
<Llillilli> As all should be allowed to do.
<Whellae> I just ... again, I don't have the right words I think ... you are born corpseborn, by these rules that exist, when your mother dies. And that is important, because everyone believes it.
<Whellae> But you also become corpseborn by ... being corpseborn.
<Llillilli> To walk in the sun. Why should a half an hour, say, before sunrise, decide the course of someone's life
<Llillilli> When it is clear, that it makes no difference.
<Llillilli> My mother did not see my first dawn.
<Llillilli> But I am no more cursed than my cousin.
<Whellae> Like, imagine someone whose mother died before first light, in, I don't know, some faraway place, uhh, Duedarcia. Corpseborn would not insist on the right to that baby. How could we insist that, when their mother didn't believe what we do?
<Llillilli> It doesn't make any sense. Their rules are stupid.
<Whellae> It is hard to believe, but Corpseborn really believe that they are very lucky. That despite it all, despite the hardships, that we are blessed by a kind of freedom.
<Whellae> That was very hard for me to accept. But my ... family, the people who raised me in Daligash, they really believe that. And it is true, that the corpseborn community is full of joy and wonder and laughter and song. It is a happy life.
<Llillilli> Daifan did not seem happy.
<Llillilli> SHe seemed afraid
<Whellae> Well, I don't know her. Maybe she is afraid. But is she afraid because she is corpseborn?
<Llillilli> She looked like a scared rabbit, all the time.
<Whellae> She could just be afraid because she doesn't know you yet.
<Llillilli> Hm.
<Llillilli> Maybe.
<Whellae> Or because she doesn't know how you will react or behave around her.
<Llillilli> Maybe she does not like me. Many people don't.
<Llillilli> But everyone likes Jimba.
<Llillilli> SO I don't know.
<Whellae> Maybe.
<Llillilli> I don't want her to be afraid of me.
<Whellae> But ... maybe she doesn't know how to react to someone who doesn't treat her as a corpseborn would be treated?
<Llillilli> We are the same.
<Llillilli> Or we could have been.
<Llillilli> But for one lie.
<Whellae> But she doesn't know that. Which is why she asked if you were tetem, and when you said you didn't know, well, now she has to wonder what you really are.
<Llillilli> I treat her as I think she should be treated
* Whellae nods.
<Llillilli> I am Llillilli.
* Whellae smiles.
<Whellae> There are some corpseborn who are more ... political, I guess? Who want to create a new social order. But even most of them don't want to not be corpseborn anymore.
<Whellae> They want to be corpseborn, and to be human, at the same time. Which scares the other humans very much.
<Llillilli> Maybe that's good
<Llillilli> Maybe they should be scared.
<Whellae> I ... am not good at making others scared. I decided that my answer would be found in my own sunrise, and my own rebirth. And let others do what they will.
<Llillilli> That is fair.
<Whellae> I can't imagine a world where everyone accepts the corpseborn as ... the same. I don't even know if I want that. I just decided to go somewhere where no one cares about that.
<Whellae> Here, in Pfaeshes, it's complicated because there are some people, a few people at least, who follow the Corps. I heard that a few years ago there was a corpseborn baby here.
<Whellae> But I don't know what happened. It's ... well, it's pretty rude and hard to just ask what happened to some family you never met, years ago.
<Llillilli> The baby was corpseborn, or its parents were?
<Whellae> The baby was. The mother died.
<Whellae> And for the people here who follow Sellu, that would be, well, it would be sad because the mother died, but then that baby would just be adopted, or raised by the father, or whatever.
<Llillilli> I am rude, I could ask.
<Whellae> Ahhh ... I don't want to get in any trouble. I am not so brave.
<Llillilli> Well. I don't want to cause you trouble.
<Whellae> There are a couple of people here who know I am corpseborn. And of course Shulilae, which is I guess why they must have introduced us in the first place.
<Llillilli> Yes, I think so.
<Whellae> But mostly I don't tell anyone. Which is ... it would kind of make me tetem. Because if you believe that corpseborn carry a ... stain ... there isn't even a good Hithaeli word for it, then it affects you, a lot.
<Whellae> People who believe they are cursed, are cursed.
<Whellae> I don't know, this is all very complicated and I don't know if I am saying it right.
<Llillilli> I understand what you are saying.
<Llillilli> I just think it's dumb. THe rules are dumb.
<Whellae> We are both ... sort of tetem, but for different reasons. You had that choice made for you, and then when you found out it was like ... why would you even accept this thing that horrible people had done to you?
<Whellae> And me, I always knew what I was, until I chose ... to not be that anymore.
<Whellae> But mostly what people mean by tetem are people who are living a lie. Living in another skin that is not their own.
<Whellae> And I think you are the most honest person I have ever met.
* Whellae smiles warmly.
<Llillilli> ...
<Llillilli> Thank you
* Llillilli smiles a rare smile
<Whellae> You just say what you think, and don't care what anyone else thinks. That is very brave ... and possibly also stupid.
<Whellae> But, you know, maybe not so stupid, also.
<Llillilli> I don't know if it's brave *or
* stupid. I don't know how to be anything else
<Whellae> It was your ... uncle, who told you that you were corpseborn?
<Llillilli> Yes.
* Whellae considers.
<Whellae> Do you think you are like him?
<Llillilli> My mother's sister's husband.
<Llillilli> No.
<Whellae> I only ask because, to tell someone they are corpseborn, once they are older ... that is an act of great honesty, without care for what people think.
<Whellae> But also cruel.
<Llillilli> I do not think he did it to be honest.
* Whellae nods.
<Llillilli> He did it in anger. He thought to hurt us.
<Whellae> See, it is best that you were not raised corpseborn.
<Llillilli> Why?
<Whellae> Corpseborn are ... happy to lie, among ourselves, or to deceive humans, or ... well, I don't know why they do it. But it's not always an honest life.
<Whellae> You would not have liked it.
<Llillilli> No, definitely not.
<Llillilli> They would not have liked me.
<Llillilli> Oh.
<Llillilli> Maybe that is why Daifan doesn't.
<Llillilli> That's interesting.
<Whellae> She may want you to be ... more willing to play the game.
<Llillilli> I'm no good at games.
<Whellae> A socially useful game, but a ... sort of trickery, something we are supposed to agree to do.
<Llillilli> Unless they are about throwing or hitting or catching.
<Whellae> I understand.
<Llillilli> I always like talking to you.
<Whellae> I mean, I am not like you, but ... I couldn't stay where I was.
<Whellae> If I had a brother to worry about, though ... I do not know what I would do.
<Llillilli> At least he is better at games.
<Whellae> Do not be like Ling and Pigai.
<Llillilli> (do I know who they are)
<Whellae> To be put in your situation, you need to stay together, not apart. Even if he doesn't understand, always.
<Llillilli> I'm not going to marry Jimba!
* Whellae laughs.
* Llillilli makes a horrified face.
<Whellae> That's not what I meant! I meant ... being in an impossible situation, and having to choose to be on the same side, or the opposite sides.
<Llillilli> No. I will never desert Jimba.
<Llillilli> Nothing will separate us.
* Llillilli says with determination.
<Whellae> And that is why you are a good person, even if you don't always believe that.
* Whellae sips her delicious tea.
<Llillilli> You are a good person.
* Llillilli also sips the delicious tea.
<Whellae> Ahhhh ... heheh
<Llillilli> (MM SO DELICIOUS ;_;)
<Whellae> I will maybe come visit you sometime in Kaskind, if that is all right.
<Llillilli> That would be fine.
* Llillilli tells her where to find the boat
<Whellae> Thank you for coming by.
<Llillilli> Thank you for the tea.
<Llillilli> And the answers.

Balinteze comes to see how Daifan is recuperating

* Daifan is trying to take it more or less easy at home, maybe doin some mending or something
* Balinteze will pay a visit to you during your recovery, at a time when your roommates are out.
<Balinteze> Hey - what trouble did you get into?
<Daifan> oh you know
<Daifan> I tried to pick up a new pet
* Balinteze comes over to look at you more carefully, checking you out for signs of injury before giving you a hug.
<Balinteze> Something cute and cuddly?
* Daifan is favouring one of their legs slightly but is doing much better now :x
<Daifan> Lil' asshole woudl have been so jealous
<Daifan> Bogwiggle - it sounds so adorable, doesn't it?
* Daifan will hug back, also
<Balinteze> It sounds like something that swarms up an outhouse to bite your ass.
* Daifan chuckles at that
<Daifan> they might?
<Balinteze> ew.
<Daifan> try not to shit in the swamp.
<Daifan> Oh, wait.
* Daifan looks around
<Balinteze> Honey, it's not like we have a choice.
* Daifan grins
<Balinteze> Other than getting your ass eaten, and not in the fun way, how are you doing?
<Daifan> I'm okay.
<Daifan> taking care of myself, and all that.
* Daifan shrugs
<Balinteze> Hopefully your friends are taking care of you too.
<Daifan> well, yes!
<Daifan> But I don't like for them to have to go too much out of their way, you know?
* Balinteze nods
* Daifan frowns slightly, thinking about somethign, and then shakes their head.
<Balinteze> What is it?
<Daifan> I was just thinking...
<Daifan> It's different, having Spider and Sheep-Stealer look after me, that when the hedal were doing it, but I still don't like it.
<Balinteze> don't like people looking after you?
<Daifan> I guess.... it's not important, anyway.
<Balinteze> well, and here I was going to offer to do your makeup, but I guessssss I can leave instead ^-^
<Daifan> ooooh no that's different!
* Daifan grins
* Balinteze smiles back
<Daifan> That I can reciprocate, at least ^-^
<Balinteze> all right then
<Balinteze> I'll need to wash it off before I go back to the fort, though. Kemai isn't big on eyeliner and rouge.
<Balinteze> but I can look pretty for a little bit :)
<Daifan> always ^-^
<Daifan> But I can try something more subtle too...
<Balinteze> whatever you want - I'm a blank slate ^-^
<Daifan> did you bring anything?
<Balinteze> Just a few things.
* Daifan nods
* Balinteze has a little disguise kit that they usually carry with them.
<Daifan> mmhmmm just a few... :3
* Daifan pokes through it
* Daifan has a few more basic cosmetics, but nothing so elaborate
<Balinteze> well, you know, not like I would have had back home, but I manage :)
<Daifan> mmhmmm, we all do..
* Daifan says a little wistfully
<Balinteze> Do you miss it?
* Balinteze asks, picking out a small pot of rouge and a brush
<Daifan> it? Home?
* Balinteze nods
<Daifan> some things
<Daifan> you?
<Balinteze> Hm....
* Balinteze lightly adjusts your chin to the best angle so they can start to apply your makeup.
* Daifan will hold still
<Balinteze> Some things... some people. Foolish things, some of them. The food - there was a shop that sold these little cookies, almost as thin as lace. I doubt anyone else can make them the same as that.
<Daifan> (are they from Taizi?)
<Daifan> fancy...
<Balinteze> (yes)
* Daifan says, trying not to move too much.
<Balinteze> I miss the sound of bells from the street vendors, and the smell of oil lamps - they don't smell the same here, different oil.
<Daifan> Do you think you'll ever go back?
* Balinteze considers that, applying a light coating of red to your cheeks
<Balinteze> It depends on... a lot of things.
<Balinteze> What about you?
<Daifan> Mmmm. Right now.... I can't imagine it.
<Balinteze> Can you imagine staying here forever?
<Daifan> ...That's hard too. I don't know.
<Daifan> lets' see if I manage to go back to work without getting almost killed -_-
<Balinteze> that seems like a good first step...
<Daifan> if they'll have me back.
<Balinteze> oh, they will.
<Daifan> maybe they'll just decide it was a mistake after all
<Daifan> you think so?
<Daifan> I still don't know why they sent me with so many hedal
<Balinteze> mm, they need someone to do their shitwork.
<Daifan> yes...
<Daifan> There is that
<Daifan> But we'll see.
<Balinteze> and I don't see people lining up for the job.
<Daifan> Some of the hedal have...strange ideaas
<Balinteze> what sort of ideas?
<Daifan> like, they don't understand, or care about me being corpseborn.
<Daifan> or maybe, they don't want to understand?
<Balinteze> are they locals? from around here, I mean?
<Daifan> They're from Kaskind, more or less. Came there from Chordan when they were very little, I think.
<Daifan> There's three of them - a brother and sister, and their cousin, who is older. They have a boat - they're the ones who looked after me...right after.
* Balinteze nods
<Balinteze> Well, people from Choradan can be strange, but not usually like that. Maybe they grew up in a very small village or something, and never met too many corpseborn?
<Daifan> Katenzhi, she said she talked to and traded with whoever she wanted and had never had any trouble
<Daifan> I think that's it.
<Daifan> I think it's not really been somethign she's dealt with before. If she thinks no one will care... shes wrong.
<Daifan> None of the traders in town would want to carry their good on their boat if they knew they'd cared form me there
* Balinteze nods
<Balinteze> Yes, you were probably bleeding all over the place.
<Daifan> One of them patched me up pretty well....
<Daifan> She's strange, one of those people who spends a lot of time with the Hith.
<Balinteze> ah... yes, that sort. They're a whole other kind of strange.
<Daifan> that I can understand. The hith don't care about what it means to be corpseborn, so maybe she doens't either
<Daifan> the others... I don't know. Unless they picked it up from her.
<Daifan> it was just... strange. They were very nice.
<Balinteze> I would be thinking, all right, what do they want from me?
<Daifan> *exactly*!
<Daifan> it was very stressful. For lots of reasons.
<Daifan> they just didn't understand.
* Balinteze pauses for a moment to stroke your hair in an affectionate way, (mostly) unrelated to grooming
<Daifan> That first day I could hardly get up without thinkng I would faint.
* Daifan gives a somewhat strained smile at that
<Balinteze> You should be careful with them. I can't say whether or not they mean well. But in my experience, hedal who know you're corpseborn, and still want to be nice to you, are probably after something. Sex, or getting you to do something they don't want to do. Sometimes those are the same :p
<Daifan> ...yes :/
<Daifan> I know.
* Balinteze gives a sympathetic smile
<Daifan> I used to work the casinos in Kindalto...
* Daifan shrugs
<Daifan> but then you knew what to expect.
* Balinteze nods
<Daifan> and I was not by myself, you know? I always had vaski around close by.
* Balinteze nods
<Daifan> It was fun.
* Daifan says extremely glumly
<Balinteze> well - even if I'm not close by all the time, I'm closer than some. If you ever need me, you can find me at the fort.
<Balinteze> not all the way out here in Toadtown :)
<Daifan> yes... i will keep that in mind.
<Daifan> I don't want to make trouble for you, though
<Balinteze> ah, well - I'm very experienced at getting out of trouble :)
<Daifan> I guess you must be :x
<Daifan> You'll have to teach me
<Balinteze> well, one is figuring out who you can or can't rely on. It's a hard lesson to learn, though.
<Daifan> yeah :/
<Balinteze> But sometimes you don't have a choice - you need to cast your net and hope it brings you what you need. Like I did with you :3
<Balinteze> now here, lips...
* Balinteze gets you to purse your lips so they can apply a coat of red to them
* Daifan smiles more genuinely at that, and then will comply

Daifan walks to work with Sulidein

<Sulidein> (do you want to seek him out somewhere, bump into him by accident, or what?)
<Daifan> (I think seek him out deliberately.... maybe catch him on the way in to work, assuming he lives on Banei. Also, what's his name?)
<Sulidein> (he does live in Banei, and his nickname is Moss)
<Daifan> (cool. well if that works, I might try and see if I can walk in with him maybe?)
<Sulidein> (yes, sure, that would be fine)
* Daifan will leave a little early and wait by the path, maybe?
* Sulidein is a young man, although somewhat older than you - mid-twenties or so - with short black hair and a slim build. He carries something, presumably some food, in a little satchel.
* Sulidein nods in greeting when he sees you.
* Daifan will try practicing their Aumesh
<Daifan> Hi, Moss.... do you mind if I walk in with you?
<Sulidein> Sure, I'd like the company.
* Sulidein says with a smile.
<Daifan> thanks, same... I was hoping I could ask you a little more about the job too, since you've been there longer...
<Sulidein> All right.
<Sulidein> Are you doing better? I heard you ran into some wildlife.
* Daifan rubs their thigh a bit sheepishly
<Daifan> I'm okay.
<Daifan> It was not a great first time out though....
<Daifan> Has anything like that every happened to you, or was that just beginner's luck?
<Sulidein> oh, well, on my first trip, everyone got the most ferocious ass-rash.
<Sulidein> There's this plant called stinging envy, and if, say, you wipe your ass with its leaves... let's say you never forget it.
<Daifan> D:
<Daifan> i will try to remember that one.
<Sulidein> I'll point it out to you sometime - so you can avoid it, or use it on your enemies, whichever you prefer.
<Daifan> thanks. No enemies here yet though, that I know of...
<Sulidein> give it time, everyone acquires a few :)
<Daifan> no doubt.
<Daifan> Do you work with hedal there, too, then?
* Sulidein nods
<Sulidein> A few people didn't like it at first, but they either got used to it, or they left.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> It's not too weird?
<Sulidein> it's weird. but I got used to it too.
* Daifan nods
<Sulidein> it's better work - better paid, and better conditions - than you'd find almost anywhere else.
<Daifan> how does it work?
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> is it always the same people?
<Sulidein> Well, mostly.
<Sulidein> I work with Mepla, Sharei, Selisaeth, and Idasti most of the time - sometimes if there's a particular reason, we might have someone else along with us, or if someone is out ill or busy following up on another case or something, it might be fewer of us.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> and they're okay?
<Daifan> or is it the same as everywhere else and they make you do al the shit jobs, still?
* Sulidein gives a sort of shrug.
<Sulidein> Selisaeth is a hithkindred - she's not bothered by our type at all. Mepla and Sharei are both old hands on the river, and they've pretty much seen it all. They aren't bad, all things considered, but they do prefer it if I stay to my end of the boat. Not bad, though.
* Daifan nods
* Daifan notes that he didn't say anything about Idasti, buuuuuut... Choradani >.>
<Sulidein> Idasti was the only one who had a bit of a hard time with it, but she's stuck around anyway.
<Sulidein> She comes from a noble family back in Choradan, she got the job because she's Ifral's sister in law or something like that, so maybe she can't really leave.
<Sulidein> But she's not too bad either - I mean, she could be a lot worse.
* Daifan nods
<Sulidein> Out of town, everyone cleans up their own shit.
<Daifan> Thats' good
<Sulidein> Idasti tried at the start to make me handle it but Mepla told her to do it herself and I didn't have to argue about it.
<Sulidein> If you get some folks like that, who will stick up for you if someone else tries to dump that on you, then that's good.
<Daifan> yeah.... I think I'll be okay.
<Sulidein> yeah?
<Daifan> Jimba and Katenzhi own the boat we were on, and they let me stay and even took care of me...
<Daifan> They're kind of weird. I don't think they've dealt much with Corpseborn. And Llillilli is a, uh, hithkindred too
<Sulidein> well, that's good. they'll probably want to get the boat hallowed but Mepla has a deal with one of the Hand, she just comes by and does it every month or so. We could probably hook them up.
<Sulidein> oh, but you have a Hand in your group anyway, don't you? so maybe she can do it.
<Daifan> well, we have Veznara, and probably they
<Daifan> will just get her to di it
* Daifan nods
* Sulidein nods
<Daifan> I haven't talked to her too much.
* Daifan shrugs
<Daifan> She’s a hand, and she's pretty, and that's about all I know! I think she's from Taizi.
* Sulidein nods
<Sulidein> if the others haven't dealt much with corpseborn, are they being okay about it?
<Daifan> yeah.... almost...too okay?
<Sulidein> if you have any trouble with someone, you can talk to Utus about it. He's fair, and he won't put up with people being assholes to us just because they feel like it.
<Daifan> okay, that’s good to know.
<Sulidein> Let's say when I started here there were a few other agents, and they don't work here anymore, but I do.
* Sulidein says with a shrug.
<Daifan> huh
<Daifan> do you know why they hired you?
<Daifan> or us, I suppose. I just fgure once you had the job it was easier for me, but maybe not?
<Sulidein> Well, I know the area pretty well, having grown up around here. I can handle myself in a fight if it comes to that - I've done some training with Eldiri, do you know her? I'm pretty good at convincing people to talk rather than fight, though, which is what I prefer.
<Daifan> I've met her.... I haven't trained with her yet, but I learned a little khaije back home...
* Sulidein nods
<Daifan> The bogwiggles did not seem to have heard that :P
<Sulidein> it's worth it if you're able to do it, just so you know what to do if you run into trouble.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Do you find that people listen to you on jobs?
<Daifan> or only to the others?
<Sulidein> Well... this only helps sometimes, but I'm usually the only man. Sometimes these fos farmers and the like, they'd rather listen to a man, even if he's corpseborn, than have women telling them what to do.
<Daifan> hmm.
<Daifan> that will... probably not help me >.>
<Daifan> We have an envoy, anyway.
<Sulidein> no, I guess not :/ But then... if you act like they have to listen to you, that goes a long way too.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I can do that.
* Daifan says decisively.
<Sulidein> Remember that you have the fort backing you up, ultimately. I mean... not that there's literally a Sentinel standing behind you - that would be useful sometimes though - but that you're working under their authority.
* Daifan nods
<Sulidein> But as to why they hired me - like why they hired a Corpseborn at all? I don't know, I just heard that they would, so I walked in and asked.
<Daifan> huh
<Daifan> I wonder why more people don't, then?
<Daifan> That is basically what I did >.>
<Sulidein> maybe more people don't want to worry about whether things will be weird.
* Sulidein says with a slight smile.
<Daifan> well... maybe.
<Daifan> it was weird though.
* Sulidein nods
<Daifan> they shared their food and everything
<Daifan> they didn't even know me!
<Sulidein> I understand that. It's strange that they welcomed you in so fast, but maybe not a bad thing.
<Daifan> I think it will be okay, as long as no one else in the groups makes anything of it.
* Sulidein nods
<Sulidein> do you think they will?
* Daifan considers
<Daifan> I don't know them well enough to say yet.
* Sulidein nods
<Sulidein> Well, the only person who you might want to avoid is Ibon, the herbalist.
<Daifan> oh?
<Daifan> I mean, he seems like kind of a jerk to everyone >.>
<Sulidein> he can be a mean bastard, yeah...
<Sulidein> and a stickler for not wanting corpseborn to infest his fos.
<Daifan> ahh. Well, someone else can deal wth him, no skin off my nose.
* Sulidein nods
<Sulidein> that's probably for the best
<Sulidein> how long have you been here?
<Daifan> mmmm.... maybe 7 months?
* Sulidein nods
<Sulidein> how are you finding it?
<Daifan> I like Banei
<Daifan> having a place like that feels special.
<Sulidein> you've picked up Aummesh pretty well
<Daifan> it seemed important...
* Sulidein smiles at that
<Sulidein> not everyone feels that way
<Daifan> well, why wouldn't you want to be able to talk to everyone?
<Sulidein> ah, we should just speak Ombesh ;)
* Daifan chuckles
<Daifan> Yes, it seems so inviting doesn't it, so many wonderful foreigners, such lovely people!
<Sulidein> heh
<Sulidein> well, we're not so different, all in all
<Daifan> no, exactly.
<Daifan> But you grew up here, yes?
<Daifan> It must have changed a lot @_@
<Sulidein> Yes, in Banei. It was a lot smaller then.
<Sulidein> Kaskind has changed a lot more, but Banei has grown too.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> more of everyone, I guess
<Sulidein> It's strange, in some ways, having so many people around. but I think it's good, too. It's good for us to have our own place.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I love it...
<Sulidein> and there's room enough for everyone, whether they're newcomers or not. we're better off if we stick together.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> exactly!
<Daifan> and just live our lives without worrying about the hedal
* Sulidein nods
<Sulidein> I hope so.
<Sulidein> And listen, if your group make you feel uncomfortable, I could talk to Utus about switching you with Idasti ;) I promise I won't even prank you by giving you stinging leaves to clean off with.
* Daifan smirks a bit
<Daifan> how kind.
* Sulidein smiles
<Daifan> I'll see how things go, but I think I'll be alright, and probably you're stuck with her.
<Sulidein> they do mix up the groups sometimes - depending on what they think they might need. I could end up working with you sometimes anyway. That would be all right too :)
<Daifan> yes!
<Daifan> that would be fun, I think. As long as there's no more unexpected wildlife.
<Daifan> or suspicious leaves >.>
* Sulidein nods

Jimba visits Mayiru in Hapaan

* Jimba will have wandered over towards Hapaan with Bashi, Mogri, and Washteppo (she needs to get out more :p)
<Mayiru> (the trip takes a few hours, perhaps a little bit longer than usual because it's the rainy season and some of the usual paths are a bit washed out. Eventually you come to the village of Hapaan, an old-style Aummesh village with squat, low-roofed longhouses with wide overhangs radiating from a central hub.)
<Jimba> (Presumably he knows where Mayiru lives)
<Mayiru> (you get plenty of weird looks, but the hippo gives everyone a pretty solid clue why you're here, and before you can even get too far, it seems like the village children have already alerted Mayiru to your presence)
<Mayiru> (as an unmarried woman, Mayiru still officially lives at the Laguur lineage house, which is an aging structure fairly central in the village. The Laguurs are an old country lineage, low in status but high in clan pride.)
* Mayiru comes riding out on Auri. She is wearing her long hair tied up in a bun, and is wearing a tan dashi tied high for the rainy season.
* Mayiru dismounts.
<Mayiru> Jimba, hadn't thought to be seeing you around the old town. Good to see you though.
<Jimba> It's not good for Washteppo to be cooped up in town all the time, so I brought her hunting with me, and I thought I'd stop by.
<Jimba> [Small wildlife]?
<Jimba> (Not sure what all is in the area.)
<Jimba> How're you today, Auri?
<Mayiru> (turtles, snakes, otters, monkeys?)
* Jimba reaches out cautiously to let the massive animal sniff him.
<Mayiru> (Auri snorts in a friendly way.)
<Jimba> (Let's say he offered her a turtle.)
<Mayiru> He hasn't eaten any imperials in a while. Lucky he remembers you or he might decide you're Choradani after all.
<Jimba> I'll be sure to keep an eye out. I wouldn't want to be too tempting.
<Jimba> How's things?
* Mayiru laughs.
<Mayiru> Well, you know.
* Mayiru waves her arm around the village.
* Jimba nods.
<Mayiru> Not much here for the young ones these days. Lots of them have moved down coast, to Timiil or [spit] Kaskind.
<Jimba> I'm learning, at least.
<Jimba> It's not that bad. Okay, it's not great. It's crowded and loud, but it's where the opportunity is.
<Jimba> I'm literally here to get away from it for a bit, so I'm not sure I can defend it, but, like, I live there, so hey.
<Mayiru> Hmm. Yes, opportunity.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Mayiru> They still paying you to take our land?
<Jimba> Not at all. They pay me to confirm other people took your land.
* Mayiru laughs.
<Jimba> This might cheer you. The last one they sent me to check on was dead.
<Mayiru> Wasn't me. Although if it was, I wouldn't tell you.
<Jimba> I didn't think it was, and I wouldn't ask. My money is on the neighbor.
<Jimba> Though some of my coworkers think it was the person that hired us.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Mayiru> Are all these people Ombesh?
<Jimba> The farmers? Or my coworkers?
<Mayiru> The people doing the dying, and the killing.
<Jimba> (They were, right?)
<Mayiru> (yup)
<Jimba> Yeah, both of them were Ombesh.
<Jimba> One less, eh?
<Mayiru> Very efficient, saves us the trouble.
* Jimba rolls his eyes.
<Jimba> Fair enough.
<Jimba> We recovered the body, and my coworker that got injured.
<Jimba> Bogwiggles. @.@
<Mayiru> Mmm, delicious. Nasty though.
<Mayiru> My grandmother used to skewer them on a spit and roast them.
<Jimba> I mostly just let the pups have them.
* Jimba scritches Bashi behind the ears.
<Jimba> They were kind of rough, actually, but mostly because we didn't see them first.
<Mayiru> Oh yeah, those teeth.
<Jimba> Yeah.
<Jimba> How's your family doing?
<Mayiru> Ah, well enough. ... You know about Deshtiir, right?
<Mayiru> (you do not)
<Jimba> (Do I know who that is at least?)
<Mayiru> (nope)
<Jimba> Nooo...?
<Mayiru> I guess you mostly run into us outside of Hapaan. Deshtiir is my ... brother I guess? The Knives found him some years back, just a child.
<Mayiru> Orphaned, we guess maybe Ombesh? He was the only survivor of a shipwreck, and couldn't speak a word at the time, just screams.
<Mayiru> Anyway, we adopted him. I mean ... I made my father adopt him into the Laguur house, which is why I call him my brother. He's probably 12, 13 now?
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Nice of you.
<Mayiru> Anyway, he's started saying words. Just single words, mind you, like 'water' and 'home'. But that's something. And the nightmares are better than they used to be.
<Jimba> Well, that's good news.
<Jimba> Poor kid.
<Mayiru> He's also your people's fault. A skilled river navigator from around here never would have wrecked like that.
<Jimba> I apologize in full for my part in your brother's misfortune.
<Jimba> -_-
* Mayiru chuckles.
<Jimba> But, genuinely, I'm sorry for his problems, and I'm glad to hear he's doing better.
<Jimba> You training him as a rider?
<Mayiru> Right now he's a little small, but he really takes to the herd. Cares for them in the stables, no fear, just warm and kind. He could ride someday if he gets better, or be the finest breeder I've ever known.
<Jimba> Well, it sounds like it's good you found him, circumstances notwithstanding.
<Mayiru> Mother babies him too much. See, her problem was he came along just when the rest of us were grown, so he was like the bonus child what washed up on the shore for her.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> There are worse things.
<Jimba> I'm sure you can toughen him up.
<Mayiru> I mean, I do what I can when I'm here, but more often than not these days I'm out on the river.
<Jimba> Been busy?
<Mayiru> Well, you know ... the northern route's been slower than the eastern route the last couple of years. More from Daligash these days than from Choradan and Basai. But enough to keep a girl busy.
<Jimba> Well, I'd hate for you to be bored.
<Jimba> Good raiding?
<Mayiru> Well, you know, I do try not to kill them, just take their gold. But Auri, you understand, he doesn't care for gold.
<Mayiru> (Auri looks up at the mention of his name, then returns to grazing.)
<Jimba> Well, it was his people's land before it was either of ours.
<Jimba> Can't hold it against him.
<Mayiru> No indeed.
<Mayiru> And how's little Washteppo?
* Jimba glances over at her.
<Jimba> She's doing all right. City life is a little harder on her.
<Jimba> That's why I try to get her out as much as I can.
<Jimba> The boat and my job helps.
* Mayiru nods.
<Mayiru> And your kinfolk, they are on the job too with you, right?
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> My sister and my cousin.
<Jimba> You should meet my sister sometime. I think you'd get along, unfortunate heritage aside.
<Jimba> She's less Ombesh and more Hith, really. Well, it's complicated.
<Mayiru> Ah, hithkindred, I understand.
<Jimba> Yeah.
<Jimba> She came to Kaskind with me. Honestly, I feel kind of bad. Katenzhi, my cousin, she seems to like it a lot better.
<Mayiru> None of them here in Hapaan, but we're a bit far inland for that. Down in Shuggep though, or out on Ruur, lots of them. Well, not lots. Takes a weird breed to go that way. But enough.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> It suits her. She seems happy with it, so I'm happy for her.
<Mayiru> I just think it's funny, that Ombesh would be just as ... what's the word I'm looking for? Enamored? by the hith as folks here have been for centuries.
<Jimba> Well, I mean, I can see it. There's an appeal to the lifestyle.
<Jimba> I don't have anything against them, but I'll live with humans, I think. ;)
<Mayiru> I guess. People who go that path end up leaving their families, often.
<Mayiru> Not saying that would happen with your sister, but they get all caught up in it, before you know it they aren't coming to lineage meetings, then they don't show up for months on end.
<Jimba> Well, she lived with them back home.
<Jimba> I visited as much as I could.
<Jimba> There were some problems with our family. >.>
<Mayiru> It's different for Ombesh, I think. Not so many big lineages of you folks here. So people get lonely, I figure, and look for something good in their lives, and the hith are so different and tight-knit.
<Jimba> I hadn't thought about it that way.
<Mayiru> For the true Ashnabi, whose families have been here since Old Omba, well that's a different matter.
<Jimba> I'm not sure that's true for Llillilli, but I can see it.
<Jimba> Well, yeah.
<Jimba> You have more support, more connection to the land.
* Mayiru nods.
<Mayiru> That's so.
<Mayiru> I heard it said, and mind you I don't know the whole story, but when my pa were a boy there was one of those hithkindred went mad in Timiil, started killing humans. This was before the fos, you understand.
<Mayiru> That's why Pa doesn't like them much.
<Mayiru> Which is not to say you shouldn't bring your sister for dinner, and Katenzhi too.
<Jimba> I might have a little trouble getting Katenzhi to schlep all the way out here, but I'll try.
<Jimba> For now, you hungry? I can cook up that turtle real quick.
<Mayiru> Sure, cooking fire's already burning inside, come on in!