Ashnabis session 15

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On their return from Ruur, the group submit their report to Utus, who seems concerned that the damage to their boat might have been a more coordinated effort than simply some disaffected young people. Katenzhi catches up with her friend Tseta, and lets her know she may need a distributor for her new fos. Daifan talks to Balinteze about the corpseborn prisoners, as well as the fate of those who were left behind, and Balinteze reveals that they are the child of the Emperor of Taizi and therefore has connections to the imperial family they can draw on if necessary. Veznara visits Galdai's estate and sees the prisoners, checking on their condition and living quarters. Llillilli talks to Thelef about the hith court and their relations with Pashas, and Thelef also tells her that his aunts have given permission for their marriage to proceed. Jimba helps Jenam Kergoze and agrees to help find him a position on one of Liraula's ships.


Session date: July 14, 2019
Fair Cycle date: Shosolda, I.E. 765


<AshnabisNarrator> You have returned from your trip to the island of Ruur with a newfound appreciation for the quiet life, with the contrast with the dung-laden streets of Kaskind teeming with trade and life and ... dung.
<AshnabisNarrator> The high heat of the summer is still a month or more away, but Shosolda in Kaskind is still oppressive for those of you born and raised in more northerly climes.
<AshnabisNarrator> The locals celebrate a festival around this time of year featuring young men drinking raumak, a pungent alcohol made of a gourd of the same name. One tries to remember that people have their own customs, but it is sometimes an effort.
<AshnabisNarrator> You have recovered fully from your ordeals in Ruur, even Junan, and have been summoned this morning to meet with Utus to debrief after your trip.
<AshnabisNarrator> The land registry is undergoing some slight repairs to the roof - a pair of young boys are dashing to and fro replacing shingles and gleefully tossing broken ones down at the bubun, much to the consternation of the Hand in charge of them below.

Utus reviews the team's report on Pashas

* Utus is a slender, fit middle-aged clean-shaven man with curly dark hair. He wears a long green tunic with gold embroidery, as well as a brown cloak held together with a clasp of green beads.
<Utus> Good morning, everyone. Please have a seat.
* Daifan will sit in their usual spot
<Utus> I've read your report and before I submit it to the Fort, I wanted an opportunity to go over some of the details with you.
* Katenzhi will stand near the back as usual.
<Utus> First, congratulations on successfully identifying a locale for the General's needs. She will be very pleased, I am sure.
<Daifan> (I am going to assume that we did get the buit included about the HIth's perceptions of Pashas)
<Daifan> (bit)
<AshnabisGM> (Presumably you included something on that subject)
<Daifan> (okay good)
<Utus> So the first topic of interest is the ship you found wrecked along the coast.
<Utus> Of course this will be, in the minds of many, ample justification for the watchtower. And perhaps more.
* Daifan listens
<Utus> Do any of you have any opinions on that?
<Daifan> (I am trying to remember/fine what we rthought about how the ship was wrecked)
<AshnabisGM> (I don't think you had any real information)
<AshnabisNarrator> (only that it was probably fairly recent, and the people on board probably all escaped, or at least you didn't find a bunch of dead bodies)
<Katenzhi> Just that they definitely don't want us there. Our boat is evidence enough of that.
<Utus> Hmm.
<Utus> You found some material inside it, yes?
<Daifan> A few things... I don't think the ship was attacked, or these valuable would hgave been taken. So I am not sure how a watchtower would be relevant? or how it would influence opinions?
<Utus> If it had a signal flame atop it, perhaps the accident would not have happened. Or perhaps, at least, there would have been a place of safety for the crew to retreat.
* Daifan shrugs, knowing you'll spin it how you like
<Daifan> The crew seemed to have escaped fine, in any case.
<Utus> Indeed.
<Llillilli> THere won't be any place of safety if the People decide they don't want it there
* Llillilli grumbles
<Utus> Do you think that is likely? That the hith will oppose this?
<Llillilli> I think it's possible.
<Llillilli> The King considers the land part of Sulise.
<Utus> I will consider that further. But I do not think it will influence the General's decision.
<Llillilli> Proceeding without consulting himm is foolish.
<Utus> Hmmm.
* Daifan nods
<Utus> The damage done to your boat, even if it was, as claimed, merely a juvenile prank, will be a matter of some concern. It will convince some of the need for perhaps a larger or more permanent military presence on the island.
* Llillilli throws up her hands and rolls her eyes.
* Katenzhi sighs.
<Utus> You have thoughts on this matter?
<Llillilli> I said what I said
<Llillilli> And no matter what you, or they are going to find some justification for this tower, or whatever, so why are we here
<Utus> Were you satisfied by the explanation provided?
<Daifan> ...Hopefully someone will see that proceeding without respect in the face of all these caveats is asking for trouble.
<Llillilli> (missed a comma after 'what')
<Katenzhi> We know it's not your decision, Utus, we just think it's probably a bad idea.
<Utus> I'm simply trying to assess who you think did this. The investigation seems to have been very cursory, on the part of the locals.
<Utus> I note that the reckoner in the case is the aunt of the lineage elder? One might worry that they are merely covering up for their people's own actions.
<Katenzhi> I wish I knew. Probably better that I don't, though.
<Daifan> One might consider why they would do so, if one was concerned about it
* Daifan says, trying not to be *too
* snarky
<Daifan> As Llillilli noted, these are people who are under the protection of the Hith king
<Utus> One reason might be that there is something not in your report, something that you did to offend someone.
<Daifan> Yes, we offended them by comoing and poking about to find a place to put a watch tower they do not want without consulting them.
<Daifan> I believe that is in the report, sir.
<Llillilli> Exactly
<Utus> Who are 'them', in this case? The residents of Ruur, or the hith kingdom?
<Llillilli> Pashas is part of the hith kingdom.
<Daifan> In the case of Pashas, I am not certain you can separate the tewo
<Utus> Hmm.
<Utus> Still, putting a hole in a boat does not strike me as the sort of act called for or approved of by the hith king.
<Utus> It seems much more likely to have been a local matter, do you not agree?
<Daifan> no. No one claimed that it was
* Utus sighs.
<Veznara> Perhaps it was simply some high-spirited young men getting carried away, Commissioner?
<Utus> I am not asking you to be happy that your boat was damaged. I am trying to discern whether you think it likely to have been the act of a disaffected local person, or something more coordinated.
<Llillilli> Veznara you weren't even there.
* Llillilli snaps.
* Veznara pointedly ignores her
<Katenzhi> We don't know, Utus. All we know is that it was someone who could breathe water. It could have been anyone.
<Katenzhi> Well, lot's of people.
* Utus nods.
<Utus> The humans in Pashas, how did they seem to you? Were you treated well, overall?
<Veznara> The lineage elders seemed to regret the incident, however?
<Daifan> They were like people anywhere - some were friendly and some were not. I found them more welcomine than many other places.
* Utus nods.
<Daifan> And yes, of course they did.
<Daifan> They don't want trouble.
<Veznara> No. None of us do.
* Daifan gives Veznara a dubious look
<Utus> I am pleased to hear it. I don't expect the local lineages to be thrilled. I do expect them to see their self-interest lies in not upsetting the General. If this ... Sileshu ... is a pragmatic sort, we can work with that.
* Llillilli gives Veznara an incredulous look
<Utus> That name, Sileshu, though - that is not an Aummesh name I am familiar with.
<Utus> Is he one of yours, Llillilli?
* Utus has clearly been practicing and does not butcher your name.
<Llillilli> You're just listening to her, and ignring the rest of us because she's saying what you want to hear and we aren't!
<Llillilli> And she wasn't even *there*!
<Utus> I appreciate that.
* Llillilli repeats, not caring how petulant it sounds
<Utus> I'm not interested in debating the premises of our operation. Merely how to proceed.
<Daifan> Our report provides our advice3 on how to proceed, sir,
<Llillilli> You-they need to consult with the King.
* Daifan says, calmly
<Llillilli> That's what's in the report/
<Utus> I do understand that it provides very useful information. I appreciate that.
<Llillilli> That's all I've got to say.
<Utus> Anyone else have anything to add, then?
* Llillilli folds her arms over her chest, steaming mad.
* Katenzhi just shrugs.
<Utus> Very well. If there is a reward for the return of the material from the Ardukh, I will ensure that it gets to you.
<Daifan> If you go in there looking for trouble. YOu are sure to find it, and well beyond Pashas, sir.
<Utus> I appreciate your candor.
<Utus> You are dismissed.
<Daifan> Thank you sir.
* Daifan will go

Katenzhi meets with Tseta on her ship

<AshnabisGM> Katenzhi, you are up one morning a little earlier than usual - it was warm last night and sleep was fitful. You decide to go out for a walk at dawn around the harbour to clear your head.
<AshnabisGM> You emerge from the boat and barely have walked fifty paces when you see a familiar sight. It is the Great Gar, the flagship of your friend Tseta Tsamorg. Although you've known Tseta for years, it's been some months since you've seen her as she hasn't been in Kaskind in some time.
<AshnabisGM> You see her crew working away on the Gar as if preparing her for a significant stay in port, while others are offloading cargo, presumably for trade.
* Katenzhi smiles and approaches the ship, holding up a hand in greeting to the crew.
<AshnabisGM> One of the hands recognizes you and goes belowdecks for a moment and then Tseta emerges.
* Utus is now known as Tseta
<Katenzhi> Ahoy!
* Tseta is a tall, physically powerful woman a few years older than you but her skin shows the weathering of many years in the sun. Her black wavy hair is cut short, and she's wearing a loose shift of red fabric. She's holding a cup of some steaming beverage.
<Tseta> Kat!
<Katenzhi> Long time no see! How've the tides been treating you?
<Tseta> In and out, you know, just like I like it!
<Tseta> How fares your esteemed lineage?
* Katenzhi laughs.
* Katenzhi shrugs. "Pretty good, all things considered. Jimba is working on investing in a dock and I have some fingers in a few things too. Permission to board?
<Tseta> Permission granted. I hear Jimba's been a busy boy.
* Katenzhi will make her way up the gangplank.
<Katenzhi> Oh? What've you heard?
<Tseta> I've heard that you're in business with the Black Stork.
<Katenzhi> That's more his business. I don't ask questions.
<Tseta> Probably wise.
<Katenzhi> What about you? Where've you been lately?
<Tseta> Here, there, everywhere. It's been a while and it was time to get back here for a rest.
<Tseta> I should be here for at least a month. My crew has been looking for some time in the big city, and they deserve it after this last haul. And by then there'll be a good harvest of fos to ship out of here, although I don't think I'm headed back to Omban countries oversea anytime soon.
<Katenzhi> Ha. Big City.
* Tseta laughs.
<Katenzhi> It'll be good to have you back, though.
<Tseta> Not yet, maybe, but you should have seen this shithole fifteen years ago.
<Tseta> Good to be back, I miss you from time to time.
<Katenzhi> Of course you do, who wouldn't?
* Tseta laughs.
<Tseta> Tea?
<Katenzhi> That would be great. I haven't had much sleep.
<Tseta> In a good way?
* Tseta asks suggestively.
<Katenzhi> If there's a good way to miss sleep I haven't found it.
* Tseta takes you belowdecks to the captain's cabin and pours you some tea.
<Tseta> Anyway, you know, things have been mostly good. There's enough work, what with all the new arrivals here and in Charadip. The Basaians are cheap as hell but there sure are a lot of them.
<Katenzhi> Good to here. The registry has been keeping us busy here. Local politics was never my strong suit.
* Tseta nods.
<Tseta> Politics only interests me when it hurts my people or my profits.
<Katenzhi> Very wise.
<Tseta> Speaking of, though ...
* Katenzhi raises an eyebrow.
<Tseta> Do you know this guy Ifral Zamurg who works in your land registry?
<Katenzhi> Yeah, he's one of the rubber stampers. Never took much notice of him, really. Seems like another aristocrat with family connections.
<Katenzhi> Why?
<Tseta> Turns out that the Tsamorgs and the Zamurgs are maybe related, way back. Problem is that has given some of the Zamurgs the idea that they're entitled to the customary privileges of our lineage. They've been looking at old family records, figuring out who is who, or claiming to.
<Katenzhi> Huh...
<Tseta> Anyway I don't know how this Ifral is involved but he's the same family, they're all connected. Seems like they're mostly from Choradan, which makes sense if there is a relation, since it's the closest Omban country.
<Tseta> But I'll be damned if some Choradani cuntflap is going to wander into the lineage house and demand the right of shelter.
<Katenzhi> What if they really are family?
<Tseta> I'm sure they are. Tsamorgs are a noble lineage going back generations.
<Tseta> But you don't get to tell me you're my cousin and then wipe your shitstained boots on my mat.
<Katenzhi> Yeah, fair.
<Tseta> One of the Zamurgs even adopted one of ours, Undas, just a young boy of fourteen maybe, had him change his name from Tsamorg to Zamurg. Then he took orders as a Voice, so I don't know what is going on there. He's not close kin to me, and too young for me to have known him well.
<Tseta> This is just the shit going down here in Kaskind. I'm going to check on it while I'm here.
<Tseta> But maybe if you could talk to this Ifral, find out what's going on.
<Katenzhi> want me to ask him if his family are trying to muscle in on yours?
<Tseta> Well, I'd appreciate it if you'd be cleverer than that.
<Katenzhi> Man, you really must not know me very well.
* Tseta laughs.
<Katenzhi> I can see what I can do.
<Tseta> Does he know that you know me? Probably not, right?
<Katenzhi> I doubt it.
<Tseta> Maybe just start by asking about the connection between the families. Say you met one of us, wondering if we're the same family?
<Katenzhi> Your cousin still a deckhand? I can name drop her. Say I ran into her at the bar since you're in town.
<Tseta> Sure, that makes sense.
<Tseta> I'd appreciate it.
<Katenzhi> No problem. Might be entertaining. Can't guarantee I'll learn shit that will help, though.
* Tseta sips her tea.
<Tseta> So what's new with you?
<Katenzhi> Man, where to start. It's been a weird few months. We just got back from a little island called Pashas. Weird place. Don't like outsiders. Someone there put a hole through the side of my boat.
<Tseta> Oh yeah, they're a weird sort. They don't even like mainlanders. I think ten generations of Heptacheis marrying Chetsus ... or marrying hith ... has given them a weird look.
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> I also might have some big things in the offing. In fact, I don't want to say to much yet, but I might want you to be a part of it down the line.
<Tseta> O-ho! Any hints?
<Katenzhi> Do you know Bivizmi Pindevuzi?
<Tseta> I know the Pindevuzi name. Herbalists, fos merchants, that sort of thing?
<Katenzhi> Yeah. She's the best of the lot of them, too. Me and her are gonna try to bring a new product to market. We may need a distributor. Nothing certain yet, mind you. We're still in the early stages.
<Tseta> Hmm. I have lots of contacts up in Charadip now.
* Tseta smiles.
* Katenzhi grins back.
<Tseta> Well you let me know once you're ready.
<Katenzhi> I'll definitely be in contact if things go through.
<Katenzhi> Especially if you're gonna be here for a while.
<Tseta> I'm here for around a month or so, maybe a little more. After that, who knows?
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> And I'll see what I can find out from Ifral in the meantime.
<Tseta> All right, well, be talking to you soon then. Thanks!
* Katenzhi will finish her tea and head out then.

Daifan speaks with Balinteze about the budal and learns some secrets about them

<AshnabisNarrator> Daifan, the time away from Kaskind was hardly relaxing to you. The budal from the Pinnacle have been on your mind the whole time, and of course it is always tough to be away from little Shira while she's so young, even though she has lots of people to care for her.
<AshnabisNarrator> But being back isn't much better - you don't have much in the way of direct access to any information about what's going on at Galdai's prison camp. Not to mention any of your other troubles. Good thing you're corpseborn, or you'd be freaking out. But your people are tough.
<AshnabisNarrator> You are coming home from work, taking the long rocky path up to Banei. As you come into town, you see a figure seated, back against your house, in the shadows. After a moment, you see that it is Balinteze.
* NPC1 is now known as Balinteze
* Daifan smiles
* Balinteze smiles and gives you a wave as you approach
<Daifan> (Is this the day we get back into town or just a random day?)
<Balinteze> (maybe like the following day? shortly after you get back, anyway)
<Daifan> (okay)
<Balinteze> You made it back from your trip, I see :)
<Daifan> Eventually...
<Balinteze> Troubles?
* Daifan sighs
<Daifan> somsdone hacked a big hole in the side of our ship, so we had to get it patched efore we could leave
<Balinteze> Ugh, that's annoying. Why did they do that?
<Daifan> I think they did it to demonstrate thay we are vulberable. They...some of them, anyway, don't want the fort building a watchtower out there.
* AshnabisGM is now known as Bivizmi
* Balinteze nods
* Daifan will come sit beside them
<Balinteze> So more of a symbolic gesture than designed to actually hurt you? were you on the ship at the time?
<Daifan> how are things with you?
<Daifan> oh, yeah... no one was onboard
<Daifan> they did ti while we were out surveying
<Balinteze> That's good, at least.
<Daifan> mmhmm..
<Balinteze> Well, I've been busy while you've been away.
<Daifan> If course the general just wants her watchtower, and is trying o decide if they can use it as an excuse to send more of a force out there
<Daifan> oh?
<Balinteze> Well, like I promised, I got in touch with some contacts back home. Finding out as much as I can about what they're calling the 'Gagambor affair'.
<Daifan> hmm
<Daifan> learn anything?
<Balinteze> I learned that Princess Galdai teleported to the palace in Pivuku last year in late Kerai and early Latas to meet with her Imperial cousin. This is relevant because the raid on the aizer in Gagambor was late in Latas. My colleagues suggest that she had a role to play in planning the raid.
<Balinteze> At the very least, it was clearly an Imperial-authorized raid, not some local thing.
<Daifan> :o
<Daifan> she...what?
* Balinteze nods
<Daifan> I *shouldn't* be surprised...
<Daifan> :/
<Balinteze> I don't know what precisely was said between her and the Emperor... only that they had several private meetings during that time.
<Balinteze> And then, shortly after, one hundred and seventy-five people, the entire aizer, were rounded up, interrogated and imprisoned. All the same charge, witchcraft.
* Daifan takes a deep breath
<Daifan> How do we even fight that? :/
<Balinteze> I'm sorry. It gets worse.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Okay
* Daifan braces themself
<Balinteze> They were clearly scared. Our people had certainly been practicing the use of fos. As far as anyone can tell they weren't getting training from anyone, but they had a massive supply.
<Daifan> ....did she *give it to them*?
<Balinteze> The rumor is that someone here was supplying them - I don't know if it was Wetfoot and Fleabite, but I'd guess not- they're from Malfan, and they'd have no way to make contact with budal in Taizi, not really. So I don't know yet who that was.
<Balinteze> But it could have been her - although I assume she's smart enough to make it difficult to trace back to her.
<Daifan> Well. I'll see if Ic an find out, maybew
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> It's not strictly illegal for us to have fos in Taizi, but frankly it rarely came up, years ago. It is certainly illegal for budal to use fos in ways that might be legal or tolerated among hedal. But no one was charged with actually using fos to hurt someone. Hence the witchcraft charge - vague enough to withstand scrutiny.
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> It looks like all the men, the haren, and all the elders were executed.
<Daifan> They were doing something diffeent with it
<Daifan> Not *all* the men...
* Daifan nods
* Daifan sighs
<Balinteze> No... but all the men who were left behind.
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> The children, about fifty or so, seem to have mostly been moved to the urban aizer in southwestern Pivuku, placed with families there. They're safe, or as safe as kids taken from their families can be. I know the aizeron there, he's reliable. So... that's one small blessing, at least.
<Daifan> Well. That's not a *surprise*
* Daifan says, bitterly
<Daifan> and that's good. About the kids
<Balinteze> But it was not the case that the most dangerous were all executed. In fact, one of the ringleaders was this woman Ughiva, who is one of the ones who they're holding in the temple of the Hand. Very dangerous. I think I like her.
<Daifan> I like her too
<Daifan> Spoons
* Balinteze nods
<Balinteze> The Hand are still holding onto their three budal, including her. Have to think that's just pretense at this point, they have to have recovered enough. Leverage of some sort - but for what?
<Balinteze> Speaking of the Hand, have you talked to your friend Veznara lately?
<Daifan> The head of the temple here is a sid
<Balinteze> ahh
<Daifan> she knows dangerous things are afoot, but not exatly what.
<Daifan> And no, I haven't... But I think she'd visted the Budal, and hand Dezmali was goign to try and use her somehow, since she is a Taizan noble
<Daifan> why?
<Balinteze> Well, I heard that she's been appointed as the personal religious attendant to the Princess herself. Not sure whether that was Dezmali's idea or Galdai's, though I suspect the former - that matches up with what you heard.
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> So she might be a good contact for getting information - or other things - in and out of the plantation, if she's got more freedom to come and go there.
<Balinteze> That is, if you think you can trust her.
<Daifan> I don't know
<Daifan> She's so suspicious
<Balinteze> Her family, the Kezondo - they're noble, but not so important. An Imperial connection might be something they'd want to cultivate. So that's something to bear in mind. Hands aren't known for rebelliousness against their kin.
<Daifan> any time I ask her about anything, she quizzes me on every little detail of why I might possibly care
<Daifan> Oh I'm aware
<Balinteze> On the other hand, she's here, which - well, there must be some reason for that. So maybe you could try to figure out where her allegiances lie and what she thinks of all this. She could be a powerful ally, or, you know, the opposite.
* Balinteze says with a shrug
<Daifan> I can't decide whetyher or not its a good thing that she'll be out there
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I don't weant to compromise you because she won't trust anything I tell her.
* Balinteze nods
<Balinteze> I understand.
* Balinteze sighs a bit, leaning back against the wall.
* Daifan glances over at them, and will lean against thier shoulder
<Balinteze> Getting this information... it required pulling on some contacts I haven't used in a while. It carries some risks with it.
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> I could go higher, though. There's something I didn't try. But... it's complicated.
* Balinteze glances over at you, as if trying to gauge how much they can safely tell you.
<Daifan> If the emperor is compicit in this...
<Balinteze> Mm.
<Daifan> how bsafe is it for you to dig at all?
<Daifan> what more can we learn from those sources that would be worth it?
<Balinteze> Daifan... the emperor is my father.
<Daifan> ...
<Balinteze> My birth father, I mean.
<Daifan> oh.
<Balinteze> So... like I said, it's complicated.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> :(
* Daifan squeezes their hand
<Balinteze> My birth mother was one of his mistresses. I didn't know about ... all of this, until I was older. And when I did, it was because they wanted to use me - train me. Because I was useful - because of who I was, and what I was.
<Daifan> who do you mean, they? \
<Balinteze> oh... the Emperor's master of spies. but that means the Emperor, ultimately.
<Daifan> Mmmhmm.
<Daifan> ...Do you believe it?
* Daifan asks, cynically
* Balinteze laughs.
<Balinteze> Well... I mean, I could doubt it I suppose. Maybe they just picked me at random. But it makes more sense than the alternatives. It's... kind of a long story, though.
* Kennesaw is now known as Jimba
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> I promise I'll tell you, just... not right here, now. Someplace when we have more time, and the mosquitos aren't swarming :)
<Daifan> I don't imagine you would have just taken their word for it... so okay.
<Daifan> YOu don't *have* to...
* Balinteze smiles gently
<Balinteze> I know.
<Daifan> okay
<Daifan> Then... I still don't know if it is worth the risk
<Daifan> What if they just take you away from here?
<Balinteze> It's possible. I think they like having me at a good long distance from Pivuku, but that applies to lots of places.
<Daifan> :/
<Balinteze> Anyway, my point in bringing this up was, I can reach to higher contacts if I need to. Potentially, I could even talk to the Emperor. It would be complicated, and I don't know how useful it would be. Or I could talk to other people in the Imperial family. I just... if they *are* implicated in this, and it isn't just Galdai acting on her own, I don't know what it would do.
<Daifan> I ...don't want to have to deal with this without you.
* Balinteze nods
* Balinteze puts their arm around your shoulders.
<Balinteze> I'll keep that for a real emergency. There are other ways to find out information, it's just less direct than going to the source. But I can find a way.
<Daifan> Okay.... but don't be mad for telling you to be careful
* Balinteze smiles at that
<Balinteze> I know it just means you care ;)
* Daifan smiles back
<Daifan> Good. Then be careful.
<Balinteze> You too.
* Balinteze lingers a moment longer, and then will saunter off back to town.

Veznara visits Galdai's estate and talks with her steward

<AshnabisGM> Veznara, you are heading this morning out to the Princess Galdai's country estate. Yesterday you sent a local boy with a message to her steward there, a woman named Endu Engevaze. He returned with your appointment, so off you go!
<AshnabisGM> (Do you have any preparations to make before going out there?)
<Veznara> (I'm trying to think... I want to be able to take notes, certainly.... and be able to conduct a service or two for the personnel there.)
<Veznara> (I would be expected to tend to the guards etc, but also to the CB?)
<AshnabisGM> (well that you don't really know - this is your first time out there)
<AshnabisGM> (but you certainly understand from Dezmali that she wants you to ensure they are well treated)
<Veznara> (But as a regular thing, the Hand do conduct some sorts of services for the CB?)
<AshnabisGM> (yes, absolutely)
<Veznara> (Good.)
<Veznara> (I guess I may bring a few things I'll expect them to need there - copies of prayerbooks, or the equivalent, for the main house at least.)
<AshnabisGM> (sure, fine)
<AshnabisGM> (also make a K:nobility roll)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+7
* Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+7 ] getting [ 9 ] which, after the modifier [ 7 ] totals [ 16 ].
<AshnabisGM> You think that Engevaze is a country lineage name in Taizi, very low status, and it is perhaps surprising that this Endu has a role so important to the princess.
<Veznara> (Hmmm. I wonder what secrets she guards, to be given such a position? :s )
<AshnabisGM> You make the appropriate preparations and set out.
<AshnabisGM> The trip takes a couple hours by foot but is not too onerous. The estate is north and east of Kaskind; you follow the colony road northeast out of town and then at a marked willow tree, you head east across a thin but clear path to the estate itself.
<AshnabisGM> It is a set of buildings, a manor house being the most prominent, but with several additional outbuildings, most notably some simple, newly-constructed buildings visible far in the distance. The entire area is demarcated with a simple wooden fence.
<AshnabisGM> (are you going straight up to the manor house then?, or doing something else?)
* Veznara enters the manor house. She is dressed in the white gown of the Hand, with a travelling cloak to protect it from dust, with a vumuri shell pendant and earrings
* Tseta is now known as Endu
* Endu is a rail-thin woman in her middle years. She wears her straight dark hair long and in a ponytail. She is wearing a simple brown tunic and leggings.
<Endu> Good afternoon, Hand Veznara. We have been expecting you. Please do come in. I am Endu Engevaze, the steward here at Her Imperial Highness' country estate.
<Veznara> Good afternoon, Endu of the Engevaze. I thank you for your welcome.
<Endu> Do you need any refreshment before we begin?
<Veznara> Thank you. Perhaps a small drink of water? The day is hot...
<Endu> Of course.
* Endu attends to that personally and brings you a mug of lukewarm water.
<Endu> I apologize, we have cold water when Her Imperial Highness is in attendance, but today, it is just the staff.
* Veznara thanks her, and takes a few sips.
<Veznara> That's fine. I'm sorry to be of any trouble, but I'm afraid I'm still getting used to the climate.
<Veznara> I thought the rainy season was enough of a challenge, but the heat now!
<Endu> All of us do. Shosolda in Taizi is so much dryer and cooler.
<Veznara> Yes - Fuvuri is too.
<Veznara> Well, that's much better, thank you. Shall we begin?
<Endu> Of course.
* Endu leads you on a tour of the manor house.
<AshnabisGM> The manor house itself is well-kept and quite fine - perhaps not quite so fine as the house in Kaskind, but suitable for any Taizian noble's country living. It has several bedrooms, servant quarters, parlors, and, most importantly for your purposes, a room laid out for prayers.
* Veznara has a careful look around the prayer room
<Endu> I hope this will be adequate.
<Veznara> (What do I think?)
<AshnabisGM> (I mean, it's fine, nothing special)
<Veznara> Yes, this seems suitable. Perhaps one or two minor adjustments, if it isn't too much trouble?
<Endu> Certainly, what can we do?
* Veznara mentions a few minor things like the cabinet she suggested in the main manor in Kaskind
<Veznara> I did bring a few items for services that I thought I might leave here, as well.
<Endu> Of course.
<Endu> Things are usually very quiet here. Right now with the arrival of the prisoners that His Imperial Majesty sent us, a little more complex, as you might imagine.
<Veznara> Ah, yes, I imagine so.
<Veznara> Did you have much time to prepare for their arrival?
<Endu> A few months, yes. Fortunately that burden did not mostly fall to me.
<Endu> Mukhesh Ortezhi is in charge over at the compound. He manages the security and well-being of the prisoners. If you wish to see that part of the estate you will need to speak with him.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> Yes, and I should discuss services for his people as well. Of course my main preoccupation will be to attend Her Imperial Highness, but the spiritual well-being of her household falls is a part of that duty.
<Veznara> You mentioned the staff earlier - how many are there in this house?
<Endu> For the most part, the staff here at the house is small, except when Her Imperial Highness is in residence. Just me, permanently, and then we bring in local girls to do cleaning and that sort of thing.
<Endu> And then the Princess' people come with her as needed.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> I see. And how many personnel are under Mukhesh Ortezhi?
<Endu> Four guards, plus locals that we hire to bring supplies and do chores.
<Veznara> Very good. Well, everything here seems to be in good order - perhaps I should see them next.
<Endu> Very well, I will escort you over there.
<Veznara> Thank you!
<AshnabisGM> You travel east across the estate and eventually come to three wooden buildings, clearly built within the past few months.
<AshnabisGM> There is a large building, long and low, with narrow windows and a single door. There is another building that is similar in style, but much smaller in size. And there is another building of two stories in height, not especially large, with no windows. Both the single-story buildings have single reinforced doors barred from the outside. The windowless building has no obvious lock.
<Endu> Here we are.
<Veznara> That one is.. well, the barracks, I suppose you'd call it?
* Veznara says, indicating the unlocked windowless building
<Endu> Yes, and storage. That is where the staff work.
<Veznara> (What time of day is it?)
<Endu> (late morning? early afternoon?)
<Veznara> (Okay)
<Endu> Wait here momentarily.
<Veznara> Certainly.
* Endu knocks on the door and speaks a quiet word, and then enters the building, closing the door behind her. After a couple minutes she emerges with a man.
* Endu is now known as Mukhesh
* Mukhesh is an extremely short, bald man with a fringe of black hair left at the back. He is wearing light leather armor which you can only imagine is exceedingly hot on a day like this.
<Mukhesh> I am Mukhesh Ortezhi. You wish to speak with me?
* Mukhesh sounds annoyed.
<Veznara> How do you do, Mukhesh Ortezhi. I am Hand Veznara. I have the honour of having recently been appointed to act as spiritual advisor to Her Imperial Highness, and her household.
<Mukhesh> I heard.
<Mukhesh> What are you here for today?
* AshnabisNarrator is now known as Sulidein
<Veznara> I have already seen the main house. Since you and your people are also part of the larger household, I wished to see you next.
<Mukhesh> All right. Here I am.
<Veznara> I expect that I will occasionally conduct services for you - is there a suitable place for that anywhere around here?
<Veznara> A separate room within your barracks, perhaps?
<Mukhesh> No, there is no access here. Are you doing services at the house?
<Veznara> There is a a prayer room there, yes. I was thinking that would be reserved as Her Imperial Highness private chapel... but I suppose circumstances here are different from those in the town.
* Mukhesh nods.
<Mukhesh> They are.
<Veznara> Then I expect that will serve, at least for now. I'm prepared to conduct a service for you and your people today, if you like - but I don't with to interfere with your schedule. I understand that you're still adjusting to the new arrivals.
* Mukhesh laughs.
<Mukhesh> Yes, you could say that.
<Mukhesh> I don't need a service today.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> Very well. As for the arrivals, I take it that they're staying in the other two buildings?
<Mukhesh> Yes, that's right.
<Veznara> I would like to see them next.
<Mukhesh> I was not informed that you would be visiting the prisoners. I should caution you against it. Some of them are not yet resigned to their sentences.
<Veznara> I'm sorry to put you to the trouble... but it is the duty of the Hand to tend to all.
<Mukhesh> Our understanding was that you would be serving Princess Galdai and, as needed, the members of her household. Not the prisoners.
<Veznara> That is basically true; but the prisoners are also part of the larger household.
<Mukhesh> Very well. Come with me.
* Mukhesh sighs heavily.
<Veznara> Thank you.
* Veznara follows Mukhesh
* Mukhesh takes you first to the larger women's building.
<AshnabisGM> As you enter the building, you see a large area full of rough cots and mats, on which numerous Corpseborn women are sitting or lying. They do not respond with much fervor to your entry - some of them seem half-asleep despite it being mid-afternoon. There is one exception - a woman who seems quite alert.
* Veznara looks around carefully for signs of how they are being treated
* Balinteze is now known as Kida
* Kida is a thin woman with light brown hair, perhaps in her thirties. Her dashi is stained in brown and rust colours.
* Veznara also counts them unobtrusively, in case any go missing later... :s
* Kida moves in your direction as soon as she sees you there.
<Kida> Blessed Hand! Blessed Hand! All honour to you from Kida of no house! Charity and peace unto we poor wretches!
* Kida slips something into your hand smoothly as she approaches you.
<Mukhesh> Quiet, you!
<Kida> For Ughiva. She will know.
* Kida whispers almost imperceptibly, although you hear her clearly enough.
* Kida backs away respectfully at the guard's order
* Veznara does not give any sign of having received anything from Kida
* Kida retreats back to her cot and watches you.
<Mukhesh> Right now there are forty-eight prisoners here. Two more are still in your hands back in Kaskind.
<Mukhesh> Do you want to say a blessing or something over them?
<Veznara> (How many are there in this particular building?)
<Mukhesh> (looks like all of them)
<Veznara> Yes, those two are being tended to. They are better, but not yet well enough to be brought here, from what I understand.
* Mukhesh nods.
<Mukhesh> All right. Have you seen enough here?
<Veznara> Let me just say a blessing, as you suggested. I think it would be appropriate.
* Mukhesh nods.
<Mukhesh> Go ahead then.
<Veznara> (How do these people look?)
<AshnabisGM> (make a quick Heal roll)
<Veznara> (Dammit, I was going to get that skill next... :P )
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+3
* Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+3 ] getting [ 14 ] which, after the modifier [ 3 ] totals [ 17 ].
<AshnabisGM> They seem all right to you. Nothing too serious.
* Veznara says an appropriate blessing for the Corpseborn
<Mukhesh> All right, let's move on then.
* Mukhesh takes you out and to the men's prison.
<AshnabisGM> The men in this building, ten of them, it looks like, are generally sleeping or sitting quietly. The room is hot but not oppressively so. Buckets for water and waste are in the corners of the room, with rough mats and cots thrown here and there. The men look thin and some of them have bruising.
* Veznara also checks them for obvious signs of mistreatment and quietly takes a head count
<Mukhesh> You want to say a prayer here too?
<AshnabisGM> (here the count of 9 is easier to make quickly and accurately)
<Veznara> Yes. It should only be moment.
<Mukhesh> Go ahead then.
* Veznara repeats the blessing
<Veznara> (So the men look like they're being treated less well than the women?)
<Veznara> (I mean, obvious beatings. Less food too?)
<AshnabisGM> (you don't really have the expertise to know, but perhaps)
* Veznara leaves once that's done, and says something to Mukhesh once they're out
<Veznara> I take it that some of these men are the ones who have still not adjusted?
<Mukhesh> That's a fair assessment.
<Mukhesh> Are you done here?
<Veznara> Yes, thank you, I think so.
* Mukhesh is now known as Endu
<Endu> All right, please allow me to escort you back. We look forward to having you here with us, Hand Veznara.
<Veznara> Thank you, Endu! I look forward to it also.
* Veznara exchanges further pleasantries with her, and takes her leave. She does not read the note until she is well away from the plantation...
<AshnabisGM> (who said anything about a note?)
<AshnabisGM> You pull the object Kida gave you once you are on your way home.
<Veznara> (Ah, sorry. She doesn't look at whatever it was until well away, then.)
<AshnabisGM> It is a thin leather pouch, not locally made you think, and clearly well-worn.
<AshnabisGM> You open up the pouch and find a tiny set of thin bambos sticks used for divination, roughly hewn, you would guess, out of a crate or cask. And underneath them, you see a sediment of fine powder.
<AshnabisGM> At first you mistake it for sand, but then the light peeks into the pouch and you see a purplish hue that tells you all you need to know.

Llillilli talks with Thelef about the hith court

<AshnabisGM> Llillilli, your time in Pashas was very strange. At first, it was simply an amazing experience to be at the Nemmotam, to see the potential for two peoples, living together in harmony.
<AshnabisGM> By the end of your brief trip, you could start to see that it may be more complicated than that. But nevertheless, the customs and traditions of Pashas seem well worth preserving and maintaining, despite the challenges ahead.
<AshnabisGM> Today you are heading over to meet Thelef after you finish at the land registry. You've been looking forward to talking to him about what you saw and learned on Ruur.
* Endu is now known as Thelef
* Thelef greets you with a warm smile.
<Thelef> Hello!
<Llillilli> Hi.
<Thelef> Come on in.
* Llillilli steps inside.
<Thelef> How have you been? How was Pashas?
<Llillilli> So you didn't hear what happened?
<Thelef> How would I have heard?
<Llillilli> I guess I... don't know
* Llillilli sighs.
<Llillilli> Someone put a hole in Jimba's boat
<Thelef> Someone?
<Llillilli> We don't really know who. Well. I mean. It's complicated
* Thelef looks concerned.
<Thelef> What do you mean?
<Llillilli> Sileshu blamed it on "some youths" who were drunk or something
<Llillilli> But it was... strange. They were acting strange.
<Thelef> The youths? Or people in general?
<Llillilli> Sileshu. And other people I guess.
<Llillilli> I wish I'd known more about Pashas before we went on this mission
<Thelef> Hmmm. Well, Pashas is a strange place.
<Thelef> A lot of people who live there never visit the mainland. They might travel hundreds of miles on a whaling ship but never go to Timiil only a couple of hours away.
<Llillilli> Like that the King considers it part of his land.
<Thelef> Oh, well, yes. It's true that the Kingdom of Sulise includes Pashas, at least. The People who live in Pashas are subjects of the monarch. I don't think you can read too much into that, though.
<Thelef> It's not that King Whuthe claims dominion over the humans.
<Llillilli> Do you think he'll be mad if they build that tower without asking him?
<Thelef> Hmmm.
<Llillilli> On his land?
<Thelef> Most of Ruur is not great territory for hith. It's rocky, there isn't much food. Honestly parts of the Sestapor are much more interesting to the People, the rivers, the swamps, the life.
<Llillilli> But wouldn't be... I don't know, insulting?
<Llillilli> Disrespectful?
<Thelef> I don't think the king is going to be upset about the colony building a watchtower on Ruur. That isn't going to concern the court. As long as that's all it is.
<Thelef> Whuthe has good lines of communication with the General, partly through me, but especially Thulle, who represents the Kingdom here.
<Llillilli> Yeah I don't know. I don't trust them at all.
<Thelef> I don't know. Maybe they would be upset, maybe not. I'll ask when I'm there next.
<Llillilli> And whenever we say something they don't want to hear, they just ignore us!
* Llillilli throws up her hands.
* Thelef nods.
<Llillilli> Why even ask us? Why send us out there at all if you're just going to do what you want anyway??
<Thelef> There are things about Kaskind that worry Whuthe a lot more than a watchtower.
<Llillilli> Like what?
<Thelef> They are worried about numbers, just the number of humans in the area. And about things like the new colony at Charadip, and about all those bubun at Zhumne. Because fos magic and the living dead, these are things that the People don't really understand.
<Llillilli> Yeah... there *are
* too many humans here.
* Thelef nods.
<Thelef> Whuthe likes humans. I mean, for the most part. That's part of the problem, actually.
<Llillilli> Why do they let people like Thethu attack the huwhi then?
<Thelef> I think the king is worried about the solars rising up and appointing a new monarch who would be less favourable to Kaskind. Whuthe is old, and of the lihesethi. Maybe he could be forced to abdicate.
<Thelef> So they have to be careful when exercising their authority over the solars.
<Llillilli> Oh... Is he as old as Laelaesi?
<Thelef> Older, I think.
<Llillilli> :o
<Thelef> Whuthe cultivates a certain aura of physical presence and youth. But they are very old, maybe a hundred?
<Llillilli> I heard that Laelaesi was a child of Soesoe... Did the Nemmotam start under Whuthe, or before?
<Thelef> Oh, before, long before. Whuthe hasn't been monarch that long, of course.
<Thelef> And yes, Laelaesi was a child of Soesoe.
<Llillilli> I wish I could have been fostered in Sulise.
<Thelef> Maybe.
* Thelef doesn't sound so sure.
<Llillilli> No?
<Llillilli> I thought it was this great honor.
<Thelef> I like Pashas. Sileshu is a friend. He was a mentor of mine when I was learning the customs of the People. But I'm not sure I'd want to live so isolated from everyone and everything. The Nemmotam is joyous, but it's also hard.
<Thelef> I like being able to walk over to Timiil and have a beer and watch the turtles swim down the Kaskos.
* Llillilli sighs.
<Llillilli> I guess.
<Llillilli> When you are there, at court... what is it like?
* Llillilli asks a bit shyly
<Thelef> I am treated with great respect, even by those who despise me. The king seeks my counsel, which I provide, and that provides me with liberties that few other humans have.
* Llillilli nods.
<Llillilli> But what is it *like*?
<Thelef> It is like ... I don't know. It's very beautiful, with lithus and coral and stone worked together. It's a place where you're constantly on display, since there are only a handful of huwhi who can breathe underwater. So I always feel a bit awkward there - maybe less so now. It's hard to say if it feels young or old - just very different.
<Llillilli> Will I ever see it?
<Thelef> Of course.
<Thelef> We can arrange for you to go with Fifelus. We could all go together.
<Thelef> I don't think that Shulilae or Helithae could or would go.
<Llillilli> Why not?
<Llillilli> HOw could I go but not them? I can't even breathe underwater.
<Thelef> Well, because they are shulli. Or Shulilae is, at least. It wouldn't be prudent. Not now.
<Llillilli> I've been hearing that...
<Thelef> But I think we should go, at least, to present you to Whuthe when we get married.
<Thelef> Which ... is something I have some news about.
<Llillilli> ...Oh?
<Thelef> I talked to my auntie Kiklatsa while you were away, and she has agreed to the marriage.
* Thelef smiles broadly.
<Llillilli> Oh! Good... I thought they didn't like me
<Thelef> Honestly I didn't know what to think either. But I think, when you met with her, she was impressed by you being willing to stand up to her. I think she thinks you'll, uh, tame me?
* Thelef grins sheepishly.
<Llillilli> Uh... sure
* Llillilli laughs awkwardly
<Thelef> It's not all the way official, yet. We'll have to have a betrothal feast where, I guess Jimba, will come and meet with my uncle Tobor and we'll sort out the bridewealth and draw up the contract.
<Llillilli> Well, everyone likes Jimba.
<Thelef> That does seem to be true.
<Thelef> I like Jimba.
<Llillilli> That's good
<Llillilli> Otherwise this would be difficult
<Thelef> Also, some of my cousins and such may come to talk to you. I don't know. They want to meet you, that's for sure. You know Sharei a bit already, right, who works at the land office?
<Llillilli> Yes, but not well
<Thelef> I know you would prefer to be left alone. But I'm afraid that isn't really an option. There will be plans to be made, feasts to be had, all that sort of thing.
* Llillilli sighs.
<Llillilli> That's fine...
<Thelef> We should also I think plan ahead, for the other ceremony, with the People. It won't be too long till you earn your stripes and become whesef. Maybe we can plan the pfullaes and the wedding in close succession? Maybe in Sulise?
<Llillilli> Really? You think so?
<Thelef> Well ... I don't know. Like you say, not everyone in Sulise like the huwhi. But I do think I enjoy a certain level of protection against the sort of business that Thethu or anyone might want to get up to.
<Llillilli> Well... I'd like that
<Thelef> We'd have to plan it all out
<Thelef> But ... you're amazing and you should have an amazing wedding.
<Llillilli> I don't think anyone ever said I was amazing.
<Llillilli> Maybe Jimba.
<Thelef> Well ... I know this is all a little much. I just don't want you to be disappointed.
<Llillilli> I won't be.... I mean what do I have to compare it to
* Llillilli grins a bit
* Thelef smiles.
<Llillilli> Does... does this mean we'll be joined in the eyes of the People? not just the humans?
<Thelef> Well ... if you want.
<Llillilli> (sm?)
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+4
* Lan-werk rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 4 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 8 ].
<Llillilli> (i'm using destiny lol)
<Llillilli> !roll 1d20+4
* Lan-werk rolls for Llillilli: [ 1d20+4 ] getting [ 4 ] which, after the modifier [ 4 ] totals [ 8 ].
<Llillilli> (fuck off)
<Thelef> (???)
<Llillilli> (i used destiny and got the exact same shitty roll)
<Thelef> (no I know)
<Thelef> (I was saying that you don't have any idea what Thelef is thinking)
<Llillilli> (ahhh ok)
<Llillilli> I mean, if you do.
* Llillilli says quickly
<Llillilli> *sweats*
<Thelef> It would certainly avoid some awkwardness with the People, I think. Once you've become whesef, I mean.
<Llillilli> Right.
* Thelef smiles.
<Thelef> I will ensure that Kiklatsa is well-behaved. And we can start to make the arrangements!
* Llillilli smiles back.
<Llillilli> Sounds good...

Jimba helps Jenam, who has decided piracy might be a good life choice

<AshnabisNarrator> Jimba, you're dealing with getting the ship more fully repaired, now that you're back, but fortunately you have a dock to help with that :)
<Jimba> (Hoorays!)
<AshnabisNarrator> She'll only be out of commission for a short while, long enough to replace the few boards that were damaged, but there's always some upkeep that you can be doing, re-tarring the seams or cleaning off barnacles or the like, so it's a good opportunity to do that sort of regular maintenance as well.
* Jimba will be doing that then. :)
<AshnabisNarrator> You're up early doing just that, working on scraping any debris off the hull, checking for other minor damage, when you hear a sort of groaning sound coming from a bit further down the shore.
* Jimba will look in that direction.
<AshnabisNarrator> You see Jenam Kergoze walking unsteadily along the waterfront, holding his head - he looks either drunk or ill, hard to tell from here.
* Kida is now known as Jenam
* Jimba will wave and give him a shout.
<Jimba> Early morning or long night there, Jenam?
* Jenam looks over in your direction, and starts to stagger your way.
<Jenam> Ughh... both.
* Jenam has a few bruises too, you can see as he approaches - some fresh ones on his face, like he's been in a fight recently.
<Jimba> Whoa there. You all right?
* Jimba will get up from what he's doing to greet Jenam as he comes up.
<Jenam> Ah... I've had better nights. mornings. whatever this is.
<Jenam> You made it back from... wherever you were, I guess?
* Jenam peers blearily at the boat
<Jimba> Yeah. Ran afoul some unfriendly locals.
<Jimba> Everybody's more or less okay, though.
<Jenam> oh yeah? sounds about usual around these parts I guess :/
<Jimba> Come on up, let's take a look at those bruises. Eh?
<Jenam> okay
<Jimba> Well, I don't usually have too much problem, but I guess folks took a dislike to my boat here.
<Jenam> what happened?
<Jimba> Someone took an axe or something to her hull. Local shipwright got it patched, but she's laid up for a bit while we do a more permanent repair.
<Jenam> ah :/
<Jenam> but it is fixable?
<Jimba> Yeah, it'll be fine.
<Jenam> that's good, at least
<Jimba> Hopefully the same can be said for you. What happened?
<Jenam> oh... well, I was having a few drinks, things got a bit out of hand...
* Jenam says with an awkward shrug
* Jimba sighs.
<Jimba> Hope you threw a few good punches yourself at least.
<Jenam> I'm not much of a fighter, but I tried.
<Jimba> Well, they're unlikely to hold a grudge at least then.
<Jenam> Things are just... such a mess right now. I don't know what to do.
* Jimba frowns.
<Jimba> What's the problem?
<Jimba> Uh, the most immediate problem, I guess.
<Jimba> We can work to bigger solutions. :)
<Jenam> Not having any money or anywhere to stay - I mean, I know you let me stay on your boat, and that was great when you're around, but you aren't always, and then...
* Jenam shrugs
<Jimba> I can ask around, see who might need some labor.
* Jenam nods
<Jimba> I know you need something more permanent.
<Jenam> that'd be appreciated... if anyone will hire a man who's been convicted as a thief.
<Jimba> Well, I mean, there are some...
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> I hate to see you forced into something you're not comfortable with.
<Jenam> okay. I know you talked about joining a pirate crew, and we talked about what that would mean... your friend there made his offer.
<Jimba> Yeah
<Jenam> so... I guess I'm ready to try that. because it has to be better than this.
<Jimba> We can go talk to someone.
<Jimba> Maybe you should get some sleep first, though.
* Jenam smiles, wincing slightly.
<Jenam> Thanks, Jimba. You don't have to go out of your way for me, but... it's appreciated.
* Jimba smiles back.
<Jimba> Thank me when we've found you something stable.
<Jenam> I'll have to think of a way :)
* Jenam will get some rest and recuperate a bit, then.
* Jimba will go back to his ship work for the time being.


Further talk between Balinteze and Daifan about Balinteze's past

<Balinteze> (how do you want to set this up?)
<Daifan> (No idea!)
<Balinteze> (well, I think the thought was to talk in private. so you could go to their room, or you could meet up somewhere out of the way where others aren't around...)
<Daifan> (yeah, not sure where that somewhere might be. Banei is not a very private place :x)
<Balinteze> (walk out in the middle of nowhere somewhere? - go look for those mangoes Moss said grow somewhere?)
<Daifan> (Sure, we can go for a quiet walk somewhere, at least)
<Balinteze> (okay)
<Balinteze> (did you want it to be the same day/shortly after that conversation, or another time?)
<Daifan> (I think that;s more up to Balinteze. But we coudl say I invited them in for dinner and we go for a walk after?)
<Balinteze> (sure, that would work)
<Daifan> Ddi you want to go back to kaskind, or just walk around here? I heare there's some mango trees somewhere...
<Balinteze> Well, I'm not in a rush - we could look for mangoes :)
<Daifan> okay.... and you can tell me your story, if you like :3
* Balinteze gives a slightly nervous chuckle, but nods
<Balinteze> I can ... give you the highlights, anyway.
<Daifan> well... you don't have to tell me anything, if you don't want to
<Balinteze> I know. But I want to. I'm just not used to it.
<Daifan> to what?
<Balinteze> ... being honest? >.>
<Balinteze> at least, in that way.
<Daifan> well.... that's fair
<Daifan> But I appreciate it
<Balinteze> I don't quite know where to start.
* Balinteze thinks for a bit as we walk
<Balinteze> I grew up with my mimir and boboz and my older brother in a little aizer called Kizmin... it was a small place, away from any big cities.
<Daifan> Hmmm..... what were you doing before you heard about any of it?
* Daifan nods and smiles
<Balinteze> Things changed when I was about fourteen, although looking back there were odd things before that - I just didn't realize they were odd.
<Daifan> your mimir and boboz must have known?
<Balinteze> Well... I think they knew something, but not *what* they knew, exactly.
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> A priestess of the Hand - not always the same one - would come to visit us every year or so. They always took time to talk to me, and they'd always have some kind of gift.
<Daifan> hah
<Balinteze> My brother would get so jealous - they didn't bring gifts for him. They didn't bring things for the other children there either. Just me.
<Daifan> I guess if you were young it might not have seemed strange
<Balinteze> It wouldn't be something... obvious, I guess? Not like jewelry or expensive toys. They probably knew I wouldn't get to keep things like that anyway. But a new dress, some special candy... or sometimes something for my whole family, that they needed. New cooking pots, or a woven rug for the floor. Things we couldn't have afforded on our own.
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> It was just enough to seem strange, in retrospect. I don't think they were trying to call attention to us. The opposite, actually.
<Balinteze> Anyway... when I was fourteen, my boboz died. He got a cut on his foot, it didn't seem so bad, but then got very sick with a fever and passed quickly.
<Daifan> :/
<Daifan> infection :/
* Balinteze nods
<Balinteze> My brother was seventeen then. He was old enough to take over those responsibilities, but at the same time he wasn't, you know? He resented having to do it, he was sullen, he was grieving in his own way... My mimir tried to hold things together, but it was rough.
* Daifan nods, thinking about their own family
<Balinteze> That year when the Hand came, I think they saw how things were in our house. They talked about it with my mimir and offered that if we wanted, we could come live in the big aizer in Pivuko, and they would help us get set up there.
<Balinteze> Again - one of those things that seems strange later, but at the time just seemed like a helpful gesture.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> did you have much for vaski in Kizmin?
<Balinteze> Some, but it was a small place. Everyone was just getting by.
<Daifan> so you went to Pivuko
<Balinteze> My mimir thought it would help, I think, with my brother - he had always wanted to go to a bigger city, like he thought that would solve things, we wouldn't be as poor... I guess when you're seventeen, that seems like a plausible idea.
<Balinteze> Once we were there, he was happier. He found more friends closer to his age - in Kizmin, there were so few of us, not a lot of girls, you know... >.>
* Daifan smiles
<Daifan> found someone to fuck, and it mellowed him out?
<Balinteze> Yeah, I think that was part of it anyway.
<Balinteze> With me, though, the priestess had me come to the temple one day - it was so big, I'd never seen such a huge building before. And when I got there, this old man was waiting for me.
<Balinteze> well, he seemed old. I was fourteen, what did I know?
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> He was wearing expensive clothes and had a beard and a bald head.
<Daifan> ancient
<Balinteze> definitely :)
<Daifan> the oldest hedal are the richest, everyone knows that ;)
* Balinteze smiles at that
<Balinteze> He took me into a little room and I was nervous, I didn't know what was going to happen... you hear stories >.>
* Daifan raises their eyebrows
<Balinteze> But all he wanted to do was talk to me.
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> He said that he worked for the Emperor, who was my father. He told me about how I'd been born to one of the Emperor's mistresses, and they'd taken me out of the city when she died so that people wouldn't know who I was. And that now he was offering me a chance to work for the Emperor too.
<Daifan> that's so weird. I mean I guess emerors make their own rules...
<Balinteze> He said it was good I was haren, too. I think anyone who did know about it - and obviously some people did, the court is full of gossip - knew that it was a girl baby. I wasn't what they would be expecting.
* Daifan nods, curious about that story too
<Balinteze> They'd teach me to read and write, teach me about politics and history, teach me how to disable a lock and how to disguise myself... all kinds of useful things for a spy.
<Daifan> did they tell you that's what they were trainig you for?
<Balinteze> I mean... they didn't start out by saying 'spy' right away. But that's what it was.
* Daifan smiles
<Daifan> right
<Daifan> what did they tell you, about all of this?
<Daifan> I wudl have had so many questions @_@
<Balinteze> At first, they said it would be teaching me so that I could work in the temple one day. That's what they said to my mimir, and she accepted it. I already knew it wasn't just that - after all, this man wasn't a priest, he said I would be working for the Empire, doing important secret jobs. That sort of thing.
<Daifan> hmm
<Balinteze> And, I did have a lot of questions. Probably enough to annoy him :)
* Daifan grins
<Balinteze> I was curious about what it would all mean, I was excited, I felt special... but I also knew at some level that if they'd brought us here for this, they could take it all away just as easily if I said no. Send us back to Kizmin, or worse.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> do you think they'd always planned to recruit you?
<Balinteze> I'm not sure. Maybe they were waiting to see how I turned out. If I'd been clearly unsuitable in some way, maybe they wouldn't have. But I don't think they were just keeping an eye on me out of the goodness of their hearts.
<Daifan> hedal are so weird >.>
<Daifan> why keep an eye on you at all?
<Balinteze> I think because the Emperor wanted them to.
<Daifan> becvause you might be *useful
* to them? The emperor must have lots of spies, adnnthey can't all be his bastards >.>
<Balinteze> No, definitely not
* Balinteze says with a slight smile
<Balinteze> so I was leading a double life from then - going to train in the day, then home to help my mimir around the house, trying to act normal...
<Balinteze> Three years went by like that.
<Daifan> then what?
<Balinteze> I got home one night... things were in a mess, everything was thrown around, knocked over... My mimir was lying on the floor with her head bashed in. Dinner was still on the fire, she'd been expecting me...
<Daifan> oh no, I'm so sorry :o
* Balinteze falls silent for a moment
* Daifan takes their hand
* Balinteze takes yours and squeezes it tight.
<Balinteze> I wasn't there, my brother wasn't there... no one was there who should have been helping her take care of things. I was so angry. I went to find Ghevos - my brother - and finally tracked him down in this shitty little bar, drinking with his friends.
<Balinteze> I screamed at him that it was his fault - his group of friends probably pissed off some gang, was all I was thinking at the time. Maybe they came to rough him up and found her instead, or maybe they were going to try to rob us and she got in the way... I just wasn't thinking straight, I just knew that if either of us had been there, it might not have happened.
<Daifan> mmm
<Balinteze> We had a huge fight, and then... I guess there was nothing keeping me there anymore. I moved into the palace and threw myself into my training full time.
<Daifan> >.>
* Balinteze gives a bit of a sigh.
<Balinteze> I'm sorry. I know this is probably... you're probably thinking I was stupid, that I turned my back on my people.
<Daifan> That's not what I'm thinking :/
<Balinteze> what are you thinking?
* Daifan considers
<Daifan> That... these people had been trainig you since you were young that you can trust them, that they valued you, and that they would take care of you. That you shoud be who they wanted you to be. Without your mimir to tie your family together, in a city where you spent all your time with them and not anyone else in the aizer....where else would you go, if you had no other vaski?
* Balinteze nods
<Balinteze> The thought has occurred. but later. not then.
<Daifan> of course not :/
<Daifan> It's easy to see the4se sortsb of things from the otside, or with time.... not when you've just lost your mimir so violently
* Balinteze walks in silence for a little bit, still holding your hand.
<Balinteze> Anyway, I definitely *was
* stupid, because the next thing I did was fall in love.
<Daifan> mmm, just what you needed :3
<Balinteze> mm.
<Balinteze> With someone extremely inappropriate, too.
<Daifan> oh?
<Balinteze> Prince Ronish... as in, the Emperor's son with his actual wife. Younger son. Fourth in line to the throne, at least at that point.
* Balinteze glances over at you to see how you're going to take this.
<Daifan> Okay...
<Daifan> what did he think?
<Balinteze> I knew he was interested in me - I was interested in him too, but I tried to resist. It was a bad idea. I assumed he was just after a fling.
<Balinteze> Eventually I told myself that, well, alright, if he was still after me, at least I could look at it as a chance to practice some of the ... particular skills I'd been learning >.>
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> Because those are things you tell yourself when you're in love, I suppose. Justification.
* Daifan nods, feeling sympathetic anxieties at this point
<Daifan> Mmhmm.
<Balinteze> So we had an affair. We kept it pretty secret - I was good at that. It wasn't like we could be together openly anyway.
<Daifan> Did he know who you were?
<Balinteze> Not at first... I told him, when I was still trying to put him off.
* Daifan nods
<Balinteze> It was ... fun, at first. I was trying not to take it seriously - to assume that it would end sooner or later, probably sooner.
<Daifan> then what?
<Balinteze> But it kept going, and things got more serious. It wasn't just a fling anymore, not for either of us.
<Balinteze> Both of us had obligations, we'd have to travel sometimes, and we had to keep it secret, so it was just whatever time we could manage to be together. For almost two years.
<Daifan> was he married?
<Balinteze> Engaged. His fiancée wasn't at court at first, but after she arrived, then things got more complicated.
<Daifan> did you get caught?
<Balinteze> Not exactly, but word started to get around. Gossip, like I said, travels fast at court. I couldn't find out who was spreading it - I even wondered if maybe it was him, trying to find a way to get out of things, but he swore it wasn't. It started making my life difficult - hard to maintain a low profile.
<Balinteze> He wanted me to stay, even after he was married. I ...wasn't sure that was a good idea.
<Balinteze> Oh... around that time, I met my father for the first time, too. I'd seen him before, of course, but never actually talked to him directly.
* Daifan nods, frowning
<Daifan> Did any of these people know you were budal?
<Balinteze> Yes, some. It's different there, though.
* Balinteze tries to think how to explain.
<Balinteze> Budal still keep apart, generally, but at court, there are always some around as servants. And not just as servants who haul noble shit or whatever, but some of them can be quite important.
<Daifan> hmm
<Balinteze> So for some nobles, it's... considered a bit daring, risque, whatever, to have a budal mistress on the side. Obviously not everyone thinks that way, but some see it as ... I suppose a safe outlet? >.>
<Balinteze> does that make sense?
<Daifan> I'm from Daligash
* Balinteze nods
<Daifan> its not so differently
* Daifan says, but a bit stiffly
* Balinteze nods
<Balinteze> anyway... the Emperor wanted to talk to me, so I met him. I don't know why he waited until then - or why he decided to do it at all - but he did.
<Daifan> what did he say?
<Balinteze> He talked about my mother... his fond memory of her, how I looked like her, things like that. He said he was getting older and knew he would join the ancestors before too many more years had passed. He wanted me to know that ...until that point, he would support and aid me as well as he could under the circumstances.
<Balinteze> It was strange. Awkward. I guess it was probably awkward for him too.
<Daifan> mmhmm
<Balinteze> I think he was trying to be nice? Still distant, still not... fatherly, but letting me know he valued me.
* Daifan frowns
<Balinteze> And... around that time, I'd heard that my brother had been arrested for theft. Because he was budal, they would probably have executed him, but I asked the Emperor if he could be let off.
<Balinteze> And he said yes, he could do that for me, but he couldn't go completely unpunished. I said okay, since I figured anything was better than executing him.
<Daifan> but?
<Balinteze> They had him whipped instead. I ... tried to talk with him after. I don't think he was very grateful for that kind of "mercy". But ... it did mean I got to talk with him again, and we kind of patched things up. At least ... better than they were.
<Daifan> that's good
* Balinteze nods
* Daifan smiles a little at that, even
<Balinteze> With everything that was going on - Ronish's wedding and all of that - it was kind of a relief when I was told I was going to be sent on a long mission, to come here and infiltrate the fort.
<Daifan> how long have you been here?
<Balinteze> almost a year and a half.
<Balinteze> Anyway... that's probably more than you wanted to know >.>
<Daifan> you miss him?
<Balinteze> ... yes.
<Balinteze> Not always. Not every day. But ... sometimes, yeah.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Okay.
<Daifan> I.... thnak you. I appreciate you trusting me with this.
* Balinteze nods
<Balinteze> Hey...
<Daifan> hmm?
<Balinteze> There's a mango tree.
* Balinteze says, gesturing up ahead.
<Daifan> oh.
* Daifan looks
* Balinteze is correct
<Daifan> I should take some home
* Balinteze may also be glad to change the subject for a bit
* Balinteze nods
* Balinteze can help pick some.
<Balinteze> ... thanks for listening to me.
* Daifan smiles , but seems a bit withdrawn
<Balinteze> ... was it too much? :/
* Daifan can pick some fruits though, but is pretty quiet
<Daifan> No. It's not you.
<Balinteze> okay.
* Balinteze gathers a few more of the ripe fruits.
<Daifan> I'm just..... trying not to project.
* Balinteze nods
<Balinteze> well, a mango's better than a man anyway, right? :)
* Daifan smiles more authentially at that
<Daifan> yes.
<Daifan> It they offend you, you can feed them to the goat >:/
* Balinteze laughs.
<Balinteze> the goat will appreciate them more.
<Daifan> mmhmm
* Daifan will be pretty quiet on the walk back to their place, but give pinkberry a long and tight hug before they go :x
* Balinteze hugs you back

Katenzhi conspires with Bivizmi

* Katenzhi will head up to the Pindevuzi workshop around midday, hoping that Bivizmi will be around.
* Bivizmi is at the front counter.
<Bivizmi> Hello there, partner!
<Katenzhi> Ahoy there! How's it going?
<Bivizmi> All right, can't complain. Business is good.
<Katenzhi> Awesome!
* Katenzhi glances around.
<w> Is your family around?
<Bivizmi> Ahh ... Hamagh is in back and Sirde is coming back soon from a delivery.
<Bivizmi> We have things to talk about?
* Katenzhi nods.
<Katenzhi> Kind of. Just wanted to check in and see how things are going with... you know.
<Bivizmi> Well, I have done a little more informal experimenting. Just to confirm what we already suspected.
<Bivizmi> Divinations are easy to cast and overpowered, and everything else is a bit tougher.
<Katenzhi> Good. We want to make sure it's reliable. Once we get up and running, I may have found a distributor for us for outside of Kaskind.
* Bivizmi smiles.
<Bivizmi> Great! ... Ahh ... I mean, we still need a product we can sell.
<Bivizmi> So far we only have my samples.
<Katenzhi> I know, we're still a ways away. Just looking to the future, you know?
* Bivizmi nods.
<Bivizmi> Of course. You given any more thought to the idea of placing a claim?
<Katenzhi> (Had I not already put the claim in? I thought I had)
<Bivizmi> (I don't think so? Looking at the log I see a discussion that you would do it, but no specific location was agreed upon. You were concerned not to force anyone off their land)
<Bivizmi> ( )
<Bivizmi> (you were going to talk to the family about making a claim)
<Katenzhi> (Ok, my mistake, I thought we had agreed on the third plot she mentioned that no one was really living on. I did talk to them afterwards, I believe.)
<Bivizmi> (right after that you all got sent to Ruur, and then you just got back)
<Katenzhi> Yeah, Jimba and I talked about it. I'm gonna put the claim in now that we're back in town.
<Katenzhi> I'll file the papers tomorrow.
<Bivizmi> All right, sounds good. I assume at first we're just going to harvest what's there, maybe transplant some of the plants here and there. Not hiring anyone else, of course.
<Katenzhi> Yeah, not at first. And I'm sure a lot of the first harvest will be seed crops.
<Bivizmi> That part, I can handle. I can grow anything, anywhere, just give me enough time.
* Katenzhi smiles.
<Katenzhi> I don't doubt it.
<Bivizmi> If you need a few samples to show your contacts, I can give you one or two.
<Katenzhi> I think that can wait until we actually have a shipment ready. For now, just concentrate on refining the process. We want to make sure it's reliable and consistent.
* Bivizmi nods.
<Bivizmi> I can do that.
<Katenzhi> Cool. I'll get out of your hair, then. And I'll let you know as soon as we're clear on the land.
* Bivizmi smiles.
<Bivizmi> Talk soon, Katenzhi.
* Katenzhi smiles back.
<Katenzhi> (Thanks! :)

Daifan talks about trust and relationships with Sulidein

<Sulidein> (how did you want to set this up?)
<Daifan> (sec)
<Daifan> (the minute I sat down, people needed stuff, of course. But maybe walking home?)
<Sulidein> (okay, that works)
* Sulidein will meet up to walk home with you after work one day.
<Daifan> Hey :)
<Sulidein> Hi :) It's good to see you back again.
<Daifan> it's good to be back.... more scouting things for the fort :p
<Daifan> with a side of people sabotaging our boat
<Sulidein> Oh, yeah, I heard - that was why it took a few extra days to get back?
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> yes...
<Daifan> we had to get the ship patched, though at least they did that for us for free
* Sulidein nods
<Sulidein> Well... that's unfortunate, but I'm glad you made it back safely.
<Daifan> thanks
<Daifan> have things around here been more qwuiet?
<Sulidein> Not too bad.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> and you?
<Sulidein> Oh... I'm alright. It's the nicest season, I think - sunny, but before it gets really hot. I've been trying to get out after work when I can and do some fishing or hunting or looking for plants I can harvest.
* Daifan nods, processing the 'nicest season' part
<Daifan> That sopunds nice, at least
<Sulidein> I know it sounds crazy - some people prefer the cooler seasons.
* Sulidein says with a shy smile
<Daifan> it's so hard to pick... cooler but rainy, hot but humid...
* Sulidein nods
* Daifan smiles though
<Daifan> I'm still getting used to... lots of things
* Sulidein nods
<Daifan> I wanted to talk to you about.... some of that...
* Daifan says, a bit nervously
<Sulidein> okay.
<Daifan> I might be getting ahead of things but... I like you, and I like spending time with you
* Sulidein smiles a little at that.
<Sulidein> I like you too.
<Daifan> I just.... I'm still recovering from some things, from before I came here
<Daifan> I know
* Daifan says, teasing a little to try and lighten the mopod
* Sulidein nods
<Daifan> There's a few things, I guess.
* Sulidein listens
<Daifan> I thought I had put everything behind me, but I've realized that I haven't.
<Daifan> So, one things is. I went on a date with someone else....
* Sulidein looks a little surprised, but takes that in stride.
<Daifan> It was nice, but I reealized there's things I'm not really ready for
* Sulidein nods
<Sulidein> what kind of things?
<Daifan> Mmmm... intimate things?
<Daifan> Trust thihngs?
<Daifan> I don't know
<Daifan> That's part of it. I don't .... think I can just give you a list
<Sulidein> Oh... okay. I mean, I understand.
<Daifan> :/
<Daifan> That doens't mean I don't want to ...try?
<Sulidein> If you want to take things slow, or want me to back off, I can. I mean... I like what we're doing now.
<Daifan> It just makes everything more complicated. And I thought you should at leaast knw that, so you can think about if you wants to say... try bhaving dinner again. or somethign like that
<Sulidein> I'd like to - but not if it makes you uncomfortable.
<Daifan> Last time was very nice
* Daifan will take his hand
<Daifan> I don't think I need to ask you to slow down...
* Sulidein is surprised but not displeased by any means
<Daifan> I just wanted to.... warn you. >.>
<Sulidein> warn me in case... you decide you're not ready for some things?
<Daifan> I'll try.
<Daifan> Probably there are things we should talk about anyway
* Sulidein nods
<Daifan> But for now we can just walk home like this :3
<Sulidein> That sounds good.
* Sulidein smiles and holds your hand for the rest of the walk.

Daifan and Jimba talk about boys

* Jimba will be playing with the dogs on the boat.
* Daifan will wave from the docks
* Daifan is wearing a sling across their front
* Jimba waves.
<Daifan> Hey Jimba!
<Jimba> Hey there. What're you up to?
<Daifan> taking Shira for a walk to see if she'll sleep....
* Daifan says, rubbing the back f whatever is in the sling
<Jimba> Shira? Do you have a second monkey?
* Jimba smirks.
<Daifan> no, not a monkey :x
<Daifan> and she's not mine >.>
* Jimba raises an eyebrow.
<Jimba> Okay, now I'm intrigued.
<Jimba> Are you...babysitting for someone?
<Daifan> my housemates' daughter
* Jimba smiles widely.
<Jimba> That's very nice of you.
<Jimba> You want to come up, sit in the shade for a bit?
<Daifan> that would be lovely
<Jimba> You want some water?
* Jimba will ask when Daifan makes their way onto the boat.
<Daifan> thanks, though you can just about drink the air >.>
<Daifan> I'm told its ony going to get worse
* Daifan will sit in th shade
<Jimba> Yeah, it'll get worse before it gets better, but you get used to it.
* Jimba will get Daifan a cup of water.
<Jimba> She being a little difficult? You said you were trying to see if she would sleep.
<Daifan> well, she's out now, but I was basically all the way to town from Banei, and its susally cooler along the river
* Jimba nods.
<Daifan> I said I wold take her out and let her parents have a break >.>
<Jimba> Like I said, very nice of you.
<Jimba> How old is she?
<Daifan> about three months now?
<Daifan> maybe four?
<Daifan> (I had to math >.>)
<Daifan> still very little :3
<Jimba> (Yeah, I realized after I asked it might be a problem)
<Jimba> (>.>)
<Jimba> Have you had roommates since you came here?
<Daifan> mmhmm - I live with friends.
<Daifan> I came here with a friend, who was coming to meet his girlfriend
<Jimba> Oh, that's nice.
<Jimba> Not everyone who comes out here has even that much.
<Jimba> She came out here before y'all?
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> yeah - I was lucky in that regard
<Daifan> It woudl have been a hard trk for either of us alone
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> I can imagine. I've heard some pretty rough stories.
<Daifan> oh?
<Jimba> Eh, the rush down here, it allows some unscrupulous types to benefit off the desperate.
<Jimba> Same story everywhere, I guess, this is just the place for it now.
<Daifan> that's true enough. We can't all have our own boats :)
* Jimba chuckles.
<Daifan> is it all patched up now?
<Daifan> properly, I mean?
<Jimba> Well, I say I worked for it, and I did, but I had the opportunity to do so.
<Jimba> Oh, yeah, we're good to go, the old-fashioned way.
<Jimba> I mean, I wouldn't mind learning more about lithus construction, but a patch like that isn't a good idea long term.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I'll take your word for it
* Daifan peeks into their sling as Shira squirms a bit in her sleep
<Daifan> :3
<Jimba> Aww, little cutie.
<Jimba> You know, poor welcome aside, I'm thinking maybe Pashas might represent a solid opportunity.
<Daifan> ...opportunity for what?
* Daifan asks somehat dubiously
<Jimba> They didn't seem to care too much about the, ah, corpseborn thing. If I could find someone to deal with, might make a good middle point for goods from Banei.
<Daifan> ahh, maybe.
<Jimba> Move goods from Banei to Pashas, from Pashas to here, here to Banei.
<Daifan> if you tihnk they would trade at all >.>
<Jimba> Yeah, that's the problem.
<Jimba> But I speak the languages, maybe I can find someone who's not so...antagonistic.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Jimba> Just something I've been thinking about.
<Jimba> Thought it might make the Banei trading thing smoother for everyone.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> well, if it works out... just be careful with your ship >.>
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> That's the plan.
<Jimba> How're things with you?
<Jimba> Any excitement? Cute boys? :)
* Daifan smiles
<Daifan> maybe....
<Daifan> I've been seeing a few people
<Jimba> Scandalous.
* Jimba says teasingly.
* Daifan waves their hand
<Daifan> Scandals are too stressful
* Jimba smiles sympathetically.
<Jimba> Are things not going well?
<Daifan> I think they are?
<Daifan> Well enough, anyway.
<Daifan> complicated bt.. manageable?
<Jimba> I think that's sort of standard for multiple partners, no?
<Jimba> Is it just that, or...?
* Daifan raises their eyebrows and smiles
<Daifan> YOu have standards for these things?
* Jimba laughs.
<Jimba> I'm not...unfamiliar.
<Daifan> oh?
<Daifan> you can't just leave it there ^-^
<Jimba> I think maybe we're talking about different things. I mean, my experiences haven't been long-term, really.
<Jimba> >.>
<Daifan> oh, well, no, that's different.
* Daifan grins
* Jimba grins.
<Jimba> You said you were seeing them, though, which to me sounds like more than just some recreational sex.
<Daifan> mmhmm.... more and less serious than that?
<Jimba> More *and
* less?
* Daifan shrugs
<Daifan> I'm taking things slowly.
<Jimba> Nothing wrong with that.
<Jimba> They're not giving you trouble over that, are they?
<Daifan> no, not at all. They're both being lovely.
* Daifan smiles fondly
<Jimba> That's good.
* Daifan adjusts their wrap a little bit
<Daifan> how about you? any prospects on the horizon there, captain? ^_^
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> I might have a heading.
<Jimba> Wait, that sounds dirtier than it is.
<Jimba> I mean, I think there's someone who might be interested, and there's someone I think might be interesting.
<Jimba> I'm just trying not to get too distracted.
<Daifan> oooh?
<Daifan> nothing wrong with a littl distraction ^-^
* Jimba shakes his head noncommittally.
<Daifan> can't be business all the time :3
<Jimba> Yeah, I guess that's true.
<Jimba> But...I's not like I can really afford to slack.
<Daifan> no?
<Daifan> I find if I don't give myself soem breaks, I just get stuck and unfocused
* Jimba makes basically the same head gesture again.
<Jimba> That's fair.
<Jimba> I took a lot to get us here to Kaskind, and I want to make sure it's for something.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> you feel responsible for the rest of your family here?
<Jimba> It's sort of reciprocal. It was my idea to come here, and they feel responsible for me, so they came with, so I feel responsible for them.
* Jimba shrugs.
<Daifan> well, that's family, isn't it?
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Sorry, I didn't mean to lay this all on you. We were talking about you and your boys.
* Daifan shrugs back
<Daifan> its okay
<Daifan> I asked :)
<Jimba> So, can I ask who your suitors are?
<Jimba> Or is that not public info at the moment?
<Daifan> mmm, one of them you wouldn't know anyway
<Jimba> Oh, so one of them I do, huh?
<Daifan> maybe... he works at the registry, with the other team
<Daifan> Suledein?
<Daifan> (Sulidein, rather, my bad. Moss ;p)
<Jimba> Oh, I've talked to him a little.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I asked him for advice when I was first starting here, and we started walking in together in the mornings
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> That's nice.
* Daifan nods, smiling also
<Daifan> he's very different form other boys I've dated.
<Jimba> Oh?
<Daifan> well. Kaskind is a very different place from Daligash.
<Jimba> I would imagine.
* Daifan just shrugs
<Daifan> they have different kinds of boys, too, it seems
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> Variety is good.
<Daifan> so I am finiding...
* Jimba grins.
<Jimba> Good for you.
* Daifan will finish their water and put down the glass
<Jimba> Need to get going?
<Daifan> Yes, I should get back.... my roomates should have had a long enough break >.>
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Well, glad you stopped by.
<Daifan> thank you for the chat though, and the water :)
<Jimba> You're welcome any time.
* Jimba smiles.
<Daifan> say hello to your sister and cousin for me :)
* Jimba nods.
<Jimba> Will do. They'll be sorry they missed you.
* Daifan nods
<Jimba> See you at the office.
<Daifan> next time maybe I'll bring the baby by when she's awake :3
* Jimba smiles.
<Jimba> Sounds good.

Veznara and Daifan discuss the situation with Galdai's captives

* Veznara is going over maps of Ruur in the Registry map room
* Daifan will come in then
<Daifan> ...Hand Veznara?
* Veznara looks up
<Veznara> Daifan.
* Veznara says cooly
<Daifan> Do you have some time?
<Veznara> Yes. I was just looking at the maps we have of Ruur... I expect I should be familiar with them, given what's going on.
* Daifan shrugs
<Daifan> I'm not sure it matters :p
<Veznara> Oh, I'm sure that the General will go ahead with her plans.
<Veznara> As Utus said, it's more a question of how rather than if.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> That's out of our hands
<Veznara> Yes.
<Veznara> But I don't suppose that's what you want to talk about?
<Daifan> not really
<Daifan> I heard you were appointed to serve Princess Galdai
<Veznara> Yes.
<Daifan> what does that mean?
<Veznara> It means that I attend upon her as regards spiritual matters.
<Veznara> Daily prayers at her manor here in the city... and out at her plantation, when she chooses to visit.
<Veznara> As I think you may know.
<Veznara> I understand you spoke to Hand Dezmali.
* Daifan frowns a bit
<Daifan> I did talk to hand Dezmali, but she didn't tell mke what it means to be someone's spiritual advisor
<Veznara> Hmmm. Well, whatever you did discuss with her, I was appointed to attend the Princess shortly thereafter.
<Veznara> I am the most suitable person, after all. As a Hand of noble Taizi background.
<Daifan> are you angry about it?
<Veznara> It makes me feel that I am being manipulated, Daifan.
<Veznara> I don't like being manipulated.
<Daifan> I did't bring you into this, Hand Veznara.
<Veznara> Didn't you?
<Daifan> No...
<Daifan> I talked to Hand Dezmali.
<Daifan> She said... just what you did
<Daifan> All I am trying to do is protect pepoole from harm.
* Veznara frowns, then sighs
<Veznara> Yes, I know.
<Veznara> I have been to plantation, now.
<Daifan> what did you see?
<Veznara> I made a point of checking in on the new arrivals. They're in separate buildings, of course; one for the women, and one for the men.
<Veznara> The women seemed to me to be... well, better than they reported were when they first arrived.
<Veznara> The men...
<Veznara> I'm afraid they seemed to be somewhat less well treated.
* Daifan nods, totally unsurprised
<Veznara> I saw bruises on some of them. The guard implies that some of them are not, ah, resigned to their fates.
<Daifan> :|
<Veznara> I think they may also be receiving less food. I don't know for certain. They did look thin.
<Daifan> what do you know about them?
<Veznara> The men? Next to nothing, I'm afraid.
<Daifan> no, all of them
<Veznara> I know one of the women is named Kida.
* Daifan nods
<Veznara> Have you heard of her?
<Daifan> yes. hand Dezmali let me talk to Ughiza.
<Veznara> Ah. I also spoke to Ughiva - and Fuska, and Zarogalo. I don't remember her mentioning Kida, though.
<Daifan> She told me she was the most beautiful.... I think she was missing her... and worried.
<Veznara> Ah. Well, the place is unpleasant - but the women did seem somewhat better than what I'd heard of them when I arrived.
<Veznara> The guards were reluctant to let me see them, but they didn't stop me when I pressed the point.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> YOu just sw the barracks?
<Veznara> There were three buildings. One was the barracks for the guards, the other two housed the prisoners.
<Veznara> I didn't go inside the barracks.
* Sulidein is now known as AshnabisNarrator
<Daifan> hmm
<Veznara> They all seem to have been constructed recently. Possibly in a hurry, I suppose.
<Daifan> ....what do you think about all of this?
<Veznara> Well, I suppose it's better than all of these poor people being executed - which is what happened to many of the others.
* Daifan nods
<Veznara> But I am concerned.
<Daifan> yes...
<Daifan> Why keep these ones? Why these numbers?
<Veznara> Do you have any thoughts?
<Daifan> of course I do
<Daifan> I want to look out for these people, but I don't know what you want for them.
<Veznara> Such as?
<Veznara> What *I
* want for them?
<Daifan> well
* Daifan considers
<Daifan> want is maybe not the right word
<Daifan> BUt do you care what happens to them, if the person who is chosing their fates is a taizan princess?
<Veznara> Oh, Daifan.
<Veznara> I am very conscious of Her Imperial Highness' position, of course.
<Veznara> And of course I would never suggest that she would do anything *improper*.
* Veznara says, a tad dryly
<Veznara> But I am in the service of the Hand. I have a duty to see that justice is done. And I take that duty very seriously.
<Veznara> That may not be entirely within my power. I can't send these people back to Taizi, for example.
<Veznara> But I can do my best to check on them, and do what I can to alleviate their sufferings.
<Veznara> I want to say, keep them from being abused.
<Daifan> if the princess is doing something unjust... or doing somethign wrong, then what>? She's a princess.
<Veznara> She is... but there are still checks on what she could get away with.
<Veznara> I hope. :/
<Daifan> I'm not convinced of that
<Daifan> well... mayge here there would be
<Daifan> (maybe)
* Daifan sighs
<Veznara> Well, the very fact that I've been assigned to her may make her cautious in how she deals with them.
<Daifan> I think that was the hope yes...
<Daifan> but I don't trust her
<Daifan> I.... went out to see the buildings, before they came >.>
<Veznara> Oh?
* Veznara is a bit surprised
<Daifan> I'd heard they were coming. I was worried about how they might be treated, kept away from the rest of our people
<Daifan> where no one could see what hwas happening to them
<Veznara> :/
<Daifan> When I was there.... the building with no windows... it wasn't a barracks.
<Daifan> it was not set up for that
<Daifan> I mean
<Daifan> why would you give windows to the prisoners, but not the people meant to be watching them?
<Veznara> ...what was it set up for, then?
<Daifan> I don't know. Torture? Experiments?
<Daifan> rape?
<Daifan> there was a bed with chains on it
<Veznara> :O
<Daifan> and another room where someone could watch what wAS HAPPENING
<Daifan> and a little room upstaors with a desk all set up to take notes
<Veznara> ...
<Veznara> ...a bed, with chains?
<Daifan> yes
<Daifan> :|
<Veznara> That's...
* Veznara falls back in her chair
* Daifan waits for you to say 'ridiculous'
<Veznara> (Sense Motive to see whether you're telling the truth? :D )
<Daifan> (I mean you can roll I guess?)
<Veznara> !roll 1d20+9
* @Lan-werk rolls for Veznara: [ 1d20+9 ] getting [ 19 ] which, after the modifier [ 9 ] totals [ 28 ].
<Daifan> (not lying, definietly wary of how you are oing to rto reacy to any of this)
<Daifan> (gah, how you are gogn to react)
<Veznara> (Dammit - I almost want to use Inspired to roll again so I'll roll lower... :P )
<Veznara> ...
<Veznara> How were you able to get in there to see this?
<Daifan> carefully :p
<Daifan> I snuck in
<Daifan> there was some kind of magic on the door that alerted the guards, so I had to trick them
<Veznara> Trick them?
<Veznara> Wait...
* Veznara gets up and goes to the door, to be sure nobody nearby could be overhearing this conversation...
* Daifan sighs
<Daifan> why does it matter?
<Veznara> ...Daifan, this is a very serious accusation.
* Veznara says very quietly
<Daifan> I know. I can't prove anything, and I'm no one :|
<Veznara> :/
<Daifan> everything I find out just gets worse :|
<Veznara> I... I'm not sure what to do about this.
<Daifan> Just... pay attention
<Veznara> If I ask to go inside the barracks and see for myself, they will simply refuse. And it will let them know that I have suspicions.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> if they're actually using it as a barracks now, meybe the just moved it somewhere else :/
<Veznara> I didn't see any other buildings. But yes, they could also just move it... or simply disassemble it for a while.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> Just keep an eye out to see if they're experiencing anything worse than beatings. if any of them go missing...
<Daifan> anything like that
* Veznara frowns
* Daifan sigh
<Daifan> I'm not asking you to do anything
<Veznara> You don't have to.
<Veznara> If something as horrible as what you imply is going on...
<Daifan> I don't know if anything is happening yet.
<Veznara> No. I hope not. But if anything is planned...
<Veznara> Well. I will keep a careful eye out.
<Daifan> thank you.
<Veznara> And I'll be sure to visit the plantation.
<Daifan> Be careful.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> I will have to discuss this with Dezmali.
* Daifan nods
<Daifan> I didn't tell her about everything...
<Veznara> No. It sounds incredible.
<Daifan> I know :/
<Veznara> But she needs to know about this.
<Veznara> Are you prepared to repeat this story to her, if she asks?
<Daifan> yes.
* Veznara nods
<Veznara> Very well.
<Veznara> One way or another, we will get to the bottom of this.