Ashnabis session 13

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The group scout along the shore of the island of Ruur, looking for a location for a watchtower. They encounter two children and their dog near the site of a shipwreck, and fend off an attack from a seal-like creature. After investigating the remains of the ship, they return the children and their injured dog to their parents, whose home is nearby in this isolated location. After sharing a meal with the family, they return to Pashas only to find that their boat has been damaged and they can't depart yet.


Session date: June 16, 2019
Fair Cycle date: Shosolda, I.E. 765


<AshnabisNarrator> The island of Ruur is perhaps only seven miles from the port of Kaskind. A strong swimmer can make the distance from Kaskind to the village of Pashas in several hours, given calm waters and enough motivation.
<AshnabisNarrator> A tale told in the taverns of Timiil is that some decades ago, a young man, Monu, swam from Timiil to Pashas and back in a single night, just to visit his lover on the island in secret.
<AshnabisNarrator> And yet despite the short distance, you have found Pashas to be a place very different from the other Aummesh communities you've visited, with its strange traditions a hybrid of hith and human practices, and where the two species live in what appears to be relative harmony.
<AshnabisNarrator> Arriving during the Nemmotam festival, celebrating the fostering of youth in the other people's communities, you found yourselves welcomed and yet viewed with skepticism. You share some of that skepticism given your mission.
<AshnabisNarrator> Your task, today, will be to head south and east along the coast, to find a site where the Fort can place a watchtower to keep an eye on the sea channels, signalling its first intrusion into this peaceful isle. Joined by the sentinel Nend Zelbai, you will scout out overland to find a suitable location.
<AshnabisNarrator> Unfortunately, one of your group, Junan, will not be able to accompany you. Overcome with soreness after the festivities of last night, he has decided that he needs to stay at the Floating Otter where you took your rooms, to recover.
<AshnabisNarrator> Now, having spent a relatively restless night, as the villagers reveled around you, you prepare to head out.
* Daifan snickers
* Llillilli is deeply unimpressed
* Nend seems fine, however, and is prepared to accompany you
* Jimba will be amused, but sympathetic.
* Katenzhi will congratulate him before leaving.
<Llillilli> <m> idiot
<AshnabisNarrator> All right, do you have any preparations to make before leaving?
<Llillilli> (I'm preparing my scathing report on junaan's irresponsible behavior)
<Katenzhi> (Double checking the boat is secured and safe, otherwise no)
<AshnabisNarrator> Many of the villagers are checking you out warily, still a little unsure what exactly you are doing here, and why.
* Daifan just wishes they'd brought their monkey :x
* Daifan will kit up, though
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, then off you go!

The group make their way along the coast, scouting for sites for the watchtower

<AshnabisNarrator> You make your way out of the village, walking along the curving coastline south and east, following the shore as it rises to higher cliffs. It is sunny, with a few puffy white clouds, and a brisk breeze off the water to keep it from getting too hot.
<AshnabisNarrator> The sound of waves is a constant, as is the high-pitched cry of the many seabirds that nest around these rocky cliffs.
* Daifan will enjoy the nice-for-once weather
<AshnabisNarrator> You walk for a few hours, looking at various possible locations, but close to the village the land is not well suited for such a tower, being either too low, too unsteady, or otherwise occupied by the inhabitants.
<AshnabisNarrator> Further along, as the land gets rockier and higher, the prospects seem a little better.
<AshnabisNarrator> There are a few houses that you can see in the distance, or spot the smoke from their hearths at least, but this immediate area is too rough and rocky to be of much good for growing crops, and too high in most places to make it easy to reach the sea for fishing.
<AshnabisNarrator> Occasionally out to sea you can see a ship passing through the strait, either making its way to or from Kaskind. It would be a good location for a lookout tower, you think, at least based purely on the view.
<Katenzhi> Well... they did say they wanted rocks nearby.
* Nend looks around at the area
<Nend> I'll have to do some closer inspection, but I think this is potentially a good site.
<Jimba> Knock yourself out.
* Daifan nods, and will take a closer look around the area to see if there is any evidence of use or inhabitation
* Jimba will keep an eye out for any small game to be taken down for dinner.
<Katenzhi> Just be careful on the rocks or you might actually knock yourself out.
* Jimba laughs at that.
* Nend chuckles
<Nend> I'll try to be careful.
<Daifan> I think her stamina is well proven O:)
<Nend> hah
* Nend grins and will go and have a look around the area, occasionally taking notes in her book or crouching down to look at the ground.
<AshnabisGM> (you can have a chance to talk now if you want, she's not immediately nearby ;)
* Llillilli rolls her eyes sourly.
<Jimba> I wouldn't have pegged her for a surveyor, really.
* Katenzhi elbows Jimba in the ribs.
<Llillilli> Maybe we'll find some more angry psychic moles.
* Daifan snickers
* Llillilli grumbles.
<Katenzhi> Or more angry giant slimy tadpoles.
<Daifan> lets' not.
* Daifan makes a face
<Llillilli> How about just some very aggressive erosion.
<Jimba> Pretty sure that's why Junan isn't with us today.
* Llillilli makes a retching noise
* Daifan laughs
* Jimba grins.
<Katenzhi> Erosion, not erection.
<Daifan> I think they had a good time ^_^
* Jimba chuckles.
* Katenzhi grins.
<Llillilli> I thought Junaan had more... I don't know.
<Katenzhi> Stamina?
<Llillilli> Class.
<Llillilli> Taste.
* Daifan gives you a very amused and dubious look
<Katenzhi> She seems nice enough.
* Daifan just laughs
<Llillilli> for a colonizer.
<Jimba> You do realize *we're
* colonizers, right?
* Llillilli mutters.
<Llillilli> Not by choice.
<Llillilli> Well, I'm not, anyway.
* Llillilli crosses her arms stubbornly.
<Katenzhi> No one made you come here.
* Daifan shrugs
<Jimba> We were infants, Kat.
<Llillilli> I was born here.
<Llillilli> Well, close enough.
<Jimba> We kind of didn't have a choice.
<Katenzhi> No, I mean HERE here.
* Llillilli scowls.
<Llillilli> You know why I'm here.
<Jimba> But, I mean, if our family hadn't come here, you never would have met the hith.
* Llillilli walks off a ways to sulk.
* Jimba sighs.
* Katenzhi sighs.
<Katenzhi> Damnit.
<Jimba> Leave her be.
<Katenzhi> I didn't mean to drive her off.
<Jimba> It's not you.
<Jimba> She's just upset at the possibility of Kaskind messing with this place.
<Katenzhi> Yeah.
<Katenzhi> I know.
<Jimba> I mean, I don't want them coming in and changing things, either.
<Katenzhi> But if she wants to do this job...
<Jimba> She doesn't.
<Jimba> She works this job because we do.
<Daifan> Whellae didn't seem to think that peopel here would miond too much as long as the soldiers kept to themselves
* Jimba nods.
<Daifan> and there is already a sentinel who lives here, so maybe that will help.
<Jimba> Yeah, I'm hoping that will smooth things over.
* Katenzhi sighs again.
<Jimba> I know we don't have much say, but I figure we can try to help, hmm, mitigate any significant effect on the locals.
<Daifan> I feel like, too, if people here did not ewant the sentinels to come, they could look to the Hith, and find allies there that the Sentinels would be less likely to wants to mess with
<Daifan> we're staying in town, so we can do our best to let the people in charge understand.
* Jimba nods.
<Daifan> I know Llillilli was meant to talke to one fo the lineage heads
<Jimba> Right.
<Daifan> so lets just do what we're meant to here and get on with it
<Katenzhi> Honestly, this whole thing feels weird. I still can't shake what that girl said yesterday. About her sister not wanting to go.
<Daifan> She was the one who was meant to go
<Daifan> But she's not able to now
<Daifan> so.... I don't know if she really speaks for her sister or not
<Jimba> Well, I'm not super comfortable with it, either, but we don't really know much about how they do things here.
<Daifan> her father is a smith who was fostered himself... it was meant to be an honour for their family
<Katenzhi> Huh...
<Daifan> but then the older sister died, and when she came back.... she had difficulties
<Daifan> I don't know all of the story
<Katenzhi> Damn. That's rough.
<Daifan> I am hoping the younger one can talk to the ones who came back, and they can held her feel better about it, if she is really having that much doubt
* Jimba nods.
<Daifan> it isn't really our affair, but it is sad
* Nend makes her way back over to where you're sitting/hanging out
<Katenzhi> Are any of the rocks noticeably better than any of the other rocks?
<Nend> Well, I think I have what I need here. But we can keep going, in case there's a better site further along the coast. It's a nice day for it, at least :)
* Daifan nods, and will head out
<Nend> Well, it seems pretty solid. I didn't see a lot of signs that the cliff is eroding, or at least not quickly. No recent landfalls here.
<Jimba> Sounds good, but, yeah, might as well look around a bit more.
* Llillilli trudges along after the group

Hearing sounds of a commotion, they run to the rescue of a dog and two children

<AshnabisNarrator> You travel a bit further along. The terrain is largely similar - rocky cliffs interspersed with creeks, and sandy beaches in some places with rocky outcroppings. Not much sign of human inhabitation.
<Jimba> (No hith either?)
<Daifan> at least this seems liek it would be out of the way...
<Jimba> Which is good and bad, really.
<AshnabisNarrator> At this point along the coast, you can look out and clearly see the rocky coast of the Auggi, the sparsely inhabited peninsula that sticks out from the mainland, probably no more than a mile or so away by sea. This is the narrowest point between the island and the mainland and one that thus channels much of the sea traffic.
<AshnabisNarrator> (you can see it here , where D (Auggi) and E (Ruur) come closest )
<AshnabisNarrator> The land dips a bit as you proceed, with a steep path leading down towards the shore.
<Llillilli> (so we're now closer to 7 than 6 yes?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (7 is Pashas, which is where you started)
<Llillilli> (right ok; I got them mixed up)
<AshnabisNarrator> (you're still quite a bit closer to Pashas than to Naguur. As the crow flies the distance isn't far but working around the rocky coast on foot is time consuming)
* Daifan wishes their armour was less cumbersome as they skid down the steep slope, but it is better than nothing, and who knows what is out here
<AshnabisNarrator> From that direction, you suddenly hear a commotion - the screams of young children, yelping of a dog, and, almost drowning those out, a terrifying, guttural roar.
* Jimba will rush in that direction.
<Llillilli> Shit.
* Llillilli draws her pfethes.
* Nend will likewise draw her sword and run in that direction
<Katenzhi> Aw crap.
* Daifan sends those rushing off ahead a fortune and will follow more cautiously
<AshnabisNarrator> The great cliffs here slope down to a flat beach, with large rocky protrusions worn away by the tides sticking up here and there.
<AshnabisNarrator> Against one of these sits a modest shipwreck, looking to be fairly recent.
<AshnabisNarrator> Over by the rocks you hear children crying and the pained scream of a terrified dog. There is definitely something over there by that ship and those rocks.
* Llillilli breaks into a run.
* Katenzhi does likewise
* Jimba runs straight in.
<AshnabisGM> (over to roll20 then?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (yup)
[The group fight a fierce seal-like beast in the remains of a wrecked ship and rescue the dog.]
<Daifan> is everyone okay?
* Daifan asks from the shore
* Nend will clamber out of the water/remains of the ship
* Jimba goes to check on Mogri.
<AshnabisNarrator> All right, the creature has fallen into the water and seems to be unconscious or dead.
* Daifan will also look back up the beack to see if we can see where those kids went
<Jimba> Hey, grab that if you can. Seal is good eating.
<Daifan> (llillilli can deal with that >..)
<Katenzhi> -_-
<Jimba> (What does Local!Dog do?)
<AshnabisNarrator> Llillilli, the creature weighs around 300 pounds. Uhh ... that would be quite an effort and it is also bleeding profusely from multiple stab wounds.
<Jimba> Kat, help her out.
<AshnabisNarrator> A couple of you could probably pull it ashore if you got in the water.
* Katenzhi will do so after making sure it is dead.
* Nend can also help drag it
<AshnabisNarrator> You could pull it around the boat, that's the only way you're getting it up on the beach
* Nend strong
* Katenzhi not so much
<AshnabisNarrator> Nend's strength gives you a sense of what Junan must be feeling right now. :)
<Jimba> (hee)
<Daifan> (she can grudgingly work with Nend probably)
<Daifan> (heh)
<Katenzhi> Anyone have any idea what this thing is?
<AshnabisNarrator> OK so Daifan is looking out for the kids, Jimba is checking on Mogri, Nend and Llillilli and Katenzhi are dragging the creature out.

Daifan talks with the kids and helps recover their dog, and tries but fails to heal it

<AshnabisNarrator> OK, Daifan, you find the kids huddled together over by the cliff edge.
<Daifan> it's gone, now. are you alright?
* Shappan is a boy of around 9, rather chubby, with curly dark brown hair. He carries a basket with some eggs in it.
<Shappan> Where's Pichi?
* Shappan asks through tears.
<Daifan> ...your dog?
* Daifan guesses
<Daifan> She's still on the ship
<Daifan> We can go and see if she needs help, okay?
* Shappan nods.
* Daifan will offer their hands to the kids
* Daifan can go up on the ship now that it is safe and check on said pupper, also ;p
<Aula> Is she ok?
* Aula is a girl a little older, maybe 10 or so, thin and a bit taller than her brother, with chestnut brown hair tied in two pigtails.
<Daifan> shes' hurt, and Mogri too, but I think she'll be okay
<Daifan> lets see
<AshnabisNarrator> You go and find the dog still on board, reluctant to come off. She is injured on one flank but not critically so.
<Daifan> (Can I make a handle animal roll?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (sure)
<Daifan> !roll 1d20+4
* Lan-werk rolls for Daifan: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 14 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 18 ].
* Daifan is also willing to make heal checks for both doggos, but I'm not goign to use healers kit supplies >.>
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, you can manage to coax the dog towards you - it helps that the kids are there
<Daifan> come on girl, your peopel are worried about you :3
<Aula> Pichi! Come here! It's ok now, these people helped you!
<Daifan> are you kids from pashas?
<Aula> No, our house is nearby.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> were you playing on the shipwreck?
<Jimba> All the way out here?
<Shappan> No, we were out collecting eggs.
<Aula> I think maybe Pichi was playing in the water when the bunyip attacked.
<Jimba> Bunyip, huh?
* Aula nods.
<Aula> They don't come here much. Maybe it was here because of the shipwreck.
<Aula> That wasn't here before.
<Daifan> it's new?
<Daifan> Maybe we should check it out a little more?
<Aula> Well ... pretty new.
* Daifan nods
<Jimba> Yeah, we should give it a once-over.
<AshnabisNarrator> The wrecked ship doesn't look like one of the local fishing vessels, but appears to be a merchant ship, perhaps from Taizi or Khutu, that lost its way along the treacherous passage.
<AshnabisGM> (did you make your heal checks on the dogs, btw, Daifan?)
<Daifan> (llillilli can probably best help with that, since she can maneuver better in the water >.>)
<Katenzhi> Maybe they really do need a lighthouse here.
<Daifan> (I did not yet)
<AshnabisNarrator> The wreck appears relatively recent, or at least not ancient - perhaps a few weeks old. If it was much older than that, you think the rough seas would have crushed the ship against the rocks so that little remained intact.
<AshnabisGM> (ok)
* Katenzhi can swim at least.
<Daifan> (Pichi then Mogri)
<Jimba> Did you see what happened to the people from the boat?
* Aula shakes her head.
<Daifan> !roll 1d20+9
* Lan-werk rolls for Daifan: [ 1d20+9 ] getting [ 2 ] which, after the modifier [ 9 ] totals [ 11 ].
<Daifan> !roll 1d20+9
* Lan-werk rolls for Daifan: [ 1d20+9 ] getting [ 2 ] which, after the modifier [ 9 ] totals [ 11 ].
<Aula> I didn't know it was here until today. Maybe they died?
<Daifan> (pfffft it is not my day for rolls :p)
<Jimba> Well, we'll see.
<Aula> Papa and Mama might know more.
<Katenzhi> Jimba, You want to take these two and their pup home while we scout the boat?
<Shappan> Papa can help with your dog too. He's a good healer.
<Jimba> Sounds like a match.
* Daifan shrugs
<Jimba> All right, I'll take them up. Llillilli, Kat, make sure you get that thing up and drained quick.
<Katenzhi> Maybe take Nend with you and she can talk to their parents.
<Jimba> I don't want to lose all that meat.
<Katenzhi> You really want to eat that thing?
<Jimba> What do you say, sentinel?
<Jimba> Yeah, why not? We've eaten seal plenty.
<Katenzhi> That's... not seal.
<Nend> Sure, I can go with you. I can't talk to their parents, but I can keep you company at least. Carry a dog if need be.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> I can translate.
* Nend nods
<Jimba> It's seal enough, Kat.
<Jimba> No need to be picky.
<Katenzhi> Ugh.
<Daifan> I can help
<Katenzhi> Fine. But if we die I told you so.
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, who is staying here and who is going to the house?
<Katenzhi> (Staying)
<AshnabisGM> (Jimba, Nend, the kids and the dogs to the house, everyone else staying here?)
<Jimba> (I believe so)
<AshnabisNarrator> OK.
<Katenzhi> (sounds like a plan)

The group investigate the shipwreck further

<AshnabisNarrator> We'll do the folks here first.
<AshnabisNarrator> You pull the carcass on shore and drain it, which will take a while as it's no small thing.
<AshnabisNarrator> Looking at it more closely, it definitely does not look like a seal from the neck up, but more like a shark, or a fanged beast of some sort.
<Daifan> (that's not something that needs constant attention once we get it set up though, is it?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (no, that's just something you can leave to bleed into the water so its friends can smell it)
<AshnabisNarrator> (oops did I say that out loud? I meant .. nothing can go wrong now that you've split the party)
<Katenzhi> *sigh*
<Daifan> (I mean can I get a survival roll on that? ;p)
<Daifan> (or Llillilli? we did see it go nuts for blood ;p)
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+8
* Daifan rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 2 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 10 ].
* Lan-werk rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+8 ] getting [ 8 ] which, after the modifier [ 8 ] totals [ 16 ].
<Katenzhi> uhhh...
<Daifan> (sorry)
<Jimba> (noo, save the blood so we can make sausage :))
<Katenzhi> (NO)
<AshnabisNarrator> (good news Katenzhi, Jimba's not here so he can't order you around)
<Katenzhi> (heh)
<AshnabisNarrator> Inspecting the wreck is a little bit tricky due to the damage it's sustained, but Llillilli can swim around and get into the hold pretty readily.
<AshnabisNarrator> From the hold, or what remains of it, you can smell a scent of meat and rot - perhaps a cargo of salted beef or pork, now going rancid as it sits in the water, drawing in fish and other wildlife to the feast. Mmmm, rancid meat...
<AshnabisNarrator> There is a place for a dinghy, but no dinghy to be seen, so perhaps the crew were able to escape the wreck.
<AshnabisNarrator> In the cabin you are able to find a few items that might be of value - a spyglass, charts, log book, and a small locked chest, still intact.
<Daifan> (yoink)
<Katenzhi> (Is the log book still legible?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (can you read?)
<Katenzhi> (Touche)
<AshnabisNarrator> Alas, all the literate people are in the other group
<Daifan> (llillilli will save that for when Jimba is back)
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, anything else you're doing here?
<Daifan> (I don't think so)
<AshnabisNarrator> OK, Jimba you can go with Nend and the puppos and kiddos.
<Daifan> (Maybe check to see if there is any evidence that anyone else has looted the wreck? Or what caused it?)
<Katenzhi> (Should we try to dump the barrels so it stops attracting Murder Seals™?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (that'll take quite some time and quite a bit of handling of rotten meat ... if you want though)
<Daifan> (No I'm good :p)
<Daifan> (easier to avoid the place)
<Katenzhi> (Yeah, maybe the kids can just find a new spot to get eggs for now >.>)

Jimba and Nend take the children back to their parents, and the childrens' father heals the dogs

<AshnabisNarrator> OK, Jimba and Nend.
<AshnabisNarrator> The shaken children can lead the way back to their home, which is just a short walk following a long-dry creek bed up to a humble cottage made of whalebones and stretched hides and turf.
<AshnabisNarrator> A woman who you presume must be their mother hurries out at the sound of their frantic voices, moving to embrace them. A moment later, a man pokes his head out the door as well, seeing what all the commotion is.
* Irada is a short, thin, frail woman who looks older than her years, with grey hair and weathered skin. She wears a simple brown dashi with a rust-red shawl for added warmth.
* Batsrau is a man of around 40 or so, with long wavy brown hair tied back in a queue. He wears a faded grey-green dashi and has a necklace made of small bones threaded on a cord about his neck.
<Irada> What happened? Where have you been?
<Batsrau> Children, are you all right?
* Batsrau comes over to have a look, seeing the blood from the injured dogs.
<Shappan> Pichi got hurt and then these people came along and their dog got hurt and then the bunyip died and then we came home!
* Shappan offers up in a single breath
* Jimba tries to smile reassuringly.
<Batsrau> I can have a look at your dog, if you like. Maybe I can help.
* Batsrau offers.
<Jimba> I'd really appreciate that, thank you.
* Irada looks you over quickly as if evaluating your trustworthiness.
<Irada> Thank you so much.
<Jimba> Jimba Ghughife. My friend here is Nend Zelbai.
<Jimba> We heard screams. Seemed the right thing to do to come help.
<Jimba> I'm glad everyone is more or less okay.
* Batsrau will examine both the injured dogs, mumbling soothing words under his breath to calm them down as he places his hands on them.
<Irada> Where did this happen?
* Jimba will describe the area.
<Irada> Ahh. I knew there had been a wreck there. Your people don't know this area as well as they need to if they're going to be shipping through here. Not the first wreck along this coast, and it won't be the last.
<Batsrau> If it's attracting scavengers, we will stay away from there for a time.
<Irada> I think all the crew escaped to Kaskind.
<Jimba> Well, that's good.
* Jimba will make sure to translate that for Nend.
* Nend nods at the translation
<Irada> We should probably set it afire, Batsrau, to keep the wreckers at bay as well as the bunyips.
<Irada> The scent of blood gets them frenzied.
<Batsrau> Perhaps that's best, yes. If there's nothing to be salvaged from it.
<Jimba> (Wreckers? Is that a term Jimba would know?)
<AshnabisNarrator> (sure, those are folks who plunder wrecked ships)
<Daifan> (Like we just did :v)
<Jimba> Well, my friends are back there right now, taking a look. We could fire the hulk before we leave, if you want.
* Batsrau finishes with the dogs, giving each of them a pat as he stands up.
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> I don't suppose you folks would care for some bunyip for your pot? I'm sure there'll be plenty extra.
<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, Mogri comes over to you, in high spirits. His injuries appear to be remarkably well-healed - just a little cut, really.
<AshnabisNarrator> The local dog, Pichi, is similarly free of any obvious long-term injury
<Jimba> Aww, who's a good girl?
* Jimba pets and scritches her affectionately.
<AshnabisNarrator> Mogri licks your face happily.
<Jimba> Thank you kindly.
<Irada> We would be honoured if you would join us for dinner. You and your friends.
<Batsrau> And we wouldn't say no to some share of the meat.
<Jimba> That'd be very nice of you.
<Jimba> Are you a healer by trade? Mogri looks like she could go hunting right now, practically.
<Irada> Batsrau, perhaps you should go down to the site. They'll have a hard time pulling a full-grown bunyip carcass up the creek bed.
* Batsrau nods
<Batsrau> I do what needs doing - we're mostly on our own out here, so I take care of things.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> We'd be happy for the help, certainly.
* Batsrau will accompany you back to the shore, then.
<Jimba> (on the way) If you don't mind my asking, why do y'all live all the way out here?
<Jimba> Seems mighty isolated.
<Batsrau> We prefer it that way. We can go into Pashas when we need something that we can't provide for ourselves, but otherwise, it's peaceful.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> I can see how that'd be nice.
<Jimba> It's a nice place.
<Jimba> How often do you get into Pashas?
<Batsrau> Maybe once a month or so. It depends on the season, somewhat.
<Jimba> Your people from around here?
<Batsrau> My wife's family are locals - I came here when we married, about fifteen years ago.
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Pashas was an...interesting town to pass through.
<Batsrau> How do you mean?
<Jimba> <h>Hith and humans living together.
<Jimba> <a>Nice, but not exactly welcoming.
<Batsrau> Well, they don't get a lot of visitors from away. Traders, sometimes. But I don't take it you are traders?
<Jimba> Well, as it happens, I am, but that's not why we're here.
<Jimba> We work for the land office over in Kaskind.
<Jimba> Folks over there are wanting to put in a lighthouse, watchtower, something of that sort.
<Batsrau> Ah... is that something the Choradani at the fort are doing?
* Jimba nods.
* Batsrau seems to at least know a little bit about the Kaskind situation, although his information might be spotty at best
<Jimba> They just want to keep an eye for pirates, help prevent wrecks, that sort of thing.
* Jimba totally gives the party line for the moment.
<Batsrau> Well, there are a lot of ships that run into trouble along the coast. I suppose it would be a good thing to help them.
<Batsrau> Would it mean a lot of Sentinels coming here, though?
* Batsrau asks cautiously
* Jimba translates that for Nend.
* Batsrau glances at Nend, who smiles back, trying to be friendly
<Nend> I don't think it would be a lot. Enough to man the lookout and light a beacon if there was trouble, but not a whole garrison or anything. Maybe a half a dozen at any time?
* Jimba translates that back for Batsrau if necessary.
<Nend> I also think they wouldn't keep someone out here for a very long time - they'd switch them out to keep them from getting too bored >.>
* Jimba smiles at that.
* Batsrau nods
<Jimba> Soldiers can get into a lot of trouble if they get bored.
<Batsrau> Well, a few is not so bad.

Returning to the group with Batsrau, they are invited to join his family for dinner

<AshnabisNarrator> All right, you travel down the creek bed and arrive at the wreck where the carcass is draining into the ocean and Katenzhi, Daifan, and Llillilli are awaiting your return, with a small selection of objects laid out on the beach.
* Daifan is watching the ocean and mostly just enjoying the sea breeze and pleasant weather
* Katenzhi is trying to dry out on the nearby rocks after washing off the blood. -_-
<Jimba> Ahoy there, lazy bones!
<Daifan> hmmm?
<Jimba> Nice job on the carcass. Anything interesting in the wreck?
<Jimba> Oh, this is the children's father.
<Katenzhi> Lots of rotten meat. And that stuff.
<Batsrau> Thank you for your help.
* Jimba will go to take a look at the stuff.
* Batsrau says politely
<Katenzhi> You're very welcome. I'm glad we came by when we did.
* Batsrau can help with dealing with the meat from the carcass
<Katenzhi> So this thing is edible after all?
<Batsrau> oh, yes - we don't usually hunt them because they're dangerous, but the meat is edible.
* Jimba yells "I told you!" from where he's messing with the recovered stuff.
<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, the others recovered some charts, a spyglass, a log book, and a locked chest.
<AshnabisNarrator> From the log book you are able to determine that this ship was the Firebrand, sailing out of Ardukh, a city in Khutu.
* Batsrau tosses some scraps and entrails to the dogs, who are happy to get them
* Daifan brushes off the sand
<Daifan> are you the children's father?
<Batsrau> Yes, I am.
<Daifan> I'm glad they weren't hurt. Mogri looks better, too
* Batsrau nods
<Batsrau> They were shaken up, but not harmed. The dogs took care of them, as is their task, and I took care of the dogs to make sure they would heal up well.
* Daifan nods
<Jimba> Kat, you have any way into this?
* Jimba gestures to the chest.
<Daifan> Well, you did a better job than I did
<Batsrau> Are you a healer?
* Daifan smiles
* Katenzhi sighs and pulls out her rapidly depleting fos stash
<Daifan> I've had some training, yes.
<Batsrau> Well, thank you for trying nevertheless. I appreciate it.
* Katenzhi will knock back a few more and cast Knock
<Katenzhi> (Oh wait)
<Katenzhi> (Sorry, didn't see the convo in the other chat)
<Jimba> (Eh, it's fine)
<Jimba> (The rest of us would just be making untrained checks)
<AshnabisGM> (yeah, go ahead)
<AshnabisNarrator> Make your roll.
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d20+7
* Lan-werk rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 6 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 13 ].
<Katenzhi> (Of course this is the one I get feedback on :V)
<AshnabisNarrator> OK I think that fails by 1. Still opens the door, roll for effects.
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d100
* Lan-werk rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d100 ] getting [ 33 ].
<Katenzhi> !roll 1d100
* Lan-werk rolls for Katenzhi: [ 1d100 ] getting [ 11 ].
<AshnabisNarrator> Well you can choose losing control of your bladder, or having some harmless auditory effects.
<AshnabisNarrator> Your pick! :)
<Jimba> (hee)
<Katenzhi> O.O
<AshnabisNarrator> All right, there is a sound of urination as Katenzhi opens up the lock.
<Katenzhi> (...)
<Jimba> (hee again)
<Daifan> uh..
* Daifan gives her a look
* Katenzhi looks around as if she also has no idea where it's coming from.
<AshnabisGM> (must be one of the dogs ;p always blame the dog)
<Katenzhi> Oh hey! It's open!
<Daifan> nice
<AshnabisNarrator> You open up the chest. There are 70 gold coins, a small silver signet ring, an ivory carved calendar, and a sealed letter.
<Daifan> why is magic so weird -_-
<Batsrau> My wife and I hoped you would join us for a meal - to show our gratitude.
* Batsrau adds once that is dealt with
<Katenzhi> We'd be honored, sir.
<Daifan> oh, yes... thank you
* Batsrau will carry some of the meat, and leads the way back to his family's home.
<AshnabisNarrator> You head back to the house, where the family has already gone inside to prepare the meal.
<AshnabisNarrator> You enter the small one-room home, with four straw mattresses along one wall and a large central fireplace in which a fragrant clam and onion stew is currently simmering.
<AshnabisNarrator> A wooden table at one end of the room has several bowls and spoons sitting as if waiting for the midday meal.
<AshnabisNarrator> There are few possessions beyond the bare essentials here. A shelf on one wall has a set of strange carved dice apparently fashioned from animal bones, but otherwise there are no signs of ostentation.
* Irada smiles as her husband enters.
<Irada> No more trouble?
<Batsrau> No, all's well, and we have some meat from the bunyip.
<Irada> Good, good. The children are a bit shaken up still, as you might imagine.
<Irada> I hope you are all hungry!
<Daifan> yes, thank you
* Irada hands you a bowl of stew, Daifan.
<Jimba> Famished, ma'am.
* Irada hands everyone a bowl of stew! Stew for all!
<Katenzhi> (Yay stew!)
* Nend accepts gratefully, even if she doesn't understand most of what's being said
* Daifan will find a place to sit :3
<AshnabisNarrator> There aren't really seats for everyone but the family will sit on the floor and leave the chairs for the guests.
<Llillilli> Thank you.
* Katenzhi is happy on the floor if need be :)
* Jimba will sit on the floor.
* Daifan can sit on the floor also, they're used to it :3
<Daifan> (but I mean if there are chairs rto be had, I do enjoy not ;p)
<AshnabisNarrator> All right, you all enjoy a fine meal with the family. You learn that Batsrau Hugaptu and his family, Irada, Aula, and Shappan Wendauri, are fine hosts, and very appreciative for all your help.
<AshnabisNarrator> (You can have solos with them later if you like, we can just assume you spend some time here before departing back to Pashas)
<Jimba> (Sounds good)
<AshnabisNarrator> Daifan, they seem perfectly happy for you to have a chair.

They return to Pashas to find their boat has been damaged

<AshnabisNarrator> You return at last to Pashas that evening, having completed your task and enjoying a fine meal with the family.
<AshnabisNarrator> As you enter the village overland, a couple of the humans seem to look at your group oddly. You would have thought the novelty would have worn off by now.
<AshnabisNarrator> As you pass by one family, you hear a young girl say something about 'what happened', but before it registers you are at the docks, where you see what happened.
<AshnabisNarrator> Where your boat is docked, you see it listing to one side and lying lower than you remember it. It seems to have taken on significant water in your absence.
<Llillilli> Oh no...
<AshnabisNarrator> You can see Washteppo standing at the high end of the boat, looking out at the scenario in some alarm.
<Jimba> What the!?
<AshnabisNarrator> A small cluster of local folks has gathered by the docks by your boat. They look at you, a bit sadly.
<Katenzhi> What...
<Llillilli> well... great.
<Jimba> What happened?!
<AshnabisNarrator> Inspecting the situation, you quickly find the problem. A significant hole, big enough for someone to crawl into, has been hacked into the bottom of the hull towards the stern on the port side. This does not seem to be the sort of damage that could happen ordinarily when in port in fair weather.
<AshnabisNarrator> You realize immediately that you won't be leaving port tonight, or anytime soon, until you determine whether and how the boat can be repaired.
* Jimba will go make sure to get Washteppo off safely.
<Daifan> oh...
* Katenzhi stares at the boat, gripping her spear tight enough to turn her hand white.
* Daifan briefly wonders if this is because of them, but that seems less liekly in this context
<Daifan> It can be fixed though, right?
* Llillilli looks dubiously to Jimba
<Llillilli> uhhh
<Katenzhi> I'll patch it with the hide of whoever did this.
<Daifan> :/
<Jimba> We can patch her up.
<Jimba> We'll just need time...and materials...
<Daifan> let me know if there is anything I can do to help :/
* Daifan nods
* Jimba sighs.
<Jimba> Where the hell is Junan?
<Daifan> at least Kaskindf isn't so far away...
<Daifan> probably at the inn.
<Llillilli> Resting his cock.
<Llillilli> >:(
<Jimba> Should have had him watch the boat.
<Jimba> He could rest just as well there, presumably.
* Katenzhi screams in frustration and stabs her spear into the ground and stalks off to find alcohol.
<Daifan> There was no reason to think it needed watching :/
<Jimba> Okay, they've got boats here. Certainly someone has repair supplies.
<Daifan> Even if peopel don't want us here.... uyou would think they would want us to be able to leave >.>
<Jimba> We didn't even have anything worth taking on board.


Daifan talks with Junan at the bar

* Daifan will come back up to the Inn after they get back into town from the day's investigation
* Daifan will look around to see if Junan is down in the common room
* Junan is idling in the common room, picking at his lute and enjoying a drink
* Daifan will see if they can get a drink, then, and saunter over
<Daifan> (I am going to assume a prettty quiet room on the whole :x)
<curtana_phone> (they'll give you a drink, though maybe in a different cup that they can throw out later ;)
<Daifan> (as long as the contents are still worth drinking ;p)
<Daifan> You seem to be doing better.... managed to make it down the stairs all right?
<curtana_phone> (yeah same as what everyone else gets)
* Junan chuckles
<Junan> That I did. How was the coastal walk? Any luck?
<Daifan> Mmm, maybe. A site with potential, anyway. And then we found a shipwreck with some animal bothering some kids and their dog, and took care of that...
<Daifan> Well, mostly llillilli and nend, really.
<Daifan> were things here pretty quiet?
<Junan> ive only been up for a little while and havent really ventured forth yet... but quiet yes
<Daifan> Mmm....
* Daifan glances aroudn the room and frowns
* Daifan switches to ombesh, and drops their voice "Someone hacked a big hole in the side of the ship."
<Junan> well that is less than good news
<Junan> so were staying another night?
<Daifan> at least
<Daifan> Probably more than that...
<Daifan> I don't know much about fixing ships but it looked like a pretty big hole. It was all listing to the side
<Junan> yeah that sounds bad
<Junan> Jimba must be so happy
<Daifan> I mean, they did seem to think it *could* be fixed...
<Junan> I'm buying him a drink when I see him next
<Daifan> I think he and katenzhi are trying to see what they can find supplies
<Daifan> but eeryone will have to stay here tonight
<Junan> cozy
<Daifan> so much for rooms to ourselves!
<Daifan> I mean, for some of us ;p
<Junan> Oh I dont mind the company
<Daifan> well you seeem to ahev a roommate already... unless you need to be split up for your health ^-^
<Junan> your wit is like a razor
<Junan> I was just trying to pass the time... there is so much to do here.
* Daifan chuckles
<Daifan> well you coudl have come and walked along a rocky shorline and fought a big... I forget what it was called
<Daifan> Ruur?
<Daifan> Like a cros between a shark and a seal
<Daifan> you missed all the good stories of the day
<Junan> that is true, but I have you to tell me about them
<Daifan> oh well then - when you turn our adventures into exciting tales and songs, I want a cut of your take
* Daifan teastes
<Junan> well they will have to be in demand first before money can be made
<Daifan> (teases, yikes)
<Junan> and I'm not sure how battling nightmare moles will make for crowd pleasing
<Daifan> well, that's your job
<Daifan> well, its all in the spin. I believe in you Junan!
<Daifan> rescuing children probably has more appeal
<Daifan> though I think technically we just rescued their dog.... that doens't have to be in the story ;)
<Daifan> Their parents were very welcoming though
<Junan> at least someone here is happy we came along
<Daifan> they fed us soup and healed up all the injured.... again it was mostly their dog and Mogri...
<Daifan> and yes
<Daifan> Though youd think if they didin't want us here, they wouldn't make it harder for us to leave
<Junan> misplaced rage... seems to hint as to who could be responsible
<Daifan> does it?
* Junan picks a few ominous notes
* Junan shrugs
<Daifan> One of the things Whellae said is that people here are friendly, but that's not really the same a.... nice. or welcoming.
<Junan> very true
<Daifan> so.... I don't know. Not much is narrowed down, if you ask me
<Junan> I assume you handling thier welcomness.... its nothing you haven't experienced before.
<Daifan> Mmhmm.... They're more friendly than some places in Choradan.
<Daifan> But I think that's all part of it
<Daifan> They don't have ...any? certainly not many corpseborn here, so I think they aren't entirely sure what to do with me.
* Junan nods
<Daifan> so they default to courteous, and it is more courtesy than I see elsewhere
<Junan> Our companions have such an open view that its easy to forget
* Daifan npds
<Daifan> yes, I've been very lucky with who I work with
<Junan> I can drink to that
* Junan does so
<Daifan> same
* Daifan will also\
<Junan> so three rooms... I doubt well be able to get a fourth... I almost had to give up my shirt for three
<Junan> and its so stylish
* Daifan chuckles
<Daifan> well there are... six of us?
<Daifan> that's not so bad
<Daifan> two per room
<Junan> depends on who snores
* Daifan chuckles at that
<Daifan> I have never had any comnplaints
<Daifan> what about nend?
<Daifan> Or disd she wear you out too thoroughly to notice? ^-^
<Junan> She's a soldier... I don't think anything can disturb her sleep
<Daifan> Mmhmm
<Junan> me, on the other hand, am not a soldier.
<Daifan> No... are you easily disturbed?
<Junan> depends on how much I've drunk before bed
<Daifan> mmm, so maybe we shoudl stick you in a room with Katehnzhi ;)
* Junan shrugs
<Junan> There might not be much to drink left in town if you did that
<Daifan> Hmm, that's a terribl;e plan then - who knows how long we're goign to be stuck?>
<Junan> very true
<Junan> And who do you plan to room with?
<Daifan> Probably Llillilli
<Daifan> it makes the most sense
<Daifan> put the boys together
<Junan> oh... I thought she might choose to stay with Nend, I mean she likes her so much
<Daifan> I dobt Nend would be keen to share with me, and Llillilli hates *her* so
* Daifan chuckles
<Daifan> yes they're very close. One of them will get a very close hug....right aroound the throat
<Junan> not the best technique, one may enjoy it.
* Daifan grins at that
<Daifan> well then it wodln't be so bad
<Junan> It's funny... you think the two people who would have the most problem with a Choradan sentinel would be the two people sitting here
<Daifan> well
<Daifan> if we had such a big problem with them.... we wouldn't be workign for the fort
<Junan> there is that
<Daifan> But people ususally see me as Daligashi second, if they get that far
<Daifan> one prejudice is enough
<Junan> If those are the first and second things people see about you, then they're looking wrong, just sayin'
* Daifan smiles
* Daifan takes a sip of their drink to keep from asking what they should be noticing :x
<Daifan> That's an ego trap, that is.
<Junan> oh?
* Daifan shakes their head
<Junan> I'm just stating what I think.
<Daifan> Mmhmm...
<Daifan> Well, I will take it as a cokmpliment as is.
<Daifan> (compliment, lol)
<Junan> What? Neither of us a blind... yet we continue our little dance.
* Junan picks a few quick notes
<Daifan> Its fun.
<Junan> Oh I don't deny it
* Junan grins
<Junan> but where will we be when the song ends?
<Daifan> why does if have to end?
<Daifan> are you getting bored of the tune?
<Junan> I'm not bored of the tune, it just haunts for a different dance
<Daifan> haven't you had enough dancing this trip? ^-^
<Junan> A valid scold, which I deserve
<Junan> but this is the song that makes my blood race
* Daifan laughs, but a little nervously
<Junan> I can hear it when I close my eyes
* Junan picks a few more notes
<Daifan> I'm sure it can't be the only one
<Junan> I'm a musician, there are other songs... I wont deny it
<Junan> that doesnt mean my desire for this song is any less
<Daifan> Mm, no, but maybe they would be less trouble?
<Daifan> or maybe that's part of the attraction?
<Junan> I'm not one to seek trouble, its too much work, yet here I am.
<Junan> stepping towards, letting myself be a fool.
<Daifan> Mmhmm.... Well. It might be more trouble than one dance it worth.
<Daifan> More than you would want to deal with.
<Junan> and reason always wins in these songs
<Junan> at least not that I've ever heard
<Daifan> mmmmm... maybe it's time to try a new song?
<Junan> Only if its one you want
<Daifan> ...I don't really get to live in a song, Junan
* Daifan sighs and will finish their drink
<Junan> and so the dancers step away, bowing thier heads to eachother... until the next time..
* Daifan will give you a little smile, but stand up
<Daifan> I'm goign to go lie down for a bit before the others get back.
<Junan> of course
<Daifan> I'll see you later
* Junan stands
<Junan> I need to stretch my legs and wander for a bit.
* Daifan will go hide in their room for a bit then and definitely not be sad about boys :x

Veznara talks with Ughiva

* Veznara leaves Fuska and Zarogalo, and goes to the room housing Ughiva
* Ughiva can be found down the hall, in a room of her own.
* Ughiva is tall but extremely thin, with short-hewn straight black hair, and is perhaps around 40.
* Veznara knocks and enters
<Ughiva> Yes?
<Veznara> Ughiva? I am Hand Veznara. I was hoping I could speak to you for a while.
<Ughiva> I'm not interested in finding religion.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Well, not to worry. That is not why I am here.
<Veznara> Hand Dezmali has asked me to look into your situation a bit. I was just talking with Fuska and Zarogalo.
<Veznara> I was hoping you might be able to tell me more.
<Ughiva> All right.
<Veznara> I understand that you were all from the same place in Taizi - Gagambor?
<Ughiva> Yes, that's right.
<Veznara> Could you tell me more about what happened?
<Ughiva> We were arrested for witchcraft, our whole community. Some of us, adults, mostly women, were sent here on a ship. The others ... we guess they were executed.
<Ughiva> Now I hear we are supposed to be working for some wizened Taizian princess down here.
<Veznara> The rest of the arrivals have been sent to her plantation, yes.
<Ughiva> Have you been there?
<Veznara> (I don't think I have, have I?)
<Ughiva> (not that I'm aware)
<Veznara> No, not to her plantation. I have been to her house here in town, but not there.
<Ughiva> Who is she? What's she like?
<Veznara> She is a cousin of the Emperor, and a powerful mystic.
<Ughiva> So what's your connection to her?
<Veznara> Well, I'm not here on her behalf. However, as I'm sure you can tell, I am Taizi myself.
<Veznara> I am wondering what this charge of "witchcraft" means.
<Ughiva> Yes, well.
<Veznara> Was there any incident you know of that may have sparked all this?
<Ughiva> 'Incident'?
<Veznara> It just seems to me that if the authorities descended on your village to deal with "witchcraft", there must have been something that instigated it.
<Ughiva> Yes, I'm sure you're right.
* Ughiva seems distinctly uneasy.
<Veznara> (Sense Motive? Is it because she doesn't trust me and thinks I'm setting her up? Or is she hiding something?)
<Ughiva> (sure make a roll)
<Veznara> (Are we set up for that? :P )
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+9
* Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+9 ] getting [ 6 ] which, after the modifier [ 9 ] totals [ 15 ].
<Ughiva> (seems like a little general uneasiness, plus she's not telling you everything)
<Veznara> Please understand - I'm not trying to justify what happened to your village. Simply to understand.
<Ughiva> How do I know you don't work for this princess?
<Veznara> "Witchcraft" is a very odd charge, one that isn't really used any longer.
<Veznara> You can see for yourself that I am a Hand of the Dead. My highest loyalty is to the Ancestors.
* Veznara says, somewhat surprised!
<Veznara> But I don't understand your concern - why would the Princess send anyone to ask you these questions?
<Ughiva> Well, let me walk you through that.
<Ughiva> Let's say I'm not a witch. Now, I tell you I'm not a witch and you tell her I pose no threat.
<Ughiva> Alternately, say I am a witch.
<Ughiva> Now I tell you about my powers and you tell her how to defend herself.
* Veznara raises an eyebrow
<Ughiva> It seems that silence might be the best strategy.
<Veznara> I see. I confess, that hadn't occurred to me.
<Ughiva> Well you've presumably never been herded onto a boat and taken halfway across the world against your will and not fed enough, as you watch your friends starve around you.
<Ughiva> It gives you a perspective on things.
<Veznara> No, I haven't. I can certainly understand if you're suspicious.
<Veznara> I'm not trying to get a confession from you, though. More to understand how it is that your entire community was sent here.
<Veznara> And to make sure that they are all treated decently. Or as decently as possible, I should say.
<Ughiva> Well, so far, that hasn't happened. And I don't know why people here would care about us.
<Veznara> With your experiences, I can understand that. I can only repeat that we don't wish to see you mistreated.
<Ughiva> All right, let's assume you don't work for this princess, whoever she is. What can you possibly do to help us?
<Veznara> At this point, keep an eye on her, and those who work for her.
<Veznara> From what you said before, it sounded like you didn't know where you were being sent until you got here - is that right?
<Ughiva> We learned that we were being sent here to Ashnabis.
<Ughiva> But not much more than that.
<Ughiva> The truth is ... I am a witch.
<Veznara> I see. But what does that mean? That you use fos?
<Ughiva> Yes, when I have access to it. That's surely what the Pretender's reckoners meant by it when they charged our whole community.
<Ughiva> Our community had access to fos, and we were learning to use it. So to them, that was dangerous, and so they made up these charges under an ancient law.
* Veznara frowns
<Veznara> That would explain it, unfortunately.
<Ughiva> But I wonder whether this princess maybe knows more than that. Whether what she, and I, understand of witchcraft, is different.
* Ughiva smiles enigmatically.
<Veznara> Different how?
* Ughiva smiles.
<Ughiva> I don't know what she thinks. Maybe you should find out for me. Before your high priestess decides I'm well enough to work in the fields, or the beds, or whatever she wants with us.
<Veznara> Hmmm.
<Veznara> Well, you have given me a great deal to think about, Ughiva.
<Ughiva> It has been a pleasure, Hand Veznara.
<Veznara> Thank you for your time. I wish you a swift recovery...
<Veznara> ...but perhaps not *too* swift?
* Ughiva laughs.
<Ughiva> I'll bear that in mind.
<Veznara> Good day, Ughiva.
* Veznara rises and leaves Ughiva to recover at whatever pace is convenient for her...

Veznara talks with Zeba about being appointed as the personal spiritual advisor to Lady Galdai

* Veznara arranges to visit Zeba Mopister, and goes to see her at the appointed hour
* Zeba is, as always, dressed elegantly in Taizian silks and woven fabrics, with a head covering.
<Zeba> Veznara, so good to see you.
<Zeba> Won't you come in?
<Veznara> Hello, Zeba! It's so good to see you too. Thank you.
* Veznara is also dressed in the Taizian fashion, with a maroon-coloured dress and gold accessories
<Veznara> How have you been?
<Zeba> Oh, well enough. Trying not to get excessively annoyed with idiots.
<Veznara> Oh? More problems with the General?
<Zeba> Well, yes, her and the joke of a council I'm supposed to represent our nation on.
<Veznara> Oh dear. I understand that she's planning to fortify the island of Ruur...
<Zeba> Well, at least to build a fortified watchtower there, yes.
<Zeba> That's not a terrible idea in and of itself. The pirate Yeggun has been very active and there are ongoing concerns about the Basaians.
<Veznara> Commissioner Utus sent a team to investigate the area just the other day, accompanied by a Sentinel.
* Zeba nods.
<Zeba> It makes sense to extend our reach to Ruur before the Academy at Zhardif does so. Basai has been populating their colony to the northwest of here quite actively this year.
<Zeba> If we don't, they will.
<Veznara> Currently the area houses an Aummesh village, and some of the Hith?
<Zeba> One Aummesh village and one mixed human/hith village, plus assorted rural inhabitations. Nothing of significant strategic consequence.
<Veznara> So is the General is planning to expand the colony's presence there *instead
* of the lands we discussed before, or additionally?
<Zeba> Not sure. That first site, the one on the coast, I think she knew it wasn't any good for a lighthouse before she sent you. That's just a guess.
<Veznara> I think that very likely.
<Zeba> Is that what you came to discuss with me today?
<Veznara> Not specifically, though I should mention that it has come up again. I received a visit from Voice Gili asking about the place.
<Veznara> But my main reason is that I have a new assignment from the Temple.
<Zeba> Oh?
<Veznara> Hand Dezmali is assigning me to be the personal spiritual Her Imperial Highness, the Princess Galdai Ebesnata.
<Zeba> Ohh .... well!
<Zeba> Congratulations, I suppose.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> It is a great honour, of course.
<Veznara> And I want to be as prepared as possible...
* Zeba blinks rapidly.
<Zeba> Well, you do know her a little already, yes?
<Veznara> Yes, a little. I last paid her a visit a while ago. I don't know her well, though.
<Veznara> I presented myself when I first arrived - I had a letter of introduction, of course - but that and the second visit I mentioned are the only occasions on which I have met her.
<Zeba> Well. The good news is that she is not especially complicated. Awful, but uncomplicated. We do of course love and esteem her as kin of our Imperial lordship.
<Veznara> Of course.
<Veznara> I got the impression that she is, well, not necessarily the most... sociable, of people?
<Veznara> Though she treated me with perfect courtesy.
* Veznara hastens to add
<Zeba> Yes, absolutely, as a member of the Taizian nobility, she will be bound by all of the ancient privileges and strictures.
<Zeba> The most important of which, of course, is that nobles have friends and even if you are apparently insignificant, your friends may not be.
* Zeba smiles.
* Veznara smiles back
<Veznara> A fact for which I am most grateful!
<Zeba> But of course you will also have to comport yourself with grace at all times.
<Veznara> Yes. So far I've been very careful to treat her with appropriate respect, and I have every intention of continuing to do so.
<Veznara> I'll try not to drop into informality - though I think she will make it easy to avoid that.
* Veznara says a tad dryly
<Zeba> Might I ask, has this change in ... pastoral assignment ... been inspired by the arrival of the Pinnacle?
<Veznara> Well... yes. That has obviously excited much curiosity throughout the colony.
<Zeba> Is Hand Dezmali stooping to espionage, then?
* Zeba inquires with a smirk.
<Veznara> Oh, Zeba! Not espionage.
<Veznara> Let us simply say that with so many new arrivals in Her Highness' charge, it is now all the more important to ensure that her spiritual needs are met?
<Zeba> Indeed.
<Veznara> The arrival of the prisoners was a surprise, though. Did you know they were coming?
<Zeba> I do know that the Princess is very pious. She has read many of the older texts, and will certainly be able to debate you on theological grounds, if it comes to that.
<Veznara> I have no doubt that she is learned indeed! I know that she is a skilled practitioner of the arcane arts.
<Zeba> Quite so. Tutored from a very young age, as I understand it. And now, with so much fos at her disposal ... she will be formidable.
<Veznara> Yes. When I first heard that a cousin of the Emperor had come to Kaskind, I was surprised for a moment, until I made the connection with fos a split second later.
* Zeba nods.
<Zeba> You can assume that whatever she wants with these prisoners, it is not their labour.
<Zeba> That, she could have far more cheaply locally, I'm sure.
* Veznara grimaces
<Veznara> That does seem likely.
<Zeba> The amount of effort it would take to charge and try an entire town of corpseborn, to hire a ship, to transport them for months oversea, and to build lodging for them ... is staggering.
<Zeba> Just think about that, in the context of any of your own family's enterprises.
* Veznara nods slowly
<Veznara> Yes. She must have been planning this for some time - and was obviously willing to expend considerable resources for it.
<Veznara> Even though her resources are a level above, that's notable.
<Veznara> And you did not hear of this yourself before they arrived?
<Zeba> I did hear that there was an Imperial ship coming, but nothing more than that.
<Zeba> But I admit, my attention has been on other matters.
<Veznara> Of course.
<Zeba> I don't think this ... enterprise? ... was secret, but neither was it a matter of great public discussion back home.
<Veznara> No... why should it be? Sending a village of corpseborn away? That's hardly something that would bother most people.
<Zeba> Exactly. Except perhaps in the town of Gagambor itself, which is a backwater, really.
<Veznara> Well. What of the Princess herself? I know little of her past history.
<Zeba> What is there to say? As the cousin of the now-Emperor, she was raised in opulence, and I suppose she must have been identified as having magical talent very young, to have received the training she did.
<Veznara> She must have married - I remember she has a young granddaughter who lives with her.
<Zeba> She's been widowed for many years now.
<Veznara> Is Ziftu her only grandchild?
<Zeba> No, she has, I think, three children and seven or eight grandchildren in total.
<Veznara> She must be especially fond of Ziftu, then. Though the one time I met them both, that didn't seem to be the case. She seemed rather stern with the girl.
<Veznara> I suppose it may be that poor Ziftu is here as a punishment...
<Zeba> I do not believe that Galdai is 'fond' of anyone.
* Veznara sighs
<Zeba> I wouldn't be surprised if her father, Galdai's son, sent her along to keep an eye on his own mother.
<Veznara> Oh, dear. It sounds like I will be walking into a situation that is fraught with complications.
<Zeba> Yes, I'm afraid so.
<Zeba> I assume this was not a position you could have declined?
<Veznara> No, I don't think so. I'm clearly the most logical person at the Temple to select for such a role.
<Zeba> Indeed. And you'll do well.
<Veznara> Thank you, I hope so.
<Veznara> And there's still everything else that's going on!
<Veznara> I expect I'll hear more about what happens on this trip to Ruur when my teammates get back.
* Zeba nods.
<Veznara> Is there anything I should keep an ear out for?
<Zeba> Do keep me apprised of anything unusual going on with Galdai. She is powerful, but she's not untouchable.
<Zeba> I want to know what she's up to with these prisoners, but then, I'm sure you knew that already.
<Veznara> Certainly. She is, as you say, the cherished kin of our Imperial Lord the Emperor; but that means her behaviour will be seen to reflect on all Taizi here.
<Zeba> It truly will. And we can't afford to be seen as a problem to the General.
<Veznara> No indeed. If Her Imperial Highness is doing anything that the General might find objectionable, though, I'm sure we can all work together to, ah, quietly guide her in a better direction before it comes to the General's attention.
<Zeba> I am confident that Hand Dezmali, despite her youth and inexperience, is thinking in a similar direction.
<Veznara> Yes. I'm glad I came to consult you, Zeba! As always. Thank you.
<Zeba> You're very welcome. Always a pleasure.

Veznara visits with her cousin Debergilda

* Veznara later arranges another visit with her cousin Debergilda Kezondo
* Debergilda lives in a nice but relatively modest home on the east side of town.
* Veznara arrives, dressed in blue silks with green accents, with a small gift for her hostess
* Debergilda is a physically fit woman, though almost 40, with striking long black braided hair. She is wearing a long red tunic and brown leggings, both trimmed with a fine snakeskin.
<Debergilda> Veznara, good to see you again, cousin!
<Veznara> You too, cousin Debergilda! How have you been?
<Debergilda> Very well, by the ancestors' will.
<Debergilda> And you?
<Debergilda> You are working at the land registry still?
<Veznara> Well enough, thank you! Yes, I'm still there. And performing duties at the Temple, of course.
<Debergilda> Sometimes I wish I had had the inclination to be a Hand. It must be nice.
<Veznara> Well, it's a calling. There are some parts of it that are more difficult than others, but overall I'm well content there.
<Veznara> Now that I'm more settled in, they're giving me more responsibilities.
<Debergilda> That's good.
<Debergilda> So what brings you here today?
<Veznara> Yes. Hand Dezmali has recently suggested that I would be a good liaison between the Temple and Her Imperial Highness the Princess Galdai.
<Debergilda> Congratulations!
<Veznara> Thank you. I'm a bit nervous at the prospect, but it would be a great honour.
<Veznara> Do you know much about her?
<Veznara> I've only met her twice before - I called upon her when I arrived, of course. And I've been to see her once more since then.
<Debergilda> She is the cousin of the Emperor Himself, right? I think so, anyway.
<Veznara> Yes, that's right. And a powerful mistress of the arcane arts.
<Debergilda> I don't have much to do with her directly. Although now that you're serving her, maybe you can get me invited to her parties. If she has parties? I don't think so, not much.
<Veznara> I don't think she's particularly sociable, unfortunately.
<Debergilda> No, I guess not.
<Veznara> Also, I don't think I'll be joining her household, exactly. More coming to see her on a regular basis, perhaps?
<Debergilda> Oh, I see.
* Debergilda sounds a little disappointed.
<Veznara> She has a granddaughter living with her as well. Ziftu - the Lady Ziftu, I suppose?
<Veznara> I'm not clear on her formal title.
<Debergilda> I never paid any attention to who gets titles and stuff like that. I suppose that might be it.
<Debergilda> I do think I remember hearing that she had some suitors? I don't know, she's pretty young.
<Veznara> I've heard that too. She's fourteen, I believe, which is a bit young for that - but not too young for betrothal, I suppose.
<Debergilda> I'm glad that our family isn't so important that we have that kind of pressure. Not that you have to worry about that now! Unless you leave the Hand of course.
<Veznara> Well, there were arrangements in place for me before I realized my calling.
<Veznara> The young man that Mother and Father selected for me seemed entirely suitable, but it simply wasn't to be.
* Debergilda nods.
<Debergilda> I get it.
<Veznara> He's betrothed to Nadiba now.
<Veznara> I hope they'll be happy together.
<Debergilda> Are you going to go back for the wedding?
<Veznara> I don't know! The date hasn't been set yet, as far as I know. Perhaps next year, or the year after that?
<Debergilda> Well, I hope it all goes well.
<Veznara> Yes. So do I.
<Veznara> And how are things going for you? It seems to me that the colony is very busy during the summer.
<Debergilda> Well, you know. All right.
<Veznara> Good, I'm glad to hear it. Is there anything in particular that's been keeping you occupied?
<Debergilda> Well, I guess you could say I'm not really sure why I'm here. I guess because it's not home. But no, nothing really has come up.
<Veznara> Oh. You're here because it's not home?
<Debergilda> Yeah, something like that.
<Veznara> Oh, I'm sorry. You didn't enjoy life back in Taizi, then?
<Debergilda> Yeah.
<Veznara> I see. And you chose to come here to Kaskind specifically? Or were other places a possibility?
<Debergilda> Honestly, at the time I thought it would be a lot more exciting here. But your life seems a lot more exciting than mine.
* Veznara smiles
<Veznara> Busy, certainly. And I suppose it is exciting, too, now that you mention it.
<Veznara> Would you be interested in working at the Land Registry? I could ask and see whether there would be something that might appeal to you.
<Veznara> There are more and more claims every week, so they may decide to expand hiring.
<Debergilda> Maybe? What kind of actual skills would I need?
<Veznara> Well, for myself I generally deal with a lot of the maps. And I know a bit about history, which can come in useful.
<Debergilda> Right.
<Veznara> The Registry does adjudicate disputes, so if you know anything about law that could come in handy. There's already an arbitrator, of course, but he might be able to use an assistant.
<Debergilda> Yeah, I never was as interested in that stuff as you were.
<Veznara> There are plenty of written records to keep track of, so simply being literate is an asset for that.
* Debergilda laughs.
<Debergilda> Well, I can *read*. I mean, basic things.
<Veznara> Do you speak Aummesh? That isn't necessary, but it's an asset.
<Debergilda> Oh ... no, not really.
<Debergilda> Well, look, Veznara, this has been really nice.
<Debergilda> I'm so glad you took the time to come over and go over my life.
<Veznara> (Sense Motive? Is she annoyed or offended?)
<Debergilda> (sure, give it a try)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+9
* Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+9 ] getting [ 13 ] which, after the modifier [ 9 ] totals [ 22 ].
<Debergilda> (you think she's annoyed)
<Veznara> Oh, Debergilda, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to offend you...
<Debergilda> It's all right.
<Veznara> I'm afraid I got carried away with the idea of working with you.
<Veznara> You're the only family I have here.
<Debergilda> I'm glad you're here, Veznara. Even if most of the time I'm not glad I'm here.
* Veznara smiles tentatively
<Veznara> Well, I'm very grateful that you were here to help me when I first arrived.
<Veznara> If there's anything I can do to return the favour...
* Debergilda smiles.
<Debergilda> Don't be a stranger.
* Veznara smiles back
<Veznara> Alright. I'll be sure to visit again soon.